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Sunday, September 30, 2007
power play

Our 6-month old kitty Baby has a jealous streak!  Here he is attacking his sister Spooky for no good reason.  He'll start off by licking her, then starts biting, usually just enough to annoy her so she leaves, but sometimes a full-on brawl.  Then he takes her place.

Spooky grooming

Baby attacks!

so proud of himself

Baby grooming

Posted at 09:40 am by stevenlisa
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Tuesday, October 17, 2006
October 2006

It's been awhile!  What have we been up to since May?

Steve is still going through his first probationary year as a Captain for SJFD, and soon he will jump through the very last flaming hoop - he must sit before three Chiefs for an oral exam.  A poke in the eye would probably be less painful. So please send Steve your most eloquent good thoughts on October 26!!!

I obtained my BSN in May (yeah!!!!!!) but have been enjoying my cush web design contract at EFI and decided to hold off on nursing for now.  Just today I accepted the offer to stay on at EFI as a full-time employee, and hope to be telecommuting full-time.  Woo-hoo for telecommuting, a 401k and stock options!

We've just uploaded pictures for the following (for the full set please click on the Flickr photo window in the left nav):

July - Kevin, Rocki, Hayley, Mom, Ken, Baba, & Irene all joined us for the 4th of July party at Thousand Oaks Park.  It's a small community event with a parade of floats, face painting, bbq and such.  The highlight event is when Engine 13 makes an appearance.  All the kids run screaming toward the fire engine while one firefighter aims the hose high in the air to create an enormous, drenching spray.  The kids love it!  We thought Hayley would love it too, but it turns out she was too ladylike to want to get wet!  She was awfully cute of course and was even "dancing" with Uncle Steve (see picture).

September - My husband is bald!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He came home one day saying he had a surprise.  I was expecting chocolate.  Instead I got Telly Savalas.  Steve shaved his head at a benefit dinner in support of a SC firefighter who has cancer.  I'm so proud of him.  At the time I'm writing  this, 10-17, it's still growing back.

Also in September - Our annual September Tahoe trip.  The weather is usually beautiful but this year we actually went from mid-70s one day to snow the next!  Nothing that stuck around, but how cool is that to wakeboard one day and catch snowflakes on your tongue the next?

In this picture, we're in Emerald Bay and I'm feeding ducks off our boat.  This one was so brave she was actually nibbling on my fingers. 

We golfed of course, and bought a hiking book and picked out what we thought would be a good trail - one that hugged the east shore and down to an "emerald green bay and white sand beach".  That part was true, but you didn't notice the beach for all the nude people lounging around on it.  All.  Men.  You may think I'd have been happy but this was definitely Seinfeld's "bad naked".  Men were hiking in Birkenstocks, athletic socks & a backpack.  Period. 

We were very sad because the niners blew Steve's big football parlay, but the gambling gods were kind to me - I won a $1500 drawing on Monday Night Football at the Hyatt.  Can I get a woo-friggin-hooooooooooo please.  Steve also watched a show on how to beat the odds playing single-deck blackjack and won almost $300 the same night. Thank you, Discovery Channel!!

October - Our first wedding anniversary! We were entertaining out-of-town guests (Tona & Kraig from CO) so we decided to do the tourist thing and stay overnight in SF and Half Moon Bay, where we were married.  We went to Alcatraz just as the Blue Angels did their Friday practice run.  You could see the air/fog displacement over the cockpit they were flying so close.  It was truly awesome.  We then stayed at the Ritz HMB, using our winnings to pay.  Suffice to say there is no better place on Earth to spend an anniversary.  Even the weather was perfect. We relived many wonderful moments, such as walking the golf course, visiting the beach on the ocean course where we took wedding photos, our rehearsal dinner at Rogue Chefs, and a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Hopefully we went to the same one we went to the day after our wedding.  They all look alike!

More pictures to come soon.

Posted at 09:31 pm by stevenlisa
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Friday, May 19, 2006
Tahoe fun

Took a few days to unwind at Steve's cabin in Tahoe (Incline) last month and headed to Northstar.  We had the best snow I've seen in a long time!  Hard to believe with this 90-degree weather lately...!  see pics here....

In more recent news, we're working on landscaping the front yard.  We won't be the ugly house on the block anymore!!  click here for the slideshow

Latest silly-cat-pose:


Posted at 03:52 pm by stevenlisa
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Saturday, February 04, 2006
HE DID IT!!!!!

As we mentioned before, we had to take a local honeymoon to be around in case Steve got called for his Captain's interview.  We went to Palm Desert, Temecula and Coronado on a long golf trip and had a blast.  But I'll get back to that later... because....

STEVE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!  He made Cap'n!!!!

He went for his final interview January 26th, and today we received the letter in the mail congratulating him on his appointment to the rank of Fire Captain effective Sunday, February 12th, 2006 (with a pay increase to boot!  Yeah!!)

I'm so proud I could cry....

Our SoCal Honeymoon

Steve and I were denied the chance to honeymoon in Australia and Croatia due to his upcoming Captain's interview, so we decided to take a more local golf trip to sunny SoCal and ended up visiting Palm Desert, Temecula and San Diego.  The weather was gorgeous, and our moods matched the sunshine.  We played 8 rounds in 11 days!

For you golfers, here is our gender-biased critique of the courses we played:

Trilogy (La Quinta) home of the Skins.  This was Steve's favorite course.  It's absolutely beautiful and pristine, both challenging and fair for all skill levels.  There are lots of water features and a stunningly beautiful backdrop.  There are many homes on the course with more being built, but they're fairly well set back and don't instill claustrophobia as other Palm Springs courses can do.  We're thinking of investing in property here.

Indian Canyons Golf Resort (Palm Desert) This is just gorgeous, and wow, what a clubhouse.  It's a championship course which was completely overhauled a few years ago by Amy Alcott (LPGA Hall of Fame).  We hear it's much more difficult than it used to be, with many added bunkers and lakes which come into play on 6 or 7 holes.  It is quite challenging with numerous twists and turns, narrow fairways and strategic bunker placements - it really kicked my ass, and Steve didn't do too well either.  Watch out for #11.  Again there are homes being built on the course, but set back.

Desert Dunes (Palm Desert)  My all-time favorite course.  It's just so damn beautiful, nestled in the Coachella Valley, landscaping a harmony of natural desert and majestic oaks, links-style rolling hills with challenging elevation changes, and all surrounded by snow-capped mountains.  It's the only public course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.  It was ranked as one of the top 30 public golf courses in the country and rated a "Four-Star Place to Play" by Golf Digest.  If you've played this course in the past and wonder what the hell I'm getting so excited about, it apparently changed management in 2005 and underwent a facelift.  Steve was very impressed by the impeccable fairways and greens.  Best of all, there are no houses on the course to make you worry about shanking one into a window.  But my favorite feature?  Rabbits, roadrunners, squirrels... and lots of them!  We've heard this course can get pretty windy at times, fyi.  However we've played Desert Dunes twice now and haven't experienced any wind so far.

Tahquitz Creek (Palm Springs)  Actually we played this last year, but since we both loved it it's worth mentioning.  It has 2 18-hole courses, Legend and Resort.  We played Resort which is supposed to be nicest.  It's kind of desert links and has some really beautiful water features.  Golf Digest rated it as one of the best places to play, and apparently it's popular with women - I agree as it was on this course I got my best score yet - a 94!  Yes I suck, but I never cheat, either.  The two elderly women we played with say their favorite course of all is Desert Willow, a course we haven't played yet.

