Monday, September 10, 2012

A Little Toddler Humor

Having a toddler in the house you get a lot of laughter of the random things they do and say. They'll repeat things they heard a week earlier, say things that leave you scratching your head wondering where they learned it, and do some things that are just down right funny, or disgusting. Either way, it makes you laugh.

Lately Adri has been saying some random funny things. For instance the other night I was reading her Aladdin and I asked her what the sword is. She looked at it and said "that's dangerous". I don't know where she gets this stuff from but its just funny when she says it and throws me off guard.

Saturday she pulled off her funniest one in a long time. We had Natalie's sisters over and Adri was sitting in her chair eating her lunch, well at least she was suppose to be sitting, and then she stood up. This is a real pet peeve with me lately mostly because of the safety issue. So I told her "sit down right now or you're gonna get pao pao". She looked at me with the angry face and said "No, I give pao pao" and then she hit her hand twice and said "pao pao". We all looked at her and couldn't hold in the laughter.

Another funny one was s few weeks back. I took Adri to the waterpark and she was jumping and landing on her butt in the water. Each time she would land she would look at me and say "I'm OK". Well after four or five of these landings instead of giving the OK she says "My vagina". I started laughing and this just made her say it again. Later that day I took her out for dinner, Natalie was out of town. She was sitting next to me and decided to stand up, put her right arm around my shoulder, and started feeding me chips and salsa with her left hand.

A couple days later we were sitting on the couch and she puts her arm around me, puts her head on my shoulder, starts playing with my hair and says "Daddy, can I watch Tangled"?

And then there's the Icee. Adri's favorite new thing is sucking on an Icee. Natalie bought the cheap ripoffs of Otter Pops and Adri loves these things. She never forgets when she is promised an Icee. For instance if we tell her that she can have an Icee after her nap then she'll remind us within five minutes of waking up. The other day we were around the corner from the house and she yelled out "There's our house. Now I get Icee". And what do you think is her favorite thing to do when she gets in the door everyday? She doesn't run up to me. She runs to the kitchen yelling "Icee". I then have to tell her to get over here and give me a hug first.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Good Bye Florida

Well I don't even know where to start with this one. Nearly three years ago Natalie and I bought a nice big home with a big yard in the "the best city to live in Florida" with the intentions of staying here for the rest of our lives. We even looked into the schools and moved right next to a high school that is top 1% in the country with plans that our kids would go there.

In March my mom was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia. After her diagnoses my sister was trying to convince me that this is reason enough for me to pack it up and come on back to SoCal. I of course wasn't having it. I had plans to stay here and didn't want to start over just to get there once my mom doesn't remember me. I'm not too optimistic that she will remember me in a year or two. There are a lot of things that I miss about SoCal but a lot of things I can't stand. Anti gun laws and an unstable economy in a bankrupt state aren't exactly my idea of paradise.

Well in late June my sister's family came out to visit for a couple weeks. I got to see Adriana running around with her cousins having a good time and I actually got a break from her and got to be an adult for a while. Normally I'm either babysitting or entertaining the kid all day. We never get a break. With cousins around we got to let her go play and we could sit back and relax and have some time to ourselves for once. It was a nice break from our busy lives. Since then I just haven't really been the same. I've felt like even though there's so many good things going on in my life it's kinda empty sometimes. I've felt like I don't want to be here anymore. We have this nice house and a pool and it never gets used. It just seems kind of pointless. I feel like the only thing keeping me here is my awesome yard and all my tropical fruit trees. That's going to be the hardest thing for me to let go of, really hard.

Well about two months ago I heard about a federal opening, not going to discuss the job online. I've been waiting for four years now to get a federal job, specifically in this line of work. The only problem was that there were no openings in Florida. There were some openings in the Southeast but in every state except Florida. And where do you think they have a lot of openings? The Southwest. So I applied, I went up to Orlando, conquered the test, and I'm in the process now.

