Friday, October 27, 2006

Not In The News Friday (NITNF)

NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

Duelling Quotes of the Week (featuring Halle Berry):

"I never wanted to be a model. My modeling career was nothing but a stepping stone to my acting career and that's all I ever saw it as. A pointless rock in the river that has to be stepped on in order to get to the meaningful oasis of acting." - Halle Berry

"What is my real purpose here? I've looked at what I do. I make believe and make movies. I entertain people and get paid for it. Sometimes it seems like such a shallow existence. How insignificant in the scheme of life." - Halle Berry

Source: Biography for Halle Berry -

This is not to pick on Halle, but hey, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction...

Best Wishes,

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Finally Feeling A Little Better...

Thanks for waiting on me! (And thank goodness for Cute Overload!)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

No NITNF This Week

My apologies but I've just barely been making it through my work days the last few days. I'm getting over my cold, slowly. I will definitely be taking it easy for a few days after I finish work tonight (on my days off, of course).

NITNF (Not In The News Friday) will return next Friday.

*cough* *wheeze*

Best Wishes,

Thursday, October 19, 2006


yukimura - unwell + unfinished by
~kogepanM on deviantART

By Sunday evening last week, I started getting that "scratchy" feeling in my throat. I wasn't feeling ill yet, but I was worn down. We'd had our Middlefaire trip Saturday. Sunday, we performed at an after-church dinner as First Light. The dinner went off very well and we had a great performance. Monday, I did a fill-in shift for a coworker who swapped with me so I could have Saturday off. The shift was 1:00pm to midnight. By the time I finished the shift, I felt bad!

I spent all day Tuesday with fever and sinus problems (fortunately -- or maybe not so fortunately, Tuesday is one of my days off). I did get rest and plenty of liquids and forced myself to eat a couple of times, so by Wednesday, I was capable of working. I made it through Wednesday's shift pretty well.

This morning, I started out okay. I still had some congestion and sinus but I was feeling decently well. By the time I got back from lunch, though, things have kinda been on a slow descent. I'm not sure if I'm feverish or not but it does feel icky. With less than an hour to go on my shift, I know I can make it but I'm concerned about tomorrow.

I do hope I'm well enough to work tomorrow; I don't like taking off sick from work.

Best Wishes,

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Last Saturday, I took the day off from work (well, swapped shifts with a co-worker) and took Angel and the kids to a renaissance fair in Hillsboro, Texas called Middlefaire. We were invited by a friend of mine who put the event together. Hillsboro is about 2 hours north of Austin and it was the kids' first "long drive" away from home. The kids had been to one rennaisance faire in Austin that was hosted by the SCA, but this was this faire's maiden voyage (and thus, a treat!)

The weather was a bit overcast and rainy on the way up there but by the time we got parked, the rain was subsiding. The event was held on farmland, which meant it was fairly removed from civilization and flat as far as the eye could see. The whole area for the faire was the size of a large Walmart, with several different stages and vending areas. Although we kept our distance from the "Tavern" area (not for kids), everything else was pretty neat!

Shortly after we arrived, they even had a parade with all the different performers and groups from the faire. When some of them saw Adam (my oldest son) holding his "sword" (a thick stick he'd carefully selected) in noble recognition of their parade, some of them invited him to join the parade, but he stayed back. I would have gone with him, but I guess he wasn't sure if we'd approve (I would've gone with him).

After initially checking out some of the vendors, we decided to see a few of the entertainers. There were some very good singers and musicians, and it was generally a very nice crowd (both in numbers of people and their personalities). We didn't see much of our friend who invited us, as he was busy making sure the behind-the-scenes work got done, but it was nice to finally meet both him and his adult son (who looks astonishingly like his dad, down the same type of beard, etc.).

The best musical group by far (although every musician and singer there was talented, as I said) was the Brobdingnagian Bards (pronounced "brob-din-nahg-EE-en"). They were lyrically very clever and their personalities really shined through their performance (they were hilarious, too)! They were musically talented as well, with one of the bards (Andrew) switching between recorder and mandolin (in the same song!) and the other bard (Marc) played autoharp while singing. It was a fun 30 minute set. Heart of Oak and the Abilene Pipers also deserve worthy mentions.

Angel got a very nice medieval-style torquoise-colored dress and hand-made tiara from the vendors. She very much looked the part of the beautiful upper class lady. I bought the boys some kid-sized shields and rings per their request. I got to be odd man out, as I wasn't prepared to drop down $100 for an outfit this time around (maybe next year). I do want to add that the merchandise was nice quality, with much of it being hand made.

