Where has the year gone. Fall 2002 has been and gone. The last posts for Fall/autumn 2002 have been made and the sub-web is now officially closed for business. This is the archive version of the sub-web, so check out what the Burton's of Omaha did during Fall/Autumn of 2002.
As with previous years, here are the answers to our questions originally posed in late September 2002...
But, more than these questions will be answered (and I have no clue as to what other questions will be answered). So, here is the 2002 Fall/Autumn collection from the Burton's of Omaha....
October 7, 2002: Stephen's Hospital Visit
The throat and associated swallowing problems do not appear to be getting any better. In fact, they are getting worse (if that's possible). So, after three BOTOX injections in the last year, as well as loosing a Gall Bladder. not to mention umpteen visits to various doctor's, we could be seeing the end game in sight. The Webmaster is seeing two throat specialists today tomorrow [Tuesday, October 8, 2002]. These are supposed to be the big wigs in their fields. We think that the outcome will be that the lower muscles in the esophagus will be permanently "snipped". The danger of this a permanent exposure to acid reflux. But, acid reflux can be treated....with achelasia you can't event eat!!! So, will keep you "posted" on the results!!!
So, it looks like is going to be jack the knife again!!
As you all can see, the calendars posted today are not complete. That's because the webmaster is not going to commit until the outcome of the medical stuff is known.
October 12, 2002: Random Musings - Home
Yes I know, more house photos. But, we promised to put these up each season so you can all see how the weather changes around here. Besides, they're forecasting the first freeze for the season, so the webmaster thought we had to update our portfolio. Ok, the weather was beautiful and the webmaster was bored. Actually, we wanted you to see the house and gardens before the first hard freeze sets it. Once that happens, the color green disappears.
The rose bush has quite an interesting story. It was given to Lisa by a departing student last year in a standard small pot. Man has this puppy grown over the year!!!! It's now starting to take over our front porch!!!! It's going to be a shame to have to cut it back, but we will. The mail man and Fed-Ex don't like having to battle thorn bushes to get to the front door. In fact, there's county and city ordinances on the book against that sort of stuff.
The other thing was that our vegetable garden was fallow this year. Too much going on and not enough time to do it properly. hopefully, next year we'll be able to get back into it. Other than that, we only planted a few cedems this year, so there's not too much change in the garden. Finally, from what you can see, we also didn't get the outside of the house painted....same with the inside as well. Again, next year we'll do something!!!!
September 27 thru October 18 2002: Traveling:
Alas, after a one week break. which was wonderful [minus all the doctors visits] it was time to get back on the road. Unfortunately, the contract in Indianapolis has had to be shortened due to medical issues. Basically, the webmaster is going into hospital and won't be able to travel for quite a few weeks. Hopefully, the contract will restart at the end of November. But, we shall see.
Anyway, to finish up our "original series", started last August, regarding the wonders of flying, see below the on time nature of flights back to Omaha. Of course, all the flights from Omaha to Indianapolis were on time (except for the first one!!!)
As you can see...couple with the numbers from summer 2002, it's a 25% on-time arrival rate. No wonder United Airlines is going bankrupt. Actually, flying can be typified as:
But, hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
October 22 thru October 31, inclusive, 2002: Stephen's Hospital Visit
Now, I'm sure that you were all wondering what this hospital trip of the webmaster is/was. Well, the webmaster was admitted into Methodist Hospital on October 22, 2002 for a surgical procedure scheduled for October 23. This was followed up with a stay in an additional stay of 4-6 days in hospital after the procedure. You can tell when medical things are serious when insurance companies pre-approve a hospital stay of a week or more. Yikes!!!!!!
