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Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's Been A Long Day


It's Been A Long Day
You know a nap is definitely in order after you've
helped out mom by supervising gardening work and
brushing out the dogs, all while being outside in
the stroller. It's a tough life.
Indeed, it has been a long day, but a pretty good day as well. It started out just like most Saturdays, by sleeping in. After I got up and did my normal morning routine of checking email and various websites, I went out to get the mail and Saturday paper. Before you know it, the paper's been read and it's getting on to be 11 or 11:30.

Today I had to get some gas for the lawnmower, which required a drive into town. Not that big a deal, it's only a few miles. While I started mowing the lawn, Beth and Kirstin hung around in the garden (well, Kirstin hung around while Beth worked). They had some fun also while Beth brushed out the dogs (who are now finally blowing their undercoats for the summer).

It was pretty warm today, easily in the mid-to-upper 80's for the better portion of the midday and afternoon/evening. It was a very welcome change to come in from outside to a cool house.

I didn't get anything done in the basement today, but that's alright. Most of the stuff I want/need to do down there can be done during the weekday evenings (well, aside from the jackhammering bit), so that's likely when the stuff will happen.

I managed to clean up my computer here a bit this evening. Ultimately, I'm trying to get it to run a little smoother (that's not been a problem) so that capturing video will run as smoothly as possible without dropping any frames. So it was a combination effort of removing programs, some minor reorganization, and defragmentation. So, we'll see how that goes. So far, so good. But, I've not captured any camcorder video lately.

Amongst other things, I'd like to do some serious video capturing tomorrow. I installed the OEM software that came with one of my DVD burners on Beth's machine. This way she can actually edit her own video files (once captured), so this is likely why I'll try to get some video captured -- it'll keep her busy. Hmm, that comes off wrong. Ah well, I can't really think of any other way to put that phrase, so I'm leaving it at that.

Anyway, seeing as how it's now past my usual bedtime, I'm calling it a night. Until next time...

--MZ

Friday, June 22, 2007

Five Years Ago...


Yeah, Right!
This actually was a candid scene we had to
re-pose for.
It really doesn't seem like it, but five years ago today these two crazy people in the picture got hitched. Legally. It's been an amazing ride thus far; imagine what's in store for the future.

I'm in a bit of a sentimental mood, but I'm not going to linger on it. At least not here in this venue, not right now. Beth, (because I know you're about the only one who usually reads this) you're truly amazing and I love you from the bottom of my heart. It constantly amazes me how you can put up with such a goofy ass sometimes, but you do it very well and for that I'm quite thankful. :)

I'm not sure exactly what's in store for this weekend. We'll see what happens and go from there. Kirstin's getting into grabbing things and being more conscious about said action...so it might just be fun to watch that stuff amongst other things this weekend.

I'm cutting this post a bit short tonight because it's getting quite late now...so until next time...

--MZ

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Crazy Clouds


Crazy Clouds
I was at work when this storm system rolled
through. When I saw these sort of clouds roll
through at work I made a comment something to
the effect of 'I wish I had my camera...'

It just so happened that Beth read my mind and
took this picture. There are (at least) three
very distinct cloud patterns here. Just
really neat. The zoomed out aspect gives it
some scope.
It was an interesting morning today; we had this somewhat strange storm system move through around 10AM. While the storm itself wasn't that strange (we got about .1" rain from it), the clouds that accompanied the front were really amazing. Pictures don't honestly do them justice, but they're cool nonetheless.

Amazingly enough, Beth read my mind from twelve miles away and captured a few shots for me. Amongst other things, that's why I married her. :)

In other random news, Kirstin is 100 days old today! So says my photo count for the daily photos on Flickr. She spent most of the day sleeping today, even when Mark and Abby were out for supper. That said, I really don't have a lot to say about her tonight because what I saw of her today was mostly sleep-oriented. She's still growing like a weed, though. I don't know why, but it seems as though lately like she's growing at a faster pace than I've noticed before. Presumably another growth spurt, but just a random observation by me.

I got to meet a fellow (by the name of Lars) from Denmark today. Ended up going to lunch with him as well. He's a system programmer who works mostly with hardware devices (a very specific type of hardware that's used in automating operations in places like warehouses). I could go into great detail about what he actually does, but it's probably above the average level of the blog reader here, so I'll skip that and just say it's really cool.

