Category Archives: Gratitude

From A Woot Deal To QVC To A Sous-Vide Supreme Demi

When I initially took advantage of a Woot daily deal on a Rival Food Vacuum Sealer, I thought maybe at best, I was going to be able to really take advantage of my Costco membership and actually start buying some of the bulk meat packages. I was looking forward to taking advantage of the discounts available for buying in bulk because now I’d have a way to actually save the meat in the freezer without getting freezer burn by the time I finally got around to using it all up. The last thing I expected that it was going to lead to two additional purchases and drastically change how I cook in my own home.

When the vacuum sealer from Woot showed up, I was hooked. I got a good deal on the unit, I spent a total of $24.99 for the sealer which was very reasonable for an entry level machine. The unit came with four bags, so I went to the store and bought some bags in the form of a FoodSaver roll that lets you custom make bags to your choice of size. And within a few days I was really enjoying the ability to vacuum seal food and finding the Rival unit to be decent but lacking in the ability to cut off the vacuum and move directly into sealing if I didn’t want to completely remove all the air. Also the Rival unit operated by applying pressure to the lid until the hands free operation light came on, at which point it would then take over and continue sucking out all the air until it could suck out no more then activate the sealing mechanism. The lid required quite a bit of pressure to activate it, which is fine, but I could see the complaint I later saw from a lot of people commenting on the unit in online reviews. But ultimately, I decided I was going to need a fancier vacuum sealing unit for my needs.

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Meeting The Ultimate Prairie Bitch – Alison Arngrim

Most people will remember Alison Arngrim as the wickedly evil bitch, Nellie Oleson, from the television series “Little House On The Priaire.” The show ran from 1974-1983 and since I was born in 1975 so much of my experience of “Little House” was in reruns in the early 1980’s when the show aired on one of the three channels my family had while growing up in the rural areas outside of Calgary. You see in Calgary, which sits in Canada’s Prairie region and the outskirts of Calgary didn’t look so different from the scenery of the show. Also Calgary is well known for the Calgary Stampede celebration where the entire city embraces it’s Wild West past and is home to Heritage Park Historical Village which preserves many Little House era buildings in a town like setting, so the “Little House On The Prairie” show didn’t seem quite so removed from the 1980’s I grew up in.

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Working For Jorge Cruise

In March Jorge Cruise did an online coaching program targeting Women over the age of 40 for a specialized coaching program and the response they got overwhelmed the support staff available to handle the email support for the program. Looking for a way to help supplement their support staff, I was called by Jorge Cruise and asked to join the support staff for the course of the program as someone who’s had a lot of success with the Belly Fat Cure program and would be able to help handle the flow of emails from the clients who joined the program.

In a way the experience was like a hyper version of my own “Ask Ryan” page for Belly Fat Cure questions here on my own blog. I was helping several ladies with their questions regarding the Belly Fat Cure program and got some very interesting questions that I had to research to be able to answer them. Some questions were easy ones to answer and others were a bit more of a challenge. As a result of the experience I’ve developed a whole new level of appreciation for Kim, who was the support person when I originally went through the program and she fielded all the questions from me and the other members of the group I was a part of. Here I was a colleague for Kim and helping get those questions sent in answered as quickly as possible.

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Unexpectedly Saw Up In The Air

Yesterday, I received a phone call from my friend Vito Grandolfo to invite me to join him and a couple other friends to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie followed by a run to Five Guys Burgers. That sounded like a good idea so I headed my way down to the theaters everyone was meeting at.

By the time I got there, it was just a few minutes before showtime but I discovered that the Sherlock Holmes showtime was sold out, so the group decided to go see Up In The Air instead and to save time they went ahead and got my ticket ahead of time. I had never heard of the movie nor had I had no clue who was in it, but what the hell, it sounded like fun being spontaneous.

Turns out the movie stars George Clooney and is about his role as a traveling job terminator. Probably something that hits a little too close to home in this economy with George playing a guy that is brought in to terminate employees for bosses who in the words of the movie are “too much of a pussy” to fire their own employees. The premise is the next generation of traveling job terminators wants to bring the operations back in house and conducted over the Internet. George Clooney’s character has to train the young lady on the nuances of the firing people and while adversaries initially, become respectful of one another. It has a few surprises along the way.

