Brian's Journal - Spring 2008

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4/17/2008 First Day Off Home, Mostly cloudy, ~45-55
Yesterday was my last day in the office at work. I have a couple of projects to finsh up, adding up to maybe 3 days of work over the next 3 weeks, before I officially terminate. I took today off although I did work a little in the afternoon, going through old email files in search of the cost basis for my ESPP stock. The figures I found don't match up with the numbers I already had but I don't know where the old numbers came from so I'm inclined to trust the new ones instead. Anyhow since it wasn't raining this morning I went out to the garden to clear, prune and tie up a new row of raspberries. The new row has a bend in it because it follows the line of canes which sprouted themselves in the grassy strip between the middle and lower gardens. Several of my original rows have died out and need to be cleared out but I don't have time for that before we leave for Boston. I cleared about half the row, put in posts and wire and started to tie up the canes then I heard a red-winged blackbird calling and a varied thrush singing so I decided to go birding. I think the red-wing was real but couldn't verify it; the varied thrush I suspect was a starling.

Golden-crowned Kinglet
In the next hour I saw or heard 28 species around the property, the most of any outing so far this year. Highlight was a male orange crowned warbler in the bushes near the redwoods. About a half hour after I first spotted him I heard what I thought might be his song, a somewhat weak trill more rapid than a junco's but it was a little confusing because a junco was also singing nearby at the same time. Fortunately I was able to find the warbler again and watch it sing. The pattern is weeoooo or sometimes weeoooooee, noticeably faster, weaker and less musical than a junco though about the same pitch. I also managed to get a somewhat blurred photo of a colorful golden-crowned kinglet foraging in the redwood branches.

4/20/2008 Boston sunny, 60
The women's Olympic Trials were more moving than I anticipated. Having run many more races than I've watched, I wondered what could be so exciting about a bunch of runners running by every 20 minutes or so. When the women ran by, so swift and light on their feet, so efficient in their motion, so focused in their effort, I choked up at the sight and tears came to my eyes. Though not at their level I know their experience of being perfectly conditioned for running a marathon, of knowing their strength and measuring their reserves so that after running hard for twenty miles they can drive even harder for the last six and finish fully depleted yet physically whole. They were beautiful.
We didn't see them finish. We walked over to the expo while the leaders had about an hour to go. That proved to be a good decision because once the women finished, all the marathoners who had been lined up along the course converged on the expo at the same time and were forced to wait in a huge crowd outside the doors while the crowd inside thinned out enough to make room for them. I, along with all the other first time Boston runners, bought the bright blue and black warmup jacket for $90. I also picked up a blue and black runner's hat for me and a baseball cap for John. He seemed pleased with it. Susan and I had our gait tested on a treadmill at the Brook's booth - they recommended Adrenalines or the Trance for me. I'm on my 16th pair of Adrenalines, so they got that right. Susan was nearly neutral on one foot but needed a stability shoe on the other. Sounds like orthotics.

Our room
Women's marathon trials
Lunch in museum courtyard
Fenway stop sign
For lunch we walked over to the Museum of Fine Arts. Lunch from the salad/sandwich bar in the cafeteria was pretty good - roasted zucchini, baba ghanoush, hard-boiled egg along with the salad stuff. We ate outside in the courtyard then strolled through the El Greco exhibit. Nicely done but not my cup of tea; I was falling asleep and John was not as interested in the exhibit as Mom and Susan were so he and I left and walked back along the Fenway to the Harvard Club. It was a pretty day for photos. We could see the lights on at Fenway Park; the Red Sox won again, their 3rd or 4th straight.

