Category Archives: Discuss!

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Fellow Adventurer

Anthony David Green 7-31-1950 — 10-9-2016

dscn0022I knew Tony Green under many names, his given name as well as all of his adventuring names from the thousands of hours of roleplaying we did together:

Brutè- Fighter, D&D (Todd’s World)
Skafloc – Magic User, D&D (Todd’s World)
Marluk/Lukram – Magic User, D&D
Alizarin Crimson -Fighter/Magic User, D&D
Kiowa – Aftermath
Jake – Daredevils
Allodar Elventine – Elf Mage, Middle Earth Roleplaying System
Dunravan Shardlow AKA Ravan – Wolf Shaman, Shadowrun
E’rol Flynn – T’skrang Swordmaster, Earthdawn
Sundance – Armed Rock ’n Roller/Psionic Starship Captain, WARPS
Sundance – Serenity
Anthony Marluk – Detective/Wizard, WARPS

(Thanks to Bill Lenox, our erstwhile Dungeon Master for this list)

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Here’s most of ‘Deathspite‘ our gaming group.

Left to Right Back Row: Doug Wray, Bill Lenox, Kirk Sarell, Martin Beier
Front Row: Nick Beier, Janet Thomas, Tony Green
Not shown: Kathy Argenta

tony-warps-at-bills-06-28-2008-5

Here’s another group shot – we’ve been playing for decades and our roster changes slightly. Left-to-right: Janet Thomas, Doug Wray, Bill Lenox, Marty Beier, Lemuel Smith, Tony Green, Nick Beier and Kathy Argenta.

Tony was very musical – played and wrote music, was a DJ and guitar teacher. Here he is at our friend Marty’s 50th birthday party, belting out his rendition of The Man They Call Jayne from Firefly.

It freakin KILLED. He was in very rare form and it was most memorable.

Anthony David Green - 7-31-1950 — 10-00-2016He really loved the song and did it perfectly.

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Opening presents on Christmas – checking for safety before opening?dscn0027

Always  detail-oriented! He and our referee Bill routinely discussed crucial minutiae that success hinged on. Brilliant player.

tony-warps-at-bills-06-28-2008-1

Also a hilarious role-player. I’ve seen screen performers that didn’t work as hard. I can’t count the hours of sidesplitting laughter at his silliness.

tony-warps-at-bills-06-28-2008-3

Watching him laying on the couch where we had spent so many happy hours gaming, I realized the game had become real. This time the brave warrior would not be resurrected by miraculous magic or a generous Deity. This was the end of the road.

I sat vigil with him as his Light began to flicker and was witness to his iron will slowly being crushed by the agony of cancer. His children Daniel, Elizabeth, Victoria and Michelle came to him, bade him their farewells and he departed at 3:30 am on Sunday October 9th.

We’ve walked a lot of roads together my friend, wherever you walk now, I hope you are free of pain and care. You are sorely missed.


From Bill Lenox: “I think this was Tony’s favorite picture of himself…well, not exactly Tony, but he modeled for it.” – the illustration, After is by our mutual friend, Todd Lockwood.

tony


From Kathy Argenta:

Dear Friends,

Monday morning I went to the site where Bradfield Lumber use to be, on the corner of Pearl and Folsom in Boulder which is now a Park. I met Todd and Tony there when I was hired to work in the office in 1976, so many years ago. I sat in the park awhile, texted Todd and told him where I was,  and thought about our time together there and the fact that our connection has lasted all these many years, as it has with all of you.

Todd called me one day and asked if I would be interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons which of course he had to explain to me. Even then I had no idea, really, what was in store.

That began many years of the most fun I have ever had with one group of people.

Most important to me at that time was the fact that these sessions offered food for my mind heart and soul.

At the time I was a single parent raising two children ages 8 and 4.

Playing D&D with all of you was my escape and saving grace. I had so much fun and looked forward to each session. We laughed, we argued, we pigged out, we became one as a team against whatever forces were thrown at us and in the short and long run we became family.  Each one of you brought your own uniqueness to every game and you were missed when you didn’t show up. Each one of you still bring your own special self and are so dear to me.

Time passes but when we are all together again it’s as if I’ve never left. Tony would have liked it that we all came together and especially that you Todd came to join us.  How special is that? And Marty, even though you weren’t there in form I know you were in spirit.  As I looked around the table at Janet’s that Saturday it was just a given that you and Nick were there.

I’ve come and gone over the years and no matter how long I was absent I always felt when I returned that I had never left.  How special is that?

Tony you will always be with us.    “Black bird singing in the dead of night”……………, fly your way home my friend, fly free.

Love Kathy


Tony Green with Tommy Emmanuel, July 2016 - Photo by Martin Beier
Tony Green with Tommy Emmanuel, July 2016 – Photo by Martin Beier

A eulogy from Tony’s friend Marisa:

My Friend, Tony …

I used to tease Tony that he had ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). He would usually agree. But what made him difficult to be around sometimes also made him an original…In retrospect, I think Tony was actually a perfectionist–he liked things done right, he liked things done well, and he didn’t tolerate fools well. Tony was also a pretty private person and didn’t let many people into his inner circle. He could be the life of a party, but it was about the party, not him.

Here are some things he told me about himself over the five years I knew him:

He was born and raised in Kansas and grew up on a farm, loving the fireflies that lit up the summer nights. When he was five years old, he knocked out both front teeth when he slipped on some soap bubbles. During his elementary years, Tony went to Sacred Heart Catholic School. Believe it or not, he was also an altar boy for many years too! His favorite horse was named Topsy and he raised a cow named Babe, who was unfortunately struck by lightning and killed right after winning the regional4H competition. Some of his favorite memories were the summers spent at 4H Camp. He also fondly remembered playing Zarro on horseback with his siblings. His brothers shared how they all owned bb guns and used to pad themselves with their shirts and pants and shoot at each other. They had a “secret pact” that if any of them got killed, they would all kill themselves so no one got the blame. I bet their mom didn’t know about that one! He developed his interest in vampires when he read the book “Dracula” at age 15 and went on to write a full-length vampire novel in 1996 called “Blood of Time”.

Tony had a close call when the draft came. His number was 193 and they stopped drafting at 189. Instead, he went to college at KU and majored in theater. Even though he didn’t get his degree, he always liked the spotlight. He eschewed politics until Daniel came of age to be drafted–he didn’t want that to happen to his only son! Recently he was quite a fan of Bernie Sanders though.

His family moved to California when he was a young adult and Tony got to rub elbows with some of the rich and famous there. He was fond of telling how he used to jam with Mama Cass’s brother. In the 70s, he came through Colorado several times on road trips, fell in love with Boulder, and finally decided to move here. Some of the jobs he held during his adult life were editing, doing handyman work, and he even had a short-lived stint on the radio with a handyman call-in show. He had a great gift of gab and a keen sense of humor that kept us entertained and amused much of the time. And who could forget his spot-on imitations of Bob Dylan singing?

Obviously the love of his life was music. I wouldn’t even venture to guess how many albums he owned! He learned to play the guitar in his teens and in his early 20s he belonged to the band “Midnight Sun”, where he wrote and recorded several original compositions. His last public stage performance was an impromptu session when we went to Jake’s Roadhouse to support our friend Jay’s group this past summer and I badgered him to get up onstage to sing a song. He reluctantly complied and a half hour and SEVERAL songs later, just as reluctantly returned to his seat!

You may not know he was a DJ in Boulder for several years, under the name Brian Summers. I met him in the Not Ready For Primetime guitar group in January 2012. After the first time he came to my house for a meetup, he messaged me later to ask if I had found his favorite yellow pick. At the time I suspected he was trying to “pick” me up, but I looked anyway and couldn’t find it. I later found out he actually was particular about his picks and it was his favorite! He also told me he had met all of his serious relationship in bars, so I didn’t have to worry. Whew!

Tony became known in the music group for his general dislike of CCR-Creedence Clearwater Revival. It wasn’t that he disliked the music, but he had gotten to hear it played too much one summer and never got over it. Sometimes people would specifically request a CCR song just to get him going! As much as he “hated” CCR, he had a love affair with the Beatles that never waned and he could rattle off minutiae about each and every song they recorded effortlessly. His two favorite Beatles songs were “Day in the Life” and “Michelle” (after which he named his oldest daughter). It was all too fitting that Tony left us on John Lennon’s birthday–his hero probably wanted to jam …. He and I went to see the Fab Four in concert downtown last Spring and when we got there, found there was gum on one of our seats. He talked to an usher and got us moved from the 24th row to the 4th! Afterward we went to the Hard Rock Cafe, where he had never been before, and he spent almost two hours walking around to look (and comment) on all of the memorabilia.

He was also a big Who/Pete Townsend fan. But he often said his favorite song of all time was “Story in Your Eyes” by the Moody Blues. He even had a favorite chord (Am) and he loved the major 7th chords, which was why his final (and favorite) composition, “Sunfall”, was all done in all maj7 chords.

Although he always loved to teach new things in the meetup group, Tony became my “official” guitar teacher in the Spring of 2015 when I would go over for weekly lessons. He loved to push my learning and was willing to put up with many a clunker as I struggled to master barred chords. He would purposely pick songs that I liked and then write them out in an impossibly hard key to play just to watch me squirm. I usually stopped at his house before I continued to my salsa dancing for the evening and he used to say I was the most overdressed student he had ever taught. I figured if you can’t sound good, you may as well look good!

Tony had many other interests too. He collected perpetual calendars, he was an avid Broncos fan, and he played with a Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying group for decades. He was a rabid collector of family history and genealogy, and felt one of his greatest achievements was getting his parents and grandparents finally buried in the same place. He also collected wooden coins and artichokes. A born storyteller, he could tell you tales behind every knick-knack in his apartment (and there were many!). And I personally never saw anyone so enamoured by words–crossword puzzles, poetry, songs, stories. He loved finding just the “write” word to express himself. His tv was often on some “how it’s made/done” show or Jeopardy. He was a knowledge HOUND. He also was fond of carousels–who knew? And although he didn’t go in much for athletics, he liked to swim.

