Hanging with two who are leaving

June 30th, 2005

Now that I am back in Pullman, at least part-time, I have two people who are leaving. Mark who has played softball with the Nadirs for two years and with My Office for nearly as long is going to Auburn to teach down there with his wife. He will leave in about one week. So I will have to find yet another softball player, but he was someone I had hoped would be on the team for a long time to come.

Also leaving now is Kristine. Her contract at WSU is up, and it does not look good for another one. I am very disappointed about that.

I spent the day E-mailing with the LPX people a whole bunch more trying to get a simple question answered… is a response being sent? I have not gotten a yes or no to that yet! I am pulling my hair out over that. I cleaned up my office and got some trash bags full of junk mail and shreddings of stuff. I am going to make a dump run next week with stuff from the house and here. I also got all the book work on my engineer packet completed too.

I worked on the V-Three-Two import. I cannot debug through it the way I would like to. So I need to figure out what to do about debugging it. I was here until around seven o’clock pm. I went to My Office and got some beer and met Mark there. We talked about his new job and why he chose to leave. He said he is getting a raise. His wife with get something that is tenure track as well as him. And his wife will make more money. After two pitcher of beer we went to the City Playfields. We watched a couple teams play softball. One of the teams is breathing down the neck of the My Office softball team. Mark wanted to see how they were going to do.

After we left there I went to Rico’s for Kristine who will be leaving now. Today was her last day under contract at WSU. It doesn’t look like she will be working for them anymore. So we were at Rico’s and no one was drinking except for Camron. I took Kristine to the Lobo Office to show her the Boating on the Snake River video I made.

Then we went back to Rico’s. We hung out a while longer listening to the band that was playing. The guys who were in my group knew the drummer form the band. It was not my kind of music at all, but I find when I listen to it live, I can watch the people play, and pick out different instruments. It is interesting and makes it more fun for me.

We left a little while later. We plan on getting together tomorrow night and going out to lunch tomorrow as well. I went to Jack in the Box and got dinner and headed home. I watched some TV and fell asleep on the couch.

Pullman Fire Duty

June 29th, 2005

I got up at five-forty-five am to go into work early and put in as many hours as I could before heading to Pullman. I spent most of my time dealing with the LPX people about getting my computer to communicate with their servers. I also got my VIs and other paperwork organized in folders so I could more easily take it to Pullman with me.

I took off a little after noon and got some gas and food from AM/PM and headed out. Most of my drive all I could think about was doing stuff with the fire department. I was so excited.

I went to station one as soon as I got to town. I got most of my equipment. But we did not have turn out bottoms for me. They were supposed to be there but we could not find them. I went to station two and I had my talk with James. He is now in my chain of command and he just wanted to go over some items with me.

I was not able to do anything because I did not have full bunkers. I was disappointed. I did my map tests. I got one hundred percent on all of them, but I reversed the numbers on two locations that were next to each other.

I got some dinner from County Country and went home. I was reading through my Engineer training packet. A call for Colfax came out. I went on the call. It was pretty much a transfer from the nursing home across the parking lot to the hospital.

Bryce, Jenny, and I talked at the Colfax station for a while. We were talking about working in the jail and the people we work with down there. And the inmates and some of the crap they pull and how we deal with it.

I went home I was trying to read through more of the Engineering packet but I was really tired so I finally left and went to bed.

Packing up

June 28th, 2005

It is the day to get ready to go to Pullman. Tomorrow is the day I start working from home. I packed my suitcase with enough clothes for a week. Plus I gathered my vitamins and other stuff from THF to take back to Pullman. I would like to get a membership to the rec center when I can afford one.

At NU today I was still ignoring the people I work with, talking to them only when necessary. No one has really noticed at all. They were planning on hitting lunch together. I went to AM/PM and got a hamburger and corn dog before they ate so I could say I already had eaten.

I was frustrated today because I cannot get returns to my computer. Whereas yesterday I spent time getting some bugs completed, today I did not get much done. I worked for a while trying to figure out the problem with sending off requests. After no success, I contacted the LPX people. We E-mailed a few times. I sent them the last request I sent off and they were going to look into it from their end.

I did get the code completed for one bug, possibly. I cannot tell for sure because I cannot get responses back. What sucks is that without getting the responses back I cannot test out the work I do. Without being able to test the work I do, I am afraid I am just sitting by with nothing to do, which is bad from the Work From Home point of view.

I went to the shop to copy all the stuff from my portable HD to a HD on the new computer for backup purposes. I planned on bringing the portable HD with me to Pullman. I also started to encode my Snake River Project into an MPEG-Two file so I could put it on a DVD for playing in a computer. Those tasks were going to take a few hours.

I watched Rescue Me. It is interesting how they are portraiting the fire fighters not as total hero’s but as everyday people with everyday problems.

I decided to go to bed early, even though it was around one am when I did go to bed. I am planning on getting up around five-forty-five am.

Two Plus Years

June 28th, 2005

A little more than two years ago I started this blog. It is done for me. I love to look back and remember things about each day. Over the years I have done these journals. First on paper and pen. That was back in the late eighties or early nineties. Then in the mid-nineties I started to do one on my computer using MS Word. But over time I will forget to do it and then I lose interest, or I am so far behind.

I have been updating this daily for two years. I am sometimes disappointed that I don’t have as much detail as I would like after the fact, sometimes I leave things out. Many of my entries are long, but I also have some short ones. I still thing that I am not totally hitting on one of my purpose statements from day one:
I don’t think I will tell everyone, everything. I think there are some things you will have to learn on your own, and you will have to put two and two together from time to time to figure out some things. I will treat my blog like my real life. I will not tell people things on here that I don’t tell them in real life. Will I be more open with my personal thoughts? Heck yeah. That is what this is all about. Who cares that I wake up and go to work each day? No one. What I care about is what made the day special. What it was that I got out of the day. I traded a day of my life for today, and I need to make sure it was worth it. To you, I want you to be put into my shoes and see what I see, feel what I feel and think what I think.

I was really hoping to discuss more or my thoughts and less of the I did this, then I did that. On a personal side, I want to remember the I did this and I did that stuff, but I would also like to take a closer look at specific events or thoughts and expand on them a little bit.

I am always remembering little events from my past and I want to write a blurb about it, but I tend to forget by the time I get to the computer.

Let’s see if the next two years can be more about the who I am, and not so much about the what I did. I will never totally leave out the what I dids, but I want more of the who am I and what makes me tick right now.

I do have a separate politics blog that I have going right now. That is more for rants on the latest happenings in the news and politics. I decided to have a separation between my personal life blog and my politics blog.

Three down, ten to go

June 27th, 2005

I spent the day trying to get some of the VI’s completed that I could. I was in a situation where my work with the LPX changes were not working. So I went to the other bugs to start to work on them. I am finding without any of the analysists here and with Sue on vacation I am not getting answers for some of them. So I worked on what I could.

