November 30, 2000
Information about Ty Davison straight from the horse's mouth.
Years worth of mind-numbing details, ponderings, and events.
External URLs that have cropped up in the course of the News history.
November 29, 2000
Picked up the 626 from the mechanic this morning. Only $460 in repairs with another $700 needed. Hahahaha all the way to the bank (where I'll be withdrawing funds). So that wasn't a terribly chipper way to start the day. But whaddya do?
Dad drove me up to a client job in Portland since he was headed up there anyhow. Good news is that this job continues for another few days, so that'll help. My business cards are, in theory, finished, but I won't be getting home from Portland in time to pick them up during the next few days, so that'll probably happen Saturday. FedEx tried to deliver Trinity's new RAM today but apparently couldn't find our street on the map. I am unimpressed by this.
Latest in an ever-growing line of humorous Internet comics: Sinfest. It's blastphemous, edgy, and pretty funny. Not for the easily offendedespecially those who don't like to see fundamentalist religion mocked, but if that doesn't include you, then here are my favorites by date: January 20, January 21, January 26, February 8, March 6, March 15, March 21, March 28, April 18, May 19, May 22, May 25, and May 28.
November 28, 2000
We held a memorial service today in Portland to honor Norma Davison as the matriarch of the Davison clan and as a woman who dedicated her life to others. Dad spoke at length about her life, from the struggles she faced growing up in pioneer-era Montana to her long career as an elementary school teacher to her life in retirement.
It's rare that one encounters a person so lacking in pretense, so genuinely friendly, and so freely giving of time and talent. What a marvelous example she was in so many ways, and how lucky I feel to have known her.
Many and continuing thanks to those who've written, sent flowers, or otherwise expressed their thoughts and prayers for Norma and our family. We remain deeply appreciative.
November 27, 2000
Busy day with lots of good work getting done. Business cards are at the printer and should be in my hands by Wednesday or Thursday depending on when I'm able to get over to pick them up. I've got client work in Portland this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so that might be a more difficult pickup than normal.
Folks at RAMJet were apparently closed both Thursday and Friday last week (though I received an email confirmation on Friday), so Trinity's memory won't be showing up here until Wednesday at the earliest. You'd think e-commerce companies could put information like "we're closed" on their website, but I guess not. An annoyance but I'll deal.
I spent a chunk of time yesterday going through a few more chapters of the Adobe Classroom in a Book for Photoshop 5. Highly instructiveto the point where it will change the way I work with Photoshop files.
If one has the perseverance to work through these Adobe Classroom books, they're marvelously helpful. It's just that having that kind of stick-to-itiveness isn't easy. I think I'm part way through every one of the four different Adobe Classroom books I have without ever finishing one. Of the four (Illustrator, Photoshop, AfterEffects, Premiere), I've done the most with Photoshop probably followed by Illustrator. I will say that in designing my business cards the knowledge I acquired about Illustrator was essential, so there's value here even if a person only goes 5 or 6 chapters deep.
November 25, 2000
Another trip to Portland to clean out Grandma's apartment. Got most everything done except for a few bigger items for which we might need to rent a truck if the rain continues. Hauled a lot of stuff yesterday in Uncle Howard's truck, but it's not covered and now that rain is forecast for the rest of the week, we might have problems.
Erin and I are the beneficiaries of Grandma's TV, a number of towels and linens, and, as strange as it sounds, my parents' queen-size bed. My parents' took Grandma's relatively new queen-size bed and their old bed will go in our family room downstairs. Finally couples who visit us overnight will have a bed to share, and they won't be forced to use the bunk beds upstairs and decide, as I liked to joke, who gets to be on top.
I've ordered another 256 MB of RAM for Trinity, which will give the PowerBook a total of 384 MB once it's installed. That's nearly 5x bigger than the original hard drive on Henry, my Mac IIci. It's enough that I can probably put the System Folder onto a RAM Disk and boot from there. It's definitely enough that I can turn off virtual memorysomething that will give a nice speed increase by itself. It'll be fun to see Trinity move closer to its potential.
I try not to comment too much on business matters here since I like to pretend there's an imaginary wall between my business and personal life. I don't foresee that changing much, but I did want to note that the SiteRev.com business cardsplaced on the back burner by recent eventswill be sent to the printer on Monday. I hope to have them by the end of the week, and y'all can expect I'll be dealin' them out in your direction like a pack of playing cards.
