Saturday, June 28, 2008

A hot day in air conditioning

Today was a day of staying out of the heat. We went to the store this morning, did laundry and basically hung out at home.
The plan was to have some people over tonight, but one got sick and the other couple didn't call us (she is pregnant and probably very uncomfortable) so it was just kind of a lazy, do stuff around the house kind of day.

Turns out that this will be the first time in my newspaper career where I am working for a paper and don't have to work on July 4. Sweet. We are going to have a family barbecue and might attend the General Canby Day Parade (which one of my former co-worker's used to call the "Rape and pillage indians" day).

Here is a movie a shot this afternoon, Cindy playing with the girls.

Well dinner time, and I am sure the laundry needs to be changed.

Heat Pump was the best money I ever spent ... 100-degrees outside and I am going to put on some long pants!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A quandry

As I post these photos tonight I get thinking to myself, "Self, what am I going to have left for the calendar for next year if I keep using these photos for the blog?"

At first I thought I would just reuse the ones on the blog. But that's no fun. I like the fact that for the past three years when you get a Violet calendar there are photos you haven't seen. So I decided that I need to have adventures with the kids where it's just for the calendar and not for the blog. Sure I might do video of the adventure, but leave the stills for the calendar.

Which means I have to have more adventures. Tough gig I know.

Anyway, this week has been pretty rough with Lilly and I. I don't know if it's because she got shots on Friday or what, but she has been so fussy with me the last few days. Monday was horrible. She cried -- and I am not exaggerating -- probably 75-percent of the time. At one point I had to just put her down and walk away. Never had to do that with Violet, but Lilly got my blood pressure cooking.

Today was a little better, but still I am completely frustrated and ready to go back to work this week. I hope she is better for Karen and my mom, because if not, we might have to sell her to the gypsies.

Anyway, between screaming on Monday I took this photo. Have a good week, I am off to chase stories for the Wilsonville Spokesman for the rest of the week.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I love this horsey!

OK, so first off you need to wait for the Media Wars scroll gets done with the Star Wars music playing. Then the movie sound will be fine.

I could take the Star Wars thing off, but it still makes me laugh. :)

Cindy wanted to work today, so Violet and I had an adventure. We went to the Salem Riverfront Carousel this afternoon.

We took about four rides on the horses, one time on a big one that moves up and down -- Violet got pretty scared with that because it was pretty huge -- and so we stayed with the little horses that she felt more comfortable.

I think next time I am going to take Cindy and Jen and make a couple hour trip out of it.

We then got the car washed, Violet loves doing the carwash. Then we HAD to stop at Dairy Queen and share a small chocolate sundae.

Got back in time to have Violet go down for a nap. Here is a video of one of her rides...

Friday, June 20, 2008

I found this and couldn't resist!

Yes, indulge me again. See if you can catch the spelling error... hehehe.

EDIT: They took the site down. Pesky Copyright infringement...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Look out American Idol

Here is Violet in her Internet debut... singing... Fishy, Fishy, in the Brook, Dog.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I wonder how much space I have on here

I can post videos now from a little point and shoot Kodak we bought about three years ago (for busstop freelance).

My only question is how much space is on the blog or do I have to host them off site at You Tube or something...

I figure I will just keep posting until it doesn't let me anymore. This being a free service and all, I will just wait until it fills up.

Anyway, Mondays are home with the kids, until Cindy gets home, then off to my first Wilsonville City Council meeting. Should, according to their schedule be done around 9 p.m. -- not too bad. I should still be able to see Cindy tonight.

Tuesday I have nothing scheduled, so depending on the weather I may go do some stuff with the kids.

Here's today's video, I took this morning. Lilly is VERY close to crawling...

Oh and so this morning I am helping Violet wash her hands after going to the bathroom by herself. Her princess soap dispenser won't work and I am turning the little plunger nozzle and trying to get soap out of it.

I have the nozzle pointing straight up, and being a guy, I force it. Plunger gives, and soap shoots straight up int he air, landing on my head and shirt.

Violet starts laughing so hard she is crying.

"Daddy your silly!"

Yup, Mr. Mechanic, that's me.

Anyway, back to making sure Violet isn't feeding her princess action figures to Lilly.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Birthdays and videos

Thursday was my birthday, 38, and this was my first week on the new job.

So far, so good.

Anyway, we took this video this morning and I thought I would figure out how to post it. Let's see if this works...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm employed again -- Strawberry Madness!


