Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wow, It Has Been A Month...

I can't believe that I haven't blogged in a month. At least I haven't blogged here in a month. Anyways, its been a crazy time in the last 30 plus days. We've really started well at a new church. We've started up with weddings again, albeit part time at best. We've even begun the final stages of rebuilding our finances after the condo issues from the past.

Overall, life feels good at the moment. I feel my relationship with Christ becoming stronger, if not from the pastoral leadership, then from my own searching through the Word. I feel that the financial burdens are being lived and we are benefitting from the lower stress levels as a family and most of all, everyone is recovering well from the many health issues this year.

So for now, I'm keeping this short since its late, but I will make an effort to write more often and soon!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The "C" Word

Yep, everyone thought this was going to be a foul language display like George Carlin or maybe Seinfeld. Sorry, it's not.  It's about a word we hear daily, yet a word we still don't understand. It's a word that brings tears from one, yet anger from another. It makes one person die and another live. The word is CANCER.

Cancer has hit my family too many times already. My mother has beat it off once, my other mother beat it off twice before this latest news that it didn't quite get beaten off completely. It simply isn't fair, it's not right and it really doesn't care what you think or do. Cancer sucks.

As I was standing there watching one of the strongest women I have ever met, sitting, getting her hair cut, I knew she was going to beat this again. I don't know why, but the sheer determination that she displayed made me think, I don't feel sadness - I feel determination. I felt her already saying, "Bring it!" Sure, there were tears, fears and other emotions, but the determined look was there. 

I know that this word brings with it the fear, tears and uncertainty. It should, but if there is anyone on the planet that will truly beat this off, time after time, it's Mom. She makes me think of the Times McGraw song and somehow it makes things ok. She is going to live like she was dying for a long, long time. She'll go skydiving, Rocky Mountain Climbing and more than likely spend more than 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.

She is going to beat this off with a riding crop and sheer determination. She is going to be around to walk sweet Evalyn to her first day of school. She will be around to see Evie ride in her first fair and even her high school graduation. She'll be there and I want her to know we will make her be there for it. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crazy Windy Sunday

Sometimes it takes a crazy day like today to make bus appreciate the simpler days. Today the weather changed every 5 minutes. The rain came and went. The sun did the same.

The weather today was much like my life has felt in the last few weeks, crazy and ever changing. I think the biggest change was in the last 48 hours. I came to the realization that nothing is ever perfect and that a church is not excluded from that thought.

It took a special event called the LIFE Conference for me to appreciate how much a church is driven by the vision of the people that attend, rather than the Pastor and Elders. Perhaps I can be one that joins that less than perfect church and helps it become a bit closer to perfect for some. If not, at least I can try to influence the leaders to preach the message of salvation, repentance and love... Instead of the giving, doing and love that I've heard in the past.

So, when the wind starts blowing hard enough to knock over your signs, remember to ask yourself if you need someone to hold your ladder when you fix those signs.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I used to love my Starbucks in the morning. The funny thing is, since we moved to Monroe, Starbucks really messes with my system. Plus, the Starbucks here doesn't seem to know how to fill a cup.

The case in point was last night's coffee adventure. A quick stop through the drive-thru and a peek at the cup when we got home. The order was simple - one venti non-fat cinnamon dolce latte with whip - and what I got was a venti that was only filled about 3/4 of the way.

I was irritated, but just didn't care enough to do anything with it. Ara obviously felt a bit stronger about it as she called the store and complained. The store offered to make a freebie for us the next time through, but I think I've just learned not to order from them anymore.

Congratulations Starbucks, your poor service at the SR522 and SR2 location has made me think that putting up with a bikini shack to get a full cup of coffee is better than getting poor service and a half cup from you. Thanks!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just Feeling Different

My search for a new job has me feeling completely strange today. I was riding in to work, seeing the back to school crowds, buses, hugs and kisses, and just felt strange about it all. I don't know why, or what made this day so different.

Perhaps it was the fact I had to schedule my own interview for Friday. Perhaps it's the feeling of going to work for someone that isn't as qualified as I am to do their job. Maybe it's even just those 'new job jitters' that I haven't had to deal with in 6 years.

I guess I'm half excited to see if this career change is something we can do. If it is, I'm sure looking forward to it. If the money just isn't there though, I'm just not sure I can take the risk.

By for now, I'll keep my distorted view of reality and keep on keepin on...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Job Interviews

Today I had my first serious job interview in 12 years. It was a strange experience to interview with people that were in all honesty, not as qualified as I was to do their job. Since it was a job in would truly love to have, I'm hoping it all went OK.

The job would be a sales position with Sprint in their Everett store. I feel that I want to be in the wireless industry, either in a sales or support role. This would definitely get me into that role and hopefully lead to more career opportunities later.

We will see how this plays out.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fighting Off The Angries...

Today is not a good day for me. I had a great opportunity last night to grab a major deal on something I wanted, but I hmmm'd and hawwww'd a few minutes too long instead of just doing it right off the bat. That led to an annoying morning of trying to find the deal again... To no avail...

Then we start the rest of the day and it got worse... One simple comment, one little line, has pushed me to the point of feeling angry. I don't get angry often, or safe to say, ever, but this really has me irritated beyond belief.

I really try to provide for my family first, putting off the things I want and 'need' to the last. Last night however, I was ready to do something for me. It was about the cost of dinner and a movie or a long drive with a nice lunch, but it wasn't ok... It would have been wrong...

I think I'll take a few days to get over this, maybe longer, I don't know. All I know is that little comment this morning has me worked up with nobody to say a word about it to.

Oh well, maybe next time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Love Tech Blogs, But...

This is ridiculous. The blogs are doing nothing but reporting off another story that another blog just ran. Yesterday, Precentral (great blog about the HP WebOS devices) ran a quick blurb about how TouchPad sales were soft. Today, the big three all ran the same article, but citing Precentral as the source.

This isn't journalism, it's borderline plagiarism. Sure, you tweak the article a bit, change the image, plop a new headline on it, but ultimately, it's still the same story and unofficial at that.

Get back out there and get back in the game. I'll call you out on this one now BGR, Engadget and PhoneArena. I used to love visiting, but when I read news that happened yesterday, it makes it hard to trust your sources.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A New Start...

Today has way more meaning than one little blog article. Today begins my new start. New diet, new outlook and most of all, new direction. For awhile now, I've been looking for a new gig, and I think I'm close to finding one. I'm not sure where to be exact, but it's a good start.

I'm currently trying the impossible, to find a job in a retail field selling and servicing products that I love. If that happens to fall in place, it would be amazing. The great part is that it's closer than I might think.

It will create some issues, like transportation, but we will figure all of that out in time. For now, let's all kick back and enjoy the ride.

As for the new diet, I'm inching closer to my pre-STP weight so soda is gone again. Also off the list this week will be sugary snacks. Last night was my last hurrah with my Recees Fastbreak bar... You will be missed old friend... My goal is to head back to 250 and then worry about the next drop.

Finally, it's time for a better outlook. Turning away from the crap and smiling. Getting back to the things I love and not worrying about the rest. Hopefully, the new plan comes together quickly and things fit in to place soon. I have a life that I am more than ready to live today...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Doogie Howser Syndrome?

Here I am again this morning thinking of what direction to take this. I don't know if I am trying to make this a story of how life "is" from my phone or if it's a history of my life as told by my phone - like Doogie's journal... It's a tough choice to make.

Today, I'm going to keep going on the "is" and see how well it works for me.

Yesterday I had my first phone interview in 6 years. The last was my phone interview with Wal-Mart. That one turned out well enough, but this one was different. It was a fantastic interview and they were ready to snag me up immediately. My problem... It wasn't the job I wanted.
I wanted to step into a store in a management roll. I wanted to have the security and benefits of a manager. Unfortunately, the only opening they had at the store I wanted was sales. No guarantees, just sales...

If it was 5 years ago, or we were still a dual income no kid family, it would be OK. Today, I have to stop for way too long and see what's the short term damage and what are the realistic benefits for the future.

I know I can easily be a top sales person. Especially a top salesman with a company and product that I believe in. The only issue that remains would be if our family could afford it...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Funny... True, but funny...

I heard the funniest thing yesterday... The true measure of a great parent is making sure your little one has it better than you do... Not necessarily better than you did, but do.

This really made a lot of sense to me. I mean, when we were younger and single, we had it pretty well. Just a few monthly bills, low rent apartments and nice cars. Once that baby comes along, priorities change quickly.

It's okay to wear something less than perfect to work. A t-shirt with a stain doesn't become a tag instantly. And let us not forget that we struggle to buy ourselves the little things but have no problem dropping a $20 on another stuffy for the kiddo.

Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing. It's just how funny we become when our kids get involved. We forget about ourselves completely and only worry if our kids have the right stuff, or enough stuff would probably be the better way to put it.

It really isn't about spoiling the little guys and gals, it's just about making sure they have it better than we do.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Year Older

I don't know why I have so much trouble writing on here everyday. This device is in the palm of my hand pretty often, so I don't have much of an excuse. I think the only reason I can come up with is the complete lack of anything useful to say. I don't know that today is any different but it's my birthday so humor me.

I am going to make an effort this year to blog about life a bit more. When you see first hand the craziness of the world - check out the BBC website or the image a friend took for everyone to see if you don't know what I'm talking about - you realize that we don't always know when our time will be up. I want to make sure that my story gets told, and there's no better way to do it than one story at a time.

Most of these won't have photos, great back stories or much relevance on life today, but 36 years is a long time and a lot of experiences to share. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I start something new. Maybe tomorrow I'll start something old? Nobody knows for sure, but I know tomorrow can be the best day of my life or it maybe it will just be another day.

There's only one way to find out. I guess in my own backwards logical way, I'm begging everyone to make the most of today. Make today count people. There is always a tomorrow, at least for most of us, but there is only one today.

So, for my Birthday wish, get out and start something today. It could be something big or something small. Get it started and keep working at it until you finish. No more thinking about it, no more using tomorrow as an excuse. Grab the passion from your heart, insert it in your brain and do it.

It's pretty simple... Now go do it...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Trying to Be Excited

It's strange right now. Nothing seems to be interesting to me, besides family of course. I don't mean like people wise, but stuff wise. I used to stalk the blogs for the latest gadgets, watch the stores for the next thing I needed to get or even just cut a photo or two out and stick it to the fridge as a reminder of what I wanted. Lately, nothing has held my interest.

Cycling did, and I guess still does to an extent, but not like before the STP. Sure I have a few wants, a nicer helmet, better winter wear, maybe even a commuter bike to ease the mileage on my good bike, but there is just no spark to get anything.

I look around and I just see a rut. It's not that I am not getting bored, I just have no desire to do anything different. I'm looking at job options for the future, to provide a better life for my family. I'm looking at ways we can trim even more off our budget just to save a few more here and there. I just don't know what toys I want or when I want to start collecting them again.

Maybe this will pass, maybe it won't. Perhaps my priorities have just changed. Maybe that Xbox isn't at the top of any list anymore. Maybe I don't want a new phone every 6 months..? I don't know, but for now I need to be content and just relax until I find what I want to do next...

Monday, July 25, 2011

What a Weird Weather Month

Today was one of the stranger weather days that I remember around here. It started off wet, then dried out, then got really wet, and finally dried again. It wasn't all that strange if it were, say, May or October, but it's the end of July.

This has been one very strange summer, if you want to call it that. The rest of the country is in the middle of a monstrous heat wave with temperatures reaching into the hundreds all over the south and easy. They might be taking summer a bit too far, but at least they are having one.

Venturing back to our neck of the woods and our terrible weather, we have to be grateful that we don't have the deadly heat, torrential rain fall, or other oddities that the south and east do now. So, for today I will be happy and content with what we are dealt and enjoy the rest of our summer with the wife and baby.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Night At The Races

Jake and Denera shot out an invite to the 100 lap Super 8 race on Saturday night. We felt like it was a great chance to take Evie to her first race. So we headed on over and made the 5 minute drive to the Speedway to see Livi's dad in action.

The evening was great with Christian and Livi hanging out with us for a while, Evie watching the cars, and a decent dinner from the consession stands...

After watching a few smaller races, the evening drew to a close with Jake's big race, the 100 lap Super 8's.

The race was pretty uneventful, with just a few caution flags and one ugly black flag incident. Jake stayed in the top 5 the entire night, finishing in 3rd.

The evening was a blast. We didn't even spend much money. The best part was being able to hang out with both my favorite girls, watched some really fun racing and got to see some friends do really well. Gotta give the 2 thumbs up to that one.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The STP Weekend...

So the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic is done. I can't believe that it was as hard as it seemed. 100 miles a day at just under 7 1/2 hours a day for two straight days... It was unbelievable. The fact that it's done, and I made it says a lot though. I wasn't entirely sure I was going to make it, but somehow, someway, I was able to. Perhaps it was luck... Perhaps it was fate... It really doesn't matter, because it is done now.

I didn't give up on it. I didn't have some injury or excuse to bail on it. I just decided to go for it and had a blast doing it. Sure, sitting on a seat like that for hours on end was a pain, but when do you get to see things like the Lewis and Clark Bridge from the other side of the river - from outside of a vehicle? 

When do you get to look down and see 209 miles at the end of your ride? It's not something I'm just proud of. It's a great achievement for me to have taken this 'pipedream' from December and turned it into a reality. 

I know I couldn't have done it without the support from the wife and a bit of time sacrificed being away from baby, but today, it all seems worth it. I'm a few days removed from finishing, the butt is feeling better, the arms are regaining a bit of flexibility and the legs are starting to have some spring again. 

The adventure was not just a two day ride from Seattle to Portland on a bike... 

The adventure was getting to spend almost 15 hours doing something that most people thought I couldn't do - and that's what made me get there.

Friday, July 1, 2011

More from work...

So, I find myself at work waiting for the UPS man, and I'm walking around the place I've been for a long time. My job has changed so much since starting out here 10 years ago. From production to marketing, I've done it all.

It's the times like these that make me wonder if I'll just be here forever, or if there is a brighter place for me elsewhere. The shop is dark, everyone's gone and it's time to think about the future. Where do I want to be? What do I want to do? They are all great questions, but I don't have any answers to them right now.

The jobs I think I'd like don't pay enough to support a family and the ones I'm qualified for require too many hours. It's a no win...

Maybe a great 3 day weekend with Ara and Evie will put everything back in perspective and give me some answers soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Weekend Away

The amazing thing about a camera phone is that it is always there. Sometimes your regular camera is packed away, stuck in a pocket or even just left behind. When you take a vacation, having the ability to capture a quick glance or a moment that will only last a second is too important to trust to anything less than a good camera.

This weekend we went to our friend Donielle's wedding. The three of us packed up, headed west and found ourselves heading to Port Angeles. It was a non-working, work weekend. We took our Sony equipment along to shoot some pictures at Rob and Donielle's wedding, but way too many times did my big camera stay in the bag.

