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May 30 2005

Memorial Day 2005


Last year, just before Memorial Day, I was in a meeting with an attorney who, although born, raised and educated in the United States was completely clueless as to what Memorial Day was all about. Despite being highly educated and easily more intelligent than myself, she believed Memorial Day was a day to remember any and all lost loved ones.

In discussing everyone's plans for the upcoming holiday, I commented that I didn't have any plans other than being sure to put our flag out and to remember all those that had died so that we could be there that day. She responded that her and her family would be remembering her aunt that had passed away at an early age. I was somewhat confused and asked if her aunt had been in the military. She responded that her aunt had not been in the service. I replied that Memorial Day was really about remembering those who have died in our nation's service. She responded confidently that Memorial Day (she emphasized "Memorial" as if this would make it clearer to me) was about remembering everyone who has died. I just silently nodded and tried to hide my disappointment and disbelief.

Let's get one thing perfectly clear. And, on this there is no debate. Memorial Day is a very specific well defined day of remembrance solely for those who have died in our nation's service. It's not even about honoring those that are currently serving in our armed forces. That day is Armed Forces Day which was just held on the 21st of last month. And, this most sacred of all days, certainly isn't about remembering some aunt who never saw the inside of a barracks or held a rifle and who didn't selflessly and heroically lay down her life so that the American people could enjoy the freedoms that are the envy of the world.

Sure, you can celebrate the weighing of people name Chris or Christine on December 25. You can celebrate everyone's birthday on January 1 and you can celebrate how much you love Doritos on July 4. It's a free country. We're not going to chop your head off as happens in some other countries if you don't toe the line. But, if you want to be right and show some respect for those that paid the ultimate price so that we could sit back and be dumb, fat and lazy if we so choose, then you'll spend a few minutes today remembering those who have died in our nation's service. Ideally, you will take a few moments at 3:00 p.m. (local time) during the "National Moment of Remembrance" to pay your respect.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 29 2005

Backyard Project

This is the before picture of this year's garden project.


Fortunately, I had a lot of help from Drew. Together, we installed a cement brick boarder which matches the retaining wall around the rest of the garden (a little of which can be seen in the far right of the top and bottom pictures).


Then we planted (from left to right) four Hosta Tardiana Halcyons (Funkia, Plantain Lily), one Zuni Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia Indica X Fauriei), three Gulf Stream Nandinas (Nandina Domestica) and five Patriot Hostas (Hosta Fortunei).


We still want to plant some Emerald Blue Creeping Phlox (Phlox Subulata) under the Crape Myrtle but the nursery was out of them. They flower in the spring and that's when people are most likely to buy them, so that's when the nursery carries them. Also, between the Nandinas and the Patriot Hostas we want to put a Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum) but we are evaluating the amount of shade the spot receives first.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 28 2005

Tulsa Zoo


209familyzoo.jpgToday Drew, Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa Youngman and Aunt Catherine went to the Tulsa Zoo. The Tulsa Zoo won the title of "America's Favorite Zoo" in a contest held last year by Microsoft in connection with their Zoo Tycoon 2 game. The Tulsa Zoo covers 78 acres and has nearly 1,500 animals from 436 different species.

During April through July, the Tulsa Zoo has two male koalas, Maloo and Coombah, on loan from the San Diego Zoo.



Click on "continue reading" to see many more photos from the Tulsa Zoo.

Lions and tigers and bears, Oh my!


Notice the keg next to the tiger? I think he had a late night!


Mr. bear was less than a cooperative model.


I caught Mr. Elephant in the middle of his dust shower.


The giraffes have one of the largest, and tallest, habitats.


The rhinos continued on with the day's theme: Rest & Sleep.


The cheetahs, doing what cats do best.


The chimpanzees were resting too.


The meerkats were absolutely hilarious!


The seals were in full non-stop swim mode.


The African Penguins were quite active and looked like they were having fun.


This guy is probably one of the oldest residents of the zoo.


I caught Mr. Iguana smiling.


A colorful little fellow.


No animal just stands around as much as the flamingos.


Of course, a Memorial Day Weekend trip to the zoo wouldn't be complete without, and there is no better way to finish this post than with, an American Bald Eagle.


Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

I know what I'll be doing this weekend...


Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (1) |
May 25 2005

Smelling the Flowers


Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

205deadrepublican.JPGI just wanted to say that the following seven "Republicans" are complete idiots: John McCain (Arizona), John Warner (Virginia), Mike DeWine (Ohio), Lindsay Graham (South Carolina), Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Lincoln Chaffee (Rhode Island).

Instead of taking the time to explain or argue the point right now, I'll just refer back to this post in the not so distant future with a big, "I told you so."

