the mondays + wednesdays plan

As a follow-up to my new goal mentioned in the previous post for this collection of words and pictures, I will do my best to add a new post about what’s going on in my life on Mondays and Wednesdays if time permits. I believe it would be reasonable to use the pattern of attending a college course a couple times a week to add to this.

I attended classes on and off for over a decade and racked up plenty of college credits. Every now and then, I think of the days when I worked a full-time job and attended classes or when I worked two jobs and attended classes. I feel that I have reached a point in my life when I no longer want to find myself doing either. I see a possibility when I may go back to school for some reason, but that does not seem very likely at this point. I currently just work a full-time job, and I am content with that.

I’ve been quite a homebody for a while now. One of my primary reasons is that I am doing my best to save up as much of my earnings to achieve my bigger goals, and the expenses of being a social butterfly have become nuisances in my fundraising effort. Gas prices are so much more than they used to be last decade, so driving can be costly. Time is precious. Hobbies can be expensive. Paying the bills while trying to save makes it difficult to go out and spend.

The icing on the cake is sales tax. Texas state sales tax is 8.25%. That means for every $100 I spend on anything that accrues sales tax, $8.25 of my hard-earned cash is taken on top. Nowadays with e-commerce being the way to purchase and save on tangible items, I prefer to shop online for just about everything except gas, groceries, and smaller items that I’d be better off getting at a store. The prices are more desirable online, and I usually avoid having to pay the sales tax which is an additional savings in itself.

That should wrap up today’s update. I look forward to updating again on Wednesday. Peace out.

the five sixteen

I will attempt to achieve a goal that I will probably be too busy or too lazy to accomplish: two new posts per week. They may not be substantial, but what individual posts here really are? This is just one of my many collections. I don’t do as much updating here as I used to, and it seems that every time I do, I mention the fact that I don’t update enough.

Almost half of the year has gone by, and summer has arrived. I hope that I can keep up with this, because I think about it constantly. Another task or another thought almost always shows up to take priority, so that’s really the reason why I don’t update this as often.

Two updates per week? Will that keep you coming back like you used to? Or have you left for good? Hold me to it. Peace out.

the end of radio silence

Over three months have gone by since I last updated this collection that I have been consistently maintaining for over five years. The neglect was not intentional, and I haven’t completely lost my passion to write new content on here infrequently.

I can’t say that I have been busy, because I have just been going through similar motions day after the day these past few months. I don’t plan on ever abandoning this as long as my fingers can touch keys to put together sentences on a glowing screen and the ultranet continues to transfer ones and zeroes back and forth between its many machines that maintain its existence.

I have definitely been in a creative dry spell lately, and I have been content with just being on this planet earning my keep. I hope to get back to updating this again at least once a month and hopefully more, but I’ll just have to see how the days go and if I’m up to it. 2012 has arrived. The web is moving and growing faster than ever. One day, the blog will be a vintage communication that will always continue to be around.

Print, radio, and television have a tough enough time keeping up with the speed that information circulates, but they have successfully adapted to the change in the exchange. Blogs can be updated just as fast and often as wall posts and tweets but require more effort to fulfill the format obligations.

I will still use this as my primary outlet when I feel like punching out some rants into the blogosphere, so check back every now and then. Thank you for reading this as long as you have, and please continue to do so. You’re always welcome to it. Peace out.

the mandatory end of september post

Another month in 2011 has been quickly spent, and I am eager to just type this one out before enjoying a little bit of rum and OJ.

Along with the usual forty I knock out working for the man, I have been keeping busy. My weekends have been booked in advanced lately in order to accomplish my never-ending to-do lists.

Earlier in the month, M&I attended a wedding in Tulsa. To save on traveling expenses, we decided to rent a car to make the trek. We drove a Hyundai Sonata that I really enjoyed and almost averaged 40 MPG. Check it out:

Hyundai Sonata MPG

Time has seriously been flying by. I am looking forward to a trip to Vegas at the end November. This weekend, we are going to Corpus Christi to relax on the coast and visit my goddaughter and her parents. In a few months, 2012 will be here.

That’s about all the writing I have in me right now. I hope everything is going well for you. Stop by again around the end of October for another update. Peace out.

the five years of MoSo + breakfast for dinner

On this day in 2006, the first post to Modern Soapbox was published. I was in a similar state of mind then, but the years have gone by fast. I was younger and had more energy to be more prolific. I posted more often compared to nowadays where I’m averaging around an update or two per month.

I was at the end of my pseudo-career as a pizza boy. I played the balancing act of working two jobs for a little while. I kept a full-time job for over two years as an independent contractor turned employee/manager with full benefits for a company that shaped the way I see the corporate world and its tendency to create catastrophes almost intentionally. I also had another job part-time for about a year at a place where I met my other half. I was even bold enough to mix a part-time schedule of attending college into that mix.

These days are definitely different. I’m happier and more relaxed, but I’m quickly approaching 30. I work a job where I wake up early to be in an office working full-time earning a decent paycheck that makes ends meet. I’m reaching the threshold where I need to be earning more, but I can only roll with the punches with the way everything in this country and its economy is currently going. I’m fortunate to be employed, and I am very grateful for that.

Now five years have passed since “the debut” was published. I haven’t abandoned this archive, and I hope I can keep it going another five years. I may update not nearly as much as I did, but I have other projects that also demand my focus and I love working on each one of them almost more than this one. This isn’t going anywhere else but forward, and it will serve as a source where I have stored some of my thoughts, my observations, and what mattered to me when the posts were written.

