Monday, December 14, 2009

Swing and a miss

I had an audition at Masquerade Theatre last week. It went well. As I went in, I recognized the accompanist. That seemed to be a good sign. We talked a bit, he went over the music, and then the director came in. I sang for him. He complimented me on my timbre. We talked about my availability and he asked me about when I played the Music Man and who directed.

He said they'd be calling either Thursday or Friday. Nope.

Why don't they ever call?

I have a theory that he did a little digging and found the lackluster review of my Music Man performance. That made me think I should note in my resume that I was an emergency substitution in that role. So that at least gives me something to do.

Oh, I didn't get the part at Theater LaB Houston, either. But we did go see the show, and it was very good. Not as good as it would have been with me in it, of course, but...

And Bach performances are over for the year. Next one up is February 7.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Day

December 4, 2009: The earliest snowfall on record for Houston, TX. Shelly is loving it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bach Concert December 6

The Bach Society presents Abendmusik on Sunday, December 6, at 6:00 pm. The program features the festive Advent cantatas Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! (BWV 70a) by Bach and Machet die Tore weit by Telemann, and the brilliant Magnificat by Jan Dismas Zelenka. Soloists are Melissa Givens, Sarah Brindley, Sishel Claverie, Randolph Lacy, and Paul Busselberg. The Bach Choir and Orchestra (on period instruments) are under the direction of Albert LeDoux.

Christ the King Lutheran Church is located at the corner of Rice Boulevard and Greenbriar. There is no admission charge; a free-will offering will be received to support the series. For more information visit our website at or call (713) 523-2864.

Limited free parking is available on the lots west and south of Christ the King Church. Ample parking is available for $1.00 (credit card only) across the street at Rice University's stadium parking lot on the southeast corner of Rice & Greenbriar.

Houston Arts Alliance     KUHF

The Bach Society is funded in part by grants from the
City of Houston
through the Houston Arts Alliance.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New answering machine message

I try to make our answering machine message entertaining. Call if you want to hear the new one.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Quality News Reporting

Above-the-post update: Apparently, what they mean is that the district, regardless of its number, that includes Clinton County, New York, has been Republican since the Civil War. That's very hard to verify.

Today, you can read news sources all over the web telling us that a Democrat has won the New York 23rd Congressional District for the first time since the Civil War. That is a very interesting fact. It's so interesting that it doesn't even matter that it's not remotely true.

Where did this meme come from? The Newsday article says
Democrat Bill Owens Tuesday won New York's 23rd Congressional District, parts of which have been in Republican hands since the Civil War.
Parts? What does that mean? New York has been subject to re-drawing district lines many times, of course, but the 23rd district has been Democrat much more than it has gone Republican for the past century. What is this mythical "district" they're talking about that has been a GOP stronghold for 130 years or so?

Where did this lie start, and why are so many supposed news outlets repeating it without checking?

And now for something completely different:

Hat tip.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I'll be in the Fort Bend Theatre Gala next Friday, November 13. It is a fund raiser for the theater. There will be some sketch comedy performed by actors (like me) who have been involved in theater productions this year, and there will be some minor celebrities who will be involved in sketches, as well. See the link for more information.

And this weekend, I'll be auditioning for a play at Theatre Suburbia. This one is not a musical, just a straight play. It is about a radio station in Minnesota, and it is directed by Bunny Hartman, who I acted with in the last straight play I did, Impossible Marriage. So it will be nice to see her again, and maybe that will give me a little edge. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bach Vespers This Weekend

See also the sidebar to the right for Upcoming Performances.

The Bach Society presents Bach Vespers on Sunday, November 1, at 6:00 pm. The program features works reflecting on the themes of All Saints Day, including J.S. Bach's cantata Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, a setting of the German Nunc dimittis from the Musikalische Exequien by Heinrich Schütz, and the cantata Bestelle dein Haus by Christian Boxberg.

The Bach Choir is joined by soloists Nathan Medley, countertenor; Randolph Lacy, tenor; and Paul Busselberg, bass. The Bach Orchestra (on period instruments) is joined by the musicians of the trio Tinta Barroca, including guest organist Sebastian Knebel, who will play Bach's Prelude and Fugue in B Minor, BWV 544.

Christ the King Lutheran Church is located at the corner of Rice Boulevard and Greenbriar. There is no admission charge; a free-will offering will be received to support the series. For more information visit our website at or call (713) 523-2864.

Limited free parking is available on the lots west and south of Christ the King Church. Ample parking is available for $1.00 (credit card only) across the street at Rice University's stadium parking lot on the southeast corner of Rice & Greenbriar.

Houston Arts Alliance KUHF

The Bach Society is funded in part by grants from the
City of Houston
through the Houston Arts Alliance.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Push-ups and Bach

They have nothing to do with each other, as far as I know, except that I'm going to mention them both in this post.

The push-ups part

I have done push-ups on a regular basis for most of life, since I was an adolescent. They work out a lot of muscle groups at once, and don't require much time, space, or any equipment. My limit has always been "about 60". That's how many I could do in a row when I was at my peak of fitness in college, that's how many I could do in high school, that's how many I can do now. It is interesting (and somewhat frustrating) to me that the number never goes up. To be fair, in college I think I could hit 67 in a good set, while now my top number is 64. Still, not much difference.

There is a website called One Hundred Pushups that lays out a plan to work up to doing 100 push-ups in a row. According to their schedule, if you can do 60 push-ups, you're on week 6, the final week. You will do multiple sets of push-ups, with prescribed rest periods in-between. No doubt this is the key to building up endurance. However, when I tried, I was unable to even come close to doing the prescribed workout, which is (again) instresting and frustrating.

Anyway, five sets is too time-consuming, so I've been doing three sets: as many as I can do (about 60), 30 seconds rest, as many as I can do (about 13), 30 seconds rest, as many as I can do (about 10). We'll see if it leads to increasing my maximum. I know it has to be possible. Look at all the records!

Another exercise I like is Burpees. Again, it works a lot of muscles at once, in a short time, and requires little space and no equipment.

The Bach part

We had our first vespers of the new season with the new, smaller (16 singers instead of 24) Bach Choir. It went well. We were situated on high risers so that our voices could carry over the orchestra. Having heard the recording made by KUHF, I have to say we sounded really good. So if you get a chance to come hear us, please do. Next service is Nov 1 (see the sidebar).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bach Vespers October 4

The Bach Society opens its 2009-2010 season with Bach Vespers on Sunday, October 4, at 6:00 pm. The program features J.S. Bach's Cantata 147, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, as well as works by Heinrich Schütz and Max Reger.

The Bach Choir will be heard in its new, sixteen-voice configuration. Soloists are Bach Choir core singers Tricia Frank, Briana Kruse, Sarah Brindley, Sishel Claverie, Patrick Perez, Jeffrey Ragsdale, and Gabriel Preisser. Guest organist is Robert Brewer. The Bach Orchestra (on period instruments) plays under the direction of Artistic Director Albert LeDoux.

Christ the King Lutheran Church is located at the corner of Rice Boulevard and Greenbriar. There is no admission charge; a free-will offering will be received to support the series. For more information visit our website at or call (713) 523-2864.

Limited free parking is available on the lots west and south of Christ the King Church. Ample parking is available for $1.00 (credit card only) across the street at Rice University's stadium parking lot on the southeast corner of Greenbriar & Shepherd.

Houston Arts Alliance KUHF

The Bach Society is funded in part by grants from the
City of Houston
through the Houston Arts Alliance.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another silent "no"

It's been over two weeks since my audition, and I haven't heard back from them. At about day 3, I figure it's a pretty definite "no". It's just annoying that people don't follow up to say "Thank you, we won't be using you." They make certain they have all kinds of contact info, and then they don't use it.

It was a good audition. I know, because I was there while two guys ahead of me auditioned. The first one did his songs, and then they talked to him about the show and had him tell a story (because the show doesn't have much actual dialogue to check speaking style). The second one had a bad audition and didn't get anything beyond singing. I got the long form. At the end, they ask if you have any questions. I think the question I should ask in the future is, "Will you let me know if you're not going to use me, or at what point do I assume a 'no'?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Drawing a political cartoon

You might be able to tell I'm not a real artist. I just thought it was a pretty good concept.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Audition Preview

This is the ballad I'll use for my audition. I wanted to see how effectively I was presenting it. I tend to have a stand-and-sing style that doesn't really sell the song, so I worked on that.

The left half of my face is lazy. Gotta work on that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another audition

Well, the audition at Rice didn't work out. They wanted a maniacal, bombastic madman, and I don't have one of those in me. Not that I'm not evil, I'm just not loud.

But I have another audition this weekend, so that's something to look forward to, rather than moping about the part I couldn't get...I'll mope later, when I don't get this part. No, really, I'll try not to mope. The odds are usually against you at an audition, and I understand that (I do wish that they would let me know when I don't get a part, though — Update: just got the "thank you but" email.). And this would be a paying gig, which makes it even more competitive.

But it looks to be a pretty neat two-man show. The Broadway version closed down after one weekend, but I consider that a plus. I specialize in unsuccessful shows. Most of my early roles were in such shows.

You can hear a couple of the songs from the show at the show's website. Quite charming. And one of the characters was played by Malcolm Gets, who played Richard on Caroline in the City. We used to watch that show. We liked Richard. So that's a sign, right?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back from vacation

4809-Beach dune wetland pan
For about 10 days, Shelly and I were away from Houston's August heat, exploring Oregon. It was beautiful. Temperatures seldom above 80, often in the 50s. Ocean, mountains, big old evergreen forests, wineries... What a great change of pace.

Came home to an answering-machine message from the director of the Theater program at Rice (I didn't know they had one!) She was inviting me to audition for The Threepenny Opera at Rice. She'd got my name from Rebecca Udden, at Main Street Theatre. It flabbergasts me to know that Ms. Udden even remembers me. I never know what's going to lead to something else, or when.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Paid Protesters

Amazing. I've captured a PDF-converted-to-PNG below, for posterity.

Think it's an isolated incident? Think again. Verum Serum does some digging to find who these people are.

Meanwhile, Obama works out a quid pro quo with Big Pharma. Who's in cahoots with industry, again?

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Not only do I think that "health care reform" is likely to be a horrific boondoggle, I find it disturbing that the political majority are working so hard to marginalize and dismiss those who oppose it. I get the strong sense that Democrats believe that people who are not on board with their agenda comprise oh, maybe 10% of the population. Just the far-right extremists, you know. A small but well-financed group of agitators out for themselves who are staging protests that aren't real, and who are stating concerns that aren't real, and who must be excluded or subdued. Vilified. Or at least informed upon.

You know who else was maligned and scapegoated this way? That's right, and look what happened to them: they got Israel! So I don't know why I said I'm worrying. The future looks greaaaat.

But just in case you've never met anyone who thinks Barack Obama is a bonehead full of bad ideas starting with his first executive decision (choosing Joe Biden as vice president), we exist.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to my little brother

Lt. Col. Del "TAC" Johnson, USAF. Now serving in Afghanistan. Happy 40th.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Look at those roots!

Tomato season has come to an end, for us. As usual, the pest and disease pressure have pretty well shut down the plants. It has been a good year. We put mosquito netting up over the tomato bed to keep the bugs out (as well as the birds and squirrels), and it worked, though not perfectly. Spider mites got in and wrought havoc. Armyworms and leaf-footed hoppers (stinkbugs) also managed to get in, but not in nearly the numbers that they did last year, when our crop was almost entirely a loss. So, success.

But the happiest surprise of the season came when it was time to uproot the plants. As you see above, they have very normal-looking roots. This is the first time we've seen normal-looking roots on our plants. You see, ever since we built the garden beds and filled them with sandy soil, we have had root-knot nematodes. We have tried several controls in the past, but at the end of the tomato season, the roots are always galled and ugly.

The most-recommended treatment is to plan Elbon cereal rye as a cover crop, over the fall-winter, and till it in some weeks before planting out tomatoes. Well, we couldn't find Elbon cereal rye, but we did find rye grain in the bulk bins at Central Market. We bought a half-pound or so, and tried sprouting it. It came up very readily, so we planted it all over the tomato bed. It grew into a nice thick lawn of grass. In January, we dutifully turned it under to allow it to break down into the soil. In theory, the nematodes have attacked its roots and doomed themselves, or been poisoned by chemicals the rye gives off. Maybe some of both. I don't know.

But I do know that those roots look beautiful to me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bach Choir CDs will be released May 24

Come for the vespers, stay to buy a CD. Admission is free (as always), so spending $20 on the CD won't seem so steep. Three Bach cantatas are included, so that's less than $7 a cantata.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Growing Old Together

Today is my 19th wedding anniversary. (Yes, it's the day after my birthday. Makes it easy to remember.)

I used to kiss frogs. I didn't do it in hopes that I'd find a princess, I just did it because I liked frogs. Eventually, I did find my princess, and I haven't kissed any frogs since. I don't know whether there's a lesson in there, but if there is, maybe it's: if you're going to kiss somebody, do it because of who they are, not who you hope they'll be.

Also, be nice to frogs.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Growing old

Happy birthday to me! I'm 41.
I have a theory that around age 40, age-related changes start coming on more rapidly, kind of like the changes of adolescence that take you from being a child to being an adult. Only this transition is from being a young adult to being an old one. Or, you know, some euphemism that means old.

Through the 20s and 30s, there's change, of course, but it's pretty gradual. Metabolism slows a bit. Some lines in the face, that kind of thing. Nose hair, of course. A few introductory gray hairs.

Around 40, it accelerates: metabolism drops again (clunk), the gray hairs go from being token residents to being a strong voting bloc, and I presume the stray hairs springing up where they aren't wanted are going to be kicking into high gear. Presbyopia is also kicking in, all of a sudden, which is a real annoyance. And I'm guessing it's all this change that (like in adolescents) makes people more prone to depression.

Anyway, I'm not depressed. Just observing. I had a sticky bun for breakfast this morning as a birthday treat, how could I be depressed?

In completely unrelated news, do you ever wonder what comedians would do if they could find anything funny about President Obama? How about if he could make jokes at his own expense? That, it turns out, would be awesome!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Million Dollar Ideas #3

Audio. Everything on the market is about HD video, but there's nothing about improving audio quality. Super-Audio CDs are something of a niche market, which seems strange to me. Home theater systems are widespread, meaning lots of people have Surround Sound systems, and their music doesn't take advantage of it.

We need more availability of high-quality, multichannel audio. There is no reason, for example, that the data on a Super Audio CD couldn't be lossily compressed by a factor of 10 (via MP3, for example), and thus fit on a standard CD while sounding a great deal better than a standard CD. The reason for compressing at all is to make downloading practical. Surely some audiophiles will object to any compression, even if it's a significant quality improvement over their current stereo FLAC downloads. Alternatively, FLAC handles multichannel and high sampling rates, so we could do that, but the bandwidth difference is at least a factor of 5. It might be passe to even worry about bandwidth, but there it is.

Then, of course, you have the issue of how to play it. At the very least, being able to translate the download to Dolby Digital and write it to a DVD would ensure that it was playable on pretty much every Surround Sound system out there. Writing to Dolby True-HD would allow more of the high-frequency sampling to come into play, but it's not available on all Blu-Ray players (although it was required for the now-defunct HD-DVD standard).

But let's bring this concept home: we're recording HD movies now, but still using stereo microphones, at best? Why? Well, probably because that's about all that home computers really handle. But if we had the devices to record real Surround Sound, I think manufacturers would bump up the playback technology.

Certainly it wouldn't take a great deal of horsepower to record 4 or 5 channels of sound on a device. I envision a shotgun mike mounted on the camera top for center channel, and then a hat that the camera operator would wear, with three omnidirectional mikes on it to pick up left, right, and rear. Then with software, apply this soundtrack to the video, and burn a real DVD or Blu-Ray disk with appropriate Dolby sound. (Or, if doing an audio-only disk, just the soundtrack.)

