Anna and I are also very excited to hear abou...

September 30, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Anna and I are also very excited to hear about Seraph's grades her first semester at school. That kind of performance while being who you are, Seraph, is just amazing. It means only that you are a determined mother and a very talented artist.

I'm working with the student service council to set up a service week at the end of October, and nearly have all of the coordination/set-up work finished. Now is the advertising campaign- convincing college administrators and professors to get their pictures taken saying "I want YOU to volunteer at Caretaker Farm," and get said administrator to go with them. I've already got one, and I think Rick, my supervisor and spiritual guide/chaplain to the college, will also help out. I think the colorful posters will improve our luck getting students to volunteer.

I'm also getting college musicians to run short, informal clinics with high school students. So far I have an African dance group, a singer/songwriter, and a film maker. The high school musicians will also be performing with Williams students at the Benefit Concert, which will benefit the Williamstown and North Adams PTOs.

Now, convincing a dorm room to help with Pownal Elementary School's haunted house...

Unfortunately this morning was a bit more exc...

September 30, 2004 by Adam in Family

Unfortunately this morning was a bit more exciting than I would have liked. Jamie woke me up around 4 am as she'd been up with Emma since an hour before. For whatever weird reason, Emma simply wasn't tired. We spent a long while reading, playing her Pooh computer game, and generally hanging out in the basement. A little before 6 am I wandered up and handed over Emma, sleeping for a half hour before zipping off to work.

The day before, my bike tire got a flat and I replaced the rear brakes. The tire was fine this morning, but the brakes didn't work well. I rode in very carefully on just the front brakes.

Hopefully this weekend will be relaxing and pleasant. Josh is coming to visit Saturday and I think we're having Seraph and Robbie over for dinner some night.

I'm embarrassed to say that I bit Emma last night

September 29, 2004 by Adam in Emma

I'm embarrassed to say that I bit Emma last night. She was holding an apple for me and I accidentally squeezed down on a tiny finger of hers. She looked shocked, then said "ouch" and had to go over to her mom. I sheepishly wandered over too, facing Jamie's glaring eyes. Fortunately Emma recovered quickly and we continued playing.

Emma's two molars are definately coming in. She'll point to her mouth and say "ouch". Feeling about with a finger shows two little bumps coming out of the gums.

Sam and I have been wrestling lately - the pr...

September 29, 2004 by Adam in Sam

Sam and I have been wrestling lately - the pro-wrestling sort of thing with fake moves and overly dramatic scenes. He was so distraught that he couldn't do it right before bed Monday that he cried and whined himself to sleep. Evidently he was so helpful around the house yesterday that he and I got some serious wrestling time after I came home. I was feeling lousy with headache and pulled neck muscle, but I managed to get into the spirit and soon we were both laughing and making dramatic grimaces.

Sam also went to the dentist yesterday. Perfect teeth. At least we know one aspect of our parenting skills are working out okay.

Wait, how could I have failed to note Seraph'...

September 29, 2004 by Sue in Wielesek

Wait, how could I have failed to note Seraph's brilliant performanc as a student! Just add it to all your other brilliant performances,Seraph, and a rousing "We're proud of you, we're proud of you" from the fam.

It's been interesting watching the new activi...

September 29, 2004 by Seraph in Cortez

It's been interesting watching the new activity on Mount St. Helen's. Isa has found it interesting too, although we have to give constant assurances that it won't errupt onto us. I just heard this morning that the lava dome is moving, and the earthquacks continue at about 1000 per day.
We've been enjoying the warm weather this week, with several trips to the park. Lately we've been collecting leaves and acorns for collages, and we found some edible chestnuts that we roasted up, yummy! Fall is here!

The hurricane has inched its way to our weste...

September 28, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

The hurricane has inched its way to our western weather, and it's rained all day- not the Oregon mist, but the torrential, Eastern kind of rain.

I had a meeting with an English as a Second Language assistant at the local middle school. She was so overwhelmed that she laughed histerically at her own predicament throughout the meeting. I've sent out my emails, made my calls, and while I think I'll be able to equip her with a couple of Spanish-speaking Williams students, it's so hard to see that kind of unmet need. But it's equally rewarding when our resources come together. And I think that's what's about to happen.

I think I'm going to see Howard Dean tonight. That means I'll have seen three of the Democratic hopefuls- Kucunich, Mosely Braun, and Dean. I feel so involved.

Much love.

I pulled a neck muscle during my sleep a coup...

September 28, 2004 by Adam in Adam

I pulled a neck muscle during my sleep a couple nights ago. It's been annoying me ever since, making it hard to sleep and generally move around. What I should do is take it easy and have some long hot baths. What I'm really doing is taking Advil and drinking Cafe Mochas.

Last weekend's computer upgrade has had some bumps along the way. I had three pages about it over the weekend, and spent much of yesterday dealing with fallout as well. Fortunately I think things are doing better and it's been fairly quiet this morning.

I also ran across a new television show that's quickly become a favorite: Lost. It first seems like a standard "plane crashes on deserted island" story, but quickly turns frightening and strange. Just my sort of thing.

I took Thursday and Friday off work to run a ...

