Month: May 2006

  • Am I the last person standing to have never watched either "American Idol" or/and "Lost"? 

  • Of course Target has a 90 day return policy!  Meaning, "Gee, that's a real shame about your DS.  We can't help you."

    Next month will mark the third anniversary of Dmitry's receiving his Gameboy Advance when we met him, and it's never given a lick of trouble.  The DS?  Five months!

    Oh well.  Maybe it's just the battery.

  • Isn't this neat?  Yesterday afternoon Dmitry's teacher called to tell me he'll be receiving an award for Academic Improvement ("Good going, kid!  You're not doing near as badly as you used to!") on Friday morning, but to not let him know as it's to be a surprise.

    So mum's the word. 

    Last night there I was, working away at a rather challenging game of Sudoku on the BrainAge program for the Nintendo DS, when the game system shut off.  Mind, this is while it was hooked up to charge.  Afterwards it either wouldn't turn on, merely flickering and dying, or would turn on then a minute or so later switch off.

    Blister it!  Could it be the battery, d'you think?

    Speaking of power problems, Don sorted the nonfunctioning garage door opener and living room ceiling fan last night by locating the fuse that had tripped.  Never mind all the fuses looked to be in the "on" position....he said #18 felt "soft" when he tried it, so he flipped it off then back on and voilá!

  • Just got an email from Charles, and he's put in for leave from June 13-27th, including the information his brother is leaving for Japan while he (Charles) will be at his next school. 

    Yippee!!!!  e-cheerleader

  • Just got off the phone with Alex.

    My, my, my.  One never knows what the LORD has planned for a day, does one?  And it's not even lunch time!

    He's being posted to Japan.  e-thud

    He, Beth and Hannah leave in August for a two year tour of duty over there.  Alex will occasionally be gone on ships for up to three months at a time, visiting the Pacific Rim countries such as Russia, Australia, and I don't recall where all (Alex, where else did you say?  Mama's blanking here).

    Well, he'd grumbled a trifle (just a trifle!) about "Join the Navy and see Memphis, Tennessee." 

    He and Beth are going to actually SEE THE WORLD!  e-banana

    Not to mention give Don and me an unexceptional reason for visiting Japan.   Darn the luck.  e-batting

    Hmmmm.....we'll need to make sure they have a means to send video of precious Hannah via the internet while they're overseas.  Anyone skilled in that who can give us pointers?

  • You know it's a slow news day when this is's headline:


    Yes, the big story of the moment concerns a race horse.   Does anyone, apart from the horse's owners and rabid race fans, really care?

  • That was rather fun!  This evening after church (Dmitry and I slept in and went to the 5:00 service, where we sat with the Waybourns, minus Laura due to Lucas being under the weather, poor little munchkin) there was a tour of the new sanctuary.

    Had I known it was coming I'd have had a proper camera, but I didn't, so had to rely upon my cell phone camera. 

    So people could see, big, bright, blinding lights were in place; that's the baptistry there with the cones in front, and I think over to the left is where the choir will be:


    Gave up on color in the next two photos, instead going with sepia:


    I was upstairs in the balcony area when taking these.


    For some reason it was thought it'd be amusing for people to sign the concrete floor in the main entrance area.  Seeing as how it'll be covered up I couldn't see the attraction, but there went Dan, Joe, Zhenya, and Dmitry:


    That's Dmitry kneeling with his back to the camera, Dan barely visible past him, Joe standing while facing away, and Zhenya standing and facing me.  Have no idea who is the stray female.  Some hussy, no doubt. 

    Just kidding.  e-nogood

  • Two things: first, tonight was Brianna's dance recital. This year, seeing as how Don's in Oklahoma, I decided to take my PDA and a book and get there early for a change, so as to snag a decent seat towards the front. Don's more of a "Slip in right as the lights go down" sort, meaning we usually wind up way at the back.

    By golly, not this time! Nossiree, I arrived a few minutes after 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. start, and wasn't the first, either. Got a nice aisle seat perhaps six or seven rows back.

    Of course, then a family came and plopped themselves down in front of me, which I can hardly complain about, except for the man's (who sat on the aisle, as did I) habit of leaning over to the left when the kids were dancing, thereby obscuring my vision. If the pest of a man would just sit straight in his seat I'd have seen fine! The worst was when some woman down front wanted to get a wonderful video of her dancer, so stood in the aisle. If this had been what I'd seen during Brianna's numbers, there'd have been blood running in that aisle:

    Recitals 023

    The dark blob on the left is the back of the head of the man who should have been slightly to my right, the way the rows are angled, and the dark form in the middle was the woman who decided everyone behind her could go hang, so long's she got HER dancer clearly captured on video.

    People can be so dang rude.

    Fortunately, The Blob's dancer wasn't in Brianna's class, so we managed (my leaning up nearly over his left shoulder to take photos probably clued him in as to which dances were important to me); Brianna's second from the right in these:

    Recitals 008
    Recitals 013
    Recitals 032
    Recitals 035
    Recitals 046

    I thought she did quite nicely. It's been fun attending the recitals through the years as it makes it easy to gauge her progress.

