the staffords

Day 920: January 15, 2017

Fredericksburg Skyline & Rappahannock River

The town of Fredericksburg was both the childhood home of George Washington and the site of the one of the most decisive Confederate victories of the Civil War. Today, the town skyline is mostly unchanged from what the Union soldiers would have seen looking across the river in 1862. We took a trolley tour of the historic downtown and battlefield and had a great time. The central town itself is actually much nicer than I was expecting, reminiscent of Old Town Alexandria while being generally much cheaper.

River Drive, Fredericksburg, Virginia

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At Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, Washington, inmates participate in a program called Freedom Tails, which partners them with dogs who have been labeled as “unadoptable” and might otherwise be euthanized. Stafford Creek was the first prison in state of Washington to implement a dog training program, and the project was such a huge success that nearly every prison in the state now has a similar program. The inmates who participate in Freedom Tails go through a screening and interview process, and must not have a history of domestic violence, child abuse, or animal abuse, and they must be infraction-free. Inmates are not paid to be in the program, as their participation is on a volunteer basis. There is a very long waiting list to get in.

The dogs that come into the program are often traumatized by abuse or neglect from their former owners, and are not socialized to interact with humans. The inmates work with the dogs to overcome these obstacles and build trust with their handlers. They then learn basic obedience, potty training, and recognizing verbal and hand-signal commands. Some dogs that show a special proclivity for learning and working with humans are trained to be service dogs for the disabled. On occasion, Freedom Tails brings in dogs who already have a home, but need to be trained for specialized commands specific to their owner. For example, a wheelchair-bound woman needed her dog to be able to open doors, retrieve her medicine bag, or help her up if she fell out of her chair. The dog learned all of these skills at Freedom Tails and earned an International Therapy Dog certification.

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Lea Salonga singing Higher from the new Broadway musical, Allegiance. I dare you to not feel tingly listening to her sing. By the second listen, I was crying. No joke.

Allegiance is the new Broadway musical about a family torn apart in a Japanese internment camp during WWII. According to American Theater magazine, it is the FIRST Broadway musical created by Asian Americans, directed by an Asian American (Stafford Arima), has a predominantly Asian cast, and has an Asian-American viewpoint.

I dare you to fall in love with Higher, Lea Salonga, and Allegiance.

small rant about NFL MVP

Okay so most of you like won’t give a fuck but this has been pissing me off since end of November. In the NFL, they have MVP race and they keep up with until the night before the Super Bowl. Now, Tom fuckin Brady was suspended for 4 games for an allegation two seasons ago. He couldn’t play in the first 4 games of this season and his back up came in. Now, yes Tom is putting up large numbers (per usual) and has been doing what Tom has been doing for almost 20 years. What’s pissing me off is the fact that these “analyst” are constantly shoving down the audiences ear Tom, Aaron Rodgers (who had his most mediocre season and had literally 2 good games through the whole season), and Stafford in these MVP talks and rewarding there mediocre ass playing.
When more deserving players like Derek Carr(who took one of the shittiest franchises to the playoffs after years), Ezekiel Elliot, Dak Prescott (who had to take over for pussy boy Tony Romo’s bitch ass and prove the REAL owner of the NFL, Jerry Jones wrong.) Dak and Zeke are literally THE best rookie duo in current NFL history. Also, Matt Ryan deserves so much more talk as well. These players took these struggling underrated teams from barely making the playoffs and always being last to winning there division easily.
Stop rewarding players that have been just doing what they’ve been doing for years or players that should’ve been doing these things and it finally click in there fuckin brains. Stop rewarding players that float by and leave there defense to do all the work. Stop talking about MVP numbers if they can’t go all the way which most of the time they couldn’t do. You giving Tom this reward is like saying, “hey kids cheaters do win sometimes.” Giving Aaron or Stafford this award is a slap to the face to Wilson, Carr, Dak, and Ryan. “Analyst” for years have been telling Wilson since he’s been drafted that it’s all the LOB and he’s just mediocre. There mad that he is a great QB and they were wrong to draft him so low due to height. They keep telling Dak and Carr they run too much but when Aaron and Tom would run, “it’s great scrambling…” get the fuck outta here. “MVP” means “Most Valuable Player” when have Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady not been valuable to there fuckin team, look around there and you’ll see more amazing players putting up similar if not better numbers. Sorry that Peyton isn’t in the league for you to throw him in race as well.
All in all, stop rewarding players for being mediocre in the season and start rewarding players for there change on there teams and how they change the atmosphere of the game overall. I’m not saying Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Matthew Stafford aren’t good at all (cause they are great if not future HOF) but they’ve been doing this for 10+ years. It seems like some players can walk, when some HAVE to fly 1000 mph to be recognized.
Sorry, I had to get this off my chest…
Happy Holidays😌

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The Newsboys and Beth sing about all the garbage they ate on tour.

Feat: Chaz, Daniel, Jack, Iain, Devin, Beth, and Zach