Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A big  economic trend in cow shit valley (as a local author has lovingly dubbed my home valley) is the consolidation of farms. Small family farms are going away. They are slowly being bought out and folded into big farms.

When dad and the uncles get together, they frequently talk about farm robots and automation. They have a strong mistrust of the robots, but have to concede that they are necessary for the big farms… if you could do most of the maintenance yourself , and figure out how to convince a bank to loan you a million dollars to automate, then a big farm may be the way to go.  That is if you want to farm, and I don’t. I’d love to see some of the robots up close though.

Take a look…

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The life of J…

J's mother was my cousin. I guess that makes J my first cousin once removed.

J's mother committed suicide.

A month layer J was in a horrible car accident. J is now paralyzed and mentally retarded. Her father was also badly hurt. 

That was four years ago. J can now scoot around a little bit in her wheel chair. She can use a special keyboard to speak out her thoughts.

My brother and his wife visit J regularly. They have fun with her. They give some meaning to her life.

I deeply respect my brother for doing this. I don't know if I could do the same.

It's Christmas. This morning, after breakfast, mother was looking at her calendar. "Is it the 25th today?" she asked.


"Oh. It's Christmas. Merry Christmas."

Dementia is starting to affect mom. Her short term memory is going. Dates and commitments slip past her. To help, she has started keeping a daily calendar.

Then there are the meat balls. This Saturday is the big family Christmas Potluck. Mom is to bring meatballs. Two or three times over the past few days she has suddenly remembered that she needs to buy meat balls. She has got into arguments with dad, reminding him to bring her to the store to pick up meatballs.

Last night dad asked me to look in the fridge. It's full of meatballs.

Most of the time mom is perfectly normal. But something about future social engagements sets her off, makes her anxious, makes her heart race, makes her forget things.

I see that my faults are echo's of my mothers. Her faults are an order of magnitude worse than mine. At the core, we share the same weaknesses. It's like I'm getting a preview of my old age.

Dad is patiently by her side the whole time. He calms her. He helps her through her spells.

I wonder how he is. He is a very quiet man who very rarely talks about his feelings.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I'm at my parents now. It's quaint and quiet. Snow covers the ground. It's a great little getaway.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Clem & Bates got married yesterday. The wedding was on a train headed south to our sister city of Portland. Clem & Bates have been railroaders for years, decades even. The railway is special to them.
Since C&B have lived together for over twenty years, we pestered them with many newly web jokes-- "Are you sure you are not rushing into this decision?" "After you marry a man, he may do something unspeakable to your body."

It was very sweet. C&B have been roll models for many couples around us. Mostly they teach that people learn and grow. Relationships must learn and grow with the couple. Holding someone back because that's the way they were on the wedding date, is not good for anyone.

RO and I… I have next to me the dissolution agreement. It lists our assets and our debts, and who gets what, and who is responsible for what.  Going over it is painful for RO.

In fact, RO asked me, that if he got his life together, could he ask me out on a date? I urged him to let go. That I'm happy being single.

So the document isn't hard on me. I'll take on some debt as the cost of separating. But, I can pay it off in a few years. Better the debt that staying deeply involved with a business that needs so much time and that I have so little passion for. As Tommy said, you have to listen to the voice in your gut.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's 7 in the morning on Saturday. Early. And I've slept in. I've been getting up at 6 for the past two weeks. With my new, temporary home,  the early hours let me avoid traffic on the way to work.

I think I like getting up early. It's quiet. It let's me get ready for the day without rushing. Enjoy a cup of coffee. Read a little.

Steven gave me a gift, a copy of "More Language of Letting Go" The books wants to help us let go of codependent tendencies, and cultivate healthy balanced relationships. I read the daily essay every morning. Today's essay was on the value of keeping a journal. And now hear I am…

Clem & Bates are getting married this weekend. They tactfully uninvited RO & I from the wedding. I actually agree with their request. RO and I can be very emotionally raw right now. These are our problems and they have no business interfering with Clem & Bates's wedding.

RO and I chatted a bit after that. We reached an agreement-- RO would go to the Bachelor party. I'd go the wedding. C&B liked that idea, so we will both be able to spend time with them this weekend.

Bachelor party-- Clem and Bates have been together for twenty years. But, in two days they will no longer be single in the eyes of the law.

