Play it, Jen

Every good movie has a piano player somewhere in the background--
sometimes seen, usually unseen.
Seldom really noticed.
The feeling, the very soul of a scene, is created by that person tinkering at the keys.
It has been said, "All the world's a stage."
Well then...Play it, Jen.

My Photo
Location: Over Yonder, Missouri

I'm a California Native transplanted to the Missouri Ozarks. I've learned how to chase cows in high heels and load hay faster than you can say "Coco Chanel." These are some of our pictures and stories of living in a land with breath-taking beauty and adventure around every bend.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Paintball Movie Part I

This is a paintball movie I cut together for my hubby, brothers, nephews and sons some months back. It is in three parts in order to fit onto YouTube. These guys are such a bunch of idiots! And I didn't even get to fire back, just had the stupid camera and no gun!

Paintball Movie Part II

Paintball Movie Part III

Monday, August 28, 2006

early autumn

early autumn
Originally uploaded by deewzed.
I felt the first brush of Autumn sweep down my neck as I left my home this morning. My being was suddenly flooded with excitement and memories not thought about for a very long time.
The sun's relentless attack of scorching heat has lost its edge and instead there is a hint of cool crispness in the air. A few leaves on the trees are letting go of their lush green, their edges turning to the rich velvety jewel tones they use to bid Summer a fond farewell.
I smell dust. That glorious earthy smell that signals the arrival of the harvest.
I am filled with excitement at the closeness of the season to get the sweaters out, make Halloween costumes, taste the first sweet, juicy apples, see the fat, orange pumpkins begin to appear on neighbor's porches, and smell the hint of smoke swelling from fireplaces warming happy homes.
Autumn is a feeling, a way of being.
As the day has gone on the sun has risen high and the crispness has left the air. The dust has settled under the weight of the heat and the Summer has retaken her throne. But I know that not long from now Autumn will come again and stay for a longer visit and I will bask in the September of time.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Day In The Life Of Jen

The other day I was talking with my husband about making videos, telling him about the cute baseball video of our little boys. My husband thought he'd make a smart comment about my neglect of the housework and said, "Why don't you make a video of you doing the laundry?!" Well, he asked for it! Jason, this one is for you!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The next challenge in pediatric cholestasis: deciphering the pathogenesis of biliary atresia.

Entrez PubMed
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH, USA.

Cholestasis is a common presenting symptom of liver disease in infants. Chief among diseases presenting as neonatal cholestasis is biliary atresia, the most common cause of chronic liver disease in children, but little is known about the pathogenesis of this disease. In search for the molecular basis of biliary atresia, we began two areas of investigation. In the first, we interrogated the hepatic transcriptome of children with biliary atresia and found an interferon-gamma (IFNgamma)-rich proinflammatory footprint at the time of diagnosis. To directly explore if IFNgamma plays an important role in biliary injury and obstruction, we used a mouse model of experimental biliary atresia and found that inactivation of the murine Ifngamma gene decreases the tropism of lymphocytes to neonatal bile ducts and prevents the inflammatory obstruction of the duct lumen. Further analysis of the extrahepatic biliary tract also outlined a broader network of proinflammatory genes at the onset and during progression to duct obstruction, with the time-specific activation of IFNgamma-, apoptosis-, and complement-driven networks. In the second approach, we searched for molecular profiles that differentiate clinical forms of biliary atresia by analyzing the hepatic transcriptome of age-matched subjects at the time of diagnosis. We found a preliminary profile that differentiates the embryonic from the perinatal forms of biliary atresia. The profile contained the differential activation of genes involved in epigenetic mechanisms of disease. Collectively, these studies provide new insight into pathogenesis of biliary atresia and identify potential therapeutic targets to foster long-term outcome with the native liver.

PMID: 16819397 [PubMed - in process]

Immunoglobulin deposits in liver tissue from infants with biliary atresia and the correlation to cytomegalovirus infection.

Entrez PubMed
PURPOSE: The aim of this report was to study the amount and distribution of immunoglobulin deposits in liver biopsies from infants with biliary atresia (BA) and correlate the results to the cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection status. METHODS: Stored liver biopsies from 18 patients with BA and from 6 control patients without liver disease were immunohistochemically stained to detect IgG and IgM deposits. The intensity of the immunoglobulin staining was evaluated by a semiquantitative scoring scale. Ongoing CMV infection was defined as the detection of CMV-IgM in serum and/or the isolation of CMV in the urine and was noted in 9 of the patients with BA. RESULTS: When analyzing the immunoglobulin deposits on the hepatocellular canalicular membrane the intensity score for IgM deposits was significantly higher in biopsies from patients with BA infected with CMV than in those without. No canalicular staining was detected in control biopsies. CONCLUSIONS: The results support the possibility that immunologic mechanisms are of importance in the pathogenesis of BA and that a CMV infection may trigger such mechanisms.

PMID: 15793732 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Type-I but not type-II interferon receptor knockout mice are susceptible to biliary atresia.

Entrez PubMed
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Medical School Hannover, 30625 Hannover, Germany.

The etiology of biliary atresia (BA) is not yet understood, but recent studies have shown inflammation with an up-regulated interferon (IFN) activity in the intra- and extrahepatic bile ducts of patients with BA. These findings support an inflammatory/infectious cause of BA as mimicked in our infective murine model. To study the role of the IFN receptors in our model, we used mice with inactivated INF-alpha/beta receptor A129, with inactivated IFN-gamma receptor G129, or inactivation of both interferon receptors AG129 as well as the wild type controls W129. Mice were infected with rotavirus within 48h of birth and 7 d postpartum. The incidence of BA in each group was determined during a 3 wk period. In the second week the virus load was measured. BA incidence was 76% in A129 and 67% in AG129 animals, whereas in the G129 group only 33% of the pups developed BA. The wild type presented with a BA-incidence of 15%, while 7 d old mice failed to develop BA. There was no significant difference in the virus load of the livers between the groups independent of clinical symptoms. In conclusion, inactivation of type I INF-receptor significantly increases the incidence of BA following postpartal rotavirus infection. This effect is independent of the presence of type II-INF-receptors. Thus, in our model a type I IFN-linked deregulation of the innate immune system appears to be crucial for the induction of biliary atresia.

PMID: 16641200 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Friday, August 18, 2006

Surgeons create new fingers for car crash victim

Telegraph | News | Surgeons create new fingers for car crash victim: "Surgeons have used bone from a teenager's pelvis to recreate the fingers she lost in a car crash.
In a pioneering operation, surgeons took the bone, skin grafts from her thigh, and tendons from her wrist and ankle, and reshaped them into realistic-looking fingers.
These were then attached to 16-year-old Kim Murray's right hand, which was missing a thumb and two fingers after a road crash two months ago, when she was a passenger in a car that rolled over on the A14 in Suffolk."

Do You Have a Healthy Body Image?

Do You Have a Healthy Body Image?: "A healthy body image is essential to your mental health. 'It is so tied into your self-esteem, that if you don't have a normal body image you won't take good care of yourself, and it can affect your mood, quality of life, behavior and eating habits,' says Dr. Elena Ramirez, Co-Director of the Vermont Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. "

Interesting quiz. Here are my results (I need to work on this)
You have a slightly negative body image. You may be altering what you wear or steering clear of social situations because you don't like the way you look. You may also be avoiding "risky" things such as interviewing for a new job or going out on a date. These might seem like subtle behavioral changes, but if you make them because you have a negative body image, these behaviors may lead to increasingly negative thoughts about your appearance--and later on, your whole self.

What You Should Do: "Identify the behaviors that are reinforcing negative thoughts," says Dr. Ramirez. "If you are avoiding wearing shorts because you hate your legs, try to wear shorts. If you never wear shorts you are reinforcing that negative thought about your legs." You may have to start with baby steps, but even small changes (going for capris or even more form-fitting pants) can make a difference.

Stop doing the things that make you feel worse. For example, says Dr. Ramirez, "If you are constantly critiquing yourself in the mirror, stop." Avoid discussing your own body (or anyone else's body) critically, as this only perpetuates feeling bad about your body.

Make a list of the things you like about your body, and do activities that your body enjoys. It is much harder to dislike your body if you are focusing on how good it feels.

For more on improving your body image, go to Love the Body You Have and Getting Past Size-Zero Envy.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


"Using your camera phone, here's how it works:You take pictures of what you eat
- meals, snacks, whatever
Our nutrition advisors analyze them
You get personalized video feedback
You see results! "

This is an interesting concept. Personally I'm not thrilled to pay a monthly fee for this but I can see how some people "on the go" would really be able to use this service. It would be like having your own little nutrition counselor right in your back pocket.
Cool idea.
For me personally, I think that just having a picture of the various foods I eat through the day lined up in front of me on the screen would be a good idea. We tend to have a pretty good general idea what we are stuffing into ourselves each day, but to see it ALL lined up right there in techno-color would, perhaps, give us a new perspective. Possibly we would slowly evolve our eating habits to something better for us.
Two thumbs up to phoning your food!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My little baseball boys

Monday, August 14, 2006

Everybody Yoga!

Yoga Journal : Home Page - The Voice of Yoga Online. The trusted source for yoga poses, teachers, places, and ideas.
I love yoga. I really do. I began practicing a couple of years ago and I am amazed at how much it has helped my body. Not that I'm a svelt vixen by any means, but I FEEL better and I now have a method of control over uncomfortable conditions that got the better of me in the past.
I was very discouraged in the beginning. I watched a video and then, silly me, got up and tried to follow the poses. Oh wow, my body does NOT do that! O.k., well, that's it, I'm done.
It was so interesting, though.
Maybe I'll just try. I'm here at home where nobody can see me making a fool of myself anyways, right?
So, I tried each day, going as far into the poses as I could without ending up in traction for a week. The amazing thing? One day I discovered that I was fully into a lot of the poses!
Yipppeeeee! I can do it!
It was mind-blowing how fast my body changed and adapted so that I could bend and flex and have the stamina to do yoga. That was thrilling. Then I was thirsty for more.
Now, when I get lazy or "too busy" to do yoga on a regular basis I really notice the difference. I have problems with restless legs at night but if I do just a little bit of yoga it clears right up and I sleep so well.
This is really great stuff!

Get smart about your vitamin intake

Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor
Cool idea! I had a nutrition teacher in college that loved to say "Americans have the most expensive urine in the world!" What she meant was that we take tons of vitamin supplements that our bodies don't need and we are blowing our money on them. There are some things that our bodies do require and supplementing that can be a helpful thing. We need to be smart about what we put in our bodies. Sometimes we are more careful about which gasoline we put in our cars than we are about the "fuel" we supply our bodies with. This is a handy little tool to get us going in the right direction at least. :)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Late Afternoon Shadows

Redondo Pier ... late afternoon
Originally uploaded by tejana.
When I was a child, I would often wander into our living room during the late afternoon and see sunlight streaming through the open front door, throwing a distorted block of warm, glowing light onto the carpet of the entry way. One of my favorite things to do on a Late Summer afternoon was to flop down on the carpet, right where that sunbeam fell and bask to my little heart's content. Time meant nothing. I remember exactly the feel of that golden light as it hit my skin.
Long afternoon shadows. The way the sun slants just so and splashes itself across the ground, stretching and magnifying in shadow any item to fall in its path. It brings back so many memories.
Memories of times less hectic, slower, peaceful. There is nothing like the feeling of long afternoon shadows. No way to put words to the sensation.
After a happy, busy, play-filled day, that soft, calm pause where quiet resides and the world can go on spinning without you for a while.
Now I often find myself stopping for a moment to look at the slanting afternoon sunlight falling through my back door as I work in the kitchen to make dinner for my family. How I would love to toss everything aside and go celebrate that warming light for just a little while. I cannot, however. I am too busy. Life has taken over and now I run as its whips lick at my heels.
But as I look at that light spilling onto my floor, my memories fly back in time and once again I feel like a child lounging on my mother's floor.
My spirit grows quiet.
I am free.

Did I cause my son's biliary atresia?

BioMed Central | Full text | Maternal microchimerism in the livers of patients with Biliary atresia:
"Disease has been shown to occur in mothers who have had fetal microchimerism, and children/adults who have had maternal microchimerism. Children who have immunodeficiencies are at greater risk for graft verses host disease owing to engraftment of maternal lymphocytes. In both SCID and DiGeorge syndrome, maternal microchimerism and GVHD have been well described.
In a study by Susanne Miller et al., 121 patients with SCID were evaluated for maternal microchimerism using HLA typing. Maternal cells were found in 48 patients, with 19 patients showing signs of GVHD. GVHD manifested itself in the skin and in the liver...
The histologic and immunologic similarities of BA and GVHD are striking. The site of damage in BA and GVHD after bone marrow transplantation is the same. In each, lymphocytes congregate around the bile ducts. The damage occurs to both the intra-and extrahepatic biliary tracts. In a mouse model of acute GVHD, Nonomura et al. showed that transfer of allogeneic cells set along minor HLA mismatch can cause damage to both the intra and extrahepatic biliary ducts. Interestingly, the timeframe in this mouse model of acute GVHD, in terms of lymphocytic infiltration and fibrosis, appear similar to that of BA. Initially, a peak of lymphocytes around the bile ducts occurs about 2 weeks after transfer of allogeneic cells from donor to host mouse; as the lymphocytic infiltration subsides, liver fibrosis increases. This correlates with disease progression in BA, where initial diagnostic biopsies of BA livers usually show a larger lymphocytic infiltration, and less fibrosis, as compared to biopsies done later, i.e. at the time of liver transplantation."

