Thursday, June 30, 2016

Headed Home

After another week in Portland I'm headed home after successfully accomplishing my mission here.  Kind of funny to travel all the way out here for nearly a week for what amounts to 15 minutes of standing in the lab and making sure something works properly.  I guess that is what the job is sometimes.  Either way I'm happy everything went well and I'm able to head back successful.  Looking forward to a long weekend with the family and to sleep in my own bed!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


After a long day but successful day at the office, I got invited to go golfing with a group of guys I met out here.  I forgot to take a picture while I was on the course or I would attached it.  Ended up having a really good time and was nice to burn off a little steam after three 10-12 hour days.  I am looking forward to heading home tomorrow though.

Virtually Attending a Meeting in Cedar Rapids

This week I was supposed to be in a week long meeting back in Cedar Rapids.  We had flown a large team in from Germany and the plan was to spend the week in a Green Room.  With the emergency in Portland I wasn't able to be in Cedar Rapids but I still had to participate.  So while I wasn't doing what I came out here to Portland to do, I was on a webcam with a room full of people on the other side on a webcam doing our best to work together. The plan is to fly back Thursday afternoon so I can be there in person on Friday, hopefully that works out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ran Into Celebrities

Last night while I was out for dinner, I was sitting in the bar area and these two came walking in and sat at the table next to me.  I've watched "24" so David Anders looked familiar but I couldn't place him, it wasn't until the waitress asked if he was in "iZombie" that I put it together.  I chatted with them a little bit, nice enough people but it was clear they were on a date and didn't want to be bothered.  Either way it was kind of cool to run into a celebrity.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Segway Tour

In an effort to actually do a few things on this trip I decided to take another Segway tour.  Now I do agree that if my friends knew I took a Segway tour of Portland there would be no end to the ridicule but I enjoyed my last one so it's worth the risk.  This tour was a bit less crazy then my last one, only one other person who had ridden a Segway before and no crashes.  Tour was about 2 hours and we got to see quite a bit of the city.  Probably the coolest part of the tour was seeing "Mill Ends Park" smallest city park in the world.  Look it up on Wikipedia, it's pretty cool.  Now I'm headed out to go find some dinner.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

On The Road Again

Late Friday afternoon, about 6:00pm, I got the call that I needed to head to Portland again this week.  In fact it was so late all the admin were gone so I had to book my own travel on Saturday.  Now I get what your thinking, why would I need my admin to book travel I'm a perfectly capable person why can't I book it.  Well that is normally frowned upon and they like to use admin's as a means to validate you have proper approval to travel.  All that aside, here I am once again on a plane headed across the country.  After a couple month break it seems I'm going to be back on the road alot.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Playing In The Pool

With it being hot and muggy again today the boys headed back out to the pool for a little mid day fun.  Not sure if I'm going to get it or not since I have to mow but at least the kids are enjoying it.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lynn's Retirement

It been a year of big change at the UCC church and we are still in the process.  Today our associate pastor of many years, more than Jen and I have been around, Lynn has been the associate pastor at the church.  Today she officially retired and is moving on to other things.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

On My Way Home

After a short quick trip to Portland I'm on my way back home.  Kind of crappy that I'm headed home on Saturday and won't get home until late in the afternoon.  Didn't have as successful as trip as I wanted so it's possible I'll be headed back in a week or two.  Oh well, at least I'm headed home today and will be home for a couple days.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Headed to Portland

Today early in the afternoon I found out that I'm headed off to Portland tomorrow afternoon until Saturday.  I would head over in the morning but I have a Green Room I have to attend all morning so I'm catching the latest flight I can take that will get me to Portland before midnight tomorrow.  The wife isn't super stoked about it since I was in DC all last week but just kind of goes with my job.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

On The Way Home

After being on the road for a week at this point and staying in 5 different hotels I'm finally on the road home with the family.  I'm glad Marshall had a good time and camp and I'm happy to be headed home with the family in tow.  I'm always jealous of those people I see traveling with their family.  I travel so often and so rarely with my family it's a real treat even if it is just a long drive.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Marshall Graduated From Mach II Aviation Challenge

After a week of being nervous and wondering how the week was going for Marshall we finally got to see him.  Turns out this camp is the real deal and they treat these kids like this is military boot camp.  As you can see above they all came out in very military fashion and were all disciplined different kids.  During the week they each got a call sign Marshall was "Mermaid" because during the introductions the said he liked to swim.  He told us it was just about "Gills" which he liked but someone yelled out "Mermaid" and it kind of stuck.  Also you will notice he is at the front of the line,  he was saying during the week that he got promoted to the front of the line because he could listen to instructions and do what he was told.  You also can see that his team won the coveted "Admiral's Cup" which is the top team prize they give out.  That was really cool.

