When my folks visited a few weeks ago, my mom said that she hadn’t seen Episode Three of the Car: The Mini-Series. I was surprised, she’s usually one of my most loyal readers (Hi, mom!). But, just a timing thing, I figured.

Last night the same episode came up in a conversation with Priscilla, and she said she hadn’t seen it. We were both surprised, I think she was a bit embarrassed.

But today, she told me that she went specifically looking for it, and didn’t see it. This was really weird for me because it was right on my screen when I looked at my own blog. I was terribly confused, wondering if it was some Internet Explorer thing, but I didn’t see how that could be.

Well, no, it’s a WordPress thing. I had “Saved” but not “Published” the post, which is obviously my fault. But WordPress has the questionable feature of showing that post on my computer as if it were published! So… Ugh. Now a month old, the conclusion to the story is down below. Sorry for the technical difficulty, and thanks, Pri, for unearthing the problem!

Wow, another month rolls by without a blog posting! Yeah, what can I say? I think I’m best at posting regularly when things in my life feel quite regular. And, being in Portland, things did not feel regular. They were, in fact, very special, not at all regular. I am very glad to have spent the time there, and glad for the part that I played in bringing Verl Grey into the world. It was a very special time, but one that has its own documentation so I won’t bother working on rehashing it here. But, yes, a very good time. Played some great games of disc golf with Steven, ate some great food cooked by Kellie (and a bit by myself, if I do say so myself), and generally.. I’m glad it worked out so well.

But, I am also glad to be home! Home feels very good. It’s kind of funny after being away for so long, you notice some things in a different light. I reach for a kitchen utensil and it’s right where I expect it to be, even though I haven’t used it in so long. And I think “Hey, that’s a clever place to keep that!” mmhmm! Good thinking, David! Simple things like that. And I feel awash in them.

Anyway, I’m on a campaign to make life feel more regular, starting with some todo lists on my palm and radiating outwards. I’ve now looked at every piece of the eight pounds of mail that the US Postal Service was kind enough to hold for me while I was away, so I can cross that off the list. But, another item on the list, trying to find its way into the “recurring” category, is “blog”. So, although I’ve said it before and was wrong, I hope that this time it’s really true… more soon!


Well I mean, I thought that last hiatus was bad, huh? This one was even longer, I think. But, wow, the reason was big. On July 20, one week after my previous post, I wrote [an email]( to everyone with an account on [HoosierNet]( explaining that we were ceasing to offer Internet services effective September 1, 2006. This has been brewing for quite a while, and it was covered in the local news media. I wondered if I should write in my blog about it, but I figured it’d be better to speak about work through my work channels, and not mix my personal blog up in that. It sounded messy.

So I didn’t. But, that was so much of what was going on with me, and i wasn’t driven to spend much extra time in front of the computer, and… ok, look, I certainly could have kept blogging, but I just didn’t.

Anyway, with HoosierNet going away, the old URL for this blog will be going with it, so I’ve got it set up with a new provider at If you somehow got here using the old address and didn’t realize it’d changed, you should probably change any bookmarks/RSS feeds/etc. that you might have.

Thanks for checking in! I’m excited to have the blog up and running on a new site, maybe it will give me a new boost of energy to write in it. I should have more time on my hands in the near future…

There are lessons to be learned from keeping a blog. One that I’m in
the process of learning is that my blog serves as some kind of a
barometer of what’s going on in my life. There’s obvious sense to
this, I write about things going on in my life. But what I’m finding
interesting is when I am not writing in the blog. I think it’s an
indicator that I’m feeling at least mildly overwhelmed with something.
This can be as simple as being busy with other things, but it can also
be more complicated, and both simple and complicated factors have
contributed to the 1.5 month hiatus that I’m ending now.

It all started with a bike ride. After the disturbing feeling of
being interrupted that I described in my previous post, I decided to
set off in the same direction again the following Saturday, which was
the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. This ride felt much better to
me. Adventurous, in control of the experience, several unexpected
experiences (from the rite of passage of repairing a flat on the road
to a surprising number of animal encounters). I had a great time, and
I came home excited to make [my map]( of
the experience, share [my
and write about it.

