Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

We hope that everyone is having a Wonderful Christmas!

The three of us were spoiled.  Yes that does include Angel.  We know Angel doesn't understand Christmas but she does understand being spoiled.  She has been playing with various toys from her toy and treat gift box, from Santa, all day.

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I probably should have mentioned before I started this post that Nathan was home with us for Christmas.  He was scheduled to work but his coworker told him he would cover for him.  He does have his phone on in case he gets called in but with 20 minutes left before the end of his scheduled shift the day was great.  Nathan got various gifts that he appreciated.  A stocking full off toys and goodies and plenty of gifts from Mom & Dad, Santa and of course Angel & I.

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I got a stocking full of toys and chocolate and plenty of presents from Nathan, MIL & FIL and Santa.

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Have a Great New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Time Magazine

About a year ago I signed up for Time magazine, 24$ for 2 years. I like the magazine and have glossed over its bias and stupid articles for too long. When they finally came out and announced 2007's man of the year as Vladimir Putin I finally decided to give up on it. Most magazines are hurting for subscriptions due to more content moving to the Internet and I see no reason to support something that I rarely agree with. While Putin is definitely a powerful and influential man I would never consider him for man of the year. He is attempting to rekindle the Cold War and revive the Soviet Empire. I was hoping the Burmese Monks would win. It seems I will be voting with my wallet twice this month. Yet another subscription to cancel.

When I cancelled they didn't even ask me why.... So I sent them an email:
"I would suggest when someone cancels a subscription you ask them why and not just provide a contact link if they desire, most won't bother and your company may not gain valuable insight into how it could improve.

I prefer an optomistic outlook and a company with a moral compass. The consistent liberal bias, over reporting of everything bad about the US with very litte mention of anything good and specifically the latest Time's Person of the year drove me to cancel. I can't believe you gave President Putin frontpage coverage and worldwide recognition for curtailing freedoms and trying to revive communism and the cold war. You tried to set it up by saying the selection is not always a "good" person but an influential one. So would man of the 20th century be Hitler?

As a company you do have moral responsibilites, which you hold other companies to but seem to be lacking yourself. Please do your part in this World to make it better, not worse."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blockbuster vs. Netflix

I was always happy with Netflix and their movie rentals via mail. But, I did stop the subscription when we moved out to Hawaii, I figured the time it took to mail out to Hawaii would decrease the value. Now that we are back on the mainland I started up a subscription with Blockbuster. At first I expected blockbuster to go bankrupt and be unable to compete with Netflix, but they made me change my mind. For 19$ a month you received 3 movies by mail that you could turn in for 3 free movies... So you were getting double the movies for the same price as Netflix AND I was allowed one free game rental per month which was perfect for my new PS3. They also offer Blu-Ray discs so we can rent the more expensive format at no extra cost. Of course this deal was too good to be true and Blockbuster finally realized they were losing money. So in September they FORCED me to change my subscription plan. I lost my free game every month and the rate was hiked to 26$ (I am stubborn and hate being forced into anything). I grumbled and considered canceling my subscription but even at the higher price we always managed to watch enough movies to make it worth our while. Until the other day, I received another "notice." The price would increase to 35$ per month. They have pushed their luck too far. They have obviously delayed their bankruptcy by taking a short term loss to draw people in. Now they think most people will stay with increased prices, they are so wrong. We will be canceling our subscription and after a few months probably restart our Netflix account (17$ a month and they offer movies downloaded via the Internet which my PS3 can handle via my Windows Vista Media Server, so I can watch movies off of my laptop on my HD TV). Blockbuster is doomed, they can't compete.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Marriage Enrichment Retreat

Hubby had an early Christmas present surprise; a weekend marriage enrichment retreat in Portsmouth.  This retreat was through Spiritual Fitness Division of Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.  The location for this retreat was at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth on the water's edge.

At the retreat we learned about each other's personality, primary love language and levels of guilt.  There were plenty of other topics that were covered including communication, bonding and romance.  We recommend that all married couples go through an enrichment retreat.  You learn more about your partner and why they are the way they are.

Our room was big but without a refrigerator.  The lobby was beautiful and big.  We thought that the Renaissance Hotel was better than the Hilton Hawaiian in Hawaii.  The food was excellent.  On Saturday night we ate a three course meal that was the chef's specialty for the evening, chicken alfredo.  We had eggs, fruit and bacon for breakfast.  At lunch we had a crescent turkey sandwich.

I should mention that on the 10th of December Nathan finally sent an e-mail to inquire about his status on the IA since we hadn't heard one way or the other if he was going for sure.  Someone else had volunteered to go so Nathan was fine.  Thank goodness because we only had a month left before he was to depart and I don't know if we would have been ready.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Command Christmas Party

The Command Christmas Party was this evening.  It was at The Founders Inn.  This is the same 4 star hotel that we stayed in our first couple of nights in the Tidewater Area.  We showed up at the party at 6:30pm for cocktails.  The lobby's were decorated for Christmas and the fireplaces were lit.  It was beautiful.  I did drag hubby to get a picture done.

We stayed long enough to have dinner, dessert and to see who won the first couple of Christmas gifts.  We made it home around 9:15pm.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007


We celebrated Thanksgiving a day early.  Hubby had to work on Thanksgiving Day.  Our celebration and giving Thanks was forced into a whirlwind.  On the 20th Nathan received an e-mail stating that his response was needed to a situation.  Nathan made a phone call and was told that his name was put in for an IA or Individual Augmentee.  An Individual Augmentee is a Sailor who goes on deployment with another branch of the military.  IAs don't deploy with other Sailors in their command.  If Nathan was chosen he was to leave in less than two months.

Our Turkey dinner was a success.  Nathan cooked a 13lb Tom Turkey that turned out excellent.  It actually cooked in almost half the time.  Of course we stuffed ourselves and had plenty of turkey left over.

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Amazon Kindle

Amazon released the best ebook so far. I have been checking these things out for years now and they finally have the technology to replace books. But, it still isn't worth the 400$ price tag for me. It does come with a free no-contract usage of Sprints EVDO network which is a huge bonus. So you can download content almost anywhere. Most books are available and all the major magazines and papers have jumped onboard. I am impressed but the deciding factor for me is my restriction at work. Electronic devices are not allowed. This would be something I would take with me everywhere so when I have a few minutes to kill I can spend it reading. I think waiting out another year or two will allow the bugs to be worked out and hopefully a wider screen. I would also only buy something that can read adobe pdf's. I look forward to the day I never have to pick up a book again.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Phishing Challenge

This simple challenge is a good example of the most basic types of phishing. I fell for one of these a while back but immediately realized it when I noticed the URL wasn't correct and changed my password before anything bad happened. The easiest way to avoid these is to never click a link in an email to access a login page (goto the webpage directly in your browser instead, i.e. www.ebay.com) and never take action on any email telling you to reset/change/update your password or account details.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Florida Drivers License Registration

I just requested an extension of my soon to expire drivers license in the state of Florida. It allows me to use my expired license as a valid ID until 90 days after I am discharged from the military. It will be nice not to have to worry about renewing a drivers license for the rest of my Navy career (I am now at 9 years and still undecided if I am going to stick it out for the full 20).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monster Dash 5k

I made this run in a little over 22 minutes. Another nice run around the base. It started 2 blocks from my house, looped around part of the base, and finished at one of the base gyms right next to work. I can't say how nice it is to be able to walk to work and the gym in under 10 minutes. Over 1000 people ran this race and it was packed. It felt pretty good and I ran the first mile in 7 minutes, but slowed down a little for the remaining 2. They had free subway and powerade at the finish… which is odd since you really don't need any food after running just 3 miles, but I took a turkey sub anyways. This is great for a free race, I'll participate in more of them. They are monthly but not always at the Norfolk Navy Base.

Unfortunately I had to work halloween night and in my absence Rikki abused the poor dog with the mother in laws costume.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Overheating Hands and Feet at Night

I always need it cool at night to sleep. I usually sleep covered by a single sheet while the wife has all the blankets doubled over on her (and her feet are still cold). Even with just the single sheet I overheat and need to sleep with my hands and feet uncovered. The other night my hands and feet were burning up for about 3 hours straight (with the temperature at 67 degrees since our heater is busted). I finally google'd it to see what my problem was. It turns out the warming of the hands and feet is a normal process called vasodilation that the body does to reduce the body's core temperature and induce sleep. Surprisingly google did not turn up any results for this keeping people up at night. I found a single person that had similar symptons and emailed him. He responded back saying the doctors always look at him like he is crazy when he explains the problem to them and he has never found a solution. My solution is going downstairs and laying on the kitchen's tiled floor in the draftiest/coldest part of the house. I'm curious if anyone else in the family has this problem...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I've Been SPAM'd

I knew it was bound to happen eventually. Especially since buying my own domain name "natewinters.com" and using that email. It is actually my third email account (after hotmail and yahoo) and I have tried very hard to not get on spammer lists, but it was bound to happen.

A few days back I came home to find over 1000 emails in my account. All of them were bounce backs, i.e. returned to sender due to recipient unavailable. The sad part is not knowing how many thousands went out to valid emails with my email address in the from field.

Unfortunately anyone can forge an email header to make it say whatever they want. I contacted my GoDaddy to see what they offered for help and got the following response:

"These emails are the result of an e-mail spoofing exploit in which someone sends out spam emails that appear to be from an address other than the actual source. This is one of the easiest exploits to carry out, as the spammer can simply change the Reply To address in their e-mail application. Spammers often will use a random address from their spam list as the From address in their outgoing spam, which is likely how your domain and/or address originally became associated with this spam traffic."

"As an additional measure, you may wish to create an SPF Record for your domain. An SPF Record is a list of servers that are authorized to send email that has a return address based on your domain. If an incoming mail server is configured to check for this record, it will reject any email coming from a server that is not listed in the SPF record."

Unfortunately there is not much else to be done. I haven't noticed my email being blacklisted yet, but I'd imagine it will happen eventually. for now all of the "delivery failure" bouncebacks have stopped. I hope it doesn't happen again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fleet Week Half Marathon

I had planned to run this 1/2 marathon but never did get around to registering due to some recurring hip pain. I found out a day before the race that a friend registered and wasn't going to run it so I asked if I could run in his place. The next day I ran the marathon and didn't do too bad 1:52 minutes. My goal was under 2 hours. My feet were hurting at the end and my muscles were burning but overall it was a good run. The marathon was all within the Navy base and had almost 1000 participants. I should have trained a bit more for it but I had been training for the PRT (physical readiness test) pretty regularly so I was in shape for the semi-annual 1.5 mile run but not really for the 13.2 miler. The PRT was 5 days later, so I think my 1.5 mile suffered a little (10:30) since I wasn't fully recoverd. Oddly enough my hip pain was better after the run and was completely gone for a few days after.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New Server Setup Complete

So we haven't been posting all that much due to problems with the server. I finally took the time to get the thing working properly so expect to see a bit more in the future. Especially now that I have configured it to share pictures and video.Tyner Winters Family.jpg

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

VA State Fair

Military Appreciation Day we spent with my uncle, aunt and cousin in Richmond.  The VA State Fair was being held at the International Raceway.  We rode some rides, saw some exhibitions, saw some shows and even tasted some treats.  My Uncle John and his family live in Newport News which is about a 40 minute drive from our home on the base.  This was the second time that we met up with them since Maggie has contacted me.  I actually don't really know when the last time is that I saw my uncle?!  I believe that last time I saw him was not too much longer after we moved to VT.  That was well over 13 years ago.  Uncle John and his wife Maggie weren't able to make it to our wedding so this is another part of the Tyner family that Nathan is meeting for the first time.  Uncle John and Maggie eloped about 7 years ago so I hadn't met Maggie yet.  Sorry no pictures yet.  I am still trying to figure out the new software.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I didn't realize blogspot was bought out by google. I setup this temp blog once again while we wait on our new server to come back.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pilot Jokes

What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots?
If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, .... the Pilot dies.

Progress in airline flying: now a flight attendant can get a pilot pregnant.

The following are accounts of actual exchanges between airline pilots and control towers around the world. Remember that the conversations are heard by all pilots on that frequency in that area.

TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees.
Centre, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?
Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727

From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue:
I'm fucking bored!
Ground Traffic Control: Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!
Unknown aircraft: I said I was fucking bored, not fucking stupid!

O'Hare Approach Control to a 747:
United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound.
United 329: Approach, I've always wanted to say this... I've got the little Fokker in sight.

A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked, What was your last known position?
Student: When I was number one for takeoff.

A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down.
San Jose Tower Noted: American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If you are not able, take the Guadeloupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport.

There's a story about the military pilot calling for a priority Landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running a bit peaked. Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two, behind a B-52 that had one engine shut down. Ah, the fighter pilot remarked,The dreaded seven-engine approach.

A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following:
Lufthansa (in German): Ground, what is our start clearance time?
Ground (in English): If you want an answer you must speak in English.
Lufthansa (in English): I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): Because you lost the bloody war.

Tower: Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on Frequency 124.7
Eastern 702: Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway.
Tower: Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, Contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?
Continental 635: Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers.

One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee. Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said, What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?
The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one.

The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.
Speedbird 206: Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway.
Ground: Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven.
The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?
Speedbird 206: Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now.
Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?
Speedbird 206 (coolly): Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- >And I didn't land.

While taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming: US Air 2771, where the hell are you going?! I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right! Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically: God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour, and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771? Yes, ma'am, the humbled crew responded. Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking: Wasn't I married to you once?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Server and software upgrade

I am finally retiring my old college computer that has been serving up our webpage these past 5 years. Rikki wants me to get rid of one of my computers..... I actually bought this computer from Tobin back when he worked at Staples. It is ridiculously old but has been able to run Windows XP Pro IIS reliably, but extremely slowly.

Now, the new server is one of our all in one desktops. 19" 3.2ghz Dual Core 2ghz RAM and 250gb hard drive. So along with the new computer I upgraded the software too. I originally setup Drupal (content management software) but we really didn't need the journal, wiki, forum, books, etc. So I decided to stick with movabletype just for the blog software. I'll figure out how to share all of our pictures and videos next.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy Belated 28th

My birthday was on a Thursday.  Nathan had work on that day so I thought that it would be better to celebrate after Nathan's work week.  On Monday Nathan took me up to Hampton.  We went to a movie but it wasn't your typical movie theater.  We actually had a meal and full service at a Cinema Cafe.  Since it was a work day we thought that it would be better to see a movie during the day.  We chose to go for lunch and see Ratatouille.  It was pretty cool.

After the movie we thought that we would drive around.  There was supposed to be a mall not too far from the theater but of course it was under construction.  I did walk around the new JCPenney but I wasn't that impressed.


Monday, July 16, 2007


It was so good to be home but plenty of laundry to do, dishes to get done and a car to clean out. I also had to go grocery shopping since we emptied the fridge of anything that could spoil while we were gone.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Heading Home

It was raining all morning in New Hampshire so we decided to get on the road earlier than planned. It took us about 14 hours to get home. The traffic in Connecticut was horrible again. The same three towns caused problems. Stop and go traffic over the George Washington Bridge and a 5 mile back up in Washington DC. YUCK!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Santa’s Village

Chris and Sarah cooked breakfast before we left for Santa’s Village. It was a full and fun day at Santa’s Village with the kids.
We headed back to the campsite in the afternoon to check in on Angel and to try to take a nap before we had to cook supper. A nap didn’t work out and I helped Donna wash the breakfast dishes. Salmon on the grill and chicken in the crock-pot were a big hit.
Some quality time was spent up at the hot tub with my sister in law and then a game of horse shoes against couples.
Dessert was whoopie pies and smores. We stayed up later after all the sweets.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Hampshire here we come

It took us just under 4 hours to get to New Hampshire. It was a hot drive. When we arrived and checked in at the front office of the Lantern Resort Nathan’s grandmother and parents met us in the parking lot.
We took the afternoon to set up the tents and just hang out. Chip and Donna cooked supper followed by camp fires and smores.
Later in the evening it rained and it was very cold. It reminds me why I don’t do well camping.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lazy Day in Boston

The day was spent doing laundry, cleaning out the car, reorganizing the trunk, packing and going grocery shopping for our weekend camping trip in New Hampshire. We did go out for lunch with my aunt and cousin. In the evening after supper we did take Angel out to play.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Boston Museum of Science

Thanks to Nana’s physical therapist we got to enter the Boston Museum of Science for free. We paid to see some of the special exhibits which almost cost the same as it would have been for entrance into the Museum. So it was a really good deal for us. This is another place where you can spend the entire day. There are lots of interactive and hands on activities in the Museum.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New England Aquarium and Freedom Trail

In the morning we take the subway and head to the New England Aquarium. Please if you are Active Duty ask for the Active Duty discount. It won’t count for dependants but it will count for you. It is a 50% discount. It will cost you extra to see the exhibits and Imax.
After the Aquarium we had lunch and then decided to walk the rest of the trail. We walked by Old City Hall, Granary Burial Ground and Boston Common. There are plenty of places to go shopping through this part of the Freedom Trail.
We head back to Nana’s in time for supper.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Freedom Trail

In the morning we take the subway and head into Downtown and decide to walk the Freedom Trail. The New England Holocaust Memorial and the Paul Revere Mall are interesting walks that are full of history. Stop off at the Faneuil Hall Market for shopping, food and entertainment. We walked half of the trail and then headed back to Nana’s before supper.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Boston Hometown Roslindale

We head to Boston. It takes us 9 hours to get to Boston from PA. We hit traffic in NY which for one of the few times wasn’t too hectic but still slow. Then there was traffic backed up in three different cities in Connecticut.
The rest of the weekend we helped my Papa fix and update his computer and took Angel out to play.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hershey, PA Unplanned Stop

Hubby had a little surprise up his sleeve. He planned a stop at Hershey, PA. The town of Hershey is absolutely beautiful. The town puts a lot of work and care into their community. It is beautiful. I honestly wouldn’t mind retiring there. We just spent a couple of hours at Hershey’s Chocolate World. It was a free tour but I guarantee you that you will spend money in there.
We have to go back to DC and see the rest of the sites and we do have to go back to Hershey’s.
We ate supper in a gazebo in Hershey. We had pizza and a salad and just hung out. It was raining off and on all day in Hershey and some of the thunderstorms were severe.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fireworks and Grouchy Hotel Neighbors

