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Friday, December 21, 2012

Earth 1, Mayan's 0 - The end of The Final Year

It was my goal this year to inform, entertain, and record a year in the history of Bruce and family.  An eventful year, with wars continuing, terrorist acts occurring, floods, droughts, hurricanes, and other related storms.  The Mayan codec, long count calendar ends this year, and some believed a prophecy of end, apocalypse  or more aptly, the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one.

We lost the matriarch of the Walsh family, Peggy Walsh who we all miss very much.  This Christmas will be the first that I can remember that will not be at her house.  We will be hosting Christmas dinner, and will have most of the Walsh siblings to recount good memories, and give thanks for our good health and prosperity.

We all made it through Super Storm Sandy, but saw first hand how fragile we are, and how mother nature can unleash devastation.     We keep hearing how these weather events, drought, floods, and hurricanes seem to be getting more frequent and severe ?  Is this just a statistical anomaly ?

Record heat waves or new record high temperatures are now prevalent, as is the news that Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are melting faster than the models predicted.  With two energy efficient, renewable sources in my house, solar and biofuel pellets, we are, I hope doing our part to reduce our footprint.  Carpooling is the norm these days as gasoline seems to have settled into an average price of $4 / gallon.

This day in history "Harry Chapin earned a reputation as a politically conscious singer-songwriter who dedicated himself, in the years before his untimely death, to various noble causes, including wiping out world hunger. Indeed, his greatest legacy may stem more from his charitable efforts than from his music itself, but for a brief period in the early 1970s, Harry Chapin was a legitimate pop star. On this day in 1974, he earned his one and only #1 pop hit when his bittersweet story-song "Cat's In The Cradle" reached the top of theBillboard Hot 100."

I pass the Harry Chapin food bank almost every day as it is a couple of blocks from where I work.  It dawns on me nearly everyday how lucky the people working there are, in that they are making a difference.  Small acts of kindness.  Can I find a place, and make a living at a non-profit, benevolent company or charitable association?

As most of you know I took up a new hobby and set a goal to run 1000 miles this year.  Not without setbacks, as I moved from a sedentary to active lifestyle.  Being active is not easy, but with a little determination and a new found addiction, it now seems that I can't live without running.  The NYS Park Summer Run series, and the family participating in our first 5K Thanksgiving weekend were fun.  I hope to continue having the family join in for charity runs.

I ran my first 10K, first 10 miles, and first half marathon this past summer.  I never thought running from home to the Sayville beach was possible, but with a steady pace, and some music playing on my pandora, it was accomplished and recorded.

Luke and I did a great deal of fishing this past summer and fall.  My next blog will highlight, Fishing, Food, and Fitness Long Island.  Today, my first day of winter vacation, Gavin and I went to Connetquot State Park so he can introduce me the trails.  Now seeing the upper river area, and its fishing stations, I know that Luke and I will be getting our permits this spring to try our hand at fly fishing.

December 21 marks the end of the 13th bak'tun, an epoch lasting roughly 400 years. The end of an era and the chance for a new beginning. I for one think we will look back, and our grandchildren will recount in their history books how the years in and around 2012 ushered in a turning point for mankind. At least I have to hope that the world will be a better place for our children and their children.

Brian Walsh facebook entry - To the almost 7 billion members of the human race who survived today's Mayan is now up to us to make the world a better place.

Pink Floyd Lyrics - Breathe
Breathe, breathe in the air 
Don't be afraid to care 
Leave but don't leave me 
Look around and chose your own ground 
For long you live and high you fly 
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry 
And all you touch and all you see 
Is all your life will ever be 

Photo of the day "Earth 1 Mayans 0"

Magic Number 23 - Follow the conclusion of this running goal on my new Blog

Thanks again to all my followers, and readers.  Even though this marks the end of this blog, I hope to see you on my new blog.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mayans discover Tequila

Early to bed , early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.  The last day of work for the year was met head on.  

Dropped Kyle off at the bus and made it to work before my first meeting of the day.  An all hands on team meeting by the VP, which was a year in review and very positive on our accomplishments.  I hope coming in with good statistics, and within budget mean we will get some bonuses..

I take a quick break at noon to go the bodega for some rice and pernil.  The office is thinning out daily with the holidays approaching.  My last acts were to help collect money for the cleaning lady Vilma, and to post a new job position for one of the guys on my team who is moving to a new job in the new year.

This day in history "On this day in 1957, while spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his newly purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley receives his draft notice for the United States Army.
With a suggestive style--one writer called him "Elvis the Pelvis"--a hit movie, Love Me Tender, and a string of gold records including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel," Presley had become a national icon, and the world's first bona fide rock-and-roll star, by the end of 1956. As the Beatles' John Lennon once famously remarked: "Before Elvis, there was nothing." The following year, at the peak of his career, Presley received his draft notice for a two-year stint in the army. Fans sent tens of thousands of letters to the army asking for him to be spared, but Elvis would have none of it. He received one deferment--during which he finished working on his movie King Creole--before being sworn in as an army private in Memphis on March 24, 1958."

Well, I rock and roll out of the office at 4pm and call it a year.  The news is telling me that in the east, our mates in Australia are reporting they are still there.  No Mayan disaster there.  So, at least in one part of the world, we are in the clear.

Once home, Luke wants to know whats's for dinner.  Hey, I am on vacation.  He asks for sushi and sites that it might be our last meal.  The order gets placed and Sue picks it up on her way home from Christmas shopping.

After dinner, I go out to do some more Christmas shopping.  Almost done.

I settle in and have a shot of tequila.  I wonder if the Mayans discovered Tequila ?

Photo of the day "Mayans discover Tequila"

Have to thank Sue for finding this one.

Magic Number 27

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Teenage Pranks

Does anyone have teenagers in the house ?   They are full of surprises.

Kyle decides to sleep later than usual.  Sue says to me around 6am, that Kyle is not up yet.  I am already stretching before getting out of bed, and tell Sue that Kyle too his shower last night.  A minute later his alarm rings.

Gavin gets to sleep late as he is home from college.  I leave the house at around 930 this morning after some early morning meetings.

This day in history "Michael Sergio, who parachuted into Game Six of the 1986 World Series at New York’s Shea Stadium, is fined $500 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service. On October 25, Sergio, a 37-year-old actor and Mets fan, landed on the infield with a "Let’s Go Mets" banner in the first inning of the sixth game between the Mets and the Boston Red Sox. Over 55,000 stadium spectators witnessed the sky diver’s arrival and cheered him on. Sergio, who was quickly removed from the field by police, claimed he was an experienced parachutist who made the jump to show support for the Mets."

Sounds like a teenage prank to me.

I get home from work and cook some chicken tikka masala.

Luke wants to get donuts at 7-11 , so he takes an early shower tonight so we can go get him donuts.

With only a couple of days left till Dec 21st, there are more and more Mayan calendar entries on facebook.

Photo of the day "Teenage Pranks"

The end is almost here.

Magic Number 37

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Weather Forecast

Weird weather this month.  Are we living in NY or London.  Too many foggy days.  The weather is changing I think.

WFH today so I can be home when Gavin needs to go to the airport.  Krista is heading home for Christmas after a short visit with us.

This day in history "On December 18, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth,Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.
The famous Mayflower story began in 1606, when a group of reform-minded Puritans in Nottinghamshire, England, founded their own church, separate from the state-sanctioned Church of England. Accused of treason, they were forced to leave the country and settle in the more tolerant Netherlands. After 12 years of struggling to adapt and make a decent living, the group sought financial backing from some London merchants to set up a colony in America. On September 6, 1620, 102 passengers–dubbedPilgrims by William Bradford, a passenger who would become the first governor of Plymouth Colony–crowded on the Mayflower to begin the long, hard journey to a new life in the New World."
April showers bring may flower.  The what do may flowers bring ?  Pilgrims of course.
Three mile run in between meetings. Was feeling good and making good time with sub 9 minute miles when I get a cramp or stitch in my side.  Still a 26 minute 3 miles.  Finally, my hip and hamstring are feeling better.
Gavin and I drive to JFK and he says goodbye to Krista, until they meet back at Hartwick in January.  Their grades are in, both end the semester with a 4.0.  Unbelievable as they both took Organic Chemistry, a really challenging course.  Congrats !
Tacos for dinner.  Soccer practice for Kyle.
Photo of the day "Weather Forecast"

Magic Number 45

Monday Already ?

Why is the weekend so short ?    Why can't I get my Blog posted each night ?


Physical Therapy


Cook Dinner (Seafood Arabiata)

This day in history "Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight."

Printer runs out of ink.  I fly to Staples (well not really)

Pick up lots of ink.  I think it is cheaper to just buy a new printer when you run out of ink.

Replace the cartridges, and still the printer is not working.  Giving up to watch 2 Broke Girls.

Everyone is falling asleep on the couch at 1030......If only the weekends would be 3 days, Monday would be ok....

Photo of the day "Monday Already ?"

Magic Number 48

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Latkes

Since everyone went to bed lat last night, this Sunday morning was really quiet.  I slept in till 8 in the morning and then as I contemplated a run, it started to rain.  I decided to eat breakfast, read the paper, and then go for a 9 mile ride on the stationary bike.

Ancient Aliens grabbed my attention, and the ride went by fast.  Kyle has SAT prep at noon, and wanders downstairs at 11.  I make him breakfast and then we head out to pick up Gia.  Today is the last day of Chanukah, and the day we put up the tree, and decorate for Christmas.

The ancient aliens have a part of the show that details how the Jews are cast out of Egypt and live in the desert for 40 years.  Seems unbelievable how so many people can survive for so long in a desolate place.  As history goes, it is believed that the Jews were provided with Manna, as their main sustenance.  Ancient Alien scientists reconstruct the period in time, the written history, and the ark of the covenant.  The belief is that a machine was assembled and manna is actually a form of algae derived from this machine powered by the Ark (has special power or is a reactor of sorts).   Manna (Hebrew: מָ‏ן‎) or al-Mann wa al-Salwa (Arabic: المَنّ و السلوى‎, Kurdish: gezo, Persian: گزانگبین‎), sometimes or archaically spelled mana, is an edible substance that, according to Abrahamic doctrine, God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert according to the Bible and the Qur'an.   Really cool stuff.

This day in history "On December 16, 1979, the night before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' annual price-setting meeting in Caracas, two member states (Libya and Indonesia) announce plans to raise the price of their oil by $4 (Libya) and $2 (Indonesia) per barrel. (The resulting prices--$30 and $25.50 per barrel, respectively--were among the highest they had ever been.) These diplomatic maneuverings were intended to keep OPEC's "price hawks" from raising them even further; nevertheless, by the end of 1979 the cost of oil had more than doubled since the end of the previous year.
This price hike only exacerbated an energy crisis that had been going on since the beginning of 1979. An Iranian oil-field strike and the January revolution had disrupted oil supplies from that part of the Middle East, and an earlier OPEC fee increase had sent prices inching toward an all-time high. By the time the Iranian hostage crisis began in November, Americans were already dealing with the effects of this "oil shock": long lines and short tempers at gas pumps, panics over gasoline and heating oil shortages, and frustration with the inefficient, gas-guzzling vehicles manufactured by American automakers."

