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Jul 31 2005

Ready...Set Set Go

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The title says it all. Here is our first audio blog of Drew demonstrating his response to "readyyyyy." The number of times he says "set" varies between one and four. It's only five seconds long and a little soft, so you might have to turn your speakers up a bit.

Tech note: Although I'm using the Audioblogger image, I am not using their service even though it can be used with Movable Type. Nor, am I using any of the other worthy audio blog services. It's just a link to an audio file on our website, no big deal.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jul 30 2005

Summer Fun

233sprinkler.jpg

Nothing is more fun on a hot summer day than playing in the sprinkler.

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

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I hope you've been following the career of Lance Armstrong, because in your lifetime there will never be another athlete...another person...like him. When you are old and passing down stories to your grandchildren, other than telling them embarrassing things about their parents, or what you were doing on 9/11, there won't be a better or more powerful story to share with them than that of Lance Armstrong.

armstrong1.jpg

In 1993 and 1995, Armstrong won stages in the Tour de France with Team Motorola. He won the Tour DuPont, the premier U.S. Cycling event, in 1995 and 1996. Armstrong's early career peaked in 1996 when he was ranked the number one cyclist in the world. But, later in 1996 Armstrong abandoned the Tour de France and had a disappointing Olympic Games. While Armstrong was physically talented in his early career, he didn't yet possess the mental discipline and dedication necessary to consistently compete at the highest levels of cycling.

armstrong2.jpg

Then on October 2, 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had metastasized (not a good thing), spreading to his lungs and brain. He was told he had a 50 percent chance of survival. After his recovery, one of his doctors said Armstrong's chances were maybe as low as three percent but that he was told 50 percent in order to give him hope. Treatment included sawing two silver dollar size holes in his scull to remove brain lesions as well as removal of a testical. Standard chemotherapy would have ended Armstrong's career as one side effect is reduced lung function. So Armstrong opted to undertake a more severe radiation regiment which was less likely to damage his lungs but which resulted in burns on the inside of his skin.

armstrong3.jpg

Despite the odds, Armstrong survived his battle with cancer and, with a new found dedication, he won three races in 1998 and the Tour de France in 1999. If the story ended here it would be the greatest comeback story of all time.

armstrong4.jpg

But, Armstrong went on to win seven Tour de France races an impossible feat even for someone healthy their whole life. In the 102 year history of the Tour de France (only 92 races due to war), four other riders have won five times: Belgian Eddy "the Cannibal" Merckx, Spaniard Miguel Indurain and Frenchmen Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil. No one has won six, let alone seven, other than Lance Armstrong. (The list of five time winners might have included a German by the name of Jan Ullrich if not for the American from Texas.)

armstrong5.jpg

Cycling is very much a team sport and thanks and accolades unquestionably go to Armstrong's teammates: José Azevedo, Manuel Beltran, George Hincapie, Gonzalez Benjamin Noval, Pavel Padrnos, Yaroslav Popovych, José Luis Rubiera, and Paolo Savoldelli.

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Thank you Lance for seven amazing years and for one heck of a story to someday share with the grandkids.

Posted by Don | Comments (6) | TrackBacks (0) |

In honor of National Hot Dog Month, July, and National Hot Dog Day, this past Wednesday, here are some pics of the Wienermobile I took in January during Okie-Blogger Bash.

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* The first hot dog was created in Frankfurt, Germany... and that's why sometimes they're called "frankfurters."

* Americans eat more than 20 billion hot dogs a year, enough to reach the moon and back four times.

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* The Wienermobile weighs the same as a million hot dogs!

* The first ever Wienermobile vehicle cruised the streets of Chicago in 1936.

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

September 22, 1990, Ronald Brochstein was a first year law student at the University of Tulsa College of Law. I was a second year student and, as far as I can remember, never had the pleasure of meeting the young man known to his family and friends as Ron or Ronnie.

