Dec 3, 2008

Finally Settled In

Well, I've finally found a few minutes for an update.  The last month has been incredibly busy, but we accomplished a ton:

  • The condo is empty, clean, re-carpeted, and generally fixed up.  It's in better shape than it was when we moved in four years ago, and we handed the keys over to our new renters on Monday.
  • The new house is done, moved-into, and mostly furnished.  We managed to scrounge up extra furniture from family attics and garages, and it feels like we were at two or three stores a night for two weeks straight, getting everything ready for our first visitors.
  • We had 11 people down for a very successful Thanksgiving.  It was a collaborative process....we provided the house and groceries and the family provided the cooking expertise and execution.  It was great to see them and we managed to find room for everyone.
  • D's been working full time, then coming home and unpacking/straightening/etc for weeks.  Grades were due on Tuesday so the Thanksgiving weekend contained some serious grading time as well.
  • I've been working mostly within an hour's drive of home, so I've been able to contribute at night as well....lots of car trips from the condo to the new house with various boxes of "stuff" (read: crap).
  • The book is completely done and has been turned over to production.  We're now starting the marketing phase of the project, where we have to convince people to buy the 960-page technical book we've written about a very specific product.  Fortunately, that doesn't take as much time as writing, so I might start to have some nights free again.
So, the gist is that we're mostly settled and the house is presentable.  The immediate result of that is a gathering this Saturday for the USC-UCLA game on our big new TV (our old one broke two days before we moved).  Anyone reading this blog, living in Southern California, and known to at least one of us is welcome to join in the festivities.  Call us for details.  Speaking of calling, our new neighborhood has very little cell phone reception, so we will be forced to use our home phone more often than we would like.  If you don't have our new number and want it, email me.

I still plan to take pictures (and maybe video) of the new house and post them here, especially now that all the furniture is in.  However, several of our Thanksgiving visitors mentioned that the pictures don't really do it justice, and I tend to agree.  Even after you see the pictures, it's much better to experience it in person.  So, it is at this point that I would like to introduce our new Open Door Policy.

J&D's Open Door Policy

Our new open door policy has its roots in a few key principles:
  1. We are lucky enough to have a huge new house, with lots of room for visitors and very few permanent residents (2).
  2. We love our family and friends, which include those of you that read this blog.
  3. We would love for our family and friends to come visit us in this huge new house, and we have both the capacity and the desire to make it happen.
Which brings us to the rules:
  1. If you're in the area, stop on by!  It doesn't matter if you've seen the house, not seen the house, or couldn't care less about the house.  We want to see you, so come by and be our guest.
  2. It doesn't matter where you live.  If you're in the general area (up to and including all of Southern California), feel free to visit.  Family from Michigan/Iowa/Texas/Alabama/Greece/Italy/elsewhere? In California to spend time with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland?  Come on by! Friends from SD running errands in North County?  Get over here!  Family from LA/OC/NorCal that happen to be driving south?  Keep driving and come see us!
  3. We don't need that much notice.  Some of you know that I often work from home, and occasionally I will take conference calls and get some work done in my pajamas on the couch.  That means I need about a 20 minute heads-up (max!) and I'm good to go.  Give us a call and if we're here, you're welcome.
  4. Two minutes, two hours, two days.  If you can just stop by and say hi, that's great.  If you can spend some time here, that's even better.  If you need a place to crash for the weekend, absolutely.  If you're one of the people we really like, you can practically move in.  However, be sure you're one of those people before you ask, because kicking you out will just be embarrassing for us both.  :)
  5. Bring a friend.  If you have friends or family that are coming with you and that we know (or would want to know), bring them along.  At the moment we can sleep 10-12 comfortably with zero notice and without resorting to couches.  Our room rates are reasonable and you'll find them very competitive with other hotels in the area.  Just kidding!
J&D B&B reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.  The terms and conditions of this Open Door Policy may change at any time....for instance, when D wakes up tomorrow morning and sees that I've just invited half the nation to come live with us indefinitely.

I don't know if we'll have time to have a formal housewarming get-together before the holidays, but we'd definitely like to have one at some point.  If you can't make it for the USC-UCLA game this Saturday, then start thinking about free weekends in January.

Nov 19, 2008

Another Crappy Anniversary

On this not particularly fun day, I'm sticking with the theory that any anniversary, good or bad, is just another day.  Thank you all for your emails and comments.

We're keeping plenty busy with our frantic "pack, move, unpack" cycle repeating itself each day after work.  There are still boxes all over the place, but it's starting to look like a nice home.  I'll post pictures when we're done.

