Quote of the Moment

"Beep Industries currently has no openings. This is a good thing. Any number of career paths are better than game development. Lots of jobs are more lucrative and far less work. We hear marketing and animal husbandry are filled with potential."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Roadtripping the Caravan

For the President's Day weekend, my wife and I decided it was time to take the new Grand Caravan out for a test of its road-trip qualifications. To that end, after leaving The Boy to spend a few days of quality time with his grandma, the remaining three of us set out for the three hundred-some mile jaunt from Seattle to Canyonville, OR to visit some college friends.

Despite my general ambivalence towards all things minivan, I have to admit that the GC is a fantastic road-trip vehicle. Comfortable, never short for music thanks to the Satellite radio and MyGig systems, plenty of room for our stuff, and it actually surprised me with the gas mileage. While the around town MPGs are generally horrible, averaging about 65mph on the freeway gave us real fuel economy numbers around 25 miles per gallon. Considering the EPA estimate is 23, I'd call that pretty darn good.

Hanging out with our friends and seeing their five-month-old little girl for the first time was great, but far too soon it was time to head back. Unfortunately, we brought something unexpected back with us: another evil version of The Flu. Urgh. The Lovely and Gracious Wife was the first to succumb, feeling the symptoms on Wednesday night, and in full-blown illness by Thursday. This also left me staying home playing Mr. Mom, a role I didn't exactly manage with my usual aplomb. By Saturday night, The Boy had succumbed, and let me tell you, I'd be hard-pressed to think of anything more pathetic than my tow-headed two-year old laying on the couch whimpering because he's got a fever and his body hurts.

Oh, and then on Sunday, I started showing symptoms, leaving The Girl as the only healthy one of us all. Well, at least work hasn't been too stressful today. Much like being in the eye of a hurricane, I don't imagine that this calm spell will last much longer, but it's nice for the moment, and well timed at that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Things are going to change... Part 00

When I said I was going to get more material to blog about this year, I really didn't intend to switch to a three posts per month mode. That's just how January ended up. On the bright side, while I've been busy elsewhere, things have begun to change.

There's a chorus to a song that gets sung a lot as special music at my alma mater. And while I can't seem to find the audio anywhere on the internet (What? Nobody wants to pirate PCC Ensemble CDs? Whouda thunk it???) here's the start of the chorus that's been periodically pogoing though my head for a while

"Things are gonna change someday.
Trouble's gonna fly away.
Things are gonna change for the better
and I know that the better's gonna stay."

It's going to be a big year. And the first major step happened on the last weekend in January, when my wife drove off the lot of our local Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer in the vehicle pictured below (I was following her in our VUE, recently returned from the repair shop with a brand new muffler and back hatch)

My Lovely and Gracious wife now has a minivan of her very own, and for the first time in our nearly six years of marriage, we're officially owners of two cars.

Now for those who know us, no, we didn't suddenly find out that we need more space for car seats than the back row of the VUE provides. However, where we do need more space is in our living arrangements, where the two bedroom condo that was roomy for two adults and two cats has become rather cramped when two toddlers are added to the mix. Since we're highly unlikely to find a larger home within our budget that still allows me to walk to work, and since I really like my job, procurement of a second vehicle became a necessity.

The Lovely and Gracious wife really, really enjoys her new ride too. She's spent pretty much every drive thus far burning our entire CD collection into the MyGig system, and her sole complaint is that it's too easy to go too fast. And while I would have probably preferred something more expensive that exuded masculinity (hey, you can probably fit three carseats in the back of an F350, right), even I have to admit that behind the wheel, when you turn on the heated seat, adjust the height, and let the 251hp 4.0 liter V6 take you from 0 to 60 in about 8 seconds, the fact that you're driving a minivan doesn't seem to matter nearly as much.

I guess it's appropriate though, that the herald of all the upcoming changes this year is a car. After all, cars get you from place to place, and in this case, start the first domino in a long chain.

See you space cowboy.