Thursday, April 30, 2009

The last day of April

It's Thursday, April 30. The weather is supposed to be nicer today; hopefully, Joy and I can take a bike ride this evening. Of course, they are already talking about rain again for the weekend.

On Monday, I bought went to AAA to get our tickets for Magic Mountain. Tomorrow, we're planning to take John to the DMV so he can take his written test for his learners permit. That's partly so he can help drive while we're on our vacation, getting some hours in.

Yesterday, we had an off-site face-to-face meeting for the developers, support people, etc., for my product, ServAssure Enterprise. The meeting was held at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. Some of our co-workers from Bangalore, India and State College, Pennsylvania flew in for it. Hopefully, we'll use what we talked about yesterday to make our process and our product better.

I have multimedia duty again Sabbath at PVC--substituting for someone out of town.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Just another Monday

We had a good weekend. John had three of his friends over for his birthday party on Saturday evening. I doubt that any of them got more than about one hour of sleep, between their games and movies. John was bragging that he was going to stay up all night last night, too, but he fell asleep in the car while Joy was talking with him--between words of a sentence that he was speaking!

We got our Southern California CityPass tickets at Costco yesterday. They were only $227 each; that saved us $128 for our family, enough to pay for all 4 of us to go to Magic Mountain, too. We were expecting booklets of tickets, but they are gift cards, instead. Now, we just need to pay for our gasoline, food, and a couple of Las Vegas shows, and we haven't used any credit cards. Of course, I'm sure we'll be buying some souvenirs from the various places.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday once again

It's another Friday; it's doughnut day at work, which is always good--or at least tasty!

Tomorrow, we have multimedia duty again. We might take a trip to the Orezon Zoo tomorrow afternoon, depending upon the weather and Joy's cake decorating tasks. Samudra, their baby elephant, just hit the 1000 pounds mark--a big baby, but very cute. In the evening, John is having some of his friends over for his birthday party. I imagine that they'll make a lot of noise, watching movies and playing video games. Maybe I'll have to stay in my room with my headphones on and listen to music or watch a DVD on my laptop!

Last evening, Joy and I went to PVC to hear a webcast by Dave Ramsey present a Town Hall for Hope. While I don't necessarily agree with everything Dave advocates, I give a hearty amen to the idea of personal responsibility. Requiring my grandkids to pay for mistakes made by greedy individuals in New York, Washington, or wherever, just doesn't seem right to me; nor does suing McDonalds because their hot coffee was actually hot and someone is stupid enough to put the coffee cup between their legs and got burned.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another nice stretch of weather

We've enjoyed several nice days in a row. On Saturday afternoon, Joy and I rode our bikes about 9 miles on the Springwater Trail. This time, we rode east towards Gresham. The temperature was just right for riding.

On Sunday, we spent several hours organizing our garage. On Sunday evening, we took a drive up to the top of Powell Butte. Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams were all visible, in the sunshine.

We made our vacation reservations over the weekend. For our Vegas trip, we'll be flying Alaska Airlines to and from Las Vegas. Our hotel will be the Stratosphere. We decided to stay in Williams, Arizona for our Grand Canyon excursion. It was over $100 a night cheaper than the motels that are closer to the park. We also ordered our America the Beautiful pass, giving us admission to all of the national parks, monuments, forests, etc. During our trip, we'll be going to three national parks: Death Valley, Zion, and Grand Canyon. We'll also be going to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Just the admissions to those four parks cost almost as much as the annual pass, plus we can use it at Crater Lake, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier, closer to home.

We're staying in three different motels in Southern California. The 1st couple of nights, we'll stay in Sylmar, about half way between Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood. Then, we'll spend 4 nights in Anaheim, near Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Finally, we'll spend two nights at a motel in San Diego near Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. We still need to purchase our Southern California CityPass booklets. Through AAA, we're getting very good prices on our Magic Mountain tickets.

Other than our gas, food, parking costs, and tickets to a couple of shows in Vegas, our vacations have all been paid for! We're going to buy food at grocery stores as much as we can, especially while we're in the amusement parks with their captive audience pricing.

Friday, April 17, 2009


It's Friday--and we're supposed to have very nice weather over the weekend, a double blessing. Hopefully, we can get out and enjoy spring weather in a park or the zoo!

