081130 - Decorating

081130 - UP and a pretty stressful morning. L headed to church and I took the 3 hooligans out with me. We checked on one of the rentals and then got some supplies and a bit of Christmas shopping done. The boys were plenty tired of all the stops and stores, but they were good and hungry ;-) Brought some lunch home with us. I then relaxed while the rest of the fam put up the Christmas tree, made trains and lots of noise. This is a photo of our tree, and for Aunt Louise a picture of the beams we put in.

081129 - Parade

081129 - Everyone up and the boys snuck in a last trip down to the barn. Grant even got to drive a tractor and was quite pleased with himself. I am feeling like i was run over by the tractor... We loaded up and headed south. The traffic was light and the trip went fine.

Home unloaded everything and messed around the rest of the day. In the evening we walked over to the Gahanna Holiday lights parade and met friends and watched the bands, horses and floats all lit up. Home for hot chocolate and the movie 'Fred Claus'.

081128 - Blue Screen

081128 - Up early and all the boys down to barn w/ Gma&paW. L & I out on our annual shopping trip... We hit quite a few stores and pretty much have everything now. We stopped at Derenburger's for a late lunch & hit Boliantz as the last stop on the way back to the farm. The boys had a wonderful day: hay auction, barn playing & swinging then the big boys to a movie while G stayed w/ us. Everyone home & Amy and her computer illiterate mother Paulette stopped for a nice chat.

081127 - Family Thanksgiving

081127 - The perfect clear November morning, the crisp crack of gun shots can be heard as the men do the annual pheasant hunting. The boys up early and down to the barn. Then back up and ready for the party. Everyone down to the farm and people I've seen walking through the doors my entire life come pouring in. Some of them are now missing, but new ones show up to keep this family cohort a continuous living entity all it's own. The prayer was started with with my Mom and she had everyone participate and share what we were thankful for; it wasn't easy to do or hear, but made us all feel better and closer. We all ate and shared stories of past and present. Here Grant and his cousin Spencer show that the next generation is just as likely to get into trouble as all the previous... Groups broke out for walks and talks and naps. Jack & Dylan out on expeditions, Jack back but Dylan was out longer and almost got trampled by a herd of deer. What a wonderful wonderful day.

081126 - Home / Farm

081126 - Up and got a bunch of catch up/paper work done. L to Dr. Thought she had strep, but no. Loaded up the car & ran a couple errands on the way out up to the farm. Nice trip, traffic ok. Got to the farm, swung on the rope, saw the cows & dusty (who nibbled Grant's fingers & 'glubs').
Roger and Brad arrived with a car full of pheasants. All the boys got to pet the birds and Jack asked Roger what he was doing with the birds... that was an interesting conversation... After he learned that the birds were to be shot, he said 'well you could let them live a day'. Makes sense.
Gma & paW came home, we ate, played & stayed up LATE.

081125 - LONG Day!

081125 - Up early & met the guys for bfast. We then headed out in to the frigid gray day for a cab ride to the N offices. We got there and met the N team. We started the meeting and we hit it out of the park! We then rushed out of the meeting and to the airport. I got upgraded to business class which made the long dark trip up over the Arctic circle, 38k ft. Made it to JFK, grabbed a bus to Laguardia and got checked in. Had an couple hours to kill but got lucky enough to bypass everyone (12) on the standby list and get home in time to see the boys before they I got to put them to bed. Awake from 0:00est, chased the sun all day, exhausted by the 11pm bedtime, but worth the trip, in many ways...

081124 - Helsinki

081124 - This is a shot of the moon from over the artic circle. It was -87 degrees outside...

Made it to Helsinki and got the bus to the hotel. Met up with the guys and started working. We worked all day and to my dismay had no time to see anything in Helsinki! But we are prepared. Lori informed me that Jack was again a pilgram for the 3rd year in a row, but loved it.


081123 - Up and spent some time w/ the fam as they got ready for church. Gave everyone a kiss & big hug then off to the airport... They transferred my flight off American to Delta, which is good, that means I don't have to take a bus from Laguardia to JFK, I am flying straight to JFK, first class even!

081122 - FROZEN

081122 - Up, fixed the dryer, to the Dr. for this hellish sore throat, congestion, stuffy cough crap. It's a virus so he was no help... Got my hair cut & some meds for the trip. Home watched some of the OSU vs Michigan game. Took all 3 boys on a walk.scotter/bike expedition to the playground. It was COLD but they had fun and burned off some energy. home and watched the rest of the game. Dylan and I ran and got take out spaghetti for dinner. Then I played with the boys, making monkey chains, the Wii etc. Got packed, up late coughing...

081121 - In to the plant. Tied up all the loose ends. To the airport and spent the next 6 hours getting home. Home at midnight.

081120 - LIVE

081120 - Day 2 @ N Mex and things are ok. We were able to ship tonight!
@ homem Dylan had the Scouts Cake Bake auction tonight. He made a small smiley face and got $40 for it.

081119 - Up and into the plant after very little sleep. Still sick... First day LIVE in N Mexico and things are working NICE! Back to the hotel early and had a buffet dinner in the lounge w/ Andre & Ger. Exhausted...

081118 - Good Blood & Go-Live!

081118 - Lori called me this afternoon to let me know that we got the results from Jack's latest blood work, and it was all good! His levels are back up to the normal range! This is good, but it still does not explain why they were so low... so we will have several more months of monitoring his levels before we feel more comfortable.

Work went well; The training of the end users is DONE. The Data is being loaded and we WILL Go-Live in the morning!!! At the plant until 1am with a very fast and frightening ride back to the hotel.

081117 - Up early and into the plant. Only the Supervisors are in with us today and we have done end to end testing ALL DAY... We have formulated a detailed plan now on how we WILL Go-Live this Wednesday.

