I miss you Dad

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Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
The sun doesn't shine on me - 4/14/14

1. Some things occurred today that upset me. Keeping an even temper was difficult.

2. Because of #1, I was a bit withdrawn today but did not let it affect my time with my son.

3. Helped my mother locate some of her old friends and classmates that she wanted to contact online.

4. Performed some research of my father’s insurance policies to help out.

5. Celebrated the first night of passover with my son.

6. ❤ Told Tiwa I love her. ❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
Feeling Powerless - 4/13/14

1. Went through my dad’s belonging that were brought over by my sister.

2. Had conversations with my mother about the last days of my father.

3. Went grocery shopping at the store.

4. Reviewed some of the documents relevant to my father’s estate.

5. Slept when I needed to because of the long trip.

6. ❤ Told Tiwa I love her. ❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
Going to Portland - 4/12/14

1. Let Orion drive at night for three hours. He did a good job considering he did not have much experience driving at night.

2. Ate breakfast at Denny’s in Redding followed by a short nap to give us energy to get to Portland.

3. Picked up Cloee in Ashland via Zimride to share the ride to Portland.

4. Reached my mother’s home about 3:30pm and talked for awhile.

5. Mother cooked a dinner of chicken, stuffing and salad. I quickly got tired as dinner wound down and was in bed by 9pm.

6. ❤ Called Tiwa to tell her “I love you.”❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
A Full Day 4/11/14

1. Took an exam for training completed this week and missed only 1 question.

2. Performed testing and diagnostics learned in class on real life equipment.

3. Finished packing and preparing the van for the trip.

4. Picked up Ash & Sabina via Zimride going to visit their boyfriends in silicon valley.

5. Dropped both girls off 6 hours later in San Jose, the only delay caused by an accident in the grapevine which required a helicopter evac right on the road. Luckily for us it was towards the end of the incident, so the actual delay was only about 30 minutes.

6. Drove onward to our next destination…fighting off sleep.

7. ❤ Told Tiwa I love her. ❤

Maintain my Personal Finance Database (read all 10 entries…)
April 2014 Finance Update

Since my last update in November 2013, I have balanced my budget each and every month. In addition, I have automated my monthly transactions so they can be used for calculating disposable income. Also I am better managing my credit card accounts to lower my interest rates. I just want to keep up the good work and build up at least a month’s pay for an emergency fund now.

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
Living Well & Spending Less - 3/31/14

1. Because of the expense of the Kitchen repair, I wanted to get through today without spending any money and I did!

2. Used up some leftovers for breakfast.

3. Ate a frozen dinner for lunch.

4. Made sandwiches for dinner.

5. One of my coworkers returned from an accident today and was advocating some procedural rules not used since his accident. Worked to implement them for upcoming work.

6. Found out my dishwasher is not draining properly since the sink/disposer installation. I want to check it myself before I call a repairman, but didn’t have time to do today.

7. Found a new website for Living Life & Spending less money.

8. ❤ Told Tiwa I love her. ❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
New Kitchen Sink part 2 - 3/30/14

1. Had a nice breakfast at IHOP with my son since the kitchen wasn’t finished yet.

2. The plumber finished the hard work of moving the water outlet for the faucets, cutting out the old pipe, connecting a new disposal, the drain and the dishwasher. I am so happy to get this fixed.

3. Updated my budget and closed out the month of March.

4. Cleaned up a months worth of newspapers and ads.

5. Had salmon for dinner at Marie Callenders along with Chocolate Cream pie and a 25 percent discount.

6. ❤ Told Tiwa I love her.❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
New Kitchen Sink part 1 - 3/29/14

1. Worried that work wouldn’t start today because I a good counter-top match for my kitchen had not been found yet. But my contractor finally found a marble design that I liked.

2. Finished clearing out everything in the kitchen that was in the way so work could precede.

3. Contractor started work around 9:30 and finished about 4pm replacing my old tile with the new counter-top.

4. Installed the new drop in sink and faucet, but the plumbing will be done tomorrow.

5. Watched the NCAA March madness games, but none of the teams I picked won.

6. Watched the Disney version of ‘The Lone Ranger’ Definitely near the top of the list for worst movies I have ever seen, but had to watch it so I could form my own opinion of how bad it was. Like the picture above, it stunk!

