Thursday, September 29, 2005

Colorful Colorado IV

The sun has just risen. The mist and early morning fog have lifted out of the valleys. It's early enough you're traveling down the road with only an occasional car passing the other direction. You're alone in the car enjoying the early morning and a cup coffee when you round a curve and - BAM! There it is! One patch of gold aspen trees catching the rays of the early morning sun.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Colorful Colorado III

At the top of Vail pass, I took this picture. That is also, where I cussed my camera. Actually, I like it but it's a 3.2 mega pixel camera and really didn't do justice to the colors around this site.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Colorful Colorado II

It was near Eagle, Colorado, when I saw this stand of aspen mixed in with the fir and spruce trees. I tried taking a picture from the car at 75 miles per hour but it came out blurred. So, I pull off the shoulder of the interstate to take another. This allowed me the opportunity to visit with a Colorado State Patrol officer (who pulled up behind me). He informed me I was in an "emergency parking only" area. I told him I just wanted a quick picture. He looked at me, the decal on my car, and then the aspen before declaring it an emergency. He even turned on his red lights to slow down other motorist until I got my picture.
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Monday, September 26, 2005

Colorful Colorado

I am declaring this Colorful Colorado week on Homespun Headlines. Last week I had the opportunity to travel around the state. The colors were spectacular. While I am not sure how we came up with the slogan, 'Colorful Colorado', it most likely had something to do with the Fall colors.

The photos I will be posting throughout the week are untouched. I did absolutely nothing to enhance them in anyway. On the other hand, these photos were taken with a 3.2 mega pixtels camera, which does not do them justice.

All the pictures were taken off major highways in my travels. I will do my best to let you know where they were taken. The one above was taken in Glenwood Canyon approximately 170 miles west of Denver.

Hope you enjoy.
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Friday, September 23, 2005

Feet Gone Wild

Most likely, these are the ugliest shoes you will ever see. They're called Crocs.

When my wife gave me a gift, I wasn't too surprised. Shes does that. But, I was surprised when opening it. Inside was the ugliest pair of shoes I had ever seen. Looking at them for a minute I had three reactions. First, in my head I was thinking, "What the (fill in the blank with the word of your choice)." Secondly, my face must have had a similar look or at least one that said, "Somebody please explain this to me." Fortunately, my third reaction was the one verbalized, "Thanks."

My wife went with reaction number two. She said they were called Crocs and made completely of rubber. They are suppose to be the extremely comfortable and conform to your feet. Crocs help eliminate soreness in your ankles and knees if you do a lot of walking or standing. They come with holes (for ventilation) and without holes. Plus, you can get them in a wide range of colors including some that are florescent.

Trying to act somewhat appreciative, I slipped them on and went to cook breakfast. Within twenty minutes, I was appreciative. They are the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever had. Plus, talk about low maintenance - they get dirty take them outside and hose them off, they'll be good as new.

You see them in the grocery store, the mall, and on walking trails. I've even seen a college professor in a shirt and tie wearing navy blue crocs. I wear mine mainly on weekends.

Well, today is Friday. My feet will love it. This evening I'll be putting on the crocs. It's time for - feet gone wild.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Jeans or Genes

I told my wife I had some weird thoughts when I was sick. She just looked at me. It was the look that said, “You have weird thoughts when you’re not sick.”

I keep looking at the remote control on the other side of the room. I wanted to change the channel but getting up to get it required to much effort. So, I laid there watching and sleeping through three hours of the Incredible Hulk. The story of Dr. David Bannister and his experiment that went awry. Now when becoming outraged he turns into an incredible green hulk. After three hours of this “stuff”, I started wondering some things.

When Dr. Bannister becomes outraged, he grows and his shirt is ripped off exposing his bare green chest. Last year I saw a movie, 'The Worlds Tallest Woman’ it’s the story of woman who grew from five foot five inches to over eight feet tall. Yet, her bikini top always seemed to fit. How can that be? Or, how about going the other way. When the kids in,” Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, were reduced to the half inch or so their clothes seemed to fit. How can that be?

And what’s up with this green thing? The worlds tallest woman didn’t change colors neither did the kids when they were shrunk. Plus, when they changed, you could still recognize them, but no not the hulk.

Then the jeans. When Dr. Bannister gets outraged his jeans, which is all he wears, seems to split right up to his . . . well, waist. How many pairs of jeans did he go through? The pants on the world’s tallest woman always seem to match her bikini top. Is she just naturally a better dresser? And those shrunken kids, their clothes never got dirty. They ran through fresh cut grass and never a grass stain on any of them.

I’m glad I feel better but inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Sunday Paper

So, how bad was it? Bad. Really, really bad.

It started out on Saturday as a fun drive to the Anheiser Busch plant to see the Clydesdale horses. I had never seen them up close. Those animals are huge. While walking around the grounds I started feeling sick.

On the way home, I pulled over because I thought I was going to get sick. I didn’t. At least until I pulled back onto the highway and drove another twenty feet. That’s when Char decided she would drive the rest of the way. I started to argue but . . . well, she was right. I was to sick to drive and that one nagging thought kept going through my mind – “When I threw up did I get any on my van?” Yeah, I really like that van.

Getting home, I went directly to the couch. I didn’t want Char to get sick so for the next few days the couch would be “home”. It was quite an adventure. Eat, get sick. Drink, get sick. Think about anything, get sick.

Sunday I was still on the couch when Char went to church. She called after church to see how I was feeling and if I needed anything. She also told me she was going to have a coffee with one of her friends. I’m feeling bad, no I don’t need anything, enjoy your coffee but check on me. (Yeah, I am such a baby when I am sick. Not to mention I am not in a real good mood either.)

Anyway, she called from the coffee shop and our conversation went like this:

Me: Hello.
Char: How you feeling?
Me: Bad.
Char: Can I get you anything?
Me: A paper.
Char: A paper?
Me: Yeah, a Sunday paper. I want to see if I am listed in the obituaries.

That last statement made me laugh, which in turn made me sick (again).

Finally, it’s Monday and I feel better, not great, but better. I also realized I never got the Sunday paper. That might be a good thing. I am feeling well enough now that I don’t want to know if I was listed or not.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Weekend Reading

I finally got around to adding some additional links. If you have some time this weekend check out the following sites Dan’s Everyday Observations, MeMe’s Stuff, and Writing From the Hip. I am sure you’ll enjoy all three.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Flag 2172

September 12, 2005. Today I walked amongst 5,000 American flags. Each flag measured three feet by five feet and stood eight feet tall. They will be up for a week. It's called the 2005 Healing Field and was constructed on ten acres near my home. Each flag is labeled with a number and a name of someone who has died in the war against terrorism since September 11, 2001. This includes the victims of September 11th, the first responders, and military people who have died in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is also a place where people from other countries have flags placed in their honor.

September 8, 2001. I had been there for a week and stood many times on my hotel balcony overlooking the city. Far off in the distance I could see the pentagon.

Tonight I was invited to join a group of foresters from Hawaii many from an organization called the Outdoor Circle. They were a fun group to be with. Our experiences in the tree world were different but also remarkably similar. As the evening wore on the group thinned out until it was just Christine Snyder and I. The place we met closed and we moved to the lobby of the hotel talking about families, programs, projects, but mainly about trees. Early the morning of September 9th before heading back to my room, I asked if she had any information on the Outdoor Circle. She assured me she did and she would get it to me before we left the following day.

That morning walking towards the shower I noticed a packet had been slipped under my hotel door. I opened it to discover all kinds of information about the Outdoor Circle and a note from Christine telling me she enjoyed our conversation the night before and was looking forward to staying in touch about tree programs and projects. I showered and headed to the airport. After a week in DC, I was finally heading home.

