Friday, June 26, 2009

Life is better topless

As many of you know, I have kind of a small fetish for Jeeps. I can't help it. I think they are the best constructed, longest lasting vehicles on the planet. Well okay, maybe not longest lasting (I've seen some rust buckets) but for the type of driving I do around here (mud, snow, and pavement) a Jeep is the only way to go.

For the last 3 years I have had a 1994 Jeep Cherokee Sport. It's proven to be the most reliable car I've ever owned. Maybe that can be contributed to the fact that I actually took care of it (maintenance does make a difference) but I think it's a combination of care and a good product. For the last 27 years (how long ago did Uncle John have the CJ?) I've wanted a Jeep CJ or Wrangler, and for the last 10 years I have found a few worth buying. If the deal was right, the credit was wrong, and if the credit was right, the deal was wrong. In the last couple of years I have been actively looking and researching and trying to find just what I wanted. And for the first time, I forced myself into staying picky. And I found exactly what I wanted, at exactly the price I was looking at. It's a 1998 Jeep TJ Sport. It has a 6cylinder engine (4.0L) and an automatic transmission. But you people don't care about that... you want to see it. Well folks, here it is. Matt's new Jeep. I know it's not Forrest Service Green like the Cherokee, but try to like it anyway... :-)

Yes, it has a top. It has two actually. It came with a full soft top and a bikini top. It also has full doors with glass windows rather than the half doors with plastic windows. It also came with a set of diamond plate aluminum half doors for the "custom" look. I have also ordered my first upgrade. If you look closely in the pictures, you'll see no side mirrors. They are attached to the doors. I have ordered relocation brackets that will move them to the windshield frame. Gotta have those side mirrors. :-)

Anyway, I just wanted to share with everyone. It's a blast to drive and I think everyone should own one. :-) If you want, the lot I purchased from has three more. I get $100 referral if you buy one... :-) Just putting that out there. :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vacation or vacation?

The past few years we have taken vacation as a family. Two years ago, it was Arizona and Las Vegas. Last year it was the Oregon Coast. A few years back it was Wallowa Lake. All of these places were fantastic. Especially Wallowa Lake. It was our honeymoon... :-)
Correct me if I'm wrong here but when you go on vacation it's almost like you need another vacation to recover from it before going back to work. You are so busy at work for the whole year, and then you are busy on vacation, and all you really want to do is relax.
All of that said, I chose this year to be relaxing. I think its the "Year of the Lazy Boy". I decided early this year (January 2nd to be exact) that I was going to schedule my vacation days in advance, but I was not going to go anywhere. I would like to report that I just finished my first of two weeks vacation and all is well. I didn't go anywhere and upon returning to work I actually feel rested. I feel like I had time off. Time away from stress and deadlines and all that cra... uh, stuff. I feel like I can complete the day without wanting to reach through the phone, grab a customer by the throat and squeeze until orange juice flows from their once lively veins. Okay, that may be an exageration, but anyone that has worked in a call center will understand completely.
So that brings up the question: Vacation, or VACATION? Do you go somewhere and enjoy family time, or do you just stay home and do nothing? Which is better? Although I don't really feel like I had any time off when we have gone on family vacations (driving from Milton-Freewater OR, to southern AZ, back through Vegas in 7 days with two teenage boys in the back seat of a VW Passat still gives me nightmares) the family time is still necessary. I love the fact that we are able to go on vacations and enjoy our time together. Well, other than the time spent in the car I suppose... :-) And then on the flip side of that coin, sometimes you just need some time to yourself. Time to stand in the yard and think "I don't have to do anything today". Light a fire in the back yard (we have a fire pit) and sit there staring up at the stars at night. Go to bed when you want, wake up when you want... it was like summer vacation as a kid. It was great.
I guess what I'm saying is I really don't have an answer to the question. Family time is wonderful and traveling to places I wouldn't go myself was priceless. Staying home and enjoying some "me" time was just as enjoyable though. All in all, I feel more rested than I have ever before but I'm not really sure that should be the deciding factor, although the customers I normally would have wanted to cause harm to may disagree... :-)
I hope you have enjoyed my rambling. Let me know what you think...