Our little old house is worth millions (to us)

We bought the house of our dreams in 1998. It is an old style range house. It was built in 1969. We paid $269,000 for it. It sits on a busy street. The tax guy says it is now worth $330,000. He wants to know if I want to appeal the valuation. The valuation is terribly wrong, but I won’t appeal. That’s because our little old house is worth millions to us.

Photo credit: The damn tax assessor. By the way, our address is 3910 South 27th Street, Lincoln, NE 68502.  For all those freaks who wrote that they wanted me dead after my partial-birth abortion decisions or my flag burning decision, if you show up I plan a warm welcome. I have a 50 year old .22 rifle that fires high velocity Remmington 22 shorts. Out of ten shots this year at the bastard bunnies, I got one. So, be  wary. By the way, fuck the NRA.

Photo credit: The damn tax assessor. Our address is 3910 South 27th Street, Lincoln, NE 68502. For all those freaks who wrote that they planned to kill me after my partial-birth abortion decisions or my flag burning decision, if you show up, I plan a warm welcome. I have a 50-year-old .22 rifle that fires high velocity Remington 22 shorts. Out of ten shots this year at the bastard bunnies, I got one. So, freaks be wary. By the way, fuck the NRA. What a bunch of assholes. 

 

Our backyard, oh dear, the backyard.

Joan labors daily with her extensive flower garden. I mean labors. She doesn’t like weed killing products. She weeds the very large garden by sitting in the weeds in her old sweat pants. The chiggers bite her. Those bites hurt and itch throughout the summer. She says weeding is relaxing. She doesn’t mind the the chiggers. The old woman can outwork most everyone when it comes to tending gardens. Her Catholic upbringing, so uncommented upon otherwise, is evident in her gardening. Hard work and the pain of the chigger is a gift from God. I don’t understand.

Since I have been sick we have had a lawn guy take care of the grass. My little John Deere tractor that Scott Greenfield mocks, ’cause he has a that big John Deere Gator, sits unused in the three car garage. The lawn guy retired after serving as a fire fighter. He’s my age. He is lean and brown and strong and grizzled. He is profane. I like him a lot. He uses the same swear words that I do. I suppose it is a generational thing. His son, who will follow him in the business, is huge. He smiles as he toils in the 97 degree heat, giving off perspiration in wild streams. He seems content to perform the simple task of mowing. I envy him, and I am grateful for him too.

Our backyard, oh dear, the backyard.

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Some things are more important than others.

RGK

Painted Petra, and a little girl’s love of Elsa

In China, Pretty P dressed up as Elsa from the movie Frozen to attend a Birthday Party for a friend. The activities included face painting. After the party, P returned home, stumbled to a couch and promptly went to asleep thus allowing her parents to photograph her dreaming sweet dreams:

P crashes after face painting party

“Letting it go,” P crashes following the party

Some things are more important than others.

RGK

 

Children and chickens

As you know, my daughter Lisa, and her husband Karel, have just had their third child, Zora. Petra, their oldest child (5), has some understanding that Zora came from her mother’s tummy. Milan (3) is pretty clueless.

A few weeks before Lisa was scheduled to give birth, Karel returned to his teaching duties. Among other things, he teaches biology. He decided that it would be a good learning experience for his students to incubate live chicken eggs, and watch the tiny little beings emerge from their individual eggs. Petra and Milan frequently went with Karel to school during the weekends to make sure the chicks were maturing properly in the eggs. They adjusted the incubator temperature and that sort of thing.

During this time, Zora came into the world and she is now home. Petra and Milan love to hold her. Coincidentally, the chicks hatched this week. Below, see the photo of Milan and Petra reacting to the brood of chicks that have made their startling appearance in Karel’s lab. Notice Milan’s facial expression.

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Now, go back in time with me to 1980. My first wife, Verdella, is not feeling well and she has gained a little weight. Because she is tall, a bit of extra weight is not apparent on her long frame. Verdella goes to see the local doctor. He makes a referral to an OB/GYN in Lincoln because “your uterus just doesn’t feel right.”

Verdella decides to take Marne (about 8) and Lisa (about 5) with her to see the OB/GYN in Lincoln. After the visit, the three of them will do something fun in the big city. When they arrive at the doctor’s office, the children, who are all dressed up, sit quietly in the waiting room paging through books for children as Verdella sees the doctor. An ultrasound quickly shows why Verdella is not feeling well and has gained a little weight. She is pregnant with our son Keller.

