Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year

Here is a warm toast to a Happy New Year. Beth and I are off to spend the evening with her partner in crime at Placerville Elementary School District. Good italian food and some new party games ahead. Both of us are hoping we will make it to midnight before falling asleep. We will see.
May this new year bring growth, blessings, and opportunities for all the members of this blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Peter Tan in Malasia

has some first hand experience of the earthquake and tsunami here. Peter lives in Malasia, felt the earthquake in his wheel chair while he was getting ready for church on the 20th floor of his apartment. He has cousins in a fishng village at the coast who survived the event.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

"I Will" wristband

For those of you who received a green wristband. Here is the URL for the research foundation that sells them.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A quick run to Home Depot . .

. . . to rent a sewer snake to clean out the sewer. It's always best just go get the equipment, use and put it away. Other, seemingly easier ways of dealing with it just don't work and add uneccessary steps. I got to Home Depot as they were closing, but I had called ahead and the guy in the rental department was waiting for me at the back rental door.

There were some small roots in the line. This, combined with the interesting way that our sewer main goes to the alley that is uphill from the house, makes a buildup of sludge that contributes to the way that the waste from the washing machine backs up into the shower and makes the toilet bubble--that is actually a funny noise.

Everything was fixed and the sewer machine in in the garage in under an hour.

Thanks to everyone who came for Christmas. [Dave and Rob: the stuff that Grandma gave you is still here somewhere. Come and get it soon!]

Happy Boxing Day to all!

Chistmas in two houses

Because we split out holidays. I need to post pictures from both of our holiday gatherings.

My father and Brianna reading a magazine.

Here is a picture of Beth, David and Rob.

Here is the Peterson, Weaver, Wilson, Remington, Curtin family.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Blogging from the Apple Store at the Grove

Cindi and I are here with the Barnesons: Jeff and Tara; Don and Marianne and Kurt with Amie Schultz. Went to dinner, shopped for Santa. Saw the "snow."

Now we are waiting to meet everyone for the drive home.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Cindi and I went to Yellowstone . . .

this last fall. Here, Cindi, and all the tourists are looking for wild life. Our tour bus leader, Patrick, was great for pulling to the side of the road whenever anyone saw something to look at.

Later, I think it was October, Cindi flew out to Atlanta to join me for a week end. We had the opportunity to go to the Carter Presidential library. Jimmy Carter is the only president who I have met personally. I now work with someone whe was an intern in the Carter administration. This photo is taken in Atlanta at the library in a replica of the Oval Office.


Sunday, December 12, 2004

Search terms

935 is the number of hits for our family blog. I don't know what people think when the look at our humble family blog, but some of them have used search engines to find us. Here is a sample of some of the search terms they have used:

Beth and Steve Curtin
speedy gonzalez dear santa
kirsten gum
Lance Armstrong yellow wrist bands
Sociology: Mystic River
Polar Express ticket punching
pottery barn sierra madre

So, that is an interesting feature of the site meter that appears at the bottom of the page.

UPDATE: more terms

dear santa
peppermint bark williams sonoma
Ikea gift certificates in England

Cross Country

The word will get out about it, and you'll be asking me questions about it anyway, so here it is. I ran for my school twice in cross country running races because I am one of the faster runners at school. There were one or two hundred runners in the boys' race both times. I really wasn't sure what to expect because I had never done anything like this before, but I guess I didn't do too bad. The record was something like 11:37 and the slowest ones did it in about 20 minutes. It's two miles in La Mirada Regional Park with hills. I placed 23rd at 13:05 the first time, which was about 30 seconds better than when I practiced with the school. The whole school was expecting Mitchell Moore, the fastest kid at school, to win because he won last year, but a new record was set by someone else (who beat him in 800-meter run last year), and there was about 20 seconds in between the two, so of course the whole school was disappointed.

The second run was definitely harder in terms of the competition. I improved maybe a second or two, but I still only got 48th. Mitchell "Big Mitch" Moore lost again to the same guy (who was a second off his record he set the Friday before).

Just wanted to let you study up on things so I get all your questions asked.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Steve's Christmas List

Not very long or creative. A gift certificate to book stores, record stores, or Fry's works for me.
My favorite gift is sharing the holidays with others. Kyle, Beth and I are looking forward to being in Whittier for Christmas Eve and Day.
We will also have time during the holidays for my family and our friends.
Nothing better than that.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Happy Blogday

I want to acknowledge the 1 year anniversary of this family blog. Glen got us started on this last December. I have enjoyed it and the opportunity to keep connected to family in a new way. Thanks, Glen. And happy birthday to the blog! Or happy anniversary to the bloggers. Anyway, cheers.

Monday, November 29, 2004


After a month or so not blogging I found myself "dumped". Anyway after some trial and error I am finally back on and enjoying the pictures and articles from the family. I already typed this up but whatever happened I lost it so hope this isn't a duplicate.

I agree with the sentiments of Cindi about gift giving. And about the most important gift of all which is the gift of salvation from God the Father through His Son Jesus shed blood which covers our sins. What a great plan He had even when we were still sinners .

