Welcome to the US-Mollards archive
6 May 2007 - Easter Pictures - the hunt goes on...
2 May 2007 - Some Winter Pictures
22 April 2007 - A long time down
We all have been busy. Lots going on these days and I have been neglectful on updating the website. Bad Webmaster.
April 2007 - Brandon's Race Schedule
Brandon has been having some success on the racing front. Think he is running a stock car at the Hanford Speedway; do not know the class he is running in.
- His schedule is as follows:
October 2006 - Hornblower Excursion
Another Fun day on the bay! Had a blast to celebrate mom's birthday. Happy Birthday!
October 2006 - Allison's Visit
Cousing Allison and her fiance Will dropped by a couple of weekends ago for a very nice visit. Here is a picture of us all sitting at the table in Kevin and Cammies's place.
8 October 2006
The folks are away and sent some pictures along for us to enjoy.
So, Enjoy (or else!)!
24 June 2006
Well, all that setup must have paid off, Eric managed to win his main event a couple of weeks ago. Carnage was minor! Guess who does all the work to get Eric the opportunity to get into the winners circle.... Chris! From the looks of the picture, we know who has all the fun! Congrats!
2 April 2006 - Sad News - Update 13 April
Lonnie Toendsfeldt passed away yesterday, 1 April 2006. I will post when I hear more regarding funeral arrangements etc. I know she was a huge part of our lives when we were growing up and made a huge stamp on me through her constant friendship and encouragement. Veronica and I saw her aand Hans at Christmas and she looked healthy and happy and again welcomed us into her home. She will be very much missed. -Paul
Update: - There will be a memorial service on the 30th of April at the fairgrounds in Santa Clara. More information is available on Karen Toendsfeldt's site. If you have a story or memory about Lonnie you can send it to Hans as per the website and if you are planning on attending it will be, fittingly, a potluck. They ask that you RSVP when you can. Stories will all be posted and eventually bound in a book for Lonnie's family. -Paul
30 March 2006 - Happy Days! - II
OK, got Neill and Libby's wedding date wrong. It will be the 29th of December 2006 in Lincoln, Nebraska. But why look here for information? Just go to their excellent website - LibbyandNeill.com and get the scoop!
13 March 2006 - Happy Days!
Neill and Libby are getting hitched. So everyone wish the happy couple well. Keep the end of the year clear, although I think they said in November sometime.. I will confirm. Congrats :)
I would post a picture if I had one....
23 February 2006 -Paul's B-day Wrap-up
Was a lot of fun, thanks for everyone who made the trip out to wish me a happy birthday. I didn't even burn the tritip too bad! - Paul
14 February 2006 -Paul's B-day
To celebrate Paul's @#th birthday, a BBQ at the Sac house (Paul's place) is tentatively planned for Sunday, February 19th. RSVP via email to Paul. Come by after 11:30 a.m. to enjoy some drinks and appetizers before lunch. BBQ should be ready to eat by 1:30 p.m.
- Appetizers: (cheese and crackers, potato chips, etc.), Tritip, Mashed potatoes, Peas, Corn, Carrots, spaghetti/lasagna, Rolls
- Beverages:, Diet pepsi, Beer, Wine (Chardonnay, Syrah and Beringer White Zin), Water
- Dessert: Birthday cake, Ice cream
31 January 2006 - Sad News
12 January 2006 - Happy New year
Have a great new year everyone! - Paul and V!
11 January 2006 - Christmas List Postmortem
From the feedback I received, everyone seemed to find the christmas lister useful this year. We will put it up again around T-day 2006 with the improvements everyone suggested. Thanks for all your patience and feedback! What will change you ask? Well, the entire site will change so that each person may have login and can post stories, photo's etc for the rest of the family to enjoy right on the front page. That login will integrate with the christmas list page and make it easy for you to edit your list and others. The way data is shown will also change, probably instead of just a list, we will enter each item individually and allow for item comments, parent approval etc. Also, we will have to cut down on the demand for the Barny toys, those were tough to find! Cheers and thanks all. Have a great new year!
And, due to multiple requests, the dancing insane snowman has been Turned OFF! (YEA!) Also, posts pre July 2005 have been moved to the archive to speed up page loads.
11 January 2006 - eFlight works!
Thanks Chris and Janet. Been hovering around the garage tonight! Works great! Loads of fun!
Only managed to crash it once, into the chair you see in the background. Been a total blast. Going to pick up a spare battery and some rotors over the weekend then go buzz around the local school.
29 November 2005 - Christmas lists - III
28 November 2005 - Christmas lists - II
Happy Turkey Day everyone! After stuffing ourselves on our respective t-day fare, we turn our holiday cheer towards the next big holiday, Christmas! All lists will be summarized on the Christmas page, which will be in place and working tomorrow night, please send lists to me as a editable document (.doc, .txt, etc) for ease of integration. There will be something more sophisticated to put up lists operative in a week or two.
28 November 2005 - Christmas D&D
Please, let me know what your schedules are like for Christmas so that I can dedicate time for D&D. I have both the 2nd and 3rd of December and the 18-19 is free for pre-holiday adventuring. Games can be either in Sacto, SR or at G&P's place - Sacto preferred.
15 November 2005 - Christmas lists
I have a new usmollards site working on the test server at home that I will be uploading to the site in the next few days. This will make it easier for everyone to keep track of each others christmas lists... I hope. Otherwise just send them to me here. Thanks!
14 November 2005 - Christmas D&D
Christmas schedule for D&D - I look to be arriving the 23-24 and staying until 27-28th. Aventuring will be encouraged throught that time... And I will make sure that there is enough material for a long adventure session. We look to have new characters joining in and will be shedding some inactive ones. The first session will probably take place on xmas eve with a warmup the night before. If there is interest, a game on Dec 3-4 or 17-18 could be arranged. :)
19 September 2005
4 September 2005 - D&D Session-III and End of Summer (boo!)
Can not honestly say I am sorry to see summer wane. The heat in July was just miserable, for me and my vehicle! There is an update from the Aug 28-29 D&D session on the D&D page. Email addresses at usmollards.com are still available and a major update is coming in the next couple of months to the site. :)
11 July 2005 - More D&D-II
Updated on the D&D page
1 July 2005 - More D&D!
After all the fun we had on the 19-20th, we are repeating the experience with a smaller group consisting of the B&S brothers and V3. Viva la D&D!
Have a fun and safe weekend everyone!
24 June 2005 - Lake Events...
Lots happened up at the lake this last weekend. The bats got a light shined on them, the last of the grass got mowed down, the AC Finally got fixed (Thanks Kevin, Josh and Zach!) and the railing on the back deck got an unwarped piece of 2x4 to prevent little ones from falling down the slope. Kevin took a nap, Josh and the kids went out on the ski boat and the rest of either cooked (Thanks Mom n Claire!) or played D&D.
D&D was a hoot. Only one near death experience and without the swift intervention of Bretts fighter and Steven's ranger there might have been a lot more casualties. Still waiting for someone to write up what happened over the weekend, if you do send it to me at dungeonmaster at usmollards.com. The next adventure will be sometime in July, I hope. Waiting for Constansious's schedule, then I will update on a better time but almost any weekend is looking pretty good.
18 June 2005 - D&D Tonight and tomorrow!
Bring your dice! The lake shall be ringing with the sound of dice rolling!
18 June 2005 - And you said I was paranoid....
Both the UK and Israel have been and are currently undergoing massive attacks targeted at gathering sensitive information. In Israel, corporate espionage has been using a very little known Trojan horse that remained undetected for the last one and a half years, undetected, to steal corporate data from each other. There is very little coverage here in the US, but in Israel it is being called 'Trojan gate' and is threatening to severely damage the economy. So far, 20 arrests and one suicide as the probe widens. In the UK, persons unknown have been systematically targeting governmental offices and organizations with Trojans, much like what apparently happened in Israel. Again, they don't even know how long this has been going on. The Trojan they use, the same one used in the Israel, remained undetected by spyware and virus scanners until two weeks ago.
