csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
It is with great pleasure that I announce that Cory Berry, Beaver Patrol, has completed his Wood Badge Ticket!

Troop Guide Annette, Ms Lisa SA-TG, and I have reviewed the verification of his 5 goals and congratulate him on having successfully completed his Wood Badge Ticket. I want to share with the Troop a short summary of each of Cory’s goals and accomplishments.

# 1.Cory’s first goal was to have adults trained in the operation of a youth-led troop by encouraging adults to complete basic, position-specific training, and Wood Badge. Through his goal, the Troop saw the adults who received training -which several had a hard time letting the boys lead- receive the most value in helping realize a boy-led troop. Through their training they understand to step back from hovering around the scouts and from assuming responsibilities the boys should handle. Through Cory's encouragement, one of the Troop's adult leaders is also attending the 2013 Wood Badge course S9-113.

# 2. Focusing his efforts on having youth trained in running a boy-led troop, Cory encouraged the boys in the troop to participate in Troop Leader Training, NYLT, and University of Scouting. His efforts were rewarded with a very good turnout for the troop's TLT, with a Scout who had attended NYLT last year deciding to serve as a NYLT staff member, and in getting youth to attend University of Scouting for the training and classes.

# 3. Understanding the importance of maintaining and strengthening the relationship between Troop 364 and their charter organization, Cory worked to increase interaction between the Troop and the church. Through his efforts, two Scouts committed to doing the God & Church program conducted by the senior minister at Latham UMC and the Troop participated in two services on Scout Sunday. Troop 364 also serves as ushers at the traditional service at the Church one Sunday a month.

# 4. To build generational diversity in the Troop, Cory promoted Troop 364’s annual patrol cooking competition as a homecoming or “troop reunion” event to get participation from former Eagles and senior scouts that “age-out” of Scouting. Choosing this event provided its own catering where the Scouts are able to show off their skills while visitors drop in and leave whenever convenient. Cory also included recognition for current/former Scouts who serving in the armed services. This event promises to keep former Scouts engaged and will help build strong alumni as a resource for the Troop.

# 5. Cory’s last goal was aimed at improving relationships with packs as a way to sustain troop membership. He approached the PLC with the idea of doing an event for Webelos where the Scouts could teach requirements for a Webelos activity badge. The event also included tug-of-war, practice lashings, some rope challenges, and ball games as a way to have fun and realize having a Game with a Purpose. This is an excellent way to build Troop/Pack relationships and showing Webelos the trail to Boy Scouts.

Through his efforts and accomplishments, Cory is Blazing Trails for Troop 364 while making the Scouting experience better for those whose lives he has touched and for the Greater Alabama Council!

I want to extend again my congratulations to you, Cory, on completing your Wood Badge ticket and becoming the tenth participant on S9-1122 to do so. I look forward to presenting you your Wood Badge beads!

Please join with me in celebrating Cory’s outstanding accomplishment! I have asked him to share with S9-1122 his plans for his beading ceremony so we all can celebrate his achievement in person or in spirit.

Tim Rogers
S9-1122 Course Director
"Blazing Trails"
csberry: (pumaman)
Tonight at the troop meeting, the Scoutmaster gave a very vague and general update about the vote last week about the policy change for homosexual boys. He mentioned the vote had to do with membership criteria, but each boy should talk to his parents about it since the subject was not something he felt he should address.

So, on our way home tonight, Calvin turned to me and asked what in the world was the Scoutmaster talking about. I started off by asking Calvin (nearly 11) if he remembered what it means to be homosexual or gay. I don't know about other parents, but I've already talked to Calvin about homosexuality. He said that it was when people are attracted to their same sex. I then talked to him about the Bible's statements on homosexuality in the OT and how the Boy Scouts take an oath to do their "Duty to God." I let him know that some people think that because of those two things, that it is incongruous to those people that a boy can do his duty to God and be a homosexual. Because of that, homosexuals had been prohibited from being in the Boy Scouts.

I went into the recent policy change, how the vote was relatively close, and how people who disagree with the change are very mad and why it is that they feel so emotionally about this being a bad decision. I finally let him know about my feelings - how I feel that Jesus taught that sin is between a person and God and that we shouldn't "throw stones" at others for their sin. I told him that all boys should be able to learn the Scouting skills and character traits no matter their sexual orientation. One sin doesn't spoil the person and they deserve the opportunity to be a part of a great organization such as the BSA.

I frequently hear from those that oppose homosexuals in Scouting that they don't want to have to talk to their children about sex. You know what? I still haven't talked to Calvin about sexual acts that homosexuals perform...because that isn't relevant in any way to the policy and he never asked for that kind of info. What is the point in my discussing anal sex with my child on this issue? When talking about a wedding taking place, I don't tell my children about the sex the newlyweds will be having that night and during their honeymoon. *sigh*
csberry: (normal completely different)
I posted this as a comment a little while ago. I've been trying to think of the right words to convey my thoughts on this policy. While I have a philosophical opinion, I know there are many PR, practical, and "cultural" obstacles that this change will cause. It is up to someone else to decide whether these new obstacles are better than the current obstacles caused by the ban. Here are my thoughts on the issue in better words I wrote down and deleted the other day, but definitely not a definitive treatise on this.

The arguments on this policy basically rely on two concerns - practical and theological.

The Venturing program (which has co-ed, boy, or girl units) has been one of the few areas of growth for the organization. Because of the increase in female youth and adults and the reaction the organization had to the pedophile allegations a couple of decades ago, there have been a huge wave of policies, updated facilities, and training changed to nearly eliminate any time where people are in potentially compromising positions. While not all facilities around the nation have completely converted away from group bath/shower situations, those facilities are in the minority. When units are in those group bath situations, though, policy indicates that times of use are to be scheduled so no one of differing genders nor age (adults and scouts) are using those facilities at the same time. Of course, there may be folks worried about catching AIDS from toilet seats, but there isn't a "practical" solution for that kind of paranoia. I think the only area now where the boys will likely see policy change is the BSA is likely to go to a "no-share" rule when it comes to tents.

Secondly is the theological. The Scout Oath that each scout takes states he will do his "duty to God" and to "keep myself...morally straight." One of the points in the Scout Law is A Scout is Reverent. The BSA doesn't dictate religion and is has many policies about ecumenicism and being respectful of differing religious beliefs. Thus, if a scout's religious beliefs don't state that the scout's homosexuality is a sin or immoral, then the scout is living up to his duty to God, is being morally straight, and can be reverent (I believe there is more to "being reverent" than eschewing sin). If a boy is a gay Southern Baptist, then, yeah, that complicates things.

And let's get this "straight," too. The term "morally straight" isn't some code that you have to be heterosexual. The term "straight" didn't come to be used as slang for heterosexuals until the 1940s (where it was slang within the homosexual community). It didn't come out to the mainstream culture until a couple of decades later. There is no way that "morally straight" meant "sexually hetero" when it was put into the scout oath in 1911.

I think, one way or another, the BSA will be changing over the next decade. We could see a co-ed BSA with gay members, we could see a growth of co-ed troops/crews alongside traditional troops, and we could see the BSA continue its membership and financing decline. We are a country that is polarized on so many social and political issues and having a national policy that is guaranteed to tick off half of the country is not a good way to grow the organization. While conservatives chant "state rights" on many political issues, the policy that the BSA is making results in the decision on gay membership even more localized than the state level. Either people will embrace the diversity being allowed among the various BSA units or they won't. Somehow I've got to think that this "unit choice" option likely ticks off less than half of the population by not making this a national decision.
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
No, don't worry, you haven't missed some news about JD and I. Last week was the local Cub Scout day camp. JD volunteered to work and both of the boys were there. They needed to be at the park by 7:15am and were there until around 4pm each afternoon. This was a huge thing for the three of them to do and I'm so proud of them for doing the whole week.

For those of you that don't know, we homeschool (actually, we belong to a sub-group of homeschoolers called "unschoolers," where the educating of our kids is nearly entirely led by their interests and not a curriculum). So, none of my kids have a school routine in any way; they wake when they want, they play when they want, they eat when they want. Other than the heat and being away from his computer all day, Nigel's biggest complaint was the regimentation of time; he really got annoyed when "we do certain things at certain times each day. *sigh*"

While they were off at camp every day, I was at home alone with Harper. From when she woke up until 5pm, it was just the two of us in the house. I had crammed on work the week before, so I was fairly guilt-free on how little work I was getting accomplished. I helped deal with a few urgent items, but otherwise spent my days playing with Harper and doing errands/chores. The house was cleaner at the end of the week than it was in the beginning.

