Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fine Dancing With The Stars Finale

Mel B and Maks last dance

Dancing With The Stars
Sue and I watched last nights finale of Dancing With The Stars. We have really gotten into this show. It has been a great run and we have had great fun just hanging out and watching episode after episode. Indy 500 racer Hélio Castroneves and professional dancer/country western singer Julianne Hough won the trophy but the dance that stole the show last night was a mambo by Spice Girl Melanie Brown and professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. It has been a wonderful season and Susie and I have had a great time following it. Dancing With The Stars is doing a tour this winter and Sue and I are planning to go to see some of our favorite dancers.

Last night, Mel and Maks last dance rocked the house!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturday Night is Alright

Pam, Jolyce and Nancy Clebrating

Great Saturday Party
On November 24 Wendy and Ben threw a great party celebrating several birthdays in our social group. Sue was unable to attend, but I did. It was a lot of fun, what great friends!

[More Pictures on Flickr]

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving was fun

Thanksgiving Dinner

Looking back on Thanksgiving
On Thanksgiving I made the turkey using the old recipe that goes back to Maria in Patterson. Sue and Fran made the side dishes from Graziano family recipes. We had a nice day hanging out and visiting. Kenneth even worked on some of my trains for me! After dinner we went to Nicole's mom, Kathy's house where they were having a family dinner. We visited there for awhile. It was a good holiday.

[More Thanksgiving Pictures Here]

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You have a story to tell

All the students in my class now have their own video blogs and podcasts. I wrote this to my class on our class blog

Six feet under final six minutes

Sit down, I have something important to tell you...
I was in my twenties when my father died. My youngest son was about a year old. My dad died of a rare disease, but this is not about my dad, it is about you. Every day is a gift. This is not just a gift to you. Each day of your life is a gift to all the people who love you and anybody who does now and or will someday want to know you. Believe it or not what happens to you is important. We think we have a long time, but we never know, we likely do, but...

My first wife was thirty-three when she was killed in a car accident. In a blink of an eye she was gone and I was a dad raising three kids on my own. Her story passed to me to tell them. But, this is not about her, or me, it is about you. You may live to be over a 100, but someday you will not be around to tell the story of who you are now. But, now you can tell that story, you have the power to tell that story now, to the whole world.

Gone the Sun
In the book Gone the Sun, Winston Groom writes, “Sometimes I think we should be issued another paper, a Life Certificate if you will – which could contain some brief statement for historical purposes that could explain how a person lived and what they accomplished and where they failed and why.”

You have a story to tell to people who may not be alive yet
Someday somebody will wonder what it is like to be you, now. Maybe your children, grandchildren, great...

Maybe that person will be you
You may someday look back on life and wonder what it was like to be you, now. You may someday be your own audience. You can also share stories as you remember them of folks you care about who are already gone...


"Hey, my name is Rianna,
I am a Junior at Tesoro High School and I am on the varsity song team." This is what Rianna's MySpace blog says. According to the LA Times, "Rianna Woolsey, a 16-year-old cheerleader, last logged onto on Dec. 6, 2005. She died the next day when her car smashed into a tree near her home in southern Orange County." Her page that has not changed since her death. The page is a time capsule of a life cut short. The only part that is different is the section where readers post comments. Since her death over two years year ago, friends have written probably over 1000 messages there. Her friends whom she authorized to post to her page still are posting there, to her, to this day. When I mentioned her on our class blog last year, I received a nice Email from a member of her family thanking me for mentioning her, for remembering Rianna. This person found the post through Google. As I mentioned in that blog post:

Every blog post we make builds our legacy and tells the story of our lives. This is so important, this is what folks will look back on when we are gone. This is our lives with permalinks and cached in Google. Her (Rianna's) words, my first wife Candy’s words, or my sister’s (who died from Cancer a few years ago) words, or my father’s words, all these words and stories I have, and the stories you have, that we hold in our memories can now be written and shared in the world by us and those living with us and preserved for a world without us. Rianna’s continuing story is in the comments of Rianna’s MySpace page. Her memory is shared for those who never knew her there. It is a story started by her before her death certificate and still being written by those who remember her.

