Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Post Christmas Tinkering (turn off playlist)

Recorded 12/27/10 (11 days shy of 18 months).
I edited this (took off the end where she moved off screen) and couldn't get it to post. No failure message just the clock running forever. So then I saved it as a QuickTime, no luck posting it as such either. So then I zipped it, no luck. So then I downloaded it on Vemeo. Worked but then I noticed the clarity is lacking, and it pitches up for some reason in all of them except the original. So I'm back to the original, warts and all. Well extra warts and all which are less bothersome than the conversion alternatives.

And just for the record, watching this reminds me that I am not as smart as I sometimes think I am (in many more ways than one!). I see now how interested she was in seeing herself (in the beginning - I did "get" that at the end) and should have pursued it more. And how she tried to follow the pot boiling concept and I'm stuck on the doorbell. Makes me want to "record" my whole life, watch it again and get to have a do-over. As it is, I think judgment day (for me) is going to be a long one....

In the meantime, Raygen, you are a precious toddler of God, and it was my pleasure to play with you, even if I'm a little slow on the uptake.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Went downtown tonight, courtesy of the Scarboroughs
(first time I've been downtown in years),
dinner at Taqueria Canonita in The Venetian.
I actually thought the sky was real until it dawned on me
that it was past dusk when we drove in!
We had warm chips with guacamole and salsa,
shared Cazuela de Camarones Y Almejas
(grilled skewered shrimp and clams in the shell, with blackened tomatoes,
Marisco broth and tomatillos with corn, white rice, and grilled bread),
and Tres Leches for dessert (sponge cake soaked with three different milks,
strawberry jelly, raspberry coulis,
topped with vanilla ice cream on a bed of diced cantaloupe,
decorated with a single raspberry, single blackberry and mint).
We watched the gondolas throughout the meal,
and listened to the boat(wo)men serenading their customers
and us in Italian as they floated by.
Then on to Phantom of the Opera at The Palazzo next door.
Jewel and I saw it in Salt Lake City years ago, her birthday request.
This one even grander as you can imagine Vegas being what it is.
We sat right behind the chandelier which came crashing down.
The Salt Lake crashing version was also spectacular
but we were a lot closer to this one.
Tons of special effects including several trap doors.
The place was packed - a sea of people
on the grand staircase when we exited.

Magic when we left as well.
Jewel had wanted to valet park to save my knee but they were full up.
We got in a row of about five cars waiting for people to pull out -
Jewel passed them all, pulled around the corner and snapped up
a spot right in front of the elevators.

Wonderful memories. Thanks Jewel and Johnny!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Las Vegas Style

We'll, Hayd needn't have worried -
he must have been pretty high on the nice list
for Santa did 'deliver.' But I'm ahead of myself.
This was his school Christmas artwork.
The top ornament was made by his teacher, so picture another 23!
The other two ornaments were this year's annuals for Hayden and Raygen.
Jewel's visiting teachers came Friday morning
so their gift was the first on her list,
chocolate-coated carrot cake balls.

Then various other projects including
the dough for Christmas breakfast cinnamon rolls,
homemade pizzas for Christmas Eve dinner,
gingerbread men for Santa and chow for the raindeer,
Hayd's plate he writes his list on each year,

Despicable Me and the new and improved Horton Hears a Who,
Norma's crying Santa story just before bed,
honey-baked spiral ham for Christmas dinner
with green beans and cheesy creamy hash browns.
Various people in/out and round about!
I asked Hayden if he'd made a Santa list at his Dad's -
"of course not - the plate's at Mom's house."

Proof-positive that Santa showed up:

Jewel's blog recounts the family presents and mine awaits -
Dinner Monday night at the Venetian overlooking the gondolas,
then on to Phantom at The Palazzo.
Might I say ... wow now! ... and double wow later!!
Wishing all of you the very best holiday wishes!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ruby & Neil Nursery Rhymes

Dawned on me one more possibility re finding the nursery rhymes tape. It's a Festivus miracle! (Sorry for the beep at the beginning - I got an email notice, didn't realize it would be so loud. Also, the picture's not very clear, but it's as good as it gets. This version of it that is.) Now keep in mind these are spontaneous recitings from memory from both of them. (You may want to avoid explaining to your wee ones what a word or two means. Winking smile At least until they are old enough to understand the lack of PC-ness in those days. And I have to admit, my very most favorite book was Little Black Sambo which glowed in the dark so I spent a lot of time with it in the dark utility closet, perched on the canister vacuum.... The same vacuum I borrowed for sleigh-riding one year when I couldn't find my sleigh.)

Ruby Ordella Williams Fugal

Today is the anniversary of my mother’s death (1981). And also her mother’s birthday. And therein lies a tale. Often she would tell me – well, “often” as in several times over the course of a number of years – that she’d had a very vivid dream and in it her mother ‘came to get her’ when it was her time to die (and it was that vivid she believed it would happen). Me, being the skeptic that I am, didn’t think there could be any possibility knowing that Mom’s father told a tale about making a pact with his wife to ‘come get him’ at a specific time should she die first (and vice versa). [She did not show up.] Now, I suppose one could compare the relative merits of the two likelihoods, though plainly irrelevant to actual reality (as comparisons can often be meaningless), but were that the case, mom’s “wins,” hands down. Plus the confirming actuality that she did die on her mother's birthday is good for skeptics like me.

