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Monday, April 30, 2012

Flushing Meadow

Monday morning was not the usual a the house.  Sue spent the night at her mother's house, so I dropped off Kyle, then work up Luke.  Started working from home whole Luke had breakfast and then dropped him a the bus stop at 7:25.

Get to work at at around 10am ask Sue what time Peggy's Dr appointment is. Turns out her Dr. does not have office hours today so Sue helps with laundry, shopping, etc.  Not quite the day she had in mind, but hopefully tomorrow the Dr. will be able to make a diagnosis.

This day on history "On April 30, 1939, the New York World's Fair opens in New York City. The opening ceremony, which featured speeches by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and New York Governor Herbert Lehman, ushered in the first day of television broadcasting in New York.
Spanning 1,200 acres at Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, the fairground was marked by two imposing structures--the "Perisphere" and the "Trylon"--and exhibited such new technology as FM radio, robotics, fluorescent lighting, and a crude fax machine. Norman Bel Geddes designed a Futurama ride for General Motors, and users were transported through an idealized city of the future. Sixty-three nations participated in the fair, which enjoyed large crowds before the outbreak of World War II interrupted many of its scheduled events."

I grew up around the Flushing Meadow park area.  Actually several miles east in the NYC Housing projects called Pomonok.  I do remember frequent bicycle rides to Flushing Meadow to swim at the Aquacade, or to go fishing.  As far as the worlds fair, I have some picture and story memories of being two years old in 1964 and toddling around the world fair grounds.

Back at home, we have a nice twin chicken dinner and then its off to Kyle's soccer practice.

And so it goes, and and so it goes.

Photo of the day "Flushing Meadow"

P.S.  Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish, and get rid of him for the whole weekend !

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pool Cover Basketball

Soccer was cancelled this morning with neither team getting to play or having to forfeit.  No referee and we are now going to have to play in NJ to make up the game.  That stinks.

Luke and I do a little grocery shopping after lunch.  Some fun on the pool cover and in the lawn sprinklers for Luke.  He doesn't need too much to have fun.  I remember at his age making up games and having fun like that. 

Since I am 49 years old,  I decided to soothe the soar shins in the hot tub.

Sue catches up on some laundry, and will be visiting her mom at her house tonight.  A sleepover so she can help out at the Drs. Office.  They still can’t find out why Peggy Mom keeps getting out of breathe, next specialist will check her lungs better.

This day in history “
In a year marked by as much social and cultural upheaval as 1968, it was understandable that the New York Times review of a controversial musical newly arrived on Broadway would describe the show in political terms. "You probably don't have to be a supporter of Eugene McCarthy to love it," wrote critic Clive Barnes, "but I wouldn't give it much chance among the adherents of Governor Reagan." The show in question was Hair, the now-famous "tribal love-rock musical" that introduced the era-defining song "Aquarius" and gave New York theatergoers a full-frontal glimpse of the burgeoning 60s-counterculture esthetic. Hair premiered on Broadway on April 29, 1968.
Hair was not a brand-new show when it opened at the Biltmore Theater on this night in 1968. It began its run 40 blocks to the south, in the East Village, as the inaugural production of Joseph Papp's Public Theater. Despite mediocre reviews, Hair was a big enough hit with audiences during its six-week run at the Public to win financial backing for a proposed move to Broadway. While this kind of move would later become more common, it was exceedingly rare for a musical at the time, and it was a particularly bold move for a musical with a nontraditional score. Hair, after all, was the first rock musical to make a play for mainstream success on the Great White Way. ”

So nice out, I decided to make grilled chicken Caesar salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and mushrooms on the side.  I can’t wait for the farm share to start up so we can have big salads and fresh veggies every night.

Luke asks me to make cinnamon buns…Since they are already in a package, it is pretty easy to comply.

Popped Corn and The Amazing Race coming up.

Photo of the day “Pool Cover Basketball”

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Woke up this morning in time to join a conference call for work.  It think this marks the 20+ day in a row working or participating in some sort of job related duties even on the weekends.

At near 2 hrs on the call, we have a breakthrough and the service we re trying to get working magically wakes up.  A sigh of relief, and then a glass of water and out into the cool morning air for a run around Holbrook.

My loop takes me a little over 42 minutes and covers nearly 4.5 miles.  Life is good as I still have time when I get back to cool down before heading out for the day.

This day in history "Three weeks into a journey from Tahiti to the West Indies, the HMS Bounty is seized in a mutiny led by Fletcher Christian, the master's mate. Captain William Bligh and 18 of his loyal supporters were set adrift in a small, open boat, and the Bounty set course for Tubuai south of Tahiti.
In December 1787, the Bounty left England for Tahiti in the South Pacific, where it was to collect a cargo of breadfruit saplings to transport to the West Indies. There, the breadfruit would serve as food for slaves. After a 10-month journey, the Bounty arrived in Tahiti in October 1788 and remained there for more than five months. On Tahiti, the crew enjoyed an idyllic life, reveling in the comfortable climate, lush surroundings, and the famous hospitality of the Tahitians. Fletcher Christian fell in love with a Tahitian woman named Mauatua."

Now, I have heard the expression, mutiny on the I know what it means.  That guy Fletcher must have been a real piece of work.

Soccer is local today at Hauppauge, and since it was so nice out, I decided to make a nice sandwich and took a tall cup full of ice to pour my Starbucks frappacino into.  While the team warmed up, I ate my sandwich, talked to some of the parents and made sure my camera was ready to shoot.

The game starts and the two teams feel each other out, but it is not long before United take an early lead and never look back.  Some scrappy play in the 2nd half and Hauppauge receives 3 or 4 yellow cards.  They are obviously frustrated by the 2-0 lead the Kyle team (United) took in the first half.  Kyle makes sure that there is no catching up when he scores the 3rd goal.  A great win today for United as they have a great chance of taking 2nd place with only 1 game left to play this season.

After the game, Kyle asks to go to the mall to buy Gia a present.  They are celebrating their 1 year anniversary.  After getting home, I realize that the day has slipped away.  We order Chinese takeout, and after eating, Kyle gets picked up by Gia's dad for a ride back to the mall, so the two can go to dinner together.

I play some basketball with Luke, and loose 21-18.  That means I have to make cookies for Luke.  Wouldn't you know it, its 830 and time to pickup Kyle and Gia.  Instead of coming home, they want a dropoff at Gia's house.  I guess he will have to call me later and wake me up to pick him up.  Not too late I told him, as he has another soccer game tomorrow morning.  Will I ever get to fertilize the lawn ?

With all we do for our kids, there better not be a mutiny !

Photo of the day "Goal"

Friday, April 27, 2012

Back Home

After  a long trip through the mid-west for a business trip, its good to be back home on Long Island.  My flight on a regional jet (68) passengers from St Louis to Laguardia was smooth up to the last 5 minutes.  On approach, the wind was blowing the little jet all over the place.  Landing on the Lilly pad is easy for these pilots, but nerve wracking for the planes occupants.

Didn't grab dinner at the airport, so now at 1030pm, I am heating up the meatballs that Luke made the other day.

I missed the excitement here in Holbrook, where a brush fire on our block was extinguished tonight.  Thankfully a fast response and the fire was squashed.

This day in history "On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe is created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.
Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, Germany. As a university student, he studied the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus' theories of planetary ordering. Copernicus (1473-1543) believed that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system, a theory that contradicted the prevailing view of the era that the sun revolved around the earth."

I guess Kepler was off by a little bit, but his calculations in regard to the position and motion of the planets makes him a visionary.

The shuttle Enterprise landed today as well and has a new home in NYC.

Back home it is a little bit chilly, and after a long week away from home I look forward to my bed and pillow.  I sure hope I sleep thru the night.

Photo of the day "Small Jet"

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Early day again, and working out of a hotel room in the early hours of the AM.  After a meeting, I hit the local streets for a run.  This time I almost get hit by a car when the sidewalk runs out, and the road narrows.  Good thing I was wearing a bright blue shirt in full sunlight and paying attention to my surroundings, unlike the person in their Lexus who was probably on their cell checking emails or texting.  I almost had a meltdown.

I back track and stay on sidewalks only which means I need to go up and down the the couple of blocks around the hotel...too many hills to climb over here, so it is 2.5 miles in 25 minutes.  Remind me why people do this.  Food addiction might be safer than fitness addiction.  Maybe I should have looked for a treadmill.

This day in history "On this day in 1986, the world's worst nuclear accident to date occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine. The full toll from this disaster is still being tallied, but experts believe that thousands of people died and as many as 70,000 suffered severe poisoning. In addition, a large area of land may not be livable for as much as 150 years. The 18-mile radius around Chernobyl was home to almost 150,000 people who had to be permanently relocated.
The Soviet Union built the Chernobyl plant, which had four 1,000-megawatt reactors, in the town of Pripyat. At the time of the explosion, it was one of the largest and oldest nuclear power plants in the world. The explosion and subsequent meltdown of one reactor was a catastrophic event that directly affected hundreds of thousands of people. Still, the Soviet government kept its own people and the rest of the world in the dark about the accident until days later.
At first, the Soviet government only asked for advice on how to fight graphite fires and acknowledged the death of two people. It soon became apparent, however, that the Soviets were covering up a major accident and had ignored their responsibility to warn both their own people and surrounding nations. Two days after the explosion, Swedish authorities began measuring dangerously high levels of radioactivity in their atmosphere.
Years later, the full story was finally released. Workers at the plant were performing tests on the system. They shut off the emergency safety systems and the cooling system, against established regulations, in preparation for the tests. Even when warning signs of dangerous overheating began to appear, the workers failed to stop the test. Xenon gases built up and at 1:23 a.m. the first explosion rocked the reactor. A total of three explosions eventually blew the 1,000-ton steel top right off of the reactor."

A few years ago, oh who am I kidding, maybe more like 30 years ago, my mother in law is barbecuing chicken which catches fire and gets charred.  We called it Chernobyl chicken....removed the skin and ate it.  Luckily, we have never had a meltdown, and maybe in another few hundred millennium, people, animals, and plants can return to the area.

This should have been a valuable lesson, as was 3 mile island and the Fukushima accident.  There are alternatives to using fossil fuels and nuclear energy to power our insatiable appetites for energy.   Earth day just past, and more renewable energy is needed so we can keep our earth from becoming too toxic.

The average age of the 435 nuclear power plants that are currently operating worldwide is 25 years and in Western Europe, 75 percent of the plants are in the last half of their operating life.

Photo of the day "Meltdown"

P.S. How much clean energy reaches the Earth each day ?

 Approximately 120,000 TW (terrawatts) 

That is 120000000000000000 joules per second!

More energy hits the Earth from the Sun in one hour that the whole world uses all year.
(The world uses 15 terrawatts of power per year.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Got to see the St Louis based team for the first time in 21 months.  Having only seen most of them most, it was a much needed visit.  In addition, a site visit to our data center, a few meetings, and a workshop to go over some recent incidents.

All that work makes me hungry, and of course a team dinner is in order.  Chris is the tour director this time around and chooses an Italian place.

This day in history "At Port Said, Egypt, ground is broken for the Suez Canal, an artificial waterway intended to stretch 101 miles across the isthmus of Suez and connect the Mediterranean and the Red seas. Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French diplomat who organized the colossal undertaking, delivered the pickax blow that inaugurated construction.
Artificial canals have been built on the Suez region, which connects the continents of Asia and Africa, since ancient times. Under the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt, a channel connected the Bitter Lakes to the Red Sea, and a canal reached northward from Lake Timsah as far as the Nile River. These canals fell into disrepair or were intentionally destroyed for military reasons. As early as the 15th century, Europeans speculated about building a canal across the Suez, which would allow traders to sail from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea, rather than having to sail the great distance around Africa's Cape of Good Hope."