4/21/2008 Boston Marathon AM ovc, clearing by mid-morning, 52-60
I assembled my gear, pinned my number on my singlet and tied the timing chip to my shoe the afternoon before the race so all I had to do was pack my suitcase after we returned from dinner. Nice to get to bed reasonably early before a race for once. I slept pretty well; when I was inclined to get anxious I reminded myself that I was well rested, injury-free and ran well two weeks ago so would do respectably well in the race, and that seemed to do the trick. Perhaps after 62 marathons and one previous Boston, I've finally outgrown my pre-race jitters. We ate dinner at Petit Robert's Bistro on Commonwealth Ave in Kenmore Square; for future reference the bluefish was very tasty, better than the salmon, and the Isle Flottant was delicious for desert.
The sky was already getting light when I woke up at 5:30. Susan woke up just before I went out the door so we kissed goodbye. The few marathoners out on Commonwealth Ave, identifiable by their red plastic gear bags, seemed all to be walking across Commonwealth rather than down the promenade towards the public garden as I was. The magnolias in front of the brownstones were all covered with pink flowers but no leaves were out yet on the trees.
The yellow school buses were all lined up on Tremont Street along the Common. I found several Maniacs, including Terry Sentinella, Shawn Lawson (whom I'd met but not recognized as we were boarding the plane in Seattle) and Marc Frommer, waiting in line when I reached the crowd of runners waiting their turn to board. Silvery overcast this year made a brighter scene than last year's cold rain. Marc and I rode together. Today would be his fifth Boston in a row and he was hoping to break 3:30 for the first time. That was my goal too, and if not 3:30, then at least to qualify with 3:36 or better. We talked about running marathons, marathon vacations, the Maniacs site, life after programming. He retired a few years ago with a small pension from Textronic after years of working with computers, programming I think. Now he volunteers in several different roles and works part-time in a running store more for fun than money. Marathons are his chief indulgence and Boston the most expensive of those.
We disembarked at the Hopkinton high school around 7:45, delayed by traffic somewhat longer than usual according to Marc. Once in the Atheletes Village Marc and I got separated after hitting the Porta-potties so I wandered around the perimeter of the big white tents in the village, looking for familiar faces. After breakfast and another Porta-potty visit I found Terry, Shawn and Marc again along the upper edge of the further Athlete's village. Several other Maniacs joined us, including Amy Yanni and Marylou and the Main Maniacs too. In an amazing coincidence, I spotted and recognized the tall runner from Canada who had paced me during my BQ attempt in Boise 3 1/2 years ago. I ran up to him and asked him if he was from Canada and if he had run Boise several years ago. He introduced himself as Mark and explained that he was from London, not Canada, but that he had indeed run Boise and remembered our run together. He also had failed to qualify there at Boise; he had fallen behind around mile 22 and I hadn't seen him since. I lingered with the Maniacs until around 9:30 when the first wave runners were called to move out of the Athlete's Village to the bag drop and starting corrals. On the way out I realized I needed to make one more Porta-potty stop.
The sun broke through the overcast shortly before I reached the head of the line. A woman in the next line over began passing around a big tube of sunscreen but I declined, having already done my face and shoulders. Not until after the race did I realize that the sun was not in my face as I ran east to Boston, rather it was high overhead to my right. As a result I incurred a pretty good burn on my shoulders and the back of my neck which fortunately didn't fully develop until after my post-race shower back at the Harvard Club.
Leaving the Porta-potty I felt ready to run, rested, fueled, hydrated - and late. I heard the crack of the gun as I was running down the street towards the Hopkinton Drug Store, having just dropped my bag through the 8700-8750 window of the gear bus. Starting corral 8 was in the main street just down the hill from the start. I reached it and slipped through the gap in the barricade just as the runners began to lurch forward, hesitantly at first then picking up speed as we approached the starting pads. It seemed like just a few seconds but the clock showed six minutes when I crossed the line and began to run.
After a slow (7:59) first mile the stream of runners settled into a consistent pace of perhaps 7:20; more runners were passing me than vice versa. I averaged 7:45 for the first six miles but didn't feel good until my first Powergel around mile six, the kind with 1x caffeine. That seemed to help quite a bit because I averaged 7:55 for the next six miles without the benefit of the 200' descent and felt better as well. Focused on running, I didn't talk to anyone and didn't pay much attention to the runners around me or the crowd lining the route. Occasionally I reached out to slap the outstretched hands of kids along the course but each time I did so I could feel the energy cost of just that slight extra effort. I drank a cup of Gatorade every two miles or so, generally 4-6 ounces, and splashed a cup of water on my face or head at the same time. The remnants of the morning overcast never quite seemed to block the sun so conditions were warm despite the 60F air temperature. The cold water helped alot.
Last year I high-fived probably a couple thousand kids along the way but was too shy to stop and kiss any of the Wellesley girls. This year I determined to do better. After mile 12 I heard a continuous shrill roar up ahead and I moved over to the right side of the stream of runners since the girls gather only on the right side of the road, a one-sided gauntlet of sound. I slapped lots of hands but the "Kiss me" signs scattered among the girls swept past too swiftly and I was already more than half way through before I picked out one particular sign up ahead. I don't remember what she looked like, maybe freckles and thick brown hair tied back behind her head. She looked a little nervous when I met her eyes. I bent down and kissed her on the cheek almost without stopping. Afterward I remembered grasping her hand tightly as if she might try to escape, and forgetting to thank her. I ran off with my right ear ringing.
I didn't thank many of the aid station volunteers who handed me water and Gatorade either - I was too absorbed in running. Afterwards I was sorry for my apparent ingratitude. At mile 11 I ate another Powergel and at 16, my third. I wanted the third one to kick in before the Newton Hills started at mile 17 and it did; I felt good and kept up with or passed most of the runners around me on the hills. Before mile 21 I started to work on a chocolate gel with another shot of caffeine. It was thicker than the other flavors. I managed to swallow most of it over the next mile or so and it gave me a definite boost. The last few miles were exciting. I was feeling strong, running some of my fastest mile splits and flying by most of the other runners. On top of that I knew that I was going to come in under 3:30. One after another the landmarks came up - the Boston College descent, the Citgo sign, the overpass at mile 25, the underpass at Massachusetts Ave. Susan and Mom and John were waiting for me there in front of the Harvard club; their cheers brought tears to my eyes for the first time in the run. That's about where the last gel began to wear thin too. I tried to push harder but couldn't get my heart rate any higher, nor could I keep up with the other runners racing down Boylston to the finish line. I didn't slow down much though; my last mile split was as fast as any during the whole race. I crossed the finish line while the clock read 3:34 something and my watch showed 3:28:15, with total distance of 26.49 miles.

