Captain Fun in action

Captain Fun in action

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Little Down Time

Last week San Diego experienced unseasonably warm weather while the southeast US got snow along with the ususal suspects for snow like Colorado.  I retreated to the backyard in our quiet neighborhood for a snooze.  I think I was just wrung out from the new work assignment,  a morning surf session, and some light chores.

I have a chaperone when I wander to the backyard these days.  She is leashed, but it didn't stop her form taking her favorite position with "Dad" for what turned out to be a cat nap quite literally. 

  Jeanne joined me for some study on Ezra. This is a little corner of the Bible I find fascinating.  Jeanne just loves our reflection on God's word as we read and study and discuss the material. 

Abby took the opportunity to grab a salad.

And ponder the state of her patio domain....    zzzzzzzzzz....zzzzzzzzzz...zzzzzzzzzz.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Sad Note

No pictures, no fun on this post.  Just want to pass on the sad news that my mother's health care giver Charlene Cole-Young lost her husband Orson suddenly last weekend.  We don't have details on his sudden demise, but there will be a funeral Tues, Jan 25 to commemorate this kind and gentle man.  Charlene and Orson were married only a few years ago which was a pleasant surprise in Charlene's life.  We quickly grew to love Orson's gracious ways.  Occassionally Mom would loan her car (which she no longer drives) to Charlene when one of theirs needed repair.  She always got it back with a wash and detail compliments and "thank you" from Orson.  Like Mom's car, we were all a little better off for having Orson in our lives.  Orson is with His beloved saviour now, and we have the Holy Spirit to help us learn to move ahead without our friend Orson whom we will miss greatly!  Our love to Charlene and Orson's families.  God Bless you, and comfort you all!  Amen.

A New Assignment

Many of you do not really know what I do (at work).  Really!  My tasks as a Senior Consultant (whatever that is) have evolved from the exhiliration of programming (composing software, then testing it) to what is called a System Analyst.  SA's don't compose the software, they collect requirements for what the customer wants, then design it and embody that design in a written specification, then give it to programmer's, now called "developers", to create it. SA's test what developers create to see if they got it right.  SA's also find already created software and help in demonstrations to the customer, decisions about what to buy, then help install, configure, test and deploy the software for general use.

About 8 months ago I finished a project for the Agriculture Weights and Measures Dept. of SD County that was basically full time work.  With some project managers leaving the company, and the tough economy, I basically asked management permission to go to all project managers and ask for any small pieces of work for SA's they might have.  I ended up working for 6 project managers on 15 different deliverables, always working to make sure I met delivery deadlines.  This provided enough billable hours to stay employed, but I always lived in fear of too many deliverables coming due simultaneously or having enough to do.  I thanked God for the employment (which is dismal in the computer field right now) and kept on plugging.

Guess what I got for Christmas this year?  A new assignment!

I am taking over for another SA that just left for a position with QualComm. This assignment has me tasked about 150%. I'm expected to carry this ball myself.  This will allow me to concentrate on one customer, and take on a new area of functionality that this old scientist is pretty comfortable with. Yes, long ago in another life I was a staff microbiologist at UCSD medical center and used some of the same equipment that APCD uses to measure pollutants.  Mass spectrophotometers,  gas/liquid chromatographs,  etc. etc.

I will work at the APCD offices M-W-F, and my Northrup Grumman office T-Th.  Nice digs! So for the next two months I will be pretty busy getting this new horse broken in and aiming to recover my personal hours for fun like,  well,  you know,..... blogging, dating (Jeanne), surfing, Bible Study, Super Bowl, or whatever.  I'm grateful for this change, and I believe God had it in mind before I ever knew about it.  I trust, and He provides.  So my posts may be fewer, but you will understand I know.  Thanks!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The man on my mother's roof

My mom Kate Kelly still lives where I grew up.  The corner of Luna and Hidalgo Ave. in Clairemont next to Alcott School (my elementary) has a long history for our family.  This is where my kids Renee and Lisa went every Tuesday after Dad retired to be with 'Namas and Grandpa for the day. This is the gathering spot for the neighborhood Sunday morning coffee klatch (as my folks called it ) with neighbors on the patio. Lately however the ole patio roof has been giving ground to the rain (that we don't often get) and Mom has had to "Rig For Rain", meaning cover furniture and put newspapers on strategic positions.  Always made me think of the WWII submariners who had to "Rig for silent running" to avoid sonar.  Well no more!  I caught this man on my Mom's patio roof this past week on my lunch break.  Some of you may recognize him.