081116 - Up and everyone in to church. Home and I feel like complete crap. Flew to Mexico with my fever. Raul picked me up and got me to the hotel by 1am.

081115 - Dryer died, jack helped

081114 - CRAP! I have to go to Mex again...

081112 - Things did not go as planned in Mexico - no go live

081111 - 9 years ago today we had the car accident where I lost my eye. I usually take this day off to reflect on the last year and the people that I have interacted with. But so busy this year no day of reflection...

081110 - Dylan had a Veterans Day Assembly at school. Gpa Barker came over and participated and went to Dylan's classroom to tell of his adventures. Dylan had an early release day from school today as well. In the evening I took Dylan to Scouts where we tied knots. Later the Bible bangers came over to watch 'Expelled' @ my house, it is about the theory of intelligent design in the science community.

081109 - Acolyte & LEGO

081109 - Everyone up and in to church. Today was Dylan's first day as an acolyte. He went a bit too fast down the isle and hit lighter blew out, but he did better on the return trip and kept it lit the whole way. After church we ran home got a bite to eat and headed to Groveport to see the LEGO city they had made. It was really cool with lots of trains, big buildings and stuff everywhere. They had a table with LEGO pieces where Jack and Grant built stuff. Home and everyone playing with LEGOs.

081108 - Up in the morning to Mr. Smalley's funeral. When we were there we watched a video of him, the picture montage thing they do these days, and in the pictures was Pete and Helen standing at the Sun Pyramid in Mexico City, where I was just days before...

081107 - Fast day, flew home. Got home at midnight. Good to see the family again, even if they are all sleeping.

081106 - Mexico City

081106 - After days of taking the same route to work I asked Raul to drive us a different way. We only altered the route by a couple of blocks and we came to a very large square, the second largest in the world, second to only the Red Square in Moscow. The boarder of the square was palaces, this very old church and museums. Much better route this day.

081105 - Andre & Mark flew home today.

081104 - Full day at the office. On the way home we were stuck in traffic for two hours, for about 30 minutes of those 2 hours we had a police bus behind us sirens blazing... The traffic jams were caused by a plane crash. The VP of Mexico was in a small jet and it actually crashed on to the busy streets of Mexico City, about 5 miles from our hotel. 8 died in the plane and about 15 cars were destroyed as they were crashed into. When we got back to the hotel we went to the lounge to watch the results of the USA presidential election. Obama won, and the House and Senate are now also controlled by Democrats. Now there will be no one for them to blame... I got a late night call from Dad, he did not win his go at the County Commissioner. He did not sound too upset, but it could not be easy; he put a lot of time and effort in his campaign. The economic climate at the moment is not good, so might be for the best that he wait this round out. I am very proud of him for running and the experience that comes with it was good. There are many people out there that really like him and showed him great support. Sorry you didn't win Dad, I still love you ;-)
081103 - Normal day at work on site. Lori told me tonight when I called that Mr. Smalley our next door neighbor died. His wife Helen died about a year ago.

081102 - Andre, Mark & I worked all day. We started in the lounge, moved to the office floor then back to the lounge until they kicked us out. We all regrouped when Tom arrived for some dinner.

081101 - Teotihuacan Pyramids

081101 - This is my first weekend away from home in a long time. So I had to make it worth while. The guys (Andre and Mark) and I arranged a tour of the pyramids that are very close toMexico City. We had our driver, Raul start out tour at 9am. We drove for about 1.5 hours through places we were glad not to stop in and saw many of the sites of Mexico City... This was very fascinating to Mark as this is the first time he had ever left the Netherlands. Andre and I have seen it now many times, but it is still truely amazing that things actually work in such achaotic society. So as we got closer we first went to see a nice resturant that was underground, in a cave. It was very nice and we would end up there for lunch. Wedrove a bit further and Raul pointed out a coule of bumps in the distance and there were the pyramids, but we were still far off. It was not until we got closer and closer that the enormity of these structures actually registered in our brains...
This is the pyramid of the Sun. It rises 215 feet above the ground and is so amazing I do not even know how to describe or convey the amazment that this structure was built more than 2000 years ago, is still standing, how huge and what amount of effort this would have taken. I have never witnessed anything like this in my life. The platform in front yet alone is stagering; to think that in that very location the countless lives sacraficed... We did climb this beast, and here I am at the top top prove it. Itis said that if you stand on top of the Sun pyramid and stretch your ars to the sun it will energize you years to come; still waiting for this to kick in... The pyramid to the right of me in the picture is the Moon pyramid, this is also the photo at the bottom of this post. I did not attempt to climb that one, my legs were rubber by the end of this first climb...
There was a nice museum on the grounds, just a stoll down la avenida de la muerte (avenue of the dead). In there were many skeltons, artifacts and this feathered sepant head from the Serpant Pyramid (the smallest of the three on the site; which was still huge!) We toured the museum and then Andre and Mark went up the Moon pyramid as Raul and I sat on the sacrificial platform to watch them.
We then toured the palace marveled at the 2000 year old carvings and paintings still in tact under the cover of the ancient rock structures. We made our way back towards the car, covered by local vendors trying to sell us everything they could and fighting through the now thickening crowd of tourist that showed up mid day. Raul took us to a local tourist shop he trusted where we got further education on the local customs, drinks, gems and silver smithing. We tried the drink Pulque or agua meil (honey water) made from local cactus aguave shaped plants, the smoked drink Miscal (with the worm), and of course the best tequilla on the planet. After we browsed and got some good to take home we head back to the cave resturant for lunch. There we were entertained by people in ritual dress, from Aztec warriors to mariachi dancers.
What an amazing day!