I hope you will continue to visit every now and then to check if I’ve updated because I will continue to update. Even if you don’t stop by often or even stop visiting altogether, at least remember that I’m going to keep this going and I have no desire to bury it any time soon. Thanks for reading if you’re reading this, and now it’s time to talk about the tasty dinner that M&I had today since food plays a necessary part to my happiness.

Before we spent a couple hours at Thunderbird Coffee this evening, we made some scrambled eggs with sautéed red bell peppers, cheesy mashed potatoes with chives, and peppered bacon. Cutting up the bacon and mixing the pieces into the mashed potatoes made the plate that much better. The eggs provided additional flavors that kept our palates excited with every bite. Breakfast for dinner is something that we enjoy often, but we manage to 1-up ourselves this time around.

Happy 5th Anniversary, Modern Soapbox! Peace out.

the respect for durable machines

The last day of July has quickly arrived which marks the last day that I have to squeeze a post in to keep up with my minimum of one personal post per month update that I’ve been managing for a few months now. I don’t have much to update you with here, so I’ll hopefully keep it short this time.

Texas heat has been in the 100+ range for many days straight. We are going to San Antonio today to go to Sea World. I had a delicious barbacoa torta with onions and cilantro added on Saturday morning. I also took a nap that lasted much longer than I wanted.

I have finally caught up on Masterchef. Other TV shows with new episodes that I’m currently keeping up with are: Breaking Bad, Louie, Weeds, Entourage, Ugly Americans, and Hell’s Kitchen.

This month has been pretty redundant. I continue to work 40 hours 5 days a week like many Americans earning their living do. The weekends go by way too fast, but I am still very grateful that I get a two-day moment between the five daily doses of monotony that I consider a job. After each workday, I like to stay indoors like many Texans until the weather cools off a bit.

I have to get some rest now since I have to get up early for our day trip to San Antonio to visit Sea World. I’ve never been, and I hope we have a good time. I know it’s late, but I’m still up since I had that long nap. Until later on in August… Peace out.

the ice cream melts

In order to keep the promise to myself to update this collection of writing at least once a month, here is June 2011’s installment of what’s going on in my life.

June has flown by fast like the previous five months of this year so far, and I key this in during the last few hours of the last day of this month. With hope of not spending too much time updating you to be able to get the few items on today’s checklist complete before I call it a night, I will again attempt to keep this post short.

Almost effortlessly, I had three job interviews this month, none of which got me better employment with another company therefore amounting to a waste of my time. The first interview was almost successful, but something occurred on the company’s end that prevented me from getting the position. I’ll just say the person I was replacing didn’t want to be replaced after all. The company claimed to make a difference in people’s lives, and they definitely made a difference in mine.

The second interview was a subpar phone interview. I didn’t have what it took to nail the interview, and the person conducting the interview was a condescending jerk that clearly didn’t understand my email reply about not having all of the experience necessary but possessed the passion to earn it.

I nailed the third interview which was a phone interview as well but still ended up not getting the job. I’m under the impression that my status of being currently employed had a big influence on their decision, since I’m sure they needed to fill the position immediately. I am also happy to admit that I was overqualified for the position but was going for it to bring change to my day job existence.

So much for keeping this post short.

I saw a dentist for the first time in years. I bet it’s been over five years, closer to six or seven. I had a toothache for a whole week that rendered me almost useless for a few days. I would just work my eight hours then rush home to suffer the excruciating pain. The dentist referred me to an oral surgeon that extracted the tooth, my first adult tooth I’ve had to lose. I still have all of my wisdom teeth, but those will hopefully be pulled some time next year before they cause me any serious problems.

My eight-hour workdays have recently turned into ten-hour workdays. Purgatory has extended my shift, because they need my mad skills. Ha. I can’t really complain about getting a fatter check and the boost in income that I was seeking with those interviews that fell into my lap.

M&I went to San Antonio this past weekend to visit one of my best friends and his wife. We ate at Timbo’s for lunch then checked out the zoo. For dinner, we went to Big Lou’s Pizza to feast on their 42″ pie. Our party of seven was unfortunately unable to finish it, but I was able to consume my share. The pizza is delicious, and I would go back but maybe not get such a big pie unless we promise to dominate it.

I did have the dream of conquering the Four Horsemen burger at Chunky’s but decided against it after reading reviews on Yelp, hearing about the horror stories involving vomit, the questionable cleanliness of the restaurant itself, and the fact you get a barf bucket, the option of wearing gloves, have to sign a waiver, and have to pay 17 bucks if you don’t finish it. Maybe I’ll have the courage one day but maybe not.

I attempted my fifth victory of the Pluckers Fire In The Hole challenge earlier in the month. The wings were enormous on our visit, and the 50-piece we split actually had 56 pieces. The drummies were almost the size of regular drumsticks. Our defeat was a result of the amount of food and not the heat. This was my first failure for the challenge, but I will get on the South Lamar Wall of Flame one of these days.

We also tried a new wing bar called Wingzup that has a Ghost pepper wing sauce. Unfortunately, it’s made with Ghost chili powder, not fresh peppers. It was decently fiery, but no Fire In The Hole. The service was excellent. The food quality and presentation was stellar. They have a neat gimmick of serving beer in plastic towers with a tap at the bottom. We may return if we’re in the area. They gave us discount coupons, so that makes it even more desirable to return.

I am so relieved that my toothache has been eliminated as you can tell with all of the food talk you just read. The experience of suffering a toothache diminished my spirit, but that is behind me now.

Summer television programming is slowly making its way back into our lives. I’ll be hanging on to my current job that isn’t so bad for a while longer. Life is treating me well, and I will update this again some time next month. Peace out.