Thoughts Gallery September 2002
September 1
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Enjoyed a nice bbq up in georgetown at Erin's parents house. It was amusing to watch this 13 year old girl cake on the make-up after getting out of the pool everytime. There was a nice hammock to enjoy the cool breezes under the trees. I need to dig up my hammock from my boxes and hang it. 
Keiko, the killer whale, who became famous as the star of the "Free Willy" movie, swims in the Skaalvik Fjord, some 400kms (250 miles) northwest of the Norwegian capital Oslo. Keiko turned up in a Norwegian fjord some months after he was returned to the wild from his pen in Iceland. 
September 2
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With the help of a trusty horse trailer the scattered garbage around the duplex is hopefully gone for good. Nothing like gathering, piling, hauling, and sorting garbage all day long.  The pile of tree stumps are gone from the driveway, all that remains is the pile of dirt for the backyard.  Hopefully the backyard will stay cleaner with less things for the dogs nacho and Ceecee to chew into a thousand pieces. I can forsee this legislation coming to the US in the next few years.  Just think of how many people wouldn't be incarcerated if this process had occured 10-20 years ago.  I guess the tobacoo companies will pick up this choice cigarette if it ever becomes legal here and push it's legalization around the world after that.
A panel set up by Canada's Senate, in Ottawa, recommended  that the government legalize the use of marijuana, saying it should be sold on a regulated basis like alcohol.
September 3
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Spent the evening sealing the cabinets in the kitchen, and the trimwork in the downstairs bathroom. The polyurthane brought out the grain of the wood more and left it glistening in the light.  I had to look up Daisy Fuentes as they were on the teen choice awards, and I had no clue who this person was.
From Weather Girl to MTV to Revlon Model to Actress, Daisy Fuentes is now a  household name with viewers around the world. Born in Havana and was raised in Madrid until her parents emigrated to New Jersey, Fuentes is fluent in both Spanish and English. Currently hosting her second season of "America's Funniest Home Videos" on ABC, Fuentes is passionate about backgammon, cooking and keeping quiet on her personal life.
September 4
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The Eden Project, a collection of giant steel and plastic bubbles known as biomes, that house some 250,000 plants at the bottom of a crater near St. Austell in southwest England, has exceeded all expectations by becoming the third most popular tourist attraction in Britain. The biospheres at the Eden Project in St. Austell in Cornwall are seen in this March 16, 2001 file photo.
September 5
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My sister Paige is getting married tomorrow. Erin and I are driving over to Houston for the ceremonies.  She decided to have the wedding and the reception on two different days, and then have a second reception in Idaho for those less fortunate family members and friends that can't travel to Houston for the first one. After which she will create her new home from an old conversion van to stay and enjoy the scenery of Idaho/ Oregon border.  Working during the day cooking fried crickets to sell to the locals, and driving over to Oregon to buy groceries by night.
September 6
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Paige became a Sinclaire today, marrying Kyle Sinclaire this afternoon.  Afterwards was a small dinner at his parents house.
September 7
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Paige's reception was today in the Katy Stake Center. The rice crispie treats were delicious and the setup only took about 2 hours. The photographer continued to haphazardly take pictures throughout the entire reception.  We managed to decorate both cars, the bug and the 4runner, so that they had their just married decor to choose between.
September 8
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A cigarette lighter depicting the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center along with a bust of Osama bin Laden is seen in this undated photo distributed by the Israeli Government Press Office. According to the Israeli foreign minister's website, the lighters were intercepted in June by customs authorities in a shipping container also containing weapons, headed for a Palestinian dealer in the Gaza Strip.
September 9
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Rocky Mullen holds up a deep-fried Twinkie at the Puyallup Fair in Washington state. Thousands of fair attendees have
consumed about 3,000 of the newest U.S. junk food fad daily at the Puyallup Fair. Small business entrepreneurs Rocky Mullen and his brother Clint Mullen created the deep fried,
high-calorie incarnation of the notorious Twinkie snack cake. The Mullen's are scheduled to display their junk food creation on NBC's morning show Today on September 23.
