Saturday, December 30, 2006

Homeward Bound?

Well, today we head back to PA. We're supposed to get in around midnight (ugh!). This morning we're getting things together here and heading out.
Yesterday was very fun. Mid-morning we head down to Ada to catch up with people. Shawn was down from KS and Eric and Jamie were around too. We were having dinner with a whole group. We spent most of the afternoon playing Killer Bunnies! Eric was a little skeptical at first, but then realized we were blasting fuzzy wittle bunnies to oblivion.
It was a good day. We got a lot of catching up done and shot a lot of bull and had a good time in general. It is a shame they live so far away. Our friends up in PA would get along really great with these guys and I don't even want to think about the chaos that would ensue.
Of course, then there's Chelsea and Michael up in MO. I've really got to get there too. Hopefully while I'm in KC in June that'll happen, if not before.
The reason there is a question mark in the title of this post is that tonight when we get into Philly we're actually going to my parents house to sleep and then to MD on Sunday for New Year's with Michelle. Then on Monday we come home. It will have been 8 days since we've been home. Busy but fun.
Well, Gak's dad has finished making breakfast, so I guess I'd better log and eat. Peace (and good food) to all.
Oh, yeah, look for a few pics on Tuesday. I didn't use my camera a whole lot, but I did get a few that are post-worthy.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Part II

Yesterday was a good day. Gak and I went up to Norman to putz around a bit and go to a few favorite haunts. Unfortunately, the Greek House was closed, so no gyros for lunch. The gaming store and the anime/manga store were both open and we were very good. We did pick up a new card game though, Killer Bunnies! It's a lot of fun. A little complex, but easy enough once you learn. I think we'll have to get the expansion sets as well.
Last night was supposed to be Christmas here at Gak's parents. My brother-in-law and his new girlfriend were supposed to be here for dinner. Well, we're guessing all did not go well on his trip to Washington State with her to her folks. He had stopped by while we were out and said he probably wasn't going to be over for supper. This made Gak's mom pretty upset. Brian was being tired and cranky and not very nice. Well, he stopped by for about a half hour before supper and then said to forget Christmas. Well phooey on him. We had a huge dinner that was very good and did presents afterwards. Our trip out here was our gift to the family. They got us each a handful of little things and were very nice.
Overall it was a good day. I just wish Brian wasn't such a grouch. Oh well.
Well, today we're getting together with another friend Charlotte, so that should be fun. I've got to go and grab a shower before we head out.
Peace to all.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Well, yesterday's dinner went quite well. The Thanksgiving turkey was done about an hour early. Yesterday's was about 45 minutes late. It turned out well though. Everyone had plenty and mom and dad now have plenty of leftovers for the week. It was an enjoyable day.
Today we flew to Oklahoma to visit Gak's family for the week. Overall it was an uneventful trip. I still hate the Philly airport. We ended up getting out of there a little late, due to fog. This means that instead of an hour layover, we had about 20 minutes. Not a big deal since we were going about two gates over. That flight was delayed by about 10 or 15 minutes too.
We should have a good week. It's nice to be back. Well, that's about all I've got to say for today. I hope everyone had a good day yesterday and will have an easy week at work this week (if you're there). Peace to all and enjoy the season.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Merry!!!

Well, today is the day. Christmas is finally here. I'm not sure, but this has been a long time coming really. It has felt like an epic struggle to get 'into' the holidays this year. Maybe it is because of the weather... or maybe my travel schedule. Who knows?
Anyhow, Christmas Eve mass went well last night. My niece did a great job as a little piggy. I couldn't get any pictures, I was fighting the settings on my camera, and was at a bad angle anyhow. Afterwards, we all went back to her house and some other family joined us and we had a good visit.
Today begins Gak and my vacation. Although, looking at it, it will be a heck of a lot of travel in a short time. In a little bit we're heading down to my parents. I'm making dinner and we'll have a relaxing time there. The tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn (or a little earlier actually, since the sun has just started it's return...) we head to the Philly airport to head to Gak's parents. We'll be there until Saturday and then we head home. Well, kinda home. After getting in extremely late Saturday night (Sunday morning) we head down to MD to visit with Michelle for New Year's. Then it's home and back to work. See... lots of travel, not a lot of time.
I'm actually looking forward to the trip to OK. Our friend, Mr. Chaos himself, will be coming down from Kansas for a bit on Friday. It should be fun. I haven't seen him in 7.5 years at this point.
Well, I guess I should wrap this up. I've got to get the rest of the groceries together for supper and get dressed before I head out the door. I hope you are getting to spend at least some time with the ones you love today or at some point this week. Peace to all.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Spirit

