Saturday, March 31, 2012
Well, we didn’t win the lottery, so there are not trees in my neighborhood decorated with money.
Woke up at 530AM for a bus ride to Lancaster Mass for soccer games. Was cold and rainy with a forecast showing an inch of snow/rain.
In Connecticut, the snow was falling and we all thought it was going to be a mess.
An old college friend, Chris sees my facebook post that we are coming up to play soccer.
I read the response, and Chris says he will try to stop at the field after he teaches a class.
This day in history “On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower's designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers.
In 1889, to honor of the centenary of the French Revolution, the French government planned an international exposition and announced a design competition for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. Out of more than 100 designs submitted, the Centennial Committee chose Eiffel's plan of an open-lattice wrought-iron tower that would reach almost 1,000 feet above Paris and be the world's tallest man-made structure. Eiffel, a noted bridge builder, was a master of metal construction and designed the framework of the Statue of Liberty that had recently been erected in New York Harbor”
The weather cooperates and around 1:30PM Chris comes walking onto the field 3 sideline. We shake hands and hug as if time had stood still for the past 10 years. Each of us now older and wiser than when we last saw each other have a lot of catching up to do.
We decide to leave after the first game to grab some coffee and a sandwich at a farm store a mile down the road. We are both pleasantly surprised to be able to order a half sandwich, and soup and find a small table on the edge of the gift shop.
Funny how I had to say a New England a couple of times when ordering the clam chowder, as if there was a choice. Chris helped out the girl at the counter, by saying; he will have a “Clam Chowder”…New England of course, why would there be Manhattan ?
We exchange stories about the kids, the old neighborhood, college days. Some philosophical, theological, and just good old kibitzing about things goes on for an hour or so….
We head back to the fields and Chris and I continue to chat till he decides it is time to get home. What a great afternoon…imagine if Sue was here too. After all Sue and Chris were friends before I joined the college scene at NYIT.
So, you are probably wondering about the soccer games. MC United take a 1-0 loss in the 1st game and a 3-0 win on the 2nd game. All in all a good day.
A great idea to take a bus up and back, and as usual the boys had a lot of fun. The mood on the bus, upbeat on the ride home. Most folks falling asleep, during or after the movie ended.
Kyle’s knee hurts, and now that we look at it, it looks like two knees. Some ice and advil are on the menu for tomorrow.
I have a load of pictures to download.
This picture is from the field, taken by my friend Chris. Stolen from facebook.
I don’t really know how I got the nickname “Fest”….and it doesn’t matter. It is what Chris has called me, forever….
Photo of the day “Fest”
Friday, March 30, 2012
Like sands thru the hour glass, so are the days of our lives. TGIF.
Dropped Kyle off at the bus and the sun was just starting to make an appearance.
Off to work, where the highlight of the day was going to grab some pizza and soup with the guys.
Stopped at Lombardi market to pick up some roast beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and horseradish sauce hero for tomorrows bus trip to Lancaster Mass. 2 soccer games scheduled and not such a great forecast…we may get to see some slushy snow.
Sue is working late tonight so she won’t be home till around 1030pm.
This day in history “John Denver has his first #1 hit with "Sunshine On My Shoulders" Of his many enormous hits in the 1970s, none captured the essence of John Denver better than his first #1 song, "Sunshine On My Shoulders," which reached the top of the pop charts on this day in 1974.
"Sunshine On My Shoulders" was John Denver's attempt to write a sad song, which is really all one needs to know in order to understand what made Denver so appealing to so many. "I was so down I wanted to write a feeling-blue song," he told Seventeen magazine in 1974, "[but] this is what came out." Originally released on his 1971 album Poems, Prayers and Promises, Denver's lovely ode to the restorative powers of sunlight only became a smash hit when re-released on his John Denver's Greatest Hits album in late 1973—an album that went on to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide.
I sure hope we get lucky tomorrow and have some sunshine on my shoulders.
Luke has chicken wings for dinner, then we decide to play one more lottery ticket.
Luke gets the numbers from a fortune cookie, we put on our running shoes and run the 1.25 miles to the 7-11. Play the lottery and start walking home. We decide to run the rest of the way home. So tonight we add 2 miles to goal.
Having not eaten dinner myself, now I am hungry. Luke suggests pancakes. That kid sure can eat.
Kyle gets picked up from his girlfriend at 830PM, Luke gets dropped off at his friend’s house on the way home.
Kyle is packing his soccer bag as I write the blog. I told Luke to TXT me at 1025PM to make sure I don’t fall asleep on the couch.
I should have had that extra cup of coffee when I got home this afternoon….
I seem to have extra energy today anyway.
The Solar Power was cranking. Produced almost 30KW today !
Photo of the day “Extra Energy”
Thursday, March 29, 2012
All things considered, not having too much time lately to plan, research, or uncover the goodies that I put into the blog.
I rushed home today to cook dinner. I don’t even change into my play clothes and I am already chopping veggies, cleaning shrimp, and slicing meat.
Sue and Luke tell me they are going to the soup kitchen tonight at 4:40. No, I am not cooking for the soup kitchen. I hurry through the prep, and get dinner or at least the main course on the table with 2 minutes to spare.
This day in history “Yesterday, This day in 1994, Pink Floyd's final album, The Division Bell, was released.”
