Tuesday, October 30, 2007
it is a wonderful ending to a pretty amazing saga. lots and lots of ups and downs. incredible highs and lows.
i keep thinking about the first time i met them. lindsay and i had been called to be their mom's visiting teachers (we visited her once a month). at the time we didn't know shelia at all and had no idea she had children. in the middle of our visit 2 little heads peaked around the corner (they we 7 and 8). their mom yelled at them to go back to their room. their curiosity wouldn't let them stay away and finally we convinced shelia to let them stay.
amazingly, lindsay and i both left with the exact same impression. our calling was not to help shelia but to help those girls. we were instantly in love with them. little did we know where that love would lead us. (i guess you never know)
i am really happy that they are given a shot a better lives. i am happy that God moved mountains so that they could find their new homes. i have so much hope for these girls. i have never met people with more promise. i have never met girls with a tougher road. but i think they will do it!
it is joyous indeed. and i think this is what i hoped l'anne de l'amusement would give to me.
everyone, the whole raisingdc cast, must be feeling crazy mix of emotions with all of this change. i just hope peace and happiness trumps them all.
Friday, October 26, 2007
- year of visiting friends (i have friends all over this planet and i think that could be fun!)
- year of the house (more on that in a moment)
- year of productivity (to counter this last year)
- jubilee year (a year to start new with all grudges and debts being forgiven... dianna don't get any ideas about those shoes)
the year of visiting friends would be fun. marc and michelle are moving to china. i am going to be so sad. they are going to take their sons with them which i just think is kinda unfair. trent and vanessa are in syria. kim and abe are in male, maldives. dianna's bro. is done with his mission in cambodia. alessandro in tuscany (friend from tunisia) invited us to see tuscany; something we have been planning on doing on our bikes. and then there are all my friends scattered around america. so it would be fun. i could use all my vacation time. and frankly if my work travel looks the way i think it will, i can probably get near to some of these places during a business trip.
year of the house would be completely opposite. i have always wanted to buy a fixer-upper house and fix it up. with the housing market the way it is, i think i can get a pretty good deal. i would like to buy a row house in a part of town where if i needed to i could rent it out. i would want a pretty messed up house. essentially something that has a solid foundation and solid plumbing, but everything else could go. because i want to make it a really energy efficient green house. there are all sorts of grants and tax incentives to make a house green, so i would love finding all of them and using the system to help me create a house i would enjoy. this would mean that all of my leave would be used to fixing the house. i wouldn't see any of these friends (well i would probably end up seeing a couple). but i would have to really be disciplined and use my leave to get the house fixed up. i think i would feel really responsible and that might be nice. there are all sorts of cool new materials (think bamboo floors, green roofs and insulation made out of old levis). it could be really fun. plus hopefully i could get some return on the investment.
the other 2 themes are definitely b tier ideas.
so you got an opinion. please comment.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
2 butternut squash (about 4 3/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeded (keep seeds!!!)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
5 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
bake the seeded squash face down on a cookie sheet at 375°F until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. make sure to oil the cookie sheet.
while this is baking you can cook up the squash seeds. just a little bit of peanut oil in a frying pan. heat oil. place seeds in. salt seeds to your liking. cook, moving regularly until seeds are golden brown.
remove peel from squash (i just pealed it with my hands); discard peel. cut squash into 2-inch pieces. heat peanut oil in large pot. mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon (turn heat down to a slow simmer). cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. add squash and all the chicken broth. boil. reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. use a hand soup mixer thing to puree the whole thing up. make sure to throw out the cinnamon.
garnish soup with roasted seeds.
I have been involved with athletics since, well, before I can remember. If it wasn't kicking the ball, it was climbing trees, riding skateboard ramps, swinging on the playground bars, throwing the football, hitting homers over my neighbors' house, swimming in the neighbor's pool. And after all of this, some 34 years later, I still love to play. The pure joy, love, and passion have always been the underlying themes, albeit I didn't know that when I was six.
