Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome 2007 and Thank You 2006!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My Year In Last Sentences...

The last sentence of the last post in that month, thanks Murry

Dec 2005: I hope that you and yours have a great New Year and if I do not return till next week, enjoy!!!

Jan 2006: At some point I was on rim, I hope I did no real damage to the car....we'll see.

Feb 2006: Oh well, off to Mother Russia to defend her from the Nazi's for awhile before work (Call of Duty2: Hardened)...

Mar 2006: I laughed and said they aren't!!!!

Apr 2006: The way gas prices are going I think I might not have that much of an argument from the wife......

May 2006: I know there are people like that out there but it hits you in the face when it happens to you or your family........

June 2006: In a nutshell, see it on the big screen but go to the matinee....oh and the kids will be B O R E is a love story........

July 2006: He should be tried as an adult and locked away for a long time.

Aug 2006: PS: 3-3 this week in working out at the Y, tomorrow will make it a full week of exercise in a month!!!!!

Sept 2006: And when all the work is done and the dog is walked and it is too dark to be outside nothing is better then sitting on the couch for an hour as a family and laughing together and enjoying a good show.

Oct 2006: Go out and enjoy and Happy Halloween!!!

Nov 2006: Drop a line and some hints, how do you do it?!?!?!!???!?!?

Leave a comment when you do it so I can visit your list!!!!

Friday, December 29, 2006


Is there anybody out there?

Book Review

Curse Of The Narrows by Laura M Mac Donald

On December 6th, 1917 the munitions ship Mont Blanc collided with the Imo in Halifax Harbour and set off a chain of events that resulted in the largest explosion in North America to date. In an instant over 2,000 people killed; 6,000 wounded; 9,000 were made homeless and 300 people blinded. The city of Haliax, Novia Scotia was destroyed. After the disaster a blizzard covered the entire area, delaying help, and destroying hope.

This book starts on December 5th and introduces us to the people involved and the city itself. It reads as a narrated documentary rather than a fiction book. And that was my one disappointment. I have read many historical fiction books that have stayed true to the facts and lets the reader enjoy an excellent narrative. Ms. MacDonald could have done that here, but alas she did not. That aside this story is one of despair and horror and the hope and strength of the people of Halifax and Boston. Boston was the first city to respond en mass and the relief was so complete and so needed that to this day, the people of Halifax send to the people of Boston a Christmas tree for the Boston Commons.

To give you an idea of the size of the explosion I give you this well written well researched excerpt:

Altogether 2,925 tons of power exploded, giving off over 9,000F hear. All 6,880,627 pounds of the Mont Blanc's iron hull shot up over a thousand feet, roiling within the initial flame ball until much of it vaporized. The anchor snapped its chain and separated, sending the 1,140 pound shank across the city for 2.35 miles. The aft canon shot off the stern and landed in a small lake three miles away

...the sound arrived first travelling at 12,230 miles per hour..People as far away as 225 miles reported hearing a low boom. When it was over not one of the 12,000 buildings within a 16 miles radius was left intact. the harbor, the heat of the explosion was so intense that a 20 foot radius of water around the Mont Blanc instantly evaporated...water from all over the harbor rushed to fill the void , creating a geyser that collapsed under it's own weight and cause a 20 foot tsunami that flooded the already destroyed city.

And that is chapter 3. The book goes on to tell the story of the city and it's people at first in the rescue stage and then in the recovery stage. It is a fantastic story giving the time and place. the fact that WWI is just over the horizon, that the area is hit with 2 blizzards right after the explosion. And organizations like the Red Cross are just in it's infantsy. One doctor works for 80 hours straight removing the ruined eyes of all those who watched the collision through their windows and had glass embedded deep in their skulls. Men who were in the harbor trying to fight the fire on the Mont Blanc one minute found themselves on the other side of the harbor, their boat missing, with nothing but their boots on. The only firefighter to survive the blast was the truck driver, he awoke naked on a hill one mile away from the harbor still holding part of the steering wheel in his hand.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in history or the reaction to disaster by the victims and the rescuers, especially with the Tsunami and Katrina still fresh in our minds. Check it out!

The Short Week

For some...

