Family News Update

Well, it’s about time I updated a few family items; Nichelle can add her 2¢ later.

  • Isaac’s last day of school (second grade) was yesterday. He cried because it was over. He does much better in elementary school than I did.
  • Work at Kronos has been great, and a wonderful opportunity to daily improve my Java skills. One colleague pointed out that our team seems to have “the right amount of fun.”
  • My father’s health has actually improved (this was not expected)! He was able to walk into and out of church a couple of weeks ago, and the congregation appauded when he came in. This is a big difference from how he was doing at Christmas.
  • Nichelle’s pregnancy is halfway through, and she finally has another ultrasound scheduled for June 16, which should be the gender-determining one. (If this child is a boy, I’ll post a link to the e-bay auction soon.) If it’s a girl, we still need to pick a middle name. I’ll probably create an online submission form for suggestions. (Kherna Yoyo continues to insist the middle name should be Kherna.)
  • We are still working on our move to Nashua. The cosmetics on our current house are nearly done. I have a minor plumbing problem to correct, but the greenboard for the new bathroom ceiling is up. Nichelle is (as usual) doing her masterful job of spackling, patching, and painting. We do not yet have a house picked out in Nashua or Hudson, but we find reasonable listings every day. We continue to pray for God’s guidance in this.
  • The Mexico missions trip is back on after a one-year absence. I am going alone (sniff), but am looking forward to continuing to help with the church and children’s home in Constitución, as well as reimmersing myself in the culture. (I will be keeping The Missions Trip Site updated starting in a week or two, and will be porting the BLOG software to it, so I can do live updates from the trip. I read an excellent biography on Benito Juarez, the orphan-who-became-president. His story rivals that of Lincoln in some ways. I’d like to re-read the book before we leave, and take some notes.

Cuba: The Forgotten Oppressed

Mallard Filmore, from April 29, 2003

[nuke][doug]It angered me when I heard (a few years ago) that former President Bill Clinton shook hands with Fidel Castro at the United Nations. Were I President, I would have relished the opportunity to speak with Castro, but I would not have shaken his hand, and my conversation would have opened with, “¿Por que odias tu propio gente?” (Why do you hate your own people?)

One of the first Cuban exiles I ever met, Pastor Elmer Fernandez, has a lovely final memory of Cuba—he was able to flee to America to be with relatives when he was 8 years old—his last significant memory is his mother saying to him, “Do you hear that noise? Those are gunshots. They [Castro’s revolutionaries] are executing our pastor.”

Modern-day Cuba should be a paradise. It has amazing agricultural and tourist potential, yet in all but a few areas it clearly demonstrates the absolute failure of Totalitarian Communism. We know a number of people who have visited Cuba, some on covert missions trips, who are able to provide a better picture than our media. Would you like to live in a large city that has running water only two hours a week? How about visiting a hospital emergency room with your infant, to find nothing but squalor and crying? Would you enjoy being part of a population that cannot buy aspirin? Or books? The people there don’t even mention Castro’s name—they merely make a sign with their fist like a beard.

It is a pity Castro has lived so long.

Now This Is Just Plain Wrong

In Denver, a judge overturned a convicted murderer’s death sentence because jurors consulted Biblical passages such as “an eye for an eye” while they were sequestered during death-penalty deliberations.

For the record, Robert Harlan was convicted in 1995 for murdering Rhonda Maloney, a waitress who was driving home from work, and shooting and paralyzing good Samaritan Jaquie Creazzo who tried to come to the woman’s aid.

The full article is available at Reuters.

Out of the Mouth of Babes

As we reflected on the day we set aside to celebrate the Resurrection, Nichelle asked David (age 4) what he had learned in Sunday school. He talked about Jesus being buried described the tomb, and said, “Then Jesus used His ‘rise up power.’”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard an adult explain it better.

Goodbye to Los Quinlan

It’s a sad day for us, albeit for a good reason. Eric and Juana Quinlan, along with their sons James and John, are moving today to Georgia, to enroll in college for deaf ministries. Their goal is to work with ministries for the deaf in and around Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.

Eric has been my closest friend since early high school, and our families are very close.

I was actually somewhat responsible for Eric meeting Juana, way back when she was Juana Evangelista del Corazón de Jesus Gonzalez Guerrero, but I will save that story for later.

We will miss them greatly.

Why does the weekend end so quickly?

Quite a bit going on this weekend. The primary task was to get a project for CenterWatch finished, including using a combination of MS Word's Table of Contents feature and some Excel formulae to generate an index of Companies by Therapeutic Specialty. I discovered a goof on my part; I needed to have one specific named style for the therapeutic specialties on each page, but not use that style for anything else on the page. Every time I would do a search-and-replace to fix this, Word would crash. Finally I gave up, created a second copy of the file, and deleted everything but the therapeutic specialties that was in the style I was trying to index. The section was, of course, 350 pages long! I'm making a list of notes for next year.

We had some good family time for a change (with Nichelle sick/me overworked for the past couple of months). We watched the newly remastered Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang, which should have been in Widescreen, but has not been issued that way (except for the opening race scene and credits and closing credits). The sound and picture quality are superb, and the DVD features a cool “sing along” feature for the musical numbers. I need to start a Web petition going about the widescreen/pan-and-scan issue … I’ve e-mailed MGM’s customer support several times, but not once received an answer.

Sunday afternoon we watched the new Veggie Tales Jonah film. I should add that Nichelle and I both fell asleep partway through. The kids liked it. Big Idea did a good job of explaining what the job of an Old Testament prophet was. David, after his class on Sunday night, presented me with his coloring sheet of the 10 Commandments, and said, “This is a message from the Lord.”

Sunday night I jumped over to Shine! to make a quick edit (remarking out a live performance that had past). When I went to check my work, I discovered that the site had been defaced by some juvenile crackers with an obscene anti-war message. Apparent Interland had a little security problem sometime early Saturday morning. Other evidence indicates their mail server was commandeered as well. Just what John Harris needs—his site defaced on a day when people were likely to be visiting the site to get directions to the performance Saturday evening.

The war news was negative for the first time so far. We have six people from our church on active military duty, plus another moved-away friend (he started riding our bus to church when he was in fourth grade—right now his neice is in Nichelle’s and my 4th grade Sunday school class.