D E M E N T E D P E N G U I N . N E T

May 15, 2010

He’s so cute

Filed under: general topics,Sleeping Hayden — admin @ 1:33 am

Fresh off the Blackberry….

May 6, 2010

Getting ready to move

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 8:40 pm

We are a day away from having a yard sale, which hopefully won’t be too torturous. Hayden is getting ready to sell refreshments while it’s going on – honey buns, juice, and other such items. He’s really becoming an entreprenuer these days, which has got to be because of the school he’s going to. I’ll be sure to get pictures of him at his store.

Only 11 more days until we can start moving into our new appartment. We’ve decided to short sale the house because it’s just been a losing battle lately trying to make the huge payments. It was a hard decision to make at first but I think it was the right one. It’s already had a possitive impact on us in that we’re much less burdened by the financial responsibility and finally can do things again. By selling the house and moving to an appartment we’ll be saving about $1200 a month in house payments alone. We’re moving to a nice place – it’s about 1500 sq ft, 3bd, 3ba, with
a 2 car garage in a gated community.

Work is getting crazy again because we’re building out a whole new colocation (where the servers go for those who don’t know) which is on an accelerated schedule because we need it done asap. We have less than a week left before we might potentially go live with it and we have about three weeks of work left. On top of this my side contract job has been a bit more demanding lately as well so I don’t seem to have much time for anything during the week days. At least the weekends are fairly quiet and I can spend time with the family. Haden has mentioned a few times that he doe
sn’t see me much anymore, so I try to spend as much time with him on the weekends as I can.

Speaking of Hayden, here’s another in the Sleeping Hayden series, isn’t he cute!

May 4, 2010

New series – Sleeping Hayden

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 1:40 pm

I hate to say it but I do like to antagonize the kid on occasion. Apparently it drives him nuts when I take cute pictures of him while he’s sleeping, so I’ve decided to start a new blog series – Sleeping Hayden. Here’s the first offering:

I also wanted to add a text message I got from my wife yesterday. She was out shopping around and sent me a message, “We’re on our way to Best Buy, after H poops.”. Lmao

March 25, 2010

Our little entrepreneur

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:29 pm

I don’t know what sparked it – whether it is due to his new school, or if it’s just something inside of him that caused it – but it seems our son has a bit of an entrepreneur in him. He came home from school yesterday and asked me to help him with his “book sale”. Okay, sure. I thought it was something for his school. Nope. His plan was to sort through his books, collect all of the ones that he no longer wants/needs and sell them out on the sidewalk. Essentially our seven year old started his first business. He didn’t sit in front of our house though, he went across the street where he felt he had a better chance of selling them. He’s already got rule #1 down – location. He did sell something too, a book to a friend of his that he was playing with at the time. It was sooo cute, as you can see for yourself:

Hayden's book sale

Hayden's book sale

March 12, 2010

Getting in shape

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:24 pm

To help our new commitment to getting into shape, we’ve decided to expand our regimine to do a few things outside the home to make things more interesting. We have been trying to decide between several options and finally landed on two – break dancing and a personal trainer. Hayden has even decided to join us for the break dancing class, and is really showing some talent. Nickey has compiled a couple of videos of both:

New dance class:
http://sendables.jibjab.com/view/1i2UehK8fKhxccCPZIxJ

Personal Trainer:
http://sendables.jibjab.com/view/JyS0pRXbnmsdqysu

March 7, 2010

Week 10 of 2010 update

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 1:45 am

It seems at times that our lives are a little predictable, until I go to (finally) update my blog. Now that I review what has gone on since my last update I see there has been quite a few things.

Let’s start off with the best part. Last Thursday was our 5th wedding anniversary. I know there were many dissidents when we started out on this journey, and we admittedly almost didn’t make it, but here we are. In an unexpected way it seems the separation has really helped us both to realize how we are, how we interact and communicate with each other, and what we need to do to avoid getting back in that situation again. We have already been able to diffuse a few situations that previously would have caused us issues. Enough with that stuff though – I took the day off from work to celebrate the day. We took a motorcycle ride down to Malibu and were headed to a place called Neptunes Net for lunch. Unfortunately we didn’t plan things very well and just decided to wing it a little, we weren’t completely sure where Neptunes was. We drove and drove until we hit the Ventura county line and decided me must have passed it. We drove back to a Starbucks, to warm up a little, and asked where Neptunes was. The barista told us the place was 10 minutes in the direction we just drove nine minutes returning from! We left Starbucks and headed back the way we came – come to find out we were about 200 yards from the place when we turned around. Oy…. We had to pick up Hayden from school in an hour so we didn’t have time to stop an eat unfortunately. We’ll have to save that for another day. At least we got to go for a ride on the bike, I know Nickey really likes to go for rides and I like taking her. I kept thinking as we were riding along the beach how lucky we were to be able to ride on PCH in Malibu on a nice sunny day. Not a perfect anniversary celebration, but a pretty darn good one.

Hayden has been in his new school for a few weeks now and has been going through his usual “adjustment” period. He tends to test the limits of what he can and can’t get away with in a new situation like this, which always ends up in a meeting with the teacher. This was no exception. We met with the teacher last week, which ironically is about the time he backs off and starts to conform. I assured her that he would most likely be a much more attentive student after our meeting, which so far has been the case. He’s a great kid and, like his parents, a rebel at heart. As Nickey has noticed he is not afraid of adults and has no problem challenging them when he can. I wish I had that kind of moxie. Even though it’s definitely frustrating a lot of the time, I really respect and am proud of him for his fortitude – I just worry about when he becomes a teenager….

Hayden had an incident on Friday at his school where, apparently, four kids had him cornered. One had his arm pulled up behind his back, one was pulling on his tie, one was saying to “kill him”, and I’m not sure what the fourth was doing. We heard about this from his principal who said the students were suspended for a day since they have a no tolerance policy for violence, and they have to write a letter of apology to Hayden. We have no idea what triggered the whole event, but Hayden had an almost Zen-like view on the whole thing. He told Nickey that he wasn’t afraid because he didn’t feel like he was in danger. What? Four kids and one is saying they should kill him and he didn’t feel like he was in danger??? I want to hire a couple of bullies to teach these kids a lesson!! All I can say is I hope their parents don’t take this incident lightly. If it happens again I’m going to be really pissed.

Today Nickey drove down to San Diego for a scrapbooking thing. I’m not really certain exactly what it was but I know there were demonstrations, classes, and the opportunity to buy lots of stuff. She was gone all day so Hayden and I hung out in our PJ’s. We (read that as I) built a solar car experiment kit that Grandma gave him for Christmas, and we built a wooden tow truck that I believe the same Grandma gave to him. As Hayden does, after I built the solar car he reconfigured it in his own style and then took it outside to see how it would perform. At least he’s learning about solar and mechanical integration, even if it is by destroying all the work I did that took me several hours. It was a pretty fun day and we don’t get to spend many days where it’s just the two of us.

So many home projects to finish. I’m almost done with the latest bathroom project. The master bathroom had a termite issue on the exterior wall. I ripped out the drywall, cleaned up the wood and (hopefully) killed off all of the termites. It wasn’t a very large infestation and was pretty centralized so I feel confident it’s been remidied. I insulated the wall,drywalled it, mudded it, and put on two coats of primer. Now I just need to texture it then Nickey is going to repaint the whole bathroom. It’s taken me quite a bit longer than I thought it would to get this far, but then again that’s usually how it goes. The bathroom we completely gutted and refinished over a year ago still isn’t finished. I seem to hit something that blocks me and then it just stalls. I’m going to work on finishing that up next because if I don’t finish the projects I’ve started then I won’t be allowed to start any new projects – and I still need to insulate the bedroom walls before it starts getting too hot outside.

As I mentioned in my last update, I won a little bit of money in Vegas. One of the things I did with the money was to buy a treadmill. I’ve been wanting one for a while, and even more so now that I’ve started exercising again. Both Nickey and I have been using it pretty regularly so I think it was a good investment. Some would say that getting outside is the best way to exercise instead of a treadmill, but I’ve always been the type of exerciser that prefers privacy so I’m less likely to get out – I’ve been much more consistent when using a treadmill when I know I’ll be alone. The treadmill in the garage is perfect. I’ve got an old laptop out there – running Ubuntu of course – hooked up to speakers and wifi so we can listen to Pandora. I’m going try out Hulu one of these days and Nickey can put in one of her exercise dvd’s if she wants too. I can also download recordings from one of our Tivo’s to watch as well. Whatever it takes to make sure we keep on track.

