Friday, December 16, 2011

"My God, there's more of us!!"

my sister exclaimed when I forwarded to her an email from a third cousin we had never heard of. It has been a very eventful week. For years we have been trying to figure out our family tree only to get almost nowhere. Out of the blue, I get an email from distant cousin Irene. It immediately started a flurry of emails back and forth between Irene, my sister and me. Irene has done a phenominal job. My great grandmother's maiden name was Kiley. Irene is descended from my great grandmother's mother's sister.....What a mouthful.

Our exhanges have been cordial and helpful. She sent us 14 pages of our lineage. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of things in writing, but we do have a lot of family lore handed down orally. Some of it a bit off color. :-) Wonder what Cousin Irene will think of us when we tell her some of the stories?? We hope to meet up in the spring after the snows recede from upstate New York.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks was in the spelling of our last name. Fore some unknown reason, my Grandfather changed the spelling of his last name, which is what completely threw me off when I tried researching anyone prior to his generation. I'll be busy again on the weekends updating my tree on for sure.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Avoided it like the plague. Just did two things, one successful, one not. I went to the local Big and Tall shop and bought two polo shirts for the price of one. No crowds, must not be too many fat people in Rockland. Tried to find a copy of Deathly Hallows 2 for Regina. Now They're all sold out. Will go to my favorite standby in times like these and order it from Amazon. I have become an internet shopping junkie in order to avoid the crowds

Must admit though that things were made a bit easier because I finally gave in and applied for and received a handicapped tag for my car. I have resisted it for years, hobbling around on a cane sometimes hiking what seemed like miles to get to a store. Now its a short hobble and a quick trip. Just need to remember to keep removing then putting the permit back from my mirror. Having severe bouts of gouty arthritis has lessened my willingness and ability to go out and about. This makes it so much more easier.

Shopping used to kind of fun for Christmas. Now its practically suicidal. Don't need it, don't want it. Just pick it up at the door when it arrives in the mail.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pleasant Columbus Day Getaway

ROADSIDE Waterfall on the way to Tannersville

We took advantage of a beautiful stretch of weather and went back to the Bavarian Manor Inn in Purling, NY for Columbus Day weekend, slightly extended. Weather was gorgeous only this time we didn't hang out on the porch as much as we did in the past. Wanderlust hit and we roamed the junk shops and antique shops of the area as well as an Iroquois museum near Howe's Caverns.

Also went to Tannersville to have lunch at our favorite quirky restaurant called the Last Chance Cheese and Antiques Café. You really have to love a place with a name like that. They have the best iced tea and a great Bison Burger. That whole area had been hit hard by the overflowing rivers and rains caused by Hurricane Irene. The Inn food was great as usual. Funny thing was I got a little tired of the really good stuff day after day. I finally asked for a plain Cheeseburger and fries. I couldn't take any more snazzy food. The fresh air wiped out my poor wife. She slept late every morning. Between the naps and the antique jaunts she didn't get much needle point done which she usually loves to do while on vacation.

We had hoped to see the forests in a full array of fall colors but the timing was off. The leaves have started to turn and there was the occasional splash of red and yellow, but not what we were hoping for.

Between meals and the antique jaunts we caught a few shows of Law and Order and NCIS which were running marathons this past weekend. All in all a nice get away.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grandkids Are Funny!!!!

The last time my Son and Daughter in law were visiting from the west coast, we baby-sat for them, Liam and Piper were quite a pair. Cars was a Disney movie I had never seen before; but, apparently the kids loved it, so we put it on the DVD player. I was surprised to see that one of the cars was named "The King" and it was modeled after a NASCAR driver I had followed in the past, Richard Petty.
I got a kick out of it so I bought the King version from Cars for my desk at work. But I took it a step further as well. I sent an email to Liam attaching a photo of the real Super Bird that Richard Petty drove.
Sean replied that Liam really liked it except that he kept asking where were the eyes?That struck me as pretty funny, I guess reality hasn't sunk in on him yet. Above are two photos one of the "King" and one of the real Super Bird actually driven by "King" Richard, my favorite NASCAR driver of all time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What Seems like Crazy is an Ordinary FRIDAY

This was me around 2:30 PM today!

is a spin off the title of a blog run by a friend of my wife's. I'm stealing it and changing it from day to FRIDAY. I don't know what it is about this place; but I dread Fridays. It’s the end of the week and more often than not, all heck breaks loose.

There is an old adage about battle plans. Basically once the first shot is fired, the plan goes up in smoke and you have to start anew. Every morning I lay out what I want to do for the day. Often, the first phone call, completely rearranges my priorities. Today was that kind of day. It started off with another hair raising commute to the city because of the UN General assembly in session and creating havoc. So I get to work already hot, exhausted and sweating like crazy because I had to hoof it through 93% humidity for several blocks since traffic was detoured. I sat down, dried out and had to go to an owner's meeting at 9 AM, followed by an ISO audit prep meeting.

Walking out of that meeting, I am handed two messages; one that the FDNY is waiting downstairs to inspect the 24th floor and that there is an elevator entrapment. I toss the coin and give my assistant the FDNY and I take the elevator entrapment. So now I'm a prisoner trapped at my desk waiting for return phone calls about the entrapment, who were they, were they upset, how long was the entrapment? What was the cause, etc. etc.

Not much later, I feel pains in my stomach and realize that its past lunch time. How time flies when your having fun. :-) I sent out my admin to get me lunch cause I'm stuck on the phone. No matter how many times I've said it the last few days, people still don't listen. My building is in the zone that always gets shut down when the UN General Assembly is in session. In order to facilitate use of the loading dock (cause the authorities are always shutting down our street,) deliveries must be cleared at a check point down the block. Once approved they can come to the dock. I finally got a call from one furniture delivery guy that he was there. "See", I told him, "It's not so bad when you listen!!"

Now maybe I can get back to signing invoices to get vendors paid……………….. Except as I picked up my trusty Roadster fountain pen to sign away many dollars, I just got another call that somebody was smoking on a floor and the smoke drifted up to the floor above. I Called Security, now its their problem. Back to signing invoices. Finally just before quitting time, I got to spend a few minutes of sanity before going home talking to my friend Joe about the Redskins-Giants rivalry.

In between all this I was attempting to get a ton of paperwork done prepping for the audit.

What a day! Usually, I am not the kind of person who lets the door hit them in the butt at 5 PM, But today, well lets just say I think I broke the land speed record for launching from my desk chair to the bus stop way over on 5th Avenue. I was very happy to have gotten home and relaxing in my favorite rocker by 8:30 PM.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Memory Jogging...........

A couple of weeks ago while going through an old Junk box, I ran across a piece of jewelry I haven't seen for years. It was an old sterling silver Indian ring, I purchased at an Indian Pow-wow near here, had to be at least 22 years ago. It was once a beautiful ring with the sun over a valley on one side and on the obverse was the moon. The top has an eagle flanked by two pieces of onyx.

It was really dirty and the shank had somehow cracked. But I remembered having a good time then, the whole family went. The Pow-wow stood out because My wife objected, not til we got there of course, to the jackets Sean and I were wearing. We were Washington Redskins's fans you see, so it was fall and as second nature we wore our Redskin jackets. As we get out of the car walking to the Pow Wow, she mentions off hand how demeaning it would be to the Indians present.

Well if it was, we received no evil eye or sideways glances of which I was aware. Our cash was as good as anyone else's. We watched them perform dances, ate Buffalo Burgers with sweet potato fries, just generally had a good time. I saw the ring in a booth and immediately liked it so I purchased it on the spot. When the ring popped up from oblivion, I took it to the jewelers and had them repair and resize it. They polished it up real nice. I picked it up yesterday. Looks nice on the hand again, not just for the ring but for the memories as well.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dejunking The House and Going Down Memory Lane

In our continuing effort to improve our home, we have spent the last few weekends cleaning out two junk rooms, formerly the kid's bedrooms. There is 30 years worth of debris in these rooms and the trash bags placed out on Monday seem to be a never ending stream.

Clearing up unwanted or unneeded debris does have its benefits, however. So far I've discovered 5 pens that I thought I'd lost. Its also a trip down memory lane. I've found so many things that I hadn't even realized I still owned. One item really brought home how much I've aged. I found a Confederate Flag money clip that I recall purchasing in 1961 when we were down in Virginia witnessing the re-enactment of the First Battle of Manassas kicking off the Civil War Centennial. Now 50 years later we are celebrating the Sesquicentennial. It feels Like it was yesterday when we were there.

But I have to steel myself to dump unnecessary things, sentimental or not. This weekend we'll probably concentrate on old cassette tapes and VCR tapes. I'm not even going to look at them in order to avoid second thoughts. The kids were put on notice so anything left behind by them will also end up in the trash.

Eventually, the plan is to turn one room into a sewing room for the wife and the other a study for me. It looks like Sean will finally get those Redskin football cards too..............

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Well the first Hurricane to hit New York in decades is almost upon us. I can hear the rain's tinny crescendo hitting the A/C unit mounted through our upstairs window. I'm a bit nervous about it though I don't think its going to be as bad as the news outlets are hyping it up to be. On the other hand, the ground is pretty soggy and the water has no where to run to. Since we are a slab on grade townhouse, the water will have no place to go but in the house if the ground does not absorb it.

I'm nervous for two reasons, first I'm awaiting calls from work to report any floods or damage to my building on 49th street and secondly I'm concerned about our Salvage tug the Zuni-Tamaroa which is moored in Norfolk. She's in a cove so hopefully she's safe.

The storm forced me to cancel a dinner we were going to have on Sunday to celebrate my sister Judi's birthday.

Saga continues........

Heard from work, we have about 14 leaks coming through various windows, mostly on the east side. We lost power for about 6 hours on Sunday at the house. But we also had another close call around here. The Garnerville Industrial Complex was inundated by the swollen Minisceongo Creek and about 125 feet of the building was knocked down. That was right across the creek from us.

In 1999 when Hurricane Floyd came through the Minisceongo cut away the banks and undercut three properties just south of us. The homes were abandoned while repairs to the river bank were made. So far we've been lucky. We're high enough so we don't have to worry about floods and just far enough away from the bend in the creek to avoid eroded banks.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Accidental Bling..........

For many years now, we have donated a wood burning stove annually to the Southwest Indian Foundation located in Gallup, New Mexico. In addition, we sometimes purchase an item or two from their catalog. Generally, I try to keep it simple. a T shirt or a key ring, maybe a bolo. I always look for a ring since I'm partial to them. But they never carried my size.

Finally, I saw one. I looked at the photo and thought,"what a great ring" and its 65% tax deductable as well. So I ordered it. It arrived today and I almost choked. It's a beautiful ring, but it is no where near as understated as it appears in the above photo. It's a hand wrought sterling silver ring with a turquoise nugget as the stone. In real life the stone is huge compared to the photo. But the ring fits and it is good looking if a bit on the blingy side.Just wait til my co-workers see it since I'm known for wearing very understated jewelry. I'm sure I'll be razzed a lot. We'll have to wait and see. I suppose, I can say it's a badge of honor for supporting the SWIF.
I'll have to be careful though, the stone has a pretty high profile and as my dear wife of 40 plus years is fond of pointing out, I don't know my own boundaries. She's right, I've scraped a number of watch crystals over the years. I don't know how strong a turquoise stone is; but, I don't want to bang it against a door jamb to find out.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Makr Carry Goods

Not that I'm a perfectionist, because believe me, I'm not. On the other hand, I tend to search too long for the perfect pen, perfect wallet, perfect slacks, perfect shirt, etc. Satisfaction is rarely reached with almost anything to the point where I don't look for a better version. Recently, growing weary of stuffing things in my wallet, a new approach was taken. What takes precedence? What do I really, really need. Stuffing my wallet a la George Costanza was making for quite a lump under my left hip (yea, I'm a lefty). So listing to starboard occurred when sitting down. I've tried various schemes to determine what is needed or what I want in my wallet. None of them ever worked.

My wife has grown weary of me trying wallets then throwing them in the dresser drawer when they don't quite pass muster. One more shot using reverse psychology was necessary. I bought a really small (for me) one pocket wallet from a brand called Makr. I'd never heard of them before. But it is a nice quality wallet, about the size of a small cell phone holster. It is hand stitched, the leather is well tanned and supple. It has a flap over the pocket held in place by a strap under which the flap is tucked. See photo above.

So now, what to eliminate?? First to go were photos, then went all business and appointment cards, then went all membership cards to the various historical societies to which I belong. Cast aside were a couple of credit cards no longer used as well as my AARP card. A couple of membership rewards cards and a Staples Discount card also were sequestered for the duration. In the end, I was able to insert 10 plastic cards i.e. drivers license, credit, debit, medical plan, prescription cards, Shop & Stop, Dunkin Donuts gift card (that needs to stay no matter what!) and my Metro card for the city bus when needed. I almost forgot, you can fit in at least 8 bills folded in half and a book of Homer Simpson stamps as well. Obviously, the less cards, the more cash can fit and vice versa.

So everything fits, the soft leather conformed to the new load. It has a very low profile and fits easily in my pocket. So much so that I keep checking to see if its still there. It's not a cheap wallet, but it appears to be good quality. Time will tell if the stitching and tanning jobs hold up. Also, an attempt will be made to unload a bunch of lesser wallets on my unsuspecting kids so to gain more room in my dresser. If they don't want them, well there's always charity............

Monday, August 8, 2011


Any one who knows me that I have been a crazed Redskins fan all my life. I even got the kids going for them for a while. Sean is still a fan. So I had to share this story with you all.

Yesterday the Brood was at my mother-in-law's for a visit. I was wearing my Redskins script "R" burgundy cap. Sean pointed my cap out to Liam. When he saw it, my grandson broke out in a rendition of "Hail to the Redskins." He was in tune and knew all the words and verses.

I never laughed so hard in my life. Seeing him (a 4 year old) sing that song with such gusto, well it made my day. Maybe another Doherty generation is destined to be Redskins fans! I asked Sean to have Liam do it on video.
That reminds me, I need to send my Redskins card Album to Sean.

I only hope my beloved Washington Redskins play as hard as Liam sung their song. They need a lot of improvement this year. Time will tell, but I'm worried about their offensive line and their quarterbacking.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family Picnic Today.....

We had a good time today down on the Husdon River picnic Tables under pavilions and all. The west coast branch of the family came over to visit. The weather cooperated, the food was good and the grand kids, entertained until they got tired. Top photo is a view of the Hudson from the park. Second one was an attempt to get a shot of my gransdson.

This is my grand daughter scarfing down cheez-it crackers.She comes by it honestly, because her Grandfather is a Cheez-It addict. So its gotta be from me. We made it through the day and finished up before the thunderstorms rolled on through. I would have had better shots. However, we forgot to bring our camera so I had to use my Blackberry which has no flash.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blackberry Withdrawl.................

For the last week and a half, I have suffered a serious case of Blackberry Withdrawl. My World Edition Blackberry from work went on the fritz and was unrepairable. Aside from the cracked case, the trackball was frozen in place. So I ordered a new one. Now, I'm not by any means a technocrat or versed in this kind of stuff, so I just ordered the first one I stumbled across, the Blackberry Bold. Nice machine, great graphics, etc. only the key board was miniaturized; my hands could not handle it. Try as I might I came close to wiping the Blackberry several times. I literally reached 9 attempts a couple of times at home and had to bring it in to work the next day to have somebody with small hands give it a final shot and get me back on.

Suffice it to say, I drove our IT Department nuts. One of the other guys had a Black Berry Curve which I tried. I became ecstatic. I could actually type the password and get it on the first try…….I demanded a trade and just received the new Curve. For the life of me I cannot understand the design of the Blackberry Bold's keyboard. The keys are very close together and way to wobbly at least in comparison to the Curve.

Between Blackberrys, I was going nuts. I was used to sitting down after dinner and watching a movie with my wife. While watching the movie, I could check email, check the weather, check the votes in Congress for the Debt ceiling, etc. etc. search on Google, you name it. Without it, I felt naked for the last week. I even texted on my own puny cell phone to find out about work during the weekend.

I got the new Cuve in the mail yesterday and was happy with the phone, though I must say that I am a bit miffed at how cheap Verizon is getting. With the Bold, I got an at home charger and a case. With the Curve, no at home charger and no case. Their poor excuse for a charger was a teeny black plug that you would plug into a the wall using an IT cable and the other end into micro port on the phone. On the way home from work, I bought a car charger and a NORMAL home charger.

I already had a nice Blackberry case at home, so that was no issue. I'm back on line and I'm happy, my bosses are happy, everyone's happy!!!!!!! Until this one breaks. This is my 4th Blackberry in 10 years……..Hope this one lasts. I'll need a magnifying glass and a stylus to use a keyboard if they keep getting smaller.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Warriors and Quiet Waters.........

I just stumbled across a not for profit to which I think I'll make regular donations. As a veteran, its the least I can do to help our warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Its called Warriors and Quiet Waters. It involves taking soldiers recently returned from the Middle East and taking them to Montana in groups of 5 or 6 to do some fly fishing for a week.

This is a quote from their website.

"In our program, volunteer guides and companions meld together with recently wounded warriors for six days of therapeutic fly fishing instruction, fishing, and recreation on the rivers and streams of southwest Montana. The wounded warriors receive a break from their medical treatment and are given instruction in the lifetime sport of fly fishing. At no charge, each wounded warrior is provided with transportation, accommodations, meals, and a complete fly fishing outfit, theirs to keep, valued at approximately $3,000 per wounded warrior! Result – wounded warriors experience a relaxing, rehabilitative, enjoyable, activity and a lifetime sport skill they can enjoy the rest of their lives. "

what a great idea. I love to fish myself so I can attest to its therapeutic value. So in addition to my other causes, now goes this one. Being so close to retirement, I won't be able to give them a lot but every little bit will help.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Finally, I OWN my Ford 500........!!!!!!

After 5 long years, I just made the final payment on my beloved 2006 Ford 500. Free at Last!! We'll wait and see how long it lasts now. I really love the car. Its roomy and comfortable. Great for long trips. It gets about 28.5 mpg on the highway. I've attended to it religiously over the years. She has 91,500 miles on her now. I will attempt to bring her into 200,000. I'm not thrilled with the 500's replacement, the new Taurus is the same car with a few more refinements and a lot more bucks. So when this one finally dies, I'll be hard pressed for a choice.

True to form, Ford sent me a brochure on the new 2012 Taurus when they sent me the letter releasing the lien. Not anytime soon folks!! As long as she rolls, she's going to stay in the driveway and carry me faithfully back and forth to work :-)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Preparing for Retirement............

will be retiring in a couple of years and am cutting back on disposable income. I have very few subscriptions left, I don't donate as freely as I used to. Its funny but when I stand back an take stock of what's left, my love of all things maritime certainly stands out. Gone are ALL my Civil War subscriptions and newsletters. Those that remain are: The U.S. Naval Institute, Zuni Maritime Foundation, U.S. Coast Guard Tug Association, Friends of the Hunley and the National Maritime Historical Society as well as the Nomadic Preservation Society (The ship built to tender the Titanic). I will keep up the annual donation of a wood burning stove to an Indian Reservation out west and monthly donations to my Sister's/Daughter's NFP Four Legs Good to help with Trap Neuter and Release program....Oh and then there's Netflicks:-)

I've cut up a couple of credit cards along the way as well and debating on dropping a third. No telling what the economy is going to be like in a couple of years. The car is now paid off. Hope to make it last a while longer. If we go on holiday, I'll go away closer to home to save gas and wear and tear on me and the car...

Such is life.......

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trying out a new place for a vacation

What with gas prices going up and things in general costing more, we looked around for an alternative. We spent the last 4 years at Herrington Harbor just south of Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay. It was a beautiful place and reasonably priced, but quite honestly the last two years there have been unbearably hot.

This time around we found an inn in the Catskills. A place called the Bavarian Manor. It sits on a hundred acres of woods, walking trails and a lake. Its about the same price as Herrington Harbour but its only a 2 hour drive as opposed to 5 hours so less time in the car and less gas. Just hope it lives up to expectations. I'll be taking a lot of photos there for sure.