In the morning we were up early. We thought that we would head to the National Museum of Natural History first thing. I thought that they opened at 9:00am but I was wrong. We ended up trying to walk to the World War II Memorial but we couldn’t make it. We turned around and walked back to the National Museum but not before stopping to get some pictures of the Washington Monument. The National Museum was cool. Ladies the Hope Diamond can be found on display in the Splendor of Diamonds Exhibit.
Following the Museum we stopped to see the 4th of July Parade on Constitution Ave. We didn’t stay for long. It was very hot and humid that day and we didn’t want to burn. We grabbed some lunch and then headed back to the hotel.
We took a nap and then tried to head to the Spy Museum but it was rather expense to pay to walk through the Museum. We walked around again and decided to tour the Navy Memorial. There are lots of interesting things in the Memorial. We stopped at the Navy Log registry office and overheard someone talking to the assistant in registering a family member for free. I stopped to check and see what info they had for Nathan. Pretty cool! Our next stop was the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.
We try to head to Gordon Biersch for supper but they were packed. So we grabbed some subs and then headed back to the hotel to relax before we headed out for the fireworks. At 5pm when we got back to the room there was an alert for a tornado warning. Talk about scary! No tornado but some good thunderstorms. The real bummer is all the people who had their spots picked out on the National Mall lawn were sent to the Federal Buildings. The storm passed and the mall was reopened. We took Angel and headed down to the Mall at about 8:00pm. We found a spot pretty easily and weren’t too picky about where we sat. I recorded the entire show on the video camera.
We walked with a crowd of about ½ million people back to the hotel. I was walking into the hotel room when both a male and then a female stopped me to tell me our dog was barking all day. The lady was a little rude and in one of the few moments in my life I spoke up. The lady didn’t like that so she made a complaint to the front desk and then later showed up with her husband at our hotel door. She was really worked up and he was screaming and swearing in the doorway. It was rather ridiculous and their complaints had no standing. Anyway they did have me so upset that I cried the rest of the night and got 3 hours of sleep. In the morning I packed us and we left. I didn’t want to stay. They had totally ruined our time in DC. Nathan thought we should stay and just switch rooms but I didn’t want to put up with even meeting them again.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Our Road Trip Vacation Begins

We head out and are on the road at 10:00am. The traffic in the Hampton Roads area was ridiculous considering it was a Tuesday and after morning rush hour. We made it into Washington DC at about 12:30pm. We checked into the hotel but of course we had to do vale parking since the parking garage for the hotel is a couple of blocks away. I guess we should have known since it is a pretty busy city. We ended up rushing to get everything out of the trunk of the car.
After checking into the Hotel Monaco we decided to get started on our site seeing. We headed to the National Building Museum. The building was dedicated to celebrate engineering, design and construction. Our next stop was right across the street from the hotel, the Smithsonian Institute. This place is unbelievable. You can honestly spend the whole day in here. There is so much to see. Here is the history of the Institute.
In 1826, James Smithson, a British scientist, drew up his last will and testament, naming his nephew as beneficiary. Smithson stipulated that, should the nephew die without heirs (as he would in 1835), the estate should go “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.”
The motives behind Smithson’s bequest remain mysterious. He never traveled to the United States and seems to have had no correspondence with anyone here. Some have suggested that his bequest was motivated in part by revenge against the rigidities of British society, which had denied Smithson, who was illegitimate, the right to use his father’s name. Others have suggested it reflected his interest in the Enlightenment ideals of democracy and universal education.
In the evening, after supper, we take Angel down to the Navy Memorial where the Navy Band has a concert every Tuesday evening. That was the end of our first day in D.C.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Free Annual Credit Report

It is that time of year again. Every 6 months I get a free annual credit report. Mid year I check mine, new year the wife gets hers. Everyone should really take advantage of this, and if someone is worried about ID theft or has had problems in the past they can check one of the three agencies every 4 months.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Roadside Assistance

The battery in my truck finally died after 5 years. The poor thing made an awful racket when I tried starting it. The first time it was from the remote car starter while the garage door was going up so I thought the grinding was from the garage door. The 2nd time it scared me because it sounded like something was seriously wrong. So we go back inside and try to decide who to call. We decide on starting with our housings roadside assistance, if they can't help then we can use Rikki's AAA or my USAA for a tow.

Since we are on base we assumed we would have to escort the mechanic on base. We agreed to meet him at pass and tag. Instead we ended up meeting him at the inspection station due to the fact he needed a police escort! Security has changed a lot since 9/11. So we followed the policeman with the mechanic following us back to the house. The mechanic plugged in the portable charger and the truck started up on the 2nd try.

I'm used to older vehicles draining a battery completely and then just not starting, i.e. no power at all. These newer vehicles can still have enough power in the battery to run the lights, power windows, etc. but not enough to turn over the engine. Hence the nasty grinding that I was afraid would be something serious. A few hours later we had a new battery installed. Factory battery lasted over 5 years, not bad.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gore in 2008

I think the Democrats might have a winning strategy brewing. They will back both Hillary and Obama to satiate the minority and women vote and dig deep into all their supporters bank accounts to flood the media with their "time for a change" theme. Unfortunately neither Hillary or Obama can win the heartland and the democrats might have figured that out by now. So the smart thing would be to push their messages until the october deadline and then throw Al Gore into the mix. Gore will easily become the #1 candidate and the democratic party can double dip into their supporters pockets for a second time (this may also explain why the campaigns started earlier). Al Gore can use his global warming fame to base his campaign on, and anyone that disagrees with it can be ridiculed and quickly swept under the rug. The media is already molding him for the presidency and his book, to be released in october, is just too convenient of a truth to not be a sign. If it wasn't for his extreme global warming stance I would consider voting for him. I think this time around he has nothing to lose and has had plenty of practice to get over his boorish tendencies. If he does win I hope he will not be able to pass his economy killing changes.

I want to see a Guilliani - McCain ticket.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


My favorite blog is back and with some new ideas that might be revolutionary. Bill Whittle is an amazing writer and I look forward to getting a copy of his book, though everythiing in the book is on the webpage. His latest essay is well done though may be tough for some to follow without first reading his other essays. I recommend them all. Hopefully we will be hearing much more about him in the future.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Our Virginia Home

For all who have been asking here are some photos of the house. These photos show you before and after renovation. We are in a home that has been renovated. There are 3 pages of photos so enjoy :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Windows Vista

I finally broke down and bought a new laptop. My old HP ZV5120US has stopped charging and the cost of repair probably isn't worth it (I did try a new power cord with no luck). I may try a new battery since the laptop is still in decent shape. During deployment part of the hard drive failed on me. After several restores and numerous hard drive checking programs (Western Digital and Norton could not repair it) I re-partitioned the 40GB harddrive to 36GB. Lucky for me the bad part of the disk was in the upper 4GB.

