Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy August

Welcome to the Dog Days of August.  Ever wonder how that expression originated?  Click here to find out and learn more about the month of August.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


This is a reminder that in addition to a link to this blog spot, I also have links to a variety of photos, photo albums, video and almanac information from my web page.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Happy 40th birthday to son-in-law Mike Sullivan.

The weather cooperated long enough to celebrate Mike's 40th birthday and as evidenced by the pictures below, everyone had a great time.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer time reading

Some people don't mind working or even just being outside during the summer.  I'm not one of them.  I have much more tolerance for cold weather than very hot.

Since we are now in the middle of summer and quickly heading for the 'dog days' of August, I tend to do more reading than other times throughout the year.

Here's a list of some of the books I've read.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by British author Helen Simonson.  A lot of very dry British humor.  A great book.

The Clifton Chronicles by British author Jeffrey Archer.  I've read the first four.  There are seven planned with number five coming out early next year.  A very good, entertaining read.

McNally's Trial by Lawrence Sanders.  The McNally series numbers about a dozen.  They're great books about a south Florida private investigator named Archie McNally who has a variety of adventures.  I've read all of them a long time ago but when I'm filling in waiting for something else, these books keep me going.

The Fighting McCooks by Charles and Barbara Whalen.  A true story about 17 men from one family who all served in the Civil War.  If you're a civil war buff, you'll love it.

The Smoke At Dawn by Jeff Shaara.  Shaara picked up where his father, Michael, left off with Killer Angels.  This particular book is about the western campaign in the civil war.  It's written as a novel. He writes about the civil war and world war II.  Good for history buffs.

McNally's Risk-see above.  I'm almost finished with this and it's a good thing because my next one just arrived in the mail. 

Next up: The Keillor Reader by Garrison Keillor.  More Lake Woebegone stories.  Keillor is an excellent writer, funny, observant and highly entertaining.

That's it for now. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dog sitting

While Mike, Becky and the girls are in Ocean City with the rest of the Sullivan clan, we have the pleasure of watching their 12 year old lab, Lacey.  We've watched her many times in the past along with my son's boxer, Sadie,  although not at the same time since Lacey does not tolerate Sadie's enthusiasm very well these days.

At any rate, as evidenced by this picture,  when left alone Lacey does not lose an opportunity to remind us that she is with us. Hence the mess she presented to me Monday morning when I returned after being out for a few hours.  I had forgotten  to barricade her in the family room where she doesn't do any harm so she helped herself to the kitchen garbage container. 

She can be seen here with her stuffed animal, looking very contrite-sort of.  Unlike many others, this is a mistake I won't repeat!

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Question for Governor Malloy

 Where does the money go?


Connecticut is one of the richest states in the nation with more than its fair share of millionaires.  At the same time it is  without question one of the most expensive states to live in.  

Money is pouring into state coffers  from countless areas. The gas tax is the third highest in the nation along with high sales, numerous fees and of course an income tax. On top of all of this while casino receipts are falling off, there's still a big chunk of change coming from them. 

So how is it possible that we have an infrastructure that has been so neglected.

I confess I haven't reviewed  documents detailing Connecticut's budget.  I suppose they're available somewhere but who wants to go to all that trouble and who would understand them anyway?

And I suppose it's also true the federal government has been scrimping in this area but that's not enough to account for years and years of neglect.

So it's back to the question.  Where does the money go?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rethinking the E-reader

Some time ago I wrote a blog about how much more I prefer reading an actual book as opposed to using an e-reader like the Kindle or Barnes & Noble's Nook or an iPad.  I observed that there's something about the feel of a book and  turning the pages that is more appealing than an electronic device.

Lately, however, I've been rethinking my position on this.  I have read several books using my wife's Kindle and there's a lot to like about it.  I remember once I was able to read during a power failure.  The screen is backlit so night reading is possible without having to use a bedside table lamp.  The other advantage to that is you won't keep the person  in bed next to you awake. 

E-readers are also easier to manage in that they're lighter, easier to pack when traveling and definitely more convenient to use than a bulky book on something like a plane.

Finally, books tend to be cheaper on an e-reader than if you're buying them-even paperbacks.  Of course to avoid having to pay for a book you could always get it from the library but there are certain time constraints associated with that that I would rather not deal with.

So I haven't actually bought one yet but I'm seriously thinking about it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

To Vaccinate or Not. That is the question.

 There have been recent news items reporting the return of certain diseases.  The most recent is small pox.  Others include measles.

One of the reasons for this is the policy of discontinuing vaccinations.  That's the case with small pox.  I was vaccinated but as time went by it was thought the disease had been wiped out so  my children and grand children were not.  It's not serious enough to reconsider this policy yet but it may come to that.

The emergence of some of the other diseases normally associated with childhood I believe has to do with the decision of some parents to delay or even forgo immunization shots for their children.  The reason for this is the belief by many that there's a correlation between vaccinations and the prevalence of autism.  This belief is based on a study done some time ago in Great Britain and subsequently published in the British medical journal Lancet.  The study has since been completely discredited.  There is no truth whatsoever to the conclusions it drew. Yet, the belief persists. 

The bottom line is vaccinate your children.  By not doing so you put them and others at great risk. Be responsible. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Cyclists-take note

With warm weather now upon us, the usual summer-time activities are kicking into full gear.  One of them is cycling.  Over the past couple of weeks the local paper has  been running a series of articles about the region's suitability-or actually the lack of it-for cyclists.

Reporters have been lamenting the fact that there are few if any cycling paths or lanes along roadways and the general lack of consideration given to cyclists by people zipping along in cars.

These are definitely valid concerns but the fact is there simply isn't room along most rural roads to construct biking lanes.  It just isn't feasible.  However, there is something that can be done about careless motorists. 

But having said that I have to say there's a lot  cyclists can do to help themselves.  There have been many times when I've encountered groups of cyclists riding along, spread out all over the road and not really aware that they're supposed to be sharing the road with motorists. Cyclists need to remember that they are obligated to follow the same driving rules as motorists.  Share the road, stop at stop signs and cross walks and all the other many rules required of those driving a car also apply to cyclists.

Everyone needs to do their part so the roads are safe for walkers/runners, cyclists and drivers alike.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day Three-The Battle of Gettysburg

July 3, 1863-Pickett's Charge
By the end of this day there will have been an accumulated casualty count of over 50,000 soldiers.

Day Three is the third and final day of the biggest battle of the American Civil War and stands as the turning point of the war.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Welcome, July!

Happy July.  Sure, it's going to be hot but would you rather be shoveling snow? 
July 1st, 1863.  Day one of the Battle of Gettysburg.  By the end of this first day of three over 15,000 men will have been killed or wounded.

To learn more about the month of July, click here: