Bull Fest 2006 – Mutton Bustin’

Cody had the longest ride of the day
Cody Upton, age 8, of Yuba City, California hangs on for the longest ride of the day

Mutton bustin’? That’s bull riding for little kids, on sheep. Pictured above, Cody Upton, age 8, has been mutton busting since he was 4. He’ll have to retire soon, though, as he is out-growing the sheep. You can find mutton busting events at many rodeos; this one was at the California State Fair Bull Fest event. (See more Bull Fest photos on my Flickr slideshow.)

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New Zealand All Blacks


Just got back from several days in Auckland, New Zealand. By an incredibly lucky coincidence, I was staying at the same hotel as the New Zealand national rugby team – the All Blacks. By another amazing coincidence, my client Jane used to work in marketing for the All Blacks. And, they happened to be having a game against Ireland on Saturday night (June 17, 06). And, there were two tickets still available in the covered area of the stands, not subject to the pouring rain that fell down on the field for most of the game (thank you, Jane Dent!). The game was great fun; the All Blacks won, naturally; my companion Hayden entertained us all with well placed insults to the field and gorgeous Maori songs.

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Geodesic Dome Chicken Coop

A few weeks ago at a party I met a terribly interesting couple who built a geodesic dome chicken coop to house their chickens. What I was curious to know was did the chicken coop smell? Every other chicken coop I had been near really smelled bad. Simon and Kathleen invited me to check out their coop in person, which I did the next day. And guess what? The coop simply did not smell, at all. Seems like the deciding factor is having enough room for the chickens to move around. Click on photos for a larger view.

Here I am with Simon feeding the chickens

Simon has even created a live webstream for his chicken coop which can be accessed at http://nakedchicksontheinternet.com, so you can see these happy chickens for yourself.

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Retired Vice Admiral James Stockdale passed away yesterday, July 5, 2005. He was 81 years old. Most people know of Stockdale as Ross Perot’s running mate in the 1992 presidential election and his flubbed debate participation against Al Gore and Dan Quayle. I remember watching this debate, head in hands, upset that not only was Stockdale completely unprepared for the televised event, but that people would walk away not knowing anything of who this man was.

Vice Admiral Stockdale was an American hero of the finest order. Shot down over Vietnam in 1965, he was captured by the North Vietnamese, severely beaten, and placed in a POW prison for seven years. Most of that time he was in solitary confinement. He was routinely tortured. While a prisoner he devised a way to communicate with other prisoners of war by a series of taps on the wall. As the most senior officer in the camp he did his best to keep moral up among the others and to keep them from going insane from the torture. He drew upon the philosophy of the Stoics, which he had studied in graduate school at Stanford, to keep himself sane.

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