Friday, August 31, 2007

I got a "G"

A site-rater gave me a "G" - but flagged me for saying "kill". Here's the sentence I used it in: "I have made a pledge to go through some of my collections and kill them off."

Pretty G. I'll avoid saying "kill" next time. ("Destroy" them might be better?)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm from a different era

When I was a kid...

Actually, when I was a young adult, advertising for hospitals and doctors and lawyers was not permitted.

I miss those days.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sometimes things get better

Apple greatly reduced the size of its packaging between the '05 and '08 versions of its popular software. Yay!

Software is a non-box product anyhow - once it's installed, who needs the package?

Yes, my fan-dom of Apple continues. I'm not sure what happened with that corporate scandal a while back, but I know they make great products!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stupid products, no. 217

I couldn't believe this one...

A fake candle that you plug in?!

Now notice that this is a coupon for the "starter package" - so not only do you buy this plug-in candle thing, then you have to buy refills for it! And if the coupon is for $4.00 off, I can't even imagine what they must charge for this "starter package".

Give me a good old light-with-a-match variety any day of the week!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rubbish Art from a different era

Well, this isn't really a collage up to the standards of my previous entries, but I was planning to do something with it. I scanned these cans in August 2004.

I just appreciate the intricate little designs that happen when a can is crushed over and over. There's an analogy to life there somewhere - how God uses hard things to create beauty in our lives. (The grain of sand becoming a pearl in an oyster shell.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Speaking of getting away

A few weeks ago, some good friends visited from Texas. Our one day to get away from the city (well, the suburbs) was rainy.

That didn't stop our enjoyment of some great burgers cooked on the grille! (That's John, mostly, doing the cooking.)

And the rain pretty much hasn't let up since then. This has been the rainiest August in Colorado I can remember.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Part of the reduction

As I mentioned before, part of moving back to the States has meant my attempting to reduce some of the junk that I have been gathering for many years. (Visit my August 6th post for some reasons why I'm doing this.)

So these graphics appeared on a t-shirt that I gave to the Goodwill. Yes I did climb the mountain - during our first tenure in Kenya (1991-1994). The experience lives on in my head, but not the souvenir. 5,896 meters translates to 19,343 feet. The day of the summit climb was indeed the hardest day of my life, physically speaking.

In 2006, I climbed Mt. Kenya (Point Lenana: 4,985 meters, or 16,355 feet) with Heather and Jay, who was 12 at the time. If you go back to my old blog about early 2006, you can see some of that experience.

Both experiences are worth doing - if: a) you like hiking high mountains; b) you are ready for a rustic rugged experience; and c) you are already in that part of the world. Neither is cheap, if you're not a local. Even at the locals' rates, I'm not sure I could afford to climb Kili today. (It went up quite a bit since I lived there in the 90s.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not sure about how safe it is

I forgot what big box retailer this was outside. But I had to guess that whatever kid has the courage to ride this slide might be in for a sore butt.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I am not one to make generalizations

But in this case I did.

I think it's safe to guess the ethnic origins of Pastor Elder Emuel. (I spotted this temporary sign when I was down in Texas.)

I am often amazed at the differences between African-American culture and African culture. Many. But there are lots of similarities too! I don't know that any pastors in Kenya are called "Pastor Elder" - but I have seen many doctors called "Professor Doctor".

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Avoid this

I was inspired by Rob to once again feature an interesting product - at least to those of you not in North America. (Rob featured "Cowboy Toast" from Denmark - not what you'd expect!)

I'll let the cat out of the bag and tell you these are cheeseburger-flavored Doritos! I thought they were really strange, but our kids (and our friends' kids) liked them enough to completely polish off the bag. Thankfully.

(If you double-click on the image, you can see the strange marketing hype at the bottom of the bag.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A life of its own

Even though we left Kenya, my expat in Kenya experience lives on - click on the image to enlarge it - that's just the final part of the interview. (Visit the interview site you want. It's a bit buggy, but it might be fun for you to read anyhow.)

I hope that my experiences in Kenya will continue to be a blessing to others.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Maasai in Denver?

As we flew back into Denver a few weeks back, I couldn't help noticing a Kenyan kid in one of the murals. Of course, he or she is Maasai, the most photogenic (or paint-ogenic) of any of the Kenyan tribal groups. Some may argue with that assertion - but it is fair to say that more photo books with pix of Maasai have been published than of any other Kenyan tribal group.

And speaking of Kenya in Colorado, we had a power outage yesterday that lasted 2-3 hours. Made me feel right at home.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Not in Nairobi, part 2

At least three of Nairobi's excellent Java House restaurants have free wifi. However, there is no MacDonalds.

(Many who are not from Kenya rejoice at this fact - but most American parents who live there wish Nairobi had at least one or two MacDonalds. And guaranteed 9 out of 10 American parents from Kenya visit MacDonalds at least once during the first week after they touch down in the land of WalMart.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I knew I wasn't in Nairobi anymore

Back to the floods in Texas...

