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Good morning! We're using today as a travel/transition day; changing from a rather unregimented lifestyle with cool temperatures to the more formal working/pre-school life with just flat hot temperatures.

Shelley will get to chat one-on-one with friends; Daniel and Bradley will finish up the summer's allotment of homework; and I'll start getting ready to teach again. The nice thing is we'll hopefully be able to ramp up for it; most years we come back from the coast the week before school starts. ...and that's just no fun.

Speaking of fun, I return to work tomorrow to take on the task of adding thirty percent more vehicles to our fleet. We've picked up the service contract for an adjacent county and life will once again be overflowing for a time. The nice thing: all the pieces should be in place; it's time to see how the details of the game will play out. I do need a little more information from Operations, but that will come my way as soon as they figure out how they want to pull this particular rabbit out of the hat.

I'll use the trip back as a transition back to The Real World as well... Traveling from the cool coast to the barren hills and then into the irrigated desert we live in. Different worlds, almost... Tied together with a few common threads like the Net. ...and I'll use the trip as a metaphor for returning. Hmmm? You see, I've spent several days on the Mage worlds and then some extended time in Key West. WT...?? Well, Doyle and MacDonald's latest Mage worlds book came out in paperback just in time for this trip, so I spent some serious time discovering the origins of The Professor and learning about the society that attacked the Republic in the earlier novels. If you like space opera, don't start with the latest; start with the first novel and work your way along. (Excerpt).

When I finished with that novel (and decided I'd better find my copy of the first one and re-read it to tie the threads together), I thought I'd ground myself back on Earth with Spider Robinson's latest. ...ground myself? ...on Earth? It must be catching. Fast and furious puns, enough insanity to satisfy even my twisted mind, and plenty of plot twists provide a wild and crazy ride on this latest tale of the patrons of Mike Callahan's place. ...and this is frankly another one you shouldn't pick up and read without having done your background reading on the Callanhan's series. I mean, a talking dog, a Nike Hercules missile, Nikola Tesla, the Space Shuttle, and Key West... Oh and a living neural net, an obscene parrot, teleportation, and Pixel the cat (yes Matt, that Pixel)... Well, you really should work yourself up to this level of insanity. Really; you should. Trust me; it took me years to get here.



We made it. ...and this time without any delays due to car trouble! Yeah! ...and in time to get Bradley to soccer practice.

Daniel and I handled the unloading duties while Shelley headed off to brave the heat. She caught a break there: it was literally too hot to hold your hand on the windshield for more than about ten seconds through the coastal range; but when we got into the central valley, a band of light clouds masked the sun for a good part of the afternoon. It only reached 101F or so, which beats the 107F scheduled for today!

After the unload and an unpack of the refrigerator goods, Daniel and I made the "short" store run (the only type Shelley trusts me with). While we were there, we picked up a late dinner for everyone from the store deli and headed back to start the major unpacking.

Shelley came home with Bradley and we decided to put everything on hold to eat, talk on the phone, and just pet the cats. ...and man, were they glad to see us after our extended absence!

So it's off to work for me here shortly. Shelley just wants to sit down and enjoy her own place for a few hours. The boys want to go play with their friends. ...and we're happy to be home again.

I'll let you know how much fun work is later©Brian P. Bilbrey


Short post this morning. Briefly: It's hotter than heck in the central valley; 107F even with intermittent cloud cover. I ended up taking Daniel to his soccer practice rather than let Shelley try to deal with the heat and humidity last night. After that, I spent some time on a project for a friend. ...and I was flat tired. So off to bed I went!

Work was a full load Tuesday and promises to be the same for the rest of the week. The same events that allowed me to take both vacation breaks when I did have now passed and my life at work is very full.

No promises; maybe later<g>.


Life continues apace... Today starts with a visit to the local Department of Motor Vehicles to register some new rigs; then, it's back to the office to continue to deal with the backlog. ...and a backlog there is; all the stuff I sat on the back burner to simmer while I was gone are ready to serve Right Now. Hmmm, several projects, one Dan. Oh my, it must be August...

I had one of those long, satisfying talks with a friend last night; a talk on friendship, of all things. We outlined some thoughts as we explored the basics; it might turn into a post sooner or later.

Two more days until the weekend<g>


Farquhar Update

Short version: Dave's Daynotes page is on hold for a while. Yes; he's better. No; he's not to full strength yet. The book's also been on hold; he's hoping to start again next week. The book will have priority over his Daynotes web site.

...and he's been working with paper and pencil. Seems the voice recognition programs still need some work. Speaking of work, things are still hanging in there. He's the "hands on" guy for repairs and is catching up on a lot of reading. Bottom line: his typing is very limited.

Hang in there, bro...

