Anderson/Hatgidakis/Nelson/Metcalf: Newsletter

Old news: August 2009

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Amanda
8/31/09
So that must mean it's just short of my all time favorite Wolf Blitzer quote, "so poor, and so black" while showing the struggles in New Orleans.

Ha! :-) Wolf Blitzer, the most over-rated "journalist" in America. --Gary


Grandma
8/31/09
Hope you are feeling better, Teghan!! And you also, Brent.

It really is a Fall day!! Karen, we did raise milo, it looks like corn leaves only much shorter. This time of the year it should have a fairly large seed head, little bead-like seeds, green turning to white, yellowish and usually red as it matures. People may eat it somewhere, but usually it is sold as animal and bird food. Birds really flock to the fields in the fall. Wouldn't be surprised to see it in your backyard, as there is lots of it in birdseed. ONLY 5 more days till the first Football game for Big Red. Stay well.
Grandma
8/31/09

Happy Birthday, Livy!!
The Hatgidakis Family
8/31/09

Happy Birthday Olivia!!!!!
Gary
8/31/09
On a lighter note, this morning is a beauty: cool and clear and feeling, at last, like fall.

NOTE TO OLIVIA: It is now your turn to own the Oscar for six months. I will leave it over at Grandma's for you, so don't forget to pick it up!


Gary
8/31/09
Well, it was four years ago right now that people finally began to see the Bush administration for what it was: criminally apathetic as they let an American city drown. Before Katrina hit, Bush's approval numbers were relatively high, and time after time the Democrats in Congress gave him whatever he wanted. Then there was this picture taken the day after Katrina hit, and then this picture a few days later, and then "heck of a job, Brownie," and then actor Sean Penn driving his SUV packed with food and water into "cut off" New Orleans days before the National Guard arrived. And then Keith Olbermann's very first "special comment." And people began to wake up to the sad reality of George Bush. It is now four years later, and more than half of the low-income black residents of New Orleans have not returned. In the 9th Ward, the hardest hit section of the city, more than 80 percent haven't returned. It still looks like this, as of four months ago.
Karen
8/30/09
Teghan, I hope you feel better soon :)

Busy day for us. Moved Emily back to the dorm. Emily had two guys to help with the heavy stuff, which REALLY helped. A spaghetti dinner was a very good trade off for the muscles. Poor Brent had a tough day yesterday. Had another bad reaction to some medication. Spent all day in bed and is still feeling achy.

Erika went to the first football game of the season for her school. She had a fun night. Mom, I forgot to ask you this morning -- but Brent found a plant growing wild in the yard. He asked me if I knew what it was. I think it is milo, didn't Dad always plant that? He was wondering if it is edible? Didn't Dad plant that for the animals? We have a cool day here too. I LOVE it!! Looks like it will continue for at least the next week.


Amanda
8/30/09
Well, we had planned on going to the Christmas Carol train this weekend, but Teghan got sick yesterday. Sheís not awake yet today, so Iím not sure how sheís feeling. Sheís got a cold/flu thing going on. She did absolutely nothing yesterday, poor kid. Motrin helps once it kicks in, so Iím sure sheís achy otherwise.

Tristen did go with Ryan & his dad to Omaha yesterday to the airshow at Offutt. It was just the 3 of them, they had a blast. It was almost chilly in the morning, which is CRAZY. No airshow Iíve ever been to have I been chilly. Usually itís hotter than the gates of you know where & youíre stuck out there walking on endless cement looking at dumb airplanes. I hope the weather stays this way because I feel the same about walking around at the fair & weíre going next Friday, could be our last time!

Anyone in Lincoln see the special section today with the football info in it? Very cool, weíll hang onto it through the season.

Grandma, Tristen tried to call you this morning to catch you before you went grocery shopping to tell you we wonít be there Tuesday for dinner. Since itís Livís birthday weíll go out with them. 15, yikes!


Gary
8/28/09
Answers to the photo game? Right here!
Gary
8/27/09
Okay, I deleted the Star Trek things below. I couldn't take the voices starting up every time this page was opened! Go here if you want to make one for yourself.
Amanda
8/27/09
Hey now! I was feeling better about getting all the changed items & now I'm feeling less accomplished. All skill levels..... Cha......

Well, dang, I slave over a hot computer all day to make those things, and you made it sound like you were just breezing through every one. :-) --Gary


Gary
8/27/09
Can I interest you in a little pre-Halloween creepiness? There's a new site where you can turn yourself into a Star Trek character. Here's me as a Romulan and a Vulcan:

[------------] [------------]

(I tried it as a human, but it made my forehead look big and weird.) To make your own, have a photo ready (where you are facing front) and click on "Create Your Own."

Or do you prefer the Simpsons? Here's me as a Simpsons character, created by the "Simpsonize Me" site:


Amanda
8/27/09
7 again, super fast, super easy.....

Yeah, this one might be the easiest. But remember, I'm trying to make these for all skill levels! --Gary


Tristen
8/26/09
Hey everybody!! The first day of school was awesome!!! All of my teachers are nice. And one of them is a native american and he is the coolest!! I like all of my classes. Here they are in order. (P1 means Period one)
P1--Social Studies
P2--Math
P3--Band
P4--p.e and computer switch every other day
P5--Science Lunch/Recess
P6--Health
P7--English and then schools out. That is my day everyday. (except saterday and sunday.)
Amanda
8/26/09
Grandma, our UPS delivery is in Omaha tonight, so it should be to your house tomorrow! You can even write on here once the receiving dock has confirmation of delivery. ;-) Iíll look on the webpage & send Ryan on over! Or call, whatever is easiest.

Gary, Tristen is writing on the webpage as we speak & she couldnít get the new email option of posting to work. It tried to open up a different mail program on her computer. Iíll have Ryan look at it, but just so you know, it didnít work for one person!

Hmmm. I don't think there's much I can do on this end. When you click on the "post it here" thing, it tries to open whatever email program you have on your computer. Or that's the way it should be working. I'll check it out ASAP. --Gary


Gary
8/26/09
So I waited at home for a downpour to pass before I headed in to work, and now sitting here in my office at 9 am it is again nearly black as night out there -- more rain on the way, so get out your under-brellas! (Was it Emily who used to call them that?)

I just found this really beautiful computer-art video. When you need a break, give yourself a soothing three-and-a-half minutes of this:

(Put your cursor on the screen and click the four arrows just left of the word "vimeo" if you want full screen; hit the Escape key to return. And make sure your sound is on for the music!)
Gary
8/26/09
Sad day, and one for the history books. Teddy Kennedy died this morning, as you've surely heard by now. They're calling him "the last knight of Camelot," and it does sort of feel like that to those who remember the whole saga. My own memory goes back to when the first Kennedy brother (not counting the eldest Joseph, who was killed in WW2) ran for President -- when I was about Tristen's age. So John, Robert, and Edward have been a strong presence in American politics for my whole life. I still think of Ted Kennedy as the "baby" brother, and am still a little taken aback when I see this elderly white-haired guy instead of the "young" Teddy. His leadership was responsible for more important human-rights-type legislation than any other senator in our time, and perhaps in history. Voting rights, women's rights, civil rights, health care -- he was always on the right side of the issue. He was even one of the very few who voted against the war in Iraq, when almost all the other Democrats were happily voting for it. (Ditto the war in Vietnam, forty years ago....) It is really the end of an era today.
Amanda
8/24/09
Totally easy when itís your own house! I got all 7, woohoo!
Karen
8/24/09
I found six differences this morning. Haven't been writing as much, but do still read it every day. Back to school and not as much time. School is going well, although poor Erika was already loaded down with homework tonight.

Emily is still home, moves back to the dorm on Sunday. She and Jack went to the Omaha zoo last week.

Homework should be banned! If I were you, Erika, I would just not do it for the rest of the year in protest. --Gary


Gary
8/24/09
Yeah, the conversational activity on this page is much lower than it used to be; but I just assume people are busy and aren't checking in as much.

I would have reported on the first day of classes if I had been there -- but I took the day off today. Seemed like a good day to burn a vacation day. The campus began to come back to life last week, though -- it always kind of takes me by surprise to have 20,000-some extra people around suddenly. :-)

See you three tomorrow night. I hope your classes go well, Ryan!


Amanda
8/24/09
Grandma, me & the T's WILL be there tomorrow for dinner. (and here on out I assume unless I let you know otherwise!)

Everyone is a little shy when it comes to posting anything to the webpage! Even you Gary, I expected a kids back on campus report today! Ryan started his first class at UNL at 3:30, he was excited!


Lindsey
8/21/09
Oh and I forgot! I also started a new job at the State Patrol in the Sex Offender Registry where Amanda works!
Lindsey
8/21/09
Hey all!
Wow I had a lot to catch up on on the newsletter. Been a busy couple of months for me.
Me and Matt got all moved into our new house. Still got some unpacking to do but love it so far! It's nice to have a big fenced in backyard for the dogs. We're right behind an elementary school so there's a big field across the street from us. We're on a dead end street so it's nice only having one close-by neighbor.
Also started classes back in July and already halfway through and signed up for classes next semester which starts in October!
Also some other big news, we got a new puppy Sunday! He's a Golden Retriever, 6 weeks old! We named him Tucker. Got him at a farm out in Beatrice from a guy who's been breeding them for 14 years. Even had a few ex-husker coaches get puppies from him! I'll have to get some of my pictures up of him!
Livy
8/20/09
Hey everybody!!! Well today was the first day of school for me. It was all right, it's the whole getting up early thing I'm not used to yet. I have one class that has freshman, it's like half freshman half sophomore, that's just my french class. I have geometry, career ed./health, biology, lunch, infant/toddler, world history, french 2nd year, and finally english. In order that is my whole day.

Lunch is the only thing that kinda sucks though. Every Tuesday I get out of school at 2 instead of 3, so I end up eating lunch at 10:30 in the morning. Every other day I eat at 10:45. Kind of a weird time to eat.

So school is all right, nobody loves it, so not many complaints so far! That's all I had to say so I'll talk to you all later!

Livy, just think of it as breakfast. Would that help? :-) P.S.: We've got a new game on the front page next week starting on Monday -- but be sure to check it on Wednesday! --Gary


Karen
8/20/09
Teghan you look sooooo happy to be back in school!! Tristen -- we have a kindergartner with your name this year -- first time ever!

School went pretty well for me -- just tired now that it's over. This year I was asked to help in the kindergarten and 1st grade. So that will be a bit different, but should work out. Once again enrollment is really down. I think we will only have about 65 kids in preschool through 6th. Poor 3rd grade class had only 3! I do wonder how much longer the school can keep going.

Erika's first day seemed to go well too. Happy with her schedule and locker location. The one major drawback is the construction. There are 4 different detours to get to her school (and it's only two miles away). So that was a major pain!

Wow we are getting a big storm just now -- really pouring......

We've had a beautiful day today -- almost but not quite a fall day... --Gary


Donna
8/20/09
Great pictures! They look so happy to be back at school. ;-)
Gary
8/20/09
First day of school pictures from the big day yesterday. Thanks, Amanda!
Amanda
8/18/09
Grandma, I'm SO sorry there was miscommunication between us for dinner tonight. Apparently I didn't write on my last note that we wouldn't be there tonight, that it would start next week! Tonight is the night before school starts & we had no dance, gymnastics or Ryan class so we stayed home to have a nice normal night in of packing backpacks, lunches & doing nails. Sean says you have lots of leftovers, dang!! Again, I'm sorry!!!!

Girls are ready for school, we did open house last night at both schools, Tristen got her locker opened first try, got her schedule & found her classes. Teghan met her teacher, Mrs. Meier, who is new to Kahoa this year. Teghan has lots of people she knows in her class, so she's very excited about that. Anyway, it's off to bed for them I gotta go read with Teghan!


Karen
8/18/09
Tristen, Teghan and Livy have a great first day of school! Hope to get reports tomorrow. Erika and I still have one more day off. Gary -- I really enjoyed the game last week -- hope to see more soon.

I have another week's worth ready to go. Check back Monday! --Gary


Ryan, Amanda, Tristen & Teghan
8/18/09

Happy Birthday Zach!
Donna
8/17/09

Happy birthday, Zach!
Grandma
8/17/09

Happy Birthday, Zach!!
Nelsons
8/17/09

Happy Birthday Zach
Dad and Mom
8/17/09

Happy Birthday Zach!!!!!!
Gary
8/17/09
One of my favorite Seinfeld scenes is in episode 7 of season 7, where Kramer goes into Sherlock Holmes mode to guess George's bank password -- which, thanks to the power of the various internets, I can quote here in full:
JERRY: Oh, come on, just tell me your code already. What is it?
GEORGE: I am not giving you my code.
KRAMER: I'll bet I can guess it.
GEORGE: Pssh. Yeah. Right.
KRAMER: Oh, all right. Yeah. Uh, let's see. Um, well, we can throw out birthdays immediately. That's too obvious. And no numbers for you, you're a word man. All right, let's go deeper. Uh, what kind of man are you? Well, you're weak, spineless, a man of temptations, but what tempts you?
GEORGE: Huh?
KRAMER: You're a portly fellow, a bit long in the waistband. So what's your pleasure? Is it the salty snacks you crave? No no no no no, yours is a sweet tooth.
GEORGE: Get out of here.
KRAMER: Oh you may stray, but you'll always return to your dark master, the cocoa bean.
GEORGE: I'm leaving.
KRAMER: (building up steam as George bolts for the door) No, and only the purest syrup nectar can satisfy you!
GEORGE: I gotta go.
KRAMER: If you could you'd guzzle it by the gallon! Ovaltine! Hershey's!
GEORGE: Shut up!
KRAMER: Nestle's Quik!
GEORGE: Shut up!
The password of course is (anyone? anyone...?) "Bosco."

I bring all this up to refer you to an article I just read on changing your passwords. We all know that a whole-word password like Bosco is easy to remember but also fairly easy to break. A series of random letters and digits is the strongest, but also hard to remember. This article offers a really good idea for getting around that:

One way to create a password that's hard to guess but easy to remember is to make up a phrase. You could type in the entire phrase (some sites let you use spaces, others don't) or you can use the initials of each word in the phrase, for instance, "IgfLESi85" for "I graduated from Lincoln Elementary School in '85." An even better one would be "MbfihswE&S" for "My best friends in high school were Eric and Steve."
Full article here.
Emily
8/16/09
I had fun with the pictures, I would love to see some more!

Stay tuned! --Gary


Amanda
8/15/09
Gary, those were a lot of fun! Except I bet no one commented on the last one because once they saw the picture of Teghan in the picture they were freaked out. Thatís like some scary story freaky lady appears in the mirror nonsense! Thanks for doing that!

Thanks for the kind words. It was fun putting it together. I've got some more photos lined up for the same treatment, so unless someone objects we could do this again as early as the week after next (the 24th). --Gary


Gary
8/14/09
You want the truth? You want the truth?!? You can't handle the truth!! Or, what the heck, maybe you can. Here are the answers to the Photo-Spot game.
Gary
8/14/09
So, today's picture was either too easy or too hard -- no one's talking about it. :-)

Classes start August 24 here on the campus and next week is the official move-in week, but already today there is lots of activity. All the students who need to be back early (band, sports, dorm staff, etc) are moving in today. More life than we've seen on campus for quite a while!