This linking of continents was no easy task, and very much worth doing.  I am happy to say that my team is not only diversely geographically distributed but also, diverse in there backgrounds and heritage.  It was nice being able to have 5 out of 7 of use together to talk, collaborate and enjoy a meal together.

The food at Brio was very good.  A couple of shared appetizers and seemingly, everyone picked their own unique dish from the menu, as if representing their uniqueness.   No overlaps.  Dessert was the almost no overlaps, but we find that Corina and Tom both could not resist the brownie.  Me, I chose a bread pudding because it is something I know I will never recreate at home.

Back at the hotel, I sure hope a full night sleep awaits because I sure need to go for a long run to work off the calories from that meal.

Photo of the Day "BRIO"

Chris, Carlos, Corina, Tom, and Bruce shared a meal at Brio St Louis.  Yum !

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Arch

Woke up before sunrise and decided to be adventurous in a new place.   I ended up running a couple of miles in Eagan Minnesota, in and around a residential area and Kettle Lake park in the wee hours of the morning.  At  mile 1 it started to drizzle, and this is when the sun peaked thru revealing a mostly cloudy sky.  The cool raindrops and smell of the dew was actually kind of nice.

Showered and rushed thru breakfast to catch the morning shuttle to the ThomsonReuters facility in Eagan.  A huge complex with about 6000 employees with plenty of others like me starting at 0800.  The remainder of the training and meetings went well, and at 3:20, it was time to take the shuttle to the airport.

One city down, one to go.

This day in history "A single tornado travels 150 miles through Louisiana and Mississippi, leaving 143 dead in its wake. In total, 311 people lost their lives to twisters during the deadly month of April 1908 in the southeastern United States. Another 1,600 were seriously injured.
Two of the locations worst hit by the single extraordinary tornado on this day were Amite, Louisiana, and Purvis, Mississippi. In Amite, the tornado was 2.5 miles wide as it touched the ground, killing 29 residents. In Purvis, 55 people were killed and 400 were injured.
Tornadoes on average travel four to eight miles along the ground at about 60 miles per hour. This one traveled more than 150 miles. Though large, it is not nearly the most impressive on record—a 200-mile-long tornado was recorded on one occasion.
In the United States, it is rare that a single tornado kills more than 50 people, although a series or grouping of related tornadoes sometimes causes such damage. The death rate from tornadoes has plunged since this 1908 disaster. Until the World War II era, public warnings were very rare. During the war, spotters were used to protect ammunition plants and, when the war ended, this system was adapted for use as a civilian-warning system."

My flight from Minneapolis to Str Louis is uneventful until we reach the gate.  For some reason, it take 15 minsutes for them to connect the jetway to the plane...something they do hundreds of times a day...duh.  One out of the plane, I am following an unfamiliar path to baggage claim and ground transportation.

Since I already have my bag, I am really just trying to fined daylight and a familiar looking passenger pickup and dropoff area.  Am I in the twilight zone ?  I have flown into this airport more than a handful of times, and I am completely disoriented.  Tom, a guy on my team is trying to pick me up a the airport and cant find me.

I finally ask a TSA agent why I cant get up to the top level, or the usual area of the airport that I am used to seeing.  He says they closed that section of the terminal to repair it.  Last year a tornado damaged the airport, and this is day 2 of their repair.

Tom finds me and we are off to downtown St Louis to eat dinner and see the arch.  Tom is from Wisconsin and has never been to St Louis before.  Dinner at a small brew house, and a walk to the arch so that he can see how huge it is.  Back in the car and I get checked into the hotel at 10pm.

I am tired.  Just about to finish the blog and the phone is India calling with a problem with one of our news systems.  Gotta go.

Photo of the day "The ARCH"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Eagan Sunrise

Woke up this morning at 530am after a fitful sleep.  Being in a hotel, I never sleep well, and being preoccupied with training and meetings didn't help.  A 3 mile run on the treadmill was enough to get me moving.  Met Dave at 7am for breakfast and then a quick shuttle to the office.

This day in history "According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Shakespeare's date of death is conclusively known, however: it was April 23, 1616. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford three years before."

I can tell you that I was never a Shakespeare fan, and dissecting his work in HS was tedious and boring.  No wonder I became a technologist.

After several training sessions today, we call the hotel for a shuttle and make our way towards the hotel.  A stop at Doolitles for a quick bite to eat, and it is already 9pm.  I am tired, so a quick blog entry and then I will watch the news and hopefully sleep tonight.

Will be packing the suitcase back up and heading to the office, and from there its off to St. Louis.

Photo of the day"Eagan Sunrise"

P.S. 38 degrees this morning, and 68 degrees this afternoon.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day

Spent a good portion of the day travelling to Eagan Minnesota for work.  When the car service came to pick me up, the rain was coming down at a fast pace.   Kyle was out in it as he is the assistant referee at the Sachem fields.

Flights are delayed at Laguardia airport, but we manage to take off and I get to my destination on-time.

Gavin ran in a 5K this afternoon.

This day in history "Earth Day, an event to increase public awareness of the world's environmental problems, is celebrated in the United States for the first time. Millions of Americans, including students from thousands of colleges and universities, participated in rallies, marches, and educational programs.
Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, a staunch environmentalist who hoped to provide unity to the grassroots environmental movement and increase ecological awareness. "The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy," Senator Nelson said, "and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda." Earth Day indeed increased environmental awareness in America, and in July of that year the Environmental Protection Agency was established by special executive order to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation.
On April 22, 1990, the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, more than 200 million people in 141 countries participated in Earth Day celebrations.
Earth Day has been celebrated on different days by different groups internationally. The United Nations officially celebrates it on the vernal equinox, which usually occurs about March 21."

