Donna Crawford
Redondo Beach, California


I was born in North Carolina and lived there until I was about 2 or so.  My father was in the military, so we moved every year or two.  We lived up and down the east coast, in Arkansas, Germany and Kansas, before he retired in 1980.  I attended Manhattan High School (in Kansas) and college and law school at the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!!).

I've lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and California since leaving my parents' home.  I currently live in California with my husband Kirk (even while we were on our RTW, we considered California as home). My family and friends are scattered all over the place, as you can imagine.

My husband and I are highly involved with our church, locally. I have lots of hobbies, including cooking, HAM radio, reading, travelling, bzflag, and sports/outdoor activities. Although I love to watch Jayhawk Basketball, I generally prefer to participate. Some of my favorites are beach volleyball, scuba diving, cycling, rowing, swimming, snow skiing, tramping, surfing, off-roading, etc.

My travels over the last few years have taken me to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and most recently, on a 15-country, 1-year round-the-world trip.

Feel free to drop me an email to let me know how you're doing, or any other suggestions you have for these pages! And be sure to sign my new Guestbook!

Recent Articles

Saturday, February 2


Happiness is a Warm Bed

No offense to the Beatles, but it's true - Happiness is a warm bed (not gun).

We've lived in this apartment for over 4 years now. It's small but in a great location and really liveable. But it has a really weird design that makes winter a little less than fun - the "heating" is by heating coil - which are in the ceiling. Now what moron though of this idea? I think everyone I know - even small kids - know that "heat rises". So if we turn our heat on, the attic gets nice and toasty but we've wasted a lot of money for no benefit. We don't even get the advantage of having our neighbors turn *their* heat on - directly below us are the garages.

I've been known to wander around the apartment all bundled up, trying to stay warm. At night, as long as Kirk is home, it's no problem. However, when he's on travel, I've tried various methods - a space heater (that has since stopped working - from overuse probably), wearing as many clothes as I can bear and putting every blanket in the house on the bed, giving up on the comforts of the bed and sleeping on the office floor (the office is generally a good 5-10 degrees warmer thanks to all the equipment that runs in there). None of these solutions is particularly optimal.

This year, right after Christmas, Kirk went out and got us a new present! He brought home an electric blanket! It's really snazzy - not like the electric blankets I remember from my youth (there was never one in my household, but friends and family sometimes had one); it has 2 sides, and 2 separate controls, a wide range of heat settings (the highest I've gone is 6, but generally it's on somewhere between 2-4), an automatic shut-off function after 10 hours, and a preheat function.

It's been ridiculously cold this last month, but recently Kirk headed out of town for work. One of the things I dread most about these trips is trying to sleep and stay warm. Our new electric blanket has changed this - there's nothing quite like wandering around a cold house, getting ready for sleep and then crawling into a nice warm, preheated bed! What can I say other than "Yay!!"? Well there's always "Thanks babe! You're the greatest!"

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 13


Hale Pohaku aka Hotel Mauna Kea

Yes, yes, I know I've been incredibly lax and haven't posted in ages. In fact, I probably wouldn't be posting now but this video was too funny. Kirk has been in Mauna Kea since December 1st working on a project at the IRTF (Infra-red Telescope Facility). I arrived yesterday and am staying with him here at the dormitories for a couple of days. Tomorrow we leave and start a week-long vacation here on the Big Island.

Having spent a day or so here (it's actually a very nice facility), I found this video really funny and enjoyable. You get a small picture of what life is like up at the telescope as well as down here at the dorms.


Wednesday, August 29


In Memory of...

I find that I haven't written here in a long time. There's much I could have written about, I suppose, but nothing that really inspired me to take away from doing and turn to writing.

Today, however, has caused me to take a deep breath and pause. And so here I am. Two very important people died today - my father-in-law (Fred), and my friend/coworker (David). The first death was long-expected, the second (which occurred about 3 hours before my father-in-law's death) was quite a shock.

