Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

The Amersons have been Busy with a capital 'B'. Ethan has had a total of one (1) day off in the past three weeks. Not cool. I worked extra Saturday, and will likely work extra this weekend as well. And I have two 50-hour weeks coming up to end the month of August.

Harborview is opening up two new buildings. The 13 story one opens up next summer, but Ethan is quite busy figuring out the keying and getting everything organized for the eventual open. LOTS of work there. The 9 story building was supposed to open up (well, at least one floor was) on the 15th of this month...but it got pushed back multiple times and now MY floor will be the first one to move over. We were originally scheduled to go on the 22nd, pushed to the 29th, then the 30th....now we are opening August 6. If all goes well. LOTS of work to do. Ethan has found multiple problems with locks improperly put together or crappy handiwork that is NOT okay, totally unsafe to have patients around, so he has to run around trying to get the contractors to fix their problems before it all gets turned over and HE is stuck with it. With only a 2 man shop for hundreds of thousands of square feet of space with literally THOUSANDS of locks, he simply does NOT have the time to fix the hundreds of problems the contractors have created.

I have somehow put it upon myself to assist with the move, so I have spent lots of hours over in our new unit. I designed and organized the supply room with its several hundred supply bins, organized by type in color coded bins. I made the units patient list board and labelled it so it won't look crappy like our old one now does. I went around testing electrical outlets and shower heads and light switches and curtain rods, etc in each new room to make sure that everything works (they don't.....got a list to give the construction people!). Still in progress wtih all of that. Little things that NEED to be done before we move over. The computers should all be installed (one in each of the 20 patient rooms, as well as around 20 in the nursing station), and we need to log in to each of them, check a few programs to make sure they are installed correctly, then try to print to make sure that works, too. L O T S of things to still do. It will be fun when we finally DO open. I have been moving my schedule around a bit to ensure that I am here that day, whenever it eventually is.

But, stressful. VERY much looking forward to our upcoming vacation, although I worry that Ethan will not be able to fully enjoy himself because he knows that more moves will be happening throughout August, and likely in September as well, and leaving Eric here alone is just going to dig a deeper hole for the lockshop. Ethan goes to all these management meetings and security meetings and gets stuck with a lot of sort of diplomatic problems. Eric is somewhat safe from those things, but when Ethan is gone, he will be doing his best to handle it all, but I am sure there will be quite a list for Ethan to look forward to when we get home.

All of this madness should be over by maybe February at the latest, but that puts us into the opening of the NJB building (13 stories with lots of clinics moving over). We need to tear down one section of Harborview that was built in the 1950's because it is not earthquake safe--figured that out in the 2001 Nisqually quake when a wall crumbled and the buildings separated a bit. So all the clinics and offices over there need to move out. Ethan's issue is that once people more into the new buildings, other people move into their old places (unless they are in the part being torn down), and he has to figure out who is going where, what they want/need lock-wise, and the timing of everything. Which changes on a daily basis. And when people start ordering keys for Dr Smith, with no first name given, Ethan gets a little hysterical. He seriously has been after one manager who gave him a list of doctors who need keys to an office suite but only gave last names. Do you have any idea how many freaking Dr Smiths there are?!? So he can't do anything until she gets back to him. But people are screaming for keys. See why he is stressed?? THey ignore his emails and phone calls, don't give him the info he needs, then throw a fit when they can't move because they don't have keys. And he can't just say, 'screw it' and let them flounder, because it is HIS shop seen as the one holding up the move. The head of engineering quit, the interim director went on vacation to miss the move (he is retiring in a few months), and the guy covering for him is so overwhelmed and lost that Ethan doesn't want to throw all of this at him.


But, it WILL eventually end.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Still working on my epic Australia album!

Finally onto the next day in Australia!! This is the day I spent hiking in the Blue mountains national park. I took a train to the town of Katoomba (about an hour away), then bought a ticket for a hop on, hop off bus that went all over the place. I hiked around for five or six hours altogether, and went on some cool trams, toured through amazing vegetation and found a payphone and some change to make an international phone call to Ethan before he went to bed. I bought a phone card at the airport when I landed, and other than the change I deposited to be able to access the phone card at each payphone, it was pretty cheap. I left still having over 500 minutes available on the card (starting out with 1000).

My first open look at the Blue mountains

A sepia view of the Scenic Skyway overhead with the Blue mountains behind. My first Australia shot involving my epic camera balancing skills to get me in the picture.

