Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rude Customer Leaves Waitress $50,000 and a Car In His Will

She made sure his food was as hot as he wanted, even if it meant he burned his mouth. And she smiled through his demands and curses. The 89-year-old Walter "Buck" Swords obviously appreciated it, leaving the waitress $50,000 and a 2000 Buick when he died.

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What I Will Give Myself For New Year's

For this January, I'm going to give myself something that I haven't had for about 8 years- a flat, washboard stomach.

I only had a flat, washboard stomach only once, ever, and it only lasted for about a month. It took a lot of exercise, lots of sacrifice and discipline to get it. I looked and felt good. You just have to eat a little bit, whenever you do eat. You get to eat more than 3 times a day, though....And you have to exercise at least 4 or 5 times a week, minimum.

I lost my washboard (and gained more pounds) after I got sick, which was terrible. I caught the flu and/or a bad cold, and I started eating whatever, whenever to make myself feel better (comfort food will get you if you don't watch out, when you are watching what you eat). It was hard for me to go back to the exercise and eating regimen.

I will do it. You will see.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Trying to Stay Current

I got an email today from my uncle, a spoof on "It's a Wonderful Life", and featuring a cartoon George W. Bush. It's really funny. The website that it came from is called "". I just subscribed to it. It's cool because it will help me achieve a goal- to become more informed about what's going on in the U.S. and the world- to just be smarter.

Just go to and check it out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So Paris Hilton's Grandpa is Willing 97% To Charity...

And people are saying that it's a slight to Paris Hilton. Well, I say that's absolute "poppycock".

First of all, Paris' Grandpa, Barron Hilton, is worth about $2.3 billion now. When he dies, he might be worth more, or he might be worth less, but at today's prices, that still means that $69 million will be left to family- enough for most families to never want for anything. Even if Grandpa leaves his granddaughters nothing, they will still thrive.

Besides, that money going to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will benefit people all over the world. It is "giving back", which is an essential thing to do during one's lifetime. Paris Hilton and her sister Nicky will still be wealthy. Hopefully for them, they will also be able to say that they made their own millions (or billions) as well, on their own (I think that Paris can claim to have made 'millions' already).

Since getting out of jail, Paris has turned into a different person. Can you see it? Life seems to have more meaning to her now- at least, that's my perception. She announced that she herself was going to get involved with charities and good causes. I think that it is noble of her to try.

Even Warren Buffet is going to leave the vast majority of his money to charity when he dies- and he's got family that he could leave it all to. However, money does not breed character- becoming a wealthy heir might be nice, but any idiot can inherit money. Earning your own is key.

Becoming a master at something, a success, will ensure your happiness and prosperity, as many weatlhy people will tell you. Money is a by-product of success that some people have learned to live with, after all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Great Christmas

I had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. I admit, shopping a few days earlier was a job, but I actually had fun doing it. I mean, I got to go down to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim on Saturday night, where I went inside California Adventure for one particular gift (for my Mother). I also went to a store called "Basin" that sells bath soaps and salts, where I bought a few other things. Earlier in the day I went up to Universal Studios, where I bought a "Shrek" plush toy for a toddler. I also bought a Lottery Ticket, since I was acutally inside Universal Studios and thought it would be cool if I won there, because they'd get some money, too, and I'd be on TV.

Anyway, on Christmas Eve, we had a great dinner. Jaime cooked a turkey with dressing and candied yams, and we also had cranberry sauce. Jaime's brother Adrian came over with his family of 4, my sister Julie came over with her friend, my Mother came over, and our friend Juana Maria came over with her 3 kids. It was a full house, and the food was really good. There was just enough food for everyone. Later on in the evening, Jaime and I went to visit his brother Rigoberto, where we had a few cups of coffee and some more food.

Christmas day was nice. We woke up late, and mainly just stayed home and watched TV. My Mom came over around 4PM and cooked a pork roast, along with a few other things. Julie came over also with her friend. It was a delicious dinner (it is truly rare, for me anyway, to have 2 home cooked meals that good, back-to-back). We watched "The Simpsons Movie" and "Fiddler on the Roof" on television. Tonight the adults opened their Christmas gifts, and everyone was happy afterward.

I will enjoy the rest of this year. I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas, and that we all have a safe, friendly, and comfortable week.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Trip To Disneyland Resort (10 days ago)

2 posts ago, I mentioned that I couldn't wait to spend 2 nights at the Disneyland Resort. I went with my pal Jaime. We stayed at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. We had a nicely located room (although it was quite a walk), overlooking one of the entrances to the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney. We had a little drama- Jaime was suffering from asthma, and ran out of his inhaler medicine (Albuterol, I think it's called). Eventually, he woke me up and told me that he couldn't breathe (at 4AM), and I called the front desk to ask for advice. They said that they would connect me to the resort 911 operator. The person there said that they would send a nurse and the paramedics to the room. About 5 minutes later, they arrived, and immediately began to work on Jaime. The nurse gave him oxygen and Abuteol. The paramedics also gave him more oxygen and more abuterol, and everybody took his pulse. The paramedics wanted to take Jaime, but he said no. You might not believe this, but the Disney nurse and the Disney security guard actually helped turn a potentially tragical experience into a magical one. In the end, Jaime was able to sleep for a few more hours.

Room Service came with breakfast at 9:30AM. It was a little pricey, but worth it because of the convenience, and they did give nice portions of coffee and orange juice. The food was good, too.