So, some of you are saying, Pink Floyd, who cares. Turns out that over 100,000 people on Facebook clicked like for the photo and caption the Division Bell.
Everyone is talking about the upcoming lottery, that is more than ½ a billion dollars at present.
When we win, it is going to be difficult to adjust.
I will take a few thousand dollars and a hot glue gun and decorate a tree that has not bloomed yet, and tell all the kids that “money does grow on trees”
If things get bad, and everyone wants some of the winnings, we may have to enter the “winner protection program”…similar to the witness protection program, but on our own island in the Bahamas.
Sue was grossed out by dinner, Kyle wouldn’t even try it. Luke and I will eat anything.
I sense a Division, Dinner Bell of our own. Oh Deer !
Getting ready to take Kyle to practice and I will get to the gym for my run.
Photo of the day “The new surf and turf”
Shrimp and Venison Fajitas. I had three Venison Fajitas...it was good, and different. I ate a shrimp just to make sure it came out OK. Leftovers in the fridge if anyone wants to try it....
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Well no one won the lottery. Sue, Luke and Kyle are home today and decide to go shopping at stop and shop. She played the lottery, so we have another chance.
Had defensive driving class tonight and got home late again. No run today, so my running deficit keeps increasing.
Sue, Kyle, and Luke went to the track and each completed a mile. Luke tried out his new running shoes.
This day in history “At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core began to dangerously overheat.
The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was built in 1974 on a sandbar on Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River, just 10 miles downstream from the state capitol in Harrisburg. In 1978, a second state-of-the-art reactor began operating on Three Mile Island, which was lauded for generating affordable and reliable energy in a time of energy crises.
After the cooling water began to drain out of the broken pressure valve on the morning of March 28, 1979, emergency cooling pumps automatically went into operation. Left alone, these safety devices would have prevented the development of a larger crisis. However, human operators in the control room misread confusing and contradictory readings and shut off the emergency water system. The reactor was also shut down, but residual heat from the fission process was still being released. By early morning, the core had heated to over 4,000 degrees, just 1,000 degrees short of meltdown. In the meltdown scenario, the core melts, and deadly radiation drifts across the countryside, fatally sickening a potentially great number of people.”
With technology what it is today, there is no reason why we can’t gear up to have solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and other renewable clean resources producing enough power to close down or start to eliminate dirty forms of energy.
Does anyone know how old most of these nuclear power plants are or where the spent fuel rods are stored ?
The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year. In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world used in one year. Photosynthesis captures approximately 3,000 EJ per year in biomass. The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth's non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.
Photo of the day “Three Mile Island”
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Tuesday, and it is a cool morning. The pellet stove was glowing and pushing out the heat when I came downstairs to make a cup of coffee.
I sure hope we are in it to win it. Work is not what it used to be. Too many times lately that work enters the home and the hours that a person should be winding down.
If only we can win the lottery. I can’t count on raises to get me to an early comfortable retirement. A couple of million dollars could though.
Issues at work spilled into the dinner hour, the car ride to the soccer field, and to the end of practice. I got blackberry dropped calls while on the conference call six times. Sure wish I could get an iPhone.
This day in history “On this day in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves use of the drug Viagra, an oral medication that treats impotence.
Back home at 10:20PM, after a short pit stop at home earlier this eve to make dinner. Chicken Tikka Masala, Basmati, Rice, Peas, Naan, and mango chutney. Ahh, the simple pleasures in life.
Missed my run tonight and that means I am slipping further from my running goal of 1000 miles in 2012.
Next time out I will have to make up for missed running opportunities. Do they make a headset that allows you to listen to music and interleave a phone call into it. That would allow me to run, listen to music, and work at the same time.
For goodness sake, we can take a pill to help us sleep, another one to keep your mood in order, one to lower your cholesterol, and others to lift you up (pun intended).
If we didn’t have all the modern conveniences and worked from 9-5 each day we wouldn’t need all these designer drugs.
A shot of tequila is going to be my eve snack, then watch the news, and then up again at 6AM to start all over again.
Are you UP for some Viagra puns and jokes ?
Maybe if I take one of those little blue pills, I will get a raise.
It is touted as putting a pep in your step.
It was originally formulated to help with angina, but it helps with a word that rhymes with it.
Make sure you wash it down with lots of water, you don’t want to wake up with a stiff neck.
Photo of the day “Viagra”
Monday, March 26, 2012
Monday is just one of those days that are tough to get started.
I think a group of forty of us are going to win the lottery this week.
When asked what I want for Christmas, or my birthday, I usually ask for world peace.
This day in history “In a ceremony at the White House, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign a historic peace agreement, ending three decades of hostilities between Egypt and Israel and establishing diplomatic and commercial ties.
Less than two years earlier, in an unprecedented move for an Arab leader, Sadat traveled to Jerusalem, Israel, to seek a permanent peace settlement with Egypt's Jewish neighbor after decades of conflict. Sadat's visit, in which he met with Begin and spoke before Israel's parliament, was met with outrage in most of the Arab world. Despite criticism from Egypt's regional allies, Sadat continued to pursue peace with Begin, and in September 1978 the two leaders met again in the United States, where they negotiated an agreement with U.S. President Jimmy Carter at Camp David, Maryland. The Camp David Accords, the first peace agreement between the state of Israel and one of its Arab neighbors, laid the groundwork for diplomatic and commercial relations. Seven months later, a formal peace treaty was signed.”
