Recently in Fire Ant Sightings Category

Fredericksburg Fire Ant Sightings
June 15, 2011 11:19 AM | Posted in:

Sure, the Texas Hill Country is overrun with fire ants, although perhaps the drought will knock them back a bit, as it seems to be doing here in West Texas. But that's not the kind of sighting I'm referring to.

Several folks were sporting cutting edge Fire Ant Gazette fashions at last week's family reunion in Fredericksburg, including the Great-Niece, The Nephew, and the soon-to-be Niece-in-Law. You'll note that The Nephew is modeling the avant-garde and highly sought after Missing Ant tee, while the GN is rocking the new Fire Ant Onesie (even though she's probably closer to a Twosie).

As usual, click on the photos to embiggen.

As always, you can get your own Certified Genuine Fire Ant merchandise (motto: "Cheap but not Inexpensive") from CafePress. I've reduced the markup on all merchandise to zero, meaning that I'm relying on sales volume to help me achieve my financial goals. I'm beginning to think there's a flaw in my strategy, but I'll be darned if I can figure it out. 

Fire Ant Sighting - Singapore
June 5, 2011 7:10 AM | Posted in:

Remember the "Create a Haiku to Win a Cheap Fire Ant Wristband" Contest? An impressive number of you apparently have a lot of time on your hands, because we got some great entries from around the world, literally, including New Zealand and Singapore. 

I'm still waiting for some photos of those lovely gifts set in exotic locations, but Li-Ern - who scored extra geek points by evoking Gollum's psychotic greed, and fonts, in her poem - has provided a couple from Singapore. Click on the small images below to see a larger version of each. (If you're skeptical that these pictures actually originate from Singapore, you'll just have to trust me. I'm the one who had to fill out the ridiculous DHS form to get the mailing through customs.)

I'm impressed with her use of one as an anklet. Following her lead, I managed to pull one over my foot and onto my ankle, but after a few minutes my foot began turning blue and I'm pretty sure that's not a good thing.

Recognize any of these mooks?

Photo of the Murchies and Siegmunds

This is a photo of yours truly and MLB in one of the sumptuous skyboxes at Rockhounds Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Those other starstruck folks are Molly (the pregnant one) and Colin Murchie, whom you've met earlier on these pages

OK, they're not really starstruck; they're dazed by a combination of West Texas heat, stadium hot dogs, and the fact that the Rockhounds actually won a game. Plus, they're astounded at my fabulous fashion sense.

Anyway, Molly and Colin traveled all the way from our nation's Capitol to attend Molly's niece's high school graduation and we were privileged to finally meet them.

If you follow the preceding link, you'll learn that they're members of the Washington Improv Theater (WIT), and the group has once again been successful in this year's edition of the 48 Hour Film Project, winning several awards in the local competition.

Fire Ant Sightings
July 7, 2008 6:50 AM | Posted in:

Once upon a time there was a boy. We'll call him Robert, since that was his name. Robert was an odd little boy, for many reasons, but not the least of which was his obsession with princesses. As you might imagine, this made for some challenging times during recess, and those challenges continued throughout his adolescence. 

But Robert's obsession grew even stronger in the face of adversity. He dreamed of marrying a princess, and in one of those strange twists of fate that defy logic and lead to sardonic blog posts, actually married one when he got old enough to do so. 

That should have been sufficient, and would have been for any normal princess-obsessed adult male, but Robert wanted more. 

And just so you'll know that dreams do sometimes come true, he got it.
Photo of Robert and the Princess

Oh, by the way...nice t-shirt, Cinderfella.

Fire Ant Sightings in Austin
April 18, 2008 6:44 AM | Posted in: ,

The local Destination Imagination teams competed at the state level a couple of weeks ago and did very well. Here's a report from Cindy Hammond, proud mom of one of the participants (and here's the back story, via the MRT):
The Midland High School level team ... ended up taking 2nd at State and are advancing to the Global levels held at the Univ of Tenn in May. A 5th grade team also took 2nd place in the elementary division and is going to Globals as well. All 4 Midland teams received medals at the State tournament. The two 6th grade teams that went received a 5th & 4th place medal. So, it was a good day all around. I will point out that the High School team is made up of 9th graders from Midland Freshman, Lee Freshman and an 8th grader from Abell Jr. High. They competed against 15 other teams in the High School division (9-12 grade). So we are quite proud!

The High School team also won a Renaissance award. The Renaissance Award is for demonstrating extraordinary amounts of effort and preparation, or outstanding skill in engineering, design or performance. (I had to look this one up on the internet. We've never won this particular award before.) The team received a DaVinci award at Regionals.
Here's a photo of the proud members of the High School Destination Imagination team:

Photo of Destination Imagination team

And proud they should be. Congratulations to all! But that's just the beginning. Not only was the group skilled and intelligent, but they also had the presence of mind to take along their Valuable Fire Ant Merchandise (in this case, two coveted ceramic coasters). And thus we have the following officially documented Fire Ant sightings:


You might think that this is the first Fire Ant sighting involving someone wearing tinfoil pants, but then you've probably never been to one of my family reunions. You can also read these kids' minds: I can't believe Elizabeth's mom is making us do this! 

