Sunday, April 29, 2012

Air Show

Today Norm and I both had the day off and believe it or not we found something fun to do! This weekend was the Robins Air Force Base Air Show 2012. So we drove down the street (literally) and enjoyed a show for free!

The pilot of this airplane was a woman! Here she is upside down:

Here she is "in action":

There were parachutes!

This is the FA22 Raptor. This plane is the state of the art in military aviation. It is impossible to explain all the crazy things it did (one of them being sliding, also known as flying backwards... yea...):

Here it is "in action":

This was a "Heritage Flight" which consisted of the crazy Raptor and P51 Mustang, which is the [current] oldest technology when it comes to combat airplanes:

This school bus has a jet engine:

And it raced one of the airplanes... who won? See for yourself!

It was quite hot and due to the nature of fact that we were at an Air Force base, there was not a single tree to catch some shade up under. So we had to find whatever (all the shade created by the stationary airplanes was already taken by the people that got there before us...). So this is were we ate lunch (in a little alley way between a trailer and some tents):

Here's Norm checking out the show:

This is little me in a carrier plane:

Then it was time for the long awaited Blue Angels. Here they are in formation before getting in the airplanes:

Last pilot to go:

Upside down!

Upside down again!

Last but not least, video of the Blue Angels:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What a Night

It has taken 21 years to come to terms with recounting the events of that one night in April – or maybe it was late March – in Lima, Peru in 1991.

That night when we got home after a normal day at school and the housekeeper mentioned to my mom that Sr. Humberto had not come home for lunch.

That night when my mom called my dad’s mom and found out that he had not stopped there for lunch either.

That night when after a handful of calls to folks my dad was supposed to have been with throughout the day, we realized that my dad had missed an afternoon meeting as well and no-one who my mom was coming in contact with had heard of him since about 10:30am.

That one night before cell phones when we quickly realized that basically my dad was missing. WHAT?!

I remember my aunt who lived two blocks from us came over to stay with my mom and help each other “think” where he could possibly be. I remember having dinner with my brother in pretty much silence. I remember at one point, following the regular school night routine of homework, shower, brush teeth and go to bed, it’s just that, I couldn’t sleep.

And then the phone rang. It was my dad – he announced his location (which was a few kilometers south of our house) and asked for my mom to come pick him up. By herself. I remember my aunt insisting (and she has a very strong personality) on riding with my mom. That my mom was too nervous to go by herself. That it was dark outside and she needed company. But none of that worked, my mom left. By herself. To go pick up my dad. In the dark.

It seemed an eternity before both of my parents walked in through the front door. As soon as I saw my dad and heard his voice I ran to hug him. I don’t remember if he looked disheveled or nervous or scared. All I remember is that I was beside myself with happiness because he was finally home!

That night in 1991 turned our worlds completely upside down. It’s almost as if we stepped into a dark and scary world. What had happened?

- On his way home for lunch, my dad stopped at the gas station where he always stopped.
- When he pulled out of the gas station, he quickly noticed two or three other cars surrounding him and blocking him on the highway.
- He quickly realized what was happening and floored it.
- He flew past the exit to our house and kept going south. Go go go go until he was able to leave those cars behind.
- He waited for nightfall and drove back to a friend’s house.
- He decided that he couldn’t drive his own car back to our house because they could have possibly been waiting at another familiar stop, recognized his car and try to catch him again.
- Then he called my mom and asked for her to come pick him up.

He was basically missing since 10:30am until about 10:00pm (it might even have been later than that).

Who were they and why did they want him? They were terrorists and they wanted to kidnap him.  

Apparently he had been receiving threats from the terrorist group for quite some time. These were mainly phone calls, but they did have a face-to-face meeting at one point. They kept asking him for money which he would not give them. He was willing to give them land in the rain forest which they could manage and grow whatever they wanted to grow and in turn make money. But that was too much for them, they wanted cash. 

Apparently in more than one occasion on one of his trips to the rain forest to the pig farm, he had found his pigs to be spray painted with this particular terrorist group's initials.

I don't think we went to school the next day after that one night. We waited for Pablo's First Communion which was already scheduled for the next week or two and then we left it all behind on April 26, 1991.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Called Him Chunk

About four days ago, this dog showed up behind our fence and drove our dogs crazy. We peeked over the fence and noticed he had no collar, he did have tied around his neck which appeared to be a shoelace. He soon wondered off to the neighbor's house and we didn't think anything of it.

Yesterday he showed up again up behind our house and again he drove our dogs crazy. He did not bark, he just ran back and forth on one side of the fence and Pellet ran along with him on our side of the fence and Crazy Cal chased Pellet.

Today he showed up AGAIN. So we decided to go around the fence and figure out what was going on.
He didn't want water. He didn't want food. He just wanted to play! He was so sweet and well trained. He knew sit and down and rollover (my dogs know half of those tricks).

This time he didn't have a shoelace tied around his neck. Instead, he had this:
Yup - electrical wire that he had managed to chew through. What do we do. What do we do. I always get scared of calling animal control (because I have this idea in my head that all they do is pick up dogs and kill them). So I called what appeared to be a private animal rescue in the area.

The lady answered the phone and told me unfortunately she couldn't come pick him up because her shelter was full with something crazy like 65 dogs. So she asked if I lived in the county or in the city. I told her I wasn't sure. She told me to find out because if I lived in the city, animal control would come pick him up and take him to the shelter where he would get picked up by a private organization like hers after the five day holding period but that if I lived in the county and called the deputy out, they would come and shoot him right on the spot leaving the dog for me to bury.....

As I saw Norm playing with him in the yard, my heart broke because obviously this dog is well behaved, loves people and just needs a loving family to take care of him (and not tie him up with electrical wire).

So I followed her suggestion and called the non-emergency number and lo and behold, we are in the city! BUT, animal control was closed for the day. So I explained to the lady on the phone about the electrical wire and the chewing threw it and she said in her deeeeeeep southern twang:

"Well, oh my! that ain't right ma'am, that just ain't right! I'm gonna send patrol out to your house to see what can be done about it"

Shortly after patrol showed up, called the dog over and with wagging tail and all he quickly jumped in the back seat. The officer was familiar with the owner (who apparently is in jail) and confirmed that he was going to take him to the shelter and keep him safe.

I called him Chunk:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dancing Desk Decor

I have a new piece of desk decor... it's a dancing flower! Pay close attention, her dancing is very subtle on the video...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Slack Line Fun

A couple of weeks ago we went to the lake to see our friends and go to the pool. After an awesome brunch and before pooltime, Eric and Norm set up the slack line: 

And we all took turns going on it:

Norm falling off the slack line - gracefully!

He is almost at a 90-degree angle!

Then Kerrie decides that it might be better to start from the middle

And off she went!

And then there's me - apparently one of the tricks to be able to go far is that you're not supposed to look down....

Video time!

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2015

Family Picture 2015

Christmas Picture 2011

Christmas Picture 2011

Family Picture 2009

Family Picture 2009
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