Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A minor correction . . .

I noted last week a few small details about my life. Specifically, I mentioned that Liler'E was cutting two new teeth - both molars. That statement bears correction.

A review of the facts are in. A recount has been conducted. Hanging chads and dimples were examined for intent.

Liler'E is not, in fact, getting two new teeth.

The accurate count (from Price Waterhouse Cooper, none the less) is four teeth - two molars and two incisors - in a one week time frame. Said child is now closely resembling a shark; I nearly lost my arm below the elbow tonight. Two separate shoes were gnawed to nubs, as well. I'm thinking of getting a chewy dog bone for him.

In other news, the Euphrony's have been a little grouchy this holiday weekend. It seems that our water heater went out Friday night. Conveniently, this was just in time for everything to shut down for the long weekend. Cold showers for everyone! This is the third time in two years it has gone out on me and I'm ready to say so long to this dog. I'm thinking about a tankless water heater, even if they are more expensive initially (about twice as much as a normal water heater, plus installation). I'll make the final decision in the morning and should have hot water by Thursday night.

Also, by way of correction, it is a water heater and not a hot water heater. The later is somewhat redundant, even if most people say it this way.

It could be worse, though. I read that other people have plumbing problems that are harder to fix than my simple water heater. For example,
the only toilet on the space station is on the fritz. They're currently using baggies (and I hope they have plenty). Also, fighter pilots have long had a problem with going on the go. The standard has been to use a "piddle pack", but they may have a better solution now. It involves chemical geling! Ain't science fun?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pray for the Chapman family

If you've not heard elsewhere, one of the biggest names in CCM suffered a great loss today. Steven Curtis Chapman's youngest daughter, Maria, was struck and killed by a car in the family's driveway this afternoon (read more here). Please, pray for them.

Chapman's music has been around me much of my life, and his championing of adoption has meant a lot to me (my brother and other friends have adopted). For his family to have worked so hard to bring Maria to their home, and then to lose her shortly after her preschool graduation must be terribly hard. And, for me and Mrs. E, this kind of accident is one of our greatest fears. Pray for their family and for the friends around them to give them God's strength.

UPDATE: There are a few more details on Steven Curtis Chapman's website and notes of condolence can be left here.

Well there's your problem!

So Liler'E has not been sleeping so well the last few nights. Fussy, waking up crying, over and over again. I was playing with him Monday night, got him to laughing, and saw some new white spots in his mouth. Molars. Plural. Two new molars breaking through soft gums at the same time. Well, know we know. This brings him to eight teeth, and I can only imagine what this will allow him to eat now. Without molars he was already doing a good job of eating whole hot dogs, apples (not sliced), and bananas and oranges by the truckload. Now I fully expect whole cows to fall prey to these choppers.

In other news, Liler'E was not waking me up with his crying, seeing as how I was not asleep in the first place. Major insomnia going on here. Last night I was up till 3 am. Night before was 1 am. Friday night I only managed about two hours. Don't know what's going on. I guess I can sleep when I die, right?

The following is an open letter, but specifically for the neighbor lady at the end of our block:

To Whom it May Concern:
The trials of homeownership are many. Chores must be done, leaks fixed, yards tended. At times many try to do too many things at one time; rare is the homeowner who has not been caught in the shower or changing clothes when the phone rang or a timer went off. This is part of the rigors of life in the 'burbs.

There are, however, occasions when time should be taken to complete a task at hand before rushing to attend to the next pressing matter. For example, while the water may need to be moved, so as not to flood part of your lawn or flowerbeds, time should be taken to dress properly. Rushing out in a baggy tee shirt that comes far short of covering your pink-pantie clad rump as you work to move the sprinklers is exactly the kind of situation we want to avoid. Please, for the sake of the neighbors - for the sake of the children - put some pants on.

The Euphrony Family

Monday, May 19, 2008

Music Monday: Redefinition

From Andrew Peterson's "For The Love of God"

Now, love is not a feeling in your chest
It is bending down to wash another’s feet
It is faithful when the sun is in the west
And in the east

It can hurt you as it holds you
In its overwhelming flood
Till only the unshakable is left
"This new command I give you," He said,
"Love as I have loved"
So brother, love her better than yourself
And give her your heart

For the love of God
In the name of Jesus
The groom who gave his life
To love his bride

Old definition: Love is an emotion, a feeling, and is intangible.

New definition: Love is an action, in doing something, and is very tangible.

Challenge: Reinterpret John 13:34 in light of the new definition of "love".


Thursday, May 15, 2008

How I spent my Monday

This pretty well sums it up, if expanded over nine hours. I will be taking questions at the end.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

$650,000,000 ± $420,000,000 (or, I Voted Today)

Did you know that today is a voting day here in Texas? Well, I voted. We had two school bonds, one for our local ISD and one for the local college district. The ISD is asking for a paltry $650,000,000 for improvements and expansion - this includes building one new high school, rebuilding another (parts of which are 40 years old), providing every high school student with a tablet PC by 2011, adding interactive whiteboards to every classroom, and a few other things. The college district bond is for $420,000,000 for raises, new class space, etc.

