Thursday, December 22, 2005

Xmas Artillery

M and R celebrated an early Christmas receiving many gifts from their parents, who decided that it would be hard to transport presents back and forth to Redlands. R received a bow and arrow from Santa Claus. But there was even more weaponry to come: M & R also received some money from their Uncle Rexie. W, although he identifies most closely with the pacifist Quaker religion, reluctantly allowed it would be ok if M & R were allowed to buy airsoft guns with their money. Within an hour of bringing the guns home, R managed to shoot out a light on the deck, learning a valuable lesson in physics. W also found that it was quite fun to shoot arrows in the backyard.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Renny Gets Braces Off!!!


After a harrowing 11 months, R was thrilled to get his braces removed today. He celebrated by eating some forbidden tootsie rolls with no worries of breaking wires.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

W Celebrates 47th

W celebrated his birthday by playing his bassoon in the Merawood orchestra. He did not wear a geocaching hat while playing, and in fact does not even know the coordinates of the concert hall, but he is aware that the closest cache to the concert hall is "The Savage Beast"

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Shock, Anger as Neighbors Raze Fence

With absolutely no warning, the eastern neighbors of WNMR removed the fence that had been dividing the properties. The fence had stood for over 10 years, and served the vital purpose of keeping Bingo from terrorizing the neighborhood.The only foreshadowing of the incident was the request of the neighbors for W & N to sign a permanent easement agreement to allow access to repair the fence. W & N had replied that no easement was necessary, they had no problem to allow access for repair of the fence. The next thing they knew, two men appeared and removed the fence completely. Apparently the easement was required to sell the house, and this was their way of solving the problem. So suddenly the eastern border of the Blume estate is fenceless, and W&N are pondering the next steps, feeling quite violated, as the fence apparently had been on their property.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Whirlwind W Week in Israel

Over the course of a week, W met his second cousin Dany Rasz in Haifa, visited the Golan Heights, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, placed his hand in the hole where the cross had been placed in Jerusalem, swam in the Dead Sea, and further integrated specialized software for a remote controlled catheter system with an Israeli firm. Purple and blue traces show where W travelled in Israel.

Meanwhile life went on in Israel. There was a border skirmish with Lebanon thirty miles away and Ariel Sharon resigned from his Likud party in order to further his goals of disengaging from the Palestinians.
Due to his recently sprained ankle, W traveled to Israel while walking on crutches and using a wheelchair in the airport. This provided a new perspective on travel, and aside from slowing things down a bit, was not too trying. W was thrilled to discover that upon removal of his cast in his hotel room that he could walk with only a slight limp and would no longer require the crutches. The hospitality of the company that W visited could only be described as fit for a king. As soon as W and his colleague got off the airplane, even before passport control, they were met by a company representative, who whisked them through security to a waiting driver. The driver drove them two hours north to Haifa, a medium size city quite similar to La Jolla, California. One difference from La Jolla was that there are a few hotels on the top of the hill, one of which, the Dan Carmel, is where W stayed. The view from the hotel could only be described as spectacular; the Mediterranean could be seen on three sides, along with the not too distant mountains of Lebanon to the north. W was additionally impressed to note that he had been put up in the “Marc Chagall” suite; his room contained four Chagall prints signed by the artist.

The first evening W and his colleagues were invited to a dinner in the “German Colony” portion of Haifa to a very nice restaurant called 1867. With one exception, every restaurant that W went to during his stay in Israel had a security person sitting at the front. The next day W visited Biosense Webster Israel, which was the actual purpose of his trip. He called Dany Rasz, who is one the two sons of Aunt Leah, and found out that Dany Rasz owned a company only 300 meters from Biosense, and also that Dany had done some contract work for them. The evening featured a very sumptuous dinner at a restaurant called Neptune. A huge fish was served on a platter along with all manner of Middle Eastern salads and spreads, and other seafoods. None of the Biosense workers appeared to practice kosher eating practices, and indeed were thrilled to be eating shrimp and scallops.
View of Haifa, with W's travels overlaid

W’s weekend plan had been to rent a car and visit Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, but the Biosense representatives offered some tour possibilities and discouraged the idea of traveling by private car, so W and Paul took them up on this. Thus on the weekend W took a tour of Bible sites around the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights, followed the next day by a drive to the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. The Golan Heights was the most interesting to W, as he could see Syria and Jordan across mine fields and hear a lot about the history of the area from a veteran of the Six Days war. W began to space out on all the places that Jesus had been, feeling lucky that Jesus had only lived to age 33 or else he would have had to visit more places with the tour. Still there were interesting things to learn, how Jesus had traveled from Nazareth to Caphernaum so that he could preach where he wasn’t known simply as a carpenter, how there were so many Jewish laws that they could only be represented by the number of seeds in a pomegranate, and that the mall in nearby Haifa was nicknamed the “Scud mall” because that is where Saddam’s scud landed rather than on the oil refinery that it was aimed for in the Gulf war.

The drive to the Dead Sea was long but interesting as the crammed van (18 tourists) passed through some West Bank areas along the border between Jordan and Israel before arriving for a very brief visit to the northern end of the Dead Sea. W took a quick dip and found it saltier and cleaner than the Great Salt Lake of Utah. W revels in healthy Dead Sea mud

Then it was off to Jerusalem. W finally understood the big conflict there. Apparently Mohammed blasted off to heaven in almost the exact same place as Jesus, and the Romans destroyed the original huge Jewish temple that stood in almost the same place. The famous Wailing Wall was the only thing left where the temple had once been, and meanwhile the Muslims had gone ahead and built a mosque on top of it, since Mohammed had gone to heaven there. But this seemed to W to be the only thing that protected the Wailing Wall, since if somebody blew up the wailing wall, they would also blow up the mosque, and vice versa. W decided to slip a prayer in the wailing wall simply hoping that Muslims, Jews, and Christians could live together in peace. From there it was up the street to follow Via Delloroso, which is the road that Jesus carried his cross up. At the top was of course a church, apparently controlled by Greek orthodox Christians that contained the actual location of the crucifixion, and the burial place of Jesus (he was entombed and then resurrected three days later). At the coordinates of the crucifixion there was a shrine and a small hole that a person could put his hand into and feel the place where the cross had supposedly been pounded in. W wondered if he would receive any revelation as he inserted his hand, but came away with no grand spiritual awakening, but it was Saturday (Shabat), which is the holy day for Jews, rather than Sunday and perhaps this prevented any communication from getting through. No sooner had W walked away from the crucifixion than he was upon the site where Jesus had been encrypted. In contrast to other sites, this site had a long line required for visitation. After about 15 minute wait in a surging/pushing line, W finally was ushered in, but almost as quickly he had to be hustled out because somebody lit too many candles. A holy guy came rushing in to get the candles, and then there was a wait while more holy people went back to purify the area, and then W was allowed in. Finally, the tour was led to a german church, populated with actual Germans (in Israel?), this church was the place where Jesus had his last supper. This was simply a room, surprisingly bare of adornment, and with some Muslim writing and ancient (ca 500 AD) german graffiti in it.

Picture shows Efraim(?) (son of Dany), W, and Dany Rasz

W’s visit with Dany Rasz was extremely interesting. Dany met W at Biosense and they had lunch together at a nice seaside restaurant. W learned that Dany’s father Ernst had been an outstanding inventor and had come to Israel in 1934. There he invented some kind of device that could detect water underground using some kind of seismic analysis. The device was of enough interest that the King of Jordan invited Ernst to dinner in Jordan and they sat down together in a huge tent and ate food on the ground in the Arab manner with their hands. No slouch as an inventor himself, Dany took W to his company and showed him some of his own inventions which were extremely impressive and comprehensive, covering a wealth of technologies. W was most impressed by a video of a wheelchair that could go up and down stairs, using a very clever mechanism embedded inside the wheels.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Walter off to Israel, sprains ankle!

Walter has left for Israel. Unfortunately, shortly before leaving for Israel he sprained his ankle badly. It happened not because he was leaping for joy, but rather because he was retreating rapidly from the possibility of a swarm of stinging yellowjackets. W and N had noticed the strong evidence of a yellowjacket nest in the backyard, but were unable to find it due to thick weeds. W made the unwise decision to tell Renny about it. R, despite repeated commands from his father to cease and desist, could not resist, and raised a stick and beat the bushes where the yellowjackets were. At the same moment, the famous dog Bingo was being held by W so that he wouldn't unleash nerve-shattering barks at the 7 year old neighbor kid who was innocently asking "what'cha doing". W attempted to retreat rapidly with the dog in hand and as he came down some steps managed to severely sprain his ankle. Badly enough that he thought it might be broken and so it was off to the emergency room. There W received x-rays and a temporary cast and some crutches. W is looking on the bright side. He did not get stung. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 31, 2005

Bingo goes trick or treating

Bingo dressed up as the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Renny went as a mugger, carrying a tire iron, which proved surprisingly effective in drumming up about 10 pounds of candy.

