Travel Log, Day 2 (March 25, 2006):

We got up sometime between 7 and 7:30 this morning, and proceeded to get Janene ready for the day and eat breakfast. I dropped Janene off right at 9 at the Art Center, and returned to the Cottage. I sat for a while looking out over the water, and then got up and did the dishes from last night and tidied up some. Took a shower, and then headed in to Oak Harbor in search for a haircut (found at Great Clips for $14) and earplugs for Janene (the Seagulls are quite loud in the morning…). Also got a Subway Cold Cut Trio, which I’ve been craving for quite some time.
Returned to the Cottage and put on “Ong-Beck, Thai Warrior” – was going to work while I watched, which was foolish since the movie was subtitled in English (I could have put it in dubbed English, but that’s never as good). The fighting was excellent, and there is a wonderful chase scene (on foot) through the city that was amazing.
After that was through, I opened up the french doors to the deck, turned on the Forest Gump Soundtrack (disk two), and got down to business. I worked on some Weed Patch business, and then on some of the newest version of
Come 4pm I was back at the Art Center to pick Janene up. The whole class ended up going for a reception at a local B&B. We had some wonderful champagne, and took a tour of this house – which was amazing. It was VERY Victorian, and absolutely stuffed with little knick-knacks everywhere.
Dinner followed with about half the class at Christopher’s Restaurant in Coupeville – yum! I had New York Steak, and Janene had a soup and a salad. We shared a chocolate mousse dessert with several people (it was huge), and sat around talking until 8ish. Unfortunately something hosed my stomach, and I had a most unpleasant experience once we walked back to the Cottage. I believe it was the water, but who knows.
And now I find myself typing out Day 2 of the travel log. I’m not sure when I’ll be uploading all of this – it’ll probably be Wednesday evening. Interstingly enough, the clock on the mantel is really loud all of a sudden, and the fire seems to have gone out – I think perhaps the gas is getting low for the fireplace. Chantelle Chamberlain is playing the background, and Janene’s sitting here doing her devotions. I think the plan is either to sleep or to put a movie on, as we’re both really exhausted. I wish my stomach wasn’t so screwed up – ugh.

Travel Log, Day 1 (March 24, 2006):

We left my parent’s place at 6:30 in the morning this morning, trying to catch the 7am ferry over to Whidbey. On our way out of town we stopped at Starbucks – which of course caused us to miss the ferry by probably 5 minutes, so we had to wait for the 8am ferry. While we waited we took a walk down the pier, where I took several interesting photos of random things. Janene spotted a HUGE crab walking along the sea floor (the water was only a few feet deep), which was lots of fun.
While we were on the ferry they ran some emergency drills, which was interesting. I think they did this because of that ferry that sank up in BC a week ago – I think probably lots of ferry crews are running extra drills. Nothing like a huge emergency to get everybody thinking, is there?
Anyway, once on the island we headed for Coupeville, where Janene’s class with Claudine Hellmuth is being held. We got her there right before 9, which is when the class was supposed to start. After I dropped her off and got all her stuff unloaded, I headed into Coupeville for a walk and to take pictures. It was really cold with the wind, so I finally got back in the car and headed for Camp Casey. I sat in the car for a while just looking around. Then I got out and walked around, taking pictures of everything from the landscape to the Lighthouse (Admiralty Head, up at Ft. Casey). Walking around made me in the mood to write, so I returned to the car and drove to Ebey’s Landing.
It didn’t take me long in my journaling to … fall asleep. Where I remained, peacefully unaware of the beautiful sun glistening off the waves, and of the tourquoise-blue water rolling in, and the breeze blowing through the car, for a good two and a half hours.
Once I woke up, I drove back to the Art Center to drop off a few things Janene had decided she needed after all, and sat with her while she ate lunch. After I watched her eat, I realized I was really hungry, so I headed into Coupeville and let myself into the place where we are staying, The Cottage on the Cove. I walked down to Toby’s Tavern and got a burger (which was GREAT) and took it back to the Cottage, where I sat eating and looking out at the ocean, which was very pleasant. I played my first game of Age of Empires III, which was interesting – there’s a lot more depth to it than the previous versions.
Went and got Janene at 4pm, when class was over for the first day, and we headed into Oak Harbor. Hit the Wal-Mart and Safeway for food and supplies, and headed back to the Cottage where we enjoyed a wonderful meal of cheese, meats, crackers, dates, olives, cottage cheese, cashews, and Mike’s Berry – all of which were very tasty.
Of course, it was onliy 7ish by this point in time, and yet it felt like … midnight. So we crashed and watched Cocoon, and then fell asleep just shy of 10.

