September 29, 2006

The Fun is Over

We are back from our anniversary cruise. We had a blast. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I will post pictures as soon as I go through them.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2006

September 23, 1986

20 years ago..... We were in Las Vegas. I have a vague memory of going to the county courthouse downtown. We got the Marriage License. We also found out that the blood tests we got a few days before were unnecessary. Did we have breakfast? Did we eat lunch? I can't remember. You tried to see me in my wedding dress. Your aunt kicked you out. You went to the chapel, with Glenn and Mike. Your aunt and I went downstairs to the hotel lobby to wait for the limousine. It was provided by the chapel. A Chrysler Reliant K Car with a roof stretch pulls up. A "K" car limousine? Yeup. We are whisked off to the "Little Chapel of the Flowers". Everything from then on is a blur. I was worried I would blow my vows. I did fine. I remember your ring would not go on. I grit my teeth and shove it on your finger. He pronounces us man and wife. We turn and walk down the aisle. Your best man turns to the side to shake your hand, only to see our backs as we try to hurry out of the place. Everyone laughs. It is 3:00pm. The limousine has to be at another chapel at 3:00pm. He still has to take us back. We are in a crappy Reliant K Limousine doing about 60 miles an hour down the backroads of Las Vegas. We are parallel to the strip and can see the back of the hotels. You jam your leg against the back of the front seat to brace us so we will not fall over as the car makes it's right turns at about 40. We make it back to the hotel in one piece. Dinner that night is at a fancy restaurant. On our way there, we are walking ten feet above the ground, holding hands. Two women walking towards us, smile, and one says, "Oh look! Newlyweds!" The woman sitting at the piano couldn't sing, nor play very well. She was butchering songs all night. The waiter asked if I wanted some pepper on my prime rib. I nod. He produces a 5 foot long pepper grinder, steps back and puts the pepper on the meat. I find this funny, so do you. We start cracking up. The woman behind the piano hears that we just got married. She asks if we have a favorite song. We didn't want her to ruin any of our favorites, so asked for one we didn't particularly care about. They serve the cake. Everyone wants us to smash it in each others face. We refuse. They are disappointed. I never did like that. I've seen to many brides with tears in their eyes after that has happened. The next day, we get on a plane. We are going to Seattle, Washington. We are going to go meet your mother and tell her that we are married. After the fact.... It will be the first time she has met me.....

Happy 20th Anniversary!

Posted by Valkyre at 08:05 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2006

Thousands Say Farewell to Steve Irwin

Article here:

Thousands Say Farewell To 'Crocodile Hunter'

Irwin's Daughter Says Irwin Wanted To Change World

POSTED: 6:15 am PDT September 20, 2006
UPDATED: 2:32 pm PDT September 20, 2006

BEERWAH, Australia -- Politicians, fans and fellow entertainers are remembering "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin for his passion for animals and "great zest for life."

Five-thousand people filled a stadium at Irwin's Australia Zoo for a memorial service that was carried on three Australian television networks and beamed around the world to a potential audience of millions.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard described Irwin as a genuine and authentic man who "touched the hearts of Australians" and millions around the world.

Celebrities such as Russell Crowe, Cameron Diaz and Kevin Costner also remembered Irwin in taped messages

Irwin's 8-year-old daughter Bindi also spoke, and said her father "wanted to change the world so everybody would love wildlife the way he did."

Irwin died two weeks ago while filming a TV show on the Great Barrier Reef. He was stuck in the chest by a stingray's barb, after swimming too close.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2006

A Candidate For Mother of the Year

Yeah, right.....

Mom Jailed Because Of Son's Rotten Teeth

Woman Thought Teeth Would Just Fall Out

POSTED: 5:16 am PDT September 14, 2006

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania mother is behind bars because, police said, her son's lack of dental care was her fault.

According to a local dentist, the 5-year-old boy has just eight teeth left and will need to be on a special soft food diet. The dentist said the child's tooth decay was so severe, it was criminal, and police agreed.

Dr. Nicholas Prusack said the nerves are exposed in several places.

"This is the X-ray showing the rotted teeth of the 5 year-old victim, and 12 of them so infected they had to be pulled," Prusack said.

Investigators said the damage was the result of the boy having never seen a dentist.

Now, his mother, 43-year-old Erneida Resto of Bethlehem, Pa., is charged with endangering her son's welfare.

Northampton County, Pa., children and youth services began investigating Resto in February when she took her son to a dental office in Salisbury Towsnhip, Pa.

That is where Prusack performed the surgery, saying the boy was in so much pain he could not eat.

"It is probably one of the worst cases," Prusack said.

Prusack was so concerned that he notified authorities, who said the boy had been complaining of headaches and pain in his mouth since the summer of 2005.

According to court documents, his mother said she knew her son was hurting, but did not take him to a dentist because she figured his baby teeth would fall out and the problem would fix itself.

Prusack said if he hadn't removed the boy's teeth he would likely have ended up in the hospital within six months.

He said the boy is now left with only six teeth on the bottom and two teeth on top and has a long road ahead.

"He's not going to have all of his permanent teeth, and for the next 10 years chewing food will be a problem for him," Prusack said.

Restohas been sent to Northampton County Prison under $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 22.

The boy is now in foster care, officials said.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin

I still can't believe this.

Article here

Irwin pulled stingray barb from his chest
Ian Gerard and Tony Koch
September 05, 2006

A LIFE-long friend of Steve Irwin today told how the Crocodile Hunter pulled a deadly stingray barb from his own chest before losing consciousness and dying.

