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February 27, 2006

February ending

Looking forward to the return of Spring. I have planted wildflowers in my greenhouse and will transplant them as soon as the danger of frost passes. I took my dive gear to big Bill's Saturday to have him check the gear out for the upcoming dive season. There is going to be a dive clinic at the Portsmouth Rec center this week and I hope to take my gear there and test it out in the pool. Next I hope to go to Lake Rawlings and do a couple of dives before I attempt my first ocean dive of the season. I am quite rusty as I have not had a dive for over a year now. I am really looking forward to a busy dive season and hope to be able to go to Florida for at least a few dives this summer. While we are down there we also hope to look at a few houses for sale as we are really anxious to buy our retirement home soon. On another note, my mother has been transferred from the hospital to a nursing home until she becomes strong enough to move back to her apartment. I visited her yesterday and she still looks pretty weak but her spirits appear strong.

Posted by Michael at 7:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2006

Trip to Nauticus

This Saturday we went to Nauticus in Norfolk. Nauticus is a National Maritime Center that explores the economic, naval, and natural power of the sea. Nauticus includes the Battleship Wisconsin, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and numerous other features. I could have spent the entire day there as there are many fascinating displays, but Kirk was not up to it so we left early. Teresa and I will have to go back again some day soon. This was the first time I have ever visited the Center in all the years I have lived in the area. Don't ask me why I have never visited before as I have been to every other attraction in the Hampton Roads area many times. The best part of the Center is the Battleship Wisconsin. If you have never been up close and personal with a battleship, you have no idea of the size and power that exudes from one of those monsters of the sea. I am including one of the pictures I took of the Wisconsin, which hopefully will give you some feel for the size of these ships. Earlier we had gone to Panera's for breakfast. On my last trip to the Washington, DC area I had eaten in a Panera's for the first time and was really taken with the quality of the food and drink they offer. If there is one in your area and you have never been before, you are really missing out on a great place. The weather service had been predicting snow for Saturday, but as usual they were completely wrong. All we got was a little rain instead of the 1-3 inch wintry mix we were supposed to get. Today it is sunny but very cold. The high temperature for the day so far was 32 degrees but as of 2pm the temperature has dropped to 28 degrees. Too cold to go outside and do much, hence here I am adding a new entry to my blog. On another topic, today marks the first day in a long time that I have gone to the gym. I used to go at least three times a week, but I got sick for two weeks and have not gone for many months. After today, I hope to get back into going regularly again. I really need to get back into shape as I need to lose at least 10 pounds for the scuba diving season which is coming up soon. That, and the fact that I am now 57 years old, I really need to try to keep in better shape.


bigguns.jpg

Posted by Michael at 3:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2006

Midweek ramblings

It is Tuesday night and I just finished listening to 'Brave Men Run' another podcast novel that I have been listening to. Between podcasts and Audible.com audio books, most of my commute to and from work is devoted to listening to my iPod. I don't think I have actually turned on the radio in my truck for months. There is nothing on the radio worth listening to anyway. When I have any spare time from listening to podcasts, I have been tinkering with VMWare's free virtual machine player. I have installed the player on my computer here at home and am running Ubuntu's 'Breezy Badger' linux distro. It acutally works pretty well. I am able to access a full-blown linux distro in a window on my destop while still having XP available for use. It is really pretty cool. I am also trying to install another wiki on my unix server. This wiki is called 'TWiki' and is a perl version of a wiki. I am having some technical issues with getting it configured but I think I will be able to eventually get it running. At work I have been familiarizing myself with Microsoft's InfoPath. It uses XML to create forms and my boss has expressed an interest in some of these new technologies like blogs, wiki's and XML. As if all that was not enough to fill my waking hours, I have started a seed bed with wildflowers so that I can have them ready to plant in the spring. I am also planning on starting a vegetable garden this spring. Oh, and did I mention that I need to get my scuba gear checked out and inspected for the upcoming diving season? I missed most of last year due to several things but I really want to get back into diving again. I really miss the fun and excitement of scuba diving.

Posted by Michael at 9:04 PM | Comments (0)

February 7, 2006

Envy

A good friend of mine, Bill Grant, has been sending me emails recently with links to Snapfish.

He has been posting photographs that he has been taking while in Florida. Bill retired from my former employer about two years ago. Bill and his wife Lena then bought a beautiful motor home, sold their main house and started traveling all over the United States. So far they have travelled to the Northeast and the Southwest and are now in Florida. They recently stopped by to visit with another friend of mine, Gloria Shields, who also recently retired from my former employer and is now living in Florida. The most recents links Bill has sent me are from the Emerald Coast and Panama City, Florida. As I am also an avid traveller, naturally I am somewhat envious of Bill's travel adventures. Bill called me last night and inquired as to where Teresa and I stayed on our last visit to Key West, Florida. I told him that we had stayed at the beautiful Casa Marina Resort for the week we were there. So now Bill and Lena are headed to Key West for a few days. Did I say I was envious??

Posted by Michael at 9:28 PM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2006

TDY Training

I have been TDY to Reston, Virginia since Sunday night. I am taking a 5 day course with Learning Tree. The course cover IIS 6.0 and Microsoft Windows Server 2003. So far the course has been very informative. I should be able to go back to work next week and implement some of what I have learned here. The weather has been beautiful. Today it is sunny and I swear it feels like it is 70 degrees. The day after the groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Winter like this I can deal with. Learning Tree really takes care of their students. We had cookies Tuesday afternoon and pizza and wings Wednesday evening. You can choose from 6 restaurants to deliver your selection to the classroom for you. There is also an ice skating rink right outside. I don't think I will try my luck skating this time, but maybe when I get home Friday....

Posted by Michael at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)