Happy Easter to all! As I type, I hear tiny ...

March 31, 2002 by Adam in Family

Happy Easter to all! As I type, I hear tiny footprints running around upstairs. My guess is that Sam is searching the house for eggs as we speak. I'll have to join them soon in the festivities.

Another great day yesterday. We headed out to Hendrick's park, where many of the flowers were beginning to bloom. Combined with a sunny, warm day, it was hard to beat. After lunch, Jamie headed out to shop and pick up Josh, while Sam and I played the Star Wars game and weeded the garden. Josh hung out until Dave came for dinner.

I periodically amaze myself. I made up a pasta sauce using garlic, garlic, white wine, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cream, and cream cheese that turned out amazingly well. Must be my background in biology and chemistry.

Well, my copy of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast...

March 30, 2002 by Adam in Adam's Games

Well, my copy of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast arrived yesterday. I think Sam was more excited than me, as he made me put on the t-shirt that came with it right away. Sam demanded that he get a chance to play first. It took him awhile to get used to the controls, and he wasn't that good at aiming. Still, in God mode and with a little help he managed to get through a bit of the game. He spent a lot of time shooting at walls.

Sam and I also played a bit of Diablo II together. It's a very simple interface, so he can actually play. He also likes it when we both play together. I think his favorite part is making his character talk to mine: "Follow me. Um . . . oops. Run away!" It's hard to hold a conversation when you can only say six phrases.

The evidence continues that Sam is going thro...

March 30, 2002 by Adam in Sam

The evidence continues that Sam is going through a growth spurt. I measured him the other day, and he'd grown an inch since I last looked. He's also been eating and sleeping a lot. A sure sign indeed.

Sam will sometimes get overly excited and shout out gibberish. My theory is that he has Tourette's syndrome, but just doesn't know any bad words yet.

What an exciting time it's been over the last...

March 30, 2002 by Adam in Family

What an exciting time it's been over the last few days. I took Friday off, so I'm well into my three-day weekend. Thursday night Sam and I went off to practice bike riding again. He's getting more and more confident in his skills. There's a flat reservoir just up the hill, so I pushed him up and he rode around for quite awhile.

Friday was another most excellent day. It started with gardening, pulling ivy and planting honeysuckle. I caught Jamie watching me, a smile on her face. Then it was a hearty breakfast with the two of us as the boy slept in. Sam was in a wonderful mood - funny, smart, and constantly entertaining. Sam and I played computer games together for awhile, ran around outside, then went off to the Harry Potter movie. He was mesmerized and made it an hour and a half into the film before we had to go home.

Once at home, we said "hello" to Jamie who was busy rearranging curtains. We played the new Star Wars game for a bit, then played with the neighbor kids. Sam started getting pretty frazzled, so we put him to bed early.

The wonder of three-day weekends is that it's not even close to over. I'm hoping for another day of sun and relaxation.

We're getting pretty excited about our trip t...

March 27, 2002 by Seraph in Cortez

We're getting pretty excited about our trip tomarrow. Jenny is graciously taking Ducky, who will be thrilled because she not only has a doggy door, but because there will be people around who will pay attention to her!
Well, back to work, work, work, before I play, play, play!

The week's been chugging along

March 27, 2002 by Adam in Family

The week's been chugging along. I got so jealous of everyone at work taking time off, that I decided to skip work this Friday. If the weather holds, I'd love to do some gardening. Soothing to the soul.

My biggest worries these days are around Sam's medical issues. I talked to him a little last night. I think he was mostly worried that it would hurt. I explained that he'd be asleep during the circumcision, which appeased him some, but he wasn't happy about the possible post-operative "stinging". Of course, none of this is imminent, and may not be necessary anyway.

Sam and I had fun trying to color Jamie's hair last night. She wanted it a bit lighter, but it turned out to only even it out with a darker color. I guess we'll have to try the heavy-duty stuff next time.

I came home from work last night with a kille...

March 26, 2002 by Seraph in Cortez

I came home from work last night with a killer headache. Robbie was very nice and plied me with Advil. After dinner, he gave Isa a bath and I slid in bed with some ice cream and chocolate syrup and a Martha Stewert magazine. I'm not sure, but I think ice cream can solve anything!

We took Sam to the urologist this morning

March 26, 2002 by Adam in Sam

We took Sam to the urologist this morning. It looks like he has some scar tissue around the end of his foreskin, which is preventing it from being pulled back. So, it looks like we get to wait awhile and see if it'll soften and open up by itself. If it doesn't, he gets to have a circumcision.

I don't really have any deep philosophical issues, one way or the other. I mainly want to avoid doing any surgical procedures, especially ones that involve general anesthesia. Still, the doctor thought we'd end up doing it eventually. It's good to know what's going on, and what our options are. The doctor seemed like a really nice guy, so I feel fairly confident that Sam's in good hands.

Fun weekend! Hunni invited us over yesterday ...

March 26, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

Fun weekend! Hunni invited us over yesterday evening for a wonderful dinner, along with Robbie, Seraph, and Isa, and to watch the Oscars. Very fun...
Also a very fun weekend to be a grandparent. We had Jordan overnight on Saturday, and he has to be the most easy kid in the world. Jenny said he would cry only when he's hungry, and she was right.
Took Sam to a railroad show at the fairgrounds. What a goofball!

Sam's been going through a growth spurt or so...

