Sunday, December 30, 2007

Winter Sports Extravaganza

I've been on vacation for a whole week now - and to Heather's pleasant surprise, not worked very much. Maybe it has to do with a hard disk crash that I was subject too (but that is the subject of another, much geekier posting), but it has been nice not working too much. And on the good side, few other people are at work, so things aren't piling up too much.

We have had a beautiful winter here in Seattle. What that means is when it is raining at our house, it is snowing in the mountains and they are only 45 minutes away. This winter, we've been taking advantage of it.

So far this winter, we've been ice skating, down hill skiing, snow shoeing and my son has gone sledding with some friends and snow boarding. And we are only at the very beginning of winter.

My youngest son went to an ice skating rink with a playgroup and he really liked skating. It was really cool to see him come home and all he would talk about for the next day was taking skating lessons.

We went to the Summit at Snoqualmie and put the kids in ski and snowboard lessons for the day and they all had a blast. They picked it up quite quickly and they want to go back. I took a short lesson and it reminded me of a lot of the finer points I learned at the Northern Warfare Training Center.

I posted earlier about snowshoeing and this afternoon I am going out with a friend, his sons and my oldest. I'm looking forward to it.

This winter has been a winter sports extravaganza! We'll have to come up with some more winter activities - curling any one?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas, all.

No, this isn't a blog giving greetings to you, this is about the email cards I've gotten at work. I've been on vacation, so I've been going through old emails and this one really struck me as funny and maybe inappropriate, because I don't see how it fits into Christmas.

Like most greeting cards it came with a nice greeting:

Sending warm thoughts your way this holiday season and wishing you a happy, healthy and fit New Year.

Nothing wrong with this, at all. Nice sincere thoughts that fit in a professional environment.

But it was the picture that got me.

Now, I'm all for women in short shorts, don't get me wrong. But getting hot pants pictures just doesn't fit in with the Christmas spirit for me, especially for work greetings. Maybe if it was Santa's Sexy Helper, it might be more Christmas-y, but even less work appropriate.

If you look closely, the Santa hat was actually photo-edited in!

I hope that you and yours had an enjoyable Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever holiday you celebrate in the winter and that your New Year starts off with a bang!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Measuring my blog's success

I'm a numbers guy and I really like the fact that with Google Analytics, I can measure how many people read my blog.

If you squint, you can see I don't get large number of pageviews. But I'm really not into that. I've got a small group of readers and thats why I blog. It helps keep my writing skills sharp and is fun and keeps me connected with people.

But the way I measure succes is through the comments I get. And sometimes this really flummoxes me.

I recently posted three pictures of my head, taken with the camera on my phone. It took no effort to make these posts, probably 30 seconds each at most. But between these three posts, there were 10 comments.

I don't quite understand it, but is my head really that interesting? Just keep the comments coming.

And thanks for commenting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Long time, no blogging

So, I apologize for the long break between postings. It has been a few hectic weeks in our house, but things are beginning to wind down for the end of the year.

I have started a few posts and saved them in draft. Since they aren't really time sensitive, I'll finish them and post them later. But really, I haven't forgotten about my blog.

Nor have my friends forgotten about my wife's blog! I've had more than one person ask when is Heather going to post again. They tell me that my writing is good, but hers really makes them laugh! Come on, I'm funny too, aren't I?

CIMG6647Finals are done (last week) and my last work trip of the year is done (last week), Heather did some last minute traveling (last week) resulting in a change to my work trip, our oldest swam at the PNS sectionals (all last weekend) and then we took some well deserved time and relaxed in Seattle (photos) and went snowshoeing (this weekend).

I'm just glad it is winding down. I'm even going to take some time off! Yes, I'll really try to not work.

This weekend, I mentioned that we went snowshoeing. It was great. I just wanted to try it out, to see how it went for our family and everybody picked it up right away. I hadn't snow shoed (is that a word) since I was in the Army in Alaska and we used gigantic snowshoes. We rented some new modern ones from REI and they worked great. I caught the bug again - I want snow shoes.

We went up to the Nordic center at the Snoqualmie Summit and since the power was out, they weren't charging for the trail pass. It took a while to get everybody's snow shoes on (yes, I put on 4 and half pairs of snowshoes and I got warmed up just with that activity). We wandered off into the woods for about a mile in and turned around at a bridge? that was too narrow for me to be comfortable with my kids crossing it. It was just hiking in the snow. Serene, calm, in the outdoors.

I enjoyed it so much that I was trying to find someone who wasn't working on Monday, so I could take the day off and go again before I returned the snow shoes. I called quite a few friends, but alas, I couldn't find anyone, but it was better that way -things at work blew up, so I'm glad I didn't go.

I've now spent a great deal of time pining after snow shoes, which model, how much gear would I carry (and as a result would the snowshoes have to hold up). I'll be going again this winter. It would be a great way to experience Mount Rainier too.