Archive for February, 2006


Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Today’s picture is pretty lame, but I love the name. I’m staying in Trier, Germany for a few days and meeting in Chateau Betzdorf in Luxembourg. The hotel is nice – I’ve stayed here before – and there are lots of hotels nearby. When we got here yesterday, the Carnival parade was going through town. I got there just after the parade ended, but I got a few pictures of festival-goers. Thankfully, it’s quite a bit calmer than Mardi Gras in New Orleans (at least from the sound of it – I’ve never actually been there). There was some good old oompah music on a giant sound system and a lot of people drinking too much and throwing the bottles on the ground. And a lot of spilled beer – everybody’s shoes were sticking to the pavement. Still, nobody was obnoxious and the mess was amazingly cleaned up within a few hours of the event’s end. I have a few more pictures that I’ll post here in the upcoming days.

No post yesterday. Sorry about that – I was traveling and didn’t get online. Right now, I have just a couple of minutes left before the hour of connection time I bought expires.

This week’s meeting is going well. We hope to end tomorrow – a day early! – and go home on Thursday. We’ll see how it goes.

Went out to dinner with Mike McHone, Bill McMurry, and Terry Jensen. It was Bill’s birthday. We had a nice meal at the Coyote restaurant across the street from the hotel. It’s kind of a German version of TGI Friday’s, but the food was okay and the company was nice.

It’s time for my connection to time out and, coincidentally, it’s time for bed. See you tomorrow, hopefully.


Friday, February 24th, 2006

How about another Nassau picture today? (Link alert: ocean sounds.) It’s freezing cold, the wind is blowing at a million miles per hour, and it would be great to feel warm. Of course, in a few months, I’ll be wishing I could just feel cold again. Some people are never satisfied.

Anyhow, this guy was riding his horse along the beach. Looks pretty cool. I imagine that’s how he makes his living – I wonder what his schtick is. All I know is I wouldn’t want to be the guy swimming behind him.

Although this post’s date says Friday, I’m actually writing this on Saturday night. I didn’t get to write anything last night because I was camping with the scouts. It went pretty well and I think everybody had a good time. We spent some of the very windy evening inside the church having our paper airplane contest. We went through a lot of sheets of paper, had prizes for distance, hang time, and accuracy, and generally enjoyed it. Ian won twice and Braden won once. Afterwards, the boys played dodge ball (with a big, soft, red ball) in the dark cultural hall. It looked like a lot of fun. I didn’t play because I have a family to support and didn’t want to break any of these old, brittle bones. Turns out I wouldn’t have broken any anyway.

Off to Luxembourg tomorrow. I’m bringing my laptop computer with me, so I hope to be able to post while I’m there. If not, I’ll arrange for a guest poster. One way or the other, keep reading!

The mystery is solved!

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

I saw this fungus (or whatever it is – link warning: sound!) growing on a log during a camping trip and loved the colors. It looks good enough to eat! But I don’t recommend it.

Yea! An official welcome goes out to Reader Number Seven – our good friend Hannah from Colorado. Check out the list on the right. Now we just need to get you to send us your picture so you can be Prominently Featured. Send it in!

Reader Number One noticed that I omitted links yesterday. Sorry about that. I didn’t see anything to link to at first glance, but I was definitely wrong. I’ll make up for that today.

Went over this evening to visit my good friend Mike – Andy and I home teach his wife Teresa and him. They both have lots of physical challenges, but you never, ever hear them complaining, and they manage to do a lot and to enjoy themselves. It’s one of the highlights of my week when I get to go over and visit them. The conversation is always fascinating and the energy level over there is high (they probably think just the opposite, but they’re wrong). Mike doesn’t just have every gadget there is, he has eight of each. Pretty cool.

Today’s bad news is that I had to stay at work a couple hours longer than usual today. I’m traveling to Europe on Sunday night, and I just had to get some things done, not the least of which was a little fire drill on a requirement change our launch vehicle supplier is proposing to incorporate. They hadn’t gotten around to mentioning it until today, and we needed to run it to ground as quickly as possible. It looks like everything will be fine, but we had to run around and panic a little bit first.

