Aaron Neville’s family evacuated from New Orleans

That was a headline news the other day when I was watching one of the cable news networks about Hurricane Katrina. Have we really come to a point where anyone in the world can possibly care about this. I mean I care from the standpoint of them being general people, but really now.

In other news stuff is going well. I had my fantasy football draft the other night, and it went okay. The air conditioner broke on Sunday night. Yay for home warranties! It’s now fixed. The car window broke on Sunday. It’s currently in the shop. Bob Sumerel “really cares” about my $350.

August Super Doubles report

Okay, now that I am back from our nation’s capital, time for a final report on Super Double coupons last week. Since we were leaving on vacation on Thursday morning, I only got 3 days of shopping in, but I managed to squeeze in quite a bit.

First of all, the things that I paid for:

22 Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts 12-ct ($11.00)
16 Tyson Chicken Strips ($8.00)
14 jars/boxes of assorted Baby food ($6.12)
4 GE Reveal lightbulbs 4-ct ($1.96)
1 Sargento Provolone Cheese ($1.89) – for trip sammiches
2 Meijer Gallons milk ($1.67) – I redeemed my 10 “Meijer Magic Milk points” for one of the gallons to get it for free.
4 containers Huggies Wipes ($1.56)
10 big boxes of Sunlight Dish Detergent ($1.45)
4 Old El Paso Gordita kits ($.81)
8 Betty Crocker Instant Potatoes ($.77)
1 Purell Hand Sanitizer ($.50) – for school supplies. I was annoyed at having to buy this since I probably have 50 of the trial size Purells at home but they had to have the kind with the pump…
20 Nexcare Bandages ($.36) – Had to pay 9 cents for 4 of them – should have been free as they were marked $1.99 but rang up at $2.09 and I didn’t feel like fighting for them

Things I got for free:

2 Lays Potato Stax – snacks for the car – I traded a co-worker for $1/1 peelies
14 Duncan Hines Brownies
1 Bisquick 64 oz (should have been another 96 oz but I must have just grabbed the wrong size)
3 Bisquick 96 oz
4 Eggo Waffles 10-ct
1 bag of frozen Green Giant Vegetables
3 Pillsbury Toaster Strudel
12 Cinnamon Toast Crunch
25 Colgate MaxFresh Toothpaste

Moneymakers:

1 Meijer Paper Towel ($.46) – one trip it printed out a coupon for $1 off any paper towel
2 Kleenex Moist Wipes ($.49) – again, printed out a Catalina for a free one, then when I redeemed that one it printed out another one for a free one. For a minute there I thought I was onto another Dixieware-style deal, but it stopped after 2.
1 Colgate Toothbrush ($.51)
1 Choice Energy Bar 4-pack ($.61)
28 Vlasic Pickles ($.99) – Most of these were just free (Doubling up to the $1.67 price) but 3 of them fully doubled for overage
20 Sugar Free Koolaid ($1.00) – same here but 2 of them doubled the full $2 for $1 total of overage.
18 Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts 8-ct ($1.05)
14 Totino’s Pizza Rolls 15-ct ($1.20) – good printable.
8 Old El Paso Refried Beans ($1.29) – coworker tipped me off to a printable for these that I overlooked.
6 Gum Toothbrush twin pack ($1.51) – got them on the last trip of the week as the other two Meijers were out of them.
14 White Rain Conditioner ($2.94)
8 Suave Kids Shampoo ($3.12)
12 Open Pit BBQ Sauce ($4.37) – you know, because I needed more of this
22 White Rain Shampoo ($4.62)
22 Betty Crocker Cookie Mix ($6.53)
14 Suave Shampoo ($9.50)
14 Emery Boards ($10.38)
16 Old El Paso Taco Shells ($11.16)
25 Suave Conditioner ($13.54)

As you can probably tell, the Suave was the best deal. I had $1/1 coupons, and it’s regular price at 99 cents. Most of them doubled, so for every 99 cents that I bought, it took $2 off my order. All in all, it was $882.45 of groceries for -$26.29. This includes $12.09 of sales tax, which was more than I paid for any other item. Can’t beat Uncle Sam

Some updatage

I thought I’d do a bit of a mid-week post, to update the masses on various things that are going on:

