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2011 - Jan
July 31, 2005 -
new Gallup poll out has approval for Bush at 44%- which
ties with Nixon's record low during Watergate.
Teresa and I went back to Joe and Cynthia's to finish
their trellis. We were lucky to get a number of clouds
and I took a good ladder so it seemed to go really fast.
After I got home I took a short nap, and then mowed
July 30, 2005 -
new planet has been discovered in our solar system.
Its orbit is about three times as distant from the Sun
and is twice the size of Pluto, and it also has a moon.
Its so far been given the name of 2003-EL61, but it
will probably be given a real name soon.
an asteroid is headed for Earth and will get here in
April 13, 2059... it will pass within 22,000 miles of
Earth... that is well within the orbit of the Moon,
and even within the orbit of communications satellites.
They already know it will not impact the Earth, but
it may pass close enough to have its orbit altered slightly
so that it will collide on its next orbit just as Jupiter
caused Shoemaker-Levy9 to impact it.
week India received a meter of rain in a 24 hour period
causing massive flooding and five hundred deaths.
Leader of the Senate, Dr. Bill Frist broke from the
President and announced that he supported legislation
for the funding of expanded stem cell research- this
act lit a firestorm on the right; several religious
leaders said they would not support Frist if he ran
for president, and Senator Brownback took the opportunity
to denounce Frist on the Senate floor. The Senate now
has majority support for creating legislation but Bush
has vowed to veto... now the only question is if Senator
Frist will be able to convince others in his party to
be able to override a veto. As a doctor he is held in
high regard on medical issues.
Hill is preparing to go on break so a number of bills
have been sent to the President- There's an energy bill
that gives huge tax breaks to oil and gas companies,
and a $286 billion highway bill passed which will give
Topeka a new Kansas River bridge. The Bolton nomination
failed to gain support in the Senate, but now that they
are going on break Bush can make him a recess appointment
and send him to the UN anyway.
Teresa was kinda sick. Lin called me before I was to
come in for work and told me... so I called the Teresa
to see if she wanted anything from the store. I took
her crackers and Sprite, but while getting ice, I noticed
her lightbulb in her refrigerator didn't work... Teresa
said that it was an old refrigerator, and they didn't
make it with a lightbulb, but I quickly found that it
had a place for one, she just didn't know that she could
put one in it..... and she's lived there for two years.
July 27, 2005 -
I talked to Miyako in a chat room for a little while.
I'm going to try and make a video CD to send to her
and my host family of my life here. Miyako came to study
at Washburn for a month in the same program that I went
over there in, but she's never been to Holton.
Space Shuttle Discovery was sent up yesterday, the first
shuttle in over two years, and after another small piece
of insulation peeled off from the external tank, all
the shuttles are grounded again. I don't believe this
grounding will last as long, but since I really question
the focus of the program, and Bush's goal to get people
to Mars... I'm not as interested.
July 26, 2005 -
was a great day- it rained and it was very cool. Today
at work Bob brought in a little cup full of foreign
coins for my collection- I wonder how many of them are
also not being minted anymore with the Euro replacing
them. I read that Italy was debating abandoning the
Euro to bring back the Lyra. My host sister Miyako Matsuda
started to write me quite a bit, and Yuka wrote me a
letter, so I'm very happy to be able to get to catch
up with them.
July 25, 2005 -
was a busy weekend- I worked Saturday and it was somewhat
slow the first part of the day but after that it picked
up a little. When I got home from work Carrie said she
was going to have to drive to Kansas City to go to a
music conference for work. It was then that I got
a call from Eunjoo: it had been months since I'd heard
from her, and over a year since I saw her last. I told
her that Carrie and I were planning to go just to look
for the convention center (which was next to where Eunjoo
& Eric got married, so she told us to come up and
they'd show her, and Eric had just gotten a new jet-ski
so we could do that as well. So Sunday Carrie and I
went to KC to see the Lee family. Troy seems like a
very happy baby- he will turn one on Wednesday. Eunjoo's
parents were staying with them so they watched Troy
for the afternoon while we went out.... Carrie saw where
the convention center was, we ate at a Korean restaurant-
one I'd never eaten at before (but the Toh Sol Pibimbap
was still just as good). After we ate we met up with
Eric's friend Shawn- he drove the jet-ski mostly, and
took everyone for rides, and pulled me once skiing.
When we first got to the lake (we went to Smithville
Lake in Missouri) they let me drive the jet-ski out
by myself, and I got pulled over by a police boat for
not having a number on the side- and they didn't have
a fire extinguisher. The park officer was very nice
though, very serious, but understanding that they had
just gotten it, and it was registered, it just didn't
have the sticker on it, and she said that a compact
extinguisher should have come with it when they got
it, so she let us go with a warning. She was very busy
that day, because every time I saw her she had someone
new pulled over.
July 21, 2005 -
the karate tonight, and in the basement no less... I
like basement karate, because basement karate is not
in the billion degree heat. After karate we all went
out for custard... I like custard nights.
Sudan- Secretary Rice was there today, and some of her
people and the reporters there to cover her trip were
roughed up, thrown against walls, and manhandled out
of the room. Rice was there so they could ask her for
assistance in the crisis there... though they really
caused the problem. Rice said that the situation is
better there now- though all the villages in Darfur
are now gone and and the population there now reside
in camps. It's situations like the crisis in Darfur,
or in Iraq, that make me think we (the UN) need to build
secured cities in troubled spots throughout the world.
First... We build a big circular wall and set up guard
towers and checkpoints and then we build another wall
inside the first... and then... we start a new city
inside the walls. It'd be more a city of the future...
compact, no need for cars... and then set the rules;
basically no guns, and place limits on everything that
could be taken into the city that could be a component
chemical to making a bomb.... and then invite people
that wish to live in the city in. It might seem like
the Berlin wall- but everyone would be able to come
and go as they pleased, but I think the majority would
chose the safety behind the wall.
July 20, 2005 -
night I went over to help Brent with his wedding photos
he took Saturday... When I got home I watched Bush make
his nomination for the next Supreme Court Justice. Oiy.
O'Connor had always been a moderate swing voter who
balanced the court, so with this nomination it will
become a conservative court, or at least a more conservative
court. I'm not sure I see a way around the nomination-
fifty million dollars had been raised even before the
announcement was made to promote or attack the new candidate,
so there are people on both sides drawing out a battle
plan, but I really don't see a way to defeat the nomination...
The group of fourteen senators that came to an agreement
over judicial appointments set criteria for when a filibuster
could be used, and McCain stated today that the current
nomination of John Roberts did not meet the criteria
agreed upon so the Democrats would be bound to vote
for an up or down vote on the nomination... So since
it's going to be a losing battle, I feel it's a battle
best not fought. I think the Senators should be diligent
and ask questions of him, but I think they shouldn't
try and delay the process or fight it, though I certainly
would hope many will vote against him to have it on
the record. I feel it's something that cannot be defeated,
and making it into a big fight will cause it to be seen
as a big victory for Bush- and it will be, especially
if the media is caused to focus on it and the eventual
confirmation for a long period of time. Thus, the logical
thing to do is to push it through and reclaim the headlines...
What's Karl Rove up to now? .... The CIA is none to
happy with Karl- it would seem that in their first investigation
of the leak when he was asked if he had been interviewed
by columnist Robert Novak Rove had told them that he
had not. There is a new poll out: "Is Karl Rove
guilty of a serious offense?" and among only Republicans,
which was the kindest group to him, only 38% said he
was innocent. 46% said they didn't know, and 16% said
that he was guilty.
morning James Doohan passed away at the age of 85. George
Takei was on Countdown with Keith Olberman tonight with
fond memories of Scotty, and his bio was on the nightly
news, and even the BBC world news noted his death. He
certainly led a long and successful life. Doohan is
the second person from the original cast to pass on
after DeForest Kelley.
