Today I went to my first VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) meeting. It was about a 15 minute walk from my office, so I went ahead and walked.

They were throwing around acronyms like a defence contractor (I would know, having spent 13 years employed by one), most of which I had no clue as to their meaning.

The meeting started at 11:00am, and they served pizza at noon thirty. I had no idea how long one of these couldbe expected to go, and for whatever reason, I had it in my head that a long lunch would be sufficient to attend the entire thing. But they hadn’t even gotten half way through the agenda by 1:30, so I bailed.

I’ll go to the next one if I can, but with a better clue as to how long I can expect it to go (i.e., forever).

After work I went to the church again to work on our renovation project. I taped and slapped some mud on a few joints, while Kevin and Brian framed up the new doorway in the hall. Jonathan dropped me off and then headed out for supper (I wasn’t hungry yet, having eaten my fill of VOAD pizza), and then on to class.

He’s finished with his statistics class now, and his grade is plenty high enough that he doesn’t have to take the final exam (hoorays!) He was pretty stoked about that. He needed a 79 on his last unit test, and knocked out a 95. He needs to sign up for the fall semester now.

In other news…
Va called me sometime during the day asking if I was expecting a package from Fair Point (our bankrupt telephone company). Nope! But there it was anyhow – a box full of Internet access. They have been putting real-estate type signs up all over the place declaring that they have broadband in our area, but since we’ve been happy with our current ISP (the local cable TV monopoly) we saw no need to switch.

But I guess Fair Point didn’t see it that way. Va called them and asked them why they sent that to us. They explained to her in no uncertain terms that we had ordered it three times in the past six months, which is absolutely false. They were insistent, and even got a tad belligerent with her. She threatened to cancel our land line, and they said something like “That’s your prerogative.” Maybe they didn’t know that it was not an empty threat.

I really see no reason for a land line any more. We’re going to get another cell phone and give it to David. I had been thinking we’d try to port our old number to his phone, but then he’d be all the time getting calls from the pharmacy, dentist, and relatives, and since their message would somehow get through, they’d have no reason to update their records. By abandoning the number, that won’t happen. David won’t get those calls, and the callers will have an impetus to actually update their records. Once we get a fourth cell phone, we’ll pull the plug on Fair Point.

It’s our prerogative.

Yesterday I went to Freeport, ME to attend another Disaster Response seminar. This one was held during Camp Meeting, which is an annual gathering of Adventists from all over the conference, and usually lasts about a week. Our conference (Northern New England) covers Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Peter Robinson is our conference ACS-DR (Adventist Community Services – Disaster Relief) coordinator, and he asked me if I would be willing to serve as the conference’s NH state coordinator. We talked about it yesterday, and I agreed to take it on.

This means I will be attending some “VOAD” meetings. VOAD is for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster… response. It consists of several organizations including the Red Cross and Salvation Army, as well as several other churches. Our church is not currently represented.

I will also be responsible to recruit more NH volunteers for disaster response, and I will need to finish my certification, which means taking the seminar I had to miss on Friday on account of Jonathan’s graduation.

Today at work, one of the guys had brought in a bunch of tomato plants that he doesn’t have room for. I took most of them – 16 in all – so I could plant them in my pathetic garden.

David had an orthodontist appointment late in the afternoon, so Va proposed that we all meet and have dinner somewhere to mark Father’s Day. OK! I choose a Mexican place within easy walking distance of my office. After David’s appointment, Va parked at my office and we walked over from there. It was pretty OK! Then I took the kids and Va ran some errands.

When I got home I dug up my garden and planted the 16 tomatoes in a 4×4 grid. Then I got my pruning shears and bow saw and started clearing some trees so my garden could get a little western sunshine. We’ll see if that improves things or not.

I usually only plant stuff I really like, and it never does well. I have failed at squash, corn, and beans (the Three Sisters), as well as several types of greens. I really like all those veggies. I like tomatoes, but I don’t love tomatoes. This is a sure indicator that I will have more tomatoes than I can shake a stick at. It happened in Virginia when we lived there. I tried planting all kinds of stuff I really love, and it never amounted to more than half a serving. And then I planted tomatoes and had more of them than I could eat. We’ll see if I have a repeat.