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Thursday, December 30, 2004

What I have been doing the last week

I spent the week in Michigan at my parents' house. While they do have a broadband connection and it would have been fairly easy to provide updates, it was a matter of making time to do it. Christmas was spread over a period of four days because everyone couldn't be there at once. The 24th we spent with my Dad's family as we traditionally do. My brother Terry was there for a few hours but he had to leave to go to work. My parents and I went to Midnight Mass which was very nice as it always is, but the weather was really cold. The oldest of my sisters arrived at my parents' home on the evening of Christmas and we opened up a few gifts. On the 26th, we opened a few more gifts and went to visit with my mother's family. My youngest brother came back and came home to my parent's afterward. Terry left on the morning of the 27th and Marty came on the afternoon of the 27th when we were visiting my grandmother again. Marty left on the 28th and my sister and I left on the 29th. In the time between when my brother left and when I left, I spent some time with my friend Guy. I didn't get a lot of time to spend with him so I took what time I could.

On the drive back to Chicago, I stopped at a Hardee's for dinner. I had to try the Monster Thickburger. When I got there, I thought that I was going to chicken out but I got the Thickburger with all of the meat but without the bacon. It might have removed a few calories but it was still enormous and impossible to eat while driving. Having said that, while it was pretty good, because of its size, I don't think I will ever have another one.

The big story while I have been gone has been the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated southeast Asia. At present count 117,000 people were killed and the number is expected to do nothing but climb. The United States, as a nation, has pledged $35 million and while that is more than any other nation, it's still just a small drop in a huge bucket. If I had a passport, I would try to volunteer my services with whatever I could do on sight. As it is, I guess I will just have to give money.

The numbers of dead in southeast Asia make Iraq look like a traffic accident. Not to lessen the 70 people that have been killed in December or the 1331 that have been killed over all, but there are thousands of Americans missing in southeast Asia and the number of Americans lost in this one event will probably rival those that have been lost over the past twenty months.


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