Monthly Archives: June 2007

Vacation Summary

We are finally back from Vacation (actually got back on Tuesday evening). We had a nice relaxing time (mostly) and it was nice to see family and friends and places we haven’t seen in a few years. Now lets see if I can remember a few highlights…

My favorite part was playing badminton for over 6 hours straight. I think it was Saturday we had a family get togther and a cookout, after everyone ate, we started playing and it was a lot of fun. It was a little disappointing at how easy it was to beat Ray and Jeremy, I expected more competition than what I saw out there. Liz got some great shots of me playing, and they are available in the picture gallery.

We went blueberry picking (actually I took the kids to the field) and we picked over 13 pounds of blue berries. They were $1.50 a pound, so I spent almost $20, but boy were they good!!! I probably ate about 6 pounds by myself the first day we got them.

The kids played in a stream down a dirt road, and rode bikes through it. My kids loved it and enjoyed getting wet and muddy. At one point Abby had to go to the bathroom while we were all at the stream, so I carried her on my back all the way back to the house and helped her, and then we drove back to the stream in Uncle Jam’s car. I stuck Abby up through the sunroof so thats the first thing they’d see as we drove up. Then on the way back, I had Michael ride with me, I drove Jam’s car in reverse all the way back to the house with Michael in my lap, I had to hold the steering wheel tightly as Michael was trying to “steer” with me.

Overall our flights up and back were very good, no bumps or problems. When we got to the Tampa airport, our main bag was 3 pounds over weight. They made us take out 3 pounds. So Liz took her purse out and shoved some shoes in there to get through check-in. The girls were great on the flights, only bugged me a bit about pushing the seat’s recline button, they really wanted to push it bad, so I told them it was to push if you wanted to take a nap, then they weren’t really interested anymore. They watched a movie on my laptop on the way there.

We forgot Michael’s stroller on the way back, so Liz used the snug carrier thing that straps onto you, and carried Michael that way, which worked out good on the plane.

We rented a van from Budget on the way from Dover to Newark to visit my Aunt and Uncle. We got a nice Dodge Grand Caravan which was very comfortable. We had a nice visit with them as well and I ended up staying up really late talking “tech” with David.

Leaving Philly on Tuesday, our plane was delayed a little getting in, and had to wait in line for about 30 minutes before we could leave. So there was a little delay getting back home. Mike picked us up in their van and brought us home, which was nice.

While staying with my mom, we basically had no cell service, so it was a little disturbing to be so disconnected for the first day or two. After that I got used to it and it was actually nice not to be glued to my phone all day. I almost forgot how relaxing that is. I was joking around telling people that we have these nice GSM quad band world phones that will work in Austrailia, the UK and abroad, but we can’t even use them in Delaware! Cingular has good signal in the major areas, but service in the rural areas is really bad. Verizon by far is the better carrier in the north east. Now that Cingular is the new at&t, maybe that will improve over time.

Overall our trip was good, it was good to see old faces and places and catch up with people. We got lots of good pictures and had a relaxing time. However, it is still a difficult thing to travel with small kids, so I hope not to have to travel like that again for at least 5 years!!! 🙂

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My son the superhero!

I can’t take credit for this picture, but I love it!

Superbaby!

I almost got run over by a schoolbus!

I almost got smashed by a schoolbus at lunch today. Well it wasn’t my fault! I stopped in the right hand lane in slow traffic to let a car turn in front of me coming from the other direction, and when I looked up into my rear view mirror, I saw the grille of a school bus pummeling towards me. The driver slammed on his brakes and came within probably millimeters of hitting my trunk. He was either tailgating me or driving way too fast and not watching where he was going. I thought I was going to get hit! Then he lays on his horn like its my fault! And as I turned off the road, he drove past and honked at me again! At that point I wanted to stop my car in the middle of the road, walk out there and get up in his window and demand his name, bus number and license plate info. I hate to see that kind of stuff, these people drive vehicles full of kids! I felt like practicing some Steven Segal moves I saw in a movie! 🙂

So Hillsborough County bus drivers beware! I’m fed up now, and will take extra effort to write down your info and file formal complaints. Grrrr!

Server Closet picture

ServerCloset

Pardon the cable mess, but here is a picture of my server closet. I have two domain controlers (PCs on the left) and one Exchange server (HP desktop on the right laying flat). My FIOS router is on the top left on top of the black HP desktop/server. Right next to that is my Road Runner cable modem (Motorola SBG900). On the bottom shelf, I have a Dell Power Connect 16 port 10/100 switch. My vonage router is at the other end of the lower shelf and just above that is a phone (now the only phone connected to Vonage – until I cancel the service). I will be dropping road runner and Vonage this coming week, so the collection of devices will be reduced by 2 and a few cables will be removed.

FIOS Speed!

ScreenshotAfter having FIOS installed for 1 whole day now, I’m excited to post the speed test results. Which I must say have been very consistent and very fast! I’ve tried many speed tests, but this screenshot shows my actual network speed to the verizon CO. Talk about fast! This is great, and a good value for the money.

Faster speeds, better value

I’m excited to say that tomorrow evening I will be getting FIOS installed. I opted for the 20MB/5MB plan. So now I will have 20MBps download speeds and 5MBps upload speeds to support home networking services. This will be a major boost for my e-mail, picture uploads and web design work that Liz and I both do.

These changes come after several frustrating issues with Road Runner. I’ll explain more about that in another post.

Oh and I also have to get a part of my roof fixed tomorrow as we discovered some major leaks during the last few thunderstorms we had.

Liz's new phone

For the first time in our cell phone history, we were able to take advantage of a cell phone upgrade offer from Cingular. Liz’s line was now ellibible for a new cell phone upgrade. We went online and checked out the various models and both picked out the LG CU400. It was totally free aside from an $18 activation fee. Its a nice little phone, a bit thicker than the RAZR but had most of the same features and was actually lighter with more talk time. We’ve had some quality issues with her RAZR and the battery was going bad. So it was the perfect time for an upgrade. I received the package from Cingular yesterday and got it all charged and setup. When I got home from work she had me transfer her custom ringtone and display picture to the new phone. I was able to transfer all her contacts from her RAZR to her new 3G SIM and then put it back in the new phone and transferred the contacts from the SIM to the phone. I gave her a quick tutorial on how to use it and she was set. While the RAZR is a cool phone, it was time to make a change. My phone is elligible for an upgrade at the end of the month, I wonder if I’ll get to pickup a new device? 🙂

Family Update

We have been so busy lately, there is so much going on its going to be hard to give an update…

We had a great weekend this past weekend, we went to visit some friends of ours on Sunday afternoon and stayed until almost 11. We had a great time, great conversation and I got to try out their wii! The kids had a blast and got extremely dirty, so they had a great time!

We are getting ready to be busy with last minute plans for our trip to visit family. We have packing to do and final arrangements to make. It should be an interesting time.

Last night Liz had her papmer night for MOPS, so I stayed home with the kids and we had a nice time. They watched a movie and had popcorn and brownies! I went to bed around 11, and Liz didn’t get home till around midnight.

I have again discovered how lonely summer mornings are when Sarah doesn’t have school and we don’t all get up together in the mornings. Normally I get everyone up around 6:20am and we get breakfast and get ready to go about our day together. But in the summer, Liz doesn’t have to take Sarah to school, they get to sleep in and I end up alone in the mornings getting ready by myself. So I like the summer in that we save on gas money, and the rest of the family gets a break, but for me its the same old schedule, just all by myself.

Church Family Funnies Episode 2

In this episode of the Church Family Funnies, (recording solo) I talk about the time I knocked my grandfather into the bathtub. Don’t worry, he was fine.

Jim, he's a Vulcan!

Came across this intersting article today, aparently we’ve discovered a vulcan, but modern science hasn’t figured it out yet.

www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2366584.html?menu=news.quirkies