Jun 29, 2008

Skyler has a video to share with everyone over at his place

Check out: http://skylerspine.blogspot.com/

The bad with the good

I guess that life really does even itself out, that whole yin and yang idea. The weekend started out really fun, with Kathy, Skyler and I getting to meet a fellow blogger for lunch. We got to meet Mountain Mom from over at Life with Altitude. We had a nice time having lunch, getting to know each other a bit and exchanging info about our kids. It was a fun time, are you jealous Mr. Lemon? :^)

Then Saturday was a great run called the slacker 1/2 marathon. It's called that because it is all downhill, but it is actually pretty tough! We got up early and headed for the mountains, picking up two more of Kathy's friends who are also running it. Kathy and her two friends did the run as a relay. I still am recovering from the shoulder surgery, and couldn't do it. It starts at Loveland ski area at the valley area, then heads down to a small mountain town called Georgetown. Kathy pushed Skyler in his chair (actually, hung on for dear life). It was beautiful and a really fun day.



Then we get home and have a message from Kathy's folks, her mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer awhile back. They did a test to see if it spread anyplace else and the results were not good. There is a tumor on her heart. So Kathy make quick plans to fly out there and see what is going on and how she can help. She will be out there probably until Thursday, and by then they should have a plan. That can be anywhere from invasive surgery, to enjoying the time that is left. So Skyler and I are hanging out being guys for awhile.

So the bad with the good is in full form this weekend.

Jun 27, 2008

Australia has Talent!

Very patriotic, kind of brings a tear to the eye...


I Suppose Australia Has Talent - Funny - Watch today’s top amazing videos here

Quick Joke Friday

Two Good old boys, Jim Bob and Bubba, are sitting at their favorite bar, drinking beer. Jim Bob turns to Bubba and says, "You know, I'm tired of going through life without an education. Tomorrow I think I'll go to the community college and sign up for some classes." The next day Jim Bob goes down to the college and meets the dean of admissions, who signs him up for the four basic classes: math, English, history, and logic.

"Logic?" Jim Bob says. "What's that?"

The dean says, "I'll show you. Do you own a weed eater?"

"Yeah."

"Then logically because you own a weed eater, I think that you would have a yard."

"That's true, I do have a yard."

"I'm not done," the dean says. "Because you have a yard, I think logically that you would have a house."

"Yes, I do have a house."

"And, because you have a house, I think that you might logically have a family."

"I have a family."

"I'm not done yet. Because you have a family, then logically you must have a wife."

"Yes, I do have a wife."

"And because you have a wife, then logically you must be a heterosexual."

"I am a heterosexual. That's amazing, you were able to find out all of that because I have a weed eater."

Excited to take the class now, Jim Bob shakes the dean's hand and leaves to go meet Bubba at the bar. He tells Bubba about his classes, how he is signed up for math, English, history, and logic.

"Logic?" Bubba says, "What's that?"

Jim Bob says, "I'll show you. Do you have a weed eater?"

"No."

"Then you're gay."

Jun 26, 2008

New Demotivator Poster

Just got the email from the fine folks at Despair.com. This is their most recent:



I'll tell you what, I think working there would be my dream job...

Jun 21, 2008

Wonderful column today

Flipped open the Rocky Mountain News today and stumbled across this great column by Bruce Cameron. It's funny as hell, because I am that guy in line that has all of these things happen in front of him. Here is the entire piece for your reading pleasure:

When someone taps me on the shoulder and asks, "Is this the right line?" I can always be confident when I answer "no." If it were the right line, I wouldn't be standing in it.

My ability to find the slowest- moving line wherever I go is so extraordinary it's practically a superpower.

When I'm in the grocery store, I inevitably wind up behind a woman attempting to use more than 100 coupons to buy a dozen items. Every time a coupon is rejected for, say, being both expired and from Bolivia, she appeals to the Ninth Circuit Court.

If the coupon is actually valid, she wants to discuss where she found the thing, like a big-game hunter bragging about bringing down a charging rhino.

My vanilla ice cream turns to vanilla ice soup, my lettuce wilts, my eggs hatch and start peeping.

"Do you still have double-coupon day?" the woman negotiating for her groceries asks.

