December 2003
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December 31, 2003

Well ... 'tis the time of the year that one sits back and wonders "How on earth could it be ... the Gulf war was just yesterday" ... oh, the Gulf war *was* just yesterday. Hmm ... I meant "Desert Sheild/Storm" not the sequel (which is never as good as the original). So ... now that another year is done ... where have we been and where are we going?

2003 was one of the most stressful, yet successful years we have had together.

Jan - Feb, I was fighting my way through a couple web development projects while trying to keep Apex Software Solutions afloat. Both Melissa and I sensed a change coming on the horizon, something we talked about on Dec 31st, 2002, but we did not expect what was on deck.

In March it happened, I took a job in Sarasota with Medical Education Technologies, Inc. Due to the quick move that was required, Melissa had stayed in Vancouver to continue working while we packed and shipped the stuff. I was in charge of finding a home ... but while we trying to find a way to get our stuff down here I managed to sneak my first peak into the Apple Store.

By April our stuff finally shipped and thus arrived 12 days later. The Canucks were fighting for their playoff spot and I thought I would try and join in on the action ... and again ... and again. No mother ... I did not take a job as a hockey commentator ;)

Due to technical difficulties with the domain name '', May was almost completely void of web site updates ... almost. However, with the wife still MIA and the new job stealing most of my time I had what most people would call a boring life ... Melissa on the other hand was enjoying her first tastes of vacation with a visit to Calgary before making her way south of the border.

June we started exploring east (with pictures) and south but we should never ... never ... left alone

In July we were contacted by Frank Eeftens. Made it through the July 4 celebration, my sisters visit, and, oh yea, Vancouver/Whistler won the Olympic bid for 2010.

By August the hot, dry weather back home broke out in flames ... yet that would not stop us from making it to Byron and Tracy's wedding. I managed to get another year older which was not helped by the fact that John and Karin had their first little girl.

September saw me out exploring, this time without my wife who had gone MIA once again after the wedding. Other than that work was gobbling up my time once more.

In October I joined an Ultimate team to keep me active. Melissa's Dad came down for a visit ... and we could not leave Myakka out of the tour.

November saw the Vancouver, BC Ultimate team win the US Ultimate Nationals. And "Stan", our medical simulator, graced the screens of ER

And December finished with a bang! Melissa snagged her drivers license, we bought a computer, and I managed to close out several projects at work ... yet still found time to enjoy Christmas.

So whats on the horizon ...

Well ... we hope to snag a digital camera in the next few months so we can start providing a more graphical look at our life down south. Melissa is once again heading home for an extended trip surrounding another wedding. And the Saunders family is expected early March for a 10 day vacation. Beyond that we are looking to enjoy another wonderful year in the sunshine, with the H1-b VISA in "process" we are expecting several more to come.

This whole blog thing is kinda cool ... enjoying the communication with friends and family. Fell just short of my 100 entries post with a tally of 98, logged 126+ comments, and tracked an average of 10000+ hits per month.

At work I grossed 2123.5 hours in at work (2080 hrs is a normal working year) ... which means with my March start date I worked an average of 48.26 hrs a week, or 9 weeks of OT. (2123.5 / 40 hrs = 53.08 wks). What a year!

Raise a glass to what was in 2003 and what will be in 2004 ... just remember to drink responsibly. Oh ... we are hosting a small, quiet gathering at our place ... looking for desserts ... but beer, chips, burger "extras" are also welcome.

Posted by csb at 8:23 AM


Back to work !

December 29, 2003

Well ... after a wonderful break over the last couple days I am back in the shackles. Thankfully it is another short week ...

Hope Christmas was good to everyone. In addition to Melissa getting her drivers license (which is soooo nice ... I get to send HER on errands) she also snagged several boxes of chocolate and a Mahjong game from her new computer (yes ... the computer was a early christmas present too).

Patches snagged a new Chicago 2-disc greatest hits set. It is nice to see that the cat has the same taste in tunes as I do ;)

Myself ... well ... I got out with new pants, shoes, and a Joy of Tech book.

Due to shipping costs we have also received several cheques and plan to spend those diligently on candy and pinball machines! Just kidding. We are looking for a local medical supply shop that supplies ankle braces so that I don't totally destroy my body by the time I am 30. We did pick up a new "Media center" (read book shelf) for our DVD and VHS collection and plan to continue filling it with more movies in the near future.