I was worried about buying a new computer with Vista, but I couldn't put it off anymore. Circuit City was the best price by far, my only gripe with them is they charge taxes online…. So I bought from the store. I went with a smaller DV6365US and have been pleased so far. I spent a little extra to get the 2gb RAM and 64-bit dual core processor (though 64 bit is only available with Vista Ultimate and is a compatability nightmare), I think it will be worth it. They are still selling laptops with 512mb RAM. My laptop idling uses 1gb, so Vista is definitely only for new computers. Most of the complaints about Vista are from people that upgrade. Upgrading is not something I would recommend. The smoother/prettier eye candy interface is nice, but I was hoping for something innovative and functional. I added a weather, performance, and post-it gadget to my desktop which is convenient. I hope 3rd party developers will improve on the current downloads, it has some potential. The search bar is still hidden, though more accessible than before in the start menu, and it is much smarter, no ridiculous waits anymore. The only other notable improvement is the ability to add RAM via thumb drive or memory card. Supposedly Vista is a complete rewrite and is more secure, but I have been happy with XP for several years now. Vista is a step in the right direction but not worth an upgrade. It also isn't the nightmare many people try to make it out to be. Definitely get it for the next computer you buy and don't fall for the minimum system requirement of 512mb. 1gb should be the min with 2gb recommended.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Internet Speeds

I keep forgetting to compare Internet between moves. There is an easy online test to see how fast your upload and download speeds are here or here.
Download Speed: 4595 kbps (574.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 1783 kbps (222.9 KB/sec transfer rate)

3402.8 kbps

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Opt-Out Credit Card Offers

Finally a way to stop those credit card offers. Just call: 1-888-567-8688. Rikki and I did it 2 weeks ago and are still getting some, but hopefully they will stop soon. The opt-out is completely automated voice recognition. I was actually impressed, the voice recognition was the best I've seen so far. This opt-out is probably the most important thing anyone can do to prevent identity theft.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Glamour Shots Revised

Now for my side of the story. It was painful, literally, especially those crouching photos. But, I can manage it once every 5 years I think. The prices are pretty ridiculous, the markup is outrageous. But, we did well since we didn't buy a large portrait until they gave us the "wall of fame" discount. We planned on going back anyways to buy more so that worked out really well. We also have some more coupons that we will use when we go back to buy for the parents. We did get a package deal so 5X7 or wallets for everyone. If anyone has a preference let us know. I know Rikki is working the orders for the parents.

Rikki's ego is swollen since the owner is going to hang one of our photos on the wall for 30 days. We get to buy it at 50% off, saving about 500$. Did I mention the markup is ridiculous? They also gave us a slideshow (250$) which is here:

Full resolution 57 MB

I'm not sure how well my server will handle the big files. Try the full resolution but I expect most people will have to download the 2nd one. Be patient, my old server is a bit slow. Go watch a movie while it downloads :-p Email me if you have problems and I can make it small enough to go over email.

Glamour Shots said they would call us when the wall portrait is up so we'll go check it out then and order some more.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Glamour Shots Continued

After posting about our wonderful adventures at Glamour Shots yesterday I got a call from them. The owner of Glamour Shots in the Greenbrier Mall looked at portraits yesterday. She liked our photos and wants to put one on the stores Wall Of Fame. If Nathan and I agree to this then we can have either a wall portrait or a family collage at 40 to 45% off. The price would include mounting and framing. The store would request that they have the photo for 30 days so that they may keep it up on their wall. WOW talk about totally having a big head. Nathan and I will head back to the store this weekend to figure out what we want.

This morning our pictures were delivered. Just two days after our photos were taken. I am totally excited. The photos look great! I called Nathan to brag because he is at work.

I am so glad that we decided to get photos taken :) It was so worth it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Glamour Shots

Our 5th Anniversary is up and coming. I wanted to get some professional photos taken to have something to look back on and remember what we looked like and to see how much we have changed. There are 3 places in the Greenbrier Mall that take photos. I stopped at two locations to take a look and see what their setup was. We decided to go with Glamour Shots. They photograph plenty of adults, couples and families. The other location that we checked out seemed to be more for toddlers and children. We made an appointment for the following week.

The entire process for hair, makeup, photos and then picking out photos took 4 hours. The women get their hair and makeup done for the photos. We decided to do three changes for the photos; white shirt and jeans, black shirt and jeans and then a semi-formal picture with Nathan in his whites and me in a cute dress.

Our photographer did a wonderful job. We weren’t sure if we were going to get a good photo for our family picture. Yes this does include Angel. The family photos came out great. Angel was well behaved too. She sat with Nathan and I as pictures were being taken and she didn’t look petrified or run off.

Our second outfit change brought new poses and unique photos. We had a silhouette picture taken and some profiles. Angel was good and stayed in her kennel and didn’t whimper at all.

Our third outfit change brought on more poses and more unique photos; one of which Nathan and I requested. Nathan actually thought of a good one; to recreate our favorite wedding photo every 5 years. So our photographer did that for us.

At the very end of our session I got to have a couple of photos taken by myself.

When we were shown our photos it was very difficult to choose which ones we wanted to purchase. We couldn’t purchase a package for each of the photos but were able to get a thumbnail black book of all the photos for free. Once the photos we did purchase come in and Nathan and I can see them, we may actually go back and reorder a larger photo.

Nathan and I want to thank our Glamour Shots crew for an amazing job. Thank you for allowing us to recreate some old memories and for creating some new ones. We appreciate your time and personal attention to details. Thank you!

For anyone who reads this blog and is the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area, if you are thinking of having some professional photos taken and are interested in Glamour Shots I have a coupon for $100 off between photos and fees. This offer is only good until the end of the month and you have to have this refer a friend coupon. Please e-mail either one of us for the specific info.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

MySpace Craze

MySpace is the new cool place to connect with people. Let me tell you how much I was really NOT a fan of MySpace. One of my big issues/concerns with MySpace was splattered all over the news. There were numerous reports of people tracking other people and then killing them. I have also heard stories about men cheating on their wives using MySpace. I wasn’t about to promote a place that would ruin families. When I finally took a look around MySpace and noticed that you could make your profile private I thought okay maybe this isn’t that bad.

