January 2004

January - we had an unplanned visit to California because of the untimely death of Bob Stuart.  The weather was warm, and it was good to see family and friends, despite the unhappy occasion.  We missed the big chill back home... it was amusing to sit and read the LA Times showing pictures of half-frozen commuters on the East Coast with stories about record low temperatures while the kids were jumping in the pool.  

Brie went on a ski trip with the Church Junior High Youth Fellowship Group for a weekend.  She's now the only person in the family who has had a ride on a snow cat (not because she had a skiing accident, it was part of the program).  

Kate went to a three day class on stone setting where she learned the nuances of the highly complex "Gypsy" setting... I still have no idea what that is... along with the more standard channel, prong, flush, bezel, and tube settings.  She's also added a third location, NOA Gallery, to her growing list of local merchants that carry Katydid's Jewelry.  This has an upside and downside... the demand is outstripping her ability to keep up with it, although she's added a few new things to the website.

My latest Java-based internet computer game, SMAC, is underway using the third revision of the rules.  It's a pretty good game, actually.  Alex Simmons, Eric Haines, and Rob Hendrie (RPI) are playing, along with Rick Morris and Paul Filipski (Longview), and Jim Everett-Wilson (Foliage).

Above:  California, ready to leave for the memorial service in La Jolla, and kids enjoying the pool later in the week.

Below, from top right clockwise:  Alex Simmons looking smirkier than ever, Rich Boyle showing a little salt and pepper, Bill Garber and Anne Krall get the hot seat (that's the fireplace behind them), Terry and Brendon Boyle, Alex and myself at my favorite Restaurant, Paco's Taco's, which didn't burn down as we arrived in LA this time, and Nick and Anne Krall straight from the ranch.

We ran up to my brothers for a combo birthday party for Dani and myself.  Andy proved himself to be a little lacking in basic business sense after my brother Bill told me he couldn't break Andy's bear hug in under sixty seconds (Andy is on the wrestling team), as demonstrated in the following conversation:

Dave, whispering: "Andy, want to make a fast five bucks?"

Andy: "Sure"

Dave, loudly: "Bill, I bet you ten bucks I can get out of Andy's bear hug faster than that."

Bill:  "Ha!  Not a chance!  I'll take that bet!"

(Andy gets behind me and grabs me in a bear hug.  Bill sets a timer for 60 seconds)

Bill:  "Ready, set, GO!"

Dave:  "Andy, I'll give you five bucks to let go of me right now."

Andy:  "Five bucks?  That's only half."  (I'm thinking "oh oh")

Dave: "It's half you won't get if you don't let me go."

Andy:  "Nah."

Dave, desperately: "OK, fine, you can have the entire ten bucks."

Andy:  "Nah."

Dave:  "Damn."  (Struggles until time runs out).