I realized yesterday, that despite all my holiday posts, that I really wasn't in the Christmas (or any holiday for that matter) mood. The weather wasn't helping, it has been very warm for December and downright grey at times. Being on the road hasn't helped.
That's changed though, the presents are wrapped, we're going to my parent's tomorrow afternoon and I'm fixing dinner, (I'll explain in a bit...) and tonight we go to see my little bear of a niece in her pageant/nativity at church. The whole family will be there again, and it will be fun.
I did get my brother's and grandmother's gifts out on Thursday. Gram got hers yesterday. About 5:30 I get a call from her and I get "I love it, love it, love it, love it!!!" Apparently she liked the wrap I made her. I wasn't smart enough to take a picture of it before I sent it off. It's about 24" wide and over 5' long. I'd made one like it for myself back in September or October. I asked Mom if she thought Gram would like one and she said yes. I made hers out of a 'fuzzy' buccal or however you spell it, yarn in that goes from a light periwinkle blue to white. The color change is quite gradual, so there are only three repeats of the pattern in the whole wrap. Mine's a more 'functional' yarn in a light denim blue.
As far as dinner tomorrow, somehow I think I got shanghaied. I was planning on going down there and doing something simple, like maybe a brisket and kugle. (Pretty simple meal, put it in the oven and forget about it for a time...) Then we get a surprise gift from Al, who Gak works with. Well, kinda works with. Al is the owner's dad and 'volunteers' to work there Mondays and Fridays. We got a frozen 13 lb turkey. I don't have room for it in the freezer, so I've got to do something with it. Al, it turns out, received about 5 of them for free from his work, so was sharing the love. Well, so now tomorrow we get to go down by lunch and I get to cook a turkey myself for the first time. We'll see how it goes. I'm not doing stuffing. Found a recipe that says to shove an onion, some carrots, a celery stalk, an apple and an orange into the cavity and roast. Sounds like it could be nice and moist and have a bit of flavor. We will see. I'll let ya know how it goes.
Well, I think I'm going to go in game for a bit. I won't get any game time after tomorrow until the new year. I hope whatever holiday you celebrate this year is a good one. Peace to all.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

'Tis the Season!

I've changed the picture at the side to look a little more winter than fall. Admittedly, I took this picture in the spring instead of the winter, but ice is still ice. That was a very pretty trip that I took and enjoyed it a lot.

Last night was my niece's holiday concert. It was fun. The kids all enjoyed themselves and did as well as we'd hoped. Aunt Ellen and Uncle Jerry were up again for this event. Like I said, it was a fun evening. Little Bear was soooo excited. She's really enjoying her school, which is very good.

Today is my last work day for 2006. I'm taking the next two days for myself. I may even kick Gak out of the house early tomorrow or Friday so I can get stuff done without him getting in my way (even if he's three rooms away....). I made gingerbread cake this morning for my friends at work and they all seemed to enjoy it. I have to make one for Gak's work tomorrow. I also need to make a batch of oatmeal cookies to include in my grandmother's and brother's Christmas presents. Yes, I know. They won't get there by Christmas, but they know they're coming. I also have to write my New Year's cards out. I don't do Christmas or holiday cards. I do New Year's letters. That way I don't have to worry about getting them out in time and getting lost in the shuffle of everything else Christmas. That and my friends and I are all of such diverse backgrounds, it just doesn't seem right to single out one holiday and I hate the generic 'happy holidays' greeting. I mean, if I'm going to wish someone a happy holiday, I should at least know and state which holiday they're celebrating! Ok, enough rantage. I really didn't mean to turn this into a why this time of year can make me cranky post. I really do enjoy this time of year. It is great to see so many people celebrating for so many reasons.

Well, I think I have a few odds and ends to take care of before I head out for the year. This time next week I'll be in Oklahoma visiting Gak's parents. I'll try and post while I'm away, but no promises. Anyhow, enjoy yourselves and your family (by blood or by heart). Peace to all and may there be love in your hearts and happiness in your lives.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Chaos?

Well, Christmas is still looking a little chaotic. I don't think I mean in a fun, happy holidays kind of way, more of a what in the world is going on kind of way.
Mom still has her cast.
Gram's still sore from the procedure last week.
Neither of them really want to deal with anything, and I respect that.
This means I'm suddenly clueless as to what we're doing.
Tonight is my niece's first holiday concert for school. Well, I guess we can actually call it a Christmas concert since she goes to Catholic school. Christmas Eve she's in the pageant for the early mass. Maybe we'll do that. I know we're going to her concert this evening. We may not make it until close to the end, but that's only because it starts at 6:30 and Gak doesn't close until 6:30. Oh well, it will be fun at any rate. I'm just so very glad I can be this involved in her life.

On the work front, I was able to postpone the service department training until the first week of the year. The manager ran into a brick wall when he tried to tell people to come today. He hadn't scheduled it so people already had their mornings full of work. That and the business manager scheduled an end-of-year meeting for tomorrow morning. I still have to do it, but I don't have to deal with it until after the holidays. The hard part is done, I got all the materials together yesterday.

Well, I should be taking this time to do my other end-of-year stuff. I've still got that stupid review thing to do as well as start planning the revisions to the training materials.
Peace to all and my your lives be filled with the fun chaos of the season and family!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Yea Team!!

We have some good news. I talked to Mom today. She'd left me a message Friday while I was in transit. Gram's procedure went quite well and that everything is clear. What the blockage was wasn't tumor or stone. This means that every three months now she'll have to have the same checkup, but most likely the oncologist won't have to do anything more extensive. She's got that appointment Monday or Tuesday.
Mom's cranky though.
It's her foot.
More precisely, it's the cast on her foot.
Hopefully she'll find out tomorrow afternoon that she won't have to deal with it any longer. She's got an appointment with the bone guy. We will see.
What this means in the short term is that we still have no idea exactly what we're doing for Christmas. I still really want to go down to Maryland, but mom doesn't want to if she's still got the cast. There are many reasons I want to go, the biggest one being I don't get to see Gram as often as I wish I could. Well, we'll see what tomorrow brings.
As far as Gak and I having a tree, it doesn't look like we'll have one this year. Neither of us want to deal with hauling a live (and then a dead) real tree up into our apartment. We finally got around to looking for a fake one today. The only ones that were left at the store were 7.5 foot tall ones that were on sale (50% off even) for $100. Nope, as much as I would love to have a nice big tree, I can't afford that much this year. Oh well, looks like another plain year as far as decorations go. It could be worse I guess.

Hopefully this week won't be too painful. I'm being somewhat fatalistic about Tuesday and Wednesday with my 'training sessions' for the SW support group. I know, when all is said and done, that whatever I do will be wrong in the eyes of my former boss. I know this, just because I know him. That and I'm trying to figure out exactly what I can train these people on. I mean, most of them are the ones who taught me most of what I know for crying out loud! Oh well. I'll survive and then it will be done.
Well, I'm off to play a little before I get around to fixing supper.
Peace to all and may you find a holiday celebration that will make you happy.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Phoenix Pix

I made it home safe and sound last night. Yep, I am home a day early. It's such a good feeling.

Wouldn't ya' know, but the card reader and my home computer work quite happily together. (I haven't tried hooking the camera up directly as I didn't bring the right cord home from the office with me...) I downloaded all my pictures from Phoenix. Actually, only a few were from Phoenix itself, most were from my trip to the 'forest' and the state park. Here are a couple for you to enjoy.

This one is probably my favorite. I took this from "inside" the "children's cave" (it is only a yard or so deep) at the state park. This was the end of the short children's trail with the habitat lessons. See how far away the train is!

This one says it all..... I love the 'classic Forest Service' shape of the sign. It makes me think of old movies and 1950's type family vacation stories.

Ok. So there are a few trees in Tonto National Forest...

