Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sweet Home.......!!!!

The past 5 months have proved eventful for the fourth member of the Hector family, but the culmination was in the last two weeks. The first of the last two was filled with cramming, finals, and more cramming. The last of the last two weeks was an all expense paid trip, for 18 of my classmates and I, to the Department of Homeland Security's class on Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness in Anniston, Alabama. During the week we trained on how to handle a possible terrorist attack at the first responder level. One of the training exercises included coming face to face with sarin and VX (two deadly chemicals, which with a single drop can kill upwards of 500 people).

We left Sacramento International at 0620, and arrived in Atlanta, GA around 1330 eastern time. The planes in Atlanta like to get really close to each other it seems.

Our pilot liked living life on the edge and almost landed on the freeway. We convinced him that it probably would get him fired.

From the airport, we took a two hour bus drive to Anniston, AL where our accommodations were waiting for us. I got my own room for a whole week!!

That night we started things off with food. They fed us well during our stay. I ate three FULL meals a day and still didn't gain a single pound!

We had several hours to kill that evening since our classes didn't start until the next day, so a couple of us decided to take the beach cruisers provided for our use out for a spin. Meet the first SCUSD paramedic biker gang.

The next day we got right into the swing of things and went to class. We just got DONE with class and we volunteered to go AGAIN?! What were we thinking?!

Several exercises were preformed throughout the week, including mass triage (sorting of patients) on little stuffed animals with condition tags strapped to their poor lifeless bodies. Great idea!

We practiced decontamination techniques.

They had a whole building set up with different scenes and props, including a mock train wreck with tracks included!

We dressed up in "Level B" suits to do some of the scenarios. My buddy Eric on the left and myself on the right.

In our break area, there was a most oddly placed gazebo with a weather vane included!

From left to right: Chris, Mr. Moonsuit Manikin and Thomas, Eric.

There was a lot of down-time in the evenings, so we would take walks and find cool Alabama stuff to look at. We were on an old military base and there were old military base-like buildings which were abandoned, so we explored them. I'm not exactly sure what the chains were inside the bus stop though.

The upstairs in the barracks building was particularly creepy. Long, dark hallways with strange figures standing in front of the windows.

In the lounge area, they had a foozeball table! We had hours of fun there.

At the end of the week we headed back to Atlanta for our return flight. 4 hours of sitting around at the airport meant boredom. Boredom meant goofy pictures. My friend Vinnie and myself.

My good buddy Dan and myself.

Once on the plane I couldn't pass up this great picture of my traveling buddy Kiegon catching a few Z's.

Nine hours later we arrived in Sacramento. I love this state.

My one bit of information that I will now pass along to you in regards to possible domestic terrorist attacks is to move as far into the country as you can. That is all.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dear Ben and Thomas,

Now that you two are scattered across the nation, your Christmas present has finally arrived. The motor is in the shop being prepared for the summer boating season, it will be ready soon.

A note to everyone in the blogosphere: That is "Mac" in the boat. She is our nephew's daughter. If you are wondering about the lack of PFD's, please be aware that anyone who falls overboard in this pond need merely walk back to shore to save themselves.

Choose your seat wisely on this vessel as some are better than others. Nick's back side is considerably wetter than his front side. Had there been nothing to grab ahold of, he would have been uniformly wet.

Mrs. Hector is getting her hair shorn as we speak. It will look different than this when you see her next.

be safe, (that means you, Nick)
Hec @ 19

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And then there were four

Our youngest ewe has produced our youngest and smallest lamb.

Lamb #4 (sorry, we aren't real big on naming critters that are headed for the dinner table) was about the same size as Earl (left) when she was born.

Here she is, side by side with her older cousin. All of these photos were taken by Jonathan.

David was small, especially when you compare him to Goliath. Being small didn't stop David from doing great things. Don't let being small stop you from doing great things.

be safe,
Hec @ 19

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jonathan: Through the ages, pt.1

We now turn our attention to Jonathan. He is a fine young man, one that is full of self-discipline and attention to detail. Jonathan loves the water. That will be evident as we go through these selected images.

Who hasn't contemplated what life would be like with just one large orange tooth?

Jonathan prefers to wear his hair short. He has never had, nor will he ever have a mullet.

There is something about Ben's glasses that invite exploration. we can't even get Ben to wear them as much as his brothers do.

Jonathan cleans up nicely. If you look closely, you will see the real Jonathan in this picture.

All the world's a stage, especially if a hat is involved.

Jonathan will climb to great heights as he grows up. Just you wait and see!!

Reformation day, and yet another hat.

