Say what you will about Pokémon Go…

I was a kid in the 90’s, you know dial up Internet, AOL Instant Messenger, Game Boy, etc. These were the “high tech” things from way back then. 

I had a Nintendo Game Boy you know the big grey bulky personal/portable gaming system that had a monochromatic screen, four buttons labeled “A”, “B”, “SELECT”, and “START”, a directional pad, one speaker all powered by 4 AA batteries. My Game Boy came with Tetris and Super Mario Brothers and throughout the years I collected other games to play as well. Along came Pokémon sometime in middle school and I fell in L O V E ! I started with the red and moved to yellow when it came out, those are the only two I had but really enjoyed the game. 

The actual one from my childhood

I am now a 31 year old father and husband who works a minimum of 45-50 hours a week- not much time for gaming but about two weeks ago Pokémon Go was released and I had to see what it was all about! I wasn’t impressed at first by the “Go” aspect but now I understand where the developers’ minds were. It’s a way to get people MOVING, and out in the REAL WORLD! I haven’t had a lot of time to do much of the moving aspect but have caught lots of Pokémon as well as leveling them up.
Yesterday morning on my way home I tried to hit up the “Poké Stops” in the downtown area to stock up on more Pokéballs and whatever else I could get as my wife, Melissa has been bragging all week about how awesome it is downtown. I had bad luck as the servers crashed and I went home a bit upset and low on Pokéballs. 

We live in Thomasville which once was a thriving little town and now there are quite a few factories that sit and are just rotting away, very few shops on Main Street, but lots of vacant spaces- ITS SAD! The downtown area is loaded with Poké Stops! Who would have thought this “dead town” would have all this to offer in a game like Pokémon Go?

On my trip collecting Pokéballs this morning I was able to watch the sun slowly come up and I got to spend time in My Town, it was quiet and kind of scary/sketchy until the sun came up some-I’m not going to lie. I made several trips around maybe a two block radius and was collecting balls, capturing Pokémon along the way and…. BURNING CALORIES, getting my heart rate up and breathing fresh morning air. So as the title says, say what you want about Pokémon Go, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time this morning! I was at it for over 45 minutes but did stop for a little over 2 minutes and watched a train come through town-who does that in this day and age?

[Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAXvRRJIR18 ]

I love the consept of this!!!

This town could be so cool!

I didn’t go down this Alley until the sun came up, another cool aspect of the town!

Cool Pano shot, down/inside the alley

This picture doesn’t do the justice of how beautiful this watertower is

Another Watertower

Look at that beautiful sunrise!

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Podcasting

pod·cast
ˈpädˌkast/
noun
noun: podcast; plural noun: podcasts
  1. 1.
    a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.

Below is an exact replica of my Radio Page. I have been on and off producing podcasts since 2005. I intended to update my radio page tonight and it morphed into a semi blog post so I thought Id share it here on the blogs–I haven’t made written one since March of 2015-Sorry its been crazy with a toddler- But good crazy. Anywho, I figured maybe this would reach people who didn’t know about my podcast and also share some insight to when, how and why I started doing a podcast:

I have always had an interest in music, radio and the technology behind it.

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Back in 2005 I was a subscriber to WIRED magazine. Specifically the March 2005 Issue featured a story about how a guy named Adam Curry ” Wants to make you an iPod radio star”  I had just bought an iPod in September of 2004 ( this is a rough estimate of time- I’m getting old…) and really hadn’t learned much about it yet. I also had just started liking Talk radio during the build up of the 2004 elections- My First Time being able to vote. So after reading the article I wanted in on this new internet sensation but had NO audio training and didn’t really know what the heck I was doing, not that my “shows” now are that great but I enjoy making them and hope to improve the “art” as I go along.

It was tough, my audio sucked and I’m not sure anyone really listened back then. I hosted my “show” on a MySpace music account as that was easy… I eventually got it on iTunes but I think its all lost now some 7 years later. The very next year I started the Entertainment Technology program at GTCC and finally got some audio training and continued the podcast but I have quit several times due to “life” happening and not having the time to dedicate to it. in 2016 I am hoping to change my format more to fit the talk radio I feel most in love with– The Allan Handelman Show, Rock talk but also more. Allan has been an inspiration to me ever since I first heard him on the local (now defunct) FM talk radio station. He had an AWESOME afternoon show- just in time for my commute home from College to work; as well as his Sunday night show.