I also wanted to mention, because of that same crossover between business and personal endeavors, that my company's next "major" purchase will be a keyboard amp for the Roland XP-80 keyboard. Sound for web sites, rock 'n' roll for the masses.
November 24, 2000
Spent all today in Portland cleaning the apartment and meeting with the funeral director. Grandma will be buried on Monday at the Willamette National Cemetery. There will be a memorial service on Tuesday at 1:30 PM at the Gateway Little Chapel of the Chimes in Portland.
A death notice and memorial service notice will run in Monday's edition of The Oregonian. An obituary will likely run in the next few days as well.
November 23, 2000Thanksgiving
We have so much to be thankful for, so many reasons to feel blessed. Personally, I'm enormously grateful for having had the opportunity to spend today with my family. We wolfed down Mom's delicious turkey dinner until we passed out around the house (FYI this is normal), celebrated Bret's birthday with some apple pie, hung some new blinds in the kitchen, played Rummy Cube and Trivial Pursuit, watched some football and some Raiders of the Lost Ark, and generally had the kind of holiday celebration that one treasures.
And, given this familial atmosphere, I'm also grateful to have been there this evening when we received the call that Grandma Norma had passed away.
I think of all the people who've not been fortunate enough to have a relationship with a grandparentBret and I, for example, knew neither of our grandfathersand it's an effortless conclusion that I am very lucky to have had the opportunity know my Grandma Norma.
Many thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
November 22, 2000
Went up to Portland again with Dad, this time to visit Grandma Norma in the hospital and to continue cleaning out her apartment. Grandma's health is unchanged, though we expect that her condition will begin to deteriorate rather rapidly in the next few days.
We met up with Uncle Howard while sorting through the apartment and managed to clean out a fair bit. Grandma was, like many people, a "saver" so we we've run across bags and boxes full of rubber bands, photo mounting clips, safety pins, stationary, unused greeting cards (she probably keep Hallmark in business all by herself), and other assorted items. I can't think of any items which I save to such an extent, but then again, I didn't live through the Great Depression, either. I'm sure if I had, I'd have collections of all kinds of stuff by now.
November 21, 2000
Dad gave me a lift up to Portland this morning so I could do some work for a client then afterward we tried to make a little progress in cleaning out Grandma's apartment at the Johnson Assisted Living Center. Uncle Howard and my cousin Jim were there earlier in the day, so at least some of the heavy lifting was done by the time I showed up.
Assuming it's necessary, Grandma will be transferred back from the hospital to her apartment her on Friday where her hospice care will continue. Now off all medications, she actually appears to be slightly stronger physically, but this is of course a temporary change, and there is no and will be no improvement in her cognitive functions.
Dad and I will be headed to Portland again tomorrow to continue some of the work at her apartment.
November 20, 2000
In keeping with her medical directive, the decision to essentially remove my Grandma Norma from life support and let nature take its course was made last night by my father and my uncle Howard in consultation with the doctors at Providence Medical Center.
Doctors expect that she will live between 3 and 10 days, but her stroke and subdural hematomas have damaged the left hemisphere of her brain to such an extent that she no longer has a capacity for comprehension or language and is permanently paralyzed on her right side. She is in no pain, and with limited exceptions shows no signs of consciousness. (Consciousness as in the state of being awake, not in terms of intellectual capacity. She shows some of the former and none of the latter.)
My understanding is that though her eyes may open and even track movement, this is an almost autonomic response. She shows no brain function, and she is being treated under hospice care and guidelines at the hospital. Her medical directive was explicit about this type of situation (I reviewed and signed off on it a few years ago), and we are convinced that she has received and continues to receive the finest medical treatment available in coordination with her wishes.
I have no information on funeral arrangements at this time other than to say that there will be one in Portland, and that she will be buried with my grandfather at the Willamette National Cemetery.
I will have more words about Grandma Norma soon, but for now let me just say how grateful I feel to have had the opportunity to know such a kind and sweet person. Here's the link to short, incomplete and thoroughly heartfelt tribute I wrote to her a year and half ago.