March 25, 2002 by Adam in Sam

Sam's been going through a growth spurt or something. He's been eating and sleeping like there's no tomorrow. On Friday, he slept 14 hours. Sam's starts getting noticeably wacky earlier than usual, a sure sign of sleepiness.

We're also getting quite fond of the recent potty training. Last night, he announced, "I have to go pee." I asked if he wanted me to help him. "No, I'm okay." It brought applause from Brant and Dave, who were over to watch the Oscars.

We just finished up with one of the better we...

March 25, 2002 by Adam in Family

We just finished up with one of the better weekends lately. Nothing special, just a lot of good moments. Sam and I managed considerable play time together. The gardening began, with blueberries, shade plants, and some sage out front. I've yet to put in the honeysuckle, which I'm fond of. Jamie and I had some time together, as Sam went off with Sue and Dick. All-in-all, a fine weekend.

Well, I'm finally done with taxes

March 23, 2002 by Adam in Family

Well, I'm finally done with taxes. Looks like we'll be getting quite a big return, which makes us all happy. I'm leaning towards getting an exercise machine, but we might end up being practical and just putting it in the bank. Oh, and I'm done with the software, so anyone who wants to borrow it, just let me know.

Gadszook folks

March 23, 2002 by Lohring in Lohring

Gadszook folks. It's been months since I last posted some newz in our section. So here goes: Lohring is off to see his mother and Danica and family on Friday, March 29-April 4th. They plan to do a special ceremony for Franklin and will bury the other half of his ashes in the Meadville Cemetary by the Miller family plot. As you recall we put half of his ashes in the Gulf when we visited Florida. Lohring is also working one additional day in Grants Pass so he is gone for 3.5 days every other week. I've grown accustomed to his absence but I don't like it very much. The good part is that he is bringing in the bucks and that makes us both happy for now!

Dorothy is coming to visit us sometime in May. She will first go to Seattle to help care for her sister, who is having surgery in April. I'll keep you posted when we know the exact dates. She also plans to sell the Florida house. It's too much upkeep and worry to deal with on a long distance basis.

We had unexpected but most welcomed guests this weekend. My two nephews stayed with us for an overnight and are on their way to Seattle. Max (Maclen) Marvit is the computer geniuss (Cal Tech) who helped develop "Disappearing Ink" and was written up in the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He's accepted a job in Seattle in a "think tank" and will evaluate whether he wants to relocate there on a more permanent basis. His younger brother Seth is also into computers but got laid off from the "Red Herring" magazine. He's currently looking for work and is thinking about going back to Japan since he is fluent in Japanese and majored in Asian Studies. You folks would really enjoy meeting these guys who are from San Franciso. He'd be great for Sadie! If only we could get them together. Sigh.

I proposed a wonderful part time job to Lohring that I could do at home with little or no expenses.I suggested he hire me as a private contractor to "get off his back." He could pay me either full or part-time at minimum wage and I could file quarter taxes to the goverment but he refused to help me fullfill my need to return to part-time work. Sigh. So enough for now. I'm expecting two house guests next week!

Well, the TV card went in this morning, just ...

March 23, 2002 by Adam in Adam's Projects

Well, the TV card went in this morning, just before the cable guy arrived. It seems to work fairly well. The image quality is a little grainy, but it seems to work reasonably well.

I also took off the noisy fan on the video card and screwed in a case fan to the heat sink. It takes up a PCI slot, but I've got a few spare ones. The main problem is that the new fan is a bit noisy. I'll probably need to get a rheostat to turn down the voltage, and thus the fan rpms. Should keep it quiet.

With Spring finally here, we headed out to Jo...

March 23, 2002 by Adam in Family

With Spring finally here, we headed out to Johnson Brother's nursery and returned loaded with plants. There's a certain satisfying feeling putting new plants in the ground. Though it may take years, we'll eventually end up with a beautiful landscape. Sam's favorite part of the whole trip was putting his Lego boat in the ponds and covering them with algae.

The cable guy also came this morning, hooking up cable to the guest bedroom and the "nerd cave". With my new t.v. card, I can now watch television on my computer. It's not the best quality, but it'll do in a pinch. I'm also interested in seeing how easy it is to record shows. There's an old Bogart movie I'm going to give it a try with.

I dug up this picture of Sam wearing goggles

March 23, 2002 by Adam in Family

I dug up this picture of Sam wearing goggles. He had a great time at OMSI, and I think he especially liked the chemistry area. He happily put on his goggles, mixed chemicals, and tried to emulate Josh as much as possible. You can see a bigger version here.

Jamie and I were set for a romantic date last night. Yayoe came over to watch Sam and we were about to head out the door. Sam, unfortunately, started acting really strange, so we bagged the whole thing. We fed him, then put him to bed by six, so it's looking like he was either really exhausted or sick. Jamie was coughing a bit last night, so I'm hoping it's not the return of yet another virus. I'm quite sick of being sick.

Well, how about them Ducks! Now, it's on to t...

March 23, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, how about them Ducks! Now, it's on to the Elite Eight. I think that will probably be the end of them, but it's been a great ride.

Tomorrow I'm going to a luncheon (older ladies have luncheons, not lunch) for the Daughters of the American Colonists. There's nothing to make me feel young like belonging to these organizations with old ladies. I'm a mere youth among those of the League of Women Voters.

The family cold/ flu has finally caught up with me - my third cold sore in as many weeks, a cough straight out of Moulin Rouge, and a jaundiced view of reality.

