Happy Festivus

Frank Costanza: "Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."

Kramer: "What happened to the doll?"

Frank Costanza: "It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!"

Kramer: "That must have been some doll."

Frank Costanza: "She was."


It sure would be nice

With all the advances in technology in the automobile industry from computers and sensors that can tell you when your tires need air to a camera that looks behind you when you back up, why, oh why, can't they make steering wheels that are heated. They can heat your seat, which by the way is very nice. Nothing like a warm tush when you are driving. But how difficult can it be to warm a steering wheel the same way. Surely there must be some reason that it can't be done because it seems unlikely that one of the braniacs in the research department of the auto makers hasn't suggested this in some conference room. But, it sure would be nice.

WHOA!!!!! I decided before posting this to do some googling. It turns out that there are many patents out there for heated steering wheels and steering wheel covers. But then I found it. BMWs have them. Some other high end cars have them, like Cadillac and now Ford is going to start putting them in their cars and trucks! I hope Honda follows suit because I like my Hondas and hate to have to switch allegiances to keep my hands warm.

And a last thought. I guess it is a good idea for me to google first before going off on a rant.


What a fox!!!

My regular readers know that in the past I have posted about animals and road kill that I have encountered on my cycling excursions. Well today, despite it being November, I went out for a ride. It was near sixty so the calendar didn't really dictate whether I rode indoors on the trainer or outside. For those familiar with the area, I was at the intersection of Telegraph Hill Road and Bethany Road. I made a left off of Telegraph Hill and proceeded on Bethany. There is a small bridge that crosses a creek between Telegraph Hill and Hazlet Avenue. Right before that bridge I saw up ahead on the sidewalk an animal that I thought at first was a dog. But as I got close I saw it had a long bushy tail. A tail just like a fox. And as I passed this animal i looked at the face/head and darn if it didn't look like a fox. So, I came home, went to the internet and googled dogs that looked like foxes. I could only find one, a New Guinea Singing Dog, but pictures showed that it was nothing like what I saw on the sidewalk. So, my only conclusion was that I saw a fox. Where did he come from? Where was he going? Did someone have a fox for a pet? These questions will never be answered. At least by me.


I'm Not Ready!

Retailers have begun the blitz already, and it has been going on for a week or more. For me it is way too soon for Christmas ads and decorations. I can deal with it right around Thanksgiving, when the "official" start to the holiday begins. Well, it used to be the official start, but not anymore. Earlier and earlier in the year. Pretty soon we will be giving out candy canes to trick or treaters. But it was the Jeffersons that prompted me to write. No, not George and Weezy, but the neighborhood Jeffersons who always put up their decorations early. Two days ago we drove past and, not only do they have the lights on the house, but their tree is up. As I said, way too early.


I did not know that

My truck is due for an oil change. My last one was eleven months ago and I still have another eight hundred miles to go to hit the five thousand mile mark. I have had the truck for almost six years now and thought it might be a good idea to get the coolant system flushed and refilled while getting the oil change. But I didn't know what the maintenance schedule recommended for the procedure. So, I opened the glove compartment (I don't keep gloves in there) and checked the maintenance schedule. Well, much to my surprise, the coolant only needs to be replaced at, now get this, one hundred thousand miles. Wow. Things sure have changed.


Still alive

There is still hope.


Go Phils??

So, I am watching the game. Nothing else worth watching on the tube tonite. Pat is out and I sit here with a Yuengling and watch. And guess what? I am totally invested in the Phils. Is it because Pedro is pitching? Maybe. But as I said in my last post my dislike for the Yankees runs a lot deeper than it does for the Phils. Up until a few years ago the Mets main opponent was the Braves, so the Phils have only come on as a hated rival recently. But the Yankees, that dislike (spelled h-a-t-r-e-d) has been there for more than forty years.


Hours to go

A few hours to go til the series begins. I will not be watching, but will check in for scores. And I will be rooting against the Yankees. Not for the Phils, but against the Yankees. My dislike for the Phils is no where near as longstanding as my dislike for the Yankees. And as one caller into WFAN this morning said, "If the Yankees were playing Al Qaeda I wouldn't root for them".


