Saturday, May 30, 2009

Busy in St Louis! (& Happy Birthday Tim!)

First off, Happy Birthday brother is 29 today. Only a year left in his twenties!

This weekend Debbie and I are in St Louis...and busy as can be! Yesterday we flew in and went directly shopping for a few wedding and engagement photo necessities. We had a nice lunch with Debbie's grandma, then off to talk to Father John...our priest. We are actually all clear now, with regards to the Catholic Church, in getting married...less than 5 months to go! A late manicure and pedicure for Deb and her mom, then home to try and get some sleep (the day started with a 445am wakeup call for our flight out).

Today we met with our photographer for our long-awaited engagement photos. It is one year into our engagement this week, actually. Debbie and I went with multiple clothing options (I won't say outfits...but you know what I mean!). Photos throughout Tower Grove Park (in South City), then into downtown for shots by Busch Stadium (yup, I sported my Indians jersey and Deb was in her Cardinals!), finally to a spot downtown off the beaten track. It was this mesh of structures...railroad, bridges, etc...the light and back drop were awesome...these should be some amazing shots. All in all, it was a good session...then for some great downtown lunch.

Middle of the day was fiasco with tuxedo shopping. I won't mention where, but it was bad. I apparently don't know my waist, neck, sleeve, jacket or anything about formal wear. When she brought out the tux she sized me for 10 minutes earlier, it looked like I was a 6 year old trying on my fathers clothes! It was awful. After enough built-up anger, we to Men's Wearhouse. We found a sweet deal on my tux and we bought it. I am excited about it...looks pretty sweet, and I am excited to wear it for our wedding and again on our honeymoon. After that...well, I find excuses to wear it...

Anyways, we just finished a nice dinner with Deb's family, and then some intense games of canasta. I was partnered up with Lorraine...but it was Debbie and her grandma who beat us...actually, they wiped the floor with us!

Tomorrow will be busy once again...capped off by a late flight home. Kitty will be waiting anxiously!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Flaming Fajitas!

Oh the memories of the flaming fajitas, I recall a moment or two thinking "why did I listen to Leslie!?!"

They were good, though...I do remember that!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Busy Weekend with the Parents...

It was a hectic and busy weekend...but a wonderful one. My parents came in on Thursday and we were nonstop for much of the time...and enjoyed the flipside with relaxing time around home. Debbie and I even introduced them to Wii (my dad beat me in bowling in his first try!).

I'll try and post some pics from our adventures...Blue Bell and Brenham, dinners, Baseball, visiting, Wii time, etc etc etc. All in all, a great time.

This is my mom and I in our 12th row seats at Sunday's game. Too bad they were losers...a shutout!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mom & Pop Kadlec Arrive Tonight!

Tonight my parents come to town for the weekend. Debbie and I are taking tomorrow off and with the holiday on Monday, we'll have a solid 4 days to entertain! Tomorrow we are headed out to Blue Bell and perhaps a winery (or two), closing out the day with dinner at Leslie's Houston restaurant of choice, Cafe Red Onion (recommended by my former Honduran colleague, it surely hasn't let us down yet). They won't allow us to bring guests. Oh well. Saturday will be relaxing around home and some local stops, maybe the Terra Cota exhibit down at the museum. We were supposed to go to the opening members party tomorrow, but they will only allow members...literally. Or perhaps a movie... Sunday we are going to do brunch then some MLB! We are sitting 12 rows off the field for the finale of the Silver Boot Series...Astros and Rangers. I'm not into the I-45 series and the rivalry (the past few years it really doesn't come across like 'much' of a rivalry). And Monday will be an open day for more relaxing and the final day for Scrabble between my mom and I.

With tonight through Monday, I'll throw out the number 17. That's my estimate on how many scrabble matches my mom and I have! I won't wager on how many I'll win as I don't want to jinx it! Gonna be a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Second in the "Memories" Series

Deb loved the video clip I added yesterday and said I should post the following video, and start a "memories" series of posts. We don't have enough clips, at least I don't think, to make this a long series. Heck it'll take me time to find that flaming fajitas one!

