Oct 31, 2007

Oct 30, 2007

Field Trip

Teri does a great job sharing her outings with us via her field trips, so I thought I would take you all along with me on the dog walk out into the field beside our house.

Late edit: Blogger editor sucks! The pictures don't align at all like preview shows and I am too busy to fix it!

First of all, let's get you oriented to where you are. Here is the aerial image of our house and the field via mapquest:

The open area to the north of our house is the open field we like to walk the dogs in. We go other places a lot, but this is nice and easy for when we just need to run out for a quick walk. The small stream is the outlet of Standley lake Reservoir.

This is leaving our neighborhood and entering the field.

The view towards the dam to the west. The view to the east with the sun coming up. We have had a lot of haze, we are getting smoke from the fires out west.

This is one of two Beaver ponds that are out in the field, they have been busy in the early mornings getting ready for winter. Lots to do, reinforce the lodge, shore up the dam, collect tidbits to eat...

The pooches really like the area around the Beaver pond, they run around like mad sniffing up a storm!

The Beavers have been busy as... well, Beavers...

This is the lower pond that is very close to a strip mall next to Wadsworth Blvd. Who knows why they decided to build here.

And Yordi running back to me to catch up as we head back home. It is always so funny to watch him try and run really fast because his body just doesn't know what to do. He is half Border Collie and half Newfoundland. His little legs just can't do what the big body is telling them to do!

And finally, a short movie with us by the first pond. Thanks for coming along with us this morning!

Oct 29, 2007

List Of Possible Slogans Promoting National Condom Week

From http://www.condomslogans.com/...

I am amazed at this list. 167 entries!? Holy shit...

Here we go:

1) Cover your stump before you hump
2) Before you attack her, wrap your whacker
3) Don't be silly, protect your Willie
4) When in doubt shroud you spout
5) Don't be a loner, cover your boner
6) You can't go wrong, if you shield your dong
7) If your not going to sack it, go home and whack it
8) If you think she's spunky, cover your monkey
9) It will be sweeter if you wrap your peter
10) If you slip between her thighs, condomize
11) She won't get sick if you wrap your dick
12) If you go into heat, package your meat
13) While your undressing Venus, dress up your penis
14) When you take off her pants and blouse, suit up your mouse
15) Especially in December, gift wrap your member
16) Never ever deck her, with an unwrapped pecker
17) Don't be a fool, vulcanize your tool
18) The right selection, is to protect your erection
19) Wrap it in foil, before you check her oil
20) A crank with armor, will never harm her
21) If you really love her, wear a cover
22) Don't make a mistake, cover your snake
23) Sex is cleaner with a packaged wiener
24) If you can't shield your rocket, leave it in your pocket
25) No glove, no love
26) If you think she'll sigh, cover old one eye
27) Even If she's eager, protect her beaver
28) No one likes a horses ass, protect yourself at climax
29) Shield her from the hunt until you shoot her in the cunt
30) Avoid a frown, contain your clown
31) Harness the pygmy man before entering the bearded clam
32) Constrain the little head before you stick it in the shed
33) Put a condom on your dink before you dart it in her sink
34) The weasel you must surround before you please her on the ground
35) Cloak the joker before you poke her
36) Encase that torch before you paint her porch
37) Cape your throbber before you bob her
38) After detection sheath your erection
39) Before you penetrate hide your magistrate
40) Don't surprise her plug your Geyser
41) Cover that lumber before you pump her
42) Protect her wrinkle before you sprinkle
43) She won't bristle if you wrap your whistle
44) House your noodle then release your strudel
45) Put your dog in the pound and make her yelp like a hound
46) Shelter your jerky then nab that turkey
47) Cage that snake then shake and bake
48) Cover your peter it will be much neater
49) Coat that Labrador then allow him to explore
50) It's always funky to cage your monkey
51) It won't be funny with a coatless dummy
52) It won't be fun with an unwrapped thumb
53) It's not much money to catch your honey
54) Don't be a fool cover your tool
55) Hood that match then scratch that thatch
56) Stitch that switch then itch her niche
57) Wrap that tool to catch the drool
58) It ain't no jibe to protect her hive
59) Contain that sputum before you use him
60) Restrain your log then plow her bog
61) Glove your pecker before you check her
62) Coat that slimmer before you prime her
63) Condomize then womanize (or sodomize)
64) Cover old pete then grind her meat
65) Guard your peter before you meet her
66) Check your list before you tryst
67) Wrap your bate before you mate
68) Can your worm before you squirm
69) Cover your pipe you dumb ass wipe
70) Contain your lizard then tickle her gizzard
71) Bag the mole then do her hole
72) Cuff your carrot before you share it
73) Jail your number then call the plumber
74) Cover your vein then drive her insane
75) Wrap that pickle then slip her a tickle
76) Protect your dink then fluff her mink
77) Restrain your lantern then stick it in her cavern
78) Hide ole harry then take her cherry
79) Wrap that spout then bore her out
80) Conceal your train don't cause her pain
81) Guard your bridge then do her ridge
82) Shroud your trout then make her shout
83) To make her squat like a turkey, cover your Jerky
84) Box your blister then poke her in the whiskers
85) Wrap your spout to catch the trout
86) Plug your funnel then enter the tunnel
87) Cover your steamer before you ream her
88) Protect that fish then dip it in the dish
89) Contain that bass for a swim in her glass
90) Be sure to wear it to feed her ferret
91) Clothe the boner before you hone her
92) Got no protection? Can't use your erection!
93) Cork your pump or you don't hump
94) No unwrapped stags get between my legs
95) Dress that erection to make a deflection
96) Contain that shanker before you spank her
97) Cap that seeder before you breed her
98) Stop the stream before you cream
99) Secure that ladder then drain your bladder
100) Protect your screw to catch that glue
101) Package your meat for a real neat treat
102) Holster your gun then shootings more fun
103) Canvas that trailer before you nail her
104) Garage the tractor then attack her
105) Net that grass hopper before you pop her
106) Sock that wanger before you bang her
107) Pen that rooster, she'll be much looser
108) Trim your hardwood then do her real good
109) Garnish your oak then give her a poke
110) Pouch your associate then go fornicate
111) Smother your affiliate before you ejaculate
112) Confine your fascinate before it regurgitates
113) Catch that goat before it bloats
114) Ensnare that barbarian then do her abdomen
115) Restrain your hammer then wam bam her
116) Prune that stalk then make her squawk
117) Wrap that rod then please her bod
118) Sheath that knife she ain't your wife
119) House that bottle then mash her throttle
120) Sash that hash then thrash that gash
121) Cover your diddle then fiddle her middle
122) Can your knob then throb her swab
123) Contain old Doug then clean her rug
124) Cover your limb before you swim
125) Retain your bailer then impail her
126) Rope your dope then make some soap
127) Net your salamander then make salad in her
128) Cap your flapper then sniff her snapper
129) Wrap that Steed then trample her weeds
130) Hat that chef then scramble her cleft
131) Cover your stone before you bone
132) House your hose then curl her toes
133) Saddle your penis then straddle her mean ass
134) Blanket your twitch then hump that bitch
135) Shield your rocks then pond her box
136) Cover old sly then do her dry
137) Wrap your rail then fill her pail
138) Glove your chimney before you come in me
139) If your nude tube your dude
140) Cloak your hitter then go split her
141) Wrap your nipper before you dip her
142) Can your spam then bam that mam
143) Corral your ram then slice her ham
144) Sheath your sliver then jab her liver
145) Twist your wick then stick that prick
146) Cover old Bart then dart her tart
147) Shed old spot then do her slot
148) Drawer your pip then split her lips
149) Contain that leach then mash her peach
150) Bag your elm then take the helm
151) Constrain your gem to catch the flem
152) Catch that head cheese or I won't spread these
153) Constrain that agate you ain't no faggot
154) Survey your land then plant her stand
155) Before you drive her protect that diver
156) Sack that slimy smelt then tan her beaver pelt
157) Wrap that stiffer then let him sniff her
158) Cover you post then slice her roast
159) Blanket old juicy then plug old loosey
160) Balloon your baboon the moon tune her poon
161) Contain that viper before you pipe her
162) Wrap your whopper, then go bop her
163) Protect your cock with the sock.
164) Slip it on before you slip it in.
165) Don't leave it to God, cover your rod.
164) Do a good deed, don't spill your seed.
165) Tub that sub then rub her hub
166) Wrap Mr. Clean then introduce her spleen
167) Dam your giver then fill her quiver

