Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hello from Salt Lake City, UT

Hello from Salt Lake City, UT

Sunday afternoon  July 21, 2013   (second travelogue of this trip).

Well, as Paul Harvey would say:  “now for the rest of the story”. 

After teaching the class in Denver I was supposed to catch a 10:00 pm flight to Salt Lake to meet up with Pat at her convention. Well the plane was three hours late and I got to the room at 3:11 am  That is two weeks in a row.  As I mentioned in a previous post,  a bit over a week ago,  I was flying back from Seattle (taught a class at Boeing) and that plane was delayed 4 hours (got home just before 5:00 am). Did I mention that I hate flying? 

Friday was my birthday (71, but who is counting?).  I had hoped to at least be in the air to Salt Lake by the end of the day – didn't happen.  As you read the rest of this post, you will see that I had a great belated birthday.

Pat and I are staying at the Hilton Inn, City Center (map).  She would have preferred to stay at the Marriott, but they were booked up – even though she registered for the convention (and rooms) within minutes of the site going on line.  She said that there were 5800 Stampin' Up! demonstrators attending this year.  That is up from past years, but this was the 25th anniversary convention.

Pat and I got to have dinner last night with a great bus friend and his wife.  I always try to see Kent when I am in the area.  He has has been fighting cancer for several years and has managed to “beat the odds” through some experimental treatments.  You would not know about his journey, as he handles the situation much better than most folks would in the same situation.

We also got to attend a very special Mormon Tabernacle concert. The performance included both the choir and and orchestra as well as two extremely talented guest artists:  Nathan Pacheco and Lindsey Stirling.  The concert is free, but you need to order tickets early.  Words can't describe how amazing the concert was!!  Then to top it off when we came out, the full moon was right over the beautiful spires in Temple Square (see photo).

I am actually posting this from Salt Lake.  We are in the airport waiting for -are you ready?- a delayed flight!  Right now, the delay is only 40 minutes – yeah sure!

We had a very leisure morning today.  Pat was tired from her convention and I was tired from lack of sleep.  We arranged a late check out and that allowed us to have nice, albeit expensive, breakfast at the hotel.

That is all for this trip.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hello from Centennial Colorado

Hello from Centennial Colorado

Thursday evening July 18, 2013   (First travelogue of this trip).

Last week I was in Everett Washington teaching an NTT class and this week I am teaching a class at the NTT headquarters (map).  This is a four day class that is a combination of other classes.  It focuses on Bearings, Lubrication and Shaft Alignment.  Tomorrow will be the last day.  It has been a small group (five folks) but that sometimes works well.  The students have been great and that makes my job even better.

NTT is good about putting me up in a hotel so that I don't have to fight the traffic getting here.  I am staying at the Staybridge Suites (map)

I came down here on Monday to set up the classroom.  After class on Tuesday, I drove back to the house to pick up Pat, Madison and Molly.  We were taking care of the granddaughters while Damon and Kelly were out of town.  Kelly got back to town Tuesday night and picked up the girls about 10PM.  The next morning (at 4:00 AM) I took Pat to the airport so that she could fly to Salt Lake for her Stampin' Up! convention.  I made it back to the hotel to have breakfast and then go over to NTT for the class.  Kind of a crazy schedule.

There will be a second travelogue for this trip, but you will have to return to find out the details {grin}.

That is all for now.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hello from Everett, WA

Hello from Everett, WA

Saturday afternoon   July 13 2013   (First travelogue of this trip).

As I have mentioned before, I am a contract based instructor for NTT (link).  I was an instructor for them from 2000-2002.  I was recently retained to do some training.  It appeared that I might do a couple of classes a year.  That has changed, as I have joined a team of instructors who are teaching at various Boeing facilities.  This is a major contract that is reported to extend into 2014.

I enjoy teaching.  My main subject is what is called Mechanical Drives (bearings, belts, chain, gears, couplings, etc).  I have now expanded into other subjects as well.  This week I taught Mechanical Drives for the first three days and Shaft Alignment for the last two days.  The students are generally trades people – mostly mechanics. 

Mechanics and related trades are not fond of engineers.  We have a lot of fun with that.  I tell them that Pat does not think I am normal {big grin} and, for sure, I am not your “normal” engineer.  By the end of the class, we generally have a good relationship.  I try to make the class fun (hard to do with a boring subject), and I think that most of the students, do indeed, have fun (at least most tell me they do).

I am staying at the Holiday Inn Express (map).  I am training at a special Boeing training facility (map).

The training facility is a bit remote from the huge Boeing facility here in Everett.  This plant assembles/produces the 747, 777, and the new 787 planes.  I had really hoped to get a tour of some of the facilities.  Pat and I took a “tourist” tour here a number of years ago, but a “contractor” tour would be much better.  Maybe some time.

The only “negative” part of this teaching is that you have to fly to the location.  I hate to fly!  I hate the security lines, the “cattle drive” loading the planes, the very tight seating, etc..  However, I am not a white knuckles flyer.  I often tell the story about reading an NTSB investigation report on the 1982 plane crash at Reagan National Airport (details) as we were landing at the same airport.  The stewardess saw what I was reading and about flipped out.  She asked if the report made me nervous and I told her no.  These investigations and resulting corrective actions are what gives us so much better “odds”.

My flight home yesterday was a good example why I don't like to fly.  The plane was delayed over four hours (mechanical issues on the inbound flight and then the crew ran out of “hours”).  I ended up arriving at the gate in Denver at 2:50 this morning and into the driveway at 4:43!!!

As seems to be the case lately, I start the post in the place I have traveled to and then finish it somewhere else.  In this case, home in Evergreen.

That is all for this trip.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hello from Dillon, CO

Hello from Dillon, CO

Thursday evening July 11 2013   (First travelogue of this trip).

I have written some “convoluted” travelogues, but I think this one sets the record.  I started writing this one on Tuesday June 25 when we were in Dillon. 

This is a quick trip in our PT Cruiser.  Saturday (6/22) we drove to Dillon to spend a few days with daughter Kelly and her family at their townhouse.  We all love staying here.  It is so cozy and the granddaughters love to have us stay in their bedroom.  This will be the last time for quite a while, as they have leased it to a couple for two years.  When the bought the townhouse a few years ago it was their plan to rent/lease the unit as much as they could.  This two year lease is a great from the financial point of view, but is a bit sad that they can't enjoy it for a while.

Monday was Madison's 10th birthday and we had a great time celebrating.  We went to the marina, had frozen yogurt, and took in a movie (Monsters' University).  All in all, a very relaxing day.

Tuesday we spent half the day with Kelly and her family and then drove to Black Hawk.  Pat and I laugh that they offered me two free nights at the Ameristar.  When I have been there in the past, I spend maybe an hour at the machines and then go off and do something else.  Pat really enjoys the machines, but I can only handle it for a short period.  She hit a good jackpot fairly quickly.  Of course, that dwindled down at a pretty fast pace.  I think she came out even or a bit ahead – don't ask about me {grin}.  As we have written in the past, the Ameristar is a fantastic place and it would be hard not to enjoy being there. 

After Black Hawk, we returned home.  On Thursday or Friday, we got a call from Molly (Kelly's daughter) saying that they were going to rent a “speed boat” and wanted us to come up Saturday (6/29).  She was so cute about how she asked up (“won't cost you a cent”) that we just could not resist.  We spent a bit over half a day there.

To make things even more convoluted, I am posting this from Everett, WA.  More in the next travelogue.

That is all for this trip.