Well, we’ve done it again. We have finally decided on a location: Cozumel. It’s an old traditional stand-by, but Laura has never been diving there. In fact, it’s even a repeat location. DiveTurkey I was in Florida, DiveTurkey II was in Cozumel (that was three years ago – we skipped last year), and DiveTurkey III was in Roatan.
DiveTurkey started several years ago and has become a tradition. My parents don’t really like it though: they’d rather I spend the holiday with them. Sorry, Mom. Laura went with us on DiveTurkey III to Roatan and really enjoyed it. It was her first dive trip and we had a very good time learning each others’ dive style. I also got to use my underwater housing for the first time. As it says on the title… Lots of Pictures!
I think I could get used to this. Laura has been with me all weekend here in California and we have been driving up and down the coast, seeing new places – even shopping in some of these great malls. So, when I left for work today, I didn’t go 1400 miles away from her, she’s just down the road. I’ll be going back to her this evening and having dinner and driving around. It’s quite nice. I sometimes regret not really knowing what it’s like to have a ‘real’ job: one where I go to the office in a cube – to the same place every day in the same town where I live – having friends at the office and a predictable work schedule. But then I remember that I love to travel and Laura does too. So, we get miles and points to travel for free. Of course, now that we’re married it is a bit more difficult.
On another note, my cell phone doesn’t work, nor does hers. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It was good that no one could bother us this weekend, but bad in that I could not call for directions or call information or that my mother couldn’t notify me of a friend’s very serious illness. It’s really Cingular’s fault: the phone still thinks it’s registered in Houston and the customer service department has been waiting for the technicians to ‘fix’ something on the back end. I have to say that usually Cingular has been quick but there must have been some process changes and now I’ve been down for two and a half days and counting. Not a good record…
Well, tomorrow morning Laura and I begin our first-ever joint business/pleasure trip: I will travel for business, she for pleasure! I will be working during the day, but I’m sure we’ll find some time to tour the area. Think I’ll probably have to go in real early so I can get out and enjoy the sunlight.
This week, my co-worker Greg somehow, through slieght of hand or shrewd negotiations, landed a Ford Thunderbird for a no-charge rental upgrade. Now – That’s the kind of ride I need to grab for my week with the wife in SoCal. Of course, after examining the trunk, I’d have to leave her at the airport and ferry the luggage to the hotel first… kinda tight in there. And, yes, he let me drive it! It feels exactly as I would imagine the ’57 T-Bird did originally… big throaty engine roar with a slushy suspension. It positively ROLLS through the turns. No high speed cornering in that car.
I have just finished uploading some pictures from a road trip from Silver City, NM to some un-named small town somewhere in Southwestern New Mexico. These are just pictures of the trip there and back. The colors were great as well as the clouds and I took these with film since Laura was using the digital at the time. The film was old, but all except the last one came out great. I sometimes forget how good film prints look when I constantly look at digital photos.
We are also in the process of planning the next Dive Turkey. This is a painstaking decision process whereby we decide which paradise location to which we will travel. Eliminating sites from the list one by one is painful as we wish to go everywhere. So – soon we will have an update and make our final decision. Then, we will DIVE!
Well, it looks like I’m stuck in a scripting loop. I’m trying to do creative things that the Windows command language was never meant to do. However, I’m sure I can make it work given enough time. What bothers me, though is staring at the screen for so long. I think I’m getting a headache now. Well, no. I KNOW I’m getting a headache.
Of course it doesn’t help that today is one of those days when you would have played hookie from school and hit the beach. The day is so beautiful outside… I wish I had windows in my office, but all I have are four walls… piled high with boxes.
Good news, though: I have a new cordless, optical mouse! Yes, it may not seem like much, but when your company has been cutting expenses for over 3 years due to market turndowns and profitability pushes and other miscellaneous inconveniences, any new purchase should be welcomed with rare thanks. So, Welcome, Mouse! May your tenure as my pointing device be fruitfull and fulfilling! (Especially since you’ll probably be with me a LONG time…)
Now that I discovered that my rollerblades do not work, I decided to fix them. I bought replacement wheels for them (which supposedly had all the parts) and began the process of installing them last night. Only, to my chagrin, all the parts were not 100% compatible. Well, I should have guessed it wouldn’t be that easy. The new wheels have a slightly different setup which required me to modify the existing berring sleeves (I guess that’s what they’re called) by cutting off the outer rim. Which I did. I now have a neat little slice on my thumb, but fully functional rollerblades with pretty, new wheels. The old ones were so bad that they were distorted and locked in place. No wonder I had trouble….
