Jul 31, 2008
One of our favorite things to do is go and walk around, check out the flyers in the boxes in front of the houses for sale. I keep hearing about a downturn in the economy and the housing market going to hell. I see it around here, but if you only knew about this area, you certainly wouldn't know it!
Here are some samples I grabbed and scanned...
Sorry this one is cut off. It was a huge flyer, about 14x18... Whats up with that? Anyway, 1.5 million and it fills up an entire lot.
This one had a sweet lot that looked out over lake Washington. they left some land around it insted of the usual method of putting two homes in where 1 used to be.
This was on a corner lot running right up to the street. Absolutely no room around it, and the flyer looks like a painting instead of a photo.
Here they are putting 4 homes into where there used to be one house with some land around it. Check out the size! Notice there isn't a price? It's probably one of those "if you have to ask you can't afford it" deals. I wonder what the original owners got? They are living the good life now on a beach somewhere...
Even the Condos and Townhomes are pricey. As they say in Real Estate, location, location, location!
Pretty amazing how the other half lives, someday my house will be worth, oh, about 25 bucks more than I paid for it. I am pretty savvy that way you know.
Jul 29, 2008
Jul 28, 2008
Why then does Kathy have to be the one to organize care and take the bull by the horns?
Kathy's mom is not doing well, there are multiple health issues going on with her. The latest is Cancer that has spread from a breast to a tumor on the side of her heart. She is too weak to have any kind of treatment, so she is home now, kind of on a home hospice deal. But, she doesn't like the term hospice, and isn't giving up, so it is the word of which we don't speak.
Kathy's dad has his own set of problems, from having a pacemaker with a built in defibrillator (makes for an interesting event when that kicks in), to colon cancer. His turn for surgery is coming up in a couple of weeks. When he goes into the hospital, Kathy's mom will need a lot of care. When he gets home, he will need care as well. So what does the family think is a good idea?
Kathy comes back out to stay with them for a week to 10 days, because you know, she doesn't work or anything...
I want to offer any of them this deal. Come out here and take care of Skyler for a week, while Kathy is out there. I don't think anybody could handle it. I tell you, it is all I can do to keep out of it an keep my mouth shut.
Thanks for listening to me vent, sorry, I now return to my kinder more jovial self.
Skyler had some fun seeing his family, and especially his favorite cousin Kirsten. I have written about Kirsten before, she is the one we all want to be when we grow up. She teaches snowboarding and skiing at Mt Baker during the winter, and guides raft trips and climbs mountains during the summer. Everything she does, she does well. She is naturally talented and as kind as a person can be, and she "gets" Skyler. She came out to Colorado several years ago to go to a camp with him as his aide.
Here is Kirsten, Skyler and me sitting out back of Kathy's next oldest sisters house one afternoon. We drove out to their place to say hi and see her husbands work on his recording studio he is building. It is the 8th wonder of the world! Huge rooms with amazing sound dampening construction.
One large recording room, two smaller ones, a control room and other rooms for people to hang out in and watch. The main room has 155 sound inputs!!
Lets see, what else did we do? Not too much, hung out at a couple of local coffee shops being a cliche:
And Skyler liked his rental van a lot. We have to rent an accessible van for him now because he is too big to get in and out of a regular seat.
My next post will be about the price of homes there. We took some walks and nabbed a bunch of those real estate brochures out in front of houses. Holy shit! Doesn't look like the housing market has problems there!
Jul 24, 2008
Hope everyone is well, and thanks so much to those nice people who were wondering about where I am!
Jul 19, 2008
I'm surprised that the cop involved could stop laughing long enough to put this idiot in cuffs!!
Jul 18, 2008
What do you all think?
The doctor set the pain transfer to 10% for starters, explaining that even 10% was probably more pain than the father had ever experienced before. However, as the labor progressed, the husband felt fine and asked the doctor to go ahead and kick it up a notch.
The doctor then adjusted the machine to 20% pain transfer. The husband was still feeling fine. The doctor checked the husband's blood pressure and was amazed at how well he was doing.
At this point, they decided to try for 50%. The husband continued to feel quite well.
Since the pain transfer was obviously helping out the wife considerably, the husband encouraged the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him.
The wife delivered a healthy baby with virtually no pain. She and her husband were ecstatic.
When they got home, the mailman was dead on the porch.
Jul 17, 2008
Jul 16, 2008
I worked out this morning on the elliptical trainer next to an old friend Tom. Tom has a business that takes him all over the world, and he is gone probably about 10 months out of the year. His company is in construction, using green technologies to help build solar and wind facilities to help lower the cost of keeping buildings efficient. So why is Tom gone 10 months out of the year?