However, above all else, Tony’s greatest love was his family. I can’t tell you how many times he talked about his kids. He used to call them his “heart” and said without them, life would have no meaning. His apartment was filled with their pictures, their gifts, their accomplishments. He even wrote stories for them when they were younger. He spent a lot of time driving them to school or work or taking them out to eat. He was so proud of all of their achievements and most of all, their individuality. I remember him telling me how smart and good looking they all were–a father’s pride and joy! He always kept his phone nearby in case one of them needed something and was calling him. With Elizabeth, he shared his love of classic rock music. He was thrilled when Michelle got to follow her dream and be part of the Disney cast of”Frozen”, even if it was in faraway California. He often said Victoria was the most like him and he was pleased when she went off to college this year to study drama like he had. And Daniel allowed him to relive some of his own youth. I remember him telling me about how powerful his birth was to him and how proud he was when Daniel got his photo in the Broomfield newspaper and his Eagle Scout designation. And although we never talked about what had happened in his marriage, he told me several times he still loved Laura and I think he hoped for a reconciliation someday. One memory he shared was of an unusual lilac bush that they got on one of their anniversaries that actually bloomed twice a year. He greatly appreciated how she helped him in the months after his cancer was diagnosed, as he had to depend heavily on her to get him to and from the doctors and hospital.

One of his food loves was soft-shell crab and I think in some ways it described his personality as well–crabby on the outside but soft inside. Once he told me about an elderly neighbor who he helped with trash weekly and did handyman work for free and I asked why he often put on the curmudgeon mask so people thought he was so rough and gnarly. He said it was his I ittle secret–he didn’t want people to know he was actually a nice guy. But with all the sweets he liked to eat, they couldn’t help influence his personality, and like the conversation hearts he so enjoyed, he really did have a good heart. He gave me guitar lessons free when I was on sabbatical from my job and couldn’t afford to pay for them. He did many handyman jobs around my house and charged me half of what a regular repairman would. When I look around my house, his handiwork is everywhere–from the compost pallets we scrounged one cold winter night to my rain barrels to my bathroom fixtures to my dance mirror to my greenhouse glass to my walls and outlets. When I went through a rough patch in my own life, he let me come over and play music or go out to eat or watch some “must see” movie whenever I wanted just so I had some company. And what a movie buff he was! We watched everything from Doctor Strangelove to the Sherlock series to Cat Ballou. Quite a mix! Tony once confided his favorite musical was (much to my surprise) “My Fair Lady”. What a romantic softie!

In short, although he had his flaws and never seemed to have a dime to his name, Tony was a good guy who tried to do the best he knew how. He battled his cancer with tenacity and grace, always with an eye to the legacy he was leaving his kids on how to deal with adversity. I really thought he would beat the odds and overcome this horrible disease due to his sheer orneriness, but I admire how he handled the toughest challenge of his life. I still can’t believe he’s gone. I will miss his music at the meetups and I will miss him as the good friend he was, but I know his song will live on in my heart and in all of yours as well. When he came up to my mountain place to work on some plumbing, he signed my guest book with, “I’ll be back!” I’m holding him to that!


From Lemuel Smith:

I am at the library (which is a ways from home to be sure) but wanted to have a chance to speak to Tony’s passing.

When Tony and I talked I told him that for all the places I had been since I left Denver nowhere had I done anything I have enjoyed as much nor met people who have meant more to me than you guys. I know very well that my contact has been sporadic at best but that has taken nothing away from the depth of the feeling I have for all of you. And sporadic as it may be it is more contact than I have kept up with almost anyone from any of the places I have been since.

I will miss knowing Tony is there in Denver but in truth I miss all of you as well. All those Saturdays from before noon until the wee hours. How I looked forward with eager anticipation to playing with all of you each and every session.

You are often in my thoughts and always in my heart. I only wish I had gotten to know Marty and Nick better.

(I can’t believe he isn’t there anymore. Sigh.)

Lemuel D. Smith

Stepping into the Presence

Joshua and Sherri Zander

Joshua and Sherri Zander, of Fort Collins, stepped into the presence of Jesus on Sunday, August 21st in a motorcycle accident on Highway 34 coming home from a sunshine bright, Sunday ride to Estes Park. They were both 55 years old. Joshua was preceded in death by his father, Warren Zander, his mother, Joanne Zander, his brother Michael Zander. He is survived by his sister Mardie (Jay), sister Kris, brother David (Trish), sister Lisa and brother Carl (Chris). Sherri was preceded in death by her brother Jeff Thicksten and brother Mark Thicksten. Sherri is survived by her mother Nancy (Charlie), father Darrell (Deb), sister Tammi (Doug), sister Niqie (Kevin), sister Darlene, and sister Tammy. They both are preceded in death by their son Tyler. They both are survived by four children: Jeremy (Jen), Charlie (Jamie), Katie (Kevin) and Colby (Ruben). They are also survived by six grandchildren affectionately called “grandcuties”: Jackson, Avery, Logan, Braxton, Mason, and Lilly. Joshua was born in Chicago, Illinois, September 8, 1960. Sherri was born in Whiteside County, Illinois, October 28, 1960. Both families moved to Fort Collins when Joshua and Sherri were young. They met at Blevins Junior High in Fort Collins. Both graduated from Rocky Mountain High School in 1978. They began dating shortly after high school graduation, fell in love and married September 27, 1980. Josh worked for Larimer County as a Facilities Manager for ten years. He then became the Facilities Manager at Timberline Church where he served faithfully for six years, seeing the church through a relocation to Timberline Road. In 2004 he took a job at Platte River Power Authority in Site Facilities, became a Plant Operator and then a Laboratory Technician. Sherri launched and managed the coffee shop at Timberline Church, worked for Axa Advisors as an Administrative Assistant, then went back to work at Timberline Church as an Administrative Assistant and was quickly promoted to Office Manager. They had five children, each one loved for who they were. Those children were their whole world. On May 11, 2001 their son Tyler passed from this life as a result of neurofibromatosis. Josh and Sherri modeled what faith and strength looked like while living day to day through difficult times. In any conversation with Josh and Sherri, it was clear that family and faith were everything to them. They loved each other with an almost magical kind of love. They did almost everything together. They were filled to the brim with happiness when they were with their kids and their grandchildren. You could see the joy in their eyes and hear it in their laughter. These were parents who were delighted and energized by their strong family bond. Josh and Sherri had hearts that held plenty of room for loving and caring for their friends too. So many friends . . . so many stories shared of them showing up to help a friend in need. Woodworking projects, party planning, recipe sharing, thoughtful, handwritten notes. Both freely offering hands on help and words of consolation and encouragement, bringing light and hope to those going through rough times. It was easy to have fun with them too. A party at their place was quite an event. Everything a guest might need was thought about and planned for. Everything was just right, when they threw a party. Laughter and love shared in abundance, made being with them a time that would be remembered. Josh loved woodworking and cigars, Sherri loved crafting and decorating – especially for the holidays. They both had the wonderful gift of hospitality. They had a way of making everyone they met feel special. And they both loved to ride their motorcycle together every chance they could. They loved God, their family and their friends. They cared deeply about their work and those they worked with. They were dedicated and honorable people. The kind of people this world could use more of. We loved them. Our hearts are broken because they are gone from us for now . . . but we will see them again, and all will be right and whole once more. For that assurance, we give thanks to our God. Please visit Josh & Sherri’s online memorial tribute at www.allnutt.com.

Published in The Coloradoan from Aug. 27 to Aug. 31, 2016


This a selection of images – some mine, others from Tammi’s personal photos. I knew Josh and Sherry for roughly six years and knew they were incredible people. Sherry was a wonderful sister to Tammi and Josh was the perfect brother in law. I know they’re riding down the highway together still, just in a better place.

Smooth riding kids, see you at the big truck stop in the sky.

Tammi's wedding to Scott Hofferber
Tammi’s wedding to Scott Hofferber
Charlie's Graduation
Charlie’s Graduation
At the Sweet Shoppe
At the Sweet Shoppe
At the Breen / Deines Dutch Hop
At the Breen / Deines Dutch Hop
Sherry and Josh dancing with Tammi and I at the Dutch Hop
Sherry and Josh dancing with Tammi and I at the Dutch Hop
Telling stories at their anniversary party
Telling stories at their anniversary party
More stories from the anniversary
More stories from the anniversary
Josh and Sherry clowing around at their anniversary
Josh and Sherry clowing around at their anniversary
The Zander Family three generations - 2011
The Zander Family three generations – 2011

Keep the Faith

Here we are in mid-summer, poised at the swing of the seasons and the pendulum of life is picking up speed after grinding to a halt on it’s swing and reversing – finally!

I wanted to say thank you formally to everyone that has helped my family and I over the past three years. God bless you all. It was one of the worst tunnels I’ve been through since Marilyn’s death.

We’re making changes and improvements – hoping for new adventures and great joy in the remainder of ’16 and more and better in ’17 and beyond!

To all of you on the team, thanks.

You are my family, by blood, tears or laughter and I cherish you all.

Bridges

On this seventh anniversary of Marilyn’s death I reflected on how our pets become bridges to the past.

When I met Marilyn she simply hated cats. So my dear cat Fran had to be rehomed to Albuquerque with my first wife. It was years later and an answered prayer when Marilyn finally decided she wanted cats in our home.

No dogs. But cats were now ok. It was a quantum leap in our relationship and her spiritual life.

After her death Kink helped keep my heart alive and then Tammi joined me. With Tammi came dogs (Kona and Sugar and eventually Dozer) and one of our cats simply couldn’t adapt (Chloe) and was rehomed. Kink hung in there and now is on a equals basis with the dogs. She’s also bonded to Tammi and there are now nights when my bed is filled with my lovely wife, my cat AND my dogs.

Blessings come wrapped in tragedies. I thank God for my blessings and give honor to those gone beyond who await me now.

God bless you all.

MLW_KinkyChinCuddlebest
Marilyn Bonita Wray cuddles with one of our new kittens, Kinky, soon to be renamed Kinkles. It was a wondrous moment to see her child heart take flame again. I will never forget it.
Tammi petting Kinkles 060914
My third (!) wife Tammi Jean Hofferber-Wray cuddles with Miss Kinkles surrounded by white. To see this sweet creature ever so wisely bridging the gap between my mates is deeply touching. People ask ‘why cats’ – this should help answer that somewhat.

Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman

My friend George “Andy” Hofferber sent me this and Wikipedia confirms it!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charley_Parkhurst

Buy the historical novel 'Riding Freedom,' based on the life of Charley Parkhurst, written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick.
Buy the historical novel ‘Riding Freedom,’ based on the life of Charley Parkhurst, written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Western stagecoach companies were big business in the latter half of the 19th century. In addition to passengers and freight, stages hauled gold and silver bullion as well as mining company payrolls.

Stage robbery was a constant danger and bandits employed many strategies to ambush a stagecoach. Thieves rarely met with much resistance from stage drivers, since they had passenger safety foremost in mind. The gang was usually after the Wells Fargo money box with its valuable contents. Passengers were seldom hurt, but they were certainly relieved of their cash, watches and jewelry. Before the completion of the transcontinental railroad over Donner Pass in 1868, the only transportation through the Sierra was by stage. Rugged teamsters held rein over six wild-eyed horses as they tore along the precipitous mountain trails. The stagecoaches were driven by skilled and fearless men who pushed themselves and their spirited horses to the limit.

One of the most famous drivers was Charles Darkey Parkhurst, who had come west from New England in 1852 seeking his fortune in the Gold Rush. He spent 15 years running stages, sometimes partnering with Hank Monk, the celebrated driver from Carson City. Over the years, Pankhurst’s reputation as an expert whip grew.

From 20 feet away he could slice open the end of an envelope or cut a cigar out of a man’s mouth. Parkhurst smoked cigars, chewed wads of tobacco, drank with the best of them, and exuded supreme confidence behind the reins. His judgment was sound and pleasant manners won him many friends.

One afternoon as Charley drove down from Carson Pass the lead horses veered off the road and a wrenching jolt threw him from the rig. He hung on to the reins as the horses dragged him along on his stomach. Amazingly, Parkhurst managed to steer the frightened horses back onto the road and save all his grateful passengers.

During the 1850s, bands of surly highwaymen stalked the roads. These outlaws would level their shotguns at stage drivers and shout, “Throw down the gold box!” Charley Parkhurst had no patience for the crooks despite their demands and threatening gestures.

The most notorious road agent was nicknamed “Sugarfoot.” When he and his gang accosted Charley’s stage, it was the last robbery the thief ever attempted.

Charley cracked his whip defiantly, and when his horses bolted, he turned around and fired his revolver at the crooks. Sugarfoot was later found dead with a fatal bullet wound in his stomach.

In appreciation of his bravery, Wells Fargo presented Parkhurst with a large watch and chain made of solid gold. In 1865, Parkhurst grew tired of the demanding job of driving and he opened his own stage station. He later sold the business and retired to a ranch near Soquel, Calif. The years slipped by and Charley died on Dec. 29, 1879, at the age of 67.

A few days later, the Sacramento Daily Bee published his obituary. It read;
“On Sunday last, there died a person known as Charley Parkhurst, aged 67, who was well-known to old residents as a stage driver. He was in early days accounted one of the most expert manipulators of the reins who ever sat on the box of a coach. It was discovered when friendly hands were preparing him for his final rest, that Charley Parkhurst was unmistakably a well-developed woman!”

Once it was discovered that Charley was a woman, there were plenty of people to say they had always thought he wasn’t like other men. Even though he wore leather gloves summer and winter, many noticed that his hands were small and smooth. He slept in the stables with his beloved horses and was never known to have had a girlfriend.

Charley never volunteered clues to her past. Loose fitting clothing hid her femininity and after a horse kicked her, an eye patch over one eye helped conceal her face. She weighed 175 pounds, could handle herself in a fistfight and drank whiskey like one of the boys.

It turns out that Charley’s real name was Charlotte Parkhurst. Abandoned as a child, she was raised in a New Hampshire orphanage unloved and surrounded by poverty. Charlotte ran away when she was 15 years old and soon discovered that life in the working world was easier for men. So she decided to masquerade as one for the rest of her life.

The rest is history.

Well, almost. There is one last thing. On November 3, 1868, Charlotte Parkhurst cast her vote in the national election, dressed as a man.  She became the first woman to vote in the United States,  52 years before Congress passed the 19th amendment giving American women the right to vote!

Yilmaz Askan – Handmade Dog Collars & Harnesses

Visit him at his new site: Anatolian Leatherworks!

Simply outstanding work from Kurdish artist Yilmaz Askan living in Istanbul. You can contact him via his Facebook page. His business is called “Anatolian Leatherworks” and there will be a website eventually. These are only a few images of his incredible work.

Yilmaz Askan, maker of magnificent leatherwork!
Yilmaz Askan, maker of magnificent leatherwork!

ArgusStuddedCollar

yilmaz_askan_01yilmaz_askan_02  yilmaz_askan_03 yilmaz_askan_04 yilmaz_askan_05 yilmaz_askan_06 yilmaz_askan_07 yilmaz_askan_08 yilmaz_askan_09 yilmaz_askan_10 yilmaz_askan_11 yilmaz_askan_12 yilmaz_askan_13

A Book Worthy to be Read

A Book Worthy to be Read

I wait quietly, but you do not see me
hidden among the volumes on the shelf.
I am touched by age, tattered with use,
but a book worthy to be read,
filled with tales of love and sorrow,
of days gone by and hopes still to be realized.
Yet you do not look beyond my cover.

My edges may be yellowed and frayed
but my words are strong and true.
So my pages will sing out my words for you
and tell of the marvelous things written within,
etched by time, engraved by experience,
and worthy to be told.

For too long I lingered on the shelf, dusty and muted,
lost between stories that were not my own.
But I have been touched by rays of sun
peeking through heavy curtains
dancing with motes that fall through time and space.

The dust that once buried me, dulled my vision,
now sparkles like so much glitter in the shards of light.
The same sun that once burned, yellowed, faded me
is now my beacon, calling me on through the darkness.
I will not be shut up, shut down or shut in.

Elizabeth Winkelmeyer
November 28, 2009

Printable calligraphy version (PDF)

Commuting Kills

From WordFence.

Every year we lose up to 10% of our electricity purely due to resistance during transmission. If you’ve ever wondered why a room-temperature superconductor is sought after, this is why. Thinking about superconductivity reminded me of the problem I have with companies who don’t allow telecommuting. The way I see it, remote-workers are like work-place superconductivity: Brain power and productivity arrive instantly where they’re needed with zero transmission cost.

I decided to do the math on what the health and environmental costs are related to commuting to work every year.

Moving people from home to work is surprisingly expensive in many ways. The average commute time by car in the United States is about 25 minutes each way. The average commute time by other means is also just over 25 minutes each way. [Source: US Census Bureau and wnyc.org data from census.gov] The average number of work days per year is 261. [Source: OPM.gov]

This gives us a total time spent commuting by car (or other means) per year of 217.5 hours, or 9 days. That’s 9 days (without sleeping) per year of your life you spend in a car, train, bus or other means of getting to work. That assumes you’re the average and not stuck on the I405 in California for 4 hours per day. I worked with a friend who had that commute.

If “sitting is the new smoking” [Source: Mayo Clinic and Dr James Levine], a phrase coined by Dr James Levine which has gained a groundswell of support of late, spending 9 waking days sitting in a car and pushing pedals, or on a bus or train per year has a profoundly detrimental impact on our health.

Read the rest at WordFence.com

Did you know?

The original Constitution of the United States that was ratified in 1789 had only one reference to religion: [Article 6] No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The de facto motto of the United States, adopted as part of the Great Seal of the U.S. by an Act of Congress in 1782, was E. Pluribus Unum (Out of Many,One).
Congress changed it 174 years later (1956) to “In God We Trust.”

The original ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ was written in 1892 by Baptist Minister Francis Bellamy who DID NOT INCLUDE the words “Under God.” Those were added by Congress 62 years later (1954).

The U.S. didn’t issue Paper Currency until 1861, and ‘In God We Trust’ didn’t appear on it for 96 years (1957).

Just after the Red Scare in the 1950’s, CONGRESS CHANGED the Pledge of Allegiance and our Nation’s Motto over the FEAR of COMMUNISM.

In a time when fear is traded like a commodity, and the word SOCIALISM is being used to create the same fear as the old word COMMUNISM, let’s REMEMBER that our country was NOT founded on fear. NO, OUR NATION was founded out of HOPE for a better world where all people were EQUAL – that we were ONE from MANY.

Let’s not let fear change our nation’s great tradition and direction again.

Transcribed from this graphic seen on Facebook:

Lets_not_let_fear_change_our_nation

Friend of My Heart

My uncle Mickey was one of the first men I met who was truly *gentle* with me and playful as I was. His hugs were so encompassing, like no danger or harm could reach me in his arms. All my childhood cares were swept away when I was with him and he made my soul rise up and catch fire. I thank God for his love, it was a wonderful gift to me and transformed my heart.

He was SO silly. I had not known adults were allowed to BE silly ( I did not know my Uncle Bob very well at this point, rest his soul! ) but oh my God he WAS. I remember on at least one occasion laughing so hard I peed my pants. And it was even FUNNIER. Mickey always gave you a warm feeling – sometimes in ways you didn’t expect – or know that you needed.

At my mother’s funeral his words of comfort were like a stone wall holding me up. Even at that dark moment his blazing soul was hard at work and his humor helped me cheer my sister Paula who was dealing with losing her avatar. With one short conversation he helped us both. That’s a moment I remember so clearly.

He was more than my uncle, he was my childhood friend and as I grew, he remained a friend of my heart. He knew well how much I loved him. His Light lives on in me and I give Thanks to God for it.

This poem is my final homage to him.

I love you Uncle Mickey.

M. Douglas Wray and William D. "Mickey" Rowe - Oct. 30, 2010 - Family reunion
M. Douglas Wray and William D. “Mickey” Rowe – Oct. 30, 2010 – Family reunion

Friend of My Heart

Through wind and fire
you have come –
done the things
that must be done.

Worked the Steel
that built our dreams,
fought the fight
and heard the screams.

Built a family
shared his joys –
his lovely girl
his two fine boys.

Gentle heart
devoted soul –
perfect for
a father’s role.

Always humble,
God’s own tool
he shared his gifts –
obeyed the Rule.

Consoled the hearts
of those in pain
and raised them up
to Light again.

Made laughter ring out
clear and sweet –
wit so clever!
mind so fleet!

Time has taken
my favorite clown.
Friend of my heart!!!
My Friend is gone!

To my Uncle Mickey
With all my love

M. Douglas Wray
a nephew
2015

William D. “Mickey” Rowe – 7/14/31 – 5/29/15

William D. "Mickey" Rowe - 7/14/31 - 5/29/15
William D. “Mickey” Rowe – 7/14/31 – 5/29/15

William D. “Mickey” Rowe, 83, of Vandergrift passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, May 29, 2015 in his home.

Born July 14, 1931 in Vandergrift he was a son of the late William John and Lillian Emily (Barber) Rowe. Mr. Rowe lived in Vandergrift all of his life and was a graduate of Vandergrift High School class of 1950. He was employed as Utilities Dispatcher for U.S. Steel in Vandergrift where he was Past President of Local Union U.S.W.A. 1346 retiring after 38 years.

After retirement Bill worked for Walter Optical in Vandergrift and the Vandergrift Beer Distributor.

An Air Force veteran, Bill served during the Korean Conflict in the 43rd Bomb Wing of the Strategic Air Command (S.A.C.). He was honorably discharged in 1956 after four years of service.

