Friday, July 20, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Inspired by this post and this post from Brother Andy, and with a desire to move that Rabin obituary off the top of the page, I've created a map of all the states I've visited, with two caveats.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

I've visited 42, or 84% of the United States! What are the caveats? I included Mississippi and Kentucky, but maybe I shouldn't have. The Memphis (Tennessee) airport is actually in Mississippi, and the Cincinnati (Ohio) airport is actually in Kentucky. So using the "Incarceration Gambit"*, those two states qualify.

Similarly, I've produced this map of countries I've visited.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

I'm up to 6% of the world's countries, and I plan on adding another two (at least) in the next year or so. There are a ton more that I want to get to eventually. I don't think I could even prioritize them right now. I'm invoking the IG* once again for the UK. I had a stopover there on a flight from Atlanta to Copenhagen, and I didn't even get out of the plane, but I'm counting it as one of my countries anyway.

I'm planning on making a map like this for the entire family as a unit. Individually, Jennifer would dog me internationally, but I think I have her beat domestically. The kids are holding their own, for their ages, and will get a big boost next summer. Check back over the years for updates

*Incarceration Gambit: If I were to commit a heinous crime here, whose detention facility would I end up in?

UPDATE March 2010: Having just returned from 2+ weeks in England, I can now state without asterisks or qualifications that I have been to the UK. Later this year: a new state for the map: Alaska!
Thursday, July 12, 2007

Adieu, Rabin

Rabin PtC

Rabin was born on October 24th, 1994, and Jennifer carried our beautiful six-week old chocolate labrador retriever puppy into our home on December 1st. Jennifer and I were recently engaged, and living in a rental house in Peachtree City, Georgia. As far as the Traveling Roths go, I guess Rabin was one even before Jennifer was, and of course the kids were years away from even existing.

She made the 14-hour drive to Pennsylvania for Christmas that year, and met the whole family.
Rabin Christmas 1994

Andy and Rabin

Rabin Polaroid

As a puppy, she was a handful, never slowing down, destroying remote controls, telephones, baseball hats. . . and always ready to play. She loved to. . .

Rabin in Lake Peachtree

Rabin GA Park

Rabin Camping

Or just tool around Peachtree City in a golf cart
Rabin's Peachtree City Golf Cart

Eventually the kids came along. Rabin was there the days each of them came home from the hospital. They got along great.

Rabin grew out of her puppy stage by the time she was seven or so.

We moved to North Carolina, and Rabin spent a year in Pennsylvania since our rental house didn't allow pets. When she came back to us, the kids could barely remember when she did live with us. She protected us. Well, we assumed she would. She never hurt anyone, but if you didn't know her, her bark sounded very intimidating.

She barely slowed down. By the time she was 11 or so, she lost her hearing, and couldn't jump into the back of the truck anymore, but you'd hardly notice. She'd still swim all day, given the chance.
Stick Thrower

Stick Chaser

She still traveled to Pennsylvania with us
ZR Steps

And enjoyed a day in the park
Roth Women

In June we noticed something wrong with her. Although she still seemed like her old self, she had a lump in her belly. The vet tested it and determined that the lump was a stage 3 mast cell tumor, it was very aggressive, and there wasn't a lot that could be done for her.

She went on for another month or so, generally herself, but slowing down with less energy, and occasionally having trouble standing up. When she was up, she'd still want to go out and catch a frisbee. We told the kids that she was sick, and that we didn't want to suffer. The kids didn't want to hear it. Tristan would cover his ears and tell us to "stop talking," as his voice cracked and his eyes teared up.

By early this week, she's pretty much stopped eating. You could see the tumor growing almost on a daily basis. By Wednesday, we knew it was time. The histamines released by the tumor wouldn't allow her to eat, yet she was getting sick everywhere and her tumor would bleed on and off. I took her to Mebane Pet Clinic for her final visit. She didn't want to get out of the truck, so I carried her. They took her into the back, and that's the last we ever saw her.

Goodbye old friend. You've been a part of our family even before it was a family, and the kids have never known a time without you. You'll always be with us.
Traveling Roths' Shadow

Rabin's Field Day
Rabin Olias Roth
October 24, 1994 - July 11, 2007

(PS, If you're reading this before Sunday the 15th, and happen to interact with Tristan and Zoe, please don't say anything to them. They don't know yet. They're at the beach with Jennifer, and we wanted to give them a few more days to enjoy themselves before dropping this on them.)
Friday, July 06, 2007

I Could (Have) Be(en) a Winner!

FM Talk 101.1 ran a contest this week for an Apple iPhone. Be the 20th caller after you hear the Apple noise, and you get entered into a raffle for the iPhone. . . a $600 value. The iPhone is the latest/greatest cool new geek toy that saw thousands of people lining up outside of Apple stores for hours or days in advance of last week's on-sale date.

I was the 20th caller.

There was one entrant per hour of the show, on each of four days, so there were sixteen total entrants. One in 16. . . not bad odds.

On Friday near the end of the show, they took the 16 preliminary entrants, and eliminated eight of them.

I was not eliminated.
My odds were now one in eight.

Later, they eliminated four of the eight remaining.

I was not eliminated.
My odds were now one in four.
I have a 25% shot at an iPhone.

Later, they eliminated two of the four.

They called my name, adding insult to injury by mispronouncing it in the process. (Come on, it's a four-letter, one-syllable name!)

I was eliminated.
My odds are now zero in . . . . . whatever.

I had big, non-specific plans for that iPhone. I wasn't going to activate it, as the minimum service plan is $60/month, which is $15/month more than what I'm currently paying for two phones. I could give it to Jennifer for her birthday. That would be a pretty sweet gift. We could hack it, and just use it as an iPod and wireless web browser. That would be pretty cool. I could auction it on eBay, and use the proceeds to buy my next camera, or maybe swap it with someone for something.

My iNtentions have fallen to the floor.
Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tristan and Zoe Return to the Homeland

Summer vacation is here, for those of us who get vacations. Vacation Bible School has come and gone, and Jennifer, Tristan, and Zoe have taken advantage of their long break to return to their homeland, Georgia.

In addition to catching up with Grandpa Joe and Pam, and spending copious amounts of time in Grandpa's pool, they've seen lots of friends, gone to Dixieland in Fayetteville, The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, and gotten some dinner and dessert in Buckhead at Fellini's and Cafe Intermezzo.

Rather than trying to present a narrative of what's been going on, I'll just link to the pictures.

Go to and enter the search term "Georgia2007" without the quotes.

Here's a sample:

JuneGA07 219
Jennifer at her all-time favorite dessert place: Cafe Intermezzo

JuneGA07 091
Tristan's first go at the Nintendo Wii

JuneGA07 106
Zoe driving a Go Kart at Dixieland in Fayetteville. (Where are the pedals? Nowhere near her feet!)

JuneGA07 160
A fish and a kid, seemingly in the same place.

Zoe Buckhead Fellini's
Zoe outside my favorite Atlanta pizza place.

So check the link for more, and maybe encourage Jennifer to write too.
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