serendipitous reflections

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

New tags

We finally got our new tags since moving from Iowa. Well, I went out in the humid air (sweating like a pig after five minutes) and tried to remove the Iowa tags. Well, it seems that the old flat-head bolts that held our tags on have rusted to the tags. I used a little WD40 and managed to loosen two bolts (one on the front plate, one on the back plate ... of course), but the one is turning, but not backing out. So it's liquid wrench time and Coke, I guess. I don't know what the big hurry is now. We've been here for six months without tags, so it can wait a week.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Teen Girl Squad

Bizarre cartoons, but oddly funny.

Good Advice

I was taking a nap because its a rainy Sunday and that's what you're supposed to do on a rainy Sunday and I woke to the Cherlie Sheen movie "Good Advice." His girlfriend had broken up with him and he was pitying himself and commented, "I'd kill myself, but I'd probably go to Hell and that would be redundant."

Daily Jigsaw

Well, I just spent the last 43 minutes doing a jigsaw puzzle online at Shockwave.com. Nice diversion on a rainy Sunday morning.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Adjust Your Thinking

Our friend Rick has a radio show Tuesday evening from 6-6:30 EST called Adjust Your Thinking. Listen in. The first broadcast is this Tuesday, August 31 and you can listen online. His wife Hannah didn't hear it when it was recorded, so she doesn't know if it's any good or not, but Rick is usually very entertaining and passionate when he speaks.


OK ... the comments are showing up in the right place again!

I followed the trackback instructions from Haloscan and it said "NO, you suck" (well, not exactly, but I couldn't get it to work ... not in the mood this morning)

My edit pencil has disappeared from my blog, which isn't the biggest deal, except that I have it turned on.

In the grand scheme of things, I just blame Microsoft. It's easier that way.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Did I get excited and post while Doug was still doing his thing and mess up the template because they're right back where they were before?

Comments in the right place!

Doug managed to fix the template so that my comments show up in the right place (Thank you!). He also added the trackback feature, which honestly I don't get. I've clicked on it, I've seen where people have added a trackback, and I think I understand the concept of connecting chains of conversations, but what I don't get is HOW. I try to stay tech savvy for a non-tech industry person, but some things just elude me.


I registered my first book at Bookcrossing and hopefully will release it into the wild tomorrow if I get a chance to find a cache. I still have a travel bug that needs to be placed.

Body for Life

I was flipping through my Body for Life book looking for some spark to get me active and back on the right path. It's a good book, with a good website too, and a good plan. I'm just stuck at the "list five reasons to do this" part of the book. It really shouldn't take me too long, I just can't seem to do it.

Buy Nothing Day

Buy Nothing Day poster by Karine Himbeault
This poster is from the Adbusters website. They have designated the day after Thanksgiving as Buy Nothing Day, a day to go 24 hours without spending money "as a symbolic protest ... you refuse to participate in the consumer frenzy that has become everyday life."
Posted by Hello

David And Michelle

David And Michelle
I stumbled across this blog using the "next blog" button, and am trying out the "blog this" button now. Interesting blog about a couple of missionaries in Senegal.

Broadcast news

I've always had a problem with broadcast news. Maybe it's the print journalist in me, but there are a few things that just drive me nuts. The smallest but most annoying is when they start the broadcast by explaining that Joe Blow isn't the anchor tonight and that he'll be back Monday. How self-important do they think they are that my world is disrupted because some other talking head is reading the AP newswire to me? But my biggest beef is with the news updates during the commercial breaks. Like tonight, they announced "Two teens shot dead. Learn the shocking details at 7:00." You know what, that's a commercial, not a news brief. It provides no real information at all. I remember when I was in high school and was babysitting my little sister on New Years so my parents could go to a party and they come on during a break to announce "deadly car wreck ... news at 10." Sensationalism, nothing more. They might as well be a tabloid at that point. Where? How many cars involved? It's only New Years. It's not like half of everyone's loved ones are on the road. Ugh! I could go on and on, but I won't.


