Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phils Win!!! Can Ya Believe It???

Phillies 4, Rays 3
Recap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
TAMPA 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3 10 0
PHILA 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 - 4 8 1

W: J. Romero (2-0)
L: J. Howell (0-2)
SV: B. Lidge (2)

Wow!!! The Phils did it!!! Being a long time Philly sports fan - I have to admit, I was preparing myself for another collapse. It's happened so often.

The last time the Phillies won a World Series, youngest son Chris was less than 3 months old & older son Michael had just turned 4. Me??? I was only 24. So despite the fact that I've littered this earth with my miserable presence for parts of 6 decades - my kids have been alive for the same number of Phillies WS Championships as me. 2 of 'em in 100&twentysomething years.

So here I go with a bold prediction - The Phillies will win the World Series again... in 2036. Chris will be 56, Mike 60 & me, I'll probably be dead.

Enjoy the parade guys....

Monday, October 27, 2008

On The Brink Again.... Phillies Fans

Here we go again - a Philadelphia team is on the brink ... a 3 to 1 lead in the World Series with a chance to win it all tonight in front of the home crowd with their Ace on the mound. I've learned not to get my hopes up. Been there before only to see a Philly team collapse at the end (other than the 1980 series - That was the one where I had 4 tickets for the clinching game but gave the seats away because we were in the middle of moving). It's tough being a Philly sports fan - we've been in positions to win before - Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Sixers - all making it to the World Series, the Stanley Cup Finals, the Super Bowl, & NBA Finals only to fall flat. Could this year be different??? I guess the only thing worse would be suffering along as a Cubs fan.

It's enough to make your hair stand on end - like my grandson Jack.

Go Phils!!! Y'all got 3 chances to win ONE MORE LOUSY GAME!!! We still have faith!!! However misplaced it may be....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grown Up Kids

This picture was taken outside the Phillies Stadium - it's my son Mike & grandson Jack.... which leads me to today's modified post.....

I was copied on a very sad email today. It was sent from oldest son Michael (32) to younger son Christopher (28). The content was fine - all about investments & what to move where & how safe was this n' that & what kind of returns could be expected. Why is that sad you say? (Maybe you didn't really ask anything but play along with me here.) They're just too grown up now! They don't need me anymore! Well, they do call for advice related to construction issues & contract lingo but, beyond that, they're doin' fine without me n' Deb. Kinda makes me miss the days when good old Dad made loans knowing full well they wouldn't be re-paid. Uh, on 2nd thought, no I don't actually miss that part so much. So let me introduce everyone to my KIDS - Mike, Chris & Christine (Mike's wife). (Sigh) They're all doing so great - without me.

For starters here's Chris (the guy seated in the light blue shirt with arms folded -He's obviously winning) playing poker at a company sponsored function. This was at the last table. His boss had to take him aside & tell him to lose, since it was set up for their clients. Chris was bummed. He was up by quite a bit of Cha Ching.

This is Chris with Christine. They get along more like bro & sis than in-laws. We're very blessed that our kids are so close. Our grandkids LOVE Uncle Chris.

Here's Michael with Isabel (taken last year when they visited us in Florida - she's much more grown up now). She's nuts about her Daddy!!!

This is Mike & Christine. The picture was taken in New York. They're doing a great job raising Jack & Belly. I'm really proud of 'em.

Well, I suppose we must have done a few things right. We gotta get back to Pennsyvania for a visit real soon. Maybe I'll check on airline tickets today. They're still our not so little boys.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This Week's 'Word'

On Monday I received a somewhat panicked call from the Owner of the company asking me to go to Chicago to take over a project that's in deep whatever. I thought he was kidding. I'm just finishing a fast track job & me n' Deb were really looking forward to visiting our kids & grandkids up in Pennsylvania, taking some time off, getting ready for the holidays, planning a 'ghost sail' for Halloween, maybe even a short trip to the Keys or Bahamas. A well deserved rest was in order. After determining that he wasn't kidding, only one word came to mind. After 2 days of back & forth & finally deciding to go ahead & do the job, I still referred back to that same word. Now I'm running around getting everything situated & packing for a 6AM flight on Monday - & that same word keeps popping up. I guess I gotta do what I gotta do. So I'll take this opportunity to explain the "word" that I keep muttering & how that word came to be. It's also sorta related (that's a stretch) to yesterday's post about boats.

Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, most everything was transported by ship. These were the days before commercial fertilizer was invented, so large shipments of manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less. Once water (at sea) came in contact with the manure, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began, of which a by-product is methane gas. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles, and since it was common for wooden ships to take on some water in the holds, the manure would become soaked. Methane would then build up below decks and the first time someone went below with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined what was happening. Thereafter, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term "Ship High In Transit" on them, which meant for the sailors to stow the manure high above the lower decks, away from the water.