But this one brings back memories...back in 2005, Debbie came up and we drove down into Jersey to cut down our own Christmas Tree! Check out the video:

And just for you, Cheryl, some of those funny Jersey jokes (since our Xmas tree was from Jersey) taken from SNL two weeks ago...hope I can get them right! "you know they pump their own gas there? That's because the lack that skillset." "in NJ pumping gas is like performing brain surgery" But when I went and found the other one..."riding with the convertible down in Jersey is like...," it was a little to racy for this blog...sad, I know...but it was the best one of all!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fun Times in Atlantic City!

While going through some old documents on CD's from NY, I found a great video clip from when we went to Atlantic City for Deb's 21st birthday. I can't help but laugh at this clip...oh Leslie and I in our early DB days.

Next up, I'll have to find the 'flaming fajitas' one! That one was more scary then funny at the time...but looking back, quite funny.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Weekend Together...seemed like a while!

Well Debbie and I seemingly have not had a weekend together since early-to-mid April. I had been studying, Debbie was in Denver, then Dallas, then working, then had been a while. So this weekend, we got a chance to see each other and actually be together!

Friday for me was busy...had a doctor appointment for my ankle (it's healing...a moderate-to-severe sprain...a 6 week recovery...two weeks down). Later, better news was that I got my car back! No more driving around a Nissan Sentra...what an upgrade it felt like going into my car! Check out the bumperless photos sent by the body shop guys...taken at some point between replacing it with a fresh one.

Weekend started after a long week of work for both of us. I have been complaining over two of my current project being entirely in British Standards (projects is in Qatar and Saudi Arabia) and Debbie had just come off her Certification week. Friday night we were sure to go and see Angels & Demons. We had both read the book a few years back and had high expectations, as we both liked it more then The Da Vinci Code. It truly was a better book... Anyways, the movie was very good...did a good job following the book, picking up the action, the mystery, and even some of those horrific parts. The end was different. We both were awaiting the was such a good ending in the book. The movie missed this high mark...wasn't bad, but definitely held back on the "religious conspiracy" aspect. Oh was a great movie.

Saturday was supposed to be a lazy day...but it wasn't. Went ring shopping (found mine, maybe found Debbie's), shopping in general, did some honeymoon researching at B&N, etc etc etc. Was a long day capped out with dinner at PF Changs. Sunday ended up being that relaxing day with chocolate chip pancakes and some minor chores around here. We have my parents coming this weekend, so we have to be ready.

If only the weather this weekend was like it was today (It was gorgeous today), hot as always over the weekend. Why did we have to work???

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Florida Fun in the Sun

Let me just start out with...yes I'm still pale!

I went to Florida this past weekend to visit with my gal pals and Mickey Mouse. Leslie had signed up for her first 5K, so we all decided to run with her! After my cert party, I still wasn't feeling too awesome, but we all finished in the blazing Florida sun. Later we celebrated with my favorite ice cream ever, Moo's soft serve on the beach.

That night we went Kevin's new bar, the Broken Barrel Tavern, and I was amazed at the beer list. If you are in Fl, you HAVE to go here just for the beer list. Plus they have good bands, pool, and darts. Check it out..., they even have my favorite (Duchesse De Bourgogne) on tap which is amazing because I couldn't even find in a bottle in the state of Texas up until a few months ago! Florida 1, Texas 0.

Then it was Disney time! We started out with breakfast at Chef Mickey's where all the characters visited our table while we ate mickey shaped waffles! We headed to Hollywood Studios (MGM) and then to Magic Kingdom. We missed out on a parade, but got to enjoy beautiful fireworks and there was hardly any wait for the rides! We stayed that night at the Pop Century resort, it was ehh, but had some cool decor. Next day was all about Animal Kingdom and Epcot. We got to Animal Kingdon early, so we could se emore animals on the Safari, and it was worth it. At Epcot we went on Soaring (only my 2nd time) and this ride is soo cool, even the waiting line was fun with interactive games! Epcot was really beautiful this time because of the Flower and Garden show that was going on, they host it every year in the Spring.

