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The long weekend

This is going to be a long post, so be prepared for some reading…

Firday I took a personal day from work to stay home and watch the kids while Liz went to a conference in Orlando. She actually left on Thursday afternoon, but her parents came earlier on Thursday to help with the kids. So I got home on Thursday evening and she was gone 😦 After some settling in, we decided to have soup and grilled-cheese sandwiches for dinner. This is a simple meal, but very tasty (I make a great grilled-cheese sandwich). I had a bit of a crazy time trying to time everything just right, making soup and sandwiches for so many people at once. It turned out good, which I was a little doubtful about since we were one package of soup short of what I thought we’d have. There was plenty for everyone and it was good.

We got the kids in bed on Thursday night and had some fun beforehand playing the wii. Once the kids were in bed, Liz’s parents played the wii and after a while we shut the wii off and watched a movie. We put on Eragon and stayed up late.

Friday morning, after the kids and I had breakfast, we had a wii tournament. I played a few games with the girls, and then Liz’s parents started a bowling competition. They both achieved pro status and had some very good games. They were beating me and I lost some of my pro points.

Then we decided to run out to a store to try to buy a computer for my brother-in-law’s fiance’ We went to Circuit City in New Tampa and looked around (this was while Sarah was in school). We were there for about 2 hours with Michael and Abby actually being pretty good. We found a computer we all agreed was a good one, for about $400 but it didn’t come with a monitor. They had a package deal with it, but the monitor it came with was a bulky CRT.

Kind of kidding, I said they could buy me one of the nice HP flat panel monitors and I would give them my 19″ dell FP at home and give them some money for the upgrade. They agreed and the rep checked inventory, but found they didn’t have any of the computer we picked out in stock. So my mother-in-law asked if they would sell them the display model. The rep agreed and came back with a price around $330 something. We went to check out and they were going to keep the computer for a few hours and re-image it and then have us come back to pick it up. We were about to leave when Liz’s dad found a problem with the receipt. After probably an hour of waiting and adjusting, they just couldn’t get it right. They ended up getting the computer for about $185 and they got an additional $30 discount on the monitor. All in all, they paid around $460 or so for the computer and monitor, which is an awesome deal!

We went to Wendy’s after that since we are all starving and it was around lunch time anyway. I was in a hurry because I wanted to hook up the new monitor. We got to Wendy’s and got in the drive through line, but the line was moving slow. Liz’s mom suggested it would faster if she just went in and ordered. So I pulled out of line into a parking spot. We waited in the car for what felt like 30 minutes, when finally Liz’s dad went in to check out what was taking so long. Turned out they were out of chicken right at noon (go figure) and had to cook more on the spot. We finally got out of there after 12:35pm and made it home to sit down and eat. I fed Michael and got him down for a nap and started setting up the new monitor on the computer desk. At first, it worked, but was blurry, and didn’t have the software installed for the proper resolution or settings. After installing the right software, the DVI output stopped working. When set to the right resolution, the monitor would go into standby, and the display would just stop. I tried everything, uninstalling, safe mode, new drivers, new ATI software, etc. Nothing worked and I ended up taking the video card out of my multimedia computer and reloading my home computer’s OS. Once reloaded with the other video card, there were no problems and things were fine.

So now my multimedia computer is stripped of its video card and is non functional. I ordered a new video card from TigerDirect online, and it should be here sometime mid-week. I got an HIS Radeon 512MB GDDR3 Pro card, with nice specs and enhanced HD support. This should be a major improvement! I was sad to find out later that my power supply in my multimedia machine is only 250W, meaning that the new video card won’t have enough power in that computer. I may end up for now putting the new card in my main computer and taking the original video card that was in the playback computer and put it back in since I know that works. But ultimately, I want to get new power supplies for both computers, a 500W for the main PC, and a 450 for the multimedia computer.

After spending most of the afternoon working on the computers and getting things setup, I began working on setting up the new computer that my in-laws bought. I managed to re-image the computer to factory, and do all the updates and install needed software. Then I moved all their files and settings off the old computer to the new one. Then I cleaned up the old computer and removed all the clutter and made it like new. (Liz’s mom ran home once we got back from CC and got their existing computer). The arrangement ended up being that they got the new computer, and my monitor. Then my brother-in-law’s fiance’ got their computer and exsting 17″ flat panel monitor. So the arrangement worked out well for everyone.

We had Pizza Hut dippin’ strips pizza for dinner, and I also ordered a large half cheese, half pepperoni pan pizza. It was sooooo good, we love the dippin strips, which is only a seasonal thing from what we can tell. I ordered online and had it delivered.

Friday night, we started watching Spiderman 3 and didn’t finish because it was late and the movie was long. So I went to bed around 12:30 something or close to 1am.

Saturday morning we played more wii, and I finished final touches on the computers. Then we started cleaning up the house in preparation for Liz to get home that evening. We had lunch after Liz’s parents left that morning. We got to play more wii and relax a bit before Liz got home. We had the left over pizza for lunch which was still good, we had just enough left to have enough for lunch.

I was just putting the kids to bed when Liz walked in the door. Must have been after 7:30pm and I had just put Michael to bed. So I went and got him back out of bed to say hi to her. I put him down on the floor in his room, and I think he already knew she was home. He ran out of his door and into her arms and just held her for a while. He is such a sweet little boy!

Got all the kids to bed Saturday night, and Liz and I sat on the couch and chatted about our weekends and relaxed a little. It was nice to catch up and fill each other in on all the goings-on of the weekend. She had a great time at her convention and told me all about it. I told her the long story of the computer work for the weekend.