The flag above is flag 2,172. It has Christine Snyder's name on it. She was aboard flight 93 on September 11, 2001.
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Monday, September 12, 2005

Fall is in the Air

Traveling around Colorado last week, I noticed aspen leaves are starting to change colors. Back at the office, I noticed that even trees in our parking lot (in the above photo) are starting to change. It's amazing how fast Fall has snuck up once again.

The changing of the aspen leaves is a big thing here. People like going to the mountains to see the aspen leaves. They are quite colorful but it always generates a lot of phone calls. People want to know the best time to view the spectacular gold and red colors of the leaves. There are many variables including the temperature and the amount of daylight hours in the Fall but people don't want to hear that. They certainly don't like hearing that peak viewing can be anywhere from the middle of September through the middle of October. They want to know what specific day they should go. The answer this year is the week of September 19. How do I know? That week includes my birthday. I have been using that week for the past ten years and no one has ever called back to say I was wrong. While it's not scientific and probably not very accurate, at least it is consistent.
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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

J.A. Miller

Do you know J.A. Miller? I don’t. I don’t know if the J stands for Jack or Julie. I don’t know if the A stands for Albert or Alice. I don’t know where Miller lives. I don’t know if Miller is married or has any kids. I don’t what Miller does to support the family. And, I certainly don’t know what religious beliefs Miller has.

What do I know about J.A. Miller? There are hundreds of thousands of them helping right now with Katrina. They are people working behinds the scenes to make things better. Miller might be putting in long hours down in the path of Katrina or Miller might be putting in those hours in their home state - but working hard to make sure things are done and things get better. When it is all over Miller might share a few experience with family and friends but you won’t hear Miller on talk radio. There won’t be any promoting on TV or radio for book deals about how great Miller was for monetary gain. No, Miller will go back to life, as it was, knowing that Miller did what they could.

What else do I know? There are a million Miller’s throughout this nation. People who gave of their possessions and their money, many of which won’t even get a Thank You. They gave because they wanted to.

So why talk radio hosts and politicians are all playing the blame game, who do you want to hear from? Who should you pray for? Who should you speak up for? The Miller’s or the talk show host giving their slant to what the politicians said? Your call.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Labor Day

Yesterday, the first Monday in September, was the official Labor Day Holiday. A day created by the labor movement over a hundred years ago dedicated to the achievements of American workers.

Like many other people, we invited some friends over. All told there was nine of us. Being one of those people who don’t want people to leave hungry I started cooking and just kept going. Char got into the act by making her world famous (and it truly is) chicken salad and a couple of deserts. By the time we were done, we had enough food prepared to feed a NFL team.

All seven friends arrived and we sat on the deck having a good time talking and eating and eating and eating. When everybody was leaving we said the usual line, “don’t worry about cleaning up this won’t take long at all”.

Early this morning I walked into the kitchen to be greeted by sinks full of dishes and counter tops completely covered with dishes, pots, pans, and glasses. Lots and lots of glasses. It’s amazing how many glasses nine people go through. That’s when I realized today is really going to be our ‘labor day’.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Part II - A day with Peaches

It was quite a day. It took all day. Twelve pints, seven quarts, and a few remaining ones to just enjoy.
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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Spending the day with Peaches

Tomorrow I will be spending the day with Peaches. It’s an annual event, one I have done for the past few years. My wife even knows about it and accepts it claiming it makes her life easier.

It’s only one day a year but it has always been fun and predictable. The day will play out like this. First, we will spend some time sorting things out. Since it’s an annual event, there is a lot to sort out. It always cost me some money but it’s worth it. Then we have to peel away what we don’t want and slice through the rest to see what is truly doable in the time allowed. This at times can be the pits.

By late morning, things will be getting a little sweet, sometimes just downright sticky. By late afternoon things are in high gear and sure to be hot and steamy. But, we have to watch the clock and make sure things are cleaned up and put away by the time Char gets home.

Yep, that’s right tomorrow I am canning peaches. With any luck, I’ll end up with ten quarts and a dozen or so pints.