Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010 - You are not forgotten

In the Army and other branches of the U.S. military, most units prepare a visible reminder of the deceased soldier with a display of a pair of combat boots and an inverted rifle with the soldier’s helmet and dog tags hanging on it.

Army lore indicates the helmet and identification tags signify the fallen soldier. The inverted rifle with bayonet signals a time for prayer and a break in the action to pay tribute to the dead. The combat boots represent the final march of the last battle.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


By Nick Rallo
California is a great place
It has nice sandy beaches
And grows lots of peaches
It has lots of mountains
And also a lot of fountains
It has lots of big waves
And you can also explore caves
It has a good climate of 65 degrees
But doesn't really have anything like the Florida Keys
They have some snow high up there, which will show
But usually it's a no for the folks down low
They grow lots of things like fruit and pears
And occasionally you will see some bears
But, California is just a pest
Compared to the land I love best

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Times They Are A Changing

There has always been a prophetic nature to Bob Dylan songs:

Come gather round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pens
And keep your eyes open, the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon, the wheel's still in spin

Come senators, congressmen, please head the call
Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be her that has stalled
The battle outside ragging will soon shake your windows
And rattle your hall
For the times, they are a changing

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Petroleum Based Products – “Drill baby drill”

Kind of like "If you build it they will come", only with a twist, "If they make it you will consume it". In recent weeks there has been enough finger pointing to last a life time. After reading the following list I hang my own head in shame, yes, I am part of the problem. I am a consumer of many of the items listed, this is why they drill, why they fight a war and why so much blood is shed. Dare I look around to see if I stand alone in this line?

Our fast food, toss away, non-permanent society needs to get a grip on itself and realize there is a limit. Bring back refillable pens, returnable bottles, razors where you replaced only the dull blade, and a time when everything didn't run on batteries because we didn't have to take everything with us each time we took a step. If airlines can charge for bags then may I suggest the supermarkets begin charging for grocery bags, not just fractions of a cent, enough to make you notice so you will bring your own reusable bags to the store. Hmmm, I wonder what the wood based products list looks like?

Click on links to read complete list of products:

First list found on

Second list found on

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Julie

"Isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful."

It's my daughter-in-law's birthday today and I am sending her wishes for the best one ever. It's a special one, you know the ones that end with a five, but I won't reveal her age, you can guess if you wish. She is pretty as a picture and as nice as she looks. We are so happy to have her a part of our little family. Happy Birthday, Julie, I love you so much.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thank You

82nd Airborn Division - Returning to Ft. Bragg
Photo by Chief Petty Officer Spike Call

This past weekend I flew in and out of the airport in Oklahoma City. While I was waiting for my departure, on three occasions U.S. Military troops arrived at the airport. The people waiting in the terminal stood and stopped and applauded until the last of the soldiers made it through the exit. It was the most amazing experience to be part of this "thank you" to our military. I am not an overly sentimental person but I had to flight back the tears. Moments like this makes you feel truly proud to be an America. 

Photo Booth Fun

Friends don't let friends drive drunk and friends especially don't let a birthday go by unnoticed. You know who you are and I am wishing you a Happy 70th Birthday, like it or not.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


ACRA 2010 - Second Place Men's Novice 8

I just got home from a very windy Oklahoma City, where the ACRA (American Collegiate Rowing Association) held their championships this past weekend. Orange Coast College came in second.  I think their smiles would have been a little bigger if they had won, but nonetheless they did a great job, winning both of their races on Saturday to get in to the Grand Finals, today, Sunday.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Broadway Bound

Such a Seussical Moment

These are the types of pictures Jay Leno and David Letterman put on their TV shows after you become rich and famous. It all starts with that first step. That's my grandson, Nicko, under the check mark Watch for him on TV in a few years (or maybe even Broadway).

Monday, May 17, 2010

And it wasn't even on my Bucket List

Bob Brenly reading my Tweet on the air during Sunday's Cubs game

@lenandbob - I see you, do you see me?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Senior Prom

I am older than dirt, but I still remember my senior prom. Maybe not all the little details, but I do remember a strapless baby blue dress and wrist corsage and the feeling of being on top of the world. There is nothing like being seventeen or eighteen and not having a care in the world. Oh what I would give to have those good old days back if only for a month or so, imagine what you could do. Nat looks really beautiful and I love her pretty blue dress, the belt is especially nice.