In my Boston gear
After the race
The post-finish march down Boylston street was a delightful relief from running. Packed together in a big traffic jam, we inched along while volunteers offered aid from both sides - a bright silver mylar space blanket, a bottle of water, medals in exchange for our timing chips, a bag of food. The sun reflecting off the silver blankets was blinding, but comforting too in its warmth. I found my gear bag bus down Exeter street I think, and received my red bag after a brief wait in another big crowd. In a sunny spot behind another bus I put on my sweats and inspected a blister on the inside ball of my left foot, right above the callus I'd sanded off yesterday afternoon. I wore the black Adrenaline 7s that I'd bought last year at the Boston Expo, the same shoes I'd worn for the Tahoe Triple and all three of my sub-3:30 qualifying races last October. Boston makes 13 on those shoes (and 63 overall). With the idea of saving them for Boston, I hadn't been running much in the black Adrenalines recently; perhaps that's why the blister developed. Other than the blister I didn't feel too bad, sore in the arches of both feet and in the quads and a little in my left knee. My stomach felt a little uneasy so I didn't eat right away as I usually do. I met John and Mom and Susan on Huntington Ave near the Prudential Center and we walked back to the Harvard Club for a shower and lunch. The stiffness and soreness dissipated pretty well during the afternoon drive up to Jackson. Ice on my left knee and arch and ball of my right foot helped too.

