Spring 2005

Spring 2005 is offcially over....this is the archived version of our Season 2005 Activities.....

Yes, Spring 2005 is officially over and this page is the archived version of our Spring 2005 Activities...check out what we got up to....

Well, as you know, spring is here in Omaha ca n have many, varied weather patterns. It is not unusual to have snow, we always have lots of rain and then there's the odd tornados or three. Plus, to tell the truth, the temperatures can be up and down like a yo-yo. To put it mildly, the temperature can be very interesting.

So, in keeping with previous years, we are asking several questions for Spring 2005 in Omaha.

  • Will we get snow in spring [i.e. when will the last snow fall]??? Answer....No snow this spring

  • How much rain will we have this season???? Answer....Heaps

  • How many tornados will we have this season??? Answer....Only two this season

  • What will the highest temperature be (i.e., when can we start wearing shorts again)???  Answer.....See below

  • What will the lowest temperature for the season be (i.e., how long will we have to keep our winter coats out)??? Answer... See below for the answer

  • How long will the war with Iraq take????? Answer...As we all know, the war continues to drag on. Unfortunately, young service people keep coming back daily in body bags. So far, the tally is approximately 1,500 and counting. But, the good news is that Bush and crew are still calling the war a success....go figure...

  • When do we start attacking North Korea??? Answer...Inch by inch, day by day, we are getting closer to a stalemate. But, because North Korea doesn't have any oil, Bush and Co really don't care if they have nuclear weapons....

All these questions, and many others, will be answered before the end of spring.

So, what's on the agenda for the Burton's in spring 2005....By the way, we're handling photos differently this year. Instead of loading them onto one single page, we'll be using hyperlinks to individual new pages. This is to improve site performance by reducing the load time soft reach page. A full seasons worth of photos takes forever to load. Hopefully, this will help people with slower connections!!!!

March 22, 2005

Start of Spring...yippee....we've survived winter.

And so, April 2005 has now started....in with sunshine, out with snow and freezing temperatures. But, with Omaha, you can never really be sure what the weather is going to do!!!

March 25, 2005:

The original plan was for the webmaster to be in Omaha for Easter. Alas, as if often said, the plans of mice and men are oft to go astray.....Unfortunately, the webmaster had to return to Valparaiso on the Wednesday prior to Easter to cover for staff shortages. So, while Lisa went to mass on Easter Sunday, the webmaster headed out to work in Valparaiso. This will be the last major seasonal festivity that the webmaster will be away from home for. This is a promise that will not b e broken.

And so, that was Easter 2005....what a bummer....

April 1, 2005: Employment

As discussed at the end of Winter, the webmaster has been under increasing pressure to make a decision regarding converting to Full Time Employment at CSI. After all, he's been there for a year and has done very nicely financially out of it. So, with some trepidation, and after numerous conversations with Lisa, the webmaster has made the decision to convert to FTE status. This is to be effective as of close of business on April 1, 2005, with the first date of employment being Monday, April 11, 2005

It must also be said that CSI has made a very attractive financial offer. Also, as part of the employee agreement, the webmaster will be spending the majority of his time working from Omaha. Basically, it will be two weeks in Valparaiso and then two weeks in Omaha. We shall see how this goes for the next three months before we [Lisa and the webmaster] make a final decision as to whether CSI and Valparaiso are a long term venture. But, until then, the webmaster gets to really check out the concept of "telecommuting"....

While the webmaster was due to depart Valparaiso on Friday April 1, he was asked to stay on until Sunday April 3 to cover the daylight savings time change on Sunday April 3 as well as monitoring VISA Spring 2005 Mandates which were install on Friday April 1. While this was a bummer, it was done to guarantee that the webmaster has the next week off for vacation....

And so, it's off to Las Vegas....

 

April 3 thru April 8, 2005:

Lisa's Spring Break vacation started on Friday, April 1. Coupled with the webmasters contract at CSI ending the same day, the decision was made to take a long overdue and well earned vacation, just the two of us. It has been quite an "interesting" last twelve months....Lisa coping with her normal job, her masters as well as research work at the Utah State University. The webmaster has been averaging some 80-90 hours per week for the last year, as well as being on the road. So, it was decided that we were going to head to Las Vegas (nicknames "lost wages") for a weeks rest and recuperation.