September 28, 2004 by Sue in Wielesek

I took Thursday and Friday off work to run a work crew at home and, over the weekend, at the Polk Street house; they sanded and painted woodwork while I wait patiently for the guy who said he'd refinish the floor in the bedroom to show up. The worker guys put in a patio along the front at Polk Street. Because the house has the big overhang for the solar heat, the area under it doesn't get any rain and nothing grows. I talked to Sadie yesterday evening. She sounded good. Love to all, om

It was a pretty low-key Sunday, now slowly co...

September 27, 2004 by Adam in Family

It was a pretty low-key Sunday, now slowly coming to a close. We puttered around the house for most of the day, though I got paged a few times due to work-related issues. The garage got organized and cleaned. Jamie and Sam made some incredible pesto, which later got incorporated into a Mediterranian pizza. Kirsten and Dave stopped by after work and we ended up feeding them. Jamie discovered the "On Demand" features of our cable system, deciding it was incredibly cool, then later discovering it wasn't quite so cool. The kids and I played a lot, indoors and out.

In general, it was nice to have a weekend where we didn't have to rush around and do anything terribly important. I need more of those from time to time.

Well, Emma's teething alright

September 27, 2004 by Adam in Emma

Well, Emma's teething alright. There's a molar that's poked through. I think it's more than that, however. She's learned the power of whining and throwing a fit when things don't go her way. We're trying hard to steer her away that behavior to some degree of success. Normally she's quite a charming young girl.

She's also getting very attached to Jamie. She loves being around other people and playing with Sam and I. It's just that when she's tired, hungry, or bored, she'll start crying and wanting her mom.

Ah, the trials and tribulations of growing up.

It was a good Saturday, as Saturdays go

September 26, 2004 by Adam in Family

It was a good Saturday, as Saturdays go. I was a little groggy as I stayed up late the night before playing on my computer. Nothing a lot of coffee couldn't fix. I had a little work to do as we had a big downtime at work. I earned my keep with five minutes of troubleshooting after something broke.

Later in the afternoon, Sam and I went to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It's not Best Picture material, but it's lots of fun. It's almost as if they deliberately included all the great pulp science fiction elements from 30's comic books. Great stuff.

WooHoo!! Small moment of patting myself of t...

September 25, 2004 by Seraph in Cortez

WooHoo!! Small moment of patting myself of the back. I pulled a 3.9 gpa this term (3 A's and 2 A-'s). One of those A's came from the teacher who never gives A's!
See you all tonight.

I actually felt like I made some progress at ...

September 24, 2004 by Adam in Adam

I actually felt like I made some progress at work today. It's really helped to have another developer on our team again after the first one moved on. The morning coffee seems to help too.

I'm hoping this weekend is nice and quiet. There's a few projects I'd like to fiddle with, such as continuing to work on arranging the garage. Mostly I want to play with my family and just enjoy each other's company.

We head off to Eugene in a few hours

September 24, 2004 by Seraph in Cortez

We head off to Eugene in a few hours. I'll be doing some work for Hanni, and Isa is generally thrilled about two "sleepovers" in Eugene.
Sadie, I too am shocked (but somehow not surprised) by the RNC. I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that reminded me of you: FIGHTING FOR PEACE is like SCREWING FOR CELIBACY. Hmmm...


September 24, 2004 by Adam in Family

Mmm . . . sweet, sweet mocha Friday. Nothing too exciting going on this misty day here in Eugene. Dave and Kirsten wandered by last night so we fed them in exchange for entertaining our children. Emma in particular is taken with Kirsten and is even able to say her name. We were happy to have a couple fresh bodies to ease the parenting madness for an hour or two.

Emma slept better last night, which I'm sure Jamie appreciates greatly. Sam's been rewatching the Lord of the Rings movies, so he's very much into roleplaying grand battles with orcs and elves.

I think we're going to take it easy this weekend. I'm hoping to go see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow with Sam. There's also a Finding Nemo movie at his school tonight, though it's a bit late. I'd also like to watch both kids as much as I can as Jamie's had a hard week with them. I'm sure a few hot baths would be greatly appreciated by her.

My little Sims addiction continues

September 24, 2004 by Adam in Adam's Games

My little Sims addiction continues. Sim Adam and Jamie continue to put off children, earning lots of money in their respective professions. Soon enough they should be at the pinnacle of their careers, whatever that may be.

They had their first house party, putting in a swimming pool for the occasion. There was also a stove fire while Jamie was cooking a turkey, but the firefighter showed up and put it out. Sim Adam was busy unclogging the toilet, so he wasn't much use.

An interesting bit emailed to me by Anna abou...

September 24, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

An interesting bit emailed to me by Anna about the "Little Guantanamo" set up on Pier 57 during the RNC in New York. Our friend Rishi was held there for 8 hours while peacefully protesting, if standing in the wrong place at the wrong time can be called protest.

The now-famous Pier 57 in New York, used as the jail facility for holding protestors arrested during the Republican National Convention, was leased by the Republican National Committee, according to the Certificate of Occupancy and the Fire Safety Inspection Certificate for the pier.