As far as my thoughts for myself I want consumables, ie nothing that I need to dust, store or find if I need it later. I found a rain guage, or an indoor outdoor thermometer at Target both under $5. Also would like a bath brush in rose, blue or white with a hook or lanyard to hang it with. Also found a couple books at the Family Christian Book store. "Alaska" by Tracie Peterson or "Ohio" by Dianne Chrisner. These are adventure stories about the settling of these areas. Gift certificates to Mervyns, Target, or Berean Book store would also be nice.

Gift Giving Fun

After a fine Thanksgiving dinner at Mom Pete's, we put the names of all participants in a bowl and drew pairings for our Christmas Eve Gift Giving tradition. Giving to another is an art and a skill.

The skill is in the head...the act of getting a gift...getting to know another person to discover their tastes, preferences, and interests. It also includes the strategy of buying something appropriate within budget (or sometimes not..."The Gift of the Magi" I think tells that well...if that's the one about the poor couple and a hair cut, so to speak). Getting it wrapped and into the hands of the loved one also takes some

The art is in the heart...the act of giving. That comes from deep within. The ability to share and sometimes sacrifice willingly to encourage another with a thoughtful gesture---big or small, a tangible item or an act of kindness. That takes a bigger person. That comes through personal growth and a broader perspective (and an income/work??!!).

The ultimate gift for me is in Jesus. God sent Him to pay the price for my shortcomings, so that I can be reconciled to a perfect, loving God. When I accepted that gift, when I realized I could not measure up my way and need Christ to help me make sense of it all, I began to understand giving because I expectations.

Now, getting a gift is still such fun! And giving is a blessing to both the giver and the person receiving the gift. We celebrate the ultimate gift at Christmas...Christ birth on earth to reach us for God. We continue the tradition of "gifting" in our family. Here are the pairings for this year.

  1. Doris gives to Andrew
  2. Glen gives to Richard
  3. Audrey gives to Glen
  4. Beth gives to Jane
  5. Cindi gives to Audrey
  6. Steve gives to Doris
  7. Richard gives to Beth
  8. Jane gives to David
  9. David gives to Kyle
  10. Andrew gives to Steve
  11. Kyle gives to Cindi

Conversations with each other help determine what each person wants. The famblog and e-mail also can connect us for information gathering. Have fun! I look forward to seeing us together soon. This remains an optional voluteer activity.

We haven't set a price limit. If anyone would like to do that, we can discuss that. Also, we can give to others in the family as well, if we wish. Just have fun. :-)

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Dick and Jane

. . . Will be in Whittier for Christmas from December 24 until 31. They arrive at 6:53 on Christmas eve.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving in P'Ville

Brianna and her olives.

Andrew reading a book to Brianna.

The table before dinner.

The table during dinner.

Some older Brianna Pictures

Here are a couple of Brianna pictures from last month. They are seasonal.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

T-day cycling on OLN

The following is from OLN (note eastern time zone):

Thanksgiving Day
Tour de France Marathon

Join OLN for the most exciting stages
of the 2004 Tour de France.

Wed., Nov. 24
9pm - 2am ET

Thur. Nov. 25
4pm - 11pm ET / 1am - 3am ET

The Lance Armstrong Interview
Thur. Nov. 25
11pm - 1am ET

Tour du Faso
Thursday, December 2
12 - 1pm ET

Note: Schedule subject to change. Last updated: 11/2/2004

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Travel by trains in a big city

Howard Good and I teamed up over two days to disprove the myth that Los Angeles does not have a public transit system.

In the process I met two facinating people.

(1) The engineer on the Metro Gold LIne gave us commentary and touring information as we travelled from Union Station to Sierra Madre Villa. Normally on the Metro Rail system a computerized voice announces the stops, the transfer point to other rail lines. On this ride we heard the name and the theme of the designer of each uniquely designed metro station. We learned that the train speed limit in Highland park had been reduced to 15 miles per hour because of the proximity to homes and children. When we went into a dark tunnel, it was suggested take a short meditative moment to close our eyes and relax as native american flute music was played.

At the end of the ride, Howard suggested we should see what out guide looked like. As it was the end of the line for that train, he was also exiting the train and we introduced ourselves. I am sorry that I forgot his name. He is from the Apache indigenous American tribe (Indian, Aboriginal, First Nations). He taught us a new hand shake--with the left and because it is closest to the heart.