And so, on Sunday April 3, both Lisa and the webmaster headed out from their respective locations (Omaha and Valparaiso) to converge on Las Vegas, Nevada. We had decided on the Stratosphere as the hotel/casino/complex to spend the next week. For those of you who are interested, what follows is a map with the location of Las Vegas in the US, as well as a map of "The Strip" in Vegas....as usual, double click on the maps to see the full size image...

While Lisa's flight from Omaha was on-time, the webmasters flight from Chicago was 15 minutes late [typical!!!!]. Once all was settled, it was off to the hotel/casino/complex for a relatively quiet evening for our first night in Vegas. Will , it was quiet, just not early!!!! After an okay supper at the Hotel, it was time to gamble.......

Needless to say, Lisa did a whole lot better at the casino than the webmaster. That's more because the webmaster doesn't really understand the games played.....

Anyway, after a very late start on Monday, it was time to hit the rest of the Vegas strip...

 

 
 

 

 

 

Okay, okay. We didn't get too far that day. The large tower in the middle of the first row of these pictures is the Stratosphere where we were staying. We went to the Rivera, Treasure Island, The Venetian and a couple of smaller casino's. While most of the casino's looked exactly the same, we did find one that was different...it's called Westward Ho. The reason it was different was that you could get 27oz Margaritas for $0.99 a pop. So, while Lisa was doing 1 slots, Stephen watched the NCAA basketball final (North Carolina beat Illinois). Lisa got to do her gambling, while the webmaster got to have cheap drinks and watch some sports (also, given the webmasters gambling performance the night before, it was cheaper him watching a basketball game!!!!).

Out first impressions of Vegas were quite interesting. For such an internationally known destination, we personally found it dirty and smelly. From watching the local TV news, we also got the impression that Vegas is a very violent city. Mind you, what does anyone expect for a town who's very existence is due to mafia thugs and gangsters.

And so rolled on Tuesday. After a quick breakfast at the Sands Casino down the road, it was time to jump on the trolley that did a constant loop around the strip. And, yes, you guessed it, time for more casinos and gambling.....

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

     
   

 

 
     

     

For those of you really interested, here is a quick map of the route taken by the "Strip Trolley".....

 

 

 

 

 

These photos are more of the resorts/casinos on the Vegas strip. We took the photo of the magician's billboard in case he turned out to be a long lost relative.....

Unfortunately, by the time we got to the top of the strip, it was dark, so we couldn't take any really good photos. We did take some night photos, so here they are. Unfortunately, some of them may not be too good....

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

All we can say about the quality of some of the night shots are: we need a new digital camera. On Tuesday, we went to Mandalay Bay, The Excalibur, The Luxor, The Tropicana and The Hotel San Remo. Mind you, we did have an excellent Prime Rib dinner at the Hotel San Remo for only $5.99 each. Talk about a good value!!!! At about 11pm, it was time to head back to our Hotel. Again, we jumped back on the Strip Trolley for the sixty minute trip back to our hotel. Just a note for those of you tempted to visit Vegas: they love their speed humps (aka speed traps). And, these puppies are not for the faint hearted. Even if you slow down for them, they are guaranteed to shake and rattle your bladder, kidneys and liver. Man are they wicked!!!! And, to make matters even worse, they are everywhere!!! Plus, everyone in Vegas drives like lunatics......

On Wednesday, the intrepid adventures were up early (well, early by our standards anyway) to jump on a tour bus to take us to Hoovers dam. Yes, we actually even agreed to forgo a day of gambling to take in some of the sites. Here is a map of our trip to Hoovers Dam....

The Hoover Dam was spectacular. It was built in the 1930's during the height of the depression as part of FDR's program. It was originally devised by President Hoover, but it took FDR to actually build it as part of his New Deal Once it was finished, it was initially called the Boulder Dam because of the nearby  town's name...that and because FDR despised Hoover [FDR blamed Hoover's economic incompetence for the deepening Great Depression...mind you, there is a great deal of truth to that]. Eventually, in 1947, it was renamed the Hoover Dam. To this day, it remains the worlds largest dam.

Getting there was extremely interesting. We actually got to go through the beginning of the Mohave desert. But, that's a different story. Anyway, here are the photos from the Hoover Dam.....

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 
   

 

 
 

 
   

   
 

 

 
   

 

   

Here is the official photo of our trip to Hoovers Dam....double click to see the full sized image....

And here is proof of us actually being at Hoovers dam (over and above the actual photos)....

The trip to Hoovers Dam was well worth the time and effort. While Lisa and the webmaster had originally planned on getting down to the Grand Canyon as well, we limited our one day trip to Hoover Dam only. The trip to the Grand Canyon took 14 hours [round trip]. Besides, we had dinner reservations for the "Restaurant at the Top Of the World"....i.e., at the top of the Stratosphere hotel, at some 950" with a revolving floor.

But, before dinner, Lisa went down to the Casino floor to continue gambling. The webmaster tagged along in a supervisory roll. Mind you, Lisa actually did pretty well. Here is a photo of her winning tickets, as well as a photo of sunset from our hotel room [on the 24th floor].....

 

 

 

 

Yes, we know that the winning ticket photo is not "high quality"...hey, we didn't have a scanner with us, so we had to do the best we could do with what we had!!!!!

And, then, it was time for supper on the 107th Floor. Man, talk about impressive views of Vegas. We took a whole bunch of photos, but, unfortunately, most did not turn out. Again, this is due to a limitation of our digital camera!!!! But, here are the photos of our evening....

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

The food was delicious...and so it should have been at the price they charged.....And so ended Wednesday in Vegas.

On the Thursday, we had a very late start in the afternoon. This was a combination of sleeping in and Lisa wanting to watch her "soaps". Again, jumping onto the Strip Trolley, we headed up to the rest of the strip....

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 
   

 

 
 

 

The casino/complexes visited were Harrah's, Caesars Palace, Baily's, Bellagio's, and Aladdin's. Once these were toured, it was time to hit Westward Ho's one last time [the casino with the cheap Margaritas] before going to the Riviera so Lisa could cash out her winning tickets. Once that was done, it was time to head back to the Stratosphere. We finished off our gambling, cashed in the winning tickets [Lisa's...the webmaster didn't win anything] and then crashed in our hotel room.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. On Friday morning, all we had time to do was check out of the hotel and head to the airport. for the return flight back to Omaha. Need less to say, at the airport there were no lack of slot machines if you so chose to gamble.....

And so, that was our trip to Vegas. We have both made a promise to make sure we do thins sort of thing more regularly, rather than only having a vacation every ten years [which was the last time we had a vacation by ourselves....the last one was our honeymoon back in 1995!!!!]

Alas, though, on Friday April 8, we had to depart Las Vegas and return to the real world....

April 15, 2005

Still not quite sure why we included this one is here. This is the day that every tax payer hates: Tax Day. All tax payers must have their tax returns either into the IRS or the envelopment must be stamped by today. The even crazier thing is that 33 million Americans will spend today racing about to either get filings complete, or file for extensions. All post office's are open until midnight to accommodate these idiots. The really dumb thing is: this date DOES NOT CHANGE!!!!. We all know it's coming, year after year. How much brain power does it take to be a little bit organized (especially with the IRS...the crowd that brought down Al Capone). Screw this midnight crap!!!!

Anyways, as usual, we had all our returns filed on time. But, this year, out personal tax liability increased by some 700-800%. We simply cannot afford another four years of bush and his republican cronies......

May 30, 2005

Memorial Day is traditionally a day to have a party. It's the official start of the BBQ season and, more importantly, the driving season. So, what did we do.....

Actually, we spent most of the daylight hours looking for furniture. In early March, we had the whole house recarpeted. Normally, not a problem. However, as we were getting new furniture, we decided that we should also replace the existing living and dining room furniture as the existing stuff was starting to get a bit "tatty". So, to cut a long story short, we've been without furniture since March. So, over the long weekend, we decided that we really did have to get new stuff. And so, we did. Well, at least we've ordered it. The living room furniture arrive on June 18 and the dining room stuff is due shortly there after. Oh to be able to lounge around on a sofa again!!!!!

With the issue of furniture resolved [finally!!!!], it was time for the webmaster to spend the next two days working around the garden. We dug up a 20'x4' stretch of garden in the back yard. Then we moved 1200lbs of top soil. Man, talk about heavy work. but, it needed to be done.

