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, October 29, 2006


Let me tell ya, you just can't top starting laundry and giving your sick son a bath at three in the morning becuase he decided to wake up and vommit all over your bed.

Good morning!

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Friday, October 27, 2006

A Much Better Day

Well, today proved to be a turnaround. The tornado was able to go back to school. However, I went ahead and took the day off to recover. We had a massive set of storms come through last night and I didn't get to sleep until about 1am. We are still in the process of cleaning and reorganizing the house, so I did a few things in my room until the storm passed.
Today, we had some cleaning people come in. I used to be able to take a weekend every few months to give the house a good cleaning. Now, with the kids, it's getting harder to make that a priority. So, I broke down and let the wife bring a cleaning crew in. They did a fantastic job and I have to admit that it was well worth it.
In the meantime, while the wife was getting caught up on work, I continued to do some cleaning and organizing of my own. TO make sure we got the maximum cleaning of the carpets earlier in the week, the wife and I moved a lot of stuff out of the game room and into a spare bedroom. I worked on getting some of that back into it's places. I didn't manage to get that second video done yet, but I expect to get it done over the weekend.
To finish out the evening, we went to two different events with the kids. The tornado's school had their fall festival and I worked the Wheel of Fortune booth that his class was in charge of. It was a big hit with the kids. Momma took our kids around to the other booths and the playground. As usual, there was a good crowd. After that, we stopped off at "The Italian Buffet", which is parent code for CiCi's pizza. Altough, I think the princess has figured that out already. After dinner, it was off to the YMCA for their Halloween festival. There were plenty of games, moonwalks, horse rides, and a haunted house to make for a full evening.
The kids should have fallen asleep on the way home, but the boy is fighting sleep now with momma. Still, a vast improvement compared to the last few days. Good night.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

At home on a rainy day with a sick baby

Yep, I'm actually blogging during the daytime. Yesterday momma took the tornado to the doctor to learn that he has a virus and we've pretty much got to ride out the storm. I took today off so momma could get some work done and also becuase the boy kept us up for about three hours last night. He continues to run a fever when the double shot of ibuprofen and tylenol wears off.
I haven't been able to get much done as the boy has been a full time deal today and does not want to go down for a nap. The one thing I have gotten done is uploading a new video of the princess from her school recital on Monday. Let's see if this whole embedded Youtube video deal actually works.

Momma took a lunch break and she and the boy have made a food run while I rest for a bit. To cap it off, the weather is once again nasty, so it is just as well to be away from work. Work sucks, btw.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cleaning Up Again

Man, the time just keeps getting away from me in between posts. Work is still busy. I started my lasted job about six weeks behind and I expect to be in that state for the next six months at least. Plus, being officed in the Galleria area now flat out sucks. My drive time each way is more than double, mostly because Houston drivers are idiots.
On the home front, the wife and I have been focusing on getting the house in order. We've been working to clear out stuff from all over the place. Nothing is safe. Well, the kids are safe :-) My parents were here over the weekend to watch the grand kids, so we were able to get a lot done. I think we're really going to make it this time.
Today, the wife had a crew come in from Dirt Free Carpets to clean the carpets in our bedroom, the kids bedroom, the game room, and the stairs. After nearly ten years, the carpets were looking pretty bad. I've cleaned them before with rental units, but I've never been able to come anywhere near as clean as these guys. There are a few spots that still have stains, but compared to what they were, you'd have to know where they are to find them. The rest of the carpet looks like it is newly installed. Definitely a worthwhile payout.
We got an estimate for the A/C duct cleaning, as that has never been done in ten years either. The price is high and the estimator suggested we may be better off just replacing the ductwork. It has mold all through it. Not toxic, but it has probably contributed to the ear infections and colds we seem to constantly get around here. I'm not really surprised. I'm going to get quotes on replacing the ductwork and I expect we'll get this done in the next few weeks.
Jen made her bonus this quarter and she wanted it to go to these cleanup works. She's even beat me into letting a maid come in to do some heavy cleaning that I never seem to be able to find the time for these days. I guess I'm getting old.
The tornado came home sick from daycare today. Momma will take him to get checked out tomorrow. The princess continues to excel in school. Last night, she had a program at her school and I had just enough tape left in my camcorder to get it all. I'll get that posted later this week.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Where has the week gone?

Well, that should pretty well sum up how things have been. I've managed to let more than a week slip by without a new post. I did mean to post something. But, between work, soccer and karate for the princess, many activities for the Church, and a few hours of sleep here and there, the time has just flown. By the time I get to the evenings, I'm usually too tired to do much surfing at all, much less trying to compose a blog post.
That said, it has definitely been living. As for the kids, the princess has had soccer games and started sparing with other students in her karate class this week. I think she's really getting into it. Last night, her school had a fundraiser play night at a nearby gymnastics hall. We dropped her off from 7p to 10p and she seemed to have a really good time, though she was exhausted as it put her way past her bedtime. Tonight, her cousin is staying over with us.
It's funny now with the kids sleeping. When the princess was the tornado's age, getting her to sleep before 9p was an accomplisment. Now, both of them are usually konked out by 8:30p at the latest. We keep them both pretty busy so they are good and tired. The boy outgrew his crib quite a while ago (I actually took it down and packed it away in the attic, until another one comes along). So, he's bee sleeping in the bottom bunk of the bunk bed that we bought several years back. The big step is that the princess has started sleeping on her own in the top bunk. She had been through a phase of sleeping with the wife and it looks like we're finally moving beyond that. If we can get the boy to sleep reliably through the night, I might actually move down stairs to my own bedroom again. Although, the wife and I have slept in separate beds for so long due to the kids, that niether one of us sleeps well now if we are in the same bed. I guess we'll have to learn to get used to each other.
Work has been busy. I'm moving to a new project at our Galleria office. The location is the worst drive for me and four the last four years, I've avoided an assignment there. But, I'm moving over to lead one of the biggest jobs our group has ever handled and I'll probably be coordinating nearly 15 people between our Houston and India office when things hit top speed. I've just spent the last year working on the most challenging job I've ever worked, and now I'm going to do it again. The past year has been a technical challenge, pushing my to the limits of my knowledge and problem solving skills. This next one won't have the level of technical challenge, but it will be a massive effort in terms of managing the team. In truth, I won't get to do much of the technical work this time as I will be too busy watching over the work of the others. The project is located in California, about 26 miles from the San Andreas fault, so making sure the plant won't fall apart during an earthquake will be a challenge for everyone.
As for Church, I've spent the last few Sunday's recomissioning to be a Lector and Eucharistic Minister again. My CCE class on Sunday mornings has been going well - I have a great group of kids and I'm really enjoying working with them. Our Parish has a lot of good support and training to help me and I've been attending the various classes that are offered. I expect that I will work my way to be fully certified as a catechist. With two kids now who will be needing the classes and probably more down the road, I expect I will be involved with this ministry for many years to come. Finally, today we held a discernment to select new members who will sever with me next year on our Parish Pastoral Council. We had the best turnout I've seen with 13 people showing up for five positions. Any of them would have been a good fit and it was a tough choice. We are going to need 7 more next year when my group's three year term comes to a close, so we strongly encouraged those who were not selected this time to return next year.
I'm sure I'm missing some things, but that gives a pretty good flavor for what I've been up to since my last check in.


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Friday, October 06, 2006

A Podcaster Lost

I'm not quite sure why this one has struck me as much as it has. But, it has so I must deal with it. As I've blogged before, I am a podcast junkie. I've learned from various sources that one of my favorite podcasters, Bill Douthett, passed away suddenly yesterday. Better known as "Digital Bill", he was a pioneer in podcasting. He hosted one of the first podcasts I ever subscribed to and continued to enjoy, "The Wizards of Technology."
I didn't know him personally, but his style, wit, and all around class in producing his shows made his work especially enjoyable. He was a fellow geek who enjoyed sharing a love of technology in an accessible way with his listeners, but who also expressed a healthy skepticism of the major tech companies in play today.
I am still just stunned and in shock by this news. And I can see from other posts around the web that I'm not alone. It is just a reminder to me that our time in this life is short and we get to share it with other people for far too short a time. It is important to appreciate the time we have and make that time we have with other people count.
Bill, rest in peace and know that you touched many lives in your time. You will be missed.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fighting with HP

Remember that sweet laptop I bought for the wife last year? Well, last week, it crapped out. All data beyond recovery. Which, for my wife, was mostly her Itunes collection. But, thanks to CopyPod, I'll be able to recover that pretty easily.
Now, finally, the laptop is back up and running again, but it has been a major pain dealing with HP this past week. To start with, their call centers in India are sadly understaffed. We had to call them four times and it took us anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes on hold before we ever got to talk to anyone. And then, despite the fact that I bought this machine directly from HP and it's registered with them, we had to start over every time we talked with them - when did we buy the machine? What is the problem? Did you try xxx? How about yyy? Even though we had a case number from the first time we talked to them and referenced it each time, it did no good. I'm just about convinced that the case number is just some random string of digits that they feed you to make you think they know what they're doing. Every time we talked to someone new, they had no information on what we had already been through and seemed to know nothing about our particular machine.
After the first call, they decided the hard drive had gone bad (seems to be a lot of bad hard drives going around lately). So, they sent me a replacement. For starters, the replacement drive was a much slower model than what I had bought for the machine. I specifically upgraded the drive when I ordered the computer. But, I figured I ought to stick it in to at least see if that would work. Well, the Windows XP CD that came with the computer gave me an error message about a corrupt file. Great. So, does that mean the DVD drive or something else was bad? I pulled out my old copy of Windows 2000 and was able to install that to the drive with no trouble. So, I concluded that the XP CD itself was defective. I called them back, waiting for over an hour, to request a replacement CD and the correct hard drive, which took about an hour of struggle. But finally it was done and the new CD and drive arrived today. Thankfully, I had no trouble installing the drive or XP with the new stuff. The one saving grace is that there was still one month left on the warranty, so it cost me no cash, just a lot of time and frustration.
Still, I would have been even more monumentally pissed if the drive had crashed, say a year from now. I would have been able to buy a new drive pretty cheaply, but the defective XP CD would have been a show stopper.
After this ordeal, the wife has declared that we will not consider HP for computers in the future, and I can't argue with that. We will definitely spend a couple of extra bucks to find a supplier that is going to offer more capable service. Those who know me know that I'm a pretty tech savy guy. I don't require hand holding when it comes to dealing with software and hardware. But, when something breaks, I expect the manufacturer to be there to fix it. I had to fight too damn hard and spent too damn much time on this for me to put up with this from HP again.

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