just wait, it's coming! dddragon presents: Is Anything Truly Random?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Memorial Day

(Marching Band listens to the service during the Memorial Day observances.
Nod is the right, with the camera lens, taking pictures - of course!)

Monday was a really busy day for us. The Kiddies are in Marching Band and Jazz Band, ya see?

Band Boosters decided to sell baked potatoes in the park (many groups sell lunch stuff after the parade and services). So I was helping wash, "prick" and foil-wrap a whole bunch of potatoes and stuff them into the ovens at a church (not commercial ovens, either ... it got interesting!)

We got worried that they wouldn't sell, since it ended up being 96 degrees. Not to worry, we just about sold them all - many took them home (just about everyone walks all over town). Not to mention that we got the potatoes for free. It sure helps to have a BB prez that's a business owner and can badger/haggle well.

The Kiddies had to be at the school at 8:15 to pick up their uniforms (uniforms that are meant to be worn in the fall and winter and not suited for Florida or Memorial Day - i.e. HOT). They were marching with the Middle School band (7 & 8th graders who had never marched before). Parade at 9:30. Memorial service in the cemetery at 11:00 (played two pieces). Sit thru speeches.

Get back to the school to turn in the marching uniforms. Have some pizza. Put on Hawaiian shirts and get back to the park's gazebo for the Jazz concert. Play for an hour. Pack up the chairs, stands and equipment. Go BACK to the school to unpack the van.
By the time they're all done and we're home, it's 2:30. That's when I noticed that the temp was at 96 degrees F. Summer is here, indeed!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Meet & Eat

this is an audio post - click to playActonbell, TLP and I got together with Sar, who was visiting the Lancaster County area with family. It sure was great - it was like we'd known each other forever. We sat and talked for hours! Not so much eating. Can you guess which shoe belongs to which person?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Old Photo Weekend

One of these days I'll get caught up on what's been up with me and my life. Or maybe not. Anyway, it's time again for another old photo. This time it's my CalArts student ID.

Probably at most schools, having your photo taken for your student I.D. is a serious deal, or at least not silly. At CalArts, the abnormal WAS the norm. Some I.D.s were of hands or feet. You could tell most of the freshmen because their I.D.s were the most normal.

My second year I brought along my Mickey Mouse ears from Disneyland to wear in my photo. The person behind me asked to borrow it for his, and then the person behind him . . . The phototgrapher asked if I could leave it and come back later. (CalArts was founded by Walt Disney, and the "urban legend" of CalArts was that Walt was in a freezer in the basement. CalArts was also known as Mickey Mouse U.)

This I.D. was my third year photo. The lion hat (in honor of Penn State, of course) was purchased at Yosemite. Somewhere I've a photo of me wearing this hat with the famous Yosemite valley as a back drop, but naturally I can't find it right now (also too lazy to look too hard).

Hopefully things will slow down around here and I can get back to blogging, reading and posting. I hope that everyone Stateside has a save and fun Memorial Day weekend. Those on other sides of Ponds and borders have a great weekend, too!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Taylor Hicks is the American Idol!


Taylor Hicks won!

Bumper Sticker

This was on a car in my church's parking lot.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Oh, My!

My mother has posted!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Old Photo Weekend

Here is a photo of me and Chatham in January 1989 - he would have been two and a half years old at this point. I was MUCH thinner way back then.

Today we're having a yard sale. I organize our block to do it together, but this time I think we've only four or five families participating. At least it's not raining, like it has been on and off all week. My main objective to to get stuff out of the house. What we don't sell will go to my church for the Church Yard Sale next month. (Or the trash.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Mother's Day

We went out to Outback on Tuesday to let me have a Mother's Day meal that I would enjoy. Which I did.

On Sunday, Nod and my girls gave me nice gifts - a little book of black & white cat/kitten photos and quotes about cats. And evidence that my CowParade days will "haunt" me forever . . .

A ceramic cow planter and a carved cow birdhouse. Ain't they cute? Salem isn't sure, tho'.


