paul nicholson

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Permanent Records

In Family, Friends, Me on October 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Sunset over the wing
A post I just read over at The Art of Manliness just helped me think through something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while now – my mortality. The post is on how one grieves a friend. I got pretty choked up reading it, which is pretty rare for me. Normally it takes ‘Saving Private Ryan’ or ‘A Snoodles Tale’ to make me get misty. But this got to me. Though the writing was very good, I wasn’t sure why it affected me so. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was because I could so easily identify with the writer. While I haven’t had any close personal friends die, I do know of several men my own age – with families and young children like mine – who have died recently. I’ve been in that life stage for a while where many of the older generation of relatives and friends have started to pass. But seeing people who have always seemed ‘old’ pass away hasn’t effected the image of my own mortality the way seeing someone very much like me suddenly struck with cancer and die. Combined with annual insurance enrollments that this year included increased life insurance coverage on both my wife and myself, and I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot.

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Time to kill

In Blog Stuff, Family, Me on July 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm

As busy as my life is, I am finding myself with a good deal of forced downtime every evening as of late. My 2 year old son, Ian, has been scared to go to sleep by himself ever since he was scared by fireworks going off in the neighborhood over July 4th. So I’ve been sitting in his room every night (except when Christy has given me a break a couple of times) waiting for him to fall asleep before I sneak downstairs. The result has been a lot of social media reading, Peggle playing, and other general time-wasting on my cellphone. Here’s to hoping this post (and my recent move from GoDaddy to HostGator) gets me into the habit of blogging more so the time is of some potential value besides clearing all the new Angry Birds Seasons levels with 3 stars.

Thanks Paul!

In Family, Hockey, Me, Sports on March 10, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I had to make a quick post to say thanks to (and brag about) Paul McCann, the Nashville Predators PA announcer, for doing a huge favor for us.

For those that haven’t seen, our oldest son, Ian, is a huge Predators fan (like his parents, of course). One of his favorite parts of the game is the starting lineups. He cheers loudly through them, and frequently asks us to play intro videos from YouTube when he’s playing. Then a while back we started introducing him like he was a hockey player (I think my parents started it, actually). He loves it and frequently asks for us to do it “a-gin”. Over and over again. (Sometimes he also introduces himself)
See the video below for an example:


So that leads to what Paul McCann did for us.
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Movember 2010

In Family, Friends, Me on October 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Every Feburary there is a massive “Go Red For Women” movement for women’s heart disease – even though men have a higher chance of having a heart attack than women, and heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the US. Every October everything turns pink as people raise awareness for women’s cancer issues – even though 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lives compared to 1 in 2 men. Yes, 50% of men will have some form of invasive cancer in their lives. 1 in 5 women will die from cancer, 1 in 4 men will. 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for supporting raising awareness for women’s health issues. But where’s the equivalent focus on men’s issues?

Turns out there is a movement for men’s health – I caught on too late to do join last year, but I won’t miss out this time. And yes, I’m asking for a donation…

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Mustachioed Me

Mustachioed Me

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Wherein I explain (but do not excuse) my actions

In Christy, Family, Friends, Me, Pictures on September 5, 2010 at 11:07 pm

(Note that this is a long, cathartic, touchy-feely post about me. And my friends. And family. If you’re looking for hockey stories or insight into social media marketing this isn’t the post for you)

I feel like I’ve been a bit of a jerk lately. I know don’t exactly have a reputation as being cuddly. Most of my life I’ve heard the criticism that I’m too sarcastic, too quick to voice my opinion of others and their work, and too casual with my communication of said sarcasm and criticism. But lately I find myself regretting more and more that has been coming out of my mouth or fired off on Facebook/Twitter, etc.

I suppose for those that aren’t up to speed, I should backup provide a bit of a preface before I proceed.

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Eulogy

In Family, Me on August 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm

My grandfather passed away a few weeks ago. I was asked to say something at the funeral. Normally i don’t write out full speeches, but i knew given the emotion involved and the things i didn’t want to forget to say, that writing it out would be the best choice this time.

So, since i had it written out anyway, i decided to post it here, if for no other reason that 1) to honor him and 2) i haven’t posted anything in a really, really long time.

me, my father, and grandfather a several years ago

For a long time growing up, to me Papaw was just Papaw. One of those constants that was always there and never changed. As I grew older and became a teenager, I saw him as kind and gentle. A man of reason and intelligence. Always quiet and understated – but also through the eyes of a teenager I’ll admit: he seemed a little boring. He was an architect and engineer, and that was ok I suppose, but I didn’t exactly see him as exciting – and he ate at Luby’s a little more often than a 13 year old thought was normal.

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BNA refuses to modernize

In Cool Tech, Family, Me, Nashville, Work on August 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

My new job requires me to travel quite a bit more than my last job (which required basically no travel at all). I’ve begun the life of a road warrior to a small extent, already going in and out of BNA (Nashville’s airport) a couple of times a month in the last little bit.

Anyone that knows BNA and knows me, knows this means frustration. You see, i’m a geek and like my power-hungry gadgets, and BNA is practically void of convenient power outlets. While most airports in the country have rows of waiting area seats complete with A/C and USB power outlets, BNA has only a few power outlets scattered under payphones, behind doors, and at the base of columns, like the picture to the right. With few exceptions, all of these require sitting on the floor to access.

