Wednesday, September 28, 2005

First Day of School

My first day of class was this past Monday (the 26th) of September. I rode the city bus to the downtown terminal and caught the Linn-Benton Loop bus, and got to school about 10:10am (the bus was 10 min late).

The campus was buzzing! I was there several times this summer and it was a ghost town, but things have changed. There are people of all ages there, so I don't feel out of place, and the kids are mostly really great. So, polite and friendly.

Cell Biology is going to be tough; it's been a long time since I've attempted to learn stuff about Human Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terms, etc. One advantage I have over myself now is that I have 50 years of experiential knowledge that will help me connect things more readily. (Let's hope)

I am reminding myself that I need to place less focus on the goal, and more on the journey; to stop and smell the flowers along the way, so to speak.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Visit with Don Malarkey

Yesterday, I had the priveledge and honor to visit with Mr. Don Malarkey (of Band of Brothers fame) at his home in Salem, Oregon.

I became aware of Don living in Salem after an article was published in the Corvallis Gazette Times about him. Two years ago, when I had my second hernia surgery, I purchased and watched the entire Band of Brothers series. I have always been a World War II movie fan, and I found this to be one of the very best re-enactments that I'd ever seen (next to Saving Private Ryan).

I wrote to Mr. Malarkey back in May of 2005, and received a very nice reply from him, inviting me to visit sometime. So I called about 2 weeks ago and made an appointment with his wife to visit yesterday.

I drove to Salem and met him at his home at 1:00pm. Don met me at the door and welcomed me into his modest home of 30 years. I sat on a couch opposite to him and listened as he recounted some of his stories to me. Don started out by telling me that he has a friend in Lousiana who wrote him recently and told him that much of the news coming out of the south about Hurricane Katrina is not true, and is an attempt to discredit the Bush administration.

Don then told me of a story when he was 12 years old about a huge fire on the Oregon coast. He was taken and required to help fight the fire by carrying buckets of water to the firefighters. Fifteen years later, the owner of a farm that was saved by his efforts came to thank him for all he had done. Don was a hero at a very young age. His comment to me about the fire and the war was "I did what had to be done."

It was a tremendous honor to meet and talk with Don Malarkey; one that I will never forget.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Remodeling House & Shed

This seems to be the summer for remodeling too. DJ and I have been working on remodeling the backyard shed for the past couple of weeks. Hanging drywall, taping, texturing, painting. DJ is becoming a great taper and texturer, and helps a lot hanging drywall too!

This week I decided to finish the laundry room too. It started out that all I was going to do was paint over the drywall. I moved the washer and found severe water damage on the wall board behind it, so I replaced the wall board; but before I did that, I thought "wouldn't a new washer and dryer be nice?"

So, I bought a stacked washer/dryer and did about 2 days worth of work getting the spot ready; replacing the faucets, drain pipe, drywall, and building a pedestal to set the rig on. My back is really sore and tired today. But it's almost done. I'll finish painting the shed today, and then finish painting the laundry room and it will all be finished.

Oh, I finally got my severance pay from HP this week, so that was nice too. So, it's all over with, and the fat lady has sung! On to bigger and better things. . .