Archive for April, 2014

Central Park – Mar 16, 2012

Friday, April 18th, 2014


Here are Shannon and Andy at The Inn On the Park in New York City’s Central Park. As you can see, it was a bit of a chilly day and they were huddling together to stay warm. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Shannon, Architecture, and Garden series.

Extremely Short Shrift tonight. It’s very, very late.

Mark ordered the parts for his new computer today. He’s really excited to get everything and put it together. I’m excited for him.

I tried to go to another 40+ Singles happy hour event this afternoon, but I had been feeling kind of sick for a couple hours. I went as far as driving nearly all the way over there when I decided it was a bad idea. So I came home. I’m not really sorry – there were going to be a whole lot of people there for this one and I enjoy the really crowded events much less than small ones. I’m still planning to go to the sushi event tomorrow night, of course.

Got some good work done, but not enough. There’s always tomorrow.

And I need to go to bed. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: France-invading giant multi-colored slug!

See you tomorrow.

Maswik Lodge – Aug 1, 2010

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


Here are Shannon and Mark at the Maswik Lodge during our Grand Canyon-based McCulloch family reunion. This is the first of what I’m calling the Arm Around Mom series. She loved our kids more than anything and they loved her back. Still do, in fact. I’m so glad she had the chance to appreciate each of them as adults. She wanted to be a part of so much more of their lives, of course. It was her greatest regret. But what she got was so good. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the Grand Canyon National Park, and part of my famous Shannon and Vacation series.

We didn’t exactly stay at the Maswik Lodge. It’s inside the Grand Canyon National Park and very lovely. We stayed in nearby Williams and rode the scenic train in to the park. Williams was fun, our hotel was very nice, and the train ride was enjoyable. It would have been even cooler if they hadn’t already retired the good old steam locomotive in favor of a boring – but vintage – diesel-electric model. But it was still cool.

Today was an interesting day. Two things happened that really matter: an epiphany and a relief.

First, the relief. When I sat down to check my email this morning, I discovered a message from our life insurance company. I had spoken with the claims person yesterday on an insurance-related matter and happened to ask her how my claim was coming along. She told me she had just received a partial collection of medical documentation that morning and would start looking at it soon, even though there was still more to come. Well, the note this morning said she had seen enough to determine our claim was legitimate, so the check is being mailed tomorrow morning. Not that I expected anything different, of course, since our claim was entirely legitimate. Shannon wasn’t sick when the insurance went into effect on February 1, 2013. However, she became sick so soon thereafter that it made sense for the insurance company to ask for proof that we didn’t know something was up when we bought the policy. So I don’t blame them for checking. Still, I was kind of dreading it turning into a fight and I’m relieved it didn’t. I did a bit of calculating this morning, and the life insurance proceeds will replace all but about $2500 of the money we spent on Shannon’s medical care and post-death expenses.

I’m sure my Loyal Readers know I would have gladly given the life insurance proceeds along with all my money, all my belongings, and my own life to have saved Shannon. I would have done anything. But that was not to be, so it’s at least a small ray of sunlight to be made mostly financially whole from the experience.

Now the epiphany. I have reflected many times on the fact that my last year with Shannon was the sweetest one of my life. That thought has comforted me greatly, but I have also been puzzled by it and perhaps even felt a little bit guilty that amidst all her horrible suffering I felt that I had the happiest year of my marriage. I know she was happy too, but why was it the best year of my life? I think I figured that one out today, and the answer was so obvious that a more thoughtful person would have understood it long ago: it was my greatest (and possibly only) prolonged opportunity to serve her and I feel that I did it unreservedly and to the best of my ability. I resolved very early on during her illness to face our mutual hardship with good cheer and optimism and to give her whatever she needed immediately and cheerfully. I decided that delayed service is a sign of reluctant service, so when she asked for anything, she got it immediately, no matter what. I learned long ago that service given grudgingly is no service at all, but I don’t think I’ve typically been a good exemplar of that teaching. This past year, I did everything in my power to turn that around.

So I think I’ve learned that the sweetness was at least partially found in seeing to Shannon’s needs and trying my best to make her comfortable and happy. Of course, it was also wonderful to spend essentially all our time together, to say all the words of love and devotion that could be said, and to treasure each other. In spite of the sorrow and pain, it was a magical year.

Maybe that’s why Shannon was so happy all her life. She served and served and gave and gave. What a great life she gave me. I hope she was amply rewarded for it.

Got some more work done on the website today. It’s looking better all the time. I need to work out a reservation system for our upcoming seminar right away. It will take a little bit of research to find out what software is out there that will fit our needs. I also need to personalize the overall website design just a bit – it looks way too generic. Embarrassingly so, I think. So my design hat (probably a Tyrolean cap with a feather) goes on tomorrow morning. The backlog gets whittled down just a little bit every day.

Mark and I went to In-N-Out for dinner tonight. Enjoyed it. Probably should have cooked something at home, but I got busy with the website and didn’t want to stop to cook today. Lame.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: freeway-blocking hams!

See you tomorrow.