I got to work on that, including play with some new options of the
[GPS Visualizer](, but then a most
unusual thing happened. I got a phone call the next morning from the
roommate of a co-worker of mine, Jim Hurd. He called to tell me that
Jim had died. That morning. In his sleep. Seemingly peacefully.
But without much warning.

The rest of the weekend felt totally bizarre to me. I got off the
phone and thought “I was going to make an omelet. Do I still make an
omelet even though Jim is dead?” I decided that, yes, I do still make
the omelet, but … yeah, it was really weird. We all spend so much
time thinking about living long and healthy lives, the simple finality
of Jim being dead seemed bizarre, not to mention very sad.

Making the omelet was one thing, but writing in my blog about a bike
ride suddenly seemed too inane to put effort in to. I did continue
about the weekend with several other activities, notably taking many
of my Informatics friends out for their newly earned Masters’ Drink.
Like everything else, though, this had a surreal tint to it for me.

Getting back to work was actually very therapeutic in this situation.
I was around other people who felt weird in the same way I was, and
that was ironically helpful to my sense of feeling weird. Things
started to settle down a bit as the week progressed. Looking back at
it, it would have made good sense to write something in the blog the
weekend after Memorial Day. But, I didn’t. I did have a wonderful
Ethiopian meal with Amy and Kathleen on Saturday night, followed by a
fun festival of short films. And, on Sunday, Priscilla and I spent a
delightful afternoon, a bike ride followed by a few hours of eating
and talking.

At the same time, I knew I was gearing up for a full month of busy
schedule. My garden/yard was yelling for attention, and I needed to
deal with this before I left town on the following weekend. I did get
a fair amount done that weekend which was good. But this busy-ness
definitely made it hard to imagine sitting down to the blog,
especially since I still didn’t know what to say about everything.

Well, another week rolled by, and it was time to leave town. I stayed
later than I expected so that I could attend Jim’s memorial service on
Saturday June 10. I drove straight from there to Dance Trance in
Lexington, KY, which was good fun. Tom put me up in his home in
nearby Berea that night, and I left the next morning on the *long*
drive to Emerald Isle, NC.

I had geared up for a long drive. I had *Harry Potter and the Order
of the Phoenix* on tape, the fifth in the series that I am slowly but
methodically making my way through. As usual, it succeeded
wonderfully in keeping me company on the long drive. And, being as it
lasts 27 hours, I was in no danger of running out of material before I
got there (I *was* wondering if it would last me for the whole ride
home (which it almost, but not quite, did)).

The drive started off nice enough, my plan to drive through Cumberland
Gap seemed to be a perfectly reasonable way to enjoy the trip without
adding much time. However, the definitive moment of the experience
was when I learned that I-40 near Great Smoky Mountains National Park
and just west of Asheville, NC, was *closed*. Totally closed. No
detour. Three highway workers were handing out slips of paper with
the official “detour” (I am not normally one to complain about highway
workers, but… three workers to hand out slips of paper??!?) which
was to drive most of the way back to Knoxville, TN, and take I-81 and
squiggle back down south for a while. Seeing little alternative, this
is what I did, now keeping myself company with a loud stream of

I estimate that this problem added 2-3 hours to my already
ridiculously long trip. I am very upset that the signage was not
better. But, I do not want to relive that rage, so I’ll just leave it
at that.

Harry was starting to study occlumency by the time I was nearing the
coast of NC. I had an enjoyable but confusing conversation with my
brother Steven on my cell phone, trying to figure out the last 4 miles
of my drive. But, once I was there, I was surrounded by food, drink,
and my loving and fun-loving family.

I liked the way my cousin-in-law (?) Josh described it… something
like: “People at work said things like ‘wow, that sounds like a great
vacation! So relaxing!’. I tried to explain… ‘it will be fun,
low-stress, a nice change of pace from normal responsibilities, but I
don’t think that I’ll be coming back to work feeling at all rested.'”
Basically, my family members and I just can’t resist having fun when
we’re together. So, every day for a week was a bunch of swimming and
beach games during the day, eating, drinking, and strategy/chance
games by night. I’m pretty accustomed to that pattern, we’ve done
this kind of thing together all my life. What’s newer is that many of
those in my generation now have young children. So, the party still
ends at 2am or later, but now it starts up again around 7am. For me,
this definitely gave the impression that the party was really going on
the whole time. Grand fun. But not exactly restful.

The drive home was thankfully more boring than the drive there. I
left on Saturday, slept a good long while in a rest area, and arrived
home early Sunday afternoon, plenty of time for a nap and then an
evening at home. This was good, because it was time to start the
annual ritual of the week-long preparation for my Decadent Garden
Party. This I did, thus spending most of my free time that week
cleaning, cooking, researching recipes, and grocery shopping.

Sue and Michael arrived from Portland on Friday morning, and all in
all the party went very well. The weather was nearly perfect, we were
able to eat outside and there were only a few small unexpected
problems… This was the tenth party, and a number of the guests
conspired to get me wonderful place setting and other adornments.
Very very nice. And, the party, the surrounding activities, and the
presence of Sue and Michael provided good instigation for spending
quality time with some long-time friends who I don’t see very often,
and to introduce them to some of my newer friends and vice-versa. So,
that was all very fun…

But, to return to the theme of this post, having all that going on was
not conducive to sitting down to write a blog post, which by this
point had felt like it had grown hugely in significance since it had
been so long since the previous one…

Before I knew it, we were on our way to Sue’s sister’s house, (well)
outside of Indy, to spend the July 4th holiday weekend with Sue’s
family. This was also good fun. Sue’s brother in law is a brilliant
carpenter and the house that he built his family is amazing. So, we
spent a few days playing games, notably a highly spirited game of
basketball the first day that left me moving a bit more slowly the
rest of the weekend.

Michael left on the 4th, and Sue and I both flew out on Saturday
morning. She returned home, I headed off to Philadelphia for the
wedding of my friends Dan and Reena. I started this post on the way,
and now I have just arrived home. The wedding was fantastic, Reena and
Dan showed off their remarkable creativity and organizational skills,
and created a fun, meaningful, and beautiful ceremony, not to mention
the associated parties. Perhaps the best thing about weddings,
though, is meeting your loved ones’ other loved ones, and this was
also very fun and satisfying.

Today I toured around Philly a bit, which I hope to write about in a
separate post! Because I hope that *this* post represents my return
to more regular blogging! Because, for as much fun I’ve had in the
past month, traveling, entertaining, and visiting some of the most
important players in the history of my life, I do love my more normal
daily routine, my local friends, and my home. So, an irony of the
information age, I’ll stay home more, but perhaps be in better touch.
We’ll see….

I’m always telling myself that I shouldn’t wait until something monumental to be writing in my blog. I mean, the main point is to just talk about what’s going on with me, what I’m thinking about, etc, right?

So, in that spirit, I’ll write simply to say that my parents just headed home from a visit with me. We didn’t do nearly as much work on this visit as we sometimes do (for reasons I don’t fully understand, they are extremely generous with helping me with house projects, I’ve learned a lot from them and they’ve just plain done a lot to make my house look nice and function well, and to keep it that way. Thanks be to them!). We mostly had fun. Friday night we had ice cream (my mom loves butter pecan sundaes from the Chocolate Moose) and talked for a couple of hours before going to bed. Saturday we played disc golf (my dad is really in to playing these days, but rarely goes by himself) and then went shopping. I bought a new weed wacker, that was easy. whew, the story of the old one is probably deserving of its own blog post. But, that’s not this one.

Then we shopped for a new couch. Funny story, the couch I’m sitting on as I type this belonged to my grandmother, and it was the couch that my great aunt Esther was always sitting on when we went to visit. I find the couch comfortable and I also appreciate the familial connection, but it is undeniably old and worn, and I can understand why I get a bit of pressure from some people close to me (mostly my mom and Sue (who I gather have done a bit of conspiring on the matter)) to get a new one. Shopping for furniture, though, is not an activity I’m prone to enjoy. So, it was very helpful to have my parents along for moral support. I didn’t buy one, but I think we narrowed it down to two possibilities, both at the same store. Cool.

Saturday night we went to the wonderful Esan Thai for dinner. We ordered three dishes, with ratings of 3, 4, and 5 on their spiciness scale. The “3” was not very spicy, the “4” was about as spicy as I can handle, and the “5”… well, my dad certainly ate it and enjoyed it, but it was the first time I can ever remember him saying “I would enjoy this more if it were less spicy”. Wow. In any event, we all sat there with noses running and really feeling a little high on [Capsaicin]( (Hey, look! Here I was kind of joking about that, but that wikipedia article even talks about a capsaicin “high”. All I know is, I felt pretty loopy, and they don’t even serve alcohol at this restaurant.)