Also hanging in there is my lovely wife; she's just now completing her first night with Bradley away on an over-night at a friend's house. I expect that around the time I hit the freeway on my way to work, she was pounding on that mother's door shouting, "Give me my baby back!" Hmmm... Maybe I should check the police frequency for disturbance calls...

We never had that issue with Daniel... He spent the day with his grandfather a year or so ago with the intention of spending the night at their house. I knew better; I didn't even bother to think about sleep. Sure enough, around 2130 the call came in from forty miles away: "Come pick up the adventurer; he's requesting transport to his home port."

Bradley, on the other hand, simply called last night when they got in from the baseball game with a run down of all the loot he'd won; didn't even want me to wake Shelley up to tell her "goodnight"; and signed off with "10-4, Dad." Where he got that last from, I'm just not sure...

Well, time to finish this week out so I can start relaxing by working in the yard and cleaning the library and getting the car washed and working on the house and...

Sheesh... Maybe I'll just pick up some ribs and cook instead...


Finally, a Saturday! Nowhere to go; nothing to do... Just stay home and referee the usual combat zone (defined as wherever the two boys are in close proximity), while Shelley gets the holy living heck out, out, out and away from all of us until she runs out of gas or checks...

Not even. There's plenty to do, both in active relaxation and general work around the house. Then again, I did pick up ribs and tri-tip on the way home last night... And Shelley did blast out of the house as soon as I got home and didn't come back until the stores were closed... While Daniel was off with his friend to the local AAA game. ...and Bradley passed out on the floor at 1800 just way too tired from his game and sleepover Thursday night.

So I think I'll fire up The Beast and see how well using lump mesquite charcoal works. The thing I like about barbecuing over grilling is how I can use my time in the yard to putter around and get things done. I don't mind having to check the grill every half hour or so; it gives me a chance to take a break. ...and I think the remote thermometer will help me; I still have that newbie need to open the smoke chamber too often.

I do want to note the Warlock's site is going dark for a time. I'm personally hoping this is a hiatus and not permanent; I still owe him a serious debt for steering me onto the Way of the Barbecue. My family may never recover.

...and if it gets too hot to work outside today, my only other option will be to cave in and attack the library. The box monster that lives in the corner seems to have been spawning new beasties lately. ...at least it seems that way; things are starting to spill out into the hallway and that is not something Shelley will tolerate for long.


I guess it's time for the back to school cleanup...


...and a happy Day of Rest to you too! Lots of People Stuff going on, so lets get to it:

A big Daynotes "Welcome" to Al Hedstrom, another Washington State type person (I spent some time there in the early seventies and I enjoy western Washington a lot). ...and good luck on that job! It sounds like a winner.

Tom just couldn't add a tag to JHR's link saying he was down for a few... Oh no, he had to add another layer to the event. Warlocks and spells... Sheesh. Refresh the page if the add-on doesn't show.

...and Brian was quite correct, his router must have locked just about the time he got out of bed Saturday morning. Ya' know, I have this really nice power strip that you can hook to a phone line and cycle power on and off with some DTMF codes... Special deal for Daynoters<G>. ...then again, APC makes a nice little module that links to their Smart UPI (plural of UPSsssss) that allows you to cycle systems on and off. Then of course, there's that Perl Monk who developed a really cool chunk of code to check his router status and correct a similar problem:

#if no ping

#then yank the Matt out from the under router's power with a command to an X-10 module.

That was of course a rather simple overview of the command listing<G>.

Speaking of X-10 stuff, that place with the absolutely horrible gaudy ads, as opposed to the more sedate one, keeps putting together nifty little packages of new stuff to play with. The current special is a remote package that lets you cascade a motion sensor, an audible alert, and a remote video camera with audio feed and remote power on for well under $100US. Geek time, big time. I'll have to ask Shelley whether she'd prefer to view either the front door or the pool area from her TV. Oh, she'll gripe about the high tech; then she'll quietly use it<g>.

...and sometimes the old days come back to visit. ...sometimes with a tear; sometimes with a smile. I found a little of both at Al Hawkins' page Saturday. Al's a Critical Care Nurse in Oregon. He's what some people would call "intense" in his work style. I used to work in patient care. I liked the work. Some called me intense. I wrote him in response to his post:


...and if anyone ever wanted to know

...why you're into patient care, it's those moments with the Human Touch.


Our people boss (his partner was the business boss): In the old, old days... He'd schedule you first out for emergency calls the first day of your forty-eight. ...the second day, the fresh team would take the glory calls and you'd be first out on the grunt runs from hospital-to-convalescent home, or home-to-dialysis, or hospital to radiation therapy. ...and some field people never did learn how that also was primary patient contact. Then again, they never got the cookies, or learned Spanish, or just held hands with an older lady who liked how your eyes smiled at her as she told you her story...

Thanks for the memory jog.

...have a good day!

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