Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
…you probably remember this little gem. It was one of those educational promos that aired with commercials that told you to eat right or brush your teeth. This is wear I learned the wonders of cheese. This cartoon came up today at work when my co-worker Terri used the word hankering. It was an instant flashback to hanker for a hunk o’ cheese for me. Enjoy!
I am torn as I hate to not help anyone in need. I know the loose change in my pocket or dollar bill is not going to have a huge impact in my life. I am fortunate. I am not trying to brag or be boastful, just realistic. I am not in a place in my life where I am living check to check. I am blessed to have a good job and Dale and I live a life where our expenses do not exceed out income. It does not mean I am wasteful either as you never know when things can change. However, I do know there are people where $1 or a even a quarter may mean the difference between eating and not eating one day. However, I will be honest, sometimes I feel the money I give to those begging will end up going toward cigarettes or alcohol.
Tonight when I left work a women in a wheel chair approached me asking for money. She had a pack of cigarettes in her one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. I told her I did not have any change, which was true since I did not (I did have some singles though). To me if you can afford a pack of cigarettes, than you are not using your money wisely. Later as I walked the 16th Street Mall to my bus, I saw two girls about 15 or 16 years old holding signs begging for money for food. They looked healthy and well groomed as they walked in front of me carrying their signs. They did not seem like the typical homeless kids you see downtown. At one point, one of the girls answered her cell phone from her back pocket. I wondered if they really needed money or were just trying to get money. Need and want are very different to me.
I feel horrible to not help someone in need, but I struggle knowing who to believe or not believe. I would hate to think I pass by someone really struggling and did not help. I guess I am just torn and all I can do is continue to use my best judgement and giving when I feel they are being genuine.
What does everyone else do when approached? Always say no? Give if you can? Decide on a case by case basis? Have them complete a 1099 IRS form? What are your thoughts?
Is it me or does it seem the older you get, the faster time moves? Gosh, I must be getting old.
Mercy – it is very ER-esque focusing mostly on a nurse, named Veronica who is back from Iraq. She has a troubled marriage and the doctor she had an affair with while in Iraq moves to town and her hospital looking to rekindle their romance. Overall, I liked the show. I have a special place in my heart for nurses and I think this show has potential. I liked it.
Modern Family – I miss comedies, so I am willing to give any comedy a chance. It was good, not great, but had funny moments focusing on three unique families that all have their quirks. I think I am going to give it another chance.
Cougar Town – it was cute. Courtney Cox Arquette is very likable and although it was not laugh out loud funny, it did have some funny moments. More than ever, I feel a laugh is a good thing right now, so I plan to give it a chance. I liked the connection Courtney Cox Arquette’s character Jules had with her two friends and son.
Eastwick – it is based on the movie Witches of Eastwick and since I am a lover of all things Halloween, I figured a movie about witches was a good thing. I did not like it and it did little for me…it was just a little too Desperate Housewives with a supernatural powers for me. I was a bit bored.
Community – Joel McHale is likeable and the show was funny. It made me laugh. I just was not thrilled with Chevy Chase though. He did not fit to me. I feel Joel’s character was already old enough to be in community college and adding Chevy Chase was just an odd stretch.
Accidentally on Purpose – Jenna Elfman as a confused 30-something who gets pregnant by a much younger guy, but is in love with her boss. It is sort of Cougar Town with a pregnancy, I guess. I did not love it. Most of all I found Jenna Elfman’s character too much like her old Darma & Greg character and her accent to annoying. Jury is still out on this one.
Sometimes I am a little hesitant to watch a new show because they seem to get canceled so quick and it feels pointless to get invested. So far, Glee is my favorite of the new season. What did everyone else think of the new Fall shows so far?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I enjoyed season one early on, but but tired of the drastic plot changes toward the end of that season. I like the premise of the show (I tend to love shows where girls fight and kick ass), but it seems like the characters are all being mixed around in odd directions, so it is tough to follow who is the good guy and who is the bad guy anymore. The FBI agent last season is now a part of the Dollhouse and the Doctor (played by the brilliant Amy Archer) is actually one of the dolls, like Eliza Dushu’s Echo.
I just do not know if I am going to continue with this show (please forgive me Josh Whedon). I am going to make next week’s episode my decision. If it features more of Enver Gjokaj (right), who plays Victor, I may be tempted to keep watching, as I find his very compelling…and when I say compelling I mean cute.
I just watched the new television show, FlashForward on our DVR this morning. I was hesitant on the show, as I used to be a big fan of Lost, but after several seasons got tired of not having answers, so I basically gave up. Was I ready for another show full of mystery.
The basic premise of the show is the entire world blackouts for two minutes and seventeen seconds. During the black out they all have a ‘vision’ of April 29, 2010 at 10:00 PM (well, 10:00 PM depending on time zone). So why did the whole world see a prediction of their life in the world six months in the future?
The interesting part of the show was the realism of the devastation if the whole world blacked out at the same time. The roads were littered with crashes everywhere, planes crashed to the ground and even surfers washed up on the shore. The whole was one giant accident and chaos.
So suddenly you have millions of millions of the people in the world all had a glimpse of the future. How do you pull all this information together? Why did it happen? Why that date in the future? Is your destiny set? Is the future defined? What if you didn’t see anything in the future? Does that mean you will be dead?
I do not know the answers, but of course I am hooked. If you missed the first episode see if you can watch it on www.hulu.com and start watching. It is worth watching.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Tonight was a fun night. Our friends Matt & Michelle brought dinner over to our house. Michelle made a delicious salad and pasta dish. It was great and so kind of them to not only visit, but bring dinner. Best of all, it was wonderful to spend time with Matt & Michelle. After dinner we played the card game Five Crowns. Our friends, Sam and Anjanette joined us for cards and dessert too, along with Anjanette’s friend Brian, who is visiting from Pennsylvania.
Thanks to all for a wonderful evening!!!
- Yard work sucks.
- Having 3,000+ plants is nice in the Summer to look at, but is hell in the Autumn to clean-up.
- Yard work looks so much easier when Dale does it.
- I should have worn a belt as my shorts kept slipping (I doubt my ass crack is pretty).
- Bees like acorns in the autumn and we have three oak trees.
- I was not meant to do manual labor. I am much more of a supervisor.
- Some weeds are just as pretty as some flowers.
- Allergies suck as much as yard work.
- Rose bushes have horrible thorns (ouch).
- Yard work sucks (I know this is a repeat, but it is important enough to say twice).
Friday, September 25, 2009
Today was a good day. It has been a long, stressful week but it ended on a good note. This is partly thanks to my friend and co-worker Sara Pacheco (please feel free to stalk her by clicking here, here or even here).
Why you ask? Today at work, Sara and I observed 3 usability studies which means being trapped in a windowless (to avoid jumping, I guess) room for three hours, 16 minutes and 4 seconds together watching how people navigate and use a website our company designed via web cam in the room next door (very 007). It is all work , but things are said that sometimes you cannot help but laugh at. It is nothing mean or cruel…just things that are funny.
My thanks to Sara for being damn funny and making me almost spit Fresca soda from my nose.I needed funny today and it came at a perfect time.
Source: Map of every McDonalds in the USA
It is so damn frightening that this guy drove to NYC with the makings of bombs for commuter trains and based on the dates he arrived planned on using them 09/11/09. So scary that everything is so easily purchased.
I know we all get upset of the FBI, wiretaps and personal liberties, but here is a case where there tracking probably saved thousands of lives as they probably would have taken him down red handed if he was not tipped off.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Just kidding. Life is just a bit more hectic than normal right now and I hope to return to my my blogging madness soon. Thanks!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
I love Autumn, but this feels a little too cool, too quick. I think I know most of all Winter is looming just months away and I am really not ready for that.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I completely and utterly hit a wall today. I cannot remember the last time I felt this completely tired. Part of it was the result of a very busy week and part of it was the fact that the weather changed this afternoon and when we have a huge shift in low to high or high to low pressure, I feel it. It makes me very tired and feel like I am coming down with something. No matter what the cause, I was exhausted. I feel a little guilty that instead of doing the laundry or cleaning the house like I planned, I slept. However, my body said I needed rest, so for once I listened.
I have not shaved my face at all this week. There are a few legitimate reasons:
1. I have been really busy.
2. I have been very lazy.
3. Winter is approaching and for some reason it seems natural to let facial hair grow.
It also seems natural to want to hybernate, which I am also considering, but back to my beard and when I say beard I really mean boy-band inspired peach fuzz.
So the question remains should I shave or not shave? Does it look good? Look bad? Look stupid? Make me look fatter? Make me look thinner by covering my baby fat face? I cannot decide. Let me know what you think.
