Saturday, December 25, 2010

9/11 First Responders Bill Passed

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was finally passed by both Houses of Congress. It required some compromise, but it's about time this got done. Many thanks should go to Jon Stewart of The Daily Show for shaming enough Republicans and the mainstream press, who were not covering this much at all, into doing the right thing. Excellent Christmas present to all the first responders and their families.

Monday, December 20, 2010

9/11 First Responders

Let's hope the Republicans get on board and help pass the Zadroga Bill. For a party that invokes 9/11 so much, you'd think they would be leading the charge on passage of this. Truly shameful.

The bill is intended to provide health monitoring and financial aid to sick 9/11 workers. Seems like a good idea to me to help the many, many people who responded to this tragedy and worked tirelessly trying to save any possible survivors, and by recovering remains, provided some closure to victims families. So many of them have had horrific health issues because of the toxic environment they worked in for a long time. True heroes.

And indeed they are heroes. Not only the responders, but the ones who ran up those towers and gave their lives trying to help others. Doc and I went to NYC about 5 weeks after 9/11. Just felt like we needed to go and be tourists, spend some money to help the NYC economy and to pay respects. Couldn't get near the site, but every time a fire truck or emergency vehicle went by, whether coming to or from ground zero, every single person on the street stopped what they were doing and applauded. I've never seen anything like it. It had such an impact on me as to what it means to be heroic and how all of us should respect that. Come on Republicans!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

RIP Michael Lee

I was just listening to Jimmy Page / Robert Plant's No Quarter album. First time I heard of this "reunion" was a video of them in 1994 with this incredible young drummer named Michael Lee. He was 24 years old at the time this was recorded. He was unbelievable! Especially on the song Kashmir. I had recorded it on VHS and watched it many times over the years (and of course bought the CD). If you're any kind of Zeppelin fan, and you haven't seen this, you must. And watch this amazing drummer.

While listening to the CD tonight I did a Google search on Michael to see what he's been up to. Turns out he died November 24, 2008 from an epileptic seizure. I had no idea and was heartbroken to read the news. He was only 39.

Rest In Peace Michael Lee.

Michael's Wikipedia Page
Michael's Obituary

Article from Northern Echo

UPDATE 08:55 PM: Just watched Kashmir on the DVD version (yes, I also bought the DVD quite a while ago). Plant sounded real good, Page was in fabulous form, strings, exotic instruments.... and one of the best rock and roll drum performances I have ever seen!! WOW!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Health Is Not Simply The Absence of Sickness

The title of this post is a quote from Hannah Green. She is a writer I don't know, but I liked the quote.

Earlier I had mentioned a trip to the doctor. Had the tests and physical, and the news wasn't too bad. Had a bit of a high blood sugar reading and low good cholesterol. The good news is, since being on meds, the blood pressure is back to normal. To deal with the other stuff I have given up soda (mostly) and am eating a lot better. Also taking fish oil pills.

Now all that's left is to quit smoking. Oh boy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Job

I've given notice to my current employer and am starting a new job on 11/16. My last day is Friday the 13th!! Going to work for an ex-employer and am very excited. Hopefully, I have made a good decision. It's a familiar environment with lots of people I have worked with before. There is a bit of sadness leaving, but a new challenge and adventure to look forward to. Wish me luck!!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Summer Update

There are 2 posts below this one which were my first in quite a long time. I realized after posting them that there are a few other things that happened over the summer. The best was that my stepson Dan got married on July 11th. He is the son of my ex-wife, but I think of him as my son too. It was a beautiful wedding and I am very happy for him and his new wife Kiley (who I like a lot). They have been together for a long time and I think they make a great couple. I was even included in the ceremony. Had to get up and do a reading. I was nervous, but quite honored.

The next weekend in July, my buddy Doc's daughter Rhiannon got married as well. It was also a lovely wedding. Made for a busy few days for me! Not only did I go to Dan's rehearsal/rehearsal dinner and wedding, when I arrived at Rhiannon's wedding, I was asked to do the videotaping of the ceremony (and some of the reception). It may have been a busy time, but it was also wonderful! They were both outdoors and the weather was great, as were both locations.

In the beginning of August, Murphy came up from Florida to stay for a couple months for some jobs he has up here. It was so good to see him again. He really is a great friend and I have missed him since he left a couple years ago. Below is a picture of him and Manny I took at my place recently. He is indeed a character, but an awesome dude!

Also, in the beginning of August, I got sick and went to the doctor. Turned out to be a viral infection, nothing major. But the doctor said my blood pressure was way too high and prescribed medication. I was sick last winter and she said the same thing, but this time she actually wrote a prescription. She wanted me to get a physical back then and I didn’t, so she said I better do it this time, along with some blood work. I put it off for a while, but finally filled the prescription last week, got the blood work done and have an appointment Wednesday for the physical. When she took my blood pressure I didn’t even ask what it was. When I went and got the prescription filled (finally) the pharmacist asked what my blood pressure was and I didn’t know, so they checked it. 183 over 114. Needless to say, I’m taking the medication every day since. I guess I was putting all this off because the thought of getting old was starting to freak me out. Don’t want to accept it, let alone have to change my lifestyle. Oh well, reality is here and I have now started to deal with it.

That about covers the major happenings. Hope everyone has had a good summer and I’ll try to update a little more often. Finding that blogging is very easy to put off, but will work on it.

A Celebration

This past Friday (September 4th) would have been Karen's 46th birthday. There was a celebration at Manny's that night in honor. He wanted everyone to bring pictures of Karen that they liked and he dedicated a wall in his house for us to hang them all. It was a great thing. Lot's of wonderful pictures and stories. Family day was the next day, but I couldn't make that because of a work obligation, so I was glad to be there on Friday.

Speaking of the monthly family day, here are the group pictures from July (at Ed & Jane's) and August (at Brian & Diana's). I'll post the group picture from Friday's celebration once I get a copy.

July Picture:

August Picture:

Fantasy Football

Had my Fantasy Football draft yesterday (7th pick out of 12). I think it was better than last season, which was my first time. I made a plan this year and stuck to it. Last year I started panicking a little and made some bad choices, had never done a Fantasy draft before. Here's the lineup for this season.

Ryan, Matt QB ATL
Brown, Ronnie RB MIA
Jackson, Steven RB STL
Johnson, Calvin WR DET
Ochocinco, Chad WR CIN
Olsen, Greg TE CHI
Bironas, Rob K TEN
San Diego Chargers D/ST

Favre, Brett QB MIN
Jones, Julius RB SEA
Evans, Lee WR BUF
Miller, Zach TE OAK
Brown, Kris K HOU
Washington Redskins D/ST

There were some players I wanted that were picked before me, but overall I'm pretty satisfied. Only time will tell.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Another Triple Crown is Over

Yesterday was the Belmont Stakes. Spent the day with Karen's family and my buddy Manny. They get together the first Saturday of each month and invite Doc and me. I feel very honored to be included. Last month the gathering happened to be Kentucky Derby day, and this time was the Belmont Stakes.

Had a decent day betting and made a little bit of money. Started with Scottish racing in the morning. Won the first race I bet and it paid 84.00, the long shot system at work! Used that money to make a lot of other bets through the day and had 2 more semi-long shots and a cheap exacta. Overall, I was pleased.

The gathering was at Ed and Jane's yesterday and was a really wonderful time. Great barbecue and great people. Here's a picture of the gang.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Good, The Bad & The Preakness

First the good. A week ago this past Saturday I logged into my account in the morning to watch some English hurdle racing. Bet 3 horses to win in the first race and lost. Bet 3 more horses to win in the next race and one of them won and paid 87.80. I logged off and called it a day! Love this long shot system.

Now the bad. Logged in early on Preakness day yesterday and bet 3 or 4 races and didn't cash a ticket. I then had a lot to do and was out the next 4 hours. In that time my long shot system hit 2 races paying around 28.00 and 40.00. Unfortunately, I wasn't home to bet them.

Finally, the Preakness Stakes. Being that the favorite won, I didn't win this race either. Tried the long shot system and a couple exacta combinations but no luck. Gave back some of my Derby weekend winnings on this one. On a good note, a few close friends came by and it was a fun race to watch.

On to the Belmont Stakes June 6th!!