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Scott & Kristin in Washington
Sunday, 14 May 2006
Walk Softly & Carry A Pink Bat?
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Genesis "Turn It On Again" (unbelievably square but cool nonetheless)
In honor of Mother's Day I bring your attention to Major League Baseball (of all things)where today a bunch of the biggest, baddest ballplayers swung a Pink Bats to raise moneyfor and awareness of breast cancer! Not very often these days that the notion of baseball as "the people's game" is fulfilled!

The blog's crashed on me twice already so I'm gonna sign off until it stabilizes. Back soon!

Scottie

Posted by scott-n-kristin at 11:22 PM PDT
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Monday, 8 May 2006
Storytime
We haven't posted at all in awhile and we haven't had a storytime in even longer so... I give you a kid's story in honor of my nephew's birthday.



-----------------------------------
Snap is a little red Dragon.
He lives in an enchanted forest!




One day he was walking along through the woods, he heard something sneaking up behind him. He started to run but he wasn't fast enough. Suddenly, everything when dark.
When he woke up he was in a cage!




"Oh no!" he said. "I've been caught by Daff the Dragon Catcher!"




Daf had caught Snap before, and Snap knew what to do. he flapped his little wings, and flapped and flapped until his cage was at the edge of a cliff!




Be careful, Snap! Gosh! It's a long way down!!




Uh oh! Someone's coming! Gotta push against the bars! Flap your wings, Snap!




He made it! There's the cage, but where's Snap?




There he is!
Oh yeah! I forgot that dragons can fly!




Little Snap is free again to run and play!




Bye Snap!
Catch ya' later!







Posted by scott-n-kristin at 11:49 PM PDT
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Tuesday, 25 April 2006
Kitchen update...
Mood:  accident prone
Delayed by back pain, the kitchen project lurches forward once again. Today I managed to get the trim up so we no longer have to look at the gaps around the cabinets. May I say that I feel so much better about the kitchen already, even without the doors on the cabinets! The crappy white paintjob that was in there only managed to make it look dirty all the time, no matter how clean the kitchen was it always looked dingy. The bright blue and white-painted inner boxes really liven the place up and when it's clean it darn well looks clean!

The stain is "American Cherry" as I have noted before. The cabinet doors will also be that color, a nice contrast against the blue. I love that stain, it goes so well with the blue. I used it for the shelves in my art studio and loved it enough to bring it out into the kitchen as well.

Eventually the bookshelves and windowseat in the library will be finished in this stain as well, which should act as one of the unifying characteristics which tie the rooms together. But that's for another post at another time...

I have updated the websites with new pictures and new content, click the links below if you are curious...
St Brigid's Hearth
look in the 'What are we up to now' link in the left column of the main page

Scott's Authorpage
All new site dedicated to Scott's book, Ex Libris. All of the writing advisors tell you that to get published you must have a website, so here's mine. Look for an in-depth tour of the world and characters, as well as updates on my nascent writing career.

Happy Tuesday!
Scott






Posted by scott-n-kristin at 4:05 PM PDT
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Sunday, 16 April 2006
Easter Sunday
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: "Band on the Run"
It's Easter Sunday!



The sun shines bright on the springtime flowers adorning the garden...



The trees are in blossom, cherries and plums in potentia each flower trying to outdo the next...










And the hammock is hung by the plum trees with care in hopes that Scott or Kristin soon will be there... so where the heck are Scott & Kristin?

Painting the kitchen, where else? Spring cleaning of a different sort! Empty the cabinets, gut the kitchen, sand the icky white paint off and give the place some character!



Out with the old...



In with the new...










I know, I've said a million times that I don't like painted cabinets. But they were already painted and the boxes aren't too pretty under all that paint so... here comes the brush! The doors are a lot nicer wood and those are being carefully stripped and will be stained a light cherry.

That's what we're up to... it just started hailing outside. Yeah, I said hailing. This is the day the LORD has made (and it proves HE has a sense of humor) God bless!

Scott & Kristin

Posted by scott-n-kristin at 1:13 PM PDT
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Thursday, 13 April 2006
Something New...
Mood:  a-ok

I mentioned awhile back that I have been working on "a secret project". Well... it's not really done, but it is time to share. Quills for the Cure

Today, the following press release (without the cool artwork, of course) went out today to all Puget Sound area media outlets...

------------------------
MCBRIDE’S CARDS & GIFTS, INC -- 05-APRIL-2006
MCBRIDE’S HALLMARK STORES CELEBRATES WOMEN IN FICTION & FACT

Puget Sound area writers of feminine fiction have a new outlet for their creativity, while at the same time raising money for an important cause. McBride’s Hallmark stores of Silverdale, WA is proud to announce the creation of “Quills for the Cure” a short story contest designed to celebrate the creativity of area women and raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Puget Sound Race for the Cure (Formerly known as “Seattle Race for the Cure”).

The short story contest will kick-off April 27, 2006 at the Kitsap Mall McBride’s Hallmark Gold Crown store as part of their annual spring “Girl’s Night Out” Event 5 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Submissions must deal with the topic “A Survivor’s Tale” and be 2,500 words or less. Entries will be accepted through June 30th at all McBride’s Hallmark locations or by mail at:

McBride’s Hallmark
ATTN: Quills for the Cure
PO Box 1128
Silverdale, WA 98383

Email entries are not being accepted at this time. Each entry must be accompanied by a $10.00 entry fee (Cheque or money order) made payable to the Susan G Komen Foundation and an entry form available online at http://leakytankard.googlepages.com/quillsforthecure. Complete rules and details are available at the website. One grand prize will be awarded in the amount of $100.00.

We are currently recruiting judges for the panel.

McBride’s Hallmark has been a sponsor of the area chapter of the Susan G Komen Foundation and the Race for the Cure since 1998 and has helped raise over $70,000.00 for the cause through sales of teeshirts and other Komen-related product, soliciting donations in their stores and personal fundraising efforts of their employees.

Though the short story kickoff will take place at the Kitsap Mall location, the April 27th event will take place simultaneously in all seven of the McBride’s chain of stores, ranging from Anacortes to Tacoma. A 20% discount will be offered that night, with the option for customers to donate their discount to Komen, as well as a gift package for the first 50 donors over the $10.00 level. Quilters will also be in the Kitsap Mall store to gather squares for a Breast Cancer quilt to be sold in a silent auction at the Kitsap Mall’s popular Girl’s Night Out event on September 22, 2006.

The Susan G. Komen foundation is dedicated to the eradication of Breast Cancer as a fatal illness. The charity has over 100 affiliates across the US and abroad, funded primarily by local fundraising events like Komen Race for the Cure?. The Susan G Komen Race for the Cure is the largest series of 5k runs/fitness walks in the world, with over one million participants. The 2006 event will be the 23rd in the series. Further information on Susan G Komen and their mission is available at www.komen.org.

------------------

I'm really excited about this. Essentially, I got to thinking about the short story contest in which I just placed 18th out of 10,000. I started to multiply the entry fees by the number of entrants and when my boss said 'think outside the box' for new ways to raise money for Komen this year... I was already there.

As the press release says, I'm recruiting judges. Check out the website. Read the FAQ. Then if you are still interested in helping me slog through the entries contact me at my regular email address.

Cheers everyone!
Scott

Posted by scott-n-kristin at 9:41 PM PDT
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Monday, 10 April 2006
What kind of America do you want to live in?
At the mouth of New York harbor, at the confluence of the Hudson and the Atlantic stands the tiny island of Ellis. This sandbar in the mouth of a tidal estuary might go unnoticed save the giant copper statue that adorns her, a modern-day Colossus standing athwart the harbor of America's greatest city. This statue is appropriately graced with the lines of a sonnet, penned by a Jewish American poetess in 1883...

"The New Colossus"
By Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
!"

At the base of this statue once stood the entry point through which millions of immigrants passed, their names changed seemingly at random into something that sounded 'more American'. But not all were subjected to this treatment. Some went around...

I can speak of one man who did not pass through those hallowed and infamous halls. He passed the statue hidden in a barrel in the hold of a ship, on which he had stowed away with the assistance of a friend. Thereafter he was nicknamed "Trommel" which means Barrel in the German dialect he spoke. This man disappeared into the rapidly industrializing heartland of America and eventually settled in Missouri.

