It’s Been Seven Years

Seven years have gone by since I stopped this blog on the day Tes died. Now we have our Jane, I’m recuperating from the problems caused by chemo and anti-cancer drugs, and life goes on.

I’m planning on reviving the blog by adding a new look, and more recipes, slowly through the year. Pictures will also be bigger, since bandwidths are much bigger. Updating to the latest version of WordPress was the first step. It’s been off-line for over a year since the version was too old to work any longer.

So Ta-Da! It’s back up.

Breaks Your Heart

Goodbye Tes

The first post on this blog was the one welcoming Tes.
This post is saying goodbye to a great dog.
It breaks your heart.

Anna’s First Bananas – What Joy!

Trying Bananas Loves Those Bananas

Mmm Sweet Potatoes

Anna and Sweet Potatoes Sweet Potatoes and Anna

Anna’s First Skype

Anna's 1st Skype

Anna’s 1st Skype

Anna appeared to be blown away by the whole Skype experience.

Just after getting blown away over the concept of sweet potatoes existing, and getting to eat them.

She knows how to enjoy her world already.

Well, this one’s over

The Grand-kids

2012 was one busy year

  • Worked 3 jobs for the majority of it
  • Went to North Carolina for the sweetie-pie Anna, our second grandchild’s birth
  • Tes made it through the year, many months past their best-case projections
  • Spent a lot of time at the UC Davis Animal Cancer Center
  • Lost our beloved front oak tree
  • Ran out of propane New Year’s Eve, evening (stove, dryer, heat, hot water)
  • Had a lot of visitors stay a bit (Mom, Dad, Barbara, David, Yvonne)
  • Did a bunch of web work for non-profits
  • Got off CalCOBRA, one month before we no longer qualified, and onto a policy through the Tech Agency who has Mark on Contract
  • Watched Mike and Pennie go ga-ga over the birth of their 1st adorable grandchild, Nolan
  • Paid our house off
  • Had some great holiday meals at the Brown’s
  • Did a lot of art/crafts, mostly glass fusing, metal work, faces on bark and beading
  • Turned 55, and started qualifying for senior discounts
  • Bought a few new pieces of art, including Yellowman, Derk Smit and Bertha Perrie.

Catching Up: Part 4: All The Cuties

Lots of pictures of the important kiddies in our life. Jackson, Anna, Susanna, Kate and Nolan.

Catching Up: Part 3: Consulting Calls for a Few Office Changes

My Corner of the World

My Corner of the World

Welcome to my updated office.

I’ve been working 100% remotely for quite a few years now, and really like it. My current contract is with Wellpoint, and they supply a laptop. Got a new monitor and keyboard for it over the holidays, and it’s there on the left.

The computer I’ve been using for several years just wasn’t able to keep up, it’s still using it’s older monitor, there in the middle. You can’t see it’s keyboard, since it stashes nicely under the cabinet under the desk.

With the amount of processing needed, high usage programs and constant remote windows open to places like the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco – where my other work laptop resides, within their firewall, it was struggling. Still use it for the CPUC job, and as a testing machine. Eventually will move it over with the server as another testing machine. But for now, still working on getting things off of it, and the CPUC software doesn’t play nicely with Windows 8 on the new machine.

Got the new HP machine and monitor about a month and a half ago, a very legitimate business expense, since I’m a 1099 worker working 100% from a home office. And really needed it. It’s the one on the right. When the old Vista machine is cleared and I finish my last few hours with the CPUC, the old monitor will become a dual monitor – one computer, two screens.

Catching Up: Part 2: Mom for Chanukah

Mom came up and stayed for the later-half of Chanukah. We tried out some interesting recipes, like Pesto Bread sticks, and did Glass. Mom did some great pieces. Both of my parents are talented.

Catching Up: Part 1: David here for Thanksiving

Finally getting a moment to catch my breath. It’s been a whirl-wind of multi-jobs, long hours, Tes medical, visitors, holidays… so here it goes.

David is currently unemployed, and in the midst of the job hunt. Sommelier jobs at top restaurants don’;t grow on trees. The Peninsula Restaurant decided in these times they could no longer afford a sommelier/wine manager, so for once he wasn’t working the holidays. He’d been there 7 years.

We had a great visit, and went to Mike and Pennies for Thanksgiving dinner.

Another posting on opinions and other stuff on the web

A Creative Catharsis

Starting with a few political opinion pieces, since a lot of election retrospects have been going on, the Frank Rich piece in New York Magazine Fantasyland, Denial has poisoned the GOP and threatens the rest of the country too is a very partisan piece, that still manages to hit some interesting points. Media matters looks at it from a different point of view, and clearly blames Fox News in their Fox News’ Relationship With The GOP Is Under Fire After Electoral Losses. And lastly, Southern Poverty Law Center takes the bull by the horns in their Hate Watch post, For the Radical Right, Obama Victory Brings Fury and Fear.

Did like Cynical Girl’s post on Binders of Women, and the HR viewpoint of the blessings of binders.

The Ohio State University is looking at effects of Global Warming a very long time ago in their "Research and Innovation Communications" article on After Long-Ago Mass Extinction, Global Warming Hindered Species’ Recovery. It’s nicely linked for those of use who love to understand all the context of a posting.

Scholastic has a Q & A on The Vaccine Debate, A public health expert explains why some children remain unvaccinated — and why that puts all children’s health at risk, that you should pass on to every mother with young children.

Here’s one for designers, UX people and those who build software or anything else really for the public. Sharp Suits, a Creative Catharsis is visualization (sent in images) of worst client feedback, such as the image in this post.

Do you like to write poetry? Greeting cards? Love letters? Take a glance at the Shatoetry video, on how to use the unique compilation of pre-recorded words by William Shatner that can be mixed together to create "Shatisms".

Then there’s this mind blower, Honeybees can discriminate between Monet and Picasso paintings. If the abstracts a bit too much for you, it’s summed up nicely in Bees Can Tell a Monet From a Picasso (Can You?).

Another video, done superbly – Funny or Die Stages Postmodern Version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The premise, "What if critics wrote about school plays instead of Broadway productions?"

What’s Up with Tes

A Blonde ToenailTes had a tough week and ended back at UC Davis for tests and meds. Turns out she has a bad urinary track infection, had lost significant weight because she was hardly eating, and they found a new mast cell tumor on a rear mammary gland.

She’s doing a little better now, they’ve doubled her stomach medications, started her on antibiotics and she’s eating some human food. Won’t eat kibble, biscuits, and of her treats, any of the cookies we bake, chicken broth or chicken jerky — but will eat fresh cooked turkey/chicken breast, giblets, tuna in oil, and chicken liver. Vet said to give her what she’ll eat, and so we are, and she’s eating.

There’s been no more incontinence, and she’ll play, so were hoping a few more days on the antibiotics will have her back up to speed. The new tumor we’re not worried about. Vet says it’s in an easy to operate spot, but for now we can just watch it and see how she does. I kinda doubt we’ll be doing anything about it.

One of the student assistant vets took one look at her paws, and instead of taking about her long nails gushed "OMG, she has the cutest matching blonde toenails."

Halloween Pictures from North Carolina

Picture of Sarah, Randall & Nolan

Nolan is still in the hospital, but doing fabulous, ahead of the curve and looks like he’ll be going home earlier than initially projected! They’re staying at the Ronald McDonald house, so they can be near him for visiting since they’re several hours from home.

Nolan Carter Blake

Nolan Carter Blake was born this morning at 9:22 EST to Randall & Sarah Blake (nee Brown) weighing in at 3lbs 14oz and 16 1/2 inches long. He was born about 9 weeks early and will need to stay in NICU for 5-7 weeks.

Mother and son are doing well, Mike and Pennie are proud grandparents, and I hope to have pictures soon.

Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, Men’s Issue

Los Angeles Confidential Invite

Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, Men’s Issue comes out once a year, and they make a pretty big deal about it. They have a private reception for those involved, followed by an Issue Release Celebration hosted by the cover story.

This year the cover features Dennis Quaid, it’s tonight and David has an invitation that he extended to us. Because, if you look on page 78, you’ll see an article that features David and two other wine sommeliers (top ones in L.A.), though David is discussed first.

Unfortunately, it’s not a good time for us to drive to Southern California, so we missed our chance to meet Denis Quaid. Am not start crazed after having worked several years for a motion picture studio, and having met plenty of "stars", but do like Dennis Quaid.