My Brother Is Back In Town

I finally talked to Lindy on Tuesday afternoon, and sure enough, all they got from Tropical Storm Beryl was rain.  The weather did not even stop them from visiting their favorite cupcake shop and bookstore.

My brother Chris is here for a visit, too.  He arrived just an hour ago on a non-stop flight from Punta Gorda, FL.  Next Sunday is my father’s birthday, so Chris will be celebrating with Leive and I.  He was here in Lexington once before (last March), but he only stayed long enough to deliver most of Dad’s belongings.  This time he is staying until June 8, so he will have time to see the local sights.

Why We Have Rules In Sports

I just read this story about an Olympic event that was fought to the death – literally.  It will get a footnote on my webpage about classical Greece.

Originally, the religious ceremonies conducted at the Olympic games were more important than the sporting events themselves.  For the first Olympiad, the only game was a foot race from one hill to another.  The rules were less rigid, too; one event, the Pankration, was a brutal combination of boxing and wrestling that resembled today’s ultimate fighting.  At the Olympic games of 564 B.C., one Pankration fighter, Arrichion of Phigalia, was desperate to get out of a chokehold, and broke his opponent’s toe; the opponent nearly passed out from the pain and conceded defeat.  The referee raised Arrichion’s hand in triumph, but Arrichion did not stand up–because he was dead.  The chokehold had killed him, and since it was too late to change the ruling of the fight, Arrichion became the only dead person to ever win an Olympic event.

Beryl Surprise

Yesterday morning I went to the nearest office of the Kentucky Blood Center and gave a pint. I’ll admit my motivations weren’t totally idealistic; donors who show up during the last two weeks of May are entered in a drawing for a new Toyota SUV, and I told you before that we need to replace at least one of our cars this year.  Still, what I like about giving blood is that whether it is in a bloodmobile or clinic, the place is always full of upbeat, positive people.  Bad attitudes are screened out before you get there.

For today, I expect the main event will be a tropical storm named Beryl.  This was a surprise when I first heard about it over the weekend; hurricane season doesn’t start until June 1.  Another surprise was the course.  Yesterday Beryl went due west, came ashore at Jacksonville, FL, and continued to a point between Lake City and Tallahassee before making a hairpin turn to the northeast.  This morning Beryl was over Valdosta, and is expected to sideswipe the part of Georgia that Adam, Lindy and Lexi are in, before returning to sea somewhere in the Carolinas.  The good news is that the storm lost half its strength over land, and now is only a tropical depression, so Florida and Georgia will get more rain than wind.  I tried calling to see how the family is doing down there; no one has answered the phone yet, though.

Three Holidays

Shavuot_challah

There are at least three holidays on the calendar for this long weekend.  Tomorrow is Memorial Day on the US calendar, to start with.  Today on the Jewish calendar, it is Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, marking fifty days since the Exodus.  At this point in their journey from Egypt, the Israelites reached Mt. Sinai.  This is also a good time to retell the story of Ruth.  I remember at my church in Florida, the kids often acted out the Ruth story; twice my daughter Lindy played Naomi.

Finally, for Christians, today is Pentecost, marking forty-nine days since Easter and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (see Acts 2).  Thus, I trust you have something to observe today and tomorrow, so enjoy your weekend!

Here Comes the Heat

The temperature has been steadily rising over the past week.  For both Thursday and Friday it was in the upper 80s, and today, for the first time this year, it exceeded 90 degrees.  Today was also the first time this year when it got hot enough indoors for the air conditioning to run on the main floor.  Fortunately it is still 73 degrees in the basement as I write this, so the rest of the family understands if I choose to spend most of my free time down here.

And that’s not all; the weatherman is forecasting a high of 100 degrees for tomorrow!  In the six years since we moved to Kentucky, this is the first time I can remember it getting in the 90s before June.  This is more like the Memorial Day weekends we had in Florida:  the full heat of summer, but no rain to cool things off.

One of the things I have been doing is experimenting with the so-called “Internet Cloud.”  Last year I bought a device called Pogoplug, which you hook up to an external hard drive and that hard drive joins the cloud.  Unlike paid services from companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc., you only have to pay once to gain access (when you buy the Pogoplug), and your only limit on space comes from the size of the hard drive you use.  My first experiments with the Pogoplug did not go as well as I would have liked, and then my job assignment in Connecticut came up, so I had to shelve the project until I returned to Kentucky.  Two weeks ago, in one of the Wal-Marts of Lexington, I found an unbelievably good deal on an 3 terabyte external hard drive, so I bought it and tried hooking the Pogoplug up to it.  This time the experimentation went much better; last Sunday I declared the project a complete success.  Now I have a good-sized chunk of the cloud, available in my office for myself, family and friends.

