Saturday, November 24, 2007

Suburban Wildlife?

So we've been here for about a week now, and I have to say I'm kind of impressed with the wildlife I've seen or heard around here. Our first day here, we had a fox run around in our backyard. We also found what looks to be fox scat in the yard too. Talking to our neighbors we found out that this house been vacant for about 2 years, so I suspect the fox might have been hanging out here. The fox had made visual contact with Jess that day, so it knows we're here. We haven't seen it since.

2 nights ago while going to sleep, we had some kind of bird hanging out near our house somewhere, making very loud calling noises. Perhaps an owl of some sort. We could't find it visually, so we were unable to make an ID on it.

Last night we had a pack of coyotes howl up a storm for a few minutes. It was almost intimidating. I can't say I've heard them before while sleeping in my own bed. I've heard them a few times before while backpacking in the high peaks region of the Adirondacks in New York state, but thats it. I suspect the pack lives over in the Green Mountain open space park, which we are less than 1/10 of a mile from. My wife likes to read through criags list on occasion, and in the pet section she's found warnings of coyotes attacking cats that people let go outdoors in this area. Needless to say, my cat's won't be going outdoors, not that they ever have.

On the not so suburban side of things, we've also seen Elk while visiting Rocky Mountain national park, and Estes Park, CO. Locally, we seen Mule Deer, and prairie dogs. On my way to skiing, I've seen bighorn sheep along side the road too. They are a little to close to the road for my comfort if you ask me. While skiing I saw some sort of weasel as well. It was white with a little black tip on its tail. Given the description, I suspect it was a long-tailed weasel. I was in the ski lift, probably about 40 feet off the ground, and I didn't have my glasses on. I suspect I would have been barely able to see the short-tailed weasel.

I've seen various new types of birds out here as well. I think my favorite being the Stellers Jay. Others include Magpies, and other small birds my wife is better at ID'ing and remembering than myself. Perhaps someday I'll be able to capture some photos and share. I'm slated to get deployed to Antarctica next March, so I'm saving my pennies for a decent digital SLR camera and lenses. Until then, I'll be using my really old (1 megapixel) Point and Shoot. I haven't unpacked anything to read the memory card yet, so the pictures I do have will be delayed until I can find it in the myriad of boxes around the house.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

There's no place like home

So the new job is going well. I'm getting up to speed with things, albeit slowly, and have been able to make contributions back to the team and be slightly productive, so thats good. On the flip side of things, We've found a house to rent for at least year. It will probably end up being more like 2 years though, as we try and save for a down payment for some other place, etc. It kind of annoys me to be renting again, but given what we've learned, financially, in the last few years, its the best choice. The house is nice, and IMHO in a great location for our interests and needs. The work commute will be a little longer than I would have hoped, but thats okay. It's nice to have a place to call home. As of today though, we are still in a hotel since none of our property has arrived. In fact, I don't even know when its going to arrive, exactly. The moving company hasn't given us a hard date yet. Before Thanksgiving would be wonderful though. Restaurant food is getting old. As much as I love eating out and trying new things, its very difficult to take a 4 year old out every night who only ever wants macaroni and cheese, or hot dogs.

On another note, we visited Rocky Mountain National Park and the Garden of the Gods last weekend. Once again, I was reminded of why I love it out here so much. The Creation is so beautiful. Made me wish I had a decent camera though. I can't deside whether to get a really nice point and shoot, like the Canon Powershot G9, and be done with it, or get a decent, but not overkill for a photo newb like me, Digital SLR . If I did that, I'd still want a lower end point and shoot for times when its not so convenient to pull out the SLR. If you have any recommendations, I'm open to them.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Adventure has begun.

Well, its the end of the first week since I've left the state of PA. I can't say it not been what I've expected. In fact, its been very much what I've expected so far. Not sure if thats totally good or not. I guess it's not bad though. We took 3 days to drive from PA to CO. The first day was okay. I put the wrong address in my GPS so I managed to get us into the wrong side of town in Columbus, OH. Fortunately, the hotel we were staying at was a "Point of Interest" in the GPS in my car, so we were able to quickly figure out where we needed to be.

From Columbus, we went on to Kansas City, KS. For some reason, I remember the Mississippi River being bigger. Maybe I crossed it at a more southern point last time. Who know. Also an uneventful drive. Up to this point its been pretty rolling terrain. I can't say that the Prius does all too well MPG wise cruising down the highway around 75 mph to stay with traffic, especially with a headwind. I averaged in the low 40's. Also not surprising.

From Kansas City, we pushed onto Denver the next day. I was surprised how long it took for Kansas to turn into the flat open fields that I remember from Sunrayce97. The moment I saw Pikes Peak appear out of the haze that was in the atmosphere that evening was I sight I was very glad to see.

The next day (Saturday) we visited several houses to rent. We think we've found something and have applied for it. Hopefully everything will work out. Its a little further from my job than I would really like, but my wife likes it, and thats more important than a few extra minutes of commute each day. I'll post pictures if/when we move in. Great views, mature landscaping, near mtn. biking trail, etc.

For those of you wondering about the new job. Well, the first day was full of orientation, and lots of introductions, and just getting to know how things work, filling out paper work for access, etc. Today I think I spent more of my day in meetings than anything else. I figured that would happen moving into a larger sized company like this, so again... nothing unexpected. I don't have enough exposure to everything yet to formulate any opinions on things, but all of my direct colleagues are smart and hard working.

I think thats all for now. Just wanted to give everyone an update.