Monday, November 29, 2010

A Great Weekend

A big Welcome! to our newest followers:
Visionquest (Heidi and Mike)
George
Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  You might find Heidi and Mike's blog interesting, or George and Sandi's blog.  Check them out!
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How was your weekend?

We had a great time in Fairfax spending time with the Royces and seeing Adam.  Like really great.  We did a lot of talking and hanging out.  They have a real nice place for that.
The Royces have a very beautiful view out of their back yard.  It was a little cool outside but the view is great.
On Saturday, while Jeff and Tiffany took the kids for a nature trail hike, we drove into DC to see the Christmas tree at the capitol.  It was one of our family traditions each year to go check out the tree and the back side of the capitol building.
 Unfortunately, we were a few days early.  The tree isn't due to arrive until December 7.  This year the tree comes from Wyoming.  Read all about it here.
On our way over to see Adam at the bakery where he is working, we saw some tourists on their Segway wheels.  Looks like a fun way to get around!
Next we went up 14th Street to the Sticky Fingers bakery where Adam works.  It is near the Target/Best Buy shopping center which seems to be doing some brisk business.  It opened up a couple of years ago before the neighborhood had an influx of some new businesses and now is doing well.
We had some vegan chili and a quesadilla with coffee and hot chocolate.  All were excellent!

Later in the day, we returned to Royces.  Kelly helped Lauren and Emily paint their nails while Tiffany cooked some turkey tortellini.
After dinner, Tiffany took a 'family photo' for us.  A simple family shot took 30 takes...kids fooling around...
Later, after the kids went to bed we talked about India.  Jeff and Tiffany and Adam and Kelly were all on their iPhone4's and googling different cities in India.  The maps and pictures of Fort Jaisalmer where Adam lived were very good.  Image ~ looking at photos and maps on your phone to explain where you lived for three months.  He talked about the living conditions and how things run and the culture differences.  He went on back to DC 

We got up early on Sunday and made our way down I-95 before the traffic got too bad.
Wawa is one of our favorite gas stations and we find McDonalds to have clean restrooms so they are often on our travel stops.
We arrived back in Virginia Beach before noon.  We dropped Kelly off at her house about 1030.  (Adam is staying with friends in DC so he can work for a few weeks.)  We spent the rest of the day unpacking, watching football and reading.

It was a great weekend.  Hope yours was too.  Thanks for viewing the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Great Holiday Weekend

A big Welcome to our newest Follower:
Cheryl
If you get a chance, check out her blog:  NOSTALGIA Today and Yesterday!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying the weekend.  Ours started our with a real blessing.  I was packing the car for our trip short trip to Fairfax and over the sand dunes I could see the sun bouncing off the early morning clouds:
Pretty glorious way to start the day!

We picked up Kelly and her dog Ed and joined the morning traffic flow up to Washington DC.  It was a little busier than I expected, but we made good time and arrived just before noon.

Adam got off work a little before 3:00 PM so Kelly and I picked him up and drove out to Royce's.

Later, we the cooking in the kitchen was well underway:
While the home made rolls were getting done, I snapped the traditional holiday empty table photo.
Then the turkey came out of the oven.  Tiffany tried a brine of apple cider, salt, herbs ...
Next, the ToFurkey was prepared for Adam, the vegan in the group.  Given the two, I prefer the turkey
Adam and Kelly and Aaron were taking pictures of the pictures...
Amy and Jon (Jeff's brother) arrived with baby Lucas and we got to hang out...
Jeff carved up the turkey
Emily mashed the potatoes
and we all gathered at the table.

It was a tremendous feast and we almost hurt ourselves!  But what are Thanksgivings for?  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time...

It was really good and we cleaned up the kitchen, sat around awhile and decided we needed a 'formal' group shot for the occasion.
We had fun and thoroughly enjoyed being together!

Now for some serious football watching and more time with Adam before we head back to the Virginia Beach area.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  And thanks for the nice comments.  We appreciate them!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

No matter where you are to day I hope you have a chance to spend time with family, see a great parade, enjoy family and or friends and maybe watch some football if you are into that kind of thing.

Here is a look how the President celebrated it the year I was born!


What  traditions do you have this time of year?

We will be at Jeff and Tiffany's in Fairfax along with Adam and Kelly.  Hope you all have a great weekend!

“Thanksgiving is America’s national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty.” –Michael Dresser

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mondays with Meghan - Documentary Update

I want to say Welcome!! to our newest Followers:
Merri and Steve (Our Coffee Cafe)
Tiberiu A. (Tibashustudio)
Terria Fleming (Daily Good)
newton avelino
Thanks for joining us.  
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Carolyn Jarvis of GlobalTV in Canada did a documentary on Meghan and Adam in her program 16:9.  It aired in Canada on Sunday night.  She did a very good job and it is in two segments:  Love Through Loss I and Love Through Loss II.   Both segments last just under 8 minutes.

Love Through Loss I

Love Through Loss II


Adam just finished spending three months in India.  Yesterday in his latest blog, he shares what happened in India and where he is in the process...


Thanks for viewing today!   Hope your Thanksgiving is full of hope and thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Knoxville, TN Habitat for Humanity

Adam returned to the States last week from India.  He flew into New York and is staying with friends.  We will see him in Fairfax, VA later this week for Thanksgiving and he wanted to have his car.  So we drove to Maynardville, TN last Thursday to pick it up and drive it back to Virginia.
It was a long drive and we covered the 585 miles in about 9 1/2 hours, arriving there about 3:30 PM.

This is our last planned trip to see Mike and Joan for a while and we are going to miss them sorely.  We love going there and spending time with them.

Since we had nothing planned, I took the time to look up the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Knoxville.   I was thinking the next time we are in town, we will volunteer there and see what it is like in Knoxville.

I found the volunteer coordinator online and sent a message.  Trinity indicated which days which crews do their work.  They are organized with the following crews:

  • Carpentry Crew
  • Warehouse Crew
  • Electrical Crew
  • Paint Crew
She also passed along the point-of-contact/lead for each crew and the time and place where they do their work each week.  Not every affiliate has enough people or expertise to have crews like this and it was interesting to see this.
The Habitat offices, warehouse and ReStore are all co-located in a fairly large building in an older part of downtown Knoxville.
I went inside and was immediately greeted by the Volunteer Coordinator, Trinity (red shirt).  She and Karen agreed to a picture.
After introducing myself and indicating our interest in volunteering, Trinity gave me a tour of the facility.
 We met another volunteer (forgot his name) who works in the same office as the director.
I counted 11 homes they are tracking on their wall board.   
Back in the warehouse, I saw pre-built storage sheds built by the carpentry crew that are placed at homes that need them.
They also pre-build walls and support sections of walls there at the warehouse.
Next, I met Rick who also is a volunteer and has been working with Habitat in Knoxville for years.  He is also a former full-time RVer for 6 years so we talked for a few minutes.
One thing I noticed about the Knoxville Habitat building and grounds:  It was very well organized.  I looked around at the offices and warehouse and the ReStore and it all was orderly and well taken care of.  They had a lot of stuff and a number of offices and it was the type of place that looked like a well run operation.

And it is getting the job done.  Habitat for Humanity in Knoxville
has been around for 25 years and they are completing their 400th house!  What a milestone!

Trinity was great and showed off their operation well.  I looked at it with an eye similar to how I look at a mechanic's garage:  it was clean, orderly and well organized and I want to do business with them.  They definitely look like they know what they are doing and I'd like to be a part of it during our next stop in Maynardville, TN.  We will plan on it!

So if you are interested in working with Habitat for Humanity near you, I'd recommend stopping by your local affiliate and checking it out.  Or Google it and find the 'Volunteer' button 
on the screen.  You will probably find it to be an interesting experience and a lot of fun!

That is it for this Monday's edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Hope you have a great Thanksgiving week and Be Safe if you are traveling!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Networking and Meeting People

Please join me in welcoming the newest follower to the Roadrunner Chronicles:
Melissa Meyer
You can take at look at her blog here: Random Travel Updates
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Networking comes in many forms:

  • IT networking; 
  • friends of friends-type of connection networking; 
  • social media networks; 
  • and face-to-face meeting(s) networking
  • other...
This is about the latter.  I love meeting people.  Call it a chip off the old block (my dad had no trouble meeting new people), but I love to meet new people.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone is from somewhere and I love to hear people.  I love to hear about people and their stories.

In fact, learning how to meet new people is absolutely one of the most important and life changing things I learned at college.  Every Friday night I went to "College Life" which was a weekly meeting on campus to meet people, hear a short talk on some aspect of Christianity (I was a new Christian at the time), and to usually hear some good music.

