Pictures – Finally!

Life over the past 6 to 7 months has been crazy.  I took 9 hours of school in the summer, then I took 9 hours in the fall.  It’s been super busy and super stressful for me.  Oh, and then there was my wacky trip to Europe, with a long post in the works about that.

For now, I just wanted to get some pictures posted.  I owe you, my dear readers, a couple more pictures posts after this one, and I again hope to start blogging more as – let’s face it – as I get older, I will start forgetting stuff.

Oh yeah, I took a break over the holidays for basically my first time in years.  I mean, a real break, some real time off as it was nearly two weeks.  I need the rest and relaxation, and it was cool to spend a bunch of time with the kids.  Over that two weeks, Willow almost started walking and improved her vocabulary/communication at an incredible rate.  Owen continues to prove amazing in so many respects.  Between the two of them, I am in a lot of trouble when they are teens.  Otherwise, I spent a bunch of time just piddling around the house, working on little projects, cooking, and that sort of thing.  Oh, and watching football.  Oh, how I’ve missed it!

But, without further ado, pictures!

09/2007 – Willow’s Birthday

09/2007 – Willowbear and O-train

10/2007 – Halloween

10/2007 – Gettin’ Medieval 

12/2007 – Silly Willow Tricks

12/2007 – A Day at Mayfield

12/2007 – Layin’ Round the House

What I’m listening to 6/22

Because I know you so care.  But, hey, it’s a post, right?

The Ends

Blitzen Trapper

Hold Steady

Definitely in the “tender little love songs” genre.  Or not.

Spoetzl

I know I still owe some pictorials. I’ll get those posted ASAP.

Unfortunately, something else is distracting me at the moment. Spoetzl has very suddenly taken a drastic turn for the worse. He’s almost completely unable to move, and he’s not eating at all. I’m not hopeful.

We’ll post an update here later.

Inka and Spoetzl

Post-op Update: Back in the saddle again

OK, back in the saddle if said saddle is really padded and it caresses my bum lightly and lovingly.

According to the doctor, the back surgery was a success.  In fact, it already feels like it.  For the first time in a very long time, I don’t have a grabbing sensation in my left leg with every step.  It’ll be a while before I feel the results of the fusion, but, overall, I feel pretty well.

The wacky parts.  Any male who gets a catheter should also receive a Medal of Freedom.  After all, we’ve earned it more than some prior recipients.  Finally, there must be a better way to remove one than play tug of war with it.  I didn’t really understand what was happening when the guy started counting “One, two, THREE!,” but three was a dead giveaway.

My two biggest problems are gas and the post anesthesia hits.  More so than the actual incisions, the gas pains have been, at times, extremely painful.  This has impacted my ability to get up and down.  It’s true that bowels don’t appreciate being juggled.  Who knew?

Finally, every once in a while I am overcome with fatigue…as just happened.  It’s loads of fun falling asleep on the toilet or while walking.  It’s the coolest way to impress your friends, kids!

As far tomorrow, my offer still stands.  If a couple of volunteers can help with the smoker, we can bring it on over there.  Wood has already been chopped, and it’s be a matter of putting the sausage on about 1 ½ hours before the party starts.  Get the charcoal going about 45 minutes before that, and it’s all good.  To me, it’s a matter of 20 minutes worth of work and having an entire smoker filled vs. grilling for a really, really long time.  From past experience, I know which one I think is easier.

Thanks to everybody for the wonderful support.  It is so much appreciated.

Geoff

All about Papa

Yeah, it’s been a while since I have done anything with the site. But, in another spastic moment, that’ll be changing soon.

On Thursday, I’m having back surgery, so I’ll be kinda laid out for a few days. In the meantime, I hope to post plenty of new photo collections we have. In January, we bought a new Canon Digital SLR, and it rocks the cat box. We have tons of pictures, and the quality of this camera is leaps and bounds above the last one (a six year old digital).

So, this is a heads up if anyone has even been visiting lately. I really do hope to do more with the site. And, here’s some “proof.”

What I’m listening to: Balkan Beat Box.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

With a nod and kick to the guh-roin of David Bowie, there’s yet another change in our life.  Unbelievably, I am no longer an auditor, thanks be to god, allah, or the deity of your choice.  After only four years in the profession, I realized that I am not a good fit (though I happen to be really good at it), though I learned much.

Mostly, it was the people.  MOST auditees (the people being audited), are mature, responsible, and honest.  However, at my last place of business (LPOB), I had to work with the counter-opposite, and it broke me.   The company is so…how do I put this…stuck in 1996 on the security side, and they are actually proud of it.  “But, but, we have a firewall, and we once caught somebody downloading stuff off Napster!”  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the extent of their security.  Once I realized that it was all about a powertrip for the CFO (how many idiots can I collect???), I knew it was time to hit the road again.

