Monday, August 15, 2005

Some Articles to consider and respond to..

It's been waaaay too long since I've updated this blog so I figured I'd post a few links to articles to consider.

Fly me to the moon...

This first is in regards to the space shuttles and their possible end. For many of the that don't know the shuttle was designed by Rockwell (a now defunct company which was bought out by Boeing Corp.) and the building of it was sub-contracted out to a number of companies from Boeing, the then McDonnell-Douglas (now a division of Boeing), and Lockheed Martin. This consortium is also the group that helps maintain the vehicles.

Because of this and contests such as The X-Prize there has been a number of various upstarts to try and upset the Big Two (since that seems to be all that is left of the flight companies that were competing for contests. One of these young rascals is Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (also known as Space X) However they are not welcomed into the spaceflight community with completely open arms it seems.

Where is the "upbeat generation?"

From reading this article it seems that all of the progress of the 60's seemed to have disappeared. What do you guys think?

Copyright issues

The final article has to do with Google's plan to scan all of the contents of the books that they find in libraries so that they can be searchable. This has caused a huge uproar in the publishing world for fairly good reasons. I'll try to keep posted on this.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Just a bit of "Dr. Who" Rambling

I have gotten hooked on a show that doesn't even show in the US. For those that have been in contact with me you know what I'm talking about. Thank the universe for Bittorrents. I would never have the opportunity to see Dr. Who at all except for the old series and while I liked what I saw of them (John downloaded some of them for me to see so that I could have some background info, I felt like I needed it) they can't hold a candle to the new series and Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor and Billie Piper as "Rose Tyler" his companion through the whole series. I am not looking forward to when The Doctor regenerates and David Tennant takes over. I guess I'll have to continue my fantasy in fan fics.

John recently called me obsessed about it. I can't help it. I hope to see Christopher Eccleston in more shows or movies.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

It's lonely up here...

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune I'm one of a lessening few that have been able to crest "the Mt.Everest of thinness." The article itself hits on some important points but misses a few others. I remember in junior high being asked if I was anorexic. I was just athletically fit from my dancing as well as going through one of those throwth spurts where my arms and shoulders were almost bony. I guess a lot of people didn't put two and two together when they knew I danced. After I came home from my frst year of college to begin my multi-year hiatus, I didn't drive so my lifestyle kept me at that point. I walked and when I couldn't walk I rode the bus or my bicycle. For the last month before I moved to CapeGirardeau I was riding my bicycle about 170 miles a week (about the distance from work and back).

After I moved down to Cape Girardeau I let my lifestyle slip. I began driving and while I would leave my truck on campus once a week and walk downtown and back (about 2 miles or so), it was not enough. I began gaining and finally hit my "target weight of 115 lb. average (so that I can give blood). Unlike many people up one "Thin Everest" I am not one of them wanting to lose weight. I rode my bicycle to save money for various items of pleasure. I just kept my pre-college weight because I ignored driving in favor of other lifestyle choices.

You can do the same by switching to a bicycle. I know some of the few people can't cut out the whole time spent driving due to being so close to the highway so I would only reccommend partial driving in those cases. Start small. If you hve a bicycle, throw it in the back of your vehicle or onto you bike rack and drive until you are about a quarter of the way to work. Park in a good spot (obviously one you remember) and then bike the rest of the way. Once you feel comfortable, start parking further back until you are riding the whole distance (or as close tothe whole way as possible. Another option is to try the trip on your day off to your destination. Then have someone meet you there and drive you back (with your bike of course). If you don't ride your bicycle regularly it's going to be hard or hte first week or so you are bicycling the whole distance. After that it gets into a rhythm.

As for the people with average weight living longer tha people that are thin I have two bones to pick with the writer about this. One-are they talking about hte average now or the fifty years ago. Assuming the average height has not changed overly in the last fifty years then the average weight should be the same. If they are talking about the average weight now, I'm pretty sure it has gone up immensly in that time (probably faster than the difference in height). Two-it doesn't say this in the article either but are they including anorexics and bulimics in the statement that people that are thin are more likely than the average person to die earlier. They don't go into too much detail (and they don't talk about anorexics or bulimics at all) but I'm betting those statistics include that group as well as the "lifestyle fit" people.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day to all my mothers...

