Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Isaac is truly feeling his two-ness, and his virgo-ness. The man has been giving orders non-stop for a few days. Hold this, I go first, no, no, no, THAT ONE, no I WILL DO IT. Any failure to obey will result in him immediately dropping to the ground screaming.

Pamela and I are dealing with it. Amazingly, so is Bella.

Bella woke up this AM and decided to make me some artwork: She drew me a frog, a snake, and a chameleon. The chameleon was a great drawing, with the spiral tail and long tongue - Bella really has a great eye for detail. That we almost missed the bus is entirely beside the point.

In fitness news, we're preparing for the launch of a new BodyPump release at our studio. The owner has had us working hard on this - we've had over 7 hours of group practice time... unpaid of course... and will have 4 more hours before our launch on Sunday. Now on one level, I acknowledge that to be in the exercise business for the money is a fools game - the only people making money are club owners. The trainers make $12-20 a class, but you can only teach 1-2 classes a day MAX, you need to cover your own training costs, you buy new music releases every quarter for $40 per program... Basically you are not making any money.

But you are feeling good about being in shape AND sharing the love of fitness with others.

The fact that we're working so hard on the releases led me to a strange event today: I was talking to a co-worker who started working out at a local community center. She started talking about the music being used in her "Pump and Lift" class... and I realized she's being taught BodyPump, but not in a licensed facility - the instructor is totally bootlegging our new release!!!

I don't know why this bugged me so much. I have a somewhat loose relationship with intellectual property in general (I borrow books and CDs, and have downloaded a show or two in the past)... but it seems that the fitness world is not exactly the huge money empire that would be completely unaffected by someone teaching bodypump without the license...

It just got me thinking, that's all.

Plots and Plans

I've had a trifecta of "the world working in mysterious ways" recently.

1) Good buddy Yoshi started his dream job with Pixar this week. How did he get there? 10 years working at a science museum, 2 years away from home at grad school, 1 year at a software startup in Austin TX, and a chance encounter. Somehow all of those components came together to make this Pixar job work for him. Along the way, there was heartbreak and difficulties, but I tell you, if you asked him 10 years ago what his dream job was, this would pretty much be it. And he got there.

2) Had lunch today with Mom. When we made the lunch date 2 weeks ago, things were sounding a bit sad and desperate - Mom's a storyteller and makes money here and there, but is not following any sort of traditional career path (nor should she - the office life is not for her!). But two weeks ago, things were looking a bit grim. So we made the date.

In the meantime, three bits of synchronicity cropped up: a good friend has found a niche writing state grants and needs some help proofreading/editing. That's 20 hr/week. She's been asked to present a proposal for storytelling for a summer language program... from someone who just happened to be enjoying a cup of coffee when she was telling at a coffee shop. AND her great work on "My War" last year has led to another similar potential project.

So when we had our lunch at Mayslacks (a northeast Mpls institution with roast beef sammiches as big as Isaac's skull), the air was not desperate, but rather excited: What of these opportunities will prove the most lucrative? Of course we did talk about NEW possibilities as well, but I was so happy to see the universe had delivered some opportunities.

3) For my own part, my "next big thing" search has really accelerated: I did the math and figured out that while April will be an OK month, May and June will be extremely LEAN - to the point of not being livable with our expenses (we're talking selling my gold tooth). So I gotta get out. The die is cast, I'm not messing around, I'm 100% out in the world looking for the next big thing.

I did another round of reaching out yesterday, and have a couple of very interesting opportunities in my lap now. I've gone from no hope to a full HANDFUL of new options. Just this reaching out has really given me some amazing opportunities. As one person said "look at this resume - WHY did they have him doing sales? He's got an incredible consulting resume!!!" Now, these gigs will involve travel, which is something we're (Pamela and I, not Isaac and Bella) prepared to accept for the time being. But they'll re-energize my soul, give me work that I can be proud of, and frankly get me more jing-a-ling.

To assist in my exit, I prepared a PowerPoint to review with my boss explaining why he should lay me off and give me severance rather than letting me quit... A bold move, I admit, but actually pretty amusing. I had a co-worker proof read it without telling her what it was about, and she was curled up on the floor in laughing hysterics for a full 30 minutes.

I mean really: Asking to be fired is strange enough. But in PowerPoint? I'm blazing new trails. The only trick: Do I still get to go to Portland next week? (I really want one more Voodoo donut!!!!).

So I'm believing in synchronicity - that even in this crazy climate that there are opportunities for a person like me, and I'm stepping forward. STEP.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wonder of Wonders

It was another full-bore weekend of delight:

1) Friday night, had the boys over for scotch tasting and a movie. The scotches were all amazing, as usual, with the belle of the ball being a 21-year Lagavulin 21 that was sherry cask matured. It frankly tasted WONDERFUL. It's a rare beast, however... Will I taste another? Perhaps, but I'm better just for having tried this one for sure.

The movie was Tropic Thunder, which was so outrageously funny... due in no small part to the completely over the top performance by Robert Downey Jr. He COMMITTED to that role, and really made it. Every damn thing he said and did made me giggle. Tom Cruise was also great... Poor Jack Black was basically being Jack Black, which is usually good enough, but not when "Kirk Lazarus" was blowing our minds.

2) Saturday I took Isaac back to Edenborough Park, the multistory indoor climbing structure. Whereas 3 weeks earlier, he was more tentative, this time he decided to "own" the whole place. He led the way climbing to high levels and zooming down the slides: He got a few favorite "routines" in our almost 2 hours, and got so fast at climbing up and sliding down that I had to stop trying to keep up and take a "monitoring perch". He went all out in the moonwalk too, leaping around and giggling. Yes, he still needed me for a boost on a couple of the higher ledges, so I'm not completely superfluous, but this place is HIS.

Ran into the drummer of my high school band up in the structure - his son is about the same age as Isaac and we had just a quick hello before we had to pursue our kids in opposite directions.

Later that day, we had a visit from Yoshi, who has a life changing career opportunity to work for Pixar, and is moving to San Fran in a week. He had been working in Austin Tx at a game development startup, and their product is just getting ready to be released, so it's a bittersweet victory, but this is a ticket to the "big show" and we're all so happy for him. PIXAR!!! Best movies in the universe, and he'll be in there helping the artists, creating some new toolsets for them to use. Brilliant. Uncle Ant and his wife Candy also came along, and we had dinner at the Chatterbox (which seems to be doing quite well for themselves!) Poor Pamela missed part of the day suffering from a Migraine, but managed to pull it together for the evening.

3) Today my life belonged to Time Out Fitness: We're doing a big launch for BodyPump 69 in a week, and we were doing final technique workthrough, sequencing of who is doing what, coordination of wardrobes, and general tweaking. Over 2 hours of work, a LOT of it while holding loaded barbells, and also rehearsing with full energy. Which would be fine, except today was ALSO my 3rd attempt at taping BodyAttack. I think it went well - we discovered what the problem was last time... and I think it was a great class. I was completely wiped by the end, however, and am ready to be poured into a bucket like Odo from Deep Space Nine.

In my relaxed state, I was thrilled to find that Pamela had prepared Penne with red sauce and spicy sausage for dinner, which I devoured. This is on top of cleaning the porch and getting it all set up for "sitting out there" time. Since the kids had spent a LOT of the weekend running around outside, they were brittle little creatures who needed to be hosed off and put right to bed... which got done pretty early actually.

THEN the fun began: Time to box up all those Ebay sales and get the first wave of them out tomorrow! 9 packages ready to go today (the ones who have already paid...), one shipped last week... and 9 still to get paid for and ship. So far $500 in payments... waiting on another $175 from what has already sold. THIS IS AMAZING, and this will basically pay for our summer vacation. EXCELSIOR!!!

Allright, so I'm teaching BodyPump tomorrow at 6am, so it's time to hit the hay.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Operation S-Can continues

The first of my Star Trek toys just sold on Ebay. $72 + $10 shipping. For a toy I bought in 1995 for... $14, threw away the box, and let sit in a bin for 13 years. Not too shabby. Not all of them are gold: A lot of them will malinger at $5 and $10, plus shipping, which is still better than throwing them away.

It'll help pay for the replacement tire I had to buy today: you want to have a good spare in the trunk these days. (See last Thursday's blog on that) Very happy to have my complimentary roadside assistance for that.

On to Literature: My mom has suggested that I get into the James Patterson Maximum Ride series - about winged teens saving the world. It's apparently the new Twilight. So I'll be giving that a go. There are 5 books so far - I suspect it's a little less "big Arc" than Twilight and more "and another adventure with...".

