Category Archives: Interesting Facts

Washington, D.C. in 36 Hours: Day 2

On the morning we came back from D.C., we went to the White House.  We could tell President Obama was home because the Marine was standing outside the Oval Office.  The Logsdons also got stuck in traffic waiting for his motorcade to go by later in the day.

The White House

I thought it was funny that the press were all huddled together in one spot, when on TV you see someone reporting live from the White House lawn and it always looks like they’re the only one there.

The White House Press Corps

Washington, D.C. in 36 Hours: Day 1

On Saturday, we went to see the absolutely fantastic How to Train Your Dragon with friends and kids.  The Wests were leaving for Washington, D.C. the next day for a concert and some sightseeing with their kids.  They had found out just before the movie started that the kids might not be able to go because the person who was supposed to watch them while Audrey and Nathan went to the concert was ill.  We had only a few hours to decide, but it didn’t take long.  We agreed (twist our arms…go ahead) to go, and so did the Logsdons.  So we got all packed up, and the twelve of us loaded up two minivans and set out for our nation’s capital on Sunday morning.

Day one (Monday) was rainy, but we made the most of it.  We took the Metro Rail to the Smithsonian, but decided to walk the National Mall in the morning instead because it wasn’t raining too hard.  As it turns out, it was the right decision because it was windy and cold on Tuesday.

We started with the Capitol in view.

The Capitol

We proceeded to the Washington Monument…

Avery, Emma, Moira, & Ethan

..and headed toward the Reflecting Pool.

Walking to the Lincoln Memorial

The rain made for some neat shots.  As we approached the Lincoln Memorial, a band was playing The National Anthem.

The Mall

I was amazed by the size of the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial

And the view from the Lincoln Memorial back across the Mall was awesome.

Washington Monument

Air Date Announced

In a press release dated Monday, November 10, 2008, ABC announced that the episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featuring the Nickless family of Holt, Michigan will air Sunday, November 30, 2008, at 8:00 p.m.

My brother Ben and his wife Paulie, owners of Ewing’s Wood Floors & More, as well as former owner Craig Ewing, had the privilege of contributing to the project by doing the full installation of the solid oak flooring in the blue bedroom (airplane theme) for the youngest son. After finishing the blue bedroom, Ben, Paulie, and Craig were pleased to assist in the floating laminate installation for the kitchen, dining room, and a hallway area leading to the back door.

It was an amazing experience for all who were involved. Paulie said, “It was such an honor to help that family start a new life.”

Wordless Wednesday ~ Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Sorry for the quality of the inside pictures, Paulie said it was very dark and dusty in the house.  I’m trying to keep this “wordless”, so you can read more about this here and here.

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

“The Braveheart March”

Ben and Paulie participated in the volunteer’s march (the show refers to it as “The Braveheart March”) to the construction site prior to demolition on Sunday morning.  Another participant kindly sent these pictures.

I’m SO Proud!

Yesterday, Ty Pennington and the rest of the cast of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition arrived in Michigan to surprise a deserving family.  Earlier in the week, a member of the show’s staff called my brother and invited Ewing’s Wood Floors & More (my brother and sister-in-law’s business) to be part of the large flooring crew that will be installing the wood floors in the house from 7:00 p.m. on Wedensday through 8:00 a.m. on Thursday.

Way to go Ben and Paulie for continuing the Ewing tradition, being considered a premier wood floor vendor in mid-Michigan, and for giving of your time and talents for a deserving family!

Ike Arrives in Kentucky

Well, it obviously wasn’t a hurricane anymore by the time it reached us, but we did get a heck of a windstorm on Sunday.  We were actually hoping for Ike to bring some rain into the area, but we got the wind without the rain.

We lost two trees.  We have plenty, and they fell away from the house, so I’m not too concerned.  It just makes work for me…and I don’t have the tools to clean it up.  I’ll have to borrow a chain saw and get it cut down and cleaned up before too long.  I have some other trees that I want to clean up anyway, so maybe this will be the nudge I need to get to work!

Please excuse the quality of the pictures.  I wasn’t going to hoof it down the cliff in our back yard to get to these trees to take a good picture, and the zoom on our camera is terrible.

It seems hard to believe that there was still enough of Ike left to do this kind of damage (and much worse) by the time it reached us.

A New “Season” for Snoopy

During the summer of 2001, I had the pleasure of playing opposite my beautiful wife in Studio Players of Lexington’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I played “Schroeder” (blonde hair and all) to her “Lucy,” and we had a great time.  I’ll have to find a picture and post it…I think it was before we had a digital camera, so I’ll have to dig up a scanner!

I recently found out that Ryan Quinn West, who was in that show with us and played “Snoopy,” is currently in the Chicago cast of Jersey Boys. He has played several roles in the show, including “Bob Gaudio,” who is one of the original Four Seasons and the writer of many of their songs.

We saw the touring company of Jersey Boys in Cincinnati on Saturday (the last of our Broadway Series tickets for this year). It was fantastic!

It’s always fun to know someone who is pursuing their dream and making it. I’ve been in shows with several people who came back to Lexington after successful (or not so successful) attempts at careers in theater and film. Jim Varney (“Ernest” movies; “Know Whatta Mean, Vern?”; Voice of Slinky Dog in Toy Story movies) even came and watched part of one of our Forever Plaid rehearsals toward the end of his life.

