Day 2 of our Commute Experiment

So we left 4 minutes later today than yesterday – at 6:34am. Having only 2 days worth of data for the morning commute, it’s hard to say if that 4 minutes was really an extra 12+ minutes, or if yesterday was simply an abnormally light day.

Janene missed her bus this morning, but was able to catch one just as we arrived at the Park and Ride in Kenmore. It’s great, actually, that she can miss a bus or two and still not wait that long. The PROBLEM is that by missing her bus this morning, she missed her transfer at the other end – so she’ll have to wait down there and will get to work later. Bummer on a day that she has very little actual work time due to meetings and such.

Damn Proud.

I got an email from Don Cunningham, my dad-in-law, first thing this morning that really got me thinking. It got me thinking about America, and the things I take for granted. It made me see red at all the a-holes that stand in the street protesting our involvement around the World – and putting down our troops and their sacrifices. I’ve included the email below (I DON’T know if it’s legit or not, as it states – however, I think it’s still valuable and true). And I realize, I’m DAMN proud to be an American. I may not be able to carry a gun to defend our country – I have to rely on others for that. But I sure as hell appreciate those that do. And I (personally) LOATHE those that take this country not only for granted but that whine and complain about how unfair things are, and how poor [insert name] isn’t getting a fair shake in this world.
You know what? Life is hard. Nobody said it would be easy. Nobody said you’d get what you want. Here in America, our lives are BLESSED. We DON’T worry about getting on a bus in the morning for fear of a bomber. We DON’T have an entire nation starving to death or living in our own filth (I’m not saying that people aren’t starving or living in poor conditions – but that’s another rant…). I AM saying SHUT UP and STOP WHINING. We could have nothing. We could live in filth, or be starving, or not have a roof over our heads (much less a beautiful home built in 1900 that has character oozing out of every pore, and happens to be in one of our favorite towns in Washington…), or clothes on our back. We could be scrounging for every meal, every breath.
This is a poem being sent from a Marine to his Dad. For those who take the time to read it, you’ll see a letter from him to his Dad at the bottom. It makes you truly thankful for not only the Marines, but ALL of our troops.
We all came together,
Both young and old
To fight for our freedom,
To stand and be bold.
In the midst of all evil,
We stand our ground,
And we protect our country
From all terror around.
Peace and not war,
Is what some people say.
But I’ll give my life,
So you can live the American way.
I give you the right
To talk of your peace.
To stand in your groups,
and protest in our streets.
But still I fight on,
I don’t bitch, I don’t whine.
I’m just one of the people
Who is doing your time.
I’m harder than nails,
Stronger than any machine.
I’m the immortal soldier,
I’m a U.S. MARINE!

So stand in my shoes,

And leave from your home.
Fight for the people who hate you,
With the protests they’ve shown.
Fight for the stranger,
Fight for the young.
So they all may have,
The greatest freedom you’ve won.
Fight for the sick,
Fight for the poor
Fight for the cripple,
Who lives next door.
But when your time comes,
Do what I’ve done.
For if you stand up for freedom,
You’ll stand when the fight’s done.
By: Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert, US Marine CorpsUSS SAIPAN, PERSIAN GULF
March 23, 2003
Hey Dad,
Do me a favor and label this “The Marine” and send it to everybody on your email list. Even leave this letter in it. I want this rolling all over the US; I want every home reading it. Every eye seeing it. And every heart to feel it. So can you please send this for! me? I would but my email time isn’t that long and I don’t have much time anyway. You know what Dad? I wondered what it would be like to truly understand what JFK said in His inaugural speech.
“When the time comes to lay down my life for my country, I do not cower from this responsibility. I welcome it.”
Well, now I know. And I do. Dad, I welcome the opportunity to do what I do. Even though I have left behind a beautiful wife, and I will miss the birth of our first born child, I would do it 70 times over to fight for the place that God has made for my home. I love you all and I miss you very much. I wish I could be there when Sandi has our baby, but tell her that I love her, and Lord willing, I will be coming home soon. Give Mom a great big hug from me and give one to yourself too.
FREEDOM isn’t FREE … someone pays for you and me.

A very strange little link.

From a friend, I at least got quite a chuckle…
In other news, what a sweet day today has been. I got the media room set up (had to have a TV for the Comcast guy to test the connection – and good thing, too, as the outside cable didn’t work and had to be replaced), so we now have music throughout the house…nice!
Been sitting here since then working on store stuff, and realizing JUST how far behind I am on things. Oye – gonna be a late several nights.
The NICE part about the day has been the wonderful, warm sun and the choo-choo of the train off in the distance. It’s starting to overcast up now, but that’s ok – it has been a good day.

Thanks for the move!

What a weekend!

The move went quite well, I think. Well, about as expected, I suppose. Nobody got seriously injured (other than being out of shape and using muscles that need to be exercised far more often – at least for myself…), nothing got broken or damaged, and 95% of the apartment got moved over to the house – and much of that got moved in, or at least put in the appropriate room.

Had some great food, and it was definitely fun to see friends and family.

Easter was a lot of fun, and was as we felt it should be. We had 14 people here at the house, plus two cute little girls (hi Elise and Fiona!); we had a feast, lots of laughs, and generally a good time. Janene got a headache – perhaps just from stress and letdown and emotions going up and down so much – but by the time she crawled into bed it seemed to be better, and this morning seemed to be gone (from my perspective, anyway…)

The house is wonderful – it definitely has it’s little quirks, and it needs a really deep clean (the cleaning lady that came in didn’t do a FANTASTIC job – she did a mostly ok surface clean…) so that’s pretty high up on the list of priorities. We have several things we’re going to need to purchase (some lighting for Janene’s studio, some furniture pieces, drapes, etc.) but overall things are really great.

I’m sitting here waiting for the Comcast guy to get here, so that I can get online – in the meantime, I’m piggybacking on someone else’s unsecured wireless connection. It’s amazing that just about everywhere I go I can do that – kinda funny, kinda scary.

I do still have a ton of photos to clean up and get into the gallery – that’ll be another couple of weeks probably. I have a bunch from our trip, and from ArtFest, as well as some great ones from Easter here at the house. Oh, and there’s a bunch ‘o baby chicks running around Country Village that I got some good pictures of, so I’ll be sure to post those in, too.

I can’t believe how far behind I am on things, and how much is going on – the store expansion is flying up on us so quickly it’s just nuts. On top of that is still moving in and getting settled into the house, which is fun but definitely work.

Thank you all, who helped with the move, so much. We (obviously, and literally) couldn’t have done it without all your help and effort.

We’re looking forward to “many moons” of fun, laughter, and life in this house, and you’re all welcome to come by any time!

It’s late, and tomorrow is a big day…

So this is going to be short. Hopefully after this weekend, as I start to get caught up on things, I’ll be back to posting something nearly every day. I know it’s been a little sporadic, but I’m working on things…

As everyone who reads this blog knows, tomorrow is the start of the “big move” down to Snohomish. How exciting! Janene and I met my parents down at the house tonight, did a walk-through, took pictures of things, and cleaned the kitchen cupboards so that tomorrow the kitchen can be moved in… Holy cow.

Comcast comes on Monday between 8am and noon – so we’ll have internet access after that, as well – which will be great.

The house is so wonderful – even with several issues (just from it being built in 1900) to contend with, we love it. Neither of us wanted to drive back to Seattle tonight – and it wasn’t just ’cause we were exhausted. It’ll be fun to sleep there starting tomorrow night… 🙂

Thank you, in advance, to all of you who are helping make the move possible – we REALLY appreciate it… 🙂

I’m brainstorming some good (deeper, richer, more inspired) blog subjects – so if there’s something (serious) you want me to rant about, let me know! Otherwise, I suppose you’ll get whatever my twisted mind comes up with!

And now, since tomorrow is going to be a long and physically difficult day, I’m going to push “Publish” and then go to sleep. Sllleeeeeeppppppp…..

so MUCH crap…!

What a week, and what a day…moving, as exciting as the end result may be, is still an act of self imposed insanity. I cannot believe how many boxes we have packed and taken up to my parent’s living room (which has, most of this last year, been used as a “storage locker” for some move or another)… I have another full van load to take up first thing in the morning – and the sad part is that (guessing here) we’ve probably got at LEAST 2-3 more loads. Fortunately, once they’re all there, it’ll be a single UHaul load.
Which reminds me, I need to call UHaul and reserve a truck. Hm. That’d be a good one not to forget again.
I’m so stinkin’ tired, my body is protesting sitting upright to write this. However, I know that if I don’t blog on a regular basis the world will stop spinning on it’s axis, birds will fall from the sky like stones, fish will fly (as will pigs…), and this sneeze I’ve developed from so much dust will propel me into space for all eternity.
Which might be ok for some, but there’s no way I’m going to be the reason for the end of Earth as we know it.
So today was hectic, as I had to cover the afternoon at the store – nothing like not being able to find anyone to cover things for an afternoon…. My mom was gonna cover (she’s one of our employees) but she awoke (after being here until midnight last night helping us pack) with a nasty migraine that made her physically ill – so that obviously wouldn’t work. So I covered. Oh well, it was a good break from packing.
And now, at 9:36pm, I’m going to go take a hot shower (I’m soaking wet from carting load after load of boxes to the van in the pouring rain) and crawl into bed. I need to do some introspective art journaling, I think. That and curl up in Janene’s arms and fall asleep. There is, I think, no greater comfort. And yes, I’ll proudly admit that sometime’s I need to be on the receiving end of comfort instead of the giving end.

Trip Summary

It has been a few days since I posted – we were obviously out of town (for ten days, even though I only managed to get two “travel logs” up during that time) and since we’ve gotten back life has really hit hard.

To summarize the trip, it was fantastic. Janene took her first class of the trip with Claudine Hellmuth in Coupeville. During this time I took hundreds of photos, watched a few good movies, slept some, enjoyed the view from our “Cottage on the Cove”, ate some good food, and hung out with Janene and some of the artists.

From Coupeville we moved on to Pt. Townsend for ArtFest. Janene took three days of metals classes this year, which was a new and exciting experience for her. I regained an interest in doing some art, and have started turning my journal into more of an art journal, which is kind of fun. I’ve also decided I’d like to learn some metal work, and do that on a semi-regular basis.
Andy, Holly, and Elise came over to say hello on Friday afternoon, which was just wonderful. We hung out until Janene was done with class, then chatted a while, caught dinner, and went to Vendor Night at ArtFest. They caught the late ferry home – it was really fun and meant a lot that they came over.

We went from ArtFest to Union to see Don and Esther for Sunday afternoon – which was very relaxing. Pretty much sat around chatting and munching on food, and didn’t hardly do any work at all. It was great. We came back into town on Monday morning first thing.
Since then, it has been shop work left and right – and on top of that trying to pack. Life is crazy, but it’s a good crazy. We’re really pushing to have our place packed up as early as possible, and to live off of … nothing, really, for a day or few. That way we can move on the 15th with as little hassle as possible – I’m really excited.

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.