Sunday, October 08, 2006

October 8, 2006

Welcome Max Powers!!

Last Saturday Eric and I went to the animal shelter and adopted a new cat named Max. Eric named him Max Powers in tribute to one of his favorite Simpson episodes. I will explain….. Homer Simpson concludes that all of the bad things that have happened in his life are due to his weak name…. Homer. He decides to rename himself with the most powerful name he could think of….Max Powers. Later in the episode he has his wife’s name changed to Chesty Sinclair. I don’t feel it appropriate to rename our other cat Sally, Chesty.

Well Max is very, very tall and leggy. He has beautiful tiger stripes and is very friendly and soft. We love him already. He does meow way too loud. Every night this week he has woken Eric up at 4:00 a.m. For those of you who have not seen Eric woken up when he is deep asleep you will not be able to fathom the drama. Max meows very loud, Eric flips the light on, kicks the covers around, yells a lot, stomps around the room, threatens the poor little cat’s life, locks him in the laundry room, slams the door and then reports back to his sleepy and bewildered wife that in the morning they are returning Max to the pound. The funny thing is, is that when 6:30 a.m. arrives and Eric loves Max and comments on what a wonderful cat he his. You should also note that Eric refers to Max as Reggie, our old cat. I find this a little blasphemous but I think David, I mean Eric, may have inherited the renaming gene from his mother.

You will notice that Sally our other cat hates us now. She stares at the corner instead of associating with us or the new cat.

And now, your moment of ZEN.... I believe that this photo is "photoshoped," but it makes Hannah and I laugh really hard every time we see it....Remember you can double click on the image and it will enlarge.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

September 17, 2006

Hello friends and family. Things are good here in Colorado. The weather is perfect… cool, crisp and sunny. The skies are blue and clear during the day and at night they are full of stars. We live in an area by the mountains away from the city. We do not have very many street lamps so the view at night is amazing.

I was just released from the primary presidency and am now the new young women’s president. I am looking forward to working with the young women. They are all kind, good girls. I will miss the primary terribly. When I was first called to the primary I didn’t think that I would enjoy it as much as I did. I’ve never really spent much time around children and I didn’t enjoy them like other people. I think that working in the primary presidency has been my all time favorite calling. I love the children; they set such a good example and love unconditionally. The Sunday that I was released the primary chorister asked the entire junior primary to come up and hug me. They mobbed me all at once and took turns hugging me. I was kneeling on the floor and was covered in little kids. I could see their sweet faces so excited to come and hug me that I started to cry. (I don’t like to cry in public) This made the chorister cry and all of the other primary leaders. I was surprised at how willing the children were to express love and gratitude.

We just had our first combined young men/ young women activity the other weekend. We took the youth to the ‘Taste of Littleton’. The Taste of Littleton is a community event where many local restaurants line Main Street in Littleton and provide samples of their food to the public. We purchased wrist bands for $5 which allowed us unlimited samples. It was a lot of fun. I do not have a counselor yet, so Eric came along and drove some of the kids in his car. My folks would have loved this event. They loooooove free samples.

Eric here. The taste of Littleton was fun, but I had to deal with young punks making fun of my Subaru. As Hannah pointed out, I had to drive some of the kids in my car. The kids I happen to get were gear heads. They all drove big trucks, and couldn’t fathom buying anything but American. Of course they also get 9 miles to the gallon, so by the time they get to the movies they don’t have enough money to get in, and I definitely highlighted that fact. In the end they came to respect the Sub. I floored it a couple of times, and let them feel the awesome power of its mighty four banger.

I was only able to ride twice this week. On Tuesday I rode the Apex trail, which was fun, but technically difficult. One of the keys to getting over technical terrain is to have momentum, witch requires power, and generating quick bursts of power every fifty feet wears you (me) out pretty quickly. The down hill was, as always, extremely fun. It drops down the Front Range with beautiful views of the city.

On Friday, Hannah and I met at the Chimney Gulch trail head, which goes up to look out mountain. This is one of my favorite trails. There are a few rocky sections, but for the most part it’s a steady climb for about five miles. The trail isn’t a loop so you have to watch out for riders coming up as your going down, but you can see far enough ahead to be able to get some decent speed.

Your moment of ZEN......

Monday, September 04, 2006

Memories of Reg

About three weeks ago, Reggie got out at night, and we never saw him again. We think that a fox or coyote got him. We miss him terribly, and the house seems empty with out him. Even though his name was Reggie, I usually called him Pal, because that’s what he was. He would come when we called. He’d follow us around when we were out in the yard, and just wanted to be by us. Of course I also called him Rotten Reg, and Reggie the ruiner, because he was constantly getting into things, but all in all Hannah and I decided that he was our favorite cat of all time.

Even though most of our “Moment of ZEN” pictures were of Reg, I thought I’d post a few more in his honor.

September 4, 2006

A few months ago, Hannah had a really good month at work, and as a reward she wanted to buy her sisters plane tickets to come out and visit. She decided that even though the fairs are reasonably priced, it was still to expensive. She said that she would go out and visit them. As time went by, I realized that she wasn’t going to buy a ticket (we have a lot we’re saving up for). I also knew that she really wanted to go, so I bought a ticket for her.

I was planning to go to the Black Hills in South Dakota when she was in Utah, but a week before she left I sprained my ankle playing basketball, and the weather was suposed to be rainy. Rather than drive five hours and go for easy bike rides in the rain, I decided to stay in Denver.

I’ve done a fair amount of traveling for work since Hannah and I have been married. While I never really like to leave, I’m working, so the time goes by quickly. Staying home while Hannah leaves STINKS. I was board out of my gourd. Hannah was livin' it up, so I would as well.

I took a few hours of on Friday, and rode the Hall Ranch trail just outside of Estes Park – North of Boulder. The first two miles are extremely technical and I ended up walking my bike up a lot of it. After the first section, there is a five mile loop that was fairly easy, and made for fast riding. On the way back, I was able to ride down most of the technical parts, and really enjoyed myself. I came home, ate left over spaghetti, watched some TV and went to bed.

It rained Saturday, so I changed the oil in my car, cleaned it out, did some minor things in the garage, went for a hike, and went out for Sushi.

I am addicted to Sushi. I can’t get enough of it. I dream about it. On my birthday a few years ago, Hannah took me out for Sushi. She had never had it and was skeptical. I knew she wouldn’t like the Nigiri Sushi, which is raw "whatever" on a ball of rice, so we got a sushi roll. I can’t remember what was in the roll, but the conversation went something like this:

Hannah: I just don’t like the texture of the fish.
Eric: It takes some getting use to.
Hannah: I’m just not a fan of the sauce.
Eric: The do have other sauces, or you don’t have to get any sauce.
Hannah: I really don't like the seaweed wrapper... it makes me gag.
Eric: So the only thing you like is the rice.
Hannah: Yeah, but even that tastes like the seaweed.

Needless to say, we haven’t gone out for Sushi together since.

This morning, I got up at 6:30 and went for another bike ride. This time I went to a trail just outside of Roxborough Park about a mile South of our house. I hadn’t been on this trail before because the entrance is in a gated community. We have some friends who live there, and they said that we could use their name to get past the gate, so I did, and had a great time. The pictures of the red rocks are of that trip.

And now your moment of ZEN.......

August 27, 2006

Hannah and I have started a mid-August resolution…..write more on our blog. It took the gentle prodding of some good friends. They used kind words like, “You have no excuses,” and “it’s been three months.” There is no need to mention names…you know who you are….and we miss you.

A lot has happened. We went river rafting in Southern Colorado for our 5th year anniversary. I spent four days in Seattle for work and then we went to Oregon for a week and had a mini family reunion. Everyone was there with the exception of the Huntsmans, whom we all missed.

Since we don’t have time to go over everything in detail, we’ll do a quick summery:

The rafting trip was great. It was Hannah’s turn to plan the anniversary trip, which is good because she always has the best ideas. I got off work early and we drove down to Canon City in Southwestern Colorado and spent the night. The next morning we went rafting in the poring rain and loved every second of it. There was one other group in the trip with us. Two of them were members of the Church from Arvada ( a few miles North of us) and some foreign exchange students from Saudi Arabia, who consequently had never been swimming. We had a great time. Hannah and I had a boat to ourselves (plus the guide) so we sat right up front and faced the rapids all day. The guide was pretty cool and even let us “ride the bull”. To ride the bull one must sit on the front point of the raft with your legs over the front edge of the raft and hang on to the bow line like a cowboy holding onto a rodeo bull. As you hit the rapids you scream like an idiot and love every minute of it. We became friends with the other group and made plans to do it again next year.

