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 ( 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.

Continue reading “The moon is in a phase and I guess that I am too”

Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 2523
Van odometer: 154556
Aches & pains: miniature frost bite on my elbow (turned black), back in spasm for 3 days
Current reading: My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk, Cross-platform GUI Programming with wxWidgets
Recent listening: CovervilleLive from Austin, TX by Neko CaseThe 99 Most Essential Beethoven MasterpiecesWeird Al YankovicFinal Boss by MC Frontalot
Recent viewing: The Thing, The Tick, Numbers, Coraline, The Daily Show, Battlestar Galactica, This Week with George Stephanopolous, Meet the Press, Firefly, Welcome to Macintosh, Fringe, Confessions of a Superhero, Lost (Season 1)
Recent playing: Chain Factor, Galcon
Recently accomplished: Can recycling for Scouts, Coldplay tickets for Thomas, found outlet for Boy Scout can recycling, yard debris, Valentine’s Day plans, volunteered to be Troop 820 Treasurer, visited Evergreen Aerospace Museum
Imperative To Do: Freecycle, get rid of MacRenewal Macs, recover network functionality on old Tivo. Read their multimeter reviews for more information.

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.

Continue reading “Transoceanic depth in this earth in this cenotaph”

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

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.

Continue reading “I read the news today, oh boy”

You with your angel face

On this historical day our little family is going through a little bit of personal history. As I write this, Tina is in the operating room undergoing a hysterectomy. As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago Tina had what I described then as a “severe gynecological episode” which resulted in great loss of blood and a trip to the emergency room. After spending a night in the hospital and consulting with a new set of doctors, we concluded that her old doctor would no longer be treating her. For over a year she’s been having problems with irregular and lengthy menstrual cycles and her doctor insisted on treating her with hormones in the form of birth control pills. That treatment was ineffective and the ongoing condition resulted in frequent migraines, anemia, worsening a of her restless leg syndrome and a myriad of lesser symptoms. This all culminated in the middle of December when Tina’s period started and hasn’t stopped since. And so she is in the operating room now.

They are going to attempt to perform the procedure vaginally in order to reduce recovery time. However, if there are complications (details of which were explained to us but I cannot remember), they will make an incision for a laparotomy. They are equally prepared for either.

Tina’s mom arrived last night and will be helping out over the next week or so as Tina recovers. Since I’m working from home, I’ll also be able to help more than if I weren’t. We are lucky.

Update (13:00 PST): Tina is out of recovery and resting in her room. Pain medication is making her drowsy but she’ll probably be up for calls and visitors this evening. She’s in room 2406 at Adventist.

Update (14:00 PST): The doctor reported that the surgery went well. She called it an “assisted laparotomy”, I think. As I understand it, they made two small incisions to assist in the removal via vagina. Also, that last sentence is all kinds of wrong.

Morning Bike Ride

Distance: 10.0 miles
Riding time: 57 minutes
Max speed: 29.8 mph
Average speed: 10.4 mph
Temperature: 90º (according to questionable bike computer read)

  • Stanton to 162nd
  • 162nd to I-84 bike path
  • Bike path to Fairview Parkway
  • Fairview Parkway to Sandy
  • Sandy to 223rd
  • 223rd to Marine Drive
  • Marine Drive to 185th Ave
  • 185th to Airport Way
  • Airport Way to 158th
  • 158th to Fremont
  • Fremont to 156th
  • 156th to home
Tina recovered quickly from our soul-sapping ride last week and got back in the saddle on Saturday to ride with Thomas. I was more conservative about my recovery time and didn’t attempt to ride again until today. I felt pretty good the whole way and my legs felt fine going up hills. I had a conference call so I headed for home from Marine Drive but Tina decided to keep going.

Afternoon Bike Ride

Distance: 15.0 miles
Riding time: 99 minutes
Max speed: 22.2 mph
Average speed: 9.0 mph
Temperature: 90º (according to questionable bike computer read)

  • Through the neighborhood to 158th and Sandy Blvd
  • 158th to Marine Drive bike path
  • Bike path past 205 several miles (turnaround)
  • Bike path back to 205
  • I-205 bike path to Fremont
  • Fremont to 122nd
  • 122nd to I-84 bike path
  • Bike path to 162nd
  • 162nd to Stanton
  • Stanton to home
Ever since we knew that I would be working from home, Tina and I have been looking forward to riding our bikes together during the day. We finally did it today and boy did it wear us out. I thought we might go five miles out and then turn around, but Tina was enjoying herself so much that we went another mile. I also decided to take the 205 bike path home which may have been a mistake since it seemed like it was all uphill. When we attempted the last hill at 122nd, my legs had had enough and I simply didn’t have the will to pedal uphill anymore. So we walked up the heavily trafficked hill in the very narrow bike lane gasping for breathe the entire time. The rest of the ride went smoothly but we’re both pretty shot tonight.

My fitness definitely needs some improvement so I’ve been doing some homework on indoor training. After a fair bit of reading, I’ve decided that the best turbo trainer for my ability would be a CycleOps PowerBeam Pro. Extra indoor sessions should make these outdoor rides much easier in the future and also more enjoyable.