Ken's Brain Drain
Thursday, November 29, 2001
Alright, so I'm a little obscessed with the WW thing. Spend way too much time calculating points, recording them in the journal program on my Palm Pilot... but after the first week, its working. Shed 5.8 lbs this week, and I think I'll drop a few more by next weigh-in Monday. Saved up 2 points so I could have a drink with my sweetie tonite... see what I mean?

BTW, tryin' to make it a better situation at work for myself. Think I made some progress.
Saturday, November 24, 2001
Thanksgiving 2001. A quiet and somber gathering at our house. Along with the Diana's family, Mom and Dad, I also invited Laura's family. Was a little apprehensive about how that would work out. In the end, I was very glad that I had done it. I want very much to keep connected to Laura's family. Especially the kids, which are our living link to Laura. There was a moment or two of sadness, but mostly, we all enjoyed being together, light conversation, good eats. We avoided any heavy conversation of Laura's passing, but looked at some old pictures and reminisced some. A mellow but nice Thanksgiving day. Given the times, I know there are thousands of households that have experienced the loss of loved ones this thanksgiving. My heart goes out to all of them.

Dan, if you read this, I really appreciate the invite. Mark and Alex, I respect your decision too. Its a nice tribute. I downloaded some Dylan yesterday, and I'll enjoy it with you tonite and think of you and Laura while listening to it.
Monday, November 19, 2001
Did it. Joined Weight Watchers. Put down my $100 bucks, got weighed, even went to the meeting. Can't believe how much I weigh. 197 lbs. Ouch, no wonder I feel like shit. I am committed ($$) to doing this for at least 10 weeks. I think it will work... keeping a journal, figuring points, getting weighed weekly. Its just what I need. Not sure about those meetings, though. Thanks Barb!
Wednesday, November 14, 2001
I get into work Tuesday morning, do some routine maintenance on our Internet gateway, and BAM, the damn thing gets hosed. Email - down, FTP - down, Internet surfing - works, but flakey. In addition, I can't get to any of the Administration screens that I would normally use to diagnose and fix such problems.

I call the dreaded tech support. On hold for 1/2 hour, only to find that we don't have a service contract. They transfer me to sales, where I take care of that, and I am told I need to call service back to get back in the queue. grrrrrr!

Call service back and wait on hold for 1 hour and 55 minutes! I kid you not. I finally get some dope who won't try to fix my problem, but just wants to send me a whole new box. That means we will be down for 1 1/2 days.

Next morning box comes in, busy configuring it, somethin' stinks like hell. Of all things, in the middle of this crisis our god-damn toilet is overflowing. Turns out the sump pump that pumps sewage for about three buildings in this hell hole busted, and shit water is spewing out all over our production floor. Its stinks like shit throughout the building, and I am trying to get our Internet up and running so our company can function.

I'm not done yet. I finally configure this Internet gateway, my LAN and WAN connections look fine, diagnostics pass the test, so I try to restore from a backup to save re-entering all the user settings and special services (yeah! I acutally back the thing up every week). Only, the restore does not work. I try it three times to no avail. Finally, I hack into the backup file, and find its all screwed up. Guess things have been screwed up for a while, cause I have to go back to a backup of 3 weeks ago in order to find a good one. Still, that is alot better than having no backup at all.

What a lousy couple of days I've had... and I am in a depressed mood to begin with.
Monday, November 12, 2001
I feel like the events of last week (Laura's death and her funeral) are beginning to pass, and my life can start getting back to normal. Though a dark cloud of sadness still surrounds me, I now feel it slowly lifting, and see that I can move on and get back to work, and the daily routines of life.

I have good memories of my sister, I am glad that I was able to say my goodbyes to her, kiss her and hold her in those final days. She no longer suffers, and rests in a peaceful place. For that I can take comfort.

One thing that has changed is my appreciation of family and freinds. In the past, I had little tolerance for people, and perhaps felt that relationships were more of a risk than a benefit. This is common feeling with a lot of people who are immersed in computers, as I am. Seeing the support and love that surrounded Laura through her freinds and family, and how that sustained her for the last 3-4 years was truly an amazing gift. I can now see the importance of nurturing freindships and a caring family. Laura taught me this in her final days... thanks sister.

I hope the posts that will follow in the next few days, weeks and months will reflect more mundane day to day concerns. Politics, work, the weather, kids, etc.
Friday, November 09, 2001
Laura's funeral was a trying, difficult day. The intensity of the grieving was as great as the intensity of the love and support we all gave each other. I think we have come out this difficult ordeal with a certain peace.

To bring us out of our sorrow, were the wonderful people that surounded Laura during her days before and after her illness. Pam, Sue, and Candy. Candy's eulogy was incredible. I learned so much about my sister that I did not know, through Candy's sharing of her loving experiences with Laura.

And Joanne. When Joanne walked into the room at the Funeral Home, she brought the same spark that Laura could bring. She reminded me so much of Laura; the smile, the caring, .... no wonder they were so close for so many years.

The question remains if we will ever forge a relationship with Laura's children. Alex is a dear energetic, care-free kid with so much life ahead of him . And Daniel... so much like Laura in so many ways.
Tuesday, November 06, 2001
My beautiful, darling sister passed away in her sleep last night after a long battle with brain cancer. Rest In Peace. I love you Laura.
Monday, November 05, 2001
The WorldSeries is over, and it was incredible. Great drama, with at least 3 of the games, come from behind victories, with the winning hit at the last at-bat. Great pitching, clutch hitting... many late nights awake and tired days following these games. A good diversion from the many heavy issues that we are faced with these days. Go D-Backs
Saturday, November 03, 2001
Visited Laura today. It was a heart breaker. No one should have to go through this. Not only her suffering, but those around her that love her... family and freinds. It was comforting to me to spend the time with my beloved sister. She is so weak now, that she doesn't have the energy to communicate. Most of the time was just spent embracing her. I hope she finds this a comfort to her, knowing that those around her love her and care for her.
Friday, November 02, 2001
Thinking a lot about death lately. My sister's declining condition and the tragedy of 9/11 still stays front and center in my mind. How would I react if faced with my own mortality? One never knows. I feel like I would be at peace with my death. I have had a good life, have a wife and family that cares for me, my own children will, I have no doubt, grow up to be responsible, caring, wonderful adults. We all must die at some point. If you make the best of the time you have on this planet, have people that care for you, and you in return care and love others... then your life has been worthwhile, and one can face death with a certain peace of mind.
Thoughts that flow through an ethernet cable connecting my brain to the World Wide Web.

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Name: Ken Laster
Location: Connecticut, United States

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