About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Most people are so worried about looking good that they never do anything great. Most people are so worried about doing something great that they never do anything at all.

Derek Sivers



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 12/14/2018

Totals
Posts - 2538
Comments - 2589
Hits - 2,103,042

Averages
Entries/day - 0.45
Comments/entry - 1.02
Hits/day - 372

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 10:38 PM Pacific


  12:11 PM

Busy times around here, so here's a little catch-up. First, Sabrina has decided that she wants to attend the music school at Indiana. Although we still haven't heard formally from all of the schools she applied to/auditioned for, it looked like she had options for most of her choices. It's a complicated game, though; in music (perhaps in other fields) the professors need to fill their "studios" independently from the admittance process for the schools themselves. So she was being asked early on about her choice by individual professors. They need to know if you're joining them, so that if you're not, they can offer a spot to the next student in line. And this happened way before she had heard from the schools themselves or from such useful parties as the financial aid offices. The professors of course could not say anything about admittance or financial aid, so in essence Sabrina was being asked to choose the studio to join with no other knowledge. Tough call.

In the end she opted for Indiana and James Campbell, although it took some agonizing to finally decide. All the more reason we were pleased, then, to hear yesterday that the school has offered Sabrina a nice scholarship that will cover a decent hunk of her costs for four years. And who knows, with two in college at the same time, maybe the Feds will take pity on us and offer us additional assistance.

In other news, I'm off to China on Friday. Sarah's brother has lived in Beijing for many years, and she had decided that this year she would take her daughters to visit their uncle, and I'm going, too. We're looking forward to it, and everyone I've talked to who's been there has many wonderful things to say about it. We'll be there for 10 days total -- enough to experience some miniscule percentage of what Beijing has to offer, apparently.

We weren't 100% certain we could get it together for the trip. Passports had to be applied for, and then we had to get visas, a step I was by no means certain would go smoothly. Lesson: just let one of the visa "agencies" handle things -- they're sort of professional cutters of red tape, it sounds like. Then tickets. There might be people who understand the airline pricing system, but all I know is that we would watch ticket prices go up and down from day to day, about as constant as the weather around here. But that's done, too.

We've been emailing Sarah's brother to ask newbie questions about the trip. Naturally, one of the questions I've posed concerns Internet and wireless access. The answer to this latter made me laugh (sort of): for wireless access, he suggested, you can go to Starbucks.

There is of course no good time to take vacation, work wise, and I'll be working every day like mad right up until we leave. By the time we actually leave, I'll desperately need a vacation, heh.

One of our more pleasurable tasks has been to go book shopping. Sarah's brother is an avid reader with limited access to good reading material, so we've been cruising Half-Price Books et al for books on politics, history, and anything else we think might be interesting to him. Along the way, astonishingly, we seem to have picked up a number of tomes for ourselves, heh.

And now, off to run a few of the thousand (more) errands I need to accomplish in the next few days. If you've got any info on China that I really should know, do please leave a comment!

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