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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Derek's LiveJournal:

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Monday, January 9th, 2006
9:59 pm
REGARDING CERTAIN POLICY CHANGES HEREIN ANNOUNCED
MEMO

DATE:  09-JAN-06

FROM:  THE CHIEF
TO:    ANYONE WHO CARES
RE:    CERTAIN POLICY CHANGES HEREIN ANNOUNCED

Greetings, Everyone.

It's been a great year. A great life. A good time. Congratulations
to us all. Good job.

Therefore, it is my feeling that now is the perfect time to make several
key changes which will positively impact our common prospects. To wit:

Henceforth, and on a go forward basis, I shall be using a different 
communication channel for all of my LiveJournaling needs:

    zhmort

Those of you who have known me a long time will no doubt recognize
this as an old alias, rather than a new one. Those of you who don't,
well, there's no helping that, but we'll get to know each other better
in due time, I'm sure.

For further details on this change, please refer to your handbooks.
or if necessary, my next journal entry.

Kindest Regards, Warmest Wishes, and Best of Luck To Us All,

Derek


Current Mood: Changitudinous
Saturday, November 12th, 2005
5:03 pm
I was using the Visited States tool (which I found on wickenden's journal) to plot the states I have visited, and found I had to do a little research to work it out. A lot of the places I've been are Western states I've lived in (or travelled to while living nearby). But perhaps more than half of the states I've visited have been just one- or two-time visits. My multi-state travelling binges happened when I was part of the Argonauts Drum & Bugle Corps in Salem, Oregon during the summers after 7th, 8th, and 9th grades (1981-1983).

Many more tangents here...Collapse )

Current Mood: nostalgicomical
4:35 pm
States I have Visited



create your own personalized map of the USA

(Found this tool via wickenden...)

Current Mood: nostalgic

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005
11:12 pm
Good Humor = Bad Citizenship
Did other people have a "Citizenship" grade on their report cards in elementary school? I did. That was often one of my worst grades (though it was on the U = unsatisfactory, S = satisfactory, E = excellent system rather than A, B, C, etc.)

In 4th and 5th grades, my teachers actually added a write-in category for me under Citizenship: Classroom Conduct. It was my own special grade.

People who know me now might be surprised to learn that I received quite a number of U's in Classroom Conduct. I'm guessing it was a combination of exceeding boredom on my part, and the growing understanding that I could make friends through humor.

Humor takes time away from progress towards other goals. Busy schedules often don't have time for humor. Teachers would get annoyed, because they knew they were being derailed. I totally understand, now, why it would irritate them.

We face this in corporate meetings. People make jokes as we go along. Some people appreciate them, some people don't. Sometimes, everyone in the room seems to appreciate it. When that hapens, the meeting facilitator might be inclined to let it go on for a while, until it peters out. But then when the humor break goes on a little longer, some people who initially appreciated it stop appreciating it.

This tension between enjoying humor in a group setting vs. being irritated by it is a funny dynamic to me. I always notice it, watching both individual reactions as well as the apparent group consensus change from "this is funny" to "this is wasting time" and back again.

In my own staff meetings (my direct reports), I tend to loosen the leash. I want the message sent that I understand we have a lot to do, but that there are certain, key times for having fun and building camaraderie, and my staff meetings are those times. Derek is down with the humor. All of the funny folks on my team will be getting an "E" (for "Excellent") for the day! :-)

On an unrelated note, I'm also thinking of installing a Slip 'N Slide.

Current Mood: Good
Tuesday, January 18th, 2005
10:19 pm
Full of woe and misery, and ham.
The following was said on my prviate IRC channel on 27 Dec 2004. In retrospect I see that we were writing the lyrics to an opera. So as you're reading along, please sing the lines in your head (or aloud, as you prefer) like an opera singer. Be sure to add lots of dramatic pauses, held-out notes, etc. And also, change from male to female opera singer voices as you switch from the lines from zderek to those from silestra (what a great cameo!) and zmary (my operatic diva partner!).

