Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Supplemental - Loren the Wild Strawberry

Here is a short video of Loren in the lobby of our building, in costume.

Norfolk, VA

Stardate 60833.86 - Loren's First Halloween

While I was off in Norfolk working on a proposal, I missed Loren's first Halloween. Luckily, Cheryl took some great pictures to share with me (and all of you). In the picture above she is exploring the courtyard of our building. And here she is enjoying the party at daycare - and her first juice box!

Here is Loren with "Mom".

And finally, raiding the neighbor's candy bowl in the hallway.

Norfolk, VA

Monday, October 30, 2006

Stardate 60831.12 - Evening Pictures

Cheryl went to a going-away party for a co-worker (which I missed due to what? Proposal work!) and took Loren. Here are some pictures from the roof of the building where the party was held. Cheryl may add more details in the comments section.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stardate 60824.23 - Away from Home

I'm off on travel again, in Norfolk VA helping out with another proposal. I got a call on Thursday asking me to fly down first thing Friday morning and stay for a week to help out. So I am missing Loren's first Halloween, and Cheryl has an entire week as a "single Mom" with Loren.

So far the travel is fine - flight down departed 30 minutes late, but the rental car is good and the hotel is fine (Holiday Inn Select). Had seafood dinner last night at a place out on a pier that was kind of a dive but the food was good. Woke up at 12:30 last night with a splitting headache and had to go down to the little hotel store to buy medicine. Then I was wired for some reason and couldn't get back to sleep until 2:30, so I watched part of The Island on HBO. It wasn't bad for a late-night can't-get-to-sleep movie, but I didn't stay up long enough to see the end. Now I'll have to rent it or catch it on HBO at home to see how it ends.

I'll try to get the name of the restaurant we went to last night and update this entry or post another with the actual name and more details, but we're working all day today and people keep walking behind me while I'm trying to write this entry.

Norfolk, VA

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stardate 60818.80 - Loren Wears the Bjorn

Loren brought me the Bjorn this morning, so I put it on her and put her pig toy into it and she stood long enough, wearing it, for us to snap a few pictures.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Supplemental - No Time for Nuts

This is pretty good.


Stardate 60816.06 - Quick Photo

Things have been busy around here these past couple of days. Cheryl also has a bunch of deadlines at work so she has to stay late again the next couple of nights and I'll be on Loren duty. I'm really looking forward to booking vacation travel this weekend - we've had more than one vacation get pushed off or never materialize due to my work and we are determined to get to the Caribbean.

The photo above is from a trip to the park across the street a couple of weekends ago. It is a little blurry so it didn't make the initial cut for that blog entry.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Stardate 60811.22 - Vacation Plans

Over the weekend Cheryl and I started looking into a Caribbean vacation for this winter. We believe we've found an island and a resort that will have what we want (sand and good food options), and will be kid-friendly. We're going to finalize reservations and such over the next couple of weeks.

Planning a vacation is sure fun, even if the dates we are looking at are 6 months away.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Stardate 60809.23 - The Complete Crane

For those of you who felt like the crane in yesterday's post was obnoxious, you haven't seen anything yet. Yesterday it was facing us. Today they completed the assembly and then it turned sideways.

And here is a picture of Loren with her construction truck, in honor of the obnoxious crane. Apparently her construction truck is coming to help the UFO which had landed near the castle.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stardate 60805.94 - No More Nakedness

I haven't posted about the construction pit across the street recently, but it has become more and more annoying (see some original posts here and here and here). They first promised that Saturday work would only be required if there was a safety issue in leaving something "undone" from Friday. Apparently Saturday work was also alright if there was a lot of rain during the month, because they have now worked every Saturday for at least 2 months - with no end in sight. The construction is loud, obnoxious, and terribly annoying.

But it just got worse.

We woke up this morning to a racket outside and discovered that they were constructing a crane in the construction site. By this afternoon they had the "cab" of the crane in place, and guess where it is! Directly in front of our apartment! This is the view we will get to see for the next several months, if not for the next year.

So no more skipping around naked for us! Especially since they start construction every morning at 7 AM!

All this and our rent went up for the next year, too! It just might be time to start looking to buy somewhere...


