Friday, February 29, 2008

DVD Burning

Today is cruise DVD burning day. I had recorded a little over 2 hours of video on the cruise. I intended to edit that down to under an hour to get the highest quality DVD but after editing for a few hours and seeing that I had only cut out 11 minutes, I let it go. I added some music and transitions and it came out to be about 1:40. Lots of dodge ball and rock climbing footage as well as video shot out the side of the truck to and from Coki Beach in St. Thomas. I guess that is what the fast forward button is for.

I got a lame form letter from the place I interviewed with saying they could not offer me employment at this time. I am bummed. I thought I did so well and it was in the bag. What is worse is that in the letter, the lady writing it said she enjoyed talking to me - and I never met her! Insult to injury... Nothing I can do about it now except keep the faith. And practice my future communication skills like, "Do you want fries with that...?"

Lucie is going away to Kids Camp today till Sunday. The kids have gym night tonight and I will be here feeding DVDs into the burner. After that it is scary movie marathon weekend.

The other day, the tiny rubber piece that covers my headphone jack on the top of my cell phone disappeared. It is on top of the phone so it is an open manhole cover for rain and other stuff to go right into the phone guts. I tried to find a replacement one online and at the Verizon store. No luck. So I called LG (the phone maker) and they had them for $0.98 each. With free shipping! But - minimum order is $10. So now I have 11 of them coming. Let me know if you need one....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

#2 Ain't So Bad

Elliott's first season of basketball has come to a close. Elliott had stayed home from school due to an upset stomach (something he ate we think) but he was ready to play by game time. The game started off rough with no referees showing up for 45 minutes. They finally got there and the game was on. And Elliott came out firing. His team was down 6-3 until he nailed a 3 pointer to tie it! At the end of the first quarter, his team was down 12-8 but Elliott put them ahead with a jumper to make it 16-14! However, by the half, his team was back down 24-18 and, due to the timing rules, he had to sit out the third quarter. He came in with the team down 32-22 and it was a struggle at that point. Both teams played well and it was a fun and exciting game. Towards the end, it was time to start putting up the 3 pointers so Elliott would swing open and pop the shot. But get this - the net on the hoop his team was shooting at had a big tear in it. On one of Elliott's shots, he drilled a 3 pointer and it went through the hoop and through the hole in the net. The other team took the ball and inbounded it. BUT the ref said no basket, called it an air ball, and said the kid who went to inbound it (after the basket) was out of bounds! Everyone protested it including some older kids who were watching at courtside (their game was after Elliott's). One of the kids yelled at the ref, "Give my home boy the points!" Elliott was the 3 point shooter and when he shot, our half of the gym would suck in their breath. If he missed, the whole place would groan!! He had 13 points - tied for his most points in a game. The final score was 42-33 but Elliott certainly did his part in the scoring department!! After the game, lots of parents came up to him and congratulated him on his game. One parent asked where he went to sports camp because he his game had gotten so good late in the season. Their coach took the team to Friendly's afterwards so I was talking to the assistant coach. She asked if Elliott would be back next year and when I told her this was his first year playing and he really enjoyed it, she couldn't believe it! She was blown away and said the boy has skills. So that was cool.

Here is a link to his stats:

Not much else going on right now. Ashleigh starts lacrosse at the end of the week. Lucie is away this weekend for a Kids Camp. I am still waiting interview results. I emailed the company yesterday and am hoping no news is good news....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Shawn Spielberg

I spent most of the weekend editing cruise videos and pictures. My how the time flies when you are slogging through all of that! It is fun but getting tedious.

Here is a link to the picture show:

The first album is 2008, the other is 2005 (I can't go back and add '2005' to that title though).

The weekend was pretty quiet. Lucie went to a friend of Ashleigh's school play Saturday night while Elliott and I ate nachos and watched a scary movie. On Friday night Ashleigh went to the movies with a friend. Sunday was pretty quiet too.

No news on the interview yet. I sent them a follow up email today. I am hoping!

Tonight Elliott has his championship basketball game. There is also the annual church board meeting which Lucie has to go to run the PowerPoint presentation. She will watch the game and then go to the church while Elliott and I and his team go to Friendly's afterwards.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hale's on Fire Part III

Well the boy did it again. Last night was his playoff game. Single elimination - you lose, you go home. Elliott came out ready to play. They played the team they last beat (when his team only had 4 players on the floor versus their 5) but this time, both teams were at full strength. Elliott not only scored the first basket of the night, he scored the second as well, and 8 of the first 10 points for his team!!!! He had 5 rebounds and was the 'garbage man' - he went in for offensive rebounds and just did little put-backs for the scores! He shot 44% from the floor and really set the pace for his team. He was getting right into it - wrestling for rebounds and tying up the ball for jump balls (alternating possessions). The second quarter was a defensive battle and his team lead 14-10 at the half. Elliott had to sit out the third quarter and it was 28-24 at the beginning of the fourth. His team actually got behind by at least 2 points for a few seconds until they hit some key shots and went on to win 40-34!!! Now they are in the championship game Monday night.

Now on to the mundane:

After my interview on Monday, I was sick, sick, sick. Fever, chills, hot, cold, coughing, etc. Just miserable. Fortunately I had nowhere to go so I laid low and ate soup and hung out.

I managed to get my taxes done and found that not only did my old company put on my W-2 that they paid my state taxes to the state of NJ, they actually didn't pay any state taxes at all (on my deferred compensation money - separate from my regular salary). So now I owe DE $1,200 in state tax! After I get a corrected W-2. I called the tax department at my old job and they said the law doesn't require them to withhold so they don't. I guess that would be too considerate. At least they are consistent...

I have been spending a lot of time editing video either of Elliott's games, Ashleigh's play, or the cruise footage. I was aiming to cut the cruise footage down from a little over 2 hours to 1 hour but that is not going to work out. I have a lot of video of dodge ball games, rock wall climbing, driving in St. Maarten, etc. So I am trimming that down and it will probably be about an hour and a half long. But it is coming out fine and I am enjoying reliving the trip. Lots of laughs.

Elliott had one of the strap pins on his watch come out on the cruise. So I went MacGyver and used one of Katie's hair clips to get it back in. The band is thick rubber so it was some hard work. Earlier this week, the dang thing popped out again. We all took turns trying to fix it. Finally, Lucie dug out the receipt and we took it back to Kohl's. Two minutes later we had a brand new watch. Very good.

Verizon finally made it to our street to run the new FIOS. So yesterday they dug a big hole in the front yard and had a giant cable layer/pusher thing out there driving the cables underground along the street. They managed to break one of my driveway reflector thingys so they will replace that - which is good as that is the one Lucie broke and I had fixed it once.

I went to church and played basketball after Elliott's game last night. We had 10 out but I got there late so I didn't get to play a lot before people started leaving. But I played a little which was enough since I had been sick. I haven't been on the elliptical much since we got back.

Today is a snow day for the kids. First one of the winter. Very icy out. Lucie is not feeling well but made it to church to work on the annual budget report which will be presented this Monday night. Lots of PowerPoint stuff and tables. She hopes to just collect a lot of it and come home with her tea and do it from here. The roads are rough but it should warm up. I will hunker down and watch a Netflix movie we have had for a while (Resident Evil 3 - no judging please...) and work on the cruise DVD.

Finally, I hoped to hear about my interview results today but I think the bad weather is going to postpone that for the weekend. I am really excited about this and am ready to go!!

Monday, February 18, 2008


Above are 5 clips from Elliott's game this past Saturday. His team was depleted due to absent players and sick ones so they could only put 4 players on the floor. The other team had all 5 play plus a sub. This team beat Elliott's at their last meeting by 14 points. Somehow, Elliott's team managed to turn it up a notch and came out with a win, 54-50! It was the teams' highest output all season. Elliott shot 50% from the field with a 3 pointer! A few rebounds, a steal, and the long awaited foul! (You may have to hit the PLAY button in the lower left twice to start the video - he is #3.)

This afternoon at 1PM I have a job interview that I am really excited about. I did some more research on the company and am looking forward to getting on board with them. Of course I wake up this morning sweaty, bad cough, throwing up (from the coughing), etc. Not from nerves - I am very relaxed, but from some little bug. So I am loaded up on Airborne and ibuprofen, etc. etc. I will get through it.

Hopefully my next post on here will be as an employee!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

For Never Was a Story of More Woe, Than This of Juliet and Her Romeo

Friday and Saturday Ashleigh performed her high school play "Romeo & Juliet." She played the role of prince and did really well. We went with a bunch of friends Saturday night. Above is a 30 second clip. (You may have to click the PLAY arrow at the lower left twice to start it.)

Elliott had another big game Saturday morning. I am working on video of that. Here is a preview of the recap: due to illness and injury, his team only had 4 players show up. They played another team that they lost by 14 to the last time they played. That team had all 5 players on the floor and one on the bench on Saturday. Check back tomorrow for the stunning results of that game...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hale's on Fire Part II

I had to recycle the flaming basketball picture because Elliott had another great game last night. We were away on the cruise for a week so we missed a few games. Elliott played some on the boat and actually got a medal for finishing in second place in a free throw shooting contest! Some old guy beat him. That is pretty remarkable considering we were rocking pretty hard with winds over 40 mph during the competition! Anyway, last night was his first night of basketball on solid ground and he was on fire again. At the end of the first quarter, his team was down by 4. With 10 seconds left, he stole the ball and drove down for a layup at the buzzer! First play of the second quarter, he swung open and nailed a 3 pointer! His 5 points put his team ahead and they didn't get behind till the end of the game. Due to league rules, Elliott had to sit out the fourth quarter (he played the entire game till then). When he came out, his team was up by 9 but they wound up losing by 3! The guy Elliott was on started hitting 3 pointers and Elliott's replacement couldn't shut him down. Elliott wound up with 7 points, two steals and several assists. His next game is Saturday and then it is the play-offs next week.

Hardly anyone showed up for my basketball night last night (Valentine's Day) so I canceled it after waiting around for 30 minutes.

I had an excellent phone interview with a consulting firm earlier this week and am going in for a face to face interview on Monday. The job looks really interesting and a great change of pace. I am pretty excited about it.

I am still working on cruise stuff (pictures, video, recap, etc.). I will get stuff posted here or on the website pretty soon. It was a great time. I am ready to go again...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mystery Photo

Elliott and I came home from walking the dogs yesterday to find these lines in the backyard. Anyone have any guesses as to what they are? We did not put them there. Leave a comment with your guess (I do know the answer - now. Thank you Karen Leavitt!)

The cruise trip is a mere hours away now. Boarding passes are printed, confirmations for the boat, cars, planes and the hotel in hand. A group of about 10 or so are heading down tonight. It is raining hard here which could cause some delays for them if not due to our weather, then weather elsewhere.

This will be my last blog until I return. Go Patriots!