Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Tale of Two Christmasses

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Let's talk about the worst first, shall we? I had planned a nice Christmas dinner with friends, but things worked out just a little bit differently. I spent my Christmas in the emergency department of St. Michael's Hospital after having fallen unconscious in the shower for a couple of hours. There was much testing and poking and prodding and removal of blood and insertion of intravenous lines. After about seven hours, the conclusion was that I was merely dehydrated -- two and a half litres of saline and a "lovely" "roast" "turkey" hospital meal later, I was discharged to the ongoing care of my general practitioner, cardiologist and neurologist. I should be fine and dandy, but it would be nice to know why I was a half-gallon (Imperial) short of a full tank.

Then there was the best of times. It seems a few members of our dear Lotus community got together to give me a Christmas present that will see a lot of use, and which should go a long way towards getting my life back on track. I am composing this entry on a wonderful new Thinkpad T60 with all the trimmings -- 2 GHz Core2Duo, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB hard drive, mungo road-warrior battery, DVD/CD-RW combo optical drive, XP vice Vista, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera (always loved that line when Yul Brynner said it). It actually runs some of my favorite Eclipse-based programs without seeming like a VT-101 emulator (complete with wait-for-it screen echo). Aptana goes like stink, and there's a Lotus offering that failed miserably on the borrowed PIII-800 with 128 MB I should be able to play with now. I'll be toting that around in what is definitely the best-organised backpack-style laptop case I've ever run across. Data backup (and files of questionable business use) will go to a dead-quiet 500 GB LaCie external USB 2.0 HDD. And I'll be printing and scanning on an HP OfficeJet 5610 MFP. Pretty damned sweet setup altogether, and a lot more than I could ever have imagined.

I have to thank the following people for their contribution and generousity:

  • Eileen Fitzgerald
  • Kevin Pettitt
  • Rob Novak
  • John Head
  • Francie Whitlock
  • Vince Schuurman
  • Christopher Byrne
  • Andre Hausberger
  • Mac Guidera
  • Bill Buchan
  • Charles Robinson
  • Richard Schwartz
  • Declan Lynch
  • Julian Robichaux
  • Ben Langhinrichs
  • Ben Poole
  • Warren Elsmore
  • Joe Litton
  • Thomas "Duffbert" Duff
  • Jess Stratton
  • Vitor Pereira
  • Rob McDonagh
  • Bruce Elgort
  • Gregg Eldred
  • Pete McPhedran
  • Paul Mooney (added -- thanks, Ed)
  • and, of course, Ed Brill

Your gift to me has been the basis for a new life. My gift to you will be what I do with that life. There's still a bit of cleaning up of the past to do, but it's starting to look like I won't just find another mess underneath.


Vitor Pereira said...

Sorry to hear about the dehydratation episode, glad you're OK now.

As to the 'best of times' part I'm sure you will make good use of it and I hope it does help you get your life back on track.

wild bill said...

I cant think of someone who deserves it more than you, Stan. Enjoy...

But hey - take care of yourself, yeah ?


Have a damn fine holiday season.

---* Bill

joelitton said...

Stan, I'm so glad that Ed shared his idea, and that you finally have a machine deserving of your talents. And especially glad to hear that, aside from the unfortunate dinner, you've emerged from hospital with the tank topped off, and feeling much better. Many thanks for all you've given over the years, and here's to many happy and healthy years to come!

Cheers :)
- Joe

Charles Robinson said...

Another Stan medical mystery. You could be the source of multiple episodes of Diagnosis X. :-)

You deserve this more than anyone else I can think of. The way you continue to contribute to the community in spite of your own problems is a continuous source of inspiration for me.

Kevin Pettitt said...


I'm sure I speak for many when I point out that the generosity displayed by our community on this occasion hardly compares to the benefits we have received from your generosity over the years. I've long since lost count of the number of times you've provided me the answers I needed to get something done and get on with life. I know the wall near my desk which would normally absorb a good deal of cranial impact appreciates your generosity too ;-).

So on behalf of both of us, and anyone else nodding their heads at this point, thank YOU and

Jess said...

Merry Christmas, Stan. It's sort of selfish, really - if we keep you connected, then you'll be there to hang with us "virtually" because we can't hang in person. :-)
So, thanks for being YOU.

John said...

Stan- this community of ours is an amazing gift we all get to share in. But with that, comes te other side where when one wishes to disappear into their own life, they are pulled back and offered help and support. Not a negative, but we can be stubborn.

I can not think of a better reward for all your efforts ... and the best thing you can give back is your continued time, patience, and ideas that you share with everyone in the forum. Continue that and we will all have gotten the best holiday gift back.

Enough sap. Drink lots of water. Enjoy.

Ed said...


I've made a big mistake -- I forgot one person in these e-mails!

Paul Mooney also contributed to this effort.

I'll go back to my day job now


Rob McDonagh said...

Stan, it's been said before, but every time I'm researching something on notes.net and I come across your name in the thread, I know I'll find useful information. And the odds are *really* good that I'll find your name in the search results. So whether the criteria is quantity or quality, your contributions are mind-boggling. Aside from Ed, who did all the hard work of organizing things, our contributions pale in comparison.

Enjoy your new laptop. No one deserves it more than you.

Henning aka Heini said...

Well, I wasn't aware that there was something going on otherwise for sure I would have joined the party.
Have a good 2008.

Anon said...

To a great new year and for future endeavors to be heard from you.
Would have helped the troupe for you if it was known. If you want anything from Lotusphere let me know :-)

Anon said...

Never understand why this posts me as Anon. Oh well the previous message was from me, Keith Brooks in South Florida.

Thomas "Duffbert" Duff said...

It was well-deserved, and probably brought us as much joy as it brought you. :)

gregg.eldred said...

Enjoy, Stan. :-)

Happy Holidays!

Ben Poole said...

Aye, well deserved and glad you like it! Keep well Stan.

Mac Guidera said...

All the best towards a New Year! Enjoy and thanks for everything.