Tuesday, July 29, 2008

catching up

Yesterday my daughter registered for school and she starts next Thursday.
She has adjusted her schedule and she is pretty pleased. The whole thing is almost surreal.
We had a team dinner with a great bunch of people where we laughed a lot, that was good. And the odd owner from my daughter's birthday party was in rare form last night. too funny. He had us laughing and he paid particular attention to my boss. In casual conversation I found out that my boss and I were both in the Class of 1988. Hah...

Last week I was in Buenos Aires and missed the State Department's dailly briefings.
I tried to catch up yesterday, but did not get too far.
Two things of interest:

MR. GALLEGOS: Well, Pakistan is a key partner in the war on terror. It plays a critical role in our long-term efforts to build a stable and prosperous South Asia. Shifting Foreign Military Financing that was already allocated to Pakistan for other military equipment allows Pakistan’s F-16 program, a tangible symbol of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, to continue on track. Pakistan is currently undergoing economic turmoil, including rising food and fuel prices, and this is a daunting challenge to the new civilian government. This $226-227 million funds is – was already allocated for other updates on different airframes in Pakistan. The government came to us, asked us if we could assist them, and we decided that this would be a good option for them. It would help to relieve the government, allow them to use that amount of funds for different projects of their own while providing an update that had already been – that we had already approved in 2006. So basically, what we did was we shifted funds from one set of antiterrorism projects, one set of airframes, to a different set.
In terms of what the benefits are to us, what we’re looking at is advanced avionics and radar upgrades, and communications and targeting systems that will enable real-time communication with ground forces that will generate ground position data that can be used to direct guided munitions to a target. We believe that these updates will effectively employ the F-16s. We’ll – they’ll be able to use them during nighttime operations.
The bottom line here is that we’ve shifted money to help the democratically elected Government of Pakistan to fight a common foe, a common enemy that we have. We believe that these upgrades that had already been approved will help the Pakistanis – us – will help the Pakistanis help us fight this common foe, and that we believe that this is a positive way to help a friend.

my favorite question...
QUESTION: One last question on this. How many times has Pakistan conducted air strikes against the Taliban and other militants in that area?
MR. GALLEGOS: Well, I’ll tell you what, unfortunately, I’m not with the DOD and couldn’t tell you that number. I’d refer you to them to discuss.

For me - this is interesting... actually riveting. I know how lame.

and check this out
Question On Venezuela, what is your reaction to this alliance or partnership that President Chavez from Venezuela is trying to have with Russia in relation to oil and weapons?
MR. GALLEGOS: Well, I think, number one, is we’ve seen the Venezuelans’ substantial purchases from the Russians, in terms of arms. This is something that we’ve expressed concern over. The fact is that Venezuela is expending an awful lot of resources to obtain an awful lot of military hardware, some would say much more than they actually need if you reflect on their actual defense needs. However, that’s a decision for the Venezuelan Government to make for themselves.
In terms of their relationships with Russia, they’re a sovereign state. They will have these relations with them. In terms of any gas deals or other economic issues, I think we’ve expressed our belief in the past that what we believe is that multiple sources, through multiple means of transportation, when it comes to any sort of fuel, based on the open market system, is what we’re concerned about seeing. So that would be the criteria that we would review any discussion or agreement that they may come to.

WTF - Chavez?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Busy but it will be relaxing
The last two weekends were busy drill and then picking up my daughter and heading to Argentina
THis weekend we are relaxing
Little Michael is staying over.
We have plans to run to the library, pick up grocery staples and thrift stores.
Of course I have the necessary cleaning, but I am plan to the minimum and catch up throughout the week.
My manager is coming into town next week and will be busy for three days.
Believe it or not I think we might back to school shopping on Thursday and then I have drill again. August will be busy with the DNC in the state from an operations perspective.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Last Lecture

Thank YOU
Rest in Peace

BBC article

Randy Pausch, the university professor who created a "last lecture" celebrating life in the face of terminal cancer, has died aged 47.
The lecture entitled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams became a best-selling book.
Video of the inspirational lecture also became a hit on the internet, where it was viewed by millions of people.
The US academic said that he had delivered the lecture as a guide for his three young children.
He died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia, said Jeffrey Zaslow, the Wall Street Journal writer who co-wrote the book The Last Lecture.

