Thursday, January 26, 2012

Does anyone have an Ark?

By all estimates, yesterday was supposed to be the end of the world in Houston... but it just turned out to be a normal day.  So boring.  ;)

On Tuesday, there was apparently a storm brewing out in west/southwest Texas that the weather people were predicting would hit Houston in the next 24 hours.

I don't know why weather people get so overly-excited and melodramatic when they know that a big storm is coming.  I guess it must be because there's so much uncertainty in what they usually know that they're ecstatic when they find something they can actually predict.

Anyway, they were predicting floods of biblical proportions.  We got an e-mail here at work on Tuesday afternoon warning us that if our office site is prone to flooding that we were to "please pay particular attention to the road conditions in the areas you intend to travel and avoid streets that are flooded."

So yesterday morning when I woke up and it wasn't even raining, I was a little disappointed.

After checking the Weather Channel, though, I saw that the storm had just passed through San Antonio and that it would make it to Houston later in the morning.  That was good news - I would have time to get to work before having to deal with idiot Houston drivers.

All morning, I kept looking outside, waiting for the carnage to begin.

At around 10:30 or so, the dark clouds made their way to our area.  And it began to rain.  But it was just normal rain - not the torrential downpour it was supposed to be.  I must admit that I was disappointed.

It continued to rain for a couple of hours and by about 1:00, it was done in the area around my office.  But at about that time, we got an e-mail and a voice message from the school system saying that they were cancelling all after-school activities for the day.

Puh-lease!  Since when did the people of Houston get so scared of a little thunderstorm?  Oh, right.  I guess there IS a history of this happening...

But seriously, it was nothing like the sudden rain that took the city by surprise a couple of weeks ago.  This is what our street looked like on January 9.
Row, row, row your boat...
Gently down the street...
The husband was at home during the storm and he kept sending me picture updates of the street.  It was a good thing he didn't have to go anywhere!

Luckily, the rain only lasted a couple of hours and the flooding in the street was gone about 30 minutes later.  He was able to make it to his afternoon meeting without any problems, but when he opened the garage door, he was met by a pile of leaves that the waves had washed up to our garage door!

Leaf dam
Now THAT'S what I call flooding.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


As you all know, our household is led by two nerdy engineers.  And we're doing our best to make our children nerdy, too.

We have thus far brainwashed the kids into thinking that Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, Stargate SG-1, and MacGuyver are some of the best television shows ever produced.  But we've been trying to really step it up a notch over the last year or so.

To that end, we have successfully convinced the kids to name our new cats after characters from these shows.  Spot is named after Data's cat from Star Trek: TNG, and Schrödinger is named after Samantha Carter's cat from Stargate SG-1.

We also try to quote these shows regularly to keep the geeky index elevated around our house.  We regularly say "Make it so" like Captain Jean-Luc Picard and "Indeed" like Teal'c and when something needs to be fixed with a fantastically elaborate Rube Goldberg machine involving chemical reactions and duct tape, we make sure to refer to it as being "MacGuyvered".

Now, after such painstaking work, I can finally report that it seems our meticulous plan has worked on Fellan!

Every year each Boy Scout pack hosts a Pinewood Derby for their members and tonight is the deadline for Fellan's pack to submit their cars to be included in the upcoming race.

Fellan and my husband spent Sunday morning dreaming up the design of Fellan's car, which has turned out to be awesome, if I do say so myself!

The X304: sort of a cross between The Enterprise and the X303
It doesn't have the wheels on it yet, and I'm not sure it's the most aerodynamic car out there, but I can't wait to see it in action!!!  It makes my nerdy heart swell with pride.  :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Awww... or Ewww?

The cats have really made some progress in their relationship over the last week! I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this much PDA! :)
(Public Display of Affection)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


As I mentioned in my last post, Santa brought a new cat to our house for Christmas.  You may remember that we had to have Midas put to sleep at the end of November, so one of the things on Marxo's list to Santa was "a cat that looks like Midas".

Well, Santa delivered!

"A cat that looks like Midas"
Santa spent quite a bit of time searching on the internet for a suitable cat to satisfy this wish and he thought he was choosing a kitten, according to the picture.  The kitten turned out to be more of a cat, but Santa couldn't resist - this cat was very affectionate.

So, on Christmas morning, the new cat made his entrance to the house and the kids immediately named him Schrödinger, based on Dr. Carter's cat in Stargate SG-1.  (we had talked about using this name for our next cat...)

We were worried about how Spot was going to react to having another cat in the house.  She never did like Midas and she actually gave him one last hiss as I was carrying him out to the vet that last time.

I had heard somewhere that when you introduce a new cat to the household, you should keep the two separate for a couple of days.  The first day, you allow the new cat to "scent" whatever room you put him in and then the next day, you switch the two cats, so they can walk around and smell the other cat without seeing him.  Hopefully then when you allow them to meet, they won't be such strangers to each other.

Well, we tried that.  We kept Spot up in our room with the door closed for Christmas day and then the following day, we switched the two.

On the third day, we opened the bedroom door and let the cats find each other.  Wow!  Spot was PISSED!!!  She couldn't believe that there was suddenly another cat around the house to contend with!  She growled and hissed and screamed and yelled.

Meanwhile, Schrödinger just sort of looked at her.  He had come from a house that had 32 other cats living in it, so he was completely used to being around other cats.  But he took it in stride.  He let her yell at him and after a couple of weeks, he eventually won her over.

After about a week of being together, they started getting closer without attacking each other.  (but it was playful attacking - neither of them hurt the other)

Why are you here and what are you doing eating my food?!
And they got a little more relaxed around each other.

I may look relaxed, but I've still got my eye on you...
And now finally, they seem to be quite comfortable with each other.  They both like to sleep on our bed with us every night and I end up waking up most mornings completely sandwiched between the two of them.

Don't mind us, we're just playing here.
We're very relieved that they're getting along so well now.  They really seem to love playing together and they're about the same age, so they have the same energy level.  We're hoping for many happy years of friendship between these two.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Must... post... something...  I'm fighting against some serious momentum here.  Apathetic momentum, apparently, if there is such a thing!  I just haven't been able to get motivated to get anything posted here.  But I have lots to talk about.

The first thing is that weigh-ins have started again in my weight-loss contest.  There were six people who made it to their goal weight by December 19th (including me), so those six people had to begin reporting weight again to me this past Monday. The rules are that you can not have gained back more than 1% over the holiday break.  Each one of us gained weight, but we were all still below our 9% weight loss numbers.  Whew!

I'm finding it extremely difficult to work exercise back into my life now that I've moved to a different office, however.  My only option is to go running at lunchtime and then not shower afterwards since there's no shower facility here.  I've now done that three times in the six days since I've been here.  Hey, when I say it that way, it sound pretty good!  I've been kicking myself thinking that I've been such a slacker by not working out on Monday and Tuesday this week.

The first day I went running, I tried running about a 3 mile loop around the neighborhood here.  That was dumb.  This area is not really very nice and I felt like at any moment, I might get abducted by people in a Suburban or something.  At one point, I was running through weeds that were 2 feet tall since there was no sidewalk next to the street.  I haven't run that route since.

Today I think I've finally figured out what my exercise routine will be: run up and down the stairs inside the building for 10 minutes and then go out and run up and down the street in front of the building a couple of times.  That gives me about 1.5 miles of running outside.  And the street has a sidewalk.  And it's a fairly high-traffic street, so that if I get accosted, at least someone will see it happen.  You gotta take what you can get, right?

In other news, Santa brought us another cat, and this past Monday, there was a big storm and flooding around town.  I have pictures of both.  But that will have to wait for another post...