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Ian Patrick Nicholson

In Christy, Family, Me on April 4, 2009 at 7:43 pm

I’ve been a bit busy lately, so haven’t posted in a while. What have i been busy with?


My son, Ian Patrick Nicholson was born 3/27/09 at 12:29pm. Weighed in at 9 lbs, 8 oz – 20.5″ long.

Hopefully i’ll start getting more posting in soon. In the mean time, check cute pictures here, here, and here. You can also follow Ian on Twitter here, and his blog here.

Ian Nicholson

In Christy, Family, Me on November 7, 2008 at 6:12 pm


Ian Nicholson

It’s a boy! He’ll be making his first appearance in public on March 24th (give or take a bit)It’s a boy! He’ll be making his first appearance in public on March 24th (give or take a bit)

How WALL-E was not an environmental movie

In Entertainment, Family, Friends, Movies on July 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Ok, i mentioned this briefly in my last post (recapping all the summer movies i’ve seen), but this apparently needs to be addressed again.

My cousin-in-law just made a post about the movie and he has comments disabled, so you get to hear my rebuttal here. Be warned that this post will be as spoiler free as possible, but if you haven’t seen the movie, just know that both Brian and I liked it and you should go see it. Then come back and read the article and participate in the discussion.

Brian starts off by taking issue with “the crystal clear liberal environmental objective.”

Just gotta take that first and ask: Why does anything environmental have to be liberal? Christy and i are very environmentally conscious. Letting the left-win-liberal-politicos co-opt environmental responsibility is just as bad as letting the right-wing-conservatives co-opt Christianity. But then again…that gets us down the broken two-party system rat hole (see here for another example)… Moving on…

“The entire premise of the movie is that the earth has become overrun with garbage and taken over my big business.”

Nope. Those are important facts, but that is not the premise of the movie – that would be the setting and set-up for the movie. The premise and plot of the movie… well…he actually gets close to it here in a second…

“…this is a really good illustration of how we have to be very sensitive to what messages our families – especially our children – are bombarded with…It is our responsibility to protect our children and shape a biblical worldview in their hearts”

Now we’re getting closer to what the movie was actually about. The fact that the Earth was grungy and people had to move off of it wasn’t the point at all. As Brian said “The hero of the movie is of course Wall-E [sic], a garbage compactor.” And what is WALL-E’s story about? A relationship. He is lonely and wants a relationship. Brian describes what he finds on the spaceship: “people are on a space ship, where they have been for hundreds of years, and are now all overweight and lazy.” …and…haven’t seen each other face to face and interacted as people in generations.

The point of this movie was not that we trash the planet then move off, become even fatter and more lazy (and more commercial), and then WALL-E convinces them to go fix the Earth. The whole fixing the Earth bit at the end thing is what the industry calls a “subplot”. It was EVE’s motivation through the movie and helped provide conflict for the antagonist to give the movie some action. The point of this movie – the real message, is summed up very well by something i heard writer/director Andrew Stanton say in an interview after i saw the flick: “What would happen if the most human thing left in the galaxy was a robot”. You could call this an anti-technology movie. A pro-social/relationship movie. A love story. But environmental movie it was not.

WALL-E reminded the people on board how to be human. He pushed through barriers and loves EVE. That message, together with a subplot reminding us that we were put on this planet with a specitic instruction from God: GEN 2:15 “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

Both of those are messages i’d be glad for my kids to internalize one day.

Happy Mother’s Day from the Predators

In Family, Hockey, Sports, Videos on May 8, 2008 at 4:22 pm

In yet another shining example that the Predators new ownership, management, and marketing teams clearly “get it”, they just released this fabulous video for Mother’s Day (which i think was clearly filmed a few weeks ago while everyone was still in town).

Happy (early) Mother’s Day, mom :-)

ghia featured in The Rage

In Christy, East Nashville, Family, Nashville on February 7, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Christy and her business, ghia, had a great writeup in All The Rage here in Nashville today.

Local Spotlight: Christy Nicholson (ghia)

Everyone go check it out!

Ron Paul country

In Family, History/Politics on January 26, 2008 at 7:23 pm

I just found out that Ron Paul was from Texas last week. Not sure how i missed that, given that i grew up in Texas.

Then today i found out he’s from the Houston area (as i flew into Hobby today). Then found out when i saw this sign that we are in his district for my grandmother’s funeral. And now I’m told my grandfather knew him.

I just knew him as the ‘indie’ kinda libertarian republican candidate. I gotta check him out now.

Cruise Pictures

In Christy, Family, Me, Pictures on January 18, 2008 at 8:22 am

Well, finally back to posting. The holidays were great and i pretty much totally took time away from the PC for a while (though i did get a new Blackberry so i can’t exactly claim to be totally unplugged)… and then of course i was out of town and then on a cruise for quite a while. Internet on the cruise was slow and $0.75 per minute – so you didn’t get updates. Yeah. Sorry about that. Or not.

Anyway. Pictures from the cruise are starting to go up!

I took a lot of pictures. A whole lot. Like…around 400 i think. While not all of them are keepers (bless you digital camera technology), i still have a lot to sort through, crop, stitch panoramas, etc. So slowly but surely i’ve been uploading them, one “day” of the trip at a time.