Last evening after our workout at the gym, Joy and I went on a movie date to the Moreland Theater in Sellwood to see Duplicity, starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. It was an interesting crime caper, that kept having unexpected twists--up until the end. The theater itself is the old style, distinctive type, very different from the multiplex theaters that we usually frequent.

Over the weekend, we should be making our reservations for our southern California and Las Vegas vacations this summer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day 2009

April 15--a day of dread for many Americans. Where does all of the money go? A visual guide to where federal tax dollars go.

Yesterday, we gave John a Savage Mark II .22 rifle for his 16th birthday. It has a 10 bullet magazine, and is bolt action. He also got Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 DVDs, some pillows, and an ornamental dragon handled knife.

The weather is supposed to be better this weekend; hopefully we can get out and enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

John's birthday--16 years old.

Today is John's 16th birthday. He's still not ready to take his drivers license test, so he won't be driving today, though. We went out last evening to celebrate, since James is working today. John selected Red Robin as his restaurant of choice. He wants a .22 rifle to use for target practice. We live in city limits, so he won't be able to shoot it unless we're out in the country somewhere. John will have some friends over on Saturday evening to play games.

Tomorrow is income tax day. Our taxes are finished and have already been efiled.

I've been dusting off my Perl skills on a project at work. I used the language extensively several years ago, but its syntax is pretty obtuse. Oh well, at least I have a job, unlike thousands of other Oregonians. I heard on the radio this morning that Oregon's unemployment rate is over 12%--wow...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday, 2009

It's Good Friday today. The weather isn't forecast to be nearly as nice for today through Easter Sunday; in fact, it's supposed to rain. Too bad it won't be as pretty as last weekend! Oh well, at least it is the weekend.

Tomorrow, we're going to the home of our friends Les & Keri to celebrate Adriana's 1st birthday. Joy and I are honorary aunt & uncle to Adriana. Joy is going to be making a birthday cake this evening.

It is Fondue Friday this evening for the youth from PVC. We're hoping that John will connect with some of the kids there and be interested and enthusiastic about going to this regularly.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A nice April Monday

Yesterday was beautiful and sunny here in Portland. It got to almost 80 degrees. Today is supposed to be similar.

Joy and I took an eleven mile bike ride from our home down to the Springwater Trail. We were a little stiff and sore afterwards, but our LA Fitness exercising has made a dramatic improvement in us. A year ago, a bike ride of only about a mile made us pretty exhausted, and yesterday, we weren't that tired, just a little stiff from doing a different exercise.

Attached are a couple of pictures that I took yesterday with my G1 phone.

Monday, April 06, 2009

A Good Weekend

The Why? seminar that we attended was good. We learned a lot; now we just need to apply what we learned to our lives.

On Saturday evening, we went over to the home of our friends, Les & Keri. I helped Les get his new netbook computer connected to their network printer. We then watched Stardust, an enjoyable movie.

Yesterday, after our seminar, Joy & I took a walk in the sunshine along the Springwater and Butler Creek rails, talking about the seminar. We took pictures of rabbits, trilliums, ducks, and creeks.

It is supposed to get up to around 77 degrees today, a record high for this date.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Another Friday

This weekend, Joy and I are attending the Why? seminar by the Life Renewal Institute. The seminar teaches a process whereby one can recover from the wounds received in childhood which plague our thoughts, feelings and behaviors and sabotage our relationships and success.

It is supposed to be sunny and in the high 60s or low 70s this weekend. Hopefully, we'll be able to enjoy some of the sunshine after our seminar.

I saw a hummingbird feeding from cherry blossoms outside my office on Wednesday. I'm glad that spring is here.

April is a busy month: our son John's birthday, Easter, etc.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools Day, 2009

There have been a lot of online pranks already today.

Wikipedia has entries like these:
  • ... that in 1825, the Court of Exchequer declared all contracts by hobbits illegal and void in England?
  • 1572 – Spanish general and governor Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba (pictured) lost his glasses in the town of Brielle, enabling sea beggars to gain the first foothold on what would become the Dutch Republic.
  • ... that Wikipedia now has an article about everything?
Google has announced Gmail Autopilot by CADIE.

It was another rainy morning, here in Portland. By the way, yesterday, had Portland listed as number 22 in the entire world of men's favorite cities!