Category Archives: Life, etc.

Kaye Sillery Fissinger – 5/16/1944 — 5/18/2017

Kaye Sillery Fissinger – 5/16/44 – 5/18/17

I liked Kaye right from the start.

We met in 2008, while doing volunteer work. I knew right away she was a warrior – she had the Look and the Light. Faithful friend and indefatigable foe of Darkness. She was there for me through my joys and tragedies as I was for hers.

The proof that she was Good was obvious by how the forces of love prevailed when she was present. Our world is lessened by her loss – but I know she would exhort us to ‘work harder!’ and not to mourn her too long.

She is NOT gone – you need only look around and see our beautiful town, free of theocracy, safe from exploitation and unified for the future.

Thank you Kaye – as always, you’ve gone on ahead to prepare the way for us. We’ll see you at the ocean.

Love you friend.

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.

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!

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)

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).

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.

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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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Neighbor Sarah

Sarah A. Medina
August 20, 1942 – October 15, 2010

Sarah A. Medina, 68, of Longmont, died October 15, 2010 at Life Care Center of Longmont.

She was born on August 20, 1942 in Center, Colorado to Paul and Miquilita (Chavez) Maez.

Sarah married Andy Medina in Leadville, Colorado on October 27, 1961. They lived in Leadville until moving to Boulder in 1987, and to Longmont in 1990.

She was a nurse at St. Vincent General Hospital for 20 years. She then worked at Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Boulder and later at Frasier Meadows in Boulder. She retired in 2003.

Sarah was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, where she was a Stephen Minister. She was also a member of Catholic Daughters and Women of the Moose. Sarah enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading, watching Westerns on TV, sewing, cooking for her family on holidays, dancing and oldies.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter, Monica Rae and her siblings, Tony, Pauline, Leo, Jake, Bernie and Joe.

Sarah is survived by her husband, Andy Medina of Longmont; her son, Tony Medina (Roxann) of Leadville, Colorado; three daughters, Tina Lovato (Harvey) of Northglenn, Maria Medina and Andrea Medina, both of Longmont; four brothers, Robert Maez (Eloyda), Paul Maez (Nancy), Juan Maez (Sharon) and Richard Maez (Rosemary); a sister, Charlotte Padilla (Tony); sisters-in-law Burdell Maez and Sally Maez; five grandchildren, Paul (Jenny), Brandon, Jason, Christopher and Marissa; two great-grandchildren, Alana and Olivia and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation will be 5-8 PM with Vigil Service 7PM on Monday, October 18, 2010 at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 AM Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 323 Collyer Street. Cremation to follow services at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel and Crematory.

A second Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 AM on Wednesday October 20, 2010 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Leadville, Colorado. Inurnment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery in Leadville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Liver Foundation, 2100 S. Corona St. Denver, CO 80210.


Sarah Medina has been my neighbor on Bowen St. since I moved to Longmont. She and her husband Andy, as well as their daughters Maria and Andrea are like family to me. They were incredibly supportive when my wife Marilyn died and overjoyed when they met my new fiance Tammi.

Sarah’s struggle with liver issues was a long one – and her family stood with her staunchly. Andy showed me what a real husband was. He and his daughters did everything they could for Sarah to make her way easier.

God Bless them all. I know the pain you’re enduring and I know it’s only somewhat tempered by the realization that she’s walking without pain at our Savior’s side.

Rayode

I regularly see posts from a local here in Longmont touting the idea that we could all have nuclear reactors (yes, reactors) in our front yards – among other whacked-out concepts. Aside from this being an astoundingly bad idea just on general terms it begs the question of what sort of other stupidity Americans would attempt if we didn’t have careful regulation of radioactives.

This advertisement should tell you pretty graphically just how stupid we as a nation can be.

Courtesy of spuzzlightyear at LiveJournal

Read more scary stuff here – these were ‘doctors’ of the time .

