Its taken me a while to get here, but I have something to admit. It saddens me to say this, and I can’t believe I’m actually thinking about this. Its like the voice of reason or practicality has broken thorugh my mentality about owning a 2 seater sports car in a family of 5. Yes, you got it, I am thinking of selling my Miata and getting a more “family” oriented car. I am NOT selling my Miata because I don’t like it, or I think there is anything bad about owning one, even in my family situation. I just think it would be much more practical and convenient to have a 4 door family car. I am definately going to miss the fun “zoom zoom” my Miata brought into my life. Liz and I will both miss driving it, going on dates together in it, and all the other fun things we experienced with it.
A few people who know me, know that I’ve had over 15 different vehicles in the last 12 years. So I have a bit of a record of not sticking with something for long. I assure you its not one of those “get a different car” itches. The plan right now is to get something more comfortable for the family, something we can all fit in and go on a short trip without having to take the van. It will be more economical, more practical, and will simply fit our family circumstances better than owning a 2 seater convertible.
One day, when the kids are older, I will definately get another Miata, its just too much fun not to. And for the people who scorn the Miata or men who drive them, all I can say is you must have never driven one. Or at least never ridden in one with a driver who can handle the abilities of the car. As for me, I’m sadly parting with my Miata, but will one day be driving one again.
I was talking to my wife about cars and options for replacing the Miata. My youngest daughter Abby said “Why does he want to get rid of it…I like the Miata”. It breaks the heart!
I am normally pretty busy, but lately its just been crazy! Between some website development I’m doing in my spare time, my full time job and stuff going on with Liz and the kids; its rather hectic.
We realized the other day that our washing machine was starting to leak, so we jumped on craigslist and found a nice newer set for a great price and the guy even offered to deliver. They were dropped off yesterday, so after work I installed both a new washer and dryer and tested them out. Then it was off to web work land for me, which I got carried away with and was up way too late! I skipped my normal gym night in hopes of going tonight instead. I don’t like to mess up my schedule, but this won’t be too bad, since Liz and the kinds will be busy on thursday night, so I can go thursday after work and it won’t be a big deal.
With the web work I’m doing, I am finding all sorts of neat little tricks with flash and other cool tools. I think I am going to integrate some flash stuff on my personal sites soon,
once if things slow down for me.
On Saturday I joined a local fitness club. I have been entertaining the idea of getting a membership to a fitness club for a while now, but when I started out looking for one, I didn’t want one of those professional performance places where its a bunch of hulk hogans running around and all that. So I found a family oriented club and went to check it out on Saturday morning. I was a little intimidated by the size of the place, but once the manager started showing me around, it was really quite nice. Everyone was friendly and they offer a lot of cool programs that come as part of the membership. It is a bit expensive, but my plan is to stick with the club for about a year, get myself in better shape and then try to get some equipment that I can use to maintain my fitness level at home. I need to go at least 3 times a week which is going to be tough with my schedule. I realize that if I am going to do this, its going to cost something besides money, and that is my family time. I’m going to have to go at night twice a week and once on Saturday morning.
One of the things I found tricky about switching to Windows Vista was setting up local GPO Settings. I opened gpedit.msc and was intentionally trying to add a .adm file for Office Communicator 2007. I tried everything I knew how to get the .adm file to show up in gpedit, but I couldn’t figure it out. I tried copying the communicator.adm file to C:windowsinf and C:WindowsPolicy Files and nothing worked. I even ran across an article on converting .adm files to .admx format for Windows Vista using the ADMX Migrator. When I tried to convert the file, I got 126 errors and decided that this may not be the way to go. Finally I found an article on how to add the legacy file format and get the job done. Its actually already capable of loading the legacy .adm file locally, and here is how to do it…
1. Open gpedit.msc
2. Expand either computer configuration or user configuration
3. Right-click on the Administrative Templates folder and select “Add/remove templates”.
4. Browse for the .adm file you wish to load and select it for opening.
You now have the .adm file loaded and you can then make changes and configure the policy settings. Also I’d suggest turning off the User Access control option (under control panel > User Accounts) so that you don’t have 500 prompts from Vista asking if you are sure you want to do stuff. How annoying! 🙂
Microsoft has recently released Windows Steady State. Its a free application that lets you lock down a windows computer and make it usable in a public environment. It reminds me of my fortress or zenworks days, but its much easier to work with. You can download Steady State from Microsoft and give it a try. This would be great for mall kiosk computers or other types of publically accessible computers. It can even reset all your settings and configuration after a reboot in the event someone does hack the system.