I originally made a pretty basic profile, nothing really fancy. My sister is a MySpace know it all. She sent me to some pages that had some cool codes to change the look of my profile layout. I left the page like that for a while with the exception of updating my profile picture.

This week on Sunday and Monday I spent plenty of time generating my own profile with my own background. Yes this took some time. There were plenty of programs out there that all did the same thing; they allowed you to use your own pictures for a background, change the text, change the tables and change colors. Since all the programs were the same I just chose one. The only problem I had was uploading a photo from a URL. I thought I could use the URL of a photo on our server. I quickly learned that our server didn’t create the proper URL needed for the image saved on it. I had no choice but to create an account with photobucket.

I upload the image on photobucket and generate the code with the image to create a cool layout for my profile. I view the profile and then realize you can’t see my background; one of the original layout changes needed to be deleted from the codes. The background code on the original layout was set to white so my background wasn’t showing. I save these changes and think that I am done, nope. The text color that I chose blends in with the colors of my image. I go back through the layout generator to change the color of the text and I resave the new code in my profile. All done; at least I thought so anyway. Hubby checks out my profile and tells me that the image is too small. I remember I resized the image thinking that the original size was too big. So I have to resave the image on photobucket and then I regenerate the background code. I save it and finally done. WOOHOO at this point I felt like the page was my own.

I jump back onto RockYou and update my slideshow and create a countdown for our road trip. I save these codes on MySpace and now I feel even better about the look of my profile. However I am not satisfied with this.

I want to upload some video from Christmas on my page. I got plenty of great video on our JVC Everio Camcorder. I try to upload the video onto photobucket but the size is too big. So Nathan steps in to help me again. I haven’t played with the software that we got with the camcorder. The two video clips need to be converted to lower quality. OMG, I didn’t think that this would be this involved. However this wasn’t that horrible. The JVC software was just a drop down menu to chose which conversion was wanted and then the start button was hit. The video was saved onto our server and then I could use photobucket to get the HTML codes. I got the video codes and saved that in my MySpace profile. Now my page is complete.

I am officially a MySpace Pro and yes I know I am sad for taking two days to do this. If you would like to check it out head here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Nathan and I thought that we should share a wicked secret with you :) Last year while Nathan was on deployment my Nana, Papa and Uncle sent me shipments of these wonderful treats. At the end of the week I would celebrate by pulling one of the Whoopie Pies out of the freezer to defrost, to enjoy for dessert. It was one of the few special treats that I would give myself to say “You got through the week, way to go!” I of course didn’t have one of these every day for they were expensive to ship out to Hawaii. I was even nice and vacuum packed a few of these to send to hubby in his care packages.
Okay so you are probably confused. Whoopie Pies are a big thing in the northeast. Since I am a Bostonian Whoopie Pies, Moon Cookies and Italian cookies are a big part of my child hood. Nathan can tell you that every time we head to Boston we always try to stop off at the bakery. I am sure that hubby remembers one of our trips to Boston required two stops at bakeries to pick up 2 dozen Moon Cookies to take back to my family in VT and other various goodies.
So the point of this note is to brag that Nathan and I had received a special gift for Easter; Wicked Whoopies from Maine. Wicked Whoopies have now followed this girl from the Northeast to the middle of the Pacific and back to the east coast again :) I hope that you will all try a Whoopie Pie and see why Nathan and I are big fans.
Thank you Amy for making it possible for this woman to have some of the comforts from her childhood comfort her in times of sadness and happiness today.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Relay For Life

Mother is doing her annual relay for life, so go donate.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Like finding a needle in a hay stack.

Now that I am back on a watchbill I spend a fair amount of time telling and listening to various sea stories with the other watchstanders. I am far from the saltiest sailor but I have a few good stories. One of the odd stories that came up during the watch was from the very salty warrant officer who said while on deployment he and his boatswain mate saw something floating in the ocean and hooked it. When he pulled it in he realized it was a head in a helmet. What are the odds of finding a head in an ocean?

Another salty sailor in the room, an IT1, told a story about how his flight deck safety officer had his head cut off during helo ops on his ship. The stories usual bounce back and forth, so warrant explained how the head was still in a helmet, US Navy issue, and then looked at IT1 and asked if he was in the Gulf? IT1 nodded and asked 97? Warrant said yup. IT1 said, yeah the head bounced off the hangar deck and rolled into the ocean, we never found it...

So 10 years ago these 2 guys were in the same ocean. One of them had a sailor decapitated and lost the head while the other witnessed the head being retrieved. A very disturbing coincidence.

Friday, March 16, 2007

USAA makes the front page of Business Week

My favorite bank/investment/insurance company was just rated #1 in customer service in the US, just above Four Seasons. USAA really is THE best company I have ever dealt with. I call them at least once every move to update my insurance and they always handle it seamlessly. I started with just a checking account but eventually opened up a credit card, moved my auto and property insurance, moved my Roth IRA (and set one up for Rikki too), and finally opened up a performers first savings account (currently at 5.23%, I don't know of a higher rate). I do all of my banking online, except check cashing. Strange enough they just started check cashing online too. Just scan a check and with any scanner and their free software and you can send it via email and have it instantly credited to your account. At this point we no longer need a brick and mortar bank.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thanks to Jerry for forwarding this to us. We live about 200 ft from where this happened. And our house that is being demolished was probably one of the many that has been broken into. I miss Hawaii, but I do not miss stuff like this :-p

Suspected Copper Thief Who Fell to Death Identified
March 15, 2007 12:57 AM
By Minna Sugimoto

HONOLULU (KHNL) - We now know the name of the man who investigators say was killed during his quest for copper. The Honolulu medical examiner says Taily Corpuz of Waipahu died from blunt force injuries after being electrocuted and falling off a utility pole.

It happened at a military construction site off Catlin Drive near the Honolulu International Airport last night. Investigators believe the 54-year-old climbed up to the transformer on the pole to steal copper wire, when he suffered an electrical shock and fell some 40 feet.

