Aug 31, 2007
Aug 30, 2007
Thanks a lot Flannery, here you are...
1. You have been blogging for over a year now (since August 23, 2006). How has it changed your life?
It is a bunch of things to me:
It is a release for my thoughts about being a parent of a special needs child, although I don't do nearly enough posts on that subject.
It is a collection of friends I have never met (well, most of you) that I sometimes feel closer to than people I know.
It is a release of my quirky sense of humor. I use humor to sometimes mask the hurt I feel inside. The old expression "I laugh so that I don't cry" applies very much to my life.
2. Since things are more like they are today than they ever were before, how's work treating you? What do kind of work do you do?
Boy, you really did go way back into the archives! I have been in the computer field for a hell of a long time now, since back when they were kerosene powered! I became interested in computers in the Navy, then became a field service tech when I got out.
I have had many different positions in all the companies I have worked for, technical support, training course design, and now technical writer. I really liked my first job as a field service tech though. I got to go to a lot of different companies and meet a lot of people. And, since the operators were predominately women, that was a touch of heaven for a young single guy!
3. I once considered a career in music therapy, but couldn't handle the "therapy" part for reasons I won't bore you with during your interview. Can you please explain how it works and what benefits Skyler receives from it?
I would love to hear about how you almost got into the field, let me know sometime.
Music therapy works by getting patients involved in playing an instrument, or banging on a drum, or vocalizing to music. Other kids that have played with Skyler have physical limitations like him, or developmental delays, or a mix. More can be found here.
The benefits differ with each person, but what it does for Skyler is help him develop rhythm, arm control, and vocalize more. He also creates songs to sing on his communications device. Jenni (our music therapist) has got more communication out of Skyler than anybody else in his life. I think it is because music is so universal in all of our lives, and everyone likes it.
4. How's your sister doing?
She is doing great. She and her husband Chuck still live up in Idaho Springs, Colorado in the house we grew up in. We have always been close, and got along really well. People always wondered why we didn't fight much, and I tell them it's because I knew when to shut up.
She blogs also, but doesn't post a whole lot. Check her out on my blog roll, she is "Mountain living with two men".
5. If you were to host a blogger get-together in your town, what would the day look like? Where would you take everyone?
Give everyone a day just hanging out, getting to meet and get to know one another better, and get used to the altitude. Because when you visit Colorado, it's all about the mountains! Then, the next day we head for the mountains to site see. I would take everyone up to the top of Mt Evans because I used to work up there, and you could all say you have been on a 14er because it is the highest auto road in North America. I would also like to take everyone on a raft trip! I have had some of the best times of my life on raft trips, it is a great experience. If you haven't visited here, you are missing out on one of the best places in the world. And no, I don't work for the Chamber of Commerce...
Aug 29, 2007
Aug 28, 2007
had a fun post about all of the boats and their stories. Just after that a friend sent me this picture and I thought it was appropriate! Read the name of the boat and the name of the dingy...
Aug 27, 2007
Aug 25, 2007
Could you have someone from Corporate America come in to give your class a pep talk?
But I suppose sitting down and having a heart to heart discussion could be another tactic...
In any case, good luck with the school situation, and hang in there. I bet you are going to rock that place!
Aug 24, 2007
Aug 23, 2007
In The Know: Candidates Compete For Vital Idgit Vote
Aug 21, 2007
Aug 19, 2007
Check out Homer Hickams website and read a bit more about him and the rocket boys.
Aug 17, 2007
From Comcast News:
SMITHTOWN, N.Y. - An orange tarantula with venomous fangs was rescued Friday after its owner said he could no longer care for it.
"This is the kind of spider that nightmares are made of," said Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
He said the spider is aggressive and can jump 3 feet and bite with its large fangs. The bites are dangerous to humans.
The spider, known as an ornate golden baboon, has a fat body 5 inches long that is covered in orange hair. Male baboon spiders can have a leg span of about 8 inches, and the female is even larger.
Gross said he was glad the owner, whose name was not released, called the SPCA instead of dumping the spider.
"This spider is so aggressive, it will bite you just to bite you," he said. "It's not a pet you want to cuddle up with at night."
Baboon spiders have a life span of up to 25 years, are native to southern Africa and spend most of their time near their nests, which are usually holes in the ground.
The SPCA took the spider to a sanctuary for reptiles and other animals.
Aug 16, 2007
I wrote about our friend Jenni Lee quite awhile back, and how she has written a great book about her divorce after her husband realized he was gay. Jenni is going to be interviewed about her book on ABC by JuJu Chang in a few weeks!!
When I find out when it will be aired, I will let you all know.
