Friday, February 24, 2006

Going Home to Sunny California

So I decided to check the weather in Paso for next few weeks, and it looks like I will be bringing a little bit of Scotland home with me. I will be flying in on Saturday the 25th, and it looks like the next two weeks will be about the same as the last two have been over here....Cloudy and rainy! Might even be as cold as Scotland -- snow in Paso Robles?! At least there won't be any cold, biting wind (I hope). I guess 'ol Punxsutawney Phil was right...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Her Royal Highness, Princess

While catching up on my Hollyoaks last night, I saw a commercial for Whiskas Cat Food. I couldn't help but think of our Princess White Kitty. In the spirit of the advert, I have written a poem for princess...

Princess thinks she rules the house,
Wouldn't bother to catch a mouse!
Lays all day down by the heater,
Waiting for Andrea, by the door to meet her!
She loves to eat her kitty treats,
And sleeps and sleeps and sleeps and sleeps!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

This Isn't the Zippy Car You're Looking For...

When I made my car reservations to come over here to Scotland, I requested an Audi A3 (which although it is a PT-Crusier-esque vehicle, at least it is a somewhat good looking one). Unfortunately, when I arrived at the airport in Aberdeen, the kind lady at the counter informed me that they did not, in fact, have the Audi available. Instead she set me up with a bright red Renault Scénic. Of course, every one here in the office now laughs at me for driving a Renault, but I dont think it's that bad.....
  • Key System: The key is not really a key, but rather an card thing. The car has a START button! (Which is handy for me when I stall the manual transmission in the middle of a roundabout.)
  • Dash Board: There are no normal guages on the dash, rather everything is digital. This includes the speed and tach. Overall, I think this whole thing is kinda hard to see.
  • Steering Wheel Audio Controls: I like the paddle-type volume and mute controls on the steering column, but right beneath them, there is an extremely sensitive wheel that selects radio stations and cd tracks. Every time I try to adjust the volume (or turn on the windshield wipers), I bump the wheel and lose my radio station.
Oh, and one more thing, the steering wheel is on the wrong side!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gyro School Classroom

I have finished the first full day of gyro training here in Aberdeen. Looks like we will be having only classroom training for the first three days, which is a little different than the training we normally hold. Usually we spend the first half of the first day discussing theory, and then the students go on a tour of ATA and the clean room . . . After that, I usually try to mix theory (classroom boring stuff) and operations (fun in-a-real-well stuff) throughout the remaining days.
Unfortunately, since the test well here costs nearly £1200 per day, we cannot be out there for very long, and all the rest of the training must be in the shop and in the lab. Normally, I guess this would have been OK - we could do a good deal of training from our office here, but theNorwegianss are over for a safety audit (I think they spend more money on safety than drilling over there) so we couldn't use the conference room at the SDC office.
Anyway, above is a picture of the training facility we are been at, which honestly is the nicest classroom I've ever taught a gyro class in (except that there is not a well drilled in the middle of it!!). Only complaint: Sparkling water!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Lovey Day

Well, sadly, I have to spend Valentine's Day away from my Sweetie, but before I left overseas, she snuck a wonderful surprise into my suitcase: two great cards (which put a huge smile on my face). I found the first card the first day I was here, but didn't come across the second until later, it was so well hidden! Plus, I got some stylish new heart boxers and the Back to the Future trilogy on DVD! What great gifts - I can't wait to hang out in the hotel and watch Doc Brown this weekend (while wearing my new boxers!!!).

Go Hammers!

Monday night I went over to Bob Godboldt's house for a little Monday Night Football, European style. We watched West Ham United pummel the Birmingham Blues in a 3-0 shutout. It wasn't really much different than Monday Night Football in the US, but no John Madden. We had pizza from Wal-Mart, Corona, and Diet Coke! I have, of course, invited Bob to come over and watch a little Monday Night Football, American style, next time he is in California. Maybe we can have pizza, Corona and Diet Coke.....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Rainy Day

Well after a slight delay in SLO, I have made it to London without event. Did I mention how much I like California!? When I took off this morning it was almost 80° and there was not a cloud in the sky---it's raining pretty steady in London at the moment.

Looks like the UK has jumped on the laptop-screening bandwagon. Every laptop has to come out of its case and be run through the X-Ray machine on its own. I think they are still adjusting to the extra steps in the security process, though. There are no tables for people to take their computers in and out of their bags!

Oh, and one more thing: What is the story with paninnis? I had one for lunch at Safeway in SLO and now I am having one for lunch at Terminal 1 Gate 5 at Heathrow. I had never even heard of a paninni a year ago....