I was actually able to get three completed. Well, the work I did for the last release actually fixed some of these, so there was no work to be done on them, or in some cases it was minor changes for it to work. But I got three off the list.

I had plans on meeting with Jon to get some help on the LPX changes to see if he could figure out the error I was getting. While I was eating dinner Jon called and said that he was free earlier than he thought.

I went to his place and quickly discovered that I could not remote desktop to my computer. So I drove to the office to turn on remote desktop only to realize that I left my keys at home. I was unable to get inside.

I went back to Jon’s. The Mariners’ ALDS game five from ninety-five was being replayed by Fox Sports. It was in the ninth inning. We watched the rest of that before I decided to head home.

I spent the rest of the evening finishing up my studying of the City of Pullman map or the map test. I have Sunnyside and Military Hills covered. Now I need to get Pioneer and College Hill completed and then I have to memorize where every building is on the WSU campus. That is not hard for most of them, because I know where they are at. It is when we are getting towards the edges of the east side of campus where they have all the buildings I have never been to.

Missed softball games

June 26th, 2005

I woke up at about two-thirty in the afternoon. My mom asked if I would help mow the lawn, and I told her I would. I got some breakfast then went out and started on the lawn. It took a little more than an hour to mow using the riding mower. My mom used the push mower to get close to the edges and around the trees.

When I was done I cleaned the mowers and went to my room. I saw my phone had a voicemail. I checked to see who it was from. It was from Gary. As soon as I saw his name I knew what was going on. I was missing softball games. I was so mad. I have not spaced on a softball game for, well, for ever. I was so mad at myself.

I went to my truck to head to the field. It took a long time to get there because I had to go all the way down Cemetery road and back on the Maple Valley highway because Jones Road is closed. I got there in the late part of the second game. We were playing against Carson, and the Roth’s.

After the game many people went to Doofers. I planned on meeting with them but I was talking to Shyla and her husband Jake for about an hour. We talked about WSU, as Jake is a Coug. We talked about football, softball, and their wedding.

I went to Doofers and met up with everyone else. We ordered food and I got some water. We played darts. Steve is very good at darts. He was kicking our butts. We talked about some old times and people we went to school with. They were talking about Jon, one of the guys who I went to high school and college with. They were asking me some questions about him. They asked if I knew about him “experimenting” with the same sex a few times in college. I am not sure why that came up.

Afterwards I headed home and had some dinner. Then I watched the Family Guy and a few other shows before going to bed a little after the midnight hour.

Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Steadman

June 25th, 2005

Today was the big day, a friend of mine from many years got married in Bellevue. I met her when she was a freshman at WSU. She would come to my hall with some of her friends. It was mainly because one girl wanted to come over and be with Ed, a guy on my floor. But when they would be over with Ed and his roommate, Joe, I would get to know them.

Over the next few years Meredith and I worked together at SCS. That is ultimately how Eddie and Meredith met. It was about eighteen months ago. At the wedding Ryan and I met up in the parking lot. Nick was with Ryan. We talked for a bit and I helped Ryan fix his tie. Ryan does not know how to tie them, so I tied it for him.


Ryan About to get Help with his Tie

We went to the church and spent about the next twenty minutes taking pictures. Eddies best-men were all ten-six-sevens. Luckily I had a camera. Then they had their vows. We went to the reception and the food was good. It was hamburgers and hotdogs as well as other nice side dishes. It was not your typical wedding food. This was actually edible and good.


Meredith and the Best Men


Jerome, Marshall, and Andrew


Meredith and Eddie Saying I Do


Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Steadman

I hung out with many of the SCSers from the years past. Jerome, Steve, Marshall (the peoples’ tech), and many others were there. We had the cake and they did the toasts. It was a great time. Meredith and Eddie did a keg stand. That was funny.


Meredith and Scotty


Meredith’s Wedding Ring


Meredith Doing Keg Stand

I left around nine o’clock pm to go home. I worked on Joe’s website. He wanted a page to be able to update all the prices at once rather than pulling up one product at a time. I spent a few hours trying to figure out how to make it work the way I wanted to. After some logic changes and some debugging I got it working. I called Joe and we talked about that for about forty minutes.

Today was a good day. It was nice to go to the wedding and stand around seeing all these people who were brought together because of SCS. As I looked around I thought about that fact. I smiled because I realize that if I had not met George back in ninety-three SCS would not be what it is and all these people would not be here with this wedding.

It is like God planned on having Eddie and Meredith meet and get married. He set the plan in action twelve years ago when they were both in high school. It makes one realize that one small event long ago can affect so many people.

George and I met while I was in RHA. He was speaking about a program at WSU called SCS. I asked him many questions. Finally he asked me to come to his office. We sat down and talked. I told him about TIP and what we were doing there. He started to take me to lunch with many bigwigs at WSU to tell them about it. SCS grew into a “TIP goes to college” program. George called me the “Freshman of the Future.” The things I did in high school would be what all high school students of the future would be doing. But I was ahead of the curve.

George always credits me with SCS being what it is. If SCS had not become what it is, then Meredith and Eddies meeting would not have been possible. Nor would I have met many nice people I still talk to today.

God has a plan for everyone.

TGIF

June 24th, 2005

Today on my way to work I picked up some chew and some corndogs. I planned on skipping lunch all together today. I am not going out with the people I work with that is for sure.

I spent the whole day with my headphones on listening to music and working on the LPX fix. I thought I got something done today. It was very time consuming. But something is still broken. So I will have to spend Monday trying to fix that.

I left around seven o’clock pm to go home for dinner. One thing that makes me mad about this whole thing is when I stay for more than eight hours no one “complains” to the boss and they say nothing about it. It is just crap.

So I get home and we had hamburgers. Then I went to the shop and spent a few hours parsing through thousands of records in an Excel spreadsheet. I needed to put two different sheet together. It was a complicated task. It took about four hours. But it is done now.

After that was done I did some chatting on the IRC. A place I have not been in about seven years. It was interesting. I still remember many of the commands.

Blue Team… Assemble.

June 23rd, 2005

In less than a week I will be in Pullman and back on the fire department. I am looking forward to that. I have been working on the map tests so I can take those right away and get them out of the way.

At work I did not plan on hanging out with people I work with. I am pretty mad still. One of the comments that was in the E-mail is that he had “complains” that I was never around. Complains?!?!? Come on. Well anyway, one person who works there is leaving so I went to her good bye lunch. If it was not for that I would not have gone with them.

I spent the rest of the day working on the LPX changes. That is going to suck. It is a lot of work, but it has to get done.

After work I went to dinner with my parents. Then I came home and just hung out. I did not do any videos tonight because for now it is more or less a lost cause.

