Friday, May 15, 2009

Rain, Rain DON'T Go Away

When we were kids growing up in Olympia, WA. It seemed to rain all the time. We were thankful for even a partially sunny day. Here in Florida, its the opposite. This is a tropical climate that depends on rain all year to flourish.

Up until this week, we had gone over 30 days without rain and all everybody could talk about was the drought. I know - 30 days doesn't seem like much, but we didn't even have any April showers.

This week, it started raining again. These are some pictures from my commute Thursday evening. This was the third straight raining homeward commute.

I missed taking pictures of the double rainbows Wednesday evening because the camera was in the back seat in the comptuer bag.

Last night the rain was not severe and there was sunshine beaming through the clouds. Also the wipers are almost new so there are very few streaks. Actually it didn't rain hard enough to get all the bugs off the window. You can also see from the pictures that the traffic is not too bad. That is because I was slightly ahead of the rush hour and because my commute is almost always free flowing, at least for the last 20 miles.

I am sure that was about as interesting as a cup of hot water instead of coffee... but that's a whole other story.

May your rain be the good kind that brings clean air, green grass and lots of blooming flowers.


Steve's Weight-Loss Update

Well with the wedding behind us, I decided to adjust the red goal line and start from where I am. That is why the red line splits and drops.
Weight was steady during the wedding and so far the week after. That's why the blue lline bumps to the right.
I need to keep up with the walking ... only did it a couple times this week. All the wedding food did not help! But it was good. And there are still mints and nuts left over.
Now we are looking forward to Alan, Sara and Tori's visit on Memorial Day week. This will be the first time they have been to Florida since we have been here. Alan wants to go fishing. Tori wants to go to Disney and a zoo.
Hope your week at head is full of promise and joy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mary & Joel Wedding Pictures

Some (or a lot) pictures from the wedding are now apparently posted to:

Mary and Joel have not seen them yet. They won't be back from their honeymoon cruise until Sunday morning. I doubt that they are paying for Internet access on the ship, but I may be wrong.

I have not seen them yet because Facebook is blocked out on our Internet at work.



Uncle John Cacavas

Hello! I wanted you all to see the picture of my mom and her Greek cousin (his dad and my mom's dad were brothers) who I had never met before this past Greek Easter. Don't they have some similar features! They call him chefas (which means outcast!) because he was considered an outcast from the Cacavas family. He told us the whole story which is fascinating. So that explains why I had never met him! They have lived in St. Pete Beach in a gorgeous home on the water for 45 years. He made his money by starting a pizza parlor in Ohio and selling it at its peak. He has multiple health problems and wasn't able to make the trip for the wedding. Their daughter would have had to bring them and had a conflict. I hope to have them over here sometime in the future.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Aaron Hall Wins Concerto Competition

Hall winner of Concerto Competition
SARAH ARNEY Marysville Globe Arts & Leisure May 05 2009, 2:07 PM · UPDATED

SEATTLE — An Oso farmer, Aaron Hall is one of six winners of the 2009 Seattle Young Artists Music Festival Concerto Competition and he will perform with the Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday May 16 in Theodore Roethke Auditorium, Kane Hall at the University of Washington. Admission is $10.

The winner of the Senior Concerto Cello Division, Hall, 16, is homeschooled and lives on his family’s farm in Oso, east of Arlington.

He began private cello lessons at age 6 and piano lessons at age 8. He currently studies cello with Toby Saks. This year Hall was named first alternate in the 2008-’09 MTNA Washington State Senior String Competition. He performed the Boccherini Sonata for Violin and Cello with his sister in the 2009 Academy of Music Northwest Benefit Concert held at the Benaroya Nordstrom Hall, and for the 2008 Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference.

For the full article, check this link:

- Steve

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Mystery Revealed?

Many have asked what it is I do at work. Often I don't give a very satisfactory answer. But this Diagram is called the Systems Engineering Process "V" Diagram. It is used to guide development and delivery of technology related projects, in my case "intelligent transportation systems." I most often find my self assigned tasks in the upper left box called "Concept of Operations" or "ConOps" for short. This describes what the technology is supposed to do from the user's point of view.

Sometimes I have also been involved with development of requirements. What is a requirement? A good question. It relates to the ConOps. For example you have all seen traffic monitoring cameras along the freeway. An example requirement is that the camera image be viewed at the traffic management. Sounds simple, but a lot of other requirements must be met in order for that to happen.

Sometimes my role is actually developing these documents. Other times my role involves managing others who are doing them. For example for one County in Florida, I am managing work performed by a designer, an integrator (see on the right leg of the "V"), and a soils testing company (to make sure the poles don't fall down we need to know what the soils are). All the while working on contracting documents, cost estimates, meetings, etc. for the Client who is the County.

I am sure that generates more questions than it answers, but "You asked for it."


Steve's Weight Loss Update

This morning my weight, after the wedding was 203. That's a drop of 20# since January. This weekend, I decided to start a new graph with 203 as the starting point. New goal is to get down to about 170-175 by the end of the year. That is the weight I had when I was the most fit and probably a good weight to try to reach.

Since the graph only has one day on it, I decided not to put it on the Blog yet, maybe the actual weight curve (7-day moving average) will be visible by Friday.

May all your goal updates be full of promise!

- Steve

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mary & Joel's Wedding

These are the church decorations. Kathi and our friend Ann who flew in before wedding to help with all the preparations. The banners were made by Joels Mom.

We wanted to make the canopy over the stage higher, but could block the view of the screen. Joel's brother in law prepared a DVD of pictures of Mary and Joel growing up. It was very nice!

After the vows, Joel sang a song that he had written both the words and the music. It was very touching.

Here is the wedding cake. It was made by Mary's friend Becky. It looked and tasted good.

Almost 150 people attended the reception. Here are Mary and Joel dancing near the end. Dancing had been going on for almost 3 hours. By then. They went though a shower of sparklers to get to the limo when it was over.
You will have to wait for the professional photos to see all the details.
We dropped them off at the Port of Tampa this morning for their 7-day cruise in the Gulf of Mexico.
More soon, I'm Sure!