Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
When Zack was a little kid Xena was a fixture in our household. It was on either Fox or the WB networks and the same episode was aired at least twice during the week. The first airing was on a weekday evening in prime time and then the second airing was at 11:30PM on Saturday night. Needless to say I would always watch it at 11:30PM on Saturday night.
I am sure many of you are thinking that I just like Xena because it starred Lucy Lawless. Well - that really isn't the case. I liked the show and it doesn't have anything to do with Lucy Lawless' looks or the supposed "sexual" overtones in the relationship she has with Gabrielle. Nope, it is just one of those mindless shows that you enjoy. Kind of like a BattleStar Galactica of an earlier generation. (And I am talking about the BattleStar Galactica that aired on the SyFy network from 2004 - 2009, not the campy series by the same name that ran on ABC in the 1970s!) Of course Xena didn't feature cyborgs, spaceships and other out of this world things. But it was a great show that kept me suitably entertained late on Saturday nights.
The downside to my purchase is that Zack just doesnt' seem to be into it. We watched the very first episode of Xena that was produced and he kind of told me - "Dad, this is boring". So I don't see it as a big father/son event for us to sit down and watch Xena every night. Oh well - I will just have to watch it after he goes to bed.
On a different note.... Besides my posting about llama on my blog yesterday I was posted something similar on Facebook. I got all kinds of funny responses to that post. Most were totally and completely in jest. I got lots of good names for my llamas if I want them. Some of the best were Dolly Llama after the Dalai Lama of Tibet. And of course if one of the llama turns out to be an evil master mind terrorist who spits on everyone, I can call him Osama bin Llama. Yes - it was quite the humorous posting that is for sure!
Well it is almost the weekend. I am sure we will have some fun and interesting things to do this weekend and I hope that everyone reading this has some fun plans also. You also have to remember it is only 15 days until Christmas - so you better get shopping if you haven't already done so.
Thanks and peace to all! ~J.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
(Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington with the clouds hanging low during Friday's storm.)After leaving Primanti Bros, I headed on down memory lane! First stop was Mt. Washington. The view wasn't that great because of the rain and clouds but it was really neat. On the way down off the bluff, I nearly hit two dear that were out strolling along the road on that very steep hillside. After Mt. Washington I did the entire South Side and Oakland. I was unhappy to see that the club that replaced the "Upstage" in Oakland is finally gone. Argh... one key piece of my wasted college years as a new wave 80's rocker is gone! I ended up driving around various areas of Pittsburgh for several hours more before I finally decided to head to my hotel which was in Greensburg. The town of Greensburg is about 45 miles to the southeast of Pittsburgh. The population of the town is roughly 16,000 people with a total of 60,000 or so living in the surrounding area. Greensburg was really the destination of my trip as I was in town for my high school 25th reunion. I had attended Greensburg Central Catholic for high school and graduated from there in 1984.
The Comfort Inn on Route 30 outside of Greensburg was where I was staying for my 2 days in town. I arrived there around 10:00PM or so on Friday night. Needless to say I was tired and besides reading for a while, I pretty much went right to bed.
Saturday morning dawned gray and cold - just like it had been when I went to bed on Friday night. The previous evening I had made arrangements to meet up with my sister Lesley again for breakfast. My original plans of taking a hike on the Laurel Ridge Trail near Somerset were out the window as I was just not in the mood to hike in the rain.
I met up with my sister at her home in Norvelt - she has purchased my parents old home. We decided to take a drive up to the top of Chestnut Ridge and have breakfast at Brady's right off of Route 31. Instead of heading straight up the Kecksburg hill, we took a route through Mount Pleasant and then drove route 31 up Chestnut Ridge. After a good and filling breakfast we were off. I didn't have any particular places in mind to see so I drove off meandering through the Laurel Highlands. We visited all kinds of places that had played a significant role in my earlier life. They are too numerous to name, but it was good to go back and see these places.
(Fall foliage at Laurel Hill State Park outside of Somerset.)