Everyone has at least one mom. There is your mom who gave you birth. Then there is those "moms" who have had a major influence in your life. Very rarely are they related to you. Often they are your friend's moms, but commonly they are a mentor or teacher who guided you to a certain path.

I write this in honor of all of them.

To my Birth mom, Jacqueline Buritsch(may she rest in peace). Of course she was a guiding force. I see that I am a lot like her. I never really told her I loved her before she died.

To Christine Wilkes. She was my fifth grade teacher and later became my brother's fourth grade teacher. When I was in her class she was out for a while during the time she was recuperating from a form of cancer and was right by our family's side and actually came to Tarrith's hospital room to deliver his work directly to him when he was suffering from a form of pneumonia (they thought). She kept in touch with our family and was right there during my mom's cancer.

To Susan Hull. She was a Gallery assistant at the SLSC and is now the Gallery Leader of the Discovery Room there. She was like a mom to me when I volunteered and later worked at the SC. She liked to tease that I had been at the SC since I was in diapers.

To Grandma Alice (may she rest). The only memory that stuck out in my mind in regards to her was about a week before she passed away. I had just gotten my first pair of pointe shoes. I found out from mom that she used to toe dance so I brought my first pair of toe shoues to her and I sat down next to here and learned how to sew the laces in (since the toe shoes do not come with the laces already on).

To Aunt Helen. Technically she is my great-aunt but after her sister and my grandma Alice passed away she was like a grandma to me.

To Gram Buritsch. We have had a lot of fun times. She and gramp bought a summer cabin when I was on my way to give us kids a place to relax. I remember of number of videos that grandpa had taped of us raking leaves up and jumping into them. Gram recently quit driving (in part in reaction to an accident she had over a year ago) and probably will be selling the cabin since our family does not really use it at all since dad remarried.

To Kathy Buritsch. My dad recently married in early August of last year. I cannot say that I feel like she is a "mom" in the sense that my mother, Mrs. Hull, or Mrs. Wilkes are, but she is, by definition, a (step)mom.

To the other Mrs. B's. Both Mrs. Breihan and Mrs. Barnes were mom's to a degree. After mom passed away I saw talked and learned from them to a degree.

To Mrs. Taylor. Rhema's mom may have been one busy mom, but both her and Mr. Taylor were pretty close to our family.

In closing I'm wishing a Happy Mother's Day to one mom that has not been a "mom" as much as a "sister." LarLar is the mom to Brooke, her little daughter.

Monday, April 25, 2005

What will you do to survive after oil?

After reading this, I decided to contemplate this question. I've decided to do a survey of the few loyal readers. Imagine that tomorrow the cost for gas goes back to $5.50 a gallon (it is the price of gas during the oil crisis of the 1970s after adjusting for inflation). What will you do? Would you go out and get solar panels to power your basics, would you uy a bicycle or some other vehicle to get around? Would you move closer to school? Work? recreation? Would you plant yourself a garden so that you could afford more gas while replacing the garden foods you buy at the store?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

And Now for something completely different...

I am going to try something new on this blog since I don't seem to have a lot of time to write entries much like the last one. I'm going to call it "The webpage of the month."

I'll post it and talk a little about it. I hope to make it in regards to current events. I have been reading a lot in regards to the Amtrak crisis. Apparently Bush has cut off the "National Passenger Rail Line" in his 2006 budget. I think he hopes that the states will pick up the slack. In the meantime it looks like most of that money would instead be going to fix the crumbling bridges. Online groups such as The Friends of Amtrak have been fighting since 1995 or so when the push to cut off Amtrak began (I may be off on the actual date but that's not odd considering Clinton was intent on balancingthe budget).

In closing I have one other page to add. The Christian Science Monitor added a really good multimedia presentation back in 2002 which is worth looking at.

