Archive for April, 2007

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Nichelle Then and Now: Unbelievable!

April 25, 2007

Most of you are aware that Nichelle has been healthy since early last summer, after two years of severe pain and a long list of inexplicable symptoms (and a decade of similar, albeit less severe, problems).

In addition to being the mom she’s always wanted to be, being selected from New Hampshire to compete in the National Chicken Cook-Off (which will happen in only 1.5 weeks!), and being a constant testimony to the grace of God in her life, Nichelle has been eating healthily, doing Tae-Bo (nearly every day), and weight training (4 days/week). Take a look at the results:

For more images of this amazing transformation, check out this Picasa Web Album!

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Race a Duck, Improve Some Lives …

April 16, 2007

Racing rubber duckies on a subterranean river, repleat with sewage, industrial waste, and waterfalls; what more could you ask for?

Visit http://www.highestducky.org for more information or to make a donation. You can sponsor a duck for only $5.

Welcome to the World’s Highest Rubber Ducky Race. The race will be held Sunday, April 22nd, in La Paz, Bolivia at a starting altitude of approximately 12,800 feet above sea level. Proceeds will fund the construction of a protective fence at the Kallutaca home for mentally and physically disabled adults in the countryside outside of La Paz.

Life at the Kallutaca facility is hard. All of these residents have been abandoned by their families. In turn, the goverment of Bolivia provides very basic housing, food, and clothing until they die. As there is very minimal staffing at this rural home, it is not uncommon for residents to take long, unsupervised walks. In recent years, two deaths have resulted from this problem. One person fell into an offsite well and drowned and the other apparently got lost a night and then died of exposure.

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Photos via Picasa Web Albums

April 12, 2007

I started experimenting with Picasa’s (Google’s) free Web Albums last night. One gigabyte of storage, seamlessly integrated with Picasa, which is the free photo management software God would use if He didn’t run Linux.

Check out our new Picasa Web Albums, which I’ll be updating over the next week, and which are also linked to our sidebar. You can even subscribe to them via RSS!

And, here’s the photo I promised of my Mom and her fiancé, George Fortini:

And here’s another image of NaNi, the world’s cutest 3-year-old. She’s got the Wii controller in her hand, and is beating nearly everyone at bowling. This was taken at Nichelle’s birthday party in March:

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Life: A Quick Update

April 11, 2007
  • Nichelle’s health has been amazing. Actually, Nichelle looks amazing. She is doing Tae-Bo and weight training almost every day. She is absolutely transformed, to the point where that picture of Storm I posted for her birthday is truly not very different than reality. This is a far cry from the woman who two years ago sometimes had trouble holding a fork and knife at dinner. This is by far our biggest blessing.
  • Since Nichelle can now kill me with her pinkie, I started on the weights with her and our friend Phil about a month ago, and get in several days a week of Tae-Bo or cardio stuff as well. It’s already made a big difference, although Nichelle puts me to shame. Phil is cracking the whip on the weights and controlling our diet as well. Last night we got to eat a single piece of cheese for the first time in about 3 weeks. My doctor should be very pleased with these lifestyle changes. I will say having Nichelle working on the same things has made it immensely easier. What would I do without her?
  • As far as we can tell, David made highest honors again. Although Isaac needs to apply a slight amount of effort in math and history for the first time in his life, he did very well also. I love Isaac’s wit, and David amazes me with his insight, especially because he’s only 8.
  • Isaac bought a ball python about two months ago, which he named Knotty. Ball pythons are really cool, although we’ve learned that they really do have poor eyesight, and have become familiar with their striking distance …
  • Command and Conquer 3 and Jaws Unleashed have overtaken us for gaming, even to the point of neglecting World of WarCraft and our beloved Wii. C&C 3 is every bit the game C&C/Red Alert lovers have longed for, providing that magical balance of interesting units and fast-paced strategy for which Westwoood Studios was famous. In Jaws Unleashed, one controls Jaws himself, attacking swimmers, dolphins, boats, and other sharks and sea life. Isaac and David love it to the point of addiction, although it hasn’t received very good ratings from adult gamers.
  • We officially resigned from our old church a week ago—a decision which was clearly God-directed—although we have not yet joined a new one. We believe we will end up at Heritage Baptist in Hooksett, which we attend most, although we are checking out the Wednesday night program tonight at MVBC—Heritage doesn’t have anything yet for the kids on Wednesdays.
  • Nichelle will compete in the National Chicken Cook Off on May 3–4, in Birmingham, Alabana. I get to go with her. She is up against some tough competition, but the first prize is $100,000. That wouldn’t be too shabby.
  • John seems to be doing well for the first time since he left last June. We’ll see how things work out—he hasn’t had a very good track record—but he’s working again for the first time in months, and seems to be much more rational than previously.
  • We’re also planning a trip to Florida to attend my Mom’s wedding in June. Did I mention my Mom is 80 years old? I have a great picture with her and her fiancé George, which I’ll post shortly. The whole family is very excited.
  • NaNi is still the world’s cutest and smartest three-year-old. I had always wanted to have a daughter, but she is more awesome than I would have imagined. She has a delightful sense of humor, too. Last Saturday she woke me up by hitting me repeatedly with a chain saw, chanting, “Dad! Banana bread!” She’s also informed me, “You don’t get any hugs: Hugs are for Mommy. You get knuckle sandwiches,” and I assure you she means it. She can also locate Alabama on a map. Every time she says grace, she includes, “Thank you that Mommy is feeling better.”
  • Work has been excellent. We are winding down, mostly fixing small bugs, in preparation for the release of version 6.0 of our product. I’ve been working on the user interface revamp, which has been a year in the making, and is absolutely amazing. For the first time in years, our software will look as good as it runs. Navigation and other user operations have been dramatically improved, and everything is consistent end-to-end.
  • We finally got caught up with “Lost.” Now it’s agony to wait a week between episodes! We also are backwatching “Gray’s Anatomy” and “Smallville.”
  • Last Friday, NaNi, Isaac, David, and the Dunn children were sitting in the bleachers at a basketball game, and were all singing “Chiron Beta Prime.” I was so proud of those little geeklings.
  • Keith Lancaster’s acapella CD “Glorious God” is amazing. Thanks to Bernard Farrell for recommending this CD, as well as its predecessor, “Awesome God: An a Cappella Worship Series.” Nothing warms my heart like hearing NaNi and the boys singing “Our God is an Awesome God” around the house, and we love to listen to these while traveling.
  • After reading Michael Crichton’s Next, I’ve added about 9 books on genetics to my list of books to read near immediately. (I may never finish Mao’s China and After or The 9/11 Commission Report, but I’ll keep plugging at them.) My goal is to be able to talk the language of genetics fluently with a PhD friend of ours. I’ve already got my DNA screen saver!
  • We’re getting new carpet in the basement, courtesy of a water heater failure about two months ago. ServiceMaster came out at the request of the insurance company, and saved us from serious long-term problems from water damage. Too bad our insurance doesn’t cover the water heater itself (due to its age), but as disasters go, this one wasn’t too bad.
  • Sorry for not posting more of late. I was very busy getting my accounting caught up so we could file our taxes, and I’m working on a very long post that analyzes (refutes) a popular KJV-only tract.
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Resigned

April 4, 2007

Submitted today:

To the members and administrators of [church name]:

At this time, we feel that if we remained at [church name], our perceived doctrinal differences would adversely affect the membership.

Although we will always treasure the relationships we have with our brothers and sisters here, we feel that we must seek out a congregation where we can continue to flourish as followers of Christ.

We respectfully request that our membership at [church name] be withdrawn.

Sincerely,
Doug and Nichelle Wilcox, and Family

And so, one chapter of our lives closes, and a new begins …