There was a problem with G-Shack. Steve-O’s Blue Team was working on it. I helped them figure out how to fix the problem of AJ’s user name being deleted from the database directly. Steve gave me access to the server so I could fix it. It took about an hour. But it was fixed and the Shack was put back online.

Making me mad

June 22nd, 2005

I got to work a little later that normal because I was up pretty late last night as well. While at work I went to the store to get a cable for my video editing station. When I got back I had an E-mail that was sent at high priority. It really made me very very mad.

It pretty much said that I was not in the office enough and that my lack of being in the office makes them worry about when I work from home. I am really mad. It is not like I make a habit of being in around eleven o’clock. One guy I work with usually gets in around one in the afternoon for the most part.

We are in down time right now. So, anyway, it just made me mad. The whole thing did. I did not want to talk to the guy after that. He is a nice guy, but as a boss I don’t like him too much so far.

After work I went home for dinner and then hung out at home not doing too much. I did try to record another movie now that I have an audio cord, but I still have some problems. I think if I get a MiniDV camera it will make recording videos better.

A new computer

June 21st, 2005

After the difficulties I had yesterday with recording, I spoke with Shawn for a while. I got some good information about editing stuff on the computer. He gave me some pointers and ideas. One of which was what kind of computer system I should have to do it well. He talked about his mini DV and how that works as well.

I decided to get some new computer components. Specifically a new motherboard, CPU, RAM, and Case. I got two gig of RAM. I got an AMD Thirty-Five-Hundred-Plus which is a sixty-four bit, two-point-two GHz chip. The motherboard has a backup BIOS so I can mess one up and it will still run, or if a virus hits, it will still leave the backup running fine. Pretty darn cool. I put everything together.

I headed home had dinner then went to the shop and hooked up the new computer. I pulled the video card, and hard drives from the old computer. I was hoping Windows XP would say something about new hardware and move on. It didn’t. So I ended up reinstalling Windows XP. But then when it would boot up, I could log in, but the thing would give me a BSOD (blue screen of death) if opened My Computer. So I was thinking there could be a problem with the RAM. Sometimes it is just bad. So I tested each stick one by one and they both had the same behaviour. So I knew it was something else. The next thing was the DVD-ROM drive. And that was the problem. Once I removed that life was good.

I installed the two-hundred gig HD I got on Monday, as well as all the software I had installed, because I pretty much had to start over with re-installing Windows XP. When I was done I tried to record something. I still was not getting sound, but it seemed to record better.

I did not spend much time playing around with it, but I figured out why it will not do sound. It needs to have a wire plugged in from the card to the motherboard. But ATI does not include the wire with the card, so you have to buy one.

I wanted to try to make a DVD before I went to bed, so I threw several small AVI videos on the project and started it. It took a long time to make the DVD. Longer than I thought it would, but I did not know it would have to convert all the AVI files to MPEG-Two files before burning. I waited around until almost three o’clock in the morning for it to finish. When it did I put it in my TV. The Snake River video did not look half bad, however the audio and video were way off.

Video Editing first try

June 20th, 2005

After I got home from work today I decided to get my video editing going. I got a new hard drive, a USB and Firewire card, some cables from Fry’s and I went home and got them in the computer. Got the software installed and tried to do a capture. I found my computer was too slow to record at a high resolution. It sucked. It was dropping a lot of frames. I could only record at a lower rate. Then I also was not getting audio. So I ended up recording some of the tubing from the river without sound. Then I put it to a sound track. I made some slow motion parts and it turned out pretty nice. It took a lot of hours to get it to all get captured, edited and put to music. Then I copied it to my thumb drive. I did not get to bed until almost four in the morning.

Softball Cancelled

June 19th, 2005

I went to the fire station and filled out the patient transport report from last night. We did not have any patient information. I went to the SO and dropped off the blood draw kit. Then I headed to Renton for softball.

Today’s softball games that I got up for early and traveled across the state to get to on time were cancelled. The team we were supposed to play went to the place on the old schedule and played a different team. So Josh, Gary, their wives, and I went to the Whitsle Stop. They ate dinner and I had a small snack. Elliot, Mark, Dave, from high school all came down and we talked for a few hours. I was there until about eight o’clock pm.

I went home and had dinner then I watched my Sunday night TV shows including the Family Guy.

Changing hats in the hospital

June 18th, 2005

I got up a little after one in the afternoon. I was not sure what I was going to do today, so I decided to get some work around the house done. I went to Ace hardware and got a battery charger, a gas can, some two-stroke oil, and a few other items. I started to weedeat the driveway area as well as the area around the house. But it started to rain so I had to get the battery charger out from the rain. It was on the lawn mower.

I then put on my new hose and started to make some weed killer mix and put in my new two-gallon sprayer. I went through four gallons of weed killer around the driveway and then around the house as well. The back yard is in really bad shape. I need to do more work on that yet. I spent about four hours working on everything in total.

I got some pizza and then went to the fire station. Ken and I had the pizza and then we talked about life and how God has a plan for you. And how many times you don’t see it until after something happens. Ken talked about how he tried to get a job somewhere else and each time he was turned down, something would happen that day that let him know why he was supposed to stay.

Bryce came in to have his dinner and we started to watch Caddyshack. It was funny because I did not get to finish watching it last night. We were nearing the end of it when a call came in. It first was a person who was not breathing. Then they said, that it was an echo response for CPR in progress at an assisted living place in Colfax. Ken took off to it and I stayed at the station. I did not plan on going as I was on call for the coroners office. But when no one else showed up other than the Chief I decided I would have to go. I asked if the Engine had a defib, because we were sort of waiting for someone else to show up. He said it did. I knew that we had to get the defib on the patient right away. They put out a second tone and Milt showed up. We flew down Main Street and got to the scene within one minute. We took in the cot and the defib we had. We hooked it up, but there was not shock advised. I was in my shorts and tee-shirt because I had not planned on going. Tim was on scene because he came POV. He was doing compressions. I could see what at the time, I thought was a large pool of urine on the floor. Tim did not have gloves on so I took over compressions as he got gloves on.

I saw the stomach was distended and I was worried it would blow vomit everywhere. I kept going at one point I felt a rib give way under me. I paused for a second and then kept going.

When the defib was set up and the lead were put on the patient we stopped CPR to analyze the rhythm. No shock was advised. I said they we needed to PUHA. Which means to “Pick Up and Haul Ass.” We got her on the cot, I continued doing compressions to the ambulance. Then Tim took over compressions. I started doing the ventilations for the patient to the hospital. I did the ventilations into the hospital and the whole time the patient was being worked on in the hospital.

The doctor pushed some drugs and did a few other things, but we never got a heart beat nor a rhythm that we could shock. He called the patients death. Then they talked about calling the coroner. I asked a few questions. Then I said that I would be back in a few minutes. I told them I was the coroner. I told them to call Whitcom and start the process.

