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Dear Paul, Melanie, Roice, Bridget, Rob, Ben and Sarah, and Sara,

cc: file, Grandma Hafen via Tony Hafen, Pauline Nelson via mail, Sara and Des Penny, Claude and Katherine Warner, Lloyd and Luana Warner. Diane Cluff, Andrea Nielson, and Heather and Nate Pace

Welcome to "Thoughtlets." This is a weekly review of an idea, belief, thought, or words that will hopefully be of some benefit to you, my children, with an electronic copy to on-line extended family members. Any of you can ask me not to clutter your mail box at any time.

"Despite the normal bumps that come with living and loving and the reactions of others to my choices, this last week has been wonderful for me. Concerning my talk on Monday in San Antonio at the AAPG, I wrote last week `I predict it will become the most widely know presentations I have ever given, because it describes a fundamental shift in the way maps are used by our society.' So far my prediction is dead wrong. Oh well! Sometimes we can trust our own stuff too much.

Don't get me wrong, the presentation went OK. It was in River B, kind of out of the main flow of the AAPG, and in a catch-all GIS session (Geographical Information Systems) which included topics as varied as aeromagnetics, physics forces driving global plate movement, integrating multiple databases, and new types of satellite imagery. I was tired and slept through the speakers breakfast. When I walked up to the Session Chairman just before the first talk and introduced myself he seemed very relieved and said `I trusted you would be here.'

A positive part of the presentation was a bunch of my friends came in and listened. There were actually more attendees at my talk than any other talk in the morning session. And there were no questions, which to me means (1) the words completely passed by the audience, (2) the presentation was way too simplistic and the material was just plain obvious, or (3) the concepts are so new attendees need time to think about the signifigance before it sinks in. One guy from Saudi Aramco did come up and talk to me for about a half an hour after the presentation following mine (which had 15 questions from the floor). I do take his interest and comments as a customer statement I am not completely out in left field. You kids will be able to check out the presentation on the web, once it is posted, and I look forward to your comments and reactions. I trust they will be candid and insightful.

The AAPG Convention in San Antonio was a lot of fun. Continuum did not have a booth, and so the five or six of us there were walking around the exhibition floor and talking to friends, potential partners, and clients. There was not a lot of new technology. The presentations seemed old hat. There are some real `buckle down and work' activities going on. The discussions which got me most excited were with Arthur Anderson about the Knowledge Backbone (sm). I expect great business opportunities to come from this. It is getting easier for me to admit to my friends I am divorced, and particularly because I can tell them about Andrea. It is wonderful to have friends to trust with feelings, and to see and feel their caring concern. There is no blame and everyone knows it takes two.

There were three really fine meals on the San Antonio River Walk. Sunday evening Gary Crouse and I had dinner with the GBRN principals. Dr. Larry Cathles of Cornell University is a true gem. He is doing some really exciting science on fluid movement, and expects everyone to be as excited about the results as he is. He has a new house on the lake, and invited Andrea and I to come and stay in the guest room any time we can get up there. It is nice to be trusted. Monday evening Roger Anderson, Mike Forrest, Gary Crouse, and I had a formal dinner in an Italian restaurant. The conversation was the Evolver and the meetings we have been having in Seattle. Roger has put complete trust in my recommendations as to how to proceed, and it is exciting to see the successes start to come together. Tuesday the University of Houston visualization center Kitchen Kabinet had a planning lunch. There were two executives from SGI, Gary Crouse, the President of POSC (Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation), and myself. Scott Bartlett, one of the SGI executives is a member of the church, used to work with me at Landmark, and we often go to the temple together when we go to conventions where there is a temple. It was a fun lunch, with big plans. We agreed to recommend names for the Public Board for the proposed center, including Daniel Yergen author of `The Prize.' In each case the result of the discussions over a meal have the potential of significant technical and economic impact, in addition to being a lot of fun. In each case, there will be no progress without an ongoing feeling of trust between the participants. Living life requires trust.

Tuesday evening I rode back to Houston with one of two new salesman / product development managers for Continuum. It was great to learn about him, particularly because another friend had once told me he did not trust this individual. Later my friend qualified his comment and said he was reacting to some specific business decisions. I was particularly struck by a comment the salesman made as he described recently filing for divorce and having the divorce finalized. They have a nine year old daughter, and my new friend commented about how much money his wife had received, how she would not need to work for the next three years, and how he hopes to make enough money to continue to support her because `she is the mother of my daughter.' I like the attitude and the intention. I have similar intentions and trust I will be able to complete the implementation. The conversation and a bump on the e-mail did get me thinking about trust and Marti. I recalled a song I wrote on February 17th last year titled `Open My Eyes Please,' and particularly these words:

C3: Help me be who I can be Love me when on bended knee Let my heart find a true key V3: I'm divorced and don't know why Knowing my mistakes and knowing hers Doesn't make me not want to try And it doesn't make up for all the lost years C4: Let my heart find a true key Show me truth so I'll be free Love me when on bended knee

It is true I do not trust Marti. It is true one of the dynamics of our relationship, which evolved over the last decade, is I would question and strive too hard to get straight answers to my questions, and this would only upset her. The questions and the grilling were in response to losing trust. In thinking about perceptions, I understand how some of you kids can replay these `discussions' as the only interaction your Mom and I had. I am sorry if you did not experience, or see, or if you do not even agree my efforts to show your Mom how much I love her had any validity. They did, and I hope someday the validity of these efforts will be recognized. I recognize this may not happen until the Judgement Day.

