Monday, June 30, 2008

Mister Swagger

Poor little Isaac: One of his preferred timewasters (I mean "small motor skill development activities") is to stand on a chair and "wash dishes". He's very good at it, and has never had an issue, until Saturday, when he was Reeeeeaaaaaccchhhhing over to grab something on the counter that he probably shouldn't have been reaching for, and lost his balance and tumbled to the ground.

It was one of those "fwump" sounds, not a "whack" sound, he didn't hit his head, and he was immediately pissed off. After a few minutes of cuddles, he was back on the move and we thought little of it. Saturday night, he did wake up a few times just seeming a bit sad, however.

Sunday morning, we noticed that he was sporting a limp. A stylish swagger perhaps, but definitely one leg was being favored. We decided to take him to Children's: while he wasn't really complaining about the leg, the limp was quite pronounced.

At Children's, they did a wonderful job getting him checked out: He charmed the staff in Radiology to the point where they gave him a Mickey Mouse doll just for being fun. Isaac loved his "MOUSE!!!" In the final result, no fractures were found, so it's probably just a soft tissue issue that'll clear up in a few days.

Pamela and I noticed an interesting discrepancy: The doctor came in and said "if he is in pain give him Tylenol instead of Ibuprofen because bones heal by inflaming, and Ibuprofen inhibits inflamation. If he still limps in a week, bring him to your primary care physician."

5 minutes later we got his computer printed "discharge instructions" which the nurse went over with us. On the printout was the recommendation "if pain is evident, give Ibuprofen, and if limp persists for a week, return to Children's." So two pieces of completely contractory information. We're following the doctor's recommendation on this one.

Today he is still limping a bit, but it's really not slowing him down... and just to prove a point, he took a tumble off of another chair today. I get the feeling that the people at Children's are probably going to get to know him pretty well.

In the Bella File, two points of interest: We had some cousins come to visit on Thursday evening through Saturday AM: One of the cousins is Kiel, a blond nordic viking of 13 with a very sweet demeanor. And Bella went gaga for him. She wanted to know where Kiel was at all times. She wanted to be sitting with, on, on top of him at all times, and he was very game to wrassle with her, sending her to giggle heaven. Oh, it was a treat to watch Bella completely losing her mind in a crush... her "boyfriend" Tayden should watch out, I say.

The second Bella point: We were having dinner, and Pamela asked what Bella is most looking forward to in Kindergarten: The answer was "Learning how to write". What else is she looking forward to?

"Learning how to juggle".

Apparently that's in the curriculum of Kindergarten these days.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A JimVention

So I'm a guy who likes to eat... and I'm a particular fan of Reubens... hot sandwiches in general. But I have a huge frustration: That hot sandwich sitting on that hot plate creates a condensation issue which invariably leads to a sogginess on the bottom. If that sandwich has sat for any period of time prior to coming to me, it can be disastrous.

The first thing I do is flip the sandwich: All that does is prevent MORE sogginess, but it unfortunately cannot reverse the sogginess that has already crept in. So I got an idea.

The Sandwich Trivet.

A sandwich sized grate, like a cookie baking cooling tray, with small lets that elevate it up a centimeter or so. It could be metal, it could be bamboo, but the key is that is has very little surface area contact with the sandwich: A 7" square piece of wood with 9 small holes cut into it wouldn't vent enough. A fine packed screen mesh would have too much surface contact I think. 2mm metal rods in a wide spaced grid?

It would be appropriate for grilled cheese, burgers, reubens (and rachels), really any grilled or hot sandwich. I'm thinking the target market is restaurants, since that's where I have the bulk of my sog issues. There could be a cardboard model for takeout containers... I draw the line at a plastic model: Who would want that coming to their table, and who would want to see that in a takeout container in these environmentally sensitive times?

So I ask you the readers of the blog - is this an idea whose time has come - should I create this trivet and market it - or is my particular insanity unique to myself, and you all are just fine with a limp, floppy bottom to your burger? And if you DO like it, have you any good ideas on how to start MAKING this thing?


