Wednesday, December 1, 2010

25 questions (that I stole from someone else's blog! Sorry Ashly Star!)

1. How far away do you live from your parents?:I live about 30 minutes from my parents.

2. What did you get in the mail today?: No idea. Wife gets the mail, not me!

3. How do you like your steak cooked?: Medium rare!

4. Have you ever sat all the way through Gone With the Wind?: Of Course! Great movie, one of, if not THE best ever made!

5. Have you ever been to Mt Rushmore?: Yup! Oct 7th, 2000! Got some great pictures of it too!

6. Is it just me, or was The Marine (w/John Cena) a really horrible movie?: I lost IQ points just watching the trailer, so I never bothered to watch the movie.

7. Do you smoke cigarettes?: Nope. Never even tried them!

8. Are you currently planning a trip?: does the 50 mile commute back and forth from work count as a trip?

9. Is Ryan Seacrest gay? Should anyone care?: Who knows, and who cares? He is overplayed anyway, regardless of if he is gay or not.

10. Do you take anti-depressants?: Nope.

11. Do you ever take sleeping pills?: No.

12. Did you ever get into a bar and drink before you were 21?: Honestly no, I didn't! My first honest drink was on my 21st, with my parents and God-parents.

13. Do you watch MTV anymore?: NO! That channel is no where near what it should be, and used to be. The now encourage such assholes to think that being a complete fuck up is ok, even at 16. I hate that channel now!

14. What kind of car do you drive?: 2006 GMC Envoy Denali edition. Oh yeah, the top of the line model. (Thank god it was used, I could never afford it if it wasn't!)

15. Honestly, is that car insured?: Uh, Yeah! Who is moronic enough to not insure their car, let alone admit that?

16. Do you like sushi?: absolutely not! I can't stand it!

17. Do you like roller coasters?: Hellz yeah! Front seat for me please!!

18. What magazine(s) do you buy regularly or subscribe to?: None.

19. Do you own an iPad? Do you plan to buy an iPad if you don't already have one?: No, and if I could only convince my wife to let me!!!

20. Was your dad named after anyone?: His uncle Pat.

21. What’s the longest time that you‘ve been involved with the same person?: The one I am in now. 9 years and just about 7 months now.

22. What is something that you‘d rather be a bit dirty?: Sex. (I stole this answer too... kinda hard to disagree with that one!)

23. What was your best/favorite subject at school?: Science, History, Art, and English. I basically loved everything except Math of any kind!

24. Describe your accent: Tough to describe. I think of it as a SE Pennsylvanian accent, but somehow, I picked up the Canadian OOT and ABOOT instead of Out and About. Not sure how or where, but it drives my wife nuts!

25. What do you wear to sleep?: Lounge Pants with elastic waistbands. They are so comfy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Admitting defeat... sorta... kinda... but winning too!

So, November is almost over, and so is the contest known as NaNoWriMo. I started writing my first novel (if you can call it that) and am going to fall well short of the 50k word limit. I have decided that 25k is very respectable, especially since I have never done anything like it before. Hell, the most I had written before was a mere 3k words. I came to the conclusion that anything more than I had done before was well worth any effort I had made. I would have been upset if I had only hit like 5k, but 25 is very doable. Right now I am at 19,300, and I still have a few days left to get to 25k. I have learned that I have some ability when it comes to writing, and really like doing it. I will continue to challenge myself to do more writing, and try to work on my dialogue, which I feel is my weakest point now. I think I have to work on making a conversation flow between two or more people, as right now I am terrified to even try to have conversations in my writing. It didn't work so far, and hopefully with work, it will come easier to me. I hope to think the friends I have made this past year on some of the forums I joined will help impart knowledge that I can use to have a book be more complete, and able to make a crazy dream of being published happen. The people I have met so far have been so helpful, and have told me things I never even thought of when looking at my work. Seeing it through their eyes when they point it out, helps incredibly. Now to just hone my writing so there is nothing but good things when they look at my writing!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Day One has passed, and I am still in the game. Not in as deep as some people are already, but i got in 1767 words. I am quite proud of that, and hope the creativity will continue to flow for me. I am not gonna post big here today, just wanted to throw in a comment about day one, and the fact that I will survive! *cue Gloria Gaynor*

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

So I haven;t done one in a while, and I decided to make a conscious effort to do one today! Without further adieu, I give you Thirteen things that make someone my age feel really old!

1) You remember going to see ET, and seeing Drew Barrymore as a kid in the movie.
2) You just found out the movie you always watch and know damn near every line to (Back to the Future) is coming out with a 25th anniversary edition DVD!
3) You know what a beta-max player is.
4) You try explaining one to a kid, and get the "What is this old guy talking about" face.
5) You remember the 1984 Olympics, and Carl Lewis was a God for breaking the 10 second barrier. (And Ben Johnson was a cheating bastard!!)
6) You remember watching the Jamaican Bobsled team live in Calgary, not just in the movie Cool Runnings.
7) You are still pissed that you don't have a hover board yet.
8) You remember when Jordan vs Bird was the ultimate basketball game... kids now barely know who Larry Bird is!
9) You switch on the 80's channel and know every song playing, but can't name 4 on the top 40 channel.
10) You remember when Vanna actually did something besides look pretty.
11) You know what the Go-Bots are.
12) You thought the movie GI-Joe ruined your childhood memories.
and finally
13) You keep wondering why they haven't made a 'Thundercats' movie yet!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's called what now?

NaNoWriMo. It is a national challenge. 50,000 words in 30 days. Write your own novel, about any topic you want. How hard would it be to do? How fun could it be? How creative are you? Think you are up to the challenge? Then come join me and write along side me! Go to and sign up! My name on there is FiremanPat. Add me as a friend, and we'll see how we do! C'mon and join up!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Getting back on the horse...

I apologize to everyone for not being on here in forever. As I stated in my last post, I have been working a lot, and barely have time to see my kids, let alone have time to write on my blog. Be that as it may, i am gonna write today, because some things have happened in the past few weeks that have gotten to me. I feel bad since I haven't been able to run any fire calls lately. Oddly, most of them happen while I am at work. But there was a call that I am glad I didn't make it to: the accident that killed our Deputy Chief. Fran owned his own trash removal company along with two of his brothers. He was working on one of the trucks when the hydraulics failed on the back hatch, and it slammed shut, crushing and killing him instantly. I was here at work when I got the page, and the subsequent "everyone come to the firehouse" page. I had no clue about what had happened until the next morning, when my wife read the article on the front page of the newspaper. The man is a true legend. He had put in 51 years of volunteering as a firefighter, all with the same company. He has lived and worked in the same town his whole life. He volunteered his time at his church, and was always there to whoever needed him. I changed my work schedule so I could attend some of his funeral. I was honored enough to post as Honor guard for a brief time also. But the one thing I noticed that hit home with me was how many people showed up to pay their respects to the family, and honor such a heroic and courageous man. The viewing lasted for hours. He was given full honor ceremony, which meant the fire trucks had raised their ladders and hung an enormous flag between them, the local companies were there, and all of us were in our Dress Uniforms. (This is a truly beautiful sight to see, a full honored ceremony. If you ever have the sad occasion to attend one or see one, know the person is being sent of in the most amazingly respectful way we know how!) They amount of people showing up made me start to wonder. How many people would show up if something were to happen to me. Now I am not trying to be somber, but simply reflecting on my life so far. How big an impression have I made in the world? Would my viewing be hours or minutes? Or would it be the hours long event that no one came to? I have been a firefighter for almost 12 years now. But since I have moved so much, I have ran with 5 different companies. I don't want it to reflect poorly on me that I was moving around so much, I don't want people thinking I couldn't commit to one house or anything like that. Moving became necessary, and that is part of life I couldn't help. So what would the ceremony be for me? Would I rate a page three article about my life? I know I don't rate front page news, and I am ok with that. But where would I fall?
So, now having thought all this through, I have decided I need to make more of an impact in the world... I need to make sure that the lives I touch are gonna remember me, and I will make a good impression on them. Here's to hoping I have made a great impression on all 11 of you followers, whom I am lucky enough to have read this little blog! Thanks for your support, and I will post more often, I promise.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Working too hard, for not enough money...

Let me start this off by saying I love my job. I get paid to go to some of the coolest events there are, and have fun in the roles I perform while working. That being said, I wish that this job could be my only job, and be decently paid for doing it well. I have put in crazy hours, and the pay is only decent when I work overtime. So last week I put in 80 hours alone. Added to the 54 hours the week before, you'd think the paycheck would be good. Nope. All that work and I'll be lucky to crack 1200 bucks. Sad, and darn no one for hiring me full time. That's right, all this work as a PART TIME employee! *Sigh* Oh well... I apologize to everyone for not blogging here lately, but with the hours i am putting in at work, plus the hour and a half each way drive time, I hope I get some slack for it. I will do better to post more, and will also continue with the stories from my road trip soon! Hope everyone is well. Please never forget the events of September 11, 2001. 343!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stories From the Road (10 years later)...

Our next insane story comes from the wonderful time we had while driving from Chicago to the town of Rapid City, South Dakota - in one night! That's right folks, 1,008 miles in one night! We left early in the afternoon, and started out after seeing my cousin Stephen and his wonderful wife. We stopped by and got to go into Wrigley Field, (that is a story unto itself!), and then headed out for the road. Now when we first decided to do this trip, we had decided that we would only take back roads, and avoid the major routes, but realized that if we tried doing that in the Middle of NoWhere USA, we would be screwed big time waiting for some help to arrive. So, reluctantly, we decided to drive on the major roads. So in this insane amount of driving we did this one evening, we took major roads. I-55 to I-80, to I-35, to I-90. it was insane, but really fun. Then we hit the border for South Dakota, and found the thickest fog I have ever seen in my life. Literally, we couldn't see 10 feet in front of the truck. I wound us slowing down to about 25 MPH, hazard lights on and all, hugging the guideline on the side of the road just to make sure I was still going straight. Then we got passed by a tractor trailer. Who was doing 85. In fog that could actually be described as "Pea Soup". So I did the most logical thing I could do... follow at a safe distance, and set the cruise control and ride his wake. That is how I know he was doing 86. I was doing it right behind him. I was at a safe distance, I could see his lights clearly, and was merely looking at the ground for the stains of the animals he may have destroyed along the way. I found that to be true about most of the midwest states, especially the ones that had loose speed limit rules. We finally got into Rapid City around 4AM, and slept in the entrance to the Badlands in the truck. We got up early, right at sunrise, and drove the rest of the way to Mount Rushmore. We got there about an hour after sunrise, so instead of the typical white color of the monument, we have amazing pictures of it with a yellow color to it. The sky was was the perfect sky, no clouds at all, and the color of it was so perfectly blue, that when I had some of the pictures blown up, they couldn't replicate the color at all. I finally had my father in law enlarge it a few years later, when the wife and I had just started dating, and he did it perfectly. Anyway, we had a great time there, and were simply awed by the amazingness of the fact that we were actually there, in South Dakota, looking at Mount Rushmore. After a few hours there, we decided to explore some more. We heard about a statue we had never heard about before, called the Crazy Horse. Everyone knows who the Indian is, but how many people knew there is a monument being built to him that already makes Rushmore seem tiny? The carving of George Washington on Mount Rushmore is 65 feet high, from the bottom to the top of Washington's head. Well, the head of Crazy Horse alone is 95 feet high. When finished, it will be the largest sculpture ever made in human history. What is amazing is that the sculpture is being carved out of the side of a mountain. When all is said and done, it will be over 600 feet high. Now when you see it in person, it is simply amazing. Neither of us had heard of it before, and we both keep tabs on it over the internet. So after the drive of insanity, we got to see two of our country's marvelous wonders. There are other wonders we saw on the trip too. But those are for a later date...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The meaning of life...

I know the past few posts have had funny moments, and I love sharing the stories of my road trip, but I have to put that on hold for this post. The guy I went on the road trip with, Chris, has been my best friend for almost 20 years. We have had our ups and downs, but through it all, we are ALWAYS there for each other. He was my friend support when my Grandparents started dying off, and I was his when his Grandparents started doing the same. But now I have to step up yet again, for reasons we all fear, and never want to have to go through... his mom is extremely ill. She has cancer, which for the moment she seems to have beaten. But the fight against the cancer has left her in a very beaten up shell of her former self. Her mind is still there, but her body is losing the fight. The fact that her mind is still there is a miracle in itself, as she had a stroke about two weeks ago, but recovered completely from it. I have known her forever, and to see her this way is scary. I have some funny memories of being at her house, spending time with her and Chris, spending time with their family, her cringing at the stories of our road trip, and all the times I have ever been with her or his family. But walking into that room, I am embarrassed to admit I didn't recognize her at all. But I made sure that she didn't know it. I went in and gave her a kiss, and made sure that she knew i was there to be a rock for her, just like I would expect Chris to do for my mom if she was in the same situation. It took her family a second to recognize me, but when they did, they were thrilled I was there. We never addressed the issue of why she was there, we never admitted that she was close to dying. We never admitted that this might be the last time I get to see her. Instead, we talked about my kids. We talked about the fact that she remembered Jackson's name during her stroke recovery, clear as a bell. I shared some stories of the boys growing up. I showed off some pictures of the boys, which they all adored (of course... lol). We all shared stories of Chris and my trip. We were all amazed that it was 10 years ago that we took the trip. But overall, it was the simple fact that we got her mind off the pain and problems, even just for a few minutes. This difference was the best thing I could do for her. I got a text from Chris later in the day thanking me for making his mom smile. In all the pain and issues she had that day, she also had a smile. And that smile made her day that much better! I was glad to make the bad things go away for even just a brief moment, and I knew she would enjoy the time I was there. If only it was visiting her at her house instead of a hospital... I can only imagine how hard it is on Chris. He saw his mom, his rock of support for his whole life so far, right after she had suffered a stroke. He saw the fear in her eyes as she was unable to talk or move her body like she wanted to. He was in the house with the Medic crew right behind him. He was there when she was unable to do anything. That image, of her panicked look, the fear in her eyes, still haunts him, even though she has recovered completely. I can only imagine how scared he must have been. But he is being strong for her, and won't let her see him cry. his girlfriend is amazing during all this, giving him the supportive shoulder he needs when he isn't near his mom. She is his shoulder to cry on. Thank God for her being there. I would be scared if he didn't have her through all this. Now it is my turn to try to help him as best I can. Hope I do it well...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Stories From the Road (10 years later) - Syracuse

