6-24-17 Saturday (I Will Call You George)

Hello there.  I don’t have much to report (I always say that and then it becomes my longest post to date).  Let’s see. 

It was my birthday yesterday (thank you, thank you).  So at work, my boss lady, Kathleen, gave me this:

2017-06-23 003

It’s cute so that’s why I took a pic of it.  It has candy in the bottom glass (she knows me).  I should remove this from my post and totally regift down the road.  BUT it’s too cute to do that.  I probably sounded like a Valley Girl when I said “too cute” so maybe restate that as “It’s cool” (voice deepens). 

Later in the day, the management team from my current project presented me with a Publix cake (yum), some coupons (joke… I think), a card and a dinosaur egg archeological dig thingy. 

2017-06-23 004

Yes, I worked on it while at work:


It wasn’t easy either!

FB_IMG_1498247279567Above:It’s a boy.  I named him George

Later that evening, Jessica, Cole, Ashley and Marc came over to celebrate my birthday with even more cake.  It was a great day!  We had this visitor:

eastern eyed click beetle

No, those aren’t really eyes.  Ashley posted it to Facebook to ask what the heck it was.  It’s an eastern eyed click beetle.  Jim put it over the fence and we assume it lived another day. 

In other news, we sold our Jeep today.  Here’s Jim and the new owner hooking it up to his pickup to tow back to Virginia.

2017-06-24 012

It was a 2000 Cherokee, with 127k miles on it.  We bought it in 2008 with 71k on it to town behind our motorhome.

2008-08-19 LJ Jeep

2008-09-24 WY Buffalo Bill Dam 2

2008-11-17 UT Bonneville 19

It was strange to sell it.  It had been to a variety of places including Colorado’s Pike’s Peak and Spago of Beverly Hills.  (Click here to see our Spago post).  It’s been everywhere we went.  We don’t need it.  I’ve been pushing Jim for several years to T Let It Go, Let It Go T but he held on.  Now that we have the 4 wheel drive Santa Fe, he feels more comfortable about having something that can handle the few inches of snow we get once a year (if that).  Sigh.  Now we’ll save on maintenance, state inspections, registration, and insurance. 

The cool part though is that the new owner and his wife bought a 97 Monaco motorhome and will be pulling the Jeep behind it to do pretty much the same thing we did.  The benefit for him though is he’s retired.  I was so excited for him.  I hope they’ll blog about their travels.  They’ve made, as he put it, several maiden voyages, to try things out.

How am I doing on time?

2017-06-24 009

OK, OK.  2 more photos:

2017-06-20 001Above: Backyard Bunny.

2017-06-23 002Above: Yeah, prestige is the first word I think of when I see this car.

Here’s a close-up on some of the finer details.

2017-06-23 002

2017-06-23 002

6-14-17 Wednesday (Fraiming Carolyn)

First let me show you a few of the pride panels that were done at work.  I mentioned them in a previous post.  You can click on the link in the previous sentence (I’m thoughtful like that) if you don’t know what I’m talking about.  Don’t expect the rest of us to wait though.  We have things to do. 

My team was my boss, Kathleen, Unit Leads Carolyn and Leigh-Anne.  My brain storming accomplice of the group was Carolyn:


Here’s what we all worked on:

2017-06-09 040

These next 2 are actually my favorites.  There’s a contest and I’m pretty sure one of the two will win:

2017-06-09 041

2017-06-09 032

Honorable mentions:

2017-06-09 039

2017-06-09 028_LI

2017-06-09 029

2017-06-09 030

2017-06-09 031

2017-06-09 034

2017-06-09 037

2017-06-09 038

Enough of that.  Here’s that link to the Hawaii photos I promised:  Facebook photos.  The link will take you to Facebook but you don’t need to log in nor have an account to view the photos.

And finally, here’s a couple of photos I had laying around, waiting to be shared.

2017-04-21 021Above: Very professional.  Please note the spelling of “framing”.

2016-10-08 002Above: That’s a bad typo to have.