I had to go to Seattle for a mid-year planning session. While I was there I took the opportunity to visit some customers and eat Sushi every night. It was great fun, and I enjoyed meeting some of the people I work with, but only get to talk to on the phone. At the end of the trip, I was ready to come home and realized that I don’t like Seattle as much as I thought I did. I still really like it, but it’s just too darn big. It takes too long to get to the mountains.

At the reunion we saw Sherry and Ray, David and Wren and their family, Grandma Petersen, Aunt Sharon, Uncle Parley and Aunt Kathryn and of course my parents. It was wonderful, but the schedule was really hard on me. Each morning I would wake up, eat some cereal with fresh raspberries and blackberries, lay around for a few hours and then go swimming. The hard part was going back to the real world.

And now your moment of ZEN......(Eric and his nieces running from the waves).

July 1, 2006

I just saved my baby Reggie’s life! I was walking out the door to go to the church and I saw a fox in our neighbor’s yard. I freaked out because he was so close to our house and I knew that Reggie (my cat not my baby) was outside. Just then I saw my fat, juicy, tender little cat stalking the fox. I was in my car and drove as fast as I could toward fox and the cat because they were only a few feet apart from one another. Reggie would have been a goner but the fox hadn’t seen him yet. I pulled up in front of them and honked my horn trying to keep Reggie from springing on the fox. The honking distracted both of them and gave me a few second to get out of my car and grab Reggie. I saved that dumb cat’s life. The worst part is, is that the fox was kind of cute and I couldn’t blame it for the situation. Well I came home all freaked out and now Eric and I don’t know what to do about this dumb old cat. I think it might be best for him to spend the rest of the summer with Melanie and Stoney.

Eric bought a new bike and has been riding a lot. He thinks he is better than me now that he has his fancy new bike with his fancy little biking shorts. Well he is. I can still take him on the uphill but as far as technical skills go the grasshopper has surpassed the master. I need to have my Dad, Stoney come to Colorado again for another bike ride and put Eric in his place.

Eric gave a wonderful talk today in church about the Plan of Happiness and the Atonement. This is the third time he has spoken in church in a year. He did a wonderful job. He is comfortable speaking in public and likes giving talks. Good thing because our ward is small and I am sure they will keep asking him to speak.

I am still working hard. Cub Scout day camp is this week and I am assigned to take the boys this Wednesday. Cubs…what can I say…they are appropriately named cubs. I have been missing my family and friends lately especially my sisters. I was so worked up about the fox attack that I had to call Jenny to calm down. She is the only one who can fully understand the tramas of being way too attached to a cat. On Fathers day I really missed my Dad. My Dad is wonderful. He taught me to love so many things that make my life happy. I hope that we are always close. I am always happier when he is around.

Eric and I are sooooooo excited to go and see his parents in July. David and Wren will be there and so will Sherry and Ray. I think Eric’s Grandma Ann and Aunt Sharon may be there as well. One good thing about our marriage is that both Eric and I love our in-laws. We love being around each other’s family.

Our 5th year anniversary is this week and it is my turn to plan something special. I still don’t know what we are going to do but it will be romantic. I will keep you all posted.

Well Melanie (my Mom) is an inspired woman. She gave Eric a case of brownie mix for his birthday and it is being put to good use tonight. My Mom Rocks!!!

Your moment of ZEN..... (if your wondering what Hannah has around her legs, it's a piece of elastic. She has take wide steps with it around her legs for her knee exercise’s)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

May 21, 2006

I know, I know, I know. It’s been awhile since our last posting. There are two reasons for this. The first and, probably the most accurate is that I’m lazy. I don’t know why it’s so hard to keep this current. Once I’m typing everything goes smoothly; sitting down at the computer is the hard part. The second reason is that my camera is broken. The small clasp that holds the spring loaded battery in is missing, so every time I want to take a picture I have to hold the battery in. Without pictures, I think the blog would be boring.

