Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity


That is all. If you're going and might be interested in meeting, shoot me an email. It's on the linky thing to the right.

I may be broke at the end of the month, or sooner, but it will be SO worth it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RTT - This is My Life

Hey, it's Tuesday. Stop by the Unmom for more randomness.

While driving to UT campus to pick up Youngest last night (she needed to go to the grocery store and has no car) I mistakenly ended up on the upper deck of I-35. Which at 6PM was a parking lot. I squeezed into traffic between a mail truck and one those big yellow EMS trucks. You know, the kind that's really huge and on a big ass chassis. Any way, EMT boy let me in. Mail man said screw you and wouldn't let anyone in. This lead to about half a dozen cars between me and the ambulance. So we're driving. Slowly. Almost made it up to 20 once. Then we stopped again. In fact, I texted that fact to Youngest to let her know I was running late. Then I look back and the ambulance has on his lights. It's like the parting of the red sea behind me as cars pull over onto the shoulder for him. I follow suit and look back again. And he's turned his lights off. Must have gotten bored in traffic.

Finally made it off the interstate and headed towards campus. As I turned on Rio Grande to cut over to 24th, I passed an Austin police car with his lights on. He must have just finished writing up a ticket because he turned off his lights after I passed and pulled into the street. When we got to a stop sign, I look over and in the back seat of the patrol car is a traffic cone. My first thought is, he's arrested a safety cone. What the hell? Texted that too.

So we finally make it to the grocery store. This is what Youngest bought:

  • shampoo and conditioner
  • excedrin
  • 6 cans of generic tuna
  • 2 family size boxes of Easy Mac
  • 14 Hormel Compleats 
  • 2 large bags of HEB shredded cheese
  • 2 bags of Babybel cheese
  • 1 box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme pies
  • 1 box of Little Debbie Star Crunch
  • 1 box of Mrs Baird's apple pies
  • 1 bag of Mrs Baird's chocolate covered mini donuts
  • 1 pint of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream
  • 1 quart of HEB German Chocolate Cake ice cream
  • 1 large economy sized bag of frozen tortellini
  • hot dog buns
Is that not just the perfect example of a college student's grocery list you've ever seen? The only thing that was missing was the Dr. Pepper, which she said she already had.

Saturday, Hubby and I tried to take the dogs for a walk. It was an unmitigated disaster. Aibhne drug him out the door and I followed with Myrddin and Rowan on the splitter. The boys were pulling so hard I was having a hard time trying to reach the door to close it. While I'm fighting them, I hear my husband yell, at the top of his lungs, "GODDAMN IT AIBHNE GET BACK HERE!"

Yep, she'd slipped out of her HARNESS and was merrily charging down the street, after, it turned out, a chihuahua. (The little old lady walking the chihuahua was not amused). Rowan, not to be out done and perhaps maddened by the whining coming from Myrddin next to him, whipped his head around and pulled out of his collar and took off after them. I drug Myrddin back inside and yelled at Rowan, who came to his senses rather quickly and slunk back down the sidewalk. While I'm fighting with the boys, I distinctly hear laughter wafting from across the street, punctuated by my husband's yelling. He finally comes puffing up the sidewalk, fat black beast in his arms. Needless to say, no dogs got to go on the walk.

I noticed a few days later that Aibhne had a scrape on her chin. Apparently Hubby forgot to mention that when she decided she really, really wanted to make "friends" with the chihuahua, she missed. It dodged and she face-planted into the pavement. Serves her right.

Almost forgot. When we got home yesterday, there was an opened jar of Nutella on the living room floor. It had not been open when I left that morning, nor on the floor. A dog (Myrddin is my best guess.) got it off the kitchen table where I had stupidly left it out, worried off the SCREW ON lid and went to town. No telling how much he ate but he and Aibhne were looking for it when they came back from their potty break. 

While yesterday was entertaining, in its own way, this morning was not. On the way to the airport to drop Hubby off on a business trip we hear that there's a shooter at UT. Called Youngest. She was on her way to her 9:30 class but not on campus yet. Told her to go home. Latest news out of campus is that the shooter is dead by his own hand without further loss of life but that the university is locked down while APD, UTPD and the SWAT team are looking for a second suspect. No classes for the day.

But you know, it's vitally important that any Tom, Dick and Harry be able to buy an assault rifle. They make for great squirrel hunting, dontcha know. /sarcasm

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Week in Crazy II

So what do Sharron Angle, the Texas State Board of Education and the Values Voter Summit have in common? They're all candidates for this weeks Crazy of the Week award.

There's been a lot of potential candidates out there - from someone in Sen. Saxby Chambliss' office posting "all faggots must die" in comments on Joe.My.God, to Tom Emmer, Tea-Party candidate for Governor of Minnesota, running neck and neck in the polls with Democrat Mark Drayton or the Italian Minster of Family Policy publicly stating that gay adoption leads to human trafficking.  It made the choices hard. So much crazy, so little time.

And really, one crazy is often interchangeable with another.

So what has Sharron Angle been up to that spikes her status? Well, it's really a two-fer. Apparently former Arkansas Governor and perennial Republican candidate for President Mike Huckabee has a show on Faux News. Whoda thunk? And he had Sharron Angle on to talk about that dastardly Harry Reid's smear campaign against her. She spends her time attacking Reid and never takes on Reid's  statements except to say they're half truths. Care to know what Poltifact has to say about this race?  It's not pretty.  And you've got to love that Angle counters Reid's half-truths with her own wholly untrue ad. I'm sorry, really, but that grin just creeps me out.

Not satisfied with garnering national attention for their proposed changes to Texas social studies curriculum, the Texas SBOE has decided to enter the anti-Muslim fray that's currently making the headlines across America. They've put out a resolution condemning what they call a pro-Muslim and anti-Christian bias in World History textbooks. These are the same textbooks that, in many cases, this same board approved just a few years ago after forcing publishers to change positive passages regarding Islam (among other things). Check out the Texas Freedom Network's coverage. Here's the a PDF of the resolution.  Though the SBOE has no authorization under Texas statute to edit or censor textbooks, they generally ignore that little fact and issue edicts like this or resort to outright pressure towards publishers to get their way. The good news is that two of the craziest have been voted off the board. The bad news is this is their last ditch effort to leave a "legacy".

But this week's winner, and trust me there were lots of deserving crazies out there this week, would have to be the Values Voter Summit. First of all, this is a collection of crazy at high levels. Sponsored by the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation, among others, the Value Voters Summit is described as a conference to
"join with other pro-family, conservative organizations from across the country and reach an audience of grassroots activists who believe in traditional marriage, the protection of our religious freedoms, defending the sanctity of life, protecting our borders and defending our homeland".(
 Their breakout sessions this year are a veritable plethora of crazy:
  • American Apocalypse--When Christians Do Nothing, Secularists Do Everything--The Case for Christian Activism
  • Indivisible: Social and Economic Foundations of American Liberty
  • Social Justice: Am I My Brother's Keeper?
  • The Falsehood of the Inevitablity of Same-Sex "Marriage"
  • The Economic Impact of Illegal Immigration
  • How to Reach the Online Generation (Without Losing Your Soul)
  • Against the Odds: Real Students Making Real Change
  • A Special Polling Presentation: Who are Tea Party and Christian Voters and What Do They Believe?
  • Establishing a Culture Impact Team In Your Church
  • Why Christians Should Support Israel
  • Getting Out the Vote on Election Day
  • Who's Politicizing Science? The Obama Administration's War on Life
 As crazy as all of this sounds, at least to me, the statements made by Tony Perkins and Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis regarding the repeal of DADT were the worst.  Perkins and Maginnis claimed that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would "make the military weaker, understaffed and morally corrupt." They went on to say that those countries that allow gays to serve openly no longer participate in wars. Money quote:
"Well, those that do, they're the ones that participate in parades, they don't fight wars to keep the nation and the world free. So there's a big difference". - Tony Perkins
 Just to set the record straight, here's a list of countries that allow gays to serve openly in their military.

