Friday, August 21, 2015


Here's hoping none of you need any uplifting this week. But really, what are the odds? We're starting election swing, people are being people, the weather has been a bastard. But there are still a few gems out there. Here are some good bits I tracked down or had sent my way this week.

Exhibit A:  Big news of late as two women are set to became the first ever to graduate from Army Ranger school. Both women are accomplished athletes in their mid-20s, experienced officers and West Point graduates. They graduate Friday along with 94 men from Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, setting a significant milestone in the move toward allowing women into direct combat roles. Army Rangers are said to "lead the way." These two soldiers certainly are.

Exhibit B:  Ten years ago, less than half of the high school graduating class in Baldwin, Michigan enrolled in college. The number of kids from that class who actually graduated from college was two. Things are a bit different these days, with nearly every student graduating from high school heading off to college. The change came with the introduction of the Baldwin Promise, which provides up to $5,000 for every student graduating from Baldwin public schools to attend college in Michigan. The difference between the Baldwin Promise and other similar programs is that it isn't funded by wealthy donors. It's funded by the people of the town itself. Resident Rich Simonson, who dreamed up the idea, asked everyone he knew to give $500, even if they had to do so on a payment plan. The goal was to reach $140,000. Instead, they raised $160,000 and now every Baldwin kid who wants to can go to college.

Exhibit C:  While Liam Murphy was visiting the United Arab Emirates he decided to go to the Ferrari World theme park. The driver of the taxi that took Liam to the location, Shakiha, had lived in the area for 14 years but never visited the park, despite his love of Ferraris. When dropping a fare off at the park, he would sit out in his car and wait for their return. Liam decided that wouldn't fly and invited Shakiha to join him in the park as his guest. Shakiha’s first ride was on the fastest roller coaster in the world, Formula Rossa. According to Liam, Shakiha's first words after the ride were "I do not feel well, sir!"

I have my own roller coaster picture, and it remains one of my most favorite pictures ever. It's sitting on my buffet right now, in fact. Poor Beloved Stepson made his first trip to California when he was 10 and we promptly put him on the Big Dipper with my brother. The Dipper is a rickety old wicked wooden ride in Santa Cruz. He had no idea what he was getting into and you can tell from this picture he was not happy about it. When he exited the ride, his first words were to my sister: "I want a lawyer!" Ah, memories.

Exhibit D: This is over a month old, but just forget it's a Fourth of July celebration and revel in a hamster having a barbecue with his friends. This guy is one of my new most favorite weirdos. Don't go to YouTube to look, you'll end up in a Tiny Hamster video black hole. Then again there are worse things that can happen in a day.

Exhibit E: You know me, all about the inter-species love. Without further ado, it's "Dog and Deer, Still in Love:"

Exhibit F: Another thing I love is when the internet is snarky funny. If you recall the poor guy who asked people to fix his picture of the Eiffel Tower, you might appreciate this woman who asked people to photoshop the kid out of her (pretty gross, amiright?) kissing picture. Oh, internet, on days you don't go off on how great Donald Trump is, and how some books should be banned, and how some people shouldn't be married or work at Chik-Fil-A or whatever the hell it's called, you can do some fun things. So the simple request was "Please Photoshop Away the Kid." People even worked in prior memes. Fun stuff. You can see the whole set here. The first shot is the original picture.

Exhibit G: As we all know by now, G is for Goat Vine.  I'm sorry, "What?" Ah, this little bastard slays me.

Exhibit H: What would be a week without a "Dogs are awesome" bit? Nothing, I say, that week would be nothing. Testifying in court can be pretty stressful, especially for kids and/or victims of violent crimes. Ellen O’Neill Stephens and Celeste Walsen thought up Courthouse Dogs as a solution - dogs in the courtroom to comfort witnesses. Courthouse dogs are trained specifically for the job, a process that can take over two years. Courthouse Dogs was founded in 2004, and presently employs 87 dogs working in 28 states. The non-profit primarily uses Labradors or golden retrievers. (I would let Bird do this but she is like me and does not like to act "courtroom appropriate.")("Woof" to Janet for sending this my way.)

Obligatories:  Bird has been working hard at therapy dog testing this week. Our last observation is Sunday. Wish us luck.

At the big dog park, before hitting the water:

"Enjoying" being in the office.

Wishing you all have relaxing and peaceful weekends (with a little fun mixed in, natch).

No comments:

About Malcolm Avenue Review

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in a nifty, oak-shaded ranch house on Malcolm Avenue, a wide-laned residential street with little through traffic, located amid the foothills of Northern California. It was on that street and in that house I learned most of my adolescent life lessons, and many grown-up ones to boot. Malcolm Avenue was "home" for more than thirty years.

It was on Malcolm Avenue, through and with my family and the other families that made up our neighborhood of characters, that I first learned about and gained an appreciation for the things I continue to love the most to this day: music, animals, photography, sports, television/movies and, of course, books.

I owe a debt of gratitude to that life on Malcolm Avenue. It gave me a sense of community and friendship, support and adventure. For better and worse, life on that street likely had the biggest impact on the person I've become. So this blog, and the things I write here, are all, at their base level, a little bit of a love letter to Malcolm Avenue.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP