Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Proud Papa

There are moments in every parents life, that we are so proud of our kids that we almost burst.  I had one of those moments last night.

Molly will be taking a trip this Spring to Washington DC.  As part of this trip, they will be stopping at Arlington National Cemetery, where her school will take part in a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.  To select the actual participants in the ceremony, the school held an essay contest.  The rules were very simple.  They had to write a one page essay on someone who was buried at the cemetery.

Well, Molly won.  She will be one of three kids that partake in the laying of the wreath.  I could not be more proud of her.  I was a little sad that a scheduling conflict prevented Molly from being there to hear her name being called, but a quick text message relayed the news.  It is a great honor, and she is thrilled to be given this opportunity. 

Her essay was about the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and I have included it below.

 Good job little girl.  Maureen and I love you a bunch.

The Challenger

January 28, 1986

By: Mollie E.

            Imagine, there you are, on a cold January afternoon, staring up at an enormous space shuttle. You hear the countdown. 3… 2… 1… BLASTOFF!!! It seems as if the whole world is moving in slow motion. But then, something goes wrong. That once beautiful space shuttle is now coming down in pieces all around you.

            The Challenger was launched on January 28, 1986. It exploded seconds after take-off, instantly killing all 7 crew members. This included Captain Michael Smith, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judy Resnick, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, and Ellison Onizuka. It took over 2 months to recover all the remains from the ocean floor. They were located about 18 miles off shore of Cape Canaveral.

            Captain Michael Smith was buried in Section 7A, Grave 208 on May 3, 1986. Francis “Dick” Scobee was buried in Section 46, Grave 1129 on May 19, 1986. All unidentified remains of the crew were buried next to Scobee’s grave on May 20, 1986.

            These 7 astronauts died with their pride, and they died heroes. When a loose O ring caused a mix in engine fuels, the pressure and force from the altitude and the rocket itself caused the explosion, shooting the unused booster rockets flying outward. They may not have ever left the Earth’s atmosphere, but they gave their lives trying.

Challenger Final Moment

Read the Whole Story

The basic design of a newspaper is really quite simple, and it has not changed much over the years.  The headline is there to grab your attention, and most of the important information is contained right up front in the first paragraph.  Pictures are there to bring life to the cold print.  Like many readers, I glance through the paper quickly at first, and then go back a second time to read more about the stories that I found interesting.  But there are times when this habit may make me miss a little gem.  That almost happened this morning.

Here is a story from this mornings edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.  Please take my advise and read the whole story.  In this case, the most important information is not in the first paragraph.

Man hides in trunk of ex-girlfriend’s car, threatens to kill her

By Erin Guerra For Sun-Times Media February 4, 2013 2:47PM

Ryan Burns | Provided photo~Sun-Times MediaRyan Burns | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

Updated: February 5, 2013 2:12AM

A man crawled from the trunk and through the backseat, then held a knife to the throat of his ex-girlfriend as she was driving to meet a friend Friday evening.

The woman, 28, later told Valparaiso police that she had been talking on her phone to a friend about a man she had just met shortly before the attack.

Ryan Burns, 25, climbed into the passenger seat next to her and started quizzing her about the “new guy,” punching her in the face when she said she liked him, according to the police report.

Burns allegedly ordered her to drive where he directed, threatening to kill her and himself if she didn’t. The woman instead pulled into the parking lot of Broadway Cafe on U.S. 30.

As they fought over the steering wheel, she grabbed his genitals and squeezed as hard as she could, she told police. His reaction gave her time to throw the car keys out the window and scream for help. Burns ran off on foot.

The couple’s 3½-year relationship ended in February 2012, the woman told police. They had been living together and he had been helping her raise her twins, whom she had with Burns’ father, so the children are also his siblings.

Police learned the woman has a restraining order against Burns, and she had filed a police report earlier in the day when he allegedly made contact with her at a gas station in Valparaiso. Asked how Burns could have gotten into her car, she showed officers how one of the rear windows can easily be pushed down from outside the vehicle.

The woman said Burns lives with various friends, so police worked with Burns’ cellphone provider to locate him at a home in South Haven. Porter County Sheriff’s Police made the arrest around 1:05 a.m. Saturday.


Sometimes it is just good to read about people who’s lives are way more messed up then your own.

My day doesn’t look so bad now.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

I have not done a whole lot of traveling in my lifetime, although I look forward to doing much more in the future, but in my limited travels, I have had the opportunity to visit one of the most unusual and unique natural wonders in the world, The Giant’s Causeway.

Located on the upper coast of Northern Ireland, just a few miles outside Bushmills in County Antrim, these basalt columns stretch out into the sea, re-emerging on the other side in Scotland.  Although it is known that the columns are volcanic in nature, there is really no explanation for why they formed their unique hexagonal shape.

This was our second trip to The Giant’s Causeway, and although it was overcast and drizzling, it was still an inspiring visit.  Both Maureen and I took a number of pictures while there, that is until our camera batteries died.  With the grey skies and strong waves that day, I thought the black and white photos really captured the mood of that trip.

The Giant's Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is indeed a Unique place to visit, and I promise to post more of the photos at another time.

To read more about the causeway, my account of our original trip is located here.




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