Sunday, July 31, 2005

New type of verb conjugation

These are my vocab for Monday. Not exactly flowchart material but I used my flowchart program anyway to make the pretty flashcard-looking blocks. I'm finding the "making of a graphic" method for learning Greek to be pretty effective. After a few blocks, I start copy/pasting from other blocks containing similar material, which I think helps me cement to connection between the different permutations of a word in my mind. I am an e-learner.

Friday, July 29, 2005


I decided to leave my vocabulary learning for the daily quiz until this morning. I've been waking up at 6:30 anyway so why not use that time to learn the words, rather than precious afternoon or evening hours, right? Wrong! For about 45 minutes of dream time, just before waking up, I dreamed that I did wake up and that I had slept in until 8:00, just 1 hour before class and 1/2 hour before chapel. So, I frantically searched for my text book to learn vocab but couldn't find it. And people didn't have the right textbooks with them so they couldn't lend theirs to me to learn from. Then, I would dream that that was just a dream and that I woke up from it but that it was still 8:00 and I still couldn't get my hands on a text book. Then I would dream that I woke up from that dream ... you get the idea. Stress dreaming about stress dreams. Argh.

Of course, all my tension could have been sympathetic tension because, while I was dreaming, Rob was stuck in a traffic jam in Chicago, missing his early flight to Denver for Kary's wedding. He made it in the end, though. I just got off the phone with him: he's in Denver now, waiting for Kary to pick him up at the airport. I had lots of people in class praying for him to get on another flight with no added expense or bother. Rob says that they offered him standby on the next flight, didn't even ask why he missed his flight. And, despite being informed that the standby flight was full, he got on with 5 minutes to spare. God rocks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

New charts for Greek

I got all my homework done at lunch but, despite having the right answers when we went over the material in small group this afternoon, I managed to not be able to explain how I got the answers I got. [sigh] That's when it's time to make a chart, check out the flow.

Dreamcatcher screenshot

From the hit game, Neverwinter Nights. In this series, the Dreamcatcher series by Adam Miller, Rob and I both ended up with our characters marrying our henchmen in a skillfully programmed wedding scene. Much anticipated by those who play for role play value, the characters actually "kiss" (i.e. their faces touch) once their vows are completed.

NWN funny screenshot

Moving files from one computer to the next is a great way to get back in touch with all your stored info. One of the pictures that I tripped over last week was one that I had been looking for but couldn't remember where I filed it. In the game Rob and I play (Neverwinter Nights), you can take a screenshot of whatever is happening in the game at any given time by hitting some key, usually 0 (zero). This is usually done to capture a great battle scene or action shot. I would take pictures for scenery value, do portraits of the characters Rob and I played together, with our henchmen. I would sometimes then edit them a little, for aesthetic or humor value. Here's one of my favorites. The redhead gal is one of my favorite characters, Tahni Vey. The redhead guy in the back is Rob's character, Jerrik Crevinn. The shot was taken during the Aielund series that we played last year. Tahni was stretching (unexpectedly) while I was taking the screenshot and the mouse was hovering on her, hence the stat report above her head. It just looks like she had awareness of it being there. An amusing fluke. I put the speech bubble in later to highlight her "reaction". You can see a bigger version of the picture by clicking on it.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Chicago leg

This is the last leg of Rob's route for tomorrow. Made this fun little map with Streets & Trips. Rob: you can click to save this to your Mac for reference on the road.

Too much information

OK, this you may find unnerving: the ShinyStat on this blog keeps track of my visitors and does statistical reports on them, so I can figure out who's into this page. One odd little section of my weekly report on people that visit is the search engine referral. 4 people found this blog by search engine in July. Here's what people were searching for when they found me:
  • dancing as a therapy - OK, "the Dancing Sni" ... I can see that.
  • eshinee - This one is pretty straightforward. However, I can't help but wonder who was searching for my name. I just assume that anyone who doesn't know where to find me already won't be able to find me now because they won't remember how to spell my name.
  • paypal litigation settlement update - I guess posting about semi-random things can bring unexpected traffic. Reminds me that anyone can read the stuff I put up here, not just the people that I expect to.
  • revelettes - Now, this one has me guessing. I kinda thought that revelettes was my own little word, co-coined by Rob and I. Either someone was searching for my revelettes posting from earlier or this word isn't as unique as I had assumed.

Also, people are visiting this blog because they're clicking on links to it from other websites. here are some of the sites referring to this one:


Rob left this morning, hence the title of this blog posting. He got on the road shortly before 8AM, giving me time to shower and finish coffee before class. Also to learn my vocab for the morning's quiz.

Got my test back from Friday: 98%. Therefore, Rob's presence during participle week wasn't as hard on my school work performance as I thought it might be. Bodes well for productivity in our future work. Now, I just have 2 more weeks of standard class, tests this Thursday and next Wednesday before the comprehensive final a week from Friday coming. After that, I have a week of translation practice, a.k.a. Reading Week. Then, I fly to Ohio. Not sure what exactly will be happening then. I have to go to an INS office somewhere to turn in my old temporary green card and pick up my new permanent one. Then, we need to go somewhere for a couple of weeks before we biff off to north California. We're discussing getting an apartment of some type in the Seattle area for the next year of support-raising and getting everything in place for the eventual move to Namibia. While 85% of our stuff is safe and sound in Larry and Suzanne's basement, it can't stay there indefinitely. We've got to make the major decisions on the future of most of those items prior to leaving the country. Plus, we need to have our own residential street address for at least 3 months to apply for US citizenship. The "PO Box 2050" in Aurora just ain't cutting it as far as citizenship goes.

If anybody sees a decent little place for rent in the Seattle area, preferably close to Bellevue/Crossroads area, let me know. Size doesn't matter; price does, as does safety of area. Since we'll be gone most of the time (we're just needing a place to store/sort stuff and crash between speaking trips), security is a bit of a thang.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Participle Flow

Participle Flow, originally uploaded by eshinee.

Alright, this was my major task for the day. You see, we're studying participles. That is, verbs that act like adjectives that think they're nouns. Big test on Friday. Made this chart to help me see the flow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sudden stops

Rob brought the car in for the 90K checkup this morning. They have to put in new brakes. I asked him first if he thought it was going to be necessary. Rob said he could feel that they needed replacement or something; he said they felt spongy. As soon as he said that, I knew what he meant. Like, I remembered trying to stop and feeling like the brakes we're coated in oily velvet. Never occurred to me that it might be a problem. Duh. One brake pad is worn down to the sensors, the other to the rivets. Eek.

Yes, Rob and I are enjoying being together again. At this very moment, we are sitting in different chairs in my sitting room area, doing stuff online. I am, obviously, blogging. He is doing research for one of his ethnomusicology papers, due the end of July. No worries; we're having fun too. We saw Batman Begins on Sunday afternoon and played Neverwinter Nights yesterday. We also went with the whole Greek class for chicken bog at a local Lutheran church last night. And tonight we're going to watch Rock Star: INXS together. Probably have dinner at Zesto Angelo's.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Paypal litigation

Some may remember the computer game I bought on eBay in 2003 that I accidentally paid for twice and couldn't get my overpayment back. A bunch of people must have had similar experiences because it turned into a class action lawsuit. When I got an email that invited all Paypal users who may have been affected by reimbursement weaknesses in Paypal policy to participate, I did. I just got the following email:
Dear Eshinee Smallwood,

This email is to update you on the status of your claim for monetary relief from the In Re PayPal Litigation settlement fund, a class action lawsuit against PayPal that was settled in November 2004. No further
action is required; settlement payments will be deposited automatically into your PayPal account.

The Claims Administrator is planning to make payments to your PayPal account as follows. If you filled out a Statutory Fund Claim Form, then the settlement payment will be automatically deposited into your PayPal by July 31, 2005. If you filled out a Short Form Claim Form, then the settlement payment will be automatically deposited into your PayPal account by August 31, 2005. If you filled out a Long Form Claim Form, those settlement payments will be processed as soon as they are approved by the Court. The Claims Administrator expects to have the settlement by September 30, 2005.

You will receive an email notifying you once the payment has been deposited into your account.

You can find additional information about the litigation and the settlement at:

Funny thing: I can't remember which claim form I filed. Ah, well. I'll just check my Paypal account every month and look for the surprise amount.

Friday, July 15, 2005

One more day

The test went far better than expected this morning. I'd been feeling foggy the last couple of days, unable to string thoughts together. I attribute at least part of that to the hurricane style weather we're under right now. Perhaps even more has to do with Rob's pending arrival tomorrow.

There will be a viewing of Search for the Holy Grail in the student union building tonight. I'm not sure if that will be after the barbecue or in lieu of, given the weather conditions and their instability.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Tense chart

I also made a little flow chart yesterday for parsing verbs according to the tenses we have so far. People in my small group liked the one I made on graph paper so I made a really pretty one on computer and emailed it out to them all. It looks like this:

4 Tense Chart

Getting busy

Yesterday was Lindsay's birthday so Dr. Petersen taught us the Greek birthday song. Here's the rough translation:

(Long may) you live, ________,
and (may you live) many years.
May you grow old
with white hair.
(May you) spread out everywhere
the light of knowledge
and may everybody say
there (she/he is), a wise woman/man.

Cool song, eh? A number of people remarked that if one were to stop after the 5th line, there'd probably be trouble. We went to Zesto Angelo's for a quick birthday dinner. Zesto Angelo's is, despite the name, neither Greek nor Italian. It's a real old-school diner spot about a block from the school, with tasty food for low prices. I had the cheeseburger and soda and my total order was less than $3.50. Yet, the patty had a great fresh taste to it, no freezerburn or 1000-cow homogeneity.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Green Card!

Yeehaw! Was just talking to Sharon at LBT headquarters. They received a letter for me from INS ... my green card has been approved! All I have to do now is make an appointment at a local INS office and bring in my passport, my old green card and 2 passport type photos. My green card is also retroactive from my date of entry into the US; I believe that was May 1, 2001. Which means that I've been an official permanent resident of the US for more than 4 years. Which I think means that I can apply for citizenship ASAP.

