Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Favorite Movies we all viewed in 2008

In order to make this list, all five Eby's must have seen this movie during the year it is nominated. There are a few movies that have been nominated by individual Eby's that were disqualified because they were not viewed by all of us.

For example: The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Wanted, Fireproof, Get Smart, Bucket List, Baby Mamma and other popular movies were seen by some but not all Eby's.

Here is the list for 2008:
  1. Marley and Me ( First Unanimous Winner )
  2. Hancock
  3. Seven Pounds
  4. The Notebook
  5. Jumper
  6. Expelled

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dudley shots - Adam Freshman Football

Dudley is my hero... I have been going to sports events for a very long time and taking pictures with a "better than consumer" grade camera with lots of lost shots because I am into the game and forget that I have a camera.

Like this "helmet to the ball" hit that Adam placed squarely on a Clark County runner while Jackie, Bud and I drank hot chocolate to keep warm. I really like being a spectator

Adam didn't run the ball much this year, but the Tates Creek offensive line really made some big holes for all the backs against Clark County. Craig really knew what to do with a hole that game. Clark County parents thought that Craig was headed for a Division I team.

It was fun to watch them play this year. It is going to continue to be fun watching these freshmen get better with some more strength, speed and discipline.

To the left is a shot of Adam dragging a Henry Clay defender for a couple of extra yards.

Back to Dudley.... Dudley retired from IBM years ago and as a hobby, he goes to Tates Creek High School sporting events and takes professional grade photographs that are better than any I have ever taken. This service that he provides is a great community builder and school builder and team builder.

To the right is Adam with a little open running room against Henry Clay after a screen pass to the right side. Martrell, our quarterback, did a great job of opening up the field looking at multiple receivers with the time he got from the offensive line.

Adam's best game of the year was against Lafayette.

This picture is just after receiving a middle screen pass, but his contributions to the defense were much more significant where he made several stops of one of the best running backs Adam will face as a Commodore.

Adam played with Bubba at LTMS and this was his first chance to go up against him in a game. I think the Lafayette game was the best game for the Tates Creek defensive line.

He said that tackling Bubba by the legs was like tackling a thrashing machine. Several Commodores discovered that you can't tackle Bubba above the waste during the second half when Bubba led them in a comeback attempt that nearly erased Tates Creek's 24-6 lead at halftime.

The last picture is from Woodford County where Tates Creek walked off the field with last minute loss that set them back emotionally. Woodford County didn't have very many players, but their hearts were bigger and they didn't have many weaknesses.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Less sensationalism, lasting substance

A few weekends ago, Jackie and I went on a double date to see Fireproof. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the story, the message and profit margin of the movie. Volunteers put much more passion into their product, and figure out how to do things without spending a whole bunch of money.

At the core of the movie was the word "Love" in the challenge that a parent gave to a child that had no grasp of what love was. "Love" makes us do things for other people at great cost to ourselves.

Leaving the theater, I couldn't have been happier with the people that we attended the movie with. Two people that give, give, give and lose track of what they get of out of any deal.

After a year of sacrificing a lot of time to shore up a company in distress because it chased after the wrong things for a while, it was a pleasant surprise to see someone else that my company has counted on to sacrifice a great deal of time and talent to survive. A short talk with he and his wife revealed it was rare for them to have to opportunity to get away together.

Partly because of the time that I was away from family, and partly because of the economy, and partly because some other members of my family are as busy as I am with other things, there is no movie that all five of us have seen this year at the theater. For our annual "Best Movie of the Year", we may have some older movies that we all happened to see separately on TV or video.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Three Fall Sports for Adam

Most three sport athletes split the sports into three different seasons, but Adam chose to supplement his main Fall sport of football with two other complimentary sports in terms of skills and skill development, but opposing in terms of time.

Every time that football practice was called off, Adam would go to fall Lacrosse practice. After the football season was over, he got a chance to play in the final fall season scrimmage with six other teams that joined Tates Creek at Kentucky Country Day High School in Louisville.

