Monday, July 31, 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A little research

From Joe, who got it from Sherry, who didn't say where she got it

Go to Wikipedia and type your birthday in the search box (not the year). Find 1 significant death, 2 significant births, an interesting event or two (or four), and a holiday/observance.

1941 - Maximilian Kolbe, Saint, martyr of Auschwitz (b. 1894)

1945 - Steve Martin, American comedian and actor (Wild and crazy guy)
1950 - Gary Larson, American cartoonist (Far Side)

1842 - Indian Wars: Second Seminole War ends, with the Seminoles forced from Florida to Oklahoma.
1935 - United States Social Security Act passes, creating a government pension system for the retired.
1945 - Japan accepts the Allied terms of surrender in World War II and the Emperor records the Imperial Rescript on Surrender (August 15 in Japan standard time).
2004 - Sales tax holiday in Massachusetts. All sales taxes are suspended on purchases of $2500 or less. (bring this to Oklahoma!)

United States - National Code talkers Day (personal note: I met one of the last surviving code talkers a few years back when he visited OSU for a presentation)
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Great lines from our "Quarterly Safety Training" meeting

Members of my department had the distinct pleasure of gathering in a huge room to attend our quarterly safety training session yesterday. I happened to be sitting on the front row, which happened to be next to the only blind employee (let's name him "Martin") and the presenter (Sheryl).

When it was time to start, since a microphone hadn't been obtained for Sheryl, it took a short time to get everyone quieted down and ready to listen. This was the first time Sheryl had presented, so she was somewhat nervous. At first she asked if everyone could see the screen, and I just couldn't help be let her know that she was standing between Martin and the screen and he couldn't see it. She started to move back and then figured out the joke. Needless to say, that lightened the atmosphere quite a bit.

Two of the best lines of the day actually cam from Martin. The majority of the safety training covered motor vehicle operations, both university and privately owned. At one point, when Sheryl was mentioning something about driving, Martin popped off by saying "are you sure you want me to do all this?". The other doozy from Martin came during a portion when Sheryl was reading off reasons why some people don't like to buckle their seat belts. When she mentioned the excuse "it is just a short trip to the store", Martin replied "Well, it is a short trip through the windshield also". It took a few minutes for the class to resume after that one.

We can always count on Martin to lighten some of these meetings up!
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Monday, July 17, 2006

URL quiz

When you have a minute ot two, look through these web addresses. Try to figure out what you think the site would be about .. then visit it to see if you are right:

I'm just curious .... how many did you get right?
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Friday, July 14, 2006

AAA - First day of riding (my version of the story)

In case you read the Amputees Across America journal for July 03, I want to shed some information from my perspective. Regarding:
After outlasting Johnny, Gary, AJ, Joe, one blown out tire, one broken seat, 496 miles, 82.4 hills, and a bike with jacked up gears, Ron is getting ready to ride bike # 4.
I started out the morning ride on my new bike, and it was operating flawlessly. Gears were changing smoothly, brakes weren't dragging, safety lights flashing twice per rotation, etc. However, somewhere along the way I picked up a small nail which caused my rear tire to slowly loose air. Instead of taking the time to fight with removing the rear wheel, changing or patching the tube and then re-install the wheel, Joe allowed me to get one of the spare (old) mountain bikes out of the trailer. I rode that bike for about a mile while trying to get the gears to respond, all with no luck.

Since Johnny V had already called it a day (had a sore spot starting under his socket), I decided to jump on the bike he had been riding (another older spare bike of Joe's). The gears worked fine and off AJ and I rode. All was going well and we had a few good miles behind us when we started to head up a hill. The handlebars on the bike had 'bush guards' on them, which would work as additional grip locations so I decided to use them. As they were higher up and it would allow me to sit more upright, I leaned back. When I repositioned myself on the seat, the seat post snapped in half just below where the seat was connected. Since I was pedaling, the bike ended up being propelled out from under me and into the roadway. Needless to say, I landed rather hard on my tailbone, as well as both palms since I put my hands behind me to catch myself. We were riding on the shoulder, but I knew we had cars approaching from both ahead and behind. As soon as I could, I rolled off the shoulder and into the grass in case any of the cars approaching from behind swerved right to avoid my bike which was in front of them (which none of them did).

After gathering the bits and pieces of the bike, we decided to take a short break where we were. The only real noticeable injury I had was a sizable piece of skin sliced off the end of my left thumb (the picture near the bottom of the journal page doesn't do it justice). After downing a bottle of Gatorade, I asked Gary, our AK rider, if I could borrow his bike for the rest of the day, to which he agreed.

As a result, the following was the closing paragraph in the journal that day:
And the cheese stands alone, showing his wounds received while surviving one flat tire, a bike change, non functioning gears on a second bike, and an exploding seat on a third, putting him thumbs down on the pavement. Our Energizer Bunny takes it all in stride, jumps on a fourth bike and continues riding on and on and on and on... Where did this guy come from. Probably some Tibetan power camp for space robobikers. Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully, we will have enough bikes for him to demolish if we can't slow him up with flats, chain ring sabotage or another exploding seat. Hey Ron, it's great to have you with us.
You just gotta love the way they write those journal entries!
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Grass fire + Riverdance music = Priceless

Here's a pretty good illustration of how a small, seemingly harmless fire can quickly get out of hand. Always gotta have some water near by or a fire extinguisher.
Riverdance Fire
I doubt anyone will need to remind that young man that fireworks and dry grass don't get along well with each other!

File size is 3 MB, according to the Download Calculator, download times would be approx: 7:24 @ 56.6 Kbps; 3:16 @ ISDN; 0:49 @ DSL; 0:16 @ cable
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Monday, July 10, 2006

Links to last week's rides and visits

Day one ride:
AAA Journal - 03 July
Duncan Banner - news story
Day Two ride:
AAA Journal - 04 July
Day three visits:
AAA Journal - 05 July
Day four visits:
AAA Journal - 06 July
Dallas News - news story
Day five visits:
AAA Journal - 07 July

When I get a chance to get out from all the paperwork at the office, I will ty to provide some posts about some very interesting pieces of the week.
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Thursday, July 06, 2006

First day of visitations

We have completed the first day of visitations in the DFW / Plano area. You can find the humorous journal write-up here. While the journal is written with a fun attitude, it is impossible to convey the effects the visits have on the riders, patients and staff.

A patient might not have a positive outlook when they are first contacted, but after talking with them and asking about their condition when they first got there, they realize how far they have come. Other patients, after a short conversation, figure out that fellow patients look up to them for inspiration. After speaking with patients, therapists and other staff members, the riders get an emotional boost. It is a wonderful circle of energy.

An unexpected bonus during today's activities was when a group of kids from a neighboring school were brought over to meet us. During the visits, the AAA riders (guest riders included) sign posters to hand out. We took the time to write a personal note on each poster given to the kids. Visiting with the younger generation is always fun because they have no hesitations to asking about our prosthetic legs or how w became amputees. The only "down side" is when one of them share that they wish they had "such a cool leg". It is hard to make sure they understand that a prosthetic leg is good to have when your 'original equipment' isn't working as designed, but if their legs are healthy they need to keep them!

All in all it was a good day. At the end of the visitation days the riders are tired ... but it is a good tired.
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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

Saturday, July 01, 2006

As seen in Colorado Springs a few weeks ago

When I saw this, I asked Sarah to take a picture of it.  While we were getting ready for my biking trip, we downloaded our trip pictures to our computer and I remembered why I wanted a copy of it … to use as a blog entry.  As such, here it is:
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