Friday, November 30, 2012

Web site updated

My web site has been updated and it's up and running again.  Check it out:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Back to Reality

Our family vacation to Florida is over.  We had a great time and with the exception of travel delays due to the bad weather, everything went well.

The only thing I would change is my decision to fly in and out of La Guardia airport.  I don't know about the other terminals but the JetBlue terminal is dirty, crowded, poorly managed, confusing to navigate and generally qualifies as a blight in NY.

I won't be using it again.

Otherwise, it's back to FL in January for a week or so.  Hope we don't return to snow but since this is New England, well.........

Monday, November 26, 2012

The end of a long day

Brooke and Cole watch a movie while Courtney and Nicholas play on the iPad in grammy and grampy's bed after a long, busy day.  One more day of vacation at the beach and possibly the zoo and then it's back home...and colder weather.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dinner, Beach & Workout--A busy week

It's been a busy week so far here in Naples.  Dinner, nap, workout and beach activities have kept us hopping.  Tomorrow it's off to old Naples with Sandi's niece.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from Naples

Well, they're all here.  Now there are 10 of us for the next 5 days.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Naples Clouds

Here's my first of several pictures to follow of our time in Naples, FL (click on image to enlarge).  I love looking at different cloud formations and I'm beginning to accumulate quite a portfolio of them.

Taking pictures of clouds is tricky.  The lighting has to be just right.  If it's too sunny, the brightness obscures the cloud or clouds.

On the other hand, if there isn't enough light, you lose detail.  My level of expertise is in its infancy so I rely on photo managing software like PhotoShop Elements that makes corrections for me.

I think this one turned out pretty well.

Kids are coming in tomorrow so look for many more pictures.  When we return home I'll transfer everything to my website.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Putting off 'the soft life'

Remember my previous post where I  explained how I caved in to buying a generator?  Well it's back to square one.

It seems that when I ordered the generator thinking there was one in inventory, it turned out the web site information was incorrect and there is now a backlog with deliveries expected to resume at the end of December or early next year.

Based on that, I cancelled the order in hopes of finding one around here that will serve the purpose.

I will resume that search when we get back from Florida on the 27th.  We leave Friday the 16th.

The next few blogs will therefore be from sunny Naples, FL.  Pictures will be included.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

On getting soft....

I used to more or less laugh at people who went out and spent a bunch of money on a portable generator for the few times--if that--that electrical service was disrupted. 

I used to think, "What's wrong with people these days?  Is it so hard to read instead of watch TV, use bottled water or keep a wood fire going? Has this nation gotten so soft we can't endure a little hardship for a little while?" 

That's what I 'used' to think.  Now I see things differently.  We just experienced the 3rd prolonged power outage in just 2 years.  While we were extremely lucky for the first two since we didn't lose power, we weren't so lucky this time around. 

During Hurricane Sandy, we were out just 3 days.  Three short (actually quite long) days.  Plus we had ample heat and water.  But, as evidenced by a blog I wrote on November 3rd, it was far from pleasant.  The amount of food alone that we needed to throw away  was unacceptable.

There's one more thing:  Everything I've read about climate patterns and weather trends points to this kind of thing becoming the norm--not the exception.

Soooo....with all of that as background, we did it.  We bought a portable generator.  It hasn't arrived yet and there are other costs besides the actual cost of the machine.  We have to hire an electrician to wire it correctly so we don't hurt ourselves or someone working on the lines.  But it's my guess that it will be worth it.  Plus from a practical point of view, suppose when it comes time for us to buy a house requiring a little less work, someone sees this house and another almost its equal but we have the generator and they don't.  Which house will they buy?

I guess I'm getting soft. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And the winner is...the status quo!

The good news:  President Obama returns to office and Linda McMahon returns to the charming world of entertainment wrestling.

The bad news: Nothing much has changed.  We have a democratic president & senate and a far right conservative House. 

Don't expect much to happen--unless voters get fed up with the House's obstructionist stance and dump many or all of them in the midterm 2014 congressional elections.