First 3 days of the trip are now up – New Orleans (where my sister Amy was helpful in tagging and mapping pictures after showing us the town), boarding the ship, and the first day at sea. Go check them out!

Here are a few of my favorites for those of you too lazy to actually visit my Flickr site to see ALL 112 PICTURES i’ve uploaded so far:













are you still there?

In Blog Stuff, Family, Me, Work on October 23, 2007 at 7:26 am

I know, i know. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy working with my wife on ghia shows. And watching Preds games (which are hard to write about after losses, especially 5 in a row).

But mostly i lost my blogging mojo because

A) I’m tired of spending too much time in front of a computer, don’t feel like blogging
B) I’ve had a lot of mess going on at work, don’t feel like blogging
C) I’ve been spending time with family, etc, as i just found out my sister has some pretty bad ovarian tumor/cysts that has the doctors pretty worried.

A) With the release of the Orange box, i spent the early part of last week/weekend playing games with most of my free time near a PC (more of a review on that later hopefully. In short: Portal= Great but disappointing end, TF2= Amazing, Episode 2= Just more HL2, nothing special)(for those that don’t know, the title of this post is a reference to Portal). I’m also just getting burned out with my PC at work, since my job has been shifting away from working with reps face to face and more to working with them over the phone (at my desk, in front of my PC)

B) Which leads me to work… I do still enjoy my job, but we’ve been going through some major changes. Our focus is changing from being a high-level coach/trainer/motivator to being sales closers. I’m not thrilled about that, but the part that kinda goes with it that i am the most unhappy with is that they are moving us from salary to commission. I hope i don’t get burned by talking about work on my blog, I usually shy away from it. But hey, this thing was started as a bit of a journal for me, so… there it is. Life will go on, but all this uncertainty at work has just been draining on me.

C) And last of course is that my sister, Amy, just found out she has two ovarian tumor/cysts. She found out on Thurs, and fortunately Christy was able to be there with her. They don’t know for sure if it is cancer yet, but one of the tumors is pretty big (12cm) so the doctors seemed pretty worried. She’s already done some extra scans, and is getting scheduled for a biopsy sometime this morning. Just all kinda stress and craziness there. It’s been great to have some extra time to hang out with Amy though, since she’s delayed heading back to New Orleans for a while.

So, there’s the update. I’ll hopefully be blogging a bit more. I also just added the mobile internet to my phone plan, so we’ll see if I can be a little more active by doing random blogging ‘on the go’. I normally don’t like micro-blogging that much (no offense to Brittney or others) but if that’s what i can do, that’s what I can do.

The funny thing is that through this ‘drought’ of posting i’ve still been pulling 20-40 unique visitors to my site and 25-30 reads from my feed every day. Cool :-)

real deep thoughts

In Family, History/Politics, Me on June 28, 2007 at 8:12 pm

I recently decided to change my blog title. It used to be “sthguoht peed”, and someone suggested “Deep Thoughts” as an alternative. Aside from not liking the implied SNL reference, i didn’t think my blog had really lived up to the standard.

This latest post from my sister does.
Go read it.

Really great post Amy. You’re dead on. Even with all this stuff back and forth with different people about hockey in Nashville – such a shallow topic – it amazes me how quickly people can get thrown into mad bouts of insults. Conversations that should be civil and general get really personal and vicious.

I am reminded of a thought in Rob Bell’s book Velvet Elvis (which i just started reading). I certainly don’t agree with everything i’ve read so far, and i haven’t even gotten half-way through. But early in the book he discusses people with intensely fixed, immovable, inflexible beliefs that they fell can not be challenged without risking the loss of their whole belief system.

He describes a letter he had received from such a man at a seminary asking for support and trying to recruit badly needed “defenders of the faith”. He said he realized that so many Christians (and people in general i think – pick your topic) get so caught up in talking about how right their fixed ideas are, which of course after a while leads to talking about how wrong everyone else is, which then leads to defending their own belief system and a vicious cycle is started. He provides the alternative that, rather than attack and defend, why not focus on your living life the way you feel it should be lived, and occasionally ask people to join you? I think the idea is that 1) no one idea should be that important to your existance and 2) if you have a good thing, you shouldn’t have to attack/defended others to get them to see that. Twelve steps groups have a similar theory. They never actively promote themselves because they believe in attracting other people who want what they have, and when someone is ready to accept it, they will come on their own.

How rare is that kind of thinking though? There are whole industries – and political systems – based around the idea of one set of people being right and everyone else being wrong and the arguments that ensue.

This is one of the things i really like about the ‘old’ Everlast song “What It’s Like” (video, lyrics warning: mature language)(i know nothing of the artist other than this one hit wonder) It’s a very impactful song about people on the other side of hot issues. Homelessness, abortion, drugs…they are all very personal issues that we have a tendency to turn into blanket, altruistic ISSUES.

But particularly these types of situations are really never that simple. But it is so easy to look at someone from a distance and assume they are an issue. Ask a homeless person how he became homeless. The answer will not be simple. But it is so easy to look at a panhandler and assume he is a lazy bum that chooses to drink liquor instead of do something better (i know – i’ve done it). But it is never that simple. Same with any abortion. I have never heard of anyone that liked abortion, never talked to a woman that went through it that said “that was great, you should all try it”. But so many times there are people who believe abortion should be illegal who have no compassion for people in those situations. The are unable or unwilling to look at the person and realize that they are not just an ISSUE. Now ability to show the person compassion and save the argument another day.