We got another Chocolate Moose on the way home, and then played our standard game of three handed pinnochle. Definitely not the best games of pinnochle we’ve played… my dad won everything handly. After a while, we switched to the card game we call “golf”, and that was fun, as usual.

The weather was nice this morning, so after our Easter donuts (from Cresent Donut) my dad convinced us to go out for another round of disc golf. Sure! For some reason, I was playing a little less seriously today, as evidenced by my many bogeys and my frequent practice “rolling drives”, which frequently made us all giggle. Still, considering how much less often I play than I used to, my skill level remains about the same, I think. That’s nice.

We came back home, ate lunch, and my mom and I played Perquackey. We also played with some of my perl-coded Perquackey tools, the first time that I’ve run them on this laptop (I think), and that was fun but also distracting to my game. That being said, my mom was totally on her game, and I think she would have beaten me even if I hadn’t been distracted.

And now, they’re driving home. It’s fun to have them visit. They are good people, thoughtful people, and as I say, very generous with their help. But most of all, they are fun to be around. I’m lucky to be able to say that about my parents.

It’s been eight days since my last post, but unlike other similar delays, this one felt totally justified by my holiday travels. I left last Wednesday by car, and had quite a grueling trip to Allen’s and Cynthia’s house in Cleveland. Nine hours instead of six, due to trying to make up detours around a terrible traffic jam. The next day, Allen and Cynthia and I drove to my Grandmother’s house, which took six harrowing hours instead of four. That was actually the scarier trip, the roads were bad, and the wind was unbelievable. We weren’t sure we’d make it.

But, we did! And, once in St. Marys, I had a great time. I’m amazed by how much I like my relatives. I was only there for about 48 hours, though, and then drove back to Cleveland with my parents, and then to Indy to see Sue and much of her family. The drives back were much easier, thank goodness. It was nice to see Sue and her relatives, particularly enjoyable were the rousing games of Oh Hell Sunday night. But, hey, not surprising that I’d be partial to the card games. :)

And now I’m back home, glad to be in my own house and able to lie in my own bed as I wish. And, hey, maybe I’ll even think of some things to write in my blog. :)

Haven’t written in the blog since a week ago, which made me wonder what I’ve been doing. Well, one obvious thing is that I just got back from a Fri-Sun trip to Chicago, to attend the [wedding of my friends Brooke Davies and Darren Schmidt]( I thought “Oh, I could write about *this*” and “Oh, I could write about *that*” and the thisses and the thats sounded like good things to write about, so I will. But, they don’t really relate to each other that well, so I would like to do them as separate posts.

Which brings me to the “meta-blog” aspect of this post: I kind of want this post to be like an introduction to the next few. The only way I can imagine doing that is to keep changing the post time on this one. Otherwise, you’ll see the ones I write afterwards first. I guess I could save them all as drafts and then post them all when I’m done. But, I don’t like that… I like to put up little bits every day. So… Idk. I guess you’ll just have to get the introduction after the chapters. Sorry! *shrug*

Woah! Ten days roll by without a blog entry! Crazy!

I was busy last week, I guess. [Biking/camping]( on the weekend, calling on Wednesday night, and having a lot of personal email to deal with during other times. Then Friday started [Lotus Fest](, which I attended a great deal of. I thought I’d have time to write over the weekend, but I ended up doing lots of errands and cleaning my house instead. That was in preparation for the “cooking group” that met last night and made ethiopian food at my house. And, if all goes well this quiet Monday evening, by the time I go to bed you’ll be able to read as much detail as you could sanely desire about some of the time-consumers mentioned above.

Being one who likes to offer up opinions and stories, I figured I’d enjoy having a *blog*. I figured I’d just sign up for and easy thing like blogger (don’t I get enough practice installing unix software?), but Kynthia was also interested in starting a blog and she wanted to install the software for one. Ok… we did some web research on packages (we found [an amazing resource]( on blog software) and selected one (wordpress, because that’s what the guy who made the amazing resource in the last paren chose…). Installed beautifully, easy to use but still with some choice unix attitude shining through. :) In any event, Hello, Blog World! (more…)