I dropped my sister off back at her house around 1:00PM as she had to catch a flight to Boston from at 5:00PM. She needed to pack and get down to the Pittsburgh airport in time for her flight.
After dropping her off I continued my meandering around. I stopped and visit my parents graves at St. Stanislaus Cemetary in Calumet. It had been on the order of 6 or 7 years since I had visited their graves. Not that it was something I had to do or anything - but with my interest in genealogy, I also find it good to visit the graveyards in which members of my family are buried.
I visited many other places that afternoon and I confronted much of my past that I had yet to confront. It was important for me to visit some of the places I had visited. Some of those places had played a significant role in Patty's and my lives before we moved to Colorado. As such, I think I have taken some additional significant steps to confront and purge myself of many of the ghosts from my past. I really do feel like I have the capability and capacity to move forward with my life.
I won't go into any detail about the reunion itself in this post. Needless to say it was fun, interesting and really great to catch up with a lot of people. I renewed many relationships that have long been dormant. I am greatly looking forward to once again building on those relationships.
Well - for now that is it for the night. I hope everyone's week is off to a great start. Yeah - for everyone in Denver I know that is the case as the Broncos beat the Chargers. (I am still not a 100% Broncos lover... It's better now that Shanahan is gone, but still it is hard for me to swallow routing for the Broncos!)
Thanks and peace to all. - J.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
(Our hot tub!)
Zack and I have enjoyed our hot tub for the last 2 winters and we are definitely looking forward to this winter. Given the amount of work that I have done to clean and organize our basement we now have a fairly nice place to come into after hanging out in the hot tub. Tonight we used the hot tub for the first time of the 2009/2010 winter. It was great as the temperature outside was just perfect for being in the hot tub. Our day was pretty uneventful. Zack did OK in school today and didn't get kicked out. (When his anxiety flairs up too much and he has a bad day, he gets "kicked out" for the day and I have to go and pick him up.) It's not exactly a fun thing, but I do understand to some degree as his teacher has to manage to continue to teach. This evening we started a program to help him deal with the loss of Patty. We are going to a program at St. Anthony's Luthern church in Highlands Ranch called "Rainbows". It is for kids who have lost a parent or whose parents are going through a divorce. I am hoping it will be a good program for him. We hope everyone had a great Monday! Thanks and peace to all! - J.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
As I got older and I found that my viewpoints about travel were still influenced by writers. In the last 10 years or so it has been the like of writers like Bill Bryson, Michael Palin and Paul Theroux who have influenced my thinking. Theroux has had the biggest influence upon my views of travel. In its most basic form, his philosophy about travel is that it is the journey that matters and not the destination. In fact, very rarely if ever is his travel writing about a destination – it is all about the journey and ultimately what he has discovered about himself as a result of the journey.
For our trip to Europe I selected several books to take with me to read. As I mentioned in a previous post, one of them was the book the “Gold of Troy”. The other was Paul Theroux’s “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star”. This was a book that I had started back in March but I had put down to concentrate on some other projects. There wouldn’t be a better time to read this book than during our trip. I immediately launched into this book once we boarded our first on the journey to Paris. The thought 12 hours of time isolated to myself (well – with Zack in tow) during which I would have no interruptions, no phone calls, no e-mails was a grand thought. Despite being confined to an airplane I had this wonderful book to consume. It would be a good flight – and it was!
