November 18, 2006
20 Descanso Dr #1221, San Jose, CA 95134
(Until August: 20 Descanso Dr #1430, San Jose 95134)
We started the year in Minnesota where our new grandson Archer Blomquist had just been born. In December we headed east in anticipation of the blessed event. We started in Tonawanda, New York, where we visited with Dick’s cousin Cindy Sileo and also with Lloyd and Jean Robins. This is where Dick was born and lived until he was eight. From New York we drove through Canada to Michigan, Wisconsin, and finally got to Minnesota a week before Archer was born on December 29.
Since then Jill and Mike have bought a house in Rogers, Minnesota. We visited them there again in October (just a few weeks after the house was damaged by a tornado! – fortunately nobody in the family was hurt) and also went with the whole Blomquist family to visit their cabin near Bemidji in the North Woods on a lake.
Tim and Liz celebrated their first wedding anniversary this year. They were married on October 29, 2005, in San Jose. They are still living in Albany, CA with their cat, Brownie, and their dog, Ellie. Tim is a web software engineer working on Flash projects, and Liz is a photographer who is also taking photography classes. We did some hiking with them at Coyote Park this year.
In April we took our grandchildren, Matthew and Miranda, to Washington, D.C. We went to all the famous government buildings, Arlington National Cemetery, the Washington Zoo, the Air and Space Museum, the Spy Museum, and even took a day trip to Mt Vernon. It was tough keeping up with the kids, but we survived and had a lot of fun.
Ellen is still a technical writer for IBM, and Rick is still an engineer at Intel. Both seem to be very busy at work. Miranda is in the second grade and Matthew in the fifth. We went on a camping trip with all the Livengoods to Big Basin Redwook State Park in the fall. We even had Ellen’s friend Sonia and her son, Dillon, along.
We both had been busy this year. Dick finished a software engineering contract at Pillar Data Systems in March. Anna finished a certificate program with the University of Washington in web technologies early in the year. Later in March we both attended a conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, on an open source technical writing technology called DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture). After the conference we volunteered to write a user guide for the software. It was a lot of work to learn the technology and write a book using it. We finished the first edition in August and the second in September.
In April we were guests at a wedding in Fairfax, Virginia, where Anna’s grandnephew Rob Van Raaphorst married Karen O’Shaughnessy. A lot of the Van Raaphorst clan was there. We had fun visiting with everybody. The wedding was very nice, and many of us danced the night away at the reception afterward.
In May we went on a long trip to several places. We started in Hot Springs, South Dakota at the Mammoth Site. Elderhostel sponsored the trip, and we all helped dig up and prepare Mammoth fossils in the lab. After that we stopped again for a few days to see Mike, Jill, and Archer, and from Minneapolis we went on to Amsterdam to attend a week-long conference XTech 2006. We both learned a lot at the conference. In the evenings and on the weekend we got to play tourist. We even visited the Raaphorst estate in Wassenaar near the Hague. We walked all over Amsterdam and took a bike ride north of the city.
In August Anna started two jobs. She began teaching a technical writing class one night a week at San Francisco State University, and she also started a job as a technical writer at a software startup, Skytide. At Skytide she is using the DITA technology we wrote about in the book. Dick has been continuing to contribute to the open source project and has also been teaching himself some other related subjects. We hope to work together on technical writing projects sometime next year.
In September we moved to another apartment in our complex. This one is much prettier than our previous one. It has a large outside balcony and is light and airy.We like it.
Next week we have the Bay Area family for Thanksgiving dinner. In December we have a house rented in South Lake Tahoe and hope to have all the family together for the days between Christmas and New Year’s.