And the dilemma is here

I went to bed last night at eleven with the Angels behind as well as Big Blue. This morning I woke up and checked the scores and found myself glad I didn't stay up for two losses. But with the series now set with the Yankees vs. Phillies I found myself leaning toward hoping the Yankees lose more than the Phillies. Notice I didn't say I want the Phillies to win. I think perhaps it matters that I live in the NY area and hear all the Yankee praise on the radio, tv and in the papers. If I were near Philly and was still a Met fan I might lean toward the Yankees. So, with all that said, I will not watch the series, but will hope for rainout after rainout until it becomes just too cold and too late in the year for there to be a series.


We mourn with Pookie

Yes, we mourn with Pookie, White Fang and Black Tooth. I am sure they will all be doing the Soupy Shuffle one more time in Soupy's honor. For those who have no idea what I am talking about, google Soupy Sales. Yes, Milton Supman passed away today.

I didn't watch but.........

After watching The Office and 30 Rock, and checking the score at commercials, I flipped over to the game to watch an inning. It was 4-0 and I turned it off and went to bed. Good thing I did because if I had started watching the seventh inning I would have turned it off anyway, not waiting for the Halos comeback in the bottom of the inning. Nothing new here so far that someone couldn't find in any coverage. But, in the morning I was in the car with the radio on and I heard that fans could start ordering World Series tickets. Jumping the gun? Being over confident? Now I know it is probably standard practice to do that for all teams, but I wondered if this was the jinx, the death knell, that would send the Evil Empire spiraling to another series debacle. Oh, to hope.


Oh crap!

A huge dilemma looms ahead. Both LCSes are three games to one. With one more win each it will be the Yankees and the Phillies in the World Series. For those who know me, you can see my dilemma if that happens. Who do I root for? Try to decide which team I dislike more? Try not to care? True, I will not watch, but only check in from time to time to see the score. But without a rooting interest that even seems unlikely. Whose loss will give me the most pleasure? If that were the only question to be considered I would have to say I would root against the Yankees; but that would mean rooting for the Phillies, which goes against everything being a Met fan stands for. Oh well. Maybe the Dodgers and Angels will pull it out.


Bad sports weekend.

It began on Friday when I watched some of the Rutgers game and watch them lose to a very good Pitt team. Then Saturday I watched the Irish lose a very close game against their nemesis, USC who they haven't beaten in eight or nine games. Then Sunday Big Blue got a dose of reality by being blown out by another undefeated team. Shows they might have been a bit overrated and overconfident after their first five wins against losing teams. And then......and then...... Gang Green reached an all time low. Losing to the Bills. Horrible game. Just horrible. But when the dust settled on the weekend and I checked the sports scores this morning I found that it was even worse than I thought. Not only is the Evil Empire up two games to none, but the hated Phillies are up two to one. Is there no hope?

59 days - 16 miles

[First let me say I wrote this post on Wednesday the 14th, but forgot to post it]

Today I finally got back on my bike after fifty nine days. Yes fifty nine days. This has to be my longest stretch without riding in quite a few years. Moving, painting, back ailments and California were the contributing factors that prevented me from enjoying a ride. And my first ride back today was a sixteen miler and it felt great. But it looks like rain for the rest of the week which will mean inside on the trainer. I want to get back to riding three times a week, and outside as long as the temperature is above thirty. That would be a calm thirty. With a bit of wind the temperature would need to be a bit warmer.



The first few days we were in CA it was too warm for the boys to go outside, and in actuality they haven't been out for a while due to the high temps and the smoke from the surrounding fires. But finally it was a nice day and everyone went out to sit and enjoy the balmy weather. Kevin took the cover off the water table and saw in the umbrella hole a spider. Closer inspection led to an identification; black widow. He shook the table so the spider dropped onto the ground where it was squashed like the bug it was. Following this execution Kevin and I began a search of the other outside toys, beginning with the picnic table. Underneath there was one in each corner of the benches. That makes five. Then to the slide, the push toys and sandbox. I lost count but Kevin said there were a full dozen. Welcome to California. After we came inside I did some Googling and found that the majority of people who have lived in California have seen at least one in their lifetime and such discoveries as we made were not uncommon. It is scary, but most information says that the widow is nocturnal and nonagressive. Still on the few days since then we have checked everything for the thin gossamer webs that identify the BW.



So here I sit at Gate 83 waiting for boarding. Free WiFi, but only for twenty minutes, as a trial. $9.95 for a subscription to boingo wifi. I don't think it is worth it so I only have three minutes left on the twenty minute trial. I know some airlines have free wifi on board, but not Continental. It would really make the trip quicker if I could get online and google my time away. Two minutes left. Someone opened the door to exit and a chirping alarm is driving me crazy now. One minute left.


