Return to Ball's Deep
Avery ventured into the Cohutta Wilderness on her first backpacking trip with mom and dad. The trio met Clint at Ball's Deep. Clint had gone in on the day before (Friday) with his trusty sidekick Sally. The two of them were waiting at our secret spot when Avery, Jen, and Keith arrived about lunchtime the next day. Though the water level was about two feet below normal due to the drought, the afternoon was prefect for swimming in the cold, clear waters of the Consauga River. There still plenty of little pools to swim in. How refreshing it was (after the initial tensecond shock of coldness)! The gang swam in several pools throughout the sunny afternoon and, of course, went through repeated cycles of feeding, resting, playing, etc. Everyone retired fairly early that evening. The next day, Avery was the first up in the Beason tent, but some one had arisen even earlier. "Clint's already up daddy," she said in an attempt to get things moving. "How can you tell," came a sleepy response. "I see him." "You see him?" "Yeah, he's dancing on the rocks." Clint was practicing Chigong on the large river rocks that populate Ball's Deep. After breakfast the small band of Dillos made a day hike to Bray's Field for lunch. From there it was a hike out back to the cars. All in all a fun and refreshing trip.
Susan Reports on Life in Ellensburg
Here in Ellensburg, Wa., life is proceeding at its usual laid back pace. Jeff and I recently took a long overdue vacation in Vancouver, BC. It was wonderful. We decided to pull out all the stops, so to speak, and went for the expensive hotel-fine dining option. A nice change from roughing it in the woods, but we haven't gotten the Visa bill yet. All those 80 dollar bar tabs add up! I am sure we dropped enough US dollars into the Canadian economy to keep things afloat for a while. The return to reality was rough, but our son Mike (who just turned 17) did a great job of taking care of the dog, cat, and house for us. Everything was so clean when we returned! I am still working part time at the local ER, and tolerating it fairly well. The working conditions could be better (not enough help, not enough help, not enough help) but the pay is ok. Contrary to popular belief in the South, the only things that are higher out here are the prices--I took a pay cut from my last job but it's still good pay compared to what I could make at any other job here. It allows me to earn in 20 hours a week what I would in 40 at any other job I am qualified for. The older I get, the more important time becomes. ER work is the same everywhere--stupid human tricks and poor lifestyle choices pretty much guarantee I will always have a job. Jeff is teaching two classes this summer--some kind of counseling course and Abnormal Psychology. "I use you as an example in my abnormal class all the time," Jeff tells me. I don't know what he is talking about. If anyone has the chance, go to Vancouver, BC! The scenery is awesome (mountains rising up out of the sea, lush forests) and the city itself is very cosmopolitan with world class shopping. I shopped till I dropped. Didn't buy much, but enjoyed looking. I think I will go do a little gardening now. It's noon, and the temperature has reached 80 degrees, so I won't be out long. Hope to have some more company in the near future! Susan P.S. Clint and Ted's careers seem to be in high gear! Congratulations! I consider mine to be going well as long as I don't accidentally kill anyone. So it is going swimmingly, then. Glad to hear you're doing well, Jean. Bye now.
The T. Rowe Report
Life at the newspaper factory goes on unabated. Having always worked in weeklies, where the impact of what you do on the community is more immediate and personal, working for a 64,000 circulation daily is quite a change. Most of what I do is put pages together in this antiquated (technologically speaking) pagination system. It is database driven, not graphical interface driven, so everthing has to be coded and there are about 100 hot key commands to be mastered. Coupled with a meticulous emphasis on form at the expense of content, it's just your basic factory job. But the pay is very good and, barring an offer of a publisher or GM position, it will suffice. I had a strange run of luck. In a period of 48 hours, a radiator hose, the air conditioner compressor and the transmission went out on my car. Then, a week later, the transmission went out on my truck. I figure I am due some damn good luck. I think I'll buy me a mess o' lottery tickets. I did get some good news. The newspaper I worked for in Winder, the Barrow Eagle, which Millard Grimes sold and downsized me, won eight Georgia Press Association awards (our competitors, to whom we were sold, won zilch). Although I did not win any individually, I was a contributor to the three first places (photo essay, which I designed, community service and front page) and a third place (editorial page). The front page award was remarkable because we did not use color photos (couldn't afford them). In this time of USA Today presentations, to win anything involving black and white is the exception. The judge of the community service category (for providing information on community events) said the Eagle was far and away the best, too. Oh, and I also had an epiphany, but those things being what they are, they are a little difficult to put into words.
Jean Recovering nicely from her surgery
I found a doctor I have faith in! Just finding her has taken away half my anxiety. She's Shawne Murray, an osteopath in Roswell. She's brilliant, intuitive and compassionate. We're taking primarily a nutritional and emotional-healing approach. I feel well. I've healed at the surgery site and am working full time.
Clint Wins Design Competition
Our firm, Loia Budde and Associates in conjunction with an interior design firm called Spaceplanners.com that I hired to develop the colors for my design concept won first place in the Small Corporate Interiors category (less than 25,000 SF) of a competition among approx. 100 entries that was sponsored by StarNet which is a flooring material cooperative. StarNet paid to fly us all out to La Jolla north of San Diego and for the hotel stay for a weekend in order to attend the awards banquet. The rest of the time we were free to tour the area. We spent one day shopping in the shi shi town of La Jolla where we saw about 50 seals lounging on the beach and the other day we did a day hike in the beach park that was like walking for two miles through this 6 foot tall desert scrub until you got to these series of switchbacks that took you down the cliffs to the beach, very intriguing hike. The space I design for which the award occurred is in Tower Place 200 in Buckhead and is called Xcelerate, which is an internet business strategy and marketing firm. I since learned that the firm is growing so fast that they will soon be demolishing much of the office I designed in order to cram more people into open plan workstations. c'est la vive. The same week I heard about winning this award for a space that had been already built I also won a design competition to secure a $112,000.00 commission to design a $5,000,000.00 call center facility in Milton, Florida near Pensacola. I am about to wrap-up the construction drawings for this project and it is going to be wild. Shortly after these two coups I was given a promotion to be the Director of Interior Design in our firm and awarded a partnership position with as yet an undetermined financial benefit. That's about it for Clint right now.
the cute round Armadillo to email your news of note so that all of us can