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Milestone

8.25.2007

Those of you who read this post know that I recently embarked on a transcontinental running journey. A virtual journey, but a journey none the less. Well, to be more accurate, the running part is not virtual, but the transcontinental part is. ANYWAY. In the interest of keeping you abreast of my accomplishments...

I'm on mile 46! I've made it to Glendale, Virginia. Here I am:


It may not look like much, but it has been a harrowing adventure indeed. I began in Yorktown. That's 46 miles from here. The weather seems nice where virtual Kelly is but I bet it's pretty humid.

Where are you in your journey?

We're going to the zoo!

8.17.2007

Well folks, today was my last work-free Friday for the summer. I fully recognize and understand that I am more than privileged to even get a summer break, so don't think me self-unaware. But it was my last one none the less. So my lovely husband thought we should take a celebratory trip to the Chaffee Zoo to commemorate. (For those of you who don't know, my husband geno is an assistant pastor at our church. Since he works a full day on Sundays, his weekend is Friday-Saturday, which enables us to do such things on "work days".) And so we went! We loved it! Neither of us had been since they made repairs/updates, so we were pleasantly surprised. Here are some of the highlights:

a bear!


Gene having a staring showdown with a very sweet orangutan


one creepy looking goat

Now for the scary part. Well...whatever. So we're in the aviary, trying to make our way to the exit, when we see two cute little tiny baby birds on the ground. They have spindly legs and are walking around and they are very precious. Then we see mommy. And daddy. Lastly, we see a third baby who has wondered off and is between us and the exit. I think nothing of it as we admire them, but then I hear the call - the call of a mommy bird warning her baby birds that DANGER is coming. At this point, unfortunately, I am inadvertently standing between the lone baby and the rest of the family. As the mom's call gets louder and more frequent (remember, these birds are no bigger than 6 inches tall, the babies being much smaller) I realize they feel threatened by us. I decide to crouch down to try and show them that I'm a friend, not a foe. Big mistake. That must be the "predator" stance to this species. (I must have been thinking of how to act around shy puppies.) The mom starts wailing again, the baby is panicking and won't walk past me to join her family, and NOW the dad is mad. He starts chirping at me too and then starts spreading his wings and slowly coming toward me. I feel pretty certain that if this continues he may peck at my bare calves, and this is not what I had imagined when we embarked on this journey. By now I am verbally telling the baby that it's safe to walk past me and simultaneously squealing a little bit to gene (who is about 2 feet behind me taking pictures) about how we're probably not going to get out without getting bitten. The chirps and wails are now at about 80 decibels, I'm wondering why these birds are on the ground instead of in the air, the baby is still in panic mode and dad is getting closer and closer. The closer I get to the exit, the closer I get to the baby, and therefore invite the dad's attack. There's no way out. Finally, out of sheer fear, the baby runs past me to his mom (after I've begun to scurry a little toward it and the door), and we shuffle out of there before the dad decides to eat us up. Or bite us or whatever. It was quite a comical ordeal and, fortunately, Gene captured quite a bit of it digitally. So here is the montage:









That was fun, I'm glad we're all safe. Our very favorite part of the zoo today was seeing the elephants in some of their day-to-day activities, but I'll let geno do the talking for that one. (Give him a day or two...while I'm typing leisurely, he's working on his study for our Sunday night Cal-Tec class. He'll get to the elephants in no time!) Here's a teaser picture of him with the elephants in the background. Gene loooooooves elephants!


Special thanks goes out to my mom and dad who let us borrow their new Nikon D40 for our excursion today. Thanks!

Wedding Bells

8.16.2007

Can you imagine the size of the guest list for this wedding?? And I thought I had tough choices to make when gene and I were engaged.

Another reason I'm glad I'm not famous.

Good for a laugh

8.14.2007

Birthday Girl

8.11.2007

Look what I found the other day!


I met this lovely lass in 7th grade and we have been dear friends ever since. We went to middle school and high school together and somewhere along the line I must have snagged this picture of her in the 2nd (?) grade. (I sure hope her mother isn't missing it!) How cute is she?!

Anyway, she is turning 25 tomorrow and I thought a shout out would be appropriate. Soooo,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABE!
(OTHERWISE KNOWN AS KRISTEN)

Babe and her husband, Jonathan, are some of our favorite people in the whole wide world! They are in full-time ministry with Campus Crusade for Christ, doing awesome things for Jesus Christ each and every day. They've spent the last two years ministering on the USC campus but will soon be moving to...drumroll please...TOKYO. That's right - they have joyously committed to serve the Lord in Japan for a year and we are so looking forward to hearing about their adventures. In fact, YOU can hear all about their soon-to-be travels/ministry on their blog. (Or you can click on "Whitmore Blog" at right. And if you feel led to support them in their mission, you can do so here.

So Happy Birthday, Babe! Gene and I are so excited to see you before you go. Love you!


"I am a motivational speaker"

8.08.2007

As a substitute teacher, I get the privilege of going to a new classroom every day of the week. And when I do, I'm always quick to check out the decorations as I sit and wait for the kids to arrive. In elementary school there is often student work on the walls, number lines, the alphabet, etc. But in high school, it's a whole different ball game. In high school, there's usually one of two things: 1) nothing, or 2) those tacky motivational posters. You know the ones - they have pictures of eagles soaring over mountains and underneath they have the word 'Leadership', and then some cheesy quote about spreading your wings. Or ones like this:

"TEAMWORK:
When we all work together, we all win together."

Right. You've seen them. Generally I would have no problem with these, should they actually move someone to action, which they don't. On the contrary, I believe that most of the time they incite more joke-telling than motivation. (I'm not the only one who takes pictures of them and sends them to my husband for a laugh.) AND if it's joke-telling that we're going for, why not visit despair, inc. to find MUCH better ones. Like this:



Or this:

Or my personal favorite:


Amazing. Seriously, there are so many hilarious demotivational posters on this site that I was tempted to put all of them on my blog, which would have made this one little post about a mile long. I only spared you now so that you could set aside time to go glance at their site and have a good laugh later today. I mean, how could you not laugh at this quote from their founder:

MOTIVATION. Psychology tells us that motivation- true, lasting motivation- can only come from within. Common sense tells us it can't be manufactured or productized. So how is it that a multi-billion dollar industry thrives through the sale of motivational commodities and services? Because, in our world of instant gratification, people desperately want to believe that there are simple solutions to complex problems. And when desperation has disposable income, market opportunities abound.
AT DESPAIR, INC., we believe motivational products create unrealistic expectations, raising hopes only to dash them. That's why we created our soul-crushingly depressing Demotivators® designs, so you can skip the delusions that motivational products induce and head straight for the disappointments that follow!

That's what I call a business model. Pure genius. Now, if you're looking for something more than a poster, don't worry. They've got mugs. And notecards. And lots more rediculous merchandise (that I have seriously considered purchasing).

I leave you with the SNL sketch that just might have started it all...or, at very least, provided this post with a title. (disclaimer: this sketch makes reference to marijuana, which i do not condone under any circumstance. if such references offend you, please don't watch.)


Smartie Pants

8.06.2007

Half-way through my senior year of high school I decided to run a marathon with Team In Training. TNT is a part of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which works to find a cure for blood-related cancers. Shortly thereafter, my friend Chris was diagnosed with Leukemia; I was honored to be "racing for the cure" at such a crucial time.

Although this was not originally meant to be the sole focus of my post, I thought that such a neat kid deserved some face time on my blog. Chris was a vibrant 16-year-old who loved Star Wars, Frank Sinatra, Disneyland and cream soda, to name a few. He was a great singer and quite a comedian! Though he put up a fantastic fight, after a bone marrow transplant and more than 6 consecutive months in the hospital, Chris went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What an inspiration he was to us and how joyful he must be in heaven RIGHT NOW! Praise the Lord!


The reason I began talking about that marathon is because somewhere along the line of training, my name found it's way onto a list for the National Runners and Walkers Health Study. (In no way did this mean that I was an accomplished runner, I promise.) It was/is just a study on the health of runners and walkers and I don't even know why I'm on it, but I am! Every year or two I receive something in the mail from them, either updating me on a few things or asking for me to update my exercise information. Lucky for me, every time I've had to fill something out I've been on a fairly regular exercise schedule - saving myself the tiniest bit of embarrassment.

Most recently I received a postcard informing me of a new website that the researchers had created to promote healthy activity. Initially I thought it was silly, but that was only before I had taken a closer look. This site, geared toward runners, walkers and cyclists, has a number of interactive tools you can use to get yourself off the couch and onto the pavement. Or the treadmill. Or the stationary bike. ANYWAY, you can record your mileage, choose an anonymous partner to "run" with, create teams of people to "compete", and sign up for email reminders to remind you of your workout schedule. Of course, this is all done by entering your mileage into the computer and competing virtually. But my favorite part is this:

You can track your mileage as a virtual trip across the United States!

How cool is that??? You go online, enter your miles, and then a picture pops up of where you "are" on your virtual trip. I love it! There are pictures for every quarter mile of the course and each day you can make a little progress. The course runs from Yorktown, Virginia to Florence, Oregon. So far I'm on mile 12, which is apparently 1.08 miles from Williamsburg. See for yourself:


You can't see me, but I'm there. Probably resting up for the night in a hotel. Haha. But seriously, I think it's a cool thing. And here is the answer to the question you've been asking yourself - no, I don't care that it's going to take me years to get across the United States. It'll be a nice journey! Plus, I'm pretty much for anything that gently encourages people (namely me) to be more active. As an added bonus, the study has no commercial interest in the site and has created it solely to help people in their quest for health. No ads, just fun.

