Dilated Thursday, Sep 25 2008 

Dilated

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:

http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=87706a0e04b5856c

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.

~MB

Peacock Eye Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

21 July 2008
When Marita Beth & I were married nearly 13 years ago, she put together an amazingly beautiful service replete with beautiful clothing. We also had a number of accessories custom-made for the event. One of those things was a simply gorgeous fan that Marita Beth wore on her girdle; and since we wed in August in Texas in an outdoor amphitheater, it quickly became utilitarian as well as beautiful. This is a close-up of the peacock feather used to decorate the fan:
Eye of the Peacock
That fan now decorates a wall in our living room and hangs from the pommel of the swords under which we declared our vows. It’s still beautiful, and a fabulous reminder of the happiest day of my life.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 27 July 2008 )

Listening to:
Tonight I Wanna Cry by Keith Urban
from Be Here

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

Eye and Glasses Sunday, Jun 15 2008 

14 June 2008
Yesterday was chock-full. I left the house early so as to not be in the way when MB had a customer come over, and watched the Spain v Sweden match at No Frills Grill. Spain won 2 minutes into stoppage time with a brilliant solo effort from David Villa who is quickly earning his €40 million valuation (ok, so nobody is really worth that, but this kid is on fire!). MB called soon after the game was over, so I went back home and picked her up because I had shopping to do, and she wanted to go with. So, Wal-Mart was where we headed because a) I knew they had what I needed and b) I knew they had it a decent price. From there we went to Target to purchase a new suitcase for me and a new MP3 player. The suitcase is SwissGear, a brand I trust and the MP3 player is a Creative Labs Zen. I refuse to plunk down the money for a locked-in proprietary system like the iPod (even though secretly I’d love one and would never turn one down if offered to me). By then, it was lunch time. We headed toward one Tex-Mex location only to discover it was closed; and while looking around, that seems to be what’s happening on South Cooper street. A lot of what used to be hot restaurants have abandoned their buildings leaving parts of South Cooper a ghost town. Reworking our plan, we drove further south on Cooper street to El Arroyo where we each had food & a margarita while watching Russia beat Greece. Greece is now out of the tournament which is a sad surprise since they are the current holders of the tournament title. An accident just outside the restaurant didn’t allow for a graceful exit when we were done, so we drove around the back part and emerged near Kohl’s where MB was insistent we went. I think she was in shopping mode and reluctant to let go. So, three new shirts for me later, we emerged. I should be well-dressed for my upcoming business trips. We left there bound for home, but something in Marita Beth registered and she said, “Hey, let’s take you to the optometrist, he’s just around the corner and they might be able to take a walk-in.” So, we went at 4:30 on a Saturday expecting, realistically, to make an appointment and leave. Instead, Dr. Quan Pham saw us (me). An hour later, and several hundred dollars, I left without my contacts and sporting a new pair of glasses. The reason? I have conjunctivitis in both eyes and an additional bout of carititis in my left eye. I have been prescribed steroid/anti-biotic eyedrops and been instructed to not wear my contacts for a week. Great, just as I was headed on business trips, suddenly, I am forced out of my comfort zone! Luckily, the glasses are sporty.
Eye & Glasses
See? Now, I just have to get used to wearing them all the time and not forgetting to put my drops in my eyes. If you look at the photo, you can see that my right eye is riddled with veins and a mite swollen. That’s the conjunctivitis (pink eye); it’s a communicable, bacteria-fed infection of the conjuctiva. Yeah. Sucks.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 15 June 2008 )

Watching
Ratatouille on Starz

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.25 sec (1/4)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire