Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Twin Sons of Different Mothers?

Caroline's Art

In the past few weeks, Caroline created some art at Parent's Day Out.

Here they are without comment, except to say that the gray blotches are where the wet paints warped the paper and the scanner picked them up as shadows.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Music I've been listening to lately

For Father's Day, I got an mp3 player. Just a simple 2GB Sansa. It works very well for music.

So, I thought I'd let you in what I've been listening to lately...

Right now, it is Robert Randoph and the Family Band. rocks for this sort of thing. I couldn't tell you exactly which show. March 6, 2004 in New Jersey, I think. This is RRFB's Official Site.

I also synced up some James Gang. Joe Walsh. Jaco Pastorius. Paul Shaffer. Michael Omartian. Steely Dan. Boston. Bill Watrous. Fairport Convention. Chuck Mangione. Will Ackerman. Hem. And a few others.

Yes, this music entry is link heavy. I did manage to stay away from Wikipedia, though. All links, except the first, point to the official site for the musician(s).

Blast from the Past

This was probably taken in 1989 in the Chicago are. That is the Don White Trio at some gig. More photos of Don and friends can be found at Doug's photo gallery. Do things really look better in color?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Real Life is Good

I play an online game called BattleMaster. My friend and coworker, Bill, turned me on to it. It is a team-oriented browser game merging strategy and roleplaying. I've been playing it for about 8 months now. Angie calls it "your luser game." Actually, I jokingly call it that.

One of the absolutes in the game is: Real Life comes first. You miss a turn because you had to study for finals, no problem. Sick? take a few days. Gone on holiday? No problem (my paraphrase).

About a month ago, a new character emerged in our realm. She was from the game region that my main characters were from, so I strike up an in-game conversation. There are mechanisms for being anonymous in the game. So, I had no clue who was on the other end of the ether. I try to be a good gamer, offering to help. We have some game mechanic exchanges, then it turns into a bit of a Role Play (RP). No, nothing weird or strange. Just two players in a game interacting. Because the game has time and space constraints (you only get so many hours a turn and characters can be in two different regions), to effectively RP, it is good to have the two characters in the same region at the same time. With wars happening and armies moving about, it is sometime difficult to accomplish this (see why Angie calls it a Luser game?). So, in game, Willem and Ilya make arrangements to meet in Menedor.

Conan O'Brien (in a nerdy voice): “Fear not, Gandalf is on the way!”

The player of Ilya is named Talita. I call her Tali. She lives in Brazil. São Paulo. Near where the Fifes live. Well, near is a relative term with 18 million people in the metro area. It was suggested that we collaborate on a single document, each having editing rights. We spend some time working on this. Remember, RP is generally done in real time. Coordinating the editing and posting in game presents a problem. We can't make deadlines. Why? Real Life. Her dog is not doing well. I think the phrase "puking all day" was what she used. The dog still isn't doing well. Two different timezones. Her grandma called. "Excuse me, my grandma's on the phone." "I've got to give Caroline her bath." "My boyfriend's taking me to the movies." (That last one was Tali.) Real Life says spend time with your family. "I'm really tired and didn't get my nap on Sunday. I've got to go to bed." (Me). Real life.

We've started IM'ing using GoogleTalk. I never thought I'd be a fan of the IM. Angie can whip around in about six of them at one time. I'm still learning. The conversation drifted away from, "So, what's Willem going to say or do now?" to, "what did you have for dinner?" to "I can't RP tonight, I'm taking Caroline to her first ballgame." With an explanation of why we went. It turns out that Tali's aunt has Ds as well. Somewhere in there, I introduced Tali to Angie's and my blogs. She's seen us and read of our quirks. The conversation last night turned to her flog. Photolog. (I didn't know what it was, either. See, this is a learning experience for us all.) She showed me a picture of some of her family and friends during a post-Christmas vacation. Then she showed me a picture of her grandmother. Her mom's mom. Her aunt's mom. She passed away a little over two years ago. She had some of the kindest eyes that I've seen in a person. Then for the next hour or so Tali and I talked of her grandmother, and how she started two schools for exceptional children, like her daughter. When she did this in the 1970's, there was only one other school like that in São Paulo. She wanted to make a difference. And she did, because no one else was. I told her some of Caroline's story and pointed her toward the YouTube video of Caroline. She was moved by the video and commented, "It'll just keep me smiling for a long time^^"

When Tali stopped the RP chat to spend time with her grandma on the phone, it made me realize even more that Real Life is important and good. When she stopped the RP because Alex (her boyfriend) wanted to spend time with her, it reinforced the grandma call lightbulb moment. Real Life is important and good. Savor life for what it is at the moment. Sometimes you don't get a second chance with moments like that.

