Last Few Days + Stuff From The Office

My blogging has fallen off a bit over the past few days, but there hasn’t been too much excitement to speak of. I’ve been given a new Microboards project for the first time in 2014 and I’ve been given a new side project by AchieveCard. We’ve had an exciting week at the office, after an internet outage today forced us to work from various coffee shops. And my latest softball league begins tonight. All is well with Lauren as she enters her ninth month of pregnancy. We’ve pretty much got the house prepared, we have a plan for Baxter whenever we have to go to the hospital, and now we’re just waiting it out.

Here are a few photos recapping my week.

The Megos had us over for dinner on Sunday night. Here's our fairy-goddaughter Lexi enjoying her dinner.

The Megos had us over for dinner on Sunday night. Here’s our fairy-goddaughter Lexi enjoying her dinner.

Baxter was back at daycare for the first time in a couple weeks, and was dead tired after running around for 10 hours in 100-degree heat.

Baxter was back at daycare for the first time in a couple weeks, and was dead tired after running around for 10 hours in 100-degree heat.

My co-workers had a heated debate as to how many TGIFriday's unlimited appetizers they could eat. Everyone gathered around Brian's computer for nutritional info.

My co-workers and I had a heated debate as to how many TGIFriday’s unlimited appetizers everyone could eat. Everyone gathered around Brian’s computer for nutritional info.

My Callaway co-workers pooled money together and bought us some baby gifts! We now have a high chair, a second car-seat base, and a car window shade. Nice gesture by the CGI team!

My Callaway co-workers pooled money together and bought us some baby gifts! We now have a high chair, a second car-seat base, and a car window shade. Nice gesture by the CGI team!

San Francisco Recap + Photos

The past three days have been spent on the road for work, as Shenea and I took in an Oracle conference in San Francisco. We flew out Wednesday morning, and after cabbing it to the hotel, never went farther than a 1-block radius. We were back and forth between the Moscone Convention Center and our hotel and a few restaurants in the immediate area over the three days. The conference largely focused on using the Oracle Marketing Cloud, but there were a few inspirational speakers and musical acts including John Legend and the B-52s. We were also treated to several fun dinners and plenty of drinks. All in all, a fun trip! Got to meet a lot of interesting people doing similar jobs with lots of well-known companies. And yes, Lauren fended for herself and the baby did not arrive a whole month early, putting my worries to rest.

We flew Virgin America for the first time and it was super cool! I had free access to on-demand movies and TV shows (actual good ones) and could order food and drink at the touch of the screen. Plus the purplish tint was cool.

We flew Virgin America for the first time and it was super cool! I had free access to on-demand movies and TV shows (actual good ones) and could order food and drink at the touch of the screen. Plus the purplish tint was cool and every seat has real outlets for charging stuff.

Shenea was asked to do a big interview about Callaway Golf. I was asked also but told them I had nothing to contribute that Shenea didn't already say.

Shenea was asked to do a big interview about Callaway Golf. I was asked also but told them I had nothing to contribute that Shenea didn’t already say. Plus it was getting late and we needed to get back to the airport and I was FREAKING OUT.

Shenea presents to a small group on our Callaway replenishment e-mail program which I designed and implemented.

Shenea presents to a small group on our Callaway replenishment e-mail program which I designed and implemented.

The after party at the Marquis Marriott 39th Floor got pretty crazy! This dude was crowd surfing.

The after party at the Marquis Marriott 39th Floor got pretty crazy! This dude was crowd surfing.

On the left is our account rep Steven with a few other customers at the concert.

On the left is our account rep Steven with a few other customers at the concert.

The lead singer of the B-52s... I stood front and center for a couple songs.

The lead singer of the B-52s… I stood front and center for a couple songs but you know everyone is pissed at me for being 6’6″ and standing in the very front.

This stock image was projected on the screen at a keynote and I about lost control I was laughing so hard at the demonic looking man on the left.

This stock image was projected on the screen at a keynote and I about lost control I was laughing so hard at the demonic looking man on the left. Hard to tell here but his eyes were hilarious. It was a Marcie Glanzer type moment where I almost had to run out of the room.

There was a private reception for select customers at a rooftop bar. I accidentally arrived an hour early but the bar was open so I just got a head start on everyone.

There was a private reception for select customers at a rooftop bar. I accidentally arrived an hour early but the bar was open so I just got a head start on everyone.

Recording artist John Legend spoke and played a few tunes.

Recording artist John Legend spoke and played a few tunes.

This Twitter hashtag board was featuring select Tweets the entire time, so I sent in a picture of Baxter which got a couple chuckles from the crowd.

This Twitter hashtag board was featuring select Tweets the entire time, so I sent in a picture of Baxter which got a couple chuckles from the crowd.