Anyway, before the webmaster went into hospital, his mother came out from Australia to make sure he survived and then stayed on the straight and narrow during the recovery period. The webmaster cannot express the thanks to his mother for making this long trip on such short notice [one week]. It was greatly appreciated. Sometimes things are not said that should be said, and the webmasters mother needs to know how much the sacrifice was appreciated and how beneficial her presence was. Anyway, on a lighter note, and one regular readers of this column should have come to expect, for you geographically challenged people, here is the route the webmaster's mother took to get to Omaha from Australia...buy an atlas!!!! My version of MapPoint 2002 does not include routes to and from Australia. Hey, call me a cheap skate and/or complain to Mr. Gates at Microsoft about the cost of MapPoint. That, and/or figure out how the webmaster's mother got here yourselves!!!
For those of you interested, here are a few photos taken before the webmaster's "time inside" began:
As you can see, we do actually have trees that change color here in Omaha. The only problem is that: (1) there aren't that many trees; and (2) if you blink, you'll miss whatever trees we do have changing color.
And so, having taken these photos, like the last supper the night before execution, it was off to the Methodist Hospital on October 21 for a "great new adventure".......
To sum up what happened, here is an email the webmaster sent prior to hospitalization to those folks interested in what was going on....
As you should all be able to tell from the fact that this "stuff" is being posted, the webmaster survived hospitalization as well as the actual procedure. He is now at home recuperating, and will be doing so for the next four (4) weeks. This time, we're not going to screw around with dates, etc. We're going to go on what the body and Doctor's say as to when the webmaster can travel and work again normally. Last time, i.e. when the webmaster had the Gall Bladder operation, he went back to work a week or two too early. Not this time. Basically, this little webmaster is planning on being at home until the end of November (unless, of course, someone bribes me with a great deal of money!!!!!!). So, until the webmaster is cleared for travel and work by all three (3) doctor's, he'll be working from home (that's where having a wireless network at home helps), watching TV and playing XBOX video games.
Anyway, the bottom line was as follows: After ten (10) days in hospital, the procedure appears to have been a complete . The webmaster appears to be able to eat normally again and, in fact, has gained some 10 lbs in just the last week. Thus far, the webmaster has been able to eat anything and everything without any problems. So, I guess, we'll will have to start worrying about putting on too much weight reasonably soon....now, that will be a first in three years.
So, with the exception of follow up visits to three (3) doctors before Thanksgiving, this webmaster is over and done with doctors and the medical profession for 2002. Well, that's the story for now and I'm sticking to it!!!! Besides, they've taken enough money from us for this year. Not only money, but they've taken enough blood sample for us to make our own B grade horror film!!! The same goes with X-Ray's...talk about "wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more"!!! Unless it's earth shatteringly urgent and/or life threatening, anything else will have to wait until next year.
After all is said and done, a huge thank you is deserved by the following people: the webmasters mother for coming all the way from Australia to be here during this "interesting period", the gentleman [and we use that term most loosely] who drove said [he knows who he is...thanks buddy...we owe you one!!!] mother to the hospital each day, the folks that sent flowers, visited in hospital, called and left goofy phone messages, sent cards and emails, Thankyou you all from the bottom of our heart. Without you all, the time in hospital would have been all much more difficult to survive. So, to each and every one of you: THANKS!!!
Finally, there is no amount of thanks that can be expressed to Lisa. Without her, the webmaster's life would not be what it is.
So, the webmaster has lived up to the only new years resolution he made: to get all things medical either fixed or catoragized. Categorized is an understatement!!! But, thus far, mission accomplished. Having survived that, it's now time to return to the rest of the normal, real world. And so, on to Halloween...
October 31, 2002 ...its immediate aftermath and consequences....
Unfortunately, we didn't do too much on Halloween night. This was because the webmaster was in the middle of being discharged from "the joint", aka, hospital. We didn't get home until 7pm, by which time most of the trick or treaters were long gone. We had about twelve (12) groups of the little terrors come a knocking at our door. Hey, I'm not complaining...more candy left over for Lisa and I. Mind you, you have to act fast to get the good candy before Lisa gets to it!!!! And, man, can she move when it comes to candy!!!!. Anyway, throughout the entire evening, the webmasters mother sat watching this entire event with a sense and look of bemusement...actually, it was more a look of "what the heck is going on" and something like "crazy Americans...only in America!!!" All in all, though, the webmaster thought it was an excellent evening....just to be home again after the best part of two weeks in the "slammer". The other upside of the evening was that the webmaster actually got to have again for the first time in three (3) years. Yup, first time in three years...even prisoners get better deals!!!!