I loved WALL-E. Now, of course you say "Jimmy we know all about you and robots, so this is no big surprise". True true. I will cop to the long time love of robots, and a movie with excellent robots is bound to be a hit with me. But I will counter than the movie "Robots", while also about robots, was far less satisfying. While "Robots" was basically a "people movie" with robots, with the standard pop culture references that make no sense in context, WALL-E was a robot movie about robots, and sort of about people. Sort of.

I won't get into the full review here, but I will enumerate some of the things I loved and will try not to spoil anything for anyone:

1) All of the robot sounds. (there is very little "English" in the movie, but a lot of "language" - it's pure artistry)
2) The characters of these bots - Wall-E, Eve, Mo, the bug, the giant eyeball thing... These things with no "lines" have amazing personalities.
3) Hello Dolly as a central theme?
4) Fred Willard
5) Sigourney Weaver
6) The Apple references throughout.

7) The most slapstick and hilarious Pixar Short ever opens the movie. It was pure Roadrunner in its inventiveness.

I should note that two recently loved movies, "I Am Legend" and "Idiocracy" both had central themes that were scarily present in this movie... and it was wonderful.

I won't write any more about the movie except to say that Bella asked to see it again, and I'm going to take her as soon as possible. I highly recommend this beautiful movie.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Safe, sound, and so forth

Pamela got back just fine yesterday morning, and was greeted at baggage claim by loving husband and excited children. Alas, I had to run off to a full day of work shortly after bringing the clan back home... but the kids were so happy to have mom home they barely noticed my leaving... Fortunately a babysitter had been arranged, so that Pamela had an opportunity to rest up, considering she had been up since 4 to get home on a 6:30 flight... and insomnia had wracked her bones prior to 4.

By the time I returned at a somewhat late 6:30 (but with peacemaking curry in hand), the kids were literally falling apart, so it was full triage mode. Isaac did eat a curried potato samosa, which fit with his strange dietary tendencies just right. Bella was profoundly not interested in the curry.

This morning, I made an appearance at Time Out for Bodystep, which got my blood going for the day ahead. I got to brag a little about doing the routine without guidance, and they let me know that a new release is coming next week... Time to start over with the learning! (you know I love it)

I came home to find Isaac again in a sad state - his 4 teeth cutting at once is really messing with his attitude. He tries to be brave. On the plus side, he's so worn out that he's been assenting to cuddle a bit, so it's not ALL bad. Then it was off to the airport - yes, I'm on the road: Portland for one night, Sacramento for another. This weekend, we have guests on the 3rd floor, so I guess we just strap in and make this stuff happen.

In good news: iTunes now has a pack of all 12 Roadrunner cartoons for download, which I did indeed download, and I shared one with Bella: She thought it was one of the funniest things she'd ever seen, and demanded to see more. As I rewatched them with her, I was paralyzed with amusement - the crackpot physics are so completely amazing to watch: My favorite is where Coyote is on roller skates, with a bathtub full of water strapped to his back, with an outboard motor in the water. He fires it up, and moves forward... completely violating every law of physics there is. Newton would have a stroke.

Speaking of Newton - in Kindle News I finally finished Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle - all 3 monstrous books (in slim Kindle form). It was actually quite rewarding, and in the end a ripping yard. You can tell that Neal was getting a bit impatient to finish - the last 200 pages or so were quite economically written and to-the-point. But now I'm looking forward to his next book due in the fall, about which NOTHING is known... As long as it's not a "clan of the cave bear" pre-language grunting book, I'll be ok, I'm sure.

A quick Portland note: I had the most amazing donut ever. I walked over to Voodoo Doughnuts (12 blocks from my hotel) and had one of their legendary Glazed Maple and Bacon donuts: A maple longjohn with a strip of crispy bacon. The maple glaze was slightly tart like real maple syrup, not oversweet, and the bacon was perfect, on top of an airy pillow... oh goodness was it delicious. if you don't believe me, suckas. I'm planning to get up early tomorrow and take a run (the time zone favors me here, though my 6am CST workouts are also pretty nuts) and it'll be pretty hard not to stop in there for a quick "health undo".

I'm off downstairs to meet with the consultant who I got placed out here to both welcome him aboard and get as much inside info from him about the new client as I can get through legal and decent means. I'm prepared to use Steak and Martinis if necessary, I'm that serious.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day Three

Pamela remains out of town, and I've made it through the third night... Things are helped somewhat in that I have barely seen or heard from my daughter all weekend: She has decided to move in with Casey, and comes home for periodic sunscreen slathering and nutrient consumption, and then is back to the wonderful backyard up the block.

Yesterday we started with Isaac's swim lesson - he's in the same level of class as before, but he's really starting to "own" a lot of the activities - and is hilariously screaming for the things he likes: All of the other kids are newbies, so I think Isaac will be a good "example" kid for the others. He's still not doing SOME of the things, so we don't want to rush him to the next level by any means! Afterwards we made three stops: Target, Burrito Store, and France 44 - where they were grilling Brats outside - I got one with kraut and mustard, and another with a homemade hot pepper and onion relish. Amazing food. After eating, Bella was off...

While Isaac napped, I put on the headphones and set up an Aerobics Step out in the back gazebo and did an hour of BodyStep: It was a bit of an experiment for me to see if I could recall the steps for all 12 songs - there was no verbal cueing on the CD I was listening to, so it was all from memory of class. I actually did very well - only on 3 did I wind up somewhere off in the counts. The rest I had down pat... and was even vocalizing a few of the "up next" cues. Of course, I have no idea what the neighbors were thinking about my activity... I can only imagine what it looked like, me clomp clomp clomping on a plastic step, muttering things like "ok, up next three knee repeaters, three two one, and BASIC right...."

I did get the kids started for bed earlier - 7:30 - and they were READY for it, for sure! Then Uncle Ant showed up and we had an impromptu Avengers Night, enjoying some fine scotches and the AWESOME movie "3:10 to Yuma" One of the most surprisingly excellent movies I've seen in a long time... completely took me off guard. I was in bed by midnight, and Isaac graced me with yet another night of sleeping through - his third in a row for me...

After breakfast, Bella was off to play already, and Isaac and I went back to Target to get some things I had missed... and there was a huge stack of Wiis in stock. Once again, I resisted the urge. Even though it looks like fun, I just can't see WHEN I'd get around to playing with it! WiiFit or no - I've got my own way of keeping in shape.

Today is a big party at the end of the block - an annual Ice Cream Social with trampoline and every kid in the world. I have made arrangements with the hosts to send Bella solo while I monitor the napping Isaac. It looks a bit cloudy out there, and I'm hoping that the weather holds for the party!

Pamela comes home tomorrow at 8:30am and the whole family can't wait to see her - Bella and Isaac are both wondering about where Mommy is... so I'm sure this close to what Pamela goes through during my little trips!

Tonight after the kids snooze, I might treat myself to Be Kind Rewind, the latest Michel Gondry movie. Allright, gotta go work on that yard, assuming it's not raining!

Oh, and one more Isaac thing: Yesterday he started saying "Eight... Nine... TEN!". That is a very interesting kid.

Friday, June 20, 2008


So I actually worked from home today, while taking care of the kiddies, and I can say that it was no easy feat to actually be productive, and if it weren't for a 3 hour window where Bella was playing and Isaac was napping... But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It was a gorgeous day - warm but not too hot, sunny, a light breeze. Isaac woke at 6:20 after graciously sleeping through the night for me. We played for an hour before Bella joined us downstairs. A hearty breakfast and a shower and we were off to take Bella to her church camp. While she learned about God and the Rainforest, Isaac and I got caught up on email, played in the sink, wrassled, giggled, ate, and so on. By 11:15, it was time to go see Bella's final "project" at the camp.

