Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wish I Was There!

Nick is in Chicago right now for a conference. When we went last year with our gang of friends it was so much fun. He sent me this photo this morning. This is totally quintessential Nick....his Starbucks of course, but in the background is the Hancock Tower where we went for drinks on the top floor twice to take in the view. We liked the Hancock Tower so much more than the Sears Tower because you could lounge, enjoy a snack, and take in the amazing city views. I wish I was there with him!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our First Time Voting

We voted this year for the first time in our lives. Because Nick was leaving today for Chicago, we filled out our ballots last night and I mailled them at the post office at 5AM this morning. I am not going to say who we voted for, but based on all the FACTS and not opinions of our friends and family we picked the candidate who hopefully will do the best job possible.

Nick sealing the outer envelope

Stamped and ready to go out the door

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vietnamese Cuisine

Nick and his bowl of Pho

Bun Bo Hue

Carolyn and her spicy bowl of Bun

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Having Lunch at Washington Elementary

I went to Kennewick to say Hi to the real Mrs. Cramer (Nicki) at Washington Elementary. She teaches the fifth grade there. I had a real cafeteria lunch. I hadn't had one since the sixth grade back at Zena Elementary in Woodstock New York! I had a chicken sandwich, a little bit of salad, and some fruit. A lot healthier these days. I was really intrigued by the little milk bags that the kids were picking up. NO more cartons, now recyclable plastic! What a great idea. Her classroom was very comfortable and the kids were really nice and well behaved I even got to read a couple paragraphs out of the book Weasel. I met all of her coworkers who were all very kind as well. It was nice to put a face with the names of people who gave us gifts at the wedding. They all saw the wedding album, so it was funny when everyone knew who I was before meeting them. I forgot what it was like to be in elementary school. Washington Elementary looked like a really great school with a diverse background of kids.

I am not a milk drinker, but I remember when milk used to be in little cartons, now they're in little bags!

Mrs. Cramer in charge of writing and reading for the 5th graders

When I got back, I helped Jared take out some samples out of a blazing hot furnace to quench in cold water to do a reaction study between two materials.

This is the image of a 1300 degree furnace and Jared pulling out a sample, man it was hot!

Beautiful Fall Afternoon

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Fence is Finally Finished

Nicki and Marvin working the back corner

Esteban is attached to Nicki in more ways than one

Nick with a cramped butt

Grandma Golda always smiling for the camera

Nick lending a hand

Dad came back to help fix the water line that broke during the sprinkler blowout

The new and improved line is no longer gushing water

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hawaiian Lunch for Boss's Day

Everytime I see this picture it makes me want to pee in my pants. This is a photo of Nick at a Hawaiian themed luncheon he went to. Today is National Boss Appreciation Day so his group had Hawaiian food catered. They had a photo booth which is where this photo was taken. I wish I was there. HILLARIOUS!

This Makes Me Laugh

There was this couple in Cambodia getting a divorce. Out of anger the man literally cut the house in half. Who knows where the other half is, but I can't imagine this being very stable. Hahahahaha. I guess over in Cambodia you get 50/50.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nick in the News

Nick and Alex were on the cover of the PNNL website. It was an article about a project they have been working on. Here is what was written:

UAFF Incorporates Two Software Technologies

One is now able to extract text and transform it into more usable documents thanks to a $7K award of Use at Facility Funds (UAFF). Nick Cramer and Alex Gibson, both of the National Security Directorate, put their funding to good use to combine the power of the Universal Parsing Agent™ (UPA) with IN-SPIRE™. UAFF is discretionary funding generated through PNNL returns from existing intellectual property licensing agreements. These funds are distributed annually to the various research directorates, the Lab Director's Office and Technology Commercialization, which award them to projects with strong commercial potential.
Prior to the UAFF award, the two software programs were separate tools. IN-SPIRE analyzes bulky text while UPA turns documents from one format, such as Word files or PDFs, into another more usable format (e.g., XML) for IN-SPIRE. "Combining the programs provides a seamless way to bring other documents into analysis," Nick says. "UPA is not as commonly used since it's a more 'behind the scenes' tool. IN-SPIRE is relatively straightforward and well known. Packaging them like this gets UPA out there more and makes both software tools more commercially attractive." The result of the UAFF investment is a stronger licensing (commercialization) value for the software. One government customer who has used the combination had some positive feedback. "The ability to ingest Word and PDF is a huge step and will be quite useful. Strong kudos for the interface work," the customer said. Nick was aware of UAFF funds because colleagues have received funding for projects in the past. "The funding was easy to get and work with," he said. "In fact, my manager had our group make a list of projects that could be funded by UAFF. Mine was one of them!"