Holiday Update

I was in charge of sending out the Christmas cards this year, so that was the end to the nice letter that Maria did each year. Since more people are reading this, I figured I better make an update.

Maria’s dad visited us at Thanksgiving. We had a great visit. Maria got tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world-famous Rockettes who are most famous for their eye-high kicks and precision dancing. We all enjoyed the show. Maria’s dad had broken his arm before he came, and they discovered a brown spot on the x-ray. It could be cancer or osteoporosis. He has had a CT scan and blood test that turned up negative for cancer. They are drilling into his arm today to get a bone sample for a final test. He definitely seemed older to me this last visit, but then he is 83.

Alex has one more day of exams left, before the holiday break. He’s got all A’s going into the exams so hopefully he can keep up the effort. Alex has been struggling with severely painful acne the last 6 months and we have tried everything from over the counter remedies to vitamins & herbs to two types of antibiotics to Levulan Photodynamic Therapy. Nothing worked and we have resorted to Accutane. After 6 weeks we haven’t noticed any side effects other than the severe drying of his skin. We haven’t seen great results yet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Alex remains upbeat and at least the pain has gone away. Alex has also had problems with his jaw popping since about 1 year into wearing braces. At one point it sounded like a popsicle stick snapping and could be heard 30 feet away. The orthodontist insists it doesn’t have anything to do with his work, and is beyond his knowledge of expertise. Alex recently got his wisdom teeth extracted, and the popping has subsided from every time he chewed to only when he opens his mouth completely. Hopefully it will continue to improve. From this experience, I would not recommend orthodontic procedures for minor work, like Alex needed. And I definitely would not recommend his orthodontist to anyone. On a lighter note, Alex had a band concert last week that can be viewed here. In January, Alex is scheduled to start drivers’ training and tennis camp.

Maria just finished the first semester of her MBA. She is currently enrolled in the CSU Distance MBA program. She expects she’ll receive 2 A’s and 1 A-, but official grades won’t be out for a few weeks. Maria is doing well and continues to enjoy her work on the Marriott regional team. Not sure if it’s because she tries to do so much, but she doesn’t sleep very well these days. She’s been looking forward to 4 weeks off of school.

I have continued to work all year with the adobe web development products, and have spent a great deal of time struggling to learn their actionscript 3 language. Object oriented programming is so much different than what I learned with. I got a tip from my friend Kevin that I could use Google Mail with my own domain Himebaugh.com. This has helped tremendously with dealing with spam, and is completely free. I have recently done some work with Historical Tours of America, based out of Key West, and another company from Tucson. They were previously working with Chuck, the graphic artist turned computer guru who recently died at age 50. Chuck did a lot of work for our old company, Global Audience Providers.

This past year we started up again with a tae kwon do school near by, but I dropped out after 3 months due to back problems, and Maria & Alex quit when Maria went back to school. My back is much better now, and I just run occasionally.

Alex & I went skiing in Flagstaff this past weekend. Ski conditions were good. It was 38 degrees with perfect snow. But I had a headache and my stomach was queasy, I think from the altitude. It is 12,500 feet and Phoenix is only 2,000 feet. I didn’t really enjoy it… sad to say. Alex had as much fun as possible, hanging out with grumpy old me.

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