Even though I had to work on Christmas this has still felt like a short week. That and the fact that most people were not in this week! Which make no difference to me as I just come in a do my job and the less people that are there the less people I have to deal with....

The new year is upon us and I have some resolutions again (as does everyone). This year I am hoping they pay off better then last year. I got very lazy at the gym and missed tons of time there, either due to sickness or just plain being tired, I need to make an extra effort to get there everyday!!!

I have some plans for 2007 we will see how they work out...more details to come. Now off to work!!!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Today is my Grandmother's birthday. She is very active and always travelling. She is one of thirteen children, her oldest brother was born in the 1800's. She has seen major travel by horse and communication by mail with movies having piano accompaniment go to air travel, satellite phones and IM and movies in surround sound in the home or on an Ipod. Her husband (since passed) was a Pearl Harbor, she has two daughters, 7 Grandchildren and 3 Great Grand Children. And dozens of cousins, nephews and nieces. Several years ago a surprise party was held for her to celebrate her life, 300 people showed up; all related to her in some way and a major part of her life.

Last night, with her family around her we all wished her a Happy Birthday and her great grandson's help blow out the candles. One of my most treasured gifts is the 36 dollars in my home safe. Every birthday she sends out a birthday card with a dollar in it, she writes "Happy BLANK Birthday. Love Grandma" on each one. My son has 13 and my wife 15 (since we have been married). No matter what else you get or what else she gives you, you always look forward to grandma's card...

Happy Birthday Grandma, and many more!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Is It Over?

I hope you all made it through the Holiday!!! We made it out OK. Saturday started with me and the boy getting to bed at 8am. Yes you heard me, 8am. We had a lock in with the Boy Scouts on Friday night. It went from 7pm Friday till 7:30am Saturday morning, and we were awake the whole time. I awoke around 4sh and hit the shower and went to my sisters for dinner. I then went home and went to bed.

Christmas Eve broke with us having a nice breakfast and finishing up the last minute details for Christmas. We went to the early 3:30 mass instead of midnight this year. We then went to my parents house for dinner and Santa. Every year we go to their house with my entire family and celebrate Christmas. It was fantastic, everyone but my brother and his family were there (they were stuck in LA, having just moved there 5 weeks ago). Santa has come while we were at Mass and my nephew went crazy!!! We all exchanged gifts and had a grand time! After that we had dinner, lobster tails, prime rib, fettuccine Alfredo, the works. Even the boy tried out lobster!!!! Content and stuffed we retired to various rooms in the house the sit, relax and talk. Some went online to share pics with family and friends, others sat around the tree organizing the piles for transport and the boy went with my Dad to play with some of the gifts. The nephew drove his new motorized car around the halls and I help my Mother and Grandmother with the dishes. As the evening wore down we were all full and sleepy and packed up and went to our respective homes, it was only 10:00...

Christmas Day dawned at 7:30am and even though the boy is 13 he was just as excited about Christmas Morn as he was when he was 5. So up and out of bed to go downstairs and see what "Santa" has left. The three of us had a blast! The wife has these Christmas nesting boxes (stackable box decorations) of the 12 Days of Christmas. She put all of my gifts in them and made me open them in song order. We all made out very well (we always go a little too much) and then started to make dinner, which is at our house for the entire family. The wife went above and beyond with a pork crown roast, twice baked potatoes, veggies, rolls, stuffing, etc. We made our 100 phone calls to family and friends wishing then a Merry Christmas, ate and then I had to go to work.

Even with the work part the day was a fantastic celebration of family. Even Grandma got into playing with the boy's video games. The wife got cudos for a great dinner and everyone enjoyed a nice day of gifts, talking and chocolate cream pie.

I hope you and yours had a fantastic weekend and got into the spirit of the holiday! For some, like me, it is back to the grind and back to work. For others they get to enjoy a nice week off until the new year. Which ever one you are, Merry Christmas to one and all...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas...

While it might be politically incorrect to say it, I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that you and yours has a fantastic day! There is nothing more special than this time of year. Old friends are thought of as cards are sent, families make arrangements to gather across the globe and tons of thought is put into getting that perfect gift.