I was at the hospital, visiting with a friend whose brother has been in ICU for a week. About an hour after I arrived, I had a rather odd call - someone was looking for the pastor who had just left. David was found unconscious in his car in the middle of a busy intersection and was being rushed to a (different) hospital. Less than an hour later, he was gone. He left behind a beautiful family, who are surely even more shocked than I am. I saw David briefly this morning, meeting with one of our church members for coffee. He looked fine - the same as always - concerned, interested, humble. The consolation I have in all this is that I know David is with the Lord now - he's happy, rejoicing, even as his friends and family grieve the fact that he is no longer with us.

I had just come home, beating my husband home by about 15-30 minutes. We recently got an air conditioner which we have in the office window - that way we have at least one room in the house that is tolerable when it's hot outside. Today it was hot. I arrived home and immediately went into the office and turned on the A/C. My phone was in another room, unfortunately with the ringer still off (from being at the hospital). I missed the 4 calls Kirk made trying to reach me on his way home. As he was driving home from work, he received a call - his father had died. This death, though still not welcome, was not surprising. He had had alzheimers for years and had been steadily declining for months. However, even when you expect the news, it is still somehow surprising. We drove down to Orange County to spend the evening with Kirk's mom, say good bye to his dad. Kelley (one of Kirk's sisters) came down as well.

I'm still processing the events of today - and may be for some time to come. Kirk's mom will be facing a lot of changes and transition. Darlene (David's wife) will be facing the same - but without having the benefit of months, even years, of preparation. Please pray for these two families. And take the time to call, hug your parents, your friends, your family - don't miss an opportunity to tell them how important they are to you.

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 7


A Night Out

Kirk was due home late Thursday night. When he called me Thursday morning, I was surprised he was up so early after almost 2 weeks of the night shift. In fact, he told me, he was not up early - he hadn't gone to sleep yet. Any other morning, I wouldn't have been surprised, but in this case, I knew he had left work around 11 or so the night before.

And so he told me... apparently there was a road block on Kula Highway, and the police wouldn't let him go through to his house. Right next door to where he was staying, some guy was in the midst of a standoff with police after having shot someone!

Today, I went looking for the news story, which I found and am reprinting here. The story is from The Maui News:
Man shot; standoff follows
By LILA FUJIMOTO, Staff Writer

KULA – Police arrested a suspect in a shooting that injured a 43-year-old Kula man, after evacuating several homes Wednesday night and closing a portion of Kula Highway amid reports of multiple gunshots fired at a Kula residence.

The suspected gunman, identified by police as Mark A. Martins, 53, surrendered early Thursday after a 7 1/2-hour standoff with police at the cluster of houses on a property along Kula Highway about 1 1/2 miles from Rice Park, police said.

The victim, whose injuries weren’t life threatening, was taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center shortly after being shot twice – in the arm and leg – said police Capt. Milton Matsuoka of the Criminal Investigation Division. He said the victim was later flown to Wilcox Memorial Hospital on Kauai.

Matsuoka said police responded after receiving several reports of multiple gunshots at 10:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Kula resident Kainoa Texeira said he was among seven people including the victim who were at a barbecue outside one of three residences on the property when the suspect, who was a tenant, showed up with a gun.

“He started shooting at us,” Texeira said. “We were all by the van. He just came, started shooting the gun.”

Texeira said the man had a pistol.

“We all scattered,” Texeira said. “We ran.”

As they gathered evidence and talked to witnesses at the residence Thursday, detectives placed at least a dozen yellow evidence markers on the pavement near a white Chevrolet van, which appeared to have bullet holes in its side. The van was parked on a driveway near a house at the back of the property.

Residents said the man identified as Martins was living in the same residence as the 43-year-old shooting victim, whose mother owns the nearly 1-acre property.

The landowner said she was in another residence with her 10-year-old grandson when the shooting started.

The boy described hearing 20 gunshots in rapid succession, followed by a pause and four more gunshots. When the grandmother and boy ran off the property and sought shelter under a tree, his father was waiting, holding his left arm to try to stop the bleeding, the boy said.

