Quake, Rattle, and Roll

eq-map

Quake, Rattle, & Roll earthquake map of US for the last 30 days

Did you feel that? Was that an earthquake? For the past year or two, we here in Oklahoma have had to deal with an increasing–or at least more noticeable–amount of earthquakes. While I, personally, am not that bothered by them, I thought it would be cool to create a web site that shows the latest world-wide earthquake events. So I created Quake, Rattle, & Roll (QRR). The data are freely available from the United States Geological Survey. While they have maps of the earthquake events available, they are lacking in the aesthetics department (this IS the government after all) and it can be somewhat difficult to find what you are looking for.

I tried to make QRR as aesthetically pleasing as possible (I’m no designer) and easy to find the event you are interested in. It is broken down into quakes in the last hour, last 24 hours, last 7 days, and last 30 days. The magnitude of the event is shown in the center of the event circle. The event circle can be clicked to get more detailed information for each event. The map is, of course, zoomable and draggable to help you find the exact event you are looking for. While there is no “app” for smart phones, it functions quite well on most phone and tablet browsers.

So, the next time you feel something you think was an earthquake be sure to visit Quake, Rattle, & Roll (QRR) and find out if it was one and how big!

NOTE: As stated earlier, the data behind QRR is provided by the USGS. Any delays in event display on QRR are due to the event not being posted to the USGS data streams. Most events are added within thirty (probably sooner) minutes of the event occurrence.

I wasn’t going to leave this job

I’ve never been a job hopper. My first job out of college way back in 1997 lasted ten years and the only reason I left then was because I could see the writing on the wall. The company had been hemorrhaging money for months, maybe even years, and I knew it was only a matter of time before they had to shut down and I would be looking for a job. So, I took the proactive approach and started searching.

I moved my family to Oklahoma for a new job working on the state’s web site (or portal as we called it). I enjoyed working at that firm. I really enjoyed the people, but the workload over the three and half years really took its toll and I started looking for something a little (or a lot) less stressful.

It took a while but, I eventually took a new position at a manufacturing company based in Oklahoma City working on their internal web site and their e-commerce site. The job was less stressful, but something just wasn’t right. I never felt like I truly fit in there. There was also a great amount of turnover, especially in upper management. So, after about a year I started looking again.

Again, it took some time, but by a miscommunication I ended up going on an interview for a six month contract position. I had never done contract work before and, to be honest, I didn’t really want to then. But, my wife and I prayed about it and we knew God would take care of us, so I left my current position and took the six month contract. Of course, knowing it was for only six months, I was still actively seeking full-time employment.

About four months into the contract I started interviewing with a small company in Norman, OK called Weather Fusion. It took about a month, but I was offered a position with them. I took it, leaving the contract position about a month early.

I realized I had become a job hopper. I grew up in a time that people stayed with one company for years, sometimes their entire careers, so this was something I wasn’t sure I liked about myself. Now, I know in today’s job market, people hop jobs like crazy, but that just isn’t how I work. At least, I didn’t used to.

Anyway, it didn’t take me long to figure out that I really liked Weather Fusion. I liked the small company vibe. I really liked my co-workers and the autonomy that the company afforded us. I wasn’t a big fan of the thirty-five mile drive one way, but it was worth it to work where I felt I fit in. So, I thought, “this is the one I’m staying with for a while (hopefully to retirement).”

But, then fate stepped in. Weather Fusion was bought by CoreLogic, a Fortune 500 company with over 5000 employees. I have now been an employee of their’s for two weeks. So, while I technically didn’t leave Weather Fusion, I no longer work for them. Yes, we are in the same location, I still drive thirty-five miles one way every day, and I still work with the same people. But, Weather Fusion, the company, no longer exists in its previous form. As of right now, things are very similar to what they were, but I know things will change. What will those changes be? I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see…

Summer Break – July

July

July was a blur.  We started the month by the girls and I taking a trip to Arkansas to visit family. Yep, Chad stayed behind to work, but more on that later.

We spend a few hours with our precious Bill and Mary Lou.  Can’t tarry here too long or I’ll get teary.

Off to Monticello we went.  MawMaw and PawPaw braced for our arrival.  PawPaw comes to help unload the car and says, “This is it?”  Whew, we’re done will all the diapers, multiple changes of clothes per day, plethora of things to keep busy in the car…  Throw some clothes in a suitcase and lets go.

