Only The Cat is Real Tuesday, Sep 30 2008 

Only the Cat is Real

30 September 2008

Artemis loves stuffed animals.  I know that’s kinda weird, and I probably wouldn’t believe it myself if she didn’t provide so much proof.  Today, left to her own devices, this is where she chose to take her morning nap.

Kyle and I brought this stuffed plush border collie home from our last trip to Scotland.  I think I’ve written about it before, probably because it was in a photo with Artemis!  But, this is a new spot for him—and consequently, for her.  I am so amused.

Still sick, by the way.  But, I am down to just one little page of notes about what numbers my accountant still needs.  I just sent her off with another box of “stuff” and I feel pretty good about that. 

I did find a very happy article online at the Galveston Historical Foundation’s own website:

It tells beyond all shadow of a doubt, that this year’s Dickens on the Strand Festival is ON!


Old and New Tuesday, Sep 30 2008 

Old and New

29 September 2008

This is totally one of those “doh!  It’s bedtime and I haven’t taken a photo” photos.  I’ve been pretty under the weather with this nasty cold or whatever it is, that reared its ugly head on Thursday night, and set in with a vengeance on Sunday.  Not thinking clearly.  Forgot. 

We bought new telephones in June right before I went away and I’m still learning how to use them.  Consequently, I still keep the old ones around, too, even though most of them no longer work.  As I searched for something to photograph, I was struck by how different these two phones are in their similarity—old on the right with the big antenna.  Then, after taking the photo, I realized I have a great photo of Kyle and I in Victorian garb in the background of the photo.  Cool. 

Did I mention I was sick?


Goggle Monday, Sep 29 2008 

26 September 2008
A day of wonderment, excitement, trepidation, worry & some fear. This is the day that I have been waiting for and saving for. This is the day I have LASIK performed.
Last Saturday, I filled out an online form at my chosen LASIK physician; by Monday, I had an appointment for a consultation, and if necessary, a pre-op. Everything in the consultation and the pre-op went swimmingly so the very next day, I scheduled a 4pm appointment to have my eyeballs cut open and reshaped. So, on this 26th of September, my wife took me to work where I did the necessary things and finalized a few outstanding issues, then she came back and picked me up just around 1500. I took the proffered Valium they had given me and settled into the drive. We arrived at the Dr.’s office where Matt greeted us and almost immediately put some flushing drops in my eyes. A couple of rounds of that, and 15 minutes or so later, they called me to the back. I put on my little hair cover, kissed my wife and went to the back. Eight minutes later, I emerged to a clear but fuzzy world and my wife took me home. I won’t go into the procedure, but suffice it to say it was not nearly as pain-free as I had been led to believe; however, it certainly wasn’t as painful as it could have been. I mean the eye is a very sensitive part of the body, right? I slept for a couple of hours with my goggles pulled tight about my head – they gave me goggles to wear so that I don’t rub my eyes in my sleep. When I got up, the little amounts of light in the house were painful, and watching TV was an absolute no-go. I took the suggested sleeping tablet and went back to bed after taking a photo.
Goggle Lens
Let me suggest to you all. On the day you have LASIK surgery, do all your photography before the procedure. With the Valium & the sleeping tablet & the pain & the world being fuzzy/hazy, I had to rely 100% on the camera knowing what to do, because I sure couldn’t tell.
I have to wear these goggles for another 3 days, then I hope to turn them into some sort of Steampunky yumminess.

~KR (Written on 29 September 2008 )

Listening to:
On Your Porch by The Format
from Veronica Mars

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.6 sec (3/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Gooner Blanket Monday, Sep 29 2008 

25 September 2008
A couple of years ago a co-worker showed up at my cubicle with a present. A wonderful, unsolicited, beautiful present.
Arsenal Throw
She had been to an Estate sale over the weekend, and espied this fantastic blanket which she snapped up for a measly $2.00. She knew that I’m a Gooner and that this blanket would be headed to a fine home. In the summer & fall months, the blanket covers my office chair. In the winter & early spring months, the blanket migrates to the living room so that I can huddle under it while watching Arsenal destroy whichever team it is they are playing on that day.

~KR (Written on 29 September 2008 )

Listening to:
Hot, Hot, Hot!!! by Cure
from Galore

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 1 sec (1)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Left Hand Milk Stout Monday, Sep 29 2008 

24 September 2008
I’m writing this nearly a week late, and frankly, I can’t remember anything about this day. I obviously took a photo of a beer bottle; but I don’t even remember drinking it (no…not because of drinking it).
Left Hand Brewing Company Milk Stout
Shrug. Oh well.