RO and I still have a long way to go to untangle our lives. Right now the plan is that I live with Steven until RO finds an apartment. That should happen in a few weeks. RO has a lot to decide. The store was never really profitable, so I'm wary of him continuing on with that. At the same time he is very resistant to getting a job.

In "More Language of Letting Go" the author states the value of keeping a journal is that you can explore your goals, track them, and see how you are making progress to them. Very business like.

So, what are my goals? Very simple now. Untangle my life from RO. Pay down my debts. Move back home and fix up the house a little. After that I don't know.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

The neighbor at C2's cabin is actually very nice. Far more restrained than she comes across in email.  We've talked a little.

Mostly I'm just watching the tide go out. The view is very peaceful.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I haven't talked or texted RO in about 48 hours. This is my choice. A few friends have recommended this to us as fastest way to getting to the new normal.

I'm actually enjoying myself. I've spent a little more time working this week, but that has allowed me to get ahead of my work worries.

I don't watch TV now. I've also stopped drinking. Those two activities have freed up more time and energy.

This weekend I'm going away to C2's vacation cabin. I wanted some time alone. I'm also a little worried that if I stay in the city then I'll spend my first weekend as a new single man cruising for sex on the internet. The cabin will give me a place to collect my thoughts and plan a little.

C2 informed the neighbor that I would at his cabin and is paying her to clean a little and give me a key. She is uh... interesting...

C2's email...
>>>>>> Neighbor,
>>>>>> BC (a friend) will be at the place this weekend as well.  I'm just
>>>>>> trying to ensure someone is there.  If you need to be at work, please say
>>>>>> so.

The Neighbor...
>>>>>> That’s wonderful..I am excited to have someone to talk to...lol You want me to get him a few paper plates and
>>>>>> solo cups?  I have a few extra pans I can take down there..I want him to be
>>>>>> comfortable..What time will he be arriving..I will leave key under the mat
>>>>>> downstairs for him?  I will get him some soap and shampoo?

Later on...
> Sorry I know I am a pain in the rear end..May I buy dishwasher
> detergent?  When I go to thrift store tomorrow I am going to buy a few
> cheap kitchen supplies if that’s ok,  hand held can opener? Maybe a
> couple baking dishes just in case?  I will be very thrifty..They are
> only going to be a few dollars and a few pieces of silverware and
> spatula etc if they appear brandnew?  I am just trying to make it easy
> on your friends cause to go back to town for a few items 10 miles up[
> and back..will not be very relaxing for them..Unless you think you
> have a few kitchen supplies in spare room?
> I promise this is last email..

This weekend away may not be as away as I hope.

Monday, December 08, 2014

> Hmmm.... my dear friend, does this speak of a transition or just time to re-group

This is a time of transition.

It's hard on RO. He's not taking this well. At the same time, he's too stubborn to reach out for help or compromise on what he thinks is the right solution-- me by his side, helping him through all his problems. This stubbornness is one of the reasons I left. But he is not capable of hearing that right now. His guard is way up.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

I've spending some time away from RO. This is bitter sweet. No plans yet. Am sleeping in Steven's spare room.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This morning, Philae landed on comet 67P. I'm surprised how interested I am in this. I keep looking at twitter & the Rosetta blog to see the latest update.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

In the past week, I've learnt that i have three close friends who are HIV positive. Of course it's not the death sentence it once was. Medicines exist today that will allow them to live a long and healthy life. One of them confessed that the reason he must go to the gym regularly, and must eat healthy is because of his concerns over HIV. He won't take a job that may cause him to miss a gym appointment, or to skip a healthy meal. His health is his highest priority.

There is a medicine now, PrEP, that when used properly, prevents HIV better than condoms. I've heard friends talk about it. I wouldn't be surprised if they are on it now. If you are singe sexually active PrEP has to live a weight off your shoulders.

Of course we have to have the slut discussion. If men don't have to worry about the consequences of unprotected sex, then many of them will be far more promiscuous.

I hope that's a consequence the gay community is willing to live with, even though some people will be very uncomfortable with it. Taking a pill that prevents a horrible disease is about as good as it gets. Condoms and safe sex education have only lowered the spread of HIV. They won't eliminate it any time in the future. It's a good next step to adding PrEP to our list of preventions.