This would have been the end of this years Halloween, except for the fact that Lisa complained that I had an unfair advantage in the costume department compared to the little kids coming to the door. Hey, there's may have taken hours to prepare, but, heck, mine took a weeks stay in Hospital to prepare. So, to the little trick or treaters I may have offended and/or scared...tough!!! Get sick and go to hospital like the webmaster!!!!
So, having missed Halloween, it was time to prepare for Lisa's parents to arrive for the weekend. They arrived Friday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon. We had an extremely pleasant time with them, given that one member of the party had just escaped from "the joint" and was a "bit" banged up. We spent a very pleasant evening at one of the webmasters most favorite restaurants, namely Charlie's by the Lake. It was there that the full scope of the success of the previously discussed surgery became apparent. Mind you, it may have been nicer with a glass of wine but, for obvious reasons, this was absolutely prohibited under pain of death and excommunication by Lisa.
On Saturday, Lisa's folks very kindly did the last of the yard work outside as the webmaster was in no condition to perform such functions for at least another 3-4 weeks [during recuperation period, the webmaster cannot lift more than 10 lbs]...by which time, who knows what the weather would have been doing. Then, it was off to the mall. After the mall, we had a wonderful meal at Donia's Restaurant....which all of us would thoroughly recommend. Mind you, the fact that it was nice and quiet was a double bonus...the reason for the restaurant being quiet was a Huskers game against Texas...which Nebraska subsequently lost. Anyway, in Omaha, everything that is not a bar and not showing football is dead quiet, especially restaurants, when the huskers are playing. So, guess when then best time to go to a restaurant in Omaha is......yup, ya don't have to be Einstein to figure this one out.
Alas, as with everything, Lisa's folks had to return to Sterling, IL, on Sunday afternoon. But, not without having going to yet another restaurant with the webmaster. This was the third in three days and constituted the most the webmaster had eaten in probably three years. It was greatly appreciated that Lisa's folks came all the way from Sterling, IL, to Omaha to visit with the "slightly" wounded webmaster [understatement] and his mother. It's a 5-6 hour drive each way across some rather boring territory [Iowa] with a lot of semi traffic. So, the fact that they made such a long trip [350 miles each way] for such a short amount of time was greatly appreciated. Besides, Lisa's mom Lynne was on a mission of mercy....she was hand delivering a batch of her famous soups to help speed the webmaster's recuperation....mushroom, tomato and chicken and Rice soups. Mmm are they good. Again, you don't have to be Einstein to figure out what the webmaster will be having for lunch over the next four weeks!!!! Now, as for the soups, if anyone else tries to touch them, then they'll be answering to an omnivorous webmaster....
For those of you down under, and those others less geographically advanced here in the USA, the trip from Sterling, IL, to Omaha, NE, is shown in detail in the map below. Simply click on it to see the full size. Also, for those of you interested in Omaha geography, the locations of the three restaurants are as shown in the other map....so, there should be something for everyone!!!
Finally, no "Burton" related trip and/or outing would be complete without a small number of party photos...so, here they are:
Again, many thanks to the Thuente clan from Sterling for doing the last of the yard work. Hopefully, everything will come back nice and green (and colorful) next year. Maybe all the crap that's gone on over the last few months is a good omen for next year. Who knows....but, you always have to be positive!!!!! And, on that note, Halloween 2002 and it's immediate aftermath has been and gone. And so, for yet another year farewell to Halloween. And now, it's on to the next event of the season....