For all of you who have heard this journey to date, you know this is a miracle. It is particularly amazing that I was approved in light of my 3 changes of address in the past year, each change requiring the transfer of my application to a different INS processing center. That should have meant a delay in processing of about 6 months, well beyond the expiry of my temporary green card extension. The window of opportunity in which my application could have been pushed through between the processing of my change of address forms was tiny indeed, beyond my ability to calculate.

For those who have been praying for me in this, I thank you. Know that your prayers have been heard. God has listened and has acted on my behalf.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Data transfer

I got up earlier than usual this fine Saturday morning to begin the transfer of data from the behemoth desktop to the new laptop. I've been messing with Outlook trying to figure out how to get my mail and stuff onto the new machine without losing anything. I just realized moments ago that I've been at this for nearly 4.5 hours, non-stop. Gak!

But it seems to be working now. Hopefully I won't have too many problems transferring programs.

(photo to the left will be the new icon for my account on Windows XP on the new laptop, taken by June & Dennis in April, 2005)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Welcome to the weekend

Well, not quite yet. I still have class this afternoon. But the weekly comprehensive test was finished this morning and that's kind of the big thing for the week. I finished way fast so I either utterly aced the test or missed a page.

Someone burned themselves on the gas barbecue here at school on Monday so the weekly seminary-wide barbecue will be held with someone's charcoal barbecue instead. Will pick up meat and the fixin's for my usual pot luck salad after small group this afternoon.

Recipe for Eshinee's Northwest Garden Salad

1 bag of spinach leaves (or spring greens mix, as desired)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (or to taste)
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into thin, 1 inch wide chunks
4 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp sugar

Marinate chopped apple in lime juice and sugar for as long as you can, in the fridge. Right before serving, toss greens with balsamic vinaigrette. Top (in spread-out layers, in order) with limed apples (drink juice or sprinkle over salad at your discretion), cranberries, almonds and blue cheese.

Serving Suggestion: Be sure to take some for yourself before word gets out how yummy this is.

Photo credit

BTW, all of the pool photos were taken by Erika McAllister.

Floating Toni

Floating Toni, originally uploaded by eshinee.


Liam, originally uploaded by eshinee.

My nephew, Hope's son.

Sunshine Toni

Sunshine Toni, originally uploaded by eshinee.

With her mom, my sister Hope.

The Frog

The Frog, originally uploaded by eshinee.

yummy frog ...

yummy frog ..., originally uploaded by eshinee.

My niece Toni having a pool experience involving a frog. Note the frog in front of her in her floating device.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Flight to Columbus

Bought my plane tickets for August this afternoon. And I'm picking Rob up from the airport in Charlotte, NC for his 9 day visit with me a week from this Saturday. Yippee!

Looks like we're spending September in the Redding, CA area, moving up into the Northwest after that.

And next year (hopefully) ... Namibia!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Aerobic blunder

I'm trying to keep my body moving because I spend so much time on my butt these days, with Greek flashcards or pages of Greek sentences to translate. So, I decided to do a little aerobic dance in my room, knowing that I have no roommates above me and (I thought) nothing in the basement below me. Imagine my surprise when, a couple of minutes into my wildly flailing about along with dBa's "3-D" from the bubble cd, I hear a knock on the door.

"Hi ... I'm from the offices beneath your room and all we can hear down there is BOOM ... BOOM ... BOOM ... BOOM ..."


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Old newsletters

For those who may be interested, our home church in Bellevue, Cross of Christ Lutheran, has a link on their outreach site to all our newsletters to date. You know, in case you wanna chuck the paper copy and always be able to refer back to one if you forget what's going on with us.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day

We had class anyway. After class in the afternoon, I worked out for a bit before getting down to studying. I'm finding I can study longer if I have a television on. Like, I have a ready diversion available to keep me from disappearing into my studies. And I have a constant awareness of how much time has passed so I can remember to eat, drink or move about every time a show changes. Didn't work as well later in the evening when I was watching Windtalker. That was surreal. I could hear sporadic fireworks going on outside while there were people plowing up on my screen. I don't normally watch war movies because they affect me too much, emotionally. But somehow this seemed like an appropriate movie to be watching on this day. I was discomfited and that was how I should feel.

The linguistic element of the plot was vivid as well. The code (Navajo language) was valuable to the military endeavor, it's speakers less so. People are more important than projects. Must remember that.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Visited Providence Lutheran Church in the morning, a small historic church about a 1/2 hour outside of Columbia, SC, in Lexington. Spent the better part of today studying the Greek prepositions. There just no easy way to learn them, man. I had to make up nonsense sentences that contained the basic meanings with embedded references to the case they go with. Here's an example:
  • I met with a gentleman after I was accused : "meta" means with when used with a noun in the genitive case but it means after when used with a noun in the accusative case.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Big test

We had our first comprehensive test this morning. I was the first one done, likely because most of the material was review for me. I'm thinking next week may be different as the material covered in the afternoon was not as readily retrievable from my brain. I must not have learned it as well last time.

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