Saturday, September 24, 2011

PSA: Vaccines are important

School takes up a quite a bit of time, and one of the things that we keep learning about are the importance of vaccines. So, I thought I would share. They help prevent infections, and complications of infections. For example, the chickenpox vaccine is now given in order to help prevent shingles later in life and other complications of chickenpox. The whooping cough vaccine (as part of dTP) is given to adults to prevent whooping cough in infants -- which is potentially fatal or could require prolonged hospitalization.  So vaccines are important (including the old ones)! :) Additionally, as long as people keep getting vaccinated -- hopefully we can prevent some of the "old" diseases from making a come back (ex. polio, measles, etc.). Unfortunately, some of these diseases (ex. measles, polio) may now be on the rise because of decreased immunization rates.

This past week, I was introduced to this song (The vaccine song): which I found funny/cute. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pics from Pete's flight

Here are some pics from Pete's solo flight ~ top one: the coast, bottom one: playing in the clouds!

He had a beautiful trip out, skies were blue and flying was smooth. However, the way back was bumpy!
After hearing of his trip, I am getting excited for when he does get his license in a few months -- it would be neat to accompany him when he goes flying on these longer trips, and check out the scenery from a few thousand feet! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pete flew to the coast and back today

Pete's flying lessons are progressing, and today he flew his first solo cross-country flight (i.e. >100 nautical miles)! He made it to the coast and had lunch in a little town there! Pictures will be posted later -- once the camera makes it inside! The goal is for him to have his private pilot's licence (PPL) by the end of October or beginning of November! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


The day that changed America.

I can't believe that it has been 10 years already. I was just thinking about that, 10 years ago since I started my last 2nd year of college. I can't believe it has been that long.

I remember exactly where I was when I heard that America had been attacked -- I was going through the Physics building at U of MN when my friend G stopped and told me that the twin towers had been attacked in NYC, and people were suspecting Muslim terrorists. My friend G is an Arab-American, a non-practicing seik (a non-Muslim religious group), and he was worried about backlash on campus towards Arabs, Muslims, and others.

[By this time, I had a group of friends that I hung out with at school that were Muslim. I hung out with this group, in part because aside from being a very neat group of individuals -- the way that they practice their religion is not so different from the way that I practice my religion (no drinking, no dancing, conservative dress mostly, etc.), so I felt comfortable around them. Once I realized that the news was real, and America had indeed been attacked on its own soil... I worried about their safety (thankfully, nothing happened ever while I was in school).]

Anyway, at first I did not believe him, disbelief and shock tempered my reaction. However, I then went to join him and many others in the journalism building to watch the news. It was there I saw my friend, Thelma -- a NYC native who had dinner atop the Twin Towers not even a week prior to the attack. I know that she worried about people she knew that could be in those Towers and who perhaps perished on that day. Being around her, made it feel like I knew people and had a connection to the biggest city in the nation.

After I went home, I went to the neighbor's (to babysit for the evening so they could go to memorial services for those that died in the attack) The dad worked in finance, and his brother worked for the financial firm hit hardest by the attacks. Thankfully, his brother had stepped out to get a coffee just before the airplane hit the tower. However, the dad received many emails from those people trapped above where the plane hit and who said good-bye that day. Through their pain, I realized further that though I lived far away from NYC and Washington DC -- the effects of the loss of life on that day were not limited to the East Coast.

About 2 months after 9-11, I visited NYC for a debate tournament at Columbia University. I smelt the acrid air from the still smoldering buildings, and saw the bits of office trash still in the street. Walking around, I saw the memorials outside the firestations -- collections of candles and photographs, commemorating those firefighters that went into the buildings as many were rushing out and never made it back home. And, again it hit me -- America lost a lot that day.

I have since traveled, not back to NYC, but elsewhere. Reminders of 9-11 are seen in the increased airport security, things related to both the Iraqi War and Afganistan war in both located here and in other countries. Joining the armed services is no longer just a good way to get college paid for, it now involves actual risk and likely deployment. Things have certainly changed since that day. The day that the facade of our safety was shattered, and America was rallied to fight a nebulous enemy of terrorism at home and abroad.

Thinking of and remembering all those that lost their life that day or since in either war, and all of their friends/families/loved ones.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It feels crisp in the air

Yesterday, we headed over to Pete's mom and dad's for a Labor day picnic ~ it was fun to see family, and get out of the house for the afternoon! :)

But, you could not deny the slight crispness to the air... especially in light of the past many days where it has felt like summer. It is starting to feel like fall. A great time of year -- trips to the cider mill for cider and doughnuts, sweatshirt and flannel weather, some yard work (slitting and stacking wood, raking leaves), and a good time of year to be in school. I get excited by the change in seasons! :)

Update on the Hondo: he is pretty much back to normal. His stitches are out, and days that he is not wearing the cone (we take it off him, then he starts to scratch at the eye... so the cone gets put back on) -- he looks pretty much like he used to (well, except the one eye is stitched shut so it looks like he's perpetually winking).  He's gotten pretty good at figuring out that he has to turn his head to "eyeball" things, however when he runs into one of us on his left side... he will shriek, because he did not see us. His head is no longer tilty -- I think his eardrum must be healed, and the ear infection seems to be getting better (he will go to the vet this week to confirm). He has resumed all of his usual activities -- going on walks, playing tug-o-war with one of us, going up/down stairs... back to normal, and he seems happy! :)

Pete has taken to teasing the dog -- giving him treats on his left side, and then moving them when Hondo turns his head... and then putting them where he can see them. Hondo just plays along, happy to get something other than his dog food to eat (he is on a diet).

Have a good day!