Got an e-mail today from Sadie in New York. She said she and Luke were visiting Sarah and having lots of fun. I'm getting frustrated with Sadie's never ending stream of sweeties. I still vote for Marshall or Luke. Why don't we just take a poll and present the results to Sadie as a fait accompli - We'd could certainly start marriage negotiations with their respective parents before someone else snaps them up, and Dick and I would even spring for a cow or two, like dowries in Botswana. (Although Uncle Douglas in Botswana is certainly the one we need to have conduct negotiations for a dowry.)

This has been a sad time at work - one of my favorite clients has cancer, and another, a 91 year old woman who has always been so bright and funny, is starting to go senile.

Jamie brought Sam to work, to trade cars whil...

March 22, 2002 by Adam in Sam

Jamie brought Sam to work, to trade cars while she worked out. Sam was fully geared up in his new biking equipment: helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves. Very cute. When we got home, I managed to put the finishing touches on the bike that Jamie had mostly assembled and we took it to the park for a test drive.

Though Sam was a little nervous at first, we found a good flat place and proceeded to try it out. After awhile, he was riding around and playing racing games with me. Towards the end, we were practicing braking on hills, much to Sam's enjoyment. It was hard taking him home, as he kept wanting to ride.

Jamie made a wonderful dinner, then she was off to Victoria's for girl's night. Sam and I had a quick bath, then I put him to bed. It was a good day to be a dad. I love that boy so.

Abit more travelog - we went south from Victo...

March 22, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

Abit more travelog - we went south from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zim. We stayed at a backpackers' hostel (Don't go anywhere but the bathroom without a Lonely Planet guidebook). We were the only ones there. The young woman running the place fixed us dinner; standard South Africa fare of a maize (Best way to describe it is that it's like a very stiff Cream of Wheat)
with a beef/beef gravy topping. I actually was still feeling a bit shaky, so Sadie and Dick put me to bed and I slept a couple of hours before dinner. Dick and I sat outside on a little patio in the evening. I love summer evenings in the residental parts of big cities, and this
was particularly pleasant. The British influence in Zim is
very pronounced - no pun intended. English is the common language, but it's used in a way that I can best describe as flamboyant... My favorite was a bar named the Linger LOnger Lounge.

Next- on to Harare, feeling a little nervous about spending three days with folks we had never met before.

After not doing much to my computer, I'm actu...

March 21, 2002 by Adam in Adam's Projects

After not doing much to my computer, I'm actually going to crack open the case and install some new hardware. I was up at Fry's and ended up with a TV capture card for the computer. It should let me watch television as well as record it.

Another thing I'm thinking of is getting an exercise machine, now that it looks like we're getting tax money back. If I can record enough shows to create an "exercise/entertaiment zone", it might actually get Jamie and myself to use it more often. We'll see . . .

I'm getting to be a pro at putting Sam to bed

March 21, 2002 by Adam in Family

I'm getting to be a pro at putting Sam to bed. Jamie was off at a Tiny Tots meeting, so I took care of Sam last night. We had a great time, running around the park and stomping on the stump of a tree that had blown over in the storm. A little dinner, a little Lego playing, a bath, and we were ready for bed. It's all good.

Sam was also a very lucky boy yesterday. Jamie took Sam to Toys-R-Us and they ended up coming back with a kid's bike. Sam wanted to put it together and try it out immediately. We still need to get a helmet and pads, then it's probably up to me to start putting it together, either tonight or over the weekend. Great fun.

Jamie and Sam came by after work

March 20, 2002 by Adam in Family

Jamie and Sam came by after work. Jamie went to workout in the gym while I took Sam to the library. When I arrived home, Jamie's dad was there. He and Sam played while I baked some bananna bread and made enchiladas. It was nice to have the opportunity to cook dinner, as I rarely do these days.

Sam was clearly over excited by the days events. During dinner, he demanded bananna bread and when I took him out of his chair, he lashed out with his tiny fist. I told him that it wasn't okay to hit, and swept him upstairs to bed. Within minutes, he was fast asleep.

Now I'm back at work, a computer upgrade finished and a meeting beginning in a few minutes. How funny life is.

Work has been crazy lately

March 19, 2002 by Seraph in Cortez

Work has been crazy lately. Mom asked me this morning "So, if we can just make it through May things should be ok. Or have you just not scheduled it yet?" Although I too am hoping things calm down, I think it's just that I haven't scheduled it yet.
This weekend was pretty uneventful. But it just may be that I don't remember anything happening. Isa was perticularly clingy. It's really cute for the first 5 minutes. Mom and Dick saved us on Sunday by taking her and Ducky to the farm for a few hours. We went and had lunch with Raven & Cheikh, which lifted our spirits greatly!
We're getting excited about our Ka-nee-ta get away weekend over Easter. Four days to do nothing but order room-service! Heaven!

Sam woke up early again this morning

March 19, 2002 by Adam in Adam

Sam woke up early again this morning. I came up to visit the two of them before I headed off to work. Jamie and Sam were discussing their dreams. Sam had one where there was a nice boy and a mean boy, and he was hiding from the mean one.

In my dream, I was tasked with blowing up a building. I planted the explosive, activated the timer, and ran off. It blew up the building, and I went to my car to make my getaway. Just then, I realized I'd left my keys in the building I blew up.

Dick and I rented an old movie, Gallipoli, wh...

