I’m on the last day of a great trip to the states. First, a week in Texas with Mom, Cathy, Tamara, Denver, Randy, Christina, Steven, Trevor, Macray. The whole clan! Vicki and Jimmy, Uncle Mickey and Aunt Anna came too. Also, many of my parents friends from Huntsville. Everyone was there for only one day, for an incredible memorial service for Tom. It was such an honor to hear the stories people had to share. A few tears were shed, but mostly we had a party, like one of Dad’s “closing show” parties years ago.

We also did a tremendous amount of yardwork. For a few days it was just Mom and I. It didn’t take long for me to discover the joy of jumping into the pool after a session clearing brush with clippers or a chainsaw. Even though it had some algae in it. Thursday, Randy and Mac came, then I picked up Christina that evening. Randy cleaned the pool, and we all jumped in for a cold but refreshing swim. The weather turned nice and “cool” (for Texas) Friday. Mom and I had some great talks over dinners, then as everyone else arrived we had a great time all teasing each other about various things. Christina left the yardwork to the rest of us, but she did a great job watching Trevor and Mac. Randy’s Wii gaming device kept us very entertained. I eventually beat Trevor at tennis which made me proud :-).

We also worked hard to retire Mom’s PC and move her to the Mac Mini that Randy bought for Dad a few years ago. It’s an older box, so we couldn’t find a wireless card, despite all kinds of attempts (including a drive to the Woodlands Mall after the salesman (or “mac genius?”) told me they had what I needed in stock, even though, yes, it’s a PowerPC Mac rather than an Intel…but I got there and the story was “we’d never have that. Look on E-Bay…”).

Then I spent a week in Montreal. I’m writing now from a little cafe downtown after an excellent time. Sadly, it is raining today which aborted my plan to hike up a mountain near Lake Placid (maybe Wallface or Gothics for northeastern mountaineers). So I wandered around the old part of the city. I bought a nice print by the artist “Chloe”, displayed on the left.

The reason for the Montreal trip was to hook up with partners at Softimage so we can build new features together. It was very productive, though a bit suspenseful because it took several days to get our JBOSS server working in Eclipse, such that the developers here can go forward with new code. We finally sorted out all the kinks, and can expect rapid progress.

Everyone was really nice too. We went to a Mexican food restaurant Thursday night. Some of the party were getting a night out from “kid duties”, so they were happy to stay and drink for a while! I discovered how good aged Tequila is, something my sister Tamara has told me about before.

I also went into the Notre-Dame Basilica which was a beautiful church. Here is some of the interior:

I did a lot of walking around the city, my legs are kind of sore! It’s a beautiful town, with a lot of attention paid to design. I hope to come back next year!

Okay more later, gotta head to the airport for the long flight to Amsterdam.