Thanks again to everyone for their thoughtfulness and generosity. Enjoy all your new toys ...

Posted by csb at 9:04 AM


Check the medical supply shop just down 59th st in Bradenton. It's in the shopping center with Publix in it. It's about 2 minutes from the park where you're getting your ankles destroyed.

Posted by: Jeff at December 31, 2003 8:19 AM

Been a loooonnnnngggg time coming ...

December 24, 2003

Well, an early start to the day allowed me to log one more success as we head into the final days of the year. Happy about that ...

... but the real news is that I finally have freedom. Freedom to sleep on trips, freedom to NOT be the designated driver, freedom to NOT be the resident taxi driver ... yes ... that is right ... I got a christmas present this year. Well ... Melissa got a christmas present -- I am just a happy recipient.

She went in at 3:30 on Tuesday to the local DMV ... 2.5 hours later we came out with a new drivers license. So ... stay off the sidewalks and on the streets (though that is always a good thing to keep in mind down here). We did find out why the drivers down here are the way they are. The exam is done on a 'internal course', no actual road test ... and it was only 15 minutes long. Far easier than the tests in either Washington state (which was fairly easy) ... and definitely easier than BC.

The evening just topped off the night. A short trip up to St. Pete gave us the chance to visit with Bob and Doug (down from Seattle). We would like to thank them for a great dinner ... it is so nice to be able to visit with you again. We also wish you luck as you as you move into your new place. Looking forward to visiting you sometime over the next year.

Everyone enjoy your Christmas eve ...

Posted by csb at 1:38 PM


Congrats, Melissa!! It's about time you got behind the wheel of the car. ;-)

Posted by: John at December 24, 2003 3:57 PM

Way to go Melissa!!! Now all this carpooling Cam and I do is finally going to start paying off for you :)

Posted by: Krishen at December 29, 2003 4:04 PM


December 22, 2003

Finally managed to borrow (thanks Jeff) both X-Men movies since it is taking just too long to buy them. Though it seems that the "sale" might get easier as Melissa also enjoyed them. I have been quite impressed with the comic book movies thus far. The special effects capabilities now days allow the stories to finally get told.

But, quite frankly, nothing compares to the Lord of the Rings series. The entire 3 movies had a flow that went uninterrupted. They all held the same style, presence, and feel. This likely has to do with the fact they were all filmed at the same time - almost as if it were one really large movie (likely 10+ with the extended editions). The first two were good and this latest, and final, installment was fantastic. The battle scenes were outstanding, keeping people on the edge of their seats. Amy was correct in saying, "You come out feelings like you just played a game of Ultimate". But the movie did not falter with focus on the battle scenes - it still told a story. It has got to be my favorite movie to date, though I guess it needs all 3 to show its splendor.

Thanks to all 9 people that showed up ... ya made it a great night :) Time to save the money for the trilogy Special Edition box set. We also have to wait ... apparently they are looking into getting the rights to There and Back Again (The Hobbit).

On a side note ...

Christmas cards have started to come in. Thanks to Scott and Etsuko for the nuts ... the chocolate ones did not last long :) Thanks to the Saunders, Booths, Nana & Papa, and to all those who called. Now I just hope all our cards did not get stuck at the border. Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday ... Melissa and I are already enjoying ours ...

Posted by csb at 9:36 AM


" Time to save the money for the trilogy Special Edition box set"

No kidding! I'm all over that. I was really impressed by how it all turned out. The three-movie-long story arc was well executed (especially when compared to The Matrix, whose arc, imho, would have been much more successful over two films).

Posted by: krishen at December 22, 2003 10:44 AM

Days ... coming and going

December 17, 2003

Thought I would poke my head in and check on everybody. We are now just "days" ... yes days away from Christmas and we have finally got most (though not all) of our cards in the mail. Man ... aren't the holidays suppose to be relaxing ??

Turns out that I have to work right through the holidays ... ie. no holidays. Well, that is not true ... get Christmas and New Years off. However, this will be my first year not actually getting the "christmas" week off. Always managed to squeeze several days and visit family. However, this year I am (1) a fair distance away, and (2) in my first year at METI - thus don't have any vacation days yet. So ... Melissa and I are going to enjoy a nice quite evening. We do have a couple things planned though ...