Aug 15, 2007
Stumbled across this wonderful website that I had forgotten about while cleaning up old bookmarks. I know, my life is too hot to handle sometimes...
Anywhooo, this guy has a website that people with photoshop skills submit cheesy romance novel covers to. Some are just spit take funny!
Late note: Check out even more originals here!
Aug 14, 2007
Aug 13, 2007
Like Doc, I had to think about this one for quite awhile. I think the immediate reaction to this is to name something that irritates you, or pisses you off and causes a reaction that is akin to hostility. But to me this isn't a true allergic reaction. An allergic reaction is sometimes defined as "Sensitivities to a specific substance, called an allergen, that is contacted through the skin, inhaled into the lungs, swallowed, or injected." Further investigation into this subject will lead to this:
While first-time exposure may only produce a mild reaction, repeated exposures may lead to more serious reactions. Once a person is sensitized (has had a previous sensitivity reaction), even a very limited exposure to a very small amount of allergen can trigger a severe reaction.
Aha! Now we have something to work with! That phrase "A very small amount of allergen can trigger a severe reaction" is what separates the day to day irritations for me to the thing that causes my whole being to quiver. And that is when people (and I hesitate to call them people) abuse pets.
I don't have any clue what makes me feel this way, but in almost any case I can tolerate the abuse of a human being more than I can accept it with an animal. Perhaps the military did it's job in desensitizing me to be able to end another mans life. Or maybe there is some dark area in the back of my brain that can come up with an excuse or a reason to inflict some sort of pain on somebody that I believe deserves it.
But when it comes to pets, I find it horrifying. I think that a person almost always has a choice in their lives to walk away from a bad situation, but a pet places their entire life in your hands, and generally with unconditional love. Other animals that are not pets still don't have a choice when captured by man for purposes of testing or being in a circus, whatever we as man decide we need them for.
Look into the eyes of a dog that has been cared for, and compare that to the eyes of a dog that has been abused or turned into a killer. There isn't any doubt that we as man have a responsibility that we should never forget when it comes to these caring and giving animals.
Aug 12, 2007
Here it is:
Even as rescue workers searched for more victims of the deadly collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis last week, inspectors were dispatched to eyeball thousands of bridges nationwide, looking for other potential disasters - of which there are, apparently, many.
In a 2005 report, the Federal Highway Administration rated 77,000 U.S. bridges, about an eighth of the total, as "structurally deficient." While we'll learn more about the specific causes of the collapse in coming weeks, it has been clear for a while that our aging national infrastructure network - bridges, roads, dams, levees - isn't standing up well to intensifying levels of stress.
But the bridge disaster also reflects a broader and more troubling problem. The United States seems to have become the superpower that can't tie its own shoelaces. America is a nation of vast ingenuity and technological capabilities. Its bridges shouldn't fall down.
And it's not just bridges. Has there ever been a period in our history when so many American plans and projects have, literally or figuratively, collapsed? In both grand and humble endeavors, the United States can no longer be relied upon to succeed or even muddle through. We can't remake the Middle East. We can't protect one of our own cities from a natural disaster or, it seems, rebuild after one. We can't rescue our citizens when they're on TV begging for help. We can't even give our wounded veterans decent medical care.
We're supposed to be an optimistic, problem-solving nation, the country that tamed a vast wilderness, won World War II and the Cold War, put men on the moon, built the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam.
But somehow, can-do America has become a joke, an oxymoron. We've become
the can't-do nation, slipping on every banana peel on the global stage. Of course, we've had our share of failure in the modern era - the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Vietnam War, the Iranian hostage crisis, two space shuttle disasters - but the sheer scale of our current predicament is something different.
Even Americans' usually boundless self-confidence has taken a hit.
In 2002, a Pew poll showed that 74 percent of respondents agreed with this statement: "As Americans, we can always find a way to solve our problems and get what we want." Five years later, the number has fallen 16 percentage points, to 58 percent. Annual polls taken by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion have found public confidence in the government's ability to respond to terrorist attacks, natural disasters and health crises such as avian flu dropping steadily over the same time frame.
Consider our most important national project, the attempt to build a new Iraq. An audit earlier this year by the special inspector general for Iraq found that seven of the eight U.S. construction projects it surveyed - including the generators at Baghdad's airport and a medical-waste incinerator and water-purification system in an Erbil maternity hospital - were either broken down, not operating or otherwise substandard. A few months ago, the kitchen staff started cooking at a newly built base for guards watching the U.S. Embassy compound now being built. According to Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post: "Some appliances did not work. Workers began to get electric shocks. Then a burning smell enveloped the kitchen as the wiring began to melt."