Luke was out playing basketball in a tshirt and came in saying it is cold.
Sue is winding down her last religion classes, and thinks we should celebrate after the last one. I think we can arrange that.
Gavin made it to North Carolina and is doing his habitat for humanity volunteer work.
I went to the gym to run, elliptical train, and do some strength training.
Will this generation have the strength to keep the peace ?
Photo of the day “Peace in the Middle East"
Sunday, March 25, 2012
We had a nice lazy morning at home. Slept till about 830, and then got a reminder from a project manager at work that I promised to test one of our news systems.
Tested the system, and made some coffee.
Sue and Luke head to church and I make a couple of those fresh eggs over easy. The eggs were very good, the yolks noticeably more flavorful that store bought. Queens backyard free ranging chicken eggs.
Second batch of pancakes and bacon for Luke. They looked so good I had a few pieces of bacon and a pancake. Sue missed out on breakfast.
Decide to clean the microwave as the bacon grease dripped and splattered as has the microwave popcorn.
Kyle and Sue back home and easting some McDonalds. I passed on the offer.
This day in history “Less than three weeks after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk formally brought an end to Russia's participation in the First World War, the former Russian province of Belarus declares itself an independent, democratic republic on this day in 1918.
Modern-day Belarus—also known as Belorussia—was formerly part of Poland, its neighbor to the west, until a series of wars in the late 18th century ended with the partition of Poland and with Belarus in Russian hands. In 1917, Belarus capitalized on Russian weakness and disorder resulting from its participation in World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution of that year and proclaimed its independence, after more than a century of occupation by the czarist empire. At the time, Belarus was occupied by the German army, according to the terms formalized at Brest-Litovsk on March 3.
The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, and Belarus became one of the founding members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an association of 12 former republics of the USSR formed to help regulate foreign affairs, as well as military and economic policy among the member states. On March 25, 1993, the anniversary of the proclamation of Belarusian independence was openly celebrated for the first time in Minsk and other cities in the republic.”
A couple of years ago, I learned from my uncle Steve that the family lineage was really Belarus and not Polish as originally thought. And all this time I wondered why I liked, and could drink vodka straight from a bottle left in the freezer. You have to be careful though not to freeze your lip when you take a sip.
Luke and I cook shrimp scampi and spaghetti. Have not had that for a while, and it was a nice change of pace.
Sue is still itchy from her reaction to an antibiotic, but the rash is getting better.
Gavin and I chatted (txt message) earlier today as he is on his way to North Carolina for spring break. Not the spring break most people envision a college student going on, but a week away volunteering for habitat for humanity. We are so proud of him, and all the volunteering he has been doing. We can’t wait to visit him.
I still want some chickens. If anyone has any comments on the topic of raising backyard chickens, leave a comment.
Photo of the day ”Belarus”
P.S. I wonder if great grandpa had any interest in fishing in the river running thru and around Minsk ?
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Another busy day, with a soccer match in Centereach and a birthday party in South Ozone.
So it was off to the field while Sue and Luke bought a gift for Saskia. We met at the field and after the game headed home to converge into one car.
Sue is all red, blotchy and itchy. An allergic reaction to an antibiotic.
This day in history “The worst oil spill in U.S. territory begins when the supertanker Exxon Valdez, owned and operated by the Exxon Corporation, runs aground on a reef in Prince William Sound in southern Alaska. An estimated 11 million gallons of oil eventually spilled into the water. Attempts to contain the massive spill were unsuccessful, and wind and currents spread the oil more than 100 miles from its source, eventually polluting more than 700 miles of coastline. Hundreds of thousands of birds and animals were adversely affected by the environmental disaster.
It was later revealed that Joseph Hazelwood, the captain of the Valdez, was drinking at the time of the accident and allowed an uncertified officer to steer the massive vessel. In March 1990, Hazelwood was convicted of misdemeanor negligence, fined $50,000, and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. In July 1992, an Alaska court overturned Hazelwood's conviction, citing a federal statute that grants freedom from prosecution to those who report an oil spill.
Exxon itself was condemned by the National Transportation Safety Board and in early 1991 agreed under pressure from environmental groups to pay a penalty of $100 million and provide $1 billion over a 10-year period for the cost of the cleanup. However, later in the year, both Alaska and Exxon rejected the agreement, and in October 1991 the oil giant settled the matter by paying $25 million, less than 4 percent of the cleanup aid promised by Exxon earlier that year.”
Got to the party a little late but had a great time.
Luke fed quarters into a parking meter...probably for the first time.
I got to hang out and play with the chickens too.
Was a nice visit and party. Happy 2nd Birthday Saskia.
Another late call for work, and at 10pm, headed out with the Jenkins car service to pick of Kyle’s friends for their night out at Applebees. Half price apps.
On the bright side, we don’t have to pick them up later.
Thanks for the handful of fresh eggs. Omelet on the menu tomorrow for sure.
I want some chickens.
Photo of the day ”Saskia 2nd Birthday”
Friday, March 23, 2012
OK, I must sound like a broken record. Today was another nice spring day on the island.
