Archive for July 2007

Rainy, cloudy…perfect

23 July, 2007

for reading the latest and last book in the Harry Potter series.  It was rainy all weekend and cold enough to be able to lay on the sofa, curly up under a blanket and read all friggin’ day!  This was the first time that I actually stood in line to buy my book and the first time that I actually stood in line to buy the book at 12:01am.  I felt that since this was the last book in the series I might as well get my little kid/big kid game on and go revelling at the bookstore.  It was pretty cool to see all of the kids and actually mainly adults standing in line for this book…

Things are going pretty well here.  We are starting to look for a new place to live…I can’t take much more of this place.  We are lucky that we have never had to pay full rent because Dodo works when he can at the complex, but man, after living here since October – I couldn’t imagine paying full rent for this place.  It all started when our bath towels started reaking to high heaven – and no it was Dodo butt causing the problem – it was our damn washer.  It wasn’t actually washing anything.  This went on for month.  We could only wash 1 towel and a couple washcloths worth at a time – hoping this would help.  Maintenance came out couldn’t figure out anything and in the meantime, the clothes were beginning to smell…Finally, one day our manager realized that we had a washer and dryer that was supposed to go in a 1 bedroom apartment…and we got the blessed larger washer and dryer…washer is great – dryer sucks but oh well.  Now, we are in the process of throwing all of our towels away because they reak so bad.  The second thing that really irks me about this place was that I put my trust in our manager.  I truster her that she was answering my questions truthfully…especially about the neighborhood and the actual street we live off of…asking her if it was a really busy street, nice, safe neighborhood, etc.  Oh – she reeled me in…this street sucks ass.  Sometimes it takes me 10 minutes just to get out of the friggin’ parking lot not only because I have to cross two lanes of traffic because I am turning left but because I have to go at an angle lest I bottom out my car and lose my tailpipe.  And the neighborhood – crap.  Crap Crap Crap.  It is depressing to drive home to.  It is depressing to drive away from.  I tend to keep blinders on while driving up and down our street. 

So – this time – we are taking our time and are lucky that we will actually be able to scout around.  I also hate carpeting.  I want a place with hardwood floors or if there is carpeting it better be nice carpeting.  Not this 10 cents a yard shit with other people’s crap still in it…I’ve steamed cleaned it several times and it still is disgusting. 

A means to an end right?  It has really worked well for us but seriously folks…I can only be grateful for so long…

The count down is on for my Momma to visit.  So excited.  And of course, I just found out today that we have some grand poobah’s in from Germany next week…but I am still only working 1 full day and half days for a couple days…I have a cell phone, I have a laptop, why do I even bother coming into the office right now?  Why do we actually go into the office to work?  I understand that there are some industries where you must i.e. car manufacturing.  But everything else – why can’t we just work from home?  Seriously. 

If I need to ask a question or need to discuss something I do it in email.  The first reason is typically because in this business society, if you are not covering your ass 99% of the time, then you are just not doing your job.  The second reason that I put everything in email is well, because of the first reason.  CYA and more CYA.  It doesn’t matter that you had a verbal conversation about something – if you don’t put it in an email  – nothing gets done – and you leave yourself wide open for someone coming back and saying something against you for whatever reason.  I bet if everyone worked from home that more would actually get done.  I know I have done that.  Work from home and I am actually up earlier and doing things earlier than I would if I had to go to the office.  Work from home and then I don’t have to make excuses as to why I can’t come in today and will be working from home….My job is meetings, email and conference calls.  If I must go into an office setting – make me do it once a week.  That would be so cool.

So besides working from home next week – I am planning on going to the Zoo on Sunday after we get back from Seattle.  The company that I have my contract through and technically work for are having a mingling gathering thing at the zoo in the afternoon.  Totally looking forward to it as Dodo and Momma are going to be able to go with me plus everything is free and the rate we are already going for the week – we need a freebie thrown in! 

Oh the other things to do – go to Woodburn for shopping.  This is the greatest outlet mall I have ever been to.  I am in constant search of a good deal – especially at this french linen store.  We bought an $800 blanket for $20 there.  And no it was not one of those girl things where we have to buy it just because it is on sale.  I love this blanket. 

I want to go to Multnomah falls as well and I think we should check out downtown a bit more than we did last time.  We also are heading to the coast for 3 fabulous days which is totally cool.  So much to do – she just needs to move here!

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Does anyone actually read this damn thing?

17 July, 2007

Hopefully you do because I am not doing this for my own enjoyment…well, kind of. 

So, the rain and cool weather is back for a few days and quite frankly, I am relieved.  For the past several weeks, actually months, I have been anticipating that blaze of heat that I am used to in KC starting around April.  I didn’t actually realize this until a week ago when we were topping 90 degrees here in Portland.  I have actually realized that after so many years of living in muggy hot spring/summer weather I am completely used to getting myself “geared up” for that type of heat.  You don’t realize this until you are far away from that and still at 70 degrees in July…I was feeling quite odd for a while. 

 One week of 90 is just fine to break me out of all of that…Now – please go back to 70.  I quite enjoy it.

Okay – enough about weather (I told you Portlanders obsess). 

Dodo is almost done with his ground school and he actually gets to fly tomorrow!  On the left side!  This will be nice.  It has been weird not having him flying around while I am at work…plus this is just another step towards completion that I am so looking forward to – I am sure he is as well.

My Momma is coming next week Friday to visit for a week…and I am trying not to get too excited too soon…although.  Geez. You should know me by now…I am so super excited!  I am taking a few days off so we can go out to the beach and be bums at this great house we rented…and the rest of the days we are bumming around Portland.  It will be great. 

Okay – cute story that I forgot to tell all of you about the last time we were in KC.  We went to visit Dodo’s Mom in Oklahoma and we took Yaya with us.  And of course everyone has a name and you can’t just go by your first name when you are dealing with a 3 year old…because quite frankly it is fun to see what they actually grasp on to from names that you suggest.  So, jokingly I called Mom Doty, Granny Dode – and sure enough it stuck in that 3 year old little mind.  All weekend it was Granny Dode and of course it was the cutest and funniest thing – you have to say it just right with a deep “o” sound…I wish I had it on video.  Then the real test to see if the name stuck was when we got back home she was talking to Aunt Becky (totally should have come up with something else…I’ll work on that next time I’m home) and telling her all about the weekend and about Granny Dode. 

Oh – and I still owe all of you a video…

 Tomorrow.  I promise.

Get some coffee because this is a long post…

7 July, 2007

How are you?  I’ve been good, busy, tired, anxious, exhilirated, funny, bored, amazed, and just downright enjoying the crazy wonderful weather we have going on here in Oregon!  I thought it was quite funny when we visited Portland for the first time when everyone would not shut up about how great the weather was…they were just coming out of the rainy season…I have become one of those people.  Until you leave here and experience rain practically every day from November to April (that’s 6 frickin’ months people) then you will probably definitely get tired of me mentioning how great the weather is and the fact that I can see things (mainly mountains) that I didn’t know were there.  The other thing that I am enjoying is the fact that I can take a drive, get to a bit higher elevation, look out and see Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, & Mt. Hood all at one time…this is a pretty cool site – it’s not like looking at a chain of mountains and going ‘oh how cool’.  It is just one major mountain all by it’s lonesome with valley’s in between it and the next major mountain.  And all of these mountains are actually either active or dormant volcanos…did not know this information prior to moving here…

Here are a couple of crappy pictures of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams you could see much better in person because my camera does not include a filter:

It has been a long time since I have posted anything about our goings on…I guess I have felt that we have been living a very boring life compared to Mr. H who was welcomed to the world almost a month ago that I couldn’t bring myself to post anything all that mundane…but move over Mr. H because it is going to be all about me and not about your cute little angelic face (see last post).

 So – what the hell have we been doing?  I have been swamped at work – which is such a bonus compared to where I was a couple of months ago.  At least now I am swamped and getting paid decently for it.  I have really been enjoying myself there.  We had about 30 consultants from Germany and Spain in for 3 weeks to do a ‘scope verification’ of our processes and that was a very cool experience.  I learned how to use a German and Spanish keyboard (they have a few extras and the y’s are in a different place). I learned that I have memorized Windows without even knowing it – everything is still in the same place and I could do anything I wanted without major language interpretation.  I learned how to count to 10 in German, say good morning (the normal way and not the fine and fancy way), I got to use scheisse (sorry – no German keyboard to put the ‘B’ instead of the double s’s) and have someone understand me.  I got to teach 30 German and Spanish colleagues the game of baseball.  Which was actually quite interesting because I really hate baseball and didn’t really realize how much I actually knew.  We had a team outting to the minor league baseball team here – The Portland Beavers – and it was a blast.  Their stadium is almost as big as Royals Stadium in Kansas City…and they are a minor team…go figure.  Plus it is right in downtown which was totally cool.  The other thing I learned how to do was to speak v e r y  s l o w l y.  Their English was quite good but if they didn’t understand something – they wouldn’t say so…which makes for a hard time on a project this size.  Plus – no phrases, acronyms, etc.  Doing this is hard – never realized it before.  So, if you ever call me and I am talking extremely slow and using simple words please don’t think that I have had a labotomy…

This is my view from our parking garage at work…You can see Mt. Hood peaking out of the clouds (it is the one that forms a difinitive peak).  You can also see the bottom half in line with the top of the buildings in the background. 

My office…

A better picture of Mt. Hood from the garage…still looks like clouds I know…but you can ski year ’round…so there…

Enough about work.  What else has been going on?  Well, Dodo and I drove to a ‘fly-in’ at Mr. FAA’s house a couple of weekends ago.  This was crazy and a trip.  We drove about 2 hours into Washington and ended up in the country right by Mt. Rainier.  When we find Mr. FAA’s house we go down a long hill and boom – right there in front of us is a line stretching down the grass runway that makes up his backyard, small cessna’s, experimental fixed wing’s as well as about 20 R-22 helicopters and THE AGUSTA helicopter that Maggie B made claim to…I don’t blame her either. 

Here is Dodo and The Agusta

Agusta Cockpit

Agusta Passenger Seating

Maggie B taking ownership…someone was getting a little too close on the other side…

The lineup of R-22’s mainly from Hillsboro Aviation along with some private as well as another school’s

The Agusta in full size…well almost…

The back end…bigger than an R-22…

This is a plane where if you had a million dollars and offered it to me if I would fly in one of these I would turn you down…

The doors are also available on most jeeps…

It is ‘experimental’ due to the fact that it is home built and to me a death trap…I don’t even trust the wooden tables that I’ve built…

It was really terribly cool to be there and I think the greatest was seeing the inside of the Augusta, seeing Maggie B laying claim to it, and then it taking off without us…Well, maybe that last part was the greatest. 

This particular helicopter is owned by the last guy that went up to space as a civilian passenger…one of his private pilots flew it in for the BBQ.  You should have seen all the pilots drooling over this thing as it took off – I thought they were going to rush it and just hold on for dear life.  Take me Take me…maybe someday!

 Oh – headed out to the beach several weekends ago and saw a whale and a seal which was pretty cool.  I thought the whale was going to come to far in and get beached but it was having fun playing by the rocks.  The seal was adorable – it was just coasting with the waves right near the beach.  Maggie B loved it as well.  It was her first outting to the beach since her surgery and sure enough she befriended another dog and they just chased each other into the ocean and ran along the beach at full spead – the entire time my heart was lurching of course.  But she did well.  She slept for a full 4 days before she felt herself again, though, which was pretty funny. 

One of the cool things that we got was a video camera…My daddio and I decided that we would go in together and get that for Dodo as a gift for passing his checkride.  The thing has been wonderful.  As you could already tell from the above video’s.

The 4th of July was pretty cool.  The day was hotter than it has been – over 90 – but we made it out for fireworks that evening.  We drove up into the West Hills to get a ‘birds-eye’ view of the city and we could see the outline of Mt. St. Helens and fireworks from there to clear east about 50 miles and clear south about 50 miles.  There were THOUSANDS of fireworks going off – I kid you not! It was an incredible site.  It is quite nice having mountains around you so you can go up high to see the valley fireworks. 

 Firework or Light?

The other cool activity we did lately was go to Fleet Week at the beginning of June in downtown Portland.  This is part of the Rose Festival that goes on for a week and is a VERY big deal.  Lots of people and lots of boats – well, ships actually but there were several boats.  Enjoy the pictures:

They even had Pirate Ships battling it out…

 This is one of the Pirate ships with one of the marinas off of the Willamette River…Yes – all of this is on a river…You Kansas Citians out there need to get the City Council to take a look and see what could actually happen on a river…

A Pirate Ship taking on the Yachts…

This is Mt. Hood on a clear evening during sunset…notice how many pictures of Mt. Hood is in this blog???  That’s because we will only get to see it for a few more months before it disappears behind rain clouds…

Well, I guess I have spent enough time on this blog and I am sure you either need to go to the bathroom or get something to eat after reading all of this…I promise to post more often because quite frankly – this has been  a chore writing and downloading all of this.  I will also promise to post some of the video we took at the Fly In.