raystrobel47: (Ray vh1 08)
1) Pleasant summer nights with my sweetie out on the back deck.
2) A two-week vacation where *all* of us get to stay home, sleep in, and be together.
3) Spending time with good friends, doing things we like, and feeling home away from our house.
raystrobel47: (Ray vh1 08)
Not a long entry. I've tried posting twice and haven't been able to get through them.

I am thankful for my wonderful wife, my amazing little girl, and my family in Texas. I love them all so much. Thank you, my friends, for helping me enjoy my life so much.

I am thankful for music, for my job and my students, especially for loving my job and students, and for the opportunities I have and have yet to discover. We have a fantastic home, I live in a good city, and in a beautiful area. I am thankful for our wonderful pets, who are a joy to love. I am thankful for my church, where I've been spiritually for 19 years.

I am thankful for my country. As hard as that can be and has been recently, there's still no other place I want to live. I am thankful for the hope I feel for the future. I am thankful for the choices that we have, even when they're flawed.

I am thankful for all the cool things I have that help make life fun- football, TND, Rock Band, the SCA, LOLcats, my musical instruments, board games, teh intarwebs.

I love the time I have with my wife and Pookie- the silliness, tenderness, madness, and sheer goofiness of it all. I am very lucky to be who I am, where I am, and with all my family and friends. And you- you, reading this, I am thankful for you. Thanks for reading my words, for commenting when you do, and for your support when you've given it.

It's not always easy, but it's always worth it.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Power up

Sep. 23rd, 2008 10:31 pm
raystrobel47: (Texas)
My parents finally got power restored in Manvel! That's been 10 days without power. They are, to be sure, relieved. Things for them are slowly getting back to normal.
raystrobel47: (Whoa!!)
Today we met up with [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar's dad while he's in town for a few days. We had dinner with him last night, and went to the Phipps Conservatory today followed by dinner at Mitchel's (formerly Charlie's, formerly G's) for wings and bar food. It was fun, and nice to watch him interact with Pookie.

But when we left Phipps, he wanted to give me something. He drove his vehicle around to my car, then brought out some kind of silk-covered cover and a long piece of fabric. Then he said, "Wait, there's more." That's when he pulled it out.

He bought me a 6'koto.

Apparently, he got it an auction at which he was looking for a chair. At least, that's all I know he was going to get from previous phone conversations. This was totally unprovoked, I swear. I was not thinking to myself, "Gee, I wish my father-in-law would get me a 6' koto at a local auction!" Oh, and not only that, it belonged to the co-producer of Dawn of the Dead. According to the magic Wiki, that's Richard P. Rubinstein.

The instrument is beautiful. The fabric is a cover for the koto. I need to get many things, though, like bridges, picks, new strings, and a method book for the damn thing. Y'know, simple things that everyone who's everyone has for their koto. You understand, right??

Holy frickin' cow.

I will be taking pictures and posting them later this week, of the current condition of the instrument. I'm still slack-jawed when I think about it. He so totally didn't have to do that. I can't wait to get this puppy slicked up and playing it.
raystrobel47: (Dad)
I had a great Father's Day. LJ has eaten my wonderful entry about VeggieTales, Sonic, grilling tools, and listing all the dads I know on LJ. I will not attempt to recreate that entry. Sonic is yummy, and if you are a dad out there, I hope you had a fan-fricking-tastic Father's Day. Thus endeth the truncated entry.
raystrobel47: (Ray 8-07)
One more day of vacation, then back to work. Lordy, lordy, this was needed.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. The company was nice and the food was superb. The 'buzz' mentioned refers to the haircut I got at SportClips on Wednesday that opened up near the new Target in Wexford, touting to be a sports themed salon for guys. Well, there were TVs in bunches of places and ESPN was on every one. To promote itself I got the MVP treatment for $9.99 (normally $22) and got a trim, hair washing, hot towel on the face with a face rub, and light back massage with one of those buzzy-beater-gadget thingys. Really, it was nice for the whole package. And my hair is shorter than it's ever been since, oh, I'd say 1974. Seriously. The stylist kept using the clippers on the back of my neck and moving up. The icon you see has much longer hair than what I have now. It still is kinda weird, but I'm adjusting fine.