On a completely different subject, I recently signed on to a geriatric cats yahoo group, since Chatham is nearly 19 years old. (It isn't a very active group.) A message came through the other day about 2 ten year old Persian cats who have lost their foster home. They were relinquished together to the local kill shelter and must leave this weekend or be euthanasized; the message was a plea for someone to save them, perhaps to a Persian rescue group. Someone has organized a relay to get these cats from Johnson City, TN, to West Lancaster, OH. Eight legs, ranging from 50 miles to 77 miles, has been organized (but they are looking for anyone who can get the cats closer to their goal).

I think this is neat . . . but it gets me to wondering how this same kind of thing could be helping others in so many ways. Finding kids, finding cures, etc.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mothers Day Report

Well, Mother's Day was interesting. We went out to a buffet with my BIL and MIL. Nod was pissed when he found out 40 minutes beforehand that the hotel buffet that his brother picked out was $25 per person. I told him to either call his brother and say we can't afford that or to just suck it up and use his credit card. Nod's been pissed at his brother for days now concerning their mother and how dear Bro has been spending her money ... Nod chose not to fight at that moment (as it turned out later, Bro used HIS credit card, but I have no illusions as to how he'll really pay for it).

The food wasn't horrible, but certainly wasn't worth the money. Because BIL had waited until late to make reservations, we got one of the last seatings - 2 pm. I just HATE eating that late - it throws off the whole day, even if it is only Sunday.

So my girls and I ate more desserts than anything else (the beef and pork was dry and/or fatty, the veggies were pretty tasteless...). MIL seemed to be in an okay mood. Kept forgetting what she had already eaten, tho'.

Then, near the end of the meal, the server came around to total up the bill. My BIL is 50 and could be taken for a little older. So the server said in a businesslike way as she glanced around the table, "no children, two senior citizens..."

Well, that did it.

You see, my MIL has been SO incredibly secretative and vain about her age that all her old co-workers really, really wondered what it was. While my mom eagerly took her senior discounts, my MIL (as tightwad as she could be) would NEVER trade a discount for admitting her age.

So, my MIL exploded. She was SO insulted, yadda yadda.

Dear Goa'uld tried to make it better by saying that it was a compliment if someone had to ask . . . and then my MIL looked straight at my daughter and said "B-S".

Oh, no you don't. You don't mess with my kids. You don't swear at them. Especially my Goa'uld, who is very sensitive to swearing.

Good thing Nod was sitting between me and his mother. As it was, I leaned across him and said a few choice words at her.

Yeah, I know. Alzheimer's is a nasty disease. I don't care. Don't mess with me and my offspring. I'll bite your head off.

Nod has promised that I get to pick a place for us to go out to later on.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Old Photo Weekend

We've always like to have our pictures taken in those photobooths. We used to fit all four of us in, but not anymore!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Weekend Update

Master Trainer had asked me to take in the tents and other materials to Council. There was something I needed to pick up anyway, so I went yesterday afternoon. I had been mulling the weekend over in my head, wondering if perhaps I'm just not cut out to be a Trainer.

So, while I was at Council, I asked the Staff Person in charge of the Trainers (who are all Volunteers) just what the whole apprenticing thing was suppose to work. Turns out that a Master Trainer is supposed to meet with an Apprentice Trainer beforehand . . .

. . . Ah. Now, that was what I was expecting. So I related what happened last weekend (and I did not post about everything that happened). Staff Person was very apologetic - she was the person who convinced me that I should become a Trainer in the first place - and then told me that this particular Master Trainer has been spoken to three times about how she does things. Turns out that there are other Trainers who will not work with her at all (the two other Trainers at last weekend's training will do some sessions with Master Trainer, but not all types of sessions). And some programs have been "taken away" from Master Trainer.

This is a real shame, because Master Trainer does indeed have alot to offer in experience and knowledge.

But it sure made me feel better to know that I am not the first to have issues with her by a long shot . . .

Goa'uld is calling, time to go to school and work. Later, Y'all.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Weekend

If I had known last year that this spring would be so bad for allergy sufferers, I wouldn't have signed on to help with this Camp Out/Cook Out session. Many of the participants and I were sneezing, scratching at our eyes and blowing our noses all weekend. Our vehicles were a pale green from all the tree pollen. argh. The above photo is my van's window.

It was quite cold in the evenings, but I've a warm sleeping bag and a sleeping bag blanket, too. So, as long as I kept my face inside my bag I was toasty.