Czech Republic*
The Netherlands*
New Zealand
South Africa
United Kingdom*

Great Britain and Australia have or had significant numbers of soldiers in Iraq and are, of course,  our allies. Israel is on that list and last I checked we were pretty fond of them. (Plus, they fight. A lot. Generally by shooting Palestinians who throw rocks.) Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain and France all of have forces in Afghanistan. and are part of NATO. You remember NATO? That pesky little treaty we signed back in 1949? Those countries with an asterisk are all signatories.

Somehow, I think that Tony Perkins and his cronies are so worked up about LGBT rights that they don't really care who they hurt in the process of defending their "way of life".

And really pisses me off that these folks feel like they've won with the Senate vote.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pissed off at Democrats?

No matter how betrayed you may feel by the complete lack of spine and intestinal fortitude that Democrats in Washington, including our very own President, have shown in the last few months, do you really want to vote in the alternative?

I'm pissed that DADT was allowed to fail, along with the DREAM act and the funding of the entire military. I'm pissed that the Dems have decided to postpone voting on taxing the rich until after the mid-term elections. I'm pissed that our "fierce advocate" has failed to actively support the dismantling of DADT and hasn't pushed Congress to stand up to the Repubs. Not on one. damn. thing.

There's a certain satisfaction in voting out those who fail to support our causes, who fail to act on what they believe is right because they're afraid of losing their elections. But what is the alternative?

Do we really want to have people like Christine O'Donnell in Congress? Would Sharron Angle be better for the country than Harry Reid?

Staying home isn't an option either. That's just the passive aggressive way to lose.

I say screw the pundits. Screw the polls. Choke back your anger and disappointment and remember that things could be worse. Things will be worse if Democrats fail to vote or vote for the Green party or Libertarian candidate out of anger.

Sometimes, it really is a choice between the lesser of two evils and we Democrats must remember that. No matter how ineffectual our candidates and Congress Critters may seem, it could be worse. We could end up with someone in Congress who makes Michele Bachmann look sane.

We've tried this strategy before - this vote them out if they can't follow through. Sounds good on principle. But the reality is that until we can get someone on the ballot who has a spine, we must take what we can get.

Or we deserve exactly what we get come November if the Congress flips.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

What the actual percentage of the US population is that identifies as homosexual may never be known, but the best estimates place it between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20. Count those flag-draped coffins. There are 20.

Chances are good that at least one of those fallen soldiers was gay.

Whether John McCain or the other 42 Senators who voted against the Defense Authorization bill this week believe it or not, LGBs are already serving in our military. They do so despite harassment and possible discharge. They do so in the halls of the Pentagon and on the harsh rocky mountaintops of Afghanistan. They do so knowing that someone like McCain, who claims to know the military and trades on his POW status for votes, thinks they shouldn't be allowed to serve.

Some of them make the ultimate sacrifice.

Look again at that picture. Does that one flag draped coffin that holds the war torn body of a gay or lesbian soldier deserve less respect than the other 19 fellows that surround it?

H/T to Brains and Eggs for the photo and the idea.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This Week in Crazy

The crazy that is the Tea Party is popping up in unexpected places. Delaware. New York. Washington State. You have to go back to 1988 to see Delaware carry a Republican president and 1984 for New York and Washington State. These states are generally considered Democratic strongholds, but this year they've generated crazy at the state and national level.

There's been a lot of news out there this week about Christine O'Donnell (R-Nuts) from Delaware. Her list of crazy is a mile long and seriously impressive. Sounds like the perfect person to run with Sarah Palin in 2012.  Here's a short list:
  • Masturbation is adultery
  • Believes telling the truth is paramount, so much so that she would not have lied about hiding Jews from the Nazis.
  • Called herself a college graduate for 16 years but hadn't gotten her diploma until she paid off outstanding debts to her college, which took them suing her for her to do
  • Defaulted on her mortgage, sold her house to her boyfriend and then paid "rent"
  • "Dabbled" in witchcraft but never joined a coven
Phew, that's a list. Daily Kos, among others, has more detail.