My In-Laws have lived in SE AR for nearly 40 years and had no idea there was a zoo an hour away.  Chad had seen a comment about it on FB and thought it was a joke.  After making some inquires, turns out it’s real.  So off we went to the Crossland Zoo.  I use the term loosely but it was a nice little outing

DSCN1664.

The girls are obsessed with playing in the pool while at the Grands house.  We have a nice neighborhood pool that we visit often but apparently there’s something about the wading pool on the patio that keeps them wanting more. Wonder what, or maybe who, it is?

pool with pawpaw

We spent the 4th with our always gracious friends the K’s.  They are the ultimate “everyone is always welcome” home.  We sat WAY too close to a great firework display (like flames flying at the feet of the family next to us close!) but it was memorable.  There was another family staying with them that night too and the girls made fast friends.  It was one big sleepover.

Did I mention they foster and had 4 children of their “own” as well? The next day KK and I load all 6 kids in the van and go to Larry’s.  That alone is worth the trip.  Then we go to Wal-Mart for a short list of necessities for the evening meal.  We walk in the door and KK hands me the list and says “I’ll catch up with you in a minute”  I took the challenge and headed off with 2 carts full of kids ages 2,3,4,5,6 & 9!  Wow, that was an adventure.

I decided to go home by way of Mt Ida.You know a couple of hours to see Granny and have lunch with Dad. Well, “best laid plans…” Did spend some time with Granny (and Dad). Then we head to the lake where my big sis and her fam were camped to join them for lunch.  Please don’t judge, we are not outdoor people, but the girls got their first swim in a lake.

lake

Then after some yummy burgers, dogs and homemade chocolate ice cream.  Uncle Jon took them for their first boat ride. (I don’t count the Bricktown boats as real).

boat

We had to say bye and head home. We left for our 5 hr journey home much later than I had intended but it was worth it. They were some tired chickens and it was a quiet ride home.

Chad started a new job. Yes, another.  He spent 3 years at the job we moved here for.  The better part of the last two years have been spent with contract jobs.  God’s taken care of us and we’ve never gone without.  We are grateful for this new full time job.  He’s got nearly an hour drive each way but he’s making the most of his drive listening to his You Version Bible app.  He leaves early but he’s home by 5 and on weekends so can’t complain about that.  He’s getting to combine his web developing with weather information and is having fun at work.  They’ve made him feel welcome and included.  He’s a our happier Chad again, and it’s nice to have him back. The first chance he gets to storm chase with them he’s going to take it.  I’ll be nervous but a little envious too.

So after a few days to do laundry and check on things at work, we left for a week in TX.  Enjoyed a day of pampering with another big sister then sent them off for a 20th ann trip.  The girls and I spent the week with my 18 month niece and  8 yr old nephew.  Our plans to go swimming were messed up by the 3 days of rain.  So one day we went to McD’s and had a biscuit (we’d already had real breakfast at home), 2nd breakfast if your a Hobbit, and played there for a while.  When we got tired of that, we walked across the parking lot to Chick Fil A.  Ate lunch and played there till they were tired out.  Side note, if your order a “cup” of ice cream you literally get a small drink cup filled with ice cream!  I just meant the little free kids cup but H and I managed to take care of it anyway. Naps for all that afternoon. We enjoyed playing, swimming, movie watching and I had fun playing with her new HUGE washer/dryer.  It sings a little song when it’s done.  Just made doing laundry fun.  For a while anyway.  Bet the new’s worn off for her by now. (Sorry J, I don’t have a pic of the 4 of you)

with haylee

While we were gone, a storm shelter was installed in our garage.  Between Chad sending pics from the inside and my neighbor sending pics from the outside, I got to see most of the process. It’s kinda like insurance, you hope you don’t need it but it’s good to have in case you do. (This pic is from Aug but it’s the best to see what it’s really like inside.

DSCN1720

If you want to see more pics check out GFS Storm Shelters or Chad’s FB page if your friends.

Then it was time for Cross Timbers.  This is a church camp for 3rd – 6th graders.  We signed Lanie up against her will but Chad and I felt she needed to give it a try.  She doesn’t like new things but sometimes we gotta push the bird out of the nest so she knows she can fly.  She had a great week and came home tired and happy. (more about this in the August post)

July ended with a trip to the Braums dairy farm.  It was about an hour drive SW of home.  We went with a group of moms and kids from church.  They’ve got it set up really neat for tours.  The bakery was a little more interesting since there was more to see.  I didn’t realize they made all their own cones, buns, bread, cookies and muffins. The diary plant was a little less interesting because so much of the processing takes place in closed stainless steel vats.  And again, something that I was impressed with the volume they process which doesn’t mean much to kids.  You don’t get to go to the milking barn cause apparently cows get distracted by visitors and they have a tight schedule to keep.  They end the tour by giving you cookies and ice cream and we all know ending on a sweet note is important.

So here’s a sweet pic of Bethie and GrandPop reading.

photo

Summer Break – June

Apparently I decided to take a summer break from blogging.  Wasn’t intentional but here it is the end of August.

Our Summer

June

Summer officially kicks off for us with the Talbert Family Fish Fry on Memorial Day.  Chad goes for the fish.  The rest of us also enjoy visiting with family, good food, homemade ice cream and swimming.

Bethie at Fish Fry

Chad headed home to OK cause someone has to work and pay the bills so the girls and I can play.

Speaking of play, the Chick-a-dees and I took a trip to Pigeon Forge, TN with my Dad.

DSCN1653

group on mtn in tn

We enjoyed the beauty of the Smokey Mountains. When asked if she enjoyed this part Lanie would reply, “Trees and water, trees and water.  That’s all we saw.”  While I was in awe of the size of the mountains (and I realize it’s nothing compared to the Rocky Mtns but I’ve not seen those so…) the girls just didn’t get it.

DSCN1628

We did a driving tour of a neat area called Cade’s Cove.  There were several old churches, houses, barns, mills and cemeteries we got to walk around in.  About 1/2 way through the 11 mile loop, Dad declares that he’s been in enough churches and houses for him.  Then we get to the info center and find a working grist mill.  Suddenly there’s plenty of time to hang out and watch the gears turn.  That’s the engineer in him and it was pretty cool to see dried corn turned into cornmeal right before our eyes.

DSCN1501

And saw some wildlife.  Squirrel: not a treat, we see them all the time.  Turkey: pretty cool to see live one strutting not too far away.  Bear:  ok, that was cool.  Mama and cub walking through the edge of the woods just a few yards away!!  I took this with my own camera and not through a glass wall at the zoo.

DSCN1494

Played with Penguins, scuba guys and Sting Rays at the aquarium

DSCN1572 DSCN1602

Hoped the South would win at Dixie Stampede. They didn’t but we had fun anyway.  I tried to tell the girls what it would be like but boy do I wish I had a video of them when real horses came racing into the arena.  And when they put a whole chicken on Lanie’s plate she looked at me and said, “What do I do with that,” then proceeded to make it dance on her plate.  I missed a good bit of the show myself watching the girls enjoy it.  I’m not sure Beth even realized she had a plate of food.  She took the whole meal to absent-mindedly nibble on her ear of corn.

DSCN1606

Eventually we came home to OK. Then we bought a car.  The Pacificia was worth more dead than alive.  We got a Mazda 6 and are thus far happy with it.  After starting summer with no air conditioning my standards were pretty easily met.  Luckily Chad had a few more guidelines and we hope to have this one for a long time.

car

The Lee Family paid us a visit.  Always fun to be with them.  The kids play well together and Noah brings nifty games for the adults to play.

lees

We ended the month by celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary.  Got us a sitter and went to dinner just the two of us.  We were back home by 7:00.  Pretty much like when we first got married.  Eat with the early birds and go home.  It’s working so far🙂  Didn’t take a picture that night.

Lanie is 9?!?!?!

Surely that just can’t be right.

How did we get from this: She was 1 month old the day this was taken.  The photographer was shocked at how awake she was and her little wave is priceless.  She was born with that hand up.  We would burrito baby her up snuggly and like Houdini, she would have that little hand up by her face in no time.  After a while I just started leaving it out for her.

sc000083ad

To this: Beautiful, smart, sassy, silly… Lover of books and stuffed animals, especially puppies. Days from being an official 4th grader.  Getting taller every day (I swear I’ve quit giving her Miracle Grow but it must have been the long lasting kind).

