Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good Shepherd School for Children

For the first three years of her life, we spent a great deal of time supporting Ellie's development with a host of therapists - physical, occupational, developmental, and speech. They all came to us from Ellie's first daycare/preschool, Good Shepherd School for Children in St. Louis.

The other night we got to attend a black-tie gala event celebrating Good Shepherd. It was incredible! A silent auction, wonderful dinner, awards, good speakers, and a video presentation about the school. That's been uploaded to YouTube, and I wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to see it:

UPDATE: Sorry the video has been removed from YouTube because of a parent's privacy concerns. If you'd like to hear more about the school or receive a copy of the video, please visit the school's website:

When I watched it, it made me want to cash-out my 401k and write a check to the school right then and there. Luckily for my family, I was talked out of that. It does make me think about where my money should go, though.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


A friend was looking over my shoulder tonight as I was looking at my work calendar for tomorrow and joked about how full it was.

One of the things that I noted when I became a manager was that my calendar fullness almost instantly tripled overnight. On the plus side, I take my 4-year old to school every morning and that inflates how busy my calendar looks. On the down side... all those times that I'm double booked... I should really try to be at both (or all three or more) of those meetings.

You'll also notice that tomorrow (Wed), I'll only be attending 4 of the 11 meetings on my calendar:
Meeting 1 - Take Ellie to School
Meeting 2 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Meeting 3 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Meeting 4 - 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Probably all the same room. At least my chair will stay warm.

I take it back

...turns out that we did get all of the family we visited over Thanksgiving sick with the "blech!" Christmas 2005, I got both sides of the family sick. I guess it's better this year that I only got my in-laws sick. Uh... not because they're my in-laws, just because it was only one side of the family!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgi.... blechhh..... Ugh.

I like to brag that two years ago, I single-handedly got people in 5 states sick with a horrible stomach flu and put my brother-in-law in the hospital! So, that isn't such a feat... he's already got bad kidneys to begin with. ;-) None of it was pleasant for anyone in either my family or my wife's though. I seemed to get ALL of them sick.

I don't take credit for the fun this year at Thanksgiving. It wasn't quite as bad for anyone except for the 4-year old, and it doesn't seem to have spread anywhere outside of the house - except my father, who we didn't go visit, but who got sick anyway. Weird, that one.

Still it wasn't very fun. Ada got sick first. We took her to the doctor Tuesday afternoon. The doc said it was just the flu -- Ellie said, "Ellie sick, too." "Isn't that cute. No, Ada is sick. Ellie's OK." The next morning Ellie said, "throat hurt." So, we took her to the doc, too. "Ellie has strep." Luckily she doesn't have her father's allergy to penicillin, so a not-so-quick shot and she's on the mend (after a few more hours of dry heaving and vomiting up every sip of water).

Thanksgiving Day was enjoyed with limited vomiting, lots of attempts at rest, and a first after-sick meal of chicken noodle soup. Mmm mmm good, but nothing next to turkey, ham, green bean casserole, stuffing, yams and apples, mashed potatoes, sweet breads, and pies. By Thursday evening, though, we were all well enough to head out of town on my weak attempt to break the infamous Christmas 2005 flu-vector record.

48 hours of official Day After Thanksgiving leftovers and Wii play seems to have left everyone uninfected.... so far.

Monday, November 19, 2007


It was very nice of our friend Scott to come over and watch the girls. It was going to be for a specific appointment, but that got canceled. So, instead, SL and I got to go for pizza. Instead of having to feed one kid and constantly tending to the other... we got to sit and talk to each other.

I love my kids, but sometimes it is nice to get away for a dinner alone.

Sometimes I get very jealous of people who have relatives that live in town with them and get to go on a date every week.

Thanks to Scott for the great job watching our girls and the opportunity to go out on a date!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Triadic Continuum

One of the Vice Presidents that I work with sent me an email the other day with the subject line "Is this something we should be looking at?" He's no pointy-haired boss, but a subject line like that, followed by a cut and paste of an article from an industry magazine certainly does bring images from Dilbert to mind. As I read the article, those images only got stronger.

This particular article is about something called the triadic continuum - yes, sounds like something out of Star Trek, doesn't it? Still, it is interesting - especially if you have a PhD in cognitive science. There's a book about this invention that goes into more detail for those of you who are curious.

After a couple of back and forth comments in which I tried to look smarter than I am (and considering pitching the idea that if my boss wanted to send me back to school for my PhD that I'd be happy to go), this VP ended with: "But they said simple, scalable, universal." Yeah, right there on the package! ;)

My snide remark (being in a healthcare field) was going to be something like:

Right, and so is DNA!
Simple - only 5 compounds in the whole thing!!
Scalable - from a flee to a whale!!
Universal - it is a defining characteristic of life!!

I didn't send the response, yet.

DNA is simple, universal, and scalable, too.

As an introvert

I've been doing a lot of interviewing at work - as the interviewer. We've been looking for a department admin (sorry Rob, but we've already picked someone), and data architects, and Business Objects expert. (If you know anyone, let me know.) Somehow it came up in many of those interviews that I'm a bit of an introvert... but one that likes being around people. All of the interview candidates say something like "I'd never have pegged you as an introvert." Which either means that they think being an introvert is a bad thing and they don't want to insult their potential boss, or I some how pull off being friendly.

Well, maybe I'm not really an introvert, but I do have this love/hate relationship with the idea of having other people around. I like having other people around, interacting with each other... but not necessarily having to interact with them a lot.

At work, for instance, I'd much rather sit and watch a meeting happen rather than run the meeting; but I'm a manager and one of the senior technical people in my department, which means that I often need to run meetings. I like being part of a team, but I struggle with the "ask people how their family is doing" kind of stuff.

At home, too - last night we had a game-night party with about a dozen friends. I like having people around, I like playing games, I don't usually like just watching people play games, but last night I felt more like just watching the kids while they watched Finding Nemo, putting Ellie down to sleep, watching other people play games, and then playing the Wii by myself as people were leaving. Not very friendly or polite, I suppose. It was a great time, I just didn't feel like having by interacting with other people last night.

Hope everyone else had a good time, too!


I'm lying here on my back on the couch, letting the girls fight over books and watch TV and figure that now is as good a time as any to start blogging again. I'm on my back... and back to blogging.