In New York, of all places, the newly minted Republican candidate for Governor, Carl Paladino, has stated that he believes "no mosque should be built wherever the dust cloud from the WTC fell". When pressed by CNN's Rick Sanchez that the dust cloud made it all the way to Hoboken, Paladino hedged, saying he thought "it went out about a quarter of a mile." He also says he'd use eminent domain to seize the property of the proposed community center site to stop it's building if elected, or maybe just change the zoning ordinances, which would have the same effect.


But the winner for crazy this week goes to Hans Zeiger (R-Nutjob), candidate for state representative in Legislative District 25 in (drum roll, please) Washington State. He managed to garner 36% of the vote in a six way primary. The incumbent, Dawn Morrell (D), got 40%.  Guess who she gets to go up against in November? But just what is it that Zeiger has done or said that wins him the title of Crazy Teabagger of the Week? Get ready, it's a doozy. Big H/T to HorsesAss.Org and The News Tribune for the following:

Zeriger, all of 25, writes for WorldNetDaily and Intellectual Conservative. In fact, lists it as a job. He's tried to scrub some of the more extremist posts from these sites, but hurrah for Google cache.
  • Called the Girl Scouts USA national convention "a gathering of radical feminists, lesbians, and cookie peddlers… who are allied with the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood… The Girl Scouts is almost as much a part of the radical feminist movement as the National Organization for Women."
  • Called the National Education Association and GSLEN "terrorist organizations".
  • Believes that Unitarians, main-stream Baptists,  Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and members of the “Military Pagan Network” believe in and pray to "the generic God" and his God is real.
  • Called his time in Washington public schools, time spent at the "local government indoctrination center"..."The corridors and classrooms of the modern public school are so polluted with the filth of moral relativism that the typical public high school graduate moves into the world devoid of character, conscience or courage".
Zeriger is an Eagle Scout and author of "Get Off My Honor: The Assault on the Boy Scouts of America" who believes that GSUSA has strayed from its roots, meaning that since they take a quasi-DADT approach to homosexuals and allow atheists into the organization, they're the devil.

Of all the crazy quoted above, he has only walked back on the local school statement and now claims he had a "wonderful experience" in Puyallup schools. The others he claims are from the fevered mind of an adolescent, since he was all of 18 or 19 when they were written.

And so my friends, we have our winner - Hans Zieger, Crazy of the Week. As we gear up to the November elections, this might just become a regular feature.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Little Engine That Could(n't)

Right now, it's 8:30 PM CST. Outside it's a balmy 84 degrees and who knows what the humidity is but it's up there.  We just got back from a 30 minute walk. I'm hot. Hubby's hot. At my feet are three medium sized steam engines.

Aibhne, in particular, sounds like she's going to pass out. When we first got back, she headed for the water bowl, laid down and took a desultory drink between what can only be described as gasps for air. Poor baby. She's out of shape. Maybe there's something to the vet's insistence that she lose 8 pounds. 

Last time we took her on a half hour walk (which was also her first half hour walk), she panted non-stop for almost an hour. Looks like she's going to do the same thing this time.

If she didn't spend the first ten minutes of the walk trying to do her best sled-dog-starting-up-a-hill imitation, maybe she wouldn't be so completely wiped out come the last 10 minutes. Must work on the concept of heel.

Rowan and Myrddin got to try out their leash splitter for the first time in..wait, how old is Myrddin?..oh, two years. Last time, Rowan charged out the door dragging the far more timid and quite a bit smaller Myrddin out the door. I don't believe Myrddin's feet ever actually hit the ground that time. He bounced along behind Rowan like a flag until his collar popped off. This time, they were much more evenly suited - both of them charged out the door pulling me (not quite like a flag) behind them. Once Myrddin calmed down and decided he didn't need to whine and yip from excitement, they did okay. Bounced off of each other a time or two like bumper cars, but overall, it was a success.

Of course, it meant that Rowan couldn't check his p-mail. Darn.

It was my first 30 minute walk in almost a week and I can tell the difference.  The heat is really the problem. It makes me queasy and a bit woozy if I'm not careful.

