Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sick....we're all going to die

One person got sick in the house. A niece. Within hours my father in law was sick. Kelli and I broke out the GermX. Wiped everything down including Natali. Yesterday morning I had a sore throat. Last night I had my last rites read to me. This morning both of my brother in laws are sick and my niece is worse. This is like a bad horror movie; A family goes to a wooded retreat. As days go by more and more are overcome by a mysterious illness. Death house.

Semi looking forward to going to New York on Tuesday. Staying close to the La Guardia airport. I might have time to go home at least once during my 14 days there.

Not sure how we are all getting home yet. Maybe tomorrow...maybe Monday. Worst case scenario is we land at 9:30PM Monday night and I fly out at 6AM Tuesday morning for New York. Quick.

That all assume I survive. Death house I tell you. Death house.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ipad fever

My nieces have been loving the Ipad this week. I downloaded a Dora the Explorer coloring book ($4.99) and a Dr Seuss Book ($3.99). They kinda took turns. One niece is 3 the other is 4.

Last night my sister in laws girlfriend, Kelly, bought an Ipad for herself and the 3 year old niece Haley. An interesting experience.

Best Buy shows if they have Ipad's in stock. The one up the road in Bend showed to have the base version. By the time she got there they were sold out. After she got back to the house I told her the 3G might be worth the money. Again they showed in stock. She bought one online to pick up in store. When I bought mine it was a 20 minute delay to get the email that it was ready. Kelly waited....and waited....and email. After 90 minutes she called. She was told it would take a while due to clearing the "credit card fraud" department. Another hour later....nothing. She called again. They had 12 in stock. Whatever.

We drove up there. Waited in line for 15 minutes. We were the only ones in line. Finally I found an employee who got one for us and gave it to the people in the customer service department...the line we were in. Another 10 minutes and we were being helped. When we got to the car....she got an email stating her order was ready too pick up. Nice.

A similar thing happened with the Macbook Pro. I bought mine. Then Kelli bought one. The Jami bought one. Then Peggy bought an Imac. Then Kevin bought one. Ipad fever is spreading.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No more driving`

I wrongly assumed that once we arrived at the house the long drives would end.

Yesterday we drove to Crater Lake National Park....only 100 miles away, but 2 + hours because of the small towns and winding roads. We climbed ANOTHER 3000 feet to reach over 7000 feet above sea level.

By the time we got there I was tired. I somewhat enjoyed the view and took a few family photos. Then headed back. Today I am hoping to stay within 20 miles of the house.

Natali is eating a lot. Until now she had 2 ounces every 3-4 hours. This's only 8:40AM and she's already had 10 1/2 ounces! She was on a feeding frenzy this morning between 3-4 AM. Yay?

The Internet here is decent. 1.5Mbps down 1Mb up.

My inlaws are digging our Ipads. Too bad I can't get a commission if they buy them.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

F this road

So driving from Albany, Oregon to Sunriver, Oregon was a pain. Both my Google Navigation and TomTom said to take the same initial route.

The route had us turn off the main highway onto a scenic route. Hmm...scenic. Highest speed was 40...average was 15-25. Lots of tight turns and switchbacks. Large drop offs. Tons of twist. No cell coverage. We didn't see a car for a while. Thoughts of breaking down streamed through my did having a head on collision as when cars did come from the opposite direction some were going a bit too fast and were on my side of the road.

I was frustrated. Hated driving so slow. The non-stop turns while climbing up a mountain with my wife and daughter on board was stressful. I was happy to take a break a the top. Kelli changed and fed Natali while I snapped a few photos.

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The rest of the drive was just as crappy. Going back I am going to take the non-scenic route.

The house is very nice. Huge 5 bedroom cabin style home. Very nice. Indoor pool. Nice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

No coverage

Driving from Albany, Oregon to Sun River, Oregon today. There is ZERO T-Mobile coverage over a large section of the trip. There is AT&T Coverage so in an emergency we can call...or we can roam. A little disconcerting though.

Since we normally use our Nexus One's for navigation (which uses a data connection....for data) I brought along an "old fashioned" back up GPS device...a hacked Tom Tom. Should be fine.

The rental car is a Chevy Impala. Big...boring car. I now know why I don't care for National/Alamo at PDX....very limited selection of cars. Only 3 "full size" cars were available, two Impalas and a Grand Marquis. Yeah. Most locations have 20+ cars. The lot here is VERY small. Boo.