Mt. Woodson - I know I said Desert Dunes was my favorite, but this might be my new favorite.  It is truly the most spectacular and unique course I've seen - it's carved into a mountain, and you wind your way through tunnels of boulders and trees, over incredible elevation changes to play some serious target golf.  It's more forgiving than you would think, though not much, and although I was intimidated at first I ended up having a pretty decent round.  There are gorgeous views from every hole of mountains and valleys, several lakes, and even a castle by the entrance.  We crossed a 450-foot wooden bridge which winds you through the treetops at white-knuckle elevation.  It's beautiful, and kind of reminded us of the Grizzly at Great America.  The fairways and greens are immaculate.  The only negative was it was kind of cold at that elevation in January.  Here is a photo of us at Mt Woodson:

Coronado Golf Course - This is a great value at $25 to walk.  Built in 1957, it's an 18-hole par 72 right on the harbor, and from all holes you get great views of downtown San Diego, the harbor, the Hotel Del Coronado, and the Coronado Bridge.  The greens are kept up well.  It's fairly forgiving with its wide fairways, but we've run into many low/no-handicappers who say they play this course all the time and love it.  Steve's a 14 and loves it too.  As a woman I like this course because it's got fair tees and it's definitely walkable.

Anyway, it was all great golf!  Except for one called the Auld Course north-east of San Diego, not so great though we met one couple who love it.  Very challenging, kind of ugly, lots of power lines crossing the course, and the "native" landscaping is such because they just cut the fairways into the desert and didn't add much else.  If you don't know the course you will lose some balls, and they don't give you a layout map (although there is one on their web site).  Other than that we loved every place we played. 

One thing we did notice about the Palm Springs area is that the term "country club" is used very, very loosely... as is the word "resort", for that matter.  Case in point, we saw a Best Western Resort down there.  We liked our Indian Wells Resort ok, but it is by no stretch of the imagination a resort hotel.  And some of the "country clubs" down there are pretty rough even by public standards (and are open to the public as well).  We saw numerous RV country clubs, and even the combo RV-resort-and-country-club.  Maybe things are just different here in the Bay Area.  Anyway, you've been warned.

We actually did more than play golf, and to prove it here are the pictures of our trip on the Palm Springs aerial tram.  You go nearly to the top of Mt. San Jacinto, some 10k feet in elevation which is pretty awesome - and cold!  We plan to come back here and do some backpacking, probably in April. 

We wanted to have a nice meal at the restaurant up top, so we bought the "ride-n-dine" special which combines your meal with the tram ticket.  But when we got to the top, they told us we had to choose from a separate buffet which looked very hospital-y.  And they wouldn't refund our ticket so we could eat at the regular restaurant.  Damn! 

the tram base station

view from the top

the "ride-n-dine" special

But you have to go home eventually!  We got back last night. The weather is rainy, windy and cold here, but it's good to be home.

Love & smooches

Boo & that's Captain Psycho now thank you!!


Posted at 01:35 pm by stevenlisa
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Tuesday, January 03, 2006
January 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, merry Christmas & happy New Year!!  I guess we missed a few holidays, but not much has been going on.  Here is the latest:

Steve, after waiting anxiously for his Fire Captain's test results since October 4th, finally heard back from the city in December.  Out of the 159 candidates who tested this year, Steve placed - ta da - 3rd!!!  This is obviously quite high on the list, and means he will be promoted sooner than most and must soon say goodbye to his old position as Fire Engineer on Truck 3-A. 

Unfortunately, Steve doesn't know when his final interview will take place - sometime in January we heard.  This shuts down our plans to go to Australia this month, the only month Lisa has off from school and practicals.  Waaah!

December 7 was the anniversary of our engagement - we again visited Loma Prieta Summit Christmas Tree Farm, and found a perfect tree directly next to the tree we cut last year.  Our little stump from last year wasn't looking very well.  We took a picture, but it might be the last one.  :-( 

See our latest slideshow for a picture, also for pictures of our new front lawn (yay!), and our latest silly cat poses.

Luv n smooches

Boo & Skillet

Posted at 01:35 pm by stevenlisa
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Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Halloween & other October events

So what else happened this month?  In-between my clinicals & Steve's captain's test, we got married, then it was back to life as usual... the cats... yard work... and Halloween!  One of our favorite holidays.

