Never too Late but Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Go CHARGERS!

This is coming to you a tad late, but with Captain upgrade training, traveling back and forth to and from Atlanta then Washington Dulles, back to Atlanta then Dallas, it's been quite hectic. Norah enjoyed her first plane ride to Atlanta and we as parents enjoyed the happiness that comes with traveling with a young mobile child. I know, we know it's shocking that with me being a pilot that we waited so long to take her on a flight but our schedules only lined up recently to which of course they are now out of whack again. This, plus all the exciting happenings at home with our daughter growing up too fast and my wife starting a new job, the tail end of 2013 slid right into 2014 and it's off to a running start!

There are a couple of changes that I'm lining up for elijahnicolas.com to say the least and first and foremost is the styling. (maybe hosting or platform as a whole) I'll have more on that much later but enjoy this family photo and Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Christmas 2014

Oh yeah I forgot to mention. I'm also starting it off this week with a guest post scheduled for tomorrow morning so check back then! It's going to be a great one! GO CHARGERS!!!

Charger Girl Norah

Yay for Slice!

If you haven't used the app called Slice (iOS / Android / Web), here's a great write up by my wife Adelle on her recent experience.

Yay for Slice!

by Adelle Nicolas:

Two weeks ago I had purchased a pair of Corso Como 'Famenka' Flat Nude 6.5 M on Nordstrom.com as a gift to myself for my new job. Nordstrom was in the midst of their Half Yearly sale, so I got a pretty amazing deal on the flats and bought them for under $40!

About a week later, I received a notification on my phone from the Slice app (iOS / Android / Web) that alerted me of a $10 price drop in the shoes I had purchased. The Slice Team also sent me an email about my Nordstrom purchase and included a link to the item I purchased with the new adjusted price, my order number, as well as Nordstrom's customer service number so I could inquire about my refund. I used all the information I was given and talked to Jeff in customer service and I was quickly and kindly refunded the $10 on my credit card. I ended up getting a 50% discount on some very comfortable flats thanks to Slice!

Corsocomopamenkaballetflat

If you have any questions about privacy, you can check out their FAQ. Most importantly, the most asked about question, I've posted here for direct reference.

Does Slice store my password to my email account?

Slice uses a secure protocol called OAuth (oauth.net) to allow for authorization to your Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or Outlook.com account. For these accounts, the authentication happens between you and Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook.com, and we never even see the password you enter for your email accounts. OAuth is used by many popular websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and of course, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.

For mail providers that do not support OAuth, like AOL, iCloud/MobileMe, Comcast and Cox, we will need to store your email passwords to be able to process your receipts. The passwords will be stored and encrypted in a separate, secure database.

One Big Chair

My wife and I headed out to Balboa Park for Free Tuesdays and went to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Norah had a lot of fun playing around and meeting other kids. It's definitely a great family trip. Next Tuesday, the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) is going to be free so you can expect us to take advantage of that! Oh yea, football is back in a big way especially after Peyton's performance last night. Our Chargers' secondary better be ready! Norah's sure ready for for Rivers' to throw some TDs!

NorahonaBigChair

Encouragement

Surprisingly enough, I've been actually getting random hits on elijahnicolas.com but I have been neglecting it completely while concentrating on adellelijah.com. Things such as Facebook Comments for WordPress (also which I just found out will not be updated until a new programmer is found, but hey, it's still a great tool) and Twitter Goodies. Both awesome WordPress plugins that help you, the viewer/user/consumptionist leave comments and retweet and just be an active reader! Good stuff is under way and my schedule, along with LOTS of motivation, will promise...more things to come. I do sound like a broken record but the being a one man married show makes it tough.  Loving life always!  

Free Giveaways via Comments (via @dcrainmakerblog)

Click here or here directly dcrainmaker.com to enter for a free Garmin Forerunner 110 from DCRainmaker! I've been reading his reviews and it was because of him that I bought the Garmin 500 setup w/ the Premium HR monitor and cadence sensor for my 2009 Specialized Roubaix Expert. I'm loving it!

I love free stuff but even more so when I win 'em! Stay tuned at adellelijah.com for a comment giveaway coming up in the next few weeks!