15:20:44 <zderek> There is no ham.
15:20:53 <zderek> There is certainly not any honey-baked ham.
15:20:58 <zderek> Definitely not.
15:21:04 <zderek> Not on the counter in the kitchen, anyway.
15:21:10 <zderek> Not a whole ham.
15:21:19 <zderek> Not a ham that you don't even have to cook or slice.
15:21:37 <zderek> Best to just forget about ham. I mean, what would be the point in thinking about it? After all, there is none.
15:21:46 <zderek> Doomed to yearn for ham, am I.
15:21:53 <Silestra> bummer
15:22:09 <zderek> Yeah. It's a sad tale.
15:22:19 <zderek> Full of woe and misery, but not ham.
15:24:47 *** zderek changed topic of #zderek to: <zderek> Yeah. It's a sad tale. Full of woe and misery, but not ham.
15:24:47 *** Topic for #zderek is: <zderek> Yeah. It's a sad tale. Full of woe and misery, but not ham.
15:38:07 <zmary> But what about the ham?
15:38:20 <zmary> What about the whole ham on the counter?
15:38:41 <zmary> There certainly is a honey-baked ham in the kitchen.
15:38:55 <zmary> A ham that you don't even have to cook or slice.
15:39:00 <zmary> A whole ham.
15:39:09 <zmary> Doomed to eat ham, are you.
15:39:38 <zmary> Full of woe and misery, and ham.
15:40:14 *** zderek changed topic of #zderek to: <zmary> Full of woe and misery, and ham.
15:40:14 *** Topic for #zderek is: <zmary> Full of woe and misery, and ham.

Current Mood: Reflective (Shiny!)
Saturday, January 8th, 2005
1:24 pm
Our Little Communicator

Spent some time today trying to write down all the things I could think of that Tommy knows how to say. I imagine this will be a lot harder to do in such comprehensive fashion before too long.

Update: This is apparently still under construction. Since I posted it earlier today, we've done a lot of a) remembering additional words, and b) reclassifying signs we taught him vs. signs he invented.

It's already a lot of words...Collapse )

Current Mood: Proud
Thursday, November 25th, 2004
1:41 am
My Half of Our Birth Story, Part II
It's been a while. I've been hibernating. Journalbernating. Not sure why, exactly. Lots of stuff going on, and plenty to talk about. Just haven't gotten a strong enough urge to write in a public forum, I guess. I do chat daily with many of my friends over private IRC channels, so I guess that satisfies most of my need for self-expression and group communication. A journal is a different kind of forum, though, and I do think it has a different kind of value. So hopefully I won't ignore it again for this long in the future.

ANYWAY...

For the longest time, I've been meaning to finish my half of our birth story, so now I'm going to try to make some more progress on that, if not finish it altogether. I wrote a first installment way back on January 29, 2004, about two and a half months after Tommy was born. It's funny that at that time I thought I had already procrastinated so long that the memories might not be totally fresh and vivid and accurate any more. I was worried I might have waited too long. I see now that back then I didn't really understand what procrastination was... that in fact I was an overachiever demonstrating an amazing ability to get things done during the one of the most busy and exhausting times of my life. :-)

We recently passed Tommy's first birthday, (which zmary recently mentioned in her journal), so in honor of that, and with even more nostalgia than I was feeling while writing part 1...

and now, the rest of the story...Collapse )

Current Mood: Nostalgic, Gushing
Tuesday, May 25th, 2004
10:42 pm
Long Time No See
This weekend I got to visit with an old friend from my time (1987-1990) in the Army Band in Germany. It was very cool and surreal. I hadn't seen him in almost exactly 14 years, despite having kept in touch by phone from time to time over the years. Normally, I don't meet up with people I like and want to be a part of my life but haven't run into for 14 years. :-) But he's been in Florida and Alabama, and I've been in Arizona and California, and we just never had reason to cross paths.