    Afterwards her fan base was waiting in the lobby for her, while Jessica and Jason looked anxiously for their poppet to appear....Jason's on the left, holding the video camera aloft, not wanting to let a moment slip past unrecorded:

    Recitals 053

    Parents are so darn cute, aren't they? But then, so's their daughter:

    Recitals 058

    Actually, that's just one bouquet....she had so many she couldn't hold them all. Hey, my offering was 1 1/2 dozen red roses! ($9.97 at SuperTarget....steal of a deal.) Among other friends and family were Kirstin and Bethie; here's the latter trying on her cousin's tiara:

    Recitals 070

    Bethie's recital is June 14th. You may want to make your travel arrangements now.

    So that was the first thing. The second thing is that when I arrived home, the remote control wouldn't get the garage door to go up. Got out to open it by pushing the button inside the doorway, only it wouldn't work, either. Nothing. Dead as a mackerel. Called Don on his cell and he tried to tell me how to get it up manually, but I couldn't manage it.

    Would someone please tell me why, when something goes wrong with the garage door, it's inevitably when Don's out of town? Virtually every single time!

    There's a possibility it might have something to do with fuses, I've discovered, as the living room ceiling fan won't turn on. Went to the garage to check the fuses and they all seem to be in the "On" position, though. Maybe I'll call Jason tomorrow to see if he'll come over and see if he can sort it. He is, after all, a licensed electrician. ;^)

  • Tell you what, it was absolutely appalling to read the opening sentences of The DaVinci Code at Language Log, the blog-type-thing of Geoffrey Pullum, a professor of linguistics.  One keeps hearing how good a book it is, deplorable theology and historical inaccuracies aside. 

    They're kidding, right? 

    Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted
    archway of the museum's Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting
    he could see, a Caravaggio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy-six-year-old
    man heaved the masterpiece toward himself until it tore from the wall and
    Saunière collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas.

    As the professor put it:

    Brown's writing is not just bad;
    it is staggeringly, clumsily, thoughtlessly, almost ingeniously bad. In
    some passages scarcely a word or phrase seems to have been carefully
    selected or compared with alternatives. I slogged through 454 pages of
    this syntactic swill, and it never gets much better. Why did I keep
    reading? Because London Heathrow is a long way from San Francisco
    International, and airline magazines are thin, and two-month-old
    Hollywood drivel on a small screen hanging two seats in front of my row
    did not appeal, that's why. And why did I keep the book instead of
    dropping it into a Heathrow trash bin? Because it seemed to me to be
    such a fund of lessons in how not to write.

    ....[Brown] is a
    huge, blockbuster, worldwide success who can go anywhere he wants and
    need never work again. And he writes like the kind of freshman student
    who makes you want to give up the whole idea of teaching. Never mind
    the ridiculous plot and the stupid anagrams and puzzle clues as the
    book proceeds, this is a terrible, terrible example of the
    thriller-writer's craft.

    Well!  This gives one, as Hercule Poirot liked to say, furiously to think.  If the publishing industry places this high a value upon  "syntactic swill" then why shouldn't there be a slice of the pie with my name on it?

    Perhaps I ought to haul out Mercy Maude! and try to complete it.  

    BTW, when it comes to the almost-unanimous bad reviews for the movie, the palm surely must go to a reviewer for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, John Beifuss, who noted:  You know a movie's a dud when even its self-flagellating albino killer monk isn't any fun.  e-rofl

    Maybe there's a way to work a self-flagellating albino killer monk into MM?  e-headscratch

    And mine'll be fun.  e-batting

  • BTW, Charles called yesterday, right after he graduated from basic sub school (the boat, not the sandwich).  He had the rest of the day off, was looking forward to getting his "blue card", which gives him increased freedoms, such as when civvies can be worn, and when he needs to be back on base after leave.

    His basic machinist school begins Monday, so he'd have only had a very short time here this weekend.  Add to that the fact Don's about to leave for Oklahoma to help install a job he sold (the eldest son of the tech who'd normally do this died last weekend) and won't return until Tuesday, and it's clear Charles made the right decision, i.e. to delay coming home till next month.

    One sad element of this training period is seeing your new-best-friends leave, who are taking a different route than you.  Charles made a good friend, Hamby (don't recall his first name) at boot camp who has roomed with him during sub school, who either left yesterday for Georgia, or is leaving today.  This is undoubtedly one of the negatives of life in the military....waving friends off as they are posted elsewhere. 

    The basic machinist school is only three weeks long, and while he's in it he'll find out whether he'll receive his request to train to maintain weapons systems, or will train for the sub's auxiliary systems (the one's that make the sub actually work....not as glamorous, but then no one is more welcome than the plumber or the a/c repairman when those systems go on the fritz).  His reason for selecting weapons systems?  Well, besides how cool it'd be to have top secret clearance (19 year old guys are all about cool), if someone is assigned to mind the torpedos, he learned, there is greater-than-usual opportunity for sleep (Charles is definitely all about sleeping!).

    Being either cool or unconscious.....the qualities that made this nation what it is today.