So click here and start your own journey across our great nation! There's no minimum requirement of miles per day or anything, so there's nothing to be afraid of. And don't forget to show me your pictures along the way!

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impulsive

8.04.2007

Yesterday I had an itch to 'get out of town', as they say. I love the sweet town of Hanford, but the lure of going on an adventure with my sweet husband was quite great. Fortunately, my parents and two of my siblings were already at the coast and we would be able to meet up with them there if we chose to point our adventure in that direction. So we did!

We left at 2:40 in order to arrive in Morro Bay by 5:00. Here we are on our way.











And you can't beat the drive on the 41 south...where else but in nowhere California can you see rolling yellow hills of dead grass and dirt and fences?


But not even that would deter the wee pensieros (as opposed to my in-laws...I have to make a distinction somehow) from living in the greatest state in the union. Yes, the greatest. I have no problem with saying that, we all have opinions. Back to the post!

We made it to cool, breezy, overcast Morro Bay by 5:04 (no speeding!) to meet my family at the Outrigger for some fish and chips. Somehow I completely forgot to capture that on digital film. But my battered and fried shrimp were delicious and gene's battered and fried chicken were great. After dinner my family headed to a Church of Christ event and gene and I headed to...the water! Where else?? First I will show you some pictures...

a handsome husband


a tiny bird picking around in some seaweed


would you believe that I actually did my hair before we went on our trip?

And now a priceless video of my beloved doing what he does best:




We ended our trip by heading to SLO for some dessert at The Apple Farm. I had their famous Apple Dumpling (soooooooooo good) and geno had a piece of chocolate mousse pie, which had exceptionally good whipped cream on top. We both had some coffee for our late night adventure back to Hanford. We love the Apple Farm!

Few things are better than heading out for some drive time and face time with the one I love the most. Geno is always a good conversationalist, a safe driver, an exciting fellow adventurer and an amazing husband. Thanks for the adventure, honey! Check out his blog soon for a new post on his "Now That's Dedication" section. It's sure to be a hit.

MarsupiLAMA

8.02.2007

As we were heading off to bed last night, I asked gene which wild animal he would choose to own as a domesticated pet on the contingency that it would be 100% tame and house-broken. Not a bad question for 10 pm, if I do say so. He answered that he was leaning toward a panda bear but that they are known to be very aggressive; neither of us want to get clawed by a panda in our own home. Therefore he would have to pick either an elephant or a tiger. I told him that the question was 'which ONE wild animal', not 'which two would you choose between'. Just kidding, I didn't say that. What I DID say was that I agreed that either one would be a good choice. But I digress.

What I want to talk about today are marsupials! In the midst of our fruitful discussion, gene and I realized that we don't know much about marsupials. And a google search of "marsupial + blog" yielded only this, so I thought I would contribute. Here's one:


Here's not:


We started to recall all the marsupials known to us...kangaroos, koala bears, etc. And then we couldn't remember any more, even though we felt sure that there were more. At least 3 more. I'm pretty sure I threw in sun bear and panda bear. (It was getting late.) Hey, don't laugh just because they're bears, a koala BEAR is a marsupial, so don't get crazy. But you're right - neither panda nor sun bears are marsupials. So now for the question you've been asking since you arrived at my blog - what is a marsupial? I'm glad you asked.

A marsupial is a mammal that carries it's young in a pouch, like this:


Unlike non-marsupial mammals, marsupials generally have a very short gestation time. They birth their young in an embryonic state and then keep them in the pouch to do much of their developing. There are other differences, but this is the only one that matters for our post today. I know how precious your time is. But it begs the question: What other marsupials are out there? I'll tell you.

Oppossums
(he's not dead, this is what they do.)

Wallabies

Wombats


Those seem to be the most important, er, I mean prominent ones. Now I know 'knowledge is power' and all that, but don't let this informative post send you off to find a marsupial pet. Because unless you live in Australia (and I think it's safe to say my fan base isn't quite that big), the only one you'll find is an opossum. And clearly they're the ugliest of the bunch. Don't let the cute upside-down nature of his photo above fool you, they have gnarly teeth. UNLESS you're searching for that objectionable 90's cartoon character, MARSUPILAMA.

As always, I will leave you with one image that really caught my eye...


No offense, Mr. Greenspan, I think you're a top notch guy. But whoever made this little piece of art is pretty funny. And it went so well with my post...

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