Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day -- Thank You Veterans

My dad was part of the greatest generation that protected our freedom in World War II. We have to remember our veterans of every war.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remember Our Troops on Memorial Day

We watched HBO's Baghdad ER on TV last Friday. It had filming of actual casualties and medical responses in Iraq. An early scene made me think of MASH, which was considered graphic for its time. We saw soldiers brought in to the medical center from battle skirmishes or IED explosions. Not all the soldiers were kids. We saw destruction, amputation, blood – real blood and lots of it. Compared to this, MASH was not graphic.

We also saw the chaplain, the commanders, the doctors, and the compassion. Our troops were hurt, but some were asking to go back to their units. Others were hurt, and asking about their buddies or crying for their friends who did not make it alive to the medical center. It was wrenching and at the same time inspiring.

Between shifts, the doctors and nurses had their coping strategies – the gym, stories and jokes, cigar night – but they heard the explosions and knew they would have to go back. The medical center was open and active all day and night, every day and night. The degree of dedication was represented by one doctor who said he was there to make a difference. When asked if he would do it again, he answered, “In a heartbeat.”

Our heartfelt thanks to all our troops and veterans on Memorial Day 2006.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Reba and a Helping Hand

On Friday night, we watched Reba on TV, and thanks to the show's brilliant writing, I was especially touched by the idea of people helping others after a disaster, often at personal expense and inconvenience.

Reba hosted a family displaced by Katrina. She was generous beyond her intentions, inviting a woman and her grandson to stay at her house. Reba thought she had room until the rest of the family joined the grandmother. Soon Reba’s family was competing for the kitchen and bathroom with 18 “guests.”

Melissa Petersen in corn rows was hilarious as her speech and actions immediately became influenced by the black culture surrounding her. Reba kept thinking it was all too much but each time at the last minute she would realize there was always enough to share.

The displaced grandmother was dusting Reba’s family picture and she said she mostly missed her family pictures.

It made me sad. Katrina created such a need for so many people. They lost everything -- houses, clothes, possessions, pets, family members, friends, neighborhoods, feelings of security and comfort – everything.

Reba showed a vivid glimpse of people willing to lend a hand, to interrupt their own lives, and help others survive a disaster.

Then today I awoke in my cozy bed to the news of the Java earthquake with 200,000 homeless.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Politicians say, “Get married or get out."

Not long ago, I read about Kanab, Utah, where the city passed an ordinance saying the traditional two-parent (man and woman) family is the “first responsibility” of the city. The “natural family” ordinance went even further by restricting the number of dogs the acceptable family could house.

Now there is another city regulating a family. Black Jack, Missouri, has an ordinance that prohibits more than three people from living together unless they are related by “blood, marriage or adoption.” A recent proposal that would have included unmarried couples with two or more children was defeated. Those who do not satisfy the town’s limited definition could soon face eviction.

Manassas, Virginia, defines a family as immediate family members only, specifically omitting nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Provo, Utah, is considering a family tied by blood, marriage, adoption or other legal means.

It's hard to believe how intrusive some city governments are in this Land of the Free. I remember popular TV shows whose families wouldn't stand a chance in some of our "modern-day" government-restricted lifestyles.
Kate and Allie - single mothers sharing expenses and resposibilities
Who's the Boss - single mother not married to single father housekeeper with grandmother over the garage
Fresh Prince of Bel Air - nephew in the house
Golden Girls - four older women sharing expenses
Full House - single father with children, married brother-in-law with children, friend

In these days of single parents, troubled families, aging population and high prices, creative living arrangements are a good solution.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Just Surfing

Sometimes I find sites or blogs that I enjoy reading. Sometimes I get interested when searching for something and something else catches my attention, sometimes I check links on other blogs, or simply click the "next blog" button. Here are a few I enjoyed recently.

Overmatter is a blog described as leftovers from the science desk, written by Natasha Loder a journalist based in London. Natasha has ties to The Economist so she has access to information on many topics. She has an easy writing style and her blog covers a wide assortment of subject matter, all under the science umbrella. I read about medical marijuana, the bird flu, a drug test gone bad, new findings about Vesuvius, the Zoobank, and a planned moon dust auction. There are more!

Neave is a fun site by Paul Neave, self-described Flash fettler and interactive activist. I’m not sure what “fettler” means, but he uses Flash. Go to the Imagination page and after the message displays, move the cursor, click once or twice, and then just watch it. Young children will enjoy moving the mouse around to create scribbled designs. Flower grows a new flower for each click. Flash Earth uses satellite and aerial imagery. He also has games, a planetarium, and an audio/visual page and more. Check out his site.

Here is a blog made up of photographs of plates of food. Food Nucca is described as "foods the writer eats when he remembers to take pictures." He begins with a list of restaurants and then posts one meal at a time. There is a comment on each written by the same screen name. Maybe this is an experiment to see how many people will visit to see what is served for lunch.

This last one is World of Jokes, Funny Pictures and entertainment. A bit of a grandiose title, but there are interesting pictures and pretty good jokes. It is entertainment. There are quite a few comments, even one written by the screen name who left comments at Food Nucca.

Just thought I'd share. Enjoy surfing!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006

My Dad

My dad with his sisters in the field and with their mother in front of their house.
My dad did most of his growing up in the oil field camps in Oklahoma and Texas in the 20’s and 30’s. I don’t know how the mothers did it. The kids had plenty of open spaces to play and not on well-manicured lawns, but in dusty, dirty fields. Still, my grandmother always made sure my dad had clean, white clothes to wear to school.Clean, white clothes were important to my grandmother, but my dad did not like always wearing white. Maybe he didn't feel as if he fit in with his schoolmates.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dome Homes

We were going to visit Bruco the Caterpillar last week, but did not make it. We tried again this Tuesday, but didn't make it then either, so Thursday we did it.

I have always liked domes but haven't seen the monolithic type. The geodesic domes have some beautiful facades that make them look exotic and inviting. Many of the pictures I have seen make the monolithic domes look like bumps. There are some exotic designs and a choice of finishes that soften the bump look. With the right landscaping and stucco, these look interesting. I like 'em.

Garry took some

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Two of these came through email and two are from our personal collections. Can you guess which are which?

And this is my favorite!