Stardate 60805.62 - Friday a Bust

My grand plans for all-day sailing on Friday went up in smoke. Or more specifically, rain and wind. The noon skipper and crew did not show up because it was raining slightly. I, however, was there with my foul-weather gear ready to go. After giving them 30 minutes, I went back home.

I went back down to North Cove for a 4:30 PM sail, however a front had moved through and the winds were up to 25-30 miles per hour, gusting to 30-35 miles per hour. The club won't let you take the boats out if the winds is gusting to 25 or above. Julian and I did go out into the cove with two more crew to practice docking and un-docking but the wind and waves made it very, very difficult and we stopped after about 30 minutes. And while I feel I did pretty well docking, I feel like I pretty much sucked at backing the boat up - an area where I need additional practice.

Finally, I enjoyed a beer and chatting with Kellie (runs the school portion), Paula (dockmaster on duty), Julian, and another skipper who was there for some reason I never determined. Then it was back home for the evening, while Julian stayed to teach the final class of the season. The boats are decomissioned on Sunday, so it will be 6 months before I get to sail with the club again.

And I am signed up for the Coastal Navigation course in January. Just another milestone on my path to becoming a cruising sailor.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Supplemental - More Loren

Just because the last couple of entries didn't mention Loren, here are a couple of pictures to keep the family happy! They are from the weekend in Ohio but were not good enough to make the cut for the actual entries for that trip. ;-)


Stardate 60799.89 - White and Nerdy

I think I've found the theme song for me and my friends...


Stardate 60799.59 - Friday Off

Friday I am taking the day off and going sailing all day. I'm on a boat in the morning with a skipper I've sailed with in the past who is in dental school, and in the afternoon I'm sailing with my instructor from the class - Julian. The boats are hauled out for the winter on Sunday, so this is my last opportunity to sail this year. Over the winter I am going to take a Coastal Navigation course (schedule permitting) and next year I'll try and take the Coastal Cruising course. My plan is to take the club's skipper test by the end of next season. I have 31.5 hours of sailing time in (not including the intro class), so I should have no problem getting 100 additional hours in next season.

In other news, there has been an interesting conversation going on in the comments section of one of Jessica Stover's posts on the state of TV and movies. All my readers who are fans of the TV show Heroes should check out the on-going dialog.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stardate 60794.47 - 30th Wedding Anniversary - Part One

This weekend Cheryl and I went to Ohio for her Aunt Bev and Uncle Chris' 30th wedding anniversary. It was a surprise party thrown by their three kids, and many friends and family came out for it. Because they occasionally read my blog, I couldn't talk about it until after the party was over. Cheryl, Loren, and I flew in Friday evening and all the surprise family guests in town went for dinner near our hotel. The party was on Saturday.

I had to split the post across two entries as I was having issues getting pictures to upload yesterday. Here are the pictures from the actual event, and Part Two has pictures from the rest of the weekend.

Loren getting ready for the party - new dress and shoes.

Loren with me - I'm wearing the color of the season.

Loren with Cheryl.

Here is the happy couple!

I'm not sure that I've ever been served beer in Bell Mason jars before, but here we were.

See the posting below this one for Part Two.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Stardate 60791.87 - 30th Wedding Anniversary - Part Two

This weekend Cheryl and I went to Ohio for her Aunt Bev and Uncle Chris' 30th wedding anniversary. It was a surprise party thrown by their three kids, and many friends and family came out for it. Because they occasionally read my blog, I couldn't talk about it until after the party was over. Cheryl, Loren, and I flew in Friday evening and all the surprise family guests in town went for dinner near our hotel. The party was on Saturday. Here are some pictures from that event.

Because blogger is once again refusing to upload pictures (why do I still use this service?), I'll start with Part Two and will post Part One later.

After the event, because it is Ohio and I guess they are hurting for entertainment, we went to a giant pumpkin drop. They hoist a giant pumpkin up by a crane, and then drop it onto a car. We just missed the actual drop as we hurried towards the crowd, but we did get a picture of the giant pumpkins on display.

Sunday morning Aunt Barb and Uncle Dave headed out early, so we took Loren to the breakfast room at the hotel, still in her PJs for some good-bye pictures.

Loren with Barb and Dave.

Loren with her Great-Grandpop.

Later we went back over to Bev and Chris' to hang out, eat, and watch Loren play with Great-Grandpop's walker, which she loved pushing all around.

