Here starts the new year! 2005…….


Saturday January 15th, 2005


Fort Worth has traditionally been a center of livestock commerce. Even in 2005 that is still the case. Once a year there is an event called the Stock Show. This is where all the farmers bring their cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, etc into town to auction off. There is a lot of history behind this event and its been going on for at least a hundred years. Today its as much an attraction for non-farmers. We visited the stock show for a day. Saw lots of big beef cattle, a few newborn cows, sheeps, goats, but NO pigs! Here are some pictures from our trip.


Cowgirl boots!





Check out this guy’s birthday – 10/2/03. Less than 2 years old!




Thursday April 7th, 2005


The apartment is just about all packed up. Looks like half the family is already ready to go.




Friday April 8th, 2005


Today we closed on our house. We had packed up the night before so we would have a load of junk to bring to the house immediately after we closed. We brought the essentials – TV, stereo, and tacos. We had a pre-closing walkthrough at lunchtime. Everything looked awesome and we were good to go. Headed over to the title office where a very homosexual but nice man helped us out w/ our closing paper. I think I put my signature on about 50 different pieces of paper. I ended up w/ a packet of documents about 2 inches thick to take home with me!


So we went to the model home and got our keys. It was finally ours!












Saturday April 17th, 2005


Today a coworker and I went to the Nascar race at Texas Motor Speedway. We got some free passes from a vendor including pit passes. Thank god they were free, cause the face value on them was $125 and I never would have paid that! We got to go into the pits early (8:30am!!) and see the pit setups. Couldn’t go into the garage area though—that took a separate pass. Race was fun, but it was hot outside! I globbed the sunscreen on but I still got a little sunburn after sitting out there for 4 hours watching the cars go in circles.






Flyover Video


Race Start Video





Sunday May 1st, 2005


Today starts the first major project for our new home. We are going to be putting in a flagstone patio and fixing the backyard up with lots of bushes and shrubs. I talked to a landscape architect at work and he drew me up a nice master plan for the whole backyard:


LS1.1 – Master Plan


It pained me to dig up my beautiful grass that I had worked so hard to make look nice. Oh well, the patio will be nicer than grass so I guess its worth it.






Saturday May 14tht, 2005


Today we went to the zoo again for a company picnic. Got free hotdawgs and hamburgers. Its getting hot down here in Tx! It was like 95 degrees today.


Here is a picture of two birds doing it:





Sunday May 15th, 2005


Alas, I forgot to take pictures, but I have a big big hole in my backyard for the patio. Its complete w/ rebar and everything. Now I wait to have the concrete poured. My builder gave me a price that ended up being cheaper than if I had bought the concrete myself and done all the labor myself! Only catch is that its on his time schedule. That could be a while.


In the meantime, here is my second project—fixing up the garage. No autocad files for this one, sorry!





Saturday May 21st 2005


Ok, I did manage to get a picture of the big hole in the ground.






Memorial Day Weekend, 2005


We had our first out-of-state visitors since we moved into the new house! David and Steve came down for the weekend. We went to a ballgame, went to downtown Ft Worth, went to Stockyards, and did most of the touristy stuff that we did when we first moved here. Here are a few pictures (most of the pictures we ended up taking were of topless girls at a concert, so I didn’t think itd be appropriate to put all of those on here. If you want to see them anyway, email me and Ill send them to you):







Saturday, June 11th, 2005


Another race came to town this weekend to Texas Motor Speedway. This was the week after Danica made the cover of sports illustrated, so we decided to get some tickets to the IRL race to see if she could actually win one. Unfortunately she didn’t, but it was fun watching. This was laurens first trip to a superspeedway.


The Tuttles from American Chopper





Race Start Video




Saturday, June 17th, 2005


Decided to take a last minute trip to NYC. Steve got a free hotel room about a block from Times Square. All I had to do was get my ticket up there. Luckily American Airlines just happened to have a last minute deal to Newark for $169 round trip. So Steve Justin and I went to NYC for the weekend. My flight had to leave Saturday and come back Monday in order to get the $169 deal, but that was ok. Would have been $500+ for a Friday night flight. So I booked an afternoon flight but was able to do standby for the first flight of the morning. I was in Newark by 1:00pm and at Yankee’s stadium by 3pm in time for the Cubs/Yankees game.






After the game we hopped a subway and went to Battery Park on the south end of the island. From there we can see the statue of Liberty. I purchased a Rolex watch off of a nice gentleman walking around the park. He said it was a genuine Rolex, but he only wanted $35 for it! What a deal! I even managed to talk him down $5.




Next we walked down Wall Street and saw the New York Stock Exchange.