Of course some people will absolutely celebrate the return of low risk sex. That is, if your definition of low risk includes exposing yourself to antibiotic resistant syphilis, antibiotic resistant gonorrhea, herpes… the list goes on.

I have no plans of taking PrEP, but I wouldn't rule it out in the future. Other STDs concern me enough that I'll continue to have safe sex.

Friday, October 31, 2014

It's Halloween.

Kids go trick or treating in our office. The halls are fully of candy bowls.. I just heard one complain "My bag is too heavy."

This morning M's mother left for home. She was here for three weeks. I enjoyed her visit, she's a very nice and helpful woman. But, you know the saying "Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days."

Back in June, RO and I started to sleep outside. The fresh air, the dark and the sunrise help RO with his insomnia.

Well, it's November and we are still sleeping outside. I'm surprised. Yes it's getting colder, but the bed stays nice and warm. Maybe there is a chill for a few minutes after I crawl under the covers. After that it's OK. I'm sure I'm acclimatizing to it as well.

Oh yeah. This blog is now 14 years old. At the beginning of every month I read over the posts from the same month in prior years. Since it's November, I read over the posts from November 2013, November 2012 and so on all the way back to 2000. It's starting to take a long time to do all this reading.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The house is very full right now.

Aside from Boon, we have a new roommate-- M. M and his mother are staying for a while. His mother lives in in a far off country. She visits her children in the U.S. a few times a year.

She is a very pleasant woman. She always wants to be helpful. English isn't her first language, so sometimes we struggle to communicate.

RO's nephew is also staying with us for a week. He's a very quiet guy who is struggling to rebuild his life. He was arrested for drug use in another state. He wants to move back to Washington, but first needs a job her to do so.

Fortunately there are five bed room in the house, so we all of our own space. We are going through laundry like crazy though. Everyone makes sure that I have access to my shower when I need it in the morning. That just happened. I didn't ask for it. I like that.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Marlene died. Her memorial was today. It's was beautiful and touching. Her biker friends, and her antiquer friends were all there. She always had very diverse acquaintances.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Good, Good Enough, and My Over Refined Pallet

Two Vines wine. It's about $6.00 a bottle and I enjoy it very much. Yes, sometimes I like a good $30.00 bottle of wine. But you know, for me, a $30.00 bottle of wine isn't $24.00 better than Two Vines. I'd rather have five bottles of Two Vines. When it comes to wine I'm very careful to rein in my pallet. I like being able to enjoy a $6.00 bottle of wine.


Dicks Hamburgers and Red Robin. Red Robin makes a good burger. No doubt about it. Dicks makes small, inexpensive sliders. They are not gourmet by any standard. But, if you are out late drinking with friends, then nothing is better than pulling up to a Dicks Drive In and ordering a meal—a Deluxe burger, fries and a vanilla shake. If I remember, I'll splurge and spend an extra 10 cents on ketchup.  The whole thing costs less than $8.00.  It's all lower quality than Red Robin, but it's right for that moment.


These are situations where absolute standards and relative standards live in stark contrast to each other. Is my life worse off because I settled for a Dicks Deluxe instead of a Red Robin Whiskey River burger? Or because I settled for $6.00 of Two Vines instead of $30.00 for Five Star? No, of course not.


Of course this view creates a problem. How do I tell what good quality is if external factors, the place the time, my feelings, turn something that's cheap into something that's wonderful. I think Persig dealt with this "Zen and the Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance" when he asked "What is quality?" and went off into the weeds trying to answer that question rather than accepting that we can't easily define quality.


If I can't define quality, then how do I hold high standards? Perhaps the answer is that I have to hold myself to high standards, but accept that the world around me is going to be filled with experiences of various levels of quality.


I've spent the past few days working near Christiansburg VA. It's a very nice place. Very pastoral. One thing that frustrates me is how difficult it is to find a nice restaurant. BBQ and Greasy hole-in-the-wall's are all that's around. BBQ is good for one day but then…


Is this a regional cuisine that I don't have an appreciation for, or does this region just accept bad cooking? Could I develop my pallet to appreciate the finer points of places that consistently over boil there vegetables and serve iceberg lettuce with some brown bits still attached? By all accounts the people of Christiansburg are very happy with their city. If I were to tell them that I wanted to spend lots of money on well roasted vegetables drizzled with the right amount of a tasty sauce, a prime cut of rare steak and a nice glass of wine, they would look at me a little puzzled and point out that I could have five chicken friends steaks with all you can eat vegetables for the price of one of my meals. That the chicken fried steak isn't that bad, especially when it has good gravy on it. In short, they would point out I had overly refined tastes that weren't doing me a lot of good.


