Category Archives: News

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.

Service for Major Lee

Note: all images click to enlarge – click ‘x’ in top right corner to close.

IMG_1538B&W
Major Lee and his human Anthony Lee

May 1998 –– 17 August 2013

Memorial service: 2:00, Sunday 6 October 2013

Chapel of the Holy Family, St John’s Episcopal Church

1419 Pine Street, Boulder, Colorado

Major Lee
Major Lee

When I started working on this service, I was using as a guide the service I put together for Rumple in November 2003, which had been compiled mostly from resources furnished by the Franciscans because at that time the Episcopalians were somewhat slow in their development of such resources.  In the intervening ten years, I am pleased to say, the Episcopalians have caught up with and in some sense passed the Franciscans in this regard; some of the Franciscan material is now devoted rather specifically to St Francis himself and not to animals as such.  Thus, this service is a patchwork of quotes or ideas borrowed from the Franciscans, from a liturgy created by an Episcopal priest in Georgia, from an “authorized rite” from the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, and from the BCP.  I will preface it with an observation from the Franciscans which is not quite a prayer and is therefore rather difficult to fit into the liturgy:

The animals of God’s creation inhabit the skies, the earth, and the sea.  They share in the fortunes of human existence and have a part in human life.  God, who confers his gifts on all living things, has often used the service of animals or made them symbolic reminders of the gifts of salvation.  Animals were saved from the Flood and afterwards made a part of the covenant with Noah.  The Paschal Lamb brings to mind the Passover sacrifice and the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt; a giant fish saved Noah, and ravens brought bread to Elijah.  Animals were included in the repentance enjoined on humans, and animals share in Christ’s redemption of all God’s creation.

We therefore thank God for blessing us with the companionship of animals in this life, and trust that in his mercy and wisdom  he will bring them as well as us to that place where we may together praise and glorify him throughout all ages.

Memorial service for Major Lee

Officiant

None of us has life in himself,
and none of us becomes his own master when he dies.
For if we have life, we are alive in the Lord,
and if we die, we die in the Lord.
So, then, whether we live or die,
We are the Lord’s possession.

Book of Common Prayer 491

Hymn #645 St Columba

  1. The King of love my shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never;
    I nothing lack if I am his, and he is mine for ever.
  2. Where streams of living water flow, my ransomed soul he leadeth.
    And where the verdant pastures grow, with food celestial feedeth.
  3. Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, but yet in love he sought me,
    And on his shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me.
  4. In death’s dark vale I fear no ill with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
    Thy rod and staff my comfort still, thy cross before to guide me.
  5. Thou spread’st a table in my sight; thy unction grace bestoweth;
    And oh, what transport of delight from thy pure chalice floweth.
  6. And so, through all the length of days, thy goodness faileth never;
    Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise within the house for ever,

Paraphrase of Psalm 23 by Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877)

Collect for the Feast of St Francis

 Major Lee
Major Lee

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord: Grant unto your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of the world; that, following the example of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Reader    A reading from the twelfth chapter of the Book of Job.

7 Ask of the animals, and they will teach you;

the birds of the air, and they will tell you.

  Ask the plants of the earth. and they will teach you;

and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

  Who amongst all these does not know

that the hand of the LORD has done this?

  In his hand is the life if every living thing

and the breath of every human being.

  The word of the Lord.

People    Thanks be to God.

Canticle 12 – A Song of Creation (Benedicite, omnia opera Domini) Book of Common Prayer 89, alt.

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *

  praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills, and all that grows upon the earth, *

  praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas and streams, *

  O whales and all that move in the waters,

All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *

  praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *

  and all you flocks and herds [and all you dogs and cats],

O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *

  praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Reader    A reading from Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome, in the eighth chapter.

19   The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

  The word of the Lord.

People    Thanks be to God.

Prayer of St Francis (“Make me a channel of your peace”)

Celebrant  The Holy Gospel of our  Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

People    Glory to you, Lord Christ.

14:1   Jesus said: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”

  The Gospel of the Lord.

People    Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Homily – Rev. Susan Springer

Offertory – “To Canaan’s land I’m on my way” – Cara McMillan & Tony Lee

  “What wondrous love is this” (v. 2 by McMillan; congregation join in on #439, v. 3)

Prayers of the People   Standing Commission on Liturgy & Music

O God, your blessed Son, Jesus, told us that not even one tiny sparrow is forgotten in your sight.  Strengthen our confidence in your love for all your creatures; in your goodness,

  Blessed Creator, hear our prayer.

Loving God, you brought this beloved animal into the life of Tony and all his friends, to share kindness, joy, and faithful companionship.  Receive our thanks and praise for the community between your animals and your people, and all the ways in which we bless each other’s lives; in your goodness,

  Blessed Creator, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, you have given us the blessing and responsibility of caring for animals.  If in any way   we have failed in that responsibility, we ask for your pardon and trust in your mercy; in your goodness,

  Blessed Creator, hear our prayer.

Various readers      

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, we remember before you today our brother Major.  We thank you for giving him to us, his family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage.

May the love and faith and loyalty and trust he showed for us in his life be to us an example of the love and faith and loyalty and trust that we may show for you.  In your compassion, console us who mourn.  Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are united with those of all species who have gone before; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. BCP 493, alt.

Almighty God, with whom live the spirits of your creatures who die innocent of sin as well as those who die in the Lord: We give you hearty thanks for the good example of your servant Major, who, having finished his life in peace, now finds rest and refreshment.  May we, with all who have died in harmony with your ways, have perfect fulfillment and bliss in your eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.   BCP 503, alt.

God of grace and glory, we remember before you today our beloved companion Major.  We thank you for giving him to us to be a source of abundant love, affection, and joy.  In your compassion, comfort us who grieve.  Give us faith to commit this beloved creature of your own making to your care, for you live and reign for ever and ever.  Amen.    Standing Commission on Liturgy & Music

Almighty God, your Son taught us that though five sparrows could be bought for two pennies, they are not forgotten before you.  We thank you for Major, and for the companionship he offered to Tony and many others.  And we thank you for all the pets who share our homes and our lives.  We ask for comfort for this community in their loss, knowing that you grieve with them, for you care for all of your creation as you care for us.  May we live more peacefully because of today, and come at last, in the fellowship of all your people, to the heaven where we long to be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

   Rev. Frank Logue, King of Peace Episcopal Church

Eucharistic Prayer C – BCP 369

The Lord’s Prayer – BCP 364

Communion – “Into paradise may the angels lead you” (Hymn #354) – Pick-up choir

Closing prayer Standing Commission on Liturgy & Music

God of creation, through your great mercy you renew us:

Send us now back to the love and labor of this day

with joy and compassion in our hearts;

Through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

Officiant

All life is interwoven.