November 19, 2000
The leaves are falling down, down, down, and no amount of effort on my part is gonna stop them. I've been faithfully raking some of them up every week, filling the yard debris can, and watching the "clean" area I've worked get covered by more leaves in a few hours' time. I actually quite enjoy raking them up, though it's something of a frustration that I can't just take a Saturday afternoon and "win" my battle once and for all.
We were thrilled to have our friends and recent newlyweds Joe and Carol come over for dinner last night. We loved seeing wedding and honeymoon pictures and hearing the stories behind what was obviously a marvelous and special week in their lives. I'm hoping Joe puts a few of the pictures online, because there are a few which are so stunningly beautiful as to deserve a much wider audience.
Conversation ranged far and wide, continued for hours, and would likely still be going if humans didn't require sleep. Topics including a the construction of secret hiding places in houses, Carol's courageous move across country after graduating from Purdue, the psychology of parenting, the hidden tunnels under Portland and Seattle, and more.
Many thanks to Joe and Carol for a delightful evening.
November 17, 2000
Forgive me for not sugarcoating the bad news: Grandma Norma's condition is poor. She suffered a serious stroke on Monday. She's mostly paralyzed on her right side. She has two more subdural hematomas, though not in the same locations as before her recently surgery. Doctors at Providence Medical are hopeful that the swelling will begin to go down by Sunday, but they're frank about Grandma's condition likely worsening somewhat before then.
Speculation is that her stroke was brought on by a spike of high blood pressuresomething that has happened occasionally despite a regimen of pills to control the condition. The truth is no one is quite sure what brought this on. The subdural hematomas would be indicative of a fall (or two) which is what happened at some point in all likelihood, but whether this was before, during or after the stroke is anybody's guess.
Also lousy news though hardly in the same category of seriousness: Our Mazda is leaking oil and will require a bit of an engine pull-apart. As it stands right now, the mechanic has advised us not to take any trips out of town with the car and to always check the oil before we go anywhere. Repair costs for this start at $325 and go steadily upward. I'll fill y'all in on the problem with the bearings some other time. This is enough bad news for one day.
In other, moderately interesting though comparatively irrelevant news, Bret's decided to put a G3 card in his Performa 6116 CD (aka Power Mac 6100). I can't begin to tell you how surprised I was by this decision since I guess I always assumed he'd be buying a PC. Of course, with a G3 card, VirtualPC will let him run a lot of the stuff he might want out of the PC camp anyway, so I suppose that was a consideration.
Also, if you tally the costs, the 6116 CD comes out looking pretty good. He got the machine and 15" monitor for a paltry $100 and spent about $125 to juice the RAM to 72 MB. If you figure $250 for the G3 card plus another $100 for a bigger HD (currently 350 MB), that totals $575 for a machine that will MacBench almost 200 higher than the original iMac. True, the video RAM will always be a little lacking, but a G3 processor makes up for a lot of sins, and for running Quicken, doing web stuff, checking email, word processing, using VirtualPC, etc., this is a very good and affordable set up. Nicely done, if I do say so myself.
I've just about finished my new logo for SiteRev.com. It's been an education in Adobe Illustrator, that's for sure. If I can just nail down this last big design challenge, I'll send the files to the printer next week to get business cards printed. Those of you who might want one needn't worry: You can expect that I'll hand them out like Hare Krishnas pushing flowers at the airport.
November 15, 2000
I'm sorry to report that my grandma Norma has had a relapse and is once again in the hospital. Although the latest CT scans were clean, that was about a month ago now, and she's clearly suffering from a mental incapacity similar to before. She'll have another CT scan tomorrow.
November 14, 2000
I "graduated" from the Salem Police Department's Citizen Police Academy this evening with a little ceremony held down at the Salem Public Library. I had the opportunity to say a few words at the microphone so I started with a joke about the Academy Awards which went over well and then proceeded down a quick list of thank yous. I remain enormously grateful for having had the opportunity to participate in this class and see up close what law enforcement personnel go through.
It's quite a testament to the chief of police and the rest of the Salem PD that they have a community outreach program like this and that they are so willing to be open and upfront about their policies, procedures, and activities.
I would recommend this class to anyone in the Salem area as a fun educational experience which may provide a new appreciation for the area's police force. That's what it did for me.
