Sunday, October 14, 2012

One Man's Great Leap and Another Man's Great Fall

I'm sitting here in awe after having just watched Felix Baumgartner make his leap from 128,000 feet then free-fall at speeds exceeding the speed of sound (at one point 833.9 mph) back to earth. Just wow! What incredible bravery! Tammy and I watched it together, both spellbound as he stepped out onto the capsule's platform just before his leap.


His jump is easily one of the most incredible things I've ever seen! But what is equally as impressive if not more-so was the jump of Joe Kittinger from 102,000 feet in 1960 considering the technology of the day. I didn't realize while watching the coverage that he was the guy in communication with Felix, going through the checklist with him as he prepared to jump.

I had to laugh just a little because while they got all of the highly technical stuff down just right, they really struggled to accurately get Felix the current surface winds for his touchdown. Clearly, one of the more no-brainer things on their to-do list.

It could be said that Lance Armstrong's fall has been even further.

If there were any doubters about Lance Armstrong's suspected blood doping during his professional (and post-professional) career there's little left for them to doubt since the release of court documents from the depositions of several people who raced with him in addition to other witnesses. I haven't been through all of the testimony yet but I read enough in depositions from some of the more notable riders who were part of his inner circle to get a clear picture of the extent of the blood-doping program that US Postal and Team Discovery were involved in. From the link above go to the Appendices and Supporting Materials tab then read testimony from the likes of Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, and George Hincapie. I found it to be incredible reading.

As believable as Lance was in his profession of innocence, it's been several years since I stopped believing his lies. Sad, really. I and so many others wanted to believe he was the real-deal.

Paul and Kate (who we made the stained-glass panels for) came into town this past week so we got or small-group from church together at Chianti Grill for a few hours of catching up. It was a really nice time and so good to see Paul and Kate again as well as everybody else. They moved out to Montana and built a home with the most beautiful view of the mountains behind them. They went from 28 years of shoulder to shoulder apartment living to as much wide open space as you can imagine. That's quite a change.

Our neighbor's Halloween display appeared overnight. I took the pups out for a walk this morning and Charlie wasn't very please to see it.

Speaking of displays...I'm not sure if I'll be putting up our outdoor Christmas lights this year. I began doing it 13 years ago for Tammy and Rachel when Tammy and I were first married. I enjoyed doing it and the look it gave our home but it can be a lot of work. There's always the one section at the highest peak that unsettles me enough to where each time I get the lights strung there I'm very relieved. Hmmm...could this be the year I end the tradition?

I woke up a few mornings ago and looked out the window to see two white squirrels foraging for food beneath our bird feeders. One of them looks quite young yet. I've got a soft spot in my heart for the mischievous guys and will no doubt make plenty of food available for them this winter as I usually do. I wondered if maybe they hang out together considering they've got so much in common.

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