Adam's third sport for the season was an intramural Ultimate Frisbee team. They lost this afternoon in the tournament after winning the first game last Tuesday night.

If you look closely, you will see that even though the temperatures were near zero, Adam continued to play in bare feet as he always has on Sunday afternoons during the summer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ragamuffin Gospel

Several people have told me that I need to read "Ragamuffin Gospel" in the last 10 years or so, but none of those recommendations were as compelling as Robin Potter acting surprised this past summer when she discovered I had not read it.

I purchased the book with intentions of reading it during vacation in July but failed. A rainy afternoon in November was a good defer.

Brennan Manning sounds like a rebel that boasts of his freedom at times, but I think that is just some of his culture coming out. He has seen life on this earth being raised in a Catholic church in New Orleans. I was raised in a conservative church in the Amish territory of Northern Indiana. One might expect a few misunderstandings that can certainly be resolved by He who created both of us.

So far the words that we can agree on and the words that jump out at me and will challenge me are these:

  • The institutional church has become a wounder of the healers rather than a healer of the wounded.
  • The church is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners.
He quotes people from 100 years ago, 500 years ago and 2,000 years ago and consistently points out that it all is meaningless compared to the inerrant Word of God that comes from time in the Bible and stillness listening directly to God.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Austin and Hannah Mattern

From the moment that Adam and drove up on Ross Camp, I knew that it was a perfect day for Austin and Hannah. The old camp was steeped in history and I am sure that it is just as rustic in the winter as it was this glorious fall afternoon full of autumn color.

You could see Cheryl's touch of home with Ball jars of rocks and flowers.

The music at the small chapel and at the reception was provided by a very interesting band that Bill found in Goshen not long ago. Everyone loved the choice: Goldmine Pickers

I also had a brief opportunity to meet Hannah's dad and talk with some of the people that Austin and Hannah hang out with. Austin has always made good choices and it seems that like me, choosing a mate had a lot to do with choosing a family with a Christian heritage of simplicity and hard work.

The location for the wedding was historic as well. It was donated to Purdue University by David Ross in '93 as etched in stone on the side of the dining hall. They probably never imagined it would still be in use in '08. I'm sure it has been rebuilt several times, 115 years is a pretty good return on investment for this camp.

A model T that belonged to Grandpa Jake was the perfect vehicle for this couple to leave a century old Chapel.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Rehearsal Dinner with Jackie

Jackie drove up to Lafayette on Friday morning to help her family cook pork chops, prepare a meal and serve all the people that rehearsed for Austin and Hannah's wedding the next day.

On Thursday night, I was up until 3:00 AM making some final touches on a video for the reception on Saturday. A video was completed a week before the event, but that was not quite up to Jackie's standards. I complained a lot, but the finished product was worth the effort.

After getting up for work at 5:00 AM, I got home early at 4:30 and packed the Jeep so that Becca could get off the bus at 4:45 and get in the car so we could get to Lafayette by 10:00 PM. Considering all the sleepless activity leading up to the drive, we are very fortunate to have made it all the way without stopping.

We arrived at the Best Western to find that we were sharing the hotel with the Michigan football team and I was encouraged to find out that Jackie had worn out her nieces who are much younger than I am.

It was very good to see family working hard together to celebrate the union of two people that represent hard work. Austin is a man of the soil and Hannah tends to animals. Throughout the course of history those trades have been synonymous with hard work.

It was only fitting that we wear ourselves out for them.

Even though Heidi and Bethany were exhausted, they rose early in the morning to help their color challenged Aunt Jackie pick out a new blouse to better match the rest of her outfit.

They worked well together and enjoyed the day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Three month sprint

For the last three months, I have been completely consumed by multiple projects at work, watching the kids play volleyball and football and working to support their teams. During that span of time, Jackie and I have had to put several relationships on hold.

One of the most difficult for me was the Monday night prayer group. We have also missed out on adjustments to the small group that we attended last summer.

After our nephew gets married this weekend in West Lafayette, we should be back to some of the "normal" levels of participation in the church.

One of the lessons I learned during this unhealthy sacrifice is that neglecting a home is an expensive downward spiral. I have about four weeks of vacation that I will be applying to home repair at the end of the year.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Shack

Mike Brady read a book while he was on vacation and recommended that we all read it. I'm only about a fourth of the way through it, but it does grab a hold of you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Girls of '83 gather at Lori's House

Six graduates of NorthWood High School gathered at Lori's house in Texas this summer.

The temperatures soared above 100 degrees but the girls stayed cool in the pool and the shopping malls.

Jackie didn't talk much about the trip but the pictures of Lori's ranch looked vaguely familiar to me.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Inflatable Kayaks

While Jackie was making arrangements for rafting the week before we left, she was confident that Adam and I would like to kayak down the river.

Seeing how cold my feet were on Monday, I couldn't imagine how miserable it would be spending a few hours with the bottom half of my body immersed. On Tuesday night, I had several conversations with the kids trying to convince them that we should really do another trip on a different Tsali trail instead of kayaking.

Boy, was I wrong. I had no idea how comfortable a wet suit could be. Once equipped with the proper gear, Adam and I actually had to splash water onto our legs to cool them off as we drifted down the Nantahala in our Fast River inflatable "fun-yaks".

Jackie, Carmen and Becca all served as kayak chasers in the van. Adam and I could always pick them out on the shore for a couple of reasons. (1) Jackie's laugh is hard to stop and hard to miss. (2) Jackie couldn't figure out how to turn the flash off when taking pictures from the shaded shore.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Afternoons tubing down Deep Creek

After a morning of some sort of biking, hiking, horse back riding, running, rafting or other form of exercise, we enjoyed the 20 minute hike up deep creek and the 40 minute trip down.

I put this off, because I don't like getting wet and it seemed pretty passive, but it really was fun. However, the second afternoon that we went, I volunteered to be the photographer because it gave me a chance to run on the trails and climb up and down the river banks and rocks cautiously avoiding the snakes that Carmen always reminded us about.

Oddly enough, Carmen was the only one to see a snake the whole trip. It was here in Deep Creek and the black water snake was too close for her.

Adam thought the use of a stick for pushing off rocks would help him get down the creek faster. He really worked on some creative ways to ride his tube. This particular shot shows him going backward over a two foot falls. While waiting for the family to get to this spot, I saw many people injure themselves doing backrolls on rocks.

Riding, Riding and River's End

On Tuesday morning, we separated the family based on interests and ability.

Adam, Carmen and I rode the Thompson loop which is south of the Murphy branch and the Mouse branch trail. We rode it counter clock wise so most of the technical work was going up and most of the speed was coming down the old logging roads in the sun. It was a nice ride even though we had to race under time pressure.

Jackie and Becca rode horses at Nantahala Village while we mountain biked. We dropped them off, drove 15 minutes to the Tsali, rode the loop and packed up the bikes and 15 minutes back to Nantahala Village by noon.

After we picked up Jackie and Becca, we went to the River's End restuarant at Nantahala Outdoor Center for lunch. After lunch we sat briefly in the sun, resting and watching other people get cold and wet below us.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Adventurous Fast River Rafting

Jackie reserved a green raft and a "guide assisted" trip down the Nantahala on Monday afternoon.

"Guide Assisted" meant that we got to follow a boat that was "Guided". This was very important to Jackie. We had to stay close so that she could ask the guide questions in order to get her money's worth of the extra $7 that we paid for the "Guide Assisted" tour.

We really enjoyed this afternoon even though our feet were numb by the end of the trip. The water that is released from the bottom of Fontana lake to generate the controlled flow of white water was pretty cold.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tsali Recreation Area

While most people prefer to vacate or amuse, my favorite thing to do on vacation is to recreate. The Tsali Recreation Area provided an excellent place to do so.

