Sunday, December 16, 2007

#262 Googly Reflection

It's time to look back on 2007 and reflect on the important things. For example, let's reflect on how people found their way to our web site this year.

Through internet magic, we're able to see what folks typed into the Google search box that resulted in a visit to our web site. For example, we know that "photos from Suez Canal" was one such search that directed someone to our site. And here are some of the other Google searches that hit our site in 2007.
photos from Suez Canal
go together like peanut butter and jelly quotes
moleskine in business
uva iwamotoscott
mv explorer ship semester at sea reviews
semester at sea quotes
Craig Scott GIS San Francisco
O’Malia’s Indianapolis
librarian at sea
wapsipinicon float map
mississippi river/camping
semester at sea librarian salary
scottish shortbread and st louis
passenger manifest MV explorer
Frank Lloyd Wright Bismarck ND
O’Malia’s photo
Dr. Seuss oh the places you’d go
semester at sea jobs uva librarian
2007 guestbook johnston atoll
best scottish shortbread
Mississippi Headwaters
Al-ballah canal
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
mv motor vessel ms
sonic drive in in Minnesota
suez bayonet monument
round-the-world sea-sick 2007

Yours in googly reflection,

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

#261 Ho! Ho! Ho!

During this holiday season, we are blessed to find ourselves in a great state.

Geographically, we’re in the great state of Virginia. Officially we’re known as a commonwealth, but due to our state of newness, we’re in the habit of calling it a state.

Mentally, we’re in a great state of mind. We’re happy in our new jobs and have fun, challenging projects ahead.

Domestically, our current home is in a state of flux. We’re renting our home but we may soon enter a state of confusion as we work through the real estate network to find our permanent home. East coast housing prices have us in a state of shock.

Technically, we may be somewhat shy of state of the art. Our computers are in a state of emergency now that they’re 5 years old. Our cell phone has a black and white screen. We’re yet to send a text message. And the next iPod we buy will be our first.

Personally, our state of the union is strong. We’re 13 years together and in a constant state of euphoria.

For our current state of affairs, be sure to visit us here on our blog.

Yours in merry stateliness,
Kelly and Mary

Saturday, December 01, 2007

#260 MS is different than MV

When the MS Explorer sank (see video) off the coast of Antarctica last week, some folks thought it was the MV Explorer. Not so! The MV Explorer used by Semester at Sea is safe and sound and sailing across the Atlantic Ocean right now. No icebergs are in sight. (Beware: the youtube video is incorrectly labeled "MV Explorer sinking in Antarctica.")

But this did make me wonder about the difference between MS and MV. According to the ship prefix entry in wikipedia, there are more than 30 abbreviations used in front of a ship's name. MS stands for motor ship. MV stands for motor vessel. Can you guess what FV stands for? Or PS?

Yours in appreciation of the multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project that we know as wikipedia,

Sunday, November 25, 2007

#259 A Monticello Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to visit Monticello.

Normal people are busy cooking or eating or watching football on Thanksgiving Day and don't even think of a trip up the little mountain to visit Jefferson's home. But if you sign up for the Johnston Visitor Plan, you're bound to get some creative thinking!

Besides, the cooking, eating, and football watching all come later!

Thanksgiving Day at Monticello meant a low number of visitors, a high number of temperature degrees, and a terrific holiday tour guide. Ah, the beauty of the JVP.

The University of Missouri grad among us (in the center of the photo) was surprised to learn Jefferson's original headstone sits on the MU campus. Jefferson's heirs presented the carved stone monument to the first university founded in the Louisiana Purchase.