Through it all remember the reason for the season. On this day a baby was born. A baby destined for greatness, and a baby that has changed the course of history. Celebrate with your family and loved ones, enjoy the spirit, the gifts, the food and the company. If you cannot make it to a service of your choosing then take one moment on Christmas day to say a quick prayer and wish the little Guy a happy birthday...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday

Christmas Card Remembrance:
Every year I take out the old address books and struggle to make heads and tails of people's moves, last time we got a card, new arrivals, etc. So now when we get a Christmas card from someone I teat off the return address and stick it in my address book. I make any addition info on the back (new house, new kid w/name, etc). When the season is over and the crazy is done I take a moment and sit down with the address book and make any and all changes needed. Once everything is correct I then toss the return address scrap and I will be ready come December next for another round of Christmas cards!!!
At least that is how this guy keeps all his ducks in a row for Card Season.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Saturday Morning

Yesterday Joseph Barbera died.

My earliest memories are that of sitting in front of a 13 inch black and white TV on a Saturday morning with a bowl of cereal waiting for the cartoons to start. I still have comics from back then and take them out and show my son the ads for the Fall Season of Saturday morning, Josie and the Pussycats, Smurfs, Hong Kong Phoey and of course Tom and Jerry. All of these from the Hanna-Barbera collective. These men raise more children then they know and I hope they realized that. The article above only scratches the surface of their creations and I am sure that anyone reading this over the age of 25 remembers almost everyone. It is funny how people all have their favorites, they are all different and yet made by the same men.

It is sad that these days our children are not afforded the same innocents as Saturday morning. Today there is no room for a Saturday in front of the TV watching good old fashioned cartoons. They are being whisked anyway at oh-dark-thirty to Soccer practice, or piano lessons, etc, etc. I would say we should organize a stay at home and watch cartoons Saturday but sadly the networks push 'educational' crap or infomercials at us every Saturday morning. Alas an era has passed and the young ones will never know what they missed!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Still Alive...

Very busy no time for real post but here is something from Danelle, thanks D

Three things that scare me:
Zombies, a heart attack, losing my family
Three people who make me laugh:
my wife, my son, one guy at work

Three things I love:
baseball, books, my dog

Three things I don't love:
work, clothes shopping, Chinese food

Three things I don't understand:
college sports, today's music, taxes

Three things on my desk:
baseball cards, battery charger, mini flashlight

Three things I'm doing right now:
watching the clock, reading Sherlock Holmes, finishing Christmas shopping

Three things I want to do before I die:
get skinny, visit Ireland and Italy, write a book
Three things I can do:
give a speech, reverse-engineer simple items, make babies stop crying

Three things you should listen to:
myself, my wife, my God

Three things you should never listen to:
Country, Rap, politicians

Three things I'd like to learn:
to use photoshop, wood carve, cook

Three favorite foods:
Pasta, pizza, meatloaf
Three beverages I drink regularly:
Water, milk, sprite

Three TV shows I watched as a kid:
Robotech, Project: Blue Book, The Dukes of Hazard

Friday, December 15, 2006

Writers Block...

Well that is assuming I am a writer!! I have had nothing to talk about the last week. Aside from the usual rants, nothing is going on. I think that is because we are so dang busy!!! Tuesday we had a Scout Court of Honor, then Wednesday I had a Scout committee meeting that lasted till 10, then last night we had a Christmas Concert. Tonight the boy has a party, tomorrow is my Office Party, Sunday I work 8am till 5pm and Sunday night is Survivor Finale and then it is Monday all over again. And it is the Monday before Christmas!!!

WOW I am boring lately, sorry. I hope the season has grabbed you, it seemed to a few weeks ago but now it has lost its grip a little. Last night was fun, a Holiday Concert that was actually a Christmas Concert. They had the Jewish holiday song but the night was about Christmas with some traditional and non-traditional but seasonal songs. I was very surprised to be in a school and here actual Christmas songs. It was very nice and extremely non-PC, even better!!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Busy Day 2

Awoke today to not working out. I was but I had to sew. Yes I said sew. I sewed on a patch on the boy's Scout uniform, then put a hem into my Scout pants. We have a Court of Honor tonight and we have to look our best. Once again I am giving out the Eagle Palm award. It should be a good night, long but fun.

