Anderson/Hatgidakis/Nelson/Metcalf: Newsletter

Old news: July 2009

Back to Newsletter

Grandma
7/31/09

Happy Anniversary, Karen and Brent!!


The Hatgidakis Family
7/31/09

Happy Anniversary Brent and Karen!
Amanda
7/30/09
Hmm... We should all try to do the ghost tour together. Weíve talked about it before... What does everyone think?

Grandma and Donna and I went several years ago. It's an evening bus ride around Lincoln with a tour guide up front with a microphone telling the stories. The stories are all "true," whatever that means, so some of them are creepy and disturbing -- and for that reason they don't allow kids on the tour. Just FYI. --Gary


Gary
7/30/09
The local weather-guy actually used the word "chilly" to describe this morning's weather. I wouldn't say chilly myself, but it is cool and very nice out there. Get outside if you can, Lincolnites, and enjoy it.

August still stands between us and the best part of the year (i.e., September-December), but there are signs of fall already. For one, tickets go on sale August 13 for the Lincoln Ghost Tour. Dates are October 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21, and tickets are $10 each. You can order them over the phone with a credit card from Here & Back Again (817-4177), a little gift/candle/incense store at Indian Village (which is where the bus tour leaves from). Tickets do go fast!


Donna
7/30/09

Happy Birthday, Sean!
Ryan, Amanda, Tristen & Teghan
7/30/09

Happy Birthday Sean!
Livy
7/29/09
Hey everybody!!! Amanda--I can't believe I didn't put that as their theme song on the webpage! I wasn't thinking!! I even heard that song the other day when I was in hyvee and starting singing to it and thought of the boys!! And that's funny--dad mentioned to me about going to Worlds or Oceans of fun before school starts, just to do something... So I was thinking about going to Oceans of Fun with somebody, since school is just around the corner! How was Worlds of Fun??

Speaking of school, I got my schedule today too... Not excited about it, but whatever. School has to start sometime I guess :/ It's not the classes, as much as the teachers. I have geometry, career ed/health, toddlers/infants, biology, french 2nd year and english. Those are my classes, in order I think...

We took Shadow to the vet today to get two shots, and he did great! No whining, just layed there. Took but 10 seconds. So he is 3 months and a week today. Training classes start tomorrow at Petsmart and couldn't be more excited!! I taught him how to sit and lay down and we are currently working on shake and stay... I just wanted to get him started before the classes start, kind of be prepared. Anyways, that's all I had to say so I'll talk to you all later!!!


Happy Birthday, Sean!!

P.S. I was just wondering if anybody heard about the Mars thing? On August 27th?

Sorry, Livy, but the Mars thing -- the email rumor that Mars will approach extremely close to Earth on August 27 and be as big as the Moon in the sky -- is not true. Mars never gets that close to Earth. If it ever did, we would have serious problems -- and probably only a few days to live! There's a website called Snopes.com which keeps track of rumors and urban legends, and is a good place to check on whether something like this is true or not. (Scroll down to #10 on that page to read about Mars.) It would have been cool to see Mars up close, though! :-) --Gary


Grandma
7/29/09

Happy Birthday Sean!!!!!
Amanda
7/29/09
Livy, love the pictures! Evokes a little song in me: doesn't matter if you're black or white....
The Hatgidakis Family
7/29/09

Happy Birthday Sean!!!!!!
Nelsons
7/29/09

Happy Birthday Sean
Livy
7/28/09
Hey everybody!!! Sorry I haven't been feeling very good lately and that's why the pictures of Shadow haven't been put up yet... But I have them now!!
Marsha
7/28/09
Livi, I am happy to hear that you have a new dog... love the name. Everyone wants a picture!
Gary
7/28/09
Are you a William Shatner fan? A Conan fan? A Sarah Palin fan? If so, you've come to the right place, as they all come together here:


Amanda
7/27/09
We're driving to Kansas City as I type, going to Worlds of Fun. Tristen rode with her friends family. We'll spend the whole day there & go back home tonight. The girls spent the whole weekend at the lake with my mom. Actually they went on Thursday & didn't get home til last night. They had a blast & got lots of sun! School starts in almost 3 weeks, wowza! We're trying to live it up these last few weeks! And Donna I haven't forgotten about them spending the night.
Karen
7/24/09
Gary -- I did notice, just didn't want to complain. I DO appreciate your taking care of the web page.