As you contemplate your final movies for this class or even your next post to your blog or MySpace or Facebook, or wherever; remember, you don't have to be heavy, or try to do something poignant. Your memory of the best burrito you ever had in your entire life is a good story, an important story. It is a story that may be real important to someone who wants to hear that story either today or someday. Perhaps that person, someday, may be you. I wish I had videos of loved ones lost telling the story of the best burrito they ever had.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob

Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob

Photos of Jeff, Nicole and Family
Today I had the extreme pleasure of being able to take a set of photos of Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob. It was their Christmas photo. We went to a park near where we all live in San Jose. What a beautiful, lovely family they are. We are very proud of all of them!

[Click here to see more photos on Flickr]

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More baby news!

New Baby Coming!
Eldest Son Steve's wife Luci posted this to their blog:

For those of you who have not heard. We are having a baby. Lorena and Eric have graciously accepted to be God parents in a ceremony that will be officiated by a family friend. We are very excited. The baby is due May 30th, 2008. We are 12 weeks 3 days today. Over the weekend I will have Steve load pictures of the ultrasound. At the end of December we should be far enough along to determine the gender.

We are very excited and looking forward to our new grandchild.

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Lunch with Jeff and Madison

Jeff and Madison

Lunch with Jeff and Madison
On Friday I had a nice lunch at Hawgs with middle son Jeff and granddaughter Madison. It was a very welcome break from a long and busy day. I really enjoyed the visit, it was great seeing them. Madison is really growing up. She is such a smart young lady and she is a great big sister.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

For Parents: Math Education

Math Ed in Washington

A newer New Math?
This is just for you parents of younger kids. This is the math your kids are or may be "taught!."

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wine and Caves in Gold Country

Susie in Cave

We went to the Gold Country
Last weekend Susie and I had a wonderful trip to the Gold Country near Murphy's CA. We did a lot of wine tasting, exploring and even went into a cool cave, Mercer Caverns. It was a very fun get away. This is such a great area for an escape. We had a lot of fun and brought back too much great wine!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Family Blogs

Steve and Luci's blog

The family that blogs together
Both of our two older sons have blogs. Steve and Luci have a great blog that covers their growing family as does Jeff and Nicole. It is very cool to me to be able to peak in and see what is going on with them.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More new fun Europe vacation pictures

Candy and Andy's Europe Pictures

Candy and Andy were two of the people on our Europe vacation last month and they have posted their photos of the trip.

It is really cool to see their view of the trip and to see myself in front of, rather than behind, the camera. There is some great photos here and some great memories of our this wonderful vacation.

More photos here!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We watched the CMA Awards

Tonight Sue, Ken and I watched the Country Music Awards

It was great seeing old favorites like George Strait and Reba as well as new ones like Allison Kraus and Sugarland.

One of the most touching moments of the show was seeing former American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler sing, I Wonder. Pickler sang the song with so much heart, like it was a personal story she was telling. There were tears streaming down her face when she sang this song at the CMAs. There is a reason for that. I Wonder is a song about Pickler's life and Pickler's mother who was 18 when Pickler was born. Pickler's mother gave Pickler up and left her with her father when Pickler was two. The song is about how Pickler grew up without her mother and how she wondered if her mother wondered about her. Pickler sang in tears, but she sang the song anyway. That kind of heart streaming from a song about her life reminded us of Reba. To me, that is country music at its best. That is pure country!

[Pickler Singing I Wonder at the Country Music Awards]

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Aditi

Happy Birthday Aditi

Happy Birthday Aditi
Aditi Sinha is one of our senior student assistant leads at the help desk. She has been at the help desk for a long time and soon she will be graduating. Aditi is from India. She is smart, dedicated and committed to the help desk and the folks who work there. She almost always has a smile and makes us all feel like family. She is a natural leader and an inspiration. She is one of the nicest students I have known in my over twenty-three years at the university and when she graduates it will be a big loss for us and our university. We are really going to miss her.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Europe trip reunion

Cruise Partners

Cruise reunion
This afternoon we are getting together with the cruise group to share memories, photos and perhaps to plan for our next trip. We have not seen them since our parting in Rome. This should be a lot of fun. I burned DVD's for folks of the trip pictures.

[More Vacation Photos Here on Flickr]

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