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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Planes, Pains, and Automobiles

This week marks another sojurn for the wife back to her company's home office in Chicago. Which marks another opportunity for me to live as Single Dadtm. It started off well enough - Sunday we finished her packing and laid out the week's clothes for the kids. Monday morning comes and the wife takes the car out for Intercontinental and I take the van to get the kids to school. The deal has always been that, since a vehicle is just going to sit at the airport for a week, she takes the car and I get to use the van. We tried once for us to drop off the kids and then have me drop her off at the airport. But, that proved a major hassle, and she is able to just expense the parking and gas for the car anyway.

But this time decided to be a different adventure altogether. I'm coming up 288, about to exit onto 610 when the phone rings. The wife tells me the car is dead and she's somewhere near downtown off of 45. Great! So, I continue up 288 making my way to 45. I fight through traffic to the exit that she's stuck on. But, I can't get into the correct lane because it's jammed up with traffic....of cars trying to get around her.

Now, downtown Houston is pretty much an island surrounded by freeways and access to those freeways in the downtown area is very limited. I tried a couple of ways zigging and zagging around downtown to see if I could get back to the ramp. No luck. I eventually settled on the only way I was sure - I followed the loop of freeways all the way around downtown. Finally, I managed to get the van in behind the car. She had called for a tow truck and that arrived about 10 minutes after I got to her. We swapped all her luggage to the van, I gave the tow truck driver directions to my one and only trusted mechanic in Pearland, and we headed off to the airport, trying to make up for lost time and not miss her flight.

I got her to the airport about an hour ahead of her scheduled departure time. After I'm on my way to work, I get a text that the flight has been delayed an hour, so no worries about her missing it. The afternoon wears on and I get a call from the mechanic that the car made it and that one of the transmission lines busted and dumped all the fluid, so, no shifting, no power. This turns out to be good news. They replace the lines and tighten up all the connections and fittings. Refill the transmission and it shifts smoothly.

I get back home with the kids, drop the princess off at basketball practice, and the lady from the garage picks me up to get the car. It drives home as good as usual. It's been a long day, so I "celebrate" by going to dinner with the kids at CiCi's and very much enjoying the buffet.

The wife is going OK in Chicago, but the weather is getting worse. Snow started tonight and it's going to be in the negatives tomorrow. There's a good chance her flight home Friday will get delayed or even canceled. Tune in later to see if Momma makes it home!

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

A fun and busy weekend

My parents came to visit for the weekend. We started off on Friday night with my Dad and I taking the princess to the Daddy/Daughter dance up at our church. The picture is of the two of us dressed for the evening. We went last year and had a lot of fun and this time was the same. It took my Dad and myself taking turns to keep up with the princess' energy!
Saturday lead to me sleeping in until 10am, when the wife finally woke me up. I haven't slept terribly well this past week, so I finally got a chance to catch up. My mom and I took the princess to her team picture day for basketball. After that, it was game time and we all watched the princess play. In the last afternoon, the wife and I went for workouts at the Y and we closed the evening by going out to see "I am Legend" while my parents watched the kids.
Today started off with church in the morning, followed by my parents taking the kids for breakfast while the wife and I packed for her week long trip to Chicago. Yes, It's just going to be me and the kids for a whole week again.
I spent the afternoon wandering around at the car show. I sat in dozens of different vehicles as I will be casting a wide net to draw from when I replace my car. I've set a date for two years from now to make a new purchase. I'll write about some of my impressions from the car show during the week. The one thing I can say about it was that it was jam packed. I usually go on a Friday afternoon and the crowds are nowhere near what I faced today. I shall definitely remember to return to the Friday routine in future years.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Weight Loss Check In

I know, I was supposed to post yesterday. The day turned out to be rather full and I never got a chance to have the wife take a picture. But, I am here today with the report and picture. I'm down to 226.5 as of this morning, which is a couple of more pounds from where I was two Sundays ago. I've managed to do fairly well on both the eating and exercise fronts and I'm staying on target for the 7% drop at work. Of course, I need more like 20% to get to my real goal, but I'm taking it as it comes.
Last year, after the 10 week challenge, someone sponsored a maintenance challenge where we weighed in once a month. Most of us failed that challenge, but, it did give me the sad history of my slide back up. Looking at that, I'm back down to my pre-Thanksgiving weight. The Summer was my worst backslide, so hopefully in a few more weeks I can backtrack to where I was in the Spring.
Can't really see a change in the picture (other than my beard having filled in pretty well, I'll have to write that story sometime). But, I can feel a difference. Stay tuned.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Circuit City Offer????

