Friday, February 29, 2008

Goodbye, Dan

IMG_7754.JPGIt's a special day today: leap day, a day that comes only once every four years. It's also Dan Guthard's last day at Land and Sky. I don't often post articles about my day job very often, and I don't think any of my co-workers even knows this blog exists. I do spend a good portion of my time here at the office bonding with the people who work here. Dan was our production manager at Land and Sky, starting in Quality Assurance about eight years ago. He's been the backbone of our production facility, and it's going to be hard to see him go.

IMG_7789.JPGWe went out to Arnold's Tavern in Havelock on Thursday night to celebrate his years of service. It was a fairly decent place for a bar, though they didn't serve any food. A bunch of our regular crew showed up to say goodbye: Julie, Allison. and Vanchessa, the girls from customer service; sales reps Jeanie and Paul; Dan Miller the shipping manager; and a few others. I didn't spend a dime of my own money as folks around the table bought round after round for us all: strawberry daquiris, margaritas, British Bulldogs, Alabama Slammers, and a couple tequila roses. Paul even went out and bought us a couple pizzas from The Isles up the street. They had some great pizza there, the Paul said he could find in Lincoln.

It's always great to spend some time "off the clock" with the gang you hang around from eight to five every day. Someday I'm going to have to put together one long post about them all.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend in Lincoln (for a change)

I happened to spend most this weekend in Lincoln, which is a change of pace for me, considering how I usually spend all of my available free time hanging out in much cooler cities such as, say, Omaha. I did drop by the Eagle's Lodge to help set up for JNO on Friday Night. The Street Railway Band was playing, however, and since they were doing nothing but Charleston songs, we called it a night early.

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Saturday was a fun day. I took Nathan down to to Sarah's Bridal Shop in Lincoln to get fitted for our tuxedos at my wedding this July. It felt good to get that out of the way and eligible for the early bird discount rate. Naturally, I brought my camera along so I could ham it up while Nathan experimented with campy, Batman-style close-ups.

IMG_7655.JPGOn Saturday night, Vivian and I had a double date with Tamra and Andy, two of her co-workers from the Friendship Program. They all drove down to Lincoln and the four of us went to The Green Gateau on 10th street. It was one of the classier places to visit in Lincoln, serving up such things as bisque and brie that made for a romantic, candlelit evening. We got to joke around with each other for around three hours, and we took turns drawing on each other before we finally had to go home.

IMG_7682.JPGOn Sunday, I got to make Vivian bacon and eggs for breakfast, and then the two of us went to church together. The weather was absolutely gorgeous outside, with temperatures around 55 or so, too nice not to go out and enjoy before it either turns bitterly cold with freezing rain once again. We took a nice, long walk along a park path along I-180, taking turns riding down a twisting slide on the playground, much to the amusement of the little boy who was waiting his turn, and "being friendly" by pushing us down ahead of him.

It was one of those nice, long weekends that just sort of drifts by until it's done, and we didn't even spend all that much time discussing the you-know-what in July.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentine's Weekend

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It's been another busy week up in Omaha, with plenty of dancing and romantic antics to go around. Thursday was Valentine's Day, and I called several nice restaurants a couple days in advance hoping to make reservations. They were all booked, so I had to brainstorm for a Plan B. I wound with a much better plan: getting a room at the Clarion Hotel so Vivian and I could make use of their jacuzzi. With temperatures around four degrees, it was the perfect night to sit in a bubbling hot tub, and we had the pool room all to ourselves for the rest of the evening. There was an Austin's Steakhouse next door, so we got some take-out steak dinners that we enjoyed with some sweet wine I had been saving from James Arthur Vineyards. It was very romantic all around, and it all came together nearly by accident!

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I spent Friday doing stuff in Omaha, having a sushi lunch with Vivian and then hitting a local thrift store to get some new clothes for the Pink Party at Jitterbugs that night. I was able to find a groovy pink tie-dye t-shirt and a pink ball cap with a peace sign in rhinestones printed on the front. The girls all seemed to love it, even though I thought outfit made me look quite gay, even when I wasn't dancing with Dean.

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More dancing ensued on Saturday night as a bunch of the Omaha Jitterbugs made their way down to Lincoln. USA Dance was having their monthly ballroom dance in Antelope Park, so the lot of us got to learn how to Tango that evening and try out a number of other ballroom dances throughout the night. Keeping with tradition, we crashed at a Village Inn afterwards, getting some slices of pie for donating just $1 to Jerry's Kids. It was quite a nice way to wrap up a romantic weekend. All I needed was a rose to put between my teeth as I tangoed back to the car.