The journalling tag I have hidden behind the main picture

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Amerson update

Long time no disclose info!

The Amersons are doing well. There are two new buildings (one 13 stories, one 9 stories) opening up at Harborview (one in less than a week), so Ethan is BUSY at work figuring out who needs keys to what and who is moving where in the new building, then who is taking over the old places in the old building. Basically, he is working a lot. He is in the middle of a 12-day stretch with no days off, so I am being extra nice to him.

My unit is moving into the new building, so lots of excitement for me, too. I am helping with the transition over there, and it is getting so close! Our official move date is the 30th of July (for my floor). We have to get our patients and staff moved over in a few-hour period, because another floor is moving into our old floor right away. Lots of coordination.

In other news...lets see. I spent Saturday doing some work around the house. And by that I mean I mowed the lawn. And trimmed my rose bushes, and decided to stain my fence. It has been weathering for almost 2 years, and was due for some stain and sealant. The staining goes fast, except for the lattice on the top. What a pain in the butt! All those little nooks and crannies to cover evenly. I swear I gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome! I also gave myself a pretty terrible sunburn. I started outside in the morning, and it wasn't too warm. I realized that it was getting hotter, so I ran inside and slathered some sunscreen on. On my face only. Problem is, I was in a tank top and shorts, so I now have a blazing sunscreen on my left arm, shoulders, neck and back, as well as behind my knees. What a sensitive area to burn! I am unable to fully straighten my right knee, because the skin is tight and it pulls. Thank god for aloe vera gel with lidocaine! I am using it to lubricate the area and keep it soft so the skin doesn't lose all its elasticity. This is probably the worst burn I have had in the last 5 years or so. Oh well. At least it is almost past the painful part. Now I get the itchy, peely part where I wear a sign saying it is not dandruff--it is sunburn peels!

We recently got back from a short trip to Victoria with some friends, as you can see from my previous posts. We had a great time! Only 3 nights all together but a true getaway. We rented a condo on the 11th floor of a building a block or so behind the Empress hotel, and could easily walk anywhere. We went on a zipline tour that was awesome, toure the Royal British Museum and did an Imax show, and toured the Parliament building. All lots of fun. We also did the old time picture place, which was sorta cool and sorta maddening. The owner guy totally ignored Ethan, then when I came out of the dressing room and was presented as his wife, totally ignored ME too. Like I seriously would ask him a question, and he would not answer me. He spent COUNTLESS minutes directing Jill and Eric exactly how to hold their heads, the position of their hands and other body parts, but I would ask if I needed to move something or if I was ok, and he would totally ignore me. Really blatant. Whatever. The picture turned out alright, although I wish I had put the feather head piece on the other way.

Nothing big planned in the near future for us. Just surviving work (mostly Ethan). I am going to fly to Portland this weekend (I had a $150 plane voucher that expires at the end of this month, so I basically am flying for free...much cheaper than driving!) to see Mom. I hear that there is a big special street market that Saturday, so we will probably go browse there. Mom is heading off to Penang in another few weeks, and I wanted to make sure to see her and cheer her on before she left. I really wish I could go with her this year, but the financial effects of Australia took awhile to recover from, and I just can't do it every year. I especially liked having some time by myself in Australia to take pictures and hike. It is really boring to hang out with me when I am in a picture taking mood, because I will spend literally hours taking pictures and looking at things, which no one else may especially want to watch me do. Not that I didn't love hanging out with Mom, too, but it was a unique experience to be in a foreign city wandering around alone. I really enjoy being alone sometimes.

I suppose we ARE going to Hawaii in September. Still need to book a hotel on Oahu, but the prices are seriously dropping, so I will hold on a bit before I do that. With the cost of fuel and rising airline prices, less people are able to get to Hawaii, and the few hotels I previously found that were under $100 a night in Honolulu have now expanded so there are now dozens available under $75. Should be no problems. Car rental prices have also dropped--I looked months and months ago, and it was about $275 for a compact car rental for a week. I just booked a few days ago for $120 for the entire week. Not too shabby!
We are going to book soon for the Old Lahaina Luau, which is a must-do close to our resort, and also for the Zipline in the rainforest close to Kaanapali. Kinda spendy, but it is about 5 hours of zipping and a beautiful lunch on a cliff overlooking....well, everything.
We are bringing all our own snorkelling gear to Hawaii with us. You can snorkel right off the beach of our resort in Maui, so we plan to do that daily. I hear there are tons of turtles right there! We may not book a snorkelling tour at all.

