Sunday, August 31, 2008
Expecting a tougher challenge on the BM, I shot 75 (par 72). The course was in good shape, but I must admit it was not a tough course. I know the rough is at its thinnest in the summer heat, however I was in the fairway most of the day. Made four birdies again. The course gets its name from all the water on the course. I didn’t see it. Then again, I wasn’t looking. I was so focused on just making a good swing, all I saw was the fairway and then the green. Ignorance is bliss, I guess. Probably should play that way more often! My back didn't act up either, but it has tightened up since finishing, as I'm still recovering from being t-boned by a car while riding my big wheel.
The staff at Doral was amazing. Owned by Marriott, whatever the training program is it works. From the registration desk and the bell hops to the maids and the grounds crew, everybody was courteous and friendly. First class. Definitely worth the trip. Oh yeah, the greens fees were reduced dramatically for the summer and then again for the Labor Day weekend so I stayed and played both rounds for the same price of what the BM typically costs!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
As I write this post, I’m sitting in the refuge camp that is the Miami International Airport. At least I’m in the new terminal. The weather is ominous. Hurricane Gustav is cycloning through the Gulf on what is currently a direct course with New Orleans. Unfortunately, we know who wins a game of chicken with a hurricane.
I experienced what it is like to be affected by the hurricane. As the storm advances by spiraling along, I was repeatedly pelted with rain from its outer bands as it whipped across southern Florida. In fact, I could see it coming. Miles to the west, the wall of rain would grow darker as it grew close. The wind would appear and then grow stronger, then came the rain. In the same time it took to arrive, it would then disappear. An hour or so later, the same routine would repeat. I was rained on five times during my 36 holes today ( I played my rounds quickly!).
Arriving at the airport early clinging to the thin line of hope to secure an earlier seat, my hopes were quickly dashed as all flights are full. Miami’s airport is the jumping off point for all flights South American and by reading the faces of all the passengers looking to head south their concern and frustration was evident. They are going nowhere
Headed north, I’m not overly concerned. Then again, this is air travel, I am leaving from Miami, and bad weather blankets the region.
Reports from the homestead have detailed Gilbert’s struggles, apparently he can sling some snot when he sneezes. With germs aflyin’ Kristen stressed the need to sanitize the house. My response was, “How”? Call the CDC?
I feel for him and her (not much sleep) and it royally blows because I can do nothing as I sit on my butt in Miami waiting for my plane. I’ll be home around midnight and I’ve already told Kristen I get Gilbert duty (so she can sleep and I can get some time with Gilbert, even though he’s not feeling well). I can’t wait just to hold him, hug him, and comfort him. When he’s sleeping or very sleepy Gilbert likes to rest his head on our shoulder as we rub his back. I can’t wait!
Friday, August 29, 2008
So far this trip to Me-aammi is shaping up to the be the best one. The days worth of meetings went well. The weather is hot, but there is a breeze. Went for another run last night on the beach and it felt like I could have run all night! And thankfully so as our dinner was a group event at China Grill and the portions were huge!
And of course the people in my meeting are great. For those of you with Latin friends or do work in central or South America, the culture is one of friendship and trust. They want to know you personally and trust you before they let you in or do business. Well, I must be earning their trust because I felt increasing more included as the day wore on and by nighttime, I was just another attendee. Not that guy from Chee-kago.
But damn, I need to learn Spanish.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
My trip did not get off to a good start. After waiting an hour for my luggage among the other thousands of people (the baggage area looked like a refugee camp with people splayed out all over the place and derelict luggage strewn every wear), I was deposited at the wrong hotel. Something never felt right and I asked the bellhop and the reservation clerk if I was at the right place and they all said yes! Turns out the name of the hotel I was suppose to be staying was once used at a different hotel. They kept telling me, yes, used to be. Considering hotels are turned over quickly, I thought maybe it was recent, but no! So, another cab ride later to the other end of South Beach I finally checked in.
Unpacking I realized I forgot to pack my black belt (no not my karate belt, then again, I think yellow was the highest belt obtained!) so I put on my jogging gear and went out in search of a men's store.
Jogging on the beach. Good exercise, great scenery! However, seeing all the tan bodies on the beach I realized I must look translucent and compared to all the hard bodies I felt quite soft (and I thought I was in good shape)!
