Month: March 2008

  • I thought this was cute, and clever too. ;^)

    Today I stayed with Kirstin's children while she was at work (no school....still!), and they were very well-behaved.

    However, at one point I did call out to Bryson, advising him that he's a naughtiness.  Without missing a beat he yelled back, "No, I not.  I a goodness!" 

  • Rather than sending out emails, I'll just post this warning....

    That was copied from  It's not a new virus, but apparently it's making the rounds again, so be extra careful if someone appears to send you something like an e-card.  Notice one of the subject lines used specified Hallmark!  If there's any doubt, double check with the presumed sender prior to opening.

  • What a neat sight it was this afternoon.... watch Dmitry and Svetlana chatting happily via Skype, each able to see the other.     Voice is good, not a doubt about it, but voice and video are even better, and she at last bought a webcam for her computer yesterday.  She announced her new toy by sending us some photos she'd taken of herself with it; these are my favorites:




    Darned if her webcam doesn't take better stills than mine!  I'm really impressed with the quality of hers. And I've said it before and I'll say it again....isn't she gorgeous?  Dmitry keeps saying he thinks she could be a model.

    I agree she could, but am just as glad she's not, instead having a nice job in a telecommunications company that apparently specializes in laying the cables, etc. for phone systems, which is amusing as of course phone systems are what Don's sold for almost 25 years. 

  • Just a few odds and ends....

    Today Bridgette came to stay for a few hours while her parents worked; she seems to have entered what her father refers to as her "snake" mode:




    By jingo, she's got a first-class tongue and is going to share it with the world.    She also likes to initiate a brisk game of peekaboo:


    This evening we had on Alton Brown's Good Eats for a few minutes, and here's something I've wondered.....what happened to the basic safety rule of "never have a pan's handle extending over the side toward you"?  Remember?  So you don't accidentally hit it and cause hot food to cascade over you and/or anyone standing nearby?

    This rule is rarely observed by any of the cooks on the various FoodNetwork shows, so far as I can tell.  It drives me nuts to see all those handles hanging over the side of the stove like they do.  So dangerous!  Is it wise for those cooks to display such a lack of care?  I'm thinking about emailing FoodNetwork and rebuking them for it.

    Speaking of television and food, what on earth is up with the recent Jack-in-the-Box commercials?  The company must have changed ad agencies, and I, for one, wish to heaven they'd change back.  If it's not that ghastly "hot tub" ad with its double entendre (I emailed Jack-in-the-Box to complain about it, but never received a response), it's the one showing people getting injured or killed because they didn't eat some presumably neat and tidy edible from JitB, or the one with the guy being sucked into the airplane's engine, and tonight there's a new one where Jack manages to disrupt a wedding reception by muttering to his wife, "It won't last".

    You know, none of these provide me with any particular yen to go to Jack-in-the-Box.  The reverse, actually.

    This evening we've got the Mavericks' game on, and a frustrating affair it is, too.  Tell you what, if the LA Clippers win, they'll have the Mavs to thank.  Never have I seen a team so earnestly determined to help the visiting team win.  Sad to say, up to this point the Clippers are somehow defeating the Mavs' efforts to force a win on them, and are behind.  Given the raw determination displayed by the Mavericks, however, I daresay the Clippers still might win.  It's not often one sees a pair of teams so utterly set upon handing the ball over to each other.

    Today is also Avery Johnson - the Mavericks' coach's - birthday.  Truth be told, I really could not care less about his birthday, figuring he's pulling down enough bucks to buy himself pretty much anything he wants, and it's not an inducement to listen to the postgame show to find out what his favorite music is.  Is there some reason I should give two hoots - or even a hoot and a half - about what is Avery Johnson's favorite music?  Such personal tidbits of information regarding the players - not to mention their coaches - are becoming all too commonplace.  Does this stuff actually matter to anyone except maybe their mothers and wannabe girlfriends? 

  • I love captioned photos like these....



    And my particular favorite:


    If you need a pick-me-up, go to

  • Okay, NOW he's officially 21.

    Last night was Charles' 21st birthday celebration, wherein we had a Chipotle and champagne buffet, with Brownie Trifle for dessert.  Yum!

    Being in an unusually generous mood, he permitted more photos than he normally does:


    A toast, by jingo! 





    Meredith and Margaret were the only poppets to attend, sad to say.  They were intensely interested in what their cousin Charles got for his birthday.


    It's good to turn 21.  ;^)

    Naturally, when Charles and poppets are together:



    Won't he - and they - have fun on Easter?  So many kids will be wanting rides from him.  

    Oh, and here's a photo of the Brownie Trifle:


    It's intensely rich and delicious.!

  • And ANOTHER cool thing about computers today is the ability to monkey around with videos.

    Tonight I tentatively played with the Windows Movie Maker program that comes with Vista, and it's crazy stupid easy to use!

    I like crazy stupid easy. Crazy stupid easy stuff's about my speed.

    This has a couple of the same video clips as in the movie below, but also has some different ones plus transitions and titles!

  • You know, I just love the internet. ;^)

    This evening Don and I visited via Skype with Alex and his family, using our webcams so we could see each other as well as hear.  Got to see Hannah's new haircut (she has a regrettable knack for finding scissors, you see), and her playing with the train set we sent her for her birthday (which was yesterday....happy birthday to Hannah!), and riding her new tricycle, and seeing precious Faith grin, and stand, etc.  

    A feature of Skype is its ability to take a snapshot of what's on the screen.  The quality isn't much, but it's a good bit better'n nothing (sadly, I didn't get a photo of Faith awake and smiling and standing):

    Video call snapshot 1

    Video call snapshot 3

    Video call snapshot 4

    Video call snapshot 2

    It must have been dreadful back in The Olden Days, when people didn't have nice webcams and the internet, instead having to rely on telephones and snail-mail for communication when far apart. 

  • What does Benjamin have in common with the queen of England?

    They both celebrate their birthdays on a day other than their actual birthday.

    Benjamin's birthday was on Feb. 25, but today was his party, held at the Main Event in Grapevine. It was a time for bowling, pizza, and Unusually Large Cupcakes.


    Benjamin reminds us so much of his Uncle Alex in his passionate enthusiasm for his birthday. According to Kirstin, he's been on tenterhooks for weeks in anticipation of his party. Alex used to drive everyone nuts, musing and wondering and talking about his birthday, even months in advance. ;^)

    Bowling certainly sets Benjamin's toes on fire, but Bethany appeared to find the whole exercise rather pointless, half-heartedly chucking the ball down the alley then turning away to rejoin her friends over at another lane, and Bryson found it an exercise in frustration as his ball rolled so slowly.

    Lemme tell you, watching little ones bowl is like watching grass grow.

  • Dmitry's made it into 11th grade!

    By jingo, he's nibbling away at the grade deficit caused by his coming to America in the fall, thus effectively missing a year of school. 

    The math is still an ongoing problem, of course, but his ability in English is improving all the time (I read an essay he wrote and it was really quite good, with a beginning, a distinct middle, and a proper conclusion which tied back to his opening) and he's quite good in U.S. History, to the point he's apparently in demand for team exercises in history class.

    Not bad!  Not bad at all.  If he can just somehow manage to pass the state's exit exams he should be able to properly graduate.