Friday, February 17, 2012

Must See TV...

I realize that I have been noticeably absent from the blogosphere. It is something a high school friend reminded me of when he sent an email recently, and I just spent an hour catching up reading some family blogs as I sit here and wait for Sue to come home for the evening. As a result, I thought I should attempt a comeback.  The theme for today is television shows that are "must see" in our household in Wallingford.

I have never been much of a couch potato.  I tend to be a very regimented person and a creature of routine.  This is something that Sue often teases me about but then she says it is one of the many things she loves about me.  My current work schedule is all over the map with very early mornings or late evenings and all times in between. 

Together however, we do find time to enjoy some of our favorite shows together, and now that the February sweeps are in full swing the DVR stays busy during primetime throughout the week.  We watch a lot of things from drama, reality, and the good old fashioned sit-com.  Some shows she has introduced me to, others, I have introduced her to, and others still we look at each other and say, "we should check that one out." 

Here are some of our favorites and why we enjoy them.

This is one that I started watching way back in 2000 when it began the reality show genre in earnest.  After watching for several seasons, I got bored with it, or just spent my evenings being a father to young children during the pre DVR time period.  I began watching again a couple of years ago when my children were old enough and the theme was Heroes vs. Villans.  It featured the return of some of my favorite castaways, and I got back into it along with my children.  Even now that they don't live full time with me, they wait until they come to our house and then catch up on the DVR every two weeks.  It is something special they share with me. 

Jeff Probst is the host and continues to show why he is great at what he does.  He enjoys his job and it shows.  By the end of 39 days the remaining few survivors are beat up psychologically and physically. It is very entertaining!

True Blood
Brought to us by the great creators at HBO, True Blood is a show set in modern day Louisiana.  In it, vampires have "come out of the coffin" thanks to a synthetic blood that was invented in Japan.  As a result they can co-exist with humans.  True Blood is strictly a fantasy show, but is gritty, dark and very entertaining.  I have always enjoyed the vampire genre since being a kid, so this was something that interested me when I read about it.  A great cast, certainly does help too!

I introduced Sue to this and although she is not a fan of the horror genre (True Blood can be gory), she borrowed my season one DVD's and watched them over a weekend early in our relationship.  She now watches it religiously with me when it airs each summer on Sunday evenings.  Just last night I reminded her that before long, season five will be starting. 

Boardwalk Empire
Yet another one of HBO great series, this show is a crime drama based in the 1920's.  Set in Atlantic City during the prohibition era, this show features silver screen alumnus, Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson.  Mr. Thompson is the County Treasurer of Atlantic County and is very corrupt.  The show is epic in its portrayal of the prohibition era including great sets and great costuming to give the show a very authentic and historical look. 

This is another Sunday evening HBO show that we watch together faithfully.  It parallels historical records of gangsters such as Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, and Al Capone.  It is yet another home run by our friends at HBO.

Celebrity Apprentice
Yes, I know some people consider Trump to be arrogant, pompous and always looking for press, but we got into this last year.  We just started watching one evening on a whim, but then remained glued for the remainder of the season.  It was great seeing people such as Gary Busey and Meatloaf attempting to raise money for charity.  Meatloaf was quite good but Gary not so much.  As time went on, I became a John Rich fan and was happy to see him win in the finale. 

This season starts on Sunday and I am looking forward to the cast that Trump has put together.  Arsenio Hall, Clay Aiken, George Takkei, Paul Teutel, Victoria Gotti, Debbie Gibson, Teresa Giudice are just of few of the 18 celebs that will raise money for charity in the months ahead. 

I am happy to have DVR.  The show airs, 9-11 on Sunday nights and I have to be at work on Mondays at 5:00 AM.  Chances are this will be added to our Monday night lineup thanks to the DVR!

Two and a Half Men
This show Sue got me hooked on.  With all of the press that Charlie Sheen was getting last summer, Sue asked me if I saw this show and that it was really funny.  I had never seen it, but upon watching a few reruns, I realized I enjoyed it a lot.  Winning!

We now watch it weekly and think Ashton Kutcher is a pretty good addition/replacement to the cast.  As a result of watching this show, the show that airs right after is the next show on the list.

Mike and Molly
We have been hearing a lot about Melissa McCarthy and as we watched the recent awards shows, we have been hearing a lot about the female lead.  We decided to add this show to our routine and quickly got into it.  It's a great show!

Modern Family
For months, I kept hearing about this great show and you literally have to be living under a rock to not know about it many awards and cast who appears to be everywhere.  Married with Children alumnus, Ed O'Neil plays the patriarch of a family.  He is the older man with a significantly younger and beautiful latino wife.  His daughter has a "fairly" conventional family with a husband and 3 children, and then he has a son who is gay and has partner.  Together they have an adopted daughter.  The show is set in a mockumentary style kind of like The Office.  This is probably my new favorite show.  It never fails to make me laugh and often times Sue and I look at each other and just crack up watching it. 

Well, that took a little while to post but it certainly made my evening go by pretty quick!  The even better news is that Sue will be home in a few minutes!