I am gonna skip around on our trip here to tell you about the night we stayed in Syracuse with my cousins Stan and Jimmy. Now, they were my great aunt's kids, and a little bit older than us, but it turned out we had a great night. The day started off on a good note, arriving about 2 hours before the Syracuse football game against BYU. My cousins already had their tickets, but had none to spare. They Suggested we go buy some scalped tickets along the way. (I know, illegal, but we did get quite adept at finding great tickets for good prices that were being scalped!) So we walked to the Carrier Dome, and along the way (only 30 mins from kick off) and bought our tickets at a ridiculously low cost. The guy just wanted to dump the tickets, and didn't really care how much he got for them at this point. Well, it turns out , we got tickets that were a whole lot better than my cousins tickets, and for a hell of a lot cheaper! SO we sat through most of the game, until the third quarter. BYU was getting blown out (at this point they were down by like 25 points or something) so I called one of my cousins and we all agreed to go to a bar that was along the walk back to his house. Well, we had a few drinks at the game, had quite a bit more at the bar. We both had a lot of drinks in us, since neither of us were driving. Turns out it made for an interesting night. So we all walked into the bar, and we all started drinking. Well, Chris decides he wants to play some pool, and finds this amazing gorgeous blond who wants to challenge him to a few games. So they play a game, (she REALLY sucked at pool btw) and he kicks her ass while attempting to lose on purpose to her. So since she lost, she heads down the the end of the table to rack the balls. Of course the shirt she has on is VERY low cut, and Chris being a lot tipsy, comments on "Such a Gorgeous Rack)! Well, unbeknown-st to us, she was there with her boyfriend, who she had ditched to play pool with Chris about 30 mins ago. We found this out when he finally found her, and told her to quit the game and come with him right then. Chris decided to tell him to screw off, and threw a few colorful words at him, telling him that she would be done when he was "done playing with her". Both my cousins looked right away at me, and we all thought there was gonna be some fists flying. We all put down our beers, and got ready for the first punch to be thrown by this guy. I knew Chris would never throw first, no matter how drunk he was. We had both been raised the same way. Never start a fight, but don't hesitate to finish one if someone is dumb enough to start one with us. So We sat and waited , but the guy turned bright red and fled the room. So we all toasted him being a total pansy, and drank more. The woman decided to stay with us, and had a few beers with Chris while they played a few more games. About an hour after he first came in to yell at his girlfriend, the guy came back. This time he was more commanding, yelling at her to 'Knock this shit off and let's go!" So Chris again told him to put up or shut up. "C'mon Ralph Mouth... put your money where your mouth is. $100 dollars says I kick your ass in this game and I am down 3 balls right now! You beat me, and she and I are done playing tonight." This time my cousins and I all put down our beers and stood up bracing for the inevitable punch that this guy was gonna throw... that never came. He left the room flustered again, and we wound up closing out the bar while Chris played pool with woman until about 1AM. So when they sent us on our way, we went back to Jimmy's house. Stan and I were pretty much toasted at this point, and were drinking water and soda at this point, but Jimmy and Chris decided they were gonna drink a bottle of Jose' Cuervo. But they had no lemons, and no salt either. So they did straight shots of Jose' until about 4AM, when they killed the bottle. Stan had gone to bed at this point, and I went out to the car to get our stuff to bring inside. While I was outside, Jimmy decided he had enough and had gone to bed. Chris didn't know that. So he shows up outside, at 4AM mind you, with the last two shots in his hands, yelling "WHERE'S JIMMY??? WHERE'S MY JIMMY?? HE NEEDS TO FINISH THIS JOSE' WITH ME!!" I finally convince him to shut up, laughing my ass off, and that it was ok if he had the last two shots. He polished them off, and I helped him find his room. I was pretty much sobered up at this point, but I knew Chris was super slammed, and I wanted to make sure he went to bed. So I sat on the floor next to his bed until he fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up about 9AM, and was the first one up. I started getting breakfast ready, when Stan and Jimmy came down from their rooms. Chris didn't wake up until around noon. He looked like shit, was bright red in the face, and didn't feel so great. He had gotten sick during the night, but he was still in bad shape. We suggested he drink some water to help himself some. He did, but threw that up too! He decided to go back to bed, and woke up the second time after 8PM. Two football games later he woke back up! We all razzed him incessantly that night, and had a great time laughing at the memory of him yelling for Jimmy at 4AM. Ironically, I still to this day tease him about it, and he has stories that he teases me about too! I will share them another day, as this was a VERY long post!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stories from the Road (10 years later) - Maine

What an amazing drive in September. Driving Route 1 up the coast heading to Maine is a gorgeous drive, and has to be done by all, at some point in their lives. I know it sounds crazy, but when you do it, you'll understand why I tell you. There is nothing else like it. (Actually, when I tell you about the rest of the trip, there may be a few things!) We were driving up from Massachusetts, and had a great time doing it. We arrived in Maine, and decided to camp out in a small town called Saco, which was a few miles away from the famous town on Kennebunkport, home of the Bush family compound. This seemed a nice idea except for one thing. Neither of us had camped out in more than 4 years, and we had no tent, no sleeping bags, no pillows, no camp grill, no equipment at all except for my awesome truck and our great looks. So we went to the local Wal-Mart and headed to the Sporting Goods section. Now every Wal-Mart is the same, just the people who work there are different. But we ran into the most racist person I have ever met in Maine's Wal-Mart. Seriously! I was very upset by this fact, and we were both very appalled by this guy. Anyway, we got our tent, bought some supplies for the road, (like paper towels, stuff like that) and went to a campground to find a place to stay the night. Neither of us thought to get pillows, or blankets, or anything like that. We stayed the night on the ground, with nothing comforting for us. I literally slept with a roll of paper towels as a pillow! But we managed to make it through the night, and the next day drove to Camden Maine. It is a gorgeous coastal town, and has such an amazing feel to it. Well, that night, we went out in the town and had a few drinks. Well, I did at least. We had an unspoken rule that if one of us got plastered, the other would hold off drinking to take care of them. This worked out well for the whole trip. However this night would be one of the rare nights where I was the one drinking. I had plenty of alcohol, and was learning new mixed drinks since they cut off my Long Island Iced teas after only 3. (They thought I couldn't hold my alcohol). So after a few hours of a good time, we decided to leave. Chris had the keys, so he was driving. But before we got in the car, I decided in my stupor that I needed to pee. This was an issue, since we had just closed out the only bar that was open. So, I had a brilliant thought- Pee on a fire hydrant! Chris was trying to politely tell me to hold it until we got back to our place, but I corrected him. "I'm a fireman... I am allowed to do this!" After finally getting back into the car, we went back to our hotel. In Camden, this amounted to a small cabin overlooking the ocean. It was amazing. Of course I realized this when I woke up the next day. That is one trait that I have that is a bad one... I have never had a hangover. But I do have some good times after drinking... there are plenty more stories to come from our trip!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stories from the Road (10 years later)

It started out as a mere idea. My father was offered the chance to drive the country when he was 18, and turned it down to work for his father. He has regretted it ever since. I had the same opportunity when I was 23. I had money saved in the bank, a new truck, and a great best friend. I decided I was gonna go with or without him, but it would be much more fun to share it with. So i called him up and asked him what he had that was tying him down that he couldn't walk away from. Neither of us had anything holding us back, so we started our trip on Sept 22nd back in 2000. We started our trip in New England, because we didn't want to get caught in some bad snow, and cause we wanted to see some color in the leaves. Our first night we stayed at my Great Aunt and Uncle's house in Rhode Island. The house was so big, it has a name! So we stayed there, then went to Gloucester MA. This is the infamous site of the movie "The Perfect Storm", and the town where thousands of fishermen have gone to their deaths. We ate lunch at the restaurant "The Crow's Nest", the one seen in the movie, and was still owned by Bobby Shatford's mother. She was actually there while we ate our "chow-da", and shared stories of the movie being filmed there, and stories of her son Bobby. We also met the family of Murph, the man portrayed by John C Reilly in the movie. We met his lovely wife and their very nice son. We also got to look through a photo album Mrs Shatford had of the backlot basketball games. Every night after filming, Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney would take on the locals in a two on two tourney. Apparently, Mark actually lived with Mrs Shatford in order to learn the nuances of Bobby, and got the info straight from his mom. I have never seen a woman so proud of her son, and the amazing portrayal of him by an actor. Anyway the reason all these people were in Gloucester that day we were was the "sister ship" of the 'Andreaa Gail' was retiring that night. If you ever saw the movie "The Perfect Storm" then you remember the red boat, the 'Hannah Bowden'. They were holding a benefit that night, and all the movie stars were coming back to the town for the event. One minor problem- it was $100 a plate. This was the first thing we were able to do on our trip, and we had no idea how long we were gonna be on our trip, so we didn't want to spend that kind of money on one event. (Looking back we obviously SHOULD have done it, but hindsight is always 20/20). Instead, we drove up to Maine, and camped out in a small town called Saco. But the story of Maine will wait until another day, as I have a huge day ahead of me today. It is the first home game for the Philadelphia Union, and I am working Security at the new stadium. Go Union!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

And so it goes..

I did manage to get permission from the wife to drive to NYC for my audition for Wheel of Fortune. I had a great drive up there, had a decent time during the audition, but ultimately was not picked for the show. Oh well, no biggie, right? Same thought I had. Then I added up how much it cost me to go there: $52.04 for a full tank of gas, $8 to drive through the Lincoln Tunnel, (This one hurt the most) $51 to get my vehicle out of the parking garage, then a few dollars more in tolls on the way home. I again realized that I have no issues with driving in Manhattan, I absolutely hate the city. Sure, it has nice things to see and do, but so does Philly. Sure, there are cool places to visit, but Philly has some too. So, I have decided that NYC is just a bigger Philly, and even more annoying. And expensive too! C'mon, $51 for 3 hours of parking?? Really? My ass hurt from that intrusion for the whole drive back. Speaking of the drive back, I took the Holland tunnel back to Jersey to come home. Along the way, I had to cut through SoHo to make it to the tunnel. I texted my wife while sitting in traffic (not moving mind you) and told her I was still in Manhattan, and hadn't made the tunnel yet. One hour later, and I had moved not even a full FOUR blocks!! I though life on the Expressway in Philly sucked, but I was stuck staring at some overpriced stores that were "Fabulous" and all that crap simply because they were in NYC. The one store had a gigantic high wedge shoe covered in what looked like cheap gold colored BeDazzler gems. I cringed thinking how much a pair of shoes was inside there. Oh well.

There is one thing that I did this drive that was different from the other times I was in NYC. I saw the skyline without the Twin Towers. Sad that they will never again rise proudly along the skyline, easily seen from a distance, rising in contrast to the Empire State Building. It is a sad reminder that I lost 343 brother firefighters that fateful day. Brave souls that can only be remembered and honored, not taken out for drinks, or shaking hands with them, or exchanging war stories. Instead they all have the same worst war story.

The 28th will be my son Jackson's first birthday. Scary that the year has passed so quickly. He is just as adorable as his older brother was at the same age, with one exception... He is simply much bigger than Patrick was. We measured them both the other day. Jackson is 27 inches tall. Patrick was no where near that tall at 1 year. Here's to hoping Jackson becomes either my Tight End on a pro football team, or a bruising Forward on a professional hockey team!

This is turning into a rant at this point, so I will end it here. I will do my best to try to become more active in updating this blog.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thursday 13 ...

This is a thirteen just because I haven't done one in a while. I need to do more, to write more, so expect to see more from me soon.

1) One of my jobs now is working security for the firm responsible for the Lincoln Financial Field and the new PPL Park. The "Linc" is the home field of the Philadelphia Eagles, and PPL Park is the new home of the new soccer team, the Philadelphia Union. I am really excited to have this job, even though the pay really sucks. Bigtime sucks. But to be in the stadium for some awesome events, and actually get paid for being there makes it worth it! I was working on the field during the USA vs Turkey soccer game at the Linc, and it was insanely awesome! I can't wait until the home opener for the Union on the 27th!

