Jul 25 2013

Waiting for my gal from Texas

Dawn flew out to Texas for work this week. She comes back today. We spend most days together in the same office, 5 feet apart. We spend almost all of our free time together. And even after 2 years of this arrangement we don’t get tired of one another.

When she flies out of town for a few days for work on occasion one might think that I’d welcome the break. Not so much – I miss the hell out of her. I can’t sleep right. I hardly eat. I find myself distracted all day.

So I guess that I’m still just a love-struck guy…

This entry sighed after reading itself.

Jun 27 2013

This is not a blog post

It’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve written anything here. I find myself deleting attempted spam comments two or three times a month. The regular updates to WordPress (the blog software running this) happen automatically and I dutifully update the database each time. So as long as I’m doing the work to maintain this blog (and a few others for friends & family), I figure it’d be good to use it!

So much has happened over the last couple of years, I don’t know where to start! Dawn & I are doing better than ever. Rece & Kimmie both graduated out of high school this month. Come September, we’ll become empty-nesters when Kimmie goes off to Denver to pursue her dream of becoming a pastry chef. The two of us are looking forward to exploring that next stage of adulthood together.

A year ago I started my own company, I.T. Rogue, LLC. I’m happy to report that it’s growing, albeit slowly. It’s such a great feeling to work for yourself!

Well, let’s see if I can find the time & motivation to start blogging again. I enjoyed doing it before, so I should like doing it again, right?

This entry went off to find itself and finally made it back.

May 23 2011

Camping Commotion

It appears that we avoided another apocalypse! I was keeping a close eye on the park across the street as the predicted time of 6:00 pm came approached on May 21, 2011. My knowledge of bible scripture, albeit somewhat limited, was enough to know that children are considered “innocents” and would therefore be “raptured” along with all of the adult faithful. As I expected, the kids just continued laughing and playing and no sign of massive earthquakes being reported on the news.

For the record, I didn’t believe in any of Harold Camping’s predictions and laughed when I read his “math” computations for how he arrived at such a precise date and time for the rapture. I’ve never seen such a convoluted and confusing explanation to force somebody’s argument before. And to top it all off, to doubt the appointed time and not simply accept that this was going to happen was to cast doubt on your faith – so you just had to blindly believe or risk being “left behind.” What a joke.

What got me worried most about the doomsday prophesy was that at least one of my family members believed it was true. I was concerned that they would do something drastic, like some other cults have done, at the appointed time or after they realized it had passed and they weren’t included. Luckily I got an email a day later that at least let me know they were still alive.

Anyhow, I could ramble on and on about that scam, but I don’t want to take the time to type it. Ha!

In other news, my annual birthday camping (how’s that for a segue?!?) trip is not going to happen this year because Rece has to attend summer school. His lack of interest in school has come back to bite him and it ends up affecting not only me, but everybody else that was going to join us for the trip. What a bummer.

This entry likes the type of camping that involves tents.

May 16 2011

Moving right along

Wow, it’s a new everything!

Life has changed considerably for me since 2011 began. I was laid off in January and then moved in with Dawn a couple of months later.

A little over three months along and everybody seems to have adjusted to all the changes. Rece is in a new school, still struggling with staying on the right path, but otherwise doing well. I’m keeping an eye out for business opportunities – making the best of all the free time I have without the 9-to-5.

Short blog post for now. Maybe I’ll try posting more often again.

This entry was originally scribbled in crayon.

Apr 1 2009

Oh, that’s right, I’ve got a blog!

I’ve been kept busy enough with my 365 Day Photography project that I’ve let my blog languish out here in the cold expanse of cyberspace (does anybody really call it that anymore?!?) for far too long.

The photography project is moving along just fine and life has settled into a nice even rhythm, for the most part. After today’s visit to the doctor I’m feeling some added motivation for getting into better shape. My blood pressure is higher than it should be, but not dangerously so, and I’m about 20 pounds too heavy. I admit to having beome a bit lazy and not as active over the last year or so – and my eating habits probably aren’t the healthiest either (but oh, so tasty!). So that’s something that’s gotta take a higher priority for me than it has been lately.

Today I took a picture of Rece that I’m quite proud of:

028/365 - Shadows

It was fun to see an idea for a photo in my head and to actually make it work. This did take some effort, but I really like the result. I learned a lot while doing it, too!

Anyhow, that’s my update for now.

This entry almost forgot how a proper entry should behave!

Mar 4 2009

A blog full of GiR

Watch out! There’s a new blogger on the loose!

