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Monday, February 3rd

Coming home after Christina’s basketball game last Saturday, Merry sent Christina out as I came back from parking the car to get me right away — the news was on.  I was heartbroken when I saw the footage of the shuttle Columbia breaking up — long before official word, I just knew there were no survivors.  It immediately brought back memories of early 1996 when the Challenger blew up.

Within a day, the talking heads were already stirring up trouble, toying with the idea human space travel wasn’t worth it.  I was appalled at the “experts” who didn’t see the point, casting aside endless medical, scientific, and other technological advances made possible by the HUMANS in the shuttle program.  Bush, on the other hand, came through with a heartfelt, almost religious speech, making clear the policy that the manned space program would continue.

An associate noticed the photo of Columbia I keep on the wall in my office.  I’ve had it since I was in college.  I am a child of the shuttle era.  And this whole thing really touched me, growing up with my father in the aerospace field (Carlton Controls Corporation, before it was bought by Moog).

Thursday, February 6th

Christina made her first basket at the game Tuesday, a rebound, where I also got to (briefly) meet her sister Joan for the first time.  Even though Christina says it all the time, she really is a cutie.

The weather is a sultry just-above-freezing.  Being much warmer than last week, I don’t bother wearing a jacket unless I’m out for a while.  It’s strange … I know when this weather comes in the Fall, I’ll be bundled from head to toe, but it just doesn’t feel cold right now.

Friday, February 7th

Christina and five of her friends did a dance number at the school talent show.  They put a lot of work into it and it showed.  It ended with a young gentleman singing “God Bless America”.

We had a guest day at our referral organization’s meeting this morning.  I barely made it in time — the alarm clock never went off, and I woke myself.  Afterward in an email, I was asked to serve on the board for the upcoming year.

Everyone is resigned to the probability we will go to war in the next two weeks.

Wednesday, February 13th

Everyone on WBEN has been obsessing about being prepared for a terrorist attack.  How long can we stay on “orange alert” without stressing out as a nation?  Is it the boy who cried wolf, or a plot to gain support for a war with Iraq?

Last night community ed was closed, but I didn’t find out for sure until I got there (Cloverbank in Frontier school district).  On the way, I made a new record and put $19.00 of gas into the tank!  I didn’t like it being so much more than DeltaSonic, but gas prices don’t bother me.  After 15 years of driving, prices haven’t even doubled, and that means pretty low inflation compared to other things.

This Friday (I just found out) is the first of the basketball finals for Christina, and it’s so late that it’s at the same time I have to teach Tai Chi (Chi Kung) class in Elma.  That really sucks.  It’s the second class of six, so if I skip this one, the attendance will fall apart — I know this from experience.  If she has others conflicting with class times, I’ll try to reschedule, but it’s almost impossible.

A couple of days ago, we “acquired” a leopard gecko (or “Geico” as Mer likes to call it) that a pet shop dumped at the vet hospital, and couldn’t afford to have treated profitably.  “Apoo” is doing fine now, and lives in a terrarium on the living room bookshelf.

One last note … I got creative with leftover burrito stuff and invented “hasperat”, or at least what I think the Star Trek delicacy would taste like.  Mike liked it, and I loved it — Merry tried it, but doesn’t like taco beef.  With the Kim Chi, maybe I should call it a Korean Burrito.

Sunday, February 16th

At the game I missed Friday, Christina’s team lost, but Christina made a shot with 2 seconds on the clock!  I wish I could have seen it.  Both of us screwed up our schedule recently.  She went to a friend’s house by mistake so I didn’t see her before the game, and then I lost track of the time Saturday and didn’t get to see her last minute playoff game.  They won, and now may have the championship game left, but they never know when and where until the last minute.

Tonight we went to the parish volunteer dinner/dance.  I met a few new people in the parish, talked with may I knew, and it was a lot of fun.  It was wonderfully catered by Ilio DiPaolo’s — Dennis DiPaolo and his family are parishioners.  We also decided to hook up the two soprano cantors with Mike and Jeff.

A few days ago, I asked Merry what were we going to do for Valentine’s day, gifts, and such, and she just said, “Well, we don’t have any money right now, so nothing I guess.”  But don’t be sad for us.  This was a beautiful experience — we just held each other for a while, knowingly.  Other couples stress about not getting the gifts or cards they wanted, and need special occasions to express Love.  We never needed that — every day is special for us because we are together, and we know it.  But it doesn’t mean that when I can, I wont give here the frilliest box of chocolates she’s ever seen.  Maybe on a Wednesday, just because.

Tuesday, February 18th

They say death happens in threes.  We were just thinking that last night, having been to a wake for one of Dennis’s father, and hearing about a recent death of one of Jeff’s co-workers.  I reserved my opinion as to whether or not the superstition would hold true … until this morning.  Our landlord, Sid Binks, died last night.  I really liked him and hoped to get to know him as a person more — maybe even go to one of his Jazz performances where he plays bass.  It’s a shock, and we’re holding our breath to see what needs to be done next, along with concerns for the future of living arrangements. 

I’m almost caught up on last year’s (and this year’s) magazines … I must have went through a stack over a foot high to a handful in the last month and a half.  I read what’s relevant (or fun) in technology and business, save important articles for customers, research, and general interest “scrap-booking”, then recycle them in heaps. 

I also recently started scrap-booking notes, photos, articles, etc. for various things using Adobe Acrobat.  I’m starting to really like it, and it may save me tons of space.  The questions I ask to determine what gets electronically archived based on how important it would be to have easy access: Do I want the hard copy for sentimental or other reasons?  Is it too time-consuming to archive?  Does it take up so little space it doesn’t matter?  Does it go with similar items I wont archive?  Decisions, decisions.