Sunday was also Vivian's parents' 30th Anniversary, so give a big "congratulations" to them. They were kind enough to take Vivian and me out ot Vincenzo's to have some Italian food and reminisce about the last year.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Church shopping

IMG_7491.JPGIt felt great to go back to Jitterbigs Night Out again on Friday this week. I missed last week's dance because I was stuck in Las Vegas wrapping up a trade show (literally). The week before that, I only came and danced for about an hour, so I was quite ready for a nice, long night of dancing. Viv and I came early to help set up before the lesson, and then I rushed off across the river to grab some dinner, some gas, and a car wash before coming back to dance the night away. It was a great evening, and Vivian and I got to have a special "engagement jam" right after the announcements.

080210_114051.jpgI took Saturday off so I could catch up on a couple things that have been neglected since my proposal and trip to Las Vegas, such as laundry and other such mundane things. I returned to Omaha on Sunday so I could go to church with Vivian down at the Twin Valley Church in Bellevue. Vivian and her mom had found this place while hunting for churches for our wedding. We came on Sunday mostly to case the joint, but it turned out to be quite a friendly place, and we both really liked the pastor. We're hoping to have my esteemed Uncle Ben Geho perform the ceremony for the two of us, once the big day rolls around.

And just so you all know, it's going to be July 19, 2008. Mark your calendars!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Football and Fat Tuesday

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I flew into Omaha from Las Vegas late Saturday night and headed straight on down to Lincoln with Vivian to have an after-midnight Mardi Gras party with Becky Moore and friends from the Jitterbugs. They had already found two out of the three “babies in the cake” that evening (both going to Ben), but I managed to find the third one. We were all just a bit sleepy-eyed and playing pranks on one another. Well, mostly Ben dripping water on Eric. I was going to try the bucket of warm water gag, myself. Good times.

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The next day was the Superbowl, so after going to church and out to lunch with friends in Lincoln, Vivian and I headed on up to have some more fun with our friends from GAMe. There was plenty of junk food to enjoy, a couple games of Volleyball and Basketball going on, and we also got to play my all-time favorite sport: dodgeball. I wasn’t very good—a big lumbering target running out in front of everybody is pretty hard to miss—but I did manage to catch a couple balls and get some of our captured teammates free. We had so much fun, that I almost forgot there was an actual football game going on upstairs.

Sadly enough, Vivian came down with a pretty back stomach flu that night and is still suffering from it today, so everybody keep her in your prayers and go give her a nice loving poke on Facebook for her to get well soon!

*throws a get-well sheep at Viv*

Friday, February 1, 2008

The last trip to Las Vegas

IMG_7185.JPGThis weekend, I took another trip down to Las Vegas to help out with our booth at the semi-annual Las Vegas Market furniture show. Part of job this time around was to check out our permanent space over in the almost-constructed Building C at the World Market Center. I had to don a hard hat and eye protection to go check it out with a couple guys interested in sharing the space with us.

IMG_7252.JPGI was also responsible for tearing down the booth and getting it all packed up to send back to Nebraska. It's always a bit of chore to shove half a dozen 300 pound latex beds into plastic bags and box them up, but being able to spend a weekend in Vegas on the company's dollar makes it all worthwhile.

I stayed downtown again, enjoying the Fremont Street experience and fairly decent walking weather. The last time I was here, I stayed at the Monte Carlo, which is a fairly nice place when it isn't on fire. The city was fairly busy with the usual amount of drinking and rampant pornography, though there were a couple good shows available. Jerry Seinfeld was making an appearance at Caesar's Palace, while Drew Carey and the cast of Whose Line were performing at the MGM Grand again. I saw them last year, and they were excellent. The "must see" show, however, would have to be Terry Fator, the puppet guy from America's Got Talent. He's going to be at the Hilton later in February, and if he were town when I was, I would have to go check him out. Vivian's raved so much about him, I'm sure it would be worth it.

IMG_7384.JPGIt was a fairly short weekend in Vegas, and I didn't get much time for extra sight-seeing other than my usual walk up and down the strip, camera in hand, snapping pictures of everything in sight with every other tourist from around the world. I did stop by the M&M's World for a cute 3-D movie, "I lost my M in Las Vegas." It had to be the only family-friendly show in all of Sin City. Of course, I also had to make a stop at Inn-n-Out Burger to scarf down a couple double-doubles before the trip back home. I did so much walking around town, I figured I deserved it.

IMG_7108.JPGAll in all, it was another productive weekend in Las Vegas. This has become a regular thing for now, and it seems like I'm finally getting the hang of it. Here's a final tip for all your travels planning to visit the city of neon lights: sit on the right side of the plane, and you'll have a great view of the strip during takeoff and landing.

See all my pictures from Las Vegas this year.