(2) I met Javier or "Javi" Ojero from Spain on a one year hitch-hicking adventure of the Americas when I sat next to him and his backpack on MetroLink. We talked about American politics, travel with a backpack, crossing international borders, and the adventure of hitchhiking.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


There are rules???? what are they??? have i violated them and no one told me?? signed now anxious in P'ville

Friday, November 12, 2004

Cindi's Wish List

(subject to updates without notice)

  1. Soundtrack to "Polar Express"
  2. Book: Great Tea Rooms of America, by B. Richardson ($21.21 at Amazon)
  3. CD: Vaughn Williams - Fantasies/Lark Ascending
  4. Starbucks' Gift Card
  5. CD: Discover the Classics (1, 2, and/or 3)
  6. CD: Soundtrack for "Sleepless in Seattle" and/or "You've Got Mail"
  7. Gift certificates: for movies (Regal, Whittier Uptown Village Theater, AMC, Edwards), for books (Borders, Amazon, Barnes & Noble), for my stamp hobby for making cards (contact Helen Homet:, for home stores (Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, IKEA, Home Depot), for food (Cold Stone, Olive Garden, Chili's, P.F. Changs, Cheesecake Factory); for office stores (Staples, Office Depot)
  8. Box of white dinner candles (tapers)
  9. White pillowcases (2, king)
  10. Film (400, 35mm)
  11. Favorite tea: Cardamon Cinnamon or Mint Fields Herb (both are by "The Republic of Tea"); tea bags - preferred format
  12. Favorite candy: Skor, Heath, Reese's, Payday, Peanut or Caramel M&Ms, English toffee, Werther's Caramels
  13. Favorite gum: Dentyne Ice/Peppermint
  14. Trip to England for 2
Please avoid: Flavored coffee, scented candles, stuff with dogs on it, stuff with initials on it, mugs, Snickers.

'Tis the Blog

Well, Doris's birthday is the official kick-off to the family holiday blitz. We'll gather to celebrate her life. Then comes the annual turkey and trimmings day of thankfulness. Then Christmas, New Year's, and the major month of birthdays --- January (Garth, Dad/Dick, Mom/Jane, Audrey, and Andrew). [Thanks to the Curtins joining the family, the month of June is now in second (Steve, Kyle, and me).] A lovely season to be with family, friends, and good food. I've already started to crave Glen's frozen cranberry relish delight, especially spread on a left-over turkey sandwich.

So, I need everyone to blog their wish list for Christmas. General categories or descriptors are good, too. For instance, a general category for me is...I enjoy gift certificates (Amazon, Borders, William Sonoma, Crate & Barrell, Olive Garden, etc.). A descriptor would be...please, no scented candles, perfume of any form, chocolate candy, or anything with a lab dog printed on it --- I do love my labs. I just don't care for lab stuff --- trinkets and such. So, go for it.

Also, I need to know who wants in on the family gift exchange this year. Please let me know by Thanksgiving, so we can draw names that day.

I saw "The Incredibles" and "Polar Express" this week and was delighted differently by both. Now, I am an animation fan to begin with. I grew up in the day of choppy cartoon movements, 2D appearance, very simple backgrounds, and three-fingered characters. The classic cartoon has truely positioned me to be amazed and impressed with the latest and greatest computer-aided animated stories. So, technically, I was fascinated by lifelike characters, almost 3D settings, and a sensation of speed and thrill in both. I do not know how they do it! A friend of a friend worked on Polar Express for years, so I enjoyed seeing his name early in the credits (Rob Bredow).

The Incredibles is just a fun romping adventure with some great character concepts, clever dialog/lines, a nasty bad dude, fantastic chases, and mid-life philosophy that made me smile. The set-up for the sequel was blatant...but can I blame them? Why not!

Polar Express is darker. I LOVED IT! In fact, I've already bought my very own Polar Express hot chocolate mug...just like the one in the movie. And I carry a sleigh bell in my right pocket now. It was inspirational.

First of all, it employed a new form of animation using actors with sensors to create cartoon characters. Tom Hanks played the little boy, the train conductor, the hobo, Santa, and I believe the boy's father. The voice of the boy does not appear to be his.

This is a very thoughtful story that walks right to the edge of cliche and stops at a point of meaningful interaction. Although much has been added to the original story, it stays true to the tone and illustration style. It is about the struggle between childhood and adulthood. The story is about Santa Claus and the point where a child no longer believes. Now, I didn't go to this movie for insight into the Christian worldview or the true meaning of Christmas, so calm down.

It offers a fun plot with almost never-ending twists, amazing graphics and visual sensations, wonderful characters. I laughed, cried, felt the suspense, and smiled with joy. I loved the snow and winter (always miss that about this time of year). I was thrilled to see a female lead of a young African-American girl with true leadership qualities and good character. I found it refreshing that the kids were all good kids. I got a big kick out of one boy who exists somewhere in each of our lives --- the loud know-it-all. He was very cleverly portrayed. And the ticket punching was such a cool touch. Some, I'm sure, will be critical of so much of what I loved --- what's new? It was a fun Christmas story. It was positive and truthful (meaning that Christmas can sometimes be disappointing, but hope has an important role inside and we need community to keep it). There were some intense scenes...such as a puppet sequence that may be too much for small kids. We are shown who makes the puppet move, though, which would be very helpful to kids who may be a little spooked. Thoughtful of the movie makers to do, whether intentionally or not. Just a decent, fun, family film. Believe...:-)

Glen was out of town for a week, so I had fun renting "chick flicks" and eating Chinese take-out and left-overs for several evenings. I rented "Mona Lisa Smile," "Laws of Attraction," and "Mean Girls." Enjoyed them all for different reasons.

OK, I've violated the length of the blog entry code. So long for now.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Ricardo's El Ranchito to Celebrate Birthday of a Matriarch

This Friday, November 12 at 6 PM the part of the family who is nearby and available will gather at Ricardo's El Ranchito Restaurant to celebrate Doris' birthday. Those fried flour tortilla chips could be addicting.

Let's party! Everyone is welcome.

Breakfast with Brianna

Here we are having breakfast with Brianna.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

with guns in their hands and god on their side...

4 more WARS!!! yeay! is anyone else as psyched as i am?! i'm thinking of enlisting now, so that i can make sure i get one of the good jobs walking alongside tanks with insufficient body armor. look out brown people! i'm coming to get you!

Monday, November 01, 2004

tis the season y'all

that's the cutest step-niece ever i tell you. in the waning hours of all hallow's eve, perhaps an unofficial opening day for holiday advertising, i saw my first christmas commercial. cindi was present as we saw a ross commercial, involving santa's elves broke the seal on the holiday season. i'm not sure i'm ready for this yet! wasn't it just summer? happy election day tomorrow everybody! and feliz dia de los muertos to our mexican brothers and sisters. most important of all of this though, happy lakers season opener day tomorrow! go kobe!

You knew it was coming.

Here that girl on Holloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

14 days, 4 airlines, 7 cities, 3 time zones

After two weeks on the road, I am glad to be home. I leave again Thursday for Pittsburgh and the MEDA Convention and then 2 days at the home office in Lancaster.

Day one, United Airlines: Portland OR: Birthday party for Dick Howard was a great time. Jeff Barneson met me there and drove us around in a rental car. We crossed the might Columbia River into Vancouver, Washington. Friday evening we used the industrial sized kitchen of a church of a friend to make bread pudding and prep a whole bunch of stuff for the cooking the next day. Two dozen of us cut up bread, apples, cleaned garlic, chopped herbs and stuff all under the able direction of Ben Howard, Dick and Judy's son who is a professional chef. They baked the bread pudding. We also stood around chatting, eating sliced bread with 6 or eight kinds of cheeses with names like Brie, Humboldt Fog, Bleu, and other names I do not know and cannot remember. I plan to go to the nearest Whole Foods grocery store and discover all these and many more kinds of cheeses.

Then Dick, Jeff, Ben, and I went to the place were the party on Saturday was to take place. Ben and his friend prepared a whole lamb that was to be smoked on a spit the next day. Some other highlights of the menu included as appetizers: grilled prawns, Winchester Bay Oysters, rosemary skewered Prosciutto wrapped fig & bleu cheese. Entrées: spit roasted Oregon Lamb, grilled wild Alaska salmon, smoked ribs, grilled and smoked chicken with lemon and thyme, selection of German sausages. Sides: roasted caramelized squash, roasted golden and red beets. The desert was apple bread pudding with rum sauce and vanilla ice cream. [Something about a chocolate cake was made by Ben's mom, but something happened and I don't think it actually made it to the table.]

The eating event reminded me of the film Babette's Feast.

Ben works at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Beth and Steve, you ought to check it out for us. We can go together when we are up there some time. The restaurant is all about sustainable food or slow food. All the staff is paid a living wage. Only food that is in season, organic and sustainable is served. I went to a similar restaurant in Philadelphia this year called the White Dog.

A great quote from the thank you card that Dick sent after the party to me: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly proclaiming . . . 'Wow! What a ride!'"

On Frontier Airlines I flew from Portland to Atlanta, Georgia landing in Denver [city #2]. I left my Nike windbreaker jacket in the overhead compartment from Portland to Denver. So, gotta replace that.

Monday through Friday at the Sheraton Colony Square with John and Miriam Carver for an in-depth look at the Policy Governance(r) model. The week was excellent using the highest level of learning on Bloom's Taxonomy scale synthesizing the information and looking at various applications for Policy Governance(r). Deconstructing it piece by piece and seeing how it works and putting it back together again. Nineteen of us in the advance academy are looking to improve the use of Policy Governance(r) in the organizations where they work or learning to consult for organizations needing the technical assistance to make it work well.

Cindi came out to Atlanta on Friday afternoon using some frequent flyer miles from Delta Airlines. We rented a car and drove to Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head, South Carolina. These cities are on the Atlantic Coast and the trip into South Carolina gives me one more state in our quest to visit 50 by out 50th birthdays. Savannah is a fascinating place. Built pre-civil war, pre-revolutionary war, a long time ago with a street plan that included 24 "squares" or parks. 21 of these squares still exist, each with its unique history, statues, plants, flowers and trees. Savannah has been made famous by lots of movies and books. Forest Gump sat on a bench in one of the squares when he uttered those famous words " Life is like a box of chocolates." The book and move Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is based on an historical murder mystery in one of the large houses on one of the famous squares. We took a bus tour of the historical city center with the squares and then we toured the civil rights museum. As with many southern cities, Savannah has its own history of progress in civil rights.

