Friday, November 19, 2010

Feel Good Friday: Giving Thanks

feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.

With the American Thanksgiving just a week away, it's that time of year when most people in the U.S. start thinking of things they are thankful for.
I don't want to really do that typical thing where I list off obvious things that I'm thankful for. Family, Friends, Pets, and Livelihood. But, to be completely honest, I can't think of anything that would be really appropriate for my Thanksgiving post.

I am of course thankful for all of the wonderful things that I have in my life, but what about the bigger picture? What am I thankful for outside of myself and my family? Basic things like having paved roads, grocery stores, living in a wealthy country where I have freedoms. Sure, I'm thankful for all of that as well. But bigger? What else is there that I can be thankful for?
This lovely planet that I share with billions of people? Sure, I'm thankful for the nourishment it provides and the stories it tells. The stars that I get to see occasionally through the thick clouds that usually cover my city? Absolutely... But what more can I be thankful for?
Well, I have no real answer... but I do know this. Today I will be thankful for everything that I have and everyone that I love...
But above all.. I'm thankful for all the hugs I'll receive from today until Christmas.

What are you thankful for??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Say 'Thank You' to a Veteran

I'm not one for parades. In fact, that's quite the understatement. I really dislike parades. I hate standing in one spot and watching people walk by super slow. I hate the traffic that they cause. And for some reason, I've never attended a parade that wasn't during some freezing part of the day.

I just don't like parades.

But... when I found out my stepson would be marching in the Veteran's Day parade, I knew I had to go. Not just to support our veterans, but to support the great choice that my stepson has made.

As parents (and stepparent) we seem to have gotten a little bit of flack letting our son join the Young Marines. I can see how some people might be turned off by the initial idea of such an organization, but I can honestly say that it's been a positive thing in his life. He is learning leadership skills, discipline, team work, and respect for adults and his peers. They really push a "say no to drugs" policy, and are big on making the kids feel proud of themselves.

I digress. I'm proud of my stepson. I think he's making good choices in his life, and as long as he's not out there hurting himself or others, I will always support him. Because it's true. I love the little man. And I'm damn proud of him.

So, while my stepson was off fulfilling his duties as a young marine, I made sure to try to snap a few pictures of the great service men and women of my beautiful country. Unfortunately, due to the early morning and lack of coffee prior to leaving the house, I forgot my camera and was left taking pictures with my cell phone. Thank you technology.

And while I watched our veterans (and my stepson) march in the parade, I couldn't help but find myself enjoying myself. It's different when you're standing on the sidelines supporting your family, friends, and country.

So, to all the men and women who take the oath to protect my country and who go out there and make a difference in this world, no matter how grand or small... Thank you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feel Good Friday: D'oh

Due to the fact that Friday is near the end, and I have no real subject for today... I'm gonna have to just go ahead and skip the "Feel Good Friday" post for today.

In lieu of "Feel Good Friday", I leave you fluffiness.

Stay tuned, friends... there will be a photo heavy update of the Veteran's Day Parade I went to yesterday coming this weekend.

Until then... Smile!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Feel Good Friday: Science is Fun Afterall!

Now, it's not often that I find myself interested in science or reading the science section of the news, but when I saw Katie Couric reporting this last night, I had to learn more.

Spacecraft snaps close-up images of comet

A spacecraft survived the closest encounter ever with a comet on Thursday, tracking it just 435 miles from the comet's nucleus.

Mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, broadcast live coverage of the event on NASA Television's Media Channel. Controllers broke into applause after hearing of the success.

The agency's EPOXI Deep Impact spacecraft was expected to use two imagers and an infrared instrument to acquire data about a tiny comet named Hartley 2 as it traveled at speeds of more than 27,000 miles per hour.

Scientists are still working to determine whether there was any damage to the spacecraft as the peanut-shaped comet passed by.

They hope to learn to more about comets from five images detailing the close approach.

"Those early images may not be the 'money shot,' but we on the science team will prize them just as well, as they will help us further understand the nature of comets," said EPOXI principal investigator Mike A'Hearn of the University of Maryland, College Park, in a NASA statement. "We certainly have our hands full. The images are full of great cometary data, and that's what we hoped for."

The images are expected to depict the comet nucleus as little more than a point of light with a fuzzy coma, a gaseous cloud, surrounding it.

"It was just incredible," Ed Weiler, associate administrator of the Science Missions Directorate for NASA, said of the encounter.

Five years after NASA launched an 800-pound projectile into a comet in an effort to study its contents, the same spacecraft that launched the missile tracked Hartley 2 on Thursday.

It is the first spacecraft to have visited two comets.

NASA officials expressed hope that such missions will inspire young people to get into the field of space exploration.

Project manager Tim Larson, left, and deputy project manager Don Sweetnam celebrate as the first images from the NASA Deep Impact spacecraft come back

Another Article!!

If that picture doesn't make you smile, then you have no heart to feel good on Fridays!

This whole news story just kinda makes me feel like dancing. There's a whole world out there that is a complete mystery to even the smartest people in the world. I just want to tell them something.

Duh! This world we live in is an ABSOLUTELY confounding place. Weird, strange, and full of beauty. I can't wait to see what other beautiful things lay out there in the stars. Keep up the good work, Mr. Scientist Dudes!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2010 Election!

It's 7:30pm here in Oregon. Only another 30 minutes to place your vote here.

In Oregon, we do not have voter booths. Instead, we have mail in ballots. If you're a procrastinator and you don't get it done in time to mail it, there are boxes you can drop it off at. Very convenient, very quick. Turns out that it bumps your voter attendance up as well.

Now, I've waited this long to post about election day for one reason. I'm not here to tell you to vote.

I'm just here to brag that I did.

Women have only had the right to vote in the United States for 90 years. It was a big deal back in 1920 when the skirts hit the booths. Ever since, huge things have happened for women in America.

I just wanted to take a moment and give some acknowledgment to the women and their supporters who have made sure that my generation and many to come are treated equally and fairly. Thank you!