Having just returned from rollerblading on this wonderfull night in Houston – these are so rare that one must take full advantage, I am nursing blisters on my feet. Now, these blisters did not come from blading … directly. So, I must tell you the full story.
All was well for the first hundred yards or so. Soon, however, I noticed Laura quickly outpacing me – effortlessly gliding on ahead while I trudged to keep up with her. I even had to ask her to slow down several times. I kept wondering why I could not easily coast to keep up. Eventually, we stoped about a mile or so into our trip. (We were going to blade all the way to Whole Foods – maybe 2 miles or so.) After I got a drink from our water bottle, I started to examine the wheels of my rollerblades. Sure enough, my right blade was almost non-functional. The wheels just didn’t keep on turnin’. My bearings had gone bad. The problem showed up on both blades, but the right one was worse.
At this point, we decided to turn around and head back to the house to get the car instead. I lasted only about half way there. Dragging yourself slowly along with one partly-functioning rollerblade is quite a chore. So, in my unabashed brilliance, I decided that it would be far easier for me to walk instead – barefoot. Now – those of you who know me know that you have rarely seen my feet. I just don’t go without shoes much. I also have very soft feet – no callouses. So, walking a half mile in the streets in the dark with no callouses on your feet – THAT will give you blisters.
Sure, I’m sore from the unexpected exertion against the drag of the wheels. But that’s nothing to this large blister on the bottom of my foot. I hope I can walk better tomorrow – especially since I have to go to work! I guess I should perform regular maintenance on my sports equipment from now on. I shall be taking the old blades in for service soon.
Don’t you love being able to connect anywhere you want? Right now, I’m at the John Wayne/Orange County Airport. It’s a small, but very nice airport. But, the best thing is that it has WIRELESS INTERNET! It rocks! Of course, some times it is a bit unreliable, but that just may be me. Wireless also means I can sit in the airport and submit status reports and hours and do other general administrivia.
Well, as for travel – this next week I actually get to work in my home city: Houston. It’s actually been a while since I worked where I live, but I’m sure it will be nice. I worked close to home last year and loved it – except that I lost my airline elite status and have had to re-earn it this year. There’s always a trade off.
This time, I’ll be working in Sugar Land, which is not too far of a drive away – especially considering that it will be against traffic. Business travel has become a bit tiresome now that I’m married. I kinda like bein’ around my wife, you know?
I will probably make more posts here now that I can edit this from anywhere. I’ve been taking random pictures since I’ve come to California and I just uploaded these. I like the sky. I think the sky is cool. Sunsets away from home also make me somewhat melancholy. This has been a short week, what with the Labor Day holiday, so it’s not as bad. Sometimes, though, when the week gets long, I spend a lot of time watching the sun set. These pictures are from one such long week.
Well, my distrust of the Project Management Team previously mentioned was probably too harsh of a statement. So I must issue apologies to any of that team who read the previous post! It seems that now I have a schedule far enough out to allow me to book a trip to California with my wife, Laura. She, of course is thrilled. So, she’ll be having fun sight-seeing while I’m working.
In other news, Microsoft has now released more certification exams that I must take to keep my MCSE/MCSA W2K current for the new product: Windows Server 2003. If you are new to this site, you may be thinking: Hey – this thing’s running on Irix with Open Source products… what’s this guy doing playing with Microsoft products??? Well, I like to think that I’m broad-minded… that I give all OSes a chance. And I do. I gave IIS a chance to run on my Windows server… It was much faster to run the site on an almost-obsolete SGI O2. Go figure. I do enjoy working with Windows, however. I also enjoy keeping my skills diverse. And, Microsoft work pays the bills.
So, that said, I’m studying a huge book (like 1700+ pages) on Server 2003 so I can update my certifications. It has to weigh at least 20 pounds. And I carry it to work with me to study in the slow times – like lunch time. It’s begining to hurt my back! Studying is hard work…