"Yes, but only on Wednesday," the cashier informs her. "Day after tomorrow."

"Wednesday," the woman murmurs thoughtfully. At this rate, she's going to make it.

Another cashier approaches the man behind me. "I can take you at register 5," she says to him. "But not you," she tells me. "You have to stand there like someone buying shoes in the Soviet Union."

Actually, she doesn't say anything to me. That's another one of my superpowers: When I'm standing in line, I'm invisible. I've confidently walked up to the counter at the post office only to have the "This Window Closed" sign placed in front of me when I arrive.

The postal clerk didn't see me, so I'm forced to return to the long line, where I've lost my place and, since I'm invisible, no one seems to remember I was next.

I have to go to the back of the line and start over.

The man in front of me has a lot of boxes. "I'm mailing everything I own to seven different countries," he says proudly.

At the bank, I invariably find myself behind the man who heaves a huge bag onto the counter.

"Been saving pennies for 18 years," he explains to the teller.

"Our coin counter is broken, so we'll have to roll these by hand," the teller replies.

"Oh, well," he says. "I don't have anything better to do."

When my son was in high school, I spent most of my mornings waiting for him to wake up.

Sometimes I would gently try to rouse him by screaming "Bears are attacking!" or "Your sister's on fire!" while pouring milk on his face. My son, though, could sleep through anything.

The other day I found myself at an intersection where a left turn is legal only during a solar eclipse.

I waited so long for my little green arrow that I began to accumulate parking tickets.

As I sat, an old man with a walker began to make his slow, careful way through the intersection.

Naturally, I was able to use my superpowers to have him positioned directly in front of my car when the left-turn arrow made its rare appearance.

Cars behind me honked furiously, apparently OK with the idea of running over the guy.

My cell phone rang: It was my son, and I described the situation to him as my arrow winked out.

"This guy moves at like a half-mile an hour! I missed my turn completely!" I said.

"And which one of you has it worse?" my son asked.

My son, who couldn't even wake up during high school, now holds down a 4.0 GPA in college and has accumulated enough perspective to impart worldly wisdom to his father.

It was worth the wait.

Jun 20, 2008

Yum!

Kirby has one of her usual wonderful posts today about food at the Olympics in China. I read it about 10 minutes after getting an email about the same thing from an old buddy. I snapped some of the pictures out of the email to share with you all, I can't vouch for their authenticity, but if half of them are accurate...

I can see why we are sending our own food and cooks to the Olympics!
















Quick Joke Friday

A married couple was in a terrible accident where the woman's face was severely burned. The doctor told the husband that they couldn't graft any skin from her body because she was too skinny. So the husband offered to donate some of his own skin.

However, the only skin on his body that the doctor felt was suitable would have to come from his buttocks. The husband and wife agreed that they would tell no one about where the skin came from, and requested that the doctor
also honor their secret. After all, this was a very delicate matter.

After the surgery was completed, everyone was astounded at the woman's new beauty. She looked more beautiful than she ever had before! All her friends and relatives just went on and on about her youthful beauty!

One day, she was alone with her husband, and she was overcome with emotion at his sacrifice. She said, "Dear,
I just want to thank you for everything you did for me. There is no way I could ever repay you."

"My darling," he replied, "I get all the thanks I need every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheek."

Jun 17, 2008

The tag from Beth

Beth has thrown down the gauntlet to anyone who wants to answer some questions. I don't have anything that is very interesting to say, and truth be told I have been quite down lately. So maybe this will perk me up!

Were you named after anyone?

My dads name was Jack Clifford Hull. I was somewhat named after him with Jack Christopher Hull. But they didn't like a kid being called junior (so why the same first name?), so I was called by my middle name of Chris. Later in high school, mom had it legally changed to just the first initial J. Christopher Hull, to avoid confusion with my dad as far as legal papers are concerned. Everywhere it says that name now, but the drivers license still says Jack, they never could get that right!

When was the last time you cried?
Like Beth it was during the coverage of Tim Russarts death. Two seperate times, when Matt Laur choked up, then when Tom Brokow broke down.

Do you like your handwriting?
Actually, due to having to print most of my adult life, I can't even write in cursive anymore. So, no, I hate my writing.

What’s your favorite lunch meat?
Is burger considered a lunch meat?

Do you have kids?
One son who gets talked about around here, and two dogs.

If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
I think so, if my other persona has the same twisted sense of humor that I do!

Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Who me? Like, duh!

Do you still have your tonsils?
No, I had to pawn them during a rough patch in my life.

Would you bungee jump?
Sure, I love things like that!

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Yes I do, I also unzip my pants, or untie the drawstring on my sweats.

Do you think you’re strong?
I think so, of course it depends on how you mean strong. Physically, I have great stamina, but not great strength. Mentally, my powers of concentration are what legends are....oh look, a shiny thing!

What’s the first thing you notice about a person?
Face, the eyes generally, then if it is a women, I always check out her ass. I am an ass man.

Red or pink?
Pink doesn't work for me, so I chose red.

What’s your least favorite thing about your body?
The fact that I am skinny, but still have a small roll around the middle.

Who do you miss the most?
My dad.

What color pants and shoes are you wearing?
Blue shorts and white running shoes.

How about your shirt?
An old running shirt from some race. Yeah, I know, you are all thinking GQ material, right?

What’s the last thing you ate?
Chocolate Quick! I am still a kid at heart.

What are you listening to right now?
AFI's top 100 films on TV.

Who’s the last person you spoke to on the phone?
My friend Pam who I work out with.

If you were a crayon, which color would you be?
Plaid.

What’s your favorite smell?
Camping high up in the mountains, after you wake up in the morning and go outside the tent. Pure, fresh air...

What’s your favorite sport to watch?
Live, it is Hockey. On TV it is football.

What color is your hair?
My hair used to be beyond blond, almost white. Then it darkened to more of a true blond, and then it went away... My beard is a combination of red/brown/grey.

What color are your eyes?
Blue

Do you wear contacts?
I tried for awhile, but my eyes could never get used to them. Then I had lasik, best thing I ever did!

Favorite food?
A good steak, or pizza.

What’s your favorite cereal?
I don't like any cereal.

What’s your favorite ice cream?
Chocolate, chocolate chip.

Favorite dessert?
Cheese cake

Scary movies or happy endings?
Either is good, as long as it is a decent movie.

What’s the last movie you watched?
Juno

What book are you reading now?
I am not reading anything at the time, I miss working downtown so I could read on the bus.

Summer or winter?
Winter, I melt above 70 degrees.

Hugs or kisses?
I love both, if you make me chose I would take kisses.

What’s on your mouse pad?
A Dilbert comic, I am such a geek!

What did you watch on TV last night?
News, and we TiVo'd the Meet the Press that was dedicated to Tim Russart.

What’s your favorite sound?
I love good, tight harmony in music. Accapella is so cool.

Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Stones if I have to chose either.

What’s the farthest you’ve been from home?
Perth, Australia. I got to travel all over the place in the Navy.

Do you have a special talent?
I can harmonize when I sing with others pretty easy.

Where were you born?
Idaho Springs, Colorado

Who do you want to answer these questions?

Anybody, I won't tag anybody, but would love it if othrs played along.

Jun 14, 2008

Sand in an Oyster

This is a beautiful article that was sent my way by a support group I belong to. A prima ballerina in Mexico has done a one-woman show by living in a wheelchair for months, seeing what it was like and then turning it into a performance. Here is the article in it's entirety:


'Sand in an Oyster,' A Dancer for the Disabled

By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, June 4, 2008; A14

MEXIC O CITY -- Rossana Peñaloza has floated across stages in Lima and Havana and Mexico City. She has writhed and winced, spun and darted.

But this prima ballerina, the embodiment of beauty and athleticism, had to sit down to really shake people.

Sit down in a wheelchair.

For weeks now, Peñaloza has shocked and shamed Mexico, performing a one-woman show that challenges perceptions of the disabled in a country where people with disabilities frequently live cloistered lives because of the social stigma associated with their condition here. Though Peñaloza is not disabled -- at age 45, her limbs can still send her shooting artfully across a stage -- she conceived a startling performance almost entirely confined to a wheelchair. A dance on wheels.

For six months before her debut this spring, Peñaloza chose to live in a wheelchair. She tried to navigate Mexico City sidewalks that have no ramps or that have broken ramps or ramps so narrow her wheelchair didn't fit. She cringed as speeding drivers came breathtakingly close to running her down, even when she was in the crosswalk.