When we got into the ambulance I checked us back in service. Jamie was working at Whitcom and asked if she needed to page me to make it official or if we were good. I said we were good and that I would check in service soon. I called the funeral home on the way to the station and they got my truck and checked into service.

I went home got my equipment and went to the hospital. Bryce was there. I started my investigation. I got all the paperwork from the hospital that I could. I talked to the doctor and then the funeral home to the body to the funeral home were I did more checking and drew blood. I went to he residence and looked at everything there and talked to the people there. Then I went to the SO and wrote up my report and printed out the report and turned it in. I ended up getting a hold of the family and I talked to them for about thirty minutes.

I went home as the sun was starting to come up and I was ready to go to bed.

I am officially back

June 17th, 2005

I woke up around eight o’clock in the morning and was ready to start my day. I planned on going to the Auditors office to get my tabs for the boat and the trailer. When I got there I found they were not open until nine. I forgot they switched back the opening time. So I went to the IS building and spoke with Adam, Kris, Brandon, and Sharon. Brandon and I talked for about an hour. It was about nine-thirty when I left there and got my tabs. At the Auditors office I talked to the people there and I got a hug from Debbie, Christina, and Eunice.

From there I headed to Pullman. I went to the fire station and I was so excited. I was getting stuck behind all these slow cars and it was killing me. I wanted to get there ASAP. When I got there Heston was in a meeting. I stuck around until I had to leave for my dentist appointment. I went in a got a filling fixed that had a chip in it. It only took a few minutes. Joe was there and I spoke with him for a couple minutes. He told me he is moving to Fresno to be a solar panel salesman down there. So he is going to be gone soon.

After the meeting I went to Pullman Fire and spoke to Heston. I am going to come in at the end of the month and see Scotty to get my turnouts and other things. From what it looks like Heston wants me to redo the road map tests and get familiar with the vehicles. He said we would do some drive time in the engine to get me back where I left off with the Engineer training. And there would be live fire training coming up. It did not sound like there was going to be a huge list of things that I needed to do like I was expecting. So I hope that is the case.

I got the maps and went to Station Two. I talked to Brian down there. He asked if the rumors were true that I was coming back. I told him they were. I went to the bay and started to look through Rescue and then I headed to Moscow for my MRI appointment. It was long and toward the end of it, I felt like there was a stick poking the bottom of my foot. I wanted to move it so bad, but I fought off the feeling. When it was done I was able to leave. I went to Station Two and finished going through Rescue and then the Engine. I saw Josh, one of the WSU Firefighters who did come down to work with us, and some of the other reserves were getting ready to go to training in Spokane for extrication. I spoke with them briefly. I also found out that I would be going to B Shift, or at least that is the rumor. Jesse would be my crew leader.

After I went through the rigs I went in and spoke with Brian some more before finally headed to Colfax.

I went to work at the jail. I got some dinner and went in. There were three bookings to do. One of them was the younger brother of someone I went to high school with. She and I were friends and we went to Sun Valley with Young Life together and other things. I stuck around until about three in the morning. Bryce came up and we talked about the housing market in Colfax and Pullman. Bryce just bought a house in Colfax.

I went home and started to watch Caddyshack when I decided to go to bed because it was almost four in the morning.

Hay – What’s going on?

June 16th, 2005

It is like Christmas time right now for me. I am so stoked about getting to work from Pullman that I can hardly contain myself. I am just a happy camper right now. I came into work and spent my day getting my computer back to where it was. It was reloaded so now it is a brand new set up. It was like back in the days at the county reinstalling all sorts of software and setting up the E-mail and whatnot.

I stayed there until about one o’clock PM. I then headed to Colfax for the coroners meeting. I was just going down Vantage hill when Pete called to move up the meeting to five if I could make it. I told him that I could. So I kept on trucking. I was just outside LaCrosse when a patrol car pulled out in front of me. So I had to do the same speed he was going the rest of the way in.

I got to the SO right at five o’clock. We started the meeting. We went through several cases and I also got the new printer set up for Pete. After we covered everything and set up dates for the next month of coverage, we went to the reserve training to get introduced to the recruits. Then we went to Eddy’s for dinner. We were there talking about what people choose to do with their life. We spoke about people who only worked and never had any fun along the way.

I went to the jail for a while to hang out. While I was there a call came out so I ran to the fire station. It was out in Hay. So it was a long trip out there. It was someone who had severe stomach pain. We transported her in. Se was throwing up along the way a whole bunch. We did not have a chance to do much because she was so busy throwing up.

After dropping her off I went home and watched a little bit of TV, but I got to bed pretty early because I was going to be busy tomorrow and one of the things I would be doing is getting back on Pullman Fire!

Waiting for Christmas Morning

June 15th, 2005

Today was like waiting for Christmas morning for me. I am so stoked about getting back on the Pullman Fire Department. I cannot wait to sign the paperwork and get started on the things I need to go through before I can respond. I am so excited.

I spent the day at work with my thumb firmly planted. I did get to go to lunch with Peter. We went to Spud’s in Kirkland. We talked about our idea from last week. We were talking about the possible issues we would run into. It is like the old days with Peter in many ways. But I still have a hard time looking him in the eye.

After lunch I talked to Shawn, who is in town for a few days, about video editing. It has lit another fire under me to get my stuff going. I have been wanting to do it for a long time. I found some tutorials for using Adobe Premiere. They are all video files. I watched one and it was good. I downloaded everyone I could find. I was also informed that I would be getting a dev box, which I knew, but my old box was supposed to stay, but I was told they are going to blow it away. So I spent the evening going through the box, deleting stuff and moving other things to the server so I could put it back on my box when it was done being reimaged. I hate going through it. I hate to change my box once I have it set up.

I left work around four-fifty, because there was nothing more to do. On my way home I had to get some gas. I was there and this weird guy was washing the widows of his old van with two squeegees at once. We was wearing a military BDU jacket with a bunch of what looked like misplaced ribbons and metals. He came over and asked if I could spare some money so he could get to North Bend. The guy who was in the driver seat seemed like a zombie. He did not move. It was like he was not animated at all. Really strange.

I got back on the road, and the total trip time from work to home was an hour. I hate this commute so much. It will be nice to not have to do it everyday.

I carried the TV I won on the short bus upstairs by myself. It was super heavy. I set it up in my room and took my VCR, DVD, and TV set out to the shop to hook up to the computer I have out there for video editing. I turned on the computer and found Windows ninety-Eight was in the middle of an install. That was the last state of the computer when Jon turned it off before he gave it to me. It could use a gig of RAM. Right now it has half of that. The biggest problem is the small ten gig HD. I am going to need to buy another one. I should get at least eighty to one hundred gig, if not more. I was not able to get anything going on the computer because it did not have the correct OS. I will have to install a new OS with some other upgrades.