Nickey was working for a medical company the last time I updated, but soon after left that job. She compared it to the movie Boiler Room. It really wasn’t the right environment for her and I was surprised when she took it in the first place. She soon found another job working as an assistant for, what I would call, a 78 year old dreamer. I’ve met him once and he’s a really nice guy. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to keep up on some of his responsibilities and has fallen behind on property taxes and other things. He told Nickey last week that he was in financial dire straits and couldn’t afford to keep her on as an assistant for more than a few hours a week. She’s now looking for another job. It’s too bad, working for Harry was exactly the type of job she fits I feel.

Work for me has been ramping back up again lately. So much so that we are looking for two or three more people to add to our department. We need a director of operations and one or two more systems administrators. It’s surprising how difficult it is to find quality people in the LA area – I would think it would be much easier considering how many companies there are in the area. I’m supposed to have my review on Monday – hopefully they won’t be looking for two to three SA’s afterwards 😉

I guess other than that, it’s been raining too much for me lately, the dogs are doing well, the cat is starting to look a little ragged, and I love riding my motorcycle to work every day. What more is there?

February 10, 2010

Long over due update

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:18 pm

Thanks to my friend Jarret, whom kicked me in the butt today to motivate me to finally update my blog, I’m making the time to at least update a little bit of the last 2 months of adventure in my life. I suspect it will need to be a two-parter since there’s so much to update on, and I’m just trying to fill in some time while I wait for my ride home to be ready. It may be a little rushed, but let’s see how far I can get….

The ride home from Seattle was fairly uneventful. We stopped in Albany, Oregon to see a former high school classmate of Nickey’s. We spent the night in Roseburg – Hayden had his own room ;). The next day we drove down to San Francisco to have dinner and spend the night at my Mom’s place. Instead of driving the U-Haul into SF and trying to find parking for it, we decided to leave it in a mall parking log in Emeryville across the Bay Bridge. We got up the next morning and went out to breakfast, then left to go pick up the truck. Of course nothing goes perfectly smooth when moving, and our big hiccup was finding that the truck wasn’t where we left it. I walked all around the parking lot looking for “no overnight parking” signs but didn’t find any. I finally found a sign at the entrance to the parking lot that said there was only 2 hour parking allowed. I called the number on the sign, which was for the local police department, who said they hadn’t received a call about towing away the truck. The call went from “where did our truck get towed to” to “we need to file a stolen vehicle report”. Yay. We needed to call U-Haul to get the license plate number and while Nickey was on the phone with them, fortunately, we got a call back from the police department that they had just received the information on our truck and that it had been towed. Whew. $325 and a half hour later we had our truck back. We found out during the process that it had been picked up less than an hour before we got to the parking lot – so if we hadn’t gone to breakfast we would have beaten the tow truck there! Oh well, at least we finally made it home at about 3:30 that afternoon to start getting our lives back on track once again.

Things have been really great since we’ve all been back together. Even though it sucked that we had to go through all of that we both feel that it has actually helped us in many ways and I think we are more conscious of our actions and how they affect each other. Hayden has adjusted fairly well, which is good because it can take anywhere from a week to a couple of months for him to adjust sometimes. He started out back at his old school, but our goal was to get him out of there as soon as possible. Nickey started looking for work so we could afford to put him in a private school, but fortunately we lucked out and he was picked in a lottery for a Charter school. The school is an entrepreneurial school, which is pretty cool. They teach things from the business perspective – i.e. math is counting money in the second grade. He loves money, so it should be a good fit for him 😉

Christmas was pretty good. Hayden got lots of cool stuff. I only had to work one day between Christmas and New Years, so we all got to spend a lot of much needed time together. We were really looking forward to the new year since 2009 sucked so bad on so many levels. So far 2010 has been much better.

