Tag: dad

Writing and wrapup

I did a little bit of work on “If By Reason of Strength…” this evening, about 350 words or so. The pace of the story is moving a bit slowly, but at this point, I’m just trying to get the story out. I can tighten it up once I’ve got the first draft written. I got about halfway through part 3, of the 6 parts I’ve got outlined so far. I’ve still got more outlining to do, but I wanted to get in some writing tonight, especially since I didn’t manage to get any done last night.


I did pretty good today. 5 meals (so far–I’m still due for my evening snack!) and it was just as tough eating about every three hours today as it was yesterday. But I did it. I’ve had 1.5 liters of water so far, but I’m still due to have a little more before bed (9:30 tonight). I did my workout and I stuck to my plan. Two days in a row now. I’m feeling pretty good, but 2 days out of 209 is barely noticeable. I’ve got a long way to go.


I am going up to New York the weekend before Christmas to hang out with jen_ashlock and jkashlock. They are heading to L.A. on Christmas Eve and I will head back down here that same evening. I’m going up there early on the 22nd. I imagine the Acela will be pretty crowded that day, but it gives me the opportunity to put my Amtrak Guest Rewards Select membership to the test. I can use one of my passes to Club Acela and sit in the lounge before getting on the train. It also means I can board the train early and avoid the rush. I’m heading back up to New York two weeks later for vickyandnorm‘s boys and girls wedding shower.


I had a good day at work today. I spent most of the day writing perl scripts to process and transform data from Excel spreadsheets into a fairly sophisticated SQL database. I turned a corner on it today and things are looking good. I’m giving a briefing on this project to some senior directors on Thursday, and then another briefing next Tuesday at an “all hands” staff meeting. I like days like this when it really feels like I am making progress.


Dad’s birthday is coming up on Sunday. I got him a present that I think he’ll really enjoy. I just checked and it should be delivered to their house tomorrow. It’s a few days early, but that just means he can get a head start. (And when he reads this tonight, at least he’ll only have to be curious for 24 hours or so.)


I’m working from home tomorrow afternoon because Comcast is delivering my Digital DVR receiver which they couldn’t deliver and setup last Saturday. They will be here between 2 and 5 PM and so I’m leaving the office at noon. It means I don’t have to pack my lunch tomorrow, just a morning snack. It also means that I’ll have to go to the gym in Greenbelt tomorrow evening to do my cardio workout. I’m up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, which means I’m supposed to be in bed by 9:30 tonight, but its creeping up on 8 PM and I’m already tired so I might not make it to 9:30.

And my body is pretty sore. That’s pretty typical after not working out for a few weeks and then starting up again. I expect tomorrow will be the worst of it.

Dinner at Daniel’s

Doug had to work most of the day yesterday and he finally got home around 5 PM. Shortly after he got home, he, Mom, Dad and I headed out to the Keg to have some drinks and sit around chatting, while Rachel, Ruby and Carson got a break from our hijinks. We then headed over to the restaurant around 7:30 PM. We had to take two cars and we dropped Carson off at Theresa’s house on the way. Doug was playing Richard Cheese in the car and Dad was in the back seat and Doug managed to leave the car at the worst parts of “Baby Got Back” and “Badd”, leaving me to fend for myself.

Daniel’s in Bellevue is on the 21st floor of a hotel and when we were seated, we had a pretty nice view of downtown Seattle in the distance. The food was really good. I had a 13 ounce fillet mignon with a peppercorn brandy sauce, and a baked potato. I had some clam chowder, too. Ruby was with us and was very well-behaved. She had a hamburger and fries, and some root beer, all of which are among her favorites.

It was a very nice dinner and a very nice evening, and we were all wiped out by the time we got home last night. Now it’s 8:30 AM (PST) and I’ already hungry again! My flight leaves Seattle at 5 PM this afternoon.

