2009 Is Going To Be My Year

I just discovered a very cool coincidence. It’s actually a result of the way the days of the year are laid out, but it’s still cool. I noticed that 2009 has exactly the same calendar as 1942, the year I was born.

Now, that’s not a real rare event but it only happens every six or eleven years. The last time it happened was 1998. So, it’s been eleven years since it last happened. It’s only happened about 6 times since I was born. Now, I’m not one to believe in signs or astrology or anything like that. But when I noticed this, I decided that this will me my year. I will probably retire this year. (That’s more up to AMEX than me) I will get my business to be profitable.

I am pumped. 2009 is the year!


I Meet Barb and Fall in Love Again

I think this will be the final post in the exciting life of James Hoag. I will only post here occasionally as I have something to say. This one takes us up through my marriage to Barb and that’s close enough to the present to call it quits. Hope you all enjoyed it. 

In late 1999, I got a call from Karen. She was living in Orem and, of course, I still lived in Sandy, Utah. She told me that she had met a lady in her ward that reminded her of my mother and wondered if I would like to meet her. I assumed she meant for a date and asked why I would be interested in dating my mother. But, it sounded cool and after five years of being alone (female-wise), I said sure. The woman’s name was Barbara Bennion and she had five kids from previous marriages, most of whom were grown up. She still had a couple living with her. I started emailing her and we talked back and forth for a few days and then agreed to meet and go out to dinner.

Don’t know what she thought of me, but I guess it wasn’t too bad. We started going out. The first date was to a Ruby River restuarant where we had to wait for almost an hour to get a table. This gave us a chance to talk and we discovered that we had a lot in common and she was really easy to talk to. I hadn’t had anyone to really talk to in a long time, so this was really great. In a way, she did remind me of my mother. I had always been able to talk to my mother. I could tell her anything. We were more than just mother and son, we were friends. And that was the way I felt about Barb.

She liked going to concerts like I did and so we went to several during the fall of 1999. In December, I figured, what the heck, we’re not getting any younger. Why wait, so I proposed. We had only known each other 4 months or less, but I knew it was the right thing to do. We had talked about getting married, but I wanted to make it official, so we went to Temple Square in Salt Lake. They had put up the Christmas lights and it was magical. I was intending to get down on one knee and actually propose, but at the last minute, I chickened out and so we just sat down on one of the benches and I offcially popped the question.

We were married on Feb 29 2000 which is the leap year extra day. So, we only have a real anniversary every four years. We were married at the Ward house in Orem and our Bishop did the honors. I think everybody from both sides of the family were there. All of my kids and their families (actually, I think Matt was the only one married at the time) and all of her kids. Mike and Julie Sveen even flew out for the occasion. It was a great day. We then spent a few days in Las Vegas on our honeymoon. Next Feb, 2009, will be our ninth year together. There has not been one day that I have regretted marrying Barb. We are happy and we get along perfectly. People we run into at church or other places ask how we met. I tell them, my ex-wife set us up. Well, after hearing that, they have to know the whole story.

And now you do.


Living in Sandy, Dad Dies

During this time, both Kristy and Katy lived with us for a time. I don’t remember the specifics, but Kristy worked at Office Max and lived with us which was just up the street from the store. She finally left that job and transferred to an Office Max in Denver where she met Chad and you all know the rest of that story.

Katy, while using my computer, met this guy online named Craig and they started a relationship. After some interesting events and a couple rocky years, they are together permanently and have a sweet little boy named Ben who I don’t get to see very much. You also know the rest of Kate’s story.

One day while working at American Express, I got a call from an old fiend from Magellan. He was now a manager and asked if we could have lunch together. I met with him and he said he would like me to come back to Magellan (the new name of HAI). He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and, so after only 15 months or so at American Express, I changed jobs yet again and went back to work at the same location I had worked at originally upon coming to Salt Lake City.

This was 1998. I think that is the same year that my Dad died. I got the call from Dorothy, his wife, that he had passed away and the funeral would be in a few days. David and I got on a plane and flew back to Kalamazoo, Michigan to attend the funeral and see my Dad for the last time. We had been out there about a year earlier and had stopped and talked to him. He was in a hospital bed and pretty sick and we all knew he would not last much longer. That was the last time I actually talked to him. After the funeral, we flew home. Dorothy moved in with her daughter, Linda (my sister) and I never heard from either of them again.


Current – A New Year

I actually wrote this on the 1st. Took me a few days to get it in the blog.

It’s Jan 1, 2009 and a new year has started. We just got back from a night in Wendover, NV. We went to a concert which featured The Comets and then had dinner and rang in the new year. You probably have never heard of the Comets, but you might remember “Rock Around the Clock”. It was a big hit in the 50’s and some say, the first rock and roll song. It was done by Bill Haley and the Comets. Well, Haley died several years ago and the Comets are going on without him, playing the old rock music of the 50’s.

Needless to say, it was great. They had 5 members of the band, but only 3 were originals. One is 74 years old, one is 75 and the drummer is 84 years old. I am 66 and can barely walk. This guy is 84 and can play the drums for 2 hours in a fast paced, high energy concert. They were really great. They said they are opening for an extended run in Branson, MO at Andy Williams’ show room. Barb and I are trying to figure out how to get to Branson so we can see them again.

It brought back the memory of  something that happened to me a few years ago. I think I was working at Magellan, but it might have been before that. A fellow came to work in our area and some of the guys told him that I was pretty knowlegable in music. He was very sceptical. So, he said to me: If you know so much, tell me this. What is the song that’s on the flipside of the original 45 record for “Rock Around the Clock”? You have probably already guesed that I knew the answer. I have the original 45 of the song and the B-side is called “Thirteen Women”. This guy was so impressed. He said he had never found someone who knew the answer to that question. I thought about this during the concert as we listened to the orginal band doing “Rock Around the Clock”.


Traveling the Country with Synon

Everyone was afraid of Magellan. There were rumors that they were going to fire everybody in the IT department. I started looking for another job. The tool that we used to do our programming was called Obsydian and it was owned by a company called Synon, Inc. There were very few people in the country who knew Obsydian and in the 2 years I had worked at HAI, I had become something of an expert. So, I called Synon and asked them if they would like to hire me. I had heard they were looking for teachers.

To make a long story short, I interviewed and was hired. For the next nine months, I worked for Synon as an instructor. Every sunday night I flew out to somewhere in the US and every Friday night I flew back. I have a magnet on my refrigerator at home of most of the states and cities I travelled to. It was great fun to see the country. I went places I had never been before. The class I taught was about 4 1/2 days long and it was the same every time, so I got pretty good at it. The job was great and I really loved it. But after a few months, I really got tired of the travelling. It turned out that it was not good to leave David alone in the apartment for five days at a time. I was still very heavy and it was a struggle to get to the airport and stay in hotels and eat out all of the time.

It lasted for nine months and then I said, enough. I called a friend of mine who had also left HAI and went to work at American Express in Salt Lake. I asked him if they had any openings. They did. I interviewed and was hired and once again, I changed jobs. This time I went to work for American Express. We worked out near the airport which wasn’t too bad since I lived in Sandy. I continued to program in the same language that I had been teaching. I lasted at American Express for almost 1 1/2 years.