Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Waiting on Leo

Tomorrow is our 19th wedding anniversary and I'm already bummed to be spending it alone. I'm in Houston, at least for today and tomorrow. I'd like to go home after that, but I'm guessing I won't get to. For some reason, it makes my clients feel better when I'm in Houston. Go figure!

Leo has a flight scheduled for October 6th, but he tells me that it's going to be changed. Two things have to happen in order for him to come home: 1) his relief has to show up, and 2) his visa has to be returned to him from the Nigerian government. He just got word that his relief has been delayed a couple of days, and there is no word at all on where his visa is. So, we are currently in limbo. I've promised him that our anniversary celebration will wait until he gets back, but now I'm hoping that we won't have to celebrate it at the same time as his birthday (November 26)!

Jess and Grace are leaving for New Mexico tomorrow, and that bums me too. Almost every day that I'm home, Jess and I spend time down at the pier fishing. We talk about all kinds of things like Leo, family, weather, and we sometimes plan and scheme as well. Sometimes we just sit and enjoy the beautiful weather. Jess always outfishes me, but that's no big deal...I enjoy the fishing whether I catch anything or not. I already can't wait for them to get home, but especially now that Leo's return is so uncertain.

My girls and I talk almost every day via telephone, so it's not like I'm totally out of touch with everyone. And I often spend Friday nights with my sis at my oldest nephew's football games. I'm hanging in there and really doing okay, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss my hubby and want him home with me.

So here's hoping that things go well and my sweetie will be home with me before another 2 weeks are up. If you are anywhere in the vacinity of my house and hear a bunch of whooping and hollering, you'll know that he's on his way home. Until then, well, I'll just hold down the fort as best I can.

P.S. For anyone who is wondering about why Leo won't answer your email, it's because he can't. He can't even read it yet. The project he is on gives him very VERY limited access to communication methods. I'm sure he'll get around to answering you when he gets home!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trip to Houston

Last night I had to make a run to my apartment in Houston to clean it up and get it ready for a friend to use. I cannot really describe how strange the trip was, but I'm going to try. I stopped by my sister's house on the way to drop off a cd for my nephew. Most of the trip was uneventful and I saw little evidence of a storm of any kind until I was 30 miles from her house.

Even the places that were hit really hard could not be described as "total destruction" but rather as "random" or "spotty" destruction. I saw a place that sells those inexpensive little metal garden sheds in Alvin. Of the 20 or so set up on their lot, 80% of them had no visible damage while the rest looked like they had been hit by a freight train. Seeing a perfect line of electrical poles with one in the center snapped off in the middle was another example. Of course, I did see places where pole after pole was laying on the ground or on the road. However, most of this was what I saw today. Yesterday involved a nightmare of a different kind.

By the time I left Sis' house it was just starting to get dark. No problem. But when I got to Alvin, I found no electricity anywhere. Do you know how weird it is to drive into a familiar place and find no street lights, no working traffic lights? Again, I thought it was no big deal at first, just follow the rules and treat every traffic light as if it is a 4-way stop. Well, that's a lot easier said than done. I've driven that route a good number of times and I still missed a couple of intersections. Thankfully, no one was coming the other way. I just couldn't see the intersections coming in the dark! Then a couple of times I stopped at intersections only to realize that they were new, and the lights weren't yet working. I got a nice little honk at one of these to let me know my mistake.

I got closer and closer to the apartment, and still could see no one with electricity. I thought for sure my trip had been wasted and I would have to head back to sis' house. But when I came up to I-45, I could see that although the stores were without power and the traffic lights were without power, my apartment complex was lit up. Yippee!

It was a long hard day getting things cleaned up and packed up, but I got a LOT of help from my two nephews!! I also made sure I left in early afternoon to get home at a reasonable time. I just can't begin to describe all the sights I saw along the way, but you'll have to trust me when I say I saw things I wish I never had. Things are really tough out there and I am SO THANKFUL that I am a casual observer rather than an active participant. I feel for all of you that have to deal with it right now! You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Heading Back to Houston

Man, am I dreading this trip! But someone I know is in a real need of some place to stay for a couple of months. Their home sustained extensive damage during the storm. And since I can work some from home, and don't have to be in Houston every day, I offered up my apartment to them. Now, I have to go back and clean up the mess in order to turn it over to them.

While I haven't been able to find out anything specific about the complex (I just realized I must not be very "neighborly"!), I did find a couple of postings from individuals stating they did not receive any damage. The really big question is whether or not there is power.

So, I'm loaded up with gasoline and water, bringing some food with me, and am headed back to Houston. If I find the apartment without power, I'll turn around and head back to my sis' house in Danbury, some 40 miles away. Her home still has power, although I learned this morning that most of the town there still does not.

This cool weather is such a BLESSING after the disaster...that's for sure. I'll be sure and post an update of what I see on my trip, but hopefully I'll be home again by tomorrow night, ready to set up my home office a bit and get back to work.

P.S. Please keep my youngest, Rachael, and her family in your thoughts and prayers. She is trying to work, keep a 4 month old, 5 year old, and 8 year old while her husband is working in West Texas for the next couple of weeks. She is staying at her dad's house, where a generator gives them a few comforts, but the place is full of other "refugees" and it is really hard on them all. I'm hoping she decides to send the kids to her sister's house in Austin since it looks like they will be without power for the next few months. Gas lines are long, they can't get enough water (important for the baby!), and it's difficult for the kids to be cooped up and not go anywhere. If I lived in a finished house, I'd bring them to my place for a bit. But my place is in no condition for children. Anyway, thanks for your prayers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can't Return to the City Yet

I've tried several ways of checking to see if I could/should return to Houston yet and finally found the answer (posted at ABC13.com):

Residents of Webster are not advised to return
Residents of Webster are not advised to return to the City at this time. Damage Assessment will take place as soon as possible to determine when citizens may safely return to the area. The City of Webster is without power. City crews are attempting to restore utilities. Do not attempt to travel around the City as roads may be barricaded or impassable. Some roads have debris and crews need to clear the rights-of-way. The entire Police Department Patrol Units are patrolling and safeguarding the community.

I guess I'll try again tomorrow.

This morning was absolutely BEAUTIFUL here on the bay! When I went to Walmart to buy a $58 microwave, everyone seemed to be in a cheery mood. Our first cool front has arrived (not sweater weather...just a break from the heat!) and we avoided the storm here, so people are feeling good. When I got back to the house, I startled a young fawn in the yard. She was a large youngster but still had her spots. Yes, this morning was beautiful.

Although I did get to talk to Leo for a few minutes this morning, our call was cut short and I was really disappointed. He also told me that he might stay an extra week in order to work an overlap with his relief. I did NOT want to hear this, but I totally understand. I mean, these guys have never even met yet. So imagine trying to work a job, handoff tasks, and takeover tasks from someone you rarely interact with (via email) and have never even met. Yes, disappointed but understanding...that's me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Daily Routine

It looks like Leo and I have established a daily routine of sorts. I sleep with my cell phone on the bed next to me knowing that Leo will call between 5:30 and 6:30 am and we'll talk. The connection is good, as we can hear each other clearly, but there is a bit of a delay in the communication (think of CNN as they talk to their reporters in Baghdad).

I've found out that although Leo is disappointed to not be in a Training Coordinator role, he has nothing but good things to tell me about his new friends and co-workers. He assures me that security on the site is incredibly high, so he never worries about anything happening to him. (He did tell me there was a kidnapping of 2 Canadians in Lagos yesterday, but they were out on the town and not taking suggested precautions.) The living conditions are okay, the food is really good, and he LOVES the daily laundry service! We both regret that his time on the computer is very limited and he can only dash off quick emails once or twice a day. I'm not sure I could live without the internet! :-)

This thing we are doing is difficult, even more than I thought it would be. I am someone who has always been quite comfortable alone, requiring little interaction with people and enjoying it all the more because it happens relatively infrequently. Leo on the other hand THRIVES on personal interaction. So in that respect, we are both getting what we want out of the deal. I have lots of alone time, and he has lots of time with interesting people from around the world.

But up until now, when I wanted to see Leo, all I had to do was call him up and we'd be back together in a matter of hours. Now, I just wait every morning for a phone call, and watch every evening for a short email. I hate to say it, but I'm thinking that the original plan of 3 years of this is just not doable. Not doable at all. We'll have to see, won't we.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Final Ike Report

Marek Lane Neighborhood, Six Mile Texas

  • Wind damage: 0
  • Rainfall: 0"
  • Storm surge: 1-2 feet
  • Trees/limbs lost: 0
  • Hours without electricity: 0
  • Current conditions: Hot, sunny, and breezy
  • Overall: Neighbors...come on back! I'm lonely here!

Family

  • Rob and Donna: Have no word about their home in Texas City yet. Some areas were heavily damaged while others were not. There is still no electricity there so it might be a while before they can go home and check it out.
  • Ginger: Sis and the boys are going to stay out of town for a while. Brother-in-law Wade rode out the storm and reported that while they did lose power and some of their trees, the house did not sustain any damage.
  • Rachael: Rae and her family are still at her dad's and not out of the woods, but the last rain bands should be clearing out in the next hour or two. The kids slept through the storm which was a really good thing. Trees are down, the roof is leaking, and electricity is out. However, they have access to a generator (a big one) so should have generated power soon. The last worry is really how high the water will rise along the Trinity River. No one has been able to go by her mobile home to see if it's okay, but neighbors are reporting no damage so perhaps this will be true of their place as well.
  • Michelle: Shell was finally able to get the rest of her family packed up and headed to Dallas. No word on how their neighborhood fared, but LaPorte is without electricity and is now under a curfew with residents not being allowed in or out, so it may be a while before they know about damage.

Breezes, Gusts, but No Rain Yet

I was surprised to be woken up at 5:30 by a phone call from Leo. I could not believe that I was able to sleep through the night with everything that's going on. However, when I walked to the back door and stepped outside, here's what I found:

I won't be able to see well for another hour, but as far as I can see, it looks like a typical gusty day here on the coast. There is one exception, however, and because of all of our windows facing east-northeast, it's a good one. Strangely, the wind is coming out of the west. Living on the bay, this is a phenomenon that almost NEVER happens. What it means is that the high water is being pushed back out, so at the moment, it is back down to what amounts to a slightly high tide for us. In other words, still, even now as parts east of us are getting POUNDED, Six Mile is doing just fine! The day's not over, but I'm hoping that our luck continues.

Now, back to Leo. It was SOOOO GOOD to hear from him, but the message was WAY too short. He's still feeling a little overwhelmed by everything that's in his lap, but he's committed to sticking it out. He reports that the team he is on is GREAT and that they are knowledgeable and competent. While being a Training Coordinator was well within his comfort zone, the job they have him doing at the moment seems to worry him a bit. But listen...I know this man. And although he's concerned that he won't be an effective team player, I know better. As soon as he figures out exactly what they want from him, he'll be competent to deliver with FLYING COLORS!

Listen, nothing to worry about, I'm sure, but I'm starting to hear some "booms" outside. While it could be Formosa (they've been flaring for the past couple of days), it might be some weather coming in. So, I'm going to sign off, take a look, and see if I can figure it out.

Don't worry about me...I'm doing fine here!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Last Posting

While Galveston is getting pounded, it is actually a beautiful night here. It is cloudy, but the moon peeks through on a regular basis, and the wind is not bad at all...at least not yet. I try not to watch too much coverage on tv, but have to check in now and then. So many of my friends, family, and co-workers are in the direct path of the storm, and I really worry about them. As for myself, here's what I expect.