There are a few things I’m working on that I will hopefully be able to release on both my blog and family website soon. Here is a brief list of things I’m trying to get setup…
1. Method for web visitors to send me messages or info, perhaps post back information to my site, maybe a public category where friends and family can post messages.
2. Podcasts – We have a lot of fun doing podcasts. I hope to get the girls and Liz and I back into a somewhat regular podcast series. It would be audio only at first, probably short (under 5 minutes) and of course make you laugh.
3. Way down the road, I’d love to start doing video podcasts. This is going to take a little more thought and planning, and we don’t have the video equipment to take on this job yet.
4. Add pictures to posts – it would be nice if when I posted an update on the site if I could attach a picture to the post for a visual aid of what I’m talking about. So from now on, I’m going to try to post individual pics of the kids or relevant pictures of what relates to my post so that its not just a bunch of boring text… 🙂
5. Custom theme – at some point down the road, its inevitable that I need to try to create a custom theme for WordPress. I have up to now used freely available themes I found online and modified them for my own use. This has worked out fine so far, but its time I start looking into option to code my own theme. This would open up all kind of opportunity as to how I want the site to look, and it would be a lot of fun designing graphics and CSS for the site.
For the last few days I’ve been trying to time it right so I can cut the grass. For various reasons it just hasn’t worked out. So yesterday, Liz had a meeting scheduled for 7pm she had to go to. I wanted to cut the grass because it was sunny out and not raining. I had to decide on cutting the grass, and taking a quick shower, or should I make dinner and get the family to sit down together and eat a meal before she leaves. So we talked about it on the phone, I tried to call her and she didn’t answer, but finally called me back. We said we’d decide on a final solution when I got home. So I pull up and see that the grass is cut. I can hear a mower at a neighbors house, so I was thinking to myself “Oh she got the neighbor to cut for me”. Well it turned out that she had cut it. I felt the mower and found that it was warm, so I knew she had done it then. I played it off a little at first, and she said “you didn’t even notice did you”. Then I fessed up and made a big deal about it, and it was a really nice gesture on her part. So here is another praise for her!!!
What a fast weekend! Friday afternoon Liz and I spent most of the time on our computers working on stuff. So we didn’t do much of anything exciting then. One exciting thing that did happen Friday night and Saturday morning is that I sold a bunch of stuff on ebay and got the go ahead from Liz to get a wii. So Saturday afternoon I called around to try to find some store that had any in stock. I called Toys R Us on Fowler, and they said they had one. When I got the store not 15 minutes later, the red shirt told me they were sold out. I am kicking myself now, because I bet if I had asked him to double-check he would have found the one the person on the phone said they had in stock. So of course when I get home and call more places and repeated the process on Sunday, no one I called had any!
I’m not going to get off into a huff about the whole eBay thing with all the wii price gouging going on, but sadly, if I can’t find one at a store by this weekend, I may have to buy one online. I hope it doesn’t come to that, as I really don’t want to support the price gouging, but I’d really like to have ours by next Friday, as we are having guests over and it would be great to have for company.
I don’t think we really did much of anything great on Saturday again, just kind of hung around the house and spent time together. I think Liz and the girls watched a movie.
Sunday, we were supposed to get together with some friends, but one of their kids got sick, so we didn’t get together afterall. I did however, go help build a set for MOPS and spent about 5 or so hours over there doing actual work! 🙂
Monday, we had a last minute get together with some other friends, but I needed to cut the grass. So I ended up cutting the grass in the late morning, while the kids went with Liz to go swimming. I got done cutting the grass and had to get a shower, and get something to eat. Once I got there to meet up with my family, they were all getting out of the pool and about to eat lunch. Then it started to rain. So I took Abby home with me in the Miata. The kids love it when they get to ride in the Miata. And its nice to get that one-on-one time with them. Liz put on more of the movie they watched the previous day and then we got them to bed after dinner.
Liz and I had been trying to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy again, so for the past 2 nights we had watched as much of the movies as we could possibly stay awake to watch. We got half way through the third and final movie last night, so we have to watch another 2 hours or so tonight to finish off the trilogy.
I put together a list of store phone numbers within a mile of my work that I plan to call daily to check wii inventory. If I can find a store nearby that gets a wii, I can hopefully run over there and get one before they sell out so I can pay retial price for it. I plan to call every day around noon or just before to check and see what they have. I only want one, hopefully I will be able to find one around somewhere amidst all this mad rush and inventory shortage.