Sunday, March 30, 2003

Hi Lee,Karen,et al... I hope that you enjoyed some of the jokes I sent you. I felt that I HAD to share. Send me your e-mail if you haven't already, and I'll add you to my HIGH SCHOOL CHUMS distribution list. Peace to you all. Keep all of our servicepeople in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Snowman? It's been nearly 60 degrees here every day for nearly a week and all the snow is gone. It's been warm enough that we've been out riding the motorcycles. And instead of sculpting snowmen, I've been busy sculpting a wing for a new plane. If it snows on Friday, like they're predicting, I'll try to make a snowman and take a picture of it .

But I don't want to leave you with no amusement at all, so here is something you might enjoy. I've been using the Linux operating system for a few years. Linux isn't so much an operating system as it is a political statement and way of life for its users. Here is a very funny flash animation that perfectly captures the essence of staunch Linux users and perhaps explains why everyone hasn't yet switched from Windows. It's kind of a spoof on Apple's 'switch' commercials but much more entertaining.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Okay, Okay, enough with the weather report Lee, so where's the picture of the Snowman????

Saturday, March 22, 2003

We're completely dug out of our spring blizzard here in Greeley due to temperatures in the 50's for the past few days. We ended up with a foot of snow here, but it was very heavy, about 4 times the usual density, even heavier than east coast snow. They had 30" in Loveland and Ft. Collins and about 3 feet in Denver. Winter Park got 5 feet in two days ! OK, Homer, I get your point, I'll stop whining about snow so you don't get jealous of our weather's variety. You're welcome to come up for some spring skiing and I'll pick you up at Denver and we'll head for the slopes.

I loved your 'Spirograph' posting, Karen. I have many fond memories of my childhood toys, all unfortunately gone now, except for my Crosman BB gun, which I cannot part with for sentimental reasons. It reminds me of the movie 'A Christmas Story' where the Red Ryder BB gun was the "one thing separating Ralphie Parker from true and everlasting happiness".

As I got older, I realized the folly of thinking that a single toy could separate a person from true and everlasting happiness. Everyone who has reached any level of maturity recognizes that it takes more than one toy to provide true happiness .

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Hello Everyone,

Sorry to hear about all your troubles with the weather Lee & Terri, but remember, Spring is right around the corner. I see by your pics that you took my advice about playing Hooky from work and went out and had some fun and I'll bet you'll never forget it. It's always fun to go out and do something enjoyable and know everyone else is hard at work, kind of like being in school and skipping classes, ahem, although I never knew what that was like, but now as an adult somewhat regret doing that. I've got to share this story, it's kind of funny and it made me feel ancient but a few days after Xmas I went to visit my neighbor who has 6 six kids, 3 boys, 3 girls (The Brady Bunch), the youngest is a girl and she's 5, going on 40, anyway, she was showing me all that Santa had brought her, I was explaining to her how all the toys had really changed from my time and one of her toys sort of reminded me of Spirograph, she looked up at me and asked, what's that, that's when I felt old, well, I guess I took it a little further than I should have, I went on E-Bay and found a spirograph and bought one and the next time she came to visit me, I brought it out, she had a blast and she knew it was a toy none of her friends had, or for that matter one that she has ever seen before, so whenever she comes over our house, she always asks for it and sits for a lengthy time playing w/it. She's always asking me to bring it to her house, but w/six kids, she'd never get to play w/it again. I'll tell you what, it really brought back the memories and it was still a lot of fun too and I lucked out as the person selling it on E-Bay misspelled the name so I was able to get a cheap price for a complete set, so the next time you explain a toy to a child and they don't understand, go to E-Bay and buy one and show them how it works. I also received a long e-mail from someone but just to take a small portion from it, it said, you should always do what you wanted to do now and not put it off until later or next year, because later or next year, you'll always be older or one year older doing what you wanted to do at the present time. Hey Lee. how about you and Terri build a snowman (since you have so much snow), and take a picture and put it on our website, I'd do it here, but the weather is going to be 61 degrees tomorrow and there's no snow left in Pringle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

sounds like quite an adventure, Lee! I think in general, Colorado drivers are among the nation's "heartiest". I echo Helen's sentiments on the weather - although I missed most of it this weekend in pittsburgh -- I was vacationing in London for the past 6 days -- weather there was unusually wonderful - in the high 50s under brilliant blue skies and not a drop of rain the entire time

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Hi Helen, it's so great to see a posting from you and to know that you are having delightful weather in the valley. Today, I tried to sneak out of town in order to beat the storm and ended up in the 'eye' of it. I had a few adrenaline-induced near death experiences during my drive to the Denver airport today. The first was on a very wet I-25 where I hit a large, deep muddy puddle at the same time as a car in front of me and an 18-wheeler on the left lane hit it. For a while, I was submerged in dirty water with no visibility for what seemed like an eternity. I continued driving and when all was clear, I was, to my amazement, still traveling in the same direction and on the same road.

