Friday, February 27, 2009
"What?", you ask. "The Baillios are soaking up MORE American history!?" Yeah, we live 30 minutes from Gettysburg. However, we didn't actually do anything historic there...unless you consider buying clothes and food historic. We visited an outlet mall right outside of Gettysburg and had a great time. We had a little wet weather so we passed on the real Gettysburg experience. We did gather intel so our return trip in the summer would go by without a hitch. We're excited to soak up all the history around us.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Today we say goodbye to my signature shoes. This REI purchase has taken me inside the earth, over the earth and all across the face of it. I took them caving in the deep recesses of the Utah caves. I climbed up sheer faces of rock in them. I flew through the Narrows at break-neck speeds. I glided over the earth as a hang-glider. I walked over Europe in them. Relaxed at Lake Powell. Soaked up American History. Walked across the fateful bridge where "the shot [was] heard round the world". These shoes have taken me through 2 graduations, marriage, and 1 kid. Needless to say, I'm sad to see them go. But all good things must end. Here's to Solomon river-hiking shoes! Here's to REI! And here's to a wonderful companion in its final days! You will be missed.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Celeste is away for a few days, and I've been playing the single Dad role. Let me tell you, it's a manageable task, but not one I'd ever want to tackle for very long. Being here alone with Brooklyn makes me appreciate that Celeste stays home with Brooklyn during the day. If Brooklyn went to a daycare center, or a babysitter every day, she would have another family. She'd learn lessons, have fun, create attachments, and none of it would be with us. On a normal day, I get to see her for about 3 hours, maybe 4. There's just not that much time there compared to the 8-10 hours Celeste is with her all day long. So, here's a "Huzzah!" for motherhood. And a "Huzzah!" for my wonderful wife!
Being alone, while Celeste is gone at a wedding in UT, makes me remember when we got married and the raucous adventure that was our courtship. I miss that. And remember what it was like to live alone. I was the king of alone. My friends and family called me a curmudgeon for a year or more while I was at college. I became well acquainted with my solitude and my bitterness and sarcasm. But, Celeste helped me out of that place. I was ready to leave, and she gave me enough challenges to keep me going. I don't mush out very much on the blog, but I love her and am grateful she saw fit to stay with me!
Sunday, February 08, 2009
So the first week here has been quite eventful. Work on Monday was great. New faces, new environments, new tasks, a new job. The rest of the work week was a bit tedious because I'm trying to get caught up, and that means reading papers and briefs and code for 9 hours a day. But I'm getting there and soon I'll be interacting and developing and contributing. So I'm excited for that.
On Tuesday, the movers came with our stuff! BUT, the second they arrive he informs me that we will owe a "long carry" charge. A "long carry" charge is due if the back of the truck is more than 75 feet from the residence. Well, since we lived on the third floor, he said it was due. The charge is $75 per 100 cubic feet. We had 500 cubic feet, and hence owed them $375 in cash or else they were taking our stuff away! WHAT! Well, I told Celeste and she busted out the contract and found a clause that said they DID NOT charge for hauling up stairs (up to 3 flights). The guy tried to dispute that clause and eventually Celeste got him to agree to charge us half. So we owed $185. That was more reasonable, and we wanted them to start moving our stuff in, so we agreed. I was very objectionable to the whole thing, because the distance from the truck to the first step did not look like 75 feet. No way did it look that long. But the guy swore it was and I slightly trusted in his experience. I went to get the money from the bank, and--wouldn't you know it--we only had one debit card and we lost the pin number. AAAHHH! So I had to take a cash advance on my credit card (ICK!) to get the money. So I go home, drop the money off to Celeste and leave to go to work. I called Celeste and urged her to make the guy measure the distance to double check if it was indeed 75 feet from the truck to the first stair.
So, after the move was about 2/3 over, Celeste asks the movers to measure the distance. They tried making her pay the full amount if it turned out to be 75 feet, but she refused since we'd already agreed on half. Well, reluctantly, the movers measured the distance and it came up to 72 feet. (Celeste actually saw them measuring and swears it was only 62....) Well the guy still wanted us to pay! But Celeste refused to pay anything since it is LESS than 75 feet. Celeste walked away victorious and didn't give them any more of our money. They finished the move and they are out of our lives forever! E-Z Movers based in Chicago. NEVER USE THEM! And that's that.
The rest of the week went by without a hitch. Over the weekend, my brother Aaron stopped by for a visit. It was so great having him here and gleaning all that older brotherly advice. We shopped at the mall, ate out for lunch, and had some delicious homemade ice cream. It was tons of fun.
Saturday night, after Aaron left, we resumed some car shopping we had done on Friday....and ended up buying a car! We got a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country Touring. We got a great interest rate (after some fine haggling by your truly), and we're excited to have a van. It's a little surreal financing such a large amount, but we feel like grown-ups. Life's just moving right along. The next major purchase is gonna be a house. More debt. Huzzah.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
So our new life finally has begun. January was a weird limbo month for us, and it seemed like Maryland would never come. And that it came too fast.
As you know, January started off with an amazing vacation in Costa Rica. Then I spent the next two weeks madly typing out my thesis. Ok. So it was more like one and one-half weeks. I just couldn't resist goofing off during the Martin Luther King holiday and enjoying my extended vacation. But I felt I made some decent progress: A 42 page thesis. That included an appendix and the filler pages. Then I jetted off to Champaign to finish writing the darn thing, and to get my professor's approval.
I got to Champaign on Thursday night and was welcomed in by the Maughans. It was so nice to see old friends again. That weekend we had a big bash and I got to see everyone for one last time (Andersons, Nyes, Noonans, Dokos, and the rest). I even played games on Sunday night with the Thorpes. It's gonna be hard to find someone to replace them as our gaming buddies. Champaign was not all fun and games, however. Well, the first 3 days were. But Monday and Tuesday were murderous. I had previously sent my thesis to all my colleagues in the lab. They all said that the thing looked great. (if they even read it). So I'm expecting things to be pretty easy going with my professor. Well, he was scared the thesis was so short. So he urged me to add a whole lot more. So I spent the next two days furiously typing away. Luckily, I jammed another 15 pages into the thing. Tuesday at 6:00pm, my professor signs the Certificate of Committee Approval. Huzzzah! That nearly seals the deal. I have a few editing rounds to go still, and a department review. And then I can deposit! So I'm in the homestretch, and it's going to happen!
Meanwhile, back in Colorado, Celeste was chillin' at home with her parents. They went to a stock show, the aquarium, the children's museum, and lots of other stuff. Brooklyn loved having her cousins around to play with. By the end of the third week, Grandma and Grandpa were just about ready to return to their normal lives. Grandkids are cute, but only if they don't overstay their welcome. ;)
So I embarked on Wed. to drive out to Maryland. We timed it so that I would pull into the Baltimore airport, right when Celeste's flight came in on Thursday. It all worked out great. My drive was a little shaky, with the crazy weather that passed through the area only a day or two before, but I survived. The scariest thing was when a huge suburban started skidding all around the highway in front of me. She ended up sliding backwards into the ditch. I'm just glad it wasn't me. I stayed in West Virginia (shout out to Tiana and Preston!) on Wed. night, then drove through to Baltimore. I got to the airport about 20 minutes before Celeste landed. I picked them up, we headed to Westminster, got into the apartment, and the rest is history!
We're excited to be here. It's a new adventure, and a new challenge. I'm stoked to begin real work, making real money. If anyone is in the Maryland area, be sure and give us a ring, we'd love to see you!