Quiet week here. Erika is at a friends for a swimming party this afternoon. Tomorrow we are going to Brent's nieces wedding reception.

Livy how is Shadow doing? You need to send in a picture of him.


Gary
7/24/09
Man, I forgot to change the page today, and nobody noticed! I slave over a hot computer all day, and that's the thanks I get....

Kidding...! Today's page up now. :-)


Gary
7/21/09
Here's a nice tribute to Walter Cronkite (plus a critique of current journalism). And here is a bunch of cartoons on the same subject.

And here is a series of photos that need no comment: Sarah Palin, who hates the "gotcha" journalists, out on a fishing trip with...journalists.
Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3

Love that last one. Kinda says it all, about her and about the media.


Gary
7/20/09
Note to Donna: We were wondering the other night whatever became of Ted Turner, and I just now happened to run across this article on him. I like his comments on CNN's "Headline News" ("Headline News used to be straight news anytime you wanted it. Itís unwatchable now. Itís heartbreaking.") and remote controls ("I have 25 properties and the remote controls for the TVs are different for every one. Why canít they put the mute button in the same place?").
Karen
7/20/09
I should remember where I was 40 years ago, but I don't. Haven't been doing too much lately, getting into the summer mode. Emily, Erika and I did go to the new Harry Potter movie last week. A must see for all fans -- very good movie. Marsha -- that train sounds great -- wish it was coming through SC. I'm loving this summer weather, broke a record last week-end -- low of 49.
Gary
7/20/09
Remember where you were forty years ago today? (Those of you who were around at all, that is.) You were probably glued to a TV somewhere, watching an astronaut step out onto the Moon. If someone would have told you that forty years later nothing much would have come of it, you would have thought they were crazy. We all expected that people would be vacationing at the Lunar Hilton by 2009. Seems like NASA kinda dropped the ball....

And speaking of NASA dropping the ball, you know the original videotapes of Armstrong setting foot on the Moon? That priceless historical record of our first interplanetary spaceflight? Yeah, it seems NASA taped over them.... I thought it was a joke at first too, but it's true. They taped over them! The mind reels. Fortunately, CBS News kept some grainy copies that have been restored somewhat, so thank them for the footage you will be seeing today. Asked about the erased tape, a NASA official said, "We all wish that somebody had said, 'Those tapes are special, let's put them aside.'" Every time I think I have heard the stupidest thing ever, somebody proves me wrong.

And speaking of stupid, you will probably also be hearing today from the "the moon landing was all a hoax" crowd -- those people who think that, for whatever reason, the "landing" was faked and filmed in a warehouse somewhere. As often as this theory is debunked, those people never seem to get the idea. We did go to the Moon -- six times between July 20, 1969 and December 7, 1972 -- and twelve astronauts have walked (and driven) on its surface. If the hoax-theorists need proof, it is proven every day, like this: The astronauts left highly reflective metal plates on the lunar surface, and every day scientists aim laser beams at those plates to get precise measurements of the Moon's distance. Oh, and also they brought back rocks! Rocks that are unlike those found on earth.

Happy Moon-day, y'all!


Gary
7/19/09
Another contribution to the reviews page. Thanks, Livy! (And I agree -- you would definitely enjoy this movie more if you see the first one first.)
Livy
7/18/09
Hey everybody!!! I have been needing to get on here... I have some news... We got another puppy!! We got him Saturday so itís been exactly a week since weíve had him. His name is Shadow, and he is a border collie-golden retriever mix. Dad thought of the name when he was following me everywhere around the house when he said ďdonít close the door, your shadow is behind youĒ... and it just stuck to me. Iím trying to get some good pictures of him and send them in. He is now 14 weeks old, so almost 4 months. We got him from Pet Doctor over on 66th street and they said he was probably one of the smartest breeds when it comes to like training. We didnít really think of getting a dog from Pet Doctor (we never have) but we saw him and fell in love with him!! He is 20 lbs (the size of max) and growing fast! Literally, it takes him a minute to eat, we donít know if he even stops to chew!

