March 2004
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When mom comes to visit ...

March 22, 2004


A Sunday evening walk down the beach to clear the mind and soul

On the heals of one vacation we get another ... Melissa's mother came into town on Saturday to enjoy a little of this Florida goodness. So that night we took her down to GT Bray to see Shrek (an outdoor presentation put on by the Sarasota Film Festival association).


Then on Sunday morning we joined up with Amy for a tour of the Mote Marine Laboratory. I love this place, while they have some exhibits for the public their main focus is on the marine life. They are first and foremost a rescue and research facility and that is very easy to see from their facility. If I have the time I am going to try and take part in the "turtle run" this year, basically it is designed to help the hatchlings make it to the ocean. The young turtles use the moonlight shining off the waves to guide them into the ocean, however, the near by roads and shops cause confusion. So each year volunteers assist in guiding the little ones in the right direction ... sounds like fun to me.


After Mote, then it was off to the beach ... as what trip to Florida would be complete without a day at the beach and a sunset ?? Little dip in the gulf, some people watching, and a long walk along the sand really helps take your mind off the stresses of everyday life. We saw some interesting sand sculptures and saw a wonderful sunset.

Then, as is becoming a habit, it was off to RJ Gators for dinner. Do you think it is a bad thing when the waiter says "oh, you guys again!" just as we take our table?

Posted by csb at 9:14 AM


 















Y'all come back now, ya hear!

March 20, 2004


Their bags are packed and their ready to go ... leavvvvin', on a jet plane ...

It was an early rise this morning as the Saunders had to catch their plane heading back to the coast ... the west coast. While I think they are happy to be heading home ... friends and family are waiting ... I do believe they had a good time, I know I did ;-) [Don't worry ... we will keep the sun shining for your return visit ... anytime!]

So now that everyone is gone the house is once again empty and quickly being cleaned for Mom (Melissa's mother) who is due in at noon tomorrow (Saturday). The rental car is back at the shop and Melissa managed to sleep most of the day. So as a treat I took her out to the Sarasota County Fair ... after the last couple weeks the rides seemed kinda dull and WAY over priced so we just wondered around and enjoyed the sites and sounds of the action.

The one thing that disturbed us was the tigers and elephants that they had. After seeing the animals at both Busch Gardens and Animal Kingdom and the amount of room they have; and then seeing four tigers in a small circular cage and three elephants with no room to rome just made our stomachs turn. I can only hope that they are being properly cared for while they are not "on stage". All in all though we had a good relaxing evening. So much so we managed to snap a couple pictures:


Ahh ... the lights of a fair!


Now the kids can finally go down with the ship


And their off .. coming down the stretch ... Daniel Hogsmen managed to take the checked flag

Posted by csb at 12:34 AM


 

Hi Y'all, Thank you again for such an awesome holiday in Florida! After a very long travelling day, we are now somewhat rested (up at 5:00AM Florida time - home @ 2:45AM Florida time). Florida highways are alot more efficient then around Seattle, what a nightmare! Next time we come we'll do alot less Disney & alot more relaxing! Everyday was certainly an adventure that we'll not soon forget.
Wish Bev a Happy Birthday from us! Happy Moving too! See you soon, Melissa!
Love from Sid, Lynne, Jeff & Alicia

Posted by: Sid, Lynne,Jeff & Alicia at March 21, 2004 2:14 PM















RJ Gators ... again!

March 18, 2004

They liked it so much the first time we just had to head back to RJ Gators before they left. Turns out that the gang had a great time at Busch Gardens (even without me). Instead we met at the restaurant after work and once again the food was great.

However, we were lucky to get a parking space. Next door an Irish pub was having a party ... and the area was packed with people. Suppose that makes sense since it was St. Patrick's Day and all ... but wow. We stopped by before leaving for home: they had a live band playing outside to a crowd of 200-300 people, kegs of green beer being emptied like there was no tomorrow, and even a parade float stopped by with a police escort ... nothing like any St. Pat's Day I have ever seen. Oh ... did I forget to mention fireworks before the night was out. Incredible! Think I am going to have to join in next year ... just seems like WAY too much fun :)

On a side note, I finally got to take the book quiz Krishen wrote about a few days ago:


You're The Sound and the Fury!
by William Faulkner
Strong-willed but deeply confused, you are trying to come to grips with a major crisis in your life. You can see many different perspectives on the issue, but you're mostly overwhelmed with despair at what you've lost. People often have a hard time understanding you, but they have some vague sense that you must be brilliant anyway. Ultimately, you signify nothing.
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

[Since I have never read this book I think I should check it out, can anyone else shed light on this one?]

Posted by csb at 11:20 AM


 















Piles

March 16, 2004


Visit to the pool last night provided a nice "cooling" sensation to Sid's sun burn

So ... I am back to work. Ick! And there remains a lot to do. Minor updates to one product was required ASAP (tackled it yesterday) ... so the full catchup was not completed until today. Managed to sort through our current bug lists ... and man is this just screaming for a database. We have an implementation of a bug tracking DB, but poor configuration and lack of maintenance has caused management pains. Lately we have been using Excel to track our development bugs/"features" but another couple weeks of this and *I* will spend a weekend putting together a DB for us to use. GAH! Maybe next week while the managers our all out Kai and I can get a basic install of Bugzilla working for demo to the team.