And yes I took his photo myself...so that is why I look so goofy...well goofier than normal.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thank you Sam as Anjanette for a wonderful evening of good food and great friends.
Last night, I was looking for a photo from Halloween 2003 and stumbled across this picture of my nieces, Camryn & Jillian and nephew, Ryan from a trip to Disneyland in 2003. Tell me they are not the most adorable kids. Six years later, they are still damn cute.
Is that really good for a kid that age? Is it wise to start the kid on that type of caffeine addiction so young? Am I alone in thinking it was odd? Do you all let your kids do double expresso shots?
Friday, September 18, 2009
My reason for posting this news is really to just let everyone know. I would hate for someone to think we are holding the party and they just are not invited.
We will still probably do something small to celebrate Halloween this year like visit our favorite haunted house one night with friends, so if you are interested in joining us for that, let me know.
Dale and I will also be decorating the front porch for the trick-or-treaters because it would not be Halloween without trick-or-treaters. Happy Halloween!
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face......we must do that which we think we cannot.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Just after 5:15 AM
When I first woke up
I spent a few minutes staring
Out my bedroom window
It was just barely light out
So the other houses and trees
Were tough to make out
And I asked myself
What is that large automobile
And I told myself
This is not my beautiful house
And I told myself
This not my beautiful wife
And I told myself
My God - what have I done
And then I got pissed
Why the hell are these Talking Head lyrics
Caught in my head
So early in the morning
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I have so many amazing friends and loved ones in my life. I am truly fortunate and blessed. Sometimes I do not do enough to let everyone know how thankful I am for each and everyone of them. Thank you for all that you do. Words will never express my gratitude.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Swine or No Swine
Tonight, I was watching Deal or No Deal in syndication and on a commercial break, a news update came on talking about the swine flu. Suddenly, I got an idea for what I think would be a great, new game show.
Similar to the Deal or No Deal, Squeal or No Squeal will be a lively game show featuring a contestant, a host and 25 hot models....but there will be a twist. Instead of cases with money, the models will be dressed as sexy nurses and carry hypodermic needles. 24 of the needles will have saline and one of the needles will have the H1N1 swine flu. We will find out how much the average person is willing to risk a dangerous flu for money.
The contestant will pick 'nurses' one by one, who will walk up to him or her. The contestant can either take the injection and earn $1,000 or quit and go home healthy. After each injection the audience yells, Swine or no swine," and they reveal if the injection was the H1N1 flu. If they make it all the way without getting the H1N1 injection, they earn $25,000 and go home disease free (well, unless they came in with something already – we do not plan to pre-screen for diseases).
I think it captures several things America finds fascinating - the H1N1 swine flu and money. If I could get a vampire to be the host, I could pull in the Twilight audience and this show would be a huge hit. What do you think?
Sunday, September 13, 2009
- Downsizing? No.
- Upsizing? No.
- Job relocation? No.
- Bad neighbors? No.
- Running from the law? No.
- Foreclosure? No.
- Tokyo Joe’s? Yes!
Now this may seem like a good thing and in many ways it is, as Tokyo Joe’s is a very healthy, fast Japanese food and is one of Dale’s absolute favorite restaurants. But the latter is also the problem. Dale would eat at Tokyo Joe’s every day if I let him. He love, love, loves Tokyo Joe’s rice bowls. I am fearful having a location so close to us may bankrupt us, so to be safe, I think selling our house and moving is the best course of action. Until now, the nearest Tokyo Joe’s location was an inconvenient 12.72 miles away in an area of Colorado we rarely traveled. This reduced Dale’s obsession greatly, so I think I need to find a house about 9 miles West, just to be safe.
Damn you Tokyo Joe’s and your delicious food, damn you!
Now, I know most of you must be thinking yuck, but properly cooked liver and onions are delicious. As always, Karen’s liver and onions were superb. It was a good evening of great food and even greater friends.
Thanks for a great evening, Karen and Chuck!
Tom had really sad dreams last night. Memories of most have already drifted away, but sense of sadness remains.I was on my blog looking for something and decided to go back to 09/13/08 and see what I was doing a year ago. The weird part was the post was all about the dreams I had the previous night. This is what I wrote:
I had a lot of dreams last night. A lot of weird and aggressive dreams. It is usually the sign of a bad day or stress. Or maybe both. In one of my dreams last night my Mom was Kathy Griffin (comedian and actress). For some reason it always bothers me when someone is my Mom in my dreams other than my Mom. Maybe there is some significance with that.It seems strange to me that the night of September 12th, in both 2008 and 2009 featured dreams impactful enough to make be mention them on my blog or Twitter. weird, huh?