Black Friday

I was up at 6 AM this morning after falling asleep almost instantly last night, and sleeping soundly through the night. Doug had to go into work this morning and he left around 6:30 AM. People finally started getting up around 7:30 AM. We had some bagels for breakfast and spent most of the morning just lazing around.

I upgraded my return flights home tomorrow night. I am wait-listed on the flight from Seattle to San Francisco, even though it looks as though there are plenty of first class seats. I am confirmed in first class on the flight from San Francisco to Baltimore. I have a 4 hour layover in San Francisco, and I plan on having a good dinner somewhere in the airport there to kill some of the time. (You know what would be a good idea: movie theaters in airports. I could go and see the new James Bond movie or something to kill the time while I am waiting for my flight.)

Doug is going to try and get off work at 2 PM. Mom and Rachel just went out to get some lunch for us. We are having dinner tonight at about 8 PM at Daniel’s Broiler in Seattle. I am very much looking forward to that meal. For some reason, I’ve felt hungry day.

Mom wants to go shopping and Rachel may want to go too, but I’ve been trying to convince them not to. It would be insane to be at a mall today. You’re liable to end up crying.

Thanksgiving dinner

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, courtesy of Doug and Rachel. Rachel’s sister Theresa and her son Alex were over to have dinner with us as well. We had a turkey, some delicious mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, new potatoes and onions. It was all delicious. After dinner, we had a birthday celebration for Ruby, who will turn 3 years old on December 1. We had pumpkin pie and birthday cake, and Ruby got to open some presents.

We also had an iChat video chat with jen_ashlock and jkashlock since they were in New York and couldn’t be here for Thanksgiving.

I am both stuffed and exhausted. I was ready to go to bed at 7 PM (after having gotten up at 1 AM PST this morning)! But it looks like I’ll be off to bed in the next hour or so.

Harpers Ferry

As I mentioned earlier, we headed to Harpers Ferry today. It is the first time that either me or Dad has been to West Virginia, or up into the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was very quaint there where the rivers come together. And not too crowded either (although we got there as a tour bus managed to bottom out while turning into a parking lot, and ended up blocking the street).

Some pictures

To Harpers Ferry

Dad wanted to go someplace “historic” while here this weekend, so in a little while, we’ll be heading off to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I’ve never been to West Virginia before, so it will be another state that I can check off the list. Also, Harpers Ferry is supposed to be a very pretty town, nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains where the rivers meet. It’s only a little over an hour away from here. Should be fun.

Happy 39th Anniversary, Mom & Dad

Today is my parent’s 39th wedding anniversary–or as I like to call it, their “Jack Benny” anniversary.

It’s funny, really, how people never want to share their age, once they are older than, say, 39 years; and yet these same people are so proud of how many years they have been married. Next year is my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary and it will be interesting to hear them tell people that they’ve been married 40 years, but they are only 39 years old. I’m sure many people will believe them.

Thirty-nine years is an inconceivably long amount of time to me, literally. I still have several years to go before my 39th birthday and therefore have not yet physically experienced the passing of 39 years. But it is an interesting number for several reasons. First of all it’s equivalent to 13 x 3. Now thirteen has always been considered an unlucky number. And of course, we all know what the number three represents: in baseball, three strikes and you’re out! It would therefore seem that 3 x 13 could not possibly be a “lucky” number, but I think it is. Just like multiplying two negative numbers in mathematics give you a positive number, multiplying two unlucky numbers in superstition, always results in a lucky number.

Interestingly enough, if my calendar is correct, July 10, 1967 was also a Monday.

39 years also represents just over 14,000 days, or about 342,000 hours. Now, assuming you sleep 8 hours a night, work 8 hours a day, commute an hour each day, and spend about an hour or so each day in the bathroom, that leaves just 6 hours in each day where you are not doing anything. In that sense, if we measured anniversaries based on the amount of time you spend together outside of work, and sleep, etc., it would only amount to one quarter of the total time my parent’s have actually been married. In this case, my parents could tell people that they are 39 years old, and that they have been married for just about 10 years. Of course, all three of their children are more than twice ten years old, and that could be awkward…

I can’t say too much more, lest I have nothing to say for their 40th anniversary next year. Incidentally, one’s 40th anniversary is also known as one’s “Ruby” anniversary, which works out perfectly, since Ruby is my niece’s name. I think this means that as a present next year, my parents get to spend their entire anniversary day with their granddaughter.