Lanie

Not going to say she’s perfect, since none of us are.  We have our moments, as most mothers and daughters do.  But she can sure make me laugh and I love the way she gets sarcasm and Chad’s little puns now, especially when it takes just a sec and she lets out an “Ohh, I get it.”

lanie and scooterphoto photoDSCN0801

But alas at approximately 8:30 tonight, May 13, 2013, she will be 9 years old.  9 fun filled years.  And may she be blessed with many many more years to come.

Happy Mother’s Day

Whew, barely got this one in on time.  Was it a Happy Mother’s Day?  I enjoyed mine.  Pretty typical Sunday but since that means a day spent with my precious girls and wonderful hubby, it was good.

Received handmade gifts from the girls (literally Beth’s was a cast of her hand and Lanie made a painting).  I aslo got some cool kitchen stuff from them with the help of Chad and Amazon.

When I think of Mother’s day this picture comes to mind.

4 generations on Mother's Day

Four generations together on Mother’s Day 2008.  Girls were 1 & 4.  Mom, Dad and Granny had gone to church with us at FBMC and we were home for lunch.  Thankfully someone thought to take a picture.  That was our last happy MD all together. Little did we know that in 4 months we would be living in another state. The next MD we spent all together was 2 years ago and as probably anyone actually reading this knows, Mom left us for Heaven at the end of it.

So yes, I had a moment today, at church actually and am having another one now but I know she’s happy and I don’t think it fair to deprive my girls of their Mommy so we press on and indeed have a Happy Mother’s Day.

Beth is 6!!!

Our sweet Elizabeth Marie turns 6 today.  Sounds trite but I really can’t believe it’s been 6 years since we welcomed her into our lives.

She gave us a bit of a scare at first.  Our soon to be chatterbox decided to start talking a bit to early and filled her little lungs with fluid. Our little baby looked huge in the NICU next to tiny preemies. Eight long days later we got to bring her home.

sc0000717f

When big sister Lanie said “Elizabeth” it sounded like “Little Bit” and it stuck.

sc00005a6d

For a while anyway.  Soon after turning 2, she started calling herself Beth.

sc0000373e

Now here we are at age 6.  Kindergarten almost done.  Reading and writing.  Her own little style, one that frequently involves mismatched shoes. Our little budding gymnast, not the next Shannon Miller but she enjoys it.

photo

She’s a snuggle bunny.

photo

Her laughter is contagious.  She’s all girly girl.  Keeps us on our toes cause you never know what she’ll come up with next.

P1060424

Happy Birthday our sweet Little Bit, Beth.

P2190010

An April Weekend with Grandparents

Boring title, I know.

Friday the girls were out of school for “April Day” (kid you not, that’s it’s official name on the school calendar) and I wanted to go to the BGCO Ladies Retreat. Chad’s doing contract work right now so no work = no pay.  Plus he’s under a deadline and can’t work off site.  Humm, leave the girls home alone all day?  NOT.  Chad called his Mama and Daddy and they graciously drove to spend the weekend with us.

Friday morning the girls wouldn’t wait to take me to the church.  It wasn’t so much they wanted to be rid of me (at least I’m telling myself that) but they LOVE breakfast with PawPaw.  Katie’s awaited them.

I returned home Saturday afternoon.  From the look of Beth’s room (which the girls were sharing) they had enjoyed their time off school together.

MawMaw, Lanie and I did a little shopping Sunday afternoon.  Lanie got her silly on:

Where’s Lanie?

Image

There she is..

.Image

Beth and PawPaw

Image

Lanie and MawMaw

Image

I am  blessed to have such wonderful, loving in-laws.

What’s the date again???

Yesterday it was upper 70’s.

At 8:30 this morning this is what we had:

photo photo-1

I was leaving the girls school at 11:30 when the power went off.  It was sleeting/freezing rain as I went to the car and the gusts kept taking my breath away.  This was a common sight:

photo photo-1 photo-2 photo-3

2:00 the power was still off at school and expected to be for several hours longer.  Picked up the girls on my way home from a little work at the church.  The trees were very pretty but not the normal view on April 10th.