I now have the sidewalk to the front porch and driveway pressure washed practically white. Harper kept herself entertained while I sprayed the cement by riding her bike back and forth through the mist. When I'd finish up the for day, I'd shut off the motor and we'd have a water fight to help get the debris washed off my arms and legs.

And Harper got a week of complete one-on-one time with someone. She didn't have to wait in line behind her brothers for a while. The amount of spontaneous hugs and kisses I get from the girl definitely grew a great deal as the week went along.
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
During the first week of August, I held a class for any scouts in my troop that wanted to work on most of the requirements for Citizenship in the Community and Citizenship in the Nation merit badges (MBs). Others have done classes to do the entirety of those MBs, but I've noticed while sitting on Boards of Reviews with scouts that did that, it seems they didn't actually do a lot of what they were supposed to do. I've been hesitant to do classes because of that burden of ensuring each boy in the class did everything themselves and not ridden their classmates' coattails.

Upon hearing that there were three boys working on Citz/Community together, I pondered what I would consider worthwhile for class. I decided that I was fine with doing a class that focused on the requirements for doing or seeing things: see a city council/school board meeting or a court session, visit a Natl Historic Landmark or building on the Register of Historic Places, interview someone in govt about a local issue, watch a movie about a person or people that inspire others, read the front page of a national newspaper for 5 days, and learn about a charitable organization and volunteer 8 hours with them. One of the other requirements for Citz/Community is for each boy to create a presentation about their community (history, cultures, education, popular places, current challenges). I decided to include a tour of numerous sites around town to help provide information and inspiration on what they might want to include in their presentations - which they would put together and present at some later date. I had 5 scouts RSVP for the class that would be taking place the last week before public schools started their new year.

Here is the report I turned in to the Scoutmaster about the class:
The Official Report of All of Our Activities )
csberry: (completely different cross-dressing)
On Saturday, I attended the council's University of Scouting training day at Cullman High School (a small city about half way between Birmingham and Huntsville). The alarm went off at 5:45am...far earlier than I've awoken in months. I wasn't certain if I was going to get the preferred classes I signed up for in pre-registration and wanted to get there early if I needed to alter my schedule. Registration started at 7:30am and the opening ceremony was to begin at 8:45am, so I was aiming to get there around 8am. I was ready to leave the house early and the trip was shorter than anticipated, so I had a lot of time to kill between grabbing my schedule and when things started kicking into gear. I sat in the high school's auditorium killing time and trying not to fall asleep. When one of the scouts from my troop showed up, he verified that I looked dead tired.

I spent much of the day distracted by the school. The high school consists of several buildings grouped together with covered walkways connecting them. I've never been to a school where each building was essentially a hallway of classes and exterior covered sidewalks connected each of these hallway clusters.* It was a very rainy day, so some of my enthusiasm of attending a school of this sort was tempered by how wet I got below the knees from the blowing rain.

The cost of high school text books was another thing highlighted. Every class had the text book required for the class in the desk. No personal copies for these students. Considering the size of the text books, they certainly looked like they would compete with some of my college books on cost. I was already expecting to see whiteboards instead of blackboards, but was intrigued that every room had a SMARTboard. I just wish I could have seen them at work for any other purpose than a screen for the projected computer images.

When not daydreaming about what it would be like as a student at Cullman High, I was on the lookout for a high school friend of mine's twin boys. Liz and I were really good friends in high school and she has obviously regaled her twin sons with stories of our/my quirks and hi-jinx. Each time they spotted me, they'd touch my nose and say "Nose!" (something I did in high school), grunt "quark" (something Liz and I did during physics class), and call me "Honey" (which was how Liz usually addressed me and, to much laughter, accidentally my dad). I tried to warn the boys I had a cold and a runny nose, but they didn't pay that any mind. So...I hope they aren't sick this week. :)

The following may only be of interest to [livejournal.com profile] chris21718, who shares my enjoyment of exploring back roads. ;)

The trip was also nice in that I took a route I haven't taken in years. Twenty some-odd years ago, when traveling from Huntsville to B'ham, my family would take Hwy 231 south out of Huntsville, across the Tennessee River, and head west on state hwy 36...but instead of taking it to I-65 in Hartselle, we turned SW at Cotaco (essentially an intersection with a few abandoned businesses and a couple of gas stations) from 36 to take "Eva Road" that ran past Brewer HS, through Eva, and we'd take that to Cullman, where we would turn west onto hwy 157 to join up with I-65. My dad said it saved a few minutes when he timed it in the 80's. Now that we have I-565 joining Huntsville to I-65, a lot of people don't take 36 anymore and I certainly haven't had a reason to take Eva Road even when taking 36. On Saturday, I took that route and learned something particularly cool considering my circumstances. The north end of Eva Road is at 36 in Cotaco. The south end of the road comes to a halt in Cullman...right in front of Cullman High School. I had never ventured further south than state hwy 157 on Eva Road, so it was neat to see that just a couple of curves later on the road, I was delivered to my destination.

* The first comment you'll typically hear from folks that attended my high school alma mater is how Grissom doesn't have windows. Students navigate via an interior hallway that encircles the school office/AV Room downstairs and the library upstairs. Branching from that central circle are "pods" where the hallway goes to the middle of each octagonal pod with class rooms making up slices of each octagon pie-like pod. To see the weather, you had to go out of the building for a portable classroom or head to the south wing of the school where there was a large glass-fronted hallway between the classroom area and the gym, lunchroom, and music wing.
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
In about 2.5 hours I'll be leaving for BSA Camp Comer in Mentone, AL atop Lookout Mountain. This will be Calvin's first campout that isn't indoors or in someone's backyard. It is just an overnighter. We should be back in Huntsville early Saturday afternoon.

I'm both excited and worried about how he'll react to the experience. I think he'll do just fine, but worry that he'll have a problem with either the Halloween/scary theme of the weekend or the overnight cold temps (low near 40). We've traveled through Mentone with him a bunch on our way to Atlanta, so I don't expect the journey to be a problem...as long as his nerves don't exacerbate his car sickness tendencies.
csberry: (green mammal)
I woke up in a slightly grumpy, yet upbeat mood. I was sure it was just a matter of time until I'd be my normal self. But it took longer than I had hoped for my mood to change.

First, there was overcoming Nigel's eagerness for Plants Vs Zombies. JD and I made a deal to buy the upgrade for the version on the boys' PC. Last night I told Nigel that after I did my WiiFit, I would check my bank account to ensure my paycheck was available. The 40 minute workout was filled with Nigel constantly asking me about checking for the money and how soon until I would be done exercising. I was thoroughly annoyed by the time I was done and was trying to cool down and catch my breath.

Once I finally had Nigel pacified, 10 things seemed to happen at once with work. Phone calls needed to be made, alterations were required on one of our websites, and everything seemed to be the top priority.

It wasn't until this afternoon that the high priority tasks seemed adequately addressed. Finally, a little before 4pm, JD and the boys left for TKD. It was Harper and Daddy time. We spent the next couple of hours playing with puzzles, singing, giving her rides on my back, and playing with stuffed animals.

Topping off the evening was an Eagle board of review. These boards help satisfy the part of me that misses researching and preparing questions for our "pinata" guests from my talk radio days. I gotta get that "deer in the headlights" look from the scout at some point during the evaluation. The questions I recall the most from when earned Eagle were astute observations and philosophical questions from the board of adults. I strive to give the scouts in the boards on which I sit something that they will think about long after the review is done. I think I may have done that with at least one of my observations and follow-up question.

Posted via LjBeetle
csberry: (What The Joel)
For the first time in YEARS I picked up some hitchhikers today. I was leaving the scout shop this afternoon when some boys walking from the natatorium flagged me down (I'd guess they were 13-15 years old). The one doing the talking was wearing a red shirt with a design over one breast. I didn't get a close look, but I was easily able to discern "Boy Scout" and a fleur-de-lis. He was asking for me to give them a ride to the Big A gas station/convenience store a few blocks away. It wasn't out of my way and the boy WAS wearing a Boy Scout t-shirt, so why not?

After the three of them piled into my Jeep, I cranked up the A/C and went on our way. As we were going through Braham Spring Park, the one in the red shirt asked if I would buy something. I explained that I'm a bit hard of hearing and asked that he repeat it (though the primary reason for my not understanding him was his accent). On the second listen, all I could discern was that he wanted me to buy the three of them something with "Black" at the end of the name. Still uncertain what the hell he was actually wanting but knowing there was no way I was going to buy them anything, I went ahead and said, "No, I'm just giving y'all a ride to the store."

As we pull into the gas station, the boy in the red shirt asked me if I was married. "Yes," I replied...trying to figure out where the hell that question came from (keep in mind, they had to move one childseat into the back and were squeezed because Harper's seat behind me wasn't removed). I then added, "Yes, I'm married with three kids." "Oh," the two in the back seat replied. As the red-shirted boy got out of the car, he stopped and looked back at me.