A little sidenote that has to do with Amtrak but more in terms of family history than anything else: When my brother was in Boy Scouts he and his fellow troop members going on this trip rode the Amtrak. I don't know if it was a good experience or not. I know that my brother's train coming back was delayed a total of about 10 hours (my memory may be wrong, you may need to ask him to know for sure) due to the fact that the long-distance trains have to run on the frieght-trains' lines who havethe right-of way.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Music and Memories

I remember hearing my dad play his guitar he liked to call Manuel. He would be sitting on his and mom's bed piddling with the strings, making sure they were in tune and strumming when it fit the moment. All five of us, dad sitting on one side, mom on the other with us three kids piled down on the other end. Sometimes he'd do little riffs, kind of classical and spanish in nature all at once. Other times is be boistrous strumming. Many years later my sister was given a chance to learn the basics from dad as well as my brother. My sister began learning, but seemed to give it up once Tarrith started learning it. I remember taking another guitar that was a pre-cursor to Manuel that my dad took with him when he went on a mission trip to South America with some people in his church away with me to college, but I never learned how to use it and when I was going to start I found out that the lathe was warped and it would have cost more than the guitar was worth to fix. I am sorry I never got it fixed so that I could learn to play as well as dad played Manuel.

Many years ago, long before any of us Solon kids were a twinkle in dad's eye and before he met mom, my dad was in the Navy servicing the early F series fighter planes on the USS Independence. On one of his many stops in that venerable ship, it stopped in Cordoba (correction from dad, the Isle was actually Majorca) off the coast of Spain. There is where my father found and bought Manuel. I used to imagine my dad negotiating with the sales clerk in spanish. Many years later when my dad was helping me with my Spanish in high school I found out that the clerk was English, but it never detracted from my idealist view of the shop and of the guitar that my father enjoyed playing.

I don't know if Manuel gets that much of a workout anymore. I hope my dad sometime takes it out on a lazy evening when Kathy is home to serenade her, or to just listen and remember.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Dino Tissue!!

I just noticed this article and I think it's very important to Paleontology. Just imagine what we might be able to find out if they're able to identify the DNA proteins.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Begin WWAP rant....

This week isn't the best of weeks so far. It isn't too bad, in general and I may be making a mountain out of a mole hill but I need to say it. John and I lost two our our five places to eat out in Cape. On Sunday I found out that Bella Italia was in a fire on Saturday night. That day John felt like eating out. First I felt like driving past Bella to see what the fire looked like then we decided to head over to Shangrila (an Indian food restrant in the mall here) since we knew that two of our other fave places were closed on Sundays. When we got there however the lights were dark so we ended up going home. Today I found out why. Apparently it's closed down so that it can be turned into a mexican restrant. No offense to them but I think that there's already too many mexican restrants around here and we don't need another one. This has made both my weekend and my week really down and has overshadowed the weekend before.

In other news, congratulations to Von and Drew on their wedding. May they have many happy years together. I wasn't invited so I don't know how it went but I assume it was wonderful.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Trips and Things

For years I have gone on trips to various places with family and school. Seeing a map of where I have been and I realize that I've only scratched the surface.

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourFlorida travel guide

I guess it's time that I take a few road trips. I guess it's time for me to look up what is in those various areas to visit. Any takers? I know I can't afford to go to Hawaii or Alaska, but I may be able to go to the continental US.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Birthday and other Stuff

Well I had a great birthday this past weekend. Most of you reading this are like, isn't your birthday on February 28th? Yeah it is, but since this is the first year I haven't been near may family on my birthday, I decided to take a trip up to St. Louis (actually it was a birthday gift from John) to have dinner at Mai Lee. When I was calling everyone to let them know about it and what time, I found out that a few of my friends were going to be out bridesmaid shoe shopping for Von's wedding coming up, so that meant a little shuffling around and trying to figure out directions to the place from where they were at. Since I hadn't really ever drove around St. Louis when I lived there, I was at a loss as to the directions so I ended up trying to relay the directions. Bad idea. They got lost and I ended up handing the cell over to dad so that he could get them there. In the meantime, we decided to go ahead and order because both John and I knew that we would have more than enough food to go around. After they got there they had just about a little of everything left on the table (which was all right considering all fo the food we had remaining).

After dinner John and I took T back to her house and then headed over to the Cheshire Lodge. If you've never stayed there, it's definitely worth staying there at some point in time, even if it's not one of the suites. A warning though, they have a quiet time since the room walls are so thin (and it's sometimes more "sorrid" past). It's inside is the same style of theming as the outside. It's supposed to look like an old English lodge. I've never been in an English Lodge but it definitely evokes that feel. I have fallen in love with the place and may think about possibly opening a much smaller type of place (maybe will all suites, I don't know). Unfortunately John and I did not really bother with the pool since I felt like we would be rushing if we did. So it was time to check out and head over to Einstein Bagels just down the street for breakfast(since they don't have a continental breakfast on the weekends).

