Bats of Austin….

Staying in Austin for work, I walked to dinner from my hotel. While at dinner I asked the waitress why everyone was hanging out on a nearby bridge. Her response was that there was a congregation of bats living under the bridge and everyone was waiting from them to fly at from their home at dusk.
Upon finishing dinner I began to walk across the bridge to return to my hotel. I stopped every so often to look over the edge of the bridge to see if any bats were flying about. At first I didn’t see any. Then a few started to come out. They started to circle the supports of the bridge. Then it seemed as if there were thousands of them. It was a torrent of bats constantly circling the supports of the bridge. People were taking flash photos that illuminated many more bats.
It was an awesome sight.

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Post party thoughts

Well the baby shower/BBQ was a real hit. There were about 15 people that showed up and we all had a good time, well at least I hope we all did. Mary Jane and Aaron showed up sometime between 10 and 11 am to get things organized. Aaron and I left to meet up with Bill to get a table and chairs from Bill’s church so that people would have a place to sit. After bringing those back to my house I started doing a bit of last minute organizing before the guests were supposed to arrive. Aaron left again to get some last minute party supplies and MJ slaved away in the kitchen doing final prepartions on the food. I was under the impression that the party was going to start at 2pm but after re-validating the start time on the eVite website I found out that I was wrong. In any event, Aaron returned to the house with a helium tank, balloons and some supplies for the party games. Aaron’s sister, Ana Lee, arrived to help out and we three blew up balloons. Skipping ahead in time. The guests started to show up starting with a couple of Shannon’s friends from school who none of us had met before. I think their names were Nicky and Lisa. They both seemed somewhat shy. The Raglands, Chris, Mindy and Sarah, showed up next followed by the Cameaus, Hans and Martine. The party was starting to get lively. I started the grill up and prepped the chicken for cooking. The heat outside was very close to 100F and standing next to the grill in that heat was almost unbearable. The guests of honor, Shannon and Bill, arrived (they had actually arrived earlier but were sent away until some final preparations were completed). Very shortly after the Lee-Anavi clan, Jason and Fiona, arrived followed by Jeff Welch. Now the party was in full swing.

The chicken was grilling. People were chatting and laughing. It was a good time had by all. I would go outside to check on the chicken and people would follow me out. But it was too darn hot outside so I kept ordering them to go back inside and enjoy the shade and A/C. I guess everyone felt sorry that I was stuck out in the heat cooking but I tried my best not to stay outside for more than a couple of minutes at a time. We had chicken that was marinated in garlic and lemon or BBQ both of which seemed great. I moved the chicken to the top rack of the grill and put as many burgers on the bottom rack as could fit. As the burgers began to finish, I brought the chicken in and some of the burgers and notified everyone that lunch was ready. Expecting a mad dash to where the food was I was kind of disappointed when only a few people got up and headed toward the grub. Slowly people started to migrate toward the food and the complements flowed forth. I returned to my grilling duties and finished off the hamburgers. The food was good. MJ really did a great job getting everything prepared and laid out. I grabbed a plate and loaded it with food. I had a fairly difficult time eating from a paper plate while sitting in a chair without the assistance of a table.

After everyone finished eating, MJ gathered us into the great room for some party games. For the first game, MJ and Aaron passed out a stick of gum to each of us with instructions to sculpt a baby from the chewed up gum which Shannon would judge. Shannon chose Jason’s due to the creativity in using the wrapper as bushkin. The next game was a word scramble. I am horrible at such puzzles so I didn’t participate. Instead I hung with MJ in the kitchen while she prepared the final game. I don’t remember who won that game. The final game was the best. It was called “What did Daddy feed the baby?” Basically, there are 5 diapers each of which has a smear of melted candy bar inside. The job of the contestants is to determine what kind of candy bar is in each diaper. The looks on people’s faces when they openned up the diapers was priceless. Ana Lee and Bill took an extra long time looking at the diapers persistent in attempting to win this game. I think they both tied as winners.

Now that the games were over it was time to open presents. There were lots of gifts given to the expectant parents and I felt bad that I hadn’t given them anything. Maybe I will get them a gift when it gets closer to the due date. The party was winding down. As soon as the gift openning ceremony was over, Shannon’s two friends bolted out the door. Following shortly afterward were the Cameaus and Raglands and Jeff. Jason, Aaron, Bill and I took the table and chair back to Bill’s church with the utmost haste. MJ had left while we were returning the chairs and shortly afterwards the Colemans left and I ran into my next door neighbor, Sam (I assume is short for Samantha), for the first time since she moved in. She seemed to be very nice and a bit sunburned. The final exodus came shortly afterward and I was once again by myself.