Loren slept through Church and slept through the plane ride back to NYC, so it was not a bad return experience. She didn’t go to bed last night until 10 PM, however, due to all the excitement from the weekend (we believe).

This week I am taking it easy, catching up on TV, and working a reduced schedule since I worked over 130 hours for the first half of the month. Cheryl has a big report due so she is going to have some long nights and I’m on baby duty for the evenings for the next couple of weeks.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Stardate 60787.27 - In Ohio

I can finally write about where we are this weekend. We are in Ohio for Cheryl's Aunt Bev and Uncle Chris' surprise 30th Wedding Anniversary party. We flew in Friday and hid out in Celina until the party Saturday. Many old friends and family came to the event, some from quite far away (like us). Their three kids organized the event and came up with an excuse to get them to the bowling alley, where the surprise was sprung. Once we are back tomorrow we can post some picture of the event. In the meantime, here is a picture of Loren on the plane, taken from my camera phone.

Celina, OH

Friday, October 13, 2006

Stardate 60783.18 - Back Home

I'm back home after spending most of these past two weeks in Virginia working on a proposal. At National Airport I got to watch a mouse run back and forth between the unmanned counters on the right and the tall flight status monitor case on the left. It seemed to be a baby mouse as it was very, very tiny. No, not cockroach tiny - it clearly was a mouse.

The flight was very, very bumpy on the way back and I didn't get a drink because they discontinued the beverage service. Everyone was a little concerned about the bumps, and at one point I was pretty sure the overhead compartments were going to open up and vomit their contents down on our heads (it was that bad). The only person feeling no pain (and loudly feeling no pain) was on his second beer on the plane (too bad beverage service was still operating when they got to him), which he must have put down on at least 2 more in the airport. He thought he was on a carnival ride. I guess he kept everyone's minds off the turbulence.

Working hard to finalize the proposal today and over the weekend, but at least I got home Thursday night and was able to play with Loren this morning while Cheryl got ready for work.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Supplemental - Plane Crash

Plane Crashed into High Rise on New York's Upper East Side

Thanks for all the e-mails checking in. Cheryl and me (I'm in Virginia) and Loren and the cats are all fine. This is about 6 blocks north and 2 blocks east of our apartment. Pretty close, but not so close that we'd be affected.


Stardate 60777.96 - More Movie

Here is a video from Inna and Vlad that they took 2 weekends ago of Loren on the slide. I think they held the camera incorrectly, as the video is on its side. My movie program isn't sophisticated enough to be able to turn the video.

McLean, VA

Stardate 60777.78 - More Loren

While I'm tied up on this proposal and can't write much (no time!), here are a couple of pictures of Loren from our time out with Vlad and Inna a couple of weekends ago. I promised these pictures last week but just haven't had the time to get these up here. Vlad and/or Inna took these shots.

McLean, VA

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Stardate 60775.81 - Cool Picture

I've been working nearly non-stop since 1030 or so on pricing data for this proposal and need to take a break. Here is a cool picture of Loren taken by Vlad and Inna 2 weekends ago when we were out for Sunday brunch.

McLean, VA

Stardate 60774.81 - More Travel

I'm back in Virginia, still working on this proposal. On my flight down yesterday we were delayed for an hour because a valve was stuck open. I was angry about the delay, but it was nice that they kept us informed as to what was going on the entire time. I just wish they had said up front it was going to be an hour, rather than making it seem like it might be quickly resolved. I wouldn't have done anything differently, but it would have been nice to know from the start.

There was an error when making my on-line reservation through the corporate travel agency. The hotel didn't book, so I checked the box asking an agent to investigate but when I got here Monday I still hadn't heard anything so I called. Sure enough, they had no hotel reservation for me. Luckily when the agent checked, my favorite hotel down here (Embassy Suites) had availability. So I was able to check in last night, but since it was a last minute reservation they didn't have my Hilton number (I am Gold status) so that means no complimentary water and cookie in the room (and I really could have used that water). Oh, well - that is more the travel agent's fault than the hotel, I believe.

McLean, VA

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Stardate 60770.32 - Loren at the Park

Loren loves her books, and she likes to sit in your lap while you read her a book. She and I were sporting the same unkempt hair this morning, and it is a rare picture in that both cats are in it.