We had fun building sand castles on the beach, running around the town, hitting the Olympic Game Farm and even just the relaxing drive up the peninsula. We passed through Port Gamble and saw a bit of their Civil War reinactment. We drove through Sequim and other crazy little places too.

The only rough part was the fact that Evie wasn't in her own room, which really confused her the first night. She kept trying to open the hotel door to get in her room. We eventually got her to calm down and fall asleep. Thank goodness for Netflix on my phone. Only 4 episodes of Word World and a few Care Bears movies and Evie continued here happy streak.

The trip was amazing. The hotel isn't all it used to be, and the service was a bit rough. The town though still has some much charm, but Ara and I both decided its not all that kid friendly. Maybe next time we will do a bit more research about kids fun in the area.

She definitely had a good time at the game farm, watching the yaks was fun for her. The business and elk were beautiful and she really loved the aquarium.

Well, we had way more fun this weekend than I can put into words on this blog, so I'll let a few of the images tell the story for me.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life at Work...

It's always fun to write about something mundane like work. There are things to complain about, things to be happy about and most of all, things to describe.

First off, I work at shur-loc Fabric System. We make products for the people that print shirts, banners and even radar controls for fighter jeta. I've been there for 10 years. I started off in production mastering panel assembly and order processing. A few years back, I was also put in charge of our online presence and advertising.

It wasn't until recently though that we brought on a person that seems to be sharp enough to replace me on the production floor and allow me to run the floor and work with more end users.

It really is a wonderful job, despite all the headaches that come with it. The benefits are far from awesome, but the biggest benefit is that. The flexible schedule allows me to spend more time with Evie and Ara than any other career choice that I could have made.

So to make a long story short, the image above is from the newest instructional video that we are making. Pretty soon it will be done and you can watch it on

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Netflix Makes A Triumphant Return

The Evo is back with all its netflixing magic today as the newest update in the Android Market is now offered for the Evo again. Call it luck, skill or just awesomeness, but you cm start rocking those episodes of South Park and Stargate SG1 on the go once again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sick Baby...

Just a day ago, you were bouncing around like the world was perfect. Last night, that world crashed and your ear infection returned. I hate sitting in the living room while you cough, hack and wheeze yourself to sleep.

Those precious hours where you actually get to rest are supposed to be relaxing for us, but when you are sick, they stress us out quite a bit. Hopefully this second round of your medicine will clear this up, just like the last time. If not, it will be one more trip into Dr. Baer's office before the trip to Portland, and more medicine for you.

Feel better soon Evie. We both don't like seeing you sick.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tablets Make Life Easy

You know, I love my HTC Evo 4G. I do have to admit to really loving the tablet idea though. To have a bit more real estate for text, keyboard and photos on screen sure would be great.

Unfortunately, the tablets are coming with prices that just don't work for a single income family with a toddler. Someday, maybe someone from HTC or Motorola or even Samsung might read this and see what a major marketing ideas providing a tablet to someone that captures life from it could be. Heck, I already share my love of the EVO here and at so how much more free advertising can I give them?

For now, I'll keep blogging from my wonderful Evo 4G and just hope that someone wants to send me a fun.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blue Skies, Wet Roads

Mornings like this are wonderful, but frustrating. The weather is fantastic, but the roads are still soaked from the overnight rains. It's hardly the end if the world, but it's going to be wonderful when everything dries out.

This is already shaping up to be a crazy busy weekend, so I'll see how the posting goes. We'll be in Duvall and Seattle for photo shoots on Saturday and a visiting a new church on Sunday.

Life is pretty good today!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Garage Sales

This was actually Ara's idea, but she still hasn't done it so I'm stealing it. Nobody reads this anyways so it's all good if she wants to do her own later. But now, back to the topic...

Garage sales. Big ones, little ones, in yards or on the sidewalk? Yes, Monroe has garage sales on sidewalks. I didn't believe it either, but Monroe is strange.

Usually communities have a twice a year sale, or maybe a different road has a sale on a rotating basis, but Monroe doesn't. Monroe has this amazing pattern of sales everywhere, all the time. During the rain, tarps go up and the sales continue.

The strangest one has to be what you see at the sales. Most of the time, the sales are a collection of crap that Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul wouldn't take away. It's garbage or broken down furniture that nobody wants. It's pretty funny to watch. I'm almost positive that this stuff is just taken from one yard to another and then another... The owner just hoping for one sucker to buy it.

The best sale of the summer, so far, had to be the kid in the image above. Either he cleaned out his room of broken stuff or he dumpster dove at the apartments to get this stuff, but mid day, on a sunny weekend, he was out front on the road having his own sale!

Gotta love Monroe and garage sale season!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Automatic Payments and Annoyances

I love our credit union. I really love them. Their website is amazing and the people are nothing but friendly. Unfortunately, for the second month in a row, we weren't able to cancel one of those auto bill payer transactions.

It's not that big of deal, but it really irritates me when something so simple becomes such a headache. So, tonight, once again, I have unscheduled my auto bill payer and we will set a reminder to check it ahead of time next month.

