Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm Running Out Of Macadamia Nuts

If there's one good thing coming out of my leaving town again on Monday, it's that I get the opportunity to replenish my dwindling supply of macadamia nuts. For whatever reason these delectable treats have not recently been giving me crippling heartburn, and I'm taking advantage while I can by devouring them by the handful.

It's still hot. My God is it hot. 114 is what my back porch thermometer says. I finally finished my planter this past weekend and probably lost five pounds of sweat in the process. Here is the semi-finished product (still need to paint three sides of it). If I built a top for it I could probably put the Ark Of The Covenant in there. I should probably reserve gardening news for the Hoes blog but besides this project, there's not much else to share about the yard. It's hot.

Moving inside, here's another semi-finished project. We got a rug at Wal Mart the other night, and a few throw pillows. Our next chore is to blow up some pictures for that lonely frame on the wall, and add some others around it. Another vague movie reference, that chaise on the end of the couch reminds me of that land speeder thing that Obi Wan and Luke tooled around in in Star Wars. What a rube am I that I think "These aren't the droids you're looking for", every time I plop down there.

Finally, what you've been waiting for, some new Brenna pictures. These were taken before we laid that carpet out.
I need a haircut.
And Emily still exists, she seems to be taking all the pictures lately.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

This And That

Another weekend has slipped by, and while it was an enjoyable one, it was way too short. We spent Saturday morning helping clean up Emily's aunt's yard, and spent the remainder of the day hanging around the house. I spent part of Saturday and today finishing up a mammoth wooden planter on the back porch (30 cubic feet to be exact) and am looking to buy a LOT of soil before I can finally transplant my ailing plants (nasty heat) into this new shady spot I've created.

Brenna is now clapping her hands and pulling herself up on Emily to a standing position. She still enjoys her nightly bath time and spends a lot of time in her Seasame Street thingy eating sweet potato puffs and making shrieking noises.

This upcoming week the blogs will be few and far between. I'm leaving for Hawaii again a week from tomorrow, and will be working very long hours getting ready to for these four new customers that will be joining our company at that time. This trip will be a little shorter than the last, flying out on Monday the 2nd and coming back overnight on Friday again like last time. I'll only be going to Oahu, which is fine with me, one less plane to board, dragging my luggage along with me. I'm looking forward to evading the 112 degree heat for a few days and will be tempted to lay sprawled out the street if a rain shower crosses my path while I'm there.

Oh yes, below are a few pictures from this past week, enjoy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Three Dungeon Videos

Two videos of Brenna playing in her tub and playing her handmonica, and another of our living room makeover.

Enjoy, and keep scrolling for another new posting.
It's All About Me!

Sorry again for the disappearing act these past five or six days. I'll try to make things right by posting a plethora of new Brenna pictures, and hope to have some videos uploaded soon as well.

This past weekend of course was Father's Day, and to commemorate my first with Brenna, I have posted a few pictures of us spending some quality time together.

This picture is of me opening a digital rain gauge that I got from my parents (yes, it does rain every now and again, and now I don't have to walk that painful 50 feet out the back door to read the plastic gauge that's out there, whew). Brenna is enjoying the box, by far her favorite part. She thought it tasted horrible.

In this next shot I'm doing my best Brenna impression, posing for the picture. There are NO candid pictures of Brenna these days unless you're VERY sneaky. You'll see as you continue scrolling that this picture is bordering on prophetic.
And hey, we got a new couch. After a year of sitting on one that a mouse had lived in, we thought it might be good to make a switch. Maybe Emily will one day share the story of me scaring her half to death pretending the mouse was still in the couch as I pulled the cushions off of it. I took a pounding from her, but it was worth it for the reaction I got.

Later that same day, and case in point, Brenna was playing with a TV remote I had given her, and she immediately dropped it when she saw me coming with the camera. You'll just have to imagine her wielding that remote like a sword, waving it around over her head and bellowing like a wild animal.