Once checked in at the Hilton Garden Inn in Eagan, I meet a colleague, Dave, and we grab some greek food from a place across the street.

We have an early start tomorrow at 8am, so meeting for breakfast at 7am, and catching the shuttle to the office at 730am.  I set the alarm for 530am, so I can go to the fitness center to work off dinner.

Gavin comes in 4th place in his run against a field of 350.

Toad in the window well.  Seems we have that happen just about every year.  They like it there, and can get out if they want to.

Photo of the day "Earth Day"


Sue and Kyle left at 6am for soccer matches in Connecticut.  By  8am I was already up and helping out with some changes and incidents at work.  Yeah, I know it’s the weekend.

Drop off some old kodachrome slides at Costco to have them scanned in and made into digital format so that I can make a surprise gift for my friend Ned.

Go for a morning run when it is still cool and cloudy.  The run gets interrupted by a phone call, so it ended up being two runs recorded., and the last half a mile, the sun had already broken thru.

Kyle wins his first game and has an amazing goal (that’s what Sue txt me).  The 2nd game hours later ends in a tie score.

This day in history “On April 21, 1967, General Motors (GM) celebrates the manufacture of its 100 millionth American-made car. At the time, GM was the world's largest automaker.
General Motors was established in 1908 in Flint, Michigan, by horse-drawn carriage mogul William Durant. In 1904, Durant invested in the Buick Motor Company, which was started in 1903 by Scottish-born inventor David Dunbar Buick. Within a few years of forming his company, Buick lost control of it and sold his stock, which would later be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (In 1929, Buick died at age 74 in relative obscurity and modest circumstances). Durant made Buick Motors the cornerstone of his new holding company, General Motors, then acquired Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Reliance Motor Company, among other auto and truck makers.”

After running some errands, dropping of Luke at a friend’s house, I do a couple o loads of laundry.
Pick up Luke and get ready to go to Ned’s party.  Sue is stuck in traffic in Connecticut.

Ned, a childhood friend is celebrating his 50th birthday party, and I get to see some old friends and his relatives.  My, my how time has flown by.  I am not far behind..

They say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you
Come on
Come on
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Dance yeah
Come on
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Oh dance! Dance
They say it's your birthday
Well it's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Keeping with the Beatles theme this week, we have to go with “BIRTHDAY

Photo of the day “BIRTHDAY”

P.S. I hope Ned likes his gifts....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back in the USSR

TGIF.  This week went by pretty fast.  Earth Day is coming, and there is supposed to be a meteor shower.  Seems every year we have cloudy weather or rain, and I don't get to see the shooting stars.

This day in history “Soviet aircraft force a Korean Air Lines passenger jet to land in the Soviet Union after the jet veers into Russian airspace. Two people were killed and several others injured when the jet made a rough landing on a frozen lake about 300 miles south of Murmansk.
The jet was on a flight from Paris to Seoul when the incident occurred. Soviet officials claimed that the plane, which usually flew over the northern polar regions to reach Seoul, suddenly veered sharply to the east and penetrated Russian airspace. Soviet jets intercepted the passenger plane and ordered it to land. Instead of going to the airfield indicated by the Soviet jets, however, the KAL flight made a very rough landing on a frozen lake south of Murmansk. Two passengers were killed and several others were injured during the landing. A short time later, the Soviet Union allowed a civilian American aircraft to retrieve the survivors.
U.S. officials were confused about what had gone wrong with the KAL flight, and Soviet officials were not extraordinarily helpful in clearing up matters. South Korea claimed that "navigational errors" were to blame for the plane flying so far off course. Aviation experts, however, doubted that "errors" of that magnitude would occur in such a sophisticated aircraft or that navigation problems could account for the plane's wildly inaccurate flight pattern. All that could be said for certain was that the episode once again demonstrated the Soviet Union's strict adherence to the protection of its airspace. Since the end of World War II a number of civilian and military aircraft had been driven away, forced to land, or shot down by the Soviet airforce. The Russian policy would have even more tragic consequences on September 1, 1983, when Soviet jets shot down KAL Flight 007 after it veered 300 miles off course and flew over the Soviet Union--nearly 270 people died in that crash..”

No arguments about dinner tonight, we ordered some sushi, salad, and miso.  Kyle was getting ready for another sweat 16 party.  He has gone to a lot of parties this year.

I had to fix the printer tonight because it was bugging out and wouldn't print.  Sue printed out all sorts of stuff and her directions to Kyle’s soccer games in Connecticut.  Hopefully the weather holds up.

Oh, flew in from Miami Beach B.O.A.C.
Didn't get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man I had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R. (Yeah)
Been away so long I hardly knew the place
Gee it's good to be back home
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case
Honey disconnect the phone
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.
Back in the U.S.
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia's always on my mind
Aw come on!
Ho yeah!
Ho yeah!
Ho ho yeah!
Yeah yeah!
Yeah I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boys
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia's always on my mind
Oh, show me around your snow-peaked mountains way down south
Take me to your daddy's farm
Let me hear your balalaika's ringing out
Come and keep your comrade warm
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
Hey you don't know how lucky you are boys
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Oh let me tell you, honey
Hey, I'm back!
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
Yes, I'm free!
Yeah, back in the U.S.S.R.
Ha ha

Keeping with the Beatles theme this week, we have to go with “Back in the USSR

Photo of the day “Back in the USSR”

P.S. The balalaika (Russian: балала́йка, pronounced [bəlɐˈlajkə]) is a stringed musical instrument popular in Russia, with a characteristic triangular body and three strings

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Drive My Car

I was saddened last night when I heard about the passing of Dick Clark.  A legend that has transcended generations.  Rest in Peace.   "Music is the soundtrack of your life."

