16 Sep 2001 #0138.html


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Dear Paul and Kate, Melanie and Jared, Bridget and Justin, Sara, Ben and Sarah, Heather, Audrey, Rachel, and Matt via hardcopy,

cc: file, Tony Hafen, Pauline Nelson via mail, Sara and Des Penny, Claude and Katherine Warner, Lloyd and Luana Warner, Diane Cluff, Maxine Shirts, and Sherri Trittipo.

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.

"I'm going to start by quoting Alan Peterson at the close of our High Priest Quorum meeting a little while ago:

`I am finding it very hard not to hate these individuals who attacked my family.'

Patrice Peterson was one of two speakers in Sacrament Meeting. She described how Meagan and her new husband Clark Whisenant had just moved to New York, after their marriage a few weeks ago ()0132.html), where he is working and she is going to school. Their new apartment was one block from the World Trade Center. Meagan was at school when the first plane attacked. Clark was in the aparment. The windows were broken and there was smoke everywhere as he left in a very big hurry, with one small bag of belongings. Patrice was in an operation at Memorial City Hospital when an aide came in with the news. The operation was for removal of a cancerous kidney from a 38 year old male. Patrice was able to talk to Meagan and Clark by cell phone and Internet before the buildings collapsed. After Clark left the apartment, it was five hours before they heard from him again. Both Meagan and Clark are both OK. They have no clothes except those they were wearing. They probably will not be able to get back into their apartment. Members of the stake have provided them clothes and they are temporarily living with one of Clark's cousins. There were 10 members of their ward that worked at the World Trade Center. None of them went to work Tuesday morning, for a variety of reasons (coincidences, see ../9715.html and understand why I don't think so.).

I learned about the terrorists attack at 9:45 on the SEG Convention floor in San Antonio. I left the hotel at 8:15 AM. Typically I don't turn the TV on in the mornings, and I had to iron some shirts, so I was watching CNN news. I turned it off at 8:10 AM, just before the attack, and headed over to the convention. I was going to go to a session on environmental issues, and I saw a couple of friends and ended up talking to them until the exhibition hall opened up at 9:00. Then I had a meeting with Mr. Meng at the CNPC Booth (China National Petroleum Corporation). We talked from 9:00 until 9:30. There was a Nigerian in the booth, and the implications were he wanted me in the discussions, but his boss did not. Of course, I could be reading too much into our discussions on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. There was a strong request for me to come and visit them in China, and a personal invitation from Mr. Yan Dunsha. We will see, especially since Swede Nelson is the technical advisor to CNPC's Nigerian Agent. After I left CNPC's booth, I walked over to a bench in one of the isles and was reading the professional papers being given at the convention. As I was reading Scott Bartlett, a member who has gone to the temple with me when we are in a town for a convention where there is a temple, a co-worker at Landmark, a competitor at GeoQuest, and most importantly a friend, stopped and made a comment about the terrible things happening in New York. I said `What terrible things?' He said, `You don't know?' And then he proceeded to catch me up on what had happened over the previous hour and a half. We went over to a booth where a large group was gathered around a television and I saw my first photos of the attack.

My mind flashed to 9th grade, and hearing on the news at Hanson Pharmacy at lunch, with my friend who had just moved to Cedar City from out of town, and whom I had just completed a gun safety course with, about President Kennedy's assination. Then to London, where I had just returned from Oman, was very sick, and was walking down the street in Kennsington to the hotel, where I called on a member of the Hyde Park Ward, where I had served my mission, to come and give me a priesthood blessing, and where I first heard about the Challenger explosion. In each case there was discussion about the possibility of terrorists. In each case, the emotions of the moment burned the event into my memory. Where were each of you on Tuesday morning at 8:15, and how did you hear about the attack?

After a half hour, I got on with my life and kept working the floor of the SEG for folks who would be interested in Dynamic Resources Corporation. There were a lot of interesting conversations, and many of them covered the general topic of terrorists. Andrea was coming over to the SEG President's Reception, and I called her and asked her to stay home until the kids got home from school, make sure they are OK, and then drive to San Antonio. Then I started to hear the stories. Jackie Phillips, a salesperson at SGI I have worked with for years, said her step daughter worked at a resturant at the World Trade Center. Her dog was feeling ill, and she stayed home from work to walk it and take it to the vet. Tom Eliseuson, who was at CDC (Control Data Corporation) in the days CDC was the biggest provider of scientific computers, was at the convention. He was suppose to be at another convention on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center, and his two collegues that went were talking to the home office by cell phone about the attack when the building collapsed. Tom was probably the key influencer who got CDC Capital Corporation to commit to invest in Landmark Graphics, which resulted in DLJ Sprout and the venture arm of Elf Aquitaine to invest, which resulted in Sevin-Rosen investing. These were the four investors that put up the initial $2 million to start Landmark Graphics Corporation. I remember when Tom and I were at an EAEG in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, or maybe it was the one in Budapest, Hungary, both conventions which were before the fall of communism, and a rock band playing on the palace steps, and how we spent the evening talking about how surreal the event was and how the world was going to be changing over the next few years. Tom was pretty broken up about the New York tragedy.