I wanted to update this section but did not intend to type this much. I think I will copy this and make it a blog post as well. Thank you for checking out my “Radio” page and please be sure to check it out via the links below:

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Subscribe and Listen Via iTunes:
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You also can listen to the show via Stitcher Radio or TuneIn and coming soon (hopefully) to Google Play-I have submitted the show but waiting on them to officially launch podcast on there.

Anniversary Trip 2015

As many of you know February 27th is our wedding anniversary; [see: https://sonicdishes.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/what-went-down-in-february-2009/ ]

We have for tried to get away every year if possible to celebrate our anniversary together. A few months ago we decided it wasn’t going to work out this year; or it didn’t look that way as we did a lot of traveling last summer to see Melissa’s Grandfather, My grandfather and my cousin got married… Melissa went behind my back and texted my boss to see if he would “play along” but let me off for a few days as a surprise which to my surprise later on, he did.

With the winter storm that came through the night before we were not sure we would be able to actually leave and were a little bit bummed until we woke up and decided it was going to happen! Preston and Amber ( Melissa’s brother and Fiancée) stayed with Melissa’s mom and Corbin and off we were; our first time away just the two of us since he was born.

Melissa planned our trip out without any assistance from me. She booked us to stay at Breakers Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC and had gotten a great deal ( turns out a little lot of winter remodeling was going down-but we didn’t let that bother us).

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Backside view from the beach

We stayed on the 17th floor (with one working elevator). It was overall a nice room but we didn’t spend much time there.

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BEST CRAB LEGS ON THE PLANET!

She also had some pretty cool things up her sleeve to do while we were there. we arrived in the afternoon of the 26th and checked into the room, drove to some outlets in the area to look for some stuff and then drove to Benjamin’s for some Crab legs, a staple stop on any trip to Myrtle Beach for us!

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Once we got done we headed back to the hotel and decided to take a dip in the pool and hot tub. We had to drive up 6 blocks to the pool and with no real facilities had to change in the bathroom in the next building when we were done- no biggie.

While there we met a nice guy from Illinois and had a great time relaxing. Once we decided to head back to the room we had to make a mad dash for above said bathroom, it was CHILLY outside. I knew at this point we had some kind of plan at 10 a.m. in the morning but had no idea what was for sure planned… We headed back to the room and fell asleep quite quickly as the day had worn us out.

Alarm clock goes off and we wake up for our Continental Breakfast downstairs and then get our day started. we are driving along the road and turn into for our 10 a.m. Couples Massage appointment at Myrtle Beach Massage and Day Spa.

At this point I need to backtrack for a second!!! I had Melissa’s phone while we were changing from our swim and looked down seeing we had missed two calls. One from her mom and one from a local Myrtle Beach area code. I freaked for a second thinking something was wrong with the hotel, etc. So I started the voicemail… “Hello Andy this is a confirmation for your 10 a.m. Couples mass…..” I took the phone away with a grin on my face. Melissa knew just how much I had needed and wanted to get a massage and had planned this out for us! Wow she is amazing! about that time she joined me and asked what was up. I tried to reach inside and think of a white lie but couldn’t, so I burst her bubble =[ but figured it was best to just tell the truth…

Ok… Back to this awesome place:

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The view when you walk inside, this picture does not do it justice at all!

The Couples Massage Room.

The Couples Massage Room.

Best feeling in the world! Ahh! Relaxation! Melissa did a GREAT job picking out the place! Once we finished with the couples massage we went to get Pedicures (Ok go ahead and judge me but I had  some funky feet and now they feel great) then grabbed lunch at Jimmy John’s which was a place we frequently went to while dating.

We took the afternoon to check out Ripley’s Believe it or not Odditorium.

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This one is especially for Tammie Lee!!!

This one is especially for Tammie Lee!!!

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and some Videos:

Back to the room to relax for a bit until the last surprise of the night, and I passed out…

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Carolina Comedy Club, and their drink "Can Dew"

Carolina Comedy Club, and their drink “Can Dew”

We saw some Stand up comedians perform, something very different but fun!

back to the hotel and PASSED OUT quick from a long but fun day.