T-Minus 1 day, favorite song, and Elizabethtown.

The countdown is on – one day left until we head out to Coupeville for the first of Janene’s art classes and the first day of my dedicated work time.
Today was, therefore, quite … rushed. Worked at the shop to get the back room freed of product so that incoming freight could go in there. Lots of work, but it was looking really great when I left to go pick up the car. Speaking of which, can I just say that getting a free 30000 mile tune up with the purchase of the Cruiser, plus the extended warranty, is really cool? Took the thing in, had several things done, walked out without paying a dime. SWEET.
Watched Elizabethtown with Janene tonight. I actually really enjoyed it, myself. I’m sure that Bob would hate it and would pick apart the acting and such, but that’s ok. 🙂
On the way over to pick Janene up this evening, I found myself watching other drivers more than usual – not their driving (per se), but more them and their passengers. It’s sometimes fun to sit back and watch the people instead of the cars. It’s funny how much people come to feel “invisible” when they’re in their cars, and it’s entertaining to watch them – like they’re in a moving glass box totally oblivious to that fact. Do you ever lose yourself when you’re driving, and forget that there’s a world that may (or may not be) observant of you?
I really need a hair cut, but the barber shop that I have gone to for years went away. I don’t know if they moved, or closed, but they’re not there any longer. Really a bummer – my hair’s really way too long, and it’s driving me crazy. Argh.
I was asked if I had a favorite song the other day. In sitting here listening to music all the time, I think I’ve concluded that while there are songs I really love, I don’t know that I could pick just one to be my favorite. Maybe I could pick a “favorite of the moment” or something. What is YOUR favorite song?

Not much, and almost out…

What a crazy couple of days! So much going on it makes your head spin, but that’s ok!
Yesterday evening we ended up going to my parent’s place to do laundry in preparation for our big trip. It was kinda fun, actually – we made dinner and then Janene crashed on the couch for an hour or two. We watched an episode of Colombo (my parent’s have the DVD sets) and then crashed when the laundry was done, about 1am.
Got up and ran errands EVERYWHERE today. Went to Jon’s shop, ran to Lynnwood, up to Silver Lake – all over the map! Then I stopped by Grandpa Ed and Grandma Esther’s to chat for a few moments, as Janene was in Bible study tonight and I didn’t need to get home right away. Ended up eating dinner with them, and hanging out for a little while – all great! 🙂
So now Janene’s home, and taking a relaxing bath. I have about a million things to do before I can go to bed, but I may not care – I’m so stinkin’ tired! Got to be up real early tomorrow to get in to the store and get stuff done, as once I leave at 4pm tomorrow I won’t be back to the shop.
That’s it. No deep thoughts, no humor, no nuthin’. Sorry. Maybe next time.
Oh – I should mention that as of Saturday morning, I’ll be out of town until April 3 – with sporadic online access, at best. So if you don’t see anything from me for a few days – that’d be why. However, I’m PLANNING on taking a ton of photos while out and about, so look for some new stuff in the album once I’m back in town! 🙂

A really long, random entry.

Well, today was a relatively eventful day. Got the lease signed for the new house; got the new leases signed for the expansion of the store. Took the Cruiser into the shop for its 30k tune up and a few issues it has been having. Got some things faxed off in regards to the store expansion. Got 17 more big boxes of freight in at the store (holy crap, we have a TON of freight in!). And now I have a few more things to fax off, a couple of packages to get ready to ship out, the quarterly newsletter to get together, a few important emails to take care of, and some plans / strategy for some projects as well as for our trip coming up.

