2-16-13 Saturday (Giddy Up Grandma)

This weekend we went to Atlanta.  My brother-in-law hosted a family gathering to celebrate Grandma’s 80th birthday!  We left Charlotte Friday night after work and checked into a La Quinta in an Atlanta neighboring city, Douglasville.  It was nice hotel and offered free breakfast.  We scored it for $20-25 off retail via a Priceline that Jim won.  On Saturday early afternoon, he told everyone (15 adults, 5 kids) to hop in their cars and follow him for a surprise.  Not very far away from his house we arrived at Circle A Barn. It was a party for Grandma with pony rides and entertainment for the kids.  It was a lot of fun; Grandma enjoyed watching her great-grandkids running around and playing.  Many a photo was taken but I’ll spare you.

2013-02-16 009Above: The old chick in the center was the birthday gal.

2013-02-16 012Above: There she is.

2013-02-16 026Above: Me and Jim NOT on a pony.

2013-02-16 032Above: Grandma is a little thing… a great match for a pony.

G-2013-02-16 016Above: My nephew.  Yes, he is adorable.

What an awesome party idea.  The adults had as much fun as the kids.  It also supported a local business.  The 2 (I think) owners were very gracious. 

The weekend was spent hanging around and socializing.  It was fun and relaxing.  We left Sunday early afternoon right after lunch.  We don’t skip meals.  We made a pee-pee stop at a McDonald’s or something.  This bouquet was on the sink.  I give them credit for trying but we determined a representative of every season was in there.  I wouldn’t have thought to arrange them all together… of course I didn’t, I have more sense than that.

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Naturally we missed a few inches of snowfall in Charlotte while we were gone.  Most had melted, this was what was left.

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I have 2 more weeks left of training!  It’s very exciting.

1-11-13 Monday (Paved Paradise To Put Up A…)

We attended a community meeting about a greenway that is being planned for our immediate area.  When I say immediate, I mean immediate like in our backyard.  The “tree save” area we were told could never be built on is being built on.  So we humans can be more in touch with nature and such, we’re not going to bother putting sidewalks outside of our development where people constantly walk on the road.  We’re going to cut down a beautiful wooded area and install a 10 foot wide asphalt walking/biking/hiking path.  How lovely.

During the questions/answer portion a few people express concern, some expressed delight.  The ones who were happy probably weren’t going to have a greenway in their backyard.  Jim mentioned that and a couple of people said they were apprehensive at first but it’s been “so wonderful”.  Others spoke about how people/relatives they know that live on a greenway end up with things missing.  We just care about the wildlife and seeing trees and not people.  Now it’s like having a sidewalk in front of and in back of our house.  We’re going to consult a real estate attorney since we’ve found this has been in the works for a long time and it wasn’t disclosed to us during purchase.  There goes paradise…

EditedAbove: Clicking on image will open a larger version in another window.  The yellow/red star represents our house.

A reporter asked Jim if she could quote him in the paper.  I would have included a link but this article hasn’t been posted online:

Observer Jim 1 of 2

Observer Jim 2 of 2I had to cut off a few lines because the article was longer than my scanner.

I’m trying to catch up.  The next entry will be about Grandma’s 80th birthday party and how she rode a pony… 

2-4-13 Monday (Opps, Check Out My Llama)

There’s not been much happening in my world.  Training is going well.  We’re underwriting some files as a class so it’s been getting exciting.  We underwrite a file and then learn something new.  It’s a lot to absorb. 

My department will be moving into a newly refurnished complex at the end of the month.  We’ll spend 5 weeks of training where we are now and then the last week at the new place.  We took a tour of this facility and it was very impressive.  Currently I’m “across the street” from where I was as a phone banker.  That’s the place that has a Starbucks, Hershey’s, dry cleaners, eye doctor, etc.  The building I’m in has pretty much nothing.  The new place doesn’t have that many amenities but what it does have is done very well and is so much more modern and fresher.  It’s the old IBM campus.  I’ll be behind where I was working.  We’ll be in building 201.

Innovation 2

Here’s my week in pictures:

OppsAbove: From a website.  “Opps”.  Maybe it should be “Oops”.

2013-02-02 001Above: We were behind this lovely truck with this extra lovely mural.  What the hell?

2013-02-02 002Above: In someone’s front yard.  We had to u-turn for me to get a photo of this awesomeness.

2013-02-03 005Above: In a Walmart parking lot.  I posted this on Facebook and someone asked where his rickshaw was.  Oh and in case you were wondering, yes that’s a marijuana leaf on the hat.  I think the other side was a picture of Bob Marley.

2013-02-03 003Above:  Being so anal retentive, I downloaded the excursion lists for 2 cruises, printed them and put them into binders.  I downloaded a video off Amazon.  It said it was 2007 but it was painfully obvious that it was the late 80’s.  The video and narration was informative but severely lacked quality.  You could tell the age of the based on the cars they showed too.

2013-02-03 004Above: I’ve also been reading this.

There was a Royal Caribbean credit card advertised that give $100 onboard credit for getting the card. Needless to say, Jim and I both applied and received a card. That’s $200 (in case you needed help with the math).

On Monday we went through the excursions for each cruise.  We wanted to book at least one “big” excursion first and then work others in.  Here’s what we booked so far.

Dog Sledding Adventure by Helicopter(JU69)

Juneau, Alaska

This truly Alaskan adventure gives you the rare opportunity to mush your own dog sled team across a snow-capped glacier. Learn the tricks of the trade from seasoned veterans of the legendary Alaskan Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Master the all-important commands of Hike, Gee and Haw! Experience the unique thrill of zipping across a pristine glacier with a team of friendly huskies while enjoying the fresh mountain air and scenic vistas.

The exclusive dog sled camp is located on the picturesque middle branch of the Norris Glacier. On your way there, you will take a flightseeing trip over the vast Juneau Icefield.  Be amazed by the largest glacier on the Juneau Icefield – the advancing Taku Glacier. View spectacular icefalls, rock formations, and untamed wilderness. Accessible only by air, this region is filled with lush forests, glassy alpine lakes, jagged mountain peaks, and awe-inspiring glaciers.

Mush your own dog sled team across a snow-capped glacier! Learn tricks of the trade from seasoned veterans of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Experience the thrill of zipping across a glacier with a team of huskies at the dog sled camp located on the middle branch of the Norris Glacier. Fly over the Juneau Icefield viewing icefalls, rock formations, & untamed wilderness. This region is filled with forests, alpine lakes, mountain peaks, & awe-inspiring glaciers. Approx. 30 min. flight; 65 min. at the dogsled camp.


Jim’s car managed to develop a wiring issue at the headlight.  He removed the headlamp thinking it was a bulb issue and discovered the wiring connections all breaking apart.  Also the washer pump stopped working a few days before that.  That will be a project for a few days.

We dropped the Jeep off at Monro for it’s brake issues.  The manager seemed like he really doesn’t care.  I think they’re sick of it too.  I suspect little will be done since that company has such a low Better Business Bureau rating and never bother answering my complaint.  Jim wanted to pursue it again.