Saturday, December 13, 2008
The basic plan is for use to have a variety of Christmas snacks, a showing of the cartoon version of the Grinch, and a white elephant gift exchange. The basic rules of the White Elephant exchange is that everyone should bring a gift (of approx 10 dollars in value). It can be a nice gift, a gag gift, or a combination of both. (In recent years, the combination gifts have brought the most entertainment value. I seem to remember it rather interesting to watch people fight over a tacky gold purse to get the Starbucks card inside). Gabe will explain the rules the night of the party, but the brief version is, we all draw numbers, we draw a gift at our number, 2 exchanges can occur during each turn, Number 1 gets to also exchange last (so good number to have!). And Gabe often has an extra gift for the person who is deemed to have the most pitiful gift.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Date:Friday, November 21, 2008
Time: 6:30pm - 10:30pm
Ross and Rachel's House
Join us for our annual Thanksgiving Potluck, Friday, the 21st at 6:30 PM at the home of Ross and Rachel. So far on the menu: meat, chicken casserole, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, Deviled Eggs, apple pie, and pumpkin pie. Other items needed will include drinks, side dishes, and desserts.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
After our ordeal in Houston, I have continued on to the Philippines. OK, this may seem petty to those wealthy world-travelers among us, but I had my intial Frist-Class experience! Here are the first two courses of a 5 course (maybe more) meal.
Everything you have seen in the movies is true, from the hot towels, to the larger bathrooms to fully-reclining seats which helps on a 15 hour flight. Next, the hotel is rather spectacular. Not quite Disney, but inpressive in its own way. Here is the building of my room.
Here is the view across the 5+ acre saltwater swimming pool. There are 3-4 other swimming pools plus a coral reef, spa, fishing pond, lots of activities for kids, 4 restaurants, a private beach, scuba . . . I wish my family was here to enjoy the experience. I don't, however, wish to attempt a 30 hour travel experience with two small boys. Here is a satellite view:
More updates later, or see you at Connection Group!
First, thanks to all of you for your prayers and encouragement over the past week. The chaos should be over now. To review:
I had a work trip to Chihuahua, Mexico and Cebu, Philippines scheduled September 11-26. Rather than leave Kristin and the boys at home, we scheduled a trip to Houston September 10-18 where Kristin's sister and family live (Tim, Jennifer, Zachary, and Jacob Roth). I was on the same flight as Kristin, Nate, and Nick, but they were scheudled to come home alone. I purchased the tickets on Priceline, so the flight was routed through Chicago as opposed to direct as we had hoped.
Watching the weather days before we left, we observed Hurricane Ike cross the Carribean into the Gulf of Mexico. First, some brief hurricane background: Hurricane Rita hit the Texas / Louisiana coast in 2005, less than 2 weeks after Katrina hit New Orleans. People feared the worst after what happened to New Orleans, so all of Houston evacuated. Interstates were jammed, people ran out of gas just sitting in traffic. At the last moment, Rita turned north. Houston recieved about 1/2 inch of rain.
The day we left Lexington, Ike was forecasted to make landfall near the Texas / Mexico border, so we saw no reason to alter our plans. However, the next day, Ike was forecasted to hit just south of Houston. Fearing the airports would be closed on my scheduled return day, I postponed my trip to Chihuahua (sorry Lexmark). That decision turned out to be a good one, as Ike made a direct hit on Houston and I would have been stuck in Chihuahua for at least 3 more days and would have missed my flight to the Philippines.
The day before Ike hit Houston, we boarded up the Roth's house and move to Tim's church which turned out to be an ideal location. Ike made a direct hit on Houston. Winds reached 112 mph downtown which is about 30 miles inland from Glaveston. 2.4 of Houston's 2.5 million households lost power. Power wa not expected for up to 4 weeks, so we relocated to Kristin's cousin's home in San Antonio, about 3 hours west.
I rearranged my trip to the Philippines to depart from San Antonio on Monday.\
I'm in the Philippines now and Kristin should be in Lexington any moment.
Nate and his cousin Zachary observe Ike's devastation on their playground.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
September 19 – CG-Held at Gabe and Kristin’s house; Jerri scheduled to lead (most likely)
October 3 –CG- Held at Bethany and Rod’s new house?, Game night for those not going to Cedar Point hosted by Robert.
October 17 – CG as Nate's 2nd b-day party at Gabe and Kristin’s house.