Oct 28, 2007

Oct 26, 2007

The post for Pezda

Reading back through some of Pezda's stuff, I see that he is into rowing. I wanted to share with him some pictures from last year of my niece, Kirsten, who rows with Western Washington. She walked on, and got a spot with the #1 boat, and they won the national championship!

That is Kirsten on the far right.

Kirsten is on the far left.

All of us in the family say we want to be Kirsten when we grow up. She is also on their wakeboard team, teaches snowboarding at Mt. Baker, and guides raft trips in the summer.

Perhaps some day she may even graduate, but I keep telling her that is secondary to having fun. Her parents are not thrilled with my counsel...

Odd, odd advertisement

I had no clue where they were going with this.

Oct 25, 2007

It's really just like any singles bar

From the Daily Mail in the UK:
Amazing pictures as 10,000 penguins come to shore to breed

It is one of the most extraordinary sights in nature: more than 10,000 King Penguins standing shoulder to shoulder at St Andrew's bay on the island of South Georgia, preparing to breed.

The 3ft tall creatures — part of a colony of more than 100,000 on the Atlantic island close to Antarctica — create a living landscape of breathtaking scale and colour.

Including Samuel

Very good, touching preview of a movie coming out soon about trying to include a young boy with CP into society. It is a little slice of our life with Skyler, and makes me happy and sad at the same time to watch.

Oct 19, 2007

How much bad news does a family need?

I have a friend that works out in the mornings with the rest of our little gang of folks who has a daughter that has CP. Bree isn't as involved as Skyler is, but requires a lot of help with things, and needs a lot of attention.

Her other daughter that is older just got out of a nasty marriage, where she was abused among other things, and she is living back at home trying to get back on her feet.

Her husband has been diagnosed with Cancer of the esophagus, and has gone through several rounds of Chemo and radiation. He went in for surgery yesterday to take out his esophagus, and tie a log piece of his stomach up to his throat in an attempt to enable him to swallow again. It is a high-risk surgery, and has only about a 50/50 success rate. He was scheduled for 6 to 8 hours, so when the doctor came out after only 30 minutes, she knew something was wrong.

Despite all the radiation and chemo, he has cancer throughout his abdomen and liver. It is everywhere they said and they were closing him back up.

So he is coming home with a tube to give him pain meds through, and to make all of his final plans.

I tell you, sometimes life just hits you with a roundhouse blow.

Oct 18, 2007

To you my blogger friends

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is funny, and has a nice message to pass along at the end.


My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse." "Well," my father said, "there was that, too." So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Ho psons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that. But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown. It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage. (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home. If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?" "I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

"No left turns," he said.

"What?" I asked.

"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic. As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn."

"What?" I said again.

"No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."

"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."

I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.

"Loses count?" I asked.

"Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."

I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.

"No," he said " If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week."

My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.

She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102. They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news. A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred". At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer."

"You're probably right," I said.

"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.

"Because you're 102 years old," I said.

"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.

That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet".

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:

"I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have."

A short time later, he died.

I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long. I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns. "

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it."

Typical male

My friend Jack sent me this series of photos this morning. No explanation of where they are from, or story with it. But I found it amusing...

Oct 17, 2007

Some Guy just tagged me!

Chris over at Some Guys Blog tagged me with this:

TO DO: List 5 things you do, did or like that some may consider “totally lame,” but that you are totally proud of. Tag 5 others:

Well Chris, "totally proud of" probably isn't the first descriptive phrase I can think of, but "totally lame" works quite well! So away we go...

1. First thing that comes to mind is my taste in music. I like some pretty off the wall stuff, such as Acapella groups, big choral groups, Big Band jazz, and grew up on folk tunes when the rest of my buddies were rocking out. It always kind of set me apart from the rest of the crowd.

2. Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, hunting was a part of life there. I tried it once, and didn't have the heart to kill a deer. My friends gave me a lot of shit, you can imagine the whole routine... But you know what, I don't mind having too big of a heart to hurt an animal. Now, another human being, especially parking illegally in the handicapped spot, well that's another story.

3. I have been in a couple of different music groups. The first was in High School, singing with a group a teacher started doing folksy tunes for benefits. Later on that same teacher asked me to join some of those old members in doing the same thing for shows around town, and more importantly, the kids up at the easter Seals camp outside of Idaho Springs where I grew up. I really liked it, got a lot out of it, but caught some crap from a lot of my rocker friends.

Then just before we had Skyler, I spent a couple of years in a large Acapella group doing tunes for Christmas and a summer tour around different events in the Denver area.

4. I have no fashion sense, nor have I ever had any fashion sense. Growing up I wore Levis and T-shirts in the summer, Levis and Flannel shirts in the winter. I detest getting dressed up, and since I have not had a job where I had to wear a suit/tie for quite some time, I don't have either. I dress to keep warm and comfy, that's my only requirement. Someday I will have to attend another funeral or wedding and be in big trouble. Most of you are probably unaware I used to work with GetKristiLove, we were cube mates. She always looks like a million bucks, and to her credit never gave me much grief. I am not totally proud of this, but when you look like me you can pull off crazy homeless really well!

5. Last but certainly not least is my propensity for tears. I have always cried very easily, and my emotions run close to the surface all the time. Show me a sad movie, and away I go. Hell, all it usually takes is a sappy commercial! But you know what? I am really OK with this. I say let it out and it doesn't build up inside and come out as hate or evil. I was really only called on it once in the Navy, when another guy in our division didn't think I was quite a man. Being a guy, and being in the Military, it had to come to blows. That I am not proud of, but I kicked his ass...

Oct 16, 2007

Terrific ad

Love the speech!

Michael Sheen looks brilliant!

Check out the trailer to this movie at the web site.

I watched Michael Sheen carefully and I swear that he has CP. He must have studied the movements and mannerisms of someone who has Cerebral Palsy like my son Skyler. I really hope that this movie turns out to be as good as I believe it is, and doesn't fall into the trap of being sappy or pull a Million Dollar Baby ending.

"Think of it as the opposite of you"

I am so going to use that line someday...

Oct 15, 2007

I have a narrow cervix...

The Apple Ipad for Women - Watch more free videos

Think there is any correlation to the low pay?

I thought this was quite interesting. I can't vouch for some of the other jobs, but I am very familiar with people who work in the area of taking care of adults and kids with special needs. Their job is incredibly difficult and they do not get paid worth squat!

Report Ranks Jobs by Rates of Depression
By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer
Sun Oct 14, 7:48 PM

WASHINGTON - People who tend to the elderly, change diapers and serve up food and drinks have the highest rates of depression among U.S. workers.
Overall, 7 percent of full-time workers battled depression in the past year, according to a government report available Saturday.

Women were more likely than men to have had a major bout of depression, and younger workers had higher rates of depression than their older colleagues.

Workers who prepare and serve food _ cooks, bartenders, waiters and waitresses _ had the second highest rate of depression among full-time employees at 10.3 percent.

Read the report at: http://tinyurl.com/2ft37p.

Oct 13, 2007

Mike Leonards story from Today Show

One of the things I like best about Mike Leonard is the way he conveys a story through lots of imagery. He has run a series on the Today show about his family, and they took a trip together around America.

Here is the end of the series, and about how he got started. Take a moment to watch.