The final project was 4 musical numbers (Bella was only in the last one) and a movie of the week (thank goodness for Macs - the movie was turned around so quickly!) Isaac was fascinated, and ran RIGHT up to join the chorus. In the first number he stood right in front of Jenny and danced. For the second number, it was a smaller group, and he tried to climb right on stage, so I had to distract him... By the movie, he was back up in front sitting with all of the other kids.

The church leader said of Isaac "I'd heard about him, but had never really believed it until now... wow, what a kid!"

Bella was a full participant, singing and moving along with the other kids (though giving off full shy vibes at the same time). After the program it was cupcakes and punch in the basement, where Isaac played for another 30 minutes: I almost got whiplash keeping track of him - fortunately the other kids also kept tabs on him. I'd turn my back, and then hear the piano playing - ISAAC. I'd hear a kid yelling because someone stole his artwork-in-progress - ISAAC. I'd hear a grownup wondering if that kid is supposed to be in the kitchen - ISAAC. What a guy.

We came home and Bella immediately went off to play with the neighbor kids... and Isaac went right to sleep - for almost 4 hours. Naturally I checked in on Bella's progress through the day (I need to make sure she remains welcome wherever she's playing every hour or so - it's just polite).

During this window, I generated a proposal for a new client, worked on a new opportunity for an existing one, worked through some hiring issues we're having, and got some feedback and next steps on my data warehouse thing. Oh, I wanted to nap, make no mistake. But I didn't take today as PTO, so I needed something to show for the day...

Later we congregated at the neighborhood pool: I showed up with Isaac and the neighbor kids were thrilled to have him in the water... and Bella was a great helper. Unfortunately, while the other kids had a good hour of pool time, Isaac and I only got 15 minutes before the sky opened with a summer shower. We ran home and got some pizza, which both Isaac and Bella devoured. Then it was BACK to the neighbor's post-rainstorm for 90 more minutes of kids running around and grownups keeping one eye on them and catching up on the doings.

I finally got those kids extracted and started toward bed at 8, but no sleeping happened before 9 - those were some EXCITED CHILDREN. So now having done a few loads of laundry, a good bit of work-work, and a whole lot of kid-work, I'm looking at that clock and thinking "yep - good time for bedtime". I'll leave those movies, manuals, and language lessons for another day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Isaac and Bella things

Isaac's words keep getting more clear and useful: Help and Wait are newer staples, as are more names, and some compounds (Bye Bye Mae Mae!) He's a little singer, and loves the ABC song - he does ABCD pretty well, and the rest are more indistinct. Perhaps most oddly, he's taken to saying "Seven Eight Nine" in a row quite a bit. Not really sure where that came from, or what it could possibly mean, but he loves 7-8-9. (Perhaps he's telling the punchline to the old joke "why were 4, 5, and 6 nervous? Because 7 8 9!)

Bella has been spending the weekday mornings at UCC Bible Camp (Not UU, UCC up the block, who are plenty liberal even if they like their Jesus a bit more than the Unitarians). Tonight she's been singing a song about God Loving Us, and we can love our enemies, complete with sign language, which has been a blast to watch.

A related anecdote from earlier in the week: Up at the Grandview, Bella loved wading in the shallows of the lake, finding sea glass and rocks. A little boy around her age joined her with rolled up pants, and they seemed to be having a great time... until he spotted a big rock in her bucket and decided it would make a good SPLOSH. Bella literally lost her mind and DOVE into the water (fully dressed) to try to retrieve the rock, which was a bit further out than she could go. She was soaked from head to toe and was screaming bloody murder at this kid - you do not mess with Bella and her nature.

Tonight as I put her to bed, she confessed:

"I have a terrible image in my mind. I keep seeing that boy who took my rock and threw it, and it makes me sad and angry every time I think of him. Because I loved that rock - it was the most beautiful rock I had ever found, and I wanted to bring it home and sleep with it in my bed every night and hold it and hug it."

