One Man's Eyes

I'm an early 30's engineer with delusions of adequacy. From here, I'll share my perspective, usually through words, sometimes through pictures, of the view of the world from one man's eyes.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Spring Cleaning

There's one problem with owning a house (OK, OK, there's more than one, but I'm just writing about this one today!!) JUNK. Back when the wife and I were in college, we worked our way through by spending alternate semesters in Houston working for a company. Every six months, we moved from one apartment to another. That forced us to stay pretty lean with the crap we owned as it was a lot of work to move. Every move, we would look at stuff as we packed and ask "Do I really want this enough to move it again and again?"
Then, after graduating, we settled down and moved into a house. We got a bigger house than we needed with the plan to "grow" into it. I wanted this in part becuase my parents bought a house way back when with the intent to move after a few years. My parents are still in that house, which is fine for the two of them, but was tight for a family of four. I wanted to make sure that we had enough room that we could be comfortable, even if we never moved.
Well, it's been nine years and we're settled to the point that it's going to really take something to get me to ever move again. However, since we've had all this room, the amount of crap we've collected over the years and expanded to fill the space. I think this is covered by one of Newton's Laws, but I could just be confusing him with Murphy.
Anyway, closets, the kitchen, the dining room that we never eat in, all had become full of stuff over the years. Much of it we added ourselves, but a lot of it came courtesy of friends and family. Another Elephant collectable for my wife...some new A&M paraphenalia....assorted nickacks that are generally good for nothing but collecting dust.
Well, we've finally started making moves to reclaim the house. Over the last two weekends, we've thrown out a good 10 bags full of crap. Much of it old paper, instructions for broken telephones, homework from high school, clothing with holes in it. As they say in the commercials "Everything must GO!". We've been looking at everything with a critical eye. Most has been useless junk that gets tossed, some is stuff we just have no use for ourselves and gets donated or given away. I've put the relatives on notice that we will be accepting no more of this stuff for Christmas and Birthday presents. It had gotten to the point where we just can't have people over becuase the house is always a mess and we spent a lot of time just pushing the mess from room to room, closet to closet, trying to have a liveable space. We've still got a long way to go, but we've both bought into the mindset that we want to own our stuff, not have it own us. The picture in the post is our master closet after the purge. We spent over a day on this closet alone and can actually see the floor for the first time in years. I was able to lay down in there and play with my son rolling a ball back and forth to him. Last weekend, I'd have been putting both our lives in jeopardy to try such a thing.
It's tiring and it's tough, but it's coming together. I estimate it's going to take us a good six or seven more weekends like this to really get the house in order. My parents came to vist this weekend and we pretty much left the kids completely to them so we could focus on this. We'll be doing it again in a few weeks and whenever we get a chance.
If you haven't done it, I highly recommend that you, too, consider wading through all that crap you have collected and start asking yourself - "Do I really need to keep this?" I bet the answer for a lot of it is going to be NO! Posted by Picasa


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Computer - Internet = SUCKAGE!!!

I'll have to cach up with some extra posts this week. We've been without internet access since Thursday thanks to the neighbor's lawn crew cutting the cable line. Thankfully the Road Runner guy was able to fix the cable and get us back up today. We were warned that if a new line had to be run, it would have been another week to get that contractor out here.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Birthday, My Daughter

Here we are, two weeks to the day after my son has celebrated his first birthday. Now, it is big sister's turn and she's five today. I look back and I can't believe that she's this old already.
Let me tell you, time machines do exist and they are called children. Except, they don't work like you'd expect. They can only take you forward in time at much faster than the speed of time before children.
She's comes so far already and I know that she's going to go far beyond her mother and I. One of these days, she going to look at her mother and I and wonder how she gets her smarts when her parents are such stupid people :-)
She starts kidegarten in the fall, but she's already learned a lot and I expect she will stay ahead of the curve all her life.
After having to put up with whatever Mom and Dad say, she enjoyed having the day the call the shots herself. We went swimming and to the park and we went where she wanted to go for lunch. All in all, she had a pretty good birthday. I don't know if we'll get to have many more birthdays like this one where the day falls where I'm off of work and she's out of school, so I wanted to make sure we took full advantage of this day.
Happy birthday, princess. Posted by Picasa

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Monday, April 10, 2006

5 Year Old's Have Busy Lives

I'm finally getting a chance to write about the weekend. Let me tell you, my soon to be five year old daughter has a more active social life now that I ever had. Here's how our Saturday went. Start off with her first T-ball game in the morning. It was fun and relaxed. The league we've got her in at the YMCA doesn't keep score at her age group, everyone gets an at bat in the inning and the runners advance one base at a time, until the last batter on the team. We got through two innings in about 45 minutes and the girl did pretty well on both offense and defense.

So, game is finished - we run back by the house and get her changed as she has a birthday party for a school friend in 30 minutes. The wife and son stay home for this round. We make it to that party on time and have two hours of pizza, miniature golf, and arcade games.

Next, we pick up the boy and wife and race down to Alvin for a birthday party for her two day younger cousin. This time, it's at the new skating rink. Let me tell you, five year olds (and younger) on skates is not a great idea, but we still managed to have a good time. Although, I think my ankles are going to be sore for a good while. It's been a long, long time since I've been skating and I was never very good.

Finally, both the kids go off to spend the evening with their Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin so the wife and I can trek up to Conroe for a going away party for friends that she works with. The office that she works in is closing down in Houston at the end of April and she'll be working full time from home after that. The people for whom we had the party are moving up to the home office in Chicago. We also got to see several people that the wife worked with who had either left or been laid off as the office began shrinking. The economy is strong so everyone was doing well. As our host put it - sometimes you just need to let someone watch the kids and spend the evening just with adults. I love the kids and cherish the time I spend with them, but the wife and I really did have a good time just hanging out having dinner with these people and trading stories without having to worry about changing diapers and keeping kids entertained.

We pretty much spent Sunday recovering from Saturday.

Oh, and one other thing I've been meaning to point out - you'll notice a little rainbow colored square near the pictures in my entries. I've been using Picasa, the free photo manager from Google, to organize my picture collection. One cool thing about it is that I can select a picture and create a blog entry from right within Picasa as it and Blogger are both Google products. It's pretty cool and I highly recommend it. Posted by Picasa

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Texas Bluebonnets

It must certainly be recognized as a tradition amongst Texas natives - the annual pictures in the bluebonnet fields. The bluebonnet is the national, er, state flower of Texas and it comes forth along the highways of the state in the spring time. We traveled back to the ancestral homeland of San Antonio this past weekend to celebrate birthdays. On the way back, we took advantage of a nice patch along the way (actually it was right HERE to be exact - man I love GPS, but I digress) and pulled in a couple of pics of the kiddos surrounded by the blue flowers. All in all, it was a good weekend. Sometimes, you just need to get away from your everyday surroundings for a while.

 Posted by Picasa

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