Janene’s at Life Choices tonight, so that gives me about another hour to work before I have to leave to pick her up.

Boy, it’s freezing in this apartment. Every day we get home and it’s just…freezing. I’m sitting here, bundled up beyond belief (BUBB…lol), and I’m still freakin’ freezing. It’ll be nice to be in the house, with enough room that things are piled right on top of the heaters, so that we can keep the house a constant comfortable temperature.

Today was the first day of Spring, and it was really nice out – sunny, warm, and fun feeling. Of course, it’s supposed to rain the rest of the week, into next week. Figures. We’ll be in some good spots for me to go shoot photos, and it’s supposed to be pouring. Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to deal with it. I do have some nifty new software to play with, plenty of computer work to do on the laptop, and lots of sleep to catch up on. Plus, I’m gonna borrow some DVDs from Jon (my brother, who owns Jewelry Resource & Supply, in Seattle), so that’ll be cool. And Janene’ll be done with her classes at some point each day, so we’ll probably hang out and play games and talk and dream then, which will be nice.

Starting as soon as we’re back we’re gonna be packing this place up like crazy – organizing and going through things, cleaning things up and putting them into appropriate boxes or bins (for transport and storage), and generally getting this place ready to empty out in one fell swoop. Which is going to be MUCH easier said than done, that’s for sure. We have a lot of … stuff. But hey, when you figure that you could put all your extra stuff that you own in the attic at the new place and not use any of the other storage, you stop worrying about it quite as much.

Oh, got what will be our new address… 53 Cedar, Snohomish Washington (can’t remember the zip code…) I just think it’s cool to have such a simple address – 53 Cedar. 🙂

Working on a couple of big projects at the moment – finishing up the basic ecom technology that interfaces with PayPal, so that Janene can start selling her art and art supplies online, and so that jewelry resource and supply can get products into their website – not to mention The Weed Patch’s site, which will use that same technology temporarily until the full site is up and running. Plus, hoping to work on and finish the newest version of – which won’t be quite the final version, seeing as how I’ll be working on it alone and there’s several things I don’t yet know how to do, but that’s ok. The new version will be so much better than the current one that those other changes will come around later, and that’ll be ok.

Just put a big proposal together for Life Choices, who’s looking for a grant to get their SHARE program revamped and online in a SERIOUS way. Big, big contract, but should be fun – won’t hear back on it until sometime in July, though. Which should give me time to finish up a couple of these other things, and get The Patch going online and in its new space.

You know, we gave up TV for Lent (we give something up each year – last year it was also TV, and the year before that it was eating out). I don’t miss the dumb thing at all. We still allow ourselves to watch movies – just not “actual” TV – it’s amazing how much brainless time gets spent watching TV. What would happen, I wonder, if TV went away nationwide for a few months? Besides, of course, a baby boom… Would people start to realize that they’re lazy? Would things change for the better, or the worse? It’s really stupid that as a retailer I have to schedule things around TV shows. It’s a sad state of affairs, and a very pathetic statement about the American population. One thing that I distinctly remember from one of my college classes at SPU was a comment about TV and relationship. The suggestion was to not have a TV for the first few years of marriage, because it’s a “romance killer.” I think that’s really true, even if we don’t realize it at the time. Certainly it can be romantic and relaxing to plop down together after a long day and watch some TV. Or it would be, if there was anything good on. We do like Lost, Invasion, and the CSI’s, with the occassional Law & Order thrown in (doesn’t really matter which flavor). But even so, when we don’t have the TV on we communicate more, play more games (we’ve got quite the Cribbage rivalry going), and generally just connect more.

Gas prices are rising again, by the way. Stupid greedy bas#($*#(*. With record high profits, somebody should sanction a few top oil company officials or something. It’s just stupid. [komo news story]

Well, this has gotten to be REALLY long, and since I’m sure I’ve lost everybody by this point, I’m gonna get back to work. Try to finish things up before Janene gets home, maybe.

Today was Sunday.