September 10 
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Managed to track down an old friend of a friend Christine Carpenter. She ran off to New Zealand with her husband and kid. Wanted to get that nice british english accent for her munchkin. Her website is
September 11
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An aerial view shows that over 5,000 people dressed in red, white and blue form a human American Flag in tribute to the the victims of the September 11 terrorists attacks on America on the beach at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Australia. In Utah, Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released a statement in advance of Mormon memorial events scheduled for Wednesday. He said the United States remained "shocked and dismayed at the infamy of the cowardly attacks," but continued to respond with great resolve. 
September 12
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 This is a video still of Eric Fischl's "Tumbling Woman," a statue in Rockefeller Center that was meant to commemorate those who jumped or fell to their deaths from the World Trade Center, was abruptly draped in cloth and surrounded by a curtain wall, in New York. The work, depicts a naked woman with her arms and legs flailing above her head will be removed from the site in response to a number of complaints. 
September 13
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I spent the day tracking down insurance companies so I can become a licensed and bonded contractor with the city of Austin.  I finally found someone to offer me a $10,000 surety bond, they just happen to be on the northside of town.
A driver in his sticker covered "ute" is greeted by a mate in the Australian Outback town of Condobolin, 450 kilometers (280 miles) west of Sydney, as the muster for the annual Bachelor and Spinster Ball begins. The balls, or B&S as they are known, play an important part in bringing young rural women and men together in one of the most urbanized countries in the world.
September 14
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After renting a wet-saw for the day and getting all the materials at the crack of dawn we waited for my parents. Both my parents came up for the day to help with all the tilework.  We laid tiles in two bathrooms, the balcony, the kitchen, and the front entry area. Most of  the tile was the dark green ceramic tile, but desiring to have some spare tiles for repairs, we got a gray tile for the exterior balcony. My parents ended up driving back to Houston this evening so my dad could fly off on a work trip.
September 15
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This is a picture of the ring I bought for Erin after wandering around some local jewelers.  As if my "money pit" house didn't make me feel poor enough. It turns out that my Aunt Gayla and my grandmother on my mother's side also had pink and blue saphire stones instead of diamonds. It's interesting how that trend continues.
September 16
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I worked on finishing the bond paperwork and City of Austin fees, to be a licensed and bonded contractor. Atlas, it expires at the end of the year, so I'll have to do the process again for the renovations on the other side.
The Italian-flagged Jolly Rubino sits aground off South Africa's northern-east coast with over one thousand tons
of diesel and fuel oil aboard, September 13, 2002. The ship ran aground on reefs off the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St Lucia on South Africa's east coast, after a fire in the engine room spread to the hold, causing the crew to abandon ship.Oil from the wrecked freighter poses a grave risk to a nearby protected wildlife area which is home to turtles, hippos and crocodiles, conservationists.
September 17
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I spent to much of the day running between the water/wastewater offices and the City of Austin offices. I am now officially a licensed and bonded contractor. I think I've started moving forward again instead of sideways or backwards.  I have to get my new sewage line inspected for the 10th time, and redo the connection into the cement line. This comes after being in their offices at least 10 times, talking to everyone even the supervisor, and getting different courses to take every time. At least the contractor city offices are organized & they don't loose track of the fee paperwork.
September 18
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As my renovation is nearing it's end, I'm looking to refinance my house and consolidate my 2 loans and credit card debt.  It seems that the Texas loans programs are working again my multifamily owner-occupied property. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I contact all the various lenders. I would never by a vehicle this small unless it hovered off the ground.
Rep. George R. Nethercutt, Jr., R- Wash., gives a tumbs up after driving the electric and low-emission vehicle Tango, near the the Capitol. The Tango, manufactured by Commuter Cars Corp. of Spokane, Wash., is narrower than a Honda Goldwing motorcycle and accelerates faster than a Dodge Viper.
September 19
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Hieroglyphics Disclose Unknown War 
A bitter war between rival Maya city-states may have set the stage for the collapse of that once-great civilization, say scientists who translated recently found hieroglyphics on stone stairs in an ancient pyramid in Guatemala. A hurricane last summer began exposing the carvings at a site known as Dos Pilas, and the story they tell is forcing scholars to rewrite history.  What was once thought to be a series of separate local conflicts in the seventh and eighth centuries turns out to have been the equivalent of a "world war" for the Maya, with battle lines formed by vassal states controlled by two superpowers, Arthur Demarest, of Vanderbilt University's Institute of Mesoamerican Archaeology, said. Demarest said in a telephone interview that the discovery is forcing him to rewrite part of his institute's lengthy history of the Maya civilization. 
       "The hundreds of new glyphs fill in a vital 60-year gap of unknown Maya history and clarify many of the political and military relationships of this critical period," Federico Fahsen, a Maya specialist at Vanderbilt, added in a statement. Their discovery was supported by the National Geographic Society, Vanderbilt, the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies and Guatemala's Ministry of Culture. National Geographic, which reported the discovery of the steps in the October issue of its magazine, announced the details of the findings.  The 18 steps were discovered after a storm blew down a tree in Dos Pilas. Demarest, who previously had explored there, returned with other scholars to investigate. "I didn't think for a minute it would be anything like this," he said. "We thought it was just going to be a few steps, and it kept growing and growing." 
       While many scholars believed the wars of this time were local and unrelated, the discovery supports the theory of Simon Martin of University College, London, and Nikolai Grube of the University of Bonn, Germany, that this period in Maya history was a "long world war" between the superpowers Tikal and Calakmul, said Demarest. This staircase is overpowering confirmation of their theory, he said. Demarest said he had not been able to contact Martin and Grube to tell them of the find because they are doing field work. Dos Pilas was established as a military outpost of the great Maya city of Tikal in A.D. 629, and the king of Tikal placed his young brother on the throne of the new city.  Later battles between the communities had been thought to be a rivalry between the brothers, but the new translations reveal a much larger and more complex conflict. 
       Instead, the step writings say the king of Dos Pilas grew up to become a great warrior and for many years was an ally of his brother in Tikal.  Then the city-state Calakmul, located to the north in what is now Mexico, conquered Dos Pilas, took the king prisoner, and then restored him to the throne as a puppet ruler.  "When I read those glyphs, I had to blink to make sure I was reading it correctly," Fahsen said. "I had never heard of Calakmul actually invading and defeating the king of Dos Pilas. We thought that, at most, they may have had a weak alliance of some type."  But the new carvings say that the king, now loyal to Calakmul, launched a decade-long war against Tikal that ended in his victory. His forces sacked Tikal and brought its ruler his own brother and other Tikal nobles to Dos Pilas to be sacrificed. 
       "This west section of the steps was very graphic," said Fahsen. "It says, 'blood flowed and skulls of the thirteen peoples of the Tikal place were piled up.' The final glyphs describe the king of Dos Pilas 'doing a victory dance.'" Dos Pilas then launched a campaign of conquest with Calakmul's backing and became a major regional power. "Rather than being an independent actor as previously thought, it now appears that Dos Pilas was a pawn in a much bigger battle," said Demarest.  He says this appears to be a time when the Maya civilization was on the verge of moving to a higher level of organization and consolidating into a single empire. "However, this didn't happen. Instead, the giant war went back and forth. After Tikal was sacked, it eventually roared back and crushed Calakmul. And then the Maya world just broke up into regional powers, setting the stage for a period of intensive, petty warfare that finally led to the collapse of the Maya," said Demarest. By 760, Dos Pilas was abandoned. 
September 20
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Players and coaches from the Kansas City Royals move to aid first base coach Tom Gamboa after two bare-chested fans ran out onto the field in the top of the ninth inning and attacked him Thursday, Sept. 19, 2002, at Comisky Park in Chicago. The two fans were escorted off the field in handcuffs and a White Sox trainer attended to Gamboa. He had a large cut on his forehead, and was holding a towel to his face, but he walked off the field under his own power to a standing ovation from the crowd.
September 21
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British Extreme Ironist, who wished to be identified by the name 'Basket', 24, an engineer from Leicester, England prepares his ironing board in order to iron a towel during the forest section of the Extreme Ironing World Championships being held near Munich in Germany.  'Basket' is one of 12 UK competitors, sponsored by Rowenta, in what is the first world championships to be held in the sport. Team-mate Phil 'Steam'
Shaw invented the sport in 1997 when he decided to combine themundane chore of clothes pressing with his love of rock-climbing. The championships consist of five disciplines including urban, water, free-style and rocky with around ten countries taking part.
September 22
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Now why doesn't Sadam Husein or Bin Laden have a personal photographer following them around to issue publicity images to the hungry media.  This image is totally opposite of the conditions that Arafat is going through at the time. Depicting a calm reserved scene of work when the mood hardly would warrent this, as all but one building were torn down in his complex. 
September 23
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Driveway inspector showed up at the crack of dawn today, so have to reschedule the driveway inspection yet again, as the depth and expansion joint weren't complete when he showed up. My aunt Sanda & Dick Jones showed up in Austin for a few days, auditing some company here that has employees in Idaho. Here's a real picture depicting the chaos of Arafat's destroyed office compound.
September 24
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BYU grad a fluency phenom 
PROVO Don't try to engage John Henry Jorgensen in a war of words. He'll likely win. After all, Jorgensen can do verbal combat in 15 languages. The 25-year-old's language arsenal is as plentiful as a top government spy's. Witness his word power: English, French, Georgian, German, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Syriac, Turkish, Eastern and Western Armenian, American Sign Language, Arabic and Arabic Sign Language. Jorgensen graduated this summer from Brigham Young University, where he learned nine of the 15 languages.
The fluency phenom knew six languages when he arrived at BYU, which he chose for its foreign-tongue programs. Several years and 40 classes later, Jorgensen is being considered for a spot in the "Guinness Book of World Records" as the most multilingual interpreter in the world. "Someone just said to me one day, 'Hey, you must hold the world record.' So I looked into it," he said. "It was something I stumbled upon, not something I thought about when I first started learning German in the seventh grade."
       Guinness officials are now verifying his fluency. Jorgensen can translate English into French. Then, he can translate French into Italian. And then Italian into Mandarin. Jorgensen, the youngest of five children born outside the United States, was the last in his family to learn a second language. First German, then Chinese from a foreign-exchange student. He mowed lawns to pay for Russian lessons.
At 19, while a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an area that covered Russia, the Republic of Georgia and Armenia, he taught American Sign Language to deaf Russians.
       The toughest tongue? "It's between Arabic and Chinese," he said, "but Arabic would probably win the battle." Arabic's two dialects a formal and informal form of speaking are very difficult to master, he said. In between classes at BYU and the Missionary Training Center, where he teaches, he's studying 10 more languages and writing a textbook to accompany a BYU course in Armenian. His book will be an "important contribution" to language education because teaching materials for Armenian aren't available, says Cynthia Hallen, a BYU linguistics professor. Jorgensen, who hopes to enroll in Oxford's graduate linguistics program next fall after teaching English in China this winter, says he spoke at least four of his languages every day at BYU. He even lived with foreign students in the dorm to immerse himself in languages he was learning. Consequently, he earned a reputation as "a language freak," he said.  "I've actually had people come up and say to me, 'Hey, I've heard about you. You're that language guy,' " he said. "They bring tape recorders and have me say things in different languages." His advice for the frustrated freshmen in Spanish 101? "Keep pushing until it clicks," he says. "Anyone can learn a foreign language. Some people have a gift of languages. I don't think I have the gift. I've just learned how to learn them." Easy for him to say. Even in 15 languages.