4/23/2008 Mount Washington AM sunny, PM increasing clouds, near 70 (50 on the mountain)
Photo gallery of our Mount Washington hike
Yesterday by afternoon I was more sore than I wanted to be but today I was feeling quite a bit better. Eric was up for Washington and OK with just hiking instead of skiing so we packed up after breakfast and drove up to Pinkham in his new silver Subaru Outback. The hike up to Howard Johnson's took 69 minutes, no record there though we passed quite a few hikers and skiers on the way up. We were on snow for all but a hundred feet or so. On the way up we compared heart rates since we were both wearing monitors. I averaged 121 with a max of 135, about 40 bpm lower than Eric. Since his knee operation a year ago he hasn't been able to work out much; he's just now getting to where he can do harder workouts like the hike today. In theory his knee will eventually recover to be as strong as it was before the operation. He mentioned possibly training for a marathon again at some point - that would be fun to run a marathon together someday.

5/10/2008 Tacoma City Marathon ovc, 52-58 (excellent marathon conditions)

Race director Tony at packet pickup
Leslie leading the 4:15 group
I paced 4:15 again in the marathon after helping out at the Expo the night before. Enjoyed both very much, although as a consequence of too much garlic-rich hommous the night before, I spent quite a bit of time in the Porta-potties along the route during the race. Fortunately Little Leslie ran with me the whole way and carried my sign during my unscheduled absences. Leslie had a good race and finished under 4:14. About a half-dozen other runners succeeded in running in our 4:15 pace group all the way to the end. I crossed the line in 4:14:58 by my watch, 4:15:07 on the clock.
Leslie and Annie at the start
Tony and Lana in the limo
In the limo
Our limousine to the start

5/11/2008 Mother's Day
Continuing one of our few family traditions, the boys and I served Mommy breakfast in bed - strawberry crepes with whipped cream. David suckled on the whipped cream bottle afterwards. Puss arrived too late for breakfast but in time for a lap.

Where the warblers were
5/14/2008 AM bright ovc, PM partly sunny, around 60
This morning after breakfast I counted five different species of warblers simultaneously foraging in the maple tree at the corner of the back porch. From the kitchen window I spotted a warbler in the cherry trees beyond the lilac so I dashed out to identify it. It was an orange-crowned and it flew into the maple tree to join two yellow-rumps already grabbing bugs among the catkins. Another warbler in the tree turned out to be a Nashville when I got binoculars on it, a first-ever yardbird. Soon a Wilson's joined them; meanwhile I was hearing a quick descending "sweetsweetsweetsitsitsitsitchit" song, a yellow warbler? I couldn't find it in the bushes but after a minute or two it also joined the other warblers in the maple tree, along with a warbling vireo and a red-breasted nuthatch. The WARVIR and YELWAR are both first of the season.
David with award
David received a Presidential award for accomplishment in the arts today at the CWA awards ceremony. We were notified that he was receiving an award and had hoped that it might be the art department award but that went to Andrew Deem, who did ceramics as well as photography and drawing. Nonetheless we're delighted that David was recognized, especially since Daniel received the same award two years ago.
Daniel's new haircut
After the awards ceremony we drove by UPS to pick up more of Daniel's stuff since he has to be moved out by midday tomorrow. Although David forewarned us, we barely recognized Daniel when he came out to meet us. He had shaved his head. He explained that he'd be going three weeks without a shower in his mountaineering class and didn't want his hair to get all grungy. May not be an issue anyhow, because we still don't know if he's going to be able to go. We just read the health requirements today and discovered that he needs to get checked out by a doctor before he can go out on his class and he has finals until 2 tomorrow and is leaving the next day at 5AM and we don't have an appointment for him yet. Partly my fault and partly his that we're in such a predicament; neither of us paid much attention to the pre-trip planning until the last few days, and now we keep discovering new gear needs and other requirements.