The next evening began a storied Blume tradition. Torch the pumpkins! Here we see R torching his hand as well, but he survived the incident without incident.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Renselaer Nearly Reaches 10 mph

R ran an incredible 6:01 mile in his PE class, perhaps the fastest in his class. He averaged a speed of 9.97 miles/hour in his rush to the finish line.

W To Travel To Israel

After three years of working with the Johnson & Johnson owned company Biosense, W, who does not go by the nickname "Dubya", will finally visit the company headquarters in Israel as part of an ongoing software integration project with Stereotaxis. The company is located on the outskirts of Haifa. In related news, the president of Iran noted yesterday that Israel should be wiped off the map.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Marcel Exceeds Mach 0.0118 in X-Country Meet!

Marcel, a slight latecomer to the Webster Groves High School cross country team, surprised himself and other observers as he turned in a 15th place performance in his first cross country meet, the Webster Groves Invitational . Exhausted from his blistering 20 minute 50 second performance (a 6:42 min/mile pace, moving at over 13 feet/second, or approximately 0.0118 the speed of sound), M felt after finishing as if he was going to pass out, but maintained conciousness to enjoy his medal and a drink of water.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


After a long battle, victory has been declared over the washing machine. The washing machine had become so slow at filling that laundry sessions were becoming epic in nature. After attempting once to figure out how to open the back of the washing machine, W had pretty much decided that he wanted no part of the frustration inherent in attempting a repair, and was ready to buy a new washer. N remained unconvinced and spoke with some friends who advised her to buy a highly corrosive substance called CLR that is used to decalcify the supply lines. W knew that this was no time to desert from the battlefront, so he resumed his struggle with the back cover of the washer. Eventually the back cover yielded to reveal the relays controlling water input valves. W removed and soaked the offending parts in CLR, but to no avail. The part, when reinstalled produced the same slow trickle of water as before. W then turned to cyberspace and found a place that sold valves for 20 year old Whirlpool washing machines. Two days later the part arrived, and miraculously, it actually fit in the washing machine, although it looked quite different from the original. But even better, the washing machine now gushes effusively on all three settings: cold, hot, and warm.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Renny Eschews Jazz Band

R, despite landing a coveted jazz band spot, rejected the opportunity, having little enthusiasm for jazz band. Attempts to convince him otherwise fell on deaf ears, and it is apparent that the only remotely possible tactic might be that of reverse psychology.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Renny Lands Spot in Jazz Band

Renny's trumpeting abilities landed him a spot in the audition only Hixson jazz band. R is unsure about doing jazz, but recently tried playing his trumpet upside down in class, so has no trouble improvising. This puts him in a league with Miles Davis, who used to perform playing his trumpet backwards, facing away from the audience.

Marcel First Chair Percussion

Marcel's percussion audition earned him first chair responsibilities for the Webster Groves High School concert band. As he put it, "I am the best of the worst.". What he meant by this is that he did not make it into the more prestigious Wind Ensemble (no freshmen did), but managed to be in the top of the second tier, still a nice accomplishment.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Nichole has C4-C5 "encroachment"

This never before seen photo reveals Nichole's spine in all its glory. You can also see a small portion of her wondrous brain at upper right. N has been having some pain from slipping and falling on an oily spot in a parking garage on May 20th. Since this incident, N has noted tingling that goes down her arm when she tilts her head in a certain direction. She was recently imaged, and the radiologist noted some "encroachment" in the C4/C5 area. W was unable to actually distinguish this on the MRI, but managed to make a pretty picture out of it (Click here for larger view).

Friday, September 30, 2005

Saab clutch woes

WNMR were nearly stranded in Alton Illinois as the Saab began to have trouble shifting. Somewhat miraculously, the clutch lasted until W pulled into the driveway at home and then completely failed. W rolled the car back out the driveway and parked it. The Webster Groves police, having nothing better to do, efficiently gave W a parking ticket during the night for parking the wrong way on the road. W had to take the car to the mechanic three times to get the clutch fixed. The first time, W started the car and held the clutch in while talking to N. After about a minute, the clutch failed. The second time, W started the car and the clutch immediately failed. W fetched the mechanic, who started the car and showed W that the clutch worked perfectly. W in a state of confusion, couldn't make the clutch fail anymore so he drove home as the clutch continued to randomly not work. So W took it back one more time. This time the mechanic found the problem, and offered to drop the car personally off at W's house. W arrived at home from work to see his newly repaired Saab sitting in the driveway. Rushing to get ready for a boy scout meeting, he asked Marcel to check in the car to see if the keys were there. M checked, then came in the house to report to W that the car had rolled down the driveway and across the street over the curb. The mechanic had apparently not engaged the emergency brake very well. The clutch however, worked perfectly.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Marcel Gets Royal Flush in Poker

Incredibly, Marcel got a natural royal flush in Texas hold-em Friday evening. He received a KQ of hearts down, the turn came up with a 10 J, and the last card turned up was an A. He only won $2 on the hand because several players who had dropped out peeked over at his cards and could not contain themselves. W has never encountered a natural royal flush in a seven card natural game in his entire poker career, so this was fairly significant. W hopes that Marcel does not begin to believe that royal flushes are common.

Friday, September 16, 2005

W Joins Merawood Orchestra

W quickly lowered his bassoon performance expectations and found the Merawood Community Orchestra a bit more compatible with his skill level. He performed a slightly less anxiety inducing audition to an audience of one and was admitted. The director told W that he had convinced another player who played both tuba and bassoon to switch to the tuba. The only conflict is that the rehearsals are on Mondays, which is the same evening as boy scouts, so W won't be able to help out as much for that.

Monday, September 12, 2005

W's Audition Goes Poorly

W unfortunately failed to secure a chair in the Clayton Orchestra, with a poorly prepared and intonated performance at his audition last week. He managed the sight-reading portion of the nerve wracking experience well, but could not perform his audition piece on a par with the more accomplished musicians (which already included two excellent bassoonists). In fact, rather than a par, we would have to say he scored about a double bogey on this performance. So he is off to humbly offer his services to a more needy orchestra.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

William snaps moloch horridus!

Yes, the picture of this dangerous ant-eating lizard was taken in the wild. It was quite difficult to get the shot because William had to lie in the hot sand which had a surface temperature of approximately 75 degrees C. and it was right next to a nest of deadly Taipan snakes. On top of that, the lizard himself does not like to be photographed and has been known to sting photographers who get too close; a sting which causes a pain unimaginable to most inhabitants of North America. Only bustards and goanna are known to brave this sting.
More about this lizard

Monday, August 29, 2005

More silliness - marathon tracker

W put in a few evenings to generate this half marathon mapping application. Warning: May be a little slow to load

Sunday, August 28, 2005


A sudden yell from Renny that he had stapled his thumb prompted Walter to slowly look over to see what joke R was playing this time. R stared in shocked horror at the staple embedded in his thumb, meanwhile N moved much quicker and jerked the staple out in heroic fashion. R noted two small red dots underneath his fingernail from the staple going all the way through his thumb. Being a growing boy, R recovered rapidly from his wounds and was last seen happily playing with a staple gun that W cluelessly bought after the incident.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

40 Acres but no Mule

WNMR became farmers today. That is, they bought forty acres of land in Illinois. The land is leased out to a soybean farmer who is actively farming the land. Actually it is only twenty acres, but forty acres makes for a better headline. All are invited to visit the land anytime and watch the soybeans grow.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Nichole scores birdie!

