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

September 26, 2008

Why is it so hard to find the time?!

Filed under: general topics — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 11:33 am

I do try to keep up with this blog, but I just can’t seem to allocate enough time in the week to do my twice a week posting schedule. How does that happen?

I have updated my other blog, with a how-to on how to build a grey water filter. I had a lot of other things I was hoping to accomplish last weekend that I was going to post on that blog about, but it turned into a garage cleaning adventure instead. That’s okay tho, because now we have plenty of room for our two wheeled rides, as well as a workout area too. A few more weekends and it should be finally cleaned up!

Nickey has been loving her new “Scoot”. She’s been riding it as much as possible and it really has been saving us some money in gas. Unfortunately tho, if it’s outside of a few mile radius then she can’t take it (top speed = about 42mph), so she has had to use the car a little more than we had hoped. I’ve been riding my motorcycle to work every day for the last few weeks. The only days that are bad are Fridays, but I have started riding down the lane divider when traffic is really bad. I just had to bite the bullet one day and do it. It is a bit intimidating but not as bad as I thought it might be. Also, I finally got my endorsement on my license yesterday. The DMV’s here seem to be really booked up and it was hard to get an appointment quickly. I had to drive out to Thousand Oaks (about a 40 minute drive on the freeway from home) to get an appointment this month. Now I can drive on the freeways, at night, and with a passenger!

Hayden has been doing great in school. He does the obligatory battle over homework sometimes but that isn’t very often. He was able to get the teacher he really wanted this year, but unfortunately she just took a new job at a school closer to her home and today was her last day. We’ve been reassured that his new teacher – a recent third grade teacher at his school who lost her class due to an attendance drop – is just as good as his current teacher was.

Hayden is really getting excited for his birthday. He’s going to be six on October 4th. We were planning on throwing him a party but Nickey had a different idea that she proposed to him. He could either have a party, or we could take the money we would expect to spend on the party and instead let him go to Toys R Us and have a shopping spree. He opted for the shopping spree and has been making a list of, what seems like, everything he sees. I swear, he want’s every single Bionical and Lego set out there. He’s also getting really excited for Halloween and Nickey has been putting up some really gory decorations for him. We even have bloody footsteps up our front steps. Spooky!

The weather is showing signs of changing. It was in the 70’s to low 80’s for a little over a week after Mom and Bob left, but now it’s back up to the high 90’s again. Our pool dropped six degrees during the “cool spell” and has been hovering around 75 degrees since. It’s getting close to the time to close down the pool for the winter. This winter we are going to drain the pool and resurface it, which it’s been in serious need of since we bought the place. I’d really like to tile the whole thing, but I’m not sure what that would involve and I’m not sure I could do that myself. We’ll see tho.

September 9, 2008

Latest events

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:42 pm

Last weekend my Mom and Bob came to town to see us for a few days. They flew down on Friday morning to start a week or so long adventure. They left our house Monday morning and were heading to Disneyland and possibly Catalina, then to a B&B up the coast, to Bob’s sisters, and then back home again. While they were visiting with us we were treated to some good food, and we also got the opportunity to have them watch Hayden a couple of times so Nickey and I could go out and do a few things.

One of the things we were able to do while they were watching Hayden was to go out for a date night. It didn’t end up how we had planned – dinner at the Stinking Rose (garlic) restaurant – but we still had a great time. The plans were changed because we went out to Irwindale to buy a scooter for Nickey which ended up taking a lot longer than we expected it would. She looks really cute on the scooter. We then had dinner at the Claim Jumper, which we hadn’t been to since probably back when we lived in Seattle. I’ll get my hands on a picture of the scooter and put it up here, hopefully a picture of her riding it to show how good she looks on it.

Hayden successfully completed the first week of first grade without too much of a problem. It’s hard to know for sure how he is going to accept a change in his schedule but he has adapted quite quickly. If I remember correctly, last year it took him a few weeks to get into the swing of things before he got used to the routine. I’ve been walking with Nickey and Hayden to school in the morning to see him off. He’s so cute – he’s so little and he hasn’t grown into his clothes yet which makes him look even littler! Hopefully he’ll be able to stay focused and do well on his schoolwork, I know that was a tough one for me at that age.

