New year, new blog!

For a while I’ve been considering switching to a new platform for the blog, getting away from MovableType to something else I can get my hands dirty with.

After spending a while messing around with the various candidates, I decided to jump on the WordPress wagon with v16 of the blog. As a way of getting some practice messing around with WordPress, I’ll probably spend some time copying over some of the more recent content from v10 of the blog. Eventually my amateur radio blog¬†will get the same treatment.

This should allow me to add a few new capabilities I’ve been considering too.

Flowers for Theresa

Theresa’s obituary said she wanted flowers.

In lieu of donations, Theresa requests flowers. Being a Cystic Fibrosis and transplant patient, Theresa was never allowed to have flowers, so she would want them in her celebration of life.

She got a lot of them. At the brunch (at Morgan Creek Grill) following the funeral mass, just about every table had two or three vases of flower arrangements, and there were several other larger arrangements on stands and on the floor. There were so many flowers it was almost like being in a florist shop.

As brunch wound up, guests were encouraged to take whichever arrangements they wanted. As pretty as they all were, I’m sure Theresa’s parents just didn’t have room to take them all.

I looked around for the arrangement we had sent, but I guess someone else thought it looked nice and claimed it. I picked out another nice colourful one instead.

Flowers for Theresa
Flowers for Theresa
Flowers for Theresa
Flowers for Theresa

She would have loved all the flowers.

It was a nice funeral mass (even though the priest told a rather different version of my gym story during his homily), and a nice brunch gathering afterwards, sharing favourite Theresa stories.

Saying goodbye to a friend

And how we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life, wouldn’t you say?
– Kirk, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

I debated long and hard about whether or not to post this here. As a general rule, I try to avoid putting personal things into my blog.

On Sunday, my friend Theresa passed away after a long hard struggle with illness the past week.

To say Theresa had character would be an understatement. She was full of character. She was tough as nails and didn’t take crap from anybody. She’d dish it out as good as she got and then some. You always knew where you stood with her though. If she thought something was dumb or didn’t make sense, you knew it too. If she was feeling good, her smile, attitude and sense of humour would light up a room.

I’ve known her long enough that I don’t remember exactly how or precisely when we met. I’m pretty sure it was at one of the occasional lunch gatherings organized in the ITC chat room (where some of the computer geeks at work hang out), easily 5 or 6 years ago. We became lunch friends. I’d ask in the chat room if anybody wanted to go to lunch. Sometimes hers was the only response, sometimes others joined in and made it a group thing. Lunches with Theresa were always fun and informative. I always learned something new during our lunches and other times we hung out. I learned a lot about cystic fibrosis and transplants from her, and she was a source of information after my diabetes diagnosis,

After my diabetes diagnosis I decided I needed to go to the gym on a more regular basis and get back into some kind of shape. She wanted to get “less puny” and prepare for another Transplant Games so for a little while, we became gym partners. Our gym routine worked out so that I’d do cardio while waiting for her to get to the Wellness Center, then we’d head to the weight training area (she wasn’t a fan of cardio, but I made her do a little bit). One time after a particularly tough set of squats, she punched me in the arm, catching me totally off guard. After that it became her thing to do and I got punched in the arm a fair bit.

She was a fighter. She fought through all the problems cystic fibrosis dealt her, and never gave up. I remember her telling me that if she died of anything other than CF related causes, then she had won. I like to think that after everything she went through to survive 36 years with CF, she won anyway. Theresa’s breathing easier now and won’t have to worry about her lungs or kidneys breaking anymore.

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit her in the hospital a couple of times last week, the last time being Friday, two days before she died. Yesterday a bunch of us gathered at Tommy Condon’s, her favourite watering hole, to celebrate Theresa and share stories over Guinness, her drink of choice. On Thursday I’ll go to her funeral mass and say goodbye (or depending on my mood at the time, “see you in the next life”). Like many who knew Theresa, I’m sad she is gone and I’ll miss her tremendously, but I feel like I’m a bit richer for having known her.

From Theresa’s sister, Beth:

There will be a funeral Mass for Theresa Peters on Thurs 5/23 at 10:00 AM at Christ Our King Catholic Church located at 1122 Russell Drive, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464. There will be a brunch following, locally. All are welcome.


The obituary for Theresa is online now.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?n=Theresa-Peters&pid=164914230

and

http://www.mcalister-smith.com/book-of-memories/1587523/Peters-Theresa/obituary.php


I filed this note on my phone as ‘teeda burger’. Sometimes when she wasn’t feeling well and wanted a cheezburger, this is what I’d bring her from 5 Guys

Jr cheeseburger with tomato, mayo ketchup, grilled onions
Regular fries

Lowcountry dog park tour: Bee’s Landing dog park

Tucked away in the corner of the Bee’s Landing Recreation Complex (buried in a subdivision off Bee’s Ferry Road) is the City of Charleston’s newest dog park. To get there, go to the right of the recreation center building all the way to the back. Go to the right behind the baseball field and you’ll see the dog park. There currently aren’t any signs and only a worn dirt path to the dog park, but there are indications that a sidewalk or path is being built leading to the dog park. Otherwise it’s not at all obvious there’s even a dog park there.

The dog park is a pretty decent size, split into two sections, presumably for large and small dogs. The section on the right side is the larger of the two. There are lots of trees which should provide plenty of shade for hot weather. The trees will also keep things from drying out quickly after a rain so there is pretty good mud potential here.

There is only one water fountain located in the larger section, so people using the smaller section will have to either bring their own water, fill a water bowl from the fountain or bring their dogs into the larger section for water.

The trees kind of keep you from throwing a ball a really long distance, although if you throw too far you’re likely to end up throwing it out of the park anyway. The holes in the wire fence are also pretty large so any tennis balls thrown towards the fence have a high probability of going through.

There are large gates connecting the two sections of the dog park, and also connecting the larger section to a third area with a stream running through it. I don’t know if this third section is meant to be used by dogs. I presume the gates are meant to provide access for service vehicles, but there are no signs on them and they weren’t locked or anything (yet).

This dog park is a good addition to the West Ashley area and extends the dog-friendliness reach of the city.

See the rest of my pictures from the dog park here.

Here’s a Google Map to the dog park

View Bees Landing Dog Park in a larger map