This morning we participated in the Walk to Cure Juvenile Diabetes. It was a great event and we were part of Team Transformers, which was captained by our 6-year old neighbor, Ford Krout. He is an amazing and brave little guy, who have been fighting diabetes for several years. This was our second year participating and Dale and I were proud to have raised $235. Ford’s total Team raised over $1,000, which was great as the money goes toward research to find a cure.
What I love best about this event is the love. It is incredible to see family and friends come together and support brave kids, who deal with diabetes every day. You see how much love people feel and how much they want to help. Dale and I feel fortunate to be able to help and participate.
If you are still interested in donating, you still can. Go here to make a donation. Your contribution will hopefully lead to a cure that will help kids like Ford.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My partner Dale is $50 away from his goal and you can still help. Dale is joining the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Walk next Sunday to help raise money & awareness for Juvenile Diabetes and our neighbor, Ford.
Our neighbor Ford is 6 years old and was diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) several years ago. In addition to rigorous blood testing and insulin shots, everything Ford consumes must be weighed and measured, and his blood levels even need to be checked while he sleeps and plays. Ford will be insulin-dependent for the rest of his life, unless a cure is found.
Dale and Ford will be very thankful and any donation made. Dale is trying to raise $50 more on his goal of $100. Click here to donate to this great cause and help Dale reach his goal. Remember anything helps - $1, $5, or even $10. Thanks.
Tonight, I watched Glee on TiVo when I got home from a work dinner. It is the second episode of the FOX series. The first episode was great and this second episode was even better. The show makes me happy. It is campy and hilarious.
How can you not find joy in this show? Tonight’s episode featured a teacher singing Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger’, socially awkward kids singing Salt-n-Pepa’s ‘Push It’ at a school assembly and a girl singing a pretty damn good rendition of Rhianna’s ‘Take a Bow’, They even through in a funny Celibacy Club meeting and premature ejaculation for good measure. This show is great. It is funny, mindless television at its’ best. If you have not seen it, check it out.
- This coming September 9, 2009, is the 252nd day of the year, 252 adds to 9, and 09-09-09 = 27.
- 09-09-09 is also the last of the single-digits dates for quite a while - 1,001 years to be precise.
- It is also the upside-down number of "the beast" - satan = 666, of course.
- The day itself falls on a Wednesday and both Wednesday & September have 9 letters.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
These seem like universal messages of care and love, right? Apparently not, based on the the media hype around President Obama’s speech to the children of our Nation today. You would think he was telling kids to vote Democrat and turn against Republicans based on all the media coverage on his speech and parents and schools refusing to let their children listen.
I personally, think that President Obama's speech to the children of our nation today was positive and appropriate. I personally do not understand all the hype. Do we not want all children to listen to their parents, be good, work hard, stay in school, try harder and not to give up? Why did this become a political uproar? Why was this considered left-winged? He is telling kids to be a part of the solution, a part of the future and to respect themselves. Why would you not want your children to hear that message from our President? If I had kids, I would be proud for them to hear this message.
No matter what your political views, he is still our President and deserves to be heard. If you do not agree with his message, then talk to your children. Do not hide them from the world.
Below are the prepared remarks for President Obama's back to school speech, as released on the White House website:
Hello everyone - how's everybody doing today? I'm here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we've got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I'm glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it's your first day in a new school, so it's understandable if you're a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you're in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could've stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn't have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday - at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn't too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I'd fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I'd complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I'm here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I'm here because I want to talk with you about your education and what's expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I've given a lot of speeches about education. And I've talked a lot about responsibility.
I've talked about your teachers' responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I've talked about your parents' responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don't spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I've talked a lot about your government's responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren't working where students aren't getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world - and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that's what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer - maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper - but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor - maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine - but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life - I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can't drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn't just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You'll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You'll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You'll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don't do that - if you quit on school - you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country.
Now I know it's not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that's like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn't always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn't fit in.
So I wasn't always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I'm not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn't have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don't have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there's not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don't feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren't right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life - what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home - that's no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That's no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That's no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That's what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn't speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I'm thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who's fought brain cancer since he was three. He's endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer - hundreds of extra hours - to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he's headed to college this fall.