We, well *I* am considering possibly going to Vegas over Thanksgiving. I have another airline voucher (only $75, but every penny counts!), and there are always great hotel deals that time of year. Could be a nice little trip before Ethan has his big knee surgery. Not sure if he will be non weightbearing after this one, but certainly the surgery itself will be much more extensive. He has a Baker's cyst in his knee, an ACL tear, a torn meniscus, and possibly loss of cartilidge. If they need to do a microfracture treatment (they basically drill lots of teeny holes in the bone in the area where cartilidge is missing, to encourage the bone to form a scar or callous, which is preferable to just bone rubbing against bone) like they did on his left knee, he will be non weightbearing for at least 6 weeks again. At least this time, he knows how to use crutches and what to expect. Maybe he won't fall down the stairs this time.

Because of Ethan's knee, we drive to work every day now. He needs to be able to go up and down 5 flights of stairs and about 50 yards of steep incline to get from the bus stop to our house, and walk down 7 blocks (and over 3) to the bus stop downtown. He walks okay, but has a hard time going downhill at all, and steps are a challenge. Until then...we drive. We have a temporary disabled parking permit that lets us park all day near the hospital. I work an hour later on Tuesdays, so here I sit, blogging away until my work starts. But, it is about that time so I must go. Tuesdays I am a floor nurse again, and this week is my 12 hour floor day, so I have a long haul ahead of me. The light at the end of the tunnel is that I am off tomorrow, although I have tentatively decided to do more fence staining, and remove mildew from some of the fence areas that need that done prior to staining. Woo and hoo. But, it must be done eventually.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One last picture from Victoria....we went to an old time picture studio and had a portrait done.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ziplining at Adrena Line adventure tours in Sooke, about 20 miles West of Victoria. We had a great time! Ethan and I have a new goal of zipping in every local there is a zipline available. We are already planning on going in Maui...and I hear there is one in Costa Rica, so I guess we must go there someday.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ethan and I after ziplining, and a couple pics of Ethan and Eric modelling the beer cooler/backpack they bought. Eric was Molson man, about to leap off the 11th floor balcony to......give someone a beer?? Not quite sure there.

We went on a guided tour of the Parliament building, which is actively used by the BC legislature. Very cool building!! We saw the building in 2002 when we went to Victoria with Sabrina and Matt, but never went inside. We had no idea what we were missing!

Some beautiful architectural details in the Parliament building, including the BC coat of arms, some columns, a view up from the first floor into the rotunda and one of many amazing stained glass windows

More details from the Parliament Building. The little touches were just beautiful!

The legislative room and some of the many stained glass windows

Royal British Museum

Located right on the inner Harbour, an awesome museum experience. We spent about 3 hours wandering through it, then went to an Imax show called Dinosaurs. A great way to spend an afternoon. Makes me want to go to other museums so I can compare them...

More pictures from the Royal British Museum. They had this totally cool area where they sorta remade olde towne Victoria from the 1800s and had exhibits showing what life and times were like back then. The whole place was kinda dark (to protect the antique items from light damage), so pictures were tough to get, but it was very cool. Worth going back and seeing again. But I wouldn't bring Mom. The whole time, I was thinking about how DARK it was everywhere!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Yesterday, the Sonics and the city of Seattle announced a last second deal. The Sonics go to OKC in exchange for....pretty much nothing. The deal makes no sense.

After a week of 90+ degree weather, hot, sunny and muggy; they announced this deal and the clouds rolled in and the sky opened up and the rain poured down. Almost as though the city was crying; mourning the loss of this 41 year old franchise. The rain came down, then thunder and lightning flashed and boomed overhead. It continues today.

This is a truly sad time. To have a beloved team ripped away like this, to hear the gloating coming from OKC. It just makes me think back to a year or so ago when Lauren Jackson (before the Storm was sold to local owners) said that if the team moved to OKC, she would retire from the WNBA. The best female player on the planet. She says Seattle reminds her of Sydney, she is accepted and loved here, and she is not going. She was still under contract and could have moved to try to be traded, but she flat out said she was retiring. Much love for that, Lauren.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A fine meal on a fine day in a beautiful locale.

Darling Harbour itself. Very touristy, GREAT people watching. I came here again our last night in Sydney with Mom, Lynn and Pat for a nice dinner overlooking the water.