  • Things are coming along nicely for our trip out to Washington. Carolyn, as I speak (well sort of), is writing down the list of stuff ta pack. I have begun preparations on my talk for the ring ceremony. I have the 5-10 minutes, now I just have to do some tweakage to make sure it’s a good 5-10 minutes
  • Super doubles is going well. If I had the whole week, I’d say it would be my best week ever. I think I could definitely top $1000. As it stands, after 2 days, I have bought $618.92 of groceries for -$9.89. Suave shampoo / conditioner has been my best deal I think. It’s 99 cents (regular price – though I did have one raincheck for 79 cents), and I have coupons for $1/1. It’s doubling it too, so for every shampoo I buy for 99 cents, it takes $2 off my order. Not bad! Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to be able to use all my Suave coupons before we have to leave.
  • I did a nice bike ride this evening. I have split the original 10 Madeira routes of 6 or so miles into 5 routes of 8-10 miles each. I did one today of 8.32 miles. I wanted to get in a ride tonight since if I didn’t, I might not ride at all this week. It was good, though tiring. Very humid this evening. I also got to check out a street I thought I might have missed in my earlier trip – Paisley Lane. I didn’t notice it when I did this part of Madeira last week, and it was only when I got back home and looked at the map that I saw it. As I rode by it tonight, I rode on it, but I’m definitely going to have to appeal to the powers that be if it’s really a road. And the answer is… no. It was more like a private drive, which I am not counting. To answer Kerry’s question from before about riding on the streets vs. riding on the sidewalks, I ride on the street everywhere. It’s the way you should do it (and safer). Plus, it’s not like this is ride on every sidewalk of Madeira!!! The good news is that most (well, maybe not most, but a good number) of the major roads around here have bike lanes. Well, they’re not exactly bike lanes (with a nice white chalk bike dude) but there’s a good space between the line at the side of the road and the curb. So it’s pretty easy to pass me, except when there aren’t these spaces or I have to move into the road (i.e. if I have to turn left)

August super doubles

Well it was the first day of Super Double Coupons at Meijer. I went into work extra early today (and will probably continue to do so the rest of this week) so I could get stuff done and still have time for some shopping. It’s extra pressure since we’ll be leaving on Thursday, so I only have 3 days to cram in all the super doublage.

I went this afternoon and the cashier that I picked – it was his first day on the job. I really felt bad for him. The problem with the during work Meijer run is that there is less choice in cashiers – lots of old folks. The good news about getting a rookie is that he pretty much just did what I told him :-) . I did tell him that after he gets done with me then it’s all easy from then on. I felt bad for the lady behind me too. I told her when she pulled up that she might want to consider another line, but she said that she didn’t mind. She even seemed not annoyed when I was done (which took a full 25 minutes), so that was nice.

I will publish a full report when I am done, but the 2 orders from this afternoon were a gross total of $147.85 for -$6.89

Veni vidi vici

Well, Madeira is mine. I got up and went out about 7 a.m. to go ride my bike. I was going to do the longest of the 10 routes I had (about 15 miles) and then finish up with an 8 mile route on Monday to finish it off. But as I got started, I realized that without too much work I could combine the two and finish them off. My ride this morning ended up being 20.03 miles, and it took me just over 2 hours.

I wrote a pretty cool little program using Google Maps to illustrate my bike riding routes, which you can see here. The routes that I did this morning were #7 and #8 (Dark Green and Light Blue)

The final totals for Madeira:

  • 120 streets
  • 9 rides, varying from 4.46 to 20.03 miles
  • 68.2 miles
  • 6 hours, 37 minutes and 44 seconds (an average of 10.29 mph)

So…. as Carolyn asked this morning…. now what? Some thoughts I had were

  • Attempt to ride every street in Madeira faster. This would entail just trying them again (since in theory the more I ride the stronger / faster I become)
  • Create fewer, longer routes. This would also cut down my time, since in the routes that I have there’s a lot of backtracking, due to having to keep coming back to my house at the end of each route
  • I took a copy of a map I have, and drew a circle of 2 miles around my house. So I thought I might try to ride on every street in that circle, then expand it to 3 miles, etc.
  • Work on preparing for a race / duathlon / triathlon and/or riding to and/or from work.

Exciting updates

Thought I’d post a little update for the masses. Yes, I’m talking to you! Not much going on here lately. Things appear to be all falling in place for our trip to Washington next week. We’ve got the hotel, we’ve got folks lined up to watch the kiddoes. I am giving a talk at the ring ceremony which I’m still working on, but all in all we look to be in good shape.

My EFC trip that was scheduled for the week after (the 26th) has been postponed indefinitely due to the wimping out of my friend that was supposed to go with me. So I’m still looking to figure out when to do that.

Still been riding my bike in my undying quest to visit every street in Madeira. I’ve now finished 7 of the 10 routes – only 3 more to go. I feel like I’m getting a bit better especially on the hills, but my speed is slower than the earlier routes. One problem that I’ve been having is an excessive amount of hills. The problem is all the side streets. The main streets are more or less flat (with occasional gradiation). But a lot of the side-streets / subdivisions are up hills from the main roads. Which sucks for 2 reasons.

  • I usually have to turn to get up there, which means I can’t get a good head of steam – one exception was last night when I zoomed down Ken Arbre up Rollaway Road which got me a good ways up the hill.
  • And more annoyingly, I can’t really benefit from the downhill, because I usually have to be riding the brakes to make sure I can stop at the main road (i.e. so cars don’t kill me)

In any case, I’m not sure what I’m going to do next – I hope to be finished sometime next week before our trip. I did copy a map and draw a 2 mile circle around my house – one thought was to ride on every road within the circle and then just keep expanding it as I go. Another thought was every street in the 45243 zip code, or just draw some set of arbitrary boundaries (like US-50, the Little Miami, OH-126 and Kenwood/Plainville). It would be neat to ride my bike to and/or from work too – that’s about 14 miles.

Mediciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiina de amor

Well Carolyn is off at yoga tonight, to which she goes just about every Thursday. The kiddoes are all in bed, and all but Amy appear to be asleep. Amy has this rather frustrating habit that she has recently picked up, where she wanders around her room and/or kicks the walls for 1-2 hours after we put her down. Not to mention the occasional poopage. And then, surprisingly enough, she is tired in the morning. Who knew?

In any case, I am sitting here listening to the track which inspired this post’s title. For some reason, I can only be inspired to be productive when I am here by myself. So I did a little cleaning of my nightstand, which had reached quite a mountainous state. Carolyn will be happy I think, but I just wonder how long it will take for her to notice. Will she notice before she reads this post… stay tuned!

It’s somewhat amusing how little time it actually took. I think that goes for most things – actually getting around to doing it is much more time consuming than the actual task itself. For example, I cleaned out my entire nightstand, organized it, moved all the stuff to its new homes, and folded a load of laundry in the time it took me to listen to one Bad Religion album. And if it’s in the space of a Bad Religion album, you know it was quick-quick. For example, no song on the album is longer than 3:30, and the entire album (11 songs) is just over 30 minutes.

So Windows Media player correctly identified my Raulin album, with full track list and saucy picture (SFW). I don’t know why I am surprised. Okay I’m not really surprised, but I don’t think I’d have been surprised if it had gone “wha-huh?” when I put it in. Now let’s see if it can correctly identify Charles Aznavour the great bolerist. Update: Of course it did, though the tracks are in the wrong order. Let’s see – does Wikipedia have an entry on him? Of course (even with a picture). Yo te dare calor baby! All this bolero makes me jones for some good ol Jose Luis Perales. You just haven’t lived until you’ve heard Joe Louis belt out “The word liberty pleases me” Unless maybe it’s “I want to be fresh water” :-) . And that’s not even mentioning the “theta”, which I really wanted to link somewhere but couldn’t.

This has been quite the long post, so I will conclude by saying I went bike riding again, and have now done 4 of the 10 trips to complete my goal of every street in Madeira. The ride today was quite vigorous. Lots of hills. The 6.90 miles took me 42:38, which is a shade under 10 mph. The 4 rides so far have been a total of 22.22 miles, and I’ve done it in 2:01:36 (10.96 mph). I was thinking “not bad” till I thought that some people can RUN A MARATHON (4 more miles) in essentially the same time (2:04:55). But I’m still pleased. I’ve programmed a pretty wicked awesome page of my routes, which I will post here when I’m done with it.