There were 3 brothers at Pet Doctor (Shadow being one). He was the most docile and the one with the least white on him. He is all black with white on his chest and stomach. A white patch under his mouth and one white toenail on each foot. He has huge paws to grow into as well. He slept a lot when we first got him, but he is sleeping less. Max loves him! At first he was kind of weird that we got another dog but now he just plays with him until they both fall over! Max can still be a little jealous of him but we donít think he will ever get over that.

Shadow is supposed to get up to around 75 lbs and about 20 inches tall. He looks like a border collie but when heís full grown he will be the size of a golden retriever. He doesnít like to be away from anybody for too long, whether itís people or Max, he doesnít like to be alone. He didnít like his kennel at all the first couple nights, but now that Max sleeps in the kitchen with him, Shadow is ok. Iím going to be taking puppy training classes with him at Petsmart. Iím still training him at home, but I want him to be ok with other dogs around also... and I think thatís all I had to say... Iíll talk to you all later!!!


Gary
7/18/09
And Emily's been to the movies, too! Thanks for the review, Emily.
Gary
7/18/09
Livy, thanks for the avalanche of reviews! :-) Summer is great, isn't it?
Marsha
7/17/09
Anna and I just returned from the St. Paul train station where we saw the Disney train promotion of The Christmas Carol. It is really chilly here so it felt like December. It is a four car train that you walk through and see the portraits, books, memorabilia, etc. from Dickens' novel and scenes from the movie. It is very Christmasey in there, right down to a fireplace and "feast" from Ebenezer. We had our photos taken and morphed into one of the characters from the movie (me, Scrooge and Anna, Tiny Tim). After the train tour you go into a large tent and are given some 3D glasses to wear to watch a promo of the movie (WOW), great effects and sound. It was fun to have some Christmas in July. All free, not too long and kinda cool to get some Disney magic in town. The train itself is blue with white snowflakes, looks beautiful! I recommend it!
Donna
7/16/09
Looks good, but what channel? I hope it's on regular TV and not cable.

Coming this fall to NBC. --Gary


Gary
7/16/09
Me again. I don't normally get my hopes up when I hear about some new TV show coming this fall -- because, like all of us I think, I've been let down oh so many times. Haven't we, now? It's OK to admit it. But this one could be a winner. It's from the same people that did "Arrested Development" (one of the funniest shows on TV, ever!), and it stars Joel McHale (from "The Soup" and a frequent guest on Keith Olbermann) and Chevy Chase. It's called "Community." Check this out:


Gary
7/16/09
Batten the hatches, Lincoln dwellers: Thunderstorm headed this way, due to arrive in about two hours (say, 10 or 10:30 am).

Hey, you probably heard this news story, but if not here it is: A guy in New Hampshire went to a convenience store and purchased a pack of cigarettes (like around 5 bucks I think?) with his Visa card. When he got his next statement, he was shocked to learn that the amount charged to his card for that purchase was $23,148,855,308,184,500.00. That's right, over 23 quadrillion dollars, which is about 2000 times the U.S. national debt. Oh also, they also added a $15 "overdraft fee." :-) Obviously a glitch somewhere, and he won't have to pay it off, but still... Check your receipts!

John sent in this link (thanks, John!) for the Disney Christmas Carol Train Tour, which is arriving in St. Paul tomorrow and will be in Omaha August 28-30. It's free, and is promoting the new "Christmas Carol" movie starring Jim Carrey which opens November 6. A little Christmas in July (and August) sounds like a good idea!


Gary
7/10/09
With the weekend coming up, may I offer two amazing videos for you to view at your leisure?

