February 28, 2019: SpiceCorps DFW

Thursday. Super cold this morning. I got up at eight thirty and had to run around taking care of quick errands around the house before a nine o’clock morning meeting. I took out the recycling and discovered that the heat pump was totally frozen over. That is not good. It is below freezing out and the house is at sixty two degrees and unable to hold it.

Dominica brought in Paul’s space heater for me so that I could warm up my office. And she brought me a fleece. I had been really cold when I started my meeting. I was on the phone from nine until ten.

I ended up with a lot of meetings and phone calls today. Quite a busy day, but it went very well.

I started getting ready at four thirty to go out to the SpiceCorps DFW meeting that is in Irving tonight at six thirty. The meeting tonight is down at the Taco Diner right down the street from our old apartment in Irving. We saw this place for a long time, but I have never eaten there.

The meeting went well this evening. Probably more than a dozen people showed up. We ended up hanging out at Taco Diner until ten, then a small group went to Starbucks until eleven. For dinner, I had two tacos. One taco was mushrooms and poblano. The other was seared fish. Quite good. Some beans and rice. And Nick got the table some guacamole which was really amazing. I couldn’t help eat some of that.

While I was out, Kat and Tim came over to hang out at the house. Kat was just finishing The Breakfast Club when I got there. Then we watching Jhoom Barbar Jhoom. I have not seen that movie in many years. We only made it to intermission, though, before Kat fell asleep. So we turned it off.

At the end of the night, two people from the event tonight made accounts on ML. A third person is a solid business lead that I contacted before going to bed. And a fourth added me on LinkedIn. A pretty good evening, I would say.

And that is the end of February. SGL has been completely up to date for some time now. That feels great. And it is so much easier to write just one post every day. I am loving that.

Paul is having fun fishing up in Missouri. He is there today, tomorrow, and coming back on Saturday. Not a very long trip.

If business went as well today as it appears to have had, it looks like my plans to go to Nicaragua are going to be accelerated. Fingers crossed. It looks like I need to spend time in San Juan del Sur as well as San Juan de Nicaragua which is also known as Greytown. I miss it down there, that will be a really fun trip if I manage to pull it all off.

February 27, 2019: Coffee Day

Thursday. Another busy day. Rodrigo is out sick, so we are short staffed and really feeling it. I was at my desk all day and am just getting busier. Tomorrow, I am sure, is going to be quite busy. I will probably be working over the weekend to try to keep up with the current demands.

Today was a coffee day. Paul brought some amazing, freshly packed Colombia coffee beans that we made a couple of pots of today and drank all day.

Today is Paul’s only full day in Texas before he leaves again. Just back from Medellin, Colombia, he is heading off to Missouri tomorrow for several days there.

The temperature really dropped this afternoon. This morning we were pretty warm and we had several of the windows open. By evening we were very chilly.

Dominica and I managed to go out for our walk this evening before it got dark. But we were too late to go out while the temperature was still nice. So it was a rather cold walk. We just did our short loop in the greenway, nothing too crazy. But we have been doing a rather good job of sticking to it. This is about a week of solid, daily exercise now. And a week and a half of being on our calorie counting diets. I weighed in today and it has been pretty consistent progress.

Kat was supposed to come over this evening. But then changed to coming over this morning. But ended up getting tied up and couldn’t come this morning. So we never saw her.

After eating a little too much yesterday, today I was not hungry all day and just skipped eating. Why eat if you are not feeling hungry? So, I suppose, that totally offsets any calorie overages that I might have incurred yesterday. My guess is that I was somewhere in the 1,500 to 1,800 calorie range yesterday, which is too high for me it seems. But it was high enough that I did not feel any need to even snack today. So, I will count that as a win.

Since this is the only day that Paul is in town, he and Dominica did a quick run to Costco this evening to make sure that we had necessary supplies to get through until next week.

The girls took a bath tonight and played with the last of Luciana’s bath bombs. And both girls got their swim goggles and played in the tub with them. Luciana had done this last night as well. I think that it makes her feel like she is practicing for swimming this summer.

I was on the phone for work until after eight at night. A very busy day. Once I finally got away from my desk, I moved to the bar to “work” and Dominica put on The Golden Girls.

Nick stopped by this evening. And he brought a six pack of Revolver Full-Tang IPA which was pretty good. He hung out for an hour or two at the Sheraton Lounge before heading home. I only had one, which is good, as it was my sole calorie source for the day. But I was never really hungry. Now we will see what happens tomorrow after I go a full twenty four hours without food. A bit more, actually, as it was twenty four hours before I went to bed. It will be about forty hours by the time that I eat something tomorrow, most likely.

I realized today when I was getting lots of posts on LinkedIn congratulating me on my twentieth work anniversary that NTG was now twenty years old! Unbelievable. Two entire decades. So many people have been a part of the team over the years.