Mr. Rowe was a member of St. Gertrude Church, Vandergrift where he was a charter member of the Men’s Club, and former member of St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Bingo committee. He also served his church as an alter server for funerals and as a Minister of Consolation. He was an Honorary Member and Past Grand Knight of the Kiski Valley Knights of Columbus, Council #3174, the Alle-Kiski Assembly Knights of Columbus #0928 and a member of the Assembly Color Corp. Bill was also a member of the Vandergrift American Legion Post 0114 and life member of the Leechburg Elks B.P.O.E Lodge 377.

Mr. Rowe volunteered for the Vandergrift Meals on Wheels for more than 25 years and enjoyed working at his church’s spaghetti dinners and at all of the Men’s Club activities. He was also a member of the PA Adopt-A-Highway.

He was the proud recipient of Citations from the State House of Representatives, Westmoreland County Commissioners and the Vandergrift Borough along with a plaque from Vandergrift #2 Fire Department for rescuing a 74 year old woman from a fire in her home in 1983.

Bill enjoyed traveling, working in his yard, but most of all loved spending time with his family. Although he was a lifelong resident of Vandergrift he was an avid Dallas Cowboys football fan.

Besides his parents, Mr. Rowe was preceded in death by two sisters, Shirley Wray and Mary Barbara Walsh.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Lois Jean (Kane) Rowe of Vandergrift; daughter, Debra Jean Julian and her husband, Joseph of Pittsburgh; two sons, William D. Rowe and his wife, Jennifer of Broadview Heights, OH and Michael E. Rowe and his wife Beth of Leechburg; 3 grandchildren, Matthew R. and Angela J. Julian both of Pittsburgh and Edward J. Rowe of Leechburg; a sister, Guinivere Fleissner of Pittsburgh as well as many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his special friends, Wilmer and Raffelina Shaner.

Visitation will on Monday, June 1st from 2-4 & 6-8 pm in the Brady-Curran Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 429 Franklin Avenue, Vandergrift. Parting prayers of transfer will be recited at the funeral home on Tuesday, June 2nd at 11 am followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 am in St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church, Vandergrift with Father James Loew OSB celebrant. Entombment will follow in Greenwood Memorial Park Mausoleum, Lower Burrell where full military honors will be accorded by the Vandergrift Veterans Honor Guard, Inc.

The family suggest memorial contributions in Bill’s memory be made to Heritage Hospice, 356 Freeport Street, Suite 200, New Kensington PA 15068.

Strong Dogs

Seen at DogTube.us

Our dog Dozer Anatolian Shepherd/English Shepherd. Fantastic dog.
Our dog Dozer Anatolian Shepherd/English Shepherd Fantastic dog!

These dogs were originally bred for their physical strength and tenacity and remain some of the strongest dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club today.

  1. Bull Mastiff
    Originally bred in England to pin and hold poachers without attacking.
  2. Cane Corso Mastiff
    Originally bred in Italy, its name means Guardian and Protector and was bred to be a watch dog and hunt wild boar.
  3. Neapolitan Mastiff
    These dogs can be traced back to use by the Roman Army. They were originally bred to be defenders of property.
  4. Tibetan Mastiff
    Early records find these dogs in China, they remained isolated in the Himalayan mountains to develop into the dog we know today. Highly protective, they were bred to be a family and property guardian.
  5. Bull Terrier
    A small, friendly, muscular dog that packs a lot of strength and excels at sporting.
  6. Great Dane
    Originally bred to hunt wild boar in Germany is an excellent guard dog.
  7. Doberman Pinschers
    Originated in Germany around 1900 and was bred to be a guard dog.
  8. Rottweiler
    The Rottweiler’s ancestors protected the herds the Romans brought with them when invading Europe. Bred for the herding and guarding instincts.
  9. Irish Wolfhound
    Dates back to 391 A.D, these huge dogs were bred to hunt wolves and oversized Irish Elk.
  10. Boerboel
    Bred to be the first line of defense against predators and were used in tracking and holding down wounded game.
  11. Great Pyrenees
    Named after a mountain range in southwestern Europe, these territorial dogs were bred to guard livestock.
  12. Newfoundland
    The original ancestry is a bit controversial but these dogs were used to assist fishermen drag heavy nets, to haul wood from the forest, and perform heavy labor.
  13. Dogo Argentino
    Originally from Argentina, this highly active dog was bred to be a courageous hunter and protector of people.
  14. Anatolian Shepherd Dog
    Originating in Turkey, these independent thinking dogs were originally bred as a guard dog to be the frontline of defense against predators.
  15. St. Bernard
    Bred to help travelers cross the harsh terrain and passes in Italy and Switzerland, utilized as a cart dog, guard dog and in avalanche rescue.
  16. Swiss Mountain Dog
    Originally from remote areas of Switzerland, this dog was originally used for draft work, herding, guarding, and as a farm sentinel.

Classic Insults

  1. PEDICULOUS
    Lice-infested. From Latin pediculus (louse).
  2. XANTHODONTOUS
    Yellow-toothed. From Greek xanthos (yellow) and odont- (a combining form for tooth).
  3. RUCTABUNDE
    Gasbag. From Latin ructus (belch) and abundus (abundant).
  4. FLAGITIOUS
    Thoroughly wicked, villainous. From Latin flagitium (shameful act).
  5. QUISQUILIAN
    Worthless, consisting of trash. From Latin quisquiliae (waste matter, rubbish).
  6. FISSILINGUAL
    Fork-tongued. From Latin fissus (split) and lingua (tongue).
  7. QUIDNUNC
    Busybody, gossip-monger. From Latin quid nunc? (what now?).
  8. EXCEREBROSE
    Brainless. From Latin ex (out, without) and cerebrum (brain).
  9. FURFURACEOUS
    Flaky, dandruff-covered. From Latin furfur (bran, chaff).
  10. EXOPHTHALMIC
    Bug-eyed. From Greek ex (out) and ophthalmos (eye).
  11. MOROSOPH
    A learned fool. From Greek moros (stupid) and sophos (wise).

Comcast Customer Service

Saw this here: http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/comcast-statement-regarding-customer-service-call

We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and Ms. Belmont and are contacting them to personally apologize.  The way in which our representative communicated with them is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives. We are investigating this situation and will take quick action.  While the overwhelming majority of our employees work very hard to do the right thing every day, we are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.


This was in response to:

http://laughingsquid.com/ryan-block-and-veronica-belmont-get-trapped-in-customer-retention-hell-while-trying-to-cancel-comcast-service/

So I left a comment that Comcast keeps refusing to publish:

“Very embarrassed”? Seriously? Funny but I don’t think you or your ‘superiors’ were even slightly embarrassed when you spent $300K to try and deny the people of Longmont, CO the right to use their own fiber optic network. Luckily you failed. However, I think now you’re desperately trying to make that money back by chiselling on rates and making it hard for people to leave your service. As soon as Greenspeed or any other provider can get me access via fiber, ‘Comcast’ will become persona non grata in my house permanently. This just underlines how right that decision is. If you had one scrap of decency or ethics you’d have started with “this employee has been dismissed” – the fact you DIDN’T tells me this knucklehead was likely the spawn of one of your shiny-suited pinhead bosses. Fire the moron and give this customer ALL of his fees for the last year back, then I’ll start believing you’re ’embarrassed’ – not just chagrined like a streetwalker caught soliciting a teenager.


 

I’ve tried reposting a couple of times and Scumcast keeps sweeping it under the rug.

Sorry old boys, you can’t bury things forever. Word’s out, you’re a predator and it’s time you were put down.

An Anatolian Shepherd Dog Guards This Home

dozer
Dozer, an Anatolian / English Shepherd mix

Entrance requires introduction, inspection and approval by ME. I am an Anatolian Shepherd dog. My bloodlines have guarded human homes for millenia. It is what we are.

There may be minor disputes about whom I allow. My Masters will generally default in my favor, we have an understanding of who has better instincts. If you take offense at this you are welcome not to visit again (I won’t forget in any event).

You will get from me what you bring; if you are fearful I will be suspicious, if you are angry I will be hostile, but if you are confident I will be an ally, if you are happy and boisterous I will be your eager playmate. Be warned, I can (and will) jump into your arms from a sitting pose if invited. I assume all the Masters in my home are aware of my strength and speed. Beware. I weigh over one hundred pounds and my standing embrace can be startling to a large man, let alone one of lesser stature. Call me up with care. No other dog will show you affection like me. Again, beware, it is addictive. It is why my breed has endured and flourished. If you are Approved I will lavish the same greeting on you that I do my Masters. And I will lay down my life to protect you.

No matter what, my Family is foremost. If you are violent to one of them, even in play, I may… intervene. Suddenly. Make sure my Family Member makes it clear to ME that it’s a game. Rough play is fine but if I barely know you, I won’t know HOW you play and I don’t second-guess. A play-bow never goes amiss with me. Even a few.

I have huge claws and razor-sharp teeth, so even playing I may hurt you a little. Not my fault you don’t have fur. I also have a double coat and shed – deal with it. Watch out, I will routinely tread on your feet trying to stay in reach. Being big and heavy I can be an oaf. You may stumble over me if you surprise me but I will always let you step over me without rising. For such a big dog I’m good at staying out of the way.

Once you’ve gotten to know me, you’ll see I am a Noble dog. Even when I’m sitting cross-legged at my Master’s side you can see the centuries of partnership in my breed. Shepherds of antiquity prized my uncanny senses, bear-like strength and terrifying speed. No predators survived entry to our camps. Humans feel safer around me for a reason. When I am defending my Family I have no fear and give no quarter.

The Anatolian shepherds made sure I could survive on just about anything – like them. I love to eat and I love it especially when you leave delicious treats out on the counter for me. I will always show my gratitude by eating every bite and begging for more later. I love the couch… and the bed. My favorite place is laying beside you or at your feet with my nose touching you. At the least I will take a position between you and the doorway. If there’s a high spot or stairway I will use that as a lookout. You’ll sleep in safety, as will your children. When you’re awake and the house is quiet I will sleep heavily unless you have work (or play!) for me.

I’m smarter than you think, faster than you would believe and often three steps ahead of you. When I bark at night it’s because I think there’s a threat. I will always obey a signal to be quiet, shepherds appreciated stealth but they wanted me to bark if there was real danger.

The modern world can be confusing to me sometimes…

For example, the sweeper? I’m gonna KILL that damn thing.

Martha Maglocci 90th

My aunt Martha Maglocci turned 90 years old this past Sunday – Tammi and I were able to attend. My photos and an audio clip are included. Please leave comments!