The implications of the Republican National Committee leasing the pier, and arranging for the NYPD to then use the pier as a detention facility for people protesting the RNC, are quite startling. The ramifications for both the Republican Party and for the City of New York (for entering into a partnership with an organization essentially operating a private jail facility), both legally and politically, could be serious indeed.

It was a little more exciting yesterday than ...

September 23, 2004 by Adam in Family

It was a little more exciting yesterday than I wanted it to be. Sam got out of preschool early yesterday and Jamie forgot. The teacher ended up calling me at work to okay another parent taking Sam home. I cycled home in hopes of straightening things out, but by then Jamie had already picked him up. Oops.

Jamie also went out with a friend last night, leaving me to entertain the children for a couple hours. Emma gets distraught every time Jamie goes away, so Sam and I put all our effort into distracting her. We found some old foam squares with letters on them that link together, one of Sam's old toys. They make great forts and such, so we spent a lot of time putting them together in various combinations. For a brief, quiet moment I had boxed up both children. I think that lasted two seconds before they burst out of it as the foam connections aren't that strong.

Fortunately Emma seems to be sleeping better. Perhaps her molars have come in enough so that it doesn't hurt quite so much.

Guesss who I hate? U

September 22, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Guesss who I hate?

U.S. Seeks Cuts in Housing Aid to Urban Poor

September 22, 2004 By DAVID W. CHEN

The Bush administration has proposed reducing the value of
subsidized-housing vouchers given to poor residents in New
York City next year, with even bigger cuts planned for some
urban areas in New England. The proposal is based on a
disputed new formula that averages higher rents in big
cities with those of suburban areas, which tend to have lower costs.

The proposals could have a "significantly detrimental impact" in some areas by forcing poor families to pay hundreds of extra dollars per month in rent, according to United States Representative Christopher Shays, a Connecticut Republican. That extra burden could be too much
for thousands of tenants, "potentially leaving them
homeless," Mr. Shays wrote in a recent letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

I'm still not sure what's going on with Emma

September 22, 2004 by Adam in Emma

I'm still not sure what's going on with Emma. I think it's that she's teething, but I'm not certain. She'll be playing happily along and then suddenly start crying, calling out for her mom. Last night was more of the same. Fortunately she seemed to sleep fairly well. I vaguely remember he being up once, and then it was blissful silence for the rest of the night.

I continue to play Sims 2

September 22, 2004 by Adam in Adam's Games

I continue to play Sims 2. Sim Adam and Sim Jamie are currently climbing their respective corporate ladders. Jamie's a Field Researcher and I'm an Astronaut. With all this time focused on work, the money's pouring in. Unfortunately that doesn't really leave time for kids, so I've been drinking Elixirs of Life to keep us eternally young. I'm curious as to what happens when we reach the pinnacle of our careers, so I may just hire a nanny when Sim Sam and Sim Emma come along.

I wouldn't say Sims 2 was the best game out there, but it's certainly different. One of the biggest strengths is its story telling ability. I could have an evil clown move in with the two of them if I wanted. I can even make my own movies and post them to the web. All very strange and funny.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMIE!!!! I finished up final...

September 21, 2004 by Seraph in Cortez

I finished up finals last Thursday night, after which, I went with some of the folks in my class to the Red Robin and celebrated with a beer (or soda - for the kidos). It was really nice to have a weekend without any real responsibilities.
We went to the zoo on Friday, meeting Robbie after he finished work. We realized that rainy days are the best time to go. There are very few people there, and in Oregon there are always lots of sun breaks between showers. Amazingly a lot more animals were out then when it's sunny, so we actually got to see the tigar and the grizzly bear!
On Saterday we made trips to my school, the library, and and artisan street fair.
The weather has had us alternating between movies and trips to the park.
Today I started working at the student supply store. We will be spending the next two weeks getting the kits ready for the incoming students and generally reorganizing. As the boss is out of town much of this has fallen on the sholders of a few very organized students, and the few newly hired flunkies - of which I am now one. I think they are hoping that as an apparel design major I will know something about the supplies for my department.
Anyway, it's money, and thanks to the state minimum wage increase this Jan.1, school workers will be making a bit more money.
I will have October 18th off for Intitution Day, then the Thanksgiving holiday, finally finishing fall term on December 16th. I'm already looking forward to Christmas, and a bit more quality time with the fam! Hogs and Quiches!

Emma's been having some separation anxiety wi...

September 21, 2004 by Adam in Emma

Emma's been having some separation anxiety with Jamie lately. I'll be playing with her for awhile and she'll suddenly get distraught and start calling out for her mom. Last night was pretty crazy too. Emma seemed to be endlessly crying and Jamie was exhausted. I think we needed a vacation after our beach trip.

Other than that, she's doing pretty well. Her vocabulary is amazing and she's starting to string together a couple words at a time. She's also very creative in using the few words that she knows. Last night she wanted Jamie to do something while Jamie was still eating. "All done. Momma." Emma told her. We all laughed, which probably encourages such impish behavior.

We're back from the coast

September 21, 2004 by Adam in Family

We're back from the coast. Saturday went well, with a good drive over. Emma slept for a big chunk of it, even though we took the long way around to avoid some work they were doing on a tunnel. Once we got there, we lounged about waiting for everyone to get out of the Beaver game and drive over from Corvallis. Dave, Kirsten, and Josh even managed to come along which made it even cheerier.