The end of another weekend, albiet a good one.
Saturday was fun, Sunday was fun and work. We had to run to Harbor Freight, in Everett, to pick up some things that Janene needed for her ArtFest conference coming up, and we ended up in another art supply store that was right next door. Some cool stuff there, and great prices.
Headed home and worked all afternoon, but I won’t bore you with the details.
Watched an interesting movie over dinner – “The Ladies in Lavender” I believe was the title (I could go look, but that would take effort…) Actually a well done movie. Very “real life” kind of a thing. We enjoyed it, but if you’re way into Hollywood and big special effects and nothing else, then you should probably give this one a miss.
Off to crash now, though.

Unintelligent protestors, bills, the moes, and the HOUSE!

Wow. That is one cool house we’re gonna live in. We got to see it in the day today from the inside, and holy cow – it’s nice. Well, right now it’s absolutely filthy, so the landlord definitely has some cleaning to do before we can move in. But it will BE nice, once it’s clean and we’re in there.
Very excited, indeed.
Went to The Hub in Snohomish with Moe. I love their burgers. Had a merry time watching Moe feed Elise, as the women were out to celebrate Holly and Grahame’s birthdays.
Then tonight we ended up at the Moe’s place for dinner and … work. Yep. Kinda strange to be sitting here in their living room writing my blog. I just read this section out loud to everyone, because Janene asked what I was doing. Yeah. Moe just kicked my butt in both pool and darts. So now I’m up here again, getting ready to deal with more bills from the shop. Lots and lots of bills. Ugh. I hate that part of the job. A LOT.
So on the way in to the store this morning, we passed a corner that pretty much always has protestors or morons of some sort out there. It’s a good corner for it, as it gets lots of traffic. Today they were calling Dick Cheney a pig, and really pretty much just acting like ignorant A-HOLES. And Janene had the observation that “why do they need to do that…” Which led to an interesting discussion about the pathetic state of society that leads to slander and downright stupidity being peddled on the street corner for all to endure. I understand free speech, and trying to get your viewpoint into the public. But really – taking a blown up picture of Cheney and putting lipstick on it and calling him a pig? How remarkably unintelligent is that? Not so much the mature debate among intellictuals, that. Decided I’d never waste my breath talking to someone like that. Huh.
Lots of work going into this newsletter, since it’s the first quarterly edition we’re putting out. So many cool changes going on at the store, it’s great.
Got an email from Jen’s and Amy with an update about their daughter, Kaelin. She’s so beautiful, and it’s really fun to read about their lives.
I like it here, at the moe’s place. Moe just sneezed. Bless you, Moe. Again. Janene says so, too.
So yeah. I think I’ll get stuff together here and wrap it up. Last night I went to sleep at 10:30, and it’s already past that. The witching hour has begun.
Good night, Sponge Bob.

Stupid Boring Blog.

As much as I love to write, sometimes I just feel all dried up. Which is really quite silly since there’s so much going on in life at the moment that I can’t even think straight. But it is how it is, I suppose.
Yesterday was fun (although I didn’t blog); we ended up getting to see the Moes for dinner at The Seattle Crab Company. Elise went just crazy after dinner when Auntie Janene tried to hold her for a while. It was really quite funny, and the highlight of the evening.
Today Janene had her test for her certification class. After that we went to Daniel Smith, where we were for a VERY long time. Made it home late afternoon in enough time to work and crash for a few minutes. Now it’s “dinner time,” and we’re watching some movies while I work.
Tomorrow the gals are all going to Snohomish to celebrate Grahame’s birthday, so we’re going to go by the new house and show it to them, and measure the rooms so that we can start to plan.
And yeah. That’s it for now. What a boring blog.

WHHHEEEEEE… and a giant pickle.

* g r i n *
Today was a fun day. A lot of work, tons going on, busy busy busy, but very fun day.
It started with me taking Janene in to a class at McCormick and Schmicks. Schmicks, Schmucks. Anyway, that meant I got in to the store quite early, which proved to be very productive. Which was a good thing, and a good sign, too.
The day progressed, and I managed to get several things worked on. I also sold another ad spot in the Patch newsletter, which is very exciting. I got to talk to Kelli Cabuco, one of our employees, about a great many things, and it was fun.
The big thing for today was to go look at a house down in Snohomish that we were thinking about renting. The house was even cooler than we anticipated it might be. Which is to say, it kicked … bum.
A VERY rough estimate (guess) puts the overall square footage at ~2000, plus a full attic, full basement, and two enclosed rooms / porches off the back of the kitchen. It has an entry way, four bedrooms, two full bathrooms (one has a clawfoot tub and a pedestal sink), a sweet kitchen with an insane amount of cupboards / drawers / storage, a wonderful dining room / living room with wood floors and high ceilings and huge windows…. It has an enclosed porch (sunroom) with shelves that used to hold plants (and will again), and off of that another enclosed room that’s wonderful. Upstairs there’s three bedrooms with lots of closet space and a second full bathroom. The master bedroom is huge and light and airy; another bedroom has the working remnants of a kitchen (sink, countertops, etc.) that Janene will use as her art studio; the third bedroom upstairs will house the guest bed, desk / file cabinet / bill stuff, and all of Janene’s art merchandise. There’s a full attic and a full basement (with washer / dryer and TONS of storage). It’s literally a 15 second walk to downtown Snohomish; it overlooks the river, lumber mill, and a ways off the railroad tracks (you can faintly hear the train – far enough away to be romantic and not a problem). There’s a wonderful garden with lots of plants, and a nice yard (that we don’t have to maintain!). High ceilings everywhere, but with great windows and efficient heat. Lots of natural light, and open space.
Anyway, we’ll have the lease in our hot little hands by tomorrow to sign our lives away, and we’re very excited. I took some photos on the XT but don’t know if they turned out (they were taken quickly while walking through the place…) – I’ll post them here or in the gallery once I’ve seen them and had the chance to clean them up.
In other exciting news, I received the following email from Moe (it’s a listing from CraigsList) this evening when I got home.
Free HUGE Inflatable Pickle
Date: 2006-03-15, 6:13AM
Free to good home:
Giant inflatable pickle. It’s made of canvas-like material. Kind of like a rubber raft would be.
By giant I mean really giant. I haven’t inflated it in awhile, but it’s seriously 3 or 4 times as long as my car and at least as big around. I could seriously park my toyota inside if there was a way in.
It says “Heinz” on one side.
A word to the wize: this is not as cool as it sounds. It’s seriously a terrible nuisance. It weighs probably over 100 lbs and takes up tons of space in my garage.
It’s completely Useless. When I got it, I was super stoked, envisioning myself spending all kinds of quality time with the pickle, inflating it at the park, floating it bravely in lake washington, sliding with it down some untamed mountain slope. That is the vision. It won’t happen, because the thing takes about 45mins to inflate and even longer to deflate and fold up. It’s seriously extremely heavy and impossible to move. If there is even the slightest wind, watch out. An unteathered pickle will go on a destructive rampage, rolling over anything in its path and careening down hills and across open spaces. This happened at the beach and was a terrible experience. My wife said that she wished the pickle had blown out to sea.
That was the last time the pickle has been out, and I’m sure it’s not happy. That’s why I am going to give it away to someone who can use the pickle properly. Maybe a school with a pickle as thier mascot? If I don’t get rid of it, it’s going to ruin my marriage.
And with that, I’ll say goodnight!

A short entry.

What an insane day. SO much happened at the shop, and I’m so dragging. I think it’s gonna be to bed early tonight, as I have to take Janene to her meeting first thing tomorrow morning. Then tomorrow evening we get to go look at this house in Snohomish that we’re really excited about and hoping will be something we can fall in love with.
Today we had two advertising sales for the newsletter today, which is really exciting. It’ll help us drop our cost some for printing and mailing (or, more accurately, it will help cover some of the printing costs). That’s actually really exciting, as I didn’t know if we’d get much response for the newsletter. What it DOES mean is that we actually have to get down to writing the content, and getting the thing laid out. More work than it sounds, as this will be an 8 to 12 page deal.
Got some very cool new things in to the store today. LOTS of boxes, and more freight coming in every day. Makes for quite a ton of work, though. But the new store sure is going to be cool. I wish it was done already, but I suppose later on down the road I’ll look back at all the work and appreciate the store more. Probably a good thing.
Well, short entry for the day. i’m off to sleep, I do believe. Tomorrow’s going to be a LONG day.