“He just said it hurt.”

The landowner, who asked not to be identified, credited police for keeping residents safe.

“They protected us behind a police car. They blocked the traffic,” she said. “We didn’t have any idea where he was.”

She described the suspect as a “loner” who kept “totally to himself.”

“Something’s wrong with him,” she said. “He was not in his right mind. I feel sorry, but by the same token, I’m so furious.”

She said the suspect had “been weird for about a week” before the shooting.

“His rent was about to be up,” she said. “I just kept saying, ’What’s wrong? Why has your attitude changed so drastically?’ He just seemed enraged all the time, all this pent-up anger. It was scary.”

Those at the barbecue included the victim’s brother and a friend who had arrived Wednesday from the Mainland for a visit. They ended up sleeping in a van after police evacuated the residences.

Along with Wailuku patrol officers, detectives, traffic officers and the police Special Response Team were at the shooting scene. In all, about 30 police officers responded, with police negotiators persuading Martins to surrender at 6:15 a.m. Thursday, Matsuoka said.

“They were able to get him to give up,” Matsuoka said.

Police closed Kula Highway between Cross Road and Polipoli Road at 11:15 p.m., reopening the road at 7:45 a.m. after Martins surrendered.

Police recovered a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, Matsuoka said.

Malone Iyekar, who lives with two others in the main residence on the property, said he had gotten up to go to work at 4:30 a.m. Thursday when police officers had him and his roommate leave the house.

The roommate, Dominic Chiengyan, said he saw officers in camouflage clothing on the roof of the victim’s residence and other parts of the property in the dark.

Martins was being held at the Wailuku Police Station on Thursday.

Charges of attempted murder and reckless endangering as well as other possible charges were pending against Martins, Matsuoka said.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” he said.

Police said Martins has numerous prior arrests as well as convictions for two counts of keeping a firearm in an improper place, first-degree reckless endangering and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.

According to court records, some of the convictions arose from Martins’ arrest for firing shots at Nakalele Point the morning of May 15, 2000, while dirt bikers were in the area. He reportedly yelled and swore at the dirt bikers, telling them to “get off my f----ing land.” The land belonged to Maui Land & Pineapple Co.

Witnesses reported hearing six to eight shots.

After stopping Martins’ car near Honolua Bay lookout shortly afterward, police obtained a warrant to search the vehicle. Police reported recovering a Remington pump shotgun that wasn’t in a case, live ammunition, spent cartridge casings, marijuana and a toiletry bag containing components of a zip gun.

At the time of his arrest, Martins said he was living in his 1983 Honda. He reported being born on Maui, moving to California with his family in 1959 and moving back to Maui in 1988.

He was found fit to proceed after being examined by three psychiatrists or psychologists, court records show. After being convicted in a December 2001 trial, Martins was sentenced to a 90-day jail term and placed on five years’ probation in that case.

Court records show charges were dismissed in another case related to Martins’ arrest Feb. 15, 2003, at a Kahului storage facility. The police Special Response Team was called to the scene after Martins allegedly threatened another customer with a knife and punctured two storage bay doors. Police said he then entered his storage unit, threatened to blow up the area and refused to surrender, throwing several spent shell casings at officers.

In the Kahului incident, SRT officers had to remove Martins from a vehicle in the storage area, police said.

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 14


BzFlag & GSoC

I had a rather funny dream last night but to understand it, you must first know a little of what's been going on lately. A few weeks ago, I was asked to apply as a Google Summer of Code mentor for BzFlag. Not only was I completely surprised by the request, I felt totally inadequate. Although I've been playing BzFlag for a bit over 3 years now, I PLAY. I am not a developer (despite the many people who have mistakenly believed me to be after seeing a "developers gathering" photo). In fact, I haven't written a single piece of code since I took FORTRAN in college. So my first reaction was, "WHAT?! Why me?!"