Started work at 0615, still working at 8pm while I write this blog. OK
I did get a chance to unwrap the fig trees, and they looked OK.
I did get a chance to take Luke to the Dr., and he said Lukes heel is OK.
This day in history “On this day in 1839, the initials "O.K." are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for "oll correct," a popular slang misspelling of "all correct" at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.
Eggplant Parm hero was better than OK.
My Kayak arrived today. It is still wrapped, I hope it is OK.
Is it Ok if I have some fermented agave cactus ?
Photo of the day ”The OK Corral”
Thursday, March 22, 2012
One of the things I forgot to mention last night in the blog, were the handful of phone calls while on the way to the restaurant, at the restaurant, and up to the start of the show. Took it all in stride, although once again, I find it ironic that I had so many calls on a night that Sue and I were going out.
The trouble call that started at around 7pm last night was still in progress when I attended it this morning at 0645.
Today was another nice spring day on the island. We are already spoiled by this nice weather and it may be time to unwrap the fig trees.
This day in history “The origins of the Hummer”On this day in 1983, the Pentagon awards a production contract worth more than $1 billion to AM General Corporation to develop 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). Nicknamed the Humvee and designed to transport troops and cargo, the wide, rugged vehicles entered the spotlight when they were used by the American military during the 1989 invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s.
In 1992, a civilian version of the Humvee, known as the Hummer, went on sale. The hulking, attention-grabbing road warrior tipped the scales at some 10,000 pounds and got less than 10 miles per gallon. It was an early hit with Hollywood celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went on to own a fleet of Hummers. In December 1999, when the economy was strong and gas prices were relatively low, General Motors purchased the rights from AM General to market and distribute the Hummer. In 2002, the Hummer H2, a smaller (some 8,600 pounds), less expensive version of the original model, debuted.”
That’s not to say that there aren’t other things that come to mind in regard to the origins of the hummer.
Anyone who offends easily may want to stop reading. Just kidding, or am I?
If we were playing the “Family Feud”and looking for the top 5 answers, I am pretty sure that the military vehicle and the GM vehicle would garner the top response. After all, it is the “family” feud.
According to Wiki, however, there are actually quite a few other references:
Hummer was a division of General Motors.
Hummer may also refer to:
- Humvee, a military vehicle
- Hummer H1, a civilian version of the Humvee
- Harley-Davidson Hummer, a motorcycle
- E-2 Hawkeye, an aircraft
- The Hummer, an album by Devin Townsend
- A song by Smashing Pumpkins on the album Siamese Dream
- "Hummer" (Foals song), a 2007 single
- Hummingbird, a bird
- The Danish, German, Norwegian, or Swedish word for lobster
- A person or thing that hums
- An arcade game
- A fastball, in baseball
- Slang term for Fellatio
Why is it that men like big square cars with large wheels and powerful engines?
Photo of the day ”Hummer”
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Had my first St. Joseph’s Day pastries, one cannoli cream and one custard. One, called a sfingi, is filled ricotta, while another, filled with a vanilla custard, is called a zeppole.”
Came home and made reservations for Franks Steak House
Received a $15 off coupon
Went to Brit Floyd
This day in history “The Moondog Coronation Ball is history's first rock concert. Breathless promotion on the local radio station. Tickets selling out in a single day. Thousands of teenagers, hours before show time, lining up outside the biggest venue in town. The scene outside the Cleveland Arena on a chilly Friday night in March more than 50 years ago would look quite familiar to anyone who has ever attended a major rock concert. But no one on this particular night had ever even heard of a "rock concert." This, after all, was the night of an event now recognized as history's first major rock-and-roll show: the Moondog Coronation Ball, held in Cleveland on March 21, 1952.
So, the history is ‘Moondog’, not quite Dark Side of the Moon. However, if it weren’t for Moondog, would I have gone to a rock concert tonight ?
Frankly, I don’t know what I would have done without rock and roll.
Frankly, having Frank bring me a Sfingi and going for a steak at Frank’s was quite ironic.
Seeing Bruce's mac n cheese on the menu at Franks...weird.
Photo of the day “Brit Floyd”
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Left the house this morning with Kyle and couldn’t believe how thick the fog was. Luckily, I I did not have to deal with traffic so early, and navigated safely to his bus stop on a residential neighborhood street.
Getting to work was not too bad, as most of trip is straight on the LIE, and people seemed to take it just a bit slower today. Looking in the rear view mirror for a glimpse of sun, and it was nowhere to be found.
Welcome spring, with its warm temperatures during the day, and cooler temperatures at night. Being on an island, we can get some nice fog rolling in.
This day in history “
Despite what these scholars claimed, it is now known that bubonic plague, the most common ailment known as the Black Death, is caused by the yersinia pestis bacterium. The plague was carried by fleas that usually traveled on rats, but jumped off to other mammals when the rat died. It most likely first appeared in humans in Mongolia around 1320. Usually, people who came down with the plague first complained of headaches, fever and chills. Their tongues often appeared a whitish color before there was severe swelling of the lymph nodes. Finally, black and purple spots appeared on the skin of the afflicted; death could follow within a week. Later, a pneumonic form of the plague developed that was less common but killed 95 percent of the people who contracted it.”
