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November 29, 1999
a year ago

Happy John Day

Today was John's birthday. It felt really good to be able to concentrate and focus on him. He'd already gotten a number of presents. My parents had given him a small birthday party Friday night, because they had brought his presents. Kathy managed to mail her present in time, and it reached us on Wednesday. So her present was ready to go when the rest of the family was ready to celebrate. They had all coordinated, so John received two Crash Bandicoot action figures along with the new Crash racing game for the PlayStation.

The other thing that had come during Thanksgiving vacation was something that wasn't quite a birthday present. It was, however, something nearly and dearly connected back to Washington. The quilters at our old church had done a huge fund-raiser, and made and sold dozens of quilts. We had got our order in early, but since they wanted to first make the quilts for the public sale, ours waited until recently. John's Mom sent the quilt via UPS, and arrived on Wednesday while Mom and Dad were at home. The UPS man was very nice and because the ground was still thick with snow he'd actually brought the package to the house, braving snow and cold and even the big, black dog.

The quilt is gorgeous. It's made with the Flying Geese pattern with beige-colored pieces on either side of brightly colored main triangles. The borders and columns between the rows of flying geese are all a burgundy red that goes very well with the dusty rose carpets and the deep blue shades that we have in the room. The whole thing goes very well with our country-style house and all the simple wood furniture that we have. Isabel had fun telling us stories about all ladies getting together to work on our quilt, and they knew that it was for us, so they enjoyed doing the work more. It's also a full queen-sized quilt, one of the very few queen-sized bedding pieces that we have. We did pay for it, but the work involved and the love the people who made it for us also made it worth far more than just money. In many ways it is as comforting for the heart and soul as it is for the body.

With all these presents already delivered, I knew there wouldn't be a big party for John today. I did, however, have much fun singing the birthday song to him at random times during the day. I also organized a lunch with just a few people from work to celebrate John's birthday. We went to Efrains II, and had a delicious Mexican lunch with much mild conversation and very hot food. He enjoyed the company and the fact that it wasn't a huge party.

My workday was somewhat odd. Most of it was spent on trying to install quite a lot of third-party software. Some of which I wasn't sure how it worked, or even what it did in a detailed sense. I knew what it was supposed to do in a general sense, but wasn't exactly sure how the specific behavior I was seeing related to whether or not it did its job. That was very odd. I didn't get it all installed either. There were licensing problems, coordination problems, and some versions were out of sync. The good part about all that was that I now have first-hand knowledge about a number of the problems our users will run into when they try to install all of these different tools on their machines. This experience should help in figuring out viable solutions to what is a fairly complex problem.

By chance, John had scheduled an appointment with CeLena, the massage therapist, for tonight. So I had fun dropping him off for his appointment and going home and improvising an artichoke heart casserole while missing a few ingredients. The timing was perfect because it went into the oven just before I had to go get him from the appointment, and when we got back I was able to put together two of the tiny flourless chocolate cakes and put them into the oven just as the casserole came out. There was even a small salad sitting in the fridge that John could eat. So he had a really good meal with a birthday cake he really liked after a massage. He said he had a good time, and I believe him.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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