Friend John Stainton said he had viewed footage of his friend's last moments and the images were "shocking".

"It's a very hard thing to watch because you're actually witnessing somebody die ... and it's terrible," he said.

"It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest), and he pulled it out and the next minute he's gone. That was it. The cameraman had to shut down."

The footage of the fatal attack on the Great Barrier Reef has been handed to Queensland police as fans worldwide come to grips with the "freak" death.

Irwin, 44, was killed almost instantly when the stingray stabbed him in the heart with its poisonous 20cm barb as he snorkelled off Port Douglas, in north Queensland, yesterday morning.

As tributes and salutes poured in from around the world, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said Irwin would get a state funeral if that's what his family wanted.

On the election campaign trail in Hervey Bay, Mr Beattie said the Governemnt was considering the possibility of naming a national park after the flamboyant naturalist.

"We want to make certain that ... there's a fitting long-term tribute to Steve Irwin and it may well be we can do all sorts of things like name a national park, we could have particular awards, all sorts of things," the Premier said.

Irwin's American-born wife, Terri, was trekking in Tasmania's Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park when the news broke of her husband's death and last night flew back to Queensland with her two children Bindi, 8, and Bob, 2.

The diveboat's owner Peter West also saw the footage.

"There was no blood in the water, it was not that obvious ... something happened with this animal that made it rear and he was at the wrong position at the wrong time and if it hit him anywhere else we would not be talking about a fatality," said Mr West.

Irwin was shooting a documentary on dangerous marine life, in shallow water at Batt Reef, about 32 nautical miles offshore, at about 11am.

Tributes poured in from around the world for Irwin, a renowned environmentalist who was estimated to be earning more than $4million a year from his Queensland reptile park, Australia Zoo.

Footage of the attack shows Irwin swimming above a 2.5m stingray before it turns on him and sends a poisonous barb through his heart.

Irwin was pulled from the water by a cameraman and a crewman, put on an inflatable tender and taken to a support boat about 500m away.

Crewmembers say he was barely conscious in the minutes after the sting and died as his production team rushed him to his vessel, Croc One, and to a nearby island for emergency treatment.

A charter dive boat crew desperately tried to revive him on the beach, but were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards by Queensland Rescue Service officers, who had flown to the area by helicopter.

Irwin's body was last night flown to Cairns where a post-mortem examination this morning confirmed Irwin was killed when the poisonous barb on the stingray's tail pierced his chest. Police have seized all available evidence and interviewed witnesses in order to prepare a report for the Coroner.

A coronial inquest is expected.

Producer, director and life-long friend John Stainton yesterday said Irwin did not provoke the stingray and was simply swimming above it when he was attacked.

"He came over the top of a stingray and the stingray barb went up and into his chest and into his heart," Stainton said.

"It's likely that he possibly died instantly when the barb hit him, and I hope he felt no pain."

One of Irwin's contemporaries, internationally known cameraman and spearfisherman Ben Cropp, was in his own boat off Port Douglas when Irwin was killed.

"I have just spoken to a cameraman friend who was there and has seen the footage," Mr Cropp told The Australian last night.

"He was up in the shallow water, probably 1.5m to 2m deep, following a bull ray which was about a metre across the body - probably weighing about 100kg, and it had quite a large spine.

"The cameraman was filming in the water."

Mr Cropp said the stingray was spooked and went into defensive mood.

"It probably felt threatened because Steve was alongside and there was the cameraman ahead, and it felt there was danger and it baulked.

"It stopped and went into a defensive mode and swung its tail with the spike.

"Steve unfortunately was in a bad position and copped it.

"I have had that happen to me, and I can visualise it - when a ray goes into defensive, you get out of the way.

"Steve was so close he could not get away, so if you can imagine it - being right beside the ray and it swinging its spine upwards from underneath Steve - and it hit him.

"I have seen that sort of reaction with rays - with their tail breaking the water, such is the force."

Internationally renowned jellyfish sting expert Jamie Seymour was on board Irwin's boat at the time.

Irwin had decided yesterday morning to shoot a segment of film on stingrays for a new television program that will be hosted by his daughter, Bindi.

Surf Lifesavers national marine stinger adviser Lisa-Ann Gershwin said there had only been 17 fatal stingray attacks worldwide.
"I think it's just an extraordinary freak accident that has happened to his heart," she said.

"A lot of people will be afraid by this, but they need to keep in mind that this was a freak accident, it was a terrible tragedy but it is not common."

Dr Gershwin said stingray stings to the legs or arms were common and, while painful, were not normally considered dangerous. She said there were many different types of stingrays, with barbs on their tails up to 30cm long, and they poisoned victims with a range of toxins.

Mr West said the barb was like a "very rough knife" and while fatal stingray stings had been known to occur, filming and swimming alongside the animal was commonplace among marine filmmakers.

Mr Cropp said he was told that the strike was "close to the heart and Steve had a cardiac arrest".

"At first they treated him as being wounded, but he didn't survive unfortunately," he said.

"The second boat in attendance raced in to give assistance and they radioed for help.

"They went into Low Isle and met the chopper which took Steve's body out."

In September 2004, Mr Cropp was attacked by a tiger shark on Bott Reef. "The rays in Australia and particularly in the north are not like those on the Cayman Islands, which are very quiet and allow people to ride on their backs," he said.

"At this time of the year they are on the lookout for tiger sharks and are very frisky.

"They are not aggressive. In fact they are very timid, but they defend themselves by throwing their tail spine upwards, and there is a spike on the tip about eight inches long which they can use like a dagger."

Posted by Valkyre at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)