Nobody in the good old USA has the foresight to spend a few extra bucks now to make their facility more efficient in the future.
Tom just returned from Dubai, where he told me the have a 5 year plan to spend 1.3 Trillion (yes Trillion with a T) dollars on construction projects that will be some of the most efficient in the world. He said that in these 5 years they will build approximately the equivalent of 4 cities the size of Houston, to house the people who are moving into the area.
That's just crazy to me, but he says it's really happening, and that they have plans to be completely off oil themselves in the near future. So they will just be collecting our money from the oil they sell, to fund all of their new construction, and get off oil themselves.
Makes complete sense to me...
Jul 15, 2008
Some of the interview:
"The Times asked, "Do you go online yourself?" McCain, referring to his aides answered, "They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don't expect to be a great communicator, I don't expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need - including going to my daughter's blog first, before anything else. ... I don't e-mail; I've never felt the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone."
I will have that down fairly soon?!? How tough is that task there Senator? Need a few more weeks of practice, some hands on labs or something? Get a logon, I recommend McSame, and a password, try something like "howlingmad", clicky clicky and you are there!
Holy tap-dancin Jesus, this guy might just win too...
Jul 14, 2008
Gray was in University Hospital, checked into a monitoring area that was supposed to be watching him around the clock, because hey - they were trying to induce seizures!
Turns out he had one, while the person that was supposed to be monitoring him decided to go on break...
Now he is dead. The local CBS affiliate has the story here.
Skyler has been checked into Childrens hospital for overnight studies like that, and we never left his side. There is just too much to worry about.
Jul 12, 2008
I am a winner, so it seems! Our good friend Hot Lemon over at With a Twist of Lemon, has been gracious enough to bestow upon me and others an Arte. That is, the Arte y Pico award for blogs.
Didn't know there was such an award? Well you are not alone. I had no idea either, but I am still quite overwhelmed by the whole thing, somewhat ferklemped, talk amongst yourselves...
OK, I have composed myself. Here is the skinny on the award, stolen from Mr Lemon himself, since he writes so eloquently and I am a master at the cut and paste function:
The origin of the Arte y Pico Award: "This prize has arisen from the daily visits that I dedicate to many blogs which nourish me and enrich me with creativity. In them, I see dedication, creativity, care, comradeship, but mainly, ART, much art. I want to share this prize with all those bloggers that entertain me day to day and to share this prize with those who enrich me every day. Doubtlessly, there are many and it will be hard to pick just a few. The people I will name today deserve this prize, as do the very long serious list of bloggers I also enjoy to read. But I will name the first 10 and leave the rest of the work to all the bloggers that visit other's blogs and are nourished by them."
Here are the rules, if you decide to pass the award further to remarkable blogs in blogosphere worth to mention.
1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award through creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.
2. Each award should have the name of the author with a link to their blog.
3. Award winners have to post the award with the name and link to the blog of the person who gave them the award (done at the end of Paragraph 1).
4. Please include a link to the “Arte Y Pico” blog so that everyone will know where the award came from.
5. Show these rules.
Enough of the requirements, and on to the awarding of fellow bloggers! (Cue MGM music)
First up is Distributor Cap, because he is a master at research and digging up the skinny on his blog subjects. And, because he sent Skyler a cup, which makes him the best!
Next I choose fellow space enthusiast Johnny Yen, for terrific writing and for being a world class dad.
One of my first blogs I read belongs to Kirby, over at I make no promises. She has a wonderful sense of humor, and likes the outdoors. Top two qualities in a lady if you ask me, in an alternate universe I would be her stalker!
My own personnel award for creativity goes out to Sans at Sans Pantaloons. The master of graphics, he made a family crest for us that we proudly display as wall paper!
Finally, I nominate my former cube mate Kristi at Two Minutes in the Box. I live vicariously through Kristi's love of the mountains that I used to hang out in. Now I am a suburban dwelling dad, but still long to be on top of a peak like she does.
Th-Th-Thats it folks! Enjoy your nominations and pay it forward!
Jul 11, 2008
Great speech, very funny parts and some terrific insights. Here it is in it's entirety:
Here's the actual speech I gave at my old high school on June 18th. Well, more or less. There were some extra, last-minute thoughts I threw in there. I think the core idea of what I was trying to say was unchanged.
What a great group of kids. What a bunch of smarty-pants, too. Brainy bunch. Very intimidating. Their valedictorian had a 4.35 GPA. That means she took extra classes in a PARALLEL DIMENSION, and then found a way to have the credits count in this one.
