Sunday, October 23, 2011


My friend, who identifies herself as my "adopted daughter," sent this to me. I'm not sure if she is telling me I am old but not over, or if she just likes these trivia gems. Whatever her reason, I will share this with you.

You have seen this before, you know it is true, but it is nice to read through it again. Enjoy.


The first day of university our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being..

She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze..

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids....'

'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me..

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.'

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing..

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.'

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it!

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Pass this messageon to 7 people
.You will receive a miracle tomorrow ( if you don't think so....look out your window when you wake in the morning and think about it )

If you choose not, then you refuse to bless someone else.

'Good friends are like stars..... .....You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.'

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

My nephew Jeff

It seems the question of the day is "Where were you on 9/11?" My nephew is a major in the US Air Force, currently serving in Germany, and the base asked for answers by email. Jeff has a
good answer. It is so good, in fact, that his response was printed in the base paper. From there it was picked up and printed in a local paper and the Stars and Stripes, newspaper for the American armed forces. then he was interviewed for both German and French TV.

Here is Major Jeffrey Bridges' response:

When discussing 9/11, the most common question among Americans is, “Where were you?” My answer is, “I was there.”

I was at the Pentagon, Room 5E229. Those familiar with the Pentagon will know that equates to Room 229 on the fifth and top floor and outer ring of five, just two corridors away from the impact point of American Airlines Flight 77 at 9:37 a.m. on that sunny and surreal September morning.

I was barely six weeks into my new assignment at OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) when I found myself on day two of a weeklong USAF orientation course. I had arrived late for the 0830 start time because of beltway traffic and almost blew off that morning’s session because of my embarrassment of being late and not able to negotiate/plan properly for DC’s challenging traffic and commute.

I had contemplated just “exploring” the Pentagon until I could slip in unnoticed during a break at 0930. I decided to eat humble pie and entered the briefing room late with a chagrined look on my face, and sat in the back stewing over how much I resented this new assignment and the challenges of working/living in DC — feeling sorry for myself — cranky due to lack of sleep (barking dogs) and morning caffeine.

All that changed when the someone burst in the room just after 0900 yelling for us to turn off the PowerPoint briefing and turn on CNN. From there, everything went into slow motion. Like the rest of our fellow Americans, the two dozen of us newbies sat in shock as we saw the news reports of the two airliners hitting both World Trade Center towers.

Our briefing moderator told us that we would be dismissing at lunch, and that only mission essential personnel would be remaining at the Pentagon. About 10 minutes after he said that, at 0937, we heard three massive and successive explosions that shook the building. You could feel the vibration in your chest. Later we would learn that the three explosions were from the American Airlines Boeing 757 penetrating the E, D and C rings of the Pentagon, killing all 64 passengers and crew and 125 personnel working in the Pentagon.

I had heard of the phrase “fight or flight” but didn’t truly understand it until 0937 as my heart was about to beat of my chest and my mind was racing to find a reasonable explanation of what we had just heard and felt with the three explosions. Surprisingly, everyone was very calm, but visibly shaken and spooked as we quietly and cautiously opened the inner and outer doors of our briefing room to the chaos and smoke of the E ring.

People were running from the direction of the impact site toward those of us running toward the nearest stairwell exit. This was the first time in my life that I saw fear and panic in people’s faces, in their eyes.


The stairwell was jammed with people, surprisingly not pushing but very anxious to get out to the second floor exit, where folks would sprint from the building out of the smoke to relative safety. First responders were having to dodge people running throughout the parking lot in dark black smoke. Everyone kept yelling to get away from the building out of fear of more explosions.

It wasn’t until an hour later as a refugee at the Pentagon City Mall food court, which became a “safe haven” for thousands in the area, that we would learn the explosions at the Pentagon were responsible for 184 innocent lives being lost to cold-blooded killers using a civilian aircraft as a weapon. By this time, both towers had collapsed and the faces of fear and panic had turned to shock, disbelief and numbness.

The gracious vendors at the food court had turned their businesses into free call centers for those who could get through to loved ones. I was able to get through to friends who in turn called my family with news that I was OK. I eventually made my way outside and to a coworker’s condo rooftop for a view of the tragedy and chaos on our nation’s capital. The Pentagon was still on fire and multiple helicopters were ferrying the injured to facilities throughout the Capital region. Traffic in all directions was at a standstill, and thousands of people were outside for fear of being in a targeted building. The constant sound of sirens was deafening. The infamous 14th Street Bridge was without vehicles, replaced by hoards of people crossing between the District and Arlington.

The adjacent Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was eerily deserted and heavily guarded, with planes, baggage and support equipment in disarray as it had hastily been shut down and evacuated. A defining moment came with the sound of aircraft flying low and aggressive overhead, this time F-16s from the DC Air National Guard out of Andrews. It was a beautiful, yet sobering sight. We kept saying to ourselves, ‘This can’t be happening to us (America).’

Alan Jackson recorded a song called “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” When I listen to that song, I remember that I was not at a good place before 0937 on 9/11. I was focused on me and my perceived miserable circumstances of being assigned to the Pentagon and living in DC with all of its challenges. Upon making my way home to west Alexandria, I saw the first American flag flying at half mast and I lost it, Flooded with emotion, I tried to come to terms with what happened ... what was happening ... what will happen.

Like all Americans, I will forever be impacted by that day. I often reflect back on the loss of life and suffering that resulted from that day to remind myself how fortunate I am today, when I want to start whining about insignificant things in life -- traffic jams, annoying dogs barking, lack of caffeine, etc.

The events of that day have helped to focus on what really matters in life ... what has lasting and eternal value.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Hero: Veatrice Henson

I write about you heroes from time to time, people who are heroes to me. Although it was not on my schedule, I chose to write about Veatrice Henson at this time because it was her birthday two weeks ago. She is 100 years old.

