jump to navigation

Apology January 16, 2012

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

An Open letter to my adult kids, and my wife:


to John, Tom, Kevin, Kathy, Anne
This note is an apology for something I should have known about, and told you about, long ago.

Having grown up in cold, windy Chicago, and lived in the north most of my life, I should have tried out a time-proven method for keeping warm long ago.  But my family was more into roughing it (for some reason…), and we never had one. Nor did the extended family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. We saw them on TV shows, in comedies, but no one I knew ever actually had an electric blanket.   It actually sounded like a death machine, like an electric chair.  That’s probably why Sunbeam Corporation, who makes them and Wal-mart, who sells them, now refer to them as “warming blankets.”
I know this because I bought a queen sized one three days ago for use in the trailer.
It’s very light weight cloth, and it covers the bed.  It has a dual thermostat (because it is large, it gives two people individual control of each side of the bed).  (Not too important for Lacy, of course.)  It puts out a lot of heat, but not enough to trip the circuit breaker which is also running a 1300 watt baseboard heater.  I got into bed the first night, got under the electric blanket, and turned it on, and it immediately started warming up.  Then I pulled Lacy into bed, under the electric blanket.  She is normally antsy in bed, moving all over, constant motion.  But once she felt the heat, it felt so good, she stopped moving, as if she was worried that it might shut off if she moved too much. She actually fell asleep in that position, tummy to the  mattress, all four feet on the bed.  She would wake up occasionally, and lick my hands all over (her way of saying thank you), and go back to sleep.
The trailer is warm, but I’m now working under a new definition of that word!
I luxuriated in the heat, like a cat.  It is the first time this winter that both legs, and both FEET, were warm at the same time.  I had to go outside at 3:00 am this morning to replace the two empty propane tanks with two full ones – snow everywhere, whipping cold wind, and me in my jacket. It went smoothly, and I really appreciated the electric blanket when I crawled back into bed!
So, here’s the apology: I am sorry that I didn’t find out about this when you were little kids, and I could have equipped every bed with one.  But, just think of it as pleasure postponed.  You can get one now, and find out how great they are!  Even our brethren in Florida, where a stuck air conditioning control can mimic Indiana winter weather.  Or when you get caught in a sudden cold downpour on a Florida beach and you, too, have to warm up those feet and legs.
So now I have something to tell people when they ask, “So what did you do in Indiana last winter?”
– -Greg / Dad

We Are Back! January 1, 2012

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

OK, it’s been a three-plus-month vacation from the blog, and now we are back.

We finished the assignment in Texas. It was unremarkable: the client, the work, the technology, the client’s people, and the state of Texas.


To prevent pain to my loyal readers, I spared you all of that.

And now I’m back.

We drove north two, two-and-a-half days, and we are now ensconced in north central Indiana, ready to go back to work tomorrow at a place which will probably be a lot like the last place. These assignments are pretty much the same, but I have a good reputation now, and this new place really wanted me, and showed it in their offer. It was generous (as was the Texas place), so I shall carry on.

Lacy meanwhile keeps her eyes pealed out the window, hoping that Florida shows up on the horizon…

Happy New Year, all!

Here We Go Again! September 25, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

We have finished our job in Denver, and I have a new one already!

Lacy the super doggie and I will leave Colorado, and head to Dallas, Texas this week. It’s St. Jude’s Medical Center in Plano,TX. It’s about 2 1/2 days drive, and I am really looking forward to it!

This is the life!

How the Internet started September 21, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
add a comment

A revelation with an Incredibly Big Message (IBM):

Well, you might have thought that you knew how the Internet started, but here’s the TRUE story …..

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband: “Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?”

And Abraham did look at her – as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load – but simply said: “How, dear?”

And Dot replied: “I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price.

And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah’s Pony Stable (UPS).”

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

To prevent neighboring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was called Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures – Hebrew To The People (HTTP)

But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secret himself inside Abraham’s drum and began to siphon off some of Abraham’s business. But he was soon discovered, arrested and prosecuted – for insider trading.

And the young men did take to Dot Com’s trading as doth the greedy hors efly take to camel dung.

They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land.

And indeed did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates’ drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say: “Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others.”

And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or eBay as it ca me to be known. He said: “We need a name that reflects what we are.”

And Dot replied: “Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators.” “YAHOO,” said Abraham. And because it was Dot’s idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.

Abraham’s cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot’s drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God’s Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).

And that is how it all began.

[I didn’t write this, but I wish I had!]

Operators Are Standing By July 25, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

Monday, July 25, 2011

BREAKING: President Obama Addresses the Nation Tonight at 9

Tonight at 9 p.m. EDT President Obama will address the nation on the stalemate in Washington over avoiding default and the best approach to cutting deficits.

You can watch the speech live at WhiteHouse.gov/live starting at 9 p.m. EDT tonight.





Look For The Silver Lining July 5, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

We should always look for the silver lining on the cloud of doom.

The jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murder and the other felonies. So how could there be a silver lining to that?

Maybe we’ll see a lot less of Nancy Grace now.


They Will Certainly Change Their Name June 25, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
add a comment

I can remember growing up in the ’50’s, and asking adults to explain concepts as I heard about them. The worst one to ask was my father, who would always make a joke about it at my expense and make sure everyone heard it as he laughed at me. I learned about sex from a high school teacher in a classroom, avoiding my dad’s questions about it (“Do you have any questions?”). My mom was a great source for explanations, understanding first that, as a recent convert, her answers on ethics and morality were always biased in favor of the Catholic Church. The best source of explanations about the world was my Uncle Richard: no joking, always a careful listener, and he would explain the answer until he was sure I got it. And, when he didn’t know, he would say so, though he would sometimes add his opinion, and label it as his opinion.

Not Politically Correct June 24, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
add a comment

CBS News.com: “Fugitive gangster James “Whitey” Bulger faced a Boston judge Friday after 16 years on the run”

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/24/national/main20074149.shtml#ixzz1QFAVjW7Q

I don’t think someone can label a guy “Whitey” anymore. Only if he is being accused of racism.


Talented Teens! June 23, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
add a comment

These two teenagers – on cello and on violin – do a very fine job with “Let It Be” by the Beatles.

In fact, they remind me of Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend Stephen Maturin in the novels by Patrick O’Brian.

The movie starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) is very good, but I recommend that you start with one of the novels. Any one, actually. Aubrey and Maturin often play classical music on cello and violin on Aubrey’s ship, HMS Surprise.

These young musicians, Michael Province, violinist (age 15), and Nathan Chan, cellist (age 16), are very skilled and very clever. We should keep an eye on them, because they are going places!


On The Road Again June 22, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

OK, I tried the retirement thing. Since November 2010, I have been “retired” at my place in Florida, and it has been fine. Social Security isn’t much, and my small investments have had to bridge serious shortages. But Lacy and I have really relaxed. Now it is time to go back to work, and really pack some money away for the future. Now that I have honed some economizing skills, I’m confident that I will succeed.

I have accepted a consulting engineering job with a $17B healthcare branch of a major company for at least 6 months, using my knowledge of FDA protocols and regulations. The job site is in Denver, CO. Last year in Wyoming, now Colorado. If this is a trend, I am going to have to expand my Western wear closet!

The four weeks of interviews, background checks, drug tests, writing samples (!), references and all sorts of paperwork got accelerated last night, when the company said “Yeah, okay, everyone continue your due diligence, but we need Greg to start work July 6th!” Since it’s a 32 hour drive with the Big Ride truck and the Big Easy fifth wheel trailer, I am starting to break camp now and planning to start the drive on July 1st.

Lacy the doggie is already packed, and very excited, too.