Wednesday, April 30, 2008

House pics...

Here are the latest pics of the house. As you can see the stucco work is starting and some of the concrete work...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fort Morgan is Famous

Where else can you see fantasic roadside art like this..

More information can be seen in the 9News story

Monday, April 28, 2008

Picking stuff for the new house

Jody and I and her parents went to the store to pick out tile and carpet for the whole house. And while we don't have the carpet picked yet we did make some progress on other areas.

This is what we picked for the master bathroom. Corian counter tops, tile floor (18x18) and tile in the tub and shower (12x12). And then we'll be using the deco strip as the sink back splash and randomly at a 45 degree, 3" square randomly around the room.

For the guest bath we are going for a 'French/European theme'. We'll use the tile for the shower, the formica for the countertop and the accent piece for the backsplash and in the shower.

This is the vinyl we are going to use in the laundry room, the guest bath and in the bar area downstairs. The lighting in the picture is really bad, it is not quite this yellow.For the kitchen we are having oak floors, HiMac countertops (like Corian), black Bosch appliances, and browish glass subway tiles for the backsplash. The cabinets are also oak in a natural finish.

Finally, for the bathroom that Jody's parent will be using we picked this. Again, we'll use the accent piece randomly on the walls and for the backsplash.

So we went with a lot of neutral, earth tones.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yummy Lunch

So yesterday we went to Greeley to look at flooring, tile and countertops for the new house (see other post about this soon). We got to town a little early and so we went to Starbucks for coffee.

After a fun 4 hour event...and we left very tired and hungry. So we decided to go get a late lunch at the Olive Garden. It was Yummy! It was Kevin and I, and my parents. We decided to order 3 meals and then the 4 of us would share them all. It was A LOT of food, we all ate, and still had enough left over for my parents to have at lunch today. Anyway, just for are the picks.... did I do?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Slower pace of life

So, I had some errands to run today, nothing out of the ordinary: get a hair cut, mail a package and change my address at the DMV (I've already filled out the form). I'm thinking maybe an hour, 1.5 hrs at tops. So off to get a haircut. I get there at 10am on Friday and there are 4 people ahead of me and the hairdresser is 1/2 way thru a color job on someone. I think to myself, someone will be here soon. Well an hour later I finally get my turn and just as I'm about done, a second hairdresser shows up. Now you are thinking, well you went to some fancy place... nope, just the place in Walmart (one of the few places in town you can get a haircut). So far the haircut seems ok, I'll know for sure tomorrow.

So off to the post office. Now that was easy, in and out of there in 10 mins including drive time. I'm thinking ok, I can get home by noon for lunch.

Then over to the DMV. I know what you are thinking "ha, the DMV that will take forever". Well, you're sorta right. First, this DMV office is only open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but I've had good luck in the past getting my license here. In fact, last time I renewed it I got it out here cause usually they are quick, I think I was there 15 mins total. Well, today I figured I was in trouble when the sign on the door said "This office will be closed from 12:00 to 1:30". Who gets 1 hour and 30 mins for lunch? I sure don't. I go in and it is about 20 mins til noon and there are 3 people ahead of me. I have to wait in a waiting area and there is no one to talk to. Anyway, 12 o'clock comes around and they start locking the doors to keep anyone else from coming in. The guys behind me are told to come back later since they were doing tests and those take to long. As for me, they ask what I need and I just tell them I need to change my address. Since I have the form already filled out, they take it and say unless I want a new license I can go. Well, I don't want a new license so I leave. Now, I got the form online, why could I have not filled it out online and not had to go in or even when I got there why wasn't there a drop box? However, I think that it is more government efficiency, more than it being a small town.

So a little over two hours later, I'm all done with that. So not to bad, I guess I'll just have to turn it down a notch or 5!


So I read the PhD comics. They are designed for those who are grad students on campus...but many things hold very true.

I check in frequently, but here are a couple of older ones:

This one is about writing your thesis title. What is funny is while I have a title for my dissertation, it was approved only as a "tentative" I have no idea what my title is when I get done.....assuming I get done.

This one is about making an outline. This is very true, and just this week when I sent in my chapter 4 to my advisor, I had a plan for my chapter 5....ok, well I had some random thoughts...I hope he goes for it.

