Astro's Blog

UMC Mission Trip to Baldwin, Louisiana

By: Astrometeor, 6:11 PM GMT on July 22, 2013

Some of you might know about this organization known as UMCOR, broken down as the United Methodist Committee On Relief. The motto is "The first to arrive and the last to leave". The depot of supplies and organizational headquarters is located in Baldwin, LA, so when Katrina struck New Orleans, the Methodists responded in force and we have yet to leave.

My point in authoring this post is with regards to my own church and congregation. We are sending a squadron of 25 people from two churches down to Baldwin to help support the base and organize supplies and prepare the town for the next potential disaster to strike the nation. They will be leaving for Baldwin on July 27, and will leave to come back Aug. 3. I have several friends going who will miss a couple of days of the start of school to partake in this trip.

My last statement for this is two parts: One, I hope they do well and good in their trip and I wish them safety during their travels. Two, I hope that their aid won't be needed, but if God wills it, that I wish and pray the best for their efforts and to UMCOR's unending charity in the lives of the needy.

From UMCOR's page: UMCOR

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. UMCOR’s work reaches people in more than 80 countries, including the United States. We provide humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupt life to such an extent that communities are unable to recover on their own.
UMCOR is a ministry of The United Methodist Church, and our goal is to assist the most vulnerable persons affected by crisis or chronic need without regard to their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. We believe all people have God-given worth and dignity.
While UMCOR cooperates with other aid organizations to extend our reach, our most important partners are the people we serve. We are confident that successful solutions to emergency or chronic conditions begin with the affected population. UMCOR provides these survivors not only temporary relief but long-term education, training, and support.
UMCOR spends 100 percent of designated donations on the projects our donors specify. When UMCOR donors give their time, money, and supplies, they join UMCOR as the hands and feet of Christ.

Please pray for the team!

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Miscellaneous Travels Summer Disaster Prep Church

An Appeal to the WU Community

By: Astrometeor, 7:16 PM GMT on July 16, 2013

I would like to make an appeal to the general assembly blogging community.

As some of you know, trHUrrIXC5MMX (Max) has abruptly left WU for an undetermined amount of time. GOOD BYE EVERYONE Me and him talk via e-mail quite regularly, and this is what he sent me today:

But about the rest of your email. .. it comes down to a simple question. ..
Am I "that" important on wu...? Why the scare? Im not a featured or have special distinction on wu...
Just being real.

I answered him, but I would like to hear from the general community how they feel about him leaving us like this.

If you don't know who he is or don't remember, he is the creator of the Hurricane Chart:
Community Hurricane Prediction Chart

One more thing, I know he doesn't like me sharing his e-mails to the world, but I think it's important for him to hear from all of his WU friends.

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Miscellaneous Hurricane

A Discussion: Curse Words

By: Astrometeor, 6:48 PM GMT on July 06, 2013

It has come to my attention recently that there is a gap between people's definitions of curse words. To give a recent example, take this exchange:

Quoting 412. Hurricanes101:

He is just pissed that TW in the CATL is better organized and garnering more attention than the system he/she said a few days ago could be like Audrey in the GOM lol

Quoting 418. Patrap:

412. Hurricanes101
Cussing in any form is NOT allowed.
MODIFY your post.

Quoting 424. Hurricanes101:

um where did I curse?

Quoting 430. Patrap:

Thanx for modifying, but your original "P" word remains in the archive,

Hurricanes101 changed the wording from "pissed" to "MAD" in his post.

Quoting 434. Hurricanes101:

This is the only place I have seem that "P" word considered a curse word LOL

either way I corrected it, but still its a bit silly lol

What I don't understand is that the "P-word" as Patrap calls it, isn't a curse word. All it is, really, is a slightly more descriptive word than "mad'. The curse word variation of this would be "F**** mad". Patrap doesn't clarify upon Hurricanes101's confusion, just states that "Rule #5 in the Community Standards is clear". That rule states no cursing allowed, period. However, to be "pissed off" is not a curse word, it is a description on how mad one is. Which brings up another discussion that (for now) has been quieting down over in WunderYakuza's blog. I have no more to add to that discussion, as I can clearly see that no progress was made or will ever be met; but if one wants to see another example of mis-use of the definition of "curse words", go and look at it.


I have a good commentary on it at post #510. Look above that from posts #452-464 a discussion between myself and Skyepony on the use of curse words and where they are appropriate or not.

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Miscellaneous Diction

Summer Camp Boxwell: Part One of the Trilogy

By: Astrometeor, 11:13 PM GMT on July 02, 2013

First Day: Sunday June 16, 2013: Father's Day

So, after going to bed at 3 AM after a shower and some quick packing of clothes, I awoke at 9 AM to finish up packing, and such. Dad and I took a trip to church to deliver some clothes for the clothing ministry my church has, then we came back home to prepare for the trip to Boxwell. Things that one must pack for a Boy Scout trip outside of clothing:
-money (40-60 dollars is a safe amount) -knife -canteen -bug spray -flashlight -bed sheets/sleeping bag -fishing pole -toilet paper -wood sticks
Once all of these things were packed and ready to go, my family got into our car and we took off for Boxwell Reservation.

Trip is pretty boring. But there is a new bridge on the road there, was built a couple of years ago. Reason I am telling you about this bridge is because when it opened, my scoutmaster took me to summer camp via this thing a week after it opened. The GPS (Garmin) told him to take a right onto another street....except we were still on the bridge!