I put it into practice yesterday when Bill came through the office asking if I wanted a brownberry cherry tomato. I said no. I don't like tomatoes. But I chased him down and ate it. It was mostly good. Is that a great example? No. I took a walk with Angie and Caroline last night after grilling salmon steaks. Better. Having Edison say, "I love you, dad" when he called from a church youth group outing was very nice. Having a new friend in cyberspace is also nice. Not as nice as the cheesecake pie Angie made on Saturday, but still very nice. :)

Real Life is Good.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Caroline's First Baseball Game

Last night I took Caroline to Smokies Park to see the Tennessee Smokies host the Mobile Bay Bears. The evening was hosted by Marvin, Ray, Mark and a few other CVS managers and employees. For a few years now, they've been involved with local charities. This is the second year that they've taken some of the DSAG families to the ball park. We had excellent seats. Marvin and crew really took care of the DSAG families. Caroline had a great time. The Smokies lost, 10-3. We saw an inside the park home run. Actually, the scorer listed it as an error. I don't want to tick off the purists, but when a player hits the ball and it doesn't leave the playing field and the batter makes it safely around all four bases, it is an inside the park home run. We stayed until the last out. This is just a nice photo from the game.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy Birthday, Steve

Happenings in History for July 06:

1747 John Paul Jones naval hero ("I have not yet begun to fight")
1796 Nicholas I Russia, Tsar (1825-55)
1818 Adolf Anderssen Prussia, world chess champion (1851-66)
1884 Harold Vanderbilt NY, America Cup (1930,34,37)/inv contract bridge
1918 Sebastian Cabot London, actor (Mr French-Family Affair)
1923 Nancy Davis Reagan NY, 1st Lady (1981-89)
1924 Robert M White pilot (X-15)
1925 Bill Haley Mich, (& the Comets-Rock Around the Clock)
1925 Merv Griffin San Mateo Calif, TV host (Merv Griffin Show)
1927 Janet Leigh Merced Cal, actress, She's in the shower (Psycho, Harper)
1927 Nicky Hilton heir to his father Conrad Hilton's vast international hotel chain.
1927 Pat Paulsen comedian, presidential candidate (Smothers Bros Show)
1932 Della Reese Detroit, singer/actress (Della Reese Show, Royal Family)
1937 Gene Chandler [Eugene Dixon], Chicago, rocker (Duke of Earl)
1937 Ned Beatty Lexington Ky, actor (Deliverance, Repossed, Network)
1945 Burt Ward LA Calif, actor (Robin-Batman)
1946 Fred Dryer Hawthone Calif, NFLer (NY Giants, LA Rams)/actor (Hunter)
1946 Sylvester Stallone NYC, actor/director (Rocky, Rambo, Cobra)
1949 Shelly Hack Greenwich Ct, actress (Tiffany-Charlie's Angel)
1954 Allyce Beasley Bkln, actress (Agnes Dipesto-Moonlighting)
1959 John Keeble rocker (Spandau Ballet-True)
1959 Steve Aubrey brother (Aubrey family)

Deaths which occurred on July 06:

1189 Henry II King of England (1154-89), dies at 56
1415 Jan Hus burned for heresy by the Church at Constance, Germany
1535 Sir Thomas More executed in England for treason
1971 Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong jazz musician (Hello Dolly), dies at 70
1980 Gail Patrick actress (My Man Godfrey), dies of leukemia at 69

On this day...
England's King Richard III crowned
1687 Newton publishes "Principia"
1699 Capt William Kidd arrested in Boston
1776 Dec of Ind announced on front page of the "PA Evening Gazette"
1777 British Gen Burgoyne captures Fort Ticonderoga from Americans
1785 Congress resolves US currency named "dollar" & adopts decimal coinage
1798 US law makes aliens "liable to be apprehended, restrained,... &
removed as alien enemies"
1885 1st inoculation (for rabies) of a human being, by Louis Pasteur
1886 Horlick's of Wisconsin offers 1st malted milk to public
1892 Striking steelworkers in Homestead, Pa fire on scabs, killing 7
1894 Cleveland sends 2,000 troops to Chicago to suppress Pullman strike
1903 George Wyman arrives in NYC by motorcycle 51 days out of SF
1908 Robert Peary's expedition sails from NYC for the north pole
1912 5th Olympic games in Stockholm opens
1919 British R-34 lands in NY, 1st airship to cross Atlantic (108 hr)
1924 1st photo sent experimentally across Atlantic by radio, US-England
1928 1st all-talking motion picture shown, in NY (Lights of NY)
1932 1st class postage back up to 3 cent from 2 cents
1938 NL beats AL 4-1 in 6th All Star Game (Crosley Field, Cincinnati)
1944 170 die in a fire at Ringling Bros Circus in Hartford Conn
Nicaragua becomes 1st nation to formally accept UN Charter
1945 Pres Truman signs executive order establishing Medal of Freedom
1953 J Churms discovers asteroid #1701 Okavango
1957 Harry S Truman Library established in Independence, Missouri
1958 Alaska becomes the 49th state
1960 Dr Barbara Moore completes a 3,207 mile walk from LA to NYC
1964 Beatles' film "Hard Day's Night" premiers in London
1965 Rock group "Jefferson Airplane" forms
1971 White House Plumbers unit formed to plug news leaks
1976 Soyuz 21 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 5 space station
1978 Israeli jet fighters swooped over mostly Moslem West Beirut
1983 Fred Lynn of Angels hits All-Star game 1st grand slam (AL wins 13-3)
1989 After 9 years, WHOT (Bkln pirate radio station) is busted by the FCC
1989 US marshals & FCC sieze pirate radio station WHOT in Brooklyn
1990 "Jetson's the Movie" with Tiffany, premiers

Info taken from ANYDAY

The good old days, when Cornflakes were new...

While looking for some genealogy information in an old newspaper (circa 1910), I came across this advertisement...