Wednesday, December 28, 2005

December update

Well as usual the kids made out like bandits this Xmas. Nate got three different train sets (amongst many other toys) and Lexi got several different Dora dolls (I did not know that had that many different types of Dora dolls) as well as alot of different toys.

The kids had a blast. Both sets of grandparents were down over two weekends, they got to see Perron and Malina, Uncle Bobby came down. That's the one thing I love about Xmas is that you get to see all the family and friends.

They also had a great time on the Xmas train - my only complaint is that its not long enough, but there are alot of kids who want to ride so they have to shorten it some to accomodate all the kids.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

November Update

A busy month thus far.

It has been a very busy month getting ready for Thanksgiving. Last weekend we painted the kitchen and two of the walls in the den (the wall behind the TV and the wall of the entrance). We started two weekends ago by patching all the cracks in the wall then last Friday we started priming and painting the den. By Sunday the kitchen was complete. This Thursday I finished putting back the window shutters.

Thursday we had family portraits done. I uploaded some of the low res images in our photo gallery on fotki. After that I also got all the yard work done. Well almost all - I have not winterized the yard yet.

Friday we did all the shopping for Thanksgiving. Saturday we went to Lenscrafters to get new eyeglasses. For the first time they could not give them to us in an hour. One of my lenses was a very popular perscription and both of Chris' were of a rare perscription and they were out of stock on all of it. So it will be about 14 business days. So we are looking at 12/9 or 12/12 before we can get our glasses.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween.

We took the kids to a neighborhood church where they were having a Halloween carnival for kids. What we should have planned for was the fact that it was outside (and it was COLD). So we did not stay long. Fortunatly both the kids were tired so they crashed pretty quickly.

For the last five days our internet has been down so I have been very happy that its been up this long. I took the opportunity to upload some more pics. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A week from hell - day one

There is a saying "Getting there is half the fun" but in this case the saying is entirely false.

The end result of the next week of effort will be two parties. Our yearly family birthday party (My mom, mother-inlaw, and Nate have their birthdays in a four day period) so we have a family party. This year though Nate will get a second birthday party on Monday with the kids from the DFW mothers group that Chris is in.

Now to get there not only do we have to clean up the house (both parties are here) the following is also happening:

Tuesday: new diswasher installed - no biggie
Wednesday-Thursday: new floor should be installed on every floor except bedrooms, bathrooms and utility room.

That's right we ordered a new floor. We are having a laminate wood floor installed. Originally we expected the wood to be delivered next week (after the parties) and installed three days after that - they leave the flooring in the house for three days before installing so the wood can cool/heat to the house temperature. But they called today and said that they were delivering it so they can have it installed this week. To accomodate that we are pretty much packing up all the rooms so all the installers have to move around is furniture.

Now to top that off I will be working late this week to try and get a project I am working on back on track. S while I am feeling a little overwhelmed I know Chris must feel more so. She has to do alot of the packing herself while I am at work while taking care of the kids.

The journey sucks but the destination will definitly be worth it.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Scott's rant - Thank God for Mexico

I am pissed off at our Media!

Every disaster that has happened America has opened its hearts (and its wallets) to aid the victims wherever they were.

Then Katrina happened.

Where was the aid?

I looked at all the major news online sites and only found one article - Mexico sent army kitchens and supplies to feed thousands of victims.

Finally I did a google search and found that many countries have indeed pledged and delivered aid!

So why do the major news sites only report the Mexican aid?

My belief is that the only story that has any dirt in it. Texas used to be part of Mexico so Mexican troops being in Texas is a big story. Everything else is prioritized below the latest murder or scandal.

Regardless - thank you Mexico for opening your hearts to aid us.

Thank you everyone who has given aid or added your prayers to the Katrina victims.

Monday, September 05, 2005

A good Labor day

Chris' Mom came over this weekend and played with Nate and Lexi. Christopher brought her over and his girlfriend, Paige, came over. Carol looked after the kids while the four of us went out to Bobby Valentines. Sunday Chris and Carol went to Home Depot and looked at paint colors for the kitchen. Today I was able to powerwash the driveway.

For fathers day I got a Husky Powerwasher (1750 psi model). I am not very thrilled with the Husky though. The attachments are hard to connect to the hose. Plus one of the attachments broke today when washing the driveway.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

They don't make them like they used to

The old RCA TV in the kids playroom finally died yesterday. The picture was getting bad for a couple of days and yesterday morning when I turned it own I heard a couple of pops and that was it. Me and Chris had to load the thing on a dolly to get it out of the house. We put in the TV from the library (which originally was from our bedroom) on a cart I had from my single days (its good to be a packrat).

I'm going to miss that TV. I got it about ten years ago at an auction at my old apartment complex for $75 and it was at least 10 years old then. It was big, sturdy and was able to stand up while the kids were pushing on it. The down side was that it always took two people to move it.

Alas it was cheaper to replace the TV than it was to fix it. Especially since we had a spare tv not being used.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Got the insulation blown in today

fortunately we had an offsite today so I got to leave a little later. Because of that I was here when they showed up and was able to catch the fact that they did not have the baffels I had requested when they originally wrote the order. Baffels are just a shield (in this case Styrofoam) that keeps the air intake vents (in our case under the roof) from being blocked by the insulation.

The total cost was alot less than I expected. I had gone to a couple of websites that ask what is the size of your house and what material you want used and it would give us estimates of 3-4K dollars. But the place we used it only cost us $1282. I will keep a look at our electric bill over the next couple of months to see if I can figure out that the ROI would tentatively be.

Some more numbers on our roof

A quick recap: Back in May we had to have our roof replace. Fortunatly it was all covered by insurance so all we had to pay was the deductable and upgrades (replaced the turbines with power vents and redid gutters).

The old roof used an organic material that was in style back in the 80's because it was environmentally friendly but was very expensive. I bring that up because the insurance paid to put the roof back to its original state so they paid up to what it would cost to replace the organic material. Instead of opting for the organics we went with an impact resistant material (which I think is a very wise decision living in an area where hail is common). The cost ended up about the same so we did not have to pay extra there. But I wondered if the cost would have been worth it.

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: because we used impact resistant materials we got a 30% discount on our home owners insurance - which worked out to about $404 a year (the flip side is that right after our claim was filled our insurance went up $189 a year ). So best case we are saving $404 a year, worst case we are saving $215 a year. Now normal roofing material cost about $85 a square, impact resistant materials cost $164 a square. It took 45 squares to redo our roof so the cost difference worked out to be $3555. I am only concerned with difference because that is what I would have had to pay if the roof used plain materials originally.

Now to figure out if it was worth it or not we need to figure out ROI (return on investment). The basis of ROI is that if you invest money on something that will generate revenue how long will it take to get your money back (and thus start showing a true profit). As you can tell there was alot of numbers above to work with.
Best case I am saving $404 a year. Worst case I am saving $215. So considering the difference ($3555) my ROI would by 8.8 years best case and 16.53 years worst case. After that the savings are money in the bank.

One thing the numbers don't show is longevity. That is since I used a impact resistant material then if there is a hail storm it will be less likely that the roof will be damaged thus needing another costly repair (hence the good discount).

But either way the numbers definitly show that if we had to pay for it ourselves, and we had the money, it would be better to buy the more durable materials.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Went to a Birthday Party today

We went to a birthday party today of the now 4 year old daughter of one of Nate's playmates (from the mother's day out group). Nate and Lexi had alot of fun of the party and lots of photo's got uploaded to our photo gallery.

We found out that Lexi knew how to say cupcake. I had to change Lexi's diaper and when we came out all the other kids were eating cupcakes. Lexi saw this and looked at me and said "uhcakes" I took her over to Chris and she gave Lexi some frosting and as soon as she tasted it she looked up at Chris and said "Please". So we got alot of pics of her eating a cupcake too (fortunatly one of the mothers had a spare disposable bib).

Friday, July 29, 2005

I was hoping for Uncle Bobby or Uncle Christopher but....

Chris told me the other day Nate told her that Kitty did not have a family so we could be kitty's family.

Nate would be kitty's mommy.
Chris would be kitty's GrandMoo.
Grandmoo would be kitty's Nana.
And I would be kitty's Aunt Darlene.

Chris was laughing too hard to ask about anyone else.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

We had to take Frenna back

We had to take Frenna back today. Poor puppy we could not get her to stop tackling Lexi. Toward the end both Nate and Lexi was scared of the puppy because she wanted to bite their shoes or nip at their legs.

If we do try and get another dog it will be after the kids are older. The worker at the shelter said she usually recommends waiting until the kids are 5-8 for larger dogs (why she did not tell us this when we were adopting Frenna I have no idea).

