Thank you to all those men and women who are serving our nation in its armed services.
Thank you to our allies (especially those from Canada and England) who are serving side-by-side with our troops in Afghanistan.
Thank you to all who have served this nation throughout its history. Let us remember them today -- and every day -- especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives so that we may live in freedom.
I've been searching around my diskdrive, attempting to find various files that do not seem to be there. This started when I thought I'd like to use a little American flag .gif that I was sure I had somewhere, but I've been unable to find it, nor have I been able to find anything suitable in the graphics files that come with IBM WebSphere Homepage Builder (nor with IBM WebSphere Studio Site Developer... actually, both products have the same set of graphics files) and I know somewhere I have one of those CDs with eleven gazillion .gif and .jpg files on it (probably in my desk at work)... and I didn't want to start searching the web. But then while searching for that .gif file, I got distracted by searching for a file I need for work. I've already searched for it on this machine and I know it's not here -- actually, I fear I deleted it from my old laptop last fall as being an obsolete file that was just wasting space -- but it would save me hours of work if I could find.
The upshot of these fruitless searches is that I sat down at this machine forty-five minutes ago to write an entry for today and I've only just now begun typing this.
This has been a relaxing weekend. I've been working hard lately -- recorded fifty-five point three hours for last week (and probably actually put in a bit more) -- and I am over-booked in terms of work at least through October -- and, yes, I am glad that I wasn't one of the people my company laid off this past week, but concerns over those looming job cuts just added to the stress of too many tasks and not enough time. So I just determined that I was going to relax this weekend and avoid work.
A couple of Nancy's sisters (and a spouse and a few children and a teenage child's girlfriend) came to Rhode Island for part of the weekend so we were scheduled for dinner at her mother's house on Friday. I didn't leave work until five-thirty, Sean was going out to a birthday party for a friend, so I stopped at home on my way to Nancy's mother's house (Nancy had gone over a couple of hours earlier) in order to give Sean my cell phone to use. (I've got to search out one of those family deals where you can get a price break on multiple phones.) We had a pleasant dinner, sitting around chatting, catching up on what everyone was doing
Saturday was relaxing... there was a 5k race in town but I had neglected to sign up in advance, thus there was insufficient motivation to get me off to run in it and instead I went out for a three and a half mile run on the neighborhood bike path around noon. Last month my daughter had given me a bicycle odometer and also a gift certificate to our local running store. So on Saturday I finally got my bike down to Steadman's bike shop to get the odometer installed and to get it a spring tune-up (uh, no, I don't enjoy doing mechanical stuff) and then went to Camire's running store where I bought a pair of running shoes (which I then wore when I went running). In late afternoon Nancy and I drove over to Swansea, Massachusetts, for a birthday party for one of my co-workers. This was about a fifty mile drive -- Judy lives about as far east of our office as I do to the west, but I made the drive a bit longer by going up by Providence in order to avoid the tourist traffic around Newport (and also because Nancy preferst to avoid the Newport bridge). It was a surprise party, although I think Judy had been getting a bit suspicious. There were about sixty people there -- and enough food for twice that number. Judy (Judite) is from a Portugese background, her mother and her aunts and uncles are as likely to speak Prortugese as English.
Yesterday Nancy and I got a lot of work done in the front yard but we've got lots more to do. I had rented Training Day (Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke) and we watched that last night. Well, I watched it -- Nancy began watching it and Jennifer and Lia joined us about a third of the way into the movie but Nancy quit shortly after that because it was just too violent. I thought Washington was interesting playing something other than his usual good guy role, but the movie was just too over the top with an illogical pulp fiction type plot. There were also some rap musicians (like Dr. Dre) in the movie but I don't know which ones were cops and which ones were street punks because I wouldn't recognize any of them. I think if Jennifer and Lia hadn't joined me I might have given up on the film before it ended because it was just getting further and further from reality.
There was a parade in Wakefield this morning -- the kind of thing I would have taken the kids to see when they were younger. I can remember when I was a kid going to see the Memorial Day parade in Kingston (NY) every year. I'm not sure about reality, but my memories claim it was always very hot and very sunny. I was halfway tempted to go into town to watch the parade today but Nancy and I had gone out for a long walk (covered about two and a half miles) and by the time we returned home the parade would have been starting. When I finish this entry I think I'll go for a run, fix some lunch, then do some more yard work.
The flag is flying at our house -- I put it up around six this morning -- we just have one of those brackets attached to the house at an angle, not an actual flag pole so I couldn't do the traditional Memorial Day procedure (raise the flag at dawn, but immediately lower it to half-staff and leave it that way until noon, when it should be raised to the top). And, as every year, I have a buddy poppy in my car. I was very pleased to see my daughter had bought a buddy poppy also. [Note to non-US readers: the buddy poppies, paper imitation poppies, are sold by veteran's groups at this time each year as a fund-raiser for disabled veterans. The symbolism goes back, I believe, to World War One, a reference to the Flanders Field poem -- and although I do not know if this raises significant funds or not, I think the symbolic support of those who sacrificed is very important.]
An entry from Memorial Day two years ago: Decoration Day 05/29/00.