Sunday, October 29, 2006

Time Waster

Be forewarned this is addicting and a time waster. But then again so is television, puzzles, sudoku, etc...

First spend 30 minutes to an hour here.

Then when you think you've mastered that go here.

At first it looks like a drawing program but really it's a fun toy where you draw lines for a sledder to sled down.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Adventures in Albuquerque Part 3

While in town, we got to have lunch with Joshua's youth pastor and his family, the Bookers. We had a wonderful New Mexican meal with our new favorites: Carne Adovada and sopapillas. We spent a few hours talking and laughing while Dave and Joshua reminisced.
We also took a trip to the capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe. Even Uncle Larry joined in the fun for this day. Our favorite site was the historic Loretto Chapel where a mysterious staircase was built without any nails or support.
Originally there was no railing, but the nuns who used the staircase were too frightened without it! The story goes that a carpenter showed up shortly after the nuns prayed for someone who could build them a staircase to get to the choir loft of the chapel. After he finished, the carpenter dissappeared, never to be heard from again.
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Adventures in Albuquerque Part 2

After our rained-out morning, we were looking forward to the evening's Balloon Glow where the pilots inflate the balloons and light up the night. It was cold and windy when we arrived, so of course we headed for the hot cinnamon rolls and coffee.
The Fiesta had tons of booths and displays to see. Here we are in a model balloon basket.
Since it was so windy, once again the scheduled events were cancelled. Instead of a Balloon Glow, the pilots simply lit there flames for what was called a Candlelight Glow. A dissappointment to be sure, but interesting none the less. We were able to walk around the fields right up to the balloons as they lit their flames. It certainly helped fight the cold night air!
There were over 300 balloons on the field (I guess I should say baskets, not balloons) all lit up at the same time. Aftreward, there was a terrific fireworks show that lasted about half an hour! It was definitely the highlight of the evening. Posted by Picasa

Adventures in Albuquerque Part 1

Joshua and I took a short trip to Albuquerque this month to visit my grandma, uncle, and cousin Alex. My dad was there as well. One bonus to visiting in October ... the Balloon Fiesta! We were very excited to see hot air balloons from all over the world rising high into the sky over us. So excited in fact that we got up at 3:00 am to catch the 4:00 am train from downtown to the bus pick up. No one but Joshua, Alex, and myself were brave enough for such an adventure. Here we are on the brand new Rail Runner metro.
After being dropped at the bust stop, we were stranded at the dark, rainy station while waiting to hear the fate of the balloons. Sure enough, the lift off had been cancelled due to inclement weather. Back on the train to downtown... Not to worry, we had tickets to go back that evening to see the balloons all lit up.
Before heading back to Grandma's for a nap, we stopped off at Denny's for breakfast. Alex got a fun dye packet that turned his water into green slime! He said it still tasted like plain water.
Alex enjoyed Joshua's reading of The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln (an absolutely hilarious book that Joshua bought me for my birthday). Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Note card saves the cat

This is a tale of how a 3x5 note card and a nagging wife can save a cat's life.
It's 2am and we are just about to leave for a 12+ hour drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am performing last-minute checks to make sure all items are accounted for. I run upstairs and grab a note card to jot down gas mileage statistics. Once there I realize, “I should brush my teeth or Erin will get upset.” I run into our room and grab my toothbrush, but cannot find the toothpaste because it's been packed. I run to the downstairs bathroom because I know we have sample toothpastes from the dentist there.

While brushing my teeth, Erin gets upset at me for taking too long and complains that I left the lights on upstairs. “I'm going to put the toothbrush back when I'm finished” I say.

“That's stupid just leave it down here. I'll turn off the lights.” And she drags herself up the stairs with tired eyes to turn off the lights.

A few short moments later we're in the car ready to leave. I close the garage door and realize, “I don't have my 3x5 note card. I must've set it down when I got my toothbrush. I knew there was a reason to go back upstairs.”

I open the garage door and start up the stairs picking up my toothbrush along the way. At the top of the stairs I noticed our bedroom door was wide open. We don't let the cat in our room because we don't like the hair all over. I replace the toothbrush into it's holder and pick up the 3x5 and place it into my pocket. Next I search for the cat because he is obviously being naughty. When ever our door is cracked open he dashes in. But he is nowhere to be found in our bedroom. So I search the other rooms of the house. Nowhere to be found.

The screen door to the garage has a mysterious hole in it. “Great, now we lost the cat!” Cats are curious so he can't have gone too far. I search the entire complex while Erin searches the garage. Thirty minutes pass and still we haven't found him. “This is a great beginning of our trip.” Moments later I hear a noise from the far side of the garage, and sure enough it's Six (the cat). When he sees me he leans down on his front paws and extends his orange hairs and tail straight up to look like a mean devil cat. I picked him up threw him in the house and slammed the door behind him. I yelled through the closed door, “I just saved your life, you stupid cat!” And we started our trip.

