We Have a HOUSE!

So we are really, really bad about updating. The last house we talked about putting an offer on we did not get. Rich went and looked at a house the afternoon John was born and came back and showed me digital video on laptop in hospital room. We put an offer on it that afternoon and then waited to hear from the bank as it was a short sale. In May they finally gave us an answer and we closed mid- June. A really long process but we are so excited to finally own our own home.

So it is a 2 bedroom/2 bath with a study, & laundry room on one acre. So plenty of room for the boys to roam. There is room for animals, garden and Rich’s radio tower. Lots of oaks to keep us cool in this hot climate- but horrible for solar as I was told this week.

So we are finally getting a chance to breathe and it now feels like our place. John is walking and Richard is talking and we are staying busy- but if you are in the area swing by and say hi.

Here We Go Again!


John Walter Greenwood was born March 18, 2010 at 08:05. He weighed 11 pounds 2 ounces and was 21.5 inches long at birth. You can see the birth announcement on the “Mercy Online Nursery”:http://redding.mercy.org/Patients_And_Visitors/Online_Nursery/index.htm?&vnMode=details&bId=17347

Family and friends can see more pictures on Flickr here, but you’ll have to log in to see them all: “http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcgreenw/tags/johnwaltergreenwood/”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcgreenw/tags/johnwaltergreenwood/

We are not really registered anywhere, since we have so much stuff from Richard. If you really want to get us something, wait until we get a house, then you can get something for the kids room.

House Hunting

We have been looking to buy a house for many months now. The place we currently live is: 1. Too small, 2. A rental, 3. On a steep hill. We’ve wanted to buy a house for some time, but it hasn’t been the right time, until now. With the money we’ve saved up, the depressed housing market, and the second kid on the way, we decided now is the time. After six months of looking, and figuring out exactly what we wanted and could afford (and which of the things we want we could live without), we’ve finally started finding houses we want to buy. Unfortunately so far, so have other people. People with more money…and better timing. Each property we’ve liked that has been in our price range has had an offer accepted on it before we could make one. The first house we actually submitted an offer for had been on the market for two months, but someone else submitted an offer on the the same day we did, and for more money. We just submitted an offer on another property, and are waiting to hear back. It was put on the market Friday afternoon and it already had an offer on it Friday night. We saw it on Saturday, and immediately submitted an offer. They will probably accept offers through the end of today (Monday) and make a decision in the next couple of days, so now we wait.

New CMS on ae6ps.org

One of my many excuses for not updated this site often is I have too many sites to update. It’s not that I spend all my time updating the other sites (I don’t), it’s just that when I want to put something on one of my sites, it usually leads to entire days being used up messing around with that site. This is the case with “ae6ps.org”:http://www.ae6ps.org/ , which is the site for my Amateur Radio related postings. I decided to post some information about some scripts I’ve recently written for APRS, and I ended up setting up an entirely new CMS (Content Management System) for the site, which had none previously. I like to experiment with different ways of maintaining a web site, rather than just editing the web pages. It gives me a chance to play with some of the technology out there and helps me provide more useful input when someone asks which one I recommend.
This time around, I decided to try out Joomla:http://www.joomla.org/ , and so far, I like it. I may post more opinions of it on “ae6ps.org”:http://www.ae6ps.org/ as time goes on. If you’re interested in Amateur Radio, especially APRS, (or you don’t know what any of these things mean) be sure to check out the site.

Pleasantly Surprised

I’ve been putting off getting the hard wire cable for my GPS for a while. I have a Garmin StreetPilot 2650, which is the last GPS to have both voice navigation and an NMEA data interface. The former is a necessity when driving in unfamiliar places, the later lets me interface it with other equipment, like an APRS tracker. Newer units have one or the other, depending on whether they are marine or automotive units. The only way to get at the NMEA interface is with the hard wire cable, which has the added benefit of not taking up a cigarette lighter socket, and can be connected to a switched circuit so it turns on and off with the truck.
!http://www.mollyandrich.com/images/11.jpg (Garmin 2650 Cable)!
The reason I put it off for so long is the description on Garmin’s site (and all of the reseller web sites) didn’t say which wires were what, or even what wires were available, and the image on Garmin’s site (and all of the reseller web sites) only showed four wires in addition to the serial cable connector. The reason this concerned me is I was afraid that the four wires were power, ground, speedometer, and backup lights (for dead reckoning). This doesn’t leave any wires for a speaker, which is part of the original cigarette lighter cable. I didn’t really want to lose voice navigation capabilities to get NMEA capabilities.

