Tagged: Finer things

10 Things to do the day you leave for vacation

Travel article 2 pic

I leave in a day for the Middle East (don’t worry mom and dad, someone is living at my house while I’m gone-they said never to post that you will be gone on social media, and they are probably right!) so there will be some posts about our travels and adventures while we are there.  I am going with 31 college students and several other adults.  We will tour the holy sites and help run a Young Life camp in the West Bank for Palestinian kids.  Bon Voyage!


  1. Adjust the thermostat
  2. Unplug heavy electronics
  3. Empty fridge of perishables and remove trash from your house
  4. Start automatic timers for your lights if you have them
  5. Set your security system if you have one
  6. Lock all windows and doors
  7. Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly
  8. Set vacation responders—email and phone message (and extend it to the day after you get back—this will allow you to get caught up)
  9. Move your spare key (maybe not under the mat or in the flower pot)
  10. Close your curtains. (helps with the utilities and with creepers)

Extra international tips:

  1. Make copies of important documents (passport if going international, or drivers license) and stash them in your carryon.
  2. Call your cell phone company and find out what the dealio is. (I got home from the Middle East once and had a phone bill that was 10x my monthly bill!)
  3. Call your credit card companies and let them know you will be traveling. Don’t want to get caught in the middle of Australia and not be able to rent a snorkel.
  4. Find out the electric where you are going and get adapters

What did we miss?  Tell us in the comments.


Why do I feel much better about myself when I drive a cool car?

GTR side view

This was my car for the weekend.  It’s a Nissan GTR with the nickname “Godzilla” because it devours other exotic cars.  It’s one of the fastest cars on earth.  My dear friend John loaned it to me.  On Saturday I went to the student org Madison Motorsports car show at JMU.  It was awesome.  Very well run and lots of cool whips all over the place.  Several things I learned this weekend:

  1. I love cool cars. (check out pics below)
  2. I am such a novice when it comes to how cars work.
  3. I still like to drive fast. Very, very fast. Too fast.

Sidenote:  the best thing that could have happened to me was getting a ticket for going 90 mph when I was 16.  And I didn’t tell my parents until it came the mail.  Had to get a lawyer and everything.  Maybe that can be another post sometime in the future.  Don’t tell my mom.

  1. Fast and Furious 7 isn’t the most realistic movie.  But I still liked it.  A lot.  “That’s the thing about street fights, the street always wins.”  “Time for daddy to go to work.”
  2. I feel much cooler and better about myself when I drive a cool car.

Question:  Why do I feel so much better about myself while driving a sports car?

Answer:  Because I’m still insecure.  I’m still trying to impress people. I want still want people to like me.  I want people to see me in this car.  An expensive car communicates money, power, status, attractiveness, and more.  But it’s all a lie.  There will be a time in our life when we can’t even drive anymore.  And no one gets to take their car with them when they die.  It was so sad yesterday when I traded the cherry red monster for my 2008 mile 4-cylinder Honda Accord.  One car costs $100,000 and the other has 100,000 miles.  But that’s OK.  I’m still working on being secure enough to where I can enjoy fast cars for what they are, and enjoy the driving experience without worrying about what people think.  Until that time, I will continue admiring and driving performance cars whenever I can.  Because I need a lot of practice.  On the road and in my heart.

corvette stingray
warning sticker may consume small pets
GTR back view

car and plane mix tape 3