November 13, 2000
I recently bumped into another neat comic strip site which I think some of you might enjoy. It's called Diary of a Crazed Mimbanite and it spoofs the whole Star Wars trilogy world using a cast of alternate though highly recognizable characters. These strips are best viewed at 800 x 600 resolution, but I dare say they're funny no matter your screen size. My favorites: 4, 12, 19, 27, 32, 36, 42, 43, 49, 52, 55, 59, 60, and 67.
November 11, 2000
Bret borrowed a truck and the two of us packed the bed with his futon, sofa, and desk and made another trip to his new PDX apartment. Let me tell you that lifting his two-ton sofa was the challenge of a lifetime, especially for a guy like me with a questionable back. Nonetheless, my initial assessment proved correct that the sofa was just on the good side of acceptability when it came to me lifting heavy objects.
I was hoping to do a police ride-along this evening, but my paperwork wasn't processed in time, so it looks like perhaps sometime in the next two weeks.
November 10, 2000Veterans' Day
Two trips up and back to Portland to help Bret move to his new apartment. We've loved having him here, and despite some initial misgivings about sharing a house with someone, we were all able to pull off the dual living situation pretty successfully.
Bret's move will free up the guest room upstairs and the family room downstairs, the former being good news and the latter being bad news. Having the guest room available again will provide overnighters with their own room which is obviously great. Having the family room available again means that we're staring at a lot of blank walls which won't be nearly so attractive as having Bret's sofa, futon, and big TV there was. Room to grow, I guess.
November 9, 2000
Last night's final Citizens' Police Academy was a long of fun. After a quick course on crime prevention and volunteer opportunities, we headed to the local parkade were we played cops and, well, not exactly robbers, but traffic violators. The student in the lead car was given a scenario (drunk, belligerent, uncooperative, armed, etc.) and was the pulled over by the "cop" student in the trailing car.
We achieved a deep appreciation for the difficulties of a simple traffic stop in very short order. This is not an easy process, and there are a lot of things to think about: Check the trunk, check the back of the car, get the driver's hands where you can see them, have them turn off the engine, don't step into traffic lanes, etc.
In my turn as cop, the bad guy attempted to bribe me to let him off. This led to a degree of confusion on my part since I obviously hadn't trained for the scenario. Figuring the straight arrow legalistic approach wouldn't lose me any points and would best enable me to save face, I had the bad guy get out of the car and put his hands on the hood. If I had cuffs, I would have cuffed him. This might seem a little extreme for a $2 bribe, but, hey, I was a little hopped up about everything, what can I say?
On the brighter side, bribing an officer is a Class B Felony in Oregon, so I wasn't technically overstepping my bounds. Of course, I would have hated to tell the judge the story of the $2 bribe arrest, but live and learn.
For my turn as bad guy, I got to be suicidal dude who's wife left him, dog died, etc. Cop pulls me over (I threw in a little weave driving for fun), and hop out of the car and start complaining, "This all your fault. My wife left, my dog died, and now this. I'm gonna go jump off that bridge." And then I just start walkin'. The student cop, to her credit, stayed right with me, urging me to come back the car, etc. I walked quite a ways before I finally came back, and I did every thing very slowlyplaying a despondent loser (no relation to real life, I assure you) was a lot of fun and I wanted to make the scenario last as long as I could.
November 8, 2000
Whew, talk about an Election Day hangover. It was well into the night before the presidential race got called in favor of Bush, and as everybody kept repeating on CNN, it couldn't have been much closer. My own analysis was off in either 3 or 4 states (Delaware, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Florida). Of these, New Hampshire and Florida were really the two shockers.
Update: Florida as of this writing is now back in play with only 1600 votes separating the candidates, and it looks like we won't know until Thursday night who won the election. Oregon remains uncalled, but Bush continues to lead. Wisconsin ended up in the Gore camp.
Interestingly, Gore now leads nationally in number of votes and should Bush win, we'll have a president elect who lost the popular vote. (Kudos to Ginger who predicted this outcome, though I suspect that she, like everyone else including me, thought that Gore would win office and Bush the popular vote).
My own track record turns out to have been pretty good, if I say so myself. I missed on 3 states, and collectively that means 6 votes to Gore I didn't anticipate. Of course that assumes Florida goes Gore, which I'd have to say is pretty dang iffy.