This day in history “On this day in 1964, Mario Andretti competes in his inaugural Indy car race, in Trenton, New Jersey, finishing in 11th place. The following year, Andretti won the first of his four Indy car championships (also referred to as the U.S. National Championship) and was named Rookie of the Year at the prestigious Indianapolis 500, where he came in third. Andretti went on to become an icon in the world of motorsports. He is the only man to win the Formula One World Championship, the U.S. National Championship (1965, 1966, 1969, 1984), the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring (1967, 1970, 1972) and the Pikes Peak International Hill Club.”

We had a hard time deciding on dinner tonight.  I didn’t plan anything, so we almost had to get Sushi.  I wish we were wealthy, so we wouldn’t have to worry about splurges.   We are not, so instead we settled for breakfast for dinner.  Popular in the past, and again tonight, Pancakes and Bacon it was.  Better than IHOP or Denny’s if you ask me (well I am the chef) and I think Luke ate a really tall stack of 7 pancakes.

Took Kyle to soccer practice and I proceeded to run around Centereach for 5 miles…..dangerous running in the streets after dark.  Why doesn’t Long Island have some trails or bike lanes, or sidewalks ?
Back in the car and home again in time to write the Blog.  Drive my car.

Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said baby, can't you see
I want to be famous, a star on the screen
But you can do something in between
Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I'll love you

I told a girl that my prospects were good
And she said baby, it's understood
Working for peanuts is all very fine
But I can show you a better time

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I'll love you

Beep beep'm beep beep yeah

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I'll love you

I told a girl I can start right away
And she said listen babe I got something to say
I got no car and it's breaking my heart
But I've found a driver and that's a start

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I'll love you

Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah

Keeping with the Beatles theme this week, we have to go with “Drive My Car”

Photo of the day “Drive My Car”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Hard Day's Night

Weather is back to normal today, but still no rain.  Worked another 12 hour day, and fin it hr to believe that with all the modern conveniences, we work about 30-50% more hours now than the previous generation.
This day in history “Albert Einstein Died 18 Apr 1955 at age 76”, German-American physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Recognized in his own time as one of the most creative intellects in human history, in the first 15 years of the 20th century Einstein advanced a series of theories that proposed entirely new ways of thinking about space, time, and gravitation. His theories of relativity and gravitation were a profound advance over the old Newtonian physics and revolutionized scientific and philosophic inquiry..”

Made a nice Chicken Tikka Masalla, Basmati Rice, Papadams, naan, and peas for dinner.

Run 3 miles and settle into watching Survivor. 

A Hard Day’s Night

“The Beatles’ song “A Hard Day’s Night” opens with a single, resounding chord. In Mark Lewisohn’s 1988 book The Beatles Recording Sessions, George Martin, the Beatles producer, explained the chord’s origin: “We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning. The strident guitar chord was the perfect launch.”
The chord’s composition was purportedly resolved in 2004 by Jason Brown of Canada’s Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His Fourier analysis of the elusive chord revealed an extra ingredient that Everett had missed: John Lennon’s guitar.

Fourier-analyzing the Beatles might seem like a misuse of science. If Albert Einstein had lived to hear the Beatles, he’d have probably agreed. “It would be possible to describe everything scientifically,” he once said, “but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”

I disagree with Einstein, as, presumably, do the authors of the many papers in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and other journals that are devoted to understanding music’s nature, production, and perception. Those papers enrich, rather than diminish, our appreciation of music. You can find some of them in Physics Today‘s Physics Update department. Among the topics we’ve covered are Balinese gongs, the perception of minor and major keys, newborn babies’ sense of rhythm, and the musical columns of the Vitthala Temple."

Keeping with the Beatles theme this week, we have to go with “A Hard Day’s Night”

Photo of the day “A Hard Day’s Night”

A final note: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major opens in the same way as “A Hard Day’s Night”—with a single chord.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Taxman

I must sound like a broken record, but another outstanding weather day to report.  Too bad I missed it all, at work from 06:45 am to 6:45 pm.  No worries, I am an exempt employee and like 1/3 of my salary goes to taxes…

I read some stuff today that makes me wonder if the American people are being duped into thinking that president Obama is more concerned with the American taxpayer and the price of gasoline or on his election year agenda to gain popularity at taxpayer expense. 

Not one to get too political, and maybe I am talking out of my bunghole, but what do you make of this ? 

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama pushed Congress Tuesday to give oil market regulators more muscle to deter price manipulation by speculators, the latest White House response to determined Republican attacks on administration energy policies amid high gas prices at the pump.
Obama wants Congress to strengthen federal supervision of oil markets, increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders are required to put behind their transactions.

"We can't afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick," Obama said at the White House.
The plan is more likely to draw sharp election-year distinctions with Republicans than have an immediate effect on prices at the pump. The measures seek to boost spending for Wall Street enforcement at a time when congressional Republicans are seeking to limit the reach of federal financial regulations.
The president's $52 million proposal comes as Republicans have been hammering Obama on his energy policies, recognizing the political cost of high gas prices on the president. Obama's plan would turn the tables on Republicans by taking aim at Wall Street's role in the oil price chain.”

Sue cooked spaghetti for dinner tonight, and Kyle is still at the restaurant or his trial run at bussing tables.