We need to stop burning oil.  We need to stop the planet from warming faster than it is.  With Dec 21, 2012 fast approaching, I really thought this would be the year that drastic changes would occur, halting the use or at least curtailing the use of carbon based fuels.  My solar panels have produced 9700 Kwh of energy from the sun.

Gavin and Krista prepare us a great dinner.  Tilapia, wild rice, asparagus.  After dinner we play some pool and ping pong.  Waiting for the final episode of survivor, I make a batch of potato latkes.  We enjoy a batch of latkes and sour cream while putting the ornaments on the tree.

Photo of the day "Christmas Latkes"

Magic Number 54

See you on the dark side of the moon

City Bound

Kyle and Gia, Gavin and Krista made their way into NYC this morning, each with plans to go to a see a show.  Kyle on Broadway, Gavin Off-Broadway.  Not agreeing on a start time for LIRR, Sue dropped the early birds, Gavin and Krista off first.

I in the meantime did a warm up ride, and then run, and then cool down ride, and then sat in the hot tub.  Sue picks up Gia and brings them to the LIRR.  Luckily, the RR is close by.  This is Kyle's first time heading into the city alone.

I promised Luke we would look for those shoes he really, really wants.  Atias flea market is pretty much a sketchy place to shop, and even though one of the shops has the shoe he likes, it is not the right size.  On the way to the mall, we stop at the post office to pick up stamps.  yes, stamps, that primitive square on the corner of an envelope that pays the way for your bill, Christmas card, or letter.  With most things being done electronically, the US postal service is suffering, although, this time of year the PO was crowded.

This day in history "Following ratification by the state of Virginia, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, become the law of the land.
In September 1789, the first Congress of the United States approved 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. The amendments were designed to protect the basic rights of U.S. citizens, guaranteeing the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and exercise of religion; the right to fair legal procedure and to bear arms; and that powers not delegated to the federal government would be reserved for the states and the people."

The right to bear arms is one of the amendments that is under fire now, following the tragic and senseless murder of innocent people in what will become known as the Newtown massacre.  Amendment II
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

At the mall, which BTW is crowded, we happen to score the 'Mangos' at the third shoe store.  A celebration is in order, so we get a cinnabon.  I stopped previously for a coffe at the Starbucks.  I refrained from getting the gingerbread latte this time.

Not much else going on until dinner time.  We go to a new place, On the Border for some mexican food.  Luke gets a soda.  On the way home we stop for a christmas tree, some chanukah candy, soda, tequila, and egg nog.   None of the items to coexist in any sort of dessert of snack.  

I fall asleep on the couch and Sue does her usual late night pickups from the LIRR.  Everyone home safe by 1AM...

Photo of the day "City Bound"

Tree Trimming scheduled for Sunday.  

Magic Number 63

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa is a fisherman

The annual QAG luncheon was today.  A tradition where a handful of Reuters, xReuters Quality Assurance software engineers meets for a Christmas lunch at La Scala.  I for one, started my Reuters career with this team, back in 1992.

Seven of us converged and placed our usual order of 2 garbage pies, and 1 regular pie.  The waitress kept reminding us that the owner does not like the 'pizza with every topping, called garbage'.  We complied and asked for 2 pies with everything, minus the anchovies.  Why we don't get anchovies is a mystery, and perhaps dates back to an aversion to the salty, fishy topping.

So, we had Gene, Bill P, Bill Yo, Tim, Mike, Marty, and myself recounting old times, and catching up on new times.  This year, Bill Yo returning as a Reuters employee as opposed to an xReuters.  Everyone in good health and spirits, there children growing up, and in some cases with families of their own.  Marty, the patriarch of the bunch is happy in semi-retirement being a grandpa, playing lots of golf, and working as an umpire.

This day in history "In a 2008 interview on BBC Radio 4, Robin Gibb confessed to making it through only the first 30 minutes of the world premiere, and to never having seen the rest of the picture in the decades that followed. Millions of Americans did, however, make it through the film that made a movie star out of 23-year-old John Travolta and propelled the already famous Mr. Gibb, along with his brothers Maurice and Barry, to a level of superstardom rarely achieved before or since. The film, of course, was Saturday Night Fever, a pop-cultural juggernaut that had its world premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles on this day in 1977.  From its iconic opening sequence featuring John Travolta strutting down a Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, sidewalk to the tune of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive," to its unforgettable dance numbers set in the fictional 2001 Odyssey discotheque, the music complemented the action in Saturday Night Fever as perfectly as if it were written for the movie, even though most of it wasn't."

After the luncheon, I head home, setup our first inflatable Christmas decoration.  Santa in a boat catching a fish.  Appropriate given how much fishing Luke and I have done this past year.  I have Gavin come with me to Physical Therapy so that he can meet KK, Krishna, the PT doctor who has been treating my hamstring injury, tendinitis, and bursitis.  Getting old, but Stayin Alive.