The Last day we got up and checked out, Skipping the hotel breakfast as it was ehhh…. and headed to Broadway at the Beach for a few more items as well as the Mirror Maze which was a BLAST! We also went to the Aquarium.

All in all we had a great time together! It was nice to have some us time but we MISSED our little guy so much!!! It has been nice to be back home with him for sure!

The milestone I almost missed out on!

We have been working with Corbin on rolling over for awhile now; from what I just read it can start at 4 months and I know Melissa reads stuff all the time as she has been really pushing for him to roll over and getting discouraged somewhat.

Corbin has just mastered the whole sitting alone/unsupported thing pretty well- which from what I read comes right before the rolling over but they warn, never compare your children to another child, as long as baby is looking around and exploring his or her environment things are A-OK!

We got into our hotel room. Checked it all out and decided it was ok, Melissa laid Corbin down to change and get him officially ready for bed and I went out to the car to bring in our bags. I hear through the door very loudly Melissa talking in “mommy voice ( higher pitched and loud/proud/excited- You know what I’m talking about right?)” and I’m wondering whats going on?!? Did he fall off the bed? Is everyone and everything ok?!? I had two rolling suitcases, and Melissa’s toiletry bags and fiddling with a card key lock and was trying to bust through the door to see WHAT-THE-HECK-WAS-GOING-ON?!?

I get the door half way open and Melissa screams, “hurry, hurry!” Just as I stood inside the door Corbin rolls over from his back to belly like we have been working on with him.

That moment everything stood still and I realized I could have missed this if I was at work and they were at home. Then again it was right around 12:30 or so and normally he would be sawing logs at home in his crib; so who knows… #EverythingHappensForAReason #ProudPapa #CorbinAtSixMonths

“Live like no one else, so later you can live and give like no one else”

“Live like no one else, so later you can live and give like no one else”

The title is the catch phrase of the get outta debt king, Dave Ramsey. If you haven’t heard of this guy the be sure to watch the video below but first there is a slight introduction/backstory before I get to the meat and potatoes of this blog, here it goes:

I have a slight OBSESSION with a website on the internet. No it’s not Facebook, no it’s not twitter either. It’s YouTube! This all began around 2005, 2006-ish with Philip DeFranco:

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and his daily news show as well as his Vlogs:

vlog: noun 1.
a blog in which the postings are primarily in video form.

About a year ago I stumbled across the Shaytards:

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ShayCarl (Butler), his wife and their 5 children film their life and cool stuff they do and have for almost 5 years.

Now before I continue my dad actually was the one that really introduced me to and has forwarded emails to me from this Dave Ramsey financial weirdo for years but it didn’t really stick until I was ready to really grow up and change my ways of financial life.

The Shaytards have been working on a documentary to share with the world about vlogging and how they make a living on YouTube. Shay and his family went through Financial Peace University and came out working hard and got debt free! So for part of his documentary, he wanted to also go and interview Dave Ramsey and tell his story to Dave. That’s when I said to myself wow, wouldn’t it be AWESOME to be debt free? So I shared with Melissa about Dave Ramsey and we started listening to his radio show and podcasts as much as we could. I mentioned it to my dad about listening to and enjoying Dave Ramsey and he offered as a Christmas gift to send us to FPU, at a local church to help pave the path to a debt free life.

Ok back story is done!!!!!

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For years Melissa and myself have worked our butts off at work and haven’t always had much to show for it. We have supported her mother through several surgeries, doctor appointments, etc with no help from any of her siblings ( she is one of seven) as well having her brother live with us on a off since we got married (5 years ago this week). It’s been tight financially for a lot of that time but we always find a way to make it work.

For me growing up I never really wanted for anything but wasn’t always in the “best” of financial situations. But for Melissa being one of seven she wanted for a lot and missed out on a lot that a child should be able to do. This is one reason we may stop with one child, this depends but for now Corbin will be it.

Tonight on the way home from FPU, we decided we would stop and grab some dinner to take home. We chose to go to Hardee’s here in town. We ordered and received our food and got in our car. Melissa had “that” look on her face she gets from time to time; that look of wanting to help someone out that’s not as well off as us, ( the same looks she gives when we see a stray animal on the side of the road). A man, wife and their twin girls (age 2-3) years old came in after us and had ordered two burgers for the four of them. “Do you think they had enough food?” She asked. I am not nearly as caring as she is (or as observant as she is) and kinda shrugged it off. She was DETERMINED to at least go ask if they were ok so I said ok, go ahead.