But now I have those same emotions for different reasons, and it is why I KNOW, not believe, sports are CRITICAL for young girls. I call them the 5 C's. Challenge, Communication, Competition, Community and Celebration. All these categories fulfill a life necessity.
One, Challenge. Learning to set goals, (short-, medium- and long-term) and figuring out ways to achieve them. Two, Communication. Becoming comfortable with your voice, and how to share it with others. Knowing that I can speak up no matter my environment, or how tough a situation. Three, Competition. Always hoping that the other team is tough, has its best players and putting myself up to the test to see what I am made of. Giving my all during training so that my teammates get better, and relying on them to do the same for me. Four, Community. Experiencing how teams work, succeed and fail. Teams are microcosms of real life (family, education, relationships, neighborhoods). Decisions, conflict, good times, and even bad happen in teams. Realizing that we all have to be leaders, workers, teachers, listeners so that we can all achieve. Five, Celebration. When we do something well (large or small), we should feel good about what we've done and cherish the moment -- we can express that without hesitation or embarrassment. A pump of the fist, a smile on our face, a leaping high five, or even a ripping off of the shirt. It should be a right, not a privilege.Young boys and men have been experiencing these concepts almost from birth, perhaps since the beginning of time. The time has finally come that now encourages young girls and women to explore the depths of their psychological, physical and emotional components so they may too see how sports impact their person off the field. Dare to Dream is an amazing showcase how a group of women, over time, came together at just the most perfect era in history to explore, and express, all of the above. I hope everyone who watches, not only shares it with someone else, but uses it as a guide to all the could be possible in their own life.
Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team is now available on DVD from HBO Video.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
walking out the door, i immediately noticed that there were 3 helicopters circling our neighborhood. never a good sign. thankfully it was due to the capitol is abuzz with protesters for the world bank meetings . this is what i saw.
this guy is from new mexico. he came to talk to his senator. he was really stoked. i took his picture and told him i would send him this photo if he emailed me. so i gave him by business card. as i was walking away he said "MSW? in new mexico we call them mexican social workers" i said, "i wish!" mostly because it is Country Operational Plan season for PEPFAR and anything sounds better. though maybe being a mexican social worker is the way to go? it is time for a change and all.
seriously, how do people come up with this stuff?
World Bank Protesters Keep Police Busy on Capitol Hill
Monday, Oct. 22, 2007; 10:55 am
Nearly 60 people have been arrested this morning on Capitol Hill — and more arrests could occur throughout the day — as an array of groups hold protests for causes entered on the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Eleven people were arrested early this morning for unlawful assembly and incommoding at the Cannon House Office Building, and 10 more were arrested in the Cannon Rotunda. Police also arrested seven people on the sidewalk outside of Cannon.
Near the intersection of New Jersey and Independence avenues Southeast, protesters sat in the middle of the road shortly after 8 a.m., forcing police to temporarily divert traffic. Twenty-six people were arrested for unlawful assembly.
Just as police reopened the street, another group of protesters then took the road, forcing police to arrest an additional five people for unlawful assembly, including two minors. The streets have since been reopened.
Protests have taken place throughout Washington, D.C., in the past several days as officials gather at the World Bank and the IMF for annual talks. Several streets near those offices remain closed.
— Elizabeth Brotherton
Copyright 2007 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved.
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
19 October 2007
An anti-malaria vaccine offering improved protection to children could be registered for use in four years, potentially saving millions of young lives, new research conducted in Mozambique has shown.
Scientists announced this week that a clinical trial involving 214 infants had confirmed the safety of the RTS,S/AS02D malaria vaccine. More children die of malaria than any other disease - over one million every year, most of whom are African children under five - and it is a major reason why Mozambique still has one of the world's highest child mortality rates, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Research by Dr Pedro Alonso, of the Manhica Health Research Centre, in Mozambique, and the Hospital Clinic of the Universitat de Barcelona, in Spain, and colleagues, indicated that the vaccine could reduce the risk of new infections by 65 percent. A previous trial in 2004 indicated 45 percent effectiveness for the same vaccine.
Global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, with the help of the Malaria Vaccine Initiative by PATH, an international, non-profit health organisation, are developing it.
