Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trick or Treating Time

The boys are all costumed up and ready for a night of fun trick or treating.  This year Mike and Michelle brought Olivia over so they can all go together which should be fun for them as well.  This morning it was raining so I'm quite happy that the weather cleared off and they don't have a half bad night to go out.  Just like every year I'm sure they will come home with more candy than we can hope to eat.


After spending the last hour or so carving pumpkins I finally got the jack-o-lanterns carved.  Clancey really wanted a wolf so I dusted off my pumpkin carving expertise and got it done for him.  I'm actually quite proud of how it turned.  Apparently I can carved traced lines rather well

Carving Pumpkins

This morning we figured we had better get our pumpkins carved if we actually wanted to have jack-o-lanterns for Halloween tonight.  As we were digging the guts out of Clancey's pumpkin we figured out why it was so freaking heavy.  Apparently some of the seeds inside the pumpkin had started to germinate so there were the start of little baby pumpkins inside it, weird!  Once we get these innards dug out it's time to start the carving.

Crazy Sirens in the Middle of the Night

Last night around 2am Jen and I were woken up to nearly every vehicle with a siren flying down our street and parking just down the road.  From what we could tell it looked like the police chief, the county deputy, ambulance and all the fire trucks.  Didn't look like there was a fire or anything so we aren't sure what the deal was but there was plenty of yelling but very little activity.  The firefighters appeared to stay in their vehicles while the police dealt with something up at the house.  Whatever it was it went on until about 3am.  Guess I'll have to see what the scuttlebutt is around town, I'm sure somebody knows.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Clancey Soccer

Tonight Clancey had a soccer clinic out at the fields by the airport.  Clancey is really getting into soccer so we make the time to get him to all the clinics and games we can.  The clinic was with the same guy who taught the clinic in Tipton last summer that got him into soccer in the first place.  He really likes that guy so he was pretty excited to get to see him again.  Being I've been on the road a lot lately I hadn't been able to see him play much and I was shocked how good he is getting.  Not going to be too long and he will be playing on the big time club teams playing for the state championship.

Back To Europe

I didn't mention this on my blog but last Friday when I was at the airport in Detroit I just happened to run into my boss boarding the same plane back to Cedar Rapids.  He was coming from a week in Germany where he was working with our German counterparts there on an issue with a program.  From the sound of the issue it sounded like something that wasn't going to be easily fixed and was going to require some help from the Cedar Rapids engineers to solve.  Well fast forward one week, the issue has become a issue that has flowed up the chain and become a very high visibility issue that must be solved quickly and that is where I come in.

To be fair, as the week progressed I could see the writing on the wall and I figured I was going to end up in Germany but I didn't figure until the week after next.  Well this morning I sat through a meeting at 9am where we made the final decision to send a group of engineers from the US over to Germany this weekend to work the issue for the next two weeks.  So here I am once again getting ready for board a plane to head to Europe for at least two weeks.  I also figured while I was in Germany it seemed like a perfect opportunity to take a quick trip over to France to get a face to face with my French team working another program.

Here's a run down of my upcoming weeks:
Sunday November 1st:
* 11am board a plane in Cedar Rapids to Minneapolis
* Minneapolis to JFK Airport in New York
* 7pm board an overnight flight to Frankfurt Germany

Monday November 2nd:
* Land in Frankfurt Germany
* Drive from Frankfurt Germany to Heidelberg Germany
* Noon Arrive at Heidelberg Facility and work the rest of the day

November 2nd - 12th:
* Work out of Heidelberg Facility

November 12:
* Board plane in Frankfurt, Germany fly to Toulouse, France

November 13:
* Meet in morning with French team
* Evening fly from Toulouse, France to Amsterdam, Netherlands

November 14:
* Noon board flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Minneapolis
* Evening board a flight in Minneapolis and fly to Cedar Rapids

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pie's in the Face

Not very often you get to slam a pie in your bosses face so today when the United Way event let you buy a pie to slam in your bosses face I took the opportunity.  Plus I figured I better do it, if for nothing else Jen, because he has me on the road constantly these days ;)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Clancey's Birthday Party

Believe it or not I didn't end up on a plane today and was able to leave work at a decent time and make it home for the party.  I'm pretty sure if I didn't leave work early Clancey would have gotten in a car and drove to Cedar Rapids to get me.  Clancey ended up getting some pretty cool gifts but I think the gift Marshall got him, the stuffed wolf, was his favorite.

Pictures and Videos From the Day

Clancey's Birthday

Today is Clancey's 8th Birthday, time sure fly's fast.  This morning Clancey requested Monkey Bread for breakfast as the start of his birthday activities.  The plan is to have the real party tonight and open the presents from all of us.  I'm planning to leave work at a decent time tonight so that we can get his party started early tonight!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pumpkin Patch

This afternoon we headed over to the pumpkin patch to get our jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.  We weren't there very long because it was busy as heck but we did manage to find some good pumpkins.  On the way home we stopped at DQ to get some ice cream to finish the trip off.  Probably plan on carving them later this week.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

50 Day Running Challenge

Today on the way home from Thor Jen was telling me about an Instagram person she follows who did the 50 Day Running Challenge.  What it entails is running at 2 miles every day for 50 days without excuses.  That means when you are sick, traveling, or just don't feel like it you have to find a way to run.  I started the challenge myself this evening and we will see how long I can make it.  It's always easy to do these things for a week or two the real difficulty comes after the novelty has worn off and you just don't want to do it anymore.  I sure hope I don't fail within the first week.  I'll keep you updated how it goes.


