Happy 7-0, Dad!


We spent the day in the mountains with my folks, celebrating my dad's 70th birthday. seven-oh. We had an awesome day at their timeshare cabin at Banff Gate just outside of Canmore (not far from Banff). Got lots of great pics, and Evan had a blast.

The coolest thing about today was that dad wasn't supposed to make it to 70. He was diagnosed with a serious case of polymyositis in 1997 (?), and was given under a year to live. His body was digesting all protein in his system, slowly taking his internal organs apart and secreting the remains into his blood.

Well, he basically blew all of us away with his recovery. Dad went through a lot of crap, with his body falling apart from the inside out. All kinds of drug cocktails, side effects, cocktails for the side effects. Therapy. Rest. And now, years later, he just keeps getting stronger, and isn't slowing down at all. He even had a heart attack last year, and while that was a pretty big scare for everyone, he shook it off, followed doctors' orders, and keeps on truckin'. Awesome. Looking forward to the big eight-oh, nine-oh, and beyond. Keep on keepin' on, dad! I hope I'm going as strong when I'm your age! I give my dad a hard time - we relate primarily through sarcastic humour - but we've been through a lot over the years (some pretty severe ups and downs), and I admire him in so many ways, and love him more than words can express - certainly more than I could ever say to him. perhaps he'll see this entry sometime... or, I'll get up the nerve to say this to his face...

Today was good on several levels - great to have a quality day with my folks. Great to have an awesome day with my wife and son (and Evan was totally amazing today!!!). And, I've been in the middle of a neverending shitstorm on a Major Project (well, Two Major Projects With Overlapping/Conflicting Deadlines/Demands). It feels like the entire frakking world is on my shoulders, and it was freaking awesome to get a day (well, only a few hours actually) without having to really think/deal with the bullshit thrown my way. One of the reasons I went back to working at the University was the concept of cycles - there are periods of extreme demands/productivity, but it's followed by a brief period of lesser demands, where you can catch your breath, regroup, decompress, debrief, grow, and then head into the peak of the cycle refreshed and ready to go. The trough part of the cycle has been absent for me for the last year, so I feel like I've been running at 100% for the full year. Nearly burned out. Nowhere near as productive as I could/should be. Both Major Projects are winding down (for now - one permanently, the other hopefully dovetailing into a new cycle). Looking forward to the trough...

On a less Deep note, I was using my sister-in-law's camera today. She took off to Vegas for a week, and didn't want to lug her camera around, so she borrowed our small Fujifilm e510, leaving her Sony Cybershot DSC-F717 for us to use. Normally, I'm not a fan of Sony cameras. Hate memory sticks. We hates them. Tricksy! False! wait... OK. So, the Sony camera is a high-end consumer "enthusiast" camera. Not quite SLR, not quite point-and-shoot. It's got LOTS of nice features (a ring for adjusting focus/zoom, really fast booting and responding to shutter release, awesome low light handling, great battery life, etc...) I'd never buy the camera myself. Although it's really nice, it uses a silly storage medium, and the beautiful Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lense is built into the camera (on a swivel, but built-in), so that's annoying - it wobbles and makes me really nervous.

Basically, what using this camera did was make me realize just how much I want a digital SLR. I found I (felt like I (?)) was taking better pictures with the Sony just because of the extra control/feedback/response. Just imagine how much better a Digital Rebel XT would be, or a 5D...

I'll post the pics to Flickr when I get them off the camera. I don't have anything that can read the stupid Memory Stick format, and the camera uses a USB connection that differs from any USB connection I have cables for. WTF, Sony? Have to wait to trade cameras back again, and get my pics offloaded for me...


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Last updated: March 01, 2024