The kindness of strangers
The kindness of strangers

Oct 12, 2007

I know bad when I see it

I am always hesitant to post any comments about music on any of your blogs because I am hopelessly out of touch with the music scene. But I do think I am qualified to comment on this wonderful rendition of Star Wars.

It's like a train wreck, you can't help but watch...

Oct 11, 2007

It's like they can see my soul.

The fine folks over at Despair have a collection of T-Shirts that are quite good, including this one:

I really love this company and their products, and have purchased several of their calendars over the years and some of their shirts. Head on over and catch their podcasts by the company founder Dr. E L Kersten. Funny, funny shit people!

I would have been in SO much trouble...

From AP, trimmed down:

CHICAGO - When 17-year-old Anna Kinderman takes a turn too fast in her parents' sedan or jams the brakes too hard, she apologizes aloud even when no one else is in the car. "Sorry, Dad," she says, looking up at the camera mounted on the rear-view mirror.

Mom and Dad will see the incident on video soon enough, after all.

Several U.S. auto insurers have begun offering in-car cameras or global positioning equipment to help parents monitor their teenagers' driving behavior, hoping to reduce the alarming number of crashes involving young new motorists.

Under Teen Safe Driver, a camera records audio and video images of both the road and the driver when motion sensors detect swerving, hard braking, sudden acceleration or a collision. The footage goes to an analysis center where it is graded for riskiness and sent on to parents with comments and coaching tips.

Shit! Swerving, hard braking, and sudden acceleration was all I did!

Teen drivers have mixed feelings about the technology; one in 20 even cover the camera after it is first installed, according to program officials.

He he he, can't get around those kids!

"It's great that you can see what you did wrong," said Anna. "But it kind of feels like a parent is in your space, especially when you get yelled at if you do something wrong."

She has been part of a pilot program at her high school for the last year. She usually sits down with her father, a police officer, to review the incidents _ and explain why she was driving with a cell phone to her ear.

Oh great, her dad is a cop. That has to be fun...

Rusty Weiss of DriveCam Inc., the San Diego-based company that developed the technology, said the video captures more inattentive mistakes than aggressive-driving ones; for example, teens talking on their cell phones, listening to iPods or heeding friends' advice to run yellow lights. Private details and conversations are not shared with parents, he said, nor are individual incidents or video clips given to American Family.

Other programs aim to accomplish similar goals using global positioning systems technology.

Guy Thompson of Lake Oswego, Ore., gets an automated text message whenever his 16-year-old daughter Maggie drives her car more than five miles from home or exceeds 55 mph, limits he set to trigger alerts under the Teensurance plan. He also can monitor the location of her car online, or even set the device to notify him if the car arrives at a specified address.

Thompson says the extra information eases his concerns when Maggie is out and has made her more forthcoming about her whereabouts.

I would just ride with my friends who don't have big brother installed.

Maggie said she's become a more conscientious driver because she knows that if she speeds, the device _ and her dad _ will hold her accountable.

"I think it's generally a good thing," she said, "as long as you have a trusting relationship and you're honest. And if you don't, maybe it's a step in the right direction."

I suppose it's a good idea, but I can think of so many ways around this that I could render in ineffective.

Oct 9, 2007

And now for other news...

Random finds that have been cluttering up the desk here at Some days it's not worth chewing through the leather straps...

Some news just writes itself:

Feel free to insert your own punchline:

A moment of silence please:

And for those of you looking for that new do:

Oct 7, 2007

This mornings entry for WTF?!?

http://view.break.com/377268 - Watch more free videos

I like the dude with the cowboy hat "spankin it"...

It's downright palatial!

We visited the New Children's Hospital this week to meet the spine specialist that will be part of the team of doctors to operate on Skyler in November. The hospital has just moved to it's new facility that is all brand spanking new, joining the University of Colorado hospital and research center. Later, some other facilities will also be relocating to join these two.

This is the former site of the Fitzimmons Army hospital that has slowly been phased out of existence over the years. There is a VA hospital that has since been built on another location, but Fitzimmons was an entire base. So they have a lot of space to use, and use it they are!

