Page 2: In Which I Explain My Life To The Class of 1985

I’ve been in Portland since 1990 after a short detour to San Diego after graduating from Wartburg. I met and married my wife, Tina, in 1992. We have two awesome boys who dictate how we spend most of our time. Both are very active in Boy Scout Troop 820 (troop820.org) and both play the double bass in the school orchestra after converting from the cello.

Graham is a nerd of the first order and thinks I’m the coolest nerd on the planet. He loves to play video games on our Xbox and Wii but is enthusiastic in almost everything he does — even when I enlist his help in yard chores. Since he was a baby we have known that he is strong-willed and joyous. He’s also very intelligent and somewhat arrogant about that fact, regarding it as a fact of life that he’s smarter than everyone else. I’m trying to work that out of him.

Thomas is more reserved than Graham and less likely to risk looking uncool. A year ago I helped him buy his first electric bass. Since then he has learned to play all of his favorite sons and a few “classics” that I asked him to learn. He can also has pick up Tina or my guitar and play them much better than either of us. In many ways he’s very much like I was at that age: long hair, quiet except with friends, stubborn and often inconsiderate. He’s also very smart but not always willing to work hard for great grades.

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The moon is in a phase and I guess that I am too

Last night Graham and Thomas had their final orchestra concert of the year. In anticipation of the event, several months ago I invited my mother to visit us at this time so that she could attend. Graham’s fourth grade orchestra was the first to play and they did a very nice job of showing how much they had improved during the year. After they took their bow, they all started off stage to make room for the fifth grade orchestra. As Graham stood near the edge of the stage waiting for the rest of the kids to move, he chatted and laughed with his nearby friends. I looked away for a second to talk to Tina and then we heard a crash in front of the stage followed by a gasp from the audience. Somebody fell. Tina asked, “Who fell?” Scanning the group near the commotion, I realized Graham was no longer on stage. “It’s Graham!” I told her as she stood and then rushed down the stairs to the stage.

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She scratches a letter into a wall made of stone

The boys have been on Spring Break since the middle of the week before last. Thomas had a tremendous amount of homework for his reading class that he needed to catch up on. Some of that was from the week he missed while out sick but most of it was not. He’s supposed to read for 20 minutes a night and then spend 10 minutes filling out a little form about what he read. He has to do those six times a week and was behind seven weeks for a total of 42 reading logs. Because of that, he was also a bit behind in math and social studies. Thus, Thomas has spent most of his spring break doing homework.

I picked up Halo 2 from Half.com for $10 a couple of weeks ago. Since then the boys and I have been enjoying it tremendously. After Graham finished it, he asked me for my Halo 1 disc for Mac which he finished a few days later. Nothing brings a family together quite like killing aliens.

As a reward for finishing all his homework, we took Thomas to Best Buy last night and bought Halo 3 for him. Tonight he’s celebrating with his friends Ziad and Gabe by playing Rock Band and Halo 3 on our Xbox. They are quite raucous but they will hopefully quiet down as the night progresses.

Transoceanic depth in this earth in this cenotaph

It’s been three weeks since Tina’s surgery and she is still recovering. Her mom, Jan, stayed with us for a couple of weeks and was a tremendous help, but we’re on our own again now. We’ve all gotten into a routine since she left, but we’ll be glad when Tina is back to full strength again. She’s frustrated with the speed of her recovery but glad that she already feels better now than she did before the surgery. She’s looking forward to an active spring and summer with our family.

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Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 2523
Van odometer: 154411
Aches & pains: sciatica, tiny frostbite on elbow, lower back
Current reading: My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk, Cross-platform GUI Programming with wxWidgets
Recent listening: Bucketheadland by BucketheadThe Complete Goldberg Variations by Glenn GouldAcross A Crowded Room by Richard ThompsonWeird Al Yankovic
Recent viewing: The Illusionist, Hancock, Brainman, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Stay, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, Ravens at Steelers, Eagles at Cardinals, Fantastic Four, Battlestar Galactica, Monkey Shines, The Dark Knight, Mars Attacks
Recent playing: Chain Factor, Galcon
Recently accomplished: Cancelled Costco TV order, activated “new” Tivo, purchased new TV (again), Pinewood derby car for Graham, shopping, taking care of Tina
Imperative To Do: Freecycle, get rid of MacRenewal Macs, recover network functionality on old Tivo

I read the news today, oh boy

Monday, January 26, 2009

0600:
iPhone alarm wakes me with “Sonar”. I get out of bed, put on yesterday’s clothes and check Thomas’ room. His alarm clock is rumbling but he is not in his room. I wander around the house looking for him until I find him in bed with his Grandma. I wake him. I take my iPhone into the Big TV Room where I check mail, Twitter and Facebook.

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People come from all around to watch the magic boy

This week both of our boys had holiday concerts at school. Graham is playing the cello now in the fourth grade orchestra and Thomas plays the double bass for his middle school chamber orchestra. Graham was very nervous before his concert appearance but I think it was all over so fast that he didn’t have time to think about it too much. The chamber orchestra was great (as always) and Thomas was even featured on a song from Lost called “Mist”. We’re very proud of both our boys and their musical ability. I’m glad for them because I’ve never really had the ability to play music except in the most robotic sense.

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