March 19, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

Dick and I rented an old movie, Gallipoli, which I'd never
seen before. This has been a busy, busy time at work, and I'm not sure why. Heavens knows, people in Oregon are even more poor than ususal.
We had fun over the weekend. We wemt to the annual St. Patrick Day party on Friday evening. The old gang is grayer and grayer. On Sunday afternoon, we took Isa down to the farm to see the horses. She is quite fearless, and patted away with great vigor.
We have been dismayed to see how the Zimbabwe elections turned out, and worried about my cousin and his family there.

Sam woke up this morning and crawled into bed...

March 18, 2002 by Adam in Sam

Sam woke up this morning and crawled into bed with Jamie. Neither of them could get to sleep, and after a few minutes, Jamie felt a tapping on her chest. There was Sam, blood all over his face and shirt. Evidently, he had been removing mucous a bit too vigorously and he'd given himself a nose bleed.

Jamie cleaned him up and put him in front of the t.v. downstairs. I came up from the basement and Jamie filled me in. Sam didn't really want to tell me, as I periodically warn him about picking his nose.

I sat down next to him and he explained the whole thing. "I forgot not to pick my nose." I told him that it was okay and to be more careful next time. He was so sweet, sitting on the couch with a tissue stuffed up his nose. Very cute.

I'm back at work after a three-day vacation

March 18, 2002 by Adam in Adam

I'm back at work after a three-day vacation. More importantly, I'm not sniffling, coughing, or otherwise feeling bad. It makes all the difference in the world.

Here at work, our team went through a major move. My manager is actually next to me (hope he's not peeking), and the rest of my team in this region is close by. It's very strange, as we've been widely separated across the floor.

Coming back from Portland, there was an accid...

March 18, 2002 by Adam in Family

Coming back from Portland, there was an accident involving two tanker trucks full of fuel, so traffic was incredibly bad. The two hour trip was turned into a three hour one, which we amazingly survived. Sam announced he was bored a half hour into it. We managed to play with two toys for almost the entire trip - a snake-like plastic thingie and a hole punch. Never underestimate the creative power of a desperate father.

It's amazing how great life is with everyone well. Sam and Jamie seemed in good moods. I cleaned and did laundry like there was no tomorrow. It's all good.


March 17, 2002 by Jamie in Jamie

Hi. Adam made me say this

I was going to work on taxes yesterday, so I ...

March 16, 2002 by Adam in Family

I was going to work on taxes yesterday, so I booted up Jim and Judy's computer, only to find that the keyboard didn't work. Somewhat puzzled, I fiddled around with the software, which did nothing, and finally turned it over to see if a wire was loose. Well, when I did, a viscous green liquid poured out. Surprised and puzzled, I surmised that someone had spilled a drink and it had shorted things out. Well, I took it apart and tried to clean out the goo, only to eventually give up.

When Jim finally came home, his first question was, "do you know how to open up a keyboard?" I explained how I'd already done so, and asked him what happened. It turns out their cat threw up on the keyboard. Completely grossed out, I promptly washed my hand over and over again. Sadly, the memory of the stench is burned into my brain forever.

This morning, everyone but Jamie went to OMSI, and had a great time. We spent about three hours there, and Sam had a great time. He was especially into the chemistry area, wearing the goggles and doing experiements. Later, we headed home, dropped off Sam and Judy, then took a trip to Frys for a new keyboard.

Well, Frys and Adam should never be brought together, as I ended up spending about $100 on a mouse pad, blank CDs, and a t.v. capture card. It's all good.

Tonight, Jamie and I are going to a romantic Italian restaurant while Sam is entertained by Josh, Jim, and Judy at the same time. Should be bliss for everyone.

Well, I haven't posted for so long because I'...

March 15, 2002 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Well, I haven't posted for so long because I've been... err... busy. but I have this application/story for a South Africa programme, and thought you guys might like it:
Every evening before dinner, my Gaborone father- I called him uncle Douglas- read the newspaper. And every evening I slid into a velour chair next to him, and waited for his sitting room stories. In the beginning I had to ask about his life as BotswanaÆs first news broadcaster, his plans to buy a Mercedes with my bride price, or the children he sent off to South African private schools who came back white inside. After a few weeks, Uncle Douglas would fold up his paper without prompting and, eyes half closed as if dictating straight from remembered imagery, begin his monologue.
Like everyone else in Botswana, he had South Africa stories. He worked in Mafikeng when it was still the capital of Botswana, met his wife there, sent two ambitious children to work in Johannesburg, and crossed the border for weddings and funerals every month. We had family there. We spoke Xhosa and Setswana and listened to South African news in Zulu. We brushed our teeth with toothpaste manufactured in South Africa. Uncle DouglasÆ South African stories were not animated like the ones where heÆd get off the bus at the wrong Kansas City. He was quiet, and slower with the plotÆs unfolding. I remember one story more clearly than the rest, when he told me about his certificate from the South African government. During apartheid, Aunt Jean and Uncle Douglas helped ANC members cross the border to Zambia. The story whispered of SADF raids and BotswanaÆs plea for sovereignty in political neutrality policies- the periphery of something I needed to see for myself.
What he couldnÆt tell me, what I had to understand on my own terms, was how the other side of our family lived. I listened but didnÆt have my own images to recall, eyes half-closed. After a seminar and special studies on South Africa, research on Zimbabwe, Angola, and Mozambique, and a semester in Botswana, I have a coherent social, political, and historical framework of Southern Africa. I can articulate how racism is constructed, codified, and inherited with real estate planning. IÆve theorized on the causal factors of the countryÆs political revolution, analyzed dependent development and neoliberalism and examined the race-class dialectic. IÆve even argued politics with Afrikaner farmers on vacation at Chobe National Park. But I havenÆt negotiated my skin privilege in a country where the top five percent consume more than the bottom eighty-five or felt the implications on a kombi. My academic focus on Southern African revolutions is incomplete without an experiential understanding of South Africa. Learning in context would bring two years of regional study into acute focus. Hopefully IÆd also return with my own stories and quiet convictions.

