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My life seems to divide easily into clearly defined periods. The break of the last four months, from March 3 through June 30, is the latest clearly defined “period.” Before that, a three year span starting with my return to the Seattle area in March of 2007 (after ten months in North Carolina) and ending with the start of the just concluded break is a well-defined “period,” characterized by particular things going on during that time. Just prior to that three year period was the ten months in North Carolina, from May 2006 through February 2007. The “eras” of my life are usually well punctuated. Sometimes the “eras” only show up in retrospect… other times, the punctuation is clear and in the present. This week I’ve checked out of the little RV park that has been home for four months, I’ve ended a break between work contracts, and I’ve started a new contract at Microsoft. And Ai-chan moved back to Japan.

I started work on a new Microsoft contract today. I’ve hired back on with the same team I worked with during my previous contract, though the project has changed from Media Center testing to Zune testing. The break between contracts turned out to be 120 days. I spent all but three of those days pleasantly based in the Trailer Inns RV Park along I-90 in Bellevue. As mentioned in previous reports, I choose not to travel, but to work on personal projects. Looking back over the projects of the last 120 days – which mostly revolved around the website – I can say that I was able to devote a lot of time to those projects. What it all amounts to is a good question, but I was able to put a lot of time into it. In retrospect, the 120 days flew by with astonishing quickness. It seems but a few days ago that the break was beginning and I was setting up the new laptop and refurbishing the old laptop for FiddleHead’s use. Those daily chess games with Ai-chan back in the cool, rainy days of March seem like only last week, not three months ago.

As I write, Japan Airlines Flight 17 with Ai-chan onboard is about an hour and 45 minutes from Tokyo’s Narita airport. I dropped Ai-chan off at the Seattle airport almost 24 hours ago for her long trip back to Japan. Click here to view the Photo-Journal entry for Ai’s last day in the US. I told Ai-chan many times that when they made her, they threw away the mold, and her departure has created a huge void in my little world. Nature abhors a void, I know, and something will fill it. But right now, as Ai-chan approaches Japanese airspace, I’m feeling a big empty space. Another era, come and gone…

That’s my report…

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