Monday, December 29, 2008

Unhappy Ending to the Trip

I'm back in VA. Sydney was uncooperative when I tried to put her in her carrier to go into the apartment. As I tried to zip her up, she turned and scratched me in the face and even my inner bottom lip.

After Frank couldn't get her in the carrier either, we just let her out of the car and hoped she would run inside. Eventually, she did.

I hope this doesn't scar:

I'm not showing my inner bottom lip. Lucky you.

Bactine numbs your tongue pretty good if you accidentally get it in your mouth.

To me, the scratch looks a lot brighter red than in the picture. (But I'm a drama queen.) I'm wearing a band-aid so that the scratch isn't so obvious.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Long Line of Gaggers

Family "secrets" come out around Christmas. Siblings get together and talk, and the younger generation learns things they did not know. Some things I knew already but it's fun: my Great-Grandpa Sprenkle had three women to choose from when he married my Great-Grandma Sprenkle. How did he narrow the list to three? Those were the only three women that he had impregnated.

I also learned that my very tough Aunt Cinny and my Great Aunt Norma also have quick gag reflexes. Norma's husband Bob had to come home at lunch to change their daughter's diapers. Not just the dirty ones, also the wet ones. Norma said, "People always said it would be different with your children, but that's not true." I knew it!

Norma is proud to hear that I carry on that tradition: gagging even when people just tell stories with too many details. Glad I make someone proud.

80,000 Miles

The Sprinter passed 80,000 miles today! The Sprinter is almost 9.5 years old.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

How Christian Saved Christmas

Jessie was making seafood chowder (a Christmas tradition) and couldn't find the chicken bouillon we had just bought. We looked throughout the kitchen and the dining room. No luck. So, Christian took to the garbage. He went out into the garage and started digging. He came back unsuccessful. Jessie knew that some Old Bay was also thrown out, and he hadn't found it, so he went back to the garbage to find either Old Bay or bouillon. Success! Christian found the bouillon, and Jessie made the yummy seafood chowder. Thus, Christian saved Christmas. Horray!

Dad was at the butcher shop earlier this week. He noted that the butcher shop was going to be closed Christmas. He asked, "What if Scrooge wants to buy a goose that day?" The worker didn't acknowledge Dad.

P.S. Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

That Feeling

Frank was imagining what it's like being Sydney: spending most of your life in that groggy, just-waking-up state.

You don't know what that feeling is? It's something like this:

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Conversation with My Parents

Dad: My blood sugar was 211.
Me: Is that high? What did you have for breakfast? Sugar pops and ice cream?
Dad: No. I had... What's that called?
Mom: Eggs
Me: What? You couldn't come up with "eggs"?
Dad: No-oo! It was those things...
Mom: Hot pockets.

Mom didn't understand that she had made the conversation funny by filling in the wrong word.

A Conversation with Grandma

Grandma: [Jamie] has 3 dogs and I don't know how many cats.
Me: Oh. I didn't know Jamie had cats.
Grandma: Yes, he has 5 of them.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Good Thinks [sic] Never Last

Frank emailed me with the title as the subject line:
Well, it finally happened. Your cat barked in the cat cave.

What actually happened (Sydney barfed in the Cat Cave, a.k.a, the office closet) isn't as cool as what he wrote. Frank was hitting the 'k' key pretty hard that day.

Typos are funny. I'm glad I never have them.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Dad made a cd of songs about late musicians. I'm posting the songs on the cd to enlighten you.

The format is song title, artist name, and then in parentheses who the song is dedicated to. (This isn't formatted as well as I'd like.)

"Rock And Roll Heaven" The Righteous Brothers (various - rock)
"Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" George Jones (various - country)
"Six Strings Down" Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Art Neville (various - blues)
"Me and the Wildwood Rose" Carlene Carter (Mother Maybelle Carter)
"Sir Duke" Stevie Wonder (Duke Ellington)
"The Ride" David Allan Coe (Hank Williams)
"Buddy's Song" Bobby Vee (Buddy Holly)
"Three Stars" Eddie Cochran (Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper)
"The King Is Gone" Ronnie McDowell (Elvis Presley)
"Nightshift" Commodores (Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson)
"Tunic (Song For Karen)" Sonic Youth (Karen Carpenter)
"Free Bird [studio]" Lynyrd Skynyrd (Duane Allman)
"Brickyard Road" Johnny Van Zant (Ronnie Van Zant)
"SRV" Angela Strehli (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
"I'll Be Missing You" Puff Daddy (Biggie Smalls)
"Lord, I Wonder" Katie Webster (various - blues)
"I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven" Tex Ritter (various - country)

Some of the singers are no longer with us. Eddie Cochran died very young in a car crash. Ronnie Van Zant was the lead singer for Skynyrd, and then his brother Johnny sang about him. Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes mentions some people who were alive at the time the song was recorded but are gone now.