The amazing to watch people cross the line, too. People so fixated on an ISSUES that when someone they know as a friend crosses the line, they are shunned. Rarely are they embraced as imperfect, wounded humans. They are now one of “them”.

Like Amy said. People are not ideas. We should react to the people and the circumstances, not the ideas and ideals that we may prize or hate.

If my idea is that great, people will follow. But i’m ok even if they don’t. It doesn’t lessen my belief or happiness. Not if i don’t let it.

Five years of Christy and Paul

In Christy, Family, Me on June 15, 2007 at 8:40 am

Happy anniversary my beloved Christy.

Our licenses tells us this is 5 years, but we know its really more like our 12th wonderful year together. The best part is, we both know they have improved year after year. Which by this point means it’s pretty dang awesome.


Oh…wow. Not just me and Christy, but apparently some other Nashville bloggers tied the knot 5 years ago today.

Happy anniversary Josh and Ashlee!

go spurs go

In Basketball, Family, Sports on June 14, 2007 at 9:08 pm

The Spurs win.
And like we all said, Tony Parker was MVP.

I know this isn’t news, but i would have my Spurs memorabilia repossessed from my family if i didn’t post about it.

No offense to the Cavs or their fans, but this really wasn’t much of a game. Or a series. It was by far the easiest series the Spurs had in the playoffs.

But don’t worry Cavs fans. You have a bunch of ex-Spurs running your team and a class act organization. You will win championships. Plural. Soon. It took us Spurs fans several painful years of watching the team blow leads, give up turnovers, and play streaky. The Cavs remind me of the Spurs circa 1996-97. All they need is more patience, more experience, and a good point guard.

But of course in the modern era of free agency it is hard to keep a team together right? So which Spurs are up as free agents for next year? Michael Finley, Fabricio Oberto, Jacque Vaughn, Melvin Ely, and Danny Fortson. Yeah. Cavs free agents? Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic.

I’m calling it right now. Next year: Cavs vs. Spurs final again. This time it goes 6 games. Spurs still win.

let the shopping begin

In Christy, East Nashville, Family, Me, Nashville, Work on June 11, 2007 at 9:14 pm

I am happy to announce the opening of my wife’s online retail store:

The mission of ghia is to provide socially responsible shopping at an affordable price. Many of their products are made by independent artisans located in the Middle Tennessee area, while other products are fair trade imports from Asia.


Go check it out!

I really am very proud of her and this store. Though in my former life i was a web designer, she did this almost entirely on her own. Its a killer site from top to bottom, and she tackled the full intricacies of secure e-commerce, which i never did.

I love that her goal here really is to be socially conscious (fair trade, supportive industries, local artisans, etc) but affordable. And with lots of research and hunting, she found suppliers that let her pull it off.

I also can’t wait until more of her own designs get to be put on the site. She’s still wrestling with some printers for getting those made and on her site, but they will be coming soon.

Now seriously, everybody go buy something.

avoid me for a while

In Blog Stuff, Family, Friends, Me, Nashville, Work on June 6, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Everyone may want to avoid me for a while.

Not because i’m angry or violent or anything. I just feel like i have one of those little personal rain clouds following me around.

First the whole mess with the Predators being bought and likely possibly moving.

Then i went out and did a bunch of yard work over the weekend a while back and ended up with so many bug bites of various kinds that i had to work from home (couldn’t put shoes on) and take Benadryl for 72 straight hours. Thanks to work policy, still had to take PBA time for staying at home, but couldn’t afford not to work a little. I was glad to find out that chiggers don’t actually burrow into your skin as i’ve frequently heard. But man it feels like it sometimes.

Then my company announces that they are laying off 10% of their global workforce, which is between 4,000-8,000 people depending on who’s article you read. My job is reasonably secure, but less so than when i was a normal old sales rep. The perils of promotion.

Then i start getting myself all worked up over stuff in the news and things i’m reading online. Just good old tilting at windmills kinda stuff too. Like our Political system being horribly broken. Yeah. I’m gonna fix that one alright. But of course, they aren’t the same things everyone else is upset about, so not many people join in the conversation with me. They are all too distracted with even more explosive debates that i don’t even want to get caught up in. People are just mean.

Then i find out that Brittney’s quitting NiT and who knows what is going to happen to that site now. It really is a cool site. Good sense of community. Good place for me to find other bloggers and photographers around Nashvegas. (and the link love, don’t forget the traffic and the TV time!).

And now i come home and read that Market Street Pub, a place that i didn’t exactly frequent but was a sentimental place for me, is closing. Or rather, changing over to a…chain. I shudder at the word.

Many times i’ve gone there with my dad or friends before going to a Predators game. There was just something right about going to a place like that and ordering fish and chips before going to a hockey game. It was especially fun on nights against the Red Wings because large groups of both fans would sit in various parts of the bar and start chanting at each other. Whenever anyone would enter the bar wearing a sweater (read: jersey), which of course i always was, one side would cheer wildly while the other booed. It was great.

It is really strange, but i’ve formed a lot of friendships, and had some really deep conversations there. I’ve only been there maybe…10 times. But every time was somehow loaded with something deeper. For no particular reason. So i think this is hitting me harder than some other places closing.

It was where Christy and i really started to get to know Brett and Anne, old co-workers of mine who we go to Preds games with now. I went to dinner with a friend there and we had a good heart to heart about some hard stuff the guy was going through, and never really recovered from (as far as i know) before he left his family and friends and ‘gave up’. I don’t know where he is now. It was one of the places where Jamie and i had dinner together after not seeing each other for nearly a year, renewing our friendship for the 3rd (or 4th) time.

A lot of stuff happened there for me. And i just now realized it. Strange how it matters to me so much all of a sudden.

…oh, and now i also can’t get Amy’s xanga login info to work, so i can’t post her latest entry about her trip to Moscow. (My sister is in Moscow, and i have her blog login so i can post her emails about her exploits). She did upload a lot of really cool pictures to Flickr though. Everyone go check them out! Apparently there are silly girls and cats in Moscow too. Great pictures Amy!

Anyway…i’m not really that grumpy or angry or anything. Just down.
It’s been a rough few weeks and i’m drained.

Update: Wow. It felt really good to write that post. Not that i feel a ton better, but it is amazing how cathartic that was.

Update 2: My wife and i watched Hellboy tonight for the first time (Blockbuster online lets us watch all sorts of mediocre movies we’d otherwise never see). Really strange movie, but oddly enough, i think i was in the perfect mood to watch it. Really weird, dark, and kinda…happy…i think…? Oh – and there’s an example of yet another sequel coming your way.

pop quiz

In Family, Funny, Me on May 19, 2007 at 7:50 pm

I just tried to log in to my insurance company’s website to pay our car insurance online just like i always do, and after i entered my username and password, i was prompted with a demand to select 3 security questions and type in the answers before i could proceed.

Frustrating, but ok.
Trick is, i couldn’t write my own questions as i have been able to do on other sites> I had to pick from a relatively short list. As i looked through the list, i realized i didn’t know the answers to most of them. As a matter of fact, i was only certain of one answer on the whole list.

Pick one:

What was the name of the city your mother was born in?
What was the last name of your first teacher?
What was the name of the company where you had your first job?
What was the name of the city you visited on your first childhood vacation?
What was the make & model of your first car?
What was the destination of your first airplane trip?
What was the last name of your first boss?
If you were in the military, what was the name of your Drill Instructor?
What is the middle name of your youngest sibling?
What was the last name of your first girlfriend/boyfriend?

The next thing that struck me was that if you were an orphan/only child, never owned a car, never had a girlfriend/boyfriend, and were never in the military, then you are going to have serious trouble with this website. Or in my case, you should have answers to most of these questions but don’t because your memory of childhood is like swiss cheese.

I am pretty sure i remember where my mom was born. But if i’m right, it was one of those great cities that straddles a state line, and i don’t remember which side!

I have no idea who my first teacher was. Who qualifies as “first” anyway? I remember my first grade teachers name, but not how to spell it…and i know i had teachers in kindergarten, so strictly speaking she wasn’t my first.

As far as the city i visited on my first vacation… how the heck am i supposed to know? I was probably 3 months old. If you’re asking for the first one i can remember… don’t. Cause i know that i went on lots of vacations when i was a kid, but have absolutely no frame of reference for how old i was when i went on them, so i don’t remember if Disney World came before or after the many ski trips we took – and i don’t even remember where we went skiing, i just know it wasn’t in the flat Texas pan-handle where we lived at the time. Not to mention: does visiting family and grandparents count as a ‘vacation’, cause that opens up a whole different can of worms.

And i sure as heck have no idea when the first time i rode an airplane was or where we were going or how old i was. See above regarding vacation.

I have no clue who my first boss was, because i can’t even remember what my first job was for sure. I think it might have been my big-box-store job in high school, but then again i did a lot of free lance computer work back then too…and i think i’m forgetting something, so i’m really not sure.

Never in the military. Unless band camp counts. Which i don’t think it does.

I know my (only) sister’s middle name, but can’t remember how to spell it. Sorry sis. I can tell you the story about how even my parents weren’t sure how to spell it and they had a contest among their church youth group on how to spell it, but i can’t remember which side won!

And as for the boyfriend/girlfriend thing. I know it was a girlfriend. I’m good on that part. Otherwise…come on…this gets really complicated. Was the little girl in first grade where we said we were boyfriend and girlfriend count? If so, i sure as heck have no idea what her name was. From there it was an amorphous group of girls that i liked…i don’t think many liked me in return until some girl i met on one of my mystery vacations (visiting family, so is that a vacation?) in 5th grade, but i have no idea what her name was either. First girlfriend in middle school…i think her name might have been Amy, but all i really remember about her is that i was a jerk and dumped her for a popular girl who then dumped me a week later. I have no idea what that girl’s name was.

I tried selecting the one question i was sure i had an answer to and put it down for all three times. No go. So after a while i realized i could select any random question and then just use some of my normal high-security, hard to guess passwords as the answers.

I much prefer what my bank did for its online service. It randomly asks me things from my personal data, but never had me pick out insane questions. Its just good normal stuff like what the middle 2 digits of my social are and things that are easy for me to remember, but not commonly used.

