Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."



A good friend (who had family visiting from Virginia) hosted a cookout this evening. Great wine, and excellent food -- thanks largely to her own gourmet palate as well as her neighbors bringing fresh sockeye salmon they caught earlier this week in the Kenai River in Alaska.


[Moblog] 2nd Shot

Clubmaster Tony taking his second shot on the 8th hole of Eisenhower-Blue. His first drive put him a scant 130 yards from the pin (on the toughest hole on the course: a 441-yard par 4).

[Moblog] Closest to the Pin

Third hole at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Eisenhower Golf Club (Blue Course), playing a mid-day round with my fraternity brother (and Sophie's godfather) Tony. Tony is darn near a scratch golfer, with monster 300-yd-plus drives, and a whole lot of patience to deal with my triple-digit scores!


J-Man's Art

J-Man is taking an art camp at a local studio. The theme this week is "Outer Limits", so he's made a Play-Doh solar system (complete with green-laser-shooting Death Star), a plastic - cardboard - & - wire robot (with a bundle of cables for its brain), and a very nicely done lunar surface launch scene (with a blue Water Yoshi left behind).

Of course, this is a morning camp - so we were able to catch an opening day showing of TRANSFORMERS: Revenge of the Fallen. Great fun!


[Moblog] Fossil Fields

Fathers Day hike at the Florissant Fossil Fields National Monument. J-man is standing by the "Scudder Pit", showing the rich sedimentary layers that formed some 34 million years ago when the Guffey Volcano Fields (once dominating the skyline, even dwarfing the Pikes Peak Massif) erupted à la Mount St. Helens-style and covered Lake Florissant with ash.

This region used to be home to giant redwoods; today all that's left are their petrified stumps.


[Moblog] Panning for Gold

The Western Museum of Mining & Industry is having its annual "Rock Fair" today. Eldest and Man-Cub are trying their hand at gold panning, reminiscent of a certain legendary road trip five years ago....


Reading w Big Sis

Sophie loves to read magazines with her Big Sister. And her kitty!


Not a good place to be ....

... without 1"-thick plexiglass between us and them!


[Moblog] Pride Rock

There's something mildly disconcerting about waking to the sounds of lions roaring.....


[Moblog] Meerkat Morning

Rise and shine!


[Moblog] Sunrise over Cheyenne Mtn

Beautiful morning -- despite the torrential downpour last night. Doppler showed lots of yellow and red over south Colorado Springs.....

Lessons learned? Hard rain on a tent sounds a lot like sleeping inside a drum during a Kiss concert, and your rain-fly will never work as advertised if there's the slightest hint of wind.



[Moblog] Zoo Loft

After visiting the necropsy lab at the zoo hospital, we ended the night at the "Loft", featuring a number of reptiles and amphibians - plus a de-scented skunk named Lily.


[Moblog] FOB Giraffe

After the giraffes, guinea fowl, turkey vultures and zebras were sent to their indoor pens this evening, our Scouts formed a working party to clean the yard. Many rakes, shovels, and two wheelbarrows worth of "#2" later, and the yard was ready for campin'!


[Moblog] Rainbow over the Baobab Tree


[Moblog] Zoo Camping

The Boy Scouts-Pikes Peak Council is having a campout at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo tonight. We've signed Man-Cub up for a behind-the-scenes vet tour, and a "loft" activity that reportedly involves cleaning up after the animals.....

We'll be camping out in the Giraffe Yard, and look forward to seeing the animals after dark.



Kamehameha Day

Happy Kamehameha Day! Kamehameha the Great, often called the Napoleon of the Pacific, unified the islands of Hawai'i shortly after a haole named Cook "discovered" this tropical paradise.

Kamehameha (born as Pai'ea on the leeward side of the Big Island) became the ali'i nui of all eight islands in the early 19th century, conquering all of the islands (except Kaua'i and Ni'ihau) by force -- including forcing many of Kalanikupule's (the ali'i of O'ahu) off the Pali cliffs. The more-distant islands of Kaua'i and Ni'ihau were won through negotiation rather than battle.

Today is a public holiday in the state of Hawai'i, with a floral parade from the 'Iolani Palace to the edge of Kapi'olani Park near Diamondhead, an evening draping ceremony with long strands of lei draped over the King's statue, and a Hoʻolauleʻa -- a super-sized lu'au.

Aloha nui loa, Kamehameha!



[Moblog] Waldo Canyon

West Colorado Springs, above Manitou on the Waldo Canyon Loop.


D-Day + 65 Years

The beginning of the end of World War II started 65 years ago. As President Obama said earlier today at OMAHA Beach on the Normandy shore, "At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found it within themselves to do the extraordinary ..."

D-Day was the consequence of not only extraordinary acts by ordinary men, but also by the brilliant subterfuge of its planners. Some have called Fortitude South "the greatest deception of all time", allowing the Allied forces to secure a foothold on the Continent despite their numerical inferiority.

While Google chose to solely honor Tetris on their site today (an anniversary I have also acknowledged on this blog), it is far more important to respect the profound sacrifice of so many Allied forces who gave their "last full measure of devotion" in defeating the Axis.

Labels: ,

25 Years of Tetris

Today is the 25th anniversary of Alexei Pajitnov's release of his addictively dynamic puzzle, Tetris. Many, many hours of my time were consumed with this game -- and not without reward. In 1988, I took 2nd place in the Pepsi Tetris Challenge in San Francisco (hosted just down the road from the Soviet consulate on Green Street, featuring the Soviet Chargé d'Affaires as the guest of honor with ample supplies of Stolichnaya vodka). Since the winner that day was under the legal drinking age, and I wasn't, I attribute my loss in the finals to the Stoli.... :-)


Social Media

Despair, Inc. :-( -- makers of many brilliant "demotivational posters" -- has been on a tear lately. Today they introduced two hilarious new tee-shirts (one of which sports the logo shown above, "unlocking the awesome potential of behavioral disorders").

Check 'em out!



[Moblog] Microburst

Having grown up in Northern California, and spending another decade in San Diego & Hawai'i, one word could describe the weather:

* Predictable *

Our first month in southeast Virginia, we lost power three times -- and, four years later, experienced our first hurricane (ISABEL, a Cat-1 that showed me the awesome power of a cyclone).

Then in east Tennessee we saw the confluence of Great Plains thunderstorms and subtropical depressions with the occasional winter ice storm.

But nothing as been as crazy as this past six months in Colorado Springs. Wide swings in temperatures at all seasons, routine gale-force winds, and now a microburst storm cell just outside my office window.... (This photo was from a stoplight just off post on my way home.)