Rats, of all things. What I find interesting in the conjunction of planets that coincided with the plague. On Dec 21, 2012 there will be a conjunction of Sun, Moon, and Earth. Will something happen ?
Late night for the blog, coming home from Kyle’s practice at 10:15.
Tacos for dinner.
Tried running at the field tonight and got a stitch in my side. A little over 2 miles and then I walked. Too many tacos for dinner ?
The Spring Equinox arrived at 01:14.
Photo of the day “Hello Spring”
Monday, March 19, 2012
On this last day of winter, not even a touch of frost or cool temperatures. In fact, much of tri-state area recoded record high temperatures, some in the mid to high 70’s. Here on the island with moderating temperatures from the surrounding ocean and sound, more like mid 60’s.
Global warming or just a statistical anomaly…only time will tell. Did a little more out in the garden beds this afternoon while the meatballs cooked. After dinner went to the gym for a quick workout. My back and neck bothering me, I decided to keep it to a 4 mile 40 minute run.
This day in history “Mario Molina is born in 1943. Mexican-American chemist who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, along with chemists F. Sherwood Rowland and Paul Crutzen, for research in the 1970s concerning the decomposition of the ozonosphere, which shields the Earth from dangerous solar radiation. The discoveries of Molina and Rowland, that some industrially manufactured gases deplete the ozone layer, led to an international movement in the late 20th century to limit the widespread use of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases...”
Do you recall the advertisements that shaving cream, and other aerosols started advertising that they no longer contained chlorofluorocarbon ? Arid extra dry, hair spray, and the like all switched over. I think that was the time or shortly after that stick deodorant became more popular.
Then came the announcements that we would not be able to get Freon to charge the AC units in our cars. A sharp increase in the price of Freon, and soon a new refrigerant would be born. When we purchase a central air unit about 10 years ago, we chose the more environmentally friendly PURON…
Now, I am even more conscious about the environment than ever. Maybe we should put a moratorium on oil and insist on natural gas and other cleaner alternatives.
Spring is in the air, and on the ground.
Where does the time go....that reminds me, we are calling Gavin tonight.
Photo of the day “Goodbye Winter”
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Another beautiful day, and if things keep up like this, we will be planting vegetable and flowers way ahead of mother’s day.
Had an early wakeup call with an issue at work, and after helping out, decided to just make a cup of coffee, and start the day. Kyle and Sue got up around 8ish, because we have an early soccer game out east against Mattituck. Need to be at the field at 10AM, so quick showers and out the door we go.
It is still quite cloudy when we arrive at the field, and instead of sitting in the car, I decide to go for a walk. 2 miles later, the sun is starting to make its way through the clouds and the referee is checking in the teams.
Soccer doesn’t end well for Kyles team, and they take a 3-2 defeat in the first round of the State Cup. Unlucky, but now they get to concentrate on their regular season.
This day in history “On this day in 1852, in New York City, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo join with several other investors to launch their namesake business.
The discovery of gold in California in 1849 prompted a huge spike in the demand for cross-country shipping. Wells and Fargo decided to take advantage of these great opportunities. In July 1852, their company shipped its first loads of freight from the East Coast to mining camps scattered around northern California. The company contracted with independent stagecoach companies to provide the fastest possible transportation and delivery of gold dust, important documents and other valuable freight. It also served as a bank--buying gold dust, selling paper bank drafts and providing loans to help fuel California's growing economy.
In 1857, Wells, Fargo and Co. formed the Overland Mail Company, known as the "Butterfield Line," which provided regular mail and passenger service along an ever-growing number of routes. In the boom-and-bust economy of the 1850s, the company earned a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable business, and its logo--the classic stagecoach--became famous. For a premium price, Wells, Fargo and Co. would send an employee on horseback to deliver or pick up a message or package.
Wells, Fargo and Co. merged with several other "Pony Express" and stagecoach lines in 1866 to become the unrivaled leader in transportation in the West. When the transcontinental railroad was completed three years later, the company began using railroad to transport its freight. By 1910, its shipping network connected 6,000 locations, from the urban centers of the East and the farming towns of the Midwest to the ranching and mining centers of Texas and California and the lumber mills of the Pacific Northwest.
After splitting from the freight business in 1905, the banking branch of the company merged with the Nevada National Bank and established new headquarters in San Francisco. During World War I, the U.S. government nationalized the company's shipping routes and combined them with the railroads into the American Railway Express, effectively putting an end to Wells, Fargo and Co. as a transportation and delivery business. The following April, the banking headquarters was destroyed in a major earthquake, but the vaults remained intact and the bank's business continued to grow. After two later mergers, the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company--shortened to the Wells Fargo Bank in 1962--became, and has remained, one of the biggest banking institutions in the United States..”
Some of us were talking about the stock market rebound over the past couple of years, and even though we are now back at levels before the real estate bubble burst, most of us have not really seen our 401K grow as much as we thought is should. Where are all the profits? Bailouts, subsidizing bad loans, paying for enormous executive bonuses, or just that a lot of us did not STAY invested, and decided to move our money around and protect it from further loses.
Seems Wells Fargo knows how to stay the course, and have made it thru depression, recession, corrections, and bailouts.
Since it was so nice this afternoon, I decided to cut back the old growth in the perennial beds, remove dead weeds, and uncover the now emerging plants. There is too much to do in a single afternoon, but some good progress was made. Tomorrow, I need to pick up a new wheel barrow.
Peggy decides to stay over another night, and gets treated to some of my paella. This time it is chicken, chorizo, and shrimps. I think I have made it too many times in the past few months as it is starting to lose its luster.
Waiting for the amazing race to start, I can feel the gardening in my neck and back. Maybe some to the stiffness is due to me getting hit in the back with a soccer ball from the adjacent field. I can only imagine how hard the guy struck that ball because it almost knocked me over. Good thing I was standing behind Sue’s chair or that ball probably would have hit her in the back of the head.
Looks like there is another problem at work, so I have to go…..Gone are the days when you worked 9-5 and really had weekends off. Hey, maybe I will have some extra money leftover to put some in the bank....LOL
Photo of the day “Wells Fargo”
Saturday, March 17, 2012
What a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day. Made pancakes and bacon for Luke.
Sue and Kyle went to church for Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang. Volunteer to make hundreds of PBJ sandwiches.
Pick up Mike and, head over to church for Kyle. Scoot to Deer Park for soccer practice.
Run 3 miles, and realize that I may need to start wearing a tshirt and shorts.
Back home in the early afternoon, and catch a few minutes of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Put the corned beef in the pot.
Drop Kyle off at work. He is an Assistant Referee for Long Island Soccer. Two games today in Selden.
Back home, and chat with Peggy, Sue’s mom who came over for a visit and corned beef and cabbage.
Luke and Peggy make some of the secret recipe rice pudding.
Start some spring cleanup in the front of the house…Plants are starting an early emergence from their winter sleep. I swear they are about a month early.
Run back out to pick up Kyle from work.
Cut up the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Place in the pot with the corned beef. Set mental timer. If you cook a lot you know what I am talking about.
Pull the corned beef from the pot and it splits in half….that’s a good sign that it is going to be really tender.
This day in history “On this day in 461 A.D., Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, dies at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland.
Much of what is known about Patrick's legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Born in Great Britain, probably in Scotland, to a well-to-do Christian family of Roman citizenship, Patrick was captured and enslaved at age 16 by Irish marauders. For the next six years, he worked as a herder in Ireland, turning to a deepening religious faith for comfort. Following the counsel of a voice he heard in a dream one night, he escaped and found passage on a ship to Britain, where he was eventually reunited with his family.
According to the Confessio, in Britain Patrick had another dream, in which an individual named Victoricus gave him a letter, entitled "The Voice of the Irish." As he read it, Patrick seemed to hear the voices of Irishmen pleading him to return to their country and walk among them once more. After studying for the priesthood, Patrick was ordained a bishop. He arrived in Ireland in 433 and began preaching the Gospel, converting many thousands of Irish and building churches around the country. After 40 years of living in poverty, teaching, traveling and working tirelessly, Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, where he had built his first church.
Since that time, countless legends have grown up around Patrick. Made the patron saint of Ireland, he is said to have baptized hundreds of people on a single day, and to have used a three-leaf clover--the famous shamrock--to describe the Holy Trinity. In art, he is often portrayed trampling on snakes, in accordance with the belief that he drove those reptiles out of Ireland. For thousands of years, the Irish have observed the day of Saint Patrick's death as a religious holiday, attending church in the morning and celebrating with food and drink in the afternoon. The first St. Patrick's Day parade, though, took place not in Ireland, but the United States, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City in 1762. As the years went on, the parades became a show of unity and strength for persecuted Irish-American immigrants, and then a popular celebration of Irish-American heritage. The party went global in 1995, when the Irish government began a large-scale campaign to market St. Patrick's Day as a way of driving tourism and showcasing Ireland's many charms to the rest of the world. Today, March 17 is a day of international celebration, as millions of people around the globe put on their best green clothing to drink beer, watch parades and toast the luck of the Irish.”
Trim and slice the corned beef, and Sue and I serve the meal. Corned Beef, Cabbage, Boiled Potatoes, Carrots, Irish Soda Bread, Spicy Mustard, McSorley’s Ale. Warm rice pudding for dessert.
Sue and I recall going to McSorley’s Ale House close to NYU where I worked and went to school. The good old days, and at that time, they still only had one bathroom. A Men’s room, as it was a Men’s only establishment until the mid 1970’s. Was pretty funny watching the uninitiated women asking the waiters to check the men’s room, and to stand outside the door so no one would come in. There were some women who would just walk right into the men’s room and wait their turn. In 1986, they decided to put in a 2nd bathroom. In wonder if men walk into the women’s room ?
Gia comes over at the end of dinner, and tries the rice pudding…not her favorite…More for us.
Luke cleans up the mess as he now gets an allowance, or at least will starting tomorrow.
Photo of the day “Bruce-Be-Blogin”
Friday, March 16, 2012
And so it goes, “The ides of March”, and an abrupt change. It was a long time ago, in a galaxy far away. Let’s face it, things are so much different than they were just 20 years ago. We have cell phones, GPS, high speed Internet, and luckily for me, the technology to work from home when I need to.
