Archive for category Personal

Road Trip 2015 – PreTrip

So, I am taking my summer vacation time and I am taking a nice long road trip and I will be taking it on my motorcycle, all packed up and heading out.

I am making the best use of my vacation time and the locations of offices my company has.

So in order to maximize my enjoyment time while riding and being able to spend the most time in places I want to see, I am eliminating some of what I call my “beat feet” time into non-vacation time. “Beat-feet” time is time where I just need to get from point A to point B and I don’t care about sight-seeing or anything like that in the middle. For example, on a trip where you are flying by airplane to get there, the “beat-feet” would be everything from home, to the airport and then the flight itself usually.

So, my company has an office in Indianapolis, and I don’t really care about seeing anything between home and Indy, so I just need to get there as quick as I can and not worry about seeing anything since I have seen most of it before and it is just not what interests me. So, I will take a weekend and travel from home to Indy and then I will crash with a co-worker who was nice enough to offer to let me stay there. This is key because it take finances into account, and keeping costs low is what will enable me to take this trip.

So now, I will be halfway(a third?) across the country and I will stay here for 4 nights, Sunday through Thursday morning and work at our office there for a few days before I head out on what is going to be the real part of my vacation.

I am taking 10 days off, which is 10 days Mon through Fri for vacation. I realized that I could give myself an extra 2 days if I was able to break up my vacation with a week of work in the middle. So I have 2 groups of 2 weekends and 2 weeks of workdays put together, for 2 sets of 9 days instead of just 1 long stretch of 16 days, 3 weekends and 2 weeks of workdays.

So how exactly do I make that work? Well my company also has an office located in Southern CA in Orange County just south of Los Angeles, so if I stay in that area for a week and work, I get my bonus 2 days thrown in there. Fortunately for me, I happen to have an aunt and uncle who live not too far from my company’s office in SoCal, so I spoke to them, and they are nice enough to let me stay with them while I am there. Win! Since again, no outright cost for a place to stay which is key. I then travel from SoCal on the way home, and will stay in Indy again for the week and work there, and then spend another Sat/Sun to travel home from Indy.

On top of this I am making my trip coincide with the weekend of July 4th, but July 4th is a Saturday, however, we are granted the 3rd of July as a day off in recognition of the July 4th holiday. So I can tack on an extra day for a stretch of 10 days instead of 9. Then, I worked Memorial Day weekend for an upgrade, which grants me a bonus free day off on the year in payment for taking away my holiday time by working. Well, let’s tack on another day to that 4th of July weekend, so I will leave on July 2nd instead of 3rd from Indy.

Now the trip, what is it I want to see? I have a list of things, this is mostly in order of what is planned to see, this may change and I will add or subtract things as fitting for the trip, all depends on time. This will be similar to my trip a couple years ago in Europe where I don’t have an exact plan of what I am doing each day, I just have a general idea of things I want to see and try to fit them in.

Week 1(11 days): Leave Indy and head towards SoCal and see the following

  • Chicago for lunch with K
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Wall Drug
  • Badlands
  • Grand Teton NP
  • Yellowstone NP
  • Lolo Pass
  • Walla Walla
  • Crater Lake
  • Redwoods
  • Lassen Volcanic NP
  • San Francisco for dinner with J&G
  • PCH/Big Sur

Week 2(9 Days): Leave SoCal and head back to Indy

  • Death Valley
  • Vegas
  • Hoover Dam
  • Grand Canyon South
  • Grand Canyon North
  • Zion NP
  • Bryce Canyon NP
  • Monument Valley
  • Four Corners

So that’s the overall trip, a lot of these things I have wanted to see, and I know I am not going to see everything in them, I mean, you can spend a week in Yellowstone, Crater Lake, or Grand Tetons by themselves, but I am going to see the highlights, and take notes for later trips when I want to spend a week somewhere. However, a lot of these places aren’t places you are going to spend a whole week of vacation going to see, they are meant to be tiny small pieces of a much larger road trip, so I am making them exactly that.

Aweosme right?

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Suicide and Mental Illness, Part II

I don’t really have anything personal to say about this that I didn’t say the first time about, but this is part II from from my friend about the same event.

Today is the anniversary of Stephanie’s death.

5 years.

Suicide.

While her birthday post is always about how to step up and intervene and do something when you have a loved one that is struggling, I reserve her death anniversary post for those who are medical and health professionals.

