Sunday, December 22, 2002

Christmas Letter!

Why do people write Christmas letters? Is it to assuage the guilt that comes from not keeping in close enough touch with people in the first place? I mean, what can you say in a one-page letter that couldn't better be expressed in a few phone calls over the course of the year? Is it to convince people that you really do care for them despite the fact that you haven't seen them all year? Or is it actually a selfish device by which we brag to others about all we've seen and done in the last year?

Supposing that some of the people who get our Christmas letter this year might be reading this, I suppose I shouldn't be pessimistic. But, in actuality, the reasons we wrote a Christmas letter are threefold:

  1. God has blessed us beyond measure this year,
  2. despite our good intentions, it has not been possible for us to see or talk to all of our friends and loved ones to share these great changes, and
  3. we want to share what has been going on with these same friends and loved ones so that they may join with us in praising God for his goodness!

I should also mention that our distribution list for this year's letter was limited to those people with whom we truly felt we had done a poor job of staying in touch. So if you are a friend or family member and did not receive our Christmas letter, know that those who did receive it saw even less of us this year than you did!

Without further ado, I am proud to provide, for your reading pleasure (ok, that part is questionable), our 2002 Christmas Letter! (260KB)

(Editor's Note: it has been edited somewhat for privacy reasons.)

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Mount up with wings as… penguins?

As mentioned before on House of Horne, is a great source of humor to lighten up your day. Given the penguin's status as the mascot for Linux, and that I'm running Linux on my server and am just generally a big fan of the Linux and open-source movements, I found this image particularly funny.

Penguins can't fly!

Beware the Costume Christmas Parties!

If anyone invites you to a costume party for Christmas, my personal advice would be to wear costumes that can be worn over regular clothes and removed with minimal fuss. After all, you never know when you might show up and be the ONLY ONES IN COSTUME! Not that I speak from personal experience or anything...

Click on "The rest of the Story" to see what I mean.

Monday, November 25, 2002

It seemed like a good idea…

I usually have no sympathy for people who fall for scams and tricks which open themselves up for things like identity theft. This story, however, makes me cringe. It is just plausible enough to snag the unsuspecting at their weakest moment. I hope most people would not send this kind of information to anyone without meeting face to face or at least calling the company to verify the recipient, but when was the last time you refused to answer questions from someone you thought was about to hire you?

I had to submit to a thorough background check before starting with my current employer, but I delivered the information to a live person officed in a building that was unmistakably owned by my (then) future employer. But, I shudder to think that, in a position like the one in which this man found himself, the line between safety and agonizing mistake could be mighty hard to walk.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Road weary

Amy and I have just returned from a trip to Tucson, where we (or, rather she and her friend Betsy) attended a medical conference required to maintain her currency with the various boards and bureaucracies that govern her medical license. However, it was not a dull trip! We figured that, as long as we were hitting the road and putting 2600 miles on our car, we would stop and take in some scenery. To that end, we made a week long trip out of it and saw some amazing things. For example, on our way across Arizona, we ran into a HUGE hole in the ground!

Monday, October 28, 2002

Lament for the Sun

If I didn't know better, I'd think Ra's chariot had lost a wheel and the dealership didn't have a loaner...

I don't know about where you are, but, where I am, it has been grey and overcast for almost two weeks now. At first I was pleased by the cooler weather and the rain to help green things up a bit. Now, though, I feel like I'm in Seattle. I suppose that just goes to show how fickle I am. I had a dream last night that I saw the sun. Even in my dream, though I knew I would wake up to more low ceilings and wet weather.


Truthfully, it's not that I don't enjoy sitting on the sofa with hot chocolate and a good book. There are, however, other things I want to do. I'd like to get back up in the air. I would like to go rollerblading and not have to dodge the mud puddles. And, at the risk of sounding domestic, I would love to let our dogs out in the back yard and not have to wash the mud off their feet before they come back inside!

However, I have a secret. Just between you and me, if our skies don't clear up soon, it won't matter, because Amy and I will be heading west. More details to follow...