Twenty years ago, I started my first day of employment at a company called Reuters. Sure, they had been around well over a hundred years when I started working there. But to me, it was fresh and new…a technology company, a news company, an innovative company. Not a household name back then, and in America, still not a famous brand, which is now a merged giant called ThomsonReuters.
The decision to work at Reuters, and stay there for the past 20 years is one worth telling. It all started when I was working for a company called Digital Equipment Corp (DEC), perhaps the greatest hardware and software company the world had ever seen, well before Apple became the giant it is today. While working for DEC as a software/network consultant, I was asked to take a one year or so assignment at a company called Reuters. Being a city boy, who grew up in Queens, lived in Manhattan for a year, and then found home in Brooklyn, Reuters was like the other side of the world.
Ok, maybe not the other side of the world, but in those days, I had only be as far east on Long Island as the “Huntington Townhouse” where I had gone to a bar-mitvah, and wedding. Not having MapQuest, or tom-tom in those days, I resorted to a map…yes a map, probably had to buy a Hagstrom to find my way to this place called Hauppauge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagstrom_Map
Once settled in at my assignment at Reuters in Hauppauge, Long Island, I started marveling at the laid back attitude, the lunch hours that included a walk at Hoyt Farm, or Blydenburg Park, or just a spot at the table in the cafeteria. A far cry from the hustle and bustle I was used to on Wall Street or Midtown., where lunch consisted of a ten minute wait for an elevator, a hurried walk thru the crowds, to grab a slice of pizza, and then the mad dash back to be on time.
I could get used to this I thought, and since the 50 mile drive from Marine Park Brooklyn was about the same hour (most day) a day as the bus and train to NYC, it became sort of routine. Gas was a lot cheaper in those days. Sure, when the beach traffic, an accident, rain, snow, or sun glare came, the car drive to and from Brooklyn was a bit more burdensome. Well, my time there flew by, and DEC was not doing so well, and decided to lay me off…Luckily for me, I interviewed at Reuters and was hired full time without missing a beat.
Date of Hire March 16, 1992.
A year later and some 30,000 miles run up on the odometer, another abrupt change occurs in my life. While driving to work on March 16, 1993, my one year anniversary at Reuters, I get into a car accident. I never made it work that day, and can still remember being in the hospital, with my beeper chiming in my briefcase.
A colleague at work who knows I am punctual, was wondering why I was not there at the 930 breakfast club, when I usually started my day around 8am. A nurse brings over a phone, and I call Gene Portente to tell him that I was in a car accident and would not be in for a while…I think my back is broken. A while turns out to be about 3 months.
So, some more history is needed. March 13th 1993 was the day the storm of the century made its way up the coast.
The Storm of the Century, also known as the ’93 Superstorm, or the (Great) Blizzard of 1993, was a large cyclonic storm that occurred on March 12–13, 1993, on the East Coast of North America. It is unique for its intensity, massive size and wide-reaching effect. At its height, the storm stretched from Canada towards Central America, but its main impact was on the Eastern United States and Cuba. The cyclone moved through the Gulf of Mexico, and then through the Eastern United States before moving into Canada.
It was in the hospital or during a couple of months of physical therapy that I realized, if I am going to continue working at Reuters, we should move closer to my job. Sue working on Wall Street, and pregnant with Gavin (found out the 2nd day in the hospital and the reason for my tenacity to push to get better). The search took us far and wide, until the day that Gene Portente asked us to look at his house in Holbrook. Much further than we wanted to be from the city, but close enough to the Ronkonkoma line for Sue to get to the city, or so we thought.
We have been in our house in Holbrook since August 19th 1993 and the two events that transpired following the ides of march, are the reasons we and our family are here today. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.
So, celebrating my 20th Anniversary at Reuters, went largely unnoticed, some of my friends and colleagues there laid off over the past 7-10 years. No cake in the front conference room as we did in the past at the Hauppauge Technical Center. Two of the guys who work for me have heard me mention excitedly that I have almost made it to 20 years…they took me for Sushi. Thanks Frank and Khary, that was very nice of your guys to treat me to a celebratory lunch.
My Lucite plaque is on the shelf, and the company catalogue of commemorative items is in my desk. I decided to get the kayak instead of a watch. A kayak seems fitting for me to paddle my way through the lakes, rivers, bays, or just through the waterways of life for the next 20 years.
Picture of the day “It was 20 years ago today”
P.S. I have been saying for years that the satellite pit at Reuters should be flooded, and a well drilled to tap into the fresh water spring running under Hauppauge. Once flooded, we can stock it with trout, and get kayaks to fish in it during lunch. The kayak is on the way. The dream may become a reality as satellite dish communications is so yesterday......
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Even though I got home after 9pm again, I was crafty enough to sneak in my run while Kyle and Gia where at the church soup kitchen volunteering. Not to familiar with Port Jeff station, it was a good thing I noticed a school practically across the street from the Church.
5 miles in 50 minutes made me happy.
This day in history “Julius Caesar, the "dictator for life" of the Roman Empire, is murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey's Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar's own protege, Marcus Brutus.
The Ides of March. The word Ides comes from the Latin word "Idus" and means "half division" especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar indicating the approximate day that was the middle of the month. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held.
Now the phrase has a meaning closer to “A specific day of abrupt change”
I can tell you the day after the Ides of March, or the day of specific abrupt change, ring true in my life.