Sunday was Talk Like a Pirate Day, not to mention Jamie's birthday. There were lots of beach trips, sand castles, and eating crab. Everyone seemed bemused by Sims 2 and all their Sims counterparts that I'd made for them.

Most people headed home Sunday evening, leaving our family and Jamie's aunt and uncle. It took awhile to get the kids to bed. Emma in particular has been quite fussy and wanting Jamie all the time. The next day we did a final beach trip, then slowly got ready for the trip back. As always, coming home is harder than going, and Jamie was a bit on edge the last ten minutes. Still, we arrived safe and sound and Angie surprised us by bringing us dinner.

Now I'm hoping for a long night of sleep before work begins tomorrow.

I'm missing a sleeping bag, green Coleman coo...

September 20, 2004 by Sue in Wielesek

I'm missing a sleeping bag, green Coleman cooler, the inflatable raft, two pad sanders, and a short step ladder. On the other hand, I have in my tools a red caulking gun I've never seen before. Also, I piled stuff in the back drive way (not the junk next to the wood rack)for anyone I can foist it off on - a couple of big blue tarps, some strips of finishing wood, that little electric McCullough chain saw, boxes of screws, and enough washers in assorted sizes to fix every leaky faucet in Eugene.

I registered in Williamstown today, though I ...

September 20, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I registered in Williamstown today, though I still have a rapport with Northampton politics and will miss voting there. Remarkably, this week has calmed down a bit, and I have the time to breathe, clean off my desk, and start on a few new projects.

This weekend Anna and I will be driving to Providence, RI to roast a pig and drink home brew with my old friend Alan Bergland. Good times for a lovely fall.

Okay, I got Sims 2 and so far it's really, re...

September 18, 2004 by Adam in Adam's Games

Okay, I got Sims 2 and so far it's really, really fun. I forgot how entertaining it is to fiddle with your characters as they move through their comical lives. Sam and I started with a Sim Adam and Sim Jamie, early in their lives. They're getting by with a small house, just starting off.

Since I didn't want Sam to miss anything, I started up a new Sim. This one's a zombie looking character and his house looks a bit like a crypt. Early on in the game, he invited Jamie over and it seems they hit it off a bit too well.

Of course, things didn't always go well for Zed Zombie. He had a house fire that was pretty bad. He managed to put it out, but he now has a deep seated fear of fire.

Later on, Jamie comes over again. It appears they're playing some form of patty-cake. Should Sim Adam be jealous? In truth, science is Zed Zombie's true mistress. He spends long hours looking at the stars or studying mechanics.

I suspect we'll continue to have lots of fun with this one. I'm working hard with Zed to fulfill his science aspirations, which lets me open up all sorts of strange contraptions to add to my house. I'm shooting for the Elixir of Life to keep him ever-young and zombified!

I want another pickup! This darn little Honda...

September 17, 2004 by Sue in Wielesek

I want another pickup! This darn little Honda is made so that it slopes away from the passenger compartment and I can't see the edges of the car. Wednesday morning I stopped at the Glenwood for breakfast, and drove over the edge of a concrete berm, wrecking my tire. Thank heavens Adam had his white horse handy, and after dinner hopped right on it and changed the tire.
Eugene Celebration this weekend. I'm marching with the League of Women Voters. Let me urge everyone to register, if you haven't.
I wish I didn't see America falling into one of those periods of fearfulness; we have done such terrible things
during those times - the McCarthy Era, the Interning of Japanese....

Mocha Friday

September 17, 2004 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. It was a wet morning and it promises to be a wet weekend. When we go off to the coast, I'll be sure to bring along plenty of indoor things to do. The kids have been spoiled by warm and sunny coast trips, so it'll probably do them good to see what Oregon weather is really like.

It's another crazy busy day here at work, though they did announce a fairly sizeable "winshare" bonus this year. Maybe Emma will get to go to college after all!

My Sims 2 game also arrives today. Maybe Sam and I will make up a version of all our family members and stick them in a neighborhood together. Hopefully Robbie won't set himself on fire like he did in the first Sims game. Seraph moped around their apartment for days, a little urn on the floor a sad reminder of his inability to safely use a stove.

Yesterday seemed incredibly busy and today se...

September 16, 2004 by Adam in Adam

Yesterday seemed incredibly busy and today seemed much of the same. I made some progress, but it was constant interruptions and new projects pouring in.

Jamie surprised me with the kids today, giving presents of chocolate, dried nuts, and a book of Sam's drawings. For some reason, Sam's drawing book stood out as the coolest. I had no idea he'd been spending so much time working on it. There were mountains, lakes, and lots of stick people holding swords. Great stuff.

It was a funny morning today

September 15, 2004 by Adam in Family

It was a funny morning today. Right as I was about to walk out the door, Jamie came down with Emma, dropping hints about how tired she was and how Emma kept waking up all night. I dutifully tucked Jamie into bed and took Emma outside to look at the slugs and snails crawling on our patio. After twenty minutes or so, Jamie came out and kept me at home with the promise of coffee. I ended up showing up to work a fair bit later than normal.

