Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We did something for the first time on Sunday - snowboarding. Sunday was Scout Day at Bristol Mountain. It was a deal with rentals, lift tickets, and a lesson for $30 per person. We decided to give it a try. None of us had ever been on any sort of ski equipment (well, the Wife and I tried cross country skiing ONCE when we were like 18). So we picked up our gear when we got there, grabbed a bite, and waited for the next lesson session to start.

The instructors decided it would be best for the "big people" to stay in a group separate from the young ones. The Wife and I were in a group with 3 teenagers (around 17 or so). The instructor was great and showed us how to get on the board, how to do J turns, and how to slide down the slope to slow down. We stayed on the "bunny" hill the whole time, being newbies and all.

After the lesson, we spent the rest of our time on the hill. When the day started, I wasn't looking forward to going for some reason. But once we got there, I totally had a blast on the board! I was doing better than the teenagers too! How about that for us "older" folk!

The Wife took a spill and hurt her tailbone so she didn't do much boarding after the lesson. The boys and I had quite a few runs. Both Maverick and I got the hang of the board pretty quick and could run down the hill without falling. Of course, I took a couple of spills before I got the hang of it, but that was to be expected. The boys wanted to go on the beginner hills at the top of the mountain but we were definitely not ready for that.

Grasshopper had a pretty good time but is not sure if he wants to do snowboarding again. He thinks skiing might be easier. The Wife felt the same way. She and I are a little sore and stiff from the falls, but I'm looking forward to trying it again. Maverick definitely wants to snowboard again. We may go out again later in the season. We'll have to see what our schedule is like.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'd like to wish all my friends on the internet a very Merry Christmas. May the next year be full of blessings for you all. I've very thankful to have such good people in my life, even if it is electronically for many of you. Hope you had a wonderful day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The things we do

How crazy is it that I'm on a train before the sun comes up bound for Schenectady? And reading ecomomics? (OK, I'm not doing it this second, I'm taking a little break). However, considering the snow we just got last night, this is the way to travel in winter.

In another business related item, one of my new staff is making me feel old. She came to me yesterday to let me know she was pregnant. She's in her mid 20's I'd guess. She was hesitant to tell me. Why? She said "It's like telling your dad." OUCH!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gospel of Mark

As part of an effort to get people to read the Bible more, we've been asked to read a chapter of the Gospel of Mark a week for the next 16 weeks. We're supposed to only read a little at a time and see if something jumps out and reflect on it. A couple of things have struck me so far. One was a line where Jesus called a tax collector and said "Follow me".

The other has been a little more powerful. Jesus went to James and John's house and their mother Matha was sick. Jesus healed her and she waited on them. I like the idea the Jesus heals us and we should serve Him. Given a bunch of things that have been frustrating lately, I need to keep remembering that.

I also realized today that talking to Jesus isn't always simple. When you ask Him a question, you get an answer, but that answer then raises about 10 more questions. I had been reading the 2nd chapter of Mark and a passage jumped at me and I KNEW it applied to something going on at work, but now I need to figure out what it means. Or, more succinctly, figure out what Jesus is telling me.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This weekend we did something we hadn't before at the holiday time. We attended Tuba Christmas. To be more precise, Grasshopper, a Euphonium player in the school band, played at Tuba Christmas. The premise is pretty simple. Anybody that plays baritone, euphonium, tuba, or any big, deep, bass brass instrument (including sousaphones) shows up, rehearses for about an hour and a half, then puts on a Christmas concert. About 200 players showed up!

Ages of the musicians ranged from elementary school (as young as second grade), to well into the "golden years". There were quite a few players well past retirement and beyond their 70's, including one person in their 90's. The conductor had people stand up in age groups to make the point that music is a life long endeavour. But it sure was impressive.

If you get a chance to see a Tuba Christmas near you (it started in NYC at Rockefeller Center so my pals out there should definately go!) I highly recommend you attend. You wouldn't think a bunch of low instruments like that would sound good doing Christmas music but it was awesome! If you sit near the group, you can literally feel the music. It was completely amazing.

This weekend we also got our tree and decorated it. Jude has asked we post pictures of our trees so just for her, here it is! I'm off now to ward off the cold by sitting in front of the fireplace with my coffe spiked with Amaretto di Sarono.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What a weekend

I could rant about work (boy could I rant about work!) but I'm coming down now so I'll blog about something else.

Christmas season sure came up fast! However, for once, we're ahead of the game. I had off the day before Thanksgiving since the kids were off from school, so we got some shopping done. Actually, the boys had Veteran's Day off so I hauled them to the outlet store and got the majority of the shopping for the Wife and her side of the family done. So the day before, I actually got up around 7 am, did some work (another story I could rant about). Somewhere around 9 or 10, we went out to drop off my 12 string for repairs, and hit the mall. I got some great ideas for my family and got that stuff purchased as well!

We enjoyed a nice Turkey Day at my parents place. I really like preparing one dish and then showing up to eat! I felt a little bad for the Wife since it was just my Italian side of the family so after dinner the conversation went nearly all in Italian. Not fun if you don't understand the language.

The Wife had to work the day after Thanksgiving, so what did the boys and I do? Went shopping of course! Now, I didn't get up at no 4 am to get any doorbuster deals or anything. I ain't crazy. We got up at a reasonable hour (8 or so) and went shopping later. I had a pretty good rule. If the line was too long to pay, we walked out of the store. There wasn't much I needed to get, so we got a few little items. By the end of the weekend, the only people left to shop for are my nephews, who I'm waiting for lists. The Wife even started wrapping gifts!

She feels like we're still behind but I reminded her that most years at this stage of the game we're still trying to figure out what the heck to get people. This weekend we'll probably get a tree and decorate inside. We've already got out outside lights up and a few indoor decorations up. So overall, we're having a pretty good holiday season. This Saturday Grasshopper will probably participate in Tuba Christmas. If you have one in a town near you, I recommend you go. I hear it's really good. And the Christmas parties are just starting to fire up.

So hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas season (or holiday season for my pals of other faiths).