4.35? She introduced me, and brought me onstage. And then she shook hands with 2.71. And then I said this:
First off, I want to thank the teachers and faculty of Broad Run High School for first considering and then inviting me to speak here. It was flattering, I am touched and humbled, and you have made a grave mistake.
I’m being paid for this, right? Oh, wait, there’s some advice, right off the bat – always get paid. If you make enough money in this world you can smoke pot all day and have people killed.
I’m sorry, that was irresponsible.
You shouldn’t have people killed.
Boom! Marijuana endorsement eleven seconds into my speech! Too late to cancel me now!
It’s dumb-ass remarks like that which kept me out of the National Honor Society and also made me insanely wealthy. If I move to Brazil.
I graduated from Broad Run High School 21 years ago. That means, theoretically, I could be – each and every one of you – your father. And I’m speaking especially to the black and Asian students.
So now I’m going to try to give all of you some advice as if I contained fatherly wisdom, which I do not. I contain mostly caffeine, Cheet-o dust, fear and scotch.
I know most of you worked very hard to get here today but guess what? The Universe sent you a pasty goblin to welcome you into the world. Were The Greaseman and Arch Campbell not available?
So, 1987. That’s when I got my diploma. But I want to tell you something that happened the week before I graduated. It was life-changing, it was profound, and it was deeper than I realized at the time.
The week before graduation I strangled a hobo. Oh wait, that’s a different story. That was college. I’m speaking at my college later this month. I’ve got both speeches here. Let me sum up the college speech – always have a gallon of bleach in your trunk.
High school. A week before I graduated high school I had dinner, in Leesburg, with a local banker who was giving me a partial scholarship. I still don’t understand why. Maybe he had me confused with another student, someone who hadn’t written his AP English paper on comparisons between Jay Gatsby and Spider-Man. But, I was getting away with it, and I love money and food, so double win.
And I remember, I’m sitting at this dinner, with a bunch of other kids from the other local high schools. And I’m trying my pathetic best to look cool and mysterious, because I was 17 and so into the myth of myself. Remember, this dinner and this scholarship was happening to me.
And I figured this banker guy was a nice guy but hey, I’m the special one at the table. I had a view of the world, where I was eternally Bill Murray in Stripes. I’d be the one with the quips and insights at this dinner. This old man in a suit doesn’t have anything to teach me beyond signing that check. I’ve got a cool mullet and a skinny leather tie from Chess King. And check out my crazy suspenders with the piano keys on them. Have you ever seen Blackadder? ‘Cuz I’ll recite it.
And then this banker – clean-shaven, grey suit and vest – you’d never look twice at him on the street – he told me about The Five Environments.
He leans forward, near the end of the dinner, and he says to me, “There are Five Environments you can live in on this planet. There’s The City. The Desert. The Mountains. The Plains. And The Beach.
You can live in combinations of them. Maybe a city in the desert, or in the mountains by the ocean. Or you could choose just one. Out in the plains somewhere, perhaps.
“But you need to get out there and travel, and figure out where you thrive.
“Some places you’ll go to and you’ll feel yourself wither. Your brain will fog up, your body won’t respond to your thoughts and desires, and you’ll feel sad and angry.
“You need to find out which of the Five Environments are yours. If you belong by the ocean, then the mountains will ruin you. If you’re suited for the blue solitude of the plains, then the city will be a tight, roaring prison cell that’ll eat you alive.
He was right. I’ve traveled and tested his theory and he was absolutely right. There are Five Environments. If you find the right combination, or the perfect singularity, your life will click…into…place. You will click into place.
And I remember, so clearly, driving home from that dinner, how lucky I felt to have met someone who affirmed what I was already planning to do after high school. I was going to roam and blitz and blaze my way all over the planet.
Anywhere but here. Anywhere but Northern Virginia. NoVa. You know what a “nova” is? It’s when a white dwarf star gobbles up so much hydrogen from a neighboring star it causes a cataclysmic nuclear explosion. A cosmic event.
Well, I was a white dwarf and I was definitely doing my share of gobbling up material. But I didn’t feel like any events in my life were cosmic. The “nova” I lived in was a rural coma sprinkled with chunks of strip mall numbness. I had two stable, loving parents, a sane and wise little brother and I was living in Sugarland Run, whose motto is, “Ooooh! A bee! Shut the door!”
I wanted to explode. I devoured books and movies and music and anything that would kick open windows to other worlds real or imagined. Sugarland Run, and Sterling and Ashburn and Northern Virginia were, for me, a sprawling batter’s box before real experience began.
And I followed that banker’s advice. I had to get college out of the way but once I got my paper I lit out hard.