No picture today, because it's 1:12 a.m. and I can't sleep. Oh and my Windows XP crashed and I had to re-install, then discovered I (not being Cindy) accidentally installed TWO copies of XP on my machine and made a mess of things. I haven't lost anything -- thank you for external backup hard drives -- but while I write this on my laptop I am installing XP updates and other applications on my main computer.

Today you get a stream of thought from me, because I had too much caffeine thinking my school board meeting was going to go late, and it was pretty quick.

First off, I have a job again. You are probably as surprised as I am. My last day was last Monday, I hung around the house of Tuesday and by Thursday I had a new job.

What happened was that my old boss sent me a job posting about a part-time government reporter position for the Wilsonville Spokesman. I didn't think much of it, but that Tuesday I played with the girls I wondered if they would be willing to have me freelance it. You know, instead of being on staff, get paid per article to write it up for them. Kind of like a independent contractor.

So I fire off an e-mail and I didn't hear anything. I sent a second e-mail to make sure I didn't get spam filtered, and the next thing you know ... the editor wants to meet. I ask if it's an interview or just a meeting, because I wasn't all that interested in a position. Just a casual meeting.

At some point sitting at Jamba Juice, I decided that a part-time gig wouldn't be that bad if it really was a part-time gig. You see, newspaper folks aren't too good with the numbers. They say things like "This is a 40 hour a week position," which is really code for "We don't understand how numbers work, and someone told us once that 40 hours was full time, so we say that, but really it's more like however long it takes you to fill the paper."

So when I saw 20 hours a week, my first thoughts where it was code for: "We want to pay someone half for doing a full week worth of work."

When talking with the editor, while sucking down my Strawberry Madness, I realized that it really was 20 hours a week, and if I go over I get yelled at. The editor, you see, has four kids and understands my situation. She even said she would help me limit my hours.

No way.

Now, before I got too excited, I realized that the whole thing had to be approved by a publisher I really like, but wasn't sure if he was still a fan of Pat. The whole City Council member fiasco always has me wondering who my friends and enemies are when it comes to Canby.

Turns out, he was my biggest supporter as far as taking the job. I am still unclear if he thinks I did a good job as a council member -- but I think I sucked so I don't begrudge anyone who also things that.

After the great conversation at Jamba Juice, I was told that I would be contacted about the position and an interview. Great, I love interviews ( end sarcasm).

Well, I get a call Thursday offering me the position. Bam. No dressing up. Talk about an ego boost! After talking with Cindy, and the babysitters, we decided it was a good idea to take the job. I can still freelance a bit on the side (however I am probably going to limit myself to quick weekend things until I get my feet under me in Wilsonville).

Now I am government reporter for the Wilsonville Spokesman. If everything works out, I will still get four and a half days a week with the girls, and work two and a half days a week. Not bad, if I can pull it off.

Tomorrow, errr, today (1:26 a.m.) I go to the office for the first time in my official capacity. The Strawberry Madness didn't make me fail the drug test, so I am back at Eagle. I really hope this position works out and I can stay long term.

With the freelancing and all I was with Gannett for six years (if you consider the majority of my freelance work was with them), so I would like to be with a local company at least that long. I have worked for Eagle before, and they are great people. Now it's just a matter of making the hours work and not stressing about writing stories.

From what I can tell it's about two stories a week, and I am sure I can handle that. But I am a worrier, and of course the mind is racing about how I am going to get two stories done in 20 hours, when in 40 hours at the Silverton paper I was producing anywhere from seven to 10 a week.

So, my dreams of being Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, and steering my own direction and hanging out with my little ones lasted about, oh, three days. I think I am getting the best of both worlds with this deal.

If not, I could always attempt to nuke my career again.

I have been watching Ice Road Truckers... I could do that.

Anyway, I should at least pretend to sleep.

I will post pictures when I have appeased the computer gods...


Monday, June 02, 2008

Get a load of this

Since it's my last day at work, and I have a Mount Angel City Council meeting, today's post is all about me.

Anyway, found out today I won second place for News Photo for weekly papers in the Oregon and SW Washington Society of Professional Journalists contest Saturday. I got the award with this photo to the right.

I shot this last summer when I was doing a ride-a-long with the Stayton Fire District during a grass fire exercise.

My shoe caught on fire during the exercise. One of the firemen told me:

"Pat, during a grass fire, stay on the burned part. You are safe there, normally."

Well off to my meeting. Woo Hoo fun fun fun!

Tomorrow is diapers and Elmo.