Friday, December 30, 2005

question of the day

do you really need a home computer?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Its just a small electrical problem

We left very early this morning to drop Ferris off at the airport.
It was about 5:00 a.m.. My wife and I were enjoying our first cup of coffee on the road while Ferris knotted off in the backseat.
We sipped our warm java and talked about silly things, as we tend to do, when the sunroof opened… by itself.
I closed it.
We looked at each other – odd.
It started to open again, this time I caught it before it got fully opened.
The last time it opened, it didn’t stop. It opened fully. And nothing we did would close it.
I feverishly pushed the buttons, then tugged at the glass, then pushed the button while tugging at the glass. Ferris was groaning in the back – of course he was pretty much getting cold air full in the face.
Luckily for us it was a balmy 33°.

After shivering for a short time, I fashioned a partial wind block from the back floor mat and a long ice scraper. This worked relatively well and we made the rest of the hour-long drive a bit chilly but without incident.

We saw Ferris off and waited for his plane to depart. It didn’t take long, maybe an hour and a half all told.
On the way back to the car we plotted on better ways to keep the air out on the way home, and joked that we were lucky it was not raining… or snowing.

In the car – I poured us a refill of warm coffee from the thermos I had prepared for the ride. My chilly wife started the car.
Tick tick tick.

You know that sound.
May as well have been.
Tsk tsk tsk.

I guess the sunroof never stopped trying – even tho the car was off.
During this time a guy was getting into his car in an adjacent space. There was no way he did not hear the ticking, or notice me standing outside of the car looking forlorn. He walked around his car a couple of times, putting things in the trunk and such, and then he left. Not a word, not even an acknowledgement. He could have simply looked up and said – sorry I don’t have cables… sheesh.
In the meantime, my patient wife continued to turn the key – every so often getting a grrrr out of the engine, making her more hopeful than worried.
I began wandering around looking for the ‘airport guy’.
I finally found him in his truck. On the side of the truck was lettered.
Airport Courtesy
Battery jumps, tire inflations…
And some other stuff I didn’t bother to read… I had my answer!

I asked for a jump.
The kind and willing to help ‘airport guy’ was a bit older than one might expect for someone having a job which may require heavy work in the bitter cold. So old in fact, he couldn’t quite squeeze the jumper grips wide enough to fit over the battery post, and he was shaking so badly that when he did manage to get them wide enough he kept missing his mark. It took all of my self-control not to grab the things from him. But he was a kind man, and so I waited.
While he was repeatedly attempting to attach the cables, I noticed the red clip was badly corroded. Our feeble, shaky airport guy overlooked this detail and continued on. Because of this corrosion he made several attempts to reconnect the cables on both his car and ours… each time repeating the shaking and the missing. I am so patient.
At one point, I suggested that the problem lie in the cable rather than the car, I did it in my best ‘I am only a woman suggesting to you the man what might only possibly be something you may want to consider which you probably were already considering because you are so clever’ voice.
He scraped off the cable until he got a spark, then again after missed several attempts, hooked them back up. The car turned over in a jiffy.
I reinstalled the car mat/ ice scraper wind block device, and off we went, bypassing the house and directly to the mechanic.
All is well now. The sunroof is closed – and disabled. We can revisit that in June.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Merry Joy Peace Love Cocktails

Have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Remember: don't drink if you are going to drive, don't drive if you are going to drink.

Get drunk stay put be merry (or be Mary...whatever brings you joy)


Thursday, December 22, 2005


The other night our toilet stopped functioning properly. Ferris and I spent some time diagnosing the problem. We found that water was outgoing fine but we were not getting any incoming.
The solution was to purchase all new 'guts' and rebuild.
I did this last night. I was so pleased.
Inexpensive and easy to do.
When I finished I stood up and danced around the toilet in Tom Hanks fashion chanting "Look, look what I have repaired!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Main Entry: cour•te•ous
Pronunciation: 'k&r-tE-&s, British also 'kor-
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English corteis, from Old French, from court
1 : marked by polished manners, gallantry, or ceremonial usage of a court
2 : marked by respect for and consideration of others
synonym see CIVIL

Pardon me,
No, no after you.
Allow me.
Would you mind if…

Common courtesy. That’s a catch phrase. Altho courtesy just isn’t so common any more. Remember chivalry. No. chivalry is not sexist.

Main Entry: chiv•al•rous
Pronunciation: 'shi-v&l-r&s
Function: adjective
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of chivalry and knight-errantry
3 a : marked by honor, generosity, and courtesy b : marked by gracious courtesy and high-minded consideration especially to women

The basic premise behind chivalry is not sexist, its being aware of those around you. (“high-minded consideration”), its courtesy. Look at the classic old-movie-chivalrous-act -- a man throwing his overcoat over puddle so that the woman can walk on it. Ok.. sure – this wouldn’t happen today for a myriad of reasons – but the point is, the man was aware of his surroundings and noted its immediate affect on another person and then strove to alleviate that other persons discomfort. You can apply this same theory today. Just don’t be throwing your overcoat on the ground… especially if its wool. (hmm, Friday tip idea).
This theory can be used behind the wheel too. Allowing someone to go first makes you feel good. Driving is not a competition. It doesn’t matter who is in front or who gets there first.
I tend to be chivalrous. I suppose it’s somewhat unsuspected in a woman…but I am a lesbian so the bar is raised. I also appreciate being treated that way in return, by men or women… altho in reality it is almost always by a man.
As I said the act of chivalry is not sexist and therefore I do not treat it as a sexist act. It’s a thoughtful act.
When a man quickens his step ever so slightly as to reach the door before me, I respond by slowing just enough, and then thanking him and smiling at his gesture. When a man reaches his arm over the elevator door to keep if from closing on me (which we know is impossible with modern technology) I am gracious when I enter. I acknowledge his kindness, regardless of its actual benefit. These kind men are being gracious and thoughtful. It is the least I can do to be thankful in return.

Now, please pardon me, as I need to excuse myself to attend to another matter. It’s been ever so lovely blogging with you this afternoon, we simply must blog again soon.
Thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Our Free Dog

Last year I told the long and sordid tale of a puppy we acquired at our local pound for free, and how she actually ended up costing us thousands of dollars over the first couple years of her life. I often refer to her as our ‘special needs’ dog, as she has traits that can make her hard to handle in certain situations.
Lately tho, my thoughtful wife has been gently trying to help me see the Free dog for what she really is. A very well behaved good friend.

So let me just take a moment to expound on her finer qualities, and to say right here…in writing… officially – that despite the shedding, the occasionally foul odor, and ruined hardwood floors – that I am really quite fond of her.
It occurred to me this morning as I walked out for work – that she really is an amazing dog, or as the daughter calls her our ‘angel puppy’.
For example, what prompted this whole train of thought:
My handy wife has removed the doors to our snack pantry to paint them. This pantry is basically a lower cabinet; chock full of tasty snacks such as crackers, nuts, raisins, and other yummy treats. The doors have been off for three days. The food is untouched.

Our free dog has the run of the house when we are away at work each day. There are times when she may be alone for up to 8 hours.
She has never slept on the furniture…any furniture.
The one time she had an accident the house – she was ill, and went up to the bathroom to do it.

When she wants to go out – she will sit and stare at the door and wait. When she wants to come in she will bark once and sit and wait on the other side of the door.

She sits quietly in the back seat of the car – even with the top down on my convertible.
(well, we do hold the leash in case we pass a dog… that would be just too much to ask).

She heels on her leash. While we do need to have tactical measures when passing other dogs – she calmly passes screaming children, loud teens, runners and cyclists.

I once told her she needed to go around the flower garden instead of through it, making a circling motion with my arm, explaining myself in plain english. Imagine if you will how ridiculous we looked, me talking to her … gesturing and she looking intently with her head cocked, and one ear perked up. And then…. she went around.

And finally, every day - whether waking in the morning or coming home in the evening, I can expect a greeting of pure joy, pure happiness, pure love – no matter what, no matter when.

Merry Christmas Free Dog.

Friday, December 16, 2005



Do you forget your lunch bag in the office fridge, or run out to the store at lunch then forget to bring your purchases home?

Put your keys in the bag.

I promise you won't forget your stuff then. (however, you will most likely get to the car once or twice without them)


so sorry... here are the links I had mentioned

Heifer International - Ending Hunger, Caring for the Earth

One - The Campaign to Make Poverty History

Unicef - For every child... Health, Education, Equality, Protection.

DATA - debt AIDS trade africa

or discover your own

(tip-o-day...coming this afternoon)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas shopping

We do very little holiday shopping. In our family we give holiday gifts only to children. We have long since stopped trying to find the ‘perfect’ gift for friends and relatives so that they in turn will find the ‘perfect’ gift for us. The perfect gifts are given accompanied by gift receipts so that the perfect gift may be returned or exchanged. It all basically comes down to shopping for yourself for the perfect gift.
I hope you wanted to shop.
Hmm, can you feel the love?

