Saturday, October 23, 2010

Goodbye, Tom

It is time to finally retire Tom the Tomato plant for the season. He stopped growing about a month or more ago; the tomatoes weren’t getting any bigger or greener despite Dave watering it three times a day. We think the root system didn’t have anywhere to expand so it just sort of stopped doing anything.


We were hoping that something would happen with it and we even added fertilized soil hoping it would help the plant grow more. But as you can see it’s now dying with the cold weather and inability to expand its root system; so we’re taking it down for the year. Over all, our experience with the Topsy Turvy is that it grew a small tomato plant, produced a handful of tomatoes, then didn’t do anything. If you are considering getting one, don’t. It’s not worth your time or effort for just a few tomatoes.

Maybe we’ll try using the Topsy Turvy grower again next year so we can get a few tomatoes before it stops growing, or maybe we’ll just have to plant a tomato plant in the ground, the old fashioned way.

Goodbye, Tom!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One down, three to go

Today turned out to be a monumental day for Dave. Let me give you a little background.

Dave just started his 12th year of college. Yes, his 12th consecutive year of college. He has his Bachelor’s Degree and his Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and is currently working to finish his Ph.D. He does research with lasers and earning a Ph.D doing research can take a long time. Experiments don’t work as you thought they were going to, parts of the experiment break and take a while to replace, multiple people use the same equipment in different ways which makes the time available to do your own experiment is limited and a number of other things can happen which prolong the progress of results and, ultimately, graduation for many students. It’s not like you just follow X, Y, Z steps and spend X number of hours in the lab and you’re done. You actually have to get results and contribute to scientific knowledge to get that Ph.D. And that can take a while. Say, 12 years or more?

Dave's Laser Dave’s Laser System

Dave was told that in order to graduate her needed to help finish building a new laser system, successfully complete four more experiments on the new system, write his dissertation and defend it… and then he’s done!

Today Dave was successful in getting results in the first of the four experiments he needs to complete to graduate! That means we are one small step closer to his graduation, his finding a job, us buying a home, having kids, and so on and so on and so on. It’s a small step but a significant one.

Congratulations, Dave! Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God is great, beer is good and people are crazy

God is great, beer is good and people are crazy. Thank you Billy Currington; no truer words have ever been sung.

These last few days have been full of crazy people. I don’t know if I missed the memo about it being act like a fool week or if people in general are just out of control. Either way, I’m over it. Let me explain…

Crazy people incident #1
On Saturday we went to the Homecoming football game of our Alma Mater. We had a great time tailgating and cooking brats and sauerkraut and eating chips, veggies and home made brownies with my parents and youngest sister, Erin. During the game some student fans came in after we were seated and watching the game and they pushed their way through other people into the stands right behind us. When one of the guys in the group asked his girlfriend if they should apologize for pushing people out of their seats so they could squeeze in the girl said something like, “No way! You don’t need to apologize to those f*ing losers. We’re students and we can sit where ever the f* we want…” and then she continued to use the f word as almost every other word in each sentence she spoke. Now, I may have dropped a few f-bombs in my lifetime but only around close peers and only when no other expression expressed my feelings quite as well. Never have I used such language in a crowd and never around a mixed group of older adults and younger children. Out of respect for my parents and sister who were standing next to me at the game I turned around and asked this girl to please watch her language. My request was met with more cursing and personal attacks. And it didn’t stop there. For the entire game this girl made mean comments to me, continued to curse purposefully and was just overall obnoxious. I ignored her but she just wouldn’t stop. Then at the beginning of the 4th quarter one of the guys in this group of people started patting Dave’s rear end. I saw it happening and told them to stop. Dave turned around and and gave the guy a questioning look. The guy then tried to high-five my mom and then pointed out some gray lighter colored hair on her head and then proceeded to run his fingers through her hair! Are you kidding me? Who does that? I pushed his arm down and told him to back off. The group decided to leave and announced they were going to go drink more. The girl directed a few more comments at me before they were gone and I just told her goodbye and to have a great evening. They left behind their empty bottle of vodka. Good grief.

Crazy people incident #2
At 3:15 Sunday morning and Dave and I were woken up by incredibly loud banging, thuds, laughing and loud talking from the apartment above ours. These people have been consistently loud since they moved in and we’ve just learned to deal with the noise, but this night was way worse than the usual noises and it was at a time of day that they usually aren’t loud. They were making so much noise that even Gromit was awake and whining and looking at the ceiling wondering what the noise was. These people were being so loud that I couldn’t fall back asleep, and I usually sleep like a rock. After half an hour of banging and chatter we took a stool and hit the ceiling three times to let them know that they were being overly loud and we could hear them in hopes that they would take the hint and quiet down. The response was more noise and banging. Since there had been no change in the noise level a few minutes later we hit the ceiling again and the response was now multiple people jumping up and down over the bedroom, down the hall, into the living room and back to the bedroom. I grabbed my sweater and went upstairs and knocked on their door. I wanted to let them know that we were trying to sleep and we would appreciate it if they could be a little quieter. I saw a girl close the vertical blinds next to the door and heard her run away giggling. I heard the group of girls inside laughing that I was out there and heard them going over all the things they would do if they opened the door. I saw one of them peek through the vertical blinds right in front of me and I said “Can you guys be a little quieter please? It's almost 4:00 a.m. and we’re trying to sleep”. The girl left the window and the girls continued on talking and laughing so I went back downstairs and tried to sleep. They were loud until about 4:30. Needless to say, Dave and I were incredibly tired and cranky the next day.

Crazy people incident #3
My parents were visiting this weekend and stayed at a nearby hotel overnight. In the morning they heard stories of a drunk man who had misplaced his key and had broken the glass of the outside door to get into the building and then proceeded to knock on every door on one floor until he found the room he was staying in. Thankfully my parents didn’t hear any of this and were able to get a good night’s sleep.

Crazy people incident #4
I came home from work yesterday evening and about an hour later the smoke alarm was going off in the apartment below us. I went down to see what was going on (to see if I could help and to make sure I didn’t need to grab our valuables and evacuate) and it turns out the older man who lives there had tried to light a fire in the fireplace and forgot to open the flue. The alarm went off for a while but it eventually stopped. I think we’ll make sure our renter’s insurance is up-to-date in case of anymore incidents. This may not be as crazy of an incident as the other ones, but it is certainly another thing going on that had us a little worried.

Crazy people incident #5
The people above us were at it again last night. They decided to vacuum their living room at midnight. Ten minutes later they stopped. Then a few minutes after that they started again in another area. Ten minutes later they stopped. A few minutes later they started again in another room. This went on and on and Dave and I kept waking up with each turn on and off of the vacuum. Finally at 1:15 we had enough and Dave grabbed our trusty stool and hit the ceiling three times. The vacuuming stopped. Hooray! It was quiet for the rest of the night.

I don’t know what is going on around here but I’m over dealing with nutty people. I can not wait for the day that we own a home and can live peacefully in our self-created madness. Until then, we’ll do the best we can to cope with the people and situations we’re presented with. Wish us luck and pray for Dave to graduate soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Football, friends and fun

Last Saturday was a glorious day. We went to the Air Force Academy to watch our beloved CSU Rams play the Air Force Falcons. We met up with a bunch of friends who live out there to tailgate and watch the game together. Now, all of were in the marching band (or were cheerleaders) in college and we never got the opportunity to tailgate before games because we were always getting ready to perform at that point, so when we go to games now we go all out with the tailgating festivities. I guess you could say we are making up for lost time. Check out the picture of our tailgating goodies.

Dave and I brought our grill and made breakfast burritos and pancakes before the game (since kickoff was at noon) and others brought fruit trays, cheese, pastries, brats, Bloody Mary mix, mimosas and margaritas. It was quite the smorgasbord of treats. After the feast and the F-14 flyover we headed into the stadium to watch the game.

In the end, our team lost the game but we still had a great time kicking back and hanging out with our friends who we don’t get to see very often. I hope we can all get together again soon!