Tuesday's Child

Are you familiar with the poem "Monday's Child"?

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath Day,
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Mom always liked this poem because she was born on Sunday. I was born on Tuesday, which, according to the poem, should mean that I am graceful. I am not.

Friday on my walk into school with a professor from the French department, I fell. I skinned my knee and rolled my ankle. I didn't realize the extent of the injuries until later. My pride was too hurt to notice the physical pain.

My mom said, "It really upsets me that all those years of dance lessons did not have any reflection in your ability to walk without mishap."

Just think how frequently I'd fall if I hadn't taken dance lessons.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


See, Andy. I'm not the only one injured by plants.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

My Baseball Manager Philosophy

I'm no Ray "The Genius" Miller, but here's some of what I'd do if I were the manager of an MLB baseball team:

  • If my starting pitcher has a rough start, getting lit up by the opposing team, I'd start him the next game. Why should he dwell on the loss? No need to "rest his arm". Get him right back out there.
  • If my pitcher wins, he gets the week off.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today in class, we were talking about mnemonics, and I used the example of "My Very Educated Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas" to remember the planets' names in order. The students had never heard that. I thought maybe it was because they didn't learn Pluto as a planet, but they said that changed after they learned the planets. They also said that they never had to learn the planets in order. What are they teaching kids these days?

I feel old when the students and I don't even have mnemonics in common.

But, turns out Frank doesn't know it either.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Canvassing for Obama

You know me, I'm not very political. But, my good friend Joe (see below) needs some support in SW VA. (My sister had forgotten than I know Joe, so this picture is to remind her. I wish I had brushed my hair that day.)

Canvassing is just talking to potential Obama supporters (determined by data mining voter registration databases, I think) and finding out if they've decided who they're voting for and, if they're voting for Obama, find out if they need help getting to the polls.

So, my friend Katherine and I went to Buena Vista. Katherine had done this before and assured me it wasn't too bad. We went to the first house, and a man answered. We could tell he wasn't quite right--kind of talking low and shifty. Katherine asked if he knew who he was voting for in the presidential election. He said he can't vote because he's a felon. Katherine informs him that he can get his rights reinstated. He repeats that there's no way that he could get reinstated--he's a murderer and rapist. Katherine insisted that he could get his voting right reinstated. (By this time, I was running half way up the street.) He mentioned that he's on house arrest. Katherine thanked him for his time, and we moved on to the next house.

Reflecting, Katherine thinks maybe she talked to him for longer than maybe she should have. She was on autopilot and wasn't in a groove yet. My parents wanted to know if he was pulling our leg. I believed him. My dad asked, "Katherine wanted him to join 'Murderers and Rapists for Obama'?"

None of the other canvassers could top that for their first house/encounter.

We talked to one man who seemed to want us to leave--by being really short with us--but also seemed to want to talk. He talked about being undecided and being really confused, but by the end of our conversation (and I don't think we said much in terms of platform--just a little bit about Obama and his support of the middle class), the guy said that he's going to vote for Obama. The personal touch really can make a difference.

I'm not sure if I'll canvass again. I don't like bugging strangers, and the rejection can be hard to take. It was fun when we found supporters. It was tough when we talked to Undecideds because we didn't want to push them, but we wanted to let them know if they had any questions, we could try to answer them. McCain supporters weren't too bad. It stung a little bit (makes me nervous about November), but then we would just check the appropriate box, and no one from the Obama campaign would bug them again.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sprenkliest Trip To England Ever

My first trip to England, and I stayed across the street from Windsor Castle:

I couldn't find anyone to take my picture. Not too bad on a few hours sleep.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Big Surprise

From Dad: "Well, I was surprised by McCain's VP choice. I just had a feeling that he'd pick someone I heard of."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Here We Go Again!