From watching the radar images, I expect to start getting substantial winds here in 2-3 hours. I think that I will lose my tv and internet signals, but if I'm lucky, I won't lose electricity. I'm guessing that tomorrow will be a hard day and that I won't be able to "do" much but watch and wait. I think that my problems will all be over by tomorrow evening, however. If I don't lose electricity, I'll consider myself very lucky. I can't imagine that the water is going to get much higher here and I am SO hoping that prediction is right. Finally, I'm guessing that I might get a couple of hours' sleep in before the action starts, so I'm headed to bed soon.

Stay safe out there...hope to post again in the morning.

Quick Update

I just got a phone call from Michelle to tell me that she, Melissa, mom, etc. are headed out now. They're headed to Dallas for the weekend. Since they live in LaPorte, an area sure to receive heavy damage, I'm so relieved to find they were able to get out of town.

As for me...I'm doing the famous "shelter-in-place" thing. My only worry was about having enough food to last the weekend, but a peek into Jessie's pantry a few minutes ago told me I have absolutely nothing to worry about! Lot's of wonderful canned goodies!

I thought I should get out and take a short drive to see how things are holding up. The boat ramp and park are totally inaccessible now, but there is no water over the Six Mile road. The wind is out of the north, or north northeast, which is a really good thing for us. As the storm tries to push the water into the bay, the wind is fighting to push it right back out again. I've been watching the birds all day for signs of flight from the area, but other than a few shore birds enjoying the high water levels, I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary. I've only seen a couple of the big brown pelicans come through, but they were just fishing in the higher-than-normal waters, not fleeing the storm.

I really thought I was the only one left even in the extended neighborhood (past Park Road), but my short drive let me know there are still others here as well. Jess called to tell me where my old shotgun and shells are, so I'll be sleeping with it by the bed tonight. It's been a long time since I've fired it, but I won't have any trouble with it, I'm absolutely sure.

If I lose electricity (I shouldn't!) you'll know it since the postings will stop coming. But until then, I'll try to post frequently so everyone can stay in touch through the storm. Time now for a few phone calls and a news update. Be back soon.

Guns, Locks, Visitors and Storms

The front bushes were FULL of butterflies, moths, bees, and other lovely insects when I took this yesterday.

I rested very well last night, although I was late going to sleep. However, for the first time in a long time (perhaps the first time every) I locked all the doors before going to bed. Oh, I also made sure the pistol is next to the bed. I hate thinking about using such a thing on another human, but man, do I love my house. I'm also wondering if high water won't bring more snakes and other critters my direction and I want to be able to fend them off.

Please Ike...don't take the pier!

I walked down to the pier at about 9am. The water there is as high as I've ever seen it. Although the pier was designed, built and is used most often by Jessie, the first section with the bench was completed near Mother's Day, so I always brag that it was my Mother's Day present. Anyway, I would really, really hate to lose the pier.

While I was at the pier, someone drove up to the house. They were in a suburban and I didn't recognize the vehicle, but I'm not very observant about such things. I was deciding whether to be nervous about it, especially thinking I'm one of the few people still here in a 1-2 mile radius, but whoever it was rolled down the window and waved at me, so I'm assuming it was a neighbor. I headed back up the hill, but they were gone when I got back. Guess I'll never know.

View back up to the house from the end of the pier.

I'm still getting suggestions to leave the area, but I just can't see why. We are NOT going to get the worst of the storm, and to tell you the truth, leaving means spending money that I'd rather not spend. Leo won't be paid for more than a month, and I've been struggling along lately, having to pay Uncle Sam and some others that took more than their share of what I make. So, unless something changes in a really drastic way, I just don't see a reason to leave.

NOTE: Remember to click on any image to see it in a larger format.

Leo Update

That stinker is way too busy to do anything more than send me a brief, "Hi. How are you? Well, gotta go now" letter each morning. Wish I didn't understand so I could be angry. As it is, mostly I know I can't complain since I totally understand and THAT frustrates me! :-)

Ike Update

Light breeze out of the north, no increase in water level, some clouds to the south, beautiful sunny day. Am worrying about my friends in Houston/Galveston/Freeport areas, and about sis' house, but so far, it appears I might see some heavy rain and a few strong gusts here at home...nothing more.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Before the Storm

The good news for me is that every time the storm path is updated, it moves further and further away from me. The bad news is that it moves toward the areas of Galveston and Houston, and passes directly over my sis' home in Danbury. I continue to believe that I'm not going to get the worst of the storm here.

