March 13, 2018: Day Two of Peak Flu

Tuesday. We were all still so sick today.  Both girls have fevers.  Liesl is around 101, and Luciana is nearly to 103.  Surprisingly, both of them are in good spirits and don’t seem to actually be feeling all that badly, just really tired and unable to do anything.  They have no energy and Liesl has a headache.  But overall, they aren’t showing the regular symptoms of the flu.

We worked on the girls’ room today.  We’ve been sick, but cannot avoid working on the house for forever.  So today we finally removed the closet doors in their room that I have been saying that we needed to just get rid of for quite some time.  They are awful, broken, and constantly get in the way making the room messier and the closet harder to use.  Dominica finally agreed and we took them down.

With the doors out of the way, we were able to move Liesl dresser, the one that we just brought down with us from New York last week, into that closet and get it set up with Liesl’s clothes.  Their room is looking so much better already.

Dad found this picture taken in the barn from 1979, one of the three baby raccoons that we kept in the barn after their mother had been killed on the road in front of the farm.  I would have been three years old, one of my earliest memories is those little raccoons.

Barn Raccoon, Circa 1979

I still remember the three little babies in their little nest in the straw at the front of the barn.  Their nest is still there, thirty nine years later.  I just happened to show the space to Dominica last week while we were in New York cleaning out the barn, too!

This evening we tried to watch The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrove with Luciana because she has been requesting it for days.  We got started and she was all excited for about ten minutes then she said that she remembered it from when she was little and did not like it and left to go do something on her own in her room.  But Liesl came in and was all excited because she loved that movie.  So she settled in for a second Liesl movie night, in a row.

Bed time came very early here today.  I was not able to go to bed super early myself, given that I slept for fifteen hours last night.  But I still got to bed early.  I was in terrible shape all day, as was Dominica.  But yesterday seems like it was the worst of it.  Today we are at least not any worse than we were.

March 12, 2018: Peak Flu Day One

Monday.  I was so tired yesterday that I lay down a little before seven in the evening thinking that I would likely just take a nap.  Instead, I slept for fifteen hours, not waiting up until late this morning!  That is, as far as I know, the longest that I have slept continuous for my entire adult life and possible all of my adolescence.  I have no memory of ever passing thirteen hours, and even getting past eight happens no more than once or twice a year!  This is unprecedented, but I am certainly the sickest that I can remember being as an adult, except for that whole pesky appendicitis thing, which was almost exactly twenty years ago.

The girls are both sick today, both with fevers.  They definitely caught what we caught.  Luciana spent the entire day in bed, she never got up.  Liesl camped out on the couch in the living room with the Grim Legends hidden object video game trilogy and played it for the entire day completed multiple of the games (some more than once!)

Dad was doing all kinds of familial research and has discovered that my six times great grandfather, David Diffenderfer, served as an ensign in the Revolutionary War, was at Valley Forge, and crossed the Delaware River at Trenton with George Washington.  He also fought at the battles of Princeton and Monmouth, having been injured at the latter.  Once recovered from that battle he re-entered the Army and was captured at the Battle of Long Island.

David’s father’s father (John M. Diffenderfer), I believe, who would be my eighth great grandfather, has also been recognized as the founder of New Holland, Pennsylvania.  He arrived there in 1728, predating most of my formerly known Swiss immigrant family from the Bern side.

Dad was able to trace that line of the family (which is through my mother’s father’s father’s mother’s side) all the way back to the outskirts of Zurich in 1130 to the patriarch Werver von Dubeldorf.  It is unknown if my family is named for the suburb that they are from, or if the suburb is named after us.  Dubeldorf is near the Zurich Zoo, just east of downtown.

This evening Liesl climbed onto the couch with us in our bedroom and we watching Paddington which I have been wanting to watch for a while.  I had the book (audio, if I remember correctly) as a child and liked the story of Paddington Bear.  The movie has a good cast and looked like it would be good, and it was.  I enjoyed it a lot, as did Liesl.  It was nice to have some snuggle time with nothing to do.  Luciana watched some of it, but was not all that into it.

Got to bed on the early side tonight.  Still have a lot of rest to go before my body is going to be able to effectively fight off this influenza.

