Friday, August 31, 2007

Many Thanks

Thank you to everyone who sent cards, emails, posted comments, covered classes, fed cats, and/or made "wake up" calls during my long drive to/from Baltimore. The funeral was a very sad event, although the turnout of hundreds of people was very heartwarming. And pretty incredible for a 94 year old woman - apparently many shared the opinion that she was a special lady! Everyone was given a unique memento, a rose named for Grandmom several years ago - the "Saint Etta" rose by Jackson & Perkins growers. This was the first time most of the extended family was together in 4 years, it was nice to catch up, share happy memories, and in general, celebrate a life well-lived.
Oh Dear God!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Today my grandmother, Etta Mohr, passed away, one month shy of her 94th birthday. She was the mother of 3, grandmother of 9, great-grandmother of 19 1⁄2 (one great-grand 'bun' is in the oven), and had 3 great-great grandchildren. She was the “image” of a grandmother – loving, adorable (all 4’ 10” of her), always ready with a kind word, and just a little bit naughty.

I remember special snippets of growing up with her – snapping green beans on the front porch, going down into her scary storm cellar where the big spiders lived, her yummy peach preserves, feeding the multitude of cats that hung around the farm, picking grubs off of tomato plants, a big 'ole tire swing in her front yard, the Brach's circus peanuts & gummy mints in her candy dish, and her fantastic baked beans – that always came with the jingle: "beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel, so eat your beans at every meal!”

I still call fuschias “the Grandmom plant” because they perpetually adorned her front porch (indeed, I had to go to a catalogue to find the real name to write here). I have one on my back porch every summer to honor her, tho’ sadly, I didn’t inherit her green thumb so their life expectancy is usually very short ;-)

Grandmom was the embodiment of unconditional love, and I was lucky to have her as part of my life for 45 years. There was nothing like one of her hugs! She died assured of the reality of a heaven that held her gardens, husband, and little dog Inky. I may not share her vision, but am comforted by the thought that she went quietly in her sleep, looking forward to reunions with loved ones. And in keeping with her slightly naughty nature, she asked to be buried in a red dress…like the one she was married in.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

River, schmiver

I'm considering heading back to Kentucky to hang out with the Creation Museumers and their ark. It just keeps raining and raining and raining and raining here. The weatherman tonight said to 'party like it's 1999 because the end is nigh.' He might be on to something.

Not that this is worrying at all to someone living across the street from A RIVER!!! I've been checking on-line for kittie water-wings, no luck yet. Intermitent email all day from Notre Dame, campus may have gone under already ;-) Could put a damper on this weekend's game...

As a follow-up to yesterday, here is the Branson interview from last night's Colbert Report. The buildup was more fun than the event, although it was admittedly a bit odd at the end:

Volkmar Fritz

Prof. Volkmar Fritz passed away earlier this week, after a long battle with Parkinsons. Drs. Gabriele Fassbeck and Jurgen Zangenberg will be presiding at the funeral next week. Prof. Sy Gitin, Director of the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, wrote the following obituary commemorating his life:
Prof. Dr. Volkmar Fritz died on August 21, 2007 at the age of 69 in Bad Schwartau, Germany, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his devoted wife, Anke, and four children.

Volkmar came to Israel in 1964 after having completed his theological studies in Tübingen, Berlin, Heidelberg, Bonn and Marburg, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1968. Interested in researching the Land of the Bible and the material culture of ancient Israel, he studied Biblical Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His archaeological supervisor was Prof.Yohanan Aharoni, and under his direction, Volkmar served as an Area Supervisor in the excavations at Arad in the Negev from 1965-1967. The results of that excavation became the central part of his Habilitation, which he earned from the University of Mainz in 1973, where he joined the faculty and was responsible for teaching Old Testament Studies. He was also instrumental in building and expanding the university’s library, making it one of the best in Europe in the field of Biblical Archaeology. Later, he was appointed as full professor in Old Testament at the University of Giessen.

Volkmar was committed in his research to applying archaeological data to the German tradition of biblical analysis, and as a result he made a significant contribution not only to combining the two disciplines, but also to creating a greater understanding between German and Israeli archaeologists. He was the first German scholar after the Second World War to obtain a license to conduct an excavation in Israel. Together with his Israeli colleague, the late Prof. Aharon Kempinski, he directed the excavations at Tel Masos in the Negev from 1972-1975, which made a major contribution to our understanding of the early history of ancient Israel.

Subsequently, he directed the excavations of Tell el-Oreme/Tel Kinrot on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee from 1982-1985 and conducted two small digs at Feinan in Jordan in 1990. During his tenure as Director of the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem from 1994-1999, he returned to his dig at Tel Kinrot. These excavations demonstrated that the site was one of the largest towns in ancient Israel in the Iron Age I, and provided important evidence for the Neo-Assyrian conquest of northern Israel in 733 BCE.

