Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Not The Mama - Updated

I had intended to post about the stupid driver I encountered on the New York State Thruway coming back from an off site meeting today, but this stuff is better.

First, I was planning on going rollerblading today after dropping Grasshopper off at karate. The rain's been on and off and we had a break of sun and perfect temps to rollerblade. Clouds were moving in but I thought I had time. However, I hit EVERY red light on the way home. Then I had to take care of a thing or two and get changed when I got home. I grabbed my stuff, sat on the porch and started putting on my pads when it started sprinkling. Not wanting to blade in the rain, I hit the treadmill instead. When I was done with my 30 minutes, it was POURING outside. It appears the good Lord put some obstacles in my way to keep my safe and dry. Awfully kind of Him. That's why we're such tight pals.

Second, and more important, I have to give the Wife the Supermom of the Year award for duty above and beyond to her child(ren). Maverick (who I think is old enough by now to call by his real name, Christopher), has been at wrestling camp at the state college about 20 minutes from our house since Saturday. We decided to have him commute instead of staying on campus as it's his first time at a camp like this. This has required the Wife (Ellen for those keeping track), to shuttle him out for registration, home for dinner, and back for evening session on Saturday, take him out there on Sunday, home for dinner, and back again for evening session, pick him up yesterday at the end of the day, and the plan for today was to pick him up at the end of the session (note the number of trips, 20 minutes there and back each time people).

So today, she's pretty whipped. And looking forward to relaxing a little before having to pick him up at 9. We decided to spring for lunch and dinner today and have him stay the whole day so she only had to pick him up at the end. As a clarifier, my nephews are attending the same camp so I've been dropping them off at my sister's house in the morning and she's taking the three of them out.

Anyway, Christopher calls home from his cell about 7:30. He asks if the Wife has left yet. The answer was no, she was planning on being there at 9 pm. So he asks to talk to her. There's a tournament tonight, he hasn't wrestled yet, and wants Ellen to come watch him wrestle. She's JUST gotten comfortable in her chair to FINALLY get some rest. So what does she do?

That's right. She gets up, grabs her stuff and a camera, and heads off to see the kid wrestle. So, ladies and gentlemen, this is why she is honored as Supermom of the Year. You may commence the wild cheering and raucus jubilation.

Update - I got a call from Christopher today. He placed 3rd in his weight class! He's very proud of himself.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Crazy Weekends

It's been another of those crazy weekends, filled with sports and parties. This weekend was the Hot Dog Cup, the soccer tournament for the boy's summer league. Grasshopper participated with his team and they had some wild games. The first game the were down 4-0 early, but battled back and tied it up. It went back and forth until his team finally won 9-8. Talk about a nail biter! They finished the tournament 2-1-1. There was no championship game at their level so he got a participation trophy.

Maverick missed the tournament because he's at wrestling camp from Saturdy to Wednesday. The Wife got taxi duty on that one. Sessions go all the way to 9 pm. Luckily, my sister's boys are at the same camp so we're splitting carpooling duties to a certain extent. She's going to take the boys but her kids are staying all day while Maverick is missing the evening session on Monday due to a soccer game.

The Wife and I also attended a surprise 60th birthday party for her cousin last night. It was an impressive feat keeping it from him but he was completely surprised! We had a good time mingling with family. The home we were in was very nice and cozy, but a bit small for the approximately 30 people we had there. Still, there was plenty of snacks and refreshments so it went well.

The Wife is really looking forward to next weekend. We're going to her niece's place for the 4th and we haven't been to thier place since she moved back from South Carolina last year. As a matter of fact, the laptop I'm typing this on is being prepared to "donate" to her niece as we speak. I'm getting a newer model so I'm passing this down.

While it's been a busy weekend, there's been lots of fun as well, just no all together family kind of fun. Hopefully we'll get some of that next weekend. Hope everyone has a good week!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Built for Speed

About a week ago I got myself new rollerblades as my old pair was totally hammered. The new ones fit great and I couldn't wait to try them on the road. The first time I tried them out, it seemed that I wasn't going very fast and working very hard. After I put a good 5 miles on them, I took them off and spun the wheels. They stopped very quickly. I compared them to my old skates, and the old ones spun FOREVER. No wonder I was working so hard!

Saturday I brought them back to the shop I purchased them and had them look at them to see if they could be adjusted. It turns out this pair had the lowest end bearings that come on skates. So I did the smart thing and had them upgrade the wheels to a set with better bearings. Not the best there are, since those only come on a larger wheel size.