Posted by Don | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0) |

Ten years ago today, sometime around 6:30 am, I broke snuck into an unoccupied floor of the City Place Building in downtown Oklahoma City. It was the building I worked in at my first job in Oklahoma City so I was familiar with the view it offered and I knew I would have a fairly descent view of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building implosion scheduled for 7:00 am that morning. I set up my Canon EOS 650 with a telephoto lens on a tripod, took some wide angle photos, zoomed in, took one more photo, set the camera to continuous exposure (approximately 3 frames a second), got reasonably comfortable, put my finger on the shutter button, looked toward what remained of the Murrah Building and waited.


Less than 150 pounds of explosives had been carefully placed at 420 locations by CDI (Controlled Demolition, Inc.). At 7:01 am, the button was pushed to implode the building. A split second later, I pushed and held the shutter button on my camera. Seven seconds later it was done. The second photo below is the first one I took of the implosion. The next three photos are 3, 8 and 12 frames later. I waited some time for the smoke to clear before taking the last photo.







Shortly after the implosion, the bodies of the remaining three victims of the April 19th bombing were removed from the rubble. My story about the day of the bombing.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (1) |
May 22 2005

Dance Recital

This evening, we all attended Drew's Aunt Catherine's dance recital. We got to see Catherine perform ballet, modern and tap routines. It was Drew's second recital. We all sat up close, which was a good idea as Drew paid a lot of attention to the dancers and never made any fuss.


Yesterday, Drew attended his third wedding. The daughter of a coworker of mine got married. However, Drew was probably most excited by the Bananas Foster dessert, a fancy twist to his favorite fruit.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 21 2005

Armed Forces Day 2005


President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department--the Department of Defense.

It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953

Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man. For it is he--the soldier, the sailor, the Airman, the Marine--who has fought to preserve freedom. It is his valor that has given renewed hope to the free world that by working together in discipline and faith our ideals of freedom will always prevail.

Admiral Forrest P. Sherman

Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.

President John F. Kennedy, 1962

This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces...to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won't be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.

It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem. Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.

New York Times, May 17, 1952

(Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday of May. Armed Forces Week begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May, the day after Armed Forces Day. Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in May.)

America Supports YouNews About the War on Terrorism

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May 14 2005

Watching Daddy Mow

There's nothing more fun than watching daddy mow the lawn.


Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 12 2005

FREE Wendy's Frostys


This weekend, Friday through Sunday, Wendy's is giving out free Jr. Frostys. (FYI, they are 6 oz which equals 1/2 a soda can.) This promotion is the company's official thank-you to customers who have stood by it after the recent failed attempt to defraud the company by a piece of human debris which, though unsuccessful, did result in a measurable drop in sales.

Besides having excellent burgers, Wendy's also has a nice variety of healthier options including my favorites: the Fresh Fruit Bowl with lo-fat yogurt (only 220 calories with 1 gram of fat) and the Mandarin Chicken Salad with Fat-Free French Dressing (hold the almonds and rice noodles, only 250 calories with 24 grams of protein and just 2 grams of fat).


So, stop by Wendy's for a free Frosty and let them know that you support them!

Posted by Don | Comments (5) | TrackBacks (0) |

198measuringtape.pngOn Drew's nine month checkup, he was 90th percentile in height and 70th percentile for weight. I missed reporting on his 12 month checkup. However, today Drew had his 18 month check up and I am most proud to report that he is 97th percentile in height and 75th percentile in weight. Woot woot...we've got a ball player!

Drew also got two shots and, althought he made a sad face, he didn't cry.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |

196celebrationiii.pngMy brother-in-law, David, attended the gigantic Star Wars Celebration III held in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 21-24. David is very possibly the most knowledgeable Star Wars fan in existence who still retains his normalcy. Out of the seven rolls of film he took, I've picked the thirty best photographs of fans who attended the convention dressed in costume, all of which can be found by clicking on "Continue reading" below.

David determined the characters names in all the photographs and in which episodes or other media they appeared in, even if sometimes it was at a distance for just a second or two. So, before you try and correct a reference, you better know your Star Wars episodes, books, comics and cartoons. Here is a montage of the photos:


The photos are of the following characters:

1. Aayla Secura and possibly Qui-Gon Jinn
2. Boba Fett
3. Chewbacca, Sandpeople or Tusken Raiders and unknown Jedi
4. Han Solo and Princess Leia
5. Clone Troopers
6. Lyn Me
7. Imperial Guard, Stormtrooper, Princess Leia, Jango Fett and Boba Fett
8. Imperial Guard, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader
9. General Grievous
10. Padme Amidala in Picnic Costume
11. Jango Fett and Zam Wesell
12. Queen Amidala
13. Aurra Sing
14. Princess Leia
15. Boushh, Chewbacca and Stormtrooper
16. Padme Amidala and Princess Leia
17. Sooner Trooper, Bail Organa's assistant, Imperial Fleet Trooper
18. Zuckuss
19. Darth Vader
20. Tusken Raiders and Jawa
21. Stormtroopers
22. Aayla Secura
23. Quinlan Vos and Khaleen
24. Princess Leia and unknown Mandalorian
25. Mara Jade (Expanded Universe)
26. Stormtrooper
27. Darth Maul
28. Snowtrooper, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Tauntaun
29. Femtrooper (Storm Hottie) (officially Sith Vixen)
30. Aayla Secura

Aayla Secura (II, III) and possibly Qui-Gon Jinn (I)

Boba Fett (IV-VI)

Chewbacca (III-VI), Sandpeople or Tusken Raiders (I, II and IV) and unknown Jedi

Han Solo (IV and VI) and Princess Leia (VI)

Clone Troopers (Clone Wars Cartoon)

Lyn Me (VI Special Edition)

Imperial Guard (II, III and VI), Stormtrooper (IV-VI), Princess Leia (VI), Jango Fett (II), and Boba Fett (IV-VI)

Imperial Guard (II, III and VI), Emperor Palpatine (V, VI), and Darth Vader (III-VI)

General Grievous (III)

Padme Amidala in Picnic Costume (II)

Jango Fett and Zam Wesell (II)

Queen Amidala (I)

Aurra Sing (I)

Princess Leia (VI)

Boushh (VI), Chewbacca (III-VI), and Stormtrooper (IV-VI)

Padme Amidala (II) and Princess Leia (VI)

Sooner Trooper, Bail Organa's assistant (III), Imperial Fleet Trooper (IV and VI)

Zuckuss (V)

Darth Vader (Star Wars Infinities Comic Book)

Tusken Raiders and Jawa (I, II and IV)

Stormtroopers (IV-VI)

Aayla Secura (II, III)

Quinlan Vos and Khaleen (Expanded Universe)

Princess Leia (VI) and unknown Mandalorian

Mara Jade (Expanded Universe)

Stormtrooper (IV-VI)

Darth Maul (I)

Snowtrooper, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Tauntaun (V)

Femtrooper (Storm Hottie) (officially Sith Vixen)

Aayla Secura (II, III)

Posted by Don | Comments (13) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 8 2005

Happy Mother's Day!


"Mama" enjoying her card and gifts from Drew on Mother's Day. It's also Drew's half-birthday and he's very excited about his new "Melmo."


Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

191hiatustape.pngI'm bummed.

I just sat down ready to do a blog entry, work on some digital photos and do a little research on Westlaw for work. Such long weekend nights at the computer usually start, as they did tonight, with surfing over to Dahl.com to download the Friday radio show of Steve Dahl, 27 year veteran of Chicago radio, so that I can listen to it while I work.

I grew up in Chicago and listened to what was then Steve and Garry (Meier) starting in the early eighties. Steve Dahl had first gained national attention on July 12, 1979, for Disco Demolition which blew up a pile of disco records at the Chicago White Sox's Old Comiskey Park between games of a double-header. An unplanned rush of fans onto the field resulted in the Sox forfeiting the second game.

192steveandgarry.gifIn 1981 Steve was fired from WLUP (The Loop) for "assaulting community standards." The appeal to a rock loving male high school student should be obvious. But don't get the wrong idea. The attraction of Steve or Steve and Garry was that they spoke their minds and made fun of everything in a manner that didn't insult the intelligence of their audience. Unlike, the talentless grade school potty humor of Howard Stern and his ilk, Steve Dahl's humor and commentary appealed to a more sophisticated audience.

During the latter half of the eighties when I was in college, Steve and Garry were sometimes broadcast on the AM which allowed me to pick up crackling broadcasts at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. When I went out of state for grad school, my dad would occasionally send me cassette tapes of the show that he recorded for me. Over the years he sent me about forty tapes, many of which got played many times over. It was just nice to hear about people and events happening back home. Even the commercials were enjoyable as they reminded me of home. In 1993 Steve and Garry parted their ways. It took me ten years of my intermittent listening to get used to Steve without Garry.

193stevedahl.jpgSometime just before the turn of the century, after internet radio broadcasts and downloads become common place, I emailed The Steve Dahl Show several times and even made it on air once requesting that Steve either simulcast or make copies of the show available for download. The answer was always the same, that it was in the works. Finally, in 2002, copies of the show became available for download. Since then, I've listened to a show every two or three weeks, just enough to maintain my thinning connection to Chicago and days gone by.