This is huge and probably just the tip of the iceberg. The recent theft of 40 million credit card numbers and accounting information by persons unknown is a little scary. Any attempts to change policy here in the US, or to set up effective defenses or to change the legal system to reflect the new reality has met with complete and utter failure. All the cybersecurty czars here in the US have resigned in the last year in utter frustration. Many of those national spots still remain unfilled. No one wants the job, they know how ineffective they will be. There is significant evidence that a US airplane manufacturer was targeted for industrial espionage. A Trojan was written to exploit a hole in a specific piece of software for designing schematics and CAD drawings in airplanes. And last year all the major US banks were attacked by Trojans specifically targeting exploits in banking software.
This is scary stuff and should concern you if you keep anything sensitive on you computers. I am going to recommend that you now encrypt sensitive data using high level encryption, at least a 1024 bit key. Very few programs will do this level of encryption, one of them is PGP, a program I use myself.
12 June 2005 - Kart Racing Report from the 11th
Track was very dry for the first practice and car felt very loose coming into the corners and tight on the way out. For the first heat the track conditions had greatly improved and I was on outside pole. The car still felt loose in the corners and I ended up spinning out on the last lap taking last. We realized my weight jack was falling apart and we fixed it between heats. Second heat came around and the cart felt better but it still lacked the power the other carts had. I finished second in the second heat. After the second heat we knew we would have to make drastic changes so we took off the clutch and put a 12-57 gear in. The main event rolled around I started 6th out of 8. We started and I moved up to thrird but a restart was called. We lined up for a restart, I didn't get a good start but was still moving up in the pack. Was passing the 97 car when it came and crashing into me and took us out. After the crash we lined up for another restart, once again I was in the back of the pack. This time I got up to the front fast and was in fourth about to pass the thirds place car. Next thing I know the 7 car is hooked up (onto) to my back tire. After we roll to a stop and are cars separated we got going again and I was once again in the back of the pack. I ended up getting fourth. -Brandon
Eric got 3rd in both heats and we made a gear change for the final race but still got 3rd.
11 June 2005 - D&D part VI - D&D page update
Yes, this time there is actually new information. Still time to join in for the upcoming weekend!
9 June 2005 - D&D part V - Location Confirmation
It has been passed (messily) that thine next meeting shalt taketh place at ze Lake ! Festivities commence at 7 pm Saturday the 18th (or 1 h after arrival of the DM). See you there, TPK time! Still plenty of time to have others join in.... (B&S).
7 June 2005 - D&D part IV - Location Update
A tentative change in location - Sunday will/may be at the lake, and not at Albar. Saturday is still scheduled for Turnbridge. Still accepting players (B&S) if you would like to show up....
3 June 2005 - D&D part III - It's ON!
The Meet is on. Dungeoneering will start aprox 5 pm Saturday the 18th at Turnbridge with continuation on Sunday the 19th at Albar. We have two confirmed players and one almost confirmed (you know who you are...). If anyone else were wants to show up (B & S) please let me know. The venue and time are flexable, so we could move the start to 7pm on the 18th at albar or even friday the 17th with a slightly diminished party. Unless I hear from others, plans are as stands.
There is some updated info on the D&D Page - read if you are so inclined
30 May 2005 - A HUGE THANKS
A big shout out to Janet and Chris, who quad-handedly did battle with weeds, trees, nettles, grass, thorns and those annoying round stickum things that get in your socks to bring the lake up to compliance with CDF regulations. Here's to YOU (Mr. and Mrs. weed whacker guys!)
- BTW: if you are ever near Hanford and need a tow, just call Chris at Hanford Towing...
- PS - if you need a junker car, call Chris at Hanford Towing.
- PPS - if you need to know where to get cheap Diet Pepsi in the San Joaquin valley, call Chris at Hanford Towing.
- PSPSP - if you need gas, call Chris at Hanford Towing.
- PPPSSSSP - I don't know the number to Hanford Towing, so bug Chris at Hanford Towing on his cell phone.
30 May 2005 - D&D Schedule -- Pt III
I will be wherever Dad is on the 18-19th of June. I will have a player in accompanyment, so if we can get two more to be there, a game is afoot! Please confirm availabilty if you would. Thanks
Confirm via email to the Neural Good Dwarven Ranger-Thief dungeonmaster. If you want to know what D&D character you are, visit.
22 May 2005 - D&D Schedule -- Pt II
Discussions with the senior D&D players have lead to the discovery of a couple of possible dates for the next outing. The weekend of June 11th and the 17th would both be acceptable (Although B is racing on the 11th, Sunday perhaps?). Location: Paul's place, the grandparents or the lake (but probably not a good choice). The DM wishes to make it known that sessions will start on Saturday midmorning and run until TPK, er... until early evening. Upon agreement of all parties, continuation onto Sunday is possible. I have rough confirmations from two of six on those dates (DM says he can make it too, thats three) and would like to hear from others on the matter. So let me HEAR IT!
Confirmation and commitment from both players and parents will be required before the schedule is finalized. Confirm via email to the dungeonmaster. A minimum party of three is required for further adventures....
16 May 2005 - General Information
The annual meeting at the Lake was this past weekend and a list of items that need to be addressed has been generated; some of them need to be done ASAP. Download a copy of the email. The deadline for the primary item is June 1st - less than two weeks away, since some are not available Memorial day weekend, so it would be best to get the major item (weeds) taken care of this upcomming weekend. I think there is at least one person going up, but the job is too big for one... volunteers?
On another note, we need a list of current email addresses in the family. Some are a bit outdated, and when the new content system goes up I will need current addresses to contact everyone through. Please send me your most stable, long term email address when you get a chance, thanks.
6 May 2005 - Paul gets a job....
Yes. After a long dry spell, I will be working at UC Davis starting in a couple of weeks. Don't all faint! I forsee a DnD extravaganza in the near future....
26 April 2005 - Paul and Vee’s container garden - an update
To make use of our patio, we are attempting to grow a garden of fruits and vegetables. Early in March, we planted from seed, yellow pear and cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas. After growth of the snap pea seedlings reached about 3”, we transplanted them into larger containers and staked them with bamboo poles. We also transplanted the tomatoes. Successful growth of the snap pea plants encouraged us to plant a variety of greens such as mesclun (editor: not Mesciline), romaine lettuce and spinach. Just yesterday, we added strawberry and Anaheim pepper plants.
The damn snails and slugs! With the cool, damp weather, we had some uninvited visitors who decided to help themselves to our luscious “all-you-can-eat” buffet salad bar on our patio…yes, the snails and slugs had a feast and successfully decimated at least 40% of our plant crop! This meant war, and so onto the internet we went to find out ways to control the pests.
A very helpful site at UC Davis showed the use of copper bands around raised beds and tree trunks to fend off the snails. More online reading illustrated the use of copper sulfate solution and paint to protect the bottom of boats from mollusk populations. As an alternate to chemical additives (snail bait) to the soil, we opted for the copper band method and decided to build the following:
We used 4 – 8’ x 2” x 4”, 5 – 8’ x 2” x 3”, 4 – sawhorse brackets and 40 x #7, 1 5/8” Phillips cedar/pine exterior screws. We cut 8 pieces (3’ x 2” x 4”) and had 4 pieces (2’ x 2” x 4”) to use as cross beams. This was a fun project, as Paul was able to use his new high-powered circular saw, along with his cordless drill and new carpenter’s square. Veronica cut and applied the copper strips (12” x 3.5”), securing each band with a staple gun to the sawhorse legs.
In the morning, no shimmering, silky slime trails to the copper-banded legs of the sawhorses were seen, but maybe the snails did not come out last night.