We checked in at the front desk to find out where our doctor was located, and received our "frequent flyer" id cards instead of a visitor badge. We get ID's that look like the rest of the staff, that tells me we spend just a bit too much time at the hospital, don't you think?

Then a volunteer takes us to the right area to make sure we don't get lost. I would have preferred a map, but we were early so it didn't matter that we followed the slow paced gal who was just giddy about being able to help us all.

But I don't want to give the impression that it is a chore to get around, it really is a great place. Just new with some kinks to work out.

The good things about this place are many, starting with the parking lot. The old place had a parking structure that was horrendous! Way too few spots, narrow, a complete pain in the butt. This is vast, lots of room, and a ton of handicapped spaces all lined up under cover. How cool is that?

When you get to your floor, you check in at a desk and they hand you a pager like you get at a restaurant. This is to further protect patient confidentiality, but I don't know what was wrong with just coming to the waiting room and asking for Skyler. But it works OK when you are wandering around gapping at all the new stuff!

Each of the rooms is single, and has (get this) a 25" flat panel plasma TV! There are pull out bed facilities for the parents to sleep in, which will come in handy because Skyler will probably be there about 2 weeks. In the old place the parents "slept" in a chair.

The lobby has a Peaberry's Coffee in it, and an ice cream bar... Mmmmmm.

This is a beautiful place and we are lucky to have a world class facility to have Skyler in when he has his surgery. For more cool factoids, visit these sites:

Main site
about hosital

Oct 5, 2007

If you need a reason to root for a team, this is it.

I heard this story this morning on the radio. The thing that makes this so good of a story is that teams are notorious for bickering about who gets what amount of money when it comes to the playoffs. To award any portion of playoff money to a AA affiliate is unprecedented.

Here is the whole story.

Oct 4, 2007

Mr. Junior

Pretty good picture of my main man! 11th grade, where the heck does the time go?

Yeah, I've ridden with a few of these types.

The Birds and the Bees

A father asked his 10-year old son if he knew about the birds and the bees.

'I don't want to know,' the child said, bursting into tears. 'Promise me you won't tell me.'

Confused, the father asked what was wrong.

The boy sobbed, 'When I was six, I got the 'There's no Easter Bunny' speech.

At seven, I got the 'There's no Tooth Fairy' speech.

When I was eight, you hit me with the 'There's no Santa' speech.

If you're going to tell me that grown-ups don't really get laid, I'll have nothing left to live for.'

Oct 2, 2007

This commercial really tickled me!

I want to be heavily medicated!!

What's that old saying about laws and sausage?

In reality, it wasn't much of a race!

As a space nerd, I found this very interesting. An AP article quotes Boris Chertok, one of the founders of the Soviet space program, as saying the intent of their booster program really wasn't the race to get into outer space, but to build a rocket capable of delivering a nuclear payload into the US.

Another thing that caught my eye was that the blinking light everyone saw orbiting wasn't the Sputnik, but rather the second stage booster rocket! All these years we thought different...

Here is the entire piece:

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer
Sun Sep 30, 11:48 PM

MOSCOW - When Sputnik took off 50 years ago, the world gazed at the heavens in awe and apprehension, watching what seemed like the unveiling of a sustained Soviet effort to conquer space and score a stunning Cold War triumph.

But 50 years later, it emerges that the momentous launch was far from being part of a well-planned strategy to demonstrate communist superiority over the West. Instead, the first artificial satellite in space was a spur-of-the-moment gamble driven by the dream of one scientist, whose team scrounged a rocket, slapped together a satellite and persuaded a dubious Kremlin to open the space age.

And that winking light that crowds around the globe gathered to watch in the night sky? Not Sputnik at all, as it turns out, but just the second stage of its booster rocket, according to Boris Chertok, one of the founders of the Soviet space program.

In a series of interviews in recent days with The Associated Press, Chertok and other veterans told the little-known story of how Sputnik was launched, and what an unlikely achievement it turned out to be.

Chertok couldn't whisper a word about the project through much of his lifetime. His name, and that of Sergei Korolyov, the chief scientist, were a state secret. Today, at age 95 and talking to a small group of reporters in Moscow, Chertok can finally give full voice to his pride at the pivotal role he played in the history of space exploration.

"Each of these first rockets was like a beloved woman for us," he said. "We were in love with every rocket, we desperately wanted it to blast off successfully. We would give our hearts and souls to see it flying."

This very rational exuberance, and Korolyov's determination, were the key to Sputnik's success.

So was happenstance.

As described by the former scientists, the world's first orbiter was born out of a very different Soviet program: the frantic development of a rocket capable of striking the United States with a hydrogen bomb.

Because there was no telling how heavy the warhead would be, its R-7 ballistic missile was built with thrust to spare _ "much more powerful than anything the Americans had," Georgy Grechko, a rocket engineer and cosmonaut, told AP.

The towering R-7's high thrust and payload capacity, unmatched at the time, just happened to make it the perfect vehicle to launch an object into orbit _ something never done before.

Without the looming nuclear threat, Russian scientists say, Sputnik would probably have gotten off the ground much later.

"The key reason behind the emergence of Sputnik was the Cold War atmosphere and our race against the Americans," Chertok said. "The military missile was the main thing we were thinking of at the moment."

When the warhead project hit a snag, Korolyov, the father of the Soviet space program, seized the opportunity.

Korolyov, both visionary scientist and iron-willed manager, pressed the Kremlin to let him launch a satellite. The U.S. was already planning such a move in 1958, he pointed out, as part of the International Geophysical Year.

But while the government gave approval in January 1956, the military brass wanted to keep the missile for the bomb program, Grechko, 76, said in an interview. "They treated the satellite as a toy, a silly fantasy of Korolyov."

The U.S. had its own satellite program, Grechko said. "The Americans proudly called their project 'Vanguard,' but found themselves behind us."

The Soviet Union already had a full-fledged scientific satellite in development, but it would take too long to complete, Korolyov knew. So he ordered his team to quickly sketch a primitive orbiter. It was called PS-1, for "Prosteishiy Sputnik" _ the Simplest Satellite.

Grechko, who calculated the trajectory for the first satellite's launch, said he and other young engineers tried to persuade Korolyov to pack Sputnik with some scientific instruments. Korolyov refused, saying there was no time.

"If Korolyov had listened to us and started putting more equipment on board, the Americans could have opened the space era," Grechko said.

The satellite, weighing just 184 pounds, was built in less than three months. Soviet designers built a pressurized sphere of polished aluminum alloy with two radio transmitters and four antennas. An earlier satellite project envisaged a cone shape, but Korolyov preferred the sphere.

"The Earth is a sphere, and its first satellite also must have a spherical shape," Chertok, a longtime deputy of Korolyov, recalled him saying.

Sputnik's surface was polished to perfection to better deflect the sun's rays and avoid overheating.

The launch was first scheduled for Oct. 6. But Korolyov suspected that the U.S. might be planning a launch a day earlier. The KGB was asked to check, and reported turning up nothing.

Korolyov was taking no chances. He immediately canceled some last-minute tests and moved up the launch by two days, to Oct. 4, 1957.

"Better than anyone else Korolyov understood how important it was to open the space era," Grechko said. "The Earth had just one moon for a billion years and suddenly it would have another, artificial moon!"

Soon after blastoff from the arid steppes of the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, the satellite sent out what would be the world's most famous beep. But the engineers on the ground didn't immediately grasp its importance.

"At that moment we couldn't fully understand what we had done," Chertok recalled. "We felt ecstatic about it only later, when the entire world ran amok. Only four or five days later did we realize that it was a turning point in the history of civilization."

Immediately after the launch, Korolyov called Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to report the success. Khrushchev's son, Sergei, who was alongside his father at the moment, recalled that they listened to the satellite's beep-beep and went to bed.

Sergei Khrushchev said that at first they saw the Sputnik's launch as simply one in a series of Soviet technological achievements, like a new passenger jet or the first atomic power plant.

