From: Alan Hunt []
Sent: Monday, September 09, 2002 3:21 PM
To: Steve Hunt
Subject: News from Alan's World

Dear Odaliz,

God is good, and he keeps filling our world with good & beautiful things.  Thanks for asking.  I'm not sure when I last made contact with the Steve Hunt world, but I think it may have been back in July, when the Steve Hunt world was in global celebration of the Steve Hunt Birthday.

Polycom had a disappointing 2nd quarter.  I think all of the relevant numbers were positive (revenue, profit, cash flow, etc.), but they were lower than "expected," ... so ... they went ahead with a long anticipated company-wide "restructuring" ... i.e., a lay-off of about 6% from all of their divisions.  I think there were only 8 of us in Austin who had our "positions eliminated."  I was not completely surprised that I was "included" in the "restructuring," but almost.  I hadn't really worried about it, because my little audio group in Austin consisted of exactly three people: one leader (John) and two others (Zhemin Tu and Alan Hunt), and John had just one week earlier resigned unexpectedly -- at least Zhemin and I did not at all expect John to leave.  After we had just lost the greater third of our group, we did not dream that a 2nd third would be eliminated.  But, I was laid off, leaving Zhemin as the lone audio engineer in Austin.

That happened Monday July 15.  Since then, I've been in another job search.  I've had a few mildly interesting prospects, but nothing really hot or even very warm.  I'm trying to be firm in restricting the search only to Austin, Dallas, and Houston and the surrounding areas.  I've had some invitations to consider work in Montreal and Silicon Valley, but have turned them down.

We had Ahmed ("Eh'-mud"), Shamim's youngest, her 9-yr-old son, with us from Fri. June 15 through Wed. July 31.  We had Shoaib ("Shwabe"), her oldest, her 14-yr-old son, with us for the last 10 days of that period, i.e., Mon. July 22 through Wed. July 31.  We enjoyed both of them very much during the whole time they were with us.  It was too quiet in our home without them afterwards, but we've had a few weekends with them since then, including this past weekend.

Shamim and I took an impromptu vacation in SW Colorado during the third full week in August.  We drove there in two days, leaving Austin about 4:30pm Sunday Aug. 18, spending that night in Dodson, then spent one night in Durango, two in Norwood, and one in Cortez.  Then we drove back in one day (It was about 16 hours from Cortez to Austin).  We rented a Blazer in Cortez and kept it very busy for three full days (Tue-Thu), driving jeep roads that I've traveled before, but which were in the roughest condition of any roads I've ever seen, much less driven.

Tuesday we drove up Highway 145 toward Telluride, then turned at Dolores to take the "Dolores-Norwood Road" over Wilson Mesa to Norwood, passing right by Lone Cone.  That was a good warm-up, but there were still several hours of daylight, so we reserved a hotel in Norwood, then took off for Telluride, where we drove up to Bridal Veil Falls, walked up past the top, crossed over the creek, and hiked up a significant way toward Silver Lake.  But it was clear that we would not make it to the lake in time to come back down before nightfall, so we walked back to the Blazer, then drove back down, through town, and on to Trout Lake, then to Alta Lakes, which were quite overgrown and deserted.  I suppose the dry weather must have ruined them for fishing this year.  It was dark by the time we got back to the highway, 10pm by the time we got back to Norwood.

In Norwood, we stayed in a bedroom in the 2nd floor of the older, original building of the Back Narrows Inn, for which Shamim had negotiated a bargain rate.  Our bedroom had no private bath, but the "shared" bathroom was big and right across the hall, and since there were no other guests on the floor, it was really like having not just a private bath, but our very own private floor. We took showers while filling the big cast iron tub with hot water and bubbles.  At some point I decided, since we would be out of our bedroom and distracted with bathing and relaxing, that I should lock the door.  Apparently this was the first time that this new lock had been used, so it was also the first opportunity for anyone to discover that it was defective and quite impossible to unlock.  This made us wish that we had thought to bring a few more items from the locked bedroom, especially some clothing, which would have made it less embarrassing to hold conversation with the owner, who was still awake, and who was nice enough to quickly take care of the problem by prying open a bedroom window from the outside, via a convenient balcony.