Today’s good news is that tomorrow is my off Friday. I’m going camping with the scouts in the afternoon, as mentioned before. I need to make a quick list of things that need to be done before I start my mega-travel and work on some of them tomorrow morning. There will also be a few hours on Saturday afternoon, but that’s about it, what with the camping trip taking up all morning and the stake dance in the evening. Then I’ll pack up on Sunday morning, go to church, and head for the airport immediately after. Or maybe even during.

It’s supposed to get down to 23 degrees tomorrow night, and up to about 40 on Saturday, with rain in the afternoon. It sounds just a little iffy for the campout, but certainly not bad enough to entertain cancelling. The show must go on!

I’ll try to remember my camera for the campout. The blog photo list must be fed!

The book club should go up tomorrow. Possible guest bloggers next week. See you Friday.

Rock sculpture

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Here’s Reader Number Four with her hand-made rock scuplture. It kind of looks like a duck, doesn’t it? Good work, Reader Number Four!

We have a very mysterious comment on yesterday’s post. Somebody is claiming to be Reader Number Seven! Naturally, I’m delighted. However, it would definitely be a good thing if that person would identify him/herself. That way, we could give him/her proper credit over there on the right and do our traditional feature picture. Speaking of which, I’m still hoping Reader Number Six will send me a picture of himself for his traditional feature.

I’ve been indulging in a little fantasy this afternoon. We learned today that our company is going to be laying off a substantial percentage of the workforce. I doubt it will affect me, but it occurred to me suddenly this afternoon that if we worked the finances just right, got a couple of good breaks, and were careful spenders, I could just retire. I wouldn’t have to work another day in my life if I didn’t want to. Of course, we’d have to make a lot of changes, and I might get sick of being retired after a couple of years, but it would sure be cool to try. Besides, I could get another job in a couple of years if I wanted to – maybe be a high school physics, math, or computer science teacher. Then I would still have summers off. Let’s hope they lay me off! No, not really, I guess. Things will probably stay just exactly the way they are right now. There will probably be a better time for retirement in a few more years.

Still, it would sure be great to be permanently at home while Mark and Andy are still there too.

Not too much else new today. Scouts went okay, I suppose, but our Woodworking merit badge counselor didn’t show up, so I had to punt. We did a little bit of first aid that was received pretty well. We also named our large camp stove. It’s no Mahonri Moriancumr, AKA Moe. Great.

Back to ENIAC. I’ll work on the book club soon.

Next-gen desk

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Here’s my proposed new design for the computer desk of the future. Actually, they may have done a lot of things right back then. I’ve been reading a little bit from people who have stand-up desks, and they seem to be pretty much an ideal way to write. The desk in today’s picture is beautifully made, has lots of storage space inside, is pretty ergonomically sound, and even has several strategically-placed lighting sources. Not that candles are necessarily the best light for writing, but you have to admit they’re cool.

Spent the day getting a bunch of little things out of the way – things like travel authorizations for the next month’s worth of travel and deliveries of a few documents to launch service providers. I never got to the main thing I wanted to do today, but I hope to be able to spend most of the day tomorrow on it. It’s got to get done before I leave for my campaign in two weeks, and I’ll be spending a week of that time on travel in Luxembourg. It’s pretty much now or never.

My evening was mostly taken up with scouting and finishing my 25 weekly pages of the Old Testament. At this rate, I’ll read the whole thing before the year’s out.

I’ve been thinking of adding a book club on the right side of this page – kind of like Oprah, but much better books and much lamer execution. I would just list recently-read books, my current reading, and what’s on the pile. Maybe there would be links to significant sites related to the books. What do my Esteemed Readers think of the idea?

I have to go pick Mark up from Barbershop practice in a couple of minutes, so it’s time to quit! So long.