Monday, September 15, 2014

Creative leadership symposium

   Just a normal day at work. LOL #whatthestormtrooper #darthwhatever #r2metoo

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Plaza 10k

   Neither cold temperatures, not sinus infection, nor dark of dawn shall keep me from running the Plaza 10k, said I. So I did. Along with my pacesetter buddy Rich; and Britten, Abby, and Madeline.
   It was a glorious morning to witness the sunrise (though I swear I'll never become a morning person, despite a strong desire to be one):
   The race swag is great: check out those medals!
   I was pretty sure that Rich & I bested last year's time (our first 10k ever). So I looked it up. Last year we ran in 59:03, and this year was 54:54! Holy cow--not a bad improvement considering that neither of us was training for this race, and it was putting the hurt on us afterward!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sicky but lucky

   Wouldn't you know it, I finally take a nice, long vacation, and have an awesome time… And then immediately get sick afterwards. I've got some crazy amalgamation of a sinus infection and a cold and maybe the flu too. I feel like crap. And I just took all those days off work, and can't take any more… Or I'll miss some critical project deadlines. I have to be a strong teammate and power through.
   Fortunately, though, I have some of the best friends in the world. When I arrived at work today feeling low, I found a bag full of homegrown tomatoes, green tea, dark chocolate, and chicken noodle soup. I still feel like crap. But I'm a lot happier. :)
   Dinner tonight is a glass of Alka Seltzer cold & flu with a dark chocolate bar chaser. Maybe I'll work up for Alka Seltzer & soup tomorrow.

Goodbye, Pawsome

   My heart is broken today for my dear friend Joni, who had to say goodbye to sweet 15-year-old Wager (aka "Pawsome") today. But my heart is happy for having spent the last few years hiking and kayaking with them. Joni and I lost touch for a while after she left Hallmark, but we've more than made up for lost time, and I feel immeasurably blessed for that. I'll always remember our outings with our "packs" as some of my very happiest moments, and I'm looking forward to many more.
   Pets are so easy to love and so impossible to get over, and they never live as long as you wish. Pawsome is one we wish could stay forever. I hope he's snuggled up with my Gypsy girl and Atom bomb right now. Farewell, sweet boy.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's good to be missed!

   They really don't miss me *too* much when I'm gone, since Mary Ann takes such great care of them... But I don't mind all the attention they lavish on me after a week away, that's for sure. Kismet spend the early morning on my head, Taylor and I went for a 4-mile run, and the normally-too-cool Aki even enjoyed a good snuggle.
   Their sweet looks conceal brattiness, however: Mary Ann confessed that Aki woke her up at all hours during the night, wanting to go out in the backyard to hunt. And when Mary Ann didn't get up one time, Aki apparently peed on the couch.
   Aki also scratched up one of the closet doors trying to get at something inside, and moments later was pawing at the couch. When Mary Ann pulled it out from the wall, Taylor dove in one side, Aki dove in the other, and Aki the supreme hunter pounced on and killed a mouse that had been hiding. Aargh!!!
(Update 9/12, 7 am: Aki brought me downstairs to show off another kill. Oh my lord, where are they all coming from?!)
   We are all very lucky that Mary Ann is very patient and willing to put up with our nonsense! Just look... They practically have "shenanigans" written across their faces!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Diving in

   I could see underwater photography becoming a very serious hobby for me... Maybe more than a hobby someday. Sam Rutherford gave me a brief "Saminar" and I was off and swimming! 

   In four days of trial & error and picking up tips from fellow divers, I learned a ton and started getting some nice shots--and really enjoyed the additional challenges you encounter up to 90' below in the big blue. Earning my Divemaster certification meant that I've spent a lot of time honing my buoyancy, so the 10 lb. rig was little bother.

   The real downside is that water, particularly salt water, is not friendly to electronics, as I discovered at 4:51 am on day five. One small mistake and I flooded the camera I'd rented, a verrry costly mistake. 

   So I dove back in with the old camera my sister loaned me and used my new skills to get some even better photos. Though the mistake I made is gonna hurt in the short term, what really pained me was not having that awesome setup for the last two days of the trip.

   The photo above is one that Taka took with his GoPro camera; that's me following a patient sea turtle up over the top of a coral wall. I'll get to posting some of my own photos soon…

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Paradise bound

   Time to pick up Taka in Dallas and get this party started!!!!!!!!! See you when I surface in a week or so. Ellen is unexpectedly on my flight, which I'm now calling the PARTY PLANE. We'll be Triple Trouble from DFW to RTB.

Triple trouble, y'all!

Crazy Kansas City

   I was not previously aware that the ancient Egyptians were fans of football... I'll have to check those hieroglyphics more carefully... I don't know who did this, but I love it!!! Not much of a fan of football, but I'm a huge fan of humor!
   The Irish fest gets bigger & better every year.. Bummer I'll miss it again!
   Those pesky leprechauns have struck again:

Art unleashed: huge success!

   Pretty sure this year's Vegas-themed AU beat all previous years, with a preliminary total of over $105k. Niiiiiiice! The event has changed a lot over the years. We're down to very few Hallmarkers, just a core group of besties & co-conspirators. Strangely enough, the focus is less in the art than ever before, but they made significantly more money. I can't say that I get it, but I'm thrilled for their success. We had a good time regardless.
My artwork:
Jack's artwork:
Charlotte's artwork:
Kelly's artwork:
Hey! I recognize some of those tshirts!!
My dogs would totally eat the bones off this flag:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

National dog day?

   While I suspect that "national dog day" may be a ploy created by dogs to get more treats, I celebrate it nonetheless. Happy national dog day, Aki and Taylor!

It's officially official!!!

   Announcing a moment for which I've been working for nearly a year… I am flashing a big, BIG OKAY sign!!!! I don't know yet whether you can drink champagne underwater, but I intend to find out.
   What a difference a few years makes… I went from not swimming to swimming five years ago; to open water certification four years ago; to taking a trip with a group of strangers to Honduras one year ago… To all this. I am now a professional Scuba diver.
   My deep diver specialty card should already be on its way to me. And I've done all the diving to complete specialties in night diver, wreck diver, underwater navigation, and peak performance buoyancy... Just need to complete the reading and written work.
   I started my training journey last October as a way to get more comfortable in the water, and it seems like it worked! I dream of being in it all day long.