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March 29, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Preparation

A completely insane day trying to get everything extra done before going home. It was just gruelling in some ways as I had to set up all the people that had to back me up while I was gone because not only was I gone, but my boss was gone and my boss's boss was also off. So three links of the chain of command had to be patched over for a few days. Luckily in a software organization it's not that critical; but it was important for someone to know and care.

So I did that.

Also called the Super Shuttle to get a ride to the airport, and Brandi heard me on the phone, and she called me after I made my reservation and asked if I wanted to ride with her tomorrow to the airport, as she was going to Utah to go skiing with her boy. So I called Super Shuttle back and told them that I didn't need the ride, and they were very kind about it so I was pretty determined to ride them when I got back on Monday.

On the way home we were listening to NPR and they were interviewing Karen Armstrong, who had this lovely British accent and after listening a while I found out that she's an ex-nun that writes about spiritual things and had some really interesting core beliefs that really lined up with many of the things that I have learned to believe. I really to believe that the religions that children learn are useful for people of that age, but that an individual's spirituality has to grow and change as the person changes. The worst problems come when someone tries to hammer an adult point of view of the world into childish beliefs. I really enjoyed listening to her speak about what she got from various types of religions in the world, and was really pleased to learn how prayer really didn't work for her in nearly the same way that research and burying herself in ideas and pure thought did work for her. I wrote down her name and the title of her new book The Battle For God for later reference.

We didn't get home until very late because of all the things we had to do at work. I ran around packing my bags while John rode on the exercise bicycle. When I got through with my first pass of packing, I started dinner by putting rice into the rice cooker. Rice always takes longer than any stir fry dish, so it always goes on before I've even decided what I want to do. This time it was easy because we had asparagus already in the refrigerator, and it needed to be eaten before I left because I was fairly sure that John wouldn't cook it while I was gone. So I snapped the asparagus, and put water on to boil. It was thick asparagus so I didn't want to burn the outsides before it was cooked through by trying to stir fry it until it was done. The electric teakettle does a really good job of boiling water quickly, so I was able to put the asparagus in boiling water within a few minutes, and only boiled it for three minutes before dumping the bright green spears into icewater to stop the cooking.

Thinly sliced beef and chives went into a hot wok and were stirred until the beef had just turned color. The cooked asparagus was dumped in after, and then I added a little bit of soy sauce, sesame oil, and one last tablespoon fresh chopped chives. The rice cooker popped just as I was finishing last stage, and John had had plenty of time to cool off from his ride. We both really enjoyed dinner.

While I was cooking and eating I was able to think of more things to pack. I was only going to be there for four days, there was nothing formal going on in the agenda, so I only packed four T-shirts, the requisite underwear and socks, and then added my digital camera and all its toys along with a few gifts I bought for Geoff. There was actually a list I've been keeping for the entire month of things I wanted to bring, I just wrote them down whenever I thought of them onto today's entry in my planner. The Franklin Covey planner has become an extension of my brain, and I find that when I am most effective the planner is filled with scribbling, notes, and reminders of all the things I can't remember on my own.

So by the time I felt that I was finished, I really felt secure in that I got everything in. If I forgot anything it could probably wait until another trip. So, I get to see him tomorrow. That is really cool. It is also just a little scary, but, at least, then we'll know.

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