July was also very busy.
The kids were enrolled in both swimming and lessons and piano. At the time of this writing, the piano lessons are still going on, but the swimming lessons are long gone. Both the kids’ swimming lessons are sans parents at this point, which is good — and they seem to actually be making some progress in terms of being comfortable getting their faces wet. Piano is going fine as well (except the kids won’t practice).
Mom finally finished all of the bureaucratic nonsense necessary to allow a gas oven to be installed in place of her electric oven (and got a 120 outlet installed in the necessary location). That means that my brothers and I could buy her a new oven and install it. Northwood (and his wife) came up to help. KrisDi and I dragged Mom (and the kids) down to the Sears outlet and dealt with the world’s least helpful and/or enthusiastic sales rep to find the open box oven we wanted and load it into Paco, where it spent the night in my driveway before heading up to Bellingham for installation. Northwood cleverly disposed of the old one by wheeling it down to the major street and putting up a Craigslist ad for a free oven. Then we proceeded to perform a large variety of other chores and drink a bunch of beer.
Northwood stayed with Mom that night, and then stopped to hike on the way down to our place the next day. It was really nice to see them, but it was a super short visit — they came in on a Saturday and left on Monday.
We got a new camera — another Canon DSLR, this one the 6D. We bought it refurbished directly from Canon. This is our first full-frame camera, but our third DSLR. Our old good camera, the 50D, was a good mid-range camera like 8 years ago — the 6D is a good upper-mid-range camera from last year or so. I expected improved low light performance, and I got it. I really, really like this camera. It’s not as big of an improvement as going from a pocket camera to a DSLR, but it’s a very significant improvement.
The Popes bought a new house. They invited us over for dinner one night. It’s nice — a little bigger than their old one, a bigger yard and nicer surroundings, and closer to us. But, they’re still going to pour a bunch of money into it. It’ll be very nice when they’re done.
Speaking of money, we also a dumped a bunch of money into tires — a new set (and an alignment) for Paco, and a new set for my Car, both of which were direly needed. KrisDi’s car will be coming up in the near future, too.
I had my yearly trip to Phoenix, the 8th circle of Hell, to visit one of our major customers to talk about measurement problems and solutions. This was a different experience than usual — our former Chairman retired, leaving a gaping responsibility hole, which for some reason I needed to fill. I spent the better part of a month working 3ish hours from home each work night in preparations. The meeting went fine, but I’m tired.
Les came down to help with the kids while I was out of town, initiating the Neverending String of House Guests. Not that he was intrusive or problematic in any way (he was extremely helpful), but I think it marked the start of three almost uninterrupted weeks of having other people stay in our house.