Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ashleigh Is 18 Today

Today little Ashleigh turns 18.  Why, it seems like just yesterday...  ha ha  I could go on and on about remembering pushing her in her stroller to get the mail in New Castle every morning, what I was doing when I was 18 and so forth but you all can imagine my thoughts.  I am very proud of her.  Never a bit of trouble growing up - and she isn't all grown up yet.  The collage above is a collection of the "photo of the days" that I posted each morning on Facebook counting down the 10 days till her birthday.  For those of you not on FB, the one in the middle with her in the purple shirt is today's birthday picture.

We don't have a lot of plans for today.  Pretty soon we are going to go the Stevenson University open house.  It is just outside of Baltimore and where she wants to go to nursing college next year.  This evening she is having some friends over for a little fire pit cookout.  I am sure there will be a cake in there somewhere.

I am a fortunate man.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weighing In

Today I had to take Britni the beagle in for her rabies shot and Elliott and I took Mocha in with us.  She is always a big attention getter there.  Together Mocha and I exceed the weight limit on our home scale (I am blaming her!) so I wanted to weigh her on a big scale by herself.  She came in at 98 pounds.  Up 18 from our last visit.  And still growing.  Little Britni was 43 pounds, up 2 from her last visit and also still growing (unfortunately!).  They are really good to us at that vets and were SO sensitive when dealing with Jasmine.

Two weeks ago I was in Dallas for the American Society for Industrial Security annual convention.  That place was loaded with all sorts of security related stuff and classes.  It is good for me to go as I earn continuing education points which I need to keep my professional certification.  My boss is certified as well so we will probably rotate our attendance and go every other year.  I came back with a bunch of freebies and contacts and ideas for new things at work.  I went to the convention years ago in Orlando - always educational.  I met up with some old friends and colleagues and that went well.  I was also able to take a short side trip too.  The weather was beautiful and the city was clean and nice.  I took a swing by the grassy knoll where JFK was shot (just a couple of blocks from the Dallas Convention Center).  Pretty interesting.

Our company 10-year anniversary is Wednesday night at the Chase Center in Wilmington.  Cirque du Soleil is in town and we will get a "private" showing.  We saw them years ago and they are fantastic.  We thought it would be a good idea to get tickets for the regular show on Saturday and bring Ashleigh and Elliott for Ashleigh's birthday because just Lucie and I can go to the company show.  However, they are moving the show on Saturday to a smaller venue and tickets are expensive.  So we ruled that out.  Then yesterday our company got a limited number of free tickets for the Friday night show at the Chase Center.  Thanks to some quick thinking and generosity of my co-workers, I was able to get some tickets.  But not just any tickets, we got the "Ringmaster" tickets - $500 each!!  Did I say I got them for free?!  Includes ringside seats, dinner before and dessert after, etc.  That should be great.  Here is a link to the site that also has a short video:


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pool Closing Sadness

So we closed the pool today.  A couple of weeks later than usual because Lucie wanted to show it off to her sister but that was OK.  Kind of a sad day because it marked the official end of summer and Mocha will miss it.  In fact, both dogs seemed kind of sad about it.  The saddest part was when I went to change my web page picture that shows the pool is closed.  I had to put in a new picture because the other one showed Jasmine sitting out there...

All else is going OK.  I was chewing some gum the other day and developed a mild case of TMJ (from what Google says).  Wicked pain and popping in my right jaw joint.  Taking Ibuprofen and and not chewing on that side but it is sure painful.  Nothing can be done but rest it so I am.  Fortunately, or some may say UNfortunately, it doesn't interfere with me speaking.  Or typing...

Heading to Dallas Monday for a national security seminar.  Going to be there till Friday.  Should be very educational and fun.  It will be the first time that I will see my former employer since I left but that should go OK.  I checked out a laptop from work so I can keep up with my work (and personal) email.

Here is a quick funny video from today:


video

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ashleigh Scores (And I Got Too Excited To Record It All!)

video
Today was Ashleigh's final Turf Bowl field hockey game.  Turf Bowl is a weekend long series of games where all of the local high school field hockey teams get to play on the University of Delaware artificial turf field hockey field.  Her team has never won and they fell behind 2-0 pretty quickly.  I haven't made any of her games this year so I was armed with the camcorder and 3 batteries.  As they neared the end of the first half, there was a turnover.  The girl on the other team puts the ball into play and our team steals it and the girl takes a shot.  Ashleigh, #19, closed in and followed the shot.  She got the ball and put it in off the rebound!  You can barely see it because I got so excited my finger must have hit the stop button but if you watch her closely, you will see her lean in and flip it in!  They wound up winning 3-2!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Co-Conspirators

When I take the dogs for their daily walk thru the 'hood, I have them on one retractable leash with a "Y" splitter at the end.  They both have harnesses on and we go about a mile every evening.  The other night Britni the beagle stopped in the middle of the walk and pooped.  No problem - I have a poop bag holder attached to the leash so I pulled out a bag and started to pick it up.  Mocha must have thought it was a good idea so she decides to poop too.  Since I already had a bag out, I thought I would grab up her poop as well.  But the bags are only so big so it was a little tricky getting it all in one bag.  While I am focused on that task, Britni managed to wriggle free from her harness and bolt off down the road.  Mocha started off after her and she just about pulled me off my feet when she hit the end of the leash.  I finished grabbing up the poop and knotted the bag and we took off after Britni.  She darted into someone's open roll up garage door and started rummaging around.  The homeowners had a screen door from the garage into the house so I started yelling, "hello, hello" into the garage.  The homeowner comes out WITH his yellow lab.  And it was on.  Britni was zipping around, his dog was jumping around, I was trying to keep Mocha under control and not lose the over-stuffed poop bag.  Finally I managed to stuff the beagle back into her harness, offered up my apologies, and down the road we went.  The guy was really cool - fortunately.

Work had a few challenges the past couple of weeks.  Sometimes when it rains it pours and everything goes wrong at once. But I got through it.  And I still say my worst day here is better than my best day at my old job...

Lucie's long lost half-sister and her husband spent the night with us last night.  They are originally from Colombia like Lucie, but they now live in New Zealand.  He is a PhD and they both work in social marketing.  They are on sabbatical for a few months so they went took a trip through Europe and now they are on their way to Lucie's brother in Phoenix, then a sister in Seattle.  Pretty interesting people.  Lots of Spanish with a few "Shawn's" mixed in (they did speak very good English).  We had a fun time with them and they went for a walk with us and the dogs at the pond.  Mocha actually saw an animal bigger than her today - we ran into a bunch of people on horseback.

Started the pool close down today and will finish next week.  I am off to Dallas the week of the 11th and I want it all done before then.