Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good Bye Kitty!!

We had a wonderful day. We started early, and it was a long, but rewarding day! I will post more later. For some reason Blogger is not allowing me to upload photos, hopefully I can when we get home! I hope everyone is having a similarly good weekend!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tiger, Tiger, Tiger!


This week's FFFF is about your Chinese Zodiac sign. I was born in the Year of the Tiger! Here is a not so brief description from:

"Born leader" is the key word for the Tigers. They are always in the lead and are most likely the ones to cry out "Let's Go"! Noble and Fearless, Tigers are respected for their courage, even from those working against them.
I'd like to think tht YES, this describes me, but, I don't think I HAVE to lead. As for courage, I really can't think of anything I have really ever been afraid of, except having a loved one hurt.
Tiger people are daring fighters, they are capable of standing up to the better end for what they think is right. Although they could be selfish from time to time in the little things, they are capable of great generosity. Tigers are unpredictable, always tense. and like to be in a hurry.
Again, not so sure about being a daring fighter, though my Chess Game would probably indicate that I will fearlessly attackforces of greater strength in kamikaze-like abandon. My sister described my Chess Game as unpredictable! I don't know if tht is a good thing, because she usually beats me, often with much loss of pawns and other pieces.
Tiger people are difficult to resist, for they are magnetic characters and their natural air of authority confers a certain prestige on them. They are tempestuous yet calm, warm-hearted yet fearsome, courageous in the face of danger yet yielding and soft in mysterious, unexpected places.
Cora refers to me as charming, though I don't know if I agree. All those things sound nice, so I won't contest them.
Tigers are very confident, perhaps too confident sometimes. Although they love adventures, and are addicted to excitement it is better not to challenge a Tiger's confidence. They likes being obeyed and not the other way around.
Hmmm, I DO love good adventure, but I think Iam such an easy-going guy that the OBEY thing is probbly not true with me.
Because Tigers are urgent people and always in a hurry to get things done right, they usually choose to operate alone. Tigers like to work, they are hard-working and dynamic. If you assign a task to a Tiger, the job will be undertaken and accomplished with enthusiasm and efficiency. Tigers make money, but they are not directly interested in money. Still, the Tiger needs not worry about money: just when he fears the money is gone, more seems to show up.
I don't mind working alone, but I prefer to have someone to tlk to while I am doing it, but I am lazy. And I'd sure like to know where that money is, because I could sure use it!
Tigers are sensitive, emotional. They are capable of great love, but they become too intense about it. They are also territorial and possessive, if you are a friend of a Tiger, he wants you to take his side against the bad guys and because the Tiger is so adorable, you often do. As lovers, Tigers are passionate and romantic, but the real challenge for the Tiger is to grasp the true meaning of moderation.
Yes, I am others' needs, but I don't think would say I am particularly emotional. I don't know about my intensity. I do like to have people on my side, but who doesn't. I don't know about the lack of moderation, but I whole-heartedly agree that I am ADORABLE.

I think we have pictures of Tigers from the San Francisco Zoo somewhere...but you will hve to make do with this Tiger...Grrrrrrrrr!

We were just finishing an airsoft game.

Did I mention we are going to go see the decommissioning of a carrier? We might also go to this ship, here:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Weekend Beckons!!

I had a good day. Dare I say "my" sixth graders greeted me with extreme happiness. I don't know why they like me so much, but I try not to look a gift horse in the mouth ( a saying, I am still unsure of, despite my knowledge of checking a horse's teeth to verify health). Do you know, they asked me to come sub for them, and when I explained I can only sub if their teacher is sick, they asked me to go cough on her! I like those kids. Same goes for the sixth grade teachers, they still appear to like me. I am pretty fond of them, too, though.

Tonight, we have been getting ready for our visit to the Kitty Hawk I had to go to town and get another battery for the dumb camera becuse I can't find the other. I will be darned if I go to such a good spot for photos and have to suffer from battery deadness! I am also downloading the video from the video camera to the hard drive and charging the batteries for that, too!

