This week in review

This past week has been very interesting, and not in a good way either.

First, last Monday I was out of commission with the flu. I still feel sick, but well enough to work, so I’m at work typing this out on my lunch break. I’ll post it tonight after I get home. This was one of the worst bouts of flu I’ve had. Seems like I get it worse each year. I was out of work from Monday to Thursday. I went in on Friday, but in retrospect I probably should have stayed home.

Second, a co-worker and his wife were brutally murdered last week while I was out sick. I heard about it when someone from work called to let me know. He was one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and I’m still sad and angry about it. He and his wife were last seen alive on Sunday, and a neighbor found them Tuesday evening after a relative couldn’t get them on the phone and asked the neighbor to check on them.

Third, Morgan got my flu on Friday evening and was out of commission for the weekend. Ash was a trooper and went to Wal-Mart for the grocieries by herself. We usually go together because she doesn’t like going on her own and doesn’t trust me to go on my own (I always get the wrong brands).

I am back, though, and able to write again. I’m still sick to my stomach, but that is a good thing because I’m eating less.

Fourth, I became addicted to an online roleplaying game called Neverwinter Nights. I like it and I don’t think it’s as bad as Ash says, but I’m not really an objective party here, so I’ll trust her judgement.

Finally, one of the good things that happened this week. I found out my uncle from England is coming to the US for a visit. He’ll be visiting my mother early next month, and I’ll have a chance to go down and see him for the month that he is in town. That should be nice. I only hope I actually have a chance to go. I haven’t see him for years, since I was last in England in high school.

Missing Morgan update

We had our meeting with the school Wednesday afternoon. Only the principal was there, because all the teachers in Morgan’s class have been suspended and are on administrative leave. Ash had the tape recorder and decided not to turn it on after the first few minutes of the meeting.

The principal told us that she didn’t have a lot of information for us because the school district took over and sent in their own team to investigate the problem. The school is crawling with school district investigators who told her basically to keep out of it because she can’t be objective. They brought in the people who trained Morgan’s teachers to take over their classroom until the investigation is resolved. There are some security consultants reviewing their procedures and the physical layout of his class and the school, etc.

The principal seemed a little shell shocked and the meeting put Ash’s at ease. It appears that the school district is taking this extremely seriously. The principal told us that they consider this one of the most serious events that has ever happened in this school district.

So, we weren’t able to get any of the information we needed because the principal was told not to ask any questions and not to speculate on what happened while they investigate it. Well, one of our questions was answered, whether this was going to be escalated to anyone else in the school district. We’re going to be kept informed of the results of the investigation.

Missing Morgan

Well, today one of my nightmares for Morgan almost came true. At 2:40 p.m. today, I got a call at work from a Plano policeman asking if I knew where my son was. He gets out of school at 2:30 p.m. I told him as far as I knew, he was at school. He then told me he had him in his squad car at a major city street corner (three lanes of traffic in either direction, for six total) where he had wandered a mile and a half or so from school.

I ran out of the office and drove like a freaking maniac to where he was. I tried calling Ash three or four times, but she was downstairs waiting for the bus to drop him off. I called my boss, since I didn’t see him on my way out, and left him a message. Unfortunately, I forgot to hang up, so the last part of my voicemail was me yelling profanities at someone on the highway who didn’t yield and let me onto the exit ramp. I then realized it and hung up.

I finally made it to the corner shopping center where they had him. There were two officers in separate squad cars, standing around with Morgan and laughing at his antics. He loves police cars, by the way, and he was happily looking around in the squad car. The officer explained that he was on a routine traffic stop and saw Morgan walking down the sidewalk a distance ahead of a woman. As the woman got closer, she yelled at the police officer that he was escaping or getting away. He didn’t think anything of it, since he thought Morgan was her child. Then she said that he wasn’t hers, and that he was just wandering around on his own.

He got him settled and called me (he has an ID tag on a necklace with contact numbers). Five minutes before I got there, he was notified that the school had called police to report him missing. I thanked everyone and took Morgan to the school to pick up his backpack. The other officer was already headed over to the school to find out what happened. They were leaving when we got to the school.

He’s fine, but when I think what could have happened, I get a chill up my spine. I have a meeting with the principle and teachers tomorrow to go over what happened and what they’re going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m preparing for some stonewalling and bureaucratic weaseling, but we’ll see what happens at the meeting.

Will this heat never end!?

We had a minor break from the unbelievably hot summer last week. On Wednesday night last week, the obligatory thunderstorms came through, leaving much cooler temperatures behind them. We went from the high 90s (F) to the high 70s (F) overnight, waking to a much nicer day on Thursday.

While we were waiting for the bus in the morning, Morgan kept saying “It’s cold!”. He definitely liked not sweating just sitting and waiting for the bus.

Just for some history if you aren’t in Texas, we’ve had temps in the 90s and 100s every day for the past couple of months. This is such a welcome change for us. Last month, temps should have been in the mid-80s. You should see our electric bill! Man, that air conditioner was running almost non-stop.

These are the days when I dream of moving back to the Northeast or moving to the Northwest, preferably the Seattle area. These are places with normal temperatures, and in the Northwest, they don’t have nearly as much snow as in New England. Plus, I’ve never lived in Seattle, though I have visited and liked it a lot. Now I just have to find a job opening in the area.

Well, tonight is our next break from the heat, possibly for the rest of the fall. A line of thunderstorms are on the way, and behind them are gloriously reasonable temperatures. We’re going from the 90s to the 70s again, skipping the 80s we should have had last month.


Hot Air Balloons!

That’s what Morgan was saying for a couple of days after we went to the annual Plano Balloon Festival. He really loved it, and was eagerly anticipating it (translation: he bugged the hell out of us asking for hot air balloons every day for two or three days, every half hour to hour, nonstop…).

We actually weren’t even sure if he would be able to go, since he was sick the entire week before the festival. He was down and out with a very bad cold. The surprising thing was that neither Ash or I really got sick. We felt a little bit of it, but thankfully we dodged the major bullet.

I have some pictures of the balloon festival. I’ll post the best ones later. I say I have some, but I actually have what may be charitably described as a shitload. I went crazy with our new digital camera, since I don’t have to worry about developing film. I might look into setting up a digital photo service and just loading everything up there. Maybe I’ll user Flikr. I saw some reviews of services in MacWorld which I’ll also check out.

Anyway, enjoy the few pictures here and I’ll let everyone know when I have the rest online.