Then there's the 'bling'. Friday we braved downtown Pittsburgh, but they had free parking! That right there almost made the whole thing worth it. We went to Macy's, had lunch, met up with [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar's dad, and effectively had cheesecake for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in the SouthSide Works. We met up with [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar's sister and 10-month old son there. We really weren't hungry for dinner yet so we just had, well, cheesecake, and damned if that didn't sit for the whole evening. Now, it was good cheesecake, just not expected to be dinner, that's all. After leaving to head out, we decided to head to Target before going back to the house for a couple things. I'd realized that I still wanted an earring, something I haven't worn in about four years. And I have this perfect hole in my head for one! WTF? Luckily Target was having a jewelry sale and I scored some diamond earrings for cheap. Not CZ, real diamond (chips). My daughter is playing all conservative on me, saying that boys don't wear earrings. She doesn't see enough sports stars, does she??

Today was church and football and not going anywhere after two days of going places. It was nice. I was able to finish the arrangement of the church hymn and practice it after church, with some editing made this evening. Now I just have the last verse to do, which is different than the first three verses. The Texans, who I haven't been able to watch live, ever, embarrassed me against Cleveland to the point I just turned off the game. Don't that figure. The ladies shared pink cocoa after dinner, my wife watched Spice World this evening, and the best part is that I don't have to get up early again for one more day. :-)
raystrobel47: (Driving)
Interview prep:
-Got haircut. Keepin' it on the short side of short still.
-Got new pants and belt, as my others were fraying.
-My sweetie is helping with my interview sk1llZz, so I don't make a fool of myself on Monday.

Other news:
-Spent a good day with the family today. The kid was reasonably well behaved most of the time, though she did cross the line once or twice. She napped, and that helped bunches.
-The rearrangement of our bedroom, inspired by [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar is going nicely. There's more room in our room, even though minimal stuff has left it. It's amazing how moving the bed can change things.
-Cotter pin broke on the lawn mower, so I *still* can't finish mowing the lawn.
raystrobel47: (Driving)
Everything is going well with Dave.

As of now, Dave is resting from a successful operation. His wife, Melanie, is back home after more than 24 hours of adrenaline-induced activity. My folks are home having dinner. David's elder daughter will drive from San Antonio tomorrow to pick up Melanie and my folks to see Dave during on of the 30 minute visitation periods he has twice a day. He will be in the hospital for 7 days. Melanie has been checked on as well as David by the liver team they were seeing before he got called, and Dave is in an ICU reserved exclusively for organ transplant recipients. Remarkably, in this situation if anything could have gone right, it has. David has a long haul ahead of him, but this step is so huge, and he's had one of the best teams working on him in Houston's Hospital District (St. Luke's).

To all of you who have read and commented, publicly or privately, thank you. I told my mom this and will call Melanie to let her know that Dave has had well wishes span across both coasts of the US, and from Australia to England. Melanie has performed nearly flawlessly in keeping her spirits up, keeping up with all the activity and taking care of what was needed. I am so relieved that things have gone so smoothly, and I appreciate so much your time to post just a few words. Just a few means so much.
raystrobel47: (Eye)
The update is that there's no update. I called my mom around 2:20 last night, spoke with her a bit, and she agreed to call once she knew something. When she called, *she* still didn't know anything further. Because I still haven't heard an update, and because there's no answer at my parents' house, I am taking that as a sign that the liver was good and that my folks are at the hospital with him. Unfortunately, there are no cell phones among the... hold on, I just found Dave's cell #-

Dave's in surgery. The liver is good. A report on him will be coming out in the next half hour. I will post an update later in the day.

Prayers work.
raystrobel47: (Eye)
He just got called to get a liver transplant. I will know in a couple of hours if the doctors approve it. This will save his life, and necessitate that Lake and I not fly to Houston tomorrow as scheduled.

I do not pretend to understand how the Lord works. I do not. Lord, have mercy.
raystrobel47: (Default)
Things that are making me happy this morning:

-My daughter's fascination and excitement over Mary Poppins. She's watching right now, and got so enthused when Mary Poppins first appeared on screen that she had to proclaim, "DaddyDaddy! It's Mary Poppins!! Can you see??!"

