Thursday, December 30, 2010

I've been Skyped!!!

For Christmas my son gave us a webcam. We set it up on Skype today and its really great. We can now talk to our grandchildren who are on the left coast and see them at the same time.
We tried it out today but the grand kids were out at day care. Will try it again tonight when theu come home.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Max Cries For Attention

This is Max, a somewhat worse for the wear Feral Cat that my sister & daughter rescued as part of their work with Four Legs Good (click link in my favorite links column on the right). He has really had a rough time of it and right now is quarantined to make sure he's going to be alright. I wish I could adopt him once he is eligible, but Regina is allergic to cats. So someone else will get him. I hope they do right by the little guy. He needs some TLC for sure.

Why Do Doctors Take So Long to Make Decisions?

I've been back and forth to hemotologists, pulomanary specialists, hospitals, etc. for the last several months. I have a high red blood cell count according to them. After genetic tests, sleep tests and drawing what seems like a gallon of blood from me they finally arrived at a decision. They say, I have Sleep Apnea which will produce excess red blood cells. I need to have a C-PAP machine prescribed to me to keep positive pressure in my airways so they won't collapse. But its not a simple matter of you have it, here is the machine, have at it! Nope, I have to attend yet another consult, even though I already know I have it. I have to have a seminar of sorts with a specialist who will tell me how to use it, hook it up, etc. then it will be prescribed to me and I can begin using it.

This has been going on forever now........and our dear government wants to know why medical costs are so high. Gawd!, its because of duplication due to fear of malpractice I suppose. I've never seen so much waste. Not only that, but they waste your money and inconvenience you like never before. Try to find a doctor that will deal with you after hours or on weekends! Yet take a gander at them if you so much as intone that they are wasting your time. I told one Doctor once he was going to have to pay for my sick time if this nonsense kept up. He laughed! They have no sense on how they intrude in our lives.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


So says Martin Sheen as he portrays Robert E. Lee chastizing Jeb Stuart during the movie Gettysburg. Well I've been thinking a lot about what time I have and to tell you the truth, there is not much. I work and commute 15 hours a day, do errands on Saturday and collapse on Sunday.

So one of the things I've decided to do is spend less better quality time on the computer. To that end, I've decided to quit Face Book after I received some counsel from my internet buddies Mike and Janie. There is very little quality time on that site. Its more annoying than anything else. I figure if I want to keep in touch with anyone, I can email them or they me.

Another thing I've decided to do is to resign from the Zuni Maritime Foundation as Historian. This took some soul searching since I was the knucklehead who started the effort a decade ago; but I simply don't have the time nor energy required to do the Zuni Tam justice. I'll stay on as an ordinary dues paying member; But the fact remains that the boat is hundreds of miles away from here. I doubt if I'll ever see it again. When you don't see her ( the ZUNI) on a periodic basis your emotional investment dwindles. I have spent way too much time on other sites espousing the virtues and merits of the USS Zuni at least as far as return goes.

That's one of the reasons why I haven't devoted much time to this blog lately. Too darn tired and busy everywhere else. I'd like to get this blog up and running again. Another thing I'd like to do is to be able to help out my Sister's and daughter's not for profit more. Four Legs Good. We see results immediately with the Trap, Neuter and Spay program for cats.They are local and more easily accessible then a ship based in Portsmouth, Virginia.

So with some luck you'll see more entries here......

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some Excitement From Across The Pond

I received an email from the son of the first skipper of the Zuni the other day. He lives in England now. Had some great stories to tell about his Dad. I hope to get him more involved. Here is Zuni's latest photo all dolled up in World War 2 Dark Gray paint. We hope to be home soon,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I friggin hate contractors........

Well we had a bunch of work done on the exterior yesterday and while I'm pleased with the aesthetics, I've pretty much had it with contractors. The back yard looks great, and so does the front for that matter but therein lies the problem. The front was supposed to be an option, not part of the contract. They brought all the material anyway and after consultation with the wife, we decided to go ahead with it.

And they did a beautiful job.........However, they built the walls up too high by the gas meter. I had them remove the dirt around it. Yep, the actually filled it up around the meter. There is room to pull it out if you need to but some alterations need to be made.

