Here we are in the new century! After all the Millenium hype, it was pretty anti-climatic, but we had a good time taking the train downtown to Dallas 2000 where a street party raged (ok, ambled), taking in an overpriced meal, sauntering in front of the TV cameras near the mayor with tinsel wigs on, and following our next-door-neighbor Marc who cleared the path.
The work year started like last year ended, with Anne working way beaucoup hours and enjoying it less. By February, the stress was enough that she broke out in shingles (try to avoid that if you can - it includes shooting pains that trace the nerves through your skull and blisters all over one side of your face). In July, Motorola announced the end of her project and the shutting of the building she was in. Anne was sent home right then, along with the other employees. She spent the next 2 months as a Woman of Leisure. It was very nice for her, particularly since Motorola kept paying everyone until October! Anne interviewed around, and there are a lot of opportunities in this area. With all that, Anne ended up taking a job back at the mother ship, Texas Instruments! She's back at the same site where she used to work, and where Stewart still works (Anne is in building 2, Stewart is in building 3). She is very excited about her new job. TI makes these great digital video chips with itty bitty mirrors, up to a million-odd on one chip. They call it Digital Light Processing and they're used in business projectors, HDTVs and cinema ... you may have a digital version of 102 Dalmations playing near you on a DLP projector. Anyway, it's fun and great to be back at TI.
Stewart's job at Raytheon on the F-16 program is the same, steady work he's been doing for a while now. It keeps extending into new areas that keep the job from being boring.
We've been keeping up our biking again this year. We rode in a lot of Texas rides including the Burnett Bluebonnet festival, Kerrville Easter Hill Country ride, San Antonio Wildflower 100, the Hotter N'Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, Cow Creek Classic in Waxahachie, Peach Pedal in Weatherford, Red Hot Chili Pepper ride in Dallas, and the Katy Flatland Century in Houston. All this led up to a wonderful week-long ride in the Canadian Rockies in August. We got to see elk, ice fields, glaciers, hail and an 8 mile climb, all followed by fantastic meals and lodging. Thanks, Backroads!
We made a few trips to visit family this year. In March we drove to Kentucky to visit Stewart's parents. His dad, Morgan, had ruptured a disk in his back and was having a lot of problems with pain and mobility. He had on operation in the summer to get it fixed and had a lot of success with it. By the time we saw him again in November he was much better. Stewart's mom had to "pick up the slack" around the house. It was a lot of hard work, but she is more than up for it, doing all the yard work and housework and taking care of everything. She complained about it a lot, but I think she was happy to be able to carry such a load. And, hey, it was good for her, right?
Thanksgiving in Kentucky was a great time, with Stewart's brother Morgan and his family also visiting. Sometimes we miss the cold, but Thanksgiving got us over that. It was 24 degrees the first day there and although it warmed up some later in the week, we enjoyed staying inside where it was warm, playing some rowdy games of Cranium with Morgan, Mary Jane, Cliff and Meredith. His aunt Roxie and cousin Joyce came to visit too and we had so much food it was amazing. Morgan's wife, Mary Jane, along with Stewart's mom worked very hard to get all the food prepared. Thanks you two!
Anne's sister Teresa came to visit us here in Plano in May. She and Anne got burrs up their butts to redecorate and they shopped all around looking for decorating ideas. Stewart stayed at home and wrung his hands. But when it was all done it looked very nice. Even the cats like it. Louie keeps trying to get his head in the decorative ceramic piece near the fireplace. And he likes to stretch out on the new rug by the front door to soak up the sun.
In March we moved Anne's mom, Esther, to a new apartment in Plano, Cottonwood Estates. It is a brand new senior apartment building, much larger and better organized and managed than the old one. Esther's apartment looks south into a nice park, within walking distance through the park to a Plano public library. It is still within 2 miles of our house so it is very convenient to meet Esther for lunch, have her over for dinner, and pickup and deliver her meds from the local pharmacy.
In September Anne and Esther hopped a flight from Dallas to Austin to scout out the next Paul Cousins Reunion resort at Canyon of the Eagles in Burnett, TX. They had waited until late in September to get past the Texas heat, but it didn't work. It was still 100 degrees when they went. Still, they had a good time going down there and scouting the area. It won't be that hot in March, really!
In April Anne got a bad case of Fartenfugen. That is, she bought herself a Volkswagen! She sold her Miata and got a 4-door with an automatic transmission. Is that a sign of getting old?
Last year Stewart had visited a web site describing the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California. He put his name on the waiting list for tickets, and in July they sent us two tickets! We scrambled for airline tickets and a place to stay and ended up going to the jazz festival. It was wonderful to be back in Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Monterey. The trip included a rental house right on Monterey Bay, but since there was a triathalon along that strip on Saturday, blocking access to the house, the rental company moved us ... to a house in Pebble Beach! It was past the gate house on the 17 mile drive, within walking distance to Spanish Bay, and deer frequented the neighborhood. The Jazz Festival was amazing too, with Diane Reeve, Bill Frisel, Roy Hargrove and lots of others we hadn't heard before that were keepers, like Bill Charlap and Mimi Fox.
Anne worked in one more boondoggle in December, a training trip to Los Gatos, CA south of the Bay Area. The class was Tues-Thurs so since Monday and Friday were travel days anyway, TI didn't mind us saving them money by agreeing to fly on Saturday. So, she and a fellow TI-er got to visit Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Marin before class even started. Hey, it was for the good of the company!
All in all, it was a good year and we look forward to what the next year brings. We hope you have a fine holiday and a wonderful 2001!