At the same time there were notes coming in over the Internet. Albert wrote from New York:

`Both me and Roger are in our apartments by Columbia. I was going to be in Houston today. Lets pray for those less fortunate than we.'

Then a after my response he wrote:

`Tell all you know about the amazing reaction that folks are having to the tragedy here in NYC. I went to donate some clothes and socks to the 23rd ST staging area -- the WTC is about 40 blocks away from ground Zero. It was like a line of ants carrying food to the nest. There was a beverage store about a blocks away and folks were buying beverages and carting them by hand and other means to the staging area and returning to buy more. This area was where out of town fire departments arrived and as they arrived people cheered. It was most moving even that far away form the belly of the beast.'

Roger wrote:

`2001 Manhattan n vPatchers, roger, wei, and liqing are all accounted for and OK, thank god. we were at lamont on the new jersey side of the hudson river -- albert and steve were in air to houston -- got email that each is ok. my wife honor was at columbia on 120th street and forrest at school on 111th street. all entry to manhattan was sealed off, including all bridges and tunnels. so i drove north from lamont to the tappan zee bridge then back south to the south bronx, where the bridge to manhattan was indeed closed. i abandoned my car in hte south bronx and walked across the bridge alone. i started at 1115 am, knowing i had till dark to hike 10 miles across harlem to get to my family --eerie, but police looked me over and allowed me to pass. that put me at 255th street and fort tryon park, but on the island of manhattan. i had to hike up over the mountainous (for NY) park to get to dykman street-- again eerie because it was like hiking we did last month in hawaii. absolutely alone thru the woods. when i came out onto dykman street in upper manhattan, people were unbelievably nice to me. i used the hardwired phone grattis from a bodego where the owner didnt even speak english -- for all us wireless nuts, all cells were out, but landlines were working! then bodega guy wouldnt take any money for cold water. i was resigned to spending the rest of the afternoon hiking 100 blocks to home at 121st street, when a taxi pulled up and asked if i needed a ride. i gave him $20 bucks tp take me to 135th street, which he only took when i threw the money at his feet and ran. all streets near presbyterian hospital on 168th steet were closed, as was 125th street. i hiked across 125th and stopped at ATM to get some cash -- they were working, surprisingly. When i got home, Honor was safe and sound and had been to visit forrest in school. they are keeping all kids at schools to give parents the afternoon to get home. ironically, thank god, jon my middle boy and his family, phan and sarah, missed their plane from san diego to newark today! so, we are all ok -- how about other vpatchers in NY?? pls check in!! tonight is going to be scary because the police are turning over the city to the national guard because of fatigue--they are going to be working days and the military will take over the nights, for awhile. we don't know what tomorrow will bring, but we are ok for now. love and prayers to all, and the world absolutely changed for us all today. Cheers, Roger'

Dave Eichen at Chroma is from New Jersey. He forwarded the attached photo of the terrorist attack. His family's brokers had offices in the buildings next to the World Trade Center, and he has not been able to find out if they are OK. He expects some of his cousins to be among the missing. There virtually no one I talked to since Tuesday that is more than one or two persons removed from this tragedy. There is definitely a single world-wide family. And as Dr. Bennett, Education Secretary under George Bush (#41), said, `Tuesday was a moment of moral certainty.' Wouldn't it be nice if we had the same unified attitude about attacking pornography, drugs, inappropiate Sabbath activities, and abuse as we currently have about attacking terrorists?

I wrote the following to a Moslem friend earlier today:

`Been worried about you this week. Hope everything is OK. There are a lot of good people in the USA (and an equal or greater number of jerks). Hopefully you find yourself in the company of the good people. I was talking to Sam, one of my Jewish friends, on Thursday, and he gave me a twenty minute lecture about how the terrorists are no more Islam or Muslim than Nazi's were Christian. He stressed that there is God and there is Satan, and it is pure satanic to kill thousands of innocent people. I liked his view and wanted to share it with you. Having served a mission for my church, I have personally felt the impact of the impact of group over-reactions and misjudgements. For example there are a lot of the bigots in America who don't know Mormon and Mormonism was a name given to `The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' by enemies who were burning them out of their houses on the western frontier 150 years ago. My extension to Sam's comments about Nazi's, is to also say the terrorists are no more Islam than the KKK is Christian, than the Cambodian butchers were Buddahists, than the Crusaders were all christian, nor than the a serial murderer is sane. Anyway, I just wanted you to know I hope you and your family are not experiencing any issues.'

As I write about my week, I will use the word Terrorist, recognizing several of my examples are not even a blip on the radar of what happened this week in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Last Sunday I wrote briefly about the party at Pauls. Bridget and Jason it was good to see the two of you! You look good, happy, and reasonably well fed. Melanie, Jared, Paul, and Kate, it was fun listening to your conversation and feeling your spirits. You are each wonderful, special spirits, and also appear reasonably well fed, although Melanie is a little bit skinny these days. It was 10:31:10 PM by the time Paul proofed the Thoughtlet and sent it off. I was already asleep (for about 4 minutes), recovering from my whirlwind trip (0137.html). I was up before 5:00, and out of the shower by 5:15 AM. Paul drove me to the Salt Lake Airport, where I chose not to do a curbside check-in. Then when I got inside, the line was forever long. So I just went to the gate with my two bags. However, the line at the gate was longer. In fact, they had loaded most of the plane by the time I got up to the ticket counter, and there was still a 40 person line behind me. We were late leaving. And in Phoenix, there were problems with the connecting plane, they brought another plane in, and we were over an hour late leaving for San Antonio. I was attempting to read the book Roice gave me called `The Age of Spiritual Machines.' It was very hard to read because it was so noisy. There were cell phone users (terrorists) all around me, and many of them were just plane rude. I got thinking about noise suppression areas, designed an area like a Star Trek transporter in my mind, and thought about how people who insisted on polluting the air with noise need to be segragated like people who insist on polluting the air with tobacco smoke. As I recall the moment, I couldn't help but feel that our society is on the brink of a major change in the way air travel works. I recall my mind going to the Hopi Indian video Ray Gardner sent me years ago, and the resulting Prime Word stanza:

IV.B.60. Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of balance, disintigrating Life in turmoil, going crazy A call for another way of living For time to think, ponder, and be lazy

I made it to San Antonio at 2:30 PM instead of 1:00 PM. Took a cab to the Red Roof Inn, checked in, and walked over to the Convention Center about 5 blocks away. The SEG is bigger than ever. Even though I was the only person with a plasma display at APPEX, there were over 120 plasma displays at the SEG. At $16,000 to $9,500 each, this is well over $1.2 million worth of monitors. And needless to say, the monitors probably made up less than 5% of the cost of those booths that had the monitors in them. This logic conservatively means companies spent over $20 million to market at the SEG. And the theme was Landmark Graphics types of technology. Yet I continue to be suprised at the number and variety of people who come up to me and tell me how I have changed their lives, their companies, their work, and their families. At least I did not meet any of those who call a technical terrorist and are angry at me because they blame me for them loosing their jobs.

One of the ways I judge how good a convention is, is to count the number of cards I collect. This week I collected 9 cards on Monday afternoon and evening, 19 cards on Tuesday, and 15 cards on Wednesday. These 43 cards compare to 73 cards collected Monday evening, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning at APPEX. Of course I didn't have a booth, and I was mostly talking to people I already know. There were definitely good contacts. Now what I need to do is to follow-up on all of the contacts I have. If I don't, some terrorist (salesman from another oil company) will come along and convince them to work with them, rather than Dynamic Resources Corporation. Monday night I ended up walking and taking cabs all over town to get two zip drives converted to a CD drive at the second Kinko's I found. It turned out to be worth the effort. Tuesday was kind of a daze, due to the plane bombs in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. The Aramco party was cancelled on Tuesday night. Andrea got to the hotel about 7:00 and we went over to the SEG President's Reception rather than listen to President Bush's 90 second speech (we heard it later that night). The food was good, and it was good to see a lot of my friends. Andrea is a good sport. Afterwards we went to the Riverwalk and ate. Craig Peterson, formerly of MuSE and now at Continuum, joined us and talked non-stop. I had shrimp gumbo and Andrea had Keylime Pie. Then we went to Peter Duncan's hotel room and played guitar for a while. Andrea was wiped out when we got to the hotel about 12:30. We were asleep when the kids called at 7:40 about missing school on Wednesday. We let them. Andrea drove up to Austin and had lunch with Melanie and Roice. She got back just after the CNPC Banquet started. She looked lovely in her hand made Chinese outfit. I had on my bead tie that Mr. Meng gave me. It was a very nice banquet. We picked up Riley and Linda Skeen and drove to Houston. Riley and Linda stayed with his sister Carole in The Woodlands until they could get a plane out on Saturday or Sunday. We got home about 10:30 PM Wednesday. I did find Rob had left a note on the W3D Dialog Page (http://www.walden3d.com/dialog/W3D and I sent him a note.

I worked until 1:00, got up early, and went downtown to a course titled `Financing the Deal, $10 million Plus.' It was cancelled because there were not enough attendees. I was glad I drove, and frustrated. Wulf Massell (../9834.html, ../9929.html, ../9947.html, ../0004.html, ../0014.html, ../0015.html, ../0034.html, ../0038.html, ../0039.html, ../0040.html, ../0052.html, 0113.html, and 0126.html) had talked to me at the SEG and agreed to give me $5,000 to help cover all of the bills due right now and that we can't pay because Continuum is two months behind. So I went over to his office, got the check, and started consulting for him. Turns out he has a real need for the Knowledge Backbone (SM), and so I will be able to provide significant benefit to him as a consultant in exchange for helping me out this month. When I got home about 3:00 PM, I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon and evening glued to the television, watching the latest developments on the terrorists. I did get a note from Rob and responded to it.

Friday I was at Wulf's office at 10:30 AM (I was suppose to be there at 10:00 AM). We had a great session on IDEF Modeling, and how it will help his company EPIC. He had his entire processing team come in and give me a download, and I spent Friday evening and Saturday building him a model of how his processing shop works. I think he will be really impressed. Friday Matt didn't want to go to a play we had agreed to go to for his Theater class. Andrea was down in the dumps. There was a real tough note from Rob. I was up most of Friday night crying, praying, and wishing I knew how to overcome the terrorists that have invaded my life and the life of those I love. Saturday I did escape for four hours and took Matt to NASA's Space Center Houston and the Lego-Mobile, a large semi- truck full of Lego's. As I watched all of the kids running around and having such a good time, and I watched the employees who ran the truck, I realized there are really fun jobs in this world. Roice came and visited in the evening, and we had a good discussion about the week's events.

Today was a good day. Andrea and I had Ward Council meeting starting at 7:15 AM. It was my first time there as an Activity Committee Chairman. I had not told Andrea what I was planning on doing, and she said it came across reasonable, although the Bishopric was caught by suprise and wasn't sure how to handle my approach. I asked on a handout to each attendee:

`1. What is an Activity? Reference:


2. Is there an interest in a password protected information space where members can list their interest, hobbies, and things they are willing to share with other members of the Ward? 3. Is there interst in a questionnaire which captures and databases the answers to 2? 4. Is there interest in a ward calendar, only avaliable for change by Ward Leaders, and updateable across the web? 5. Is there interst in a forum for posting talks, church study interests and results, and related informatin to share among ward members? It seems like with move-ins and move-outs there would be an interest in knowing who does needlepoint or woodworking, who has done intersting studies on the Book of Mormon, and to have all of this indexed so it is easily retrieved.'

Sacrament meeting was mostly songs, except for Patrice Peterson's and Bishop Camps' talks. Sunday School was good. Marion Pickerd is the new Gospel Doctrine Teacher, and she does a very good job. And High Priest Quorum was good. Brother Sniedman taught, and he had a lot of class participation, and did a very nice job. He selected a lesson where President Joseph F. Smith talked to church members who were involved in supporting World War I. Interesting how well the words relate to appropriate reaction to terrorists. Roice came by for dinner. We had a good game of global chess. It was a stalemate, although he had the King and a rook and I only had my King. He says there are easier ways to play chess on the Internet than we used to. I am almost ready to start that effort back up if Paul or Ben are still interested. Roice took the two couches back to his apartment in Austin. We had an interesting discussion about evolution as described in the book I am reading. I look forward to the day one of his programs reaches out and touches him and says I changed by chance and it is part of the process of evolution. I told him that an eyeball is not created by statistical chance. Melanie came over for a little while. The kids and Andrea went to a fireside while I was writing this. Sherry Trittipo (my 2nd cousin Keith Nelson's oldest daughter) is staying with us for a couple of months, and when she came home we talked for a while. All of this stuff this week has scared her. As I listened to her, I realized several of you are probably also scared. Remember, we have been promised by the prophets that even though many of the cities around us will turn to piles of rubble like the World Trade Center, those in Zion (the pure in heart who gather to the Stake Centers) will be protected and watched over. If there is interest, I will look up a bunch of references on this general topic and dedicate a future Thoughtlet to it. In the meantime, don't be scared by the terrorists. Call and talk to me or send me an e-mail if you are and let me help you work though the issues."

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 http://www.walden3d.com/thoughtlets or e-mail me at rnelson@walden3d.com.

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

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Copyright © 2001 H. Roice Nelson, Jr.