Both the kids have been fascinated by snails lately. Sam had a few trapped in a plastic container to look at, giving them fresh leaves from time to time. A little baby snail was born, its shell still soft. The next day the wind blew it over and it was crushed. Sam wailed his anguish and freed the snails, becoming protectors of the local mollusks.

Emma has picked up this fascination and enjoys looking and poking at them. Fortunately they're pretty slow so she can keep up.

I'm getting through finals week - three down ...

September 14, 2004 by Seraph in Cortez

I'm getting through finals week - three down two to go! Amazingly enough I think I may pull A's in all of my classes! But, I haven't taken my last two finals yet.
We're looking forward to possible visit from Alex and Carolyn this weekend. I may be working at the school supply store through the break, but spending the weekends in Eugene working at Hanni's and Mom's houses. Hopefully the exact dates and times will come together soon.
Robbie got his first batch of preschoolers yesterday. It sounds like only two kids (both boys) cried for their parents, and it was actually the dad's who had a harder time leaving them then the mom's. He admited that at one point he actually did what he said he would never do. He took one of the animal puppets, created a high-pitch voiced character and told silly stories to calm the kids. It worked, but I think these experiences are too humiliating for Robbie to continue with them!
Isa's been great lately. She and I enjoyed our weekend alone, while Robbie went to Eugene for the game. We went to our church's rummage sale (I got some great clothes for the Sadie, Jenny and Jamie to try on -- Skinny B--'s!), went "into the city" where Isa got to charm the other students spending their Sat. at school, and ate pizza and had a quick stop at the Sat Market before heading home. Considering we were without a car and doing a lot of walking, Isa was quite a trooper.
Love to all of my wonderful family!

School is going well for Sam

September 14, 2004 by Adam in Sam

School is going well for Sam. He seems to enjoy going, probably because it's far more interesting than hanging out with us. He's made a friend called Caden that he plays with on the playground.

As parents, we're really happy that this transition has gone so smoothly. Whew.

Emma's really been getting into snails lately

September 14, 2004 by Adam in Emma

Emma's really been getting into snails lately. We have a bunch that move around our house and Sam decided to collect several of them in a plastic container. Emma always wants to play with them, pointing out their eyes on the long stalks.

Last night we had them out, discovering a little snail baby magically appearing in the box. I took one out for Emma to play with, putting down leaves for it to eat. Emma decided to help it along, picking it up and shaking it over the leaves, making chewing noises. Very cute.

It's Sunday night at 8:30 and I'm seriously t...

September 13, 2004 by Adam in Family

It's Sunday night at 8:30 and I'm seriously thinking about going to bed in a few minutes. It's been a long day and I didn't get enough sleep last night. I watched Firefly on DVD late last night then was given Emma at six in the morning. I spent the first few hours pretty groggy.

Yesterday seemed a blur. I took the kids shopping for birthday presents for Jamie. We're still on target for going to the coast next weekend, something I'm very much looking forward to. We also watched Shaolin Soccer, which was hysterically funny. I'll have to start applying Kung Fu to computer programming.

Today I also seemed to have the kids a fair bit as well. Sam and I went on a long hike this morning to the top of Spencer's Butte. After lunch, Jamie went for a long walk with her friend while I entertained with drawing, playdough, and sand boxes. Jamie returned to spell me and I took a luxurious bath.

So, time to get ready for bed and sweet, blissful sleep.

I just wanted to uncharacteristically add my ...

September 11, 2004 by Jamie in Family

I just wanted to uncharacteristically add my two cents of encouragement to Sue, who has the guts to dream about what she really wants, and the freedom and means to make it happen. You go girl! But please reconsider the glass sink; not only is it breakable, but also a fingerprint magnet. Solid surface is the way to go ;=)

I'm on my second cup of coffee and feeling wo...

September 10, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm on my second cup of coffee and feeling wonderful. I get to break in eleven new first-year tutors this evening as practice for my big info session next week. They work with me as work study students. That makes them *officially* my minions for social justice. My empire comes together...

On another note, Anna is bringing my couch and kitchen table up tonight. I'm not moving anything until the new studio can be fung shui-ed by my friend Taneya. After the last place, I need to some serious Chi realignment.

I'll be riding off to work shortly, eagerly a...

September 10, 2004 by Adam in Family

I'll be riding off to work shortly, eagerly awaiting my Friday mocha. Then it's an hour of frantic work, followed by another day of all-day meetings.

Sam enjoyed his second day of school. He returned with a gingerbread boy made from paper, marshmallows, and raisins. He cut the paper himself, so it seems they're starting on the critical kindergarten skills already. He also made a friend on the playground, though he didn't know his name yet.

Emma slept better last night, though only relatively so. Several times I'd hear a plantive voice from her bed on the floor calling "Mama? Mama?"


September 09, 2004 by Seraph in Cortez

Hmm...a log cabin with moveable walls on Eugene's College Hill...
I saw a home improvement show recently where they sectioned off parts of a large room, into smaller rooms with curtian-like partitions that ran on tracks around the room. I actually looker pretty nice. Just think how much easier it would be to up-date the color or style of a room if you only had to invest in new curtian fabric! Plus you could push them all aside and mop/vacuum the whole house at once! Granted this idea only flys if you don't have looks of people in the house who are simultainiously (SP??) trying to sleep and listen to loud music!

I talked to both Sadie and Betsy yesterday; B...

September 09, 2004 by Sue in Wielesek

I talked to both Sadie and Betsy yesterday; Betsy called me from the middle of a traffic jam because it was so late in Ohio only the west coast branch of the family were still up.
Jamie and I did talk about business - sort of. We talked about the house I'd like to build in front of my house, and
how I'd like to have a house easy to clean, with moveable walls. As I think about it, I realize I have in mind something about the size of the log house my grandmother
lived in when she was a kid. Now that's retro.

For some reason, Emma was up for a long time ...

September 09, 2004 by Adam in Emma

For some reason, Emma was up for a long time last night. It's as if her brain was in overdrive and she kept wanting to read books, see the pictures on my digital camera, and generally be entertained and informed. I ended up waking up really late, but fortunately our team is going out for breakfast this morning.

Her vocabulary is unstoppable at this point, as she seems to learn a new word every few hours. Her pronunciation is much better as well, and I can understand most of the things she says. Last night it was "pictures" whenever she wanted to look at the pictures on the camera.

She's also been very affectionate lately. Emma talked to me on the phone yesterday and Jamie reported that she kissed the phone. She also found a lady bug and carried it around, occasionally kissing it. Unfortunately her love was a bit too much for the poor little bug, who ended up looking a bit on the squished side.

Sam's first day of school was today, somethin...

September 09, 2004 by Adam in Family

Sam's first day of school was today, something he's been increasingly excited for. He dressed up in his school clothes, donned the backpack he picked out, and was ready to go. Evidently everything went pretty well as he seemed excited to go again. Emma didn't quite get the nap at the proper time, so Jamie's time with Sam in school wasn't particularly relaxing.

After work, Jamie went off to my mom's to conduct business. I think they finished in a few minutes and sat around shooting the breeze while I tried to distract grumpy children. Fortunately we discovered the neighbor kids playing outside so we joined them for a solid hour of play time.

Tomorrow could be a slightly odd work day for me. We have a new employee coming down that I'll be cross-training. As a bonus, we're eating out at the Glenwood. I'll probably end up drinking too much coffee and peeing all day, but such is the risks of my job.

Sam had his first day of school today

September 09, 2004 by Adam in Sam

Sam had his first day of school today. I didn't get a very coherent narrative from him, mostly just a collection of random stories. His teacher's name is Mrs. Staysack. They read a book called the Kissing Hands. He clapped until his hands hurt. He had homework that tested his reading, math, and other skills.

Jamie reported that there were two sets of twin girls in the class with him. It's also a pretty big class with 19 kids. So far he seems pretty excited about it. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

This picture, if you're curious, is of Sam's teacher who "seems nice" according to Sam.

I had a great time with everyone this weekend...

September 08, 2004 by Seraph in Cortez

I had a great time with everyone this weekend! I must admit that I didn't get the homework done that I should have, but at least the term is slowly wrapping up, and there are fewer projects left to complete.
Robbie and Isa have been in Eugene, returning today. They've been revisiting some of their old haunts, and seeing old friends. Although their absence has made it easier for me to catch up with my school work, I'm very much looking forward to their return.
I'm thinking about begging one of my art teachers to let me volunteer in her studio. It would mostly be making slide lables and lugging around instalations, but it would look great on a resume. I'll let you all know if I can convince her that she needs me!

I finished up with Doom a few days ago

September 08, 2004 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished up with Doom a few days ago. The ending was pretty straightforward - very few surprises after awhile, though it sure did look pretty.

I went ahead and ordered Sims 2, as it's something the whole family can play. I suspect my first project will be to try and recreate our little family and see what happens. I had a lot of fun with the first Sims game and Sam seems to think it's a pretty funny idea. It'll be a nice break from the typical shoot-em-up games he tends to show interest in.

While walking to work this morning, a little ...

September 08, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

While walking to work this morning, a little too near to sunrise for my taste, the air was so Eugene crisply perfect. I came to the east coast for a little Robert Frost romance with nature, but I'm too wary of the weather to enjoy myself. The people are great and I like the rural bumped up against the culturally cultivated, but the weather... One can trust the weather in Eugene. One knows what to expect and the rain gods do not dissapoint. The east coast gives rain with humidity! Snow with bitter wind! Eugene would never do these things. Oh, how one grows to love Home when it's far away.

Work is like getting in a wave pool for eight hours without a floatation device, getting out, sleeping, and getting back in the next morning. Communist utopias call to me... Abandon your academic oppression, Sadie, Live naked in a tepee...

After work yesterday, we all piled in the car...

September 08, 2004 by Adam in Family

After work yesterday, we all piled in the car and headed out for Sam's ice cream social at his new school. It was a bit of a mad house, with many parents and kids running around. We peeked in to his class that he'll be going to today, checking out the toys and setup. Then it was outside to play on the playground, which seemed well stocked.

Hopefully today will go well for him. After we got home yesterday, he kept saying "I wish it were tomorrow", so I think he's pretty excited.

And a good time was had by all

September 07, 2004 by Sue in Wielesek

And a good time was had by all. The kids were cute and funny, and the adults in good humor. The fish were biting, and we were reminded that there is nothing quite as tasty as fresh caught trout with breakfast. Hugs to all, Sue/old mom

Thanks to Leon, Anna's dad, for this great ar...

September 07, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Thanks to Leon, Anna's dad, for this great article on fascism, my personal favorite topic du jour.

Fascism Anyone?
Laurence W. Britt

[F]ascism's principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and Protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, But it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate Obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.

For the purpose of this perspective, I will consider the following regimes:
Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco's Spain, Salazar's Portugal, Papadopoulos's Greece, Pinochet's Chile, and Suharto's Indonesia. To be sure, they constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete Picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible.

Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that Link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people's attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice-relentless propaganda and disinformation-were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite "spontaneous" acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and "terrorists." Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and

Well, while you were all out bummin' at the l...

September 07, 2004 by Jamie in Jamie

Well, while you were all out bummin' at the lake, Emma and I were enjoying some gal time. I back packed her over to Victoria's new house to check out how all of her bold paint choices were working with the furniture. The kitchen is a cheery aqua, the LR golden yellow. Her BR turned out surprizingly great in lime green. And a bright orange bathroom? Not as bad as I feared :-) If you need some inspiration for introducing color in your home, this is a place to visit. Emma is teething, so I got about two hours sleep Sat. I'm trying to catch up this week.

Well, we're slowly adjusting to city life again

September 07, 2004 by Adam in Family

Well, we're slowly adjusting to city life again. It seems like I spent almost all of yesterday playing with Sam or Emma in some combination. Jamie was very appreciative of me being home and she tried to get some time to herself before the week began.

In the morning with picked up Dave and Kirsten and went out to Lonepine Farms to get fresh produce and visit with the goats. Emma in particular had a great time exploring. The afternoon was mostly spent unwinding and hanging out at the house.

Tonight we have an ice cream social at Sam's kindergarten and tomorrow is his first day.

Oh, and click on the picture to see a bigger version.

Sam had a great time on our camping trip to T...

September 07, 2004 by Adam in Sam

Sam had a great time on our camping trip to Twin Lakes with the rest of my family, doing many things for the first time: camping, riding in a boat, fishing, roasting marshmellows, as well as being a "real fisherman". Now, the last item is important to him as he spent a bunch of time by the side of the lake catching tiny fish. We managed to bring one back preserved in alcohol.

Most of the time we spent outside exploring, checking out a nearby lake, and tossing rocks into the water. He had a really good time and was sad to leave.

Wickiup/Twin Lakes adventure: thanks to all i...

September 06, 2004 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Wickiup/Twin Lakes adventure: thanks to all it was a fun and delicious weekend. The weather was perfect, the skies were blue, and we had wonderful cabin neighbors. I really enjoyed spending time with the gang of 14 and over eating. Darren's fresh caught trout for breakfast and Seraph's pancakes were the frosting on the camping cake. I've never tasted such fresh fish and also never realized that Darren was such an outdoors person. He also brought a boat which facilitated the catching of those tasy fish! He was in heaven! I also felt a bit guilty coming home early..mostly so I could take a nice hot shower and get into my nice comfy bed! Hat's off to Sue for sleeping outside on the picnic table (now that's what I call roughing it!) and for taking Ducky and the grandkids on long walks. I also noticed that Lohring ate his weight in chips and cookies! I of course got hooked on the raisin bread and salad greens. Hanni came on Sunday with a big bottle of wine and her famous brownies. Special thanks to Robbie for buying the gold plated mayo...he learned about inflation at the country store...$3.50 for a small jar! Jenny was calm, relaxed and happy and Adam and Sam explored the lake like early pioneers. It was so nice to see Sam experiencing so many new adventures. I was amazed that Isabel turned down something to eat and said, "it's not my thing." Wow..from a 3 year old yet! And of course Destin remained the super hero with the kids chasing after him in adoration. Jordan was also in his happy-go-lucky element despite trying to escape from the cottage to explore the water. The best of all was Ducky, who was the primo watch dog. I don't know how Seraph managed to do any of her homework..she was busy cooking and organizing stuff and trying to sketch at the same time. Thanks to everyone for making this such a memorable weekend.

Just a reminder that we'll be in Montana next week. We'll be gone from the 16-20th. Glacier National park is on the agenda and then boat racing at Crazy Al's race!

We've arrived safely home after Sam and I's e...

September 06, 2004 by Adam in Family

We've arrived safely home after Sam and I's exciting trip. Sam had a pretty good time, as did I, though it was a typical Miller family gathering in many ways. There were delays and miscommunication, but we all managed to make it to the lake and enjoy each other's company.

The first day Sam and I mostly explored the area, wandering around the eastern Oregon dry forests. There were plenty of chipmunks and birds about. Supposedly most of the mosquitos were eaten by bats just days before. We spotted a bald eagle and a blue heron.