The other frustrating thing about my insurance online stuff is that i log in for one reason. To pay my bill every month. So i log in, click on bill pay, say “pay bill” – then i am immediately prompted to enter my username and password again. They say this is for extra security. I just entered it 5 seconds ago. Literally. All you’re doing is giving someone who may have missed stealing my password by looking over my shoulder or sniffing packets online, another stab at it. If someone already has my password, all this does is frustrate them as much as it does me as the enter it again.

Inconvenience does not equal security, and security should not necessitate inconvenience.

playing to the crowd

In Christy, Entertainment, Family, Funny, Hockey, Me, Sports, Videos on May 11, 2007 at 11:27 am

Here it is.
Our 3 minutes of fame.
Christy and i running around on the ice in front of 17,113 fans during game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

We were selected at random as we walked in to the arena.
It was pretty cool.

FYI: The Predators crew felt so bad about the way things went (we were clearly ahead when the official got in my way) that they loaded us up with as many things as they could find and cram into two Predators duffel bags. So we have bobble heads, towels, trading cards, and drinking cups galore now – all of which went into the bathroom downstairs that was already decorated in 90% Predators / 10% Spurs :-)

I was also able to snag the puck that Christy played as we left the ice.
Quite an experience.

And a special thanks to Paul McCann, the Predators PA announcer (and fellow Dell employee during his day job) who was able to secure us the DVD of the “show” – it is a raw feed from what was shown on the scoreboard.

new camera, new photos

In Blog Stuff, Cool Tech, Family, Me, Pictures on March 20, 2007 at 6:07 pm

For those that haven’t heard, thanks to my parents generosity, i was able to buy a new camera recently. A Canon PowerShot S3 IS.

This thing is sweet. All sorts of amazing features, not to mention spectacular quality. It is basically a non-SLR digital SLR. I can get add-on lenses for it (wide-angle, tele, IR, etc). It has a mode just for shooting panoramas. And it shoots video at 640×480 at 30fps – with stereo audio.

So, here are some of the cooler pictures i’ve taken with it recently. Just made a big update to my Flickr page, so make sure to check it all out (and request to be my friend on Flickr to see WAY more pictures).




happy birthday

In Family, Me, Pictures on March 8, 2007 at 9:40 am

Yesterday was my birthday. Had a good day. Got some awesome presents. Had a great dinner with Christy at Mafioza’s last night and with my parents on Tues. And we’re going to the Predators game tonight.

And check out the awesome cake my wife made me!


Christy got me a Dremel, too, which is fun. So now i just have to find out what I want to spend my awesome birthday cash on…

been a while

In Blog Stuff, Family, Me, Pictures on March 6, 2007 at 10:57 am

I guess i’m busy. At least that’s my excuse.

Honestly i wish i had been blogging more. It helps me vent frustrations (which is why this tends to look like a negative rant) or share cool stuff (which is why i talk about the preds a lot).

Anyway, one of the things i have been spending time on that i used to use to blog is my/our new Flickr account.

Check it out – http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulnich

There is also a “Flickr Badge” in the lower right part of my blog if you haven’t seen it)

Right now i don’t have very many pictures out for public consumption, but i have over 1,500 uploaded and most of them mapped. You can sign up for your own Flickr account and request to be my friend (or family as the case may be). Then you can view all of our photos.

Also, make sure to check out the Mapping feature. I have placed pictures on a map where they were taken. Check it out.

picture time

In Blog Stuff, East Nashville, Family, Funny, Me, Pictures on February 2, 2007 at 7:22 am

It’s been a while since i used any of the pictures i’ve been taking with my cool new phone. But today’s snow cover prompted me to finally bluetooth the pictures over to my PC.
So here ya go…


Pictures of our front- and backyards this morning. In the backyard pic you can see a little bit of our new driveway that is being worked on. Yay!

This is a picture of what Cameron (our 7-month old lab puppy) did to his dog house. It used to have a front…and a bottom. Fortunately a little plywood and a few screws and its as good as new – functionally at least.

I find this really funny. It’s a gas station on Gallatin Rd. near Briley Pkwy. It is a BP gas station, with a Mapco convenience store and the pumps serve Amoco fuel. I think they are a little confused.
You can’t see it very well from this picture (taken on Church St downtown while stuck in traffic), but this is a fleet of police scooters (which i do think are kinda cool) all parked in a row – in a 24-hour no parking zone. Christy said she used to see them every day parked there on her way in to work.
And last but not least, a dark, fuzzy picture of the menu at the Cheesecake Factory. I was pretty disappointed in this place. Forget the fact that i’ve had better cheesecake at mexican-food joints, and that the wait was way too long, and that the food was only mediocre… Their menu’s have full page ads on every page of the menu! This is supposed to be a “nice” restaurant! I can take the ads in the bathrooms. I think those are actually kinda cool. But on the menus! And we’re not talking nice ads for a wine that they carry – we’re talking cheap car dealership ads! I don’t plan on voluntarily eating there ever again.

my favorites

In Blog Stuff, Entertainment, Family, Me, Music on January 27, 2007 at 8:23 pm

My sister just made a fun post on her blog listing a lot of her favorite bands.