Putting the shopping aside – Christmas is a religious holiday. Yup, not kidding – remember the crèche.
I am not a religious person. (altho my angelic wife will tell you I am spiritual). I am Italian…that makes me Catholic by default, or at least …Christian by descent.
Let’s just say I am not a practicing Christian, in that I don’t attend church on Easter and Christmas (which are evidently the minimum requirements for belonging).
But I do know the stories, and I sing the carols (because I like to sing – even tho those around me wish I didn’t). I know that Christmas is about the birth of Christ. (atlho..yes technically he was born closer to February and the date was moved to better coincide with the end of the planting season… but hey – we move all kinds of holidays to Mondays to coincide with weekends…so really what’s in a day). Ok ..back to the birth thing… If you are a Christian – then you see Christ as your Savior…yes? Ok then – the concept of a scarf for Aunt Mary or a Chia pet for Cousin Ned on Christ’s birthday eludes me. (ah..Chia pet – got you thinking now don’t I). ‘Christian’ defined means a follower of Christ, however we have come to know a more colloquial definition for the term Christian – to be kind and good hearted and welcoming to all. True – this may not be practiced, but it is an accepted and common use of the word.
So Christmas being the BIG Christian Holiday – let’s be Christian …
Be kind – stop yelling at each other in the mall. Be good hearted – give to those in need (which is probably not your cousin Earl). Be accepting – love someone this year that you thought you couldn’t.
If you have extra money this holiday – why buy a pear-shaped-trivet that will likely be hidden for a year before its tossed – give your money to someone who needs money. (I have happily listed some links for you to visit below). If you don’t have any money… then you shouldn’t be out shopping anyway. Go to a shelter. Help them serve a meal, help them take out the trash, play a game of checkers with a kid. Walk a dog at the pound. Shovel your neighbors walk. That’s free. That’s Christian.
Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

...and for today

a:\ format c:

Are you sure?


Monday, December 12, 2005

Friday, December 09, 2005



Got snow?

If you will be out shoveling like so many today (well, except for those of us with behemoth snow throwers) - remember, push the snow - its much easier on the heart than picking it up and tossing. With a big storm, don't let it all pile up. Go out and clear the driveway and paths several times if needed. This way you are only removing a couple inches at a time. It’s a great cardiovascular workout without begin dangerous.
And for those of you scoffing right now...
Marie, our 78 year old neighbor, has cleared her driveway twice so far today.
With a shovel.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Weather Man*

Meteorological technology has really come a long way. I think it’s pretty amazing that we can predict the weather so far in advance. On you can get weather details for 10 days from now. That’s pretty far out tho – so you have to take it as what it is – an educated guess.
But I really don’t understand why everyone gets mad at weathermen when they don’t nail the forecast.
The key word here is ‘forecast’.
Lets look to Websters…
Main Entry: fore•cast
Pronunciation: -"kast; fOr-'kast, for-'
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): forecast also fore•cast•ed; fore•cast•ing
transitive senses
1 a : to calculate or predict (some future event or condition) usually as a result of study and analysis of available pertinent data; especially : to predict (weather conditions) on the basis of correlated meteorological observations b : to indicate as likely to occur
2 : to serve as a forecast of : PRESAGE
intransitive senses : to calculate the future
synonym see FORETELL
- fore•cast•able /-"kas-t&-b&l/ adjective
- fore•cast•er noun

I see ‘likely to occur’. Do you see that? Do I need to get the definition for 'likely'?

So … now when the wind – controlled by forces greater than network TV – shifts and an approaching storm changes paths and we get more, or less of whatever it was that was ‘forecast’ to be coming our way… does it make you feel better to say the weatherman is an idiot?

* 'Man' is used figuratively

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's all about the snow now

Before committing to a life long relationship you really should make sure that you and your prospective life partner share the same beliefs. You should have open and honest discussions about child rearing, religion, shared responsibilities and if you live in the Northeast you will want to discuss your feelings on snow removal. Common beliefs on snow removal won’t guarantee a long and happy relationship – but it will sure help.
We had friends (who have since moved south) who felt that snow shovels and tall boots were redundant. I don’t know if you have ever visited the home of friends who don’t shovel in say…. February – let me tell you it’s a challenge. But… since they both felt the same way, icy sidewalks and cars getting stuck in the driveway was not a point of contention for them.

One of the reasons my wife and I are still happily together after all these years is we are symbiotic snow removers. Yesterday’s 2 inch spritz was removed by shovel. We didn’t even need to discuss shovel vs. snowthrower – we just both picked up our respective shovels (my wife uses one of those odd looking back saver shovels) and started clearing.
With no discussion we set about clearing the driveway first – being careful to push the snow back a foot or so onto the grass. This is our standard method especially early in the season. It gives room for future storms as well as allows the snow to melt into the grass and flow onto the driveway where it can refreeze. Once the driveway was done, we each went around to other various areas to clear. All entry ways are cleared, even tho we really only use one. The patio is cleared, all gates to the fenced backyard are cleared for access, the garbage cans are shoveled out and all around the wood bin behind the garage is also done. Walkways are shoveled to their full width…not just a path the width of the shovel. We both feel this is civilized.
We are perfect for each other.
It’s going to snow again tonight.

Friday, December 02, 2005



Will you be murdering a live tree to bring into your home this holiday season?
As barbaric as we are beginning to believe this is… we will too.

We’re just not ready to let go yet. While traditional – the world population has grown so much that cutting down trees in such enourmous numbers just to bring them into the house for a couple weeks then throw them out in plastic bags to go to the dump is starting to seem a little foolish.
I will pause here while you call me Grinch and boo.......

I imagine the plastic tree is just around the corner for us. It just makes more environmental sense.
The other option – which is a bit trickier, is getting a truly live tree in a burlap ball. This takes more planning, especially here in the northeast where you would need to dig your planting hole ahead of time - before the ground freezes. Also with this type of tree you can really only have it in the house for a very short time, otherwise it will start to think its spring when it should be staying dormant for the winter.

I suppose we could abolish the tree entirely, but then our children will disown us and go have Christmas with another family.

Soooo, your tip for today is tree care.

To keep your recently murdered tree fresh- the most important thing is water. You may have heard of folks using aspirin or sugar or even bleach added to the water to keep a tree fresher longer. Really these are unnecessary. Keeping the tree moist is the key.

When you bring you tree home – if you are not going to put it up right away – put it in a bucket of water in a shady spot outside until you are ready. If you did not cut the tree yourself, cut about ½ inch off the trunk to allow water to be drawn into the wood.
Once the tree is in the stand be sure it has water ALL the time. A tree can drink up to 1 gallon of water a day, especially in the first few days its up.
Check the tree before you go to bed and again when you wake up.
If the water runs dry – the tree trunk will sap over and the tree will no longer draw water, and it will dry up to a crisp and loose its needles in a big pile on the floor and become a fire hazard as well as an eyesore. If this happens you may be able to get it to drink again by either peeling some of the bark off or drilling into the trunk below water level.

Remember, keep trees away from heat sources and NEVER put the tree next to the fireplace no matter how romantic it looks. One tiny spark and WHOOSH. Christmas trees will burn faster than you can get to your fire extinguisher (you DO have a fire extinguisher on each floor of your home…right?!)
And for those of you celebrating both Christmas and Hanukah this December 25th – please light your menorah on the other side of the room from your Christmas tree.
This is not religious segregation…just good common sense.

Joy and peace.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's 6:30, do you know where your SQA is?

It's 6:30p.m. and I am still at work.
I got here at 6:45a.m.

You may now begin to shower me with sympathy.
(well except for you Brenda (who is still here too)).

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This is what we asked for

My activist wife became a JP in our town last year in anticipation of Connecticut’s new civil union law. Really what she had in mind originally was to be able to perform a civil union ceremony for our dearest friends sometime next year. But guess what – the phone has been ringing with a steady stream of couples wanting to ‘unionize’. It’s very exciting. My wife gets verklempt at the each one.

Mostly it’s been couples who have been together for many years wanting to legalize their already committed relationships. Some choose to do it on their anniversary dates – this is something my wife and I are also planning to do next summer.
This past week she got a call from these two crazy kids who wanna hitch up right away. They are young and been together only a short time ( a very short time ). So of course the old fogy in me immediately starts with…they are too young, rushing too fast, not thinking ahead, planning for the future. What happened to long engagements?
Then after some ranting, I stopped, and I realized. This is what we asked for. This is the true beauty of what we asked for. A young, lustful gay couple can make the same silly mistakes as anyone else. Bless them. Bless them for making us normal.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Because she loves the whole holiday season

We are the first in our neighborhood to have our lights up...

My wife LOVES the weekend after Thanksgiving. It's when the kids finally let her listen to Christmas music and start decorating.

Ho ho ho.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wednesday is Friday


Today's Tip is for Turkey day.
Do you like a nice thick, smooth gravy on your spuds and foul? Did you know that your thickening agent lumps because of the heat when you add it to the turkey drippings? To avoid this lumpy mess - get a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Add your flour (or cornstarch if you use that) to some cool water and shake vigorously. Be sure its well dissolved and a consistency to pour smoothly. Then in your turkey pan (the one you just pulled the bird from) over medium heat you can slowly add this mixture and cook and thicken - lump free. Add slowly, it may thicken more than you expect. I always reserve a small amount of juices on the side, just in case I over-thicken I can adjust.

Eat 'till you burst.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

New Digs

I moved to a new cubicle today. Well my whole department is moving actually.
The company is growing, so alot of us are getting shuffled around.
Moving is good. Its a chance to purge and re-organized. Plus... these cubicles get sooo dusty, its just good to abandon them now and again.

My new cubicle is quite lovely, altho its not actually new. We got a deal ... a 'gently' used deal. I do beg to differ on the 'gently' part - there more than a few scrapes and bangs. But, with enough tacky cube decor - that shouldn't really matter.
The cubes are beige - very BEIGE. Beige walls, beige work surfaces, beige cabinets. All very beige, except for these new BIG black chairs. The chairs are fabulous. They are brand new, right out of the box, lots-o-chair control levers. Our group is the envy of the entire floor now...because of the new chairs. Pathetic as that may be.

I had the brain-rotting fluorescent lights above my cubicle removed. Fluorescent lights are very bad for my chi. Luckily, I am seating near and around others who worship the dark as well. We will all sit here in the back, in the dark with our little ceramic heaters fired up. We are like mushrooms.

I will be having a space clearing in here later ...just to whisk out any left over bad energy that may be kicking around. You really never know what you are getting when you buy these things used -you can't be too careful.
If these cubes could talk...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Welp. Iths done.

(Sorry I missed tip of the day last week.– I will do a tip of the day on Wednesday this week for the long weekend.)
I am not even sure how many shots of Novocain it actually took. I remember 4 of them clearly. The nerve just wouldn’t get numb. Every thing else was getting numb but not that persnickety nerve. So finally – he just cranked the gas waaayyyy up, exposed the nerve and doused it directly. I felt it…but the gas was soooo high, well actually I was soooo high – that it just didn’t matter. My eye got droopy again but my throat wasn’t as bad so I could speak and swallow. So we went ahead and did the root canal.
While the gas was turned way up I could hear him saying he had never seen anything like this – the root was so deep and there were four roots where he expected 3.
I am a dental freak.
So now it’s done, and I am still numb. He offered me vicadin for the afternoon. Sadly it makes me sick… so no more good drugs for me today. A little ibuprophen and we’ll call it a day. Let’s see what happens when the Novocain wears off.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A little to the left please

oops - he missed.
My dentist.
Evidently I have a nerve just behind my jaw which controls my eye and part of my throat. When this nerve is hit, accidentally, by a large dose of novocaine - the result is a very droopy eye and the inability to swallow...or speak for that matter.
This is what happened today when I went to get my tooth fixed.
I knew right away, as it happened to me once before. I could feel my eye sag immediately. When I asked the hygenist for magazine, that's when I noticed I could not speak. The not being able to swallow thing is the scariest part. I will admit I did get a bit nervous initially. My dentist is very calming and sat with me to ease my nerves. He was willing to do the procedure anyway - but I opted out. The not swallowing thing was too freaky.
So - no dental work for me today. I almost have my voice back now, and my eye no longer looks like I have had a stroke (wish I had my digital camera on me)
but I can't really swallow yet, and almost drown on my last sip of water.
I go back tomorrow morning for another shot at it (and I mean that literally).
Lets see how that goes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Clearly its time for my dentist to get a new car, or perhaps a vacation in Maui…maybe a cruise.
I have another tooth in distress. Cold, hot, pressure – everything hurts.
I have not been having good luck with these back molars of mine. They are all filled to the hilt with silver. It was all the rage back in the 60’s.
Now these huge fillings are failing one by one. Gotta give’em credit – most of them have been going strong for over 30 years. So who am I to complain really?

I have had two root canals so far. One was disastrous. I had to visit an oral surgeon. We ended up having a long relationship. On my first visit they asked if I wanted Novocain, gas or intravenous valium. I chidingly asked for all three. When I arrived at the office…they gave me all three. My, my that was pleasant. After that I tried gas and Novocain - which was nice; then I was getting so used to the procedures... just Novocain.
But after many attempts to save the tooth – I finally had to have it pulled. By many attempts I mean they kept cutting open my gum and scraping and poking around at the roots and bone in there– they call this a flap. I will give you a moment to visualize this. (Can you see why I wanted happy gas?) Then they would stitch it up and hope it healed up nicely. This just wasn’t happening so I had just had enough and was ready to live without the tooth. It’s a top-back molar with very little visibility so I have not had it replaced (the bone was so badly damaged I just couldn’t see messing around up there anymore). It pits an olive in a jiffy – so I kinda like it.

I am going to the dentist tomorrow, so he can get to the car dealership before the weekend.
Whatever the course of action I can almost guarantee it will involve Happy Gas.
Oooo I love my nitrous.
My dentist says it makes me a better patient. So much so in fact, sometimes he doesn’t even charge me for it. Happy gas is not covered by my insurance, because my insurance is clearly for hardy people who don’t need to be coddled in the dentist’s chair.
Once, last year – they turned it up waaayy too high. Wheeeeeeeee. But the hygienist noticed I was a bit over the top and adjusted me back down to earth.
O that is some good stuff.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Those aren’t my leaves

Ahhh, the burbs.
And so we begin the annual leaf swap. This is where you either rake all the leaves in your yard – only to be replaced by your neighbors leaves (Heeyyy, those aren’t my leaves).
Or you wait… until everyone else is done and become the bane of the neighborhood (Nope, those aren’t my leaves).

A favorite sport of mine is raking on a really windy day. Makes for a good spectator sport as well.

On Sunday, my strong wife and I were out raking the leaves. When we were done with the side yard she suggested we go rake in front of the stone wall. I told her no worry – all taken care of. I was smirking.
My neighbor has the coveted Cyclone Rake… so with my tractor; I blew the leaves from our front yard out into the road. The cars speeding by whisked them away to the neighbor’s front yard.
Tee hee.
All is fair in love and leaves.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Doesn't it smell great outside in the Fall.
Bring it inside. Take your comforter, spread, or blanket and hang it out on the line first thing in the morning. Bring it in after the dew rises (be sure its not damp).
it will freshen up your room for days.
Do the same with curtains or drapes in between regular cleanings. A gently breeze will shake off any dust and they will freshen up any room.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Fiscal Planning

Let me clarify that my regular …and oh so subtle hints about acquiring the CycloneRake are not directed toward my generous wife. Rather I was hoping one of you might kick in.

In our democratic household a purchase of such magnitude would be decided before committee. That committee being my financial wizard of wife and me. This particular item would fall into the ‘capital purchase’ category (have you seen the price of that thing), and currently does not fit into this years fiscal plan. We have been approved however for the purchase of new rakes.

There are a number of items on the table for this upcoming fiscal year to be brought before the committee and voted upon. These include a wide array of projects and purchases, some so exciting as re-sealing the driveway, or having the chimney rebuilt. Also on the list this year is Ferris’ higher education. That will require a sub-budget committee and possibly special council from the daughter who comes highly qualified with her years of under and post graduate experiences. She can help us hone the art of balancing financial aid, dorm supplies and beer allowances.
There are fun things on the list of considered items such as new counters and some new kitchen appliances (yes, we find these fun) – altho these are often pushed to the bottom of the list during the meetings. These meetings take place regularly and often are unscheduled. There are always cocktails at these meetings, and sometimes snacks. You might think that cocktails would increase spending, but we have found the contrary. A cold beer and a fine glass of wine enjoyed on the covered porch or in front of the fire in the winter is just the thing to make us realize – hey, its all good, who needs new counters or a stove where all the burners work, we are happy, we love our lives.

And for anyone who would like to contribute to the CycloneRake fund – I do have a PayPal account.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Danced the night away

There is a fabulous event here in southern Connecticut called Stephanie’s Living Room.
It’s a lesbian dance that’s held, almost monthly, at a local hotel in one of their big reception rooms -- basically a DJ, a bar and a lot of women.

Evidently, back in the 80’s a woman named Stephanie started a monthly get together at her house for lesbians looking for a night out. Word spread like wildfire and these house parties soon became 150 or more with people spilling out onto the lawn. They soon realized the need, and took the event to greater heights. Today it’s still going strong.

Saturday night my wife who-loves-to-dance and I went to this event. This is probably the 4th or 5th one that we have gone too. It was fab. There were easily a couple hundred women there. Saw a couple people we knew, had some beers, and we were even recognized by a fellow blogger (who will remain anonymous, unless she cares to disclose her identity in comment). Oh, and we danced…..

