Saturday, November 01, 2008


Someday I'd like to look into my genealogical origins. Someday I'd like to do some actual research, but until I find the time for that, there's a great shortcut: George Wackenhut. Nobody in my family has achieved lasting fame, to my knowledge, except my first cousin twice removed, George. George is, to my knowledge, the only one of us with a Wikipedia entry. George rocked: he made a massive amount of money, he despised hippies, and he referred to the first President Bush as "that pinko." Notably, he had chairs in his office made out of dead elephants.

What's more, George has had an 800 page book written about him. Not a best-seller, but interesting to devotees of the security industry.

The book has an impressive family tree including my great great grandfather, Johannes Wackenhut. The tree stretches back to the earliest known Wackenhut, Aberlin. Includes coat of arms. Aberlin was born in "1475 in Egenhousen, deep in the Nagold region of the Black Forest in southwest Germany." He was a farmer and a judge and my Great (12) Grandparent.

Johannes emigrated from das Vaterland in 1881, the first of his family to leave. He had served in the Prussian Army, but was too young for any of Bismarck's wars. He headed to Pennsylvania, like many German immigrants, because William Penn had guaranteed religious freedom in his state. He lived at 2311 Adams Street in Philadelphia, which apparently was a crappy part of town then and doesn't look much better now.

He married Christina, whose head was shaped like a walnut, and they had my Great Grandmother, Caroline. She went by Carrie. Apparently she was Catholic, and my great grandfather, Joseph Scheule, who was Protestant, couldn't care less. Joseph's father threatened to disown him if he married her. So he married her. And his father disowned him.

Much later, Joe's father -- my great great grandfather, who'd also been born in Germany -- pleasant man that he was, sued the son he had disowned for support. The judge sided with Joseph.

Anyway, I think I'm going to read cousin George's biography.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Still Have Trouble Understanding My Spanish Coworker

CARLOS: I heard there might be no tomorrow.

SCOTT: "No tomorrow?" My God, what's going to happen?

CARLOS: No. "Snow tomorrow." There might be "snow tomorrow."

Oh. That's a relief.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Visiting Richard and David in Ambler

Richard and David now have their own place in Ambler, Pennsylvania. They pay reasonable rent. The only catch, the floor has a sixty degree tilt. (The cat has to be tacked down.)

By the way, did you spot the pitcher shaped like a breast?

How about now?

Boob now brandishing boob.

Mom decides mammary pitcher is worth not having any children living at home.

Dad unpacks five months worth of Costco meat from cooler--perfect housewarming gift.

E.J.: suspicious.

Penn State game, classic rock, two bedroom apartment--Dad has flashback of college, forgets where he is, goes into twenty minute rendition of Whipping Post. Luckily, we allotted time for such an occurrence.

Puff is a very happy bunny. You can tell from her considerable second chin.

Photographer, acting suspicious.

Generally, we tolerate each other's company, but a little trip to the winery can't hurt, esp. given how David acts in public.

Richard's nonplussed.

Exploring lovely downtown Ambler.

More lovely downtown Ambler.

The evening's venue. (It used to be a train station--get it?)

Richard almost smiles.

Dad still unable to figure out how he nabbed such a good looking woman.


Opening chorus from production of Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare Theatre. All male cast. We laughed a lot, felt a bit uncomfortable when dudes kissed, then laughed some more. Wonderful production all around.

My Friday dinner. A Hawaii roll or some such. I was not aware fish roe came in so many different hues. Definitely a color scheme to save for the Yule.

The Scotch tasting. Note the earthy color of the twenty-one year old.