People    All life is a gift from God.

Officiant Let us bless the Lord.

People    Thanks be to God.

Hymn #400 Lasst uns erfreuen

1 All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voices, let us sing:

  Alleluia, alleluia!

  Bright burning sun with golden beams, pale silver moon that gently gleams,

  Refrain   O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

2 Great rushing winds and breezes soft, you clouds that ride the heavens aloft,

  O praise him, Alleluia!

  Fair rising morn, with praise rejoice; stars, nightly shining, find a voice: Refrain

3 Swift flowing water, pure and clear, make music for your Lord to hear:

  Alleluia, alleluia!

  Fire, so intense and fiercely bright, you give to us both warmth and light. Refrain

4 Dear mother Earth, you day by day unfold your blessings on our way;

  O praise him, Alleluia!

  All flowers and fruits than in you grow, let them his glory also show: Refrain

5 All you with mercy in your heart, forgiving others, take your part;

  O sing now: Alleluia!

  All you that pain and sorrow bear, praise God, and cast on him your care: Refrain

6 And even you, most gentle death, waiting to hush our final breath,

  O praise him, Alleluia!

  You lead back home the child of God, for Christ our Lord that way has trod. Refrain

7 Let all things their creator bless, and worship him in humbleness;

  O praise him, Alleluia!

  Praise God the Father, God the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One: Refrain

St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226); tr. William H. Draper, alt.

 

A wake will follow immediately at the home of Charlie & Kathe Lujan, 1999 Clipper Drive, Lafayette; follow others to get there, or ask them for directions.  (Dog-owners, note that they don’t have a fenced yard.  Cat-allergists, note that they do have cats.)

Memorial donations may be sent to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, or to VCA All Pets Animal Hospital, 805 S. Public Road, Lafayette 80026.

If I have any belief about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.

– James Thurber

 Major Lee
Major Lee
all photos: Taryn Taylor, 6 August 2013

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.

Claire Helwege Sidle – May 27, 1922 — January 8, 2012

Claire Helwege Sidle May 27, 1922 -- January 8, 2012
Claire Helwege Sidle May 27, 1922 — January 8, 2012

When you are sorrowful look again in
your heart, and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been
your delight.
– Kahlil Gibran

~ Program ~
Music for gathering ~ Carolyn Kuban, George Banks
Opening Words ~ Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry
Meditation from Thaïs (Jules Massenet)
Annamarie Koracson, David Greene
Reflections on Claire ~ Lydia Ferrante-
Roseberry
Oblivion (Astor Piazolla)
Peter Ewing, Margaret Smith, David Greene
Jewel Lake (Bill Douglas)
Bruce Orr, Marcia Pasquer
Andante from Suite #2 (Max Reger)
Adwyn Lim on viola that Claire created
Reflections on Claire ~ Lydia Ferrante-
Roseberry
Sonata for clarinet and piano, op. 167 Mvmt #3
(Camille Saint-Saens)
Mary Jungerman, Marcia Pasquer
Roumanian Folk Dance #4 (Bela Bartok)
Annamarie Karacson, David Greene
Sharing
I’ll Fly Away (Albert E. Brumley)
John Sidle
Closing Words ~ Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry
Music to be announced
Reception

Donations may be made to the Colorado Music Festival,
900 Baseline Rd. Boulder, CO 80302. There is also a box in
the back for this purpose.

I love you Mom

xx ooo


Claire Helwege Sidle Memorial

February 4, 2012

 

Music for gathering  Carolyn Kuban, George

Banks

 

Opening Words

 

We are gathered here this afternoon to honor the life of Claire Helwege Sidle, a friend, mother, grandmother, musician, artist, and lover of life.

We gather because we need to be together in a time like this.

Setting aside this sacred time to be together – to be in the physical company of each other’s love provides a reminder to us all that the journey through grief and recovery from this loss need not happen alone.  It is good to be together.

Though we gather in sadness at this loss, a justified sadness that will linger, let this also be a time for affirming the kind of person Claire was – smart, curious, talented, loving and generous.  And it is those parts of her spirit that drew us to her, and will remain with us now.
Each of you had different relationships with Claire.  Each of you will experience this loss in your own way.  Each of you will grieve this loss, and grieve you must. But you will also, over time, appreciate how memories, stories, perhaps a gesture or word you hear yourself saying, will remind you of Claire’s influence on your life.  This is the gift of immortality.

Today we are called not only to honor death, but also to affirm life – to affirm that your lives will continue, even in the face of the mystery of death.

Let this, then, be a time for sharing sorrow, yes, but also a time of lifting up the beauty of a life well-lived, and celebrating the many gifts that Claire has left, gifts that transcend even death.

And so it is that we have come together.

Because we need each other in empathy and consolation,

And because we need one another in courage and wisdom

To face this loss

To celebrate this life

And to show our love and support for those who knew Claire best, and loved her the most.

I light this chalice in honor of Claire, who found this beautiful vessel in the Southwest and created the base for it on behalf of this Fellowship.

Meditation from Tha’|’s (jules Massenet)  Annamarie Koracson, David Greene

Reflections on Claire  (Claire’s personal life –- via stories from Janet) Lydia Ferrante-

Roseberry

Claire’s life was full of stories, friends and music.  We are breaking up the remembrances of her life into two parts, including a time for sharing, and allowing for the music that she so loved to be interspersed.

Claire’s daughter, Janet, provided me with some of her remembrances, which I’ll be including in my course of my reflections.  I begin with Janet’s sketch of Claire’s life:

Claire Eleanor Helwege was born in Niagra Falls, NY May 27, 1922. She was an only child. Her parents, Walter and Martha Helwege, whom some of you might remember, moved a lot while she was growing up between Lansing, Madison and Milwaukee, WI and St. Louis.

In a letter to Rev. Catharine Harris, Claire wrote that she was inordinately close to her father, from whom her love of music and the arts derives.  In his later years, she wrote, he used to tell her, “Nobody or nothing makes you mad.  If you decide to be mad about something, it’s your choice.” She adopted that attitude, confessing that she didn’t always succeed.

Claire went to 7 different schools in her junior and high school years. She was on the swim team and played violin and viola in the orchestras.
Claire went to college in Los Angeles at UCLA, and ended up in Washington, DC, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Georgetown University.

Her degree got her a job at the Edison Company, where she was a lighting designer and taught people how to light their kitchens and homes. She later used her knowledge when she designed the house she and Bill and Janet lived in, by using direct and indirect lighting in ways that were functional and also soothing to the eye.
Later, during WWII, she was a draftsman and wrote and illustrated the directions on how to build bombs (!). You can see some examples of her work in the displays and in the photo assembly.

Claire met Bill Sidle in Washington, DC and they were married in September of 1955.  Janet was born two years later. They had been married almost 46 years when Bill passed away in 2001.   Claire remained in the home that they built until she died, on January 8th of this year.

I share with you now some of Janet’s personal reflections about her mom:

I always thought my mother was amazing. She astounded me. She could do anything.
When I was young in the 60’s, she joined the Boulder Potter’s Guild and produced a plethora of pots, from vases to casserole dishes, coffee cups, to platters.
I also have memories of going to the Artists Series Concerts at Macky Auditorium every Tuesday night – EVERY Tuesday night!

I would sit on the floor and color in my coloring book on the seat and ask questions in my little high-pitched voice. I remember my mother smiling down at me from her seat with her finger to her lips, “shhhh”.  I could only talk during clapping.
When I was in high school, my mom was the “cool Mom”. Our house became the place for all my friends to come over and we all “lived” in the basement where we played Rock and Roll music, did our homework, and just relaxed after school. Our house was the place to be and she was so accommodating to all my friends that everybody called her “Mom”.
And when I was 18 and crazy and I wanted to hitchhike and hop trains to CA, she came up with idea that I should go on a REAL adventure, to Israel, and volunteer on a kibbutz. So my boyfriend and I went. And it opened up the world to me – and I thank her so much for that.

It also opened up the world to Mom and Dad. They hadn’t done much traveling before. My dad wasn’t really interested before that. But they went to Israel to visit us and also to visit the Levron’s , their Israeli friends who had spent some time here at the University.
Next thing I know, I’m in Oregon at University and she’s found a radical college for me to go to, where I can travel the world and get college credit. So I went.

I ended up in Kenya and lived there for a year and Mom and Dad again came to visit. I think all her ideas for me were actually to get my dad out of the country and give them an excuse to travel!
Then they really did travel the world: besides Israel and Kenya, they explored Alaska, Canada, Iceland, China, India, New Zealand, South America, Russia, down the Danube, and the fiords of Norway.
Mom’s last trip was in 2005, when she went to Costa Rica with her companion, Rita Cray, to visit me and my son Ian, who were spending the summer there. They saw the volcanoes, and stayed on the beach in tent-huts. Mom really enjoyed the trip.

Claire was proud of Janet’s son Ian for his accomplishments in school and his amazing gymnastic ability, which she saw several times on video.  She was always interested in what he was up to — always asked about him.

Claire was funny and spirited. She lived with a twinkle in her eye.  As an example, Janet recalls how her mom and her dad invented a word:

PRUB: When someone flatulated, instead of using the usual words we all know, we used the word PRUB, which is BURP spelled backwards!

She didn’t do anything “ok” or “half-way” – she was a perfectionist, so if it had her name attached to it, it became “precision art”. She could fix anything in the house, and often did, everything from a leaky toilet to sealing the deck.

Claire spent nights in the basement at her sewing machine until 3am, forgetting to eat or sleep;
She could do anything with her hands.

She even made her own viola, which will be played as the last piece in the following musical selections.

Music

Oblivion (Astor Piazolla)  Peter Ewing, Margaret Smith, David Greene

jewel Lake (Bill Douglas)  Bruce Orr, Marcia Pasquer

Andante from Suite #2 (Max Reger)

Adwyn Lim on viola that Claire created

Reflections on Claire  (public life – music, organizations, Fellowship) Lydia Ferrante-

Roseberry

Claire was very well connected here in Boulder, as is attested to by this turn-out today after the biggest storm of the season.

Janet recalls:
I remember there was hardly ever a time when we were out in Boulder together that we didn’t run into someone Mom knew. Everywhere we went we ran into someone she knew: concerts, the grocery store, the Middle Eastern restaurant….

Mom was a member of the BCIV, Boulder Community for International Visitors. One of her favorite stories was when we hosted a young priest from Spain for several months, Miguel de Lorenta, whose English was not quite perfect. One evening at dinner, after he had cleaned his plate, Mom asked if he would like more, and he said, “No, thank you, I’m all fed up”. (!)

Her connections to Boulder were largely through music: Columbine, Colorado Music Festival, Tacaks.

She was also a member of this Fellowship from its early years, joining in 1981.  She cared passionately about this group and nurtured its growth and development. She was on the search committee that eventually found this building in 2004.  And, as I mentioned before, Claire made this chalice we light every week.

It was Claire who suggested to Rev. Catharine Harris, the Fellowship’s former minister that Marcia Pasquer be considered as music coordinator for the Fellowship.  Marcia did become the music director and, with Claire’s help built a fine music program here at the Fellowship.

Marcia wrote this about Claire’s support:

She was supportive and helpful as I learned the in’s and out’s of the job.  Her vast knowledge of music and the musical tastes of the Fellowship congregants often saved me from getting into hot water!

She was always very interested in the choice of musical selections for each service, making sure that they were appropriate to the service theme and the enhancement of the message. Especially in the beginning years, I often shared my ideas with her and was appreciative of her suggestions.  She introduced me to many fine musicians and loved hearing us play for her in her home.  She was a good listener and often had sound advice.  The musicians, themselves, enjoyed the opportunity to “rehearse” for an appreciative audience!  We still recall fond memories of playing for Claire!

She also helped me struggle to “build” a choir.  For the handful of folks who were willing to give it a try, she offered her home as a “rehearsal room”!  Many years went by before we were finally able to make something “stick”, but Claire was never one to give up and was always there when I needed a slice of her courage.  She made a solid and wonderful dent in my life and will always be sitting on my shoulder.

Marcia was also part of a group formed by Claire that included Peter Ewing, Margaret Smith, Lindsey Calhoun, Greg Merrill. They would get together every Monday night at Claire’s house to play trios, quartets, quintets, depending on how many players they had. It was a standing event, every Monday night, with coffee or wine, dessert and conversation afterwards. Even when Claire could no longer play viola, the friends came to play at her house so she could listen and still be a part of the group.

And so we continue with music in honor of Claire.

MUSIC

Sonata for clarinet and piano, op. 167 Mvmt #3

(Camille Saint-Saens)  Mary Jungerman, Marcia Pasquer

Roumanian Folk Dance #4 (Bela Bartok)  Annamarie Karacson, David Greene

Sharing

It is in the sharing of memories that lives become immortal. I’ve shared some of the stories I’ve heard about Claire over the years, stories from Janet and some Fellowship memories.