Oh this world. Ladies and gentlemen, this world rocks and it never lets up.
I’ve seen endless daylight and darkness in Alaska. I’ve swum in volcanic craters in Hawaii and saw the mystical green flash when the sun sinks behind the Pacific. I got ripped on absinthe in Prague and watched the sun rise over the synagogue where the Golem is supposedly locked in the attic. I stood under the creepy shadow of Christchurch Spitafields, in London’s East End, and sank a pint next door at The Ten Bells, where two of Jack the Ripper’s victims were last seen drinking. I’ve fed gulls at the harbor in Galway, Ireland. I’ve done impromptu Bloomsday tours of Dublin.
I cried my eyes out on the third floor of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, all those paintings that Vincent and his circle have to each other as gifts because they were all broke some cold Christmas long ago. I’ve eaten crocodile in the Laneways of Melbourne Australia and ortolans on the Left Bank of Paris, France.
I’ve been to Canada.
I’ve been to every state in this country. I’ve been to hidden, subterranean restaurants in New York with the guys from Anthrax and eaten at L.A. taquieras with “Weird” Al Yankovic. I held the guitar that Hendrix torched at Monterey Pop and watched Woodstock ’99 burn to the ground. I’ve lingered at the corner of Bush and Stockton in San Francisco where Miles Archer took a bullet in The Maltese Falcon, and brooded over the grave of H.P. Lovecraft in Providence, R.I. I’ve hung out with Donny Osmond and Jim Goad, Suge Knight and Aimee Mann, Bill Hicks and Don Rickles.
I’ve done stand-up comedy in laundromats, soup kitchens and frat houses, and onstage at Lollapalooza and Coachella. I’ve toured with bands, been to the Oscars and the Superbowl, and been killed in movies by vampires, forest fires and air-to-air missiles.
And I missed the banker’s lesson. 100%, I completely missed it.
In my defense, he didn’t even know he was teaching it.
Telling me about the 5 Environments and urging me to travel? That was advice. It wasn’t a lesson. Advice is everywhere in this world. Your friends, family, teachers and strangers are all happy to give it.
A lesson is yours and yours alone. Some of them take years to recognize and utilize.
My lesson was this – experience, and reward and glory are meaningless unless you’re open and present with the people you share them with in the moment.
Let me go back to that dinner, 21 years ago. There I was, shut off from this wise, amazing old man. Then he zaps me with one of the top 5 pieces of information I’ve ever received in this life, and all I was thankful for was how it benefited me.
I completely ignored the deeper lesson which is do not judge, and get outside yourself, and realize that everyone and everything has its own story, and something to teach you, and that they’re also trying – consciously or unconsciously – to learn and grow from you and everything else around them. And they’re trying with the same passion and hunger and confusion that I was feeling – no matter where they were in their lives, no matter how old or how young.
I’m not saying that you guys shouldn’t go out there and see and do everything there is to see and do. Go. As fast as you can. I don’t know how much longer this world has got, to be honest.
All of you have been given a harsh gift. It’s the same gift the graduating class of 1917, and 1938, and 1968 and now you guys got – the chance to enter adulthood when the world teeters on the rim of the sphincter of oblivion. You’re jumping into the deep end. You have no choice but to be exceptional.
But please don’t mistake miles traveled, and money earned, and fame accumulated for who you are.
Because now I understand how the miraculous, horrifying and memorable lurk everywhere. But they’re hidden to the kind of person I was when I graduated high school. And now – and it’s because of my traveling and living and some pretty profound mistakes along the way – they’re all laid open to me. They’re mine for the feasting. In the Sistine Chapel and in a Taco Bell. In Bach’s Goldberg Variations and in the half-heard brain dead chatter of a woman on her cell phone behind me on an airplane. In Baghdad, Berlin and Sterling, Virginia.
I think now about the amazing thunderstorms in the summer evenings. And how – late at night, during a blizzard, you can stand outside and hear the collective, thumping murmur of a million snowflakes hitting the earth, like you’re inside a sleeping god’s thoughts.
I think of the zombie movies I shot back in the gnarled, grey woods and the sad, suburban punks I waited on at Waxie Maxie’s. I think of the disastrous redneck weddings I deejay’d for when I was working for Sounds Unlimited and the Lego spaceships my friends and I would build after seeing Star Wars.
