It has been a busy week at the Huber household. Layne and Elissa and Brody flew in on Tuesday to spend a couple of weeks with us (so expect a lot of Brody pictures).
The birds appear to be eating the blackberries way before they get even remotely close to ripe. I managed to find this one hidden under a leaf. It’s probably time for some netting.
On Friday, Bilbo had a grooming session.
There will not be any further pictures of Bilbo, as we returned him to the Poodle Rescue Society. He was becoming increasingly stressed and abruptly antagonistic to people who startled or crossed him. We are hoping that there is a better home for him out there. Or, in HR speak, “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Ben’s BirthdayI don’t have any pictures from my birthday party (maybe Lori might). We had the traditional birthday trifle with ice cream.
Someone’s been using my cellphone
In reviewing cellphone photos for this week’s update, it was immediately evident that someone (likely Heidi or Davison as they weren’t in any of the pictures) had taken lots of pictures with my iPhone. Here are some of the pictures.
When we purchased our refrigerator back in 2013, we also purchased a 5 year full coverage plan on it. We’ve recently been having an issue with the fridge that numerous repair guys have been unable to solve. So, Sears has labelled it a lemon and provided for a replacement. This replacement comprises of a credit for the amount that we originally paid for the first fridge – that we can spend at a Sears store on a new fridge. Warranty-wise, this new appliance takes over the last two years of the original warranty. We can spend more than the credit and pay the difference if the refrigerator chosen is more expensive than the original. As might be guessed, it ended up being more than the original.
The new fridge has LED lighting and quite a bit more space.
I love opening the fridge. -Brock
It appears that one of the attractions of our yard to neighborhood kids is that frogs (or maybe toads, or maybe both – do frogs and toads get along or are they like rival gangs or something) like to hang out in the damp dark space where our water meter and shut off valve are located. While working in the yard today, there were a couple of times when girls came by, got out frogs and played with them. One of those times; they took a couple of frogs off to the detention pond. I was tempted to say “Hey, put those frogs back”, but then I remembered that I don’t like frogs, so kept quiet.
Lanier Library Lecture
We’ve been enjoying the nearby Lanier Theological Library, usually going there on Tuesday afternoons and evenings. I went to a lecture on Saturday night, featuring a University of Cambridge professor that they had brought in for the weekend, one event being the Saturday night lecture on the topic Jesus and Geography, in particular looking at the the validity of the gospels in their geography as validated by extra-biblical sources (i.e. Josephus, rabbinical literature, etc).
The speaker was Simon Gathercole, and it was a pretty good time. The chapel was full, so I was in one of the two overflow seating areas in the library. After the talk there was a question time in which the speaker was asked to answer questions ranging from the basic (“Are the Tyre and Sidon in the New Testament the same ones referred to in the OT?”) to the interesting (“Since Josephus was originally a Jewish generally, but then became a traitor who ended up on the Roman side, can we trust his writings?”) to the complex and open-ended (“Can you explain Isaiah 53?”). Answers to the above by the way were yes, yes, and a rather longer explanation than I wrote down.
The host (Mark Lanier) and the lecturer had a really good rapport, and there was a good deal of banter back and forth during the question time. One of the exchanges that was really fun was when Mark corrected Simon with “It’s pronounced ‘I-Zay-ah'” – versus the more academic/English pronunciation.
It was a busy week at the Houston Huber Household. Probably most important was that I completed the green card process, getting my permanent work authorization for the States. No pictures to show of that. In other news…
At a local Barnes & Noble store, I picked up a ‘build your own gliders’ kit (from their half price table). After some tweaks to the tail ailerons, it flew pretty well even though it was sort of windy.
Flowers and Fruits
Danaya and I took an alternate route to the chiropractor on Wednesday, driving through one of the communities that has been hit hard by the flood. There were a lot of houses in this community with piles of debris (drywall, carpet, etc) out front. I drove through again this morning, and a lot of it had been cleaned up already. There were some streets that were still in cleanup mode.
Zach Winters house concert
On Thursday night, I drove Danaya and Daelynn to a house concert featuring a musician from Oklahoma named Zach Winters. It was held in a large very soggy backyard (like step on the grass and sink into a couple of inches of water) and was a whole lot of fun.