Gavin and KK hit it off, and since Gavin wants to study PT as a graduate, he will be making friends with KK  to get some observation hours at his practice, and then maybe some volunteer work where he will learn from one of the best.

Baked ziti for dinner, cookies for a snack. I go out back and make a fire, hoping to lure some of the family out into the cold dark night to spot a stray meteor.  Not much luck, but Luke and I spot one each before calling it a night.

Photo of the day "Santa is a fisherman"

   Magic Number 72

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shooting Stars

A day off from work so that I can go pick up Gavin and Krista from college.  Christmas break is upon us.  OK, politically correct, Holiday Break.

I go for a 4.5 mile run before leaving.  A great way to start the day, and I can't leave too early or will have traffic.  Well, the highway dept. decides to close the HOV lane in Nassau County which messes my first leg of the journey.

So, with about a dozen counties to go through to get to Hartick, in the town on Oneonta, it was a bit discouraging to have a traffic snag (Suffolk OK), (Nassau slow), but once in Queens, all was clean and green.

This day in history "After spending nine months on the run, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is captured on this day in 2003. Saddam's downfall began on March 20, 2003, when the United States led an invasion force into Iraq to topple his government, which had controlled the country for more than 20 years."

A quick stop in a rest area on the NYS Thruway for a gingerbread latte.  The remainder of the ride, very uneventful, and almost 50 miles shorter by taking the scenic route RT28 which leads all the way from Kingston to Oneonta.  As long as the roads are dry, this looks like a nice alternative, although very hilly, and curvy.

We leave Oneonta at around 2:45 and decide to make a stop at my sister Jodi in New Paltz.  My surprise visit is almost spoiled as nobody home at 5pm.  I call Jodi, and she is still working at the local bank.  Long story short, we decide to have Turkish food for dinner, and don't get back on the road till 730pm.

Gavin drives the rest of the way home, Krista takes a nap in the back.  Home around 9:45pm, just in time to bundle up and take gander at the stars.  I invite everyone out, but get no takers on this crisp cold night.  I view 4 shooting stars in about 5 minutes time and am happy to call it a night.

Photo of the day "Shooting Stars"

Magic Number 80

P.S. It is great to spend some time with my sister, and of course have everyone home for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The last time in our lifetimes we will see a consecutive date like 121212.  We celebrated the last day of porkapalooza with polish kielbasa.

Got home and had a few minutes to eat sushi before getting onto a call for work.

Missed the first couple of hours of the concert for Superstorm Sandy relief...aka 121212.

This day in history "

"Tears Of A Clown" gives Smokey Robinson & The Miracles their first #1 pop hit, finally

"  While Motown Records founder Berry Gordy surely deserves credit for establishing the creative philosophy and business strategy that turned his Detroit-based company into a hit-making machine in the 1960s, the inner workings of that machine during the company's early years depended almost as much on the talents of a young man named William Robinson, Jr., better known to the world as "Smokey." Even if he'd never sung on a single Motown record, Smokey Robinson would still be regarded as one of the label's most important figures purely on the basis of his production and songwriting work for acts like Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations. But Smokey Robinson did sing, of course, in his trademark falsetto, on some of Motown's most beloved records: "Shop Around" (1960); "You Really Got A Hold On Me" (1962); "I Second That Emotion" (1967), to name only a few. After more than a decade of hits like these that never quite made it to the top of the charts, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles finally earned their first #1 hit when "Tears Of A Clown" topped the Billboard Hot 100 on this day in 1970.

Never underestimate the power of music.  As I watch Eric Clapton I can't help but realize how much influence music has had on my life.  How it  brings times, places, and situations back to the forefront.  I sure hope I didn't miss Roger Waters.

On this 121212, I want to remind everyone to view the meteor storm tomorrow night.  It's an easy one.  Just go outside, get to a dark area,  let your eyes adjust for 5-10 minutes, look up, and make a wish.

Porkapalooza ended at sundown.  Such a big hit at work, we are thinking in the new year to continue with other made up excuses to share a meal in the office.  It is always great to try new things, and share good times.  Khary promises some food on Monday.  After all the pork, we may need to have something to balance the system.  Chicken sounds good.  

Photo of the day "121212"


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Porkapalooza day 2

Just as I am stepping out onto the driveway, my phone rings.  I step back in the house and take the call.  630am, and a London number typically means something is broken.  Dressed for a run, I now hear and see a torrential rain.   Good thing my phone rang or I would have been half a mile away getting soaked.

Routine is now disturbed so I take back to back meetings at home and prepare a crock pot beef pot roast before heading up for my shower.   With day 2 of porkapalooza underway, I decide on having a bacon egg and cheese on roll.

This day in history "On this day in 2008, financier Bernard Madoff is arrested at his New York City apartment and charged with masterminding a long-running Ponzi scheme later estimated to involve around $65 billion, making it one of the biggest investment frauds in Wall Street history."

At work, and waiting for lunch.  Frank brought the pork today.  His wife Maureen cooked the sausage and peppers, which we pigged out on.  Day 2 of porkapalooza is a great success.  Can't wait for day 3.

I stop at Walmart on the way home and wonder if I really want to become a greeter when I retire.

Pot roast and dumplings for dunner.  An hour later I go for a night time run...3 miles and as I pass 7/11 I pick up glazed donuts for Luke.  Running at night, soon after eating is not so good.

Photo of the day "Porakapalooza day 2"

Thanks Maureen, the sausage and peppers were yummy !
Magic Number 86

Porkapalooza day 1

Without any real planning, today (Monday) the 2nd week in December, came to be know as the start of Porkapalooza week.  Simply put, it occurs sometime between Chanukah and Festivus.

To celebrate the inaugural Porkapalooza, I brought in some sliced pork roast, potatoes and stuffing leftover from the night before.  The guys at work, happy but now craving more pork, said "Umm, that was good", whats for lunch ?  The small offering was just enough to get them hooked.

It is at that time, that Bruce, who used to collect 'pig' figurines (or is that pigurines ?), etc. decided to decry it Porkapalooza week.

This day in history "On December 10, 1915, the 1 millionth Ford car rolls off the assembly line at the River Rouge plant in Detroit.

At first, Henry Ford had built his cars like every other automaker did: one at a time. But his factories' efficiency and output steadily increased, and after he introduced the moving assembly line in 1913 the company's productivity soared. Ford was determined to build what he called "a motor car for the great multitude," and that's just what he did: By mass-producing just one kind of car--from 1908 on, that car was the Model T--Ford could take advantage of economies of scale that were unavailable to smaller carmakers and pass the savings on to his customers. Between 1908 and 1927, Ford sold more than 15 million Model Ts in all; they cost $850 at first (about $20,000 in today's dollars) but by the end of their run, Ford had managed to reduce the price to just $300 (about $3700 today)."

I sure hope I am not boaring you...yes, that is another pun, courtesy of Porkapalooza.  We have come a  long way from that assembly line of yesteryear, and the cars keep rolling off the lines.  Now, we have trimmed the fat, streamlined the body and dropped the curb weight.  Cars as still mass produced, and with our technology,  cars have all the bells and whistles, safety and emissions features albeit at a much higher cost.

Back to the pig out.  Frank decided to take the next days pork feast, so we can look forward to sausage and peppers for lunch.  Pork is healthier than it used to be.  So eat (pork), drink, and be merry.

Photo of the day "Porkapalooza Day 1"

If All of America would just celebrate Porkaplaooza, we could virtually eliminate the risk of the impending Aporkalypse.  Its no joke, feral pigs are taking over the world.  Click the Aporkalypse link)

Magic Number 88

Monday, December 10, 2012


Was a little bit sluggish Sunday morning, and luckily, did not have much to do.  Sue went out to do some Christmas shopping and I was asked to clean a couple of bathrooms.  So, in between dropping Kyle off at his SAT prep course, I cleaned the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.  That was easy.

Was reading the paper and watching History Channel, which BTW has no real history shows anymore.  I do know how to mine gold, and the average cost of most items anyone would care to sell to the Pawn Shop though.

This day in history "Clarence Birdseye born in 1886"  American naturalist and inventor of the deep freezing food method and co-founder of General Foods Corp. On Arctic trips as a field naturalist for the United States government, he noticed that freshly caught fish, when placed onto the Arctic ice and exposed to the icy wind and frigid temperatures, froze solid almost immediately. He learned, too, that the fish, when thawed and eaten, still had all its fresh characteristics. He concluded that quickly freezing certain items kept large crystals from forming, preventing damage to their cellular structure. In Sep 1922, Clarence organized his own company, Birdseye Seafoods, Inc., New York City, where he began processing chilled fish fillets. In 1924, he developed an entirely new type of process to freeze dressed fish packed in cartons.

Found out something interesting the other day.  It has to do with vegetables.  Not only should we eat more of them, we should actually be buying them frozen as they contain more nutrients.  Seems that fresh vegetables lose their vitamins within a week or so of being harvested.  Unless you belong to a CSA, chances are the store bought variety are already losing their nutrients.

So, when you are not in harvest season, buy your veggies frozen.  Get wild caught fish flash frozen as well as opposed tot he farm raised stuff.  I read an article that suggests allergic reactions, and health problems being found now from farm raised aquaculture (salmon, shrimp, etc.).  They are fed unnatural sources of protein and grain, and much like Gluten allergies, Celiac, and IBS, allergists are starting to ween people off of certain foods and finding they are in better health.

Perhaps an experiment is in order at the Jenkins house.

So, a nice pork roast, farm grown sweet potatoes for dinner.  And store bought crescent rolls and stove top stuffing.

Photo of the day "Birdseye"

Magic Number 95

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Chanukah

Tried my best to sleep late.  Made it to 630, and ten tossed and turned for another hour before getting out of bed.

The view from the window, showed some fog.   I am sure it will clear by sundown, and any lingering rain will be gone as well, with Chanukah celebration tonight.  My dad used to tease that is rarely rains on Jewish holidays.

Costco on my radar this morning, so after my run, I shower up, and get a jump on the crowds, or so I thought.  $500 and a full cart later, I make my way home.  Luke helps me unpack.  He looks around for something to eat, and says there isn't anything to eat.

This day in history "John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, the rock group that transformed popular music in the 1960s, is shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City. The 40-year-old artist was entering his luxury Manhattan apartment building when Mark David Chapman shot him four times at close range with a .38-caliber revolver. Lennon, bleeding profusely, was rushed to the hospital but died en route. Chapman had received an autograph from Lennon earlier in the day and voluntarily remained at the scene of the shooting until he was arrested by police. For a week, hundreds of bereaved fans kept a vigil outside the Dakota--Lennon's apartment building--and demonstrations of mourning were held around the world."

I can remember it all too well, as I was and still am a Beatles fan.

Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try
No people below us, above it's only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

After lunch, I planted the remaining 45 feet of lighted candy canes.  Luke is right, we need another decoration for the front lawn.