The children were randomly split into two groups, one assigned to receive three doses of the vaccine and the other to receive a hepatitis B vaccine as a control, at ages 10 weeks, 14 weeks and 18 weeks. Initial findings were published in the British medical journal, the Lancet.
Researchers said the candidate vaccine was "safe, well-tolerated and highly immunogenic [evoked a strong immune response] in young infants living in a rural area of southern Mozambique", and that the study had provided evidence of a strong association between vaccine-induced antibodies and a reduced risk of malaria infection.
"We have shown that a vaccine can reduce the risk of malaria infection in young African infants exposed to intense transmission of P. falciparum," the researchers said. Plasmodium falciparum is the most lethal of the four strains of the malaria parasite that infect humans: an initial severe infection can kill up to one in four victims unless they receive medical help.
The parasite has developed resistance to many of the older and cheaper drugs being phased out in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, but only a tiny percentage of African children are treated with the new, more expensive and effective combination therapies.
The complex life cycle of the parasite, and its ability to remain undetected by the human immune system, means a long-lasting vaccine that is close to being totally effective is still many years away. The parasite also undergoes various changes as it develops in the mosquito - the vector, or main carrier, of the disease - as well as in the human liver, blood system, and red blood cells, making it difficult to target.
Vaccines in development tend to target different stages of the parasite's life cycle in humans, and the RTS,S/AS02D candidate vaccine aims to reduce its ability to infect and proliferate in the liver.
Repeated malarial infections result in a natural immunity if the person survives the first bouts. Adults and older children living in endemic malaria areas can show no clinical signs of the disease, even though they may be infected with the parasite. Older children may be more able to survive their first attack of malaria, which can damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, including the brain.
There is no easy way to fight malaria, but until the development of a vaccine that can totally prevent infection, preventing deaths by deferring infection among young children and reducing the severity of the disease are the best strategy.
According to the researchers, the vaccine would be effective as part of a layered strategy against malaria, including the provision of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) and spraying insecticides to protect people against mosquitoes. According to the WHO, if used properly, ITNs can cut malaria transmission by at least 60 percent and child deaths by a fifth.
Monday, October 22, 2007
anyway. i fear that this might be a major distraction during this COP season. i have loads and loads of work to do the next month. and it is kinda dreadful work. i wonder if i joined facebook so i could have some distraction from all the mucky work?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
News Release for Immediate Release
October 17, 2007
Fenty Mandates Time and Distance Meters for DC CabsToday, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced that he will sign a Mayoral Order requiring District of Columbia taxicabs to switch from the current zone fare system to time and distance meters. The system, created by Congress during the Great Depression, makes the District the only major city in the country with taxis that operate on a zone system instead of meters. Fenty made the decision to change systems after a thorough investigation of best practices across the country as well as input from the residents, taxi drivers and the hospitality community.
“As we work to become a world-class city, it is essential that all aspects of District government are user friendly, fair and efficient for residents and visitors alike,” said Fenty. “District residents are overwhelmingly in favor of modernizing and simplifying the fare system. By switching to time and distance meters, we meet the needs of the residents and standardize the experience for every taxi passenger.”
Time and distance meters calculate the fare based on a standard rate for distance traveled as well as time spent stopped in traffic. The current system is based on the number of zones crossed during the trip. The zones are not a standard size or based on major geographic landmarks.
The meters will allow passengers to see how the fare is calculated, while currently passengers have to rely on a vague map and visitors to the District have to rely on the taxi driver to calculate the fare. Meters also enable the District to more accurately track the number of trips, collect taxes based on the number of rides and gather information about usage patterns.
The Fenty administration will work with the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission to create a timeline and transition plan for all District taxis.
i can't decide which of these "types" i am. i am not sure i am one. also, i am not sure i totally get why we need to know our body type. but for whatever reason, this stuff is interesting to me.
Trinny and Susannah reveal 12 women's body types - which are you?Last updated at 13:35pm on 18th October 2007
Well dressed: Susannah and Trinny show how to transform yourself
But now TV style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine say they have found the formula that will enable every woman to transform herself.