Jen just got done with the race and did great.  She said it went alight until around mile 8 when she got a bit of a side ache but she was able to run through it and keep running.  Her goal was to run the whole race, which she accomplished even with struggle through a side ache for a while.  The boys and I managed to find a whole bunch of spots to cheer on.  Which was fun and helped kill the time while she ran for the two and a half hours.  Jen has really come to love running so I'm thinking this is going to become more of a regular thing for her.  Be nice to have another runner in the family, help keep me motivated for Ironman.

Link of Full Picture Gallery:

Jen Getting Ready To Go!

Here Jen is at the start line of the half marathon getting ready to tackle her longest race ever.  There is a surprising amount of runners here for a half marathon in a small town in northern Iowa. She's a bit nervous but she has been training hard so I'm sure she will do alright.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Galveston, Texas

After we got done at the space center we decided to go have some dinner in Galveston so we could see the Gulf of Mexico.  Besides really crappy traffic the trip down wasn't too long.  The water was really rough when we got their so the fact we didn't have swim suits with us was no big deal.  We stopped to take a couple pictures and then found a steakhouse to eat some fine Texas beef.  Tomorrow, after what was a pretty short trip for me, I get on a plane at 7am to head home.  Should be home before the kids are out of school so we can get an early start to go over to Thor for Jens half marathon on Saturday.  Going to be another night on the road but at least I'm be in a familiar place eating homemade food so it won't be too bad.

Johnson Space Center

Today after our meetings got over myself and a couple of my travel companions decided to head over to the Johnson Space Center in Houston to check it out.  While the "Museum" was mostly targeted towards family's and kids it didn't mean they didn't have a couple cool things to check out.  The neatest by far was the Boeing 747 that carried the Space Shuttle with the Shuttle on top.  The exhibit was completely done yet so we couldn't go inside it to see it but to get a picture in front of it was way worth the trip.  We also go to see a Saturn 5 rocket that carried the astronauts to the moon.  Once again as an avionics engineers way cool to see.

Meetings Over, Met Some Legends of Graphics

Unlike the FACE consortium I go to every couple months these meetings don't last as long.  The Safety Critical group I'm part of only met for 2 days but it was actually a very productive couple days.  Not only did we get a bunch of stuff of accomplished I got to meet a whole but of people who are "Legends" in the graphics industry.  In fact today at lunch I was sitting at a table by myself waiting for the rest of my group to get their lunch and I guy came down and sat next too me.  He introduced himself as Mark and we chatted for a while.  Finally at the end of the conversation I noticed his name tag said Mark Kilgard.  For those that don't know he was the software engineer who wrote GLUT, which is the windowing library we all used when we first learned OpenGL.  Not sure I'll be able to make it happen but I would like to continue to go to the meetings.  Next one is in Seattle in February guess we'll see what happens.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Morning Coffee

This morning I woke up around 4:30 and just couldn't get back to sleep.  I kept the light off and my eyes shut until about 5:30 but I was doing more tossing and turning than anything else.  Last night I ordered room service for 6:30 in the morning so I could have breakfast in my PJ's as opposed to having to get up and around to go eat.  As you can see it worked out pretty cool because I got to enjoy my coffee with a great view of the city.  I'm curious to see how my meetings go over the next couple days going to be a whole lot of graphics experts here hopefully I'm not too much out of my element.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

On the Road Again

Once again I'm on the road, this time I'm in Houston, Texas for the Khronos Face 2 Face Conference. I'm here to work with a bunch of other industry people to define the next version of the OpenGL Safety Critical Profile.  It's two full days of meeting Wednesday and Thursday to walk through the OpenGL calls and decide which ones are in and out.  Should be a exciting couple of days.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Video Game Room Cleanup

With fall fast approaching that organizing but hit me and I decided it was time to clean up the video game room.  Last year we set the video game room up but never really finished the job and got the room all the way cleaned up.  Plus, while the setup was cool, wasn't the best use of the space.  Spent a couple hours today but we managed to get the room mostly cleaned up and organized and setup to better utilize the space.  Of course I didn't remember to take a picture but trust me when I tell you the room looks awesome now!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Enjoying Lunch at DQ

On the way home Marshall told us he was really hungry so we pulled into the DQ in Tipton to have some lunch.  They warned us that his stomach might be upset after the anesthesia but that clearly isn't the case because he pounded through his burger and fries.  