That’s all I got…

5-17-17 Thru 5-19-17 (More Vacation Left Overs)

I’m a bad blogger.  I just realized that I never finished blogging about our Hawaiian trip.  Yeah, I finished about Hawaii itself but didn’t finish about Vancouver.   Here it goes: Jim used our introductory Hilton credit card points to stay at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown in an area known as Burnby.  It was an nice hotel within 2 blocks from a very large mall.  The only problem with the area is it wasn’t in the true heart of Vancouver’s downtown so we didn’t get the benefit of all the cool restaurants within walking distance.  This particular hotel was in a Chinatown or at least a very Asian area.  Almost every non-mall restaurant was Asian cuisine. 

2017-05-18 014Above: View from the hotel room

We didn’t do very much while here.  We were still in Sloth mode from the cruise.  We did go to Stanley Park  to see the views and the nature trails/paths. 

Views from the park:

2017-05-17 007

2017-05-17 008

2017-05-17 009

2017-05-17 010

A couple of critters we encountered on the paths:

2017-05-17 011

2017-05-17 012

A strange art installation somewhere in Vancouver.  I later looked it up on Google.

2017-05-18 013Above: “Trans Am Totem

2017-05-19 015Above: Our awesome return flight First Class dinner.  Look at those cute little salt/pepper shakers.  The flight attendant told us it was all a brand new design and this was the first flight she had ever seen it.

The End

6-8-17 Thursday (Arts & Crafts)

So what’s new with me?   Not much really.  While I was in Hawaii, some stuff happened at work.  Our workforce became slimmer.  I’m so sad, although it was inevitable I suppose.  Some did get placed into new positions already so that’s promising.  My ex-boss, Dana, who I consider a wonderful friend, was one of the casualties.  She had an infectious laugh (she was always giggling) and was upbeat and positive.  I’m going to miss her but fortunately we’ll stay in touch.  There’s still life after work.

After we returned from Hawaii, on the following weekend, we enjoyed the 3 days for Memorial Day.  I mean, we really needed the time off.

fm3Most recently, I returned from a long weekend in Fort Myers, FL.  Mom’s health hasn’t really cooperated with her to travel to me.  She’s having a hard time with getting fully into dialysis.  It would seem she has one issue after another with her dialysis catheter.  That’s another story.  Anyway, I worked a half day Thursday (6/1) and returned on Monday afternoon.  Just me.  Jim and I typically travel to Fort Myers separately.   It’s just easier so we don’t have to worry about CJ.  Another advantage is that I can focus on my family and he can focus on his.  Besides, we see his family more often than mine.  His lives in or travels to Georgia where we’ll usually rendezvous for a visit.

I like to stay in a hotel when I visit.  My parents don’t really have the room for me and although my cousin, Carissa, does and offers every time, I just prefer to stay in a hotel.  It feels more like a vacation.  I can come and go as I please.  I go to sleep and wake on my schedule, not someone else’s.  There’s a pool and/or hot tub, which I typically don’t use.

HI mapI still haven’t uploaded the Hawaii pictures to Facebook.  It’s time consuming.  I want to clear out dupes and label the photos.  I typically take multiple photos of the same thing except that I like to pick the best one out of the bunch.  No one wants to look at the same photo (including me) with just an ever-so-slightly different angle or something.  Or so many people post a blurry photo and then the same thing only clear.  That drives me a little nuts.  When I do get them all done, I’ll post a link to the album.  Facebook allows using their site for photo sharing even if others don’t have a Facebook account.  It’s an actual option within the album to share a public link.  Did you know that?  Well, as GI Joe said, knowing is half the battle.  That comment is funnier if you watched the 80’s cartoon.  You know, when cartoons and TV in general did PSA’s to help build the moral compass.

heartJune is Gay Pride month (I think it’s been renamed to Pride Month so as not to leave anyone out).  I’ve been working on different things for work.  Teams were given supplies (tissue paper, crayons, markers, poster board, streamers, colored paper, tape, glue stick, etc) and challenged to use only those supplies to create a panel “showing your support of Inclusion and Diversity”.  There were some amazing panels.  I was paired with my project’s leaders.  The 4 of us collaborated and made it happen.  I did a lot of the grunt work (I probably have the least work to do as our project winds down).  We’ll also be having a small social that all employees can come to and grab a snack.  My company does something like this each month for special groups/clubs we have.  We have one for military, women, etc.