On our evening stroll, Frank and I encountered a family of cats on W&L's campus: two young (but not baby) kittens and a mama cat. I would guess that the kittens are around that magic 2-month age that they need human interaction. I'm searching for local programs to help these kitties. My guess is that the local humane shelter is pretty overrun with cats right about now.

In my search, I found out that in 1987, 15 million animals were put to sleep. Now, it's down to 5 million. Yes, I know that is still way too many, but it seems like we're on the right track.

Here are some organizations I learned about that are worthy of donations:

Follow Up on 'Bumpershoot'

According to Webster, it's actually 'Bumbershoot' and it's from the year 1896. Bumber is a fun form of umber in umbrella, and shoot is a variation from parachute.

So, not so PA Dutch.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Of International Interest, Somewhat

From Jessie in Germany:

This morning at work, Jesse Gibson came in and posed a question to the room (there were a couple of English speakers there from all over the place): Who knows what a bumbershoot is? (He said bumbershoot, as opposed to bumpershoot).

I said, "It's an umbrella." And that was right. I thought that bumpershoot was one of those things that Dad just made up (he does that sometimes, you know).

Jesse explained that he had been watching CNN World and the weather girl (not to be confused with The Weathergirls) asked if anyone knew what a "bumbershoot" was. Someone emailed in and said it comes from Pennsylvania Dutch and means "umbrella". The fact that I knew the word (and no one else had any idea) seemed to prove it.

I did not think Dad had made up that word. I thought it was what the British called umbrellas. I was way off.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

2 out of 3

I trapped the mother cat (Joy) tonight. Stripey won't go near the trap. He's so smart. He'd be smarter if he let me trap him, though.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

1 out of 3 Ain't Bad

I trapped Earl. He's in my car, with the windows down a bit. I will take him to a Forgotten Cats woman's house tomorrow morning. Tomorrow night, I will try to trap Joy and Stripey (again). I'm exhausted.

Earl successfully ate the food from the trap once without getting caught. I had to put more food in the trap and position it a little differently. After he was caught, I wasn't fast enough covering him up. (They calm down with the cover over them. Strange.) He was really thrashing around. The sound of the trap and Earl's panic made the other two cats panic. (It is really kind of scary. If I didn't know it was for the best, I would have just let him out.) Joy and Stripey wouldn't even go for the bait after that. Sigh.

I put the other 3 empty traps in my car too. I worry that my car might be bait.

Here are some new pictures of the cats.

What Did I Get Myself Into?

As you know, I've been taking care of some feral cats. Because of the holiday and my recent trip to NSF, I haven't been feeding the cats as regularly. I fed all 3 last night, and they were quite happy about that.

Anyway, I contacted Forgotten Cats and they just got in touch with me about the cats. The current plan is for them to give me 3 traps, I'll trap the cats and then take the cats to their clinic (about 30 minutes away) to be spayed/neutered. I have to be fast when a cat is trapped. I need to cover the trap and put it into my car so that they other cats don't realize what is going on. I have to do that 3 times (once for each cat). The woman in charge is trying to find a place for the cats, but she may have to return them back to the dumpster area because it's difficult to find homes for the feral cats. Sigh.

The woman was wondering if there was someone else who could feed the cats after I leave. Last night, a 7-year-old girl saw me feeding the cats and she seemed intrigued. A kid might be a good one to take over for me.

I couldn't find the location of the clinic on their web site. The woman told me that they can't do that because people drop cats off there all the time. They can't even put their name on the door. The people dropping off the cats are well-intentioned, I'm sure, but that must be difficult on Forgotten Cats.

The woman was really assuring that I'm doing the right things. She said that the cats will be a lot harder to trap after I leave because the cats trust me. I still think anyone who brings food would become the cat's friend. She also said that I can feed the cats as much as they'll eat. I was worried that they might be overeating because they eat so much, but she said not to worry about that. It's really difficult for the cats to get enough calories in the wild and they tend not to overeat.

One of the funniest things that the cats do is to look at me through plants and think that I can't see them. I'm looking right at them! I saw the mother cat across the street from the dumpster. I talked to her, shook the food bag, and reminded her who I was. I thought she might follow me, but she didn't. However, after I got to the pavilion where I feed them, she showed up pretty quickly after that.

Frank asked if I'm up for this. Um, no, not really. I'm leaving Delaware Friday night, and I have a bajillion things scheduled for this week. I am hoping one of the students I'm working with this summer may be able to help.

The things I do to save the world (like recycling the tons of empty liquor bottles in the apartment I'm subletting).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dumpster Cats

Here are some pictures of the cats that I've been feeding:

From left to right, that's Randy (kitten), Joy (mother cat), and Earl (kitten). I'm guessing at the relationship between the cats. Joy isn't much larger than the kittens, but Frank thinks she's the mom.

The picture isn't black and white, but the cats are all variations of gray and white. I only see the cats at night, so I can't take great pictures of them.

The more I think about the cats, the more upset I get. I've been looking at shelters, the DE humane society, and various other options. I can donate money to the organizations, but what they really need are homes for the cats, and I can't take any more cats in. (Sydney won't allow it.) I adopted Sydney from a no-kill shelter--to support an organization that doesn't kill animals, but maybe I should have gone to a different type of shelter to save a kitty. Or, maybe I should have gone to one of the smaller organizations.

I have contacted Forgotten Friends, an organization that will spay/neuter stray cats and then release them back where they were. They figure that cats are better off in the wild, where some kind person will feed them, than at a shelter that could euthanize them. For the most part, I agree, but I read several stories of mean children/people abusing stray cats.

I was considering various scenarios for how things will play out for Earl, Randy, and Joy, and none of them seem good. Like, the three cats could be spayed/neutered and released back to the dumpster, but I won't be around much longer to feed them. On the other hand, what if Forgotten Cats decide that the kittens can be tamed and adopted out, but that the mother cat won't. So, the mother cat goes back to the dumpster without her kittens? That doesn't seem right.

These scenarios are why I don't like SUV. They don't package things up
nicely in the end. I'm not sure how to end this story nicely. I mean, of
course, all 3 cats would find good homes, but the adoption statistics posted on some of the sites I've looked at don't seem promising.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dumpster Treasure

The dumpster at the apartment complex where I'm subletting is the home for 3 gray and white kittens. Frank and I discovered them Saturday, and I've fed some combination of them every night since then (dark gray kitten; dark gray kitten and stripey gray kitten; dark gray kitten, mostly white kitten, and stripey kitten; stripey kitten).

We went to the Blue Rocks game. The Blue Rocks are a minor league baseball team--Royals farm team. The Blue Rocks have three mascots. (Plus Reggie the Party Dude.) Mr. Celery is the second mascot. The story behind Mr. Celery is something like "Someone found a celery costume by the dumpster, took it, and we have another mascot!"

I was reminded of the Glitter poster that Patrick got from me from a pile of posters by the dumpster.

My sister replied: "I swear, you get some of the best stuff from a dumpster: up to three gray and white kittens, a celery costume, a Glitter poster. Why do people throw this stuff out?! But let's not underestimate the value of the highway. Where else could you get a giant inflatable microphone?"

The Legend of the Giant Inflatable Microphone is a whole other blog entry. I wonder if Dad remembers the Legend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Comfort is lowest priority

The Best Compliments Ever

Tonight, at the Italian Festival, drunk guys told me that I don't look like I'm 30. To prove my age, I showed my driver's license. That was probably a bad idea because one took it away from me. I tried stopping the conversation with the drunk guys by making sure they knew that at least a few of us were much older than high school and by saying stuff like that I majored in computer science.

For handling the drunk guys, Lucy called me "The Coolest Professor Ever", so I definitely have to put that on a mug now.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Red or Brown Squirrel Sighting

At the Stonewall Jackson cemetery, Frank and I saw a red or brown squirrel--it definitely wasn't gray. (And, no, it wasn't a chipmunk or a rabbit; I know my rodents.) I don't think they're supposed to be around here.

P.S. I don't have time to write long, well-thought-out posts.

Bad Sequels

Speaking of bad sequels (see the subject line), there are a bunch (3?) of Geico commercials featuring a caveman talking about dance moves. The tie-in with Geico: the cave man accuses Geico of thinking that the dance moves are easy.

There are another series of Raisin Bran Crunch commercials that I like. Granted, I am partial to raisin bran commercials and the "uhn-tz" sound. But, I think the Raisin Bran Crunch commercials have a punch line and actually sell the product.