Then I turned onto E-470 and proceeded to have my car steered by a 40 mph wind on an ice-covered and snow-drifted highway. On at least three occasions, the wind completely overpowered my steering and was pushing me off the road. So I had to hit the gas and used my front wheels to pull me back into the lane. That was very scary. The people tailgating me all the way to DIA must have been impressed because they wouldn't pass me so they must have figured I knew what I was doing .

Then I got to DIA with blowing snow and 1/8 mile visibility knowing in my heart that no one would take off in that weather. I tried to make it to the terminal but after about 50 yards I was covered from head to toe with snow and just turned back to my car. I was parked 1/4 mile away from the terminal since all the covered parking was full. I could not physically see the parking garage from where I was parked and so that's how I estimated the visibility at 1/8 mile. I found a friendly ham radio operator who called my friend for me and was able to confirm that the flights had been cancelled. So I headed for home.

The ride home was much less stressful. I wanted to kiss the ground when I got home. I'll keep an eye on the weather because I don't think I'm going to try for a repeat of that drive tomorrow.

Hi Everyone. Lee, sorry to hear about your weather woes. We, fortunately, had a most delightful St. Patty's Day. The weather was
picture perfect. The temp here reached 72 and the sun was shining. Today, I saw the geese flying north and also spotted a robin.
Many of us here are elated when we see the small but promising signs of Spring. It was a very long winter. Hope everyone is well - wherever you are!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Happy St. Patrick's Day! It looks like we are in for a very large storm in Colorado. I could hardly believe what I was hearing on the radio this afternoon. Snow accumulations of 3 to 8 feet are expected in the foothills. I am scheduled to go to Dallas, TX on Wednesday morning, but I suspect that we might not see aircraft coming and going through the Denver airport if all goes according to the current forecast.

Twenty years ago today I was making my way across the country alone in my little Mazda after having packed up my belongings to come out and work for HP. As I traveled across Kansas, the weather began to change, first gradually, and then suddenly. As first it was an unseasonbly warm morning and then got cooler as I headed west, then cold and windy and before I knew it, I was in the middle of a spring blizzard. I was growing weary of trying to hold the car on the road against stiff crosswinds and blowing snow. I began to pass stranded 18-wheelers. I eventually stopped in Colby, Kansas and found a motel since I thought it wouldn't be safe to travel much longer on I-70. I learned later that the Interstate had been closed just a few miles further to the west before the Colorado line and remained that way for more than a day. Perhaps we'll be in for a repeat weather performance in the next few days.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

We went out skiing again today at Winter Park after I convinced both Terri and Marie that their time would be much better spent on the slopes than at work and we had some more beautiful weather. It wasn't too warm or too cold, but just right. We haven't gotten any new snow for about 4 days and I got a bit spoiled with having very fresh snow in my previous outings, which is not always possible even in Colorado. But the snow was still good and we had a great time and hope that we can catch another spring storm or two before the season ends.

I'm feeling a little like Ferris Bueller for talking these two hard working beauties out of work so they could enjoy a day off. But I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. After all, as Ferris reminds us, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you may miss it." I also like Warren Miller's quote with which he seems to end all his films: "If you don't do it this year, you'll be another year older when you do". So if you've been putting something off year after year, then why not make plans right now to do it this year. Because if you don't do it this year, you'll be another year older when you do.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Great pics, Lee... Looks like you had a lot of fun and frolic in your winter wonderland. As for me, I think I'd be better off taking in the view from the ski lodge. The only memories I have of skiing are seen through the holes on the hurricane fence that I usually ran over, into, and under (ha ha).

Sunday, March 09, 2003

I went skiing at Copper Mountain on Friday and it was fabulous (but don't tell the Dalleys :-). About 14 of us took off from work and skied until our legs were like rubber and then headed out for dinner. Shown in the first photo is my good friend Marie who is a fellow Penn Stater (and Catholic high school graduate) from Philly. Marie had planned on becoming a nun, but instead began a career as a teacher in the inner city. She eventually headed west, got an engineering degree and we've been working together at HP for the past 9 years. We are part of a very small minority who root for Penn State and it was particularly gratifying this year when the PSU-Nebraska blowout gave us ample opportunity to pay back the rabid Nebraska fans for past torment.

Taking off from work to go skiing seems like a slacker kind of thing to do until you realize that your boss and his boss are doing the same thing. We all had a great time and the snow was wonderful with about 4" of fresh powder that allowed us to make a lot of first tracks. If everything goes as planned, we will head up to Winter Park on Wednesday for more of the same. It's been one of the best ski seasons in recent memory in Colorado and we desperately needed the moisture to help alleviate the drought conditions we've had for the past few years. (You can click on these small images to get larger ones.)