This first one is called "Women in Art," and it morphs together a series of portraits from the past 500 years (to the music of Bach's Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major).

And this one is a commercial from Thailand for Pantene Shampoo. It is about four minutes long, and they pack an incredible story into it. It's like seeing an entire movie in four minutes. The music here is Pachelbel's Canon in D Major.


Karen
7/10/09

Another big thunderstorm in SC this morning. Got an inch of rain in less than an hour -- hope it ends soon. Had a pretty good trip home yesterday. Just a back-up outside of Omaha, had to sit in traffic about 30 minutes, otherwise a good drive (with NO rain). Got home about 6:30 -- all went to bed early (except Emily who went to a movie). Had a great time and good to see Gary. We'll have to come again soon to see everyone else.

I saw that storm on the weather map this morning, headed straight for Sioux City. It's like SC has a target painted on it lately! --Gary


Marsha
7/9/09
Sorry I haven't written, but our computer wasn't picking up the signal to connect to the internet til tonight (thanks for fixing it, Mark). Sam and I had a great time in Lincoln, thanks to everyone there for the food, fun and fine hotel accomodations due to Livi, Tristen and Teghan. We had a brief but very enjoyable time in Sioux City.... the Palmer's Candy Shop is amazing (my co-workers enjoyed the bag of chocolate covered peanuts) and the Lewis & Clark sights are really terrific, wish the center would have been open. Thanks for having us Nelsons! It was also great to see Emily's school. Mom, I'll bet you are looking forward to some time in your own bed without a couple of pesky houseguests (by that I mean us.) It was a nice trip back, we went up 29 through South Dakota which I really enjoyed because I have never been on that road and across MN on 90. When we got to Fairmont MN it began to rain so we had lunch and got back on the road, then more rain was pelting down so we stopped at the outlet mall in Medford and killed an hour or so, and were home by 5:30. Anna was over the next day (she loved the caramel apple from Palmers) and Zach is over tonight, Sam and I made some pizzas and I hope John and I can watch one of Gary's movies :)! John kept all of the plants outside watered and they look amazing. Thanks again for everything!!
Gary
7/9/09
Thanks to Karen and Emily and Erika for driving down to Lincoln this morning. Very convenient, too, as it saved Grandma from having to hitch-hike back, in the rain. :-) I met up with the travelers at lunchtime, which we enjoyed at Valentinos.

So Grandma is home now, going through her mail and clearing off her TiVo, and the Nelson group (minus Brent, who I understand was looking forward to Long John Silver's take-out tonight) is headed back to Sioux City.


Karen
7/9/09

We are getting a pretty heavy storm. Had planned to be leaving at 8:30, but now we are waiting until 9:30. Hoping it will be done by then.
Gary
7/9/09
Heads up, Sioux City: Big thunderstorm on the way toward you (arriving about now actually -- 9 am), so drive safely! Looks like you'll be out from under it once you start south, but you might get rained on going to the car. :-)
Gary
7/8/09
Okay, I have made the changeover on this page. Note that the textbox where you used to write your newsletter items is gone. Now you just click on the "Post them here" line, and your email program should open up. Please give it a try to see if it works for you. Once I know it works, I will change the recipes and reviews pages. Not sure how we will handle the Oscar voting yet... But I have 242 days to figure it out.
Amanda
7/8/09
Grandma, sounds like you're having a busy visit! You haven't been gone long, but Sean will be glad to have you back, he went to your house for Tuesday night dinner last night. I guess he didn't get the memo! He texted me to see where everyone was & I invited him over for dinner with us...
Karen
7/8/09
Donna -- we are going back Thursday afternoon/night.
Donna
7/8/09
Karen, how long are you going to be in Lincoln? Are you spending the night Thursday?
Gary
7/8/09
We have a saying here at work for those businesses that try to put a good spin on reduced service: "For your convenience, we've made it more difficult." It seems our friends at Windstream (my internet provider and host of this website) are now doing just that. I've been informed that soon I would have to pay extra to use those textboxes like the one above that allow you to send items to this page (and the recipes and reviews pages).

So I'm working up an alternate method of sending stuff in, which will work by email. It should function more or less as the textbox does. I should have a working version of it up by this afternoon. Stay tuned!


Gary
7/8/09
Thanks for the updates on the Sioux City adventures. Sounds like Brent is back at the office now...? Glad he's feeling better.

And thanks to Marsha and Sam for making the long trip! We all had a great time and it was excellent to see y'all.


Karen
7/8/09
Had another fun day yesterday -- Marsha and Sam came over for a quick breakfast, then they headed back to Minnesota. The rest of us went to a couple of garden stores and finally a trip to Bomgaars. We were all dragging so we didn't do much else. Ended the day with a movie -- Valkryie. Heard from Marsha later in the day that they arrived home OK. Marsha and Sam thanks so much for coming and bringing Mom -- it was so nice to see you again. Enjoy your last day off. Today we are going to do shopping at the mall, then pick up Brent for lunch. The plan is go to Lincoln tomorrow. Probably take off about 9 and get to Lincoln around noon -- so if anyone is available it would great to see you.
Karen
7/6/09
What a fun day we had. Marsha, Mom and Sam got here right at noon. Had a quick lunch, then we went for a drive to the Riverfront. Walked around there for awhile (and it was getting hot). Next we went to Palmers Old Tyme Candy Shoppe -- it's a great local candy shop and it was very cool inside. Then a quick tour of Sioux City and home again. Had a lasagna dinner, then the 21 and over crowd went to the casino (Sam took a picture of Grandma at the slots -- so she will have to send it in). Finally we all went to Coldstone for an ice cream treat. I'll keep you posted.....
Ryan, Amanda, Tristen & Teghan
7/4/09

Happy 4th of July everyone!
Gary
7/3/09
Want to set off some fireworks early? Go here!
Karen
7/2/09
Did Sam and Marsha get to Lincoln yesterday? What are your plans for the week-end? Emily and Erika will be going to Saturday in Park on the 4th. I think Brent and I will be taking it easy. Brent is doing much better, but still tires easily.

Sorry, I meant to do a progress report here, but obviously never got to it. Yes, Marsha and Sam arrived yesterday around 4. Tristen, Teghan, Amanda and Ryan were over at various times through the day -- juggling swimming lessons and gymnastics and their various professions. Paul and Livy were there for dinner, and then we finished off the day watching an episode of "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency." Today Sam and Lindsey herded the rest of the girls to the manicure place for toenail and fingernail maintenance. Several shopping trips. Lots of daylight fireworks through the afternoon and evening. A couple of Valentinos pizzas for dinner, and then the whole crowd of us watched "The Wizard of Oz" on TV, re-casting it with family members. I don't remember them all, but Teghan claimed Dorothy, I was assigned the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Woodsman went to Sean (metal, you know). Everyone's plans for the 4th are all over the place, so I don't think there's any one central thing happening. I'm pretty sure I, and maybe a few others, are going to wind up in front of a movie on TV. Tomorrow night I think there may be some grilling going on for the evening meal. Tell Brent to take it easy -- he should cut his usual daily 10-mile run down to 3 or 4. --Gary


Gary
7/1/09
Welcome to July, everybody. Only 177 days til Christmas!

And a little further down the road, the Oscars are only 249 days away. The Academy Awards people have made two major changes to the system this year that will affect how you vote. First, it's possible that there may be no "Best Song" category. Each song now has to be given a rating when it is nominated, and if a song's rating isn't high enough it won't make the list. So, it could happen in a year of crummy songs that none of them make the grade.

The second and biggest change -- maybe the biggest rules change since the Oscars began -- is that the number of films nominated for Best Picture will be increased from 5 to 10. The idea is to give a chance to all those good films that don't make the cut. Of course, this also doubles the number of movies that can advertise themselves as "Nominated for Best Picture" -- which dramatically increases their revenue. But I'm sure that's just incidental....

So be aware that next year's ballot will look a little different.