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Family + 1

We picked up a puppy from the pound today.

Surprised! So am I .

Chris called me up at work yesterday and had me go to the Hurst Animal Shelter link. From there she showed me a little German Shepard mix puppy.

Well we went to the pound yesterday to fill out the paperwork and they called us today to say that we were approved so I picked her up on the way home from work.

She's three months old and we have decided to call her Frenna. We asked Nate what he wanted to name the puppy and he said "Frienda - because she is my friend!". We shortened it to Frenna an it stuck.

She's a very intelligent dog. When she first met Thumbs she went up to sniff her and Thumbs just looked at her (that was it) and she backed off slowly. I think the only problem we will have is Frenna and Lexi. Because they are both the same size Frenna thinks Lexi is a litter mate and is playing rough with her (After we had to pull Frenna off of her three times poor Lexi is scared of the dog now).

I posted a couple of pics of the dog in our photo gallery. I took alot more but since she was constantly moving most of the pics are missing a body part or she has her head buried in some object.


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Scott's rant - cellphones and terrorist

I just saw a clip on headline news where some experts were upset with the cell phone makers because they are adding features to phones that are helping terrorist. The one they pointed out was an alarm clock feature. Listening this you would think the experts believe that all the major companies do are sit around and figure ways to help criminals and terrorist. I'm waiting for the experts to be be upset at the following.

  • Muslims - for having extreme views that encourage terrorist acts (forget the fact that the Koran forbids such acts).
  • Alarm clock companies - for making bomb components. They're called alarm clocks people, you use them to wake up in the morning. It's the bad guys who wire bombs to them.
  • WalMart/Target/large chain stores - for selling bomb making materials. Its called alarm clocks, camping supplies, hunting equipment, electronics. 99.999 percent of the items sold are used in their intended purpose. Here again its the bad guys that are figuring out ways to create havoc with these items. If there was a universal lie dectector I would have no problem placing one in every store, supermarket, bus terminal, airport and asking everyone if they are planning on committing a crime but until then restricting the market is only hurting the people more than the terrorist.
Now instead cell phone companies these are the groups I am pissed off at:

  • terrorist - for having such extreme views that they must kill to carry them out. I am also pissed that they have to warp a religion to justify what they do.
  • religious fanatics - who honestly feel that there is a loophole in religion that lets terrorist commit mass murder and still allow them to enter the kingdom of Heaven. For believing its God's will to support and aid terrorist in their unholy cause.
  • religious fanatics who are very bad at math - just for a second I am going to humor the idea that the Muslim religious fanatics are right and that all the terrorist/suicide bombers and jihadist killed in the line of duty are going to get a castle in heaven with 72 virgins to serve them just by being declared martyrs. Well God just called and heaven has run out of virgins - please stop killing yourselves for a couple of centuries so Heaven can restock. No if anything Satan will call and say that all the demons in hell are overworked punishing the "martys" please stop sending them.
But if you want me to be pissed off at unreasonable things I can do that as well:

  • Catholics - for having a religion where the only way for a priest to have sex is to commit a crime against God. I've yet to see in the bible where it says the holy priest cannot get married. Love is a cornerstone of religion and to deny marriage in an attempt to purify ones relation with God is in effect crumbling the foundation on which the religion stands.
  • Catholics - I am also pissed at any religion that makes the only way to get a divorce is through an annulment (a statement that basically states that the marriage never occurred). These should only be given out early on or under extreme circumstances (ie one partner has been cheating, a poligimist, a terrorist, etc) they should never be handed out if there are children involved.
  • Any religion that gives one group more rights than others - God did not give anyone special privilege at birth. He only gave privilege to the ones that earned it through hard work and belief in their faith. Anyone believing that any one person or group should be elevated because of religion, race, sex, etc will have a surprise waiting on them when they have their one-on-one with God.
  • Any country that has a philosophy and legal system based on liberty, innocent until proven guilty, individual rights yet sees no problem with torturing people who have not been tried or convicted of any crime. When hypocrisy becomes a cornerstone of a society its days are numbered.
All this rant over a cell phone .