I made the kids soup and sandwiches for their late dinner tonight. Dominica sent them to bed, and I spent at least forty minutes talking to them and teaching them about how to set and manage their own alarms. We are trying having them get up to an alarm tomorrow. And then tomorrow we are going to have them set a “last meal” alarm as one of our hardest issues is getting them able to go to bed at night because they constantly ask for more food. Once it gets to be about ten thirty, our evening tends to turn into a nearly constantly barrage of asking for more meals. That, more than the sleep, we need to figure out how to shift. But it seems like only by shifting their sleep times can we shift their meal times. And having them understand and anticipate a final meal “cut off” time seems to be the only way that it will work.

I stayed up late getting some work done. Without late nights to myself, there really isn’t much time for me to really do the “catch up” type of work that I often need. My days are just too busy and interrupted to really focus and knock things out. And the evenings are always full of one thing or another. So once everyone goes to bed and the house is quiet is really my time to be able to do that stuff. My to do list is not all that bad at the moment. But does require my attention a little.

The alarm talk seemed to work well, the girls went to sleep pretty quickly. So that seems like it was a good idea.

I was not able to get to sleep anytime quickly. Around two in the morning, when I realized that I was not tired in the least, I realized that I had had some of my first caffeine in a really long time today, because Paul had brought that awesome coffee from Colombia that we had to try right away. So my caffeine level for the day, while nothing for what I used to drink, is easily the most I’ve had in nine months! And on top of that, I had not a single bite of food today. So that means that I am probably in full on fat burning mode, and that always makes me have more energy and need to sleep less. The combination, especially since caffeine is a trigger to push you into fat burning, probably means that I have a crazy amount of energy.

I wish that it was not so cold or I would have used the excess of energy to go out for a couple mile walk in the middle of the night. Need to burn it off somehow.

I got my inbox cleared down to almost nothing tonight. Wide awake quiet time can be very productive.

I thought about going out for a walk even though it had gotten chilly, but I checked the weather and it wasn’t just chilly, but it was below freezing. So that plan was scuttled.

Rodrigo, who is super sick, ended up coming online to work at three in the morning because he could not sleep. So we talked a little. Our first real chance to catch up this week as he has been so sick. I think that he has strep throat, but they don’t have the cultures yet. At least he is on antibiotics now, as of this morning.

I have SpiceCorps DFW to attend tomorrow evening. Down in Irving. I have not made one in a while, it should be fun. No sponsor or speakers this time, just people hanging out. And tacos.

Paul is leaving for Missouri in the morning. His plan is to leave around six. I saw him get up twice during the night while I was still exercising!

Paul got up at three thirty. At four twenty, I decided to make an attempt at getting some sleep.

February 26, 2019: Hanging Out with Phillip

Tuesday. It is warm today. It was warm yesterday, too.

This morning was decently busy with work. I ended up talking to an old friend, Phillip, that I have not seen in a few years. We decided to get together for a beer this afternoon after work.

So I had a lot of work to do during the day to make sure that I was caught up and ready to be able to be out for the evening. Rodrigo is feeling sick, so we are already a bit short.

Dominica helped me to clean up the DVD cases that we have in the living room from my huge project two days ago. Once she went through all of the empty cases and verified that they were, in fact, all empty, then I took them all outside and put them into the recycling bin. The bin had been completely empty and I wheeled it up to the house to make this easier and we completely, and exactly, filled one bi-weekly recycling bin to the top with just the DVD cases. This means that if we were to do all of the DVDs, all at once, into the binders (if we had them to do it with) then it would take about two to three months of every single garbage pick up for recycling just to haul away the containers. And that is just the containers. We would have no means of putting out any normal recycling trash that entire time! And under normal conditions, we don’t have enough capacity for our recycling as it is. The only reason that we are able to keep up in any way whatsoever is because we have the fire pit thing in the atrium and Paul religiously burns anything close to cardboard, paperboard, or similar Before he did that, we were always falling farther and father behind.

I got ready at three and headed out the door at three thirty to get up to The Colony where I thought that Phillip and I were meeting at the Lava Cantina. On the way there, I drove up the center of Austin Ranch. I do not believe that I have been there before. What a great area. Too expensive, but it would be so cool to have a house there. Great location.

I got to the Lava Cantina when we figured out that our signals had been crossed and he was at Tight Ends in Plano. So I ran up there and met him at a quarter after four. We split some nachos y queso. I had some Pacifico. Not a great night for my diet. But I did not eat anything all day, so I at least had some calories available to work with. Between the two of us we didn’t finish the chips and queso, so only so bad. And Pacifico is kind of light.

We hung out for a while and had a very good time. Lots of potential business to discuss in the upcoming days.