My comment last week about the teaching of the brethern that `the best thing one can do for your children is love their mother' was simply meant as a second witness of the truthfullness of this statement. I do tend to do things out of a sense of duty, and this `sense of duty' does not invalidate my love for Marti. Even her on-going rejection of herself as well as of my love does not invalidate the fact I love her and I always will. Specifically I will always love her as the mother of my children. It is true we will not be lovers again, and that's what she wants, and I've accepted the fact that's OK. It is possible to love and not trust, which is the position I have found myself in the last decade. It is also possible to trust and not love, which is where your Mom has been for several years. Whose fault is it? I'd like to get to where we all have `no fault relationships,' that we all learn to trust we are all just doing the best we can. In the meantime I continue to take the responsibility for the failure, and I have never intentionally tried to self-justify or pass off blame for the failure of my marriage to your Mother.

On Wednesday, when I took Rob out to dinner before Young Men's, he mentioned in passing your Mom has been spending a lot of time in bed. It sounds to me like she is depressed again. I wish there is something I could do to help her, and realize this is no longer possible. However, you kids can do something for her. She does love you, and she needs to hear and read how much you love her and appreciate all she has done for you. I encourage each of you to send her an e-mail, to call her, and to help her see what a wonderful talented person she is. Marti trusts you, her children, implicitly, and I believe you can help pull her through this depressive `valley of the shadow of death' which overwhelms her mind at times. Yes, I have made a lot of mistakes. Yes, I have real and valid responsibility for the divorce. I have never intended to deny or pass on all blame for my mistakes to anyone else, particularly your Mom. My words in these Thoughtlets may be my judge and jury on this fact, and if passing blame is what is being interpreted from what I have written I am truly sorry. I have done the best I can with the emotional and mental tools I have. I hope someday you can each love me, trust me, come to me, and let me be of help to you, despite my shortcomings and my failures.

Thursday and Friday was finally the Gulf Coast SEG Spring Symposium. It really turned out great. We did not have as many attend as we had planned and hoped for. Those who did attend were well rewarded for their time. The lectures on Thursday were great. The tour on Friday was extremely well received. I had trust the event would go well. However, when I visited Continuum's new office at 11,700 Old Katy Road, on Wednesday, I was quite concerned. There were about 300 workers laying carpet, plastering, painting, landscaping, and it didn't look like the building was close to being ready to move in. There was a lot of dust on the optics and the mirrors, in the computers, and there will certainly be serious problems down the road because we moved in too early. It did look better when I stopped by after the lectures on Thursday evening. Some of the guys, like John Amason, left the new office at 3:00 Friday morning, and it was 12:45 Friday afternoon and 15 minutes before the first bus arrived before the sound was working somewhat correctly. Several of the guys did not get hardly any sleep the whole of last week. Since I sat the date of the presentation and tour back in October, when I accepted being the General Chaiman, I felt responsible for all of the finishing up efforts. I was so glad the Symposium came off OK, and that my trust was not misplaced.

Thursday night Andrea came in from Cedar City to spend Friday on the bus tour and start to learn in a little more detail what I do for a living. She nicely summarized the fact: `Roice, you are very blessed that your work is your hobby and you can make money doing it.' She was really impressed with the bus tour, and my involvement with the Symposium. I'm sure there are all kinds of psychological reasons why I wanted to impress her. Certainly this impressing starts with building trust. I know that once trust has been unraveled, it is very hard to regain again. Maybe this is one of the reasons I had Andrea stay at the La Quinta Inn again. If there is less opportunity to compromise our principles, there is less opportunity to lose trust.

We went to the movie `Cookie's Fortune' Friday night. Saturday we worked on wedding plans, went to the caterer's, ate lunch at Happy Town, went out to Ken Turner's to see the status of his new paintings of the Savior, looked at the last of the wild flowers, took pictures of Sara in her prom dress, worked on wedding plans, started talking about what needs to be done to move Andrea and her kids down here, and talked to Rob. Sunday we worked on wedding and moving plans, went to church, talked to the Bishop, cooked salmon and scollops, ate lunch, had the Home Teachers over, got Rob to take 16 ice chests back to members of the High Priest Quorum who trusted me with their cooler's for the GCSEG Symposium bus tour, and took Andrea to the airport. We had a lot of fun this weekend, and it is really nice to fall in love with someone who reciprocates the feelings. Someone who I love and who I trust.

If there are any of you who might feel my relationship with Andrea has evolved too quickly, I encourage you to reread the 134 thoughtlets (descriptions of 134 weeks), which have been written since 15 Sep 1996. Think about how long this is in body function time. I realize my emotional overreactions, the acting out of my fears for the choices some of you made relative to being a teenager, have justified your losing trust in me. I hope, now that I have some tools for handling these emotions (thanks to PAIRS), someday trust will be reestablished. For I truly do love each of you, and not just out of duty, even if there are times I worry about you, and also times I do not trust you. I truly look forward to the day we completely trust each other implicitly, and to the day this foundation allows us to trust our Lord and Savior completely."

I'm interested in sharing weekly a "thoughtlet" (little statements of big thoughts which mean a lot to me) with you because I know how important the written word can be. I am concerned about how easy it is to drift and forget our roots and our potential among all of distractions of daily life. To download any of these thoughtlets go to or e-mail me at

With all my love,
(H. Roice Nelson, Jr.)

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Copyright © 1999 H. Roice Nelson, Jr.