Three to four minutes later she comes back out to the car and is smiling ear to ear. It turns out the family just lost their house to a fire and have been living in a hotel up the street. Dave Ramsey teaches that we should live (now) like no one else- cutting up credit cards, paying off debts and start saving for emergencies as well as retirement; so we can live and give like no one else later. Melissa has such a huge heart and on the way home started to tear up, I think when she does the nice things for complete strangers like she did tonight she hopes to for at least in that moment prove that there still a hope for some humanity to be restored.

Corbin will learn to care for others like his mom and the importance of helping others in need. I don’t want him to have a childhood like Melissa had but he will learn the value of a dollar and how hard work pays off.

2nd Annual Fall Trip To The Mountains

We have for the past two years traveled up to Roanoke, Virginia to take a look at the leaves and ride on the parkway back into North Carolina.

This year we planned a little better than last year’s last minute hop in the car and go. We ended up staying the same place as last year; Comfort Suites in Salem, Virginia.

We ate dinner at The Roanoker, which was recommended by one of the drivers from work. They had decent food at a decent price and great service!

We all were exhausted by the time we ate as Melissa and I had worked then drove up. Once we finished dinner we headed back to the hotel only for me to realize- I DIDN’T PACK ANYTHING TO SLEEP IN! So we dropped Melissa’s mom off and we go in search for somewhere that would sale pajama pants and wasn’t already closed for the night. CVS had some Virginia Tech pants for $30, which were ok but not for that price! We were looking more along the line of Dollar General, We got directions and headed out.

Along the way we came upon an intersection with no lines painted and a red light. There were no other cars around, thankfully as Melissa ended up half way thru the intersection before stopping- It was dark and unfamiliar and I would have done the same. Half asleep and laughing we finally found the the Dollar General! Once inside Dollar General we located some cheap and affordable pants but once we hit the register we were stuck! The lonely cashier stood and talked with us for 10 minutes about random stuff and acted like we knew the area and the local people after telling him we were from NC. Exhausted and pants in hand we snuck out FINALLY and headed back to the hotel.

Sunday morning we woke up, went down to have the included Continental Breakfast consisting of make-them-yourself waffles, sausage and eggs. Your basic hotel breakfast. We get down to the breakfast area as soon as this lady also was enjoying her breakfast and sharing her stories loud enough to hear back in our room ( I’m exaggerating but she was OBNOXIOUS!!!)

We head back to our room and pack up for the trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway but first a pit stop to check out the new terminal that had opened up in Roanoke- the adventure to find it in the construction phase last year was a no go. This year we had the actual address and were off!!!

We get to the terminal and decide to head towards Natural Bridge, VA, I have always wanted to check it out and Melissa thought it was a cool idea! Once we arrive and saw the price we decide to make that another trip as we are somewhat strapped for cash.

We plug in” Blue Ridge Parkway” and head out. “Take a right” … “Take a left”… Following the directions and just checking out the scenery. We end up on this backwoods country road, no problem just keep going… Then we see a sign ” End State Maintenance”, ok no problem well turn around in a minute or two, maybe the GPS got confused. The pavement stops and we find ourselves on a gravel road, barely big enough for two cars to pass. With Melissa being very pregnant at this point we kinda get weary about the conditions but continue on. We meet another vehicle head on so ok, there’s another end to where we are going, no big deal… We get far to the right and they go by, no biggie!

As the road twists and turns up the mountain we get more and more nervous then we lose cell service. With nowhere to turn around we continue our adventure up the mountain.

After 45 mins to maybe an hour we finally make it to the top and voilà, we find ourselves taking a right on to The Blue Ridge Parkway! We travel the parkway for two hours or so, stopping at various lookouts and enjoy the scenery then head home. What an adventure… We always find ourselves in situations like this, but life IS about making memories; and we do it well!

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Wrapping up 2012

Hello there everyone! I hope 2012 was a great year overal for you guys. It’s been a decent year for me. We got to take an awesome vacation ( our first real true vacation ) to Maine.

