Thursday, December 22, 2005

We're Not Doing Our Part

If the US economy folds, it's our fault. I admit it here and now. Send the men with the handcuffs.

Ten years ago in Graduate Business School, I learned for the first time in some detail how much our economy depends on Consumer Spending. I was amazed at the time and nothing in the economic structure has materially changed since then. No wonder that over the decades the push has been harder and harder to increase consumer debt and that it takes a dual incomes to maintain a standard of living.

Everyone knows this at some gut level or maybe consciously as well. We are constantly shocked at the cost of things today versus some vague yesterday. The dollar never buys as much now as it used to. This train never backs up, it only moves forward. I don't know the numbers but it seems more and more and more families send their kids off to government schools and both parents, if there are still two left, trot off to work to maximize their income so they can maintain the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed. I'm sure to many, or most, it seems it's not so much to maintain a lifestyle as it is to minimize the degradation. All that work and associated spending is great for the economy. As long as we can maintain the spending, we'll be fine.

This is where we're not doing our part to prop up the economy. Before our first child was born we purposed to live in a way to enable my wife to stay home with our children. We knew this would mean a "lower" standard of living than our counterparts, less stuff, a smaller house, no new cars, etc... We practiced that lifestyle for a year or two before our daughter arrived, trying out ways to budget and track expenses as well as belt-tighten. By the time maternity leave was over, we were ready to make the big leap into a one-income household.

Through the years since then, we have known good times and slightly lean times but we have never, ever had to do without necessities. We've driven old cars except for the time we were expatriates and my company provided us with new vehicles. Our houses have always been smaller than our peers' and we perpetually barely fit into them. But we know people scraping by worse than us which keeps us humble when we begin to think we aren't getting "what we should" be getting. Paul says it best in Philippians 4 when he writes, "12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

This is one of the many guideposts by which we live in daily contentment with what we have. This is what gives us peace of mind, most of the time, when we see others driving nice, new cars or living in wonderful, large, new homes. We are weak humans, though, and occasionally we will feel some envy. Then we remind ourselves how blessed we are that our children are at home with us, that they are well-adjusted, well-mannered, respectful, bright, talented, and fun young people and best of all they are inheriting our faith in the LORD right before our eyes.

And in truth, all of our needs are more than met at all times. I have been blessed with good-paying jobs even if there have been small bumps on that road from time to time and we had a marvelous two years living as expatriates in Europe. I don't feel sorry for us, nobody should feel sorry for us, the blessings of the LORD are abundant in our lives and I feel humbled to receive such bounty from my Savior.

Meanwhile, though, we're not doing our part for the economy. Sorry. We bought Christmas presents for our kids and our extended family this year and as you can see in earlier posts we dropped a wad at Disneyworld. But we drive used cars, one with over 100,000 miles on it and our home was built the same year I was born. That would make it not a new home.

I wonder what a United States with reigned in consumer spending, and therefore lower consumer debt, would look like. I bet we wouldn't see prices increasing year on year like they have for so long. I bet more of us would learn to be content with less, many by necessity perhaps. For those who struggle now or those who would struggle in that case, I offer the peace that passes understanding through Jesus Christ. You will be transformed through a renewing of your mind.

It's amazing what you can live without.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

It's a shame that the court in Pennsylvania decided that Intelligent Design can't be spoken of in the classrooms there but I'm not surprised at the decision. The decision is probably even legally correct because the definition of "Science" used in legal applications is, paraphrased, the study of the natural causes and processes of things. The thesis of ID is that creation has a Super-natural cause so it is technically outside that definition and is thus not "Science." Therefore, don't speak of it in Science class.

The shame is that origins cannot be explained using "natural" processes. There is not even a satisfactory hypothesis. Even if one accepts as true, or even plausible, all the development theories and hypotheses that usually get lumped together and called "Evolution," nobody has an explanation for how it all started that is based on natural causes and processes. I don't recall the figures exactly but "they" have calculations and hypotheses for all time and matter all the way back to something like the first millisecond of creation but nothing before then.

For example, if one accepts the Big Bang as the creation mechanism, the theory goes something like this: All matter in the Universe was compressed into a tiny pill about the size of a pea or an atom (whatever, it doesn't matter) and then it all exploded and we've been expanding ever since, constantly recombining into all the stars, planets, atmospheres, oceans, trees, animals, people, and, they would like to also say, aliens. I won't even get started rebutting the whole Big Bang, partly because I don't have any of my reference material here but mostly because it would take a long time that I don't have. The real crux is that not even the proponents of the Big Bang can explain where the pill of matter came from and what made it explode to begin with. Even Stephen Hawking comes up short trying to explain how it all began, way back at the very beginning of everything.

Sounds supernatural to me, that is, it can't be explained by natural processes or causes.

AHA!'s not "Science."

So, the real shame of the ID defeat isn't that ID isn't considered Science, it's that all other "natural" explanations of origins ARE considered Science. When they AREN'T. The Big Bang and most Evolutionary teachings should be relegated to the Religion Class if that's where ID and Creationism are sent because they "aren't science."

Thus, reason number 3 or 4 why we Homeschool. I want my children to grow up knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14), not random acts of recombination. They need to know that God exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (He 11:6). And that God loves them and has them personally in mind and wants them to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. They would never be exposed to such truths in the public school classroom.

Sure, we could spend all our evenings and weekends filling in with Christian instruction outside the classroom that would cover those subjects but we would be spending a huge effort and amount of time undoing the "instruction" in the classroom that pummels students with "truths" like: all truth is relative, evolution and the use of other natural processes is how we all got here, and God has no place in our lives except on Sundays in church (and that's only for the weak-minded). Thee philosophies behind those thoughts underpin a culture that condones racism, abortion, euthenasia, slavery, and the inevitable slide into elitism borne on the backs of an oppressed lower class.

We could have sent them to Private schools but Reason number 1 why we Homeschool speaks more directly to that. More on that some other time.

I don't disagree that arguments like "gee, stuff is just too complicated to think it happened by accident" isn't the most robust-sounding defense of Intelligent Design, or Creationism in general, but that's actually the defense put forth in the Bible. Romans 1:20 says "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— his eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

I'm glad we live in a Free Country and that I am, so far, able to think and express these thoughts freely. Those that think the ID decision in Pennsylvania was correct and that ID and Creationism are for the weak-minded are free to think that. I won't stop them, I can't stop them. All I can do is warn them that thinking that everything is sourced from random interactions, mutations, and recombinations leaves them without excuse before the Intelligence that Designed it all.


I don't know how this could have escaped being in the original TMD post. I must have blocked it out of my memory because of its sheer onerousness.

TMD is WAY TOO MUCH VOLUME FROM THE SPEAKERS ALONG PARADE ROUTES AND EVERYWHERE ELSE THEY AMPLIFY VOICE OR MUSIC. The graying of America may be true and statistical and it may also be true that as people get older they don't hear as well as they could when younger. But this in no way can explain why the speakers play music and voice SO LOUD at virtually every venue in DW's parks. My kids were plugging their ears every time they were near a parade. Heck, I'm getting a little harder of hearing and it was driving me nuts. Has the volume gone UP over the years? By more than my hearing has degraded? Are they pumping up the volume because young people listen to iPods too much and are even harder of hearing than I am? I own an iPod and can probably be accused of turning up its volume too high but Disney's speakers were too loud for me, by a long shot. I also talk loudly because...well, it sounds normal to me. I need the TV volume up a little higher than the whole family -- that's why I get the remote whenever we watch anything. I haven't quite gotten to the point where I've told my wife 'if I didn't hear it then you didn't say it.' But even I, not quite as deaf as a post, could not handle the volume out of the speakers. Sure, it brings attention to the show at hand but really. Somebody's gotta do something!

Good and Salty made some excellent points in her analysis of the appeal of Disney. Go see what she said, it's worth your time. I don't want to sound like I'm a total Disney Scrooge. What I said last time about the good qualities of Disney theme parks is true to me; they're predictable, consistent, high quality, safe, reliable, accessible, and try to be convenient. They are all of that and more. I think this trip we just came back from came at a bad time for me. It's been more than a little busy with NaNo, work pressures, etc... and I was ready for a quiet, low-pressure time off which Disney is not. If I had just come off a quiet period in work and life, I think I would have been ready for a little pump-up-the-action Disney magic.

I remember that quiet thrill of walking down Main Street USA. Heck, I remember the quiet thrill of thumbing through the ticket book and counting how many E Tickets were left -- when did they quit selling their admissions that way? Quite a while ago since the last several visits have been one-price entries. This trip, I was glad to be at a place where we felt safe enough to turn loose the young teenagers on their own, after dark, to go ride what they wanted to while we shepherded the younger set. Can't do that in most "genuine" places like Paris or London or New York.

And I do like Epcot. It's a great blend of information, experience, and fun rides. With the addition of Mission: Space, Test Track, and Soarin' there are enough blood pumpers to keep the excitement high and they also have the interactive displays in Innoventions and other places to keep the mind active. Walking through the faux-countries in the World Showcase doesn't compare with going to the actual places but it's not bad for Florida. The French pastries were so good as to be authentic.

So, sure, a little bah humbug but it was OK. If only they would turn down the volume.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Everything that's important has a TLA, a three-letter acronym. I've got one for our 9 day Disney adventure that we just completed last week. TMD. Too Much Disney.

What's TMD? I think it's different for everyone. It depends on one's tolerance for crowds, lines, and that annoying feeling that you're invisible when people walking toward you on the sidwalk don't move aside, even a little bit, a token amount, but instead unconsciously expect you to do all the moving to get around them as you pass by. TMD may also come from a wallet that became so light that I didn't need a belt to hold my pants up by the end of the trip.

TMD was when I was waiting in line at a McDonald's inside the Animal Kingdom -- the slowest McDonald's on the face of the planet, by the way -- and an argument broke out among other patrons that the employees, pardon me, cast members, should speak English and not their native Portuguese. They already spoke English to the customers, it was discussions amongst themselves that garnered the criticism. It seems one customer thought it was rude and insensitive for them to speak their native language when they were trying to get things done right. It was another customer's opinion that they should be allowed to speak whatever language got the job done most efficiently. The argument kept escalating and I was glad when our food arrived so I could get outside the blast radius.

TMD was working up four or five blisters on each foot because my shoes decided to defect to the Dark Side two days into the trip. I borrowed my oldest son's new hiking boots -- it came as a shock that we wear almost the same size shoe now -- and I was able to walk the rest of the time, although always in pain. I was reminded of the written story of The Little Mermaid. When Disney made their cute adaptation of the story, they cut out the part where she walked in pain after her flippers were turned into legs and feet. And of course they totally cut out the part where she returned to the sea as sea foam. That would have been bad for follow-on Direct to Video releases. What kid would want their parents to buy "The Little Sea Foam" DVD?

TMD was riding on overcrowded buses to and from the low-priced Disney resort for an hour or so each way and watching how low our culture has ebbed. A mother, holding her son on her lap, sent him across the bus specifically to occupy the last open seat to prevent a pregnant woman, who was also schlepping a stroller, from sitting down. The kid kept looking at her and to the back of the bus to his dad to see if he should do anything but she motioned him to stay in the seat. It was the whole story of the decline of our culture, played out in miniature. The pursuit of selfish pleasure at the expense of others.

TMD was not being able to get a spare key to one of our group's three rooms because my specific first name was not on the reservation. Not a big deal except I had come back early with three of our children in tow because they were exhausted and I needed to get them to bed. Meanwhile, the person with the name on the reservation, my wife, was still at the Magic Kingdom with two others of our party, an hour away by bus, so I was totally cut off at the pass -- no solution in sight. The desk clerk gave me one chance to guess at the phone number used to make our reservation and I came up empty -- there are only four or five to choose from -- and then she totally shut down and didn't even suggest an alternative. I guess as far as she was concerned I could have my kids sleep on the benches in the lobby. I had to appeal to the manager and although she, the manager that is, later turned out to be a great help, the original desk clerk became passively hostile in her lack of help before the manager freed up. Passive resistance gone wild. Sure, I was agitated but I didn't call her names or use any language Disney wouldn't approve of and didn't threaten her. I don't know what the problem was but, as I said, the manager was helpful and we wound up working out a solution although it took almost an hour to do it.

TMD is spending hours and hours months before the trip, planning out when we would eat at which restaurants on our Disney Dining Plan so we could call and make reservations at the moment we were eligible to call. My ever-loving and hard-working wife worked out the schedule with her mom and then she stayed up late and spent literally hours on the phone with a Disney rep starting at precisely midnight six months before the trip to get table reservations at our chosen eateries -- that's when you can begin to make reservations. And as she was piling up the reservations, the reservation numbers were changing at a dramatically higher pace indicating that lots and lots of other people were doing the same thing. If she hadn't done that, we would have eaten nothing but turkey legs all week.

TMD is doing all that reserving but not being told that certain Disney restaurants cost 2 dining coupons instead of just one. We learned this when we arrived, WAY-Y-Y too late to change any reservations. We were going to run out of dining coupons about halfway through the nine-day trip which would have busted the bank when you add up how much it costs to eat at Disney restaurants. My ever-loving, hard-worlking wife worked out a deal with them to only charge us 1 coupon for those cases since she had proof that this is what she was led to believe when she spent all that time on the phone six months before. Of course, she had to explain all that more than one more time to get every bill corrected.

TMD is arriving at the Magic Kingdom the night it's open until 11 o'clock for some late night riding just as the fireworks show over the castle lets out. I know salmon swim upstream all the time but if they had to swim up Main Street USA with that kind of head-on traffic, the world would have never known the healthy benefits of eating salmon.

TMD was getting to the Orlando airport 2 hours before our 8:30pm departure, after most of a whole last day at the Magic Kingdom, to find out the airplane hadn't left Chicago yet. It didn't leave Chicago until after 8:30pm, in fact. We didn't arrive at O'Hare until 1 or 2 something in the morning. This went over really well with our 5 year old and our 7 year old. At the end of the 1 hour cab ride to my wife's mom's home, we were carrying sleeping children out of the limo like cordwood. At least I had had the foresight to take the next day off work so we could sleep in and still drive to our home three hours west.

Don't get me wrong, Disney is a marvel. It's more McDonald's than McDonald's. It's consistent, clean, safe, organized, accessible and tries to be convenient. If they would only let about a quarter to a half of the people onto their property that they currently let in, it could live up to all those ideals and more. There are just too many people there. They say that the first week of December is the slowest time and the best for short lines, etc... If that's the slow time, I don't want to be there at the high times!

Disney is also over-engineered and so liability-conscious that you couldn't hurt yourself there if you tried. I think the curbs on Main Street are foam rubber so you can't stub your toe. I know there have been some fatal accidents in recent years but considering the volume of visitors, their safety track record is enviable. But that leads to a stifling, Stepford Wives feeling at times. It's too perfect. It made me want to stick a pin in one of the costumed characters so I could hear that the person inside actually had a voice since the fully costumed characters, like Mickey, never speak except in their parades or shows and everybody knows that those times are just recorded. It also made me stop and think -- are the 'boy' costumed characters played by male cast members and the 'girl' characters played by female? Or vice versa sometimes? Is Mickey actually a girl and Minnie a boy? Hmmm. Maybe we shouldn't go there. I'm here to tell you, though, that TMD will make you think about this.

We had a good time but for all that money, I would rather have been in a cabin in the woods overlooking a quiet lake where I could have taken the kids fishing instead. And when I want to see castles, I'll go see Neuschwanstein, or Turku Castle, or Olarinlinna.

Right Brain or Left Brain?

I'm not sure why I come here.

By training, experience, and natural talent I'm a totally left-brained, detail-oriented, organization freak. I've been working professionally in technical areas for well over 26 years, not counting tinkering with things at home when I was a kid. I've had a hand in the design of night vision tank sights, missile seekers, missile guidance electronics, night vision components, airborne surveillance systems, elevator controllers, whole elevator systems, and remote monitoring systems. I can take just about anything apart and put it back together again and actually have it still work. Or even work better. It's a gas to figure out solutions to problems and think through plans to make things work. Even planning daily schedules for visiting Disneyworld and figuring the meals within the confines of the Disney Meal plan. That last one we just did and came back from. Subject of some other blog.

On the other hand, I've felt a pull to write for years; even longer than I've been working in technical fields. As stated earlier, I just finished NaNoWriMo this year, successfully getting over 50,000 words of a mostly coherent novel down on virtual paper. Although it's not commercial at this point, it's possible that it could be with more work. Meanwhile, I had previously written over a dozen complete short stories in pretty much final form. A few years ago I sent a couple in to some writing contests and they didn't win. Now, emboldened by NaNo success, I've polished a few of them even further and have already sent one in to Glimmer Train's Fiction Open contest. We'll see. My kids think it's a good story even though it involves a dysfunctional family. What do I know about dysfunctional families? Ours is, thankfully, fully functional and I come from a family where we all have the same last names. But I can observe. And I've found things to say. I guess I have some opinions. And it's a gas to create characters that interact and do things and make decisions, right or wrong, and see what happens to them. I've read so much over the years that I have an itch to make some of my own.

