Friday, February 24, 2006

The Observer

Stephanie posted her results of her Enneragram test on her blog and I thought I would try it out. There are only two questions and I struggled a little bit on how to answer but I think it is acutally fairly accurate. What do you think?

you chose BZ - your Enneagram type is FIVE.

"I need to understand the world"

Observers have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Be independent, not clingy
  • Speak in a straightforward and brief manner.
  • I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts.
  • Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable.
  • Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity.
  • If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place.
  • don't come on like a bulldozer.
  • Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy.

What I Like About Being a Five

  • standing back and viewing life objectively
  • coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects
  • my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure
  • not being caught up in material possessions and status
  • being calm in a crisis

What's Hard About Being a Five

  • being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world
  • feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all
  • being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be
  • watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally

Fives as Children Often

  • spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on
  • have a few special friends rather than many
  • are very bright and curious and do well in school
  • have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers
  • watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information
  • assume a poker face in order not to look afraid
  • are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict
  • feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Fives as Parents

  • are often kind, perceptive, and devoted
  • are sometimes authoritarian and demanding
  • may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate
  • may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions
Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele
The Enneagram Made Easy
Discover the 9 Types of People
HarperSanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages

Link: The Quick and Painless ENNEAGRAM Test written by felk on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I really want to ________!

Tara posed this question about dreams on her blog today and here was my quick response.

I really want to live in the same state as Maya.
I really want to develop more true, long-lasting friendships.
I really want to start an outdoor adventure company out west.
I really want to take a photography class.
I really want to teach SCUBA again.
I really want to love and be loved.

This got me thinking about what my dreams actually are. Is this list completely accurate? I think they are real dreams but are they actually my top priorities? Should there be others on this list? I hope so. I'll let you know if I have any revisions.

Any thoughts? What are your dreams?

Long Weekends

Sometimes tuesday mondays are worse than monday mondays.

I won't bore you with a blow-by-blow of what I did or did not do over the extended weekend. Suffice to say that it was nice to decompress after last week.

And thanks to Tara I was able to enjoy the Timberwolves and Wizards tonight. Tara's boy Garnett seemed a bit off but it was still a fun game to watch.

Have I mentioned that my tail bone STILL hurts from sledding!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

55 Gallon Aquarium Update

Matt sent me pictures of the sump that he built for the new tank. Check them out:
The new lights and other items arrived in Virginia last week. Hopefully tomorrow they will begin their journey to their correct destination.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Hell week is over!

Now that my stress level is starting to return to normal, I thought I should probably share a bit. Sorry for this marathon entry that may be very boring but I'm just going to spill it all out and hopefully get it out of my system :)

I have developed an even greater appreciation for event planners this week. This past week I was responsible for organizing some training for about 12 Postal Inspectors and 12 Technical Staff. The training is on Wireless Networks and Video Camera Surveillence systems that I'm also responsible for. So our schedule was to have the classroom training on Thursday and an on-site physical installation of two systems on Friday.

Monday - 8AM - 11AM
Monday morning I started making my follow-up calls to the two trainers (from two different companies) to make sure that everything was set and to see if they needed me to provide anything for them. I finally reached one of the trainers on his cell phone after several attempts. He was in Arizona at a conference and was not planning to return until Friday!!! His back-up trainer was standing next to him with the same schedule!

Panic sets in.

Luckily, after going through the possible alternatives, he was willing to cut his trip short and would there on Thursday. Phew!

Second panic attack of the day consisted of the expected class size dropping from about 15 to 2! I quickly made a few calls and within a few hours we were back up to around 12. Phew!

Third panic attack of the day was that none of the attendees were availble on Friday for the physical installation portion. After serveral calls between the vedor and the local technical staff we arranged to perform the installation on Wednesday instead of Friday at two post offices in Washington, DC. Phew!

Fourth - I still had A LOT of prep work to be performed on the laptops, digital video recroders and wireless antennas in order to be ready for the two installation and the training.

Fifth - My Monday evening plans (dinner at Fell's Point in Baltimore with T) were cancelled. I guess, in hind-sight, this was a mixed blessing. I was definitely bummed but it allowed me to work late and get a lot done.

Monday night Slade dragged me to his singles ward FHE Valentine's day dinner. I was really not feeling the least bit social (shocking, I know) but since his car had a flat I took pity on him :). It actually turned out just fine and it got my mind of the rest of the week for a bit.

I spent the day getting the wireless antenna ready for tomorrow's installation and working on the configurations of 10 laptops and 10 digital video recorders. I only worked until about 11PM. Oh yeah, Happy V-Day.

In the morning I got everything organized for the installations. Mike helped me out a ton by continuing to configure the laptops and DVRs for training tomorrow. At about noon I left to meet the tech staff and vendor at the Congress Heights Post Office in DC. This post office has had a history of robberies so it is going to be a pilot site for the system. We got the wireless network antenna mounted on the roof but we struggled to get the laptop to communicate properly. After a couple of hours of double-checking everything we discovered that one item was wrong. Luckily it is all working now, but we were unable to complete the second installation.
I had to bail at about 4PM to meet up with Tara, Lara, and Scott to go to the George Mason basketball game (thanks Tara). I was pretty much out-of-it all evening - plus I had not eaten all day - not even a single DC! Chicken strips and my first DC of the day was enjoyed as we watched GM beat Drexel. Then it was back to work to setup the training room for tomorrow's training. Unfortunately the area of the building where the training room is was locked and the alarm was set. That meant I now had to get up early tomorrow and setup the room before training at 9AM - no problem.