Two life changing events transpired the day following the “Ides of March”…curious ? More to be revealed tomorrow on March 16th.
Photo of the day ”The ides of March”
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Wednesday turned out to be a top 10 day of the year so far weather wise. Mild temperatures and sunny skies, at least that’s what it looked like from the office window.
Made my way out to check the fresh air and sunshine for a few minutes at around 3pm, and then continued working till almost 6pm, late, so I can go out to dinner with some colleagues.
It has been a long time since the company managed to take me out for a meal two days in a row. Lunch yesterday and dinner today. I feel like I need to work off some of these extra calories as there was no gym or run done yesterday or today.
Got home after 9pm and after changing into sweats and a tshirt, it is blog time.
This day in history “On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein's theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man's view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.
After a childhood in Germany and Italy, Einstein studied physics and mathematics at the Federal Polytechnic Academy in Zurich, Switzerland. He became a Swiss citizen and in 1905 was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich while working at the Swiss patent office in Bern. That year, which historians of Einstein's career call the annus mirabilis--the "miracle year"--he published five theoretical papers that were to have a profound effect on the development of modern physics.”
The theories of relativity have pretty much held up and the word Einstein often is synonymous with genius.
Only in the past couple of years have scientists begun to think that anti matter and the big bang theory, and that some particles may accelerate faster than the speed of light. This would mean that time and space may exist in ways that we can’t comprehend yet. Sounds very Fringe like to me…
Will we one day be able to travel at light speed and visit distant galaxies or other universes ?
Our dinner conversations from an aging bunch of computer, electrical, and network engineers probably made us sound like Einsteins to the un-initiated. For those in the know, it sounded like a bunch of techy dweebs. Hey, it is what it is....
1. "The only real valuable thing is intuition."
2. "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
3. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
4. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
5. "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
7. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
8. "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
9. "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
10. "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
Photo of the day ”Einstein”
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Lots of thing going on today, but it is getting late, so I am doing a short blog.
Kyle left his bathing suit and towel home, so Sue did not get to have breakfast this morning.
Work has a series of meetings cancelled while we work thru a problem that occurred in London.
Babur, my boss came for a visit, and we get to go out to lunch at Paces Steak in Hauppauge.
YUM. Highlight of the day. Petite Filet Mignon, cream spinach, home fries, mozz and peppers and a black and tan…
Get back to the office, and continue to cancel team meetings until we leave around 6pm.
Sue has a sinus infection and her ENT wants her on antibiotics and rinses.
Since I am running late and stuck in traffic, Sue goes to drop off her script at CVS, and pickup up dinner and some pop tarts for Kyle. Luke gets some MIO.
This day in history “A 6.8-magnitude earthquake near Erzincan, Turkey, and an unusually powerful aftershock two days later kill at least 500 people and leave 50,000 people homeless.
Erzincan was a provincial capital city of 90,000 people 600 miles east of Istanbul in Central Turkey. The people of the area were no strangers to earthquakes--deadly quakes had struck the area in 1047, 1547, 1583, 1666, 1784 and 1939. It was a Friday evening during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when the 1992 earthquake struck; most people in Erzincan and the surrounding area were sitting down for their evening meal. Seventeen seconds of powerful jolts and rocking began at 7:19 p.m., bringing down buildings and all electricity in the region. ”
I tell Sue about my bonus, and how it is like half of what I usually get…it is a bonus though, so grateful for the extra money.
Luke tells us he is not going to continue playing soccer…he is icing and heating his heel a few time a day, but still in pain.
930 and Sue and Luke falling asleep on the couch.
My world feels a little shaky today too. Thankfully I am prepared to hit the ground running tomorrow. Missed my run today, so will hopefully do a long run tomorrow.
Photo of the day ”Paces”
Monday, March 12, 2012
Typical day in the office, and when we went out to grab some lunch at the bodega, it was already warming up towards 60 degrees. Rice, Beans, and Sazon chicken for $4, its too good not to go there once a week.
This day in history “The most severe winter storm ever to hit the New York City region reaches blizzard proportions, costing hundreds of lives and millions of dollars in property damage. Although the storm also struck New England, New York was the hardest hit, with the 36-hour blizzard dumping some 40 inches of snow on the city. For several weeks, the city was virtually isolated from the rest of the country by the massive snowdrifts. Messages north to Boston had to be relayed via England. Even "Leather Man," a fixture of New York and Connecticut history who had walked a circuit of 365 miles every 34 days for three decades, was reportedly delayed four days by the Blizzard of 1888. Leather Man, who walked during the day and slept in caves at night, was known as such because his clothes were made out of large patches of thick leather.”
Salmon Teriyaki for dinner, and workout at the gym. Am I predictable or what ?
I can’t believe we have had nearly no snow the whole winter. If it hits 70 degrees tomorrow I will cut back all the perennial grasses and the butterfly bushes.
Snacking on Tapenade…a mixture of olives, red peppers, olive oil, feta cheese….need I say more.
The jar of Tapenade from Costco looks way better than the wiki.
No blizzards in sight. Hello spring J
We also signed up for a share of fresh veggies and fruits at a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture. Starting in June we will reap the harvest of local farmers….and eat healthier at the same time.
Photo of the day ”CSA Farm Share”