Jefferson wanted three accomplishments noted on his tombstone:
1. Author of the Declaration of Independence
2. Author of the Virginia Religious Freedom statute
3. Father of the University of Virginia

Our three Thanksgiving Day accomplishments:
1. A little history lesson
2. A little football
3. A little food

Yours in thankfulness,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

#258 Happy Thanksgiving

As we docked in Spain last Thanksgiving, we found ourselves thankful for:
• Calm seas
• A port in a storm
• Non-Navy showers
• A quiet year for pirates
• Mature college students
• Food prepared by others
• Ropes to keep the library books on the shelves
• Cameras that start up quickly from the off position
• Batteries that last and last and last and last
• Friends who follow our travels and post comments to our blog
• Buses with bathrooms
• Clean drinking water
• Plumbing
• New daughters
• Old friends

Now that we’re docked in Virginia, we find ourselves thankful for:
• A library with with no need for ropes to keep the books on the shelves
• Thanksgiving Day football with the Indianapolis Colts
• Kelly’s ability to swim should he be thrown overboard
• Walking to work
• Family holiday visits
• Old friends who follow our lives and stay in touch
• New friends who have welcomed us to Virginia

Yours in sincere Thanksgiving,
Kelly and Mary

Thursday, November 15, 2007

#257 The Day After GIS Day

In the wake of GIS day, I invite you to take a look at some of the best GIS Day cakes from around the world paying particular attention to the Virginia entry.
Yours in counting the days until GIS day 2008,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

#256 Hug a geographer!

Tomorrow is GIS Day.

But then, of course, you all knew that.

According to GIS Day 2007, "GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. More than 80 countries will participate in holding local events such as corporate open houses, hands-on workshops, community expos, school assemblies, and more."

At UVa, the Scholars' Lab staff is celebrating in their own spatial way with a speaker, displays, and a GIS Day cake! Andrew Greene from the Office of the Architect will speak on "GIS at the University Scale: How the Office of the Architect Plans for the Future of UVA using GIS."

Kelly would tell you all about it himself, but he's way too excited on GIS Day Eve.

I plan on celebrating by hugging a geographer.

Yours in celebrating appropriately and geographically,

Friday, November 09, 2007

#255 Melissa, is this you?

Lynn, Mary and baby Melissa.

That's how this 1989 photo is labelled - Lynn, Mary and baby Melissa. I know who Lynn is. I know who I am. But who the heck is Melissa? I remember well that cool Bike Acadia t-shirt and those always cool extra-large eyeglasses, but I'm afraid I've forgotten Melissa.

Melissa, could you help me out? Now that you're 18, could you identify yourself and allow my brain to start working on another task?

Yours in faulty memories,

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

#254 Erika and Mary together again

On October 31, Erika and I worked the reference desk together at Alderman Library. We were dressed in funny clothes and giving out chocolate.

The last time we worked the reference desk together we were on a ship. We were dressed in funny clothes and trying to find chocolate.
Thank goodness Kelly is usually around to snap photos of these momentous occasions!

Yours in reunions,

Saturday, November 03, 2007

#253 Nate is a teenager!

1994, posing at his christening party
1995, relaxing at home
1996, threshing in Springfield
1997, imitating a lion

1998, visiting the lions at the Kansas City Zoo

1999, speeding on Lois Street

2000, protecting Indy from fires

2001, running in Glacier National Park

2002, ice skating in Springfield

2003, hanging out with The Duke in Fort Worth

2004, enjoying nature at Bellingrath Gardens

2006, visiting his beloved aunt and uncle in Indy
Happy birthday Nate!

And come see us. We want to take your picture.

Yours in celebrating 13 years,
Aunt Mary

Saturday, October 27, 2007

#252 Deep water


It’s one of those skills most folks take for granted. But my membership in that exclusive club of adults who don’t know how to swim was recently revoked.

That’s me poolside with my most patient instructor, Dani. We’re smiling because she’s kept intact her lifetime string of classes without a drowning.

No, the university swim team won’t soon be calling me. And other than the faint smell of chlorine under my fingernails, I didn’t come away with any tangible proof of my aquatic accomplishments.

But “learn to swim” now has a check mark on my to-do list. Now when I fall out of the boat, I’m more likely to live to blog the story.

