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Josh Lyon

Quebec

We just got back from a trip to Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Laura’s sister, Ellen, got married up there and we had a great time. Check out the photos on Laura and my facebook pages. I took a bunch on my blackberry and Laura uploaded the ones from the digital camera.

I think you should be able to see my gallery without being my friend on Facebook, but you’ll have to be friends with Laura to see her gallery!

If you’ve never been to Quebec, I’d highly recommend going. As you’ll see in the pictures the place is a lot like a miniature version of a European city. There are 300+ year old buildings, cobble stone streets, and a bunch of cool history. Even though the Quebecians speak French, the people are really great and can speak English just as well!

PS. Congrats to Ellen and Dave Langlois on their marriage!

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Josh Lyon

Married!

I was talking to my wife the other day and she recommended that I write another blog post. I haven’t done so in a while and I couldn’t really think about anything to write until I realized that there’s been a major change in my life recently. I went from single to married!

We had been dating for just over 8 years, so it was about time! We had been living together for a few years now – end of college and after. I lived with Laura officially for the last 6 months of my college career, then moved up to Dallas while she finished her last semester. We lived in an apartment in Grapevine for almost 2 years before buying a house in Valley Ranch. Not a whole lot has really changed in our lives that most people would notice other than some expensive metal around each of our fingers (and a big rock on hers).

She’ll probably keep her name as Moidel for the first few months as we have some things that would be easier under her name. We’ll be travelling out of country for her sister’s my sister-in-law’s wedding and getting a new passport isn’t the fastest process in the US. We still haven’t decided exactly what we are going to do with all the bank accounts / credit as I’ve always looked at credit from a single person’s point of view. Your credit history (including longest standing credit card / account) can impact your credit, so I want to make sure we don’t just go closing accounts without thinking about how they impact her Fifo score.

The wedding was a blast and the honeymoon was even better! It was great to see all the family again and celebrate. The photographer was taking a ton of pictures, so I’ll have to post a link to them whenever the photographer puts them up. If I remember, I’ll try to put some pictures up on my website tonight. I put a lot of pictures up on facebook via my blackberry so check them out there if you are too anxious to wait for the ones from my digital camera.

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Josh Lyon

Changing the Move-In Ready Home

I was chatting with a co-worker the other day about how we just got granite countertops installed over the weekend and how I was working on switching out all the plumbing fixtures at the same time. We started talking about the different view-points people have on buying homes – how some people look for move-in ready homes whereas others look for fixer-uppers – and I mentioned to him that we purchased our house because it was pretty much move in ready.We knew we needed some little things like window coverings and paint, but didn’t expect any major changes.

It’s funny how that all changes once you move in. We retiled the whole house – which involved ripping out old tile and laminate. We painted a number of the rooms and still have more to paint. We tore out the glass retainer on one of the showers in the master. We painted the whole outside of the house. We relayed sod out front. We installed a red-oak tree out front. We filled in planks on the fence to convert it back to a privacy fence (from a garden fence on one side) and restained the whole thing. We changed out almost all the lights (and fans), but still have a few left. We made a built-in, in-wall media cabinet, mounted the LCD, and started the rest of the home-theater. And the list keeps going!

The more I reflect on it though, these are all really cosmetic things. Laura watches a ton of HGTV, TLC, and other similar networks and on all those shows they always talk about making sure you love the layout and other “fixed” parts of the – not the paint on the walls, the carpet on the floor, or other cosmetic items. The floorplan of the house was somewhat a trade-off for both parties involved (Laura and I). I wanted a new, large, two-story home with large cielings. Laura wanted a more traditional home, with aged character, and was happy with one story.

We looked at a lot of homes with our first realtor, but never really clicked with her. After going out with our second realtor, the home we are in now was one of the first (if not the first) home we looked at. It has a great location – between both our offices, not too suburban but definitely not urban, good proximity to our friends, scenic canals, parks, aquatic center, etc. It’s a two story with large open cielings, which I was interested in, but it’s smaller than what I was looking for at 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. It really is a great layout though – with the master bedroom downstairs with a massive attached master bath suite. The floorplan fits our style perfectly and we’ve been adding our touches on everything to make it fit us just right!

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Josh Lyon

Laura and Josh Lyon Wedding Website

I just realized that I never posted the link to Laura and my new wedding website. Our google rankings aren’t really great so a search for Laura and Josh doesn’t yield good results (yet)… but I figured I should at least link to it from my website. The website has details on the event (ceremony and reception), photos, registry information, etc… and Laura keeps adding stuff!