He was in the area due to a wedding of his sister-in-law whose groom happens to by a nephew of my boss. Hence the meeting and connection. So, it's not every day you get to meet someone from Denmark. I must be special today. :)

In other news, I did a little bit of investigative work on the lawn today. There's definitely some action taking place a day after the 2,4-D was applied. Should work out really well, I think. I think my first batch was probably applied a little thick so it might kill off some of the clover that I wasn't exactly targeting, but it's definitely working on the bits of thistle (of different varieties) and also the dandelions (the two families in particular I was targeting). Another 48 hours or so should really tell the tale...and that's perfect because I intend to mow the lawn again this weekend sometime (likely Saturday), so I'll have the chance to more or less see the entire lawn at that time.

Anyway, that's about all I've got for tonight, so until next time...

--MZ

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

You're Strange, Dad


You're Strange, Dad
Beth managed to get this picture while I was
talking to her after I came home from work.
Yeah, I don't deny this claim -- come to think of it, I don't think I've ever denied this claim. I'm one with my strangeness.

Well, I managed to miss another daily blog post, but I swear I had a good excuse. I'd totally forgotten about this huge brush fire out at the golf course (that was a 'by invitation only' event ) that was tentatively slated for Tuesday night.

We ended up going to Alex for a brief shopping trip when I got home from work, and by the time we got home (around 9pm), we had something like eight messages on the machine about the fire event. I thought Erik had my cell phone number, but apparently not. Regardless, I gave him a call when we got home. I found out that they'd not yet started the fire and would wait until I got there. So, I pretty much unloaded the car, fed the dogs, and jumped in my pickup to head for the golf course (which is about 20 miles from home). I made it there with plenty of time to spare.

Long story short, several of the invitees (most employees) were camping out on the golf course overnight, so they had a few tables, tents, chairs, and a grill out there. Good times. Oh, yeah, and of course beverages of choice. For the majority of the attendees, this was Mountain Dew, but for a few of us it was a few frosties. :)

The fire ended up being a bit of a bust. Don't get me wrong -- there was definitely fire. But it didn't end up nearly as big as everyone was hoping. Things just didn't line up right, so the entire brush pile didn't go up. Based upon what I heard from Erik tonight, there's still a good sized pile (of smaller brush) left to burn, but the bigger stuff was simply smoldering. We ended up moving our vantage point last night to the area of 'good fire' (the part that's now smoldering). But, it was a good time nonetheless. I think I got home some time around 1:25AM, which is why I didn't post any pictures or do a blog entry last night.

I got to see two cool things last night, though. Well, unrelated to the fire. We all took some time and went some distance away from the fire (which on a golf course isn't difficult to do) to watch the space shuttle and space station go flying through the night sky. The event viewing was brief (just a few minutes), but it was really cool to see nonetheless. Additionally, later we saw several satellites in non-geosynchronous orbit fly through the sky.

It's kinda cool, because things like that I think often are overlooked. It also puts things into a bit of perspective when you think about these fairly large objects orbiting the planet...and the fact they're but small dots briefly visible in the night sky. Suddenly the major problems in daily life don't seem all that significant anymore.

Anyway, today was a fairly normal day. I slept in a little bit since I spent the morning around home with Kirstin. That was kinda fun; it's been a while since I'd done that. I spent the afternoon at work and upon my return home worked on spraying the entire lawn with 2,4-D (LV4) using the new sprayer. Very cool. Got to play around with it; we'll see how the results turn out.

It's very easy to use, and I figured I'd try to take advantage of the wind direction this afternoon (NW around 7-12MPH). Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be winds from the Southernly directions, which is bad. Even though they're supposed to only be topping out around 7MPH, the direction is what messes things up. We're pretty well protected (at least around the house and where it matters related to drift) from the northwest, so it was a good time. The sprayer works quite well, so that was cool.

In a perfect world, I'll have mixed it up and had good enough coverage to not burn out things completely (which is difficult to do with 2,4-D anyway) but still be effective. We'll see the results in a few days.

In random last-minute news of the day, the basement has really dried up since I removed the screen windows and extra doors. That's a good thing. Seeing as how we bought two gallons of bleach yesterday, I'm hoping that this weekend will bring the remainder of the basement clean-out. Then the true cleaning can commence...and eventually that sump basin will get installed.

So anyway, until next time...

--MZ

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Long-Awaited Post


Daddy's Little Princess
Pitching a bit of a fit at the time, of course. :)
Okay, so I'm lazy. Or something like that. Actually, I'd prefer to say that I've just been really busy this past week. The VBS thing really eats a load of my time. But it's worth it...so I guess that means the blog suffers.

