Summer 2010

Tuesday, August 31st

I won't try to cover everything that's happened since my last post, but I'll cover some of the highlights. First off we went on a trip to Washington, DC. My work was migrating the computers there to a new server over the weekend, and they wanted someone to provide local assistance. I'd never been there and Sarah hadn't been there in a long time, so we booked her a flight so that she could come along.

Work went smoothly, which gave us time to see some of the sights of the Capital. Dean was in DC that weekend visiting family so we met up for an afternoon and walked the National Mall. We saw the Holocaust Museum, the major monuments, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Arlington Cemetery including the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Marine Corps War Memorial. The food was expensive, but the subway was nice and we had a lot fun. Sarah put pictures up on Facebook, which has pretty much replaced me putting them on my site.

Sarah took the motorcycle course and passed with flying colors. We went to Sarah's ten year high school reunion in Johnsburg, where she got to see a lot of her friends and catch up, and we continued working on the condo, getting things ready to list it next month. We've made a lot of progress, including painting, putting more stuff in storage, rearranging furniture, redoing trim, and replacing the faucet in the bathtub.

The plan at work shifted and they decided to migrate all of the remaining US offices at once, which meant I was sent to Palo Alto a few weeks ago. Again Sarah came along, since we decided it was close enough to our one year anniversary that we could do that instead of the cabin trip we'd planned. Work only took a few hours on Saturday and Sunday, so the rest of Saturday we spent walking around San Francisco. Since Dean had been sent there we met up with him on Sunday and drove up to Napa Valley to visit some wineries. We took a cave tour of Del Dotto Vineyards that was really cool and we picked up a couple of bottles for special occasions.

The next weekend was the guys' bike trip to the Wisconsin Dells. The omens were not good from the outset. I ordered a new helmet four times and each time it was out of stock. Eriq's dog ate his bike gloves the day before we left. I got a great deal on rain gear and ordered it, ensuring rain because it wouldn't arrive in time. Then Mike couldn't make it. Despite the signs, I took Friday off, packed in the morning and got on the bike. Unfortunately the bike wasn't running very well and after a few minutes it died and wouldn't start. It took me four hours of making a variety of minor repairs that I probably should have done well in advance of a major trip, but nonetheless I was off.

I made it to Matt B's and found out a storm was coming, so we decided to eat dinner before heading out. An hour later we set off and it immediately started raining. No sooner than we got on the freeway and Eriq's bike started acting strange. We limped it to a gas station and with some over-the-phone support determined it was likely the spark plugs. I rode back to the motorcycle shop before it closed and got a spark plug while Matt B and Eriq disassembled the bike. I got back and we installed the spark plugs. The bike was operational by this point but it was late, rainy, and our spirits were low. We gave up on the bikes and drove up to the Dells. The rest of the weekend went smoothly -sans motorcycles- and Mike was even able to come up Saturday.

This past weekend Steve hosted his LAN party, which is always a good time. Today Sarah got a job as a research assistant, my new motorcycle helmet showed up, and things are looking good. It's been a great couple of months despite some struggles with computers at work. If all goes well the house will be listed in the next couple of weeks. We're going out to dinner with Steve and Kathryn this Friday for his birthday and we're making plans to try dry suit diving in a few weeks.

This has been a tremendously long post, but with my new weeknight initiative plan I hope to get better about posting to my site and keeping up on my journal.

Wednesday, July 7th

Wow. Nearly another month, and it's been a busy one. The Friday before my birthday Sarah took me on a chocolate tour at the Chicago French Market and then out to a nice dinner. The next day was her graduation from DePaul, which was downtown, followed by a not-cookout on the beach because it rained. Instead we had family over at our place and grilled up some burgers and brats.

The next morning (Sunday) I had to go to work early because of a big migration we're doing. I rode the motorcycle down instead of taking the train since I'd only be a couple of hours. That netted me $170 in parking tickets for not having a city sticker I didn't know I needed and misreading a parking meter.

The next weekend I went down to Indiana, picked up my Mom and we drove to my sister's near Lafayette to celebrate both our birthdays with a homemade dinner and some four layer dessert.

Sarah and I started work on replacing our back door, since the one we have warped to the point that you can see light around the edges even after redoing the weatherstripping a couple of times. That turned into a terribly involved project due to the door and the frame being the same size, with no clearance at all.

The weekend after that we had a bunch of friends over for a shindig. It was good to throw a party since it had been a long time, especially if you don't count the wedding.

After the party we continued our work on the condo, making some more progress on the back door, ripping out the bad trim around the front door, moving a bunch of furniture into a storage unit we rented, and packing up a lot of stuff in preparation for selling the place.

At some point my motorcycle helmet fell off its peg on the garage wall and landed on my gas tank, denting it pretty badly. Dean lent me a "Ding King" which I have been using with some success.

This afternoon we discovered that there was a leak and water came into our storage unit in the basement. A lot of stuff is ruined so we're cleaning up from that and preparing to move some things to our rental storage unit.

We still haven't finished the back door since it's been raining out for the past couple of evenings. I'll probably take another crack at the dent in the motorcycle tonight and hopefully the weather will cooperate tomorrow so we can finish up the door.