There is a small park one block north of us, so on my "day off" from this proposal we took Loren there to get some outside air and sunshine. She is wearing a brand new pair of shoes, so we were a little worried she was going to have problems moving around, but she seemed fine. She really loves the slide.


Stardate 60769.13 - The Silver Legacy

I haven't mentioned Jessica's movie (The Silver Legacy) in a while, so here is a link to an interview with her by the Eventful site creator. Enjoy! And if you haven't demanded a screening in your town, please do so! If you don't know what I am talking about, click here to get the history.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Stardate 60766.66 - Going Home Today

I get to go home today, and I'm hoping sooner rather than later. Once my boss gets in this morning (yes, I'm in the office early Saturday) we can figure out the goals for today and I can figure out what I need to get done before I can leave. Since I have to be back here Monday morning I want to get as much visiting time in with Cheryl and Loren before I have to come back.

And since no travel experience can go completely smoothly, here is what went wrong this morning. My original reservation was for Mon - Fri, but when I checked in I asked if I could check out Sat instead. The desk took care of extending my reservation, but they didn't adjust the door and/or key for the new check out time.

This morning I got up at 0530 and worked out for 30 minutes and when I tried to re-enter my room I got the red flashing light instead of the green solid light while using my key. So I went to the front desk and got a new key, went back to my room, and it didn't work either. So back to the front desk for a third key, and this time they sent someone up with the master key in case key #3 didn't work. And key #3 didn't work. So I was let into the room via the master key.

The ironic thing is, if I hadn't left the room to work out this morning, I never would have had this problem. I was being punished for exercising!!

McLean, VA

Stardate 60766.61 - Nietzsche Family Circus

If you have ever wanted to see Family Circus comics paired with a random Nietzsche quite, then click here. It is amusing for a good 30 seconds or more.

McLean, VA

Friday, October 06, 2006

Stardate 60764.12 - Status

Loren went back to day care today after Cheryl's Mom came in yesterday to babysit Loren at home while Cheryl went to work. Cheryl and Loren are still fighting this cold, but both seem to be better. I'm still stuck in VA, but my sore throat has not progressed into anything worse so I'm hoping I dodged this bullet. I do have to come back to the office here Mon-Thu of next week, so I'll only get to see Cheryl and Loren on Sunday.

Nothing really around to take pictures of on this trip, and all I have is my phone anyway.

McLean, VA

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Stardate 60760.85 - Sickbay?

I'd hoped that I'd managed to avoid the illness that seems to be sweeping the nation (and our inter-connected blogsphere), but I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a sore throat and swollen glands (settle down - not that gland). I'm just hoping I don't end up with a runny nose or I'm going to have to make a trip to a drugstore for some medicine.

Cheryl took Loren to the doctor but it looks like it is just a bad cold - no ear infection or anything like that, but it is affecting Loren's eating and sleeping which is taking a toll on Cheryl and I'm still stuck in VA - unable to help. I'm supposed to return on Saturday and I hope to be back to NYC as early as possible. My boss is already talking about wanting me back down here for part of next week, but I think I'm going to have to negotiate a minimal trip - especially if Loren and Cheryl are still sick.

I did get out of work last night early enough to see the premier of Lost. I thought it was pretty good, although you don't get much answered yet in terms of the "others". I'm not sure yet if alternating episodes between the others and the survivors is going to drive me crazy or not - will hold judgment on that.

Herndon, VA

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stardate 60757.20 - Hell

Loren started showing cold symptoms over the weekend, and Cheryl stayed home with her on Monday. On Tuesday daycare sent Loren home at noon, and it looks like she might have another ear infection. So Cheryl has to take off tomorrow to run Loren to the doctor to see what is going on. Meanwhile, Loren is not sleeping well at all during the night so Cheryl is getting very little sleep. All the while I am stuck in Virginia, unable to help, working 12+ hour days on this proposal.

And I'm stuck here through Saturday.

Herndon, VA

Monday, October 02, 2006

Stardate 60753.78 - Flightplan

I'll post more about the weekend events later as I'm quite busy with work this week. But I did want to quickly talk about Flightplan. Cheryl and I watched this movie over the weekend and we thought it was pretty good. I felt it was very suspenseful and had some good twists in the middle. The last few minutes were a bit cheesy and over-the-top sappy but overall a solid thumbs up.

McLean, VA