We were at the local produce stand the other day and while we were checking out, Jeni asked about these large, round grape looking things. The guy said "Those are Muscadines." Jeni responded "What's a Muscadine?" He explained that they're like a grape, but with a thick skin and let Jeni try one. (He also made a comment about her obviously not being from the South if we've never heard of Muscadines and when she responded that she was from Virginia he made a little gurgle sound in the back of his throat like he wanted to say that Virginia isn't "South" enough but resisted ... but that's not the point) These Muscadines are the grapes a lady who was once friends with her parents would grow. She called them wine grapes and Jeni was SO excited to finally find that taste again since she's been buying all kinds of large purple grapes in hopes of finding the right one. It was one of those moments when a taste takes you back to a moment. Well, I had two last night, and it turns out they taste just like the grapes my greatgrandmother used to grow along the trellace behind her house. (She also had a fig tree ... don't ask me what that has to do with anything, except I remember he canning figs ... and a small dish of orange circus peanuts, but I digress...) Just amazing how a taste can transport you to another time and place.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Jasper cat

We laughed about creating a blog about our cat's adventures, but decided against it, since it would mostly say "Jasper slept in the sink," "Jasper slept on the plant stand," "Jasper slept on top of the bookshelf" ... you get the point. But he has his hilarious moments. Last night, in one of Jeni's bouts of sleeplessness, he carried one of his erd balls to her in his mouth, dropped it at her feet in the most dog-like manner of saying let's play, and proceeded to play ball with Jeni for several minutes. This evening, he approached a stone cat that we have and batted it with his paw. He has never really even acknowledged this cat before, but he did put it in its place. Now, he is perusing the counter/bar in the kitchen, and considering a leap to the top of the fridge.

I know ... more NPR!

OK ... I was listening to an interview with Laura Love on the Tavis Smiley Show on NPR an it was really good. (This is also my first attempt at linking to an audio feed so I hope it works... ok... it didn't work, so the link will take you to the page instead. I tried to right-click and copy it, but who knows... this works just as well.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Endless loop of the internet

The writer of the blog Instapundit was on NPR's Day to Day today talking about the fact that the Olympians are banned from blogging during the Olypmics by the IOC because they are not allowed to participate as amateur journalists. This was reported as an effort to control the image that is presented of the Olympics and also to control the media market. what is very interesting for me is that Instapundit is from Knoxville, where my brother lives, and is linked from my brother's blog. It's a small world wide web after all.

Drive-in motel?

On Wednesday's (8-25-04) Marketplace, they had a feature on the Movie Manor Motor Lodge, a hotel where all the rooms face the drive-in screen and you can watch the movie from your room.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Hits down

I just checked our hits tracker and we went from 47 to 37 to 108 and are at 18 for the week. I attribute the 108 to Blogger's "next blog" button. Or maybe I just read our blog a lot...

Monday, August 23, 2004


I was thumbing through the latest issue of Adbusters magazine today and although I did not get a chance to read it, nor have I ever read it, it did appear to be one of the more stimulating magazines I have seen lately. Visually and graphically, it appeared to be more of a book or graphic novel than a magazine. And the content appeared equally stimulating. I will have to check it out in more detail later.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The swimming is over....

The swimming competition is over. It has been such an awesome week for USA swimming. I have been so overwhelmed with emotion watching the events. I really want to gather my final thoughts before I write a long entry.

Just a couple of high points, at least for me--
1. Gary Hall, Jr winning the Men's 50m freestyle -- they said he was too old, we all know he isn't.
2. Michael Phelps -- no explanation needed.
3. Jenny Thompson -- I know some will say she didn't deserve to be in the 4x100m Medley, I totally disagree. She went out and fought the good fight...Good job Jenny.
4. Klete Keller going stroke for stroke with the Ian Thorpe - WOW!
5. Natalie Coughlin and Amanda Beard -- I can't wait to see them in four years.
6. Last but not least...Lenny Krazelburg swimming in the prelims of the 4x200m Medley---I can't say it enough, he is a class act. So many fans will miss him in Beijing......

Saturday, August 21, 2004

A caching we will go...

Tomorrow we may go geocaching. We have a travel bug that we held on to longer than intended and we need to set it free. If we do, it will be to an easy cache near us, since it should be another hot day tomorrow.

Yesterday's comic

In the Bleachers Posted by Hello

Friday, August 20, 2004

Time stamp

I just noticed our time stamp was off... apparently we're on the east coast and our blog is in LA.

NCAA Football 2004

We were in Atlanta for a seminar last weekend and our friend had just bought the NCAA Football 2005 and gave me his 2004 version since he'd never play it again. Well, I've been sucked in. I had 2002, and could play it all the time. Unfortunately, I had reached a point where it really didn't matter -- I would win. So now I have a newer version with new challenges and new skills to master.

Dedication to the cause

Jeni is so dedicated to her Olympics. She will not look at any news source that might provide a spoiler for the night broadcast of the events. I have to be very careful in case I happen to notice a result not to let on.

Speaking of Olympics, .blue has been doing Olympics themed comics the last two weeks... very funny stuff.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

One more swimmer

I'm excited about today's swimming because I get to watch Gary Hall, Jr. for the first time these Olympics. I know he's flamboyant, but I like him. He's a bad boy!

Roller Coaster

Once again my day was filled with the Olympics. Watching the Men's All Around Gymnastics was an emotional roller coaster. The commentators had been saying that this competition was going to come down to tenths, maybe even thousandths. And it did. Paul Hamm won gold by beating the South Korean Kim Dae-Eun by .012.

Hop in the roller coaster car and let's go on the ride... Paul executed his first three apparatuses beautifully (chug, chug, up the hill), then he came to the vault. On his landing he fell, and by fell I mean he fell on his butt, off the mat, and a judge had to put his hand out so Paul would not fall off the platform. (and zoom down the hill - like when your stomach feels like it is in your mouth where you think you are going to be sick) I had tears running down my face when I saw this happen. It pains me to see an athlete work their whole life for this one moment in time, and then to have a fluke happen like this.....I just couldn't imagine what was going through his head. (So here we are back at the bottom of the hill) Paul not only has to get passed his score that he just received, he has to get this out of his head (chug, chug, chug up the hill). He had the parallel bars and the high bar left. He needed to be near perfect and for the people ahead of him to make some mistakes. He executed the two routines perfectly, and the people ahead of him did make some mistakes. And after he finished his high bar routine, he had a smile on his face like he knew he had done something big tonight. He actually didn't know how big. He thought maybe the bronze, but no way the gold. When his score came up he still didn't know that he would be standing on top of the podium, wearing his olive branch wreath upon his head, and wearing Olympic gold around his neck ( you're at the top of hill, knowing that you have to come down, but how will it be?). His coach said "It's gold. You are the all around champion." All he could say was "NO, No, no, really?" (And weeeeeeeeeeeee down the hill again, but this time with your hands up in air, screaming, and you can't wait to do it again). It was truly an amazing night!

Now in the world of Women's swimming - The American women were golden the 4x200m free relay. They shattered the record, which was set exactly 17 years ago (the oldest swimming record). Natalie Coughlin is a force to be wreckened with and Kaitlin Sandeno is only getting better. For Pete sake, Kaitlin had already swam in a final earlier in the evening, and still had enough to steam to anchor this relay team to a victory. It was a beautiful race to watch!

In the world of singles tennis, Andy Roddick and Venus Williams were both defeated. That just doesn't happen.

Water polo is a sport that I have never ever really watched until these Olympics. I'm 100% on the rules, but man does it move fast. I am really enjoying these matches.

I really didn't get a chance to talk about one of my favorite female athletes, Jenny Thompson. Unfortunately, she just slipped in and out of these Olympics. She is a talented swimmer and a gracious person. Jenny retired from swimming, and was going to medical school when she got the itch, as she says. So after being out of the sport of two years, she came back and at the age of 31 she qualified for her fourth and probably her final Olympics. She is the most decorated American female in history. She currently has 10 metals (8 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze) and the possiblity for 2 more which would make her the most decortated American athlete in the Olympics. I know I will miss seeing Jenny in the pool at the next Olympics, but what a ride she has had!! She is an inspiration!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


OK... I know I still need to fix the comments and I'm going to work on that with Doug, but I prefer the haloscan commenting over the blogger style, so I'll deal with it until the time comes that I can fix it.