Going to the 3rd annual Christmas party at our friend Eddie McKenna house.  A zantac has already been washed down with dinner, as I know the feast at his house is going to cause some heartburn later.  I can't resist all the party food.

I have some Chanukah gelt for the boys, as I promised them we would celebrate early this year with the Mayan calendar coming to an end.

Photo of the day "Happy Chanukah"

Magic Number 101

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor - 1941

As the year and this blog wind down, I have among other things, carefully watched the world around me.  Most days are pretty much the same, with a scant few that are remarkable in one way or another.  Most of my education was devoid of American and World History due to skipping the 8th grade and doubling up on either math, english, or science through high school.  This year gave me a chance to catch up.

In memory and honor of those who fought and died on that infamous day at Pearl Harbor. “Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for you....Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.” Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr. USAF

This day in history "At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.With diplomatic negotiations with Japan breaking down, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisers knew that an imminent Japanese attack was probable, but nothing had been done to increase security at the important naval base at Pearl Harbor. It was Sunday morning, and many military personnel had been given passes to attend religious services off base. At 7:02 a.m., two radar operators spotted large groups of aircraft in flight toward the island from the north, but, with a flight of B-17s expected from the United States at the time, they were told to sound no alarm. Thus, the Japanese air assault came as a devastating surprise to the naval base.
Much of the Pacific fleet was rendered useless: Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded, many while valiantly attempting to repulse the attack. Japan's losses were some 30 planes, five midget submarines, and fewer than 100 men. Fortunately for the United States, all three Pacific fleet carriers were out at sea on training maneuvers. These giant aircraft carriers would have their revenge against Japan six months later at the Battle of Midway, reversing the tide against the previously invincible Japanese navy in a spectacular victory.
The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941--a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." After a brief and forceful speech, he asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.
The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four long years and cost more than 400,000 American lives"

PT after work, which was a combination of in the office and at home.  I am fortunate and appreciative of the fact that I have that flexibility.

Undecided on what to make for dinner, I stop at Pathmark for some salmon.  The fish monger is nowhere to be found, so I mosey on over to the meat dept.  Nothing there looks worth the price, so I backtrack...again, after waiting several minutes for the monger, I move on to the other side of the store.  Bacon is on sale, and so are eggs.  Perhaps two of my favorite foods.

Dinner is pancakes and bacon.  A double batch of pancakes, that Kyle says beat the crap out of his.....

Photo of the day "Pearl Harbor - 1941"

Communication Breakdown

Today was a funny, or should I say odd sort of day.  I started my day working from home and messaged Frank, an engineer I work with so we can solidify our plans to trek into NYC for the company holiday party.   Not driving or having a car at the office is the main idea so that we can have a few drinks and not worry about driving.

And so the story goes, the night before we finally get an email (930 PM) in regard to the bus we are all supposed to be chipping in for.  The bus will take us to NYC Chelsea Pier for the party and back to Hauppauge later that night.  The bus turns into a LIMO as most other participants backed out at the last minute.  Communication Breakdown.

So, Frank says his wife can pick us up and take us to work and then pick us up later and take us home from the office in Hauppauge.  Wanting to go for a run, I say is 930AM ok...he says, no, we should work from home and she will pick up at 2pm.  Perfect.  Communication NOT breaking down.

This day in history "On this day in 1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, officially ending the institution of slavery, is ratified. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." With these words, the single greatest change wrought by the Civil War was officially noted in the Constitution."

Later in the day, we see an email from a colleague who is supposedly on the list to be taking the LIMO.  Now at 8 people with a cost of $65 each as opposed to the party bus at $30.   The email is somewhat vague, but a have an uncanny way of reading between the lines.  Basically, 3 of the 8 on the list for the LIMO are now going to be driving into NYC as they did not have clear information the day before of the plans for bus or limo.  Are you following this ?  Communication Breakdown.

Now, being that we are free, and slavery has been abolished in the US, everyone is really able to decide for themselves what to do to get to the party on time.  It does not sit well with me, that in the final hour, a handful of us are scrambling to make plans for ourselves.  The best price we can find for a car service (not much fun with 3 in a back seat and 1 next to the driver) for the long haul to NYC is $300 cash.  Frank and I decide that the drive to the station, LIRR, walk 10 blocks, catch shuttle at 3XSQ, and then onto Chelsea Pier (about 3 hrs) is just not worth it for a 3 hr party.  I have been trying to get Mark and Sanjay but they are either busy or the phones go to voicemail.  Communication Breakdown.  I finally get them and tell them they can try to catch a ride with some of the car poolers.

So, I stayed home for the first time in recorded history with my career at Thomson Reuters, having missed only 2 Christmas parties in the past 22 years.  Ordered takeout, went with Kyle to renew his referee license, and then settled into the couch with some tequila.

Communication Breakdown, It's always the same, 
I'm having a nervous breakdown, Drive me insane! 

Photo of the day "Communication Breakdown"

Magic Number 110

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Got to work and found out that my companies holiday party in NYC won't be so easy to get to tomorrow.  Those of us on Long Island, about 50 miles from NYC were planning on chipping in for a bus.  Too many people are not interested in a bus, so it looks like car, to railroad, walk from Penn to 3XSQ, to catch a shuttle bus to Chelsea Pier.

I was planning on some pre-gaming in the bus, after-all, prohibition has ended.

This day in history "
The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. At 5:32 p.m. EST, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the requisite three-fourths majority of states' approval. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day."