Stay tuned for more episodes in the life of Paul and Veronica’s container gardening adventures and the battles against the evil snail and slug population!!!! Muwhahahaha…
25 April 2005 - Joshua Tree II
Mom, dad, V and P traipsed out to Joshua Tree national park on the 17th and had a look at more wildflowers. Here is a sampling of the flowers we saw!
14 April 2005 - DnD-III
I will be in the bay area starting Tuesday the 19th through sunday the 24th. I am amenable to bringing up the DnD stuff if everyone will confirm that the can be there! Let me know.....
2 April 2005 - Easter Pictures
A couple of shots from a great day!
30 March 2005 - Hmmm
Well, DnD was a bust. We will shoot for a meet sometime in late April early May, once the DM figures out where life is next taking him. Meanwhile, feel free to seek out a game on your own...
Easter was a good bit of fun. Got to see everyone except Neill, but I know he is around because I distinctly heard him clunking around his new (old) and very quaint house. On Tuesday V and I met Claire and co. at Disneyland's CA adventure and we hung out for a while. It was a load of fun and I hope the rest of their stay goes great too! I'll put a picture up tomorrow, night!
21 March 2005 - DnD News!
If you are attending the Slashfest this weekend, read a primer at... The DnD page
15 MArch 2005 - Update from Janet
Ashley came in 3rd in the countywide spelling bee for 7th grade (out of 16 schools). ***Congrats Ashley, great effort*** Our hamster was found lifeless last noc - not sure how long he has been gone. ***Hopefully it wasn't the smell that tipped you off, ewwww*** Had a great time riding at Hollister on sunday and we are looking forward to Easter. ***Me Too! see you then!***
Love - Janet.
13 March 2005 - Joshua Tree's Flowers
V and P went to Joshua tree national park and took some photos of all the pretttyyy flowerrrsss.
12 March 2005 - Last Update from Sri Lanka
This will probably be Joshes last update from Sri Lanka, he should be back soon...
Sri Lanka update # 5
The new team arrived Wednesday night which means this will likely be my last update. Hard to believe our time is up already. We spent Thursday in the camps, and Friday in the hospital, then a half day in the camps Saturday before starting a somewhat leisurely trek back to Colombo via Kandy (apparently on the list of 1000 places to see before you die) and ultimately 26 hours of flights home.
The arrival of the new team for me is reminiscent of the end of my internship (first) year of my residency; you really have no idea how much you’ve learned until you see yourself through a fresh set of eyes that is exactly where you were a short time ago. The members of the new team are looking at us expectedly and maybe slightly anxiously, and I know exactly how they feel. Two and a half weeks ago we were trying to glean as much info as possible from the outgoing team, hoping they could stay just a little longer to help us with the transition. It cannot be that we’ve learned much in our short time here, yet through the new people I can see just how far we have come.
This has been my first experience in relief medicine and I’ve learned a lot. Speaking with Dr. Vivekandarajah this morning, he talked about how bringing manpower for 6 months, or a year or even 2 years was well and good, but what about when we leave? Equipment is good, and it has helped. But what will be the long term impact? We are working on some projects that might help, now. Obtaining some new ultrasound equipment may be feasible, and bringing in someone to teach echocardiography would save them from having to routinely transfer patients to the capitol in Colombo, a 6-8 hour drive or more. Helping to install some computers and software for digital/on-line medical resources would add lasting value. These are some of the things we’re looking into now that the new team and those that follow will really work on. So for me, the role has felt transitional. I am very happy to have been a part of the process, but I’ve likely gained more than I’ve given. I have been part of a cultural exchange that feels very positive. And I’ve gained some perspective that I’m still integrating and expect I will continue to do over the next few weeks as I dive right back into work, then take a trip with the kids down to Disney Land over spring break. We are a country of excess but I’m a part of it and it’s the life I live, have always lived, and will likely continue to live. And that’s really ok. I just hope I have many more opportunities abroad, but also at home to help a little, lend a hand a little.
Wow, that’s some heavy stuff. Or at least so I’d like to think. We did get to take a little trip last week to Polonnurawa and Sigiriya, the ancient cities of Sri Lanka. Polonnurawa was the 2nd capitol of Sri Lanka, built during the 12th century and ultimately inhabited by ‘three great kings’ (per our guide) of the many that ruled who added and upgraded. The whole area was rich with agriculture because of an elaborate system of canals built that rival the aqueducts of Rome. Sigiriya was built even earlier, around the 5th century, 400 acres of land with a mountain top palace fortress. I’ve not been to Machu Pichu, but have to imagine these sites rival any in the world. Climbing to the top was brutal due to the heat, but worth it. I was soaked in sweat, but got a chance to jump into a pool. The sad thing was that within a minute of being out of the pool I was sweating again. Oh well. It’s was nice to see other parts of the island that were so beautiful and in most ways spared the Tsunami, though there has been great financial impact as tourism is way down. It’s a long way to travel, but these places would be worth putting on a ‘to visit’ list.
On the down side, I had kind of hoped that this trip would be a good opportunity to lose a few pounds and even drop under 150. Alas the food has been plentiful and pretty good, and everyone is very hospitable. We are frequently invited into homes and offered drinks, and it’s difficult to find a diet soda around here. Of course it would be rude to refuse, so I’m picking up an extra thousand calories or so a day just being a good guest!
Unfortunately, as we are preparing to leave there has been increasing political unrest here. It’s not clear what this will mean for the future of this project or particularly for the people of Sri Lanka, and especially the North/East coast. I can only hope things workout.
Looking forward to touching bases with most of you from a local time zone.
Don’t know that correct spelling, but Tamil for good-bye (“I will go and return”) is ‘poi-too-varum’, so that seems a good way to sign off!
8 March 2005 - VIRUS ALERT ....:::: IMPORTANT ::::....
Yesterday, 7 March, the computer that hosts this website was HACKED! This means that if you visited this site, your computer unwittingly downloaded a java based virus/Trojan which is right now doing all sorts of evil and nasty things to your computer. The Trojan's name is Java/ByteVerify and although it is a rather low threat Trojan, you don't want it on your computer.
How to fix this: First, make sure your anti-virus software is up to date - there is always an updater included within the anti-virus program. Run the updater and let it grab any new virus definitions. Second, RUN THE ANTIVIRUS! This will ID the virus and locate it. Now open Start-settings-control panel-Java Next.. now go to General tab and under Temporary Internet Files click on settings, when the window opens click on delete files, then view applications and make sure it has nothing in it. Do the same for View Applets. Now, just to ensure that your comp is clear, manually check that the virus is gone by opening folder "D:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Sun\Java\Deployment\cache" and make sure there is not a zip file or a class file there. If there is, delete it and then purge your Recycle Bin. This should completely delete the virus. But just to be sure, re-run your antivirus and also your spyware and malware programs (Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D). Email or call if you have any questions.
This virus only effects windows (all flavors) computers who were running Internet Explorer. I highly recommend that you download and install Firefox as a faster, more secure, much more modern and W3C compliant web browser. Even though this virus targets IE, It is vital that you update and run your antivirus on a regular basis - like today! Also run Windows Update to get the latest security updates for you Operating System.
Any questions, email or call the webmaster
8 March 2005 - Sri Lanka - IV
You’ll be happy to know that the women I reported on in the last installment was doing fine the next morning. She had been extubated (breathing tube removed from her throat) a few hours earlier, and was resting comfortably. She probably went home that afternoon. And by the way, they were checking blood gases Friday morning on their new blood gas machine right there in the ICU! Of course they don’t have the needles to draw properly, but they can get around that.