Rece has officially started his own blog today and I wanted to congratulate him on creating his first post!

It’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.

This entry wants its own blog, too!

Dec 26 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here are 2 pictures, taken on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, respectively. Hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas and that they were surrounded by those people that they love most, as I was.

December 24, 2008

Shirley was snug as a bug in a rug in her dog coat. Greyhounds have very thin skin, almost no body fat, and only a veneer of fur – so they get cold much quicker than most other dogs.

December 25, 2008

I tried taking pictures of a rubber ducky, but they didn’t turn out, so I decided to try catching a match as it was lit. This was the only shot out of 23 to be in focus and luckily it was also in mid-light. This turned out to be more complicated than anticipated, meaning that I’ll have to experiment with it again someday … preferably after my head has cleared from dizziness of inhaling sulphur fumes.

This entry wants it’s two front teeth.

Dec 6 2008

Last minute guitar

Time just wasn’t on my side today. So I ended up having to do another photo at home. I can’t say this is bad or good, but it was an attempt at something different.

December 5, 2008

My dad was in town so we went out for dinner to catch up on what’s going on with one another. The picture is of his guitar. He’s had the thing forever and it always reminds me of when he used to play and sing for us as kids. One of my favorites was one we called “Jungle Boy”. I’ve tried finding the lyrics to the song, but I never can. There was a part of the song where he’d do this jungle bird call type of sound that would make us all giggle and laugh. My dad’s love of music is something that seems to have stuck with me. It’s no wonder that his children have made it big a part of their lives, too.

This entry remembers furious strumming and a “brrdddddddd – KAH KAH KAH!”

Jul 28 2008

Christine’s travel blog

Christine wrote a blog about our cross-country trip. She wrote about a lot of stuff I had forgotten about, some interesting/funny things that happened, and posted some more pictures – I’m even in some of them! 🙂

It’s a multi-page deal, so click on the next page link at the bottom. You can view the pictures larger by clicking on them.

This entry ain’t no sissy boy.

Jul 23 2008

Road Trip 2008

We just recently returned from a journey across 8 states, over the course of 16 days, spanning 5999 miles. Christine, Sam, Rece and I (yeah, we really do need to come up with a traveling group name) drove from Costa Mesa, California to Asheville, North Carolina and back again.

More kicks on Route 66

We made plans to explore more of the Mother Road, picking up from where we left off last year on our Grand Canyon trip. So from the Petrified Forest National Park in New Mexico to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that’s just what we did.

As we learned all too well over a year earlier, the old road isn’t always easy to find. Not only that, but the damned thing had been rerouted so many times since it was started that there are multiple pieces along the same area — often miles apart. I found a set of Route 66 maps that did a pretty good job of helping us find it, for the most part.

To help put us more into the mood of the old highway, Christine did a great job of finding historic Route 66 accommodations and attractions to see along the way. Old hotels, cheesy roadside attractions, and classic diners helped give us a taste, if you’ll excuse the pun, of how it was to travel the road back then.

One significantly long section that had been bypassed was the loop up to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Taking that loop meant leaving another rerouted section of old 66 near the I-40 unexplored. I figured that I’d be more likely to be driving across the I-40 than around Santa Fe, so I could leave the smaller bits for another trip.

This journey left us with only one more stretch of Route 66 to explore at a later time. Maybe some time in the next couple of years we’ll get to finish it by driving up the Oklahoma City to Chicago portion.

City Slickers

Christine was very creative in her choices for places to stay along our journey. One of the highlights was a stay at the Flying W Guest Ranch, just outside Sayre, Oklahoma. After a relaxing night’s sleep we went went for a morning horseback ride.

The owner and his daughter were very friendly and made us feel right at home. Their ranch is quiet and beautiful. What a great place to go and get away from it all.

World record family

My mother is a wonderful artist and does a lot of traveling to shows and events, mostly around The South. She and her partner and will do all sorts of artistic things like portraits, caricatures, and face/body painting.

For the 4th of July they attempted to create a Guinness World Record by body painting 900 people and arranging them into an image of the American flag in Kingston, Tennessee. Unfortunately the support they seemed to get from the people of the town wasn’t what it appeared to be and they didn’t make it.

We met them there and camped out for a night. It was what you might expect from a small town patriotic celebration in the conservative South — complete with speed boat races (Earl won). Honestly, I wasn’t impressed and the people seemed very closed to strangers. I didn’t feel the least bit welcome, except by the people wanting money. So much for breaking a stereotype.