But I hope next week I can start with my video editing. I went to my room and watched some TV on my new TV set before drifting off to sleep.

A very nice dinner

June 14th, 2005

I have been getting up earlier than normal lately. I have also been going to bed earlier so I suppose that has something to do with it.

Noah, Ricky, Chris, and I went to pizza for lunch. We talked about the typical things. Computers and programming. After lunch Chris had his meeting with Diane. Then he asked to talk to me. The company decided to give a ninety day trial where I would work the Pullman Fire Schedule. So it would more or less be about fifty percent of the month there and fifty percent here. I was stoked.

I sent an E-mail to Mike at Pullman Fire to say that I am coming back. I told him that I could meet him on Friday to get the paperwork completed and a list of training items I would need to complete. He replied that would be good. I am stoked. I am like a kid waiting for Christmas. I am waiting for Friday so I can sign the paperwork and make it official.

After work I went to Bell Square to meet Joe He was going to take me to dinner for the work I have been doing on his website. We walked around the mall for a little bit while waiting for our reservation time at Daniel’s Broiler. It is a nice place so I had to wear pants and a collared shirt. People at work were asking if I had an interview somewhere because I was dressed up.

Joe and I sat outside the Bon waiting for Doug. We talked about the website and I told Joe the kind of spec’s I needed from him. After going over it pretty well, Doug showed up and we walked to Daniel’s Broiler. It is on the twenty-first floor of a building in Bellevue. It was a great view. I had a Filet Mignon and mashed potatoes. It was about a thirty-five dollar meal for me alone. We were there for a couple hours eating and talking. I was up there where I could watch the sun go down and day turn into night. While talking to Doug I found out he was in Seattle for training and his roommate is Tom Riverman from Moscow’s Bon store. What a small world.

We went back to the mall to get our vehicles. We were thinking about going out to a bar, but Doug did not want to. So Joe and I sat in the parking lot for about twenty minutes talking and listening to some Ron White.

I headed home myself and did a few things online. I also told my mom that I would working in Pullman in the future for part of the month. I am so stoked!

Bringing it up again.

June 13th, 2005

With the release done and successful. With the large amount of work I accomplished, I spoke to my boss, Chris, about the idea of working from home again. In our last conversation he said that we should wait until the release and it would help if I did well on the bugs.

So I approached the idea and tried to sell it to him. He still has reservations. I told him why I wanted to do it and how it could be run. I made up a schedule based on the Pullman Fire calendar. He asked me to write it up and he would present it to Diane.

I was hopeful but I also was thinking that I would not be allowed to do it. There have been problems with other people and that makes them worried about me doing it. I left the meeting not knowing which way it would go.

Repeat! – Making History

June 12th, 2005

My mother woke me up around eleven o’clock to help her mow the lawn. It takes a couple hours to mow the lawn and weed eat. It worked out that I was able to get the lawn done just as it was time to start to get ready for my final weekend of softball with the Maulers for the regular season.

I got the field about an hour and a half before game time. That was about fifteen minutes before we were required to be there. We stretched. We threw the ball around. We had batting practice.

Then we went to our field for the first of two games for the day. We were playing the Rockets. They are in first place in our division. They have only one loss and it is to earlier this year. If we beat them and win our second game we will have the same record as them, but our head-to-head record would be two and oh, so we would win the tie breaker and we would be division champions.

We started on defense as we were the home team. They got a hit, but we were able to keep them from scoring in the first inning. We came to the plate for our first at bat. Yesterday Grandpa had told me that they would intentionally walk me each time I came to the plate. I was not sure if that was the case. I was batting fourth. I walked to the plate in the with two guys on. Sure enough they walk me. I walked to first and then got a courtesy runner. As I came back, the umpire said that if they keep walking me I can just go to the dugout and have the courtesy runner go to first without me going there first.

We ended up not scoring. Then in the next inning they went three up and three down. One batter came to the plate and I was looking right at her. She was wearing sunglasses and it looked like she was looking right down my line. So I took two steps to the left and then all of a sudden the ball was hit. It was about two feet off the ground. I took one more step left and caught the ball. It was a screaming line drive.

In our half of the inning we scored one run. So the score was one to nothing. After that they broke the game open by batting around. I could see that slightly deflated us. We had been really loud and we had a bunch of people watching the game who were loud. But everyone got a little more quiet.

In my next two plate appearances I was intentionally walked, to bring the total to three straight intentional walks today. Towards the end of the game we tightened our defense up a little bit and stopped the bleeding. But we went out in the bottom of the last inning needed nine runs to tie the game. It was five to fourteen. I was a little worried. We came back from a five run deficit yesterday, but today it is worse.

I was leading off and they decided to pitch to me because even if I hit a homerun it would not kill them because there was no one on base and they had a nine run lead. I hit it to the short stop and I ran like crazy to get to first. I made it as the throw got there, but the ball was bobbled and I was safe. Then the other guys all came to the plate, and just like yesterday people were patient and made the pitcher throw strikes. We kept chipping away at the lead. We keep getting walks and some basehits. Along with an out along the way. Pretty soon it was getting back to me in the line up.

We had one out and the bases were loaded. I was the winning run at the plate. I was given an intentional walk to score a run and get on base. Now we were down by two runs and needed three to win. I was coaching third and people were still being patient, but one guy swung and he caused another out. Now we had two outs and two men on. We got another walk to load the bases. Then a basehit to score one. Followed by another walk. The bases were loaded and we had the tying run come across the plate. The game winner was at third base. Grandpa walked to the plate. They had changed pitchers. Grandpa worked the count to three and one. The next pitch was thrown and it never got more than three feet off the ground. I knew Grandpa would let it go and that would walk in the winning run. I put my arms in the air and started to cheer. Eric, who was on third base came down the line. He hit home and we won the game. The whole team came out and celebrated. It was awesome.

We shook the hands of the Rockets and celebrated some more. But we could not celebrate for long because we had one more game against a team that has a five-hundred record, but had beaten us once already.

We went out there with the fact that they had beaten us and we were not going to take them lightly. We put our game faces on and got ready to play. They did pitch to me. I had a long fly out followed by a couple solid basehits, one of which was a double. While I was playing first base in the last inning I suggested to Grandpa that John could play it and I would sit down. Grandpa said we only have two outs. I said that I would cowboy up and tough it out. Then the next batter hit a screaming show down the first base line. I missed it. After the play Grandpa looked at me and said “If John had been there he would have gotten the ball.” I laughed.

We did not have many problems beating these guys. By beating them we won the D-division championship. We also won it last year, so we won it back-to-back. We were the first D-division team to ever do this in the Seattle League. That was a great honor for me to be part of that. We did some more cheering. I told Grandpa to keep the ball that we won the championship with. I suggested that we all sign it.

I decided to go to the Madison Pub to celebrate with the team. It was also the host bar for the week so there were a lot of teams there. Several people congratulated us on the season and winning the whole thing. We had some beer and talked about the games and the season and going to the World Series down in San Diego in August.

We passed around the ball and a photo of the team that said D-League Champions on it, that Kyle had made. I took off close to nine o’clock PM to go home and have some dinner before hitting the hay.

Pulling it out of the fire

June 11th, 2005

This morning when my alarm clock was going off I was turning it off as my mom came in to my room to make sure I was getting up for my softball game. I was trying to. But I was tired. I finally did drag myself out of bed and headed to the field. They were surprised to see me. But they were happy. Most people thought we were going to crush this team. But it turned out to be anything but.

We went out there flat. We did not hit, nor could we play defense. We let them get a good lead on us. We did chip away at it as we could. In one situation there were two outs with the bases loaded and I stepped to the plate only to fly out. That really sucked for me personally and for the team.

Then we get into the fifth inning. We played our half. The Kings had their half of the inning, but we only have four minutes to get three out or the game would be over. The Kings moved slow trying to kill the clock. But unlike every inning before it, we actually went out there and had a three-up three-down inning. That was great. We had one more at bat. With the bottom part of the order up. We are down by five runs. We started to chip away at it. Along the way we had two outs. There were two guys on base. Eric, who was batting before me, walked. That meant with me at the plate, I was the go-ahead run. I knew I would have to score.

As I came to the plate their manager was saying to walk me. I was in another situation of the bases loaded with two out. I was walked. So I was on first base. The next guy walked. Then the next guy got a basehit which scored me from second and we went up. We tacked on a few more runs. We then got the third out and went to play defense. We did another three-up three-down inning and we won. We really pulled this game out of the fire and played some Mauler Ball as we like to say.

After the game I went home and cleaned up. I talked to Peter on the phone for a while. We planned on meeting up and hanging out. There is still some weird feelings on my part. I still sort of feel like there is something between us and I don’t know what it is. Part of me wants to know why he stopped being my friend for a couple years. The other part says not to cause problems with what seems like a good friendship now. So I am not sure what I am going to do with that.

At first it was awkward when I got to his place. I felt like I was under the microscope. I did not feel at ease around him. I sort of felt like a guest rather than a friend. But we started to talk about some stuff. We came to the subject of Oregon’s device that will charge people a mile tax versus a gas tax. We were talking the big brother aspect of a GPS in every car. That lead us to the idea for an invention. We talked through the idea for about two hours.

Peter suggested we go and get some food. I was up for that. We went to Teriyaki Madness for lunch. We sat there and talked some more about our idea. Then I drove to Bell Square. I got Obsession and Curve. One of my gifts was a poker set with three hundred ships and more. I liked that gift. We also looked for a Radio Shack but could not find one.

We then drove around Factoria Square looking for one. I could not see one there. So we went back to his place and hung out. We watched some Strong Bad E-mails. Then around eight o’clock PM we ordered a pizza and watched Star Wars Episode IV. It got over just as it was time for me to head to work for the release. It went pretty smoothly. I surfed the web a little bit. I went to a website that I was told about at the Bon. It was for getting Realm. My favorite cologne. They don’t sell it at the Bon anymore. But the website I was told about had it for sale at about half of what I would have paid at the Bon. I bought a could of them online. So now I have full bottles of my favorite colognes.

I also spent some time chatting with people on IM while I was waiting for the release process to get finished up.

Billies Casino is no more.

June 10th, 2005

Today was the final day of the fixes for the release that will happen tomorrow night. I got a new bug assigned to me today and got it closed out with about five lines of code. Probably the easiest bug I had to fix. But there really wasn’t a lot to do today. I also got the fires dealing with the MI adjustments put out. There were no problems, just people who thought there was a problem.

I spoke with Chris for a while about cafepress and my cartoons for the warehouse website. I hope people will start to go to it and use it.

After I left work I was supposed to go to softball practice. But Dave called and we planned on seeing Star Wars Episode III. I had already told them I would not be at practice, so they were not expecting me. So I skipped it and met up with Dave to see the movie. Peter also came down and we watched the movie.

It is funny, there is something about Anakin and the look, the struggle, the power, and the issues that I totally identify with. He is a big time ten-six-seven, but not just based on looks. I argue many times that someone can be made hotter because of other factors. Like athletic ability and other factors. I don’t know what it is about Anakin. I normally do not like guys with long hair. And I suppose that he would be hotter with short hair, but even so, I see past the hair and look at other things and see something that is really interesting. I wish I could put a finger on it with him, but I cannot. All I know is that I get the fluttery feeling in the heart when he makes that one decision and makes that action that forces his hand.

This may seem weird, but it could be the idea of his death, not a physical death, but a death of who he is and his transformation. I was likening it to someone who spends their whole life hiding a secret about themselves. Then in a single moment in time the whole world they made around themselves and the hiding of who they really are comes tumbling down with one action.

In the whole scheme of things, it really is not such a big deal. Life goes on. Crap happens. But before that moment, you would fear that moment happening with all your life, but then it happens and you live through it. It is the rebirth of who you are.

After the movie we stood in the parking lot talking for about twenty minutes, but Peter had to head home and work on his computer. Dave and I spoke some more before heading to the casino down the road called the Silver Dollar. We would have gone to Billies, but it appears that it has closed its door. Dave and I are saddened by it. Billies was a nice place to go to, with nice people working there. I wish that had remained open.

Dave and I hung out at the Silver Dollar for a while. We got some food there and Dave played some cards. We left around one-thirty in the morning. I went home and watched a TV show before going to bed. I was so tired. I should have gone to bed a lot earlier as I have to be up at seven-thirty tomorrow morning for softball.

Voting is enabled

June 9th, 2005

At work today it was Joan’s last day. We went out to Red Robin for her last meal. Then when we got back we started to work on an issue that I had closed. It was getting rejected. But with some work on it we determined that it could be an external problem and not ours.

I went home and got there just in time for dinner. Afterwards I helped my mom write her letter of resignation. Then I started to work on the Cartoons for the Warehouse site. I wanted to enable rating voting. I also got the login, logout, and register pages integrated with the index.asp page.

I also did some stuff with some math today. I figured out something I had never thought about before. If you take a bunch of number then average them. Then add one number to the average that you had and average those you will have a different value than if you take all the numbers you used for the first average then add the new number to the array of numbers and average them. The reason is weighting of the average. The one average has a weight of several number. So then you are essentially assigning the same weight to the new number that is equal to the weight of all the other numbers.

