Category Archives: People

Wise Words

scaliaSupreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died today.

Scalia served from 1986 and was known as an intellectual conservative. He is well known for his dissenting quotes because he didn’t mince any words and he was often outrageous.

While I may not agree with his legal views, I did agree with some wise advice he gave once.

Joanne, my youngest sister, graduated from Santa Clara University in the late 1980s.

Scalia was the key note speaker at the graduation ceremony.

mscThe university was very familiar to him. He and his wife, Maureen, were married in the chapel on the campus. And one of his sons was graduating from the university the same year as Joanne.

It was the first college graduation ceremony I had ever been to, and it was beautiful. The campus is lovely. Many of the students are from Hawaii, and they wore leis to the graduation ceremony. The floral aroma was divine!


I don’t remember the topic of Antonin Scalia’s speech, but I do remember one line and it became one of my mantras.

You came here to learn how to learn. 

He was talking about how the graduating students would not take specific knowledge away from their education at the university.

They wouldn’t remember what year certain wars were fought.

They wouldn’t remember the details of specific social norms…

But they would remember how their learned those details and ideas.

They had learned how to learn, and that was their most important take away from their education.

His wise words influenced me to enjoy the learning process more than the actual accumulation of wisdom.




Mr. Fancy Pants

I listen to ESPN radio while I’m driving, and all the talk earlier in the week was about Cam Newton’s pants.

Cam-NewtonCam Newton, for those of you who don’t watch football, is the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers–one of the teams in the Super Bowl.

Cam Newton is one of if not the most controversial players in the NFL.

Football fans either love him or hate him. Nobody’s neutral. And given that he’s the odds on favorite to win Most Valuable Player, everyone who watches football knows who he is.

I’ll admit that at first I didn’t like him. But then Richie talked me out of my narrow-mindedness and encouraged me to enjoy Cam Newton for what he was–a man who loves life and loves football and isn’t afraid to show his joie de vivre.

He has his signature poses for first downs…

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 15: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on November 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

He does a dance called the “Dab” after scoring a touch down…

And he wears flamboyant pants that sell out hours after he shows them off…


Love him or hate him, you won’t have a hard time finding him in a crowd. 🙂

From the Washington Post

Cam Newton took fancy pants where other pros dare not go

By Leanne Italie | AP February 3

Lots of athletes have style, but could they rock the Cam pants?

Super Bowl 50 is just days away and already has a breakout star: the $849 Versace skinny pants of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Newton was snapped Sunday in the zebra stripe, gold swirl rocker pants as he boarded a plane to California, immediately setting off a frenzy on social media and among TV talking heads.

We know Newton likes his flashy shoes. We know he can pull off a bushy foxtail hanging down one hip, but those tight, hair metal pants came straight out of left field. Would other pros dare to try?

New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, fond of old school rock, great tuxedos and a little cool, fun experimentation in clothes, said there will be no rocking of Cam pants for him.

“I don’t know if many people can, but I know he enjoyed wearing them,” Harvey smiled Tuesday night at a fashion presentation by designer John Varvatos during a round of men’s shows in New York.

He was joined at Varvatos by Eric Decker, a wide receiver for the New York Jets — and another underachiever when it comes to football’s most famous pants.

“Oh, I don’t know if I could rock those pants but Cam definitely put a statement on Super Bowl week for sure,” Decker said.

How about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?

“I don’t know if Tom would. I’m sure he could. He could rock anything,” Decker said. “I haven’t seen him in skintight pants like that yet so that would be a new style for him.”

Brady’s fellow Patriot, Julian Edelman, took in the rock-themed Varvatos show as well. The Patriots missed out on Super Bowl 50, but he considers himself a Cam pants contender.

“The Cam pants? … If you go out with a confidence I think I could. I think I could,” Edelman smiled.

As for Brady, he added: “Tom could rock anything. He’s Tom Brady.”