The Fairfield County Weekly names Stephanie's Living Room "Best Place to Dance the Electric Slide with your High School Gym Teacher."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yhah yhah yho yho yhay yhay yho yho

I am doing a leaf chant.
It's November people - the leaves are green and still clinging to their branches for dear life.
This is not 'normal'. The whole peak color thing is supposed to be done and gone by now. Now is the time for leaf removal. Many of us here in the Northeast still use the more primitive method of removal called - 'raking leaves'. This is a somewhat tedious and strenuous task, and for those of us with many trees also time consuming.
However, in order to rake leaves we need for said leaves to be on the ground. It is also immeasurably helpful if these leaves are not under snow when we are trying to rake them. We call this a window of opportunity -- leaves on the ground, no snow on the leaves.
The window is closing. We are waiting with great anticipation.

altho... I understand if you have one of these, snow is less of an issue - as this will remove 'wet' leaves with ease.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

writingwomyn november collab

Dear William,

I am writing, because I cannot tell you in person, to share with you the effects our short relationship had on my life.
Most of what I know about you is from stories that people tell me. Not only people in our family but others who knew you, have made it a point over the years to let me know that you were a great man. Highly intelligent, clever and warm. A kind man. A man with an amazing sense of humor, and an ease about you that made people instantly comfortable, instantly friends.

We knew each other for such a short time, and I was so young that my memories of you are hazy at best. The memories have always come to me like old black and white movies, snippets really, short bursts of time. But even now, as the memories fade despite my efforts to try to keep them, I think of you often.
Mom is always saying I have your sense of humor and she tears up when she tells me how fun it would have been for you to know me now, as an adult. How we may banter with our wit. You were witty she tells me. I know I am.

Grandma told me how you changed the spelling of your last name, to get work. Italians were not highly regarded professors at the time, but a simple change of and ‘i’ to an ‘e’ made the difference. It got you in the door for the interview. You taught me to be resourceful.

I remember in 7th grade history… a class I had no interest in…and even less interest in my teacher – until he said-- out of the blue one day in front of the class, that you were his professor in college, and that he learned more from you than any teacher before.
You taught me to earn respect by being the best at whatever I chose to do.

Uncle Nick told me you turned down a seat on the bench, so you could continue to teach. Even tho you were already struggling on that meager teachers salarly. Because that was your gift, your love. You taught me to do what I love.

Mom says you used to laugh when she would worry about the bills and debt and all the things you needed with small children -- you laughed because you knew it was only money, and that it would all work out. You taught me that love and family are truly more important than income.

At the university, where you taught and where I earned my degree – I visited the room in the alumni hall dedicated to you, with your name on the door, and that painting of you hanging on the wall. You taught me to be proud, you taught me to work hard.

Thanks Dad.
William Biaggio DiSiero
1918 - 1965

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


We watched The Exorcist last night, the original with Linda Blair.
I saw the movie as a teenager some… hmm… well that’s gotta be huh… yeah, almost 30 years ago. So, obviously, I didn’t really remember much. Fantastic movie. Much funnier than I remembered as a teen.
To get into the spooky spirit my Halloween-lovin’ wife turned off all the lights and lit candles. Although at our age – rather than making it spooky, we were falling asleep during the exorcism.
After the movie we were tidying up the kitchen before going up to bed, and heard the toilet flush upstairs. We were the only ones home.
The really scary part is that we have known about this for weeks, and have yet to go to the hardware store to buy the parts to fix it. Yeah, you got it – it’s just the flap is not sealing tightly anymore causing a small, slow leak which eventually lets the float ball drop triggering the valve to open and refill the tank. Boo.
We did consider filling a vial with toilet water, standing around the demon possessed tank and chanting “The power of Plumbing compels you. The power of Plumbing compels you.”

Monday, October 31, 2005


I like the Fall. And despite the fact that I am not a huge fan of cold weather I like the winter. Winter is a time healing and respite for me. I suppose it’s like hibernating. It’s down time.
The fall is the preparation for this down time, and I am all about preparation.
I find something very comforting in performing the ritual maintenance of preparing for the long cold winter. Stacking and storing wood, for example, while puritan is still a favorite.
Sure, there are colors and pumpkins and costume parties – but for me it’s more about the winding down. Even the smell of fall starts to set my internal clock in motion.
As the days get shorter my body knows to rest more. The long days of summer draw us outside for chores or late evening entertaining. Summer is the gregarious season.
The dark afternoons of the winter suggest a closeness. I revel in this.
My moods, luckily, are unaffected by the short days, I actually like them. The dark settles me in at home in the evenings.
And so with all the activity and long days of fun in the summer over and done, I look forward to my respite.
Fall is anticipation. Can you smell it?

(oh, one thing tho… I (still) really, really, really want THIS.

writingwomyn october collaboration

Friday, October 28, 2005


We interrupt our regularly scheduled tip-o-day - to bring you:

the final day of Spirit Week.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Quarter of a Century

That is a long time.

Happy Happy Birthday
to our 'oldest' child.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Its that time again.

Spirit Week.
Day 1 for seniors is 'black' day.
Most of the kids will wear black today.

of course...Ferris will always take that one (HUGE) step further.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Ooo shiny…

Well we finally got the whole Hi D ef thing going on the newly acquired wide screen TV. Of course it costs more, we had to get a new box, and add service for a monthly charge and buy a new cable… but…wow.
Oh sure there are only a handful of channels that actually broadcast in H iDef .
But… wow.

The 49ers game was amazing. Oh sure – they lost…but they looked phenomenal.
And we missed a whole lot of dialogue during West Wing last night because we were so awestruck by the picture. And you know... you can’t miss dialogue in West Wing and expect to keep up. I missed an entire scene (well, my wife missed it too because of my voice-over commentary) because I was so amazed at the wrinkles in CJ’s face. And without H D it would never have occurred to me that Abby should stop wearing sleeveless.
Then we stayed up late watching an episode of Rome that we had already seen before – simply because we were mesmerized…ooo the colors…oooo…

Friday, October 21, 2005


I just wanted you all to know that every day I try my best to conserve on my own personal usage of natural (and I suppose sometimes un-natural) resources. Not running water unnecessarily. Using as few paper towels as possible, letting my hands air dry (not forced air…just regular air – the stuff that surrounds us) when I can. Using the backs of printed paper to jot notes and do calculations etc. Reusing snack bags for my lunch (thank my conservative wife for that one, a woman who can make so many delicious meals from one turkey). Turning things off, especially here at the office where many items are left on when they are not being used.

I am not preaching – I am concerned.

So your tip for today is … conserve – any way you can.
Thank you.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


The words I posted yesterday simply came to me... not in a sentence, not in the context of any thing happening around me at the time. They both popped into my head as single words while I was putting around on Tuesday, perhaps doing laundry or washing a dish.
This intrigues me.

To those of you who wrote sentences...bravo - very well done, very clever. But participation was low -- too much like the SAT's? what?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Discuss amongst yourselves



If you like - please use them in a sentence.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Too much news

Am I just paying attention more than usual…or is there a rash of natural disasters and other events of epic proportions?

Hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, deadly flooding, the White Sox in the world series, bird flu, polio…

I am already tilted toward the paranoid side – so I thinking… the apocalypse is coming.

That said - I still need stop at the drycleaners, run to the grocery store and vacuum when I get home from work.

oh! and... In the Sunday paper's wedding section we saw the first Civil Union announcement!!

Friday, October 14, 2005


Another handy measuring tip for today.

Here is an easy way to measure equal spaces for any length.
Let’s say you are building a bookcase and you would like 5 evenly spaced shelves, and your finished height is 9’ 7¼”.
Not to worry.
Take your board and start your tape measure on the bottom and draw it up diagonally across the board until you rest at an easy to work with number at the top. In this case – move diagonally until you hit 10’.

Now, simply tick off 2’ intervals.

Think outside of the bookcase, and those fractionally challenged can apply this same method to dividing an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper.

(and yes David, technically… this gives you 6 shelves – but you get my point)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

the party is over

I stepped onto the scale this morning.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I sent an email to my boss first thing this morning:


Need to take an ‘emergency ½ PTO day’.
It’s cold and drizzly, [my wife] is home from work, we are having pie for dinner.
I am 44 today.

Life is grand.

Monday, October 10, 2005


We took our annual wine tasting adventure yesterday. We had a fabulous time with our dear friends.
We ‘tasted’ A LOT of wine.
I am not a wine drinker…but I taste them all.
During the tasting– the sommelier always provides a bucket or jar for you to dispose of any wine that you are not particularly enamored with.
Not me. If I don’t like it – I just shoot it back. No wine is wasted on me.

Friday, October 07, 2005



Today's tip is for me!
From Ed and Bruce - who sent me advice and links to assist in 'cableing up' this new jagumbo TV (see yesterday's comments).

I never expected my rant to garner good advice.
I am so pleased.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


When we were young we had all the latest gadgets and top notch electronics.
Remember Beta format video tapes? – yeah…we had a top of the line player.
One day, my wife and I were walking through Sears at the beginning of football season. She spied a mammoth TV. We found a salesman, pointed and asked – can that be delivered before Sunday’s games. That was 15 years ago, and the TV was a 32” Sony with picture in picture. It was cutting edge technology …at the time.

Well last week we ‘acquired’ a new TV. It didn’t fall off a truck or anything, just a good deal through a friend came our way. We were not really in the market for a TV. The ‘32” cutting edge of technology TV’ was still in the living room. Granted – the picture in picture didn’t work any more… and for that matter neither did the tuner – but hooked up to a cable box it’s been fine for all these years.

Do you have any idea what a 32” TV weighs? A lot.
So much so in fact, that the two of us together cannot really lift it. We sorta scootched it onto the little red Radio Flyer wagon. Then spent quite some time fashioning a ramp to get it out of the house. It’s in the garage right now…still on the wagon. It’s fate is yet to be determined.

As are most TV’s these days – the new one is HDTV.
HDTV is somewhat elusive. The TV needs to have a certain set of features and of course the broadcast must be in High Def and evidently, if you want to watch it in the wide format and not have short, fat people – you also need a ‘special’ cable. This ‘special’ cable is a hundred bucks. C’mon people – it’s some wire and a couple of connection jacks. How could a cable POSSIBLY cost a hundred dollars? The materials are probably about ¢.03 a foot.
Needless to say – we do not yet have this magic cable. I may try to make one myself out of scraps in the basement.

I had to laugh last night – we were in our favorite neighborhood sports bar (family Wednesday Wings night), they have TV’s all over the place. Watching the ball game on their huge wide screen at the end of the bar I noticed all the players were short and fat.

Monday, October 03, 2005


I am always giving advice and yet I miss the blatant signs right in my own backyard.
Like the old adage – the shoemakers’ children are always barefoot.
I am embarrassed…even ashamed. And now, of course I have to live with the repercussions. Not to mention what I am putting my family through.

It’s not like we can hide it anymore. It’s out there… for everyone to see.
I can’t help going over and over it again in my head. How did I miss all the warning signs? They were there, and now that I look back I can see how clear as day it was really. But I just ignored them, until now it’s gotten so bad that making things better will take weeks…maybe months

At this point, all I can do is hang my head in shame and hope that I can make amends in the spring. Yup. I will have to wait until spring ... it’s too late to solve a problem this big now. It’s all about timing you know. I have advised countless friends on the importance of timing. And yet I failed to heed my own warnings. Not only that but I tried to blame the drought for my problems….when clearly – the grass was dying because of grubs.
There – I have said it out loud. I have grubs.

Ooo the horror of it.

Friday, September 30, 2005



When installing floor and ceiling trim, it’s important to get very accurate measurements. If you are not really good at reading a tape measure when it’s bent into a corner (or if, like me, you are not wearing your Wal-Mart special magno-granny glasses), here’s another way.
Cut a block of baseboard trim to a known length (say 4”) and measure to that, then add it to your final measure. This same block can be used on outside corners as well as they can be tricky to eyeball.
You can also use your block to jot down your measurements.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

bit of a storm blowin' in

If you read me at all – you know I am a bit of a homebody, and I have alluded several times to my RainMan like tendencies…
Today, right now, while I am at work, there is a storm blowing in. I love the whole ‘storm blowing in’ thing, for those shell shocked out there… I don’t mean a Katrina-type storm – just your run of the mill, gonna be rainy and windy, probably a good idea to take in the lawn chairs sorta storm.

I just got back from a walk and it was fantastic. The wind is warm and strong, strong enough where you tend to lean into it a bit, there is a drop every once in a while and the sky is alive with motion The real rain has not started yet – but is imminent. This is really the best part.

The RainMan part is … well, I like to be home when a storm is coming. This is not fear. It’s a desire. I enjoy storms and like to be home when they come. I am familiar with their trek across our sky there. My brave wife and I will often sit on the covered porch (not screened Suzanne), which faces in the direction of most incoming weather. For us, most weather approaches us from the west-northwest. My wife is brave because if lighting strikes too close I scurry inside, while she remains out there laughing in the face of danger (we have seen this behavior before in her)
As I said… I like to be home in a storm. And I mean ‘like to’ in the strongest sense of the word that is just shy of ‘need to’.
So while I do love a storm, and as I type I can hear that the strong rains have come, I will be a little tense this afternoon, a little uneasy, a little out of step… just until I get home.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Blinded by the light

On my way into work this morning, at 7:05 to be precise, I was driving up a hill, following, but not to closely, a short line of cars and suddenly we found ourselves pointing in just he right direction, at just the right angle and pitch so as to completely and utterly BLIND us by the sun as we were nearing the crest.

So what does the person in front do... stop. Just stop.
Which is fine, its probably smart to stop when you can't see ...except for the fact that the cars behind the stopped car are also blinded, and therefore cannot see the stopped car.

It is a miracle no one got rear ended.

I wonder if I were to write to the public works department about this situation if they could come up with a creative solution.

Until then.. I think I need to adjust my travel time accordingly.
I will of course need to take into account the everchanging orbit of the earth and its axis tilt so that I can stay ahead of or behind its continual season adjustments.
hmm - this will require some internet research, I will need to synch up with the atomic clock, I may need a spreadsheet and a quadrant, a compass....

Monday, September 26, 2005


My wife has a way of helping me to notice and embrace balance in my life.

We got our first heating bill of the season this weekend.
Yes, it’s astronomical.
Panic began to set in… with bills like this and gasoline so expensive … it’s going to be a hard winter….

That same day I received NORMAL results on my latest mammogram. Not that I was expecting any abnormal results. But who does really. And …that’s the point. Be thankful even when you are expecting good results.

Friday, September 23, 2005



This is in honor of all those folks evacuated/ing. [Especially E and Max]

Keep a small fire safe box. The kind with a handle that is small enough to grab and take with you. In it, keep your most important papers (will's, birth certificates, passports), and wad of cash.
This box will be small enough to grab if you have some time to gather things, or if disaster should strike without warning - it will be safe until you can locate it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

candles, wrapping paper, popcorn tins and cream pies

Enough with the fund raising all ready.
Is it 'That time of year' at your office too?

We are inundated with brochures for Bobby's Cub Scouts or Sally's Soccer Team, and Joey's third grade class trip to Europe... even the Pre-Schools are jumping into the game.

The public schools are already getting my tax dollars.
Back in the day - going to public school was free because you paid taxes.
Now we pay fees on top of the increasing taxes we are already tossing into the system - there are sports fees for refs and equipment, fees for clubs, fees for parking (yup... a parking pass at our high school costs $75). Then there are fees to attend the event. You can't even go sit in the gym to watch a wresting match without paying a cover charge, not to mention the bake sale or concessions. And then ...they want us to buy wrapping paper. Someone else is gonna have to foot this bill.

Monday, September 19, 2005

are you ready for some Football?

I am wearing this shirt today, at the office.

I just love it when people as who Weese is.
I tell a different story each time. Usually along the lines of...
Um, duh..the best running back the Saints ever had.

Go Saints!
Tune in tonight to watch them kick some Giant butt.
7:30 e.s.t.

The Saints-New York Giants game, originally scheduled for the New Orleans Superdome on Sept. 18, will be played on Monday night, Sep. 19, at Giants Stadium beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. ABC will televise the Saints-Giants game until the 9 pm ET start of the Washington at Dallas game. At that time, the Saints-Giants telecast will switch to ESPN in most markets. The New York, Louisiana and selected hurricane-affected areas will see the Giants-Saints game to its conclusion on ABC before joining the Washington-Dallas game.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Afternoon Update

Might be one of these days.

Car wax has many household uses - use it on sticking doors, or apply to the runners of sticking drawers. Also, try it on your shower doors or tiles to keep water spots away. (do I need to tell you NOT to use it on floor tiles or the shower floor... geez I hope not)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

3rd day of the Confirmation Hearings

It seems Roberts will spend a 3rd day sidestepping any real answers to the ‘hard’ questions posed to him regarding some of the most important if not controversial issues of the day. Democrats trying desperately to get a feel for his position on these key issues while Roberts nimbly deflects… In my opinion… ok ok – just kidding, relax, start giggling – there is no way in hell I am going to give a political commentary here. You know me better than that. Oh sure, I should care cuz I am a [shhh] homosexual... and we [shhh] homosexuals are lacking in certain basic rights… and we need to be advocates for change and blah de blah de blah… the real news of the day is moisture. We had RAIN last night. Real rain – things got wet. We are very excited.
This is particularly timely as my clever wife is making some big gardening changes this week.
We have been in our house for about 18 years now. When we first moved in, the yard was a blank canvass for my wife who loved to garden. And garden she did. Creating colorful vistas from every vantage point – our yard blossoms all season. Ah..but with this beauty comes responsibility. And this responsibility has become daunting. So we are downsizing. Moving to a house with a smaller yard was under consideration – and still may happen. But this year – it’s the gardens that are being scaled back. To be replaced by mostly grass. This moves large parts of the yard from her area of responsibility (beautification) to mine (maintenance). Creating more grass simply means for me that I sit on my big orange tractor for a little longer – no biggie. Plus she caringly creates gentle curves and easy to maintain borders and edges that make trimming almost non existent.
It’s probably a 3 weekend (plus a bunch of weeknights) project.

Here is the garden this spring…after my exhausted wife spent quite a few days cleaning it up for the season.