I passed my motorcycle class last weekend which means I’ll be getting a certificate in the mail that I can take to the DMV and get my motorcycle endorsement. Whew! I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it since the riding classes were soooo early in the morning, but I was able to get up for them okay and wasn’t even late. I was fortunate that I had been riding my motorcycle before the class so it made the lessons easier than it was for those who hadn’t been riding yet. I’m just glad it’s over with. I’m still nervous to go on the freeway, but at least I now have the option. I really want to take the advanced class but I will have to see when and where it is.

There’s probably more stuff to blog about, but I’m at work so I should probably make it look like I am actually working 🙂

August 28, 2008

Latest news

Filed under: general topics — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:45 am

Nickey and Hayden just got back Tuesday night from their week long excursion to Washington and then to San Diego. They left Seattle *early* on Sunday morning, flew to L.A., were home for about an hour, and then drove to San Diego. That’s a pretty busy week for a 5 year old and his mom! I was hoping to see them when they came home for that hour on Sunday, but I had to be at a class instead. I did end up driving down to San Diego though because Nickey forgot something at home that she needed, so at least I didn’t have to wait the whole seven days to see them. As much fun as it might have been to have a whole week to myself, it’s just not the same coming home to an empty house. The only thing I liked about it was having the ability to watch whatever I wanted to on t.v.

I started my motorcycle training class last Sunday, which I have two more classes left to go. I’ve been riding the bike to work almost every day now and I’m getting pretty comfortable. I really love riding it and have put about 250 miles on it so far. It still blows my mind that it’s legal for me to get on a 630 pound motorcycle with zero prior motorcycle experience and take it out on the streets.

The family is doing well, popby.com is doing well, I like my new job a lot, and the weather is starting to cool down a bit. Life is good.

August 17, 2008

Two weeks until school starts! And, the motorcyle experience

Filed under: driving in LA,general topics — Tags: , — admin @ 7:52 pm

It is going to be really good for Hayden to go back to school. Last summer he was really restless and wanted to go places all the time. On the weekends, if we hadn’t left to go somewhere by noon he would start to ask if we were going to go do something. He was much more of a wanderer back then. This summer he’s turned into a sloth – he doesn’t even get out of his pajama’s unless we tell him to get dressed! He never wants to go anywhere anymore (unless it’s to go get something to eat, which he wants to do every time we do go out) and complains when we tell him we’re leaving saying he doesn’t want to go anywhere. Then when we’re out doing things he keeps asking when we’re going to go home. What a difference a year makes. It’s almost like he’s turning into a teenager at 5!!!

It’s also going to be good for him to hang out with kids his own age. All of his friends from school haven’t been around for him to play with all summer, or their parents are only our “friends” when they have to see us at school, so he has only been around us for the most part. The stories he tells and the imagination he has are unbelievable and would probably be even more appreciated by someone his own age.

I’m getting much more comfortable on the motorcycle. I’ve had it since the 26th of July, so about four full weekends so far. The first weekend I didn’t drive it out of the driveway at all – just back and forth in the driveway. The second and third weekends I drove it on residential streets about 7 and 16 miles respectively. This weekend I decided it was time to venture out onto surface streets. Yesterday I drove it 20 miles on somewhat busy streets, then today I’ve driven it about 65 miles total. This morning I drove it to work – from Lake Balboa (West Van Nuys) to Brentwood over by Santa Monica and back. That was about 37 miles, then this afternoon I drove it an other 24 miles out to Topanga Canyon and back on Devonshire. I’ve got starting and stopping down pretty well, turning I’m feeling more comfortable with, and I’ve had to make two quick stops without panicking. I’ve found that starting out on an incline is much harder than I thought and need to do a lot of work on that since there is a major hill on my way to work and I will NEED to be able to start out on a hill. If it wasn’t for the hill then I’d probably take it to work tomorrow, but unfortunately it’ll have to wait.