...But there are more cacti than trees. And no, I didn't sit on any while I was out there either.
Well, I'm going to take a nap. Today is a lazy day for me. Peace to all and may you all find something interesting that makes you happy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Travel Trials

Today went really well. We ended up doing all of the EDR stuff today, so we don't have to get together tomorrow. Unfortunately, it's costing me a bundle to change my flight, but I don't really care. I haven't changed that many flights this year and I've already put in a full week. My boss can yell at me later. (He probably won't, but I'd understand if he did....)
I really liked my group this week. They were all good people. I really enjoyed my guy from Alabama and my guy from Ireland.
Today for lunch we went to Alice Cooper's restaurant, which is near the stadiums. It was quite good. I ended up back there for dinner with my Irish friend. I had run out (and around in circles) trying to find a charger for my phone. It decided to start running out of charge while I was on the phone trying to change my flight. As I'm walking back into the hotel, my Irish friend was walking out. He invited me to join him for dinner. I said sure if I could go plug in my phone. It was quite nice. I really do enjoy talking with people from outside this country. It is nice to get a new perspective on things. We talked about all kinds of things. Including our spouses. Yes Gak, I talk about you. Probably I bore most people to tears with how much I talk about you. Mostly we talked about a little bit of everything. Like I said, it was quite enjoyable to have dinner with someone for a change.
Now I'm getting ready to crash so I can wake up in the morning and pack. I'll be home by 10pm tomorrow. That's almost 24 hours early! I can't wait! (I do have work I should probably at least look at over the weekend, since I've got to do training for the service group Tuesday and Wednesday. That's a whole different story and not one I'm looking forward to...)
Well, peace to all and good dreams.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wandering Wednesday

Today I had an off day.
Not as in, a bad, cranky or just not working day, but a day I didn't have to teach.
Monday and Tuesday we managed to get through the content that was supposed to take us through this morning. Therefore, everyone decided to have today off and resume Thursday and into Friday.
This meant I got to get out of Phoenix.
Don't get me wrong, I like Phoenix. It's a city though and I only like being in a city for so long.
I wasn't sure where I was going to go or what I was going to do. There are lots of things to do and see.
I ended up starting my day driving through Tonto National Forest.
Yes, a forest in Arizona.
It's a forest of mostly cacti, and some mesquite scrub.
I didn't really stay there very long. There were signs posted in the parking lots about needing a parking pass. Supposedly you were supposed to know this back in town (8 or more miles away) and pick one up. I did pull over a few places and took some pictures.
After wandering around a bit, I decided I would head towards Tuscon and see what I could find. Someone had suggested I head to Old Tuscon, but I had no idea exactly where this is. I ended up at Picacho State Park. (No, I do not mean a little yellow annoying critter... it's a mountain.) I wandered along one trail for a good 1.5 hours or so. I think I went about a mile or so in and back out. The trail itself actually headed up to the summit and is quite difficult further on. The first two miles or so are pretty easy. I took lots and lots of pictures, playing with my new camera.
Unfortunately, you won't see any right now.
I'm at war with my laptop.
I was having problems getting the computer to recognize the camera.
I bought a card reader to solve this problem.
It all installed quite easily, including the driver.
When I rebooted and tried to use it, I got an error that it couldn't be used because the registry may be corrupt.
Forget it. I'll wait until I get home.
I tell you though, my soul was fed quite well today. I didn't walk far, but I enjoyed every step. Unfortunately, I had to head back to Phoenix. Like I said, it's a nice place, but it is still a city.
What is really funny though is what happened when I walked along the 1/4 mile kids trail. There were about 5 or 6 signs along the trail talking about habitat and what makes one. I found myself thinking about activities I'd do at each station with the kids and the kinds of responses I'd be likely to get. I really truly do miss the nature center. By my response today to the trail, I guess you can say that I am an environmental educator to the core. It's just too bad that I can't seem to figure out how to get it to pay as well (or even half as well...) as my current job. Ah well. my soul will have to be content with these periodic wanderings and orienteering adventures.
Well, I've got a little work do and stuff to get ready for tomorrow.
Peace to all and may your electronics play nice and you find somewhere to enjoy the beauty that is this world.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Phinally Phoenix

Ok. I couldn't resist that headline.
So far this trip is going a lot better than I had feared.
Other than the construction. I'm glad I don't live here, the construction is planned to last two years. What construction you ask? They are putting in a new above ground light rail system. And Central Ave. is just that, the central avenue and so therefore is the most torn up. This created a fun adventure just getting to the hotel. It sits back off the road behind a couple of office buildings and no prominant sign on the road. Oh well. I got to see a lot of downtown Phoenix in the dark.
The setup this morning went extreamly well. I was done in about 45 minutes. I like when that happens. I ended up running a little late to the class myself though. I was waiting for my student from Ireland and finally gave up. It turns out he was already over there. *sigh* Oh well, now I know not to wait for him tomorrow.
The class went well today. It should be a good day tomorrow. I do have one guy in the class who was forced to switch to our software from a company he liked a lot. He's a little cranky and bitter, but I can deal.
Tonight we're going for dinner. It should be interesting. I'll let ya know.
Phoenix really is a nice looking place. Hopefully Wednesday and/or Friday I'll be able to get out and about a bit and see some of the neat places.
Well, I've got to go meet my group for dinner. Peace to all and enjoy where you are!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Early Christmas!!

Last night was a blast celebrating Engineer Boy's birthday. There were 7 of us and we all just relaxed and had a good time.

We got done dinner around 9:30 or so. Best Buy was right next door (almost). Gak asks if we can stop there right quick since they close at 10 and he wanted to look at something. Well, the reason he wanted to stop there was to have me pick out my Christmas present. He decided that he would pay for the rest of the digital camera I wanted (Mom and Dad gave me $50 towards it for my birthday) for Christmas. And he wanted to give it to me early since I'm going to Phoenix next week and he wanted me to have it for the holidays as well.

I was shocked.
Speachless even.
I figured I'd probably get it around the first of the year.

This is probably one of the most meaningful gifts I could have ever received. I'm not really worthy of that much. He really does too much for me some days. I love him so much though, I just can never seem to figure out how to show it.

I ended up choosing the Nikon Coolpix L3. I had been looking at a couple in the 'L' series. This one is near the bottom of the line, but still has way more features than I'll ever really use. What's realy cool is I can shoot directly in B&W, sepia or cyanotype! This really means I can play now! I would have posted a pic that I took this morning, but I can't seem to convince my work laptop to download the pictures. (Yes, I'm following the instructions, but they're not working quite right.....)

Well, peace to all and my your life be filled with many happy surprises!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


First off, I want to say Happy B-day Engineer Boy!!!

One of my favorite engineers had his birthday today. A handful of us are going out to celebrate. He's just a baaaaby though. He's 25. (I think... I may be off a year one way or the other…)

Ok, now that that's out of the way....

We are fast approaching the end of the year. This means that per my company's policy (gah! too many corporate words!!) we have to do our annual electronic review by the end of the month. Well, since I won't be here much of the rest of the month, I figured I'd better at least attempt to get it worked on this week. We have to list our achievements for the year and all that fun stuff. Basically, we've got to write a whole new 'resume' of sorts every year. It sucks. I hate it and the web page really is painful to use, but hey, I want to continue to get paid, so I've got to do what I've got to do.
Well, looking at last year's for inspiration, I decided I needed to know exactly how much time I've spent training this year. Mind you, that includes travel days and days I did training here in my office. Here are the scary numbers:
3 -- Number of months I was on the road less than 50% of the time
82.35 -- Highest percentage of time away in one month. It was November, so it was not as bad as it sounds, since I was commuting from home.
6 -- Number of months I was on the road more than 60% of the time. (I was told this would be a 40-60% travel time job....)
26.09 -- Lowest percentage of time away in one month. This was August. If you remember my blogs from back then, you can tell I was bored stiff. This is why. I don't like being on the road, but I do like to be productive. For me, being productive means teaching, which, unfortunately at times, means being on the road.
56.67 -- Average for the year of time spent away. This is just below that magic 60% I was told two years ago.

I can't compare month-to-month with last year, as Outlook ate most of my data by archiving or deleting my appointments prior to the end of October. (Thank you Microsoft!)