"Why are your toes purple?"
"My wife painted them for me while we were on vacation recently."
"So, you're not gay?"
"Oh, okay, I thought you might be gay."

It was during this exchange that I got a closer look at his shirt. He was wearing one of the red casual shirts for my troop, Troop 364. I don't know how he got it or why he was wearing it (as that he isn't a member of our troop and we haven't had any African-American kids in the troop in a long while), but I left the situation realizing that one of the key reasons I was willing to give the three teenagers a ride wasn't valid.

While I'd probably do the same thing in the exact same situation, the experience is kinda bugging me and I'm not certain why. If the one boy hadn't been wearing the Boy Scout shirt, I likely wouldn't have taken them for the ride. When examining the race factor, I think I would still reject some redneck boys but would have given them a ride if one of them had a scout shirt. Regardless, any "what ifs" in this situation are probably more ego-stroking answers instead of legitimate feedback for what my action would really be when faced with the variances.
csberry: (mst3k-Tardis)
The word has spread around Calvin's Cub Scout pack that if there is any particular award/rank anyone wants to get at the Blue & Gold banquet (the big shin-dig of the year), the requirements must be completed by April 3rd. After looking over the requirements Calvin has left to earn Wolf rank, I let him know that he could have all of them done by that time and he'd get the rank at that event -- as opposed to the lesser-attended pack meetings during the summer months. The combination of his two surprise* belt loops he received at last month's pack meeting and this deadline has helped the boy focus on Cub Scouts more than he has for the past couple of months.

As of now, he has 11 things to do. Two of the items involve charts that he's in the middle of completing (chore chart and keeping a daily health log). Personally, I think the requirement that he's most likely to procrastinate is for him to read three stories of people that help the environment. While his interest in stories has grown quite a bit in the past 6 months (as opposed to his non-fiction addiction), it is mostly JD and I reading to him. The boy is a perfectionist that refuses to believe that he can read unless he is absolutely sure he knows all of the words in front of him. Calvin has a very narrow focus on what he likes to be read to him and it will take a little bit of cajoling by JD or I to get him to sit still and listen to three stories on a subject that isn't of any interest to him.

* Calvin does all sorts of requirements as part of his day-to-day life. Frequently, I'll sit down to update his advancement on the pack's website and notice that a different requirement was satisfied earlier in the week because of something JD did with the kids or part of Calvin's home school. While updating the site about a month ago, I looked at the requirements for the Collectors belt loop and the Chess belt loop. We had already marked off a couple of their requirements but realized that the rest of the requirements had been satisfied. I updated the site and never told Calvin that he had those belt loops coming to him. When his name was announced at the last pack meeting for advancement, he was OVERJOYED...as in jumping up and down and yelling "YES! YES! YES!" as he made his way to the stage.
csberry: (Default)
This past weekend, Calvin's pack traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee to visit and sleep in the Tennessee Aquarium. Read more... )
csberry: (What The Joel)
Yet again, tonight I had parents of a scout express shock and disbelief that I'm not 17 or 18 years old. I think the mom's surprise with my age may explain why she looked disturbed when I was sharing stories with another adult leader about being carded when buying alcohol.
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
After two duds, Calvin and I found a good Cub pack Friday evening. Because of the rain and relocation, the campfire was morphed into folks gathered around a dozen lanterns. Nonetheless, it was a very good time. Both Calvin and I were struck with how nice and mostly organized the Cubmaster seemed to be. Every 5-10 minutes, Calvin would turn to me and say, "I like this group. What do you think?" I'd tell him we'd talk about it after the meeting and for us to be quiet and watch.

When the meeting was done, we talked over what we liked about this group. I asked him if this was the pack he wanted to join and he said, "yes." I told him, if that was the case, for him to walk over to the Cubmaster and tell him about his interest in joining. Calvin quickly walked over, stepped in front of the two adults talking to the Cubmaster and said, "I would be very interested in joining your group and being a Cub Scout." A smile burst across the Cubmaster's face and he waved off the other two adults. The Cubmaster introduced us to the Wolf den leader and we exchanged information.