On the way home I drove down Hebron and stopped at The Halal Guys to get a falafel gyro. I just got it to go and headed back home. This is actually my first time ever eating at The Halal Guys. Pretty close to home, an easy place to stop sometimes. I miss having falafel, good to know that there is a nearby option. Not as good as the food truck in Austin, but it helps with the cravings.

It was almost nine when I got home. Dominica ran to the airport to pick up Paul just before ten. He has been traveling all day from Medellin. They stopped for some McDonald’s on the way home, Paul was craving American food.

Paul got home around eleven. We all hung out for just a little while. He got Dominica a Colombian purse. I got a book about neighbourhood thirteen in Medellin in Spanish. The girls got beaded bracelets with their names on them.

I ended up doing some more work until rather late. Luciana wanted me to read her some of “Squirrel Girl” before bed, so we got a couple of chapters in.

February 25, 2019: Turning Forty Three

Monday. Today is my forty third birthday. And I am on a diet. So no dinner plans or cake or anything for me.

I worked during the day. A pretty normal work day, a little slow.

This evening around five thirty, for my birthday, we tried going out to a restaurant that looked good up in Little Elm, where we were interested in looking at houses. We did a drive up Josey, all of the way up through The Colony, through Frisco, up to 380 in The Colony. Traffic was horrible. We really experienced rush hour in the northern towns and it was so much worse than we would have guessed. I had no idea that Josey backed up for more than twenty miles! They need a highway running up this way.

We made it all of the way to Crosspoint before it got dark. Then we turned south onto the peninsula in Lake Lewisville and drove south until we got to El Dorado then west east over the bridge to Little Elm downtown. We stopped at a plaza on the Frisco side to try to get some fancy tacos, but it turned out that there was absolutely nothing that Dominica could eat there. She and the kids were starving, so to make things simple we just drove back home and picked up Taco Bell on the way there and ate that at home.

We managed to drive around and see a lot of areas where I am interested in houses, and see how the areas connect through the bridges, how long it takes to get around, what shopping and dining options are like there. Dominica agrees with a lot of my ideas about where houses seem to be a good idea for us. Where we can get the space, what the communities are like, where we would be located compared to now and so forth.

Tonight the girls wanted to watch Camp Rock. Luciana had been asking about it for a week and we had just found it while cleaning out the garage last night. While the girls watched the movie, I did some walking in the house to get exercise. Dominica recommended walking back and forth in the house while carrying weights. It seemed to work pretty well. I did around seven thousand steps this evening.

February 24, 2019: Dreaming of a New House

Sunday. Today was just a very chill day. Slept in until quite late. The kids wanted to hang out and play this morning. So spent most of the morning with them.

Dominica and I spent a bit of time today talking about the housing ideas that I came up with yesterday. I went on Zillow and researched pricing and options and communities. It is looking like Little Elm, Frisco, Aubrey, and The Colony are the most interesting areas. And the prices seem to be okay. A real consideration. We could have so much more space, and we really need it.

This afternoon, Dominica wanted Indian food. So she made homemade paneer, and baked homemade naan. Kristen helped out in the kitchen and after a few hours they had made a full batch of completely from scratch paneer tikka masala with loads of homemade naan and everything. Healthy and filling. It was probably 1100 – 1200 calories for me, but my only meal of the day. So pretty good. And most importantly, it was really filling. So filling that I never got hungry for the entire day.

We watched The Goonies while we had dinner. Liesl tried watching with us and made it about half of an hour but felt that it was too boring and broke our hearts and did not want to finish watching this great, classic movie with us. I have not seen The Goonies for many years. But we watch it from time to time. Such a good movie.

My new DVD case that holds four hundred DVDs arrived from Amazon this afternoon. It is the silliest thing but I am so excited about this. The garage is full of DVDs and I cannot stand how much space it all takes up. So as soon as Amazon delivered the DVD case, I started taking DVDs out of their cases and putting them into the new binder. I did this for about two hours.

I managed to take five DVD boxes out of the garage and get them into this one binder. And I had enough space left over in it that I was able to gather up all of the loose DVDs that I could find in the garage and put them in it too. And still enough space left over to take about half of the DVDs that are on the shelves in the book shelf in the living room area. The impact on cleaning up the garage was huge, and this is just the beginning.

Now that we know that these cases work and are really effective, we will be getting them regularly. I am probably going to need four more of these, but that is okay. They will take half of the garage and make it fit easily on a single shelf somewhere. I cannot believe how well this worked. Such a good idea.

I had a lot of driving to do this evening. But I took the chance having to be on the road to check out several neighbourhoods. I looked at a lot of Frisco, Little Elm, and The Colony. I stopped at CVS and picked up a few things. Then checked out the El Dorado area of Little Elm and went back home.

I really like the western El Dorado area. It seems almost perfect.