Monday, August 28, 2006

My Siblings

T is the oldest at 48. She is an ordained minister and a parish Pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She lives in New Jersey. My sister is an interesting person, she is... mercurial in temperment, but has a heart of gold. She is divorced and has a 22 year old daughter from her marriage. She has been with her partner, P, for around five years.

H, my only brother, is 47, and is a recently retired Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force. He is employed doing some interesting things for the U.S. Air Force as a civilian. H is married (since 1988) and has an eleven year old son. He is still recovering from a really bad multiple fracture of one of his legs last year. He is walking normally (almost) now, thanks to a lot of painful physical therapy.

K, is next at 44. Oddly enough, she and I are closest even though we didn't meet until six years ago (papa was a rolling stone, apparently). She is a German national and is a nurse. She has two sons, who think it is cool that both of their uncles are American, but speak German.

N, is the baby. She will be 33 next week. N is a professional dancer, and was, until recently, with the touring company of The Lion King. She has decided to open a dance studio in L.A.

My siblings are quite an assortment. I like them all for the most part, although we aren't particularly close.

I haven't seen T or K, since um... 2000. I haven't seen N since 1997, but I did see H a few months ago... and he only lives 25 miles from me.

Does it mean anything bad that I have no particular drive to spend time with my siblings?

Friday, August 25, 2006

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

As many of you know, my family and I spend our summer vacations at the House of Mouse, also known as Walt Disney World, in Orlando, Florida.

If you have read my post from April about our Disney addiction, you already know the reasons why. If you haven’t read it yet, please follow the link, so I don’t have to take up everyone’s time with this.

Our vacation started on Thursday, the third of August. We didn’t do any traveling that day… I spent the day with our little one, doing laundry and yard work. My wonderful Mrs. had already done most of the packing, and was picking up the rented minivan from National Airport (I still refuse to call it Reagan National) so there wasn’t much else to do other than to load it up (and install the electronics)when she got home, which I did in fairly short order.

The next morning, after a decent night’s sleep, we were on the way!

Our itinerary was simple, drive to St. Simons Island, Georgia for a couple of days on the beach, and then move on to Orlando to hang out with Mickey Mouse and friends for two weeks.

St Simons was a nine hour drive (eight when I drive alone, but this is vacation…. Who is in a hurry here?) Which caused us to cross the Coosawhatchie River on I-95? There was no reason to tell you this other than to have the opportunity to use “Coosawhatchie” in a sentence!

Our stay at St Simons was great! We had a nice suite overlooking the ocean and right across from the historical (and still operational) lighthouse. Olivia thought this was seriously cool (and so did we!). There was a great beach there, called east beach, which is adjacent to the “old” Coast Guard Station. What made the beach so great was that it was wide, clean, and had a very low grade to it. No walking in three feet of water, dropping of to ten feet by surprise at this place! At low tide, the plates added another 100 yards to the beach, and also added some really great tidal pools ad places to collect shells.

While we were on the island, we also had the chance to go to the Fort Frederica National historical park. What fun! We had two days of history and relaxing beach fun before pressing on to Orlando, on Sunday, the 6th.

Oh… and if you ever get to St Simons, make sure you eat at least one of your dinners at “Frankie G’s Island Diner”, the food is to die for.

We made it to Orlando in about three hours with very light Sunday traffic (here in DC, traffic on 95 is even heavy on Sunday morning!).

We spent two great weeks at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club on International Drive, where I slept late every day, only getting out of bed before 8:30 once for the whole two weeks (heaven!).

I’ll spare you all of the Disney details, as I know that talking about Disney can send some people into seizures… but if you care to know them, please email me, and I’ll send you our detailed trip journal.

We spent our time between going to the Disney theme parks, water parks and our pool. It was great. We love to have our concentrated family time as it is often difficult to find in our busy lives.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and we arrived back home last Sunday, after a grueling 13 hour drive.

We are already looking forward to next August.

Vacations are good (expensive, but good). I highly recommend them.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Your iPod (or Mp3 player)

I've got to stop reading the blogs of people that make lists... I have to stop because I am a lister myself.

Today's list is: Your Top 25 Most Played Songs from your iPod or Mp3 player.