Aside from that, and getting the brakes on Leive’s car fixed last Thursday, my main activity has been searching for a new source of income, either through a job or new Members/Associates in my LegalShield business.  With the state of the economy in Kentucky, I have more hope for the business, if I am going to stay here.

Illaria finished her nursing class last Thursday.  For three weeks, from Monday to Thursday, I drove her to class in the morning.  However, she hasn’t made up mind what she will do next, either with work or in finding a place of her own.  Leive hopes she will move out soon, because my brother Chris will be coming up to visit in a week.  Stay tuned . . .

A Security System Anyone Can Afford

HOW TO INSTALL A SOUTHERN HOME SECURITY SYSTEM

1. Go to Goodwill and buy a pair of size 14-16 men’s work boots.
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo Magazine.
3. Put four giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads ……

Bubba,
Bertha, Duke, Slim, & me went for more ammo and beer. Be back in an hour. Don’t mess with the pit bulls. They got the mailman this morning and messed him up bad. I don’t think Killer took part, but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of ’em in the house. Better wait outside. Be right back.
– Cooter

Fury Spreads: Catholic Leaders Join MRC Outrage Over Network Silence on Catholics vs. Obama Lawsuit | Media Research Center

One thing I have learned about propaganda is that what a propagandist DOESN’T say can have as much effect as what he DOES say.  This is the biggest religious lawsuit in American history, sure to be called a major scandal if it happened under any other president, and how much attention has this issue gotten on the major networks?  A whopping 19 seconds.  If you ask me, this is more important than what happened on “American Idol” yesterday.

Fury Spreads: Catholic Leaders Join MRC Outrage Over Network Silence on Catholics vs. Obama Lawsuit | Media Research Center.

Meanwhile here in Kentucky, we had our primary election yesterday.  I barely noticed it; there are only two presidential candidates left (Obama and Romney), I know next to nothing about the other races, and because I am not registered as either a Democrat or Republican, I cannot vote in it anyway.  Remember a week or two ago, when 41% of the Democrats in West Virginia voted for a guy in a Texas prison named Keith Judd, instead of Obama?  Well, our voters are just as mad at the president, because he doesn’t care about our part of the country.  Yesterday 42% of Kentucky Democrats cast their ballots for uncommitted delegates, meaning their choice was “anyone but Obama!”

Ancient Clay Tablets Recovered from 9/11 Attack Restored and Translated | Popular Archaeology – exploring the past

I thought this was a joke at first, along the lines of the articles I have shared from The Onion.  Apparently it’s true, though; 302 cuneiform tablets were in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and buried in the wreckage.  Now they have been recovered, restored and returned to Iraq; click on the link below to find out what kind of texts have been translated from them.

Ancient Clay Tablets Recovered from 9/11 Attack Restored and Translated | Popular Archaeology – exploring the past.

Flying History and Pink Water

I got to see a bit of history in the air yesterday; what a treat!  Over the weekend a vintage B-29 bomber, one of the most important World War II airplanes, was visiting Lexington.  According to the radio, 3,960 B-29s were built for World War II and Korea, but this one, named Fifi, is the last one that can fly.  I ran to the nearest Kroger for a shopping errand yesterday afternoon, and when I got to Kroger, at 4:50 PM, I saw the last flying B-29 soar right over my neighborhood.  This picture gives you an idea of what I saw:

B-29_Fifi

This morning I encountered another surprise.  When I take Illaria to her nursing class, four mornings every week, I cut through downtown Lexington to get there.  Today around the convention center and Rupp Arena, all the fountains were spewing bright pink water!  I didn’t know what was going on until I came home and checked online.  it turns out a film festival started at the convention center last Friday, and they were advertising the first movie, “Pretty In Pink.”  I also learned that it took until Friday afternoon to get the color right; when they first put dye in the fountains last Wednesday, the water came out red!  The local newspaper’s website joked that whoever saw the red fountains would have thought the University of Louisville, the arch-rival to our University of Kentucky, had come in and taken over our home court.  Because the team color for UL is red, and the colors of UK are blue and white, it is always a colorful match-up when the two teams meet.

pinkwater