So, we get there and unload, this is my first encounter with a staffer named Kyle, he's a friend of mine from school. More encounters (and more interesting ones) from him will come later throughout the week.

After waiting for 10 minutes for the tractor to haul our gear (no parental cars allowed past a certain point), we walked in with our minimal gear and left our heavy stuff back with my parents at our site marker there at the entrance to camp. So, we hiked it and picked out our tents. For anyone curious, this is what a canvas tent looks like:

Cots under a canvas that is tied via rope and wood to the ground. The cots sit on a wooden floor that is portable (in case it needs to be moved). We gave our medical/physical forms to our assistant scoutmaster who's son couldn't go because of a swimming competition in Puerto Rico. >.:( After that delay, we got our yearly talk about safety on the veranda of the dining hall (really boring).

Then, we went back to our site, (#8, best one!), changed into our swim suits, and went down to the waterfront for our swim test. 100 yards in water over your head, 75 yards of freestyle, 25 yards of backstroke, one 360 degree turn, and floating on back for 5 seconds. I passed once in a pool, but the lake is much more different. I got 1/3 of the way, before my lungs couldn't find any oxygen from the air. (More on this later).

Map of Camp Craig:

In 6 years, I call that swim test for me a major accomplishment; it was my first time in the water, and I felt pretty good to get beginner rather than "non-swimmer".
Well, anyways, we walked back to camp, cleaned up, then went to set up other things, like the big canvas shelters that we use to sit under to play games, sit and chat, or protect large groups from rain. After we got that done, our sister troop and mine reacquainted ourselves with each other. Then, everyone grabbed their poles and went to test the waters of the best fishing spot in all of Camp Boxwell. Me and my little bro said a final good-bye to our parents (our father would be back to supervise for Tuesday and Wednesday).

...........Several hours later..........

Time for flag lowering. In front of the dining hall (see above for pic) is the flagpole at which all 200 scouts and personnel gather to lower the flag. It is done in military fashion, with a salute (three fingers to the eyebrow) and a bugle as the color guard retrieves the flag. All are at attention, there must be complete silence during the ceremony out of respect for the flag. Once that is done, the Camp is put at ease, and ICCs (Inter-Camp Communications) are announced (don't say you have an announcement, that's a no-no) to the camp before a dismissal to either dinner or back to camp (there are two meal times A&B, the hall can't feed all 200 scouts at once, so one dinner before flag, the next afterwards.) This year we had B meal, so our breakfast and dinner meals come after flag raising/lowering. Meal was the usual grub, fake ingredients and such (you think Taco Bell's mysterious meat was bad, hah well....), the only saving grace was the salad bar, lettuce, cheese (two kinds), peppers, tomatoes, pickles, carrots, mushrooms, and most importantly, BACON! Slather that with three times what McDonalds gives ya in ranch, and you sir, have a meal. That salad bar is like food heaven to a hungry scout. By some estimations, the average scout goes through 4-5000 calories a day. Note: The nutrition bar on food boxes is based off of a 2000 calorie diet. I ate 5000 calories a day at Boxwell and still lost weight. LOL.

Anyways.....we went to evening opening campfire, basically a bunch of skits, theme was escaped dinosaurs. Weird and funny as usual. It's fun for the newbie scouts.

Upon return, we gathered our shower stuff and headed up to the shower stalls for the required daily shower. Now the shower halls are, err, interesting. It's a loosely built building, 8 bathroom stalls, and 8 shower stalls (although some immature brats make it hard to tell the difference). Sometimes the water is scorching hot, but usually the water is Arctic cold. Some people think that's good after a hot, humid day, but let me tell ya, it feels like needles on your back. Sharp needles. Plus, lines can be long. Imagine 200 scouts, three shower halls, 8 stalls per hall, and about 2-3 hours to run every one through. Unfortunately, they fixed the sinks. One of them used to have a leak, such that when you turned it off, it sounded like a baby crying. We liked to joke that there was a baby stuck down there. So funny while it lasted, especially when the younger kids fell for it.

After that, the older scouts in 200 and two eagle scouts from the sister troop went night-fishing. First fish caught went to Michael H., a baby catfish just minutes before lights-out and taps. A funny conversation came up. Somehow it came around to me and my level of intelligence. I don't mind, but ok.

Daniel (one of the eagles and Michael (who is the other)'s friend) was like, "Yo, Michael, Nathan's super smart."
And Michael was like, "Hey, Nathan, what year are you in?"
Me: "Rising senior".
Michael: "You take the ACT?"
Me: "Yeah."
Michael: "Whatcha' get?"
Me: "29."
At this point some expletives went around amongst the whole group, about 6 of us.
Michael: "****, that's 10 points higher than me, wow."
Then, of course, as all of these convos go, they agree that I am going to be a millionaire when I grow up, going to be living the dream life. Pffft, I wish (and hope dearly so).

After the fish was caught and released, we had to go to bed. Got onto my sleeping bag, made sure there were no bugs crawling around, and went to sleep.

I must say though, we gave our fathers the best present that they could've wanted, no sons to bother them and their wives for a week.

End of Day One: Sunday, June 16, 2013.

More pics are on their way, I'll put them in the comments section for everyone to enjoy. Pay attention!

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Camp Miscellaneous Summer Photos Travels

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.