January 29, 2007

Rest in Peace Barbaro

I was afraid this was going to happen. At least they tried. They made the right decision.

Article here:

Derby winner euthanized

New, 9:30 a.m. Race horse Barbaro suffered continued complications following his breakdown at the Preakness in May.

By The Associated Press

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. - Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized today after complications from his breakdown at the Preakness last May.

"We just reached a point where it was going to be difficult for him to go on without pain," co-owner Roy Jackson said. "It was the right decision, it was the right thing to do. We said all along if there was a situation where it would become more difficult for him then it would be time."
Sharks Cove

Roy and Gretchen Jackson were with Barbaro this morning, with the owners making the decision in consultation with chief surgeon Dean Richardson.

It was a series of complications, including laminitis in the left rear hoof and a recent abscess in the right rear hoof, that proved to be too much for the gallant colt, whose breakdown brought an outpouring of support across the country.

"I would say thank you for everything, and all your thoughts and prayers over the last eight months or so," Jackson said to Barbaro's fans.

On May 20, Barbaro was rushed to the New Bolton Center, about 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia in Kennett Square, hours after shattering his right hind leg just a few strides into the Preakness Stakes. The bay colt underwent a five-hour operation that fused two joints, recovering from an injury most horses never survive. Barbaro lived for eight more months, though he never again walked with a normal gait.

The Kentucky Derby winner suffered a significant setback over the weekend, and surgery was required to insert two steel pins in a bone -- one of three shattered eight months ago in the Preakness but now healthy -- to eliminate all weight bearing on the ailing right rear foot.

The procedure on Saturday was a risky one, because it transfered more weight to the leg while the foot rests on the ground bearing no weight.

The leg was on the mend until the abscess began causing discomfort last week. Until then, the major concern was Barbaro's left rear leg, which developed laminitis in July, and 80 percent of the hoof was removed.

Richardson said this morning that Barbaro did not have a good night.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2007

Another Significant Setback for Barbaro

I hope he pulls through this. I am really starting to worry about him.

Article here:

Barbaro Has Another Significant Setback

AP Racing Writer

Barbaro suffered another significant setback in his recovery, forcing doctors to choose a risky approach to try and save the ailing Kentucky Derby winner.

Barbaro no longer is bearing weight on the right hind leg he shattered eight months ago in the Preakness Stakes after undergoing surgery Saturday to place two steel pins through a bone. The biggest fear is that the bone bearing the weight - the cannon bone - can break.

"We will continue to treat Barbaro aggressively as long as he remains bright, alert and eating," Dr. Dean Richardson, chief surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., said Sunday. "This is another significant setback that exemplifies how complex his medical situation remains because both hind limbs have major problems."

This is the first time in weeks the right hind leg has been the focus of concern. For months, it was the left hind leg that put Barbaro's recovery in serious jeopardy because of laminitis, the often-fatal hoof disease.

Richardson, in an update released by the New Bolton Center, said Saturday's surgery went well.

"He had a perfect recovery from anesthesia and has been in and out of the sling since then," he said. "His left hind foot appears to be stable at this time. We remain concerned about both front feet. Remarkably, his attitude and appetite were excellent overnight."

Richardson said Barbaro has developed a deep abscess that necessitated surgery to remove a new cast and replace it with an external skeletal fixation device, similar to an external brace.

"There is significant risk in this approach, but we believed it was our only option given the worsening of the right hind foot problem," Richardson said. "The major risk of the external skeletal fixation device is that the bone bearing the weight can fracture.

"Unfortunately, we felt we needed to take this risk because this approach offered our only hope of keeping Barbaro acceptably comfortable."

Richardson explained that Barbaro had been uncomfortable on his right hind foot because of the development of a "deep subsolar abscess secondary to bruising when he went through a period of discomfort on the left hind foot.

"It is not laminitis but the undermining of the sole and part of the lateral heel region are potentially just as serious," Richardson said. "We attempted to manage the right hind foot in a cast and then in a custom fabricated brace but it was impossible to have access to the foot for treatment as well as acceptable stability and comfort."

