Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The most terrible affliction

Alzheimers disease has hit home. If any affliction deserves the research funding to find a cure, this is the one. This disease touches us all. If not directly, than a family member or someone you care about. 1 in 10 over age 65, and nearly half of those over 85 have Alzheimers. I have read the symptoms, and sadly Mom mirrors those to a 'T'. It weighs heavy on my heart, and is a tremendous burden on Dad. Luckily, he was prepared and the living conditions are as good as can be expected for those in this situation. Dad, your children are here for you and Mom. You are not alone.

Though not likely to be a help for Mom, a cure needs to be found for the future. According to the American Journal of Public Health, finding a treatment that could delay the onset of Alzheimers disease by five years could reduce the number of individuals with the disease by nearly 50 percent.

I would urge everyone to learn as much as you can about Alzheimers. Learn what you can do to prevent or delay its onset, contribute to research for a treatment, and support those who are afflicted or those who are caring for a loved one with the disease.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

The Year of Living Dangerously

My nephew Jason returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq. First time was during the 92 conflict. Unfortunately he had the honor of being called back a second time, another year stint, to fight Bush Junior's war. He was taken from his young family, two young children and one on the way, and sent to the very dangerous region of Al Ramadi and Falluja. His job was to detonate unexploded mines and shells left behind from Iraqi stockpiles and conflicts. His pictures and stories were incredible. Too much to explain here, but suffice it to say, I have the utmost respect and admiration for Jason, Erin and family for having to endure such a hardship. This weekend, we celebrated his return in Rochester NY.

Listening to Jay's stories just reinforced my feeling about this reckless action; the lies and misrepresentations that got us here, and the tragedy of lives lost, homes, families and properties destroyed. And for what? What good can possibly become of this action (other than the profits that may result by some diabolical few). You can't force a country into a Democracy. They need to want it and fight for it on their own. You also can't assume that a country with such a different culture and religious heritage even desires a western style, secular form of government like our own. IMHO, a US enforced democracy just won't work. Sadly, it is futile and tragic to even try.

Claire made a wise statement this evening while watching the news. The politicians that vote for these wars should be required to send their own sons and relatives first, before committing the rest of our youth to fight our battles.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

College Basketball Capital of the World

Incredible week for the UConn Huskies. First time EVER that one college captures the NCAA championship in both Men's and Women's tournament. That makes Connecticut the Center of the Universe of college hoops. A very exciting time for the State of CT. This was a great, great Tournament. Now that it is over, I will surely miss it. It'll be tough to top this one next year.

As for the Laster clan... we got cuz Mawty traveling cross country with the Men's teams, warming them up for the games... and Dave providing the Audio/Visual for the pep rallies at Gample and hilite films shown on Statewide and ESPN networks. WooHoo!!!

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Billy's Big Adventure

Bill Driggs is my co-worker with whom I share some office space at work. He is a Tri-Athalon athlete and adventurer. He has joined the Connecticut Everest Expedition, a group of 7 CT residents that are climbing Mt. Everest. They left this week. One of the climbers is a Hartford Courant Photographer, and the Courant is reporting on their trip with weblogs and video's being sent back almost daily (requires registering with CTNow). It's a great read. Sitting next to Bill at the office, its been mind blowing listening to him making preparations; making travel arrangements to Banghkok, Katmandu, Nepal; getting funding and sponsorship for the expensive gear. Having read accounts of climbing Mt Everest from the book Into Thin Air, I have some knowledge of what Billy is in for. Your crazy, man! Billy, be safe, don't take chances, come back healthy!!

My part in his preparation?.... Bill bought a mini-iPod, and I loaded it up with tunes. He'll be bringing up Miles, Trane, Jimi, Methany and a bunch of other tunes I gave him to the top of the world. Cool.