Click on photo to enlarge

I love this class picture too and all the different cast of characters. Often I look at kids, some so unique and wonder how they will end up. Maybe some will soar to greatness, discover a new cure for some disease and others may end up as Wall Street giants only to make a shameless exit to infamy. Can you spot the leaders, the rebels, the earth's movers and shakers? Let's revisit this in 2050, shall we?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Another Winner to Announce - Welcome to St. Louis

By Nicholas Rallo, aka "Chipper"

Well it should be clear from the picture that this, winner of the Chesterfield Day School "Fifth Grade Math and Art Award", comes from my St. Louis grandson. Great Job, Nicko! I think that Mayor Slay should adopt this artwork as the best depiction of  the City of St. Louis. I love it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Armed Forces Day - USA

Newport Beach, California - Photo by Julie

My daughter-in-law Julie was on her usual walk Friday with Henri and Alfi when she captured this awesome display of American flags. They are placed there on a temporary basis to celebrate Armed Forces Day this weekend. To learn more about the organization putting on this Field of Honor flag display and the details behind the 1776 flags check out this website:  

The display is in Castaways Park in Newport Beach and will be there from May 14 - May 17, so if you are in the area you can check it out for yourself. Julie said that it was really something to see.

Armed Forces Day is celebrated in the USA on the third Saturday in May, a day set aside to recognize and honor all those serving in the military. Interestingly this is not just an American celebration but also celebrated by other countries as well on different dates.

It's nice to have a special day where we observe and honor our military personnel, it's a job, I am afraid to say, that we take for granted so much of the time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Congratulations Oliver!

Success Award Winner

Oliver's school teaches a program based upon John Wooden's Pyramid of Success and yesterday Oliver was a Success Award Winner for Confidence. His certificate reads:

You must believe in yourself if you expect others to believe in you.

We are so proud of you, Oliver,  your joy and enthusiasm touches us all the way back here in St. Louis. Good job, O.

If you are unfamiliar with John Wooden's Pyramid of Success or just would like a quick re-read check out the link below. It's worth printing out and putting up on the fridge. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I love David Letterman's Mom's advice to all of us Mothers:

"Lower your expectations."

Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there.

The Birthday Boys

Willis - May 11 and Logan - May 9

These two brothers, now grown men, will be celebrating their birthdays in the upcoming days. This photo was taken when we all were living in Hawaii. Willis now lives in Colorado Springs and Logan moved to Missouri just this year. It still amazes me that they are all grown up. Aren't grand-kids suppose to stay little forever? Times goes by so darn fast. Happy Birthday boys!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In honor of Cinco de Mayo

Give me your energetic, your rich,
The cream of the crop from your shores, send these.
Not the homeless or tempest tossed,
Or those yearning to breathe free.
Give me only those, your best,
To these I lift my lamp.

Arizona Revision for the Statue of Liberty 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Happy Birthday to my FAVORITE shoe giver - T O M S. I'm gonna bake a cake and dance the macarena in my TOMS shoes. Can you just feel the magic?

My Left Feet


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Congratulations to Orange Coast College - Men's Novice 8

WIRC Champions -Orange Coast College - Men's Novice 8

The Results: OCC 6:21.30 - UCSD 6:21.31

Oh, Yes! WTG Coast

This weekend Orange Coast College's crew team was in Sacramento, California competing in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Championships. Gosh, I wish I had been there. But thanks to text messaging, emails with photos it was the next best thing. My son tells me it was a photo finish that was reviewed frame by frame to determine that the Men's Novice 8 team captured first place by just 3/100ths of a second. Now that is what I call a finish.

I am so proud of the entire team and especially my grandson. From the photos it looks like it was a beautiful day. Thanks also to my son Mark for all these wonderful pictures, I appreciate your sending them along so quickly so they could be shared.