November 5, 2002: Election Day:
Yep, it was that time of year again. Every year, on the first Tuesday in November, it's Election Day, where everybody from the sheriff, through senator and congressman, through to town mayor gets elected. And yes, it gets even more confusing when it's a "mid-term" election, when only half of congress and the above folks are open for reelection. It gets quite confusing. As voting is not compulsory, voter turn out can range from 70% [extremely rare] down through 30-40% [a common result]. Attempting to explain this to a foreigner is extremely difficult...especially when most of the locals don't really understand how it all works anyway. And, as usual, it's the folks that didn't vote that spend the next two years complaining about the government. Personally, to me, if you don't vote, then you forfeit the right to complain about anything the government does.
Anyway, this year Election Day was held on November 5. The outcome of the election decided control of both houses of congress. Without getting on my high horse, unfortunately, the GOP [Republicans] increased their control on the house and regained control of the senate. Now we have two years of ultra conservative government. Then, hopefully, we can vote the idiots out and put the democrats back it. From an outsiders perspective, the entire election was won by the republicans on the issue of war with Iraq...forget the fact the Bush and Co. have wrecked the economy and the fact that we're now in debt again!!!!. But, I guess oil is more important that economics.
As only one of the Omaha Burton's is eligible to vote, the day went quite smoothly. However, the evening was incredibly boring...400 channels of cable showing the same thing!!!
On a different tack....on the first Tuesday in November in Melbourne, Australia, they run a horse race called "The Melbourne Cup". Personally, I think the outcome of the horse race was far more interesting....appropriately, the winner this year a horse called Media Puzzle won. Maybe the horses knew how our elections were going to go after all!!! Personally, my money is on the horses!!!
November 7, 2002
And so fellow travelers...after following the trials and tribulations of the Burton house in Omaha over the last few months, we're sure that ya'all just waiting to hear what we did for the webmasters birthday. Well, the answer to that my friends is not too much. For obvious reasons [see above prior postings], one of the Omaha clan was not in any medical shape to go and "paint the town red" and/or "party like there's no tomorrow". So, instead, we went to another of our favorite Italian restaurants, this time Vincenzo's on 144th and Blondo. While 2/3 of the party was able to partake in some "restorative cordials", the webmaster maintained the "alcohol" free zone. Actually, if the truth be known, the webmaster is kind of getting used to this. Eh gads, actually healthy living.....
Anyway, after Vincenzo's, we were off to a new Wine Bar, Prestige's, on 158th and Maple. It's a very up market place...a welcome addition to the night life in western Omaha. Anyway, after an extremely pleasant evening, it was time to head back to the "ranch". Hey kids, it was a school night and at least one of us had to go to school the next day and another party member had just about exhausted their "awake" time. All this left the third party member, ironically the one that traveled the furthest, sitting around saying "what a bunch of wimps!!!!" All I can say is that they don't make us young folks like the way they used to.
But, that was the webmasters birthday....a very pleasant evening was had by all [I think]. And so, here are the "party picks" from the evening...actually, some of them were taken on 11/8, but, the places and faces are the same!!!! Also, finally, many thanks to the folks at FNMS in Indianapolis for the balloons and candy. The balloon collection was HUGE!!!
As you all can see and attest for yourselves, the webmaster is still alive and well!!!!
And, that's it for birthday's at the Burton's in Omaha....stick around for the next fun filled, action packed adventure!!!!!
November 26, 2002: Almanac Entry
This for you weather buffs...we had our first measurable snow on 11/27. We woke to a "lovely" cover of 2" of the white stuff. Luckily, only one of us had to actually venture outside first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, Lisa had to brave the elements to get to work, while the other member of the clan didn't have to venture out until 11:30am, and this was to a more civilized luncheon meeting. Actually, it's what we here call a "Pool with a Brew" event. Even though the webmaster could not take part in an alcoholic brew; let alone play pool, someone had to tag along to keep the two other players honest. Also, someone had to laugh at them.
And so, just to prove that we had snow, here are the party shots of the event....
So, while Lisa was forced to toil at work, Stephen and the usual band of misfits headed down to the Fox and Hound for a lunch and, for two of the three, a couple of games of pool and a few restorative cordials!!!!