**October 24 - CG - (Gabe out of town) –Leader unknown, Annual Pumpkin carving event, Return to Ross and Rachel’s house
November 7 - CG - (Gabe out of town)- Leader?, Ross and Rachel’s house
November 21 - CG - Thanksgiving potluck, Ross and Rachel’s house
December 5 - CG – Regular CG, teacher to be announced, Ross and Rachel’s house
December 19 - CG - White Elephant Party, Ross and Rachel’s house
December 31 - CG - New Year's eve party? Location and event undecided at this time
**-where CG shifts by one week
Monday, August 18, 2008
I temporarily live in an area which I think would best be described as "old money", ( some may say, "overpriced" - Jeremy Miller for example !! ) with large old homes, very little automobile traffic, and quiet tree lined neighborhoods. In a word, idyllic. The homes are almost every one, very well kept and one block away is a corner Pharmacy, 1938 Grocery store ( "Tinnells"), post office, three restaurants, and two main stream denomination churches ( First Presbyterian which is a beautiful and quaint old stone church - look it up on Google Earth - WOW ! - and a more modern United Methodist Church that would be very much at home in Wilmore ). I walk almost every night, and have discovered something new almost every day. There is a large park with a river / stream / creek running through it, just two blocks away also ( Smith Park ) and lots of people walk and jog beside the water ( presumably hospital affiliated employees, as there is a shiny new Carilion hospital nearby also ). I saw several fish that looked like trout there, and while there was the usual bleach bottle and styrofoam detritus that one would expect in an urbanized stream, there was also evidence of an active and ongoing cleanup and beautification effort as well.
I think that's enough for now. I hope to get better with my new digital camera, as I get more time and more deeply established here, perhaps I will try to post some photos.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
"I was in awe.
My return cross Atlantic trip from Frankfurt to Newark was going to occur in opulence and luxury in a 21st century, Boeing 767 wonder world of self indulgence.
Not only had I scored a Business Class Fully Reclining Seat with Frequent Flyer Miles, I had also garnered the coveted Seat 1D location.
Center Aisle. Bulkhead. Maximum leg room, maximum space from other passengers.
I witnessed a veritable parade of culinary delights, a non stop express of epicurean pleasures dancing across my palate. Curry chicken, tomato egg plant legumes, a demitasse of piquant chili soup, chive coucous, made-to-order gourmet ice cream dishes, fluffy pastries, exotic chocolates, and of course, the coveted steaming wet hot towels on tongs.... I got tired of saying "Thank you" to the subservient flight attendants. I kept waiting for one of them to ask me if I'd like someone to read me a bed time story, or massage my feet.
Skimming through both the Financial Times AND the Wall Street Journal, with a mind boggling myriad of video and audio entertainment choices at my fingertips, I pondered, nibbling my warm macadamia nut and white chocolate chunk cookie, while sipping cold milk....HOW did I score THIS ?
Suddenly a shooting pain occurred in my right foot.
Something was in my shoe....bothering my big toe....
Stuck in my shoe, was a small Eurodollar coin...
AND THEN, I REMEMBERED...
This trip, I was prepared !
I was ready !
The coin was actually my 100% guarantee of success while parasitically sucking perks off the airlines.
What was it, you ask ?
Why, it was my.....
ST. JASON THE MUNIFICENT, PATRON SAINT OF FREQUENT FLIERS, LUCKY EURODOLLAR MEDALLION ( Copyright 2008 and all patents pending ) !!!!!
That's right, thanks to my paying homage to St. Jason, I had scored BIG benefits against those greedy major airlines.
The magical image of St. Jason the Munificent had once again worked it's powers in the computers of the Airlines, and they were helpless to do ANYTHING against me ! Just carrying the coin in my shoe was my assurance against any and all threats against my Frequent Flyer status, and provided that added edge I really needed to get that fabulous 1D Center Aisle Bulkhead seat. And I will be relishing these memories for years to come....
IF YOU TOO WANT THAT KIND OF EDGE WHEN YOU TRAVEL, TO OBTAIN A ST JASON THE MUNIFICENT LUCKY FREQUENT FLYER EURODOLLAR MEDALLION, JUST FORWARD THIS EMAIL ON TO TEN FRIENDS, ACQUAINTANCES, OR FAMILY MEMBERS, TEAR UP YOUR LATEST PAPER FREQUENT FLYER MILES MONTHLY STATEMENT FROM A MAJOR AIRLINE, AND THROW THE SHREDDED SCRAPS OVER YOUR RIGHT SHOULDER, THEN IMMEDIATELY ( DO NOT DELAY ! ) CALL COLE INDUSTRIES NIGERIAN SUBSIDIARY EXECUTIVE HOTLINE (
* The nominal fee varies by location, and local currency exchange rates. Additional surcharges for shipping, handling, and escrow may apply for wire transfers or other complicated transactions through Swiss or Nigerian accounts.
