Category Archives: Blog

Life with Dad

Transcribed from this image on imgur

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21 years Oh, that man is out of date!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

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

Human vs Pet Age

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

1st haircut

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

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

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

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

He complained.

A lot.

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

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

Here’s a close up:

Dozer - November 2011

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

Michael Francis Savage

Michael Francis Savage June 1981, Philadelphia, PA

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

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

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

Hymn

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

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

I do not point you to my road, nor yet

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

Winsome.


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

Meet me, you I like most.

Each man his own way forever, but towards

The hoverer between;

Who opens his flame like a tent-flap,

As we slip in unseen.

A man cannot tread like a woman,

Nor a woman step out like a man.

The ghost of each through the leaves of shadow

Moves as it can.

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

Where we foregather like gypsies, none knowing

How the other came.

I ask for nothing except to slip

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

Guest of the Host.

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

Like a snare.

Be there along with me, O men!

Reach across the hearth,

And laugh with me while the woman rests

For all we are worth.’

-D.H. Lawrence

Collective Nouns

From here.

Animal Collective Nouns

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

Reception at the Sportsman’s Club

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

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

(all images click to enlarge)

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

Faithful Friend

Faithful Friend

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

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

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

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

For my lost friend Cody,

rest in peace.

MDW June 8, 2011

Ode to Spot

(original transcription found here)

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

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

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

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

— Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek The Next Generation


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

How Can I Keep From Singing?

Traditional Shaker Hymn

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Enya from Shepherd Moons

Dreams are more precious

Dreams Are More Precious

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

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

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

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

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

Da, Da, Da…

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

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

– Enya

David C. Hill Eulogy

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

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

My eulogy for David C. Hill:

Somewhere David is walking.

He’s feeling good.

Better than ever.

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

There is no pain, only rejoicing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you soon Dave.


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

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

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

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

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

What a trip,  but we had a blast.

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

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

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

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

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

Rest in peace Dave.

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

Web prayer

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

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

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

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

For thine is the Kernal, access and 1337ness

Forever and ever

EOF

Transcribed from here.

You may also enjoy this…

Jolly Copper

Preface

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

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

 

Jolly Copper, indeed.

Miss you dad.

Cheesehead hackers

1 failed login attempts (1 lockout(s)) from IP: 208.66.135.190

Last user attempted: admin

IP was blocked

IP Address Country (Short) Country (Full) Flag Region City ISP Map
208.66.135.190 US UNITED STATES WISCONSIN MADISON 5NINES DATA LLC

Hm.

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

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

My pal Deb Johnson

The Gifting

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

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

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

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

meadows of wild flowers; sheep, content.

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

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

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

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

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

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

full of wonder and love.

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

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

For you, I light a candle.

I send you peace.

© June 1995 by D.W. Johnson


On a Thought Of Leaving Home and Coming Here

The next time I come (here)

I will go (this way)

I am always coming or going–

Coming to stillness; going out of chaos.

Coming from work; going home.

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

Coming from the grocery; going to the book shop.

It is the pattern of my life–

I am coming in; I am going out.

Breathing in; breathing out.

What is left from the wake of the wave.

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

I am in step with what I am…

A part of it.

©  August 26, 2005 by D.W. Johnson

Sisters of Mercy

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

Burn bright George. Burn bright.

Sisters of Mercy

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

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

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

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

-Leonard Cohen

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

Bramble and the Rose

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

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

Bramble and the Rose

Traditional. Arrangement The Black Family

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

Chorus

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

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

Chorus

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

Chorus

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

Can be found on the album The Black Family.

Masterpiece

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

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

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

Innocent enough

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

Hm... what's this?

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

"Morning Masterpiece" ? Oh, I think NOT.

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

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

Christmas Cake

Tammi, Kate, Marty and I were at the Dec. 10, 2010 performance of this by Danú at Macky Auditorium.

Miss Fogerty’s Christmas Cake

Irish Christmas Song

As I sat in my window last evening
The letterman brought it to me
A little gilt-edged invitation sayin’
“Gilhooley come over to tea”
I knew that the Fogarties sent it.
So I went just for old friendships sake.
The first thing they gave me to tackle
Was a slice of Miss Fogarty’s cake.

Chorus

There were plums and prunes and cherries,
There were citrons and raisins and cinnamon, too
There was nutmeg, cloves and berries
And a crust that was nailed on with glue
There were caraway seeds in abundance
Such that work up a fine stomach ache
That could kill a man twice after eating a slice
Of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas cake.

Miss Mulligan wanted to try it,
But really it wasn’t no use
For we worked in it over an hour
And we couldn’t get none of it loose
Till Murphy came in with a hatchet
And Kelly came in with a saw
That cake was enough be the powers above
For to paralyze any man’s jaws

Miss Fogarty proud as a peacock,
Kept smiling and blinking away
Till she flipped over Flanagans brogans
And she spilt the homebrew in her tea
Aye Gilhooley she says you’re not eatin,
Try a little bit more for me sake
And no Miss Fogarty says I,
For I’ve had quite enough of your cake

Maloney was took with the colic,
O’Donald’s a pain in his head
Mc’Naughton lay down on the sofa,
And he swore that he wished he was dead
Miss Bailey went into hysterics
And there she did wriggle and shake
And everyone swore they were poisoned
Just from eating Miss Fogarty’s cake

Here’s a YouTube clip of Danú

10 Simple Words

10 Simple Words Students (And Everyone) Screw Up

from EDUdemic

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

1 MeV

JEOL-1000 High Voltage Electron Microscope

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

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

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

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

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 .

Bless The Broken Road

Rascal Flatts
Songwriters: Boyd, Bobby C; Hannah, Jeff; Hummon, Marcus;

I set out on a narrow way, many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Yes He did

I think about the years I spent, just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost, and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there, you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

But now I’m just rolling home into my lover’s arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

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.

Photo Rights

The following is from Petapixel and is the text of a reference on photographers rights.

  1. You can make a photograph of anything and anyone on any public property, except where a specific law prohibits it. i.e. streets, sidewalks, town squares, parks, government buildings open to the public, and public libraries.
  2. You may shoot on private property if it is open to the public, but you are obligated to stop if the owner requests it. i.e. malls, retail stores, restaurants, banks, and office building lobbies.
  3. Private property owners can prevent photography ON their property, but not photography OF their property from a public location.
  4. Anyone can be photographed without consent when they are in a public place unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. i.e. private homes, restrooms, dressing rooms, medical facilities, and phone booths.
  5. Despite common misconceptions, the following subjects are almost always permissible:
    • accidents, fire scenes, criminal activities
    • children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
    • bridges, infrastructure, transportation facilities
    • residential, commercial, and industrial buildings
  6. Security is rarely an acceptable reason for restricting photography. Photographing from a public place cannot infringe on trade secrets, nor is it terrorist activity.
  7. Private parties cannot detain you against your will unless a serious crime was committed in their presence. Those that do so may be subject to criminal and civil charges.
  8. It is a crime for someone to threaten injury, detention, confiscation, or arrest because you are making photographs.
  9. You are not obligated to provide your identity or reason for photographing unless questioned by a law enforcement officer and state law requires it.
  10. Private parties have no right to confiscate your equipment without a court order. Even law enforcement officers must obtain one unless making an arrest. No one can force you to delete photos you have made.

These are general guidelines regarding the right to make photos and should not be interpreted as legal advice. If you need legal help, please contact a lawyer.


To all concerned – I will continue to take photos of whomever I like in public. Your insinuations will not stop me from exercising my rights. Far from it.