Although I've begun to see some white caps, and the water level is above normal, nothing very out-of-the-ordinary is happening yet. I'll be safe here until morning, no doubt, but have no clue what I will do at that time. I'll be sure and continue to update as long as I can, but even if I lose electricity, you should be able to watch the "twitter" window at the right and find out what's going on with me as I can use it as long as there is cell phone service.

video
Video taken from my back porch, Thursday, 4:45pm.

Starting My Run

I've grabbed a few things and am about ready to start heading south, but thought I'd post an update here for the family:

  • Rob, Donna and the girls beat the rush and are already at Mom's house. Sounds like a party atmosphere there, so I'm considering that for my tomorrow run.
  • Ginger and the boys are in Freer. They may have to head another direction tomorrow, but will be in a much better position to move from there than from Houston. Wade is staying home, I think.
  • Rachael and her family are hunkering down at her dad's house. There are several families meeting there and they have a good back-up plan so I'm not worried about her.
  • Michelle and Chuck are hunkering down as well. The story (involving her mom and the dog) is funny, but too long to share here. We're hoping for the best for ALL of them.
  • Jess and Grace left this morning for New Mexico. I'm assuming they got out okay since they were leaving early. I'll check in with them later today.
  • Rebecca and Shannon are north of Austin in an area affectionately known by the locals as "tornado alley". Good thing they have a tornado shelter in the back yard as the storm could easily do damage that far north.
  • Leo is in Nigeria, so he's well out of the path. If he's affected by the storm then we'll all be goners!!! I can imagine he thinks we are all overreacting here. :-)
  • That leaves Me. I'm heading south now, but don't know if I can get through. My plan is to cross the storm's path to get on the good side of it, then make a decision about whether to run or stay from Port Lavaca after I hear updates in the morning. The run will be MUCH easier from there, and with more options than there would be from here.

Okay...it's not much, I know, but I wanted to post something before I head out. Good luck to EVERYONE!

P.S. I've had TONS of offers of shelter from everyone. Thanks so much for that! It's nice to feel loved!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Small Update

Leo had time to send me a very short post today, but no phone calls or any other communication. It's okay though. I would have wished for more, but I totally understand. Most often it's me that gets so crazy-busy I don't have time for even quick phone calls with him, so turn about is definitely fair play!

Even though I don't have Leo's permission, I'm going to do something different here. I'm going to paste the contents of Leo's message to me for you all to read. There are a few reasons for this. Some of you exchange emails with Leo on a regular basis, so you know about his unique writing style. I couldn't "fake" an email from Leo if my life depended on it, even after all these years, because the style is so unique. He thinks it is a little "rough" when compared to the way I put words on paper, but to me, his unique writing style is something to be admired and enjoyed. So without further adieu, a letter from Leo to me:

 

Hello "Guera", [this translates roughly to "white girl" or "fair one" and is his typical endearment for me]

Well I'm at my desk and it's a "wild" place. I met the gentleman that you did the Logo for and he was VERY complimentary about your work :) I also met a Mr. Joon Eeo(w/HHI) on the bus on the flight that brought me in this a.m. and HE too had heard your name from Tim and it's over in the HHI community:) I just got done talking to Tim and meeting some different (good) folks on this project and the project is about 40% done. The place will be broken down into (5) precommission'n areas and Vendor Support is what I'll be involved with. I got the whirlwind tour from Tim (he's leaving in 15 min's for Houston)....but....I met with another Scottish gentleman who will take me under his wing and I'm supposed to help him tomorrow.

I'm so jet-lagged it ain't funny. I've been to more security offices get'n ID pic's done that it's not even funny. Very high security inside the compound and it's very safe. Okay, going to a meeting right now to meet some more folks.

