Sunday, August 22, 2010

Things I learned during summer

As summer draws to a close, I think about the back to school "what I did over my summer vacation reports" so I started to think about mine.  My summer was quite jam packed with a work project which consumed most of the summer, but I learned quite a few things.

  1. A light rain fall, all day long, will start to soak through the seams of my softshell jacket.  Its always great to know the limits of your gear and now I do.  It rained on us one day while we were on San Juan Island, so it wasn't dangerous and it was nice to get back to our house and get un-soggy.
  2. My wife enjoys hiking much more when there is a nice destination.  Destinations which qualify as nice include wild flowers, water falls and lakes.  She likes the water a lot.
    Wildflowers and Mount Rainier
  3. My daughter prefers lululemon to Juicy Couture.  Even thought both are expensive, I think I can endorse that, because at least lululemon projects an active lifestyle while Juicy projects clubbing and Paris Hilton.
  4. Technical fabrics are great.  See number one in this list, but I've started wearing wicking shirts while running, hiking and just around the house.  The really do wick away the sweat that much faster which contributes to me being warmer all around.
  5. Getting away, even if for a few days, makes a great vacation.  We rented a house on the San Jaun Islands for 5 days and it was a great break.  It was really nice to have a full kitchen, but also nice to be in a vacation spot.
  6. Outlet Malls are cool.  We stopped at the Seattle Premium Outlets and the ones in Burlington on the way back from our vacation and got a lot of great back to school clothes for our daughter.  The boys wanted to stay in the car, so they didn't get very much cool stuff.  Pooey on them.
  7. I've learned a whole lot about Subversion, php, mysql, apache, bugzilla and Ubuntu, but I'll go into that later.  I've got a few servers with a LAMP stack which I administer and they're running pretty well!
Though I'm not in school, I'm always learning something.   I hope you enjoyed your summer too!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A vacation finally

The swim seasons (yes, plural) have come to an end and my gigantor work project which has had me working every day since June 14th has come to an end and we are taking a vacation.  For the last 3 days, we've been in a house we rented in Friday's Harbor on San Juan Island. Its got a great kitchen and the guy left us his kayak, though I'm not sure if we'd use it solo - maybe next time.

There is no TV, no phone, no microwave and it is great.  Yes, there is wi-fi and with Skype I've made a few work related calls, but really its been work free.

We've explored all over the island, checking out the historical sites and sitting by the water.   We've explored lots of beaches, checking out the light houses and the kids have probably raised the sea level with all the rocks they've thrown in the water.

We checked out the Whale Museum, but have not seen any Orcas in the wild. Yet.

Today, I watched the tide come in, just sitting on the beach for 3 hours.  Yeah, I got a little burned, but I actually re-applied sun block today (not just putting it on once).  

But most importantly, my mind was clear. I listened to the waves crash and the rocks on the shore roll under the force of the waves.  I watched my kids play in the cold water (they're crazy that way, it doesn't matter how cold they are).  I didn't think about student loans, bills, work or to do lists.  Its been a long time since I've been able to do that.

With all that I've been working, the fact that I can clear my mind and not worry about anything has been super relaxing.  I've even slept in - 8:30 and 9 am, which is incredibly decadent for me.  This has been a great weekend and I've really needed it.  And I'm loving it.