I was investigated by a State Agency to determine what my role in her suicide was. You read that right. You should have seen the look on my face when the investigator said that! He said that he contacts all families of individuals who were receiving any State services to determine what may have gone wrong in the system. That part sounded great! I couldn’t wait to talk to him…until he said that.

I learned the “Social Worker” who was assigned her case (this was post most recent suicide attempt, and my attempt to get her some help- because when you are uninsured, unemployed and an adult, it’s not easy). It turns out the woman was not a licensed social worker at all, though she told me she was (I did ask because I was social worker myself). In fact, she did not even have a college degree. She was grandfathered into her job. I would have been ok with that if she had the skills and had not lied and had not had sessions with Stephanie that were far above and outside the scope of her job and ability. She was supposed to be helping with getting her Medicaid, into out-patient programs, housing, etc.

I’m still angry.

The out-patient group therapy met once a week for 4 hours. There was a psychiatrist who would come and spend the usual 10 minutes discussing meds and leave. Stephanie asked for more. She needed more. She lacked a solid diagnosis, which I never understood how someone could be in the hospital this many times for weeks and weeks at a time and meet with a psychiatrist and still not have a diagnosis.

Professionals. Doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and ALL of you who work in any health care setting or provide any health service….I implore you, do more. Not more of what you do because I know you work hard and long hours in a difficult profession, but step back and look at the whole situation.

Look at the family and what they are trying to do. Family have no resources. No one tells us how to act at home or what to do or say to our family member. You see them for a brief moment, we have them the other 167 hours a week. Give guidance. We are frustrated, scared, mad…all kinds of emotions. Help us too. Do you know what it’s like to be the family member those 167 hours a week you aren’t with the person? Waiting for them to sneak off with the pills, or find some rope or a razor. Worrying that you didn’t supervise them close enough and you will walk into the bathroom and find them. The tension and stress is bad for us and it’s bad for the person trying to get well and feel better. Being the focus of all that stress, worry and anger and frustration will not be solved by your brief session with them.

Professionals- please do more. Think broader. Learn more about what other services are available and make sure you refer people into them. There are 167 hours a week where other services could help. Hold your organizations accountable to have qualified staff. It’s not always about a degree, but make sure they are qualified and supervised.

I am very fortunate to have found a company to work for that helps heal my soul and enables me to be part of the solution. I try to be the person I am asking you to be. I can make a change by doing my part.

Thank you for indulging me twice on this topic,  I hope by sharing parts of our story that it makes a difference. I have come to believe that when you know the details, you understand it better and it makes you want to be part of the change.

, , , ,

No Comments

Suicide and Mental Illness

This was written by my friend Jackie about a friend we both had, while she was closer with Stephanie, I did spend time with her and while only a casual friend, she was a good friend. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but not everything I say or think makes a lot of sense, but I think you can understand it even with how esoteric it is.

I don’t have a ton of experience with suicide in general, I can think of 4 people who I have been connected(even loosely) with that have attempted to commit suicide, 2 were successful, 2 were not. The two who were not successful are doing well, I have contact with them randomly, one moved back home with her parents on the Cape and is happy and healthy for now. The other has appeared and disappeared over the years, which has always made me wonder if she was eventually successful, but I recently found out she is doing well and living with the love of her life in Phoenix.

The two who succeeded were Stephanie and my 3rd grade science teacher Ms. Hanlon who I only saw 2 times a week for 40 minutes, but she had the classroom next door and many friends who had her as their teacher and it was hard for them, but I never quite understood it all at the time. Although, she is one of the few teachers who were not my full time teacher who I can actually remember, so maybe it did have an impact more than I think. I can still remember in vivid detail when Mrs. Evans told us what had happened, even with her words vague and muffled with sobs and tears, they still ring out once in awhile at random times in my head, 25 years later.

“Mrs. Hanlon won’t be coming back to teach anymore, she inflicted a wound upon herself.”

I do still feel sadness and regret that I wasn’t aware of everything going on with Stephanie, and I wish I could have helped in some way, either with Stephanie directly or with Jackie and what she was going through. I think one of Jackie’s points is that it’s not something anyone can fully change or conquer alone, but anyone who is connected to someone on a personal level in any way should be made aware of someone’s situation to keep an eye and ear out for anything they might notice to be able to help their friend, sometimes it’s a losing battle, and we lose more than just the friend, but it’s a battle we should all be fighting and aware of, there are silent diseases like depression & anxiety that are killing people before they actually die, we can’t see them so we pretend they don’t exist or we don’t believe “that person” could possibly be depresses, these illnesses deserve and need just as much attention as a broken arm or cancer, and to use an old cliché, they’re “as serious as a heart attack”.