And here is Brenna doing her best Brenna impression. A striking similarity to my pose just a few hours earlier. She kept looking at me out of the corner of her eye (if baby's can do that), to see if I was coming back with the camera. If she saw me picking it up, the remote got dropped and the arms went up.

I have to admit, the crack in those banana nut muffins must have been of extremely high quality. In this next picture I appear to be showing my daughter how to use a butter knife, and I'm not quite sure why it pangs me so to do such a thing. Brenna is watching that knife VERY carefully.
And where did this couch come from? Oh yes, I'm posting in reverse order.

Ah, the yumminess that is a nut muffin. Brenna is having no part in the theatrics at this point.

Finally, a normal picture with Brenna providing stock pose #23, as seen earlier.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Brenna Bath Time!

Below are a couple of pictures of Brenna bath-time from the last few days. Emily has figured out that wearing Brenna out in the tub at night makes getting her to sleep a lot easier. Our little girl now has three bottom teeth and has one coming through on the top, Emily thinks this is why she's not sleeping very well right now.

More exciting news, Brenna is very close to crawling, she pulls herself around on the floor to reach things and is trying very hard to pull herself up on mommy and daddy. She's also feeding herself crushed pieces of Cheerios, most of them are ending up in her mouth.

I finally bought more tape for our video camera, so hopefully we'll be posting some new updates from it soon.

ALSO, check out the Hoes site, I'm finally posting some blooming flowers there. Even despite our 107 degree weather, things are still growing out there!

Monday, June 11, 2007


Boy did I miss Brenna while I was gone last week!

Below are two pictures that were taken of her while she was in church nursery. We had a fun Sunday afternoon with her wondering through IKEA looking at the monstrosity of it all. She enjoyed eating mashed carrots off mama's plate there and was not too sure about the Lingenberry (spellcheck suggested this word should be Lowenbrau, now that's funny) Juice the she tried.

She's sporting a new outfit that daddy bought her while he was gone.

One Last Look

Below is a final collection of pictures taken last week while I was visiting customers in Hawaii. No work was missed during the taking of these!

The first two pictures were taken near Sea Life Park on the east side of Oahu.

These next two were taken at a botanical garden that I passed through on the way to visiting a customer mid-week.

The last three are from Kauai, the first being a picture of Niihau in the distance, the second the same beach but looking in the opposite direction, and the last picture was lunch.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Welcome To The Jungle

A couple of quick pictures from Kauai, I'll write more about my day there when I have time.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Should Be Checking My Work Mail, But....

This will be my last blog from Hawaii before I return home. Fear not, I'll be returning again in July, hopefully with a more consistent wireless connection from the hotel lobby. I'm sitting at the Honolulu airport right now waiting for my 11:30pm flight to Oakland, connecting to Phoenix sometime Saturday morning. I am SO glad to have finally gotten rid of my suitcase, after having to check it through security three times today.

My credit union visit in Kauai went well, there were so few things that the customer wanted to go over that I was left with an extra two hours to drive around the island until my flight back here. I was given a free upgrade to a convertible Mustang, which was a nice treat. I never bothered with dropping the top, since I figured it would be a two man job to latch it shut again, but ended up having to wrestle with it anyway. As I drove along during the afternoon, the wind whistling through the car began to get slowly worst until eventually the top popped open when I ran over a bad spot in the road. Thankfully I was able to catch it and latch it back down without injuring anyone or myself.

Somehow I managed to drive the entire southern portion of the island from Lihue over to Waimea, and took some pictures of Niihau, the forbidden island, before coming back. I would loved to have gone back to Waimea Canyon, but didn't have the time. On the return trip, I went north of Lihue to a couple of waterfalls, neither of which I can remember the name of, or how to spell them. One of them I think was Wailua, which was at the end of a winding road, similar to Akaka Falls over on the big island. The main difference is that this falls was inundadated with wild chickens. Matter of fact, there were free range chickens everywhere on Kauai, even in the parking lot of the credit union there was a rooster on the sidewalk, squawking (or clucking, or whatever roosters do). The other falls started with an O, had about a dozen vowels in the name, and a few apostrophes for good measure. Both were equally enjoyable.

