On A Break From Vacationing

The New House

Well, we made it back to Rich­mond late last night and were safe­ly back at our jobs today. What was sup­posed to be a relax­ing trip to Ten­nessee to help sort through some of Ange­la’s old things turned out to be a full on mov­ing expe­ri­ence! We got most all of her par­ents’ things from the old house to the new one, though. This was in no small part due to the help of friends and fam­i­ly who came over to lend a lot of help. Jason John­son and Kevin O’Mara earned more thanks than all of us could ever give them by show­ing up on very short notice and work­ing very hard with­out com­plaint to move a lot of fur­ni­ture. My mom and younger broth­er also spared some of their respec­tive days off to come and lend a hand. Just know­ing that you have peo­ple in your life that will help out like that real­ly makes you real­ize how lucky you are. I know you heard it so much you prob­a­bly thought it was a skip­ping record, but I just want to put in writ­ing for all the inter­net to know: thank you all so much for your help. It meant so much to me, Angela, and my in-laws for you to put in hours of labor for us.

I learned some­thing new about my wife that I hon­est­ly either did­n’t know or just had­n’t been able to grasp what it meant until now. She owned more stuffed ani­mals than a car­ni­val ball toss booth. She was­n’t the kind of girl in col­lege that kept them out on her bed dur­ing the day or any­thing, thank good­ness. No, they had been hid­den like Al Capone’s loot in the back of a nev­er opened and thor­ough­ly filled clos­et since she was a lit­tle girl. Upon round­ing the cor­ner one morn­ing while car­ry­ing box­es, I saw what hon­est­ly made my draw drop: shelves from floor to ceil­ing of stuffed ani­mals. There were Care Bears, My Lit­tle Pony, Cab­bage Patch Dolls and Pound Pup­pies. She even had a stuffed Pac Man (although appar­ent­ly my wife had com­plete­ly for­got­ten the waka-waka Pac Man sound effect as she clear­ly demon­strat­ed to me…). It was amaz­ing. Sad­ly, no real pho­to­graph­ic evi­dence was made of just how much stuff was stuffed on those shelves since there was too much sweat­ing and curs­ing going on at the moment to make me want to find the cam­era. How­ev­er, it was real­ly an amaz­ing sight.

While I had real­ly hoped to get a lot more done at the new house in the way of light­ing, fix­tures, and arrang­ing, most of the time in Cookeville was spent just haul­ing stuff. Dave and I did man­age to get at least one ceil­ing fan installed in a guest bed­room (which will be known as the Angela suite for now on), but not with­out some trou­ble. We quick­ly got the old light fix­ture down and the new one up in it’s place, but in my haste I did­n’t do a very good job of pro­vid­ing a sol­id wiring con­nec­tion. In the process of get­ting the fan in place, one or both of the wires came loose and the fan of course then could­n’t work on an open cir­cuit. Grum­bling, Dave and I took it down and I got a good, sound con­nec­tion at both wires. Hop­ing to be sure that this was just my poor wiring skills and not some sort of more dif­fi­cult prob­lem with wiring else­where or the fan itself, I decid­ed to test the fan before actu­al­ly get­ting every­thing put back togeth­er. There’s a rea­son that step is left out of the instruc­tions. While the fan was hang­ing by the tem­po­rary hook which allows for some work­ing room to con­nect wires, I flipped the switch. Well, an un-weight­ed fan gets to top speed very quick­ly and the mass of the fan motor pull the hook off of the ceil­ing mount in an instant. The motor weighed enough to pull itself free of even my now very sub­stan­tial wire splice and came speed­ing straight down onto the bed below. While a very old mat­tress, there was plen­ty of bounce to pop the motor back up into the air and off of the bed onto the (very) hard­wood floor below. The fan was mov­ing a fair­ly good clip and the del­i­cate brass met­al and plas­tic relays stood lit­tle chance of sur­viv­ing impact. In front of my broth­er and mom and in the span of about a sec­ond I went from tri­umphant elec­tri­cal prob­lem solver to a rather embar­rassed broth­er, son, hus­band, and engi­neer. After a fair­ly short silence, Dav­e’s roar­ing laugh­ter made us all feel a lit­tle bit bet­ter about just how hilar­i­ous what we had just watched was.

We quick­ly went over to Lowe’s and bought an iden­ti­cal fan and had the sec­ond up and work­ing in less than ten min­utes after get­ting back to the house. The les­son here: just wire it right in the first place and don’t try and test things in what are obvi­ous­ly stu­pid ways. Wait, that’s not even a les­son; that’s just plain com­mon sense. Some­thing that I would real­ly regret hav­ing mis­placed that after­noon were it not for just how real­ly enter­tain­ing it was to watch that fan motor take flight.

The bad news after this trip, oth­er than just how tired and sore Angela and I both are, was that we did­n’t get to see my big broth­er or my Dad and his wife, Susan, at all. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there just was­n’t time for us to get to do a lot of the things we real­ly want­ed to dur­ing this trip because what had to be done took a lot of time. Any­way, we’ll have all that much more to enjoy come the Christ­mas hol­i­day sea­son and it sure was good to have the Dyers moved. I know their going to enjoy their new home and we’ll enjoy get­ting to visit.

On The Move

Well, first, I hon­est­ly feel like I owe the world an apol­o­gy for not writ­ing more. It has been insane­ly busy the past week at work for a vari­ety of rea­sons I’m not going to go into, main­ly becuase I’m not at work now and I don’t want to think about it. I’ve got some free time and I’m going to spend it writ­ing about oth­er things.

Last week­end, Angela and I took a short trip to Nag’s Head, NC to spend with some friends of ours. We left after our long run on Sat­ur­day morn­ing and it was an insane­ly long dri­ve to get over there for some rea­son, but gave us a chance to see how we liked our Escape on some longer trips. Well, we could­n’t be hap­pi­er. The beach was fun, although I did man­age to lose two pairs of sun­glass­es in as many days. This was due part­ly to the fact that I can’t seem to learn that wear­ing sun­glass­es in the ocean might be a bad idea and also the fact that the Atlantic was being par­tic­u­lar­ly chop­ping and fero­cious that week­end. Odd­ly enough, I man­aged to hang onto them even when I fell off of Ross’s Hon­da water­craft twice in a row.

Sun­day was a fren­zied dri­ve back to Rich­mond to make it just in time to pick the dogs up from dog­gie Sum­mer Camp at Hol­i­day Barn (yes, there real­ly is such a thing and yes we paid $30 for them to get to play in activ­i­ties with oth­er dogs). It’s always nice to get away for the week­end, but of course we were exhaust­ed on Mon­day morn­ing. Turns out, this was a bad week to be exhaust­ed for (I know I said above I was­n’t going to get into it, but breifly&hellip). My office man­ag­er (and the Rich­mond branch’s head struc­tur­al engi­neer) was on vaca­tion all week and when there’s only three of us engi­neers, it increas­es the work load of the oth­ers when one of us takes off. Noth­ing wrong with that, it’s just the way things are when you work for a small com­pa­ny. That cou­pled with a few unex­pect­ed project-relat­ed supris­es this week made for some fran­tic days. Any­way, I had worked enough extra I was able to leave ear­ly yes­ter­day to begin our trip for this weekend.

Last night we drove down to Cookeville, TN to help Ange­la’s par­ents move across town to a small­er one-sto­ry house just north of TTU. We just came back from check­ing the home out and meet­ing the neigh­bors (who hap­pen to be some old fam­i­ly friends of the Dyer’s), and it’s real­ly ter­riff­ic. Now the rea­son we’re here is so that Angela can go through all her old things and decide what needs to go back to Rich­mond, what goes to the new house, and what gets tossed out. I’m favor­ing the last option for most items, but it’s not my call. Any­way, we’re also here for some mus­cle, and I’d like to put out a APB to all our friends here in town for some help in that man­ner. In return, you’ll recieve some beer, din­ner, and the love and ado­ra­tion of us. Who could ever need more?

Oh, also, Angela and I are still on our train­ing sched­ule and we’re plan­ning a 10-mil­er for Sun­day morn­ing. We’ll start out at Der­ry­ber­ry Hall at 7:30 am if any of you fast-foot­ed folks are inter­est­ed in going the dis­tance (or even just 3 miles of it) with us. We’ve planned a nice route that will pro­vide some good hills, but also three nice lit­tle breaks for sports drinks and snacks (yes, we run like it’s a par­ty). Any­way, we’d love to have any­one who’s inter­est­ed come out for a good run (rain or shine). We’ll be run­ning only about an aver­age pace of around 12:00 min./ mile, so you’ll have no excus­es for not being able to keep up.

Oth­er­wise, we’ll be in town through Tues­day morn­ing. We’d also like to go out Sun­day evening (ten­ta­tive­ly) for my 30th, if any­one’s up for that. We prob­a­bly par­ty more dur­ing runs than when we cel­e­brate birth­days, so don’t expect any­thing too wild. We’d real­ly just like an excuse to spend time with our friends and fam­i­ly, even if means lift­ing our feet for run­ning, lift­ing fur­ni­ture to move our par­ents, or lift­ing a beer for my 30th.

Macaca? Mohawk? Here’s the Big Hairy Deal

This week, after Sen. George Allen called his oppo­nen­t’s staffer Maca­ca, a con­tro­ver­sy brewed. What does the word mean? Is it demean­ing? Or worse yet — French? But amid the apol­o­gy and recrim­i­na­tions, a mys­tery has emerged regard­ing coiffure.

This week, after Sen. George Allen called his oppo­nen­t’s staffer Maca­ca, a con­tro­ver­sy brewed. What does the word mean? Is it demean­ing? Or worse yet — French? But amid the apol­o­gy and recrim­i­na­tions, a mys­tery has emerged regard­ing coiffure.

Amazon.com — Pioneering Click to Download

Hav­ing taught the world how to shop online, Amazon.com now finds the world shop­ping else­where on the inter­net. It is time to become a pio­neer again

Hav­ing taught the world how to shop online, Amazon.com now finds the world shop­ping else­where on the inter­net. It is time to become a pio­neer again

Atomic Hopper Shows Promise for Nano Switching

A sin­gle cobalt atom has been made to hop back and forth between two posi­tions in response to an elec­tric cur­rent by US researchers. The tech­nique could some day lead to the devel­op­ment of atom­ic switch­es for nanoscale devices.

A sin­gle cobalt atom has been made to hop back and forth between two posi­tions in response to an elec­tric cur­rent by US researchers. The tech­nique could some day lead to the devel­op­ment of atom­ic switch­es for nanoscale devices.

Russian Mathematics Genius Shuns the Spotlight

The world of math­e­mat­ics is in uproar over rumours that its most pres­ti­gious prize will be turned down next week by one of its bright­est stars.

The world of math­e­mat­ics is in uproar over rumours that its most pres­ti­gious prize will be turned down next week by one of its bright­est stars.

Runner to Take on 50 Marathons in 50 Days

This fall, 43-year-old long dis­tance run­ner [Dean Kar­nazes] will tack­le one marathon a day for 50 con­sec­u­tive days, run­ning a total 1,310 miles (2,108.2 km) in 50 days. And for each 26.2‑mile (42.2 km) race, Kar­nazes and his fam­i­ly of four will trav­el to a dif­fer­ent U.S. state.

This fall, 43-year-old long dis­tance run­ner [Dean Kar­nazes] will tack­le one marathon a day for 50 con­sec­u­tive days, run­ning a total 1,310 miles (2,108.2 km) in 50 days. And for each 26.2‑mile (42.2 km) race, Kar­nazes and his fam­i­ly of four will trav­el to a dif­fer­ent U.S. state.

Democrats’ Stock Is Rising on K Street

Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ing firms, trade asso­ci­a­tions and cor­po­rate offices are mov­ing to hire more well-con­nect­ed Democ­rats in response to ris­ing prospects that the oppo­si­tion par­ty will wrest con­trol of at least one cham­ber of Con­gress from Repub­li­cans in the Novem­ber elections.

Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ing firms, trade asso­ci­a­tions and cor­po­rate offices are mov­ing to hire more well-con­nect­ed Democ­rats in response to ris­ing prospects that the oppo­si­tion par­ty will wrest con­trol of at least one cham­ber of Con­gress from Repub­li­cans in the Novem­ber elections.