Happy Birthday aunt Martha! I love you!

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.macwebguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/AuntMarthaRemembersPreviousBirthdays.mp3″] – Click this button to hear Martha speaking to her friends and family, telling about her previous birthdays. It’s LOUD so beware!

Click the thumbnails to enlarge. Note that these images are scaled down for web viewing. The full-resolution versions are in my Flickr account – you can also order prints online if you set up a free user account. If you have photos you’d like to add to my Flickr set, let me know and I’ll get you credentials so you can upload em! For those that leave comments below – note, they’ll be reviewed before appearing – depends on how busy I am.

LingrowFarmsDiningRoom DSC_0037 DSC_0036 DSC_0035 DSC_0034 DSC_0033 DSC_0032 DSC_0031 DSC_0030 DSC_0029 DSC_0028 DSC_0022 DSC_0015 DSC_0014 DSC_0010-WrayKidsAndSpouses DSC_0008-cake DSC_0004-cake DSC_0002-GeorgeAndMabelWray

 

Not enough soap on earth

I’ve been archiving a complete copy of some of the worst hate-blogging in Longmont – Stephanie Baum’s site ‘By the People and For the People’ for one.

Apparently the ‘has-been mayor‘s wife is trying to clean up her image: I got this today:


Date: April 1, 2013

Indra’s Net, Inc.
5435 Airport Blvd.
Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80301

To Whom It May Concern,

This letter is a Notice of Infringement as authorized in 512(c) of the U.S. Copyright Law under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). I wish to report an instance of Copyright Infringement. The infringing material appears on the Service for which you are the designated agent.

1. The copyrighted material, which I contend belongs to me and appears illegally on the Service, is the following:
My former blog titled, By The People and For the People written by Stephanie Baum, posted between December 2009 and December 2011 at http://www.takebacklongmont.com/

2. The unauthorized material appears at the website address:
http://www.macwebguru.com/blog/Archive_ByThePeopleAndFORThePeople.txt

3. My contact information is as follows:
Stephanie Baum
418 Flicker Avenue, Longmont, CO 80501
303-946-9507
skbaum1@comcast.net

4. I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials as described above is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

5. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Stephanie K. Baum
*****

————————————–

This makes me laugh out loud.

I posted the archive of her nasty little political blog in 2009 – over four years ago – and she’s finally upset about it now? I wonder if it has anything to do with the multiple take-down orders I’ve had to do for things stolen from my personal site, my political blog, my FACEBOOK page…

So, rather than just let this wonderful example of how deep her hate for the Democratic party and anything Progressive goes be forgotten, I’ve made a list of some excerpts from her blog just for the record:


How Hard is it to Fill Out a Mail In Ballot?
By the People and FOR the People 12/12/07 10:33 AM Stephanie Baum
Sometimes I wonder, considering the election this past November where only 41% of registered voters took the time to fill out a ballot. FORTY ONE PERCENT! I truly don’t get it? It can’t even be the cost of a stamp that kept people from voting because the ballots could be dropped off. So why? Complacency. Or perhaps ignorance? Either way, it is because of people choosing to ignore their right (or as I feel, their duty) to vote that has landed our city where it is right now.

If you are like me, and love this city, and are horrified by the thought of a small, extreme group determining the economic future of our city, I implore you to VOTE in January for Gabe Santos, and send a message to the council that they caught us sleeping one time, but that it won’t ever happen again.
—–
Oh no, she’s not ‘partisan’ at all. *cough* -MDW


We Have an Ice Rink…and a Freeze on Hiring
By the People and FOR the People 12/13/07 7:47 PM Stephanie Baum
Last I looked, there were job postings on the City of Longmont website for Seasonal Ice Rink Workers. The city council voted to keep the rink, but in light of budget constraints, enacted a hiring freeze. Wouldn’t that mean that the city infact can’t hire the workers to run the ice rink? Am I missing something here?
—-
Take away the kids ice rink? I think that’s pretty damn heartless.


“One Nation…(pause…pause)…Indivisible, With Libery and Justice for All”
By the People and FOR the People 1/11/08 9:43 AM Stephanie Baum

When Richard Juday recites the Pledge of Allegiance, why does he omit the words “under God?” Well, Atheists don’t believe in God so I guess when they pledge allegiance to their flag, they omit those words to be true to their ideals – that’s my best guess anyway.
—-
Hm. Not very tolerant of others beliefs. Not exactly the attitude one would expect from a ‘First LADY’.


The Final Stretch…
By the People and FOR the People 1/22/08 10:03 AM Stephanie Baum
…A bloc who, while yes, is all Democrat, they are more than that – they are extreme left-wing, zero-growth, pro-big government group that their more centrist fellow party members have also come to fear. This vote isn’t about Democrat versus Republican, it IS about Radical Left-Wing versus the rest of us. Hopefully our message will be heard loud and clear this time.
—-
Anyone that opposes the GOP is ‘radical left-wing’ – this is about as hard-core partisan as you can get. Clearly, if you’re a Democrat in Longmont Ms. Baum considers you ‘radical left-wing’ and you don’t deserve representation on council. Again, not very ‘First Lady’-like.


The 4-Way Test
By the People and FOR the People 1/27/08 9:52 AM Stephanie Baum

As a former Rotarian, I try and live my life by the 4-Way Test. The 4-Way Test is a way to apply ethics and integrity to everything you think, say and do. It is a measure by which all Rotarians should strive to conduct their lives socially and in business.

Other ares of the 4-Way Test have been a struggle for me this campaign season. Being fair, building goodwill and being beneficial to all have tested me. I feel I’ve tried to be fair, but in an election, shedding light on the shortcomings of one candidate probably wouldn’t be considered being fair and certainly isn’t beneficial to them. But I guess I justify that by needing to help inform the citizens of our town so that they can make an educated decision of who to vote for. I think what I write is beneficial to the masses and I think it’s only fair to everyone to know the facts.
—-
Which is exactly why this material is being archived, so the people of Longmont can see how Ms. Baum conducts herself during a campaign. Odd that she’d want this removed from the web. Maybe if she really understood transparency and honesty it would be easier for her.


A New Chapter Starts…
By the People and FOR the People 1/30/08 1:36 PM Stephanie Baum
I’ve learned that anonymity can bring out the best and worst in people. Sometimes people are afraid to speak up and give praise for fear of retribution from employers, friends or family (which is fine, I can totally understand that) and the only way they feel free to express their thanks and support is by remaining anonymous. Yet others are compelled to spew hatred and say things they would never dare say in person but feel free to do so when they can’t be identified (similar to a jihadist executioner wearing a hood?)
—-
I find this laugh-out-loud funny. Especially since Ms. Baum is still guarding the identity of the person behind LongmontReport, one of the nastiest anonymous smear-blogs (which also supported Gabe Santos) Longmont has ever seen.


Here’s my last thought on this sad little tale: If it was so awful for Richard Juday to remove things from his blog before the election:

sb_longmont_city_council_mtg_1Changes to Juday’s Website…
By the People and FOR the People 1/10/08 10:46 AM Stephanie Baum
I see today that 2 days after I posted my blog regarding Richard Juday’s website, on which he posted his plans for IGAs to fight the “Big Box” retailers, he made changes to his site to remove his strategies for implementing the sales tax redistribution. My only guess is that he (or one of his followers) has been keeping tabs on my blog and after reading how ludicrous his ideas were, he changed his website and removed the specifics of his plans. I love it! Although I kind of wish he left it up there for everyone to see how “insightful” Juday is!


Then why, oh WHY Ms. Baum are you so eager to scrub your own remarks from the web?

Don’t you want people to see how ‘insightful‘ you were?

Or are you just trying to scrub off the image of a harpy in high heels?

You can try to clean up your badly-tarnished public image all you want – there’s not enough soap in the world to make people forget that face.

Basics of HTML

HTML stands for ‘HyperText Markup Language’ and it’s the lingua franca of the web. Nearly every page you’ve ever seen on the web is crafted from HTML code, excepting those built using Flash but even those are delivered inside an HTML shell.

Many users on the web have been creating blogs using tools like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. and have been spared learning HTML by great graphic user interfaces like TinyMCE. However, to really master your content, you need to understand what’s happening ‘under the sheets’ so that you can make adjustments and add special formatting to set your work apart.

HTML is over twenty years old and is currently transitioning from version 4 to 5. For the purposes of this article I’ll only be discussing HTML 4 and will offer some hints about HTML 5 and its improvements.

Apple’s Hypercard program in 1980 set the stage for the invention of HTML but it was lacking in the ability to link to files on other computers. The web was just getting off the ground at that point and HTML’s creation is tied directly to the inventions that form the foundations of the web we know and rely on today.

Tim Berners-Lee, 2005

Tim Berners-Lee, starting with SGML (Standard Generalized Mark-up Language), devised a language that was independent of the tool that viewed it. The inherent simplicity of HTML is what made it such a hit and why it was adopted so swiftly and widely. One of the new elements Berners-Lee devised was the anchor tag – the ‘link’ functionality that allowed authors to ‘hyperlink’ to other pages. This was the springboard to the future.

He defined a set of ‘tags’ that when placed into standard ASCII text gave commands to rendering programs (browsers) to generate headers, paragraphs, bulleted and numbered lists, tables, etc. Here’s the basic tags that users really need to know (loosely organized by function):

h1 – 6 Headers. H1 largest. Secondary function – highlight information for Search Engine Optimization.
p Paragraph. Line height, leading and trailing margins can be assigned using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
ul (and li) Unordered List. Bulleted lists for arbitrarily-ordered items.
ol (and li) Ordered List. Numbered lists for sequentially-organized items. Numerous numbering schemes available including lettered and roman numerals.
blockquote Block quote. Indentation for quotes or highlighted material.
br Line break. Carriage return – no extra space as in end of paragraph. Used to force content onto new line. Also can have special uses with CSS.
a Anchor. Linked item – can be text or image. JavaScript commands can also be triggered using this block element. Anchors are often combined with unordered lists and CSS formatting to create navigation structures. Anchors can also point to specific locations within a page.
div Division. A segment of a document. Divs can be given specific ids and used to apply visual formatting from CSS. These replaced tables in design methodology.
hr Horizontal rule. A non-graphic line. Thickness and width can be set.
i Italic. Current standard calls for ’em’ for ’emphasis.’
b Bold. Current standard calls for ‘strong.’
img Image. Images can be sized and made clickable to display a larger image (thumbnails). Images can also be links to other pages.
pre Allows preformatted text to be displayed as-is (for example for code segments or free-form poetry)
table (and th and td) Table. Tabulated (rows and columns) data. Table headers can be called out with th tags and table data (cells) make up the bulk of a table. In early years of web design tables were used to structure pages. This has been supplanted by CSS-based design using divs.
span Span from arbitrary location to location. Used to apply custom formatting inline.
sub / sup Subscript and Superscript. For inserting references.

