I'd appreciate prayers from anyone so inclined. My family and I are going through some difficult times. So far we've been able to cope and we're hoping things improve, but we've still got a ways to go before we return to anything resembling normal. Thanks.
I had a recent conversation which brought this koan to mind:
TWO MONKS, Tanzan and Ekido, were walking down a muddy street in
the city. They came on a lovely young girl dressed in fine silks,
who was afraid to cross because of all the mud.
"Come on, girl," said Tanzan. And he picked her up in his arms,
and carried her across.
The two monks did not speak again till nightfall. Then, when they
had returned to the monastery, Ekido couldn't keep quiet any
"Monks shouldn't go near girls,' he said; "certainly not
beautiful ones like that one! Why did you do it?"
"My dear fellow," said Tanzan. "I put that girl down, way back in
the city. Are you still carrying her?"
I was talking to my father and he mentioned that he recently saw this post as he was showing my blog to a family friend. As it turns out, the joke that was told which had my father as the butt of the joke and which had stuck in my craw had actually been begun by my father. The retiree being honored at that dinner is not known for his jokes and probably had to reach for one related to his career.
I guess I can stop carrying her now.
My daughter, Jessica, asked that I make some pictures available via my website. Here they are along with her message from Germany:
Yep, the IES people took pictures of us on the trip to Erfurt and Weimar this last weekend, and I can send them to you thanks to the wonder of digital cameras. I�m just sending you the few that haveme in them, cause you don�t know the other people. :) I will try to add little descriptions here, too.
The one called "alle" is the whole group in front of Goethe�s Garden House, in Weimar. That afternoon it actually turned lovely with the weather, which it was not in Erfurt.
the one "weimar stadtrundgang" is from when we were listening to the tour guide in the garden. It had gotten sunny, and very bright, which was great! But it meant I couldn�t hold a smile for the picture.
The one called "Am Goethe-Gartenhaus" is from a tour we took of the city of Weimar, when it was still cold. I looked like that with the hat and all for most of the weekend. :)
Thanks for the pictures. I love hearing from her.
I have scanned in the pictures from the surprise dinner we gave for Mom and Dad. I have made a page with thumbnail images of each picture which link to larger images of the selected image.
Currently, the thumbnails include a label that it was created with a tool I used to create the small images. I may play with recreating the thumbnails without the labels, either by registering for the program or finding another program. Until then, deal with it.
Note that the pictures appear to have been made from three rolls of film with 25, 25, and 14 pictures on them for a total of 64 pictures. I have named the pictures (including noting the names on the backs of the pictures) based on which roll of film it came from (A, B, or C) and its sequence on the film (I am assuming that I received the pictures in the order in which they appear on the film). This will give us a reference point if anyone wants to discuss which pictures we want enlargements of or whatever.
The pictures are each approximately 100kb in size, some a little bigger, some a little smaller. I hope most of you have access to a fast enough connection to be able to view these without too much waiting for the pictures to download.
You can leave comments here or email me or others in the family or call if you want to have prints of particular pictures or have suggestions for putting together an album for Mom & Dad. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the deal with the photographer is. So far we have two standard size prints of each image. More can be made as necessary.
We have a new resident at our house. Dickon arrived from our friendly veterinarian hospital on Sunday afternoon.
This is the first of our pets which Alex got to pick. We'd looked over some cats which were available for adoption on Saturday, but none of them excited Alex.
Dickon and his siblings had been left at the vet hospital a few weeks ago at an age too young to be separated from their mother. The loving staff at the hospital hand fed the small kittens and then found homes they felt they could trust for each kitten. Here is Dickon at the vet hospital when we first saw him.
MM & Alex went by the hospital after the afternoon performance of the latest play in which Alex is acting. I was at church so I didn't see Alex's initial reaction, but apparently it was favorable since they brought Dickon home.
My cell phone service provides me with a voice mail box. Generally speaking this is a useful way to avoid missing messages. Since I usually carry my cell phone with me during my waking hours I don't often miss calls in the first place unless I have it turned off (as in church or during a performance) or I wind up somewhere without a strong signal. Still, I do occasionally miss calls and get messages.
A week ago I had turned off my phone during church, as usual. Afterwards my wife and I took my son to the play in which he is currently performing. While waiting for the play to begin (clearly, since he is one of the actors he had to be there early), I remembered my phone and turned it back on. It was then I realized that I had a message. So I called up the message center to pick it up.
When I got logged in the first message it played was from my daughter. This was nothing new. In fact it was a message from my birthday back in October. She had had a busy day at college and had not been able to call me until late that evening. I don't remember why I missed getting the call, but ever since then I have repeatedly saved that message each time I check voice mail because it was always uplifting to hear her sign off with "I love you." I could listen to my daughter telling me she loved me whenever I wanted to. This was not something that was surprising to hear or that I needed reminding of. However, I found it very pleasant to listen to, and since the voice mail system gave me an option to save it, I always did.
However, this day it did not give me an option to save it! The only I options I was given were to delete it or replay it. First I replayed it just to make sure that I hadn't misheard my control options ("I love you"). Then I tried punching what I thought was the option from the last time I had saved it only to hear "You have entered an incorrect command, please try again." After trying other options (being careful to avoid deleting it) and being told that each one was incorrect I was told "We are sorry you are having trouble, please try again later" and it hung up. I called back up and logged in again ("I love you") and I tried other options, all to no avail. I tried replaying it ("I love you") and then not entering anything, but it considered that incorrect as well. I couldn't get past this old message in order to hear my new message without deleting the old one.
Finally, I decided that there was nothing that I could do but delete it. This really shouldn't matter, it was an old message and didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but I still wish I had another option. So, I replayed it one last time ("I love you") and then deleted it. This took me to the new message. That new message was fairly routine, but I couldn't have known that without listening to it, and now I'd done that. I deleted the new message.
It has been a week now, and I find myself thinking about that message. I'm not sure why I had been able to save it before but now I couldn't. Maybe it had reached some age threshold. I can understand why the phone company wants to discourage people from keeping lots of messages on file. I work with voice recordings and realize that even a few seconds can take several kilobytes to store as data. If people kept lots of messages in their voice mailboxes it would impose a huge load on the phone system's voice storage system.
But this was just one message.
And now it's gone.
Jessica, I still miss your message.
The Riviere family has a long history in the United States, with records showing residence and leadership back to Revolutionary times and beyond. Most of the ancestry of which I am aware were located in the southeastern states. My father has done extensive research and might be persuaded to make some of his data available here for others.
I hope that some day this site can be a connecting point for other members of the extended Riviere family. We have sometimes been able to establish the common ancestry which I and my immediate family share with some other Rivieres we have met.
We are aware of many Rivieres who have a (perhaps) more recent French ancestry who often can be found in or from the Louisiana area, often with a Catholic heritage.
My father has suspected that our line came to this country during the Huguenot exodus from France, but has not been able to establish a definitive connection. It is clear that our ancestors were generally protestant, with multiple Methodist and Baptist connections.
I would be interested in hearing from others who would like to be connected to the Riviere.ws web site. I cannot offer web space (though space is readily available from a variety of sources), but I would be happy to provide links to other Rivieres or others who have Riviere relatives. Please contact me if you are interested.