Overall Marshall had a really good time at camp.  When we first got him I was worried because he made it sound like he didn't like it at all but over the course of a few hours he started to open up about it and said it was a great experience.  He said next time he wants to do "Space Camp" but I'm thinking as the year wears on he might change his mind.

Couple high lights from the week.  First, I already said he won the Admiral's Cup which is the top prize a team can get at the camp.  Second, he was one 5 points away from flying in the finals for the "Top Gun" prize.  He said he went below the hard deck trying to get away from someone in the last 10 seconds which lost him points.  Third, he was really proud of finishing the big final event the last night.  It culminates with a 100 yard army crawl which.  Fourth, he took out one of the instructors in combat but got in huge trouble because he didn't have rear aspect.  I guess that is pretty important and he said he got pulled out of this simulator and yelled at for 10 minutes but he was happy he shot him down.  The only student to do so.  

I'm sure over the course of the next few weeks we will get more and more out of him but I think he had a good time.  I'm really proud of the kid for getting outside his comfort zone and doing it in the first place.  The kid never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Quick Stop In DC

My meetings in Pax River got over yesterday and last night I drove up to DC to stay the night so I could catch my flight out today.  Since my flight didn't take off until 2 pm today I had time to head up to the National Mall to take some pictures.  I've seen the Lincoln Memorial and the other stuff in the mall area but I've never walked over to the Whitehouse before.  I decided to take the DC Metro down to the Whitehouse and got out to take a picture.  After that I walked to the Mall to snap a few more and then it was back to the airport.  Just a couple hours but I got to see a few things.  Now I get to head to Huntsville to see how Marshall's week went.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Made It To Pax River

After dropping Marshall off at Aviation Challenge I jumped on my plane to DC, got there at nearly midnight.  In the morning I got my car and headed to Pax River which is about 50 miles away but in DC area traffic about 2 hours.  Anyways, I'm already worrying about how camp is going to go for Marshall.  Like I said earlier this is his first time away for this long and also something way outside his comfort zone.  I guess without anyway to contact him there isn't a whole lot I can do but just wait and see how it went when I pick him up on Friday.  

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Checked In

Marshall is checked in and officially at camp.  It was really hard to leave the kid behind and head to the airport to fly to DC for the rest of the week.  Marshall we cool as a cucumber and was excited to get going.  They told him he could have his phone but to use in the morning and evening but he said he didn't want it. I tried to get him to take it, just so Jen and I could talk to him, but he was sure he wanted to do this on his own.  So it is a week of him doing camp and we don't find out how it went until Friday.  Can't wait to see him Friday at 10:00am for graduation and find out how it went.  Probably going to worry about him the whole week.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Space Campe

Right around 7:00pm tonight we made it to Huntsville checked into our hotel and have one more day until Aviation Challenge tomorrow.  I think Jen and I are more nervous then Marshall is.  First time he's been away from us for so long but he is like a rock and ready to head to camp.

Headed to Huntsville

Marshall and I are in the car headed to Huntsville for his week at Space Camp.  I guess technically it is Aviation Challenge which is run by Space Camp but isn't Space Camp.  This is a 5 day camp about learning what it takes to be a pilot in the Airforce which should be a good time.  We have a 11 hour drive ahead of us before we get there.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Blogging on the Patio

One of my favorite places to hang out in the evening is on the back patio, especially this time of year before the mosquito's are out and make it difficult to spend much time back here at dusk.  I was way behind on blog posts so figured I would enjoy the great evening and type some blog posts.  I need to get a whitepaper done about Graphics Performance that I should probably work on too but we'll see if I decide to do that or not.  At least the blog it fully updated.

Kicking Summer Off

This morning I headed to Davenport to get another load of dirt for the garden but once I got back it was time to go play in the pool.  With it being so warm the past few weeks the pool already feels really nice and you can see it is finally all the way clean.  With Marshall and me headed to Huntsville, Alabama for Space Camp early Saturday morning this might be the last time we get to play in the pool for a week or so.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Anniversary Picnic 2016

Anniversary Picnic

I decided to take the rest of the week off and spend it making up for lost time with the family.  Today, being it is Jen and my 14th Anniversary, we figured we should do something special.  Marshall was really wanting to go on a picnic with Harley so we decided to load the truck up and head over to Scott County park for the afternoon.  Turns out that is it a pretty cool park and may be a place we visit more often.