Friday, August 31, 2012

Time passages & mixed emotions

This past week has been a reminder of the passage of time and one of mixed emotions. Our two older grand children returned to school to start first and third grade and grand son Cole entered kindergarten. 

I was surprised at how enthusiastic and proud Cole is turning out to be.  At first he was upset he would be missing two 'grampy days' every week but since his little brother and I pick him up he at least gets two grampy afternoons.

All this serves to remind me of how quickly they're growing up...and how quickly I'm getting older! 

But it's all good stuff and all the more to look forward to.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to the routine

After four days visiting with a good friend in Butler, PA, we are back home.  It's a 7 hour trip both ways complicated by quite a bit of traffic and a lot of construction but we had a great time and got to visit a lot of nice people some of whom we've known for about years!

The highlight of the trip--besides the reunion with friends--was a two-hour ride on Segways.  Great fun.

Now it's back to the routine...Babysitting, mowing, closing the pool, etc.

Next trip:  Thanksgiving in Naples, FL.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Four Day Break

Off to Pennsylvania for four days to visit a friend.  Part of what we're going to be doing is riding Segues along the Allegheny River.  Video to follow.

While there we'll be carefully watching news of the hurricane headed for the area where we have a condo.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Who's more stupid?

MO republican Todd Aken has got to be the dumbest politician ever.  You mean to tell me he didn't realize the stupidity of his remark before it popped out of his mouth? 

Even if there were a modicum of truth (which there isn't) to what he said, wouldn't he have realized the insensitivity of the comment? 

It's a measure of his arrogance and ignorance that he wasn't able to figure this out.

Are republican politicians generally less sensitive to these kinds of issues or is it my imagination?

Consider the first thing out of Romney's mouth for example:  "He meant well"  Oh??!!  Did he??

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Signs of the times

I voted in the primary election last Tuesday and while this is not  a particularly remarkable event there is one observation I wish to make.  What on earth is up with all the candidate signs?  There were literally dozens and dozens of signs for every single candidate...and there were a lot of candidates because every elected post was challenged by someone within each party.

The number of signs at Reed Intermediate where the voting took place was ridiculous and now they're popping up on people's front lawns.

Is anyone honestly influenced by a sign?  Is it possible that there's even one person out there whose mind is changed by a sign as he/she walks into the polling place? 

It's hard to imagine this nation's voters could be so shallow...but stranger things have happened!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More questions

Having a two hour drive before us with the two boys, I decided to cut down on the questions by setting up  double DVD players in the back seat.  The way they work is you strap them to the headrest of the front seats and plug the main one into the power outlet in the car.

Now for two hours instead of the boys asking questions ad nauseum we will be listening to Cars Two.

I'm not sure which I prefer...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Questions, questions, questions, questions

Here's a random sampler of questions I've been asked recently as Nicholas (3), Cole (4) & I are driving somewhere.

Where are we going?
When are we going to get there?
Why are you going this way?
Why are you going so fast?
Why are you going so slow?
Why did you stop?
Why did you go over those bumps?
Why did you swerve?
Who did you wave to?
Why did you honk your horn?
Why is your horn so small?
In how many minutes are we going to get there?
What should we count to?
What's that man doing?
Who is he?
Is his mower like yours?
Are we going by daddy's office?
Are we going by mommy's office?
Are we going by grammy's office?
Why are you playing that music?
Can you play our songs?
Can we go by an excavator [their words]?
Why do you have a truck?
What do you do with it?
Are you going to get a new one?
Can it be the color of my daddy's car?
Are we going down the hill or up the hill?
Why are traffic lights [their words] red, yellow and green?
Can't they be blue or white and other stuff?
Can we play I Spy?

That's a modest sampling.  There's more.  Always more.  Grand children.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The battle-lines have been drawn

There has just been an official announcement  that Wisconsin tea party republican Paul Ryan is Romney's choice for VP.

This is the guy who wants to throw seniors under the bus by turning their health care over to insurance companies.

He actually trusts HMOs more than he does government.

This is also the same guy, among others of his ilk,  who would rather see the country fall off a cliff than take the appropriate measures  to prevent a credit crises.

In short he's nuts. 

The upcoming election is shaping up to be one of the most important in the nation's history.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Guns...and the movies.

All over news headlines this morning was the story of a man here in CT who was spotted in a movie theater with a gun in his holster tucked in his pants behind his back.

Police were called, the theater was emptied and the man was confronted.  It turns out he has a permit for the weapon and was ultimately released. 

Here's the part I find interesting:  Had this happened in many other states across the country, it would have been a surprise if people DIDN'T have weapons with them.

That fact exemplifies the vast differences in gun laws across the nation and it's exactly for that reason that anyone can get a gun from somewhere.

By all means, preserve the 2nd Amendment but let's not make it so easy for the wrong people to get their hands on a gun.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A statistical analysis

I like statistics.  I like doing statistical analyses of various things.  For example I keep track of how much home heating fuel we use and have done so for all of the almost 26 years we've lived in this house.

I also keep track of how much gas each of our vehicles uses and the cost.

After I've recorded the data in an Excel spreadsheet, I turn it into a graph--or chart as it's called in Excel.  I love graphing stuff.  It's a good way to get a ready picture of the data.

The most recent chart I made was of my Facebook "friends".  Of course not all 125 of them are really friends.  In fact there are many that I haven't seen or talked to in years.  (Click on the chart to make it larger).

I determined that they all fall into one or more of 5 general categories.  Several people fall into multiple categories but I only counted them once so the total is 125.

The chart I've posted shows the breakdown.  Notice how many are former colleagues or students.  In fact the largest category is former students.  The reason for that is because some time ago I began posting class pictures.  The response was amazing.  All these students came out of the woodwork, tagging themselves and 'friending' me.  I confirmed the 'friends' because as a former teacher, I was curious how everyone turned out after all these years.

I'm happy to report almost all of them are doing exceptionally well.  They have gone on to further their education (MDs and PHDs), they have families and jobs.  In other words they've turned out to be an extraordinary group of young men and women.

I can't say for sure how much of that is due to my influence.  Probably not much.  A person's parents are much more important but there may be  some cases where the kids turned out well in spite of their parents rather than because of them. 

Anyway it was an interesting statistical exercise.

Maybe the next thing I'll do is start cataloging the number of different varieties of birds at my feeder--or not!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy birthday, Peter

Today is my son Peter's birthday.  He is 39 years old.  He has turned into an extraordinary young man.  He's a great son, father and husband.   Here's wishing him many, many more years.

Another one of life's little (actually big) aggravations

My primary care physician recently referred me to the hematology group of Danbury Hospital because of some concerns he had.

I wasn't going to do anything about it because he's always referring me to someone somewhere and if I followed through on all of them, I'd have to bring a sleeping bag to the hospital but they were the ones who actually called me so I figured what the heck.  I'll sit there and listen for a 10 minute consult while the doctor goes over my labs, listen to him/her say there's nothing to worry about and go home.

Yeah, right.  My appointment was at the hospital for 2:15.  After about 20 minutes of waiting in the outer waiting room I was shown into an examining room where I expected the doctor to show up at any minute.

ONE HOUR later I went out and asked a passing nurse how much longer the doctor would be.  She gave me a surprised look and said she'd check on it immediately--which to her credit she did.

When the doctor came in she asked me how I was doing to which I replied very annoyed.  I told her how long I'd been waiting and she said she didn't blame me for being annoyed.  No apology or explanation.

On top of that she had not received the file of lab reports from my PCP so she didn't have much to do except have a nurse draw more blood which she would discuss at our next appointment.

To say I'm aggravated is the under statement of the century.  There's no excuse for such treatment or incompetence.  I'd complain more but I don't know who to go to---yet.  I'm working on it.

I understand that doctors need some wiggle room in their schedules.  Some patients take longer than others and it's impossible to predict that kind of thing but to have to wait over one hour is not acceptable--nor is the level of unpreparedness acceptable.

My doctor will hear about it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy August 1st

The dog days of August are here.  For more about the month of August either go to the Almanac page of my website ( or click here.

Enjoy the month.  Before you know it the snow will be flying!!