Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Gnome Still Roams!!

The gnome continues to see the sights in our training center. Here are just a few of his recent travels:
No! No! No! ZZZRRRRRTTTTT.............Gnome more head.

Painter Gnome endorses SATA paint guns.

Gnome mixing bank.

That's one big leafspring. Gnome one's gonna believe this.

Gnome Shock Therepy has really helped me address my personal issues.

Is the gnome hiding in the men's or the women's locker room? Gnomebody knows for sure.

You really need new brakes. There's Gnome brake pad left.

There is Gnome way to straighten this connecting rod.

I'll get this thing running in Gnome time.

And this isn't the end of it. The gnome won't rest until he's visited the entire office. Stay tuned for more gnome adventures.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How's your health?

So, how's your health? When was the last time you had a physical or blood work done to check your overall health? Most of us have kids or at least spouses that we want to spend many more years with .....soooo we need to stay healthy.

Myself, I get blood work done every 3 months. This was decided by my doctor. You see my triglycerides were high. In fact, almost double what they should be. Apparently this increases my risk factor for heart problems. I was also told I had high blood big surprise really since I am overweight!!!

Well, I started Weight Watchers with a friend about 3.5 months ago. I have lost 28.8 lbs!! I got blood work done recently and just heard from the doctor today....mostly good news!

My triglycerides dropped 100 points! That is super awesome as they were worrying me before. They are still a bit high (198) when they need to be 150 or less. But hey, I have been trying to lower them for a year and it was really going slow...until I lost the weight. At least now I am not so worried that I might have a heart attack or strok any minute now....that is a good feeling.

My bad cholestrol dropped and is normal now (was only a tiny bit high before). My good cholestrol was on the low side before and now it is even lower. This is not good, so I need to work on increasing it.

I am finding it hard to increase the good cholestrol while losing weight. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can do it? I know fish like salmon is high in good cholestrol but salmon is hard to work into losing weight since is still high in fat...even though is good fat.

Well, the point I am trying to make is everyone needs to take care of only have one body and if you abuse it too much it will catch up with.

I am proud that I am losing weight, eating healthier (this goes for my family too...since I cook...we all are eating healthier) and feeling and looking better. It is nice to know that I am on the road to living a longer healthier life with my friends and family!!!

So JUST DO IT as they say and go to your doctor and get a physical and blood work done and get yourself healthy too!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Used Door Assembly

This is another video we made for teaching new adjusters about what parts would come with a used door assembly. As you can see I tried being a little cheesier with this one. It seems that when watching instructional videos cheesy if fairly effective. This one is also currently in use for our online preclass.

Used Bumper

Here is a video an co-worker and I created to teach new damage appraisers what parts would be included with a used replacement bumper assembly. This video is currently being used in our online preclass.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Feelin Good In The Neighborhood

Anyone have a dog?

This is our oldest puppy...

The left is our newest puppy and the right is our obsessive Queensland Prima Dona...

We have 3 dogs. They are like having 3 extra children. Our oldest dog is soooo ooold that his teeth are getting bad enough that I now have to bite a grape in half and then feed it to him!! Spoiled! I have recently discovered that if you freeze grapes and eat them frozen they are wonderful. Me and the dogs have become addicted to them. I cant eat them without sharing with the dogs....just cant resist those sad little eyes pleading with me.

One dog is a Queensland Mix. Boy, is she bossy. She is a cattle dog that loves rounding up the other dogs. She is obsessive about it. I feel bad the the smallest and oldest dog. She pesters him to no end.

The third dog is another mix. They said he was a Queensland mix too, but I dont know if they were right. He has Queensland spots but other than that is is much more mild tempered.

Does anyone else have dogs? I love Dobermans and am hoping to get one...just have not found the right one yet. (and Spec4-j keeps saying we dont need 4 dogs) Humbug! He is no fun sometimes.

By the way, originally I was "the wife" now my screen name is "She Boss"....this is because Spec4-j did not like the wife and thought She Boss would be better. It is very fitting...if you know what I mean.

Share pics of your pets with me. I would love to see them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Name Change

As my blog starts to take on a form I've decided that The Franchise is not the best name for my needs. I've changed the name to Brown Street Blog and have changed the web address (which you figured out if you reading this). You will also start seeing posts from "The Wife" or whatever she decides to call herself. Hopefully no one has been inconvenienced by the change, but if you have, get over it.

Luckygirl is such a fashion diva.

KilterT on the phone, as usual.

Wherever I May Gnome

In my office we have a Gnome. The Gnome is given to anyone in the office who displays a good attitude. This week I was awarded The Gnome so I felt like he needed to see a few sights.

