Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

Wow, it's hard to believe it's been a whole year, and it's time for school to start again! Here's a picture of Ethan (age 13!!!) and Tristan (age 8!!!) this morning before we braved the carpool and drop-off lines at Anderson Elementary where Tristan's a 3rd grader and Curtis Middle School where Ethan's the big man on campus as an 8th grader.

We've had a huge year with many roller coaster ups and downs, and we're so happy that things are looking up for us. We promise updates with pictures and news soon. For now, celebrate the new school year with us and our rapidly growing children!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


One of the mental quandaries that I find myself cycling through is the issue of persistence on the Internet. The digital medium is no longer expensive or fragile as it used to be. It's just common practice to just transfer all of our electronic records from one hard drive to another, creating a perpetual transfer of information as time goes on. The Cloud is going to make this easier and more transparent to the end-user; your data is just always magically there when you need it. An invisible world-wide data repository encompassing everything.

So what's the problem with that? Inherently, nothing. It's actually a pretty cool concept, like the Library of Alexandria without the worry about fire. My hangup is that humanity has been pretty poor about choosing what to keep forever. Rather than choose, it's just easier to keep everything and why not? Storage is cheap and there seems to be no limit to what we can store.

Since we're keeping everything (and that includes corporations) we're saving all of our memories and actions -- both the good and the bad. We're human, we make mistakes and we eventually forget about them. The Internet will always remember them.

Case in point, as I was looking for a new job for the past few months I knew that employers were going to be looking at me. Not just the typical criminal background check (of which I don't have one), but beyond that... much beyond. There are certain things that I have to authorize for an employer to check or at the very least they will tell me that they will be looking into. Anyone getting a security clearance knows the drill. They'll interview friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. That only gets you so far to knowing who you are as a person and as a potential employee.

Thanks to the Internet and the vast data that's being kept, there's all sorts of information on me... posted by me! And it goes back... way back. Try this for an exercise. Find the earliest post you made on the Internet. There's an interview online with me when I worked at Ensemble Studios in '97.

I happen to pre-date the World Wide Web by a few years. I was dialing up BBS' back in 1985. (Rent "Wargames" sometime and you'll get a good idea of my nerdness.) On a whim, I did a search for posts written by my old BBS SYSOP, Malcolm Petcher. He died many years ago, but I'm was able to find posts written by him as far back as March 27, 1986... just when I first met him! (Note: having my twenty year high school reunion and finding these posts are overloading my nostalgia brain centers.) I know he wouldn't mind me using one of his messages to make a quick point.

This particular post he said "I can see the benefit of having the British MoD allowed to validate compilers, but I see no reason for them to establish their own validation suite. That's
courting disaster." If Malcolm were alive today and looking for a new job in the Defense Industry, could a potential employer find this statement? If so, what would he think? Would he consider the context and the date? How would this impact his chances for employment?

Anything you say or write can be brought back against you if you're not careful. I know. I've done computer forensics for companies. People are always surprised that the email they thought was private was always being stored on the server. I think I learned a healthy sense of paranoia from my cousin, who I always considered to be a fairly elite hacker in the 80's. I've always had a healthy respect for "The Man" and had an emergency plan in case a black paneled van pulled up outside of my house.

I know what and what not to post. I actually have people in my industry "listen" to what I say, so I have to be careful on not just what I post but how I post it. I can't go out and rant "All users of Software Brand X are idiots!" Especially if one day the only people hiring is the people that make Software Brand X. Innocuous things on Facebook like promoting a political candidate or taking a stance on a particular issue could affect you.

It's a delicate balance to maintain. You have to be accountable for what you write. I actually prefer that over anonymous posts. (That'll be another blog post for later.) We shouldn't be afraid to use free speech, but what we say does come at some sort of price. It's something I'm teaching the kids to use now so it won't potentially come back to haunt them later.

Brushing off the dust

Erlynne and I were talking about getting the blog going again this morning, so I'm going to take the first crack at getting things going again. Don't expect anything amazing from me. I'm probably just going to do some rambling on whatever pops in my head. I expect Erlynne will do more of the historical stuff, mostly because she can remember events and I can't.

With that in mind, I'm off to craft what I'm sure is going to be a (gasp) breathtaking blog post... /sarcasm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

Happy First Day of School, Ethan & Tristan! Tristan is headed off to second grade this morning, while Ethan starts his first day of middle school as a seventh grader! We are so proud of them! We have had an incredible summer, and pictures and posts with all of our adventures will be coming soon!
Love you, boys! You're going to have an incredible school year!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Erlynne's MRI Results

I had an MRI on my knee on Monday and met with my orthopedic doctor to follow up today.

Thankfully I do not have any major tears in my ligaments. WHEW!!! I did tear several muscles which are healing nicely. He said I have "chronic cartilage damage" in my knee really close to the joint, so when I pulled the muscles it aggravated everything, causing swelling inside and outside the knee joint.

I have been on crutches for 3 1/2 weeks (since the injury) and I'm still unable to put full weight on the leg or lock my knee without LOTS of pain. So he made me a path to follow. Today, he gave me a Cortizone shot in the knee to bring down the swelling so I have more motion and less pain. He wants me to continue with physical therapy, and he's telling them to "ramp it up and push it a little" from now on.

If I am still having pain in 3 weeks, he'll give me a series of 3 more injections. Joy!

If all those shots and PT workouts don't do the trick, then he's going to go in with a scope and fix the cartilage damage.

I think that's a fair path to follow, and I love him for not jumping straight to the surgery option! I'll just keep up the hard work at physical therapy sessions and at home, think positive, and have faith and hope.

I have incentive... Chris and I are flying to Boston on May 7th to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. He's got a conference to attend there, and we'll stay with Clark & Guinievere & Ben & Cash. Neither of us have ever been there, so we are going to explore and have all sorts of adventures. I certainly don't want to be hobbling around on crutches for that!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Update from Leg Land

Well, our achy breaky legs over here at the Campbell's wanted me to send out a blog update.

Chris' foot is feeling much better, and he has already stopped wearing his protective boot.  Hopefully he'll continue to improve, and the nerve pain from the bottom of his foot won't come back.  Yay for him!

Ethan has been rocking the physical therapy like a pro!  His first physical therapy session was last Thursday, March 25.  He's done his at-home exercises daily, and he really works hard at the sessions to do exactly what they ask him to do.  As a result, his knee pain has decreased drastically, he's completely off crutches, and he barely even limps anymore.  Hurray for the magical healing powers of the 11 year old body.  Yay for Ethan!

I went to my orthopedic surgeon appointment today to get an X-ray and find out what the heck I have done to myself.  Thank goodness I don't have any broken bones, but according to the doctor, I have torn a number of muscles behind my right knee and the physical therapist added that he thinks I have a meniscus tear as well.  Lovely.

So I have to be on evil crutches for at least a week, and up to 3 weeks.  I can't actually straighten my knee at all, and he says that if I come back for my followup appointment in 3 weeks and that's still a problem, he'll order an MRI and "look at our options," which sounded a whole lot like "surgery."

He scheduled me for 4 weeks of physical therapy, so I stopped by the physical therapist's office on my crutchy way out and scheduled myself for the same appointments that Ethan has.  Misery loves company, after all!  We did our first joint appointment today, and it was excruciating for me and refreshing for Ethan.  And exhilarating for Tristan, who has fallen in love with physical therapy offices - there are so many fun "toys" to play on, like 1 legged stair machines, weights, bands, and stuff to step and balance on.  

So now we just need to pray that my leg will heal up nicely with the help of the exercises and my willpower and the Lord's blessings.  We're going to the temple for the first time in quite a while on Friday.  I'm going - crutches and pain medication and all.  I can't think of a better healing remedy in the universe than the balm of the Spirit and losing the cares of the world in the service of my Father in Heaven.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Three's a crowd, aka You've got to be kidding me, aka Chris got the boot

Yeah.  So, this is just ridiculous.

At Christmastime, Chris broke his middle toe on his left foot.  It hurt a lot but he didn't go to the doctor because there's not much the doc can do with a broken toe.  It got better pretty quick, but the ball of his foot started hurting a couple of weeks later.

About 5 weeks ago, I did something weird with my right hamstring and it started hurting mildly.  It felt like I had hyperextended it, but I didn't freak out or go to the doctor or anything.

On March 10, Ethan was running on the playground at recess and he said it suddenly felt like he couldn't feel his knee anymore, so he stopped running.  We found out the next day after 2 doctor visits, an X-ray and an MRI that he had badly strained his ACL and torn his meniscus in his left knee.  He didn't have to have surgery, but he did have a lot of swelling so they had to take fluid out of his joint (OWWW!).  He's been on crutches until just today, and now he's working out with 4 weeks of physical therapy.  He's a trooper, but it's been extremely hard on him and on the rest of us.  Nobody likes to be in pain and on crutches, especially for 3 weeks!

So then I went to the Muse concert with Dallin and stood 1.5 people from the FRONT of the crowd on the floor.  Never been that close at a concert before, and it totally ROCKED!!  We screamed and danced and jumped and sang and had the time of our lives!  I was just so glad I felt well enough to go to the show.  But I really shouldn't have jumped.  I damaged the hamstring even more, so I've been limping ever since.

On Friday 3/26, Chris finally went to the orthopedic doctor for his foot, and they told him he's got a pinched nerve.  They gave him a Cortizone shot (ow!) and put him in a walking boot for 3 weeks.  So he's limping too!

Yesterday was a painful leg day for me.  I've been up and doing for everyone else, picking up everyone else's slack because they couldn't do much.  Whenever I spend a lot of time walking (limping, I should say), I end up in agony.  I had gone and done some Saturday things, and when I got home Chris was moving out our old washer and dryer and moving in the newer models we got from my friend Cherri's parents.  I didn't want him to roll the old washer and dryer over my brand new living room rug, so I got up to move it.  I was walking backwards as I rolled it up, and BAM!  I slipped on the medicine ball Ethan had been using for his physical therapy exercises and forgotten to put away.  OWWW!!!!  I know I didn't completely break the hamstring, but I am constantly in pain.  I could barely sleep last night because I couldn't find a position that didn't burn or pinch or hate me.

So now 3 out of the 4 people in our family are dealing with ortho injuries!  THREE!!!!!  WHAT?!?!?  Seriously!!!?!?!  

Not only is there the pain and inconvenience to contend with, there's also the fact that our health insurance has a $2000 deductible for EACH covered family member before they pay a dime for anything.  On top of the repairs we've recently done to the house, and the fact that I no longer have a full-time income....  looks like I'll be dragging out those credit cards again.  You know... the ones we had paid off.

I am really, really trying to keep a positive outlook, but this is the most "stuff" we've ever had piled on us at once, ever.  I think I'm going to go bury myself in the covers for a while.  That will help, right?