I’ve purposely omitted tags for creating forms since there’s many tools for creating them and even a brief discussion of them is prohibitive here. Suffice to say forms open a whole new door into interactivity and require skills not usually considered ‘basic.’

So, as you can see, the ‘rock bottom’ basics of HTML are indeed very basic. The artistry comes in how you combine the elements. Also, the serious bang comes from Cascading Style Sheets – but that’s another article!

Cheers!

On the Other Side

On the Other Side

On the other side, the sun always shines
No minutes, no hour, there’s no such thing as time
Where the streets are paved with gold and
you never grow old on the other side

On the other side, everybody sings
there’s miles and miles of flowers and lots of pretty things
Where the sky’s pearly blue and everything looks brand new
on the other side

Chorus 1
Well I’ve never been to heaven,
I didn’t know what it was like
But God let me have a glimpse,
in my dream last night
And I could see you smiling,
you were looking right at me
For the first time in a long time,
on your face I saw some peace
I knew everything was going to be all right,
on the other side,
on the other side.

On the other side, do you ever see me cry
Do you know how much I miss you,
wish I could have said good-bye
Just one more I love you,
oh am I really getting through on the other side?

Chorus 2
Well I’ve never been to heaven,
I didn’t know what it was like
But God let me have a glimpse,
in my dream last night
And I could hear you laughing,
you were looking right at me
For the first time in a long time,
on your face I saw some peace
I knew everything was going to be all right,
no more tears and no more sad good-byes,
on the other side
On the other side

I’ll see you on the other side.

 written by: Tommy Dunbar, Kyle Vincent; Lyrics © Bob-A-Lew Songs, Cohen and Cohen

Memorial for Scott Alan Hofferber

Scott Alan Hofferber April 24, 1965 - April 10, 2003
Scott Alan Hofferber April 24, 1965 – April 10, 2003

Scott Alan Hofferber, 38, of Littleton, Colorado, suddenly and unexpectedly went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, April 10, 2003.

Scott was born April 24, 1965 in Grand Junction, Colorado and moved to Fort Collins with his family in 1968. Scott was a 1982 graduate from Rocky Mountain High School, Fort Collins, CO, and went on to continue his education at Aims Community College, Greeley, CO graduating in 1984 with an AA in Small Business Management. Scott was born with a very serious congenital heart defect; doctors said he would not survive past the age of four or five years of age. He had several close calls but proved the doctors wrong.

Scott truly was a miracle.

Scott married Tammi J. Lockman in March of 1986 and was blessed with four beautiful children, three sons and one daughter. He was a loving husband and father. He was very involved with every aspect of his children’s lives and enjoyed every minute he had with them. His wife and children were his life.

Scott was a member of Englewood First Assembly of God in Englewood, Colorado. He was very involved in the church and a leader of Royal Rangers Program.

Scott was Manager at Crown Trophy in Littleton, CO. Scott loved to camp and be outside as well as riding horses – his latest passion was watching NASCAR. Go #24!!

Scott is survived by his wife, Tammi, four children, Zachary 16, Jeffrey 15, Skyler 13 and Kylie-Jeanne 10; his parents George “Andy” and Maryann Hofferber and a brother, Steve of Fort Collins; a sister, Kimberly of Rio Ranch, NM; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Services will be held Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 11 a.m. at Timberline Church 2908 Timberline Rd., Fort Collins, Colorado with interment at Grandview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Scott A. Hofferber Family Fund at the Colorado Business Bank of Littleton, Colorado. Donations may also be made at Allnutt Funeral Home in Fort Collins, Colorado.


I had the good fortune to meet Scott’s widow Tammi eight years after his death. Even at that huge distance of time I could feel what a good man he must have been. I wish I could have met him but I’m grateful that his legacy has come to me to preserve and protect. It’s an honor to be associated with the Hofferber family. Rest in peace Scott, you are fondly remembered and greatly missed. – MDW

Fire when ready

I’ve heard and used the phrase ‘you may fire when ready Gridley’ and never knew it’s origin. A quick web search yielded this article from HistoryNet.com:

“YOU MAY FIRE WHEN YOU ARE READY, GRIDLEY.” : January/February ’98 American History Feature

U.S. Navy Captain Charles Gridley earned a place in history on May 1, 1898,during the Battle of Manila Bay.

By Richard Harris

Just after midnight on May 1, 1898, the USS Olympia led the United States’s Asiatic Squadron quietly through the calm, glassy waters of the Boca Grande Channel, between the island of Corregidor and the coast of Luzon in the Philippines. The United States was at war with Spain, and the American squadron was preparing to attack a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.

As Sunday morning dawned hours later, the Olympia’s commander, Captain Charles Gridley, waited for the order to fire his ship’s guns. The order would come from the squadron’s commander, Commodore George Dewey, who watched from atop the Olympia’s flying bridge as shore batteries fired harmlessly at the advancing column of American ships. At 5:40 A.M. Dewey finally hailed Gridley with the now-famous words, “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley.”

There’s a ton more story – go read it and you’ll have a whole new appreciation for ‘Mr. Gridley’ as well some historical background on the Battle of Manila Bay.

Amazing Grace

Judy Collins a capella choir (mp3)

Bagpipes (mp3)

John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Life with Dad

Transcribed from this image on imgur

4 years My Daddy can do anything
7 years My Daddy knows a lot, a whole lot
8 years Dad doesn’t quite know everything
12 years Oh well, naturally Dad doesn’t quite understand
14 years Father? Hopelessly old-fashioned
21 years Oh, that man is out of date! What would you expect?
25 years He comes up with a good idea, now and then.
30 years Let’s find out what Dad thinks about it.
35 years A little patience… must get Dad’s input first
50 years What would Dad have thought about it?
60 years I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.

For my father, George Wray. You are sorely missed this season.

Human vs Pet Age

Human/Pet Age Analogy
Adult Size in Pounds
0 – 20 21 – 50 51 – 120 > 120
Years Feline Canine
Pet Age Human Equivalent Age
 3  28 28 29 31 39
 4  32 33 34 38 49
5  36 38 39 45 59
6 40 42 44 52 69
7 44 46 49 59 79
 8 48 50 54 66 89
 9 52 54 59 73 99
 10 56 58 64 80
11 60 62 69 87
 12 64 66 74 94
 13 68 70 79
14 72 74 84
15 76 78 89
16 80 82 94
17 84 86
18 88 90
19 92 94
20 96
Adult Senior Geriatric

Occupy Earth – HTML5 Canvas

HTML5 – the MDW logo

1st haircut

7:45am this morning I was bound for Niwot with my pal Dozer – going to his first grooming.

I think I have a faint grasp now of what that first haircut day must be like for a parent. One difference, your single-digit aged child can’t rip someone’s arm off if they panic and go bonkers.

It takes a really special groomer to be able to deal with a dog like this compassionately – I’m thrilled to say that Debbie Yarrusso is that degree of groomer – artist. (Full disclosure, Debbie and I traded services – I built her website ‘Puppy Paws Pet Spa’ for her Niwot-based dog grooming buisness. I used one of my photos of Dozer in it.)

We got to the shop and there were no distractions, just a gentle pleasant greeting from Debbie and her office-manager mom. Dozer was no more apprehensive than he usually is and in short order we had him in the tub washing. He dealt with that part pretty well – pulled hard on the tether but Debbie was all business and very soothing so he sat still for the rinse/soap/rinse and scrubbing. Afterwards some hand-drying with a hose dryer (Doze hates blow-driers at home) which went ok, then the big test, the cabinet dryer. I should have taken a photo – he looked so pathetic. An hour later he was dry but I’d spent the whole time with him so he’d at least realize it was me imprisoning him.

He complained.

A lot.

Then toenails and deshedding/brushing and ears cleaned. A final touch of scented spray (not just any fragrance, something specifically soothing to dogs).

As you can see from the lead photo he looks grand.

Here’s a close up:

Dozer - November 2011

God really blessed me, first with Tammi and her family, now with this lovely dog. Marilyn simply couldn’t handle dogs, I’d gotten her to give in about cats (and it was good for all concerned) but she would not bend when it came to dogs. It was a sad thing for me. So now that I’ve lost Marilyn I get to have this wonderful boy in my life. Blessings come wrapped in tragedy sometimes I guess. It was hell ‘unwrapping’ this one but it’s so sweet in the end.

Michael Francis Savage

Michael Francis Savage June 1981, Philadelphia, PA

My friend and neighbor Mike “The Beast” Savage when I lived on 48th St in Philly.

What a character. You see him here on a hot summer day hanging out on the roof of our building. He and his roomie Rob McNeile (not sure on that spelling) dubbed the roof ‘Silver Beach’ and many a good time was spent enjoying the view, the breeze and chatting.

If you know Mike’s whereabouts, ask him to get in touch. I hope he’s doing well.

Hymn

‘My way is not thy way, and thine is not mine.

But come, before we part
Let us separately go to the Morning Star,
And meet there.

I do not point you to my road, nor yet

Call: “Oh come!”
But the Star is the same for both of us,

Winsome.


The good ghost of me goes down the distance
To the Holy Ghost.
Oh you, in the tent of the cloven flame

Meet me, you I like most.

Each man his own way forever, but towards

The hoverer between;

Who opens his flame like a tent-flap,

As we slip in unseen.

A man cannot tread like a woman,

Nor a woman step out like a man.

The ghost of each through the leaves of shadow

Moves as it can.

But the Morning Star and the Evening Star
Pitch tents of flame

Where we foregather like gypsies, none knowing

How the other came.

I ask for nothing except to slip

In the tent of the Holy Ghost
And be there in the house of the cloven flame,

Guest of the Host.

Be with me there, my woman,
Be bodily there.
Then let the flame wrap round us

Like a snare.

Be there along with me, O men!

Reach across the hearth,

And laugh with me while the woman rests

For all we are worth.’

-D.H. Lawrence

Collective Nouns

From here.

Animal Collective Nouns

Animal Group Name
Albatross Rookery
Alligators Congregation
Apes Shrewdness, Troop
Antelope Herd
Ants Colony, Army, Swarm, Nest
Asses Pace, Herd, Drove
Auks Colony, Flock, Raft
Baboons Troop, Flange
Bacteria Culture
Badgers Cete, Colony, Set, Company
Barracudas Battery
Bats Colony, Cloud
Bass Shoal
Bears (General) Sloth, Sleuth
Bears (Cubs) Litter
Beavers Colony, Family
Bees Grist, Hive, Swarm, Nest
Birds (Chicks) Brood, Clutch
Birds (Flight) Flight
Birds (Game) Volary, Brace, Plump, Knob
Birds (Ground) Flock, Dissimulation
Birds (Sea) Wreck
Bison Herd
Bitterns Sedge, Seige
Bloodhounds Sute
Bobolinks Chain
Buffalo Herd, Troop, Gang, Obstinancy
Bullfinches Bellowing
Bullocks Drove
Butterflies Flight, Flutter, (Many more)
Buzzards Wake
Camels Caravan, Train, Flock
Capons Mews
Caribou Herd
Caterpillars Army
Cats (General) Clowder, Clutter, Pounce, Dout, Nuisance, Glorying, Glare
Cats (Kittens) Kindle, Litter, Intrigue
Cats (Wild) Destruction
Cattle Drove, Herd, Team
Cheetahs Coalition
Chickens (General) Brood, Peep
Chickens (Chicks) Clutch, Chattering
Chinchilla Colony
Choughs Clattering
Clams Bed
Cobras Quiver
Cockroaches Intrusion
Cod Lap
Coots Cover, Raft
Cormorants Gulp
Cows Kine
Coyotes Band
Crabs Cast
Cranes Sedge, Seige
Crocodiles Bask, Float
Crows Murder, Horde, Parcel, Storytelling
Curlews Herd
Deer (General) Herd, Leash, Gang
Deer (Buck) Brace, Clash
Deer (Roe) Bevy
Dogs (General) Kennel
Dogs (Curs) Cowardice
Dogs (Hounds) Cry, Mute, Pack
Dogs (Puppies) Litter
Dogs (Wild) Pack
Dolphins Pod
Donkeys Drove, Pace, Herd
Dotterel Trip
Doves (General) Dule, Bevy, Cote, Dole, Paddling
Doves (Turtle) Pitying, Piteousness
Ducks (Flight) Flock
Ducks (Ground) Brace, badling
Ducks (Water) Raft, Team, Paddling
Dunlins Fling
Eagles Convocation, Aerie
Eels Swarm, Bed, Fry
Elephants Herd, Memory
Elk Gang, Herd
Emus Mob
Falcons Cast
Ferrets Business, Cast, Fesnying
Finches Charm
Fish (General) Draft, Nest, Shoal, School (“school” is possibly a corruption of shoal)
Fish (Caught) Catch, Drought, Haul
Flamingoes Stand, Flamboyance
Flies Business, Swarm, Cloud
Frogs Army, Colony, Knot
Fox Leash, Skulk, Earth, Lead, Troop
Geese (General) Flock
Geese (Flight) Skein
Geese (Ground) Gaggle, Herd, Corps
Giraffes Tower
Gnats Cloud, Horde, Swarm
Gnus Implausibility
Goats Tribe, Trip, Drove, Herd, Flock
Goldfinches Charm
Goldfish Glint, Troubling
Gorillas Band, Troop
Goshawks Flight
Grasshoppers Cloud
Greyhounds Leash
Grouse Pack, Covey
Guillemots Bazaar
Gulls Colony, Screech
Guinea Fowl Confusion
Hawks (General) Cast
Hawks (Flight) Kettle
Hawks (Spiraling) Boil
Hedgehogs Array
Herons Sedge, Siege, Hedge
Herring Army, Shoal
Hippopotamuses Bloat
Hornets Nest, Bike
Horses (General) Team, Harras, Stable, Troop, Stud (a group belonging to one owner)
Horses (Colts) Rag, Rake
Horses (Ponies) String
Horses (Wild) Herd
Hummingbirds Charm
Hyenas Cackle, Clan
Impalas Herd
Insects Horde, Nest, Swarm, Rabble, Plague
Jays Party, Scold, Band
Jellyfish Smack, Brood
Kangaroos Troop, Mob, Herd
Lapwings Deceit
Larks Exaltation, Ascension
Leopards Leap
Lice Flock
Lions Pride, Sault, Troop
Lizards Lounge
Locusts Plague
Magpies Tiding, Gulp, Murder, Charm
Mallards (General) Brace
Mallards (Flight) Sord
Martens Richness
Mice Mischief
Midges Bite
Minnows Shoal, Steam, Swarm
Moles Labor, Company, Movement
Monkeys Troop, Barrel, Carload, Cartload, Tribe
Moose Herd
Mosquitoes Scourge
Mudhens Fleet
Mules Pack, Span, Barren, Rake
Nightingales Watch
Otters Romp, Bevy, Family, Raft
Owls Parliament, Stare
Oxen Team, Yoke, Drove
Oysters Bed
Parrots Company, Pandemonium
Partridge Covey, Bew
Peacocks Muster, Ostentation, Pride
Pekingese Pomp
Pelicans Pod
Penguins (General) Colony, Rookery, Huddle
Penguins (Nursery) Cr�che
Pheasants (General) Nest, Nye
Pheasants (Brood) Nide
Pheasants (Take-Off) Bouquet
Pigeons Flight, Flock, Kit
Pigs (General) Drift, Drove
Pigs (Boars) Singular, Sounder
Pigs (Hogs) Team, Passel, Drift, Parcel
Pigs (Piglets) Litter, Farrow
Pigs (Swine) Sounder
Pilchards Shoal
Plovers (General) Congregation
Plovers (Flight) Wing
Polecats Chine
Porcupines Prickle
Porpoises Herd, Pod, School, Crowd, Shoal
Prairie Dogs Coterie
Ptarmigans Covey
Quail Bevy, Covey
Rabbits (General) Colony, Warren, Bury, Trace, Trip
Rabbits (Domestic) Herd
Rabbits (Hares) Down, Husk
Rabbits (Jackrabbit) Husk
Rabbits (Young) Litter, Nest
Raccoons Gaze
Rats Colony, Pack, Plague, Swarm
Rattlesnakes Rhumba
Ravens Unkindness, Storytelling
Reindeer Herd
Rhinoceroses Crash, Stubbornness
Roebucks Bevy
Rooks Building, Clamor, Parliament
Ruffs Hill
Salamandars Congress
Salmon Run
Sandpipers Fling
Sardines Family
Scorpions Bed, Nest
Seabirds Wreck
Seals Pod, Bob, Harem, Herd, Rookery
Sharks Shiver, School, Shoal
Sheep Drove, Flock, Down, Hurtle, Fold, Pack, Trip
Sheldrakes Doading
Skylarks Exultation
Squirrels Dray, Scurry
Snails Escargatoire, Rout, Walk
Snakes Den, Nest, Pit, Bed, Knot
Snipe Walk, Wisp
Sparrows Host
Spiders Cluster, Clutter
Springbok Herd
Squirrels Dray, Scurry
Starlings Murmuration, Chattering
Stingrays Fever
Stoats Pack, Trip
Storks Mustering, Muster
Swallows Flight, Gulp
Swans (General) Bevy, Bank, Herd
Swans (Flight) Wedge, Flight
Swifts Flock
Teal Spring
Termites Colony, Nest, Swarm, Brood
Thrush Mutation
Tigers Streak, Ambush
Toads Knot, Knab, Nest
Trout Hover
Turkeys Rafter, Gang, Posse
Turtles Bale, Nest, Turn, Dole
Turtle Doves Pitying, Dule
Vipers Generation, Nest
Vultures Venue
Vultures (Circling) Kettle
Walruses Herd, Pod
Wasps Nest, Swarm
Waterfowl Knob, Plump
Weasles Gang, Colony, Pack
Whales Pod, Gam, Herd, School, Mod
Widgeons Company
Wildfowl Plump
Wolves (General) Pack
Wolves (Moving) Route, Rout
Wombats Wisdom
Woodcocks Fall
Woodpeckers Descent
Worms Bed, Clew, Bunch, Clat
Wrens Herd
Zebras Zeal, Crossing, Dazzle, Cohorts, Herd

Reception at the Sportsman’s Club

This post was written Dec 10, 2008 and has been held back till now, mostly due to procrastination but also a desire to add more to it but not finding time. So I present it now and may revisit it later – at least the photos get published.- mdw 6/2011

After the memorial service for my father, family and friends gathered at a nearby Sportsmans’ Club. By that point I was pretty much a trainwreck from stress, travel, grief, etc. so I didn’t take a lot of photos. Here’s what I did take. Anyone that has more is welcome to send theirs and I’ll add them in.

(all images click to enlarge)

Bonita Jo Wray, Jean Rowe and Lisa Diggs Left to right
Bonita Jo Wray, my aunt Jean Rowe, my neice Lisa Diggs
David and Christine Wray My brother David Wray and his wife Christine.
David reminisces with photo from his PA Military Academy days David remembers his Pennsylvania Military College days.
Doug Wray, David Wray, Michael Wray Me (Doug Wray), my brother David Wray and David’s son Michael.
Laurie Ammon, Bobby Jo Walsh, Georgia (Missy) Wray and Jenny Brosko Laurie Ammon, Guinie Walsh (thanks Laurie!!), Georgia (Missy) Wray and Jenny Brosko
Until I have time to write complete entries, here’s all the pix I took in a set at Flickr.

Faithful Friend

Faithful Friend

In my heart you shall always live
eyes aglow and eager
quivering with excitment
ready to play

My child soul rose up in joy
when we first met
for surely I knew you
from lives before

Now you’ve gone to heaven
and live only in a field
that I keep verdant
– for you alone,
my faithful friend.

One day I’ll greet you again
when life has had enough of me
and we will spend eternity
at play.

For my lost friend Cody,

rest in peace.

MDW June 8, 2011

Ode to Spot

(original transcription found here)

Felis Cattus, is your taxonomic nomenclature,
an endothermic quadruped carnivorous by nature?
Your visual, olfactory and auditory senses
contribute to your hunting skills, and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
a singular development of cat communications
that obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
for a rhythmic stroking of your fur, to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
you would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
it often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behaviour you display
connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

— Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek The Next Generation


I’ve always enjoyed this poem, on several levels, not the least the humor in the scene in which it’s read:

How Can I Keep From Singing?

Traditional Shaker Hymn

My life goes on in endless song
above earth’s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing,
it sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

While though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth it liveth.
And though the darkness ’round me close,
songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I’m clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble in their fear
and hear their death knell ringing,
when friends rejoice both far and near
how can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile
our thoughts to them are winging,
when friends by shame are undefiled
how can I keep from singing?

–Enya from Shepherd Moons

Dreams are more precious

Dreams Are More Precious

Come see, high above.
Come see, high in the heavens.
A new star shining bright.
Out of the darkness, comes a light.

Come here, midnight chimes
Come here, bells that are ringing
And from some distant shore
Sounds of a journey, echo on

This is the night
They say,
Everyone wants a dream.

This is the night
They say
Nothing is as it seems.

Come sleep, close your eyes.
Come sleep, give me your sorrow.
And I keep watch for you.
Until the dawn is, breaking through.
Until the morning wakens you.

Da, Da, Da…

Come dream, through the night.
Come dream, and then tomorrow
They’ll see who, what will know.

Dreams are more precious than gold
Dreams are more precious than gold
Dreams are more precious than gold

– Enya

David C. Hill Eulogy

David Claire Hill
March 26, 1948 – April 18, 2011

Photos from the funeral service and reception can be found here.

My eulogy for David C. Hill:

Somewhere David is walking.

He’s feeling good.

Better than ever.

The sun is shining down – it’s a beautiful day.

There is no pain, only rejoicing.

People gather around –
long-lost family,
comrades and friends,
welcoming him.

He’s filled with joy, not sadness for those left behind –
he knows we’ll be along shortly
and together again
one day.

David gathered all the titles a man accrues from a well-lived life: first he was son and brother, then uncle, then husband and father, then grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a steadfast friend and upright citizen. When his country called he answered and served willingly, bringing honor to himself and his family. As a firefighter he put himself in harms way to save his fellow citizens. He never stepped back. Thank you David. Thank you.

He was a literal pillar of the community, always leaning into the task, always giving more, always lending a hand, supporting the people around him in every way he could.

He was my brother-in-law by marriage to my sister Bonita, whom I know he felt aptly named. He was loving father to Deana Jo, father in law to Philip and proud grandfather to Alicia. I’m proud to say he was part of my family.

His thread is woven through the fabric of all our lives, a distinct and vivid line that shines out clearly, combining with and adding its color to ours. His thread was strong and resilient, strained by adventure, frayed by injury and finally, broken by illness.

I find great peace in the Latin saying:
non omnis moriar (not all of me will die)
for every time we remember him,
his laughter,
his playfulness,
his indomitable will,
his boundless energy
his loving heart,
– in those moments he still lives.

See you soon Dave.


My sister Georgia Leslie “Missy” Wray’s Eulogy for David Claire Hill

Have any of you ever wondered how Dave ended up in Wyoming?

Well, each and every one of you have me to thank for that because had he not drove me out to be with my parents who had moved to Boulder my senior year of high school you would not have had the pleasure and the honor of knowing the man who I will call my brother in law until the day I myself pass.

My parents, Dave’s in-laws, were moving to Boulder and I wanted to stay in Pennsylvania to finish my senior year in high school so I could graduate with my friends.

Dave went to my dad and told him let her stay with us then when she graduates we will drive her Boulder.  Myself, Dave, my sister and Deana Jo who was just a baby drove across country in Dave’s 1973 bright yellow jeep.

What a trip,  but we had a blast.

Deana Jo, you spent most of the time in the tiny back part of that jeep with Aunt Missy.

Dave loved it in Colorado hence the move to Boulder then later to Wyoming. Even though Dave and I had not had contact in a lot of years he always remained close to my heart.

My parents are buried in Apollo, Pennsylvania and to get there when I visit them at the cemetery I pass the road where all those years ago we started out on that long trip so Dave could fulfill his promise to my parents.

Growing up as a teenager and having Dave as my brother in law was like having another brother. He would always let me tag along for 4 wheeling, bow and arrow shooting, shooting the guns, sled riding, bowling all night on Fridays at Lee’s Lanes in Leechburg and he was always there after I got off work so I didnt have to walk home to where we lived.

All these years he has stayed in my heart and I will miss him but I also know that he is in heaven with my parents and when my time comes I’ll meet my brother in law and get to thank him for watching over me when my parents couldnt.

Rest in peace Dave.

Love, Missy – always your sister in law in my heart.

Web prayer

Our root,
Who art in UNIX
Hallowed be thy Shell.

Thy kernal come,
Thy commands be run.
@localhost as they are in iNet.

Give us this day our daily updates
And forgive us our four-oh-threes
As we forgive those who 403 against us.

And lead us not into segfaults
but deliver us from /dev/null

For thine is the Kernal, access and 1337ness

Forever and ever

EOF

Transcribed from here.

You may also enjoy this…

Jolly Copper

Preface

Listening to Randy Newman’s Jolly Coppers. Visualizing the lyrics. Thought of circus clown routines. Thought of clowns. Remembered my father was a Shriner clown in his later years. Remembered he was ‘Sherrif’ of the clowns (quite presitgious among the flappy-shoed).  Remembered this photo:

George Parker Wray 3/9/1928 - 5/21/2008

 

Jolly Copper, indeed.

Miss you dad.

Cheesehead hackers

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208.66.135.190 US UNITED STATES WISCONSIN MADISON 5NINES DATA LLC

Hm.

If anyone in the Madison, WI area knows the owner of 5 Nines, would you mind reminding them that the Department of Homeland Security really frowns on hackers?

Makes me really question their ‘technical specialist’s claim that they “…strive to make technology your trusted partner” – someone trying to hack my personal site’s password really makes me not trust someone. A lot.

My pal Deb Johnson

The Gifting

I send you roses.  And warm fuzzies.  And Cinderella’s horseshoe I have on my mantle.

I send you sunshine, and blue skies, and white puffy clouds that come in funny animal shapes.

I send you rainbows, and dewdrops, and the soft scent of rain;

the smell of freshly mown grass in the farmer’s field;

meadows of wild flowers; sheep, content.

I send you healing thoughts; your mother’s hands to hold you in warm embrace;

fresh loaves of homemade bread; sunflowers; and a night sky filled with stars.

I send you wind through pine trees whispering; the song of your sisters singing.

I send you your child’s first word; a purring kitten on your lap; fireflies dancing the dark;

and a garden, filled to overflowing, waiting for canning.

I send you a basket, woven of marsh grasses, lined in velvet,

full of wonder and love.

I send you butterflies and the 4th of July; rubies, and Christmas;

a circle of friends to hold you; and a seat by a warm fire.

For you, I light a candle.

I send you peace.

© June 1995 by D.W. Johnson


On a Thought Of Leaving Home and Coming Here

The next time I come (here)

I will go (this way)

I am always coming or going–

Coming to stillness; going out of chaos.

Coming from work; going home.

Coming from home; going to a friend’s house.

Coming from the grocery; going to the book shop.

It is the pattern of my life–

I am coming in; I am going out.

Breathing in; breathing out.

What is left from the wake of the wave.

So if I say, “I don’t know if I am coming or going”, what does it matter?

I am in step with what I am…

A part of it.

©  August 26, 2005 by D.W. Johnson

Sisters of Mercy

A wonderful plaint. Posting inspired by my friend George Seaton.

Burn bright George. Burn bright.

Sisters of Mercy

Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.
They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can’t go on.
And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me their song.
Oh I hope you run into them, you who’ve been travelling so long.

Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.
Well I’ve been where you’re hanging, I think I can see how you’re pinned:
When you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you’ve sinned.

They lay down beside me, I made my confession to them.
They touched both my eyes and I touched the dew on their hem.
If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.

When I left they were sleeping, I hope you run into them soon.
Don’t turn on the lights, you can read their address by the moon.
And you won’t make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night:
We weren’t lovers like that and besides it would still be all right,
We weren’t lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.

-Leonard Cohen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJQuwLZrusU

Bramble and the Rose

Thinking about all the loves I’ve had, how our lives twined around each other and how we changed each others path through life.

Here’s to all the wonderful and terrible moments, summed up in a traditional folk song by the Black Family (my favorite rendition) – go to the link and give it a listen.

Bramble and the Rose

Traditional. Arrangement The Black Family

We have been so close together
Each a candle and each a flame
All the dangers were outside us
And we knew them all by name

Chorus

See how the bramble and the rose intertwine
Love grows like the bramble and the rose
Often cruel and often kind

Now I’ve hurt you and it hurts me
Just to see what we can do
Give ourselves unto each other
Without ever meaning to

Chorus

Throw your loving arms around me
And sing for me a true love song
And the words sung together
I could sing them all night long

Chorus

See how the bramble and the rose intertwine
Love grows like the bramble and the rose
‘Round each other they will twine

Can be found on the album The Black Family.

Masterpiece

I’ve always believed that humor is where you find it – and you don’t have to look too hard.

Most of the advertising and packaging I’ve seen is so blissfully self-unaware that it self-lampoons with little or no help.

Case in point. Walking through the kitchen at work recently I saw this empty carton sitting on the counter waiting for its trip to the recycling bin:

Innocent enough

but on a whim I picked it up and saw this on the side:

Hm... what's this?

Here’s my thought process as my eyes homed in on the top:

"Morning Masterpiece" ? Oh, I think NOT.

“Morning Masterpiece”? What’s that brown stuff? Doesn’t look a thing like my ‘morning masterpiece’… and mine sure don’t come in pints… but it is kinda creamy… don’t think folks would want it in their coffee…

So to my coworker who was mystified as to my inexplicable laughter… now you know. Yes, it’s scatlogical, yes it’s puerile but it WAS a funny moment to me.

10 Simple Words

10 Simple Words Students (And Everyone) Screw Up

from EDUdemic

OMG U Guyz, Grammar among kidz the$e days be terribllle! So does speeling! There is a big problem unfolding around the world right now. Lucky for you, The Oatmeal has spelled it out, literally. The guy behind the hit comic strip has laid out the top 10 words everyone probably misspells. Hilarious stuff. Enjoy!

1 MeV

JEOL-1000 High Voltage Electron Microscope

One of my favorite places at the University of Colorado was the High Voltage Electron Microscope lab in the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology building.

I spent a lot of time there helping my father and the techinical team while in high school, then later when I worked at CU as a lab technician I ran a project that used the HVEM – full circle!

Sitting at its console, looking into the vacuum behind the viewport at the phosphor screen, my hands on the controls for the sample stage and the magnification I literally could see the unseen on the glowing surface. Being fully aware that there were million-volt x-rays bashing around just inches from my treasured brain, held back by inches-thick leaded glass and metal added to the thrill. The click of relays and the faint chugging of vacuum pumps mixed with the curls of vapor from the liquid-nitrogen oil trap completed the atmosphere of super-super-high-tech. And I was driving!! Hard to forget being at the controls of a building-size microscope.

Heady stuff for a young man very taken with science fiction – this was science fact! I’ll never forget the faint, high-pitched whistle the high-voltage system generated. I’m sure it still echoes in the walls even though the massive machine itself has been disassembled and gone for years now.