Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The First Day of School

Today was a very stressful day for our family. School started today in our district and we had to get up very early this morning to prepare all of the children for their first day of school.
There were mixed feelings throughout the household while we prepared to send the children off to school. Anna and I stuffed three backpacks full of school supplies while the children got dressed for school. Both of Anna's children seemed excited to start school but Anna was very worried about their first day at school.
We had to see her daughter off on the bus at 6:15 this morning and she had to spend over an hour on the bus just to get to her school that started at 8:05. Fortunately we were able to call the school and confirm she arrived to school safely and on time.
At 8:00 We had to take Anna's son to his new school to meet with his teacher and get him settled into his new learning environment. His teacher seemed nice but I think he may have been a little surprised to learn that he would be trying to teach a child from Russia who doesn't speak any English. I hope he is ready for a challenge. Fortunately there are other language teachers there to assist in teaching him English and we feel very fortunate that her daughter has a teacher who is fluent in both English and Russian. Hopefully they will start learning quickly now.
They managed to survive the first day of school and already came home with homework. Now I can only hope Anna and I will survive the homework. I can't say that typing assignments into Google translator so the children can read them is the most exciting thing to do on a weeknight. But unfortunately all of their assignments are in English and there is no Russian version of the assignments. Hopefully they will learn to read their assignments soon or I will get carpal tunnel typing their assignments so they can read them.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Preparing the children for school

With less than one week until school starts, Anna and I have spent a lot of time trying to get the children registered for school. 
We have had to take the children into the main district office to get them tested in their English skills so that they can be placed into an appropriate school that will best suit their needs.
Fortunately we have been able to get them both registered for school so they will begin school at the same time as other children in our district. It seems our school district is very accommodating for them. In fact they will both receive specialized instruction from multilingual teachers to help them develop skills in English.
I can't say the children are very excited to start school but I don't think many children are very eager to start school so this is normal. Whether they like it or not, they start school next Tuesday.
We are both happy to know that the children will not need to miss any school and We hope the children will adapt well in their new learning environments.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The "Longest Recorded Conversation" rejected by Guinness...

Today we received an email notification from Guinness regarding our attempt to set a world record for the worlds longest recorded conversation.
It seems they have decided to reject our application. You can read the message we received from them below.
** Please do not send a response to this unmonitored email address as it will not be read**
Claim ID: ********Membership Number: ********
Dear Mr Bryan ********,
Thank you for sending us the details of your proposed record attempt for 'Longest Recorded Conversation'. Here at Guinness World Records we are always thrilled to hear about new and exciting record breaking proposals.
Unfortunately, after thoroughly reviewing your application with members of our research team, we are afraid to say that we’re unable to accept your proposal as a Guinness World Records title.
Our team of expert Records Managers receive thousands of new record proposals every year from all over the world which are carefully assessed to establish if they meet our stringent criteria. Every record verified by Guinness World Records must be measurable by a single superlative, verifiable, standardisable, breakable and also present an element of skill. Check out www.guinnessworldrecords.com and explore the records featured on the website, you may be able to find something that inspires you.

Whilst we fully appreciate this is not the decision you were hoping for, we trust that you will understand our position. However, if you have any further record proposals please do make another application, we would be delighted to hear from you again.
Once again thank you for contacting Guinness World Records.
Kind regards
Annie Nguyen
Records Management Team

If you feel we have misinterpreted your application, please login onguinnessworldrecords.com and send us an enquiry clarifying your points, we will then review it and respond in less than 15 working days.
Please be aware that as your record application has not been accepted, Guinness World Records is not associated in any way with the activity relating to your record proposal and does not endorse this activity in any way. If you choose to proceed, then this is will be of your own volition and at your own risk. Guinness World Records will not monitor, measure or verify this activity. 

** Please do not reply to this message; it was sent from an unmonitored email address. This message is related to your application on guinnessworldrecords.com. To reply to this email, please log in on www.guinnessworldrecords.com, select your claim and click on “Make an enquiry”. - Alternatively you can call our office in London on +44 207 891 4500 from 9.30 AM to 6.00 PM GMT. **
Honestly, I don't know why they rejected it. The message does not give very specific information. Perhaps they are too busy counting the number of naked people at certain events to set records in their book. Or maybe they are busy measuring fingernails for the next attempt at that world record for the person with the longest fingernails. Maybe it is because our attempt did not "present a measurement of skill" whereas standing naked in a crowd of people or growing your fingernails without trimming them for a long period of time presents a lot of skill. And of course it takes a lot of skill to cover your body with tattoos and piercings to set a record that is "measurable by a single superlative, verifiable, standardisable, breakable" .I may decide to contact Guinness to ask them to provide more detailed information as to why our application was rejected but it is not going to be high on my priority list. I have a wedding to plan. Besides, whether or not Guinness chooses to publish it does not change the fact that we have nearly three thousand, five hundred pages of correspondence between us and I believe it is a world record. I challenge anyone to try to produce more written correspondence than that. In fact our correspondence continues to grow on a daily basis because we still rely a lot on Google translator to communicate.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An attempt at a world record.

After almost 2 years of conversation with Anna through Skype, We have almost 3500 pages of documented correspondence through Skype. In fact we have almost 2,000,000 words that are documented in Skype.
I decided I would check with Guinness to see if there is a record for the longest documented conversation. I don't know if there is a current record holder or if there is even a category for this. So I filled out an application with Guinness to see what they come up with.
Today, I received an email back from Guinness that states

** Please do not send a response to this unmonitored email address as it will not be read**
CLAIM ID: ********
Dear Mr Bryan ********,
We are pleased to inform you that your record application has been transferred to our internal system.
You do not need to do anything further at this stage.
At Guinness World Records, we take great care to evaluate every claim we receive. Before we accept or reject a new record proposal, we always carry out claim-specific research, which may require the expertise of external consultants.
We will process your claim within 6 weeks if you are applying to break and existing record, and within 12 weeks if your application is a new record suggestion.

For further details on the Guinness World Records application and record-breaking process, check out the attached document General Information on Record-Breaking. 
Once we have considered your record suggestion, we will contact you with our decision. In case of success, we will send to you the current world record, the guidelines you must follow and details of the evidence you must compile.
For urgent claims which require an immediate answer, you can use Fast Track which ensures that your record application is assessed by our expert team in just 3 working days. To upgrade to Fast Track please log on www.guinnessworldrecords.com, select the claim number ******** and click on 'Upgrade to Fast Track'.
If you’d like to start record-breaking right away, why not join our Amazing Feet challenge? Amazing Feet is a unique record-breaking experience for record fans of any age, anywhere in the world. We need 50,000 people to help us set a new Guinness World Records title for the Largest online photo album of feet. 
All you have to do is upload a picture of your feet to our website: http://www.officiallyamazing.tv/Amazing-Feet.aspx. You can share a picture of your own bare feet or print out a foot template to colour-in or decorate. Everyone who takes part has the chance to get into the next edition of the Guinness World Records book. 
Thank you for contacting Guinness World Records.
Best regards
Records Management Team
Guinness World Records
If you wish to contact us, please log in on www.guinnessworldrecords.com, select the claim ID ********, and click on 'Make an Enquiry', we will reply within 12 days.
** Please do not reply to this message; it was sent from an unmonitored email address. This message is related to your application on guinnessworldrecords.com. To reply to this email, please log in on www.guinnessworldrecords.com, select your claim and click on “Make an enquiry”. - Alternatively you can call our office in London on +44 207 891 4500from 9.30 AM to 6.00 PM GMT. **

Apparently they have decided that it is a valid request and they have forwarded it on to the next level. It will take about 6 weeks to reach a decision as to whether we are eligible for their record book. But To be honest, I don't think anyone else in the world can produce 3500 pages of written correspondence that covers almost 2 years. So hopefully within 6 weeks we will be able to gain the title of record holder for the "Worlds longest documented conversation."
We will let everyone know when we learn the results.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The wedding date has been set.

Anna and I have finally decided on a date for our wedding. We decided to schedule our wedding for September 21st. We had originally planned to have a simple wedding in front a judge but our plans have changed since we became aware that our story has gained the interest of the BBC Network in London, England. 
Yesterday I spoke with Alan Dein with BBC 4 Radio in London and he informed me that he would like to schedule a time next month to fly here with his producer and possibly a camera crew to interview Anna and I in person. I have had numerous interviews via Skype with Alan over the past year and a half and we felt it was time to meet in person. He also indicated that he would be interested in the possibility of attending the wedding ceremony.
He decided that September 20th would be a good date to come for the interview and since we had not yet set a date for the wedding, Anna and I decided it would be a good time to schedule the wedding.
We are still trying to work out all the other details but at least we now have a time frame that we can work with. I wish I could say we had the financial resources for an extravagant wedding because I would love to give Anna the wedding of her dreams but we are working with a very small budget. We are currently looking for sponsors willing to work with us in exchange for advertising on the blog and/or at the ceremony. It would also be good to have a wedding planner that may be willing to help plan the ceremony.
If anyone knows someone who may be interested in working with us or if you have any suggestions please feel free to contact us at annabryan1955@gmail.com or you can submit a comment.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Vacation is over...

Anna and I have been very busy the past 2 weeks making improvements around the house and getting her and the children situated in their new home. In fact I have replaced the flooring in more than half the house over the past few weeks.
We have been so busy that two weeks passed in what seemed to be only two days. Today was my last day of my two week vacation and I must return to work tomorrow. I only hope Anna is ready. I haven't spent more than two hours away from her since she arrived and tomorrow Anna and the children will be at home by themselves for almost ten hours. I am sure it won't be easy for her. It's not like she can take the children for a drive if they get bored. Fortunately there are several stores within walking distance that she can go to if she gets bored and need to get out of the house.
On my final day of vacation we decided it would be a good opportunity to go to the Ada County courthouse and apply for our marriage license because it may be difficult for me to get another day off soon to take her there. Now we have our license and all we need to do is set a date for the wedding. It will need to happen within ten weeks though or she will be required to return to Russia.
Neither Anna or I have any plans for her to return to Russia so I am sure we will schedule the wedding day soon. We are still not too sure as to what we will do for our wedding. Because we don't have a lot of money for a large wedding, we may just have a simple, private wedding in front of a judge and plan a large reception in the future when we get on our feet. But we aren't sure how soon that will be but we will certainly post it on our blog when it does happen and of course we hope to get plenty of pictures for all of our followers.