Mountain bikers from around the world come here to ride their $4,000 mountain bikes but we didn't ride as much as they do.

If you added up all the cost of all five of our bikes and helmets and tools for packing and maintaining bikes on a trip, we might be able to reach half that amount, so we felt really good about our decision to start with the easiest route on Sunday.

The whole family rode "together" on a 4 mile portion of the right loop (Blue) on Sunday. Adam led the way and I brought up the rear making sure that everyone made it safely. There was great disparity in the rate at which Adam traveled and the rate at which Jackie traveled.

So much disparity, that we believe Adam and Carmen reached the 3.5 mile mark about the same time as Jackie and I reached the 1.5 mile mark. Becca was somewhere in the middle.

Jackie and I conquered the mountain air with lots of stops and walking up steep portions. We then found Becca at about the 2.5 mile mark, and forged ahead until we reached Adam and Carmen at the 3.5 mile marker where the trail split so we could all ride down the last half mile together.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lands Creek Log Cabins

We all headed for the south side of the Great Smoky Mountains for vacation this year. It saved on gas and other expenses associated with vacations like eating out and other entertainment.

We stayed at Lands Creek Log Cabins just North of Bryson City and loved it.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon and unloaded all our mountain bikes, clothes and snacks and climbed to the top of the hill to sit on a swing. Carmen, Adam and I road bike a little that afternoon and it didn't take long to find out that Carmen would need new brake pads if she was going survive all the trips. We went to town to buy groceries for the week and Adam grilled some steaks for supper.

After supper we watched some of the sunset from the porch, but later moved to the picnic table to play Phase 10 near the campfire.

Jackie wanted a campfire every night in order to have s'mores. We all enjoyed the warmth and light it provided as the sun went down in the thin mountain air.

In addition to having clean air to breathe, we also enjoyed some breathtaking purple mountain sunsets when a mountain storm wasn't blowing through. It was amazing to me how easy it was to start a fire with all that wind and I now understand how lightning strikes on a dry mountain can start a forest fire. Wind...

Rob and Sue and everyone at Lands Creek have done a marvelous job of positioning each cabin to be private for the family but sharing the same great sunset and ridge top views. We stayed in the Bobcat and loved it for a family of five.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Eighth Grade Graduation

Adam graduated from 8th Grade at LTMS. He was one of several students that were honored with the Presidents Academic Achievement award given to students meeting the President's criteria for all three years of middle school in terms of grades and in standardized testing.

He really enjoyed his social studies class because he got along with his teacher, Mr. Holliday (pictured on the left at graduation). I'm glad that this happened. We all need to understand and appreciate history if we have any hope of enjoying the significance of the presence and the impact of our decisions upon the future.

In addition to receiving the president's award at graduation, Adam also was chosen for "Best Hair" in the year book. We are so proud.

After a busy summer of baseball practice, games and tournaments and overlapping football practice for Tates Creek High School, we are sure that Adam will hit the ground running at Tates Creek High School.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Becca's Birthday

Becca got her ears pierced for her birthday this year. Emily went with her to the store to make it more like a party.

After the ear piercing party, Emily joined us all to watch Becca blow out the candles on her cake and open a few gifts.

Although Becca was hoping for a cell phone and expressing that hope often, she was thrilled with the volleyball net that is fun for the whole family.

She was excited about the ceiling fan that she opened up. The one in her room hasn't worked for quite some time.

The present that she opened with the most expression was from Emily. She picked out a pair of ear rings for her to wear after the long, long waiting period with the earstretchers that she got at the ear ring store.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Just yesterday, I finished trimming all the bushes, shrubs and trees around the house and was wondering what to do with the Bradford Pear.

As I was mowing the lawn, I was looking at the weight of what was left of the tree and decided that the tree was going to end up on the house one day if I didn't have a tree service come take it out.