Our principal goals in Iraq - building a new political system and defeating an insurgency - are terribly hard jobs. But can't we even hook up stoves for our own guards without something blowing up? What has gone wrong?
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich calls it a "system- wide" government breakdown that includes health care, defense, intelligence and disaster response. He says the New Deal, Great Society structure of "big government" has, in effect, stopped working. Meanwhile, Democrats (and a growing number of Republicans) take a narrower view, blaming the incompetence of the Bush administration.
"Incompetence" usually means bumbling, but the Bush White House's hostility to the federal bureaucracy has been quite purposeful. The administration has undermined the normal workings of agencies from the CIA to the Environmental Protection Agency, in part because they generate facts and opinions that conflict with political goals. The White House has also seeded the government with appointees chosen for loyalty and ideological affinity, not competence.
It would be nice to think that a new president could simply undo this damage starting in 2009. But we can't turn back the clock to previous periods of reassuring technocratic competence, such as the Dwight D. Eisenhower or Bill Clinton eras. Even before President Bush took office, the government's ability to undertake ambitious projects - to build things, to put new programs in place, to innovate - had begun to erode.
When Hurricane Katrina comes up, most people think first of the disastrous emergency-management response to the storm. But the biggest screw-up wasn't anything that then-FEMA Director Mike Brown did; it was the failure to protect New Orleans in the first place. In the decades before the storm, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a flood-control system for the city that was sloppily designed, haphazardly constructed and failed to consider the obvious fact that the land it was built on was rapidly sinking into the Gulf of Mexico.
Worst of all, agency engineers approved flawed designs that caused canal floodwalls to collapse precipitously - errors that, when the numbers were tallied, accounted for most of the flooding in 2005.
In a sense, big government has failed. The bitter disputes over the Great Society-era programs fractured the nation's rough political consensus, and the purpose of government itself became a battleground.
You don't hear a lot from the presidential candidates about how to fix some of these endemic problems. Democrats want to create new programs such as universal health care. But if the structure of government itself is fraying, can you erect major new programs on top of it?
The 21st century's problems - climate change, jihadist terrorism, the dislocations of globalization - are complex. But they are manageable. Can-do America can come back if we can again assemble our national will, power, technical expertise and vision. It will take a while to do so. We should get started.
John McQuaid is a Katrina Media Fellow from the Open Society Institute.
See the article here.
Aug 10, 2007
5 People who will be annoyed that you tagged them:
1. I refuse to call people out, have at it if you are so inclined!
4 things that should go into room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth.
1. People that park in the handicapped spots who don't need them!
2. Those fat-assed people who park their shopping cart in the aisle sideways while staring at the shelves.
4. Those drivers who think they are so fucking important they must run through the red light on their turn lane blocking everyone else.
3 things people do that make you want to shake them violently.
1. See those folks in #1 above. It's a good thing I don't pack heat...
2. Drivers who text/put on makeup/do everything else but drive.
3. Become president with the equivalent of a 3rd graders vocabulary..
2 things you find yourself moaning about.
1. You mean besides that thing Dirty does with her tongue?
2. I shouldn't be this way, but around the 5th time or so I have to go turn Skyler over at night.
1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself.
1. I need to develop more patience.
Question #1: What Were You Doing 10 Years Ago?
Working in the telecom industry, traveling monthly to Minneapolis, and Skyler was 6, so we were starting to deal with the school system.
Question #2: List 5 Snacks You Enjoy:
1. Potato chips
3. Ice Cream
4. Cheese and crackers
5. Is beer a snack?
Question #3: List 5 Songs You Know All The Lyrics To:
(you are all going to think I am so weird at this one...)
1. Coven…One Tin Soldier
2. Terry Kelly...Pittance of Time
3. Styx...Suite Madam Blue
4. The Brigham Young University Chorus...Coming Home
5. Kenny Rogers...Old man
Question #4: List 5 Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionaire:
1. Set up Skyler with all he needs to live independently.
2. Have a mountain home with a killer view
3. Buy toys, big shiny guy toys!
4. Travel, seeking out new experiences.
5. Give some to family and friends.
Question #5: List 5 Bad Habits:
1. I fucking swear
2. I hold things in until they build to a head instead of letting them out.
3. I don't always concentrate of what others are saying to me.
4. Did I mention I swear like fucking hell?
5. I double dip with chips. Yeah that's right! I said it!!
Question #6: List 5 Things You Would Never Wear Again:
2. Black frame glasses
4. My Fanny Pack (yeah Kristi, I retired it!)
Question #7: List 5 Favorite Toys:
2. Do my Far Side and Dilbert desk calendars count as toys?
3. My PC
4. It used to be my 4X4, but I had to sell it when I decided to grow up.
5. My blow up sheep?
Aug 9, 2007
Remember the excitement?
Was it the right time?
Is my breath alright?
Which way do I tilt my head?
Is anybody watching?
Does your partner even want to???
Then you lean in and just go for it!!!
Aug 8, 2007
You have just finished writing your autobiography, which includes 10 different chapters. Write a title of each chapter in the book.
So I thought I would play along, and encourage the rest of you to post your own. Here are my chapter titles, and some explanations...
1. If you leave me alone, I won't spit in your face!
(mom had a hell of a time with me as a toddler. I just wanted to play by myself, and when grownups would pick me up, I would spit at them.)
2. Can I please wear something other than a flattop?
3. How I spent a year and a half at 40 pounds.
(my folks actually took me to the doctor because I didn't gain weight. He said "does he run around? Does he eat a lot? Take him home mom, he's OK)
4. Are you an Albino?
(my hair was beyond blond growing up)
5. I want bell bottoms! All the other kids have bell bottoms!
(mom wanted me to wear those Sears "toughskin" jeans because I tore through the knees of everything I owned in a matter of days)
6. I play the cornet because all the babes dig a musical guy.
7. You should sue those legs for non support!
(I was told this after somebody saw my legs in a basketball game)
8. You, you, and you are my downhillers.
(ski team coach told everyone to follow him to the bottom. After we got there, he turned around and me and 2 of my friends were right behind him. The rest were the slalom racers)
9. Are you sure we need to paint the bridgewing again chief?
(In previous posts I mentioned my dislike of busy work, and how I tended to question orders in the Navy)
10. I laugh so that I don't cry
(humor is a very important defense mechanism for me)
Aug 7, 2007
"It bored right through the skin and disappeared into my head," Wegner told Germany's best-selling newspaper, Bild. "It hurt like crazy."
At the time the technology did not exist to safely remove the pencil, so Wegner had to live with it _ and the chronic headaches and nosebleeds that it brought _ for the next five-and-a-half decades.
Next up, and even better, is this beauty from AP:
ST. PAUL, Minn. - When conventional medical professionals refused to remove a 62-year-old local man's testicles, police said he turned to mysterious "professionals" to relieve what he called chronic pain.
Now police want to find the fly-by-night surgeons.
"I have never in my life seen anything quite like that," said St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh.
According to a search warrant affidavit filed Monday, the man complained of chronic pain and turned to conventional medical personnel to remove his testicles.
When they refused, the 62-year-old man said he hired other "professionals" to do the surgery. He would not tell officers who they were, saying he didn't want to get them into trouble.
Police said a couple of weeks ago, two or three people operated on the man in his home. He was unconscious. When he woke up, his testicles were gone. So were his "professionals."
His groin area was bleeding heavily, so he called his daughter. She called for help.
Police found an improvised operating room in the man's house, with bright lights, an apparent operating table, a camera and various medical supplies and equipment. There was also blood in several rooms of the house.
Sorry, the only way they take my boys is after I am dead...
Aug 6, 2007
She left Thursday night to spend the night in Loveland Colorado, then they started Friday morning early. 2 vans with six people apiece per team covering 195 miles, going up over Rabbit ears pass. It is quite the event! Anyway, I drove over to Steamboat Saturday morning to meet the team, and Kathy and I rented a condo for a couple of days. Skyler had been out of sorts the past couple of days, but we didn't think anything of it. But he became more and more agitated at being out of his element and in some hectic surroundings. This all culminated in him having a seizure, then not sleeping at all that evening.
Sooooo, we came home Sunday morning instead of staying and enjoying ourselves.
The final insult? No refunds on the condo, just read the contract buddy...
Oh well, we tried to get out, maybe someday we actually can.
Sorry this is such a blathering and mixed up, I am operating on no sleep and have been interrupted a dozen times while typing.
Aug 3, 2007
From AP, via Comcast news...
Arkansas Couple Welcomes 17th Child
By JILL ZEMAN, Associated Press Writer
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - It's a girl _ again _ for the Duggars. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar welcomed their 17th child, and seventh daughter, into the world Thursday.
Jennifer Danielle was born at 10:01 a.m. at Saint Mary's Hospital in Rogers, Ark., the Duggars said in an interview. Jennifer weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and arrived five days after Michelle's due date.
Less than 30 minutes after giving birth, the Duggars already were talking of having more.