Cole Industries, LLC, which markets and distributes the "St. Jason the Munificent, Patron Saint of Frequent Fliers Lucky Eurodollar Medallion" (SJMPSOFFLEM), is a division of Discospock.com, with offices conveniently located in Port Quagmire in the island of Lower Flemish Equatorial Tasmania. Cole Industries, LLC, notes that Mr. Gard is not a duly authorised, official spokesperson for the SJMPSOFFLEM product, but we welcome the free advertising. Cole Industries, LLC, is delighted that our SJMPSOFFLEM product made Mr. Gard's flight a truly opulent experience he will never forget. It is clear that his Total Flight Experience would have been horrifying had he not purchased and properly used the SJMPSOFFLEM. We have reports from customers who purchased an SJMPSOFFLEM, but because they failed to bring it with them on a flight: (1) were immediately killed in a horrid plane crash and subsequent fire; (2) were executed or immolated by terrorists in Business Class; (3) committed suicide mid-flight by jumping to their deaths through an opened exit door (most likely due to the horrid food served in Economy Class); (4) were assigned seats next to Guiness-Record-holding largest humans; or (5) were unnecessarily hassled by ticket agents who ultimately placed them in the cargo hold for involuntary transport to their final destination. In one instance, the passengers who forgot their SJMPSOFFLEM and who were placed in the cargo hold of an Air Pakistan flight were inadvertently misrouted to Greenland. Their bodies were never recovered.
Cole Industries, LLC, does not recommend placing the SJMPSOFFLEM into checked baggage as its effectiveness may be significantly reduced. Certain unknown chemical compounds emitted and synthesized by the SJMPSOFFLEM have been known to cause cancer in the state of California. In the event that an SJMPSOFFLEM product is accidentally swallowed, it is recommended that the victim be humanely euthanised as soon as possible before The Abomination occurs.
Due to extremely high call volume and high demand for this product, only one per customer per household per country will be allowed at this time. Various litigation and regional shipping disruptions may delay receipt of your SJMPSOFFLEM for up to 90 days. We are working with our Nigerian suppliers and Bulgarian zinc-gold platers to remedy this situation. For your convenience we offer same-year shipping. Operators are standing by to take your money.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Jason had the wonderful idea of a CG day to the water park (The Beach) in Cincy for Aug 10th. He asked me to send this out to see if there was interest in scheduling such an event. It is Rubber Duck Regatta adult admission special price on Aug. 10 (9a - 9p): $12. (I am not sure what this exactly entails, and if we have to bring rubber ducks or what. But, Jason can also get us a pretty similar rate as a group rate from Lexmark if we have a group of 10 or more. If not, general admission runs about $17 dollars.).
If you think you would be interested in a day at the water park or just hanging out with a bunch of wet, waterlogged people, email me or Jason. We can plan out the details closer to the event when we have a head count idea.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A group of us will be going to see the movie "Mamma Mia" on Sat, July 19th at 12:30 at Lexington Green. Lexington Green is only $3 for the matinee! If you think you might be joining us, please email Nancy or Jackie so we will be looking for you in the lobby. We will be there around 12:20 or so.
Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Gabe and Kristin will be hosting our regularly scheduled Connection Group this Friday (July 11), beginning around 7:30 ish (heavy emphasis on the ish!) Ideally, we want to begin by 8:00! Jerri will be leading the group, with an informal discussion similar to the talk she gave in Spanish in Mexico! (I promise, this one will be in English!!!!) We might be able to share a few of our pictures from our trip to Pachuca as well, on that ginormous TV of Gabe’s. (Again, I promise not to subject you to all 1800 photos that Rustin took!!!)
As always, feel free to bring something to snack on. Friends are most certainly welcome as well.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Our plan now is to leave Versailles around 10 am, which will get us to the aquarium around 11:30. The tour lasts a couple of hours and then we will be having a late lunch/early dinner (probably somewhere around the Newport Levee but that is up for discussion). Then we will head back to Versailles.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
"He who uses a dull tool is a fool!"
Pockets of Holy
Soul proprietor (somebody thought this would make a great name for a Christian rock band)
"We don't heal people, we just send them home with pills and bills."
"Cynical & jaded" "Those are two very good words."