I killed a bird

Not deliberately anyway. I got up in the morning, put coffee on, and then went outside to get the paper in the driveway, unaware of the events that were about to be put in motion. If I had gotten up a little later or earlier, perhaps then things would have been different. As I walked between the truck and car in the driveway and approached the paper out near the sidewalk, a cat which roams the neighborhood, came out from under the car. I ran at it to scare it off our property. The feline ran down the sidwalk in front of the neighbor's house. Garbage and recylcling had been out in the neighborhood and there were birds around the neighbor's recycling walking and pecking around the curb. The cat, running down the sidewalk, veered to the left at the birds, and the next thing I knew he was running down the sidewalk with a feathered body in his mouth. I could only stand there and watch, being too far away to run at him in hopes he would drop the bird. I say "I killed a bird" only because I assume the bird didn't survive.


The Magic Number Is.........

Today the Mets' magic number to clinch a nonplaying spot in the post season is, I believe, 81. But for me the magic number is TEN. That has always been the number of games behind in past years where I automatically lose interest. And this morning I wake up and the Mets are ten games out. Of course you are probably saying that there is the wild card, and for that they are only 6.5 games out. Whoopee! There isn't a chance in hell that they are making the playoffs. I will stick with ten as my number to not care anymore. If they reach ten in the wild card then they will be closing in on twenty in the division. BUT, if by some miracle, as in 1969, when they came from ten back, they do get back in contention, I will be there. Fair weather? Not really. I still will follow them in the paper, and on the internet, but what I won't do is invest all the time in watching games that I have always done when they are in contention.


I need to get out more

I had an errand to run today and I opted to drive my truck. While sitting at a traffic light I looked at that small sticker they put in the corner of your windshield when you get an oil change. It is there as a reminder, but since it is always there I never really pay attention to it, and in many cases you can't even read what is written. But I could read it. It said that my next oil change should be at 43,000 miles. That meant that my truck's previous visit to the maintenance bay was at 38,000 miles. The fact that it is a five thousand mile span while some places put it at three thousand is not up for discussion in this posting. With the mileage on the small sticker it is sometimes accompanied by a date when you should bring it in, on the outside chance that the date should come before you drive the five thousand miles. After taking in all this information I looked down at my odometer. Not a true odometer, or at least in my mind, which is one that has numbers on a wheel and they roll over as your vehicle moves down the road. Today's vehicles have digital odometers. Mine said.... actually it didn't say anything ....... it read 40,298. Now that I had that information I could determine by simple subtraction, that I had driven 2,298 miles since my last oil change. BUT, I needed one more piece of information, and that was when did i get the last oil change. Then the light changed and I drove on. When i got to my destination I remained in the truck, opened the glove compartment (does anyone really keep gloves in there?) and pulled out the small pile of receipts from all my oil changes and vehicle services. The most recent one was dated 12/9/08. Again, simple calculations gave me the amount of time elapsed since then; seven months. I think it is time for another oil change because if I wait for the five thousand miles almost a year will have passed. But the gist of this entry is to state that in sieven months I drove my truck a mere 2,298 miles. Again, with some division, that is 328 miles a month, or extrapolated out, would be 3936 miles a year. Little old ladies don't drive that small amount of miles. So, I do need to get out more.


Mets Suck? Or....

Well, the Mets do suck. But is it what is supposed to be? There was a distinct hope prior to the start of the season that there would be the chance of winning the division or at least of capturing the wildcard. But all that is far in the rear view mirror now. Well below 500, mired in fourth place with only the hapless Nationals below them I can safely say that only a miracle can save this season. But my question was ,do the Mets suck, or was it something that should have been expected? Should there have been a suspicion of bad things coming once the real home of the Mets was turned into a pile of rubble? Sure Shea was a stadium well past its prime, but it was a place that held some great moments, great games, and one of the most notable plays in baseball history. To replace it with a homage to the Dodgers instead of a celebration of Shea, past players and teams must have angered the Gods of Baseball. They have decided that this will not be the Mets year. But what worries me is how many seasons will they demand of this organizaion before they are satisfied that the suffering is enough.



So, I sit here watching Brian Williams and he is reporting about the deaths of Farrah and of Michael, Governor's affairs, Iran, and I feel I should have something to write about. But all I can come up with is .......... a dead squirrel, a dead bird, a dead mouse .......... and no ingested bug.