This mattered because of the way I was going to set up the voting. I had to do some extra calculations to make sure the weights of each new vote did not crush the weight of all the other votes.

Pizza night

June 8th, 2005

Tonight the people who helped with the survival outing got pizza. I went down to Round Table after work. We were there for about two hours eating and talking about stuff. According to Mr. Thout he is only going to do this two more times and that is all.

After dinner I went home and got cracking on the Cartoons for the Warehouse Website. I got something up and running. I also got all the pictures and links taken care of. It is mostly running now. But now is the time to add the fluff, like the ability to login. Set it up so it will allow people to vote on the ratings of the cartoons and whatnot.

Bringing it back from the old Web home

June 7th, 2005

A Website I started in April of ninety-six is getting a new lease on life. It is called Cartoons for the Warehouse. For years it sat on my WSU server space. But I decided to resurrect it. It had been sitting neglected for years. I got a new domain name http://www.cartoonsforthewarehouse.com and set up the site there. I made it with a SQL Server back end using classic ASP. All the work will be database driven so I will not have to spend so much time updating many pages. Plus the visible tables, a popular tag attribute in the nineties is now gone. I have a lot more work to do, but it is getting underway.

After I spent my day working to get my last few VIs taken care of I went home for dinner. When dinner was over I worked on my Website. I was trying to figure out exactly how to do the layout and what colors and everything else.

I did watch House as well as a few other shows. I am pretty much back to normal for the long weekend and staying up as late as ever.

New Failures

June 6th, 2005

With the files that I fixed I also ran into a few of them being rejected. I carried on and tried to get the rejected files fixed as well as working on the one final new issue. I think I am getting places with it, but this one is strange and I still am trying to figure out the data flow to see why it is breaking.

I went to lunch with the guys (Noah, Chris, and Ricky). I owed Noah a lunch from Thursday. I did not stay as work too late tonight. Actually I was there until around seven-thirty. I got home just in time for dinner. It was chili-cheese dogs. It was very yummy!

When dinner was over with I wanted to do some work on the cartoons for the warehouse website. I decided it would be a database driven site and I would have rating of the cartoons and everything. I also made a way for people to log in. I am thinking some day down the road I may have a way for people to upload cartoons. I would approve them when still. I would not want things going into the wrong place or copyright work going there. I need to find a bunch more of the cartoons to add to the site.

The Colfax fire department had a ton of them. I will see if I can get my hands on them. I think my mom had some as well. At one time the site was very popular getting hundreds of hits a day.

I spoke with Joe for a while on the phone about his website and what I wanted from him. He changes his mind a lot and we are changing things all the time. I want to have him write out specs for me to build from.

New Softball team

June 5th, 2005

At about five-thirty this morning Mr. Thout knocked on my truck window. I got up and headed back to the instructor’s area. It was about an hour and a half since I went to bed. Needless to say I was tired. Plus it was more cold outside.

I went to the fire and it was surrounded by many students, none of whom had anything that resembled a smile. Many of them had only a few hours of sleep as well. They were tired, cold, and ready to be done with the experience. But that is typical. I see them go from bubbly, happy, excited, and hyper to being subdued and low on the PMA. This is just a small taste of what it could be like to be in a survival situation.

Mr. Thout went out with the students to critique the camps. Ben, Joe, and I stayed back at the camp fire and helped it burn down. We also started to take down some of the tarps we had set up.

Around seven-thirty I had to get going. I got the code to the combination to get outside the gate and I left. It was raining ever so much when I was heading to Renton. But when I got into town it was okay. I got my uniform put together and I put it on. I also had a breakfast that my mom made for me. I was tired and I was dragging at this point.

I had softball to play. I knew I would hit a second wind. I did. I went out to the field and did some warm up and then we played. I played first base the first game and hit two inside the park homeruns. The second game I played first, but Grandpa was having a hard time with ball control so he had me pitch for a few innings.

Then he pitched the last inning of the game. He had the bases loaded with no one out. They were down by five so it was tight. We got an out and they scored some. Then we got another out as they scored more. They had the tying run on second base. Grandpa walked the next batter on purpose to get past that hitter who could do some damage. So they had the winning run on first base with two out. We took Frankie off of third base and put Gerry there who was a better third baseman. The ball was hit to Gerry who went to his base and we won the game by one run.

We had more than an hour between games and we had to go to a different park. So several of us went to Larry’s Market for lunch and then to the Sunset fields. I was going down for the count. I was so tired at that time. But as the game time approached I got back into the game. Kyle threw up a couple times because of the food and coffee I guess. We were laughing at him about that. We won that game pretty easily. We are now seventeen and two in second place. We beat the first place team once and we play them this weekend. If we beat them and win the other two games we will repeat as division champions. That would be the first time that someone in our division did that. We really hope to do it.

I ended my day with a total of four inside the park homeruns. I also had a triple and a double. As well as a few single. I have been hitting the ball well. As soon as the last game was over I rushed to the Thomas Teesdale fields for my co-ed games. I am playing with Gary and Shyla’s team. I saw Tom and Natalie there. Dave from high school and Mark were also there. I pitched a few innings and did not do too great. I was upset with the walks I gave up. I hit the ball okay. It could have been better. But I did not make any outs off of my hits.

We won the first game that I was not at and lost the second one. So the team is one and one on the season.

I went home and did everything in my power to stay up long enough to watch Family Guy. It was a very funny episode. I loved the jokes about Brian being racist. They carried that thread pretty good. I fell asleep shortly after American Dad started. I was just too tired to keep going.

The Americans

June 5th, 2005

The Americans
By: Gordon Sinclair
Aired: June 5, 1973
CFRB, Toronto, Ontario Canada

Text From: http://www.cfrb.com/content/cfrb_information/archives/archives_americans_2.asp

The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the earth.

As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did.

They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Misssissippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries into help… Managua Nicaragua is one of the most recent examples. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.

The Marshall Plan .. the Truman Policy .. all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans.

I’d like to see one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.

Come on… let’s hear it! Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar or the Douglas 10? If so, why don’t they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or women on the moon?

You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy and you find men on the moon, not once, but several times … and safely home again. You talk about scandals and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look at. Even the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, most of them … unless they are breaking Canadian laws .. are getting American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend here.

When the Americans get out of this bind … as they will… who could blame them if they said ‘the hell with the rest of the world’. Let someone else buy the bonds, Let someone else build or repair foreign dams or design foreign buildings that won’t shake apart in earthquakes.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.

Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbours have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.

I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.

This year’s disasters .. with the year less than half-over has taken it all and nobody…but nobody… has helped.

Survival Outing

June 4th, 2005

I woke up at seven o’clock in the morning because of the light coming through the window. I stayed in bed hoping to get back to sleep but I could not. Jon came in a little bit later and told me he and the boys were heading out and to lock up when I had to leave. I stayed a tiny bit longer then left because I was not sleeping.

