Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Megan -- 4th grade

Here is Megan's school picture for this year. I have the copyright on CD so we have all right to print them as desired ... The only advantage this picture has is that she looks like a 4th grader (those of you that have had a sneak peek at our family pictures know what I'm referring to).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is It Just Me, Or Is This Pond Getting Smaller?

Have you ever seen the cartoon with a bunch of fish in a row, each bigger than the last, each with its mouth wide open to swallow up the fish in front of it? That's kind of what life feels like right now. On Monday October 8th, Business Objects (the large company I work for) and SAP (a much larger company) announced an agreement for SAP to purchase Business Objects for 4.8 billion Euros.

Yes, billion. That's around $6.2 billion at the current exchange rate.

Of course it all happened when I was home sick. Instead of spending that Monday in bed, I got to call in to meetings and try to stay awake between them so I wouldn't miss one. (I spent much of Tuesday the 9th in bed instead.)

This will take a lot of time and many steps to complete, so it won't be final for several months. There are regulatory hurdles to clear in several countries before all is said and done. I've never been part of a publicly traded company before, so all of this is new to me. It's kind of exciting in a way. As a Bobj stockholder (through the employee purchase plan), I should be getting an offer to purchase my shares at the agreed price. SAP is actually planning to run Bobj as an independent entity, retaining our own branding and such. So sometime next year I'll probably be working for "Business Objects, an SAP company."

It's always possible that another company could come along and offer more per share than SAP, in effect attempting a hostile takeover. The list of companies in a position to pony up over $6 billion in cash is short: Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and--maybe--one or two others. I'll worry about that when someone tells me I should worry about it. In fact, I'm not really worried too much about any of this. I don't expect my job to change much for a while, if at all--they've been taking more pains than usual to state that they don't anticipate any layoffs. I know that one should never blindly accept the corporate rhetoric that gets spewed on these occasions, but at this point, no one I know is getting any bad vibes. Que sera sera.

Tami is going through takeover woes herself, from the back side. ECII, the company that bought La Crosse Management Systems, promised a lot but hasn't delivered much of anything to date. Now that she's become invaluable to LMS, Tami presented a proposal for becoming a full-time, salaried employee, instead of hourly. I think her boss, the former co-owner of LMS, would have accepted long ago. But it's not up to him anymore, and ECII is being maddeningly slow to do anything with it. All Tami can do is wait. LMS was understaffed when purchased, and it has gotten worse since, and the frustration level is mounting. Everyone hopes ECII will recognize this and do something about it before it's too late, but so far they seem oblivious.

It doesn't seem to matter which fish you are, the situation's the same. The only difference is how big the pond seems to be. I wonder if there are any other ponds out there?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Grandma and Grandpa Brooks are here!

Originally uploaded by Tami of BrooksGroth

Nessa (and the rest of us) are enjoying time with Grandma and Grandpa Brooks. They arrived this evening and I couldn't resist capturing this sweet moment of Grandma reading to Nessa (Grandpa has Nessa's firefighter hat on).

We'll be busy enjoying our time this weekend ...


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Walk to Remember planned for this Saturday Oct 13 in La Crosse

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (, and near that date a walk to remember is planned in many areas, including in La Crosse. I have attended many years since Emily's birth/death, but was unable to make it the last couple of years. Both Shawn and I plan to attend this Saturday.

Here is the information from the news release on the Gundersen website:

A Walk to Remember is a national event dedicated to the more than 700,000 babies who die each year through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death. The event recognizes families for their strength and raises public awareness about perinatal loss.The walk is Saturday, Oct. 13 beginning at 1 p.m. It will commence from the main shelter in Myrick Park in La Crosse. This event is free and open to parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family and friends whose lives have been touched by the death of a baby. The public is also invited to help support the bereaved families. A brief program will kick off the event. After the walk there will be refreshments and family activities.

And below is one of the readings that will be done during the short program held before the walk (I have the program ahead of time because I'm on the committee). I haven't decided if I'll volunteer to read anything this year yet or not, but this particular reading is really speaking to me today.

“Life is Like a Butterfly” by Geraldine Reeves

Life is like a butterfly.
Softly, softly…
One never knows why…
It touches your cheek, then says, “goodbye.”

Fragile and sweet, like blooming flowers
Life’s loves and trials last only the hours
That they touch your heart, then say “goodbye”
Life is like a butterfly.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

last week -- not such a great day

oh geez, I was so tempted to put "the good, bad and the ugly" or some such. Doesn't this look like a toddler mug picture? I'm so afraid of what somebody would think just seeing this. For the record she was at the doctor the day before this was taken (doctor last Tuesday 10/2; picture Wed. morning) because obviously (!) something was wrong.

Nessa woke up with a swollen eye Tuesday morning but not as swollen as in these pictures so we made an apt. for that afternoon with our regular family doctor. After nap time it was nearly swollen shut! Apparently eye infections can move really fast. It was diagnosed as an infection in the outer part of her eye (she had no other symptoms other than the swelling) and after a shot of antibiotics we were sent home to and told to keep a close eye on it in case it would get worse and go deeper into her eye. Thankfully it got better quickly!

I asked Shawn to take the picture Wednesday morning in the spirit of fully documenting childhood -- even the (thankfully few and brief) illnesses and not so great times. The picture looks even worse because now when Nessa tries to smile for the camera it pretty much comes out as a grimace and like she's clenching her teeth. Put that together with here eye and this is the result.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Of A Gander, Really, But...

Nessa: Dad-dy?
Shawn: Yes?
Nessa (big smile): You're a silly goose!

I'm not sure what I did to get that comment during breakfast this morning. Nessa hears Megan and I both call her that (very affectionately) on occasion, so it wasn't a total surprise to hear it come out of her mouth.

Given that there are many worse things to be in life than silly, I'll take it as a compliment, especially when it comes with such a huge smile!

Monday, October 01, 2007


"Please I can have some more monster gorilla cheese?" - Nessa, asking for more mozzerella cheese at lunch yesterday. (That's not a typo--"Please I can have" is her usual phrase after we remind her that she needs to say please when she asks for something.)

"I want to watch football with Daddy." - Nessa, stalling to avoid going to bed Sunday night. I think it came from spending time with me watching the Wisconsin/Michigan State game Saturday. I was watching it while lying on our bed, and Nessa was on the bed with me for a while.

That's My Girl!

Yesterday, when I was helping Nessa change clothes after church, I sent her into her room to pick out a shirt. Lo and behold, she came back with her brand new Minnesota Vikings t-shirt, which I purchased for her only a couple of weeks ago. How appropriate for Vikings-Packers Sunday! As she was putting it on we had a little refresher course on "Go Vikes!" I'm not sure she understands what it means, but she says it with verve and authority. Sadly, her enthusiasm did not help the final outcome, but such is life.