Jaime was still having trouble breathing, so he phoned his doctor's office, but could not reach the doctor. Jaime suggested calling an asthma clinic that he had signed up for recently, and they told him that he could come in and be seen. I drove him to the clinic in Long Beach, where they evaluated him. Afterward, a lady told me that I should immediately take him to a hospital emergency room, because he had less than 22% lung capacity. I said OK, and I drove him straight to Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital (which is one location where they said that he wouldn't have a bill if he got treated there). After a few hours, some oxygen and some antibiotics, Jaime felt better, but tired.

It was now Monday evening. We decided to drive back down to Disneyland Resort, and make the best of the rest of our time. We went into Disneyland and dined at the French Market, where we could see the show, "Fantasmic". We then saw the fireworks show, "Believe in Holiday Magic". Then we rode the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride, and then we went on "It's a Small World". To round out the night, we walked to Main Street and went to the Blue Ribbon Bakery, and got some cookies. I got a warm egg nog, which was delicious. Back at our room at the Grand Californian, we relaxed a little. Jaime fell asleep quickly after showering. I went out to the lobby downstairs to read my book, "Save the Cat", by the fireplace. After about 10 minutes, I found myself fighting to stay awake. After 5 more minutes, I went back upstairs and went to bed.

The next day, we woke up and got ready to check out of the hotel. We took a tour of the Disney Vacation Club, where we were greeted by one of the best Vacation Club Guides around, Nelida (whom I used to work with). After our brief meeting, we went to Disneyland Park aboard the Monorail. We rode a few rides, and we ate at Cafe Orleans before heading home (we stayed at the Park for about 2 hours).

Although we had some unexpected ills in our trip, we made the most of it, and still managed to have a magical time at Disneyland!

Monday, December 24, 2007

More People are Defaulting On Credit Card Payments. Surprised?

On the news today, I hear that more people are late on paying their credit cards off. It's happening to more and more people. This, in addition to the people who are having their homes foreclosed.

Congress only a few months ago passed that bill to make all credit card purchases stick to you, even if you file for bankruptcy.

People, listen to me- be careful about your credit card spending. Credit card companies, when they first approach you, seem oh-so friendly. If you have been paying all your bills on time, they are probably very friendly toward you, offering you new deals to get more of your business. They will keep on offering you more, and if you take it every time, you will surely become a victim. The minute you are late with a payment, you will suddenly find that your relationship with the credit companies has deteriorated. You will all of a sudden be charged unbelievably high interest rates, and on top of that, you'll have late fees, upon which interest will grow as well. Should you fall behind, they will bury you with fees and interest. Knowing this, you have to realize that using credit cards is risky, and a game that the credit card companies hope to bury you.

The rule is: don't get buried. Pay them off. Don't spend with them if you can avoid it. Pay cash. If you must use credit cards, have a plan to pay them off. They are tools only, to be used in a financial management plan.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Can't Wait Til Next Sunday

I can't wait for my next little getaway, which will be a 2-night stay at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. Next Sunday, my partner and I will spend a couple of nights and days at Disneyland. It should be a lot of fun- I have never stayed there for the holidays, so it's gonna be new to me. (I actually used to WORK there for the holidays, and I must say, it was a very cool and unique experience!) I know that the theme parks are going to be crowded, but that's OK, because we'll have the room to come back to and rest. The Grand Californian is a beautiful hotel, and the Disneyland Resort has lots of good food places to choose from. Inside the Grand is the Storyteller's Cafe, where my favorite thing to eat is the Corn Chowder. Mmmmm. I will definitely be having that.

Oh, well, it's time to go to bed. I didn't just randomly pull up this topic- today I opened my mail and found the confirmation from Disney Vacation Club about my reservation for next week. I'm so excited.

So, until next time, sweet dreams.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I feel the need to post tonight...

I don't really think that I have that much to say tonight, except to reflect a little and not gry to be too profound....

I am about to go to bed. Thursday 12/6/07 was a very busy day for me. I drove to Van Nuys, CA, then to Echo Park, then through Hollywood, on to El Segundo, and then home. I had a pretty good day financially- not a great day, but I feel good about it. I got things accomplished. And I did sell a membership to Pre-Paid Legal. So overall I feel good about today.

I sold something on my Ebay store today. I feel really good about that. I have 3 sales so far, and I only opened the store about 2 weeks ago. I've only listed 5 things for sale so far, and sold more than half. So I feel good. I don't really think about it too much, though, unless I do sell something. I want to put some Disney pins that I have up for sale. I should be able to sell those, because I have some really good ones, and people are freaking INSANE about Disney pins.

It's raining now. I can hear it falling outside. It's past midnight here.

Why is my life so complicated? Or is it? Do I choose to make it so? Is there an easier way? What am I doing wrong? Am I starting to do things right? I'm hungry.

Well, I'm not really hungry. But the thought of a cheesburger does make me get excited right now. But I am on a self-imposed diet of healthy food- salads, fruit, stuff like that. It has only been 3 days, but I feel a little better. I've got to get rid of this disgusting big belly that I've maintained since I turned 40. I will lose it, and get a six pack better than most 20 year olds.

I want to fly away, on a plane...a United Airlines plane, to Minnesota, or Seattle. I want to go for a walk in a park in one of the cities in those states. I want to see how other people live.