Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day, so happy Father's Day to Dave, My Dad and all the other Dad's out there! Since we are all going to PF Changs for lunch today, I actually made Dave a Father's Day breakfast yesterday. Recently on America's Test Kitchen they made this wonderful "family" omelet which is what I made for Dave and I yesterday. It was delicious! The key to making it great was to cook all the ingredients (I used tomatoes, broccoli-slaw, bacon and a red pepper) first to get all the liquid out. Then after the eggs have set up, add the ingredients, top with cheese, lower the heat and cover. The eggs were cooked perfectly and the ingredients were integrated into the omelet wonderfully. We also went to dinner out at the Caldwell Elks Club as a Middleton High School fund raiser for a fire they experienced earlier this year. My friend Michelle's daughters go there and Traci was selling tickets so I bought them for us and Heather and Randy. Heather was out of town at a dog show and I'm not sure why Michelle and Gregg weren't there, but it was fun to go out and have dinner for a good cause. Tammy was there working so there was at least one familiar face. After dinner, we came home and watched Comic Relief 2006 and Dane Cook's Viscous Circle that we had on the Tivo.

Last week I finally braved the bus for the first time. I live close enough (5 minutes) to a stop and with the price of gas, my driving record (4 tickets/3 years) and trying to save on the environment I finally gave it a try. It was kinda fun and I hope to ride on any day that I don't need my car for other things. I got to work in only about 10 minutes longer and I was able to watch my video podcasts so that was cool.

Things are really gearing up at work for the reimaging and changeover next month and I'm doing everything I can to be prepared and organized so things go smoothly. I can just hardly wait until it's over. As a bonus, as soon as it is, Aaron will be flying home and spending the month of August with us. I'm also hoping we will take a 2 week trip to CA to visit friends and family and maybe spend another day in the city like we have 2 times before. Dave may even fly down to his Mom's and meet us there for a long weekend.

This week, my friend Wendy emailed me and asked me if I could fly up to WA in two weeks for an "appointment". I explained to her how crazy work was and asked her what was up. Well, she's getting married of all things! Of course, I'm going to do my best to be there for her on her special day.

This last Monday I was getting ready for work and my neck suddenly seized up leaving me with limited movement and a lot of pain. I went to work, but only for a few hours. I headed straight to the chiro and then home to bed where I watched so much TV I thought my brain would fall out. I stayed home Tuesday and well and got a massage which I think definitely helped. It's a bit better each day and I am definitely committed to walking the dogs each day and doing the 15 minute yoga show in the morning. I've also changed out my desk chair at home to use the stability ball which really helps with the posture. I'm also being very conscious of how much time I spend on the PC and taking frequent breaks. It's a hassle, but I think with the damage that has already been done, I'd better get a hold on this now before anything worse happens.

About a week ago, Adam Curry on the DSC announced he had done an interview on Bloomberg TV's Night Talk show. I immediately tried to figure out what channel Bloomberg was for us with DirectTV and since I couldn't remember the name of the show, looked around until I found the show and then picked up a season pass. Well, it aired late last week and Dave and I watched it. It was great, he talked about podcasting and explained himself very well. I then emailed Adam and asked him if he wanted me to pull the video off our Tivo and upload it somewhere. He suggested Podshow and Friday night I pulled the show off the Tivo and tried to upload it. Of course, the .TY format isn't accepted on hardly anything so I wasn't surprised that it didn't like that format. I changed it to MPEG and waited 4 hours for it to upload, only to find it failed because it couldn't be converted to flash. I then asked Dave to help me edit the file so I would be working with a smaller file. We cut out the commercials and the 2nd half the show that Adam wasn't on and then I spent Saturday trying different formats and uploading again and again. I even emailed Tom Wiles of the Trucker Tom and Finding America podcast for suggestions. I finally got it converted and uploaded this morning. Check it out here.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Vacation in AZ