WNMR played nine holes of golf today. N scored an impressive birdie on the 9th hole with a tee shot that landed about 6 feet from the hole. W hit one very high shot in which the ball embedded itself in the green, and generally played well, scoring five pars. M and R earned $1.25 each, as W, in the tradition of his father would pay his kids a quarter for each par. M also scored his own par, earning an extra quarter.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Ben and Sandra Wed

Mr. and Mrs. Stokes (click to enlarge)

Completing a whirlwind romance of a little over a year, cousin Ben wedded Sandra Desmond today at the Chenery House, in San Francisco. Right about the time W saw the elephant sculpture in the garden of this house, he knew that it was his kind of wedding. As if to confirm this good feeling, shortly thereafter an artificial tree spontaneously began to spew large columns of propane-fueled flame from its branches while simultaneously spraying water down into an artificial green pond from other branches. W instantly regretted that he hadn't thought of such a contraption for his own wedding. Not all the columns of propane had ignited. As the smell of unburnt propane began to permeate the immediate area, wedding guests inched somewhat nervously away from the tree, though not too far, because drinks were being served nearby. The threat of a huge explosion became imminent, and the tree was finally turned off without too much fuss.

In the background, music from the Wizard of Oz would occasionally issue forth from a statue, but not so often that it ruined the nice music being played by a jazz trio. With the atmosphere thus set, Ben appeared at the top of some steps, waiting nervously for his bride. As Sandra's nieces provided vocals, members of the wedding party came up the walkway, followed at last by Sandra with her parents. So far, things looked pretty conventional. Ben was wearing an elegant white tuxedo, and Sandra looked stunning in her wedding dress.

A vast cloud of smoke issued forth from a fog machine, making it look a little bit as if a bridesmaid had recently exploded. This seemed to break the ice, and at this point a large animated head appeared on a video screen behind the couple. Looking vaguely like a cross between the Wizard of Oz and Beavis or Butthead, it quickly became apparent that the Head was the minister. The Head was an excellent emcee and he led the couple through their short, sweet, and humorous nuptial ceremony. A special "built for two" wine glass was produced, and the newlyweds smashed it with a hammer after drinking the wine. The couple were pronounced man and wife, and they walked down the steps to much cheer.

The party proceeded inside the house, which had just as many interesting oddities as the outside. There was a life size painted reproduction of Rembrandt's "The Night Watch", which somebody noted was a copy that was made to fool the Nazis in WWII so that they didn't steal the real painting. Another portrait featured Prince Philip, but without a shirt, with a tree growing out of his finger and a fly on his shoulder. There was a little news article next to the painting, explaining that the portrait had been comissioned by Prince Philip. When Prince Philip was asked by the artist if he had captured the prince's likeness, the prince glowered at the painting and snapped: "I bloody well hope not!". Thus the painting became available on the market, allowing the owner of the Chenery house to buy it for a mere $47,000.

The same jazz trio continued playing numbers inside the house, but occasionally an ethereal sound would join the music. W thought it sounded like a theremin, so he went to explore and found that another man had joined the trio, making it a quartet, and he was expertly playing a saw with a violin bow. Vibrato was achieved by shaking his leg to adjust the tension, and pitch was controlled by further flexing of the saw with his free hand. The saw actually blended quite well with the music, and it was evident that the man was a quite skilled "sawist". W noticed later in one display case a saw with art on it. The artwork showed a man playing the saw and was signed by Leonard Bernstein. This clued W in the the "sawist" was actually the owner of the home, Bob Pritikin. He had built the house in the 80's buying up some property that aws in the center of a bunch of homes, and creating his own little center of opulence. A former ad agency director, he had delved into many interesting things, of which there was ample history of in the house.

M and R entertained(?) the guests with various practical jokes, including their all time favorite, fake dog poop. After Ben and Sandra cut the cake, the bouquet was thrown with a surprising result!

Tonia catches bouquet!

Ben declared that it was the best day of his life, which sums up this wedding pretty well.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Haircut sets new record

W took the plunge and got his shortest haircut in over 42 years, exchanging the "comb-over" look for a buzz cut, completing his transform to Mr. Midwestern. Actually, mid-westerners to do not sport full beards, if one can generalize about such things.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Boundary Waters

Photo taken at sunrise on last day of camping. The trip was extremely strenuous. N thought it much tougher than Half Dome. W thought the 200 rod portages were tough. If you like, see an interactive depiction of W's route.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

W Assimilates!

W is finally feeling comfortable in Missouri, now that he has a shotgun and a beard to go with his patriotic shirt. However, he was only able to hit one clay pigeon in about ten tries. N, on the other hand hit 7 in a row.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Garrapata hike challenges half domers

Uncle William and Aunt Margaret put WNMR and Emily through a quite strenuous hike featuring an 1800 foot elevation gain. The views were fantastic, and everybody enjoyed a quick lunch of cheese and crackers near the top. W, as usual occupied himself with geocaching (Bohemian Rhapsody). Copious lizards underfoot and intense concentrations of wildflowers contributed to a generally heightened and impressionistic sense of reality. A quick descent followed, necessitated by a rendezvous deadline with cousin Stella at her junior lifeguard duties.

Aerial view of Garrapata hike

Topo view of same hike (click on photo for larger view). Density of contour lines is intense!

Monday, June 20, 2005

A long way down

Renny relaxes on a rock overlooking a two to three thousand foot vertical drop. W, who does not suffer terribly from fear of heights, was nonetheless only able to look for very short moments at his son on this rock.

Waking up at 4:00 a.m., the family walked from Curry Village to the Happy Isles trailhead at 5:00 a.m. It was still relatively dark as WNMR began the ascent. In the hopes of motivating R and M to get up, W had bought doughnuts for breakfast. M wolfed down three doughnuts, which made him feel quite ill. The day hike to Half Dome is much hyped as a fantastic but strenuous hike featuring a 4000 foot elevation gain. The beginning of the hike features a steep three and a half mile climb to the top of two consecutive waterfalls, Vernal Falls, followed by Nevada Falls. As M struggled to climb towards Vernal Falls, it looked as if the hike might have to be abandoned. He complained of a headache and some nausea. However, he was still climbing faster than N and W. Near the top of Nevada Falls, M finally lost his breakfast. This helped him to feel much better, and he gradually recovered his strength. M and R passed one group of hikers, who described them as "bounding" up the rocks. Meanwhile, W and N trudged slowly but surely upwards. The first part of the hike lived up to its reputation. The waterfalls were tremendously powerful, disgorging a massive snowpack, and soaking WNMR thoroughly with mist. It was still relatively cool due to the early hour.

At the top of Nevada Falls the trail becomes flatter. R found a lizard, which was content to sit on his hat as he carried it ever higher for several miles. When the family turned a corner and Half Dome came into view, R and M were incredulous. They thought that W was surely joking to suggest they were actually going to climb it. But climb it they did. The trail became very steep, with only steps cut into the granite. In the end, there are cables to get to the very top. It was at this point that the lizard was jettisoned. WNMR donned gloves to hold onto the cables (one is not tied to the cables). First N and R went up, followed a few minutes later by M and W.

The cables prevent climbers from falling an extremely long distance. WNMR tried not to look down too much as they climbed it. Finally they were at the top at about 11:30 in the morning.

The family spent an hour napping and lunching on the top. N & R sat unwittingly on a large rock formation called the "Diving Board" because it overhangs a sheer drop off. The wind was extremely strong, gusting to perhaps 40 or 50 mph at times. But nobody blew off.

The descent was long. W felt his feet begin to ache, but after a rest soaking his feet in Nevada Falls, he felt recharged and headed down the Muir trail towards the valley below. NMR returned via the Mist trail. They all met with Grandma Harriet and Grandpa Mark, who had remained down below, for some pizza and beer to celebrate the hike.

Near the summit

Family poses in front of famous Half Dome cables that are used to access top.

On cables

Marcel rests shortly before the summit of Half Dome. Behind him are Nichole and Renny. Far far far below are other people.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bingo glimpsed in Vienna

Bingo has turned up recently geocaching in Vienna


Actually, his special "flea hopper" travel bug has landed in Vienna, but Bingo's picture is now world (if you consider Europe "the world") famous, having traveled to Italy, Germany, and Austria in the past year.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Urticaria again!

Nichole has been struck again with a mysterious bout of hives (urticaria is what the doctor calls it, but we all know this just means "hives"). This bout left her so swollen she was unable to grip a steering wheel. Still mysterious is what might have caused it. Since everything causes it (stress, diet, cold, hot), it appears to make no sense to see a doctor, who will be unable to diagnose the cause, and simply charge Nichole to tell her what she already knows.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

No more school until September

Thursday, June 02, 2005

President sighting!

Marcel and Grandpa Mark waved back to an enthusiastically gesticulating President George Bush as he passed by them in a limousine this evening. There was only one other family nearby, so it nearly amounted to an exclusive audience, something that loyal Republicans had just been willing to shell out $2000 a plate for, as Bush had been busy serving his country at taxpayer expense by speaking at a fundraiser for Senator Jim Talent. N and R looked at the decoy limo and missed the President, but thanks to N, Marcel and Grandpa Mark were able to send their greetings. W missed the opportunity as he was out to dinner with Israeli's.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Renski Birthday Bash

Renski celebrated his 12th birthday a little early by attending the rather borderline PG-13 movie "The Last Yard" with friends Drew, Brogan, Tommy, and Alex. The thoroughly amped Bingenstein (dog) kept everybody up until 2:30 a.m, which somehow inspired Marcel to blame the dog for his idea to apply Ben-Gay to someone's sleeping face. The dog then kept W up until the time of this post.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Kounselor Kelli kares for starfish!

Kamp Kelli koming up!

As school winds to an end, preparations are being made for Kamp Kelli, which will be womanned by the koolest kounselor around, Kelli Montgomery. It is not really cnown what will be on the program, but it is expekted to be exkiting, with swimmink and video gamink amonk the aktivities.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Freeway Fans Nearly Nail Nichole

As Nichole was driving on the freeway today she noticed a truck in front of her with a large load of electric fans. Using her superb mother-vision, she began visualizing all the horrible things that might happen with the truck. Suddenly something actually did give way on the truck and all the fans came flying off in a flurry on the freeway, littering the lanes with obstacles. Nichole narrowly avoided an accident only thanks to her razor sharp reflexes and the thorough mental rehearsals she had made of various disaster scenarios.
The car immediately in front of her did hit a fan. N pulled over along with an off duty cop and watched and tried to help as the rest of the traffic tried to weave around all the fans. Fortunately nobody was hurt. Unflustered, N recovered to pick up an undamaged fan for the family, where it is now cooling off the Blume household.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Castlewood Park visit

W, in true nerdy fashion, decided to track the movements of the Blume family as they visited Castlewood state park (click on photo to enlarge). The river is the Meramec. Two snakes were sighted at the park along with the "Raiders of the Lost Arc" geocache.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Indianapolis 500 awaits

Thanks to the enterprising N who spotted an ad and bargained for some tickets, W&N are now preparing to embrace yet another mid-western tradition, the Indianapolis 500. W's ears are already ringing in full anticipation of taking on action with a higher decibel level than the beloved nocturnal trundling of trains semi-hourly past his bedroom window, nightly lulling him to sleep with their gentle whistles and lurching radioactive cargo. The plan will be to wake up extremely early and drive for 4 hours to Indianapolis, while Grandpa Mark is left to watch the kids. Then R&M will awake to find themselves parentless, and will proceed to mow the lawn, do the laundry, and take out the trash all on their own.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mr Blume goes to Washington

Marcel has been shipped to Washington DC as part of a "educational" field trip. I am told to expect him to come back after his two and a half days with approximately two and one half hours of sleep. He got off to a good start on this by having to get up at 4:30 a.m. to go to the airport.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Grandpa Mark Arrives

Grandpa Mark has arrived at the Blume household as of this evening. He arrived with Uncle Rexie, who is going on to South Carolina and leaving Mark here for about 10 days. Mark looks to be in good health, though he reports that he has had higher cholesterol readings recently. Mark and Rexie traveled through Montana where it was snowing and up to Michigan to see long lost relatives before making it to Missouri.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I had a completely normal weekend. Nothing out of the ordinary at all...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Tenant troubles

Suspense and sleepless nights are back in the Blume family as the latest Oakland tenant has decided to not pay the rent in order to guarantee that they won't get their security deposit back.
After some phone calls, it appears that the rent check is being sent by FedEx, and there is some possibility of having leverage over final walkthrough in June.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Renselaer runs 6:10 mile!

R missed breaking the Steger School mile record by one second. There is some thought of attempting the record a second time.

Walter's favorite photo

Actual albino squirrel sighted in Olney.

WNMR visit Olney Illinois!

Just hanging out in the land of the albino squirrels

Mother's Day Inaugural Post

Welcome to the Blume Sun blog. This is an experiment in providing news of the Missouri branch of the Blume family. It is hoped that Walter can provide news in a more timely manner by providing this service, as it requires simple stream of conciousness updates...

Monday, April 25, 2005

Marcel reaches 14th birthday

Marcel celebrates 14th birthday with friends at Grand Prix raceway.