Thank goodness for the calendar function on the Evo, it will make tracking this much easier!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Long Ride

I didn't get a chance to write this over the weekend, but I had an amazing ride on Saturday. I made the longest distance I've ridden thus far, coming in just under 30 miles for the day.

It was beautiful and I even stopped along the way to enjoy it. Sure, there were times that the legs burned - like going up to Lord Hill Farms, and times that I had no clue where I was - the Machias Trailhead... But overall it was wonderful.

Now to land a trailer so Evie and I can go out and leave Mom at home to relax a bit.

Wet Weather, Cold Mornings...

This morning was a tough one to get moving for. The weather was back to cold and wet after the amazing day we had on Wednesday, and I've lost a bit of motivation for riding at the second.

I don't know what it was exactly, but it might have had something to do with being home early yesterday and having some extra time with Evie and Ara. I think I miss that hour or so that I miss when I ride.

So, with that said, I am altering my plan for training by saving longer rides for the weekends and increasing the pace of my afternoon rides. If I need 15 miles a day in the afternoon, then I need to average 15 MPH.

I'm going to ride harder for shorter times and hope it works. If not, there's still plenty of time... or at least 2 months until I have to go 100 miles a day... Wow... 2 months...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today was a good day...

What a fantastic day. Today started out with a trip to the shop to help Jan and Alan load up some plywood for the sheep shelters. We bolted from the shop and did a little garage saling in Snohomish. We then jetted to La Palmera for lunch before hitting Wal-Mart.

Fortunately, Evie decided to crash out on the way home so she was good to sleep a while longer. With her out like a light, I snuck out for a 17.5 mile ride around Monroe and made my 75 mile goal for the week.

I also received an invite from the Northwest Parkinson's Foundation to ride for their fundraising team for the STP. I'm accepting donations online at

Another fun thing from this week is that we discovered Army Wives on Netflix. The show is amazing. I highly recommend it.

That's about all I have for the week. Enjoy life!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A The Weather Departs

So, Saturday was amazingly beautiful. As you can tell from the picture, it was just perfect.

Today, was obviously a different place and time though. The weather turned nasty, cold, wet and a hundred other things that just remind us of how much we love the warmth of the sun.

Maybe later in the week these spring showers (or downpours for that matter) will bring us some May flowers... I'm not willing to bet on it, but I'll certainly take them if they decide to show up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Long Weekend Turn Short

So yesterday we went to Tulip Town for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. We love wandering around the fields and shooting photos. We spent a rather full day driving and wandering so by the time we got home we were all the bit tired.

On a bonus side after we got home I finally pulled my offical 20+ mile ride with plans to follow it up today with another. Unfortunately, the weather looks like it's going to flip to terrible before too much longer.

Hopefully it can hold out until this evening when I can make it back out. This morning we are headed to church and then to a family gathering at Torrey and Bruce's.

So, on that note, remember to think about the things you do today and remember by Who's grace we are here today. Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Smartphone Report

It's my alter ego. My crazy idea to try and make my love for phones profitable. I don't think it ever will be really profitable, but it sure is fun to write about phones and what you can do with them.

I don't know how long I'll keep it up, bit if more companies start sending demo products like HTC and their great Surround device, you can bet I'll keep writing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Time to Ride

Well, I say this with a bit of sarcasm, but the weather is actually starting to look a bit better around here. This morning I was met with wet cold conditions after an almost perfect ride home yesterday. This afternoon was even better. Unfortunately, I had a prior engagement that prevented me from enjoying it.

Tomorrow is supposed to be similar weather, so hopefully I can hit my 5 laps around Lake Tye and then head home. If not then Thursday is a whole new day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crazy Weekends

For a weekend with no real plans, this one was a busy one. We had a nice morning on Saturday, then we went out and about to a few quick errands and ended up with a trip out to see the baby lambs.

They were completely adorable and Evie really enjoyed meeting Poo Poo and Pee Poo. Those were the two she named before we headed out.

Today was even busier with the news that the Johnson's added their new son to the family today. We picked up Adam and headed to an Easter egg hunt at the Bollings. Evie had a great time and had more eggs than her poor little basket could hold.

I can't wait for Evie to really understand what makes Easter so special, but until she does, I will treasure days like this with her and Mama.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peaceful Mornings

I have to say that I am not loving the peaceful mornings like I once did. I usually have my alarm set for 6:30 and roll out of bed 10 or 15 minutes later. At the condo, this worked pretty well as I could go down stairs and not disturb Ara and Evie.

At the apartment, I feel like if I make a noise, everyone hears it. I make just one peep and Evie will squawk and Ara is awake. I feel nervous about shaving, moving my bike to the door, even making a cup of coffee on these earlier mornings.

Oh well, I guess that's the breaks and we deal with it. For now, I have to try and sneak out without waking everyone up.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bike Maintenance

So, after having a good bike for a while, you start to notice when things aren't quite right. This weekend I finally had a chance to do some needed maintenance work to a few components and it showed on my commute to work today.

The front deurailer needed some cleaning and some oil, which eliminated the sticky shifting it was experiencing. The tires got a bit of air, although without a pressure guage, it is a bit hard to tell if it was enough. The bike also got a great cleaning, which just makes it feel a bit newer again.