Here is an in progress pic – the large dirt areas will soon be lawn. And there is much perennial transplanting going on…thus the timeliness of the rain

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


With all of our attention focused on Katrina’s devastation, crazy gas prices and the cost of living rapidly rising – I forgot about what’s happening right here in our own backyard.

And, I mean that literally… the backyard. We have been having a drought here and it wasn’t until this weekend that I really began to notice just how serious it has become.
There is no hope for the lawn at this point. But we are trying to save a couple of our trees that look particularly bad.

Here is our lawn in May.

And here is our lawn today.


Monday, September 12, 2005

CT United Ride

Over 3000 motorcylces roared through our town yesterday in a tribute to 9-11.
This year each cyclist was also asked to bring a Katrina relief bag as well.

My patriotic wife and I tailgated in the convertible festooned with American flags. The event, at least in our town, was not that well advertised. So when we pulled out the lawn chairs flags and sandwiches - people stopped to ask us what the heck we were doing.

One couple who had just stopped for ice cream parked next to us and asked why we were there. When we told them - they pulled out a small American flag and stood with us waving and cheering on the riders for the near 40 minutes it took for them to pass. After the last stragglers passed the couple having ice cream came over and the woman said how wonderful life was -- that by chance they saw us, stopped to chat, and got to experience this -- mentioning her husband was a Vietnam vet so they always have flags in the car. Both my wife and I shook his hand and thanked him.

Friday, September 09, 2005



With gas prices soaring through the roof, here’s a tip to save money.
Instead of gassing up tonight on your way home, stop at the liquor store. While the price per gallon of your favorite cocktail may be higher than gas, you get better mileage.
Remember, don’t drink and drive – as that defeats the whole purpose of trying to save money.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Do you read?

What a silly question isn’t it? Of course you do, you are now. Whenever I am asked that question I usually answer “Not really.”
Most of the reading I do is to gather information. News magazines, manuals, How To books and papers…etc. Of course being a reformed news junkie – my reading material is not much to speak of.

So we are trying something new.
Turn off the TV.
I know, I know… this is no revelation, and I am not saying to stop watching television (yet). But we have decided to watch it…when there is something on we want to see. No more channel surfing until an ‘acceptable’ show is found. No more watching 2 or 3 shows because none of them are really very good.

And so – now we are reading. I am actually reading books… just for pleasure. They are not teaching me anything or spawning new DIY projects either (the plus part of that is I don’t need to go buy new tools as a result… how can you help it reading the handyman type rags).

I am a discerning reader, and will put down books that are not written well (according to my own twisted standards) that said – I have to admit, that right now I am hooked on vintage Lesbian Pulp Fiction novels from the 50’s. We saw a documentary on them and decided to pick up a bunch, as a joke, to bring on our PTown vacation this summer (what is better than smut on the beach). But now…I am hooked. They are just horrible really, and yet I cannot stop reading them. Might I recommend the Ann Bannon series – it’s a hoot.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

When FEMA Calls

Good luck and God speed to Bubba, my big brother and fire captain at a local volunteer department here in Connecticut.
He, and some of his firemen buddies are being airlifted to New Orleans tomorrow morning to do what they can... to do whatever is needed.
He was told he will be there for 30 - 45 days, and to expect no services. Basically, be ready to fend for yourself. I believe he is spending this afternoon triple bagging a carton of Marlboros (well... he is a fireman).

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

First Day of School

Today is Ferris’ first day back to school.
First day of his senior year.

He was ready early for school today. Which was completely accidental …he simply needs to re-hone his timing down so that he is tearing out the door with just enough time to fly past the security guard before he starts handing out tardy slips

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Live Draft

I have my first Live Draft today at 4:00.
I will be doing it here at the office.

Luckily, I just found out Boo Williams has a torn ACL and is out for the season...whew - he was my top TE pick.

I am now, wisely, researching the rest of my players...many of whom are chosen because I like their names...or their pictures.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Leave it to me to get long winded.

It seems I have been ‘tagged’ for a meme.
To be polite I do participate only when tagged (and it helps to be tagged by one of my favorites)
So, this is for you Suzanne.
[and…uncharacteristically, I even named other players]

First, the rules to this meme game: Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross pollination effect.

1. Heather
2. Suzanne
3. Gina
4. Suzanne
5. Lisa

Next: select new friends to add to the pollen count. No one is obligated to participate.

1. Lachlen
2. Maxine
3. Lisa
4. Ace
5. Bayou

Let the game begin!

What 5 things do you miss about your childhood?
1. hmm….

Huh. I had planned to put a nice neat list of five items, and be done with it really.. but in simply trying to come up with this list I got to thinking.

First, I had a wonderful childhood. I grew up in a well-to-do town in Fairfield county, we were not rich, but really I can’t say I ‘wanted’ for anything. We were a harmonious family (well until I hit my teens – but that’s a whole ‘nother story).
My father died when I was very young, so my mom was both parents to us. She taught me to be a strong woman, capable of getting along on my own.

I have many fond memories of my childhood, but that is not what the question asks.
The question asks what I miss.. is there something I long for.
And really, no. I can’t say I have a ‘longing’ from my childhood. I actually prefer being an adult.

That said… I loved my purple banana seat Schwinn Sting Ray, Muffy our smelly mutt, running to catch the ice cream man, swinging in the rope swing behind the neighbor’s house, and most of all leaving the house in the morning to play outside all day …until summoned by the dinner bell.
Yes, my mom used to ring a bell out the door for us, rather than calling us home as some of the other parents used to do, usually because we were so far down the hill it was hard to call out that loud.

Can you imagine that today – young kids just going out the door after lunch, and their parents not knowing where they are or what they are doing for hours, and I mean --- all afternoon… and then, around dinner time, parents need to literally call their names …holler out the door to get them home.
We needed to be called because there was no friend’s parent or babysitter to tell us what time it was or what to do… or even to watch what we were up to all day. In our neighborhood, we were usually in the woods at the bottom of hill. Other times we were right in the middle of the street, drawing elaborate chalk outlined ‘roads’ to guide our bikes through, or setting up jumps from scrap wood ‘borrowed’ from the back of a neighbors house (or from construction sites) to run our bikes over—with, of course, the expected disastrous results, sending the wounded home, cut up and bleeding from multiple scrapes and cuts…only to be patched up and sent right back out and down the street.

Do I miss that? … well no, because of course I can leave the house any time I want and play outside all day ‘till dinner ... or even later (and my toys are better now). – so I don’t miss that for myself.
I do miss it for kids today. It’s an unparalleled freedom, to go off on your own with your friends and have the greatest of daily adventures. I learned more about life, living, getting along, physics and biology out there in the neighborhood... on my own, living large and soaking up those long summer days.

Friday, August 26, 2005


ok... look at the tower pic again. Think of the old Donald Duck cartoon...the really old ones. Now look at the arched windows in the tower and think eyes.
Does that help?

Michael Cunningham mentions this in his book, and admittedly its easier to see at night when the tower is lit. But we spent all week looking for the duck. We kept stopping all over town to gape at it helplessly. I am sure we looked insane, and certainly did when we finally saw it!
We were coming out of 'Tea' at the time.
You do know 'Tea'... right?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The duck

Can you see the duck?

Oh, c' one sees the duck!

just a couple more

It's been very busy here at work lately - leaving me little time to blog, surf and shop online. So I will wrap up the vaction stories with just a couple more.

Today I just wanted to thank, hug, smooch and otherwise fondle and cuddle our two best friends, Bets and Sammy, who shared our 20th anniversary in town with us - and treated us to dinner (and much fabulous wine) at the best restaurant in town. There is a short list of things that I am so honored and blessed to have in my life- these two people are on that list.
Here they are at Front Street with us. (I will post a better picture of them tomorrow...but I wanted one at the restuarant and this is what I took - it was pretty hard to get a picture of someone that night without a drink in their face)

And here we are across the table. This is the night I was nicked named 'ho'.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Another day in Town

One of our favorite places to go while we are in ‘Town’ is the Euro café.
It’s a second floor outdoor café located ideally in the center of town on Commercial Street. It is without a doubt one of the best spots for people watching while sipping cool and refreshing cocktails.

Because we travel with Sammy (Sammy…Betsy’s lovely wife and without a doubt THE travel queen when it comes to fine restaurants and the best seating)– we always get the best table for four right near the railing for optimal viewing.

On this beautiful August evening – we were sitting at the Euro enjoying our FABuLoUS cocktails and discussing how we will never plan our trip for the first week of August again and yukking it up in general. In the distance we heard honking…my first instinctual reaction was to comment on how inappropriate that is in PTown. There are certain things that are just not done here… one is – if you drive down Commercial Street, you NEVER honk. You wait. You basically drive at the speed of the average pedestrian and do so patiently. The drive down Commercial Street is basically done to see, and be seen. It’s an event… not a thoroughfare.

Anyway – it became quickly apparent that this particular honking was not traffic related. It was consistent and as it got closer we could hear crowd noises too – clapping and happy shouting – this was clearly a celebration. The noise got louder and louder as it drew near and finally came into view.

We stood and went to the railing as did everyone in the restaurant… as did everyone in the streets. The whole town came to the curb, came to their windows, came to their doors and applauded and waved and shouted cheers as we all watched the brides go by, followed by what looked like their wedding party, parents, family and friends.
They were seated up on the back of the rear seat of a convertible with a big sign
‘Just Married’

The four of us cheered and waved and whistled… and cried. We wept for change, we wept for equality, we wept for the beauty of acceptance in this wonderful little town, we wept …well, because you weep at weddings.
After they passed we toasted to this happy, nameless couple and kissed our beautiful wives and hoped for the future.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Unwrap your favorite bar soap and slip it between your sheets or towels in the linen closet. Especially off season items, this makes your linens smell fresh and clean. Also, unwrapping the soap dries it out and hardens it so it will last longer in the shower.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Let the crisping begin

ah yes, now where were we ...

Of course the first day in town we went to the beach.
We like to check out the hot topless women of course.
Hmmm, now where were those topless women...
Bets at Herring Cove
oooo, right it was family week.

At least my sumptuous wife got to sport her newly acquired fabulous hat.
my sumptuous wife

We go to Herring Cove beach. If you have not read Micheal Cunninghams description of Herring Cove in his book Land's End, I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 12, 2005


We interrupt this ongoing vacation saga to bring you our regularly scheduled Friday Tip of the Day.

Outlet saftey.
We live in an old home and outlets are few, far between and not very well placed.
Upstairs in the bedrooms where we needed to place beds against the walls, especially when the kids were small, I was concerened about bedding and such hanging over the outlets. I investigated childproof covers, but they only block access to the outlet itself, I wanted it covered with stuff plugged in. So we installed outdoor outlet covers.These allow easy access but completely cover the outlet and the plugs.
(also: some models can also be made childproof by securing the cover down with cable ties)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Rookie Mistake

We have been vacationing in PTown for 20 years. It’s our favorite place to go.
Isn’t it fantastic that you can learn something new about your favorite place even after all this time?

After having mimosa's for breakfast and slurping down our jello shots at the beach we decided to drive into town, check in, park the car and perhaps stroll around a bit, find a place to have a cocktail.
Oddly, we didn’t really piece together the teens playing Frisbee in the park, the ridiculous amount of strollers, and so many gay dads fawning over infants – until we got about halfway down Commercial Street and saw the banner.
10th Annual Family Pride Week

Ok. Now I know a lot of you out there have kids…hey – so do we.
But we didn’t bring ours… and that’s NOT why we come to PTown.
We had no idea this had been going on for 10 years. Don’t get me wrong…its great. I am very happy all these lesbian, gay, transgendered, etc. folks are taking the plunge into parenting… I understand it’s a huge step for the movement and for acceptance... and alllll that... but really, we don’t want to vacation with them.

Of course my child-rearing wife and I smiled to ourselves many times over the week – as we passed these happy new families, with their colorful toddlers… we smiled because we know. We know these adorable little cherubs will one day – drive, drive too fast, drive into things, get drunk and puke, have sex way before they are ready, and for a short time in their tumultuous teens…completely ignore their parents – not because their parents are gay…but because they are parents. Have fun. See you on the other side. See you when you want to vacation in PTown on ANY other week but the 1st of August.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Trip

This week I will share short passages from our trip.

We travel to PTown most often with our Favorite Friends, B & S.
It is our tradition to have a champagne/mimosa toast prior to departure.
This year we toasted at about 5:45 a.m. - It's a great way to start the morning.

It is also tradition that as soon as we can see the Provincetown Tower from Route 6, that we pull over immediately and have our first cocktail.

This year, my colorful wife made us rainbow jello shots for our first day at the beach.

Monday, August 08, 2005


We're back. Town was FANtasTIC.
I will have some stories and pics to share.
But first I have 323 emails to read...

hmm, I wonder if I can get a bloody mary downstairs at the Corporate Cafeteria...

Saturday, July 30, 2005


What could be a better way to celebrate 20 years together than a full week in 'Town'.

We are leaving bright and early Monday morning, just after mimosa's.
We should be on the beach by 11:00 a.m.

If you'll be in Town, look for us at Herring Cove... don't worry, we'll be easy to find.

Friday, July 29, 2005


How ‘bout some packing tips today.
- Roll your pants rather than fold them, they will come out wrinkle and crease free.

- And don’t waste precious time trying to decide which pair of shoes to bring – bring them all.

You know… if you do any research on traveling and vacationing… there is this school of thought that you should take as little with you as possible. Less bags, less to carry. Economize your trip. Take clothes that will all work with each other so you can get many outfits out of just a few items. Stick to neutral colors so that one blouse works with slacks, skirts and shorts…
That’s just RIDICULOUS. You are on vacation – you need to look svelte and athletic at the beach**, perky and coordinated for mid-afternoon cocktails and then stunning by dinner.
You don’t know what the weather will be, you don’t know what you will feel like, you don’t know what will look ‘right’ that day…sheesh sometimes I don’t even know what size I will be from one day to the next.
C’mon – suitcases are on wheels these days – take it all.

**please note that by svelte and athletic I am referring to wearing black…cuz its slimming, and carrying a Frisbee.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I drove Ferris to the airport yesterday. He is off to visit with his Dad in that ridiculously big state of Texas. While sitting in the terminal I saw an airport security person roll by on one of those Segway things…you know those silly contraptions that you stand on and it transports you around by a slight shift of your weight.
I got to thinking of the irony of this. Here is a guy – who up until recently had a fairly active job… on his feet all day, walking here and there around the airport, probably needing to move quickly and nimbly from one location to another. Now… he is going to have to go spend time at the gym making up for the fact that he gets no exercise in his work.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

20 years is a long time

I fill with pride when I tell people that my wife and I have been together for 20 years.
What does it mean to be together for 20 years?
I suppose it means we covered our bases. Picking the right person is key, then committing to that person – and not wavering or giving up just because it’s not always easy or perfect. I joke with my wife when she points out one of my not so positive qualities… ‘Well, you picked me.’
(See how I deflect, aren’t I clever. Being clever also helps you last 20 years.)
Add to that… my wife is patient, kind, intelligent and damned sexy.

But here is something that I don’t like. That being together for 20 years somehow validates our relationship-- because we are …homosexuals (please pronounce this with a lilt in your voice and a slight lisp: hwomo-sec-tual).
‘Oh, yes..well they have been together for 20 years. See, those gay people really can be committed and in life long relationships…huh.'

So, what is the amount of time a gay couple needs to be together to validate their relationship? And I wonder… will Civil Unions make a difference. Will we appear to be more committed then. Will our relationships then be taken seriously after a month, after a year.

So, while I am blessed and thrilled and so happily celebrating my 20th year with my soulmate. I would like to raise my glass to other gays and lesbians who are just starting their journey together, or to those who have been together for some time and are struggling through a lull…together.
May you get to 20 and may it not be a tribute to gay people…but a tribute to you and your love.

Also (mostly for my wife, because she looks every week to see if any gay couples are included) I hope that by the time we reach our fiftieth our local paper will be ready to post our picture on the page with all the other old wrinkly couples celebrating their long lives together.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


We don’t have matchbooks with our names printed on them in fancy, scrolly writing, we don’t have a photo album on the coffee table, there are no dated cocktail napkins, there is no documentation or legal paper to prove it – but today is the day.
It’s a day we chose.
It’s a day we cherish.
It’s a day we celebrate.

How many years has it been my love, a million …one?

My love, my friend, my pal, my soul mate – Happy Anniversary.

Monday, July 25, 2005


I could not login to blogger on Friday - so ... you get your tip today.
Buck up and get over it...

To remove candle wax from your carpets - put the iron on a low setting, place a paper towel over the wax and gently iron up the wax. Keep changing the paper towel until all the wax is absorbed. (remember to use a low setting - some carpets with synthetic fibers can be damaged by high heat).
(this tip brought to you by 'the daughter' who, as a teenager, learned this tip out of necessity. We used to call her 'pyro'.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


i am being vewy vewy qwiet...



consider this
your only warning.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Can you feel the heat?
It's hot and humid. Serious humid.
The local news channels are warning about air quality today ... I suppose the air is to thick to actually breathe or something. Perhaps you need to chew it before swallowing.
But that won't stop my determined wife and I from going on our evening walk. Last evening we were alone on the trail. Buncha wimps. The way I figure it is... not only are we getting our usual walking exercise but the thick air adds a 'resistance' factor. Not unlike aquasize.
Temp: 86°F, feels like 91°F
UV Index: 8 Very High
Wind: From SW at 9 mph
Humidity: 72%
Pressure: 29.94 in.
Dew Point: 75°F
Visibility: 5.0 miles

The federal Environmental Protection Agency says air quality in Connecticut, Rhode Island and southwestern Massachusetts will be unhealthy.

Monday, July 18, 2005


I saw a squirrel get hit on the road this morning on my way into work.
It happened right in front of me - it seemed to happen in slow motion. The car never slowed - I suppose most people don't for something so lowly as a squirrel. How indifferent we have become. This is one of many things that bothers me about this world.
I was far enough back to see clearly under the car, the squirrel rolled and flipped under there as the car passed over. I slowed while the squirrel recovered enough to limp off the road where he** rested on the edge of the curb. I came to a slow stop, all I could see for sure was his back leg was badly injured. I stupidly wanted to go to him. I knew that was pointless. I knew if I approached he would be forced to try to run away - and clearly he needed to rest. And even if he didn't - then what. Put him out of his misery? Take him home to care for him? I continued my drive in to the office. I wondered whether he would live. I wondered whether another squirrel would comfort him. I was shaken... and sad.
I am not indifferent to this small rodent. He mattered to me. I hope that my caring energy can help him in some small way.

**(he) I decided the squirrel was male instantly, and only later determined this was probably because: a female squirrel would not have been silly enough to run out into traffic - and if she did... and got hit, she probably would not have the courage, strength and stamina to get off the road to safety.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Do you use dryer sheets?
Once the dryer load is done, take the used sheet and wipe your TV screens.
They not only remove all the dust – but actually help to repel it.
(only use them after they have done their job in the dryer – a new one will leave streaks and smudges)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bright Light Bright Light

Remember that quote from Spielbergs Gremlins movie. Bright lights melted them or some such thing, I can't quite remember.
I am reminded of this today because, here at the office we have many of our overhead, brain rotting fluorescent lights turned off. Really those lights are destructive.... I have desk lamps instead.
Recently some people were moved around…and into our area. Apparently these new folks like to SEE what they are working on.
There is a man on a ladder here right now turning lights on. Egad.
I already use an umbrella over my cube to block some of this flesh eating light… I may need to invest in a beach umbrella.
I can't leave my cube right now or he will turn on the light directly over my head. This would most likely kill me. So I will wait here until he is done and has put his ladder away - my bladder may burst, but I am not leaving.

While I am on the ‘cube’ subject…. Did you ever see this pic circulating the internet?

I did this. Well… me and a couple friends. On the right side of the pic – that’s a plant in my cube and behind it is the edge of my umbrella… which I have to block the relentless, mind melting, carnivorous fluorescents.

Monday, July 11, 2005


We had an absolutely beautiful summer weekend here in CT.
Sunday was hot yet breezy – so it was summery and comfortable.
My wife and I spent the day puttering around the yard and gardens – she with her watering can filled with MiracleGro, and me with my sprayer of RoundUp.

Main Entry: sym•bi•o•sis
Pronunciation: "sim-bE-'O-s&s, -"bI-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural sym•bi•o•ses /-"sEz/
Etymology: New Latin, from German Symbiose, from Greek symbiOsis state of living together, from symbioun to live together, from symbios living together, from syn- + bios life -- more at QUICK
2 : the intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms in a mutually beneficial relationship;

Friday, July 08, 2005


From the comments I received about our new Storm Trooper – its clear we need to review the tools of the trade.
Yes, I use a canister. If you have predominantly wood (or tile) floors as I do – then a canister is a must. Uprights do their best work on carpets. Granted each type will do the job of the other – but please, do we use a reciprocating saw to rip plywood…no of course not.
Canister vacuums have no belts. I looked. The only belts would be in the rotating brush floor attachments. In our case – the motor simply burned itself out. I am debating whether to add the new vacuum to the FREE dog expense spreadsheet.
I learned from my vacuum salesman (I do so love vacuum salesmen – no I am serious, I love to be sold a product by someone who really knows their products) not to use the really expensive hepa filter bags. They cut the airflow and he said can actually burn out the motor. Hmm.

Ok. So here is your vacuum tip for the day.
When you are doing your big clean for the week (as apposed to your small daily or every other day cleanings) don a tool belt and pop your vacuum attachments in there. Makes for quick and easy access. In a flash I can be vacuuming the tops of the window moldings, then with the flick of a wrist I holster one attachment

and switch to another

to clean out those baseboards.

Hmm, now I am thinking -- I could use some of those fringed chaps for this outfit.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Aviary

We were enjoying a FABulous flounder dinner out on the patio on Monday evening.
The sun was shining, not a cloud – and it was cool and comfortable. (with the exception of the caterpillar droppings…which I will get to in another entry)
I noticed the FREE dog slinking by, heading out into the yard. She was practically tip toeing… so it caught my attention. I noticed she was carrying something in her mouth…and knew right away.

I stood up immediately and sternly demanded, “Drop the bird!”

She obeyed immediately - setting the baby bird gently down into the grass and skulking off. This dog has the gentlest mouth. I have seen her pick up an insect and carry it to her rug and set it down without harm – to play with it I suppose. I can only assume this was her plan for the baby bird.
We weren’t completely surprised - we had actually heard it shrieking earlier…and figured we had another baby dropped out of a nest – we just couldn’t find the little guy.
The FREE dog heard it as well, and apparently kept on with the search long after we lost interest.

The bird seemed fine…except, as with the other one – not quite ready to fly.
We gave him a little water – to help him get his strength back. He seemed to enjoy it.

I set him on the ‘other’ side of the fence. We are hoping his family found him there.

Just another day at the aviary.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Storm Trooper

Our mission to Sears was a success. Dog hair and dust have been abated.

We named the vacuum Storm Trooper
can you see the resemblance?

Friday, July 01, 2005


Today's tip:
If you start to smell burning rubber when you turn on your vacuum.
Don't wait to see smoke, shut if off and go get a new one.

Off to Sears we go!

Thursday, June 30, 2005


On Thursdays here at my office they offer a yoga class from 11:30 - 12:30.
I am really enjoying it.
Altho, I tend to get a bit restless during the cool down. I am already a pretty relaxed person, I really don't need much more.

At the end of the class the instructor asks us to bow to our head to our heart and give thanks for our minds and bodies and our health and blessings. I quietly give thanks for my lunch.
sun salutation

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tending the flock

There are so many of them now. We have become security, nursemaids and a search and rescue team for our flock.
Last week, on my way out to the garage, I saw one of them stuck up in the attic above the car park. There is a stationary window to a low attic up there - and this silly feathered fool was repeatedly flying into it, attempting to escape. My clever wife went in first and tossed a blanket over him, I donned gloves and we carried him to safety.

This morning - I came downstairs and my wife tells me we have another event. Apparently a baby had fallen from its nest. There were parents and aunts and uncles squawking all over the place. The problem for these poor creatures is they can't pick up and carry their young. So there’s the little guy calling out for help and his whole family is just flying around.
The FREE dog was very interested in the problem at hand – however, the family of the orphan was not happy for her interest. Every time she came any where near the infant there was a whole lot of ruckus. Interestingly, when either my wife or I approached the little guy – there was silence. Because of course – we are the law.
And so this is our lot.

Monday, June 27, 2005

It's just what I do

When I was a young teen I got a spiffy, new 10 speed Schwinn bike.
They were all the rage, and it was great to have transportation.
As should be no surprise to anyone... I used to wash and wax it.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Have a baked on, stuck on mess you don't want to clean?
Put the pan in plastic garbage bag with 1/2 cup of ammonia, and leave it overnight. The next morning the mess will wash off easily.
(and really ...the best part is the justifiable procrastination.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

sheesh... Kids

kids can be such a dissapointment.
Can you believe, that BOTH of our kids, making their plans completely separately -- are going to see Tom Petty this weekend.
oy. You try to teach them...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Neil Sedaka

In an ongoing effort to lose a couple pounds, my svelte wife and I have been walking most days of the week with the FREE dog. The dog is key. She LOVES the walk but more importantly without her I would be sitting on a park bench somewhere. We walk a trail, down and back, and we trade off holding the leash. I get to hold it on the return trip. Her pulling me down the trail is the only thing that gets me back to the car.
This trail is a repurposed railroad bed. It goes through some thick woods and comes out at a park on one end. Our walk is about 3 miles, there and back.

Last evening when we left the house it had just started to rain. A soft, summer, sultry rain. So we brought slickers.
Well about ¼ of the way into the trail, the sky darkened. The trail began to look ominous and the heavens opened up.
I immediately enter ‘Rainman’ mode.
Mild panic sets in.
That was when the lightening started.

My wife … walks on, happily “What’s a little rain”, she says. … and I am pretty sure she is humming…

Oo, I hear laughter in the rain
Walking hand in hand with the one I love
Oo, how I love the rainy days
And the happy way I feel inside

My panic level rising, walking briskly, head down, repeating,
“Not supposed to be outside in the lightening. Not supposed to be outside in the lighting.”

My sweet wife, who knows me all too well, is smiling and reaches out to take my arm to comfort me. I quickly pull back… oooo no no no, don’t wanna make any connections – current will travel, better if we are not connected, no touching.

Clearly …we survived. We finished our walk too! (my courageous wife is nothing if not driven)
Soaking wet and muddy, 45 minutes later we get back into the car.
And of course, what do dogs do when wet.

The FREE dog had a good shake.

Oo, I hear laughter in the rain
Walking hand in hand with the one I love
Oo, how I love the rainy days
And the happy way I feel inside