Here is my husband, feverishly working on the installation of our front yard sprinkler system.  He did all this himself, no help at all!  I married Superman.  I wanted him to hire help, and once he actually left the house to hire workers... but returned with a bag of bagels instead. 

Yesterday we had our first husband-wife debate over what type of sod to buy.  Who says romance is dead? 

In other news, we adopted a cat.

This is just ridiculous.  What kind of freaky Cirque de Soleil kitty did we adopt?  This is Bruiser, or Bruiso, according to our niece Sara.  Poor thing was hanging around the house for about a year before we noticed he was starving to death.  We think his owners abandoned him, and we hope they rot in hell.  He's king of the house now, and definitely lets our other two poor cats know it. 

And now, Halloween on Heppner!

This is our front doorway, with new door by the way.  We had planned on painting the house this year, but it was one of the many things we didn't quite get around to doing. 

Bruiso is checking out our decorations.  Did I mention he ate pumpkin guts?  Should I mention he ate pumpkin guts?  It's pretty weird, for a cat.  Not just a nibble either... full-on mouthfuls.  Obvious food issues with this guy.

Steve had the idea of making "bride & groom" pumpkins!  We bought these from the HMB Pumpkin Festival the day after our wedding. 

That night, we had a surprise visitor!

When the doorbell rang, I expected the usual trick-or-treaters.  The first thing I focused on was the outfit.  I always try to figure out what the costume is so I can comment on it... and so it took me a second to recognize my own niece!  Introducing Hayley, as Snow White.  She's 2 1/2, and cute as a bean bug!

Holding her are her very sneaky parents, Kevin & Rochelle.  They brought over It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! and we all watched it.  Hayley got to pet Bruiso.  She loved when he started purring!  And she told us all about the Sharkie Show she had seen a couple of days earlier.  Actually we all went - to see the San Jose Sharks win what ended up being their first shoot-out!  Hockey doesn't get much better than that. 

That concludes our month of October, and maybe a little bit of September.  Stay tuned....

Posted at 09:27 pm by stevenlisa
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Saturday, October 22, 2005
We did it!!

Yup, you guessed it... we're married!  Our wedding was October 8, 2005, in Half Moon Bay.

So soon into the blog & already we're going to bore you with a slideshow...


We have over 700 photos, but don't worry, we didn't put them all in.  If you want the long version, let one of us know & we'll email you our Ofoto album link, where you can order enough prints of us to wallpaper your house.

It was a great day overall, despite problems caused by the wedding coordinator.  (If you want to read Lisa's rant about that, go to
www.tripadvisor.com and look up the Mill Rose Inn.)  We had a beautiful sunny day on the coast, everyone looked great & had fun, and the getaway car only stalled once. 

Our most noteworthy glitch was the maid-of-honor Tona's zipper, which decided to stick halfway up & even two burly firefighters couldn't get the thing zipped (Tona would want us to note, it was the ZIPPER, not the girl's, fault.)

One day soon we'll write down the whole story, probably in our new web site-in-progress
www.stevenlisa.us.  There'll be a link from our pre-wedding website, www.lisachudesign.com/ourwedding.  In the meantime, enjoy the pictures, and our most sincere thanks to all those whose love, support and hard work helped make our wedding a success!  We love you!

~ Mr & Mrs B

Posted at 08:06 am by stevenlisa
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Our First Blog

Hello world,

Welcome to our very first blog!

We're getting married on October 8, 2005.  We hope this blog will serve as an online scrapbook of our life together. 

As you can see we are quite www-challenged, given that we waited this long to start a blog at all.  So if things don't work here and there, you'll know why!

We hope that our friends and family will somehow find our blog and write us a little note to say hello & keep us updated on your lives, as we'll try to do the same for you.

Love as always,

The future Steven & Lisa B

Posted at 07:20 pm by stevenlisa
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