For the first time in my life I can say, I’m a swimmer!

Yours in the deep end,

Monday, October 22, 2007

#251 UVa beats Navy

What? You didn't hear about this on your local sports news?

Then, perhaps you should check out this blog for more up-to-date sports happenings. Because the UVa women's rugby team upset the U.S. Naval Academy, the #1 women's rugby team in the country, on a glorious Sunday afternoon in Charlottesville.

The scrum

The win

The fans

Yours in rugbyland,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

#250 Fall is here

Despite a dry, dry year, we're having a little color here in Virginia. Just outside our window, we're enjoying the redness.

And out on our back deck, we're lucky enough to have a small patch of woods trying hard to give us a good show for our first Virginia fall.

There's something wrong with these trees in our side yard, though. I'm not sure they know it's fall. ;-)
Is it fall where you are?

Yours in enjoying all the colors - even the green,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

#249 Indy Weekend Top 10

Congratulations to Julie and David!

To attend Julie and David's wedding celebration and to visit with as many friends as possible in one weekend - those were our lofty weekend goals. In order to mimic our Lockerbie years, we stayed in some ultra-comfy accommodations at the Nestle Inn B&B, steps away from everything.

And now we present, in the tradition of that beloved native Hoosier David Letterman... Our Indy Weekend Top 10!

10. walking the friendly and familiar streets of historic Lockerbie Square and Massachusetts Avenue
9. the Roman Art from the Louvre exhibit at the IMA.
Besides the 200 mosaics, sculptures, and marble statues loaned from the Louvre, the exhibit included a digital model of ancient Rome called Rome Reborn 1.0, developed by the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at UVa. Very cool!
8. our favorite foods at Scholar's Inn, Bazbeaux Pizza, and Cafe Patachou (No photos were taken to protect the hungry.)
7. Testing the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, still under construction.
6. an irreverent night at the Phoenix Theatre with the Bloomquai and the Altar Boyz. (No photos were taken because it's prohibited by copyright law.)
5. gliding on Segways on the downtown canal
4. catching up with the guardians of Indiana's environment. (No photos were taken to protect those with large monitors.)
3. running into friends EVERYWHERE we went - at the IMA, on Mass Ave, at the Scholar's Inn, at O'Malia's market, at Bazbeaux Pizza.
2. a sunny fall afternoon in the Rathskeller's biergarten
1. and a wonderfully happy couple starting their life together!
Next time, we want to do it all again PLUS see the updated O'Malia's, see the completed renovation of the downtown public library, walk the cultural trail for real, and top it off with frozen custard at the Ritter's in Buggs Temple. Please join us again then!

Yours in sending our happiest marital wishes to Julie and David and our thanks to them for providing the reason for the weekend,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

#248 Alexander McCall Smith

I'm a fan of the Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith. He writes the best love stories.

Sure, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a pretty good love story. After all, Oprah picked it. As for me, I prefer the love story between Mma Precious Ramotswe and her husband Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series, set in Botswana.
And what about the Isabel Dalhousie novels starting with the Sunday Philosophy Club? There are some love stories in those 4 books too. Isabel, the lead character, is a philosopher who studies the ethical implications of every situation she finds herself in. The series is set in Edinburgh, Scotland - 3500 miles away from Charlottesville - and yet, every now and then Charlottesville appears in a story.

In The Right Attitude to Rain, Isabel is asked if she enjoys living in Edinburgh and she responds “I do like it. But I’d be happy living in other places, I suspect. New York. Charlottesville, Virginia. To name just two. I’m sure I’d be happy there.”
And in The Careful Use of Compliments, Isabel thinks “Jim Childress in Charlottesville would be a great catch” for her journal’s editorial board. Jim Childress is a professor of ethics at UVa.
So, despite Oprah's recommendation, if you’re looking for a good love story - whether or not you’re in Charlottesville – stop by your local library and pick up some Alexander McCall Smith.

Yours in appreciating AMS,