Gosh, after all these posts, I feel like I need to be "one of the crowd." I really don't have much to report. Things at work have been crazy and I'm loving it! Nothing makes me happier then knowing that I'm being utilized at work. It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing things when I'm needed! I've been on the road a lot it seems. This week, I'll only have spent two days in my "base" office in Tracy. Other then that I travelled to the Home Office in Marin County, Hayward and Sacramento. A lot of miles are going on my poor little car. Thank goodness I get mileage for most of the travelling. Gas prices would be killing me, if not.
Other then that, kids are all back in school and seem to be enjoying it. Madeline just can't get enough. Although she hasn't been "kid of the day" yet (don't they know who she is???), she's still enjoying it. Sebastian is doing well in sixth grade so far, although he HATES having PE everyday. Keegan is doing well too. He had a rough first couple of days, but seems to be adjusting well. John is an absolute godsend with having to cart 3 kids on 3 different schedules to 2 different schools. Keegan is going to a magnet school for GATE kids, so he's on traditional year. The other two are in a K-8 school, which is year round. Crazy schedule.
Gosh really don't have much else. Can't really even think of anything pithy to say. Although I will comment on the whole Podcast thing. I don't know if anyone else is listening to Podcasts, but if you aren't you need to. I feel like such a G-nerd (shout out to the G4 readers!) because I go up every day to my iTunes to not only see what's been updated on my programs, but what new podcasts have been added. It's crazy! It's like suddenly I can pick and choose what I want to listen to and I can listen to people talking about things that have a somewhat "similar" viewpoint on life as I do. Not the vanilla news coverage or editorials that you get on NPR. Although I do subscribe to several NPR shows, inlcuding Martini Shot, WGBH Morning Stories, KQED Perspectives, and a few others. I'm really enjoying the "independent" shows too, like today, I just started listening to Verge of the Fringe, which is really just a guy telling stories about his life. Right now (because I'm catching up) I'm listening to his foray in the Craigslist.org dating game. Doesn't seem fascinating, but it strangely is. Dawn and Drew is another one I love. Can't wait until the next episode goes up! The Bitterest Pill is also quite fun. Then there is my bleeding liberal, The LoLife Podcast, which just makes me think about things in a whole new way. Highly recommend podcast if you haven't already. You can find any subject that amuses you on anything! It also has news, entertainment, even sports (go ESPN Radio!).
Okay, now that I've completely bored you all....I shall go! Off to Open House!
Here is an article from Dallas Morning News on Trevor Stokol, who is still missing in Mt. Everest/Nepal:
Relatives help search for missing hiker
01:22 PM CDT on Thursday, August 4, 2005
By LINDA LEAVELL / DallasNews.com
More relatives of a Dallas man missing near Mount Everest have traveled to Nepal to assist with the extensive search while a California-based organization coordinates efforts from the United States.
Trevor Stokol, 25, was last seen July 22 on what was to be a brief hike to take photographs of the mountain. After he did not return, his traveling companion and others began looking for him, then reported his disappearance to U.S. authorities in Kathmandu, his mother, Barbara Stokol, has told The Dallas Morning News.
After eight months of travel across India and Southeast Asia, Trevor Stokol was days away from returning to North Texas to enter the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He is a 2002 graduate of Emory University.
At the request of Stokol's family, the 1st Special Response Group, a nonprofit, international search and rescue team, has become involved in coordinating the search efforts.
The organization's director, David Kovar, explained that Stokol and his companion had started walking from Gorak Shep, the nearest lodging, toward the Everest base camp about two hours away. The companion became ill and watched him go on for about 45 minutes before she returned to Gorak Shep, Kovar said.
Kovar said it was unlikely Stokol was the victim of violence. Some people suspect he may have been caught in an avalanche that was reported in the area, he said.
Stokol's father, Richardson optometrist Arnold Stokol, and an uncle have been in Nepal. As the uncle was returning to the United States, Trevor Stokol's mother and younger sister, Jodi, were arriving Tuesday.
The volunteer organization has provided logistical support from the United States, identifying sherpa organizations, providing information to the media and counseling the family about what to expect in Nepal.
Meanwhile, the family has hired experts, including Australian mountaineer Andrew Lock, and sherpas to conduct the actual ground search. Kovar said it takes six to nine days to acclimate to the altitude, so relatives were remaining at a home base where they have access to communication equipment.
Kovar said the searches could be conducted in two main ways: a hasty search, in which participants follow the missing man's likely path of travel and look for significant clues, or a grid search, which is a more methodical, shoulder-to-shoulder examination of a high-probability area. They also would call Stokol's name and then listen for a response, he said.
"There's not a lot of technology up there," Kovar acknowledged.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, was trying to get high-tech imaging equipment to Nepal to aid the effort, Kovar said.
John Seibert, Sessions’ 32nd District director, said he got involved after receiving a call from a friend with a connection to Dr. Stokol.
Since then, Seibert said, he has been working obsessively, nearly 24 hours a day, to “to focus … and bring some sort of support and resolution and to get Trevor out of Nepal safely and alive.” The next hurdle is getting thermal imaging equipment to Nepal, which was one of Lock’s priority requests, Seibert said.
“Since our efforts in Afghanistan started, thermal imaging equipment at a particular level or range has become, in a sense, classified and is not allowed to go out of the country unless it is with military personnel,” he said.
Seibert said he has secured a temporary permit so a civilian can transport the equipment to Nepal. That person, whom Seibert would not identify, is a 25-year military veteran who was working with his employer to make the trip.
The permit requires the civilian to keep the equipment in his control at all times – “to make sure the technology remains U.S. technology,” Seibert said. That limitation likely will mean he will have to remain in a helicopter with an oxygen supply because his body will not have become acclimated for physically taxing ground searching, he added.
Kovar said he could not speculate on the likelihood that Stokol would be found alive, but he noted that the missing man had extensive winter survival training, which would prepare him physically, and spent quite a bit of time learning about meditation, which would contribute to his mental sharpness.
"I hesitate to give any sort of prediction as to his chance of survival, but his family and friends are very hopeful that he is still alive and they can get to him in time," he said.
He noted that James Scott survived after being lost in the Himalayas for 43 days by drinking snow. Others have returned alive "just simply due to their will to live," he said.
"Trevor, from what everyone has said about him, certainly is one of those people who have a very strong will to live," Kovar said.
A fund to offset some of the expense associated with the extensive search has been established. Tax-deductible donations may be made to 1SRG, Trevor Stokol Fund, P.O. Box 230, Moffett Field, Calif., 94035.
Thank you all for keeping positive vibes for Trevor. Anything we can get out about him and his plight is much needed. I'm very disappointed with the limited amount of press coverage on this horrific situation. I even went so far as to send e-mails to all three networks pleading coverage on Trevor's case. Keep your fingers crossed and continue the positive thoughts/prayers/vibbes for Trevor!