I headed home and started to get ready. I packed a backpack with the stuff I would need and had some breakfast. I got dressed in warmer clothes then headed out to get a flashlight from the store.

From there I headed to Exit Thirty-Four where I was going to meet up with Mr. Thout and the others. When I got there only Joe and Mr. Thout were there. I sat down and we all chatted while we waited for everyone else to get there.

Mr. Thout did his normal talk about things to think about, things to watch for, and what not. Then we carpooled up to the Bandara Air Field. On the way we always stop and Mr. Thout points out a few mountains and the trails that people can take and what kind of hikes certain areas have.

Then we got to the air strip. Mr. Thout said I could take my truck down with the two others going down there. I was happy about that. But he wanted me to make the trip down the first time on foot. It is about a quarter mile. We got down there and got all the wood and supplies from the vehicles. A couple of us helpers walked back to the gate and we got my truck. We loaded the wood into the truck and then drove to the outer gate where we had a gate keeper. We told him that Mr. Thout wanted him to call to make sure they had cell phone coverage. We also told him that it would be a while before anyone else showed up and that he could come down and join us for a while.

While the students are off looking for a shelter location, the helpers and Mr. Thout set up the instructor’s area. We set a shelter for sleeping and keeping stuff dry. We also set up a canopy over the fire pit so you can keep warm and dry should it rain. I was expecting rain this weekend.

Joe and I started a small fire and we got it going with the first try. We did not have to keep restarting it. That was pretty cool. Some of us stayed around the fire to make sure it kept going as some of the others would do some rounds making sure everyone was doing okay.

As we sat around the fire we would talk about some stuff and we had a few things to eat or drink. We did not eat around the students because they are not allowed anything to eat for the twenty-four hours we are out there.

There are certain things we have the students do. One of them is putting each student in a place where he is all by himself for an hour. Just to get an idea of the boredom that could occur. While I was walking my group out to place them a girl asked me if I was one of the students’ dad. I laughed and said I wasn’t.

While they were doing that we were talking about how it must be rough in this day and age to sit around without the TV, Internet, video games, and “Playboy”. Then everyone started to laugh and I asked what the Nintendo portable game system was, and someone said “Game boy”. Duh!

After their hour was up we brought them back to the instructor’s area. Mr. Thout talked to them some more and then we gave them a little more time to work on their shelter. Close to eight o’clock pm we brought them back for one more talk. Then they had to go back and stay in their shelter until midnight. At that time they can build a small fire. Or they can come to the instructor’s area. During those four hours the instructors will make a trip around to make sure everyone is doing okay and following instructions on being in their shelter.

I was using my bleacher chair and it was nice to have the backrest. We pretty much sat around the fire and talked about the military, former students, people we all know, and other items. We asked Mr. Thout how actually retired from full-time teaching and only does the Survival Science under the Retire-Rehire rule, who many more years he planned on doing this. He said two more years. Peg put the potatoes on the fire. She always brings up some potatoes for us every year.

A little after midnight some of the groups came to the instructor’s area. They sat around and we all talked about stuff. They asked us about our experiences doing the survival outing. We commented how the weather was horrible for the survival outing. Normally we like it to be cold, rainy, and miserable. It was actually not too cold and it did not rain.

Mr. Thout and Peg went to bed around midnight for the first shift of sleep. We got them up around four o’clock in the morning. I went to my truck and went to sleep around four o’clock am.

Star Wars Episode III

June 3rd, 2005

There is one week to go before the release and I have more VIs to get done and out the door. I hope to get everything done. I am making a good dent in everything. I only have a few left and a couple are rejects from what I have done. The rejects were in most cases simple fixes. Some of them only a couple values were lost, but the others would still work fine.

I had plans to go to lunch with Peter today, but the meeting we were going to have at three was moved up to around noon. So we sat in the meeting and I was getting upset because I was not getting answers about when we would be “code complete”. Instead I was told just to work on stuff and we would say when we are done.

Finally after the meeting I was a little upset because I felt like I was not getting answers to my question. I called Peter and we met at REI in Redmond. I got some wool socks, a bleacher chair, and a poncho. Then we went to Red Robin. We were there for about an hour and a half talking about politics and joking around with each other.

When I got back to work Jon pinged me on IM. He wanted to know if I wanted to see Star Wars Episode III. I told him that I did. I picked him up at his house and then we went to get his Excursion from the dealer in Renton. The boys, Jon, and I went to Burger King by the theatre and then to the movie. We were running a little late and we sat down just as the words at the beginning of the movie had finished scrolling.

It was interesting to see the transformation of Anakin to Darth Vader. I thought it was going to be different. I did not know that he had what he thought were good reasons. He had nightmares about his wife dying in labor.


Anakin waking up from a nightmare.

I can understand his fears and why he would think about moving to the dark side. I also saw how he was used and he made to think the Jedi were the bad guys.


Anakin Gone evil.

Later in the movie you could see it in his eyes. He had changed. It was too bad. But it would not be much of a story if he had not gone evil.

After the movie I agreed to stay at Jon’s house. The boys needed someone to watch them in the morning in case they needed something. Jon was only going to be gone an hour or so. The boys would let me sleep and would only wake me up if they needed something.

In at noon or so

June 2nd, 2005

I slept in big time today. I actually did not get to the office until right about noon. I stopped and got lunch on the way into the office.

I was bound determined to get these VIs done. I spent the whole day going from one VI to the next. Each getting harder and harder. Figuring out the problem and completing it. I got eight of them taken care of, checking the final one in at about one-thirty in the morning. This leaves only four VIs left to work on.

In order to track the VIs I did something silly. I created a scoreboard on my whiteboard that was like a football scoreboard. It shows points, ball possession, quarter, and time. The only difference is as I got the VI completed my score would go up and the VI score would go down. The goal was to get the VI score to zero.

I spoke with Peter online a little bit. We made plans to have lunch tomorrow and he is going to go with me to REI when I get some of the stuff I need for the survival outing.

Logan in a tournament

June 1st, 2005

I was getting stuck on another VI. Each and every issue is more complicated than the one before it, and none seem to really fix any of the other ones even though they are all pretty much problems with fields not showing up. I contacted Jon about him helping me. He said he would help me tonight.

I went to Logan’s baseball game. His team is in the post season tournament. I was the score keeper for the game. I noticed Logan is hitting the ball better and he worked through the problem with his swing. It is a lot better now.

After the game I went home and got dinner and then I went back to Jon’s. We did some stuff on the VI. Mainly he helped me redirect my focus to the right area to keep moving with this problem. I actually got something figured out. I left his house around eleven because he was tired. So I went home and did the final work on it, and finally did a check in of some code. It felt good to get another problem taken care of.