Karen
8/13/09
Marsha, cool site -- I hadn't seen a white deer before.
Marsha
8/13/09
This is something you won't see every day......
Grandma
8/13/09
I finally found all 7 today, but it took a while. Eww, a bat in the fireplace, I had a dead bird by the birdbath this morning and that was all I wanted to deal with! Amanda, you have Tuesdays lined up pretty well this year. Be happy to provide a stopover and supper. Me and Teghan had a good time yesterday. I felt pretty good when Ryan came and she said "Why did he come so soon?" Jay stopped in while she was here so they had a chat as well. As usual, he asked about every one of you! I want our cool weather back.
Karen
8/13/09
I finally got all 7 today! Hot and humid today -- plan to stay inside rest of the day. Days of summer vacation are quickly disappearing, but I'm ready to go back.

Haven't been doing much at all. Guess the only excitment was another bat in the fireplace......


Donna
8/13/09
I'm getting better, six today, but no perfect score yet...

All mysteries will be revealed soon, when I post the answers this weekend. :-) --Gary


Amanda
8/12/09
Ha, just got it, 7!
Amanda
8/12/09
I also only found 6 today, but today was my best day! The other days were both 4 I think.

Grandma, you might have semi-permanent Tuesday night dinner guests soon. We signed up for dance & gymnastics (Teg--taking a break from dance gonna commit to gymnastics for awhile) and on Tuesday nights Tristen has a break at dance from 6:15-7:30. So, we'll have time to kill in your neighborhood & we might just pop on by. Of course you guys eat at 6, so we'll really just beg for leftovers or bring fast food & use your table, unless you all slip to 6:30... Ryan has computer lab from 6:30-8:30 so he won't be around.

A week from today, school for Lincoln kids! Summer went insanely fast!


Emily
8/12/09
I found all of the differences yesterday. So far Mom and I have only been able to find 6 today.

The wedding was nice. There was lots of Coldstone ice cream cake, but no flannel...


Livy
8/11/09
I found all 7 in both pictures! I've been practicing from the sunday paper!! ;)

Way to go, Livy! And thanks for the new review. --Gary


Gary
8/11/09
Those of you who appreciate the signs of Fall approaching (as I do), here's the latest: The Husker football tickets arrived today. First game is three weeks from this Saturday. Woo-hoo!
Karen
8/11/09
Geez, I found 4 yesterday and just 5 today -- We have a cat that snores (the crawl) always funny to hear Cocoa. Grils and I are heading to mall this morning. Hoping to finish the school shopping. Erika and I go back on the 20th. I have a breakfast with the teachers on Monday to get the schedules for the year.

Be sure to see tomorrow's front page. You might have a slight edge. :-) --Gary


Grandma
8/10/09
I do believe I found 7 differences on the front page pictures.

Congrats! You're the first to claim victory. :-) Though Tristen & Teghan, as I said below, have not only found the seven differences on this page, but also found all the differences on the four photos yet to appear. --Gary


Donna
8/10/09
Great front page today! I can only find 4 so far. I may need T&t to help me. ;-)

Between the two of them, they found all seven when I showed it to them on Friday here in my office. I don't plan to post the answers until this weekend, but I will have links to the previous days on each new page -- so you can go back to the earlier ones all week. Tune in tomorrow for Day 2! --Gary


Grandma
8/10/09
Yes, Emily, I want to hear about the wedding too! Did you wear flannel?
Marsha
8/9/09
Hey Emily, so your boss got married and you did go to the wedding...how was it? (Besides being over 100 and way too hot.) They had a beautiful spot for the wedding. Anyway Em, let us know if you had a good time. We have sure had a busy time since Marie passed away. We are working on getting her apartment taken down and so forth. Thanks for the cards Mom and Nelsons. John is doing pretty well, even though you come to expect it, it is still a shock.
Emily
8/7/09
Cute pictures! Mom and I were just noticing it looks like Teghan got a haircut, or maybe we just haven't seen her in awhile?

I was just noticing I haven't written in in awhile. Our summer hasn't been too busy, but doesn't seem like it should be time to be going back to school. Mom and Erika go back in a few weeks. My classes start Sept. 2nd. My summer classes finished last week, and I am looking forward to a month without school. :)

Yes, I did get a haircut, in like July or June. --Teghan


Amanda
8/7/09
Great pictures! I love the 3rd one (Teghan ) & the last one (Tristen). I wish I could take fun pictures at work!

Sorry, Mom, you need a Mac computer. We just got back from lunch. I had a hot dog and I loved it. Teghan had some pasta and ice cream. --Tristen


Gary
8/7/09
Silly pictures now up!
Karen
8/7/09
Teghan, what silly pictures did you take? Maybe you can send them to the web page. John Hughes -- hadn't realized he made so many movies, lots of my favorites. Feels like summer again, may get to 100 before the week-end is over. Emily will have to be in the heat this evening. She is going to a wedding at the Riverfront Pavilion (Mom, Marsha, and Sam -- we walked around there when you were here). Now that gay marriage is legal in Iowa, Emily's boss and her girlfriend decided to get married. Should be an interesting evening. Haven't been doing much else this past week -- well I guess we have been watching lots of TV. Brent got a nice raise and bonus so he decided to spend part of it on a 32" flat screen TV. So nice! Put it on the mantel and we were able to get rid of the big bulky tv stand.

We took some pictures on Gary's computer camera and maybe we can put them up later. --Teghan


Amanda
8/7/09
You guys need to get to work! Don't you know when you work for the state Friday is the most productive day?

Sorry, Gary just has no work. Plus work is boring. Later we're going to the cafeteria for lunch. --Tristen


Teghan
8/7/09
We took some very silly pictures. I am looking at Tristen's picture.
Gary
8/7/09
Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Home Alone. Uncle Buck. Baby's Day Out. The Breakfast Club. Weird Science. The Vacation movies. John Hughes made them all, and many more, and he died yesterday. He made the kind of movies you tend to watch over and over (I can't imagine how times I've seen Ferris Bueller, or PT&A) so I imagine a lot of people will be watching his movies this weekend.

Watch this space for news from the campus today. Tristen and Teghan will be spending the day with me at my office. Stay tuned!


Amanda
8/5/09
We didn't watch American Idol last year at all, no time. But, we won't be watching this year. It's not that I loved Paula that much, but she was 1/4th of the reason we tuned in. I could live without Randy, so he's not included in the 1/4th, but I like Ryan & Simon & then the last 1/4th is just the dynamic of the show with her, especially Simon & her. So, bye bye AI!
Grandma
8/5/09

Happy Anniversary, John and Marsha!!
Nelsons
8/5/09

Happy Anniversary John and Marsha
Gary
8/5/09
It's official. Long rumored but now fact: Paula Abdul is off American Idol.
Gary
8/4/09
In honor of the President's birthday today (HBTY, BHO), I would like to treat you to a 7-minute rollercoaster ride through crazy town. You're certainly aware by now of the "birthers," those people who insist in spite of all facts to the contrary (like a legal birth certificate, two separate birth announcements in local papers, and an American mother) that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Last night, Orly Taitz, the leader of the birther movement (or at least the loudest talker in the birther movement) was on MSNBC to be interviewed by David Schuster about the "Kenyan" birth certificate Taitz produced which was proven within hours to be a crude forgery. This was the result:

Taitz identifies herself as a lawyer AND a real-estate agent AND a dentist. (I'd like to see her birth certificate, by the way...)


Grandma
8/3/09
Amanda, sounds good to me. See you tomorrow night!
Amanda
8/3/09
Grandma, if you think youíve got room we might come over for Tuesday night dinner tomorrow. No swimming lessons, no dance, no school, itís amazing, we have a night of free time!
Grandma
8/1/09
My sympathies to the Hatgidakis's for the loss of John's Mom yesterday. I'm thinking of you.
Ryan, Amanda, Tristen & Teghan
8/1/09

Happy Anniversary Brent & Karen!