Tuesday, May 27, 2003


Stardate 56052.7

I had hoped to make a few log entries between this one and the last one, but the weather turned nice. This means there is much for me to do outside. Things like mowing the lawn, getting the sprinklers going, cleaning the shed. The battery cable on the van was loose, so the car would not start half the time. I finally spent an evening replacing it.

Thomas likes to run outside every morning, in pajamas or clothes. He then screams for his friends. One morning last week, he could not get out the front door because it was locked, and the garage was closed. The window in front was open, so he proceeded to scream out of that. It's a little embarrassing, but funny none the less.

Performance evaluations have started at work. The maximum raise anyone can get is 3%, so it's hard to get very enthusiastic about it. The money for raises is budgeted the previous year, and it has to be spread around to an entire department.

The lunar eclipse kind of impressed my kids, but I don’t think they quite understood. April tried to explain the concept of the moon moving into the shadow of the earth to her Brownie troop, but they didn’t quite get it either. After I explained it several more times, I think Rachel understood. I still remember a camping trip we took when she was 4 year old. I showed her the stars. She looked up, and said “Wow!” After a few minutes, she asked, “Daddy, where are all the spaceships?” That was another highlight to the fact that parents do make an impression on kids.

End of Entry

Monday, May 12, 2003

We're crashing

Stardate 56051.2 (5/12/2003)

The last weekend I was up a little early with my youngest son, Thomas. I was working on the computer. He came down, looked around, and then asked me if he could see 'that green thing'. I looked up, and the only green thing was my model bird of prey. I let him hold it, telling him to be careful with it. He zoomed it around in the air, making swooshing sounds. I turned back to the computer. In a minute or so, I heard him shout, "Look out, we're crashing!" I turned around to see him bumping it along the carpet. I cringed, but let him go. After about the third time, I finally said "No, I don't think we are crashing with this". He simply said "Ok, Dad", and handed it back to me.

My sister Susan went with us to the May activity. We were supposed to do some model building, but the weather did not cooperate. The captain made up a game called Star Trek Shout. The idea is to have two people stand up in front. Carl gives them a topic, such as TNG titles. Then in turn, each person shouts out a title. If you can't think of one that has not been said, you lose. I went up four times. I won two and lost two. The ones I lost were Star Trek reference books (I didn't hear him say "The Klingon Dictionary"), and Star Trek games. I think Susan had fun.

Susan also helped out with AYSO registration. This went better than April thought it would, although the rain kept many people away.

I got a notice for my twenty-year high school reunion. I am debating whether I want to go or not. High school and college were not favorite times in my life. I suppose I will, just to see what everyone looks like.

Work goes ok. The dial up system has problems. The testing of the monthly rules release went on this last weekend. The dial up kept dropping me. This is ok, since the testing program continues to run whether or not I am dialed in. But it did prompt me to change my password, which is annoying.

Tonight we went to the library. Thomas and Patrick whined about it, but once there, they ran off excited to find books about dinosaurs. Rachel really wanted to go. She's reading multi-chapter books now. It's hard to believe eight months ago she was crying that reading was too hard. Now she can't get books fast enough. She's a little disappointed that she has already read all the 'A to Z Mysteries' by Ron Roy. I finally convinced her to pick out some other mysteries.

I'm glad Rachel has learned to read. It opens up whole worlds. There are not many girls in the neighborhood, so she reads when there is no one to play with. April told me there were at least ten to twelve boys running around when she left for work this afternoon. Patrick has found yet another friend. A black boy about five moved in just a month ago. He's a good kid from what I have seen so far. Patrick amazes me with the ease at which he picks up friends. Kids are always over here looking for him.

Well, I guess that about wraps it up.

End of Entry

Monday, May 05, 2003

The next week

Stardate 56050.5 (5/5/2003)

It's been a week. Not that anything bad happened like in the previous entries. It's just that one of my depressions has kicked in, and I expend a lot of energy fighting it. Music helps, if I can find the right stuff. The problem there is that each time requires different songs. This time it seems that John Williams "Duel of the Fates" from "The Phantom Menace" is the one this time. Previous selections from past episodes have included "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" from the Chuck Jones animated show, "Leaving Dry dock" from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Rossini's "William Tell Overture", and AC/DC's "Back in Black". My psych 101 instructor used to shake his head each time he saw the variety of music I used to carry with a CD player. I remember taking a "standard" evaluation, and scoring in the "seek help". I don't put much stock in those things.

Describing the feeling is easy. There is a ball in my stomach. Self-pity consumes me, and I keep thinking of all the things that can and will go wrong. My term for this is "dark thinking", because it seems black and negative. It's hard to maintain focus on anything. It's at least somewhat genetic, because my mother would sometimes disappear for a while. My sister was seeing a therapist for the same thing. I have my family and the responsibilities that come with it to keep me going.

The Starfest convention in Denver this year from 56042.5 - 56042.7 sounded like great fun. I wish I could have gone, but it came down to a choice between feeding my family and going to the convention, and that's not a choice. Ray Meyer got to talk to Walter Koenig for about ten minutes. In all the conventions I have gone to I have never talked to the guests. That would be great, although I don't know what I would say. There is a convention coming to Salt Lake on July 25th. We were going to be in Yellowstone, but with finances the way they are now, April changes the plans. It looks like I will be coming back the day before.
My brother Verne came over from Indianapolis. He's on his way to San Francisco. He works as a mechanic for United Air Lines. They have shut down the maintenance base in Indy, much to the indignation of the city and after much fanfare a few years ago opening it up. Verne only has to work to the end of the year to retire with full benefits, so he applied and got a position in San Francisco.

The day Verne came up, 56050.2, my Dad took us out to dinner. April and I were looking forward to a good meal. In the middle of it, Thomas started screaming and saying his foot hurt. He's not one to complain unless the pain is very real, so April and I took him to the clinic. As I was telling everyone where we were going, Patrick lost another tooth. Thomas's big toe swelled up. Given the events with my foot, we were nervous and I kept checking it. After a day or so, the swelling went down and now he seems fine. One thing I did feel bad about is Rachel had a friend, Audrea, staying the night. I don't know if she had a good time or not, but I hope she does come back sometime.

I volunteered for the U-6 Boys soccer coordinator. The previous person is leaving since her children have outgrown AYSO. I am still coaching on top of that, so I don't know if I am crazy or not.
I found out today that there is another grade level for software developers at work. My title is Senior Software Developer, which is the level 28 title. My grade level is 27. I had so many titles over the years that it really doesn't matter, but I wonder if it pays much more.

End of log entry.