The foot was placed in the external brace to give it a chance to heal, with two pins placed transversely through his right hind cannon bone. The pins are connected to "external sidebars that in turn are connected to a lightweight alloy foot plate." This results in Barbaro not having to bear weight on the foot.

On Saturday, owner Gretchen Jackson told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Barbaro was again facing tough odds.

"He's got a lot of issues, and not any of them is bad enough to say goodbye. But put together it's not a good day for Barbaro," Jackson said.

Roy Jackson said he visited Barbaro after the procedure and the colt was alert and ate his grass. Jackson also said there were no additional problems with the left hind and that it was "doing pretty well."

The procedure came three days after Barbaro had two new casts applied to his hind legs. He received a custom-made plastic and steel brace on his right hind leg. He also got a special orthotic brace on the right foot that will give him additional support and give doctors easier access to an abscess that was drained.

In July, Barbaro developed laminitis in his left hoof because of uneven weight distribution in the limbs, 80 percent of that hoof was removed.

"It's nothing that we haven't been through," Roy Jackson said. "Dr. Richardson has said there would be problems along the road."

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

January 27, 2007

Unfortunately, It's True

Got this from the Dilbert comic site. I thought it was rather amusing. Why? Because it's true. Way back when, when I worked in an office, for a major telecommunications company, the password to log onto the office computer was password. I kid you not. Secure, huh!?

Posted by Valkyre at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2007


A fun little site. Click on the image to do you own test.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2007

An Interesting Time Capsule

50 years ago, as part of a time capsule, they buried a 1957 Plymouth. It is going to be unearthed in June.

Article here:

Buried Car To Be Unearthed In June

TULSA, Okla. -- It's a brand new 1957 Plymouth Belvedere. Or at least it was new when it was buried under the lawn of the Tulsa County, Okla, Courthouse in 1957.

That Plymouth will be dug up in June, as part of the Oklahoma Centennial and no one is sure what to expect.

The old Plymouth could be in cherry condition and worth thousands. Or, it might be just a pile of rust.

The buried Plymouth was largely forgotten until Sharon King Davis found some old snapshots of her grandfather helping to bury the car. She's one of the organizers of Tulsa's centennial celebration.

She told the Tulsa World she just wishes grandpa left some directions about the old car.

"There's a kind of Rip Van Winkle reaction," Davis told the paper. "Most people had long ago forgotten the buried car but as the time to dig it up nears, they are waking up and wondering about life in 1957."

According to the Web site buriedcar.com, the car was seen as a method of acquainting twenty-first century citizens with a suitable representation of 1957 civilization.

According to event chairman Lewis Roberts Jr., the Plymouth was chosen because it was "an advanced product of American industrial ingenuity with the kind of lasting appeal that will still be in style 50 years from now."

The contents of a women's purse, including bobby pins, a bottle of tranquilizers, cigarettes and an unpaid parking ticket, were added to the glove compartment of the car shortly before burial.

Other items included in the time capsule were:

* 10 gallons of gasoline and 5 quarts of oil.

* A Douglas Aircraft Co. aerial map of airport facilities and legend.

* Statement from Tulsa council of Churches and prayer for greatest good next 50 years a recently completed history of churches in Tulsa and a directory of the present churches.

* Statement from board of education -- historical data related to 50 years of education in Tulsa and copies of "School Life" all-high school publication issued by Tulsa high schools each month.

* Statements from Mayor and Chamber of Commerce officials.

* Flags which have been flown over the national capitol, state capitol and in the county and city.

* Other aerial photos of the area.

* Statement from Tulsa Trades and Labor Council.

* Statements from all former mayors of the city -- their record of service and civic accomplishments in the city, state and nationally.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2007

United 93

Just watched this on DVD. This was one of the most intense movies that I have ever seen. Even though, by now, we know the outcome of the events of 9/11, for awhile I still felt that things would/could turn out differently. And then the realization hit me. They would not get out of this alive. This captured all the emotions and confusion of that day. Seeing all that again, brought up all the emotions that I felt way back when on Sept. 11, 2001. Most tragic is that it's all true. This is not a made up Hollywood story with a happy ending. The ending itself was very sudden and left me staring at the credits long after the movie was over. And yes, I cried.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:24 PM | Comments (2)

January 18, 2007

Told You It's Been Cold!