Just finished a book by Bruce Sterling - The Caryatids. Sterling is a singularly frustrating author for me: He has such incredible ideas and a great head for the deeper macro causes driving the world he's describing. He builds great situations and backdrops. But he has a tin ear for dialogue and character: I never believe that any person in his stories is acting in a way I comprehend as a human being. It's as if he views people and motivations from a two way mirror without the benefit of audio and guesses at what their actions might mean, but misses the point entirely.

It doesn't help that the core of this book was four bickering clone sisters on a ruined greenhouse-effect earth who hate their clone mother (who is on a chinese space station) and a philandering man who loved them all... none of who acted with any shred of consistency.

An earlier book - Holy Fire - was similarly frustrating: Scientifically, it was a cool concept: A respectable octogenarian woman undergoes an age reversal process, and begins wreaking havoc because she begins thinking impulsively like a teen. There's interesting science to back that up (brain development in teens....), but written in such a way that really didn't relate. I wound up throwing the book down yelling "oh just GROW UP you pouty face". So maybe he did a good job. But it wasn't fun.

Maybe he shouldn't be writing for female protagonists... because I don't feel he gets them even close to right. On the other hand, maybe he writes BRILLIANTLY for female protagonists and I just don't understand because I'm not a female. I'm prepared to accept that possibility. But in either situation, the reading is not very satisfying to me. I'm moving him to my "not all that great for me" column.

Compare and contrast with Neal Stephenson and Charles Stross: They both work in similar veins, but both have a more fluid ear for dialogue and character motivation: I understand where people are coming from and why they're moving the directions they move in their books. It just feels RIGHT. Even when Neal takes for-freaking-EVER to get to the point sometimes....

Allright: Workout stuff. Shockingly, my second attempt at taping BodyAttack failed. A missing two minutes from the middle - I think my taping assistant bumped the red button while moving the camera. Sigh. Try three coming atcha Sunday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The weather has finally turned and the kids are going completely bananas. Isaac wants to be outside every minute of the day, and they're sort of oblivious to the fact that while it's definitely warm-ER, it's not actually WARM yet. Bella in short sleeves. Isaac running out the door, up the block, and splashing in a puddle in his socks. My challenge will be to let them love this weather WITHOUT them catching cold!!!

Sunday, with the melt just starting, the kids insisted on getting going on the swingset. Wyatt from up the block joined in (he's 6 months older than Isaac, and is a little buddy). They were climbing in the camper, sliding down the slide, working the swingset. All with a lot of snow and ice still around.

I took them over to the Convention Grill for some health food: Isaac went completely mental for a chocolate malt: He eschewed the spoon and went straight for the straw: He was sucking SO HARD I thought his eyes were going to pop out, but persistence paid off and he got it going. But then he chomped the straw and restricted the flow.... and came up with a solution: Pull out the straw and flip it to try the other end. Yes, this did somehow work, and yes, it did result in a LOT of malt on his hands. And yes, he did this flip trick about 10 more times. Dude was COATED in malt.

Bella actually did NOT eat much of her malt, but did justice to the corn dog and fries. She loves dipping fries into malts. Apparently tasty. I was working hard with these kids. The next morning, some neighbors commented that they'd seen me there - I had no memory of seeing them, and it's not that big of a place! They said I was obviously completely focused on the kids, and that it was good.

Tonight, I took the kids to the Burrito Store, and then they insisted I stop at the park near our house. They worked the playground equipment for 40 minutes, burning off energy and loving the outdoors. When I finally got them to bed, it was a little later than I was planning, so Bella and I skipped quickly to stories.

Somehow, we were talking about singing, dancing, and playing instruments. We agreed that singing plus one thing is pretty common (singing at the piano). And dancing and singing is easy. But dancing and playing the piano would be pretty ridiculous. Unless you had a big circular piano, and you danced in the middle while playing all around you. I loved that vision of Bella's.

Oh, and she made a grasshopper in class the other day: total invention on her part... I'll upload a picture soon.

Ok, a total random update, but there you go.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Electronic Bay

Operation "Clear 'em OUT" continues at the house: We've had a monthly visit from ARC (a good local charity). Every week we've taken another load of old clothes to Once Upon A Child, and we're turning old clothes into new ones for our growing kids. I have a trunk full of CDs and DVDs which I have every intention of taking to Cheapo soon... And we've agreed that Half Price Books is a terrible scam and a self perpetuating nightmare: Why do you never shop there? Crap books. Why crap books? Because they pay pennies on the cover price for everything, after making you wait for a half hour. A full bag of decent books - $2.50. REALLY? For that price, couldn't you have just eyeballed the bag and insulted us right away?

Today our adventures were two pronged - Shredding and Ebay. We have stacks and stacks of documents which we were in the process of understanding when Bella came along 6 years ago, and we have been randomly adding to that pile ever since. Well, it's getting organized now, and we are deciding that insurance cards for cars we haven't owned since 1999 are NOT crucial for us to retain. Nor are 10 year old insurance statements declaring coverage on our Artificial Insemination procedures. No, there's a lot of stuff we have been saving for absolutely no reason. SO WE'RE SHREDDING IT. Whrrrrrrrrrr. We've actually filled a paper lawn clipping bag with shreds. It feels great. Manuals for a TV I haven't had for 4 years? GONE. HAHA!!!!

As we were cleaning the basement, we "found" the bins with my "collectibles" from my toy hoarding phase of the 1990s. LOTS of Star Trek things. I also found a trove of old concert T-shirts from the 1980s. I was saving them, thinking that when I got to 40, I'd think they were fabulous and would knuckle a tear away and cherish them. I maybe even thought my eventual children would think they were cool. Well, here I am, and I'm not knuckling anything away. And I doubt Bella or Isaac will be particularly excited by Depeche Mode or New Order shirts. No more than I would have been jazzed to have a Kingston Trio shirt from my Parents, I guess. No, these are mementos but not memories. Plus, they're fetching a pretty penny on Ebay!

So I have 18 auctions up now. Search on my username - ppgwave - if you'd like to see some of the gems. I can't really keep my personality entirely out of the picture when it comes to Ebay: On the concert T's, I talk about how the show was. On one Star Trek ship that was frankly pretty poorly built by the manufacturer, I plead that the horrible condition of the unit is entirely because it was a crap item. On one I lied that the scuff marks on a fake phaser gun were from my using it on a secret mission.

My favorite so far is my Laurie Anderson Mister Heartbreak tour shirt from 1984. I wore that shirt at least 300 times since getting it, and it is practically transparent, but still legible. In the description, I hint that Lou Reed could make a nice gift to his gal pal Laurie A with this remnant from the past. Of all of the postings, this one already has an interested buyer. IN TASMANIA.

My one complaint on the process is that IT TAKES A LONG TIME to do auctions. I have extra auction software (GarageSale), and it still took most of the afternoon to put it all together. What a pain. Plus, I'll have to mail that stuff everywhere. Oh well. Better than just tossing it. The people who will buy these things will likely love them more than I am now. And if the experiment works, I may start to look at moving along my other "treasure trove" - my comic books from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

And with that, it's off to bed!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Boy do I love this show. Short post. Practically a Tweet.

My Party With Isaac (Warning: Farts)

This evening was the Highlands School Carnival - a noisy confusion of excitement where Bella's elementary school is transformed into a, well, a carnival with games, prizes, moon walks, and general squealing mayhem. It is indeed the social event of the K-5th grade calendar. Our initial plans were to bring both Bella and Isaac along, and have one of us bail with Isaac around 7-ish.

Alas, Isaac has not been feeling well nor sleeping well, so I made an executive decision around 5pm to keep him home. I confess that for my own sanity this seemed a good option as well, and I looked forward to an early evening with him and a relaxing time watching Terminator and Dollhouse.

That was not to be.

From 5:15 to 6:15, we had a nice time in the basement watching SuperWhy and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He was glazey eyed, yawning, and chewing on his didda. Bedtime was right around the corner. So how to fill a little time? Ah, a BATH.

6:15-7:15 - Bath Time. Yes, it was an hour. He swam, laughed, floated on his back, sang, played with duckies, splashed, swam more, blew bubbles, giggled.... He was like popeye in a bathtub filled with spinach: He went completely crazy.

So I thought maybe he had blown off some steam and was ready for bed?

7:15-7:45 - dressing for bed, playing, reading stories, and the first attempt at bedtime. First farts detected.

7:45-8:00 - seemingly quiet, though some settling and cooing sounds.

8:01 announcement: "DADDY - I POOOOOOOOOED!!!!!"

8:02 - Entered room and was immediately overwhelmed with a grievous atmosphere. There was a POWERFUL STINK going on.

8:03 - Discovery: NO POOP.

8:04 - A toot so powerful, his feet actually left the ground. Several more followed. I took him out of the room to get some fresh air. He demanded to go downstairs.