My meeting started off with an icebreaker and that was fun. However, I knew coming in I was the only native English speaking guest and quickly those in attendance fell back into either Spanish and Portuguese. I was the gringo. I just smiled and nodded my head having no idea what they were talking about. Same thing occured at dinner.
Now, I must preface that the group is a good group of people. Genuine and incredibly nice. For many, this was the first time all from South America have been in the same place so they spent the evening catching up. Nonetheless, I askee a lot of questions as I'm genuinely curious about other cultures and as a result we had great conversations. Ryan - unless you learn Spanish this will be you in your own home if Kerry teaches Tommy Spanish!
As the evening wore on, the conversations did change and I was able to participate as lots of talk around politics (our election), the war, and economy, and what is taking place at Global (our equivalent of corporate) as that is where I work.
At the close of the day, it was the best start of my trip despite the early missteps. More notes from the road later...
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We've watched the building rise from the beginning. You can barely see the crane operator car in the upper right hand and the crane cabling on the left. Gilbert will watch the crane lower to pick up its cargo and then follow its rise up to the top.
He even will notice people walking around on the floors!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Kristen is glad it is over as she says she "needs her beauty sleep" and staying up late to watch the events serious cut into her night therapy.
But what do I do? Sleep? Nah. Ooh, I know. I'll remain riveted to the tele by watching the Democratic National Convention. Yeah, right! Boooorinnnng!
And for all those Obama lovers, don't fear I'm non-partisan. Watching the Republican National Convention is about as exciting as well, watching the Democratic National Convention.
There are so many things I'd rather do than watch that. But, no, I still will not watch Titanic. I already know the story. Boat hits rock. Boat sinks. Three plus hours. Really?
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The party was up north at a family lake house and the day could not have been better! All our friends gathered - a great testament to Jon and Suzanne! - to give them a proper sendoff. We spent the day eating, drinking, playing games, cruising the lake, and just relaxing. How refreshing. A lot of photos were snapped, but I was a bit anemic with my camera as I preferred to play! The photo above is of Kristen with Gilbert, friend Emily (with daughter and very prego with #3!) and Suzanne - the soon to be departed.
Gilbert was fantastic. He enjoyed seeing all the kids playing and was a delight all day. Tuckered out in the afternoon, he took a powernap on Kristen's shoulder.
We will miss them, but are already planning a visit come next spring. Can't wait!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Surprisingly, Gilbert was only 21 pounds on the dot! The Little Man is soooo solid! But his weight registers him only at the 50th percentile, again.
His head size is still near the top of the charts in the 90th percentile and his length (when do "they" switch to start calling it height?) is now 30 inches which vaults Gilbert in to the 90th percentile.
Comparing to his past visits his weight and noggin size continue to be constant when compared by percentile, by his height, er, length, has shot up. What does it all mean? Absolutely nothing!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I'm excited as I've been chained to my desk for some time now. I miss traveling, but have enjoyed the routine of being home every night in order to spend time with Gilbert (and yes, my fantastic wife!).
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the trip. I'm presenting to other marketing/business development constituents in from all over South America. I'll be the only native in the room and at dinner I'll just sit and smile as I don't understand a word being said as the attendees slip into Spanish and Portuguese.
Looking to take advantage of my trip, I'm staying over an extra day to play the Blue Monster at Doral. Never thought I'd get the opportunity to play, but since I'm so close to the course how can I pass it up!
I always tell people traveling with golf clubs is a pain in the ass and not worth it unless you get at least two rounds in. Since I'm only staying an extra day, I'm going to play 36! Crazy, maybe. Fanatical, absolutely.
I'm just thankful the hurricane/tropical storm that is blowing through Florida hasn't ruined my trip!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I had to separate the video in to two files due to the time it took Gilbert to reach his goal!
The musical background was provided by Barenaked Ladies. They make kids songs. This CD is titled Snack Time.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Mastering the clap, he's begun to swing his arms in the air. First it was the single arm raise. Maybe it is from trying to get him to give us 'five'. When either of us returns home, he likes to give us five or clap his hand into ours.
Quickly mastered, he goes 'hands free', now. Not sure where that move came from. Perhaps from swinging. When he swings up to us, we'll put our hands out for him to touch. Watching him throw both arms up resembles going hands free on a roller coaster. Quite amusing.
The only unsettling part is when he goes one hand, it looks a bit like a salute to the Fuhrer!
Friday, August 15, 2008
I quickly realized that I had not run in a race in almost five years! The last competitive race was the Chicago Triathlon. I was shocked how long it had been! I can trace it back to when we moved to the suburbs. Followed by knee surgery last year and the accident this year, time has escaped me.Not from this race, but rather my last triathlon is this picture. Kristen insists pictures are needed in my blog posts, thus the photo!
This was going to be a good test for me. First, I hate running. The only reason I ever ran was because it is part of a triathlon. Second, I had run maybe, maybe, five times this summer. And that was usually 1 mile to, 1 mile from the physical therapy office.
I set a modest goal of 25 minutes.
Last night could not have been better. The weather was awesome - cool, but warm, low humidity - and we ran along the lakefront. Always great views. In the end, I missed by goal with a run time of 25:25. Oh well!
Like most of my events, I always seem to leave a little something in the tank that should have been used up. I had a little left, but not much. The legs were heavy, my back was tightening, and the right hip was getting sloppy from fatigue so I don't think I could have squeezed much more out. Maybe enough to reach my goal, but not much more.
The post race was a blast. Kudos to law firms. They know how to run an event. Each tent was loaded with food and the beer tent was stocked with Goose Island. Double-fisting was encouraged. I had Jimmy John's, Krispy Kremes, beer, cookies, bananas, etc. So much for all those calories I burned during the race!
Last night we were surprised when this is what we saw...
This is the first time we have seen him sleeping on his belly. He was in that position again this morning when we woke up. Seems that all the tummy time and practice crawling has got him comfortable on his belly. Oh yeah!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Anyway. I've been told the proper gift for the 5th is wood. I'm suppose to give my wife the gift of wood. I'm speechless. Really.
No, I'm not! The gift of wood. From my perspective that is a perpetual gift! Hope my parents don't read this.
I've been thinking what would be an appropriate gift of wood (I'm chuckling). I think back to my childhood days of flying balsa wood planes. Nope, don't think that will do it. Perhaps I could do a wood carving? Would show my creativity, knife wielding skills, and commitment to building something with my hands. Great idea, but I have two days, no wood whittling skills (or tools), and what the hell would I make anyway!
Luckily, I'm off the hook. We recently bought an entertainment center. A nice piece, I must say, and it is made of solid, real wood! Kristen suggested this should be our gift to each other. Oh yeah! I'm in on that one. Of course, I had to play it coy to uncover if it was a test and she actually expected a gift. She says no. That is why I love her so.
That is not to say, come the day of our anniversary and after a night of nice food and drink she still might receive the gift of wood. Again, I apologize. Mom. Dad.
Came out of the shower this morning and this is what I saw. Pretty amazing. In the short time frame he emailed all his grandparents, confirmed the weather for his trips to the park and had time to see the new releases at Toys'R'Us. Wow!
I don't know what his fascination is with my BlackBerry. He has his own cell phone and remote control, but it is my BB that he is drawn to. If I have it in the same room as Gilbert he fixates on it.
Being the sly cat that I am, I'm using the BB as incentive when Gilbert is on his belly. You should see him scramble on the ground in an attempt to ensnare what he must see as the holy grail of toys. He loves to rake his fingers over the keys and see the letter move across the screen. I just have to make sure he doesn't actually email anybody!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
We have had satellite cable for some time now and I've become the master of program recording. And it has been no more valuable than for the Olympics. With the events taking place on the other side of the world, the DVR has been vital to keeping pace with the events. I have the entire Olympics recorded (sans the basketball and soccer channels, boooring!).
I come home from work, Olympics. I wake up, Olympics. How wonderful. And I can watch it in compressed time since we can blow through the commercials and dead time (like between dives and gymnastic routines).
Kristen is hooked too. I caught her watching swimming in 1x speed. Goes a lot faster! Especially for the long races.
The only drawback. I'm a zombie this week at work. Been staying up late to watch the live broadcasts. You'd think Gilbert would realize this and cut us some slack and sleep in longer in the mornings. Uh, no!