Calvin was overjoyed. On the way to take him to my parents for an overnight playdate, he called my parents and JD to let them know how the meeting went and that he decided to join. Now I get to take Calvin to the Scout shop on Monday and unload half my bank account to buy a uniform and book.
csberry: (angrybum)
I'm amazed that Calvin and I managed to visit two different Cub Scout packs in the past month and no one from the pack said a word of welcome to either of us. We both participated in the activities at the pack meetings, but no one said "hello" or asked if we were visiting. I don't want to be attacked by bunches of folks. What I would like is one adult leader to at least walk over, say "hello," and let me know I can ask them any questions I have. That is the LEAST I would expect...but two packs couldn't even achieve that minimal hope for welcoming a guest and potential new member.

We will be visiting a third pack tomorrow. When I initially called the Cubmaster for this pack at home, he told me the pack's next activity was three weeks away but if I would email him, he'd pass that info along to some den leaders in the pack and one of them would contact me about going to a den event. I sent the email the following morning. No reply. A week later, I sent a second email. No reply. Knowing the pack campfire that was 3 weeks out at one point was coming up this Friday, I used the contact form on the pack's website on Monday to inquire about the location of the campfire. Tuesday, I got a quick reply from the Cubmaster. Then last evening, I couldn't get to my phone to catch a call. I waited a minute and checked the voicemail. It was the Cubmaster. He told me he was cleaning out the Junk folder in Outlook when he saw the two emails I had sent. He went on for another 2 1/2 minutes on my voicemail about how sorry he was that he hadn't been in touch. He followed that up by sending replies back to those emails. I was actually in the middle of replying back to his emails this morning when he called the house. While Calvin and I were completely ignored at the other two pack meetings, I am very confident that will not be the case when we show up at the campfire tomorrow evening.
csberry: (cocktails)
The Scoutmaster told me last week that they ran out of newsletters at the Court of Honor and asked if I could print some more out. Sure, I told him.

Yesterday I realized that the new printer at the house doesn't do double-sided printing. Not wanting to print one side, put upside down in tray, print the other side; I decided to wait and print out copies at the office today.

I arrived at the office, booted the laptop in Winders, and opened the newsletter in MSPublisher. I went to print and discovered that the office printer wasn't installed in Winders. I then tried to install it in the Printers/Fax option...but freakin' Winders doesn't provide an option to find a printer via MAC, URL, or anything else that the HP printer printed out as a guide for its network location. I pulled the HP disc out of the desk and attempted to install the printer along w/ the crap HP wants to put on the computer too.

What happened next was something that seems to happen 3/4 of the time I've EVAR attempted to install an HP printer. The installation was going through the process...and don't you know, it couldn't find the freakin' printer on the network. I then put in the IP address for the printer. The HP Installation program went, "YES! I found it!" It then asked me if that was the printer I wanted to install. When I told it "yes" and clicked Next, the freakin' installation program reverted back to the original screen for looking for the printer on the network. It forgot that it found it or something. I repeated this three times at the office trying to figure out what I was fuckin' up. No changes in the program's behavior, no idea what I could have done differently, and HP insists that the installation program is updated and fine.

I then decided to convert the newsletter from a MSPublisher file to pdf. I got that done, rebooted the laptop in Ubuntu, and opened the pdf file. The unique fonts used weren't embedded in the pdf and it was all funky! I then rebooted the laptop into Winders, found the option to always embed fonts, made another pdf version, saved it to the thumbdrive, and rebooted in Ubuntu. I pulled up the newsletter and everything looked perfect. At this point, I had spent about 70 minutes trying to get the newsletter printed. I joyously told the laptop to print 10 copies. I heard the printer start and I began working on something else. After a few minutes, I got up to check the printer. I look at the stack of papers and notice that there are 5 pages with the first page of the newsletter printed on both sides...and so on. I canceled the print job, change the print setting to collate, and went to watch the print job from the printer. Everything seemed to go fine until after it printed the 5th "page" (technically the front part of the 3rd printed page). Instead of leaving the back of that page blank and doing the next copy on a fresh piece of paper, the printer started printing the first page for the second copy on the back of the sheet containing the last page. I stopped the printer again. After a few more attempts to get everything right, I basically gave up and told it to print one copy.