By the end of this story, she was wracked with sobs, and I sat with her as she calmed down. That poor sensitive girl. I tried to relate that the point of that song she kept singing was that even when someone does something bad and we think they're our enemy, that we can forgive and love them.

"I never ever want to see that boy ever again."

End of discussion.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Just got back from a deliriously wonderful 4 day vacation with the family plus Grandma and Grandpa. We went up to one of the "up north" resorts, this time going for the multi-bedroom condo slightly off the property but still quite within reach of all of the amenities.

It was 4 days of wonderful wrestling matches with Isaac and Bella, lots of cuddles, and much good food and wine. The weather was a bit cool for too much lake time, but we did hit the beach twice, and both times Bella wound up with soaked clothes, unable to keep from venturing into the water to look for stones and sea glass. Isaac was only soaked the first day, and by the second day we had figured out enough on-shore distractions to keep him from following his sister into the muck.

Fortunately, GrandView has a great indoor pool which Bella visited daily. On the day that Daddo came along, we went down the waterslide no fewer than 20 times together. Daddo's bones realized sometime later that it had been a bit jarring all of this water collision and Daddo had some soreness to account for.

Immediately upon returning on Monday, I had to pack up and head to Philly for meetings on Tues and Wed AM. For my Tuesday meetings, I had recalled my $80 taxi bill for the trip out to, waiting for, and back from the client up in the northern reaches of the city. I decided to try a different tack, and figured out the public transit route up there. The express subway picked me up 1 block from my hotel, and deposited me 3 blocks from the client site, with only 4 stops on the express line in between.

The (potential) client is up in a tough neighborhood, and I thought it good to walk in the shoes of my (potential) consultants to know if the subway is an option. It is, as long as you can make it past 1/2 block of roughness right outside the subway station. In talking to the CIO (who is growing to be a good acquaintance, perhaps 2 meetings away from friend) it's nice to know of this hospital: They do service to their community, and as such have lots of medicaid, medicare, and no-pay clients. But they're growing, and are looking to open another hospital in a "better" part of town with the express purpose of PAYING to keep the old hospital open. I thought that community focus was pretty cool.

I'm getting a feel for this town... I still think it's pretty tough and hardscrabble, but am growing to like it too, especially the more I walk it. Last night, I passed a woman at 10pm waiting for the bus with a little boy asleep on her shoulder - a little Isaac. I had all sorts of thoughts, but most of all, I realized how nice my 4 days with the family had been, and how lucky I am to have people like Isaac and Isabella and Pamela in my life.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A few impressions

I was in Seattle the past 2 days, and I got to revisit my favorite Sushi place of all time and space - Izumi in Kirkland. I met up with Paul out there, and we spent a couple of hours bellied up to the sushi bar being fed wave after wave of insanely delicious sushi. It all started with Paul saying "how about some Salmon", and the chef rattled off no fewer that 8 different kinds of Salmon he was serving. cutting out the smoked varieties, we settled on 6 different kinds and cuts of fish, from lean and savory to fatty and creamy. Izumi cuts their fish very generously (there's at least as much fish off the rice as on...) and every bite was delicious.

Of course we also chatted about our previous business and creative ventures (Brainready, Roamfi, Project Manager, and others), and began to lay the framework for the next phases of our creative endeavors.

Backing up: On the way to Seattle, we took a very long route around the runways, and for a few minutes I was treated to the view of people doing fire suppression training: A good half dozen silver suited people standing in front of a burned out husk of a plane (the trainer plane - not a real accident), with a wildly raging fuel fire they were spraying foam onto. It was quite the scene really. The flight itself was very very bumpy, but I had been "bumped" to first class, so I survived in style.

Fast forward: I had a meeting this morning with a prospect in Tacoma who simply had not answered any of my emails or calls for the past 4 months, but suddenly decided to respond and meet. It was a very positive meeting, especially when we got to my "pet project" of data analytics - she got very excited and by the end of the conversation, we were making plans for me to come out again to talk to her team about my ideas... She said she'd got similar pitches from other vendors, but none had the enthusiasm and passion for the subject I showed, and she was very impressed.

