June 2005 Archives

Our girl is in a family way..

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Sago palms come in two genders, and its pretty easy to tell one from another. Ours in the backyard is in full bloom, and being greedy capitalists that might well sell her seedlings, we help her out a bit.

Another All-nighter & weekend notes

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I spent the weekend doing a crunch-crisis JSP application for a sales presentation that took place today and yesterday. The requirements for the app didn't get solidified untill Sunday morning, which was somewhat frustrating since I'd spent Saturday evening putting a sample app for it all togther. Long story short, I went in the building at 8:30am sunday, left for 1 hour on Sunday, and then finally left at 12:30pm today, chilled from the air conditioning and with tingling extremities looking for somewhere to crash. It was a true all-nighter, and there were about 4 of us that made it through. The application wasn't pretty, but it demonstrated the features we needed to show, which was good. I would have rather had more time to work on it, but its out there. Was kinda fun working with the sales team too, although this pulling requirements out of thin air is a bit frustrating. I fell asleep twice at the office, then crashed for about 2 hrs at 2pm. The good news is that the effort will pay off in a short day on Friday for the long weekend!



I sent my momma some chocolates that Franz had brought. They melted on the way there. That makes me sad.


Speaking of Franz, he called from somewhere in Peru that had a phone line. He's spent 10 days running around the countryside, and evidently he's having a good time.. eating delicacies like chicken soup and guinea pig, and staying at places that turn the generator off at night, making you have to light a candle to go to the head. The fall/winter weather there is good to him, and he's said the scenary has been fabulous. There are times like this weekend I'd like to be somewhere in the middle of the land where there's no power.


Saturday I got the Honda off the driveway. I've got a friend in town that needed a car, and since I wasn't going to get what I wanted for it from the 'easy' route of selling it to a dealer, we worked out a deal. Only problem was he hadn't driven a standard before.. so lessons were in order. Phillip was a bit nervous at first: "You think it'll take a month to learn?" Of course he picked it right up... its been a forgiving car, and he's pretty smart, so as long as he's not drinking Starbucks, doing the crossword and yakking on the phone while driving, I think he'll have fun with it. I do have to admit it was a bit strange seeing the car out at the bar on Saturday night however!

HAH!

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Toytown Munich is pitching the annual July 4th BBQ at Amerika Haus and states:

Security: there will be lots of security so leave your WMD's and IED's at home.

Whirlwind weekend

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It's taken a day to recover from a ultra-fast weekend of Franz visiting the states for the first time, as well as visiting Austin.

We snagged him off the plane Friday, fed him some Tex-Mex food, and kept him up long enough to make it through the fireworks at the Round Rock Express baseball game. It doesn't get much more American than that unless we would have had some apple pie after dinner.

Saturday we spent the day preparing for our afternoon party and then enjoying it. While it was good and toasty for us getting the yard ready during the morning and midday, we had rented a porta-cool fan which water-cools blown air, making a nice outdoor airconditioner for our backyard. Chaz made a beautiful tres leches cake from scratch for dessert, as well as grilled sausages. Franz went with me to Central Market, and after the shock of the size of an American food store wore off, he got inspired to fix a shrimp salad and some ceviche to share with our crowd. And the floral department inspired him as well, as some of the photos behind the thumbnail below will reveal. Around 40 people showed up, and they polished off all the food without a problem.

Sunday was father's day, and we had the good fortune to go up to Charles' parents house for lunch. Franz enjoyed the drive out to the country, and although most of his time on the farm was behind his camera, he did get to see all the animals out there as well as the family inside. That afternoon we had a quiet pool visit at our friend Gil's house, with all of us falling asleep somewhere in the background at some point.

On Monday he set out on his journey to Lima, Peru on his vacation, due to pass through in four weeks on his way back to Munich.

Galleries behind this thumbnail:

About to begin approach..

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FranzInFlight.jpg

Franz's flight is beginning its descent. Must be nice to look forward to a 5 week vacation.

DIY!

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I got the satellite receiver installed tonight.

car05sat0001.jpg


This evening was really weird - had 2 extra tickets to the Round Rock Express game, and it was both "Thirsty Thursday" [half price beers] and "Firefighter Appreciation Night". Neither of us could find coworkers or friends interested in going to the game. Not only that, Charles' sister called with 4 tickets someone gave her. Was a great game - Express won!

Gracefully? I'm not so sure.

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Last weekend was my birthday, and while I looked forward to it with some trepidation, everything went fine and it was rather quiet. Chaz baked a nice red velvet cake, and we had a few friends by to share it and some sweet Muscat wine some friends had brought by. The bigger shindig is coming up as Franz comes through town this weekend.

At my Dad's request, I've posted some photos of my car upgrade here. I filled it up for the first time last week. The $33 fillup hit me square in the gut, when compared to a $20 fillup in the Honda. So let's see, I've taken a payment, increased my insurance costs, and increased my fuel payments why? Oh yeah, so I don't have to turn off the air conditioning to get onto the highway! I could get used to having a little more horsepower.

In other car news, the SE edition that I have comes pre-wired for Sirius or XM radio, and while there was some paperwork for Sirius in the glove box, the prior owner took the receiver with him. Calling him, he mentioned that a clarion receiver would work in the car, so I bought one from Crutchfield for $100. A week later, the device comes, but its got a CeNet connector on it while the car has a "N-Bus" connector. 2 hours of research on the net later, there's no harness to connect the two, and theirs no specs on either to build your own, even though the two components are built by Clarion. The device goes back, and I place an order with Grubbs for the more expensive Nissan branded Clarion receiver that has the right plug-type. Have I mentioned that this new vehicle is a costly venture?


At work, I'm transitioning into a new role at my company, and am pretty fired up about it. I'll be doing Technical Marketing, which is basically sales engineering with more of an in-house focus. That being said, there's lots to do, and they've alreay mentioned a sales gig in Benelux that I'll be helping out with in the short term.

Unlike any change I've made in the past, this one really feels like a 'new' job, not just the same job for a different company. My team is dramatically smaller now, and I'll be closer to the newer stuff coming out of the factory, so its all pretty cool. That and having my own office for the first time since I worked for IBM isn't bad either. There will be a few weeks of teeth gnashing as I decouple from ongoing Services work, but I think the teams will survive.

Rolling through downtown on the weekend..

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While we've watched the Austin gay pride parade in the past, this is the first year we've taken part. We rode with our motorcycle group, the Freedom Riders of Austin, a mixed bag of queer and straight, male and female. The wait to ride was long and hot, and then once riding it was plenty frustrating going slow. Both bikes got plenty warm, and while our riders were well behaved, holding up the bike & 2 bodies at a standstill was a challenge at times. Chaz did a good job of cleaning both bikes, and I think we were a pretty handsome contingent.

Politically, while there's plenty of things I'm not particularly proud of with the 'community' in general (lack of individual responsibility, misplaced priorities in general with the marriage push), I do see a need for these events. I fully don't intend to be the big role model, but I don't mind lending my nose to be counted if it helps someone realize that despite our differences, we're your neighbors and colleagues.

Some photos are available here behind the thumbnail below.

Ready to roll

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