So I sit with this man in mind as I listen to the debate rage around me on the subject of immigration. As I ponder the xenophobia and isolationism and try to separate it from the genuine fear of what lies 'over there' and how we are to keep it from coming 'over here'. I listen to the language that frames the debate. I can tell the person's leaning by their vernacular ere they ever voice an opinion. 'Illegal alien' is a message that invokes fear. 'Undocumented worker' is a message that implies that they had their documents a moment ago and merely misplaced them... The unallied speak a mishmash of both and the professionally unaligned (or perhaps misaligned) media waffles as it always does.

They come here and refuse to assimilate. They don't speak our language. They drive down wages and burden our schools and our health system. They are an undocumented underclass doing jobs no American would do for a wage no American would accept. They are the veritable serfs of the agri-business overlords, with no recourse to the law because they live beyond the law. A blight on our national conscience.

They cook our food, they clean the hotel rooms and grow the vegetables and fruits that nourish our bodies. The sweat of their low-wage brows keeps the price of our food low, their toil means that even the poorest legal citizen can afford California oranges and Washington apples. They are here, a genie out of the bottle and they will never go away.

"They won't assimilate! They speak their own language and won't learn ours." Trommel never spoke English within his own family. I think he eventually learned English, but in the kitchens and dining rooms they spoke German. They celebrated Sundays in their Lutheran churches, the sermons and hymns sung in their language. His children attended American schools and were treated by American doctors. They learned to speak our language. And they were proud and loyal Americans.

Trommel and his family didn't assimilate to what they found in America, America assimilated to what they found in Trommel. From this illegal immigrant from Germany, America found the strong back and die-hard work ethic of the Teutonic peoples that spawned him. They found the warrior spirit that sustained him in an arduous sea voyage, self-incarcerated in the hold of a ship. And when America declared war on his homeland, they found him and his sons ready to take up arms and defend the ideal they came seeking. But they never assimilated.

"The times were different..."

Were they? I don't think they were. Nothing is new in what we are experiencing now. In the 1920's there was a terrorist bombing in the heart of Wall Street. Anarchists were the Al Quaeda of their time. We fought an endless war against the Huns that never really ended until Hitler died in his bunker and the Russians marched through the streets of Berlin in the 1940's. And in both wars, Trommel and his sons were there. The "Sedition Act" had the post office reading our mail. Roosevelt had us imprisoning loyal Japanese citizens without the benefit of habeas corpus and Joe McCarthy had us looking under our beds for communists.

Tell me again how times are different? The names are strange, the tanks roll against an enemy without a uniform, but the fight hasn't changed. We're shadow-boxing with ghosts of our own creation, just as we did in the 20th century. Going to war with enemies we armed. Looking for an easy way to feel safe and secure in frightening times.

"At some point you have to turn off the tap or the melting pot overflows..."

"We're a nation of laws, no one should be allowed to break the law with impunity..."

Both of these are true. Both of these statements - if made in the interest of honest and earnest debate - would be perfectly viable positions to fortify and defend. But what really would the ramparts be built from save our own fears?

I look across this vast land and see a patchwork of fields and cities as diverse as the people who tilled their soil, planted the fence rows, built and worked the factories. I see a country that is the third most populous in the world but has the slowest rate of population growth of the top three. I see troubled storms on the horizon and I see a need for unity of purpose even if we retain our bickering, tumultuous political system. Real change is possible, real solutions are called for. It is possible that some of the solutions will be painful both for us and for the immigrants who are the grist in the millstones of our rhetoric.

As most of you have probably surmised already, Trommel was my great-great-grandfather. All of you come to this blog of your own free will, some of you week after week to see what I have to say. I have no idea why, but I try to make it worth your while. I hope to make you smile, or think, or think about smiling, and I hope that your lives are at least a little bit better for knowing me as I know mine is for knowing you.

Would your lives be better if Trommel had been sent back? The wars of the 20th century and the course of the industrial revolution would not have changed for the lack of one more German immigrant, but how would your life be different if Scott wasn't a part of it? The question sounds arrogant on my part, but I ask you simply to humanize the greater question that faces us. If your life is indifferent to my presence, my ego can take that. If you would miss having me around, but still think we need a wall between us and Mexico, I can respect that too. I have never sought to surround myself with only friends that agree with me. If I did, I would be a lonely man indeed. And I never ask of others what I do not already demand of myself. I can't and won't dissuade you from an informed decision I disagree with, but I cannot abide an uninformed one made out of ignorance and fear.

This debate will not end with this legislative session. It has been going on since before the first brick was laid on Ellis island. But it should be civil and it should be informed. It should be the sort of debate our children's children are glad we undertook and thus it should encompass all sides, and it should be a challenge we are willing and able to overcome or no true republic are we. Pulling the covers over our heads will not benefit us. And so shall we fade as past empires have faded down through the mists of time, prey to their own arrogance, torn apart by internal strife, victims of their own refusal to meet the challenges of the changing times.

Posted by scott-n-kristin at 12:43 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006 1:33 AM PDT
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Sunday, 2 April 2006
In other news...
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Jolly Rogers



http://stbrigidshearth.googlepages.com/home

We have joined the Beta test for Google's "Googlepages "free websites for all" experiment. Well, the ren faire troupe joined up anyway. This is my first go at graphic design in the digital realm, creating headers and the like.



If you click on the link at the bottom of the homepage you can find a page of Kristin's quilts as well.

Posted by scott-n-kristin at 10:04 AM PST
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Daylight Slaving...
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: The Great Muppet Caper
Grumble...

"On sleepless nights, by tempest tossed
I wait for the bleary day to start
My mug will catch the hours lost
Strong as death and as black as his heart."
- Scott



Posted by scott-n-kristin at 9:18 AM PST
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Wednesday, 29 March 2006
Faire Images...
Mood:  silly
I've been working on a secret project all week, but here's some sketches, lest someone think I've not been keeping up my end of the art-a-week bargain. Ren faire has been much in my mind of late, and so that's the current theme...



The top one's Kristin in her role as Daf, drawn from a wonderful photograph taken by our friend JoNell a few years ago. It really epitomizes her character's simple & madcap optimism.




And this is a more or less random lass. Well, actually, it's our good friend Mo in her character "Mistress Sophie" but with a kinda' manga twist to it because my shoulder was beginning to hurt and I could either drop the pencil or let become more stylized.

-----------------

Last year at faire, I wandered around with a sketch pad one day and did a lot of sketches. Which explains the parchmenty paper I was using. Really, that's not just an excuse for bad lighting this time, it's really aged paper. Honest!

Anyway, these are two of my favorites.




This first is Chelsea, who portrays our beautiful Queen Mary of Scots. This was a hard one to get because I don't think she knew I was drawing her and she was trying to surreptitiously eat a snowcone so she kept ducking her head and moving a lot while I was sketching.





This second one is Jon, who plays the feckless Lord Darnley. I caught him lounging in the noble pavilion during a performance so he was sitting still long enough to get a good likeness down on the page.

Anyway, I'm going to go put my shoulder on ice for awhile.

TTFN!
Scott

Posted by scott-n-kristin at 8:54 PM PST
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Saturday, 25 March 2006
Opposites attract...
Mood:  crushed out
Today is the sixth anniversary of a knot being tied... literally. My cousin bound my hand to Kristin's because when he and I laid down the nuts & bolts of the ceremony he was going to perform, we weren't certain if the rings would arrive in time. (There were issues with the jeweler) As it turned out, we had the rings but went with the hand-tying bit anyway because it was cool. So you can say that on March 25th of 2000, Kristin and I literally tied the knot... or my cousin Chris tied us in knots. You be the judge. ;o)

Anyway, Kris and I had a wonderful day. We spent it together at Point Defiance park in the heart of Tacoma. Now, Tacoma isn't exactly known throughout the world for its breathtaking vistas. Frankly, it isn't even known throughout the state for them either, but Point Defiance is cool. We spent our anniversary as any couple would, exploring the first European settlement on the Puget sound, talking about the ins and outs of 18th century cooking technology with some guy at Fort Nisqually and then shopping at a fabric store.

Romantic, ain't it?

There was a picnic involved too, and some steaks cooked in cast iron. Not to mention some of the biggest tastiest reddest strawberries I have ever seen. So it wasn't all history-nerd stuff and sewing.

I did chew out the store manager of a Joanne Fabrics for implying I was an idiot and/or knew nothing about textiles. So there was sport as well!

Anyway, it's time for this week's Scotland. It;s a quick sketch this week because I've had other things on my mind. Anyway, it's called 'Opposites Attract' and it's dedicated (as ever) to my wife.

Ex animo...
Scottie

OPPOSITES ATTRACT





Posted by scott-n-kristin at 10:59 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 25 March 2006 11:03 PM PST
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