Sorry about leaving Bro & You with "Ike"...but...hopefully that rascal won't come anywhere's close to our little bit of Heaven.

Love U,
Me :)

Leo has Landed

About 10:30 last night (4:30 AM NIG) Leo called to tell me he was getting ready to be picked up for the last leg of the journey. I got a message from his supervisor about half an hour ago that he just arrived on-site and is going through the [considerable] security check-in process. I'm buried under a mountain of work this morning, but will be sure and update you all later in the day. Things are looking good now, and my count-down to Leo returning has already started!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Trying Not to Worry

The last time I spoke to Leo, he was at Heathrow getting ready to leave London. He sounded fine, although he was obviously tired. I checked the flight data and found that his plane arrived in Lagos early, but that was 5-1/2 hours ago! I can't imagine he's still at the airport, but would have expected a call, email, or text from the hotel. So now, I'm trying not to worry.

I've called his phone several times, but it must be turned off since it goes straight to voice-mail. (I would expect a message if he was "out of range".) Anyway, it's nearly 10pm in Lagos, Nigeria, and I've lost my husband. Sheesh! Here's hoping everything is okay!!!

3am (9am) Call to Leo at Heathrow

Leo assured me that although the British Airways staff, and the food, was really good, the seating was not exactly as pictured. He is one of those that ALWAYS requests a window seat, but his new "Lesson Learned" is that the aisle seat is so much better--you don't have to climb over someone every time you have to go to the bathroom!

He also said that Heathrow is definitely the hub of the world with travelers coming from and going to every part of the world. But the Brits seem to take their cardio seriously as the only way to get around almost everywhere, even if you are lugging 40lbs of computer, books, and emergency supplies, is to walk. Up stairs, down stairs, long distances, inside, outside, LOTS of walking.

He sounds good, says "hi" to all, and assures me that he's fine. Can't seem to figure out how to call me, and is not very good at texting, so he just sends me the latest text that he has on his phone (no matter what it says :-) and I know to call him. Whatever works, right?

Monday, September 08, 2008

He's On His Way

I just checked the Flight Tracker to see that Leo has left the part of the journey that took him over most of the eastern states and through to Canada. The flight just passed over Newfoundland and will be over water for the rest of the trip to London. I'm going to try going back to bed in a bit...my plan is to sleep until midnight, go into work, then get off about the time that Leo will have some free time to talk.

The scene at the airport was nothing like I expected. It took us more than 15 minutes to park and find our way to the right place and about 5 minutes for him to check his suitcase. Next we walked over to the security check-in and the lady said, "Tell him goodbye...this is as far as you go." I got a little peck, and WHOOSH!, he was gone!

Okay, so that was a little abrupt. But hey...there were no tears, no boo-hooing. Just a sweet little goodbye and a couple of phone calls consisting of, "Hey, what are you doing?" and "Nothing. What are you doing?" etc. Silliness I know, but it made us both feel better I think. And I'm guessing the short goodbye saved me from making a fool of myself in the airport.

I'm also guessing that he's having no better luck at sleeping than I am, but I hope I'm wrong. He was already reading his book at the airport (I found out from one of my, um, SEVERAL phone calls) so I'm sure he has plenty of entertainment, even if he can't sleep. As soon as I hear from him, I'll be sure and post something. He should arrive in London around 12:30am (our time, 3 or so hours to go) and will be leaving there at 5:30am. I'm going to try and get some rest now.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

T-2

Okay. I was just starting to feel sorry for Leo having to travel 9 hours at night, sit in a yucky old airport for 5 hours, then hop on another long flight. I was almost there. Then I signed on to British Airways to check out the flight amenities. No more feeling sorry for Leo!!

This looks to me like an in-flight hotel room! What was I thinking? I moved from this to a review of the Executive Lounge that he will be "resting" in at Heathrow (London) and finally had to give up. With sleeping areas, spas, massage therapy, meals, and laptop hookups available, what else could he need?

