Saturday, September 30, 2006

So long, Steve Irwin

When I go, I hope Beck talks about me like Terry talks about Steve.

The day that popular television personality Steve "Crocodile Hunter"
Irwin died was the day his wife, Terri, says she lost her prince.

It's been almost a month since a stingray barb killed her husband of
14 years, piercing his heart as he filmed a show on the Great Barrier
Reef. Terri spoke with Barbara Walters, in her first interview since
Irwin's death, about how she is coping.

"One minute at a time. Sometime an hour at a time. With great faith,
great determination," Terri says. "I have tremendous faith in God that
all things happen for a reason, even if we don't understand. & I have
two beautiful children. And they really are my strength."

Terri met Steve Irwin on Oct. 6, 1991. The Oregon native was visiting
Australia with friends. "I went into this little reptile park, and
Steve was doing the crocodile show, coincidentally. & I was absolutely
floored. That was it. This man was a real-life hero. I fell then and
there, love at first sight."

They started talking, and Terri says it became clear that Steve liked
her too. But he told her he had a girlfriend. "I was a little bit
devastated, she says." But that lovesick devastation didn't last for
long. Steve introduced Terri to his girlfriend Sue, a little dog.

Six months later, they were married.

Terri says she'd marry Steve again in a minute, even knowing how it would end.

Despite the loss of her husband, Terri says she still feels blessed
that she had him in her life. "I had romance like I didn't think
existed anymore, a wonderful romance. He was passionate and determined
and enthusiastic."

He had so much enthusiasm for life, that at times, Terri says, it was
hard to keep up with him. "There were so many things that made me
crazy, like his desire to do everything now. He had a real sense of
urgency with his life and no side view business plan. If you got
plans, we'll do them now."

At Irwin's memorial service, it was said over and over again how
"Steve changed the world." Terri says he changed the world by giving
everyone a message. "If you can reach out and touch and love and be
with wildlife, you will forever be changed and you will want to make
the world a better place. & If we do nothing... we're in trouble. And
he did more than anybody. So I think we can all do something."

As the Irwin family continues to grieve, there's one thing Terri says
she misses the most. "He was fun. He was fun. He taught me it's OK to
play in the rain. And splash in my puddle. And let the kids get dirty.
And spill ice cream on your pants. He didn't sweat the little stuff.
He followed the big picture. And he had fun! Now I'm going to work
really hard at having fun again. & I'm Mrs. Steve Irwin. I've got a
lot to live up to."

Terri remembers how much her husband loved being in the wild. "When he
was in with those crocodiles, all he wanted to do was show you and
convince you why you should love them... He just absolutely loved
crocodiles... But you know how he saw them. Not as weird. He saw them
as dinosaurs... He saw them as the most amazing animals."

Bindi, their 8-year-old daughter, reminds Terri of her husband. "Bindi
has a spirituality about her that I've seen with Steve. She has
unbelievable sensitivity. She has an uncanny connection with wildlife.
She has a love for them that was just like her dad's. & She seems to
feel an animal. She seems to understand it and have this great gift of

Bindi has begun to follow in her father's footsteps. She's on a new
series the Discovery Network has developed called "Bindi the Jungle
Girl," which Bindi hosts herself.

And what's in Terri's own future? "I have to be here for my
children," she says. "I have to make sure the zoo keeps running. He
planned all of that masterfully. He planned this wonderful business so
that it could continue if anything happened to him."

And if the youngest of the Irwin clan, 2-year-old Robert, has any say
in future plans, his father will be back in their lives. Just the
other night, Terri says she found Robert fixing a motorbike with a
screwdriver. She asked him what he was doing, and he answered, "I'm
fixing the motorbike so Daddy can drive it from heaven."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pictures of my Bahamas Trip

We stayed at the Atlantis on Paradise Island. What a place!!

Won an award

From Conference 2006

Fed the Iguanas

From Conference 2006

Saw a Grouper as big as Becky

From Conference 2006

Fed the sharks

From Conference 2006

Had a great time with my bride

From Conference 2006

Here are all the pictures on Picasa.

Friday, September 15, 2006

"Things Never Before Said by a NASCAR Driver"

Wednesday night's "Top 10 List" on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" was delivered by the 10 NASCAR drivers competing in the 2006 "Chase for the Nextel Cup."

Their offering;


"Anyone know how to drive a stick?"


"Does this gas taste funny to you?"


"I don't care much for country music or beer."


"Switch the `R' and the `C' in `racing' and you get `caring.'"


"Wow, Letterman looks so young in person."


"You're looking at a guy who can drive 500 miles without taking a leak."


"A truly great driver doesn't mind asking for directions, am I right, ladies?"


"It would be nice if the guys in the pits occasionally surprised me with a piece of carrot cake or something."


"The Nextel Cup is great, but what I'm really excited for is the `Late Show' Ventriloquist Week."


"If you think I'm fast in my car, you should see me in the bedroom."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Couch Lou Holtz

The keynote speaker at today's general session was Coach Lou Holtz. A few stats about the legend: Lou Holtz coached Notre Dame to a national football title in 1988. He was a 2-time Coach of the Year (1977,88). He retired after the 1996 season with a 216-95-7 record in 27 seasons with 5 schools— Wm. & Mary (3 years), N.C. State (4), Arkansas (7), Minnesota (2) and ND (11).

Wins, Losses, and Lessons LPWins, Losses, and Lessons LP

He never took over a winning team - and in every case, was playing at a bowl game within 2 seasons. He was a fantastic speaker that was funny, polished, quick witted, and poignant. Here are a few of my favorite one liners from today:

• "Behind every successful man is a surprised mother-in-law."
• "The true key to happiness is a bad memory."
• "I'm the only guy I know who has written more books then I have read."
• "I don't pray for my wife any more, I pray to her. She's a saint!"
• Referring to marriage: "Opposites attract, then they attack."

What made the biggest impact on me during his 60 minute speech was this summation:

"There are only three questions that everyone wants to know about you: Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? Do you genuinely care about me?

If you genuinely care about someone, the only way to show it is by the little things. Lift them up, share in their lives, share yours.

Do you want to know who genuinely cares about you? Ask yourself this question: 'If I don't make it back home or back to work – who will truly miss me?' Your answer will be people to whom you have made yourself an asset to. By being trusting, committed to excellence, and genuinely caring about them."

-Coach Lou Holtz

Food and Good Times

There are over 900 people here from my company, and last night an elite 300 or so were at a dinner at Graycliff ( which is a 5 star restaurant, cigar bar and, sports the worlds top three private wine collections.

After drinks and hors d' overs around the 2 pools surrounded by Bahamian foliage and a band, we shuffled into the 260 year old building for dinner. I had the Grouper. Post dinner, I hovered over a Cuban gentleman who spoke no English and was about 75 years old and watched him roll Premium Bahamian Cigars that were "99% Cuban".

Today, I was invited to a "first timers" reception where a record-breaking 250 sales reps attended. All I have to say, is - it was done right. The theme was simply 'glad you are here, DON'T EVER MISS IT!'

Then off to the company dinner with all 900 people. The decks of the hotel were filled with lobster tails on the grill, fillet Mignon, fresh mozzarella, fruit, desserts, and beer and wine and more, much more. I was overwhelmed with the number of people there, and these represent the top sales reps in the company! Good company. My favorite? Macaroons with hot chocolate sauce drizzled on top. CORRECT!

After dinner, I mingled and made my way to the casino where $100 kept me busy for 45 minutes at the Black Jack table, had a few drinks and donated another $100 to the Bahamian gods of cards.

Tomorrow 8am - noon is a general session with all reps from all divisions, free lunch and the rest of the day is 100% free. Sleep sounds good to me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Start of trip

In case you didn't catch it a few posts ago, I flew to the Bahamas
this morning on an incentive trip from work. 7 days in Paradise with
sun, fun, and lots of activities with crazy sales people just like
me!! This trip is legendary among the top sales reps at my company,
and I was lucky enough to be in an elite group of folks attending.

I think I'll blog a little from here, since I already decided that I'd
spend the $10.00 a day for internet access. I figure that $10.00 a
day isn't a lot when you are an addict. At least now I can tell
people that I have a "Ten dollar a day habit."

Beck will be joining me down here next Sunday, so she thought that it
would be a good idea to pack a few (note the use of the word few)
things in my bags. I guess that it was only fair considering that I
was taking the "dead body" bag – named that because a dead body could
fit inside.

Upon arrival at the counter, the girl pointed to the scale and said
"Why don't you put them up here sir, and we'll weigh them." I was
like "Why – you think they are overweight?"

"By the way you carried them up to the counter – YES!"

OK, that's cool. Profile me.

First: Dead body bag: 57 lbs. Ouch. 50's the limit.

She recommended that I move some stuff to the other bag and all I
could think about was opening it up and moving over lingerie and
bikini's. "No, let's wait and see what the other one weighs."

Hanging bag: 5 lbs under! Yippee.

Wait, that's a net overage of 2 lbs – "I'm good, right?" I say to the
attractive and chipper check in girl.

"Yeah, you're alright – its just $50.00, sir." She mumbled

"What's $50.00?" I said – with my voice going up at the end like a little boy.

"The cost of the bags, it's over the weight limit."

Ok, cash paid and on to the security area. Remember it's September
11th. I'm prepared for full body cavity searches but I am met with
same old, same old.

I forgot to take out my keys and iPod from my pocket, so I beeped.
Back to the start, I pulled everything out of my pockets quickly and
frantically because I was holding up the line. Oh, and I had to walk
in my bare feet in the airport! Ughr.

OK, done with that and all my stuff is packed neatly back where it
belongs. When I arrive at the gate, guess what's missing? I'll give
you a hint: it's white and it plays(ed) music. iPod. Yeah.

Back to the gate and no one saw anything. "What? No".

xI can only guess that someone has a cute new iPod Shuffle with my
name laser engraved on the side of it. I could always file a claim,
so I guess I'll do that when I get back. Riiiiight.

Gotta go so I can fill out my Customs paperwork, but only one
problem: They aren't giving out pens or pencils. The nice couple
next to me was doing a crossword book – so I snagged her red pen.

As I completed the forms, I noticed it read BLUE OR BLACK INK ONLY.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Wake up call

Ever find yourself without an alarm clock? Want to time yourself to
do something?

How about you just want to watch the seconds click away?

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Hurricane Tracker

Yeah.  I won the trip for work and will be headed out on September 11th to the Bahamas....

All I do is watch this map all day now.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

View all my August photos

All August photos here.

Visit from an old friend

For those of you who haven't heard the story: Becky and the girls went outside about a month ago to play on the swings. Becky returned, quite disturbed and asked me to come outside. When I arrived, she pointed out the head of an opossum. And it was f-r-e-s-h meat. Yeah.

Well, our backyard is surrounded by a 6' fence - and I wanted to know how the head got here with no body! I searched for a while and looked on the street side of the fence, but couldn't find anything. On the way in the house, I saw it: The freshly killed and eaten body of this adult opossum. For the longest time, we were really freaked - how did this happen? Who did it?

Dad Storholt gave us a good idea - and when I searched the "crime scene" closer, I located the breast feather of a hawk. Since that day - we have identified two Coopers Hawks that seem to live across the street in a 100 year old pine.

Click here to see the rest of the pictures. Posted by Picasa

Kaitlyn just being a nut!

 Posted by Picasa

Barn Spider

A few weekends ago, Beck and I noticed a barn spider making a really big web just off the deck. Gramma Kaine, Becky and I sat on the deck for about 2 hours and watch her make her orb.

If you ever get the opportunity to watch a spider build a web from scratch, watch it! Posted by Picasa

Li'l Ray's Birthday

You may also recall when we bought the daycare, that Anastasia decided to have Li'l Ray 2 days later. The best of all? He was a month early!

The next day, Boom and I showed up at the center to open!!! You should have seen the parent's faces and heard the kids cries. :-)

Happy birthday, little Ray - clearly you enjoyed it!!!! Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday Next Level Development!

August 17th was the first birthday of Next Level Development. In many ways it seems like it was 50 years ago and 5 minutes ago all at the same time.

Anastasia has turned the center into a true development based learning center - we are lucky to have her as our best friend and director! Posted by Picasa

Kaitlyn on her new table and chairs

What you don't see here is that our little monkey LOVES to climb on top of these little chairs and table. Our little monkey likes to climb on top of just about anything. God, help us! Posted by Picasa

It was a loooong day for Miss Paige

I looked over after Paige was eerily quiet for about a minute, and here she was. Fast asleep. Say it with me: "Ahhhhhhh." Posted by Picasa

Google Image Tagger

Google is genius!

Check out this tool:

When you go there, you are teamed up with another person automatically and asked to tag an image.  When you match a tag, you get points.  Not only are you having fun, but you are making google images searches better.  Super genius!

It's strangely addictive, give it a try!