Now, if we can just get a few sunny days around here we can get some serious rides in soon!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

Today was a fun day. We celebrated Mom's Birthday today in Port Orchard with John and the kids. Chuck and Natalia came later with Alex, but we had to get going a bit early to keep Evie's normal schedule intact.

The day started out with a wonderful ferry ride over to Port Orchard with John and the kids, and of course, with the newest addition to the group, Cara.

We all enjoyed the ride across the sound and the gorgeous weather, which changed when we arrived. The clouds rolled in and the rain started, but didn't really get going through most of the day.

Once we were there and inside, the kids played, mostly on the Wii, but some with each Evie also. We had a barbecue with smoked sausages and hot dogs. The kids just couldn't wait for the donut cake though. It was a big hit.

The highlight of the day was definitely present time, when mom opened her photograph of the grandkids we had taken a few weeks back. It was amazingly perfect.

Overall, the day was about as good as it could possibly have been. So, happy birthday to you Mom! We love you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

STP Training: Day 30

So my first month of owning a road bike is almost done. I have to say it's been amazing. A few small goals have been missed, mostly due to weather, but many others have been met.

Sure, I missed the 18 mile McClinchey Mile ride in mid-March because of the transportation issues, but that day I did take down 17.2 miles before a flat did me in.

I may not be pacing 20 miles per hour around fown, but I did manage a 32 MPH sprint on the road. Plus, in the world of maintaining the bike, I've changed 2 tubes and a full tire now. Not too shabby for a rookie.

So now it's time for the weather to improve and the distances to get longer. Eventually it has to happen or Portland is just going to be a pipedream. So, here's to some sunny days and faster rides! I'll see you all in PDX on the flip side in my new shoes.

Tough Day For The STP Plans

So, some may know that the entire reason I started to think about riding in this year's Seattle to Portland bike ride was due to a friend asking me if I wanted to. We had it all worked out. We would ride down together, stay overnight at the halfway point, then venture on to Portland the second day where our families would meet us. Well kick that one to the curb. I'm on my own. He didn't get registered and the STP is sold out. Sure, there's a small chance that enough riders will bail and spots will open, but I just can't believe that I might have to go this without a riding partner. I guess it's time to learn how to fix everything on my bike on the roadside. It is a long, lonely ride to Centralia alone. It doesn't make me want to go any less, but I will need to ride harder to be ready as soon as the weather changes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another Snow Day?

Really? It's April and it's snowing. Just an fyi here, it should be nice now. Spring should bring the nicer weather. It should be a bit sunny, maybe a bit of a storm here or there, but mostly sunny.

People are tanning in Cancun on spring break right now. People are enjoying a lovely walk in England's 80 degree weather. Yet, here I am, freezing my keaster off.

Yes, it's totally time for this weather to change.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bye bye Facebook...

So, today I received an email from the powers at be at Facebook to make sure my business accounts were set up correctly or I would have my account suspended for violating their TOS.

Of course, I didn't want to be suspended so I logged on to fix the issue. Once I clicked the link, it logged me in and showed me 4 pages and no more profile. Facebook had deleted my profile!

I quickly rebuilt what I could under a new email account, but all my friends, photos and data are gone for good.

I decided after restoring about 1/10th of what I had up there that I don't think I am going to finish. I'll just boot instead of using Facebook so much. I was already tired of the games and annoying comments, so this should be a good thing. For all you Facebook friends that find me, follow me here and on Twitter.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Today I find myself very worn out. I don't think any one thing has done it, but I'm just flat tired. I'm worried about getting into shape for the STP, about life and about my wife and daughter. They are both sick and I know they need a break, but I think we all do.

I doubt much will change this week but hopefully soon things will smooth out and we can start to relax and bit and enjoy life again.

For now, I need to start kicking my butt, get back to eating well again and get ready to ride 200 miles in a few months.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sick Kids And New Jobs

I have to admit that today is the first time in 10 years that I feel like we found a great person for our shop. The new gluer should be a great addition and should hopefully get me more time in the office to sell products.

I'm not sure how I feel about losing another job at work, but I have to trust that this is a wonderful thing. So, more on that tomorrow, but for now, life looks amazing!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Daddy and Baby Day

Today was fun. It started out normal enough, with a trip to the mall and ended with a wonderful evening at home with the wife. It's nice to finally be settling in and able to enjoy some quiet time now.

Evie and I enjoyed an afternoon of running around while momma was at a baby shower for a friend. It was great to have an afternoon of running with Evie.

It's been too long and too stressful leading up to some down time. The truck is back, the car rental place is filing a claim and we are just happy its all done.

Now, it would be time to get back out to the farm next weekend to get those blackberries killed off before they get completely out of control.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sleeping Like A Baby

There was a time in life where we could all just close our eyes and relax. Unfortunately, life eventually starts to get in the way of that. Whether it's a financial problem, sicknesses, or just someone that irratates us, it makes it hard to forget the day and just close our eyes.