7. ❤ Told Tiwa I love her. ❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
5 Things & Thai Green Curry 3/28/14

1. Got some exercise riding my bike between work locations.

2. Turned in a high priority assignment.

3. Felt I raised some very valid points in the meeting I was in.

4. Tried a new Thai restaurant for lunch and ordered the Green Curry. Yummy.

5. Researched another high priority assignment.

6. Made contact with my contractor who is repairing my kitchen tomorrow. Apparently the counter-top style I want is not available so I have to substitute something else but haven’t found it yet.

7. ❤ Told Tiwa I love her. ❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
5 Things 3/27/14

1. Took the train to work.

2. Got exercise today via my bike commute.

3. Had a nice breakfast of French Toast and Pizza for lunch.

4. Had a productive workday.

5. Took care of chores at home and got prepared for the next day.

❤ Told Tiwa I love her.❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
Worried 3/26/14

It has been difficult for me the last couple of weeks with multiple challenges both at work and in my personal life. For the most part I have managed both pretty well except for being able to keep up with friends and making progress on my 43Things, but I have time at the moment so here I go.

1. Worried about my dad who is in the hospital and battling a cancer diagnosis. I need to talk to him every day to help him work through the issues involved and make the right choices for himself. My family is all working as part of his support team to give him the best outcome possible.

2. Worried about my son who is not giving himself goals for educating himself or obtaining a job. I am trying to motivate him without nagging him which is sometimes difficult and frustrating for me.

3. Worried about getting my kitchen repaired. After consulting a few different repairmen, I have settled for a contractor who will give me a new sink and countertop. The price is a bit higher than I originally wanted to pay, but they will do everything whereas the others would only do plumbing or tilework but not both. I am happy through that I already have my new sink, faucet and garbage disposal purchased and ready to go in.

4. Worried about my relationship with Tiwa since we are approaching our anniversary again with issues not fully resolved. She has been a source of my happiness for many years already, but there is one more step that we still have to take…

5. Worried about a paycheck that I never recieved from my former employor. Have had to send many emails and inquiries and luckily the head of HR has gotten involved on my behalf, but still the check has not been sent yet.

6. Not worried about my job. I have changed to a 9/80 schedule and have started to put together a good support team that will work and train together for the remainder of this project. I am happy with the accomplishments I have had so far, but this job really just getting started and I am very happy to be part of the organization. (and I got a picture of this beautiful sunset on the way home)

❤7. Tell Tiwa I love her each and every day. ❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
Valentines Week 2/8/14 - 2/14/14

Sat 2/08/14 My son O woke me up early and we had a nice breakfast at home. Son drove all the way to the museum without any problems. Operated the PE blimp for a couple of trips today. Made an error by not stopping for a red flag, but am now familiar with the rule for the future. Had a nice Chicken and tortilla dinner with ice cream for dessert.

Sun 2/09/14 Caught up on my sleep. Watched ‘The Music Man’ on Turner Classic Movies which my son also wanted to watch since his high school had also performed that musical. Made all our own meals for the day. Took the dog for a walk. Washed laundry.

Mon 2/10/14 Drove to work today because of work I had scheduled. Removed 3 racks of equipment that was being decommissioned. Enjoyed an In-N-Out burger for lunch. Prepared a new type of document transmittal that I will be responsible for. Spent the evening alone with the pets – scratching and playing with them.

Tue 2/11/14 Woke up early and caught the train to work. Made requests for additional software I will need for work. Kept on learning new skills in the organization and documenting them (which seems to be the organization’s weakness as well). Updated my work schedule based on events now in progress. Had a nice Thai dinner at a new restaurant. Filled up my gas tank.

Wed 2/12/14 Some days just don’t go as planned and this was one of them. Arrived too late to catch my normal train, so drove to another station closer to work and rode from there. Organized my calendar for training being planned later this month. Sent another transmittal. Left my backpack on the train platform going home, and it wasn’t there when I went back 30 minutes later to look for it. Got a lot of contact numbers to report the bag lost, but rode home on my bike as car keys had been in the backpack. At least I could still get home without my car.