Upon looking back I realized that if I didn't have a stupid need to track my MPG on paper during a road trip, or have a wife that nags me to brush my teeth the moment I wake up, we may have returned from our 5 day trip to a very sick or dead cat in our garage. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm 28. Yay.

That's right folks, I turned 28 on Sunday. Although I've been feeling a bit under the weather, I did have a fun day. We started off bright and early by eating a delicious breakfast at the Pancake House in Anaheim. In honor of the owner's retirement, they served their amazing dishes at 1950's prices! For Less than $5, Joshua and I feasted on Dutch Babies, apple pancakes, potato pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, and coffee. Amazing! And we brought home leftovers. When we got home, I took a nap while my wonderful husband cleaned every nook and cranny of our home. (This was in part thanks to the tv being broken!) Then, we met my family for a late lunch at Lucille's BBQ.
We continued the party at our house with dessert, coffee and games. I was badly beaten at a fierce game of Scattergories. Doesn't anyone know they're supposed to let the birthday girl win?
One last stop of the day: To Bed, Bath, and Beyond to spend one of my giftcards. After too many minutes poking and squeezing all of the therapudic pillows, I decided on a winner. Unfortunately, it didn't work so well. I had one of the worst night's sleep ever! Alright, it wasn't the pillow, but the nasty head cold I had. I slept on it ALL day yesterday and it's as cozy as a pillow could be. Let's see if Joshua's birthday can beat all that!
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Monday, October 02, 2006

Thursday - No Luck Day

So, Thursday of last week I had a pretty rotten day. I needed to get up early to drive to San Diego. At 6am it's still dark out and the freeways are already starting to get congested. It seems as if any large vehicle (also known as SUVs) is late to get somewhere and tailgates me until he decides to choose one of the faster lanes to the left. One particular GMC sped around me but didn't seem to care to get fully in the other lane to do so. Once in front of me he didn't seem to have any dedication to any one lane. If another car tried to pass him on the right or left he would swerve halfway into thier lane. I think he was double-foot driving because his break lights were flashing constantly. Suddenly I became charged with super-citizen powers and sped up to be next to this large truck and see if there was a child or drunkard driving it. Once parallel with the driver I could see this short red, curly-haired irish-looking man peering over his steering wheel who, it seemed, couldn't see past his nose. I dropped behind him and dialed 911. I did my responsible duty and reported the drunk driver with vehicle type and license plate. I hung up the phone and the traffic came to a standstill. He plowed into the two vehicles in front of him. I called 911, "It's me, again. He wrecked."

An hour and a half later I'm 15 miles from my destination and the Interstate 15 freeway is under construction. The traffic is stop-and-very-slow, so I decide to put my new GPS to the test and route me a detour. I choose a three mile detour. It routed me just fine through the city streets until I got close to the freeway again and the street was just a parking lot. So I route another detour, this time 5 miles. I travel to the other side of the freeway, and when I think it's going to take me left back to the freeway, it says to go right. I zoom out the map and it shows that I'll be going around a lake. "Ok" I say, thinking that the GPS knows what it's doing. For the next ten miles I'm on a two-lane country highway that's hopefully taking me to my destination. I happen upon stop-and-go traffic again. This time I zoom way out on the map and notice that I'm being routed to the Interstate 5 freeway and back to the 15 via a third freeway. I calculate my trip from either direction and now I'm 25 miles from my destination in both directions. I decided to U-turn and get onto the 15 freeway as I should've. I happened upon my destination 1 hour past my planned arrival time.

While there I was to install applications and transfer data to a user's new notebook computer before he was to catch a plane. Everything was running fine and dandy. He had ten minutes left and I had one thing left to install. McAfee VirusScan (which I highly recommend) finished installing and the computer starts giving me errors and ultimately shuts itself down. "I've never seen this before" I say. "Sure" the user is probably thinking. I hate Dell computers. I reboot the computer and the same thing happens. Luckilly I could start in safe mode but you can't uninstall programs while in that mode. By now the user has left to go to the airport, so I go to the thinking room to ponder my problem. I came back and tested my theory to get the software removed, and it worked. I called McAfee support and explain my problem. I tell him it's a new Dell Notebook. He says, "Is it a D620?" "Yes", I say. "Does it have biometric software?" "Yes" "We have a patch for that, for some reason Dell's software conflicts." Great, I'm just glad it wasn't user error. But it was too late as the user was already boarding his plane then.

On the drive home, I'm happily on cruise control going the speed limit. I look in my rearview mirror I see a large pickup truck barreling down the road at 90-95 mph thinking he owns the road. When he gets a little closer another truck pulls into his lane in front of him causing him to slam on the breaks and change lanes almost clipping my rear bumper. The truck driver was considerably calmer after that and exited the freeway at the next exit.

At dinner I told Erin about my horrible day and she was sympathetic. I cleaned up the plates as Erin got her workout items together and turned on the television. "Look at this." she said. The tv was only showing an image on the center horizontal line. Now we have a broken television.