What we need to remember is that no matter how hard life gets, how badly people upset us, or how sick we feel, as long as we have another breath in our bodies, we can choose to make it a great day. We can even choose to make it perfect in its own little way.

It might be a simple cup of coffee as the sun comes up. It might be going outside for a short walk. It could be a look around the living room or back yard. It could even be a glance into the back seat to see something like the picture above.

Remember though, today is going to be a great day... If we decide to make it so...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another Day, Another Evo

So, today was the happy day that a non-light leaking, non-scratchy speaker EVO was ready for pickup. Fortunately, the line at the Sprint store was only 1/2 as long as the first 2 times I went in for help, so it only took about 25 minutes to make the switch.

Scary enough, I have a happy new version 3 hardware based EVO. Now that most of the apps are installed and my widgets are back in place, I'm ready to get rolling on the blogs again.

Now to go play some FruitNinja and relax for the evening.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Biking And Beautiful Weather

So it's March and I've really only missed one cycling goal on my list. Unfortunately, it was the first one. But we have transportation back and can now move forward to the STP!

Last weekend I did my first "distance" ride and clocked in at 17.2 miles before a monster flat ended my day. I tried to patch it, but it was too close to the stem to get a good seal. Thank goodness that I was only a half mile from the truck at that point.

So after that little incident it was off to Redmond Cycle to pick up a heavier duty tire and a new tube.

With the new tire on and all aired up I am ready for a new challenge. Maybe this week will be my 25 miler?

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Truck Returns

Today was the day we've been waiting for... for a good 2 weeks now. The truck has returned. While the shop eventually did a great job on the exterior of the truck, the interior was filthy.

The tow truck driver had to secure the steering wheel with a tie down which left a rusty mess on the wheel. Then something "exploded" on the inside of the windshield on the passenger side leaving a streaky mess.

When looking at the final bill, it escapes me how you can expect to collect $5,000 for a repair job and not clean up after yourself. For those that care, it was the Precision Collision shop on Evergreen Way in Everett.

Sad, but at least after a good cleaning it will be back to normal. Most of all, I'm just glad not to have a rental car anymore.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Annoyed Again...

So, we called once again today for an update on our truck, since they can't seem to keep us updated themselves, and found out that it still isn't done! As unbelievable as that is, the best part was when the shop told us that it was because a part just arrived!

There had been no mention of the radiator issue the entire 3 weeks they've had the truck, but now they had to wait for a new one to come in to replace it... 2 weeks after the initial delivery date the shop gave to me.

While I understand that cars are complex and you don't always know what you have till you are in, but the communication was terrible!

Get our truck fixed and get it back to us as soon as you can! Geez!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Day, Another Windstorm... And Still No Truck...

So we are into week 2 of missing the truck. It happens to be days when the weather is bad that I miss it the most. The comfortable feeling of your own vehicle is nice. Knowing how it reacts, how to adjust things and even flipping on the seat warmers.

Sure it is great to have the rental and I am so grateful that we visited our insurance agent a few months back to add the coverage we needed, but I miss 'normal' life.

The truck should be back early next week. Our lives should get somewhat normal next month. Overall, you can't ask for much more.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tough Decisions...

Today we began a process that will ensure that Ara can stay hone with Evie as long as she wants, no questions asked. It wasn't the road I ever dreamed about going down again, but when the chips are stacked against you, sometimes a compromise has to be reached.

Financial security is such a funny term now, but living entirely on a paycheck to paycheck basis just isn't going to work forever. Its never easy weighing the future against the present, but when you see a little face staring back at you, pride becomes much easier to swallow and you force yourself to do something you normally wouldn't.

So for Evie, Ara and myself, I am making a choice. Hopefully it is the right thing for us and it will lead us down a path that is better than what we are on now. And if not, at least I can hope the ride is a bit more comfortable.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Me and Evie Just Out and About

Yesterday was quite a fun day. Evie and I got to play most of the day, even without worrying about Mama or what she was up to.

The day started out interesting enough with a quick trip to Duvall to drop Mama off to watch Nana. Then off we dashed to run a few quick errands when Evie decided it was nap time.

So, instead of a quick trip to the drug store, we drove from Duvall to Everett. Then from Everett to Redmond... Then from Redmond to Duvall and back again. We stopped at a few stores along the way, but Evie really enjoyed Sammamish Cycle the best. She picked out a nice 12" bike, but she can't quite reach the pdeals yet.

Overall, we had a great day, and enjoyed our little adventure together. Hopefully I can steal her away for another Daddy day soon!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rental Cars, Hospitals and Getting Better...

This week has been amazing. When I say amazing, I mean in both good and bad ways. I always like to start with the bad, simply because it lets me spend more time with the positive stuff at the end.

So the week started off crazy enough with 3 days at the ICU wing of Overlake Hospital. Nana was admitted last Wednesday and got progressively worse until a breakthrough on Sunday evening. Finally by Tuesday evening she was looking and feeling much better.

We then got hit with a nice February snowstorm that crippled my ability to ride into work for the entire week.

