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Who knew learning to use a spoon could be so much fun. Notice the bib--we are preparing him for a lifetime of disappointment as a Cubs fan.
For no particular reason, I snapped a few pictures from the office this week with my cell phone. Yale Avenue from 71st to 81st is being expanded from two lanes to five:
This is the view of downtown Tulsa from my building:
Finally, I was downtown for a meeting this week in the Mid-Continent Tower. It was overcast and rainy. On the left is the Williams Tower (where my better half used to work), officially Bank of Oklahoma Tower or BOk and on the right is the incredibly ugly WilTel building, formerly Williams Communications:
This looked kind of interesting and so I thought I'd experiment with it as part of a post:
I just received the following:
Dear Pro-Life Friend,
I’m taking the unusual step of emailing the entire pro-life blogs mailing list because of a critical situation that has developed in the case of Terri Schiavo.
Today, the courts rejected the pleas of Terri’s parents to stop her husband, Michael, from withholding food and water from her. He has promised to begin starving her tomorrow at 1 pm.
Most of you are aware that Terri is not a "vegetable" or "brain-dead" as Michael and his lawyers claim, but responds to others and is aware of her surroundings. She laughs, smiles and, according to her nurses, has a small vocabulary.
Terri is not on life support and is healthy. She needs help eating and is fed through a tube (helping someone eat and drink who is impaired has never been considered artificial life support).
While Michael asserts he is carrying out Terri's wishes, he waited until after he received a large sum of money from a lawsuit against her doctors before making this claim. During the lawsuit, he alleged negligence and motivated a financial award with the potential cost of Terri’s rehabilitation.
However, Terri has been denied rehabilitation that experts testify could allow her to eat and talk. The courts in Florida have consistently blocked appeals to give Terri proper tests and therapy that would improve her life.
Terri may not have the capabilities she once had, but she is no less valuable and no less a person.
Here is what you can do to help Terri:
1. Pray for Terri and her family.
2. Blog - communicate the truth about what is going on and rally support for Terri and the Schindlers.
3. Visit BlogsforTerri for information and to join the team of blogs for Terri.
4. Deluge Gov. Jeb Bush with emails and phone calls. He has the power to intervene. Here is his contact information:
Governor Jeb Bush
850 / 488-4441
850 / 487-0801 (fax)
5. Support HB701(click here).
6. Important - Bypass the Mainstream Media - pledge support a paid advertisement in the St. Petersburg Tribune to inform its 450,000 paid subscribers about what is really happening to Terri.
Your participation in help is desperately needed.
Thank-you for standing-up for Life.
P.S. I’ve set-up a special aggregator that displays only posts about Terri Schiavo. You can see what our 200+ members are saying here.
More Information at TerrisFight.org
Apparently there's been no major league hockey this year...who knew? I mean after all we're talking about an activity where its own commissioner admitted that it was not a legitimate sport. OK, so he didn't say it in so many words, but follow my logic for a moment. The NHL commissioner once said that fighting could not be removed from the game. More specifically, he said that hockey fans wouldn't support the sport without the fighting.
This is either an admission that the sport is insufficiently entertaining by itself or that its fans are just too low-brow to appreciate it--take your pick. Assuming the commissioner wasn't insulting his customers, the only remaining option is that professional hockey is a joke. If you're like me, though, and think hockey (without fighting) is a fine sport, then the commissioner was pointing out the imbecilic nature of pugilism-loving professional hockey fans.
There is no fighting in college or Olympic hockey therefore, it follows, there is no need for it in the professional leagues. Fighting detracts from the sport and provides a venue for less skilled players who are simply there to fulfill the role of a thug--never a good thing for any sport. While I'm no pantywaist liberal, I'd rather someday take my son to an actual boxing match and a college level hockey game than anything the NHL provides as a combination of the two. I like to think I have all the answers but, "Dad, why are they letting them fight?" during a major league sport is one question to which I have no answer.
Can you name another sport in which fighting is not allowed at the college or Olympic level but is allowed at the professional level? Click on "Continue reading" for the answer.
Answer: Wrestling. And, as long as fighting is allowed in professional hockey, it'll be just as big a joke as professional wrestling.
Just to be clear, I like hockey. Fighting, however, serves no purpose other than to detract from the sport and the skill and athleticism of the competitors. How silly would it be if fighting were allowed in baseball, basketball, football or soccer? That's how ridiculous it seems to me to allow it in hockey.
Anyone else been a member of the BOAC Junior Jet Club? Or, flew enough miles to get their 25,000 mile certificate? And, did this all before they were one year old? Without ever crying?
Thanks to my father's job as a Geophysicist for Standard Oil/Amoco, my family traveled quite a bit overseas. Starting when I was just eight weeks old, I took to the air: Bangkok to Teheran to London to Johannesburg back to London to Chicago, New York to Manchester to London to Johannesburg for a total of 33,486 miles in just eight months. My mom says I did it all without crying. Here's the log book:
I have my 25,000 mile certificate somewhere...just not too certain where that is right now.
[UPDATE:] I have a scan of blank pages from my logbook which I will gladly email to anyone who is still filling in their logbook and wants a copy. Just leave a comment below with your correct email address and I'll send it out to you.
My host uses cPanel control panel which provides a nice graphical breakdown of the country of origin of visitors to Danzfamily.com (all of the site, not just the blog). Below are the visitors' countries during January 2005 in order of frequency, top to bottom, then left to right:
I just added at the bottom left of this page, syndication buttons for NewsGator and My MSN. Like the other syndications listed, NewsGator was easy to include. MSN, however, was a royal pain in the derriere like everything Bill Gates puts his hands on. First, the instructions for implementing a My MSN syndication link are wrong! MSN's set-up page included the following graphical code:
First, at the bottom left, there should not be a space between "rs" and "s&ru." Second, the instructions say to replace "destinationlink.com" with the web address of your RSS feed. It should say to replace "destinationlink.com/rss" instead. Only after much trial and error did I figure this out. I wonder how many hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have incorrect and worthless code on their pages thanks to the incompetent people at Microsoft?
One of my biggest pet peeves is that so many companies think they are too special to have a button that conforms to the standard 80x15 pixel size.
NewsGator thinks they should have a 91x17 image, but I made it the standard 80x15 as shown on the right:
While My MSN thinks they should have a 71x14 image, but I disagree. I also didn't like the plus symbol on the right which they only did to be different from Yahoo and NewsGator. I switched it to the left as I like conformity:
Kinja believes their button should be 88x24, I refuse to go along:
Yahoo! really takes the cake. They aren't too sure what their syndication button should look like or what size it should be, but they are certain it should not be the standard 80x15. Sorry, Yahoo!, not on my site. Yahoo!'s four buttons followed by my standardized button:
Other buttons I've just made small tweaks to, such as Technorati's button which they didn't have matching their color scheme. I just couldn't sleep at night knowing I had non-standard buttons on my site...is that wrong? If anyone wants to use any of the buttons I've worked on, feel free, just be sure to host them yourselves.
With all the latest spam problems every blog author, no matter what software you are using, is highly encouraged to update their software.
I'm still working with my hosting company to resolve the trackback issue. They globally set permissions to everyone's mt-tb.cgi scripts to zero. What this means in English is that they locked down the ability of trackbacks to work in order to stop the incredible load on their servers being caused by the latest spam attacks.
[UPDATE: Trackbacks are working again!]
Trackbacks have been temporarily disabled while my hosting company fiddles with their servers in response to recent blogosphere wide spam attacks. Comments are still fully functional.
I recently posted about a true American Hero: Sgt. Rafael Peralta. As a result, I have had the very good fortune of corresponding with Brenda Saldivar who, along with her husband Eduardo, were good friends of Rafael Peralta. I asked Brenda if she had any pictures of Rafael other than the formal one of him in his Marine dress blues-the only one I could find on the internet.
It's easy to read about the events surrounding Rafael Peralta's life--and his death--and to look at his stoic image with his Marine cover pulled down to just above his eyes and conclude that there was something special or different about this man and that his final act of heroism was simply an expected act in keeping with his nature. However, I believe this diminishes the significance of his actions. I also believe placing Rafael Peralta on a pedestal apart and above ourselves is a defense mechanism. This way we can say to ourselves, "of course, he did that, he was different than you and me." This way we can avoid the self-realization that, no matter how much we'd like to think that we would act as Sgt. Peralta did, there is very little likelihood that we would have actually done what he did.
Here is Rafael Peralta in camouflage with his friends Brenda and Eduardo Saldivar and in red, signing to everyone "hang loose." Cpl. Saldivar and his wife were very close to Peralta having been stationed in Hawaii together. Rafael had already made plans to celebrate the first birthday party of the Saldivar's yet unborn child when he returned from Iraq.
Sgt. Rafael Peralta epitomized what it means to be a Marine and what it means to be an American. He joined the Marine Corps the day after he received his green card and became a U.S. Citizen while in uniform. In his parent's home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items: the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate. Before he set out for Fallujah, he wrote to his 14-year old brother, "be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American."
On November 15, 2004, Sgt. Rafael Peralta volunteered to go on the very dangerous mission of clearing the city of Fallujah of terrorists house by house, room by room. At the fourth house of the morning, the second room, Peralta lead his "stack" of six marines throwing open the door of the room to be cleared only to be met by three hiding terrorists waiting with their AK-47s. Peralta was immediately struck with multiple rounds impacting his chest and face and though mortally wounded managed to jump away so as to clear the line of fire for the other Marines. While automatic gun fire was exchanged one of the terrorists rolled a grenade into the room next to where Peralta lay dying. While I and any other person just shot in the face would be wholly self-absorbed in our own pain, Peralta had the presence of mind and strength of will to commit one last selfless act. He reached out grabbed the grenade and tucked it under himself--saving the lives of four Marines nearby.
I wanted to post these photos of Rafael to put another face on him--one of just a regular guy, an ordinary person. I believed that doing this would highlight even further the extraordinary nature of his actions on the battlefield. However, despite the images of Sgt. Rafael Peralta hanging out with his friends, drink in hand, lei around his neck, signing hang-loose, I still can't describe him as an ordinary guy or, otherwise, place him in any category with myself. But, I also now realize that his life and actions can never be diminished.
Sgt. Rafael Peralta was, at the same time, both a regular guy and a true hero. It is a contradiction that every friend of freedom and democracy should be glad existed in this amazing man. God Bless you Rafael Peralta.
[Update 8/2/06] This History Channel is going to be doing a one hour documentary honoring the valor of Sgt. Rafael Peralta. More info here.
[Update 10/19/06] Cpl. Eddie Rodriguez a good/best friend of Sgt. Peralta sent me the below photo taken at one of their favorite restaurants, Mexico Lindo, in Hawaii.
From left to right: Cpl. Saldivar Lopez, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, and Cpl. Eddie Rodriguez.