No molding today

Well I got up today and Chris was in a cleaning mood today. I can't say that I blame her - we had been so wrapped up in working on the house we have not been picking up after the kids lately (toys, toys everywhere).
We did get our haircuts today - no pics of that but I will try and get some posted soon. I did post some additional photos of Nate pulling Lexi in the wagon today and Nate and Lexi on the rocking horse that Papa Dick made them.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Lexi and Nate playing together, Dublin Dr. Pepper

Fortunatly the weather was nice this morning and I was able to take Nate and Lexi out to play (I posted some pics in the photogallery). I got a couple of pictures of Nate pulling Lexi in the wagon.

Nate was pulling Lexi around in the back patio area so I put them both in the wagon and walked them down the block (no pictures of that). When we got back Nate pulled Lexi around the back yard for a while.

I got the molding back into Nate's room and hopefully we will put that up tomorrow. I spread out a plastic drop cloth over the grass and put the molding on it and spray painted it before I brought it back in. You could tell there was moisture in the ground by the condensation on the bottom of the plastic.

I took Nate shopping with me today (we take a "side trip" to McDonalds so he can play with the other kids). When we were at the WalMart in Irving we say Dublin Dr. Pepper there! While the cost is roughly the same as anywhere it is good to see it carried by a large distributor. Hopefully more Wal Marts are carrying it.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Painted Nate's room

Chris' Mom came over Friday night and Saturday and Sunday we spent painting Nate's room. Saturday we got the room primed and the first coat of paint on and Sunday we put the second coat of paint on and touched up the rough spots.

Next (probably next weekend) we will paint the molding and put it back up. Then we will clean up the furniture in Nates room and put it back and we should be done!!!

Saturday morning I took the kids out to play. Lexi can now climb the ladder to the slide and go down all by herself! I posted some of the pics on our photogallery. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Always paint a second coat, Lexi digs in the wrong pile of dirt

Well I spent the fourth of July weekend working on Nate's room. Between house work (grocery shopping, laundry, taking care of kids) and emergency shopping (Lexi tore the nosepiece off of Chris' glasses, needed to get the more patches for the drywall) I was able to get Nate's ceiling primed and painted as well as got the lights installed.

To save time I ignored the second rule of painting (always use a second coat). Looking back I can see a couple of areas that desperately needs touch up - we will do that when we paint the walls.

When we installed the lights I got up on a ladder with a voltmeter and Chris flipped breakers until the meter showed zero. You would think that would be foolproof but after I installed the first light I got down and (out of curiousity) flipped the light switch and two things happened:

1. a pop and a big spark (that was because one of the wires had worked loose from the cap - I had to strip it a little more and wrapped it up REAL good).
2. the light came on.

Both of these were totally unexpected seeing that the voltmeter read zero!

So with the lights on Chris flipped more breakers until the lights went out and then I was able to work on the lights without that many more incidents.

I say that many more because the wiring boxes in the ceiling was only held in with one nail on one small piece of wood. So when I pushed the wires up into the box the whole box went up. I ended up going into the ceiling and putting a full paint can on each box so I could work on the box.

After all that the lights worked like a charm.

I took the kids out twice this weekend to play. Both times we were out about ten to twenty minutes. The first time it started to rain and by the time I got the kids in and cleaned off it had stopped and was all sunny. The second time I took them out I was sitting down and heard Lexi starting to cry. I got up and ran to her and she had found the only ant bed in our yard and was digging in it. I got her stripped pretty quick but she still got over a dozen bites (I got six or seven cleaning her off). Poor little girl didn't know what was happening.

I got some pics of the first time we were out and posted them in our photo album. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Aftereffects, toddler bed, dresses, swimming

It's definitely been a busy week. The kids are still not over the effects of the father's day trip. Lexi was the real surprise. She did not seem to care about being away from Chris but as since we have been back she has been clinging to her all week. There are times when she is in a different room she will panic and start looking for her. Nate doesn't want to take car ride unless mommy is going too (Poor little man). On the funny side I took Lexi with me to Sams and WalMart today (because Nate did not want to go) and as soon as I started the driving Lexi excitedly looked around and yelled "Bobbeeee, Bobbeeee" When I asked if she was looking for uncle Bobby she said "Yes! Bobbeeeee!"

We moved Lexi up to a toddler bed this week. We gave the crib to a pregnancy center - unfortunatly they did not pick up but I was able to borrow my neighbors truck and take it over.

When we took the crib out of Lexi's room Chris also packed up alot of Lexi's old clothes. Chris tried a couple of Lexi's old dresses on her to make sure they were too small before we packed them away and Nate wanted to try some on too (Don't gasp - he's three and to him they are just clothes) but just in case I took a couple of pictures for future embarassment material.

