Rain Rain Go Away

Flooding in New England

So you know, the photo was taken in town today. Fortunately, there will be no need to start building an oversized dinghy and placing calls to local zoos despite the 12-plus inches of rain that has fallen in the past few days. A good percentage of the Merrimack Valley is underwater these days but, fortunately for us, we are on high ground and, even better, only a small trickle of water has entered the basement, meaning that all that work we’ve done in the past year or so won’t suffer any future water damage.

If there’s good news, it’s that the Sox have now won 13 straight against the Baltimore Orioles after squeaking out a 6-5 win at Camden Yards tonight.

Go Isotopes!

Isotopes rule!

Like it? This is our team logo for the upcoming softball season here at Raytheon. I say upcoming because we are still waiting to step foot on the field. League play was suppose to begin the last week of April but a new field was put in and, with the dry weather this spring, they are still waiting for the grass to take root in the outfield. Right now, they have the season starting the week of the 22nd but even that is in jeopardy. Our first game now won’t be until 30 May (the day after Memorial Day) so I guess it’s a wait-and-see approach. Hey, at least we have a cool logo, eh?

At least the Sox have been playing well as of late. After a tough stretch on the road to end last month, Boston returned to Fenway Park and took five-of-six last week, with wins against New York and Toronto, and a weekend sweep of Baltimore. This week starts off with the local nine on the road again, this time facing the Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium. Right now, both teams have their best starters lined up for the series: Josh Beckett and Randy Johnson tonight, Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina tomorrow, and Tim Wakefield and Shawn Chacón Thursday. The two teams also enter the series tied for first in the East and while some might say that it’s too early to worry about the standings, just point to last season when they finished tied at 95 wins apiece and New York won the tiebreaker on account that they had won one more game in the season series (10-9).

Look Ma No Wires

We’re in trouble now! Lea is up on her knees, wiggling back and forth and looking for a way to inch herself closer to that toy just out of her reach. Soon, it’s going to be the car keys. Well, at least there is no way that her small frame can reach the gas pedal and steer at the same time.

We also just went wireless today so Jeff is able to roam free around the house carrying his laptop so he can waste time surfing in, say, the living room or, more likely, the bathroom. All kidding aside, it is really amazing how technology has made it so easy to manage how we live. We can pay our bills, we can order tickets to concerts, we can buy that last-minute gift for the mother-in-law… now if we could figure a way for it to get Jakob potty-trained, we’d be set!

On another note: the basement ceiling got its first coat of paint this evening. A nice cream color that should go well with the “hubbard squash” yellow paint that will go on the walls. The electricians are due back Monday to finish their work and hopefully we can get started on the floor next week as well.

Jimmy Z’s Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Avon Walk for Breast CancerEvery year our friend Jim donates his time to a worthy cause and this year he is raising money for breast cancer research. He will also be participating in a two-day walk around Boston in support of this effort. Whether you know him or not, it’s a good cause because it’s hard not to have known someone who was affected by this form of cancer. So, please, support the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and make a donation in Jim’s name – he’s looking to raise $2500 and is already halfway there. Thanks!

Sweet Home Alabama

Well, as I write this, I’m sitting in an airport bar in Huntsville, AL and I just watched Pedro Martinez win the 200th game of his career on ESPN Monday Night Baseball. I’m here on a business trip for my company, meeting with a customer tomorrow morning. I’m also using the WiFi feature on my laptop for the first time ever and I love it! I can’t wait to install it in my own home once the basement work is complete.

Lots has happened over the past week. Speaking of the cellar (the “official” designation on the permit), the mud-and-tape guy finally made an appearance Friday morning and, as of this afternoon, the first coat of mud are on the walls. According to my conversation with Tiffany this evening, the new family room is actually beginning to look like a room!