Back to Atlanta on Sunday, we visited the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. This was interesting because I remember the history: peace accords at Camp David, shortage of energy, renewed interest and diplomatic relations with the quarter of the world's population in mainland China, the Panama Canal treaty re-negotiated, and of course, the 444 days of the Iran Hostage Crisis. We ran out of time to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. historical site. This may not have been a problem though as my friend Ryan VerWys went there to find that it was closed for refurbishing and only got to watch a video.

Cindi headed back home Sunday evening. Thanks to Doris for picking her up at the end of the green line in Norwalk.

From Atlanta, I headed to Miami on American Airlines for my regular work with MEDA Compassion Capital Fund clients. The weather was fabulous! Sunshine, no-humidity, 80 plus degrees for 3-days. And, I would have been satisfied with just not having a hurricane. The clear weather made observation of the full lunar eclipse spectacular.

Thursday it was Back to Atlanta, GA for one day only of the CCDA conference. An 8 AM flight from Miami got me to Atlanta before 10 AM. A short ride on the light rail, "Marta" got me to the hotel where the conference was held. My main goal here was to meet with a few people who I may otherwise not see. Got to chat with Michael Mata, now of World Vision working in Community Economic Development domestically. I have known Michael since the first days of JobStarts. Got to meet Chris Porvance for the first time. He is a new client in Indianapolis who was on vacation when I was there in September. We talked about his organization, Rebuilding the Wall, and their dream of building affordable housing and creating jobs in the construction field at the same time. I also saw Howard Good (MEDA), Gordon Murphy (CCDA), Mary Nelson (Bethel New Life), Lyman Howell (Faith to Finance), and Ryan VerWys (Open Arms Community Development Associates). This was the main reason I went as it is part of my job description to create and maintain relationships with organizations in the field which might create synergy. This sounds rather political. And CCDA is a political environment is a good sense and the crazy sense.

Interestingly, there was a breakout workshop called "Boards that Make a Difference" led by someone who has read only two of the Carver's books and has implemented Policy Governance(r) in his organization. This is a great tribute to this gentleman’s leadership strength and his intellectual capacity. He new the subject well and has used it to lead his organization. This also proves to some extent that the system works and is usable. He has not gone to the trainings offered by the Carvers and did not use a consultant. Congratulation to him!

Got home early Friday morning--Rob and Cindi were waiting at LAX at 1:30 AM for me. It was nice to see their smiling faces and give them both hugs. Thanks for the ride you two! My fight was delayed an hour and a half or so. The fight crew was delayed getting into Atlanta because of the weather. I am grateful that we got underway so quickly though. My colleague, Howard, was supposed to leave Atlanta at 6 PM. First US Airways cancelled his flight and put him on United. United then canceled that flight and handed out hotel vouchers around midnight. They were instructed to be ready for a 6 AM flight that was overbooked. Eventually, he got back to Pennsylvania, but not to the same airport from which he departed. When I talked to him on the phone about 3 PM on Friday, he was trying to figure out has to get to Harrisburg to get his car before going home near Lancaster.

Seems like all my blogging friends already know that U2 has a new album coming out in November. Pre-order yours today!

Rob pointed out to Cindi during a TV commercial for the U2 "Vertigo" and the iPod that those were two of my favorite things. Interesting. I wouldn't have thought of that or said it, but once someone says it, I might have to agree. [Truth is though, other than backing up my data from the G4 PowerBook, I don't do much with my iPod.]

This has turned into a rather long post. Cindi is downstairs with her Creative Memories business while I am upstairs trying to remember what happened last week. I think I should head out for a bicycle ride.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Pumpkin Carving

We spent Tuesday night in the middle of pumpkin carvers.

Brianna, Jonah and Shawntea had a great time.

David is here and we are enjoying our time with him.
More holloween photos to follow.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Upcoming Bicycling Dates

The next Rosarito-Ensenda ride is April 23, 2005. In 2004 I registered for this spring ride then didn't go because that was the day the Samson2 came to live here. The September 2004 ride was fun. It's a lot of work and a long drive. But. sometimes that's the investment that must be made to have this much fun.

The Tour de France will start from Vendée on July 2. Should we have a french toastl breakfast again this year?

Travel Plans

I will be travelling a lot in the next months.

On Friday, October 15, I plan to be near Portland, OR for the fiftieth birthday of an old friend, Dick Howard, whom I have seen only once since he moved there in the mid-seventies. Jeff Barneson and I are meeting there for the big event.

Click for Portland, Oregon Forecast

From Portland, I travel to Atalnta, GA for the one-week Policy Governance(r) Academy with John and Miriam Carver.

Click for Atlanta, Georgia Forecast

On Friday, October 22, Cindi flies to Atlanta using some of my frequent flyer miles to join me for the weekend.

We may drive to South Carolina--a state to which I have not yet traveled.

Sunday, Cindi flies home and I fly to Miami to visit with the CCF organizational clients there.

Click for Miami, Florida Forecast

Thursday, October 28, I return to Atlanta for the day for the CCDA annual conference. and finally back home the evening of October 28.