Anyhow, this proves a couple of things I'd been thinking. It shows that I have been working my tail off in general. It also shows that my theory about summers is right and why I was so unhappy with my job in July and August. I admit, I needed that down time in the beginning of July after a hectic June, but 2 months was a bit excessive. You give me that much downtime and I loose what focus I had and can't get moving again when I have to. (Yes, I prove Newton's laws of motion quite well some days....)

Gah. I just re-read those last few paragraphs. Can't you tell I had a scientific schooling? It's not a bad thing, but man does it make me sound geeky!
Well, I've got a few more things to wrap up before I head out to pick up Gak and go celebrate Mr. Engineer's birthday. Peace to all and may you be busy but not swamped. (Also, revel in your geekdom, whatever it may be!)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Quick Update

Last night's dinner was great. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits and we had an enjoyable time. I miss seeing all of them. Nick slept through about half of dinner, which was good. It meant Ed could actually attempt to eat (he was the one sitting next to Nick's carrier). Ed and Buffie gave Gak and I about 6 pictures of Nick and family over the past five weeks. He really does look like his sister, and they both look a lot like Ed.

Mom called to give me an update on her foot. When she went to the doctor he said that the stress fracture earlier this year hadn't actually fully healed, which is why her foot broke this time. So, instead of getting a walking cast and being sent on her way, she's got a full plaster cast on her lower leg and isn't allowed to put any weight on it. This makes Mom cranky. I don't blame her. Especially with all the steps into and out of the house and up to the bedrooms. At least the laundry isn't in the basement, that would make life even worse.

Work is going. I'm getting stuff done, but slowly and chaoticly. It'll all get done and it'll all pull together and be what it is in the end.

Well, off to figure out where to take my people for dinner Monday and Thursday. Wish me luck!
Peace to all and please, avoid the gopher holes (real and otherwise)!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sunday Sauntering

Yesterday's trip was nice, if long. Especially since both Gak and I were a little sleep deprived.
It's OK though. It was great to get down to see my grandmother.
She's doing quite well, actually. She's very glad to be back in her own apartment, even though the OT keeps trying to rearange the furniture to give her more walking space, amongst other things.
We got to her place a little after noon. We got a slightly late start and then stopped for drive-through Starbucks on the way out of town and then for gas about 3/4 of the way down there. This means we were just in time to go to brunch. Of course, it took what seemed like 20 minutes to go from her place to the dinning room. That's because my grandmother knows everyone and I do mean everyone! They were all so very glad to see her up and about and in her own place. Of course, at one point I was the one holding up the progress of lunch. Mr. Fred stopped Gram to say hi and asked what Gak and I do. He found out I train on software. Well, this unleashed about a dozen computer questions, all of which I could actualy answer! (I train on a very specialized peice of SW so asking me too much about word or office or something like that might not get you far...) He's in the process of researching and writing a book. It sounds quite interesting really, the Revolutionary War day by day. He's already doing a lot of stuff on his computer and finds it really handy. Mostly he wanted to know about laptops, so I told him what I could.
Lunch was quite enjoyable with many more people stopping to say hi. Gak and I spent the afternoon doing all kinds of little things. We did laundry (she can't bend down to get stuff out of the washer...), went to the grocery store and turned the apartment from Thanksgiving to Christmas! Going to the grocery store was a bit of an adventure. I confirmed directions with the lady at the front desk. Mind you, I was quite sleep deprived and Gram's overly warm apartment had put me to sleep a bit. I mid-heard directions and turned left instead of right. After driving around in circles for a while, I ended up calling mom for help. Oh well. No big deal.
Bobbie stopped over after the concert that they were having and we got to talk a little. It was great to see her again.
The drive home was actualy uneventful. We even managed to make it almost home before stopping for dinner. Cracker Barrel is a great place to stop. Always good service, good food and plenty of it. I didn't stop at the Cabella's across the way, even though they apeared to be open still. It was getting late and I was getting tired. We swung by my sister's place to pick up a few things and then went home to crash.

I've had a hard time getting to work today. I actually have a list of things I need to get done for this week, including tracking down my books for next week. It will all get done, I just have to kick my butt into gear.

Well, peace to all and may you have a happy, healthy, love filled week.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Weekend Wanderings

I thought this was going to be a nice calm weekend.
Nope, not this weekend.
That's OK, it is mostly for the good in a round about kind of way.

Friday I get a message from my sister asking what we were doing Saturday night. I replied that I had no idea. Well, we get talked into going to Hershey for Christmas at Hershey. We met up with her around 6 at her house. Mom, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Ellen and the kids had left around 3:00 to head out. Well, we make it out there after an enjoyable ride and then meet up with them. They're inside at one of the food places getting warm. And the kids are getting bored. So, we rescue the two girls and head out. We've got about an hour or so at this point until the park closes. We wander around a bit and visit with the reindeer. Then we all pile onto the train ride. They have actual coal-fired boiler steam engines on small scale. It's a fun little ride through lots of lights. It is a little more fun in the summer when the coasters you're going under and through are actually running.
Well, the grandparent type people all head out just as the park closes and take the kids with them. We lingered a little bit to pick up some chocolate, as well as the fact that the car was way out there. We had an enjoyable ride home and then we decide to stop for a bite to eat and a drink. Well, the only place open with both a bar and a full menu is the Sup up in Emaus. Not quite on the way home, but not really out of the way either.
On the ride home from the dinner (we were there about an hour or so) is when the evening took a not-so-fun turn. My sister's almost ex decided to call and track her down. He had stopped by the house right as we were leaving. He said he was heading out again shortly back to his apartment. Well, he never did. And since we weren't home at the same time as mom and his daughter, he had to track us down. All because he thought we might have one of our friends with us that he has since decided he really doesn't like. We did, but he's a friend of Gak and I as well.
Anyhow, we drop our friend off and then my sister off at her place. It's just about 1:30 at this point. I'm exhausted. I could have gone into the house if I wanted too. On any other night I probably would have. I tried to stay impartial and out of things, but when he starts telling me who I can or cannot see, that's way over the line. There were two big reasons I didn't go in. I didn't need to make the situation worse, and I was tired enough that exactly what I thought with no filters would come pouring out. The other reason is that today I'm driving down to my grandmothers.

Mom was supposed to go.
Mom wanted to go.
Mom broke her foot Friday.
She tripped in a hole. Yep, the clutz genes come to the forefront again. She called me yesterday morning to tell me what was up and ask if I could go down to MD today to give Gram a hand. I said no problem in a heartbeat. (I wasn't expecting to be out quite so late last night.....)
Therefore in about a half hour or so, Gak and I are getting back in the car and heading out to my grandmother's place. It'll be a nice drive, but I'm really tired. It's OK, Gram needs me and I love her and would have gone anyhow. I was planning on going out around Thanksgiving, but just didn't make it.

Tomorrow night is also a fun one. My friend Ed messaged me the other night after I sent him one wishing him a happy birthday. He wanted to know if Gak and I wanted to come over Monday for dinner. I said sure in a heartbeat again. We've been trying to get together since September. First my job and then the birth of his son got in the way. Well, a new nephew is never in the way, just makes getting together rough. I'm looking forward to it, it should be a nice evening.

Well peace to all and may your weekends be full of friends and family, but not nasty surprises.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Home Again...

The training went well at my second site this week. This was actually the fourth site for one company. I've enjoyed all four of these sites. They're good, friendly people who have been fun. I'm almost sad to have this company finished.

The drive home on the other hand was a bear. That storm that walloped the mid-west finally made it out here. (I hope Gak's mom and dad have either dug out or dug in for the duration. It's kinda odd that they got snow before we did....)
It was really warm all week. Actually, warmer yesterday and today than Monday. It was also grey. It started getting grey on Tuesday. The rain varied from non-existent to full bore in the space of a couple of hundred yards down the road. And the winds were just as variable. I spent a long 2.5 hours fighting the wind on the way home. That and the winds knocked out power at the major intersection near the house so traffic was all kinds of messed up. I think it took me longer to go the 4 miles from the Turnpike home than any other part of the trip.

Oh well. I'm home now and will be for the rest of the week. Next Sunday I leave for a week in Phoenix. I hope it goes better than I'm thinking it will. That trip isn't giving me warm fuzzies at all.

Well, I'm off to bed. Peace to all and may you have safe journeys wherever you go.