 

Suicide and mental illness.

Today would have been my friend Stephanie’s birthday, but she isn’t here to celebrate it because she committed suicide.

Every year in January, I post twice about suicide – once on her birthday and once on the anniversary of her death, in the hopes that by sharing my experience it will help save lives and change how we think.

It’s still hard to talk about and it’s been 5 years. For the first 3 years, I was just angry. It took a long time for me to get to the part where I could be sad and grieve her and I notice now, this year, I can talk about her and good memories and miss her.

What happens in our private lives, often our good friends don’t even know what is really happening. Stephanie and I met because she was my kid’s nanny. Until the first suicide attempt. That was shocking. And I hate telling people that I hired someone unstable to come to my home and take care of my children. I know some of you think you are smarter than me- that you wouldn’t make such a poor decision, but people who are either ill or hurting inside don’t always know themselves or they hide it well- that’s called coping. She didn’t have other family, so there was (is) a group of us that she was close to and we were her family and I often felt like her mother, even though she was actually a year older than me.

After her first attempt, the hospitalization and the lack of follow up treatment – because our healthcare system does not have safeguards in place for mental illness or depression…but if she had cancer you bet there would have been a treatment plan and lots of follow up.

Once she was “better” she moved to her home state for a time, and then she came back to me. Unsettled, needed a place until she figured out what she wanted to do next. And while in a meeting in Texas, my phone rang again and again and I knew…attempt number 2. She was supposed to be home with my kids while I went on this business trip. I thought she was better, she seemed fine. I thought I would recognize some signs if she was going to do it again…but I didn’t. My oldest daughter had to drive to pick up my car, a car filled with suicide supplies. She was 19. It’s hard to type this because what mother “let’s” this happen? She seemed better and moved to a new state and a new job.

But she wasn’t better.

I will skip all the details of her life spiraling out of control. She came back to me- again, no place to go. And she attempted suicide again.

My daughter begged me and begged me to please not let her come home to our house. It was too hard. But I didn’t know what to do because Stephanie didn’t have any other place to go. What was I supposed to do? Leave her on the street? My daughter said- you are choosing her over me. I have the look on her face when she said that burned into my soul. And I brought Stephanie home.

This time, she never got better. She promised me one day she wouldn’t kill herself until after Christmas. I was going to kick her out- her erratic behavior was destroying my family.

At the end of January this time she committed suicide.

I have not shared this much detail publicly before – for lots of reasons. It’s embarrassing. It’s hard to talk about. My family wasn’t sad- we were hurt and angry and it hurt my relationship with my daughter and it brought a marriage that was already struggling to an end.

Life changing.

So – I share this because people who are struggling with mental illness still do not have the care and the help needed. Families- just like mine, do not have access to any help or support to know what to do. We, as a society and we, as my many connections on facebook; We are the WE that need to make change happen.

Every year I implore you, if you see someone struggling – do something. Do anything. Call their doctor. The doctor can’t say anything to you, but they can listen. And call again and again. If the person had cancer or a broken arm you would take action. If someone has depression or a more serious illness- just like cancer, just like a broken arm- they need help. Call for help, because they can’t or they won’t.

We change the world by changing the way we conduct ourselves as humans. When faced with a situation, even though it’s really, really hard – call their doctor. If you somehow think it can’t happen to you… did you ever think this would be a story you would hear from me?

If I help save one life. If I make one person pick up the phone and call a doctor then sharing this very personal story will have been worth it.

And to Stephanie’s friends- you know who you are, I know this was hard for you as well and the impact it had on your lives and thank you so much for being there and dealing with this together the best we could.

This was Stephanie, I don’t know if anyone has ever seen these photos besides me, but I took these of her while at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2007.

Steph at Jazz FestPhotos 072

, , , ,

No Comments

Oooo… Exciting…

So, I decided to jump on the new TLD domain name craze that’s happening right now and buy a new domain for my blog here… I have put in the order and I am in the process of setting up the new domain now, it is fun and I think it is very “me” in a way, but I am not going to share it quite yet… I want to spend some time setting it up and getting it running just right before I share the new URL…

but the question remains, should I move all my posts from here to there and then set this up as a redirect? or should I just start out fresh and new over there and keep this one sitting here? I will keep owning this domain name regardless since I use a few of the emails for things but these are some tough choices to make as things move forward… what to do… what to do…

Any suggestions?!?

Although, as a side bonus, the site name is short enough that I will be installing my own URL shortner, cuz yeah, I am gonna be all kinds of cool like that!

oh, wait, what’s that?!? Look up in your URL bar… you should see the new URL up there now… neat right?!?!?

, ,

1 Comment

Dumped…

No, this post has nothing to do with a relationship, well, actually it does, but not in the way you may think.

I have ended a relationship less than 24 hours ago, but I did the dumping, I wasn’t the one dumped, and it wasn’t even a relationship with a person, or a pet, or a job.

I dumped Facebook last night.

I am probably going to ramble a bit, but I promise there is a salient point to all of this.

It was a bit of a hard breakup, any breakup or separation with someone or something that has become an ingrained, everyday part of your life is a difficult decision to make, and an even more difficult decision to execute. Just like with other difficult choices I have made in my life before this, people, jobs, and other such things, I have been thinking about it for awhile and weighing in the positives and the negatives and what it would mean for other aspects of my life.

I think the positives outweigh the negatives though, part of the positives are eliminating the negative aspects of Facebook in the first place. This applies to Facebook as well as MySpace if anyone actually still uses that, or any other social network that is out there that isn’t focused on a specific topic. I say that as an exclusion to other semi-social networks like Flickr, or LinkedIn, or even FourSquare; All of those have some fairly specific in their nature and are not as insipidly invasive as Facebook.

All of this goes back to what I think is the real contradiction of social networks and social networking, it’s not actually social. Partially because so many people have a misunderstanding about the internet and they don’t realize that the internet is not real, therefore we have developed a culture of the illusion of being social.

We have developed a culture of the illusion of being social.

From the Merriam Webster dictionary:

Socialrelating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other

That’s the first definition listed, there are 2 more listed as well.

– liking to be with and talk to people : happy to be with people

– of or relating to people or society in general

I think if you read any of those quickly, then they can certainly apply to the use of a social network, however I think upon some deeper reflection, only the last one actually applies to a social network, but everyone thinks of the first two as the ones which describe them.

Prepositions are some powerful parts of speech that people often overlook and don’t think about their real meanings and the affect they have on the definition of a word. In these definitions, the key prepositions are those of “with” and “to”, they’re so small, yet they carry so much meaning and yet people ignore them so easily.

Withused to say that people or things are together in one place

 – used to say that two or more people or things are doing something together or are involved in something

Toused to indicate the place, person, or thing that someone or something moves toward

– used to indicate the place where someone participates in a particular activity

“Together in one place”

“Doing something together”

“Someone or something moves toward”

Now, this is where people’s lack of understanding of the internet comes into the picture, the internet is not real, it is not a physical place, and you are not actually moving toward anyone, and you are not together with those who you interact with online. Yes, you are interacting, but it’s not together, it’s not in unison, it is not a social interaction. Posting to a person’s wall and then them responding 10 minutes later, or 10 seconds later, it’s still not together.

You aren’t talking to a person, you aren’t focused on that person, you aren’t interacting with them, even when you add another person or 10, it’s not a social interaction because you lose all context for emotion, physical cues, tone of voice and timing. When you have a conversation with someone, hearing their statement and then thinking about how to respond for 10 minutes or a day isn’t going to work. It’s cold, it’s calculating, it’s unnatural for what is a real social interaction.

For a real world example, let’s take it literally for the way a social network actually works. Imagine that you have something you want to share with your friends, so you post a note on a bulletin board on the front door of your house, then your friends wander by on their morning walk with the dog, or they stop by on their way to work quickly and read what you have to say. Then, a few of those people have a reaction so they respond to you by writing a note for you and then tacks it under the message you left and then you see it when you get home.

What was social about that?

NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

This is the illusion that I talk about, we post on each other walls, lists, we share things with other people that we wouldn’t share with people in the course of regular conversation, things that are so insignificant that we don’t even care about them.