Old dogs are the best dogs

From The Week (hat tip to Dave Trowbridge for posting it on Facebook)

Essay –  The last word: Why old dogs are the best dogs

They can be eccentric, slow afoot, even grouchy. But dogs live out their final days, says The Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten, with a humility and grace we all could learn from.
posted on October 17, 2008, at 4:47 AM

It’s a great article – here’s a few of the paragraphs that jumped out at me:

They can be eccentric, slow afoot, even grouchy. But dogs live out their final days, says The Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten, with a humility and grace we all could learn from.

Not long before his death, Harry and I headed out for a walk that proved eventful. He was nearly 13, old for a big dog. Walks were no longer the slap-happy Iditarods of his youth, frenzies of purposeless pulling in which we would cast madly off in all directions, fighting for command. Nor were they the exuberant archaeological expeditions of his middle years, when every other tree or hydrant or blade of grass held tantalizing secrets about his neighbors. In his old age, Harry had transformed his walk into a simple process of elimination—a dutiful, utilitarian, head-down trudge. When finished, he would shuffle home to his ratty old bed, which graced our living room because Harry could no longer ascend the stairs. On these walks, Harry seemed oblivious to his surroundings, absorbed in the arduous responsibility of placing foot before foot before foot before foot. But this time, on the edge of a small urban park, he stopped to watch something. A man was throwing a Frisbee to his dog. The dog, about Harry’s size, was tracking the flight expertly, as Harry had once done, anticipating hooks and slices by watching the pitch and roll and yaw of the disc, as Harry had done, then catching it with a joyful, punctuating leap, as Harry had once done, too.

Harry sat. For 10 minutes, he watched the fling and catch, fling and catch, his face contented, his eyes alight, his tail a-twitch. Our walk
home was almost … jaunty.

Now that is some fine writing.

What dogs do not have is an abstract sense of fear, or a feeling of injustice or entitlement. They do not see themselves, as we do, as tragic heroes, battling ceaselessly against the merciless onslaught of time. Unlike us, old dogs lack the audacity to mythologize their lives. You’ve got to love them for that.

The product of a Kansas puppy mill, Harry was sold to us as a yellow Labrador retriever. I suppose it was technically true, but only in the sense that Tic Tacs are technically “food.” Harry’s lineage was suspect. He wasn’t the square-headed, elegant type of Labrador you can envision in the wilds of Canada hunting for ducks. He was the shape of a baked potato, with the color and luster of an interoffice envelope. You could envision him in the wilds of suburban Toledo, hunting for nuggets of dried food in a carpet.

I just love the imagery and the humor.

In our dogs, we see ourselves. Dogs exhibit almost all of our emotions; if you think a dog cannot register envy or pity or pride or melancholia, you have never lived with one for any length of time. What dogs lack is our ability to dissimulate. They wear their emotions nakedly, and so, in watching them, we see ourselves as we would be if we were stripped of posture and pretense. Their innocence is enormously appealing. When we watch a dog progress from puppy­hood to old age, we are watching our own lives in microcosm. Our dogs become old, frail, crotchety, and vulnerable, just as Grandma did, just as we surely will, come the day. When we grieve for them, we grieve for ourselves.

A great read. Go read the whole thing, it’s worth every second.

Gaming no fun anymore

From those wonderful folks at Slashdot (News for Nerds. Stuff That Matters):

Frustration and Unhappiness In the Games Industry

Gamasutra’s Leigh Alexander recently wrote an editorial about the atmosphere of irritation and dissatisfaction that pervades all aspects of the video game industry. Developers are often overworked and unfulfilled, gamers have no qualms about voicing their disapproval (sometimes quite warranted, sometimes not), and the media, in trying to please both groups, often fails to satisfy either. Why is there so much strife in an industry ostensibly focused on having fun? From the article:

“More and more developer sources I talked to suggested that fatigue, hostility, being at odds with one’s employer and questioning one’s career course is frighteningly common in the game industry. That being the case, it seems natural that elements like emotional detachment, anxiety and a lack of fulfillment make their way, even subtly, into the products the industry creates and into the ecosystem around the industry and its audience. ‘Because of the secrecy and competition, a lot of development teams end up having a siege mentality — batten down the hatches and refuse to come up for air until the game’s done,’ says [an] anonymous developer. ‘Game development has a way of taking over your life, because there’s always more that can be done to improve perceived quality. I’ve seen a lot of divorces in my time in the game industry. I feel like it’s much greater than average, but I have no statistical evidence.'”

I think the problem is this simple: greed. The people running the companies aren’t in it to have fun – they’re in it to make money and live out their vicariously violent fantasies. Fun, craftsmanship and contribution to society are a far-distant second. It’s one of the reasons I don’t play video games – I don’t want to support a morally-bankrupt industry that causes people so much pain.

Thirst

In this vineyard
I have waited
parched of throat
despairing of kinship
hiding in the shadow

Comes a vintner now
eager and joyous
blessed by the light
unafraid of the dark
to lead me forth

Working as one
we prune away the dead
shore up the weak
and harvest together
the sweet fruit of life

When the wine is ready
bloody red and warm
fill the cups
brimming full
and raise them high

Let us toast this day
and vow between us
to always drink deep
until the cups are empty
or stricken from our lips

MDW 6/98
to Marilyn on our wedding day

Piece of the Sky

I often hear it said that parents ‘…would give their child the moon and the stars…’

My father did.

Piece of the Sky

I will never forget
late on a summer evening
deep in the humming heart of science
my father, master of machines
said “Come here,
I want to show you something.”

With careful hands
he took a small wooden box
from a locked cabinet
and opened it, carefully
so carefully,
like a priest.

Inside the box,
inside a glass jar,
perched on a wire,
was a stone
more a cinder, really.

Removing the glass
he plucked it free
and told me to hold out my hand.
“Be careful, don’t drop it” he ordered
as he placed it in my palm.

As I inspected this nondescript clinker
he said
matter of factly,
“That’s a piece of the moon.”
Just able to realize what it was
I goggled in awe
at the wonder of it.

Now, in the night
looking up at that gleaming coin
sliding through the clouds,
I realize what he gave me that night,
most precious of all,
respect.

MDW 7/98

Raise me up

You Raise Me Up

by Josh Groban

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

There is no life – no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

To all of you who have come to ‘sit awhile with me’ when it was the darkest, bless you. Your names are written in my deepest heart, not to be forgotten.

Stolen Car

Please help Charlie Fellenbaum find his car!

Craigslist posting with photos

STOLEN – Green 1998 Acura Integra GS-R 4-door

Last night (Wednesday June 9) someone stole from my driveway in Central East Longmont my great car.

If you have any information about this car, phone the Longmont Police Department, 303-651-8501, or write me directly.

Body was almost perfect except for a small scrape on left rear quarter panel near tail light.

Factory green-blue paint.

  • Konig Helium wheels, silver (photo below is old, shows factory Blades, no Thule rack yet)
  • Thule roof rack with Yellow RockyMounts bicycle carrier and Thule wind deflector.
  • BF Goodrich g-Force Super Sport tires, nearly new.
  • KYB shocks.
  • Reese trailer hitch, no ball.
  • A little over 85,000 miles on the odometer.
  • VIN # JH4DB8587WS000467

Location: Longmont

Young brain again

Seen at Slashdot:

German neuroscientists made a breakthrough in ‘age-related cognitive decline’, a common condition that often begins in one’s late 40s (especially declarative memory — the ability to recall facts and experiences). Their new study identifies a genetic ‘switch’ for the cluster of learning and memory genes that cause memory impairment in aging mice. By injecting an enzyme, the team ‘flipped’ the switch to its on position for older mice, giving them the memory and learning performance they’d enjoyed when they were young. Now the team ultimately hopes to recover seemingly lost long-term memory in human patients.” The video, which explains the gene flipping mechanism, is worth a watch (2:18).