Nov 15, 2008

Crazy Busy

Hola!  Apologies for the three-week blog hiatus just as things were getting interesting with the house.  The transaction is complete, we picked up the keys on Wednesday, and we're moving the furniture over on Sunday.  In our spare time, we're packing, moving small stuff, working long hours at our day jobs, finalizing my book for production, updating our utilities, and generally trying to spend any money we have left on various things that will make our lives easier in the new house (big new bed, sheets, towels, etc).  D's been absolutely wonderful and has taken the lead on the packing.  I'm slacking, but trying to tear myself away from the book long enough to help a bit.

It's going to continue to be busy until after Turkey Day, as we have to finish the move, host 11 people for Thanksgiving, prep our condo for tenants, etc.  I don't know when I'll get new pictures probably won't be until after everything is moved in, so don't hold your breath.  When we're all settled, I'll make the big announcement and we'll start planning a housewarming party so that everyone can see the new digs.  Hope everyone out there is doing well; sorry if I've neglected your calls/emails/blogs lately.  I also hope that the fire department is making headway on the fire near my parents' house.

More when I have more time....I promise!

Oct 25, 2008

Holy Cow!

I snuck over to the house on Friday to try and peek in the window, expecting that they'd be about halfway through grouting the tile floor. Instead, they were almost completely done with everything, including the carpet!

Except for the refrigerator, the kitchen is totally done - the tile is in and all the hardware is on the cabinets.

The tile runs down the hall from the entryway toward the family room. It's still mostly covered by paper in this shot. The carpet looks different depending on your vantage point and the amount of light it's getting. The stairs look much darker than the dining room in this shot, but it's the exact same color.

D's enjoying the carpet in the family room.

A closer shot of the tile. It has lots of different shades of gray and blue and beige (and more).

Oct 21, 2008

Flooring Phase 1

We got to go inside yesterday, so I was able to take some interior pictures. The tile work is just getting started and the carpet is still a few days away, but the linoleum is in place. We decided not to upgrade the bathroom areas and put in tile....who wants to clean grout?

The upstairs guest bathroom.

The master bathroom.

The laundry room (we got to keep the cabinets).

The flooring isn't done here yet, but I wanted to get a shot of the built-in desk and cabinets at the top of the stairs. They're still waiting for hardware, but they look great!

Oct 19, 2008

A Yard!

I'm back from a long, boring week in Hawaii (boo!). Lots of work, both with a customer and on the book. We managed to swing by the house on Saturday after I got back.

We have a yard! The landscaping was put in and the fence has been painted, so the front of the house is pretty much exactly like it will be when we move in (aside from the caution tape).

We can't go in because they're preparing the floors for tile and carpet, but I managed to take this picture through the back door. The cabinet facing is on, but there's no hardware yet. All the appliances are also in place.

Another angle on the front. By late next week, all our floors should be in, so I can take more interior pictures.

Oct 13, 2008

Countertops and a lonely tree

One last post before I head to Hawaii. There were several updates this week, but even more are coming next week. In about a week and a half, most of the obvious internal work will be done (flooring, cabinet faces, etc). We're still set to close escrow on November 12, after a couple of walkthroughs.

The side fence and gates are done, though they still have to be painted. They've also added a tree to our front yard...a single, lonely tree. They'll add grass and small shrubs around the windows later.

Though the tub still isn't in, the mirrors, lights, and shower door are all set. One of the things I'm most excited about is getting my own medicine cabinet and not having to share with "a girl." I know, cheap thrills, huh?

The countertops are in, and they're beautiful. They're green, but they look almost black until you see them in the light. We love the contrast between the dark granite and the white cabinets.

Here you can see the color a little bit better, along with the range.

The color is even more realistic here. It's made mostly of large green flecks...that's why it's called Verde Butterfly. There are also white, gold, and even red specks throughout, though the white are obviously the most noticeable. The oven and microwave are visible in the background, the dishwasher is still wrapped in plastic in the foreground, and the beautiful white sink continues the dark/light contrast.

Oct 10, 2008

Non-House Update

From this blog, it would seem that our lives revolve around our weekly visit to the new house.  While that's certainly one of our more enjoyable activities (just wait until you see this week's pictures!), it's not the only thing we've been doing.

I've been traveling a little more than I did last quarter, and the trips have been a little further than normal.  Though my area is technically the West, and more specifically the Pacific Southwest, it's based on where the company headquarters are, so it doesn't take into account any remote offices.  I took two quick trips to Denver to visit a customer's HQ, then last week went to Minneapolis to visit one of their other offices.  After Minneapolis I hit Waltham, MA for two days, to visit another customer (whose HQ is in SF).  I also took a quick trip out to Honolulu, which sounds fun until you realize it was only for two days.  I left our house at 4:45 on a Monday morning, and got back around midnight the next day.  When I wasn't flying, I was in meetings....ugh.  I have to go back next week for a few days, and it will be just as frustrating this time.  It's no fun seeing the Pacific Ocean from a window and not having any time to walk out to the beach.

D has been busy with school....lots of papers to grade, lots of kids to teach.  Her newspaper kids have put out one paper issue and two online versions.  She has more kids than usual this year...the normal staff for the paper version and a smaller group of younger students that are doing the Web newspaper.  The site is hosted by the American Society of Newspaper Editors; they host hundreds of Web-based papers for high schools all across the country.  On their first "release," D's students had two articles that were chosen for the "National Edition" for their quality and applicability to all high school students.

When we're not working or visiting the house, we're trying to find time for fun.  We made it to a USC game several weeks ago, and went to the So You Think You Can Dance live tour as well.

The book is going well, though I have a lot of work to do this week.  We're at the copyedit stage, which means we have to make sure our copyeditors didn't change any technical details when they did their editing.  I have to get five of my own chapters reviewed by Friday, and review six of someone else's chapters.  Oh boy.

Okay, gotta go....we're going to sign our final paperwork for our flooring, then headed to dinner for my B-day.  Thanks to everyone that's left a comment, sent an email, or written on my wall (though now I'm officially too old for Facebook).  Ta-ta!

Oct 6, 2008

It's a Real House!

Well, it's definitely starting to look like a real that could almost be lived in. In the last two weeks, they've done quite a bit of work.
  • Everything's been painted
  • Bathroom sinks/toilets/faucets/showerheads/medicine cabinets have been installed
  • Fireplace is in
  • Chandelier is in
  • All electrical plates and wall switches are in
  • Fence building is in progress
  • Water heater is in
  • Outdoor lights are in
  • The yards have been graded and prepared for planting
  • We have a doorbell!
  • All doors and windows are in and secured....they had to unlock it to let us in
We expect the countertops to go in next.

The bannister looks much better with a coat of paint.

You can see the fence being built along the left, and the dirt has been graded appropriately for gardening.

The fireplace is going to look great with our carpet and tile.

The bathrooms are almost ready to go!

Sep 24, 2008

Condo Update

In preparation for moving out and renting our condo (We have renters!), D has been working diligently the last couple of weekends to make sure the backyard is attractive and easy to maintain for the new tenants. She completely re-did all the planters; each of the plants will expand to cover large portions of open area, and the rest is all barked to help cut down on weeds. D worked really hard on it...doesn't everything look great?!

You've heard of Where's Waldo? This is Where's Willow? A side benefit to getting everything cleaned up is that we can let Willow out, until she 1) starts to annoy the rabbit, or 2) finds something to eat that she shouldn't be eating.

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House Updates

Another week, another bunch of stuff done on our house!

The rock on the porch area is done, and all of the scaffolding is down from around the house. They're grading the front and back yards to flatten out the dirt and clean up a little from the construction.

The staircase railing and baseboards are in...both still need to be painted, but you can see how cool the stairs are going to look!

Cabinets and sink in the laundry room. We didn't order the upper cabinets (they're optional)....let's hope no one notices the mistake.

A better view of the front, without any heavy machinery in the way. The roof tiles are all up, so the outside is almost done. There will be "shutters" next to the upper windows and they still have to paint under the eaves on the porch, but it's coming along nicely.
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Sep 15, 2008

Casa Nueva

We're buying a house! D and I have been waiting until most of it has been finalized to tell everyone, but it's looking pretty solid at this point. After we work through some final loan details and get through escrow, it'll be ours. Of course, we also have to wait until the house is's a brand new house that's currently under construction.

Though we hadn't seriously been looking for a new house until recently, we've always enjoyed going to see model homes, along with the pleasant daydreams those trips entail. Four years ago, when we were looking to buy our condo, we saw some really nice places up in San Elijo Hills, in northern San Diego County. It's a master-planned community with 27 developments surrounding a common area with schools, parks, fields, stores, and other goodies. At the time, most of the properties were out of our price range and far from work (especially for me), but we liked the area and recognized the benefits of having a brand new house. Over the years, even after buying our current house, we've often gone back to that area to look at new developments. About a year ago, we found one we really loved, just outside the main community. Let's call it San Elijo Hills-adjacent. We've been keeping an eye on their new releases, waiting for a specific floor plan and home design. When they finally started building one with the exact specifications we wanted, we just couldn't pass it up.

Here's an artist's rendering of the front of the house:

Along with a beautiful exterior, the inside of the house is awesome, if I do say so myself. Let me preface this next section by saying that this is WAY too much house for us currently, to an almost ridiculous level, but we're trying to buy as much house as we can while the market is on the low(er) end, and while mortgage rates are still affordable. We will definitely be house-poor and will have to cut back a bit on our normal spending habits (no more Woot! for me), but we think it's worth it to prepare for the future. Anyway....

The house is 3,247 square feet, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms. It also has a formal living room and dining room (useless rooms), and a loft-style bonus room (my man-cave). It has a beautiful kitchen, a huge master bedroom, and plenty of extra rooms for family and friends to come visit. For people who are interested in floor plans (I love looking at blueprints), here's a link to the first floor, and one to the second floor. Our house will be exactly like the plans show, with the only optional addition being the retreat connected to the master bedroom.

Things have progressed the last month or so, we've gone from finding out the house was available to putting in an offer, signing the contract, and picking out upgrades. We've visited the construction site a few times and seen amazing progress. The first time we walked through it, the outside was wire framed and the inside was being insulated but didn't have any drywall yet. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera on that visit.

The next time we visited, they had added the first outer layer and drywalled the inside walls. Here's the front of the house from two weeks ago:
And here's the family room/kitchen area with drywall, taping, and patching:

Last weekend, we were in Chicago for a wedding and some sightseeing (pictures to come), so it was two weeks before we were able to get back to the house. We went yesterday and they've completed all of the stucco and one layer of outside paint:

Inside, they've added paint and started putting in the cabinets. This is the same view as above....starting to look better, isn't it?

A couple of weeks ago, we went and picked out flooring. The countertops are going to be a dark green granite called Verde Butterfly; until it gets a lot of light, it's so dark that it almost looks black. In the picture below, it's the oval chip on the right. As you can see, the cabinets will all be white, and we've chosen flooring in mostly grey tones. The bottom tile will run from the front door down the hallway and into the kitchen. The small square tiles in the middle represent the other tile colors, so the pattern will be varied a bit. The carpet will be in all other areas except the bathrooms, which will have the linoleum on the left. The walls throughout and tiles in the bathroom (for sinks and showers) will all be white as well.

Choosing all these options was a pretty fun experience. We'll be finalizing everything this week.

Of course, looking at an unfinished family room and floor plans doesn't really give an indication of what the house will look like when it's done. There's a photo tour of the model online, so you can walk through the house and get a feel for the layout. Keep in mind that this one has been professionally (and expensively) decorated, and almost everything in sight has been upgraded to the best possible flooring/paint/option combinations. Unfortunately, our house will NOT look this nice. With that caveat, here it is.
Needless to say, everyone is welcome to visit (and stay!) as soon as we're all settled.  We're currently looking to close escrow on November 13, so we'll probably also throw ourselves a housewarming party in early December.  I'll be posting pictures as the house continues to progress.  I'm especially excited to see the countertops and the rest of the cabinets installed.

PS- At the moment, we're keeping our condo and renting it out...we'll see what the housing market does in the next year or two and make a decision then.

Sep 3, 2008

On Baseball

I've never been a huge fan of baseball. I realize that's essentially blasphemy to my sports-loving friends and family, but it's the truth. I'm not saying I hate it, but it's never been the most exciting sport for me to watch, play, or attend.

In my youth, I certainly enjoyed going to Dodgers games with family members, and the Birmingham Barons games every summer were somewhat entertaining, but I haven't been really into baseball since the days of Kirk Gibson and Orel Hershiser. When I go to Padres games, it's definitely for the companionship and the peanuts, rather than for any interest generated by the team or the game itself...I can barely get interested when the Dodgers come to visit, though I take pride in being the only one rooting against the home team.

Three weeks ago, however, I was in Boston for work and ended up going to a Red Sox game with seventeen of my colleagues. At this game, I was reminded why people enjoy baseball, and how exciting a game can be when played by offensive juggernauts. I'll admit that I went mostly for the field, and to hang out with my peers from work; it's not every day that you get a chance to go to Fenway Park. But once I was there, it quickly became about more than just the ballpark.