From there I called my Aunt Helen to see if we could stop by to say hi. After that call we had a little time to head over to Both Whole Foods and REI to get lunch snacks since we had time before going to Aunt Helen's and didn't have much time before the play at the History Museum. At REI I bought a book called "Vegetarian Backpackin' Snackin' ." Before I had headed over there I had told John that I was just going to browse so when he go back he gave me a little flack until I pulled it out. " got it for me," he said. I figured it was much cheaper to make the meals in the book when we start going hiking/backpacking than it would be to buy those premade packets that people usually get (considering that we would either have to pay for gas to get up to St. Louis or pay for the shipping on the packets).

After that we went over to my great aunt Helen's to visit her since I haven't seen her since dad's wedding and she had broken her right upper arm a little after Christmas. She wasn't in a sling, but was still swollen so she wasn't taking any chances. She told me that my Aunt Beverly had stayed there one time so long ago and after the second day staying there she asked Aunt Helen if she could stay at her place because apparently there were a lot of people partying in the room and since there wasn't any sound-proofed walls in the place she couldn't stand it. I will have to say that it was much quieter when John and I stayed there than that story.

From there we went over to the History Museum to get tickets to "Dancing on Air: Katherine Dunham". It was amazing. She got her degree in Anthropology and studied the cultures on the island of Haiti. When she moved to back to the US created her own dance troope. The play itself had excerpts from some of her dances which I found fascinating. For those of you that don't know, Katherine Dunham makes her home in East St. Louis and is still going strong at 95 years old!

After we were done there, John and I headed over to Westport Plaza for dinner at the Drunken Fish before heading back to Cape Girardeau. The restaurant really wasn't John's style but the food was really good in my opinion. I had this philly roll that was fried in tempura and something else (I don't remember off hand what t was) that was brought out in a martini glass and was garnished with apple slices. For dessert I had this truffle-like dessert that was a rice patty filled with chocolate ice cream and good syrup formed in the shape of a tree.

My birthday proper was actually kind of anticlimactic. I went to school, came home for lunch where John surprised me with a DVD and poster from The Mates of State; the first band we went to see together and the band in which we went to see when we picked things back up after splitting (don't ever want that to happen again), and a sampler box of cheesecake from a really good cheesecake bakery down here called "My Daddy's Cheesecake." I have actually asked them once if they would be able to do a vegan version of it but like all of the other bakeries down here, they shut me out and gave my a nondescript answer (basically a way to say "No" without answering, it's one of my pet-peeves).

That evening it was off to work to be trained in the fabrics department. for those of you who don't know, I have been feeling kind of not really into my job and have decided that the only job that I would work at where money would not be the issue would be one where I love more job. I am taking it opportunity because moving to a department is a big step and not only more responsibilities but hopefully more future benefits. We'll see though. One big perk is that I have every other Saturday off so John and I may be able to go up to St. Genevieve or St. Louis or wherever we decide for the weekend. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

"I'm dancin' in the rain..."

I just finished watching "Anatomy of a Dancer: the Gene Kelly Story." I'm pretty sure that everyone reading this blog knows that I was a huge Gene Kelly fan from the time I was little up to this very day. It was kind of funny actually. I went so far as to have a crush on Kelly. I suspect it was more in regards of him being a dancer than anything else. I knew that he was too old for me but as I used to say, "Any guy that dances has my attention." I remember walking home from school a time or two singing and dancing to "Singin' in the Rain" while it was raining no less!!

As I am now taking a class on Dance Appreciation, I am taking the chance to go back to my dance roots and rewatch movies and various dances while trying to look at them in a new light. I don't know how John thinks of it (I know that he is not fond of musicals in particular and to him one dancer is the same as any other one).

I do have a request though, If anyone ever finds a recording of "Dance: A Man's Game" please let me know. It was a live broadcast done in the 1950s by Gene Kelly. I think it would be a good thing to consider for my report. I somehow don't expect anyone here to be able to find it but it's one thing that really interests me.