are in order for Loren, who received a trophy after completing his first basketball season, with the Knights, coached by Sally & Bill (may they forgive my forgetfulness of their last names). it was an occasion to get together with his teammates away from the court, their postseason party at Alfy's in Granite Falls this evening. overall, though losing a resounding majority of their games, the team played competitively, with Loren predominantly holding his own on the floor with teammates generally more experienced than he. i'm very proud of him- for the effort he always showed during games, and for showing up for practice and the effort he showed there. his competitiveness and drive weren't always readily apparent during practices, but there were certain times he focused and motivated himself, and pushed beyond his own perceived limitations. sometimes there's a look in eyes like a clenched fist, that says, "I will not fail," and very often he succeeds. seeing him sink a basket, look right at me from the basketball floor and clench his fist in the air in satisfaction, or beat a teammate down the floor in a race for a starting position, or focus his attention on defending his spot on the floor against multiple offensive players, or launch into a crowd of taller players to rebound the ball, is, for just a moment, witnessing a man's heart beating in a boy's body. for those things and others, i hope he feels the pride in himself he's earned.

expecting to be paid today, i told Loren's mother i'd catch up on back child support (last month and the present one). computer problems or something of that nature prevented getting paid today, so for the second month running i'll be forced to pay my mortgage payment through an online bill paying service which costs extra. annoying, but unavoidable. since the house payment is going to squeak in just in time anyway, it might as well wait for the paycheck, so i paid up the child support instead. only a couple more bills to catch up on before i officially break the surface of the water. here's hoping my air holds out until then. so far, things are going (are you ready for it?) swimmingly. (groan at will).

got some good pictures of Chowder and of Steve when he was here; they should be added to the online photo album soon- apparently the timekeeping programming in my camera is not good enough to compensate for the transition from Daylight Savings to Standard time, so i'm forced to adjust the file information manually. always more minutiae. or is that mundania?

still haven't achieved the motivation to make yet another attempt to install my printer drivers. i've never had a problem before, but this time nothing seems to be able to make the computer sense the printer exists- and of course the printer/imaging device driver install routine chokes and quits. i've said it before and i'll say it again: Hewlett Packard: great hardware, terrible software. what a shame.

watched "The Last Samurai" this evening. it was an entertaining but somewhat too lengthy film starring Tom Cruise as an American Civil War / Indian conflict veteran who's hired by the Japanese gov't to train their army in modern warfare, by which process modern factions in the Emperor's council hope to eliminate the Samurai, who oppose the modernization of the country. i've heard it reviewed as Cruise's "Dances With Wolves", a surprisingly fitting summation. it had its ups and downs, and many well choreographed fight scenes, but the actor who played opposite Cruise as a noble Samurai who, impressed by his fighting spirit, first captures Cruise's Nathan Algren character, then befriends him, easily stole the show. it's a good film, but not a great one.

ok it's much too late and time to get some sleep before work tomorrow.

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