Monday, January 21, 2008

Birthday Pictures

Just to thoroughly confuse the kids, we held a surprise birthday party for the twins on Sunday. Not only was this not their actual birthday, they didn't even know what a party involved. By far, the biggest hit of the day were the balloons that Courtney brought. Reece nearly, actually did, fall over with excitement. Lorelai was also quite thrilled.

We had all the grandparents here, as well as their Aunt Katy and Courtney of course. Here are some pictures of the occassion. Note that both Mommy and Daddy were quite busy (and taking videos) so there aren't many still shots, though other may have some they may wish to provide us with.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Well, I'm past the one week mark in my new job, and I am officially overwhelmed. There's a lot to take in, and everything seems so new to me. I can't believe how stale my professional skills have become over the past few years. I don't even know where to begin. It's incredible how much I have to pack into my brain every day, just to try to get up to speed, and I'm not even talking about what I need to know about the customer's systems that I need to design and build. If you thought I wasn't updating my blog enough over the past few months, you will probably be disappointed with the next couple of months. I'm going into lock down mode. 'Back to school' as we are calling it around here.

The people at my new job are all incredibly smart and the place just buzzes with energy. Everyone is a true beliver in what they are doing and that we can get the job done. There is very little of the cynicism or defeatism that infested my last job. Here, if you can't do the work, you won't be there long. It's really driving me to educate myself and get ahead of the curve.

The commute makes for a long day. I get up at 5:00AM to be at the train by 5:40 to get a good parking spot. The train leaves at 6:02, and arrives in Seattle at 6:50. From there it's up the stairs, across the street, around the corner and down the stairs to the bus tunnel. Hop on the closest bus, take it 3 stops. Off the bus, up 3 escalators, walk about 5 blocks (jay walk when you can or you'll be there forever), up four flights of stairs, and you're there. Normal time, about 7:05 AM.

I leave the office between 3:50 and 3:55 and reverse the route to get to the train which leaves at 4:20, and I arrive at home around 5:15PM. The total time in transit is about 3 hours a day, which is about double what it used to take me to get to my last job, but so far I've read 2 books and 2 magazines (1 technical book, 2 technical mags and one novel). I consider that time well spent.

I do really miss the hour and a half to two hours a day I was spending with the kids in the afternoon, and by Friday last week, I was ready for the weekend, which was again far too full for our liking. But I try to make the evening time and the time on the weekend quality time as much as possible. We did put a brighter nightlight in their room so I can see them before I leave in the morning, and I turned one of our leftover Christmas cards into a bookmark. It's not a substitute, but it helps.

Anyway, it's far more likely that my other blog ( will see more action in the coming weeks than this one will, as I document some of the techincal stuff I am learning. If you are really interested in design patterns, LIQ, SQL Server 2005, ASP.NET 3.5, Sharepoint, CSLA, EntityFrameworks, etc, please feel free to stop by and comment, or give me crap for not posting there either.

Otherwise, I'll try to post here when I can, and when I have the energy.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Getting Organized

Maybe its that I'm switching jobs and I feel the need to get some projects done at home before my life changes. Or maybe its the middle of winter and there's nothing on TV due to the writers strike. Maybe I'm going through a mid-life crisis. Or maybe I'm just procrastinating from getting started writing that story or novel. Whatever the cause, the result is I've been getting organized and checking some things off my to do list.

On Monday, I cleaned out the garage.

Yesterday, I took my entire collection of photo negatives in to a camera store to get digitized onto CD's

I finally arranged to get flood insurance for the house.

I've been researching Life Insurance

I've been working on my will (some day I'll get Lisa to do hers too)

And I've gone through an old book of photos of my early childhood years that my mom gave me a few years ago, and digitized them. You can see the results on our flickr site or by clicking here.

Next is the process of making DVDs of all the videos we taken of the kids over the past year. Actually, I was all caught up a few weeks ago and had the video ready to burn to DVD when my Windows Vista crapped out on me and corrupted my compiled movie. I lost all my work, about 16 hours. Anyway, Vista is a piece of crap operating system, and had I not just bought a new computer last summer, I would be buying a Mac right now, despite the fact that I develop Windows software for a living.