Natali is doing well. A little more fussy in the middle of the night. Nothing major.

I forgot Natali's "special" onesie I bought for her. Doh! I have my matching shirt we should be safe.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Makes sense

Found a decent deal on a rental car. Found a Compact/Ford Focus from National for $240 all in. Not bad for 9 days. Not a big car, but it's just the three of us. Will get stellar gas mileage too boot.

Didn't fly at all this week. "Worked" four days. No flying. As is I will go at least 2 weeks without flying. Could be interesting on my next landing.

I will be headed to the Big Apple next month. I will work in New York August 31st thru September 15th and back home after that. I will get a hotel room and per diem 24 hours a day while I am there.

The Ipad is great for babies. Easy to have a baby on my lap secured with one hand and the Ipad resting on the arm of the chair being used by the other hand.

Being a dad is still cool.

Been a rough week for my allergies. The crazy high temp and bad pollution days made me feel blecky. Yes blecky.

Not all hybrids drive the same. My mother in law owns a Toyota Camry Hyrbid. She was down for about a week and drove the Prius while Kelli was in the hospital. The gas mileage average isn't as high as it normally is. To be fair the Camry has more torque and thus "feels" faster and my powerful for a given foot pressure on the gas pedal. Thus to get the same feeling she would have to push harder. No biggie. Our cars will be parked for a while anyway.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The Mayans are pretty smart people. I think. According to their calendar the world will end in 2012. Maybe I should take advantage of this.

There are lots of no interest/no payment deals that go through 2012. Furniture stores are big on this. Maybe I should go on a spending spree and live it up. If the world does indeed in in will all be one big free adventure. If not...well..hmmm...Craigslist it all?

Even with the Ipad I carry too many gadgets. I carry the Ipad, Nexus One and a Zune. If Apple had a subscription music service I could ditch the Zune. Yeah I could download all the music illegally, but the legal way is just too easy. I also download a local radio show that is encoded in the WMA format...not compatible with the Ipad. Boo. Bleh. Blip.

We have HBO again. For a few months. Kelli can get her True Blood on. It's free for 3 months. No long as I remember to cancel (which I will as I set a Google Calendar event!).

Being a dad is great when you have an awesome wife and a too good to be true daughter.

Would have been nice to be in the cockpit for Natali's first flight. I will fly her around one day I'm sure.

Haven't been in my man cave in 2 months. I need to get that place in order.

Looks like I might take my FMLA right after Kelli finishes hers. I likely won't do a full 12 weeks, but enough to get through the end of the year and start day care in January.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Making mustard

Still enjoying being a dad...which is a good thing as the only way out is to pack up and drive to Mexico (do they have extradition rights?). Yesterday I found a good use for a sleeping baby. Ipad stand.

Amazon is proving very useful to get things we need. Simple things like a bottle drying rack. Yeah we could drive to Walmart/Babies R Us and buy one. But on Amazon they have a bigger selection and we save gas. Free two day shipping is the icing on the cake.

Looking toward Saturday we are going to buy a car seat bag in case we have to gate check ours. Amazon once again.

Had my first gag moment with Natali. Her stool has turned a mustard color. When she poops now I say she is making mustard.

She squirmed for about 10 minutes yesterday and I thought she was done. I had her on the changing table and was doing just fine until she started making more mustard right there. I had to hold her legs up and turn away. A few gags and dry heaves later and Kelli swooped in to finish the job. I am sure it will happen again.

Still digging the Ipad. The Baby Geek app is VERY useful for tracking just about everything with Natali.

Playing games less on my phone nowadays.

Started watching the "IT Crowd" again. Very funny.

We finished season one of "Boston Legal" also very funny.

Behind on my podcast. Will have plenty of time next week in Oregon.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Monday morning quarterback

Just another manic Monday.

Slept well. I was supposed to know yesterday where I will be based for September. Still haven't been told which is annoying.

I'm a planner. Kelli is a free spirit. This makes more some interesting conversations.

For our first trip as a family I think I have a plan. Since I (and possibly Natali) will be non-revving, we can check 2 bags per person for free. I plan on checking everything except my laptop bag and a small diaper/bottle bag, for Natali. Kelli is going to check a bag as well under Natali's ticket. I've seen hundreds of parents travel the "wrong" way.

