New Tires

Got new tires from Discount Tire Company for my truck today. Instead of waiting at the place, Jennifer picked me up and I went and test drove the Toyota Sequoia. Much nicer than the Honda Pilot that I test drove the other day. The Sequoia drove much more like my Blazer, but with a little better acceleration, more like our Camry. I liked it and hopefully we can get one before the end of the year for our trip to Texas.

Tonight, Jennifer went out to eat to The Cheesecake Factory with a bunch of the wives from work. She had a pretty good time visiting and getting away from the kids for a while.

Today’s picture is from when we picked up Marci from the airport the other day. There is a fountain inside the airport and Emily was mesmerized by the water.

Jak II Completed

This morning Jennifer went to a meeting at church about Sunday coffee and whether or not we are ever going to get help serving or not. Afterwards, she went and test drove a Toyota Sequoia.

Once the girls got up from their nap, we headed to Wal-Mart to get new tires for my truck. Since we are going to be trading in my truck soon, we decided to get some cheap tires since the ones that are on there now are nearly completely bald. However, Wal-Mart was out of tires that fit my truck. Oh well. I’m going to try Discount Tire Company tomorrow. After Wal-Mart we went shopping at the mall.

During the girls’ nap I finished playing Jak II. It was a fairly good game. I just get the feeling that it suffered from an identity crisis. While it’s predecessor was a pure platformer. Jak II tried to be more that it really was. There were so many different types of games that it got a little frustrating. There was a racing mini-game, you would ferry people around in floating cars, you had weapons to shoot enemies, and even a whack-a-mole type mini-game. Only about 50% of the game was an actual platformer. Another frustrating part of the game was that you would have to move around the city in order to get from one mission to another. This seemed a little excessive. It sounds like I didn’t like the game, but I did. The story was good and I can’t wait for Jak 3 to come out and to continue the story.

For my next game I decided to get away from the platform and console games and go with a first-person shooter (FPS) on the PC. I haven’t played an FPS since Return to Castle Wolfenstein and I haven’t been able to play one at home for a long time because I haven’t had a computer powerful enough to play. Now that I have my new laptop, it was time to get a game to take it for a test drive. Looking at Game Informer magazine I decided to go with Unreal Tournament 2004. So far it’s pretty fun. I got online and took on some people in a capture the flag game. I figured I would suck, but I was able to hold my own.

Today’s picture is from the trip to the beach. Abby is flying the kite all on her own.

Sand It Down and Stain It

The day started off with me and Abby taking Aunt Marci to the airport. She called us later to tell us she had arrived back in Dallas safely.

When I got home, Jennifer went off to ProSource to get some samples of different types of flooring. When she got back we had received a check from State Farm for the repairs. At this point we don’t think that that is going to be enough to repair the floors to our satisfaction. State Farm wants us to hire someone to install the new floor, sand it down, and stain it so that it matches the old floor. It just seems like it’s going to be quite hard to get a new floor to look like the existing floor. Jennifer called around to various places to see if this process was even possible. We are going to get some estimate from a few contracters at the beginning of next week to see what they say.

To keep Jennifer’s mind off of the floor situation, we went car shopping after dinner. We test drove the Honda Pilot. I wasn’t all that impressed. It wasn’t big enough for our needs and it just seemed a little cheap, like an econmy SUV. We still have to pay off our Toyota Camry before we can get a new car, but we would really like to get it before we make the big Christmas drive back to Texas. We’ll see.

Today’s picture is of the kite that we flew on yesterday’s visit to the beach.

Night On the Town

The morning started out with a trip to New Smyrna Beach with Aunt Marci. We all packed into the car early and we were there by 10:00. While we were there, we flew a kite. Today’s picture is of me helping Emily keep a hold of the kite. We all had fun sitting near the shore and letting the waves crash over us. Near the end, Abby and I went deep into the water and jumped in the waves together.

When we got back, Jennifer and I got ready for our night on the town. We took Marci up on her offer to watch the kids while we went out. We went to eat at Fleming’s Steak House in Winter Park. It was very good and very expensive. It’s one of those places where the steak is so good it melts in your mouth. We had a four course meal with a cheese tray as a appetizer, salad, steak with baked potato, and “Chocolate Lava” for desert. It was all very good and we were busting at the seams by the time we were done. It’s nice to sit and have a dinner which lasted for an hour an half without having the kids under foot. After dinner, we went to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre and saw the musical Cats. I had seen it 14 years ago back in college, but Jennifer had never seen it. My big beef about Cats has always been that it doesn’t have a plot. It’s just a collection of songs about cats. We enjoyed the night out, but both of us just couldn’t get into Cats. Perhaps it’s because we are “dog people”.

The Matching of the Floor

We didn’t do much today. It was a day of rest before we go to the beach tomorrow. In the morning we went to Winter Park and showed Marci where we attend church and then we went shopping along Park Avenue.

The water extraction guy showed up early in the morning to check how the floor drying was going. It was still wet directly underneath the air conditioner so he left most of his equipment and concentrated some of the blowers to the wet spot. In the afternoon the claims adjuster from State Farm showed up. He said that they were going to pay to redo the flooring in the hallway under the air conditioner and the kitchen. The problem with this is that with new wood in the kitchen, there will probably be a seam that would be visible between the kitchen and the living room. The claims adjuster said that if we have trouble matching up the new wood floor, that we should contact him. Jennifer went to ProSource and the guy there said that we would definitely have trouble matching the floor, so Jennifer is currently working on getting a quote together from ProSource to go ahead and do the entire floor over.

Today’s picture is of Abby sliding down one of the water slides from yesterday’s trip to “Mickey’s Water”.

Mickey’s Water with Aunt Marci

Today we left Emily at a friend’s house and Jennifer, Marci, Abby, and myself went to Blizzard Beach, also known as “Mickey’s Water” to Abby. We all had fun and are very tired from being there all day. The only place I got sun burned was the tops of my feet. Of all the places to forget to put sun screen. Abby did a very good job waiting in line. For anyone who knows her, she usually isn’t very good standing still for long periods of time. We were waiting in a very long line for a giant slide in a family sized inner tube, when the ride broke down right as we were about to get on. Abby was a trooper and waited diligently. Before long we were sailing down the giant slide. Today’s picture was taken at the end of that ride by the people in the park waiting to snap your picture.

NFL Free Agent Once Again

What is Ricky Williams thinking? I figured I had several more years as a Dolphins fan before I would be moving on to another player from the University of Texas. However, Ricky dropped a bombshell on the NFL today by announcing his retirement. As a result, I am once again an NFL team free agent. For those of you who do not know the reason behind me being a Miami Dolphins fan, the only reason is Ricky Williams. Originally, I was a Houston Oilers fan. I grew up in Houston and we would go to games in the Astrodome back in the “Love ‘Ya Blue” days of Earl Campbell and Dan Pastorini. Well, in 1997 the Oilers picked up shop and moved to Tennessee to eventually become the Titans. From that point I became an NFL team free agent. I went back to my University of Texas roots and followed a player up from the team to start their NFL career. It happened that that player was Ricky Williams. I had season tickets the year he broke the single season college rushing record and saw him break it on the last game of the season against Texas A&M. The idea was that I would follow a UT alumni for their NFL career and then, when they retired, I would go back to UT and follow another kid as they left UT and entered the NFL draft. To my surprise that is going to start all over again today only five short years since it began with Ricky Williams. So, for this year I will have no NFL team that I will root for. I will be watching UT games with more attention trying to pick out the player I will follow next. I contemplated becoming a Detroit Lions fan and following Roy Williams who just graduated last year, but I like taking a year off. Today’s picture is from a preseason game that I went to in Jacksonville to see the Dolphins play.

On family related news, Aunt Marci made into town fine. We picked her up from the airport today and I showed her where I worked. She was impressed with Tiburon’s building. She stated that it must be a fun place to work.

The water extraction guys came back to take a look at how well the floor and walls are drying. They are still a little damp and the fans are still here blowing away. The Chinese water torture continues.

Happy Birthday To Me

Today was my 32nd birthday. We didn’t do much today. We mainly cleaned the house for Aunt Marci’s arrival. Jennifer and Abby made me a football cake. It was Abby’s idea for the cake to be shaped like a football. This day in history: 20 years ago I got my first computer for my birthday, a Commodore 64. Ironically I also received my first Electronic Arts game: Bill Budge’s Pinball Construction Set.

Abby went to one of the neighbor’s birthday party today. They were supposed to dress up as pirates, but Abby dressed up as a princess.

The fans drying the kitchen are driving us crazy because they are so loud. We’ve resorted to watching TV upstairs just to escape the constant noise. Today I equated it to Chinese water torture.

A Wind Tunnel

The air condition repair guy arrived and notified us that the condensation drain pipe was clogged and that’s why it was leaking. The same thing happed to us in our house back in Round Rock, but fortunately we noticed that the drip pan was too full before it started spilling out. This air conditioner doesn’t even look like it has a drip pan. Anyway, he cleaned it out and suggested we put an ounce of bleach in the drain pipe every time we change the air filter.

The water extraction company arrived and placed three blowers and a huge dehumidifier in the kitchen. Needless to say it sounds like a wind tunnel in our kitchen. They are going to come and pick up their equipment on Sunday right after my Aunt Marci arrives. So, at least we won’t have to listen to that for Aunt Marci’s entire trip. The wood floor is looking a little warped and the base boards definitely need to be replaced. The claims adjuster for the insurance is coming out on Tuesday to evaluate what can be done to fix it.

Today’s picture is of one of the fans and the dehumidifier that are currently standing in our kitchen.

Leaky Air Conditioner

Found out today that our air conditioner is leaking water into the house. I was walking through the kitchen and all of a sudden I heard, “squish, squish, squish”. Our first thought was the fridge, but we pulled it back and it was dry. We opened up the air conditioner and condensation was everywhere. It’s dripped down and is now underneath the hardwood floor in the kitchen. We went and got a fan from Home Depot and it’s blowing on it trying to get it as dry as possible. We called the insurance company and they got us in contact with an air conditioning company and a water extraction company. Both are coming tomorrow.

I’m amazed how fast Emily is growing up. We were outside hanging out with our neighbors and Emily hopped right up on one of the neighbor kid’s tricycle and just started pedaling. Her small legs didn’t quite reach the pedals so she pretty much went forward then backward. I was amazed that she knew that the pedals was how you made the tricycle go forward. She’s also amazed us lately because she’s such a neat freak. She picks up everything. Everyday last week when Jennifer went to pick her up from Vacation Bible School, she would pick up all the toys that she was playing with and put them back where she got them. She’s always picking up after herself. We need her to teach her older sister. Today’s picture is from the Texas trip. Emily is playing goalie during a soccer game between her and Abby.