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Archive for December 2006

Panhandling In A Debit Card Age

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I stopped at Peets this week, after dropping the kids off at a nearby class they attend, and as I parked the car to the side of the entrance, I saw the telltale signs of somebody about to ask me for spare change. There was a shopping cart filled with belongings and covered with a tarp, behind which protruded a set of legs wearing tattered shoes.

I was in a rush (when am I not these days) and I’d already opted to put my Peets gift card in my pocket in lieu of carrying in my entire wallet. So when I walked passed him I didn’t have any cash on hand in the first place.

From beneath a weathered, broad-rimmed hat and behind a think and tattered white beard, came the voice from the bench, “Do you have any spare change, sir?”
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12/30/2006 at 8:08 am

An Unwanted Photo in My Wallet

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I put a photo of my daughter into my wallet this week, and it’s probably one of the more upsetting things I’ve had to do as a parent. I carry photos of the kids on my Treo, which is far more convenient, and I also carry a very thin wallet and have for many years. Just like my keychain, which has only two keys on it, my wallet only has the absolute necessities and not a bunch of fluff and extra crap.

Adding her photo to my wallet, and it’s subsequent impact to it’s bulk, is not the upsetting thing. Nor is the photo, which I think, naturally, is beautiful. But the fact that I even need to do so, and the details on the card upon which her photo rests, are what make me cringe, and almost retch, at it’s mere existence. The photo is on a ‘missing kids’ emergency card, something I should carry in the event she were to disappear.
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Written by gsm

12/29/2006 at 8:08 am

I Live In A Night Gallery House

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Alright…. I’ve reached a conclusion. After multiple rat encounters, consistently finding gnawed remains of fallen fruit littering our yard, and after watching gophers randomly popping up and leaving burrowed mounds of dirt for my kids to stumble over, I’m convinced we’re living in a house straight out of ‘the Night Gallery’. Hell, even the plants around this place have this ‘finger-bone’ appearance, as if they’re poised and waiting to come to live and clutch my ankle.
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Written by gsm

12/28/2006 at 8:08 am

Posted in  Miscellaneous 

Remembering Nicole

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As you may be aware from earlier posts, my mother-in-law passed away shortly before Christmas. Back in 2005, on her 70th birthday, my wife and I worked on a movie that captured her life from infancy to adulthood and we ‘screened it’ at a party for her. It brought tears to her eyes, and to some of ours as well. With her sudden passing, we thought it would be nice to update it, and play it prior to her burial. I’ve also pressed a DVD version for all of the family, and i’ve posted a web version online.

Because this has family images, It’s on a password protected section. The user name is my son’s name, the password is my daughter’s name. If you need more help beyond that, email me.

Written by gsm

12/27/2006 at 9:13 am

Making Lemonade From Backed Up Plumbing

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I think we’ve had a hard enough week already. A sudden death with suspicious medical associations has pretty much derailed the entire family. Yet we are trying to move forward with the plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, hosted at our home. Our home, which, at 10am, decided to stop draining from the kitchen sink and laundry room, flooding the area and further derailing things. ARRRRRGGHH.

BUT following the frustration and exasperation over the bad timing, my wife reminded me it could be worse, and it definitely could. So a plumber is en route, and in the mean time the kids are having a complete blast pretending to be plumbers, entertaining me while I quickly document, for posterity, how the universe actually is against me.

“I’m trying Ringo…. I’m tryin’ real hard, to be the shepherd.” ;-)

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12/24/2006 at 11:26 am

Adieu et Merci

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As Thanksgiving approached this year, my wife called me at work and said that her mother wanted to stay with us for about a week following the holiday. It was without hesitation that I said yes. Her visits are always good ones, with each one better then the last. It seemed that, since the birth of our twins, she and I grew closer and closer. We crossed the line of ‘in-law’ and I truly felt like one of her own children. 3 months after their birth, when she’d spent every Monday through Friday at our house helping out, my wife and I were discussing some way to thank her, and our immediate idea was to append her name to that of our daughter’s, which we did, much to her and our delight.

When she was preparing to leave after this visit last week, I looked at her and felt a great deal of gratitude for the mother in law she is, and the grandmother as well. I resisted the usual compliment/joke interchange, and simply looked at her, paused, and said with all sincerity, that her presence was always a joy, that I and the kids loved her visits, and that she was welcome at any time.

She passed away Monday from a massive heart attack. The shock is still setting in, as I’ve been consumed with watching the kids while my wife is with her family, and I’ve not had a great deal of time to absorb it all. There’s a great deal of thoughts and emotions through all of this that I fully intend to write about when the dust settles, along with the reality of this very sad occurrence.

A brief observation was relayed to me this week. The answer to the question ‘why do people have to die’ is that without death, and the uncertainty of it’s timing, we’d likely not make the most of each day, and not treasure the value of somebody’s presence.

I did hers, and it will most certainly be missed, but never forgotten.

Written by gsm

12/20/2006 at 12:49 pm

Posted in  Journal 

My Christmas Photoshopping Is All Done

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Another year, another effort at a creative image to share with friends and family. Yes, last year, just as it was the case for their birthday video, it was missed. It’s not due to not trying… I still have the incomplete image on my computer, it just did not get done. But this year it did, and here it is for your viewing pleasure. For those with the name/password, you can find a larger version posted on our family photo album.

Written by gsm

12/17/2006 at 11:07 pm

Posted in  Scrapbook