Lunch was burgers from a local caterer. There was a huge turnout to the event, so it took an hour of waiting in line to get them. Now, in all fairness, the caterers were grilling/smoking them four at a time and they were at least 1/3 pound burgers (pretty tasty and not over- or under-cooked). So, to pass the time, my sons entertained everyone with their mock sword-fights, which covered about the area of 1/4 of a football field. Adam really got into it, so much so that I had to ask him to curtail his enthusiasm just a bit. There were also lots of butterflies flying around and landing on any brightly colored clothing (and there was plenty of that).

About mid-afternoon, Josey got to be part of the entertainment! While seeing the Emerald Dragon Crew's show, Josey was asked to be part of the show. He became "Pirate Curly" and was one of two audience volunteer pirates (another boy, a few years older than him, was the other "pirate"). They were asked to give their best pirate "Arrrrh!" At first, Josey was classic "kid shy." Then Angel shouted "Go, Josey!" and he let out with a loud, enthusiastic "Arrrrrrrrhhhh!" The other kid was asked to do the "Arrh" and he made a decent effort. They were asked to do so again. Again, Josey was very shy and again, Mom shouted "Go, Josey!" and he growled "ARRRRRRHHHHH!!!!" Shortly after that, Josey was voted "Best Pirate." He was so proud...and we were, too. It was all very cute.

After watching the bagpipers again, we found that the gatewatchers had "abandoned their post" (left their chairs unoccupied), so we kindly relaxed. The boys chose to take on the role of guards at the main entrance to the faire. About this time, the sun came out in full force (which gave me some lovely sunburn by evening) but since the temperature was still in the 70s, it was pretty nice.

About 6:00pm, we decided to head home. We'd had a full day, made some fun purchases (thus supporting the vendors) and we had all been thoroughly entertained and met some interesting and fun people (some of the entertainers came from as far away as Tennessee and even Canada). We arrived back in Austin around 8:00pm and went out to IHOP (International House of Pancakes) for supper. Needless to say, noone had any trouble sleeping that evening...

Best Wishes,

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Not In The News Friday (NITNF)

NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

Okay, so it took until slightly after midnight on Saturday...but I still consider it Friday! (Does that count?) Anyway, this week will be a short but sweet feature: Some facts about interracial marriage, children and relationships.

Multiracial children are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. The number of mixed-race families in America is steadily increasing, due to a rise in interracial marriages and relationships, as well as an increase in transracial and international adoptions. Publicity surrounding prominent Americans of mixed cultural heritage, such as athletes, actors, musicians, and politicians, has highlighted the issues of multicultural individuals and challenged long-standing views of race.

Changing Times

  • About two million American children have parents of difference races.
  • In the United States marriages between blacks and whites increased 400 percent in the last 30 years, with a 1000 percent increase in marriages between whites and Asians.
  • In a recent survey, 47% of white teens, 60 % of black teens, and 90 % of Hispanic teens said they had dated someone of another race.

Source: The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) "Facts For Families" Multiracial Children - No. 71; Updated October 1999

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


(Generic picture of a tornado, not my picture.)

So I'm driving Angel to work this morning and the weather is getting nasty-looking but still seems driveable. There were some dark clouds and rain, plus a bit of lightning and thunder. But one light-colored cloud moved across the sky much faster than the others, disturbingly fast -- and then we both saw it rotate and turn into a very clearly defined funnel cloud! It was in front of us and it moved rapidly east, away from us (or so it seemed).

I pushed ahead and got Angel to work, since it was only a few blocks away. I got Angel inside, then I took off to head home. I turned on the radio and found out that a full-fledged damage-causing tornado was spotted less than a mile away only minutes after what we'd seen. And the debris was being thrown over 100 feet in the air! Shortly after that was seen, the tornado went back in the clouds.

As I was driving back down the same street, I saw a trash can knocked down, it's contents strewn all over the street. Had the (still weak) twister circled around behind us before pushing towards the highway? Who knows. I just thanked God for keeping us safe! You never know how things might go...

The local AM radio station I listen to was asking for eyewitness accounts from people who had seen anything, so I called in. I got through right away and got to be on the radio with the morning show crew and the Weather Channel meterologist for a few minutes. That was interesting. The weather people could not admit it was a tornado or call it that because it "didn't show any of the tell-tale signs on their equipment." I found that very amusing. People are telling you they saw it form and others saw debris being rotated into the air at high speed in what looks like a tornado -- but since it evaded the radar, it just can't be. It was just "strong winds." Yeah, right. *shakes head*

That's okay. The important thing is that nobody got hurt and the damage wasn't worse. I'm grateful.

