Friday, November 28, 2008


Man alive, look who's five!

Yes, my daughter celebrates becoming a five-year-old today.

We celebrated with presents and Thanksgiving dinner left-overs.

A few of her friends will be coming by for ice cream and birthday cake tomorrow.

Turn around and you're three,
Turn around and you're four.
Turn around and you're a young woman
heading out the door.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Image stolen from the I'm Learning To Share blog.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Between Davey & Goliath and Veggie Tales

... there was Marshall Effron's Illustrated, Simplified and Painless Sunday School.

You see, there was a time when CBS would air christian programming on Sunday mornings as "sustaining" (i.e. non-sponsored") shows.

"Lamp Unto My Feet" springs to mind.

Marshall's no-budget half-hour was so cool! He was the only on-camera person, so he would play all the roles while he'd narrate a bible story. The photo here may or may not have been from this series, but it is an example of how he might have illustrated Noah's 40 day flood.

The stand-out moment for me was a story about people "drawing lots" and Marshall admitted he didn't know what this meant, so used a board game spinner as his "best guess!"

I emailed Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer to ask him if this show was an early influence. He replied that he was not familiar with it.

Anyone else remember this show?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guess What I Just Bought For $1 (Update)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Uncle Marty

Here is an old snapshot from my wife's family album. That's my wife being held by her Uncle Marty on her christening day.

You can see the obvious glee that Marty felt at becoming an uncle at the age of nine.

Michelle and Marty would have many fun times at family gatherings and during those occasions he would baby sit her. Later there would be fishing adventures and car rides when Marty got his license.

As grown-ups, you could always count on Marty and his wife, Kathy, to host big family dinners, just like good old days. That he and his wife met while working at a toy factory (they were engineers at Fisher-Price) seems somehow appropriate.

Unfortunately, we got some heart-breaking news about Marty Friday evening.

Martin Joseph Dropik passed peacefully on Thursday, November 13, 2008, at his home in Erie, Pa. Born to Victor and Irene (Agorzewska) Dropik in Buffalo, N.Y., January 13, 1957, he lived in Cheektowaga, N.Y., and graduated from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University at Buffalo, graduating Magna cum Laude in 1979. He was employed as a Plastics Engineer by Fisher-Price Toys in East Aurora, N.Y., where he met his wife, Kathleen Stapleton. They were married in Lancaster, N.Y. on March 24, 1984, and resided in Lancaster. Marty chose to share his skills and knowledge in Engineering with others by accepting a position with Penn State Erie, the Behrend College in Erie, Pa., where he taught engineering courses for nearly ten years. During that time he also earned a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University in State College, Pa., in 2006. An accomplished woodworker, Marty enjoyed building furniture for family and friends. He was also a wonderful companion for golf and fishing, both of which he enjoyed. He is survived by his wife, Kathy (nee Stapleton), a brother Michael (Roseanne) of Arlington, Va., a sister Marilyn (Dennis) Carey, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., nephews Sean (Jennifer) Carey, Dominic Dropik, and Victor Dropik, as well as by nieces Michelle (Craig) Davison, Denise (Joseph) Costa, and great nephews and nieces Madison, Alex, and Connor Carey and Mariel Davison. Marty is also survived by dear cousins Michael, Elizabeth, Victor, Marie, and Josanne Nowak. Marty is preceded in death by his parents and dear Aunt and Uncle Chester and Florence Nowak.

As fate would have it, Michelle's sister had just flown in for a six day visit with us when we all got the word about Marty. Not much else to say right now...

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Wednesday will mark my first anniversary at my current job. Yes I have been the "Quality Engineer" at a North Carolina manufacturing company for fifty-two weeks!

How did I last this long?

As I have previously documented here:

They fired Quality Manager #1 at the end of my first week.

They fired Quality Manager #2 four months later. ("We're not hiring another manager," I was told. "You'll have to pick up the slack!")

Well, as of Thursday, they fired my most recent boss, as well.

I was out of the plant that day and was briefed on this new development Friday morning.

So now I'm on my fourth boss in 12 months. (Possibly this is the fifth boss, as I may have temporarily been reporting to the Plant Manager for a week or two somewhere in there.)

The turnover at the plant has been dizzying. Managers and supervisors have been wished into the cornfield. Temps come and go. Shift patterns mutate and re-mutate.

But, by the grace of God, I'm still there.

What a week.

I hear we even elected a new president...