Cowboys Stadium Tour

Cowboys Stadium tickets

Sarah has Cowboys Stadium tickets

Why is Sarah smiling? Because she has Cowboys Stadium Tour tickets. One each for Derek and herself and her parents. Bryson gets to go in free. Tours of Cowboys Stadium allow fans behind-the-scenes access to several areas including the Cowboys Locker Room, Cheerleaders Locker Room, Playing Field, Private Clubs, Media Interview Room and other areas.

Cowboys Stadium big screen

The center-hung video display board is the largest high-definition television screen in the world

Cowboys Stadium Jill and Bryson

Jill and Bryson watch the big screen

Cowboys Stadium is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas. It serves as the home of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. It replaced the partially-covered Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, and served as the Cowboys’ home through the 2008 season. It was completed on May 27, 2009. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the 3rd largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity.

Cowboys Stadium football

A football in the ceiling

Cowboys Stadium encouraging words

Some words of encouragement

The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world, has the world’s largest column-free interior and the largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The facility can also be used for a variety of other activities outside of its main purpose (professional football) such as concerts, religious ceremonies, basketball games, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, motorcross races and rodeos similar to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Cowboys Stadium Derek Jill Bryson Sarah

Derek, Jill, Bryson, and Sarah, on their way to visit the private suites

Cowboys Stadium private suite

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson would be enjoying the game in luxury, if there was one

Cowboys Stadium was designed by the Dallas-based architectural firm HKS. Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium’s current construction cost was $1.3 billion, making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built. To aid Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in paying the construction costs of the new stadium, Arlington voters approved the increase of the city’s sales tax by 0.5 percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent. The City of Arlington provided over $325 million (including interest) in bonds as funding, and Jones covered any cost overruns. Also, the NFL provided the Cowboys with an additional $150 million, as per their policy for giving teams a certain lump sum of money for stadium financing.

Cowboys Stadium Tony Romo locker

Bryson and Derek by Tony Romo's locker

Cowboys Stadium cheerleaders lockers

Bryson at the cheerleaders lockers

A pair of nearly 300 ft-tall arches spans the length of the stadium dome, anchored to the ground at each end. The new stadium also includes more than 3,000 Sony LCD displays throughout the luxury suites, concourses, concession areas and more, offering fans viewing options that extend beyond the action on the field and a center-hung video display board that is the largest high-definition television screen in the world. Glass doors, allowing each end zone to be opened, were designed and constructed by Dallas-based Haley-Greer glass systems.

Cowboys Stadium at the 10

Bryson makes it to the 10

Cowboys Stadium at the end zone

Jill, Bryson, Sarah, Derek, and Rick are in the end zone

The retractable roof was designed by structural engineering firm Walter P Moore and the systems were implemented by mechanization consultants Uni-Systems. These Kinetic Architecture fundamentals will be employed in order to create quick conversions of the facility to accommodate a variety of events. When the design was officially unveiled on December 12, 2006, it showed that, from inside the stadium, the roof will look very similar to the Texas Stadium roof, with its trademark hole. However, it can be covered by the retractable roof panel to protect against the elements.

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium Tom Landry

Tom Landry, head coach 1960 to 1988, career record 270 - 178 - 6, Super Bowl Champions 1971 and 1977

Photos by Rickety. Text by Wikipedia.
Rickety signature.

Caption Competition #6

Sarah behind bars

Sarah behind bars at The Aquarium at Moody Gardens

I took this photograph in March at The Aquarium at Moody Gardens on Galveston Island, Texas. Amidst all the fish tanks and displays was this cage so my daughter Sarah agreed to create my next caption. This picture will be easier to write a caption for than the last competition so go ahead and stun us with your creativity and wit.

Rachel holding NASA chocolate

Rachel holding NASA chocolate bars

The first prize (Kaysville and environs only) is a Johnson Space Center 3oz almond milk chocolate bar. The motto “Failure is not an option” is printed on the wrapper along with the famous NASA logo. Second prize is a smaller milk chocolate bar with the image of the space shuttle blasting off into space. A sight that you now will only see on chocolate bars and old newsreels.

For the judging I will ask my readers to vote on one or more of the captions written for this Caption Competition #6. Those writing captions can also vote. And yes, you can vote for your own caption though all the world will know you absolutely have zero social skills.