Speaking of my advisor...I don't have any news on that front...I haven't contacted him is one of those things, I am hoping goes away...I guess I will need to face it eventually.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Knock Knock

Who's there???

I can't wait till someone visits me at my new house and knocks on this door! (It still needs to be finished...but I really like it!)

Poor Deogi

She looks so sad.....

My baby died

Today one of my yellow cichlid fish died. :( These are the fish that I raised from birth. Yes I had their momma and so I raised them from the time they were the size of a grain of rice. I think that the tank was a little too high in the nitrates. I am hoping the other two cichlids and the rainbow fish make it. I have put in some chemicals to help the situations, so I will keep an eye out. I knew this rental house was bad…

‘Baby sitting’

So on Sunday after church, my parents went to Greeley with some friends of theirs to go out for lunch. Since Greeley is the big city compared to Ft. Morgan, they also did a little shopping. So we babysat Shadow for them.

Shadow is a black lab that is about 10 years old. She is a very sweet puppy.

SecondLife - Bora Bora

Ok, I have to admit if it looks this good digitially, I wonder how nice the real place is...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Highspeed Internet in the sticks

Well my talks with Qwest and Bresnan have basically failed. The cost to put the in equipment is too much (Qwest is about $20K and Bresan is way more than that) and we don't have enough people to warrant putting it in (less than 100 residents in the area). So on to plan B (or S in this case). After talking with the Qwest guy it seems that even if we could get DSL the best we could get would be about 1.5MB speed. Well, that is disappointing. So we have a Sprint Broadband card that we have been using for our travels with the laptops. It looks like the picture on the right.

This is a great little device but one little problem. How do I hook it up to my network and share it since it is a PCI Expresscard? So I did a little research and found a USB to Expresscard adapter by SIIG. So with that I can hook up the Sprint card to a desktop PC and then with the magic of Internet Connection Sharing and a tool called Firestarter and Linux I can turn a PC into a router/webserver. So progress there. I then found out that I can take two of these Sprint cards and run them in parallel as basically one card and get almost twice the bandwidth. That should put us at about 2.5 to 3MB speed. Which is better than I can get from anywhere else at this point. Think of it as you have two tanks of water and need to move the water from one tank to another but all you have is 1" pipe. So one 1" pipe will move so much water, but if you put in two 1" pipes you can move twice as much water between the two tanks. Theoretically, this could scale out to as many cards as you want. However, the monthly cost is the only real limitation here.

So I think my highspeed internet problem is solved for now. The next project is to see if I can take the Zonbu machine that I have and turn that into the router. The advantage of using that is, that it has no moving parts (harddrives or fans) and so the chance of failure should be lower. Also it uses much less electricity than a normal PC (12W vs 200W) and so it should help with the energy bills. The tricky part is going to be getting an OS on it. Since it doesn't have any drives, I think I'll have use another machine to set up the flash drive.

For all of you who have made it to the bottom of this post and have not fallen asleep, you must be almost as nerdy as me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dissertation Nightmare....HELP

I have been working so hard on my dissertation. I really want it to be over, I am sick of it, I want to graduate already. In fact, I was in a little store down town here last week, and they had out a bunch of graduation cards, and I said to Kevin "I want one of those."

So this weekend, I finished a draft (just a draft) of my chapter 4...all 60 pages of it. I was very pleased and so today I send it off to my advisor. I get an email back that says "Jody, can you call me?" So I immediately panic...I really worked hard on this and now he is going to say it is all wrong. So I email back, and say "Sure I would be happy to call you when and at what number?"

Within 10 min I get a message that says "How about now at xxx-xxx-xxxx" Sigh....Ok, so I give him a call. What do I is worse than I can imagine.....First of all he says he hasn't looked at my work yet, but that it seems pretty substantial. At which point I already start making excuses at how I know I probably really need to rework areas and how unsure of myself I am. Now he is just the best so he compliments me, encourages me says chapters 4 and 5 are hard for everyone, and he knows I will do well etc...etc...then he says "Item number 2, that I need to talk to you about is a little more delicate"

So I start racking my brain thinking "what have I done?" Well it turns out that he has been offered a position in Wyoming. So he will be leaving in June, and he is trying to finish up a few people with their dissertations that he knows will be done. To be done in June, means you have a final write up by May, and have your defense with your committee scheduled by mid that is almost impossible for me right now, since I haven't started on Chapter 5.

