Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm still on vacation and trying to enjoy it. I have a bit of year end paper work to do at the store, but other than that I'm tring to organize and fix the house, relax and have some fun.

RO's arm is getting better. Sometimes it itches badly and he'll bang his cast or shove a coat hanger down it. But, mostly he's doing fine.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day is over. The store is busy. RO and I are planning for the future. We want to get a great sign for the store, but those cost as much as a good new car. On the flip side, it may just be the thing we need to attract more business. Customers have told us that we don't look open.

Christmas Day its self was good. We had dinner with RO's extended family. For me, a day with RO's family is never relaxing. They love arguing and fighting.

The family has a gift grab where you bring a gift and place it under the tree. Then names are drawn. When your name comes up you have the choice of picking a gift from under the tree or stealing a gift from someone else.

Or, at least that's the way it's supposed to work. In reality the gift grab involves a half an hour of arguing over the rules-- how often and under what circumstances gifts can be stolen, how long the game goes on, stuff like that. The game starts when everyone is tired of arguing over the rules. Notice I said "tired of arguing over the rules" and not "agrees on the rules." The gift grab then proceeds until someone figures out how to game the system. All hell breaks loose. Gifts are given out, taken back. Turns are undone. The rules are corrected. This proceeds for hours until all the gifts are gone and everyone is through arguing.

After RO's family, RO and I went over to our neighbors for drinks. It was good to see them. They live a much more calm life.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On Thursday, RO broke his arm in three places. He is doing well. His ego was hurt more than his body.

Thursday, morning we had breakfast at Andrea's. Then I took RO snowboarding for his first time.

I feel a little responsible for his accident. When I teach someone how to snowboard, I usually spend an hour with them on the bunny hill, so they can learn important but frustrating things like how to fall.

RO didn't want to spend time on the bunny hill. He felt the shallow decent and the slow speeds would frustrate him and that he would learn faster on a real hill. I made him promise that he wouldn't stick out his arms when he fell.

The first few times down the bigger hill went well. He fell often, but that is to be expected for a beginner. By the fourth time down, he only fell once.

We had dinner and beer. Then we hit the hill again. RO decided to go fast. Half way down he faltered and instinctively stuck out his arm. He said that the moment he stuck out his arm, he knew it was the wrong thing to do. Before he could pull his arm in, he hit the snow. He heard his arm crack.

At first he hoped it was just a sprain. So we went home and he tried to sleep it off. His arm throbbed all night and he slept poorly.

The next morning he went to his doctor who confirmed his arm was broken. Fortunately, the bones were properly set.

RO's arm is now in a cast. We are still going to the store. I think he's having fun telling customers how he broke it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

RO has regained contact with one of his kids.

Many years ago, RO went through a very bad divorce. I'm not sure of the details, but he lost everything including permission to see his children.

Months ago he ran across his eldest daughter on MySpace. He emailed her. Last week she responded. They are exchanging emails.

She is a bit confused and doesn't understand why RO never kept in touch. From what I understand RO's ex-wife was very well connected to various judges in the Family Court Circut. Every time RO had custody of the kids, his wife would haul him back into court and accuse him of violating some detail of their divorce agreement. Eventually RO ran out money and could no longer defend himself.
I am about to take off for three weeks of vacation. I am looking forward to this. I haven't taken enough time off this year. I will still help around the store, but I won't need to attend to my day job.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The cards did arrive, but two days late. Yes, we used the internet mailing service, but I think we submitted the order too late. It's hard to judge how long mail will take to be delivered. In this case we tried to time it so that the cards would arrive on a Friday, but we misjudged.

The rain has subsided here. Don't get me wrong, it's still raining, after all this is Seattle. But we are back to the regular drizzle, not the four-inches-in-one-day down pour.

On December 3rd, Bremerton, a city accross the sound from Seattle, received between seven and ten inches of rain.

Monday, December 10, 2007

We had a stressful/bad weekend at the store. We brought two jewelry designers in and we spend a few thousand dollars sending out a mailer to promote the event.

The postcards didn't get to our customers.

We feel so stupid. Sales were ok, but they should have been spectacular.

Friday, December 07, 2007

We got a In-This-Year-Of-My-Life Christmas letter from our neighbor, Bates.

One of the low-lightes---

Bates is a train engineer. This year his train rain over two people, making a career total of eight. He's said that suicide by train is not uncommon. It's easy and it can be carried out by fence-sitters. I'm not commiting suicide. I'm walking down a train track with my tunes cranked up.

One case was more tragic. Two sets of train tracks were next to each other. A lady put pennies on the right most tracks. She then walked back to the left most tracks to watch the train squash the pennies.

The train was actually on the left set of tracks tracks.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Steven's company is being restructured and has layed off much of his devision. The severance package sounds generous. But, loosing your job still brings stress.
I just got a text message from Steve

"Hi buddy. Things a little hectic. Job going to be changing soon. Fired team on Friday and interviewing for other jobs myself now. How you? Wanna have lunch at 11?"
The rain here is starting to get lots of attention. Some of the low areas are flooded-- roads washed out, buildings under two or three feet of water.

Some coworkers have no way home because the needed roads are closed.

Monday, December 03, 2007

We've had heavy rains here in Seattle. About two inches of rain in just over a day. I'm OK-- home is high up a hill. Some people have flooded houses. Others can't make it home because of road closures.

I had diversity training today. The class was very small. Only six people showed up. I actually enjoyed the course and got something out of it.