By the way, a friend of mine, Ryan Espiritu, setup a new blog documenting his journey in training for multiple marathons. Awesomely titled "Marathonin', Like Pimpin', Ain't Easy. My Pursuit of (running) Happiness" Check it out here: http://three-fifty-nine-fifty-nine.blogspot.com/

adellelijah.com

If you aren't aware yet, and you probably aren't, I decided to venture off yet once again ultimately resulting in a split of stories you might find on elijahnicolas.com.  You can find the story by navigating to the first post of the new blog and I would love to invite you read it.  Just to make it even easier, you can find it here. adellelijah: Part 1 of the Softlaunch. Since blogging, podcasting and doing a whole lot of surfing the internet, biking the coast, flying for your friendly skies, I've been in and out of happiness, bewilderment and just 'being.'  Ideas coming and going, never executed well or at all, etc., etc.  But...I do think that I have finally found a medium that will combine what I really seek in life and what I really want to do on my downtime at the random cities and hotels that I end layover-ing.

It's not that I thoroughly enjoy camping in front of a computer nestled away in my hotel room, but sometimes, there is really only so much you can do in a city that you've been to more than 10 times.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to world class visitor cities with attractions galore, but for instance, I'll be overnight in Bloomington, Illinois tomorrow night followed by an 18 hour stint in Killeen, Texas!  The hotel pool is nice, but that's about all the excitement there is.  I might have even posted a posterous pic or qik video on how creepy the hotel is in Bloomington with the little lady girl painting haunting my room!  Maybe I'll camp out in the lobby this time, but I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be safe!

So, from now on, I'll definitely be concentrating most of my efforts on the new company / venture, and I want to invite you along for the ride.  I'll still be hanging around here from time to time posting things that aren't aligned with adellelijah.com e.g. my flying stories and such, from everything else....adellelijah.com is where it's at!

Okay, it might have not been that creepy watching it all over again, but seriously, there are worst ones sprinkled throughout the hotel premises!

Situational Awareness...I GET IT!!! (I Think?)

I can clearly remember back to what my sky diving instructor told me on my first jump, "Elijah...you're going to gain more situational experience as we continue this."  I was like,"Sure," not knowing what the heck he meant.  That first jump rocked!  Weeks later, I jumped a second time scaring every ounce of courage I had left in me.  The entire time, I was wishing I was on the ground and scared for life.  I thought I would never do it again!  It was only then that my body told me what I was really doing.  The third jump took away those nerves and I enjoyed ever minute of it.  I can't proudly say that I ever finished the course to jump #10 but it's something that I still want to do later in life.   Back to the story...situational awareness. During the first few months of flight training back in 2005, we were taught and embedded within our minds an idea about the ever expanding "situational awareness" that we as young aviators would develop along with the accumulation of hours.  Flying in and out of clouds, new airports, different scenarios, terminology, aspects of flying and meteorology, even history began to paint the larger picture that our instructors kept on talking about.  I started to slowly understand, specifically within the confines of aviation, leaving all together life as a whole.  It was rather easy to tell you the truth since I was comfortably placed enabling me to focus on training.  My first actual line experience in April of 2007, after seeing a myriad of moves and learning experiences at a failed cargo airline, brought together the "end picture."  At least what I thought was the end picture.

Three years have gone by, rather too quickly, and things in my aviation career couldn't have been brighter (looking at the brighter side of life not from a 3.5 year first officer with upgrade a long ways away). Of course, not to mention the things back in my personal life have been rather exciting as well.  First off, I'm engaged, planning a wedding that is taking me a little out of my element, contemplating life's stresses which include the money factor, housing factor, where to live for the next few years factor, work, commuting, taking care of an additional home body (hi babe!) and dealing with LIFE.  The most stresses have come from these past few months because it feels like I'm not in control of things or certain aspects which I swore I use to pwn (master).  My tech life is still going strong with one project on standstill and yet another about the launch.  Slowly but surely, I'll find my niche, and of course everything else will fall into place?!

Yesterday after mass...I yet again realized I have gained more SITUATIONAL AWARENESS points.  Count me in at a level 4 geek of life!  There are certain times in life where it seems like everything is automatic and then when it slows down, one curls up into fetal position and "wishes" it keep on going.  I found those times the hardest because it wasn't how I operated normally.  Things were accomplished, taken care of and *poof* onto the next thing.  Now, knowing that I'm making the personal choices in EVERYTHING that I do, I have to learn to CRUSH IT EVERYDAY!!!

I use to call it "the Funk" or "tele-porting"  but now I know, it's just the growing inside my head that is distinguishing certain moments or pinnacles in my life.  Don't let your body control your spirit, have your spirit control your life!  I love it!

more on tele-porting: it's like when you think you're somewhere one moment then the next, you're somewhere else and your mind isn't keeping up with your body.

We're Tourists in SD...Whale Watching...

Once again, the last two two weeks have come and gone a little too fast. Starting with a bit of fun, Adelle and I celebrated good times on a San Diego Whale Watching trip on the 17th after a failed attempt on the 16th. We initially thought we were going to just cruise around the bay but found out that our tickets, that were so graciously gifted to us by Adelle's brother and sister-in-law, were also valid for the Hornblower Adventure Whale Watching Cruise. This forced us to postpone for a day which worked out just right after eating an awesomely large hamburger from a local place called Waterfront Bar and Grill. Waterfront Bar & Grill. The meal was perfectly awesome. I was pretty much dreading the boat after that burger! The next morning, we headed out early for some Jamba Juice Oatmeal, and even had pops come along with us! I haven't been Whale Watching since the third or fifth grade and the day was forecasted to be awesome. The sun was out, the weather was beautiful, the seas were calm and we saw whales! Here are some pics!

Qik Videos + Swamis Pics

After two weeks of Atlanta weather, northeast weather, and flying to other cities around midwest plus Canada, I finally made it back home to San Diego. With all the snow, freezing temperatures, rain, sleet and ice, I knew that I was missing something in my life! I've been Qik-ing from my iPhone for a little while now if you haven't noticed and today's video was just so awesome that it needed a separate entry. It captures the beauty of San Diego (actually taken at Swamis) and the gorgeous weather that we have.  If you need the direct links to my Posterous or my Qik Profiles, they are to the right in the Personal Links.  Those profiles are usually easier to update as you can tell.  But I'm still here...still alive on elijahnicolas.com Check out the pictures and Qik Video!

The Last Month

The month of September ended in a whirlwind of vacationing, moving and surviving the slew of mosquito bites that I suffered both from Nicaragua and Atlanta. The last week in September was dedicated to moving, but after a great night of splurging at Taco Mac with some good pilot buddies, my roommate and I still hadn't made a final decision on where we would end up. Eventually being forced to move out of our apartment because the management ended up renting it out to a couple of college girls, we were lucky to be able to negotiate for a "non-upgraded" 2 bedroom, two bath for even cheaper than what we were paying in the same complex! The non-upgraded tag once specifies that it has black appliances rather than white ones, but you can't tell the difference at all anyways. We now have a pool view, and a 1-year lease for $818/mo (that's actually $750 + their fees for water / sewer / garbage, etc). I think we definitely scored as we're also closer to the front of the property making it so much easier to access the huge trashbin, Starbucks across the street, my favorite Cuban restaurant Coco-Loco, as well as Best Buy and the MARTA. I'm happy with the place and I'm just happy that my roommate, Mark Russell and I have a place that we both like a lot. Dealing with Comcast in trying to get the cable line activated was a little bit of a cluster, but apparently, it was disconnected within our apartment!? I guess it would have made sense for them to send out a mechanic guy to our apartment rather than just assuming turning it on from the outside was all they would need to do.

I finally made it back to San Diego by way of ATL-PHX-SAN and the last leg was great. Southwest is always just really friendly, but I have to admit that the two Delta pilots were great company for the 3.8 hrs in the jumpseat. Thanks for the ride guys!

For now, I'm just excited to be back home but there is so much to do when it comes to cleaning up my desk space, taking my bike out for a ride and hanging out with my favorite girl!

In the meantime, check out my new favorite drink at http://elijahnicolas.posterous.com/favorite-new-drink-and-turtwig-on-a-couch-at and the relaunch of the "peak interest" podcast at www.peakinterest.net or via iTunes.