Well, we made it to Portland

March 15, 2002 by Adam in Family

Well, we made it to Portland. Somewhere around Salem, we had a minor medical emergency. Sam got an eyelash stuck in his eye, but he wouldn't blink. We spent several minutes with him crying and holding his eye closed. I finally pinned his arms and manually moved his eyelids back and forth. Amazingly, it worked just great.

Jim and Judy are doting over Sam while Jamie and I relax. It's hard to imagine that our life was like this all the time.

I downloaded this little program from the Int...

March 14, 2002 by Adam in Sam

I downloaded this little program from the Internet that allows you to view some of the monsters that you'll see in an upcoming computer game. It's pretty cool - you can rotate the creature, make them attack or run, and zoom in and out. I showed Sam, who proceeded to go crazy playing with his little creature.

Well, Sam rotated the creature so he was looking straight up from underneath. I was providing the voice over and ended up saying something like, "Argh! Fear me and my shiny underpants!" Sam thought that was hysterical and he couldn't stop laughing. Hmm. Maybe you had to be there.

I just had lunch with Isabell while Robbie we...

March 13, 2002 by Seraph in Cortez

I just had lunch with Isabell while Robbie went to read Harry Potter to Destin. She is certinally independent these days!
Last night I had a "night out" at a church committe meeting. They've asked me to be the next chair, so I thought I'd check it out. It's rather an honor, as the current chair has been doing it for years and years, and she really wanted me to replace her.
Tonight it's just Isa and I, as Robbie heads out to EEI's March Madness. I think it will be fun for him to sit back and enjoy it, rather than helping put the show on!
Well, luch's over, and I wouldn't want to get evil looks from the boss for posting at work!

Recently, Sam discovered this picture of Sadi...

March 12, 2002 by Adam in Sam

Recently, Sam discovered this picture of Sadie up on my bookshelf. It was taken when she was around thirteen, and she gave it to me as a gift at some point long ago. He's become quite enamored with her, remarking on how beautiful she is. "I like beautiful girls," he explained to me. Well, at it sounds I've got a good shot at grandchildren some day.

Sam's also been very good with potty training lately. We'll be in the middle of playing or watching t.v. and he'll announce, "I need to go to the bathroom." We'll wander into the bathroom and he'll say, "Just pee, not poop," presumably to let me know how to handle the situation. Man, could I get used to this no more changing diaper thing.

I so desparately want to be normal again

March 12, 2002 by Adam in Adam

I so desparately want to be normal again.

I had a bloody nose for most of last evening, probably from dry sinuses. Jamie was out and I did the evening routine with Sam. I kept falling asleep while Sam watched Dexter's Laboratory, so I knew it was time for bed. I conked out while putting him to bed, not waking up for well over an hour. I tried to go to sleep next to Jamie, but I kept coughing and ended up in the guest bed again. I'm getting to know it quite well.

Jamie and Sam seem mostly healthy, so I'm hoping that's a preview of things to come. It's been hard being sick this last month. Well, at least I can justify this morning's Cafe Mocha. Mmm . . . coffee . . .

I spoke with Jamie yesterday afternoon, who p...

March 12, 2002 by Adam in Family

I spoke with Jamie yesterday afternoon, who proceeded to detail how terrible Sam had been all day. She sounded very much like an overwhelmed mom, so I snuck out of work a little early to see if I could do some help. When I arrived at home, they weren't in the living room as normal. From the basement, I heard a series of loud thunks and Sam screaming.

Fearing the worst, I ran down the stairs to find Jamie throwing balls at Sam, a gleam in her eye. Sam was dodging left and right, trying to escape. After they both started laughing hysterically did I realize the true nature of the game. Being a sport, I decided to pick up the balls and try a few throws as the boy. It was actually quite satisfying, for all parties involved.

I have to say that this soggy weather has bee...

March 12, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

I have to say that this soggy weather has been tough to keep chugging through.

While we were in Kasane, Dick went on an afternoon game drive while Sadie napped and I sat by the pool. He came back with great stories and photos. While in many places wild animals were not in the wild, but rather on game farms,
Dick and the tour ran into a bunch of elephants on the edge of town.

