Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice - Such as it is

The ice storm finally hit last night. Most of the ice was left up north, but we got enough to have the schools close today. There's a healthy layer of ice on everything, topped with a fine dusting of sleet.

Readers from traditionally slick states will probably scoff at the meager amounts of frozen precip that cause us to shut down, but we're just not set up to handle this stuff around here.

I thought about calling in to work and telling them I can't get out because of the ice, but since I work from home I don't think they'll buy it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Storm - another bust?

At first, said that the freezing rain would get here at 9:00 this morning. Then it was to arrive sometime around 1:00 this afternoon. Then 6:00. Now 11:00.

I think it's not coming.

We did have some freezing drizzle, so there's a thin layer of ice on the trees out front. And I slipped on a small patch of ice on the driveway. That's about it.

I've been watching the weather radar, and see that there's a whole bunch of stuff going on to our north, but it's just not having much luck getting down here.

Maybe I'll have some big weather related news to blog in the morning.

Maybe not.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ice Storm! (results may vary)

When I started this blog just over two years ago (Happy belated Blogaversary!) one of the first things I wrote about was an ice storm that came, delayed our flight to Utah, and closed schools while we were gone. (It was not as bad as the storm pictured above - that photo was poached off the internet.)

Well, we're looking at an ice storm coming in again tonight. We'll see how this one turns out. The forecasts are similar to the storm two years ago.

I made a run to the store to pick up a few things we might need. Hopefully power doesn't get interrupted, as we have electric heat and, unless it becomes a matter of life or death, the fireplace is not an option.

Also, power out and no school could be a recipe for disaster.

I'll keep you posted. If I can.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fun Times, Too...

This past week hasn't been all hard work and stress. We did some fun things, too.

Earlier this week, Kara and the girls melted chocolate chips and the girls dipped slices of banana. Yum!

Another day we went to the park. We had some nice weather this week, but it is still January so we shouldn't really complain about cold, northerly winds. This park trip was shorter than Alyssa wanted, but we had a good time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


OK - now that I've whined about days and days 0f failure, I have achieved success!

All I had to do was blog about it, and things started working. Y'all are the best - thanks!

Gray Hairs and Ulcers

It's Saturday, and I'm still working on the issue I thought was almost resolved two days ago. The reports back are that after another 12 hour day yesterday, I'm still no closer to getting this stupid machine to do my bidding.

One problem is that I'm 1000 miles away from the device I'm writing the driver for. I make code changes, give them to a co-worker, and he tests them out and tells me that it didn't work. Not especially efficient, but that's the working arrangement we have. I need this to work - being successful at working remotely is what allows me to keep my job. Failure is not an option, so when success is elusive, stress is high.

Another problem is this dang device, which I will not mention by name because, well, that would be bad form and all. But the interface they've designed for this thing is more of a puzzle than a technical document.

I wish I were better at this type of puzzle.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Work and Work

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been fighting with some incredibly stubborn projects at work. After nearly 12 hours in my little chair today, I finally gotten one of them pretty close to resolved. Yay!

More real blogging to come later.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Photo Tag

I haven't been the best tagee lately, but this one from Jenna over at Cranberry Corner was so fast and easy, I just had to do it.

The rules: Go to the 6th photo folder on your computer and post the 6th photo.

This is a picture from the elementary school field day a couple of years ago. The kids put on these big inflatable rings and ran into each other. Look at the bigger image for the full effect. Seemed like a lot of fun to me!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Band Fundraiser and Concert

The Aledo school bands had their big fundraiser and concert last night. I took Anna for her concert part. Kara didn't feel good about going, and at the last minute Alyssa decided to stay home - probably because she wasn't quite done with her nap.

I was glad they didn't go. The place was a madhouse, but in a good, fundraiserly kind of way.

Anna did great during the concert - she was much more pleased with her performance than last time.

There was BBQ for dinner, and there were a number of auctions, both silent and live, with some very impressive items donated. The auctions that seemed to generate the most excitement, though, were the cream pies people bought to throw in the faces of the band directors. These plates of whipped cream sold for hundreds of dollars each! Well outside our budgetary confines. I was amazed.

To my untrained eye, it looked to be quite a big success.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Economy Hits Close To Home

I got a call from my boss and the director of Engineering, letting me know that I was not among those laid off from the company today. I'm filled with a mix of relief for myself and sadness for those who were let go. And a little bit of anxiety for the extra workload that's sure to come.

For the most part, the company had very little (if any) dead weight, and everyone let go will be missed.

Not much of a post, really. Just expressing my relief and sadness.

The end.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Finding My Way Around the Island

Well, back to school went as smoothly as could be expected this week. Neither girl was particularly excited, but they like school well enough to only complain sometimes.

Over the holidays the scale and I had an uneasy truce, and I only gave up a little bit of ground. This week I went back on the offensive. I've been doing Wii Fit most mornings, and it's been pretty effective at helping me whittle away the stress pounds I gained since moving. But this week I got serious, adding calorie counting to my regimen.

My goal is to be well under 200 lbs by April, so I can look good when pitching my book at the writer's conference. That's only one pound a week, so it should be very doable.

I hope to start running a bit out of doors as we head into spring, but for now I've been doing virtual running on Wii Fit Island. (Dad - I've looked, but haven't seen any virtual cows...)

For those unfamiliar with this exercise, I put a Wii remote in my pocket and run in place while watching my chubby little Mii run around the island, like so:

The paths are fun, but although there are quite a few landmarks visible around the island that I should be able to run to, it seemed to me that I was always running the same path. Frustrated at my inability to get to the lighthouse and the windmills and the tall footbridge, I decided to turn to that great repository of all knowledge, the Internet.

Google led me to this post explaining that the secret to running new paths on the island is - get this - following the dogs. See, every once in a while, a little dog will run by, and if I run fast enough to pass my guide at that moment, I will begin following the dog. The dog will then lead me on a different path.

I've only taken two of the new paths so far, and there are quite a few left for me to explore. That should be enough to keep me going until I decide to go outside and run up and down the cul-de-sac. Up and down and up and down.

On second thought, maybe I'll stick to running on the island.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

We've Been to the Zoo

Alyssa's big activity present for Christmas was a family membership to the Fort Worth Zoo, and we finally went yesterday. As with our trip to Sea World, the weather was a balmy 80 degrees. Yeah, baby!

We saw meerkats

and giraffes

and a lot of other animals, but I'm not going to post pictures of any more on the blog. You know what lives in the zoo.

Here's one of the crew. Anna is finally getting the hang of shooting watchable video.

For some reason, this trip really wiped me out. It wasn't as long as the trips to Sea World, and really not any hotter. But man, oh man, I was a basket case yesterday afternoon.

It must be that time of the month. (Lyme symptoms supposedly cycle with the moon. Hey - I'll take any excuse...)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Face the Facts: It's 2009

Welcome to the last year of the "Oh" decade. It's almost over, and I don't think we've really figured out what to call it.

Anyway, 2008 was full of all kinds of ups and downs. I won't bore you with the details - that's what the archive is for. For our family, we ended the year on the ups, and hope that 2009 continues the positive trend.

We had a fun and exciting New Years Eve party. I didn't even think to get out the camera.

Kara and I did a puzzle. We played a 10-round game of Mario Party. Then we watched The God's Must Be Crazy. It's an interesting psychological phenomenon.

Then we opened the sparkly cider, waited 2 minutes for the clock to switch over to 12:00, said "Happy New Year," and took off for bed. Yippee.

It's about all the excitement I can handle these days. Maybe we'll roar our way into 2010.