Milt Siting

POSTED IN | 11:38 PM

Milt traversing Mt. Washington's summit on a sunny July day in New Hampshire. He emailed this to me recently to help chronicle his travels of last summer. Currently, he's in Abu Dhabi where he's been doing some break through research on the effects of sleep deprivation on Emperor Beetles. Really fascinating stuff...
The 25th came and went. At the Stu family headquarters we unwrapped, we feasted, we wined, we talked, we laughed (one of us cried — see below), we napped, we walked the dogs, we sang carols, we desserted, we loafed.

A good day.

Dinah starts the day off with a peek in the sock. Oh boy! Fingernail files to smooth her chubby fingernails. Thanks, Santa!

Papa unwrapping the present I got him — a new chalk line with a string bubble-level. We broke the other one on the pergola project back in November.

Ms. Crocker preparing the snacky tray.

Joshy moving in on the tree's forbidden fruit. "No Joshy! No."

I have a crush on every boy!

Laura and Sam called long-distance from The Merry Old to talk with everyone. Carson talked to Laura a little bit, but was quite distracted by the Dallas game unfolding on the tube in front of him. "Aunt Laura, are you about done talking to me?" I think the idea of intercontinental travel is lost on a four year old.

Nephew Joshy has extreme baby butt-rash and four new teeth coming in. At times he became angry and used his magic — extreme baby rage.

Dinah with Hazel and Storm.

Post-rage zoneout.


Don't let the kicking leg and heaving giggles deceive you, he is not ticklish.

The Christmas spread.

The Fat Man doing, well, what a fat man does best. Pile it on, brother.

Chubby Dinah forking it in.

Granny Lillian and Grandma Stuart.

Laura and the C-man.

Dinah and G-ma Stuart.

Mom and her boys. Dallas is losing in the background.

Carson asked if he could take some pictures too. I gave him my mom's camera. It's like I was totally using mine at the time...

He went straight to work.

Here's one he got...

REAL Christmas Music

POSTED IN | 12:04 PM
For Christmas Eve my fam headed north to OKC for All Souls' Episcopal church service. This is the third year we've gone, and I think I finally have the service down. There's kneeling, chanting, responsorials and the communion procedures are a bit involved (but really good) if one's unfamiliar with the higher church customs (this was me three years ago).

But now that the procedural what-not is down, the service is one I appreciate most. And making the service even better is the REAL Christmas music that fills the lofty, vaulted sanctuary.

Here are some songs from last night that I recorded. I didn't record the whole song on a few on them. But they are SO good.

This is my favorite Christmas song now:

In The Bleak Midwinter
(music by our old friend Gustav Holst)

and another good one (I'm feeling a tbone quartet arrangement of this for church offertory):

Of the Father's Love Begotten

and another:

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem (the original Vaughn Williams arrangement)


I took pictures of my friend Jocelyn's lambs in May at the sheep statue on campus. I know Jocelyn from the Puerto Rico class and she wanted some pics of her kids with the lambies (they were born in April) and the statue. It was fun taking the pictures. We drew some stares from collegiate passersby.


Birthday Meringue

POSTED IN | 12:33 AM
In a glorious display of post-birthday affection, my mom and grandma deftly handcrafted the mother of all pies today — the venerable Lemon Meringue. And whoa, it delivered. I laughed. I cried. I swooned. I thought gluttonous thoughts.

And for the meringue, my mom implemented the baking proverbs of ol' Martha's Mile-High Lemon Pie recipe. The end result? "A good thing."

Where would I be without Martha? I can't imagine my culinary life without her, much less the coincidental success of my stock portfolio.

But thanks Ma, Granny and of course, Martha.

Artful beauty.

I didn't really eat half the pie, though I seriously could, then IMMEDIATELY regret it.


23 years gone by

POSTED IN | 11:15 PM

So yeah. I rolled over the big twenty three today. Yup...23. It's after 22. Just before 24. Sadly, my birthday is on the shortest day of the year — the Winter Solstice — but as if nature was making up for things, this evening's sunset proved quite nice.

