Family News - October 2000

October 15, 2000 -- Matt just had his fourth birthday. We didn't do much, but we did take him out to dinner at The Olive Garden. It was a wonderful meal, and all the waiters and waitresses sang "Happy Birthday" to him. I fell a little sorry for  him that he couldn't have had a party with friends his own age, but there don't seem to be any kids his own age in our apartment complex.

His current favorite program is called, "Little Bear Rainy Day Adventures," and he's really good at using it. He seems to be developing in leaps and bounds. My real problem now is getting him away from the computer so I can use it myself.

On Tuesday, I'll be leaving for the STC Pan-Pacific Conference in Hawaii. The STC is the Society for Technical Communications, a technical organization for writers, editors, illustrators, printers, publishers, educators, students, engineers, and scientists. I'm really looking forward to the conference. I signed up for seminars in project management and document design, so I'm hoping to learn a lot.

Summer, 2000 -- Well, the entire summer has flown by and part of the fall as well. It all started shortly after I got back from New York City at the end of June. I contracted Pleurisy. When I went back to the doctor for my follow-up visit, I mentioned the fact that I really hadn't been feeling well for quite a while. They did some tests and discovered that I had a borderline case of diabetes, a mildly under active thyroid, and gall stones. I spent most of August and September working from home because I was too tired to make it through an entire day at work. I would work for an hour or so, then rest for an hour or so and so on. By the time I managed to get my work done, I didn't feel like doing anything else.

Just about the time I started feeling better, my computer went down for the count. It started acting really flaky and needed to be re-booted constantly. We were saving for a new computer for me, but wouldn't have the money until mid-September. I used it only when I absolutely had to and made sure to back up everything.

While all of this was going on, we decided that it would be much easier for me to work from home and do the other things I have to do with a DSL line, so we ordered one. DSL Internet access is great once it gets installed, but not so great along the way. If you haven't been through the process of installing a DSL line, you should know that it takes a long time. I signed up for the line in June and it wasn't working until the end of September. Just as they tell you that you shouldn't quit your day job when you are trying to get started as a writer, you shouldn't cancel your old Internet service until your DSL line is working.

I finally got my new computer in the middle of September and got to use it for a whole three days before the hard drive died on me and I had to wait three weeks to get another one. I finally have all the things I need to really work on my web site. I have a brand new, 900 mhz. computer with a 75 gb hard drive. Yes, you saw that right, 75 gigabytes! I wanted to not run out of space right away for once.

I now have all the bells and whistles. I've got a re-writable CD-ROM drive, a DVD, a fantastic video card, and even a TV tuner so I can watch TV in a little window in the top corner of the screen while I'm working. It's great fun.

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