What have I been watching? Just about everything. I'm partial to volleyball so watching the men's indoor has been a blast. Especially since NBC finally got their act together and the match is shown in its entirety. Swimming has been exciting to watch too.
I like the obscure stuff as well. Been attempting to understand handball. Looks more like grown men playing in gym class. Caught whitewater rafting last night. Those dudes are strong!
Gymnastics are over. Well, at least the team competition. Thank you! I remember listening to a sports radio station attempting to delineate between sport and non-sport. He said the determining factor was if you were judged. Gymnastics, not a sport! Not that they are not athletes, but when your performance is left to others for judging...not a sport!
And did you hear about USA Wrestling? The team brought over their own scale and it was wrong! The team has been frantically attempting to lose weight to make the weigh-in. I predict an abysmal showing. Too bad.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
No need to wonder anymore!
Two nights ago Gilbert was tugging on his ears hard and had trouble sleeping. And yesterday he did not nap well. He slept hard last night, so I'm guessing the tooth broke through sometime yesterday. He was much happier this morning!
The question now is when will #4 breach the surface.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The day was beautiful and we spend most of it outside. Catching some great photos in the process!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Maybe my little experiment has helped, or maybe it is just his time. Still can't imagine him skipping crawling, but he'd rather be hung upside down than lay on his belly!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Here Gilbert demonstrates how he prays and gives thanks to the Milk God.
Gilbert loves to read, or more appropriately be read to! If a book is in reaching distance, he's all over it. And Gilbert loves to turn the pages!
Gilbert is working on his senior picture pose..perhaps 18 years too early!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
From smiling, talking, playing, and fantastic engagement in his activities he is just a lot of fun!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
When he actually stays on his belly, the knees rarely bend nor does he make any attempt to slide the knee under his pelvis, the key to getting his butt up and crawling!
At Gymboree it is getting kind of embarrassing. Granted some of the kids crawl and others do not, but at least they will stay on their bellies, push up with their arms and attempt to crawl. All the kids are put in close proximity so they can see each other and interact and they enjoy it. But not the Little Man! He cries, er, whines, when we put him on his belly and because he rolls over immediately, Gilbert inevitably rolls into or on to the other kids attempting to get on to his back. We have to sweep in and pick him up to prevent a meltdown due to being stuck. I think the parents look at us like, "Who is this kid?", but I could be just paranoid.
It is no better for standing, granted that usually comes after crawling, but he will at least stay in a standing position. When standing, Gilbert locks his knees out. I do attempt to 'walk' him around, but he stays on his toes and keeps the legs locked.
To help him along, and maybe nothing more than to appease me, I've been attempting to bend his knees when standing. I'll hold him by one hand and use my other to 'break his knee'. He thinks it is a game. The more I attempt to push his knee in from the backside, the more he giggles. And of course, once I'm successful to put a little bend in his knee, Gilbert just collapses, laughs and smiles. Strange kid!
I know he'll begin to make his movements once he is ready and not a minute sooner. But Little Man, how about a sign! Throw your Dad a bone!
Monday, August 4, 2008
And a hidden gem it is. Nestled in a tree lined community, the park was loaded with families. With good reason. A water park, sand box, jungle gyms, swings, etc. Definitely a child playland! The park was designed well, also. The ground was that recycled rubber matting that can get wet yet will provide cushion for the rough and tumble kid.
Decked out in his swim gear, we opted for some swing time with Gilbert first then moved him over to a new experience, the Sandbox! At first, he wasn't sure what to do. What was this squishy stuff between my toes, he was thinking. I began to dig holes and pile the sand up on his feet. He grabbed for a lump of sand, much like reaching for a puff or Cheerio only to be baffled as it dissolved in his hand!
He quickly warmed up to the box and began grabbing at the toys and the sand. In Gilbert style, the litmus test for acceptance was to taste. Don't think he was fond of grit!
From there it was in to the water! This park was designed more for the mobile child. All the equipment was a bit taller than some of the other parks and the water streams were stronger.
Still not a big fan of water splashing into his face, Gilbert was often recoiling as water bounced off the ground and on to his face as the pictures will demonstrate. However, he got used to it and found a particular water stream where he enjoyed sticking his hand in to. Good fun!