Last night the boy informed us that he has a 'busy' weekend. Friday night is a friend's birthday party, Saturday afternoon is his band's practice (garage not marching) and then he has a 'date' with his girlfriend and 6 other kids on Saturday night. We told him it all depends on his grades. He needs to keep them up to be able to go this weekend. I am hopeful but doubtful for him. He gets the lazy and will forget to hand in an assignment and boom, fail. We are on him about it and support him, so we shall see.

After I got my raise we thought we were having a very merry Christmas, but then the wife called and said she just got her gift from her boss, shares of company stock totalling $7000!!! Now she cannot access the stock nor can she take it with her for 3 years but it is still a gracious gift and a nice addition to our future!!!

Now it is back to work as the lunch hour is over and I must get going...

Monday, December 11, 2006

One More Saturday Night...

This weekend went way too fast. Not only did I have to work at 5am Saturday morning, I was up to all hours of the night all weekend. Doing work, filling out Christmas cards and hanging with the family. This week is no different, not only do we have something planned EVERY night this week but I also have a function on Saturday night and have to work all day Sunday.

I had planned on railing on the world here today as I was a little grumpy this weekend and asking about anger issues, etc but while working out this morning I was talking with some fellow gym nuts (ha). I have known this older couple for 2 years now and we talk at the gym. Well I have not seen them in awhile and asked where they had been. Seems their grandson was home from Iraq for a week and they went to visit him. His platoon (my word) was on it's way to a routine patrol when their transport was hit by an explosive. Five of his men were killed instantly, 2 wounded. He called for air transport then started collecting body parts so they were not all over the road. When the helicopter arrived they put the two wounded soldiers on and took the grandson (their lieutenant) with them. Both men dies in his arms as they fly over the desert. HE is now a Captain and received the Bronze Star for his actions that day. He is home for several weeks but is spending them visiting the home of the 7 men he lost under his command. Slights, work issues, holiday rush and bruised egos all go away when you hear of real problems and true heroism. Keep my friend's grandson and all of our troop in your thoughts and prayers this and every day!

PS The grandson is actual one of two, his twin brother is also in the service and is serving in Hawaii (that is what happens when you graduate top 1% at West Point)....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Scared of Santa...

50 Questions:

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I need to workout more...

2. How much cash do you have on you?
$2, I don't carry cash anymore...

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

4. Favorite planet?

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
The wife

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
American Girl by Tom Petty

7. What shirt are you wearing?
Blue polo with stripes

8. Do you label yourself?

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
Generic slippers

10. Bright or Dark Room?

11. What do you think about the person who took this test before you?
D at The Could Only Happen To Me. I think if we lived in the same state we would hang out...

12. What does your watch look like?
Heavy Citizens silver with blue face, love it

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Getting home from work and watching Futurama

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
"Marco?" from the wife, code for where are you...

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
Not too sure

16. What's a word that you say a lot?

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
The boy

18. Last furry thing you touched?
Marble, my dog...

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
I take 6 pills a day, 2 prescription and 4 vitamins/aspirin

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?

21. Favorite age you have been so far?
21, last year in college...

22. Your worst enemy?

23. What is your current desktop picture?
Apollo 11 ready to launch...

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Good bye...

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?

26. Do you like someone?
Several people...

27. The last song you listened to?
The Chain, Fleetwood Mac

28. What time of day were you born?

29. What’s your favorite number?

30. Where did you live in 1987?
Yorktown, New York

31. Are you jealous of anyone?

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
I am not sure...

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
At work with 15 monitors showing me everything that was happening

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Hit it a few times then leave a note...

35. Do you consider yourself kind?
Sometimes, also sometime mean...

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
Italian, I took it for 4 years and miss it....

38. Would you move for the person you loved?

39. Are you touchy feely?

40. What’s your life motto?
Why me?

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Wallet, cell phone, keys

42. What’s your favourite town/city?


43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Dinner last night

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
I can't remember!

45. Can you change the oil on a car?

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
She called my house 2 years after I got married asking about me...

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
One generation before they came to America...(late 1800's)

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
Suit for a party...

