A Really Long 4th of July

On Tuesday, I headed overseas on a business trip to Frankfurt, Germany. I can’t tell the details of the reason for the trip, but we were heading over there for a potential new project and we had to meet with another video game developer. The trip was 12 hours of flying: 4 hours to New Jersey and then 8 hours to Frankfurt. This was the first time I had gone to Europe. The biggest thing I took away was that next time I’m going to do a little work learning a little bit of the language. Even though most people spoke a little English, it would have helped to know “Yes”, “No”, “Hello”, “Goodbye”, and number 1 – 10. The time difference between Houston and Frankfurt was seven hours. On the 4th of July, we woke up at 8:00 a.m. Frankfurt time, which is 1:00 a.m. Houston time and headed to the airport for the flight back. I saw sun light for 20 hours. It was a long flight and needless to say, I pretty much collapsed when I got home.

For the 4th of July Abby and Emily went with Jennifer’s mom over to Pearland High School where they had a carnival and fireworks show. They got temporary tattoos and sat on the football field and watched fireworks. They didn’t get home until 11:00 p.m. and needless to say I was already sleeping so I didn’t see them until the morning.

Team Building

Today TimeGate paid for the entire team I’m working on to go to Sweet Mesquite grill and then go see the movie The Bank Job. Sweet Mesquite is a typical Texas grill where you can get a variety of grilled food from hamburgers to BBQ-sandwiches. I had the bacon cheeseburger and fries. I had never eaten there, but it was really good. Afterwards, we went to see The Bank Job. An Brittish film about a couple of regular people who come together to rob a bank. I had never heard of the movie, but it ended up being pretty good. It started out slow, but picked up once the robbery took place. I recommend it.

Welcome and Now Get to Work


It’s been a while since I’ve written because I’ve been busy at work. I started on this new project right when they were trying to get a demo out to their publisher. So, I’ve been putting in a lot of hours in order to get that out the door. It’s been fine since the girls are all back in Orlando, but it gets tiring after a while. Well, we delivered it on Monday and today was the first time in a while that I got to go home at 6:00. (Yea!)

Last weekend Abby got her ears pierced. I guess she’s a “big girl” now. She’s very happy and has been very good about turning and cleaning the earring studs. She was really brave and they pierced both sides at once, which was a pretty good idea since she might not have wanted to do the second ear once the first ear was pierced.

One thing I’ve noticed since being away from the girls is that I’m getting more read. I just finished Stephen King’s Cell in just three weeks. This is something that would have normally taken me 2 – 3 months. It was actually a pretty good novel, which might have also been part of me reading it so fast.

One Week In

I made it safe to Houston and just finished my first week at TimeGate Studios. It’s a whole new game and a whole new company to get used to. A lot to take in over the last week. It funny how you don’t really know what it means to miss someone until you have to do it for a long period of time. I really miss Jennifer, Abby, Emily, and Isabelle. I will be flying back to see them in a few weeks, but the time can’t pass fast enough. I know this has been though on Jennifer. The three little terrors nipping at her heels while she has to try and keep the house cleaned up just in case that last minute house hunter wants to jump in and see. It’s hard to say “no” because you know that person who just drops right in might be the ticket that sells our house in Orlando and reunites us. Anyway, next time to see us wish us luck, because it’s only been a week and I don’t know how we are going to last very long.

On the Road

With the coming of a new job at TimeGate began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Today I hit the road back to Houston leaving behind Jennifer and the girls in Orlando. A man and his dog traveling the country side looking for a good cup of joe. Actually, me and Austin we were trying our fastest to get out of Florida and back to Texas. It was sad leaving everyone back in Orlando and I will miss them. Hopefully the house will sell soon for several reason beyond the obvious: being reunited with the family.

First, the house keeps breaking. No major breaks, just little annoyances, which keep digging me deeper in debt. We replaced the carpet and the blinds. Yesterday our kitchen faucet broke and we had to get a plumber out to install a new one. I tried to do it, but the connections were way up behind the sink and I couldn’t get the wrench to twist because of the tight quarters. At first we tried Roto Rooter, but once they got to our house and told us how much it was going to cost, Jennifer turned them away and called a local plumber. They fixed us up and it didn’t break the bank for something so simple.

Second, the neighbors are driving us crazy between our across the street neighbor, Jane, who pealed out backward from the bus stop today; and the old wind bag behind us who loves yelling at the girls telling them to be quiet. The Wind Bag decided to pay us a visit today to tell us what she thought of our kids. Now granted Emily can shriek at a pitch that can hit your spinal cord just right and make your eye twitch, but coming over to my house and complaining that the kids are too loud at 3:00 in the afternoon. What’s the home owners association going to do about that? Are they going to start advertising that our subdivision is not a family-friendly place to live? I doubt it. Wind Bag, go find a nice retirement community, there’s plenty of them. It’s Florida after all.

End to an ErA

While in Houston over the Christmas break, we made a family decision to go ahead and move back to Texas since we missed it so much. Since we both like Houston so much, I looked up the only game company I knew there, TimeGate Studios. It turned out that they had a position that fit me perfectly: part manager and part software engineer. After much debating with myself and encouragement from Jennifer, I put in my resume. The following week I flew in for an interview and liked what I saw. This past Wednesday, they made me an offer and I accepted. We are going to be moving back to Houston.

This left me with the unenviable task of informing the company I’ve worked for for the past seven years, EA-Tiburon, that I would be leaving, leaving in the middle of production. I didn’t get much sleep the night before, but like a Band Aid, I just went ahead and did it quick. They are all sad to see me go and I thank everyone at Tiburon for all being so understanding.

Tonight we told the girls. The only one who really was sad was Abby. She said that she was going to miss all of her friends, especially our next door neighbor. It was tough seeing her cry. I remember my mom and dad tell us when we were moving away from Houston when I was in the seventh grade. But, I think this is for the best. We’ve really missed being close to family over the past five years and we feel it’s time. I will continue to update Frenchville letting everyone know what’s going on during the big move back. The first step is getting the house sold and that starts tomorrow with a visit from a real estate agent.