Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tibetan Buddhist Monks in Jacksonville

Charline and I had the privilege of meeting some very nice Tibetan Buddhist monks from India this weekend. They are on an awareness-raising, money-raising trip around the world, as they are wont to do. (They want the world to put pressure on China to allow Tibetans to have religious freedom, for example.) They put on a great show of dancing and singing/chanting - and even a crazy and fun form of "debating" - at FCCJ. It was wonderful.

We also saw the nearly finished sand mandala they've been working on all week. Spectacular stuff. Built one grain of sand at a time.

If only I could attain a small portion of the serenity and joy those guys seem to have. That would be nice. But, I'd probably have to watch less television. I think Buddha said something about less TV, didn't he?

Sand Mandala Photos

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Jude and Charline on TV

Jude and Charline were on the local television news. You can see the story on the First Coast News web site. This was quite a coup after already being featured in a full-page photo feature on the city newspaper (see entry about that below).

The TV news item was a nice piece about the stroller fitness classes Charline attends near the beach. Charline will soon be teaching these "Strollerjize" classes in the San Marco area. You can read about that on her new web site,

They showed Jude in his stroller and Charline doing her exercises, along with a few other moms who were at the class. The story ran early Tuesday morning, then again, in a slightly different version, Tuesday evening.

And this is a major news program in Jacksonville. It runs on both the ABC and NBC affiliate stations, due a strange arrangement in Jacksonville. And hardly anyone watches the local news on the CBS and FOX affiliate stations. The only real competition is an independent station (Channel 4, WJXT).

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mission Stardust: Jamie in Space

Sunday morning, January 15, the NASA spacecraft Stardust will return to Earth after a seven-year, three-billion-mile mission to collect -- you guessed it -- star dust. (You'll be seeing this in the news, if you haven't already.) And the name "James D. Barger" has been along for the ride the entire time. That name, along with many others, was etched into two microchips that were placed aboard the spacecraft while it was being assembled, way back in 1997. You can read the details about how that happened on the NASA web site.

The craft is expected to bring back particles from a comet and from outside our solar system. These particles will provide new insights into how the solar system, and everything in it, was formed.

See "James D. Barger" on the Stardust craft

National Geographic explains the Stardust story

NASA's Official "Where is Stardust now?" Page

NASA's Official Stardust Photo Gallery

Map of the Landing Site

Google News search for NASA Stardust stories

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Jude is on the move

Jude has been crawling around like crazy ever since he figured out how, on Christmas Day, at grandparents-Bargers' house. Now Charline and I have a whole new set of challenges to keep him from getting into trouble. But, it's wonderful to see him so happy and having so much fun. He really seems excited about his new ability.