Max and Khai decided an XBox-360 was in order. Lots of cheap games. A new 360E was the best option, so Max went that route. He put in $155 (vs $94+SH + Accessories for used, or $156 for refurb). Khai put in $20. I put in $5, plus bought a 320GB drive ($45). No Kinect. Halo 3 was bought for $6 by Max. Our DVD player has gone stale since we set up a media PC, so the XB360 will take over that HDMI port.

Checkpoint / Summary

This was an email to a friend and coworker I haven’t seen in a while, and it seemed like a good overall current-life summary. I’m posting it here so I can find it again in the future.

The kids are a wrapped up in more elaborate game design stuff. Max gets out of the house to visit friends, and Khai does Karate 2x/week. Both still growing, but Max is formally a teen now.

Erica got a job at the Lewisville library. Part time, but it’s sort of a ramp-up to her having regular paychecks (a self-validation thing for her), and getting the kids used to being a little more self sufficient (unpossible). She still does her graphic design stuff about 25 hours per month. She wrote a book called “Secrets in the Ink”. It’s “done”, but she has a final formatting verify before activating the listing on Amazon.

Haven’t lost any weight in a while. Stuck between 260 and 265. Not super worried. Dropping more makes me VERY hungry, which slows me down on the bike. Definitely have continued to improve on riding. It’s been mostly mental, and stats help me with that. Also, it’s a good group socially.

Work-wise, I long for the days of one project at a time consisting only of new-system deployments with 100% access and few complications.

Mentally, I *feel* middle aged this year. I’m so ready to have retirement funded, but that’s so far away. At least it’s on track so far, but I see the next couple decades more as a grind than anything else. You know, that part of a game where everything looks just like the last 10 levels, but with different sparkles and all of the items are renamed.

Biking is the thing that’s different right now. I haven’t figure out “the next thing” yet, but I’ve toyed with the idea of jogging/running *gasp*. Cheaper than getting back in the cockpit.

I think it’s time we work out a company paintball or laser-tag or get-drunk-and-eat-food gathering. You know, for Thanks-July-mas.

Worst dream ever

Worst dream ever. Khai got caught up in some sort of program and refused to cooperate because he was tired and cranky. Because of this, he was given the choice of life in prison or death. He was still just a kid but he was pissed and chose death.

I had to leave because it was bedtime. I kept trying to call to make him make sure that was really what he wanted, but we could not get through because it was a new utility area with lots of construction. I was hacking a digital power distribution panel to try to get the computer to make the connection for us. There were maybe 8 of up, plus several kids.

Max was beside himself with grief the the rest of us were in shock. It was the first time he hugged me in 2 years. He was 14.

When I got to talk with Khai in person in the morning, he was really scared and did not believe it. He didn’t even remember the situation or making the choice. This is where I woke up. My chest hurts and I don’t want to go back to sleep.

UPDATEHad 2-3 other bad dreams while falling asleep, but decided to reset sleep vs log them then.

  1. 2 was that I was at Josh Ellis’s house, and he was sitting at the bar. He got quiet and pale, and wouldn’t respond. I walked over to check on him and he started to fall. I had to lay him on the ground and perform CPR. I called the police on my cellphone, gave the address on speaker phone, “need an ambulance. Cardiac arrest”. Someone else was in the back (maybe one of his kids?) and I told them to unlock the front door. “I’m going to have to break your ribs” to him, and “his ribs” to Margie, because CPR can do that, and he’s my size. In the dream, he was just about 50, which would also be roughly 2 years in the future. To my real, semi-awake self, that part was spooky, in that both dreams pointed to something in 2015.

I don’t remember dream #3, but it was only a few seconds… Also bad. There was a 4th, but I fell all the way asleep and didn’t really store any of the events of it. All of this was between 1:34 and a little after 2am.

So, this morning, both kids gave me big hugs. Max and I had good chats, and Khai told Erica how much he liked me. Makes me a little teary eyed, and I feel better.

UPDATE2Makes me wonder if I was waking up from some other cause, and the dreams just matched it. (ie, maybe I was having palpitations, or maybe my airway was obstructed.) Because, you know, the wake-up dreams when I have to pee always have something to do with trying to find a bathroom, and being lost, frustrated that I can’t get there…

Khai 2nd Adv Purple

Next year will be 3rd purple, then red.

Semantics, with Max and Khai

K: Yay! Thank you dad!
M: What did he do?
K: he changed my lights to the bluish color
M: Hugh. Mine are still yellow.
K: it’s because I complained. If you whine, you don’t get anything, but if you complain, you do.