The Song I'm Writing

I'm working on a song to the tune of the Doors' Riders on the Storm that's called "Spiders on the Door". The song was inspired by the large spiders on the garage door from when I opened the garage after it was closed for about a month. What you're humming is what I have written so far. Pretty good, huh? I was humming that all morning.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Coin Collecting

From the Simpsons:

Coin collecting is a lot like life. It stopped being fun a long time ago.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Are There Too Many Women in IT?

For every valid point this man makes (No, there aren't too many women in IT), he makes two asinine points. Made me mad so I had to share.

Are There Too Many Women in IT?

While it is true that programmers aren't very visible to 11-year-olds, that does not mean we shouldn't make them aware of the field. What makes careers interesting to 11-year-olds is not the same as what makes them interesting to 22-year-olds. It is not true that people who haven't programmed before they are 18 aren't interested. They may not have seen the many applications of programming that make Computer Science interesting. I am one of those people who didn't program until I was a freshman in college.

I'm sure you have more thoughts to share, so I'll end there.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

May the Fourth Be With You, Drew!

Happy Birthday, Andy! Andy reminds me that it is his last prime birthday for 6 years and that his age is a palindrome in binary. But, most importantly, Andy reminded me that he is a nerd.

It's Here! It's Here!

The CRA-W Newsletter is here! Thank you for helping me look better. It takes a village.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Poor Fuller Figured Models

I read an article today about how magazines are PhotoShopping their models to look fuller figured. Poor fuller figured models can't catch a break.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Things I Learn on er

The other day in an er rerun, Abby mentioned that babies look like their fathers--to give reassurance to the fathers that the baby is theirs. So, I looked it up and found this story that confirms what Abby said.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hobby Shots (Sat: Updated)

Frank and I took some pictures of me participating in my favorite hobby. No, not watching TV or reading TV Guide. Throwing a Disc!

I added two shots of disc golf. I tried to take more like #1, but they didn't come out as well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Consensus

The consensus seems to be #2. CRA-W asked for another photo of me participating in a hobby, so Frank and I need to do another photo shoot. That will probably involve a disc. We'll see what we come up with and have another round of voting.

In case you're interested, here is my sister's take on the photos:

Picture 1 is too far away.

Picture 2 says "yeaaahhh." I think that one's my favorite.

Picture 3 is too direct.

Picture 4 says "tee hee" as in "that was funny, tee hee".

Picture 5 says "begyourpardon?"

She's a lot less critical than I expected. She's losing her touch.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Picture Poll

I need to provide a picture for the CRA-W newsletter. Frank and I did a photo session today. Here are the options.

I also have the options rotating in an example Web page.

I'm just guessing that the picture in the newsletter will be closer to the size that's rotating than the size on the page with all the pictures.

Let me know which one you like best.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Born to Soon...

Or something like that.

At the University of Delaware's home page, I saw the headline Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. to speak at UD Commencement May 31. Oh, man, why did I insist on graduating last year? It is open to the public, but I don't know if can make it...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

An Ad for The Gettysburgian

Today, I had a great idea for an April Fool's edition of The Gettysburgian. Only a few years past being a useful idea. I emailed a former Burgian editor. She liked my idea. She was up at Gburg last week and their April Fool's edition had a Marxist theme (not of the Groucho kind). She passed along the Burgian's ad:

I recognize a lot of that equipment.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Truly Outrageous

Dad got a new toy that allows him to transfer music from audio cassettes to digital. Dad asked if Jessie and I had any tapes we wanted to transfer. Of course we do! We have about 11 tapes that aren't available on iTunes (or any other similar service): the tapes that were included with our Jem and the Holograms dolls. So far, Dad has gotten the songs from 9 tapes (Jem, Kimber, Aja, Rio, Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, Danse, and Synergy). The tapes for Clash and Jetta are missing.

Hmm... This makes us sound a bit spoiled and we probably were, but we probably only had a total of 4 Barbies. We much preferred Jem dolls and we would save up and buy them with our allowance and ask for one for every birthday and Christmas.

Anyway, here's a sample of the theme song:

Dad told a coworker about this project, and she was very excited. Since she's about 30, that's the reaction Dad expected.