Sorry for the crappy quality, but this was the thermometer in my car. That's fahrenheit. The image was taken with my cell phone. This was the temp at 8:30am this morning.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)

My First Mammogram

I wanted to start out this entry with a quote.... But, I couldn't find it. Several years ago, during an episode of the TV show Night Court, Marsha Warfield's character, Bailiff Rosalind Jane 'Roz' Russell, is describing to some of the other characters how a mammogram feels. I was trying to find her exact quote, but came up empty. Since she was talking to men, she had them imagine it was their genitals on a cold table and someone drops the whole Encyclopedia Britanica on them. I had that vision in the back of my mind as I went in yesterday. As I was in the waiting room listening for my name to be called, I chatted with some mammogram veterans. They told me that what "Roz" said was greatly exaggerated. "Pap smears are much, much worse!" Ah.... I had just had a pap smear the previous week. I could empathize. My name was called and I went in. I had earlier, gone to a dressing room and removed my shirt and bra and was wearing a typical hospital gown. It was over rather quickly. Yes, my boob got squished a little. But, it was for such a short time, that it wasn't really all that bad. The platform wasn't cold. Four shots taken. Two of each boob. It was all done under 5 minutes. They were right, the pap smear was worse. Now, I sit and wait for the results to come in the mail. This was part of a routine check-up. There is no history of breast cancer in my family, however, my mother twice now, has had to benign lumps removed from her breasts. So, I think they are just being cautious right now.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2007

Yes! It Can Get Cold Here

Okay, I know that I won't get much sympathy from people who are right now digging out from 20 foot snowdrifts.... But, it's been freaking cold here lately. Some parts of Southern California are breaking records as far as the lowest temperature ever recorded. Went out this morning and found frost on the windows of the 2004 New Beetle and my old '72 Camaro. My Beetle was protected in the driveway, under the tree. The neighbors lawn was covered with frost too. The pictures I took of her lawn didn't come out though.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2007

A Good Time Was Had By All

As I mentioned here, I bought tickets online to Medieval Times. We went on Thursday, January 11th. We had a blast. Basically, you are seated around an arena. You are given cardboard crowns that match the color of your knight. You cheer him on as he participates in games of skill and jousting. There is also a background story that is told in the beginning. Your feast starts out with soup. You drink it out of the bowl, there are no utensils. Along with the soup you are given garlic bread After the soup, there is a roasted half chicken, one pork sparerib, a half of a baked potato and a pastry for dessert. Remember, there are no utensils, so you eat everything by hand. It was really delicious. Much better than what I thought it would be. Here are some pictures. Our knight is the one wearing red and yellow:

Posted by Valkyre at 07:25 PM | Comments (2)

January 10, 2007

Barbaro Suffers a Setback

Poor Barbaro. I hope that he can pull out of this one.

Article here:

Barbaro Suffers Significant Setback

AP Sports Writer

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. (AP) -- Every time the outlook was grim for Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner pulled through like a champ. Time will tell if he can do it again.

After months of upbeat progress reports, the horse suffered a significant setback Wednesday because of laminitis - a painful, often fatal disease - in his left hind foot.

Chief surgeon Dean Richardson removed damaged tissue from the hoof, and afterward the bay colt was placed in a protective sling in his ICU stall at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Barbaro has been rehabilitating here since shattering three bones in his right hind leg just a few strides into the Preakness on May 20.

The news came as a jolt, especially since owners Gretchen and Roy Jackson and Richardson recently said they were hopeful the colt would be released from the hospital, perhaps by the end of the month.

"Things were marching along pretty smoothly until this," Gretchen Jackson said. "We've been there before with him. He's a horse that wants to live.

"They're taking extreme measures," Jackson said. "They're treating it very aggressively. They're really pulling out all the stops to help him."

Barbaro was in stable condition, according to a statement released Wednesday morning by New Bolton. The tissue was removed Tuesday night, a week after a new cast was put on the leg.