Third photo w/ new camera
5/15/2008 AM ovc, PM sunny, low 60's
Photos with the new camera
It seems that the Lord is confirming Daniel's going to Alaska because when Susan called in the morning to make an appointment for Daniel to see the doctor, they had only one opening and it happened to be right at the only time Daniel would be able to make it. What a relief - hopefully that's the last hurdle. Of course he still has to take two finals, say good bye to all his friends, finish packing up his room and pack up all his stuff for two months in Alaska. And I still have to mount his snowboard bindings, and I don't yet know that they will work with his new split board. So I guess that will be the final hurdle, but things are looking a lot more hopeful than they were yesterday.
Dandelion at sunset
David and I mounted a search for my old camera equipment today. I remembered having a 300mm lens for my old Nikon SLR which should fit the new D300 but I couldn't remember which box it was in or where I last saw it. We searched half a dozen boxes in the office and another dozen or so in the workshop to no avail, then I remembered a cabinet in the schoolroom where the slide projector was stored. We looked there and found the camera gear box, including not only the 300mm lens but also a 24mm wide angle and a 55-200mm zoom along with a 2x teleconverter and closeup tubes.

Peony bud
5/18/2008 AM sunny, PM increasing clouds, 55-78
Sunday evening. I ran 27 miles at the Redmond Watershed Preserve 12 hour race (5:45 for me) yesterday, soaked my legs in the very cold Cedar River on the way home then mowed the side lawn in the evening for the first time this spring. David and Susan more or less stayed home. Daniel called yesterday in the late afternoon to report that they'd been packing food most of the day and will be flying (weather permitting) onto the glacier this morning, so presumably he's settling into his tent this evening for the first of 22 nights on the ice cap.
I had hoped to run Capital City this morning but there is no day-of-race registration so I settled for two easy miles. The outside of my left heel was quite sore yesterday at bedtime and still fairly sore when I got up but it improved during my run and I haven't noticed it much since. Probably a bruise. Otherwise not much soreness or even stiffness has developed today. I didn't run all last week. It was my longest break from running in about a year. No injury (though some metatarsalgia and retrocalcaneal bursitis in my right foot); I just wasn't motivated to get out and
Power cord
run. Not too upset about not running Capital City today either, though it would have been nice to get in a spring double.
I puttered in the office much of the day, recycling stacks of old annual reports that I never read and trying to clear off my desk. Some progress. Finished mowing front and back lawns, though not the lower, in the evening since rain is forecast for tomorrow. Dennis dumped a big pile of grass clippings over the fence so I spread those out on the garden too. The upper garden is almost completely mulched. Beans, zucchini, sweetmeat, carrots and cucumbers still aren't up but the tomatoes are getting established both outside and in the greenhouse.

Rhododendron
5/19/2008 AM sunny, PM increasing clouds, 50-70
Went yard-birding this morning since the rain didn't show up. The highlight was a lazuli bunting singing at the far edge of the field west of our property. I made the id by the song, sweeter and more regular than the similar American Goldfinch, then later confirmed it through Swee's 10x25 binoculars. My left heel is still sore so I didn't run, sat in the office instead and filed and cleaned out files, throwing out bank statements from as long as 20 years ago. Also booked flights and car to New Hampshire for summer visit after Daniel returns from Alaska, $2150 and $850 respectively. After a late lunch I finished mowing the yard and paths in the field. Upper garden is now fully mulched now and the cucumbers and zucchini are starting to come up. Still no carrots. The rhododendron flowers around the yard are very pretty; I took a few pictures.

Raining Flowers
5/20/2008 AM rain, PM showers and sunbreaks, 50-58
Heel soreness much diminished but I didn't get out for a run today.
Continuing to whittle away at the boxes in the office, I threw out hundreds of 5 1/4 and 3 1/2" floppy disks, backups of all my programming work from the 1990s. I don't have any drives left for those diskettes and I doubt any of those applications are still in use. I don't like the prospect of all that plastic ending up in landfills or in the ocean but stashing it in boxes under my desk in the office is not a workable solution either. Still haven't gone through the recent mail or finished up the final changes for my last project at work.