From the north boundary of Botswana, we went due East to Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was the closest I've ever come to a police state, and as close as I ever want to get. Throughout Zim, we were regularly stopped at police roadblocks and asked for identification. The thoroughness with which we were questioned/searched was totally inconsistent. Most of the time, we were stopped because we were driving a rental car - there was a small red sticker on the front bumper, and we assumed that car jackings are common and they wanted to make sure that we were the people who had rented the car. But at least one place, they asked us to open the trunk, and patted it all down, presumably looking for weapons. However, at only one roadblock did we see any conflict - the police questioning someone who was not enthusiastic about being questioned. The police and Army are controlled by Mugabwe, the current President. At least, through the last day of the elections, which are going on as I'm writing this.
There is no way to avoid feeling the tragedy of Africa. If South Africa was bad, Zimbabwe was terrible, because it is such a beautiful, vibrant country. The art, music and something ineffable which I can only describe as "spirit"
were amazing in Zimbabwe. Unlike Botswana, which is dry and desert like, most of Zimbabwe was green and lush. Particularly lovely was Victoria Falls. Sadie and I walked all along the southern edge, which is so misty from all the falling water that it was jungle like. We were seeing it during the rainy summer season, so there was a lot of water in the falls. It was almost a mile from one edge to the other. If I ever go back, I want to go back at full moon -
it's reputed to be beautiful, or I guess, even more beautiful.
We were there at the hottest time of the year -I think we were the closest to the Equator on December 21st, the longest day in the year in the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, this was the only time I didn't feel well - I think I got dehydrated. From Victoria Falls, we went south to Bulawayo, past huge farms and game farms.

As you probably know, at least some of the conflict in Zim
is related to issues over the ownership of the large farms, nearly all white owned. I have to say that I came away from Africa thinking that it was hard to see much of anything good that had happened to Africa and Africans as a result of white people. The life they had developed, over the last 100,000 years was compatible with the environment and the climate.

More sober thoughts later.

It feels like we haven't posted for an age! ...

March 12, 2002 by Seraph in Cortez

It feels like we haven't posted for an age! This last week was full of ran, sun and snow -- in all manners of speaking! After a warm spring weekend, where we dreamed of gardens and warm days, we were hit again with rain-and snow-as well as sneezes, coughs, and groggy heads.
This last week at work was hectic, but Mom worked her magic, waved her wand (I know it's hidden in that desk somewhere, along with the lost files and misplaced hole puch) and settled cases and hearings, and generally tiddied up our schedule and calmed our lives.
We enjoyed a quiet weekend, though it went far to fast. We did get to take in the Home & Garden show at the fairgrounds. This of course lead to a plant buying trip. We now have rows of pots in the window, waiting for enough sun and warmth to sprout with lavendar and beans!
Sunday night we headed over to Adam & Jamie's to have a wonderful dinner (yes Adam, you may "toot your own horn"), and great entertainment from Sam. Jamie made a beautiful dress for Isabell. I think I'll lie to everyone at church and tell them I made it! Not really, but Isa sure is blessed with a family that loves her.

A pleasant weekend has come to a close

March 11, 2002 by Adam in Family

A pleasant weekend has come to a close. Sunday was quite productive, with shopping, cleaning, and hanging out with Jamie's dad. Sam and I played with Legos, though not as much as the huge amount on Saturday. We also had Seraph and Robbie over last night, which was nice. They hadn't been in our house for months, so the recent additions were new to them.

Jamie handed over the dress she'd made for Isabell. Sam was fairly fascinating to his young cousin. He'd invented this game involving repeatedly smashing Duplos. Isa would break into this huge grin every time he hit them together and blocks began to fly.

It's back to work for me today. As soon as I sit down, I'll be cleaning up social security numbers from a data file. Woo hoo! Hopefully the work week will be short, as I'm going to try to get Friday off. I bough zoo tickets many months ago, and we're going to try for a Portland trip this weekend. Should be fun.

Sam's medical intrigues continue

March 09, 2002 by Adam in Sam

Sam's medical intrigues continue. It turns out that he never had a urinary tract infection. When Jamie went to the emergency room in Newport, they ran tests, but no one ever bothered to look at the results. Later, they turned out to be negative. The doctor just prescribed antibiotics for fun. So basically, he didn't follow normal procedures, misdiagnosed Sam, and prescribed drugs unnecessarily. Ah, the joys of the healthcare system.

Sam's normal pediatrician wasn't as sure, and he told us so. Friday, he went in for another test for UTI, which was negative. They're doing a culture, but I suspect it will be negative as well.

So, Sam's going in to see a specialist in a couple weeks. He's doing fine now - no pain while peeing. It may be that he's just irritating the area while he learns toilet training issues. It could also be due to the opening in his foreskin is smaller than normal.

This entry will probably be endlessly embarrasing to Sam when he's a teenager, but it'll hopefully assuage all the nervous relatives out there.

Today was a good day

March 09, 2002 by Adam in Family

Today was a good day. I woke up early and started work on a new paper building, this time a windmill that's very complex. Sam and hung out until Jamie finished making breakfast, which was quite tasty. For some reason, Sam has been hysterical all day.

Sam and I played outside, then had a little snack with mom and Dick at New Day bakery. Sam scarfed down eggs, toast, and part of a cinnimon roll while listening to a guy playing guitar in the corner. After our fun little counter-culture experience, we came home and have been playing Legos ever since.

Jamie has taken advantage of this time to herself by spending time on a secret sewing project. Since it's a secret, I can't talk about it here, but it'll be cool when finally completed. She also did a little rearranging of the craft room, which seems to change on a weekly basis.

One final thing. About a month ago, there was that fire up the street. Jamie finally heard the story behind it, as told by the neighbor. It turns out that a woman with Alzheimer's lived there. When the power went out, she had set out candles. Her daughter came to pick her up, and evidently some were left burning. No one was hurt, but it's still a sad story. I'm endlessly glad that our family is doing relatively well.

When I awoke this morning and headed off to w...

