Month: September 2008

  • It was nice while it lasted.

    Dad, Don and Alex, originally uploaded by Anne_G_Ivy.


    But eventually Sunday morning arrived, and Alex departed for Japan.

    Dad had been kind enough to allow Alex to borrow his car, so this morning it was returned, allowing Alex to say goodbye to Mom and Dad. I forgot my camera (had been downloading photos last night), but still had my cell phone's camera. The top photo is good of Dad, while he was a bit blurry in the bottom on.  Oops.

    At the airport Charles was there (he was also seeing his friend, Joseph, off, who was returning to Groton and the Navy base) to bid his brother goodbye:


    Alex's father-in-law made the trek from Mesquite, and the four of us sat in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt there at the airport until it was time for Alex to go through security and head for his gate:


    I know I mentioned it a year or two ago, but this statue still strikes me as wholly inappropriate for an airport terminal:


    A "good luck" symbol?  Is this a suitable message for those taking to the skies?

  • It's been a family-filled weekend, that's for sure!

    In the afternoon Charles and Cherish - plus Aries, of course - came in town to see Alex while he's here:


    BTW, it's not only yappy little dogs who like to play with those things, and to chase laser lights:

    Yesterday was also Alex's 28th birthday so Don and I met him at Mom and Dad's for club sandwiches and chocolate cake.  First, however, there were cards and a few small gifts:




    After that Alex and I went to the monthly "Dessert and Improv" performance, featuring Curtis Needs a Ride:



    It's truly an ill wind that blows no one good, for Hurricane Ike chased Don's aunt, Norma Ruth, from Port Arthur up to his brother's house in Haslet, so we took Norma Ruth's brother, Richard, and Jonathan to see her.  Last time at least Don, Jonathan and I had seen her was in the summer of '90, on our way back from DisneyWorld, and it was the first time we'd seen Katie Elena since she arrived home with Joe and Helen when they adopted her from Guatemala (or "Guacamole", as Joe teases her):


    That's her with Tuxedo.  She's a week younger than Hannah....won't it be wonderful when Hannah comes home for good next summer?  The girls will have such a super time together, I've no doubt.

    Jonathan, Joe, and Don (who is not looking especially enthusiastic about having his photo taken):



    Richard, Norma Ruth, Don, Joe, and Katie Elena.

    When we left a band of the erstwhile Ike was moving over us, bringing rain and wind.  Looks as if we might get some more as the evening progresses.

    This IS north Texas, right?  Yesterday Lubbock got 7" of rain from Tropical Storm Lowell, and today Fort Worth is seeing some rain from Hurricane Ike. 

  • Hurricanes bring out the incredible stupidity of people.

    Case in point is this photo of a woman with her son, posing for a photo (taken by another son) in Galveston with the waves crashing against the seawall:


    The skull-and-crossbones is an ironic, possibly prophetic, touch.  What sort of irresponsible parent puts her children at risk for the sake of some stupid picture?  Even I wouldn't do that.  Yet that's not the first photo I've seen today showing families out to see the hurricane come in. 

    It's astonishing how many people are refusing to leave the island, even though the emergency personnel will be evacuating this evening.  Let me tell you, when the police, firefighters and paramedics decide to scoot, I'm going too.

  • Yesterday Alex and I went to visit his Aunt Jeanne.

    She has two small white dogs, Dixie and Louie.  Louie would be better named Yappy, as that is one yappy, hyperactive dog.  Crazy pooch!

    Here's a still of the Crazy Pooch and Alex:


    And one of Alex with his Aunt Jeanne:


    Jeanne was kind enough to get out her videos from the past, so we had a super time watching a couple of blasts from the past.  It's been a really blessing, what a chronicler she has been for the family.

  • Oof! And he's off.

    I don't recall if I mentioned 'ere now that Don changed employers in late July.  If I didn't, he did.  The company for whom he now works has its office in McKinney, which is to heck and gone from here, so they allowed Don to set up a home office.  It's been quite instructive, watching him work on a fairly good-sized RFP (Request For Proposal, or bid) for a phone system.  He's done myriad of them, but always at his office in Irving or Dallas.

    This time it was here.  One nice thing is how he needn't stay at the office until the wee hours then tiredly get in his car to make the trek home; now he can just stop and go to bed.  Getting to bed at 1 a.m. is very different from getting to bed at 2 a.m., isn't it?

    Last night I finally saw what these things look like:


    Every bit of it printed from here.    I'd no idea how huge those RFP responses can be!  He's taking two, plus a CD with the RFP burned onto it.

    [modestly]  Even I played a minor part in this endeavor, having created, printed out, and applied the label for the CD.   e-batting

    Plus drove to Staples and purchased a three-hole punch.  And helped tape up the box.