Here is mine:

1. Main Title [Superman: The Movie](Royal Scottish Orchestra)
2. Darth Vader's Theme (it is my personal theme song)
3. War (Edwin Starr... Good God, Y'all!)
4. The 1812 Overture (The Kiev Symphony)
5. When You were Mine (Prince)
6. Adore (Prince)
7. Short Skirt, Long Jacket (Cake)
8. Beat It (Michael Jackson)
9. Black or White (Michael Jackson)
10. I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man (Prince)
11. Smooth Criminal (Alien Ant Farm)
12. Nothing compares To You (Prince)
13. Going The Distance (Cake)
14. I Want You Back (Michael Jackson)
15. Fell In Love With a Girl (The White Stripes)
16. Let The Bodies Hit The Floor (Drowning Pool)
17. I Want You Back (The Jackson 5)
18. My Sharona (The Knack)
19. Good Girls Don't (The Knack)
20. The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues (The Proclaimers)
21. ABC (The Jackson Five)
22. Born Innocent (The Proclaimers)
23. Let's Get Married (The Proclaimers)
24. Warrior (Matisyahu)
25. Chop 'em Down (Matisyahu)

Weird list, I know... but I like what I like.

What's on yours?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another Meme

I got this from The Middle Girl, who got it from SassyFemme who got it through someone else...

How tall are you barefoot?: 6'

Have you ever been cheated on?: No, at least, I don't think so.

Do you own a gun?: Yes, A .40 caliber Glock model 27, with tritium night-sights.

What do you think of hot dogs?: I don't eat them, really. Haven't since I was a kid. Having said that, I do have fond memories of eating Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs when I was growing up in New Jersey.

What's your favorite Christmas song?: Sleigh Ride, especially as done by Jane Monheit... what a babe!

What do you prefer to drink in the morning?: Water.

Do you do push-ups?: Yes.

Have you ever done ecstasy?: Hell no.

Do you like Disney World?: Indeed I do. We just got back from there last night, after our annual two weeks in the land of Mickey Mouse! How can you not like it? It's the happiest place on earth! See my post from this past April: My Disney Addiction.

Do you like the rain?: Not really, when I was in the Marines, we used to call rain "infantry weather" (I was in the infantry)... "if it ain't rainin', we ain't trainin'!). I'm getting too old for that kind of thing now.

Do you own a knife?: Yes, it is in my pocket as we speak, a lovely little M16-14SF by Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT).

What do you smell like?: Dial soap, usually... sometimes like gunpowder.

Do you have A.D.D.?: Nope.

Full initials?: GF (what did you expect?)

Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I love doing these things. General thoughts on my vacation. SassyFemme's comment about pushups.

Name the last 3 things you have bought today: A cup of coffee... thats all... it's early.

Name five drinks you regularly drink: Limeade, Merlot, Dead Guy Ale, Water, and more water.

What time did you wake up today?: 0415

Can you spell?: Yes, I can, although I don't type well.

Current worries?: I almost never worry about anything.

Current hate?: George W. Bush (that was easy!)

Favorite place to be?: Home (or at Disney World)

Least favorite place to be?: In meetings

Where do you want to go?: To Edinburgh, Scotland

Do you own slippers?: No.

Where do you think you will be in 10 years?: Right where I am now... but only three years short of retirement!

Do you burn or tan?: I can burn when I am not careful. In Florida or Jamaica, I have to wear a hat, since my hair is so short. A sunburned scalp is baaaad news. My skin gets darker with increased exposure to the sun... but I usually refrain from using the term "tan".

Yellow or blue: Blue

Would you give up your current life to be a pirate?: Arrr!, I mean, no.

Last time your cell rang?: While I was at Disney World,last week, a guy from work telling me about a MAJOR leadership change in my agency.

What songs do you sing in the shower?: It could be anything... last night it was "Brandy" by looking glass.

What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?: The wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz

How much cash do you have on you?: $70

Last thing that made you laugh?: My wife sent me an email about her office's lone "metrosexual" and the fact that he and his until-now-unheard-of wife's new baby, Solomon. She mentioned that she always though he was gay, and I told her that producing children... or even being married doesn't mean that he isn't.