March 08, 2002 by Adam in Family

When I awoke this morning and headed off to work, snow was coming down. Our lawn had a light dusting of the white stuff. If it was December, it would have filled my heart with happy feelings. Now, it's just one more reminder that spring isn't here yet. Well, at least it's melting away.

Sam seems to have his "pee problem" again. Last night, he started complaining that it hurts when he pees. I think the plan is to get him to a doctor today. I feel so bad for him, as there's not much I can do to alleviate his fear. He gets so scared that he holds it in until it hurts. Poor kid. The irony is that we were finally starting to recover from our colds. Had to be something else, I suppose.

It's Friday and I'm well caffinated. Jamie's family is in town this weekend, so we'll probably try to get Sam and Josh together to play. I also have a romantic evening out with Jamie planned, assuming I can arrange it. Life seems complicated these days.

Sam's been pretty funny lately

March 07, 2002 by Adam in Sam

Sam's been pretty funny lately. He made up a joke the other day: "What noise does someone make when they fall down?" "What, Sam?" "Bonk."

We also had a long conversation on how you can tell good people from bad. Evidently it's all in the clothes, although there's some complexity when good people put on disguises (e.g. when Luke wore a stormtrooper outfit). Also, if they have a weapon behind their back, they're bad, unless they're a police officer, in which case they're good. These things are quite tricky.

It was a good day yesterday, despite being sick

March 07, 2002 by Adam in Family

It was a good day yesterday, despite being sick. Jamie and Sam went to the Air and Space museum by the airport. I think the original plan was just to get out of the house on a rainy day, but they ended up having a really good time. Sam got to sit behind the controls of a couple airplanes. "But I didn't fly it," Sam added. Jamie admired the collection of airline kitch collected by an airline executive over the years.

I tried hard to be in a good mood yesterday, if only to make up for my general grumpiness the day before. I bought Jamie flowers and played Legos for hours with Sam. Even though I'm still achy and sick, it seemed to help with everyone's mood. Sam was kind and polite, quite the contrast from the night before. Even Jamie smiled a few times over the evening.

I had gone to bed early, and woke up about 4:30 in the morning. Not having anything better to do, I watched Stargate episodes and made another paper house. This one was really elaborate, with a chimney, front porch, and more. It was very relaxing, bringing me back to the kindergarden days when life was simple.

For some strange reason, I've recently gotten...

March 06, 2002 by Adam in Adam's Projects

For some strange reason, I've recently gotten into making paper models of castles and buildings. I was ran across a link to a page that let you print and cut out little buildings. Since I was watching Sam that day, I decided to get them ready so that I could make them with Sam. Well, I ended up having more fun than he did. It's vaguely relaxing, like how Jamie does crossword puzzles.

I've already built two towers (one ruined and one normal), a wall section, and a variety of smaller houses. Sam and I got some Knight Legos last weekend, so we had a good time playing with them. I think Sam's favorite is the ruined tower, as his characters could fall down into it and get stuck on the second floor.

I was walking to work from my car today, spac...

March 06, 2002 by Adam in Family

I was walking to work from my car today, spacing out a bit as the rain pattered on my umbrella. Like an old horse, my feet knew the way, as I ended up at Starbucks instead.

I'm still sick, as is the rest of my family. Sam was completely wacky last night. It was frustrating getting him to bed, as he had lost the ability to have a rational conversation. I keep wishing there was something I could do to make everyone happier. Sadly, I think we just get to wait it out.

It was my dad's birthday party last night. I dragged myself to it, practically falling asleep once I got there. It was nice seeing everyone again, as it seems I haven't seen much of my family lately.

When I arrived home last night, it was if my ...

March 05, 2002 by Adam in Family

When I arrived home last night, it was if my wife and son had been swept away and replaced by pod people. Jamie was silent, a sore throat keeping her from talking much. Sam was trying to be good, but his tiny body would flail about and knock things over. It all made sense this morning when I woke up with an achy body, sore throat, and headache. It appears we're all sick again. I imagine that our immune systems are becoming super-efficient from all the viruses thrown our way this winter.

It's dad's birthday tonight. I'll try to make it, come hell or high water, though I'm not so sure about Jamie and Sam. I'm hoping this is one of those mild illnesses. My Cafe Mocha and Advil trick seems to be working reasonably well, though the day is still early.

Oh, funny note about Sam

March 05, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

Oh, funny note about Sam. We had him a weekend ago, and went to New Day, sitting so we could look out the window. Sam was wearing blue jeans. A guy with a motorcycle drove up and parked the motorcycle. Sam watched with great interest. Finally he said, "He's wearing blue jeans. " Then he added, rather sadly, "But they're cooler than mine."

On to our last stop in Botswana, Kasane

March 05, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

On to our last stop in Botswana, Kasane. This was on the river which makes up the northern border of Botswana. As we drove into the lodge, I looked out the window, right into the eyes of a warthog. There were signs all along the dock, "Beware of crocodiles." We had a pretty rondeval, near the river (No crocodiles appeared), with monkeys playing all around the trees near us. Some of them had babies, and it was fun to watch them. We stayed a couple of nights here - it had a wonderful restaurant, overlooking the river. Restaurants nearly always had a breakfast bar with an amazing array of native fruit combined with "British Cooked Breakfast" foods, plus good old German pastries - an unbeatable culinary combination. Ah, stomachs across the sea -much better than hands across the sea.