A few weeks ago, we got a call from our friends Aaron and Kristen. They had some extra tickets for Les Miserables, and asked if we wanted to go with them. I usually balk at entertainment that requires dressing up, but Hannah really wanted to go, and I wanted to hang out with Aaron and Kristen, so we said yes.

The play was on a Friday night, and before I left work one of my co-workers asked me if I had any plans for the week end. Let me pause for a moment, and tell you about this individual. His name is Dean Holmstum, he’s single, he rides a Harley, and on the week ends he goes for beers with the boys. In short, he’s a man’s man. When Dean asked me if I had plans for the weekend I panicked. I wanted to tell him that I was going to Les Miserables, but I didn’t know how to pronounce it. Not wanting to butcher the title, I said I was going to “la Mis.” I had heard it referred to this before, but it never sounded so feminine as when I said it. Dean looked at me for a moment and said, “That’s ok…I’m sure you’ll have a great time.” We still joke about that. It was actually pretty funny.

Well despite the not wanting to dress up, and feeling awkward for not know how to pronounce the name, we had a wonderful time. The singing was great, and the story was inspiring. I was so impressed with the production, that I’m reading the book, and really enjoying it.

Work is going well. I’m starting to understand how to navigate IBM, which means that I’m more productive. I don’t have to spend twenty minutes researching each question I get.

The commute isn’t bad either. If I didn’t have one, it would be better, but I’m making the best of it.

I pass several great bike rides on the way home, so I’ve decided to ride once or twice a week. Last week I road the Heil Ranch trail. It’s just outside of Boulder and it reminds me of South Fork in Provo. It’s a long narrow valley, with beautiful meadows, and plenty of trees. It also has tons of open range cattle. As some of you know, I love cows. I don’t know what it is about them, but every time I see them I feel happy. The only problem Heil Ranch is that it’s quite rocky. A lot of the trails around here are rocky, and normally it doesn’t bother me, but this year I’ve been feeling like I just got beat up after every ride. I came home and told Hannah that I wanted a new bike. I was expecting to have to justify the purchase, but Hannah was wonderfully understanding, and said I could get one if it wasn’t too expensive. I was planning on getting a new bike this fall, so I’d been doing a lot of research, and already knew what I wanted. The bike shop I went to offered demos, so I demoed a bike on Friday, and bought it on Saturday. It’s like a dream come true. I can’t believe the difference.

Well that’s all I have to say for now.

We love, and miss all of you.

Eric and Hannah

And now your moment of ZEN.......

Monday, March 06, 2006

March 6, 2006

Today was a wonderfully sunny Sunday. The temperature reached the high 60’s and the sky was deep blue without a cloud in the sky. The whole week has been this way. Saturday I took the opportunity to go for a bike ride. Usually Hannah and I try to go on bike rides together, but she had been gone for several hours running errands, one of which was going to the gym. I decided that if I didn’t go by my self I wouldn’t go at all. So I packed up the car and took off. As I was leaving the neighborhood, I saw Hannah’s car coming my way. No one was behind me so I stopped. I was planning to ask her if she wanted to go with me, but when she rolled down her window all she said was “I’ve been betrayed,” and took off (the funny thing is just a few days earlier she was telling me that she wasn’t into drama. If that’s not drama I don’t know what is. : ) I called her on her cell, and asked her if she wanted to go. She said that she had to get ready for a party we were going to that night, and told me to have a good time.

I chose to ride Deer Creek, because it was close. I hadn’t ridden for a while, so I knew it was going to be hard, but its close, so it was the obviously choice. The first half of the trail is the most technical, and luckily was dry; the second half still had snow and ice, which made it more difficult. I got tired of pushing my bike so I only made it 2/3rds of the way up. It was fun anyway. After the trail I decided to ride on the road for a while and snapped a few shots of some decent size elk.

I was able to get pretty close to them before the started getting nervous. One of them took a rather aggressive stance, which surprised me. For a second I though I was going to be on of those “When Animals Attack” videos, but the elk decided to turn away instead.

(Hannah here) When I married Eric my long time biking buddy (Stoney, my Dad) started riding with the Bishop. I still ride with my Dad but not as often. I thought that Eric agreed to be a biking buddy, especially since we moved to Colorado. I don’t have anyone else to ride with and every time I ride by myself I feel like cougars are stalking me. Anyway, I was a little sad to see Eric’s Subaru driving down the rode with a bike on top.

Over the past few months I have been our ward’s Young Women’s basketball coach. It was tough at first. Most of the girls had never played basketball before and struggled with the basics….dribbling, hitting the backboard when shooting, not walking with the ball in your hand etc…. But the girls were so happy and dedicated. They came to all of our practices and loved it. We only have one elementary school gym in Roxborough and having access to it is rare. I started sneaking into an empty slot on Tuesday’s at 7:30 p.m. and claimed it as our time. One of the 11 year old boys in our primary is one a YMCA basketball team and asked if their boys team could practice with our. It turned out to be great. Every Tuesday night a bunch of LDS Young Women with several of their friends scrimmaged against a boys 11-12 year old team. They boys beat us every time, but we started mixing the team and the boys helped the girls learn how to pass and how to defend tough players. Because of their help our girls improved Soooooooooo much. It was amazing how good they are now. The Stake sport leaders came and hugged me after our last game. They have secretly been rooting for our little team, and commented on how good they are now.

Yesterday we had a end of season Basketball party at Cori Holloway’s house (the Young Women’s president). All of the girls and boys came. It was out of control. I forgot how different boys and girls are at that age. The girls were so nice but a little “goosey”. (My mother said I was goosey when I flirted too much) and the boys kept talking about poop.

Oh well, it was an excellent missionary experience and I enjoyed it. (Eric) I had a good time as well, but it made me feel old. I remember going to parties at that age, but this was the first time I was the “adult.”


Today was another beautiful day. IBM is located at the north end of Boulder. The west end of the campus is butted against the mountains, and everything to the east is farm land. I took advantage of the location and the great weather to go for a walk.

I passed horses that were fuzzy with their winter coats and enjoyed views of the mountains. When I returned to work I felt refreshed, and decided that I’m going to bring my bike tomorrow and go for a ride.

Last night we went over to Joe and Wendy’s for an evening of fun and excitement. I creamed Joe at both ping pong and darts (the previous sentence is an example of rewriting history. The power is with the writer. The truth is that Joe creamed me at both, but future generations will only see my writing and laud me as an exceptional sports man while feeling pity for Joe’s pitiful performance : ) After ping pong Joe burned some movies for us and Ely and I played retro video games. This was followed by lemon squares and a card game called Nerts, which I dominated yet again (see previous comment in parentheses). After Nerts the kids went to bed and we talked a little while longer. I found out that Wendy had been doing some genealogy recently. The past couple of weeks I have felt a strong desire to learn about our ancestors, and it was good to hear that someone else was feeling the same way. She’s going to show me how to use the church history web site, and both of us are going to ask our parents for any kind of stories / information they have. I was actually so excited that it was hard going to sleep. I never thought I would get riled up about genealogy.

Last week I talked to my nephew Kyle. He is attending Snow Collage in Ephraim Utah. He recently purchased some climbing gear ( I’m so proud of him ), and we discussed plans to rendezvous in Southern Utah for some outdoor adventures. I hope we can make it happen.

The summer after my mission Kyle and I did some backpacking on Heintzleman ridge in Juneau, and I realized that even though he was only 14 (I think) at the time, I enjoyed his company immensely, and I look forward to playing with him before he goes on his mission. He mentioned that he was going to try and go to Zion’s National Park during spring break, so I’m adding some pictures of a previous trip. These were taken on the “Angles Landing” trail. It’s very popular with lost of people, but still one of the best hikes I’ve ever been on. The second picture is of the actual trail. It goes on top of the fin. I thought I had a better one, but I can't find it.

We Love you all.

Eric and Hannah

And now your moment of ZEN.......

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Febrary 26, 2006

Housekeeping Items:

  1. If you click on a picture, it will be enlarged.
  2. Archive links are on the right hand column.

Well it’s diet time again. Hannah and I have decided that we’re going to stop eating sugar again….for the most part anyway. We did it for about six months last year, and were feeling great. Sundays were treat days, but other than that we were just about sugar free. Christmas was our down fall. We had treats every day, and our addiction came back with a vengeance. We started cutting back this past week, and starting Monday morning, no more sugar until Sunday. It won’t be a fun week, but after that it won’t be bad. We found that we didn’t even miss it last time.

