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This coming Tuesday (Sept. 26th) will be the fourth anniversary of my first journal entry.


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The Online Diary History Project

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Check it out... A history of online diaries and journals. I've got an entry under the section on personal recollections.
Getting Ready for Oslo -- 09/22/00
I'm flying to Norway on Saturday: PVD (Providence, RI) ==> EWR (Newark, NJ) ==> OSL (Oslo, Norway) Usually when I go to England or Europe I go via JFK but there don't seem to be any direct flights from there, have to change planes at London or Paris or Amsterdam, etc.; the direct flights are from Newark. I didn't bother to check Boston; just too much of a pain in the butt to get to Logan. (Besides which, the colleague I will be working with next week lives in Mass. and he's taking the same flight so I assume there are no direct flights from Boston either.)

The last time I was in Pittsburg I mentioned it in this journal. Before that I usually tried to hide the fact that I was out of town until I realized that I was long past the point of leaving little children behind. My son is not a little kid; he is a 235 pound weight-lifter and wrestler.

This entry is going to be very random and scattered... I've wanted to write a lot this week but have just plain been too busy. I would like to write an entry that continues on the topic of my previous entry (09/19 - Destination Mir), not about the proposed tv show, but rather about being into space travel and such when I was a little kid and about how when I was in the hospital as a five year old to have my tonsils removed I discovered that I knew how to read. Ah well, perhaps when I return from Oslo.

It seems as if so many people whose journals I read have written something this week that I would like to comment on, but time is so short.

Yes, I know, as I write this I have about twenty-three hours to go before I have to leave for the airport and it should not take me that long to pack... but I also have a lot of last-minute studying I am trying to do, reviewing the material that I am going to be presenting next week. Last week I taught the course that I have been teaching most often... it is based on technology (CICS, COBOL, etc.) that I have worked with professionally for more than two decades and I helped to write the course five years ago and have done most of the rewriting and updating since then and (avoiding false modesty) I am pretty much an expert on that software architecture and related technologies. However, this year I have been moving into new areas, learning things (java, java servlets, java server pages, java beans, EJBs, XML, lots of Internet stuff, UML, XSL, etc.) and also having to cope with teaching a course that I did not write (and which does not even have an instructor guide). I have survived my two teaching experiences with this new course, but I have not been pleased. Jen Wade recently described a class where she is a TA -- instructor passes out hardcopy notes, projects those notes on a screen, reads the screen contents out loud as his lecture -- I don't do that. I try to teach, to explain and describe, to tell the story of the technology. I am not afraid to a question by saying "I don't know; let me find out and I will get back to you." but I prefer to be able to answer any question I might get. I had become accustomed to being the person others came to when they had questions they couldn't answer and I find it very unsettling that I am not at that level with this new material. So I have pre-performance butterflies in the stomach and a neurotic urge to be reading three technical manuals at once, attempting to cram additional pieces of information into my brain.

My kids are changing jobs. They had both been working for the same restaurant, at an inn that has been in business in the same spot since 1847. Jennifer has been there about a year and a half. She attempted to retire back in December but they begged her to be available if needed to fill in... and gradually she ended up working three or four times a week. She does salad prep -- everything from cleaning the produce to making the salad dressing to prepping the incredients to building the salads. She resigned again a week or two ago and this time she means it, one week more and shes out of there. She is applying for jobs in an area closer to where she goes to school (she's a commuter student right now). Sean started working in the same restaurant as a dishwasher back in the spring. He worked a bit after returning from Australia, but then resigned. Last Friday was supposed to be his last night... but they called him back in on an emergency basis on Sunday. While working as a dishwasher he volunteered to do some prep cook work. It would annoy his sister when the cooks would tell her to do that kind of work -- she felt they were goofing off while she did their work. Sean looked at it differently; he figured that it would be valuable experience to take someplace else. A few days ago he dropped off an application at a different restaurant. Yesterday he had an interview after school. They have hired him to do prep work -- at more money than he was making at his previous job plus the promise to rotate him around to learn different prep skills and a pay raise when he picks up a more complete range of prep cook skills. He starts his new job tonight. He'll be working Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays plus probably one weeknight. He began to talk about seeing if another restaurant could use a dishwasher two nights a week but I told him no, this was quite enough hours of work, he needed to spend the rest of his time on school work, etc.

A few odds and ends -- since I won't have a Saturday entry to post weight and workout stuff. I was 193 last Saturday. I have been bouncing back and forth all week between 192 and 193. I'll check the scales tomorrow but I hope they'll read 192. I ran three miles on Sunday (the Downtown 5k race), ran two miles on Monday, ran four and a half Wednesday. I didn't run yesterday -- even though I worked from home I was just too busy studying to find time to run. I'm working from home again today and I hope to get in three or four miles before dinner. I don't know if I will get out for a run tomorrow a.m. or not. The hotel in Oslo has a fitness center so I will try to get in some treadmill work, etc. next week.

I know two people in Oslo... Yngve and Elin... never met them in person, only know them via email... plan to meet them on Sunday, check out a museum.

Okay, I've got to get back into the books... I finally got my new hammock up yesterday... maybe I should take a book out there and enjoy the afternoon sunshine... low to mid-sixties... It will probably be fall weather when I come back...

Just got email from my first born. He sent a copy of my previous entry to the Destination Mir group so they can add me to their database of potential contestants. Hey... so what if I'll be 58 when this thing happens... John Glenn went into space at 77!

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