The Balance In Nature ..... or More Protein

Two rides ago I saw two dead squirrels, one dead rabbit and a live ground hog. Today I went for a twenty seven mile ride (irrelevant to this post) and saw two live squirrels, one live rabbit and a dead ground hog. Now you probably think I am making this up, and as I formulated the posting as I rode I was short a dead ground hog and was contemplating some fiction. But with about five miles left in the ride there he was, or she was, (I didn't stop to check), fresh road pizza.

And I ate another bug.


Words cannot express how I feel

Stunned disbelief is one way to describe it. Demoralizing is another. It was a brutally devastating loss, but it should come as no surprise, because that is what they do; find ways to lose. So, what time is the next Blue Claws game?


oh well

I went for a thirty mile ride today.  Ten minutes into the ride a bug flew in my mouth.  AACGHH!!!  .............  Nothing more to say.


Staff Sgt. Frankie Zoly Molnar

In my last post I linked to my latest books. One of those books was a story about men in the Korean War. This post, with Memorial Day weekend beginning tomorrow, is in a similar vein. In today's local paper, The News Tribune, there was a column by Rick Malwitz honoring Staff Sgt. Frankie Zoly Molnar. He was born in West Virginia but resided in New Brunswick when he enlisted in the Army. Thus he is listed on the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall. This entry is due to my never being able to understand how all the young men in the service, especially those that saw combat, in whatever war or conflict, did what they did. Selfless service. This posting honors all of them who served and are serving our country. While I was nestled safely in the hills of western Pennsylvania attending college, there were young men my age being put in harms way and doing the job they signed up for. This is not to question the reason we were in Vietnam. This is, as I said, to honor all those who served. Sgt. Molnar was one of those. He served and he gave his life.  He was given the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

Here is part of the article that appeared in the paper today. It is the citation that accompanied the Medal of Honor. The full article can be seen

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SSGT Molnar distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry during combat operations. Shortly after the battalion's defensive perimeter was established, it was hit by intense mortar fire as the prelude to a massive enemy night attack. SSGT Molnar immediately left his sheltered location to insure the readiness of his squad to meet the attack.

"As he crawled through the position, he discovered a group of enemy soldiers closing in on his squad area. His accurate rifle fire killed five of the enemy and forced the remainder to flee. When the mortar fire stopped, the enemy attacked in a human wave supported by grenades, rockets, automatic weapons and small-arms fire. After assisting to repel the first enemy assault, SSGT Molnar found that his squad's ammunition and grenade supply was nearly expended. Again leaving the relative safety of his position, he crawled through intense enemy fire to secure additional ammunition and distribute it to his squad.

"He rejoined his men to beat back the renewed enemy onslaught, and he moved about his area providing medical aid and assisting in the evacuation of the wounded. With the help of several men, he was preparing to move a severely wounded soldier when an enemy hand grenade was thrown into the group. The first to see the grenade, SSGT Molnar threw himself on it and absorbed the deadly blast to save his comrades. His demonstrated selflessness and inspirational leadership on the battlefield were a major factor in the successful defense of the American position and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army. SSGT Molnar's actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the U.S. Army."



I just finished the second of two books which I thought worthy of mention.  You can see them by clicking on the link in the right column or here.  Now onto my next book.


Resistance is futile

No it isn't the Borg on Star Trek. But resistance still seems to be futile. What am I talking about? Facebook. The dreaded Facebook. It seems that Pat knows things going on in California with Kevin and family well before I have an inkling. And there are occasions where I don't find out until much later. Lately I have been viewing it through Pat's homepage on Facebook, but now wonder if it is inevitable that I too must join. For example, Kevin puts pictures up on Facebook that never seem to show up on Phanfare, where I look regularly. This also applies to Lauren's family too, but not to the same degree. So, what do I do? Do I keep hijacking Pat's site to see what is going on? Or do I break down and do what I said I would never do? Aghhhhh!! For now I will resist.


Dishwasher followup

I am sure everyone was waiting for the final chapter in the dishwasher saga. Since there has only been one other "chapter", I think this is doubtful. But, nevertheless, I will relate the ending of this story.

I had called "our" plumber after failing to get the small leak to stop dripping. He called me back that evening, Tuesday, and suggested putting some pipe dope on the threads of the compression fitting and some teflon tape on the ferrel itself. After I went to Home Depot to get the pipe dope I undid the fitting, put the dope on, but couldn't get the ferrel out of the nut. It was because I was working under the washer and couldn't get both hands onto the copper pipe. So, I just used the dope. Result? Still leaking, drip.............drip.............drip.

