Blog Archives

The voice of practicality

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. 

**UPDATE**

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!

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So busy!

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. 

The Mosquito – kids can hear it, most adults can't

Ok, I’m a little late, almost 2 years late, but I just heard about this and think its really cool.  I read this article and this one is also good, and got curious, so from there, I came across this link which will let you download a tone generator with which you can generate your own custom tones and test your hearing abilities.  I tested myself and can hear up to 18Khz (18000.00Hz), but nothing over that.  So I should be able to hear the teenager mosquito ringtone just fine, which is around 17Khz.  I could hear all the sample sounds out there on the internet, and with the tone generator I mentioned, I found the limits of my hearing abilities.  Just a warning here that listening to these tones is annoying, its not a pleasant sound, and leaves a bit of a ringing in your ears.  I would advise moderation here when playing around with it.

Nice fall afternoon

It is a beautiful fall day in Tampa, with temperatures in the upper 70s and a nice breeze blowing gently through the back yard with the sound of neighborhood kids laughing and playing. The kids are playing with fallen leaves and actually getting along very nicely at the moment. The girls got to go to the park today and we plan to spend the remainder of the visible day outside enjoying the beautiful day. We live next a preservation area, so that means its time to get some insect repellant…

Beautiful sunset

I’m sorry I don’t have a picture to go along with this post, but I could have had an accident trying to snap a picture with my phone… I was driving home last night heading east on I-4 and looked in my mirror to see the most beautiful sunset. The sun was large and firey orange and visible between a few highrise buildings in the distance. It was a beautiful sight on a crisp clear day and was really amazing to see. The sad thing is that it wasn’t even 6pm yet and the sun was already going down. Its tough spending all day in an office, you get up before the sun comes up, go to work, and come home when the sun is going down and then have no daylight left to play with the kids outside. Fortunately its only lasts a few months.

Weekend followup

We just had a great weekend! Saturday with Michael’s birthday party and Sunday enjoying the awesome weather outside in the back yard together and chatting with neighbors, it was just a great weekend. I love this time of year with the cooler temperatures and clear skies. It is so relaxing to sit in my back yard, with the “preservation” area behind us, nothing but the sounds of nature to listen to (and the kids playing of course).

Liz and I even got to work on her allspiffedup website a little. We are testing out some things and trying to make it more interactive and visually appealing. We should have a new site up and running in a week or so. I really enjoy doing web work with Liz, we both enjoy it, and although I’m the more technical person who makes things happen, she is understanding of how things work in general and is very good with graphics and we end up having a good time together doing this sort of thing.

P.S. Michael still talks about his moon, he randomly remembers he has it, and keeps saying “moon” over and over and tells everyone about it. Its really cute!

Coming up!

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.

Trick or Treat – lock the door

I feel really about this, and everyone is telling me not to worry about it, but still, it bothers me that I did this, even though it was purely by accident.

Last night we got home around 8:15 or closer to 8:30, and I was getting Sarah in bed and also working on my phone which had to be re-configured (long story). Liz got home just a few minutes after me and I had already gotten Sarah in bed, but when she got home she saw our neighbors outside and they invited her over with Abby to get more candy. So Liz and Abby and Michael went over to the neighbors house. I get a call a few minutes later from Liz and she says I may want to turn off the porch light (that she had left on) because she thought someone might see the light on and come to us for candy (of which we had none since we go out with the kids and don’t stay home to hand out candy). By this time it was probably 8:45pm and I’m on the phone with Liz on speaker, and I go and turn off the porch light, and also lock the deadbolt on the door. I start walking away from the door and hear a boys voice say “trick or treat”.

Turned out he was on the porch and I flipped the light off on him and locked the deadbolt as I walked away from the front door. The poor kid probably thought I was some old ratchety crank being mean and turning him away empty handed. I got off the phone with Liz and looked out the window to see a car in our driveway, so I guess they just moved on, but still I felt bad about what happened.

The song of a parent

This is an amazing video, it so accurately captures the feelings of a parent with small children. I can’t say enough things about how much I like this video. You’ll just have to watch it for yourself. Video courtesy of YouTube:

Catching up

Its been a busy two weeks and I have not posted much to my blog lately. So here is an update starting with the weekend we went to Orlando…

On Saturday October 6th we drove up to Orlando and stayed at the Hilton resort at Disney. My aunt and uncle put us up at the hotel to spend some time with them while they were in town for a conference. We got to the hotel sometime around 4:30 or so. We grabbed some dominos pizza for dinner and Liz’s sister Christina came over to visit for a while. My aunt and uncle arrived later that night and we visited for a while until after midnight.

Sunday we got up and went out to breakfast at a waffle house. Once we were done eating we headed back to the hotel to get ready to go to Downtown Disney. On the way back to the hotel, we saw an IHOP which we would have all preferred, but didn’t know was right there. We got back to the room and got ourselves ready to go and walked over to the Downtown Disney marketplace. We walked around a little and let the kids play at the lego store and checked out some neat things they had setup on the street.

The kids rode a train around a little, and we got some cute pictures of that. They also rode a merry-go-round which they always love. Then we headed over ot the Rain Forrest cafe for lunch. That place is really neat, and has a unique atmosphere and awesome decorations and effects. Every 30 minutes there is a thunderstorm and the animals go wild and they flash lights, etc. Its a lot of fun, the staff are friendly and the food was good.

We walked around a little more and ultimately headed back to the hotel to go swimming. The kids and uncle David beat us all down to the pool, and when I got there, they were already in the water. I tested the water with my toe and found it a little cold for my liking, so I took advantage of the cool breeze and occasional sun to get a little rest on a lounge chair. I had just started to doze while the kids were playing in the pool, when I was awaken by the sensation of rain drop on my face. We got our stuff together and herded the kids under an umbrella and got ourselves ready to go back into the hotel. We got back to the room and changes and visited a little more, and by this time it was after 5pm, so we decided to get ready to go soon. I think we left close to 6 or so, and the rain actually stopped which was good, because traffic would have been slow if it had kept raining. We were home before 7 and got to crash for a bit before getting all the kids off to bed.

Then this past weekend, the 13th and 14th, we actually had a nice productive time at home. Liz and I got a good amount of yard work done and trimmed bushes and cleaned up, which was good. Sunday we spent the bulk of the afternoon at Bonnie Brae park in Temple Terrace, hanging out with friends and letting our kids play. It was a very nice evening and the weather was perfect! The kids played on the playground, and the adults visited and played with their kids. It was very relaxing.

Sunday morning I had a problem with my new phone (the tilt). I set my phone to vibrate in the morning and later it went off so I pulled it out of the holster to check and the screen was all washed out and practically un-usable. I tried to call AT&T about it, but the office I needed to talk to was closed until Monday. So Monday I called and they are sending me a replacement, which I should have by tomorrow (Wednesday). I hope this is not a bad batch of phones and just a strange fluke with the individual unit I received.