In their brilliant new book, The Body Shape Bible, they have identified 12 body shapes - not just the classic Pear, Apple and Hourglass - which they say are the real key to looking great.
In the first part of our exclusive series we show you how to identify your shape, and the clothes that will highlight your assets and minimise flaws.
Scroll down for to find your shape ...
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
i grew up in arizona where we didn't do this silliness. we just had noon. noon was always at noon. we didn't play with it. i have never gotten used to people playing with the time. i think the first time i experienced it, i was kinda excited. then i realized that i would miss an hour of sleep. STUPID!
the truth is it seems like we actually LOSE daylight when we "fall back". the sun goes down so early that i have a hard time exercising or even seeing the light of day. there are a few weeks in december/january where i don't see the light of day. i get to work when it is dark and go home in the dark. it really sucks.
i think we would all be healthier if we could have daylight savings time all year long!
ben franklin came up with the concept when americans were agronomists. not many of us do that anymore. and many of us that do are part-timers. Ben hoped to provide more daylight in the mornings so that people could get the milk out and the cows fed etc in the light. saving daylight meant having more in the morning.
things have changed significantly since then. now saving daylight means having more in the evening, when much of america comes home from their cubicles.
some options to this antiquated system:
go back to doing it the way the romans did. they had 12 hours of sunlight no matter what. in the summer those hours were longer, in the winter they were shorter. but 12 hours nonetheless. maybe loosening up on our stringent perceived control of time would also reduce the anxiety produced by missing things by one minute etc. we would all just become more flexible as we calculated time differently?
lindsay heard an interesting proposal on cartalk awhile back: DAILY SAVINGS TIME.
i wholly support this.
"Daily Savings Time"Peter Kallin
Dear Click and Clack,
The clocks would be set forward by an hour every afternoon at 3:30 p.m., immediately making it 4:30 and almost time to quit work. Every business would immediately save an hour's worth of energy costs every day, a roughly 12% savings. Workers' morale would immediately improve and productivity would soar, since not much gets done after 3:30, anyway.
But wait! There's more. The second part of my plan is to move the clock back an hour every morning at 4:30 a.m., immediately making it 3:30 a.m. This would allow nearly everyone to get an extra hour of sleep every night. Since studies show that the typical American is sleep deprived, this would have immediate health benefits. People would awaken every morning well rested, and in a good mood — even teenagers!
I think that you guys have the technical background to truly appreciate what great savings are available with this straightforward concept. With your support, we can make this happen!
These are just a few of the benefits of Daily Savings Time. Granted, there would be some minor inconveniences, especially for those who work at night. However, the overall benefits far outweigh these minor inconveniences.
In closing, I quote Ben Franklin: "For the great benefit of this discovery, thus freely communicated and bestowed by me on the public, I demand neither place, pension, exclusive privilege, nor any other reward whatever. I expect only to have the honor of it."
I have to say, from a public health perspective this only seems beneficial. incredibly beneficial. the loss of the hour during work would have very limited impact on our productivity. peter, you are a genius, my friend!
if you love daily savings time, write your congressman. for some reason, that circus full of monkeys is in charge of our clocks.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Abizaid: ‘We’ve Treated The Arab World As A Collection Of Big Gas Stations’
UPDATE: The Stanford Daily, which originally reported on the round table, incorrectly attributed some of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s comments to Gen. Abizaid. Though Abizaid did say “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,” it was Friedman who said “We’ve treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations.” The Daily has posted a correction.
During a round table discussion on “the Fight for Oil, Water and a Healthy Planet” at Stanford University on Saturday, Gen. John Abizaid (Ret.), the former CENTCOM Commander, said that “of course” the Iraq war is “about oil“:
“Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,” Abizaid said of the Iraq campaign early on in the talk.
“We’ve treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations,” the retired general said. “Our message to them is: Guys, keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence that represents everything going on out back.”
Abizaid has previously argued that the U.S. would need “to keep a long-term military presence in Iraq” in order to protect “the free flow of goods and resources” such as oil, but his Stanford comments go much further in pinning oil as a prime motivator for the war.
