Monday, April 20, 2009

Camping at Buena Vista...

Well after the very long week and the not-so-successful adjustment back to a normal schedule we decided that with the kids still out on Spring Break that we would just go camping. We haven’t had a chance to do that for a while so I took the rest of the week off (Thursday and Friday) and we would try our luck. After a couple of calls, realizing that last-minute trips are pretty hard to pull together we just decided to go for it. So we loaded everything up and headed out Thursday toward the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreational Area and see what we could find. We had already determined that all the hook-up sites were already taken so I brought the generators as well.

So, when we arrived, just as expected there were very limited spaces, but we did get the last remaining lake front spot without hookups. Our first stop was to load up the water tanks so that we would have water in the trailer. The first thing I noticed is that it sure didn’t seem to be watering right and water seemed to be running out of the hole. Now I just thought I sprayed the side of the trailer as I was loading. That would be a WRONG!!! As it turned out one of the water hoses on the water pump came off and we loaded the trailer with a bit of water. At one point when Denise went in to check the levels she was greeted with a little river of water running through the trailer… It could have been a lot worse but after soaking up what we could and pulling the back bunk apart I found and fixed the problem. (I really thought it was going to be a lot worse).

After that everything went pretty good. We got everything setup and realized this was a pretty nice camping site. Oh we had the normal children blues where they got bored or wanted to do something they couldn’t but for the most part it was pretty darn nice. It was also cool on Friday night when Daren and Alleen dropped by for a visit. That was kind of the plan but it was neat to see it all come together.

On Saturday Daren and Alleen brought out their boat and we spent a “boatload” of time on the water and just playing around. Another really cool thing is that my dad and Donna came by for a couple of hours too! It was really cool to get to see everyone and just hang out. The only bad thing is we didn’t plan the food very well and I had to run into town to get stuff for dinner so I missed out on some of the fun, but it was still a pretty darn good time.

Like I said above we were really happy with the place and I think this place just moved up on the list of places to go for quick and easy trips. Even the “dry” camping aspect wasn’t too bad although one of the full hook-up sites would obviously be nicer. The kids really got a kick out of riding (and piloting) in the boat. I am not sure when we are going to be able to go again, but hopefully it won’t be too long!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Desirae's new hair...

Desirae has been asking Denise to get her hair cut for a while now.  With everyone out of school for spring break Denise setup a time to visit Anne at her shop to have her cut her hair.  Now, I have no idea why Desirae wanted her hair cut but she did.  I took today off and stayed home with Devin and Deanna so that Denise could make this happen. We then met them in town to check out the new do and to have a nice lunch together. Desirae was VERY excited and happy about her hair cut and it is pretty darn cute too! As you may notice in the video Desirae wanted to donate her hair so it is off to help other folks. Denise said everyone in the salon was pretty excited about that and applauded Desirae doing that!

Friday, April 10, 2009

When Duty Calls…

As some of you man have heard or know we lost an aircraft at work a few weeks ago. It only hit the news cycle for about an afternoon and quickly was relegated to the back pages. Since the time it when down my folks have been support 24/7 operations to ensure communication is up and operating in support of the recovery. When my guys maxed out the amount of time they can work in a pay period and with limited options I volunteered myself and another guy (Kris, technically he was the only other person who volunteered without restriction – sorry Kris) to provide the 14-hour shift coverage from 7pm to 7am. I say 14 hours because it takes an hour to get to the site from the base and we also have to load up the vehicle.

So since Sunday I have been working this crazy shift basically sitting in the middle of the desert in a cargo van waiting for something to happen so we could restore communications. So far our equipment has been extremely reliable and we have been fortunate that everything is working, as it should!

I also want to throw out some kudos to my good friend Rob Mendoza who went above and beyond to ensure communications which included lugging most of what you see here up the side of this high point to get radio equipment up and operational. Rob’s a super guy and dedicated to doing what it takes to get the mission done. You can’t really see it from the photo, but the antenna is a complete masterpiece including electrical take to secure the mast to the tripod that he had on had. Him and James Littlefield as the sun was going down put that up and piled rock on it to get it up and going. It’s has been working pretty darn good every since. Subsequent crews tied the guy wires to it.

Well other than the few days break I have right now (kind of – everyone has seemed to forgot that I am working nights) things are going to be a bit crazy for a few weeks.