Month: June 2006

  • Yesterday evening our granddaughter, Brianna, arrived to spend the
    better part of the week with us, as she attends the Christ Chapel Bible
    Church VBS. It runs Tuesday through Friday, with a big kick-off
    party last night. Our niece, Meredith, graciously consented to
    bear us company, and away we went.

    It was quite crowded, so there tended to be looong lines for the most
    popular activities. Don did line duty for the Team Challenge
    Inflatable, while the girls did the beanbag toss. See the yellow
    thing between Marebear and the yellow bucket? That's her
    beanbag. She was so good she kept being moved back.


    I must say this was a good notion, taking few volunteers, and very low cost....bubble wrap pop!


    The girls loved the inflatable challenge course, insisting upon going
    through it twice, darn the line! Which was, of course, easy for them to say as it was Don and I who waited in it.



    BTW, both times Marebear beat Brianna, though getting a bit slower start. She's FAST!

    All that effort takes it out of a girl, though, so reviving snowcones were in order:


    Here's Don talking to them about something, I don't know what.
    It's a nice shot of the new sanctuary in the background. The
    girls also rode the "train" that can be seen behind them.


    While there Viktor, one of the boys from Ryazan who came home earlier
    in the spring, stopped to say hello, looking around for Dmitry.
    Unfortunately I had to disabuse him of the idea that this was a
    Dmitry-style affair. Too many people, too hot, and accompanied by
    little girls?

    Yeah, like that's gonna happen. Compared to Taylor and Tibia, it was no contest.

    Brianna had a terrific time at the VBS this morning, and is looking forward to returning on the morrow.

  • Got my camera back last night, so here's a photo from Bethie's recital last Wednesday evening (sadly, none of the 'action' photos of the stage turned out worth a darn):

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    Surrounded by her admirers' floral tributes.  ;^)

    Last night we had our June celebration, this time courtesy of Jessica Marie.  She used one of the cool perqs of being a manager for Chili's by snagging the upstairs room of the Sundance Square store, and getting the meal comp'd.  Sweet, huh? 

    When we arrived, several family members had beat us to it, and were waiting outside.  Here's Jill with darling Cole, who just gets cuter and cuter:

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    Clearly Cole's paternal grandmother, Jeanne, thinks he's pretty cute, too:

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    Unfortunately I was trapped against the wall, so my photo-taking ability was limited.  Still, here's one of Elaine, who was opening birthday cards, Jeanne beaming at Margaret, and Justin.

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    It was a very nice party, indeed. 

  • Hoo hoo!

    I'm in digital picture-taking clover, so I am.  e-yippee

    For my birthday, Don gave me something I didn't even know existed....a 4 gigabite SD memory card!  e-banana

    Those not desiring to have their photo taken may need to Take Cover.  e-batting

  • Oh OH!  The group that is seeking judicial relief from KFC's fatty
    fried chicken has now set their sights on Starbucks, according to Yahoo! news

    Starbucks Corp. may be next on the
    target list of a consumer-health group that this week sued the
    operator of the KFC fried chicken restaurant chain for frying
    foods in oils high in harmful trans fat.

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest said it is
    planning to campaign against the global cafe chain because of
    the increased risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer
    associated with high-calorie, high-fat products it sells.

    Mercy Maud, they're feeling their oats, aren't they?  KFC is one thing, but sticking their fingers into other people's coffee

  • A short, yet intriguing, story on the health front from the AP:  Rat study shows better dirty than clean

    Gritty rats
    and mice living in sewers and farms seem to have healthier immune
    systems than their squeaky clean cousins that frolic in cushy
    antiseptic labs, two studies indicate.

    The lesson for humans: Clean living may make us sick.

    The studies give more weight to a 17-year-old theory that the sanitized
    Western world may be partly to blame for soaring rates of human allergy
    and asthma cases and some autoimmune diseases, such as Type I diabetes
    and rheumatoid arthritis.