That hat is the million-dollar idea for this post.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Camera Lust

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS
Wow. Canon has finally done what I'd been hoping they'd do: they made a super-zoom camera with pretty much all the features you get in an SLR:
  • 10 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 4.2 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Digic-4 processor (makes pictures taken with high ISO speeds usable)
  • Full HD 1080p 30fps video, in 4:3 or 16:9! Not even the latest Rebel has this (it's limited to 20fps at 1080p)
  • Can save RAW images
  • Stereo microphones
  • 20x optical zoom
  • Image stabilization
  • $600 price tag

With an effective focal length range of 28-560mm, I don't need interchangeable lenses. Maybe just a really nice wide-angle converter, though it looks like the available 58mm adapter is somewhat limited in what it can accept.

The weak point is the sensor: it's still typical point-and-shoot size, which means the pixels are crammed pretty tight, compared to a real SLR sensor.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Breakfast: the most important meal of the year

This was the morning we made our first BLT of the year. The tomato is a home-grown Nyagous, a black type, which surprised us with how early it was. It is, of course, the home-grown tomato that makes this particular breakfast so momentous.And so tasty.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Next Vespers

May 24, at 6pm, back at the usual place.
We'll be singing
  • Handel: O Sing unto the Lord (Chandos Anthem)
  • Bach: Cantata 12, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen

So, I did get this announcement up early!

Still no idea what, if anything, I'll be doing this summer. Getting the house ready to be remodeled is taking priority.

In other news, tomatoes are ripening in the garden. We picked our first, which was prematurely ripening because it had been attacked by a caterpillar. We cut out the bad parts and ate the pink fruit. It was still pretty good; better than supermarket tomatoes. The tomato bed is enclosed in mosquito netting this year, in hopes that further damage by bugs and other wildlife will be prevented.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vespers this Sunday

For a radical change of pace, the Bach Choir will be singing a vespers service at First Evangelical Lutheran Church this Sunday, April 26, at 6 pm. We'll be singing Christ lag in Todesbanden, Cantata BWV 4, plus a work by Schutz, and another by Van Brock(?).

One of these times I'll announce it a whole week in advance. Or more!

Oh, let's not get crazy.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Handel's Brockes Passion

Palm Sunday, 6pm
Good Friday, 3pm
Christ the King Lutheran Church
corner of Greenbriar and Rice Blvd.
Admission is free, as always.

Come see this. The music is beautiful. The talent is impressive. The Bach Choir always does a good job, but this is a special event. Really, come if you can. Arrive half an hour early, because it's a small church and it will fill up.

A couple of sneak preview clips from the orchestra rehearsal today. I took them with my little old camera, so the sound and video are far from what you'll experience. But Zach does an absolutely gorgeous job as Peter:

And Melissa Givens, as always, delivers beautiful soprano coluratura:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Making peanut butter

I have peanut butter every day in my lunch. It is homemade peanut butter (to go with homemade sourdough bread). If you like "natural" peanut butter and you have a food processor, it's easy to make your own. If you're used to brand-name peanut butter like Peter Pan or Jif, it may take a few eatings to get used to peanut butter that just tastes like peanuts.

For it to be a money-saving proposition, you'll need to get your peanuts on sale. Kroger periodically has 12-oz. cans for a dollar. We stock up, then. Sam's Club has giant cans of peanuts for a reasonable price, too, but they're salty. It's important to get either lightly salted, or to balance regular-salted with unsalted, or your peanut butter will be too salty. Don't used dry roasted. Spanish peanuts or cocktail peanuts are what you want.

We have a Cuisinart 11-cup food processor, and I grind about 32 oz. of peanuts at a time. That's enough to fill two 18-oz peanut butter jars, less a little because I generally have some left over already in one of the jars. Three 12-oz. cans of peanuts works out nicely to 36 oz. of peanut butter.

So here's what you do:
Put half the peanuts in the bowl of the food processor (fitted with metal blade). Give it about 10 1-to-2-second pulses, so that the nuts are getting chopped up pretty well. Then let it run for a few seconds until you start to see some clumping. Open it up and take out about half of the contents. They will be the "crunchy" part of your peanut butter. Put the rest of the nuts in the processor. Turn it on. Let it run for several minutes.

