Sunday, December 31, 2006

"This Doesn't Define Me"

Go on over and read Esquire’s featured story by/about Sgt Bryan Anderson.

He’s a triple amputee from the Iraq conflict who will tire you out. And his attitude is the best!

You have two options once this happens: Roll over and die or move on. I chose to move on. I'm still me. I'm just 75 percent off. Get a great deal on Bryan Andersons this week. You know who actually told me that the first time? My mom. We were in Vegas, talking about T-shirts we should make, and she said 75 percent off. She said, You should get a shirt showing off your personality.

This doesn't define me. It may be how I look on the outside, but it's not who I am. I guess you could remember me easily as being a triple amputee, but it's not who I am, has nothing to do with who I am. I've always been the same person.

What’s he done since losing both legs and his left arm to an IED?
I've been wakeboarding, water-skiing, jet-skiing, tubing, rock climbing, snow skiing, playing catch with my brother. I try to do the same things. I'm not going to let it stop me. We did a 110-mile bike ride from Gettysburg to Washington, D. C. Sixty miles the first day, fifty miles the second day. Hand cycle, three wheels. I ended up ripping the glove, breaking the hand, breaking the whole socket. I might do it a little differently, but I'm still going to do it. I didn't actually get up water-skiing. I was up for a second then my arm ripped off and I fell.

I went up to Alaska for the National Wheelchair Games. I participated in two events, Ping-Pong and archery, and I won gold medals in both.

How does he feel about his loss?
Everything that has happened to me since I've been hurt has happened to me because I've been hurt. I got to go to the Pentagon. There's this quarter-mile-long hallway that is just filled with people, and I mean filled with people. There's a little space to go through and everyone is clapping and crying and coming up and hugging you. Okay, that's great. But what about all the people who did the same exact thing that I did that didn't get hurt? They should get the same recognition we do. We all did the same thing. Some people just got the shit end of the stick, that's all. It's all luck….

From every decision you make, you learn something, whether it was the right decision or the wrong decision. I believe everything happens to you for a reason, and it's going to happen to you regardless. So whether I was in Iraq fighting or I was walking across the street and got hit by a bus, it was going to happen to me regardless.

I don't regret anything.

Go read the entire very inspirational story of Sgt Bryan Anderson.

Hat tip to Cassandra at: Villainous Company (from whom I stole the title of this post)

Friday, December 29, 2006

#16 Scarlet Knights Tame KSU Wildcats 37-10 in Texas Bowl

Rutgers R.small
Rutgers used its two strongest weapons, Sophomore running back Ray Rice and a very stingy defense, to whip the Wildcats of Kansas State in the first ever Texas Bowl in Houston last night. The final score was 37-10 but it could have been much, much worse.

Only Yamon Figurs’ 76 yard return of a Joe Radigan 36 yard punt with 9:37 remaining in the first half provided much of a spark of hope for the KState fans. The return made the score Rutgers 14, Kansas State 10 but that would be all she wrote for Kansas. (KState would have only 77 yards net offense in the first half; just one yard more than Figurs’ punt return.)

Ray Rice rushed for 170 yards and a TD on 24 carries leading 16th ranked Rutgers to a 37-10 victory over Kansas State. Sophomore Ray Rice earned MVP honors at the Texas Bowl.

Rice gained eight more yards than the Rutgers defense permitted the KS Wildcats in the entire game as the Scarlet Knights’ seventh ranked defense held the Wildcats’ offense to just 162 net yards. The RU offense gained 479 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per play. It was the fifth time this season Rice surpassed 150 yards in a game and his 25th touchdown in 25 career games at RU. With 2,914 yards to his credit, Rice is now just 200 yards shy of Terrell Willis’ mark as the Scarlet Knights’ all-time career rushing leader.

Freshman Tim Brown scored two first quarter touchdowns on receptions of 14 and 49 yards. It was Browns first career start. He came into the game with just three receptions and one touchdown. He finished the Texas bowl with four receptions, two touchdowns and 101 yards.

Senior linebacker Quintero Frierson returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of the second half.