Nickey and Hayden are heading to Seattle on Wednesday for a family reunion on her mom’s side. I can’t go since I just recently started a job and would have to take those days without pay since I’m a contractor. They will be back on Sunday for about an hour then will be driving to San Diego for a Brian Buffini Mastermind conference. Then they will be back Tuesday night. A whole week to myself. Most guys would probably be like, “I’m going out!”. I’m like, “What projects can I get done? Bead board in the kitchen. Can I get the tile in the bathroom removed and replaced before she gets back? Can I pull down the drywall in the bedroom, insulate the walls, replace the drywall, tape it, texture it and prime it before she gets back?”. Note the “before she gets back” consistency 🙂

Hi mom! Sorry I haven’t been living up to my twice a week commitment!! I’ll try to be more consistent. We love you.

July 26, 2008

Pictures of the new ride

Filed under: driving in LA — Tags: , — admin @ 5:55 pm

I’ve ridden it about 2 miles or so around the neighborhood so far. I can tell I’m going to have to get a lot more used to riding it before I’ll start taking it to work. It is a beast.

New Harley

New Harley

July 25, 2008

If I’m going to buy a motorcycle, why not do it right?

Filed under: general topics,Las Vegas,Turning Point — Tags: , — admin @ 11:44 pm

Today was a banner day – I was escorted out of work at 1:30 for my last *physical* day at work (I’ll explain later), I took – and passed – my written motorcycle test, and then bought a brand new 2008 Harley Dyna Glide Low Rider as my first ever motorcycle. Hell, I’ve never even driven a motorcycle and end up buying a 1600cc motorcycle. What was I thinking?! My main motivation was to get a motorcycle that I would most likely never have to upgrade from, and secondly, I wanted an American made motorcycle. I have NEVER owned anything but American made street legal vehicles. Never. I get the motorcycle delivered tomorrow and I can’t wait to start riding it. I take my riding classes at the end of August.

Why was I escorted out of work today? Honestly, I don’t know for sure. I gave my notice about a week and a half ago and today was to be my last physical day in the office. Monday through Wednesday I’m still employed by the company but I’m on vacation. I left work to take my motorcycle test and when I got back my laptop had been wiped and all of the system passwords had been changed. It was like a hit – and it was like I was fired. Sheesh – I’ve been there for over a week since my notice, if I was going to do anything destructive or malicious then I would have done it by now. I’m not complaining since I got to leave waaaay early, but it was just the manner that they did the whole thing that bothers me. It was very slimy. Anyway – I guess I don’t need to worry about taking any calls from them through Wednesday since even if there was a problem that they needed my help with I wouldn’t be able to log in and fix anything (I was the only Systems Administrator). I find myself wondering why they didn’t just end my employment today. I’m headed to Vegas on Sunday so I’m not going to concern myself with any of it. This is the closest thing I’ve had to a real vacation in a long time so I’m not going to distract myself with trying to figure out their motives.

Nickey’s mom is coming in to town tomorrow night to watch Hayden while we’re gone. I can only imagine how spoiled he’s going to be when we get back. Hopefully I’ll have lot’s to report when we get back, but it won’t be for a few days (mom!).

July 23, 2008

I never thought I’d want to

Filed under: driving in LA — Tags: , — admin @ 10:32 pm

Because of the high gas prices, and because of my new job being a bit farther away than I have to commute now, I’m actually hoping to get a motorcycle. I was always a bit affraid to ride one in Seattle, and even more nervous about riding one in L.A., but I feel a little more comfortable with the whole thing now.  I go to the DMV on Friday to take my written, and then I’m signed up for riding classes at the end of August. If I pass the written then I get a permit to ride during the day so I can practice. Because I get a permit, I’m trying to get a motorcycle soon so I can take full advantage of the permit. Hayden says he wants to ride with me when I get it – that’s even motivation to pass all my tests! I think Loki is hoping I get a sidecar too. I really think he’d ride with me 😉

One thing I wasn’t prepared for was how much more the interest rate is for a motorcycle than it is for a car – almost double in some instances. Sheesh!!

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