So my own cells remaining and embedding in my son's liver after birth cause an inflamatory process to start up which damaged his biliary tract leading to atresia and ultimate destruction of his liver leading to liver transplant (twice). This is an interesting thought. Is is, indeed, the cause of Biliary Atresia?!
Most babies have some of mommy's cells hanging out with them when they are born. So what is it with biliary atresia kids that mommy's cells aren't just cleaned out by baby's immune system like "normal" "healthy" babies?
How is it mommy's cells come to imbed themselves into baby's liver?
Is this why moms feel this inherent sense of guilt for somehow causing their child's illness? I have never met a biliary atresia mom who hasn't, at some point, asked the question, "What did I do that caused this?"
In reading about "other people" cells grafting themselves into a recipient liver, I am reminded of models of spontaneous regeneration that I have read. One in particular jumps to mind in which male donor cells grafted themselves into the liver of a female recipient (who had liver disease). Guess what! Spontaneous liver regeneration--bye bye liver disease.
And the kicker? When testing a sample of the recipient's liver, after regeneration, they found cells with Y chromosomes--male cells. The male cells were still in there working with the liver. Conclusion was that the male donor cells imbedding in the recipient liver were very possibly the cause of regeneration.
So, does mommy's renegade cells cause an inflamatory response in a baby's liver leading to biliary atresia? there something going on in baby's liver already and mommy's cells are grafting themselves in there in an attempt to circumvent liver damage and help an already hurt liver to regenerate itself?

Just my musing--out loud. No scientific data to back me up. Just my own little brain running off on another one of its tangents. I'm sure there's already some scientific data out there shooting down my little theory. However, I'll remain blissfully ignorant for the time being. Perhpas denial ain't just a river in Egypt after all.
I reckon it's now time I got up and did my housework for the day.
Do you suppose it is really the soap lowering the viscosity of water that makes getting food off the plates easier? Or is it really that the food is attracted to the soap itself and therefore leaves the plate of its own accord to go join with the soap?......

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Darth Vader being a spaz

This is an awesome editing job!

Star Trek Meets Monty Python

What an absolutely awesome job on this one!

Just so you know, Seth

Shotgun Rules

Section I - General Rules
1) The first person to yell "SHOTGUN" gets to ride in the front seat.
2) The remaining back seats may be divvied up in the same manner by being the first to call "back right seat", etc..
3) The word "shotgun" must be loud enough to be heard by at least one witness. If no witness is to be found, or in case of a tie, the driver has the final word. After all, it is most likely his car. (note: if it isn't his car, and the owner is present, the owner's decision is final. Owner must be sober, however, or he will defer his judgment to the driver.)
4) Early calls are strictly prohibited. All occupants of the vehicle (including the driver) must be outside of the building and directly on the way to the vehicle before shotgun may be called. Under no circumstances may a person call shotgun inside a building. For sake of simplicity, a garage is considered to be outside. Parking structures and detached garages are always considered as being outdoors, even if they are underground.
5) A person may only call shotgun for one way of a trip. Shotgun can never be called while inside a vehicle or still technically on the way to the first location. For example, one can not get out of a vehicle and call Shotgun for the return journey.
6) Being as how everyone is created equal, men have the same right as women to the front seat of the car. i.e. women don't own the front seat.
7) One is allowed to ride shotgun as many times as he can call it, but for himself only. No one can call shotgun for their slower friend, unless the friend has a speech or mental handicap that prevents them from calling it for themselves.
8) The driver has final say in all ties and disputes. The driver has the right to suspend or remove all shotgun privileges from one or more persons.

Section II - Special Cases
These special exceptions to the rules above should be considered in the order presented; the case listed first will take precedence over any of the cases beneath it, when applicable.
1) In the instance that the normal driver of a vehicle is unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun.
2) If the instance that the person who actually owns the vehicle is not driving, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.
3) In the instance the driver's spouse, partner, or hired friend for the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.
4) In the instance that one of the passengers may become so ill during the course of the journey that the other occupants feel he/she will toss their cookies, then the ill person should be given Shotgun to make appropriate use of the window.
5) In the instance that only one person knows how to get to a given location and this person is not the driver, then as the designated navigator for the group they automatically get Shotgun, unless they decline.
6) In the instance that one of the occupants is too wide or tall to fit comfortably in the back seat, then the driver may show mercy and award Shotgun to the genetic misfit. Alternatively, the driver and other passengers may continually taunt the poor fellow as they make a three hour trip with him crammed in the back.

Section III - The Survival Of The Fittest Rules
1) If the driver so wishes, he/she may institute the Survival Of The Fittest Rules on the process of calling Shotgun. In this case all rules, excepting 1.8, are suspended and the passenger seat is occupied by whoever can take it by force.
2) The driver must announce the institution of the Survival Of The Fittest Rules with reasonable warning to all passengers. This clause reduces the amount of blood lost by passengers and the damage done to the vehicle.
3) Please follow the above rules to the best of your ability. If there are any arguments or exceptions not covered in these rules, please refer to rule 1.8.

Section IV - Revisions
1) These rules shall be subject to either revision or amendment at any time. But, changes and new rules you create during a car ride do not take effect until the next car ride.
2) Since there is an established body currently in place to distribute world-wide information, it is proposed that the United Nations oversee the adoption, updates (as required) and enforcement of these rules once adopted by at least two-thirds of the current membership of the UN.
3) It shall be the responsibility of all drivers to have a current copy of these rules in the vehicle's glove compartment, so that disputes may be resolved.

Section V - Amendments
Amendment I: The Laser / Shotgun Double Barrel Rule
A person may call "laser" or "Shotgun Double Barrel" after shotgun has been called, to override the shotgun call. This is only valid if the driver verifies the call as we see in Section 1.3.
Additionally, any passenger who says "No Blitz" after claiming shotgun, may not have it taken away by either the "Laser" or "Double Barrel" rules.
These rules hold no precedence over Standard shotgun procedure, and the driver has final say in all calls.

Amendment II: The Specific Amendment
Any person who wishes to claim shotgun must actually pronounce either the word "Shotgun" or "Gun." One may not say the name of a type of shotgun, such as "12 Gauge." If a passenger does, then he or she can lay no claim on shotgun, and may be called by another person.

Amendment III: The "House" Rule
The Owner of the vehicle decides which Shotgun Amendments to institute on his own car. All passengers must abide by the rules of these Amendments, which are stated in this document. This Amendment clarifies that not all Amendments need be active at any given time.

Amendment IV: Eviction
If the vehicle is forced to stop for a serious infraction of the Shotgunner, the Shotgunner must relinquish his/her seat, if the driver so wishes.
Serious infractions have been known to include spilling hot beverages, spilling any beverage, being annoying, breaking parts of the car, and in extreme cases, just being ugly.

Amendment V: The Shotgun Clause
This rule native to the South, but practical in many northern cities, states that the potential occupant with the largest caliber weapon on their person defaults to shotgun, unless one occupant is actually armed with a shotgun, in which case he gets shotgun. If two or more occupants actually have shotguns, then the over/under barrel configuration rules.

Amendment VI: The Reserve Shotgun Amendment
After Shotgun has been called, other patrons may call "Witch," "Spanky," or "Comm," referring to the seat behind shotgun, the seat behind the driver, and the center back seat, respectively. SAM applies to the hatchback or trunk.

Amendment VII: Navigator
The passenger who has shotgun MUST serve as Navigator. By this, he must watch out for signs and intersections that the driver may miss during the course of a road trip. The Navigator must also ask for directions out the window.
It is also the responsibility of the passenger who has shotgun to take control of the radio and air conditioning, however the driver has final say over the settings. The other occupants of the car can also have an opinion. If the passenger with shotgun is caught forgetting their duties and makes the car listen to commercials and/or bad music, then his privilege can be lost. Of course, this is all in good judgement of the driver. As Navigator, the driver may also ask him to operate other devices such as the windshield wipers, and rear window defroster.
It is also the job of the Navigator throw all trash out of the window. The trash must be crushed under the tires to destroy all evidence, in case of an emergency situation.
In addition, the Navigator must possess the ability and the will to insult other drivers and be heard, only if they deserve it (ie: being cut off). This is to allow the driver to continue to operate the vehicle properly.
The Navigator must possess the ability (and the will) to roll down their window and invite any chicks in adjacent cars to the driver's destination.

Amendment VIII: First Blood
This rule from the mid-west states that whoever draws blood (supposedly when the Survival of the Fittest rules are in effect) gets shoved in the back of the hatchback (or trunk) with the spare tire.

Amendment IX: Australian Shotgun
Originally from Australia, if two people tie for shotgun, then the first person to put their thumb on their head is awarded shotgun. If they both do this at the same time, then an immediate race to the car is required.

Amendment X: Five Minute Rule
This rule, which originated in Massachusetts, states that in the event that the passenger riding shotgun leaves the car (ie: to get something from his house or a convenient store) is allowed 5 minutes in which to return and still retain his shotgun privilege. If he does not return within the time frame allotted, another passenger may take his place. There are other variations to this rule such as the "Two Hour Rule," but these usually result in the shotgunner geting beaten up by the other passengers.

Amendment XI: Awnings
Once all passengers have exited through the final doorway on the way to the car, (provided the car is in view), they are considered outside and may call shotgun no matter what covering is overhead. This rule applies to all awnings, covered decks and all outdoor shelters. Garages are considered outside so long as the door is open.

Amendment XII: National Witch
This rule alters Amendment VI, where the caller of "Witch" gains the center back seat. Comm is replaced with "Spanky 2," referring to the seat behind Shotgun.

Amendment XIII: Refueling
In addition to Amendment VII, if the car needs refueling at any time, it is the duty of the Shotgunner to gas up the car and pay (though usually with money given by the driver).

Amendment XIV: The Race
If there is a tie when calling shotgun, the first person who touches the car wins.

Amendment XV: Ozzie Race
If the driver gets confused or annoyed with chaotic rules arguments, he may shout "Ozzie Race," suggesting that the first person to touch the car is awarded shotgun.

Amendment XVI: Jedi Run
If the car is not within sight of the driver, and significantly far away, so that the proposed walk to the vehicle is neither linear nor within five minutes, the initiating party may call "Jedi Run" after a successful shotgun call (vehicle visibility is not required for this success). She must then beat all other opponents to the vehicle. In order to secure shotgun, the initiating party must not be out of breath or tired by the time the rest of the troupe arrives. This overrides any other countermeasures for shotgun if executed before they come into effect.

Amendment XVII: Alternate Names
This amendment adds additional aliases.
Shotgun may also be called under the following aliases: Gun, Shogun, Catgut, and Shotty. Witch (as in, behind shotgun) may also be called under the following aliases: Rightsies and On-The-Rightsies. SAM may also be called under the following aliases: Turrets

Amendment XVIII: Alternative Seats
In addition to Amendment XVII, anyone who wants to be duct-taped to the roof calls "Mir!" If a trunk is present in the vehicle, then this "seat" will hereby be recognized as "Ex-Wife."

Amendment XIV: The Recall Rule
Once a passenger has called shotgun, another passenger may call "Recall Shotgun," thereby overriding the shotgun call and claiming shotgun for themselves. In order for this not to happen the first passenger must call "Shotgun, No Recall." This rule is similar to the "No Blitz" call.

Amendment XX: Reversion
If the original caller of shotgun lost their seat to some countermeasure, the initial caller may shout "Same Seatsies" to regain their right to shotgun. In addition, "Double Barrel" and "Laser" may be followed by "No Blitz," so that the original caller cannot regain their shotgun right. "No Blitz" and "Same Seatsies" are synonymous with "No Recall" and "Recall Shotgun," respectively.

Amendment XXI: Duel
In such a case where any present shotgun rules still causes confusion between two individuals, they may duel for the honor of Shotgun. This duel takes the form of one (and only one) round of traditional "paper, rock, scissor." Alternatively, this may be replaced by one (and only one) round of "odds or evens."

Amendment XXII: Chinese Sneak Attack
In the event that someone manages to touch the car's handle, and/or is in the car before anyone called shotgun, then they immediately receive the shotgun priviledge. However, this amendment does not apply to someone who ran to the vehicle in question in order to do so.

Amendment XXIII: Broken Seat
In the event that the front passenger seat in the car is extremely uncomfortable (i.e. has a big hole in it), the passenger who called Shotgun must sit in that seat. The other passengers may ridicule him as they wish.

Amendment XXIV: Smoking
In the event that smoking is allowed in said vehicle, smoking passengers are given consideration over non-smokers in order that they may utilize either the window or ashtray.
In the event that there is more than one smoking passenger, the passenger that has already lit-up has Shotgun privilege over those who are not already engaged in the act of smoking.
In the event that more than one smoker is already smoking while on the way to the vehicle, the driver may enforce The Survival of the Fittest Rules or First Blood Rule. This however, is not recommended do to the high risk factor to the vehicle in question. As stated in Section I Article 8 of the Constitution, the driver has all final say in disputes between passengers.

Amendment XXV: Secondary Passenger
If a passenger is "just along for the ride," then they must sit in the back seat (or worst seat, if the car is otherwise full), because the ride is not for them.

Amendment XXVI: Double Shotgun
This rule from Delaware states that if a given passenger calls a valid "shotgun", then he or she may not say "shotgun" again. By calling "shotgun" a second time, he or she would automatically forfeit their seat and shotgun is reopened to the other passengers.
Other passengers are allowed to try to trick the person who originally says "shotgun" into saying it again, in order to claim shotgun for themselves.

Amendment XXVII: Contraband
In the event that the car is about to pass an any contraband that the passengers might find useful in some way or another, it is the responsibility of the passenger riding shotgun to open his door and scoop up the said contraband, while the car is still in motion.
Additionally, if the car is moving at a speed above 15 M.P.H. (24 km/h) the passenger riding shotgun may decline to do so.

Amendment XXVIII: No Witch
This rule states that once Shotgun has been called by one of the passengers, the remaining passengers may call, "No Witch." The passenger who calls "No Witch" last, or fails to call it at all, is forced to ride witch.

Amendment XXIX: No Chauffeur / Compulsory Shotgun
In the event that there are fewer passengers than capacity would allow, there must always be a passenger riding shotgun. This would include a couple. This is to prevent the driver from feeling ditched, or like a chauffeur.

Amendment XXX: Seniority
In the instance that one of the passengers is much older than the rest of the passengers, he/she is automatically given Shotgun unless they decline.

Amendment XXXI: Ten-Foot Rule
This rule native to Myrtle Beach and Charleston, SC, states that once a passenger has called Shotgun, another passenger may call "10 Foot Rule." In this case, there would be an immediate race for the car. The first passenger to come within 10 feet of the car is awarded Shotgun.

Amendment XXXII: Backfire
This rule from Central NC states that if a passenger has shotgun on a trip, and then calls shotgun for the return trip, any passenger may call, "Double Shotgun Backfire," to prevent a single passenger from dominating the front seat.

Amendment XXXIII: International Travel
When crossing the border into another country. All shotgun claims are void, and passengers may once again call shotgun. If another passenger gets it, the driver must pull over at his earliest and safest convenience.

Amendment XXXIV: Context
A passenger may only receive shotgun if he says shotgun within the context of calling shotgun. For instance, a passenger may not be awarded shotgun if he says, "Did anybody call shotgun?," or if he/she was talking about a shotgun.

Amendment XXXV: Language
If you reside in a non-English-speaking locale, Shotgun must be called by its native word. For instance, in Sweden, the word "Hagelbossa" must be pronounced, while in Germany, "Schrotflinte."
Shotgun may be called in any language the driver is fluent in. "Fluent" is described here as being proficient enough in a language to understand conversation exchanges.
Order of preference rewards the language closest to the native language of the locale in which Shotgun is called. For instance, if the call is made is Sweden, and the only calls were "Schrotflinte" and "Escopeta" (Spanish), respectively, the seat will be given to the second caller, as German is closer-related to Swedish than Spanish is.

Amendment XXXVI: The Eviction Notice
Particularly crafty individuals may override a yet-to-be-made Shotgun call by leaving a note, clearly visible on the passenger-side door, with the word "Shotgun" written legibly on it, following the author's name. So long as no Shotgun call was made before the message was seen, the writer of the message is awarded Shotgun.
Other calls relating to Shotgun may also be made in similar manner, including such calls as "No Blitz", "Laser", etc.
The execution of the written "call" goes into effect as soon as someone has seen the writing. Calls made prior to this override the note.

Amendment XXXVII: No Hump
Local to Toronto, ON (Canada), this rule is relevant if there are five passengers in a car that has only four seats. After a successful Shotgun call is made, the remaining passengers may call "No Hump" to avoid sitting on the hump between the two back seats. The individual failing to make the call, or the last person to make the call, must sit on the uncomfortable, ball-breaking hump. This is a much-feared "seat" to Camaro and Firebird passengers.

Amendment XXXVIII: Eagle Scout
An addition to Amendment XXX, it is the duty of the Shotgunner to spot all speed cameras and police cars that could pose a threat to the driver and car. If the vehicle is stopped because the Shotgunner failed in his duties, he may be banned from riding Shotgun for a period of time dictated by the driver.

Amendment XXXIX: Shotgun Suicide
If the Shotgun caller attempts to open the car door as it is being unlocked (thus causing it to stay locked), he immediately loses Shotgun priviliges for the upcoming ride, and a new round of calling Shotgun must be executed.

Amendment XXXX: Multiple Vehicles
In the case that there is more than one eligible car to make a trip, the owners of their respective vehicles may not want to drive. In these cases, they may force their colleagues to waste gas by proclaiming, "Shot Not". A successful call will not only save them gas, but will award them shotgun in another vehicle.
If there are more than two vehicles that can be driven, "Shot Not" can be followed by the name of the car's owner who the caller wants to have Shotgun in.
If "Shot Not" was called, but the car in which preference was called for has already had a successful Shotgun call, the individual still need not drive, so long as there are other potential vehicles whose drivers did not make successful "Shot Not" calls.
Once non-drivers have been eliminated with successful "Shot Not" calls, all non-Shotgun riding passengers may choose seats in the typical manner (ie "Witch", "Comm", etc.) followed by the driver's name of the car they wish to travel in. A passenger is not guaranteed a particular seat in a vehicle unless the seat specified and the car specified is legal (ie, it has not yet been called).
"Shot Not" may be called under the aliases of "Shot No Drive", "Shotgun Not Drive", and "Shotgun No Drive".
For efficiency-sake, "Shot Not" cannot be overriden with rules such as "Laser".

Amendment XXXXI: Multiple Calls
This happens when multiple groups of people are meeting at one car, and both groups had someone claim Shotgun. If it can not be determined who made the call first, the dispute is settled with Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Amendment XXXXII: Boyfriend/Girlfriend
Section II, Article 3 of the Constitution states that , "In the instance the driver's spouse, partner, or hired friend for the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline." In addition, serious Boy/Girl friends should also receive preferential treatment in regards to shotgun.

Amendment XXXXIII: The Couples Rule
In the event that a couple is traveling together, they must both sit together in either the front or back seat. This is so that people without boy/girlfriends, spouses, hired friends, can talk amongst themselves in the hope of acquiring boy/girlfriends, spouses, or hired friends.
This rule however is null and void if the The No Chauffeur / Compulsory Shotgun Rule is in effect.

Amendment XXXXIV: Balking
If you have called Shotgun and are waiting for the doors to be unlocked, you are not allowed to lift the handle during the unlocking, causing the other doors to remain locked. This voids your right to Shotgun.

Amendment XXXXV: Abandonment
If the Shotgun occupant leaves the vehicle (even if they plan to come back), the Shotgun seat is up for grabs. One exception is if the Shotgun rider leaves to do a deed for the driver, like buying cigarettes or pumping gas. In those cases, that person retains their Shotgun rights.

Amendment XXXXVI: The Handicapped
Section II, Article 6 states that preferential shotgun treatment may be offered to anyone "too wide or tall to fit comfortably in the back seat". Preferential treatment should be awarded to the handicapped as well as to these genetic misfits, especially if the injury prevents them from achieving maximum leg room, maneuverability, etc. (as might be the case with a broken leg, foot, etc.) Unlike with Section II, Article 6, however, the handicapped are not to be taunted as with the genetic misfits if not awarded shotgun. Otherwise, taunting is okay.

Amendment XXXXVII: The Bribery Amendment
In the event that the shotgun call ends up in a tie between two passengers, the passengers in the tie may attempt to bribe the driver so that the driver makes the call in their favor. This rule is null and void, however if the driver institutes the Survival of the Fittest Rules. Examples of bribes are money, food and soda.

Amendment XXXXVIII: The Full View Amendment
The automobile must be in full view of all passengers before "Shotgun" may be called.

Amendment XXXXIV: The Second Call Amendment
If a given passenger calls a valid "shotgun", then he or she may not say "shotgun" again. By calling "shotgun" a second time, he or she would automatically forfeit their seat and shotgun is reopened to the other passengers.
Other passengers are allowed to try to trick the person who originally says "shotgun" into saying it again, in order to claim shotgun for themselves.

Amendment L: Voiding
Whenever you break a Shotgun rule, you may be voided from receiving Shotgun privileges for that ride.

Amendment LI: Long Trips
The rules listed in our guide were created for short trips (1 hour or less). On longer trips, Shotgun can be divided equally among those who want it.

Amendment LII: The Rock Amendment
This rule states that once a passenger calls "Shotgun," he must also say, "No Rock." If the gunner does not say this, another passenger may call, "Rock." In this case Shotgun is awarded to the winner of a best of three, Rock, Paper, Scissors contest.

Amendment LIII: The Rotating Shotgun Rule
This rule is native to a suburb of Philadelphia, PA to ensure that everybody gets shotgun at least once per long road trip.
• Before the first ride a passenger will call shotgun under the normal procedures, as stated in Section I of the Official Rules.
• Once a passenger has had shotgun, he or she may not have shotgun again until everyone else has had shotgun.
• Before the second ride, everyone (besides the person who has already had shotgun) competes for shotgun under the normal conditions.
• This continues until the trip has either ended or if everyone has already had shotgun once.
Once everyone has had shotgun, the "shotgun order" has been established. You must now rotate in that order.
• The shotgun order recycles over and over until the trip is finished.
• Person(s) joining the trip after the first ride are entered into the order by the following process:
----Clause A: On their first ride, the calling of gun is between that person and the person whose turn it is in the shotgun order.
----Clause B: if the order has not yet been established, the new rider is entered into the pool of riders calling for shotgun.
• Driver still has final say in all ties and disputes. All rules from the Official rules, including special cases, and the Survival of the Fittest, are still in effect.

Amendment LIV: The Barefoot Rule
Since you must be outside to call Shotgun, some people will just grab their shoes, run outside, and call Shotgun before putting their shoes on. This is not valid. You must have your shoes on (if you plan to wear any) before you may call Shotgun.
Amendment II: Re-entry
If you call Shotgun and then go back inside the building, you lose your Shotgun rights. While you are gone, someone else can call shotgun. If nobody does, you can call it when you go back.

Amendment LV: Hand On The Shotgun Door
Shotgun can no longer be called once someone's hand is holding the shotgun door handle. This is significant when nobody else is around to hear you call shotgun.

Amendment LVI: Sitting Down
By sitting in the Shotgun seat before anyone has called it, you get to stay there even if somebody calls it afterwards. Nobody needs to hear you actually call shotgun.

To Prank or Not To Prank.... Definetly TO Prank!

My second son, Joe, is nine years old. His favorite thing to do these days? (Aside from rigging my whole house with "zip lines" for his GI Joes that is.) Pranks! This child LIVES for pranks! Everyone in our famiy now hesitates before we walk through a doorway and yes, we often find ourselves shaking our heads and feeling quite foolish as Joe rolls on the floor in a fit of laughter in front of us.
So, sitting around today, we decided to come up with a list of fun ideas spanning from pranks any amature can pull off to out of this world coolest pranks ever. Oh, and don't sit there apalled, you know you have tried at least some of these yourself!

Upside Down Cup
Fill a cup with water about half way. Then place an index card over the cup. Then turn the cup upside down on someone's desk. Finally, carefully slide the index card out from underneath the cup. Whenever your friend decides to pick the cup up, he will be drenched in water.

Bar Of Soap Lather Prank
Take some clear nail polish and coat a bar of soap with it. Let it dry. Then put it in the bathroom shower. When your victim (Mom!) tries to use it, he or she will go nuts trying to get it to lather up.

Ypto Ypto...errr!!! TYPO!
Be carefull with this one, as to not ruin the keyboard. All you have to do is simply and very carefully remove a few keys and switch them around. If your victim is one of those "look up and down" typers. He or she will be very confused while trying to get work done. (I told you to stop "hunting and pecking"!)

Shaving Cream Phone Prank
Coat the reciever of someone's phone with a small amount of shaving cream and then give them a call. (yet another good reason not to allow your kids access to your cell phone) Instant gratification.

Push or Pull
Print out some signs that read, "Push" and "Pull" and tape them to doors at your local stores. Make sure to place them on the wrong side. Then sit back and watch as people push when they are instructed to pull and vise versa.

Mail Box Prank
After the mail has already been delivered, fill the mail box with ping pong balls. Then ask someone else to go get the mail. (Amazing how red Jason's ears can get. And the top of his head too!)

Closet Prank
When you have a little time on your hands and nothing to do to keep you out of trouble, visit the closet of someone (brother, sister, Mom--wait NOT Mom, Dad) and take all their clothes, turn them inside out and hang them back up neatly. (Joe, you are so going to pay someday!)

Cereal Box Switch
Remove the plastic bags from cereal boxes and switch them around. Your victim will scratch his head wondering why Cheerios came out of a box of Lucky Charms. (This one kept Katie busy for quite some time trying to figure it out.)

Fake Foam Rocks
Throw those fake foam rocks which you can make by painting a little piece of foam rubber. (Works best when around real rocks such as in a science class or outdoors.)

Ridged Coin Trick
With a pencil, heavily mark the sides of any ridged coins such as a dime or quarter. Then ask a classmate if he or she can place it on their forehead and roll it down to their nose. Tell em if they can, they can keep the coin. After they give it a try, it will leave a black pencil mark on their face. (...and I was worried my kids weren't learning anything in school!)

Clear Tape Prank
Place clear tape across the outside of a door from top to bottom. Frequently people will run into it especially if they are in a hurry. (Note: No more packing tape in OUR house!)

Flour Under The Door
Pour some Flour on a thin piece of carboard. Unfolding a cereal box would work great! Then slip it under a door and blow it all over the inside of the room. (Seth can tell you how many Swiffers it takes to clean up a room full of flour)

Shaving Cream Door Bomb
Fill a manila envelope with shaving cream, then place the open end of the envelope underneath your victim's door and stomp on it as hard as you can. It will explode all over the inside of the room. (Can you believe MY HUSBAND taught them this one?!!!!!)

Classic Cup Of Water On Door Prank
Leave the door open about 5 inches or so. Enough to place a cup (may I recommend styrofoam) of water on the top of the door. When your victim opens the door, he or she will get a waterfall on their head.

Escaped Prisoner
Dress yourself in an orange jumpsuit and sneakers. Shave your head and put a handcuff on one wrist. Then go knocking on people's doors asking if you can use their phone. Works best if you try this prank in a neighborhood where a jail is nearby. (O.k., they haven't actually done this *yet* but think it is a great idea and keep trying to get Jason--since his head is already shaved, it's all about convenience ya know--to do this)

Refrigerator Door Graffiti
Place some clear scotch tape on the fridge door. Be sure there are no creases. You don't want the tape to be detectable. Then write on the clear tape with red nail polish. When your victim sees his or her fridge with writing all over it, they will freak. When they do, just pull the clear tape right off. (Oh yeah, REAL funny!)

Where Is The Alarm?
While your victim is alseep, reset their alarm clock so it goes off at 2am or 3am. But don't place it back on their nightstand. Instead hide it in a closet or behind the tv. The person waking up will be on an early morning hunt for where that annoying sound is coming from.

Going Bald
Go to your local drug store and buy an inexpensive package of hair extensions that match the same color as your victim. While he (or she!) is sleeping cut the hair extensions to about the same size as their hair length. Place hair extentions on your victim's head and on the pillow. When your victim awakes, watch in laughter as they think something happened to their hair while sleeping. (Now we know why the praying mantis and the black widow KILL their mates!!!!!)

Sunbathing And Not Paying Attention
Hold a magnifying glass over someone who is sunbathing. (Be prepared to run shortly after you do this.)

Bungee Cord Fasten
Fasten someone to their bed with numerous bungee cords.

Multi Alarm Clock Prank
Get lots of cheap alarm clocks and set them to go off at 3:00am and every 20 minutes thereafter. Hide them well.

Dude! Youre Glowing!
Pour "cyalume" (the stuff in those glow sticks) on someone then wake them and say, "Dude, you're glowing" and watch them panic. (Note: It's probably best NOT to get it on mom's rug and mom's furniture, though!)

Bedtime Flour
Pour some flour on your victim's pillow. Works best if your victim as a white pillow case. (And I wonder why I have to keep adding flour to my shopping list?!)

Bed Swap
This prank works best on children. Since they weigh less and are easier to pickup. All you have to do is swap 2 people that are sleeping. So they wake up in different beds. (You didn't think the kids get to have all the fun, did you?!)

Early For Work
Change every single possible clock that your victim may see. Change it so he will be an hour early for work. Make sure you change his watch, alarm, wall clock, tv clock, car clock, etc. He won't notice until he arrives at work and is exactly 1 hour early. (And then DON'T answer your phone for a while!)

Baby On Board
Put a lifelike looking baby doll in a real car seat. Then leave it on the roof of your car on purpose and drive away. Its pure comedy when you try not to look around at everyone's reactions. People will scream and tell you STOP! STOP! (And we allow men to live on this earth WHY?!)

Place caution tape all around someone's house or yard so it looks like a crime scene. To make it look even more real, use chalk to outline a dead body on the sidewalk.

Laser Pointer Fun
Annoy people at the local movie theater by pointing a lasre pointer up on the movie screen.

Can You Hold My Rope Please?
In a busy public place, get a long rope and ask someone if they can please hold it for a second. Tell them you are trying to measure something. Then go around the building and ask someone else to hold the other end. Walk Away. Try to find a spot where you can wait and see how long it will take before each either figure out the prank or let loose. (Yet another great idea Mom won't let them try! They are SO not leaving the house when they are teenagers!)

Garage Sale Prank
Print up a bunch of huge garage sale or yard sale signs and post them up the night before around your neighborhood. Don't give an address, just use arrows. Send the cars in a maze throughout the neighborhood looking for a yard sale that doesn't exist. (They came up with this idea when our neighbors were having a garage sell last week.)

Look Closely
Fill a small pan with water. Ask someone for two of their hairs (this might be because Jason has no hairs of his own to contribute) and tell your victim you are going to make the hairs fight. Place them across each other on top of the water in the pan. Then tell your victim to come very close to watch the hairs fight. When your victim puts their face down close to the water, hit the water with your hand, drenching your victim.

Tailpipe Whisle
Drill a hole through the middle of a potato. Then jam a whistle in one end of the potatoe. Finally, shove that potatoe inside of your victim's car exhaust pipe. Make sure the whistle is facing the outside. When your victim starts the car up and drives off, he will keep hearing a whistle and wonder what is going on.

Mystery Noise
So many cars don't have hub caps anymore, but if you know one that does.... Pop the hub caps off, place a few pennies in it and put it back on. When your victim is driving the pennies push to the hubcaps and are held in place. But as your victim slows down, the pennies come away from the walls and begin to clang around in there. Your victim will think there is something wrong with their car.

Fork A Lawn
There is so much new building around here there just aren't that many mature trees to make TPing possible. So, in answer to our delima, we give you FORKING! Buy a few boxes of plastic forks. Stick them all over your victim's lawn. For an extra special job, you can glue little signs or balloons to the top of the forks.

You've Been Spotted
No forks? Paper plates! Write on, color, whatever a bunch of paper plates and tape them all over your victim's house, car, trees, etc. Make sure to put a "You've been spotted" plate on their front door.

Mean Oreo Spots
No paper plates? Well then, run down to the store for a few containers of Oreos. Very easy, requires very little effort--but is mean, MEAN!, I tell you! Twist your Oreos open and stick them on your victim's house, car, etc. Makes such a mess!

Hundred Of Post It Notes
While your victim is away from his or her car, post a bunch of those little post it notes all over. It is very frustrating (but not messy like oreos!) and time consuming to take them all off.

Move The Car
When your victim isn't paying attention. Get his keys and move his car. If he parked out in the street next to the curb. Then just turn the car around so it is now parked the wrong way.

Confetti In The Defrost
Pour some confetti in your victim's defrost vent and leave the button/knob on high. When your victim starts the car up the next day, it will be like New Year's Day all over again.

Long Road Trip Gag
Have some fun on your next road trip. When your passenger falls asleep and is leaning on the right front window. Try this, quickly jerk the car from right to left then back. Then watch your victim's head bounce back and forth against the window. (No, Jason, I still do NOT believe you were avoiding a cute bunny in the road!)

Frozen Cotton Balls
In the winter time, when its freezing outside...dip some cotton balls in water and place them all over your victim's car. (We so need to move out of Southern California!)

Adjustable Mirrors
While your victim is driving and you are the passenger adjust the side mirror. After awhile it will annoy the driver. (What?! I was just looking for that cute bunny you missed!)

Fun At The Red Light
Whever you stop at the red traffic light. Pull up right next to the car next to you. Then slowly put your car in reverse. The car next to you will think he is still moving forward and slam on his brakes. (My dad taught me this at a young age!)

Gas Cap Lock
Buy a gas cap that lock and put it on your victim's car.

Bubble Wrap Machine Gun
Tape a 1 inch bubble wrap around thr front tire of your victim while his car is parked. When he drives off the popping noise will sound like a machine gun.

Saran Wrap A Car
Takes a bit of time and an accomplice but is well worth the effort. Get a nice big roll of saran wrap. Start at the top of the car, wrap down, pass it under to your accomplice and have them come back up the other side. Do this over and over until the car is wrapped up good and tight. Your victim won't be able to get their doors open.

Vehicle Recall Notice
When someone you know just purchased a brand new car, call them and leave a message on their phone. Tell them that you are Mr. So and So from the dealer where he recently bought his new automobile. Let him know about the latest factory recall. Tell him its very crucial that he return the vehicle to the dealer as soon as possible and not make any left turns. (I'm gonna get my Mini Cooper yet!)

Mystery Noise Part II
Put a couple of marbles in a small tin can and tape the can to the bottom of your victim's car seat. Everytime he or she turns or hits a bump in the road they will hear the rattling noise underneath them and wonder what the heck is wrong with their car.

Ping Pong Fallout
Put a bunch of ping pong balls or packing peanuts in an open box. Tilt it at an angle against the cupboard door (from the inside) so when the victim goes to open the cupboard the ping pong balls will all spill out. (Note to self: Say NO next time kids want to buy ping pong balls.)

Drenched With Water
This one takes a bit of practice. First, place a coin on your forhead and shake your head so the coin will fall into a funnel that is inserted in the beltline of your pants. Amaze your friends on how talented you are once you master this and when they ask to try it, quickly pour water down the funnel and into their pants. (Jason apparently has had a lot of time on his hands during his life.)

Blocked Sensor
Use a small piece of black tape to block the tv sensor so whoever decides to watch TV next cannot change the channel or adjust the volume. (Joe, I'm so going to smack you!!!!)

Tie a rubberband around the pullout hose lever thats in your sink. Whoever uses the sink next will get hosed with water. (And now you know why we no longer have one of these in our house!)

Please Hold My Broom Stick Trick
Fill a glass with water, get up on a chair and hold it up the to ceiling. Then ask a friend to help you with a science experiment. Tell him to hold the cup using the broomstick from him standing on the ground. As soon as he does, take the chair and yourself and leave him there. Let him try and figure a way out of it without spilling the water.

And on that note, I guess it's time I go set Joe free from his broom-holding position. Someday they will realize that I, and I only, am the master!
Ta ta for now!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

David's Baptism

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Fun Day

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Jethawks Game

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Gesundheit! Institute

Gesundheit! Institute : "When a dream takes hold of you...
'We cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, and the world.'
'Much more than simply a medical center, the Gesundheit! facility will be a microcosm of life, integrating medical care with farming, arts and crafts, performing arts, education, nature, recreation, friendship and fun.'
'Gesundheit! has grown out of a deep concern for the quality of peoples' lives. We want to subvert greed and selfishness and replace them with compassion and care.'
'We don't want to be a Band-Aid for ailing health care; we want to change the system, to bring about a peaceful revolution.' with it!"


What Parents Want from Doctors and Hospitals - Patients' Rights in Medical Care

What Parents Want from Doctors and Hospitals - Patients' Rights in Medical Care:
Here are eight things that parents of severely ill or disabled children -- any parents, really -- require from doctors to truly trust that their loved ones are getting appropriate care.
Straight answers
Tell us the truth, and if you don't know what it is, tell us that, too. Don't tell us what you think we want to hear, or what will make us decide things your way.
An appreciation of our child as something more than a cost-effectiveness problem
Healthy or ill, rallying or near death, our child is a unique individual with strengths and gifts you may never know about -- not just a bag of organs using up a bed.
Cooperation, not combat
Doctors and hospitals should be fighting with us against what's ailing our child, not against us to circumvent our parenting rights: Be our ally, not our enemy.
More options, not fewer
If we seek alternative treatments, it's not because we're fools or dreamers, but because you've stopped offering creative and hope-inspiring options; show us you're not tied down by the-way-it's-always-done, and we'll listen.
Respect for the power of love
Our love for our child endures past diagnosis, past illness, past hospitalization and treatment and futility and brain death -- our love for our child has no limits. Don't be surprised if we put more faith in that love than in you.
An understanding of the preciousness of one more hour, one more day
Our memories may soon be all we have of our beloved child. We want as many as we can get. One more birthday, one more book read together, one more smile -- these are not small things.
A little respect
We may not have gone to medical school, but we're the world's #1 expert on our child. Treat us like a peer, not like a roadblock in your way.
Get this: You could be wrong
Doctors make mistakes. Frequently. Not little mistakes. Big ones. Chances are, we've had doctors underestimate, misinterpret, or mistreat our children before. We're still willing to listen and work with you. But take off that Superman cape before you talk to us.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Clair De Lune

Every night my dad would tell me stories about "Moon River" and I would drift off to sleep with dreamy mental pictures of moonlight on water. My dad's favorite song was Clair De Lune. This is for my dad, the greatest fisherman I ever knew. (and it's been years since I've seriously played so forgive the less than wonderful performance ;))