September 11th: Forgotten Stories

It seems like yesterday when so much had changed.

Many of us had seen the images. Each were horrific. The falling man. The falling woman. The collapsing towers. Black smoke pouring from the Pentagon. A smoldering Pennsylvania field. They were all seared into our memory.

In the years since, those images and the countless stories are slowly fading away. It is normal to let the painful memories fade. And, soon they will be forgotten stories though we’ll say, “I will never forget”. The time will come when the only remembering will be done by those families that suffered the losses directly.

These stories need not be forgotten if we choose to remember. To remember the horror. To remember the falling man and the falling woman. To remember the many that perished that day.

Yet in the tragedy of the day, we saw America at her absolute best. We need to remember the countless rescues. To remember the arduous and somber recovery effort at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. To remember the building of the Freedom Tower (1 WTC) and the rebuilding at the Pentagon. While some would call the many actions of the day heroic, to a man, to a woman, they would say, “No, it wasn’t. I was simply doing my job when it counted.”

Why we should remember? It was our worst day. It was our best day.

A pair of stories of why we should remember, and why it matters.

 

Advertisements

Tuxie: Too Suddenly, Too Soon

A year has passed. Much of the shock has faded, but a touch remains. Tuxie’s missing presence is very noticeable too, from watching the world wake in the morning to chasing around the house to snaking on the lap in the evening. His quiet, laid-back personality is missed the most.

Maxie has missed his littermate brother the most. They did a lot things together since their kitten days. Tuxie and Midnight, they took turns bossing each other around. The trio lived true to their Musketeer title, always keeping an eye on each other.

watching the world: flying birds and melting snow

tucked in on a cold winter day

with the optic yellow

Tuxie was a happy cat, friendly once he got to know you. The boy wore his smile everyday. Since Deborah and Elizabeth wear their hair long, Tuxie loved to play with their French braid or ponytail. The braid and ponytail were exotic. Whenever Tara had her hair cut and styled, Tuxie would try to rub against her hair. He loved the scent of the hair product that was used.

Tuxie left too suddenly, too soon.

We love and miss you much.

xoxo

Happy Birthday Meezers!

Dino and Pebbles, our much loved Siamese kitties, while they are no longer with us, we remember their special day. Born on this August day in 1989, their story began.

office managers: Dino and Pebbles (Oct 1999)

Littermates, brother and sister, they were loyal to one another and loyal to their one. Though they could often be found together, they also did their individual activities.

fashion plate: Pebbles with her leopard-print leather handbag

quality control: Dino giving the laydown test to fresh laundry

They were both skilled in teaching the same lesson – they had first dibs on the furniture, always.

couch control: a stretched-out Pebbles

couch control: Dino in his spot

We are glad they both lived long lives, and allowed us to be part of their forever family.

Happy Birthday, babies!

xoxo
mom, dad, & girls

A Birthday

A more important event is happening closer to home. It is my dad’s 87th birthday. Within our family, birthdays are among the important occasions we celebrate. A total solar eclipse occurring on the same day, a very nice coincidence.

Later tonight, it is the celebratory cookout and dessert. The girls have taken the day off from riding to watch the eclipse and string lights in the backyard. Laurie’s special dessert for tonight is a coconut cheesecake topped with walnuts, caramel and more coconut.

Making two cheesecakes on Sunday afternoon, Laurie saved one for dessert, Sunday night. Three slices remained, but disappeared early.

My dad, he is doing well and in very good health. Those are things that matters.

Easy Like Sunday: Eclipse Day Preview

The anticipation is great. It’s been called the celestial event of the year, and more. And, it begins in a matter of hours.

Its transcontinental path across America is most rare. Not rare is the zone of totality, about 67 miles wide. Outside the zone, a partial eclipse. For example, Grand Teton National Park, lies within the zone of totality but its immediate neighbor to the north, Yellowstone National Park, will experience a 99% partial eclipse. While the experience should be the same whether in Grand Teton or Yellowstone, it has been suggested it is not. Both places of nature’s grandeur will be dark regardless.

click on the map to view the interactive Google eclipse map*

If the plan is to directly observe the eclipse, partial or total, you will need to be properly equipped. The eclipse glasses or handheld viewers should be certified to meet the ISO 12312-2 standard. Many reputable outlets have already sold out their stock. One alternative is to make a DIY cardboard pinhole viewer. The pinhole viewer does work; it is a matter of practicing in the hours before the eclipse. Practice can also be done using a lamp as a substitute for the sun.

The other direct view methods are a telescope or a welder’s lens. For a telescope, a sun filter that attaches to the eyepiece is needed or a sun projection screen. If it is a welder’s lens, a shade 14 lens should be used according to NASA. Anything less does not provide the necessary eye protection. Most welding supply stores have said a shade 14 lens is a special order item.

ready: 400X Jason refractor telescope and kitty station

If the plan also includes to photograph the eclipse, partial or total, you will need to have the proper filtering lens for your camera. A sun filter should be attached to the end of the zoom lens. The stacking of neutral density filters along with polarizing filters will not protect the camera sensor from damage. With the camera essentially turned into a refractor telescope, increasing the optical zoom will decrease its light gathering ability. It will require a judicious use of zoom, ISO speed and aperture to capture a decent image.

The wild card in viewing the eclipse is weather. In general, the forecast is expected to be good to fair. Along the Colorado Front Range, we’re expected to have sky conditions featuring thin, high-level cloudiness. In Casper, WY, the closest point of totality, they are expected to have similar sky conditions. The level of cloudiness maybe enough to provide a momentary glimpse of the sun without protection.

Regardless of approach, a total solar eclipse of this kind should not be missed. If you watch online or television, mute the sound. What matters is your sense of marvel and experience, not the commentator’s.

Note

If you click on the map above, you will redirected to Google’s Interactive Eclipse Map. Combined with their satellite street mapping, you are able to project the eclipse, partial or total, to your street address. At our house, we’re expected to have a partial eclipse of 88.892% at maximum. The shadows are expected to be similar to an early dusk twilight. The eclipse will begin at 10:23:40.7, reaching its maximum at 11:47:55.0, and ending at 13:15:59.4.

Happy Birthday Musketeers!

The Musketeers – Maxie, Midnight and Tuxie – are turning 12 today. Time has flown by so quickly. They have grown into fine, loving kitties. Closely bonded, they have kept an eye on each other.

Midnight

Maxie

Tuxie, forever remembered and forever loved

Losing Tuxie, last August, most fortunately Maxie and Midnight handled it well. Whether they had sensed Tuxie’s short time, that can only be surmised. Maxie and Midnight have carried on in true Musketeer tradition.

the rare three-shot (September 2006)

Happy Birthday Musketeers!

xoxo
mom and dad

Dino: Rainbow Bridge Day

It is the ninth anniversary of his Rainbow Bridge Day. We remember Dino with great fondness and love. He was the best of cats – friendly, happy, close confidante, and loyal littermate. Dino loved all things fresh, from cut-flowers to laundered clothes to Kona coffee to babies.

Dino: on kitten watch in early spring  (March 1990)

the fan: favorite objet d’arte

napping with his objet d’arte

catnip scratcher box: “all mine”

Pebbles and Dino: waiting on dinner

Dino at one (Sep 1990)

We were most privileged to have our Siamese boy for nearly 19 years. Every day was a good one with him. We miss you much.

Love you always,

mom and dad
xoxo

Photos are from the Two Cats Two archives. They were taken using a Canon FTb 35 mm SLR using Kodak Gold (ASA 200) film.