It occurs to me that I probably haven’t described the actual hospital much. The ICU consists of 5 beds, two in one room separated by a wall, and 3 in another room. Temperature is simply ambient, and remember it’s pretty hot here. Windows are open and flies are in and out. I don’t want to give the impression that it’s not clean because that’s not the case at all, it’s just not the hospital ‘cold sterile’ that we are accustomed to and that used to freak me out as a kid (probably still does as an adult, but just seems normal to me now). All the beds have monitoring equipment, but some of it is pieced together from various sources. Ventilators are available for intubated patients, but most of them are archaic and taped together in several places. The cardiac care unit and the poison ward are both 5 bed units without so much as a curtain separating the beds. Privacy isn’t the issue it is back home. The CCU at least has some temperature control, so it’s pretty comfortable. No TV’s anywhere, and I don’t see much reading material. Visiting hours are pretty restricted (primarily to meal times, Cathy observed, encouraging your family to feed you so the hospital doesn’t have to). I’m not sure what they do to keep entertained, but maybe that’s why they don’t have private room or curtains!
The medicine wards are large areas, about 30 beds each. There are some half walls separating the spaces into areas of 6-8 beds, but there is absolutely no privacy. Again, no temperature control except fans overhead and open windows. Ravens tend to alight on window sills and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad omen to have a raven watching over you during your illness.
Peds wards are similar, though the two wards encircle a courtyard with the interior of the wards completely open to the courtyard. If it were a hotel you’d love that open air tropical feel. Mosquito netting hangs over each cot, though at this time none is being used. There is a play area. Until recently the kids were restricted to one hour of playtime/day, but a visiting pediatrician convinced them to extend the time.
Meanwhile we’ve been working hard to reorganize our efforts in the camps now that the operations have been decentralized. I’m not sure if I mentioned the changes earlier, but the government efforts have now been turned back over to the local health ministries and there is some chaos associated with the reorganization – sort of a right hand isn’t sure what the left is doing. We spent much of the week arranging a supply of medications so we can continue to serve the camps. These meds were previously being supplied by BDHeaRT, which has been disbanded. BDHeaRT told us to go to the Minister of Health for further direction, but the MOH isn’t giving us much direction, and she tells us she’s waiting for BDHeaRT to give her meds. You get the picture. We did manage enough of a supply to return to the camps Saturday, and the people there were happy to see us. One of the challenges there is a lack of record keeping. It’s a blessing if you’re seeing someone without a past history since you don’t have to write much down, but can be tough when a patient has a track record you’d like to know about. One older woman I saw told me she had been having a problem for several weeks. I asked her if she had been seen, and if she were on any meds. “Yes”, she told me (via an interpreter), “I saw you last week”. Oops! (I’ve only seen a few hundred patients). Now I’m back peddling, trying to remember what I thought was going on then, what I tried, and what else I might try now. Of course she couldn’t tell me what meds she was on, but I know what I usually do, so when I showed her some pills that I might have given her she confirmed that that was what she was taking. I figured she might be unhappy with our failure to make her better so far, but instead she seemed genuinely pleased that I was willing to try something different. I’m pretty confident that we’re on the right track, now (which isn’t to say I was on the wrong track before, just didn’t get to where I wanted to go!)
Meanwhile, we got some rain Saturday. In fact it is raining as I write. Rain in the tropics is always so refreshing – breaks the heat and the humidity. You don’t even mind getting wet. It doesn’t seem to last long, at least not this time of the year. But it is coming down in sheets right now with some good lightening, to boot. Come to think of it, I believe the raining season here ends in Dec. so they may not have had any rain since the Tsunami. The downpour is already abating, but I wonder how the camps are holding up? As if these people don’t have enough hardship already.
I’m remembering to look right-left-right now when crossing the street (they drive on the left), just another sign of the transition as I feel less like a stranger and more like a long term visitor. Often times it feels like people know me, and since there are only a handful of white people here (despite all the foreign aid workers of the last few months), they probably do recognize me. There are even a few places we like to frequent, so we might be seen as regulars. Might be causing them to jack up their prices, but it’s nice to feel welcomed, so I don’t mind. I’m still not used to the heat, but I’m managing and at least I’m not getting too many mosquito bites!
More later. Take care.
3 March 2005 - Sri Lanka - III
Batticaloa ‘Blog’ # 3 – 3 March 2005
Today was a nice day. I’m beginning to feel comfortable driving around (we’ll being driven, as I wouldn’t dare try to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle around here as I’m sure it’d be bumper car madness from the get go). I like the sights that are now becoming familiar – funky traffic, school children in waves on bicycles, street vendors, working cattle, strolling cattle, goats, dogs, shops, colorful clothing, and the daily bustle that is Batticaloa. We are still working on putting together the new phase of mobile clinics for the camps, so we are unable to go back until Saturday (hopefully). So today I rounded on the cardiac care ward, ICU, poison ward, and medicine ward – about 70 patients. The fascinating thing is that the attending for all of these wards is the same person – Dr. Vivekanandarajah (try saying that three times fast. Or even once slowly!) In the US each ward would have its own attending, often more than one (especially for larger wards like medicine). Dr. V (much easier) has been at this hospital since the 1970’s. He says that in the 60’s it was actually a pretty good place to practice, with plenty of staffing and a new facility. However with the civil war it has been neglected and physician staffing gradually left. For a time he was the only physician for the entire hospital! Now he feels it’s about 40 years behind the times. Though it’s better now than a few years ago, it would still be much easier for him to practice in the capitol (Colombo) or even in the UK. However he is so dedicated to the people of this area that he has stuck it out for all these years. To me he embodies what I would like to bring to the table as a physician and a person. I’m even told that officially he is retired, and yet he continues to practice. And trust me, it isn’t about the money.
And speaking of economics, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that topic. I hung out for a bit in the emergency dept today, and the doctor there told me he makes the equivalent of about $250/month. They only get two days off/month – every other Sunday. Of course they only work 6 hour shifts so it still averages out to a 40 hr work week, but still….I’m told that if they want extra money the can pull some additional hours – for about $1.05/hour! And nurses make about 40% of that. Now I know the cost of living is much lower here than what I’m used to, but I always put things in terms of hours worked. Dinner at the local diner here goes for a little over a buck – so about 1 to 1.5 hrs work for the ED doctor. A nicer diner is $5-6, or a shift. Need a new 256 mb jump drive for your computer? That’s a week’s work. I have no idea how they afford the whole computer much less a house or a car? Of course people here are much less materialist than we are in the US.
I did watch a really tough case in the ED today: A women came in with really bad asthma and collapsed. The doctor intubated her (put a tube down her throat to take over her breathing), but they are not allowed to use paralytics in the ED here (only by anesthesiologist in the OR suite), drugs that carry some risk but greatly facilitate the intubation process. The procedure became difficult and there were some complications. Of course they didn’t have the correct tubing for the oxygen, so they cut off some nasal cannula tubing and stuck it down the endotracheal tubing. If you don’t understand much medicine, just take my word when I say this isn’t ideal and certainly not how they do it on “ER”. Now they needed a chest x-ray, but their portable x-ray machine has been broken for several weeks, so they took her off all monitors and trucked her down to x-ray. By the way, they don’t have much by way of sheets here, so most people are laying on uncovered gurney pads which means no easy way of sliding them over – just lift and hope not to hurt your back (I’m guessing they don’t have much of a workman’s comp program). Fortunately she was light. After x-ray she was taken on to the ICU. The x-ray didn’t show much except maybe the tube was in a bit too far. No one seemed to pull it back. While the team was getting her set on the ventilatory machine a nurse was manually ‘bagging’ her to breath for her. Again, I don’t expect that many of you reading this have too much medical background, but one of the effects of asthma is that it is hard to exhale – that is you have a prolonged expiratory phase during breathing. If inhalation takes you 1 second and exhalation takes you 3 seconds, than you’re not going to be able to breathe more than 15 times/min. Meanwhile the nurse is bagging her at a rate of about 30-45 times a minute, or ‘stacking breaths’. Sooner or later if you’re not careful in those situations the lungs overfill and can ‘pop’ (big complication). So about this time the patient’s blood pressure dropped and her neck veins are filling up, probably due to venous congestion from increased thoracic pressure. I’m sitting on my hands just observing through all this because, after all, in this setting I’m not a practitioner. It’s also complicated because I’m not sure who’s who amongst the two physicians who are there. Are they interns, junior house officers, or senior house officers? Do they want advice or will I offend them? And the fact of the matter is I don’t really understand most of what’s being said, so maybe the doctors are ordering breathing treatments, sedatives, steroids, and some of the other medications that you might throw at someone in respiratory extremis. Finally I just had to say something and suggested that maybe the nurse was bagging to fast. They told me it was ok, they would slow down the rate after she was on the vent. Fortunately her lungs did not appear to pop, they finally got her on the vent and slowed down her rate. Within a few minutes her blood pressure came back up and her neck veins went down. She still had a long way to go. They won’t be able to check blood gases (basic to managing people on ventilators) ‘cause the machine has been broken for several months, but I still think that there’s a good chance she’ll do ok. Despite such difficulties and lack of what seems to me even the most basic resources, the staff here do seem to take quite good care of patients. And I guess compared to some places (like parts of Sudan where they don’t even have functioning hospitals, I’m told), what they have here is pretty good. It made me think a bit about the US, and how we like to think that nothing like that goes on in our country, yet I know that there are so many underprivileged areas that are probably ignored for the most part. Maybe they need to get hit by a natural disaster. That’s the irony here, of course. Tons of resources are being brought in now. Maybe if they were here earlier fewer people would have died. No way of knowing, but people here speculate. Certainly over the years patients have suffered due to the hospital neglect. So the Tsunami was a bad thing, but clearly for the survivors and generations to follow, there is hope that things will be better. That’s why we’re here.