That's a chunk of change, no matter how you look at it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

What do you think? No, really, I want to know!

They are a variety of people who read this meandering mess of a blog, and I decided that I wanted to probe you various minds and ways of thought regarding hot-topic issues of the day.

What do you think of the various economic plans being proposed to help relieve today's economic crunch? Especially those relating to the energy sector (e.g. a gas-tax holiday, windfall profits tax proposals, diversion of money/profits to research in alternative fuels and renewable power)?

Surely between all three or so of us who read this blog we have some different opinions on what is going on and what we need to be doing both to make things better today and in the future. And it also occurs to me that, being a researcher who works in the energy industry, I could possibly answer some of the questions you've been dying to ask but never knew who to turn to. I could explain the process of drilling for and recovering oil (and in the process, explain why the global oil reserves estimate has not really changed in three decades). Or I could tell you about fuel cells (I've worked with them some, as well).

So, let me pick your brain, and I will let you pick mine. Anyone up for such an exchange?

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Things I just don't understand

Why does CNN.com offer a convenient link next to select articles allowing you to purchase a tee-shirt with the headline printed on it (for only $15, plus $4.99 S/H)? I was considering getting this one, but then I though to myself "what statement am I really trying to make by wearing this shirt?" The answer, unfortunately, was "I'm a dork!" and thus the idea was abandoned.

CNN headline tee

Seriously, though, why? It just makes no sense. Or am I just to old, as I approach 35 years here, to understand?

(Side note: CNN offers a FAQ on their shirts, and even a place where you can upload photos of yourself stylin' with the latest headlines. Even cooler!)

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Discovering: Benny Carter

You know, I somewhat pride myself on knowing music. Especially good music. What a joy it is to be humbled in my knowledge! Yesterday, listening to our local jazz station (the good jazz, not the "smooth jazz" that makes me hate saxophone music) I heard a show remembering Benny Carter. To my shame, I had never heard of Benny Carter before. To my joy, I now have.

Benny Carter recorded music over nine decades, and was a huge influence in jazz, really introducing the jazz saxophone, introducing jazz to Europe, and the formation of early swing music. Here are a few quotes said about Benny Carter:

The problem of expressing the contributions that Benny Carter has made to popular music is so tremendous it completely fazes me, so extraordinary a musician is he. - Duke Ellington

Everybody ought to listen to Benny. He’s a whole musical education. - Miles Davis

He’s everything a musician would want to be. - Ella Fitzgerald

When I grow up I want to be just like Benny Carter. - Dizzy Gillespie
Thankfully, it is never too late to start listening to great music. The radio program I was listening to played his original composition "Symphony in Riffs", starting with a recording from the 1930's and then segued to a performance from 1992 in San Antonio. If anything, Carter's playing sounded better when he was in his eighties than in his twenties. Amazing!

Here is a video of Benny Carter playing with a few others in 1995 - when he was 88 years old! His solo comes in at 3:00; the song is "Crazy Rhythm". And it is amazing how great his music is even in his twilight. Enjoy.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Music Monday: We all know that crap is king . . .

. . . give us dirty laundry.

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five
She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
Its interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry

Don Henley: Dirty Laundry (live at Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration)

Why do I enjoy / appreciate this song more every year? Let me count the ways . . .

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Family Update

We may be coming through the end of the disease cycle that we've so thoroughly enjoyed the last three weeks. Keep you fingers crossed, but no fever in two days! Now, if only I hadn't dropped that stool on top of my foot . . . (I'm still debating if it may be broken or not.) I've never broken a bone in my life, and I don't want to start now!

My dad is apparently a big-wig at the moment, having his picture on the front page of their newspaper. He, and a couple of others, form a committee that seeks to either block the city from annexing the area they live in (just outside of town) or at the least offer something more than increased taxes for taking the land into the city. The city sees the area as a lucrative source of tax dollars, and the residents don't want to pay the extra chunk of change out of their pockets without little things like the city providing police and fire service, water, sewer, street lighting, etc. like the rest of the city gets. In other words, if they are going to be part of the city, then treat them like residents and not like back-alley mugging victims. They had a nice picture of him in front of their house, wearing his Aggie shirt, arms crossed and looking resolute.

We've had plenty of pictures lately. Here are a few of my little darlings. First is Lil'E. This is her school picture, taken by a man named "Mr. Funny" who seems to have a problem with bumping his head on the door frame every time he comes to the school. Lil'E can't talk about him without laughing for ten minutes.

Next up is Liler'E. Here is is, on a rock. And actually smiling for the photographer. Wow. Ain't he cute!

Finally, we have the siblings. They love each other so much - even when Lil'E smothers Liler'E to the point of driving him insane. The classic Texas bluebonnet photo. We had a fun time trying to get these photos; police action forced us to evacuate the park went first went to for the family pictures. They had a dozen cop cars and even a helicopter or two buzzing overhead. F.U.N!