Barbaro had become uncomfortable on his left hind foot in recent days and the cast was removed after some new separation on the inside portion of his hoof was found.

Dr. Scott Morrison, who applied the cast on Jan. 3, called the latest development "a bump in the road" and said Barbaro "can possibly overcome it.

"When a horse tries to grow back an entire hoof capsule like Barbaro is, complications are expected along the way," added Morrison, the head of podiatry service at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. "While the foot is growing back, there is some wall structure and tissue that becomes compromised along the way and has to be removed."

Though Morrison wasn't present at New Bolton when Richardson removed the loose tissue, he believes Barbaro's condition has not regressed or gone "back to square one."

"But I wouldn't say the prognosis is good for the foot," he cautioned. "It's still grim. He still has to grow a hoof wall for his prognosis to improve. There's still a long road ahead."

Gretchen Jackson brought Barbaro fresh grass and said the colt's appearance was "not as bright" when she saw him Wednesday morning. But, she said, the colt had visibly improved later in the day when her husband, Roy, visited.

The cast change could have caused some inflammation, said Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Barbaro's attending vet when the horse was racing and stabled in trainer Michael Matz's barn at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md.

Anderson said Barbaro has proved he was strong enough to overcome his latest medical obstacle.

"We all know most horses don't get this far," she said. "The bottom line with Barbaro is the fractured leg is the one that would have been the end of most horses. He won't be getting to the big green field any time soon, but I don't think this is insurmountable."

After his injury in the Preakness, Barbaro developed severe laminitis, a potentially fatal disease caused by uneven weight distribution in the limbs. The result was that 80 percent of his left hind hoof was removed in mid July.

"I was there (Tuesday) and it was obvious he was not comfortable in that foot," Jackson said. "The easiest and best way to work on Barbaro is when he's laying down. They had to wait until he was laying down and when they removed the cast, they discovered some reason for him feeling pain."

Just over a week ago, Richardson said Barbaro's right hind was getting stronger and should eventually be healthy enough to allow the colt to live a comfortable, happy life.

But he also warned: "Barbaro's left hind foot, which had laminitis, remains a more formidable long-term challenge. The foot must grow much more for him to have a truly successful outcome."

Still, the Jacksons and Richardson remained optimistic Barbaro could be on a Kentucky farm by the end of January.

"It's sad that's he's had a setback because he was marching along toward living outside the hospital," Jackson said. "The only thing we care about is that he's not in pain."

The disease, called laminitis or founder, involves inflammation and structural damage to tissue that bonds the horse's bone to the inner wall of the hoof.

Richardson said in July that Barbaro's laminitis was "basically as bad a laminitis as you can have. It's as bad as it gets."


AP Racing Writer Richard Rosenblatt also contributed to this report.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2007

Only 3%

According to this, I have only visited 3% of the countries in the world:

Posted by Valkyre at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2007

It's Just Too Easy

What was my life like before the internet? The reason I am wondering? I was chatting with my oldest daughter Helena, yesterday. She will be coming here from Jonesboro, Arkansas next week. We were thinking of things she and her husband could do, while they were here. I thought of treating them to Medieval Times. They haven't been there yet. Neither has anyone here. We decided on the day. When I logged off with her, I went to the Medieval Times site. Clicked on the schedule, picked a date, checked out and then printed out the tickets. Time elapsed? Less than 10 minutes. It's way too convenient. I love the internet!

Posted by Valkyre at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2007

January 1, 2007

I hope this isn't a sign of how this year is going to go for me. Not soon after I woke up this morning, I managed to spill Super Glue all over my hand. It dried and I have been peeling it off all day. Went to work and put in a half day. Tradition for me is to take the Christmas decorations down while the Rose Parade runs in the background. Our local station KTLA Channel 5 runs the thing all day, so I have no problem if I catch it later. Anyway, as usual, American Honda's float kicked ass. It had some battling dragons that blew real flames. George Lucas was the Grand Marshal. There was a Star Wars themed float. And, some devoted fans were allowed to march in their Storm Trooper costumes. Here are some pictures from the LA Times web site.

Article here

Posted by Valkyre at 09:51 PM | Comments (0)