It’s not social to sit, alone, in your house watching tv by yourself and bouncing around on Facebook commenting on this or that, liking this, posting a photo of your eggs or the new sneakers you go, or bragging about how cute your child, dog, or boyfriend is or what funny thing that any of them did today.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that there are some great aspects to the site, like being able to keep in touch with people or organize events, or share pictures of your kids with people who want to see them without needing to email dozens of photos to dozens of people. There are other methods to do this sort of thing though, and this is where Facebook has capitalized in order to get what they want… they have taken advantage of our greatest weakness, the fact that we have become an inherently lazy society. This is similar to Amazon’s capitalizing on the same thing, we are lazy, we want everything in one place and we want it to be as easy as possible, which is exactly what Facebook has accomplished, the problem is that we are so enamored with how easy it is and how easy it has made certain things for us, that we don’t realize the negative effects that this has had on us, both individually and as a society.

So, this is the main issue I have and have developed through the use of Facebook, and it’s what I want to change at least about myself, and maybe hopefully a few other people out there in the world. I want to actually be social with people, I want real experiences and I want real people actually in my life that actually are willing to put in some effort to be part of my life, not just tag along because it’s easy.

There is more I have to say on this, but I don’t want to overwhelm in just one entry… this will continue with more in the future… maybe tomorrow, maybe next week…

Comment is you want, or don’t, I don’t really care if you do, but one thing I would like to have you do is think, just think for a little bit about your time, your life, your experiences and the people with whom you are actually TOGETHER with during those times, during that life, and are part of those experiences.

So Ned Cleary is no longer on Facebook.

, , , , ,

No Comments

On the Road Again…

So it’s vacation time!

It’s mid to late June and we are heading out for a good old fashioned fly by the seat of our pants road trip, we are taking this trip in Anthony Bourdain style; no reservations!

We are heading down and will be spending a good deal of the trip in North Carolina, but we need to get that far first, we are spending time in the tiny little state of Delaware for a night, and then down through the Delmarva Peninsula and over a really expensive bridge, and into Virginia before getting to North Carolina, staying with friends in Raleigh for a night and then heading back up north through the Blue Ridge mountains, into Pennsylvania and then back home.

So today was day one of our trip, this is basically a beat feet day to get through all the boring places I drive through all the time, or places we have no interest in really seeing anything special in, it’s a quick trip out the Mass Pike, down 84, down 91, down the Wilbur Cross and Merritt parkways, over the Tappen Zee Bridge, past the massive Palisades Mall, to the Garden State Parkway, head south to the Jersey Turnpike, and then over the Delaware Memorial Bridge into the great state of Delaware. Maybe I will start an LLC while I am here, seems like that’s what everyone does in Delaware.

The trip down was good overall, no major traffic delays except coming up to the Tappen Zee Bridge, it mentioned roadwork so there were going to be some delays, I had no problem with that, although it took about 45 minutes to go about 5 miles which normally takes less than 5 minutes. I only got really annoyed when it was determined that there was no road work and the delay was just because all the stupid people seem to have a whole lot of trouble merging because of a lane drop from 4 to 3. Even with less than 500 feet of lane left, people were still jumping into the lane that was ending to try to shoot up ahead of other people.

One interesting thing we saw during this portion of the trip was a white Mitsubishi Lancer, which had a unique graphic on the rear window of the heavily tinted windows. What was this graphic you ask? Why it was a graphic which depicted “the shocker”, you either know it or you don’t, if you don’t then be glad. Go right ahead and call me a grumpy old man and I can tell you to get off my lawn, but what kind of tool actually puts something like that on the rear window of their car? Not only that, but he also had a custom overlay on his rear idiot light break light on his trunk that reads “suck it” in red when he hits the brakes. CLASSY!

So some things we noticed on the trip so far…

Douches on Motorcycles, apparently lots of people seem to think it’s smart to travel at 90+MPH on a sport bike weaving in and out of traffic, wearing sneakers, nylon shorts, and sleeveless t shirts, but hey, at least they had on a helmet so their brains won’t get splattered while they rip a dozen or so layers of skin off the rest of their body when they dump the bike.

They are expanding a lot of the southern part of the Jersey Turnpike, this appears to involve a lot of bridge building, the only problem I see is that a majority of the bridges they appear to be building have nothing to connect to them, no roads anywhere close to them that need to go over the highway. Governor Christie taking a page from Sarah Palin with bridges to nowhere?

