Give Thanks

As we all know, today is Thanksgiving. I want to wish everyone and their family a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately for me, I will be spending it in bed this year. I’ve been sick with a cold since last Friday however, since Monday, I have gotten worse; I may have the flu. Even though the health benefits at the new job do not kick in until after the first of the year, I had no choice but to call in sick on Tuesday and Wednesday. I was even supposed to drive up to St. Augustine Wednesday evening to be with the family for Thanksgiving day then drive to Alabama to be with my Grandma on Friday and Saturday but I just couldn’t get healthy enough quickly enough.

However, despite this current grief, I have so much to thank God for. I may be sick now but I still am in good health. We may be in an economic downslope but I have a job. I have a loving family and good friends. And I have so much more. Like I stated, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wonderful Time of the Year

I’m pumped. It’s autumn. My favorite time of the year. Now that it’s autumn, that means cooler weather is getting closer and Halloween is almost here.ZombiEd

Screw Christmas. Halloween is my favorite holiday and the most wonderful time of the year.

Holiday Monetary Madness

The Christmas holiday is over and I’m broke, yet again, from all the giving of…money, but not from buying so much for friends and relatives, this time it’s different.

Last Wednesday, just a two days after Christmas, on my way home from work I noticed my ABS light illuminate. No big deal, huh. I just thought I would wait until the weekend and take it into Sears to get my brakes checked. Well, it didn’t work out so easily.

The following day on my way into work, I had to pick up my boss from the dealership because his Check Engine light came on. Well, ironically, on my way to pick him up, my Check Engine light came on as well. So, with this new addition, I started to get a little worried. I still proceeded to pick him up and we both went into work.

At the end of the day, I decided that when I drop off my boss to pick up his car that I would drop off my car at Sears so they could do a diagnostics and then let him take me home. But it wasn’t that easy. As soon as I dropped him off and was on our way to Sears – which was only a few miles down from his dealership – my car began to run hot and accelerated sluggishly. I turned on the fan, this seemed to help. As I was pulling into Sears is when the overheating got worse. When I stopped and turned off the engine, I popped the hood, to look to see where the smoke was coming from that I had briefly saw on my way over, and noticed that my battery was the culprit.

To make a longer story short, Sears could not diagnose the engine to see why the Check Engine light or ABS light was on, but they could check the battery and the alternator. They came to the conclusion that my alternator was bad, was putting out too much voltage to the battery and blew the battery, so much that it blew the caps off. There goes $500 to Sears and a day out of work on Friday.

Well, after picking it up from Sears Saturday morning, the fun did not stop, my car was still not fixed. The Check Engine light was still on and the engine was still sluggish. I took it back to Sears and they stated that they could not do anything more to find out the issue. So, by one of the mechanics recommendation, I took it to Pep Boys around the corner (which is probably where I should have taken it in the first place) for them to find out what was wrong. First thing, $100 would be out of pocket just for them to diagnose the engine to find out why the Check Engine light was on. After they checked it, they found that my ignition coil and some plugs were bad. Grand total for them to fix it – $690.

So, now I am $1200 dollars poorer without the satisfaction of holiday giving.

Halloween Horror Nights

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Some co-workers and I went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando last night, it was a blast. Even though it was extremely busy with 90 degree temperature and 100% humidity, we still managed to have fun.

The longest we had to wait for a house was a little over an hour. The negative thing about this hour wait, besides it being an hour wait, is that once we got into the house for the walkthrough it only lasted about 10 minutes. I believe the issues with Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) now is that it has gotten so popular that it’s tough to go to it without waiting in a queue for a haunted house for more than an hour. I remember about 10 years ago, before moving to Orlando, that going to HHN on a weeknight would asure you would not have to wait in a queue for more than 15 minutes.

The houses were pretty cool and the theme of each was oustanding. This year was a little different in that while you were waiting in queue, you could watch clips of horror movies projected on the wall. This seemed to add a little something to the theme of each house. For example, one of the houses we went to was called People Under the Stairs Under Construction. While we were in line, we were entertained with the view of quite a few clips from the, now classic, film, People Under the Stairs. An added bonus to the walkthrough of the house was that they gave you hard hats with flashlights mounted on top to wear to help through the really dark areas. What they failed to mention was that this flashlight would sometimes stop beaming it’s light or act like the battery was going bad and just flash. This added to the surprise of not knowing what was around the corner.

The Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Show was just as good as it had been previous years, it remains a legend. Other than that show and the houses, there wasn’t a whole lot more to do there, which was fine since we didn’t have time to check out all of the houses because of the crowd and long queues. The only ride that we noticed was open was The Revenge of the Mummy rollercoaster. This was the first time I had experienced it and it wasn’t bad, short, but not bad.

If I get a chance to go next year, my goal is to try to go to HHN the first week it opens in hopes that it is not as crowded versus a visit closer to Halloween.