looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Impending Visits

Weatherwise we've had a quiet summer, with no extremes of temperatures apart from that little heat wave I reported last time.

We're still enjoying having Derek living with us pretty much full time, although with his job at the KRCB public TV station keeping him busy 3 days a week, and his occasional jaunts up north to Santa Rosa, we still manage to enjoy seeing him when he is here!

Derek's cat Kami is fitting in rather well, and Karma isn't beating her up much... mostly I think it is just playing, although he will take a swipe at her if he feels like it. He is a grumpy old man cat, and sees her as an annoyance preventing him from enjoying his retirement.

He'd better get used to it, because we've more or less agreed to keep Kami with us when Derek goes to college.

We continue to walk around our beautiful neighbourhood when we can, so far this month only managing one walk up a hill, hoping to overlook San Rafael from a different angle, but as it turned out, we didn't really manage to get high enough. The track continued on, but we were puffed and knew we had to walk all the way back, so we stopped, took some pictures, and went down again.

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A couple of weeks ago Josh left us a flew back to New York to start work. We really enjoyed having him with us, and we tried to do as much as we could together.

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As usual, we never think to take pictures of the kids and their friends until too late, but often while Josh was with us, Kevin and Merlin would show up and we'd go out to eat, or stay home and play card games on the kitchen table.

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One evening soon after we got back from Boston with Josh in tow, we decided to go to a dinner at the Harvard club in San Francisco. As an Alumna, Lisa received an invite to a dinner at the San Francisco Harvard Club. Normally, this is not something we would pursue, but seeing as Josh - fresh-faced, newly graduated alumnus Josh - was with us, we thought it might be fun if went. Uh-oh - it's a jacket and tie event... After some grumbling, we dress up. To mark the occasion, photos are taken.

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Marin had a county fair at the beginnging of July. It was such a nice day, and Josh and Derek weren't wth us, so we decided to drive around and see what was going on, digital camera in tow.

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These last few months we also seem to have been planning our lives out looking ahead more than usual. The rest of the year is filling up, and then next year...

Well, let's see. For a start, our boss in the company we work for, Acme, has decided to call our quarterly team meeting for next week. So, we've booked Karma in to Cat's Cradle (his usual sanitorium) for 30 July; Derek will take Kami back to Santa Rosa with him seeing as his summer break only has a few more weeks to go and he'll be spending more time up there than down here probably; and we'll be travelling to Arkansas on Monday 1st Aug, flying back on the Friday of that week.

Mid-august there is a chance my brother-in-law Tod will turn up, although this is not confirmed at this time.

We're looking forward to having my Uncle Brian and Auntie Beth staying with us for a few days at the end of August, as they pass through from a trip to Europe. We'll be officially working over this period but there is a weekend in there somewhere that we'll be able spend doing touristy things with. They will then go on to spend some time in Yosemite National Park.

I know there is a Jethro Tull concert on at the Marin Veteran's Memorial Auditorium (where we saw Weird Al Yankovich that one time) on 1st September, and I think we'll try and go to that one.

There's a FoxPro DevCon in September, but it doesn't look as though either of us will be attending that one this time. The FoxPro part of our life is not as big as it used to be! (And I think that is a good thing). However, if there is a Java or XML conference coming up there is a good chance Acme will send us to that.

A bit further out: We've begun to plan a trip for Thanksgiving at the end of November. It's a real holiday this time, not just a convenient stop on the way from point A to point B. We hope to meet up with our NZ friend Mitchell Rodda (who is now living in England) in San Francisco, spend a few days tootling around the bay area, then fly up to Victoria, BC (crossing the border!) and spend some time looking around up there, then coming back to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with Walt and Sherri. The exact details are not fixed yet, but we're pretty sure that we know who we'll be visiting, and we'll be making sure that Mitchell has a good time.

In Spring next year we're hoping to arrange to have Mum and Dad visit us here in the bay area, possibly to include a road trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Details to be worked out later, but this does bring me to yet another long range plan: that of us moving to Las Vegas around this time next year.

I don't think either of us envisage us leaving the SF Bay area permanently - it's just so beautiful here, and the climate is great - but until the real estate market here in the SF Bay area reverses its unbelievable inflated trend (we're renting in a house apparently worth roughly  $500k and really, it is not that much house!), I can't see us buying a house here either.

While Derek is going to school here and living with his dad 45 minutes away, it makes sense to be here. But a year from now, Derek will be getting ready to go to university and chances are good that it won't be one close by. At that point, it makes sense for us to find somewhere else to live, where houses are affordable and Josh and Derek and other family and friends will be able to visit relatively easily.

There are other reasons why Vegas is a good choice, all of which outweigh the embarrassment of having a Las Vegas address ;-) : the IT industry is strong; there are no state taxes; Stan (Lisa's Dad) and Jeanne are close by; real estate in Vegas is affordable...

This is still tentative, and plans could change, but there you have it: a long range forecast. More news as it comes to hand.

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