Some parents bring everything with them. The mom is carrying the baby, her purse and the diaper bag (a huge one at that). The dad is behind pulling his carry on, the moms carry on and his laptop/briefcase. Too much. I want to travel light. Checking a bag is scary for me. Haven't done it since we went to Hawaii...back in 2004 I think. Hopefully we will be stress free.

Natali is still a peaceful baby. Eating a lot more which makes both Kelli and me happy.

Eric and Angela stopped by Saturday. We can't thank them enough for all they have done to help us so far.

Finally a baby to take photos of

I love photography. Heck I majored in photojournalism.  Being able to capture a moment in time amazes me.

Kids are great subjects. The younger the better as they don't know what a camera is and therefore are natural in their responses. I have taken photos of of my nieces, but rarely post/share them as...well they aren't MY kids. I didn't feel right plastering a photo of a kid that's not mine online. They few times I did I watermarked the photo to protect it from being used elsewhere.

Now that I have a daughter I'm free to take all the photos of her I want. It helps that she's hands down the cutest baby in the world. One thing that bothers me are her fingers. They are long like mine. I know one day she will raise one of her middle fingers and aim it my way. Probably the same day she goes and votes for a break my heart just a little bit more. I will take photos of her then as well because she is my daughter and I love her.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Other blogs

Been a busy few days. I've been hammering away on quite a bit.

Found a great ap on the Ipad to keep track of diapers, feedings etc. Baby Geek...only $0.99. Will sync between our two Ipads. VERY easy to use. Kelli can click  a button when she starts nursing and again when she's done. I can click two buttons when I change a diaper and note "dirty" or "wet". I bought the ap after we could no longer remember how long we nursed and how many diapers I have changed. One would think I would easily recall such things, but it is known that when people go through traumatic events they tend to forget. Ha!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The most uncomfortable bed...almost ever

Kelli told me I didn't have to stay in the hospital last night as not much would be going on. Felt guilty leaving her here alone so I stayed. The chair the expands to a bed is one of the most uncomfortable pieces of furniture ever. I slept very little as did Kelli. More about that on later.

We are all teched out. We each have an Ipad. I have my Zune pumping out content to the TV. My Macbook Pro was being used to watch Boston Legal. Of course we each have a Nexus One. Between the two of us we could launch a Space Shuttle.

Working on something fairly cool. Should be able to show it off tonight/tomorrow morning.

Mother in law is here. She's really liking the Ipad and Word with Friends.

Good wifi here. Very speedy.

Looking forward to sleeping in my bed....oh and meeting my daughter.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sack Lunch

Been taking my lunch to work for the last week. Nice change of pace. I prefer Pumpernickel bread or bagel thins for the bread. Feeling even a little healthier. Amazing what less grease and fat does for you.

Kelli is ready to be done being preggo. Hopefully this will swear her off having another kid. One is just fine with me. We are going to have a perfect daughter Wednesday. Why screw that up?

Tires getting low on tread. Still legal. Will likely have to spring for new ones before I turn it in or whatever next March.

The dogs are still alive.

Allergy shots going well.

Can't find a cheaper rental car for Oregon. Looks like $400 all in for 8 days is going to be it. Would be cheaper by $50 or so if I rented it for a 6 days, returned it, and rented another one. Eh.

Sitting in Highfill, Arkansas right now. You can fly from Highfill, Arkansas nonstop to Newark, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Chicago, New York and for a while Los Angeles. Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas doesn't have all those options. Reason? Highfill is close to Wal-Mart headquarters.

Name for my daughter is partially released. Full name on Wednesday.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I'm only 33....ran out of toes and fingers counting long ago. Getting old.

Went to bed at 8:30PM on Thursday. I was spent.

Power went out last night for about an hour. House wasn't uncomfortable except for the lack of air flow. After about 30 minutes we all (dogs included) hopped into my car and sat in the driveway to cool off. I turned on the outside light and aimed my rearview mirror at it so I would know when the power came back on. Me being me I immediately started looking for a hotel room. La Quinta is "pet friendly". Thankfully wasn't needed.  Once I saw the light come back on, we all headed back. Not too bad only spent 30 minutes in the car.

I get two weeks of vacation each year. In order to maximize my time off I move my work days around. I end up killing myself in order to have more time off. As of now I have August 20-30th off. Working 13 out of 14 days to get that. Today is my 6th day in a row too work. All long 9-12 hour work days. Feelin' old.