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Lower back and head ache

50. Have you been burned by love?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Good Day Sunshine!!!

Wow, what a difference a day makes!!!! Yesterday I went into work, same old same old. Then I got called into the office for a quick 'talk'. I was thinking what the hell did I do now, but my boss pushed up my annual review a month (actually almost 2). See they powers above wanted to get my raise in the books for this year. That is good when she said that. She then showed me my review sheet, you know the one, several questions with the 1-5 rating good better, excels, needs improvement. So I get a 75, so far the highest has been 65 so I am ahead of the curve. Looks like 3%, but then she tells me that since I have taken on a new show (Spanish Language news) and have not complained about it she went upstairs to ask for more money. I was shocked but expecting a little extra in the check (like an extra 1-2%) but then she laid out the number and it works out to a 12.5% raise that they made retroactive a few weeks!!!! HOLY SH*T!!!! Needless to say I was walking on air for the rest of the day.

So I guess in the end it does pay to do your job, keep your head down and when the boss calls, come a running!!!

Merry Christmas to us!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday's With Bryan

I am back!!! Worked out again, hit the PC and the blog and already ready to get to work!!! I love getting in the grove. Sometimes I enjoy the rut if it is going in the right direction...

Work Talk: We are having a problem at work with attitudes. Basically I work with younger kids who act like kids and now I am getting the shit for it. It has aggravated me for awhile and I have had several talks with them but now other people have complained and the boss sat me down yesterday and had a talk with me. Nothing big or that I was in trouble, just that this is what she heard is going on and that as the Director On Duty it was up to me to put a stop to it. So now I become Captain Hard Ass at work, oh well, the way I see it they brought it upon themselves...then they complain and wonder why some people get 3% raise and they get 1%.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Smoke On The Water...

It is cold today!!! A little trace snow on the ground and the smoking ponds all over the place. You know cold enough to almost freeze the ponds overnight!!!! Thank goodness I finally got the roof lights up last night!!!! I would have fallen on the old butt if I had gone up there today!! The house looks great. The blow up Santa was just unplugged, so that is good. And we got the inside decorated as well. Everything looks great. Had the ipod hooked to the stereo and blasted the Christmas tunes while we ran around the house like happy elves. It is Christmas!

The boy has a project due this week. He worked on it this weekend and did a fine job on it. We should have it done by tonight. I have to pick up a few things for it on the way to work. We also got his room cleaned. We emptied EVERY draw in his room. And I am happy to say not only does the room look good but there were no secret stashes, hidden homeworks or other teen aged things one hides from parents. He also got a political cartoon out of the way and was able to watch the Colts lose and practice in his garage pays to organize!

I worked out this morning!!!!! It was tough and the old muscles but I did it! What helped was that I saw a co-workouter at Sam's on Saturday and said hello and asked how everything was. He mentioned he hadn't been to the gym all November, I told him ditto. I then told him under no circumstances was I to miss Monday morning at the gym. This morning we arrived at the same time, I told him the only reason I was there on this cold morning was that I had told him the other day I was going to be here, so here I am. He laughed because he hit the snooze button and then got out of bed because he thought I would wonder were he was. We both had a good laugh and then got right to working out...thanks for the motivation!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A New Day Breaks...

I was up and wandering at 7am this morning. I have already finished my Internet travels and have loaded several discs on my itunes. So I figured I'd hit blogger and see what is shaking! Today will be a busy day! The boy has to finish 2 projects (he has been working on them), the wife wants to finish decorating and I want to do the Christmas cards...looks like we have our hands full!!!

Yesterday the boy joined his first garage band. Well they do not call them that anymore as most homes in the general area have 'music rooms' (alas we do not). Hell the kid who formed the band has an 'extra' drum set so the boy does not have to pack up his and move it across town!!! His grades are up and better and he earned this. He had a great time and they wrote a song, so this should be fun!

Oh well off to the races!!!! Have a non-hectic Sunday!

Friday, December 01, 2006


Last night after Survivor we drove back from the parents (we both had our cars), when we got home I beeped the horn and told the wife to get into my car with the boy. When they got in we drove around the block and down the street. All the while looking at the odometer, which read 99999, as we approached the gas station on the corner it turned to 100,000!!!!!!! Yippee!!! The car is paid off and doing very well on the road. I take care of it and it should take care of me for a while longer...

Windy weather here last night!!! No snow like up north just lots of wind. Unfortunately that took out one of our moving reindeer and our blowup Santa...have to check them out later today and might have to replace both!!!

Have a great Friday!@