When we were in the Great Omaha Blizzard of 2009 (otherwise known as our Christmas vacation), we thought that Aibhne might make a good sled dog. Seems that I am not the first person to think about hooking up their Lab to a sled.  Enjoy.

(BTW, we're at the half hour mark and she's still panting. Her butt is up against a cabinet and is making a drawer pull rattle. Clink. Clink. Clinkclinkclinkclink. Pause. Clinkclinkclink. Ahh. Quiet. She's left for a drink and to pass out on the kitchen floor. Second coolest place in the house.)

Ah, the joy of owning dogs.

RTT - It's Tuesday so it must be Belgium

Not really. I'm still stuck here in Austin. It's still hot. As in, though it is a balmy frigid barely tolerable 71 at my desk, it is a sweltering 90 degrees with 59% humidity outside. It's the middle of September, can it please start cooling off? Jeez.

Oh, if you haven't already, head over to The Unmom and join the random fun. Here's the obligatory button:

Now that that's over with...we had another expensive weekend. Good news is that Eldest and her crew of mad shoppers are not scheduled to return for some time. Thus my bank account and waistline can recover. Not that it was entirely her fault. We would have gone to Can'tstoptheSerenity without her but still. (In case you didn't catch the reference this little movie fest/charity event is all about Serenity, Firefly and all things Joss Whedon) This year, Ron Glass was in attendance. Which was cool. Also this year, they auctioned off Quantum Mechanix newest maquettes - River Tam and Hoban "Wash" Washburne. Guess who won the Wash maquette?

I DID!!!!

It only cost me $200. (Crazy you say? Nuts to you, I say) It's not even in production yet, so it may be a while before I get it, but the best part is that they're going to send it to Alan Tudyk to sign. So there. Yes, I have cemented my fandom, upped my geek cred, and emptied the bank account all in one fell swoop. But, I tell you. It was worth it.

Youngest got her own , Little Damn Hero. But hers ain't signed.

Oh, and I found Hubby's Christmas gift. He went as Malcolm Reynolds and needed a better coat. (Ok, look, I hear you out there giggling. I've never tried to deny that we aren't geeks. And in his defense, the other guy who went as Malcolm Reynolds had the Austin PD pull him out of the theater. Apparently, his replica/toy gun was a mite too real.) It's a suede and leather long coat that is an official replica. Won't be buying it this month, but it will be under the tree.

Any way, enough Firefly.

Have I told you that Aibhne, the black beast from hell, as taken to randomly sitting up on her big fat butt in the morning just to hear us go Awww? ( It's a survival mechanism. If she weren't cute, she'd be dead.) I'll have to get a picture of it. It is fairly adorable. I just find it amusing that she does it just to get our attention and further pettins.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the comment on my 500th post. Comments were great and supportive. You guys rock.

Go join the fun at the Unmom. I'm off to make Keely happy by commenting on five blogs.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I've wandered around the blogosphere for a bit before I decided to write this, looking at other takes on the day. Some think it's time to let go and move past the event. Others feel it's important to remember. Me? Somewhere in the middle, as usual.

On September 11, 2001,  I was beginning Day Two of a three day Workplace Emergency Responder course at Applied Materials. This was a course our local American Red Cross chapter had customized from the standard Emergency Responder class for Applied. That day's course was going to be focused on CPR. I was one of three instructors for the class.

As I drove into Austin, I was listening to the local NPR station. They were reporting that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. When I got upstairs to the classroom, I turned on the TV. We were able to get so-so reception (it was intended to play the DVDs for class and not really set up for live TV).

We all watched as the second plane hit. One of my co-workers was on staff in the Education division of the Chapter (I forget his actual title and it probably  doesn't exist anymore any way). I turned to David and said, "You need to leave. The Chapter is going to need you. Gina and I can teach the course."

Which we did. We finished that day, with regular breaks to watch the news, with a new understanding and appreciation for what we were doing.

I remember watching the second plane hit and thinking, we are at war.

What's happened since has been a different story. While in favor of our foray into Afghanistan at the time, it became quickly obvious to me that we were no more capable of finding Bin Laden or "winning" anything in Afghanistan than the Soviets were. And Iraq? Well, that was just Junior attempting to finish what Senior started. The hell that we've unleashed in Iraq, the mismanagement of the aftermath of deposing Sadaam, the lies we were told to get there, the damage that was done to our reputation amongst nations as we chose to "go it alone";  all these things are the consequences of 9/11.

More over, they are the consequences of the drumbeat  of war that started almost before the dust settled in Manhattan. We chose to ignore the lessons learned from United 93, that if we band together we can prevail, and instead chose a path of discourse. The aftermath of 9/11 has exposed the dark side of America.

There is so much hate being spewed into the airwaves these days that it almost seems you need a hazmat suit to watch the news.

I've watched documentaries on 9/11. As a history buff, I believe it is important to remember. As a Journalism major, I know the media has distorted our view of 9/11 with its endless repeat of certain images. We need to find a way to move past the emotion these images evoke and remember those who died. We need to learn from the things that went wrong and the things that went right. I get a unique perspective from my Eldest, who is studying to become an Emergency Administration Manager. She's studied 9/11 and Katrina in her course work. She can wax eloquent about the spontaneous waterborne evacuation of Manhattan or how Gander, Canada handled the sudden doubling of their population as incoming international flights were grounded on 9/11. There was great heroism on that day and great loss.

Those things deserve to be remembered.

What we need is to find a way to move past the anger and fear that 9/11 created, as well as the manipulation of that fear and anger.  We've let this single event be the dominating yardstick of our nation's decision making as if we each suffered a personal loss on that day.  Arguably, we lost our national innocence.

We also lost our national sanity. We see it the crazed glare of Glenn Beck's eyes as he rants about whatever talking point stirs him up at the moment. We see it in the meteoric rise of Sarah Palin. We see it in the faces of Westboro Baptist and Terry Jones and all the others that seek to use religion as a battering ram. We see it the inability of family members on opposite sides of the political fence to talk calmly or rationally about anything political. We see it in a media so bent on "fairness" that they've lost sight of truth.

What we really need to remember about 9/11 are those who died, those who risked their lives to save and aid others and those who opened their hearts to strangers. The death rolls of 9/11 look like a perfect microcosm of America - people from all walks of life,  all ethnicities and religions, gay and straight, young and old. In every place where the terrorists struck, the best of humanity rose up in response. Some of those responders were Muslim, some were Gay, some were trained, some were not. They stepped up to do the right thing not because of where they were born or what religion they practiced but because it was the right thing to do.

We must honor their commitment to the best of what we can be and set aside our hate.

Let that be the ultimate consequence of  September 11, 2001.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A new low in Oklahoma politics

Well, it is Oklahoma, but like Texas, there are progressives who live there. One of those progressives is Brittany Novotny, who is running for State Representative.

Novotny happens to be transgender and a fellow congregant of the United Church of Christ. Her opponent's supporters have sent out a truly heinous email denouncing Novotny as a "confused it" who hates God.  The entire email is on Novotny's website.

But here's the money quote:
Brittany used to be a “he”, had a sex change operation to make him
into a “her” but turned out to become a confused “it”. Some have
suggested that having a sex change operation is a person’s greatest
act of rebellion and hatred toward God for His making them what they
Of course, you have to understand that Novotny's opponent, Sally Kern, was quoted in 2008 as saying homosexuals are a bigger threat to America than terrorists.  Her recent "defense" of this statement is really no less vile:
“Here in America we’ve had what maybe three known real big terrorist attacks on our nation,” Kern said. “But every day our young people especially, all of us, but our young people especially are in a sense bombarded with the message that homosexuality is normal and natural.”
 So it really comes as no surprise that Brittany Novotny, who has been open about her gender transition, draws the ire of someone like Charlie Meadows, founder of Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee and source of the email. His group is dedicated to supporting far-right Republicans and openly works to defeat those he deems "Republicans in Name Only", and of course those nasty heathen liberals.

For this kind of person, the very idea that someone like Novotny exists, let alone seeks public office, is an offense. They can't believe that she's Christian or that any respectable church would welcome her. Well, folks, there is at least one - the United Church of Christ.