This day in history “With the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returns to Earth.
On April 11, the third manned lunar landing mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The mission was headed for a landing on the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon. However, two days into the mission, disaster struck 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blew up in the spacecraft. Swigert reported to mission control on Earth, "Houston, we've had a problem here," and it was discovered that the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water had been disrupted. The landing mission was aborted, and the astronauts and controllers on Earth scrambled to come up with emergency procedures. The crippled spacecraft continued to the moon, circled it, and began a long, cold journey back to Earth.
The astronauts and mission control were faced with enormous logistical problems in stabilizing the spacecraft and its air supply, as well as providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successful reentry into Earth's atmosphere. Navigation was another problem, and Apollo 13's course was repeatedly corrected with dramatic and untested maneuvers. On April 17, tragedy turned to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts touched down safely in the Pacific Ocean..”

Speaking of coming back down to earth, the Apollo 13 mission was a true testament to American ingenuity at a time when we still built things, and had pride in made in America.  I think 2012 will be a time in history that we look back at and see the start of new era.  At least I want to believe it will be.

Instead of tax time being April 15th, it was moved to April 17th, so all you procrastinators and holdouts, make sure you file your taxes.  If you owe, wait till the last minute, if you are getting a return, why did you wait.  If you’re not sure, file for that extension.  Nothing is certain except death and taxes.

Glee is performing Bee Gees, and former Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb is in a coma after contracting pneumonia, his family And friends keeping vigil at his bedside.  We can only hope that he gets to see the show.

Keeping with the Beatles theme this week, we have to go with “The Taxman”

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman 
Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman 
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet. 
Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman 
Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me.

Photo of the day “The Taxman

Kyle cam home tonight and told us he got the job.  Congratulations !

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Another beautiful day on Long Island.  Back to school and work for the Jenkins family.

Kyle and Gavin txt to tell us that they both have excellent chances for employment.   Gavin at Hartwick as a Peer counselor, and Kyle as a bus boy at a local restaurant.  Good Luck Guys !!

Luke is on his way out to his friend’s house by bike, Sue an Kyle going to the mall to look for shoes.  I get dinner started and on the table for 6pm.

This day in history “In Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hoffman was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations. In his notes, he related the experience:
"Last Friday, April 16, 1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant, intoxicated-like condition characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away."
After intentionally taking the drug again to confirm that it had caused this strange physical and mental state, Dr. Hoffman published a report announcing his discovery, and so LSD made its entry into the world as a hallucinogenic drug. Widespread use of the so-called "mind-expanding" drug did not begin until the 1960s, when counterculture figures such as Albert M. Hubbard, Timothy Leary, and Ken Kesey publicly expounded on the benefits of using LSD as a recreational drug. The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of LSD, known to cause negative reactions in some of those who take it, were made illegal in the United States in 1965.”

A quick stop at the gym, and then back home to watch some funny TV.

Kyle is out at soccer practice and has a ride tonight so we can just chill.

I read that scientists are experimenting with LSD again to treat alcoholism.  Yesterday it was Strawberry Fields Forever, today it is going to have to be Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

Photo of the day “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

Wow, what a beautiful day.  Spent a good portion of it outside working on the garden and definitely should have considered sunscreen.

While cleaning up the beds, I transplant a few crowded plants, divide others, and transplant strawberries to their own raised bed.  Since we joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) which will provide weekly shares of fruits and vegetables, we can give up one of the raised beds to the berries.

Once my knees and back had enough of a work out in the gardens, I went for a quick run under the cover of a few passing clouds.

This day in history “The RMS Titanic, billed as unsinkable, sinks into the icy waters of the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage, killing 1,517 people.
The United Kingdom's White Star Line built the Titanic to be the most luxurious cruise ship in the world. It was nearly 900 feet long and more than 100 feet high. The Titanic could reach speeds of 30 knots and was thought to be the world's fastest ship. With its individualized watertight compartments, it was seen as virtually unsinkable.
On its first voyage, from Southampton, England, to New York with stops in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland, the Titanic was carrying 2,206 people, including a crew of 898. A relatively mild winter had produced a bumper crop of icebergs in the North Atlantic, but the crew, believing their ship was unsinkable, paid scant attention to warnings.
On the night of Sunday, April 14, other ships in the area reported icebergs by radio, but their messages were not delivered to the bridge or the captain of the Titanic. The iceberg that struck the ship was spotted at 11:40 p.m. Although a dead-on collision was avoided, the Titanic's starboard side violently scraped the iceberg, ripping open six compartments. The ship's design could withstand only four compartments flooding.
Minutes later, the crew radioed for help, sending out an SOS signal, the first time the new type of help signal was used. Ten minutes after midnight, the order for passengers to head for the lifeboats was given. Unfortunately, there were only lifeboats for about half of the people on board. Additionally, there had been no instruction or drills regarding such a procedure and general panic broke out on deck.”

After a quick shower, Luke and I go shopping for some fruits and veggies.  We pick up some chicken, Wax bottles, and something I have never seen before.  A container of Squash Seeds that look like pumpkin seeds.  Sue likes them.

Kyle worked this afternoon on the soccer field, and like me, got enough sun to start the tanning season. 
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad for dinner…could not resist firing up the grill.   The best part is leftovers for tomorrow.

From the weather forecast, it is going to stay warm, so there will be more meals cooked on the BBQ.   

Photo of the day “Strawberry Fields Forever”

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dust Bowl

Start the day with some yard work.  I realized that without any rain, my grass is still looking like winter dead.  I turn on the hose and sprinkler system for the first time and of course have a bunch of sprinkler heads that are either not popping up or they are leaking.

Kyle has a soccer game against Mattituck, a team that has beat them two time already this season, once in a tournament, and once in a cup game.  Today is different, as United comes away with a 3-2 win.  Kyle has a very good game, and makes a couple of saves on the goal line which may have made the difference in keeping the lead.

