21 Feb 2007

The Worst, best and most creative analogies, similies and metaphors ever written...

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. Joseph Romm, Washington

She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again. Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't. Russell Beland, Springfield

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup. Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30. Roy Ashley, Washington

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze. Chuck Smith, Woodbridge

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. Russell Beland, Springfield

Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access T:flw.quid55328.com\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake. Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree. Jack Bross, Chevy Chase

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease. Gary F. Hevel, Silver Spring

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like "Second Tall Man." Russell Beland, Springfield

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph. Jennifer Hart, Arlington

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can. Wayne Goode, Madison, Ala.

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth. Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. Russell Beland, Springfield

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play. Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free Chuck Smith, Woodbridge

The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon. Unknown

9 Feb 2007

I flew in an F-15!

Today I got what the Air Force call an "incentive flight." Basically, very few people get these in their careers and it means I got to fly in a two person F-15C (or Strike Eagle, if you will) with a fighter pilot. We did various manouvers, I got to actually fly the jet!!! (I took the stick and was allowed to do barrel-rolls!), we went to G-force 8 (8 times my body weight) and then something went wrong and we went to negative 3 Gs (the jet inverted and the pilot and I went up into the canopy!!), but normal flight was restored soon after. From what the pilot said, hardly any pilots go into negative Gs so I was quite fortunate to be able to (accidentally) experience it. I didn't throw up and I didn't black out (of which I was quite proud). Below are some pics from today. To see additional pics, click here.

Cate and I messing with some equipment...

Courtney, Cate and I about 10 mins before takeoff...

Me getting into the cockpit

3 Feb 2007

This is truly inspiring

[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''