March 11, 2018: And It’s the Flu

Sunday. My first day back home in Texas.  Finally I get to be home for a while.  No scheduled trips on the horizon.

I woke up a bit late today and I still have the ridiculously horrible cough that I had while I was out in California. Worse today, in fact.  Dominica is starting to feel pretty sick, too.  The girls are okay, though.

The original plan was for the family to go to Houston today and stay there for the week for Spring Break with the Grices.  But once Dominica saw how she was feeling today, she knew that she had to cancel the trip.  So my day of driving is no more.

It is a good thing, after I got going today, I do not think that I could have handled any time in the car driving the family, even if Francesca had met us halfway there.

Luciana had asked me last evening if I would play chess with her today (her No Stress Chess game) so this afternoon she and I played three games of chess together in the living room while Liesl watched and played her hidden object games no Steam.  I won all three, but Luciana does a pretty good job.  She likes her No Stress Chess a lot.  It is a little like a card battle game, mixed with chess.

I was so sick by this afternoon that I was thinking about a nap and by six thirty I crawled into bed to see if I could nap and, it turned out that I could.  I fell asleep and was out for the night.

March 10, 2018: Returning from San Jose to Dallas

Saturday. Good morning from the Embassy Suites in San Jose, California.  I was up at a good time this morning.  No luck on shifting this cough, though.  I went down early to the restaurant and had tea and a bite to eat.  Max came down a bit later and eventually Anton joined us.

We hung out for probably two hours in the restaurant and had our breakfast and I charged my phone while down there.  Then up to our rooms and packed up.

The original plan was to leave the hotel at just before ten as my flight was just before noon.  But I got delayed by a bit so did not need to leave until a quarter after ten.

San Jose airport is so easy to deal with.  I checked my luggage and was right through security.  Turns out I could have skipped checking the luggage this time, this airplane was essentially empty.  But the last one was completely full. There is no guessing.

I was right through security, nice and easy, and had loads of time to wonder about the airport.  We boarded at 12:45, about an hour late.  We got off of the ground and the pilot put the pedal down.  The flight that was supposed to be three and a half hours was done in two hours and forty minutes, not even enough time for the short in flight Disney movie, Coco, to finish (which is good that I didn’t try to watch it, then.)  We went so fast that we made up for all of the delay and landed early!

Dominica and the girls picked me up.  It was about six when we I got in.

On the way home we hit the pharmacy for some medicine.  Dominica is not feeling well either and I’m worse now having flown again.  That does not improve things.

Then we stopped at China One, our usual Chinese place that we normally get to deliver, and ordered our dinner so that we could just take it home with us.  That saves about ten dollars between not paying the delivery fee or the tip.

We took our Chinese dinner home and the girls just watched YouTube while Dominica and I watched some Allo, Allo on Netflix.  It was well after seven by the time that we got home, easily almost eight by the time that we managed to sit down and eat.

I was pretty worn out and was in bed before eleven, which is pretty early for me.  The family is supposed to be going to Houston tomorrow where they will be staying for the week.  So we have to get up and get driving tomorrow.  Then I am going to be home alone for an entire week to, in theory, catch up on work that needs to be done.  Mostly development work.

March 9, 2018: Speaking in San Jose

Friday. Today is my conference day out here in San Jose, California.  It’s a beautiful California day, very nice weather.  I got some very good rest last night and am hopeful that my couch will not be so terrible today like it was yesterday.  That was really something awful.

I had to be up pretty early today, and actually woke up on my own around five thirty.  So time for a nice, warm shower, before going downstairs to meet up with Anton and Max for breakfast in the hotel at the Embassy Suites, which we did at six thirty.  Then at seven fifteen we were off to find the Marriott where are conference is being held.

Anton and Max at Storage Field Days in California

We did pretty well getting over to the Marriott on time. This morning is Storage Field Days and we are presenting on Virtual Tape Libraries.  Not the sexiest of topics, but it seemed to be well received at the show.

Scott Alan Miller on VTL
Me Presenting the Context of Virtual Tape Libraries

I had a really rough morning of coughing prior to the talk, but I managed to make it all of the way through my section without coughing at all.  Of course, the moment that I was done I had to run away to another room and just hack and hack.