This day in history “In what came to be known as "Black Sunday," one of the most devastating storms of the 1930s Dust Bowl era swept across the region on this day. High winds kicked up clouds of millions of tons of dirt and dust so dense and dark that some eyewitnesses believed the world was coming to an end.
The term "dust bowl" was reportedly coined by a reporter in the mid-1930s and referred to the plains of western Kansas, southeastern Colorado, the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and northeastern New Mexico. By the early 1930s, the grassy plains of this region had been over-plowed by farmers and overgrazed by cattle and sheep. The resulting soil erosion, combined with an eight-year drought which began in 1931, created a dire situation for farmers and ranchers. Crops and businesses failed and an increasing number of dust storms made people and animals sick. Many residents fled the region in search of work in other states such as California (as chronicled in books including John Steinbeck s The Grapes of Wrath), and those who remained behind struggled to support themselves. ”

Long Island is in a drought.  We have not had any appreciable precipitation this year.  There have been brush fires and warnings of more unless we get a good soaking rain.  I can tell you that the garden beds and lawn are bone dry.  The leaf pile on top of the hill is equally dry and when I turned it over, there are no worms.

If it is going to rain, I hope it is at night or when I am at work.  I am tempted to plant some herbs and veggies in the garden.  There are strawberry plants which are trying to grow…I better water them.

While we are in drought, and other areas get flooded, there are warnings in other areas of severe weather.  OMAHA, Neb. -- Baseball-sized hail was breaking windows and tearing siding off homes in northeast Nebraska, while tornadoes were spotted in Kansas and Oklahoma on Saturday as forecasters warned residents across the nation's midsection to brace for "life threatening" weather.

Kyle is at a sweet sixteen party, and I am tired already and its only 830pm.  Not sure if Sue or I will be picking him up later.

Photo of the day “Dust Bowl”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

TGIF.  A nice spring day and I ate my sandwich outside on the bench at work.

We decided to go to Popeis for some seafood tonight.  Was pleasantly surprised by the portions, and everyone liked their food.  We may have to go back on one of ALL YOU CAN EAT days to pig out on shrimp and crab legs.  Or hit them up for their Monday – Friday lunch special.

This day in history “Future President Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the Declaration of Independence and the nation's preeminent political theorist, is born on this day in 1743.
Historian and biographer Joseph Ellis has called Jefferson, who had a monumental role in shaping American politics, the American sphinx for his enigmatic character. Since his terms in office, presidents and politicians from both ends of the political spectrum have borrowed from Jefferson's political philosophy in an attempt to link their own leadership with this most influential and admired founding father.”

Was Thomas Jefferson born on Friday the 13th ?

Are you superstitious?

Kyle had practice at Deer Park tonight, and even though I had just eaten dinner an hour before, I decided to go for a run around the field.  At mile 4 a black cat crossed my path, or did I cross his?  What’s the chance of that?  I hopped over the perceived path the cat took and finished another mile.

Back home, it’s time for a Stella or two.  TGIF

Photo of the day “Friday the 13th”

BTW – April 13, 1743 was a Saturday

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Somewhere over the rainbow

Back in the office today, I find out that I can book a business trip to Eagan Minnesota, close to Mall of America, and St. Louis Missouri, close to the Gateway Arch.

Normally I would be excited to be planning a business trip with the hopes of seeing a new place, or going fishing.  Fishing season in the Midwest is not open yet, and the two  cities in 5 days will leave scant little time for site seeing or recreation.

I have already been to the Mall of America and the Gateway Arch, but maybe I will find time to see something different.

All this makes me think about the summer vacation to Ocean City Maryland.  Even after 10 years and multiple orbits to the same restaurants, beaches, fishing piers, and crabbing spots, we always look forward to it.   I am thinking about getting a tattoo when I am there..

This day in history “The space shuttle Columbia is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, becoming the first reusable manned spacecraft to travel into space. Piloted by astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young, the Columbia undertook a 54-hour space flight of 36 orbits before successfully touching down at California's Edwards Air Force Base on April 14.
On September 17, 1976, NASA publicly unveiled its first space shuttle, the Enterprise, during a ceremony in Palmdale, California. Development of the aircraft-like spacecraft cost almost $10 billion and took nearly a decade. In 1977, the Enterprise became the first space shuttle to fly freely when it was lifted to a height of 25,000 feet by a Boeing 747 airplane and then released, gliding back to Edwards Air Force Base on its own accord..”

I get home and put on a pot of meatballs so we can have meatballs and spaghetti.  Luke helps make the meatballs (his choice, balls or squares).

I witness wet stuff falling from the sky.  Rain is falling, or at least a drizzle.  On and off clouds and sun, and then Sue tells us to go outside.

We see a rainbow off in the distance.  Really when we look again we notice a faint second rainbow as we stand watching in a light sun shower.

After dinner I go to get Kyle and his friends from the mall. 

After a 3 mile run around the neighborhood tonight and I check my stats and I am at 200 miles since the start of the year.  Add in another 40 or so miles on the elliptical.

Still a bit short of my goal of 1000 miles for the year, but there is plenty of time for long runs to make up the deficit.

Photo of the day “Somewhere over the rainbow”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

McSorley's Next Generation

Went to work in NYC today for a meeting at 195 Broadway with my boss and a VP for media.     One of the great things about that part of the city, is getting to see the new Freedom Towers and at least remember and keep in our thoughts all the people who never made it of the WTC on 9/11.

Took almost 2 hours door to door, and if it weren’t for the weirdo I had to sit next to for the ride into Penn Station, I could have took a nap.

Today was a good day, and a productive meeting at work, followed by a Sushi lunch, and a nice cup of Starbucks coffee in the late afternoon

Instead of rushing home, Sue and I decided to meet in the city and visit the village like we used to when we were much younger.  For those not familiar, that is Greenwich Village, and still one of the coolest places on the planet.

This day in history “On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13, the third lunar landing mission, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The spacecraft's destination was the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon, where the astronauts were to explore the Imbrium Basin and conduct geological experiments. After an oxygen tank exploded on the evening of April 13, however, the new mission objective became to get the Apollo 13 crew home alive.”