I’m excited for Ryan (and, admittedly, a little jealous). Seeing him doing so well makes me feel old. He was such a kid when we worked together!

Too Many Toys? What, us?!?

Okay, I hesitate to post this, because I don’t really feel like I accomplished my goal, but here goes…

I have been envious of the Voris playroom since Carrie posted her pictures of it.  I’ve been meaning to tackle ours, but just didn’t know where to start.

Today Emma was sick, and it was my turn to stay home with her, so I decided to try my luck at cleaning up the playroom and making sense of it all.  I think I managed to do that, but it doesn’t really look like it.

I’ll start at the door. There’s not much to see here.

Following around to the right…

The alcove to the right of the closet has become the kitchen.

Here’s the bed…and sick little Emma.

To the right of the bed, I made an activity area with books, puzzles, crayons, blocks, etc.

And then the tunnels and computer armoire (which I just realized I forgot to clean off before I took the picture).

I didn’t take a picture of it, but there’s a rug in the middle where the kids can play with cars and their “Little People” set.

We’re not winning any awards for organization or decorating, but I think the kids will really enjoy it. Emma has already been intrigued enough to get out of bed and crawl through the tunnel once.

My Eleven Jobs

My friend, Vic, tagged me to tell you all what exciting things I’ve done in my life that, in return, I was paid for.

  1. Lawn Care Technician – Leslie, Michigan:  Heh, heh…Sounds kind of impressive, huh?  I worked for my dad, mowing my neighbor’s 10-acre lawn.  It was a great junior high gig.  This is the job that bought me my first (and only…yes, I still have it) adult bicycle.
  2. Page – Ingham County Library – Leslie, Michigan:  This was my high school job.  The local library always had one high school student, and I was it for all four of my high school years.  I checked books, videos, and other media in and out, put items back on the shelf, helped with the children’s “Summer Reading Program,” etc.  It was a great high school gig that paid fairly well, had great hours, and was in an air-conditioned building.  This is the job that bought me my first car.
  3. Lab Instructor – Industrial Robotics, Industrial Engineering & Technology Dept., Central Michigan University – Mt. Pleasant, Michigan:  The Industrial Robotics class at CMU had an accompanying lab where students wrote small programs to control miniature industrial robots.  I ran the lab and helped students with questions and problems.  I also graded their lab sheets, and actually caught someone cheating once (they were copying someone else’s work, not coming to the labs, and turning their sheets in with a forged version of my signature)!
  4. Cashier / Night Manager / Slave – Hanson’s Amoco & Party Store – Barryton, Michigan:  This was a great job to help pay the college expenses.  I was dating the owner’s daughter at the time, so I had connections to get the job.  Most of the time I ran one of the two cash registers.  Some of the time, I made and served pizza or subs, stocked shelves, filled propane tanks, etc.  For a short time, I was also the night manager.
  5. Vision Software Engineer – LRP Technology – Leslie, Michigan:  This was my first career job.  I worked here during summers and holiday breaks in college.  I wrote programs for our primary customer (General Electric) that inspected light bulb parts during and after the manufacturing process.  To my knowledge several of the systems I worked on are still in use in GE Lighting plants across the eastern U.S.
  6. Programmer/Analyst – F.X. Coughlin Company – Taylor, Michigan:  My first job out of college.  Coughlin was a transportation company that mostly served the automotive industry, and I was a member of their Application Development team.  I was only there 6 months before I got the offer from GE, but it was an amazing experience.
  7. Systems Engineer – General Electric Company – Lexington, Kentucky:  My big move away from home, and the job I was doing when I met my beautiful wife.  I was the only systems person for 3 plants in Kentucky (2 in Lexington and 1 in Somerset).  The thing I miss most about this job was my big office with 2 windows!  I met an amazing friend there who I still keep in touch with.  Hi, Linda!
  8. Project Leader – General Electric Company – Lexington, Kentucky:  Same place, same office…just application development in addition to support.
  9. Team Leader – General Electric Company – Lexington, Kentucky:  Same place, same office…but I had 7 plants in Kentucky, Ohio, and Canada, with 5 Systems Engineers working for me who were based in those plants.
  10. Senior Software Engineer – American Greetings Corporation – Danville, Kentucky:  I was hired as the programmer for their greeting card sorting machines.  Since then, we have added two others for a team of three programmers.  We support all aspects of the software that controls the large machines that sort non-seasonal greeting cards (birthday, anniversary, sympathy, thank you, etc.).  Shortly after I was hired, we launched a project to rewrite the software, and we are currently at the beginning of another rewrite to take advantage of the advances in technology.
  11. Asst. Order Filling Manager – American Greetings Corporation – Danville, Kentucky:  A management position over the Order Filling, Packaging, Returned Goods, Computer Operations, and Order Processing departments, with 8 supervisors reporting to me and over 200 hourly employees reporting to them.  This was a 13-month assignment to prepare me for operations management at American Greetings.  It was, by far, the best job I’ve ever had, and I’m ready to go back whenever I get the opportunity.

Now, I’m supposed to tag some people…and I don’t follow a lot of blogs, so:

Carrie, you’re it!