I think about my dad, and how he consoled me when I’d first moved to L.A. and called him, saying I was going into therapy for depression, and how ashamed I was. And he laughed and said, “What the hell’s to be ashamed of?” And I said, “Man, you got your leg machine-gunned in Vietnam. You never went to therapy. Humphrey Bogart never went to therapy.” And my dad said, “Yeah, but Bogie smoked three cartons of cigarettes a day.” And how my mom came down to the kitchen when I was studying for my trig final, at 2 o’clock in the morning, and said, “Haven’t you already been accepted to college?” And I said, “Yeah, but this test is really going to be hard.” And she asked, “What’s the test for again?” And I said, “Calculus” and she closed my notebook and said, “You’ll never use this. Ever. Go to bed or watch a movie.” And how when I got my first ever acting gig, on Seinfeld, my brother sent me a postcard of Minnie Pearl, and he wrote on it, “Never forget, you and her are in the same profession.”
I didn’t realize how all of these places and people and events were just as crucial in shaping me as anything I roamed to the corners of the Earth to see. And they’ve shaped you, and will shape you, whether you realize it now or later. All of you are richer and wiser than you know.
So I will leave you with some final advice. You’ll decide later if this was a lesson. And if you realize there was no lesson in any of this, then that was a lesson.
But I’d like all of you to enter this world, and your exploration of the Five Environments, better armed then I was. And without a mullet. Which I see you’re all way ahead of me on.
First off: Reputation, Posterity and Cool are traps. They’ll drain the life from your life. Reputation, Posterity and Cool = Fear.
Let me put that another way. Bob Hope once said, “When I was twenty, I worried what everything thought of me. When I turned forty, I didn’t care what anyone thought of me. And then I made it to sixty, and I realized no one was ever thinking of me.” And then he pooed his pants, but that didn’t make what he said any less profound.
Secondly: The path is made by walking. And when you’re walking that path, you choose how things affect you. You always have that freedom, no matter how much your liberty it curtailed. You…get to choose…how things affect you.
And lastly, and I guarantee this. It’s the one thing I know ‘cause I’ve experienced it:
There Is No Them.
I’m going to get out of your way now. Get out there. Let’s see which one of you is up here in twenty years. If you’re lacking confidence, remember – I wouldn’t have picked me.
Every day, a male co-worker walks up very close to a lady at the coffee machine, inhales a big breath of air, and tells her that her hair smells nice.
After a week of this, she can't stand it anymore, takes her complaint to a supervisor in the personnel department and asks to file a sexual harassment grievance against him.
The Human Resources supervisor is puzzled and asks:
'What's sexually threatening about a co-worker telling you your hair smells nice? 'The woman replies, 'It's Keith. The midget.'
Jul 10, 2008
You are Geordi LaForge
|You work well with others and often|
fix problems quickly. Your romantic
relationships are often bungled.
Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz
Jul 7, 2008
Jul 5, 2008
Dara Torres is going to swim in her 5th Olympics.
She not only qualified last night, she won the 100 meters beating out
Natalie Coughlin who finished second, in 53.83. Natalie Coughlin is 25 years old.
Lacey Nymeyer who finished third, in 54.02. She is 22.
Jessica Hardy who took fourth, in 54.62. She is 21.
Dara said later she has goggles older than some of these girls. Some of them had not yet been born when Dara qualified for her first Olympics in 1984.
Here is a profile of Dara:
And here is Dara winning the 100 last night, sorry there is no embed, only a link:
I guess there is hope for us aging athletes after all.
Jul 4, 2008
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
-- The Declaration of Independence
"The arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties being with one mind resolved to die free rather than live slaves." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Whatever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America’s heart, her benedictions and her prayers." -- John Quincy Adams
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." -- Thomas Paine
Lofty words and ideals, eh? Lets not forget our current leaders great quotes:
"And I, unfortunately, have been to too many disasters as president." --George W. Bush, discussing flooding in the Midwest, Washington, D.C., June 17, 2008
"Let's make sure that there is certainty during uncertain times in our economy." -- George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 2, 2008
"We got plenty of money in Washington. What we need is more priority." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 2, 2008
"Thank you, your Holiness. Awesome speech." --George W. Bush, to Pope Benedict, Washington, D.C., April 15, 2008
"I can press when there needs to be pressed; I can hold hands when there needs to be -- hold hands." --George W. Bush, on how he can contribute to the Middle East peace process, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4, 2008
Jul 1, 2008
Most of you know Distributor Cap as the hard hitting, thought provoking blogger who keeps us all current on the deteriorating state of affairs with Bushco. But did you know that he also has a heart of gold? Exhibit A is the Al Roker coffee cup that he picked up for Skyler! It arrived today by Mr UPS (why don't I ever get a nice Mrs Brown in short brown shorts?) and Skyler thinks it's the greatest thing in the world. He had me heating up water in the microwave for awhile today in it.
Thanks D-Cap, you are one of the good ones!