But most of all, she watched people's eyes. After years of catching bouquets and taking bows, she suddenly was "the other," a freak, an annoyance and, maybe worst of all, an object of pity.

She cried every day. And she was furious.

"And You, What?" -- the title of Peñaloza's one-woman show -- grew out of those frustrating days. Her "grito" -- a Spanish word that means emphatic cry -- has turned her into an accidental activist, a buzz-generating and provocative voice. All it took was a ballerina willing not to use her legs.

She has earned a following among students at the nearby National Autonomous University of Mexico. One recent evening, scores of them packed an art house theater to watch her, many of them snapping photographs throughout the performance.

"This just makes you think a lot," said Gabriella Castro, a photography student attending the show for a second time. "I've never seen anything like it."

On stage, Peñaloza transforms her wheelchair from an object that limits her to an object that enhances. She abandons the use of her legs, picking them up and dropping them heavily over the backrest. Then she arches her back, dangling over the edge of the seat and gliding effortlessly.

In one scene, Peñaloza touches herself beneath her clothes. Lourdes Silva, director of a Mexico City radio program staffed by disabled people, was transfixed.

"People -- especially here in Mexico -- don't realize that the disabled often experience sexuality just like anyone else," Silva said in an interview. "It never gets talked about, and you certainly never see it on a stage. It was powerful."

Even the music is searching, questioning, inconclusive.

"Quizas, Quizas, Quizas," the Latin classic by Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farrés that repeats "perhaps, perhaps, perhaps," jumps out of the speakers as Peñaloza hurtles toward the end of the stage

For all her grace in the wheelchair, Peñaloza's performance strikes some of its most powerful notes when she is still. That is when the audience starts to feel the heat of her artistic statement.

"Will you play with me?" she asks, her eyes boring into those of one person in the audience after another.

"Will you be my friend?"

"Will you give me work?"

Then she waits. And waits.

Invariably, those who come under her gaze begin to squirm. They fiddle with their rings. Brush lint from lintless shoulders. Stare at their shoes.

Few ever want to play.

And that's the point, Peñaloza said one recent afternoon at a cafe in Coyoacan, a neighborhood whose beloved cobblestone streets presented a nightmarish obstacle course during her months of preparation for the show. The anger, frustration and sadness that inform Peñaloza's show rose quickly to the surface and overflowed. She seethed about Mexican schools too often segregating students with disabilities and lamented the "paternalism" of Mexican society and families that she says often isolates young disabled people.

"My work is a grain of sand in an oyster so that all this will change," she said.

Peñaloza began shaping her project several years ago while giving dance lessons at a center for the disabled in Cuernavaca, a town south of Mexico City. But her own grain of sand, the one that eventually became "And You, What?," began forming years earlier, she said, when she was a child gymnast in her native Peru.

She regularly competed against children from a school for children who are deaf and mute. And the competition was tough. The children performed routines accompanied by music, she said, even though they couldn't hear. And they didn't miss a beat.

"I was so impressed," she recalled. "It had a big impact on me."

She carried those memories with her to Mexico, where she moved 4 1/2 years ago with her husband, a Mexico native who had been the conductor of the Lima Philharmonic. She was lonely at first. Despite her extensive résumé, she couldn't pierce the cliquey Mexican dance scene.

At the center for disabled children, though, she began to revive. The children, she said, taught her that "life isn't about 'me, me, me.' "

They made her want to dance.

Jun 13, 2008

Quick Joke Friday

In California, a high school student who's an illegal immigrant is about to be deported, but since he's the school's valedictorian, he's asking President Bush to help.

Bush told the valedictorian, 'Don't worry, I won't let them send you back to Valedictoria.

Jun 12, 2008

Jun 11, 2008

Mean Words

Beautiful commercial from the anti-bullying charity called Friends out of Sweden. I have seen so many looks/words/whatever thrown at Skyler that I am probably overly sensitive to it.

Give this a look, I hope it touches you:

Ink Dry For Me Argentina


OK, so I stole that blog title from this article in WIRED magazine yesterday. How many of you knew that yesterday was the anniversary of the ballpoint pen? Raise your hands, come on, how about you in the back?

OK, so it's not up there with fire and the wheel, but this is a pretty interesting piece of reading, and I love the part about how people lined up to buy 8000 of them on the first day. And, they sold for 12.50, which is about 150 bucks in todays money.

Too bad nobody thought to call it an iPen back then, they could have owned Apple...

Jun 9, 2008

Jim McKay


Over the weekend I heard the news of the passing of Jim McKay. If you are young, you might remember him from the recent Olympics coverage with Bob Costas where he seemed frail, and perhaps a bit slow and confused. Such is the way with network TV I suppose with it's tendency to try and package stories with slick graphics and short sound bites. What you might have seen, if he was allowed the time, was a man who chose his words carefully. You might have still seen the younger version of the man who won 12 Emmy awards, and is the only man to have ever won an Emmy for sports and news broadcasting and writing.

He was better known as the man who logged over 4 1/2 million miles traveling around the world as the host of "ABC's Wide World of Sports," McKay spent the 1960s and 1970s "spanning the globe", as the host of Wide World of Sports.

McKay provided the famous voice-over that accompanied the opening, in which viewers were reminded of the show's mission ("Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports") and what lay ahead ("the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat").


ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap wrote some good memories about McKay:

When ABC was able to confirm that the German attempt to rescue the Israeli Olympic hostages in Munich had failed and all the hostages were dead, Jim McKay wasn't thinking about the tens of millions of viewers who were waiting for him to communicate what had happened. He was thinking only about two of them: David Berger's parents, sitting at home in suburban Cleveland. He knew that in all likelihood, his would be the voice -- the first -- telling them that their son, a 28-year-old Olympic weightlifter, was dead.

Sad and visibly tired, but composed, McKay gathered himself and said, "They're all gone." The Bergers, whose hopes had been raised by false reports that the hostages had been freed, then knew the truth.

That was 36 years ago, and McKay's reporting during the Olympic hostage crisis will endure as the standard by which all such reporting is judged. Not sports reporting. Just reporting. Of all the news, bad and good, terrifying and uplifting, that television hosts have delivered to the American people, perhaps the only moment that compares was nine years earlier, when Walter Cronkite removed his glasses, dried his eyes and told the nation that John F. Kennedy had died.

Shortly after McKay delivered the tragic news in Munich, he received a telegram. "Dear Jim," it read. "Today you honored yourself, your network and your industry. -- Walter Cronkite."

McKay was special not just because he was a solid reporter in a field dominated by men who had been trained to call games. He was special because he was a reporter with the soul of a poet, his twin talents perfectly matched to his assignments.

In the hands of someone less sincere, it might have seemed maudlin to recite several lines from A.E. Housman's poem "To An Athlete Dying Young," even in the Munich aftermath. But when McKay memorialized the slain Israelis by saying, "Now you will not swell the rout/Of lads that wore their honors out/Runners whom renown outran/And the name died before the man," it could not have been more poignant or more fitting. Of course, long before Munich, the American people had come to trust McKay.

As the host of "ABC's Wide World of Sports," McKay spent the 1960s and 1970s spanning the globe, calling everything from mainstream events, such as the Indianapolis 500, to the most obscure and seemingly silly sports, such as barrel jumping. Unfailingly, he treated the barrel jumpers and cliff divers and bicycle polo players with the same respect he afforded Mario Andretti and Mark Spitz and Bill Shoemaker. If there was a defining McKay characteristic, that was it. He respected his subjects. He never stripped them of their dignity. It would have been all too easy to play the small sports for laughs. McKay didn't. Sure, he would have fun -- he was by no means a stick in the mud -- but not at the expense of the athletes or their families.

Case in point: the 1965 world barrel jumping championship. (Barrel jumping, long a staple of Wide World, is simply long jumping on ice skates, over uniformly sized barrels). A young man from Lake Placid, N.Y., named Ken Lebel was attempting to break the world record by clearing 17 barrels, and when he succeeded, McKay was almost overcome with emotion. "Nobody in the history of the sport ever did it before," he said. "There's Kenny's wife, just as tearfully excited as if her husband had just won the World Series." Looking now at the grainy footage, it's clear that McKay was just as excited as Mrs. Lebel.