When I posted my Dad’s recitations on the day of his passing in September, Janeil asked me to post this one on Mom’s. It's a favorite long scriptural quote of hers and it’s true, I heard her recite it numerous times. It's on the same tape as the September posts (recorded in St. George) and Norma introduces it. I also wanted to post something with Mom’s voice and somewhere there’s an old tape of the two of them reciting nursery rhymes to Alan but I’ve searched high/low, and that one will have to be for another day. Assuming I ever find it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting to know one's grandkids better is such a blessing. Got to spend last Christmas with Hazel and Lucy, and now Thanksgiving with Hayden and Raygen.

Raygen is almost 17 months. She says "hi", over and over. And "MaaaMa!", over and over. It's the first word out of her mouth when she wakes up each morning and after each nap. She may not want to be laid down, but the instant she hits the sheets, she's quiet and out like a light. She also says "I luv you" when you say goodnight or goodbye (as she snuggles her head on dad's shoulder), "please" and "thank you." She duplicates her brother's mannerisms, and says "Whoa!" with his inflected tone. She LOVES to "play" and would hang out in Hayden's tent with him indefinitely. She reminds me of the cutie "Boo" in Monsters Inc., the way she laughs and zips here and there. And is known as "Booges."

Hayden is precious and five years old. I was worrying about my leaves underneath the snowstorm and he said we should leave right then and he'd help me. (He means it.) He likes to play building castles with me, watch movies, color, play Christmas computer games such as http://resources.kaboose.com/games/santa-flibriks.html, play Disney dominoes and ask me what we're going to do next. During the course of all of the above, he says the funniest things. Such as:

Jewel has a potato scrubber that looks like a potato and had "real" (looking) eyes. After using it T-day, Hayden noticed that the eyes were gone. He said, "Mom probably took them off. She hates eyeballs. She wants to take mine out (stated very matter-of-factly)."

Jewel was tired after the T-day festivities (which were a tiny speck short of perfect - it's so much fun to cook with her) and was staring into space. Hayden said, "Mom looks like she's dead." Long pause. "She IS dead. We'll have to put her in the attic." Me, after the eyeball comment I'm thinking horror movies and blanch. He notes my reaction and explains, "Like the toys in Toy Story 3."

Jewel uses the stools up-side-down at night to block off the dog that stays downstairs. (He actually could shove them aside rather easily - they're a "reminder" to behave.) Hayden and I were moving them back to the bar to eat breakfast and he says, "These stools are old." I say, "They're not much older than you. Are you old?" "No!" (Appalled.)

Hayden started singing, "Santa Claus is coming to town...," and stopped to ask me if I knew that song. I sang, "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good..." and he said, "How does he know if you've been good?" I sang, "He's keeping a list, he's checking it twice...." Pause, and then he says, worriedly, "I'm afraid I'm going to be on that list!"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Craziness at work. Again.
I guess we have a good excuse
since we were knee deep in Halloween festivities.

The boss hung up a full-sized skeleton in a black cape
with arms outstretched.
Oddly we all noticed that when we're in there
having a conversation with her,
I'd drift back into it.
I said I must be needing a hug
and it was the closest I'd ever get.
Which prompted Colleen to snap a picture
to send out to all the school kitchen managers
and clerks captioned,
"Gail's Not Lonely Anymore,"
and with the announcement "Gail meets Al."
Which caused one of them to respond,
"Wedding bells?"
I said to answer, "Over Gail's dead body."

Then the field supervisor arrived,
all decked out for Halloween,
and she snapped the next picture,
which she sent out captioned,
"Love Triangle," and says,
"WillaMEANa tries to steal Al from Gail!"
(His name is William.)
At the end of the day I wished them all
a Happy Halloween,
and said that mine was looking up ...
now I'd met Al. "(If Bill would just go home!)"

Bill, of course, being bold enough to dress up like that,
also hammed it up
when we went to one of the schools
to document their celebration.
It was literally chaos when we showed up.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

27"/Intel Core i7 Processor (Yes it's very fast!)

I "had" to buy a new chair. Whoever built this desk was a moron. To get a chair that fits both the desk and the typing stand is impossible. And whoever sits at the desk part, even if the chair fits, would have to be very tall with itsy humeruses unless of course she also likes having her chin on the desk as she uses it. It was a "fire sale" ... Norma had a desk that fit on this wall (in a different place entirely) and as they were winding down (and far over budget) she insisted they build one and attach it to the wall. Hence the slap-together-ness and who cares if it defies logic.

The restoration company actually called me. They didn't remember disassembling any charred desk and I was the "character reference" to its existence. Well I remember typing in that corner on the old IBM Selectric II.