Ms. Henson is not my hero just because she lived to be 100, but because of the way she lived her life these last 100 years since her birth April 29, 1911. She plans to continue to live the same way. Her mother, after all, died just shy of 102. I found Beatrice Hansen when a commercial invited the world to wish her Happy Birthday. She took her new-found “fame” in stride, but she still prefers to live quietly.

Faith has always been central in her life as proven when she and her husband Chester, now deceased, joined a small group to found the High Street Baptist Church in Springfield Missouri. She is the only surviving member of that group. She moved to Grain Valley where she lives with her daughter who is 80. She has volunteered for the past 25 years at the Grain Valley Community Services League food pantry, helping people who are hungry.

Time in Grain Valley has been spent teaching Sunday school and adult Bible classes. she donates a handmade quilt auction, and work at the food pantry from 7:30 AM to three o'clock. Her only companions are that she is hard. And she has a screening sore knee.

Here is something I found interesting– she still drives But no longer at night. When her drivers license expires she will decide whether to renew it. she thinks people just know we need this time to quit

Beatrice Hansen, I hope you had a good birthday please continue participating in life and making a difference in your community. Happy stated birthday

nodes and links:
Her Story
Wish her a belated Happy Birthday
articles about previous heroes. These are my MS heroes so far -
  • Dr. Jean Martin Charcot who first identified and documented MS, as well as Rheumatoid arthritis and ALS
  • Sylvia Lawry who just wanted to help her brother with his MS and started by founding the pre-curser to the National MS Society and more domestic and international help and research organizations
  • Dr. W. Ian McDonald who stream-lined MS diagnosis criteria adding the MRI as a tool

Monday, April 25, 2011

Voting for Chelsea's Hope

My friend told me about a contest that he is very interested in. As luck would have it, Michael's choice has and has made it to the finals. The winner gets a NASCAR car decorated to highlight their cause -- helping increase awareness.

Michael is supporting Chelsea's Hope, a non-profit for Lafora Children Research Fund. Please vote for Chelsea's Hope.

Voting is simple. Just CLICK HERE. Come back and vote every day until May. Tell your friends. This is a good thing, and it is easy.

To learn more about Chelsea's Hope, CLICK HERE.

To read Michael's post, click on The power of the internet to do good. More about Chelsea's Hope.

To see all of the finalists, just click here.

And just in case you missed it,
please vote for Chelsea's Hope. Just CLICK HERE. Come back and vote every day until May. Tell your friends. This is a good thing, and it is easy.

Thank you.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ah, Liberty

I saw a TV show that was very interesting and important Thursday night on the Fox Business Channel. Let me share it with you. It was about a presentation sponsored the Students for Liberty (SFL).

The SFL is a group of young people who care about freedom and limited government. This five year-old group started small, but has been growing, as illustrated in this chart of the attendance for the International Students for Liberty Conference, last held just this March.

Students for Liberty Conference





Number of Students in Attendance





How exciting that conference attendance has grown from just 40 to 500.

John Stossel
of Fox Business News gave a presentation on the Libertarian viewpoint of the following topics:

  • What is a Libertarian - Freedom to do what I like as long as it does not hurt anyone. The philosophy is "He governs best who governs least," supporting the free market.
  • War - Support of anti-war policy, Self defense and national independence make government-backed military absolutely appropriate. The military is best when represented by all sections of the population, so recruiting is fine.
  • Economy - Government should not spend more than they take in.
  • Federal Drug Policy - The war on Drugs does not work any better than Prohibition did. The government recognizes that nicotine is as addictive as heroin. Government programs are difficult to overcome. Support decriminalization of drugs.
  • Why there’s really no difference between Republicans and Democrats - Both parties listen to special interests. Both think they can run your life better than you can.

John is joined in discussions these topics by David Boaz of the Cato Institute. John started from a liberal background; David was a conservative before becoming a Libertarian.

It is up to us to make further changes in direction of freedom.

Not only did I really enjoy the program, but I learned quite a bit, too. This is about personal freedom over federal intervention. You can enjoy it, too, by checking these topic episodes mixed in with samples from John’s Television show Stossel showing Thursday evening on Fox Business Network.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

This is a rerun from last year. I like it, and I hope you do, too.

For the Christmas Tree, Garry used IFL Labs software for the fractal and Jasc animation software for the animation.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remember the Veterans

This is the day the Germans signed the armistice ending World War I, the war to end all wars. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 to be Armistice Day in remembrance of WWI vets. In 1938 it would become a legal holiday "dedicated to the cause of world peace."

Not until 1953, thanks to Kansas shoe store owner Alvin King, was Armistice Day expanded to celebrate all veterans and renamed Veterans Day. In many countries around the world this day is still known as Armistice or Remembrance Day.

My dad and his crew with the Eager Beaver

The Germans signed the Armistice to end the war to end all wars the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Wreath-laying ceremonies are scheduled for monuments around the Washington area, including the ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery laying the wreath is at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Veterans Day honors the young men and women who have fought or are still fighting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Constitution and Citizenship Day

Today is Constitution and Citizenship Day.

Two hundred twenty-three years ago today, September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constition was signed by the Constitutional Convention. Then the document was sent to the states to be ratified.

Ten Amendments were proposed by anti-federalists. Immediately following ratification of the new U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress passed the resolution for amending the Constitution. Those ten amendments were added as The Bill of Rights.

The Constitution was written by 55 men who had a single purpose, but many personalities. Here is a site where you can answer 11 questions (multiple choice) and discover which founding father was most like you. I am most like James Madison (1751–1836). That sounds good to me.

This special day also honors naturalized citizens. Are you sure you can pass the test to become a citizen? Here is a small sample of the test.