Father's Day I got a chance to try out the upgraded blades. They were better, but not like my old pair. With the original wheels on my new blades, I barely picked up speed on a downhill. With the upgraded wheels, I pick up some speed. With my old blades, I'd be flying. The new blades are now good, but it feels like the difference between walking and running. However, I get a good workout so they'll do. With new wheels, I also get great grip and don't feel like my skates are going to slide out from under me in the turns.

On a more sombre note, one of the Wife's uncles passed away. She's at the wake tonight and going to the funeral tomorrow. Prayers and good wishes for her and her family are much appreciated.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mission Accomplished

I'm just now heading back home on the train from Schenectady. I spent an overnight there as part of my ongoing effort to be a better manager and actually meet with my staff more often. It was a productive trip. I got to work directly with my Schenectady staff and get some good face to face things done with my peers and counterparts.

However, the most successful part of the trip was last night. Some of my other Rochester compatriots were out here as well so we went out for dinner. They showed me one of the best Asian food places EVER! It was primarily Thai, though they had sushi as well (which I don't eat, but that's another story). The waitress was so good that she remembered what they drank and what the ordered the last time they were there. Which was Monday night. Which was the first time they'd ever eaten there. She was fabulous! And the meal I had was just heavenly. I know where I'm going to eat more often when I'm out there.

I also picked up a box of Italian pastries to bring home for the family. I've known of this place for a while but haven't visited there for a bit. For my treat, I got a chocolate canolli. It was a cannoli with chocolate filling AND dipped completely in chocolate. Can you see the angels and hear their heavenly hymn? It was that good.

Anyway, not much planned this weekend. If the weather is good Sunday, I'll probably do a round of golf as my Father's Day treat. Otherwise, the honeydo list awaits.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Passing the test

It is written not to put the Lord, your God, to the test. However, it is not written to refrain from putting your boss to the test. After everything that's been going on, I was not sure I would get continued support for the company to reimburse me for graduate school classes. So last week, I sent the request in for fall semester, not sure what the result would be. Yesterday, I got an email from my boss telling me that I was not forgotten and that it was in process. This was the first time my boss had processed one of these requests and was making sure everything was in order before passing on to HR.

So it appears my boss passes. I take this to mean, at a minimum, my status has not gotten any worse, and perhaps has even improved slightly. I've recieved no additional negative feedback. However, I haven't recieved ANY feedback in a few weeks. Still, I'll assume no news is good news. I'm ever the optimist.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If I could but touch His clothes

I was reading Mark chapter 5 again today and read the story of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages. Doctors couldn't cure her but she said to herself, "If I could only touch His clothes, I shall be healed."

Healing has always been a theme for me in my personal spiritual growth. When I first came back to my faith, it was for healing. Everything I tried to get from the world and do on my own never resulted in happiness. It was only through Jesus I felt healed. Whenever something major is distressing me, I look to the Lord for healing. There are times where I feel like I'm reaching for His cloak and not quite touching it. But you have to keep reaching.

So much goes on in every day life that doesn't really matter. A customer at work you need to approach carefully because they'll cause a fuss. An employee with poor job performance that doesn't seem to want to improve. A project that's behind schedule. The laundry piles up because the kids have sports 4 days a week. A tail light bulb needs to be replaced.

But then there's the person that's always wanted to be a dad finding out his girlfriend is pregnant and doesn't want the baby. And you can't do anything for them. Or struggling every morning to be pleasant to the rest of the house when you know some little thing might make you lose your cool.

So I keep praying for healing. Cause if I can only touch His cloak, just for a moment, I'll be healed.

Monday, June 15, 2009


We had a band meeting today to discuss with our singer her leaving the band. I thought it might be a major deal, but as it turned out, it really wasn't. Her original email telling the band she was leaving had some anger in it, mostly due to some mis-communication after our last gig. But what it really boiled down to was that she's running for town supervisor in our town and just doesn't have the time right now to devote to the band. She's either in 100% or 0%. We all understand and it's cool if she takes a break from the band. However, we left the door open for her to return whenever she's ready.

I put in my main 2 cents which was that when we have 4 voices together, including hers, the sound we get makes chills run down my spine. Even if we got another singer, it wouldn't be the same. Not to mention one of the things that makes a band is the people in it. I know from experience when you change the lineup, you change the band. Things won't be quite the same without her, but we'll keep on for now. Hopefully in the fall after the election she'll have time to be part of what we do. Until then, she has my support running for office.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Having G.A.S

That would be Gear Acquisition Syndrome. This afternoon during luch I decided to walk to a very nice music store near work. They had a 6/12 string double neck guitar I wanted to check out. Not the high end $3000 Gibson, but the low end Epiphone version. It was OK. But a guitar has to blow me away out of the box to even get my attention. They did, however, have a very sweet Les Paul Custom with 3 pickups that was very nice. However, it wasn't $4250 nice.