After nearly 2 hours at the office, I can now claim that I produced one printed copy and one excellent pdf copy. I had Harper with me this whole time and I wasn't going to torture the poor thing any longer at the office. I'll give the Scoutmaster what I have tonight and will promise to have multiple copies by the conservation drive we're doing on Saturday.
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
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I could definitely survive for a while. How comfortable I'd be would depend on what resources I had with me (Do I have camping gear and am just lost? Am I just thrown out a plane? Am I injured?).
csberry: (bloodmosq)
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1. I volunteer time as an adult leader in the Boy Scout troop I earned my Eagle with as a youth. With three kids and none in the troop, my current activity level is attending 3/4 of the weekly troop meetings, about half of the 5-times-a-year conservation drives, and an occasional other event that is of interest to Calvin. I was involved in Scouting from Bobcat to Eagle, spent time in several troops and am particularly proud of the organization and personnel of the troop with which I work.

2. I'm a habitual blood donor to the American Red Cross. People are eligible to donate every 56 days and I'm currently only reliable for donations every 70 days or so since the local Red Cross center's hours don't really work well for my schedule.

Nearly every time I discuss blood donating with folks, I'm told they don't donate blood because of fear of needles, they'll pass out, or they will vomit if they donate. I'm a guy that eschews gore of all kinds and avoids even passing glances of those operation shows on Discover Health. I don't like looking at the needle piercing my arm, so I don't look. The sting of the puncture is sharp, but short. The process of donating is pretty unremarkable to me (there have only been a few times in all my years where I felt a bit queasy while donating). Since the experience of donating blood does not elicit the same reaction in me that I hear from others, I feel a bit obligated to do it as frequently as possible.

3. Our family routinely donate items to Purple Hearts Veterans thrift shop. Okay, this is more about convenience than anything else. We'd donate this stuff to any of a number of local missions, charities, or thrift shops to which to give these items in hopes of keeping the items from going to the city dump quite yet.

Dye Day

Feb. 11th, 2009 10:00 pm
csberry: (Bong)
The Process )
The Results

I'm still debating whether or not I'll be buying more dye and begging Blue for another coloring session. If I'm going to do something, I'm not going to do it half-assed. Turquoise isn't blue. I want blue. :)
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
Today is "Scout Sunday." After finding four volunteers this past Wednesday at the troop meeting to usher for today, I told the boys that it would be great if some extra scouts would show up just because it is Scout Sunday and the blue-hairs (old ladies) of the church would love the opportunity to say how nice they look and pinch their cheeks. Additional volunteers were non-existent...so I said that I would dye my hair blue the following week if I had 8 scouts in uniform for the church service. Depending on who you include, there were 7, 8, 9, or 10 "scouts" there.

Although I can weasel out of this on a technicality that neither the two Cub Scouts nor the over-18 Eagle Scout are youth in our troop (which would only show that I'm a wishy-washy asshole), I've decided to go ahead with the dye job.

I know I can probably find blue hair dye at Hot Topic, but I'm really hoping to find it somewhere else in town now. Hopefully I can purchase the dye tomorrow (I'm thinking about going to Sally Beauty first, then Enchanted Masquerade or Zero Gravity if no luck at Sally) and dye my hair either Tuesday or Wednesday before the next troop meeting.
csberry: (Default)
The lesson portion of the troop meeting tonight was put together at the last minute by one of the other adult leaders that is just a couple of years older than myself. Chip and I were scouts together in the troop. The lesson tonight was on backpacking skills. Chip decided to use pics he had on his laptop from backpacking trips as his last minute teaching aid.

Mixed in with numerous recent backpacking trips where some shots from when we did 50 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the summer of 1990. The first shot with me popped up on the screen about 2/3 of the way through the lesson. There I was with my mullet bursting out of the back of my red bandana which I had tied (do-rag style) atop my head. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it took NO prompting for the boys to immediately recognize it was me and comment about my mullet and that, even then, I wore Converse Chuck Taylors.

There were a few other shots where I got to study my Endangered and Threatened t-shirt (which listed all the animals on the Endangered and Threatened list at the time on the front and back of the shirt) and my old Walkman (which for the AT I only carried a couple of tapes - Prince double-tape of Dirty Mind/Controversy and a blank tape with several the first few Metallica albums crammed on it - both of which I was SICK of after that week). Chip announced that he decided to not show the picture of me and my rebel flag (yeah, I was far from politically correct and often draped the rebel flag on my backpack while hiking and hung it over my sleeping bag at the shelters).

After a few days of feeling emotionally drained from Harper's problems, the recent tax news, and the general state of our financial affairs, tonight's trip down memory lane was a good pick-me-up.

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Cory Berry

June 2016

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