Now ... since I am all stressed (right back to normal) at work. Melissa and the Saunders gang continue to have a blast down here. Yesterday they headed to Venice Beach for some shark took hunting and they came back with tons of loot. Great souvenirs for them, and it did not cost anything ... well, I suppose Sid is paying for it seeing as he forgot the sunscreen and came back looking like a ripe tomato. Today Busch Gardens was pre-empted due to rain and instead they headed to the Mote Marine Aquarium.

Anyways .. I am off ... need to eat before my first Ultimate practice in 2-3 weeks ... this is gonna hurt.

NOTE:
Fixed the links page to our photo gallery ... the first stage in getting our pictures online.

Posted by csb at 6:31 PM


 

Don't use Bugzilla!!!! It is a pain in the butt to use. We just went through the pain of selecting a bug tracking system at work, and we ended up choosing Mantis. It provides almost all of the features we wanted, and we've customized it to add a few missing features.

Check it out and see what you think!

Posted by: John at March 16, 2004 10:45 PM















M-I-C K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

March 15, 2004

What a whirl wind vacation ... but it was sooooooo nice!

Day 1: Animal Kingdom
Day 2: MGM Studios
Day 3: Epcot
Day 4: Blizzard Beach
Day 5: Magic Kingdom
Day 6: Cocoa Beach
Day 7: Sea World

Lots of Disney was to be had ... but we also slipped in a visit to the Atlantic ocean and a day at Sea World. The Tower of Terror and the Areosmith Rock 'n Rollercoaster (both at MGM) seemed to be the biggest hits. I enjoyed the 'around the world in 3 hours' and Mission Space at Epcot as well. You know ... it is really hard to pick a favorite ... each day had its highlights.

We did kick ourselves for missing the "Atlas 3" launch (due to not reading signs while doing a drive-by of Kennedy Space Center) ... turns out we were eating dinner at RJ Gators and had no clue that such an event was happening within just a few miles. I mean really ... we were right there ... GAH!

We also enjoyed the Barenaked Ladies concert. They really know how to put on a show. That was followed up the next night by "Thursday" due to a cancellation by AFI. All other nights were spent sleeping ... or hangin in the hot tub and pool :)

We are currently sorting through about 700 pictures ... so we will try and ween at a gallery or two soon. Hope everyone else had a great week.

Posted by csb at 10:01 AM


 

Sounds like you had a blast. Maybe one day Karin and I will get to take a vacation like that. Probably not till Bethany is old enough to enjoy it though.

Posted by: John at March 15, 2004 10:24 AM















And so it begins ...

March 7, 2004


Tampa vs New Jersey: 3-2 Lightning in OT

Friday was the start of my vacation. Right after work it was up to Tampa (again! 4 times this week), this time it was for a hockey game though. Jeff, Krishen, Darren, Melissa and I crammed into our little car and headed north. What a game ... Lightning scored with 9 seconds left to push the game into OT. Then scored 2 and a half minutes into the 4th period to take another win. They are really on a roll this year. And the city (and area) are really starting to take notice .... which is great for hockey - but possibly going to make tickets hard to find. Though, the "sold out" crowd only filled about 3/5th of the seats ... nice eh!

And ... now Sat comes .... final mad rush to clean the house, get the rental car (Dodge Neon), and head BACK to Tampa to the airport (you know ... I am going to be able to do this trip blind folded). Both cars were making the trip to ensure that all luggage and passengers would be able to fit.

The Saunders made it without any trouble, though apparently it was a one wheel landing. The fog on the way home took away the view from the bridge (our mountain) so we are going to have to take them site seeing today. But right now I think it is time for pancakes and coffee. Alicia was already out feeding turtles, squirrels, and the geckos. Think they are already having fun!

Note to viewers:
While I have been horrible at posting in the last bit ... I expect things to get worse. We are heading to Orlando for the next week and will be out of connection. I plan on bringing back a ton of pictures ... so ... until then. Have a good week.

Posted by csb at 10:38 AM


 















365 days

March 1, 2004

Well ... that is one year people. One year since we moved down here. One year that I have been working at METI. One year that I have been enjoying the sunshine .... and I still don't have a tan!!!

Lets recap a little ... last February I accepted the job, tied up loose ends and was on the plane March 1st ... headed for the SunShine state. Melissa joined me a couple months later after working a little longer and packing/cleaning the house. We then enjoyed most of the summer swimming in the ocean and exploring the area. August saw us returning home for Byron and Tracy's wedding ... for me it was unfortunately a short stay for I was needed back at work. On Melissa's return she stated volunteering for Myakka Park. And I have been keeping in shape playing Ultimate.

So what are the plans ... well, we are officially here for 3 years after obtaining the H1-b work visa. So with this in mind we are moving ... the place we had was just a wee-bit too small. So we are taking a two-bed, two-bath place in the same complex. Nice ... get the office back :)

All in all, we have some good friends, are enjoying the area, and work is still putting interesting challenges on my plate. However, we do miss the mountains, the snow (ok, maybe not that much), and the friends and family back home. We look forward to your visits here ... and our visits there, hope to see you all soon!

(Time to get that Drivers License renewed)

Posted by csb at 9:13 AM


 

Only 5 more sleeps Cam & we're going to be there!!
AHHH, two weeks & no work!! Only FUN! See you Soon :)

Posted by: Lynne at March 1, 2004 10:04 PM

You're a software engineer...you're not supposed to have a tan.

Posted by: jeff at March 8, 2004 12:40 PM