Work is still great for me, but not so great for Hannah. She feels a little trapped. They are relying more and more on her, and wile it’s kind of flattering, it also makes it harder for her to leave. In addition to getting more responsibilities, she doesn’t feel that she can commit to a new job if we are able to adopt in the near future.

My commute is still long, about an hour and ten minutes each way. It sounds really bad, and I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I’m actually enjoying it. I work out during lunch and Hannah goes to the gym right after work, so each get home between seven and seven thirty. Since we have less time to spend together, I’ve found that we work harder at making our time together better. We talk more and appreciate each others company more.

A friend in the ward had the same commute to Boulder for years and collected hundreds of hours of talk tapes for his drive. So in addition to my personal study in the morning, and reading with Hannah in the evening, I get two extra hours of gospel learning. I feel like I’m on my mission again. It’s great. I may be singing a different tune when I run out of things to listen to, but it’s great for now.

One of the topics I’ve really gotten into is the Martin and Willie handcart companies. They were truly amazing people, both the immigrants, and the saints that participated in the rescue operations. I left work the other day, and it was about zero degrees. The wind was blowing at about 5 mph, and I was so grateful that I didn’t have to endure what they endured.

I had last Monday off, so Hannah took a half day, and we hiked Carlton peak. It was a really easy hike with about thirty five hundred feel of elevation gain, spread out over a few miles. We did it in about two and a half hours. It had been a few weeks since we had been hiking, and it was great to get outside. We took it really slow, and just talked the whole way up.

Last Friday we went out to eat with three families from the ward: the Calis, their daughter and her husband, and the Bergs. Brother Cali, is one of the friendliest people I have ever met. He and his wife quickly befriended Hannah and I when we first moved in. We have been good friends ever since. It was no surprise that they knew the owners of the Chinese restaurant we went to. What was surprising was that we got all our appetizers for free – and we got tons of appetizers. I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the best Chinese food I have ever had….nothing even comes close. It was fantastic. We ate some many appetizers, that when the entrĂ©es came, we each had a taste, and asked them to box it up. We had a great time.

Saturday was spent cleaning the house, and going to the temple. Hannah also went to stake women’s conference. Not to exciting, but fulfilling none the less.

(Hannah speaking) Women’s conference was a little tough for me because I think I need glasses. I sat in the back and while trying to focus on the speakers I gave myself a terrible head ache. Our church building is located on a block with 3 other churches. There are 2 LDS chapels, a Lutheran Church and a new Catholic Church. At the conference we had 2 women from the Catholic Parish next door come and speak. They talked about how they had prayed for years to have their own Church in Highlands Ranch and how happy they were when the Church was finally built. One of the women talked about how when they were first moving in a LDS relief society sister knocked on their door to welcome them to the neighborhood and invited them to participate in one of our humanitarian service projects. Just last month all of the LDS and Catholic sisters met in their basement and put together comfort kits for cancer patients and the LDS boy scouts and some of their male members installed their landscaping. This Catholic sister talked about how wonderful it is to have neighbors in Christ. The spirit was very strong.

I have been listening to talk tapes as well this week. I was listing to a talk on President Joseph F Smith or Heber Grant (I can’t remember which one) One of them was saying how they longed to see the day when latter day saints would be good friends with their neighbors of other Faiths. I thought that he would love to see our relief society here in Colorado.

I had a great phone call this week from Stoney, my Dad. He called me from the Provo Temple just to tell me that he loved me. It made my day. I remember when I worked at BYU and he had Fridays off. He would ride his bike to my greenhouse and take me to lunch. When I say take me to lunch I mean take me to lunch Stoney style. We would find an empty bench on campus and he would pull out a thermos full of beans, a hunk of his manly, homemade herb bread and 2 spoons out of his pocket. That was lunch. He is wonderful and so is my mother.