Fresh start

Well, we have decided to start fresh with our blog, starting from a few old posts and going forward. It seems our old blog was linked to a very negative web site and to avoid any association, this was easier. Our first foray into blogging was a lot of fun, and I have to thank Doug for getting us started. Hopefully you will enjoy this one just as much, if not more...

Babies All Around

Before you get too excited, it's not me that is pregnant. Two of my best friends are pregnant and are due within two days of each other. I can't believe it!! I'm so excited for them both. One couple has been married twelve years and not sure if they wanted children, and decided to stop using any birth control methods and see what happened. Well only after two months she was pregnant. They wait until after the first trimester to tell anyone. They told their parents this weekend, and she called me today. I cried out of shear joy for them. They are going to be great parents.

The other couple have only been married eight months, and they are young -- both are just 23 yoa. They know they want a big family...Jen wants 9 kids, Joseph wants 3. I'm guessing they are going to have to compromise somewhere in between. Joseph comes from a family of 8 -- 7 boys and 1 girl (Snow White and the seven dwarfs -- the girl is the oldest) Jen is the oldest of three. They come from two of the best families I have ever been around. We went to their wedding and we were welcomed with open arms by both families. There is so much love to give that this child will be so blessed to have such good parents and grandparents.

Can you tell I'm excited? I guess I will be making a trip to Iowa and Wisconsin in January. Those are words I never thought I would say again.

2004 Olympics
Athens, Greece

As it has been mentioned before I am an Olympics freak. I try and watch all the events. I have my DVR and VCR recording constantly. During the winter Olympics, I had stacks of tapes to watch. It took me some time to watch all of them, but I did it. I have been trying to watch as much of these Olympics as it airs, but sometimes you have to sleep.

I know everyone has been talking about Michael Phelps, but who can blame them. Michael Phelps is a phenomenal athlete and an impressive young man. To only be 19 year old and to have such a work ethic and concept of success, is truly incredible. If you didn't get a chance to watch the men's 4x200m relay tonight, you missed one of the best swimming competitions ever. Michael is sitting pretty with 3 golds and 2 bronzes. I can't to wait watch him in four years -- He's only going to get better. WOW! (For his bio and event results)

However, one of favorite Olympian is Lenny Krayzelburg. My admiration for him start back at the 2000 Olympics where he won 3 gold metals. It wasn't the point that he won 3 gold metals, it was that he was gracious when he won. And when received his metals and stood on the podium, I cried because you could just see how proud he was to win and to represent America. When he qualified at the Olympic trials, I was so excited that he was going to represent the USA again. He has overcome some much to be back at the Olympics -- 2 shoulder surgeries and 1 knee surgery. He is a true Olympian to me.

There are more athletes that I want to talk about, but that will have to be tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Kelli's new car

Our friend Kelli just bought her dad's old car. It's a Lincoln ... an "old person's car," as she puts it. But coming from what she had, it is leaps and bounds. Her old car was this small, blue Buick that seemed to need a new muffler every year; at one point the hood and fender was held down by packaging tape; a shoe from a wedding was in the rear window for the past two years; the turn signal, to make it blink, she would have to manually up-and-down the lever; I could go on and on and on. So this new car, with lumbar support, blinkers that work (they even have the light that shines in the direction that you are turning to light your turn ... quite a thrill for Kelli), and a 10-disc changer that her dad never knew how to work and thus has never been used. She calls giddy every day with some new discovery about this car. We are very happy for her. Now, people are in a bidding war for her old piece of car (not hard to start a bidding war when you start around $100).

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Our friend Kelli was making Tune Noodle Casserole a few weeks ago. While the noodles were boiling on the stove top, she decided to pre-heat the oven and shower real quick. As she was getting out of the shower, she smelled smoke. She went to the kitchen to investigate, thinking maybe the noodles had boiled over. It turns out that, while in a cleaning frenzy a week before, she had stowed her dirty Tupperware and pot and pans in the oven and promptly forgot about it. Upon opening the oven door, her Tupperware was on fire. With quick thinking, she remembered where she stored her fire extinguisher and ended up fighting a fire in her bath towel.