Flew with a Captain yesterday that was a little pompus. He pointed out just how much money he was making on his 4 day trip. This is his vacation week. He picked up extra flying. he would be earning more on this 4 day trip (excluding vacation pay) than I will earn in a month. Nice eh?

Mother in law coming in town Tuesday. Best friend from high school is flying through DFW today. Going to head up to visit if I am still here. Airline running very short on pilots I will probably be sent out before she arrives.

Yesterday while sitting at home I looked over at Kelli and smiled. She was sitting on the couch with her Ipad on her lap, Macbook to the left while using her Nexus One. When I met her she had a basic phone and a basic Dell tower computer. My plan is almost complete....just need to correct her political views.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Making the right turn

Ya know that feeling you get when you're driving to somewhere new and you're not sure if you made the right turn? Yeah.

Been working a lot lately. More than ever. Twelve hour works days are now the norm instead of the exception. Yesterday I did five flights, the airline wanted me too do 7. Running the same checklist over and over make anyones brain mushy. Add in hot outside temps and operating in 10 critical phases of flight (5 takeoffs and 5 landings) and fatigue sets in. When I got home I was only slightly more coherent than room temperature jello.

Prior to my starting flying I read online forums. There were several post stating to NOT go to an airline. The pay, work conditions, and outlook were horrible. I thought they were just naysayers. Now, I'm not so sure.

Don't get me wrong I absolutely love what I do. Flying is in my blood. Safely navigating the skies and weather to transports soldiers, men, women, and children home to their families brings joy to me. I love the power of 50,000 pounds of thrust in my left hand and the controls to a multi-million dollar jet in my right hand is awesome. But is it all worth it?


Now for something funny.

On my flight to Little Rock yesterday was a wealthy family from Brazil. They BOUGHT (with cash not points!) First Class tickets from Brazil to Little Rock for their family of 6. Four kids and two parents. The First Class section of my plane has 9 seats. They took up 7. The kids were all 10 and under dressed in comfy, but not dressy clothes.

My flight attendant said several of the elite frequent fliers complained and gave dirty looks to this family as many of the frequent fliers had to sit in coach as they couldn't use points to upgrade. Most of these frequent fliers got their status by flying PAID for by their companies. Big name companies many of us spend money with. My flight attendant was senior and doesn't take crap from anyone. She sternly told the frequent fliers that the family paid cash for those seats. Those passengers are consumers who spend money so the companies that fly these executives around can survive. Some took it and were quiet, others thought the family should have been back in coach. Nice eh?

Ok maybe that wasn't funny.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August and everything after

Bought an Apple bluetooth wireless (somewhat implied that it's wireless...being bluetooth and all) keyboard for $20. Guy had it on Craiglist as "barely used" and "new"....not. I can tell it's well used. But it works....way less than $69 from Apple. Works with the Ipad. Which is what I am using right now.

Got the car seat bases installed in our cars. Wasn't too hard. Both of our cars have the LATCH system things. We will get them inspected next week.

Kelli is enjoying HER Ipad. I found one using the Best Buy inventory system. Apple should have something like it. It's extremely easy to go to and check stock of items. Saw one in North Fort Worth...drove over...picked one up. Eighteen months no interest.

Rumors of my airline being sold are floating around. If we are sold we could lose our easy travel on American. Which would blow.

Allergy shots continuing. No name Claritin doing it's thing.

Blueray movies are nice. Don't see us buying a lot of Blue Ray movies though. Easier to stream from Netlix, rent from Netflix or the new RedBox Blueray rentals. I don't feel the need to "own" media. I don't "own" most of my songs on my Zune. They are rented. I pay $15 a month for all the music Kelli and I can listen too. Simple. Easy. I forecast DVD and Blueray sales dropping off as broadband access expands.

Trying out bringing my lunch to work. Tired of airport food. I spent an average of $8 a day when I sat airport standby last month. That's at least $40 a week. We will see. Hard to pack food though as I could be gone one day or five days.

Mother in law arriving next week for 8 days.

Going to be a little interesting getting to the airport for vacation. Since Kelli has a "real" ticket she has a "real" seat on the 4:25PM flight. I'm flying standby. Will have to non rev starting with the 9AM flight. In the past she would drop me off early and drive my car to the employee lot. Problem is the employee lot and buses aren't really set up for baby strollers and the like. Exploring options.

It's gonna be 106 today. I'd rather be hot than cold. When it's hot I can still go to work. People up north can't say the same when it's cold with 5 feet of snow outside and a frozen car battery.