Here is my slide show of the weekend...hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

RPE Certification

Last week was my Real-time Planning Engineer (RPE) certification on console. A RPE is a back-room position to the Operations Planner in the Mission Control Center for International Space Station (for your non-NASA folk). The RPE works on the ISS plan for the next 7 days, this includes scheduling everything for the crew (experiments, repairs, exercise, sleep), ground activities, and satellite coverage.

It was a very long and stressful week on console and definitely deserved some celebrating. After my last shift on Thursday night, some co-workers and Terence and I went to Boonedoggle's for some heavy drinking. Yeah Midnight Cert Party!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The "Lowly" Indians

Over the weekend the Indians were shut out TWICE, spanning 19 innings (that's a span of three games!) without scoring a run. I have been giving the Astros crap, but they have listened to me and improved. They are sitting in 5th place in the NL Central only 3 games under .500. However, the Indians have not.

Today the Indians enter with the worst, yes the worst, record in baseball. Not just the AL, but all of baseball! Sitting at 11-21 is terrible. Now comes my defense of the worst team in baseball...targetted at Cheryl and her trash talking "Nationals" propaganda. See the Nationals winning percentage sits at .345 where the Indians winning percentage is at .344. That's one-thousandth of a point separating these two basement dwellers.

Last week when the Nationals and Astros played, I read the recap and the way it started made me laugh, "...two last place teams vying for a win..." Go figure the game was suspended in the 10th and neither team will pick up a victory until July when they finish that game! But over the weekend the most depressing read was about the Indians getting shutout twice:

"In the first two games, the Tigers pitched consecutive shutouts in Cleveland for the first time in nearly 101 years. Hall of Famer Ty Cobb was 21 years old when the Tigers did it on July 3 and 4, 1908."

It's sad when you have to compare the Indians play to games over 100 years ago! The first line was so accurate..."the Indians are digging themselves a deeper hole every day."

I think I might go home and watch the Major League movie series, at least the Indians WIN! Ahhh...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Some things can only happen to me...why?!

Now, I must preface today's incident with one that happened over four years ago...

It was March 2005, and Debbie and I were somewhere between the Caymans and Roatan on the MSC Opera. I had just hit the gym and was en route back to our cabin. As I was stepping out of the elevator I dropped my cabin key with it somehow finding the gap between the car and the floor. Down the elevator shaft it went. I don't need to go down the embrassing story of going to the lobby and explaining why I needed a new key!

Back to today now...I was washing my car in our car care center within our complex. It was quite dirty and I was nearly done drying it. I had just made my way into wiping down the inner door jams when it happened. I opened the passenger door and down they went, through the manhole grating, and into the water sogged basin. What? My car keys! Difference here is that I couldn't go to the lobby and say "hello, I just dropped my keys through a manhole, can I have a new set?" I am soooo fortunate the Debbie left her car keys here in Texas this weekend. (She's in Florida visiting friends and family...trying to avoid bringing the swine flu back from Disney.) I jogged home and found her set and en route back to my car I was able to flag down a maintenance guy. He came with a 3-ft bar with a hook...didn't touch the bottom of the basin. Then with a 5-ft pole with a magnet on the end...didn't touch the bottom again! Then he decided to bring a hammer and he was able to pry the manhole grate off. He reached into the manhole and was able to hit the bottom, maybe 6 feet or so down, with his magnet & pole. When he pulled it up with my keys stuck to the magnet I was so fortunate and lucky!

So, how do these things happen to me? I really just don't know how to explain it...I am just "special" I guess. Debbie's reaction was on those lines. Kind of like a mom and a 6-year old when they just lost something. Dammit.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Astros Game...Anyone Suprised that they LOST!!!