To begin with, our seats were pretty good. Yes, we were in the last row of our section, but we were even with home plate (if you follow the first base line into the crowd) and the upper deck protected us from the light rain during the first few innings. Here's a shot from our seats before the game started....they brought in a bunch of little leaguers to stand in front of the Green Monster:

The game started with a whimper, then a bang. I wasn't expecting much from the Texas Rangers, and they delivered on my low expectations. Then the Sox came up and batted around the order one and a half times. By the time the second inning started, it was ten to nothing. Even with an apparent blowout, I was already having a good time, since David Ortiz had hit two three-run home runs in a single inning. It was an impressive show, and I figured the game would end quickly.

Texas's two runs in the second were matched by two Red Sox runs in the third. Even when they weren't scoring, both teams were keeping the game exciting with long fouls, strategic hitting, and a fun atmosphere in the crowd. When one of my colleagues started yelling, "Let's go Rangers!!" with the loudest voice you've ever heard, it definitely made things a little more exciting in our section. The crowd was good-natured about it though, since their ten run cushion made things less-than-stressful.

In the fifth and sixth innings, the Rangers scored eight runs and five runs, respectively. The Sox tried to keep up but only managed two more, leaving them down after the sixth, 15-14. After singing "Sweet Caroline" during the eighth-inning stretch (WTF?!), the Sox were still down 16-15, and the mood in our section was much more tense. The fans weren't quite as willing to hear cheers for the Rangers when the specter of a loss rearing its ugly head. The game, however, was as exciting as could be.

The Sox tied it up with a nice double, but David Ortiz was intentionally walked after hitting two previous home runs. That brought up Kevin Youkilis, who had already homered once in the fifth. And he did this:

The "Let's go Red Sox" cheers, by the way, were in direct response to my colleague's previous cheers for the Rangers. He actually made the crowd come out of its shell and show some was a fascinating study in crowd participation. At this point, almost four hours(!) into the game, they were more excited than they had been throughout. Just watch this follow-up reaction:

The entire stadium (myself included) was going nuts, and the capacity crowd was almost all still there through eight innings. When the Rangers didn't manage a comeback in the ninth and the game ended with an Ivy League Football score of 19-17, it capped a really fantastic experience. It was without a doubt the best game I've ever seen live, and I was reminded of how exciting baseball can be when it's played right (by everyone except the pitching staff). It made me interested in going back the next time I'm in Boston. It almost made me want to go to a Padres game.

Thank you Fenway! Thank you Red Sox! Thank you Boston!

Aug 20, 2008

Getting Lost

While we were in Hawaii, I mentioned something about Lost, and even though I'm a fan and she's not, D was gracious enough to look online for some local filming locations. The site was organized by episode, and had screen captures from the show along with directions to the sites. Though they were sometimes difficult to interpret, we managed to make our way to the beach where they filmed the following scene:

If you look at the treeline over Kate's head, the shape of the beach and greenery are pretty distinctive. Take a look at this picture...same beach, same treeline. You can see a YMCA camp hidden in the trees, and a fisherman and sunbather in the foreground.

I'm a huge Lost fan, and for a minute it was really cool to find the site. Then I started getting annoyed. I just kept picturing these castaways - these crash survivors - finishing the scene and walking to their trailers in this parking lot, which was within ten feet of where that screenshot was taken.

After doing more research upon returning to the mainland, I realized that we had seen some of the other sites as well. The Others' barracks, several other beach sites, and some of the city locations were all along our drive.

Hawaii Pics

Here are some pictures from our quick business trip to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago.

Coming out of Diamondhead, we had a fantastic view of the coastline, with a nice rainbow.

There was a jellyfish infestation, so we spent a lot of time looking at the water, walking near the water, and eating near the water.

We had a chance to drive around the island on the last day we were there. Waimea Bay was filled with swimmers jumping from this rock.

This resort was seen in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall; these were the rooms the characters stayed in.

Jul 31, 2008

More Travels and Exciting Book News

A few quick updates:

D got back from her Institute in Reno on Friday night.  She had a great time and didn't want to leave.  One of the results of her time there was an article published on the Institute's site.  Take a look here.  Her article (and the accompanying photo gallery) are in the Features section (in the left menu).