Very recently, Steve made his show available via daily podcasting, a system originally designed for Apple iPods which automates the downloading process. Unfortunately, due to the increased popularity that podcasting brought the show, it finally came to the attention of the higher-ups that making the show available for download over the internet conflicted with Infinity, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC licenses. Accordingly, all downloads and podscasts have been suspended. Streaming is supposed to resume next month. Until then, I have three years worth of occasional downloads to listen to. Right now it's a best-of program broadcast on December 31, 2004.

Posted by Don | Comments (7) | TrackBacks (1) |
May 6 2005

Weekends are for...

Weekends are for...N A P P I N G !


Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 5 2005

Great Quotations

189quotes.pngA few people have asked me about my random quotes in the left hand column. I currently have fourteen thirteen in the rotation, in no particular order. I haven't made any great effort to seek new ones out. I just add them as I come across them.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
- John Adams

Political correctness is just tyranny with manners.
- Charlton Heston

To pursue the concept of racial entitlement even for the most admirable and benign of purposes is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.
- Antonin Scalia

Well I've said it before and I'll say it again -- America's best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead. America remains what Emerson called her 150 years ago, 'the country of tomorrow.' What a wonderful description and how true. And yet tomorrow might never have happened had we lacked the courage in the 1980's to chart a course of strength and honor.
- Ronald Reagan, 1992 National Convention

Other than eliminating Slavery, Fascism, Nazism, and Communism, what has War ever accomplished?
- www.protestwarrior.com

We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated Fascism. We defeated Communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II. We were willing to do it, glad to do it. We went to Korea. We went to Vietnam. All in the interest of preserving the rights of people. And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, 'Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us'? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No, the only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead. And that is the kind of nation we are.
- Colin Powell, MTV Global Discussion, February 14, 2002

Those who are wringing their hands and shouting so loudly for 'heads to roll' over this [prison scandal] seem to have conveniently overlooked the fact that someone's head HAS rolled - that of another innocent American brutally murdered by terrorists. Why is it? Why is it that there's more indignation over a photo of a prisoner with underwear on his head than over the video of a young American with no head at all.
- Sen. Zell Miller, (D-GA)

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

When a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is, according to their own views of what it ought to mean.
- Benjamin R. Curtis, Supreme Court Justice dissenting in Dred Scott v. Sandford

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those, who in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
- Dante

If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are.
- Alice Cooper, Rock Star

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC

Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
- George Orwell

[Edited to remove duplicate.]

Posted by Don | Comments (6) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 3 2005

I Feel So Dirty...

I feel so dirty...I've been linked to by the Democratic Underground. This picture of Ayatollah Khomeini's funeral from my post comparing Reagan & Khomeini Funerals was linked to in the DU forums in a thread about Pope John Paul II's funeral. Notice that I'm not linking back to the DU...not even with a nofollow tag.

Every day someone links to a picture from my cryptically named Pictures section of this site. People posting to Free Republic are probably the most common users of the pictures I host. And, the most commonly linked photo is the one on the right which was also linked to by Fark resulting in over 5,000 hits in just one day. I created the picture by pasting together individual photos from the FBI website since I couldn't find any media provider who had put the 9/11 hijackers' mugshots all together.

I don't think the politically correct liberal media's omission of a nice group photos of these individuals was an accident because when you see them all together you cannot help but come to one inescapable conclusion: we just might want to focus our limited security resources on young middle-eastern males instead of equally across the board on elderly Asian women and Scandinavian children. Notice I said "focus" which does not mean to the exclusion of others. In World War II we knew generally what a German looked like and what the Japanese looked like. Well, this time around, while there are obviously going to be exceptions, we again have a general idea of what the enemy looks like. Why is this so horrible to admit?

This is the second most linked to picture of mine. I found it with a MasterCard parody written under it. You know the type: flag X dollars, gas Y dollars, having Allah bitch-slap you for being an idiot...priceless. I removed the parody caption as I believed the picture was fully self-explanatory and more powerful without it.

I invite you to take a look at my Pictures section. Almost all of the photos have been linked to many times over.

Posted by Don | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0) |

I am:


"You're the perfect sycophant of the Republican elite. Tom DeLay and Karl Rove would be utterly proud of you."

Are You A Republican?

/tongue only slightly in cheek while answering

My goal of being a sycophant has finally been obtained. I am, though, very concerned about that last 2%.

With just a little work...you can score 142%. Just imagine what the answers would be in a utopian world. It said, "You think the Klan and the Nazis are too soft. Probably because they let in too many closet gays." Wow...like it was reading my mind! /tongue still slightly in cheek

You can score all the way down to -37 where it will tell you: "The Marxists are too reactionary for you. With people like you around, America collectively thanks God for John Ashcroft."

Hat tip CGHill.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (3) |