One final observation and then I'm done with politics (for a while):  This past election season was marked by some very troubling tendencies.  I've never seen so much hostility, acrimony and hatred as I did these past several years.  You can't lay it all on differences in political philosophy.  There's an under current of very dark motives (pun intended).

We have a long way to go in this country.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Official Endorsements

Here they are--what you all have been waiting for-my official endorsements. 

For President of the United States:   Barack Obama-yeah, yeah, I know, the republicans are always whining that he blames Bush too much for the mess he inherited but let's face it, he did in fact walk into office when this country was on the brink of utter collapse.  People need to remember that.

I was very disappointed in Obama's effort to bring about health care reform at such a critical time but that to me is his only blip.

In the area of foreign policy he can't be faulted.  This country is safer now than it's ever been.  Romney's foreign policy:  let's see, what bank should I deal with today, the one I use in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands? many factories should I open in China today? 

Romney is clueless.  He's a rich businessman (good for him.  I'd like to be rich too) but utterly unprepared to be a president. 

For Connecticut's U.S. Senator:  This is such a no-brainer it's unbelievable. Chris Murphy--in spite of his missed meetings--is absolutely the better qualified. 

Linda McMahon is a self-serving weasel whose agenda is to make herself and her rich peers even richer and more powerful.   She isn't in the least bit interested in the problems of the middle class, or the elderly, or students, or the poor.  She's trying to buy a senate seat--simple as that.

Send her back to the wrestling ring where she belongs.

For the 5th Congressional District which is the post Chris Murphy vacated:  Elizabeth Esty.  Quite frankly I don't know that much about her but it's enough for me to know that her opponent, Andrew Roraback,  is a Tea Party republican.  As far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party is one of the most dangerous, destructive movements in the country today.  They may have served a purpose at one time--dumping tea in Boston Harbor--but today they are just a bunch of seriously misinformed obstructionists.

Whatever your choice may be, get out there and vote. It's your right.  It's your duty.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's all about routines

Now that the hurricane has passed and electricity and cable have been fully restored, it seems like a good time for a little reflection.

 This is a story about routines. Those day-to-day habits we develop without a second thought.

Here’s a partial description of my old--or usual--routine:

Get up on my own at about 6:30 A.M.  
Take shower, brush teeth, shave if I’m going somewhere.
Put in eye drops get dressed & go downstairs.
Pour coffee which is already brewed and waiting for me.
Turn on some morning TV program—whichever one I can stand at any given time.
If it’s cold, get the fire going in the wood stove.
Wake up my computer and check emails and Facebook.
At about 7:15 pour Sandi’s coffee, get a cup of cereal and bring it up to her.
From that point on, depending on the plan,  the rest of the day unfolds as it has for a number of years.

Since Hurricane Sandy paid us a visit, here’s what my “New Routine” looked like for the past, mercifully over, 4 days:

Get up on my own at 6:30.
Put in eye drops and get dressed.
Pour remaining water from bucket into toilet to flush.
Go downstairs & get fire going.
Go on porch and light gas grill.
While grill is warming up, pour water from 5-gallon container into large pan.  Put pan on grill to warm up.
Pour cold coffee from Dunkin Donuts Box of Joe into saucepan and put on stove to warm.
Take three buckets that once held chlorine tablets and joint compound and fill with pool water for flushing toilets.
Try to log on to internet with iPad using AT&T cell service to see what’s going on.
If AT&T is up—which is a very big if—wait for data to load.  If it isn’t up, turn on portable radio and listen to KC101 for news.
By the time all of that is done, coffee and water are sufficiently hot and Sandi is up on her own.
Have coffee, listen to news, discuss what more needs to be done.  If power is on at Sandi’s office, she goes to work.
Use now hot water to clean up dishes left over from day before or morning use.
Go upstairs, pour water into 4 oz. Dixie cup, brush teeth.  Pour a little more water on face cloth and wash face.  Later on we go to son’s house where a generator will enable us to shower.
Use rest of water in bucket to flush.
Gather all buckets and refill from swimming pool. 
Check supply of propane in tank for gas grill.
Spend rest of day preparing to do it all over again.