In conclusion this event was fun. I plan on having some type of event at my house soon as I enjoyed hosting the party. Maybe when it cools down a little bit.

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In preparation….

I have a couple of friends, Bill and Shannon, that are about to have a baby in a few of months. Another set of my friends, Aaron and Mary Jane, are throwing a baby shower/BBQ get together for this occasion. With about 20 people invited they were having a difficult time finding a location to host the party so Aaron begged me and I will be the hosting location. This means that this will be the first “party” that I have had at my house since I bought the place. This also means that I need to clean my house and prepare it to be presentable enough for guests. I worked on finishing my baseboards last weekend but I became lazy and didn’t get too much of that accomplished. I also had my Uncle Richard visiting while he was in town for the Army Reserves. I have a ton of stuff that I should do. Oh well…..time for another game of Warcraft3.

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Richard Lewis!!!

Funny man! Last night I saw him perfom at the Orlando Improv and he was absolutely hilarious. At 57 years old he can still make an audience (mostly 20-30 somethings) laugh out loud. He was very random often going off into tangents but somehow he always got back and tied up the loose ends. As he keeps mentioning that he could die at any time I would reccomend seeing him sooner rather than later :-)

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Just a blog entry

Well, it’s been more than a week since I entered anything on here. I guess I need to be more diligent about creating entries. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster the last few days and I don’t know if I can blame it on the weather or just a cyclic thing. How do I express myself more openly? No idea. Until then…

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Bruised shins and sunburn

I guess I’ve gotten into activities where minor injury and pain is pretty much the norm. With Geocaching I get sliced by saw palmettos, stabbed by thorny vines, and bitten by mosquitoes and various other insects. With hiking I’ve gotten muscle aches and blisters. I’ve grown accustomed to those aspects of my new hobbies. But yesterday I went jetskiing on a friend’s jetski. I swear I am hurting in places I didn’t know existed. The jetski that my friend owns is narrow so it is quicker in turns and easier to do tricks with. BUT as a side-effect of this narrowness it is fairly difficult to re-mount if you happen to fall off. Falling off seems to be my favorite activity on this thing at least from the perspective of any onlookers. In getting back on I would fall off and usually strain something or bruise something. My poor shins are sooo bruised that it was hard for me to walk last night. I also forgot to put on sunscreen before I get burnt. Oh well, the price you pay for having a good time with no worries. And I had a really good time.

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GWIII, Where geeks go to play in the woods.

So, I guess one might say that I have gotten into geocaching pretty hard-core. I went to my first event in Jacksonville called GeoWoodstock III. It was very cool. Well, at least to me. Got to meet tons of people and had some really outstanding BBQ chicken. Searched for tons of caches. Lost my keys. That really sucked. But as luck would have it some very nice person turned them in to an event organizer and I was able to get them back. Of course the 3 hours I spent searching and stressing over them was a wasted part of the day. Oh well. I guess I learned a lesson from it. Had a blast anyway and am inspired to do more caching. But not until tomorrow :-)

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Little Big Econ Forest

Yesterday I had a wonderful morning/afternoon in the little BIG Econ Forest State Park. The main objective was to go geocaching throughout the park. I started off on my bike as it was hinted that biking may make it easier to find the caches. I must say I had fun on the bike but it didn’t make finding anything easier. In fact I got lost. I finally figured out how to get back to my car and stowed my bike. I then drove to another trailhead and hiked through the park. I saw many awesome sites. I just love the Florida wilderness. From baby banana spiders to swallow-tail kites diving into the palmettos. Turtles, alligators, snakes, huge trees, and flowers of all colors and shapes.

P.S. I would upload some pictures but it seems that there is a javascript error.

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Useless Meetings!!!

I work for a fairly well known tech company that provides services, such as custom web application development, to many other companies both well known and otherwise. In the process of creating web application many meetings need to occur to communicate ideas and status back and forth between the development people, like me, and the customer. These are usually for the most part useful meetings.
Now, on the project that I am currently working I have one after another of totally useless meetings. It’s great for the client to be paying for 20 plus people in a meeting listening to manager speak about the structure of the organization.
So I am on a conference call right now. Attempting to stay awake. I think I am going to surf the Geocaching site.

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We Win!!!

It’s awesome when we win. The volleyball team that I am on just shut out another team 3 games to zip. Of course the individual scores of those games were much closer but we won. Well, I had to document it somehow. :-)

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