...until this weekend, when he finally had reason to come to California.Collapse )

Current Mood: reflective
Sunday, February 15th, 2004
8:55 pm
More Pics...
This is the new desktop wallpaper on my laptop:



And here are some more pics from the past 3 months, not so much with a theme this time (unless "my family and friends" is a descriptive enough theme... :-)

Current Mood: Nostalgic
7:52 pm
Adoration


Click here for more pics of people with Tommy, all with a common theme.
Thursday, January 29th, 2004
11:11 pm
My Half of Our Birth Story
What follows really should be included as a comment on zmary's Birth Story. But it's so long, I'm just going to post it here in my own journal, and link to it from hers.

Because I started out writing it as a reply to her post, it's mostly addressed to her. In other words, she's the "you" I'm talking to. And if it isn't obvious, she's a "you" I love very much. :-)

My thoughts about the birth of our baby boy.Collapse )

Current Mood: reflective, maybe even shiny
Monday, December 8th, 2003
12:21 pm
Remembering Times When The Sleep-O-Meter Was So Very Un-Pegged
One of the things I heard the most about prior to becoming a new father was the sleepless nights I could expect in the beginning. In fact, in an unscientific survey, the day Tommy was born, I sent a phone message to my boss to let her know it had happened and that I was officially going on "family leave", and she translated that into an email message and sent it out to our department at work to let everyone know. Later, when I logged back into my work Inbox and checked email, I saw there were several congratulatory responses.

Of those, about 30% of them said, "Enjoy/Prepare for/Welcome to the sleepless nights!"

Naturally, they knew they were 100% correct in this prediction.Collapse )

Current Mood: awaker
11:06 am
Pegged Sleep-O-Meter!
You know you're done sleeping for the moment when you're offered the opportunity to go back to bed for some solo sleeping, and instead of sleeping, you lay there composing To Do lists and LiveJournal posts in your head, including the exact words for this post.

Current Mood: awake
Monday, November 24th, 2003
3:46 am
My Favorite Pictures of Tommy So Far

Notes:

  • I'm not including the three favorites I already posted on zmary's journal.
  • They are chronologically ordered (except the one above).
  • I am a bit smitten, if that part wasn't obvious. So is my wife, and everyone else who has met him.
  • Life is good.
Lots more favorites here...Collapse )

Current Mood: Doting
Saturday, October 18th, 2003
11:57 am
Getta You Fun, While-a You Can

In a few weeks, apparently we are expected to lose any semblance of freedom for the next 10-20 years. At that time, we will inherit a little bundle of burden, who comes with:

  • responsibility
  • a saddle
  • a whip
  • a ball
  • a chain
  • and more responsibility.

So while we still can, today we are going on a "date", so we can soak up one of our last opportunities to be:

  • unburdened
  • freedom-loving
  • hippies
  • who just come and go as we please
  • doing whatever we want
  • saying whatever we want
  • without cares
  • and without responsibility.

I'm anticipating a lot of smiling, floating, and being free.

Also, a lot of swearing and over-spending.

Because fortunately, for these last few minutes, it doesn't matter what other people think of us, and money still grows on trees.

Woo!

Current Mood: carpe diem

Sunday, October 12th, 2003
12:08 pm
¡Puedo soñar en español!
Last night I spoke Spanish in a dream for the first time that I can recall.

I specifically remember trying to tell someone that "we can" (podemos) do something.

Bueno. :-)

Current Mood: Hablo español.
Saturday, October 4th, 2003
10:42 am
Please Buy Our Junk
Strangely enough, it seems that there is a surplus of money out there in the world, and a deficit of stuff.

And coincidentally, there seems to be a surplus of stuff here in our house, and a deficit of money.

Can you say, "Osmosis"? No? Well then how about, "Yard Sale."

Good. I knew you could. :-)

I can't believe this actually works. We cart it out to the driveway, and they cart it out into the world from there, leaving us a small donation somewhere in between. Tom Sawyer would have been so, so proud of us.

(By the way, if I were to use the proper phrase my friends and I like to use to make this joke, the subject would be, "Please buy our crap." But I'm supposed to be learning to be more "family-oriented" now, so that means I gotta start censoring myself. Examples of other words I'll need to remember not to use around the boy are: "allowance", "girls", and "dating".)

Current Mood: declutteritudinous
Monday, September 22nd, 2003
12:20 am
Updates on Me and Mine
Here is a list of stuff I've done in the past few months, with commentary. Once again I'm writing it in reverse chronological order, because lately I like viewing things that way. (And if my friend Kip ever carries through on his promise to see the movie Memento with me, I'll be able to talk more about this with him.)

Get the scoop while it's, uh, fresh, or scoopful, or somethingCollapse )

Current Mood: happy and grateful
Sunday, August 31st, 2003
1:07 am
Coach Derek Limbers Up
In the past few weeks I have learned that there are three stages of labor. The second and third stages are about pushing the baby and then the placenta out. The first stage is a little more varied, and is further sub-divided into three phases: early labor, active labor, and transition. There are contractions throughout, with observable variance in duration and frequency, sometimes with some urge to push during transition, even before second stage starts. But even more easily observable than the changes in contractions, apparently, are the usual changes in the mother's moods and outlook.

Early labor is the easiest part of labor, and is sometimes experienced as fun and even exciting. ("It's finally happening!")

Active labor, in addition to affecting the mother more physically, is marked by increased "seriousness" and an inward focus. ("Don't touch me!" or "Take the lamp shade off your head now, monkey-boy.")

Transition is the hardest part of this stage, and often this is where the mother will doubt herself the most, worrying that she can't do it. They say the trick is to understand that getting to that point means the labor is almost done, that in fact the baby will be there soon.

So as an aspiring labor coach/participant/hinderer, I figure I ought to have some way of making sure I don't miss these key mood indicators. My plan is to buy the following supplies and bring them with me to the birth, probably under a trench coat:

  1. One rubber chicken
  2. One large set of salad tongs

Then, while helping her through the labor, I will occasionally surprise her with tests. First, I'll whip out the the chicken, and quickly ask, all offhand-like, "Hey, whaddaya think of this?!" If I get a chuckle, I put it away and get back to helping with contractions. If I get nothing, then I quickly whip out the salad tongs and go on to ask, "Is it time for these yet?"

And if at that point she pushes out our baby, I will finally know for sure that she was really pregnant all along, and not just wearing a specially molded pillow around her waist for the sake of sympathy, as I have long suspected.
Thursday, May 1st, 2003
12:14 am
Cool
Today we got to hear our baby's heartbeat. That was an intense experience.

For me, it was an important moment. Although I'd probably qualify as an "involved father" up to this point in the pregnancy, there's still a certain abstractness to it for me. In concept, I am overjoyed and filled with anticipation. In reality, not that much has changed for me. Oh sure, zmary takes more naps now, and I carry a little more of the load than before. But the hugs and love and attention are just an extension of our never-ending honeymoon, so it's no big deal.

But hearing the heartbeat was different. That's my baby's heartbeat.

I had kind of a funny thought about it, though. Because the baby is still so small, you really can't feel much from the outside. So the sonar-based doohickey that listened for the heartbeat was really kind of a magical device from my perspective. It helped us make contact with an alien from a different world, as far as I know. In fact, I was kind of amused to myself, pondering the notion that our baby was actually floating out in space somewhere, and somehow the doctor holding this device to Mary's stomach was allowing us to contact him or her. The heartbeat itself was the message, just like in the movie Contact. (It even sounded eery in a similar way.)

I don't know what the message means. We haven't decoded it yet. But my best guess is that it means, "I love you, daddy!"

Something like that, anyway.

Current Mood: fatherly
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