And here I sit, too tired to do anything productive like catch up today's work email. I'll have to work Sunday to catch up on everything, so why bother at this point, right? Four more customers coming on board on July 1, a total of 14 projects for me to complete in the next three weeks. I am forcing myself to take the 18th and 19th off to do some things around the house, I'm looking forward to that. I was told after this July trip that I'll be going to Colorado Springs in September, and Olympia, WA in October. Joy!

I'll post pictures of my final day on the islands upon my return home this weekend. I've enjoyed my time here, but am very ready to go home, even if now it's only for three weeks before I come back here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

No Pics... No Pics

My laptop has lost it's wireless connection here in the lobby, but I've managed to limp along with the 15-minute limit PCs that the hotel has graciously provided. Nothing like trying to enjoy yourself on the net with people hovering around you waiting their turn. Can't post any pictures from today for this very same reason.

Before my appointment this morning, I drove around the east side of Oahu and came back south through one of the mountain passes. Stopped briefly at a botanical garden, quacked at a few ducks, and that was all. A fairly light day, visited two customers, one right by Diamond Head (decided not to climb that again, twice is enough, the view hasn't changed, I would imagine) and another out by the airport (within walking distance of the Best Western that Emily and I stayed at when we were here two years ago - around the corner from Jamba Juice).

I'm flying over to Kauai tomorrow for about six hours before flying back to Honolulu, then to Oakland, then home. All in one day, it's going to be ugly. Hoping to do some sightseeing after my customer visit tomorrow afternoon, will post some pictures when I get home.

I also found out today that I'll be coming back to Honolulu the first week in July to support the last four customers that are converting then. I'm also told there will probably be another trip to Kauai next year, which would be good timing since Emily and I are hoping to cash in a timeshare week there at the same time. Crossing my fingers.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pictures Taken From A Parked Car

I drove over to the west side of Oahu today, to an area called Ewa (pronounced "evah") Beach. A lot less populated, almost out in the sticks, very nice. I've posted three pictures that I took from the car in the credit union parking lot. The trees lining this street were massive, at least 60 feet tall, they looked like Ficus Benjamina, the type you can buy in the store as a houseplant.

I visited four customers today, but have a light day tomorrow, two customers and both fairly short appointments. No rain today, hardly any clouds for that matter. Still very sticky and WARM. But not 107.

One of my customers today sent me back to the hotel with 6 boxes of chocolate covered macademia nuts, two cans of the same, and one large pouch of the same (all dipped in sea salt). I'm told I also have a case of pineapples to take with me, and have NO idea how I'm going to pick those up Friday when I'm going from Kauai to Honolulu and home direct. Hmm, pineapple.

More From The Road

Last night I was out on my telephone booth sized deck, reading the local paper ($600K for a 800 sq. foot house, yikes!), and listening to a house band covering the Eagle's "Love Will Keep Us Alive", when fireworks started booming across the street. I nearly soiled myself when the first one exploded that nearby and unexpectedly. Apparently a Japanese cosmetics company was celebrating their 20th year anniversary (says today's paper) and put on a 15 minute fireworks show on the beach. I took a few pictures of the festivities (keep scrolling) and was apparently treated to a rarity, the world's largest single fireworks explosion. According to the paper, this was only the 11th time in the world that this particular firework has been used, and the first ever in Hawaii. It was of course the finale of the celebration, and I have to admit it was absolutely amazing. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but honestly wasn't expecting it. Golden in color, it exploded across the sky, and continued to mushroom until it looked like it was going to swallow the hotel it was hovering over. This thing was literally five times the size of any other fireworks explosion I've ever seen, incredible.

This morning on my way to visit a credit union, I swung by Punchbowl, a place I haven't been to in nearly twenty years. I wish I could have spent more time, it was very peaceful and serene, but had to move on to make my appointment. I took a few pictures there as well.

The Hawaiian house band tonight played a bit of Metallica's "Call Of Ktulu" on the ukelele, that's something you don't hear everyday.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I Haven't Stopped Sweating Since I Got Here

Day one has gone well, two customers visited, seven to go. Thank God for GPS, I would never have found either one without it.