It was actually raining enough in Texas that people started carrying umbrellas. So stores started providing these special bags for customers to put their wet umbrellas into.

Nakumatt in Kenya would not provide such a thing. And it would be appropriate there, as rain is more common in Nairobi than in San Antonio - at least during Kenya's rainy seasons.

But there is an alternative, at least in Kenya. Many Chinese umbrellas there come with collapsable plastic cup-like covers - so the wetness is contained.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Garbage, garbage, garbage

We rented this movie via our nearby MacDonalds' rental kiosk. All of 99c. Sad to say, it was a waste of the money - and energy and time to rent it.

Besides the extreme (but typical) necessary suspension of belief that I was forced into at every turn, it was full of completely unnecessary crude humor... that wasn't even funny.

Please skip "Because I Said So". We almost did. We watched about the first twenty minutes and ejected the DVD. (And you ask, "Why did it take that long for you to reject it?" We were hopeful that it would get better, but that never happened.)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We are really back in America

We went to the Rockies game last night. It was great!

Grandpa (Heather's dad) is a big sports fan. We all love baseball and had been looking forward to this night for the last two years.

To make the experience even more fun, the Rockies completely wiped out the Cubs. The final score was 15-2.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Yes, 56% of the visitors to this site use Firefox. (Good for you!!)

If you're not using it, I'd recommend you go that direction.

Not quite as amazing

Monroe's Peach Ranch sells their own Fire-roasted Habanero Sauce.

I bought some at their fruit stand, thinking I was getting an original recipe. In fine print at the bottom of the label, it reads, "Made Especially for..."

It's OK but not a world-beater. Next time we drive past Monroe's Peach Ranch, I won't make a special stop for their sauce. (But their peaches... that's another story... amazing.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I dunno

I have been going through some old Rolling Stone magazines. It's part of the being-away-from-the-States-for-2-years experience. At 11:20pm.

One quote that I found interesting: "The best way to do anything is to just let the water slide spit you out somewhere."

I'm not sure I agree with that, but it did make me think a bit.

Feist, May 3-17, 2007 issue.

Speaking of delights for the tongue...

If you like hot stuff - and BBQ - this is the sauce for you.

My cousin Merrill (yes, his first name is the same as my last name*) gave me a bottle. A client of his brews (blends? creates? mixes?) the stuff. It's pretty amazing.

*No worries - he does have a different last name than his first!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Some days we need to be told this

I think Dove Chocolates intended this message to mean, "Treat yourself to at least two or three of these chocolates."

I also wondered if it was a punishment, like a parent saying, "Go to your special place" - and meaning - "Time out".

Probably not.

Chocolate is part of my special place.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

That art gene

My mom also does not have that collector gene. My dad did. So when my dad died, my mom spent about 7 or 8 years selling, giving away, and throwing away his various collections. Now she lives in a 1-bedroom apartment. That size is something she likes.

Anyhow, when she had more energy and mobility than she has now, she made this colored-water art - hanging these bottles from the top of her small porch.

I did get her art gene.

Monday, August 06, 2007

That collector gene

My Aunt Mary lives in Texas. She's my favorite aunt.

She loves to collect things. This particular collection is the small stuffed toys collection.

It drove Heather crazy to see that collector gene uninhibited. Why? I have that same gene. She doesn't.

Heather rightly claims that if I fully gave into my collector gene, we'd have to get a bigger house. (Can't afford it. Don't want one, either.)

So since that visit, I have made a pledge to go through some of my collections and kill them off. SOME of the collections.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Texas flood

My sister and my mom live in Grapevine, Texas. They had lotsa flooding while we visited, maybe 4 weeks ago.

I took this shot at the entrance to a state park near where she lives. The "lake" across the entrance road is about 120' long.

Every time I look at this picture, Stevie Ray Vaughn sings to me - He starts with a great blues guitar solo and then belts out, "Well there's floodin' down in Texas..."

Sadly Stevie Ray died a while back - a helicopter crash. A friend Steve and I were going to see him live in Austin (both Steves' home town) - but the show was sold out. We saw Lucinda Williams instead - in a tiny club on the campus of UT. That was a good show! But you can still see Lucinda live (though you'll have to see her in a larger venue).

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Insomnia again

So... I'm surfing around at a time when all good humans are sleeping. (Blessed insomnia - and not even any jet lag to blame!)

I visited one of Josh's sites and saw this shot (and I know he'd be OK with me sharing this shot).

What a contrast to life in North America!! It's so easy to forget about life on the other side.

We're all God's creatures, and He knows where all of us are.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What are they?

I thought they were diagrams of some kind for yes, a laptop computer and a judge's hammer.

Well, once again I'm taking you into air-travel-ness... they are Philidelphia International (right) and Chicago Midway (left) Airports. I took the snapshot from an in-flight magazine. (Digital cameras make great scanners, on the fly.)