Freya’s First Swim

June 1st, 2010 by Shalewind

We took the dog for her first swim this Memorial Day. Unfortunately our AC is out at home (or as Carly calls it ‘the magical house cooling box’), but we were planning to visit the folk’s and swim anyway (just a longer visit than previously anticipated).

Freya was a bit nervous about the water (I think she thought it was a big bath). But after some encouragement – peanuts – and some forced cannon-balling with mommy she got the hang of it. Still not her favorite thing in world but I think she is growing to like it.

Lots more pictures here in the gallery.

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Power Wash

April 12th, 2010 by Shalewind

So, next home project is Operation: DECK. This begins with a good power washing (or so I’m told). You need to clean off all the years of grim and such before staining or water sealing. I’m no novice to the concept having been recruited by my parents many moons ago to power wash the entire backyard fence… So, for reference, this is a power washer:


It may seem fairly innocuous, but this little baby can produce a stream of highly pressurized water that can pulverize even rock, if your so inclined.  I was not, so we stuck with a wide angle nozzle for my fragile wood deck. So I got to spraying, and act which is a fairly decent upper arm workout due to the kickback on this thing.


The results are fairly remarkable:


As you can see, years of grim are now blasted away. Of course, you can do lots of other things with a power washer:


That’s an “M & C” with a heart if it’s difficult to see – the nozzle isn’t meant for fine detail work.  And no, I didn’t leave this engraved into the rust stains on the concrete. Carly preferred me to remove the stain all together.

You’ll notice of course that “Demon Plant” is doing fine. Also, we got our first roses of the season in:

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Of course, I wasn’t the only one that thought power washing was like the best thing ever (be sure to click for bigger views):


So all in all, it was a successful mission. Staining will proceed in one week. You can see the results of the power wash below:

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Freya was worn out, and the dirtiest she has ever been (but happy)!

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Some final pics!


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Over and out for now.

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Battle against the Demon Plant

March 1st, 2010 by Shalewind

So this weekend I undertook the task of doing a little yardwork. My father ensured that I assisted in every bit of landscaping, weeding, hedging, etc around our house from age six onward so I came to this task well prepared. I have come to three indisputable facts with this Sunday’s little experience.

1) I require more tools.

2) I would greatly like an indentured servant in the form of a young genetically related lad or lass (any daughter of mine won’t be escaping yard duty).

3) The tree overlooking my deck is not really a tree, shrub, bush, or vine… It is really some demonic incarnation from the deep circles of the underworld.


This thing is pretty enough to look at in the summer, if not a little overgrown. So a little hedging was in order. Yeah, my mistake thinking this would be easy. The infernal plant not only has thorns and slightly toxic sap, but its bark and appendages are like tentacles. They cling to everything and refuse to bend, break, or yield in any fashion. It’s like having thousands of slightly flexible and razor edged dowel rods twisting in some maddening pattern. I was not pleased with the amount of damage I took trying to tame this thing. The worst part is he clean-up. You can’t sack this stuff! It shreds triple layer heavy duty lawn bags – went through eight of them. You see this:


This is not good. This stuff is the reason jungle travel cannot be accomplished with any degree of ease and it lives in my freaking backyard!


Freya desperately wanted to assist me, but alas she would have to observe from her window command post. And whine.


My weapon of choice for this endeavor. $45 at Lowes and well spent. Ash might not be proud, but it is suitable for the task. Read the rest of this entry »

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Emerging from chaos

February 22nd, 2010 by Shalewind

It was a rough week last week with a lot of weekend work rolled in. Coming out of it this week. The schedule is now extremely tight and we have no room for error – but I think we’ve finally got most everything under control. Not that I can relax but perhaps I can inch my stress level down a couple of notches. As always my lovely wife, energetic puppy, and an occasional bit of Mass Effect 2 have helped me to decompress.

In other news, the puppy slept up stairs with us for the first time last night. I think she is a little confused but sure was happy to see us in the morning still.

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Long week, looking forward

January 25th, 2010 by Shalewind

Just got done with a good 53 hour week, but I did get a good rest over the weekend. Now I’m looking ahead to another long hour week. But, appraisals are still on the way and I’m seeing a lot of positive signs. Into the week!

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Small status update

January 11th, 2010 by Shalewind

Reentry to the working world from winter break was fairly crazy. But I have about four projects moving along now at a steady pace. Evaluations are coming up soon as well so wish me good luck (and hope we aren’t on another salary freeze). Master Bathroom painting is almost done thanks to Carly and my Mother. Looking forward to showing in a huge darn bathroom!

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White Christmas (Eve)

December 24th, 2009 by Shalewind

Well I’m sitting in a blizzard at my in-law’s place for Christmas Eve. We have a “historic” blizzard going on right now. 20 degrees, driving snow and sleet. It’s crazy! We’re going to get about 6 inches accumulation that will stick around for quite a while. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen blinding snow – but chasing the dog in it has been a mixed bag. By the way, Freya LOVES digging in snow, sniffing snow, barking at snow… In general she loves, you guessed it, snow.

Snowy Christmas Eve

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Careful what you wish for…

December 15th, 2009 by Shalewind

Well we finally have gotten underway with our major testing in our new project at work. We’ve waited weeks for other teams and people to get in order. And now – with our first major tests underway – everything is breaking! Gah! Well, looks like I’ve got till the end of the week to really fix some stuff so I can enjoy my coming holiday.

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My dog likes feet

December 10th, 2009 by Shalewind

Freya loves feet. She likes sitting on feet. Licking feet. Playing with feet. Getting in the way when shoes go on the feet. Getting rubbed by feet. She’s just a feet kind of dog.


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Myers-Briggs Results

December 9th, 2009 by Shalewind

So I just got the results back from my last 200-question Myers-Briggs test. They gave me a pretty detailed result list back this time. So, somewhat unsurprisingly my result was: ENFJ

My Feeling was by far my most dominant at 88%
iNtuitive was also strong at 66%

Judging was expressed at 22% (meaning I prefer using Feeling over Intuition, which matches above).

And I have a slight Extrovert tendency at 11%. This means I can switch between extrovert and introvert as required apparently (nifty).

According to the profile sheet, both management and computer programmer are on the list of ideal fits for my type (cool!).

I find it pretty cool that my functional are highly expressed (so my way of thinking and feeling is pretty much solid) while my approach is more mutable.

Oh yes, and after looking up my types online I apparent experience the world psychologically similarly to the following famous people: Pope John Paul II, Sean Connery, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, James Garner, Gene Hackman, Craig T. Nelson, Johnny Depp, Oprah Winfrey, Peyton Manning, Matthew McConaughey, Nick Nolte, Tony Blair, and oh yes, and David – King of Israel.

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