Even if you are not local we will be totally spaced out to hear from you. However, we cannot mail prizes because importing this space age chocolate from Texas brought our budget crashing to earth.
Rickety signature.

Sarah and Bryson Leave For Texas

Sarah and Bryson left for Texas today.

Jill, Sarah, and Bryson at the Salt Lake airport

It was a sad, rickety day as Sarah and Bryson prepared to leave for Texas. Derek has found work there so it was necessary to move. With Bryson being our first grandchild, and just starting to smile, he will be especially missed. However, Adelaide’s due date is seven days from now and so the newest arrival will receive all our lavish attention. Poor thing, I hope you know how to smile :) . Now I know why movie stars wear sunglasses — to protect themselves from all the flash photography. Jill is already planning a visit to Texas and I expect we will become quite familiar with the lone star state. The motto of Texas is friendship so if any of you Texans from Keller see Sarah about town be sure to say “Hi”.
Rickety signature

The Conquest of Jericho Sestina

The first time I heard of a sestina was when my daughter Sarah received a homework assignment to write one. I helped a little by suggesting a story from the Bible and then by contributing a few lines. This happened back in 2001 but I still remember fondly the time we spent penning those 39 lines. A sestina can be quite appealing to the mind because of the re-use of the six chosen words and the order in which they appear.

What is a Sestina?

With the help of Wikipedia I give you this explanation: A sestina is a highly structured poem consisting of 6 six-line stanzas followed by a tercet (three lines) for a total of thirty-nine lines. The same set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order each time; if we number the first stanza’s lines 123456, then the words ending the second stanza’s lines appear in the order 615243, then 364125, then 532614, then 451362, and finally 246531. This organization is referred to as retrogradatio cruciata (“retrograde cross”). These six words then appear in the tercet as well, with the tercet’s first line usually containing 1 and 2, its second 3 and 4, and its third 5 and 6.

Sarah’s Sestina

To make the sestina easier to follow I have numbered the lines where the six words appear. The words are Joshua, Jericho, priests, trumpets, days, and times, numbered respectively 1 through 6. The sestina is based on Joshua chapter six. Verses 1-5 are the word of the Lord to Joshua (stanzas 1 and 2); verses 6-7 are Joshua’s words to the people (stanzas 3 and 4); verses 8-27 is the conquest of Jericho (stanzas 5 and 6). The troubadour rules were strictly followed for the order in which the end-words recur. The tercet, the three lines at the end, contain the six words used in the six preceding stanzas which you shall see are not exactly in the right order. See if you can rewrite it so that it is.

The Conquest of Jericho

(1) And the Lord said unto Joshua:
(2) “I have given unto thine hand Jericho.
(3) Before the ark I want seven priests,
(4) Bearing rams horn trumpets.
(5) And this shall take seven days,
(6) And they shall compass the city seven times.”

(6) “When surrounding the city seven times,”
(1) The Lord continued to instruct Joshua,
(5) “The walls of the city shall fall in seven days,
(2) And utterly destroy the inhabitants of Jericho.
(4) By the long blasts of the trumpets,
(3) That shall be blown by the priests.”

(3) And the son of Nun called seven priests:
(6) “You will circle the city seven times,
(4) And blow the rams horn trumpets.”
(1) The Ark of the Covenant was brought before Joshua,
(2) And he told the people to surround Jericho
(5) Once every six days.

(5) And seven times on the seventh day.
(3) “I want armed men before the priests,
(2) And the ark to come behind when circling Jericho.”
(6) “When going around the seventh time,”
(1) Continued Joshua,
(4) “The people shall shout with the trumpets.”

(4) So the seven priests with seven trumpets
(5) Went blowing a full six days
(1) “And only shall Rahab live,” commanded Joshua
(3) So the people shouted with the priests
(6) And it was done only on the seventh time,
(2) That the wall fell down flat, for entry to Jericho

(2) The city was burned—waste was Jericho.
(4) Celebratory sounds of the trumpets
(6) Were made long and loud and many times.
(5) Victory feasts were the order of the days.
(3) Hailed as heroes were the seven priests
(1) Throughout the country was noised the fame of Joshua!

Gold and many (6) times the silver were taken that (5) day.
(1) Joshua said, “Cursed be the man that buildeth this city (2) Jericho.”
And the seven (4) trumpets and the seven (3) priests agreed.
Rickety signature