Life in California… Continued

Dave Bechtel, our "Director of Operations", very busy. Next to him his new toy, a Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop. Drool…

Heather is our "Goddess of Organization" – no joke, that’s her official title. My favorite coworker – intelligent, attraktiv, funny. Also still single. Potential candidates are encouraged to contact her directly.

Shauneen is our massage therapist and performs miracles through Shiatsu. She comes every two weeks and tends to the employee’s physical well-being. We have to pay her out of our own pocket but it’s worth every penny. Her hands are amazing.

Sometimes you just need a break and play a few games of pool in the game room. Steve is an excellent pool player. With a little more patience and concentration he could be successful as a pro.

Sandy and I like to eat Sushi, which is pretty popular and affordable here. Oedo is our preferred Sushi restaurant.

We are regulars here, and always warmly welcomed.

Then it’s time to go home and relax with a movie on DVD and a fire in the fireplace.

The weekends are always busy, errands, shopping, laundry, and often a computer job. I help people (private users and small businesses) with computer questions and problems. The money I make from that pays for my computer habit.

Life in California… Continued

Around 10 or 10:30am it’s finally time to go to work.

Sometimes I use the wrong door where currently Sandy’s car, a nice new Volvo S60 lives. Since we only have a one-car garage we take turns.

The purple monster that is dangling from the ceiling is "drag’n butt", used to be a band mascott a long time ago.

Sandy leaving for work.

My car is in the driveway. A white VW Golf GTI VR6, 174PS, loaded (leather seats, moon roof, sound system, everything powered, etc.), lowered, (Eibach struts, Neuspeed springs), darker, louder (Pioneer 200W amp, Bazooka Subwoofer), etc. – Yeah, Baby! The problem is that there are no autobahns in the immediate vicinity, making speeds over 70 mph somewhat risky.

Depending on traffic, it takes about 35 minutes for the 27 miles to work on a weekday morning or 21 minutes on the weekend.

Life in California… Continued

Either way, next stop: bathroom.

Wow! An American bathroom. Exciting! Unbelievable, but we have showers, toilets, sinks, and even mirrors here. Cool!

After making myself halfway presentable…

…I’m heading downstairs. Since it is way too quiet down here, I feed the stereo with a decent CD. Ok, that’s better. Progressive Rock in Surround Sound – the morning gets better and better.

Time for breakfast. Bagel, fruit, water, yoghurt, oatmeal, multi-vitamin, whatever is handy.

El breakfast table…

Le fridge…

Zee kitchen…

After breakfast it’s back upstairs, spending one hour answering email, work on my website, pay bills, etc.

Life in California…

For some strange reason some people have the desire to know what the Byrons are doing in the U.S., and what it looks like over here. To satisfy their curiosity I got into the habit of occasionally taking pictures of what goes on around here and document it for posterity.

Some time around 7 or 7:30am, the alarm goes off and fills the bedroom with music. Depending on what CD is on, I wake up eventually. After intense extended scientific research I came to the conclusion that KennyG leads to prolonged sleep phases and that Slayer is the ideal waker-upper when unexpectedly injected into a deep sleep cycle.

Eventually the eye lids open and absorb the first impression of the day:

Ok, I can see sun, that looks promising. Enough motivation to crawl out of bed.

First a trip to command central to make sure I didn’t miss anything important while I wasted the last 6 hours sleeping.

First stops: e-mail, my Forum, CNN.

After the brain was slowly awakened, I’m usually coherent enough for coordinated physical activity. Depending on the weather and how I feel it’s either time for a trip to the gym …

… or for two laps around Lake Elizabeth (4 miles or about 6 kilometers) …

… or not.