"All of us _ Korolyov's men, people in the government, Khrushchev and myself _ saw that as just yet another accomplishment showing that the Soviet economy and science were on the right track," the younger Khrushchev, now a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, said in a telephone interview.

The first official Soviet report of Sputnik's launch was brief and buried deep in Pravda, the Communist Party daily. Only two days later did it offer a banner headline, quoting the avalanche of foreign praise.

Pravda also published a description of Sputnik's orbit to help people watch it pass. The article failed to mention that the light seen moving across the sky was the spent booster rocket's second stage, which was in roughly same orbit, Chertok said.

The tiny orbiter was invisible to the naked eye.

Excited by the global furor, Khrushchev ordered Korolyov immediately to launch a new satellite, this time, to mark the Nov. 7 anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

"We didn't believe that you would outpace the Americans with your satellite, but you did it. Now you should launch something new by Nov. 7," Korolyov quoted Khrushchev telling him, according to Grechko.

Working round-the-clock, Korolyov and his team built another spacecraft in less than a month. On Nov. 3, they launched Sputnik 2, which weighed 1,118 pounds. It carried the world's first living payload, a mongrel dog named Laika, in its tiny pressurized cabin.

The dog died of the heat after a week, drawing protests from animal-lovers. But the flight proved that a living being could survive in space, paving the way for human flight.

The first Sputnik beeped for three weeks and spent about three months in orbit before burning up in the atmosphere. It circled Earth more than 1,400 times, at just under 100 minutes an orbit.

For Korolyov there was bitterness as well as triumph. He was never mentioned in any contemporary accounts of the launch, and his key role was known to only a few officials and space designers.

Leonid Sedov, a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences with no connection to space program, was erroneously touted in the West as the Father of Sputnik. Korolyov, meanwhile, was only allowed to publish his non-sensitive research under the pseudonym "Professor K. Sergeyev."

Khrushchev rejected the Nobel committee's offer to nominate Korolyov for a prize, insisting that it was the achievement of "the entire Soviet people."

Sergei Khrushchev said his father thought singling out Korolyov would anger other rocket designers and hamper the missile and space programs.

"These people were like actors; they would all have been madly jealous at Korolyov," he said. "I think my father's decision was psychologically correct. But, of course, Sergei Korolyov felt deeply hurt."

Korolyov's daughter, Natalia, recalled in a book that the veil of secrecy vexed her father. "We are like miners _ we work underground," she recalls him saying. "No one sees or hears us."

The Soviet Union and the rest of the world learned Korolyov's name only after his death in 1966. Today his Moscow home, where Chertok met reporters, is a museum in the chief scientist's honor.

Chertok was permitted to travel abroad only in the late 1980s, after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev liberalized the Soviet Union.

The surviving leaders of the space program are no longer anonymous or silent, and revel in the accolades so long denied them.

"The rivalry in space, even though it had military reasons, has pushed the mankind forward," said Valery Korzun, a cosmonaut who serves as a deputy chief of the Star City cosmonaut training center. "Our achievements today are rooted in that competition."

In the end, it was the Americans who won the race to the moon, nearly 12 years later. Khrushchev wasn't interested in getting there, his son says, and the effort made under his successor, Leonid Brezhnev, was underfunded and badly hampered by rifts between Korolyov and other designers.

"We wouldn't have been the first on the moon anyway," Grechko said. "We lost the race because our electronics industry was inferior."

Today, even as Sputnik recedes into the history books, its memory still exercises a powerful grip. In August, when a Russian flag was planted on the sea bed at the North Pole, the Kremlin compared it to Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon _ an indication, perhaps, of how much Russians still treasure that first victory in space.

Oct 1, 2007

Orson Welles turns the tables on Dick Cavett

I miss the days when talk shows actually had guests on that were interesting and had something to say. Nowadays, it's 2 minutes of planned banter, let's show a clip of your movie (which is the only reason they show up) and you're outta here!

Can you imagine Letterman or Leno being able to hold a conversation like this?