The most terrifying part of every week were the moments right after the meeting started where the MC would say:
"Please stand up (there were about 200 at each meeting all sitting on the floor of the large room) for the next three minutes and meeting three new people in the next three minutes".
For the first couple of seconds I was horrified by the thought of walking up to someone cold turkey and meeting them.  Yikes! What do you say to complete strangers?

Then I found those magic words:  "Hi, my name is Randy, what is your name?"

Not exactly complicated or catchey--but it was hard to do at first.  I tell you once I got over that hurdle, it was easy.  That lesson has served me well to this day.  I use it every day.  One of the best lessons I ever learned.

Last week I had a very interesting experience at a United States Naval Academy (USNA) Alumni networking breakfast meeting.  One of our new friends at the Habitat for Humanity construction site, Dennis (in the yellow shirt)
invited me to join him at his local United State Naval Academy chapter meetings.  The purpose of the event is to help people find jobs.  Some go there looking to hire people, some go there looking for a job. Others go because they are invited (like me) and are curious.   Each week they have a short presentation.

I didn't know how long it would take me to get across town and I didn't want to be late.  As it turned out, I was a little bit early but it was no problem.   I easily found where the meeting was held and went in.
Bob started this event in 1993 and it has been going ever since.   The meeting is held in the conference room of this building.

 Everyone milled around for a few minutes before the meeting.  I got some coffee and began introducing myself and asking what they did for a living.  Most people are glad to tell you about themselves.
Once it began, the mood was light and friendly.  But it was well organized and moved along quickly.  There were about 30 people there.  All guests and new attendees were introduced and made to feel welcome, even if they were not USNA graduates.  Those looking for a job got the chance to tell what they were interested in and what they were looking for.  Those looking for workers had the chance to do the same.

One of the more interesting people who spoke up was Bill.  He is a USNA graduate and one who is about to launch a venture in Warsaw, Poland.  His business is a "Bed, Bath and Beyond"- type of business.  His website is:  http://www.decorador.pl/catalog/index.php

There was a wide range of interest and job possibilities at the breakfast meeting.  Some are entrepreneurs, some are folks who work for the military or government.  Others work in the commercial or retail arena.  I met Mike who works at a vegan bakery.  Another, Guy, has a business selling hoses.  Quite a mix of interesting people.  And the common denominator is the fact that the great majority of the folks are USNA graduates.

Later, a brief presentation was made on Reverse Mortgages.  Bob introduced the speaker who kept it short and offered some interesting points on the subject.
It didn't have a lot to do with with jobs, but since many there were in their 50's and are retirees, the subject was relevant to many attendees.

It was a fun morning of networking and seeing the results of Bill's idea to help others via the breakfast.  The meeting was very very well run and it was interesting.  It was good of Dennis to invite me and I appreciated the chance to meet a lot of USNA graduates and their class mates.

That is it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us and hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful Wednesday

Welcome on this Wednesday morning to our newest Followers:
Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Please take a minute and click on their names to view their blogs which I think you will find very interesting!

We were back at it on Monday morning at the Habitat for Humanity build at Red Mill.  This time of the year helps me refocus on the things I am most thankful for and one of them is the men and women at Habitat.

Here Joe is observing Tom, Paul and Bill trying to square up a wall that was a little off.
Here Kathy is putting up some styrofoam channels to hold some roof insulation.  Pam was adjusting the chop saw for some baseboard work.
It is a wonderful thing to marry a woman who love the smell of sawdust and hear the sound of power tools in her hands.  I am especially thankful for her (and her birthday today).  
We only take a lunch break during the day and Kathy and Pam are enjoying it.
Here Stephen and Bill are hanging a door.  
Here are more of the group (Sharron, the Executive Director of Habitat, Southhampton Roads; Tom, Karen, Pam and Joe).

I am also thankful to fellow RVers Harold and Linda Payne of RV-Dreams.com.  They were a primary source of information as we learned about the RV lifestyle.  Yesterday on Facebook I saw that Linda left a note that they were going to be interviewed on a radio show in Connecticut: Life Changes with Mariette
It was an interesting 30 minutes and Howard and Linda did a good job.  Not easy trying to explain why they left their corporate high paying jobs to live in a 5th wheel.  But they did and gave a fascinating picture of their lifestyle and the places they have been in the last five years.

Thanks again for viewing.  This will wrap up the latest edition the Roadrunner Chronicles and I leave you with another question:  
What are you thankful for this Wednesday?