It will go through several different phases, from loudly chopping the nuts to seeming to just whir through a semisolid mass without affecting it, to gradually turning it into a smooth, semiliquid mass. When it's glossy-smooth, stop processing, put in your reserved nuts, and run for a couple more seconds to get them stirred in. Done. Scoop it into jars and store in the fridge. It will not separate as long as you keep it in the fridge.

Absolutely optional: I grind up 1/4 c of flax seeds in a coffee grinder and add that to my peanut butter.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Annie Get Your Gun

Last night was dress rehearsal for Annie Get Your Gun at the Stafford Centre. I took my camera along. Since I'm only in two scenes, I had a lot of opportunity to take pictures. I didn't take this one; I lent the camera to a stage mom so that I'd have a chance to be pictured, too.

As always, the show is coming down to the wire. There are more unsettled issues than we'd like, but I think that we're going to put on a good show, and I'm pleased to be able to recommend that y'all come see it. It would always be nice to have more polish, but in the realm of community theater, it's a good-looking show.

Below is a video clip, in which the Sioux Nation is inducting Annie as the adopted daughter of Chief Sitting Bull.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Back to the stage

It's funny: the roles seem to choose me more often than I them. Neither of my recent auditions got me a callback, but Fort Bend Theatre called me to invite me to step into the role of Mr. Wilson in Annie Get Your Gun. This is how I wound up as Freddy in My Fair Lady. Most of my other roles have resulted from being invited by someone involved with the show, rather than my finding out about it and going.

Still, my favorite role so far was one I chose to go after: Lumiere. I hope there will be another, one of these days.

The show is March 6, 7, and 8 at the Stafford Centre. Information at the link.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A change of hope

The post title isn't about Obama's inauguration, it's regarding my audition for Beauty and the Beast: The cast list was published, and I'm not on it. I didn't even get a callback. So now I'm pinning my hopes on the more long-shot possibility of a role in China: The Whole Enchilada.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Audition Season!

Got one tonight, for Beauty and the Beast, with HITS Theatre. The performances will be at Miller Outdoor Theater in April. And it pays! So here's hoping.

More of a stretch, but I'm going to give it a shot, is for Theater Lab Houston's production of China: The Whole Enchilada, which is a three-man show, and also pays. That audition is next Sunday.

Also coming up, Fort Bend Theatre will be producing Annie Get Your Gun. I don't really think there's a role for me in that one. That is, the only one that gets much singing time is Frank Butler, and I don't see myself as the leading man/wild west show star.

The schedules overlap, so in the unlikely event that I was cast in more than one, I'd have to choose. I have to say that I tend to favor the one that spells "theater" in the American way. But I never know where I'm going to end up.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Parable

Once upon a time, there was a middle-aged couple who got married. She was kind of a selfish b*tch, and he was a supremacist, given to erratic fits of rage. Each had numerous children from earlier marriages.

As you might expect, the marriage did not last long. After the divorce, her standard of living improved, because she'd had a better job, and now she didn't have to support him anymore. He was enraged about that. The property was divided in two; she built a house on her half, as she saw fit. He never built a house, because he thought he should have gotten the whole property. He was enraged about that.

Every now and then, he would pack up all his children and go to her place and throw rocks. She wasn't often available for him (and his kids) to throw rocks at, so they usually threw at her children, who were playing in the yard. She didn't like that a bit.

So she made his life a living hell. Since he never built a house, all his mail came to her, and sometimes she would just hold onto it, rather than giving it to him. Since she had a job and he didn't, she would sometimes hold onto his child support for a long time. "Stop throwing rocks at me and my kids," she would admonish him, "and maybe we can treat each other like civilized adults."

One day, things came to a head. Literally: one of the rocks he threw hit one of her kids in the head. She'd had enough. She came out of the house with a baseball bat and set about him. She yelled at his kids to get out of the way, but the fact is that each of the kids held a bunch of rocks for their dad, and he kept running from kid to kid to get more rocks to throw. So as she swung at him, she'd sometimes hit a kid.

"Stop hitting my kids!" he screamed.
"Send your kids someplace safe," she countered, "and we'll finish this without them."
"I can't fight without my kids," he growled.
"Then give up."

So the battle raged...