Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy 3rd Anniversary Jason & Jeni

Sending out anniversary wishes to my son Jason and his wife Jeni. They live in Oxnard California and enjoying life in sunny southern California. I have gone out there twice to visit with them, just too far away to make the trip more.

This is how I found out that Jason was getting married. Gary gets a phone call from Jason wanting to know my maiden name. Gary told him and then asked why. Jason said that he needs it for this license thing he is filling out.

I think their original plan was to get married on Halloween but that didn't work, so they got the date as close as possible.

Congrats to you two and later tonight I will have a drink for your celebration.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary To Me

October 2010 marks my 25th anniversary of working for Big Horn County. Hard to believe that I started working here in October of 1985. Where have the years gone. I can still remember my very first job interview with the county and my first day on the job.

I started out working in the Sheriff's Office as a dispatcher and for 17 years have watched the role of dispatcher evolve into a 9-1-1 operator. After 17 years decided that it was time to turn a new page in my job so I transfered to Justice Court for 2 years. Two years later another transfer came available so I took it and for the past 6 years I have been working for the schools with the county.

I have seen many people come and go and have seen alot of long time employees retire over the years. People that I have worked with and are dear friends.

Even though I am no old enough to retire, it is nice to know that I now have the security of a pension coming to me after 25 years of service. Granted if I retire now, my pension won't be much, but if anything drastic should happen it is nice to have that security.

My goal is to work another 5 years to get my full 30 years of service.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Belt Testing, Football and HOG

What a weekend it was for us. Friday night was our color belt promotion test. We had nine of our students test and two were grandchildren. Three of Gary's grandkids are taking lessons from us and two tested, Brandon and Alexus. Brandon is Donnie's son and Alexus is Carl's daughter. Friday was also Alexus's birthday, she turned 10. Our students have been working hard and they all got their new belts. We managed to get a group photo this time, but I just have to get a copy from one of the moms. Alexus was very happy as this was part of her birthday present from her mom. After the test, Gary and I stayed for the dinner for the black belts. Mrs. Park always cooks a dinner for us and it is all very tasty. I don't eat the kimshe, too spicy for me, but I can eat her other dishes.

Saturday, Gary worked the last two home games of the season. He was the score keeper and clock operator for the games this year. He did all of them, middle school all the way up to varsity. He had two games back to back and then we just had enough time to make it up to Billings again to watch Tristan (Donnie's son) play in his football game. He got involved in the Mighty Mite Football League that the Billings Outlaws sponsor for little kids. His mothers new boyfriend is an announcer for the Outlaws. It is a great program to get kids involved in football. Unfortunately Tristan's team lost, but he sure enjoyed his season and can't wait for next year. This is why I want to upgrade my camera. Gary's grandkids are keeping us pretty busy. Now the youngest one is in dance. The Outlaws organization was selling some of their gear for a bargain price. We bought us a fleece jacket for $8 each. I think normal price was $25 for them.

Sunday was our HOG chapter meeting in Billings. Our original plan was to ride the bike up to the meeting. In April Gary got in on the mileage contest and it ended yesterday. Woke up and it was pretty cloudy but not too bad. We started to leave the house at 11:30 yesterday morning and that was when it decided to rain. It was pouring rain. We started to head out, but decided that riding in the rain all the way to Billings for a meeting just wasn't worth it. We wrote our ending mileage down and they will just have to take our word for it.

By the time we got to Billings, it was clear and the sun was shining. It had rained all the way to Billings until we got to the the top of the Pryor hill. Figures. Anyway the weather didn't cooperate so for the mileage it went on the honor system. Gary didn't get enough miles to be one of the winners. The winners are two guys who put on over 20,000 miles. This year we put on over 9,000 miles, which it pretty good for us. We are putting on 3,000 miles more than the season before.

The October meeting is kind of a sad meeting because we know that riding season is over. There may be a few days here and there that we will be able to get out in, but I'm afraid it's going to be a long winter. This is also the meeting were new officers are nominated and I got nominated to be secretary. I tried to get out of it because I can't make the officer's meetings on Tuesdays because I have class. Gary was quick to pipe up that he will teach my class for me, because it's only once a month. How can you argue with that logic, so I said I would be the secretary. The election is in November, but there is only one candidate for each position, so I will be the HOG secretary for the next two years. I will take office in December. They did tell me that they know I have to come from Hardin for the meetings and if the roads are bad I don't have to worry about it. All I have to do is keep minutes for the two meetings each month and make sure that the minutes get sent to the editor for the monthly newsletter.

That pretty much sums up our weekend. I did post Tristan's football pictures on picasa. Not the best but they will work for me. My little camera just doesn't have the range.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Court House Construction

What a noisy week this has been. The court house is undergoing major renovations. The whole basement is being torn apart. All the walls and floors are being dismantled and then will be remodeled. The disaster and emergency services will be in the basement.

This is a 200 day project and what a mess. The only entrance into the court house right now is the main doors. The elevator is out of service to prevent people from wondering into the basement, so you have to take the stairs to get to the offices upstairs. That is not a big deal for me, as I always take the stairs. It is a big deal for some of the customers, especially the elderly ones who can't take the stairs. The construction workers fenced off half the parking lot, so parking is a premium, especially on court days. The county did make a parking lot across the street, but not going to pave it because of drainage issues. What a muddy mess that will be in the winter. So far the employees haven't been told to park in the dirt lot, but I'm sure that will come down the line soon.