Now it is time for you to share your stories as well.  If you would like to speak, please come forward to the microphone here below the pulpit.

(Sharing)

These are the stories of a life well lived, a life woven with joy and sadness, a life committed to both family and the community at large.

It is through these stories that Claire’s legacy lives on.

I’ll Fly Away  (Brumley)

John Sidle

Closing Words   ~ Lydia Ferrante-

Roseberry

Undergirding the loss is a deep sense of gratitude, for the beauty of Claire’s life, and the circle of people who have been connected to her these many years.

Janet has been filled with gratitude amidst the sadness of losing her mother.  She asked me to share some of it with you:

Janet is grateful to her workplace that for the last 2 ⅕ years, graciously allowed her to work every Thursday on her computer from her Mom’s dining room table, so that she was able to spend both Thursdays and Sundays with her mom for many years, watching old movies together while Janet worked, or just enjoying the time together.

Janet offers these other gratitude’s:

THANK YOUS:
All of Claire’s musician friends who came to play for her: Malena Boratgis, Carolyn Kuban, Peter Ewing, David Greene, Gigi Boratgis, Margaret Smith, Virginia  ???, and everyone she may have missed!

Emily & Ross Jacobson, Isabel Echenique,  her neighbors who always kept a good watch on the comings and goings in the house and who stopped by to visit and were always there to help out;

Malena Boratgis, who came and stayed with her many nights, keeping each other company, and who stopped by several times a week, just to say “hi”;

Oshala’s group of caregivers, who were there at the beginning of the caregiving and dealt with Mom firing someone every few weeks; I think she fired about 20 people in all!

Alice Mosdell, who was willing to go out to the garage with Mom and help paint the scratches in the bumper of the car with a Q-Tip;

Vikky Krapu, who spent hours with her looking at slides my dad took from all over the world and reminiscing about their trips;

Brooke Biglow, who helped her stay young and interested with new books and movies and was there ‘til the end;

Pam Aamodt, who really understood what was going on with Mom, could handle her ups and downs, and has helped me maintain my sanity for the past couple of years;

Clay Finch, Pam’s husband (but we call him Mom’s boyfriend) whom she was very fond of and who often kept her company and could always make her laugh;

And Rita Cray. Who stuck it out for 11 years, paid Mom’s bills, got her taxes ready, kept track of everything from medication to doctor’s visits to whatever needed to be done, repaired her house, repotted plants, and treated it like it was her own home and her own mother. One of the most important things I’ll always remember was, when Mom and I were clashing about how things should be done, Rita said, “When that happens to us, I always try to remember that it’s not about me, it’s about her”.  When she said that, I was able to let go of my Ego and let be. That wisdom was one of the things that allowed my Mom and me to enjoy our last few years together.

Also, thanks to Boulder Hospice: Tyyne, Amy, and Peggy for helping keep her comfortable and keep her dignity in the days before she passed on.

Claire had a thing about turtles and collected them from all over the world. Her collection of turtles and her pottery are out in the foyer. Janet invites you to take a turtle or a piece of pottery to help keep her in your heart. This way her memory will be dispersed among those that admired and loved her. So please feel free to take the one that speaks to you.

Amidst the gratitude, is also the sorrow saying good-bye to the person of Claire Helwege Sidle, but not her spirit, nor her accomplishments. Those live on in our lives and are passed on through the generations.

And, now, as we prepare to end our formal time together, let us remember again those for whom this loss is greatest:  for Janet Thomas, Claire’s daughter, her son Ian, and all the close friends and family gathered here today.

May they be granted the strength they need to bear the loss, the wisdom to find deeper meaning and understanding of life through the lens of this death, and thanksgiving for Claire’s life, which touched them each dearly in its own way.

May both forgiveness and acceptance lead them to Peace.

May you all go in peace and be gentle with yourselves, taking from and giving to one another — as you need and are able – the gifts of courage, wisdom, and gratitude for all that is our life.

Blessed be and Amen.

Music to be announced

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.

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.

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

Steve Austin Lives

Solar Powered Augmented Reality Contact Lenses
ByronScott writes “Want eyesight that could put your neighborhood cyborg to shame? Well, University of Washington professor Babak Amir Parviz and his students are working on solar powered contact lenses embedded with hundreds of semitransparent LEDs, letting wearers experience augmented reality right through their eyes. If their research proves successful, the applications — from health monitoring to gameplay to just plain bionic sight -could be endless.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Criticism now ‘attack’

I find this terrifically funny in light of this.

I’d comment further but feel there’s no need to – the silence of Lunaticmont speaks profoundly.

The conservatives are terrified of being likened to… *gasp* {{shudder}} …Boulder.

Horror

But this comment on the Times-Call says it all I think:

Civil Liberties and Freedom of Speech! I know who I won’t be voting for this coming election.
Longmont, 7/24/2009 10:04 AM

Hepatic Fatty Metamorphosis

My first wife Priscilla was a hard drinker. It trashed our first marriage after two attempts at rehab – she just couldn’t give it up. Brilliant woman, Radcliffe cum laude English scholar. I can still remember how she would sit reading or writing in an endless journal, smoking and drinking beer after beer with occasional breaks for hits on a fifth of gin. She ate little and when we parted she was under 110 lbs and losing steadily.

I haven’t heard from her in years and if this is how she may meet her end I hope she’s found help. It sounds horriffic all around.

This text is a direct transcription from this PDF:

Alcohol-Related Sudden Death with Hepatic Fatty Metamorphosis: A Comprehensive Clinicopathological Inquiry into its Pathogenesis

Abstract – To clarify the pathogenesis of the widely-known but obscure symptom of sudden death with hepatic fatty metamorphosis observed in alcohol abusers, we have scrutinized both the clinical and pathological data of 11 subjects who died under such circumstances between 1987 and 1993. Death followed several days of uninterrupted drinking often with little dietary intake. The notable clinical features on arrival at the emergency room were disturbance of consciousness (11/11), hypotension (4/6), hypothermia (3/5), hypoglycemia (8/11), metabolic acidosis (6/6), renal dysfunction (11/11), and hyperammonaemia (5/5). The common hepatic pathology was the extensive appearance of numerous microvesicular fatty droplets in the hepatocytes together with varying degrees of macrovesicular fatty change; four subjects had an underlying cirrhosis. Death undoubtedly results from a variety of metabolic disturbances triggered by the combination of massive ethanol intake and starvation. The appearance of extensive microvesicular fatty change superimposed on macrovesicular fatty change was considered to be an associated phenomenon.

http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/6/745.full.pdf

It’s also referred to as liver fatty metamorphosis.