Junior kicker Jeremy Ito converted on 3 of 5 field goal attempts and all four PATs. Ito’s 13 points pushed him passed Senior fullback Brian Leonard on the all-time scoring list> Ito now has 280 points to Leonard’s career total of 272.

Leonard caught a pass in the first quarter giving him a reception in each of his 47 career games. He is Rutgers’ all-time reception leader with 207 catches.

Senior tight end Clark Harris had seven catches for 122 yards and, with 2,015 reception yards, moved to fifth place for reception yards in the RU record books.

Sophomore quarterback Mike Teel completed the 2006 season going 45-69 for 692 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games. He registered a pass efficiency rating of 173.37 while averaging 230.7 yards per game and completing 65.2 percent of his passes.

(Game Story and stats here.)

Rutgers, allegedly the third best team in the Big East, has provided the second victory for the conference in bowl games this season. Southern Florida downed East Carolina, 24-7, in the Bowl.

Still to come:
Jan. 1: Gator Bowl: #13 West Virginia vs Georgia Tech
Jan. 2: Orange Bowl: #6 Louisville vs #14 Wake Forest
Jan. 6: The International Bowl: Cincinnati vs Western Michigan

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 55b
Home for the Holidays.

Troy joined us for a couple of days to install the railings for the steps outside and to help Adam with the wrought iron railings inside.

stair rails
The stair rails look great.

loft railing
Loft railing 2
As do the rails around the loft.

Julie finds the steps cat friendly
Julie found the steps “cat friendly”.
Chester made himself right at home.
While Chester nestled between the bed pillows.

Dining table is in place.
A table and chairs at which to sit to dine. And even a carpet beneath to protect the floor.

The bear says we're ready to entertain...
The bear says we’re ready to entertain, but he’s a bit optimistic.

Enjoy the holidays everyone!

Log Home Update: Part 55a
Home for the Holidays

Almost two weeks since I last posted? Goodness, where has the time gone!

Don, Adam, Kyle and Dan put in many long hours over the past week with the intention of getting us into the log home (officially) by Christmas.

I’ve lots of pictures. I’ll post some here and the rest in the next post.

We had a scheduled inspection from the local code inspector on Thursday and missed on a couple of things. (1) There were three outlets/circuits that needed to be GFI protected and weren’t. (All basement outlets need this protection and the island in the kitchen does too no matter how far from a source of water it is.) (2) The garage needs to have the sheetrock up to cover the insulation because the paper backing contains flammable tar. (3) The basement stairs need a railing. We were aware of the basement rail need and the garage so were not surprised by the results.

We postponed a visit from the bank (it’s nearly time to switch from a construction loan to a conventional mortgage) so as to give Don and crew a little more time to complete some of the projects that need doing.

On Monday morning, Terry left the Adirondacks with Shadow and I left PA with Chester traveling back to NJ to see the veterinarian. Both kitties had operations to ensure they could not become parents. Both returned to the PA home on Thursday and seem just fine.

Terry and I closed up the Adirondack cabin Monday afternoon/Tuesday morning and headed with full pick-up and Aveo to PA. There are still some things in the Bolt Hole’s garage that need to come south but they can wait.

Terry also made a trip to NJ on Wednesday for a stitchers’ hen party and to pick our son up at Newark. She stayed overnight and picked up the cats on Thursday.

Chimney Work:
Chimney work 01
As Don put more and more of the framing up, I thought he was going to drill for oil.

and the chimney is going up...
Don and Dan install some of the plywood sheathing as night falls.

The rest of the sheathing went up with the help of spotlights. And, no, we do NOT need to mount aviation warning lights on the top.

Inside fireplace:
Fire place is getting framed in.
Insulated and double walled chimney pipes head through the roof. The 2 x 4 framing will hold insulation and durarock (lower) or sheetrock (above the mantle). The faux stone will be cemented to the durarock.

Fireplace framing...
Even though it’s just cardboard, you can get an idea of the finished fireplace.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 54
Almost finished

(I discovered—after an hour on line—that the dial-up service at our new home was a toll call. Therefore I had no more desire to go on line. That is why it’s been more than a week since my last post.)