The SoC administrator proceeded to explain to me that the BzFlag project would be more of a team-led mentoring, and the designated mentor was more of a shepherd. And so, I started to think about it. One of my strengths is mentoring. It's also what I've most enjoyed about some of my past positions. So, I ultimately said "yes" and applied.

After several days of evaluating proposals (as best as I could), the administrator had to rank the various proposals, assign mentors (at least temporarily) and then we were waiting on Google to determine the number of slots we would receive. Initially slotted for five, BzFlag ended up with only four. And initially, I was assigned as a mentor for a slotted position. Keep in mind, there were about 10 people (9 of them actually qualified to mentor through giving direction on coding) who were willing to mentor for BzFlag. Ultimately, my mentee was given to another, more qualified mentor.

Was I relieved? Absolutely! This summer is rapidly looking busier and busier. Plus, I've possibly taken on a bit more than I bargained for with ShareFest. Was I disappointed? Surprisingly, yes, a bit. Which, I presume, is what led to my comical dream. In the dream, the administrator was begging mentees in turn to accept me as their mentor. None of them wanted me! Can you imagine?! Bah!

Anyway, I'm very excited that BzFlag has been accepted to Google's Summer of Code and we are all looking forward to the projects being developed this summer!

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 19


Jazzy Jeremy

Our friend Jeremy was in a series of online commercials for Pepsi. They are simply hilarious! Be sure you try them all!

Labels: ,


Can Launch?

Originally, I wasn't going to post this, but in light of today's UserFriendly Comic, I just have to! For those of you who don't drink beer, think of it as a "Can Launcher".

And the UserFriendly:

Labels: ,


Mozul Makes Mirth!

So as we were preparing to sleep, I said (jokingly of course) to Kirk "Remind me not to break my shoulder again." He said "ok". Then, of course, he reminded me not to break my shoulder. Then he said, "Honey, remind me next time you go skiing to put 65 bicycle lights on you first."

I couldn't stop laughing and had to leave the room a bit so he could sleep!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 12


Grant Me...Wisdom? Strength? Anything?!

So over a month ago now, a couple of my friend from work did something pretty radical. After a year of spending time evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, talents and gifts, interests and more, they were about to be placed into optimal positions at work. But instead, they decided to strike out on their own and, 2 years earlier than planned, launch a non-profit they had been working on (Sharefest). You might remember me mentioning Sharefest in some earlier posts, in particular, those about Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Sharefest is s a nonprofit ecumenical organization dedicated to positive change through tangible acts of service. It exists to bring together churches, community-based organizations and businesses to meet needs and foster hope and unity within the South Bay as a whole. As a non-profit, it relies heavily on donations and fundraisers in order to accomplish its purposes.

When Bryan and Chad left King's Harbor, I told them to let me know if they needed any help. Well, I've now (somehow!) agreed to do their grant writing for them. Having never done any grant writing before, I'll probably be finding some sort of a seminar to attend to get up to speed. Also, I'm contacting businesses and organizations all over our area, trying to determine who provides grants (or sponsorships) and gather what information we need in order to submit a grant application. It's a bit overwhelming. On that note, if you know of any businesses (local, national or international) who provide grants for non-profits in Southern California (LA area), please let me know! Name, contact, url - anything you have is helpful.

In additiion, for those of you who might not know, I joined the staff of freenode irc network in January. I'm still coming up to speed on my duties and responsibilities there. There is also a staff blog to which I made my first contribution.

And finally, I'm slowly getting back to work. A month out of the office with illness has made it slow going. But with Bryan and Chad gone and trying to help our new administrator, Chad (there's a funny story about Chads and KHC - remind me to tell you sometime), get oriented and settled in, I feel like I really need to be in the office. Besides, it's really nice to be back at work - I really enjoy the people I work with!


Labels: , , , ,


Sporty Chicks?

Well for anyone who knows my online name, this will make sense:

Special thanks to Pimpi who retrieved it from his children's candy and sent it to me!

Labels: , , ,

Donna in Austria
Click for larger image Austria, August 2003