I just love the fickle weather here in Tampa. One minute it can be pouring down rain, and the next it will be clear and sunny, or even a mixture of the two. Check out the images I took with my phone yesterday.
It was 29 degrees this morning when I walked out the door to go to work. Its going to be another chilly day. Fortunately, the worst is over and we will be warming back up to the upper 70s by the weekend. I heard that there were snow flurries reported in Daytona Beach this morning. I look forward to the warmth to return and this cold snap to move on to another area.
48 degrees in Tampa right now. A few years ago, I’d argue that this temperature was not cold. Now that I’ve adjusted to the Florida climate, I have to admit, its freezing cold!!! I nearly froze in my shoes walking outside without a jacket today. Fortunately, this mini-winter won’t last long, we will be back up to the near 80s or so by the weekend or beginning of next week.
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!
This time of year is one of my favorites! Holidays approaching, cooler weather and more outdoor activities. To be honest, it only gets really hot for about 12 weeks out of the year, most of the rest of the time its perfect here in Tampa! It might get a little chilly at night, but 70’s and low 80’s during the day are the norm.
I had a beautiful sunrise to watch this morning during my drive to work. The sky was clear, and the stars still still visible when I left the house and a cool crisp clean feel to the air greeted me as I left the garage. I watched the sky during my commute, which turned into an awesome shade of blue that enveloped the entire sky. Following this was a large orangeish yellow spot as the sun crept over the horizon. All of this viewed behind the relaxing scene of nicely landscaped palm trees touching the blue sky as I drove by. Sometimes I stop and remember the things that made me stop in awe when I first moved to Tampa. This really is a nice place to live.
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.
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.
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.
Due to problems with the Air Conditioning in my office at work, I had to go into the office and reset the A/C. I took Sarah with me on Saturday and showed her my office. We had a nice ride to work with the top down in the Miata, but the sun was really intense and we both had about enough of that by the time we got there. She played with tools while another guy I work with (Jeremy) and I got the A/C working again. When we left, we put the top back up in the Miata and rode home in the air conditioning! I think all of our cooler summer weather is over, and its going to be pretty hot for the next 2 months or so. Fortunately, the super hot stuff only lasts 2-3 months or so, and then it goes back to near perfect most of the time. When we walked in the door at home, Liz asked Sarah if she had a good time with me, and Sarah answered “yeah, but it wasn’t much fun, all I got to do was play with tools”. 🙂
Last night we didn’t go to any real fireworks. It was rainy and by the time the rain was over it was so wet we didn’t want to take the kids out in it. So we watched the neighbors fireworks display until almost 9:30 and then came inside and let the girls watch the New York fireworks on TV. They still enjoyed it but hopefully we will have better weather next year.