Newton kept the look classy up top, pairing his fancy pants with a V-neck sweater, a tie and some gold-tip shoes. His black leather motorcycle jacket added extra oomph.

So what’s the word within the fashion industry? We asked football fan Tommy Hilfiger to weigh in.

“I think he’s very cool,” the designer said ahead of his own fashion presentation, “and I think he’s not only an iconic athlete but he’s a fashion icon as well. People look up to him.”

The Panthers meet the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Could Newton’s nemesis, Bronco quarterback Peyton Manning, succeed in similar pants?

“Uh, I think Peyton might be a little old for them,” Hilfiger said, “but Peyton has rocked quite a few great things over the years.”

I Wish He Would Write…

Carol sent me a link to a fascinating article in GQ  by Michael Finkel about Christopher Thomas Knight.

Christopher Thomas Knight (born 7 December 1965), also known as the North Pond Hermit, is a former hermit who lived almost without human contact for 27 years in the woods in Maine. He survived by committing approximately 1,000 burglaries against houses in the area, or approximately 40 per year. Apart from the fear and notoriety his many burglaries created in the local area, Knight’s unusual life also attracted widespread international media reports upon his capture.


Knight entered the woods in 1986 without saying goodbye to anyone, aged 20, and was captured during a burglary in 2013. His only human contact in that time was exchanging a trivial greeting to a hiker once. From Wikipedia


The article, The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit, is based on a series of interviews Finkel conducted with Knight while he was in jail completing his seven month sentence.

I highly recommend reading the article. It’s a captivating look into both the whys and the hows of Knight’s solitary decades.


He felt terribly about stealing, but I was intrigued by what he stole including books, lots of books.

Many victims of Knight’s thefts reported that their books were often stolen—from Tom Clancy potboilers to dense military histories to James Joyce’s Ulysses.

He stole hundreds of books over the years; his preference was military history—he named William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich as his favorite book—but he took whatever was available.

Much of the article contains dialog between Finkel and Knight, and those dialogs show Knight’s love of the written word and the fact that for nearly three decades he rarely (in fact he only remembers one time) talked to others.

Jail was very difficult for him for many reasons. But communicating with others was especially difficult.

He tried several times to converse with other inmates. He could force out a few hesitant words, but every topic—music, movies, television—was lost on him, as was most slang. “You speak like a book,” one inmate teased. Whereupon he ceased talking.

As I read the article, I kept wishing that Knight would write a book. Any book. His precision with words belies his descriptive ability.

“Don’t mistake me for some bird-watching PBS type,” he warned, but then proceeded to poetically describe the crunch of dry leaves underfoot (“walking on corn flakes”) and the rumble of an ice crack propagating across the pond (“like a bowling ball rolling down an alley”).

I would read anything he wrote…

If you are intrigued, read the article. You’ll be glad you did.

I’d Like to Go to Lunch With…

I find some people so interesting that I’d love to go to lunch with them.

Other people might be interesting, but lunching with them would be too overwhelming.

image-lunch-box1These Lunch People, at least when I see them on TV or read about them, seem personable and willing to share their thoughts.

It’d be fun to sit in a casual location and pick their brain or just listen to them wax on about life in general.

I’ve identified CNN’s National Correspondent Jeanne Moos as one of my Lunch People.

Moos062510She’s a serious journalist with a quirky sense of humor.

And sometimes she combines the two as indicated by my favorite quote by her:

‘I Can’t Look at the News

Without Thinking Funny’

Here’s one of her recent stories entitled “A Moose Fight Over a Female”.


Mirna! My New Inspiration!

I miss hiking and trail running in the mountains!


I’ve been using the hot weather as an excuse to take a break from pickleball and go for a hike.

I’ve also been postponing going because I get frustrated with how slow I am and how winded I get because of the changes in my body since my bicycle fall four years ago.

Last night I watched a story about a runner named Mirna on NBC News that has inspired me to go next week regardless of what the temperature is or how slow I am…


Mirna is a fantastic woman who loves to run and measures her time running in hours, not distances. A good long run is three to six hours–yep hours.