Jonathan is going to need a good education because...

He wants to join the Coast Guard someday! I think that he is especially well equipped by our Lord for this calling.

If this picture doesn't say Coast Guard, I don't know what does.

What lies behind that curious smile?

This was taken on Jonathan's first visit to Oakland. The firehouse was fun, but the playground was even better!

Another water shot; do you see a pattern emerging?

Capture the Flag is a favorite game at our house. It is a good excuse to pull out the camo-gear.

Not as much water here, but just as much fun.

Where there is sand, there is sure to be an ocean nearby.

Lots of water, lots of smiles. Jonathan is in his element.

The guy with the can-do attitude. He is eager to please, willing to help and fast on the draw!

Jonathan's life will make for a very powerful testimony someday. The story is still unfolding as we speak. He is in our prayers, and he is in our hearts.

be safe,
Hec @ 19

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Word as revealed by a crab

The Plexiglas tank was the length and width of a bathtub, and about 18 inches deep. A pump kept the chilly salt water circulating which made for a perfect temporary home for the hundreds of Dungeness crabs that resided in it.

The tank was in one of the many Asian markets that populate an area of downtown Oakland known as Chinatown. These markets are my favorite place to buy fish because the prices are about half of what our corporate-owned supermarkets charge, and because if the crab is alive, you can be relatively certain that it is fresh. The diminutive Chinese gentleman who spoke just enough English to sell fish was happy to take my order. He set about the fascinating process of completing the transaction by reaching into the tank with his bare hand to pluck out ten of the tasty morsels which were destined for the Hectors' evening meal. Like people, each crab seemed to have a distinct personality, and they had varying ways of responding to the intrusion in their tank. Being a seasoned veteran, the Fishmonger (a Mongol Monger?) took these differences into account as he chose his ten victims, one at a time.

INTERLUDE: The crabs on the right are waiting for their turn in the cooking pot. The crabs on the left have completed their turn in the cooking pot.

Some of the crabs were highly aware of the hand from above as it plunged into their frigid world. They responded in a menacing fashion, rising up on their tasty hind legs as they waved their powerful claws at the threat. They turned to face the hand with lightning speed, keeping both eyes and both claws between their bodies and the five-fingered hazard. Other crabs were indifferent and made no effort to fend off the merchant's advances. They remained still, with their defenses tucked under their chin. They seemed healthy enough; their color and size were the same as their more vigilant companions. Both waved the tiny appendages around their face in the same fashion. But the complacent crabs made no effort to guard themselves from what their more attentive brethren knew to fear. Can you guess which crabs the vendor chose to pull from the water and stuff into the waiting bag? Can you guess which crabs were left unbothered?

I wonder if Satan has something in common with that aging Shopkeeper. Could it be that Satan chooses his victims wisely? Does he look for the sinners that won't put up a fuss? I bet he does. If the sinful things of the world don't bother you much, if they don't seem like much of a threat, you might want to think about how an aging Chinese Merchant goes about the business of choosing his tasty victims. Think about who leaves the tank and who stays.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

1 Peter 5:8

be safe,
Hec @ 19

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Anthony: Through the Ages, pt. 1

Sorry for the delay folks, I got distracted. Now then, where was I? Ah yes, ANTHONY!! Never Tony, mind you, just Anthony. The quickest description I can give you is that he has Ben's drive and Thomas' panache. Ever vigilant, he is the assistant house manager, just behind his Mom. This title wasn't awarded to him, he just worked into it by default.

He is patriotic, as you can tell by the colors of his attire.

Even the chill of a snowy day doesn't dampen his spirits.

Anthony Hector: Super achiever.
Nothing brightens his spirits like the earthy aroma of tree bark.

Let's face it, this wouldn't happen if they didn't like you.

You can't say that Anthony has his head buried in the sand.

The expression may be a little strange, but at least the hat is normal.

The expression may be a little strange, but at least the hat is normal.

Anthony will try his hand at anything.

Ben and Thomas, please take note of the wide array of normal head gear.

Happy birthday to you.

Some things 'ya just gotta learn the hard way.

There, that's better.

I have no idea as to what transpired here, I was busy tying Sara's shoe.

Anthony thought that wearing Ben's glasses would impart a degree of sophistication on himself. I leave it to you to decide if he was right.

Fishing for plastic fish is a lot cleaner than going for the real thing.

What form! What style!

Anthony dabbles as an amateur veterinarian.

This is Anthony. His life story is a remarkable one, and it will be even more so as God continues to work in him. Stay tuned folks, he's one to watch.