I finally ordered it, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover six wires, not four, meaning all of the functions are available (though one of the colors was different from the label). I did a quick and dirty job of running it to use at Wildflower, and I still haven’t actually connected a speaker to get back voice navigation, and my APRS tracker still doesn’t work, but it’s progress.

Garmin Nuvi 260

I’ve gone through several Garmin GPS receivers over the years. Always old models, usually discontinued, and each one has been better than the previous. I currently use a “StreetPilot® 2650”:https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=164&pID=185 in the truck, and we have been switching it back and forth into the Subaru when we drive it. I like it a lot, the voice navigation is key and it has all the features I need, but the maps are a little out of date and it is large compared to newer units. The size isn’t much of an issue in the truck, but the Subaru doesn’t have much in the way of extra space. I’ve been thinking of getting something a little smaller for the Subaru, and when Circuit City decided to give up, I figured now was my chance.
Since we live in the boonies, I can’t exactly pop around the corner and look, but there is (was) one in Redding, so we stopped on the way to wherever we were going. The first time I went in, there was a folding table completely full of nuvi 260 and nuvi 255W receivers, but the prices hadn’t really dropped yet. I did a little research, and decided that either of these would work great, and I got some ideas of the pricing at “GPS City”:www.gpscity.com so I would know what to expect. The next time I went in, they had discounted prices again, and still had the table full, but the prices were still about what I would pay from GPS City, and they would still be in business later (no wonder Circuit City is gone), so I waited. When went in the next time, it was probably a month later and they had finally dropped their prices low enough for people to buy things. Of course, all the people that live in Redding got there first, so there wasn’t much left. The entire table was gone (probably the table itself, too), and they only had a few display models left. Of the display models, there was one “nüvi® 260”:https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=164&pID=37417 and I was able to power it up and make sure it worked, so I bought it. It is the best GPS ever. (Of course, it is also now discontinued, so I’m sure there are better ones out there.)
We used it on our trip to my parent’s house in February, and it worked great. It didn’t tell us we were off route when we were on the new sections of the highway and it new where just about everything was, but the absolute best thing about it is the spoken street names. No longer is it just “turn right in 500 feet.” It’s now “turn right in 500 feet on Main street.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed a turn because there were two streets close together and I didn’t know which one it wanted me to turn on. It’s also much smaller, though the display is about the same size, it’s only about .8″ deep, and it weighs almost nothing. It includes a rechargeable battery that lasts for several hours so it doesn’t have to be plugged in all the time if you’re short on lighter sockets, and charges via a standard USB connection, so it can share chargers with some other devices. If the cord is plugged into a lighter socket that switches with the ignition, it powers down 30 seconds after it looses power, unless you tell it otherwise, then powers on when the key is turned back on.
Overall, it’s great, and highly recommended. I’m even tempted to get another one for the truck (but I won’t yet because it lacks some of the advanced technical features that I like to play with.)

A Year on Hiatus

OK, so it’s been a while since I posted anything. There are many reasons (or excuses) for this, but none of them are very good. Mostly, I’ve just been lazy. What follows is a quick overview of the last year, which included more weekends away from home than at home. I may expand on some of these things in future posts, and I will hopefully post more in the future.

My last post heralded the arrival of my son, Richard Michael. Two weeks after that, I took part in the first of five, wait, make that six weddings, plus several associated events. For some reason, all of my friends decided they had to get married last year. Fortunately, many of them got married to each other, so the number of weddings wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We went to weddings in San Francisco, Hayfork, Lake Tahoe, Sausalito, Folsom, then Weaverville. The last one wasn’t announced until after the rest were over, so we were only planning on five, but ended up going to six, though the sixth was close enough to home that we could sleep in our own bed. Most of the weddings we just had to show up to, but I was a groomsman in my brother’s and best man in Rob’s. It could have been worse though, one of the couples went to seven weddings, one of which was their own, and two of which were during their honeymoon.

Most years, I end up spending several weekends at various triathlons (and one marathon) throughout the state. Not competing, mind you, but working in various support roles. I missed Wildflower because of my brother’s wedding, but I made it to See Jane Run in Oakland, the Escape from Alcatraz Traithlon (San Francisco), the San Luis Obispo Triathlon, the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, and the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. See Jane Run was a new event for me this year, but my role was mostly limited to driving a truck around while people loaded or unloaded stuff. Normally, Molly stays home for these events, but since she was out on maternity leave, she came with me to this one and we got to see some family and friends while we were there. The San Luis Obispo Triathlon is always fun, since a bunch of us who normally have lots of responsibility at triathlons go to just hand out water at an aid stations. Our goal is to show people how an aid station should be run, including a theme, lots of shade, hot meals for breakfast and lunch, and this year, I even brought my RV. I didn’t get much rest the night before, though, since I spend most of the night before cleaning up after and trapping the family of mice that had taken up residence while it was in storage.