Subway model – Mar 16, 2012

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014


Here’s Shannon in a photo she didn’t want me to use. But I think it’s as cute as can be. We were in one of the New York subway stations and they had some very pretty mosaics. She looks just like an angel there, no? Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken somewhere underneath New York City during our visit there with Andy in March, 2012, and part of my famous Shannon and Architecture series.

I have a few pictures like this one. She liked to humor me by copying the poses of statues and pictures and such. It was great fun, but she was never crazy about having me share the pictures with others. I think she might approve at this point, though. She was fun. Oh, how I love her.

It was a pretty good day. I got a little bit of work done on the website in the afternoon. Most of the work was invisible, but there was a bit of substance too. The is still so much on my plate. I really need to focus more. I really want to focus more too, but possibly not as badly as I need to.

In the evening, I went out with the sushi group and had an excellent all-you-can-eat sushi dinner. Everything I tried was delicious, the service was excellent, and the people were really fun. It turned out that most of the people on my end of the table were from the midwest. They were fun to talk with and generally great company. I’m really glad I went.

Tomorrow is a normal workday. Thursday, I’m going to a happy hour event with the 40+ singles and then another all-you-can-eat sushi visit on Friday. I’ll really enjoy it, but I am a bit worried about overeating. Is it possible to control your intake when you’re at a sushi restaurant and there are no limits to what they’ll bring you? I have my doubts.

I chatted with Sandy today, who shared some good news with me. Congratulations, Detroiters!

And it’s late, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: Oklahoma-based terrorist octopus!

See you tomorrow.

Flower girl – Jan 19, 2013

Monday, April 14th, 2014


Here’s Shannon posing by an archway of orchids. This picture is significant because it’s the last one I can find of Shannon before she got sick. We were one month and a day away from the event that would change our lives forever – her cancer diagnosis. And everything was perfectly fine. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania during the Orchid Festival just about a week before we came to Las Vegas, and part of my famous Shannon, Architecture, Event, and Garden series.

I’m posting later than usual tonight because I sat outside from about 11:00 to midnight watching the lunar eclipse. It was beautiful! I sat in my comfortable chair on the back patio with the moon centered directly above me. The night was cool but pretty comfortable – temperatures in the mid-sixties. The skies were perfectly clear. It was beautiful. I tried to get pictures with the exclusive iPad-cam, but its automatic brightness adjustment made it quite difficult. This is the best I could get:


That was taken when the eclipse was at just about 100%, so you can see the iPad was trying its best to see some light there. Anyway, it was spectacular. I’m glad I stayed up to watch it.

Didn’t accomplish a whole lot else today. I bought groceries at Costco and Winco. I did some reading. Talked with a few people on the phone, including Tony, who just returned from a Caribbean and Mexican cruise. He saw Chichen Itza. That’s someplace I’d love to go someday.

Had a bit of a sick day yesterday. The wind was blowing pretty hard, and I had stuffed up sinuses and a massive headache most of the day. At bedtime, I took my temperature. It was at about 99.5. A little later, I got up and checked it again. It was 100. Even later, I checked it again. It was 101. When I got up in the morning, it had gone back down to 99 and it’s normal by now. I don’t know if the fever is caused by my allergies or if I got a bit of the flu again. It was around a couple of sick relatives on Saturday, but I don’t think I was really exposed to anything. Another mystery.

And that’s about it for today. I didn’t work, although I should have. That’s the beauty of my life right now. But tomorrow I plan to get a bunch of stuff done. Yeah, that’s it. Tomorrow.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this rare combination food violence news and exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: customer tries to buy beer with live alligator as currency!

See you tomorrow.

High schooler – unknown date

Saturday, April 12th, 2014


Here’s Shannon way back before we met. I think this is probably from high school, but I guess it could be junior high. Any Loyal Readers care to venture a guess? Early 70’s? Late 60’s? All I know is she didn’t change much. Other than getting her braces off, of course. Great Art courtesy of some camera at some time. Picture recently found and scanned by me and part of my famous Shannon series.

Not a lot to report today. I worked on the new PhotoDoc website quite a bit and I think it’s already looking much better than before. There’s still quite a lot to do, but I see great progress. I’ll probably put in a few hours on it over the weekend, although there are several other things I want to get done too.

Let’s see, what else interesting happened today? I did the laundry. I jacuzzified for about 45 minutes this evening. I watched a few episodes of Top Gear. I made a decent dinner – chipotle chicken. I’ve decided to stop thinking those frozen skillet dinners are lame and just enjoy them once a week or so. I also made a decent breakfast – scrambled eggs, sausage, and toast. Also juice-like substance.

Anyway. Chatted with a few people on the phone. Puttered a bit in the back yard. Exercised. Read.

Not too much planned for the weekend. I’m getting together with Ken on Saturday morning to work a bit on his truck. That afternoon, there’s a neighborhood barbecue and Easter egg hunt. Saturday is also my sister Julie’s birthday, so I’ll be making a phone call. Sunday, nothing is really on the books. We will probably have dinner at Ken and Melanie’s house. Otherwise, I imagine we’ll rest.

And that’s about it. It’s already late, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: grizzly bear obesity researcher!

See you on Monday.