European Rivers

was the final Jeopardy! category. I probably wouldn't have bet much, if anything, and I actually would have gotten it right. The answer is:
20 miles from Frankfurt is the meeting place of these 2 rivers, whose names rhyme despite the spelling.

Did you get it right?

The Beauty of the Blog

I watch Corner Gas on WGN as I go to sleep. It's a Canadian comedy--a sure-fire way to beat insomnia. Last night's episode was minorly funny. Hank started writing a blog, so no one would listen to him because they would read it on the blog later. Someone commented something along the lines of "Why be ignored by your friends when the whole world can ignore you." Yeah, that's why I love my blog.

The other part I liked was that Hank used the word "talkin'" in his blog to show that he had attitude. Leaving off the 'g' is one of the best indicators of attitude.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Runny Nose

There's a New Balance commercial that didn't make any sense to me. It was like

"Runny nose when you've cheated on it.
Runny nose when you sleep in."

Anyway, apparently the voice-over dude is saying "Running knows..." He needs to enunciate.

See the ad for yourself.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Some Good News

Mary Jean Harrold, a computer science professor from Georgia Tech, asked me to be the CRA-W Featured Alum in the April Newsletter. CRA-W is what sponsors the Distributed Mentor Program that I participated in as an undergraduate and as a graduate student mentor. I was pretty flattered. She's going to send me the questions and then call to interview me. That's strange. I'm trying to remember if I've been on the receiving end of an interview of this sort... I was always the interviewer at The Beacon, The York Daily Record, and The Gettysburgian. When the newsletter is posted, I'll put up a link. Well, if the interview is any good.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Idea for Next Year

Gym story: there was an intramural power lifting contest at Monday at the gym. I saw a female professor on the bench press. I told Frank. He asked, "What was her last name?" I told him, and he said, "She went to Penn." She was in the Ms. Penn contest the year before Frank was in the Mr. Penn competition. I talked to her briefly (Frank had a fit because I wasn't supposed to go into that area while they were competing), and she confirmed that she went to Penn.

Even after seeing my biceps, she encouraged me to participate next year. Well, I would have come in third in the women's competition if I did it this year, so maybe ... "Congratulations, you lifted the bar once. That's good enough for the bronze."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What Makes Sydney Cry

The Pitt Panthers lost to Michigan State (the Spartans). Sydney got off her scratcher and repeatedly cursed. Normally, I would think it was a bad dream or something, but she seems really bummed that her cat-mascot-picks aren't doing so well. Go, Memphis! Don't make Sydney cry.

Favorite and Despised Teams on Facebook

I found this interesting. UNC and Duke are loved and hated. I didn't realize Duke was hated so much. I hate them a little bit myself because of how they played today.

Top Favorite NCAAB Teams
1. Tar Heels (38,248 Fans)
2. Blue Devils (26,763 Fans)
3. Jayhawks (20,249 Fans)
4. Badgers (13,414 Fans)
5. Wildcats (11,484 Fans)

Top Despised NCAAB Teams
1. Blue Devils (74,059 Haters)
2. Tar Heels (35,654 Haters)
3. Gators (10,641 Haters)
4. Buckeyes (8,765 Haters)
5. Jayhawks (7,917 Haters)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gettysburg Hoops

A story from Dad about Gburg hoops:

They were down by 7 points with 40 seconds to go in the championship game. A guy (and I forgot his name) hit a 3-pointer - now behind by 4. The other team missed a foul shot. The same Bullet hit another 3-pointer - behind by 1. A guy from Opponent made a foul shot. With time running out, the Bullet hit *another* 3-pointer to give them the lead. Then a guy from Opponent fired a shot from half court at the buzzer. And it went in.

And the referee said the shot was after the buzzer. Gburg wins.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Campus notices had an ad for a free puppy: part Siberian Husky, part Sneaky Neighbor's Dog.

Frank has been checking out the Lexington SPCA and a litter of St. Bernard/Bassett Hound puppies.

This one is my favorite:

This one is Frank's favorite:

Sydney doesn't have a favorite.

They are tempting, but they'd outgrow the apartment quickly. Or maybe not. Who knows how big they'll get.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, KK!

Nothing witty to say,
Just wishing you a happy day!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Happy Birthday, Frank!

