Month: March 2007

Andrew the Headbanger

Andrew in the ER

Andrew in the ER

Tonight Andrew came home from Orlando Skate Park with a nasty bump on his eyebrow and some disturbing head injury symptoms. The front of his skateboard had caught the front edge of one of the ramps, and he went flying forward. He can’t remember what happened, but the people who saw it said he hit his head pretty hard. And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

We called his doctor, described his symptoms, canceled our plans, and headed to the ER. On the way Andrew started losing his hearing, got numb in his fingers and vomited. By this time we were glad we had made the trip and began wondering if it might be more serious than we originally thought.

The CT scan revealed something interesting, but nothing related to this head injury. He had no broken skull, no hemorrhaging, and nothing more than a mild concussion. Yet his sinus cavities were completely full and apparently infected!

We left with a prescription for antibiotics and a giant sense of relief.

Flu Hits the Hertzlers

Last week Audrey had the flu, and last night the rest of us got it. “Clean up on Aisle 7” at 3 am.

Maybe I’ll have some profound thoughts while I’m sick that I can write about. Or maybe I’ll just sleep. Probably I’ll try to get stuff done.

My Alma Mater Changing Names

Since I rarely have the opportunity to scoop any other news source I thought I’d take the one I have. My alma mater, University of Missouri – Rolla, may be changing its name to Missouri University of Science and Technology. That would go well with Cathy’s university which recently changed from Southwest Missouri State University to Missouri State University.

At 11 a.m. Friday, March 23, UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III will publicly announce that he is recommending that the university’s name be changed to the Missouri University of Science and Technology — or Missouri S&T for short. The official announcement will be posted on the UMR website — — immediately following the announcement.

Maybe I’ll change my name too. Got any suggestions?

[Update 6 April 2007]

The University of Missouri-Rolla will become Missouri University of Science and Technology – or “Missouri S&T” – under a proposal approved today by the University of Missouri Board of Curators.

The curators approved a recommendation from UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III today (April 6, 2007) during their meeting on the Rolla campus.

“Missouri S&T will better define the university as a leading technological research university,” Carney says. “We believe the new name will help to differentiate this university in a highly competitive university market and provide a national competitive advantage.”

American Observations

When we moved back to the U.S. from Hungary last summer I expected to discover all sorts of profound observations about life back here. That didn’t really happen. Maybe it’s just hard to see your native culture from a different light.

Anyway, after 9 months this was all I could come up with, so here’s the short list.

1. Everything is easier and faster in America. Super efficiency. Yet Americans are some of the busiest people on the planet. You’d think they would have all this free time to enjoy life.

2. Orlando is one of the best landscaped cities in America. Landscaping crews edge the grass along sidewalks and blow all the debris clean afterwards. But no one walks anywhere. They all drive their cars.

3. Cars in America cost about half as much as a starter home. They are approximately half as big, too.

I had some other political observations, too, but airing those here would only get me into trouble.

Andrews Other Band

Yes, Andrew is in another band, and this one has a name; Audiosyncracy. They’re practicing for Timber Creek High School’s Battle of the Bands, something Andrew only found out after several jam sessions with them. He wasn’t so sure he wanted to perform in front of the whole school, but he thinks he’s going to do it now.

Here is their first, original recorded song. Andrew plays the drums.

Hard Labor – Bricks

The Pile of Bricks To Move

The Pile of Bricks To Move

Cathy and I have had plans for years for what we would do if we ever had a pile of bricks. Our friends recently replaced their brick patio, and they offered to give us all their old bricks for free! It all seemed so easy; just get the bricks from our friends’ house, put them in a pile at our house, and complete our various brick projects at our convenience.

Our old minivan can only haul about a quarter ton each trip, but that wasn’t the limiting factor today. I was. After four trips I was done. Unfortunately the pile of bricks in our friends’ driveway was not done. It was only barely smaller.

I also think we will end up with enough bricks to pave our entire yard. That would certainly cut down on lawn mowing, but it’s not what we had in mind. So I’m going to have to figure out just how many bricks we want and come up with a plan to fulfill my promise to my friend to get all the bricks out of his driveway!

Bricks front entrance Bricks in my Driveway

On the left is what one of our brick projects will look like. On the right is the measly, small pile of bricks in our driveway that finished me off today.

Smoke Detector Torture

2:05 am: beep,… [60 seconds], beep, … [60 seconds], beep, … [60 seconds], etc.

Half asleep I wander around the house to find a stool high enough so I can reach the malfunctioning smoke detector. I press the “Test” button to see if that will make it shut up. This makes all the smoke detectors in the house go off all together. Oops. After waiting through what seemed like a whole beep cycle, there were no more beeps, so I climbed back into bed.

2:09 am: beep,… [60 seconds], beep, … [60 seconds], beep, … [60 seconds], etc.

This time I was so tired I managed to ignore it and go back to sleep. Cathy has been sleeping throughout this whole thing, too.

4:00 am: beep,… [60 seconds], beep, … [60 seconds], beep, … [60 seconds], etc.

I can no longer ignore it, so I get up again and try to figure out what is going on. I dragged our 8′, 50 pound ladder from the garage into our bedroom without turning on any lights and found a flashlight without triggering Annie into a barking frenzy. So far, so good.

I disconnected the house electricity from it. Still it did not stop.
I removed the 9 volt battery from it – and still it did not stop!

Finally I wrapped it in a towel, threw it in the closet, and went back to bed. This did the trick.

Then I lay awake for another hour.