Best Wishes,

Friday, October 06, 2006

Not In The News Friday (NITNF)

NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

This week we feature the "Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People" By Maria P.P. Root

"While completing those [Census 2000] applications was a mere formality to some, it challenged me personally, and questioned whether I was really a valued person. To have the chance to identify myself as biracial validated me and my experience, something that rarely happens for biracial people."

I Have the Right ...
Not to justify my existence in this world.
Not to keep the races separate within me.
Not to be responsible for people's discomfort with my physical ambiguity.
Not to justify my ethnic legitimacy.

I Have the Right ...
To identify myself differently than strangers expect me to identify.
To identify myself differently from how my parents identify me.
To identify myself differently from my brothers and sisters.
To identify myself differently in different situations.

I Have the Right ...
To create a vocabulary to communicate about being multiracial.
To change my identity over my lifetime — and more than once.
To have loyalties and identification with more than one group of people.
To freely choose whom I befriend and love.

Source: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) Child and Family Program Early Childhood Education eNewsletter Vol. 3 No. 8, March 2004
Such A Bummer...

Today is my youngest son's 8th birthday, which should be great -- except he got food poisoning from a bad piece of lettuce last night and is pretty miserable, healthwise. Angel is staying home from work with him today and his older brother is home because it's a school holiday ("Day Before Columbus Day?"), so he has plenty of company. But it reeks to be sick on your birthday!

Still, Angel and I came up with some neat traditions for their birthdays some years ago. Since their birthdays are only 2 days apart (Josey's is on October 6th and Adam's is on October 8th), we give them the majority of their presents on October 7th...but they also get presents on their respective birthdays, too. And on their individual birthdays, we (usually Angel) hide several presents around our residence for them to find. They really love the "scavenger hunt" for presents! So far today, Josey has found four of his. Unfortunately, he's had to stop to sleep/rest in-between from not feeling well.

I'm sure Josey will be feeling better by tomorrow. He's a healthy boy and this is his first time getting food poisoning. It's just a bummer it had to happen today. ("Concerned Dad Sigh")

Best Wishes,

P.S. - I do still plan to do a NITNF today!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Interracial Pregnancy Led To Kidnapping, Teen Says

I wish I could say this surprises me, but it doesn't. I'm just glad the daughter got away and the parents were apprehended. If you have to break the law and try to force someone -- especially your own daughter -- to do something they don't want to do, just because you have a prejudice, then something is terribly wrong and you deserve the fullest prosecution of the law.

Best Wishes,

The Associated Press
Published: Sep 20, 2006

SALEM, N.H. - A Maine couple accused of tying up their 19-year-old daughter, throwing her in their car and driving her out of state to get an abortion were upset because the baby's father is black, a Maine sheriff said Tuesday.

Katelyn Kampf, who is white, told Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion that her mother "was pretty irate at the fact that the child's father was black, and she had made a number of disparaging remarks about that," he said.

Kampf escaped Friday at a Salem shopping center and called police, who arrested her parents, Nicholas Kampf, 54, and Lola Kampf, 53, both real estate developers from North Yarmouth, Maine.

The Kampfs were apparently taking their daughter to New York to try to force her to get an abortion there, police said.

The parents were arraigned Monday on kidnapping charges. The judge set bail at $100,000 each and ordered the Kampfs to have no contact with their daughter. They posted bail Tuesday afternoon.

If convicted of kidnapping, the Kampfs face 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison. Dion said he expects to bring charges in Maine also, after investigators consult with the district attorney today.

Defense attorney Mark Sisti said Tuesday that a sworn statement by police who interviewed Katelyn Kampf and her parents said nothing about the race of the baby's father.

Katelyn Kampf escaped from her parents after persuading them to untie her so she could use a Kmart bathroom, police said. She used her father's cell phone, which she had taken, to call 911.

The boyfriend, Reme Johnson, 22, last week began serving a six-month sentence for theft at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn, Maine.

Johnson also has previous felony convictions for burglary and for receiving stolen property, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Source: Interracial Pregnancy Led To Kidnapping, Teen Says

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More Video -- Upcoming "Star Trek: Of Gods And Men" Web Mini-Series Trailer

For all my fellow Trekkies, I found this on the web today and wanted to share. Looks pretty good! Here's the website.

Monday, October 02, 2006

After All These Years, He's Still Got It...Wierd Al's "White And Nerdy"

I love the Donny Osmond cameo...