Category Archives: Uncategorized

Five Years Later than 100 Days

Hard to believe but today marks five years since L’s bone marrow transplant. It seems like a world away, but it’s a world in which we still live in various ways and a world that will always be a part of L and all who love her.

The best news is that L has had a series of good health news lately, very good health news and that certainly helps to wipe away much of the tough road she has had getting here.

Besides her very good health news, L and her husband and the rest of their family and close friends have much to be proud of. She and P made their marriage endure through and beyond the toughest of times any couple could imagine and no couple ever wants to have to live through. Yet, they moved through it and continue to move forward in building their lives together.

I’m proud to say that we are still close as a family, closer maybe, because tough times amplify underlying family issues, which can be used to build or destroy. We — all of us — nuclear family and extended family, chose to build.

L, like all of us, has been able to see who her true friends are and move closer to them. We have been able to reconnect with friends who added to our lives in ways that we had forgotten. And we are the better for it.

It’s seems all so easy to say now, a result of time and distance, but we know that L had years of rough times. It’s still a moving moment to look back on but it is oh so satisfying to look around now with a proud smile and look ahead to a bright future.


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Forget Kim Kardashian, Alice Bowman is a Name that Should be Famous

When I was a kid, I never learned very few names of women who contributed mightily to our nation and the world. Now, as an adult I am learning for the first time the names of women who were major factors in the world of science and technology and literature, art, engineering, architecture, medicine, research and every other field area. Unfortunately, our own children also learned little of the contributions of women to our world. Hopefully that will change for our grandchildren.

So, while many of us can probably rattle off the names of the astronauts and ever some of the men in mission control for the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions, we probably think that there aren’t any women in these field areas (unless they’re fetching coffee or designing cute flight suits).

Well, here’s a name to know: Alice Bowman. If your kids and grandkids aren’t learning her name in school, you need to speak to someone in your school district. And if you don’t know her name, let me share with you. Alice Bowman is the first woman Mission Operations Manager and she led the mission that has glimpsed the edge of our solar system. And she’s not done yet.

Rather than write about her, I thought I’d post this interview with her. Hopefully you’ll read it yourself and to your kids and to your grandkids. And hopefully one day, they’ll be so many women in science and technology that they will be known for their achievements and not for their gender.


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From Wonderful Day to Bewildered Haze

i really wanted this post to be just about a wonderful mother’s day, because last sunday was just that: a wonderful mother’s day. we spent part of the day visiting c’s mom then c got all three of our kids and some (not all) of their significant others to come over for dinner.

every time our kids are together i just marvel at how smart and funny and caring and thoughtful and opinionated and interesting they are. and how much i learn from them. and mostly, just how much i enjoy spending time with them. it’s great to see them mature and settle into their lives. my thoughts and actions now is for c and i to take good care of ourselves so we can spend as much time as possible with them all.

and then… monday came and along with it another f*&%ing computer equipment failure. yeesh!

this time some idiot drove their car into a utility pole and took down the electricity for about 2,000 households and businesses in our area. when the power came back on, the spike fried two of our network switches and knocked out the programming to our modem and router. in short, no internet.

wow, have times changed. without internet at work we can… um… or maybe… er, well, maybe we could or… in short, we can make phone calls to people who ask us to send them an email and take notes by hand (horror!) and fax stuff. pretty much back to the stone age.

i was able to diagnose the problem and then flounder around to try to find a solution, which was to call in some networking professionals. i know enough to replace the blown hardware but to reconfigure a network? not a chance. after watching two networking professionals and all the intense detail it took to interface with verizon, configure network settings and solve issues, i’m more convinced that before that this area is completely out of my league.

now, it took these guys five hours to get us back up, but in fairness to the technicians, they would have been able to finish their work in about three hours if not for the sd effect.

there are four men in our office, all of whom are fairly technically illiterate, not to mention severely handy-man crippled. yet, and always, when there is a technician or workman here in the office they each have to saunter out of their offices and pretend that they know something and attempt to engage the workmen in endless irrelevant conversations, which pulls them away from working the problem at hand. i call this the swinging dick effect. frankly, it drives me nuts. it wastes time and amounts to nothing except to make these guys feel like they are not the soft boys they really are. but hey, if they want to run up the bill by running up the technicians clock…

in short, my wonderful sunday turned into another monday from hell (which extended into tuesday this time).

i wonder if i we could avoid yet another computer catastrophe if i stay home on monday. it’s worth a shot.

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Pysankas and more

Since it’s that time of year again, I thought I would repost this. The eggs are out and about in the house again, though I still haven’t solved the question of the best way to display them.

read. see. think.

When I was little my mom started a collection of eggs for me. Unfortunately, I don’t exactly know why and I never asked, but I suppose it was just something for us to share. The first eggs were little Limoges porcelain eggs from France that a neighbor brought home after a trip to France. Then I got it in my head to collect an egg from countries around the world. I have quite a few but I haven’t added to the collection in many years and I struggle with where to put all the ones I have. I displayed some of them for awhile, but honestly, it just feels too fussy to have around, not to mentioned that it’s a pain in the neck to dust.

Still, this time of year I can’t resist taking the pieces out and enjoying their beauty and the memories associated with them. I share…

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Merry Christmas

May you enjoy all the blessings, closeness and love of this season.

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I’ll be traveling for the next two weeks, so in the meantime, please rummage through old posts and see if there’s anything you missed!

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Big or Small, It’s Better Than Nothing at All

Did you hear the one about the Pope who published an encyclical and got called a Marxist? I’m confident that the Pope really doesn’t give a blessed host what Rush Limbaugh thinks, but it’s been interesting to hear people line up on both sides of this story.

As is his role in the world, Pope Frances challenges us to think purely, that is, without cynicism. It’s easy to be cynical. Cynics would disagree, but for many of us it’s the first “go to” because not being cynical makes us vulnerable. Pope Francis’ EVANGELII GAUDIUM speaks thoughtfully about economic inequity around the world, which is apparently so frightening that wing nut commentators feel the need to trash the Pope. Or, more accurately, guys like Limbaugh need to protect their turf and it’s not a philosophical turf, it’s the turf paved with coin for saying whatever makes him coin. Here’s only some of what Pope Francis said:

53. Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

Okay, so it is pretty Marxist. But maybe we’re due for a kind of hybridized capitalism, or maybe Pope Francis is advocating for just an attitude change, not a systematic overthrow. Here’s the thing about attitude changes: sometimes a small change can make a big difference. And sometimes one person can change an entire world.

At this writing, I have just learned of the death of Nelson Mandela, a perfect example of one person changing a world. Though his struggle for change lasted decades, he was one person who made a decision to speak out for change.

I admit I was mostly ignorant of the history and conditions in South Africa for most of my life. When I was in college, one of my professors came scurrying into class late one day and announced that Anthol Fugard had been taken into custody in South Africa and that an international coalition of artists and activists were working to have him released. We spend the entire class writing letters to the U.S., South African and worldwide governments asking for the release of Fugard. We were part of the outcry that allowed him to be released and travel so that his anti-apartheid plays could be performed around the world.*

We were each one small voice but together we were a huge outcry. Pope Frances is a huge voice, so imagine what will happen if many of us join him.

*I just read (with great pride I might add) that Fugard is now Adjunct Professor at my alma mater, University of California, San Diego and I wonder whether he isn’t here because of my college professor.

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