Peyton Manning Makes His Denver Debut At Chicago Today

09 August 2012

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning is about to face his first pass rush in 579 days. The four-time MVP makes his Denver Broncos debut in the preseason opener at Chicago on Thursday. If he has an extra pep in his step or anticipates a larger than usual adrenaline rush against the Bears, he’s not showing it.

He insists it’s simply the next steppingstone in his comeback in Denver (No. 10 in the AP Pro32) after missing all of last season with a nerve injury in his neck that weakened his throwing arm and led to his tearful farewell from the Indianapolis Colts.

He’d like to face some challenging situations during his cameo appearance at Soldier Field, and if he happens to get hit, he’s certain he can bounce right back up.

Broncos boss John Elway and Denver’s coaches will certainly cringe whenever that first big blast comes, but durability is really the only question mark left with Manning. His arm strength and pinpoint accuracy are back.

Manning’s comeback is the biggest story line in the league heading into the 2012 season.

“It’s great for him and he’s great for the NFL,” Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said. “With the things he’s done, he’s one of the great quarterbacks in the history of the game. I’ll just be happy he’s in the AFC, still.”

This will be Manning’s first game since the Pro Bowl following the 2010 season and his first with a pass rush to contend with since the Colts lost to the New York Jets in the AFC wild-card round on Jan. 8, 2011.

Bears coach Lovie Smith isn’t going to have his guys go easy on Manning.

“You don’t play the game to hurt anybody at any time, but it’s a physical football game,” Smith said. “Our pass rushers want to get to the quarterback, whoever he is. I started with Peyton Manning his first year at Tennessee; we’ve known each other for a long time. I’m happy to see him back out there on the football field, but we need to play well against them.”

Manning wouldn’t want it any other way, and neither would his coach, John Fox.

“For the record, we’re not going to hold back on them, either,” Fox said.

The Broncos-Bears game is the highlight of the first full slate of exhibitions spread out over five days. It also marks the reunion of Bears stars Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, who haven’t played together since spending their first three pro seasons in Denver.

Meanwhile, Caleb Hanie returns to Chicago (No. 11, AP Pro32), where he was Cutler’s backup for three years.

All eyes are on Manning, though — even Cutler’s.

“I think everyone is” eager to see Manning, Cutler said. “Caleb’s out there, and he says everything looks great, that Peyton looks great. It will be interesting to see how much carry-over offensively they brought over from Indy, how the new receivers are doing. There are a lot of question marks over there, but Peyton’s Peyton. He’s going to be on top of things, and I’m sure he’s going to look fine.”

Manning, who figures to get fewer than six quarters of work in the preseason, revealed no emotion over his much-anticipated return to action this week.

“I’ve always said you love to get a bit of everything in the preseason if you can,” Manning said. “You love to get some short-yardage work, some third-down conversions. You’d love to get some red zone, goal line.”

Rookie quarterback Brock Osweiler said he doesn’t detect any anxiousness in Manning behind the scenes, either.

“He’s been around a long time and he’s played in a lot of football games,” Osweiler said. “He’ll be ready to go. He understands what kind of mentality you have to go into a game with and how you need to prepare for that, and I think he’s done a tremendous job.

“I’m sure No. 18 will be ready to roll.”

One Chicago player who’s particularly eager to see Manning is Cornerback Tim Jennings, who used to play in Indianapolis.

“When I first got in the league, I thought I wasn’t that good, when I was there. He just makes you feel that way,” Jennings said. “He had a lot of guys around him: Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stokley. And I came in there and it just kind of made me feel smaller than what I was. But I just had to realize I was going against a lot of Hall of Famers for the future.”

Manning’s pocket awareness and quick release make him hard to hit.

He’s averaged just 13 takedowns over his last three seasons, whereas his predecessor, Tim Tebow, was sacked 33 times in just 11 starts last year.

So, the Bears will have their work cut out for them even though Manning’s pocket of protection is unlikely to include right-side starters Chris Kuper, coming off knee surgery, and Orlando Franklin, recently cleared from a concussion.

“I know a lot of guys want to be able to get their hands on him,” Jennings said. “Hopefully we can get to him quicker than anybody else can. But we don’t want to put him in any danger or anything like that. It’s preseason. We just want to go out there and compete, and hopefully if their line protects well, then they shouldn’t have a problem.”

This is a repost of an article I read this morning. To read some of my original material go to my blog.

NASA cheers Mars landing, welcomes new photos.

NASA celebrated the precision landing of a rover on Mars and marveled over the mission’s first photographs Monday as well as video of the landing from the rover itself.

Photos include grainy, black-and-white images of Martian gravel, a mountain at sunset and, most exciting of all, the spacecraft’s white-knuckle plunge through the red planet’s atmosphere.

A low-resolution video of the Curiosity rover during the final few minutes of its descent to the Martian surface was also sent back. It showed the protective heat shield falling away as the rover plummeted through the Mars’ atmosphere, and dust was being kicked up as it was lowered by cables inside a crater.

Curiosity, a roving laboratory the size of a compact car, landed right on target late Sunday night after an eight-month, 352-million-mile journey.

Curiosity Rover Twitter feed

Cheers and applause echoed through NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and engineers hugged, high-fived and thrust their fists in the air after signals from space indicated the vehicle had survived the harrowing descent through Mars’ pinkish atmosphere.

JPL Director Charles Elachi likened the team to Olympic athletes: “This team came back with the gold.”

JPL Mars Science Laboratory site

“Everybody in the morning should be sticking their chests out and saying, `That’s my rover on Mars,”‘ NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on NASA TV.

Extraordinary efforts were needed for the landing because the rover weighs one ton, and the thin Martian atmosphere offers little friction to slow a spacecraft down. Curiosity had to go from 13,000 mph to zero in seven minutes, unfurling a parachute, then firing rockets to brake. In a Hollywood-style finish, cables delicately lowered it to the ground at 2 mph.

At the end of what NASA called “seven minutes of terror,” the vehicle settled into place almost perfectly flat in the crater it was aiming for.

“We have ended one phase of the mission much to our enjoyment,” mission manager Mike Watkins said. “But another part has just begun.”

The nuclear-powered Curiosity will dig into the Martian surface to analyze what’s there and hunt for some of the molecular building blocks of life, including carbon.

It won’t start moving for a couple of weeks, because all the systems on the $2.5 billion rover have to be checked out. Color photos, panoramas and video will start coming in the next few days.

But first NASA had to use tiny cameras designed to spot hazards in front of Curiosity’s wheels. So early images of gravel and shadows abounded. The pictures were fuzzy, but scientists were delighted.

The photos show “a new Mars we have never seen before,” Watkins said. “So every one of those pictures is the most beautiful picture I have ever seen.”

In one of the photos from the close-to-the-ground hazard cameras, if you squinted and looked the right way, you could see “a silhouette of Mount Sharp in the setting sun,” said an excited John Grotzinger, chief mission scientist from the California Institute of Technology.

A high-resolution camera on the orbiting 7-year-old Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, flying 211 miles directly above the plummeting Curiosity, snapped a photo of the rover dangling from its parachute about a minute from touchdown. The parachute’s design can be made out in the photo.

“It’s just mind-boggling to me,” said Miguel San Martin, chief engineer for the landing team.

Curiosity is the heaviest piece of machinery NASA has landed on Mars, and the success gave the space agency confidence that it can unload equipment that astronauts may need in a future manned trip to the red planet.

The landing technique was hatched in 1999 in the wake of devastating back-to-back Mars spacecraft losses. Back then, engineers had no clue how to land super-heavy spacecraft. They brainstormed different possibilities, consulting Apollo-era engineers and pilots of heavy-lift helicopters.

“I think its engineering at its finest. What engineers do is they make the impossible possible,” said former NASA chief technologist Bobby Braun. “This thing is elegant. People say it looks crazy. Each system was designed for a very specific function.”

Because of budget constraints, NASA canceled its joint U.S.-European missions to Mars, scheduled for 2016 and 2018.

“When’s the next lander on Mars? The answer to that is nobody knows,” Bolden said in an interview with The Associated Press recently.

But if Curiosity finds something interesting, he said, it could spur the public and Congress to provide more money for more Martian exploration. No matter what, he said, Curiosity’s mission will help NASA as it tries to send astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s.

p.s. This is a repost of an article I read today.
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Marrrek PeltA friend of mine, Marrrek (yes three “r’s”) Pelt posted this story on Facebook today and I was so touched I thought I would share his story here too!

Aurora Shooting, Marrrek Pelt, James Holmes, Aurora Massacre Yesterday, while doing yard work, I almost mowed over a fast moving garter snake. I quickly lifted one side of the lawn mower so it could slither its escape. I was surprised that it just retreated to the fence line and stayed there.

Earlier that day I found an old skin it had shedded, next to a hole in the cement slab at the front of my house. Not sure that I liked the idea of a snake IN my house, I was feeling very conflicted about the choice to kill this snake. It was only about a foot and a half long, but still not something I want to wake up to. Rationally, I knew the snake would not do me harm, but emotionally I was afraid of the snake anyway.

After poking it with the pole end of a rake, I was surprised how fast it could move, and how vicious it started hissing, biting and lunging towards the stick. More worries: maybe it’s poisonous? (I now know garter snakes here in Colorado are not poisonous ).
I don’t like to kill life, whether it’s spiders, ants, snakes, or people. Buddhists claim, you may be killing the Buddha.

I ended up spending a half hour getting the thing into a bucket, carefully sealing the bucket, and releasing the snake in the woods far away from my home. End of story, I thought.

But I kept on being vexed by the real question: WHY DID I GO THROUGH SUCH GREAT LENGTHS to save the life of one small, miserable creature, who nobody would care about?!?

A week or so ago, a 24-year old youth gunned down 70 people in a movie theatre about 30 minutes driving from where I live, in a Denver suburbs called Aurora. 12 people are already dead, and another 5 are still in critical condition in the hospital. What struck me most about the entire incident, which garnered international attention, was the callous disregard for life, human life, that was exhibited by the shooter. He randomly shot people who tried to escape from the theatre, and fired off numerous rounds with an automatic weapon.

While it made total sense that so many people were affected by this seemingly senseless killing, I cannot ignore the fact that we are bombarded on a daily basis with news of far greater senseless killings (20,000+ reported killed in the last year in Syria, hundreds of people every day from starvation, etc), with far less outcry.

We’ve numbed ourselves out to a lot, to a lot of lack of respect for human life.

It’s becoming evident that our technology has advanced so much that we now can kill many, very effectively, very efficiently using automatic weapons, Anthrax, nuclear bombs, missiles, tanks. What’s less evident is that we have been killing hundreds of animal species in the last 50 years alone; few seem to care any more.

What used to be held as sacred: Life, all life, has now become disposable, irrelevant, or simply ignorable.

The greater loss is with those of us who witness and survive all this: we are losing our ability to FEEL that loss, to CARE about and respect life, ALL life. As time continues, the human race has become less and less human, and more and more of a race, to extinction of all our feelings. All that news coming at us, is JUST TOO MUCH!

James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora killings, is the end result, the culmination of thousands of years of human evolution; we all are. Whether he is schizophrenic or not, there apparently was not enough connection with the rest of society for anyone to see what he was planning.

That disconnection from each other, that separation is evident in how polarized our world has become: whether it’s Palestinians and Israelis, Muslims or Christians, Republicans or Democrats, the 1% or the 99%, socialists or capitalists, conservatives or liberals, gays or straights, pro-choice or pro-life, we keep on separating ourselves more and more from each other.

And the more disconnected and separated we become, the easier it becomes to disrespect the value of each life.

If James Holmes does not have the right to decide who deserves to live and who dies, than who am I to believe I have the right to decide whether a snake deserves to live or die?

There are plenty of times that people are forced to make tough decisions about life and death, whether it’s an ill and suffering parent, or being a victim of violence or torture.

But this was not such an occasion. I was in fear, yes, but I was not in mortal danger. And I had choices, inconvenient perhaps, that allowed me to live, and let live the snake.

I am proud I took my stand. It may not make a big difference in the world, but it made a difference to this beautiful snake and most importantly to ME. I chose my humanity.

Love always.


4 Things Car Thieves Love to See

the car connection logo v2001 4 Things Car Thieves Love To See

Car theft is on the decline–and today, the chances that your vehicle will be stolen are lower than any time in the past 15 years.

Car TheftThe FBI estimates that in 2010, some 737,142 vehicles were stolen in the U.S., a drop of more than 7 percent from the year before. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the more of the same: it says that in 2009, car theft fell more than 21 percent, to an average of 1.33 vehicles stolen per 1,000.

But while anti-theft systems and marked car parts have made it harder to steal cars and sell the pieces, it’s still far too common a crime in many cities–especially in California, which counts seven of the top 10 cities for car theft, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. As quickly as carmakers and drivers take preventative measures, professional theft rings and chop shops work to defeat them.

The most sophisticated crooks may have an upper hand, but some simple prevention can keep you and your car from falling victim to casual thieves. Many cars get stolen or vandalized because their owners didn’t take the most basic precautions like locking up, never leaving it running, and never leaving the keys in it.

Beyond the obvious, it’s all about eliminating the other clear signs that your car is there for the taking. When car thieves are looking for their next score, these are four things they love to see:

1.  Easy targets. Cars parked in dark, isolated, or otherwise concealed areas are excellent choices for the aspiring car thief. But so do vehicles that show obvious signs of neglect: a collection of parking tickets, for example, or just a coat of road dust, anything that suggests the owner hasn’t been on the scene in a while. If you’re going to park your vehicle for an extended period, leave it somewhere attended–or disable it by removing the battery to make a quick getaway impossible.

2.  Popular late-model cars. The list of most-stolen cars is topped by perennial best-sellers like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Impala, and Ford F-150. Some more exotic cars may have higher theft rates, but these mainstream victims of theft arise from a set of factors: the black market for parts, the ease of breaking into them, and the anonymity of driving off in one from the scene of the crime. If you own one, the usual precautions apply, but additional protection might not just be a good idea, it may also reduce your insurance rates.

3.  Cars with no visible, activated alarm system. Real-time vehicle tracking systems such as GM’s OnStar and aftermarket services like LoJack are the bane of thieves, but most luxury cars and even many mass-market vehicles come with basic anti-theft systems. They don’t pose much of an obstacle if they’re not activated, though. If you have a vehicle with such a system, make sure it’s armed when you walk away.

4.  Electronics and their tell-tale cords. Portable music players, laptops, tablets, even radar detectors–they’re all easily and quickly lifted from exposed vehicles. They can also easily be wiped of identifying information and resold. Even the presence of charging cables may be enough to tell a casual vandal that it’s worth getting into your car to go through the glovebox and armrest to see if you’ve stashed a phone or an iPod there. Do yourself a favor: tuck away the cables, and secure anything you’d rather not lose in the trunk–or carry it with you, rather than leaving it behind for prying eyes with prying tools.

p.s. This is a repost of an article I read this morning.

p.p.s. If you would like to make money blogging, click here.

Falling Tree Injures 12 Year Old Boy @ Memorial Park — Prayers Please

I sat straight up in our tent where my two boys and I were sleeping around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, July 25th,  to see why there was a fire engine with siren blaring entering Memorial Park where we were camping. With no immediate threat assessed I fell back to sleep not knowing the tragedy that was happening on the other side of the park.

We later learned that a tree had fallen and injured a young boy in his tent… but not to what extent.

Later the next day, we hiked over to the Sequoia Flats camping area where the tree had fallen.  A somber scene with the yellow caution tape cordoning off the campsite… the tree still laying on the tent where Zach and his cousin had been sleeping, the rest of the campsite left just as it was when the tree had fallen.  Obvious that the family had left with the ambulance.  We said a prayer.

Young Zachary Rowe of Prescott, Arizona

was camping with his family at Memorial Park in San Mateo County when a tree fell and crushed his pelvis and legs while he was sleeping in his tent.

Zachery Rowe and his family were at Memorial Park for a family reunion… as we were.  His family has been coming there for decades… as we have.  Eerie similarities… (selfishly) I can only thank God that the tree did not fall on one of our tents!

On Sunday, we came upon Zachery’s site again, this time quite by accident.  We had been on a two hour hike that brought us in from another direction and had not realized exactly where we were until we saw the yellow caution tape. And this time there were people at the site cleaning up.

Zach’s Uncle came over when he saw us stop at the site; a very kind man.  Sadness, concern and frustration in his eyes, he volunteered his time to tell us what had happened while other family members quietly cleaned the site.

Zach and his cousin had been asleep in their tent when the tree fell and thankfully landed on another tree that was laying on the ground perpendicular to the falling tree and allowed the falling tree to come to rest maybe ten inches off the ground… but after delivering the damage.

He explained that initially there was concern for internal bleeding, organ damage and perhaps a crushed pelvis but they were now feeling confident that may not be the case.  Sadly tough, he advised us of the news in the video below that Zach may have to have his leg amputated.


Please take a few minutes right now to say a prayer and send healing energy to young Zachery Rowe and his family. See him in a loving, healing light. Send Zach Rowe and his family strength to get through this tough time.



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