Richardsons Peacock
5/23/2008 Centralia to Ashwood: rain west, clouds east, sunbreaks late.
Photos from Oregon rockhunting trip with Pat
Pat and I set out on our long-awaited Oregon trip around mid-morning on Friday, ahead of most of the Memorial Day weekend traffic, and drove S to Portland and E over the mountains to Madras, arriving just after the 3PM cutoff for heading in to the thunderegg beds. Didn't matter though since recent rain had left the roads too slick to access the egg sites. I always enjoy visits to Richardson's Ranch, my favorite rock shop. Chaperoned by a male peacock in full plumage, we perused the piles of rock from around the world: India black skin agate, Brazilian agate nodules, rose quartz from Madagascar, lace agate from Mexico, petrified wood from Washington. Pat bought a chunk of India black skin and I picked out a chunk of rose quartz so pink it was almost fragrant. One of the Richardson clan showed us his big saws and coring machine out back and I bought a diamond grinding head for a quarter-inch angle drill. The sander looks like a very quick way to sand off nubs too large for the trim saw. There we also got instructions on how to find the Friend Ranch, our destination for the weekend. North a few miles on 97 to the "Ashwood" sign, then right on a secondary road about 12 miles, then follow the muddy tracks left onto a short track into a big meadow on the side of a hill.

Waiting for the egg tour
5/24/2008 Ashwood to Paulina: AM mostly cloudy, PM showers and sunbreaks, 50-65
We found a flat shoulder of the hillside on which to park the camper. About a dozen rigs had already arrived for Ashwood Rockstock 2008and we wandered around looking over what people had. Apparently most of the sites, including the nearby Friend's egg bed, had been closed due to rain-slick acess roads. After supper we walked over to the Friends bed and poked around. A couple of other guys on four-wheelers were just hauling away two milk crates full of nice-sized eggs as we arrived, so we knew what to look for
Typical Friend Ranch egg
and where they were being found. The next morning we drove our four-wheeler over and dug up about 50lbs of eggs each. Mucky but fun. Nobody from the ranch showed up so we weighed the eggs ourselves and returned to camp to learn that the other sites we were interested in were still closed, and likely to stay that way given the thunder rumbling off to the east. The only other area that was open was McDonald's ranch and we weren't that impressed with the material people were bringing back from there. We decided to clear out before things got too wet, so we packed up, waited a while for someone to show up whom we could pay for our eggs, then drove the few miles down to the Friend ranch, found Darryl and Cathy on their way out and paid them just as it started to rain.
Really big thunderegg
On the way out, we stopped at a roadcut where a couple of rockhounds back at camp had told us about. They'd been showing off flying-saucer-shaped thundereggs 15" across which they claimed to have noticed in this roadcut. For once, a rock-rumor proved true and we each dug out several thundereggs ranging from 30 to 130 lbs. Most were fractured but we both found one or two whole ones. They were somewhat to substantially flattened and consisted mostly of brown and orangish jasper with a thin lens of blue-gray agate - cool mostly for their size. That find was definitely a highlight of the trip. We stopped again on the way back through town and found the thin lens of egg-bearing clay pretty well dug out, although we were able to pry out a couple more without inducing the cliff to collapse on top of us.

Junipers
5/25-27/2008 Paulina: Mostly cloudy, occ showers, 50-65
Lupine
We continued on down to the South Fork of the Crooked River, where we spent three days doing some digging and alot of walking. We each dug up a small section of pink limb about 3" high by 3" across, along with a variety of smaller chunks and pieces, collected a small pile of float as well. Nice time there. Although it did rain some every day, we had a little sunshine each day too. I counted birds and photographed flowers, did a couple of short runs. Pat's arm, already sore, began to bother him more so he didn't dig as much the second day.