We hope you are all doing well. We love you and miss you all, and want you to remember that our home is always open to anyone that wants to visit. Which reminds me, I know that some of the Petersen kids are thinking about visiting Mom and Dad this summer? It’s been a long time since we’ve all been together. I talked to Don a few weeks ago and he suggested that we all just pick a date. Hannah and I can do it any time in July or August. I have a very busy work load the end of June and will not be able to travel that month. If you have any other suggestions, please reply to my email. It would mean a lot to me if we could all make it at the same time.

Love Eric and Hannah

And now your moment of ZEN…..

Monday, February 13, 2006

February 13, 2006

We are terribly behind on the blog, so I’m going to try to sum everything up in this posting, and cut our losses.

Home sweet IBM. It’s so good to have a real job again. It was touch and go for a few months, but we’ve come out of it better for the experience. As Stony always says, “life is wonderful.”

For those of you that don’t know, I recently started working as an inside sales rep for IBM Rational development tools. Software development is a whole new world, and I have tons to learn. The environment at IBM is great. I’ve never worked in a place were the people are so interested in helping everyone succeed. There is a real sense of teaming, and empowerment. In addition to being measured on attainment, we are measured on our contribution to the teams that we are on – ie our extended field sales team, and our inside sales team.

The result is that people are always thinking of ways to improve and sharing those ideas with others. It’s really great. One of the reasons IBM acquired Rational, was for their sales program, and they are patterning the rest of the inside sales organizations after the Rational model. We get a lot of great press. I really lucked out.

January 23rd I went to Las Vegas for a partner meeting. I stayed at the Venetian resort, and it was actually pretty fun. The place is amazing, despite the fact that it’s a casino. Truth to tell, the casino is really only a small part of the resort. I was working most of the time, but I did get a chance to go to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay. I tried to take some pictures but if I used the flash, it reflected off the glass, and if I didn’t the pictures were too dark. My favorite section of the exhibit was of course the shark tank. They had several sharks ranging from one to seven feet. I snapped this picture in the glass tunnel. It’s not very good, but you can really see this guys teeth.

I left Vegas Friday night, stayed in Colorado Saturday, and left for San Jose Sunday morning for my orientation. San Jose was not what I expected, and I’ll say that I’m glad I don’t live there, and leave it at that.

I had a two week break between ending my last job, and starting at IBM. Hannah was jealous (As I would have been if the situation had been reversed), so she kept me busy with things around the house. However she did let me go snowboarding with two guys from the ward. We went to Copper Mountain. The resort was cool, and it was great to get on he slopes again. It had snowed the night before, and there were still some sections of fresh snow. I didn’t ride really hard, but I had a great time just being there.

House project number one was organizing the garage. I build a work bench from the scrap wood pile at Home Depot, and really lucked out. It’s exactly what I wanted and I only spent $15. We also bought some sturdy metal shelves for food storage, and will be restocking our supply at the end of this month. When I was laid off, we didn’t have a year supply, but we did have several cases of caned goods that we used up, and were very grateful to have them.

We also decided to go all out and build a cat tower for Sally and Reggie. I was a little apprehensive, because I didn’t want to be one of those people that has their house decorated with cat furniture, but the cats didn’t have anything to play on, and we didn’t want them scratching up the carpet, so we decided to go for it. Hannah designed, and we both build it. The cats absolutely love it. They spend all day up there looking out the window and sleeping.

A few months ago, Hannah was asked to coach the young women’s basketball team. While Hannah played basketball when she was younger, she hadn’t played in a long time, and was wondering why they had asked her. She found out that none of the other women in the ward played basketball, and Hannah was tall so they assumed that she knew what she was doing. By the way, that last sentence is almost a direct quote from the young women’s president.

At their first practice, Hannah found out that half the girls in the ward had never played basketball before, and she was going to have to start teaching the basics. Now when I say basics I mean basics – like how to dribble. They got creamed their first game, but they kept on getting better, and better. I was really impressed with how much the girls had improved. And the best part is that the girls love playing. They won’t let Hannah cancel practices, and go long every time they do practice. The one game they won was really intense. I couldn’t have been more excited if I was watching a play off game. They had worked so hard, and we knew that if they didn’t win this one, they weren’t going to win one all year. It was a close game, but everyone did really well, and they pulled it off.

Well that’s all we have time for so we’re going to sign off.

We love you all.

Eric and Hannah

And now your moment of ZEN……