Verdella is stunned and surprised. We had no plans to have a third child. Collecting herself, she walks into the waiting room and sits down with the children. The shock shows on her face. Marne asks her mom what is wrong. Verdella says she is “pregnant.” Marne asks Verdella to tell her what “pregnant” means. Verdella patiently explains and includes a passing reference to the “egg.” Lisa is silent. Both children seem perfectly satisfied with Verdella’s explanation and off everyone goes to the car.

As they are walking to the car, little Lisa asks Marne: “Is Mom going to have a chicken?” Marne looks down, and sternly informs Lisa, “If Mom has a chicken, we’ll love it anyway.” At that point, Verdella burst out laughing and crying at the same time.

Some things are more important than others.

RGK

Very important correction

I screwed up. In my post yesterday addressing Scott Greenfield, I attached a photograph that I believed portrayed Scott’s classic sports car. I got the wrong photo.

Since this is a matter of some importance to me (I plan on trying to steal Scott’s car), I have now obtained a photo that correctly depicts the auto. Boy, do I covet that thing. Anyway, sorry for the error.

Here is a correct photo of the classic owned by SHG:

Scott's classic sports car with his son (now at MIT), age 14, behind the wheel.

Scott’s classic sports car with his son (now at MIT), age 14, behind the wheel.

Some things are more important than others.

RGK

Saturday night on the town with Joan

Yesterday, Saturday, was glorious. Joan worked in her garden, and I mowed the lawn on the Deere. I felt pretty good since I skimped on one of  my cancer meds in the morning. Afterwards, Joan and I drove a half-mile (or less) to the strip mall near our house to have a “sit down” dinner.  Hadn’t done that in ages.

We ate at one of these fake, but family run, Japanese places where they serve sushi (which I will never eat) and all sorts of other food. Actually pretty nice inside. I had lobster and shrimp and Joan had chicken. It was all cooked in front of us on a huge hot plate by a Mexican man of about 30 (with tats on his knuckles). He was great. Flames. Knives in the air. Cheesy jokes for the old white guy and lady. The whole nine yards. I suppose he gave us a real show because he was bored. Joan and I were the only ones in the place. I even had a half glass of wine which would not have pleased the cancer doc.

We left a big tip for the knife wielding fellow who cooked our meal and the young (“no problem”) redhead who took our order and served our drinks with her cracked fingernails painted an iridescent shade of an unknown color that clashed with her kimono. We were home by 6:30 PM. Japan it was not, but fun it was.

Some things are more important than others.

RGK

 

 

 

Don’t tell Grampa, it’s a secret

Every summer when our grandchildren, Petra and Milan, return from China to visit us we try to have an early birthday party. Their birthdays are in late summer and early fall.

This year Joan sent the kids a video of various cakes they might like, and asked them to pick the cake they liked the best. We just received the return video with their selections. See attached. Some things are more important than others.

Billfish and boys

programBoyo (R. Keller Kopf, PhD) is in Taiwan speaking about Billfish. He doesn’t get paid much in his gig as a post-doctoral research fellow at Charles Sturt University in Australia, but he does get to travel to neat places.

Among other things, he will give a talk in Taipei on “Latitudinal Life-History Gradients in a Highly Migratory Species.”  I am sure it’ll be great, but I am also positive that you can’t dance to it.

After that, Keller and his family will fly to Hong Kong and then enter the mainland to visit with Lisa and her family. Fletcher–Keller and Stacey’s yellow-haired boy–and Milan–Lisa and Karel’s “baby Buddha”–will have a great time together pestering Petra, Milan’s older sister, by pulling the heads off her Princess dolls. (I taught them how to do that!) They will race around expending never-ending energy. Just thinking about those two makes me tired.

Some things are more important than others.

RGK

Emily

Accidentally, I used a saying that has caught on among some of the readers of this blog. It is: “Some things are more important than others.” This is one of those posts.

Elaine Mittleman is an experienced and highly regarded lawyer who does a lot of federal criminal work. Some of you may recall her important guest post on this blog regarding plea bargaining, Missouri v. Frye, 566 U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 1399 (2012), and Lafler v. Cooper, 566 U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 1376 (2012).

Recently, Elaine sent me a link to a television news story about the daughter of her cousin who lives in Indiana. Emily is on the honor roll. She is going into seventh grade. Her mom is a teacher. So far, pretty normal. But what happened to Emily recently, and the great bit of reporting that followed, rekindles my belief that some things are more important than others. I urge you to view the TV new report here about Emily, her beeping companion “Bernie,” and the wonderful hospital that is treating Emily while also providing a unique extra service.

Thanks, Elaine. And, to Emily, let me say: “You are smart, funny, pretty, tough and very brave. By the way, tell ‘Bernie’ to take a hike or I will throw him in the slammer!”

RGK

Photo credit: WISHTV

Photo credit: WISHTV

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