Over the long Memorial Day weekend Dave and I traveled to Tucson, AZ where we vacationed for 6 days with his Dad and Barbara. They live in Green Valley, which is about a half hour drive south from Tucson and only about 20 miles north of the Mexico border. I had no idea what the town was like and had printed off some information on area shopping off the internet. I was a bit disappointed to see how dinky the town was and in fact the advertised "mall" was just a shopping strip. It's a retirement community town and VERY quiet. We relaxed, read a lot, ate, sat in the sun and did some site-seeing. We arrived on Thursday morning and Barbara took us to Trader Joe's which I absolutely love, especially since we don't have any in Idaho. We filled up on groceries and then headed to a wonderful bakery where we had delicious sandwiches for lunch.

Dave and his Dad played golf twice and even took me out to the driving range (which is in their back yard!) for a lesson. I was also able to get 2 massages while I was there and attend 1 yoga class. Dave even read 2 books and I read 3. It was great. We visited Rex Ranch for a wonderful dinner where we had to drive the car through a river. It was a very cool place with great scenery. Barbara and I drove into Tubac one day and did some shopping. Mike is a recent member to the Elk's club so on our last night there we attended a buffet dinner with a "spanish" theme with some of the ladies from the neighborhood. It was a lot of fun. Mike and Barbara's house is a really nice dual master suite home perfect for vacationing. They even rent it during the summer. I helped Barbara update the webpage, so I was able to get a tiny "online" fix during the week.

We learned during our trip to OR that Dave's Dad makes a great latte. As soon as you get up in the morning, he makes it to order. Ahhhh. Another favorite thing of mine when visiting them is their dog Jazz and cat Gigi. Jazz has a lot of character and I always enjoy taking him for walks. With their great location on the golf course, we walked along the greens every night and saw lots of bunnies, birds and other animals. We even had a scare where Jazz got into some rat "cakes" that had been left out and then moved by the creatures in the night. Luckily we were able to get most of it out of his both before too much was ingested to make him sick. The vet said those things are really powerful and can easily kill even large dogs like Jazz.

I did manage to eat pretty well while on vacation and after many days of being in skimpy summer clothes and sunbathing I came home and decided to get back to good eating and trying to exercise. This week I've walked the dogs 4 times and have ate really well. I still need to start getting up early and doing some Yoga or something but I've just been really tired this week. Maybe this weekend I can get started. I am taking golf lessons for the next 3 weeks, so I hope to get out a practice and I think that counts towards exercise also ;)

The dogs stayed with Heather and Randy and of course had a wonderful time there. They always come home obedient and well groomed, which of course, neither lasts long at our house.

Matt is home from school for the summer and is working full time which is great. Jeff is working but apparently doesn't like the job and will either be soon quitting for the summer or looking for something else. Last weekend we attended Kim's graduation party and it's hard to imagine in 2 years Jeff will be graduating and only 3 years after that it will be Aaron's turn. Aaron finished school yesterday and we are still in talks about where he will live for next year. He makes a good point that the schools are better here. For now, he will spend the next 2 months at his Dad's and then the month of August with us. After that, who knows. Hopefully, we will be able to take a nice long vacation visiting family and friends in CA in August.

Work is crazy busy. We are gearing up for everyone to be reimaged during a 2 week changeover to new document management system. It's going to be crazy. PC's and laptops everywhere and users complaining about every icon in a different place. I'm trying to stay calm and realize there is only so much I can do and it will be what it is regardless of my stress level.

The day before we left on vacation I went to my laptop in the morning to sync my ipod as I always do (to get a refill of podcasts for the day) only to find my Itunes library was wiped out. Gone. Nothing there. I had a backup from a few months ago, but what a mess putting all that back together. While I was on vacation the podcasts really built up and I made a decision to really wack down what I was subscribed to so I'm just now getting caught up on my "favs" and am now on the long list of 2nd priority podcasts I listen to and I imagine I will need to do some pruning there also.