Today we went over to our neighbors house for a swim in their pool - Nate and Lexi really enjoyed that. I did not take a camera over but I got some pics of them in their swimsuits before we left.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Father's Day - Always check your camera settings

Well I just got back from my parents celebrating Father's day. Fortunatly my brother came in from Arizona and I was able to give Chris the Mother's Day present she always wanted (A weekend without the kids). If he had not come down I probably would have stayed home or only taken one of the kids.

Lexi had never done well on a car trip before - usually on the 45 minute ride to Mesquite she will cry at least 20 minutes of it. But since we turned her car seat around to be forward facing (and Bobby entertaining them) we only got about 15 minutes of crying on a three hour car trip. Plus they slept most of the trip!!!!

I uploaded about forty of the two hundred or so pictures I took. I realized near the end of the trip my camera was on the wrong setting!! It probably happened when I was putting it in or taking it out of my pocket. So alot of the pictures are either too light or blurry. One thing this has taught me was to always check the settings on the dial of my camera before I use it.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The world through Nate's eyes

Today I was switching out the batteries in my old digital camera, a Fujifilm FinePix 40i, when Nate came in and wanted to take some pictures. Now if you have looked through our photo album on fotki and found some pictures of Nate with the camera you will notice that he has the camera backwards! I have tried to show him several times but he has always wanted to do it his way. Well this time I showed him how and before he could get upset I was able to turn on the display - that changed everything.

He ran around the house and took about 120 photos (mostly of the floor or out of focus). I uploaded 20 of them to our photo album. One of the things I did not realize was that the camera was out of power for so long that it defaulted to 4 megapixel pictures. I have taken it down to its next lowest setting so the pictures will hopefully be less blurred in the future.

One of my few complaints about my old Fujifilm camera is that it has a two megapixel CCD and can use interpolation to fake a four megapixel picture but it only has three picture size settings: 640x480, 1280x960, 2400x1800 or if you do the math its roughly 0.5, 1, and 4 megapixel - there is no two megapixel resolution!!!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Bye bye Jamie, ApTel and the rest of the week in review

Sadly, yet for very happy reasons, I have removed from my website. She shutdown her site since she is now Jamie Keough (I told you it was for happy reasons). Hopefully she will decide on a new website soon (she is considering blogging).

Well the word came out this week. Apple is officially planning on porting OSX to Intel X86 processors and will be using intel processors in its computers (projected date - 2007). Personally I say its about time! Apple on Intel (ApTel as I call it) will be more of a threat to Windows than Linux could ever be. Though I am sad to say I agree with John Dvorak that the move will hurt Linux more than Windows. I wished they would have decided to use AMD as the processor though but the reality is that even though AMD produces a better Intel processor than Intel they cannot produce enough CPUs to meet Apples needs.

Now one thing that might hopefully come out of this will be mac clones! Build your own PC and install your own copy of OSX on it!!! It would go a long way to bring Apple into the mainstream. But unfortunatly Apple has said that OSX will not run on other PCs - but I am still holding out hope.

As for the family we all got the crud pretty bad. It seems we are all taking turns passing it to one another. Chris called me this morning and told me that Nate came up to her and said he had a tummy ache and asked if she could take the tummy ache out. Poor little man :( They are too young to realise whats wrong.


Yes, once again you go to bed and when you wake up


You are one year older. Hopefully Mom did not call you again at four in the morning to remind you of what she was doing at that time in 1967 .

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Kitchen almost finished

Well they finished up the kitchen yesterday - all they need to do is reconnect the lights. Hopefully today they will be finished with everything.

After they were done with the kitchen my wife, Chris, noticed that the wall paper was peeling where the wall and ceiling met. We tugged on one of the pieces and the whole sheet peeled right off. After that there was no stopping Chris. I knew she never liked the wallpaper but apparently she outright hated it! She spent the next hour and a half peeling paper and giggling like a child. By the time it was all said and done the only pieces left was behind the refrigerator and in gaps too narrow to easily get to. I'm hoping we can finish Nate's room before we start the Kitchen but I have a feeling with the exposed drywall we are going to have to do something quick in there.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day - Drywall started.

I was a little surprised today when Eagle Drywall showed up to work on our kitchen and Nate's bedroom ceiling. They did say they would show up on Monday but I had thought they had forgot it was Memorial day.

It only took them a half day to tape up both rooms, scrape the ceilings and put one coat on. Hopefully tomorrow they will finish up and then we can start painting Nate's room.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The summer heat has finally arrived

This week I learned that the saying "When it rains it pours" applies to heat as well. In less than a couple of days the temperature jumped from 85 to 99! It was definitly a challenge to mow the lawn Saturday. Hopefully it won't get much hotter this summer but I'm not holding my breath.

I had to replace our mailbox this morning. Earlier this week I think someone parked too close to it and hit it with their vehicle and dented the mailbox. I don't think it was vandalism because if someone used a bat they would have completely taken off the mailbox (this was just a two inch dent). Next time I get another mailbox I will probably get a lighter color. Combined with the heat the mailbox became blisteringly hot before I could get it completely screwed on!

Hopefully we will get the powered vents on top of the house hooked up this week and that will help cool the house some. Every little bit helps.

Nate and I got haircuts this morning. I will try and get the before and after pics of Nate posted later this week.

One thing I learned is that Primer definitly helps paint stick! I was trying to peel off the latex paint off the aluminum paint shield I used when spraying the house and on the back side it peeled right off but on the front side where there was some primer on it I could not peel it off that easily. I will probably end up scraping it off with a razor blade.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Painting the house - Part 3

Well I got a coat of paint over everything that needed paint, and a few things that didn't. Jim (my neighbor - professional painter) loaned me his power painter and I was able to knock out the rest of the painting in no time!

Hopefully the gutters will be installed today and then we can focus on the next task - getting Nate's room done.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Painting the house - Part 2

Well I borrowed a power sprayer from my neighbor (see poor plumber post) and got out my old paint sprayer out and cleaned up and painted the garage and workshop. I still need to put in one more coat and then paint under the areas that the gutters are going back in but I should be able to finish that up this weekend if it does not rain.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The poor plumber

There is an old saying that an poor plumber blames his tools. Well today I learned a corollary of that - With the right tools even a poor plumber can do a good job.

Today I was painting the trim on the house (where the gutters are going to be - read prior postings) and I took Friday off - which was good because it took me the whole day to chip the loose old paint off. This morning I used a big roller brush to apply the primer and it did a horrid job. So for the real paint I decided to use a rush. About two hours later I was not even halfway done when my neighbor Jim drives up. Jim paints houses on the side when he has some free time and wants to generate some extra cash) and he brings over a small diameter roller (about a half inch compared to the to inch diameter roller I was using earlier and mannnn I got the rest of the house done in a half hour flat.

I promised Jim next time I will knock on is door before I start any more painting projects.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Roof, favorite pictures, an arguement for the dark side

The insurance adjustors were over Wednesday and they totalled the roof - which is good because now we only have to pay for the deductable and upgrades. That is very good because it was going to cost way more to replace our roof than I imagined (we are talking somewhere around the $13k range).

For upgrades we are getting powered ridge vents to replace the three turbines. The roof contractor did the math and said for the size roof we had we would need seven turbines! I wished we could have gotten non powered vents but we don't have enough ridgeline over the main portion of the house. Also while they are working on the roof we are getting the gutters replaced - the front is barely holding on and we are extending the ones in the back.

As far as our website goes I have just went through the pics from 2005 and 2004 and put my favorites in the photogallery. When I get a chance I will go through the prior years and perhaps cull down the pictures some.

Today I had my one-on-one with my new manager. He's new because its the first time I am a direct report to him. I have worked with him for about four years, half of that time he was a developer. Its sad to me when developers (good ones anyway) go into management, its a waste of a good programmer, even if they become good or better managers its still sad to me. I all but said that to him during the one-on-one and his theory was that as management he has a better chance of getting his voice heard higher up in the chain of command - any of you who have told your boss something needed to be done a certain way and they go off to a meeting with other managers and come back and decide to do it completely different can relate. Plus you get to run things your way (from loose to micromanagement - as long as you don't raise the ire of HR they give you a free hand). I had to admit that the arguements made logical sense though for now I will stick with programming and let the managers have their headaches.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Back from Germany

I got back from Germany Friday. I have updated the photogallery with the pictures I took. Its very interesting to be in a city whose buildings are older than the US. While I have never been to New York it is also nice to be in a town with a massive public transportation (they even had bicycle lanes in the road).

