Monday, June 22, 2009

You want to cry? Just read on

before you continue reading I strongly suggest you get a tear receptacle, be it a tissue, sleeve or a favorite blanket.

Colby Curtin, a 10-year-old with a rare form of cancer, was staying alive for one thing – a movie.

From the minute Colby saw the previews to the Disney-Pixar movie Up, she was desperate to see it. Colby had been diagnosed with vascular cancer about three years ago, said her mother, Lisa Curtin, and at the beginning of this month it became apparent that she would die soon and was too ill to be moved to a theater to see the film.

After a family friend made frantic calls to Pixar to help grant Colby her dying wish, Pixar came to the rescue.

The company flew an employee with a DVD of Up, which is only in theaters, to the Curtins’ Huntington Beach home on June 10 for a private viewing of the movie.

The animated movie begins with scenes showing the evolution of a relationship between a husband and wife. After losing his wife in old age, the now grumpy man deals with his loss by attaching thousands of balloons to his house, flying into the sky, and going on an adventure with a little boy.

Colby died about seven hours after seeing the film.

With her daughter’s vigil planned for Friday, Lisa Curtin reflected about how grateful she is that Pixar – and "Up" – were a part of her only child’s last day.

“When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie,” said Curtin, 46. “I just know that word ‘Up’ and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven.”

Pixar officials declined to comment on the story or name the employees involved.

Colby was diagnosed with vascular cancer on Dec. 23, 2005 after doctors found a tumor in her liver. At the time of her death, her stomach was about 94 inches around, swollen with fluids the cancer wouldn’t let her body properly digest. The rest of her body probably weighed about 45 pounds, family friend Carole Lynch said.

Colby had gone to Newport Elementary School and was known for making others laugh, family friend Terrell Orum-Moore said. Colby loved to dance, sing, swim and seemed to have a more mature understanding of the world than other children her age, Orum-Moore said.

On April 28, Colby went to see the Dream Works 3-D movie "Monsters Vs. Aliens" but was impressed by the previews to "Up."

“It was from then on, she said, ‘I have to see that movie. It is so cool,’” Lynch said.

Colby was a movie fan, Lisa Curtin said, and she latched onto Pixar’s movies because she loved animals.

Two days later Colby’s health began to worsen. On June 4 her mother asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair for Colby so she could visit a theater to see "Up." However, the weekend went by and the wheelchair was not delivered, Lisa Curtin said.

By June 9, Colby could no longer be transported to a theater and her family feared she would die without having seen the movie.

At that point, Orum-Moore, who desperately wanted Colby to get her last wish, began to cold-call Pixar and Disney to see if someone could help.

Pixar has an automated telephone answering system, Orum-Moore said, and unless she had a name of a specific person she wanted to speak to, she could not get through. Orum-Moore guessed a name and the computer system transferred her to someone who could help, she said.

Pixar officials listened to Colby’s story and agreed to send someone to Colby’s house the next day with a DVD of "Up," Orum-Moore recalled.

She immediately called Lisa Curtin, who told Colby.

“Do you think you can hang on?” Colby’s mother said.

“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,” the girl replied.

At about 12:30 p.m. the Pixar employee came to the Curtins’ home with the DVD.

He had a bag of stuffed animals of characters in the movie and a movie poster. He shared some quirky background details of the movie and the group settled in to watch Up.

Colby couldn't see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film.

At the end of the film, the mother asked if her daughter enjoyed the movie and Colby nodded yes, Lisa Curtin said.

The employee left after the movie, taking the DVD with him, Lynch said.

“He couldn’t have been nicer,” said Lynch who watched the movie with the family. “His eyes were just welled up.”

After the movie, Colby’s dad, Michael Curtin, who is divorced from Lisa Curtin, came to visit.

Colby died with her mom and dad nearby at 9:20 p.m.

Among the Up memorabilia the employee gave Colby was an “adventure book” – a scrap book the main character’s wife used to chronicle her journeys.

“I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,” Lisa Curtin said.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Damn cool pics

I found a number of really interesting posts this week at Damn Cool Pics including:

The World's Most Unusual Weddings

5,000 KM Beard Growth Time Lapse

Which is definitely worth a look as there is more to the story than the video alone.

And the worrying story of Kimberley Vlaminck, and her tattooed face.

Have a good weekend now y'all


Friday, June 19, 2009

Button hurt in F1 accident - caution graphic

Repeatedly posted around the interweb. But with the British Grand Prix tomorrow it is even more relevant. And it made me LOL (laugh out loud)


Monday, June 15, 2009

They don't make 'em like they used to

Back in the Old Country we used to read a newspaper every day. I still read the same paper, but online and I read the obituary page in Google Reader as there are just the most interesting people who have had the most astonishing lives, leaving us. I have found that the only way to learn life's lessons from such great people is to read their obituaries.

Here are a few snippets from the last few days:

Lieutenant-Colonel Bill Becke:

  • After withdrawing to reload his tommy-gun, he returned to account for at least four of the enemy
  • Becke demonstrated archetypal British pluck when, monocled and with moustache bristling, he defied a mob trying to sack the British embassy in Jakarta
  • In 1974 Becke and his wife drove most of the way from Scotland to Australia

Major Philip James:

  • As well as instilling such old-fashioned virtues as politeness and the correct way to eat peas with a fork, James was a useful member of the staff cricket team
  • On one occasion he bombarded another regiment's officers' mess with flaming polo balls
  • "The Major", as he was always known, was never unduly impressed by celebrities

Wing Commander Ken Mackenzie:

  • He then slammed his wing tip on the Bf 109's tail which snapped off sending it diving into the sea.
  • On his way to a POW camp, Mackenzie gave his guard the slip on a crowded Paris railway station but was soon recaptured
  • Over a long period of time he feigned madness and developed a severe stammer for the purpose

They don't make 'em like they used to


I didn't say nuffing

I just think that Bobski has a great way of summarizing what people say.

Bobski's blog


Wowzers - what a week

Thanks to Captain Caveman back in the '80s 'wowzers' became part of my everyday lexicon.

And so it is with pride that I include him in what has to be a pivotal series of events in my life that have occurred over the last 100 hours;

On Thursday morning, a court case in which I have become tied down since March has finally been resolved - mainly in my favor.

On Thursday afternoon I signed a lease on a new, spacier, more modern apartment in a new city away from the hustle and bustle of where my little family currently live.

On Thursday evening, after over 12 months of looking for the right job . . . (wait for it) . . . I was informed that funds are being sought to bring me in to The Company I have been looking to work for, in The Position I have wanted - since February 06!! (fingers, and much else, stay crossed until I am actually in the office with a company email address).

So far so good. Or, more accurately, so far Thursday damn fine!!

Thursday evening was the first time in over 2 weeks that I actually ate a meal. I have noshed at different foodstuffs but generally not taken in more than 500 calories a day. Which is not too healthy. Unless you're a hamster in which case I think its just dandy. I lost 7kg / 15lbs in 2 weeks.

Late Thursday evening Mrs J and I packed our suitcases for the trip to New York and Chicago to see family. Actually Mrs J packed and I hindered, absconded and generally detracted from all of her efforts.

It's what I do. And I do it well.

Friday afternoon saw us driving off to a friend's summer apartment by the sea for 25 hours of relaxation. We were a total of 5 adults and our baby so he was spoiled rotten. The food was great, the people were fun and we just had a superb time. Which was lucky as our trip began at midnight on Saturday.
12 hours on a plane.
With a 3 month old baby.

Not a pleasant experience by anyone's account but it had to be done. And I did it without medication. And I was helpful to the wife. And I even smiled through most of it. Which I think shows just how much stress I had been under.

The court case had really knocked the wind out of my sails as it was a really pathetic case of 'he said she said' which can never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. In the end a compromise was arrived at, a compromise to my ethics and my beliefs but I was dealing with potentially (see - I'm learning already) not 100% kosher police who were in it to only help themselves. Allegedly. Maybe.

And now it is over. All connections I had with the police have now been cut. And the real 'kicker' in the whole story? I had been helping the police in a volunteer role when I became bogged down in the whole story.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

So, a happier, friendlier, less stressed Jumblerant will be coming to you from New York an Chicago until the end of the month.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Those Jews don't mess around

I've seen a fair bit of antisemitism in my day in London, Warsaw and Lebanon (ahem...) so i do smile when I find a post that 'gets it', understands what Israel is all about and why it does, what it does, on a regular basis.

I support Israel because I believe that if the terrorists would simply stop attacking them, all hostilities would cease. I also believe that if Israel stopped fighting the terrorists, Israel would cease to exist.

From "Those Jews don't mess around" by Robb Allen over at 'Sharp As A Marble'.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Abd this one? Already on my blogroll

Yes, I admit it. I put this blog onto my blogroll before I even told you about it. Yes, it's that good.

kristen's blog for today, 1 Down, 999 To Go had me smiling but her blog I'm Sorry had me nearly blubbering.

In other news I missed out on the 65th Anniversary of D-Day due to my illness, and the fact that in these cost cutting times we cancelled our cable package. In the midst of my illness I did manage to catch a few interesting blogging though:

This Ain't Hell, But you can see it from here has a very well written article about a 94 year old Phony paratrooper at D-Day Ceremony

The Mudville Gazette has some films from the time "Original video from the day, narrated by the men who were there...."

McQ over at Blackfive has a thought provoking blog about D-Day,  and the men and emotions involved. D-Day Plus 65 Years

And, again at the Mudville Gazette, Grayhawk has a modern day blog for today, June 8th 2009, to bring us back from the past and into the present. The Call. (You might need to 'take a moment' after reading this one).

To lift the mood of the blog slightly its over to Iraq and Steven Colbert of the Colbert Report who has gone 'high and tight' in support of the troops.


No, I am not an innkeeper

I don't even remember how I came to start reading the blog Behind the Blueberry recently. I just know that I like it.

In my exceptionally arrogant way I assume that you are the same as me and will also love it. Not so arrogant? Well I found this blog first, so I'm better than you - and there's the arrogance.

I guess I'll have to start working on that.

But go here and read their blog first. Before you take vindictive action against the Jumblerant....

And I have started talking about my persona in the 3rd party already. Oh bugger.


I'm back baby - oh yeah

Apologies for not blogging for what feels like forever but I had a really bad dose of the "I really don't know what I have but I don't want to eat and I sleep the whole time and you know what? Just leave me alone in bed please".

Luckily its not catching because Mrs Jumblerant was amazing through it all. Basically I didn't really eat for a week and then slowly began building up what I ate until (YAHOO!) I ate a whole bagel and some tuna today.

Who said you learn nothing from reading blogs?

So I'm back baby - oh yeah.

Whilst reading blogs in bed thanks to my Nokia N95, I came across a very interesting 'happening'. Apparently, a group of bloggers were invited to an overnighter on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. Which, to put it bluntly, is insane!! From blogging about anything to being invited onto an aircraft carrier?!?!

I read a few of the blogs about the trip and found them exceptionally interesting. It looks like the US Navy is trying to get some good feeling going on the blogosphere.

Good for them.

And it leads to some very interesting blog titles such as: I’m not dead but I was technically in prison so I have a good reason for not posting or epic - which contains the astounding quote 'I was XO at Top Gun, not CO' - and I get to read your blog? I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!!
The detailed blog that reports it all is 24 Hours at Sea on the USS Nimitz by Guy Kawasaki over at How to Change the World and I like his style.

Thats all for now - but it is good to be back.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sorry - I've been a bit under the weather this week.

No real posting until I can refocus my eyes on the monitor. . .