What does that mean for me? I have to find a new advisor. I am really heartbroken. My advisor has been with me for the last 4.5 years, he was the one who interviewed me to accept me into the program. He was my professor for 4-5 of my courses. He has been a true mentor and guide to me all along the way. I carefully selected him to be my advisor for my dissertation committee and then picked the rest of my committee who I thought would work well with me and with my advisor.

So now what? Well he gave me the name of someone he suggests I consider for my advisor. I know this other person (he was also a past teacher), and to be honest he may be a good fit, because of his background and research interests....but there is a reason I didn't pick him to be on my committee or be my advisor to start with. So I don't know. I guess I don't really have another choice, and I just want to finish.....

I am so upset...I am actually crying right now. :(

Poor Jody

Fun with the dogs

I finally got all the pictures off the camera and so I can now write about how we took the dogs (Deogi and Stormy) to the house and let them play in the yard. Now Spring hasn't quite made it to Colorado yet, a couple of more weeks and things should start turning green we hope.

We have about 100yds in the back yard to throw the ball and so we got the Chuck-It (if you have a dog and don't have one of these, get one) and just started letting it loose. Deogi was in heaven as playing fetch for her is the best thing ever. However, in this picture Stormy actually got the ball.

On the property we also have an irrigation ditch that runs along the bottom. It does not always have water in it, but today it was pretty full. I believe it was about 4ft deep and probably 15ft across. As you can see it was a nice, clear day out and was actually pretty warm, in the high 70s.

More pictures of them acting crazy can be found where we keep our pictures.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Glad I'm not a lumberjack

Do to some circumstances Doug, Jody's brother, ended up getting the wood from a tree that someone had cut down in their backyard. It was supposed to be cut up into small pieces but what we found was that all the branches had been sorta cut up but the main trunk was still in one piece. So last weekend we loaded up all the little stuff into 4 pickup truck loads and got all that done and then on Friday Doug went and cut up the main trunk. So today myself, Doug, Robbie (friend of the family), Tim (Jody's nephew-in-law) and his two brothers (Jonathan and Dave) went to get the last of it. I thought it was gonna be just Doug and I loading it so I was expecting a grueling afternoon. But with all that help we had it all loaded in about 20 mins. So what I thought was gonna take all day, was hardly anything at all. Still filled two pickups and the chunks of wood still required two of us to pick them up. But now Doug should have enough firewood to last all winter and maybe more.

So I think I'll stick with my day job of programming, moving firewood is not my idea of a fun time.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

We need your help

Ok, so we have an idea of what we want our countertop and are carpet to look like (we think). So now we need to pick a wall color. So which color from this short list do you think is right?

Simple choice right....


Friday, April 18, 2008

Big Travel Week

I was busy this week. I traveled all over. I went to Hawaii on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and today I went to Vassar College and toured the Sistine Chapel.

Ok, I didn't really leave the living room. I attended an online conference called Technology, Colleges, and Community World Wide Online conference . It is done with the University of Hawaii.

Then today I went to Second Life (see Kevin's earlier post). I went to Vassar College's island in second life. The real Vassar College is in Poughkeepsie, NY. However in 2nd life, they have recreated the Sistine Chapel. I can't tell you how great it is. If you have an avatar in 2nd life, I suggest that you take the time to tour the chapel. The detail is amazing...and since it may be years before Kevin will take me to the real thing.....this was about as close as you can get. And in 2nd life you can fly up to the ceiling and zoom in on the paintings and really examine them. I think you may get a better view here.

So now I am home again in 1st life and it is finally the weekend. That just means more dissertation writing......

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Jody has been doing a lot of "research" with SecondLife. I say research in quotes cause right now I think she is doing a lot of learning with it and not really doing much with it. However, online education is really starting to look at SecondLife as a way to get to the next generation of students. In fact I know she attended a session at Sloan-C on it and she is even attending a few online conferences about it.

So since Jody is learning about it, I feel I should know something about it as well. I've had a lot of issues running the Second Life client on my Linux machines, but I think I'm getting close to making it work well. Mainly the problems have been with the video drivers on my machine.

Anyway, SecondLife is interesting, but I'm not really sure what to do with it yet. So far all I have been doing is flying around and looking at what people have built. We have not committed to it, by buying land and all that, but that might be in the future. Maybe the family reunion in 2020 will be in SecondLife. I have a feeling that something important could be done with it, but so far it looks to me like a graphical chat room. So while I'm not sold on it, I don't think I'm ready to give up on it yet either.

Girls Night Out

So last night I went out to dinner with Darline. Darline and I started teaching at Brush High School the same year. She still teaches music there...I don't know how :)

We went to Memories. It is nothing fancy...but not a bad little restaurant here in Ft. Morgan.

When I got to the restaurant, I ran into an old colleague/teacher of mine and his wife. He was my English teacher when I went to HS, then I worked with him when I was teaching at the HS. It was really great to see him, he was a true mentor for me when I began in education.

Darline and I had a good time laughing and catching up. The food and company were both good. Darline also gave me a yummy candle. It is Lilac Blossoms. I love Lilac, and this rental could use some good smells, so I went home and lit it right away. Now it sits next to me here by the love seat and I can smell flowers all day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Future Internet Service

Currently, at our rental, we are in town and so we have 2 options for high speed internet: Qwest and Bresnan. When we move to the ridge the options for internet are pretty much a company called KCI, satellite or Sprint cellular. Right now I'm planning on using Sprint, but would like to have something a little more hard wired. So I have been calling around to Qwest and Bresnan to talk to people. So far I have not got any good answers, but I am still waiting on the guy from Qwest to get back to me.

From what I can tell it comes down to the cost to put the equipment out there at 4 miles out of town. I know the neighbors out there would like Qwest to come in and put in DSL. So we'll see. Maybe Sprint will get it in gear and get Xohm running out there and get WiMax going...

I guess I need to talk to someone about Satillite too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Cousin April Disappoints me...

I can hardly believe it my cousin April has not blogged for almost 3 days. I know they are in the middle of putting in new carpet in the house and she has two young boys but come on, she has to get her priorities straight.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Productive Day!

Today was all about writing for me. I had not really written on my dissertation for the past 3 weeks. It is really hard to leave a project this large and then come back into it. However, I managed. I rewrote a couple of sections, and then finished two sections I had only begun. Sections in this case is really just pieces of my chapter 4.

My dissertation will be 5 chapters I am hoping to finish chapter 4 next week, and then send it off to my advisor. I am sure he will have good advice for me, and have me rewriting many sections :)

I just keep thinking "I can do this" and "Just do it already and finish up". That is my goal that by the end of 2008, I am Dr. Jody!


This week the house made some real progress, turning from "framing" to something more real this week as the drywall went up. So of course I have tons of pictures here.

BTW, why are drywallers the messiest guys on the job site?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dinner with friends

Today we had to go to Loveland to look at appliances for the new house. I am sorta picky on what type and what features I want...I am not too sure the salesman liked us too much. We ask too many questions :)

After the appliance appointment, we went to dinner with friends at our favorite Chinese place "Wonderful Dragon". It was sooo yummy. I hardly ate all day so that I could eat a big dinner LoL.

Well we took our camera with us, because when our blog grows up it wants to be like Cousin April's Blog, but we forgot to take it into the no pictures of dinner (sorry April), maybe next time.

Rain Gutters...

We had all that snow the other day and now it is melting like crazy, which is good since there was a ton of moisture in it. Anyway, I went to put the dogs out in the dog run and realized that this house has no rain gutters. So now when you go out the door you get kinda wet even though the sky is blue and the sun is out.

Who ever invented the rain gutter was a genius.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

If April Showers bring May flowers....

What do April snows bring? The news warned us that is was coming, but sometimes it is hard to believe them. Anyway, this morning we woke up to this:

The weather guy is saying 70s again by Sunday. Welcome to Spring in Colorado. It is nice to see all the moisture out here since lawns were starting to get a little crispy and it is right on the edge of the time to turn on sprinklers or not. Last week the weather was nice and I thought we were about done with the heavy coats.

For those of you in warmer areas, we have to turn off our sprinklers in Oct and leave them off until about Apri/May otherwise they freeze and you end up with a real mess. That is actually something I had to learn when I bought my first house out here. Since we didn't have problems with freezing where I grew up in California.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stormy loves Kyburz

Our Silver Lab Stormy just loves our cat Kyburz. I think it is kinda funny. Let me tell you a couple of my favorite things that happen.

Kyburz is hiding in a corner and Stormy just sits and watches the cat. Any time Kyburz moves, Stormy gets up and kisses the kitty. Kyburz doesn't really like it, sometimes he takes it, and sometimes he hisses and swats at Stormy. This just makes her bark. It is so funny.

The other thing that I think is funny, is when Stormy goes outside. Then Kyburz walks around the house. When Stormy comes in, she runs from room to room frantically looking for the cat. When she finally finds him, she kisses him and walks away. Sometimes she barks too.

It is really funny how she must know where the cat is at all times and never lose track of him. She doesn't ever hurt the kitty, just gives him a big slobber kiss.

Monday, April 7, 2008

HOA Meeting at Saddle Ridge

I went to my first HOA meeting for Saddle Ridge today. Appears that all the people out there pretty much want the same thing. A nice clean place to live and to have a high quality of life. I was expecting to see that and it is nice to see that it actually is that way.

I even got my change to the covenants in that I wanted so I'm already making trouble. So I guess that is good at least they were willing to accept the change. (I wanted vinyl fencing to be an approved material for fencing).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

All done :(

As of 3:30pm today we are totally done with moving out of the Cannon Mountain house. It was definitely a tough moment for us, since there was a lot of "us" in that house. I hope that the new house will be a comfy as this one was.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another year older

Well Friday was my birthday. It was a rough day. I took the day off as a vacation day. You would think "how great!".... Well I really took it off for the move.

Kevin and I did go out for breakfast with some friends on Friday morning. Then we went and signed all the paper work for the sale of our house in Longmont. So while technically the closing isn't until Monday, we are all done with that part.

Then it was all work and no play for the rest of the day. Kevin and I packed and packed, loaded the cars and all the pets.....Deogi, Stormy, Kyburz and all the fish. We brought them here to the rental. We unloaded our cars, got the fish and Kyburz all settled. Then I took the dogs to Grandma's (my mom's) for the night. Kevin and I then drove both cars back to Longmont. When we got home, we packed some more and got ready for the final move today. Sounds like a great birthday right?

As of right now the house in Longmont is basically empty. We have a few odds and ends, and some cleaning supplies. Tomorrow it is back to Longmont, to clean the house and the yard and then we are officially Ft. Morgan residents.

Now it is time to put my feet up and relax for the evening....well I may unpack a little :)

Friday, April 4, 2008

More moving

Jody and I took a load to our rental today. This was the phone and few other things. One thing I really like about using Vonage is that you grab the box, pick it up and move it to the new location and there you have your phone. Way easier than getting the phone company to come out.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Save those coins

We always have change in our pockets, so around here, we just throw it all into a jar. Well the jar overflowed and we had two red Dixie cups full of coins also. So rather than move all that money we decided to take it to the bank. On the way to the bank we each guessed that we would have $100-125, we were thinking this would be a good night out. Were we wrong! We had $338.60 in coins...pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters oh my!

We decided with moving we would surely have moving expenses so we put it all into savings. Then on the way home we thought of all the fun ways we could of spent the money. But alas, our responsible sides won out and it is still in savings.......for now :)

Let this be advice for you those coins!

We have internet

Well I was at the rental yesterday and met with the cable company and after pretty extensive rewiring of the house (I'm so glad the basement was not 100% finished). We now have cable TV and internet at the house. This is important to us, cause that allows us to work and relax. When you work at home and your only connection to everything you do is some how tied to the net. You realize how little you can accomplish without the net, so getting this hooked up is a huge relief for me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Today was a light email day....I think I had around 50. For someone who averages over 100 a day that I need to read, file, respond to...I think 50 is very manageable. :)

This did allow me to spend 4 hours of the day on the phone doing interviews. I also monitored about 25 courses today. That doesn't seem like a lot, but each one takes about 10 min....that alone is 4 hours! No wonder I work 10 hour the time I do meetings, email and course monitoring! Ugh.

So tomorrow what is in store? Well, I have interviews, meetings (my first meeting is at 7 am ouch!), and more course monitoring....I think tomorrow my goal is another 25 - 30 courses....that should only leave me with 25-30 to do on Thursday! This is extreme...that is what happens when you get behind. :(

It is weeks like this that I miss spring break! :)

April Fool's Day

I hate this day.... nuff said...