I am both too lazy and too compulsive to try to really put together a comprehensive list of my own, but i can copy and paste from Rhapsody…

This is a copy/paste from Rhapsody – these are my “top rated” artists. Not everyone i like/love is on Rhapsody, and even those that are, i haven’t rated all of them yet. But anyway…here’s the list, roughly in descending order, but don’t put too much stock in that.

Enjoy.

Jamiroquai, Queen, Chagall Guevara, Dave Brubeck, Steve Taylor, Sixpence None the Richer, Leigh Nash, Weezer, Ella Fitzgerald, Relient K, The Sounds, Venus Hum, Imogen Heap, The Postal Service, The 77’s, The Beatles, Radiohead, Stereolab, Santana, Annie, All-Star United , Ladytron, Garbage, Mr. Scruff, Smash Mouth, Tony Bennett, Zero 7, OK Go, Death Cab For Cutie, Fleming & John, Daft Punk, Louis Armstrong, The Beach Boys, Electric Light Orchestra, Stevie Wonder, The Clash, Ben Folds, Kylie Minogue, Nat King Cole, Wax Poetic, Brand New Heavies, Robbie Williams, Sufjan Stevens, Franz Ferdinand, Cool Hand Luke, Joy Electric, Benny Benassi, Goldfrapp, Fischerspooner, Switchfoot, Coldplay, U2, Dido, Frou Frou, Led Zeppelin, Everclear, Glenn Miller, Cake, Sum 41, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, The Ramones, Johnny Cash, Blondie, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bodyrockers, Chuck Berry, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Telepopmusik, Diana Krall, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chumbawamba, Duke Ellington, Michael Jackson, Vince Guaraldi, Frank Sinatra, Starflyer 59, They Might Be Giants

100

In Blog Stuff, Christy, Entertainment, Family, Friends, Funny, Me on January 16, 2007 at 7:52 am

Well this is it.
My 100th blog post.

I know you were all keeping track and waiting in anticipation.

In grand tradition, i will now say “blog” 100 times.

Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog

(…you know, that doesn’t look as big or long as i thought it would. And now to the actual post….)


Two issues:
  1. Many of my posts, especially recently, have been about the Predators, or hockey, or at least sports.
  2. None of you are commenting!

Point 1) I am considering branching off and making a Predators/Sports blog. Not that there aren’t enough good forums and even a few decent blogs…but more than a few have gone silent. OK…even the official blog is pretty poor. Predators’ PA announcer Paul McCann‘s is the only really solid, consistent one I have found.

Point 2) I know that many of you that read my posts may be new to this ‘blog’ thing, but it is traditional (or at least common) for people to actually comment on my posts. Can be as simple as “Amen brother!” or as long as the comment my dad posted when i ticked him off about the Billy Graham statue. My wife is the only person to comment more than once i think (thank you sweetheart).

So – your assignment…

USING THE COMMENTS FIELD – ANSWER THE QUESTION:
DO YOU THINK I SHOULD SPLIT OFF A SPORTS/HOCKEY BLOG, OR JUST KEEP POSTING EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE?

Thank you for your time and attention.

christmas update

In Family, Me, Pictures on December 29, 2006 at 11:49 am

I know Christmas is, strictly speaking, just one 24-hour day. However, in the modern age of defining Christmas by seeing family and the present giving/receiving, Christmas for us usually lasts from a few days before, all the way until New Years day.

For us this year, it started by Christy and i going to see some of her extended family in KY. We saw her aunts and uncle and grandmother. It was a good visit. And a it was made a little nicer this year by the recent removal of toll booths along the route. The trip now cost us $2.80 less than usual. Yippie!

Christmas day itself was just Christy and i. Rather nice really. Just got to hang out and relax. OH – and open Christmas presents for each other of course :-)

Day after Christmas we did with Christy’s mom/dad and brother (sis-in-law was too sick to come). That was a lot of fun. Only bad part was this was the first time we had to give envelopes as gifts… Our order from Amazon (made two weeks prior to Christmas) did not arrive until later. So had to give several people envelopes with pictures of what they will be getting. (Note to all who await presents: They have arrived. Our house/pet-sitter got them for us. They will be mailed out to you all as soon as we get back to TN) The funny thing this time was that we actually had Becca’s gifts, but she was the only one not there. The three who were there (mom/dad/Matt) just had to open envelopes. Oh well. We (ok… i) spent the rest of the evening playing Guitar Hero (which Matt was kind enough to bring up from Birmingham). That game is fun! He got Guitar Hero II that night, but we just played Guitar Hero I for now.

The other attention getting present for that evening had to be Christy getting her Rhapsody edition Sansa. I was quite jealous, though excited. She played with it a little, but i then proceeded to steal it and play with it more as she worked on other people’s presents (she crocheted several gifts this year – very proud of her, they looked great). I am sure this drove her crazy. I didn’t mean to steal her present, but these things are cool and i didn’t have one…yet…

The 27th we drove. A lot.
We actually made really good time and drove straight from Nashvegas to north San Antonio in one shot. Wasn’t too hard at all really. Having a TDI (diesel) car that is really comfortable helps. We did the whole thing on a tank and a half of gas and rarely had to stop.

The 28th we hung out at my Mom’s sister’s place for a while and played on their new Wii. That thing is a lot of fun, though you do have to be careful that you don’t smack your friends in the face while playing.