8:10-8:30: Isaac is eating. Sausages with maple syrup left over from dinner, strawberries, crackers. He is voracious and very awake. Toots are beginning to subside.

8:30 back in bed.

8:45 - Bella and Pamela are back from Carnival. Isaac hears and is hollering his head off for Bella. Bella says hi.

9:00 - Isaac confirmed asleep. Now it's time for Bella.

Pamela and Bella had a great time at the Carnival: Bella won a gift basket chock full of art supplies and kits, which will lead to many great rainy afternoons now that spring may indeed be springing.

9:15 - After scarfing a plate of tortellini, Bella is in bed too.

9:30 - I finally get to watch Terminator. Taking a break to Blog, and then watch Dollhouse. I'll be sleepy tomorrow, but it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tweeting and such

Not sure why but I decided to fire up a Twitter account: These are little 140 word updates you can broadcast to the world. I have a client on my Blackberry, so I can tweet things like "getting lunch now" and all 9 people who follow my feed will know that I am, at that very moment, getting lunch.

I haven't really figured out why one would tweet, but I'm doing it.

Twitter has been in the news recently as a bunch of GOP senators got Tweeting on their Blackberries during Obama's Not-SOTU speech posting snarky little things to the world about what they were thinking. Doonesbury has been teasing on the Twitter recently too.

So now, I blog occasionally, I update my facebook status a couple of times a day, and I tweet. So who is really caring that I'm this connected? I wouldn't dream of calling up my hairdresser Warren to tell him my thoughts about the latest Depeche Mode single, but he gets my Tweet on the subject.

So look at this Twitter thing as an experiment. I will likely let this fall by the wayside pretty soon... But if you do care, I'm ppgwave on Twitter.

In other news, we had our annual "cold weather tire separation incident" with the Jag today. We've gone through at least one tire a year during a cold snap - the tire just wiggles off the rim. Cost of doing business I suppose. It says something about the stability control of my car that it was the SOUND that alerted me that something was amiss, while the car continued to handle perfectly, despite riding on a rim and a ribbon of rubber. Did I mention it happened going 65 on HWY 100?

We were a bit bedraggled today - Isaac decided that 4 am was a good time to wake up. He joined me in the shower for my 5am get-ready-for-bodypump ritual, and then wanted to go back to bed. But as I was preparing to leave, I still heard him. Since I wasn't teaching, I decided to relieve Pamela, took him up to the 3rd floor with me, and we napped for another 90 min (and he actually fell asleep). But this wasn't a good night of rest. We all needed naps, but Isaac declined his, so it was an early bedtime.

And it'll be an early bedtime for me as well...

Monday, March 09, 2009


Bella had a class project: Persistence. Every kid in her kindergarten class was encouraged to pick something to do or learn, and stick with it. Then they were to give a short presentation on what they persisted in. Bella and I decided that her persistence project would be to build a big Lego set all by herself.

We picked out a big yellow crane kit with over 500 pieces, and over the course of 4 weeks, we spent over 8 hours building this thing. And by "we" I mean SHE did everything, but I did quality control: As she finished a step, I took a look and if there were things out of place, I asked her to look harder at the instructions... and if there were pieces that didn't snap easily, I might have helped once or twice. But that entire thing was built by her, with her following the directions.

She definitely had challenges - some days were hard to motivate, some steps were harder to understand, and some parts were sort of boring to assemble... but by Sunday afternoon, she put the last piece in place and held it up, with a big grin on her face. We had taken pictures throughout the process, and printed them all up. She glued them to a posterboard and wrote her story.

Today, Pamela brought the poster and the crane into class, and Bella was the star of the show. She radiated pride as everyone oohed and ahhed over her crane and poster - the teacher said she had never seen a kid do a project that complex, and that the bar is raised.

An interesting aside - one of the alternative persistence projects we thought about was learning to spell our full last name. Bella thought that wouldn't be much fun for persistence. All the same, on Friday she recited all 16 letters to me from memory. So she really did both projects. What a girl!!!

Isaac has been quite something these days too: He's really being a little boy, but he is maybe the most polite gentleman I've ever met. He always says please and thank you, and you're welcome. The other night, he was arranging his toy robots on the shelf, and wanted to switch two of their places. As he reached for one of the robots, he said "excuse me, mister".

We went to a sock hop this weekend for Isaac's preschool, and he spent several hours running around playing, and just a little dancing. But we had a few moments where he would be dancing at one end of the gym, then suddenly dart clear across the room to the climbing area. As as he scooted, his arms were out to his sides and his feet were a blur - I suspect that his toes were touching only every 4th step or so, and only then so as not to arouse suspicion.