Best bed sheets you had as a child?: I didn't (and still don't) care about that kind of stuff.

Worst injury you've ever had?: The knee, back, and shoulder injuries that I got (and still suffer from) while in service to Uncle Sam.

Where have you been out of US? Canada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, West Germany, East Berlin (when there still was such a thing,)The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Kenya, assorted places in the Pacific. I've even been to some places that I can't tell you about.

Who is your loudest friend?: I don't think I have any loud friends.

Who is your most silent friend?: Umm. I dunno.

Does someone have a crush on you?: Yes.

Do you wish on stars?: No.

What song did you last hear?: The String Quartet Tribute to Van Morrison: "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You"

What song do you want played at your funeral?: "Hard Times", by Tom Jones.

What were you doing at 12:00 last night?: Sleeping.

First thought upon waking up this morning?: OK, what kind of crap is waiting for me, now?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Today At Disneyworld...

...three different women told me, to my face, that they thought I was sexy.

Talk about an ego boost (like I really need one)!

My wife just laughed about it, as she usually does... she knows where I spend my time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Hideous Beating

This post isn't about a crime or a news story, it is about rugby.

Over the weekend, the United States national rugby team faced the Canadian team in the North American qualifying match for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The Canadians won the match, which won't surprise anyone that is paying attention to the world rugby scene. The U.S. and Canada have been fairly evenly matched for quite a while, both nations almost always hovering around each other, ranked at about14th & 15th in the world.

The problem with this match wasn't who won, but how badly they won. The United States took an ugly drubbing... I daresay mugging, from our Canadian neighbors, with a score of 59 to 7.

Shameful.... just shameful.

The good news is (no, I'm not switching my auto insurance to Geico) that the U.S. still might make it to the world cup, by beating Uruaguay and jumping through some other hoops.

Here is hoping.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tagged... sort of

I found this on a blog that I found through the blog of someone else I found completely by accident. Thanks, SF.

I don't know if this has any meaning or if it is just something some clown came up with just to screw with people that blog. I dunno... I'm just some some guy who uses guns.

Here we go:

1. Grab the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

“Settling Accounts: The Grapple” by Harry Turtledove. This is one of my two vacation books... Harrry Turtldove is known as the "master of Alternate History". This novel is set in 1943 during a war between the United States and the Confederate States of America.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence (grab next nearest book if fewer than seven sentences found).

4. Post the text of the next three sentences on your blog along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

And now for the text of the book.

"He went on, "When do we go into Kentucky and start chewing up the Confederates? Soon, I hope, so that they don't have much time to strengthen their defenses.

We push Southeast, maybe we can cut them in half."

If General Wade gaped before, he downright goggled now.

Remember kids, if you are reading this, post it somewhere, and ask your friends to comply with the same instructions.

Have fun.


Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Fidel is Dying?

We hear in the news that Fidel Castro is in the hospital and isn't doing very well, and that power has been transferred to his brother/Defense Minister Raoul.

We hear that the people of the Miami, Florida "exile" community are celebrating over "El Maximo Lider's" imminent demise.

These are interesting times, indeed.

What do you think will happen when Castro dies? What will happen when Fidel breathes his last, and all the young dudes carry the news of his death?

Will his death lead to what we call democracy in the near future?, will Raoul Castro keep an iron grip on the government and the people, fighting off attempts at counterrevolution?

Perhaps all will be forgiven and all of the pain-in-the-ass "exiles" in Florida will go home.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Making Amends

I have been informed that I have left a very special person off of my Internet Friends post of several weeks ago.

I should like to take a moment to make amends.

My friend Claudia lives in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. She is married and has two children, one of whom may end up marrying my daughter if all goes well.

Claudia and I have been internet pals since 1999.

She is an interesting sort, she was born in Hong Kong, but has lived in Canada since the age of 14; she once sported a Mohawk; she likes to play soccer; her son plays hockey (which can be very expensive, or so I understand); she says that her accent is sort of "Crocodile Dundee-like" even after all these years; she doesn't like having her picture taken.

Claudia is very busy, and we aren't in constant contact, but I value her friendship nonetheless.

Cheers, Claudia!