I get to the village before Sue and txt her that I am waiting for her at Broadway and Waverly Place.  We did not see any witches, or wizards around this station.  Guess the Wizards of Waverly Place are just on TV.

Once Sue finds her bearings, we meet up and make our way toward Astor Place, past the old haircutters, and head towards the bowery. 

Sue spots a new building around Coopers Union, a shiny steel building that looks like it was intentionally dented or hit by Optimus Prime from the transformers.  A building we have not seen before, and hey, we have not been to this part of the city in a while.

I used to work at NYU, and we used to meet college friends quite often  Why should this nite be different, we are meeting Joan and Ryan who are seniors and ready to graduate from NYU.

As usual when in this part of the city, we find a landmark, and decide to go inside to see if it looks and smells the same as it used to. 

I tell you, the place has a way of transporting you back in time.  The smell of ale and old wood, the feel of saw dust under your feet, and the familiar thud as two fistfulls of the half pint glasses hit the table.

The waiters look like they have been there forever.  Sure some of them may have retired, and a new generation of pleasant Irish or Scottish servers have come to take their places.  Armed with pencil and a simple flip order pad, the waiter asks what we will be havin.

We decide on 3 dark, and one light.  The waiter comes back with 2 dark and 2 light, but that’s ok, as I take one of each.  Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose  Sue ordered the light, the other three of us the dark.

An order of cheese, crackers, and onions gets shared, along with some stories of the “good old days”  Sue and I reminisce about our college days and meeting at McSorley’s with friends.

Joan and Ryan share a few stories with us in regard to their time at NYU, the neighborhood, and the dorms or apartments they have called home the past 4 years.  We grab a couple of pub burgers and fries to share, and then make our way to see Ryan's apartment, just down the block.  Great view from the rooftop !!

A new generation has replaced the old generations at NYU, but the scene at McSorley's will likely always be the same.  Filled with good times, and several generations of people seeking the simple pleasure of a beer, cheese and crackers, and a bar burger.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Photo of the day “McSorley's Next Generation”

A NYC Tradition since 1854.  Some things never get old.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Suffolk County Fire

Back to work while Sue and the boys remain on vacation.  I make it to work around 1130 as I had several early meetings this morning.

Same old, same old. 

There is big fire burning out east near Brookhaven.  Thankfully, the wind calmed down and the fire brought under control.  Hopefully we will get some rain, and the fire can be put out.

This day in history “
The legendary rock band the Beatles spent the better part of three years breaking up in the late 1960s, and even longer than that hashing out who did what and why. And by the spring of 1970, there was little more than a tangled set of business relationships keeping the group together. Each of the Beatles was pursuing his musical interests outside of the band, and there were no plans in place to record together as a group. But as far as the public knew, this was just a temporary state of affairs. That all changed on April 10, 1970, when an ambiguous Paul McCartney "self-interview" was seized upon by the international media as an official announcement of a Beatles breakup.”

We go out for dinner at the Curry Club.  It has been a really long time since we ate there.  Everyone is in agreement that their food is way better than my Indian food.

Nevertheless, I will continue to cook and leave going to the Curry Club as a treat.  A discount from doesn’t hurt.

Going to watch Glee and have a brew and popcorn.  Vacation week continues in the Jenkins house.
Photo of the day “Suffolk County Fire”

P.S.  We are thankful that all these brave volunteer firefighters do what they do !!

Firehouse and Fire District budget votes should be held soon, so this is fresh in everyone's mind.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Swans on the Bay

Took the day off today, and after dropping Kyle off at his girlfriend’s house, Sue, Luke and I made our way to Brooklyn to visit Peggy.

Sue went with her mom to the Dr. office while Luke and I went for a walk around Sheepshead bay.
Emmons Ave. was just not the same on a Monday afternoon, and most shops seemed to be waiting for summer to arrive.    It was very windy, and the outdoor diners, where nowhere to be found.

Grabbed a cup of coffee, and let Luke get a sweet chocolate mousse, whipped cream dessert at a Turkish coffee place.

This day in history “
On April 9, 1959, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introduces America's first astronauts to the press: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald Slayton. The seven men, all military test pilots, were carefully selected from a group of 32 candidates to take part in Project Mercury, America's first manned space program. NASA planned to begin manned orbital flights in 1961.
On October 4, 1957, the USSR scored the first victory of the "space race" when it successfully launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik, into Earth's orbit. In response, the United States consolidated its various military and civilian space efforts into NASA, which dedicated itself to beating the Soviets to manned space flight. In January 1959, NASA began the astronaut selection procedure, screening the records of 508 military test pilots and choosing 110 candidates. This number was arbitrarily divided into three groups, and the first two groups reported to Washington. Because of the high rate of volunteering, the third group was eliminated. Of the 62 pilots who volunteered, six were found to have grown too tall since their last medical examination. An initial battery of written tests, interviews, and medical history reviews further reduced the number of candidates to 36. After learning of the extreme physical and mental tests planned for them, four of these men dropped out.”

When Sue and Peggy return we decide to just pick up a pizza instead of going out to eat at Roll n Roaster or Randazzos.   We get home early enough to catch a couple of TV shows.  The past few days have had a lot of driving, so it was good to lounge on the couch.

I pick Kyle up at 930, and stop at CVS to pick up a 2 litre bottle of Coca Cola.  Sue will appreciate that as she gave up soda for Lent.  With Lent over, she is happy to have her sugar and caffeine fix again.

There is a raging fire out east around the Pine Barrens area near Brookhaven national labs.  Over 100 fire companies are fighting the brush fire, and hopefully the winds will subside.

All in all, a relaxing day and we go to see the largest flock of Swans swimming in Sheepshead Bay.

Photo of the day “Swans on the bay”