Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Two weeks

Ok, after two weeks of not posting anything, I figured I'd better get something out there!

I've been busy for the last two weeks trying to get my drawings issued for the project on which I'm working. Today we finally signed them, which means that I need to get busy taking care of all the other work that has piled up.

But that's boring news - I'm sure you must be wondering where I've been (probably not, since the only people who read this know where I've been, but humor me...). Since last week was Thanksgiving, we took a trip with the kids up to Cleveland, OH to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. They have a big, nice house in an older part of Cleveland called Cleveland Heights. It actually snowed on us while we were there, so baby boy and daddy played in it one afternoon. As my husband pointed out when we were leaving, it was strange to be somewhere with snow and not be skiing. (since it's the only time we seem to ever see snow anymore)

When we got back to Houston, we all had to strip off our clothing and put on shorts and T-shirts! It was 80ยบ here! The one good thing about being back here is that my skin seems to be soaking up the humidity again and is not so horribly dry. (I have to find the silver lining.)

So, now that my drawings are issued, I hope to have more time to post some updates. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I've been tagged by Courtney! This means that I have to answer a bunch of questions...

1) Do you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning?
Yes - kind of. My alarm clock up until about a week ago was a little thing that sleeps in our room called "baby girl". She used to wake up consistently every morning around 5:00. Then she would nurse and go back to sleep and at that point, it was time for me to start to get ready for work, since I'm supposed to be here at 7:00am.

However, she has finally started to actually sleep through the night! I used to set my real alarm clock, too, every night just in case she didn't wake up, but now that she's doing a good job of sleeping, I don't want to wake her up with my alarm clock. Instead, I've started sleeping with my cell phone underneath my pillow (which is kind of uncomfortable, since my pillow is so flat in the first place). I have an alarm set on it now and it vibrates to wake me up in the morning. Got this idea from the Wake and Shake Alarm Clock that we saw on HGTV's "I Want That" show. It has this thing that vibrates under your pillow and it's supposed to prevent your partner from being annoyed by your alarm clock in the morning. However, according to my husband, the vibrating phone wakes him up, too. It doesn't wake up baby girl, though, and that's the most important thing!

2) What time do you set it for?

3) Do you hit the snooze button? If so how many times?
When we didn't have someone else sleeping in our bedroom, I used to hit the snooze button every morning. Sometimes, I would hit it for an hour without even knowing I was doing it!! Now there's no snooze button on my phone, which is OK because having that thing vibrate right next to my head in the morning scares the bejeezus out of me and there's no way I could go back to sleep after getting that much of an adrenaline rush at 5:23am.

4) Have you ever abused an alarm clock?
Considering the fact that I HATE waking up in the morning (just ask my husband or my mom about that one), I'm sure I must have abused an alarm clock sometime along the way.

I had an alarm clock one time that was turned off by sound, so I could just yell at it. That was fun.

5) It’s “time” to spread some “It’s Blogcess” linky love.
Now comes the time that I'm supposed to "tag" some other people, but since I only know one other person with a blog, I guess he's going to be the only unlucky person. I'll send you over to my brother at The Blind Watchmaker. I'm not sure he'll actually respond, though, since he seems to want to keep his blog about important debates like ID and pompous asses on the radio.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Flag burning

So I went to a flag burning the other day. No, nobody was yelling, "Down with the US!" - it was a sanctioned company event where they retire the flags that fly in front of our building every year on Veteran's Day.

I think I went to the first one of these that the company did about 6 or 7 years ago. And there were about 6 or 7 people who attended it! It's become quite a production these days, though. They have some ROTC kids come and do the whole ceremony and the head of the office made a little speech. It was nice.

My grandpa was a veteran of WWII, so I guess I feel a little bit of a connection to the Veteran's Day events. But no matter what, I do think it's important for everyone to take a little time and think about all the people who have died to give us the independence and freedom that we enjoy. It's quite amazing when you think about it.

I guess it's strange to some people that liberals can actually be patriotic, too. But I believe it's really our patriotic nature that makes us liberals. We care just as much (if not more!) about our freedom and our country as all the conservatives, we just think we have different responsiblities to each other and society than the conservatives do. And luckily, we only have 2 more years of Bush to suffer through before we can try to get the country back on the right track! :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Knives... Swords... Knives... Swords...

Normally signs like this along the side of the road in Bubba country in Texas would scare me a quite a bit, but since we were headed to the Texas Renaissance Festival, I wasn't all that worried.

We went to the Renaissance Festival on Sunday and had a great time! I always find it fascinating to go and see all the people who actually dress up for this event - and I secretly think it would be a lot of fun to also dress up, but that would take too much time and planning and I just don't have that to spare these days.

Baby boy had a great time when he found a hill to run up and down (quite a find here in the flatlands around Houston!) - of course, it was a man-made hill, but that didn't make it any less fun. And the horses during the jousting display were just about too much for him to handle. He actually got out of our seat and ran down to the front (followed quickly by daddy) so that he could be closer.

Baby girl spent the day running around and being very cute. She ran and ran underneath all the trees and dug in the dirt. She also found it fascinating to pick up the leaves and pine needles, drop them, and watch them fall with the wind.

Of course, in the midst of all this fun, there was the actual festival going on. Some of the costumes people wear are really well-done. They look like they stepped right out of the Renaissance. However, some of the costumes are just weird! The thong/chainmail combination defies all logic to me...

We had ice cream, meat on a stick (what festival is complete without meat on a stick?!) and drank some mead, which is a strange, effervescent variant of wine - but still good! All in all, it was a good trip back in time.

On the way home from the Renaissance Festival, we decided to drive past our old house out in the 'burbs to see what it looked like after all these years. We thought this diversion would give us enough time in the car for the kids to nap on the way home and be ready for the evening when we got home. Of course baby boy ended up NOT napping on the way home, even though he was literally falling asleep on daddy's shoulder before we left the festival, but whatever.

Everything in our old neighborhood is so built-up these days! Talk about urban sprawl!!! I was driving and it was really stressful to be driving through all the construction and the massive traffic that ensnarls the area now. When we lived there, we rode our bikes from our house straight into the country. Now, there's no way I would get on a bicycle out there. We couldn't wait to get out of the area and back to the solitude of our inner-city neighborhood. It sounds crazy, but our neighborhood now is so much more peaceful than the old one.

Which brings me back to the reason we went out there - to see what the old homestead looks like. It looks exactly the same. Our old neighbors are even still there. Some of you may remember the stories we'd tell about our old neighbors. Well, it doesn't look like they've changed at all. :)

Anyway, the whole day was a fun excursion, but we'll probably stay inside the loop for the next couple of weekends. It's a crazy world out there.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Small cups from now on

I just spilled coffee all over my desk.

There are two cup sizes over by the coffee machine on my project now. For the last couple of days, I've been getting the larger size to minimize the number of times I go over to the machine. So, of course, it was a large cup of coffee. All over... Everything. Luckily most of it is replaceable and it's only paper. I might get a strange look from the mechanical engineer when I give him back the datasheets that are now covered in a brown tint. I'll just tell him that I kept them so long, they aged on my desk! :)

I'm going to use the small cups again from now on.