Day of Reckoning

Democratic Senator: GOP on Desperate Mission of Propaganda, Obstruction and Fear

By Sheldon Whitehouse, AlterNet. Posted December 21, 2009.

In his Senate floor speech on the health-care bill, the Rhode Island senator accused the GOP of fomenting the kind of paranoia that led to Kristallnacht and lynchings.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This floor speech was delivered by the junior senator from Rhode Island yesterday, as the Senate remained in session to debate the health-care bill before a procedural vote that will bring the bill to the Senate floor later this week. References to “Madam President” or “Mr. President” refer to the senator who is presiding over the body at the time of the senator’s comments. When Whitehouse began speaking, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., was presiding; when he finished up, it was one of the male senators wielding the gavel. Transcription and links added by AlterNet.

Madam President, as we are here in the Senate today, Washington rests under a blanket of snow, reminding us here of the Christmas spirit across the nation — the spirit that is bringing families happily together for the holidays. Unfortunately, a different spirit has descended on this Senate. The spirit that has descended on the Senate is one described by Chief Justice John Marshall back in the Burr trial: “those malignant and vindictive passions which rage in the bosoms of contending parties struggling for power.”

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Hofstadter captured some examples in his famous essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.”

The “malignant and vindictive passions” often arise, he points out, when an aggrieved minority believes that “America has been largely taken away from them and their kind. Though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.” Does that sound familiar, Madam President, in this health-care debate? Forty years ago he wrote that.

Hofstader continued, those aggrieved fear what he described as “the now-familiar sustained conspiracy” — familiar then, 40 years ago; persistent now — “whose supposed purpose,” Hofstadter described, “is to undermine free capitalism, to bring the economy under the direction of the federal government, and to pave the way for socialism.” Again, familiar words here today.

More than 50 years ago, he wrote of the dangers of an aggrieved right-wing minority with the power to create what he called “a political climate in which the rational pursuit of our well-being and safety would become impossible.”

A political environment “in which the rational pursuit of our well-being and safety would become impossible.”

The malignant and vindictive passions that have descended on the Senate are busily creating just such a political climate. Far from appealing to the better angels of our nature, too many colleagues are embarked on a desperate, no-holds-barred mission of propaganda, falsehood, obstruction and fear.

Read the rest at Alternet.

Others declare me a guru

This is truly funny and sweet. Just recently someone using a pseudonymous sockpuppet to mock me said I was a self-proclaimed guru. It was a direct slam against the text on my about page. I ignored it because it was clear they simply didn’t read the whole page.

Then, today, one of my students and a local journalist, Bob Wells writes an article about two other WordPress experts and I!

WordPress gurus speak

Thanks Bob! You da man.

Go give the Boulder Reporter a lookee see!

I can only vaguely express my joy

IBM orders MS Office out of the building.

IBM Throws Out Microsoft Office

Sep 12, 2009

360,000 IBM workers have been told to stop using Microsoft Office and switch to the Open Office-based software Symphony.

Quoting an inside source, the German economic newspaper, “Handelsblatt” reports that staff at IBM have been given ten days to change to Symphony, IBM’s in-house Lotus software. The use of Microsoft Office will in future require managerial approval. With immediate affect, the Open Document Format (ODF) will rule at IBM with the file ending .doc soon belonging to the past.

My pal Jerry

Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith

My pal Jerry Goldsmith got interviewed on CNN recently – he was applying for a dealer job in Golden, CO.

Jerry and I worked together at StorageTek, then got outsourced/hired by EDS, then laid off.

This is the face of America – smart, honest, hard-working people who have given their lives to businesses and then got thrown aside when the corpocrats saw a chance to make a quick buck with overseas outsourcing. Companies like EDS aided and abetted it.

Lucky for Jerry he’s smart and has a lot of drive, he’ll find work and ultimately come out on top. I just wonder how many of my coworkers at StorageTek are still out of work.

RIAA still slimy

(From a friend with inside experience in the music publishing business and extensive computer networking background, I trust his opinion implicitly.)

RIAA and BSAS favorite lawyers taking top DOJ posts (from Gizmodo)

I am not sure why the DOJ is packed with a bunch of corporate loving lawyers that like to sue people and business. I do not think these jerks can serve the public best because they have a perceived conflict of interest in preserving what they have been advocating. In the RIAA’s eyes, all people that use peer-2-peer technology, of which one use is file sharing, are criminals to be sued.

They want to shut down the first next generation computer communication model since client-server. I do not advocate pirating music, but I have an issue with an organization that sets up a dragnet and abuses our judicial system for their gain when the legal theories being used are questionable (i.e. making available for distribution argument is equal to illegal distribution).

By the way, you do not upload anything to a P2P network, you share a directory on your local machine. So, by having the software they are targeting and a shared directory that contains music might make you a target if they can illegally access your machine.

Currently, the RIAA is making deals with ISPs to police your connection to the Internet. Do you like spying on your communications by non-governmental entities? Do you believe you should be able to download music from the Internet you already own with a end user copyright? Do you think entities like ISPs should self-deputize in order to fulfill the RIAA’s version of justice? The RIAA wants ISPs to shutoff your broadband pipe if they believe you are pirating music. Where is the due process?

The BSA is a front group for Microsoft among other IT companies like IBM, Sun, HP, etc. Essentially, the BSA tries to encourage people to tattle on people if they are using pirated software or try to influence governmental policy either to enforce copyright or entrench MS in government. I am not an advocate of pirating software, but setting up a gestapo-esque atmosphere raises my hackles.

Have you heard of Sen. Orrin Hatch a BSA cyber champion. He proposed a “kill switch” for your computer if you were pirating software. Even more importantly, though, the BSA is used to fight governments considering moving off of MS technology to open source software like Linux and ODF (Open document format). ODF does not imply a move off of MS technology, but it is in MS’ interest to keep all government business in their format.

Why should government keep taxing people to pay for MS licenses that use a format that restricts non-MS applications access to public documents? The non-MS applications have to use a plug-in that can cost a royalty fee. By the way, MS Office can read/write ODF docs with no added expense for a plug-in. I feel strongly about these issues. Nevertheless, I can see that there is a conflict of interest with these individuals with regards to doing what is best for the public versus what is best for copyright holders. I already wrote the White House to let them know that this is “change I can’t believe in.” I urge you to do the same. Right now.

