Volume I, Number XI: 1998
The Tenth Anniversary Edition
Turkey for 2, twice
It is perhaps fitting that, as Canadians living in the United States, we now celebrate Thanksgiving twice a year. It has been a remarkable year of both growth and reflection.
We have much for which to be thankful, including friends and family members who have worked to stay close across the miles and increasing number of years.
Our wish for you is all the blessing of the new year.
Peace and Grace,
Paul & Elaine
Paul LeJeune, a friend who was widely respected as a strong advocate for people living with disabilities, died on December 18, 1997. He was 42.
We also marked the passage of Paul’s uncle Everett (Al) Taylor on March 21, 1998 at 73 years and two great aunts – Gert Bacon, 82 in early August 1998 and Lot Bacon, 82 on March 9, 1998.
The Year in Review (by Top Level Domain and a wink and nod to the Internet)
.edu – a doctor in the house
SEATTLE - On June 13, 1998, the University of Washington conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Communications on Paul W. Taylor. The convocation at Husky stadium, the first time the ceremony was held outdoors In the university's 137-year history, marked the culmination of a six year journey for Paul and Elaine. The day was shared with Paul's parents, Mel and Wilma, and his academic mentor and friend, Dr. Dorothy Zolf McDonald, who he had studied under a decade earlier at the University of Calgary.
The day was full of much laughter, good conversation, words of thanks and tribute, and roll upon roll of photographs. The most fitting tribute of the day was quoted from the dedication page of Paul's dissertation perhaps the best part of the 270-page manuscript - which thanked Elaine "for sharing the burden of this work and providing much needed balance with gracious equanimity."
.us – the first ten years
SAN FRANSISCO - The freshly minted Ph.D. and his wife headed to the Bay area in October to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Based at historic hotels with easy access to cable cars, the week was spend touring around Alcatraz and the waterfront, Hait Ashbury, the Sonoma wine country and the Union Square shopping district. Add a dash of live theatre (Miss Saigon), an afternoon of modem art and some fine dining and you have the beginning of another decade of making memories together.
Back at home, Elaine's vegetable garden was more bountiful than the year before (with the excess distributed to all-too-willing nurses and civil servants). Nineteen newly relocated roses came into full bloom this summer, framed by Rhodies, ferns, daffodils and tulips. The progress on what had once been an overgrown yard has been significant but there's a lifetime of work left in making optimum use of the surroundings. (A landscaping course at a local college is the next step in helping to figure out how best to proceed.)
For his part, Paul was on point for the conversion from heating oil to natural gas. The first challenge was that there was no gas line within blocks of the house. After a little neighborhood organizing, seven homeowners shared the cost of a gas main extension into the neighborhood. Its cleaner and cheaper to run and, coupled with a gas water heater and a generator, it provides an effective hedge against the next wind storm.
Elaine continues her volunteer work with the Henderson House Museum In the neighboring City of Tumwater and is the new historian for the Olympia Genealogical Society. It has been a great opportunity to get to know people who have lived in the area long enough to care about its history and share her interest in genealogy and family history.
Our roots are also growing through continued involvement at a local church. There's been a fair amount of sweat equity in working on the grounds - landscaping and installing an irrigation system. Paul has been teaching a little and Elaine has become the resident photographer for special events (as out of character as that may be). There has been some committee work too - Paul's searched for a new associate pastor and Elaine's found a way to pay his salary.
.ca – still crazy after all these years
HAMIOTA - It's the story the Hamiota Echo does not want you to read! Elaine and her former classmates from the Hamiota Collegiate Institute -- two of whom clad in t-shirts for the 70s glam rock band KISS -- converged for a 20-year high school reunion and the town will never be the same. Here, for the first time, is the complete text of the story that was censored from the local paper... shocking!
On Saturday, July 25, 23 former classmates from the class of 1978 celebrated their 20th year high school reunion. The classmates gathered in the afternoon at the Hamiota Elementary School for an invigorating game of softball - requiring an increasingly larger ball as the game progressed. It makes one wonder how big a ball will be required for our 40th. After this strenuous game, the class gathered at the community centre for a delicious supper served to 33 by Unit III of the Hamiota UCW. The meal was followed by an evening of reading “The Last 20 Years” booklet and sharing pictures and stories of the their lives since they last met.
The trip back to Manitoba in July also provided a chance to catch up with family and friends, although another week or two would have been nice to make our rounds more complete. A postal disruption last Christmas for Canadian correspondents and an unfavorable exchange rate for would-be visitors from North of 49 made it an otherwise quiet year for international relations. Still, Paul's uncles Art and John Toews came down to watch late nite fireworks on the 4th of July. John and his wife Sue also stopped in earlier in the year. On the upside, e-mail correspondence has grown exponentially in the last year.
.gov – the digital state X2 @ www.wa.gov/dis.
OLYMPIA - Elaine went on a self imposed commute reduction program this fall by dropping down to just more than a half time position at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle - from 75% to 60% of full time equivalence. She now makes the trip twice a week.
Paul's commute is a breeze but his hours have expanded with increased responsibilities this fall. He continues to work in strategic planning and management of technology for state government. The work of DIS -- the state's technology agency - was again recognized this year as the top ranking "Digital State." The award is based on an independent evaluation by the Progress and Freedom Foundation of the fifty states' use of information technology in service to the citizen. The growing recognition of DIS efforts in this area have created opportunities to work on issues of common concern with other states, the federal government and industry. As a result, Paul has been travelling a good deal this year -- to San Diego, Boston, New Orleans, Austin, and Phoenix.
.com - ruY2Kok?
SEATTLE - Whatever your response to the coming millennium date change - "Will my coffee maker work on January 1, 2000?" or "It's the end of the world and I feel fine" or "I'm going to party like its 1999" or the four Gs of the survivalist movement, "groceries, gold, generators and guns" - there is no lack of fodder for water cooler chat about the year 2000. There is a single source for celebrating the date change of a life time -- everything2000.com. The brainchild of a friend named John Locher, it has spawned sister sites for marking other events, everythinghalloween.com, for example. And coming this Yuletide season - you guessed it, everythingchristmas.com.
If someone you know received a copy of The X-Files Game on CD-ROM this Christmas, you might be interested to check the credits under software engineering and user testing. (The project began four years ago when Paul was working for HyperBole Studios in Seattle.)
.fur – the pampered first life of a couple of cats
OLYMPIA - The suffix "fur" may not be officially recognized as a top level domain on the Internet but that's only because the humans that make up the rules have not yet recognized the contribution of cats in the development of cyberspace. "Who better to chase the mouse?" asks Rumpelteazer, now in her third year of running the house and keeping an eye on keyboarding activities. For his part, Mistoffelees has repeatedly staged "lie down" protests on the wrists of Internet surfers as they try to click through to just one more human centric Web site. "Whadda ya mean it’s not a legitimate protest just because I fall asleep once in awhile," complains the black and grey long hair.