The week continued to get more exciting with Ara getting in a fender squisher with a Jersey barrier during a freak ice storm. So the rest of the evening was spent dealing with insurance phone calls, a panicked wife and texts from everyone wanting to know what was going on.

Well fast forward to today.... The truck is in the shop, Ara is doing fine and even more amazing was the fact that Nana came home today.

Its times like this that make me realize how amazing life is and what is really important... I'm sitting here at home, while outside is cold and wintery. My amazing wife is sitting with me watching TV and I am content.

I'm greatful today. Nothing more can be said. I'm greatful for family, health, safety and most of all, faith. The faith that tomorrow will be better than today and no matter what, life is great.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snow, Cold and Riding

So missing a few rides over the weekend with Nana being in the hospital wasn't a horrible thing, but with the icy roads and cold temperatures, I am really feeling the exercise drop off.

The bad part is that we have a gym about 25 feet from our back door. The issue with the gym is the hours of non-availability. We never know when it will close or if it's even open.
But in reality, spring is right around the corner and rides will become longer and faster soon enough. I just need to clamp down on the diet until I get better weather to burn off the extra.

Monday, February 21, 2011

At The Hospital...

Days like this are hard. When someone you love has to be in the ICU for a few days, life becomes amazingly short.

Today, we spent the day at Overlake with Nana. Nana was admitted on Wednesday and has been here since. She was checked in with pneumonia and breathing issues. She showed signs of getting better on day two, but hasn't done well since.

It's now day 5 and things are still escaping the doctors. They aren't sure what is casuing things and aren't sure how to fix them. My wife is being amazing through it all and is keeping the entire family caught up on the prognosis.

Overall, its been a very trying day. But tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The First HD Flick From the New Evo

I have to love the HD video function on the EVO. First off, I don't miss the important moments, so they will live forever. Second, you never are prepared for what will happen to make those special moments hilarious!

Enjoy the 30 seconds of fun and share in the humor of life.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chinese Food

I love Chinese food. Fortunately, we have a pretty good place in Monroe called Saigon Kitchen. The food is good and the service is usually decent or better. Tonight we were so hungry we didn't have a clue that the wrong food was delivered to our table.

Needless to say, it was still a fantastic dinner and they only checked about 5 times to make sure we were OK. Love good food and good service!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rain Impedes Training

So the last few days have been super cold and wet. Tomorrow will be my first day out on the bike this week. Its been pretty much an indoor training week so far, but hopefully I can shoot for at least 2.5 miles in the morning.

Otherwise, it will be the standard 1.9 miles straight in and home in the afternoon. It will be nice to have CardioTrainer back for the rides though!

And We Are Back...

Yes, its a minor miracle, the EVO is back in hand already. My amazing wife ran up to the Marysville InTouch Wireless store this morning and grabbed it for me.

So, this is going to be a bit of a short post tonight, but I wanted to get back and keep everyone updated on the status of my experience and the amazing service that I got with my EVO issue.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Missing The Evo - Day One...

Well it didn't take long for the Evo to be missed. Today, just doing a basic weekend fun activity, I noticed the amazingly poor image quality of the BlackBerry 8330 camera that I have substituting for my Evo at the moment. The images were blurry, the camera had an incredible lag and it was horrid in low light conditions. While the Evo isn't a DSLR hiding in a cellphone, it is so light years ahead of the Curve that it was almost sad to even take images with this outdated beast.

To make matters worse, I tried to shoot a video of Evie's first real pony ride to save in the memory books and, while it looks good on phone itself, it's quality is so terrible, you can't even use it for anything like the DVD's I create from the Evo's videos.

So with that said, I am patiently waiting for my new Evo to arrive - thanks to the Marysville, WA InTouch Wireless location that is swapping my damaged LCD device for a newbie (or refurb) - but I really can't wait for it to be back in my hands!

The Evo Has Died...

So, in a rare post from the computer, I have to say that my 'perfect' Evo has taken a tumble and is awaiting replacement. Unfortunately, the replacement is a few days out, so I won't be posting very much until then. For now, we are off to the backup BlackBerry Curve and the pleasant, although too long, wait to return to the best Smartphone experience on Sprint. I know, all you Epic users will argue that, but too bad, the Evo was first, and is still better.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Amazing Evo...

So no photos of this one since I can't shoot my own screen, but today on the way home, my good old EVO fell from the holder on my bike and hit the ground HARD!

Amazingly, only the outer casing and the glass screen cracked. The LCD survived just fine and the touch screen is still fully functioning.

The new screen should be here Saturday from Amazon and I should have it installed later in the day. Until then, I'll be posting through some less than perfect glass.

A quick PS to this also... The $1 screen protector, the one that we put on there to keep from scratching the screen, is what saved it from complete destruction! So, get those screen protectors and new cases on there asap people!

Day 3...

Today was brutally cold for riding. I made the additional mile and a half loop around the lake, but at that point I noticed the ice build up on my brakes, deraileur and my jacket.

Unfortunately, the poor EVO was frozen up too, so no images on that one. So instead I am doing a shameless plug for what has gotten me here... Slimfast... Bananas... Water...

Hopefully tomorrow will bring a bit more heat and less fog.