Is writing a story or a novel so different than tinkering with broken appliances at home? Or building a treehouse for the kids? Or applying a new elevator technology to a building? Each requires understanding the materials and how they work together, visualizing a finished product and the steps to get there, and gutting it out until it's done, overcoming all the problems that crop up along the way. Gee, sounds simple. Both require creativity and knowledge of the language being used and a willingness to work even when one doesn't feel like it. In the case of engineering projects, the language is mathematics and physics, form and space. For writing, it's a little more obvious.

So how does one learn all these languages? In my case, I read a lot when I was a child. My Mom being an elementary school teacher probably had something to do with that. When parents are vitally interested in the development of their children, strongly nurturing reading seems to always be a part. So I read and I read and I read some more. My first memory of creative writing is from the fifth grade. We were asked to describe a forest and I wrote something to the effect that it was a large group of overgrown toothpicks. I thought I as terribly witty, my teacher thought I had a screw loose.

My creative expression began to blossom into artwork and music about then and I stayed there through high school, although I always did better at math and science. Along the way I had an art project put on display in a city art exhibition in Seattle, I played in school bands and orchestras, and was reprimanded once for drawing on my desk in math class (was I bored or what?). I sketched and doodled and made bulletin board figures for my mom's classroom. I played in concerts, marched in competitions and at football games, and played in the Regional Band and a regional Youth Symphony.

My only writing memory from that time was when I was a senior in high school. That year, we had to choose English classes based on their topic and for some reason I took one called "Gothic Novels". I had actually read Daphne Dumaurier's 'House on the Strand' some time before then so I knew what Gothic Novel's are/were and somehow it must have sounded more interesting than diagramming sentences, a skill I never have learned. In the class, we read 'The Ivy Tree' and 'The House on the Strand' and discussed the elements of a Gothic Novel, what today would probably fall squarely into the Romance Novel genre. Then we wrote a fragment of our own Gothic Novel. I don't know if I have the paper I wrote for that any longer, that was thirty years ago, after all, but my fragment was a scene where the beautiful but troubled heroine was aboard a passenger liner at the beginning of World War I and the ship was torpedoed and sank. She floated ashore on some desert island and woke up seeing a handsome, though troubled, man approaching. He would have become the fatally flawed hero if the story had grown into a complete Gothic Novel. So, I dashed all that down in one sitting the night before it was due and typed it up and turned it in. When I got it back, graded, I was dumbfounded to see I earned an A and the teacher's remark "It's great to finally see a senior who can actually write!"

I went from there to Engineering School and on to a career designing and managing the design of the aforementioned technical doodads, got married, got saved, had a family, and all the while the thought that 'I could do that' raised itself in my mind whenever I read anything in fiction. Every few years I felt it surface and as it tried to motivate me to action but the engine wouldn't start. I finally began seriously acting on that thought about five years ago, producing a small raft of short stories and about a half dozen novel starts. I attempted NaNo several years ago but didn't have enough momentum to do anything with it. Then, this year, I talked my daughter into going into it with me and presto, I'm on a roll again. It helps that she's showing an aptitude for writing at least as much as my own, if not more (see her blog at 'Good and Salty'). Iron sharpens iron, after all.

Now, I've got a draft of something I could finish if I wanted to, the dozen or so finished shorts I'm going to try to sell, and who knows what from here? My wife says I can buy myself a pair of Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones when I sell my first story. Now there's motivation!

So, am I right-brained or left-brained? Who cares? As long as I'm doing what God wants me to do, when He wants me to do it, He'll give me the tools I need at the time. He can shift me over from one half of my brain to the other at Will. Perhaps he's made me just this way to have some of each. I've been a lot of left-brain for my career so far but the right-side wants in on the action now. Maybe it helps that I'm left-handed.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

NaNoWriMo 2005

I don't know if speedwriting is really the best way to write a novel or not but I'm proud to be able to say that I'm a NaNoWriMo 2005 Winner!

50,000 words (minimum) in a month (mine was 50,960) gains a win. NaNo closed for the year yesterday although I had passed the wordcount requirement the day after Thanksgiving (many Thanks!).

My novel was inspired by the industry in which I have worked for the past 8 years or so, the Elevator industry. It's called 'Lift' which is a common word used in Europe for Elevator. Although the title has other convenient meanings in English, the theme of the novel is actually not directly tied to it other than a building and its elevators prominently figure in the storyline. I just like one word titles. It's actually about the lifecycle of a building in a large city (unspecified) and although much of the action takes place in or around the elevators, the story is really about the people that work in and inhabit the building and use the elevators. Since buildings usually last a long while, the story spans generations. It wound up being almost, but not quite, a series of short stories that intertwine with each other. The building and its elevators are the glue that hold the whole 'twine' together, much like R2D2 and C3PO span all the Star Wars movies (although, I guess one could say Anakin/Darth Vader and Senator/Emperor Palpatine do as well).

I don't know if this effort will be publishable in the end or not. I know I have to expand it by almost double and do a tremendous amount of rewrite and edit before it would even be presentable. Then, I don't know if it's any good. I could produce a technically perfect piece of work and spend the National Debt circulating it to agents and publishers and only come out of it with enough rejection slips to paper the bathroom (or maybe the whole house!).

My purpose for doing NaNo at all was mostly it. And by that I mean, do it to completion. No 20,000 words and then out. No, sir. In for a penny, in for a pound. Previously I've written up to 30,000 words, or so, in attempts at novels but the only one I have gotten to completion so far is in worse shape than this NaNo effort I just finished. And it's WAY too short. Lots of other ideas for more where these came from, though, and I wanted to see if the juices could start flowing.

One thing NaNo did was increase my writing efficiency. Always one to write an overly long email, I found I can sustain writing speeds of about 1,000 words an hour for new prose, including the time spent staring at the keyboard trying to figure out what the main character is supposed to do next. I have lots of editing to do on that raw prose but after rereading the whole draft, I've got to say, in my own humble opinion, that it's not too bad. A few logistics problems but overall the timelines are consistent, the characters don't change names halfway through, and there is an arc to the whole thing. Too many weak verbs, to be sure, and too many "to be" verbs but here and there it's not too bad.

Not one to dwell on my own opinion, I am starting to have family members read it. My oldest son who, at 14, would rather read just about anything but a non-action book with lots of people and relationships, said: "a few times I was reading along like it was a regular book and suddenly realized 'Hey, Dad wrote this!'" I couldn't ask for a better compliment other than a royalty check.

And my writing buddy for this year's NaNo, our daughter (who hides out somewhere on this same blog site), won, too. We're very proud of her for getting through the lean times in the middle of the month when she was having a hard time getting her story off the ground and persevering to the end to cross the finish line! With minutes to spare. She could have written at least 50 more words in the time she had left. I'm poking some fun but she really "stepped up," to borrow terminology from The Apprentice, and put it in high gear and finished the mission. And the best part is she has a story that I think is a real winner. If some publisher doesn't contract her for a three book deal based on this first one, they don't know what they're doing. There are great characters, an interesting premise, and a process that once established in the first book can be used to support many different storylines. I won't give any of it away (that's her privelige) but I think she's really onto something.

The real irony is that she wrote Science Fiction and I wrote Literary Fiction when I'm much more at home READING Science Fiction and she dearly loves Literary Fiction. We basically wrote each other's book. Oh well. It was a blast. Mostly the crossing the 50,000 word part was a blast. Waking up at 3am in a hotel room in Europe and writing my way through jetlag was not a blast. It was an incredibly effective use of jetlag and time but it was not a blast.

Can't wait until November, 2006.

First Post

I guess everyone has one of these; a First Post. Others may have more insightful (or maybe inciteful) things to say in theirs but since I'm an Introvert in an Extroverted World (or at least an Extroverted Culture) I don't usually have a lot to say without investing a lot of thought.

So after I saw my daughter doing this sort of thing and since we both just did (and won! Yay, us!) NaNoWriMo together (at the same time, that is, not collaborating on one work -- although that's a great idea!) I've found the writing engine started and nowhere to go now.

I'll leave this one at this and follow with, hopefully, something more focused later.