My company took everyone, including significant others, to Vegas for two days at the end of January. They put us up at THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay in suites, they were awesome rooms. Nickey and I have been to Vegas almost every year since we’ve been together so it’s starting to get a little old, but we were looking forward to having some time to hang together. We walked the strip a little and I gambled a little. One of the nights we went to a place called Hofbrauhaus which is a “German and Bavarian restaurant and beer hall”. I hadn’t ever heard of it before, but it was awesome. I’d recommend going, although it’s not cheap – $16 for a beer very large beer. An unexpected bonus to the trip was right before we went to the restaurant. I was playing a penny slot, trying to win the Harley that was the top prize, when I hit the next to the top prize – $1585.00! I didn’t even think it was possible to win almost $1600 on a penny slot. I was one square away from winning the bike. I got eight squares to win the second place prize, but needed nine to win the bike. So close!  Here are a couple of pictures (which I found out later I wasn’t supposed to take – oops!):

That's the bike I was trying to win in the background

Yay! I won!

Nickey got a job a little over a week ago. It was in sales at a medical company. She knew right away she wasn’t going to like the company. She compared it to the movie Boiler Room. Two days later she left. To her credit she hit the job boards again and got another job right away. She is pretty tenacious. Her new job is working for a guy who’s 78 years old, has a hard time focusing because of some war injury, and needs help organizing things for his projects. Sounds like a perfect fit for Nickey. It’s flexible hours, pays well enough, she loves to organize things, and it will give her good practice for when I get that old. I have no doubt she will excel at this job. I keep telling her she needs to find a project management job, and this is pretty close from what it sounds like.

Other than that, the most notable things are – I got staph infection again…from a bandaid, it’s been raining a lot here lately, and work has been taking up a little more of my time than I would prefer. On the work note, I got a side contract job too working for a company called Home Exchange. They were featured in the movie The Holiday. It’s not very many hours and it’s a little extra income so that helps. I’m hoping to be able to work with them for a long time to come.

One last thing before I actually try to get some work done. Here is a picture of a side project I was working on yesterday at work. This is sitting on my desk. I thought it was pretty funny:

Need a shiv, take a shiv. Have a shiv, give a shiv

December 18, 2009

Blogging at 36k feet

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:13 am

Wow, this is cool. I’m on a Virgin America flight headed for San Francisco and I’m updating my blog using my cellphone going though the in-flight wifi. Sweet! Fortunately the wifi is free otherwise I’m too cheap to pay for this 😉 They also have games in the headrests, which actually includes Doom! Unbelievable.

So I’m ultimately heading for Seattle, San Francisco is just a layover. I’m heading to Seattle to bring the wife and kid back home finally. It’s been five months since they left, so this is a much overdue homecoming. We’re driving a U-Haul and her car down to LA over the weekend. We’re going to spend the night in Roseburg OR tonight (the kid has his OWN ROOM!!), then stay at my moms place in San Francisco on Saturday night, then it’s just a 5-6 hour drive home from there on Sunday.

Hope the dogs will be okay. I’ve got a friend taking care of them while I’m gone but didn’t really have much of a chance to introduce them. All he really has to do is say the word “food” and I’m sure they will let him in.

Looks like we’re starting head in for the landing now, I’d better wrap this up.

UPDATE: I’m on the second leg of my journey to Seattle. I thought I’d test out the wifi a little more and decided to access my server over ssh, which worked. Awesome. Then I ordered a few movies from Frys, which worked. Double Awesome. The only thing I can’t seem to do at the moment is connect to the vpn at my work, but that’s not really important I guess. It would be nice if I could do that though.

I did a speed test using http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ and the results were 361kb download and 307kb upload. Not too bad but I wish the little “kb” was a big “KB” instead…. I copied a 12M file from my server (using scp) which took a minute 50 seconds to transfer and the average transfer rate was about 106KB.

Ok, enough techie stuff for now. I’m just trying to see what this wifi is capable of and if it is something I could ultimately use. I’d give it 3.8 out of 4 stars. The only thing really lacking is vpn access, but that might be something on my side (although I doubt it since it works over normal wifi). I can get around vpn access if I just use ssh so it’s only a minor hindrance. Still not sure if I’d pay for it but then again I’m not really sure how much it costs either. If it’s only a coupla bucks then I’d most likely pay, especially on longer flights.