The participants were divided into four patrols, and the women in my patrol were fun - we had a great time together. Of course, I wasn't there to have fun, but to help train.

I was disappointed by this aspect - I had asked the Master Trainer to tell me what sections she'd like me to train but she never did until we got there. Not much prep time, eh? She had emailed and called weeks and days earlier to ask me to pick up empty wine boxes, six dozen eggs and 30 bananas. That's all the pre-involvement I had in the courses. Well, these three have been doing this for many, many years. Master Trainer and Winnie for at least 15 years. I figure that I'll be just assisting, giving me the opportunity to observe how they do it and what materials from the handout booklet they think are most important, etc.

Nope. I got tossed "Kapers" (which is a way of dividing up jobs and tasks around camp) and simple Knots. To my surprise, many of the participants didn't know how to tie a Square Knot. Okay - simple to teach. The other knot isn't a knot at all - the Clove Hitch is, well, a hitch. I can do a Clove Hitch. Which is not the same as being able to demonstrate and teach in front of 20 people. I flopped. {{sigh}} I told the women that this was a prime example of knowing is not the same as being able to teach and to remember this when they go back to their troops. {{ha ha, ain't this funny?}}

I felt pretty bad afterwards. What was I doing, thinking that I could train anyone? Sure, I can camp okay - start a fire and cook a meal, pitch a tent, etc. But TRAIN others at it?

We were using large canvas platform tents. The tents are to be completely untied and unlaced when not in use. Master Trainer was going over the dos and don'ts of these tents, including that the corners needed to be laced up to help keep warmth in during the night. And that they would have to be unlaced when we all left Sunday afternoon. Then she turned to me and asked me if I knew why they needed to be unlaced.

Now, she hadn't told me that she would be asking me this question. We were with the whole group and I quickly thought and responded with "so that they can breathe and to prevent any mold from forming."

"No!" says Master Trainer. "Anyone else know? . . . " Dramatic pause. "Because it puts a strain on the whole structure, blah blah blah."

She didn't need to do that to me - I was very embarressed.

I already knew that she was a controlling person (the other trainers let me know in various ways over the course of the weekend that this is really the Master Trainer Show) but I didn't realize to what extent until this weekend. I think that I must have annoyed her in some way.

At the end, after everyone else had left, the other Trainers went over the Evaluations. And I was given an Apprentice self-evaluation to fill out (they have one to fill out on me and my performance). One of the questions was whether or not I had been involved in the preparation - I wrote "no".

Master Trainer objected to my answer (yes, she read it after I finished it).

I said that I had asked her beforehand to let me know what sections she'd like me to train. (Rudi laughed and then said "Master Trainer let you know when you got here, didn't she?).

Master Trainer said "I emailed about the boxes and eggs..."

Well, excuse me, but I don't think that asking me to bring supplies is really participating in the preparation for training others.

Well, I know that some of the women there appreicated me - I had been trained on all of this by other trainers and knew some different ways of doing some of the things done. Seeing alternates is important (be prepared, be adaptable, etc.).

This is long enough for now, I'll post about some of the things we did later. (Like baking pineapple upside down cake in a tuna can ...)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Old Photo Weekend

Here's a photo of brother kevin Nivek and sisters Actonbell and AP3.
This was probably taken in the mid 80s.

I'm away until Sunday afternoon, helping to train
adult volunteers how to take their Girl Scout
troops camping and cooking out-of-doors.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Just Too Damn Busy

My list of things to do just doesn't get any shorter. Get one item checked off, and then two or three more are added to take its place. argh.

This coming weekend I'll be away serving my role as Apprentice Trainer. I'll be helping three Master Trainers train 24 Girl Scout leaders in Cook Out and Camp Out - courses they have to take before they can take their troops camping or cooking (outdoors, over a fire, etc.). One of the interesting things we'll do is make wine box ovens. I've also cooked using large clay flowerpots. Hopefully the weather will be good.

This photo is from one of the outdoor conferences that I've been helping with the last four or five years.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rabbit Rabbit

I can't believe that it's time for Rabbit Rabbit!! And since I was at a Girl Scout event last weekend and will be at another one this coming weekend, I present a Girl Scout and her rabbit:

This image is from here: http://www.geh.org/