Getting this job could take a while and it's not 100% guarantee that I've got it, although the odds are highly in my favor with my experience. So I decided to apply for a second job at our Network Operations Center. I decided that even if I don't get the federal job I'm getting out of here. And I decided that if I have to go private sector I want to go to Arizona. Today is my third interview. They moved from Denver to Chandler, Arizona and no one wanted to move so they need new people and they need them fast. Things are looking good for me getting this job as well. So now I'm at the point where it's pretty much a guarantee I won't be living here next year. To top things off I learned today that the federal job is pushing fast and I should have an offer within a month, in which case I won't want to go to Arizona. I mean if they're going to take more than a year to hire I'll go to Arizona, but I don't think that is going to happen now. So I'm having a hard time deciding how to do this.

But either way we have decided we're leaving. I talked to my realtor and I can get a pretty hefty rent check for my house.  On top of that she gave me the warm and fuzzy talk telling me don't worry about my house being empty. She told me in this area, in this market, the house will be rented out in a month. Then I can keep the house until I can sell it for a half million and in the meantime I can rape my fruit trees in the summer.

So right now I got some friends doing research for me and they are going to get me an answer by next week. But it's looking like one of two things are going to happen. 1. We move to Phoenix within the next 60 days 2. Within a year we move to Georgia for four months while I do my training and then move to the Southwest. I'm hoping for the #2 option.

So right now I'm not sure where I'll be in the next year, but I'm excited that we have some good changes coming our way.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac

A couple weeks ago we got a little over a week's notice that we had a tropical storm coming our way. Since I moved here nearly six years ago we have had a close call nearly every year but nothing ever actually hits directly here. The closest thing we ever got was when Fay went through Naples and zigzagged across the state covering every square inch of Florida.  All we got was 8 inches of rain, nothing spectacular.We also had a close one two years ago when a storm went through the upper keys and gave us a whole two hours of rain. Every time a storm would come I would hope for a hit, wanting to experience a storm, and every time the storm would turn to my disappointment.This year is a different situation. Last fall I planted four mango trees and a jackfruit tree that aren't big enough to handle a major storm yet. So right now I'm not in the mood to have my trees destroyed just so I can experience a storm.

A week before the storm the guy at work that does our media relations was going on and on about how the storm was going to hit us. The cone had the storm coming right into Miami but the average error on 7 days is 260 miles. I told him we are in the safest spot possible since it was going to miss us by 260 miles and all we are going to get is a lot of rain since we will be on the dirty side of the storm. He kept going on and on about how he worked for the media for 24 years, how he's never seen the models agree so consistently, how they haven't changed in four days, and how much better the technology was getting. Well first off they did change over four days, he wasn't paying close enough attention (I was looking at the same site as he was). Next, he worked for the media, but he's not a meteorologist. And yes the technology is better, but even at 2 days the error is something like 50-75 miles, so a week's forecast is meaningless. We had a little debate and I sounded to everyone like I'm the fool who has become complacent due to all the misses year after year.

Well a couple days before the storm it became more evident that it was going to miss us. The storm's area was huge and this makes it develop slower than a more compact storm (Andrew). It took a more northerly path over Cuba which made me a little nervous but then it started moving more west. Nevertheless, I decided I needed to prepare just in case the storm pulled a surprise last minute turn. I had prepared by buying water 5 days in advance and I thought I could close my shutters in just a couple hours. I have accordion shutters so most of them just close right up but in the back I have to put down three rails to close up the entire patio. I also have panels for my front door, side garage door, and attic fan.

Isaac was forecasted to come through late Sunday night. I decided that Saturday would be my day to prepare. I closed most of my shutters in just 10 minutes. I didn't bother with the panels because the storm wasn't big enough. If it started to get bigger I could do the panels in under an hour. But the big surprise that I was handed was when I did the panels on the patio. I had to remove the screws in the patio, put the rail down, and then put the screws back. I had no idea removing the screws would be so hard. I put WD40 on them, went to Home Depot to buy the biggest screwdriver I could find, and after 2 hours I still couldn't get all the screws out. I ended up getting out 2/3 of the screws and only putting back in about half of them. So by Saturday afternoon my house was ready. I took a break and decided to do the garage Sunday. Sunday I cleaned out the garage and somehow managed to squeeze both of our cars inside so no flying debris could beat them up.