Unfortunately, while Stephen was enjoying pool, Lisa had to battle Omaha traffic. For some reason, the idiots here seem to forget how to drive in snow after the first snow fall. They're all fools. The number of accidents and cars in ditches was phenomenal. One of these days/years, the people in Omaha will actually remember how to drive after the first snow!!!
And so, having survived the first snow in Omaha, it's time to get ready for our next most exciting adventure...hopefully, gobblers day!!!
November 28, 2002
Ahh...gobblers day. This is the day NOT to be a turkey of the feathered variety. We here in Omaha spent a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. Lisa's folks again made the trek across Illinois and Iowa to spend Thanksgiving here in Omaha. Man, that's the same trip in less than three (3) weeks. I guess this definitely means that we'll be spending Christmas in Sterling, IL.
And so for Thanksgiving...we did the obligatory house cleaning before the folks arrived, just to show that we can occasionally have a clean, neat house. But, don't think that it's a permanent fixture...the house will be back to normal by the end of the week.
So, for Thanksgiving, we had the usual fixing's such as Turkey. Unfortunately, no photo evidence of this has survived. The Turkey "got cooked then 'et". No chance to get it on film (or digital image). So, you will just have to take the webmasters advice: that Lisa did an absolutely outstanding job in preparing the vitals. After the traditional lunch/brunch/dinner, it was time to of course tidy up and watch the second NFL game...this time, Dallas versus Pittsburgh. Of course, because of his war injuries, the webmaster had to do the latter. I mean, we wouldn't want to over do things would we!!!!
Yes, I know. I can hear the complaints about laziness, etc. But, heck the webmaster spent all of Wednesday working around the house and someone had to be free to take the "party pictures". Man, it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
So, having all gained about 10lbs because of lunch, it was time to rest and play some Euchre...but, the only thing the webmaster will say about that is that the boys really got their butts kicked that night. The girls killed up 15-3 in all fur games played. But, there is always the next night for revenge!!!!
After Thanksgiving, it was the "traditional" visit to the mall...sheeze!!!! This is not something to be attempted by the faint heated. Talk about chaos!!!! Personally, Lisa and I could have either done without the whole thing and/or done the whole mall things within an hour. But, because we are talking about "tradition" now, this had to be spread out over two (2) days. Yes boys and girls, two entire days at the mall. But, on the brighter side of things, Slim and the webmaster managed to avoid having to go to the mall on Saturday afternoon...instead, we stayed at home and watched College Football, while Lisa and Lynne battled the Mall crowds. We're not quite sure what we did to deserve this, but we sure as heck enjoyed it!!!! Mind you, we can't remember who exactly was playing...but the score was 48-0.
And so, after surviving the malls on Friday and Saturday, it was time to relax downtown in the old market area. We went to a wonderful Italian restaurant, Vivace's. I think we would all recommend it strongly...although, it is a bit on the pricey side of things. After a delicious meal, we then toured the "Omaha Christmas Lights", which was quite impressive. This is the third year they have done this, and it is only getting better as the years go on. Unfortunately, while we meant to take some photos of the event, none of the shots turned out, They were all blurry and unusable. I guess the webmaster needs to spend more time practicing how to take "night shots". Maybe next year. I will also admit that we all whimped out on the "tour" part of the lights....instead or walking, we decided to drive the three miles instead!!! Hey, it was too cold to walk that distance!!!!
Alas, as quickly as Thanksgiving had arrived, it was over. Slim and Lynne left for Sterling on Sunday morning to try and avoid some of the other 33million Americans trying to do the same thing...leave early to avoid the rush. Luckily, they made it back home without any problems. It was great seeing them, and both Lisa and the webmaster truly appreciated the time and distance they traveled to be in Omaha with us. It was truly appreciated.
By the way, for those of you interested, the girls [Lisa and Lynne] truly kicked butts at cards. They won two out of the three nights we played. Slim and the webmaster promise to try and do better next year...and that's a promise!!!!