So let me just be the first to say, in a blog, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOM AND DAD!

Dinner with Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad got to the hotel right on time, at almost precisely 5:30 PM. We headed over to Ocean Avenue Seafood shortly thereafter. I got to see (and ride in) Dad’s new Acura, which I think is the same color as Norm’s Acura, and the same model, too, minus the navigation unit. While Norm’s car has a name (Samantha), I don’t know if Dad has given a name to his car yet. He didn’t mention one and I forgot to ask.

The food was good. Not quite as good as the last time I was there (no Copper River salmon), but I did have the New Zeland king salmon and that was prepared in a similar fashion and was very good. Dad had the red snapper with something with an unusual name hidden beneath the fish. Mom had a crab salad which looked good. I had two mai-tai’s while I was there and those, combined with the two Corona’s I had with Andy and Joel have me feeling pretty good at this point.

I am also tired, however. I’ve gotten into bed (it’s 8 PM here on the West Coast) and I’m going to do a little bit of writing on a new story inspired by Lisa which I’m calling “Blind Date”, and then read a little more of The Best of Barry N. Malzberg, and then I’m off to sleep. When I’m here in Santa Monica, the hotel in which I am staying is virtually across the street from where I work so I can actually sleep in a little later than usual.

For some reason, I can’t seem to stop giggling to myself. Does this ever happen to anyone else after 2 Coronas and 2 Mai Tai’s?

One of those non-stop days…

I realized that it was one of those non-stop days today when it glanced at the time and it was 2 PM and I hadn’t even thought about eating lunch yet. I spent the morning hip-deep in code, trying to make something work with SQL triggers that has no business working, and yet I managed to convince it otherwise. Then I sat through a great 10 minute meeting. Problem is the meeting went on for another twenty minutes.

By the time I got back to my office, I had heard back form a vendor I am working with to schedule some training, and so I then spent several hours trying to obtain conference rooms for 4 days of training at the end of the month. Meetings are out of control. I had to beg and borrow in order to convince people to shift meetings around so that I could get conference rooms for four consecutive days. And not even the same rooms! Do all companies have these problems when it comes to conference rooms? Do we really need all these meetings? I’m reminded of something I once heard on KNX radio in L.A.:

A meeting is a place where minutes are taken and hours are lost.

It just seems as thought there is something wrong with the world when the time it takes to schedule a meeting exceeds the time of the meeting itself.

Somehow, I was then bombarded by email and it seemed like every message demanded an immediate response. I counted (come on, let’s face it, you know me by now) and in a two and a half hour span, I sent or replied to something like forty email messages. Productive work slipped away. I wrote one line of code, answered two email messages, wrote another line of code, answered three more email messages.

But I finally made it out the door. Switching trains on Mount Vernon Square, the Green Line that game by had an “isolated” car (that means that the car was closed, you had to use other). What this really means is that it was a crowded train by Washington Metro standards. In the 3-1/2 years I’ve been taking the metro, I’ve ridden on trains with isolated cars three times; two of those time have been in the last month.

I was finally able to relax when I got home. I finished up Foundation’s Fear and will start on Foundation and Choas tomorrow. Spoke to Mom, Dad and Doug on the phone this evening.

No need to pack a lunch tomorrow; I’m having lunch with A.J.

Best of all: tomorrow is my “Friday”. I’m heading up to Albany this weekend (a 4-day weekend for me) to see Eric and Ryane and so I took Friday off.

Now, going to watch a Sopranos episode and then off to bed.