I left Seattle for North Carolina for a week with my best buddy Jody. Travelled thru Chicago and had a one hour and forty minute delay which put me in pretty late in NC. By the time we got home to Jody's house it was 0400 hrs, time for bed.
The next few days were spent with Jody, his wife Bara and their lovely daughter Ally. She keeps calling me Uncle Eric and I have to do everything with her. I eat with her, play with her, sit next to her at dinner, gave her a bath, put her to bed, etc... really cute!
We went to the dirt bike track to watch Jody ride, I have had my official USMC haircut (a tradition when I stop by) for only $6 (when will the dutch learn, 16-17 euros for a haircut is crazy) and some last bit of shopping before the trip home. Have this amazing pink rabbit for my Isabel!
The big project for the week is a double level swing-set for Ally, with playhouse, ladder, climbing wall and swing. Much work to do as you can see below.
We left Seattle on Saterday morning headed for Portland and my parents house.
We stopped at a Veterans Museum on the way down that my uncle has donated his Korean War memories and things to. It was rather awe inspiring to be received there and that they knew I was a Veteran too. Everyone kept coming up to me and saying 'Thank you.', very hard to describe the feelings that go thru you at a moment like that. Living in Europe I am not around my fellow countrymen that much to receive or feel any sort of appreciation for my service time. I am now dumped into it like a cold bath and it brings much of my 'adventures' and 'stories' back to the surface. It also brings back much emotion about a time in life that was so different from the times we now stand in.
The director of the museum, Lee Grimes, personally took me around to explain the various exibits when he heard I was the nephew of my uncle. He knew stories about each display, often about several articles in each display. He left the impression of a very caring and sincere man devoted to the memories of service men, one and all regardless of branch or time served in.
Personally I found it to be very moving to hear that each person brought in their memories (be that stories or items from their service time) and had a hard time letting them go as they donated them to the museum. I can relate to this with my own 'memories.' I have taken a business card from Lee and will keep him in mind when I next look through my own boxes. Maybe I will donate something, maybe I won't.
Onwards we arrived in Portland, met up with my parents and had a nice dinner for the evening. Spent the next two days just relaxing, shopping for Isabel, building a set of golf clubs for dad and hitting some balls at the driving range. We spent a day at a science museum with Henry today and will have all of my parents friends over tonight for a pizza party and chatting.
Time to visit the states again, seeing family and friends. It has been over three years since my last visit back home, time to drop in on all my favorite people!
After a nice nine hour flight on an Airbus (I have never flown in one of the newer ones) I arrived in Seattle, gathered my bags and was met by my sister. We stopped in at my brother-in-laws work (Morrison AM) to see the production of StreetRod frames. Even saw the one that Boyd Coddington used on the Discovery Channels program (they filmed part of an episode on location here)!
A stop at Starbucks for a lovely coffee and then we picked up my nephew of 4 yrs old. He is getting to be quite the little man! Every third question is 'why?' and he asked right away if he might come and visit us in the Netherlands!
I helped with dinner (love to cook!), we opened presents (spiderman web shooter went over great) and I helped to put my nephew to bed. Uncle Eric had to read his bedtime story, what a guy! I had been awake quite awhile, from my timezone it was from 0800 - 0630 hrs the next day, so headed off to bed myself.
I was able to sleep 7 1/2 hours so not too bad for the next moring. I wanted to try to get into the local time as soon as possible so have been staying up this morning and hope to chat via Skype with my wife. I will be have to crash out later this afternoon as we are off to a birthday dinner up north of Seattle with my sisters in-laws. It will be a long drive and late night so need to get a bit of energy back before we head out.
I hope to post pictures as they develop on the journy. The planning now is to head down to Portland on Saturday, stopping in at the veterans memorial where I have a tile on the memorial wall. I would like to see that.
Not sure what is happening in Portland, is kind of dependent on the weather as it has been snowing a bit both in Washington and Oregon the last week. More on my next stop online!
A few weeks ago there was contact made with Jan van Lieshout who has started a push to implement an IcalSrv for syncing with eGroupWare. I must say I found this to be the most promising syncing effort to date, with Ical supporting many more clients and devices than the other efforts to date (remember, I have yet to have a satisfactory client syncing with eGroupWare).
Jan has been working hard to get eh framework completed, I have been doing my best to help with debugging, testing and setup in the wiki. We have both been put up for Junior Members of the development team and I have setup the IcalSrv wiki project page.
A major imporovement in the mirroring of released files, better quality mailinglist and subversion code repository with https access and rsync annonymous mirroing. We take a good step forward in the quality of our tool set for developing AbTLinux.
Over the last week I have completed the edit function, with a total of 6 and 1/2 days of hard coding and released to version 0.9.3! Am very glad to get this done, it was major milestone towards releasing v1.0 which is in the works.