Sunday we had Amanda and her kids over for lunch and the kids got to play for a while and Lizzie and Lina got to play bowling on the wii. Amanda finished a turn for Lizzie, and said it could definately get addictive.

All weekend I had meant to cut the grass, but never found time, I was busy all weekend and never got around to it. Then I took a sick day on Monday because I was getting over some stomach problems that I seemed to pick up over the weekend. I had thought I could try to at least mow the front yard on Monday, but it kept raining on and off all day. It was a weird weather day, it would be sunny outside, but a rain cloud would be over our house, and it would be raining. Sometimes hard rain would come down and it would get grey outside, but then it would stop and the sun would come back out. All day it was like this, so I didn’t get a chance to cut the grass.

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The grass is cut

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!!!

Labor Day Weekend Summary

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.

weekend update

Another busy weekend is now complete. Friday I had to work late from home to fix some server problems. Liz and I had been planning a date night all week to go out and spend time together, but since I had to work, we ended up going grocery shopping instead while her sister watched the kids. Not exactly what we had in mind, but its always nice to spend together. We didn’t leave until 9:30pm, and got back just before midnight. We went to the Citrus Park Wal-Mart and managed to grab a quick snack from Dariy Queen while we were out that way.

Saturday, Liz had a fund raising event to go to, so I stayed with the kids and her sister to clean the house and get ready for Sarah’s birthday party. I got the grass cut, the house work almost done and had things mostly ready for when Liz got home. That morning for breakfast I made Sarah belgian waffles (her request) and I picked up her own little personal (sarah) sized watermelon.

Her party was around 2, but we didn’t really get started until later. Liz and I cooked up a nice lunch/dinner, we had some grilled chicken salad corn on the cob, and of course cake and ice cream for dessert. Sarah got some nice gifts for her birthday including new polly pockets which she loves, and we got her some nurf guns which we all had a good time with while on vacation. We’ve already lost one of the darts. Its been raining a lot lately, so we didn’t get to do anything outside.

Sunday, Liz and I got some exterrior house work done. She got up on the play room roof and re-flashed some seams that are still leaking even after our last attempt. Then I got the front gutters cleaned out so that the water would stop destroying the landscaping in the front of the house. I need to get some mulch and re-do some areas. Liz also was kind enough to trim some of the bushes in the front yard for me, and did a nice job of shaping them up a little. Now we can see much better through our front window where we have our Bistro table. Its a beautiful view from that front window, we’ve even started eating breakfast there just the two of us, and make it a frequent reading spot at night before bed.

Again, I’m amazed that Sarah is now 7 years old. I was recently reminded by several sources how quickly time passes. First by Sarah turning 7, and second by my phone. It just happened to chime every 5 minutes for the last 1.5 days (long story) and each time it would chime, I was reminded that another 5 minutes had passed. It reminded me how valuable time is, and how sad it is that between work and sleep, I get to spend so little of it with my family.

Summer Weather

Well summer is definately here in Tampa! For the last couple weeks its been warm, rainy and humid! Its been around 90 or so during the day, with high humidity, and lots of sun during the day. In the evenings most days, we get afternoon/evening thunderstorms. These are conveniently scheduled for anytime I decided I need to cut the grass. Surprisingly I haven’t use the air conditioning in my car much this summer, just like last summer, its not too bad riding around with the top down (mostly in the morning, or if I’m lucky enough to beat the afternoon storms). The A/C At home is acting a little funny, I may need to call someone to come take a look. Hopefully its nothing major, but the pump has been running and running lately, so I don’t want my electric bill to skyrocket either. Its bad enough that I pay more for the fuel charges for my electricity than for the actual exlectricity I use.

Twitter Updates for 2007-07-07

  • Cooling off after cutting the grass, whew its warm sunny and humid! #

Beautiful view

My office buiding is in a beautiful location by the airport, in the WestShore business district. Not only is it a convenient location, but also has beautiful landscaping. Today I was walking out to go to lunch, and looked around and the view is just awesome. I noticed the lush green colors of the grasses and tall palm trees. Behind that I saw the beautiful shades of blue painting the sky with not a single cloud visible. Last night’s sky was just also very nice, as it was perfectly clear and the sky was lit up with stars. The sky is so clear and clean here (most of the time), its just an awesome sight.

Typical Florida Summer Weather

Well we are back into the swing of things with the weather again. I forgot how much it rains in the summer around here. Every day for the past I few weeks (seems like more), its rained. We’ve had some loud thunderstorms and lots of rain. We had a dry “winter” but we are making up for it now. My back yard floods every time it rains. All this rain poses a problem for grass cutting. It might be a nice day in the morning and afternoon, but come 5pm when I go home from work, you better believe its going to be raining. So my options, cut the grass when its wet (yuck) or do it in the morning on a weekend. The last option isn’t so hot either as its damp from the dew in the AM on the weekend. So I have to wait until about 11am (almost) to cut the grass unless I don’t mind doing it with the grass wet. My yard is going to be the amazon if I can’t get it cut. Maybe when the kids are grown they can help out with this, by cutting the grass for me during times like this.

Beautiful Weather

Its so nice to be in Florida in early spring. I know its not officially spring yet, but the temperatures and general weather conditions are so comfortable! I love living in Tampa, spring and fall are so nice, and its great having a winter where the temperatures hardly ever fall below 40. The grass is starting to come back to life, and things are getting greener and greener every day. The sky is a beautiful blue and there is almost always a nice tropical breeze. On my drive to and from work, there are beautiful scenes of palm trees here and there, blowing gently in the breeze. I just hope this hurricane season continues the trend and leaves Tampa alone!