This week all I have heard is the jack hammers. They are working in the area under my office. It is loud throughout the court house. Every office has their door closed to help muffle some of the noise, but that really doesn't help. At least with the doors closed you can hear people on the phone. I'm on the third floor and it was bad, can't imagine the offices on the main floor. On top of the jack hammers, dust is everywhere. The construction guys do have plastic hanging up but it's not helping on bit.

This week, they knocked down the side entrance in the alley which is on my side of the building with a huge backhoe. The court house has been really shaking with the rumbling of the back hoe and jack hammers. I swear there were times when the back hoe hit the building. There were a few times when the building shook you wondered if you had to get under a door frame or something sturdy.

Not only do we have the major construction going on downstairs, we are also getting a new fire sprinkler system installed and new lighting installed. This week I've had the fire sprinker guy working in my office, so some drilling involved but he is not as loud as the jack hammers. Then for two days I had the light guys installing the more energy efficient flourescent light bulbs. They aren't loud, but I had to leave for a bit as there is a light right over my desk.

The sprinkler guy and light guys did a good job cleaning up after themselves, however the construction guys downstairs are messy. They are leaving dusty footprints all over the building.

It has been nice and quiet today as none of the construction people work on Fridays.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tae Kwon Do Tournament

Saturday was the 24th Annual American Jung Do Tae Kwon Do and Judo Championships in Sheridan Wyoming. We took eight students to the tournament. Only two are tournament veterans.

Our students did an exceptional job considering that most of them have only been taking lessons for the past five months. We have one student who has only been in class for three weeks. We took one black belt, one yellow belt and six white belts. The school as a whole came home with 12 medals, 4 golds, 3 silvers and 5 bronzes. All the students but one came home with a medal.

We had our only girl competitor freak out over the sparring competition and no way was she going to do that. She was afraid of getting hurt. In class she spars with the boys and wins so we were so shocked that she freaked out. Jennifer even tried to talk to her. No dice. Will have to work on the confidence part. Our next tournament is in March. Jennifer and I were both told by our instructor that we are competing in the next tournament too. We will be doing weapons and board breaking for sure.

Our brand new student came home with a gold medal in sparring, he is on cloud nine. He didn't get one in forms. I stressed to the kids that getting a medal in forms is hard and we kept reminding him that he has only been in three weeks, the others have been in class for months.

They will bring their medals to class on Tuesday and I will take a group photo to get in the paper. Our black belt didn't get a medal. He assumed that he would medal anyway.

In other tournaments he does win, but this time he didn't come to class for the whole month of September. He just assumed that he would medal. He was getting a bit cocky about this and he got knocked off his pedestal.

Gary, Jennifer and I were busy judging. One of our other students came to judge, he missed most of the summer in class and didn't feel ready to compete. He wanted to learn the judging side of it. I think he had a good time, at least he said he did.

Now our students will be working hard on their belt promotion test on the 15th. We have most of our school eligible to test, just a matter of them turning in their paperwork and fees. We have two students on track to get black belts in March.

I was able to take candid photos of our students before competition started. The only bad thing with us judging is that I don't have my photographer (Jennifer) to get photos of them competing. I will have to ask the mothers if I can get copies of their photos. I want to make a poster for advertising for the school.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where Did September Go?

Wow, October 1 already. September was just a blur, we were so busy. The last info you got was our Labor Day Weekend.

The second weekend of September, Gary had a Patriot Guard Board meeting in Billings. The meeting was supposed to start at noon, but didn't get started until 1:00 because two people were late. They just made it by having a quorum. I was able to attend because I am a member, but I don't have any say or input and I can't vote. We were hoping to get out in time to be able to see Tristan's ball game, but that didn't happen. Before the meeting, we stopped at the city golf course to look at the Healing Field. They put up 1,000 flags, it was very impressive. On Sunday we rode in the 9-11 Memorial Poker Run. This is sponsored by the B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S. We met in Laurel, then rode in parade format to the Billings Court House for a short ceremony. Then we rode to Bugz in the Heights, then our last stop was at Strokers in Huntley. At Strokers we had a lunch served then they raffled off some prizes, which we didn't win. There was also a silent auction, but we didn't bid on anything. We had met some of our Harley friends in Laurel. Had a good time.

The third weekend went to Tristan's ball game. He was glad that we were there but mad because his Dad wasn't. He plays better when his dad is there. At this point his team has not won a game. There is only one kid on the team that has experience the rest are all first timers and you can tell. They do have a coach that just yells at the boys when they don't do what they are supposed to do. The coach was called about his behavior and didn't like it one bit. I've seen the playbook that they want the kids to know. At this level it is very confusing and there are too many plays for them to remember.

Last weekend we went to Billings, dropped Gary off at Tristan's game. Jennifer and I went shopping in the mall. I missed one heck of a game. Tristan's team won their first game. Gary said you would have though they won the Super Bowl! Everyone was shocked and parents were commenting on where their children were. Gary said that the boys were a whole different team. Said Tristan played extremely well, his Dad was there. Tristan's Mom did say that he plays different when his dad is there. We are going to miss his game this weekend, but will be there on the 9th for his last game of the season.

Yesterday I had a dental appointment. Mom went with me. She called me up on Wednesday to let me know that she was in Hardin and did I want to go to lunch on Thursday. I said sure, then remembered that I had the dental appointment. Did she want to go? She said yes. She sat in the dental office waiting for me while I was getting my teeth cleaned, she is such a trooper. Then she went with me on my "therapy" session. We had a good time.

In between all of this, we have been busy teaching tae kwon do and getting our students ready for the tournament tomorrow and their belt promotion test on the 15th.