Web 2.0 and the Posterous New Blog

Intro:

I recently signed up for a posterous site, http://adellelijah.posterous.com, to host both Adelle and I together in one cloud space and in doing so, I actually ended up creating two more different posterous sites, http://adellelisa.posterous.com and http://elijahnicolas.posterous.com so that we can post on an individual basis.  Adelle actually didn't like me posting my stuff to "our" site so I decided that we each needed a separate one for self preservation.  I'll just admit it already: I am a posting whore.

Over the last few months, I've been using the Thesis Wordpress Theme in order to help with Search Engine Optimization on elijahnicolas.com.  I love the simplistic layout of the Thesis Theme so much that I even ended up buying the commercial license to use on Peak Interest (www.whatspyi.com) as well as my fiance's blog (www.adellelisa.com) which she is very hesitant to update but at least it's there.  Over the years, I have graduated from the Blogger platform hosting a multitude of different sites, to trying out joomla for a hot second to finally settling down on wordpress as my choice for a content management system.  Of course, twitter came around along with friendfeed and now posterous all within the last year or so and I indulged.  All the while, I was only looking for that singular reasonable mean to have all my personalities talk to each other and reflect each other's status'.  With posterous, I think I may have found the perfect solution!

Body 1:

The basic idea of Web 2.0 was to forge a design template that allowed for an easy GUI interface for those that weren't code savvy.  It was to provide a simpler means to update ones' online mediums / personality sites and in doing so, collaborate with others in the virtual arena.  That's my personal spin in layman's terms.  If you want the "real deal," here's Wikipedia's here.

Posterous has done just that.  They simplified the entire process.  They have taken out the horrific means of uploading to an FTP site or Content Management System and instead substituted it with the easy medium we use everyday: e-mailing.  You can "attach photos, videos, MP3s and files" to your e-mails, send it off to space and boom...it's that simple!  You could always do that on Blogger.com with text and photos and use a not so great plug-in with WordPress, but with one touch, I can upload a picture with a small post to my posterous account directly from my email address, it detects where I want it to go and publishes instantly without a hitch not only to posterous, but to anywhere else that I'm connected to be it my facebook, blogger, wordpress or even twitter account.

I was thinking of having it update my actual wordpress blog, but that's when things started to come together in my head.  I finally drew somewhat distinct lines.  I have come to the definite conclusion that my posterous and mobile blog are one in the same.  That's almost a no brainer, with a slight difference that the blogger site has a black background and posterous has a white one.  Posterous and my trelijah mobile blog are just quick snippets of my life.  Twitpic and twitter are just even quicker moments that I deem "3rd class" per say.  Of course the hierarchy of it all would be a long post, such as this one, on elijahnicolas.com, a picture accompanied by a posterous moment then a tweet.

Conclusion:

It is however convenient to have one place to update every personality, but duplication starts to become rampant and I don't want that to happen.  For now, I guess I'll keep trelijah going along with elijahnicolas.posterous.com and maybe with time, just end trelijah.  But as I always keep on saying, you can always count on me for some type of update.  That's enough.

p.s.  I had to edit the template of trelijah to fit the new format of pictures.  I like them in the full form.  Nice stuff!

"His Story"

MORE PICTURES ON THE FULL POST!!! Click HERE!!!

Over the last two months, both Adelle and I have been making our rounds on the phone or meeting our friends and family in person, telling them the good news! If you haven't found out already, YES...WE ARE ENGAGED!!! The actual date was June 26th, 2009. We have yet to update our facebook profile statuses due to our own stubbornness to announce it there so in the meantime, we're just in a relationship!!! I'm going to start this off by telling you MY story.

Back in Spring 2000, at a Memorial Day BBQ that a mutual friend had invited me to, we crossed paths at the potluck table.  I asked her what her name was, we exchanged brief hellos, and when I mean brief, it's the shortest of conversations. It went something like this:

Elijah: Hello! I'm Elijah. I go to Revelle. How about you? Strange girl across the table picking up chips: I'm Adelle. I go to Marshall. Bye!