Thus evolved the term " S.H.I.T ", (Ship High In Transport) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day - in my case - pretty much on a continuing basis since Monday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Whatever Floats Your Boat

Boats. We've got a gazillion of 'em down here. Here's a tour boat motoring past the Castillo de San Marcos - the fortress was built in the 1600's to protect the Spanish citizens from attack. Today they fire the cannons for the tourists. I didn't know that when we first arrived. One afternoon, we were riding along in front of the seawall when a cannon went off & we both hit the deck. I thought the engine on Laffin' Gaff blew up.

Mmmmmmm.... Shrimp. This is a picture of a shrimp boat taken last Sunday. They haul in millions of pounds of the sweetest white shrimp from these parts. Because it's local, it's also fresh & cheap. I've paid as little as $2 per pound for jumbos.

The shrimp boats usually travel in small fleets of 4 to 6. There were a few more in the cluster but couldn't get them in the picture. All were just off shore just past the breakers.

This is part of Matanzas bay - sometimes called the St Augustine Harbor. There are some dangerous spots in these waters - obstructions below the surface waiting to tear out a hull. Sandbars can be a problem as well. You have to pay close attention to the markers.

This is another tourist boat. It sails up & down the Matanzas. In the evenings they have 'ghost sails' - where the crew tells ghost stories while guests guzzle wine. The waterway & bay has a reputation for being very haunted (like the town itself). The word Matanzas actually means place of slaughters & they say, when there's a full moon, boaters have seen skulls bobbing to the surface & the water turns red like blood.

This is the ramp that we use to launch our boat &, specifically, a picture of Homeland Security getting set for exercises. There were 6 or 8 boats - all identical - & once in the water there was nothing anywhere nearby that could keep up with them.

Here's a pic of me doing something that I rarely have time to do - fishin'. I'm back to just the goatee now - which is turning gray minute by minute.

Our boat - Laffin' Gaff - sitting on the trailer behind the garage. Looks rather lonely. I left a switch on & both batteries are now dead. More money. B O A T , actually stands for Break Out Another Thousand. The name Laffin' Gaff comes from my sissy-like approach to going to the dentist - They have to use Laughing Gas (Nitrous) even for routine cleanings. I miss not having our boat slip - we had one at our beach house in Delaware so it was convenient. Show up, hop on & in the ocean in 8 minutes. (Sigh!) Nowadays we have to tow the boat, wait in line & & then launch it - so LG doesn't get the use that it should. Hopefully that changes soon.

My first book will be out real soon. Needless to say the story revolves around the haunted city, the beaches & BOATS. The title, 'BAD LATITUDE' is the name of the boat that the kids run around in. The follow up, hopefully finished by early spring, also draws its title from the name of the next boat - an 82' schooner called ___________. I think I'll post about that later, when the editing is finished.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I'm so disgusted with the political system right now. If real Americans ran businesses & households like the cowardly manipulating crooks that are calling the shots in Washington, it would mean jailtime. Just to be fair - the political blame is shared across that magical aisle that all claim to try reaching across.

Unfortunately - blame is also shared by the citizens in this country that are so complacent (until all hell breaks loose). It amazes me how truly uninformed most people are & even more surprised by the total lack of effort expended to study & understand issues & policies before jumping on a particular bandwagon. Everyone seemingly wants to be spoon-fed. The fact that politicking, by it's very nature, is mostly smoke & mirrors, means it's important to read between the lines & promises & uncover the deep meaning & motivation behind the somewhat murky positions that so many of these career politicians never openly state. What's the real agenda? Who is setting the 'stated' policy & what are the guiding principals? How do the positions affect the individual as well as the masses? Who is benefitting the most & who is picking up the tab?

Now the elected officials are trying to fix something that should never have been broken, despite warning signals that were blinking bright red years ago, It also has to be done NOW or the economy will supposedly collapse (it's amazing how this went from a problem that no one wanted to act on to a crisis overnight). In the end we're suppose to swallow this debt, feel the impact of the crunch it will create & trust the Yahoos that put us in the position to fix & monitor the 'recovery'. On top of that - the 2 parties want to make sure that it's BIPARTISAN - so no one has to take the 'blame'. I guess that's their idea now of TEAMWORK. These idiots are scared - the public is 80% against the bailout - so those facing re-election don't want to lose their cushy jobs by voting against what their constituants are demanding. So I hope we see members of both parties teaming up for a photo shoot when it's all said & done. Preferably, it'll look like this: