Saturday, August 28, 2010

23 Years Today

Today is our 23rd wedding anniversary.  Last night we were at a friends' house for a birthday party and the subject of weddings came up.  Ashleigh told us later she was surprised at how we, and the other couples in the discussion, had forgotten a lot of the details of the wedding date itself.  At the time it seemed so important but now, not so much.  I guess there is a lesson in there about what is really important and what isn't.  I looked up to see what the traditional anniversary gift is for the 23rd and that is one of the "in-between" years.  The "modern" list says silver plate is the gift.  This is all the silver plate I need...  Anyway, so far so good and I am a blessed man.
It was a great week at work - and it was my one year work anniversary two weeks ago.  Still loving the job and the culture.  We had a few computer issues to work through this week but we got them resolved.  On Friday I was "featured" at the department Town Hall meeting which was video conferenced across the country.  I had done a security assessment at a place where there is going to be a corporate function soon and the place (purposely being vague here) said they had never had a corporate security representative come do an assessment before a corporate event.  Seems fundamental to me...  Anyway, that review and report earned me some recognition.  At the time I was embarrassed but it was very nice to be called out as a guy who thinks "outside the box."

Speaking of boxes, I got my new grill last week but the lid came dented and the paint chipped.  I made a call to Weber on Saturday morning, got right through to a human being, and a new lid was shipped right to me.  Got it Thursday.  I will tack a picture of it on the bottom of this post for those not on Facebook to see.

I took off the word verification requirement on the Comments section of this blog for those who like to leave Anonymous comments.  Had to put it back on because I immediately started getting spam postings.  Sorry about that.

We are using a gift certificate to go to Texas Roadhouse tonight for supper.  It's almost 11:30 AM - Ashleigh has gone to the beach with friends and Elliott is still asleep.  I guess we won't be getting breakfast in bed...


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Resistance is Futile

When we got back from vacation, the pool water was slightly green. Well that was strange. We have an electronic chlorinator that converts salt into free chlorine so we never have to put any chemicals in. Once I put about 250 pounds of salt in the pool in the spring ($5 for a 40 pound bag at Wal-Mart), it takes care of itself pretty much all season. I add salt after heavy rain but otherwise it is maintenance free. Come to find out, this $2.40 resistor burned out on the chlorinator motherboard. Common occurrence after 5 years or so according to my online research. I called the manufacturer of the board for help and they referred me to their"local" vendor who is 30 miles away, has terrible online reviews, and won't return my calls or emails. My original pool installer doesn't install pools anymore (which is a good thing) and they said they can replace the board and the housing it came in (it is mounted outside in like a weatherproof fuse box) for $683. I can get the entire board online for $250. So I bought two resistors online. Of course they were out of stock but they came in quickly and I received them today. Went right out, unsoldered the old one, soldered in the new one (thanks for some guidance from my older brother and a YouTube video...), and all is working again! Saved myself $680! I think I will buy myself a new grill with the money I saved...

Thinking about this made me think of the top 5 things you don't want to hear from the person house-sitting for you while you are on vacation:

5. Does your pool water normally turn green after it rains?

4. I thought you said you left your computer on?

3. Does it matter if the red switch at the top of your cellar stairs is on or off?

2. Do the dogs know how to find their own way home?

1. Where do you keep your plunger and mop?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mocha, Me and My Thoughts

Mocha and I went for a walk today. If you can see the two little red dots at about 9 o'clock above, that is where we started and finished. The white line is our trail. About 1.43 miles. It is a dog/horse walking trail off of a state park. Free. The trail is about the width of a road and is mowed and flat and dry. Very nice. I put Mocha's water packs on her and just she and I made our way around. About 80% in the shade. Lucie was home scrapping (imagine that!) with Britni the beagle (she is all over the place and not too fun to go on walks with - Britni I mean, not Lucie!) and A&E were at the movies. We had a good time. About an hour. Now I may sneak in a little nappy before having some friends over and a small cookout. Nice day...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

NH Vacation 2010

It would take me a week to write about our week of vacation. Which, when you think of it, really isn't a 'vacation' at all - it is a busy time! I am certainly not complaining but our days were busy, busy, busy and we still didn't get to see many friends that we wanted to. And there is no hiding on Facebook - post a picture and the entire universe knows where you are. It is a nice feeling to have so many people contact us yet it is frustrating knowing we cannot possibly see them all.

The drive up was 7.5 hours including a gas/rest stop. Very good time. We were met by my mother with Moe's sandwiches and then we met my younger brother in Portsmouth. The next day was spent visiting friends and mini golf and a visit to our old house and eating and eating and eating. In fact, EVERY day had a lot of eating so I won't even mention it anymore. Monday we went to my younger brother's house for dinner and the next day we went to my older brother's house for the day. What a great scenic ride that was. We even saw a bear cub in a tree off the side of the road (on Route 302, by the Willey House and Ripley Falls near Attitash for those familiar with the area). We had a great time at lunch and hanging out with all three brothers together and some of the cousins.

There was a visit to York Beach and many short shopping trips. We rented a boat for the day on Lake Winnipesaukee. That was great fun even though we got caught in a steady rain and had to return the boat early. The rain was stinging us in the face as we headed back to the dock. I had to break out in a rendition of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" to add some mood music. There was a cookout night and a pizza night and a lobster roll lunch from the place that won Best Lobster Roll in NH and my mother supplied her famous cookies and strawberry shortcake(didn't I saw I wasn't going to mention food any more?!). The weather was great and the nights were fantastic sleeping above the sounds of the tide coming and going.

Did a little fishing but for the first time ever, no one caught a fish. But a good time was had anyway. Suddenly the end of the week was upon us. Too soon as always. While it is always sad to leave, it was especially hard to leave this time knowing it was probably our last stay in the Cafe. But we'll be back...

Go to this link: and scroll down to the 2010 NH Vacation slide show.