Ciao for now!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Well she is on her way...Hurricane Irene. The hype was building all week. Last evening, the humidity arrived, this morning the showers arrived, and this afternoon, more steady rain began to fall. Overnight, the wind will arrive along with torrential rain.

Working at The Home Depot has been rather interesting this week. Generators first flew off the shelfs, then flew off trucks upon arrival. D batteries went first, followed by C Batteries and 6 volts. Today people were buying downspouts and pipes to draw the water away from their homes.

I am now home to ride out the storm. Food is stocked. We have propane for the grill, cars are gassed up, and we have enough food to last for a few days. Prior to going to bed, the tub will be filled with a water supply in case we lose our water supply. One of my main concerns is Jasmine being able to go outside to do her thang!!!

Connecticut appears that it will have a landfall sometime during mid morning tomorrow (8/28). It should be a rather interesting day and a half.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recent Rants...

Wow, hello again blogosphere! It's been too long. I have kept up with family blogs, but with the Facebook revolution, I became lazy with blogging. Maybe I will change this, maybe I won't, but I'm here now, so lets roll.

A lot has happened in the last year, divorce, career change, and new love. It's amazing when I look back at the last year and ponder how much my life has changed. It's all been for the most part good, and I am in a very happy place right now. I couldn't say that for the last several years.

It's amazing how a single event can have so much effect on one's life. My divorce had an effect on time with children, career, living arrangements. Should that be? I would tend to think no, but that could be a blog for another day. I definitely don't feel like going there today!

It's hard to believe that summer 2011 is almost over! Labor day is in 3 weeks! Wow, where does the time go? At least I do know where my Christmas tree is! Perhaps I will actually put one up this year!

Politicians in Washington are a hot mess are they not? Why can't they just put party aside and fix the country? Now we have the start of a Presidential race, so the mud slinging will begin in earnest. I read recently that Obama's team is ready to "beat" Mitt Romney. If the economy doesn't improve, I'm thinking Mr. Obama will need a lot more than his hired best. The 280+ million Americans are a fickle group and will vote for anyone different in a time of domestic crisis. I don't think the brightest republican is the answer either, but we need our elected officials to roll up their sleeves and go to work!

On a bright note, I decided to do a tune up on my car, my first ever. The car I bought in March is a low mileage older car, but had a clean CarFax report so I went ahead and bought it. It did however, run rough with the A/C on. I utilized the free diagnostic service at AutoZone and determined it needed a tune up. I had the AutoZone associate explain to me what I needed to do, and then spent the next 90 minutes tuning up my car. It runs so much better and I can use my A/C without it running rough! I guess I am getting resourceful in my old age!

The Yankees are doing ok. It would seem that they will clinch a playoff berth unless they fall flat the last 6 weeks. October should be fun. Will we get a NY/Boston LCS? That would make for some long, stressful nights.

I took my kids to an air museum today and assisted them with a flight simulator. Had a huge ego boost when the museum staff asked if I was a pilot when they saw me assisting my kids land a Cessna in the simulator. Both kids landed the plane with my assistance.

Just some rants on this cooler New England night. Until next time...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spoiling Myself

Since starting this new adventure in my life these past couple of months, I have decided that each paycheck that I am going to spoil myself a little bit. My expenses are rather low now living alone and that leaves me with the "funds" to spoil myself...just a little bit.
Two weeks ago, I purchased a new GPS for myself. I gave Elaine my old one due to the fact that she is by far more directionally challenged than I. That is not a dig at her, but rather the blatant truth. In the interim I was using VZ Navigator on my BlackBerry. I did not like that for a few reasons. One, it killed the battery on the phone! Two, I couldn't text or read text that came in while I was driving, or place any calls without shutting down the application.

I decided that I was going to buy myself a new GPS because I was tired of using the VZ Navigator for the above mentioned reasons, as well as the $9.99/month charge to my Verizon Wireless Bill.

I began shopping and realized I wanted to get a decent GPS. It had to say street names and be a large screen model. Upon checking out Best, I realized that the TomTom XL540S was on sale for 50% off. This GPS has a huge 5 inch screen and has advanced lane guidance. That feature shows a photo realistic image of the highway, and tells you what lane to be in for your exit or your through traffic at busy interchanges. I got right into the car, and drove to BestBuy, and was happy they had one in stock.

Last week when Tracy was down visiting, she and I went into the Sunglass Hut and I found a pair of Oakley Sunglasses that I absolutely loved. They fit my face well and looked good on me. I determined that when I got paid, I would pick up a pair. I have always wanted a good pair of sunglasses but never splurged on them. Well yesterday I did, and I really like the Oakley's. They have polarized lenses and are just about perfect as far as using them for driving in sunlight.

In addition to buying the sunglasses, I also wanted to treat myself to something else. I considered buying a new shirt, but being in between seasons, I was really unsure if I should get long sleeve or short sleeve. Decisions, decisions!!

I decided to buy a new cologne. I haven't bought cologne since I was a cadet and I still use that bottle on occasion, but I felt I needed something new and something in this millenium! I decided on Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue. It really smells good and is a nice light scent.

Spoiling myself has been fun! While in the mall yesterday, I was checking out MacBooks, but that will require a little bit more saving!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Camera--Trip to New York

For the past year or so I have kicked around the notion of getting a new camera. I guess it comes from using my neighbors camera and being impressed with it. Her camera is a very high end Sony point and shoot with a nice digital zoom.

While sitting in an officers councils last week, I received a text from my sister Tracy telling me she was going to be buying a video camera for our upcoming cruise in 4 weeks and change. I replied to her that I really wish I could get a new camera. Well after saying that, I began to conspire in my mind a way to be able to get said camera.

When I got home that afternoon, I jumped on the computer, and began looking at point and shoots. I found 2 that I liked, one Sony, and one Canon. The Canon didn't use a lithium ion battery pack but relied on AA batteries. I purchased the point and shoot that I was using with a battery pack to avoid changing batteries, so that was struck out. I then decided to see what a low end SLR camera would run and I was surprised to see for a legligible price increase I would be able to purchase the camera I have always wanted...a Canon EOS Rebel.
Well, I fired a quick text message to Elaine, explaining the financing of the camera and she told me, "sure, you're crazy LOL" I got on and placed my order.

The following weekend (this past weekend) was Youth Councils for our division and Elaine was going to be away for the whole weekend. I really wanted to do something special for my kids on Saturday. I didn't want to be around the TV, Computer all day, but instead I wanted to spend the whole day with them and give them a memorable day. I decided to take them to New York City for the day. We took the train from New Haven into Grand Central Terminal. We then hopped on the NYC Subway to Battery Park where we boarded a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. We spent a good couple of hours on Liberty Island and then headed uptown to 30 Rock (GE Building) to the Top of the Rock Observatory on the 67th-70th floors. We enjoyed wonderful views from 800 or so feet above midtown Manhattan.

Part of my madness was to use my camera to document all of this. Please check out some of the pictures...
In closing, I know it has been awhile since I have blogged, but I anticipate blogging more often in the days ahead.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad...Hello Yankee Stadium

A few months ago, my sister Tracy had the idea to take my dad to a Yankee game for his birthday. She looked at the schedule, and we determined to buy tickets to the April 17th game. That was the 2nd home game in the new stadium. Dad's birthday is on the 18th.

We woke up very early on the morning of the 17th, and began the trek down I-95 and the Merritt Parkway to Yankee Stadium. I was a little worried that the parking lot I normally park in would be unavailable due to construction to the new train station for the stadium, but it was open and we were granted access through the yet to be completed station.
Upon crossing E. 161st street, we were immediately captivated by the sight before us. The new stadium is indeed grand, and after posing for a quick picture in front of Babe Ruth Plaza, we entered the Great Hall. Soundbites of great moments of Yankee history greeted as we walked through the hall, we made a dash to see the field and all agreed that everything felt closer.

We then walked through the great hall and around the entire stadium. I checked out my season seats in section 237, and then we grabbed a few Nathan's Hot Dogs. As we leaned against a window screen which looked out on the street below, I immediately began to feel as though this new stadium was a ballpark. It wasn't as isolated as the former stadium. There was traffic around it on all sides.

We took our seats and relaxed until the game started. Joba Chamberlain wasn't too sharp, but the Yankees kept him close. We witnessed homeruns by Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, and then the game winning home run by the Captain Derek Jeter. Mo (Mariano Rivera) came in and got the save. We sang "Enter Sandman" enthusiastically as he entered the game.

One of the funniest things was dads birthda greetings. Mom paid $10 for dad's birthday to be displayed on the screen. He left for the bathroom in the top of the sixth and wasn't back when his name was displayed. That is so typical with dad! Tracy and I were saying, everything was scripted that day even the snafu with dad missing his greeting.

We were there for the first win in Yankee Stadium. It is something we will be able to share with generations to come.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My 2nd Home...Section 237

Yesterday, I received the telephone call I have been waiting all winter for. I received a call from the New York Yankees regarding my relocation and season ticket plan for the new stadium. I have been on pins and needles all winter, thinking that I might be squeezed out of the new stadium based on my relatively low (2 year) seniority and the fact that I also get the smallest ticket package.

I was given a few seating options including the terrace level and main level, but I am a bleacher guy. So for slightly more than a price of a movie, I can go see the New York Yankees in their brand new home, and see Mariano Rivera close out a game, Mark Teixeira hit a homer to score a few runs, and see Derek Jeter inside out a clutch hit.

My new home is Section 237. It is a significant change from last year where I was in the right field bleachers with the world renowned "Bleacher Creatures," but I am nonetheless thrilled to be in the new stadium. As a result, I now have a home in the new stadium for as long as I see fit and as long as I can afford. Here is a computer generated image with Section 237 circled in red.
The seats look convenient to monument park, and the Center Field Food Court. When I go to my first game this season on April 17th, we are purposely getting there very early so that we can wander around a bit and check out the new digs.

So there you have it. I am a very happy Yankee fan and have been on Cloud 9 since yesterday around 1:00 PM.