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.
"I'm going to start by quoting Alan Peterson at the close of our High Priest Quorum meeting a little while ago:
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:
Then a after my response he wrote:
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:
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:
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:
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."