    Can't imagine how the man's ever done this stuff without me, by jingo.  e-browlift

    Now he's on his way to Commerce, about a two hour drive (with good traffic).  What's a bit unnerving is he isn't absolutely certain the RFP will be accepted, as the bid bond arrived to the home office in Oklahoma so late it couldn't get here in time, so a copy was either faxed to him this morning or scanned and emailed.  Don won't know till he gets there whether that will be allowed, with the promise of the Real Deal following ASAP. 

    Wouldn't that be a kick in the head, if they refuse to take it?   nervous

    Addendum:  They took it.  e-ghost

  • Did I mention that Alex is in town this week?

    Well, he is.  ;^)

    Arrived on Monday afternoon, and we just made it!  In the past I've always worked under the assumption it'll take time to get to the gate, get off the plane, collect the bags, and make ones way through customs.  His plane was scheduled to land at 3:45pm, so we planned to leave the house around 3:30pm, to be there a few minutes after 4, expecting to still have to kick our heels outside the terminal D international gate.

    Everything worked fine except his flight arrived ten minutes early, he whisked off the plane, his luggage was immediately available, and he zoomed through customs, meaning he emerged about 4:10, right as we entered the terminal.  Fortunately Beth's mother was there so she was able to rush up to him and hug him. 

    Monday evening we (Don, Alex, Jonathan, Dmitry and me) went to El Fenix so Alex could enjoy some proper Tex-Mex.  Then back home he hooked up his laptop to our television so as to show us some photos:



    Last night we had most of the kids over for supper, which was generously provided by Jessica.  So handy having a Chili's manager in the family!  Fajitas, burger bites and wings....oh my!

    Jonathan brought "poppies", as Bethany called them...those things one throws and they explode?  Here she is, ratting him out when I went outside to investigate what was going on out there:



    Here's our sweet Bridgette; isn't she cute?



    If there's one toy that has seen an extraordinary amount of use over the years it's the Fisher-Price rocking horse;  so far the grandchildren have yet to outgrow it:


    Even missing the in-laws (who were either out of the country or working) and Charles, there were plenty of people:



    It was a nice get together!  A shame Charles couldn't be here, for then we'd have had all six children together.  Oh well!

  • A short tale from a friend's cousin's blog.

    If you can follow that. 

    He was at the just-concluded GOP convention in St. Paul, and here's one of his reports:

    Andy Warhol said "everyone will be famous for
    15 minutes." My own fleeting moment in the limelight apparently came
    and went Wednesday evening at the Republican National Convention.

    Numerous friends
    and family have reported seeing me several times on network television
    as Governor Sarah Palin delivered her big speech. As Sarah began her
    address, I started getting a flurry of text messages on my cell phone
    telling me to "smile" and such. Then, predictably I guess, the text
    messages changed to fussin' at me to put away my cell phone because I
    was on TV. One friend even admonished me (by text message) for reading
    my text messages instead of paying more attention to our next vice
    president! You just can't win, I guess.

    I love it!  Receiving text messages telling him to stop reading text messages.  e-rofl

    This is such a strange world.  e-nogood

  • I think the FoodTV Network is running low on viable ideas for shows.

    I mean, "Feasting on Waves"? 

    Alton Brown hosting a show dedicated to, presumably, cooking on a boat?

    Is there really a lot of demand for wave-feasting in Iowa or Arizona?   e-headscratch

  • I'm late with this, which is unusual for me.

    Last Sunday evening Mom hosted a splendiferous party for Dad's 84th birthday.  Jeanne worked on making, ordering, and gathering the decoration, while Elaine and I - with valiant help from Liz at the club - got them up.  Then the family gathered for food and conversation, to honor our beloved Dad/Granddaddy/husband. 

    Here are Jeanne and Jason, Jessica's husband, examining the photos and clothing:




    I really need to get Dmitry to be able to see these photos and things....he'd love them.  ;^)

    Dad had firmly requested No Gifts, but Jessica had heard from Jill about something the latter's family had done, which is create a memory box.  We all put down a memory on slips of paper, or sent them to Kirstin so she could print them out, and Kirstin bought a lovely box to hold them.  One thing we'd not planned was who would present the box?  The task fell to Jessica, seeing as how it was her idea and all, and if I may be so bold, she did a simply stellar job!  No time for preparation, but she came up with a lovely presentation. 



    Did anyone take a video of it?  Nooo.  Isn't that just the way?  And here are a couple of photos just because I like them:



    It was a delightful evening.  Thanks, Mom! 

  • Anyone recall when there was a mania for turning stuff into lamps?

    Most of y'all are doubtless too young, but decades ago it was fashionable to take darn near anything and turn it into a lamp.

    Then anything that could possibly hold a little dirt would be used as a planter.  Flowers were sprouting out of really odd things, such as toasters.

    Guess what might be on the horizon as the next "hey!  I'll bet we can make a [fill in the blank] out of [fill in the blank]!":

    Yes, it's a teddy bear that is really a cell phone.  Made in Japan, of course, and recently displayed at a trade show.  Apparently the crowd went wild for it, so prepare yourself.

    Oh, it's expected to run about $500.