David Weaver called last weekend. He says he gets done with his job in the trees on October 15. I think he is putting out feelers to make plans to travel around to visit many of us.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Brianna goes to the State Fair

This is a little late. Shawntea and Jonah took Brianna to the State Fair. As the picture shows a good time was had by all. Shawntea tried out for American Idol along with 10,000 others in San Francisco this week. Stiff competition, but she was glad she made the effort.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

History made as Friere wins again

Oscar Friere won his third world championship on Sunday in Verona, Italy. Nobody has won 3 world championships since Eddy "The Cannibal" Merckx completed his three in 1974. Davide Rebellin was a favorite to win because of his amazing series of wins in the spring. He didn't think he would be selected for the Italian national team, so he changed nationalities to Argentina, but because he didn't get the papers in soon enough, he still couldn't be there. (Just a little funny but sad news.)

Lance is probably just relaxing at home or jumping into the "Dead Man's Hole" he has at home to check for vital signs, as he explains in his second book, "Every Second Counts".

Friday, October 01, 2004

Mr. Barger's Fish

Here is a picture of our friend Connie Barger with a tuna he caught last week.

I don't know the price of tuna, but the pride is evident.

Link to Damascus Photos

My friend Tom Horton is teaching for two years in Damascus. He has a great site on Webshots where he posts all of his pictures.
Here is the link: Tom's Pictures

He also has some nice photos from his other trips.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bike Ride

This is the finish line of the 50 mile bike event. Glen heard that next year there will be a timed division. Then we can call it a bike "race".

Cindi can relax now that Glen has arrived safe and unscathed.

After 50 miles you get hungry. Beth and Steve are very relaxed. Viva Mexico.


I noticed during the safety demonstration (you know when the flight attendant show off that delightful little mechanism of the seat belt so you will know how to insert one into the other and then lift here to release blah blah blah) on American Airlines this afternoon that the flight attendant was wearing a LIVESTRONG yellow wristband. So, I made sure that my yellow bracelet was showing outside my long sleeve shirt.

Carl gave this bracelet to me—I think he is the boyfriend of Bill Vickonoff’s stepdaughter—on Thursday evening, the same night that Bill passed away. So it feels a little bit special to me.

When the flight attendant came down the aisle with the beverage service, he noticed my wristband and motioned to his own. I asked him if he knew a cancer survivor. He said that his neighbor was; then he corrected himself, he had passed away last February. I told him briefly about my friend Bill. It was a short flight—34 minutes I think. This all happened about the time people would have been traveling to Rose Hills for Bill’s funeral. So I felt like I had an emotional connection.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sorry for the delay, but Heras won

Roberto Heras won his 3rd Vuelta a Espana (I'm using windows, so I don't know how to put the tilde over the n) today, Sunday, 26 September 2004. The first was in 2000 when he was on the Spanish Kelme team, then 2003 on US Postal, and now 2004 on Spanish team Liberty Seguros.

The race came down to the final time trial, as it has on so many occasions in this race. Heras is not a good time trialist, but he still won the Vuelta taking third in the TT. Perez, not a bad challenger for the overall lead, won the stage, with Heras third.


Floyd Landis abandoned the race, so you won't see his name in the standings, as you would expect.

The ever-present Erik Zabel took the points jersey, as he has done many times in the past.

The final top finishers:

Final overall standings
1. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 77:42:46
2. Santiago Perez (Sp), Phonak, at 0:30
3. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 2:13
4. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme, 3:30
5. Carlos Garcia Quesada (Sp), Kelme, 7:44
6. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 8:11
7. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 8:32
8. Angel Gomez (Sp), Paternina, 13:08
9. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, 13:24
10. David Blanco (Sp), Kelme, 15:15

Something big about your favorite guy from Marblehead, Massachusetts has accured. Tyler Hamilton has been accused of taking someone else's blood, but there is no evidence for that, and he says he'll race again, and his wife, Haven has sent a letter to all his fans trying to pursuade people of his innocence because they didn't want to even have their dog get a blood transplant because of risks it has. Haven also says in her letter that the reason Tyler quit the Tour this year without more of a fight is because he remebered how long it took to recover from last year's edition with his broken collarbone.

This is the season for bike shows, with major ones being the Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, Germany; EICMA in Milan, Italy; International Cycle Show in Islington, England; Interbike in Las Vegas, etc.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Blogging in Chicago . . .

at the Apple Store. Just for the fun of it and because I can.

Got here today, going home tomorrow--in time to go on the Rosarito-Ensenada bicycle ride. Just because I can.

Next week I'll be back to Chicago and my new teritory: Indianapolis. Of couse, because I can.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Vuelta comes to first rest day

Jimenez wins Monday's 10th stage on a long break while Floyd Landis keeps the malliot de oro (the Vuelta's leader's jersey) by 8 seconds, 1 minute behind Roberto Heras' group.

