Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


Sophie in a sea of Santabears

'Tis the season!

(Sophie discovered that one of the Santabear babies had a binky)


J-Man's new board

Fraternity bro' Tony (Godfather to the Peanut) refab'd one of his
daughter's old snowboards as a birthday present for the J-Man. A
shreddin' we will go....

Turkey Trot "Kids' Fun Run"

J-man lining up at the starting line for the Briargate YMCA's annual Turkey Trot "1k Kids' Fun Run". He ran a good race, coming in under the 4-minute mark.


Marine Birthday Ball

We are honored to join Col Chris and Diane Papaj, USMC, and Lt Col Steve and Michelle Day, USAFR, to celebrate the Corps' 234th birthday at the Antlers Hilton in Colorado Springs.

Semper Fidelis!


Gold Camp Road

Fellow MDA'ers Jeff and Scott joined me for a ride on the old Gold Camp Road: an old rail line that climbs from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek (an elevation gain of more than 3,500' for the full 20 mile one-way trek). We only made it about half way, through one of the old train tunnels. Several patches of standing snow slowed our progress. But the descent was worth it!

Veterans'/Remembrance Day


Marine Corps Birthday

MARINE CORPS ORDER No. 47 (Series 1921)
U.S. MARINE CORPS Washington, November 1, 1921

The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

Major General


Stanley Canyon Revisited

One of Renee's cousins in Denver brought her three kids down to spend a day with us this weekend. I thought this would be an ideal time to revisit Stanley Canyon -- a place I haven't been since that aborted Memorial Day Weekend trek that took us about 3/4ths of the way to the reservoir. Mind you, this is a big climb -- especially for a 1st grader who has never hiked more than a mile on a flat surface (Stanley Canyon Trail is a 5-mile round trip with an elevation gain of more than 1,400': akin to climbing to the roof of the Sears Tower from the basement).

The boys were eager at the start, scrambling over the roots and rocks with their hiking sticks. But then we discovered one of the perils of high-country hiking in November:

Once we neared the saddle in the ridges, the snow pack and ice became the prevalent feature on the trail. Note that, though I brought eight bottles of Powerade and four Lunchables, I packed zero gloves and zero jackets. So we pressed on for probably another half-mile, including scaling a five-foot tall waterfall, until we reached a rather precarious fallen-tree bridge over the stream with ice on either side. So we turned back, coming within a couple hundred yards of the dam.

At least we got to see the B-1B bomber fly-over for the kickoff of the Army Black Knights-Air Force Fighting Falcons football game (Air Force crushed Army, 35-7, after hosting ESPN Gameday that morning at Fairchild Hall in front of the Cadet Chapel).

We also got stuck in post-game traffic leaving the Academy after our hike....

But no serious falls (just a couple minor slips on the ice) and the boys can now honestly tell their parents they've out-hiked them!