A home worth the commute?

The City of Snohomish, Washington.
Joel Wetzel Quote: “Dude, you and Janene need to live in Snohomish. It’s a Chris and Janene kinda town.”
Funny that. It might just turn out to be a mildly prophetic statement. Since our initial housing deal fell through a few days ago, we’ve been scouring the housing ads and looking for something that really got us excited. We found a house yesterday (Sunday) that we were just amazed at, due to all its storage. After visiting it today, we still love the space – but maybe not quite enough to justify the commute. HOWEVER, we got a call from (get this) the OTHER Country Village administrator, Leeann, this evening. She was calling back on a house we’d called on yesterday (not knowing it was her – we’ve now talked to BOTH administrators about housing…it’s a small world). Just from her description, and the location of the house, we’re falling in love. We have a meeting on Wednesday night, and I (for one) am desperately hoping it’s not a let down (Janene’s been so stressed about this that I don’t know if I can handle one more let down). But the house sounds amazing: It’s 4 bed, 2 full bath, has a basement, large rooms and closets, lots of hardwood floors, a decent sized kitchen…the downstairs bath has a claw foot tub and a pedestal sink (Janene’s face lit up on that, let me tell ya…). It’s literally about 10 seconds to the heart of Main Street. If this house looks as good as it sounds, then the commute would definitely be worth it (quoting Janene). It would be a house to fall in love with and look forward to coming home to every night.
Moving on. I managed to get the advertising packets out for our newsletter. Now we’ll see if they generate any ad sales or not. Probably not, this first time around. But I guess we’ll see. I also got some great advertising over to Keepsake Cottage; it’s a collaboration ad between Keepsake, The Patch, and The Red Shed; it’ll be handing out to hundreds of our target market over this next weekend, so the following week may be insane. Which would be cool.
ArtFest is fast approaching, and Janene and I are both looking forward to the trip. We’ll be gone for 9 days, starting at Coupeville (on Whidbey) and headed from there to Pt. Townsend, Washington. I’m going to be taking TONS of photos, so keep an eye out for those in early April. I’m also hoping to get the Patch ecom storefront up and running, as well as finishing a couple of other projects up (including, perhaps, another big step forward on version 4) I’m also planning on reading and journaling a lot, and sleeping a ton. So if I don’t get something done, tough luck. Maybe.
I’m gonna go crawl into bed and fall asleep trying to figure out my insane schedule this week. That, and some of the logistics for a couple of projects. Either that or I’ll just pass out right away. With how tired I am, that’s seeming pretty likely.
Oh yeah – the Yakima Fruit Market is open now, for those of you in the Bothell area who want really great deals on really great produce.

A Hopeful Sunday

What a Sunday! Slept in a little, got a call from my parents to go out to breakfast at The Cabbage Patch in Snohomish. That was a great meal, and a lot of fun. Then Janene and I drove around Snohomish again looking for potential rental houses.
And out of the blue we stumbled across this sweet deal of a place, like 2 minutes out of downtown. It’s a 1900 square foot place, with more storage than even Janene and I could use. It’s got a HUGE downstairs, with a free standing fireplace – perfect for fun parties and entertaining, as well as daily life.
So that was most of the day. From there we came home, and had yet another discussion as to things like commute time and logistics. We have to make a decision over the next day or so, as to whether or not to apply for the place. I’m excited, but reserved, I think. I might just be too tired to know.
It was, however, a really beautiful day today. Sunny, warm enough to enjoy the day – almost a bonified Spring day!
So what else is new? I uploaded some new photos in the gallery last night, and then uploaded a few more tonight. Check out the Outings album, Stan & Sharon’s Album, and Friends & Family.
Other than that, I’m going to log off. Yesterday’s entry was long enough for two days.