We’re Number Two!

From the International Herald Tribune, “U.S. high court accepts gun rights”, Friday, June 27, 2008, p. 1: The United States has a higher rate of gun-related deaths than any other country but Albania, according to World Health Organization data. Good to know. * * * We’re back from Croatia. I’ll blog more about both parental visits when I get the photos back.

Simon, Paula, Randy – meet Abby.

Last Wednesday, Abby (and I) were on Albanian television, for the semi-finals of Albania’s answer to American Idol, “Academy of Stars”. In this program, 24 students are selected and divided into two teams, and they go head to head in a variety of dance performances or songs, depending on each student’s discipline. At the end of each program, viewers text in their favorites for each match-up, and the loser is eliminated. The quality of the performances varies – some of the kids actually could give David Archuleta a run for his money, while others will probably never get further than…

Dental drama

I’ve been having sensitivity in my teeth for about six weeks: the root is exposed on tooth #30 (lower right) from overeager brushing, a filling in tooth #3 (upper right) had gone bad after 24 years, and a cavity was forming where teeth #2 and 3 met. Four weeks ago I started going to a dentist who was recommended by a friend from the British embassy.* The office was very clean, the equipment very high-tech, etc., but after four visits the dentist still hadn’t been able to resolve the problems, and in some respects had made them worse; so I…

More on the dog project

Our group had its second meeting last night. We discussed some strategy and next steps, and – based on a conversation that I and my Albanian counterpart, Mimi, had had with a local attorney – I explained how to incorporate: that we needed to name a board of directors and an executive director, and draft and file the necessary papers (and pay the attorney for her services). I was the only one to volunteer then and there to serve either as one of the directors or as the executive. This was strange, considering that I’m not even the most ardent…