November 29, 2009

Status in paradise

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:06 am

It’s been a strange 48 hours. I found out Thursday night that Nickey has a boyfriend – yay, on Thanksgiving Day. Ok, that’s to be expected. After all it’s been since the end of June since she’s lived here. I talked to her on Friday and asked her about it and somehow the conversation turned into us trying to work things out, I’m honestly not sure who started the topic. So we talked for a while and decided to pick up the conversation again in the morning. It was a rough night for me. She called in the morning and said she had been thinking about things all night and that she remembered all of the “bad stuff”. Why is it she always thinks of all the good times we’ve had until I want to really work things out, then it’s all the bad stuff? To sum things up, it sounds like she’s not into working things out after all. What a pit I’m in – she was the one I waited for, the only one I’ve deemed worthy of marrying, the one I was fully expecting to spend the rest of my life with. Meh.

Alright, enough with the heavy stuff. Today was a decent day. I woke up at 10, played with the dogs, then went on the road trip I promised the dogs. First we stopped off at Barger Harley because I needed some new gloves. The one’s I’ve been using are perforated so the rides home after work have been pretty cold lately. After that we started out towards Ojai, the initial destination, but traffic was horrible. Instead we went down towards Malibu on Topanga Canyon and stopped off at a cool store called Hidden Treasures. I’ve mentioned it before in a couple of my posts – it’s kind of a hippy shop with used clothing, incense burning, some bizarre antiquities, and that’s also where I bought my acoustic guitar recently. I bought some incense and then continued on down to Malibu. We drove down toward Santa Monica, explored a few side streets I hadn’t been down before, then headed back home. We stopped off at McDonalds and I bought the pups a burger, which Zoe enjoyed and Loki swallowed whole. I ended up taking a 2 hour nap after that – I had just eaten and I put on golf, what can I say :). When I woke up I decided to tackle one of the projects that had been on my list for a long time. I dumped out the planters in the backyard, refilled them with soil, then planted grass seeds, and covered them in clear plastic – sort of like a greenhouse. The hope is to grow grass in them for the dogs, they used to eat the plants in them anyway so grass would probably be better for them.

So to end off the night I’m watching School of Rock and practicing on the guitar. Now that work will hopefully be slowing down quite a bit I’m going to make it my mission to learn how to play the guitar better. I’ve got two of them, you’d think I’d know how to play something on them….

Unfortunately this is the quality of the post you get from me when I have a lot of free time. I do usually use my blogs as a method of ranting about useless crap, so I guess I’ll have to get back to that again. I’m missing a few important key ingredients though – I need to dine on microwave cheese sandwiches with ketchup, and drink Jack and Coke. That’s when my posts are the most insightful 😉

November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving already?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:35 pm

This year has flown by. I guess when you are absorbed in your job for 70-90 hours a week that can happen…. Fortunately we finally deployed the final piece of the game last week so we will *hopefully* be slowing down to somewhat normal hours finally. If not then there may very well be a major uprising by several of the crew.

I think this is the first holiday we’ve had off in some time (although I think we did have labor day “off”). I have been slowly taking advantage of the time off and have been cleaning up the house room by room – something that has been direly needed for some time. I still have a long way to go but I should be able to get it done by the end of the weekend. I’ve been spending as much time with the dogs as I can too because I haven’t been around much to give them attention. I think we’re going to go for a ride tomorrow to some, as of yet unknown, location.

Today has been surprisingly pretty good. Although I haven’t feasted like the rest of the masses in this fine country, I have been enjoying the day quite a bit. I had to work until early this morning and didn’t wake up until about 1pm but, contrary to my normal M.O., I got started pretty much right away. I’ve been upgrading my computer all day (it is at least 3 revs. of Ubuntu behind!), cleaned the house, played with the dogs, blared my new Kid Rock cd, etc. I ran out of cigarettes early this afternoon so I got dressed and headed out to the local 7-11. I felt very biker-ish with the beard, longer hair, the chain wallet and my CBGB t-shirt. I rode the bike to the store and since it was about 75 decided it was nice enough to forgo the jacket. I got the smokes and then went for a ride. It was one of the nicest rides I’ve had so far on the new bike. Perfect temp, not much traffic, and made most of the lights. It was a short ride – only about 45 minutes – but it helped to recharge me a little. It makes a big difference riding without a jacket, much less restrictive and freeing. I love my bike.

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