    The theory, called the hygiene
    hypothesis, figures that people's immune systems aren't being
    challenged by disease and dirt early in life, so the body's natural
    defenses overreact to small irritants such as pollen.

    The new studies, one of which was published Friday in the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, found significant differences in the immune systems between euthanized wild and lab rodents.

    When the immune cells in the wild rats are stimulated by researchers,
    "they just don't do anything; they sit there. If you give the same
    stimulus to the lab rats, they go crazy," said study co-author Dr.
    William Parker, a Duke University professor of experimental surgery. He
    compared lab rodents to more than 50 wild rats and mice captured and
    killed in cities and farms.

    You know, this makez scads of sense, as I simply don't recall people being so sick when I was a child.  My dinosaur-playing friend, Sandy, was the only kid I knew (so far as I knew) with asthma. Knew one or two children allergic to strawberries, seems like, but that's about it, barring hay fever.  Mainly we passed sore throats around, and suffered with ear infections.

    See?  That parental fixation on us children making our beds every day had dire consequences for everyone in the long run. 

  • Sometimes I read a news headline on the net and don't even want to
    click on the link, due to getting so much play out of wondering what on
    earth they're talking about. 

    Case in point:  On Yahoo's front page there is a headline reading "Whale carcass mystifies Alaskan scientists".

    Hmmmm.  Using the decoding skills painstakingly learned at North
    Hi Mount Elementary and Stripling Junior High, I'm guessing there's a
    dead whale somewhere in Alaska.  Is this so unusual, though? 
    I sort of thought deceased whales washed up on the shores of Alaska
    with some regularity.

    If the whale's cause of death were weird, like someone shooting it, that'd not puzzle scientists.  Police, perhaps, but not scientists.

    Maybe it's the wrong type of whale?  One not normally seen in those
    waters?  Or maybe it's in the wrong place, such as a covered parking
    lot of a mall?

    Again, though, that'd be a matter to mystify the police rather than scientists.

    I daresay eventually I'll break down and go see what the heck there is
    about this particular croaked whale to set Alaska's scientists in a
    dither, but for right now I'll try to puzzle it out myself.

  • Aye carumba!  

    Tomorrow night on 20/20 (9 p.m.CDT/10 p.m. EDT) will be the man who thought he'd see what happens if he tears up an unsolicited credit card application, tapes it back together, sends it to a different address, and puts down a cellphone number.  Read about it here.


  • I'd hoped to have photos from Bethie's dance recital last night, only it was so hot in the high school auditorium, and the program was taking so long, and her second dance wasn't until a good bit after the first intermission (first intermission, can you imagine?), that we bailed at that intermission, coming on home.  As it was we weren't home until 8:30, so had dinner a few minutes before 9 p.m., which is a trifle late even for us, who tend to be European in our dining habits, as least so far's timing's concerned.

    Anyway, Kirstin had forgotten to bring her camera, so I lent mine to Jessica so she could take the arms-full-of-flowers photos at the end.

    This was Bethie's final recital, as she's chosen to drop dancing in favor of cheerleading.  

    And little Benjamin's begun taking gymnastics.

    They're an exuberant, active pair, that's for sure.  Such energy....! e-faint

  • Basketball commentators tickle me.  This must be the only game where they will seriously state "There's still plenty of time" when there's nine seconds left in the game. 

  • My friend Dawn (aka: ladydusk over there in the links) found a really neat site:  LibriVox, which "provides free audiobooks from the public domain."

    Everything's recorded by volunteers, meaning the quality will be
    uneven.  For instance, I'd skip the reading of Browning's "My Last
    Duchess."  How that man managed to make such a dark poem sound so
    drab, beats me, but he did.

    There's certainly a wide range of material available, from some Agatha
    Christie (public domain? really?) to - I got this straight from their
    front page - "The Romance of Rubber", courtesy of the United States
    Rubber Company.