Recently, Frank's 3.5-year-old niece was counting "27-28-29... 100!" I'm glad I turned 30 before the rules changed and 100 is after 29.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Frank was flipping through the channels, using the "Guide" feature, and I saw a show called "Ultimate", which was about the growing interest in this "dangerous" sport. What? That doesn't make any sense. Frank said, "Ultimate fighting" and flipped to the channel to show me what was on. Ah, I see. Why did they just call it ultimate, then? There is no trademark on "fighting".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More on Funerals

My great uncle Bob died. I liked Bob, after I was old enough to appreciate his humor. As a kid, I didn't realize that he was kidding often as he took jabs at us, so I was wary of him. One time when Bob said something to Jessie and I was a little horrified by it and Dad laughed, I realized that it was a joke and then I understood. His style is now one part of my delivery--saying things with a straight face and letting others realize you're kidding or being ridiculous. Bob married into the Sprenkles. Since he was so funny, that was also a surprise to me. Bob was also an avid Orioles fan. During the last week, he was concerned about the Orioles recent trades, including the possibility of trading Brian Roberts.

I did not attend his funeral. I probably should have. My mom said something strange: "It was a nice funeral. I think you would have liked it." Huh? I didn't think I was really rating funerals...

Friday, February 22, 2008


I'm not real good at funerals. I tend to cry a lot. That may not be that unusual. Do you remember Love Actually and Liam Neeson's character's wife's funeral at the beginning of the movie? We hadn't met the wife, but I cried. Kristina didn't understand why I cried. I can't help it; funerals are sad. I don't consciously think about other funerals I've attended or anything. It's just a gut reaction, an overload of emotions--I cry.

What brought this up? Frank's grandmother died Saturday morning. It wasn't unexpected. She was 90, had Alzheimer's and bronchitis, and was getting weaker. Still, I cried a lot at the viewing and funeral. Frank thought I should be tougher. He should know me better than that.

A neighbor made Frank's family ravioli and wedding soup. Note that they just call it "wedding soup", but every time, I thought, you mean Italian wedding soup. We also had wedding soup at the reception. Dad thought they might have been confused, but I don't think the Italians have a funeral soup.

There were lots of Italians at the viewing and funeral. Frank's mom asked if I could tell which were the mafia. I assumed they all were.

At one point at the viewing, I somehow wound up in the receiving line with Frank's mom, uncle, and cousin. So, people were kissing my cheek and saying they were sorry for my loss. I know they weren't sure how I fit because I wasn't Italian. I got myself quickly out of that line.

Frank's 3.5-year-old niece was at the viewing for a little while and the funeral. Someone commented that viewings aren't much fun for kids. Yeah, but for the rest of us--it's a blast.

I stayed with my parents one night and told them about the funeral. I mentioned Frank's cousin Sonny (who I was next to in the receiving line). My parents thought about Sonny Corleone from The Godfather. See? My Italian stereotypes are genetic.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Mom reminisced about a time shortly after she went back to work after having Jessie. Mom came home from work, and I (about 3 years old) told Mom that "Daddy was changing Jessie's diaper and went ." Mom asked me to clarify, and I demonstrated again.

I asked Dad about this story. He didn't remember it, but he didn't doubt it. I asked, "What were you feeding her?" Dad replied, "Gerber's chili."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

PG-13 Warning

Frank has been complaining that he pulled a groin muscle. I've been having a field day with that one. Such as, "How is your groin today?" and in response to his saying that he's not feeling as sore today, "So all that rubbing worked?" It's almost too easy.

I shouldn't get so much pleasure from his pain.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2nd time at a voting booth

I think today was just my second time at a voting booth. (That's different than only voting for a second time. I have done the absentee ballots.) The last time I was in a voting booth was for some local elections in Dtown, I think. Maybe it was also a primary. I was home from Gettysburg and it was a warm day. Is that enough clues to figure it out?

The voting machine was a touch screen! It was pretty fast because I was only voting for the Democratic primary. I considered voting for Kucinich, even though he's no longer in the race, because I believe in most of what he stands for. (Insert short joke here?) But, I don't need to throw my vote away.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Happy Mardi Gras!

I went to my first Mardi Gras party last night. I have no idea what Mardi Gras is--except for a big party. I dressed a little goofily with lots of blue eye shadow, a loud shirt, and a Mardi Gras mask, but other people at the party were a pink elephant, a Mediterranean dancer, and a bunch of grapes. I got the baby in the King cake, so I need to make the cake next year.

Frank and I were the youngest ones at the party by at least 10 years, so the highlight for us was the dance party segment, where people danced to Jay-Z's "99 Problems" and Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl". The songs had to be declared "no longer cool" after that party.

Super Bowl

Brendan asked Frank and me who we were "for" in the Super Bowl. I answered dreamily, "Tom Brady." Brendan said, "Don't say it like that!" But, I was too busy dreaming about Tom Brady. Brendan commented that Tom Brady is an All-American guy--the kind of guy your mother would like. I said, "My mom does like him!" Ever since he was in his tighty whities on SNL...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I'm saddened by the news of Heath Ledger's death. I'm surprised that the bios of Heath in stories about his death don't mention is first American TV show Roar. That Summer of 97 show on Fox was awesomely bad. Good times in Gburg that summer.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I heard some female students talking over the weekend. They claimed the slogan for the school should be "You'll find your bridesmaids but not the groom." They also said that if you're looking for personality, you can find guys, but if you're looking for more than that...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dental Mystery

I went to my first dentist appointment at my new locale. The dentist asked if I grind my teeth. I wouldn't really know that, and I tend to wear a retainer. He noticed that one of my teeth is worn down. I now know which one he means. I'm looking at pictures, trying to figure out when this occurred--if it happened suddenly (like getting hit in the mouth during ultimate) or if it happened gradually.

The following are not for the weak of stomach.

Here's a picture of my smile from graduation. Look on the left half of my mouth (you facing, not my left). It's the second tooth from the left. It's much smaller, without a point, compared to the second tooth from the right.

Compare to the pointy tooth (now third from the right) in this picture, also from graduation:

I can't believe none of you noticed this before. You don't usually notice my hair cuts either.

From other pictures, I know that this tooth has been point-less since graduation. It looks like it's been worn down since December 2006. I don't have enough close-ups of me to analyze my smile easily. I wish I were more vain. I go back to the dentist soon for a cleaning, so I will ask him about if it's possible that I broke the tooth in ultimate and what the tooth looked like in my 2004 x-rays.

Friday, January 18, 2008

One of the Joys of Being 30

I was walking down the steps of my building and happened to see two guys on a couch and one of them (I didn't see which) threw garbage on the floor. They laughed, and one looked up who saw me walking down the steps. I mailed my letter (which was in a different direction), then went back and picked up their litter and asked if one of them dropped that. They pointed at each other. I tossed the litter in between them and let them deal with it.

My friend saw this go down, and she said, "Good for you."

I don't think I'm overstating what I did when I say that I'm a hero.

I learned that trick from my dad: don't accuse, just ask if they had dropped it. (Dad gave someone their garbage and innocently said, "Excuse me, sir, you dropped this," like he was being helpful.) I thought I would have to wait until I grew to be six-feet tall with a mustache before I could confront a litter bug. It's also convenient that I'm at school in a position with some authority. I don't know if I could do that on the street yet.

Yup, I'm a hero.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Frank is watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles. He doesn't understand how they have the money to stay in these different homes. I asked, "Of all of it, that's the part you find hard to believe?" He glared.

He's finding more things that aren't consistent with "The Story".

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Skeleton

(Did I get Kristina's attention?)

During er, the local news advertised that they had a news story about a skeleton that was found at a construction site and the information about the skeleton that may surprise me.

Luckily, the news led with this story. The bones were found at a construction site in Lexington. OK, now I'm more interested. Then, they mentioned where the bones were found--corner of Nelson and Randolph. I didn't think much of it. Then, I realized that that's the construction site that I walk past everyday on my way to school.

The skeleton appears to be a woman, possibly buried in the 18th or 19th century. They don't think there was any foul play. Bummer.

The Roanoke Times story is more understandable, but the WSLS story has pictures (sorry, no close ups).

I heard that there is a Cold Case episode loosely based on this event.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


We all have different definitions of when we feel comfortable. For Sydney, it's lying on her scratcher in the sun. Syd's head is lying on the floor in this picture. Dad says that Sydney looks like a cat who had the scratcher as a kitten and didn't realize that she outgrew it.