This stuff's not really "news" in the strict sense of the word.  "Most recent developments" is probably a better description, but that wouldn't fit on the homepage icon.

Updated 30 June 2004

   (Summer 04) It's been a very busy two years, so please accept my apologies for no updates in all that time!  I retired from the Air Force effective 1 May 03.  The contractor revolving door opened for me a month before I was even out of uniform and I spent five months (10 weeks of which while on terminal leave) with Northcom as an SAIC contractor.  Then in June Lockheed Martin aggressively recruited me to move to Boulder, where I became their first dedicated Systems Security Officer for the Space Based Infrared Ground Segment development and test program.  We bought a house in Frederick out in the country 20 miles east of the plant.  The women were not too happy about moving at first, but everyone has adjusted well and now realizes it was definitely change for the better.  Claire disappeared, Boots grew up, I bought a pickup truck and Michelle is working for Target in Longmont.  Life is good.

   (Spring 02) Yes, I'm finally off to war - or at least where the last war "was."  I'll be spending the summer in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Hertzegovina (formerly Yugoslavia).  A couple years ago we spent about three months bombing, strafing and invading the country to help ethnic Albanians evict the oppressive Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic (now on trial for war crimes at the Hauge).  My job will be to help run the intelligence network for the Stabilization Forces (SFOR) headquarters.  SFOR is a multinational peacekeeping force, made up of forces from several countries.  I'm looking at it as an opportunity to get another good dose of hands-on networking experience in an operational environment.  The first week starting April 1st will be spent at Rhein-Mein AB in Germany where I'll receive some preliminary training necessary for operating in the Bosnian environment.   My expected return will be around the last week of August.  

   (Summer 01) The aquarium has been stable with minor improvements and population changes for over a year.  The most recent additions include shoals of Rathbuni tetras and Red-eyed tetras.  We also added three Black king snails who proved to be very prolific!  after about two months we were astonished to find literally hundreds of baby snails.  Needless to say we decided to euthanize most of them as well as their parents.  Their numbers have been pared back to about 40 or so as of Thanksgiving.  Plans to upgrade to a 100 gallon or better capacity tank are on hold until spring after which Paul goes past nineteen years in the Air Force.  It'll once again become prudent to proceed with large-scale home improvement projects once the chance of reassignment is eliminated after that time.

Paul will be traveling to Cape Canaveral the week after Thanksgiving to help sort out some comm issues for the folks down there.  One of the program he's currently working for AF Space Command involves upgrading numerous circuits and systems which interface the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center with various other locations.  

We've recently closed a deal to refinance the house.  The ongoing economic downturn with associated interest rate drops is turning out good for us, at least in that respect.

Boots, the cat (kitten) is the newest member of the Colorado Shaffer family.  Michelle fell in love with him at the pet store one day in late September, and that was that.

PhotoAlbum The Kids