It was also a day of firsts for Sam. He went out on a boat for the first time, went fishing for the first time, camped for the first time, and roasted marshmellos for the first time. He got a little bored of fishing after a lot of time passed without any excitement, despite the fact that he claimed to have much patience.

Later that night, he found a dead fish floating in the water, an inch long at most. He grabbed it and ran all the way back to the cabins, naming it the "Little One that Didn't Get Away." He had lots of fun catching fish later on, including a half-pecked one that he stuck into alcohol for later study. A few other insects got dropped into specimin containers to be added to the collection.

Today was more of the same, with a boat ride across the lake and lots of walks. Sam seemed mesmerized by such a large body of water, tossing in rocks and looking at the creatures that swam around in it. The drive home seemed long, but we made it here by dinner time.

Jamie had had a hard night with Emma the night before, so she was pretty beat. Hopefully tomorrow we can all rest up for a week that includes Sam starting kindergarten.

Well, my bags are almost packed

September 04, 2004 by Adam in Family

Well, my bags are almost packed. I've managed to include a variety of electronic goods, such as a laptop, a portable DVD player, a camcorder, and a digital camera (not shown). Since they don't have broadband up at the lake, I suppose it's not worth taking the computer.

I've got to finish packing clothes and then wait for the rest of the crew to wake up. I might try slipping out to Metropol to get some goodies for the day, as well as making sure the car has gas. The weather looks pretty dreary at the moment, but supposedly it'll be sunny and warm where we're going.

Mocha Friday with only a few minutes left at work

September 03, 2004 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday with only a few minutes left at work. The sun is shining and tomorrow's camping expedition looks promising. Sam's getting excited and he and Jamie spent today packing in preparation.

It's been a good week in the Miller-Mellor household. We all went swimming Wednesday night, laughing and splashing our way to bedtime. Jamie went to the Farmer's Market yesterday and made a wonderful dinner with fresh vegitables. Ah, the joys of having a spouse at home.

I'm hopeful it stays sunny for our trip. Jamie and Emma will be spending tomorrow night in a quiet home, something that almost never happens. Sam and I are "roughing it", though that really means we'll be in a well-furnished cabin without a television.


September 03, 2004 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

1. i am writing this one-handed from my desk, eating lunch before going through logistics with all the orientation leaders.
2. i successfully moved into my beautiful new apartment.
3. i am gearing up for a busy four days of first-year orientation (140 first-years, 28 leaders).
4. all the amazing students had meetings with me this morning, and man, am i going to be busy for more than the next four days.
5. i love my job.
6. i miss all of you, esp. imagining the camping trip fun that's going to happen this weekend.

This week is slugging alon

September 02, 2004 by Seraph in Cortez

This week is slugging alon. Although finals are not for two weeks, it feels like everything is due this week. I over slept two hours this morning, although Robbie rushed to the rescue and got me to school on time. I think what it really boils down to is that I'm really looking forward to the end of the week, and hanging out with my family - even if I have school work in tow.

Sam starts kindergarten in another week

September 01, 2004 by Adam in Sam

Sam starts kindergarten in another week. It's pretty amazing to contemplate, though I think he's fairly ready. The toughest part will be getting used to being around all those other kids. Sam seems to either get very shy or very wacky when around big groups of kids. Hopefully he figures out a happy medium.

Scholastically he should be fine. He can read all the letters, and has been practicing writing them as well. Most short words he can sound out with a little help. Plus all my Adventurer Bob story problems should help him with everything else.

It's been fun just hanging out with Sam this Summer. Last night before bedtime he was running back and forth in the yard. We made up an impromptu game where he'd rush at me and I'd find some unique way to dodge. After I leapt over him, hands on his head, we both collapsed on the grass laughing hysterically. Jamie just eyeballed us both and remarked, "I can't believe you just did that."

It's been really fun lately watching Emma's v...

September 01, 2004 by Adam in Emma

It's been really fun lately watching Emma's vocabulary blossom. She'll even string two words together on occasion. Words like "applesauce" and "pizza" come easy for her now.

Emma is also figuring out how to control the world around her to a larger degree. If there's something she can't do, she'll grab your finger and put your hand on whatever object she's having trouble with. Many doors are opened this way.

It's also pretty amazing to watch her personality develop. I was holding her yesterday and she gave one of my chest hairs a good yank. After yelling "ow!" and putting her down, she got this distressed look. After I picked her up again, she patted my chest and gave me a hug.

Labor Day is coming up, so girls, no more wea...

September 01, 2004 by Sue in Wielesek

Labor Day is coming up, so girls, no more wearing white shoes. (Or was the rule "No white shoes after Memorial Day).
Standards are slipping so these days.
It is actually raining outside; you can always tell Oregon is a farming state because any complaint about summer rain here is always followed by a guilty comment about how much the farmers need the rain.
I got the Polk Street house rented after some concentrated clean up. The good side is that I got to visit with Angie and Matt; they have done amazing things to the back yard of the 4th Street house.
I watched The Girl With The Pearl Earring - a visual video feast.
I have to take my jammies and do a follow up sleep test at the sleep lab in a couple of weeks. But the doc didn't seem concerned, so I think it's mostly they want to make sure any sleep problems don't exacerbate my heart problems.
Many hugs.

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