She has inspired me to load Sophie in the Jeep, drive up near our old house, take a long, slow jog along what I used to call The Ranch Run. Pictures soon. 🙂

‘Fat Girl Running’ Blogger Challenges Stereotypes Miles at a Time

On a recent foggy morning in the mountains of rural Georgia, Mirna Valerio was doing what she loves: running. On this particular morning, she led a small group of women on a jog across the picturesque campus of the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, a prep school where she works as a teacher.

The women diligently followed her lead as she changed course, uphill and downhill, pounding the pavement despite the muggy conditions. Most of the women said they were there because of Valerio.


“I didn’t do much running before meeting Mirna,” said one, while another credited Valerio with “always getting us going.”

Valerio, 39, does not fit the mold of a cross-country runner. She is overweight and keeps a slow pace as she methodically traverses mile after mile. She says when passersby see her running, they see “a fat girl running” and she’s comfortable with that label and even embraces it. When she started a runner’s blog in 2011, she aptly titled it “Fat Girl Running.”

The video below is what aired on NBC News:

It was not until a July 2015 profile in Runner’s World, however, that she became a well-known figure in the running world. The article sent a flood of traffic to Valerio’s blog. Runners of all shapes, sizes, and genders expressed their solidarity and support.

Overnight, Valerio became the voice for a whole class of athlete. “I too am a 250 pound runner,” wrote one reader. “And examples like yours make that a little easier.”

“Mirna, you have no idea what you have done to inspire literally every woman, not just women of size, but every woman to get out there and accomplish and achieve,” wrote another.


For those uninitiated in the world of distance running, Valerio’s accomplishments are impressive. Her own personal record is 35 miles, a run that took her more than 13 hours to complete. She admits it sounds crazy — doing anything for that long — but says she is drawn by a love the outdoors and a passion about the challenges that long distance running brings.

Valerio was not always an avid runner. In 2009, she weighed more than 300 pounds. She says she often suffered from sharp chest pains, signs that led her doctor to issue her a blunt warning: She would not live to see her young son grow up if she didn’t lose weight. That scare set her in motion on to the path where she finds herself today.

She took up running. Getting on the treadmill for that first mile, she says, was slow and painful. She clocked in at 17 minutes, 45 seconds. Within the course of the next six to seven months, she lost 41 pounds.


Miles don’t phase Valerio now. She says she craves the physical, emotional, and mental challenges of getting through a 26.2 mile marathon — a physical feat hardly matched in all of sports.

Next month, she will run the Javelina Jundred, an annual 100k race in the Arizona desert. Despite the impressive mileage she clocks, her weight remains mostly stable.

Valerio knows most people view her as fat. And she has no problem with that.

The video below is an excellent up close and personal expose of Mirna.

Face Blindness

brokenpromiseI’m reading a new book called Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay.

It’s a thriller and murder mystery combined. David, the main character, has a cousin, Marla, who is devastated by recent death of her newborn child.

David is horrified to discover that Marla’s been secretly raising a child who is not her own—a baby she claims was a gift from an “angel” left on her porch.

When asked to describe the “angel”, Marla can’t because she has prosopagnosia–an inability to recognize the faces of familiar people.

I love reading books on my phone because I can quickly search for more information about a word or event using Google which is exactly what I did when I read ‘prosopagnosia’.

Also known as ‘face blindness’, the illness most often is caused by brain damage, but there is a congenital form.


There is no treatment, and sufferers try to use other clues to remember friends and family including clothing, hair color, body shape, and voice.

