Miscellaneous Update

I haven't done one of these in a while, and thought some readers might enjoy an update on the tales of my life.


D • I • V • O • R • C • E

I have finally learned how a couple get divorced, once the case has ripened to the point that it actually goes before a judge.

Step one: The attorneys for the plaintiff, defendant, and children huddle with the judge, and hash out a deal. Plaintiff and defendant are not invited to this confab.

Step two: The attorneys for plaintiff and defendant urge their clients to agree, saying in unison, "This is the best deal you are going to get." They do.

Step three: The judge reads out the settlement, which is recorded and transcribed by a court reporter. The attorney for the plaintiff is given the task of writing out the final judgment, for signature by both parties.

Step four: The attorney for the plaintiff allows the settlement to age, so that some final points can rise to the surface. This period of time also allows many points that seemed very clear in court to become vague and subject to more than one interpretation when the transcript becomes available.

Step five: The attorney for the plaintiff presents the final papers to the attorney for the defendant. The defendant then refuses to sign, because she has not regained possession of a stepstool, some plastic jugs, and a manual can opener, all of which have sentimental value, and because she has realized that some points of the settlement could be interpreted to be more in her favor.

Step six: The parties reconvene in court, where the mushy points are reclarified by the judge, and the defendant bewails her missing can opener.

Step seven, the actual divorce, has not happened quite yet. Our son can smell it, however. It sounds like this time, his attorney types up the final settlement and the judge signs.

Step eight will then happen: the submission of the final legal bills to the plaintiff. Here's hoping that the retainer covers most of the tab.



We hosted a happy meal tonight. Our son and his GF came over with ALL of their kids, five in total. The GF's teenagers are spending a week with her, the first time they have been together in some years.

Everyone was getting along, especially the GF's son (13, size 14 shoes, gonna be a giant of a man) and our grandson (8, and one of the smaller kids in his class). Five kids makes for a lively crowd.

We ate a mountain of spaghetti and a vat of meatballs and sauce, and finished off the evening with ice cream.

Even the cats came out to play. Our son did not bring Zoe the wonder dog this time - no room in the car!



The nest will be empty this summer. Our daughter has been funded to do research in Montreal - twice.

Two profs are sponsoring her, and helped her to write two grant applications. One is her statistics prof, and the other is his wife, who teaches epidemiology at McGill's medical school. The topic: a statistical analysis of survivability in MS patients. It used to be that a diagnosis of MS meant a shorter life expectancy. A. will be investigating whether or not this is still true.

McGill's research program accepted the proposal in short order, so A. knew that she was funded some time ago. Word came today, however, that she has received a MS Studentship from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. This will be the funding that she will accept, as it is the more prestigious of the two.

This is a big deal. Apparently there are only two of these awards given each year. And they are not usually given to statistics students, but to medical students who are aiming for a career in research.

She will probably publish her second paper at the end of the summer.

The bird is in flight, and I can barely perceive the landscape that she is flying over...



I had a major biopsy done yesterday, and am now waiting for results.

For more than two years, my pap smears have been getting increasingly abnormal. It reached a point where a biopsy was in order, so I went under the knife yesterday.

I was warned that I might have cramping, and that some women need a couple of weeks of recovery before going back to work. So far, though, it's a piece of cake for me. 600 mg of ibuprofen twice yesterday, and 400 mg this morning, and nothing since. Energy levels are up, and spirits are high.

It helps that the doctor talked to my husband while I was in recovery (they prefer to give the news to sentient people), and said that he did not see anything abnormal in the tissue. He is hopeful that I will not need further surgery. I'll know more in two weeks.



I met with a tech consultant this week. If we let her through the door, life will change at the agency.

Right now, it's the Wild West, and every man for himself on an unmanaged peer-to-peer network. She would put in a server, and have all Internet access managed by the server. We would all have secure passwords, and they would not be the names of our pets. People would have a place to back up important files. We could set up a library of shared resources, so that fact sheets are available to print or email. We would also be able to monitor computer use.

She looked at a lot of our computers, and saw some spyware, and evidence of some persistent network problems. She listened to harddrives. I was impressed.

Next week I find out if we can afford her. Maybe we can't afford NOT to hire her. When it comes to safeguarding the agency, I suspect tightening down our technology is more important than an audit by a CPA.


  1. Wow. That must be one special can opener. My sympathies and hope this is over soon.

    Fambly doins sound great! That had o be a louder house than usual.

    A. Stands for Awesome! Outstanding news!

    And here's to more in two weeks, lady.


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