Either way, this has been one of the most marvelous elections for sheer excitement perhaps in the history of the country. What a wonderful event to have experienced!
Notes from the Election Day:
- Should Bush win Florida, the Republicans would then control the House, Senate, the Executive Branch, and, most likely, soon the Supreme Court.
- Gore strategists blew their handling of Bill Clinton in Arkansas. Clinton campaigned there once last Sunday. He should have been there as frequently as possible. Of course Bush's travels to California were likewise wasted effort, though I appreciate his loyalty in wanting to help Republican candidates down ballot.
- In my view, if Bush wins Ralph Nader's candidacy cost Al Gore the presidency. At last count there was a 224 vote difference in Florida between Bush and Gore with Nader tallying 96,560 votes. Nader voters favored Gore over Bush 6-to-1 nationwide, so you do the math. Similar results because of Nader here in Oregon and, potentially, Wisconsin. While I think a third party is a good idea, I'm not convinced that the Green Party, which looks to have tallied 3 percent nationwide, is the best one for the country.
- The good news of the potential Bush presidency (outside of the fact that comedians would have 4 years worth of material) is that Social Security is in need of reform and may get it. We'd probably see the end of the Marriage Penalty in the tax code. I can't think of a whole lot else, and there are a lot of negatives.
- Bill Sizemore went 1-6, but the one he passedBallot Measure 7has the worst financial impact on the state: $5.4 billion per year. Can't wait to see where that kind of money comes from.
November 7, 2000
Welcome ya'll to Election Day 2000. Anybody else feeling tingley all over? Win, lose, or draw, this is going to be a fun and interesting day. I've updated my presidential election predictions page (see link above) one last time, and I'll be updating it throughout the late afternoon and evening with results. Those so inclined can tune in repeatedly to see just how wrong I am.
Last update 12:22 AM PST, November 8.
November 5, 2000
We bid adieu to Mark, Christine, and Jared this morning with much gratitude for their visit and a sincere hope that it was the restful mental and physical break which they'd been seeking.
Mark and I toured the house, took measurements, and videotaped everything so that he could assist me from afar as I attempt to shore the roof's structural support and to make other various household improvements. As I've said before, the roof isn't in imminent danger of collapse, but it's bumped its way to item number 1 on the "to fix" list, that's for sure.
More specifically, there are four main problems of various degrees of seriousness. First and most importantly, the front overhang is cantilevered over the walkway, which is to say that the front pillars which support the roof overhang do not support it at all. Closely examined, the three pillars do not even touch the ground, so in reality they're just extra weight for the roof to support. This is definitely not good.
The second major item is that the purlins (in essence diagonal support struts) which support the roof interior are all at the wrong angle. They're supposed to be at 45 degrees. As is, there's a question as to whether they provide any support at all. In addition, the roof ridge should be composed of 2 x 8s; in the "good" sections there are 2 x 6s; in the "bad" sections, 2 x 4s. And that is one heavy tile roof.
Third, there are ventilation issues. We need a gable vent on the south side to improve attic ventilation plus the kitchen fan and bathroom fan airwhich currently vents into the atticshould be vented outside.
Finally, some flashing has pulled away from the chimney and blue sky is visible from the interior. That's a definite no-no.
So the long and short this is that our plans for building a deck next summer are more than likely out the window. It's a bummer in that fixing the structural integrity of the roof isn't very noticeable, but if I'm forced to choose between a roof and deck, it's a no-brainer.
Many thanks to Mark for his expertise and help.
November 4, 2000
The group of us, Mark, Christine, Jared, Erin and I, traveled up to Portland to check out Saturday Market and Powell's Books. It was a touch on the cold side, but the day stayed sunny. As a bonus we rode around downtown on the MAX light rail. (The new train cars are vast improvement over the old ones.)
We returned to Salem in the late afternoon, and after getting Jared settled into bed, we watched The Usual Suspects with Kevin Spacey and a number of highly recognizable character actors (the names of whom I sadly can't remember). Fairly violent, but an excellent "whodunit" which I'd recommend.