Here are some electrical utility lines. Sign said that they were being repaired from damage on 9/11/01.


Next we walked up to the Brooklyn Bridge and took a picture of it.



Here are some pictures from the World Trade Center site. It was about 9pm so it was getting dark and the pictures didn’t come out too great.





Next we caught the subway and took a ride to Chinatown. We walked through Chinatown on the way to Little Italy.




Didn’t get many pictures of Little Italy, but it was a neat place. Lots of good places to eat. We stopped at one. Guy out front was an Italian w/ a white velour suit on, a gold chain and a cigar. Classic Italian. Food was great!



Jumped back on the subway again and headed to the hotel. We took about a 30 minute rest, but there was no time to waste! We were only gonna be in NYC for 2 days. We went out and walked around Times Square for a little while.






Enough excitement for one night! Time for bed….

The next day we got up and did some more touristy stuff. Day started of getting stuck in an elevator and having the fire dept come rescue us. Good start to the morning! We saw the empire state building, Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park, got a slice of NY Pizza, bought a few souvenirs and flat out did a LOT of walking.





Looking South…


Looking North….










Steve and Justin had trains and planes that left around 7pm. That left me all alone Sunday night. I went to grand central station, the Waldorf-Astoria, and the public library(yes, the same one from the movie The Day After Tomorrow when they’re running from the tidal wave) for some pictures.







Got back to the hotel around 9pm and went to bed. My flight Monday morning left at 6:19am which meant I had to be out of the hotel by 4:30 to make it there on time! I was in Midtown Manhattan at 4:30am and in my desk at work by 9:30am. What a weekend!



Tuesday, June 21th, 2005 – Thursday, June 23rd, 2005


I went to Minneapolis Minnesota for a generator training conference this week. It was a great weekend because everything was free! We went out to several nice restaurants and a dinner cruise on the St. Croix river. Only catch was we had to sit through 14 hours of training classes. It was worth it though b/c I actually did learn a lot in them. I didn’t have enough sense to take my camera out the whole trip, but I did get one good picture from the plane on the way out of DF/W. It’s a picture of my neighborhood looking from the South.





Friday June 24th, 2005 – Sunday June 26th, 2005


To cap off an eventful week of traveling (6 plane trips in 8 days!) we went home to NC for a weekend visit. Unfortunately half of my family was at the beach, but I did get to see some of them (mostly my dad’s side). We did a little wedding planning and played some golf. Another weekend well spent visiting w/ family, however, no pictures (don’t really need any b/c nothing seems to change back home).




Tuesday, June 28th, 2005


Remember how I said earlier that the concrete pouring for my patio would happen on my builder’s schedule? Well you better believe that’s how it went down! Took him nearly a month to get it done! But the savings was well worth it. So once we had concrete down we had to fit the flagstone in. It was like a puzzle—very hard to get everything to fit perfectly. We got it figured out though. So Tuesday we did the rough fit, Wednesday we put mortar underneath to level everything out.





Thursday, June 30th, 2005


Today is our final day to get the house ready for our next visitors. Lauren’s cousin Daniel and his wife Sherry are coming down to visit for the July 4th weekend. That meant an evening full of cleaning house, washing cars, playing softball game, AND grouting the patio. Man, it was a long night. Here is a picture of the patio after grouting. Its now ready for furniture!





July 4th weekend, 2005


Yay! Company! Daniel and Sherry got in around 4pm on Friday. We had a good excuse to leave work early and start our weekend at 3! We spent most of the weekend doing the tourist stuff. We saw the stockyards, downtown ft worth, JFK site, downtown dallas, and lots of taco restaurants! By now we had developed a good list of Mexican restaurants to take them to and that’s about all we ate all weekend. Of course, we did do burgers and hot dawgs on the 4th because we’re American and that’s what we do. On the 4th we were able to sit in our backyard and watch fireworks over the lake. How nice. Daniel took most of the pictures this weekend, so I will post them when I get them from him. In the meantime, here are a few that I took.








July 8th weekend, 2005


Not a damn thing to do this weekend. Thank God! I had been going going going for the past 5 weekends in a row so I was glad to get a weekend of doing absolutely nothing. Here are some pictures of us doing absolutely nothing.









July 10th, 2005


I haven’t posted pictures of the house since before we moved in. Now that we’re good and settled I walked around and took pictures of everything so everyone back home can see. Please pardon some of the messy areas, but we didn’t feel like cleaning up just for a few pictures.






















July 19th, 2005


Tried to help psycho-bride stuff some wedding invitations tonight, but apparently I wasn’t doing it just right. Here is the response I got: