Archive for February, 2010

Classy and Not So Classy

February 23, 2010

Evan Lysacek and his grandparents -- (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are winding down.  I’ve spent some time watching a little of the Olympics each night.  I didn’t watch the Men’s Figure Skating, but I have been interested in what has happened since the medals were awarded.

On Thursday night, Evan Lysacek of the United States narrowly won the gold medal over Evgeni Plushenko of Russia.  Plushenko immediately said that Lysacek didn’t deserve the gold medal because he didn’t even attempt a quad jump.    He said that he was the victim of poor judging.  However, the poor judgment now seems to be center directly on Plushenko.

Lysachek has been a classy winner, complimenting Plushenko.  “Plushenko is a great guy, a great skater. I’ve admired him for years. I thought he did an outstanding job.”

Pluskenko–not so classy.  “You can’t be considered a true men’s champion without a quad.”

And now the best part of the controversy—Pluskenko has awarded himself the platinum medal.  Nevermind that it doesn’t exist in the Olympics.  He is such a champion, he created the platinum medal for himself.  His personal website states, “Silver of Salt Lake, Gold of Torino, Platinum of Vancouver.”  He even has a picture of the platinum medal.  Check it out here.

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First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.

February 22, 2010

Today is George Washington’s birthday.  As my last post mentioned, since the advent of Presidents Day, Washington’s and Lincoln’s actual birthdays have been lost into trivia questions.

George Washington served his country well.  He held the new nation together during the Revolutionary War.  At its completed, he returned to his estate in Virginia, believing that his service was completed.  With the new Constitution, Washington was  brought out of retirement to become the new government’s first president.  After 2 terms, he stepped down, creating a tradition that held until FDR.

Happy Birthday, George Washington.

Note:  the photo above is a shaky, hand-held shot of the Washington Monument that I took from the Lincoln Memorial on a cold February night 3 weeks ago.

Give President Lincoln His Day Back

February 12, 2010

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  He was born February 12, 1809 in Kentucky.  He became the 16th president of the United States in 1861.  If Lincoln wasn’t our finest president, he is certainly in the top three.

Lincoln deserves to be remembered on his own day.  The federal holiday on Monday is officially Washington’s Birthday–not celebrated on his birthday, of course, but on the third Monday in February.  In 1971, the Washington’s Birthday holiday was shifted from February 22nd and soon became known as Presidents Day, supposedly honoring both Washington and Lincoln.

The effect of Presidents Day is that we have diluted the remembrance of both Washington and Lincoln.  No one really remembers their actual birthdays.  While both deserve a day of remembrance, other presidents do not. [Jimmy Carter quickly comes to mind.]

So Happy Birthday, President Lincoln.  I’ll remember you and the great leadership and sacrifices that you made for our country.

Boy Scouts of America’s Centennial

February 8, 2010

Today is the one-hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America.

William D. Boyce, a Chicago businessman, was in London, England on business.  While lost in the fog, he met a youth man who helped lead him to his appointment.  When Boyce offered the boy a tip for his help, the boy turned him down, stating that a Scout could never accept a tip for helping.

Boyce later met with Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement to learn about Scouting.  On December 8,1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in the United States.

I have been privileged to be a part of the BSA for 40 years; 10 years as a boy and 30 years as an adult.  The Boy Scouts of America has been an important foundation in my life.  It has taught me important skills, has given me an opportunity to serve others, and has helped me develop important character values.

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

A Scout is Trustworthy.
A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.
A Scout is Loyal.
A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.
A Scout is Helpful.
A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.
A Scout is Friendly.
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.
A Scout is Courteous.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.
A Scout is Kind.
A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.
A Scout is Obedient.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.
A Scout is Cheerful.
A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout is Thrifty.
A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout is Brave.
A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.
A Scout is Clean.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is Reverent.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

The End of the Storm

February 6, 2010

The snow stopped falling about 5:00 PM tonight.  It’s was a great excuse to go for a walk.  Lots of walkers and very few cars.  I enjoyed seeing the neighborhoods off the main streets–the places where the people live.

Here are some photos from tonight’s walk.

Being Part of History

February 6, 2010

The Shoreham--My Hotel

I came to Washington, D. C. for a business conference.  I flew in on Monday and was supposed to go home Friday afternoon.  That’s not happening until Sunday night–late.  Why am I staying on.  It’s not because I love Washington so much.  It’s because D. C. is having on of the worst snow storms in one hundred years.  The entire city is closed down.  They are even attempting to keep the streets open; they are just telling everyone to stay in.

So I’m a part of history.  They are already calling it the Blizzard of 2010.  All and all, I would like to just be home.