OK, a couple of more things on this topic.  HRC (Human Rights Campaign) has a list of where your state stands on certain topics/laws.  Visit the site, scroll down about half way and you’ll see a section that says “See what’s happening in your state”.  Select your state.  The page will change.  About half way down is this section:

HRC state support

And one more.  Here’s a list of some companies who are publicly supporting LGBTQ equality.  If they’re not on the list, I don’t think it means they’re haters.  It’s not just names but rather, social media posts of short videos, animated GIFs or just a simple photo.  There’s some good ones!  I’m proud to say my company is listed there!


5-12-17 Friday to 5-19-17 Friday (Hawaiian Vacation Remainder)

At this point, the rest of the vacation was slow going.  5/12 to 5/16 we were at sea.  5/17 and 5/18 we were in Vancouver.  This particular entry is a hodge-podge of left over info, pictures, etc

slothSo what’d we do at sea?  Well… we became sloths.  We slept many many many hours.  Too many to fess up to without being very embarrassed.  Most of the time, we missed breakfast, got up for lunch, and in some cases took a nap between lunch and dinner.  We had a long multi-course dinner, sometimes saw a show and then drank with friends at the Martini Bar.  We had an alcohol package.  What can I say? 

We frequented that Martini Bar with a group of friends we made during dinners or excursions.  Our friends were, straight, gay, young, old, Canadian, Australian… it was quite a mix of people.

Martini Bar…

2017-05-13 230

They had many martinis, this was just a sample menu they offered:

2017-05-13 233

More evidence:

2017-05-14 256

2017-05-14 253

Our favorite Martini Bartender, John from Romania:

2017-05-13 236

2017-05-16 003

One night they had a great silent disco party.  For whatever reason, they had it in the Martini Bar.  Anyway, it was fun.  If you’ve never heard of it:

People dance to music listened to on wireless headphones. Rather than using a speaker system, music is broadcast via a radio transmitter with the signal being picked up by wireless headphone receivers worn by the participants. Those without the headphones hear no music, giving the effect of a room full of people dancing to nothing.

In the earliest days of silent discos, before 2005, there would be only one channel available to listen to music through. Over time, the technology moved along to where there were two, and later technology allowed for a third channel that three separate DJs could broadcast over at the same time.

Our silent disco’s headphones had 3 channels.  Depending on which channel you switched your headphones to would make them light up a specific color coordinated to the music type.  There was current music, 70’s and 80’s rock… I think.  The most interesting thing was tuning into the current dance music tracks, noticing the blue color and then looking around at who else is listening to that channel.  It was amusing at how many old-er people were listening to it.

Take a look:

One night, a couple of guys with bags came to the bar and started making everyone balloon items.  They didn’t work for the cruise line.  It was funny:

2017-05-15 268

2017-05-15 270

Curious about some of the menus?  Dinner:

2017-05-16 002

2017-05-14 240


2017-05-14 239

One of the many desserts we ate.  I just thought this one was pretty and worthy of a photo.  Meet Baked Alaska:

2017-05-15 001

Here’s a price list to have laundry done onboard.  There’s no public facility.  Check out the price for a pair of socks!

2017-05-12 225

If you’re curious, here’s a copy of the daily newsletter they leave in the cabin each day.

2017-05-15 Celebrity Today Page 1

2017-05-15 Celebrity Today Page 2

2017-05-15 Celebrity Today Page 3

2017-05-15 Celebrity Today Page 4

If you haven’t already figured it out, we loved this vacation.  It was amazing.  Best part of it?  The Shaka GPS driving tour. 

We’d like to go back sans the cruise.  We love cruises as evident by the fact this was our ninth.  The problem for us, was we need more time in ports.  We had plenty of time on Oahu/Honolulu because we stayed in a hotel for a few days and also the ship stayed in the port overnight.  Maybe next time, we do a cruise that stays in each port longer or just spent a week on 1 or 2 islands.  I’m thinking no cruise though.  We’d definitely rent a car and explore.  Maybe we’d take some tours too.  There’s many waterfalls we wouldn’t have seen without a tour company. 

I’ll probably have 1-2 more posts about the trip.  I’ll tell you about Vancouver soon.