Saturday, we went to our first Sox game of the season; of course, it was the one game out of a four-game series against Seattle that Sox did not win. Tim Wakefield pitched a complete game and was near-perfect for eight of those nine innings. Unfortunately, an ugly top of the third plated three Mariner baserunners and the Boston offense was shut out for the first time since a 1-0 loss to the Yankees last September (thank you, FenwayFanatics.com for the quick reference!). However, that game was sandwiched between two well-pitched games by Curt Schilling and newcomer Josh Beckett and then a great game this afternoon that saw Mark Loretta hit a game-winning two-run home run in the ninth after Big Papi had already tagged two home runs earlier in the contest.

Of course, Jakob also turned three last Tuesday and he now clearly understands the terms “birthday cake” and “presents.” He also had his annual check-up at his pediatrician and now stands 37 inches tall and weighs in at 31 pounds. Meanwhile, Lea is working on two new teeth and has started grinding her upper and lower teeth together, which probably sounds worse than it is.

That’s about all for now! Oh, and I did take photos of the work in the basement so I have no excuse now. They will be posted soon, I promise.

Sox, Sox, Sox, Sox…

Red Sox prepare for 2006 opener at Fenway Park

Yes, ’tis a holy day in these parts as the Red Sox prepare to open Fenway Park at 2:05 this afternoon for the first time in 2006, with several changes having been made to the place over the winter that will be interesting to see in person on Saturday when we head in for our first game against the Mariners. Today, however, the full squad will be introduced, from Josh Bard to Kevin Youkilis, all the coaches, and perhaps even the team doctor. Then, it’s Josh Beckett taking the hill against Josh Towers and Toronto Blue Jays, divisional opponents and brings of baseball from the country where every sentence ends in: “Eh?”

(Like: “That was a wicked slider, eh?” Wait, do they say “wicked” there or is it just us Boston metro types?)

Fenway is sure to be rocking and, sadly, I’ll be in a proposal meeting all afternoon trying hard to concentrate on the topic of discussion while thinking in the back of my mind: “I wonder how many home runs David Ortiz has hit this afternoon?”

A Nice Surprise

Out of the blue, Jeff’s friend Dave Bradley called last night from Wisconsin where he and his beautiful bride Jenn have lived for… what? eight or nine years?  Well, the two of them just had a baby, James, in January, two days after Jeff’s own birthday, and they’ve been “heads down moving forward” in their new role as parents.  David remarked that, with some of the issues that James has had in his first couple of months, he can’t imagine what it must be like to be dealing with these issues when you have a toddler to watch after as well.  We say, give them a few years and they may just find out!

Of course, congratulations to them and we wish nothing but the best for what’s to come!

Wired! Or Not…

HP Pavillion ZV6130USNow that the thought of wireless home networking has become more of a reality, I had been thinking about taking the computer that we bought last year for the business, making that the family computer, and getting a laptop.  So, last week there was a sale at CompUSA on a nice laptop from HP where there was an instant $300 savings and, coupled with a $50 rebate, brought the final total to $599.  Unfortunately, it was one of those “deals of the century” that got people knocking over their grandmothers to get one, the stores sold out in a heartbeat, and many of these bargains mysteriously showed up on eBay.

Suddenly experiencing one of those I just gotta have it moments, I went on eBay to try and get one.  First, I tried getting one for $599.  Then I started bumping my bids to $650, and kept going up in $50 increments until, by this past weekend, I was willing to part with $800 for one of these babies; even at that price it was a bargin – 2.0 GHz, 80 GB HD, 512 MB RAM, 15.4 widescreen monitor, DVD+/-RW, and plenty of bells and whistles – and a refurbished unit from HP cost $859.  However, I kept getting outbid again and again to where I thought that I was never going to catch a break.

Then, out of nowhere, a Buy It Now! offer of $720 appeared and, while some sellers were asking upwards of $80 for shipping and “handling,” this person wanted just $20 for that purpose.  So, without hesitation, I snatched it up and by tomorrow (Wednesday) I should happily be the proud owner of one of their beauties.  Of course, for now, I’ll have to stay connected via a 6-foot network cable but, when the basement gets finished, I’ll have decided upon a nice wireless network system so, in the meantime, if anyone out there has a recommendation, please pass it along to us!