U.S. Postal's David Zabriskie won Tuesday's stage with another long breakaway, but he went by himself at only 5 km! (To make that in miles, multiply it by .621.) Some might think that it was to take pressure off teammate Floyd Landis, but he said, "there was no plan at all. It just happened." This is definitely the best win of his career. One of the favorites, Alejandro Valverde, crashed, which I will write about more.

The next day (Wednesday) was a rest day, so Alejandro Valverde can recover a little, but still, "Alejandro's 100 percent sure to be starting tomorrow--what we don't know is if he is at 100 percent," CV-Kelme team assistant director Ignacio Labarta told Reuters [press]. "The checkups on his hip revealed he had nothing serious." Roberto Heras looks like he will win the Vuelta a Espana for the 3rd time in his career, one at Kelme (where Valverde is), one at USPS, and now at Liberty Seguros, the team ONCE turned into.

US Postal won't be too stressed if they don't win because, as Johan Bruyneel says, "We came to the Vuelta with the objective of winning a stage. We have won two, and have led the race for 11 days. We have done what we came here to do. Can Landis win the Vuelta? I don't know. Why not?" Everything besides the Tour is a bonus. Read more here.

Michael Barry, a USPS rider, writes about his experiences in this Grand Tour, and they (the writings) can be viewed here. Things to know while reading this: Max is the sprinter on USPS, and Dave is the stage winner.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Vuelta Comes to Turning Point

Zabel was beaten again in the seventh stage on Friday by Alessandro Petacchi, winner of 5 stages in this race last year alone. A five-time Tour de France winner, Miguel Indurain, said that he would sign a contract saying that he would win the Tour de France and spend the rest of the races coming in second. Erik Zabel's a sprinter, so maybe he did that this year, but made the race he won the World Championship. We'll see what happens in October. The overall classification remained the same, with Manual Beltran in the lead.

The next day's race, an individual time trial, was won by the new olympic time trial champion, Tyler Hamilton. He has been wearing a wrist splint from a crash on stage 4. (You would think he would learn from his mistakes, but I guess he will always crash.) This put Floyd Landis in the leader's jersey.

Today's (Sunday's) race was won by Leonardo Piepoli, but the big news was that defending champion, Roberto Heras, was right behind him and gained time on his challengers (see below for times). Floyd Landis is still in the leader's jersey.

(The guy in the yellow won the stage, while Heras took second.)

1. Leonardo Piepoli (I), Saunier Duval, 4:29:36
2. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 0:04
3. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 0:10
4. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 0:15
5. Jorge Ferrio (Sp), Paternina - Costa De Almeria, 0:25
6. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme - Costa Blanca, 0:29
7. Denis Menchov (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 0:41
8. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 0:52
9. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 0:55
10. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 1:09

1. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 31:46:48
2. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 0:33
3. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 0:38
4. Isidro Nozal (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 0:51
5. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Kelme - Costa Blanca, 0:57
6. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 1:35
7. Denis Menchov (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1:52
8. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 1:55
9. Aitor Gonzalez (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, 2:25
10. David Blanco (Sp), Kelme - Costa Blanca, 3:30

Five National Parks, Two Countries, 8 Days!

Hey, we're back. Even though I carried my computer with me the whole time, I didn't have the opportunity--read: didn't feel like it--to blog. Pictures: too many to count. We'll likely post a couple here and there. In the US we saw Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Teton National Park. In Canada we went into Waterton Glacier National Park and Banff and Lake Louise.

There are a couple of weeks to go--September 25-- until Mexico and the Rosarito Ensenada bike ride. I think more of us should go--so far, I know Beth, Steve, Cindi and I are going. Daniel, talk to your mom. Let's see if we can't get you there to show us how this little 50 mile bike ride should be ridden.

I better get out and do some training rides myself. I'd like to finish. And, in less time than I took last year. I should have written it down but I think it was less than 3 1/2 hours.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Zabel Misses Out Again

It's the third time Erik Zabel has just missed a stage win in this year's Vuelta a Espana, with Two-Time World Champion Oscar Friere beating him to the line this time.

Defending Champion Roberto Heras broke away but was realed in with Oscar Friere's Rabobank team and numerous attacks.

Manual Beltran is still in the leader's jersey less than a second ahead of teammate Floyd Landis.

(Zabel's in the pink on the left)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Alessandro Petacchi got his second win in this year's Vuelta a Espana on Tuesday after just beating Erik Zabel to the line in a very windy stage. US Postal rider Benoit Joachim took the leaders jersey after the stage.

Denis Menchov, the winner of the 2003 Best Young Rider Competition, won Tuesday's stage after breakaways tried to get away but couldn't because of the strong head winds. US Postal rider Manual Beltran is now in the leader's jersey.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Michael's New Home

Here is a picture of Michael's tent in Kuwait. He is getting used to the 120 to 130 degree heat. It is also very humid. It is so hot his soap melts.


Alessandro Petacchi returned to winning ways with his win in the Vuelta a Espana on Sunday. He was not expecting to ride the tour, but because he crashed out of the Tour de France, he decided to do it. The stage put US Postal rider Max van Heeswijk in the leader's golden jersey.