And on this day of my birth, I made a list. These are goals for the next year and/or things that stand out in my mind from the past year:

1. Laura and Sam's wedding on Dec. 31, 2005
2. Had my last remaining baby tooth removed in January
3. Took pictures at Gallagher Iba and saw OU beat OSU in Stillwater in February
4. Went to Seattle and Vancouver in March
5. Went to England for Pete and Susanna's lovely wedding in April
6. Established that I don't want to be a professional journalist
7. Realized more why friends are so important
8. Changed my first diaper — cousin Lydia's — two words: PARTIAL DIGESTION
9. Visited Maine for the first time in 17 years
10. Came to appreciate my hometown more
11. Learned that life plans are fluid even if you think you have yours locked in
12. Went to Puerto Rico for a travel writing class
13. Realized that I can be content HERE and NOW — not somewhere else and later
14. B.L.
15. Saw Norman North beat Norman High for the first time in history during the second round of the state playoffs
16. Read more and faster
17. Memorize more Bible/WSC
18. Get a financial planner and start investing, old school
19. Complete my six remaining credit hours and graduate with a BA in Journalism
20. Get some freelance photo jobs around Norman (NOT weddings! No thank you)
21. Compose/arrange music for the 12:30 OU Jazz ensemble
22. Be more confrontational (but in a good way)
23! Visit my main man D. Ling in Singapore

five-fold music

POSTED IN | 12:14 AM
At drill last weekend we actually did some meaningful playing. Not just the typical Sousa marching band what-not (I'm not saying Sousa is complete bulsh, but when it's all you play eventually your mind will atrophy and your musical senses dull).

I played in a brass quintet at Crossroads Mall in OKC. It was probably the first time in awhile that I really enjoyed playing my horn at drill. Within the group intonation was good, blending apparent, harmonies tight and musicality generally encouraged.

And I like the guys who I played with a lot:

1st trumpet: Jason — Guymon, Okla.
2nd trumpet: Phillip — Wichita Falls, Texas
French Horn: Levi — Joplin, Mo.
Euphonium: Chase — Norman, Okla.
Trombone: Me — N-town, OK

photos by Staff Sergeant Dennis Carrell.



My bro got a new deer rifle for next year's season. It's a Remington 700 series chambered in a .243 caliber (the bullet is .243 of an inch in diameter) and she's a beaut. I was in Dallas for a few days last week, so we headed out to the range for some target practice.

This is my grandpa's old Marlin 30-30. It's the old-West style lever action and plenty fun to shoot, but not so good in the accuracy department. The bullet drops 48 inches at 300 yards. Not ideal for shooting at a deer's "kill zone" that is about 8 x 8 inches, so my bro says.

Downrange through the 9x Nikon scope. The .243 bullets drop 3 inches at 300 yards. Accurate enough to take down a wamp rat any day.

My shot group at 100 yards. Not stellar shooting, but it would have been sufficient to dispatch Bambi. And that's really what it's all about, no?


Green light

POSTED IN | 12:49 AM

So...yeah...I'm excited.

'God's Country'

Two weekends ago, Brittany and and I went to Austin for a visit. I met lots of her burnt orange friends, had a fair share of "real beer," went to J Ram's bro's 6-man football game and generally had a great time.

My overall impressions after the trip:

1. Hillcountry Texas is way prettier than N. Texas.
2. I could live in Austin w/o much difficulty (obviously the 'Horns are thick, but there are bike lanes, good public transportation, a wealth of health food stores, a prominent Crunchy Con subculture and good churches. I mean really, what else is there people?)
3. HEB's wine selection is pretty boss
4. Good friends are something to be prized and really really thankful for.
5. Watching your football team win whilst in the home town of your rival school feels REALLY good.

Some shots from the weekend...

Rolling south to the Longhorn Mecca. I wanted a shot of the Austin city limits road sign, but missed it. Guess I'll have to go back...

UT's big tower on campus. When UT wins they light it up with (how did you guess?) orange lights. Interestingly, the tower has not been lit up in some time...

Subtle defiance.

Just engaged. Jonathan is changing HIS name, don't worry.

The Balboa shot.

The University press. Circulation: 1.

Here's the hippy sign imploring the masses to use alterate forms of transportation. I couldn't help but think about my lonely bike way back in Norman. A bike-tour of UT's campus would've been awesome.

Your average downtown Austin mural.

"Like, hook 'em horns..."

Mellow Mushroom pizza — a beautifully crafted pie.

Drifters on Guadelupe Street.

Brittany's friend, Nora is an art major at St. Edwards in Austin. She did this piece for Brit's birthday. I call it "Blossoming Crimson and Cream" But others might have different titles...

Some champagne and some Scattergories. J. Ramsay popped over to Austin that weekend from his home in Fredericksburg. Really good to see the definitive J Rams...

Look! REAL Texas women. I've heard of these marveled creatures only in story books...but I assure you, they are alive and well.
The best part though was being in a sportsbar in downtown Austin watching OU dominate Nebraska for the Big 12 title.

The stunning capitol of Texas. I was told by a very knowledgeable source and in a very proud declaration that this building is actually taller than our nation's capitol. Alls I know is that is looks cool with the lights lit up at night.