One thing is certain. No more improvements on this house. I'll pay a contractor to fix structural damage and return to existing, but this is it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Holiday...........

Had a great weekend. Ange and Danny kicked in and bought me tickets to a Mary Chapin Carpenter Concert in Peekskill. Ange came with me. It was fun because 20 years ago, I took Ange to see MCC. It was her first concert and it was in the same place, the Paramount Theater in Peekskill. Now that's great kind of payback.

Rest of the weekend, its too hot to do anything else. We watched the Mentalist on DVD. First time we ever saw the series. Quirky and good.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I wish I had the Time to Blog More..............

I've never been so busy in my life and as much as I'd love to Blog more about pens, the American Civil War, nautical history, preserving my old ship the Tamaroa, family, etc. I'm just way to busy. We cannot catch a break at work. Between last minute requests, ISO 14001 audits, the annual budget (that's just around the corner) I have little time for blogging or Face Book. Add the 4 hour round trip commute to work and I barely have time for a decent night's sleep. The whole thing annoys me greatly because I want to get to know some people I've crossed paths with a lot better; including some long lost relatives who reside in what used to be East Germany.

We're a small family on both sides of the Atlantic so we need to stick together. Its not like my wife's family where there's a hundred of them behind every tree, or so it seems.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Pen Mood Lately.............

I haven't been on a fountain pen buying spree for a while. The other day, I received a very nice Parker 21 w/ Navy blue barrel from David Nishimura's Vintage Pen shop. I inked it up and it writes beautifully. Also I went down to my favorite pen haunt Engravably Yours in Spring Valley and picked out a couple of pens for family to purchase for me for upcoming father's day and birthday. So I should be satisfied for awhile. :-)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Small World Stuff Keeps Happening to me!!

Until about 1987, I never gave much thought about how I fit into this world. But in that year things started happening to me that indicated how small (or connected) this world really was. The event that triggered these "small world" incidents was innocuous enough. I was the Chief Engineer of a midtown office building and one day walked into the Building Office to over hear the Portfolio Manager mention to someone that he had been in the Coast Guard. As a Coast Guard veteran myself, my ears naturally pricked up; I went over to him and remarked that I too had been in the Coast Guard. What followed was insane. It went like this:
Boss: What cutter were you on?
Me: Tamaroa, which cutter were you on?Justify Full
Boss: (Big Grin) Mackinac, we helped you put out a stack fire.
Me: I remember, we towed you down to be decommissioned.
Boss: I was on the decommissioning crew.
Me: If you were on the decom crew, I have a photo of you because I was on the towing watch.
With that said, I went home and found the photo. I made a copy of it and sent it to him. To think that 19 years earlier we were only a couple hundred yards apart from each other.
Then a little while later, I was walking my dog, wearing my ships cap when a neighbor around 4 houses down saw the cap, stopped me and told me he had served on the Red Beech, A Cutter also out of Staten Island docked perpendicular to my ship.
I'm also a Civil War buff and had a couple of similar experiences in that field. I was doing some research on Caspar Tyler of the 141st Pennsylvania Infantry. One weekend I had to drop my son off at the Naval Academy for some training. On the way back, I decided to detour through Gettysburg and checkout the Peach Orchard Where Tyler had done some fighting.
As I was wandering the field, I came across an older gentlemen and we struck up a conversation. Turns out, he was also interested in the 141st Pennsylvania. Not only that, but he had a relative in the unit and he had copies of the soldier's letters with him. The Gentleman, gave me copies of his relatives letters for my research. If I had decided to take the quick way home, I would never have seen those letters.
During another research project, I kept bumping into two names John Haring and John Coleman of the 6th New York Heavies and the 95th New York respectively. Time after time it happened, to the point where I said to myself that this was ridiculous. what were they trying to tell me? Then it happened! I received a copy of John Coleman's pension records! I ripped them open and my heart nearly stopped! The first document visible was an affadavit that stated " I Catherine Coleman (nee Haring)..........I went back and double checked the 1860 census and indeed, Catherine Haring married John Coleman.
Then there was the saga of William G. Stephenson. In Roanoke back in the 70's, I used to frequent a used book seller named Nelson Bond. He sold me a book entitled "13 Months in the Rebel Army" by an impressed New Yorker. The long and short of it was that WGS was visiting the south when war broke out. He was told to join the Confederate army or get hung. He did the prudent thing and joined up. He served his full enlistment then escaped and went home. Fast foward about 26 years later and here I was a bored history major in a non history job. So I decided to do some research with a twist. I decided to do a paper about Confederate soldiers who moved to Rockland County after the war. In the course of my research, I found our friend Stephenson. I was stunned to say the least. I couldn't believe it as the same guy. But it was. I found his grave at Oak Hill in Nyack and found some interesting articles about him in the Nyack Journal. The one thing I thought was really interesting is that there is no record of him ever joining the Union army.
Then about two years ago, I published an article in SEA HISTORY about the efforts to save my old ship the USCGC TAMAROA. When I got a copy of the magazine, there was also an article in the magazine by Henry Helgesen, who had beem the Executive Officer on the Tam when I was on her...........We began a correspondence and he sent me a couple of good stories for our newsletter.
This month, it happened again which is what inspired me to write about it here. I received my issue of Sea History to read another article by Captain Helgesen ( not the small world piece) but there was a second article about the Coast Guard Cutter ARGO. It didn't connect until near the end of the article when the author noted that the skipper of the Argo went back home to Southport Maine (Where I have vacationed more than once); but that he had started his own excursion boat lines, first ship was named the ARGO. As a youngster, I used to take excursions on the Argo regularly. By the way the real ARGO is still afloat as one of the Circle Line boats that circle Manhattan regularly.
I'm sure this kind of stuff happens to people all the time, I'm not arrogant enough to assume history revolves around me. But I must admit, I do take delight in these little coincidences. They make for interesting anecdotes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Winter Blahs are in Full Swing

