Showing posts from December, 2009

Christmas Weekend, 2009 and an Avatar Experience

I couldn't keep my days straight over the weekend; Friday was Saturday and Saturday felt like Sunday to me but it was fine because the weekend seemed longer than normal and not the other way around. We had a dozen people or more from my side of the family over for Christmas Eve and had an enjoyable evening seeing them all. We were a little worried that the heavy snowfall we got would cause most everyone to have to cancel but they all made it and we were happy for that. We let technology fill in the gaps and bring us together with those who were separated from us by too many miles. Melody, my niece in Portland had the idea to connect with us via Skype and a good idea it was. I downloaded the 1.9mb file and tested it the night before with my brother who also lives out there. The connection worked much better than I figured it would. Here's the result from his end and from ours . The only issue we had was the lighting on our end but I found a quick fix for that. Tammy got me

214 out of 216 and Falling or FAA Management Gone Wild

Let me frame this entry with a simple question: What is a leader? A simple answer: Someone people choose to follow. The FAA has very few leaders while we're top-heavy with managers. What's the difference between a leader and a manager one might wonder? Simply put, a manager says 'go' while a leader says 'let's go'. A leader is somebody you respect and try to make look good. You have their back and they have yours. Christmas is just a few days away and I want my thoughts in a different place than where they are. I wish they were of family coming to visit and gifts under the tree with the anticipation of a late Christmas Eve service at Hosanna during a huge snowstorm we're expecting. Instead, they're stuck in a 5-minute episode that unfolded during a holiday dinner at work with our crew the other night only to be tweaked once again in a Quality Assurance briefing this morning. Our crew's supervisor (to me and others, a leader) orchestrated a po

Saturday Evening Musings and Wally Cleaver

Tammy's comment from ten minutes ago, "If that dog lives another year I'll be surprised". We just got back from the mall to find the remains of Rachel's Hershey's Kisses candy-cane on the couch in the basement. A quick check with Rachel told us that she hadn't had any of it yet and had left it on the couch after watching TV where we're assuming Charlie got into it. I can't figure out how he was able to separate the foil from the chocolate but he did...well, most of it anyway; I'm sure he ingested some of that as well.  There's nothing left but the plastic tube the chocolate came in.  Tammy looked online and found that a dog his size would have to ingest twice the amount he did before it would be hazardous to him.  The fun that little guy has while we're away!  I'm half tempted to set up a couple webcams around the house just to check in on his antics from time to time. We gave up on trying to teach him to leave the ornaments on ou

2009 Jalisco Terrace House-hop and 2 of 6

We had our annual neighborhood house-hop on Saturday and as always, it was a late but very fun night. Somebody said there were 32 of us. We started at 6:00pm and worked our way to four homes throughout the evening with ours being 3rd on the list. We usually offer up our place every other year as a host house. It's fun to have that many people over and seeing them enjoying our digs as Tammy and I don't do a lot of entertaining. Here's a set of photos from the party that I posted to my Flickr account. I'm enjoying having a heated garage for a change but it comes at a price and I'm not just referring to the additional cost to heat it. Many of our side streets are full of slush from an 8-inch snowfall we had last week and that slush sticks to the underside of our cars where it eventually melts in the 40-degree temperature of the garage leaving lots of water on the floor. I was squeegeeing it out onto the driveway to be scooped up and thrown on our snowbanks but with

Day Tripping

Rachel sent her application to the University of Minnesota at Rochester a few weeks ago with plans to send out at least one other to Northwestern College . I know in her heart that she really wants to go to Northwestern but because it's a private school it will be more expensive and we're not sure that the curriculum is going to be strong enough for what she wants to study. We're still looking into that. So it was a little bittersweet this past week when she received an acceptance letter from UMR. Tammy and I aren't sure that she's fully bought into the idea yet and we want it to be her decision. We were actually surprised that she received her acceptance letter so quickly as the deadline to submit applications was the end of November; the date of her letter. Last Thursday night found the three of us tree trimming and home decorating. It was the end of an era of sorts because next year when we break out the decorations Rachel will be off to college and it will be

A Virtual Stroll

This is a continuation of a series of writings about my time in the Navy. The first in this series of posts can be found here or go here for the most recent. A lot of my friends had cars and apartments off base and would be able to escape shipboard life after work if it wasn't their 'duty day'. I didn't feel the need to have to get away, in fact, I found a nice routine living on the ship that worked for me and I was able to save a fair amount of money by not having all the added expenses my friends were taking on. Meals were provided on the boat but occasionally I'd head out into the city on my bike for some fast food. Once each week I'd load my laundry into my duffel bag and sling it over my shoulder for a two-mile bike ride to the laundromat on Highland Ave and 16th street ; what is now Italy's Beauty Salon. I remember being inside there one night in October 1977 doing laundry when I learned of the plane crash that would be the demise of the Lynyrd S