"This construction company has done everything that they could," Maj. Kurt Kendro, Honolulu Police Department, said. "They have a fence up. They have random security patrols in the area. But yet, these people are motivated to get that copper for that $2 a pound."

Construction workers told police thieves also have been taking copper from the old homes at the site.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Global Warming

Few people know that February was the coldest month on record in many parts of the US. You won't hear about this from the mainstream media. Full details are here:

Global Warming is the next "feel good" cause that is going to be thrown around as the elections get closer. Numerous scientists on both sides have facts and figures for and against what is now being referred to as the more PC "climate change." Anyone who questions the idea of global warming will be scorned and demonized so it is a cause every politician will have to parade. My problem with this is the attention it will draw away from more important issues. The weatherman can not forecast tomorrows temperature very accurately and people expect scientists to be able to predict the global temperature decades from now? This is just absurd to me, weather patterns go in cycles like so many other things in nature and I do not think humans are significant enough to cause a major change to our global environment. And we certainly are not smart enough to predict the weather. At least not yet.

The best way to combat the global warming fanatics is to use their own data against them. For example according to a UN Food and Agriculture Organization report "human meat consumption is said to be the number one cause of global warming." Now how can eating meat and dairy products cause global warming? Farts "accounts for respectively 37 percent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2)." It isn't such a feel good cause when people are told they have to cut back on their meat and dairy consumption. The leading cause of global warming is not the automobile or the coal plant, nor huge companies. It is you and me (unless you are a vegan). Not only are livestock causing global warming they also use 30% of all landmass, are a leading cause of deforestation, and the source/vehicle for many diseases. So instead of going out to buy a Pruis or blaming evil capitalists I hope some people decide to instead change their diets.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Next DVD

We are looking at another format war very similar to the Sony Beta vs. JVC VHS format of the 80's. Beta was a superior format, but Sony blew it because JVC did a better job advertising the cheaper VHS format. Now we have Sony Blu-Ray (100 gb) versus the HD-DVD (50gb) format. I think the format war is already over. Sony has learned from their mistakes and the blu-ray will pull away quickly. Otherwise my PS3 may not be such a good deal. About half the movies we are getting from Blockbuster are now Blu-ray format. The new players are really computers, which means you will be able to upgrade the software as they add new features to the movies. The first movie we watched (Chicken Little) looked great and the best part for me was it played directly without having to choose "play movie" from a menu (I REALLY hate DVD menus, if I want a menu I'll push the menu button, otherwise when I put a DVD in I want it to play! Unfortunately other titles still force menus). The next generation DVD players are now computers. So expect some huge improvements, I'm sure they will have numerous software upgrades to add cool new features (Like our Phillips TV which has a USB port, just download a software upgrade to a thumb drive, plug it into the TV and turn it on to upgrade).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Confessions Of A Former Verizon Sales Rep

I wish I had read this a month ago when we just renewed our 2 yr contract with new phones:

• Never get a 2-year contract. "The only benefit to a 2 yr contract is a $50 savings on your phone. Its not worth it. Take the $50 and get a 1 year then you can upgrade to a new phone every 10 months."

• Verizon reps get tons of money from new lines and certain accessories and text packages, take advantage of this. They won't let a new customer walk out the door. "Play hardball, they will do anything to get the new lines. VZW makes $ off the service, not the phones. Tell them you don't want to mail in the rebate. There does come a point of diminishing returns. For example, if you walked in and wanted a $39 plan and a free Treo 700, not gonna happen. But I have given away almost every non-PDA phone in the store for the right deal. Also tell them you will buy the accessories, and text package. Trust me here, these are 2 of the biggest metrics for the reps. Return the accessories the next day and call customer care to cancel your text package."

• Mention the lost or stolen program to get 25% off a new phone, even if you're under contract. Who's to say you didn't lose it?

• If you're on a rate plan of $59.99 or higher, you can get "a new phone (and new contract) for the discounted price after 12 months."

• Insurance is a rip-off. It costs too much and has a $50 deductible.
• Tell them you'll sign up for the Unlimited Data Plan with your Treo. "Speaking of Treos, often they offer an extra $100 off if you get the Unlimited data plan. Get it.. Save $100 and cancel it the next day if you don't want it. The leverage here is amazing also because that high end data package counts as a new activation in a roundabout way for the rep. None of the data packages are contractual. I use to tell the customers this just to save them $."

• Reps don't get as much money if you're still in a contract. If you upgrade on the phone with Verizon, the store reps won't be as motivated to help you.

• Ask for a loyalty credit on the phone before going to the store. "One way to work the system if you have New Every 2 and are out of contract is to call customer care, have them put you back into contract, but ask for a loyalty credit (up to $60 off your next months bill), then go into the retail store and use your New Every 2. The two credits can't be combined and that is the only way to get both. I've never seen this not work, although they could technically say that you already got a credit, but the system are not that informative and I have never seen that happen. Just make sure you know the contract rules for VZW in your state, and make sure you go to the store in time to cancel the new contract in case you cant use the NE2."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Urban Legends

It turns out cell phones DO NOT interfere with medical equipment and are safe to use in hospitals. Though I wouldn't recommend using anything electronic while getting an EKG. Another interesting factoid is that stores anti-theft devices (those things you walk thru when leaving) CAN adversely affect pace makers and implanted defibrillators. So if someone ever collapses around one simply moving them away could save their lives. Also cell phones do not ignite gas fumes, though the military still requires to be at least 50 feet from jet fuel while using them.... Better safe than sorry I guess.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Valentine's Celebration

Valentine’s Day Nathan and I spent about an hour together. We exchanged cards and I spotted a vase of Star Gazing Lilies (flowers in my bouquet on our wedding day) on the dining room table :) My wonderful husband can be a smart aleck. It wasn’t until the day after Valentine’s that we celebrated. I did something that I don’t usually do; try a new recipe on a special occasion. I have to recommend beer battered fish :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentines Day Present

I grew up playing the original Nintendo. When I enlisted in the Navy (1995) I bought myself a play station that I hooked up to a TV in my lounge in the barracks. I eventually gave my PS away and have not played a game console since. A few months ago we bought a new LCD TV and I read about the new blu-ray format. So I started looking at the PS3, not just for the games but for the cheap blu-ray player. The games were a bonus. After some research we went for it. We bought a combo pack from the Navy Exchange for $699 that included 2 games, extra remote, and hdmi cable. The cheapest blu-ray player today is still more expensive than the PS3.

I have to give Sony some credit for going out on a limb and pushing the technology. The PS3 has 7-core processors and it plays all previous play station games, DVD's, and the new Blu-ray. Sony is selling the PS3 at a loss knowing they will make money down the road, especially with their blu-ray disc. The HDMI cable is convenient, though costly. The cheapest around 40$ and they are already talking about a "new higher quality cable." We went for the more expensive PS3 for the 60 gb hard drive and wireless connectivity. Yes, wireless! The PS3 setup was easy. I had it connected to my encrypted wireless network in a few minutes and downloading updates. The first game I played was amazing (Resistance). The online play was a blast and I look forward to getting Call of Duty 3 (not being released on the PC). The graphics were amazing and the AI (artificial intelligence, like people jumping out of the way when you try to run them over) was far beyond anything I expected. Once the developers have time to design games specifically for the PS3 they will be even better. A lot of people are complaining about the lack of good games, but I think that is to be expected with any new cutting-edge technology. Overall I'm very happy with it so far, It did freeze up a few times before the software update. Besides that I've had no problems.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Household Goods

Our household goods arrive today. WOOHOO finally I can cook real meals and we can eat off of real plates. The movers got here around 10am and Nathan got in just before they arrived. It was very cold out here so we pretty much froze our butts off. The door was kept open for a majority of the day. The house didn’t warm back up until the following morning.

Hardware to the futon was missing, the mattress and box spring of the master bed was ripped or scratched on all corners, the frame to the bureaus are broken and my mini loaf pans and the futon sheet are missing. I guess it could be worse.

The rest of the week was spent sorting and settling everything and running more errands. All the things we borrowed from the Relocation Assistance Office were returned.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Truck Arrives

The truck arrives from Hawaii on a trailer with about 5 other vehicles. Abraham the driver of the trailer called us to let us know where he was and that a few other stops were needed before he dropped off our vehicle. At about 9:00pm Abraham called for directions and at about 9:40pm we met Abraham outside the main gate to get the truck and sign paperwork.

We stopped to fill Nathan’s truck with gas and wash the windows before we went back home.

Nathan and I were very happy with Horizon Lines and State 2 State Auto Transporting companies. A little under $2000 and the truck made it without a single scratch.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

First Week

The first week at the house was spent running around to get things done, getting unpacked and housing stopping off to give me things or get things fixed.

The Navy Fleet and Family Support Program has a Relocation Assistance office and they allowed us to borrow some things until our household goods arrived from Hawaii. We borrowed some mats, pots, pans, table, chairs and various utensils. Thank goodness because after sleeping on an air mattress that deflated by morning was already getting old.

The weekend was spent at BJ’s. We were expecting to get a Sam’s Club membership this time since Sam’s Club was accepting MasterCard. However BJ’s was closer and they accept not only club coupons but grocery coupons too.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Weekend Fun

Our weekend was spent at the Founders Inn. Sunday was nice and lazy. We headed to a Plaza to hit Subway and while we were out we drove around a bit. We went into a Pet Store to check out the prices of dog food and to buy a Chuckit for Angel. We left hers at my parents’ house. We ate supper on Sunday night at one of the Restaurants at the Inn. It was fairly expensive and neither one of us were impressed. There wasn’t much for a selection at the Buffet and dishes weren’t refilled. We went for a walk after supper with Angel around the lake. It was beautiful however we were expecting the Christmas lights to be on in the garden during our walk so that was a little disappointing.

Monday we were up bright and early to take Nathan to school. He had to be in at 7:30 and we left the Inn at 6:15am. We were glad that we left that early because traffic from Virginia Beach to Norfolk was horrible. There were a significant number of accidents and the amount of people heading into the base that early was crazy. We made it in at 7:20am. Once Nathan was out I headed off base to head to housing. Housing is located off base. This is where I learned that not all the gates to the base are open for outgoing traffic. It took me another 20 minutes to get off base and head in the direction that I needed to go.

I got to the PPV Housing Office at 8am and had to wait for a call to be made to our specific housing manager. The housing office didn’t have our keys since we are in Senior Housing. I drove back onto the base and met our housing manager at the house. Once I got a quick tour of the house and some quick notes on things to do and things I still needed I started to unpack the car and get settled in.

Once settled in I headed out to deposit some checks and to get some groceries. When I got home Nathan was home from school.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Virginia Here We Come

We leave MA in the evening. Talk about horrible weather to be driving in on the east coast. We hit rain and fog off and on all night long. It gave Nathan a headache and it gave me a headache. It was almost as bad as our driving trip from TX to Jacksonville.

We made it to the Tidewater area around 6am. We pulled over in a Starbucks parking lot to get some sleep. We slept for about an hour in the car. We got up due to all the Starbucks addicts getting their fix. We were getting ready to drive off again and I noticed that something was off. Sure enough I get out to look at the tires and the left rear tire is flat. One of the brand new tires that was just put on in HI had a nail in it. Thank goodness for AAA road side service and lucky for us next to the Starbucks there was a Service Station. AAA can only take off the bad tire and put on the spare. That is as far as their service goes for tires. Nathan got the flat off and then took it to the Service Station. This was after we waited 10 minutes and realized that there was a Service Station next to Starbucks. When AAA arrived Nathan brought back the tire and AAA put it back on the car for us. We were on the Naval Base around 10am.

At the Naval Base we checked in with housing to see if we could pick up keys. No such luck we have to wait till Monday. Nathan checked in at work so that we could pick up TLA for our hotel stay this weekend. We stop off at the Exchange to check things out and figure out where things were.

We head down to the Founders Inn and are able to check in early. We take a shower and all three of us fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. We weren’t up again until 6:30pm.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sullivan Family

We leave VT to head to MA. We arrive at Nana’s before we were expected but we have to cut our trip in MA shorter than we wanted. My Nana and Papa always spoil me when I am at their house. There were plenty of Boston sweets, food and shopping :) I love those after Christmas sales. We didn’t get to see many friends while we were in Boston because we were so busy with Nana and Papa. Nathan and I are looking forward to our next visit back to Boston. We would like to be in Boston longer than a couple of days so that we can get some more sight seeing in. There are so many beautiful things to see and do and being a Bostonian I would like to get back in touch with my roots per say.