Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Big Boy Bed!

Nicky got his first real Big Boy bed!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

blogger: hacked(ish)

Since I signed up for a blogger account, I've been fighting with it to get it to display my header picture. Most people can just click on "Edit" in the header area and upload a picture. That wouldn't work for me. I was close enough to moving to another blogging provider that I went and created a Wordpress account, uploaded my header and posted a test post. If they hadn't killed the quality of my graphic, I'd be posting there right now. Unfortunately for Wordpress, and fortunately for Blogger (like either have anything to gain from my presence!) that ticked me off even more than not being able to use my image at all.

Being stubborn, I decided to spend whatever time it took to get it right. With a little suggestion from Beth, I figured out what I needed hack to get it to work: I had to change my header text to be one pixel tall black characters in a one pixel tall header container, expand the main container to 800px by 200px, and resize the body and sidebar containers accordingly.

Apparently I'm now learning to code in XML. whee! More changes are ahead, I'm sure.

Do you know how fast you were going?

"Excuse me sir, do you know why I pulled you over"?
I saw this on the way to lunch on Friday and had to chuckle to myself.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The most rediculous thing I've seen... so far today.

I remember hearing the horror stories about people huffing paint, whiteout and glue. What's next? See here:

From the "Testimonials" page:
"It is common knowledge that famous celebrities, artists, athletes, etc. inhale oxygen in order to stay young and active, as well as to reduce stress. "

It is also common knowledge that famous celebrities, artists, athletes, etc. have marriages that last less than a year, get arrested on charges that run from one end of the list to the other, burn themselves out on drugs, sex and alcohol, and are generally unhappy with their lives... Maybe this isn't the best marketing approach that The Big Ox could be taking.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The opening of a new horizon?

When I was being interviewed for my current job, one of the things that I was asked was if I'd be interested in the possibility of moving to the Salt Lake City area, if the oppertunity became available. Beth and I had been talking about moving out of the Bay Area for a while, if no nothing more than the oppertunity to check out a new place. (Well, that and if we ever decided to buy a house instead of renting apartments for the rest of our lives, we have no other real option.)

Yesterday was the big day. HNTB went head-to-head with another company that is well known to the Utah DOT for the I-15 improvement project and won.

If all goes according to the plans that were in place back in February, we will be splitting the West Division and creating a Mountain Division. The new Mountain Division will be needing an IT support structure and I should be in line to transfer.

So what does this all mean if it works out for me to transfer?

The first thing that comes to mind is the Grandmothers... "Hey Grandma/Grammie, we're moving...out of state." I'm not looking forward to that. I think that the worst part though is how I'll feel denying Nick of his near daily visits with his grandparents. My parents moved out to California following where the Navy took my Dad. I never was able to develop a close relationship with my grandparents or the rest of my extended family. I learned more about my grandparents at their funerals than I ever knew about them before. That's not something that I want for my son. Fortunately, we won't be nearly as far away and it'll give my parents a good excuse to put some miles on their RV.

Secondly, snow. Growing up in the Bay Area, I've not really experienced snow. I've never been stuck in it. I've never been snowed in. I've never licked a doorknob in December and gotten my tongue stuck to it. If we move, we'll have the chance to experience all of this and more (tongue/doorknob combination included, I'm sure). I'll have the second White Christmas that I've ever had. The first doesn't really count though, since it was before I was six years old and all I remember is the noisy lights-and-siren fire truck and lights-and-siren fire helmet from my Uncle Phil that I loved (and so did my parents, I'm sure!). I can't wait to see Nick in the snow!

Also very important: A drop in the cost of living altogether. I understand that if you live outside of the Bay Area, it's possible to survive without both parents working full time. Even better, my pay rate won't drop. Things are starting to look really good from my vantage point.

I've been working on this post over the last 4+hours, sneaking in bits and pieces in between work. If it seems scattered, that's why.

One last thing before I post:

I've decided that I'm going to start posting my fotrune cookie fortunes each time I get them. Why? Because they amuse me and because it's my blog. Also, refer to my first post.

My office is right on the edge of China Town, and Lucky & Lucky makes a delicious Sesame Chicken lunch combo for only $5.00, so the posts will be frequent. While I don't base my life altering decisions (or any other, for that matter) on the wisdom imprinted on a little slip of paper baked into a cookie, I do find that their broad statements can be applied often. (Remember the telephone psychic Miss Cleo and her fakin' Jamaican accent?)

Today was Panda Espress across the street in City Center: "You will soon have the oppertunity to improve your finances."


Monday, May 19, 2008

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge visit

My company is working on the West approach to the San Francisco Bay Bridge, from the bridge itself, west into the city for approximately one mile. This is to replace the original approach which was built the to the same specifications as the Cypress Structure which failed 100% in the Loma Prieta earthquake of '89.

All that is remaining of the original 1930's construction is the lower approach about a quarter long. The upper deck has been completely removed and replaced by a more modern structure.

The views were great and it was pretty cool to be walking on the deck right at the foot of the bridge.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Your Political Profile:

Overall: 70% Conservative, 30% Liberal

Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

So I'm conservative. I have no problem with that at all. I believe what I believe and I'm not one to apologise for it.
Something else that I believe is that I have a different viewpoint than most: Though I don't completely embrace what most extremists are saying, I don't necessarily fully disagree with their viewpoints. As much as I may disagree with the way that a group of people is protesting something or other, I think that we need them to help balance out those who only look for a way to make profit. And while I can empathize with the protesters saying that yes, things can be done in a way that may be better environmentally, I think that we need the other extreme as well, to keep a balance.
After all, if it were up to some extreme environmentalists, we'd all be living in mud huts, eating only fruit that fell to the ground of its own accord and wearing non-animal, non-synthetic clothing. That would be bad in many ways as well: Too much fruit will give you the runs, and I look absolutely terrible in a grass skirt!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

...maybe five computers.

"I think there is a world market for about five computers" — Remark attributed to Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board of International Business Machines), 1943.

Though there is no real evidence that Thomas J. Watson ever really made that statement, and it's often misquoted as fifty computers, I find it pretty ironic. I currently have ten computers in my cube here at work. No matter which quote you may have heard, that's pretty impressive. I either have a fifth of the number of computers that he was talking about, or twice as many.

Of those ten, I'm actively using only two of them, although I'm currently logged in remotely to three remotely.

I know that there's a LOT of people playing with way more computer power than I am... I'm not trying to brag about anything here. I'm just constantly amazed at how fast technology has grown and how much it changes from day to day.

Just look at the gadgets that Dick Tracy or Maxwell Smart used to carry and how futuristic it was then to think that someday you'd be able to stand on a street corner and call someone from a phone that you carried with you... Now it's difficult to find someone who doesn't have a cell phone (or two!) in their purse or pocket. And the moble phone/computer that is all the craze today? The Blackberry? Those things are more powerful than the first computer that my family had, and that was only the late 80's, more than 40 years after Mr. Watson supposedly made that statement.

...this is what happens when my mind waders at work.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Oh, the things I've learned...

Here's a glimpse of some of the epiphanies that I've had so far in my life. I hope that I can enrich yours by sharing...

Never blow your nose in a public restroom. You may not realize how much a blessing a stuffy nose can be.

Always be nice to waiters and waitresses. They are left alone, unseen with your food for just long enough to spit in it.

One of the most horrible realizations one could come to in the middle of the night is that you're completely out of toilet paper.

Fortune cookie fortunes can be a great source of revenge if the right one is left on the right person's desk at just the right time.

"Beer is proof that God wants men to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

"Coffee is proof that God wants me to be awake." - Rob Davis

Happy Mother's Day!

To my lovely wife,

Thank you for being such a wonderful and loving mother to our son. I know that at times he can be pretty challenging and knows all the right buttons to push to set you off, but I see what love you treat him with, how forgiving you are.

I love watching the two of you laugh and play. I love how you are so uninhibited with him, willing to dance and make up silly songs with him. I love the look that you have in your eyes when you watch him or are thinking about him. I love how much you love him. You're amazing, and I'm proud to be able to call you my wife.

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 9, 2008

ummm... -or- Untitled Post

I can't believe it! I'm using someone else's template for my blog. Considering that I went to school for graphic design, that's pathetic. I have a good excuse though.

My big computer died, so I'm limited to the applications installed on our laptop and my work laptop. That means no Photoshop, no Illustrator, no Dreamweaver. Maybe I'll be able to remotely log into one of the graphics stations at work this weekend and play around a little. (It's good to be the IT guy.)

Anyhow, today was a much better day at work. For the most part, everything was well paced and I had just enough time to get done what needed to be done. Well, other than actually moving into my new cube all the way. My method of unpacking and moving in has been reduced to digging through the boxes and putting stuff away until I find what I need to complete my immediate task. It's not the best way to unpack, but it's working so far.

I was taken out to lunch today as part of a celebration of a job well done. The marketing team was being thanked for their hard work. As an honorary member of the marketing team and the guy who supplied the computers for the visitors, "they couldn't have done it without me" (their words, not mine). We went to a little brewery down the street from the office. The food isn't bad, the beer's good (so I ...umm... hear), but the service is pretty slow. It's probably a cool place to go for dinner, but when you only have an hour for lunch, it makes lunch feel rushed.

Nick's spending the night with his cousins at Aunt Melissa and Uncle Rob's house. Beth said that he had a great time with his cousins today and played hard. I love hearing that. I miss him though. Our little apartment seems so empty without him here.

All in all, today was a pretty good day.


I didn't blog yesterday. By the time I got home, it was late and I was beat. I think I was in bed before Nick even was, if only by a minute or two. (Thank you Mommy for taking bed duty last night!)

Anyhow, yesterday can be wrapped up like this: Mutter at the alarm clock to leave me alone, stumble to the bathroom to take care of two of the "Three S's" (I didn't shave), stumble down to the train (I don't walk too well until I have coffee in me), coffee, work work work, get dragged to lunch with my friends (thanks for getting me out of the office Bart and Xena!), work work work, stumble down to the train (coffee wore off), sleep all the way home, get picked up at the train station by my wife and child, go to dinner, visit Beth's mom, steal Beth's dad's truck, drive home (poorly since I was so tired), stumble in the door and into bed.

It seemed to all go by in about the same amount of time that it took you to read that run-on sentence.

Today was much better. More on that when I get home.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The speed at which the world changes...

It's amazing how fast one little bit of news can bring your whole day to a stop and make you reflect on what's really important. What was beginning to become an evening of smiles and giggles has suddenly turned into an evening of tears.

We just got news that a good friend passed away in a terrible car accident this afternoon.

Mike Burke was my youth pastor through junior high. His wife Lisa was a great friend to everyone. She was a bright shining light in what can at times be a truely dark world. I can't even imagine her without seeing her beaming smile. Lisa loved God and shared His love with everyone that she came in contact with. The world is a better place for the time that she was here with us.

We love you Lisa and will miss you.

Going... Going... Gone

Blogs are supposed to be filled with relatively useless, totally random things, right? I mean, every once in a while you run across a gold nugget, something that changes you and makes you a better person, but for the most part, it's just people blathering on about their dog's intestinal discomfort, or a piece of gum left on the underside of the library table that looks remarkably like Elvis from one angle and Walter Matthau in a slightly different light, or the new pair of shoes that leave half-dollar size blisters but look so great that they throw all their useful shoes into the back corner of their closet. Right?

Anyhow, since all of my posts so far have been a veritable gold mine of topics to make one reflect upon the wonderments of life, I thought I'd throw something random in, just to shake things up a bit.

Actually, for some reason, I find this strangely entertaining. Maybe that's the only way that I've been able to survive the waste of time that comes with shuffling people from cube to cube...