Where is the balance in all of this? When are tastes over refined? When are they too low? This all can't be a regional popularity contest, can it? Perhaps this is why Persig went mad when he thought about the nature of quality.




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Steve heard back from his boss. He got a bad review, but still has his job.

I hope Steven learns from the experience.
I am working in Christiansburg, VA few a few days. It's a very pleasant little town.

One thing that's kind of weird is that there are no expensive restaurants here. I have a $75.00 a day budget for food and I can't spend it all. If I have a few drinks at night, then my daily bill will be $30.00

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Steve is back from treatment. He has a very positive attitude.

He may loose his job though. His manager has been documenting progress and scheduling pointed status meetings. He and I both recognize this is part of the standard dance big companies go through before they lay someone off.

C2 is in town. He has a job now. He'll be a manager on the new job. He doesn't want to be a manager. He'd rather be the peon. Less responsibility. I think the experience will be good for him.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Steve is checking himself in for three weeks of treatment. He didn't say exactly what he's been treated for, but he mentioned a bit later that he's been using drugs.

I'm not surprised. Since he returned to Seattle, I've noticed a weird paranoid streak running through him. He's obsessed with the idea that someone has been hacking his phone and computers. Because I'm tech savvy, it was possible that I was the one doing that, so he never trusted me enough to share the details.

A while back RO speculated that Steven's been using meth. He guessed this because Steve has developed a jaw grinding habit that he's only ever seen in other meth users.

I wish him well. It's frustrating to see this. Ten years ago he was a role model for me. He had a strong career, a great partner. He knew how to get a lot out of life, yet still be at the top of his game at work. He still has the energy and is still very bright. He just gone off into the weeds.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer vacation is almost over. The guests have left. My parents were hear for a few days last week. G&J and their kids were here this week.
The weather was wonderful the whole time.
My father helped us fix the riding lawn mower. He found the bearing that seized, replaced it, and showed us how to maintain the others.
We got to see the local sights; the local tourist activities that you never do when you live in a place. We toured the local Boeing plant where they build 747's. One of the kids called that the best experience of his life. I think he'll be an engineer. The 747 plant is a site to behold. It's the largest building, by volume, in the world. Tens of thousands of people work there. dozens of jets fit comfortably within it.
Of course we also played, went to a water park, hiked to a water falls.
And we played bocce ball, on a hilly back yard, in the evening. The hill and the darkness made the game very random. Fun, but random.
The last of the guests left this morning. We are cleaning up and readying our selves for work.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Heat wave…

my parents are in town. we are having a wonderful time with them. The weather is very hot though-- with a beautiful clear blue sky. This is as close to perfect weather as it gets.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Layoffs hit work hard. My job wasn't affected (this time) I know many people who were.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mark wanted to dump a load of beauty bark on top of a garden at the bottom half of our property. Our property is along a hill with no road access to the lower end. Rather than using the wheel barrel to haul down the beauty bark, he decided to drive it down with our small truck.
It turns out our hill is mostly sand. It has a thin layer of topsoil to support the grass. Below that it's fine sand. As the truck drove up the hill, the grass gave way. The truck tires dug into the sand. The truck got stuck.
We first tried to use the big truck to tow the small truck up. This didn't work. The big truck couldn't maneuver through the trees to a location wide enough that towing was possible.
RO called in three tow truck companies. All of them declined to help after seeing the situation. "I think my truck would get stuck." one driver declared.
We tried putting rocks and lumber under the tires.  We got into many heated arguments over how to rescue the truck.
For two weeks the little truck was stuck in the yard.
Then, it occurred to RO that if we had about 200 feet of good wire cable, then that would be enough cable to run from the little truck at the bottom of the hill, to the road on the other side of the hill. Then we could do a long distance tow of the truck.
Begrudgingly I went to a hardware store to buy that much cable. I saw that the really strong cable was about a dollar a foot. Sigh. I picked up a whole spool, 250ft, of the cable. Expensive!
I brought the spool to the cashier. She scanned the bar code, did a double take, then scanned the bar code again. She turned to me at said "That will be $1.10"   She didn't realize the spool was 250 units, not one.
I realized her mistake almost immediately. I forced my face to stay calm. I felt a little guilty. I handed over my $1.10.
The little truck was successfully towed up the hill.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Heat wave..