It's humid, big surprise. The hotel is open air, like they all are here, I'd imagine... the elevators are like saunas and I curse having to wear pants during the day. It's rained about eight times today, all light misty stuff, which is a nice break from the heat.

I don't have my regular image editor with me, so the pictures I'm uploading are huge, my apologies. Below is a beach right across the road from the hotel, looks very familiar to the beach we could see from our Hotel about twenty years ago when here. Next one is of a huge banyan tree down by the beach.

The Burger King here has a Spam Breakfast Combo, no kidding.

Good day.

This Blog Is Costing Me Four Dollars

Greetings from Hawaii. My sixteen hour journey here has finally reached its end. Sixteen hours, you ask? Yes, allow me to elaborate.

I started out in Phoenix this morning with a flight that was delayed by two hours. Southwest put me on an earlier flight to Las Vegas, leaving me with a longer layover there than originally planned. The plane in Las Vegas sat on the tarmac for two hours while mechanics fixed the auto pilot (pretty important, I would imagine), and I finally got to Honolulu at 8pm Hawaii time.

Once here, barely knowing where I was going, I missed my exit and meandered down to Waikiki, basically following the lights of the hotels at the bottom of the hill. The address I had been given for my hotel put it between two streets, but I drove past twice (on a one way street, no less), no hotel to be found. I called my boss who indicated the hotel was off a side street opposite of another hotel that looks like a plantation. I found this street, found a Sheraton hotel, but was told by the guy working the curb that I had the wrong Sheraton. I was redirected back to where the address on my reservation indicated, turning south this time instead of north, and found the Sheraton Waikiki. The lady at the curb there told me I was in the right place and gave me instructions on finding a place to park, which took about 20 minutes. I made my way to the lobby only to be told I was reserved for the hotel I was originally at. To add insult to injury, I had to pay two dollars to get my car out of the parking lot. After it was all said and done, I found my room at about midnight local time, and am getting up in about five hours to a) try and find where I parked the car, b) try and find where my first customer is tomorrow morning.

Ironically, the hotel is right across the road from King's Village, a little shopping area that I remember going to when I was here with my parents nearly twenty years ago. I also in my meanderings came across a statue that Emily and I took pictures of two years ago when we rode the bus system around town. Familiar, and yet oh so UNfamiliar.

I will post pictures when the sun comes up, there is no wireless in my room, which is a wee bit prohibitive to me doing my job while here, but for four dollars every two hours for internet access in the lobby, I'm set to take care of business. That's a veritable bargain compared to $3.39 a gallon gas and $14 club sandwiches from room service.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Grimace - One More For The Road

With the exception of the second picture, all of the following shots are of Brenna in a mellow mood today and yesterday.

This will be my last Brenna posting until I return from Hawaii next weekend. I'm leaving out tomorrow morning via Las Vegas and unless I stow Brenna away in my carry on luggage, there won't be any way to post any new pictures of her for a the short term. I will, however, try to brighten your next few days with some picture of the islands (if time permits, I have a busy schedule ahead of me visiting customers). I'm hopeful on Friday before I leave Kauai for Oahu that I'll be able to catch a sunset at Puhio beach, crossing my fingers.

I've spent my Saturday working, packing, cleaning house, etc. I did take a little time to join Emily and Brenna at the city pool, a perfect afternoon for it, overcast and not near as hot as it could have been. I'm actually looking forward to five hours on a plane where no one can call me or wake me up.

Getting on with things, these next two pictures are of Brenna looking out the window at the birds feeding in the yard.

These next two are of Brenna enjoying her new Taggie blanket that Grandma and Grandpa H sent her. She's VERY excited to have this!

"Wow! Look at all of these tags!!!"

Two shots of Brenna dropping a pile driver on her skank-a-ma-doody doll. Called an "Ugly", it lives up to its name... Brenna seems to enjoy it.

And finally, one last shot of Daddy and baby, whom I'll miss VERY much while I'm gone.