The Bush administration, however, still denies any connection between the war in Iraq and America’s geopolitical interest in Middle East oil. Just last month, after former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan wrote that “the Iraq War is largely about oil,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates rejected the notion, saying “I just don’t believe it’s true“:
“I wasn’t here for the decision-making process that initiated it, that started the war,” Gates said. But he added, “I know the same allegation was made about the Gulf War in 1991, and I just don’t believe it’s true.”
“I think that it’s really about stability in the Gulf. It’s about rogue regimes trying to develop weapons of mass destruction. It’s about aggressive dictators,” Gates said.
Though Abizaid says that Bush’s Iraq policy seeks to keep oil “prices low,” the per-barrel cost of oil has risen dramatically since the U.S. first invaded. In March 2003, the price of oil was roughly US$35 a barrel. Today, prices reached “above $85 a barrel for the first time.”
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
here are some photos of what i saw....
later that day i was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, because i had been shown things that were protected until the patent was obtained. well the patent is in hand and now i can talk about it. they are talking with some serious investors and are applying for a grant a NASA that will hopefully attract more attention and then more investors. apparently one of the criteria the judges use when scoring applications is how many views the concept got. please click on the link above in an effort not only to help tomicah but also to help us all have better engines.
the first paragraph looks like this:
Despite skyrocketing oil prices and mounting worldwide energy concerns, the vast majority of internal combustion engines we use for transportation and commerce run at approximately 25% efficiency. Current designs waste 75% of the fuel we pour into them. How to allocate energy resources among a rapidly expanding global consumer base is one of the defining challenges for this generation. Tendix LLC developed a new family of engines that promise to be part of the solution, dramatically enhancing fuel efficiency, effectively prolonging the viability of global petroleum reserves and significantly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
check it out, and then please pass it on and put it on your own blog ... you know i love terracycle, but i think this has the potential to be way bigger than even worm poop: if you can believe that!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
dianna and i have been on some beautiful rides during this indian summer. here are a few photos...
it was gorgeous and fun
but please note the angle and color of the sun light
we are smack dab in the middle of the ride at this point
the whole ferry thing took about 45 minutes. we didn't really pay attention to what we were doing and our cue sheet had us take a long detour into a quaint little town called st. michaels and then turn around. long story short we should have just gone straight back to the car from the ferry. we ended up riding in the pitch black night. there was no moon, no streetlights, and we didn't have reflectors, lights, or even bright clothing. it was a harrowing ride. dianna and i couldn't see each other. cars couldn't see us. we couldn't see obstacles in our way. i am sure that God protected us on this ride. i cannot believe we didn't crash.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
dianna and vint. at one point he said to her: "that's an interesting way of wearing clothes." those of you who know how all sorts of dianna's undergarments can be showing at any one time can appreciate.
we brought our swimsuits, but getting in the water was a real challenge.
they all used to make maple syrup from the maple trees in the forest, but with climate change, the maple trees that produce syrup don't grow here anymore.
the difference between hemlock and queen anne's lace.
firs, maples, and more trees.
she is now enlisted to join me on my next safari
seeing thru the bush is the most valuable of all safari skills.
i took this picture because i'm a total nerd and love to know about fish in the rivers.
and for my friend mike.
but i kept seeing these and thinking i might have found mike's heaven.
biking through fly fishing spots
lindsay flew out from hartford the day before so she could get back to work. dianna and i drove the car, our bikes, and all the goodies that vint gave us back to washington. vint's goodies included tomatoes, raspberries, homemade apple cider, and sport-tea. we stopped on the side of the road and picked up wild little tiny apples. they are SO good. we ate some tonight. nice and tart!
on the long drive home, we listened to annie's book naked in baghdad on tape. she is an awesome storyteller, and lanneedelamusement officially endoreses the book. it is creepy how spot on the iraqis were about how this war would turn out. it REALLY makes you think about what why we should have known better BEFORE invading. thanks for what you do annie!
thanks again annie and vint! you are lifesavers!!!!!