I got up early, setup of the training room with 10 digital video recorders and 10 laptops. Had to create 4 network cross-over cables because I could not find enough. Setup the projector. The trainers arrived and got setup. All the attendees showed up. We ended up with 24 students equally split between Postal Inspectors (the criminal investigators) and Technical Staff (the installers of these systems) plus a few other staff semi-attending. The Inspector-In-Charge kicked it off, lunch was ordered, the planets alligned, and my blood pressure showed signs of lowering. All in all, I think everyone was impressed with the training and the capabilities of these systems. There were some concerns that surfaced regarding legal (evidence) requirements but I think we figured it out to their satisfaction.

Ultimate frisbee was a great stress release. The near two feet of snow from last weekend is now mostly melted. The field was extremely muddy (and snowy in the shaded areas). Unfortunately Bronwyn twisted her ankle pretty badly.

Exhausted, physically and emotional. I was having a hard time focusing on work so I completely ignored it by finalizing my Utah travel plans and writing this blog update. I'm looking forward to the long weekend, but I have NO plans and it is supposed to very cold and windy. Oh well, at least I don't have to think about work.

I'm glad this week turned out to be a success in the end. Several times this week it was not looking like it could possibly be a positive experience at all. But it all worked out. Thanks to the support I received from those who knew how my week was going while in the thick of it.

I hopefully I won't inflict you with another blog of this size any time soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Winter has Finally Arrived!

Winter is just not winter until it snows (significantly). I LOVE the Snow! Why?:
  • The silencing of the city
  • The irradescent glow
  • Snow outfits (especially on little kids)
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Sledding/Tubing
  • Snowball fights
  • Building Snowmen
  • The crunch under your feet
  • Driving
  • Cancelled church
Check out the Lemon Road House Olympics. Unfortunately my camera battery died so I don't have pictures of many of the competitors.

On the way home all the roads were still quite a mess. 4 - 5 inches on 495 and 267. Only few cars on the road, travelling around 35-40 mph. Then a spectatular 360 right on the Toll Road! (Probably time to change my bald tires!)

Slade also had an adventure tonight - performing an incredible 180, hitting a pot-hole, and blowing-out his tire. (I think these were actually separate events, but didn't they sound cool linked together) :) It turned out that his tire iron does not fit his lug nuts so he was stranded for a bit until Dan and stranger stopped to help him out. And, they actually gave this guy the first discussion while changing the tire!!

I love the Snow!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sump and Refugium Design

Matt just completed building a sump and refugium for their tank and has offered to help me out with this one. Here is the design we came up with.

The in-flow chamber from the display tank will flow over a large pile of live rock rubble. The refugium will contain a sand bed, maybe some more rubble, but mostly it will have macro algae and red mangrove. The macro algae helps control the growth of nuissance algae in the main display tank.

The last chamber will have the protein skimmer and return pump. If we do it right, this last chamber should hold about 5 gallons which will make doing water changes much easier.

The sump and refugium should add around 15 to 20 more gallons to the total volume depending on where the water level ends up. The last chamber needs to also be able to hold all of the back-flow water if/when the pump is turned off.

The return to the display tank will alternate left and right by using a SCWD device. And there may be another powerhead added to the upper right corner in order to provide adequate circulation.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

55 Gallon Aquarium Project

I have been contemplating how best to move my three small aquariums from Virginia to Utah. Not that there is any new hope of finding a job and moving soon, but I thought I should be proactive about this. And maybe this will align the chi...

So my solution is to setup a new tank in Utah at my parents place (thanks Mom and Dad). Then I can slowly move the corals and such on my monthly trips. This last week the project was officially begun. The 55 Gallon aquarium was purchased, the sump and refugium was designed (thanks Matt), the lighting and a large portion of other necessities were ordered. Unfortunately, the supplier messed up and it is being shipped to Virginia! The sweet no shipping charges deal just went out the window!

Stay tuned for future developments. This will be a pretty slow paced project since I'm 2000 miles away!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pictures from Last Week

Here are a couple of pictures of Little Cottonwood Canyon - Oh and of course Maya!

You can find a few more here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Thanks Again Delta

I travelled 'home' to VA on Sunday. The SLC Airport was very busy, the busiest I've seen it since late 2001. The pile of luggage waiting to be sent through the x-ray machine was enormous. I asked the TSS agent if my bag was going to make it and he estimated it would take over an hour to get to my bag. Well, my flight was scheduled to leave in only 30 minutes.

I like direct flights.

I went right to the Delta baggage agent to have them deliver my bag to me. As I left I passed by the carousel to behold my bag patiently making its rounds. I have no know idea how it actually made the flight with me, but I'm sure glad it did.

Once again, the travel gods smile on me!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Maya's Last Day at Sugarbear

Maya has commented several times this last week how she will miss 'her kids' at Sugarbear. In deed, we will all miss Sugarbear. All the teachers signed a Sugarbear Tee-Shirt for Maya. She took treats twice this week for her Sugarbear friends (once for her birthday and today for her 'Last Day at Sugarbear'). She also picked out a nice flowering plant for her teachers.

On Monday and again on Thursday, Maya visited her new class at the JCC. She got to meet some new friends and teachers (Jake and Vanessa) and spend some time getting used to the new school. So far, she seems pretty excited about the change.

Monday begins a new adventure.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

SLC Sunset

Sunset overlooking Salt Lake City