Monday, October 14, 2002

Weekend in the Windy City

Just back from a fun weekend in Chicago with dear friends, Amy and I are already looking forward to going back! Here are some photos we took of our trip, but they hardly do it justice. Our friends, Scott and Diana Karafin, moved to Chicago recently for school (a Master's and a Ph.D.!!!), and we had the chance to spend a weekend with them. In addition, our friend Betsy drove down (or around) from Michigan.

It was such a full and fun weekend, it is hard to sum it all up, but here are a few keywords:

  • The "L"
  • Cranium
  • Blueberry Muffins
  • The Miracle Mile
  • Ghirardelli's Chocolate
  • Geja's
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • a new church
  • Giordano's Pizza
  • farewell

That only hits the main events, and leaves out all of the fun conversation, not to mention finding ourselves surrounded by the Chicago marathon when we were trying to get to church!

Amy and I are thankful that we are at a point in life (read "no children yet") that we can take off for weekends and see friends and family. And while it's always good to return home, we look forward to the next time.

Scott and Diana, thank you so much for your hospitality! Betsy, thanks for driving all that way to see us! Kirby, Hoover, and Yoshi, thanks for sharing your apartment with us humans.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Happy Anniversary!

Cue the orchestra, set off the fireworks, and uncork the champagne...

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the day Amy and I were wed. While four years may not seem much to some, we're still thrilled she's not in Buffalo, NY, with our contact limited to telephone calls! Each and every day of the last four years (with the exception of those three months when Amy had to go back to Buffalo to finish Medical School) has been wonderful and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Each day brings new discoveries, challenges, and triumphs, and each day I fall more deeply in love with my wife.

Happy Anniversary, my beloved. And here's to four (and forty) more years!

Wednesday, October 9, 2002

More fun with style sheets

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. It's also easy and doesn't require as much creativity as being original...

In this vein, I've added yet another fun (and I predict wildly popular...) style. For any of you who have visited Todd Stadler's site, you'll immediately recognize the color scheme, as well as the fact that his site is much more tightly put together and thought out.

I'm not going to pilfer his graphics or pretend that I came up with this, but I do like the color scheme, so I've made it an alternative for your viewing pleasure. That is until it gets replaced by further experimentation or Todd sues for unauthorized use of his intellectual propery...

Monday, October 7, 2002


I discovered something new and exciting today at a friend's site, and immediately decided to take advantage of it! If you look to the left (or right, if you've already switched), you'll see a "Choose your Style" area of the menu. This allows you to change the style sheet used to view this site. I knew my first order of business had to be compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, so I have provided a style sheet tailored to left-handed people. :-)

The Java Script used to provide this capability will place a cookie on your computer, so as you move from page to page, your choice will stay with you until you opt for a different style. If you have Java Scripts or cookies turned off in your browser (or blocked by a utility such as Naviscope), you may run into problems...

For more information on this capability, you can go to A List Apart, or this Tip of the Day site, for lack of a better title.

Look for more Stylin' experiments soon!

Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Calm after the Storm

As referenced in my entry earlier today, Fidelity has now completed a round of layoffs. It has been very strange seeing whole groups walk out of conference rooms with downcast expressions and seeing people hugging as long-time friends pack up their offices. Having said that, I am very thankful that I am still gainfully employed, and the layoffs seem to be at an end.

My thanks to everyone who voiced their concerns and prayers for us.

Dumb and Dumber

Here's a rather amusing story from my alma mater. Apparently this guy put together a valid ID and pretended to be a Rice student for a number of weeks. He even went out for the track team! Only when he applied for an email account was he discovered.

Now, I remember being a college student, and I especially remember the appeal of free meals. Most of the attraction of the free meals, though, was the chance to eat somewhere other than the cafeterias at Rice. This guy, however, is now wanted for the theft of all the cafeteria meals for which he didn't pay. If they catch him, they should not only charge him with theft, but reckless endangerment (of himslef) for eating CK (Central Kitchen). I'm sure anyone who was subjected to the emanations of Rice's CK will agree that he deserves a Darwin award!