It was so nice to hear mum and dick's voices ...

March 04, 2002 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

It was so nice to hear mum and dick's voices last night- I'm still in the middle of my papers, and people really do go crazy during midterms. Anna Levitt came into my room last night to say she that her night was full of weeping women- lord. I just hope I can manage to finish my OCD presentation and South Africa paper today without losing any more sleep or drinking too much coffee. Wish me luck, people.

By the time we got to the Rhino Sanctuary, I ...

March 04, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

By the time we got to the Rhino Sanctuary, I began to feel as though we were in Africa the way I imagined it, with vast empty spaces, monkeys everywhere, like squirrels are here, and colorful birds.

The next camping spot, Nata Lodge, was even more lovely. We had a huge (maybe 20'x30') tent up on a platform,with a front porch, and permanenet bathroom, shower, and bedroom.
The lodge had a swimming pool, and we all had gin and tonics
by the pool before dinner.

By this time on the trip we were really enjoying ourselves, other than the fact that it got hotter and hotter as we got farther north, toward the Equator. Since it was close to December 21, the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected it to get hot, and understood why all the women, and younger children, carried umbrellas against the sun. Also, nearly everyone we saw wore a hat - not necessarily a straw sun hat, but something to protect them from the sun.

A funny thing happened along in here. One day at lunch time we drove to a restaurant fairly far out in the country for lunch. After lunch, we headed back toward the main road, only to find that our way was blocked by a herd of cows. Sadie got out, and like a professional herder, clapped her hands and said, Shoo, or the equivalent, and they all ambled off. We told her that we felt much more comfortable about her getting a job after graduation.

Sam and I hung out together yesterday

March 03, 2002 by Adam in Family

Sam and I hung out together yesterday. It was a fairly fun-filled day, full of checkers, backyard playing, going to the play, buying some Knight Legos, a trip to a park, and hanging out at home. Very busy and full. The good news is that Sam appears fully recovered, in a good mood, and generally polite and cheerful again. It makes a huge difference.

We're having the neighbors and their kids over for tea today, so Jamie's gearing up for that. Sam and I will probably make a Borders run, since I have a 20% discount through work today. I've been getting into making paper models of buildings for some strange reason, so I may poke around and see what they've got.

When I was a kid, they used to say that trave...

March 02, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

When I was a kid, they used to say that travel was so broadening, and it's true. There is something about being physically in a place which can't be duplicated by the Internet.
Finishing up- the evening game drive was amazing. I've heard descriptions of how night comes in Africa, but I wasn't quite prepared for the fact that night comes like turning out the light. The sun set, and then it was night. There wasn't a moon, and the night was so clear and bright that the stars seemed to cast shadows. We got out, with our guide, and walked down to the water hole, with frogs, who must have weighed about fifty pounds each, to judge by the sound, ribbiting, or whatever Botswanan frogs say. We could hear the wildebeests and water buffalos snuffling around. We slept well that night.

The next morning we had to go into the closest town to change travellers checks, and got a good close look at the sort of manana approach to life in Africa. The bank was supposed to open at 8:30 (everything opens early because of the heat). It opened about 9:30, and there were hordes of people, since it was the day everyone gets their Social Security check. We finally got out about 11. We had left Sadie, and thought she might be worried, she said she knew how things go in the business world.

I haven't yet figured out how Adam can just d...

March 02, 2002 by Seraph in Cortez

I haven't yet figured out how Adam can just drink coffee on Fridays. I've started to restrict myself to no more refills after noon. What I find myself doing though is getting a really big mug of coffee at 11:59 am and spiking it with a lot of sugar! Usually that lasts me through the afternoon.
I've decided that this weekend we really need to take our christmas lights down. Something about lights up in March seems tacky. I'm also going to convince Robbie that the Memorial through Labor Day apporach to life only applies to shoes, not lawn mowing!
Happy weekend to everyone!

There's a special feeling I get every Friday ...

March 01, 2002 by Adam in Family

There's a special feeling I get every Friday morning, dressed in my jeans and drinking a mocha, that I don't get any other day of the week. The weekend is soon upon us and this final workday seems almost like a prelude of events to come. Almost.

Jamie's doing the play again tomorrow, so Sam and I get to be Men About Town. We'll probably take in the play ourselves, and perhaps run an errand or two. It's still a bit too early for much gardening, though I can definately feel it calling.

I slept for almost ten hours last night. I fell asleep when putting Sam to bed, and only briefly woke up to move back to ours. I'm still a little sick, and get that annoying cough from time to time. Hopefully our family is on the mend.

More travel - We returned from the village to...

March 01, 2002 by Sue in Wielesek

More travel - We returned from the village to meet with the family in Gabarone with whom Sadie stayed during the latter part of her stay in Botswana. They were a truly international family - they had come from South Africa, and both spoke English with a British accent set to African music.
He had been one of the first radio news announcers in Botswana, and she operated a nursery school. Since schools are operated in English, parents try to help their kids get a head start. One of their sons had gone to the University of Michigan.

The next day we started north, toward our first up county stop, at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Sadie had stayed there before. We had a rondeval, or round house (although ours was rectangular), thatched, with nothing around us but trees. Dick managed to generate a meal from beans and corned beef hash. As he headed back to the check in area, he ran in to a gemsbok (not literally, however). We went on an evening game drive. There is nothing quite like watching giraffes out in the wild jumping and playing.

More later.

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