Delaware is a state with apparently a whole lot of gun shops, tobacco shops, title loan shops, and pawn shops. Seems a bit depressed, but then you have the strip joints to make up for it, but it appears as though they can only take off their tops in those, so just a bit more depressing in there.

One interesting thing about the Delaware Memorial Bridge compared to other bridges I have seen, and driven over on this trip, there wasn’t even a minor attempt at putting up a fence or any type of blockade to prevent people from jumping, not even a Samaritans hotline number.

Delaware apparently has some problems with minors drinking, I have seem at least 6 different billboards all with the same ad on them; it’s an ad to remind people who buy alcohol that it’s illegal to give it to someone underage. Kinda makes you wonder what’s going on if they need to have a billboard ad campaign to remind people they can’t do that.

We have seen a bit of wildlife along the way, we tried to take some smaller roadways at times to make the scenery a little nicer for this reason. Unfortunately the majority of wildlife we saw was “sleeping” on the side of the road. Off the top of my head there were 4 possum, 2 raccoons, 1 cat, 2 deer, and a few things which even dental records won’t be able to identify. Although it was not all bad, we did see a lot of large birds like hawks, a few deer with a baby just south of Dover AFB, and something which was seen so quickly it could not actually be identified; Possibly a possum, rabbit, or badger.

So we got down to the Dover area, and we needed to find a place to stay, we found a couple listings online in the price range we wanted, unfortunately all the mom and pops were just way too too sketch, so we tried a couple more mainstream and the first few had no rooms, then the Sleep hotel might have rooms, but we had to wait til 6 to see if any actually would be available. Apparently they were on hold til 6, but if people didn’t check in by then they lose their room. So we checked out another hotel while killing 15 minutes to see if any would be free, the Holiday Inn Express only had smoking rooms, so that would have been no good at all. Back to the Sleep. We waited, we checked, we got a room! YAY, day one and we weren’t sleeping in the car, we haven’t failed yet!

So we got our room, went up and chilled for a bit, then checked out online where to head for dinner, we ended up picking a place called McGlynns here in Dover on Lake Silver. It was great! A tad loud but there was no wait for a table and we got a booth even, so not bad. It was a bit dark with all the old stained hardwood everywhere, but nice overall and a nice view on the water and the menu looked great. I had the sliced flank steak with garlic mashed potatoes, some steamed vegetables, and corn bread. It was great and the the flavors were nice, the cornbread was crumbly but wasn’t super dry, the mashed potatoes has a slightly odd texture but were delicious all around. Kate got the shrimp and grits, which also came with andouille sausage and garlic bread. This was awesome too, spicy sausage and the grits were cooked really really well. The garlic bread was huge but tasty.

Totally a dinner win after a total lunch lose.

Now to figure out our travel route for tomorrow and see what other interesting stuff awaits us in Delaware and into Maryland…

, ,

No Comments

The Perfect Crime

What is my perfect crime? I break into Tiffany’s at midnight. Do I go for the vault? No. I go for the chandelier; it’s priceless. As I’m taking it down, a woman catches me. She tells me to stop. It’s her father’s business. She’s Tiffany. I say no. We make love all night. In the morning the cops come and I escape in one of their uniforms. I tell her to meet me in Mexico but I go to Canada. I don’t trust her. Besides, I love the cold. Thirty years later I get a postcard. I have a son. And he’s the Chief of Police. This is where the story gets interesting: I tell Tiffany to meet me in Paris by the Trocadero. She’s been waiting for me all these years. She’s never taken another lover. I don’t care. I don’t show up. I go to Berlin. That’s where I stashed the chandelier.

See? Perfect crime…

but in reality that’s a statement from an episode of the Office and it’s a quote from good ol’ Dwight.

So I haven’t used this blog in awhile and a whole lot of things and life have been going on, but I am gonna get back into this and start using this place for what it can be used for, all kinds of opinions, events and stories about what is going on in my life and it’s changes.

No Comments

For the First Time… In a Long Time…

Here I am, sitting at the airport waiting for my flight. I have not been on a plane in almost a year and a half at this point, which seems weird considering I used to be on a flight 2-3 times a week at a minimum. The last time I was on a plane it was on my trip to Fantasy Camp for a vacation, so if we skip that trip it would be almost a full 2 years since I have been on a plane for work.

Logan airport hasn’t changed much, although the construction that was going on in Central Parking for over 2 years appears to be finally completed so the whole garage is now accessible for parking, and surprisingly, the cost to park a car has only increased by $2 a day in the past 2 years.

The ads are new and there is a Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill in Terminal C, but the kiosks and everything are still the same, and the same escalator is still not working to get down from the skyway to the concourse to check in. I still think it’s a conspiracy by the repair companies to keep them busy, same as with the T, fix them just enough to work for a bit and then break again.

Same carpets, same white rocking chairs, same vinyl rows of seats. It feels good to be back. Only trouble is that I have lost my frequent flyer status, so no free upgrade and I needed to wait in the standard security line, unlike in the past where I was able to take the super special speedy line.

I did notice one change though, what used to be the candy and nut stand halfway down the ramp to the gates is now some kind of health food stand with dried fruits and fruit juices. Yay?

I think the shoeshine guy was the same guy, although he was falling asleep and kept doing the head bob. You know the one, head resting on a hand and then you fall asleep so it slips off and then you wake up because of the jerking motion of your head falling, then you look around suspiciously to see if anyone noticed and then go back to snoozing, then repeat over and over again.

I have missed this, and while there is not much currently scheduled, I certainly hope that there is a lot more of this to come. The job looks very promising and I think this is going to end up leading to a whole lot of good things in terms of travel, professional life and personal life.

, , ,

No Comments

Old Stuff…

So I am in the process of cleaning out my MySpace account to shut it down, and realized I had almost 200 blog entries over there… YIKES… so I am sorting through those in order to see what I want to migrate over to hear…

One thing that is really annoying though, no way to export a MySpace blog…

,

No Comments

It’s Baseball Season! For the Joes Not the Pros!!

Yes, spring has sprung(sprang?) and once again I will be subjecting myself to pain on a weekly basis for yet another summer. I am back with the same team I was with last year in the Royal Rooters Baseball League.

We are “The Thunder”.

We were a ragged group of misfits thrown together last year as an expansion team in a league that didn’t have much room to expand, therefore we ended up with a pretty rough group of guys who lacked some skills on top of lacking some management leadership. We had a grand total of 1 team practice prior to the start of the season, and we played no warm up games for “spring training”.

We finished off last season with an abysmal record of 3-17 after losing our first 12 games to start off the season, by an average score of 15-3; Three of which were shutouts by 15 or more runs. Needless to say, we had some problems.

For the most part our problem was actually our pitching, we lacked any pitchers that could be considered a solid #1 or #2 option on the mound, and we suffered greatly because of this; Walks being the main culprit. This led to lots of runs and lots of time in the field compared to hitting, which wears everyone down and our offense suffered because of it.

A little over halfway through the year, a couple games after we actually got uniforms(although we never got hats) we had a change in the leadership of the team, along with the acquisition of some decent starting pitching. One definite ace for the team, and also one semi nutty guy who thought he was way better than he really was, but it was an improvement at least.

Our change in leadership was a combination of Alex taking over as the manager of the team, and myself picking up some of the slack with the little things like equipment and water for the games.

We managed to eek out 3 wins in our final 8 games, 2-0, 4-1, and 13-11. Somewhat of an improvement to say the least.

Now we come to winter, Alex was officially the new leader of the team as of the end of last season and he spent a great deal of time over the winter getting some new players for our team. We managed to find a new catcher, along with 5 new players who are all above average pitchers. This is combined with what has been referred to as “shedding deadwood”, which mostly consisted of players who were either terrible, never wanted to show up, showed up still drunk from the night before, or were just douchebags to their fellow teammates.

We also spent a great deal of time as a team over at the batting/fielding cages in Medford. Then we have also played a total of 5 spring training games to make sure we can work out some of the kinks.

I am disappointed that it appears as though I won’t be a starting player for the team, probably because I have been having some troubles hitting even though my fielding has been superb. It’s ok though because things do shift around during games and not everyone will make it to every game we play.

We have gone 3-1-1 in our spring training games; Yes, there are ties during spring training. This shows a remarkable level of improvement for us as a team and it lends to the thought that we aren’t just going to be a better team, we are going to be a team who is contending to win it all this year.

So look here for some updates on how our season is going, I am sure I will have plenty to talk about and either be seeking sympathy for poor play or boasting about how awesome our turn around has been.

GO THUNDER!!!

,

No Comments