So that’s my news for today. Keep in touch. Keep in touch with each other. Be glad for the things you have (is it Cheryl Crowe who says “it’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have”?).
1 March 2005 - Josh in Sri Lanka - II
A couple of more pictures from abroad....
1 March 2005
We took Sunday “off” and drove several hours south to visit an orphanage. This particular orphanage is for boys who were left without families as a result of the civil war here. Now they’ve been hit a second time with the loss of one of their ‘brothers’, 3 of their instructors (who gave their lives saving the boys), all their belongings and their home - 3 good sized buildings right on the beach. (By the way, they way, they estimate their losses at about $180,000 US, so I guess three large buildings on the beach doesn’t quite fetch the same prices as California). The director of the program showed us around, and he showed us where his wife’s family lost 4 members. Later he showed photo albums of his niece’s 14th birthday party from less than a year ago. It was unsettling, to say the least, but just one of so many tragic stories we hear daily.
Anyway, the drive down was quite dramatic as there was a tremendous amount of physical damage including felled bridges, damaged roads, upturned cemeteries, downed trees, and of course demolished homes. One thing I have noticed, however, that as much rubble and destruction exists, almost all of the clutter that I’ve seen in photos of the area immediately following the Tsunami seems to have been more or less cleaned up. Where it has gone I’m uncertain, because as I’ve mentioned they have no real sanitation system here.
Sunday night was the send-off dinner for Lali and Mary, the two physicians from the proceeding group who are now on their way back to Colombo and then back to the U.S. Lali actually grew up in Sri Lanka and trained in medicine here. She also dodged bullets in the streets due to the civil war. I know she had strong feelings about being able to participate in this project. Mary is another emergency physician from our organization and she had some great insights into what we can and cannot do during a project like this; the romantic notion that you’re going to swoop in and make dramatic changes (especially the mind-set of the emergency physician) and the reality that nothing is going to change overnight, that while the people here are generally accepting and appreciative of our offers of help they have managed and would continue to manage without us, and that there is great power in touching a person, listening for a few minutes, coaxing a smile from a child and giving them some hope. In the long term perhaps we can affect some changes, though this will likely come about from our organizational efforts rather than one person.
Yesterday (Monday) was a day back in the camps. We saw about 150 patients in two camps. These camps were true ‘camps’, with tents set up for individual families. They’ve already been living like this for 2 months, and often there is no near term solution in sight. The government will not allow anyone to return or rebuild within 200 meters of the beach, but many are fisherman who’s only livelihood exits in the ocean. Are they to be sent to resettle inland? For whatever reason we did seem to see a bit more pathology on Monday than previously: an ill infant who needed to go to the hospital and several patients who described fairly classic angina symptoms without a previous diagnosis. Despite those cases, however, most of the cases were coughs and colds, yet the work continues to be very gratifying. Perhaps ironically, however, our work in the camps is going through a significant shift. The local health officials want to encourage people living near regular health clinics and hospitals to return to using those systems, and mobile clinics are more convenient. Since the population of the clinics has dwindled form more than 60 thousand to about 20 thousand now, the mobile clinics are being decentralized and will now only offer care at outlying camps. The process is being turned back over to the local Minister of Health (MOH). We spent today connecting with her and trying to confirm which camps we would now be covering, how we will obtain needed medications, and how we can obtain certain needed help (like nurses). The MOH was accepting of our offer of help, but things are not too well organized at this point, and we will probably spend some more time this week righting this ship. In the meantime I’m also working on a project handed over from the proceeding teams helping to get the hospital lab some much needed chemical reagents so that they can run some very routine tests they’ve been going without for a long time. This is an example of the long term impact we can and do have.
Over the weekend we also met a German pediatrician practicing in the UK. He came to the camps with us on Monday and some of us (yours truly included) will round with him tomorrow am as he is established as an autonomous practitioner here despite his similarly short stay to ours. This is a nice ‘in’ to some of the hospital goings on and I’m looking forward to it. As I’m becoming more comfortable in the hospital, I might also wander down to the Emergency Department tomorrow. As I think I’ve mentioned before, the ED here does not function anything like an ED in the US, so my plan is to simply observe. Emergency Physicians sometimes jokingly refer to ourselves as ‘triage docs’ (and I suppose some of our non-Emergency MD brethren may think of us that way), but we actually manage a wide variety of ailments through complex courses. However, whereas a busy shift for me might be 2.5-3 patients an hour, here they routinely see 10 patients an hour or more (at least so I’m told). To a much greater extent they appear to be triaging a high volume of patients just to get them through. Hopefully I’ll know more tomorrow.
We are exploring around town a bit here and there. A fun way to get around is a three wheeled motorized ‘rickshaw’. You can get to a destination several miles away for the equivalent of about 50 cents to $1.00. We went out to dinner the other night. Dinner for 5 with beverages for about 6 bucks – including tip! And it was really tasty, too.
Well the witching hour is fast approaching and I need to be on my toes for rounds tomorrow, so I’m going to turn in. Keep your eyes glued to your screens for more riveting reports!
Thinking of everyone back home,
27 February 2005 - Josh in Sri Lanka
Ok, I goofed. Josh is in Sri Lanka doing tsunami relief and sent some pictures along to the rest of us. Here is one of them, the other two will be posted shortly....
Here is the text of the message that Josh sent on the 24th of Feb...
Musings from Sri Lanka.
First day in camps today (Feb 24th), our 3rd full day in Sri Lanka. Feels good to do something after kicking around and traveling since our arrival. The camps are purported to be winding down now, but one of the three we went to still had over 400 families. This particular ‘camp’ is located at one of the local schools (which is thus closed until the displaced families are out, apparently to the duress of local officials who want to get school restarted). The camp is located within the Batticaloa city limits and seems particularly sad. There are a high percentage of families who lost one or more members, not simply displaced from their homes. In fact when I asked one woman with abdominal pain if she might be pregnant she gave me a sad laugh. I thought it might be because she was in her mid-40’s, but then she told my interpreter her husband had been killed in the Tsunami. The story was the same for so many people there including a 12 year-old girl who lost both her parents and a man who lost his entire family of seven. For many there is depression and alcoholism as a result. We saw over 140 patients in less than 2 hours between the four of us, about 35 patients each, less than 4 minutes/patient. The complaints are mostly straight forward, many coughs and musculoskeletal problems. "Tsunami cough" is a common complaint, some bronchospasm as a result of aspiration. For some it is real, for other’s probably a somatization response to the tragedy they’ve suffered. Nearly everyone adds ‘fever’ to their list, though I didn’t document any fever at all (‘documentation’ being a very loose term, since we don’t actually write anything down except the prescription). This is actually a bit of a problem since few people have any idea what they’ve previously been diagnosed with or previously treated with, but now it’s an ongoing problem and I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past. A few patients had elevated blood pressure which could use some intervention, but we are very limited in our ability to treat anything chronic since there is great concern about starting patients on medications when we don’t have any follow-up. Consequently we refer all such patients to the ‘clinics’, though I’m dubious that the actually go. The same approach is used for truly ill patients, since again our arsenal of interventions are very limited.
The best part of the day was probably giving out toys. Many people donated stuff to me, and I gave out only a small portion today. Never enough, but at the first and third camps which were relatively small (and the medical quickly taken care of) we were able to give out good handfuls and then play with the kids, which they loved: jump ropes, paddle ball, Frisbees and stuffed animals were all very popular. In fact this morning while we were waiting to get our disbursements of medications for the camps we broke out a Frisbees and immediately had a crowd of about 10 people playing and another 20 curiously watching. I had a cousin who used to travel Europe frequently, and I always remember him telling me how he used a Frisbees wherever he went to make instant friends.
I’ve felt the damage of the Tsunami much more than I’ve seen it, to this point. Nearly everyone you meet, even the taxi drivers in Colombo (the only truly large city in Sri Lanka, but on the Southwest side of the country and basically untouched by the waves) lost family or friends or at least know someone who did. More than 60,000 people confirmed dead so far, and they still expect the number to climb. Many more lost everything. The entire population is only 20 million. There is still a lot anxiety about the tsunami, and yesterday there was a rumor of a new wave coming which notched up everyone’s fears. This is probably similar to hearing a plane overhead after being in New York for September 11th (an observation from Linda, one of my colleagues here who was in NYC for 9/11). Still, while I can see that we will be very busy for the few weeks that we are here, I believe the country is moving into a phase where the greatest need will be construction and construction financing. I’m watching people clear debris and build structures pretty much by hand, which will obviously be a slow process.
The people have been welcoming and appreciative of our efforts. They have a somewhat unnerving way of moving their head in a ‘bobble head’ manner while you talk to them that at first blush seems like a nod ‘no’, but in fact is more of ‘ok’. Many of the women wear bright, colorful saris and parasols are common in the mid-day heat. The land is very beautiful, though with third world infrastructure people burn their trash daily leaving a lot of roadside debris and a regular output of smog (which blows clear of this island to impact the rest of us). Houses seem simple, cement slab flooring with run-off sinks and showers into drains that for the most part go to ‘grey water’. I think many house have septic, though they get pumped and I’m not too certain where that goes. I’m told life expectancy here is in excess of 74 years, though I find that a little hard to believe; perhaps they exclude traumatic death as the set up for injury seems high. Roads are filled with bikes, scooters, motorcycles, motorized rickshaws, cars, buses, and trucks. Lanes are merely a suggestion, and everyone weaves in and out. Much of it looks like a video game with people zipping past on the right and left (in your lane), oncoming cars forcing you to the side, multiple ‘vehicles’ in the same lane, and all kinds of obstacles (including cows and elephants) jumping across your path at any time. It’s not unusual to see 3 or 4 people riding on a motorcycle, often 2 kids, and if anyone has a helmet on it’s the adults. And I’ve not seen one bike helmet. Honestly, it’s an organ donor’s delight, though I would be surprised if they had much of a procurement program. If there were one program that might really be worth pursuing long-term, I think it might be a helmet-for-kids program.
I haven’t seen too much of the island, but people here like to point out how close the land is to many descriptions of ‘Eden’. Colombo was a busy, fairly crowded city that felt generally safe and relatively clean if not a bit unkempt. Flying in at night I was struck by the relatively low amount of light being generated by the city. Driving to Batticaloa we went into the mountains which were much lusher and were filled with many beautiful lakes and marsh patties. We have seen elephants, water buffalo, kites, and many other birds (and of course cows, dogs and other domestic animals). Batticaloa itself is a coastal city that is more or less an island, surrounded by lagoons. It is very pretty, especially along the waterways. The aforementioned trash is something of a blight, but just a little. Though the coastal homes were devastated, most of the city was actually physically harmed. Houses are generally small and simple. Many have windows without out any glass, but who needs glass with these temperatures. Even the hospital is mostly open. The weather is hot, but certainly tolerable. I’m getting used to it already, and I love tropical climates. Even during the afternoon peaks, it seems that if you are in large open spaces with good air flow, the shade is enough to make it very comfortable. The evenings, especially, are sultry and comfortable, perfect for sitting outside. So far the mosquitoes are not too bad.
Since I started writing this we’ve actually been to the hospital for a day and back to the camps. Tomorrow is a day off, so we’re going to take a drive south to some other areas very hard hit by the disaster. I’m going to send this tonight, but I’ll write more later. Hope you are all well.
Thinking of everyone and glad that you are safe. I am, too.
27 February 2005 - Dungeoneering II
Attention D&D fanatics: next scheduled meet will be Easter weekend at the grandfolks house. Bring your books, dice and miniatures. you will need them. Also, each of you will be getting an assignment in the next few weeks so keep an eye on your mailboxes. -DM
27 February 2005- NASCAR R0x
V and Paul and father in law, Roddy, all went to the NASCAR Busch races at California Speedway this weekend. It was completely kick-A^@. Although it rained for a short time during the race resulting in a short red flag. Mark Martin ended up winning and the racing was excellent all night. Lost my hat, bought a new one. Some pictures:
29 December 2004 - Christmas Pictures
Don't think we took a lot of pictures this year, but if you happen to have some, send them my way at the Admin address and I will put them up with my own, scant collection. I thought xmas went great this year, not too many screamers, lots of good company and food and family. And, lots of dungeoneering on the part of Brandon, Neill, V, Brett and Steven. Lots of fun for all involved (I hope). Have to get together again soon and continue the saga onward...
The new login/registration/news system should be up by the end of the week, so check back soon for updates!
12 December 2004 - Christmas Lists!!!
Please visit the x-mas list page if you would like to see what your giftee's would like. And, if you have a list that is not there and you would like it to be there, email it to me please! Ho Ho Ho.
The campaign begins christmas weekend: sharpen your swords, polish your lockpicks and dust off your armor for an adventure of epic proportions starts Christmas weekend. Interesting reading can be found at wizards of the coast; questions? -- email the dungeonmaster. This will be a traditional middle fantasy setting, located either in the world of Greyhawk or Forgotton Realms using DnD version 3.5. If you have the 3.0 books (Mr. B), visit wizards of the coast for updates. Game will only include core book rules, with the possiblility of Frostburn and Races of Destiny thrown in to salt the wounds. Fools will be rewarded by TPK! Don't let Gunthoar down!
11 December 2004 - Server Notice
The server that held all the pictures is offline indefinately so I have removed all links from the front page to the server. Hopefully it will be up again in the new year at a new location.... (Oh and happy B-day Kev.!)
1 December 2004 - Two notes of Great Importance
Two quick items
1. Please send me your Christmas lists so that I can post them in the soon to be live private usmollards area.
2. And, Paul, the eternal bum, actually has a job interview! Don't all clap at once now.... :)
28 October 2004
Opened a chatroom up on AIM - usmo on exchange 4. Its private, if you want to get in email me at email@example.com and I will invite you in.
2 October 2004 - Schooled!
Dark Lord, Stinkoman9723423xi5y9023 and Padiwan Brett Schooled ImaWanker at Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds. Just goes to show you that 3 on 1 is too much for the 1 to handle! :) Till next time my young padiwan's.....
