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 (www.shaunwhite.com) 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

January 13, 2010

Ready or Not...Here They Come!

Nearly 250 athletes will venture north of the border to represent the United States at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Here are the 15 sports we'll be cheering them on in...
A mere 30 days!!!
Alpine Skiing

Cross Country Skiing
Free Style Skiing
Figure Skating
Ice Hockey
Nordic Combined
Ski Jumping
Speed Skating
Short Track

Okay, my heart rate has increased.  My breathing is getting ragged and quick.  I feel the need to scream, moan and roll my head around...and it's not for the reason you may think.  It's because I'm getting giddy with anticipated excitement for the Opening Ceremony.
Tomorrow you get to meet one of our stars.
I can't wait!

Love Note to Big Shooter:  You show patience for my obsession.   You show tolerance for my insanity.   You show genuine interest (don't admit anything else if that's not true) in all the craziness leading up to the Blessed Event.  You show intense enthusiasm right along side me...thanks for your unconditional love, my Love. 

January 10, 2010

Sex Talk

Last Christmas Eve (2008) I decided I wasn't waiting any longer for Big Shooter to get over...well, whatever he needed to get over to have the Sex Talk with the Boy Child so I could have the same talk with the Girl Child. 
So I decided to do it myself.  Both of them.  At the same time.

Let's just say I now have the best advice in the world to hand out to parents all over the world trying to save themselves from having to do the Sex Talk more than once. 

Do more than one.  Do as many as children you have.  Do practice sessions.  Do extras.
Just don't do them AT THE SAME TIME!  Ever.

I'm not going to get into the whole conversation and questions here.  Just know that when some certain information finally sank in,  Boy Child sputtered and choked, "I have to do what to my wife??"...in front of his sister.  And later, "Do I have to?  Will I get a divorce if I don't want to?" 

And Girl Child?  Poor Girl Child.  She couldn't say anything for days other than, "Mommy, does it really, really, really hurt when the baby comes out?  Or just really hurt?"  I felt awful for her.  I'd crushed her little Mommyhood Bubble.  The girl was meant to me a Momma.  Aside from all the tom-boy, dirt, animal-loving and  target shooting...she just wants to be a fantastic Momma.  She talks about it all the time.   She practices.  She plans it.  She dreams about it.  Ooooh the trauma of learning the truth!

Now, mind you, I made it all wonderful, ooey-gooey and lovey-dovey.  I really did.  In fact, I've shared how I approached it with many mommas and daddies who have shared it in the same fashion.

That isn't the problem.

It's the natural curiosity since it all start soaked in + the unabashed openness the Shooter Household is known for that makes, at times, even my toes curl with the questions these precious little maturing Crumb Snatchers now ask.

No matter when or where we are (much, much, MUCH to Big Shooter's chagrin), if they ask a question about sex answer as honestly as I possibly can.  After a year of this it's not a big deal any more and I love the fact they trust us enough to ask all the questions that just seem to pop in their heads from out of left field. 
I am also relieved to announce, after a year, Big Shooter has chilled out and can now calmly field a tough sexual question instead of directing all traffic my way.

This all brings me to today's conversation while driving to a movie.

We were parked at a corner with a gentelmen's club on Boy Child's side of the car.  Girl Child said, "Ick.  Did anyone read that banner?  It said, 'Coldest Beer and Hottest Girls in Town'.  Now who in this car would want that???"  Big Shooter tightened my hand bc we've been wondering when we'd have to address the strip club issue since we live on the side of Plainsville these establishments are seen more often.  Before we could say anything, Girl Child reported from the backseat, "Ummm guys...you should know...your son just raised his hand.  Apparently, he wants cold beer and hot girls."
Now my hand held a death grip on Big Shooter's since he was trying to suppress a grin.  (Have I ever shared the one testicle story about Boy Child?  If not, just know Big Shooter gets a big kick and sigh of relief whenever our boy shows any natural interest in girls... Then remind me after the Blessed Event - Olympics - is finished and I'll tell you how we have a Leftie - as in, he has only one left.)

 After our cautious explanation, they both came to their own conclusions.
These were that Girl Child didn't want to become a stripper. (sigh of relief)
And Boy Child had apparently changed his mind about wanting cold beer and hot girls once he found out they were naked.  (sigh of relief from me...a "go figure" shrug from his father). 
I guess we did our religious, right-wing-nut-job, conservative, redneck jobs well.

Although, when they fully understood what actually took place, they naturally went to the sex subject.  They both asked questions about the actions and attitudes of a strip joint leading to sex, the desire for sex and sexual temptaions...Sex, sex, SEX!  (Is this all these spawn think about now??)

Before we had time to gather our thoughts on all the questions and decide where to start, Girl Child very firmly declared, "Well, I've decided if I'm ever tempted...I'm just gonna slap a sticker on my flower that says OUT. OF. ORDER!"

Big Shooter released the steering wheel, threw his hands in the air, and shouted...

Yep.  We're making progress.

Love Note to My Big Shooter:  Yep, sex, sex, SEX... I wonder where they get that from?  Hmmmm.  Heh, heh.

January 3, 2010

Crumb Snatcher Speak

I will never tire of the funny things they say.  And they are definitely getting further and further apart...
I don't even know if I can explain this one clearly, but I have to try.

Boy Child called while I was out to ask if I'd take him to Game Stop to exhcange a game before they closed.  I said, "Sure.  You'll need to call and see if they're still open."  I hung up and called them too. (I mistakenly thought it'd take him a little while to look up their number.  I now think he has their number memorized.)  I called the one on Elm Dr. and asked their hours.  My phone immediately rang.  I answered it with, "Guess what?  They close at 7:00."  His response was a surprised, "Mommy!  Did you call the one on Elm doctor too?!?"

Love Note to Big Shooter: Took two whole days to count them all.  But, I came up with 378 ways...  ;o)

January 2, 2010

To be or not to be...

resolute?  That is the question.

Big Shooter and I have not made any resolutions in years because, honestly, what's the point of putting  ourselves through the agony of facing our giant out-of-reach goals in the next few weeks and then withstanding the emotional failure of having to consciously let them go by the way side?  Why put ourselves through that again and again?  So we haven't.  We stopped like 15 years ago.

I'm so over that silly decision.

I'm staking my claim.  Making them in public. 

One easy, make-ya-feel-good kind.
And one not so easy to keep, but a make-ya-feel-good-if-ya-keep-it kind.

The first is going to come as a complete surprise to you all.
I'm going to commit to being a complete and utter over-the-top fool for the 2010 Olympics.  (I know.  Go ahead and pick yourself up now.) 
Here's how: I'm going to publish a daily Getting to Know Your USA Team post for 30 days leading up to the blessed event. The first one will be January 13th.  (Just doing you a favor so you can hold your breath, break out all your red, white and blue clothes and prepare the snacks.)

The second one is a bit more hairy to accomplish since it will involve many of my family members.  And y'all know that's like herding cats.  While talking with an old family friend she explained how she'd appointed herself the Family Orator.  Once a month she sends everyone in the fam a Family Update.  I miss my family dearly living here in Plainsville.  Some live in Idaho, some in Washington, some in Colorado, some in Conneticut and some in Wyoming.  So I've now appointed myself the 2010 Family Orator.  (If you're reading this fam, I'll be calling you soon with my interview questions, pen and pad...puh-leeze answer the phone.  I really want to accomplish one New Year's Resolution in my life!)

Love Note to my Big Shooter: (Sigh.)  I'm still counting the ways...