Yes, it's true! We had TORNADOS here today!
Vancouver, Washington is just across the river from where we live -- and very close to our home. Often our weather is more likely to mirror the weather of Vancouver than that of downtown Portland, as we're literally ten minutes away from crossing the bridge (traffic allowing) into Vancouver.
For those of you who are used to tornados where you live, you must understand that we simply do NOT get them here in the Pacific Northwest.
On the news tonight we heard in reported incidents of tornados, there was one back in the late 1800's, one in 1904 and another in 1972 (also on Vancouver, by the way).
Actually, Tom (whom I speak about often) lives in Vancouver! Marilyn mistressmarilyn told me that happily he emailed her right away to tell her that everything was okay.
We have four staff members who live in Vancouver, believe it or not! That includes Jeff, Carol, Peter and Ron (Ron doesn't work out of the office, so I don't tend to talk about him as much as the others -- but he used to be full-time staff in a different position at one point).
Sister Sue's home sits close to the bridge that runs from Oregon to Washington, Portland to Vancouver. She's seriously just across the river from Vancouver.
I'm amazed that none of our Vancouver-dwelling staff decided to leave work and head home when we heard about this. There was some serious damage that took place...
In other news, Marilyn and I got a postcard from New Zealand today, sent by friend Evamaria shirasade (who is currently living there -- her homeland is Switzerland).
What a lovely surprise to come home to...
And I keep meaning to mention that I got a wonderful Christmas card from friend Kim rainwen!
Kim wrote me the sweetest note:
Merry Christmas! I want to tell you how much I appreciate your friendship & advice -- you truly are a role model. May the new year bring you everything you desire. ♥ Kim
It warmed me so to read that! I had to share that card with a lot of people, because it's not often you receive something that special from another person.
All in all, we got more than 50 holiday cards this year, which was very nice! I have a few of them hanging up in my cube at work, but I just went through the stack again and looked at each one, feeling so happy to see them! We got four photo cards -- all including baby/child pictures that are dear to our hearts.
Both of us were especially delighted to get a card from Kristen -- a clever card that featured holiday shoes and included a lovely note. (Kristen was one of the four festival staff people who were laid off back in July of this year. So it's a pretty classy thing for her to do, sending us a card...)
As I mentioned before, those layoffs had a lot of bitterness attached to them. I suppose I should write about that subject sometime, considering Marilyn just recently again communicated with Ty -- who as she noted is someone she personally had to lay off. (But, then, Marilyn is friends with many people she was involved in laying off -- certainly because she cares so much about about her co-workers and tries so hard to do what's best for all of them, necessary layoffs or no.)
Though we've moved on at the office, the people who were laid off this past year are still missed. How could they not be? I continue to wish them the best and hope that time will make this easier for them. Looking back on my own layoff (during the 90's), it's certainly an important factor in our lives to deal with losing a job...
On the home front, Marilyn and I bought and (finally!!!) watched "3:10 to Yuma," the movie featuring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.
What a GREAT movie! I was so impressed!
We started watching it last night, thinking we just look at part of it, but were so captivated that we had to stay up and see the entire film. The acting all the way around was incredible, so if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.
One final quick (important) note: Marilyn and I took two of the donated (from Richard) computers over to Donn late this afternoon -- to see if the planned rebuild would work or not.
We have a very limited budget for 'new' computers this year. In fact in recent years what's been happening is to buy between 2-4 computers annually. But after working a combined payment and trade deal with Donn, it looks like we'll have a record TEN new computers for 2008!
I'm really proud of my part in this, I have to admit. Because of Richard and his generous donation and Donn and his belief that it could be done (plus willingness to work with the festival to make a deal that goes well beyond fair) -- and my own stubborn conviction that this was the right thing -- we'll have some kick-ass computers available to staff members who have previously had less-than-desirable equipment!
Donn was so determined to give me good news that he stayed late at work to do the temporary build of one computer, phoning to tell me. (He's still recovering from his accident last July, so it was very generous of him to remain late and do this for me...
Actually, the festival should have a banner year in 2008 IT-wise! Ten computers (fingers still crossed), all those new flat screen monitors (not one computer in there has anything else now) and the change from Qwest to Comcast for internet connection. We'll see how it all goes, but it's looking good at this point.
I so rarely update right now that I never mentioned meeting Lilia, our new Store Manager (replacing the departing Penny). She was at staff meeting this past Tuesday, and seems like a lovely person...
It's 1 a.m., so I'd better starting thinking about going to bed! Marilyn has (another) early meeting tomorrow morning...
I have a bunch of (boring?) website coding things to relate, but I'm out of time for now!