December 2014

Ho Ho Ho! Mele Kalikimaka!

In 2014, we built penguins! They're in our front yard right now playing pick-up hockey. As for the rest of the details reflecting back on our nearly concluded year, let's just dive right in...

Because they are the most fun, we'll start with dive destinations. In May, we headed to Hawaii for our half-annual sub-aquatic dive excursion. While breathing compressed air in frigid (75 degree) H2O, we observed frolicking pods of spinner dolphins, numerous funky looking frog fish, a marvelous multitude of manta rays, and several bizarre, weird, esoteric, sparkly thingies (official scientific name) on a black water dive. Imagine yourself in the middle of the ocean, at night, tied to a long rope and jumping in to see whatever comes by. It was way cool, worth doing again, and now know what a dog feels like when it reaches the end of its leash.

In October, we celebrated our 20th anniversary by.... Wait for it..... SCUBA Diving! This time we travelled to a tiny little island called Little Cayman (population 170). We had an outstanding ocean view room, and dove fantastic / amazing / incredible sites with oodles of fish and stunning scenery. One dive, we were treated to a light & sound show courtesy of a major lightning storm. We kept looking for the flash photographer.

As for home improvement, we decided to replace the drafty family room fireplace, including the gas log set Mike plumbed and installed for Lori in Christmas past. We wimped out and hired Penguin Fireplace (who else?) to install a Mendota gas insert. Now that it's less warm outside, we love the way the new fireplace keeps us nice and toasty. We ask ourselves nearly every single day, why didn't we do this sooner?!

This year we said our final goodbye to our beloved 19 1/2 year old furry feline, Magic. She entered our lives right after our honeymoon, so it was very difficult to let her go. We're sure she's up in heaven and chasing around Cleo like they used to. Marleau and Murray are doing well, and are now on a diet ... although looking at Marleau, it's really tough to tell. Sauntering after Murray seems to be his only exercise.

On the vehicular front, we unloaded our cranky, money sucking, German made, manual transmission BMW and replaced it with a significantly more sensible commuter car ... a beautiful, fun to drive, blow the hair back, 2011 Aqua Blue Metallic Porsche Boxster with PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) - same transmission as in racing cars :). We take the toy out for twisty trips on routes recommended by motorcycle riders.

We still work to pay for the fun experiences. Mike's job looks to be crazy busy late 2015 through 2016. In December, Lori migrated from managing Phone/Tablets to the High-end Performance Computing Servers. Yeah, those customers are similar :)... As this is a new position, her workload is still TBD.

2015 is promising to be a busy year. We are looking forward to tons of snow in Tahoe - if it's snowin', we're goin'. In March, it's a week of SCUBA diving the Socorro Islands. We hope to see Humpbacks, Pacific Manta, Hammerhead Sharks, and Dolphins. For June/July, we fly to Europe for 5 weeks, which includes a 2 week family cruise for Mom and Dad Janz's 50th Anniversary. We intend to do the post high school thing and only carry one backpack each. We're excited for the trip and Lori is almost packed. In October, for our 21st anniversary we'll likely end up (under) Bonaire. For home improvement projects, we have the main bathroom remodel on the top of the list. With everything in it developing quirks, it's a good excuse to gut it and start over :)

We wish you a healthy and happy New Year. Feel free to email us at or visit us (inluding dive pictures!) at


Mike, Lori, Marleau, & Murray