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.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Trip to Washington

2007 06 27 006a, originally uploaded by ultimate_ed.

For my current project at work, our client invited several of the project team, including myself, to tour a unit similar to the one we are designing and meet with the people at that plant. The visit was very productive and useful.
We flew into the Seattle airport on Wednesday afternoon. As we came below the clouds on approach to the city, Mount Rainier came into view on the left side. Fortunately, I had a window seat on the left side of the plane. I got this pretty decent shot of the mountain through the window, so here it is to share.
This is the kind of stuff I had in mind when I created this blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

safe on the ground

I have just arrived safely on the ground in Seattle. Now i get to ride one and a half hours to the hotel. Good night.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Nest is a bit emptier

As part of the whirl wind adventure that is the Summer, the princess left today with my Mom and Aunt to spend the next two weeks in San Antonio. My parents have a lot of stuff planned to keep her busy.
While the boy is doing his part, he can't make quite as much noise by himself as he and his sister do together. So, the house is a little quieter today. We definitely notice her absence. It will be good for her to get away for this time, but we'll be glad to have her back home when she comes.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Random Update

Well, it's been a few days, so I figured I'd better put an update so that Shell still knows I'm alive :)

Yesterday was probably the high point of the week. For the past few weeks I've been somewhat nervous about a big meeting. My company is involved in a major project that is so big, several competitors of ours are all working together on it. Yesterday, I met with my counterparts at the other companies as well as engineers from our client regarding our part of the work.
Our company is a subcontractor in this case, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect meeting with guys from the top level partners. Overall, the meeting went pretty well. I had worked with and knew people from each of the companies and we got along well. It's probably one of the most productive meetings I ever attended.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Well, it's been an interesting couple of days. The princess went in for her first dental treatment a few days ago. One of her teeth ended up having to be pulled. It was just too decayed to be salvageable. Momma and I can't believe that it wasn't giving her some kind of pain. She did well at the dentist and I hear that the tooth fairy was pretty good to her, as well.
Then, the tornado has been going downhill this week and hit bottom on Saturday with some kind of nasty stomach bug. It's probably been going around at school as some of the other parents I've talked to have gone through similar troubles this past week. Yesterday, he wouldn't eat, and what little we could get down him would generally get thrown up anyway. He never had much of a fever, but he did have a lot of pain and wanted to be held most of the time. This morning, he looks like he is back to full strength.
And, it hasn't all been dark and gloom around here. Yesterday, the princess had her ballet recital. She did very well, though, as usual, with dress rehearsal (in full makeup) in the morning, it was a very long day. Thankfully, the recital itself started earlier and also ran quicker this time, so we weren't out so late. This is the princess third year with the class, so she, along with a few of her friends, earned their first trophy from the school this time. Now she'll get one every other year and it looks like she wants to continue. Momma and I aren't quite sure how we're going to make Soccer, Karate, and Ballet all work come the fall, but at least we have a few months break here this summer.
2007 06 16 024

So, to all my fellow fathers out there, here's a Happy Father's Day greeting for you. May you give as much, and get back in return from you kids as I do.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How I Sound

When people in other parts of the country hear my voice, they tell me I don't sound like I'm from Texas. I guess there must be some stereotypical sound that they expect. Anyway, it appears to be true:

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)


("Midland" is not necessarily the same thing as "Midwest") The default, lowest-common-denominator American accent that newscasters try to imitate. Since it's a neutral accent, just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from the Midland.

Personality Test Results

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The funny thing is, I've never even been to that part of the country.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Goodbye, Mr. Wizard

It is a sad day. Don Herbert, best known to my generation as "Mr. Wizard" has passed away. Back in the day, when Nickelodean was a children's network, Mr. Wizard's World was a show that taught us about science through all kinds of cool experiments, most of which seemed to involve common household items.
It's been years since I'd seen or thought about that show, though the memories of it flow back fondly. It looks like they are available on DVD and I think I'm going to have to track them down for my kids now.

Obituary for Don Herbert

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekend Update

Life has been busy the last few days. First, the bad news - The Princess went to the dentist for a checkup last week. She has, unfortunately, inherited her mother's teeth. She had TEN cavities that will need to be repaired, and two of those are likely to need crowns. It was a pretty stunning blow to get that news. Admittedly, we don't always do the best at brushing and I have been blessed with pretty durable teeth, myself. But, that has all changed effective immediately. The one bright spot is, though it's going to take a lot of work and money to get these teeth fixed, over the course of the next six years, they will all be replaced with permanent teeth. So, we get something of a do over and a chance to start now with building better habits. At least now we know that we're going to have to work extra hard to keep her teeth in shape.