-- and she walks off because she has to go sit down next to her friend on the grass on her little towel.  Granted, I weigh about a 140 at 5'11", am wearing khaki short and a Structure Polo with some Dr. Marten Sandals.  I guess you could have just imagined a tool or a dork, or both combined, but she basically gave me the straight hate!

The night continued without any further contact which then transitioned into what ended up being a bonfire.  As the ocean air began to chill, another mutual friend from Atlantis Hall, which happened to also be my dormitory, wanted to head home.  She said that she needed a ride, and being my awesome nice self, I obliged.  Little did I know that her "friend" wanted a ride too.  I thought, "What the heck?"  (I actually didn't think that because I am a nice guy.)  Good thing though, because it just so happened that her friend was Adelle.  We got into my 1985 Turbo Diesel 300D Mercedes, cranked up some surfer-punk music and drove up the hill back to campus.  I was into the punk music contrary to popular belief that I would have been all into hip-hop / rap, etc I too also liked alternative, punk, and metal.  I dropped off Adelle first at her place and then Alice and I walked back to our hall.  That was that...

Adelle's first airplane ride in a Diamond Star DA-40 w/ just me as the solo pilot

Fast forward 3 years later, July of 2003, I turn 21.  I'm living it up the leftover high that was my birthday party, heading out every weekend, hitting up all the bars between Downtown San Diego and LA -- it was just crazy fun and definitely costly, but I always refer the 6 months that ensued to as "dirty 21 fun!"  Turning 21 helped me grow a pair and I started to ask a few people out.  To my surprise, some said yes and I thought to myself why didn't I ever talk to girls earlier?  You see, I didn't really "talk" to girls.  I mean, I talked every now and then, perhaps a peep would leave my mouth, but I was always too shy to take it any further than a simple, "Hello.  How are ya?"  I promise when I have a son, he is going to grow some balls and not miss out on his high school dances like I did the first year or so.

Well, it just so happened that I had a friend who convinced me to take "Human Sexuality" with her during the 2002 Fall Quarter.  I signed up, got into the class but was confronted with a slight disappointment that she didn't make it in.  Do I just drop it or stick it out even though she isn't here?  She was a junior and I had a lot of credits already, so it wasn't like I needed to crash the course.  I didn't even need it as I was Management Science major.  I also happened to run into a bunch of old friends from freshman year and while I got distracted with them, my other friend never made it into the class.  Good thing I guess because we probably might have continued our random get-togethers.  It's not like that at all either...really.  Shopping, the occaisional dinner.  Just keeping it kosher at all times.  But onto the climax!

A few weeks pass and I finally had my chance to talk her.  I definitely recognized her and thought that she was cute for sure, but at the time, I wasn't looking for anything more than a study buddy.  Seriously!  So, with that, I finally was able to reintroduce myself, but I made a big error.  I went like this:

Friend: Adelle, this is Elijah, Elijah, Adelle. Adelle: I think we've met before at a picnic. Nice to meet you again. Elijah: Oh yeah, we met your freshman year?! Adelle with a confused look: What year are you? Elijah: I'm a 4th Adelle: so am I!? (weirdo)

Well, I follow her onto the UCSD shuttle bus that takes us to our respective automobile location, sit near her and just start chatting it up.  We have a final coming up, so I pull out the study card!  I got the digits easily without a hitch and filed it away in my pocket.

Cowgirl and Astronaut???  <-- that's what she thought... I'm Top Gun COME ON!!!

I didn't call her either till about 2 weeks later the night of Halloween in Downtown San Diego. I had to really convince her over the phone to that she should be coming out being that it was our first year as 21 year olds celebrating what usually becomes a night of drunken celebration. She met up with us and that was that. We continued hanging out and one day, we realized that we were dating. The rest is history.

I proposed in Atlanta after she had rode the aircraft that I was flying back from Toronto. I landed and did the announcements.  It was just all put well together.  I even had the flight attendants to have her wait behind and then told the captain that I wanted to get a shot of us in the cockpit.  While he was taking the 2nd photo, that's when I popped the question.  Happy engagement babe!

Adelle Just Realized What I Was Holding  *sniff*

putting on the pebble that is a diamond