And then there's Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she's on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren't any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That's why today, I'm calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education - and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you'll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you'll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you'll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you'll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don't feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you're not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won't love every subject you study. You won't click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That's OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who've had the most failures. JK Rowling's first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can't let your failures define you - you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn't mean you're a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn't mean you're stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one's born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You're not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don't hit every note the first time you sing a song. You've got to practice. It's the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it's good enough to hand in.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don't know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust - a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor - and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you're struggling, even when you're discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you - don't ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn't about people who quit when things got tough. It's about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It's the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what's your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I'm working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you've got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don't let us down - don't let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
One of the things I love most about owning a MINI Cooper is the fact that by owing one (or two) you are part of what I have nicknamed the Cooper Cult. I believe most cults (well, the ones in the movies) have a secret hand shake, but the Cooper Cult has a secret wave (I guess it is not a secret anymore).
Any respectable MINI owner will wave, flash their lights or beep to say hello when they see another MINI. It is fun. Elvira, my MINI Cooper Convertible (upper left) and Bruiser, Dale’s MINI Cooper S (upper right) are always happy to say hello to their fellow MINI brothers and sisters. Most of all, it is nice to feel a part of something. Being a part of a group of car enthusiasts, who love their MINIs is a joy.
I really got to thinking about this waving and camaraderie this weekend while I was driving the girls at different times. In the span of a few hours, I waved to or was waved at by several other MINI owners. It is always a blast to be behind the wheel of any of the MINIs and it was the first time I have driven Bruiser in almost a year. I forgot how much I love that little electric-blue hot rod. It has a lot more power than Elvira, but of course Elvira has the option of being topless, which makes her very special (and a little slutty).
So I was wondering, do other car owners wave to each other? I know we own a Dodge Ram 1500, but I never wave to other Dodge Rams when I see them on the road. Maybe it is just cool or fun cars. Do Mustang owners wave to other Mustangs? Do other VW Bugs wave to other VW Bugs? Or is the MINI family just a tight-knit, fun family who like to wave to each other?
Let me know. I am curious and happy motoring!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Yes, while the rest of you were lounging, shopping, watching television, going to movies and just plain having fun, I was busted my ass today. Okay, busted my ass may not be an accurate description, but I did do some physical labor today, which is rare for me, especially on a holiday. I cleaned the truck and the two MINI Coopers. Our vehicles are all scrub-a-dub-dub and it always feels great to drive a recently cleaned car (or truck).
Just like me, Dale is joining the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Walk next Sunday to help raise money & awareness for Juvenile Diabetes and our neighbor, Ford.
Our neighbor Ford (photo on right) is an amazing 6 year old kid who was diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) several years ago. He endures countess finger pricks and insulin injections each week, month and year. In addition to his rigorous blood testing and insulin shots, everything he consumes must be weighed and measured, and his blood levels even need to be checked while he sleeps and plays. Ford is truly a little champ and rarely complains. He will be insulin-dependent for the rest of his life, unless a cure is found.
Dale and Ford will be very thankful and any donation made. Dale is trying to raise $75 more on his goal of $100. Click here to donate to this great cause and help Dale reach his goal. Remember anything helps - $1, $5, or even $10. Thanks.
Today is the 5th anniversary of my sister, Rachel’s 35th birthday. Yes, she is my older sister. She likes to tell people she is younger than me, but it is NOT true. I figured I would include a photo from our childhood to prove this fact. She is the one on the right in the ‘Rachel’ shirt. I am the cute as hell little boy on the left in the ‘Tommy’ shirt.
Happy Birthday Rachel. You are a great OLDER sister. Hope it is a great birthday!!!
This morning Dale and I got up around 7:00 AM and went to Starbucks. As an added treat we took a drive in Elvira, our convertible Mini Cooper (left) to Golden and headed up Lookout Mountain.
If you have never been to Lookout Mountain, the drive is splendid and the views are glorious. As you drive up, you look out over Golden and can even see downtown Denver. It is some of the most beautiful views you will ever see in this country. It was a great way to spend this Labor Day morning.
This morning the drive was full of bicyclists heading up the top. I feel it is a long drive up in a car and could not imagine the trek on a bicycle. There was even one guy heading up on a unicycle. I swear, a unicycle. Unfortunately, we saw him while I was driving down, otherwise I would have snapped a photo. I did however, get some other great snapshots with Jack, my iPhone.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I loved seeing the celebrites, hearing the singing and laughing at the comedy acts. (Yes, I was gay at a very early age I guess. ) Most of all, it was a special memory of me and my Mom.