On my own front, my tendrils are slowly unfurling, extending out into my network, and my next thing is cordially invited to present itself. We'll leave it at that for now.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A terrible idea

I got the thought that since my work is sales, and my sales are slow (and my morale is low) maybe I should check out a BOOK on sales - pick up some ideas.

Yeah, that was a terrible terrible idea. From what I can tell, the whole point here is:
1) You're not unique
2) You don't HAVE anything that's unique
3) The merits of your product are meaningless
4) The only thing separating you from everyone else is how persistent you are.

Unfortunately, I'd say that 2-3 years ago, what we were selling WAS unique and did have unique merits (that helped with sales). High satisfaction scores and a rare skillset in consultants. But flash forward to today and the skills are a lot less rare, our marketing scores are lower, and there's increased competition from all angles.

So yes, to just about everyone, I'm just one of a dozen people calling about the exact same thing.

Contrast that to when I was a guy DOING the work - that's where I got to be unique, where I had specific measurable value, where the clients were eager to talk to me.

I suppose these thoughts have been brewing for a while, but having sales strategy laid out like that in black and white really put it into focus for me. Add to that my trip to Dallas with 200 other salespeople from this company, and realizing this: These people are not my Tribe.

I have very little in common with them. I'm a doer. I have skills that can ACTUALLY make people's lives better, and I'm not really using them right now. For a while I hoped that by working on a more meta level (helping people FIND the people who will help them) I could spread good a bit further around. But it's feeling less and less like that is the case.

So I'm giving myself permission to explore what the next option is. To feel good about what I'm doing on a daily basis. To help clinicians and patients in a more direct way.

Actually, reading that Sales book probably WASN'T the worst idea.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A fresh week...

I am continuing my path to peacefulness this week, looking for the good things in life to focus on. Which is helpful when you're in Tacoma with a series of planned meetings and discover that two of them have been canceled without your knowledge. I have plenty of other things to do here. Plenty.

Sunday I took the kids to the Zoo for a change - Isaac was jumping up and down yelling with excitement about the monkeys, the dolphins, the fish, the bear... and cowering before the terror of the shark. Bella was eagerly showing Isaac just about everything. The Zoo was a bit quiet - lots of exhibits under construction (absent: Ring Tailed Lemurs, Gibbons, Dolphin Show), but some perpetually sleepy creatures were up and at'em for us: The Loris (slow and pygmy) and the Otters were fully active.

At the end, the kids suckered me into getting stuffed animals at the Zoo Store. Bella picked a plush wolverine (which was far sweeter looking than the real thing). She got a faraway look in her eye and averred "I love this wolverine as much as my doggy the dog. Not more, not less, but AS MUCH". Of course, last night, who was she hollering for in the middle of the night? Not wolverine. Doggy. Isaac got a little monkey which he loved deeply for around 8 minutes and then forgot all about it.

We had another family come over last night for Taco night. As usual Bella wolfed down 8 tacos plus dessert. In the night she called out that her legs were hurting - a sure sign that this food is going right into the growing factory. Anyway, the family has kids that worked well with Isaac and Bella, and there was a nonstop din of child mirth. We were concerned initially - the visiting dad had been laid off, and we were hoping for good things for them. By the time they arrived, he already had another, better job. So I'm encouraged that there IS work out there...

As I prepared to leave today, Isaac was pretty obviously aware that I was leaving for a few days, and needed a LOT of dad cuddles. We played airplane and wrassled quite a bit, and also had some quiet hugs. Traveling isn't easy on the family, and I'm so appreciative to them for supporting me... even when sometimes the purpose of the trip seems moot (like when people DON'T SHOW UP TO MEETINGS).

I've got a good networking dinner set up for tonight, and I'll be seeing Paul and Caesar tomorrow, so things are not a total loss....

On the plane today, they preboarded us in First, and then stopped boarding - the pilots were stuck at a different airport and we were going to be delayed for 45 minutes. So we were given the option - hang out on the plane and have some snacks and coffee, or deplane. We all stayed put (stand in the crowded gate, or sit comfortably and have a snack?). Not 2 minutes later, they announced they had found an "alternate crew" and we were going to take off as planned. I think that it may have actually been a thought experiment. I kept looking for people with lab coats and clipboards. Did we pass? Fail?

I'm off for the evening...