That afternoon we did Christmas with my dad’s family in San Antonio. Much fun. Ate lunch, did presents, and then played board/card games together for…oh…4 hours or so i think. After a while we realized it was 8:30pm (thanks to my cool new watch) and we hadn’t eaten dinner and we were all getting a little tired. So we packed up and headed to Taco Cabana for our first major dose of Texas tex-mex. Good stuff.

Then we headed back out to my mom’s sister’s and did presents with my mom’s side of the family and my parents/sister. Much fun and many good presents there… and i got my Sansa! I congratulated Christy on biting her tongue and not giving away that i had one coming (she knew).

We also got a ton of DVD’s (from many different people) and video games and board games, etc, etc, etc… I’m not going to try to name or comment on them all (hope no one is offended). I really have enjoyed (or will enjoy) all the gifts so far. I honestly feel very blessed and grateful. We have a lot of generous family!

More important than the gifts, of course, is getting to see everyone. We’ve had great fun this year visiting and playing with everybody…and more of that to come. For the first time in several years, we are going to be here tomorrow for the big “family Christmas” with my mom’s family. Expected numbers are somewhere near 40-50 i believe. Should be much fun.

Anyway…last note is to say that the pictures included in this post were courtesy of my cousin Carly’s new camera. It is equipped with WiFi and she can email straight from her camera. How insanely cool is that! When we got back to the hotel last night and checked our email, we had pictures waiting for us that were less than an hour old. Cool. Thanks Carly!

oops

In Family, Me, Videos on December 17, 2006 at 2:36 pm

You remember that DVD i was putting together for my cousin?
Well, the release date just got pushed back a bit.

I was installing another new hard drive in my machine (because 3 drives and over 500GB is not enough, you understand) and was having problems with it. It was an older drive and i was having issues with the partition on the drive. Well, i was moving too fast and accidentally nuked the partition of my video project drive. 117GB and a couple of months of work – poof!

I tried restoring the partition with PartionMagic and some other tools but no luck. Fortunately i have the raw footage backed up on another drive, so i can start all over again. This also isn’t all bad, since i was probably going to go back and re-do a lot of it anyway. I had gotten some new ideas and was going to re-cut most of what i had already done.

Sorry Kelly!

cuteness

In Family, Friends on December 16, 2006 at 8:04 pm
Those who need a dose of cute, i just updated www.anniehilscher.com

Annie got to go home yesterday. Which just amazes me. She was born 7 weeks early, spent two weeks in the hospital, most of it just for observation, and is now home. She barely weighs 4 lbs, but is just fine. One tough little cookie!

Oh, and if you go to the shower pictures on the site, you can see shots of our living room and the awesome cupcakes Christy made :-)

(If any of you are confused…check here.)

annie hilscher

In Family, Friends on December 1, 2006 at 7:18 pm

Good friends of ours, Nick and Sarah (Sarah was Christy’s roommate in college) just had their little girl a little earlier than planned.

Annie Hilscher was born last night, 12-01-06 at 8:18pm. She weighed 4 lbs, 1.25 oz. She’s still in ICU, but is doing fine. Sarah’s doing good too.

Pictures here: AnnieHilscher.com

More to come i am sure.

soundtrack to the next 2 hours

In Entertainment, Family, Me, Music on November 24, 2006 at 10:26 am

My sister just did this on her blog. Normally i steer away from these things, but this one seemed fun. So here it goes…

SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE:
Here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Rhapsody, Winamp, Media Player, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, For the first 16 songs, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button Write them down.
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…

(note: My Rhapsody playlist has 983 songs at the moment and is 2.9 days long)
(note: If you want to see what the “stages of life” were supposed to be you can hit my sisters blog, but i just decided to make this what it really is – 16 random songs from my playlist. The correlations to “stages of life” just turned out boring anyway.)

The Sounds, Much Too Long, Dying To Say This to You
James Horner, Too Many Secrets, Sneakers (Score)
A-Ha, The Sun Always Shines on TV, Hunting High and Low
Ratatat, Cherry, Ratatat
The Golden Sounds, Up and Away, Wings or Horns
Relient K, Let It All Out, Mmhmm
Robbie Williams, Bongo Bong, Rudebox
Stevie Wonder, Higher Ground, Innervisions
The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, Smiley Smile
The Mosquitos, Juju & Blue, Mosquitos
Telepopmusik, Breathe, Genetic World
Switchfoot, I Turn Everything Over, New Way To Be Human
Donald O’Conner, Make ‘Em Laugh, Singin’ In The Rain (Soundtrack)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten, Unwritten
Death Cab For Cutie, Someday You Will Be Loved, Plans
Wax Poetic, Della, Nublu Sessions
Annie, No Easy Love, Anniemal

coming soon…

In Family, Me, Videos on November 23, 2006 at 12:11 am

For oh, the last many months i have been working on an off (mostly off) on a video for my cousin. More accurately, for my aunt. My cousin Kelly got married, and my aunt ‘hired’ me to come down and be the videographer. Well, unfortunately i can’t say too much for my skills with the camera (or the camera itself), but i am pretty happy with what i am being able to do on the post-production side. (FYI: I use a great set of programs from Pure Motion)

Well, today i had the day off, so i decided to put together a teaser trailer for all my relatives down there to see over Thanksgiving. My goal is to have the full DVD in time for Christmas.

Without further ado…