Thu 2/13/14 Took train from home to work, but still no word about the backpack. Arranged to have a duplicate electronic key made at dealership. Towed car to dealership at lunch and bus back to work in PM, but key won’t be ready until Friday. Got my software installed at work. Bought lottery tickets thinking there’s got to be good luck somewhere. Got a call on the way home the backpack was turned in and I can pick it up Friday AM.

Fri 2/14/14 Took train from home again and got my backpack back from security guard at the station. Picked up my car from the dealership and now have a duplicate electronic key which costs $200. Created my 2nd project work authorization, so this is getting to be routine now. Surprised Tiwa with a gift and had sushi for an early dinner. Bought groceries for the weekend. Took a nap and a Went back to work late for system testing being done this weekend.

❤ Told Tiwa I love her so much for Valentine’s day. ❤

Help Lob celebrate her birthday in style by wishing her a super NYC birthday with at least one scrummy vegan meal out; a dash or two of Broadway; and maybe even a geocache :)
Happy Birthday!

Wishing you a Happy Birthday and hope you have an exciting time shopping and enjoying a show during your New York visit. Did you look up and notice the lights on the buildings?

Enjoy your special day!

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
I don't worry about groundhogs because it's never winter here 2/03/14 - 2/07/14

Mon 2/03/14 1. Took the train to work. 2. Got my biking exercise. 3. Ate a really good breakfast burrito. 4. Thought I was going to help inventory new equipment, but mostly spent the afternoon catching up on other things. 5. Went for a walk with my son and dog.

Tue 2/04/14 1. Another day commuting by train. 2. Got my exercise again. 3. Concentrated my efforts today on keeping up with the flurry of activity at work. 4. Got a good nights rest.

Wed 2/05/14 1. Took the train downtown for training. 2. Enjoyed the class. 3. Had lunch with my co-workers. 4. Updated my February Budget.

Thu 2/06/14 1. Had to drive to work…sigh. 2. Created my first spreadsheet to track inventory for the project. 3. Tried a new Thai Restaurant…nice atmosphere but mediocre service. 4. Other staff handled the inventory for me, luckily I brought my laptop so I could keep myself occupied with other things. 5. Went shopping after work, but ended up buying pizza for dinner.

Fri 2/07/14 1. Because I needed to travel at work today, I had to drive again. 2. Got more information and support on a 2nd project I am assigned. 3. Tried another Chinese fast food place but disappointing again. 4. Finished preparing my schedule or the coming week. 5. Made sandwiches for dinner.

❤ Told Tiwa I love her every day.❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
Trains & Training 1/28/14 - 2/02/14

Tue 1/28/14 1. Rode the train to work 2. Got my exercise 3. Discovered a new place to eat. 4.Enjoyed a little entertainment 5. Caught up with friends.

Wed 1/29/14 1. Rode the train to work 2. Completed a training class 3. Mad a new friend at lunch. 4. Bought some home repair items. 5. Had a nice dinner with my son.

Thu 1/30/14 1. Rode the train to work. 2. Completed my 2nd training this week. 3. Had sushi for lunch with a co-worker. 4. Met with 2 old co-workers and some possible interesting developments I am interested in. 5. Tried to resolve an issue regarding my transportation reimbursement, will have to review at the end of Febraury.

Fri 1/31/14 1. Addressed a newly assigned project in a meeting. 2. Had a nice Indian buffet for lunch and was full. 3. Updated my calendar for next week. 4. Updated my budget for next month. 5. Made Spaghetti for dinner. 6. Watched Looper with my son which he swears I have seen before, but I wasn’t crazy about the movie or its unbelievable vision of time travel.

Sat 2/01/14 1. Called my mom. 2. Watched Silver Linings Playbook and thought it was so-so, not the oscar winner it was. 3. Worked on my 2013 taxes. 4. Had an afternoon siesta. 5. Scheduled all my bill payments for February.

Sun 2/02/14 1. Watched “Upside Down” with my son who had never seen it-Pure fantasy but compelling. 2. Watched the Super Bowl…Seattle seemed to be sober while Denver seemed to be stoned – Even the commercials were mostly forgettable. 3. Had veggies and chicken legs for super bowl entries. 4. Made up a new chore schedule for February. 5. Organized for the coming week.