So my weekend plans didn't exactly pan out the way I'd hoped. For starters, I did get the lawn mowed. But since it was so humid and had been a week and a half since the last mowing, it took longer to get done (namely because I had to go slower than normal since the grass was still a bit damp, even though it was the early afternoon). So, that chewed a load of my time up on Saturday, especially since I slept in.

Considering that it was warm and humid out that day, I finished the stuff up I needed to get done outside (random note -- Beth also combed out the dogs, so there was copious amounts of fur in the front lawn) and headed inside. Seeing as how the 'cleaning the basement' task is an inside-outside job, I decided to hold off on that for a while. There's always tomorrow, right?

Well, I didn't get to that Sunday (see below), but when I got home from work today I focused on getting a good chunk of basement cleaning started. It is by no means done, but I got the worst of it taken care of. Most of the large items (doors and window screens) are now out. I have a few more items to move out, but I ran out of manageable room in the garage for right now. Truth be told, I just didn't want to move my pickup again. Regardless, I've managed to clean up quite a bit already, and once I move a few more things out it'll be time to break out a shitload of bleach and go to town. I'm not exactly sure what a 'shitoad of bleach' is, but that's what it's going to take to get things cleaned up. So, seeing as how I've gotten that much completed, if I take a few moments each day now this week (as I have available) and do a little more, I could possibly be cleaning up the basement (with aforementioned bleach) this upcoming weekend.

My last asparagus picking of the season was completed on Saturday. It's past its peak now, and seeing as how the mosquitos are getting to be quite a burden during the picking process, it's good to be done. My last haul wasn't nearly as large (maybe a third the size) as those previous, so I'm giving up for the remainder of the year. It's a bit bittersweet. I know Beth is ready to be done. But she doesn't like eating it as long as I do. :) Good thing there's still a big grocery bag full in the fridge yet.

Sunday was spent in the normal fashion in the morning (church), but due to one of my folks' computers not behaving properly (sounded to be a motherboard or power supply issue), we decided to run down there for the day and hang around. That was a good time. While I'd liked to have stayed home, it was good to get out and do something for Father's Day.

This evening I uploaded four days worth of pictures to Flickr. Good times. Actually, I've discovered that if I have more than one day's worth to upload, I do it in batches by the day. Then I don't get as confused as to which pictures are which, and I can work on titles and descriptions in smaller chunks. Case in point -- 21 pictures in four days to upload. But, I only had two sets of six pictures as the largest. It's just easier to think about. So if you've not looked around there, I would encourage you to do so.

I've seen a lot of fireflies lately, but tis the season. It's neat to see them all -- I remember back in the day going out to collect them. Just to see how long they would live in a jar. And it's also crazy when you're driving at night and hit one. The green reflective glowing goo smears on the windshield and remains luminescent for a while as you go. Oddly enough, Beth just came down here a few minutes ago and informed me there was a firefly in our bedroom.

Today (Monday) was a cooler day than it's been for a while. It was nice to not actually have the air conditioner running for once. Low humidity, a nice breeze, and temps in the lower 70's work out perfect for that. It's supposed to get warmer as the week goes on; we'll see what happens.

Speaking of weather, we had some crazy rain last night. I woke up in the night to the sound of rain, but the crazy thing was that it was completely still during the rain. It's quite unusual to see that around here. It's almost always a little breezy or windy during a rainstorm. So that was kind of eerily cool. Another half inch fell in the last 24 hours. It's been pretty good as far as that goes. We had the three inches a few weeks back and ever since we've then had about a half inch every 4-6 days. Perfect.

My folks had something like 2.5" of rain in a very short period of time on Friday night. Long story short, they're lucky to have a pretty good seal around their basement patio door, because the water was standing about knee deep at one point in time during the event. It didn't last long as the drain tile relatively quickly removed the water from the exterior, but it's just crazy how much rain that is to fall and make depths like that.

Anyway, I'm starting to get a bit tired and it's nearly 11:30 and my banana bread should be cool enough to bag, so I'm going to call it a night. Posts should be more regular once again, so until next time...

--MZ

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Long Time, No Post?

Okay, so I admit I've been really horrible about updates the last few days. Tonight's not going to be much better, but I assure you that I've not fallen off the face of the planet or anything like that.

I will post more about the weekend goodness tomorrow (Monday) sometime, but thought I'd leave a note here just in case someone happened to be curious. For the really curious, the same reasons I've not posted anything here has also kept me from posting any new pictures over at Flickr. So, expect some new pictures and a lengthier post tomorrow sometime.

Until then...

--MZ

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