Instead, I may be facing a 2+ hour commute to the party, so that I can hang out for 3 hours, and then a 2+ hour ride home in reverse Shuttle to Penn, wait for LIRR, get in car at who knows what time.  Drive home sober cause I won't be doing too much partying with that kind of commute.

I asked around the office to see if anyone wants to split a car service or limo.  Half of the people I talked to decided 4-5 hours travelling for a 3 hour party, just aint gonna happen.

Think a taste of tequilla is in order.

Photo of the day "

LIPA Mistake

I forgot that LIPA misread my meter last month.  So, they read the meter that displays the power the solar panels have produced as opposed to their meter which is how much we used.  The end effect is a messed up bill.  How we produced 8000KW in one month with a 5500 KW system (that's its yearly rating) is beyond me.

I called LIPA and they said not to worry and they would come in the middle of December and make the adjustment, not to pay any bills, and they will not charge any penalties or shut off our power.  Solar panels and system is in place  for nearly two years, and in that time they screwed up the readings 3 times.  I may have to put a sign and arrow saying "My Meter, Your Meter"

This day in history "Heavy smog begins to hover over London, England, on this day in 1952. It persists for four days, leading to the deaths of at least 4,000 people.
It was a Thursday afternoon when a high-pressure air mass stalled over the Thames River Valley. When cold air arrived suddenly from the west, the air over London became trapped in place. The problem was exacerbated by low temperatures, which caused residents to burn extra coal in their furnaces. The smoke, soot and sulfur dioxide from the area's industries along with that from cars and consumer energy usage caused extraordinarily heavy smog to smother the city. By the morning of December 5, there was a visible pall cast over hundreds of square miles."

We had some thick fog over the weekend, and thankfully we don't burn coal and wood for the most part.  See, dirty power kills, clean power is good.

Took Kyle to practice in Deer Park.  Unseasonably warm.  Good time to go for a run.  Some parents think I am crazy for running at night in that area by the train station.  I told them growing up in the projects in Queens, the neighborhood around the train looks fine to me.  I do stay on well lit main road so that I dont become a statistic.

Get home around 930, and find Sue and Luke snoozing on the couch.  They DVR two broke girls.  Kyle and I make a snack and head to bed at 1030.

Nothing too exciting to report except that my leg is holding up fairly well on 3 mile runs approx: every other day.  Will take it up a notch next week and try for 4 miles.  A far cry from my 4.5-8 mile runs in Sept and Oct.  As Arnold said "I'll be back"

Photo of the day "LIPA Mistake"

Magic Number 115

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday Night Futbol

Had a good run this morning to start my day.  Starting to feel better, and able to run without pain for the most part.  Mile 1 9:26, Mile 2 8:58, Mile 3 8:28.  I am supposed to take it slow, but since it didn't hurt, my body must have started going faster.

After work, a visit to Krishna for PT treatment.  I never should have waited so long to start treatment.  Got to do a mile on the elliptical as well.  Do you think pulsed ultrasound units can be purchased and used at home  ?

This day in history "On this day in 1948, John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne, the heavy-metal musician and star of the pioneering reality TV program The Osbournes, which originally aired from 2002 to 2005, is born in Birmingham, England.
Osbourne first gained fame in the 1970s as a founding member and the lead vocalist of the heavy-metal band Black Sabbath. After being fired from the group in the late 1970s, he embarked on a successful solo career. In the mid-1990s, he and his wife Sharon launched Ozzfest, a popular annual tour of heavy-metal and rock acts. As a performer, Osbourne became infamous for biting the heads off a dove and a bat onstage and was also accused of promoting suicide and Satanism through some of his lyrics."

Kyle and I are going to Sachem East Soccer Dinner.  A yearly event, at least as long as one or more of the boys are on Sachem East JV or Varsity Soccer team.  Mike Dunn picks us up.  Oh wait, it was Janice who picked us up...Mike was late so met us there..

Dinner is ok, as are the awards ceremonies.  Seems pretty much the same thing year after least I know what to expect.  Scholar Athlete is not a problem for Kyle.  He is also recognized for his current season accomplishments and hard work, as well as the monumental goal he scored against Brentwood last year...a goal that will go down in the Sachem history books.

Home late, hence the missing blog post.

Photo of the day "Monday Night Futbol"

Magic Number 119

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Had to set the alarm today to make it to the filed at 0730...A thick fog outside our front door as we leave the house.

As we drive, there are areas that are more thickly shrouded in fog than others, and it seen to be getting thicker as we head north towards the field.

Kyle needed help this morning putting his socks on, and tying his soccer cleats.  His wrist a little bit better than yesterday...probably not fractured.

This day in history "On this day in 2002, Toyota delivers its first two "market-ready" hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCHVs, in the company's shorthand) to researchers at the University of California at Irvine and the University of California at Davis. Since 1997, Toyota had been providing research money to UC scientists and engineers who studied the problems associated with "advanced transportation systems" like fuel-cell vehicles. With their new fleet of FCHVs, the researchers finally had a chance to test out their theories.
Unlike the Toyota Prius, which has a gas-electric hybrid engine, FCHVs use a hydrogen fuel-cell system that generates electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen. That electricity powers the car's motor and charges its batteries. As a result, the vehicle creates no environmentally unfriendly byproducts: its only emission is water vapor."

At the field, we can barely see the players as they are warming up.  Not sure Kyle will be playing and notice that he is not in the starting lineup this morning.  A sigh of relief.

Part of the way into the 1st half, Kyle gets subbed in, and Sue and I are a little on edge.  It all works out fine.  They teams play to a tie....their opponent being awarded a PK with only a minute left to play.  1-1 is the final, and as we are leaving we notice that the fog has cleared for the next set of teams.

Bagels, cream cheese, and lox for breakfast.

Shrimp parmigiana for dinner.

Sleeping in on the weekend, FogGedaboudit !

Photo of the day "FogGedaboudit"

AM Soccer, PM X-Ray

A brisk morning as we head to the field for a local college showcase tournament.  We got lucky to have the games in Suffolk county, just a mile or so north of the Smith Haven Mall.

Three mile run in chilly weather, I hide in the car and change into a dry shirt and then out to the sideline I go.

We are slated to play the top ranked team, Smithtown and the boys are prepared for a spirited match.  I have to say that we out played Smithtown for 2/3 of the first half, and it was pretty evenly matched in the 2nd  half.  Both teams creating chances, but not able to find the back of the net.  A tie form MC United is like a win against this opponent.

This day in history "Shortly after 11 a.m. on December 1, 1990, 132 feet below the English Channel, workers drill an opening the size of a car through a wall of rock. This was no ordinary hole--it connected the two ends of an underwater tunnel linking Great Britain with the European mainland for the first time in more than 8,000 years.
The Channel Tunnel, or "Chunnel," was not a new idea. It had been suggested to Napoleon Bonaparte, in fact, as early as 1802. It wasn't until the late 20th century, though, that the necessary technology was developed. In 1986, Britain and France signed a treaty authorizing the construction of a tunnel running between Folkestone, England, and Calais, France."

We take shelter from the cold until the next game starts.  Kyle exists 30 minutes ahead of the 2nd game to warm up.  Another tough team to take on, this time the number 3 ranked team from upstate NY.  Kyle gets abused from behind making a play to the left corner end line, but some how manages to win the corner.  He gets up places the ball at the corner flag ,and then takes a knee.  He is able to be subbed out, and takes a spot on the bench.

United is winning 1-0 in the game, and Kyle gets another chance to go back in.  He seems OK  and manages to help the team come away with a win.  Once up at the car, he shows Sue his wrist, which hurts really bad, is is swelling up.  He is hesitant to say anything, as we are trying our best to not have to go get X-Ray or otherwise use the healthcare system that is costing us copious amounts of money to use.

Sue stops at taco bell for him.  After lunch, we decide it's best to get the wrist looked at.  Choices are, regular doctor, who will send us to either the hospital or Zwanger for an X-Ray.  I recall that there are now a bunch of late day critical care, or alternate care facilities popping up in shopping centers.  Sue gets the name of one from a friend, and Kyle and I make our way.  (Hospital is an automatic $100 charge plus services, some of which are only partially covered by co-insurance.).  I can write a whole blog for a whole year expressing my distaste for the current state of our medical system.

The office looks brand spanking new, setup as a very inviting Pediatric office, it is odd being in there with Kyle who is 16 and is man size.  The decor is like a castle from the Medieval, with Knights and beautiful murals.   The front desk staff are efficient, and even as first timers, we are done with paper work and payment ($20 Copay this year) in just a few minutes.  We make our way in, and are greeted by Medical Assistants, and see that there are 10 exam rooms, an X-Ray room, and the same decorations throughout.  Am I at a doctors office or Medieval Times ??  Or is that MED IEVAL times ??

Not to be disappointed, the doctor is also efficient, and makes the same conclusion we did a couple of hours earlier, that an X-Ray is needed.  5 minutes laters, we are back in one of the ten patient rooms awaiting the results.  A short time later, the nice doctor says, she and her colleagues do not see any break, but a small mark on the X-Ray will need further review by a radiologist later that night.  Splint and ace bandage follow, as does instructions from the doctor.  Contusion/Sprain for now.

We decide to go to Outback for dinner.  Good meal as usual...Kyle needs help cutting his steak.

Photo of the day "AM Soccer, PM X-Ray"

Our little secret, but this place beats the crap out of Kyle's primary care physician, a trip to Zwanger or Stony Brook.   PM Pediatrics located in Selden Plaza 239 Middle Country Rd. (631) 696-KIDS

Magic Number 123 (Just like our visit to PM lucky, in/out....1,2,3)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stage Deli Closes

So, whats was my excuse yesterday for not writing my blog.  Laziness

Ran a few miles, went to work, went to Physical Therapy.  I really like Krishna and think he is a good role model for future PT's.  Hope to have Gavin watch him work !

Came home, cooked baked ziti. Jar sauce.  Kyle went straight to his girlfriend's house and then to another sweet 16 party.

This day in history "On this day in 2004, after winning 74 straight games and more than $2.5 million--a record for U.S. game shows--Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings loses. Jennings' extended winning streak gave the game show a huge ratings boost and turned the software engineer from Salt Lake City, Utah into a TV hero and household name, at least temporarily. Barbara Walters named him one of the 10 most fascinating people of the year (along with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Republican operative Karl Rove and hotel heiress-socialite Paris Hilton, among others) and Jennings appeared on such shows as Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and even Sesame Street."

Sue went to a Sophia Maria party.

I watch them mining gold in Alaska.

Fall asleep on the couch.

Watch the news and find out that Stage Deli closes after 75 years of being in business.

Photo of the day "Stage Deli Closes"

Magic Number 126