As I read more about it, I was surprised by Wikipedia’s list of notable people who have it including:

  • Jane Goodall, British primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist who studied social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Africa
  • Oliver Sacks, neuroscientist and author whose books include The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; although he knew what prosopagnosia was and had studied it, he did not realize he had it until people became shocked that he confused one of his brothers with the other and then, discussing it with family members, learned that a number of them had similar difficulties with face recognition.
  • Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple

It’s hard to imagine how devastating this would be…

Here’s a video of Oliver Sacks explaining his condition:

Why I Admire Coach Pete

Stayed up late last night to watch Boise State University barely beat University of Washington in their season opening game.

The BSU Broncos were favored by up to 11 points, but the U-Dub Huskies were coached by Chris Petersen–the BSU Broncos’ coach up until last year. And the Huskies nearly pulled off an upset.

First college games of the season are nearly always raw and ugly because there is not much time to practice and there are no preseason warm-up games. This game’s rawness was no exception.

BSU won 16-13. They scored their 16 points easily in the first half,  and then gave up 13 unanswered points.


The match up has been brewing to a fever pitch ever since Coach Pete left BSU in early December of 2013.

I’ve always admired him–the way he coaches, the way he prepares his teams, the way he handles the media, and so on…

Washington head coach Chris Petersen takes questions at the 2014 Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo)  CADD103

And after last night’s game, he warmly greeted and hugged the BSU coaches and players, many of who he trained and recruited, before leaving the Blue Turf for the final time.


Meridian, Idaho

Carol has come up for a visit.

We’ve had a blast…

Today, I thought I’d write a bit about us as twins…

We have, obviously, been twins our entire lives. (Hee hee!)

Identical Mirror Twins

twins-2Carol and I are what’s known as mirror twins. We are identical twins, twins that form from a single fertilized egg, where the split occurs more than a week after conception. Had the split happened much later, we would have been conjoined twins.

Mirror twins often have physical characteristics that display on opposite sides as if they were looking in a mirror. For example, I have a mole on my left ear that matches one on Carol’s right ear.

Twin Telepathy

I love being a twin, and Carol does, too. We have a built in best friend for life. Carol and I have often experienced a twin telepathy although it doesn’t happen as often now as it did when we were teenagers.

When we double-dated, we’d often finish each other’s sentences, thoroughly annoying our dates who couldn’t keep up and didn’t understand why we were laughing uncontrollably.

Double Trouble

CandKatLVSG-web-300x300One of the strangest things about our childhood was that when one of us broke a bone, the other broke the same bone on the opposite side within two days.

When we were 10, I fell out of a tree and broke my right arm. Mom rushed me to the emergency room for a cast and sling. Two days later, Carol fell out of swing at school and Mom rushed her to the emergency room for a cast on her left arm.

This happened three times: twice for broken arms and once for broken fingers.

Who is that?

twins-3Carol and I have two other sisters.

Carol’s been scanning all the childhood photos of all four of us on to Flicker. I’ve been going through the photos, tagging and labeling with names and locations.

Even I have to admit that it’s weird because until Carol and I are about six, it’s virtually impossible to tell which twin is which.

Sometimes I’ll guess and put who I think is who. But usually I simply tag our combined photos with “The Twins” and photos with just one of us with “One of The Twins”.

While that might not sound that strange, imagine what it would be like if all of your childhood photos were simply labeled with Child #3 or Daughter #1.

Actually for Carol and I it’s not that weird. Even though we’re in our late 50′s, we’re still called The Twins by our family.

All that being said, I still like to guess who’s who in photos.

I’m pretty sure Carol’s the one on the left of this picture picking her nose. Hee hee…

Natural Art

Meridian, Idaho

I’m missing living in the mountains. I miss the natural beauty that provides art everywhere…

Until we can go for a drive in the mountains, or better yet, go camping, I’ll get my natural art fix from Andy Goldsworthy.


Andy Goldsworthy (born 26 July 1956) is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland. (Wikipedia)ag-5

I somehow stumbled across his on Netflix and watched the amazing documentary Rivers and Tides. Fascinating man and fascinating work.

He only uses materials found in nature.


The documentary is a perfect watch for a hot summer’s day…

ag-3 Enjoy!ag-1