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Jesse's Birthday 2003
Sixteen Years Old

Easter 2003

Jesse Birthday 2003

Christmas 2003

Week-end Trips 2003

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What a difference a year makes! Jesse's sixteenth birthday arrived just as Dave was rolling onto long term disability, and the house was up for sale. A very low period in our life. Thomas had visited from New Jersey at Easter. But with no high school friends, and no home school friends and no college friends, (cyber-friends can't come over and play), there was no real party or celebration. On top of that "Silver" our best game playing computer crashed for two weeks with some kind of very strange problem that consumed hours of investigation while we spent a couple hours every day packing the dreaded 'clutter' into boxes and hauling it to the self-store and having the ritual of stepping out of the house (usually up to Blimpies) two or three times EVERY DAY for walk-throughs. All of this was going on during Jesse's birthday week.

On top of all that, when Dave signed up for a college class for summer semester (May-July), Jesse signed up for one that met at the same time, so the two of them could drive over and back together. When was the first class for summer session? Exactly on Jesse's birthday.

Jesse on his sixteenth birtyday - May 2003

Cyber Jesse with his MP3 shoulder mount
Summer semester started exactly on his birthday

After their first summer class, Dave and Jesse headed out for lunch and the smallest birthday celebration ever. Out of divine fairness, Dave ended up with homework while the birthday boy got off scot-free.

After lunch, it was home for a small cheese-cake and song for just the three of us. We had enjoyed some movies during the various real estate showings, and planned on seeing another over the weekend, but the birthday day was a very quiet one. Jesse wasn't sure what to 'ask for', except to get that dead PC working again and his official drivers license in September. We planned a formal dinner to Sam Seltzers, but it got lost in all the confusion.

Jesse enjoying his birthday lunch

Cheesecake and "Happy Birthday"
Just the three of us for a simple celebration of 16

Jesse's birthday fell in the middle of a FOUR WEEK ordeal where "Silver" (our main video game system) failed intermittently to boot up. After swapping memory and power supplies with "Gold" (our main home business system) and purchasing a new hard drive, we deduced the problem to be more complex.

Always look for a simple solution first
Swapping simple components

After two days of research, we finally ordered a new motherboard and had it sent "next day". It took a full day for Jesse to swap the components, only to find that the main power connector was a different configuration and pin count. We took a trip to Radio Shack to buy a new connector, only to learn that it would be easier to rewire the current one. After finishing the wiring, it took another day to get the NIC board configured (yipee! e-mail) and another day to get ICS working.

Everything connects to the motherboard
Finally back online, 378 e-mails to delete

ICS failed for two days without warning but troubleshooting webpages showed us how to edit our registry file which gets corrupted if you reinstall a NIC board without uninstalling the old one first (silver was crashed, we had no time to uninstall). We had ICS working for over a week with no home network access, and read dozens of pages to figure out the problem, when Jesse remembered that we had installed a firewall on Gold when it was directly connected to the net. Sure enough, one checkbox to disable the firewall and everything finally worked. Over 100 hours work and research spread over four weeks, but no more power cutouts or failed boot-ups on silver. Oh, and by the way, our "broken" CD reader came back to life. And so it goes.

Meg and Molly wanted to celebrate with Jesse so we all went to Rio Bravo for a fun dinner and some funny gifts. Jesse still hasn't learned not to have is picture taken in a funny hat.

Feliz Compenanos Jesse - May 2003

Meg and Molly joined us at Rio Bravo - May 2003

Feliz Cumpleaños Senor Jesse
Jesse and Meg: A fun evening

After we saw X-Men 2, we went to see "A Mighty Wind", the amusing mockumentary lampooning folk music. We spent the week-end humming and singing the hilarious songs. Afterwards, Jesse took in "Cowboy Bebop", an anime movie showing at a speciality theatre quite a distance from home, and we viewed a dozen classic videos during this time. (See our Home School Cinema page). Finally, Jesse and Boomer saw "Matrix Reloaded" and had a sleepover.

On the day after Jesse's birthday, an offer came in to buy the house. Suddenly we weren't worried about finding a buyer, now it was finding a new place to live! Of course, instead of making life easier, we were suddenly under the gun to find a place to live, organize a "moving sale" and get moved. All the while going to school two days per week.

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Easter 2004


Christmas 2004

Week-end Trips 2004

Easter 2003

Jesse Birthday 2003

Christmas 2003

Week-end Trips 2003

Easter 2002

Jesse Birthday 2002

Christmas 2002

Week-end Trips 2002

Original Web Upload November, 2002
Last Update: June 6, 2003