To give to the cause click here to donate

tribute to his amazing life


While in Argentina I started and finished reading HER LAST DEATH: A Memoir by
Susanna Sonnenberg. I highly recommend this book BUT with a hesitation. The book reads like fiction. I was consumed about the main character and I was reading it like the latest fiction piece on the NYT Bestseller list.

Then at one point I paused and thought this is someone's life. This was her life. That was her mother. Those were her feelings. It was at that point I prayed for Susanna and then devoured the rest of her book, her memoir.

A few links: Details
Her website
a review
an excerpt online

Well, there is drama back home.

My much younger cousin found out that his girlfriend of 16 was pregnant last Thanksgiving. She had the baby last month, a cute little boy.
Some time after finding they were going to be teenage parents the local Monroe Evening News decided to follow the girl through out her pregnancy.
The first of a series of articles were printed last week and it has received a rash of anonymous comments both positive and negative all week.
My feelings are mixed obviously.
Read for yourself.... in the feature section

Thursday, July 24, 2008

it is a small world

I had to travel to Buenos Aires to experience the traditional Greek practice of plate breaking.
Plate smashing - the Greek tradition
Greek tradition has it that this practice started when a rich family invited a much poorer family to dinner and to make them feel better invited them to break the plates. They were proving that friendship is everything. And there's no better way of proving that than dining with friends over Greek food.
In its earliest form, plate smashing may be a survival of the ancient custom of ritually "killing" the ceramic vessels used for feasts commemorating the dead. The voluntary breaking of plates, which is a type of controlled loss, may also have helped participants in dealing with the deaths of their loved ones, a loss which they could not control.

They throw carnations to singers, and smash glasses and dishes when beautiful girls dance the zeibekiko or the hasapiko on the dance floor. Back in the '30s they used to throw knives, a sign of respect and manhood, at dancers' feet. Due to countless injuries, that tradition gradually changed to the present-day plate-throwing tradition.

Modern Greeks hold the custom in some disdain. "Nobody breaks plates, as a sign of kefi anymore, people throw flowers instead.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Thursday - I took the exam. This is the third time, but I felt more comfortable. I get an anxiety before events like this. I drove to the location and in Castle rock to grab a pint of blueberries and odwalla. I ate the blueberries prior to walking into the testing lab. Without thinking I plopped one juicy blueberry after another until the entire flimsy basket was empty. I like to imagine that my body had a great reaction and was smiley during the next few hours. You know that expression, just giggly. Yeah. I mean blueberries are the super food and are on almost every healthy listed composed. The entire test was on the computer which actually made me feel a bit more comfortable. It was also easier to take the written portion online. Of course there was no spell check...
I helped at the church the next day and then waited for my daughter to come home from VA. Her plane was almost four hours late. We did not get back to Denver until almost 130 am. We were both cranky and dangerously tired.
Saturday flew by. She was not feeling well and we went to urgent care to make sure she her appendix was not rupturing. Alas they believe it was not and then I flew to Buenos Aires.
You will not be seeing any random pictures this time because my camera was stolen yesterday. What they don't know is that the camera was on it's last leg and you can barely keep the batteries charged. Looking forward to week and making progress with the team. Face to face training is always better..

