Sunday, January 13, 2008

One More in Green Bay

The last time the Green Bay Packers won the Superbowl, they beat the Patriots, and they didn't have to go through Dallas. Over a decade later, The New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys and win a trip to Green Bay.

This is going to be an interesting week. The Giants aren't the Seahawks. Of course, everyone is intimidated by Green Bay in January. Talk about home field advantage.

Snow Bowl

I love watching bad weather football. Get the wind and the rain into play, or pile snow on the field--that's real football. Thick, heavy, packing snow covered the field in Lameau by the end of the second quarter, and Green Bay just thrived. Even after spotting the Seahawks two touchdowns, Green Bay controlled the entire game. Domination. When this Brett Favre shows up, Green Bay has a legitimate chance to beat anybody. When that other Brett Favre shows up, the guy who throws interceptions and makes bad decisions, they are the most beatable team in the NFL.

A few hours from now, we'll know where the NCF championship game will be held. All I can say is Go Giants! I don't want Green Bay to play in Dallas.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Holmgren Going Back to Green Bay

Mike Holmgren and his Seattle Seahawks won their NFC Wildcard game against the Redskins. As a prize, they get a trip to Green Bay in January. A trip to Titletown would do me a world of good right now, but then I don't have to face the Packers.

This should be a special game. If you recall, Mike Holmgren used to be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. He guided them to their last two Superbowl trips, where they beat the Patriots then subsequently lost to the Broncos. Green Bay has a street named after Mike Holmgren. I foresee a lively, spirited, and hard-fought game at Lambeau next weekend.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

PAssing of a Colleague, Reprise

I just finished my second day back at the office after the holidays, and I already had the discussion about the passing of our colleague with about ten or twelve people. I needed to talk to somebody yesterday morning. Today, more people trickled back and learned the news for the first time. Monday, almost everyone will be back and I expect very little gets done while the people who have been incommunicado learn the news. Then, we have the same discussions again.

I'm not sure what it is. Was it the fact this person died at the age of 49 and I'm not that far away from that age? Was it the fact that I worked closely with this person? I don't really know. All I do know is that I am coming to terms with the situation and discussion from square-one is retrograde motion for me.

I'll talk about it, though, because my other co-workers have to come to terms with the situation, too. If I can help by talking with them about it, that's what I'll do. Still, that doesn't make it an easy topic.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In the Mail

Little victories can keep you going. I finished drafting my collection, Accretion, and will be dropping it into the mail tomorrow for the publisher to consider. It's one milestone that I've been working toward for two or three months, and it's nice to get it done (for now). The collection kept me busy as I did some reading to flesh out material for my upcoming novel.

The title of the collection merits a little discussion. Accretion is a gradual accumulation, normally associated with the formation of stars and planets. The collection gathers most of my published work over the past decade and change, including my very first paid publication, After the Campfire Dies, a stargazing article that appeared in Dakota Outdoors in the mid 1990s, my first published fiction that appeared in Planet online magazine, a story that shares a title and many plot points with my novel Neanderthal Swan Song, and my first pro sale, The Adjoa Gambit, originally appearing in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. So Accretion is a gradual accumulation of my early work.

I intend to do more volumes when I have the material, tentitively called Protostar, Main Sequence, Red Giant, Nova, White Dwarf, and Black Dwarf. I expect it will take a lifetime to fill them all.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sobering End to the Year

Yeah, I know. Sobering isn't the word you normally associate with New Years Eve. Quite the opposite, usually. Not for me this time around. I returned from my trip to California and logged into my work email to find a note from our division vice-president announcing the death of one of our colleagues. This colleague died of a heart attack on Christmas Eve. I learned about it on New Years Eve, and it really sucked the wind out of the holiday. I missed even the wake and funeral.

Out of respect for the family, I am not going to give any names, just as I have never mentioned the name of my employer in this forum. I will say, however, that this news has hit me pretty hard. I worked closely with this person on a very difficult problem. I know this person was also involved in other difficult projects. When somebody this young dies of a heart attack, you immediately wonder how much influence workplace stress had over these events. It makes you ponder your own mortality--how much living there is left to do.

I didn't know this person very well, but then, I tend to stay a bit distant from those I work with. I do know family was very important to this person. Family was left behind, no doubt shell-shocked and wondering how to continue without this person. It's a situation you wouldn't wish on anybody, yet it happens all too often.

David Gerrold once said that the worst part about getting older is losing people you care about. He's right. I didn't know this person very well, but I did care. I cared a lot. Some of it is selfish--nobody else has the knowledge this person had. Most of it is compassionate. Somebody lost a parent, a spouse, a coach, a friend, a colleague. A future somebody will never meet a grandparent.

Dammit, this was a decent person who didn't deserve to go this soon. I'm stunned, I'm saddened, I'm angry, and I'm scared. I'm going to miss this person. Hell, I already do.