Check it out here: Laura and Josh Lyon

You can get to it at both JoshAndLauraLyon.com and LauraAndJoshLyon.com.

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Josh Lyon

Dallas Stars are not moving to Austin

The Dallas Stars are not moving to Austin. There is a new AHL team that going to start in Austin for the 09-10 season and will be a top affiliate of the NHL Dallas Stars. Each NHL team typically has a “farm” team in the AHL that they develop new talent in… the Texas Stars in Austin will be that new team.

Wikipedia Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Stars

Wikipedia Excerpt:
The Texas Stars are an announced American Hockey League team. They will begin play in Cedar Park, Texas in the 2009-10 AHL season.

The team will be the top affiliate of the NHL Dallas Stars. In April 2008, the Iowa Stars announced that they would no longer affiliate with the Dallas Stars. For the 2008-09 season, Dallas made agreements to send their AHL prospects to four different teams. AHL teams which the Dallas Stars sent prospects to include the Hamilton Bulldogs, Iowa Chops, Manitoba Moose, Peoria Rivermen, and Grand Rapids Griffins.

FYI:
The Iowa Chops used to be the Dallas Stars affilliate AHL team named the Iowa Stars until the Dallas Stars announced that they would be associating with the new AHL Texas Stars. The Iowa Chops have now signed with the Anaheim Ducks.

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Josh Lyon

Green Belt Certification

Like many companies in the world, my company has a focus on the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) and we have multiple “belt” programs. The “belt” program parallels that of karate to some degree. We have Yellow Belts, Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black Belts. In this blog post, I’ll talk a little bit about my company’s CIP program and where I fit in so far, but I won’t get into much detail on any of the tools.

Our Yellow Belt program gets you introduced to the program and gives you a taste of what six-sigma is, what tools are used in the CIP world, what Lean Practitioning is, etc. The trainers try not to go into to much detail, but they give you a good overview of a lot of the tools and try to hit the key points on some of the easier tools to understand, like 6S and 7W (aka. Muda). The yellow belt class is a good way to get people interested in improving things within the organization. It helps people think about things they may have normally taken for granted and gives them some ideas around tools they can use in their area.

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Josh Lyon

New House – Hurricane Ike

We closed on our new house Friday, September 5th and moved in unexpectedly on Thursday, September 11th! We originally planned to close on the 4th, but delays from the Seller’s bank caused a 1-day delay on the closing of the house. We bought the house that we wanted in Valley Ranch, but were negotiating with the bank and were unsure we were going to come to terms that we could both agree upon by our set closing date.

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Josh Lyon

Josh Lyon’s Birthday

Today is my (Josh Lyon) birthday and the interns did their individual final presentations today. 3 of the 8 interns were working for me on on a new platform that we will be rolling out to customers in the near future and all their presentations were awesome. We had a great group of kids this year and I was really happy to be involved with the program this year. I learned a lot about my management style and they all taught me a thing or two. My best child-hood friend’s (Travis’) mom is taking me out for dinner tonight, so I don’t have time to make a big blog post, but I wanted to make sure I posted this up.

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Josh Lyon

Brewery Tour Photos

The photos from the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour in Colorado have been posted. Aaron (my brother-in-law) took about 150 pictures, but I posted the ones I liked best. It was fun getting to go through the tour and see the beer brewing process, but the best part was at the end where we got to taste the beer (2 beers / person). I tried their version of a Guiness as well as a beer called the Harbin.

We also got to see the Clydesdale’s after the tour. The horses are HUGE and were really excited to see us – think "red rocket" like a dog or "now I know why they say ‘hung like a horse’!" I saw a lot of pumps and valves throughout the plant but never asked who made the pumps (eg. if they were Flowserve’s). Click the image below to view the pictures:

Brewery Tour

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Josh Lyon

Colorado Rafting and Hiking Pictures

I’ve uploaded some of the pictures from the visit to my parents house in Loveland, Colorado. We went hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park and went White Water rafting on a Wanderlust Adventure down the Poudre river. Click on the links below to check out the albums.  Also, remember that I now have two slideshow options in my gallery. You can view a full-screen slideshow from the root of each gallery (eg. where you are looking at all the picture thumbnails) and a regular slideshow as well.

RockyMountainNationalParkWanderlust White Water Rafting