So the Jimmy Effect is still at work here.

On the home front: Bella went to a 3 day "camp" at the Arboretum, and had that "serene smile" going on every day: That girl does love the nature. Also, out of nowhere, she has decided she likes Eggrolls. I brought some home tonight and she gobbled one up without question. I didn't want to mention the cabbage, beansprouts, shitake mushrooms, and chicken she was enjoying - she just went for it. Late last week, she packed a chicken springroll (with rice noodles, cilantro, and beansprouts) without question either. Absolutely bizarre, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

Isaac continues to confound with his eating: His sadness/teething may have subsided for a bit (which had put him off food entirely for a few days), but he's still not eating MUCH, nor is he eating things predictably: He chowed down a ton of fried rice a few days back, but then refused it entirely tonight. But he did have a few tentative nibbles on the egg roll tonight... reminding me of the night a year back when he ate most of a potsticker, but never repeated the feat. The man is a "taster" - not an "eater".

We're off tomorrow for a 4 day weekend to Grandview with grandma and grandpa - we're staying in a 3 BR condo which should be very fun. The moment we return, I'm off to Philly for 2 nights... I don't imagine we'll be doing Morimoto's again, however. That was a bit on the pricey side of town.

My final observation tonight: I have heard the word "escape" pronounced "eck-scape" many times in the past week - during E-Learnings for work, during the pre-flight announcements... I'm starting to wonder if I should just give up and accept that this word is not what it once was. Sigh. People.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Much happens

1) Things are good in Portland again: Having established 2 weeks ago that of 3 possible opportunities, mine was the "least strategic", I took the fall and let my client down. By the end of last week, a stunning series of events wound up occurring, and in the end, BOTH other opportunities were lost, and I got my guy again. And happily, the client was more than forgiving and completely willing to give us another chance. So he's starting out in Portland next week, and what's even better is that this episode has helped trigger some internal changes to the client and lo, they WILL be a more strategic partner in the long run.

So I was dancing a happy dance. Add to this, I'm finally getting emails back from prospects who had let my inquiries fall into the gutter for months - apparently if you call or email enough times (in a polite way - not daily or anything), then you pass some sort of "persistence test" - If after 5 months this guy is still calling, he must be legit? At any rate, it's nice. I'm still liking my work.

2) I came home tonight to find both children with distinctive markings: Isaac has a shiner from falling on the floor, and Bella has bright pink sunburnt cheeks and nose from being at the pool all day (despite a generous slathering of sunblock of course!!!) They were both exhausted by their respective days, and we started bedtime at 7 for both! Bella's face glistened with moisturizer by the light of her nightlight turtle. She was reduced to tears tonight when a sheet of stickers weren't sticky ENOUGH and started to peel off of the paper she was working on. That took a good 30 minutes to pry her off the ceiling. Hence the early bedtime.

3) Isaac has some more teeth coming in, combined with yet another language leap: We've taken a step backwards on his "solid food eating adventure" and have had more wakeups, some just for cuddles with heaving sobs which break our hearts - he must be having lots of dreams he's processing. His words are developing too - "Stuck", "Bite", "Pizza", and a lot of words that have deep meaning to him, but no meaning to us, leading to lots of crying fits, which are sad but also hilarious: It's as if he has watched old movies of how people "wail" - he grabs his head and cries "NO NO NO!", he sinks to his knees and shakes his fists at the heavens (or us, I suppose), he flops face down and pounds the ground. Oh, this boy is a DIVA.

4) We've destroyed yet another camera (2 years this time) and have gone for another Canon Elph, and I'm deeply in love. Bella can't keep her hands off of it either, and there have already been dozens of "art photos" taken around the house (close ups of toys are a favorite). That girl loves the pictures.

