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Dith Pran died today. I wish I had more time to write more about this extraordinary individual. Suffice it to say, when you coin the term "killing fields" and not from your comfy tenured chair in academia but, rather, because you walked through them escaping the Khmer Rouge, you have quite the story to tell. Not too many people's stories include the murder of fifty relatives and having to survive by eating insects, rats and human corpses.
The tenth anniversary of Pol Pot's death (possible suicide) is coming up this April 15th. I hope there's a hell, if for no other reason than so that S.O.B. will suffer eternal damnation...along with the other two individuals who were in a category all to themselves defining evil in the twentieth century (Hitler and Stalin).
Tonight we all went to see Sesame Street Live - When Elmo Grows Up. In the show, Big Bird helps Prairie Dawn to put on a pageant about growing up.
Bert wants to be a forest ranger when he grows up. Cookie Monster wants to be a brave firefighter. Telly wants to be a baseball player. Grover wants to be, Police Officer Grover.
The newest Sesame Street character, Abby Cadabby wants to be a Fairy Godmother. Baby Bear wants to be a train engineer. Rosita wants to be a Spanish language teacher. And, Elmo...well, Elmo wants to be everything!
Oscar advises Elmo to "Stick with something you love," which of course results in a round of "I Love Trash." Both Drew and Will had a great time! Drew didn't remember seeing the Sesame Street characters before, two years ago, when Super Grover lost his superness.
Finally, I can't help but mention the creators of Sesame Street--corrupted by political correctness--labeled the recent release of early Sesame Street episodes on DVD for "Adults Only." I won't even try to explain, as it makes no sense...read it for yourself.
Drew and Will visited the Easter Bunny at the mall on Saturday. Will was a little hesitant to sit in the Easter Bunny's lap which, when you think about it, is pretty smart...after all, why would a six-foot, 200+ pound rabbit necessarily be an herbivore?
Aunt Catherine came over during the week and helped color eggs with the boys.
Drew and Will were excited to put our carrots for the Easter Bunny.
The four of us after a successful Easter egg hunt at Ma and Pa's.
Forty-five years ago, in April of 1963 before I was even born, my sister Donelda and my parents celebrated Easter while they were living in Tripoli, Libya. Donelda is just a few days away from being 2 1/2 years old in these pictures.
As you may have noticed from this year's "early" Easter, the date of Easter is not fixed but, rather, is a variable date the calculation of which is not all that simple. It is commonly believed, and it is often but not always accurate, that Easter is celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox. Close, but not exact.
The date of Easter is actually the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon which does not directly correspond to any astronomical event but, rather, is a historical artifact determined from tables and which may differ from the date of the actual full moon by up to two days. The result places Easter between March 22 and April 25, inclusive.
This year's early Easter, March 23, will not be matched again for over a hundred years, until 2160. But, the earliest possible Easter won't be seen until 2285. The second latest possible Easter, April 24, is just around the corner in 2011. We won't see one on April 25th until 2038. And, for what it's worth, the whole cycle of Easter dates repeats every 5,700,000 years.
Add to all this the fact that, unlike Christmas which everyone the world over celebrates on the same day, Western Christianity uses the Gregorian calendar for their calculations while Eastern Orthodox Churches use the Julian calendar resulting in dates for the celebration of Easter which are sometimes the same but often a week apart.
As for me, I say fix it as the second Sunday in April.
The boys had a play date today with Ms. Cindy's kids. Look how perfectly well behaved they all are: Will, Nathan, Drew, Abigail and Adam. After the jump, see the five little monkeys in their natural environment.
Will recently started stacking blocks...to ridiculous heights! Just when you'd think it's about to fall, he adds three more. Of course, when the blocks fall they put little micro-dents in the coffee table...we call it "antiquing."
I have a good friend who, last time I heard, refuses to buy nice furniture until his kids are old enough to not cause damage. While a perfectly logical theory, Mary and I disagree. We get to enjoy our furniture for more years than my friend and, when the kids finally move out of the house, we'll still have nice furniture but filled with memories of our boys growing up...my friend will just have nice furniture.
So, Mary was giving the boys a bath tonight during which I am usually nearby...just in case...and tonight was one of those cases. Near the end I heard, "Don, I need your help!" It wasn't nearly as bad as the last time Mary called me with loss-of-limb urgency while giving the boys a bath, but it was definitely with more emotion than simply, "I need more shampoo."
I went in the bathroom and saw Drew being dried off while Will was still in the tub...pretty much surrounded by raw sewage. Mary had this happen once with Drew when he was younger but apparently that was more of "solid" event, if you know what I mean. Tonight, there was a near complete absence of fiber.
I removed the bathmat, lifted Will out of the tub and he stood there, probably quite chilly, like a very good boy while Mary got Drew dried and dressed. I then passed Will to Mary who gave him a thorough sponge bath. I then drained, rinsed, and hot dish soap washed anything and everything that was anywhere near the tub. Since I was at it, I cleaned the toilet too. Now, the bathroom is as clean as it's ever been! Did I mention it's our guest bathroom?
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is: 42. It took the computer Deep Thought, specially built for the task of answering the question, 7½ million years to calculate. Unfortunately, by then, the Ultimate Question itself was forgotten.
The story continues with another more powerful computer, the Earth, being built which can figure out the Ultimate Question. However, the determination of the Ultimate Question gets interrupted when the Earth is destroyed to make way for an intergalactic freeway.
I read the book sometime in high school or maybe college and it is the only book I can ever remember reading which caused me to laugh out loud. But, don't even think about watching the movie, it's beyond horrible: jokes without punchlines, punchlines without jokes, jokes needlessly altered so that they are no longer jokes. A painful disappointment to fans, a ridiculously muddled confusion to newcomers.
[UPDATE I: Holy coincidences Batman! I just learned, after writing this post today, that Douglas Adams' birthday is/was also March 11.]
Today we all attended the Tulsa Youth Orchestra's Play-A-Thon at Woodland Hills Mall. A good friend and former coworker has two children in the TYO which is celebrating its 45th season, a daughter who plays the violin in her fourth year and a son who plays the clarinet in his third year. Both, Drew and Will enjoyed watching and listening to the orchestra. Drew's favorite was when they played The Empire Strikes Back.
For twenty-ish years, nobody knows exactly how long, the Tulsa Kappa Delta Alumnae Association has had a Bunco Party and Silent Auction for its annual Shamrock project to benefit the local Parent Child Center of Tulsa and the national Prevent Child Abuse America. The event is well attended especially by the Tulsa area Red Hat Society and raised over $2000 for worthy charities this year.
Since Mary is active in the Alumnae Association, I have attended the annual event for the last 10+ years. Finally, I figured a way out of playing bunco...tonight, for the first time ever, I emceed the event.
Will enjoyed helping set up for the event and playing with the door prizes like these shamrock glasses.