November 3, 2000
Bit of a hang out and do nothing day (aka the perfect vacation day) for Mark, Christine, and Jared, capped by the finest BBQed rib dinner I've ever had. Mark spent some 3-4 hours over the coals to create the meal, and the results were magnificent to say the least. In addition to Mark, our dinner party was comprised of Mom, Dad, Bret, Erin, Christine, Jared and me, and we all were just blown away by the food. (See, it's stuff like this that makes vegetarianism so hard for me. Hehe.)
Dinner time conversation topics ranged far and wide, though presidential politics was a major theme. This provided me with an excellent opportunity to explain to Dad the error of his dual anti-Bush and anti-Gore ways. My contention that the criminal would make a much better president than the idiot proved not to be a line of argumentation with which he was terrifically receptive. So I'll be calling the State Mental Hospital on Monday to have him committed.
Earlier in the day, Christine and I took Jared on a stroll through the park. He enjoyed the slides a fair amount, but nothing captured his attention like the sticks and barkdust of the play area. He amused himself with that for a good 30 minutes or more without any intervention from us adults.
Erin completed her Parent-Teacher conferences today with nary a bad session. Parents representing 29 of her 150 students met with her, and all were positive meetings. There's something that's not happened before, and it was neat to hear. (Would be nice if a few more parents were interested in their student's education, though. Twenty of 150 is just under 20 percent)
Mark and I will be up in the attic some more tomorrow to shoot some video so that we can review what's going on up there. As I mentioned yesterday, some of this I can do, but there is definitely some of it I can't. Depending on the cost of shoring up support for the overhang, it may mean that we put off building a deck out back for another year. We'll create a priority fix-it list tomorrow when we walk through everything, but I'm betting the "build deck out back" is pretty low in the scheme of things. No tragedy.
November 2, 2000
Mark, Christine, Jared, and I visited Erin at Sprague today. Though Parent-Teacher conferences are in full swing, we popped by during the break period and let Jared enchant everyone he came in contact with. Erin's got more conferences tomorrow.
Mark and I hopped up in the attic for the look-around, and his expert eye was able to spot a number of places were the roof is inadequately supported. It's not something that's in imminent danger of collapse or anything like that, but there is a perceptible sag in some areas, and Markwho is a general contractor, sorry if I forgot to mention thatwas able to say not only what the original carpenters did wrong, but he also offered suggestions on how to fix the problems. Some of it I can do, but the fix-it of the unsupported front walkway overhang sounds pretty complex (any time you have to bring in a house jack, it's time to turn the project over to somebody who knows what he's doing).
I am very happy to report that, at long last, I've finished paying off Trinity, the Apple PowerBook I lugged to France and back. Trinity continues to serve as my main machine, and by the end of the year I hope to up Trin's capacity even more by adding another 256 MB of RAM (giving Trin a total of 384 MB). Among other things, this will let me turn off Virtual Memory which should provide a good speed up for most applications.
November 1, 2000
We're very happy to have Mark, Christine, and Jared visiting us for the next few days. After a quick house tour, we started playing with Mark's new Sony DV camera and watching Jared smear raviolis on his face, some of which actually made it in his mouth. (Many thanks to Ken and Dee for the letting us borrow the booster chair, toys and stroller. Jared's putting them to good use.) I'm sure the Jared-centered festivities continued, but I had to scoot out to the Citizens' Police Academy and thus missed a lot of the action.
Unfortunately, tonight's CPA classes were missing a lot of the action as well. We covered Domestic Violence and Criminal Investigations, and took a tour of the Police Department itself. That last item was easily the most interesting.
What to say about Domestic Violence? Well, most states (Oregon included) now have laws on the books which virtually compel officers to make custodial arrests in domestic violence cases. Indeed, if they have a reasonable suspicion of domestic violence and do not make an arrest, they may be held legally liable. (There are also additional false arrest protections in place to protect the officer.) Legislatures began passing these laws when the studies came back showing that the number one preventative measure in stopping domestic violence from escalating was custodial arrest.
Criminal Investigations offered very little which hadn't been covered before. I think the only really notable item was that there were 2 homicides in 1998 and in 1999 in Marion County. In 1997 there were 10. The officer presenting the materials was yet another strong believer in Measure 11's mandatory minimum sentencing for violent criminals, for whatever that's worth.
I've updated my Presidential Election Predictions (see link above), and if my projections are even close to correct, it's certainly within the realm of possibilty that Bush could win the popular vote and lose in the electoral college.