Last night, I told Jackie that we were going to lose the tree and that we needed go ahead and get it removed.

This morning, while we were at church, or while we at Tony Roma's celebrating Mother's day, a thunderstorm took care of getting it down, placing it directly on the deck.

When the family walked into the kitchen after lunch, they thought some fast growing ivy had grown up on the deck while we were gone, but quickly ruled that out as something that only happens in the movies.

I've been wanting to open up the deck for several years, so I guess this will give me a summer project. I already had one project in painting the deck, doors, and other trim to match the new window color. I need more projects.

I saw it as a project, but Adam saw it as a chance to invent a new game called "tree diving". He's in the picture if you can find him. We all thought the "tree diving" game looked fun until I realized that each dive was applying more pressure to Jackie's azaleas.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Resolution of Craftsmen

I'm currently reading "The Craftsman" by Richard Sennett.

I read tonight about the conflict between the designer and the craftsman that occurred in Peachtree Center in Atlanta. The problem was that the designers used CAD to plan the whole thing and never visited the city to know it was hot outside in the summer. The community of craftsman fixed many of the remote ideal design flaws, but they couldn't fix them all.

I found it quite ironic that I struggled for a week with a very similar issue within one of the office complexes there several years ago. Overall, the combination of design and craft worked well there.

So here is Richard's section on conflicting standards, one of my favorites so far:

What do we mean by good-quality work? One answer is how something should be down, the other is getting it to work. This is a difference between correctness and functionality. Ideally, there should be no conflict; in the real world, there is. Often we subscribe to a standard of correctness that is rarely if ever reached. We might alternatively work according to the standard of what is possible, just good enough-- but this can be a recipe for frustration. The desire to do good work is seldom satisfied by just getting by.

Thus, following the absolute measure of quality, the writer will obsess about every comma until the rhythm of a sentence comes out right, and the woodworker will shave a mortise-and-tenon joint until the two pieces are completely rigid, needing no screws. Following the measure of functionality, the writer will deliver on time, no matter that every comma is in place, the point of writing being to read. The functionally minded carpenter will curb worry about each detail, knowing that small defects can be corrected by hidden screws. Again, the point is to finish so that the piece can be used. To the absolutist in every craftsman, each imperfection is a failure; to the practitioner, obsession with perfection seems a prescription for failure.

A philosophical nicety is necessary to bring out this conflict. Practice and practical share a root in language. It might seem that the more people train and practice in developing a skill, the more practical minded they will become, focusing on the possible and the particular. In fact, the long experience of practice can lead in the opposite direction. Another variant of the "Isaac Stern rule" is : the better your technique, the more impossible your standards. (Depending on his mood, Isaac Stern worked many, many variations of the "Isaac Stern rule" on the virtue of repeated practice.) Linux can operate in a similar fashion. The people most skilled in using it are usually the ones thinking about the program's ideal and endless possibilities.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What's up with Carmen

Last Sunday afternoon, I spent what seemed like hours watching Carmen polish off the last few kinks of parallel parking so that she could pass her driving test during the week. She was "fearing the worst" like a good student or athlete, but it was hard for me to see any "hope for the best" coming from her even though I knew it was there.

She has now taken to the streets, driving herself to two volleyball practices and I'm hoping that this will take a dent out of our gas expenses with less running around for Jackie.

This weekend, Jackie and Carmen headed to Louisville for a volleyball tournament. They stayed overnight with Alice and Sierra. Carmen and Sierra are playing for the same TEVA 16-3 volleyball team and have lots of history to share together even though they play volleyball for different high schools and haven't spent much time together for the last eight years.

Prior to playing volleyball, Carmen and Sierra performed in some of Jackie's musical performances at church, as I recall, Sierra was a louder singer than Carmen but both were outstaged by Adam's antics.

Years before digital cameras, Sierra attended some of Carmen's birthday parties and those pictures are available to be scanned some day.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Our whole family just got back from the movie theater where we enjoyed Ben Stein's movie.