23rd: Meet Bob and Doug (from Seattle) in Tampa/Clearwater for dinner
24th: Play Mr. Taxi for Hugo (heading home himself) and dinner at the Bonefish Grill (gift cert from the METI christmas party)
25th: X-mas dinner with Eric and Amy ... should be good fun :)

So this is going to be the first Christmas alone ... man ... next thing we will be sending the yearly "Family Christmas Letter"!!!

Posted by csb at 3:18 PM


Don't feel bad about not getting the time off. Due to our government contract now, we don't get the week off either. We get Christmas day, the day after and New Year's Day. Quite the change from previous years.

Posted by: John at December 17, 2003 7:53 PM

Wouldn't suprise me if we have to work overtime on Christmas week.

Posted by: Jeff at December 18, 2003 7:55 AM

"Thought I would poke my head in and check on everybody."

*ghostly voice* There's no-one here............ you've waited too long between posts............

Posted by: Krishen at December 19, 2003 8:52 PM

Good to see everything is all well. I ust got back to Vic from six mths in the gulf. What is your email addy?


Posted by: Dale at December 23, 2003 5:23 PM

Home-run swing

December 9, 2003

Without tempting Murphy too much I would like to note that the hours of pain-staking work seem to have paid off. Krishen, Jeff, and I pulled a late night (seeing the other side of 2AM) to make sure the latest project was as good as we could make it. I have to thank both of them for their efforts as I would not have turned out something so 'polished' otherwise.

With only some administration work remaining it is time to get some sleep - and spend some time with Melissa. I am really glad she is so understanding about these situations.

Posted by csb at 11:18 PM


You've got a bug...they found it this morning. Have a nice day :).

Posted by: Jeff at December 10, 2003 8:25 AM

Sunday, Sunday, ... someday

December 7, 2003

Another Friday brought the end to another long week ... or did it. With deadlines looming I brought myself into the office for 9 hours on Saturday and was back again at 10:30AM on Sunday. At least Melissa was able to get out of the house with Amy, MJ, and Krishen (Krishen managed to slip away for a couple hours from the trenches) to play some disc-golf on Sat, and is planning on heading out shopping for christmas gifts with Amy today.

Well, at least I managed to get "some" time off to catch a movie and a beer before the night was out. And hopefully I won't be too long in the office today.

"Short day" was given a new definition today ... grrr!. Problem is that when things need to get done it is up to you to make sure it happens and I just did not feel right leaving Krishen there alone to work on a section of the code that I passed off on him because I was too busy. We did manage to sneak out of the office chairs around 10:30PM - but the good news is that things are in much better shape. While it is not done, we believe that we can start testing and code/interface clean up tomorrow. So ... til tomorrow then. :)

Posted by csb at 1:22 PM


Congrats are in order

December 4, 2003

And so it continues ... first Casey and Alex ... then John & Karin and Don and Olivia ... now Scott and Etsuko. I received an email this morning that announces the next line in the Cale family this coming July. While it scares me to have a little Scott Jr. running around, I know Etsuko and I am sure she will help balance things out :)

They have some great pictures in their gallery from their wedding, check them out.

Posted by csb at 9:19 AM



December 3, 2003

Well ... I did it ... forked over the cash and picked up a relic. Figure it will eventually look nice in my museum of treasures along side the good old Mac Plus. The iMac 350 Blueberry machine now sits comfortably on my desk at home, contained inside is a fresh 40 gig harddrive and 192 MB in RAM.

While it is not the top of the line system ... it will provide a nice place for Melissa to fiddle and/or me to tinker, and besides ... it makes a great stereo once hooked to my speaker system. It has been some time, but after approximately 6.5 years I have upgraded my Mac system. [though I have been working off borrowed time for the last 3 or so]

Now ... for the digital camera ;) And no ... I have not forgotten about the G5 or the powerbook ... I just now have a buffer for the next couple years. The thing will run Panther afterall - but that is another $129 or so.

Posted by csb at 1:58 PM


Nice system. Though I never did care for the Blueberry color.

Posted by: John at December 3, 2003 8:31 PM

That was always my favorite

Posted by: Melissa Bahan at December 4, 2003 2:11 AM