Now, I get a number of emails from various vendors. I have one of my accounts that I direct all of this near spam to. Circuit City is one of my regular deliveries. This week, I get an offer of 10% off my entire purchase of $199 or more using a code given in the email. So, I think, "great, I was looking to buy a few games and Turbo Tax and all". But, here's what comes at the bottom of the email:

"The offer is good for 10% off your next combined purchase of $199 or more. Offer good for one use only and applies to total qualifying purchase on a single sales receipt dated between 1/17/08 and 1/19/08. Not valid on previous purchases. Offer excludes GPS navigation units, Bose, Polk, Infinity, Velodyne, Kicker, MTX Thunder, KEF, Denon, Polaroid, Olevia, Element, Vizio, Apple, Zune, Verizon Wireless, cable and DIRECTV services, notebooks, desktops, PC software, outlet, music, movie, game hardware, Rock Band and Guitar Hero 3 instrument bundles, City Price products, Clearance products, pre-paid cards and Circuit City gift card purchases. Delivery fees, shipping charges and sales tax not included in total purchase calculation. Not combinable with select Circuit City offers. Not redeemable for cash. Void where prohibited or restricted."

It seems like it would have just been a short list to tell me what this coupon IS good for. I'm trying to think of what else CC even sells that isn't on this list. Of course, "PC Software" is what I was interested in, so no luck for me with the coupon. Thanks for a whole lotta nothing there, CC.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

CTS Coupe Concept

NAIAS '08, originally uploaded by gm_blogs.

Saw this one coming across the web from various sources. GM showed of a concept version of a Cadillac CTS Coupe at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
I think I'm in love.

More pics can be found here: CTS Coupe Gallery


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pearland Winterfest

Yesterday was a pretty full day. Once again, our city's Parks Department held it's annual "Winterfest" at the big park in town. This year was generally better than recent ones. Pearland is growing very rapidly and it has been the case in years past that the city has not been able to put on an event big enough to hold everyone in town that shows up for it. This year, there was a good bit more to do and things were spread out around the park. So, even though there were a lot of people there, it didn't feel as crowded.
Both the kids had a great time, as you can see here. Both took to the snow field and the snow mountain slide. The princess and I road the Ferris Wheel and she also ascended to the top of a 40 foot tall rock wall that was brought in.
It's things like this that I enjoy about living in Pearland.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

The 2008 Running of the Fatboys

2008 has just shown up out of nowhere. And, as in years past, I find myself on the heavy end of the scale. This year, I tip the scales at my largest amount ever - 235 lbs according to the official Fatboy scale at the office.
So, once again, I am participating and organizing the Running of the Fatboys at my company. For the next ten weeks, 90 people in my office have signed up at $30 each challenged with dropping 7% of our weight in that time. The contest has grown from humble beginnings in 2001 when there were about 10 of us.
For several of us, such as myself, the challenge has helped act as something of a reset for slipping back the previous nine months. Every year, we say we won't need to come back and do the challenge again, but we keep ending up back in the challenge the following year.
This year, I have to do better. For, while the 10 week challenge has helped me cut down the previous years gains, I find myself starting the following year heavier than before - I keep bouncing higher than last time. So, this year, I'll be making this post every other Sunday. A picture of my current condition and my weight for that morning. As of today, this is what I look like and this morning's scale reading is 229.0 lbs. There's probably a three pound difference between home and work due to clothing, so I'm down probably three pounds so far.
I'm also not alone. One of my friends in Podcasting, Tony Mast, has a podcast dedicated to his own efforts to get his weight under control. He's a good bit bigger than I am, but as I've listened to his show, I find we are a lot alike, particularly when it comes to how we have packed on as much as we have. He's working to turn it around and so am I. Otherwise, I'm going to find myself one day shopping for a specialty scale.

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