I haven't paid attention to blog in quite awhile. There have been health issues which made me want to do nothing but laze around while I'm home. By the same token, it has been very busy here at work. So my time on the internet has suffered, I've hardly visited my favorite sites and haven't bothered with Facebook too much either.
One thing I've wanted to do, but I really dread is cleaning up the two front rooms on the second floor. We have grandiose schemes to turn them into a sewing room for Reg and a office for me. I dread it because we never agree on anything. I want to junk stuff she has stored for 20 years and she wants to junk half my stuff. So. I know that if we ever get this project off the ground, there will be rumblings from both sides, sigh!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Football Winding Down primary reason for paying attention to football is gone for the year. My Washington Redskins have flopped again. 4 and 12, good grief what a lousy record. Jim Zorn is fired (not regrettable) Joe Bugel is retired (Regrettable). The team is in shambles. I'm not that confident with Jason Campbell. He has shown flashes of brilliance and his numbers seem to have improved; but I would not call him a franchise quarterback by any means......yet! Of course the fact that he had a lousy offensive line didn't help any. He got sacked a lot this year.

Thank God, I am not a crazed fan like I once was. I'd purchase the Washington Post on Monday's to read all I could about the team's win or loss from the previous Sunday. I had a subscription to a fan newsletter. If they lost on a Monday night game, I would toss and turn all night. Then one day, really after Joe Gibbs retired (first time), I said to myself that it wasn't worth it and pulled back.

I still root for them because they are the last connection I have with my beloved Commonwealth of Virginia; where I became a diehard Redskins fan. We'll see what Mike Shanahan can do with them. I'd love to see a return of the "Hogs" that terrific offensive line that Joe Bugel was the architect of back in the 80's. That was really great football.

My secondary reason for paying attenttion to football will most likely end tomorrow afternoon. The New York Jets will play San Diego for the AFC Championship. I'd love to see them win, but I doubt it. Years ago, I had Jets season tickets and took the kids to the games. They seemed to enjoy it until the December games :-) They manage to find ways to lose every year. Superbowl, 1969 was their last championship.

It's a cliche I know, but there's always next year.