Oregon trip flowers
Lupine
Delphinium
Bitterroot
Sunflower
Lupine

Storm beyond Glass mountain
5/27-29/2008 Paulina to home: Showers and rain becoming partly sunny in WA, 45-60
From Crooked River we drove down to Burns. On the way we planned to stop at Hampton Butte but the road was too slick from rain. We were rained out at Burns too, over an inch of rain in the previous 24 hours with more on the horizon in all directions. We didn't even try to get into Stinkingwater, just turned around and drove back to Madras that same day. Spent the night there then continued on up to Saddle Mountain, still trying to get out of the rain. We finally outran the rain somewhere east of Sunnyside. Up on Saddle Mountain we dug up some wood from near the top of the ridge, nice color but may be too fractured to do much with. At least we had decent weather. We didn't stay long, headed home the next morning. Pat's arm was pretty sore so he wasn't doing any digging at Saddle.

California Quail
6/6/2008 Showers and rain, 52
This picture of the first California Quail to grace our property this year proves that it was sunny sometime this week.
We had a little sun during the San Juan Island marathon last Sunday too. I carpooled up on Sunday morning with Little Leslie to catch the 6:10 ferry from Anacortes. I ran fast, would have been a Boston qualifier had I not stopped for several minutes during the course of the race to write down bird sightings. Smashed my previous best for number of species spotted (or at least heard) during a marathon - 55 species while running a 3:38 marathon. No bald eagles this
Bald Eagle and Crow
year, though I did photograph one being harassed by a crow across the street from our wellhouse the day after I got the California Quail photo.
David pointed out the bald eagle to me while he was putting the goats out to pasture. He's been wrapping up
Walking through the hall
his high school career with a brief internship at a video game company at Microsoft, shadowing an art director and concept artist. He enjoyed that glimpse of the working world and still thinks he wants to pursue a career as a video game concept artist. On Tuesday evening he gave a little presentation at school about his internship experience. That was his second-to-last homework
Building E
assignment; his last was a short speech at the baccalaureate service yesterday evening. He gave an example of how the creative process worked for him on a drawing he titled "Walking Through The Hall". He started out with no particular idea what he wanted to draw, just putting lines down which then became a massive hallway with light streaming in from the angled windows on the right. Completing the hallway he decided it needed something so for a finishing touch he added a small figure. The solitary person is dwarfed by the enormity of the architecture. Looking at it again later on, David recognized a theme common in his work, that of a small individual overwhelmed and sometimes threatened by the very large world in which he finds himself. Perhaps that theme echoes his own experience of venturing out into a grown-up world but still feeling at times not yet grown up himself.

David holding diploma
6/8/2008 Sunday - David is no longer a CWA student Cloudy, low 50's
Photos from David's graduation
After four years of diligent effort, David graduated from Charles Wright Academy yesterday evening with decent writing skills, a respectable GPA, a well-developed interest in digital art and a talented and appealing group of friends . He's come a long way in four years and we're delighted with his achievement. Despite threatening weather the ceremony was held outside. Dr Smith, faculty advisor for both boys and longtime head of the English department, gave an excellent commencement address in which she likened a well-lived life to a well-crafted poem. As with Daniel's graduation two years ago, several students spoke before they all came forward one at a time in alphabetical order to receive their diplomas from the faculty member of their choosing.

Friends and fellow Jeesh
Anna
Mai
Laura
Brittany
Ian
Following the reception the students boarded yellow CWA buses for their last trip together - to Giuseppe's for dinner, followed by an all-night party back at the school. The party ended early; Susan had brought him home this morning before I even woke up.

Clematis
6/10/2008 Cloudy, rain, low 50's
Photos from the past week
Road Trip Jeesh
We sent David off on his road trip this morning with four other Jeesh: Anna, Mai, Emily and Laura. They're driving Laura's parents' van and we're paying for gas. They'll be staying with Mai's aunt and uncle in Vancouver for a few days while they visit Whistler and Victoria, then they're heading east through Spokane to Missoula Montana and a ways beyond to Anna's grandparents' cabin, where they'll stay a day or two before driving all the way home. "Road trip" is a good name for their expedition; they'll be putting in quite a few hours on the road.
 


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