231brochstein.jpgIn the spring of 1990, Ron received his undergraduate degree in political science from Fort Lewis University in Durango, Colorado. A close friend from Fort Lewis described Ron as a, "quiet, shy, soft-spoken guy who always saw the good in people." Academically, he was "an extremely dedicated student" who's majority of time was spent "with his nose in the books." "Ron was as straight as an arrow. He never drank or did drugs. He was the type of guy who'd go to a bar on a Friday night and order a Coke." A study mate at TU described him as, "a friendly guy and an extremely dedicated student." A longtime friend from Ron's hometown of Houston, Texas, said that Ron "never got mad at anybody" and was known to be "happy in every way."

I can't imagine another type of person that we need more of in this world than that of Ronald Brochstein. He was the type who wouldn't hesitate to help two perfect strangers at a convenience store who needed assistance jump-starting their car parked just down the road. And that's exactly what Ron did that Saturday in September 1990. Ron, who always saw the best in people, couldn't have imagined that those two individuals would rob, abduct and put a gun to his head blowing his brains across a field in Sapulpa.

A more senseless crime committed by more disgusting pieces of human debris I cannot imagine. How people cannot believe in the death penalty, I equally cannot fathom. The non-shooting perpetrator was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Facing the death penalty, the shooter plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

That was 15 years ago. Just last week I received a letter from the parents and sister of Ron sent to everyone who was a student at TU Law School at the same time as Ron informing them, unbelievably, that the two pieces of shit who've been enjoying a life a leisure watching cable TV, working out, eating three square meals a day, taking time to read the great classics, corresponding with family and friends, are up for parole. P-A-R-O-L-E...as in, hope you enjoyed your brief stay, have a nice time among the normal people...until you kill again. Un-freaking-believable!

The letter from Ron's parents and sister requested, if I was opposed to the granting of parole, that letters be written to the Pardon & Parole Board informing them of my objection. The decision to write was easy. But what to write took some consideration. At first, I contemplated a longer letter explaining who I was and the reasons for my objection. In the end, I decided the parole board was likely not interested in me or my reasons and I wrote the following short note on firm letterhead addressed to the Oklahoma Pardon & Parole Board:

To Whom It May Concern:

I most strenuously object to the parole of [inmate]. The incredibly heinous nature of his crimes against a completely innocent victim should preclude consideration of any early release/parole.

I urge you to deny parole to [inmate].

Very truly yours,

My letter sent in regard to the shooter contained an additional paragraph stating that the plea bargain entered into, with the Brochstein family's approval, was not a plea bargain in exchange for a fifteen year sentence and that it would be just as unfair to now go back on that agreement and place the individual on death row as it would be to let him go free.

Surprisingly, or just sadly, there is not much information on the internet about writing to parole boards. It seems as fundamental a part of being a citizen as voting, yet this is the first time in 39 years I've done it and I don't personally know anyone else who's ever done it. I wish I'd never have to do it again, but I have the feeling this may be a recurring endeavor.

Posted by Don | Comments (8) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jul 17 2005

TagCloud

Well this is interesting, TagCloud:

TagCloud is an automated Folksonomy tool. Essentially, TagCloud searches any number of RSS feeds you specify, extracts keywords from the content and lists them according to prevalence within the RSS feeds. Clicking on the tag's link will display a list of all the article abstracts associated with that keyword.

It's basically a do it yourself Technorati tag display for your own blog. I don't think I'll be using it but it's kind of cool.

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


Your Blogging Type is Pensive and Philosophical
You blog like no one else is reading...
You tend to use your blog to explore ideas - often in long winded prose.
Easy going and flexible, you tend to befriend other bloggers easily.
But if they disagree with once too much, you'll pull them from your blogroll!

OK, I have to admit the above result was obtained after I tweaked an answer. But, the first result was so unbelievably far off it wasn't worth posting. Hat tip Dave.