Fire and light in the dark

My family, at least the ones that had met up at the campgrounds for the body painting event, went back to my mom’s place to hold our own celebration of the 4th. We were in a fairly remote area with little light in the sky, which made the fireworks all the more brilliant. During the pyrotechnics, I tried to capture the fun with long exposure shots. They turned out pretty good. After we ran out of things to burn, my brother Danny and I experimented with the long exposure (bulb) setting on my camera and a flashlight. The results were quite interesting.

Flexibility of plans

Christine and I did a lot of planning for the trip. Well, actually Christine did the majority of planning, seeing how it’s one of her strengths. Despite all the planning, we still had plenty of spare time to make unplanned stops and to deal with the inevitable unforeseen delays. This allowed us to enjoy our trip and see all that we wanted to without feeling stressed for time.

All the flexible planning came in handy while we were in Tennessee and decided to drive to Asheville, North Carolina to see more of the family that couldn’t make it for camping. I had an absolutely wonderful time getting the chance to spend some time getting caught up with the family.

Eat here, get gas

Gas prices fluctuated a bit in price across the country, but even in the middle of nowhere the price of a gallon of gas was much lower than we were used to paying in California — and thankfully much lower than the $5.00/gallon that I had budgeted to pay by the end of the trip.

Food is always part of the fun on any trip, if you’re like Christine & I. We go out of our way to eat at locally/family owned food establishments instead of (inter)national chains. Most of the time we found ourselves enjoying a tasty meal with the comfort of knowing that the money we spent was going directly back into the local economy. It also meant that we were getting a taste of something new or a slightly different variety of an old favorite.

At least it’s a dry heat

The weather turned hot the week before we left for our trip. Even though the temperature was lower than it was back home for most of the trip, the humidity more than made up for the difference. I’m a huge wimp when it comes to the heat, even more when it’s muggy. 85° F with 95% humidity in Tennessee felt far worse than 101° F and dry in Arizona. It’s no wonder that things move at a slower place … who wants to move around much in that!?

Needless to say, I spent a good amount of time trying to stay cool on the trip. The rest of the gang didn’t complain nearly as much as I did about the heat and I’m glad they were able to tolerate my whining.

Science and history

You can’t help but see a bit of days gone by along Route 66. The boom and crash of small towns that once lined The Mother Road is rather astounding, but helps one understand how fickle business can be and how the economy can change over time. The history of the road wasn’t the only education we received, though.

We visited museums and national parks and stopped at historic placards along the way. Here’s a quick list of the places we stopped:

Zuni Pueblo/Reservation – We drove around a small Zuni Indian settlement (pueblo) and saw some Indians in tribal/ceremonial outfits walking about.

Devil’s Rope & Route 66 Museum – I was completely surprised by this one. A top-notch museum about barbed wire and how it changed the world. It also included a small pictorial display about the dust bowl that really moved me.

National Route 66 Museum – For a new museum, this wasn’t very good. In fact I felt oddly detached from the information they were trying to present. The short film about the evolution of America’s highway system was very good, however.

Hot Springs National Park – Not only the oldest of the national parks in the country, but the only one contained within a city. A great place to come if you enjoy hot springs and spas – and also learning a little bit about history.

Texas Snake Farm – An unusual place with an amazing diversity of animals.

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch – Drive through and get up close to the animals. If you’ve ever wanted to have a zebra poke its head in your car window to say hello, then this is the place to go.

The Alamo – You should have no trouble remembering this piece of history after you’ve spent some time exploring the site.

Carlsbad Caverns – Incredible! This is a must-see. Who would have thought that a cave could feel so spacious? Do yourself a favor when you visit and go on at least one of the guided tours (reservations needed).

NRAO Very Large Array – A deliciously geeky place to learn about radio astronomy and see some very cool (and large) radio antennas (don’t call them satellite dishes!).

Titan Missile Museum – Want to see an nuclear missile up close? This decommissioned Titan II missile silo has been converted into a museum. Take the tour and go down into the silo and learn more about these cold war weapons.

The end of the road

16 days in a car can really put people to the test. What’s good is that we all had a good time, even during the long and boring stretches of driving. You know you’re with good company when the trip is over and you’re still getting along just as well (or better) as you did before you left. This will be a trip we’ll all remember for a lifetime.

Be sure to check out the set of photos from our journey.

Christine also wrote about the trip on her travel blog.

This entry dislikes living in California even more, now.