The beach is perfect.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Steven had a BBQ at his place today. The place was full of people I haven't seen in years. MR brought her daughter who is now 9 years old. The last time I saw MR was at her daughters first birthday.

Three of the pocket bears were there. They don't seem to be hanging together any more.

It's too bad. Not that I've kept in touch either.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Today was the first day I fully ran my trail run. Usually I have to walk the steeper hills.

This is a combination of me getting more fit, and me knowing my body better. I now know now hard I can run on a steep hill, and how hard I have to breath to not run out of breath.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I aerated a bottle of wine and poured two glasses from it. RO tasted it and disapproved. He didn't like the aerated wine. He poured himself a glass from the bottle (which was all aerated) and declared it better.

I kept things simple and didn't tell him the truth.
C2 will be in town for a week. Then he's off traveling for a bit. He's keeping in touch with many people. Looking for a boyfriend, and for a job.

He's found a job on Cuba at Guantanimo Bay. Maybe.

C2 is a mixture of salt-of-the-earth and the over refined. The man could live for years in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet his coffee must be just so. He could drive any piece of crap vehicle and not care, yet his clothing is expensive. 

He's very appreciate of the spare bed room.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Officer Bob's funeral was today. It was a very good service. The SPD color guard was there. The service was delivered with full police honors.

Bob's partner was well featured in the service. C3 was pleasantly surprised. He thinks that even just 5 years ago the police would not have warmly welcomed the partner of a gay officer.

Hundreds of people were at the service. It was warm. It was heartfelt.

Good bye Bob

Oh yes. c3 is in town. He's lost his job so is traveling a little trying to figure out what to do next.

Steven and RO were also at the service. Both got teary eyed. They both wear there hearts on there sleeves.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Officer Bob died. He's been struggling with cancer for a while. It finally took its toll.

He, his partner and I used to hang out together. Over the years we drifted apart.

His FaceBook page is full of condolences. It looks like his partner, and the Seattle PD will have a memorial service fitting of Officer Bob.

Good bye Bob.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Melancholy Joy of Pressure Washing.

This year, there are about a dozen boards on the deck that need to be replaced. No big deal really.

What concerns me is that last year only 4 or 5 boards needed to be replaced. One or two the year before that

The deck is aging. The maintenance goes up.

At one point I hated house maintenance. It's not so bad now. Sure, there are days when I'd rather lay out in the sun and sip a  glass of tea. At some I realized that I had some choice in my emotions. I could resent maintenance for the time it took up, or I could choose to relax, dig in and do it. The anxiety of thinking about the job and thinking about what I could be doing instead was far worse than the actual chores. That, and at the end I'd have the satisfaction of a job well done.

Is it really so bad that house maintenance cuts into my precious drinking and tv time? 

I power washed the deck yesterday. It blasted away the pollen and dirt. It also removed some of the paint and washed away bits of rot. So I'm at the point in the house's annual maintenance where thinks look worse than when I started and it will be weeks before I can finish. I can replace the boards shortly, but we can't repaint until the rain stops. In Seattle, that's July or August.

When and how often should one maintain things? How often should you make things ship shape? Deep clean? These are hard questions for me. I'm in the tech industry There is a prevailing attitude that unless something is new, it's on the road to obsolescence. The idea of maintaining something is quaint.

My roommate just left for three months. He works on a fishing ship. For a week before the ship leaves port, he will live and work on the ship. Getting it ship shape, restocking, cleaning, repairing, repainting. When you are on a ship preventative maintenance is important. When you are out on the ocean, then you are out on the ocean. If something goes wrong then you are in trouble. Keeping things in ship shape then, even the cleaning and the painting is a way of saying "Someone was here, Someone looked over the contents of this space. Someone is responsible for this." Mess and dirt are ways of pointing out the neglected nooks and crannies of the ship.