An end to the nail-biting?

For those who don't know, it has been a nervous summer here at Fidelity, as rumors flew about possible layoffs. Things are finally coming to a head, however, and it should be clear in the next few days whether or not there is immediate impact for those around me. The actual cuts they're talking about are a lot less than the numbers thrown around in the press lately, but there are still quite a few frayed nerves and furtive glances around here whenever a manager walks by.

I have been relatively peaceful about whatever is coming, but even I have to admit a few less than restfull nights. If you read this, and have a minute, pray that I would trust in God's sovereignty and his perfect will.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called accordng to his purpose.
-Romans 8:28

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Leaping Lizards!

Amy and I went to two different events last weekend, and I didn't realize until afterwards how oddly similar they were. Draw whatever conclusions you may about our personalities, but it was a fun weekend watching these highly trained animals and their highly stressed owners.

The first was "Eventing" at Greenwood Farms in Weatherford, TX. For the uninitiated (like myself), this involves three equestrian events: dressage, jumping, and cross-country. The cross-country event occurred on Sunday, so we didn't get to see any of it, but we watched some of the dressage and jumping, and took this picture.

Sunday afternoon, we attended the Grand Prix of Dog Agility ® World Championships in Las Colinas. We weren't sure which was a greater spectacle, the dogs or their owners running along beside them coaxing and commanding them through each obstacle, but I must say the dogs were impressive. Here's one picture we took for posterity. I also took a short .mpg movie that's worth watching, but until I figure out how to compress it, I won't tempt anyone to download all 6MB...

Monday, September 23, 2002

That’s my wife!

I hope this is obvious to anyone who knows me, but I'm extremely proud of my wife!

Friday, September 20, 2002

Fun with systems

Well, this has been a quiet week as far as entries go, but a lot has been going on behind the scenes!

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Visit with the Poffenbergers

Amy and I have just returned (car's not even cold yet) from a trip to Houston where we stayed with our good friends, the Poffenbergers.

In addition to a great weekend with dear friends, we also learned a few things about Houston, and about life in general.

Friday, September 13, 2002

tODD made me post this…

I said in a previous post that I was working on my response to an editorial by Stephen Carson regarding Libertarianism. As my friend Todd pointed out, I have been trying to get away without actually posting any such thoughts. Shame on me!

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Another Peck sounds off!

I have the distinct pleasure of introducing another site this morning. (This is getting to be a ritual!) Mark Peck (of the Plano Pecks) has decided to let his voice be heard... er... his keystrokes be read?... Anyway, Hey, You! is Mark's place to sound off. (He may change the name on me after I post this, but the URL will still work.)

Welcome, Mark!

Church Dreams?!?

Call me cynical, but the other day my wife and I were driving down the highway and saw a billboard for, with little fine print at the bottom identifying it as an ad for Irving Bible Church. Now, choosing a domain like "ChurchDreams" screams out to me. I can't put into words exactly what it screams, but it screams. So I decided to go check it out and see for myself.

Saturday, September 7, 2002


I am a firm believer in the concept that there should be a chicken in every pot and a web site in every family. Accordingly, I am proud to announce the addition of to the internet community! At present it is somewhat sparse, but I'm sure we all look forward to seeing what becomes of it in the future as the Pecks take the web by storm!

Please join me in welcoming this new site and check back often to see the progress!

Friday, September 6, 2002

Labor Day Pictures

Here are a few fun shots of two family gatherings we had for Labor Day. My personal favorite is the one of my (grown-up) cousin Jason. Believe it or not, that's not how he looks all the time!

As you can tell, a great time was had by all.

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Monkey See, Monkey Do

This is just bizarre. This story says so much by itself, I don't know that I can add anything.

In all fairness, when you're talking about people who worship monkeys, there's not much that should surprise you. I am interested to know how exactly you seek a monkey's blessing, though...

Friday, August 30, 2002

Libertarian Heresy?