"We'd love to have more," Michelle said, adding that the girls are outnumbered seven to 10 in the family. "We love the ruffles and lace."
Jennifer joins the fast-growing Duggar brood, who live in Tontitown in a 7,000-square-foot home. All the children _ whose names start with the letter J _ are home-schooled.
The oldest is 19 and the youngest, before Jennifer, is almost 2 years old.
"We are just so grateful to God for another gift from him," said Jim Bob Duggar, 42, a former state representative. "We are just so thankful to him that everything went just very well."
Jennifer joins siblings Joshua, 19; John David, 17; Janna, 17; Jill, 16; Jessa, 14; Jinger, 13; Joseph, 12; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 9; Jedidiah, 8; Jeremiah, 8; Jason 7; James 6; Justin, 4; Jackson, 3; Johannah, almost 2.
The family includes two sets of twins.
Michelle Duggar said that Joshua, Janna, Jill and Jessa were at the hospital, but that the rest of the family planned to visit their new sister later Thursday.
Michelle Duggar said she started feeling contractions Wednesday night and went to the hospital at about 5 a.m. Thursday.
"It actually went fast," she said. "I guess once I started progressing, it went within 30 minutes."
Jennifer was born via a VBAC _ or vaginal birth after Caesarean, Jim Bob Duggar said.
The Duggars have been featured on several programs on cable's Discovery Health Network. The next special, the Duggar Family Album, is scheduled to air next month, Jim Bob Duggar said.
Among the "fun facts" listed on Discovery Health's Web page devoted to the Duggars: A baby has been born in every month except June; the Duggars have gone through an estimated 90,000 diapers, and Michelle, 40, has been pregnant for 126 months _ or 10.5 years _ of her life.
Aug 2, 2007
Aug 1, 2007
In my 33 years in Alaska , I have never seen a newborn baby moose.This one was not even a half a mile from our house. The mother picked a small quiet neighborhood and had her baby in the front yard at 5:30 am We were out bike riding when we came upon the pair. The lady across the street from this house told us she saw it being born. We saw them at 5:30 pm . So the little one was 12 hours old.
-- Futurist Paul Saffo on the decline of civil discourse online
Why People Have Sex: It Feels Good
By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON - After exhaustively compiling a list of the 237 reasons why people have sex, researchers found that young men and women get intimate for mostly the same motivations. It's more about lust in the body than a love connection in the heart.
College-aged men and women agree on their top reasons for having sex _ they were attracted to the person, they wanted to experience physical pleasure and "it feels good," according to a peer-reviewed study in the August edition of Archives of Sexual Behavior. Twenty of the top 25 reasons given for having sex were the same for men and women.
Expressing love and showing affection were in the top 10 for both men and women, but they did take a back seat to the clear No. 1: "I was attracted to the person."
Researchers at the University of Texas spent five years and their own money to study the overlooked why behind sex while others were spending their time on the how.
"It's refuted a lot of gender stereotypes ... that men only want sex for the physical pleasure and women want love," said University of Texas clinical psychology professor Cindy Meston, the study's co-author. "That's not what I came up with in my findings."
Forget thinking that men are from Mars and women from Venus, "the more we look, the more we find similarity," said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. Goldstein, who wasn't part of Meston's study, said the Texas research made a lot of sense and adds to growing evidence that the vaunted differences in the genders may only be among people with sexual problems.
Meston and colleague David Buss first questioned 444 men and women _ ranging in age from 17 to 52 _ to come up with a list of 237 distinct reasons people have sex. They ranged from "It's fun" which men ranked fourth and women ranked eighth to "I wanted to give someone else a sexually transmitted disease" which ranked on the bottom by women.
Hold on, this wasn't ranked on the bottom by men? WTF??
Once they came up with that long list, Meston and Buss asked 1,549 college students taking psychology classes to rank the reasons on a one-to-five scale on how they applied to their experiences.
"None of the gender differences are all that great," Meston said. "Men were more likely to be opportunistic towards having sex, so if sex were there and available they would jump on it, somewhat more so than women. Women were more likely to have sex because they felt they needed to please their partner."
Reminds me of the old Seinfelt bit, "Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place".
But this is among college students, when Meston conceded "hormones run rampant." She predicted huge differences when older groups of people are studied.
More breaking news, college students have rampant hormones!
Since her study came out Tuesday, people are coming up with new reasons to have sex.
"Originally, I thought that we exhaustively compiled the list, but now I found that there should be some added," Meston said.
On the Net:
University of Texas study "Why Humans Have Sex": http://tinyurl.com/ypzwvr
Cindy Meston's Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory: http://www.mestonlab.com/