And it was McKay who was the primary voice at the Olympics for a quarter-century -- the quarter-century when the Olympics mattered most, when the games were all but defined by the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, when for two separate fortnights every four years little else seemed to matter. With McKay setting the tone for Olympics coverage, first on CBS and then on ABC, the athletes from behind the Iron Curtain were never demonized, even if it was clear that the system that nurtured them was morally reprehensible. McKay and his boss, Roone Arledge, did not resort to Hollywood tactics. They never made Olga Korbut or Sergei Makarov or Nadia Comaneci into Ivan Dragos. In his heart, McKay might have preferred to see the American pixies defeat the Red pixies and our amateurs defeat their pros, but it never showed.

In the end, McKay will stay with us because of all the ways in which he exemplified journalistic professionalism, informed by true grace, a poet's touch and simple humanity. Unlike Housman's athlete, he lived long -- 86 years -- but not long enough to see his renown outrun. It's unlikely that it ever will be.

Can you imagine any reporter today, let alone a sports reporter, pulling off quoting A.E. Housman?

Finally, a video from an interview with a shaken Don Ohlmeyer after he heard the news of Jim McKays death:


The Auditioner

Damn funny stuff!

Jun 8, 2008

What's the new word, fierce?

Yesterday we took Skyler to the Rec Center to swim and hang out in the hot tub. It is a usual routine for us to go on Sunday but yesterday worked out better for us because Kathy was going to a race today. We met our PT, Mindy, at the pool and she helped get Skyler around while I am still not able to lift him.

The point of the story though, is that the Rec Center has meeting rooms and different sized places that you can rent for whatever occasion. When we were leaving after swimming, I was waiting in the lobby with Skyler while Kathy finished getting showered. We sat and watched a parade of women coming in the front door, looking at a sign that had been put up, then heading down the hall to the large meeting room.

It looked like the red carpet on the night of an awards show, only the trash version of the awards show. Each women that came in competed with each other to see who could show the most cleavage. One girl who couldn't have been 18 had on one of those dresses that the entire sides are open and it is laced up all the way up the sides.

What I guess was he mom was packed into a see through number like a sausage casing. It was tits on parade and the guys were all dressed like their favorite NBA star...

So when Kathy came out we strolled over to see what the big event was, expecting some sort of wedding reception or party. No such luck. This classy group were attending...

Wait for it...


Jerremy's first communion.

Jun 6, 2008

Quick Joke Friday

An 18 year old Italian girl tells her Mom that she has missed her period for 2 months. Very worried, the mother goes to the drugstore and buys a pregnancy kit. The test result shows that the girl is pregnant.

Shouting, cursing, crying, the mother says, 'who was the pig that did this to you? I want to know!'

The girl picks up telephone and makes a call. Half an hour later, a Ferrari stops in front of their house. A mature and distinguished man with grey hair and impeccably dressed in an Armani suit steps out of the of the Ferrari and enters the house. He sits in the living room with the father, mother, and the girl and tells them:
'Good morning, your daughter has informed me of the problem. I can't marry her because of my personal family situation but I'll take charge. I will pay all costs and provide for your daughter for the rest of her life.

Additionally, if a girl is born, I will bequeath a Ferrari, 2 retail stores, a townhouse, a beach front villa, and a $2,000,000 bank account.

If a boy is born, my legacy will be a couple of factories and a $4,000,000 bank account.

If twins, they will receive a factory and $2,000,000 each.

However, if there is a miscarriage, what do you suggest I do?'

At this point, the father, who had remained silent, places a hand firmly on the man's shoulder and tells him ....

'You a gonna try again.'

Jun 3, 2008

Walk out proud!

We can't all be born with those movie star good looks like Pistols at Dawn and Grant Miller. You know, the type that is always smooth with the ladies and every night is romance like you only find in the movies. No, the rest of us have made some mistakes along the way. And for us, there is now a ballad, an anthem if you will. Sing along now, sing it loud and proud!

We will NOT feel shame!


Walk of NO Shame - Watch more free videos

Jun 1, 2008

Bug and Spider

I got this a while back from one of my friends I used to work at Sun with. He is a crack graphics artist and let me know this is one hell of a great bit of animation.

Enjoy!