September 10, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

there was a very different world...
One where the sun shined, the skies were brillant blue, and we had not a care in the world.

Then our world fell apart...

Our spirits seemed reduced to rubble...
But America is more than a place.  More than a name.
It is a home.
A home to the Free and the Brave...
We shall always overcome.
We shall always stand united.
Since we are America, we will always remember.

September 3, 2010

199 Bottles of Beer or just 199 Days Ago...

Apparently if it's been 199 days since someone last blogged, they lose their ability to come up with titles.  Or topics.  Or even scant ideas of what to blog about.
I hope this phenomenon does not last that I actually miss blogging and have a wee bit of time in my life to actually participate in it again.
Of course I haven't lost my ultra-sharp tongue, a.k.a. opinions, when it comes to politics, nor has my love of country and appreciation of our service men and women wanned.  And I have plenty o'stories about The Sweet Spawn, Sledge, the Brain Dead Pug and our newest member Scooter Booter, but I just can't quite decide where to start.   Should the first post back inform you that Big Shooter is a Ranch Hand?  Both of the Sweet Spawn are taller than me and spent a MONTH in Idaho this summer?  Or that I had to straddle a gear shift positioned precariously close to my woohaw for 188 miles with a tow truck driver named Stinky Clifford shifting often?
I can't decide, so for tonight I think I'll just say, "I've missed you BloggyLand!  I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you!"

February 17, 2010

Day 3 & 4 Combine

I so wanted to post everyday!  So ain't gonna happen y'all!

So I've come up with my own Winter Olympics event it's called:
The Stellar, Useless, Obscure, Olympic Tib Bit Combine Post

Since most Combine Events take place over a couple days...I'll post at least every coupla days too!  (Great excuse  justification  idea huh?)

Where to begin this Combined Post?  Do we start with the Drama (with a capitol D) in the Men's Figure Skating?  How the media puts such pressure on our young athletes and then seems to drown in their own excited saliva when they fail to get the job done?  How about the way US Gold Medalist Seth Westcott's WWII vet grandpa influenced his Olympic experience?  Or the fact there is, for the second time in Olympic history, a prego momma participating in these Games?

Nah.  I think we'll start with the fact that if you want Coke, you don't drink Shasta Cola.  If you want a Xerox copy, you don't use a certain cheap @$$ printer that needs to be replaced.  And if you want an envious, high quality, international standard event on perfect ice, you don't use...
these specially made $1,000,000 off-brand ice machines.

Everyone knows you use the tried and true...

What did our Gold Medalist Seth Westcott bring to these Games with him?
"I had a pretty powerful moment packing that thing in my backpack."
- US snowboard gold medallist Seth Wescott on carrying his late grandfather's World War II service flag.

And the media?  Could they be any more houndish with our athletes??
How many ways can Lindsay say, "I fell people...I was young, dumb and reckless."
They were dying to get a story of redemption.
They missed it.
It was a much deeper, closer story than they could imagine.
And while they were slippin' and slidin' in their greedy saliva rushing to get the next big story...they passed this one.
In the same race Lindsay fell in 4 years ago in Turino and got the dreaded Silver,
Maelle Ricker crashed and was air-lifted out.

4 years later, while the media was stalking Lindsay, she was quietly readying herself for redemption.

While our eyes were glued on the red vest falling to the wayside...

Maelle Ricker crossed the finish line 20 minutes from the house she grew up in and became the female darling of Canada...
Way to go Girl.

One last fun little picture for this, the first Combined Post event, that shows the judges for the ski jumping.  Each time they were mentioned I wondered where they were located to be able to watch the jumps from the side of the mountain.
Now we know...

Good Night my fellow Americans!
May your popcorn have just the perfect amount of butter tomorrow night while enjoying the halfpipe!  The girls flying down the hills in Downhill!  Apollo...sigh, need I say more?  It's gonna be a grand eveing!

February 14, 2010

O Canada!

As Mary Carillo said, "The O in O Canada! no longer stands for Zero."
It was a 5 Kleenex Alarm in the Shooter household when Alexandre went down to hug his big brother, Fredrick, who he'd dedicated the race to and who suffers from cerebral palsy.
After almost 34 YEARS of never winning a gold on home turf...CONGRATULATIONS Canada!!!

The Crumb Snatchers began asking questions about the moguls and the snow as we watched so the answers I researched provide Day 2s fascinating, obscure Olympic Tid Bits!

It begins with moving in the "special" white stuff.

Followed by specialized construction.

One of the questions was, "Why is the snow so dirty when everything else has to be so perfect?"
The answer is, as the athletes are flying down the hill and through the air, they need something in the pure white to offer a contrast.  Give them a target so to speak. 

Alexandre had a whole country behind him...I found two of the CUTEST CANUCKS!

My own love of flowers lead me to this stellar find of Obscure Olympic Tid Bit...
The Victory Bouquet is made of indigenous plants and flowers from the area...except they only bloom in the summer.  So the indigenous flowers were grown and then flown from Ecuador.
They are literally changing lives in Canada.
The florists who won the bid to make them chose to partner with non-profit organizations that help "women who face barriers" when it comes to legitimate employment.
The girls that make them would other wise not be involved or impacted by the Olympics in a significant way.  They are recovering from addiction, leaving prison, exiting the sex trade or are victims of violence.
Instead, they all now have a viable future skill to fall back on.
Way Cool.
As we watched (and listened) to the pairs short programs tonight, one outfit (the shiny blue pantsuit) reminded me of a long ago Olympics America got the privilege of watching the Merrells favorite Olympic announcer - Scott Hamilton.
  I found the picture...

A few things about Mr. Hamilton outside the rink:
1) He survived testicular cancer.
2) After skating with the Ice Capades, he formed the Stars On Ice.
3) He was the first celebrity to grant a wish for the Make a Wish Foundation.
4) He is on he Board of Directors for the Special Olympics International.
5) He's a husband to this beauty.  And father to a 6 and a 2 yo boy.
6) He's a strong christian believer.
And for just plain ole fun...
Apollo Fans...

Dedicated, timeless Apollo fans...

Pray for our troops in harms way. Pray for their wives, children, mommas, daddies, sisters and brothers. They all sacrifice so very much for us to live our lives, watch our prime time tv, drink our fancy signature mixes and pray without fear.
God Bless America and our brave soldiers.

February 13, 2010

Let the GAMES Begin!!!

I've received too many emails about the Olympics to not try my hardest to post about these games!
So here's the answers to a few of the questions I keep getting:

YES...I'm still a total Olympic Fuh-Reek...therefore, so is my fam.  Some by choice, some by force.

Yes, we are turning it into a total learning lesson.  Big Shooter started it off by decorating the livingroom with big beautiful American flags, a giant world map, ski equipment and a surprise Name That Country By It's Flag game he made up on on the fly.  Sigh...he's a man who's captured my heart!

Yep, I'm going to be doing research each day about the happenings and all those fun extra little tid bits in these Games like I did for the Summer Games.  However, I cannot promise to be the most consistent at posting what I learn.  Sorry.  You may, or may not have noticed I've been absent lately from the Blogosphere.  Life.  It's happening all around me.

The 2010 Winter Olympics logo is named Ilanaaq, which is the Inuktitut word for friend.

The mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games were inspired by traditional First Nations creatures, the mascots include:

Miga — A mythical sea bear, part orca and part kermode bear.
Quatchi — A sasquatch, who wears boots and earmuffs.
Sumi — An animal guardian spirit who wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty Thunderbird and runs on the strong furry legs of the black bear.

First Extra Odd Tid Bit:
Skating Diva - Johnny Weir has elected to stay in the Olympic Village bc it is "more easily secured than a hotel".  (He complained long and hard about his accomodations in the Village the last Olympics and had his heart set on a luxury stay this go round.)  He has received valid and serious threats from anit-fur activists and is justifibly concened for his safety.  (The irony of being threatened with your life from an anti-fur group just kinda cracks me up honestly.)  However, they should be a little less angry with him, bc he has given in and sacrificed style and design be replacing the white fox on his outfit with faux fox.
 Here are the adjectives the announcers used describing the Mens Figure Skating competition (no giggling):
* Deep
* Rich
* Staggering
* Unrelenting
* Exciting
Please stop giggling.  They were ssssserious.
And therefore, so am I.  It starts tomorrow.  I'm popping my popcorn early to get a good seat!

January 16, 2010

Never the Underdog ~ Shaun White

Picking the first was hard...and easy.
The boy just begs to be part of your family.
The Crumbs wish he was.
We've watched him with awe the past few years.  He's won many more titles, dated some of the world's most notorious women (notice, I did not say beautiful...), he's made a whole industry bow down to his name and he's always positive.  Hope he stays that way...

Family sacrifice
When White first started snowboarding, his career put a significant financial burden on his family, costing his parents $20,000 a year. In the infancy of his career, the family (Shaun, Roger, Cathy and his siblings, Jesse and Kari) would drive up to Mammoth every weekend and sleep in their 1964 Econoline van (a.k.a. "Big Mo"), cooking meals on a stove in the back. As Shaun got older, the family began staying at a motel, but the lifestyle still required significant sacrifice. Cathy spent her weeks shuttling back and forth between bringing Shaun to Mammoth and waiting tables in San Diego, and by 2002, her 1998 Honda had reportedly accumulated 180,000 miles.

Early trouble

White was born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, which his website ( describes as "a series of heart malformations." The heart defect required two major surgeries at a young age.
He was also severely bow-legged early in his childhood and had to wear corrective leg braces at night. However, neither malady stopped White from trying snowboarding at age six (with the assistance of his father, Roger). The entire White family has since taken up snowboarding, with Cathy (his mother) being the last to learn.

Halfpipe coronation
Entering the 2006 Torino Games, White was widely considered the favorite to take Olympic gold in men's halfpipe. However, the Carlsbad, Calif., native got an early scare when a mistake on his first qualifying run left him with just 37.7 points, facing a do-or-die scenario to earn a spot in the final with his second qualifying run. White ended up qualifying with ease on that second run, and in the final, he did not disappoint, claiming the Olympic title with a dominant performance. Riding to AC/DC's Back in Black, the then-19-year-old racked up 46.8 points in the first run of the final round, a score that no other competitor would surpass. During his interview with NBC after the victory, White broke down, unable to hold back his tears.

Two-sport star
In addition to owning the Olympic snowboarding crown, White is also a champion skateboarder who claimed the skateboard vert title at the 2007 Summer X Games, making him the first athlete ever to win Summer and Winter X Games titles. White skates professionally in the summer, leaving him roughly six months on the snow each year, making his achievements in snowboarding and skateboarding all the more impressive. And though White didn't win his first X Games title until 2007, his skateboarding career has long been ordained for greatness - he first started skateboarding with the legendary Tony Hawk at age nine.

Project X
In the spring of 2009, Red Bull, one of White's principal sponsors, built him a private halfpipe complete with foam pit at Silverton Mountain in southwestern Colorado. Dubbed Project X, the pipe was built on the backside of a mountain in an inconspicuous avalanche chute, reachable only by helicopter and snowmobile. There, it took White all of three days to land the trick that would come to dominate snowboard chatter over the summer and beyond - the double-cork. The game-changing maneuver involves two off-axis rotations, or diagonal flips. And at the season's opening World Cup event in New Zealand in August, White debuted back-to-back double-cork spins en route to victory. The first of those double-corks was a cab 1080 stalefish, meaning that while White was twice flipping diagonally, he was also executing three full spins and grabbing the board at his back heel edge.

The empire
From his relatively modest beginning, White has ascended to a staggering level of success. He reportedly earns more than $9 million annually, primarily from endorsement deals with Burton, Hewlett-Packard, Oakley, Red Bull, and Target, putting him second behind skateboarding legend Tony Hawk in Forbes' 2008 list of the highest-paid action sports stars. White also owns a Lamborghini and three homes, including one on the beach in Carlsbad, Calif. And like the aforementioned Hawk, White reached a notable digital milestone in November 2008 when he officially became the title character in his own video game, Shaun White Snowboarding.

We'll be watching you closely and cheering you on Shaun.  Make America proud!

Love Note to Big Shooter: Just so you know Love, I pretty much just plagairized this article since I promised to not spend such insane amounts of time researching...that's going to be my compromise.  Just so you know.  In case the Plagairism Police come knocking.

Anti-War Monger

Y'all know nothin' lights my fire faster than questionable treatment of our troops ~ the men, women and families who sacrifice so much every day for each of us to live our lives in the manner we've come to demand and expect, instead of treasure and respect.
So imagine my reaction to THIS ap article I came across this evening...

A group led by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan has protested near the CIA's headquarters and former Vice President Dick Cheney's home in northern Virginia.

They were protesting the use of unmanned drone aircraft to attack al-Qaida and Taliban targets.

The group of about 70 people rallied alongside a highway near the CIA compound Saturday. About half then marched to Cheney's nearby street and stayed for 20 minutes. Police kept them from going down his street.

Sheehan's 21-year-old son Casey was killed in Iraq in April 2004. She staged a prolonged demonstration outside former President George W. Bush's ranch near Crawford, Texas, in 2005.

She says using drones is "cowardly" and "immoral."

I don't get it people.  I really, really don't.
She's protested the war in general for years.  I do get that.  It's been a long haul.  It's been extremely costly in American lives.  But, I also feel there's been no real solution presented to the problem either.  (I was secretly harboring a hope the Messiah would have presented/followed through with his solutions by now.)  So if she was protesting that, I'd understand.  But she's not.  She's protesting the use of NON-MANNED WEAPONS against true enemies of the state. 

These groups make no bones about it, no justifications, no excuses, not the merest hint of denial about the way they feel about us or Israel.  We are dogs.  We are infidels.  We are whores.  They hate us.  They wish each one of us dead.  They are training to kill as many of us as they can.  They plan their attacks on our troops day and night.  They will stop at nothing.  She wants us to leave them alone.  That's her opinion.  She's entitled to it.  The troops are fighting for her right to express herself freely. 
The catch is, they are going to continue attacking us.  We will need to defend ourselves against them whether we are there or here.  Period.
And according to her, saving American lives by using non-manned methods is "cowardly" and "immoral".

mon⋅ger [muhng-ger, mong-]
–noun 1. a person who is involved with something in a petty or contemptible way