1 October 2004 - Wedding Pictures II
Picked up the pictures yesterday, V will be down on Sat and we will scan in a few images for the webpage. Also, we will do a web photo-album through the photographer where you can buy your own proofs if you like. V and I have to sit down pick 100-150 out of the 800-odd pictures that were taken. We may have it done Sunday and to the photographer next week. Again, I will keep you updated.
27 September 2004 - Wedding Pictures
Picking the wedding pictures up tomorrow, will update you with a link.....
17 September 2004 - Wedding Picutres
Got a call saying that the proofs are done, may pick them up tonight if I can arrange a meeting with Barron. Stay Tuned!
17 September 2004 - SWGB Tourney
The second SWGB tournament of 'not quite so champions' was played on Tuesday night, 14th of September. Contestants ImaWanker, Dark Lord and SomeonElse (whose name I cannot remember) squared off against each other in a land battle to the death. First blood was drawn between Dark Lord and SomeonElse in a brief clash of A-wings and ground based defenses; A-wings were quickly repulsed by anti-aircraft gunners. Soon realizing they might be overwhelmed by the sheer power of Ima, Dark Lord and SomeonElse teamed up, making attacks against Ima's wood gatherers using A and X-wing fighters. Following these futile attacks, Ima went on the offensive, probing the defenses of Someone and Dark Lord with fast, light mechs, disrupting trade and resource gathering. A second, coordinated attack by AT-AT walkers, scout mechs and light mechs backed up by AA and artillery quickly demolished a fortress followed by the destruction of a joint food manufacturing facility. An attack on Someones base was lead by a feint from the south by light mech squad to draw defenders away from entrenchments. A crushing attack by AT-AT's, heavy artillery and mechs from the west decimated defenders, causing SomeonElse to resign. A quick refit by Ima and strike into the base of Dark Lord smashed through defenses and rendered the base inoperable. Finding that Dark Lord had created a second base, a mass rush attack was partially successful at destroying outlying buildings but was squashed by two flying fortresses. Survivors scrambled for reinforcements and a second, AA backed attack group took down the defending airships while artillery and AT-AT's pounded remaining defenses into dust. Look forward to round 2! - ImaWanker.
12 September - Brief Update
No new pictures for the wedding page just yet. We expect to have the proofs from the photographer withing the next week or two - will post when they go live. cheerio.
23 August 2004 - Wedding Success
Wow! That day went Fast. The wedding of Veronica and Paul came off almost completely without a hitch. Everyone seemed to have a very fun time at the wedding and the following reception. The venue was excellent, food superb and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. If you have any digital pictures, please feel free to email them to me. I will put up on the wedding page when I get them so everyone can enjoy them. The photographer will have the proofs up on a website within a couple of weeks, stay tuned for updates. --Paul
19 July 2004 - Its about time!
24 July 2004 - Arrrgh Update
The site was down for most of the week due to a foul up with the domain name. My apologies! Adding more info to the wedding site tonight, enjoy.
19 July 2004 - Its about time!
Yes, you guessed it. Paul finally got off the pot and asked veronica to marry him. And, she said yes, soo.... Now the planning begins!
Wedding will be on the 22nd of August 2004 (no, she is not!) in Santa Barbara. If you would like all the gory details, you can go to the very sparse wedding website.
9 May 2004 - No, the Garden is not (yet) dead Update!
For your viewing pleasure, the garden in full bloom! Lovely day here in Saratoga today, which happens to be mothers day in the states. So, to my mom, who is in England this day, Happy Mothers day. Love, Paul and Veronica.
19 April 2004 - Easter Festivities
Well, must say the Easter egg hunt looked like a big success. We managed to pry Steven "Squ4r3 3Y3'5" Mollard and Brandon "man boobs" Hamilton away from the computers long enough to get them to hide the easter eggs for the (mostly) younger kids. The did a pretty solid job hiding the eggs, took the kids a few minutes to search all the obvious places in the backyard. Earlier in the day the kids had all spent some time dying eggs out on the front porch with grandma while certain adults sought refuge on the drivway, we know who we are... No pics of the kids doing the eggs though. Bug Kev and Claire for some if you please
Most of the hidden eggs were the plastic kind, filled with candy. Except for a few, which did not rattle, containing a couple of bucks. Competition for the eggs was pretty fierce, with many kids franticly running willy-nilly all over the backyard. Oreo was pretty nonpulsed by the whole ordeal, sitting in the middle of the lawn waiting for the inevitable kid to trip up and spill some treats! Brock was the winner there! Or maybe that was Oreo!
Some proved more eagle eyed than others! Everyone had a good time though, so it all came out even in the end. Plus, we had a nice lamb dinner with roasties and plenty of gravy since "Soggy Food" neill wasn't there. :) Neill and Veronica were the only missing parties at Easter, V3 'cuz of family obligations and Neill 'cuz he doesn't like us or something. Wait, maybe he was busy... nah! playing Ghost Recon and missed his flight probably! Eventually the support troops had to be called out to finish the finding of the last few eggs. The older kids then returned to blowing each others worms or Star Wars guys to smithereens and the younger ones to pestering thier parents... or, well, making general mayhem!. Oreo did the cleanup honors, searching for the last few leftovers! Hope she does a better job this year than last, found one in June! Think only egg was sacrificed to her magisty Oreo this year, she does seem to love those MnM's!
4 April 2004 - Mom goes Riding on Dad's Birthday!!!
Last weekend mom revealed an unknown side of herself, professional motorcycler. In addition to her world renowned cookie baking skills and knitting needles of fury, what can't this talented lady do? Never before have we seen proof of her poweress on the motorcycle, but through the modern marvel the digital camera and some creative interferance run by son Neill, we successfully caught a photo of mom getting ready to roost Brandon on her bike (But who can't roost Brandon??). Mom, who we had always thought was going to Tea Cozies on Thrusday nights, was actually blasting to the track with her race prepped Yamaha TTR 60 stuffed into the trunk of her fire engine red Trans Am! There she would spend a few hours jumping the triples and carving some corners before dropping in on her lady friends for a couple of rounds of tea and sherry!
It was dad's birthday on the 28th; we all trundled off to Hollister for a couple of hours of riding around. Neill even went out with us for a little while, riding Janets' KDX200 (and crashing it too). We did three rides in the afternoon, covering most of the intermediate terrain at Hollister. Conditions were nice, not too hot nor too dusty. It was a lot of fun for everyone! Thanks to those who loaned out bikes to thier less fortunate bretheren.
16 March 2004
Here are some pictures from skiing at Diamond Peak (formerly known as Incline Village) on northshore Tahoe in January. An excellent weekend of skiing, snow was hardpacked but some fluffy stuff in the bowls! Incline, er, Diamond Peak has added a new high speed quad lift right to the top of the mountain, far beyond what used to be a two lift ride to the the top. From the top of the mountain, the views of both Reno/Carson city are spectacular as are the view Lake Tahoe to the west. With two relatively cloudless days, the skiing was excellent! Dad's cousin Dionne and her husband drove up from Reno and skiied a half day with us too.
Kevin and Cammie's family played in the snow in the backyard of the Beanie Baby hotel, er, our quaint cabin on the first day in Tahoe while the rest of us went off to do some skiing. Think this picture was taken in the backyard where the kids made snow forts, tunnels and had a good old time tossing snowballs around! Josh and Claire's kids were there playing too, but I don't have any pictures of them. They stayed in a different cabin with mom and dad and Oreo located right on the north shore of the lake.
The second day everyone went skiing. Brett and Steven along with grandad were on snowboards for at least part of the day, everyone else on skis. As grandad puts it, snowboarding is just sitting on his butt in the snow! Brett joined Kevin and Paul for a couple of runs down the advanced slopes, which he just breezed down! It was another great day of skiing, clear and cold and a bit windy kept the snow nice and the icy spots to a minimum. The wind at the top of the mountain was nowhere near the nose freezing temps of the morning before, but there was a lot more wind at the lower elevations. Found a great couple of runs, lightning and thunder, that you had to yourself most of the day. The only place it got the slighest bit crowded was at the bottom of the hill, and that was just dodging one or two errant snowboarders, sitting in the snow.