On Sunday night, we were awoken by a major storm that dumped a lot of water overnight. There was lightning and thunder all night long, some of it amazingly close and loud. All of us received periodic public announcements to our cell phones providing tornado and flash flood warnings. Both Mikaela and Heidi have old cellphones which are no longer in service, but apparently are still eligible for public service announcements. At 2:00 am, I had a worried set of kids (Mikaela, Heidi, and Brock) and a distressed dog in the living room. The detention pond was pretty much full at 6:00 am (see following picture), but by 8:00 am was down quite a bit already.
At our place, we got (received, experienced, were deluged by) 15 inches of rain as measured by one of our garbage cans.
Work was closed on Monday, but for us the rest of the week was normal. About a mile or two north of us is Cypress Creek. It crested a couple of inches short of the all time measured high water mark, something like 127 feet above normal levels. It closed major roads in our area for 3 to 4 days but didn’t really impact us.
In other news,
And in another news, Lori and Bilbo had a big altercation this week. Bilbo is now undergoing obedience and submission training.
I had to return my Pomegranate Orchard Otharized Professional badge, as the pictures that I posted last week labeled ‘baby pomegranate’ actually turned out to be the pomegranate bud and flower as shown by the following two pictures. I guess that the fruit comes after the pollination process.
Painting The Roses
Although I had captioned a picture last week about painting the roses (referring of course to the Alice in Wonderland movie), it was all in jest. However, one (and only one) of the roses actually is mostly red and part pink, looking indeed like it had been partially painted.
Davison made a dessert this week called a ‘pavlova’. It consisted of a meringue crust, whipped cream and sliced fresh fruit. It was delicious and allowed Davison and Brock to stay up past their bedtime as it took an extra long time to cook.
Mentor/Mentee Meet the Family event
For the past 1.5 years as part of a work-sanctioned give-back-to-the-community program, I have been mentoring a middle school student. This consists of meeting once a week during a lunch hour for 30 minutes.
This past week, Lori and I went to a dinner and speaker event and had a chance to meet my mentee’s family. Mentor (sitting) and mentee (standing) in the picture. Some additional yard pictures
It’s been almost two weeks since we dropped Daelynn off at the airport as she jetted off to Calgary for three weeks. Being a contrarian, or possibly better described as a photo-oddarian, I enjoy taking pictures of people taking picture of other people. (If I end up getting a couple of the iPhone packing kids in on the act and positioned people correctly maybe we could get into recursive photo taking).
So without any further blather, her are some pics of the photo shoot at the airport.
After supper tonight, Danaya and I sat down to play a game of Martian Rails. It is a game in the crayon rails series, but is set on the planet Mars. This post is more for Ben’s family who owns a wide variety of such games. Crayon rails games are games where you build your rail network by drawing on the map with your particular color of crayon (mine is usually orange), and then pickup and deliver loads round the map. Track costs money (especially on Mars), so you typically start with a small layout and then grow it as the money is earned.
In tonight’s game, we were about a third of the way through when your track covered about half the map, and money earned was spent just as quickly on track and train upgrades. Danaya had sixty million in hand, but I had just lined up my next three runs based in the cards in hand, had built the necessary track extensions, and was out of money. I had a load of tourists on board headed for Syrtis Major and had just stopped at Pax Grove for a load of UN peacekeepers (to run down south to Isher for a big payout). Here were my three load cards, track built, and about 120 million in income awaiting.
Then it happened. Danaya delivered a load and in drawing her replacement card, she drew 3 event cards. The first card, Earthlings, Go Home lost me my load of tourists. I counted it out and figured that it had set me back about 3 and a half turns; both Danaya and I had already upgraded to the 16 milepost locomotives already.
Then Danaya read the second card, Green Mars North, which flooded a bunch of the northern canals wiping out 4 of my bridges in the process. The bridges cost 2 million each to rebuild, but I was living in the edge and had spent my money on the tracks that I needed (some of which was for a number of turns down the road).
So there I was, broke and stuck on a section of track that only connected three cities, having no tourists, and no money for bridge repairs. After a good laugh, I conceded the game. Danaya won with 60 million in cash having connected to only three of the major cities, and having already circumnavigated the planet with her track.