Month: April 2007

  • Gribble? Where the heck's GRIBBLE?

    One of the weird things about watching television weathercasts is when they project a storm's movement; you know the sort of thing:  "The storm will reach Grand Prairie at 10:27, then Duncanville at 10:35..." and so on.

    What's hilarious is how often the towns named aren't any we've ever heard of.  Someone told me it was because the weatherpeople still use old railroad maps, which still show all the teeny tiny towns along the rail line.  Towns such as Gribble, which is up around Farmer's Branch in Dallas county.  And Bransford, which was in the general area of Colleyville (which has a school named for that town).

    Is this unique to Texas?  Or do y'all's weathercasters also warn defunct towns about approaching storms? 

  • Where's Middleageguy when you want him?

    I was reading a story on the Dallas Morning News website about a fancy-pants cake decorator, Bronwen Weber, and the unusual cakes she's made.

    Fish, oddly enough, are a popular choice for some events.  "I've done
    hundreds of trout," she said, explaining that it's a favorite for
    birthdays and grooms. "It gets easier every time I do it."

    I guess a trout's no more peculiar than that Texas groom's cake tradition, the armadillo.

    Here's the part that brought Randy, aka: Middleageguy, to mind:

    Although she
    won't admit to having a favorite cake – "Usually, I just look forward
    to the next one," she said – she seems to have a penchant for primates.

    "I love monkeys, and I keep pushing the monkey cake," Ms. Weber said. "No one wants the monkey."

    Randy'd want the monkey.  He'd be all over that cake like fleas on a, um, ah, well, monkey.

    She has a website which features some of her creations, some of which I like more than others.  These I like:

    0089_FrostedArt0129_FrostedArt 0108_FrostedArt

    These I'm not particularly keen on:


    Here's my idea of the quintessential groom's cake:


    Oh, MY. 

    I don't see how someone could cut into this one:


    OTOH, I can easily imagine some little boy begging, "Can I have the NOSE?" 

  • I didn't even know England HAD earthquakes.

    Apparently it does, however, seeing as how there was one this morning that whupped up on Kent, causing chimneys to topple, etc.  It was a 4.3 off the coast of Dover.



    Fairly stout damage for a 4.3!  ISTM in California a tremblor of that magnitude mostly shakes stuff, but that's all.  Perhaps it's because buildings in California are built with quakes in mind?

    Here's a list (from BBC) of other recent British earthquakes:

    December 2006 - Dumfries and Galloway (magnitude 3.5)
    September 2002 - Dudley, West Midlands (5.0)
    October 2001 - Melton Mowbray (4.1)
    September 2000 - Warwick (4.2)
    April 1990 - Bishop's Castle, Shropshire (5.1)
    July 1984 - Nefyn, north Wales (5.4)
    June 1931 - in North Sea near Great Yarmouth (6.1)

    In 1580 an earthquake in the same region killed a couple of people in London. 

  • Girls, girls....and more girls!

    Jessica called to tell me their new baby is also a girl.  

    Jason is undeniably a bit disappointed, as he'd really, really wanted a little boy, already having been blessed with two bee-yoo-ti-ful daughters, but there it is.  The LORD said "no, I've got you pegged as the father of daughters", apparently.  ;^)

    What with Alex and Beth's new daughter due in August, and now this one due in September, won't the cousins have a good time once Alex and Beth return home in a couple of years?  Heaven knows Jonathan and Justin (born three weeks apart) have always enjoyed each other, as have Bethany and Brianna (born five months apart).

    At large family parties, though, Benjamin, Bryson and Cole will doubtless be found hovering together, unnerved by the preponderance of female cousins (and one sister). 

  • What the dickens does THIS mean?

    A friend stumbled across this t-shirt at UrbanOutfitters:


    "Adopting is the new black"? 

    I don't get it.

    BTW, presumably non-Xangans may now comment.  ;^)

  • Words of wisdom from Horatius Bonar:

    "The avoidance of little evils, little sins, little inconsistencies,
    little weaknesses, little follies, little indiscretions and
    imprudences, little foibles, little indulgences of self and of the
    flesh, little acts of indolence or indecision or slovenliness or
    cowardice, little equivocations or aberrations from high integrity,
    little touches of shabbiness and meanness, little indifferences to the
    feelings or wishes of others, little outbreaks of temper, or crossness,
    or selfishness, or vanity--the avoidance of such little things as these goes far to make up at least the negative beauty of a holy life."  (God's Way of Holiness)

    H/T:  Tim Challies' Even the Smallest Island

  • Dan made it to San Diego, at least!

    Bless his heart!    He found a few minutes to hastily drop me an email:  "hi mrs Ivy!  just had a little time to write. we are right now at San Diego waiting for the bus ride to the base. well hope that everybody doing good and tell George that i will see him in july." 

  • Odd timing.

    On the day Dan leaves for the Marines, Charles called with the official news that he is being released from the Navy, and is off the Dallas.

    The top and bottom of it is it turns out he doesn't do well on submarines, and it's submariners the Navy needs most right now, as the surface fleet is being cut back, with ships being decommissioned and crews shrunk.  The doctor recommended he be released, so today he was moved off the boat to a processing building, and should be back in Texas in June.

  • Dan the Devil Dog.

    Well, I suppose that's premature, seeing as how he's not yet graduated from boot camp.

    Devil Puppy?  

    In any case, the deed is done and the United States Marine Corps has a
    new Russian recruit.  This morning Kathy picked me up a bit after 6:30
    a.m. and off we headed to the MEPS office in Dallas.

    Got there a good 45 minutes earlier than we'd intended to, but the
    marvelous grilled toast at Nowack's Grill made that worthwhile.  ;^)

    Shortly after we arrived, so did Laura, and in a few minutes Dan was
    spied at the front desk, turning in the last of his paperwork:


    Then he came over to sit with us, waiting for the swearing-in:


    After a bit the recruits were called back to the large room in which
    the final ceremonies take place.  Periodically an "OOO-RAH!" could be
    heard.  (When asked later about the reason for the enthusiastic cries,
    Dan responded "They made us.")  Finally family and friends were invited
    to join them.


    After the swearing-in, the recruits signed their contracts:


    Y'all will be glad to know we ladies were brave as ten lions, plus
    two, and we didn't break down and embarrass Dan.  I'm sure he
    appreciated our restraint, which is why he agreeably posed for photos
    with us, first with his mother, Laura:


    Then with me:


    And finally with Kathy:

    God bless you, dearest Dan, as you set out on this new chapter in your life.  We'll be praying for you!  

  • It's hard to believe this is happening....!

    But this afternoon was Dan's Farewell Party prior to his leaving for
    the Marine boot camp tomorrow, and he reported to the Marine recruiting
    office at 5 p.m. to be taken to the hotel the recruits stay at.

    When we arrived Dan was hard at work updating his address book:


    The Russian Federation:


    Dan with his!


    Dan with his parents:


    And his maternal grandparents:


    Dmitry and Dan, together for the last time until July:


    Tomorrow morning several of us will be at the MEPS office in Dreadful Dallas at a hideously early hour of the morning.

    Photos will follow.