2 Febuary 2004
We had some site problems over the past week, but it looks like it is up and running now. The bad news is that all the email got wiped! Ouch I restored all the email accounts I had records for, but obviously I had to use something for passwords. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your new password from me. Sorry for the inconvienence, this was a total pain in the ass!
13 January 2004
Still have not gone through the X-mas pictures. Again, if you have any xmas pictures, or well, anything you would like on the site send it to me at my usmollards address. Am looking at doing the pictures later this week.
Two more picture to show the back of the lakehouse sans 8' of deck. Dad is going up this week to rebuild a substructure to fill in the hole that used to hold the spa and put up a railing so the yunguns don't do a tarzan imitation. Still no news on where the spa will go, looks like it might be out the front (yuck).
1 January 2004
Happy new year! Well, 2004 is here and I have not gone back through the christmas pictures! Not that I took all that many for some reason. You can help, though. If you have any pictures that you would like to include in the christmas pages please send them to me. Either hardcopy, prints or digital format to email@example.com.
Dad and Chris and Veronica and I went up Sunday the 28th and removed the part of the deck that infringed on MID property. This leaves us with about 7.5' of deck outside the master bedroom: too little space for the spa, but enough so that the deck is not totally worthless. Dad, Josh and Chris went back on the 30th and cut up and relocated the reminants, removed the footers and transported the spa platform to a better location. Here is a spectacular shot of part of the deck falling at the lake, taken by Veronica.
The garage server is offline for some reason as of the 1st.
18 November 2003
A couple of pictures of the folks trip back to the old country. Can you guess what the temperature was?
18 November 2003
Note the server at home may now be on a dynamic IP. This means if you were looking for the garage server, it is no longer at the old address. It can now be reached at 188.8.131.52. A Pox on you Comcast!!!
I have changed all the links, but just be aware that they may not be working correctly.
14 November 2003
Oh, my, how time flies. Put up some linkage to how to use webmail and also how to set up the email client Eudora to get mail from the server. If you would like to add some content just send it my way. Can put up pictures, movies (Brett n Steven!!!), recipies (mom - we all love your food, (esp. cookies - Paul)) or just about anything. See you all at turkey day, or maybe not!
Did add a link to Dad's eBay sales, have a look!
30 October 2003
26 October 2003
Working on a way for You to add content, should be up in a few weeks. If you have some content... email.
21 October 2003 -- Part II
OK, changed the header and fixed the navbar at the right, should look a little bit better. Any problems with it loading, email.
21 October 2003
Heads up everyone, if you are on broadband you MUST patch your system through windows update as soon as possible. There were TEN updates to windows in the past two weeks. Grab only the 'critial updates and service packs,' everything else is fluff.
20 October 2003
New picture to put up...
Scanned the picture with the Hamiltons' new computer, which BTW, Rocks. Now they just need broadband so they can play games.... er, well, to do research for school... yea... mmmhhhhum. :-)
If you have something you would like to have put up, email me at Paul@NoSP4Musmollards.com. Take out the NNoSP4M to get a good address. Mom is also online with email, you can get her at cathleen@NoSP4Musmollards.com (get rid of the NoSP4M to email).
12 September 2003
No really a content change.. If you have an email account, set it up as follows: BOTH incoming and outgoing mail servers is 'mail.usmollards.com', username is 'YourName@usmollards.com' and finally to make things easier, if you have a checkbox for 'SMTP authentication' in your client setup, make sure it is checked. If you have any more issues, give me a buzz -- webmaster.
23 July 2003
No word from anyone about the site or emails. I will wait till I hear back before making any wholescale changes to this site or adding content. BTW, changed the page pretty substantially, it should load faster and be a lot more streamlined now. Optimized for IE6+ and Mozilla browsers running 800 x 600 or better. Adios.
21 July 2003
Ah, yes. This is the new website for us mollards. Thank dad for the pun... of course you could probably guess that is who came up with the name.
Email addresses for family are available with a usmollards.com domain. Almost no limit on # of accounts, so you could have one for everyone in the family, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an account. We can be generous with email accounts, so kids can have one too if they like. Soon pages that will show you how to set up your email clients will be online, or you just contact me and we will fumble through it. There is also webmail available, just point your browser to www.usmollards.com/webmail/ to gain access to it once you have an account.
You can also get space for a website. Best way to do this is probably via subdomains. Thus your scouting group could be www.scouts.usmollards.com or maybe vintage racing at www.vintage.usmollards.com. But, again, you will have to contact me to get access.
Pictures for eBay or for personal use can also be hosted here. Again, contact me to get things set up for you.
Right now, most of the links on this page will point back to the server in the garage. Later most will be served off our new service provider. That takes a bit of time, so bear with the broken links and otherwise inconvienent site design. It will get fixed...
Kevin Does a Faceplant!
6 March 2003
Pictures for ARMHA Vintage MC at Tulare are now online.
5 Febuary 2003
Made more changes to the main page to speed load time.
7 January 2003
Christmas 2002 pictures are done. Have a look at them, direct your comments to email@example.com. Made some small changes to the main page, it should load a bit faster be easier to navigate. I'll start working on cruise pictures next....
4 January 2003
OK, Christmas pictures are getting done, I'll send an email when they are up. Cruise pictures have, well, not been touched, except to collect them together; they too should be up in a few weeks. Still got to cut the videos down in size and figure out a decent format for them. Happy New Year.
9 December 2002
Just got back from a seven day carnival cruise down to Mexico with the Entire family. Tons of fun!! Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo were all on the list. Had a great time, pictures are in the editing process and will be up later in the week (ed. hahahahaaaa). Also, look for Mexico movies and a bit of a site redesign over the next few weeks.
Availability - 21 July 2003
99.7% Uptime guaranteed by the service provider. Enjoy
There is no anonymous FTP access. If you would like access to the ftp server, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and an account will be set up. Server port is 21. I recommend WS_FTP or SmartFTP FTP clients, SmartFTP is by far the easiest to use and is very drag and drop friendly.
I occasionaly sell old hardware, computer equipment and other stuff on ebay. Check out my current auctions. I'm broke too and looking for work, so if you know of anything, email.
A page outlining all the software that I currently use on my machines for debugging, cleaning up, FTPing and all sorts of general usage.
23 October 2002
This time I went to the Vintage motorcylcle races and took some pictures. Enjoy
2 October 2002
Mom and Dad went to Turlok this weekend, and all I got was more pictures to put onto the website...
20 July 2002
Main computer took a major dump, so the site update is not going to happen. Tossed away about 50 hours of work on a new layout along with the July 4th pictures and most of the World Superbike pictures. Added a link to my eBay sales though.
14 May 2002
OK, mom - here are some pictures of your garden!
29 April 2002
Went to Sears Point last weekend to watch Kevin race Chris's Bultaco. Both the bike and Kevin survived long enough to place fourth overall (5/3 finish). Congrats!
18 April 2002
In SB this past weekend and saw Janet's new truck! Here is a picture...
12 Jan 2002
Pictures from Xmas 2001 are available for your viewing pleasure! We might even put up some pictures from Claire's marvelous pre-Christmas party (hint hint).
Availability - 21 July 2003
99.7% Uptime guaranteed by the service provider. Enjoy
There is no anonymous FTP access. If you would like access to the ftp server, send me an e-mail at email@example.com and an account will be set up. Server port is 21. I recommend WS_FTP or SmartFTP FTP clients, SmartFTP is by far the easiest to use and is very drag and drop friendly.
I occasionaly sell old hardware, computer equipment and other stuff on ebay. Check out my current auctions. I'm broke too and looking for work, so if you know of anything, email.
A page outlining all the software that I currently use on my machines for debugging, cleaning up, FTPing and all sorts of general usage.