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

230drewdoor.jpg


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

parade01.jpg

These are the first two photos of a sampling from the parade I've posted here. They were taken curbside along Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., during the 4th of July, 2005 Independence Day Parade. We were ideally located across from the Environmental Protection Agency, in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History Behring Center, between two concrete planters so that we wouldn't be squashed by the crowd. Many participants in the two hour long parade have been omitted, but what is shown is in the correct order.

parade02.jpg

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

fireworks1.jpg

As is evident from the photo, we watched 4th of July fireworks on the Mall in Washington D.C. Click "continue reading" for two more photos.

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Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jul 7 2005

We Are All Britons

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

227oklahomatease.jpgA 1000 points to anyone who can correctly guess where this picture was taken.

Of course, the points don't matter, just like the Constitution doesn't matter to a liberal judge making a ruling.

[Update...July 5, 2005]

228wwiimemorial.jpgAND THE WINNER IS...Keith Eubanks of Voice Potential who correctly guessed or, more accurately, knew that the "Oklahoma" was from the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. Keith spent a few hours at the memorial the week after it opened on April 29, 2004, and recalled its details so well that he was able to recognize it from the little teaser photograph.

So...Mary, Drew and I just got home after spending the 4th of July weekend in Washington, D.C. After a lot of sight seeing, we saw the Independence Day Parade from curb-side seats on Constitution Avenue and were on the Mall for fireworks. Needless to say, we had an amazing time and fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine (being in D.C. on the 4th). Pictures will be posted in the following days.

Posted by Don | Comments (6) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jul 1 2005

Light Posting

I haven't been posting much lately as I've been incredibly busy. There is so much I'd like to post about but probably won't ever get around to because I just don't have time to do a proper job. Some of the topics include:

* Kelo, the worst Supreme Court decision in many many years;

* the Discovery Channel's Greatest American program in which the audience selected Ronald Reagan to the obvious disappointment of its host Matt Lauer;

* the absurdity of a high school drop out giving medical, psychological, and pharmacological advice to a person he barley knows let alone ever examined;

* the slore named after the capital of France who has absolutely no redeeming qualities other than being a slore and the immoral media who hypes her;

* and speaking of bad court decisions and the immoral media, I absolutely don't understand a judge/system that allows a child raping pedophile to go anywhere near his/her victim after just a few years in jail regardless of whether the victim is in denial about being the victim of a habitual child molesting pedophile. There is nothing surprising about a young man suffering cognitive dissidence and suppressing the fact that he is a rape victim and living in the fantasy world that he's really in a healthy loving relationship. I refuse to mention the name but the pedophile's initials are MKL and there are no words to describe my feelings toward the media who promoted their marriage and described it in terms of inter-generational love. Bull-f***ing-s**t! It's a child rapist and a victim and should not in any manner be promoted no matter what kind of ratings it brings. Sicker yet, if that's possible, one of the shows hyping the marriage was ET, as in Entertainment Tonight, who by definition must find something entertaining in pedophilia. (I've got duct tape wrapped around my head right now to keep it from exploding.) I guess the moral of this story that the court system and the media are sending to all would be child rapists is that you have a green light to do as you please...just be sure to get your victims head so twisted around that he/she thinks they love you and then you can marry them after your slap-on-the-wrist prison term;

* the San Antonio Spurs won the NBA championship but, for the first time ever, I didn't watch a single game of the playoffs. I just don't enjoy watching the NBA anymore. My interest peaked during the years of Bird and Magic and with Jordan and the Bulls. But, the last year the Bulls won the playoffs (1997-98) was the same year Latrell Sprewell was allowed to choke and punch his coach with near impunity. Now days the league has allowed the game to devolve into a hit-n-run forum for spoiled wanna-be hip-hop gangstas. Why bother with a properly executed pick-and-roll when you can just travel and hack your way to the basket. Actually, I have no problem with the league's choice to allow the NBA to become what it is...it's a business decision plain and simple. If showcasing athletes without class playing a game where finesse takes a backseat to brawn brings in the most bucks, so be it...it just won't be my bucks.

There are other items I want to purge from my consciousness, but at least you get a flavor of what's bouncing around my head. Posting should continue to be light for the next week or so, until things settle down. Have a great 4th!

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