Surgery Complete

Marshall is out of surgery and everything went well.  The doctor came in and told us he was able to get the whole Dermoid Cyst out and it looked alright.  They are going to send it off for a biopsy but he said looking at it there should be nothing to worry about.  As you can see it was quite large and kind of looked like a heart, apparently they named it Mr. Bojangles.  The doctor said in a week he is going to follow up via email.  We'll take a picture with our smartphone and email it too him and if it looks alright we can avoid another trip to Iowa City and hopefully another large bill.  Once Marshall gets fully woken up and eats we will be one our way home and Marshall can spend the weekend laying around.

Marshall's Surgery

This morning we were up bright and early to get to Iowa City for Marshall's eye surgery today.  Since he was born he had this lump above his right eye and we knew eventually we would have to get it taken out, well today is that day.  As you can see we are all checked in and ready to go.  It's a pretty "minor" surgery but they do have to put him under to get it done which has some risk associated with it.  Wish us luck.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sporting my New Gold #bragtags

On my last trip to France I made Delta Gold Medallion status which finally means I actually get some real perks.  One being Sky Priority for the next year and a half which means I get to get on the plane first and use the Sky Priority lines at airport check-in. So while I've been able to use the perks I didn't have my official tags.  Well yesterday I got my Gold Medallion bag tags in the mail so I finally got to put them on my bag and sport them around work.  One my trip to France and I'm Platinum which means First Class Upgrades on almost all my flights!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Crazy Windy Day

Today turned out to be a crazy windy day and as you can see it lead to the untimely death of our wheelbarrow.  That poor wheelbarrow survived nearly being destroyed by being overloaded by concrete and has been with us since we first got the house.  Today though a limb broke loose high up in the tree and killed the wheelbarrow.  I'm just happy that no one was underneath it when it fell.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lunch at Jimmy Jack's Rib Shack

After church we piled into the car because Jen wanted to head to Iowa City to have some BBQ for lunch.  The original plan was to go to Wildwood but when we got there we found it was closed with a cardboard sign in the window that said closed until further notice.  Not sure what that means but our Wildwood days may be done.  At this point we did what any other modern person would do, get on the phone and look for the next nearest high rated BBQ place.  It wasn't too long and we found Jimmy Jack's Rib Shack and decided to give it a try.  Turns out it was pretty good and may be a place we have to visit more often.

Singing In Church

This morning, much to the kids dismay, they had to sing in church.  Last year we assured Marshall that it was his last year singing but in a turn of events they combined Sunday school classes and he has to sing again this year.  Marshall absolutely hates singing in church, which in turn means Clancey hates singing in church.  As you can see from the picture Marshall was hiding as far back as he could from actually having to be seen why he was fake signing.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Playing at the Park

This afternoon Clancey was begging to go to the park to play again so Jen told him when I got done mowing that we could head over.  It was about 4pm before I got done mowing so we headed over to the park late afternoon.  Clancey played on the equipment for a little bit but we all ended up playing Basketball for the rest of the time.  Turns out Marshall and Clancey are getting pretty good at Basketball.  We ended up staying until around 5:30 and would have stayed longer but someone decided to bring their dog along and he wouldn't stop barking and crying.

New Mower

I finally bit the bullet and bought a riding lawn mower to take care of my lawn with.  I had put a bug in my neighbors ear that I was looking for a riding lawn mower and him, being the man about town, knew a guy who was selling one pretty cheap and got me in touch.  I doesn't look like much but it mows really nice and makes the job way easier.  

New Way Into The House

On the way out the door this morning to drop Jen off at church I'm guessing she locked the rear screen door.  I think it was a tricky ploy to make sure that Clancey and I had to go to church today.  Turns out that I don't have a key to any other door except the back door of the house so I didn't have anyway into the house.  Luckily we had let the bathroom window open so, as you can see above, I could climb through and open the door from the other side.  I'm thinking when Jen gets back from church I'll repay the favor.  

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Climbing With the Family

Today, for the first time in 2 years, Jen and I took the boys to Backbone to go climbing.  I didn't realize until I started looking back at the blog that it had been two years but apparently it had.  Although while I was looking over the blog it was also really obvious that we have been absurdly busy for the past two years so something has to give.
 Picture of Clancey on one of his first attempts up the wall.  Both of the boys had really improved and made it a lot higher then they had ever before.
 While the picture above doesn't show it, I let Marshall use my climbing shoes which helped him get pretty high up the cliff.
 Clancey and Jen watching Marshall climb the wall.
 A picture from way back that give a good idea of the scale of the wall.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Fun at The Park

Since we are coming off of a crazy busy summer and me off of a crazy busy travel schedule the boys, especially Clancey, have been feeling like we haven't done a whole lot of fun things together.  He was really pushing to go to the park yesterday but I didn't get home early enough to take them up.  Today I cut out of work a little early, on time, and met Jen and the boys at the park.  We played a whole bunch of Basketball and frisbee before we headed home for supper.  With caving last weekend and climbing this weekend we are trying to make up for a summer of fun in the fall before the snow flies.