Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jim Dandy to the Rescue!

Bet it's been a long time since you've heard this one!

Just try to sit still listening to that!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Will Wonders Never Cease?

For these very special children, I hope not.

Morgan's Wonderland, located in San Antonio, is truly a dream come true for so many. For its founder and developer, Gordon Hartman, it is a culmination of many years' hard work and inspiration. For his daughter, Morgan, it is a namesake amusement park filled with laughter and love. For the children it was built for, it is an inclusive place they can call their very own, a chance to experience what so many other children take for granted. And for these children's parents, it is a place where they never have to say, "I'm sorry, honey, you can't get on that ride".

The ultra-accessible family park is perhaps Texas' best-kept secret. I hope that changes. Here, special cognitive- and physical-needs children can safely explore their surroundings in the Sensory Village, steer their wheelchair directly onto the ground-level carousel, "shop" for goods in the Village Market, and swing, many for the first time in their lives, on specially modified swings. A Music Garden, a Wharf, a Pirate's Island, a Garden Sancutary, a place to picnic - Morgan's Wonderland has all this and more. See more  here at Texas Co-op Power Magazine (where I first read about it) and here at Morgan's Wonderland web site. And be sure to check out the slideshow on the Texas Co-op site as well. The exuberant smiles on these childrens' (and parents') faces will warm your heart.

This is one of those incredible concepts that make you ponder, "Why hasn't anyone done this before?" So simple, yet so meaningful to so many. For a multitude of people, this is the first time they've had an opportunity to experience the simple pleasures most of us take for granted. And this park does not sacrifice fun in the name of safety, although both are paramount in importance. Radio-frequency identification wristbands keep track of guests, and should a visitor get lost, a mere swipe of the band helps locate them again. Adaptive swings allow even those children in wheelchairs to enjoy the wind rushing through their hair as they glide back and forth.  Rides are made so that if a caregiver needs to accompany a guest on the ride, they may do so with ease.

People come from across the country and even from other nations to Morgan's Wonderland, and for good reason. This unique park, opened in 2010, offers not just special-needs children but their families something exceptional: the chance to be like everybody else.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

When is a Ball(s)game Not a Ball(s)game?

When the MLB takes it upon themselves to neuter the uniforms.

As part of a tribute to 50 years of the Houston Astros, the team will be wearing throwback jerseys from different eras during the 2012 season. Of course, the Astros haven't always been the Astros. They were once the Colt .45s, and as such, their first uniforms had a distinct logo on the front: a pistol with the smoke from the barrel forming the "C" of Colts.

Of course, the PC world in which we all live now simply cannot tolerate a (*GASP*) gun on a baseball uniform. Thus, we will see a "new" old jersey sans the offending firearm. There are two excellent blogs concerning this unpopular decision (fully 97% of people surveyed disagree with the MLB): here and here. As one poster noted: “Astros get shafted again. What else is new? Why are we the whipping boy for Selig & MLB.”

I'm a bit too young to remember the Colt .45s unis, but they are legendary, of course. The .45s changed their name due in part to a dispute with the Colt firearms manufacturing company, and in part to honor the newly built Astrodome in 1964. I best remember the colorful "rainbow" uniforms of the 1970s that echoed the colors of the seats in the Astrodome.

There is a more in-depth look at the Astros uniforms here. Those unis and seats are likely the reason I am so fond of oranges and reds to this day.

Speaking of the Dome, well, that would be a whole other blog. But I have a few videos here to share that are but small snippets of my life:

There are so many wonderful moments I have witnessed in the Dome: Oilers, Astros, demolition derbies, Glen Campbell, the Highwaymen, Evel Knievel. And that scoreboard. That wonderful scoreboard that may be imitated but never duplicated.

While I'm remiscing about Houston sports, allow me one final indulgence here:

Friday nights weren't Friday nights without Houston Wrestling at the Sam Houston Coliseum. Of course, that's back when names of venues meant something, paid tribute to individuals. Jeppesen Stadium. Hofheinz Pavilion. Rice Stadium.

Times change. Arenas are now named for the corporations that foot the bill. Texans (not Oilers) games are played in a stadium named for an energy company, not for a futuristic concept borne of Houston's space industry. The Rockets (they haven't changed their name, at least not yet) now play in Toyota Center because their old digs now belong to a Megachurch with more money than piety. The Astros (not the Colt .45s) now play in their own "Juice Box" (once named Enron Field) in uniforms that have lost their meaning and history because the MLB has deemed the populace too weak to handle a pistol on a baseball uniform. It seems that sports has lost its balls somehow. And the removal of a firearm from a uniform is only the beginning.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fascinating Stuff

The Grey-Beard Loon turned me onto this website. It is simply addictive. But be warned. This fellow posts several entries each day, and an entire day can be easily frittered away by just keeping pace, not to mention his extensive archives that I don't think I will live long enough to read through. Anytime you stumble upon a blog that has well over 1,100 members and over 10,000 posts in an archive, well, you know you have your reading cut out for you. But I can't stop. Just about every eclectic entry is simply fascinating and thought-provoking.

For example, take this latest entry. You just have to read it for yourself, and then ponder how the internet and blogging might shape our advancing years. Then, when you get the time, look at some of the past entries in TYWKIWDBI's blog. Cumbersome name, yes, but you see, it stands for "Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently". And that about says it all.

Happy reading!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Of Cats, Politics, and Spines

Normally I leave the politics to Mike. But I can't resist a little humor now and then about the whole Republican/Democrat thing. Especially when it involves my favorite snarky cat, Bucky from "Get Fuzzy". Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I'm Back....

In the New York Groove.

First Quarter: NY-9, NE-0

Second Quarter: NY-9, NE-10

Third Quarter: NY-15, NE-17

Final: NY-21, NE-17

I believe I'll start off with a shrimp cocktail, and perhaps a spicy stuffed crab....

I Predict

You heard it here first. And don't say I didn't tell you so.

Giants over the Patriots, a 24-21 win with a field goal. Just to tide you over until the big event:

And that's not all! I have more astounding and astonishing predictions right here:

Are my sources correct? Are my sources correct? Yes, I know they're correct. I predict.

Let's just say....."I got a line".....

And, so, sweet Spirit friend, this is for you....and you know who you are.