I'm using the typing stand part now because of what's on it! We got new computers at work. This one is 24" and my new one is a 27" - the biggest iMac they make. (Yes, the techies are even jealous - only one of them has a computer this fast.) Our techie said we should buy our old ones. I said it was against the regs. He said no, they've changed, we should inquire, they'd look up the value and that's what we'd pay which would be a heck of a lot cheaper than getting same thing any other way. Works for me!

Turned out, however, that they're only doing that for folks who retire, or for folks that buy the older or lower line Macs. So I said I'd retire. Winking smile They said how about you take it home and buy it when you do retire. Not only will it be cheaper by then, I may be able to buy the 27-incher by then. Meanwhile, I have free techie service! Works for me!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Norma's Tribute

This is the P.S. to the prior post, Neil Y. Fugal's testimony (turn off playlist and hear Norma's Tribute below).

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, 'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!' Robert Browning


Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December; But the days grow short when you reach September. When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame; One hasn't got time for the waiting game. Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few – September, November – And these few precious days I'll spend with you.

Norma's Tribute from Gail Adamson on Vimeo.

I well remember Daddy singing this song to Norma that last week of his life. And reciting Psalm of Life. And many more. (And by the way, it’s the Bing Crosby version he’d have listened to, as I still have it, but memorized possibly after Frank Sinatra's version. Which reminds me of the time I said I really liked “My Way,” and he pointed out that I wasn’t here on this earth to do things “My Way.” Occasionally it is picked for a funeral number which, since his comment, makes me wince.)

September 26, 1986. The day my Dad died. It breaks my heart, even now, but underneath I do acknowledge it is intertwined with memories I’d never want to forget.

I place the experience of witnessing the last weeks of his earthy presence at the top of my treasured memories, along with the spring I was truly converted to the gospel, and the summer I studied the church's 12 steps manual.

You might think that odd, but he showed exactly what he was made of in his dying – no need to go home to set a few things straight, no lamenting, no fear. He bore his testimony both in how he lived and in how he died.

I asked him if he would give me a blessing as he never had, and then immediately felt guilty for asking. He couldn’t kneel nor even sit up, but he put his hands on my head while I knelt and among many other things asked me to strive to obtain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I thought he should know I already had one, but the summer of the 12 steps manual proved me wrong.

He was larger than life. And how does one get “there”? Honor. Valor. Dedication. Respect. Patience. Geniality.

Neil's Testimony

I invite you to turn off my personal playlist and hear Neil Y. Fugal speak. “Enhanced” unfortunately by the drone of a cassette tape in an ancient player. I imagine Norma must have requested he speak slowly and distinctly, as normally his speech clipped along quicker than this, even when reciting.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! –
For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal.
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, – act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us, We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Interesting that he says "Finds" in the third stanza above. And "lonesome" in the second from the end.

(Following this poem, you'll find his testimony a little harder to hear but upping the recording volume I'm unable to offset the distortion.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


More laughter at work today, passing these around:

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

3. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

4. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

5. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

6. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

7. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

8. Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

9. Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

10. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

11. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

12. I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming like the passengers in his car.

13. If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

14. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

15. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

16. I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

17. Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

18. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

19. I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

20. The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

21. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

22. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

23. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".

24. Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

25. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

26. Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?

27. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

28. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

29. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

30. If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

31. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

32. Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

33. The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

34. A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

35. Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

36. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

37. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.

38. A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

39. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

40. Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

41. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

42. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

43. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

44. A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

45. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Interesting, learning new things at my age. A good thing of course, but often unexpected. The old dog/new tricks theory. After six months of Sirius FoxNews I was NOT saddened nor surprised when it suddenly expired. Supposedly it was going to ce la vie at three months, and just before the supposed deadline I spent HOURS on hold waiting my turn for a sales rep to sign me up a la carte. No dice, a la carte. Apparently there's Sirius and then there's subSirius. No doubt coincides with the relative social ranking of the branded auto. With the three months long gone, I wondered if they figured I needed a double dose to get hooked enough to cough up more bucks for it. Now this FoxNews was class. The audio of the cable tv network. And since I'd watched it endlessly at Jewel's the weekend of Hayd' birthday, the faces matched the names. Loved it. But not enough to pay more than a la carte prices for it. Ditto the tv version. So now I'm totally enjoying 10 music and a couple of talk radio stations. I will miss The Factor. But that's about it. And Dave Ramsey's just as totally entertaining and educational. Maybe I'll live longer and enjoy it more for that matter – more music, less politics. Seriously.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Miscellanea Photomania

As you can tell, we're prime for fires, but it's cooled down enough we've probably dodged that bullet.

Not quite the color that is emblazoned in my memory September 26, 1986, and probably won't get there by that anniversary.

This year's promo, Wild Wild West Days, kicked off in August.
Wild Wild West Day (Turn off the personal playlist, above.)

We borrowed a life-size bull, and had fun snapping silly pictures (embedded above). Each school will host similar event using the same decorations, with the kids dancing and singing along to country music.

Yesterday we visited the first of 18 schools.

(In between events, I did take several phone pictures the short time I was at the reunion, but I was so out of it I didn't press "save" so I gather #2 took the place of #1, etc., and the last and only one was worthless.)