If you were to hear about a middle-aged guy who hangs out in his garage building rockets and then gets together with friends to shoot off those rockets and then tailgate, it’d be easy to give in to the urge to roll your eyes and make jokes about middle-aged men with rockets.
But then you’d meet Tim Thomas. He takes the urge to eye roll and knocks it back with his passion and excitement and his honest and open love of the craft of model rocketry. After just a few minutes with Tim, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement.
Yes, hobby rocketry is definitely a testosterone-fueled, boys-with-toys kind of a hobby, but it’s a pretty cool hobby. Fire. Showers of sparks. Eardrum-bursting noise levels. For heaven’s sake, Tim keeps propellant on hand. He can build a motor from scratch that will send a rocket 15,000 feet into the air. That’s a lot of zeroes for “just a hobby.”
When Ruth Pettigrew started making custom cat houses while working as an arts professor at Colorado State University, she knew not just any cat house would do.
Felines are finicky, and they like the security of enclosed spaces. Open a paper bag and they crawl in and settle down. Their sanctuaries need to be inviting and functional and appealing to the cats’ natural instincts.
“I just enjoy cats,” said Pettigrew. “I think they’re such interesting animals. They have their own presence.”
As an artist, “I’ve just always liked to observe the world around me,” in specific order, animals, humans, and the ever-changing environment. As a result, she’s spent a lifetime observing feline behavior, which she considers in the design of each structure.
“I’m kind of a lucky person” Mary Bauer said. “About eight years ago, I went to the Ellen DeGeneres show and was called from the audience to play a game of musical chairs. I beat out a gentleman who was about 6’4” and won a big screen TV.
“I happened to get on that show because a friend’s mom had a ticket,” Mary said. “I was excited to even be in line, it was the first time for something like this. I knew I was kind of lucky to be chosen from the audience. It’s the way things often happened to me.”
Later, Mary went to a program called, “Unleash the Power Within,” an event put on by life coach and author Tony Robbins. He picked her out of a crowd of 600 people and held an intervention with her (helped her see some of the problems she was having in life … to clarify what was going on). He sat with her for about an hour, listening and talking.
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