I do wish that our education system was close to the German education system. Most of the people over there spoke English (better than most Americans). I had to laugh a couple of times when, in meetings, they would apologize because the only English they learned was from High School but then kept on talking in flawless English. I had a semester of Spanish when I was in school and forgot most of it before the next semester started.

I won't be mad about the price of gasoline again. The cost over in Germany was 1.08 Euro's per Liter for cheap unleaded gasoline. That works out to about 5.82 dollars per gallon. And with the Kyoto treaty they are saying the price could go higher.

An interesting thing about the Kyoto treaty is that for each trip you have to pay the cost of cleaning up the environment. While I am wholly for that the problem with the treaty is that it applies differently to different countries. So developing countries don't have to pay anything while US and Europe would have to pay out the nose. If the US signed the treaty you would see even more jobs leaving the US to countries that don't have to pay anything to clean up the environment. So while I wish we had something like the Kyoto treaty I am glad we didn't sign it until its fair and equal across the board.

I'm just getting over the jet lag. Fortunatly it was a short trip.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Haircuts today

Well I am mostly packed for my trip to Germany. Today Chris gave me and Nate haircuts and I posted some of the pictures in the photogallery.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Getting ready to go to Germany

This week was a busy one! Around about Wednesday a couple of managers asked if my passport was up to date and when I asked why they said they were sending me with a team of people over to Germany for a couple of days!!

Being the first time out of the country for me I am still trying to make sure I have everything I need. I got a power converter yesterday and tomorrow I am going to try and go to a book store to get a German to English dictionary and phrasebook.

On the homefront we had a contractor out to look at the roof and there is definitly some hail damage up there. The problem is that the last hail storm to hit the area was two years ago, so the leak had to be very small to start with and gotten worse over time (sigh). Right now I am hoping its only a single leak. Hopefully the insurance adjustor will be out next week and we can get started on the roof work.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Disappointing weekend on the homefront

We didn't get finished stripping the texture on Nate's room. Because there was a layer of glossy paint on the texture we couldn't use water to strip it. So we had to use scrapers and sanders.

The big problem came when we started to strip the texture on the ceiling. It was then we discovered that one of the pieces of drywall was wet! I went up into the attic but did not find the source of the leak. But I will call the insurance company (Allstate) tomorrow and see what our next step will be.

So now we have held off getting the house insulated until we got the kitchen drywall fixed and now we gotta hold off on that until we get the roof fixed.


Friday, April 01, 2005

Today was a busy day!

This morning I took Nate to Thomas Day out. He had a blast! The only problem was it was so windy Nate got cold (but I got him some hot chocolate and held him until we got on the train so he did okay).

Afterwards I took him to McDonalds where he played with the kids on the slides. There was one two year old who followed Nate around (and called him Thomas because he was wearing his Thomas shirt). It was nice to see kids follow nate instead of Nate following the kids.

After that I brought Nate home to stay with Grandmoo (Chris and Lexi went to pick her up this morning). And Chris and I dropped my car off at Carmax for its 30000 mile check up - to keep it in warranty. Then we went to Home Depot to pick up the rest of the supplies we will be using tomorrow to scrape the walls in Nate's room and paint it in two weeks or so.


I just posted all the photos in the Fotki photogallery. Enjoy!

I will let y'all know how the clean up goes :)

Thursday, March 31, 2005

updating my website

Now that I have my laptop mostly set up my next project is to set up CVS. Once I have that done I will do my next project - overhaul the welcome page of my website.

What I plan to do is to get rid of the what's new section and just have a link to this blog. That way I can easily update the what's new from anywhere.

After that I need to find a place to host the picture section. 10 meg is becoming constricting and I want a better upload tool than yahoo briefcase.

On the homefront the task list is a little more interesting. Tomorrow I am taking Nate to ride Thomas the tank engine (the grapevine railroad is having a Thomas day). This weekend we will be stripping the walls of Nate's room so we can paint it later on in April.

We are also having the ceiling fixed in the kitchen. But don't worry - we are getting a professional to do that. After that we will be getting insulation blown in the attic.

Busy busy busy.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

First Blog

Hello out there! Welcome to the Conway Family Blog.

The main reason I am trying this is to have an easier way to update the whats new section of our webpage.

Lexi is officially mobile. She has been walking around alot today. Yesterday she would go about 10 feet or so before having to sit down. Today she can go more than twice that.