What does it mean then that I have messy and dirty rooms in my house? Of course the consequences of a messy room are far less than that of a messy ship. My house won't sink. But it does mean something. Perhaps that I have more space than I need, or that the way I live is not consistent with the things packed into this house.

It's not a bad thing then, but I should pause to think about it.

We have a Roomba vacuuming robot and a Braava mopping robot. They both do a far better job than you'd think. It's not that the Roomba is a great vacuum. It's that it does a light job every day. Seven light vacumings a week can pic up an impressive amount of dirt. Then there are the secondary effects. We have to keep things off the floor for the Roomba to do it's job. Roomba has trained us to put the dirty laundry in the hamper. In return it will do a little bit of vacuuming.

Of course, what the Roomba can't do is to step back and look at the situation. While the Roomba can bump around vacuuming up bits of dirt, it can't ask should this thing be here? Should it be thrown out? Put away? Should the walls be cleaned too?

Roomba provides the feeling of being clean, without actually being in control. I get to dodge the bigger question of "Is this house properly maintained?"

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

> Two Room Mates.... should I come up and make it a Third.. naw.. maybe just another trip in the next year

Tommy, would love to host you when you are in the area! We have extra bedrooms.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

How long do MRE's last?  Or vinegar?  I found some vinegar that expired in 2012.  I'm cleaning the pantry of course.  I haven't done so in years.  The grime is thick.  And there are many odd ball packages of flavorings, teas, cake mixes, etc.

I just found a third bottle of vinegar.  No expiry date on it.

I also found chocolate! How bad can a two year old bar be? It tasted OK. IF this is my last post, you know what happened.

Some how I managed to get rid of about a third of the stuff in the pantry. Much of that was garbage. I'm also now using the storage jars in the pantry to store things, and not to just sit around and collect dust.

I wonder how long I can keep it this clean? Some busy night I'll forget to put the rice back into it's storage box. That will begin the inevitable cluttering. I'm sure that RO and our two room mates will help.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An artist covered an area of a local park with bio-carbon. It looks much like charcoal. The exhibit is intended to bring attention to the coal mining history of the area and to be a symbolic start to the sequestration of 30 million tons of carbon that were mines from the mountain.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Once a week I've been running a 7.5 mile loop through cougar mountain. Usually I walk up the hills and run down them or on the flat stretches.

This week I logged my fastest time yet. The run actually felt good. Usually I get tired and I have to push my self. This time I did get winded, but I didn't get tired. I also managed to run up the hills longer than usual.

Improving my trip times has a self-reinforcing benefit. Short trip times mean that my runs are less of a commitment, which lets me sneak in a few more runs every now and then.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sping is in full force.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

RO is much better. In fact he's been away for work for a few days and back.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

RO has diverticulitis. He's ok, but still has some pain.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sigh. A minor electrical change still takes me 4 hours and two trips to the hardware store.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Far country falls
It has rained heavily this month. The have been many mud slides, and fallen trees. In the news, a tiny town, Oso, has been whipped off the map from a massive land slide. I've heard of the town, but didn't know any one who lived there.

Friday, March 28, 2014

We had dinner with Christie. RO and Christie had a very bad day and needed to drink large Margaritas.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Last night, Boone's car was broken into. The window was smashed. The alarm went off and the thief drove away. They also rummaged through my truck. I always leave the doors unlocked and no valuables in it. So, no damage.

Work is busy as always. I'm constantly trying to figure out my job. Sometimes that's frustrating. I work with otherwise smart people who are not yet experienced enough. It's tough coaching them to beef up there skills to the point where I don't have to accommodate.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring has sprung. Weather is wonderful. Now all we have to do is the yard work that's been piling up all winter.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sent from my Windows Phone
Had dinner with the neighbors. As always, we had fun.

Sent from my Windows Phone

Friday, March 21, 2014

Its warm and light enough in the evening that I can run by the falls.

In the world, a jet from Malaysia has been missing for two weeks. Russia is annexing Crimea.

Steve is moving back to Seattle. It'll be good to have him nearby again. He has always been a friend.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

RO & I scared ourselves accidentally. In hind sight, it was funny.

