Saturday, May 30, 2009

A wedding!

Last Sunday Chris and I attended the wedding of my good friend, Lamont, and his Bride, Mary Beth. It was a beautiful occasion in a beautiful setting, the Nativity of our Lord Church on McClellan St. in Detroit. Lamont and I worked together briefly for Siemens at the Detroit Wayne County Airport and have remained friends for several years. I recently met Mary Beth this winter at their engagement party, and Lamont, you certainly found a keeper!
Although some took pictures during the actual ceremony, I waited to take this picture of the Sanctuary. There is a magnificent stained glass circular window at the opposite end of the room, but darn it, the picture was out of focus!
The wedding party after the nuptials were completed. The Good Lord blessed them with a sunny day. A good omen for a long and happy life together!
The bagpiper led the Bridal procession and played again as the wedding party emerged from the church.
Cutting the wedding cake!

Don't they look so happy and in love?

Man, those shoes are deadly! I want a pair!
It has been a while since I attended a wedding and the occasion helped to remind me how blessed I am to be married to such a wonderful woman these last 22 years. I hope Lamont and Mary Beth will find the happiness that I have had for all of these years.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

As we are Bar-B-Qing our hot dogs, let's take a minute to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep our nation free.
Douglas Albert Munro (October 11, 1919 – September 27, 1942) is the only member of the United States Coast Guard to have received the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military's highest decoration. Munro received the award posthumously for his actions as officer-in charge of a group of landing craft on September 27, 1942 during the September Matanikau action in the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II.
He volunteered and successfully led five Higgins boats from the seaplane tender BALLARD to evacuate a detachment of Marines from a point where enemy opposition developed beyond anticipated dimensions. Munro's last words were 'Did they get off?'
The citation for the Medal of Honor, was presented in May 1943 by President Roosevelt at the White House. Accepting the award were his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Munro of Cle Elum, Washington.
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signalled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country."
Douglas Munro's Medal of Honor is on display at the United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May in Cape May, New Jersey.
In addition to the Medal of Honor Munro also received the Purple Heart, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Defense Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Two ships, the Coast Guard's USCGC Munro (WHEC-724) and the Navy's USS Douglas A. Munro (DE-422), as well as a barracks building located at USCG Training Center Cape May (Munro Hall), were named in his honor.
Let us reflect for a moment on the sacrifices of the thousands of men and women who have given their tomorrows for our todays, especially the the men and women of the United States Coast Guard, who are ALWAYS READY (Semper Paratus) to save a life!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Greetings from 13,000 feet

This is the 100th post of Timsblogfest. It has been a pleasure to share my journeys, artwork, and opinions. I never thought that I would have, by this time, gotten over 160,000 views! I guess you all like me! Please click on the first photo to get the full detail of this, my most amazing journey so far.
Our hero kickin' it at 13,000 feet.
After business meetings in Denver I took a few days off to ski in Arapaho Basin, which is on the continental divide 6 miles east of the town of Keystone. First let me tell you that a flat lander such as myself should NEVER go from sea level to this altitude without at least spending a day or two in Denver. Even though I did spend 3 days there before coming up here I was sick as a dog the following morning. Altitude sickness is nothing to fool around with. I had two beers with dinner the night I got here and had a SEVERE hangover (felt like I drank a fifth of Jim Beam on an empty stomach!). I took much Ibuprofen and drank over a gallon of water during the course of the day which only slightly helped. Loss of appetite is another symptom. I DID NOT, however, let that stop me from skiing (but let me tell you, I was not at my best). Exhausted, with a splitting headache, I finally gave it up after 3 hours. I got back to my hotel and proceeded to flake out on the bed (again, drinking copious amounts of H2O ). After about 30 minutes I had enough energy to take a shower and get something to eat. Dinner really helped (eat CARBS!). I actually felt human by bedtime and almost normal by morning. I skied again today and was feeling more like my old self (except that my legs were ON FIRE) , I swear, I'm bringing an O2 bottle next time. I stuck to the blue runs (which are like black ones back east) because man, my legs just don't work as good up here. It was all finesse and little power. Still, I skied well enough that I didn't embarrass myself. I'm skiing one more day so maybe I'll finally acclimate and get back to my usual crazy self. The weather has been spectacular! Highs approaching 60 degrees by noon. The only trouble is that it's like mashed potatoes by 3:30 in the afternoon. I'll be rising early to get there by 8:00 tomorrow.
This place is EPIC! first time in my life that I ever saw bighorn sheep standing by the road (sorry, too busy driving to take a picture).

This is A-Basin after hours. This is only the first chairlift. After you get off of this one you take a second one to the summit, where my first picture is taken from.

This is a little better shot of the Montezuma Bowl area. Way off to the left past the lake is the Breckenridge resort, which is closed for the season. A-Basin faces north, and therefore usually is skiable until June. You can ski here in the morning and golf in Keystone in the afternoon. What and amazing place. If you can see this and not believe in God then you just have no spirit. Simple as that. I thanked Him many times for the privilege of seeing, experiencing, and skiing this magnificent place.

This is the Black Mountain Lodge. It is at the top of the first lift, or just under 12,000 ft. You're only half way there! one more lift ride to the top.

Exhausted after three hours, I sunned my old bones on the patio of the Lodge, staring at the slow moving clouds. The serenity of the moment was shattered by an Air Force F-16 buzzing the resort. It was cool to see it. I bet the pilot was having as much fun as we were.

A-basin trailmap frontside.

Montezuma bowl, backside of resort.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Greeting from the Deep

Just back from my annual pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach. Heading to Denver tomorrow and Arapaho Basin near Keystone on Wednesday for three days of spring skiing. Highs in the upper 50's and sun forecast for each day. I am just havin' to much fun!