Wednesday we spent a wonderful day in Silver Pick Basin.  Shamim and I hiked up a significant way toward Wilson Peak, until a couple of slide rock traverses frayed Shamim's nerves and self-confidence, and we decided to separate.  Shamim headed down toward the Blazer (roughly), and I headed up toward the peak (roughly).  I made several frustrated attempts to find a proper path to the peak, then decided to come back down to get to the Blazer before dark.  It was about 7:30 and had been about 5 hours since I had left Shamim when I saw her again.  She was in the Blazer, so she had obviously found a way back, but only after much travail and the intervention of two angels.  When I found her she had given me up for dead, so she was ecstatic to see me, but she was otherwise quite worn, famished, thirsty, and ready to puke.  If you don't already know it, I can tell you that even in the act of puking Shamim is quite adorable.  After puking, Shamim told me the whole story of her wilderness wandering and miraculous deliverance.  I think you should get that story from her.  I could retell it with passing accuracy, but you would miss her excited voice, her gasps for breath, her flailing hand gestures, her amazing facial expressions, etc., which are really much more interesting than the facts.

Thursday we had a jeep-trailing extravaganza.  We picked up a few groceries at the Telluride Village Market, then headed up Tomboy road, over Imogene Pass, then up to the end of the trail in Governor Basin, then likewise in Yankee Boy Basin, where we were only about 2 hours' hike from the top of Mount Sneffels, but we had miles to go before we slept, and besides, Shamim was sorer and stiffer than she had ever formerly imagined possible.  Meanwhile, before continuing on to Ouray and Box Canyon Falls, we stopped to stare down from some amazing cliffs, and we looked into a few dark mines, walking back into one until the tunnel split and our flashlight was not enough help to permit us to travel further safely.   Eventually, we did make it on to Ouray, and there was plenty of day left to have a wonderful visit through Box Canyon Falls and a beautiful drive over the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton.  Then it was on through Durango to Cortez, where we had delightful dinner and fellowship with Erin Johnson and her neighbors and their cousin, Joe Duffy, the Bishop of the diocese in Ireland that straddles the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.  I was surprised to find not only that Joe hated Guinness, but that he actually liked Miller Genuine Draft.  Thursday night Erin let Shamim and I nurse our aches in her hot whirlpool bath.

Friday morning we had a nice visit with Erin over breakfast in her kitchen, after which she left us for work.  Then we loaded up to head for the Cortez airport, where we would exchange the Blazer for our comfy sedan.  But before we left, we drove next door, to the end of Canyon Drive, where we had a short but friendly visit with Gene.  Two years earlier (July 2000) I had missed an opportunity to visit with him, as he had just that day dropped a very large boulder on his leg, resulting in a very serious compound fracture.  By the time we saw him this year, he was not even limping, but he said that he really was trying to be a little bit more careful.

Then we got the car at the airport and left Cortez at about 10:30am.  Shamim was feeling extremely stiff, in fact asking me (sincerely and adorably) whether she might end up paralyzed for the rest of her life.  However, I decided to let her drive, and this worked a remarkable revitalization so that within an hour she was running, jumping, and falling over things as usual.  I relieved Shamim after about 11 hours, driving only for about the last 5 hours, so that we arrived in Austin at about 5:30am, losing an hour in the change back to Central Time.

After a long sleep and another day and a half of balance recovery, Shamim was back in school to start her final semester at St. Ed's, after which, if we have calculated correctly, she will receive her Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy.  Shamim registered for 18 hours, but decided only this past weekend to cut back to just the 12 hours that she needs for graduation.  This is quite sufficient to keep her more than busy, with all that is going on.  In addition to cooking and housekeeping, our trips to Dallas or Houston almost every weekend, multiple church activities, and her search for small business opportunities, Shamim has also been very interested and helpful in my job search.   Thank goodness she isn't paralyzed as she had seriously feared!

There's much more to tell, but I've rambled enough for now, so I must close.

From: Steve Hunt
Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 2:34 PM
Subject: news

Can you give us an update on the Alan Hunt world?   Hope you are doing OK.   Love, Odaliz

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