Oh, MAN! I can't wait to go see some ships! Cora is showing only mild interest...but she's a girl. She did seem to indicate that I could go wherever I want because she knows she is going to be bored anyway. I see that not s a challenge to interest her, but as a free ticket to every military museum I can find!

And there ARE a few over there! There is the USS Turner Joy, The Bremerton Naval Ship Yard Museum, The Keyport Undersea Museum, there is are at least THREE air museums. I think I could keep us busy!

I get to teacher bilingual kinders tomorrow! YAY!!!!

I haven't forgotten my request for pictures of military bases...I am counting on you guys!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Me? Nothing to Say!??

I guess I haven't had alot to say lately. That's strange, I know! I have been subbing at the intermediate and I will again tomorrow.

I am hoping for a HS job on Friday, as I'd like to leave as early as possible for Seattle. The Kitty Hawk decommissioning is coming. I am afraid our camera battery will die just as we get there. I can't find our spare and I would rather not buy another...still, it would break my heart to miss pictures of the Bremertn Naval Yard, especially since no one seems interested in sending me pictures they have taken of naval or air installations....hmmm, that gives me an idea...

I am hereby begging you all to go through your files, pictures, and albums and send me some pictures of installations/bases you have been to. I might even post them on my other site if you give me permission!

I challenge you to send me photos of the bases you have been seen. And, since it isn't fair for me to ask to see yours without showing mine...well, here are some of mine:

The allert hangars at ex-McClellan AFB 2005.

McChord AFB, 2008.

Travis AFB 2005.

I took this one at ex-Mare Island Naval Base, these are the building ways. Many ships slid down this ramp!

I look forward to seeing what you folks have (Eric, Erin, John, and Edna).

I have been communicating with a fellow aircraft wreck enthusiast, and he said he was sending me an accident report! Maybe this will tie me over until the Air Force Historical Research Agency sends me the ones I requested back in December. I also located a batch of accident reports that I had misplaced. Well, they were actually right in front of me this whole time, but they looked so neat and tidy, I simply assumed they were Cora's work stuff. None of my stuff ever looks neat, so it was totally understandable!

I managed to download some pictures to our hard drive and erase a card, which will give me a little more than 1000 pictures on a card. Still, it may not be enough. Hence my worry! I think I will take the video camera, too!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year Dinner and Pictures

First, the best: Piety Flats, my favorite!! Mercantile Red!

Look at it while you can, it is an endangered species in this house.

Dinner: We made stir fry and....drum roll please...Egg Rolls!!!!!! Home made! Now, our last attempt was not particularly wonderful, but this time there was perhaps an Egg Roll Fairy sitting on my shoulder while I cut the veggies. They were divine. I always forget to take pictures of the work up to dinner, but at least I remember to get pictures of the final product.

Little Miss will at least be able to enjoy an occasional Chinese-esque dinner.

Those are dips in between the food. One is Soy Sauce, Cilantro, garlic powder, cayenne, rice vinegar and lemon juice. the other is soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, dried hot mustard, and some cayenne pepper. Cora liked the former, I preferred the latter.

So, this is the Year of the Ox that we are boldly stepping into. I hope it brings us a daughter or son.

Cora has already mentioned not cleaning on the Chinese New Year. Apparently it is said to clean the good luck was not until I began dinner that she decided to tell me that using sharp knives on CNY is bad luck and I thought, shoot, that's just a dumb superstition, what kind of bad luck could it be? I continued chopping happily. A few minutes later, I tried to take a piece of vegetable off my knife and promptly sliced myself. Ahh, THAT kind of bad luck. And, can you believe? Cora laughed at me! While she was putting the bandaid on my wound she was laughing at me!

At least it was a delicious dinner. Happy Chinese New Year! Gung Hay Fat Choy!!!

I had second graders today. They were considerably more annoying than last time. We spent some time discussing the best way to walk in line. We spent some time practicing quiet. We spent lots of time with our heads down. Still, it wasn't a horrible day, and I am really much nicer than some.
I walked into a class to say hi to my neighbor and she had my blog up showing someone else...(I had no idea I was SOOOOO popular!) she said she was trying to see my painting...I subbed in that class the other day and left some pictures for the kids to color, and she was trying to see...I hope I get this right...if I did other kinds of art. So, here you go Edna! These are some I did for our living room because the previous ones had grown boring.

This one I did once we got back from CA...circa 2007

This pear is the first one, I like it better than the Apple. I did this one in CA. Cora's job includes juicing such fruits, so it was my intention to showcase those.

But my paintings are not all I do. Below you see the diorama I built for my small ships. The diorama is only 5 inches by 7 inches...everything but some of the ships are hand made and painted. This diorama currently resides at the McCalister Air Museum...if you get a chance swing by. I originally just wanted to share it with a couple people who volunteer there...but ended up leaving it for a time. When I came back to reclaim it one of the gentlemen there had built a stand and put up a plaquard describing it...I decided to leave it a little longer...pride, I suppose.

My dad enjoys HO scale trains. I built this water tower for him for Christmas a couple years ago. Every piece made by me...well, shaped and painted by me. The engine is his...I needed something for scale.
Then in 2007 I built him this shop building...not the best photo, but it looked pretty good.
Then last February, for his birthday, I bought a few train cars and then proceeded to vandalize them. I used a small paint brush and emmulated the graffiti you see on them in real life. Surprisingly, they don't sell them like that. They turned out very nicely. He was happy and surprised. I don't have photos of those, though...
So, yeah, I do other things. Thanks for reading the blog! And Happy Chinese New Year!!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Air Fore One Joins Sunday One!

So, it was a wonderful lazy day! A nice lazy Sunday! Fit for a king! I love those. Cora worked on her sewing and I changed the water in the fish tanks. The inhabitants of both tanks seem much relieved to be swimming in clear water! I was pleased to be able to confirm that some inhabitants remained.

Cora left for awhile to help her mother with some computer issues. While she was gone I watched some TV and cleaned up a bit. When she returned we watched a few of MY shows! We saw a National Geographic show about a Giant Crystal Cave in Mexico and a show about Air Force One. Both very good, and if Cora was faking interest, she did it very well.
I also rented StepBrothers...

Now, if you don't mind some rough language, and I can handle it, THAT is a fantastically FUNNY movie! I heartily recommend it so long as your ears are not too sensitive!

Now we are watching a special on Marine One. I won't mention the one nod to Cora's viewing preferences...the Duggar...gag...Wedding. That was...interesting. I think I will stick to my airplane shows.

Tomorrow I am back to the second graders I had the other day. Should be good!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Off The Wall Saturday.

Today has been a nice slow day. It was spent avoiding work. We DID go grocery shopping and we couple of loads of clothes got washed, but we won't point any fingers.

I made a copy of an accident report for a fellow wreck enthusiast. I also took a nap halfway through the day. We watched TV and took it nice and easy. I have no inclination to make tomorrow's plan any different!

Since, I am lacking in ambition and ideas for a better post, I will leave you with some pictures. These are intentionally off the wall. Nothing pretty, but, you already know I am un-ambitious, so why are you acting surprised?
Naughty airplanes...

Toby's nightmare...totally accidental, but completely entertaining.

My airplane remains on the shelf...for now.

A ship of the Great White Fleet...

A ship of the Greatest Fleet in the World...

I hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Kids Is Kids

Today I taught in the SPED room. I always enjoy the kids and they like me. Further, the Assistants like me because I don't hide behind the desk like other subs. Apparently, SOME subs don't know how to treat kids with special needs. I don't claim to either, but, I DO know the kids are just kids! They are not aliens to be feared! But, because I INTERACT with the kids, the Assistants seem to prefer me as a sub, which does inflate my EGO...a little.

I think I neglected to mention yesterday that the sixth grade teachers were threatening to each get "sick" in sequence so they could keep me with them. A few of them might have also mentioned that they wished that I had applied for the job last year. (I did, but at the time, I thought I was only certified for grades 7-12 and said as much, now I know better[CWU, you suck]) I am frankly amazed tht they like me so much. I am too humble to scream, "THEY LIKE ME!!!! THEY!!!! LIKE!!!!! ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (of course they do.) Still, however understandable their liking of me is, I sometimes wonder how it is they like me. They only see me during lunch and hear about me from the kids...oh, well, I consider it an honor that they like me. I like them just as much, but I like the kids, too.

So, local news agencies expect some snow this weekend. Maybe that'd be fun. I hope the passes clear up by next Friday! I may have to drive around the Columbia Gorge to get to Seattle, but, damn it, I WILL BE AT THAT DECOMMISSIONING!!!!!

FFFF-Sun...or Sol...

Well, it's Friday again! And there is ANOTHER FFFF theme. This time our lovely Diana has offered the theme as SUN. Thank you Diana! We really haven't seen the sun much lately, so I am having to pull from the archives. So, since I have little to say(...I know, rare day, indeed!), I figured I would offer up these little gems.
This one was taken from our front yard in California. It was a warm Spring day (By Warm, I mean upper sixties, and by Spring, I mean February) and the spiders in the grass had made themselves busy. I saw the sun glinting off their webs and wanted to record it. If you click on the picture you should be able to make some of them out. That shiny mess in the middle of the grass across the road IS ALL spider webs!

The next one is of Mt. Adams. I took it at sunset in December. If you are lucky you might be able to make out the snow blowing off the shoulder of the mountain.

And finally, this is my lovely wife when we were Christmas Tree hunting.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I am one week away from the Kitty Hawk Decommissioning!!! I am sure I will take plenty of pictures and I will be able to bore you with ship pictures for months!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Student Teachers Rock.

Today, once again, I got some pay back. You will recall last year I expressed extreme happiness at getting to sub for someone who had a student teacher. Today, once again, I had the same experience. When I was a student teacher, substitutes would come in and read their books while I earned them a day's pay. Today, I was the sub...ahhh, sweet revenge. I actually did something, though. I helped keep the kids at bay!

I liked this ST(student teacher), though. She had...well, class. This is a class where there are actually two teachers who team teach two classes. Therefore there were two subs and one Student Teacher...Guess who did the majority of the teaching! Yep!! The Student Teacher did. Ha Ha Ha! Actually, she seemed more ready for it than I was that first few days. It was a good day. She handled BOTH classes with...well, class.

I made some suggestions about her Social Studies lesson and she decided she would base tomorrow's lesson around them. Hmm, I AM awesome. I think she will go far.

Tonight's dinner was...not quite as good as I expected. I tried to make chicken strips...but, fell short of the chicken. We had canned spinach and an unsuccessful attempt at homemade mashed potatoes...still, we gained sustainence from should we complain? no. Still, at least the spinach was good.

And...the time when I stand on the deck of the USS Kitty Hawk bidding her farewell from the fleet grows near. May she find herself a memorial rather than a reef or, worse, a line of kitchen ware. January 31 beckons.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Historic: Jim with Michelle Obama

Yeah, I know, it's a cheap parlor trick, but I could not help myself!!!!
Happy Inauguration Day!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Eagle, a Bear, and a Dog.

I took Cora to work, then I had the oil changed in her car and did some running around. Then I went to lunch with her. Finally, I went home and cleaned at the house. I also took some stuff out to the shed; some books and the shelf I took down last week. Then I went back to town to return the antennae I bought last week...they didn't work.

I think it was a pretty good day. On the way to lunch we saw two bald eagles. I pledgd to come back with a camera. Once I made it home, I worked on the house and then left again, this time with the camera.

My travels took me onto the freeway a few times. Everytime, there was a Washington State Patrol with someone pulled over in the opposite lanes. At the end of the day I wenty to pick Cora up at work. I glanced in my mirror and there was no one behind me...then, two seconds later I glanced agan and there were some Red and Blue lights from a Sheriff closer to me than I prefered. I jumped into the right lane; out of his way as he zoomed by. Seconds later another set of lights came into view behind me. Then they shut off. This was a WSP...and apparently he was not in as much of a hurry as the Sheriff. He stopped at the light...I glanced a third time in the mirror-nothing. I pulled cautiously up next to him and snapped this picture...I did not want him to think I was taking pitures of him for my blog...but I was. That is the reason it isn't a better picture.

Cora made dinner tonight. An awesome Mac&Cheese concoction...with ham...MMMmmmmmm!!!! She is an awesome cook.

The funny thing is, the better the meal, the less the dogs get. I think they recognize this and so both go to bizarre lengths to get some of this forbidden dinner. This is what Toby was doing to try to convince me I should give him my empty plate. Note the placement of his paws, as thought to demand the plate. He is really pretty cute.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Big FIVE (5)

These are my favorite wife, nephews, and niece. I am not entirely sure of the story behind the lion costume, but you gotta admit the kid has flair!

My Sister and Brother-in-Law, excellent hosts as always had somthings up their sleeves. Note my sister's mischievious expression and the sly look on that mastermind of devious games, my BIL(Brother-in-law).

Cora and the princess, who is now five. I cannot believe she is FIVE YEARS OLD!

The festivities began with a balloon drop and attendant madness kicking, throwing, and popping balloons.

The second game was "Bag Ballet," but first we had to choose teams. The team captains were none other than Eli and Emma. Here Eli has just chosen his Aunt Emily...I love the inadvertent mimicing of each other's moves here.
My sister is describing the game. You place a bag on the floor. You bend over and pick it up with your teeth, with one foot off the floor. You are not allowed to let any extremety to touch the floor or the bag until you have picked up the bag. And, in case you are wondering, NO, it is NOT easy. My sister was SELF-APPOINTED judge, so she got to watch and could not participate...evil, I tell you.
Oh, and for the sake of "not spreading germs" she would cut off the parts touched by anyone's lips or teeth, thereby making the bag shrink...yeah, what a sport! NOT.

Here my mother exhibits the tenacity of a bulldog that likes to chew on paper bags...the older people eventually found temselves disqualified for touching extremeties to the floor for balance. That did not happen for us older least not for awhile. My BIL exhibits his own prowess at bag handling...should have been a bag boy at the grocery store, I tell you! Pieces of bag litter the floor.

Cora will likely post some compromising video of me on her site tomorrow, so check it out then. I managed to make it to the last three, but my form, shall we say, made the last two look like ballerinas. My secret was throwing my body at the floor and snatching the bag in my lips as I flew by. I called it the kamikaze approach.
Here is the birthday girl again! I love this picture.

Here is the pink cake...who knew Pink was coming back into style.

Here she is opening gifts...
and riding her final gift...a BRAND NEW BIKE! She loved it!
Eli got to play with his, is a minor accident, fortunately no one was injured.
Eli is a master at riding the bike!
Still going strong!

And, finally the birthdy girl again! Happy Birthday little niece! We love you!
Oh, we went to the 3cities and did get to go shopping and had a delicious dinner. Cora bought me a new book! How Awesome is SHE!!!??? Well, the long day has gotten to me! I need a nap!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday and the FFFF

I taught second graders today. Everyone kept saying, "Oooh, I don't envy you." or "Ouch, she got a doozy class this year." "With So-and-so? Sorry!" Either I have low expectations, or I just managed to get lucky, because I had a good day! There were a few outbursts from student X, but those were relatively easily handled. I was happily surprised.

Tonight, I am about to watch Battle Star Galactica. It is a series I have been watching faithfully for the past few years, and I was very unhappy to see it is ending. Still, it seems better and has been longer run (In years, if not epiodes) than the original series.

Tomorrow, my favorite niece's birthday. It is hard to believe that FIVE years ago she burst onto the scene on the date I predicted. January 17, 2004. And she was a SHE! I predicted that too! I am looking forward to seeing her tororrow. She is such a cutie and she has grown up so fast!

We might drive down to the 3cities and have a nice dinner and do some shopping afterward. Who knows.
Oh, and the Snow for the FFFF...Diana has a wicked sense of humor...since we have NONE! These are from December...

Spoiler (maybe):

Uh-oh...Thrace! I am fracking it Helen? Is is the entire Human Race? Glad they have made it so easy to follow by keeping the series episodes so fracking close it too much to ask for them to have more than three episodes per year?