It was probably a really bad idea to drive the way we did ( two long days in the car); next time we will fly or have to split it up a little better. I got to meet some of Melissa’s family that I had yet to meet. Tamielee, John, and Julia. They were awesome! We got to relax for a few days, ate lobster ( I previously thought I hated it— I LOVED IT) fresh off the boat. We also went whale watching… That was one of the best parts as we got an exclusive tour going way out past the normal cut off spot.

2012 was also a year of work. For quite a few months I was working two jobs, while this helped us take the vacation it was draining on me. I didn’t seem to get anything done around the house a d just wanted to sleep as much as possible. In 2013 I will head back to college (part time) pursuing a global logistics degree. Fingers crossed that goes well, I am very excited to be heading back though.

Keep your eyes on 2013 as there is possible talks of a YouTube project with Melissa and myself, it’s very exciting and I hope we can do it!!!!

Hope each and every one of you have a great Christmas and Happy New Year, please don’t drink and drive call a cab or a friend!

Edward McKay’s and what not

I got treated to a visit to Edward McKay’s today. I ended up with six new CDs and two DVDs ( of course they are music related DVDs) ; Melissa got three cookbooks. That’s how it usually goes; I’ll get more items than her… She likes clothes purses shoes and cooking stuff…. I like music and technology stuff. Any who just thought I would send an update!!!

Dinner is almost ready, so I must go. Check out my twitter feed for photos of the CDs and of the dinner that Is calling!!!!

A Song For Jim

Just a few hours ago I received a message saying that a family member in Indiana was at the last stage of his battle with cancer. I don’t remember much about Jim but I do know that cancer really sucks!!!

I lost two uncles and my mother to cancer and I can’t say it gets easier but you learn to appreciate the fact that your loved ones are not suffering any more.

I don’t claim to be a great musician but it’s something I do from time to time. When I got the news my heart hurt and there was nothing I could do. I picked up my guitar and the following is what came out, I added a layer of electronic piano to give it another element.

Basically this is a one take shot and it’s not great but it’s what I would like to share with you guys, especially my family and hope that maybe, just maybe you guys can find peace in this time.

What went down in February 2009:

We got engaged on December 14, 2008; at Oak Hollow Lake ( near the spot where we decided to date) with hopes of making our wedding day 9/9/2009, we had a thing for numbers.

We wanted a lake side ceremony with friends and family and had a great friend that was going to cater at cost. Things looked as thou it would work out and be somewhat in our budget, I had just gone full time at FedEx. We would rent out the park and have the ceremony down by the water.

As my mother’s health was worsening Melissa’s mother’s health was also very questionable. We knew it was important for our mothers to see us married so we started picking dates closer and would just go to the court house for a cheap and easy route to ensure they could both live to see us get married.

Melissa’s mom started to look as thou she would be out of the hospital by a certain date ( can’t remember the exact date now) and we decided that Friday we would go with our mothers to the court house and then meet up with a small group of local family and friends for dinner. My mom took a horrible turn for the worse, we waited too long and it wasn’t going to happen as much as we wanted it.

Sitting at Carolina Diner on February 26 I looked at Melissa and said “Let’s just go get married” we had the license and all the paperwork filled out and we wouldn’t be able to do any of our plans so why not? She looked at me and said “what?” And I said it again, “lets just go!”

We paid for our meal and her and our good friend Sondie went to get her dress from when she got married and I ran home and got dressed and met back at Melissa’s house. By this time it was well after midnight. We took two cars to the court house and entered the magistrate’s office, handed over all the paperwork and at 4:08 am on February 27, 2009 we were officially married.

My mom finally came to and realized that we got married but ended up passing away on March 14, 2009. Melissa’s mom’s health gradually improved over the next few months ever so slowly.

We live by saying “everything happens for a reason” and on September 9, 2009 a family member of mine passed away as well as Sondie’s father passed away. Sondie would have been Melissa’s maid of honor. This proved to us that we had done the right thing in February and not waiting until September even though in our hearts we really wanted that to be our wedding.

Some people don’t believe that what we did was right and some people support us but I thought that I would share our side of the story so that you guys knew what actually went down in February 2009.

Four years later we are still happily married, have bought a house, both of us are working and have a lot to show for ourselves.