Our travel wasn’t all work and weddings, we took a couple of mini vacations too. In May, we went to the “West Coast Brew Fest”:http://www.matsonian.com/wcbf/home.html with several friends that live in the Sacramento area, and one that flew in from southern California.. It was a lot of fun, the price of admission includes unlimited beer tasting. Well, sort of unlimited, since all of the good booths had lines that were longer than it took to finish the little cup they served in. It was still lots of fun, and we drank lots of beer, a little “cider”:http://www.woodchuck.com/ , and not enough water.

We spend labor day weekend on the northern California coast. One of the things I like most about owning an RV is we can just hook up and go without much planning (assuming we don’t have to first evict any rodents). We didn’t call ahead and make any reservations, we didn’t even know where we wanted to stay. I just printed out a bunch of search results for RV parks between Eureka and the Oregon border and we drove over to Eureka. After hanging around Eureka and having dinner at a great little sushi place called “Samurai”:http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&view=map&q=samurai,+eureka,+ca&sll=40.802164,-124.16467&sspn=0.010168,0.022745&gl=us&ie=UTF8&ll=40.802375,-124.164648&spn=0.040672,0.090981&t=h&z=14&iwloc=A we called down the list until we found a place to stay. It only took two tries, and the first number had been disconnected. We ended up at the “Mystic Forest RV Park”:http://mysticforestrv.com/ in Klamath. It was a great location, and we took day trips from there to Crescent City and other surrounding areas. The RV park office gave us a great, hand-drawn map of local places to see, including a scenic drive through the redwoods that was mostly unpaved and a lot of fun.

Those weekends we were at home during the summer, we mostly stayed inside, since the whole area was surrounded by wildfires. The smoke was so thick in the valley we live in that we couldn’t even see across the street clearly. We couldn’t go hiking, or even do yard work. They even canceled our county fair because of the fires, not because of the smoke or any danger, but because the fairgrounds made more money housing the fire crews than from the fair. It’s a shame, too, because they finally added a Beer category and I was going to enter.

This time around, we spent Thanksgiving with my family in southern California, where Richard Michael got to spend some quality time with his great grandmother, though I doubt he’ll remember. While we were there, we had dinner with some of my friends from high school. Since everyone there had young kids, we spend most of the time in their playroom, watching the kids. It was a great opportunity to share tips and see what toys were being actually used. Other than that, we spent most of the time hanging out at my parents house or my grandma’s house enjoying the air conditioning and the company.

Christmas brought some sad news. Just a few days before Christmas, my dad called to tell me that my grandma had passed away. It was unexpected, but not surprising. Her health had been failing for many years, but when we saw her at Thanksgiving, she was doing better than usual. I think having all the family home helped raise her spirits more than anything, and I’m glad we got to spend as much time as we did with her. As a family, we decided to postpone the memorial service until all the holiday madness was over, and things calmed down a bit. We ended up having the services in February. The memorial was great, there were people we hadn’t seen in years and stories we hadn’t heard in years, if ever. The day after, we drove down to San Diego for the interment at the Rosecrans National Cemetery, where my grandpa is also buried. There was a nice short ceremony, then we went to visit the grave site and say our goodbyes. We spent the rest of the day driving around San Diego, visiting places we used to know when my grandparents lived there. We ended up stayed with my parents for the whole week afterward to help go through her house and pack some things away.

He’s Here!


Richard Michael Greenwood was born April 15, 2008 at 08:58. He weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. You can see the birth announcement on the “Mercy Online Nursery”:http://redding.mercy.org/About_Us/Patient_And_Visitors/Online_Nursery/index.htm?vnMode=details&bId=13752

Family and friends can see more pictures on Flickr here, but you’ll have to log in to see them all: “http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcgreenw/tags/richardmichaelgreenwood/”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcgreenw/tags/richardmichaelgreenwood/

We are registered at “Babies’R’Us”:http://www.toysrus.com/ControllerServlet?target=viewDetails&registryNumber=75949233
Many of the things we’re registered for are also available at Target if there isn’t a Babies’R’Us near you. (There isn’t one near us either.)

Baby on the way

Well only a month to go, and then we will have some pictures of our little one. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you on the 29th of March for the Baby Shower. If you have some pictures of me with the baby in the oven that you think I should post please e-mail them to me, I seem to not have any myself.

Yep, we are still waiting to find out if it is a girl or boy, though I’m thinking of starting a pool as so many people are sure they know what we’re having.