September 25
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Finished installing the kitchen hardware tonight, had to get extened screws as my drawers have 1.5" thick fronts.
Kriba, a 23-year-old female Western Lowland Gorilla is
checked by senior veterinarian Larry Vogelnest during a medical checkup at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. The full and rare medical examination was to check on her progress as well as
remove an old contraceptive implant, as she now takes an oral contraceptive that allows the zoo to better manage future involvement in a global breeding program.
September 26
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It's interesting that the media is not documenting the large buildup of forces in the Middle East, similiar to what happened with Desert Storm. 
A U.S. tank is transported toward the desert in Jahra, Kuwait, north of Kuwait City as part of a large convoy of military vehicles and equipment Thursday, Sept. 26, 2002 for a large-scale training exercise with Kuwaiti forces
September 27
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French Police Find Explosives on Jet
Explosives of the same type as found on alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid were discovered on a Moroccan jet after passengers left the flight at an airport in eastern France, authorities said. There was no detonator attached to the 3 1/2 ounces of explosives discovered in the passenger section of a Royal Air Maroc airplane  after it landed at the Metz-Nancy- Lorraine airport, according to police. The judicial sources said the amount of explosives was sufficient to blow up a plane. They said, however, that they had been unable to find a fuse mechanism needed for detonation. The explosives were found between armrests by dogs from the customs service as they performed a routine search of the plane. Anti-terrorism police were investigating the find, along with the counterintelligence agency known as the DST. Pentrite is found in the plastic explosive Semtex, which was used in the bomb attack on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 that killed 270 people. 
September 28
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Erin & I spakled the sheetrock walls covering up all the additional drywall screws.  We hauled off another carload of trash to the dumpsters, it seems to come from nowhere. I finally got the cable system working again, after the cable guy cut 3 of the 4 cables in his attempts to resecure my box to the new addition area.
Cruise, Spielberg Keep Their Kids Away from TV
BERLIN (Reuters) - Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, two of Hollywood's biggest celebrities, said on Thursday that they strictly limit how much television their children watch and emphasize reading rather than viewing. "My kids, I really don't like them to watch that much television," actor Tom Cruise said during a visit to Berlin to promote the film "Minority Report." "We're focusing on reading, a lot of reading." 
       "They are allowed about three and a half hours of television per week -- if they do very well in their school," he said. "I really don't like them using computers." "I can actually see the difference when they watch too much television in terms of their education when their reading, in terms of their attention span, their behavior," he said. 
       Spielberg, who directed Cruise in "Minority Report" and spoke at a joint news conference ahead of its Berlin premiere, is a twice as permissive as Cruise when it comes to television. 
"My kids are allowed to watch TV one hour a day -- if their homework is done," he said. "They can't come home from school and watch TV," he said. "They have to do their homework, do their chores, finish dinner, get into their cozy clothes, as we call it, after they take their bath, and after they are in their cozy clothes, they get to watch TV for an hour." 
       Spielberg, whose films "Saving Private Ryan" and "Schindler's List" chronicled dark episodes of World War II, said he also keeps his children away from contemporary television news. "I don't let them watch the news because the news is much more uncensored than it was when I was growing up and things are so frightening right now that I like to news to come from me," he said. 
September 29
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Erin & I painted the walls, and calked all the exterior plugs and a/c registers preparing for the final inspection next week.
Travis Henderson, 13, of Mobile, Ala., hangs on as a wave passes through what was the foyer of his grandfather's beach house, in Gulf Shores, Ala. The Henderson's beach house was
damaged by high winds and water as Tropical Storm Isidore passed through the area earlier in the day.
September 30
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Riding in the front of a bucket loader residents of the area check out flood waters left by tropical storm Isidore at West End Park on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. New Orleans is assessing the damage done by tropical storm Isidore as it moves through the area.