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

It's great to see a posting from you again Karen. Terri always describes you as having a 'heart of gold' and you continue to live up to that description over and over. As far as winning the 'Survivor' contest, I can assure you that my computer skills, although formidable, would be of no use on a 'Survivor' series. What I'd need ot rely on are my 'McGyver' skills and my luxury item would no doubt be a large roll of duct tape, the handyman's secret weapon.

I have enjoyed hearing about Jack Kamus and so I'll tell yet another story about him. One night, when we were about 12 years old we were walking home from a game and stopped at the 'Dog House', aka, 'Abe's Hot Dogs' and we ordered some food to go. Jack didn't order anything, but was hungry just the same. He asked me if he could have a bite of my hamburger and I agreed and just before he took the bite, he asked if it could be a 'healthy' bite. I agreed again and he handed me back a crescent-shaped remnant with the majority of the burger now gone. It was hard for me not to laugh at this. And you just couldn't get mad at Jack. There was just something about him that was so polite. After all, he had asked for permission to take a healthy bite.

I ate the remnant and later I noticed I wasn't feeling too well and 'refunded' that burger all the while wondering what might have happened to Jack who had the lion's share of the burger. I called him the next day and he admitted to not feeling too well afterward, but he didn't hurl. So Jack unknowingly saved me what would probably be a some serious food poisoning as a result of his 'sharing' my burger with me. Thankfully, Jack had a cast-iron stomach. (I've never eaten at Abe's again).

I thought I'd be skiing with the Dalley sisters this month. They had planned to be out in Colorado and I was looking forward to it, but something came up (a husband's dislocated shoulder) that prevented them from making it out here this week. I skied at Steamboat Springs last week and they had 4' (that's feet) of snow in a single week. I'm an intermediate skier and Terri and I are pretty evenly matched, but you really get to know how out of shape you are when you ski with other people who live to ski. One of the guys in this picture has dedicated his life to skiing and for the past 16 years, this Houston native has worked at service jobs to insure that he has free access to the slopes at Steamboat Springs every day of the ski season. My advice is that if you value your ego at all, you never expose it to people who have made this level of commitment. Seriously, these guys were very gracious and although it was punishing for me, they never once laughed, at least while I was looking....

It has been some time since Jackís passing and itís really sad that we have lost yet another classmate, but for me it is yet another childhood friend. I will miss Jack as when I think back to my childhood days (boy that seems so long ago when I think about it), he was very outgoing and fun to hang out with, he was also a very caring and giving person. When you look in the Thesaurus available on the computer and look up words for friend, youíll find comrade, pal, buddy, companion, cohort, and acquaintance, I think these are all words to describe Jack, because somewhere down the line thatís what he was to each and everyone of us. I, along with my mother and brother who knew him will miss him but will cherish the memories we had. I was also pleased to see alumni at the wake, I guess Mr. Lynch was right, we are a special class. I think that maybe one of those reality shows should do a show about our Class, just think, if we did a Survivor Series, I think Lee would be the Winner, especially having the Internet expertise, and if it were a female Winner, it would be a tie between Arlene and Bee as they are the 2 most organized people I know. Well, even though these last few weeks have been rough on our Classmates, life needs to go forward, so Jay, we need a new picture of Aiden on this site to show the great future we have to look forward to. Please forgive me if my words seem off as Iím not making light of this in any way. In the past few years Iíve learned to go forward and appreciate what I currently have because tomorrow it may not be there, so the best way to move forward is to take one day out of the month (your pick) and be a kid again, if you can financially do it, skip work for a day (pretend to be sick), or use a day you have off to just do nothing or do a kid thing, itís some advice that was given to me a long time ago and itís a good thing, it doesnít really even cost anything, you could, if you live around here go to Kirby Park and fly a kite (a kid thing) and the March winds are great right now, so go out and have fun because the fun times are the best memories.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Hi gang... It's funny... I've been touched twice by loss this week. I received the news about Jack, and it totally devastated me. I'm still looking for answers. It seemed funny to have Fred "Mr" Rogers pass away this past week as well. I guess David Newell (Mr. Mc Feely) put my feelings into words best... He was a genuinely kind person... That was Jack, always kind. I feel a terrible sense of loss, and at the same time, I feel grateful for having the good fortune of having my life touched by Jack Kamus. I wish you all a good night, and hope that this e-mail finds you all well... Goodnight... God be with us all...

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Fred Rogers died Thursday at age 74 at his home in Pennsylvania. There are a few interesting articles about him here and here. I've shared with all of you before that several attractive women have come up to me and said, "I don't want you to take this the wrong way".... (at which point I am thinking, "Oh great, yet another attractive woman getting ready to hit on me.") and then they tell me that I remind them of Fred Rogers . I always worried that Fred Rogers wasn't real. After all, how can anyone be that nice? It's great to find that according to all the reports, Mr. Rogers was just as nice behind the scenes as the person we grew to know and love on TV.