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Monday, April 29, 2002

This and That

Anne left yesterday AM for the big International Reading Conference (read boondoggle) in SF. She'll be back Thursday. Neighborhood garage sale was Saturday. John and I went. I found some books, he found some toys. Kathryn babysat for the neighbors, Ross worked a church sponsored car wash to raise money for his trip to Lake Shasta this summer.

Ross is a puzzle. When he has been working on math, and he's got his mind right, he can fly through his math homework. If not, it becomes impossible. Problems he had no difficulty with last month are now incomprehensible. Don't know what to do, if anything. Fortunately, summer vacation will be here soon.

Johnny wants to start taking guitar lessons, so I've promised him a guitar for his birthday.

Stopped over at the folks yesterday. Got mom to sew up a rip in a shirt she got for me at Goodwill a couple of years ago. Helped Dad download, save, open and play the animation file he was having trouble with. He tried to give me back the bottle of "Jack Daniels" whiskey I gave him a couple of months ago, but when I explained that it wasn't Jack Daniels, it was cheap whiskey, he decided he'd keep it, so we all had a glass.

They are still impossible to be around when they are together. It is just absurd how much they pick on each other.

Dad's started mowing the lawn. It will keep him busy all summer.

They drove into Beaverton (20 miles) to hear a speech at the hospital about arthritis. They had planned on getting there an hour early, but got lost and ended up being only 20 minutes early, and there wasn't a seat in the house, standing room only.

After three weeks of erratic sleep, I seem be back on a somewhat even keel. Thing is to take a drug holiday occasionally. One day a week is my current target. Problem is I hate to loose even a single night's sleep, ruins the next day completely. So I was taking Trazodone every night, and eventually it quit working. It quit working so I quit taking it. Slept all weekend. So I think, maybe I don't need it. But sleep over the next four nights was much worse. Bad indigestion. No appetite. Lost four pounds. So I started taking trazadone again last Friday night and I'm feeling pretty human again.

Allergy shots are helping, or allergy season is over for me. Hard to tell. Johnny had a terrible cough last week, allergy induced we think. He took prelone for a week (a steroid). Seems okay now.

I am working on a satellite radio modem at work. Great fun, more fun than I've had in a while. I'm taking over a design that was done by the outfit in Virginia. They spent two years on it and couldn't get it working completely right. So we get to finish the design. I've been looking at it for the last three weeks and I think we are going to throw out more than half. The software is crap, the CPU board has twice as many chips as it needs, the RF amplifier section is garbage. Amazing what passes for engineering these days. I don't know much about RF, but all you have to do is look at all the modifications that have been made to prototype, and you realize the original design was nowhere near being a workable solution.

Monday, April 1, 2002

San Francisco

Left Monday morning. Got down the road about five miles and Anne realized I'd left my breathing machine at home. Turn around and go back. Arrived at the airport the suggested two hours before flight time. No lines to speak of. Short hop to SF. Hire a limo to take us into town: $70, same price as the shuttle.

Booked two rooms at the Sheehan, one for the kids, one for Anne & I. Hotel is nothing fancy, it's old but in good repair. Real glass drinking glasses, with simple paper covers, none of those plastic wrapped plastic cups. A definite plus in my book. The swimming pool is closed for renovation, naturally. One of the reasons we picked this hotel was for the Olympic size pool, largest hotel pool in SF. Turns out the hotel used to be the YWCA. No restaurant, though they offer a simple continental breakfast. There is a theater in the hotel where they are rehearsing for a show to be performed in April. Rooms are on the fourth floor facing the street. Across the street is the Academy of Art College and the Marine Hotel and Theater, where "Stomp" is performing.