I was having a stress dream, not a night mare, but something stressful. In real life, two raccoons started fighting out side our bedroom window. The combination caused me to cry out in my dream.

That scared RO. Me crying out and the raccoon sounds caused him to start crying out "What's going on? What's going on?"

Now I start walking up. I hear the weird raccoon sounds and I hear RO calling out "What's going on?" "What's going on?" and now I really get scared. I jump out of bed and run for the lights.

We laughed when we figured out there was nothing to be scared about. RO looked out the windows and watched the two raccoons.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Saturday a new room mate moved in. Tomorrow he is moving out. It's all good though.

This room mate works up in Alaska on a fishing boat. The job is 12 hours a day, seven days a week for a couple of months. When the ship returns to port, he'll have a month off where he lives in Seattle. 

His old lease ended and he moved in with us. Tuesday morning he fly's up to Alaska for his next stint fishing.

Friday, February 28, 2014

We had the store's nine year anniversary sale this past week. It went well. Afterwards we had a small party. Andie & Mandy joined us. We had a very fun time. After the store closed, we put good music on the speakers, then danced, drank and talked the night away.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My mother called me today with good news about the neighbors. After 45 years of living in the neighborhood, the neighbors are finally warming up to my parents. The neighbors invited my parents over for coffee.

The neighborhood my parents live in is largely populated by a close family that has lived there for hundreds of years. One additional complication, the neighbors are Anglican and my family is Dutch Protestant.

So my neighbors now trust that my parents are not one of those 'tourist' families that live in the neighborhood for a decade or so and then leave.

A young male employee at the store has started wearing dresses publicly. To his college courses. RO is wondering if we should create a dress code for work to ensure that he doesn't show up in weird garb.

It's a uncomfortable debate. RO & I are gay and we support him as he explores his sexuality. But, we also run a business. Our customer opinions are important.

What does business-casual for transgender look like?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Back to work. The week has been busy. We had a reorg. Things worked out in my favor. I'm enjoying the changes at my job. I can focus more and am not stretched so thin.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

I am on my way back from the cruise. The cruise went well, mostly. I was sick for a couple of days, and quarantined in my cabin. I got well quickly and enjoyed my remaining days.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

I have the cruise ship virus. I'm quarantined in my cabin until later today. Sigh.

The staff is very nice. Complementary room service. If only I wanted to eat anything but tea and toast.  

Saturday, February 01, 2014

My first cruise. I'm taking so many pictures. I want to send them to RO, but that would be teasing.

Am in Orlando. Weather is foggy.

14 families, old friends are here for the cruise.

Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm heading off for a week long Caribbean cruise with all my old University friends. Fourteen families total, plus kids. RO is not coming with me. He wanted to come, but work kept him away.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

RO is in Vegas, by day for work. By night he's gambling and partying by night.
He forgot to call last night. I didn't think much of it. He called me this morning. At some point while we were talking, he where I was.
"At work" I answered.
"What are you at work at eight?"
"It's only eight."
"You usually go home by six."
"I just got to work. It's eight in the morning."
"What? Oh my God."
He didn't realize he'd been up all night. When he got to his hotel room, and saw the clock, he thought it was 8pm. He said. "Vegas has no time. I left work at four, gambled a little, talked to some people, then came back to the hotel."

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Simpsons

Tonight I watched my first episode of the Simpson's since I think, 1997. It hasn't changed in years. It was good, but the jokes felt the same. Some of it was laugh out loud. Most of it was could have been clipped from the 1990's.

25 seasons. Wow. Longer than my career.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Some times I'm fascinated by obscure trade publications and how deep their thinking is. Today I stumbled on "Parking Today" complete with articles like "Using nitrogen gas to prevent corrosion in parking structure fire suppression systems"

Its good to know I'm not the only one who thinks very deeply about a very narrow field.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

For Jan 1, I jumped into an ice cold lake. The "Polar Bear Dip" is an annual tradition around here.

About a week ago, we had dinner with D&P. P asked us what our plans were for New Years. We had none. He said that for the past 16 years he's been doing the Polar Bear dip. He invited us along.

RO did not swim. I did.

Water was 40F.  The experience wasn't as bad as you'd think it could be. While the water is cold, you're in and out before you can get cold. Just run back to your towel and quickly dry off.