Little Thompson Observatory News – 1/16/09

Little Thompson ObservatoryFriday 16 January 2009  7:00 – 11:00 PM

Public Star Night at the Little Thompson Observatory

850 Spartan Ave at Berthoud High School

(park east of the high school; directions are posted on our website, www.starkids.org)

Our guest speaker for Friday January 16, 2009 is Bryan White, known from past years for his great 3-D comet slide show as well as an out of this world Aurora Borealis show. Bryan White will be showing slides that are “old” pictures of Hyakutake, Hale-Bopp, and the occultation of Saturn by the Moon and of course, select Aurora pictures from 2002, 2004, and 2006.  He thought it would be interesting for people to see that there is still outstanding Aurora in Yellowknife during the solar minimum.  The total show will take just over 1 hour.  Bryan also has a surprise in store for us. But he promises it will be spectacular.

Little Thompson Observatory Aurora 1Bryan has visited Yellowknife in the Northern Territories several times over the last few years and has taken some incredible pictures of this natural phenomenon. If you still remember his great 3-D comets slide shows he gave the past couple of years at LTO, than you know this one will be very exciting.

Little Thompson Observatory Aurora 2Bryan has been interested in Astronomy since 1957 when he had just moved to a farm in rural Michigan. One summer evening he went outside shortly after sunset and observed a bright naked eye comet just over the tree line. It was Comet Mrkos that had just been discovered. That stimulated his interest in Astronomy and he has been studying it ever since. Bryan began taking astro-photos in 1985 when Halley’s made its visit. He noticed, that his favorite photos were where the Comet included trees, mountains, etc. that gave the comet a sense of scale plus made the image more interesting. Then in 1996 during the Winter Star Party, he was planning a trip for Hale-Bopp when it was announced that Hyakutake was discovered. While relaxing on the beach he remembered his grandfather’s old stereoscope. Bryan mused, why couldn’t he take 3-D pictures of the upcoming Comets? He went out and bought another camera and a bar that held the two some distance apart and started taking 3-D images of Hyakutake. By the time Hale-Bopp came he had the technique down. From that experience, which left him with over 1200 Hale-Bopp comet slides, he has developed a great interest in the Aurora Borealis.  Please see his website for more information http://www.astro-photo.com

Due to the large interest in this show in past years, we will use the Berthoud High School Auditorium for Bryan’s presentation. Please use the East door to get to the Auditorium. Volunteers will be on hand to help you with directions. The doors will open at 7:00pm and the show will start at 7:30pm.  The Observatory will be open after his slide show, probably around 8:30pm

Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through the large telescope at various celestial objects.

Public star nights are held the third Friday of each month (except July, when we are closed for annual maintenance).

If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793 or check the LTO web site at: www.starkids.org

Sincerely,

Meinte Veldhuis
President, Little Thompson Science Foundation

Makers

from: Laughing Squid 1/3/09 1:15 PM Scott Beale Television Video

MAKE magazine, Twin Cities Public Television and American Public Television have just launched the wonderful new weekly series Make: Television featuring half hour HD episodes profiling “Makers”. Make: Television can be viewed on public television (broadcast and cable), online (YouTube & Vimeo) or downloaded DRM-free.

Make: is the DIY series for a new generation! It celebrates “Makers” – the inventors, artists, geeks and just plain everyday folks who mix new and old technology to create new-fangled marvels. The series encourages everyone to invent, revent, recycle, upcycle, and act up. Based on the popular Make magazine, each half-hour episode inspires millions to think, create, and, well, make.

A segment from the debut episode of Make: Television features Cyclecide Bike Rodeo.

This is a blog post from Laughing Squid For more content like this, subscribe to the RSS feed, Twitter & FriendFeed.

Support Collective Bargaining for Longmont’s Police and Fire

I completely and wholeheartedly agree with collective bargaining for our Police and Fire employees – these people have made their workplace ‘harms way’ to make our homes and our city safe. We cannot deny them the basic right to have a voice in their compensation. The following is reproduced from the website http://www.longmontpolice.com/

Continue reading Support Collective Bargaining for Longmont’s Police and Fire

For My Father

George Parker Wray 3/9/1928 - 5/21/2008This post is dedicated to the memory of my father, George Parker Wray who died May 21st, 2008.

First, here’s the eulogy I wrote for his memorial service.

It was an amazing service. The Kiskiminetas Mason Lodge 617 turned out as did the Shriner Clowns whom he had been a member of.

The Masonic service was incredibly moving and it was very obvious my father’s fellow lodge members loved him dearly and grieved his death. Being a mason was a big part of my father’s life and when he and my mother returned to the Pennsylvania area, he became active again – eventually joining the Shriner clowns and helping to raise the spirits of sick children. My dad loved children and it’s so obvious in photos and stories told about him – tying balloon animals for hours so that every single child at an event took something away to remind them of the happy time.

Something the Shriner Clowns did was just touching beyond words – they each left a small balloon animal on the altar as they passed. Seeing the Masonic symbols (lambskin apron, evergreen sprigs and scroll) together with these simple icons of childhood were crushingly poignant. Clearly you could see this was a complicated man who touched people on a lot of levels.

There’s so much story to tell that I’m just going to start dropping in photos and describe them. Try and keep up.

Here’s some family photos that came to me after the funeral (click images to enlarge)

George Wray family

My dad was born and grew up on a farm in Spring Church, PA.

This is his family. I think that’s him on the left in the first row of kids.

George Wray family
An earlier shot of my dad’s family.

Parents of George Wray
My father’s parents. Tough-looking people which I suppose comes from farming.

When my father left his family farm (another story!) he went to work in the local steelmill (US Steel) and met my mother (Shirley) and his to-be inlaws. This is such an iconic shot.

Emily and William Rowe
Emily and William Rowe, my mother’s parents. I knew only Emily, William died when I was very little. (here’s my eulogy for my grandmother)

My mother had two sisters, Bobby and Gwenevere and a brother William (my uncle Mickey). Here’s a great shot of all of them after a night on the town:

Eight is too many!

Back row: Mickey Rowe, Les Walsh, Bob Fleissner, George Wray.

Front row: Jean Rowe, Emily’s three daughters, Bobby Rowe (Walsh), Gwen Rowe (Fleissner) and Shirley Rowe (Wray). Note the horns being added by my uncle Bob and my father. I take it from the straws that drinking had been involved. Uncle Bob looks either very sleepy or completely fried. Needless to say, it was a very close-knit group. All of these people were very much a part of my life as I was growing up and I love them all dearly. (High-resolution image available.)

Well, it wasn’t long after (maybe even before) this photo was taken that my parents started building a family.

The children of George and Shirley Wray are, in order:

Bonita Jo (Bunny)

David William (see also this entry)

Georgia Leslie

Mark Douglas

Paula Nadine

Here’s a couple of shots of my mom and I sitting on the front porch of our house in Apollo – we lived in two different places – one in the lower part of town, the other ‘up on the hill’ (Oak Hill) (map).

Shirley and Douglas Wray
Funny shot, eh?

Doug Wray expressing himself at an early age
Take a wild guess who coached me to make that gesture?

Love ya dad.

I start to remember my father’s career starting around the time he got a job at the US Steel Monroeville Research Center. (everybody’s welcome to help me fill in his earlier years in the steel mill, then San Diego in the Navy and then as a door-to-door insurance salesman – all I know is stories passed on) If I remember right, he started out doing welding for vacuum systems, which led him into a position on the new one-million-volt electron microscope US Steel was buying. That was a rough time for him – apparently he’d claimed a high-school diploma and didn’t actually have it! So he had to hurriedly cram for and take the GED, not something you just do in a week. He did. He also learned electronics via correspondence, amazing to me even now. He worked at US Steel for (I think) twelve years, took early retirement and moved to a job at the University of Colorado’s Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.

Here’s some photos from George’s time at US Steel’s Monroeville Research Center:

US Steel Monroeville Research Center - MVEM Building
The MVEM (Million Volt Electron Microscope) building at US Steel’s Monroeville Research Center. Very modern! Coolest building on the whole campus.

1 Million Volt RCA Electron Microscope
The RCA 1-million-volt transmission electron microscope. That’s George at the console – he spent thousands of hours running this sci-fi-lookin thing. I spent a fair bit of time here with him on various occasions. The room was kept darkened when the microscope was in use. That, combined with the huge, hulking supports, the humming of pumps, clicking relays and control switches only made it more exciting. This was the glowing heart of scientific research at the time – and my dad was square in the middle of it!

Cockcroft-Walton accelerator used to create electron beam.

This is the ‘accelerator room’ – I think they called it that because it made your heart race to come up the stairs, turn a corner and see this. It’s a Cockcroft-Walton generator and was a part of early ‘atom smashers.’ This is where the one million volts of energy was generated to accelerate the electrons into the microscope’s ‘column’ downstairs.

The very latest in video technology!
Cutting-edge, state-of-the-art video recording technology! 2″ reel-to-reel VTR (before cassettes and helical scan!) I think they were recording steel samples being heated/stressed mechanically to watch the crystalline structure change in real time. Never-before-seen effects!

In the primary transformer pit during assembly
My father didn’t just -work- on this machine, he helped assemble it. This transformer is below the floor of the accelerator room shown above. There’s my dad, as usual, up to his elbows in the dirtiest job. I think he loved doing the ‘messy’ jobs that no one else wanted to do.

George Wray inspecting top of US Steel MVEM electron accelerator.

Here’s George at the top of the electron-beam column. He’s actually -inside- the part that the guy is polishing in the photo above of the accelerator. This was the ‘electron gun’ assembly where the ‘filament’ was housed that actually created the beam of electrons.

An advertisement featuring the MVEM - and my dad, of course.

Here’s a color advertisement US Steel ran -great shot of the accelerator. That’s my dad applying a grounding rod to it. For what it’s worth, my dad didn’t really wear a lab coat all the time.

Group shot 1

I think this group is the team that assembled the microscope. My dad’s in the back row, second to last on the right.

Group shot 1

Another group shot. I think this was the primary building-installation team. My dad’s in the back row, last one on the right. Note that everone’s wearing dosimeters – this thing generated high-energy x-rays when it was on, so radiation exposure had to be monitored.

US Steel Monroeville Research Center - staff

Group shot of the entire research staff. I think this is everyone that worked at the Monroeville Research Center.

Closeup of George Wray
Here’s my dad, closeup from the photo above. He’s in the fourth row back, third in from the left. Look at his face – I know that look. He was so tickled he was probably trembling. This had to be one of the Big Moments in his life to be counted among these people.

When George left US Steel Research after 12 (?) years his co-workers presented him with a notebook filled with significant photos (several shown above) as well as some fun ‘geek humor’:

The cover to the gift book

I love that it’s all elements from the lab: the Dymo labeller (very new at the time and the labels were ubiquitous throughout the lab. The USS logo patch that was on coats, the part-tag (with my dad’s employee number I suspect, but don’t know for sure). Basically it’s supposed to be an ‘operating log’ similar to the one kept for The Scope.

Operating Record for

This page is just filled with all kinds of silly ‘in’ jokes. The ‘Description of Specimen’ is, however, perfectly accurate. One of the signatures at the bottom right is J.Scott Lally. If I understand the ‘Plate exposure’ line, 39,683 photos were taken by the MVEM during my father’s time there. Not a bad record!

Map to retirement party
Map to ‘Party for George Wray’ – I think the location name is also a gag: ‘Elec. Heights Hous. Assoc.’ very likely means ‘Electron Heights Housing Association’ and was perhaps housing for visiting scientists. It had a ‘hut’ which is Cold War slang for a guard shack. This was probably a meeting hall for the research campus. I love that “Informal” has no less than seven underlines. I think they meant VERY informal.

We moved to Boulder, CO in the 1970s and baby, it was a whole different world. From a high-security corporate research lab to a wide-open biology research lab on a college campus. A whole new microscope to install and operate. Nobel-prize-winning scientist Dr. Keith Porter was in charge at the time, so it was pretty heady stuff.

George Wray and Kyoshi Takasaki from JEOL assemble the JEOL 1000C 1MeV TEM at CU MCDBio
This is my dad and his soon-to-be good friend Kiyoshi Takasaki assembling the microscope. They’re getting ready to add the objective lens/sample stage section.

Dick McIntosh and George Wray pose on the upper deck of the JEOL 1000C TEM

Dick McIntosh and George Wray pose on the upper deck of the JEOL 1000C TEM.

George and Shirley Wray pose on the completed JEOL 1000C 1 Mev TEM
Here’s my dad, my mom and Paul Connally posing on the Hanford, WA scope that they stripped for parts when it was decommissioned.

George and Shirley Wray look as Paul Connally disassembles the Hanford, WA JEOL 1000C
Taking apart the Hanford, WA scope. They worked round-the-clock for days salvaging every single unique component they could. Many parts of the Hanford scope went into keeping the Boulder, CO scope going.

George cracking up at his birthday party at the lab.
The folks in the MCD Biology department treated my dad like family. You can see the joy on his face as he reads his birthday card at this party.

George Wray and Eileen O
George Wray and Kate Luby-Phelps at lab event.

George gets some birthday smoochies from the MCDB staff
Aww. Such a ladies man. They all loved my old man. For good reason!

After my father retired from the University of Colorado, he and my mother moved to Winston-Salem, NC. Wake Forest University friends had him teaching students in no time flat. He kept working for several more years and no doubt contributed immensely to the sciences by teaching yet another generation of microscope users how to get the most out of a TEM.

When he finally decided to stop working, he wanted to return to Pennsylvania to his roots. He and my mother moved back to PA near the town of Indiana where my sister Georgia (Missy) lived at the time. My mother began having TIAs and finally succumbed to a massive stroke shortly after they’d renovated a home and were settling in nicely. It was such a blow. My father went on. He became active in the Masons again and then the Shrine and became a clown. Here’s some photos from that time:

My father My father’s Mason ring. For years it mystified me. I assumed the ‘G’ meant ‘George’ – when I found out it meant ‘God’ I think I said ‘Well… more or less SAME THING TO ME!’
Master Mason Jewel The Master Mason’s jewel. Quite an arcane thing.
Top of the jewel Top of the jewel
Bottom of the Master Mason jewel Bottom of the jewel
Lambskin Mason Apron The lambskin Masons apron that was on the altar during the Masonic funeral ceremony. Lovely symbolism.
Shriner My dad drove a van to shuttle kids back and forth for medical exams. I know he loved doing this, he told me so several times.
My dad and his friend Frannie. After my mother’s death, my father met her friend Frannie and they spent the last years of his life together. They spent a lot of happy times together at Shrine events. Fran’s a lovely sweet woman and I know she loved George dearly. God bless her for standing at his side.
Shriners bolo tie My dad loved bolo ties. Here’s one with all the various organization symbol on it.
Close up of bolo tie fastener Closeup of the tie fastener
Finally! Graduated HS! The high school my dad dropped out of to work the farm finally gave him (and many other vets) honorary diplomas. My sister Missy was at the ceremony and reports ‘he was SO happy’. George was all about ‘closing the loop’ so I know this must have delighted his heart.
Program from my dad Program from the graduation ceremony. Nicely done!

And now, the clown pix:

George Wray as BOO the clown George Wray as ‘BOO’ the clown.
George Wray as BOO the clown Closeup of George Wray as ‘BOO’ the clown.
George Wray as BOO the clown, going on All dressed up and going on!
George Wray as BOO the clown making balloon animals Making balloons for the kids.
George Wray as BOO the clown with happy kid Another happy kid – a clown’s best reward.

There’s SO, SO much more to say, but I’ll leave it up to you readers to find the comment field below and add your own memories of George or correct me where I’ve mis-stepped. All submissions welcome. Send your images to macguiguru@spamcop.net and don’t worry about whether it’s appropriate or not. George would have loved it – anytime one of his friends laughs, I’m sure his spirit hears them.

And in all this, my mother appears only a small satellite due to her reluctance to having her picture taken. Know that she was everywhere my father was. For over forty years they walked together as husband and wife and I am certain they are rejoined now. As much as our world is dimmed by his passage, I am sure somewhere there are angels singing and laughing.

Goodbye My Father. You are in my heart always.

Comcast Forging Packets To Filter Torrents

From Slashdot

“It’s been widely reported by now that Comcast is throttling BitTorrent traffic. What has escaped attention is the fact that Comcast, like the Great Firewall of China uses forged TCP Reset (RST) packets to do the job. While the Chinese government can do what they want, it turns out that Comcast may actually be violating criminal impersonation statutes in states around the country. Simply put, while it’s legal to block traffic on your network, forging data to and from customers is a big no-no.”

Comes v MS Case

http://iowaconsumercase.org/

Case background:

Comes v. Microsoft is an Iowa state court class action brought by consumers, small businesses, and other indirect purchasers of Microsoft software products. Plaintiffs allege that from May 18, 1994 through June 30, 2006, Microsoft engaged in illegal monopolization and other anticompetitive conduct in the markets for operating systems, word processing, spreadsheets, and office suite software.

Continue reading Comes v MS Case

Ella Comes to Town

Just upgraded to v2.1 (Ella) of WordPress – went pretty smoothly. Only glitch I’ve seen so far is that all my static pages duplicated. Not bad since I have only 6 or so, but I can see that infuriating some folks. Not sure what caused it – followed the (excellent) detailed upgrade instructions to the letter. *shrug* No deaths, no sucking chest wounds, it’s all good.

Thanks and kudos to the WordPress team! The new static-homepage feature, the autosave and the spell check are KILLER improvements. Hope they add a customizer for the rich text editor next. WordPress just gets better and better! I give it two thumbs and a coupla toes up!

Going Out of Business

http://blog.wired.com/cultofmac/2007/01/apple_makes_a_b.html

Apple’s first-quarter 2007 results are the best ever.

Thanks to selling an unbelievable 21.1 million iPods over the holidays, Apple reported record-breaking revenues for the December quarter of more than $7 billion. $1 billion of that is pure profit.

Not bad for a company that’s (supposedly) been going out of business since 1984.

I think it’s time for Apple’s detractors to wake up and smell the burning silicon.

UnSpoken Things

My buddy Shane Schieffer has been working on an independent film project ‘Unspoken Things’ for four years now – I’ve seen early releases of it and it’s superb! The price of the ticket is well worth it – give it a shot and help support a budding filmmaker!

From my pal Shane Schieffer:

Hello,

My film, Unspoken Things, has been almost 4-years in the making, by February it will be completed, and on January 22nd (two Mondays from now) I will be holding a “sneak peek” and fundraising event at the Oriental Theater in Denver. I hope you will come and please invite friends and family!

Continue reading UnSpoken Things

Coughin up blood

les_and_joe_walsh_dec2006.jpg

Just had a family scare – my dearly-loved Uncle Les (above, on the left) was hospitalized after becoming ill and horkin up blood! Well, a scenic tour up *ahem* you know… and doctors discovered he had bleeding ulcers! Could have something to do with his wife‘s recent death piled on top of Christmas stress!! Luckily he’s all fixed up again and planning to come home shortly.

Kudos to my cousin Joe (above, right) for keeping me apprised of this – Thanks Joe!

My best wishes go out to my cousins who are no doubt a bit concerned!

WHEW! (holds up two fingers a la Maxwell Smart) Missed it by that much.