Welcome Gnome

Computer Gnome

Unibody Gnome

Gnome Helping Darcy

Gnome Helping Matt

The Real Gnome Shady

Driving Gnome

Hanging Gnome

Mechanic Gnome Checking Out Engine.

Don't worry. This is not the last of it. The Gnome's adventures are just beginning. Stay tuned for more Roaming Gnome Travels.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mabb's Ranch

For Father's day this year my family took me on a surprise trip to a place called Mabb's Ranch. It's a private campground in Arizona near the Mogollon (mug-ee-on) Rim. (the band with the same name is from the area)

For those of you who are not aware, Arizona has some beautiful pine forests running through our state. Mabb's Ranch is in the Sitgreaves National Forest. Sigreaves happens to be the worlds largest Ponderosa Pine forest. Check out the Forest Service link above and check it out. You'll be amazed.

Anyway, back to Father's Day. Mabb's Ranch offers campsite rentals that have onsite travel trailers to stay in. We rented a 28 foot 5th wheel trailer that was already hooked up with electricity and water. That was wonderful because the last time I slept in a tent with a sleeping bag I couldn't walk upright for a week.

So we had a great time. We all went, my wife (aka the wife), my 15 y/o son (aka KilterT), my 7 y/o daughter (aka luckygirl) and myself (Spec4-J).

Here are some of the pictures for your enjoyment:

left to right: KilterT, Spec4-J, and Luckygirl cookin dogs.

Luckygirl playing with another girl she met at the campsite.

Does a bear pee in the woods?

Now thats a fire!

Luckygirl and KilterT hanging around the fire.

Luckygirl and the wife waiting to go out riding quads.

Luckygirl on Bailey the horse who was being led by the wife.

Luckygirl on Bailey again being let by the wife.

New Colors

So what do you think about the new colors. I changed the template to mix things up a little.
I'm one of those people who always has to tinker with things. I'm sure I'll change it again down the road.

The Office

Hey! I finally figured out how to get pictures from my phone into my blog. I don't know why it took me so long to figure out but I got it now.

This is a picture of my office. Well, it's not really an office, it's a training center. But it is where I work.

If you read my Memorial Day post about my job you'll already know that I teach new insurance adjusters how to estimate property damage on crashed cars.

It's a very cool job. I mean who wouldn't have fun working in this environment?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


On my way to work this morning I was playing my Ride The Lightning CD. You better believe I was good and fired up once I got to the office. That's one thing I love about great Metal music is that it infuses you with energy.

I've been a METAL HEAD for most of my life. Starting with AC/DC of course. Then Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden (there were several hair bands in there as well). Finally I reached the pinnacle with Metallica.

OK, so you can tell I grew up in the 80's. There are a few current bands that are pretty kick ass but those other guys laid the foundation.

Metal is pure energy. I've heard non-metal heads describe it as angry music. There's a little anger in some of it but that's not what it's about and those people totally don't get it. All you have to do is put on Master of Puppets and your head starts moving back and forth involuntarily. You start banging on your steering wheel and stomping you foot on the floorboard. All of this is a little scary for me cause at my age I can't really drive while all this is going on but the result is that I GET PUMPED.

Recently I've done the unfathamable. I started listening to RAP. You heard me, I'm getting into Hip Hop.

There was a long period of time (the entire 1990's) when I gave up on music because none of it really moved me. My son (we'll call him KilterT) is now getting old enough (15 next month) that he is developing his own tastes in music. He pretty much likes everything. He seems to like Rap the most.

KilterT has been buying MP3 music like crazy. One day I was driving him to work and he brought a disc that he had burned and asked if he could listen to it on the way. We heard this guy named Cadillac Don singing about his Chevys.

Inside peanut butter outside jelly 7 days of the week 7 different chevys Black SS wit tha top blown off f*** with them boys get ya top blown off

I looked it up on and found out that inside PB means that the interior is tan or beigh and the outside Jelly means it has a candied paint job. Anyway I thought the song was pretty cool.

The next song was called Pop Bottles by The Birdman and Lil Wayne.

Chorus] Chomp with straight shots and then pop bottles, (yea) Flirt with the hood rats thin pop models, (uh huh) Chomp with straight shots and then pop bottles, (yea) Flirt with the hood rats thin pop models, [Birdman] Okay, we poppin champeign like we won a championship game, [Lil Wayne] Look like I got on a championship ring, [Birdman] Cause I ball hard, [Lil Wayne] Notice we ball harder, [Birdman] I am the Birdman, [Lil Wayne] And I'm the J-R-uh,

And I was like "hey, this is cool too". The next song was even better. Chin Check by N.W.A but with Snoop Dogg instead of Eazy-E.

I`m a Nigga Wit an Attitude thanks to y`all. And I don`t give a f**k I keep it gangsta y`all. I`ma ride for my side in the C.P.T. God bless the memory of Eazy-E. If it wadn`t for me where the f**k you`d be? Rappin like the Treacherous Three, f**kin cowards. I`d have seen Dre rockin parties for hours. And I`d have seen Ren f**kin bit*hes from Howard. And I`d have seen Snoop give away Eddie Bauer`s. So f**k Jerry Heller and the white superpowers.

This one was the best of them all. I found my self head-bobbin in the car and bouncing in my seat. KilterT was quite embarrassed that someone would see his nut job father banging out to hip hop, but I really liked it.

I had KilterT burn me an entire disc to keep in my car and now I mix it up between metal and rap.

I guess my point is, whatever music you like, if it moves you and energizes you then that's the whole point right.

What music moves you?

btw, I got the lyrics from

Monday, June 9, 2008


The previous post about meeting facilitations is just there for a test. I'm still researching the capabilites of this system for my boss. I wanted to find out if I could copy and past a document and I was successfull doing that. I also wanted to find out if I could copy and past the link to the Word document into the posting. I was not so successful with that. If anyone knows how to do it let me know.

Meeting Facilitation Guidelines

Meeting Flow:

Open meeting, Thank everyone for attending
If anyone is attending by phone, state the names of all attendees
Confirm who is taking the meeting minutes
Review the reason for the meeting and briefly review the agenda items
Proceed with the first agenda item
Introduce the topic
Discuss the topic
Determine if action or follow up is needed
Summarize the agenda item, ask for any questions
Move on to the next agenda item and repeat the process
After going over all agenda items and if time allows, ask the meeting participants for any additional relevant topics that they may wish to discuss
Recap all agreed upon action items or to do’s that were generated during the meeting
Be specific for each action item: who will complete it, when it will be completed, and if applicable, how it will be completed
Give timeline for when meeting participants will receive meeting minutes


Encourage involvement from the meeting participants if ideas and discussion is needed.

If a goal of the meeting is to solve a problem or issue, you need to only pose the problem to the group first, and then ask for the participant’s ideas before voicing your own ideas. By speaking your idea first, it could make people feel less involved and it could limit possible creative solutions.

If a meeting participant wants to discuss an unrelated topic, in many cases (not all) it is best to discuss the option at the end of the meeting or in a separate conversation after the meeting is over.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Let's Talk Tattoos

I have a tattoo of this flag patch on my right arm. I've had it for some time now and it's the only tattoo on that arm. I have been looking for something new to add. The flag is not as high as this soldier is wearing it. Mine is low enough to be just covered by my shirt sleeve when I wear short sleeves.
I want to add something either beside it our above it sometime in the near future. Anyone have any good ideas? I'm thinking about keeping with the patriotic theme on that side. I don't l ike the cartoonish type tattoos, preferring photo realism as it has much more detail.
I like animals and was thinking about getting a lion or a leopard there but I'm not sure it really fits with the flag. My wife insists it must be a bald eagle along wtih my flag. Does anyone else have an opinion.
Here's a picture of an eagle that I found and I think it looks pretty cool. Does anyone know if a tattoo artist could even do something like this. It's an awful lot of true black and I've also heard white isn't a good color for tattoos when used extensively.
One thing for sure, this eagle looks serious. That's what I like most about it. I'd like to hear thoughts on this if anyone has an opinion or knows much about tattoos.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Miss Me?

Has anyone missed me? I have not posted in about a week.

I took last Thursday and Friday off from work to stay home with my kids, beginning of Summer Break and all.

Now I'm back at my jolly job. Today I do not have a class to teach so we generally keep busy with all the administrative stuff. Since I teach estimating on damaged vehicles sometimes that means creating damage. Lots of fun. How many of you have jobs where you get to beat up cars? I even have special tools for the task so that the damage doesn't look fake.

Tomorrow I'll be teaching a level 2 property damage class. I enjoy teaching all the levels of PD. I mainly teach PD1 but I also get involved in PD2 and PD3 and I'm the lead administrator for Pre-PD which is an online course.

One of the reasons that I enjoy training so much is that I get to get on my soapbox and rant about things. I've worked hard at developing this skill. It didn't come easy for me at first. I was a little bit shy and introverted. This job has definitely changed that. I no longer have an inside voice and now I always feel the need to be the center of attention. Ask anyone that knows me, I tend to be a little over the top. Ah well, there's worse things.

It's getting late here so I think I'll knock off for the day.
Until next time.............................