Showing posts from September, 2006

Crying in the dark

I know I'm still on east coast time, but I woke up at 4:45 am PST, in my Radisson hotel room and began to cry in the dark.

The news is not good.

After my first lecture yesterday morning, I called Chris' cell phone twice and was put into his voicemail immediately. I kept hoping no news was good news.

Not yesterday.

Chris finally called me while I was outside of the building, sitting on a park bench in the shade, a nice cool breeze going by. He was crying.

The doctors began to perform surgery on his dad and basically closed him right up. The cancer is so aggressive there is nothing they can do. They give him 4-5 months at best.

Chris is devastated. So am I. I am probably one of the few daughter-in-laws that feel like a daughter instead. I have always loved both of Chris' parents, and they in return. We've done a lot of things over the years together, shared laughter and tears and they were there when Chris was not around when he was in the Marines.

I'll never forget when I…

Seattle is surprisingly. . .SUNNY!!

I was wrong about my dad-in-laws operation - it's this morning, not yesterday. Yesterday Chris had to pick his sisters up at the airport.

I flew out of Manchester yesterday morning on Northwest to Detroit for my connecting flight. That was only about 1 hour 40 minutes (and no plane problems like earlier this week, ha ha).

Grabbed a sandwich and water to eat on the next flight, which would be almost five hours long. I tried to upgrade to first, but it was full. Pout.

The plane was pretty full, so there was someone in the middle seat. I had a window. Thankfully, we were all women and no one wanted to talk. My throat is sore and Chris said last night he thought I was getting a cold. I took my Airborne and a Benadryl. The latter knocked me out, so I slept most of the flight, listened to my iPod and read.

Got to Seattle and was shocked to see sunshine. You always hear how it's always raining in Seattle. Not true.

I'm here to speak for the Thurston County's prosecutor's offic…

Indiana, Pennsylvania

Took JetBlue to Pittsburgh on Sunday. Had to leave the house at 6:30 am to get to Logan Airport in Boston. I was pooped!

The first flight to JFK was delayed because as the plane was pulled away from the gate to the runway, the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) died. So no lights, no A/C, no nothing. So the plane had to be pulled back to the gate.

The pilot comes on the intercom and tells us that they use the APU only on the ground until the engines are started and it's "not really necessary." So they jump-started the APU and the engines (his words) at the gate and we left.

Chris freaked when I told him. He said the APU *is* necessary and they shouldn't have flown. Well, we made it to JFK, so I was happy.

Ran to my next flight, grabbing a sandwich on the way. As this jet is taxiing down the runway, a burst of gray smoke blasted from the right engines (on my side of the plane, of course). The pilot came on and told us it was just condensation. I would think that would be white &q…

Quick Chippy Post

Just a quickie:

Since I'm not home to feed Chippy, Chris has been putting the food on the lounge chair on the porch for me in the morning.

But this morning he got the bright idea to put me on speaker phone on the cordless, put it on the chair with the sunflower seeds and let me call Chippy.

So I'm saying, "Chip chip chip chip, Chippy, where are you?"

It worked. I couldn't believe it. Chris is going to videotape it tomorrow morning, but until then:

WHOA Newsletter - 09/25/06

WHO@ Newsletter

September 25, 2006

If you're in the Pittsburgh area, I'll be speaking at Indiana University this evening - it's open to the public. Email me for details.

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .What next? Plays in alien speak?

'2 b o not 2b?'
Education chiefs may turn Shakespeare into text speak so children can relate to it.

The Department of Education has issued guidelines to schools to be more creative. They are even backing the scheme to take a new approach to plays by the Bard.

Classic lines such as "To be, or not to be?" would be revamped into "2b o not 2b?".

Sean Dickinson, headteacher of Park Community School in Havant, Hants, said: "The core issue with Shakespeare is that it's become dull.

"Using technology like text messaging is one approach to fuel expression and creativity."

Colin Chuter, of Priory School, Portsmouth, said: "Children…

Update: Quantico, Dad, Chippy, Dexter, more

Last week I flew to DC to speak at the AMC Conference at Quantico (the USMC Base).

I flew JetBlue - hooray! Got to Dulles and went to Avis to get my rental car. I've been getting their special of the week and never know what it's going to be.

That day, it was a Cadillac CTS. It looked like a pimp car. A nice pimp car. All tricked out, leather, XM satellite radio, all the bells and whistles including heated seats. I turned on the radio and rap came thumping out with the bass turned all the way up. Every station preset I touched was rap. Seriously. Even on XM. I was laughing so hard I almost peed.

So I'm driving to Quantico, trying to figure out how to reset the stations (it was a digital display and no manual in the glovebox). At a stoplight, with some rap song blasting away, I look over to my left and this black guy in a car is staring me, his eyes wide and his mouth an "oh" like "What is that white honky woman doing in that car listening to rap?"

It was a…

WHOA Newsletter - September 18, 2006

WHO@ Newsletter

September 18, 2006

Tomorrow is speak like a pirate day (really)!


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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

HP case illustrates thorny issues of work privacy - 09/18/06
If you have a job, you have no privacy when it comes to using the office computer.

Judge rules bitter blogs are online stalking - 09/18/06
If you think your ex-husband is a lying, cheating, scamming, con artist with no conscience and no soul, you're entitled to your opinion.

Cyberfraudsters detained in Spain - 09/18/06
A large group involved in cybercrime and online fraud has been di…

Went to the hospital

Dad is doing okay - he was in good humor. We brought Chris' mom with us and she was okay as well as can be expected. She's worried, of course, as we all are, but we're all taking it one step at a time.

Dad will know more tomorrow when he has more tests and whatever to decide what the next step(s) should be. It's driving us nuts with the waiting, but better to wait than to borrow trouble.

Dad did tell us a funny story, though. He'd been moved to a new room and we asked why. Turns out his roommate in the old room couldn't hold his bowels and kept going all over his bed. Dad said it began to smell so bad, he pulled his sheet up over his nose to get clean air. When the nurse came in, she kept apologizing and moved Dad to his new room and a non-crappy roommate (ha ha).

We could just picture him holding the sheet up over his mouth trying to watch the baseball game on TV.

Tee hee!


Chris is still on a wicked pirates kick. He got The Idiot&#…

Do you want to be on TV? And something I forgot to mention

The things I forgot to mention: Weird happenings in the house the last couple of days. Every once in a while, something out of the ordinary happens at home.

Two nights ago, we had dinner, then sat to watch Long Way Round (Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman). Chris sniffed the air and said he smelled something weird, electrical-like. We paused the DVD, went into the kitchen and the microwave was merrily microwaving nothing. Mind you, we'd been in there not 10 minutes before cleaning up dinner dishes and nothing was wrong then. We unplugged it.

The next morning I turned on the stereo and TV, as usual, to Fox News. I watched a few minutes of the news, then went into the kitchen to get the dog's cheese (for their pills) and my OJ, went back in the living room and the cable box had turned itself off. There is no way to do this without pressing a button on the remote or on the cable unit itself.

Very weird.

I turned the cable box back on and the microwave works fine.


Just some updates

So, it wasn't the beginning of chemotherapy for my dad-in-law the other day. It was just an appointment with the chemo doctor, then another doctor and more tests. Then this morning, they found out (after two messages on their answering machine - mom and dad were out to breakfast) that he has a blood clot in his lung. So he had to go to emergency, was admitted and put on a blood thinner. They have to check all of him out now to make sure there are no more blood clots before even thinking of doing anything else.

Chris is doing okay - he's upset, but glad he can help his parents out by taking them to and from the doctors, hospital, etc. His mom is holding up well. She's always been a lady and I gave her a big hug when I saw her today.

Chris' parents are like a second set of parents to me. I know most spouses don't get along with their in-laws, but I've always loved them. . .from day one. I'll do what I can to keep them smiling through this all and giving them en…

Pirates ahoy!

Last week, Chris had to get his dad around to the hospital several times for tests and a diagnosis that no one ever wants to hear - cancer. In this case, it's stomach cancer. Chris' birthday was last Thursday and I didn't know how he would be feeling after taking his dad to the doctor to figure out what would be the next step. I knew I wanted to cheer him up.

Since we'd watched Pirates of the Caribbean 1 on DVD the Friday before, then saw POTC2 at the theater on Saturday, I wanted to do some sort of pirates theme. I went to the local iParty story and loaded up pirate gear, then discovered they had a Madagascar (movie) section. That is Chris' favorite movie of all time. He can do the entire movie, all the voices and gestures on his own. It's pretty funny.

So I grabbed some Madagascar things as well, went home and decorated like crazy. I bought Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, which Johnny Depp and POTCs Gore Verbinski produced, and ha…

I was right!

The game I wanted to get an M rating has finally been played by someone in the gaming community and you know what? I was right about the game. What kills me is that the number of rants emailed to me has gone down to practically nil since this was published yesterday.

The following just reinforces my statements in the press release we sent out. I particularly love the last sentence. How can you use a baseball or cricket bat or slingshot without any blood?

This game is going to cause problems. How long do you think it will be before the first media story appears in relation to this game and a bad thing?

"Early on in the game, Jimmy, the 15 year-old protagonist, can
only perform a shallow selection of moves -- your standard punches, a
grapple (Circle), Block (R1), kicks when an opponent is down (Square
again)... things of that nature -- but as our hero continues to work
his way up the ladder, a number of new maneuvers will open up (the
majority of which will be taught to you by attending g…