Happy 64th Birthday, Dad!

Today my dad, Randy Shirts, turns 64. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Shirts clan banded together (pun intended) to create this little video. Enjoy! And Happy Birthday, Dad!

The FrostyShirts’ 2013 in review

Here is what our year looked like.  I’d say 2013 was a pretty good year for us.

We got into this:


I did this to my hair (it was fun while it lasted, but probably never again)


We went to our first drag show with these people:


We went to Nashville, TN to visit the Lovejoys and Nemelkas and ate really good and really spicy chicken


I played my last recital at the Jacobs School of Music at IU:


I taught these awesome kids (plus more not pictured!):


Jake got into an awesome program in in Analytics (business statistics) at this school:


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Interested in Chairs? We are too.

The Hunt Library on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University (NCSU) is home to over 70 different unique and interesting chairs.  Every Wednesday, alongside our team lead Peter Baumgartner, we highlight a new chair and its designer on our tumblr Chairs of Hunt Library.






Check out the Chairs of Hunt Library Trailer from Peter Baumgartner on Vimeo.

Enjoy learning about each chair design with us each Wednesday!  Also, feel free to come to Raleigh to enjoy a personal tour of the library! (May I remind all you family and friends, we have an extra bedroom?)

God speaks SAS, right?

For those who are unfamiliar with it, SAS is an industry-standard statistical software used all over the world. As part of the Analytics program I’m currently in, we are encouraged to prepare for and take a Base SAS Certification Exam, which tests one’s ability to interpret and debug basic SAS code on sight, by memory–an incredibly useful skill, since most people writing SAS code are doing so in a dark, underground bunker on a DOS system with no internet access. Wait…

Well, useful or not, I took the test and passed. Now I can be considered among the ranks of the low, low level SAS code monkeys, which is a high honor indeed. In honor of the occasion, I thought “What if I wrote the Lord’s Prayer as a SAS program?” This is what I came up with. If there are any SAS experts out there, I’m sure I didn’t use the most sophisticated approach, so if there are any suggestions on how to improve my code, I’d love to hear them!

lord's prayer

Grandma Maxine Shirts’ 90th Birthday: Amazing stories of her ancestors

On July 25, 2013, my grandmother, Dorothy Maxine Baird Shirts, celebrated her 90th birthday in Cedar City, Utah with a bunch of the Shirts clan.  For those interested, here are the PowerPoint slides with pictures of her ancestors and maps showing where they lived etc:  Maxines90th

and the text for their narration  Maxines90thTEXT

For Family:  If you have corrections or stories about our ancestors that you could contribute to their histories, please email them to my father at


Erica’s Golden Birthday Present

Erica’s Golden Birthday Present

Erica and I had to be apart for her golden 25th birthday. However, I put together a gift she could enjoy long-distance–a faux-This American Life podcast, complete with interviews from friends and family, about her life. This link will allow you to download the file, if you’d like to listen to it. Enjoy Erica’s Golden Moments!

Wrapping up in Bloomington: Erica’s Performer Diploma Recital

As our time in Bloomington comes to a close, I have been reflecting on all of the exciting, engaging, uplifting, difficult, stressful, inspiring, and life-changing moments I’ve experienced here.  Maybe one day I’ll write more about them, but for now I’ll just post the video to my last recital at the Jacobs School of Music as some family members and friends have requested me to.

The day of my Performer Diploma Recital– March 22nd 2013–Jake found out that he got into his top choice for graduate school in Analytics and Statistics at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.  March 22nd was a day full of excitement for things to come, but also a day full of emotional grasping for what we had as we realized what little time we had left in Bloomington.  I felt so loved and supported by all those that attended the recital and watched via the live stream (with brief messages from Subaru and and insurance companies…).  And I felt really proud of Jake for achieving what he had been working for all year.

Below are links to the pieces I played.  I hope you enjoy watching/listening to them as much as I enjoyed playing them.

Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47.  Written in 1904, the Sibelius Violin Concerto is one of the Finnish Romantic Composer’s most famous pieces.  You can read more about here:

Spiegel im Spiegel, Arvo Pärt.  This piece is a minimalist piece in the Tintannabular style written by the living, Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt.  He is one of my favorite composers.  Check out all of the many variations another of his pieces called Fratres.

Mozart Violin Sonata in G Major, K.379, written around 1765, is also known as Mozart’s 11th sonata for piano and violin.  The stormy Allegro in the first movement seems like it is more in the style of Beethoven than in the style of Mozart.