Next morning plumber calls me to ask how I did. I explain my futility and he said he will come over to fix it for me. But during the night I lay awake for more than a few hours worrying over my problem. This is standard procedure for me. In addition to the small leak I thought about the fact that I couldn't really get the unit to feel solid and set in the opening. I tended to move a bit when the door was open or closed. Not good. Also I wondered if I had tightened the clam enough on the drain hose. The instructions called for tightening to at least 16 pounds of torque. Who the hell has a torque wrench? So, with all these things in my mind I told George, the plumber, that I was going to call the store and see if they could send out an installer to reinstall the unit.

When I called the store that day they were surprised that when we were in the store buying the dishwasher that noone mentioned installation. They gave me the number of the installer and I called him but he was busy that day and the next. So, today, Thursday, he finally came to bail me out. I debated whether to admit that I was the boob who couldn't do the job or blame it on a ficticious friend. Because he was a nice guy who I got a good vibe off of right away I went with the honest approach.

His basic solution to the leaking compression fitting was to trash the copper tubing that was in place from the old unit and replace it with flexible tubing. If I had had that I might have been able to do the job. But I wouldn't have been able to make it feel solid and part of the cabinetry as he did.

When all was done I thanked him for bailing me out. He said it is all about working with the same thing over and over and getting comfortable with doing it to get the confidence. For me it is knowing my limitations. And going forward I will try to remember them.


Know your limitations

Being a homeowner there have been opportunities for me to do some plumbing work as part of routine maintenance as well as upgrading and improving the house. The first decade in the house I made futile attempts to do simple plumbing repairs with very poor results. Numerous trips to Channel or Rickel (years before Home Depot and Lowes) provided little help and there are many copper pipe connections in the house that are covered in epoxy to stop the one drop a minute leak that was the result of my work. In the years since then I have learned my limitations and have employed a plumber whenever there has been a need for plumbing work. There are exceptions to this however. Those occasions involved drain work and toilet repair, basically where there was no water pressure involved to produce a leak. But with the new compression fittings I even installed a faucet now and then. So, when our dishwasher died last week and we purchased a new one I removed the old one and saw that there would be one simple compression fitting in the installation of the new machine. That should be simple enough. No solder to sweat into joints. A simple compression fitting. Well it was delivered today at two o'clock, and after getting it all installed, leveled, wired up, and water supply connected, I turned on the water and ran a rinse cycle as directed by the instructions. And laying on the floor with a flashlight I saw it. The one drop a minute that has defined many of my plumbing jobs. I tightened the nut a bit more. Now the drip was maybe a minute and a half. Another quarter turn on the nut. Still a drip. So, what do I do now. Simple really. Turn off the water supply and call the plumber; which is exactly what I did. I left a message for him explaining my situation and now I wait for his return call. I became over confident and didn't listen to my own words....."Know your limitations."


Let's go to a game!

If you haven't heard the Yankees have lowered ticket prices to the "New" Yankee Stadium.  The first row Legend Suite seats which are on the outer half of the dugouts and photo cages have been reduced from $2500 to $1250.  Also, in seats in the first row down each foul line prices were lowered from $1000 to $650.  That affects 48 and 68 seats respectively.  Was this done because they felt sorry for the fans who weren't buying tickets because of the economic conditions?  I think not.  It was because there was no way they could televise a game and not show these seats, which were usually empty.  It only has to do with image; not the fans.  And this in no way will affect the average blue collar fan who can't afford a ticket in most areas of the stadium. 

Now if only the Mets would do the same, perhaps I could afford to go to a game.  


Poorly thought out

For those of you who read my last post let me follow that up by saying it is hot as heck today and I am in shorts with no foot apparel, sitting on the patio drinking some sangria. Sangria, I might add, is not the choice drink for getting a buzz, only having a 7% alcohol volume. Anyway, it is now 3:30 in the afternoon, Mets were on the radio, wine is in the glass and here I sit posting on my blog. I say Mets were on the radio because they are trailing big time and I turned them off in favor of some jazz. But none of that has anything to do with the title of this posting.

This morning after having coffee, bagel and paper out on the patio we decided to not waste a beautiful day just sitting at home. Why not take a ride down the shore and walk on the boardalk. It would be cooler, less people than during the summer because most things wouldn't be open in April. Ah, wishful thinking. We went to Point Pleasant and parking was as scarce as it is on a summer's evening in the middle of the summer. We drove around a bit and decided it wasn't worth it. And this after we got the bridge for about fifteen minutes, AND were stopped at a railroad crossing for another ten. So, we drove up along the shore to Asbury Park. Yes the same Asbury Park that has been so runned down in the past few decades. The revitalization is definitely visible and some stores on the new boardwalk were open. We walked the length of the boardwalk, i took some pictures, and we left, continuing up the shore on Rte 36, through Sea Bright and past Sandy Hook where traffic is all screwed up with the construction of the new bridge. As we drove west away from the Hook traffic going east was backed up for miles and miles. It seems that everyone seemed to have the same idea as we did, and probably thought that it was April, how many people would be at the beach. Oh well.


Summer came early

I am sitting on the patio at 3:30 in the afternoon.  The plastic was taken down this morning and the lawn was mowed.  It is warm enough to sit out here, but tomorrow it will be warm enough to wear shorts and sandals with a predicted temperature in the mid to high eighties.  Sunday is supposed to be the same.  I went for a bike ride this afternoon slathering my legs and face and neck with sunscreen.  Notice I didn't say my arms.  That is because I wore a long sleeved shirt.  When I went there was a breeze coming off the bay and it was a bit cool, but one I got inland it was warm.  I haven't been out on the bike much and am not in shape.  I went 23.3 miles today and am trying to work my way up to where a thirty mile ride will be anything but a trial.  If you check my miles on the link to the right you will see that I only rode 48.4 miles in February and 10.4 in March.  So much was going on in those months that riding took a back seat.  But now I am committed to getting back to riding three times a week.  

Also happening this past week were the following events.  I could have written about any one of them but will just give a brief summary.  

I spent three days removing wallpaper and painting a small bathroom at a friend's house.  Because of that, when I removed the plastic from the patio today I had to leave one small piece because I need the step ladder to get to it and that is at the "jobsite" because I have another room to do.

Wednesday I went out to dinner with three of the guys I worked with at Center Core.  Good beer, adequate food, and lots of laughts.  Always a good time.

Yesterday, Thursday, I went for my yearly skin inspection at the dermatologist.  He froze two warts located on my upper left side.  I have to remember to stay away from those damn frogs.  He also removed a spot for biopsy from just below my waist.  

So, that has been my week, basically.  Ending here because I have to go get my shorts and sandals ready for tomorrow. 


A Sad Year So Far

Maybe this isn't a topic for a blog entry but so far this has been a sad year. In January Pat's Mom passed away and then last week her Uncle Al also passed. Three times we have been to different funeral parlors when you also add in the neighbor who passed last month. Never in my life has this happened and it has shaken me in a cumulative way. When we were at the cemetery for Uncle Al's internment we walked over to Pat's Mom's gravesite and then I did something I haven't done in many years. I went to my father's. The day before Pat had said she wanted to visit her Mom's and asked if I wanted to see my father's but I gave her the response I always have. I always say that my father isn't there in that grave, so it doesn't serve any purpose to go there. But something moved me to go see it yesterday and I only assume it was because of how much I was moved by the military ceremony at Uncle Al's, and the cumulative effect of all this sadness this year.

I am not going to become introspective here or reveal my personal feelings except to say that I have done some serious reflection since yesterday.

And dear reader I apologize for the tone of this posting.


A couple things

It has been a while. I think I have said that before in a posting or two. Over the past week or two I have had things to write about but never sat down to put fingers to keyboard. Some of the topics I have considered are the following:

As the end of February approached the fact that there had been no major snowfall this winter gave me pause and I almost wrote an entry. Then two days later we got hit with a major snowfall. Cause and effect?

The snowfall brought up two more topics. First after I had finished clearing our driveway and sidewalk I moved on to the neighbor's driveway. It was then I began to hear an unsettling noise in the snowblower. I kept working but then noticed that the crank that turns to direct the chute had become disconnected somewhere inside the unit. So I had to stop. I came in took off my boots, gloves and coat and was looking forward to some soup that Pat was cooking. It was then I heard the plow. It came down the street and threw snow from the street covering the sidewalk and driveway apron. I cursed a bit. Well, maybe more than a bit and then went out with the shovel to reclear the snow.

There were other topics. On top of the cost I will have to pay when I pick up the snowblower at Sears this week I have to pay Toyota to install a new oxygen sensor. Yes, the day after it snowed the "check engine" light came on. One thing on top of another. Oh, and my bike is in the shop because there is something that is grinding in what I think is the rear hub. When it rains it pours.

Anything else? Of course. I could write about the work we are doing on Pat's Mom's house and preparing for an estate sale. I could write about my thoughts about Facebook and Twitter, but Kevin enlightened me concerning those topics so i am glad I didn't put it here before chatting with him.

So, I am posting this and more or less combining all the topics into one short posting. Maybe going forward I will simply sit and type in my thoughts as they come to me. Or maybe I will once again begin a posting with "It has been a while".


Section 5

Wednesday morning the last piece of Shea Stadium was knocked down. Forty four years of storied history in this less than perfect home of the Mets. The final standing portion was the section 5 ramp and it came down at 11:25 AM. Soon it will be a parking lot, hopefully with some markings in the pavement of where home plate was, as well as other highlight markers.

Not seeing the demolition, and not seeing the empty space now, the next time I see the area all that they will show on TV is the new park, promoting it as the best thing since sliced bread. But as lacking as Shea was it still was every Mets fan's home. It will be sorely missed.


Sunny California??

It has been nearly two weeks since my last entry so I thought it time to clutter the internet again.

On January 21st we lost a wonderful woman in Pat's mother and we thank everyone who offered their condolences through emails, card, or in person.

You probably wonder why the subject? Well, on February 2nd we flew out of cold New Jersey to land in sunny California and seventy plus degrees. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the temps were nice and the skies were sunny. We would wake up to mid thirties and then by noon it would be in the mid to high seventies. BUT, Thursday it rained. Today it is raining. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain again. Since we began coming out here in 2003 this is the first time we have experienced rain and even cloudy skies. But this is the time of year when they do get rain out here. Luckily on Sunday, our last day here, it will again be sunny.

I have taken over one hundred and thirty pictures so far, with a birthday party yet to come. I don't know if I will be putting all of them on Phanfare, probably deciding to whittle down the number a bit. Stay tuned.


One more day

Sure I could say it is one more day until the end of the dreadful presidency of George W., but I prefer to look at it much more optimistically. It is one more day until the inauguration of Obama. Many won't believe it, but back in July of 2004 I became an Obama supporter when I saw him give the keynote speech at the Democratic convention. In listening to his speech and then during an interview afterward I felt this man understood what was needed in our country and a man who would make a great candidate, one that I could support. A candidate that could be good for this country. And now four and one half years later he will become the leader that will bring relief and change from the way thing have been. From the way we have looked at our leaders. It will be a magical day tomorrow, one that no doubt will bring tears to my eyes. Let us all hope that he can bring the needed changes and return us to a people and a country that is great.



I know it is warm in comparison to what the midwest experienced lately, or what Bullwinkle and Rocky experienced every year in Frostbite Falls, but this morning while laying in bed I sat up, looked out the window at the thermometer andsaw that it was not below zero. However it was not above zero either. Zero degrees. Yikes! Needless to say I will not be riding outdoors today.



Nearly a week since my last posting so I felt I should write something. I could begin with the frigid temperatures we are experiencing along with some snow which is now falling. But who cares what the weather is where someone else lives? So what else is there to write about today? I should have made an entry two days ago for the anniversary of the passing of my 1988 Toyota Tacoma. (See the link to the right "In Memoriam") But I forgot. However, today is the anniversary of the purchase of my new truck. Unless I have some body problems this truck should last a long time because the mileage is very low. Five years and just over 38000 miles. In the past month I have only put on 250 miles, so you can see how little I drive it. But the title of this post is not about the weather, nor is it about my regular cab, standard bed Tacomas. It is about remembering the passing of Mr. Roarke and The Prisoner. They both can be remembered for a multitude of parts, but for me these are the way they will always be remembered.


Happy Anniversary To Us

Yes. Happy Anniversary to us. Today Pat and I are celebrating our anniversary. Not our wedding anniversary, but rather the day we first started going out. I really don't remember how we decided this was the day but we have been celebrating it for many years, so it must be the right day. I can assume some of my readers are wondering how many wonderful years we have been together. Three quarters of my life would be the answer. And to do the math for you, I am sixty years old, so three quarters of that would be forty five. Yes, forty five wonderful years, thirty eight of which we have been married. And when I stop and think of it all I can say is "Holy S--t!!!