The heavy rain started Sunday morning. I think it was around 2 or 3 in the morning I heard my shutters getting slammed. It sounded like someone was shooting them with a fire hose. It was some of the hardest rain I have ever seen.heard. It would rain really hard for 15 minutes, the band would pass, and 45 minutes later it would all start over again. It was like this all day. From Miramar to Coral Springs we got the worst of it. Over 8 inches Sunday with even more coming Monday. Sunday night right before bed I heard what sounded like a fire alarm going off. All of our cellphones were alerting us of a tornado warning in our area. This would ruin my night.

I finally went to bed around 11:30 and I was getting woken up every 45 minutes when another band would come through. I would hear the rain slamming into the shutters and the wind whistling. The wind was actually no worse than the Santa Anas but the fear of tornadoes everytime it picked up ruined my night. Monday I had to go to work and the rain was still coming down hard. I didn't have the best time driving the 38 miles to work. Every time I would make a lane change it would turn into a lane change and a half due to the wind. Finally in the early afternoon the storm had passed and the skies had cleared
When I got home I saw just how much rain we got. The official reading for Coral Springs was 10.8 inches. However the rain was coming down sideways and it wasn't all measured, it's just not possible to measure rain when it's coming down like this. I think the actual amount was closer to 15 inches. The canal that had been dropped from the normal 8-10 feet to 4 feet on Saturday was now around 14 feet. It was up on my yard, my bananas and plants were swimming, my neighbor's trees were swimming, a neighbor's dock was swimming, etc. I don't know if they had to turn off the pumps to clean them up or what happened but it was backed up pretty good. An hour after I took the pictures they had the pumps running again and the canal had dropped 3 feet off my lawn.

It was a good storm. No real damage, just a lot of rain. Sunday morning I had lost a KRU banana plant but that's no biggie. I lost a couple more bananas that night and my jackfruit got pushed over a bit. I was able to pull it back up straight and it's like nothing ever happened. I did have a bit of a mess to clean up from the wind, mostly a big mess in my pool.
Path of Isaac. What they don't show is after it dissipated it brought rain to Indiana then moved back south into the Gulf Of Mexico where they had to watch it for redevelopment. As of this morning it has a 50% chance of redeveloping and hitting Florida again.
Sunday morning radar

This is that band that got stuck over us for hours on Monday.
Some really heavy rain Sunday

My first victim. My KRU banana.
The 50 pounds of bananas that I removed from my destroyed banana plant.

This is what the canal looks like before the storm. It actually got a little lower than this.

The canal at it's high point

The kids were jumping off the dock on the other side of the canal and swimming across. Not smart. I was wondering if they were going to break their necks or die of amoeba.

Flooding by my work. This is a street not a canal.
Sunday morning rain

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Disney World

A Couple weeks ago I had to go to Orlando for a 6 hour test for a job. Since it's a four hour drive up there I decided to make a weekend out of it. I didn't want to drive up before the test and be tired and stressed so I decided we would get a hotel the night before, I would take the test Friday, go to Disney World Saturday, and go home on Sunday. Even though I've lived here for six years now, and I saw more in the first two years I was here than most natives have seen in their life, I have never been to Disney World. I thought it would be fun to take Adri there before we leave the state (another blog for another day). Plus I had enough Hilton points to get the hotel for free all three nights.

So Thursday after work we drove up to Lake Buena Vista. Friday morning I made my drive to Winter Garden to take the test. I got there at 8:30am and left at 2:45pm. I had studied throughout the week but I felt like I didn't have enough time to prepare for this test. It was a pretty hard test with logic, English, math, and two physiological parts. I had to relearn algebra the night before in just an hour. I felt like I did pretty good on some parts but on others I was thrown off because it was so much harder than in the study material they provided. I ran into a coworker there, and sat next to him during the test. He has a masters degree and said he was thrown off by the same section of the test I was. So I left there feeling a little insecure about whether or not I passed it but everyone kept telling me that you always do better than you feel you did. It takes 4-6 weeks to get the test results so I had no idea how I did the whole weekend. In less than two weeks though I got an e-mail saying that I aced the test and they want to move forward in hiring process.

Anyways, back to Disney. Saturday morning we woke up early and took Adri to Magic Kingdom for the first time. I was surprised how long it took to get there since the hotel brags about being just a mile from Downtown Disney. At Disneyland Downtown Disney is close to everything else. Not the case in Disney World.. We left the hotel at 8:30 on a free shuttle which dropped us off at the Monorail nearly a half hour later. From there we had to ride the monorail through different sections of the park to get to Magic Kingdom. We finally got in the gate around 9:20. So much for that ten minute ride I was expecting to the gate.