Today's (Monday's) stage was a little harder than the last, and Alejandro Valverde won in an uphill sprint. US Postal rider Benoit Joachim is now leading the race.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

US Postal wins Prologue

US Postal won the opening prologue in the Vuelta a Espana (which was a team time trial), which put Floyd Landis in the leader's golden jersey. Floyd is going for the overall classification, so it's a good start (Lance is not in the race for this). Read more here.

1. U.S. Postal 30:45
2. T-Mobile, at 0:31
3. Banesto, at 0:56
4. Kelme, at 0:58
5. Phonak, at 1:01

George Hincapie won the "Beyond the Peloton" award given by Clif Bar. Floyd Landis was 2nd and Jose Azevedo was third.

2002 Giro d'Italia winner signed a two-year contract for the Discovery team recently, which should help the team.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tyler Talks

Tyler Hamilton's most recent journal entry is about the Olympics, cheering for others, and his upcoming ride in the Tour of Spain.

Monday, August 30, 2004

My Idea of a Present

Just in case anyone has some extra change this has been my wish for forty years.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Numbers from the vacation poll

Beth asked for the numbers from the other poll. Not as many, 11, voted on this one. I am not sure why no one voted for Uzbekistan--maybe I should have offered Tazjekistan since it is so much more of a tourist destination.

Hawaii  9% 1
Uzbekistan  0% 0
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico  9% 1
Siberia  9% 1
France (anywhere the T de F goes)  9% 1
Cozumel, Mexico  18% 2
Tuscany  18% 2
Greece during the summer Olympics  0% 0
Austin, Texas  0% 0
Australia (Tour Down Under)  27% 3
11 votes total

If we really wanted to try for a family reunion on foregn soil, I would pick Mexico. There are some nice places that are easy enough to get to and perhaps our time-share would be an appropriate starting point for us all to stay. I would love to go to Australia, it is just so far to go. Maybe some day.

Monday, August 23, 2004

You said it wasn't too early, so...

Here's my list. Remeber, you can always choose to give me money, and I will put it in the fund for a nice bike for the future years.

Tour de France Centenary (book about the Tour de France's history)

Images of a Champion (the life of Lance)

2005 Calendar

I would also like a pair of slippers size eight and a half. Light, no fuzz.

What happens when a cyclist...

What happens when a cyclist is forced to fit a family dinner into his schedule to win the Tour de France?

Jane and Doris at the Hollywood Bowl

Do you think anyone could have been having a better time at the Bowl last night?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Some numbers

35 votes were counted in our little non-scientific poll. All other votes were thrown out because of hanging chads or the fact that they just didn't please the counters in the back room. The two votes for Kirsten Gum are being contested. The supreme court may declare her the winner.

Who is your favorite TdeF staff on OLN?
Kirsten Gum  6% 2
Bob Roll  46% 16
Phil Ligget  40% 14
Paul Sherwen  9% 3
Al Trautwig  0% 0
35 votes total

Did you like this? Let me know your ideas for our next poll.


is it too soon to start christmas lists?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Julich's Strange Rings

These chainrings are made to optimize the dead spot in the pedal stroke.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

...And Ekimov gets the Silver

Tyler Hamilton, 34 years old, was 18 seconds faster than the defending champion, Vjatcheslav Ekimov of Russia, a teammate of Lance's (on USPS) and a mere thirty-eight years old. Bobby Julich, 3rd place in the Tour de France in 1998, was 26 seconds slower than Tyler and got the gold. Lance was in Texas celebrating his 6th Tour de France victory with 30,000 other fans recently, so he wasn't there.

Tyler was nervous untill the end

Lance wasn't there

Read more here.

I am finding it strange that the swimmers are so much younger than the cyclists. The Phelps guy is only 19 and already has a world record, world championship and at least 3 gold medals. In cycling you wouldn't make it to the pro ranks at that age because you simply would not be able to keep up with the rest.

Hamilton and Julich medal

Tyler Hamilton won the Gold and Bobby Julich won the Bronze in the Olympic Time Trial. Dede Barry of the US won the Silver in the Women's Time Trial. I am sure that Daniel will share the details.

Remington Arrival

The Remington's arrive at LAX, almost on time, last night. They report that the trip was uneventful.

They are enjoying a breakfast of poached eggs and oatmeal. Sam is watching them carefully.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Note on Blog commercialization

From the comments on my previous post on Clif Bars, is seems like there may be some confusion. I will let Rob and Beth work out their own duel o' typos as they wish.

In the meantime, I have signed up as an affiliate at So if anyone uses the links that I post to buy products from Amazon, I will get a very tiny comission that I will use to support my blogging habit--actually, I will pay the fee that will make the ad banner at the top of the page dissapear. But, mostly its just for fun. If you buy any product from Amazon, use one of the links on our page, go to your product, when you go to check out, remove the product you linked through, unless you want that. We'll see what happens.

Cindi thinks that either of these would be nicer than the Clif Bars (yes, they do spell it on one el, I don't know why--probably learned to write and read phonetically).

Brianna gets earrings

Here is a picture of Brianna with her new earrings.