Notice the smile on his face and the sun on his shoulders.  Makes you think of a John Denver tune.  I said "Dude! you are doing a great job.  He said "I'm having FUN!" This makes me immensely happy to see my son (in law) thriving at his new business.  Check out the roofing tile symmetry!

I could not have asked for a more meticulous job on the ever present leak between house (especially at the chimney) and the patio.  No more alsenite (fiber glass).  3/4 inch plywood and standard roofing shingles.  Dad often said it was what we should have done long ago.  Oh, yeah.  Did I mention Irvin (dad), Ken and I built the patio?  I enjoyed it then and now more than ever.

Nice metal edge flashing now too.  And the secret to such quality work?  That's right.  You have to have the right crew working for you.  Here is Alejandro and his forman. Never is Ale out of the watchful eye of the forman.

Toby the Colorado Wonder Dog was keeping all manner of distraction from the job site. No cats, children, strays, or grandmothers were allowed in the back yard on his watch.  Thanks for a great job crew!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lisa Turns 30!

The holidays aren't over for me until we celebrate my youngest daughter's birthday on January 7th.  Yeah, the tree comes down, but the lights stay on the house for added cheer and we added some special ballons for this year's party.

Normally we find a time for a favorite restaurant, but this one was special and Lisa asked if we would host a barbeque for friends and family this year.  Yes, that is possible in San Diego in January.  So.... Alejandro (out to San Diego for work) brought Grandma, and Grandma brought a cake....

Jeanne did some decorating and we had our neighbor Tom Kuspa (Mr. Ballons) work his magic.....

Ale and I fired up the grill....(I was glad he barbeque's so well)....

And the party began about 2:00 pm.  Lisa's friend from Morse High School days, Stephanie...

... brought her four kids!  Seth, Cameron, Soriana, and Noah.  Don't you love the party ears I arranged for the birthday girl in the shot above?

A few girlfriends Veronica,  Eli and her sister Sarah came to help celebrate.  Veronica worked with Lisa at Nicolosis for a while.  Veronica is on the right here.

Lisa's party was also our chance to meet her fiance's family the Villegas clan.  Ray introduced us to his father Jesse, mother Nora, and we had met his sister Rita before.  They are very gracious and Jeanne and I enjoyed getting to know them a little better.  Gave my mom Kate a chance to meet as well!

After lunch the kids moved in for my favorite animated movie:  "Surf's Up"  duh!

Later we gathered in the living room for...                                   (Eli, Sarah, Kate)


and presents...

Happy Birthday from your whole family Lisa!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Friend Steve - A Birthday Update

His real name isn't Steve, but he IS a real friend, and a great blessing in life to me.  His real name is Charles, but he has never used that name.  Just doesn't care for it all that much.  Steve comes from the middle name, and he has always been "Steve" to all who know him.  And many have had the pleasure over the years.  Steve is fun and really smart and generous and devout in a really pleasing way, and humble.  Alas, he is also OLD now.  Yep,  just turned 60.  Here he is with his new best friend Karen who engineered a wonderful party at their new home in Carlsbad.  Most of you know Steve married Karen not that long ago.  You can see the love in this picture and they deserve each other!

Well if you're gonna be 60, take these two as an example of how to do it.  Such grace and style!  There were wonderful hors d'oerves, beer, wine and guests.  We also got a tour of the new digs while some others were arriving.

Dinner was delicious fish, veges, (right down Steve's dietary alley) and much more. 

Then there was time for fun and visiting to catch up with some of the friends I had not seen since the wedding.

Steve's sweet sister Kathleen attended of course. Here she explains survival of Steve's formative years I think.

Having been a part of his formative years myself I understand and have a great fondness for her.  Steve and I met in 10th grade as we were seated (alphabetically) next to each other in Chemistry at Clairemont High School in (gulp) 1966.  He was my first lab partner, and a great stimulus to finish Mr. McKinney's stoichiometry balancing equations for extra credit.  His influence payed off in later years as I became a staff microbiologist at UCSD Medical Center Laboratory post college.  I love Steve's input at Bible study on Thursday night when he comments on scripture, and his walk with our Lord as he has experienced it.  We also share a great love of music and play worship together on guitars.  But that is another post.....  Happy Birthday ole friend!  May there be many more.