Seeing the Telethon tonight as I flipped through the channels brought back fond memories, but made me miss my Mom.
That did not happen.
Dale and I made the dry south to Aurora, but last minute my sister had to cancel. My nephew, Ryan had some major stomach pain and his stomach was sensitive to touch, so my sister did the smart thing and headed to Urgent Care. They think he likely hurt himself skateboarding and sent them home. They told her that if the pain does not go away in a few days, he needs to see a doctor. Poor Ryan. My sister has had way too many visits to Urgent Care recently.
Anyhow, the sad result was we did not get to celebrate my sister’s birthday or spend some time with my nieces or nephew. I am just glad that Ryan is doing okay.
Last night, Dale and I watched these two movies on DVD. I have to say I was not that impressed with either DVD. Actually, I found both very slow.
Adventureland had some charming moments, but overall not even Ryan Reynolds could have saved this movie. The journey the writer’s took us on, just took too long. Also, the immaturity of the characters made them seem more like kids in high school than adults about to start graduate school. It was a movie that had a great chance at capturing angst in the 80s, but instead missed the mark.
Sunshine Cleaning was smart to promote itself as the folks that brought you Little Miss Sunshine. I too would try to latch onto a much better movie. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are brilliant, but I think the story missed the emotion that would make you fall in love and identify with these flawed, under-dogs. The movie was missing the quirkiness of Little Miss Sunshine and just came across as dark and depressing. Disappointing as both actresses deserved better, as did the brilliant Alan Arkin.
Oh well, not every movie can be a winner. I am just glad I did not see either in the movie theater or I really would have been disappointed.
Also, looking back on this older photo of Sophia, I see how much Kate looks like Sophia at that age.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Here are the details on the class I am taking Monday nights in October.
Classic Techniques: Essentials I
Cook Street is proud to have been recognized by SmartMoney magazine in its Best of Everything issue for this fun and challenging four-class immersion course.
Get an introduction to the fundamentals of classic cuisine. Perfect your knife skills, learn how to choose and store ingredients, increase your efficiency and improve your kitchen organization skills all while preparing sumptuous entrées. At the end of each class students will enjoy the menu they just prepared with two different wines to develop food and wine pairing knowledge. This class is NOT a prerequisite to CT: Essentials II.
Menus and Objectives:
- Class 1 - Le Grand Aioli; Omelette; Macerated Fruit in Meringue Nests with Creme Anglaise
- Cold Emulsion Sauces; Egg Cookery; Blanching; Macerating; Meringue
- Class 2 - Poached Chicken and Vegetables; Fresh Pasta Fettuccini; Grapefruit with Basil Chiffonade and Candied Zest
- Pasta Dough; Stocks; Poaching; Knife Skill; Pasta Machine Basics
- Class 3 - Grilled Caesar Salad; Grilled Sea Bass with Romesco and Mojo Sauces; Grilled Asparagus with Garlic Parmesan Butter; Couscous Stuffed Vine Ripened Tomatoes; Chocolate Soufflé
- Fish Basics; Grilling; Sauces; Grains; Soufflé
- Class 4 - Onion Panade; Prime Rib Roast au Jus; Gratin of Potato; Haricots Verts with Tarragon Almond Butter; Crêpes Suzette
- Meat Classification; Pan Sauces; Roasting; Soup Styles; Flambé
I called the adjuster four days in a row and never got a call back. Her voicemail says, "I promise to return all calls received before 1 PM the same day and all calls after 1 PM by 10 AM the next day." Yeah, that was a lie.
Yesterday, I left a message for her boss and never heard back. Today I started calling other extensions in numerical order leaving my information and seeking help since my adjuster is apparently on vacation or had quit. I left about 6 or 7 messages. All their messages said the same thing - "I promise to return all calls received before 1 PM the same day and all calls after 1 PM by 10 AM the next day."
Well, my adjuster finally called about 11 AM to tell me that her boss has decided to expediate my claim and send me a check today to hopefully prevent me from calling the rest of her office tomorrow. Ha!
Yippee. Now, I am normally not such an ass, but do not put a message on your voicemail that you guarantee to call people back same day/next day if you do not plan to do it. Besides, I was the one who was innocent and rear-ended. I refuse to spend the next month playing back and forth with someone else's Insurance Company. I did my part and got the estimate, so now pay me. Hopefully the check arrives as expected, otherwise I will have to start calling again.