But after this warm and fuzzy experience, I decided to head back into IT.  You see, if anything my LPOB taught me, it’s that auditors suck.  No no, they can’t help AT ALL.  And whine enough to the clueless CFO, and you can do whatever the F you want.  Stuck in 1995?  Whine.  Lower the bar and whine.  Whine some more.  And there you have it.  As an auditor, it really is my word against somebody else’s, and without the necessary support (see Board), you brought a wet Sporting News to Iraq with which to fight.

So, Geoff, with all this happy reporting, is there actually a silver lining?  Why, yes, yes there is.  It took me all of six seconds to decide that my new company has a mature group of people.  Perhaps, me thinks, it’s because I am no longer an auditor.  It’s like, because that (or a synonym) is in my title, I must b a very spetial gye.  But this company is genuinely interested in what I have to offer, both from an IT and compliance angle.  A-mazing.  My commute had become worse than from ERCOT in Taylor (oh, and let me give a big-time plug to ERCOT, especially the security people.  Out-freaking-standing, and that ain’t sarcasm.), and now it’s about 10 minutes each way.  And it’s closer to Fry’s and a Chik-Fil-A.  HAHAAH!

So, there you have it.  I want to give a shout-out to all the wonderful auditors and auditees I have met over the years.  About 90% have been outstanding, including T, my last boss.  But, for now, I am done with it.  I can’t stand the needless hate any longer.

Latest Haps

We’ve been pretty busy lately, not posting on the blog for over a month now. And there was good reason…

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, Nov 28th, Monica and I had to vacate the house for a week. In case you don’t know, we have been remodeling the house. For that week, they were re-doing the hardwoods, which meant that we literally had to move everything on the hardwoods, which was every room except for the bathroom, kitchen, and the new utility and bathroom.

SO, everything in our house is in one of these rooms or in The Pod we rented (one of those big freaking things that sit in your driveway). The week we were kicked out of house was pretty crappy, for me at least. Ma and Owen stayed in way south Austin with my uncle. The first night, Monday night, I was able to sleep at the house, but it was pretty Spartan. The second night, I drove down to my uncle’s, but getting to work Wednesday morning took 90 minutes as it doubled my commute! At that point, I knew I was pretty doomed, so I roughed it the next few days. I slept in the bathroom twice, back porch twice, and at my uncle’s house Friday since I didn’t need to go to work. Owen had an absolute blast playing with Adam, so that was super cool. Yeah, living vicariously through my 3-year old.

Because the floor guys didn’t get their stuff done Saturday, doing it on Sunday, we weren’t allowed back in the house until Monday (December 5). On Monday, the carpenters were supposed to replace all the 1/4″ round molding that goes along the floor. All of it was ripped up to re-do the hardwoods. Of course, the carpenters didn’t show up, but we had to get everything out of the utility, bathroom, and kitchen by Wednesday night as the linoleum was going to be laid! Turned out that the carpenters didn’t finish most of the house until Tuesday night (Dec 13th), or 8 days later!!! So, for a solid week, most of our house was literally in the center of our living room bunched together so that the carpenters could put in the molding. Oh, and because the carpenters screwed up the flooring where the linoleum was being laid, the linoleum wasn’t laid until Monday.

Tuesday night (Dec. 13th), we have to caulk almost all the molding because the carpenters hadn’t done that yet because, YES!, the pod people were taking the pod back first thing Wednesday morning (or it was gonna be another $200). We caulk, paint, and unload the Pod Tuesday night, finishing it all up around 10:45 (thanks a ton to Dad, Roger and Shirley). I jump in the shower (because I stank like all hell), and lay down. I am tired, but excited, as it this whole ordeal was coming to a resolution.

Right at midnight, I hear what sounds like somebody pounding in the attic with a sledgehammer. A pipe burst burst up there! The new water heater sits right above the new area on the wall just off the living room expansion, and it’s spraying scalding hot water all over the attic and down into the living room on the stuff we had just moved in 2 hours earlier. I managed to get the water shut off within about 2 to 3 minutes of the pipe bursting, but there was damage.

OK, so the next day, ironically, the plumber is scheduled to be at the house first thing. He gets here, goes into the attic, says it’s freeze damage, takes the part and literally runs out the door. That bs wasn’t gonna fly, but he came back, eventually admitted it was shoddy worksmanship, and will cover the damages that were inflicted. Three walls were soaked, the ceiling was soaked in about a quarter of the house, all electrical pieces (sockets, lights, fans, etc) are ruined in the living and dining room, and the poor hardwoods, just a couple of weeks old, may be ruined (though they are settling back down nicely).

So, that’s what we have been up to the past three weeks. Into this “experience”, toss in two certification exams I have been studying for, and it’s been a really, really tough last month. If it wasn’t for Roger, I think I would have shaved my head and joined a nunnery. He has been incredible. Thought you might like to know about our wackiness. We’ll hopefully return, soon, to our blog-tastic ways.