Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year in Review

Politics: Democrats given control of Congress because of Iraq, vowed to raise the minimum wage. Nimble and graceful Barack Obama became the Democtrats' Fred Astaire, adored because of, well, perhaps the way he wears his hat, the way he sips his tea. And the way he isn't Hillary.

Social Justice: This year's civil-rights outrage was "soaring" and "record" gasoline prices, a violation of American's inalienable right to pay for a gallon no more than they paid 25 years ago. By December the price of a gallon, adjusted for inflation, was 83 cents lower than in 1981. Although no one had complained, the human-rights director for the provocatively named city of St. Paul, Minn., had a HAPPY EASTER sign removed from city hall.

Environment: Two U.S. explorers went to the North Pole to study how global warming threatens polar bears. They had planned to go last year, but were forced to delay Project Thin Ice because of unusually heavy snow and ice. The "emerging hurricane problem," which, after Katrina, The New York Times identified as a consequence of global warming, did not emerge. The unusually tranquil Atlantic hurricane season was explained as a consequence of...global warming affecting the Pacific.

Government: The Florida woman who wounded with a shot-gun the alligator that entered her house and attacked her golden retriever was given a warning citation for hunting without a permit. Compassionate social democracy: The Danish government continued to pay prostitutes to service the disabled. Ancient Greece pioneered philosophy and democracy. Modern Greece this year gave the world a new wrinkle in creative accounting: It became 25 percent richer after its GDP was revised to account for such booming service industries as prostitution and money laundering.

Transitions: Lillian Gertrude Asplund was 5 when her father smiled and said, "Go ahead, we will get into one of the other boats." He did not. Lillian never married, and retired early to take care of her mother, who never recovered from losing her husband. Lillian, the last American survivor of the Titanic, was 99.

-Adapted from George Will's The Last Word-Newsweek 12-18-06

Monday, December 18, 2006

PDX

Someone once said, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Well, this holds true in my affection for Portland. In our first day back in town Carolyn & I experienced many of our favorite Portland things. We hiked from McCleary Park through Forest Park up to Pittock mansion, ate at Burgerville, shopped at Saturday Market (it’s open everyday through Christmas Eve), and spent some time with my family. Just driving through downtown & looking out at Mt. Hood from the West hills is so refreshing. We’re heading to the beach tomorrow & then playing Settlers with friends in the evening. It feels weird being on “vacation” and everywhere I am feels so normal, like I was here yesterday.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nighttime Ultimate

With frost on the ground, the Ultimate team gathered at 11pm last night to play a friendly game of night Ultimate. Carolyn & I joined in the fun. It was totally dark so they lined the field with white Christmas lights and had each player wearing glowsticks (different colors for each team) and we used an LED flashlight disc to play with. I was really cold at first, but once we started running I warmed up and had a really fun time. The field looked amazing with the lights and just a little fog on the ground to create a really cool glowing effect. I was worried about collisions due to the darkness, but there were only three incidents that stopped play. Now that I think about it, I was in the middle of two of those collisions. Both involved people running into me and the only lasting injuries on my part is a mild fat lip (disc vs. face). I know, when a glowing red object flies at your head your suppose to catch it not just let it hit you in the face. I'll try to remember next time.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Night Launch


This is a picture of Daytona Beach last night with the Space Shuttle Discovery launching in the distace. This is the first night launch of a space shuttle in 4 years. Watching a night launch is one my "Before I die" list. From this picture, it only confirms how cool it would be. For current info on STS-116 mission click here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Red Punch, Christmas Parties, & Embarrassment

This week has been the week of Christmas parties for Carolyn & me (5 in three days). Last night was the annual J. Alvin Christmas party (pictures forthcoming) and it was fantastic. Ceilings of lights, live 60 foot Christmas tree, wooden lodge, & a petting zoo & that was just in the Atrium. Not to mention the escape from Chernobyl slide, Winter Wonderland, Nightmare Before Christmas, & sand filled suites.

Tonight was a party for all the faculty/staff of JBU at the Presidents brand new house. The Dr. Pollard & his family moved into their new house about three weeks ago. It is only natural to get a beverage when you enter a party. I followed my social instincts upon entering the party & grabbed a cup of red punch. What followed was easily my most embarrassing moment I've had in the last five years.

I'm sitting on the Pollard's brand new couch in their brand new home with a bunch of people I don't really know. When greeted by someone I do know I spill my cup of red punch all over my lap & the President's brand new couch. Fortunately they had some sort of stain guard on their brand new couch. My pants didn't fair so well. I spent the rest of the evening looking like I had a bladder control issue.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Or you could use Beano

So, a lady had some extreme gas on a plane. Embarrassing to be sure, however what works in your bathroom at home isn't going to cut it in seat 32B. For the record, matches aren't a good solution to flatulence on a plane. She's now barred from American Airlines for life. You can read the full story here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

'Tis the Season

As we are in the season of Advent, we take part in the anticipation of Christ's birth. Well, the Brewster & Hutchison families both had an experiential way to anticipate birth this year. Eliana Joy Hutchison was born Sunday evening (7 lbs 12 oz) & Asher Josiah Brewster was born Tuesday (7lbs. 10oz).

Congratulations to my dear friends. I can't wait to meet your new children & see the rest of your family too!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's Over

To choose winners & celebrate the end of No-shave November we had an all hall dinner together. It was great to have three really long tables in the atrium & everyone chowing on chicken nuggets.

Snow

We got snow Thursday night, and now it is slowly fading away. It was sure fun to have around though.