I thought Disney World would be more like Disneyland than it actually is. The first ride we went on was Pirates Of The Caribbean, much better at Disneyland. At Magic Kingdom there is only one tiny drop and they don't have the bayou in the beginning of the ride or the bayou cafe. A couple things I thought were better were that they still had the Swiss Family Tree House instead of Tarzan's house, Dumbo has a play area where you get a pager and the kids play on a playground while you wait, they still had the people mover, and almost all the lines are covered so you don't have to stand in line in the rain. But overall I thought Disneyland was better. Disney World is split into too many parks so there is no Matterhorn (they're currently putting in Expedition Everest in another park there), Indian Jones (don't really like that ride anyways), Star Wars, and the Small World ride is in an area that looks like a strip mall of rides so it doesn't stick out like it does at Disneyland. There is also no Toon Town. They do a lot of shows which I don't remember them ever doing at Disneyland but maybe it's just because times have changed.

I thought Adriana would show more excitement than she did but I think she was overwhelmed trying to take it all in. She shows more excitement with little things like being tickled, hearing thunder, farting, seeing the moon, etc, than she did over any of the rides. On Pirates she sat there quietly looking around. The drop scared her but she was fine after that. She enjoyed running through the tree house and riding the magic carpet ride. Again, not much excitement on Peter Pan or Small World. Her favorite ride was probably Dumbo since she kept asking to go back on it but while riding that ride she didn't show much excitement. I think her second favorite ride was the carousel and the haunted house scared her. We got stuck at a spot where a ghost kept popping out of a grave. Every time it jumped up she got scared. She liked the train, slept during the monster show, and enjoyed the jungle cruise. I let her drive the race car and she had fun with that although she didn't quite now how to use the wheel. The wheel was crumbing though and she kept telling me "I make mess" with the bits and pieces falling off the wheel.

The weather was much better than expected for being mid August. If we were in S. Florida I would have died being outside all day since rain just makes it hotter here. But it was overcast, low 80's with scattered showers in Orlando and the rain wasn't nearly as hot as it is down south. When we first got there it was nasty muggy. By noon it was pouring rain and cooled down quite a bit. We actually went to eat 10 minutes before the rain started. There was no line for food but ten minutes later the place got packed with everyone trying to get out of the rain. I was actually surprised that the quality of food has improved at Disney. Expensive but it was a good burger. Last time I was at Disneyland my brother in law had to get me a refund because the burger was so soggy. After we ate we didn't wait for the rain to stop. I had bought 2 dollar ponchos at Walgreens the night before. We put on the ponchos and hit the rides. In the evening I embraced my inner fat kid and got the funnel cake with powdered sugar, strawberries, and whipped cream. It was awesome.

We stayed for the electrical parade. Adri was tired so she didn't show much excitement. She was really excited when she watched it a week later at home. But that night she was tired and laying on my shoulder. I know she enjoyed it though because she was trying so hard to stay awake. As soon as it was done she crashed out. We were going to stay for the fireworks but the last shuttle for the hotel left at 10:45, the fireworks were at 10, and there was no way we would have made it back in time. I have no idea why they schedule it like that.

Sunday morning we went to a Hilton Vacation Club meeting. It's like those deals for timeshares. They had given us a free ticket for Magic Kingdom, we just had to show up Sunday for their presentation. I didn't fall into the trap, we bought nothing, we scored free tickets. Afterwards a four hour drive and we were home.

In the morning. Can you see I'm miserable from the humidity?

The Magic Kingdom Bunny. He came back in the evening for dinner too.
Swiss Family Tree House
Her first ride. Pirates Of The Caribbean.

Getting ready to take on the rain.
The playground while waiting for Dumbo.

I was below Adri chasing the crazy kid.

This is Adri getting ready to do her "Ice Cream Face".
The Ice Cream Face.

I'm not showing BDSM moves. I told Natalie I bet I could drink this Pina Colada without getting brain freeze if I keep the artery in my neck warm.