Novtony tries to focus on the issues her district faces. Issues like jobs, public education and transportation infrastructure; issues where improvements could unquestionably effect everyone. Not the thundering noise of moral outrage at the expense of positive solutions.

That noise is all we seem to hear from Republicans these days. The flavor of the outrage varies by locale but it all really amounts to the same thing: If you're not like me, you're the enemy.

He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone. John 8:7

H/T to Joe.My.God, The Dallas Voice and

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dragon Scout by Amanda Visell

We did lots of shopping this weekend. Part of that was the mandatory visit to Dragon's Lair on Burnet Rd in Austin. There I found this:

I had to have it. It appeals on so many levels - dragons and all things Fantasy or DnD related with the extra crispy bonus of Girl Scouts thrown in.

It's adorable.

Turns out there is a variation where the scout eaten is a boy and the girl figurine is happy.  Hmmm. I may have a new item for the Christmas list. Children, take note!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

RTT - ancestry, animals and analysts

It's Tuesday! Join the fun at Keely's. Grab a button. You know the score.

Ancestry first. I have an on again/off again subscription with Is cool. Very cool. My parent's both came from large families (7 siblings on my Dad's side and 6 on my Mom's) Their families came from large families. Of course, you have to understand, my parents were born in the 1920s. My grandparents, all four of them, were born before the turn of the twentieth century. People had large families back then because well, children are fragile things. And make great farm hands. This go round on Ancestry has taught me a few things - 1) with the exception of my maternal grandmother's grandparents, I am a southern girl. The furthest north I can find anyone being born is Virginia. Mostly, they're from Texas, Arkansas or Alabama. 2) That exception? I found my maternal great-great grandfather's naturalization record. He became an American citizen in New Orleans on February 17, 1864 after immigrating from Baden, Germany in 1853.

His wife, Julia, hailed from Ireland. I have no last name for her so, that branch of the tree stops there. (I have what I know about her from US census records). Finding anything at all was a minor miracle considering the last name - Weickershimmer. The immigration record has it spelled Wickershimer. Hurrah for soundex searches. 

The recent generations invaded this weekend. Eldest, her roommate and three of their friends. Since Youngest moved out this summer, the only bed we have left in the house that isn't mine (and I already share it with 3 dogs and husband so there is definitely no room at that inn) is Eldest childhood bunk bed. It's a brick. So, she slept on it, her roommate brought his inflatable mattress and two of the three girls slept on it, and he and the other one slept on the floor in with Eldest. They were cozy.

Despite being warned that we have three large and enthusiastic dogs, they were not dissuaded from coming. In fact, they all pretty much loved the dogs. Spoiled them, in fact. Those three got more hugs and back scratches and games of fetch this weekend than they generally get in a month. And Myrddin escaped. Again. Bastard.

Work is more work than usual. I am trying to develop our new Word and Excel templates for our reports while simultaneously developing templates and testing a new desktop publishing software. It's been loads of fun. We're launching a new logo late this week or early next, along with our updated website.  The new logo is a bit of a departure and has required we change our color scheme. Plus, the design team used new non-standard fonts so, if we follow what they've come up with, everyone will need new fonts installed along with the new desktop publishing software. It's getting close. We're pretty much sold on the new font and now just have to hash out the colors. In fact, I should be working on that instead of writing this. Oops. I've found that working with these analysts to be frustrating. They are not the most visually creative people on the planet and left those of use who actually create and police the templates that we use to generate our reports out of the loop during the design phase. We got presented with the finished product and were told to make it work. Um, guys? Next time, talk to the people that make these things in house on what is feasible BEFORE you commit to designs from a outside firm that doesn't have any experience in what we use. Just saying.

OH!! And speaking of logos, I have Youngest's graphic artist friend working on making me my very own logo. It will be a black sheep, chewing on a bluebonnet stem, wearing cowboy boots and flashing the hook'em horns sign. Hopefully. This is what I have requested. What I get may be something else entirely. 

Later. Must to work.