As I opened the book and began its consumption, my thoughts immediately turned to what is the real point of this trip and all the other trips I have taken. What do I remember the most of all these trips around the world that I have taken in the last 7 years? I would dare say my memories are not of the countless monuments, cathedrals, government buildings and historic sites I have seen. No – my memories are of the Czech soldiers with whom I shared a train carriage and whole lot of beer during a memorable train ride across the Czech Republic. My memories are of the toothless old man in a small town in India who invited me in to see the mosque of which he was the custodian. My memories are of the prostitutes in Frankfurt who tried to entice me with their “goods”. Those are the things that I remember the most – the people and the experiences that we shared. I still have my list of hundreds if not thousands of “things” I want to see in my travels. In reality I have several lists – one list is of the things listed in the “1000 Things To See Before You Die” book. Another list is of all the sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. I even have a list of all the National Parks in the United States. I will work very hard to check as many things off these lists as possible, but the purpose of my travel will be to learn more of myself – to take experiences, ideas and thoughts away from everyone I meet along the journey. Thanks and peace to all! - J.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Your mom’s pregnancy had not been easy for her and on July 29th the doctors had told us that it was necessary to induce labor pretty quickly. We did get to pick the day on which you would be born within a 2 or 3-day window. We choose Friday, July 31 because it also was my Mom’s birthday. At the time my Mom had been diagnosed with cancer about 6 or 7 weeks beforehand. She had just gotten out of the hospital after a bout of surgery. So we wanted to try and have you born on her birthday so that you would share a special day with her.
Anyway, your Mom went into the hospital on Thursday evening around . We had put Bailey and
Thursday night was uneventful and I managed to get several hours of sleep, but your Mom didn’t’ sleep too well. On Friday morning, the nurses really increased the medicine that would induce labor. Patty started to feel some pain as labor began. The pain wasn’t good. Around lunch time the pain got so bad that they gave Patty the epidural. After that she felt better and said I should go and get something to eat. I went down to the cafeteria to get something to eat and read the news paper. When I came back, your Mom was in intense pain as the epidural reqlly hadn’t worked. We got the doctor back in who gave the epidural and they worked to correct the situation. It helped somewhat but not too much. In the end run it didn't matter as you were going to be born very shortly.
As the labor continued the doctors and nurses in the room began to notice there were signs of stress that you were experiencing. At first your pulse rate when way up but then after a while it started to fall. It began to fall into a range that would be described as dangerous for an unborn baby.
After a lot of pain and pushing by your Mom - you finally made your entrance into the world at 3:01PM on July 31, 1998. It wasn't any kind of grand entrance as you entered the world in silence. There was no screaming or crying - only silence. The nurses immediately took you over to the "baby cart" (for lack of a better word on my part) where you were put on a soft pad and the temperature was kept nice and warm. The did a quick test on you called an Apgar test and to put it bluntly you failed. You got a big fat zero - which meant that they really didn't detect any life in you. And too top it off you weren't breathing. All of this took place in about 30 seconds so it wasn't a long time. Given that you were breathing or doing anything - besides starting to turn a shade of blue - after 30 seconds the decision was made to call for a "code blue" and get a "crash cart" into the room to get you going.
Just as the call for a "crash cart" was going out - you decided that it was time to get on with life and let out the biggest and most beautiful scream that I had ever heard. It was great - you were alive and though not happy about being out in the world - you were fighting to stay in that world! After about 15 minutes of having you checked out in the room, the you got to go and be held by Mom for a little while before you were shipped off to the neo-natal intensive care. Given the way you came into the work and your size - you were 4lb 9ozs when you were born, they thought it was best that you got some special care. However after spending 2 hours there the doctors decided that you didn't need any special kind of care and you were shipped over to the regular nursery.
You stayed the hospital for the next 48 hours with Mom. Around 5PM on Sunday August 2, 1998 your Mom and I packed you up in car seat and took you home. When you left the hospital to go home on August 2, 1998 you weighed a grand total of 4lb 5oz. Both your Mom and I wondered if we would be able to take of you. Only time would tell in this case!
All of those activities from 11 years ago today seem so distant and part of another life. Despite that fact, Zack and I are together and inseparable. With the loss of Patty our relationship has taken on an entirely different tone. I am his one and only parent who is alive and in this world - so I have a tremendous duty to this little boy.
I will always be there for him regardless of his age or anything else. He is my one and only son, and I will do everything to ensure he has the best life possible. (Not the most cushy life, not the most pampered life or not the life with out responsibility - but the best life possible.) And by that I mean where Zack is working to his potential and is content where he is in life.