I call it "A fade into desolation" only because it's a better title than "Rob's moving all his junk out of his cube, an essay in photographs."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A couple of pictures

No pictures yet? Aren't they required in a blog?

Sure thing, but remember, you asked.

Apparently the best place to sit is either on the back of the couch or on top of Mommy and Daddy's headboard. Since the back of the couch is strictly off-limits, the headboard will have to do for a quick minute of relaxation. Less than two weeks from now, Nick will be three. I can remember the first pictures I took of Nick and Mommy asleep on the couch after bringing him home for the first time. I didn't want to wake them up, so I set for a four second exposure to compensate for the extremely low light. I spent over an hour getting it just right. Now it's impossible to get him to sit still for four seconds!

My soon-to-be-former cube. A week ago it was the cleanest cube in the office. Now that I have to have everything packed and moved by this afternoon, it looks like this. It's 1:30pm and the last 20 minutes that I have spent actually in my cube is the longest length of time I've been able to do so today.

Two promotions in my office have lead to moving six people to different offices and cubes. The three office moves of the senior managers isn't really a problem. They're all away this week at a meeting and my responsibility only entails phones and computers. To move the three people (including myself) that are going from one cube to another involves good timing. We're basically rotating cubes, me to Mary's, Mary to Norene's and Norene to mine. While Norene is ready to go, I've not had a chance to pack a single thing, and the last I asked Mary about her status, she just laughed. At least I'm not that far behind the curve!

Nicky and Daddy being silly. There's nothing more wonderful than the laughter of your child. I find I'm willing to endure a lot of pain for that laugh. I'll probably lose my voice at some point from growling and making raspy voices. I guess I'll have to resort to hitting myself on the head with his Nerf bat at that point.

Wait... I do that already.

(Yes, I was in desparate need of a haircut and a shave when this picture was taken. I've visited the barber since then, so I'm a bit more presentable. I need another shave again though.)

That's all for now. I'll probably have more this evening.

(After posting I noticed that the formatting sucks. I'll try to remember to try to fix this. [Did you catch the loophole I left for myself there?] Large pics and left justtificaiton don't play well together.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Super hero!

I went to work.

I saved the day. I'm sure of it.

I came home, ate dinner, blogged and am heading to bed.

Now I know how Batman feels.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Curry? Blech! ...but wait a minute here. What's this?

I had one of those life altering moments this evening. It went like this:

We were invited to an annual cook-off/taste-test at a friend's church. If you know me, you'll know I'll try almost anything (edible) once. The idea is that everybody had a ballot and got to vote on their favorite items from each course.

When it was our table's turn to sample the salads, I wasn't looking forward to trying "Mom's Curry Chicken Salad." I've been scarred by curry in the past. Not by the taste. I'd never even tried it. It was the smell. One of the girls that I used to work with ate curry-something-or-other for lunch every day, and the smell was so strong it saturated that half of the office for half the day. "Never," I told myself. "I'd rather starve."

Why'd that change tonight? I have no clue. None.

The other two salads weren't all that appealing either, but I was there to eat and darn it, I'd paid my five bucks and it was only a little taste-sized cup. What could go wrong?

After trying the green goop and the peas-and-stuff salads, it was time for the curry. It didn't look all that threatening and didn't reek...

It was delicious! Who would have guessed? (Probably a lot of you, yes, but not me.)

So there. My life has changed. My horizons have been broadened. I even asked for the recipe.

Thank you Lori.

Here I am what?

I suppose I should say something witty, something to make everyone reading this chuckle to themselves and think "Yeah, I can relate to that."

Unfortunately nothing witty comes to mind. Nothing thought provoking. Nothing earth moving.

Most people's first blog entry was probably like that. I don't know. I've never read a blog from the first post, but I can imagine that most people have sat here, just like this trying to think of something to say that will set them apart from the crowd and failing about as miserably as I am now.

So if you're reading this, you're probably thinking to yourself, "I remember that. I can relate."

Mission accomplished.