Yesterday, I had gnocchi, chicken breast and grilled vegetables all very good. It is winter here and the windy makes it chilly. I met amazing woman on the plane that teaches music therapy of which I will dedicate an entire blog on. interesting. I am off to breakfast.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Am I collecting or hoarding?
I am not 100% sure. But every few years I yearn to have more of a few specific collections. I am in that mode.
We collect GI Joes - but I always want to buy them cheap. I do not want to buy the $100 Kung Fu grip Joe on ebay, I want to run across the action adventure hero randomly and snatch it up as if others are on my heals trying to snag it up before I do. I have not bought one in awhile, but I did find a few in the Salvation Army "collectible" case. Every Tuesday is military 50% off day. I called and the lady I spoke with said that my discount would apply to the things in the special case but did not apply on jewelry and Christmas items. Hmm... I was thinking I could clear out the entire case for a mere pittance and then randomly sell or hoard the things on ebay. It is a win-win right? Probably not, if I have to ask.
Of course you know about the fascination with Little Golden Books. This week I stumbled on another imprint during the mid 1900s called "Better Little Books". Yeah, I want all those too.
I also like things that remind me remotely of my young child hood - these things do not include cancer, Foreigner records or the uncomfortable feeling of being out of place in elementary education (Speech therapy or Cachetism class).
I "won" two Romper room books on ebay this week for a mere 99 cents. Of course with the shipping, it makes each one just under $5.
I do not on purpose factor the shipping in on the bargain, this primarily for my own self satisfaction.

Of course the kitchen is the easiest and most random place to collect. Bowls, pottery, jars, shakers and pots are all random at my house. Of course deep down I wish I had a kitchen that mirrored my sister in laws with Le Creuset cookware, Calphalon pans www.calphalon.com, expanding knife sets and Ikea laden drawers. I have bits and pieces. I have my fair share of Polish Pottery, Princess House, Pampered Chef and Longaberger pottery but the complete sets are missing from each collection. Of yes, I forgot that I like crystal made in either in the US or Europe. Yes, I am crystal snob. Crystal made in the China is not authorized. I might have a piece tucked here or there, but not intentional.
I like vintage Winnie the pooh and have two enormous boxes that I collected in the mid 1990's when we went every weekend with my parents flea marketing. My daughter was a shopper back in the days of stroller riding. She went with my mom and shopped. My mom loved anything from the kitchen and old books and papers (yes, I learned from the best). She had hoped that they would retire and open an antique store. Cancer won. Now my Grandpa Ray has a house full of oddly feminine collectibles "kitchenana". Maybe he will open the ebay business and then I will impulsively out bid everyone knowing that these items were hand picked by mom. maybe.

What got me started on this post this morning.... stephanie klein read here.


more to come

My daughters "through thick and thin" dear friend had her senior pics taken. They are beautiful. I cannot believe this time is here...sigh...
real photography

This also showcases another great colorado springs photographer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I read this blog post Chronicles of Household 6

For those of you who don't know this cute little girl, I'd like to introduce you to Kennedy. Kennedy started off life by surprising her parents when she was born with Down Syndrome. In addition to having Ds, Kennedy has also had a series of other somewhat unusual health issues. Then, in 2007, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. She went through very aggressive chemotherapy and is currently in remission. If all of that wasn't enough, a couple of months ago, Kennedy was diagnosed with Atlantoaxial Instability and Atlanto-Occipital Instability. Basically, that means she has a gap between her skull and her spine and the smallest fall could cause her to be paralyzed for life. Today, Kennedy and her family are traveling from their home in Tennessee to Philadelphia for the surgery to fix her neck and spine that will be preformed next week. They'll be there for a month. She will have to wear a halo on her neck for 6 months. Did I mention that Kennedy is only 4 years old?

Now, let me mention one other thing about this family. Kennedy's dad is a soldier. In the midst of all of the various health problems and concerns for Kennedy, her daddy, Frank, has been going back and forth between deployments. He's currently serving a 15 month tour in Afghanistan. He's getting to come home for Kennedy's surgery and if all goes right with the flights on the Army's end, he'll be there when his family gets off the plane in Philadelphia today.So today, and in the coming months, Kennedy's button will be on the side of my blog as a reminder that we are praying for her and her family during this time. If you'd like to visit Kennedy's family, you can click on the button and go to her mom's blog. Kennedy also has a care page that describes all of the health issues she has endured in the past 4 years. You can link to that through her mom's blog too.

and then visited this website
my special ks

My heart is all swelled up and my eyes puffy.