~KR (Written on 29 September 2008 )

Listening to:
I Hear the Bells by Mike Doughty
from Haughty Melodic

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.04 sec (1/25)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Ice and a Pink Straw Monday, Sep 29 2008 

Ice and a Pink Straw

28 September 2008

I have been surrounded by old receipts and file folders for days.  We’re coming up on a tax deadline, and I cannot believe how many hours I have in this project.  Arrggghhh!

After a long, boring day of shuffling and filing paper, Kyle took me out for Tex Mex and a margarita.  My photo is of that margarita.

“Mr. New Eyes” is pretty darned pleased with himself these last couple of days.  He has already used the words, “life-changing.”  The redness that’s left in his eyes tonight isn’t much worse than what would normally result from a long day in his contact lenses.  Today, he went down to NFG to watch part of the Cowboy game (ouch!) with Terrill,  and apparently, at one point in the game, Terrill asked “Mr. New Eyes” to tell him the score, ’cause he couldn’t read the screen himself.  Kyle could and did.  I’m so happy for him.  One more follow-up appointment on Thursday, and then he’ll be done with the antibiotics and all that really remains is for him to simply enjoy seeing!


Purple Coffee? Monday, Sep 29 2008 

Go Frogs!

27 September 2008

Kyle had his follow-up exam this morning, and the doctor said everything looked great.  The redness in the whites of his eyes, is normal, and is lessening every hour.  He is already seeing now, about as well as he ever did with his contact lenses.  Amazing.

We went out this evening, to Pappa’s Burgers on the West Freeway to attend a TCU game-watching party.  We met my long-time friend Mark, and we enjoyed the company of a hundred-plus TCU fans, to watch the Frogs get pummelled by OU.  It wasn’t pretty.  We had fun, though, and a great burger!

I took this photo of Mark holding the bag of coffee, late in the evening, after hope was gone, and I was looking for a distraction from the TV screen.  A woman at an adjacent table had won the java as a door prize, and since she can’t have caffeine, offered it to us.  I expect it to be much more dark and bitter than I usually prefer, but hey, it’s purple! (The bag is purple; the beans, sadly, are not.)

The following links are to a couple of absolutely wonderful, heartwarming stories about Galveston and the ongoing recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

Enjoy the read!


Obsolete? Saturday, Sep 27 2008 


26 September 20008

National Punctuation Day!

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

‘Why?’ asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

‘Well, I’m a panda’, he says, at the door. ‘Look it up.’

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. ‘Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.’

Ba-dum-bum.   Also, a great book titled after the punchline of that joke, is Eats, Shoots and Leaves:  the Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.  Kyle and I both loved it!  A fun, educational read.

Yay!  Finally, a second source of information stating that Galveston will host its annual Dickens on the Strand Festival in December 2008!

I was beginning to get worried that the decision had been made too quickly and confidently, and that reality would be harsher.  But, it seems, at least, that the optimistic outlook is being shared with the media.  So, although I haven’t yet received the verification I personally requested via email, I’m going with the optimism!

Although not directly mentioning Dickens, this article is really well-written and seems to communicate better than any I’ve read, what’s really going on right now (or last week, at the time it was written).

The Y.E.S. Yahoo Group is growing nicely, and I’m hoping for a lively discussion on there regarding our attendance at Dickens on the Strand.

Today’s photo is of a handsome, but no-longer-useful pair of eyeglasses—Kyle’s.  He had his LASIK surgery today, and he is resting.  Each time he’s been awake throughout the evening, he seems to be feeling a little bit better.  He described feeling a lot more pain than we’d been led to believe he’s experience and the whites of his eyes are not white right now . . . they’re very red.  He said it felt like there was sand in his eyes.  We do have a follow-up appointment in the morning, so I will look forward to that.  Having the doctor look at him, and tell us all is well, will be what I need to be relaxed about it.  I was pretty stressed about the surgery today—but once we got there today, it was over so quickly that I didn’t really have time to worry.

Oh, and by the way, now I’m feeling a bit of a chest cold coming on—–grrrrr.


Dilated Thursday, Sep 25 2008 


25 September 2008

After meeting Kyle and a couple of his co-workers for lunch at Mi Tierra Latin Fusion Restaurant in downtown Arlington, TX (perfectly yummy, as always!) Kyle and I went together to his afternoon eye appointment.  I took this alien-looking photo of his left eye, while we were waiting for the doctor.

