Friday, November 28, 2008


Life seems to be getting so much more complicated. The kids are old enough now to go on activities all by themselves. And all of them in different directions. We've entered the parenting stage of being chauffeur's.

Our tradition is to put up all the Christmas decorations starting today. My daughter is off on a weekend expedition for a church youth group activity, so the decorating must be put on hold. I'm happy that the kids seem to be taking on faiths of their own. That they should take after my wife and I is pleasing, but hollow if that is all they have. They need to find their own way and relationship with God.

Last year we were in the middle of major house improvements that significantly impacted our holidays. We had a number of unfortunate construction mishaps. We took a two week break from construction, but that hardly felt like the holidays. I'm hoping to spend a bit more time in the holiday spirit this year.

The kids are excited. There is a demand for hearing Christmas music. My daughter has already asked about making eggnog ice cream (a Ben and Jerry's recipe). We make two batches right before Christmas, then blend with a little milk on Christmas morning for a decadent eggnog drink/shake for brunch with extended family.

We need to get this house into shape. Hopefully I'll have some pics to post by the end of the weekend.

God bless you during the holidays and until the great holiday that will last forever!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I just had a nice chat with Sonia, a friend I haven't heard from in about 20 years. She still has traces of that odd accent I remember so well. It was very comforting to hear it. It kind of made the time away seem less long.

We've been exchanging e-mails since the middle of September (OK, she was sending and I didn't notice until October) and playing phone tag for a while too.

She has four kids now, works as a church secretary and lives in Bullhead City, near the Colorado River.

I posted about my old friends not to long ago. I am hoping to hook up with some of them this week after Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008


With a nod to my wife (I can't bring myself to put "dw" since that is Arthur's little sister, but maybe "fv" will do), here is an accounting of some of my blessings:

  • My God who has had a firm hand on my life since I was a child, who has comforted me through dark times, taken me places I haven't always wanted to go, but has ALWAYS led me back into the light.
  • My wife who has supported and encouraged me, even when things aren't working out as I would hope. I love our "dates" out to Starbucks and other little treats.
  • Three children who are loving and haven't given me very much grief, at least not yet. I am very proud of their character and abilities.
  • A good, stable job that allows me to take care of my family, even as the economy is taking a downturn.
  • Skills and abilities that allow me to help my friends and family, and keep myself occupied.
  • Friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin.
  • The material blessings I have, including my house, cars and computers. Having a Fry's Electronics near by is nice too.
So many more than could be mentioned here. How about you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hiking in the Olden Days

I've been exchanging e-mail with Sonia for a while now. We haven't managed to connect on the phone yet, but hopefully soon. She posted a YouTube video from back when a gang of us from Gemco used to hang out. It was pretty amazing looking back at all those old photos. I thought I'd share her entry so that others can see. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Old Friends

It's interesting that I've been contacted by several very old friends in just the last few months. It's nice to hear from them and renew old friendships. It helps me remember who I was and who I've become. This is a bit on the sentimental side for me, but I remember hearing the first line of this poem from an old friend that I haven't heard from in a while.

Lyrics and Music
Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We've been friends,
from the very start.

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.

You help me,
and I'll help you
and together
we will see it through.

The sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
to keep it clean

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Local Fires

We have two fires near by, the sky is red and ashes are falling to the ground. One is in Brea and the other in Corona. We are also getting the smell of the fire in our house.

I was talking to my mother earlier, and my step father is stuck out in Corona and can't easily get home to Irvine. He has to travel clear around the back way, several hours out of the way.

Here is a photo of the sun outside. We just had to turn on some lights since it is so dark inside.


I've been complaining about my internet service for quite a while. When we lived in Stanton, CA the city was low end, but my DSL was rock solid (except during a few rainstorms when the complex flooded). Fullerton, CA is a very nice city, but my DSL connection here has been horrible. It is about a third of the speed I was used to and it drops connection regularly.

I've heard good thing about cable internet in my area, but since I do all sorts of extra things on my internet connection, I've been reluctant to sign-up. I use VPN to connect to remote sites. I have a number of web enabled applications that I like to access from the Internet. Cable doesn't like you hosting web sites on your cable Internet connection.

U-verse has become available in my neighborhood recently. Run by AT&T, it uses Fiber To The Node (FTTN) to get a data connection to the neighborhood. Your existing copper lines are then used to get the data into your home.

U-verse is AT&T's way of providing video services, and you can't get it without signing up for the video services. We already have DirecTV and are committed for one more year. I am also concerned about down time since we use the Internet daily, including for homeschooling.

Still, I keep looking for a solution to our Internet connection problems. Maybe I can sign-up for U-verse in the near future. What's your experience with U-verse?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lunch with Mom

I have a nice lunch with my mother, sister and nephew today. We went to Mimi's and I had a lunch special of Salmon with nuts, sitting on a bed of artichoke. It came with veggies and mini baked potatoes, which were quite good.

I held Travis for a bit and we talked about our kids and what they were up to. Very nice and relaxing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

5 Day Weekend

Well, my 5 day weekend is about over. I took yesterday off so that my daughter could audition for the "spotlight" competition. I had to sit outside for the performance, but I could hear it. She did very well, and is now in the running for a college scholarship.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Personal/Family Web Site

Ok, with all the fun freetoys out on the internet (Blogs, Photo Albums, Groups, Wikis), what can you do with a personal or family web site? Many ISP's give their customers a small patch of web space that they can use for anything they like, including a small business, personal information, etc. But if you have moved your business off to an official address, what can you do with that space that is just sitting around? My earthlink space is no-frills, no-features and had a url that isn't indexed by search engines. Here are some of the things I've found on popular web sites:
  • family genealogies
  • family crests
  • personal interests
  • collections of personal links
  • homeschooling information

So, now I have a new space just for me and my family at that I need to fill with some content. I am leaning towards building out some sort of portal for immediate and extended family. What would you do?

New Personal Blog

Ok, maybe my wife roped me into this, but I found I would like a place to post stuff about my life in general. Probably not to thrilling, but here it is anyway. Who knows, I might find myself on Twitter next...