Archive for February, 2015

Denver Art

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Here’s yet another instance of Great Art in the blog’s Great Art section. This particular instance is in Andy’s apartment building in Denver. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I like it. A lot. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during one of my recent trips to Denver, and part of my Art and Vacation series.

Lots of stuff has been happening this month. Let’s take a look, shall we?

I spent last week in Orlando at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ annual conference. We had a booth at the expo Wednesday through Friday, and John spoke at the forensic odontology session on Tuesday. Our software had a few very nice mentions, we had several nice visits at our booth, and we achieved our goals, I believe.

One of our goals was to take over development of a crucial piece of forensic odontology software. We asked for it and we got it! We’re going to upgrade it to web-based form and give that version away. We’ll also roll it into PhotoDoc and hope to attract some more users.

Next year’s AAFS conference location: Las Vegas. Convenient!

Since I was going to Orlando, I decided to tack on a few days at the beginning and the end and do a bit of vacationing. I was already staying with Tony, and Chris lives close by, so there was plenty of company. Joanne came with me the first weekend. We had a great time. We went to Disneyworld on Saturday. The crowds were unbelievable! Turns out it was Presidents’ Day weekend and there were a few more visitors than they might have had on a normal day. Other than barely being able to move, we enjoyed it. Luckily, I didn’t need to swing any cats.

Sunday we went to NASA. It was fun being there again and I really enjoyed showing Joanne around. The crowds were smaller by quite a bit and their displays were much more developed than the last time is was in the visitors’ center.

The weekend after the conference, Chris, Tony, and I went to Universal Studios on Saturday and a neat place called Bok Tower Gardens on Sunday. Universal was a bit more crowded than usual because they were having a Kelly Clarkson concert that evening. We had a great time anyway. As everybody seems to say, the Harry Potter ride was very well done and quite entertaining. I also quite enjoyed Revenge of the Mummy. Highly recommended.

Joanne has decided to sell her house! It went onto the market shortly after I got home and it sold immediately! The appraiser was there today, the earnest money was just deposited, and things are moving quickly toward a closing date in just a few weeks. She’s kind of sorry to let the place go, but I think she’s just about ready to live a bit smaller.

Of course, she can’t have all those kids with her after she downsizes. Desi and Andrea are in Texas helping Andrea’s sick mom and they’ve decided to stay there indefinitely. Ryan’s going to live with his dad in the Bay Area. I don’t know what Tina’s plans and schedule are, but they seem to be in flux. Corey’s staying with his mom when she moves.

We’re cutting back on nights out for a while so Joanne has the time to pack stuff up, find her next place, sell stuff she doesn’t want, and get her house ready for someone else to move into it.

I bought tickets tonight for the Clark County fair and rodeo in April. We’re excited to go. We went to a rodeo in Wyoming some years ago and I’m looking forward to seeing another.

And that’s it for today. Time to sleep. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: massive maple syrup spill!

See you tomorrow.

One year

Monday, February 2nd, 2015


Here’s the last picture of Shannon I could find before her initial hospitalization nearly two years ago. I may have posted it here before. It was taken January 19, 2013 at Longwood Gardens, about one week before we left Langhorne and moved to our home here in Las Vegas. She was perfectly healthy, in excellent spirits, and excited to embark on our new post-retirement life together. A month and a day after this picture was taken, she was diagnosed with leukemia and she began to concentrate nearly all her efforts on trying to stay alive. One year ago this morning, she died.

But she didn’t concentrate 100% of her efforts on cancer; she spent a great deal of them on me and on our family. She loved and cared for me right up until the end. There were a lot of things her doctors told her she shouldn’t do. She avoided nearly all of them. But she did choose to kind of ignore advice that she felt wouldn’t be consistent with her desire to take care of me. Those things she did, and I felt loved and cared for right up until the end. I still feel her love and influence every day. I still love her deeply and think of her every day. I don’t talk about her as much as I used to, but I think of her and miss her and yearn for her. Sometimes I still cry.

Shannon was kind. She gave away her entire life to service, not just to our children and me, but to her large and ever-expanding circle of friends. It seemed like everybody loved her, and I know she loved everybody.

I find it very difficult to believe it’s already been a year. So many things have happened in that short time. She has missed so much. Birthdays, holidays, engagements, happiness, fun, heartbreaks, love, sorrow, daily life. On the other hand, like the cliché goes, it seems like forever. The seasons have all passed, my heart has found room for a new love, I’ve made wonderful new friends, I’ve traveled to some places I’ve never been as well as to several old familiar places, my mother has been diagnosed with cancer and died, I’ve worked some and actually made some sales, I’ve grieved over and over again, and I’ve learned to be happy.

I’ve talked about choosing to live happily here on the blog several times. I’m still trying and I think that’s going well. I don’t think I’m the kind of person who has to make that decision every morning when I get up. I’ve just convinced myself that it’s what I want to do, and I’m doing it. Life is good, life is sweet, life is so, so worth living. Life is continuing without slowing down. I’m doing my best to keep facing forward.

But I miss Shannon. I will never forget her. I will always love her profoundly, deeply, passionately. We went through everything together. She walked by my side for 35 years and she began to love me four years before that. She was my life from the time I was 17 until 56. That’s a long time and a lot of mileage. She remained steadfastly devoted to me every second. She was my advisor, my confidant, my best friend, my sounding board, my lover, my partner, my everything, my wife.

I miss you, Shannon. I will never forget you. I love you.