Not a great photo, I know—I was rushed, and for some reason I couldn’t hold still enough to get a good image.  And, of course, with his pupils dilated so drastically, Kyle was also having trouble not blinking for me.  But, the end result of the whole process, is that Kyle came through all the screening and testing with flying colours.  He is scheduled for LASIK surgery tomorrow!!!  He is so excited he can hardly stand it!  Saturday morning, he will wake up and be able to see the alarm clock!  The glasses we just bought him in June will become little more than a paperweight!  I just asked him if he’s nervous and he said ‘no.’

That makes one of us! 😉  I’ll feel better when it’s all over.

Galveston News:

We knew, of course, when Hurricane Ike first turned in toward the Gulf of Mexico, that our December plans could be impacted.  We watched with interest, then concern, and finally with fear, as the storm worsened and the projected storm path became clearly focused on Galveston.  We checked on our friends, offered beds and anxiously watched news reports as the storm surge  hit, and then as the wind and rain battered the coast.  And then, as the storm passed over Texas and headed northeast, we searched for news of damage.  Every day, even nearly two weeks later, we google words—Ike, hurricane, Galveston, historic, Strand, Tremont, damage, recovery, etc.—in various combinations, hoping for a news article, a photo, a blog entry, an interview—something—containing “new” news about our beloved Galveston and the recovery efforts going on there.

Here, on The Daily KRuMB, we’ve tried to keep our own readership up to date on our findings, by copying text, including links, and sharing tidbits of news we’ve uncovered.  Just recently, I personally reported two important bits of information that many of our friends were specifically anxious to know.  1.  That I’d been given the official word that the Dickens on the Strand Festival was indeed going to happen this year, and 2.  That the Mitchell properties, including the Tremont House Hotel, were planning to reopen on the 15th of October.

Unfortunately, as some of you now know, the second of those reports has now been proven false.  From what I understand, Ginger received word from the catering department, that the hotel would remain closed until after the new year begins.  Since this information differed from what I’d reported, she sent a query directly to her best contact within the Tremont Hotel management.  This is the response she got:

Hi Ginger, I hope all is well! It is true the Tremont is closed as the hotel sat under water for days. We have started demo to the ballroom and the hotel will follow in the morning. We lost almost everything on the first floor from the front of the house to the back of the house. We do plan on reopening by the first weekend of Mardi Gras. I can look at changing your sleeping rooms to the hotel Galvez when I return to work on Friday. This is a disappointment to all of us; as the Tremont is rich in the history of Galveston. I will contact you soon with our progress.

Marcus Hennigan
Guest services Manager
The Tremont & Harbor House Hotel Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

After further investigation, I found this, from from BOI Galvestonian Christine Hopkins’ blog:

This has been a very emotional time for those of us who love Galveston. While the media tends to focus on the devastation – there is also much progress being made daily.

I have this update to share… Apparently, our Oct. 15 reopening date for our hotels was too optimistic. Currently, the Hotel Galvez  has electricity, water and elevator service and a full restoration is underway. The hotel plans to welcome guests in early November. The Tremont House sustained relatively minor damage from Hurricane Ike but the restoration process is expected to continue until early 2009. Lastly, Harbor House also sustained relatively minor damage but the hotel will not be available to the public until early 2009. The hotel is currently housing those assisting in the island’s restoration efforts.

Since, Christine works for the Mitchell Historic Properties folks, and was my original source of the information about the October 15th date, I was glad to see her updated report.  Glad, and of course, very, very sad.

Much discussion will now need to take place among the group of us who have made Galveston Island our Victorian home away from home the first weekend in December for so many years.  I am currently trying to verify that the Dickens on the Strand event will indeed be happening, as I previously reported.  It does not require much imagination to think that if the Mitchell properties folks underestimated their recovery time, others, including the Historical Foundation itself, may have done the same.

One, poignant article, describes the personal, heart-wrenching devastation that many returned “home” to find:

On a positive note, it seems that some Galveston public schools will be re-opening on the 6th of October.  Life, for some, at least, will begin to return to something resembling normal.


Stephen in Stirling Tartan Thursday, Sep 25 2008 

Stephen in Stirling

24 September 2008

My photo today, is of our dear friend Stephen, modeling his brand new kilt and Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket.  He has wanted this thing for a very long time, and finally, with his income from the summer at Bristol, was able to make his purchase from Scotland at the end of the season.  It arrived this morning!  So, a little bit wrinkled from overseas shipping, but looking awfully fine—here it is!  The jacket is a yummy sort of indigo/navy blue, rather than black—a very fun change from the usual.  The kilt itself is made of a lightweight, Stirling Regional tartan.  It’s really a beautiful weave—I took a more close-up shot of it, too.

Stephen bought these beautiful pieces, knowing that they would be the main part of his attire for the Gingerbread Ball.  Unfortunately, the fate of the 2008 Gingerbread Ball is uncertain.


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