Lots has been happening at the log home. We are getting closer and closer to finishing the work that can be done. Some exterior work—such as staining the logs and applying stone to the chimney—will have to wait for warmer spring weather.

More trim work has been stained and applied around windows and doors as well as along the base of the walls. Adam did most of the installation while I’ve spent many an hour staining boards and doors in our basement work area.

Don finished the plumbing work in the master bathroom and has only to install the toilet in the basement to complete that portion of the job. He then began the task of framing out the fireplaces and working on the chimneys. When I left on Tuesday, one chimney had breached the roof and the other was through the first floor and heading upward.

The Loadall returns
The Loadall made a return appearance to assist in the erection of the chimney. It will make the exterior framing work of the chimney chase and the adjacent cricket much easier.

First floor fireplace 1
The zero-clearance fireplace in the living room.

First floor fireplace 2
Don framed out the box around the fireplace and chimney.

First chimney through the roof...
The zero-clearance chimney broached the roof Monday afternoon.

For Patti S., this is the front door as you will see it when you visit. (Please wait until…oh, February, though. It will take us a month or so to get moved in.)
Front entrance.

Inside of front door
Inside the foyer.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 53

Things are really coming together.

It's December 3rd and:

We have a working indoor bathroom so the porta-potty was removed from the building site. Considering the night time temperatures are in the mid-20s and the day time highs are only in the high 30s, that is a very good thing!
Working Guest Bath

Interior doors are being hung.
Door to attic
The attic door. Since the attic space is unheated this door is very necessary.

Trim is being applied to doors and windows.
Hung Doors & Trim

The second coat of primer has been applied to nearly all the walls.
o need tolook at paint drying, is there?)

Shelves have been installed in the closets.
Closet Organizers in
Every closet gets at least one of these Closet Maid organiizers.

Yeah, things are moving along pretty well.

Update: A dusting of snow on the ground this morning--December 4. It reminds me of the days back in late February and early March when the hole was being dug for the foundation--in six inches of snow.

RU Falls to WVU 41-39 In 3 OT

Rutgers R.small

West Virginia ended Rutgers’ drive for their first ever Big East title but it took them three overtimes to do it.

West Virginia tied the game 23-23 in regulation on Pat McAfee’s 30-yard field goal with 53 seconds left. (Jeremy Ito would have a chance to win on a 52-yard attempt, but the kick fell short as the second half came to a close.)

Both teams scored on field goals in the first overtime (26 all) and then touchdowns in the second (33 all). WVU scored a TD on their possession in the third overtime and was successful on the mandatory 2-point conversion. Rutgers, too, scored a TD on their possession but Mike Teel’s pass into the end zone on the conversion attempt was knocked out of the receiver’s hands and fell to the turf.

Junior place kicker Jeremy Ito temporarily tied Brian Leonard to become the all-time leading scorer in Rutgers’ history when he connected on a 37-yard field goal in the first overtime period. At the time it gave him 266 points for his career. Leonard jumped back in front with a 1-yard TD in the second overtime giving him 272 points. (Ito made the extra point to give him 267.)

Ito is the all-time Rutgers’ field goal kicker with 54 so far in his career. Second place belongs to Kennan Startzell (1976-1979)who had 46

Ray Rice finished the game with 129 yards on 25 carries. It was the first time this season West Virginia allowed a 100-yard rusher.

Mike Teel had a career-high 278 yards passing on 19-for-26 (73% completion).

(Game Story and stats here.)

The loss gives Rutgers and West Virginia identical records of 10-2, 5-2 in the Big East. The Louisville Cardinals, who defeated Connecticut earlier in the day, become the Big East Champions with a record of 11-1, 6-1 in the Big East.

All three teams are bowl bound.
Louisville earned the automatic BCS bowl bid.
WVU will go to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida where they are matched against Georgia Tech.
Rutgers will be going to the Texas Bowl to be played in Houston on Thursday, December 28, 2006
7:00 p.m. CST. They face off against Kansas State.