On Sunday, we took off and headed to Honolulu, where I am currently writing this blog.  I have to be here for work and have a pretty full schedule, but D has been enjoying herself around the Waikiki area.  We've had nice dinners and have taken our rental car (a convertible Sebring) for joyrides in the evenings.  Today we explored the west coast of Oahu (the whole thing).  Yesterday we circled the southest corner, going past Hanauma Bay, around to Kailua, and then over the Pali Highway and back into Honolulu.  I continue to have meetings booked throughout the rest of the week, but I'll try to steal away a bit of time to have some fun in the evenings.  Unfortunately, after we get back to our hotel, I have to work on book stuff.

Which brings me to the last bit of news: My Book!  It's up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, though only Amazon is currently allowing pre-orders.  I thought it was going to be done by December, but those sites say January or February....I'm not sure which is accurate.  Seeing it on Amazon makes it all real, and reminds me that we still have a lot of work to do!  Time to go back to work.

Jul 15, 2008

Greetings from Albuquerque (and Reno)

Well, we're both busy travelers this week.  I'm in Albuquerque on Tuesday and Denver on Wednesday for work....D is in Reno this week and next for her Journalism Educators Institute.  The Institute is going well so far, and I have no complaints about Albu.

When I arrived at the hotel this evening, I noticed a significant police presence...two SUVs at opposite ends of a line of vans with tinted windows.  The hotel desk clerk was less than forthcoming, but the mystery was solved when I almost ran into the Straight Talk Express on the way to my room.  McCain is here for a private fundraiser (in this hotel, I think)....I can't say that I'll be getting up early to join him for breakfast.  On Sunday I crossed paths with Obama's motorcade as he left San Diego following a speech.  It feels like I'm accidentally following the campaigns...this is at least the sixth time I've been in the same city as one of the candidates.

D and I have had a nice couple of weeks since returning from Canada.  Last Wednesday we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary with a nice dinner downtown and a very grudgingly given Coach wallet (even at the outlet, purse/wallet prices are outrageous...I don't understand it).  We met up with friends (an ex-colleague and his wife) for a quick get-together after dinner, had another very nice dinner downtown on Friday, and then went to the Padres game on Saturday.  After D's flight on Sunday and mine on Monday, I think we've been to downtown five times in the last six days.  The Padres game was was actually our first "alone" game, as we usually go with a large group.  I won two tickets and there were fireworks after the game, so it made up for the lack of offensive fireworks during the game.

I'm definitely back into the thick of things at work.  Aside from the trips early this week, I already have meetings scheduled for Mon/Tues/Weds of next week, and this Thursday and Friday will likely soon be confirmed for more.  With D's trip to Reno, this will be the longest time we've spent apart in many years....proabably eight or nine, though I'm not positive.  Fortunately, we're both keeping busy, so we won't have time to miss each other too much.

The book is still going well.  My last two chapters (one and an appendix) are due for internal reviews this Thursday, so I'll be frantically writing in between meetings.  In fact, I'm procrastinating right now.  When those are done, we have several chapters to revise after our editor has gone over them, and then we have to write all the additional materials (index, TOC, online materials, etc).  At the moment we're still on track for a December release, though I don't want to assume everything will go smoothly.  It has definitely been a painful process at points, and I'll have to think long and hard before agreeing to write another one.  It will definitely be nice to only have one job again.

I hope everyone out there in family-and-friend-land is doing well.  We haven't been great about keeping in touch recently, and I know there are birthdays and anniversaries and births and weddings and stuff flying by.  Our next wedding-related plans are for the first weekend in September, when we'll be heading to Chicago for a UCSD friend's wedding.  We're really looking forward to both the wedding and the will be D's first time in Chicago and I have to show her the sights.  At the moment it appears we'll be staying at The Drake, and hopefully we'll have time to see some fun stuff in our off-time.

Jul 5, 2008

Back from Canada

Well, we're back from our tour of the Canadian Rockies, and we had a great time. I've posted 190 of our 2000 pictures online, so feel free to take a look.

Since then, I had two days of work and a Fourth of July wedding in LA. We had a relaxing Saturday and might hit the SD County Fair tomorrow. A wedding, sleeping in on a Saturday, and the Fair....can't beat it.

Jun 27, 2008

Greetings from Canada!

Well, we're on vacation in Canada and really enjoying our opportunity for relaxation. I'll post lots of pictures when we get back, but here are a few.

We're seeing lots of mountains and lakes. This is Cameron Lake, in Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada.

We've taken various tours through National Parks. This was on a "Red Jammer" through Glacier National Park in Montana.

This is Swiftcurrent Lake, next to the lodge at Many Glacier (Montana).

We're also seeing lots of wildlife....deer, big-horned sheep, and two bears.