Monthly Archives: October 2013

10 things I did that you have probably not done

This was inspired by a post from John Scalzi (, who listed 10 interesting and unusual incidents from his life, and invited his readers to do the same. Here is my list:

* Rode on an ancient helicopter full of Marines, careening wildly at tree-top level.
* Recovered the corpse of a man who had drowned… four days prior. You wouldn’t believe the colors unless you saw it yourself.
* Broke my wrist playing cornerback in an American football game, then played the rest of the game.
* Watched in horror as my eight-year-old daughter accosted Steve Jobs on the show floor of MacWorld. (I was an Apple employee at the time.)
* Stayed in a house whose original timbers were laid in 1370. (It was my grandparents’ home in Sweden.)
* Wrote a program for the original Macintosh that sold eight copies.
* Carried buckets of water from the stream behind our house so we could use the bathroom. (The power was out to the well.)
* Did a voiceover appearance as Dan Rather reporting on a protest involving a giant condom stretched over the rotunda of a state capitol. (I still remember the phrase ‘enormous prophylactic’.)
* Had a recruiter call me to ask if I knew anything about Apple Help, and I replied that I wrote the book. (I did, too.)
* Had a cooling hose blow out in my car as I traveled down US 101 in California. I watched the cloud of steam streaming from under the hood as the temp climbed on the gauge. I pulled over, waited for the steam to dissipate, said “Please, Lord, let me get home.” Whereupon the temp immediately dropped back into the normal range and I was able to drive the three miles home without mishap or apparent damage to the car. (Yes, I replaced the hose and refilled the coolant.)


9 days late but worth the wait


Please welcome my newest granddaughter, Sophie Lynn Troll, born yesterday in Santa Maria, California. She arrived at a healthy seven pounds, nine ounces, and twenty inches long. Showing that she shares her mother’s firmness of purpose, she refused to appear simply because some doctor set an arbitrary date; she was eventually convinced that we really wanted to meet her, however. Once with us, she also showed that she shares her mother’s sweet nature and startling good looks.

Swedish custom demands that I point out that her last name is Norwegian, which just goes to show that no one is perfect. :^) She is a marvelous gift and we thank the Lord that she and her mother are both doing very well. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I got a good night’s sleep for the first time in days. Huzzay!

A brief observation while riding on the 12 bus

There are some obvious benefits to taking public transit, as well as drawbacks. I could do without the shouters and the crazy monologues, for instance; if I was driving, I could just turn off talk radio. But last night, I saw a new chapter in a story I would not have known about if I was isolated in a car.

The last leg of my morning commute is the 12 bus from Tigard Transit Center. One of the stops on Barbur Blvd. usually brings us a handful of students on their way to Wilson High School. Last school year I got used to seeing the same faces and hearing their chatter as they boarded. When school started up last month, I noticed one of the regulars was not among them. This youngster was an energetic dark-haired girl who liked to sit with one of the other girls and gossip giddily. When the students returned from last winter break, I saw her downcast face and teased her about it, which made her smile for a second. Anyway, I figured she must have graduated and didn’t think any more of it.

I saw her last night as I took the 12 on my way home, but I hardly recognized her. She was dressed as though she was coming home from a job where clothes are important. Her complexion was cleared up and her hair was well-styled. She carried herself differently, too. In short, she looked a lot more like a young woman now. The changes made me smile, and (not for the first time) I was glad that I get to ride the 12.