Finally, on an interesting point, courtesy of Slim and Lynne, the Omaha Burton's now have a new light/fan fixture in our kitchen...more than one light now works and the fan no longer sounds like something out of the film Apocalypse Now. Mind you, the lights are a bit bright in comparison.....
And so, on that thrilling note, Thanksgiving 2002 drew to a close. Check back here for the rest of our Fall 2002 activities.
December 2002: Christmas Parties
Well, with the passing of Thanksgiving, it's now officially the start of the annual silly season. Basically, you can forget about getting anything done work wise. So, it's time to party....
This years party schedule was slightly reduced over last years. For some unknown reason, the webmaster was not invited to this years party at his former employer's. Can't understand why....Luckily, Lisa had a couple of parties we could go to!!!!
Catching Up with Old Friends: Friday, December 6, 2002. This was the start of our festivities...catching up with an old friend who we hadn't seen in close to two years [if not longer].
It was a very memorable evening.
Omaha Hearing School: Sunday, December 8, 2002. Scott Conference Center, UNO. This was our fourth (4) consecutive Omaha Hearing School Christmas party. This year, they changed the venue to the Scott Conference Center at UNO (University of Nebraska at Omaha). While the venue may have changed from last year, the format for the evening remained pretty much the same. Prior to a sit down meal, OHS held a "silent auction" to raise money for the school. Unlike previous years, Lisa and I didn't buy anything from the silent auction...our single purchase for the night came later during the evening!!!
And so, without further ado, here are the photo's for the evening:
After the sit down meal and the silent auction, is was time for the "not so silent auctions". Some lunatic from Iowa [Des Moines] was brought in to auction off several special large "value" items. Now, normally, Lisa and I do not take part in such auctions. Unfortunately, this year, Lisa made the opening bid on a weekend's sailing trip up to Yankton in South Dakota. This was the only bid received for the trip. So, Lisa and I get to take a two day sailing trip in Yankton South Dakota [Lewis and Clarke]. For those of you interested, here is a map of where Yankton, South Dakota, actually is.
All the webmaster can say is: (1) Lisa is never allowed to " bid" at auctions; (2) it's a hell of a long way to go to go sailing!!! But, at least we have a year to redeem the trip....we don't have to contemplate doing the trip in winter!!!! Obviously, we'll post the results of our trip when we venture north to South Dakota in 2003...
Western Hills School Christmas Party: Friday, December 13, 2002. This was our first Christmas function with these folks. Lisa transferred there at the beginning of the last school year [i.e., in August of 2002]. This was a very pleasant evening...Lisa works with a nice group of folks who are very social and friendly. Here are the photos from a very pleasant evening...
And so, that was the Christmas party season for 2002. Now, it's time for Christmas 2002...Follow this link to see what we did for Christmas 2002.
December 21, 2002: End of Fall/Autumn:
This will be the last posting for the season 2002. Fall/Autumn officially ended at 8:40pm EDT on Saturday December 21, 2002. Winter 2003 has officially started. Overall, it was a pretty typical fall...dropping temperatures and cold wind chills. Not too much snow either...only some 5" of the white stuff for the entire season.
And, now, without further ado, here are the season statistics
Finally, the average high and lows for Fall/Autumn 2002
For those of you that are really interested in the weather, here is the daily, maximum and minimum, temperatures for Omaha over Fall/Autumn 2002.
This should keep you "weather nuts" happy for a while. Remember, people from down under, all temperatures are in ºF.
So, that's pretty much been our Fall/Autumn 2002. Alas therefore, this will probably be the last update for season 2002 (unless we remember something really fantastic that happened!!!). Hope you've all had as much fun watching this season unfold as much as we have. In case you haven't guessed, the next Fall/Autumn posting will be in late September 2003...see ya'all back then. Enjoy the rest of the year. Yo'all come back, ya hear!!!!!
Follow this link to see our Winter 2003 activities.....
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