Apart from that, about the only other thing we did was to go to a golf tournament party. Stephisa Technologies [our company] help sponsor a golf tournament at our local bar. So, as a result, we got to go to the party afterwards......drinks and a free steak dinner. And, before you ask the next question, neither Lisa nor the webmaster actually played in the tournament. Maybe next time.

 

 

And so, on Tuesday June 31, the memorial day long weekend came to an end. Lisa started summer school almost immediately while the webmaster had to head for fun and exciting Valparaiso, Indiana. Oh what fun......

June 10 thru June 12, 2005: Logan, Utah

As part of her participation in her Research project associated with Utah State University, Lisa had to go to Logan, Utah for training. So, on Friday June 10, Lisa and some of her other partners in crime departed Omaha for Logan, Utah. This trip involved a plane ride to Salt Lake City and then a bus drive north to Logan....

For those of you interested, it's a 86.3mile trek from Salt Lake City to Logan. Anyway, during the conference in Logan, Lisa was able to take the following "party snaps":

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

And so, after two days in Logan, Lisa headed back to Omaha. Mind you, her flight was at least two hours late because of weather in Denver.

June 22, 2005 End of Spring

This will be the last posting of the Spring season 2005.

For those of you paying attention, just prior to the end of spring, we were scheduled to receive some of our new furniture. Well, it arrived. Along with the new linoleum, the house is looking great. Now all we need is the dining room furniture.....

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

And so, that was spring 2005...

Firstly, here are the travel statistics for the last three months. For those of you that don't remember, the webmaster spent most of summer 2002 traveling between Omaha and Indianapolis on United Airlines. And, the availability sucked!!!!! So, here are the official statistics for the flights taken by the Omaha Burton's over Spring 2005....

Date Airline Origin Destination Flight Status Reason Added Bonus
Sunday, April 03, 2005 Southwest Chicago, IL Las Vegas, NV 15 Minutes Late Unknown None
Sunday, April 03, 2005 Southwest Omaha, NE Las Vegas, NV On Time Unknown None
Friday, April 08, 2005 Southwest Las Vegas. NV Omaha, NE On Time Unknown None
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 Southwest Omaha, NE Chicago, IL On Time Unknown None
Friday, April 22, 2005 Southwest Chicago, IL Omaha, NE On Time Unknown None
Monday, May 02, 2005 Southwest Omaha, NE Chicago, IL On Time Unknown None
Friday, May 13, 2005 Southwest Chicago, IL Omaha, NE On Time Unknown None
Tuesday, May 31, 2005 Southwest Omaha, NE Chicago, IL On Time Unknown None
Friday, June 10, 2005 United Omaha, NE Salt Lake City, UT On Time Unknown None
Sunday, June 12, 2005 United Salt Lake City, UT Omaha, NE 2 Hours Late Weather in Denver None
Friday, June 17, 2005 Southwest Chicago, IL Omaha, NE 10 Minutes Early Unknown None

This corresponds to an on time percentage of 81.82%....This is not real good. It just goes to prove that all US airlines are as crappy as each other!!!!!

Well, that enough about travel. For all you weather fans out there, without further ado, here are the season's weather statistics

This will be the last posting of the season 2005. Spring is officially over,  and summer is with us. Mind you, not that the weather has changed to much in the last few days. And, now for some season statistics:

Here are the weather statistics for Spring 2005....

Category Date High Temperature Low Temperature
Coldest Day  March 27, 2005  39F 28F
Warmest Day  June 7, 2005  89F 71F

Finally, the average high and lows for Spring 2004

Category Temperature (F)
Average High Temperature  70F
Average Low Temperature  49F

For those of you that are really interested in the weather, here is the daily, maximum and minimum, temperatures for Omaha over Spring 2005:

This should keep you "weather nuts" happy for a while. Remember, people from down under, all temperatures are in F.

So, that's pretty much been our Spring 2005. Alas  therefore, this will probably be the last update for season 2004 (unless we remember something really fantastic that happened!!!). Hope you've all had as much fun watching this season unfold as much as we have. In case you haven't guessed, the next Spring posting will be in late March 2006...see ya'all back then. Enjoy the rest of the year. Ya'all come back, ya hear!!!!!

 

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