Tuesday, April 10, 2007

So much to do, so little time.

Betcha never heard that one before, did ya?

Anyway, the last couple months have been busy, but probably no more so than normal. Did the brakes and shocks on the Jeep. Couple of trips out of town. And work. That one never seems to go away.

We went to the Thousand Trails campground in La Conner last month, over St. Patrick's day, with some friends. We are looking at the cost of a membership, and trying to decide if we would really use it or not. So far, I'm not totally convinced. It was nice and all, I'm just not sure we would do it enough.

Then, over our anniversary weekend, we went to Disneyland. Had a blast, watching pirates, and getting our picture taken with Mickey, and taking naps every day. I could sure grow to love that lifestyle. Very relaxed, yet doing things most of the time. We had dinner next to the water in the Blue Bayou restaurant. Very nice. Service was excellent, and I would definitely go back. Yes, it's a little more expensive than outside the park, but I thought the price was well within Disney range. We didn't do everything this trip, which may have contributed to the relaxed feel it had. But, we did enough to keep busy.

Now, we are planning our return - in Christmas!!! Disneyland is a magical place to me, and Christmas is a magical time. Combine the two for a load of fun and excitement that is hard to forget for years to come. Imagine, snow in Disneyland! Happens every night during the Christmas season, right at the end of the fireworks. Mickey and gang in Christmas outfits. Even Santa and his reindeer are there, at least until they have to get some work done! And, there will be some new things there when we return, including the Finding Nemo submarine ride. That should be some fun times. We are definitely looking forward to it.

But, for the rest of the spring, summer, and fall, it's mostly normal stuff. Mowing lawns, going to work. You know. The normal stuff.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's been a while

A month today, since my last entry. I didn't even realize. Things have changed since then. No more snow, just that drizzle that Seattle is used to.

The dogs are seeming to get along, most of the time. We still have to keep them separated during feeding, and we can't let either one play with toys with the other one around. That starts fights worse than the food ones. But, other than that, they wrestle around, and chase the cat together, and seem to get along. They are definitely cute together.

I am going permanent with my company, after 3 months of contract work. Not totally sure that is the best choice, but, it is the choice I have made for now.

Last Saturday, we went to our first hockey game. Briana was singing the National Anthem, with her school choir. They did really good, even if our team lost. It was a lot of fun, too. Never been to a hockey game before, so I really didn't know what to expect. What I thought was one of the coolest things, was the first score by our team. As soon as that buzzer went off, every person in the arena started throwing teddy bears out onto the ice. There were deluxe teddy bears for sale on the concourse, or you were given a bear when you went in. The proceeds from the bears went to Children's Hospital, and the bears themselves were given to the kids suffering in the hospital. It took three cars to haul the bears off the ice, and was really a sight to behold.

However, there were bad, ugly things happening on Saturday, too. Saturday morning, while on my way to get coffee, the truck slipped a notch on the timing chain. Means I had to have it towed home, where it just sits, waiting for me to repair it.

Then, on the way home from the hockey game, the van blew a seal in the tranny. At this point, we aren't sure how bad it is, but the cost to deal with it is great enough that we decided to say goodbye to the van. It has been good for us, and we appreciate the gift that it was. However, with 200,000 miles on it, and an increasing number of problems, it's time to replace it.

So, after a week of looking, stressing, and crying because the car we found late one night got sold before we could get to it, we found a new (for us) car. It's a 1998 Dodge Intrepid ES. Nice car. Clean inside and out, seems to run really well, and it's got a nice style to it. I might even come up with a picture of it soon. The ES has larger tires, and the largest engine available, but still gets better mileage than the van got, partly due to the lighter weight, and partly due to the increased aerodynamics. Comfortable, too. with room for 5. In fact the back seats will handle a 6 footer pretty easy.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

White Things

There is a new white thing in my house. And some white stuff outside, too!

We got another snow Wednesday afternoon. Looks beautiful, but people in the greater Seattle area still do not know how to drive!!! In the business complex that I work, people were not able to get out of the parking lot, because the main street wasn't moving. And, when it did move, the inconsiderate fools wouldn't leave the intersection full, which meant that no one could get out anyway! I had to wait an extra hour just to get out of my parking lot, but, once out, it only took about 10 minutes extra to get home. Largely because I won't follow the crowd, and took the biggest hills home. No one else wanted to, so I had a clear route.

But, I have to tell you - other than the traffic, the snow was beautiful!!! The white covered all the hills, trees, and fields, and it truly was a wonderfully beautiful day. I love the snow!

The white thing we have at home, is a cousin for Cody. Crackers is working his way into our family. Crackers is another American Eskimo, which we got from my mother-in-law. They were no longer able to keep Crackers in thier apartment complex, and didn't know what to do with him, since he has a history of some, umm, behavioral issues. At first, we weren't sure that we would be able to handle Crackers and Cody, but Crackers is gradually falling into place.

There have been some significant struggles for domination, but we believe that they are being worked out. We are trying to work out some food aggression now as well. Crackers has been very possesive of the food and water, so we are feeding them seperatly right now, and working on gradually integrating them back together. Unfortunatly, I would have prefered to have them meet seperatly, and bring them together gradually. That was just not a possibility in this situation. So, we are doing the best we can. Fortunatley, this week Yvette has been able to stay home with them most of the time, and has been able to work with them much more than we normally would have been able to do in a week.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Interesting Tool

I just discovered "Joe's Goals" (http://www.joesgoals.com/) - a free, simple, online goal tracking system. Very easy to use, and you can share your goals with friends, so that they can track with you to help keep you accountable. Take a look at it, and see if it will help you with your New Year's Resolutions.

One of the favorite goals for the guy that created Joe's Goals is to "Bless Others". What a neat idea! How would your life change if you adopted that as one of your goals?

But, I'm sure that this isn't the only cool tool that you've found or know about. So, give me some suggestions of other sites or items that you know about. I'd love to take a look at them.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

New Year, New Surroundings?

The New Year is here. With it comes a sense of the new. In our case, new jobs come close to coinciding. I recently started a new job, working as a Field Service Technician/System Administrator for a large "contract employee" company. It's been an interesting transition. Working at M$, had a much different sense of "team". I think that we created that feeling ourselves, rather than there being any inherently default teamness there. We were a new group of "Orange Badgers" creating a new team, and we pulled together to help each other out. I don't get the same feeling here. Some of that has to do with the environment. We are spread out much thinner, and across a much larger distance. Instead of walking down the hall and grabbing someone to help lift that 85 pound server, or troubleshoot that pesky hardware problem, we are not just in different buildings, we are in different cities much of the time. In fact, there are members of the team that I have never met, save on the phone. That just doesn't provide the same sense of "team" that I have been exposed to in recent years. I've only been there a while, so I expect things to change, but that's where I am right now.

Yvette is also changing jobs. She was recently asked to come on board as a staffer for Overlake Hospital. She will be interacting with the charge nurses on each floor, then calling staffing agencies to supply the nursing staff that is needed. This is an exciting opportunity for her with a large (and growing, if you've been past recently) company that is firmly established. Right now, she will be part-time, with about 20-25 hours per week, but that is expected to change rapidly. Her biggest challenge with this is going to be the change in hours, as she will, on occasion, need to be at work by 4 am. So, be praying for her.