In 2003, he returned to Tel Kinrot for a visit, but he was already greatly weakened by the Parkinson’s disease that had begun a few years previously. Although he was unable to excavate again himself, he was happy in the knowledge that the work he had begun would go on in the hands of his former students from Switzerland, Germany and Finland, who are now responsible for the Kinneret Regional Project.

While Volkmar published a myriad of articles on various aspects of the archaeology of ancient Israel, a major focus of his research was on the architecture of public buildings, temples, palaces and domestic housing. Two of his most important publications dealt with these subjects: The City in Ancient Israel and An Introduction to Biblical Archaeology, both of which appeared in German and in English. To his credit, nearly all of his excavations have been fully published – like his reports on Kinneret: Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen auf dem Tell el-Oreme am See Gennesaret, 1982-1985 and Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen auf der Hirbet el-Msas (Tel Mašoš) 1972-1975 (co-authored with Prof. Kempinski). In addition, his last excavations, which were only begun 10 years ago, will be published in the near future. He was not only a productive archaeologist, but also wrote important commentaries on the Old Testament, like Das erste Buch der Könige.

Volkmar’s warmth, kindness and fine sense of humor greatly endeared him to all his friends. He gave generously of his knowledge and experience and took great pleasure in the successes of his students. He left an indelible mark on the field of Biblical Archaeology, and will be sorely missed by his colleagues and students.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cobert Report Tonight

Time's a tickin'.
Tonight the Stephen Colbert "Trainwreck" interview is on. The 'buildup' has been fun, since the interview was pre-taped (apparently some audience members let 'the cat out of the bag' to several newspapers). From last week's show, here's a preview for tonight's events:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Too Good to be True

First, congratulations go out to Alicia C. who found out that she got a Fulbright Fellowship to Bangladesh!! Gonna be kinda hard to get Vermont Cheddar there, but she's looking forward to it nonetheless ;-) Yeah Alicia!!

As to my exciting day...a Stargate SG-1 AND Star Trek marathon!! Does it get any better?? I had meetings and couldn't really watch 'em, but it did my heart good to know they were on ;-) (please note how I snuck my daily skeleton into the Star Trek reference...)

Today I found a petition by the NCSE (National Center for Science Education) to protest the Creation Museum (check out the Aug 12th posting below if you haven't seen the pictures from this place). I've included the website below if you'd like to post your signature:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Oldies But Goodies

And a new classic in the making ...

Study: Multiple Stab Wounds May Be Harmful To Monkeys

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Crystal Ball

You gotta check this out --

From 1994, a Dick Cheney explanation for why invading Iraq would lead to a "quagmire":

and his 2002 speech to the VFW as to why we MUST invade Iraq:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Simpsonized Sue

Seattle Visit

I just got back from Seattle and some family funtime. Tough duty -- great weather, shopping, visiting, a pedicure, gambling at a nearby casino, shopping, a Mac store, great food, coffee, shopping...

Sadly, in a moment of "inspiration", I decided to take the memory card out of my camera since I put it in my checked luggage -- thinking to myself that, should the camera be stolen, I'd still have the pictures. Only one flaw --I forgot where I put the card. So, pictures coming soon...maybe.

Monday, August 13, 2007

In Memorium

To mark (celebrate) the departure of Karl Rove, I've attached two images I recently found in my never-ending search for "Skeleton Action Figures." I'll include one with each posting from here on out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Prepare to BELIEVE !!


About 2 weeks ago we decided to take off after the summer NSF program to visit the Creation Museum. Why??? Because it's there. So, I decided to use this for the 'genesis' of a blog.

LIttle did we know the fun to be had. We drove down from South Bend and met up with a friend at Cinncinati's Medical School. Anne G, Jaime U. and Alicia C. are all pictured above standing behind a dinosaur with a saddle (since they lived at the same time as humans, we needed a way to ride 'em. Duh! )

Dinosaurs abound in this $10 million dollar facility, funded in large part by Coca Cola. Above we see two velociraptors scampering near a girl washing food. Below that, an animatronic dinosaur terrorizing innocent attendees.

Noah got some serious air time at the museum, bein' as he saved all the animals for the post-flood Earth. Fortunately he remebered to include...

...the dinosaurs. Young dinosaurs, so they wouldn't take up as much room for the 40 day trip (as they explained in a panel for those who wondered). And as for all those pesky people populating the Earth?? "Let them eat salt water" is apparently the take away message.

If you want to see more pictures from this trip and/or read some of the "documentation" provided throughout the museum on topics ranging from the origin of disease, to the proper role for women, to the genetics behind Cain's wife selection, go to: Museum Trip.html

or click on the "FUN PIX" link at the top of this page (under My Links) and choose "Creation Museum Visit."