Just after midnight today, Steven Perezluha reached Annapolis, Maryland as the ninth bicyclist in his division to complete the Race Across AMerica. With the 41-minute credit he received for a tornado-caused delay in Kansas, his official finish was at 11:34 last night. Steven raced from the Pacific to the Atlantic in an even ten days and eight hours.
Congratulations to Steven!
And because no one, least of all a major athlete, succeeds without a great deal of help:
Congratulations to his sponsors, his incredible support crew, and his parents!
No, not our granddaughter. :( But something her siblings would probably like. It brightened my day, and might do so for you while you're waiting for the next Hawaii post.
At last, an explanation of what Janet did in Basel before Joseph was born:
Early Music (H/T Andy B.),
and Barefoot Running (H/T Patti W.). (Preview without grandkid viewers.)
This is the best thing to do with a soda bottle since Diet Coke and Mentos. The insructions are clear, and the cost of materials low. I know some grandchildren who would love it. (H/T Conversion Diary.)
Look what we discovered!
In the following scene, T is Stephan's friend who is in Japan helping D, the pastor whose work I mentioned in Helping Japan, a Local Option. I have to give some credit to Facebook, as I only knew about this because FB showed me M as one of the (not so random) short list friends on D's Facebook page when I was checking it out. Stephan put the pieces together from there.
Janet, who travelled to Switzerland, and there met and married
Stephan, who had lived in Japan, where he had became friends with
T, who was in Japan for a few years and worked with
D, pastor of a church there, who has a son
J, who met (in Orlando?) and married
M, a good friend of Janet's from childhood!
Here's a Volkswagen plant in Germany that makes me think of the (former) World of Motion ride at EPCOT. (H/T MMG.)
I'd imagine the cars from such a factory cost a pretty penny cent, but it's still cool. If I were a worker, however, I'd at least be asking questions about what the side effects might be of all the magnets under the floor.
If you give up pie for lent, can you still eat Boston cream pie? The only thing that luscious concoction of cake, pudding, and chocolate icing has in common with pie is that both are round.
Then there’s the kind that is a different shape altogether—at least when I was in school we were taught that it was square. Personally, I think this video proves that it isn’t square at all, but a very cool dude indeed.
Happy Pi Day, everyone!*
I'm still struggling with the book review I'd hoped to post today, so instead you get Jennifer Fulwiler's dry humor. You can read the whole 7 Quick Takes Friday post at her Conversion Diary blog for other tidbits, like one man's Lenten beer fast (it's not what you think), but here's the section that set me laughing—and thinking—this morning:
Here’s what [Lenten disciplines] I decided on: a decade of the Rosary first thing each morning, and no adding sugar to my morning tea (a small but surprisingly noticeable sacrifice for me). And…well, umm…there’s one other thing that I couldn’t decide if I would admit or not…but I guess I’ll go ahead and say it:
I’m giving up cursing for Lent.
Now, before you form an image of me yelling at my kids to stop jumping on the $%^! couch or asking my husband to pass the $%&*!# salt at dinner, let me say that it’s not that bad. I don’t use bad words in front of the kids, and it’s not like I walk around spewing profanity when I’m around adults. It’s just that I’ve noticed lately that, well, sometimes I just can’t seem to express myself without pulling out a word from my pre-conversion lexicon. So I’m really working on that during Lent, hopefully adopting habits that will last for the long-term.
Giving up adding sugar to drinks was actually a last-minute addition to my Lenten plans. I’d always heard that you should give up something good, but I didn’t really get why, so I just went with giving up cursing for Lent. But then I heard people who had given up something good talking about their plans for Easter, and it all clicked.
For example, someone I know who gave up cheese talked about how she’s going to get a huge, lavish cheese tray for brunch on Easter. When I imagined her going that long 40 days with nary [a] bite of one of her favorite foods, I could see how the ecstatic joy of the Resurrection would hit her at an even deeper, visceral level as she bit into savory chunks of Camembert and felt the luscious Brie melt in her mouth after the long fast.
Then I pictured myself rising on Easter morn’, taking a deep breath, and shouting the f-word. Umm, yeah. That’s why giving up something that’s bad anyway doesn’t quite have the same effect. So no sugar in my tea for Lent.
Ha! Engish is cool, too. German has its Eszett (ß) and Spanish its eñe (ñ); the world is full of accents and umlauts and other characters that make life interesting and typing difficult. By contrast, English is plain and boring.
But it wasn't always so. We had - ta da! - The Thorn.
From Michael Leclerc of the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
One of the most abused of all letters (and former letters) in the English language is the Thorn. In Latin, the letter was written as Þ (capital) or þ (lowercase). In English, however, the thorn looks like the modern letter “y.” The thorn is no longer used in everyday English. The Thorn was pronounced the same way as the digraph “th” in modern English. In proper usage it is NEVER pronounced as the letter “y.”
It is often found on old gravestones, usually in its y-shape followed by a superscript letter ("Here lies ye body of"), and in the names of stores attempting to appear quaint (Ye Olde Coffee Shop).
Lest you think this is all ancient history, the thorn can also be found in Unicode, on Icelandic keyboards, and in html (þ = þ).
I think that's cool.
This is in tribute to our very own UJ, who is the undefeated champion of dump shopping in Connecticut. In Florida, as in many places, dumps are dirty, smelly, nasty, dangerous things. But in thrifty New England residents can separate out potentially reusable trash and "dump" it in special locations (at the transfer stations), where others can find treasure. Sometimes literally: our UJ once found a diamond ring! Unable to find the original owner, he presented it to his wife. Needless to say, she does not consider her husband a chump. He's a champ! "UJ's Store" is a great place for shopping, whatever the season.
Enjoy the song!
So, this headline popped up in my news feed today:
US, Israel, PA fail to reach agreement on settlement freeze
and my immediate thought was, "Why is Pennsylvania negotiating directly with Israel?"
In case you haven't seen it, check out the 12 Composers of Christmas. (H/T musician friend Sarah D.)
From a BBC News story of the latest Nissan recall (H/T Porter):
Nissan said there had been no accidents reported due to the fault, which can cause the engine to stall while running.
Just what I needed, something more to worry about. The nighmare scenario had never occurred to me: We're peacefully asleep in our beds, our car resting in the garage, apparently quite comfortable—but unbeknownst to us suffering an episode of stalling while the engine was not running.
Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students, compiled by Anders Henriksson (Workman Publishing, New York, 2001) (Later retitled Ignorance Is Blitz)
This compilation of major historical events was pieced together from the essays and exams of students at a variety of colleges in the United States and Canada. If you know a reasonable amount of world history and geography, you will find it hysterical, at least till you get to the quiz in the back of the book.
It would be a good book to read aloud at a party, although you would miss some pretty funny misspellings. Reading it aloud in the car, however, as we did, would be unwise: If you think texting puts the driver at a disadvantage, you should see what happens when he's doubled over with hysterical laughter. (More)
For friends and family who prefer to ignore Facebook:
Jonathan: Dad, the spaceship book gave me an idea, and I'm going to be working on a project. It requires liquid oxygen....
Anyone have some spare LOX for an ambitious six-year-old?