Garry N Curren, 1940-2011

I’ve been offline for a while, my father-in-law passed away just before Thanksgiving: “Garry Nathan Curren”: Too early.

I learned many things from Garry — the man was a mechanical master, could debug and fix any piece of mechanical equipment, was a wizard with cars. His garage setup is phenomenal. I am mechanically inept, but not bad at book learnin’ and computery stuff. One day many years ago I was hanging out in his garage, and he asked me how I managed to do so well in school — it didn’t come as easily to him. I replied that I really didn’t know, I just seemed to have good instincts. I asked him how he could look under a car hood and listen and know exactly what to do, and his reply was “I just know which way to jump”.

It really drove home for me that there are all kinds of intelligence — you can be smart about cars, people, computers, organizations, politics, biochemistry, languages, music composition, cooking, etc etc etc. There is no one “smart”, there are many kinds of smart, and all of the different kinds of smart are valuable and have their place.

Garry was also a thoughtful man — dedicated to learning, a great follower of history and science, always picking up something new. This always resonated with me. And he was an incredibly kind man — helpful to everyone, kind to his dogs, loved his family. We will all miss him.

Our Own Personal Terror Alert

We’ve raised our own personal terror alert to Blue — we are “guarded”. We had three police cars in our driveway this morning, after 3-4 young people celebrating a 21st birthday got out of hand, broke into the boat locker in the park next door, stole a canoe, landed at our dock, and wandered thru our yard to the street at 6:45am. Unfortunately they parked their car at the park, and were nicely caught on a security camera, so they spent the remainder of the day in jail.

Pinewood Derby

Pinewood Derby. Helping my son build a boat for science class, I started reminiscing about a similar project from my youth. My Pinewood Derby entry — I slaved over it, with only help from my dad on the powertools. My car looked terrible, it was basically a box with lead weights attached, spray-painted gold. Clearly some of the other kids were way more skilled than me, or had had substantial parental help. But despite looks, I came in second that day, which was pretty exciting. I won a pen and pencil set which was way cooler than the first place prize, a canteen.

Gosh knows why I remember this day with such clarity. Clearly it had a big impression on me. In some way I was really proud of the achievement. And there is something primal about working with your dad on a project like this. I hope my son has the same memories. Obviously a lot of people care a lot about the Pinewood Derby — a lot of info up on Google about.

Dad update

Dad update. He continues to do well. Physically making good strides. Is up occasionally today, and is eating solid food (though, as his roommate says, everything tastes like dirt). He is not feeling the most settled today, painkillers and anesthetics are taking their toll, but he looks better and is getting better.

Cleveland clinic tv stations

Cleveland Clinic TV Stations. I’m flipping channels at the guest house here. A saudi network, abu dhabi, kuwait, indian, another arabic channel, a turkish channel? Very interesting spread, indicates a lot about the customer base. Why no european, no spanish language, no asian? Where do these people go for cardiac care?


Dad. I just saw dad in the icu. He is doing great, they are moving him out of intensive care in the next hour. He looks good, is awake and lucid, and is anxious to get all the tubes out. Mom is doing great too.

The surgery was very successful. They were able to do a valve repair with a cosgrove ring and did not need to replace the valve which is great news. And they performed a maze procedure to correct his arhythmia as well. So very good news.

The cleveland clinic has quite an amazing heartcare facility. According to signs in the hall it is the number one rated heart facility in the country. There are a huge number of foreign patients coming and going here, they have translators on staff. My father’s doctor, dr cosgrove, invented the ring that was implanted in my father — the cosgrove ring. I certainly feel that we are in good hands here.

Travel to cleveland

Travel to Cleveland. Haven’t been on a redeye in years. I used to travel 4-5 days a week including redeyes, early mornings, middays, etc. My most extreme travel was maybe my 24 hoiur trip to paris for a dressing down by a client. I left cleveland and was back in 24 hours, and saw about 4 minutes of paris.

The newly remodelled northwest facility in dtw is great. Very spacious. A marked difference from my last trip here. I used to travel thru here weekly back when I was consulting for gm, standard tube of canada, ontario paper, and other midwest clients.

But of course my most memorable detroit airport moment was the night Liz was born. I was on a consulting assignment for standard tube of canada in woodstock ontario. A colleague and I were driving to detroit the night of november 19 to interview some automotive customers the following day. Between london and detroit we hit black ice and spun into the ditch, thankfully we were not hurt nor was the car damaged. We were towed out later and got to detroit around 2am. I spoke with C and all was fine, she was due in a week.

A half hour later the phone rang. C’s water had broken. She was heading for the hospital. I scrambled out of bed and got a cab to detroit city airport. Before leaving I called ahead to a charter operator and had them get a pilot out of bed. He met me at the airport and we left detroit in a little 4 seater and hopped across the lake to cleveland.

Getting a cab at 4am in cleveland was hard. After repeated calls with greater desparation on each call, the taxi dispatcher came out personally and took me to the hospital. I arrived a few minutes after 5 and at 529 Liz arrived. and she let the world know she was here, she was talking from the word go.