In all fairness, I'm guessing that SOMETHING is going to go wrong, and there will be SOMETHING that doesn't work quite right for him. Perhaps the remote on the 200+ channel video unit will be broken and he will have to actually stand up to change the channel. Perhaps his fully reclining bed will be a bit lumpy. Perhaps the privacy screen that blocks him off from his next-door-neighbor won't function at all. Who knows what could go wrong?

Feel free to check out any of these links if you too want to feel sorry for Leo on his long trip on Monday/Tuesday:

  • Seating Overview
  • Airport Lounges
  • British Airways Flight Training Simulators

  • Friday, September 05, 2008

    T-3

    Cried for the first time today. Not a big cry, just a little tearing up, but anyone that knows me should know I'm generally not a crier, so it was a little out of character.

    Honestly though, we are still both quite excited. Leo's packed his suitcase several times now, weighing it each time to make sure we don't have to pay for excessive baggage. I actually got some work in this week, and some of it was much needed and long overdue. Also, I found that while I was digging into a database problem, I wasn't thinking about Leo being gone. So I'm feeling like my strategy of working hard while he's gone is going to pay off and keep me out of the "blues".

    I am such a crazy workaholic, although I really don't know why. I prefer it when things are slightly on the rushed side, but only when my work seems to be making a difference somewhere. The things I've done that were not widely adopted were only satisfying when there was some kind of personal challenge in them. Otherwise, that kind of work, "busy work", has absolutely no value for me no matter how much I'm getting paid.

    Today is beautiful here on the water. While the redfish are plentiful right now, so are the shrimp, so talking those guys into taking our bait is a bit of a tricky thing. Still, if we have any luck at all when we go down to the pier later today, you can bet I'll be posting an update here!

    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    Software: CoolIris

    I've been working hard to load Leo's computer up with all of the things he's going to need over the next month, but the program I loaded today is one that is so supercool. It's from a website called CoolIris and is a way cool way to view images that you find in a collection anywhere on the web. The download was quick and painless, and the program was ready to go in minutes. Once we got the hang of getting around in it (the video tour at their website is excellent) we were hooked. Now I'm wanting to go out and take some photos to post so I can see them on the cool video wall! Anyway, just wanted to pass on a cool browser add-in...WAY cool!!

    P.S. Please don't point out my overuse of the word "cool". I know I'll regret it in the morning, but tonight, well, I just can't think of any other word to use instead!

    Tuesday, September 02, 2008

    T-6

    Dang. I'm at work now, but not on the clock since I can't seem to get my mind on this work. I'm tired, I'm grumpy, and I want to go home. However, I have a meeting at 2:15 and another at 3:00, so I guess I'll hang out here and try to make the best of it.

    I snapped at Leo last night when trying to show him something on the computer and he snapped back at me, so we both went to bed angry. First thing this morning, he apologized and got us back on track, but this one really was my fault. (I'll have to remember to tell him later.) I guess I'm just in a "snippy" mood all the way around. Now before you guys (especially) start making jokes about "women my age" I'm going to defend myself and say it's stress. My husband is leaving town in 6 days and I'm going to be here all alone. I mean, I have friends and I have family, but Leo is it...he's the one...he's the main thing that keeps me going. So pardon me while I'm feeling a bit abandoned and snip and snap at everyone around me. I'll be okay once he's gone and I begin planning for him to come back.

    Gustav was another "miss" for us here on the coast. I am ABSOLUTELY not complaining. As I told one of my Portuguese friends this morning, summer storm watching is part of our life here on the coast, and hurricane watches are a big part of it. We did get a nice little shower yesterday afternoon, and the winds are a bit brisk today, but otherwise, no effects at all. (Yippee!)

    I'm still doing a bit of work for the Nigerian project, on the side, which keeps me engaged in what's going on there. I've also started some work on a new joint-venture in Papua New Guinea. I'm hoping that one grows into something that I can be a part of (in a bigger way) too. But right now, I'm still tied down to the income and tasks that keep me stuck here in Houston, so perhaps that's another explanation for my mood. My getting-away-from-it-all husband is getting to do the thing I wanted to do--get out of Dodge. Talk to you soon.