Monday, July 30, 2007

Getting Things Done

I am an organizational/time management obsessive compulsive enthusiast. Figure that one out and then remember that you do not want to be one. I love systems, processes, solutions, challenges, and procedures. I have spent a lot of time honing my personal organizational/reminder/time management system. I have always felt that it is unique to me as it has been developed over many years and as a result of my many idiosyncrasies. Recently I have found out that it is not so unique. I have been reading a book called "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. This is may be the best book I have ever read on personal organization, project management, and team leadership. The system he describes is a lot like the one that I have painstakingly developed over many years. It's a little frustrating to re-invent the wheel, but at the same time it is reaffirming. I suggest you check it out if you feel like you have more plates spinning than you can handle all the time. If you don't feel that way - get married, get a job, find your holy discontent, have kids, strive to be a learner, find someone to lead, find someone to follow that challenges you, live a healthy lifestyle, and try to rest in the middle of all that - then read the book.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cannonball Contest

Here lately, the boys and I have kind of made it a part of the regular routine to work in the yard a little on saturday evenings and then jump in the pool. We usually just hang out and spend some time beaning each other with splash balls. Tonight we decided to have a cannonball contest. Below are some pics from the contest. Sorry they are so dark.
Bailey's Jump
Nick's Jump
My Jump
As you can see it is quite obvious who the winner is. Below is the podium shot from the awards ceremony. Everybody was a winner in the end.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vacation Ends

Looks like another great vacation is coming to a close. We have had a fantastic time. Vegas has been great. There is way too much to see here, so we feel like we missed a lot, but we got to see some really cool stuff. Coolest of all was probably today when we visted the Stratosphere. I would not say that I am afraid of heights (I do not lock up in those situations) but it definitely makes me uneasy. We could see the whole town of Vegas. The kids rode a couple of rides on the top of the Stratosphere - one that shoots you straight up and one that hangs you out over the edge 866 feet in the air.
I used to like that kind of thing, but I think I am getting old. I did run into an old friend today - see pic below:

Vegas is a town that represent a lot of the things that are wrong with our world, but there are a lot of things that are good for families.

Tonight, I asked the kids what they liked the most and they said the trash chute. Everytime we need to throw out the trash, they run down to it because they can hear the trash falling 22 floors. Sometimes it is the simple things in life.

We have a long day of flying tomorrow (two 3 and one half hour flights) and then we will be home. It will be good to be back. Hopefully our bodies can adjust back to EST. Here is a cool pic of some of the hotels:

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Had to eat my own words

You might remember a few days ago I blogged about the inherent danger at the Grand Canyon and the fact that people seemed oblivious to it. I finally found a warning sign (above). Well, the next day while we were visiting the GC, Nick stepped in a crack and fell and cut open his elbow.
We had to take him to the GC Clinic for 5 stitches. Seeing him in that hospital bed brought back old memories and also reminded me that it can happen to anybody.

We did get to see some more of the GC including the sunset and then headed back to Flagstaff to prepare to leave for Vegas the next day. I share a few pics below:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Train Ride to the Grand Canyon/Fatalities

Yesterday, we surprised the kids with a train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway to the Grand Canyon, They knew we were going to the GC, just not how. They were so excited. The train ride was awesome, complete with entertainment and train robbers.
It was very scenic and allowed us about 4 hours in the park to check it out. Below are some pics from the park time. Today, we are going back a little later to finish seeing the sights and end the day with a sunset over the GC. One of the most interesting things I saw is that the rim trail runs right along the rim (hence the name) with NO GUARD RAILS. You can walk right out to the edge. In a society that is fixated on liability, this was very weird. I saw people who were not used to having this kind of freedom, making questionable decisions about how close to the rim to get. I can't imagine somebody lacking in their judgment to that level.
It seems that their tendency to rely on rules to keep you safe found them without judgment when rules were removed. As we were walking, I thought that it must not be much of an issue or they would put up rails. When we returned to the gift shop, Melissa found a book about fatal accidents at the canyon – that was about the size of a phone book. Maybe my original observations were right.
THis picture has an interesting significance. When I was 12 years old (26 years ago) my family took a similar picture in a tree at the Grand Canyon - the traditions continues.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Spontaneous Human Combustion

I am calling it right now. I am the only known survivor of Spontaneous Human Combustion. Today the Mashburns embarked on a journey to the Grand Canyon for our Summer Family Vacation. The day began at 3:20am (for me) and you can see what time this post is. We had heard news reports of the heat out west, but you always hear “There is no humidity, so you don’t feel hot”. NOT TRUE. When we got off the plane in Phoenix it was 106 degrees. And it felt like 106 degrees. After cramming all of Melissa’s luggage into our rental car, we set off for a short trek to Flagstaff where we are staying to explore the Grand Canyon and other things in the area. On the way, we drove through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, which leads me to my near demise. In Sedona, we stopped to see Montezuma’s castle – which sounds pretty cool and it was. The problem was the unbelievable heat. It was so hot, it was hard to breathe. Not long after I boasted “I could burst into flames any moment. Let’s get back in the car” Melissa and the boys saw smoke coming from the top of my head. Being the quick thinking wife that she is, they quickly doused me with water and, it would seem, averted what would have certainly been a catastrophe. The weird thing is that neither of them remembers the part after I said I might burst into flames. I think maybe the heat got to them. Besides the oppressive heat, it has been an amazing trip so far. I posted some pics below to share.

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