Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This is nice. :)

Over the summer, classes that I taught met Monday through Thursday. For the first summer session I taught for 4 hours straight and the second summer session was for 3 hours straight. Each day I came home and had papers to grade and had to prepare what I was going to cover for the next day. It left little time for much else. And now that fall classes are here - my schedule rocks!

I have to admit that I would prefer to teach in the mornings rather than the afternoons like I am, but besides that fall classes are great! I teach statistics on MWF starting around 12:30 and then I teach business calculus right after that on only MW. I have to admit that I am already feeling the relief of not teaching again the very next day and also not having papers to grade every single night. Both the classes that I am teaching this semester are linked to an online program where they do their homework which means - no HW for me to grade. And I made the decision to not give any quizzes this semester. I actually did that in the hopes that there will be more time in each class to practice problems. Maybe I will just assign some problems to do in groups in class that don't count for a grade.

Another difference here is that I have taught each of these classes at this school before which means that I don't have to spend a couple hours everyday preparing for the next day - maybe about 30 minutes every other day (unless I have to write an exam).

Fall classes rock!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Justin is 30

"You look so old!" from My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Really, Justin looks anything but old. Actually, I think that neither of us looks old and I can say that because my students always think that I don't look old enough to be the instructor.

Justin joined me yesterday in the 30's club - I turned 30 back in May. We had cheese fondue and chocolate swirl cheesecake with some friends from our ward and a couple Justin knows from work to celebrate. We think it was fun - hopefully they did too.

Justin decided that the Dyson we got is his birthday present (we are not big on buying each other presents - I pick out my own presents and he picks out his and we are both very happy this way). We have both decided that we love his present. Totally worth the money, highly recommended.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

That sucks!

I am talking about something that literally sucks. We just ordered a Dyson Absolute Animal vacuum cleaner and are hoping that any minute we get the email telling us it is at the store ready for us to pick up.

When we got married (well before we got married) we had 2 vacuum cleaners. When Justin packed up all his stuff to move to Tampa, I suddenly had two in my apartment. Justin felt like his was better so we gave mine away and kept his. I never liked his vacuum. Mine was a lightweight and his was just too heavy to me (maybe I am a wimp). And as time has passed, it picks up less and less. You know that whole thing about vacuum cleaners losing suction.

Then when we got a dog that sheds we knew that we were going to have to get a new one. Once we knew what kind of a bonus Justin was getting it was decided. We found the best deal we could - ordering it online with a 25% code, but picking it up in the store so we wouldn't have to pay shipping.

Who ever thought I would be excited about a vacuum cleaner? A year ago I was excited about the fridge we bought, when I went back to school I was excited about buying a washer and dryer. My life must be a little on the boring side.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Good news got even better

Yesterday morning, I spoke to my "relationship partner" (the partner I can talk to about anything), and she gave me some great news. This was a tough few weeks to wait after the news that I was getting a promotion. She told me about my compensation and benefits...which I think are pretty decent. I was happy with the percentage raise and by bonus. It was my understanding that some of the associates getting promoted, that got rated the same as I did, did not get a bonus or did not get a great bonus. So, I guess I just consider myself lucky...and glad that I'll have the money to pay for the vacation we just took. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

After the safari

We headed back to downtown San Antonio and headed to the Riverwalk for some lunch.

We saw the boat tours going down the river, and decided to go on one. We were not disappointed. The guide was really funny, and we learned a lot about the area too! I would recommend it if you are in the area.

Next we headed over to "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" museum, across from the Alamo. It took us over two hours to go through the whole thing. There was a lot of weird things, interesting things, and some just gross things. Was it worth over $15/ticket? That is debatable.

Then, we ate outstide next to the river at Casa Rio. The food was good, not the best Mexican food I've had, and the mariachi band was pretty good too.

Tuesday morning we headed over to the Alamo.

We started looking around the grounds and then heard an announcement that there would be a little Alamo history lesson. We decided to sit down and hear what he had to say. It was actually quite enlightening. Like learning what the "six flags over Texas" are. And that the battle there was not between the US and Mexico. (It was between the immigrants, brought to Mexico by the government, to settle the sparsely populated Texas region of Mexico, and the new dictator Santa Anna.) I always thought it was US vs Mexico....something which Hollywood has not helped in clarifying.

After we looked around the rest of the grounds, we headed to the IMAX across the street to see "The Alamo: The Price of Freedom". It was a good flick.

Then we left San Antonio to head back to Austin, by way of the outlet malls in San Marcos.

Good times, good times.

Julie was almost eaten by a zebra!

We began our vacation by going to Austin so Julie could do a card class for Sherry's in-laws. We left Colby with Rick and Sherry on Sunday evening to head to San Antonio.

Monday morning we decided to go to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. It is an African safari...Texas style. They provide one bag of animal feed (pellets) when you enter the park, but we bought another so we each had a bag.

There were two different paths you could go down once you got onto the trail. We decided to go the one on the right. At first we didn't see a lot of animals, but after a few minutes we began seeing quite a few more.

We saw lots of different types of animals:

Then came the Attack of the Zebras!

Julie quickly realized that the zebras were quicker than my car's automatic windows.

Luckily, she survived that most perilous ordeal intact.

They were perhaps the friendliest of all the animals. They held no reservations against sticking their heads into a vehicle to get some food.

On our second time around, taking the alternate route, Justin found a zebra that was very eager to get some food pellets.

Then we saw these guys:

The emus, ostriches, and llamas were next. The ostriches seemed nice enough, but when we did the safari again (to see other other route), one of the ostriches came up to our car and tapped it with its beak....I guess he was really hungry.

Those emus looked kind of evil...don't you think?

Most of the llamas were wading around in the watering hole, but when we approached, one eager llama headed on out to meet us.

He even posed for a few pictures. As you can see, he thinks his profile looks the best.

Not to be outdone, on the second pass around the park, his friend wanted to do some posing.

(Even posing with his mouth full.)

Then we met up with these animals:

Here is a nice shot of Texas hill country, from the safari trails.

We found another poser.

And even a longhorn.

These guys swarmed us...but we had enough food for them too.

It seemed as though he was saying "I am not amused. If you aren't going to give me all the food, don't waste my time".

Whereas his buddy really liked the food, regardless of the amount.

Here are some of the other natives:

Julie thought this one was soooo cute.

So much so that she tried to pick it up! ;)

And here are a few last shots:

Friday, August 3, 2007

Great news

I have had a great month. A few weeks ago, I found out that I am getting a promotion at work. :) Yesterday, I found out that I passed the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) exam. :)
I can't wait to see what the rest of August holds in store.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What can Brown do for you?

So - I decided to put something up here that I thought was a bit interesting.

This morning I got home from my class around 10:45. When I turned the corner, I saw a UPS truck parked in front of our house. My first thought was, "Did we order something? I don't remember ordering anything." But as I pulled into the driveway I realized that the truck was closed in both the front and back and not running. I found this very unusual since they usually just jump into the back from their seat, grab your package and run it to your door. Then I realized, there was no UPS guy in sight anywhere.

Curiouser and curiouser.

So I decided that perhaps the truck had a problem, broke down, and they were coming back for it later. How nice for me that it is left in front of my house for the meantime. About a half hour later I heard a bigger truck outside and checked to see if someone had come to tow away Brown. But no, it was only a dump truck and Brown was still parked there out front and still no sign of the UPS guy.

About 20 minutes after that, I ran out for something and the truck was gone. Since I never heard another large truck come to tow him away, I came to my own conclusion. I think the UPS guy was invited in to one of my neighbor's homes. For what - I'll leave that to you imagination.