July 18, 2005 -
I got up and jogged three miles, had cake, walked dogs
at the humane society with the rest of the family, took
pictures of a car Dad has been restoring, had a nap
and watched Stargate.
July 17, 2005 -
Teresa and I went over to Joe & Cynthia Laframboise's
house to stain their trellis... Starting off though
Teresa told me we would be staining their deck- and
I pondered: "Decks aren't that
bad, you can just use a roller with a pole like Matt
Veatch did, just an hour this'll take!" Given it
was not a deck, and it was all up above our heads, it
was a little more difficult than I thought, but wasn't
too bad. It was a pretty hot and muggy day, but luckily
it was partly cloudy so we were not looking up at the
sun... just looking up.
week the lilly that Yuka got for Mom started to bloom.
She got it for her when she and her mother stayed with
us. We got it at the farmers' market in Topeka, where
Yuka also got a bag of kettle corn that she carried
around everywhere, never really eating it... but always
really enjoying just a bit here and there.. The flower
was really a great gift, and it's nice to have a good
memory tied to something like a flower that will bloom
at the same time you gave it year after year.
Fry is doing pretty good. We tend to just call her "Smally"
now, and she's been extremely playful lately. She and
Weazer are always nipping or chasing after one another.
She has plumped up a great deal after being on the pregnazone
(a steroid) for her lymphoma. Her tongue is disproportionately
long for her mouth I think, because it always hangs
out to one side.
birthday is tomorrow, and he took yesterday off to go
to a car show with friends, so we took that time to
get his gift, a new 27" flat screen TV and an entertainment
center to put it in. It took over an hour probably to
assemble everything- Dad really liked it, and I'm sure
it will be something that will get used- though I think
Carrie wanted it as much, if not more than Dad did.
The old TV had seen its day though, it would often suddenly
switch to American Movie Classics at will... It wasn't
really that it'd switch channels, more that all channels
would become AMC, and it was a daily occurrence, so
it certainly was time to get a new TV.
July 15, 2005 -
Today I got my technology in the mail, a 1GB compact
flash card, and a new sound card. Tonight after work
I went to Bob's house and we messed with his video capture
device some, and then I came home for Sci-Fi Friday,
but then Brent called for computer help. Luckily I had
told my computer to record it anyway.
July 13, 2005 -
complimented me on my Colorado pictures, but wanted
to know if I took 300 pictures, why did I only show
twenty of them- Well, I did upload 2.3MB worth of images,
and some were of the same thing, and some were bad....
Here's one that was bad -->
I worked some on the dojo website, and also made a karate
kata CD of the first kata we must know to earn a green
July 11, 2005 -
recently had several channels added to our cable, so
today I watched a little Fox News... I don't see how
they can be so bias and call themselves a news channel.
They have branded the rest of the media the "liberal
media", though I've never really thought any of
the other mainstream organizations to be tilted on way
or the other-
night and into today I've been working on my HP... it
was hiccupping while it was recording TV and when it
was played back it would pause and skip, so I reformatted
it last night, twice. The first time it had some problems,
but now it seems to work better than when I first got
it. The built-in media card readers never worked on
it, not that it was a big concern as I have another
card reader with the other computer I built years ago-
but the one in the HP never worked, even though it was
all connected right, it just never detected it was there,
but now it is happy, so I have a lot of moving in to
7, 2005 -
had a great time in Colorado! I took a lot of notes, so
I will start filling in what I did on the days that I
was there tonight and over the weekend.
lot is going on in the world now, vacations are always
a break from the news for me, but I always like to see
what has gone one while I've not been paying attention.
Sandra Day O'Connor has resigned from the Supreme Court,
and the London subways were attacked today.
I unloaded all the images off my camera- I took over three
hundred pictures while I was in Colorado.
July 6, 2005 -
morning I got up and packed to get ready for the journey
home. We all went downtown to meander about one last time,
but most of the shops were not open yet, so we went back
up to the cabin and loaded the car up, said goodbye to
Brent & Sanka, and then departed. On our way back
through town we stopped again, I got a T-shirt and a mug,
and Teresa went and begged another store to open so she
could get something she'd seen earlier. The drive home
wasn't too bad, Teresa drove the first half home, and
I drove the last- Colorado is a very scenic state with
the mountains and all, but I was happy to return to the
lush green Kansas countryside.
July 5, 2005 -
our last full day in Colorado, and today I made breakfast,
and we did just a wee bit of karate and then we went to
the Cog Railway, which was only but a block from the cabin,
and got on the cog trail to go to the top of Pike's Peak.
The trip up took about and hour and a half, and the scenery
was just awesome. I think everyone at least once in their
life should make the trip up to the top. At first I was
a little concerned because I saw how my little Pringles
cans had puffed up just from the pressure change from
Topeka to Manitou Springs, and that did not seem to be
too great of a distance in elevation up as it was so gradual...
but the trip to the summit would be much greater so I
pondered what it would feel like or if it would be hard
on my camera. I took my older film camera just in case,
and I wished that I had took all my equipment.. I didn't
have any trouble breathing, and aside from adjusting my
ears a few times I didn't really notice much of a difference.
It was cold though, and it goppled on us several times
on the way up, and at the summit. Gropple is a snow/hail
combination, I'd never seen it before, and I'd say it
was mostly like snow, but the were round and held together
very tightly. On the way up past the timberline where
no trees will grow there were flowery plants and large
yellow bellied marmots that scurried about.... the summit
was comprised of only smaller stones.
Pike's Peak Brent took us to Helen Hunt Falls. Leading
up to the falls there was a stream... there seem to be
beautiful streams everywhere in Colorado!
Brent and Teresa tried to coax Sanka into the stream,
and she went in a few times, but it was VERY cold... I
think it originated somewhere close by in the mountains
from snow melt because it was ice cold. I'm glad the Arkansas
River was not that cold... it was still chilly mind you,
but it was not freezing cold like this. There were nature
trails around the falls and there was one part that was
very eroded. It seemed like there was no topsoil at all
in Colorado, or at least the area we were in- everything
seemed to be granite, or broken down granite, and there
was a lot of grass in places, but not thick like we have
Helen Hunt Falls we went the the Broadmoor for drinks...
it's a very fancy hotel for the rich and well-to-do and
they had some very nice gardens (though there pool in
the front was not deep enough for the lilies they had
planted). While we sat and enjoyed the scenery we watched
the ducks and a squirl harass people for the complementary
nuts. There were signs not to feed them, but apparently
no one followed them because they all seemed very accustomed
to going up to people and looking cute for a reward.
July 4, 2005 -
4th! I got up at 7am, we did our daily karate and Teresa
and I set off for Canyon City and white water rafting.
When we first got to Colorado Teresa called and booked
us for a half-day outing on the Arkansas River with the
Echo Canyon River Expeditions. We got there a little early
as we were the first there for our tour, but after sitting
at a table for an hour (and there was a bit of a stench
from the outhouses) we loaded up on a bus to get our safety
instructions... the first being: Never put your feet down!
The river bed is rocky, so if you put your feet down to
stand up, your feet can easily
get lodged in a crevasse, and then the current can pull
you forward. Teresa seemed to be a bit quiet as our instructions
continued. Our river guide, Corey, was very good, we were
paired up with her and four other people to go down the
river... It was all very exciting, and I wish I could
have gotten pictures, but it was a totally drenching tour.
Teresa did take a before picture, and we both got T-shirts...
