Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reasons for Reminising

Participating in public speaking last Friday brought back memories of my dad, who was excellent at it - much more comfortable and competent than me. As an officer at the Orlando Police Department and a lead hostage negotiator, he was interviewed on TV numerous times and he also taught classes, workshops, seminars, etc. about various topics.

I don't think my kids have ever seen a video of him before (only pictures), so I pulled out some old VHS tapes that my dad had saved of various public speaking events that he performed.

I was always proud of him, and this time was no exception as I pointed him out to my kids "That was my dad - your Grandpa Lomonaco."


An old friend and co-worker of my dad's, Steve Harrelson, recently passed away. You can read about it here, here (with video), or other places (just search for it). My dad and him both loved to fish and enjoy the outdoors, and I remember my siblings and me accompanying them both on numerous fishing trips.

I don't know what heaven looks like, but I know Steve was a Christian and I'm pretty sure my dad was when he passed away too, and I can't help but picture them both fishing and hanging out together again, with perfect weather and heavenly conversation.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pictures of Clara and New Book Review

Pictures of Clara's birth day are now online, on our web page here.

Also, I finished another book a couple of weeks ago called Combat Corpsman. The review for it is now online, on our web page here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Afterthought About the Workshop

As an afterthought to Public Speaking Performed:

After the workshop, I took the time to walk around the Sacramento State campus for a few minutes after the workshop. And I really liked the campus, which has an abundance of foliage and greenery. It also borders the American River and is adjacent to the American River Parkway trail.

But while I did like the campus, "Sacramento State" seems like a bit of a dumb name to me. Since Sacramento is actually a city, is it really supposed to be California State at Sacramento? If so, then you would think that the school's official web site would say that, but even their web site calls it Sacramento State. Hopefully there is a story or reason behind it.

Public Speaking Performed

I had the opportunity today to be a presenter for a workshop at Sacramento State, on behalf of my company (Northrop Grumman).

The workshop was titled "Workplace Communication - Effectively Navigating the Waters", and there were 55 people registered (a full room).

It was primarily presented by an HR representative from our company, but myself and three other engineers volunteered to be presenters of sub-topics, and leaders of some interactive exercises. My particular sub-topic was "How to Get Along with Your Boss".

I think it generally went well, although I noticed several flaws in my delivery. I usually tend to speak too fast, and today was no exception. And I don't think I gave enough variation in my pauses and inflections.

On the positive side, I was less nervous than usual. I'm pretty sure that I spoke more clearly than other times at least. And I think the content was pretty decent.

It seems to me though that the only way to really improve at public speaking is to simply do more of it. And while I do take advantage of any opportunity that I come across to speak publicly, those opportunities only arise once every 2-3 years at best.

So I'm seriously considering joining or at least looking into Toastmasters. Besides getting the opportunity to practice and perform more often, getting additional feedback could be invaluable.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The First Lomonaco Production

On Friday 4/9, I watched the kids while my wife worked at our church.

After breakfast, I had the idea to make a short movie with them. So I started by making a list of all of the resources that we had available.

When listing the items that we had available, a plot came to mind. So I hatched out a quick scene synopses (as seen on the paper below) underneath the list of resources.

I had to prepare the set by removing all of the clutter in our bonus room. Then I ran through the scene with the kids, explaining what we were going to do and each of our roles in it.

After several takes, a costume change by Emily, a little editing using Windows Movie Maker, and the addition of dramatic music during the perfectly choreographed action sequence - viola!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Details and A Few Pictures

Pictures of Amanda and Clara (ultrasound) while Amanda was pregnant are now online here.

More details of her birth are here, and I'll be adding pictures and video to that page soon enough.

In the mean time though, there are pictures of her birth day on my Facebook page, located here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome to the World, Clara Lomonaco!

We had our 3rd child today - Clara Joy Lomonaco!

We are truly thankful for this tremendous blessing!

Her basic stats are as follows:
  • Time of birth - 11:16am
  • Weight - 6 lb, 8 oz
  • Length - 19 inches
Mom and baby are doing well.

Pictures are sure to follow soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jeanette Has Left the Building

Jeanette (pictured below on the day before she moved out) has vacated the premises.

A friend of ours was surprised by Amanda's resulting joy, saying "What, with that big house?".

Yes, the house is big enough for one more person, or 20 more people (depending on the culture - those Chinese can pack 'em tight). But, it's not the lack of space that makes it so nice to be without a roommate again, it's the lack of privacy, and the lack of control over your own space.

We've had a non-family member living with us since September of 2007 (first Matt, then Jeanette). Think about having a guest stay with you for that long! No matter how much space you have in your house, you'd be relieved to see them go.

We are really thankful for the extra income that the rent provided. And it was a blessing to get to know new people, especially since both of them were considerate, kind, and Christians. I'm really hoping that we can make it work financially without one though, at least for a while.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ooma Me!

I was talking with a co-worker when he gave me a ride home recently, when he mentioned this little gadget to me.

The idea is this: You pay for the hardware, which is $250 or less (we found it for $200 at Fry's). After that, you pay nothing more for your VOIP (voice over internet protocol) - ever!

Depending on how much you pay for your phone service, it could pay for itself in a few months.

We took the leap and hooked it up about a month ago. Since we're happy with its performance (it's not perfect, but usually close enough) we promptly canceled our phone and cable service. Since we only need to pay for a high speed internet connection now, we cut our monthly multimedia bill in half!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Facebook vs Blogging

Is it just me, or does Facebook cause a serious distraction to people who would otherwise be blogging?

On a different, but still blogging-related note - I wonder what the ratio of female bloggers are to male? It seems like men are outnumbered in blog-land by something like 100-to-1.

On a completely different note, I absolutely appreciate afternoon naps on the weekends, but I'm guessing that today's nap is the main reason that I can't sleep now!

Going Green (and sometimes brown)

Reusable, paper-free toilet paper! What a great idea!
I will be tossing my rolls out the door immediately!

And pretty colors too!
Now who wants to come over for dinner?
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