San Francisco

For the sixth time, I am off to San Francisco tomorrow! Every time I’ve traveled to California, it has been to San Francisco, with the exception of 2003 when Brandon Hanson and I intentionally drove a few miles into far eastern California just to check off another state on our big road trip. I’ll be there for just over two days, taking in the Responsys Interact 2014 e-mail conference. My manager Shenea is also going and is a featured speaker at one session. We’ll be learning much about e-mail, but there will be entertainment as well with a private concert from the B-52′s, and a special appearance by recording artist John Legend.

It makes me a bit nervous to leave home for a couple nights with Lauren 8 months pregnant. As I’ve said, if this had been next week–no way I’d go. And if the worst does happen, I guess I’ll just calmly drop everything and go to the airport and find the first flight back to Austin. But here’s hoping baby holds out until the actual due date so I can be there for the whole thing!

Austin Shower + Baby Pool

Updated baby pool with outside guesses…

Our closest Austin-area friends came together to throw us a couples’ baby shower on Sunday, hosted by the Megos with the assistance of the Viviritos! 20 or so people were in attendance, and we were thoroughly showered with teeny sized baby gifts while eating delicious food. After things calmed down a bit, a few of us braved the 100-degree heat to play some yard games, which resulted in me soaked head to toe. All in all, an excellent day with our closest friends from Texas!

Sadly, we forgot to capture any photos. But guests filled out this calendar with their predictions for gender and birth date, which was framed and given to us as a memento!

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For those who can’t make out the guesses, green = girl and orange = boy, so as not to run into the gender stereotypical pink and blue. And here are the official guesses:

July 30 / Girl – Rob Vivirito
July 31 / Boy – Baxter
August 11 / Boy – Stacey Aikman
August 14 / Boy – Heather Bartholic
August 15 / Boy – Kristin Mego
August 16 / Girl – Emily Anderson
August 17 / Girl – Mike Franklin
August 18 / Girl – Taren Jay
August 19 / Boy – Heather Varela
August 19 / Girl – Ari Kalish
August 20 / Girl – Elizabeth Vivirito
August 21 / Boy – Duane Anderson
August 22 / Girl – Allison Thompson
August 23 / Boy – Brian Mego
August 24 / Girl – Shayna Zelko
August 24 / Girl – Elizabeth Burke
August 25 / Boy – Kristin Ballard & Eddie Guerra
August 26 / Boy – Bobbi Jo Chapman

That is 9-8 in favor of boy, with a median date of August 19.

If I were to add my own guess to the mix, I’d say August 21 and girl.

What is your guess?  Comment on this post to be added to the unofficial pool!

Car Day

Saturday morning, the transaction for the pickup was completed. A nice gentleman paid me my revised asking price for the Silverado. He was even nice enough to bring back the garage door opener I forgot on the visor. I immediately took the cash to the bank, rounded up Lauren, and headed on over to First Texas Honda where we were pretty much the easiest sale they’d ever seen. Lauren had long ago made up her mind that the Honda CR-V was the car for her, thanks to strong recommendations from people such as Anne Poulter, so we basically walked in and told the salesman what we wanted to buy. I’ve never owned a foreign-made car, but virtually every smaller SUV rating on the market said the CR-V was the best for safety, fuel economy, price, etc.

We balked at the service contract, which didn’t set well with the Honda folks. We were pretty much told we were insane for passing on the service packages because of the computerized components’ propensity for breaking down under the hot Texas sun, which very well may be true. But adding in the Gold package bumped up our monthly payment an extra $50, meaning an extra $600 per year, or $3000 over the financing period. They said an average computer-related repair would cost us $940. So the car would need to have 3.2 such break-downs in the next five years for us to so much as break even. With virtually every penny we will earn going towards a big monthly car payment plus mortgage payments plus daycare payments, I would rather risk it than give them the money up-front for repairs we may never need.

Nevertheless, it was a very smooth transaction. We were in and out and had our new CR-V within three hours. I would highly recommend doing business with First Texas Honda and our salesman Brandon Nava. It is haggle-free pricing so we didn’t have to worry about trying to negotiate a better price, which was a relief for me. And we got a 0.9% financing rate, which was better than the 2.3% rate for the credit union loan we were pre-approved for.

I’ll be driving the Impala now, and maybe I’ll take the CR-V in to work a few times when Lauren is on maternity leave. The CR-V has some cargo space, but if I need to do any more hauling of things like lumber I guess I’ll have to rent a truck by the hour.

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Pickup Tribute Video

A nice gentleman was over tonight to check out my 1994 Chevrolet Silverado for sale, and he agreed in principle to purchase the pickup in the morning when the bank was open. I’ve been actively trying to sell it for about 3-4 weeks now, as we are looking to purchase a new vehicle for safer, more reliable, more economical transportation of the baby. It was actually a pretty good pickup, all said. It really only had one problem ever and that was the ongoing battery cable issue. Sure, I put a lot of money into it to keep it up to Texas code, but in the end I’d say we got our money’s worth.

Oh, and I made this humorous video highlighting all our fondest memories together.