My problem with gear lately is that the I only like the expensive stuff. And I'm too cheap to pay that much for it. So I do a lot of looking and playing but not much buying. Still, it's fun to play good instruments. I'm at an age as a musician where I know what I want and not to many instruments sound the way I like.

I'm sure the Wife is happy that I'm not bringing home more stuff.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Not Funny and Funny

Two stories I'd like to relate. One I found sad and not funny, the other amused me. You figure out which.

I saw a teaser on the mid-day news that injuries as a result of computers in the home were up, especially among kids. My first thought was repetitive motion injuries, carpel tunnel, etc. The leading cause of computer related injuries? Nope. The injuries are a result of tripping over chords or having equipment falling on you. I'm sure the injury rate is similar to pet related injuries especially for those that own cats that are out to kill you like ours was. I swear she was trying to trip me intentionally when I walked down the stairs.

The second story concerns the NYS Senate. Democrats won control of that legistlative house in November after 40 years of Republican control. This week two Democrats changed parties giving control back to the Republicans. A Republican spokesman stated that now there can "finally" be "meaningful change" in Albany. It appears that the five months they spent in the minority allowed them to realize what they'd been doing wrong for the last 4 decades.

You decide.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Since I was totally bummed yesterday concerning the news of a band member leaving, I did what I usually do, I broke out my Bible. I happened to open to Mark chapter 5 and started reading. It's the story of Jesus healing the demoniac at Gerasene possessed by so many demons they called themselves Legion.

Reading it made me realize I had my own demons that need to be excorcized. Not so many as Legion, but certainly anger and fear. Those two particular demons, especially anger, have been tormenting me for years. Legion had so gripped the Geraenene that chains could not hold it. I know that all my efforts to restrain my demons have not always been successful. They still break free of the chains I put on them.

So I'm doing what the demoniac did. He prostrated himself before Jesus and asked him to drive the demons out. So that's what I'm doing. Asking Jesus to take these demons from me and leave me in my right mind. At the end of the story, Jesus told the demoniac to "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." I hope I'll be able to announce the same to my family. Certainly the Lord has done much for me in his pity so far.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Big disappointment

What the hell, if Julz can start blogging again regularly, so can I.

I got an email (addressed to the whole band) from the singer in our group (lovely tan gal in the blue shirt in the picture from last post) that she is resigning from the band. There's a lot of legitimate stuff she's feeling that led her to the decision. I understand because I've been in that situation myself in other bands. She's feeling that the band passed her by and she's not doing what she wants to do. I asked her to reconsider because it really won't be the same without her. However, I respect her decision either way.

So today I'm quite sad. She's one of the founding members of the group and it's never easy when someone you're close to moves on. We'll remain good friends, however, and I know I'll see her outside of the band either way.

Good luck Sue and may God go with you.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Boys weekend - Updated!

To start, I had a great anniversary (and I believe the Wife did as well). After we got the kids off to school, we went shopping, had a very nice lunch, looked at a new bicycle for the Wife, and then it was time to go home to meet the kids. I got her a very nice anniversary ring and a GPS. She's been mentioning how she could use a GPS for a while to everyone so I did get the hint. She got me a very nice card and a mind blowing roll in the sack. I think I got the better deal.

This weekend the Wife is off to camp with the girls. She and some of her lady friends are spending the weekend at a YMCA camp with no guys. There's all kinds of cool activities for her do to and best of all she leaves her 3 boys and her dog at home. We have a weekend of video games, playing a gig, and Edward Scissorhands planned. I'm pretty sure when she gets home she's going to find the house a total mess and the three of us in our underwear scratching our butts and watching sports. I highly encouraged her to go and have fun since she needs a weekend away. I considered it an extra anniversary gift.

Ain't I a great husband?

Wife Update: The Wife had a GREAT time camping! She hiked, had excellent food, got plenty of girl time, and even went kayaking! I should kick her out of the house more often.

Quick update. The boys grabbed a ton of great pictures from the gig. I must say the Rocker Guy (and the band) was ON! Anyway, it was a great gig and here's a couple of pictures for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Today is the Wife and I's 20's wedding anniversary. It seems like a long time and just a moment all wrapped into one. It is hard to imaging those 23 year old kids tying the knot thinking they were all grown up (which I'm sure we were at the time). However, even with all the ups and downs over the last 20 years, I wouldn't trade a minute. Not unexpectedly our relationship is not the same as it was when we started, but I'm still crazy for the lady and would do it all over again.

We both have the day off from work and are going to enjoy some time together while the boys are at school. I got her some kick ass gifts to mark the occasion so hopefully she likes them.

Happy 20th, lady. Looking forward to the next 30 years and more.