This next photo requires a little more explanation. Cindy gave me permission to use it only if "you can make me look younger." Well, I gave it my best shot, but, frankly, it creeps me out:


I don't know who that person is on the right.

Fire Ant Sightings
October 10, 2007 2:04 PM | Posted in:

It's time once again for the ultimate in blogging narcissism: Fire Ant Sightings from around the globe! First up, we have that lovable duo, Molly and Colin, who spared no expense in having the accessories for their wedding reception, which took place in Baltimore, done in a tasteful Fire Ant motif:

Photo of Fire Ant Gazette cocktail napkin

Molly and Colin are members of the Washington Improv Theater, which explains how Colin manages to appear marginally interested in the proceedings when, in reality, he's thinking "I'm delaying my honeymoon for this?" But, really, when you have penguins in your wedding, what harm comes from also including a Fire Ant? Then, a thousand miles or so to the west, I attended not one but two family reunions in lovely Denton, Texas (that definition of "loveliness" must be adjusted to consider the fact that it was Texas/OU Weekend [or OU/Texas Weekend, depending on your nationality] [or The Worst Weekend Ever To Come Within A Hundred Miles Of The Metroplex, depending on your level of patience]). At one of them, on my dad's side of the family, I encountered not one, but two Fire Ant aficionados:

Photo of my aunts holding a Gazette coffee mug

Those lovely ladies are Sally (on the left) and Alice, who I'm proud to claim as my aunts. (Does that make them Fire Aunts?) Alice is actually the owner of the coffee mug; Sally has one, but is still doing penance for appearing at a family gathering without it. That sign she's making with her right hand is not evidence that she's an old hippie (as far as I know, anyway), but is sibling rivalry code for "I have one, too!" Observant observers will observe that Alice is wearing her Kansas Jayhawks t-shirt; she has a grandson who is a starter on the undefeated KU football team. I have no idea about the significance of the number "81."

You, too, can gain untold fame and glory by submitting a photo of yourself and Official Fire Ant Gazette Merchandise, preferably the kind that you paid for, but, as you saw with Colin and Molly, our standards are fairly lax.
I've just learned that Midland was represented by not one but two teams of kids at this year's Destination ImagiNation Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you're going "huh?" about right now, join the club; I knew nothing about this event until a Gazette reader (and parental unit of one of the participants) emailed me about it. 

 According to its website, Destination ImagiNation is a popular process-based program helping young people build lifelong skills in creative and critical thinking, teamwork, time management and problem solving. Up to seven participants work together as a team for eight to twelve weeks to create their unique solution to a Team Challenge, which can have a focus that is theatrical, structural, improvisational, scientific or technical - or a blend of several disciplines. Over 200,000 students in over 56 countries and the United States participate in the program. 

The Global Finals are exactly what the name implies: the winners of the local competitions around the world gather in one venue to compete for fame and glory. Eight thousand kids gathered in Knoxville for this year's finals. The Midland teams represented our fair city in superb fashion, with the 8th Grade team finishing in 8th place, and the 5th grade team finishing 15th. According to my source (we'll refer to her as "Cindy," since, well, that's her name), Midland has been participating in the DI program for only 3 years and this year for the first time made it to Globals with 2 teams. The 8th grade team has been together for all 3 years. 

 Below is a photo of the 8th grade team's "costume" they designed for the "Out of the Box Costume Ball." (They're a puzzle. Can you solve it?)

Photo of Midland's 8th grade DI team

That's pretty cool, but here's the best one: a genuine Fire Ant Gazette sighting:

Photo of girl holding a Gazette t-shirt

[Sensitivity to online privacy concerns keeps me from publishing the name of the girl holding the shirt, but she's obviously above average in every respect, and especially in her fashion choices. Her nail color even matches the shirt's lettering! Bet you'd like to buy a black Gazette t-shirt yourself, wouldn't you?] 

 Congratulations to the Midland teams for representing us so well!

Fire Ant Sightings: The Gazette Hits Zero
October 17, 2006 7:03 PM | Posted in:

Zero degrees longitude, that is, as one of the faithful travels all the way to Greenwich, England in order to pose in front of the Prime Meridian wearing a Fire Ant baseball jersey. The girl, not the Prime Meridian, that is. Wearing the jersey, that is.

Photo of Molly

Unfortunately, this photo was taken by one of those really tiny camera phones, then transmitted via the really tiny British bandwidth, and it's hard to discern that that's really the lovely and talented Molly Woods Murchie of Washington Improv Theater fame, and star of the troupe's latest 48 Hour Film Project entry, Unfrightening, about which we gushed back in May. Fortunately, with the help of the folks over at CIS: Permian Basin, we were able to use some time-tested Photoshop techniques to enlarge the photo to offer indisputable proof of the Fire Ant attire sighting. Here's the only-very-slightly retouched image (don't stare at Molly's hands; she hates it when you stare at her hands):

Another photo of 'Molly'

If you have a photo of yourself or someone who closely (or even peripherally) resembles you wearing a Fire Ant something-or-other in an exotic locale, feel free to send it in and we'll throw it up. So to speak. Update: We've finally procured a full-sized version of the original image and it's shown below. It's remarkable how closely the re-created version shown above matches the actual picture.

Photo of the real Molly

Hat tip to Molly's sister, Cindy, who knew exactly what she was getting sis into when she emailed the photo.