Sunday, January 30, 2005

I'm A Daddy!

Yesterday I got a puppy! She's an 8 week-old Australian Shepherd mix (read: Mutt) that is cute as a button. She came from the Life Savers Animal Rescue organization out of Polson, Montana, a really cool goup that saves animals ready to be euthanized. I've been thinking of getting a dog for a long time, so when I saw her cute little mug on the internet, the deal was as good as done.

Her foster family lives in the Mission Valley, outside of St. Ignatius, a beautiful area surrounded by mountains in the heart of the Flathead Nation. Amy and her husband Jovin have helped to rescue about 80 animals in the past year and their yard has dogs, horses and donkeys in it, all happy to be loved. They live on a road named Allison, so i might just name my new puppy Allison

Friday, January 28, 2005

I'm So '80s

The other day I was bantering with some friends about the recent movie, Napolean Dynamite...one of my buddies (we'll call him Mr. Grumpy for now) just loves the movie and from the osund opf it he has seen it multiple times. I bought the movie, a strange thing for me to do, at Costco of all places on a complete whim. I'd heard so many *good* things about it that I decided I had to have it. The movie is funny, but the hype was such that it did not live up to my expectations.

Anyhow, there is a song on the soundtrack titled, The Promise by the band When In Rome and it is this song that led to all the banter between a bunch of nerdy 40 year olds. That song immediately triggered a memory for me and later that night I dug through some boxes and found a whole box of cassette tapes, most of them from about 1980 - 1990. The tape I was looking for was part of a series made for me by an old girlfriend, Ela. She made me tapes while we were going out and we continued to exchange tapes for several years after I graduated from Purdue.

Looking at the names on the tape covers was like traveling back in time, man was that fun. So I thought I'd share the contents of the tape with , The Promise on it so you can see just how much of a geek I was/am. We thought these bands were so "alternative" at the time; pretty funny.

This tape is titled, But Is It Fast Enough So We Can Fly Away (clever)

Side A

1. Prefab Sprout – The Golden Calf
2. TMBG – Puppethead
3. The Proclaimers – Sky & Akes the Soul
4. The Railway Children – Another Town
5. Wire – Kidney Bingos
6. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – Mister Malcontent
7. Go-Betweens – Bye Bye Pride
8. Black – Finder
9. Morrissey – Sister, I’m A Poet
10. Hue & Cry – Strength To Strength
11. The Grapes of Wrath – Backward Town
12. It’s Immaterial – Space

Side B

1. The Style Council – Confessions of A Pop Group
2. The Bible – Crystal Palace
3. New Order – Touched By the Hand of God
4. The Connells – Over There
5. The Wild Swans – Bible Dreams
6. The Wooden Tops – Wheels Turning
7. Friends Again – South of Love
8. The Silencers – Gods Gift
9. R.E.M. – Exhuming McCarthy
10. The Colourfield - Confession
11. The Close Lobsters - Foxheads

Some good and not so good stuff on there. I'll post one a day for kicks and grins

Monday, January 10, 2005

Relief Effort Results...So Far

Wow! What a wild and terrific 72 hours!

What started as a small idea to help a local person get to Sri Lanka to aid in the relief efforts has turned into a massive outpouring of support and assistance. Bjorn and the folks at Big Sky Brewery had to literally shut down operations to handle the influx of donations, telephone calls and volunteers. In the past 72 hours the idea of sending one person has taken off; Big Sky is committed to sending 8 and possibly more! For my part, all I did was send out a couple of email and make a few telephone calls...the rest all goes to those who responded.

The amount of antibiotics, over the counter medicines, bandages and other medical supplies donated is astounding. From individuals to doctor’s offices & surgery centers, we collected IV tubing, sutures, syringes, gauze, antibiotics, nipples, gloves, sterile wipes and more. On Thursday, the local Dollar rental donated a full-sized cargo van to transport the supplies to Spokane, Washington where a group of paramedics sorted everything by priority...the thought being they'd take it all to the airport and try to get as much on as they could, with the most important items going first. Amazingly, the airline allowed 100% of the supplies to be loaded onto the plane and Darrin Coldiron, the first of 8 volunteers, headed to Sri Lanka. Once there, The American Red Cross’s operations in country and a customs official will meet Darrin and expedite him through. Another Missoula connection (through rugby) lined up 4 host families and a dedicated driver to transport Darrin and the supplies to the hard hit areas. A satellite telephone and laptop were also donated so Darrin and future volunteers can coordinate with other relief efforts and keep us informed as to what is going on and how we might help more. Here's the most astounding news of all, even though we only asked for supplies, through local efforts (especially the 24 hour radio fundraiser) over $26,000.00 was donated in 24 hours and the Paul Allen foundation has now gotten involved.

It is an incredible testament to the goodness and generosity of this community.

Next Wednesday Bjorn will be taking a second load of supplies to Spokane: Children’s medicines, water purification and antibiotics are still needed. Please spread the word and, as before, any interested party can contact me via email or telephone (329-5651 direct dial) or Bjorn at Big Sky (549-2777 x 101). Also, there is room for two more volunteers willing to go in-country. Volunteers need a strong medical background (paramedic or higher is recommended) and if they also have construction experience it would be great. All expenses will be paid. There is a screening process already set-up.

On a personal note deepest gratitude goes out to my friends in the Ultimate and medical communities who rallied to my request for help; there are so many of you who give and give so I really appreciate the extra efforts.

Oh, and Darrin now has a blog of his own you can follow Darrin's Blog

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Tsunami Aid Locally

The last two days have been a whirlwind for me and I'm really excited about a local effort to help the survivors of the Tsunami in Sri Lanka. It all started as an idea a guy named Bjorn Nabozny had and steamrolled into what it is and will become. Bjorn works for Big Sky Brewing here in Missoula, a local brewery that has met with some success in the past two years. One of their part-time employees is a paramedic and firefighter and Bjorn had an idea to send him to Sri Lanka to help the American Red Cross there...he thought it would be worthwhile for Big Sky to pay his expenses to get there and called our office to see if Dr. Guth would be interested in donating some medical supplies...I happened to get the call by happenstance and thought it sounded like a good idea. I sent an email out to about 50 people, including 15 doctors or so and asked them to consider donating supplies, water purification tablets and medicine. I was hoping to get a few items. Within 24 hours I had so many donations that it took two loads in my car to get them to the drop location. And it wasn't just that, the word spread like lightning all over Missoula; within 48 hours of announcing they were sponsoring a volunteer, one volunteer had turned into 8 and the operation became full-time. Big Sky stopped production yesterday so all employees could help sort, pack and divide supplies...4 families in Sri Lanka volunteered to help transport and house the volunteers, the Red Cross arranged for the volunteers to be met at the airport and to get expedited through customs and a village was identified as the base site for aid efforts.
While we can't forget all those in Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia and here at home who are needy and in much need of aid, there is no denying how this disaster has rallied the hearts of everyone I've come into contact with...this local effort has really struck a chord with people who seem to be excited about a local connection. A local web development firm is putting together a website to help and the brother of one of the volunteers is creating a blog to track the efforts.
When I dropped the supplies I gathered off at the brewery, they were already loading a cargo van full to take over to Spokane (3 hours west) where they will be loaded onto a plane tomorrow morning for Sri Lanka.
Now, because of the response, Big sky is working on setting up an ongoing supply chain to Sri Lanka and I've volunteered to be part of the effort. It's a drop in the bucket, but there are an awful lot of drops gathering out there.