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Ryan’s 10 Most Incredible Things About About 2009

Now that 2009 has come to a close and 2010 has begun, I can safely say that it’s a year that has been very challenging and although I am not the least bit sad to see 2009 go, it certainly was not without some really incredible experiences for me that I would like to highlight before wipe the slate clean and start fresh with 2010.

This list was especially difficult to narrow down since 2009 was the year I kicked my blogging into high gear. I had started Ryan’s Incredible World in 2007 didn’t actually start blogging until 2008 and I would maybe make no more than five entries a month. So picking my highlights of 2008 was relatively easy since there wasn’t so many blog entries to go through to pick out the defining moments.

I had joined a couple of 30-Day blogging challenges which requires 30 blog entries in 30 days and it essentially got me into the habit of making almost daily blog entries. Now it’s pretty safe to say that each month sees about 25 new blog entries. The constant blogging has actually helped bring a bigger audience to my blog, so if your first time reading any of my writing has been in 2009, then no doubt something I wrote in 2009 caught your eye and is why you’re here reading this entry now. I am grateful for the many folks who’ve read my blog and left me comments, it’s been a pleasure to hear your feedback throughout the year. In any case, I looked through every post of 2009 to select what I feel were the 10 Most Incredible Things about 2009 that happened for me. You’ll note I combined a few complimentary things to narrow it down to 10.

I do hope you enjoy my reflection on 2009 and continue to join me on my quest to find the most incredible things of 2010. Without further ado, in no particular order.

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My “New” iPhone 3G

Earlier this month, my good friend Vito Grandolfo, said that he was going to upgrade his iPhone 3G to an iPhone 3GS phone and wanted to know if I would be interested in his iPhone 3G. I was definitely interested and I asked Vito if he was interested in my older Blu-Ray player, a Samsung BD-P1600. And he was interested so we decided to do a swap. A older Blu-Ray player for an older iPhone.

Vito got his new phone on Christmas Eve and we arranged a time to the technology exchange on the day after Christmas as Vito was flying out to another assignment for his job the very next morning. I helped Vito set up the Blu-Ray player on his TV and gave him a couple of the freebie Blu-Ray discs I had gotten by mail order rebate with the purchase of the player and we made sure it all worked.

Because I’m a T-Mobile customer and not an AT&T customer it was going to take a little bit of time to get the new iPhone ready for use. I already knew I wasn’t going to be able to use the 3G network as AT&T’s 3G network operates on a different frequency than T-Mobile’s 3G network and they’re not compatible. But what I was looking forward to was the integrated GPS as the older original generation iPhone I was using was only ever able to approximate my location using triangulation between cell phone towers and was not always the most accurate, especially when trying to use Google Maps for directions or having the phone identify the direction I was traveling on highways for one of the traffic monitoring applications. Additionally the iPhone Vito gave me was double the capacity of the small 4 GB iPhone I was currently using at the time. So plenty of room to expand.

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Christmas 2009 With The Family

Christmas 2009 was special in many ways this year. First off my mom and dad were in their new house in Temecula. Also this year my brother and his wife came out from Nashville to spend Christmas here in Southern California. And my grandfather on my mom’s side also came down from Calgary to spend the holidays here. It’s first Christmas in a while that many of us have been together.

My parents’ new home in Temecula looked great with my mom’s Christmas decorations. Some of the things that weren’t yet finished when I last visited at Thanksgiving were finally done such as the backspashes in the Kitchen. The cabinet doors for the cupboards in the kitchen were finally back with the center sections of them cut out and glass inserted to replace the wood removed. The old iron bed frame that was in the lower level guest room had been completely repainted to a metallic grey color and the new mattresses for both the lower level guest room as well as the upstairs bedroom had arrived. About the only thing that still hadn’t arrived yet were the blinds for all the windows.

I came over on Christmas Eve to take my dad and grandpa to the Xanadu production in Costa Mesa. This gave my mom some time to do some errands without my dad and grandpa in her hair. My brother and his wife were arriving late Christmas Eve and I since I had to work I decided to stay over at my folks place, go to work, and then return to my folks place first thing in the morning after work. I had volunteered to have my schedule changed at work in order to work Christmas Eve so that my usual night off could be given to someone on the shift with kids. As I’ve gotten older it’s become less important to enjoy Christmas morning at the earliest possible moment, it doesn’t make much difference to me if the festivities begin at 6 am, 8 am, or 10 am when I’d be back from work. Small kids on the other hand, every extra hour they’d have to wait for mom or dad to come home from work would feel like an eternity so I didn’t want to deprive one of my co-workers from the chance to spend an early morning Christmas with their kids.

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It’s Christmas Eve In San Diego

The year 2009 has really raced by way too quickly. It really seems like only yesterday the year just began and here it is so close to the end. While it’s been both a good and challenging year, Christmas time is the perfect time to take a moment out of it all to just think about family and friends.

This year, I kind of hit a milestone. This was the first year in ages that I’ve actually been in the mood to listen to Christmas music at Christmas time. I’d worked discount retail for far more years than I care to admit. Let’s just say Christmas time brings out the public’s worst behavior in discount retail stores and the non-stop playing of some of the worst versions of Christmas music non-stop during the month of December in the stores I worked in, I haven’t been in any mood for Christmas decorations nor Christmas music since the early 1992. I thought I’d never find the desire to hear another Christmas song at Christmas time again, but this year I actually wanted to hear some. It’s been six years since I last worked a Christmas in retail, so I’m guessing there’s hope yet for me to find the Christmas spirit again. It could take several more years, but I’m pleased by the sign of hope I had this year.

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Last Visit Of The Vista Home I Grew Up In

Vista HouseIt seems as time goes on, the only constant in the universe is that things change. My parents have finally sold the home in Vista, California that they’ve owned since 1988 and yesterday, I stopped by the house to take a final look and hand over my key and garage door opener. I wanted to make sure I got a chance to take one last look at it before it was completely empty and handed over to the new owners this Friday.

When I got there, the movers were there doing the final packing of everything into boxes. They were hard at work packing away the contents of the kitchen when I arrived. Yesterday was just the last day of packing so that it would be all ready for today to make the move to their new home in Temecula, California. I stayed for a little while to visit my mom who was supervising the packing. She showed me pictures of the new home and all the work they’ve done to it in the last couple of months since they bought it. They had done some serious renovations including the removal of some half-walls, completely replacing all the flooring and carpeting as well as giving the kitchen a much needed makeover. I’m sure I’ll see it soon enough with Thanksgiving being next week.

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James Ray’s Harmonic Wealth & Sweat Lodge Tragedy

James RayI had actually rented from Netflix James Arthur Ray’s DVD called “Harmonic Wealth” at the end of July prior to the tragedy of a few people dying in a sweat lodge in Sedona at one of his events. I did not rent it out of any morbid curiosity, but rather I quite enjoy “The Secret” and I had actually attended an event here in San Diego where James Ray was pitching his Harmonic Wealth program.

However, the DVD sat in my pile untouched until about a week ago. For some reason I’ve just not been able to bring myself to put it in the DVD player and watch it. And when I finally did, I just watched about twenty minutes of it before I turned it off, then a couple days later resumed where I left off, paused again for another couple days and then finally finishing it off today. I just couldn’t do it in one sitting.

I think part of it is due to the fact that following the event I wanted to say hello to James Ray and give him a copy of a mix CD I made of songs that have a “Law Of Attraction” feel about them. I wanted to present a copy of it to James Ray as a thank you for the inspiration I got from his segments in “The Secret.” And when I finally got my opportunity to present it to him, he quickly handed it off to his assistant and asked me if I was going to come to one of his Harmonic Wealth weekends and I said that would not be able to do it at this time, he had absolutely no interest in me or my presenting him with a sign of my gratitude.

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