After the talk was done, we went over to the Hilton for an early lunch.  We were actually there at a quarter till eleven, which is a bit early for lunch for anyone.  It was so soon after breakfast that Max and I just split some fish fry.

Max at BackBlaze HQ

After lunch we went to meet with BackBlaze and got a tour of their offices in San Mateo.

Scott Alan Miller by B2 Logo
At BackBlaze HQ

After touring BackBlaze, we drove out to Half Moon Bay to get authentic seafood on the water. We looked up the top rated place on Yelp and headed out.

We actually took much of the same drive that Dominica and I did several years ago when we came out together when I was presenting at Pertino the first time.

We found the coolest little local seafood place.  The food was amazing.  We sat outside. I just went for the house specials: clam chowder and fried calamari.  This might have been the best calamari that I have ever had.  Sadly, there was no way that I could finish it.  There has just been so much food today, I can’t keep eating.

After second lunch it was back to the hotel.  About five thirty we were back.  We were all pretty tired and my cough was just killing me.  I feel awful.

I took a shower, nice and hot, which helped my breathing a bit.  Gave me somewhat of a rest from the continuous coughing.  And I laid down then for an hour and didn’t move.  I didn’t fall asleep, but the rest and the lack of movement really helped.  I felt a bit better and was about to go out around seven when we reconvened.

We went back to the same steak place that we went to last night.  We got wine and I had the BBQ salmon tonight, which was excellent. Nothing but the salmon, though.  I was not that hungry, but turned out that I was hungry enough to finish the fish.

It was an early night.  We could not have been out past ten.  Everyone was tired and after the wine we just had to get some sleep.

March 8, 2018: Flying from Dallas to San Jose

Thursday. Had to be up at six this morning so that I could shower, get dressed, and get off to DFW Airport so that I could catch my morning flight out to California.  It’s not bad, only a four hour flight on American Airlines which is normally pretty comfortable.

We left the house at eight and ran into only a little traffic getting to the airport out at 114.  Dominica and the girls dropped me off and I got right through security nice and easy.  I checked my bag as the flight is completely full.

Security has changed at DFW and they are using a “single giant bin” approach instead of the “string of bins too small for anything.”  It seemed to work pretty well.

Flight left on time.  It is a four hour flight from Dallas to San Jose.  On the flight they played Justice League, I tried not to watch it, but it was on shared screens.  Certainly the worst movie I’ve been subjected to in as long as I can remember.  That was a train wreck.  How can cinema have gotten this bad?

I read a bit of Nexos magazine on the flight.  I am amazed by how much Spanish I am able to read, now.

It was about eleven thirty when I arrived in San Jose, local Pacific time.  Two hours time different from Texas.  Max picked me up at the airport and took me to the Embassy Suites so that I could get checked in.  Then I had about an hour to unpack and relax before we met again in the lobby.  We drove up to San Francisco to pick up Anton who was arriving from Seattle.

After getting Anton, it was time for coffee from Pete’s, and then off to find some lunch.  We went to a local steakhouse and had some amazing wine, and I had Chilean seabass, and chipotle cheddar mac and cheese.  It was all excellent.

After dinner, back to the hotel for an hour and a half of prepping for the presentation tomorrow.  Once that was done, off to bed.  Probably by around ten. We have to be up very early tomorrow morning.


March 7, 2018: Our One Day in Texas

Wednesday.  Our one day at home between traveling.  Just arrived by car from Missouri last night, and tomorrow morning I leave for California.  This is it, the one day at home in a month.

The girls have their homeschool book club event at the Carrollton Public Library today, that was the big thing that we wanted to be sure that we made it back for.  That was about one that they went there.  They had a good time and got new books for next month.  Liesl is reading “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, now.

After book club they were invited to go to the playground with some friends, which they did for a while and had a really nice time.  This homeschool club is great for them.

After the playground, the girls set up in the living room with one of those “dig for dinosaur bones” kits.  They went through the entire thing this afternoon.

Got all packed up this evening and went to bed as early as I could muster.  Long day of traveling tomorrow.