Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dear 2,000+ Americans...yeah, you're welcome

So I'm done with the passport taskforce.

We are now 3 weeks from departure. 3 weeks of training for me, and 3 weeks of planning, etc. for Katherine.

Departing September 18.

Future Foreign Service Officer?

In an e-mail, Geoffrey reminded me, through this video, that the children are our future...and our future is bleak.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

She's back

After a rather long hiatus I've returned to posting to our blog. It's been so long Phil had to give me a tutorial on how to upload pictures. The next two postings are mine. And surprise, surprise they are about Jack.

A quiet weekend in Falls Church

Jack was suppose to have a friend visit this weekend -- Gretchen Berger (with her Mom Stacey) but sadly their flight from Seattle was canceled so they didn't make it. Jack had to find inventive ways to have fun this weekend without Gretchen. Here's what he did:
Exploring the kitchen cupboards

Playing in the toy box


We'll hopefully see Gretchen and her parents in Kiev.

Jack in LA

Jack and I (Katherine) headed to Los Angeles a few weekends ago to see Aunt Max and Grandma Bonnie and Grumps. The weather was perfect and Jack was even a good sport about sleeping in a new crib in a closet!

Jack in Venice Beach with Grandma Bonnie

Hanging with Aunt Max in Beverly Hills

New Trick

Courtesy of Grandpa Nervig, who spent some time recently working on it with Jack.

Our Jack is so very gifted.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Our Apartment

We now have pictures. One quirk we didn't notice from the floorplans. No windows on the second floor (our and Jack's bedrooms). Skylights. No windows. That's cool though.

View from our living room window. Shevchenko Park at the end of the block in the distance (I think).

Partial view of the living room. Nice, big windows. Very bright. Furniture, not so much, but I think we will either get some new stuff or at least get a slipcover for the couch.

Most important. The sauna.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So that's what tenure looks like...


Right there in the cable announcement in the 'N's between a guy from Skopje and a guy from Sanaa with last names that start with N as well.

So that's the first step. Now I need to get a promotion. Promotion board meets sometime in the near future. Tenure is tenure, and it's great as far as it goes. But if I want a meaningful raise above the cost of living adjustment, I need to be promoted from an FS-4 to an FS-3. Yes, federal government mumbo jumbo.

But, there it is.

I am actually not yet tenured. Just recommended for tenure. Still need to be confirmed by the President. That should happen in the next few months.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A well-rounded diet for our growing boy

We are keeping him full of the two Bs of the food pyramid.


And, well...

He's quick, that one. And yes, the bottle was completely empty, or we would have taken it right away rather than taking a picture. We are GOOD parents.

Jack is getting to the stage where he wants to do everything that we do. His favorite things to do are to grab my cell phone, bang on the computer, and pretty much grab whatever we've just put down. Hence, grabbing the empty beer bottle I had just put down.

In other Jack news, he stood all by himself (for about 15 seconds, then fell on his butt). We also bought him a little push lawnmower thingy so he is strutting all over the apartment.

Except he's not right now because he and Katherine went to California this morning. Hanging with Aunt Meredith, Grandpa Steve and Grandma Bonnie in a house Bonnie and Stephen rented in Beverly Hills for the week. Not bad. And, it means that I can concentrate on important things like online poker, TV (not really allowed when Jack is in the room), and sleeping. I can't even really take advantage of the time off professionally as I am basically doing shift work on the passport taskforce...hence, no homework.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


XGFJack likes his baths. All you need to do is turn on the waWAQter and he crw a 4eXCVC E

He also likes to bang on the keyboard, as the previous few lines show.


After bath. Still happy.

Jack now has 7 teeth. 4 on the bottom, 3 on top. 4th one coming in on top.