With Debbie working nights today and tomorrow, it was just me and some of her Nasa coworkers and spouses. Had a good time hanging with everyone and we had some great seats! I'm on a good streak so far this year...every game has been in the 100-level! Tonight we sat in Section 127 right behind 1st base. Check out the photo...

Great seats, eh?

Tonight was pink jersey giveaway night for all ladies 16 and over. Well obviously that was not me, so I was out of luck. But after we gave up on catching a home run ball in the Crawford Boxes, I saw one of the ticket ladies give a jersey to a guy. So JR and I went up to her and asked for one...and she was happy to oblige and gave us each one! So even though Debbie didn't make it to the game, I got her a nice pink jersey!

Had a great time talking baseball and taking a night off from...well, nothing! Even the dome was OPEN in 90 degree weather, it was a nice time at the park...aside from the 'Stros losing. Not that I was really surprised...but the Indians did win! So it was an okay day in MLB.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Softball Tournament Champs (Team Dannenbaum)

This past Saturday I played in a softball tournament for Team Dannenbaum. The tournament was with the Texas Land Surveyors and engineers or something...I don't really know. It was a last minute thing and I jumped all over it. Myself and a few others were "contract employees" for the day...and we definitely helped bring home a victory. FYI, my friend Owen works over at Dannenbaum...(it's questionable who copied who with the blogs, but you can find his "Meet the ---" over at "Meet the Parkers" link on this page)

Anyways, the tournament was a double elimination format and got started at 10am. Our first game was at 11am, with us charging to victory in a sudden death 8th inning. We then played two more games in a row at noon and 1pm...both winning by greater margins. 17-1 or something in game 3. Then we had a break...we had the only other undefeated team set for 430...Jacobs. It wasn't even close...we kicked them over with force!

With Debbie working all weekend, she was unable to attend the tournament, but since we made it all the way to the finals she got there just in time to see the last and final game. They were a bunch of trash talking "surveyors" or a-holes...whatever the were...came down to an exciting 7th inning. We led by 4 runs going into the bottom of the last inning. They were able to score 3 and the final out was recorded on a sinking line drive to left. They stranded the tying run at 3rd base! With that, we were champs!

Overall it was an awesome day...loads of fun and of course winning made it that much sweeter! Down sides to the day were me striking out...yup, I struck out. I watched a ball land squarely on the plate and was rung up looking. Laughing and in disbelief I still am. Oh well, I had a good day at the plate. I hit a few triples and had other base knocks. I was trying to go yard but just couldn't get enough elevation on the ball.

Aside from that you can see the ankle brace I reluctantly brought to the game. I usually always have that and my knee brace with me. This time going into third base the base shifted underneath me and I rolled the ankle over badly. It's still quite swollen today as I'm nursing a mild sprain (assuming that's all it is for now...)

Oh well...we were victorious, an undefeated 5-0. When it comes to pain, it's all worth it when you walk away champions!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Nissan Xterra vs Lexus GX470: Battle of the SUVs

Well, the matchup occurred on Thursday and I'll ruin the ending...the Xterra won!

See I was headed home to change after work so I could go meet Deb and her California colleagues (and some Houston people too...), but was delayed when some stupid driver decided to ram her Lexus into me. Her bumper and fender took the brunt of the damage, my car suffered only a jarred bumper (not too bad considering how it could have been). Yeah, she knew she was at fault and came out apologetic. I called the police but was able to just flag one day from the highway. The only scare came when it took a couple of insurance numbers to finally find her insurance. I called Agressive Insurance, they answered Vision Insurance, and the claims agent said they were Fred Loya Insurance. I was like "who am I talking to?!"

Car will get fixed and no one was hurt. Just sucks that drivers in this city really suck. Two of my co-workers have had accidents in the past month, too...none of which, I must add, were our faults.

Oh well...I'll take some satisfaction in knowing my car held up better than hers...