Here's an interesting commentary by Stephen Carson on, wherein Mr. Carson discusses the harmony of Libertarian and Christian worldviews. I'm still working on my response, but thought I would post it to see what others think.

No one is above suspicion!

Guess you might find terrorists or drugs anywhere!

Jeremy Taylor Peck

Introducing (drumroll please)... Jeremy Taylor Peck
Weighing in at 8 lbs. even, and 20 inches long, Jeremy was welcomed into the world by his parents, Mark and Susan, on Friday, August 23rd.
Amy and I had the chance to visit all three at the hospital Friday night, and, as you can see from the pictures, all were doing well.

Congratulations, Mark and Susan!

(Editor's Note: Length changed from 23 inches to 20 inches upon correction by my wife)

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Visit with the Hornes

Here are some photographs of a recent visit we had with the Horne family after their new arrival, prominently displayed in the pictures! We had a great time, except for that one little spill, but I'm sure the sofa will recover...
Jay and Tricia, thanks for letting us come see you guys!

Welcome to the new and Improved!

This is my attempt at a cutover to do everything (well, ok, not right at first) with MovableType. The goal, of course, is to make administering and expanding this site easier as well as possible from remote locations when I'm not sitting sixteen inches from my web server.
I've been working on the setup for a week now, and decided I was ready to cut over. There are still a few things to work out (details on the archive pages, mostly), but here it is! I'll follow up with my first material post, namely some photographs of a recent visit with some friends. This site is first and foremost a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and as such the majority of the content will be links to pictures, descriptions of family events, and so on. Feel free to comment, criticize, compliment, etc.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Amy’s trip to Michigan

Amy had the chance to visit several friends from college this week in Michigan. I'm sure it was sheer torture escaping from the Texas heat to enjoy what was obviously lovely weather.

Friday, July 5, 2002

Herndon Reunion

Over the July 4th weekend, Rollin's mom's side of the family got together for a reunion of all of the Herndons. We took a lot of pictures, all of which can be viewed and printed by visiting this album, or by viewing this page.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Cayman Celebration

We celebrated the end of Amy's residency this week with a long-awaited trip to the Cayman Islands! As you can see from the pictures, it was pure torture!

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Amy’s Birthday

We took both sides of the family to Lone Star Park for Amy's birthday today. For those who don't know, it is a relatively new horse racing track in Grand Prairie, and it is extremely nice! None of us put any money down, but it was fun watching them run and enjoying a nice picnic.

Here's a separate picture of Amy being surprised by her biggest present!

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Fort Worth Zoo

We spent today with the Pecks visiting Joe T Garcia's and the Fort Worth Zoo. I must say, having lived in the D/FW area for so long and never having visited the Fort Worth Zoo, I was surprised at how nice the zoo is, and recommend it to anyone who has not been there.

Friday, May 17, 2002

Deb’s Birthday

Amy and I spent the evening with her family for Deb's birthday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Sip and See

Liz held a lovely Sip and See for people to meet her two lovely new granddaughters, Madeline and Claudette.

Billy’s Birthday

Billy turned how old?

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Mother’s Day at the Dallas Arboretum

A fun time was had by all at this picnic at the Dallas Arboretum.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Rosemary’s Birthday Party

Billy pulled off a great surprise party for Mom with a lot of friends and family in attendance!

Saturday, April 13, 2002

An afternoon with Rosemary and the kids

A few shots from a fun afternoon we spent with Rollin's mom and Josh and Beth.

Sunday, March 31, 2002

Shepherd of the Ozarks

We had a great trip to Shepherd of the Ozarks in April, and took quite a few pictures to prove it!

Monday, March 4, 2002

Madeline Joe

On March 4th, we joined our cousins Jason and Julie in welcoming Madeline Victoria Joe into the world! We added a few more pictures on April 4th when we visited them at home.

Friday, March 1, 2002


Our brother and sister, Joshua and Elizabeth, love GymKids!

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Several Trips and Visits

Here are some photographs from family several family gatherings, a trip to Tyler, and a weekend trip to San Antonio.