-My wife. She helped make my birthday very special when I wasn't feeling special at all. It's just not cool to turn 36 on a Thursday. But with the cake and celebration on Tuesday, to the yummy dinner on Thursday, and the evening out at Red Robin while looking for a birthday gift at Pittsburgh Mills, I feel like I've gotten to celebrate. Thank you, sweetie!

-My niece, Kelly. She lives in Austin, TX, and is 40. But I got a birthday card from her, which hasn't happened in probably over 20 years, so I (with the gentle*cough!*nudging of my wife) called her up and we chatted for a good hour. We haven't spoken since Thanksgiving 2004. It was really nice. Kelly, fair or not, has always been my favorite of my 4 nieces. She sounds and looks the same as she did when she was 12. She's kind of a hippy, touchy-feely gal, quick with a smile and a kind or empathetic word (or 13), but that's her charm. She's sending all of us t-shirts that she's made and selling in Austin, which will be cool. I'm hoping to keep in touch with her more regularly.

-My brother Dave's condition. I am scared for him, and just want him to be well. But there is hope, which is wonderful for him, his wife, Mom, and the rest of his family.

-NPR. Scott Simon was interviewing Sister Julie, who keeps a blog on being a nun, on Morning Edition. When asked by Scott how often Sister Julie is in prayer or prayerful activities, her response was, "Oh, for about an hour or hour and a half, straight up no ice." Nuns like that are *cool*.

Happy Spring, and have a great weekend, y'all
raystrobel47: (Default)
David is expected to get a liver transplant in two to three weeks. This is great and fabulous. Thanks to all who kept him in thoughts and prayers.
raystrobel47: (Lake 'n me)
...for we are watching VeggieTales' "The End of Silliness?" as the Astros are batting in the bottom of the 10th tied 6-6 with the Braves and a chance to advance to the NLCS today.

Praise the Lord for Yahoo sports, and time to sit with my punkin.

EDIT-- Top of the 15th and still 6-6??? The top of the order is up for Houston in the bottom of the 15th. Dear Lord, let's wrap this one up already!
raystrobel47: (Driving)
I'm still sore from fighter practice yesterday. Don didn't make it, so I had to borrow armor from Thomas (foget his last name...) who was most helpful and gracious. The helm fit quite well, though it was the way the gauntlets bit into my left forearm that displeased me. I got whacked on good by Byron of Haverford (Char), who worked some drills with me. I'm still not landing most of my shots, but I haven't fought in about six months. Eh. It was fun, though, and that's what counts.

Today we took of for the in-laws, where the in-laws are actually out-of-town, save for the kids. So it was the three of us, Brooke and Brian, and the three girls, swimming and eating. Lots of fun. [livejournal.com profile] lstrobel had a blast in and around the pool. I'm really enjoying hanging with Brian, and the girls enjoyed seeing us (read: Lake) too.

When I looked outside after we got home, it's like the canopy of trees was alight with blinking Christmas lights: the fireflies are everywhere, and it's giving a magic glow to our yard. Wow.
raystrobel47: (Default)
Happy end-of-Memorial-Day-Weekend! We just spent the last night and day in ...Ringgold, PA? at my brother-in-law's getaway camp, and we brought [livejournal.com profile] lstrobel and Alfred along with [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar, and all four of her sisters. Tales of getting lost at night to follow, but it was a fun fun time, and both the kid and the dog were exhausted upon their return. I got to build a fire from log one, and it stayed hot all night. Woo-hoo!

And now, for something completely different.
What's in a name? )

Shower. Bed.
raystrobel47: (Default)
1) Football with friends: [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar, [livejournal.com profile] jcipia, [livejournal.com profile] sk4p, [livejournal.com profile] drquuxum, and let's not forget [livejournal.com profile] lstrobel!

2) Seeing my little girl participate in our church's little tableaux in her sheep's hat and tabard with me dressed as Joseph- and then she yells, "Daddy, Daddy!" (I can see the tabloid- Husband of Mary secretly fathered illigitimate livestock?? Read more about it in the Bethlehem Star!!)

3) 2-hour delay at school!

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