They told us that on every trip down the river at least
one person gets ejected into the river, and sure enough,
there was one little girl (who was very annoying when
we were on shore) that went in...
and it was our raft that rescued her. After rafting we
were very soaked, so we made our way back to the cabin
and we went with Brent into Colorado Springs to find a
place to eat, but everything seemed to be closed so we
just ate at Taco Bell. I was happy though that we were
able to find a quick place to eat though.... People had
been lining the streets for an hour to watch fireworks,
so after we finished eating we walked up one of the nature
trails next to the cabin to take in the show... it was
amazing because no one else was up there at all and it
was the best view of the show. It was still a rather small
fireworks display, just one explosion here and there (I
photoshopically enhanced the image).
July 3, 2005 -
slept in a bit today, then we all did a little karate
together, and the ate breakfast and talked about where
good tourist sites were. Brent left early with his uncle
to a service for his Grandmother in Cripple Creek, so
Teresa and I
set out to explore some of the countryside. First we headed
for Eleven Mile Canyon, along the way though we stopped
at the Florissant Fossil Park. We didn't actually venture
all the way to the fossil beds, we went into the tourist
center to see the fossils that had been preserved, and
took a photo of ourselves there, and then we were off
again for the Eleven Mile Canyon... we followed all the
signs to find it, and the roads quickly deteriorated until
it was no more than a dirty road- one that was very poorly
graded, and it seemed to get worse the more miles we went
until finally we decided it would be best just to turn
the way back to the cabin we ate at a Sonic that was very
interesting- its architecture was a cross between a Sonic,
and a log cabin. After eating we saw a road sign for Green
Falls, and the mountain was right there along the road,
so we drove along that smaller road, and went through
the town of Green Mountain Falls, but we saw no waterfalls,
so I pondered perhaps it was somewhat like Valley Falls...
which really contains no great valleys or falls. We returned
to the cabin somewhat dejected that we spent the day driving
all about the area without seeing monumental nature...
Brent called right when we got in though, so we drove
out to Cripple Creek (which we were very near by before).
Cripple Creek was a gold mining
town in ancient times, but is now a casino town- it's
really quite interesting how all the main street shops
had been converted into micro-casinos... but I wish there
could have been more balance as they all looked like the
same cookie-cutter casino... perhaps a museum, cafe, or
places for children's
entertainment would have been nice. We told Brent of our
day, and he said he'd show us some of what we missed.
I think they really need to mark some sites better because
he took us to Green Mountain Falls, and the road to it
was unmarked, and looked to be no more than a driveway.
After we took a number of pictures and wandered the trails
we ventured to Cave of the Winds. The roads to get there
were very steep, and though we did not actually go into
the caves, the view from the cliffs outside were very
July 2, 2005 -
breakfast Teresa and I went back to get more photos at
Garden of the Gods. Last night it was
already getting dark when we were there, and it was so
awesome and close that we pondered we'd make a daily trip
there. We were driving about the park to places we hadn't
and we came up to a stop sign- just then a van rounded
the corner, it had it's sliding door open, and a couple
of elderly women were sitting in the back taking pictures
of the scenery that passed by... but as they rounded the
corner their lunch box rolled on out and they drove off
unknowing of what they had lost. Fortunately the road
they went down was just to a dead end parking area, so
I got out and took the lunch box to them... The men in
the front looked kinda leery at me, as if I was going
to approach them to buy whatever it was I was holding,
but when I asked if they had lost a lunch box, the women
in the back died laughing at their folly.
Garden of the Gods we set off for Seven Falls. We got
there via probably the longest route possible, but I think
our directions were probably geared at
people staying in Colorado Springs rather than Manitou
Springs, cause we could have gotten there a lot quicker
if we knew the roads better. Seven Falls was great though,
it is the tallest waterfall I've ever seen (if you count
them all as one fall), in
a couple places it lands and pools a bit, and it can be
a little difficult to count where there are exactly seven
of them... Next to the falls there is a metal stairway
that is very steep. We climbed all the way up it, and
then walked the nature trails that go back into a forested
area. The trip back down the stairs seemed the most treacherous,
the stairs were pretty small,and you just cannot help
but thinking if you take one wrong step- there'd be no
stopping till you got to the ground. When we reached the
ground though a couple started up the stairs, and they
had a large black lab with them. The dog seemed a bit
hesitant to go up at first, but then he seemed ok with
it- I don't think it was the best of ideas though on their
because the trip down is certainly difficult for even
a biped. After Seven Falls we did some shopping, ate at
McDonalds and then went back to the cabin.
a bit of a nap, doing the dishes and some laundry we decided
to walk down to Manitou's downtown to meander the stores
down there. As we were walking down we saw that there
was a little nature trail that went parallel to the street,
it seems that so many sidewalks and streets have streams
along them- After we exited back onto the sidewalk from
the trail a silver Subaru wagon pulled up- I noticed that
it was a little different than the year Brent drives,
but Teresa took off... She waved her arms above her head
and shouted "Whoohoo! Brent!" - It was then
that she actually got the attention of the man that was
driving, he slowed down and stopped- and then Teresa got
so embarrassed, not sure how to explain why she greeting
him in such a manner... He muttered something about drunks
(not really) and drove on, leaving Teresa still quite
embarrassed, given it is a story I said was quite blog-worthy....
It wasn't more than five minutes before Brent drove up
with Sanka riding shot-gun.
night we all went out to eat at Adam's Mountain Cafe in
downtown Manitou Springs- it was quite a bit classier
than where Teresa and I ate earlier. Everyone has the
special, the Spearfish- the fish was ok, a lot like salmon,
and it was on a bed of pasta with a red tomato sauce-
but it wasn't very saucy, it was more a chopped up assortment
of things, tomato, very
strong olives, orange peel, and a variety of things I
couldn't discern, it was very chunky though, and didn't
stick to the pasta at all, so I didn't enjoy it as much.
Brent showed us around the downtown area, and this is
when Teresa learned of
the Penny Arcades. She went crazy playing the games and
such, they had every game imaginable from new video games
to ancient types of games, and more interactive games
like skee-ball where you can get tickets to win prizes.
After Teresa ran out of change we headed back up the mountain
to the cabin- It was always easy to find the cabin; even
from miles away because there was a trail that led down
the mountain behind it that would point right down to
where we were supposed to end up.
July 1, 2005 -
Time! I got up at 5:40am and got ready to go- I was very
much caught in a quandary of what to wear. I was told
to pack for
all conditions, so I had a very stuffed suitcase and I
pondered would it be best to wear shorts for the trip
there, or jeans so as to save space in the suitcase.
I went for the jeans, but perhaps that was not the best
got to Brent's at 7:15, and he came out to take his car
to get looked at before he went to work, so I bided him
a good day and Teresa pulled up just as he left. We hit
the road for the long trip ahead- I have never been on
that long of a car ride before and I pondered it would
be worse that it was, but the time seemed to pass quickly.
It was very foggy in the morning, but after a few
hours it burnt off. Teresa drove from Topeka to Oakley,
I drove then to Limon, and after Limon she drove the rest
of the way.
found our way to the Nothern family cabin without much
trouble, though we did drive in a circle for a wee bit...
When we found the cabin we were
kinda surprised as it was much larger than we pictured
from the descriptions- it was really quite a nice house.
After the drive we decided a nap would probably be a good
idea, we got there at about 3pm mountain time, so after
an hour of rest we set out for the Garden of the Gods.
Garden of the Gods is a large park between Manitou &
Colorado Springs that contains giant sandstone mountains,
cliffs and various rock formations.... I'm not sure how
it formed exactly since most of the rock that makes up
the mountains is granite.
2001 - 2002
- 2003 - 2004
2005 - Jan
- Dec -
2006 - Jan
- Dec -
2007 - Jan
- Dec -
2008 - Jan
- Dec -
2009 - Jan
- Dec -
2010 - Jan
- Dec -
2011 - Jan