Monday, July 14, 2008

things we should know

"Government of the people, by the people, for the people" are words from President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address during the Civil War. They are often quoted as a definition of democracy.

One of the primary motivations for the Pilgrims and Puritans to set sail for America was to escape religious persecution from England. Freedom of religion is a right guaranteed to all Americans in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Many of the Founding Fathers feared a strong federal government that could oppress the rights of individuals, much like they experienced under British rule. For this reason, the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791 to specifically set forth basic rights retained by the people and the states.

Ratified in 1788, the Constitution is the fundamental document governing the United States, outlining, among other things, the distinct powers of branches of government. According to the Constitution itself, it is the "supreme Law of the Land."

The first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, were added to ensure fundamental rights of the people and the states against a strong central government.

James Madison played an integral role in the writing and ratification of the Constitution, both as a chief architect of the document at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and later through his writing, with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, of the Federalist Papers. Madison protested the informal title of "Father of the Constitution," as he stated, the document was not "the off-spring of a single brain," but "the work of many heads and many hands."

The Constitution grants lawmaking power primarily to the U.S. Congress. Only after both houses of Congress approve legislation does the President sign them into law.

The federal government is divided by the U.S. Constitution into three distinct branches of government, the Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The Founders created such a separation of powers to ensure proper checks and balances so that no one branch of government would become too powerful.

In addition to living within the United States for at least 14 years prior to running for President, a person must also be at least 35 years of age and a natural born citizen of the United States.

There are currently 535 members of Congress, 435 of which preside as representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 100 Senators in the U.S. Senate, two from each state. There are also five delegates to the House of Representatives representing 4 territories and the District of Columbia. These delegates do not have voting power, but do serve on committees.

Americans declared independence from England, as they opposed the oppressive control of the British crown. Specifically colonists objected to "taxation without representation," and England’s refusal to allow self government in the new world.

In 1791, the Bill of Rights, or first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, was ratified. Since then, 17 additional amendments have been added for a total of 27, including the 18th Amendment, which instituted Prohibition, and the 21st Amendment, which repealed (or undid) the 18th.
The latest amendment was ratified in 1992 ensuring that members of Congress cannot change their salaries until an election has intervened.

The stripes on the American Flag represent the original 13 colonies, which became the first 13 states in the United States: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

The Census Bureau estimates that in 1776, two-and-a-half million people lived in the 13 colonies which ultimately became the United States of America.
The first U.S. Census was begun in 1790 and 18 months later determined that approximately 4 million people were living in the United States. At the time, the largest city was Philadelphia, boasting a population of 42,000. In decreasing size were the major cities of the day: New York, Boston, Baltimore, and Charleston.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

aMazing Program

My daughter heard about this a few weeks ago and my neighbor brought over three bibles for me to write in last week.

Operation Worship
This summer, an effort is underway to sign and send 100,000 Bibles to American troops in 100 days. Tens of thousands of people are expected to go to a local Christian bookstore, purchase a $4.99 camo-covered special edition Bible, write a personal message inside the front cover of the Bible, and give it back to the retailer to be shipped to an American soldier serving somewhere around the world. While there have been other efforts to provide Bibles to soldiers, never before have Bibles been sent with personal messages inscribed by individual Americans, expressing their prayers and gratitude.

You can make a difference, the website provides alot of information.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My friend's daughter had the most beautiful baby on Sunday. I think she is coming home tonight! Woo hoo.
this blog had me laughing at the pic she snapped of her neighbor and the amusement she brought to her entire family
Proud American
There is one in every crowd.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Three beautiful blogs to look at
seven impossible things

Real Conversation

In line at Sonic
My order came to $4.91
I hand the very new employee $5.01
He looks at his trainer and says, "She gave me $5.01 what should I give her back?"
She says, "A dime."
Wow, I really through a twist in his process.

My daughter calls

You are not going to believe this shit. (ok, yes she swears, I cannot get her stop).
It happened again. I am at camp and some girls thinks she is attacted to one of the female counselors, why do they always find me?
This is her second camp experience where she has been the confidant to confide in on such matters.
I just told her to tell her that she will just get her feelings hurt... What do you say to that? Without getting philosophical?
All in all camp is going well and she even won a t-shirt at bingo tonight. woo hoo

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Joseph Patrick Dwyer, 31

Army medic made famous in Iraq photo dies
Joseph Patrick Dwyer, 31, dies of an apparent overdose

Please pray for his family and the loss.
Also, keep an eye out for veterans who are struggling.

PINEHURST, N.C. - A former Army medic made famous by a photograph that showed him carrying an injured Iraqi boy during the first week of the war in March 2003 has died of an apparent overdose, police said.

Full story

Monday, July 07, 2008


Well daughter has safely arrived in VA. She sounds well and is adjusting to the time change. Two hours earlier. It is overcast with humidity this morning, Yeah! I like the mix in weather. We had a great weekend for weather!
I had to laugh this morning. I am wearing my first pair of Abercrombie and Fitch jeans. I thrifted them for $5 and they look ok. Of course the waist is weird, but nothing a belt cannot help. Have a great week. I actually have a full five day work week....ahhh and drill.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I only found this blog several days and I cried like a baby reading the last two posts.
Huge sobs..
It looks like Punk Rock Mommy's fight with cancer has ended.
Pray for her family and her babies.

On the 5th of July

Staged photo's with the Field Artillery Battery

Red, White and Blue
Red Salsa, Blue and White Pottery

Saturday, July 05, 2008

HS -

Long story ...
But this is my Journalism teacher's son
Drafted to Chicago Cubs
Right before I left for the Army, he gave me Ryan's bear and I still have it today.
Now Ryan is playing professional baseball.
His dad was a huge mentor to me and his encouragement I will never forget.

I found out information on the 20 year high school reunion! It will be in September and of course it conflicts with drill! I will make it up ahead of time.

Friday, July 04, 2008

I could and sometimes do spend hours looking at other people's wedding photos online.
I surf book publisher's websites looking for the new releases and upcoming releases, I think go online to the library and pre-order all of the one's I am interested in. There is something about being the first person to read a library book.
I love Little Golden Books and someday would love to have a room devoted to them.
It is July 4th, 2008. I am hoping for a relaxing day. When I mean relaxing, it is not the type where you put your feet up on the couch and sit, It would be to work in the yard with minimal dog scuffles, a quiet house, no continous debating about the DH hanging with friends and drinking. It is about the freshest fruits and vegetable cooked to perfection. Juicy and flavorful. It is about carpets staying clean all day and counters free of messes. we shall see.
We do not have elaborate get to gethers where couples bring sweets dressed with patriotic American flags with blueberries and raspberries. There are no circle of lawn chairs and chatter. There will be no perfect mowed back yard perfection with hand made benches and stone paths. I think I am feeling a little melancholy, maybe it is best I wish you all a great day and move on here.
Pretty amusing article and opinion.

oh btw - why can't they have breakfast or morning coffee without the tv?
This has to be one of my favorite Confessions of a Pioneer Woman yet.. I love it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The photographer's posted a few pics on her blog...
Take a peak.
I am speechless and stunned. Yeah.
If you need a great photgrapher give her a call.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Two blogs that through me under the bus yesterday.
You will need some time to read these...
A mom with 5 children with terminal cancer
- heart breaking

A husband that loses his wife after the birth of their baby daughter

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Over the weeked we went to different thrift stores.
We found tons of great deals for the nieces and nephews my daughter and a real Dunne and Bourke purse.
At the moment my daughter wants to buy allof her school clothes from second hand stores to help the recycle efforts.
I have been buying second hand since I was in high school. I will never forget the first pair of fatigues I ever bought was not as a soldier but in a vintage store in downtown Ann Arbor. At that point I never dreamed that the following year I would actually join the Army and become a soldier.
Last night we went to the Rockies game to watch Chase play for the Padres. They won and Chase played the entire game it was very exciting. Woo Hoo.. I know his parents were very proud, I called his mom this morning and she was still laughing~

We had the first shoot of senior pics today.. I cannot wait to see them.