The weekend went better. The princess had two birthday parties this weekend and Sunday was a full day with our parish Bazaar. As usual, I worked on the parking crew under the blazing sun and sweltering humidity. The crowd seemed smaller than last year, but we still packed in quite a few people. The rides were different this year and generally something of a disappointment from year's past. Still, the princess went on what I'd call an astronaut training ride. She remains quite the adventurer. I caught this bit of video on my camera:

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Back from Summer Camp

2007 06 06 004, originally uploaded by ultimate_ed.

I've had to keep silent as part of my audience didn't want to know about this adventure until it was over. The Princess made a big step this week. She went away to a three night summer camp with the YMCA. No Momma, Daddy, Grandparents. And no TV or computers, either.
She had a blast - riding horses, canoing, swimming, rock wall climbing. Every day was full. We decided to try out the three night camp this year to see how she did. She's ready to go back and next year we'll let her go to a full week long camp.

And, yes, She has had a major haircut. With all the activity she's going to have, she and I agreed that a shorter hairstyle would be good for her this summer. Everyone thinks it turned out quite well.
And, yes again, she does have a new watch. We bought it for her just before camp and she loves it. Waterproof and a good size digital display. She's been able to tell time for a good while, so it was a natural.

Monday, June 04, 2007

phone post: i am being

phone post: i am being very bad now. momma and i are pigging out on fresh rolls at double daves. they r soooo good.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Gamer at Heart

I have always been into video games. Going back to the late 70's with the original Atari 2600 (which was simply "The Atari" back then) I once spent three solid hours playing Yar's Revenge, flipping the scoreboard a good six times in the process.
With the 80's, we had both the original Nintendo and eventually the Super Nintendo consoles. The 80's also saw me spend many many hours in the arcades, most of which no longer exist. Guantlet, Q-bert, Time Pilot, Zaxxon, Sinistar, BattleZone and a host of others sucked up much of my allowance quarter by quarter.
As the 90's arrived, I found myself with a PC and it has been my platform of choice ever since. Games like Wing Commander, The Ultima series, the Might and Magic Series, Knights of the Old Republic and especially my beloved TIE Fighter. I spent many a free hour from high school on immersed in virtual worlds. I spent many a dollar upgrading my rig getting ready for a new game.
But, in the last few years, much of that has changed. Especially with the kids now, I have much less time to dispose of on such pursuits. Now, all this is fine - I wouldn't trade anything for the time and experiences that I get to have with my family. 25 years from now when all the kids are out on their own, I'll have plenty of time to start building killer rigs again.
But, I do still get to satisfy my urges on occasion. There's a group of guys that I work with of a similar age and gaming background to myself. During our lunch hours, we engage in a variety of multiplayer computer games across the network with each other. Our current favorite is a somewhat older game called Rise of Nations. Depending on how many of us are available on a given day, we may create a scenario of all human teams, or we may group all the human players against a force of computer controlled nations. Typically, we play through a scenario during a lunch hour, sometimes two.
But, this week was something different. Two of our regulars were unavailable, so the remaining four of us took on four computer controlled nations. This week, we spent three full lunch hours, over two hours of game time, to defeat the four opposing nations. After the first day, we were essentially at a stalemate, and I was particularly hampered as I seemed to be a favorite target. By the end of the second day, we got the pendulum to start swinging in our favor, though the outcome was by no means certain. Finally, on the third day, we broke through on two fronts and eventually managed to break the four opponents. I would definitely call that effort and its result a high point in my gaming experience. Here below is a screen shot of the end of the game with mine and a buddy's forces pounding away at an enemy city.

EDIT: Damn! As I go back through and add links to the game references, I can't believe how old some of those arcade games are. I'm talking 1980, 81, 82!!!! Man I'm getting old.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The fat lady is singing for President Bush - Wall Street Journal

I think Peggy Noonan has certainly written what many of us conservatives have been thinking for a while. W. didn't get himself down to 28% approval without gathering a bipartisan level of disdain and dissapointment.

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Pirates 3 The wife and

Pirates 3
The wife and I just got out of Pirates 3. It was OK but not as good as the first two. We are out for dinner. Posting from phone