Month: June 2005

  • Dmitry was in a reminiscent mood this evening, fetching paper and pen
    to sketch out his home in Pervomaysk.  Some stuff was new, while
    other was not.  I was aware of the apple trees they had, but not
    of the garden where they grew cucumbers and potatoes, and occasionally
    strawberries.  There was also a banya, the Russian bath which
    sounds like a sauna.  He told of sitting in it and getting hotter
    and hotter, whacking himself with birch twigs, then running out and jumping into the snow.

    It sounds like torture to me but he sighed nostalgically over it. 

    When he gets going about his life in Pervomaysk it forcibly brings home just how different life
    is here.  He needs to write these memories down, else he's going
    to forget them, I fear; after all, there's Shumerly in between
    Pervomaysk and Texas . . . he was a month short of 8 years old when he
    was moved to the children's home.  IOW, this stuff happened about
    half his life ago.

  •  Two things....

    One, today is the first day of summer.  Technically.

    Well, lah di dah dah.  Big whoop.  That's the trouble with both
    the winter and summer the time they actually get here,
    it's been-there-done-that.  Summer is, like, such old news around
    here.  It's been hot for awhile now.  June 21st is toward the
    middle of the summer, for crying out loud.  In a few weeks the Hallmark Christmas ornaments will be out and back-to-school sales will be in full swing.  How is today the beginning of summer?

    Two, what is up with internet baseball player info sites?  There's
    some player named Vladimir Guerrero, which fascinated me.  What an
    unusual pairing of names!  Vladimir + Guerrero.  Hmmmm. 
    Odd.  Turning my powerful intellect (hehehe) onto it, I deduced he
    must be of Cuban extraction, what with the Soviet Union having such a
    long history in Cuba, after all.  So I thought I'd do a bit of
    research to see if I'd deduced correctly.

    Hah.  The only thing these dumb sites talk about is his batting average, blah blah blah.  Who cares?  Where was he born, or at least his family born? 

    And as an addendum to the promised two things, let me say that dull and
    boring as the television commentators are for professional baseball
    games, they pale in comparison to the dullness and boringness of the
    commentators - who never shut up
    for one second - for the collegiate "world series".  They've
    attained depths of inanity and paucity of content the pros can only

  • Okay, I'm getting there.  It's been a slow, laborious process but
    I'm optimistic that before too long I'll have managed to download,
    burn, then convert some songs to MP3 format, at which point they can be
    put on the PSP.

    Used Rhapsody to burn a CD this morning!

    Worked like a charm except I somehow got "Mack the Knife" on there
    twice.  Fortunately I'm powerful fond of "Mack the Knife."

    Tell you what, there's nothing like searching through songs (pardonnez-moi,
    tracks) on a site such as Rhapsody to drive oneself mad trying to
    remember the name or the artist of one song or another.  My
    memory's tickled by snippets of songs that aren't sufficient to dredge
    up the necessary information.  Argh!

    My brother and I were talking about this on Sunday at the party, and he
    observed how strange it is to read about iPods and other MP3 players
    boasting of their ability to hold hundreds, possibly even thousands,
    of songs.

    There aren't, he said plaintively, more than a few dozen songs he particularly wants to listen to.  Who on earth likes THAT many songs? 

  • There was a Father's Day-cum-birthday-cum-anniversary celebration at
    Mom's yesterday, featuring bodacious barbeque, salads, and
    desserts.  It was lots of fun.

    Kirstin was there with my Bryson Bunny.

    Dad talking to Alex, who called to wish his father and grandfather a Happy Father's Day.

    My sis-in-law, Mary, gettin' down with the Gameboy with Dmitry.

    Mom's homemade chocolate sauce was a hit, just like last time. 
    The girls, especially, are believers in becoming as one with the
    sauce.  Oddly enough, Benjamin is much tidier about it.

  • Things are changing in Russia, as the government girds its loins and
    decides to get serious about the large number of children available for
    adoption.  The primary thrust is trying to get Russian families to
    adopt them, reasonably enough, so the following site is available only
    in Russian right now, though they promise it'll be offered in other
    languages soon: Adoption in Russia

    I do believe the linked page has Viktor on it . . . second photo down:

    Searching 1996 brought up a Vladimir:

    Those photos look old compared to the one I was sent:

    Vladimir, especially, has lost a good deal of weight, ISTM.  Turns
    out he's actually 8 years old, not turning 9 until next month, while
    Viktor's 14th birthday is in September.  Oh, and did I mention
    that the date of the BFC has been pushed off?  It'll take place
    toward the end of August, so Dmitry'll be in school, isn't that the
    way.  In fact, they'll have to bunk in with another host family
    for a night so Don and I can take Charles to Texas Tech that first
    weekend.  However, this will probably be no insurmountable problem.

  • Talk about wicked good....unnecessarily wicked good, in fact.....oy vey! 

    Dip into a pint of this stuff:

    Combination of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, laden with chunk of brownies and chocolate chip cookie dough.

  • Mom and Dad generously gave me checks for my birthday (along with, on Dad's part, the darlingest pewter alligator you ever saw).

    What to do with this windfall?   Hmmmm.....

    Lots of terribly practical things occurred to me, naturally, but I
    chucked each and everyone of 'em in favor of Frivolity Unlimited.

    Bought a Sony PSP.

    I will be sharing it a good deal with Dmitry, who has been about to
    have an anxiety attack he wanted one so bad, but our applications will
    be different.  He's a self-professed "game geek" while I'm busy
    downloading MP3 tracks for it, and will work on how to get my photos
    and videos on it. 

    Thanks, Mom and Dad! 

  • Wow. 

    54 years old today! 

    Pretty cool.  It's odd, but I've gone from dreading each birthday
    because it means I'm a year older, to being puffed up about my
    advancing years.  ISTM the fifties are the "teenage" phase of
    middle age, sort of a betwixt-and-between time.  One isn't young,
    no doubt about that, but one hardly qualifies as old, either.

    So far I'd have to say this has been my favorite decade. 

  • I have got the coolest new telephone.  ;^)

    Takes pictures and 15 second videos, I can check my email on it, browse the internet on it, etc.

    This critter is terrific!

  • I knew I was forgetting something! 

    Charles has left to go on his very first business trip, believe it or
    not.  The manager of the DQ at which he works (as a shift manager,
    in fact) took him and at least one other employee (his friend, Aaron,
    who is also a fellow Cow Sponge member) to the DQ's in Anson, north of
    Abilene, and Floydata, somewhere in the vicinity of Lubbock, for
    training purposes.

    The manager of the Anson store up and quit suddenly on Tuesday,
    necessitating a hurried trip out there, and the Floydata store is
    getting new register equipment so the employees there will need to be
    taught how to use it, which is where Charles and Aaron come in,

    They aren't quite sure how long they'll be gone . . . one to two weeks,
    they believe.  Personally, I'd be surprised if it's that long,
    considering the expense involved in providing food and lodging on top
    of wages for that length of time.