Monday, December 18, 2006

Rejected Christmas-card design

My wife just rejected this design for our Christmas card. Dang.

Update: Here's the one that was finally approved:

Thanks to whoever I swiped this image from.

Letter from Lech

Lech Wałęsa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize twenty-three years ago for his trade-union activism in Communist Poland. In addition to being the chairman of the Polish trade union, Solidarność, he later became president of his, now-democratic country.

Right after the Nobel Committee awarded the prize to him (through his wife), I wrote him a letter in English telling him how much I admired him and supported his cause. In return, I received this typewritten personal letter in Polish.

I tried to translate it back then with a Polish-to-English dictionary, but the translation was rather <ahem> awkward. Recently, I had a Polish friend of mine translate it for me (thanks JZ).

Dear Sir,

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your congratulations on the occasion of the Nobel Peace Award being awarded to me. The award is a result of
solidary work by many people.

Sympathetic reaction after receiving the award strengthen my firm belief in the correctness of the path taken.

At the same time, I apologize for the delay, but only now did I find some time to write back.

Best wishes,


I had always wondered who wrote that letter. Was it Lech Wałęsa himself? All I had to go by was the squiggle of a signature. After a few minutes of Googling, I found that the airport in Gdańsk was named after him and uses his signature as a logo. Allowing for a little variance, it's definitely his signature—Lech signed my letter. I also noticed that there is a "LW" in the upper left-hand corner of the letter, indicating that the letter was ostensibly from him.

Texas Hill Country View

This is the view from the front, upper balcony of our house.

I was told that it is a thirty-five- to forty-mile view, and not a day goes by that I don't admire it.

I took the original set of photos and pasted them together back in 2005. Tonight I got around to cleaning up the panorama, eliminating the seams between the individual photos and harmonizing the colors and light levels. Was fun! The full, 1MB image (6914 by 1203 pixels) is available here. I assume that's a bird in the sky and not a UFO. :-)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

No room at the inn

I dunno, am I sending mixed signals? :-) This is the new (custom, no-less) no-soliciting sign at the end of our driveway near the road. Attached is a cheap wreath ($2) from Garden Ridge. Next year, we're gettin' a gate.

Killer and Hammer - Separated at birth?

Is it just me, or do Jerry Lee Lewis and Tom DeLay look alike?

It took some time to find two photos where they had similar expressions. Tom smiles an awful lot.

I've heard a few good cuts off of Jerry Lee's new album, Last Man Standing. Gotta get that CD (now that is virtually dead in the water). Geez, but he sure looks old, though. I haven't seen him in a few years.