Well, enjoyed is not really accurate. I was absorbed. Absolutely absorbed.

Adam, Carmen and Anthony got bored with it before the end, but Carmen kept answering questions out loud with her opinion throughout the movie well past her boredom stage so I know she didn't disengage completely.

I'm not sure where Becca stands on her review, but I'll figure that out in the next few days.

If you have an active brain, you need to watch this movie. If you believe in freedom, you need to watch this movie. If you believe in education, you need to watch this movie. If you are under 20, you may be bored with Ben Stein's pace and dry humor, but go anyway.

I just looked at his blog and apparently there are many people that feel strongly about his views and the movie: Ben's Blog

Saturday, March 29, 2008

After third round, Cardinal chances still looking good

An alert reader revealed the fact that I was not counting Ohio, Illinois, Virginia and West Virginia in my Cardinal stats. Each of these states share the Cardinal as their state bird along with the ones that I have lived in: Indiana, North Carolina and Kentucky.

Welcome Xavier, WVU and Kent State to the Cardinal stats.

We know that at least one Cardinal will fall today when Louisville plays UNC...

Remaining Teams
Cardinal 33% 4 Louisville, UNC, Davidson, Xavier
North Carolina 67% 2 UNC, Davidson
Ohio 50% 1 Xavier
Kentucky 33% 1 Louisville
Tennessee 25% 1 Memphis

Wins Losses Penetration
Big Ten 5 4 R1: Indiana
R2: Purdue
R3: Wisconsin, Michigan State
SEC 4 6 R1: Kentucky, Georgia, Vanderbilt
R2: Arkansas, Mississippi State
R3: Tennesse
West Virginia 2 1 R3: West Virginia
Indiana 3 4 R1: Indiana
R2: Purdue, Butler, Notre Dame
Illinois 0
Virginia 0 0

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Second round strips Indiana of its State Bird

I'm not sure how Butler, Purdue and Notre Dame all ended up losing in the second round, but they did. Butler's loss to the only remaining SEC team was particularly embarrassing.

I had lunch with a UofL graduate today and he seemed to think Louisville's chances in the tournament were unrelated to their Cardinal status. We'll see.

Second Round Teams
Remaining Teams
Cardinal 50% 5 Stanford, WKU, Louisville, UNC, Davidson
Kentucky 67% 2 WKU, Louisville
North Carolina 67% 2 UNC, Davidson
Big Ten 50% 2 Wisconsin, Mich State
Tennessee 50% 2 Memphis, Tennessee
SEC 17% 1 Tennessee
Indiana 0% 0

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Indiana University let me down yesterday

I went to bed last night with great confidence the coachless Indiana University Hoosiers could come back against the champion of the SEC conference, but was disappointed this morning to find that they couldn't pull it off.

Indiana was the only team in Indiana to lose, and the only team in the Big Ten to lose. Indiana and Kentucky were the only teams in my "Cardinal Connection" group to lose.

I used to wear a shirt that said I cheered for two teams: "Purdue and whoever plays IU", but last night they really let me down.

I'm still a believer that this is the year of the Cardinal. Eight teams left... but I think the second round could give the state of Tennesee a chance to move up a few notches in this list.

North Carolina 100% 3
Cardinal 80% 8
Big Ten 75% 3
Indiana 75% 3
Kentucky 67% 2
Tennessee 50% 2
SEC 50% 3

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Adam heads to Washington

Adam left Thursday night on a school field trip to Washington, DC. They drove all night and had a tour of the White House on Friday morning to start out a three day weekend. Adam's Uncle Keith planned on walking down to see him on Friday but it was raining.

The two of them hooked up on Saturday: Adam in DC

As I read Keith's blog about him buying Adam an Oreo McFlurry, my mind raced back to the evening that we spent with Keith's friends during 2001. That evening, Adam made chocolate milk shakes for about 10 people and climbed all over everyone. I think he thought he had about four extra Uncles.

In 2001, Carmen was tougher than Adam as she demonstrated by wearing shorts on a cold day.
In 2001, Adam's hair was the same length as his Uncle's.
2001 was only seven years ago....

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Six Lanes of Slush around Six Flags, St. Louis

I made a trip to Rolla, Missouri on Tuesday to speak to the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and the interview some candidates on Wednesday morning. As I headed around the Southeast side of St. Louis, the traffic crews closed the roads while they cleared trucks off the hills near the Six Flags exit of I-44. I migrated my way around several tractionless trucks and stopped at the St. Louis Bread Company to have lunch and read 300 emails that had accumulated in the first six hours of my trip.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Bradford Pear: Designed to break

While we were in Nashville a few weekends ago, there were strong winds there overnight. Apparently those same winds made it to Lexington on Sunday morning and pruned a Bradford pear tree in our back yard.

It took Adam, Becca and I two weekends to get this cleaned up, but it is done now.

I cut up small branches for Becca to carry to the front yard, but I couldn't get her to stick at it very long. The only way I could motivate her to help was to suggest that she play a game with Buster while moving the sticks.

Adam, on the other hand, motivated himself in a couple of different manners. First, the opportunity to use a hatchet and second, the potential of creating a fire.

The picture on the right side is the "fire pit" after it sat outside a week in the rain. Obviously, he never got around to the fire part.

Now to the question... Why would God design a tree to break?

These trees are the beautiful flowering variety that are found all over the commonwealth of Kentucky. Yet, in every ice storm or windstorm they are the first to go.

We purchased our house with one in the front yard, but it collapsed before we moved in. Inspecting the bark, a neighbor pointed out that this particular branch had started to fall away years ago.

This is the tree that the kids climbed and swung in while they were growing up and I was always telling them to be careful with all the contraptions that they put in the tree because of its weakness.

Looking back on the two weekends of work to remove the branches, I now think I was wasting my breath with the kids. Although these trees were designed to break, knowing that a half damaged branch could sustain that much weight through the torque of many storms, makes me believe there is nothing the kids could possibly do to damage a 20 year old tree with weight or leverage from swings or stands.

I'd still like to keep Adam's hatchet and fire away from all of our things in our yard.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Pictures from Aunt Helen's Photo Album

Cardinal Connections in College Basketball

I've only lived in three states. All three have two things in common, basketball and state birds. This restricts my mobility, but it does give me a unique view of the top 17 college basketball teams in the country. ( BTW, those youngsters at Purdue are hanging in there....)

I think the nation should be watching out for Louisville, they have a multiplying Cardinal factor. The might even get cubic cardinal points if you consider the fact that Louisville has a high concentration of catholic residents.

Rank Team Record State Cardinal Connection
4 UCLA 25-3 CA
8 Stanford 23-4 CA Mascot
15 Connecticut 22-6 CN
11 Georgetown 23-4 DC
12 Indiana 24-4 IN State Bird
14 Butler 26-3 IN State Bird
16 Purdue 22-6 IN State Bird
17 Notre Dame 21-6 IN State Bird
6 Kansas 25-3 KS
13 Louisville 23-6 KY State Bird & Mascot
26-2 NC State Bird
7 Duke 24-3 NC State Bird
9 Xavier 24-4 OH
1 Tennessee 25-3 TN
2 Memphis 27-1 TN
5 Texas 24-4 TX
10 Wisconsin 24-4 WI

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eby Family Heritage

Converting Dad's slides to digital pictures was a lot of fun and I sent DVDs to my cousin Gene Klein. Gene went up to his Mom's recently and took these digital photos of Aunt Helen's photo album.

These photos of my Dad (Kenneth) with his pet cow and my Grandpa (Charles Victor) with his mules explains at least partially why Becca loves animals.

I wish I had a bigger picture of the old mules or workhorses.

Thanks for sharing these, Gene!