5) Oh yeah we did a ton of stuff all weekend and I barely recall all of it. Bella's Birth Family, neighborhood Progressive Dinner, Breakfast out with friends, Isaac's swimming class... it was all there.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A conversation

Pamela sent me this conversation with Bella today:

b: mom- where does santa live?
p: well, legend has it that he lives at the north pole. where do you think he lives?
b; south carolina.
p: oh, really? you know where else I think he lives? in our hearts.
b: that was going to be my second guess.

b: really exist......
(insert panic on mom's part about the big santa question)
.....south carolina?

p: yep, bella, it does.


b: Wow, I finally remembered a state name!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Steps forward and back and then forward

Saturday was a great day: Isaac's swimming lesson went well as usual, then we got Bella all up and ready for her Soccer team pictures. It was a gorgeous day with a blue sky, and Bella was such a big girl with her soccer team... I got to feeling a bit OLD alas. But our Swedish Friends were there with their daughters (one of whom is on Bella's team) so I got to speak some Swedish, and they invited us along to an ice cream parlor. Bella had a big dish of chocolate peanut-butter-cup ice cream and had a huge grin... Then we got some supplies for the Victory Garden.

I mowed the lawn, and we worked more on the front and back gardens - it was a great day. Until the tornado sirens blew.

30 minutes later, a torrential hailstorm ripped through the neighborhood, leaving marble-sized hail everywhere, punching large holes in our rhubarb, decimating the hostas, and littering the yard with leaves and twigs ripped from the trees above. It was an absolutely WILD storm. As we surveyed the damage, we were lucky not to have lost any tree limbs (as others in the surrounding blocks had, nor did our cars suffer any hail damage that we could see... But Pamela, having worked so hard on her garden was quite dispirited and went to bed well before 9 of exhaustion.

The Avengers met Saturday evening to watch I Am Legend, which was an amazingly dark and brooding movie. Will Smith was incredible in his role as the last man on Earth. He was beautifully haunted throughout... I recommend at least the first 2/3 of the movie. The end became a bit of a "zombies ATTACK" sort of action thing, which was at odds with the tone of the first part... but it's worth it for the "bacon" scene...

Sunday we got an early start: Operation RECOVERY. By the end of the day, we had raked, swept, and repaired as best as we could... and we had put up the chickenwire fence around our garden (which will be more about "discouraging" the bunnies than actually stopping them I suspect), and it felt good to move forward on the project. By late afternoon, I was headed off to the airport for the conference described in the previous post...

As we walked around and cleaned up, Isaac was VERY DISTURBED: He didn't want to be far from either Mom or Dad... I think that the chaos in the yard was very disconcerting to a little guy who needs SOME stability on which to base all of his nuttiness. Poor little guy.

So it WAS a tough weekend, but we were very lucky to have had minimal destruction from the hail, and we were back on track by the end of the weekend, so while we didn't get too far AHEAD, at least we're not behind.

Time to get on that airplane now!

Obviously I'm dreaming

I'm in the Columbus OH airport, having spent all of 18 hours in this fair city, and about to get on an airplane for home. Ohio? Is that my territory? Ah, no. I am still far more coastal. No, the reason I'm here was for a conference. Oho - to schmooze you say? No indeed, this was actually a conference about Healthcare Analytics, which is the subject area of my new business area, and I was here to LEARN what's going on in the industry.

And here's the crazy thing: It was a GREAT conference. I talked to people throughout, and everyone was similarly amazed: The sessions were uniformly excellent, there was no overlap in subject areas, and there were history, current, and future state discussions. Heavy hitters from the industry were there, and with <200 attendees total, everyone was accessible for a chat afterwards. My notes are full of followup items, and I've got ideas bursting out of my ears on new strategies.

So strangely, having been sent just to learn, I wound up schmoozing and exchanging cards with more people than I possibly could have if it was just a schmooze trip. Add to this the hotel was comfy and quiet, and I go bumped to first class both directions... there's a very real chance that this has all been a dream and that I'll wake up soon with 2 day's beard growth and a very worried looking family standing over me.