❤ Told Tiwa I love her every day.❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
The big wave is coming 1/27/2014

1. Had to drive into work due to meetings I had to attend, but the traffic was not heavy.

2. Discovered my DeltaCare Dental coverage was not what I expected, meaning none of my family had coverage with our preferred dentists. I felt a little deflated, but will make due for this year until I can choose the correct PPO coverage for next year.

3. Had a productive meeting with the team designing the new operations center. Initially everyone had agreed on reducing the requirements in the contract, but were advised that there was probably 0 cost savings in doing so, therefore although not needed, the facility will be overbuilt unless the contractor offers savings to my company along with cutting his costs. The big wave is all the equipment that will be arriving in the coming week as part of this project.

4. Tried a vegan Thai restuarant near my work. Was good and spicy too.

5. Watched an online Netflix movie “Frank & Robot” about an older burgler who enlists a robots help to steal things. It was an interesting little film to eat my dinner by.

6. ❤ Told Tiwa I love her. ❤

Achieve five things a matter how small. (read all 174 entries…)
Catching up January 2014

My increasing workload at my new job and changes in my daily life did cause me to stop updating this goal for a while, but I have achieved quite a bit so far.

Although it not worthwhile to try to remember what I did every day this month, here are 10 items I did achieve in both my professional and personal life:

1. Get involved in the network planning for a new operations center
2. Get training in several systems critical to my new job’s success.
3. Get experience in the field seeing systems I have been receiving training on in action.
4. Get caught up reading manuals on new systems coming online in the next few months.
5. Organize and plan out commuting options that creating time for reading, resting and reducing stress.

1. Re-organize my home & decluttering.
2. Finished another bookcase for storage.
3. Got tree service done on my house.
4. Getting more exercise from regular bike commutes to and from work. Without rain or winter weather, I am pretty spoiled here. (But I wish it would rain because California really needs it)
5. Created a new chart to monitor house work & other goals my son has done so we both can keep track of what he has accomplished.
6. Make time to spend with Tiwa, even when our schedules conflict.

Cut down that big tree, change the garden
Tree cutting project

Since I bought my home more than 15 years ago, I have not done any major tree trimming even through I have 5 large trees on my property. Except for the pruning that I have done myself, I have been thinking about how I want the property to look both while I am living here and when I am ready to sell my home.

In the picture, you can see the 4 tallest trees including a California Sycamore, Mediterranean Cypress aka Pencil Pine, Washingtonia robusta aka Mexican Fan Palm, and Norfolk Island Pine aka Star Pine in the back yard. It’s been the Star Pine with it’s leaning truck that I’ve been worried the most about. It has strong roots, so I wasn’t worried about it falling, but it takes up a whole side of the back yard and reduced the light where I wanted to plant my garden and drops lots of needles, so I had been thinking of removing it. In the past, when I had gotten estimates from tree trimmers, I had been given quotes of $3,000 just to remove the leaning star tree so I have held off on spending a lot of money so far.

But the work needed to be done eventually and wanting to do the work while the trees were more dormant (never completely dormant since cold here is still 50F degrees). I do love the shade, but it was time to do it and after getting estimates from several different tree services, I found one that had a fair price and could start work the next day.

take the stairs (read all 4 entries…)
Looking for my next stairway...

Since changing jobs in December, I have far fewer stairs I have to climb at work these days. There is one small stairway of about 12 steps to get to my office that I use about 4 times a day, but other than that about 6 steps to climb at the train station and other than that just curbs and things like that.

My ultimate goal for this is to complete a climb of 1,700 stairs at this event:

Friday, September 19, 2014

So I do plan to do some training to get in shape as the year progresses. I’ll figure something out and report back here.

build a bookcase (read all 6 entries…)
The bookcase is finally done!

This is just one of the cases of a simple task taking way way too long to finish. The motivation was organizing to get my taxes done this year and my son also wanted to earn some money to spend in his online game. So we finally got all the parts out and assembled this bookcase that had been laying around for 3 1/2 years. My son O did all the work with a little supervision from me to make sure all the parts were aligned right which was a bit confusing in the beginning. But the bookcase is now built and being used for filing and I could not be happier!

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