2) I just got an email invite for possibly being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune! I can't wait! It is funny, I have always said I should be on a game show. I wish it was Jeopardy or something like Who wants to be a Millionaire, but Wheel is cool too! The advantage is even just making it on the show means $1000 just for being there. I tend to answer most of the puzzles fast, but we'll see how well I do under some pressure. I have to get to New York next Wednesday on my own, for a 3 hour audition, but how neat will it be if I make the show?

3) I am still teaching CPR. I love teaching it, but the company I work for is driving me nuts. They touted this amazing computer system, and so far, ti really sucks. I get the packets of info I am supposed to be handing out to the students a day after the class is over, they forget to tell me the details of the class, etc. I am thinking of simply getting my AHA certification to teach on my own, without the company over my head.

4) This oil incident in the Gulf is horrible. When the first hurricane hits the Gulf coast with oil covered storm surge, the lands will be so decimated... I think the high ups are scared shitless of that happening.

5) I am loving watching and listening to the World Cup. I am really excited to follow all the action, and hope the US team does amazingly well!

6) So tired of seeing all the ads on TV about people learning to bilk the gov't out of the tax money they owe. I owed 29,000 and only had to pay 2000! (with a big smile) This is why our country sucks lately... Pay your fucking taxes when they are due, and don't be such a deadbeat!

7) I have no idea how this is going to become a 13... this is hard to come up with this so far!

8) I went to the casino the other night with a mere $10 on me... and walked out with $200. All I played were slots. I don't play table games, as I am afraid of people like my brother playing against me. He would only see dollar signs on me, and I hate losing money.

9) I am still bugged that I wasn't hired as Security at the casino. They didn't think I was "outgoing" enough. HA! I am more outgoing them most people you will ever meet! If they hire some of the morons they do, and not me, that is their loss. I paid attention to the guards there, and they were hum drum people who didn't care less about the environment or the "air" of the casino. None of them talked to any of the people losing money, just to each other and the other employees. So much for the "relaxed environment and great customer environment of fun for the customer". It was sad. I'm not Outgoing enough? Screw you casino. Keep your lazy not caring security folk, and I'll stop coming there due to people not caring. I'll go to the new casino in Philly, instead of you.

10) I am really excited to see Toy Story 3 this weekend. However, I did agree to work Friday evening, instead of being out to see the movie. So I am not sure when I will see it, but be assured I will during the first week!

11) I wish someone would hire me full time and offer me benefits. I realize that half the area is looking for a job, but I want one. I just am not happy trying to find the "perfect" job. I simply want "any" job now!

12) I have to work on going to bed earlier. I am betting used to these late nights, and am afraid my schedule will make my body adjust to it!

13) I need to find a decent job with decent hours. I need to spend more time with the boys. I love spending time with them, and watching them grow up. I can't help but think of how fun this will be when they grow up bigger, and start playing sports! It will be fun, but I am smart enough to enjoy the time we have now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Random thoughts...

Many times I wonder... why my life turned out the way it did. What if's can drive a person insane, thinking of the infinite possibilities life could have become. I wonder if I had settled down with ex's, how different would my life be? If my car accidents had seriously hurt me, instead of me walking away from them all. If this, if that. We all have heard the phrase "Hindsight is 20-20". But how true is it? My life is crazy, hectic, boring, exciting, ever changing, stagnant, overwhelming, and satisfying all in one. My boys are the greatest success in my life. They are my whole world. I can't imagine how my life would be without them. So why worry about the What if's? why not simply enjoy the now? I do my best. But I admit my life sometimes takes a turn I don't like, and I wonder... What if I was still working at the last job I had? What if I still had insurance? Would I hurt where I think I have a new hernia? Or would it have been repaired again? Would I still be trying to find a decent job (as opposed to any job). I wish things would always take a good turn, but life likes screwing with me. It depends on how I handle it that determines how good a person I am. I like to think that my boys represent how good a person I am. They are adorable, raised in a safe environment, well behaved, and in Patrick's case, well mannered. This shows the things I think are important in life. Safety and manners. The things that stuck with me through my convoluted life. The most important things in life that I can teach my kids are to make sure you stay as safe as you can, and always mind your manners. Keeping those two things in your life will get you far! Anyone agree or disagree? Please comment on this!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

With Great Power...

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are going on right now, and fans are getting some great games. Today, the Philadelphia Flyers won their third game of this round against the Montreal Canadiens. Being a Flyers fan myself, I thought back to the amazing victory of the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series in 2008. There were some sad videos that were on the internet of the outrageous 'celebrations' our fans in Philly had. The most infamous was the one of the guy up on a traffic light pole, taunting the people below, then getting hit in the head with a vodka bottle and knocked back down to the road below. How is acting like a fool showing the world how you support your favorite team? There were reports and worries when the Canadiens made it to this round of the playoffs. They only flipped about 5 cars and set stuff on fire, acting more riotous then celebratory. Again, how does this show team love? When the Phillies had the parade through the city, roughly 2 million fans showed up and celebrated the team. I was there, I was one of them. The parade had some drunks I am sure, but any issues were dealt with right away. I witnessed personally a fight get broken up by some police officers, many of whom were in plain clothes to help with crowd control. This kept problems to a minimum. I only hope that if the Flyers are able to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, or even win, that the city of Philadelphia will not look the fool again. There is a history of the 'Broad St Bullies' and the history of the Flyers being a very physical team. This I understand. But the fans here in the City of Brotherly Love have a bad reputation for being violent and out of control. Who honestly hasn't heard of the Snowballs thrown at Santa? Or the Batteries thrown at J.D. Drew? Who never heard of the time that the Eagles fans cheering when Michael Irvin was injured during a game? A sad, but funny story of the building of the Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Eagles, was that before and Eagles game that former Cowboy great Troy Aikman was announcing, he visited the new field. Some workers heard he was there, and introduced themselves to him, then asked a favor. They asked him to go lie on his back on the newly installed Sod field to see if it was softer then Veterans Stadium, a place Troy had played in many times, and been sacked many times in. (thus lying on his back) I like that story of gentle teasing by Philadelphia fans. I have been to many sporting centers across the country, and find it amazing that the worst fans I have encountered were not in Philly, but in Chicago. My best friend and I were in the front row of Soldier Field, and were dressed in Vikings gear, as they were playing the Bears that night. (I am an Eagles fan, but am not a moron. I will blend "when in Rome"!) Just 5 rows behind us, 4 guys who were in Vikings gear also were taken out after getting the shit beaten out of them. In the 6th row!!! Most of the horror stories of Philly fans rain down from the '700' level seats, not 6 rows off the field. Now, I am not saying that all Chi-town fans are like the guys around the Vikings fans. I am merely saying that I saw this first hand! But how many people take the stories of the Philly fans at face value? C'mon Philly, let's show the world we can be good true fans, without being stupid!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Good Samaritans...

I am now teaching CPR for a job. I know it is nothing glorious, but it is a job. I love teaching it, and talking to the people in the class. I love sharing my experiences with them. But it turns out I like changing their attitudes from the "onlooker" to the Good Samaritan. How many times do we hear the stories of the people who just kept walking by, instead of helping someone? Most of those people don't help because they are afraid of getting sued if they try to help. After only a few hours with myself and the wonderful person I teach with, they all have the look of "I'll help if I see it happen" instead of "Not me, I can't help at all". They realize it is a difficult thing to do to help someone, but they know they can do it now. It is fun seeing them suddenly understand. Amazing to see their faces when they realize they can literally save someone's life in an emergency. I like this feeling of helping them learn!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Until Now...

The best of times, the worst of times. Being a volunteer firefighter is the best thing and the worst thing a person can do. I love the time spent with the brothers and sisters in the service with me. I love the time spent educating kids and families on how to stay safe and what to do in case of a fire. I love seeing the smile on a kids face when we drive by, lights and sirens on. Doesn't matter if it is a call or in a parade, all kids love fire trucks. Doubt that? Ask your kid if they want to go to the firehouse and sit in a truck. Watch their expression, and tell me they don't simply BEAM. But there is a bad side to this too, one we don't share with the public too often. We'll share it with our house and other houses, but the stories will be edited, and not as bad as they were in real life. We never tell the details of watching people die. We never say how hard it is to save someone who is pinned in their car, drunk as a skunk, after they creamed an innocent person who was minding their own business. We never talk about how hard it is to do CPR on a person, knowing it is too late already, and we are simply going through the motions for the family. We never talk about the calls where kids are hurt, and we can't do anything to help them. We never tell of the times we spend trying to remove the body of a person from a car wreck.
All the people who think the job is just putting "wet stuff on the red stuff", they have no idea of how much more the job is. They don't know the mental side of serving the public. There is a whole aspect that we don't mention to the general public, and we sugarcoat to each other. It is the aspect of PTSD that we ignore, and try to keep stuff bottled in.
The worst accident I was at in my years of service happened in December 2000. I can draw you a picture tomorrow of how the scene was. An innocent woman was killed by a drunk driver. He died too. But what is eating me now is the fact that 15 minutes before the accident, I was walking out of a supermarket, and saw the drunk walking in. He was a total asshole, yelling obnoxiously, cursing loudly, and his friend that was with him was just as big an asshole. I thought to myself "God, those guys are assholes!" as I walked to my car. I drove home (literally a 6 minute drive after sitting at two lights)and was carrying my bags to my apartment when the page came out. VEHICLE RESCUE/Severe Entrapment. Now normally, civilians who call 911 report a vehicle accident with injuries, then the cops get on scene and report a possible entrapment, then an officer gets on scene and confirms a rescue. Not this time. There were over 20 civilian calls calling it a rescue. Not a good sign. We normally got called to clean up accidents like fender benders and the type. We literally passed 9 rear endings on the way to this scene. Another bad sign. The accident was horrible. The truck the drunk was driving flipped over and crushed him and killed him. The innocent driver was seat-belted in her car, but the impact was so severe, the dashboard came up and hit her in the face, crushing her. His truck flipped after hitting her. It flipped so fast that the groceries that were in the bed of the truck were under the bed of the truck, instead of flung all over. They were held in place by centripetal force. That is how fast he was going. I won't get into the details. After accidents like that, we try to find out details of how the pt made out after ward. Turns out, she had an 11 year old son, who's birthday was 4 days after the accident. The accident was 2 weeks before Christmas. She was just proposed to by her boyfriend just two weeks prior to the accident. She was on life support for 3 days after it, and they pulled the plug so she wouldn't die on her son's birthday.
We never tell the public of how tough the scene is to us on nights like that. We never tell of finding her shoes on the floorboard, filled with blood. We never tell about seeing the panicked look on the medic's face as she tell you that the victim needs to be out of the car and on the helicopter 15 minutes ago. We never tell how later that night we sit on the floor of the kitchen in the slop of melted food I never got to put away, crying and not understanding why this happened. We never tell how it is so difficult to think I might have made a difference had I called the cops over the drunk at the store. We never talk about how, even now, I could tell you the details of her outfit, her car, the truck, the dead drunk, the sound of the helicopters coming and going, the sound of the drunk friend who got partially ejected crying out. We never tell how we stood around trying to crack jokes while the drunk lied dead on the street, trying to hide our real feelings. We never mention this stuff to the public... Until Now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Playoff Hockey...

I have been a fan of Philadelphia sports my whole life. Growing up, I liked the same teams my parents and family liked. As I grew older, I developed my own likings of some other sports, either from playing them (soccer) or just liking them (hockey). Out of my family, I am the only true hockey fan. Of course, my parents are bandwagoners, jumping on the Flyers fan ride during the playoffs, but I am the only one who watches it all season. Tonight for example, I am watching the Chi-Hawks vs the 'Nucks, (3-0 Chi-Hawks, end of second period). I love the game so much I watch it no matter who is playing. True fans do this during the regular season, let alone the playoffs. Now that it is Cup Crazy season, fans are glued to the TV every night.

I was asking my wife when she wanted to watch Avatar on Blu-Ray. (Yes, I am like the only person in the world who did NOT see the movie in the theater) She pointed out to me that we don't watch movies at night anymore after the kids go to bed because I am watching hockey instead. I didn't even realize I have had the movie for almost 3 full weeks, and have yet to watch it. Funny, but I don't care who is playing, I just want to watch hockey! Of course the Flyers are my favorite team, and I watch them first and foremost when they are on. But c'mon, everybody loves watching the playoffs just to see the face of the men when they lift the Cup at the end of it all!!!

Now TRUE hockey fans watched the Olympics this year, and the epic games that went down. I watched Belarus, Sweden, Canada, Slovakia, and the US play with pride for their countries. I teared up watching the US fall to Canada in the Gold Medal game in overtime (dammit Crosby! Did it really HAVE to be you?) But the point is ... Hockey is the fastest team sport in the world. You never know how it will end. That is what makes the playoffs so much fun...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - Old Age edition (just teasing)

So, Birthday came and went, and I did not spontaneously explode. (although admit it, that would be cool to read about!) So I am still here, and doing the best I can to muddle through another day. This list will be just random thoughts again, since I actually had fun making last week's list. Plus, it doesn't make it so damn hard to make a list! If I find a tangent I like, I might run with it, just to warn you!

1) How is it that most kids' toys today almost always take forever to assemble? No longer are the days of simple snap and go toys. Now they all have bells and whistles, require batteries that you forgot to buy, and you always need a frikkin' screwdriver to finish it. Luckily, I have yet to have the proverbial problems on Christmas Eve/ Christmas morning... key word being YET!

2) In our house, the plethora of toys amazes me way too much. Now we had toys when I was a kid, but nothing like we have stored in the playroom. Hell, just saying that we have a playroom is amazing. When I was Patrick's age, we had a sunroom/porch off of our living room. We had good times out there, but there were windows that could break, and lots of other things we had to be careful of. The room we have here is awesome. One window only, in a spot that won't likely get hit or break. So they can go nuts out there!

3) Speaking of the house we are in, it was the house my grandparents lived in for 30+ years. It was very odd moving in, since it is still "Grandmom and Granpop's" house. Now my uncle owns the house, and has for years. He rebuilt the house, and put in an apartment upstairs. The house used to be a 5 bedroom house, with a store built in too. Now, the store space is cut in half, leading to the playroom, and the Post Office. Yup, our building holds the town's Post Office. Upstairs the area was also cut in half. There used to be a door in the bathroom leading to three other rooms. Now there is a sink and vanity, and it is sealed off. The other side of the wall is a closet in the 2 bedroom apartment with full kitchen and gorgeous living room. The people living in the apartment are usually family friends, and because of that, when my grandmother had her stroke, the friend called 911 and was at her side when the ambulance got here.

4) The room Kate and I sleep in is the room where my grandmother had a massive stroke in. Now, she didn't pass until 3 days later after all the kids and grandkids got to say goodbye. My siblings have all told me they would be creeped out sleeping in the same room, but I learned to deal with it. I look at it as the room where she lived, not died. To honor my grandparents, we have a picture of them in the playroom, which used to be known as "Grandmom's room". This room was always full of pictures of grandkids, family, and fun things for the kids to play with. Making it a playroom was a no-brainer. Grandmom would have wanted it that way. And now, she watches over the boys while they are playing. Grandpop is still alive, but living in a home. He loves seeing the boys, and We bring them to see him ever so often. But the picture of the two of them watching over the boys means so much to me.

5) Sad to think, but just a few years ago, I was blessed enough to have all 4 of my grandparents. Now, unfortunately, I only have one left. My dad's dad. His health is going slowly downhill, and he most likely doesn't have too much longer. I think this is good and bad. Good, because he isn't happy here without my grandmother, and it has been 3 years since she passed. Bad because I will not have him to enjoy my boys.

6) When Patrick was born, My grandmother was so proud. The first person to visit Kate in the hospital that wasn't our parents or siblings was my grandmother. I remember it clearly, I was sitting in the corner of the room resting, and there was a knock on the door followed by a pink and white blur. I have never seen this woman move so fast. She went right to Kate, gave her a kiss, and asked to hold him. My Uncle Tim was right behind her, and he actually saw me, and offered congratulations. Grandmom did after holding him for quite some time. I have never felt so proud, seeing the smile on her face, and the joy she had while holding him.

7) My mom and sisters hadn't expected Patrick to be born so early, and had planned a shower for Kate that wound up being after he was born. One if the neatest pictures I have EVER taken, (and I have taken a TON in my life) is of Patrick holding onto my grandmother's finger. He was only about 3 weeks old, and she was 81. Amazing. This was the last time I saw Grandmom before her stroke. It was a severe and incapacitating stroke that she never recovered from. I got to say goodbye to her, but never got to see her smile anymore. I am amazed at how much I miss it.

8) My Grandmom used to host a Christmas party every year, and invited all the grandkids to come and do some crafty things, have some hot chocolate, and just have a great time. Problem was, I would always seem to have something else planned that I couldn't get out of (like work). The last one she had was the one right before Patrick was born, and Kate and I made sure we were there. I had promised Grandmom I would make it that year, and made sure we were there. None of us knew it would be the last one. Part of the tradition was every grandkid would get a Polaroid picture with Grandmom and Grandpop while having the option to wear a Santa Hat. Both of us got a picture with them, and we also brought our digital camera too. There was one moment that I am proud of noticing, and it might not have meant anything if Grandmom was still alive. After all the grandkids were done taking pictures, I was standing in the room with Grandmom and Grandpop, and they were just about to get out of their chairs. But before they did, they leaned over and gave each other a kiss. I happened to have my camera ready, and got a picture of it. At the time, it was a "cute picture". Less than 2 months later, it brought tears to everyone's eyes at Grandmom's funeral.

9) Ok, enough sad thoughts. There is a great story of when my sister was born. She was born at 30 weeks, but was a HUGE baby for that age. 30 weeks, and she was 8 1/2 pounds. Some babies aren't that big at birth! So, she was in the NICU, and my Grandmom was looking in the window. There was another couple looking in the window, and happened to see my sister there. (Now picture this, she is 10 weeks early, and is 8 1/2 pounds. Most of the other babies in the NICU are lucky to be 4 pounds after a few days/weeks in there!) So the man looking in the window says to the woman, "Wow, that big baby must have been born weeks ago! Look how big she is!" To which my Grandmom smiles and says "That is my Granddaughter, and she was born only 3 hours ago!" Flabbergasted, the couple smiled and left, not knowing what to say.

10) I have learned to understand a phrase that my Grandpop used to say to my parents when we were all leaving from their house, and usually when some or most of us kids were screaming crying in the car. My mom's dad, in his amazing charm, would lean in the window, smile, and say to my parents "Ain't love grand?". I used to just write it off as a kid, not really understanding the comment. Now, all these years later, and having two of my own kids, I have had the nights where the kids were screaming in the car as I pulled away from my parents. And immediately, the thought comes to mind before my dad can say it to me, but he makes sure he does. "Ain't love grand?" he says with a huge smile.

11) While I was blessed to have all my grandparents for so long, my wife wasn't as lucky. Her mom's parents died young, well before Kate was born. Her dad's father died about 2 years before we met. I simply adore her Mom-mom, and she loves me too. Shortly after we started dating, Kate's brother got married, and I was invited to the wedding and the rehearsal dinner. My seat happened to be next to Mom-mom. The dinner was a lavish Italian feast, being a 7 course meal. However, sitting next to Mom-mom allowed me the honor of sharing her meal, thus making my meal a 14 course meal. "Oh Patrick, you are a growing young man, you need this more than I do..." Gotta love her!

12) Next year will be 10 years since that wedding, and apparently we are gonna babysit Kate's niece and nephew so their parents can go away. I don't have any good stories about her niece, but her nephew, Harry, I have been spoiling since he was born. EVERY present I have ever bought for him has been related to firefighting. His first present was a bib with a firehouse on it, and came with a Velcro Dalmatian. Yes I am serious! The older he got, the louder the toys got. I would go and find stuff he would like, but made sure it was noisy or silly, just to tease Ken and Lisa, his parents. Ken swore to me that "Revenge will suck brother!". I laughed it off, since Patrick is 3, and never got a loud toy from them... until...

13) His birthday present for his 3rd birthday came early, since they weren't going to be there to give it to him. We brought it home after Thanksgiving, and put it in the closet, almost forgetting about it until his birthday. Lisa laughingly said this was the gift of Revenge, and I should "make sure I enjoy it". Curious, I wondered if this was the year Ken got even with me. When Patrick opened the present up, I laughed out loud. Elmo's first Drum Set. Three drums and one cymbal. Sadly, it wasn't loud enough to get truly even with me, but it is a good step in the right direction. So Ken, If you are reading this, (I doubt he will, but anyway) Bring it on Brother! Elmo didn't work out well enough. Can you find anything to get even with me?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Thirteen for Tax Day...

Quick list (hopefully), and not about taxes... just happens to be today...

1)How cool is it to be a fan in Philly lately? New team, the Union, play their third game tonight, Phillies are dominating, and the Flyers won the first game in the first round against the Devils.

2) I like using Twitter. My wife thinks it is goofy, but I enjoy it. Actually, most people i know think it is goofy, but I find it fun to get some insight into people's minds.

3) I have decided to exercise my fat ass into shape. It will start slow, but once I get moving, I hope to get into either a half marathon or half triathlon. We'll see how this works, but I am determined.

4) I turn 33 in 5 days. This did scare me before, but now it gives me motivation to get in shape. I want to be here for my boys in 20 years, not wasting away cause I am too fat to do anything.

5) I think the 3-D tv thing is foolish.

6) I really need a job. Anyone near me hiring? Send me an email address to send my resume to!

7) I would love to have season tickets to one of the Philly Teams. I'd love to take my boys to multiple games from the same seats. Never was able to do that when I was younger, but I think it would be neat to do for them!

8) I really enjoy meeting new people online. I like finding out where they are from and if we have anything in common to talk about. Especially if it is on XBOXLive. Then we have the game in common LOL

9) Sometimes I wish I was able to actually have some decent luck. Lately, it seems we have been catching the raw end of the stick. We have been playing the lotteries lately, hoping for a nibble. Powerball is 177 Million, Mega Millions is 122 Million. I'd love both!

10) I want to buy a house sometime soon. We need to stop pissing away money on rent. It is amazing how much we have wasted in the past almost 9 years just on rent.

11) It amazes me how much I can't stand the NBA. I love college basketball, especially this year's March Madness. But I hate how the players are just whiny spoiled brats in the NBA.

12) Wow, this is incredibly random today, huh? Sorry I don't have more organization today while making this.

13) I need to find something that I really like to do, and make a career out of it. I am big into working in a job you like. If you hate your job, you need to leave before you infect everyone else there. Don't like it? Don't work there. It's that simple.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

I haven't done one of these in a while, so I decided to make one today. I give you the 13 reasons Family can be both fun and torturous.

1) There is no love in the world like a mother's love for a child. Paternal love is a strong thing too, but nothing on earth can compare to the bond of a mother and her child(ren). I have seen a video of a 16 year old mother lift a car with one hand (a Cadillac no less) to retrieve her injured baby that got run over. She lifted the car, pulled the baby out, then slammed the car back down. She did sustain injuries in this incident, namely tearing her shoulder, her bicep and herniated some discs in her back. But she LIFTED A CADILLAC WITH ONE HAND!!! ever notice the guys in "The World's Strongest Man" competition lift some tiny Citroen car, not a Cadillac? Nuff said...

2) Sibling rivalry is on both sides of the equation today. It can be friendly pressure to inspire both siblings to achieve more, or it can be the pushing down on a sibling to make one achieve more than that one. It doesn't matter if they are boys are girls, there is always a rivalry. How the parents let it go on or attempt to control it to a docile level determines how it will play out in the long run.

3) Bonding between siblings is also a very strong thing to witness. No matter how many times I wanted to "ring my sister's neck", if anyone ever hurt her, I was there right away to dole out any retribution. My brothers and I always backed up our sisters, to a fault. No questions asked. That is very tough to mimic, and is amazing to see it in force.

4) There is an amazing tie between parents and children that lasts a lifetime. How often have you seen it in a movie where one parent gets sick. What happens next? The phone call is made to all the children, and they all return home. Movies may try to imitate this bond, but it is a mere portrayal of the true bond. I saw it first hand when my grandfather was dying of cancer. His final day, the call went out. Everyone came to his house. Everyone of his children was there at his side when he passed. On the other side of my family, when my Grandmother had a massive stroke, the call went out to all of the children and grandchildren. We all got to see her before they took her off life support. When she passed, she went with the goodbyes and prayers from all of us.

5) Many people feel that pets are true family too. How long are dogs and cats in our lives? I think it would be a stretch to include fish, but I think some birds are in that group too. How many times have you heard of a person trying to go back into a burning house to go get the dog or cat? Would you do that for a fish? I wouldn't. I wouldn't do it for a dog or cat either, and I adore my pets. I think human life is more important than a pet's life. Some people may disagree, but that is what I think.

6) How neat is the feeling Christmas morning when you are a kid... One of your parents goes down to see if Santa has stopped in, turned on all the lights on the tree, and then either took pictures of you coming down the steps or video of you coming down. How great a feeling was it those days? Or Easter morning? Try to duplicate that elation... I bet you can't!

7) Family portraits: the bane of all families! Who really likes posing in some uncomfortable position just to look pretty for a brief moment? One year, in my younger days, I was experimenting with trying to grow a goatee. (It wasn't pretty, but that is another story.) This happened to be the year we got a family picture done. I was tanned, and being the only one in my family that really does, I stood out some already. Add in the bad facial hair, and to this day the result of the picture is my family teasing me that they got a picture taken with Jose' the gardener. I got ribbed about it just a few months ago, and this picture was taken over 10 years ago!!

8) I personally love being an Uncle. I only have one niece so far, and no nephews yet. Now my sister-in-law is very pregnant right now, so I will have another kid to be an Uncle to. I think it is so neat to hear "Uncle Pat" from my little niece. She will be 2 in June, so it is even more cute now. Now my siblings have 2 kids from us. The littlest one Jackson is only 9 1/2 months old, and just starting to talk. But Patrick is 3, and talks out of control! I love seeing the smile on my brothers and sisters faces when he calls them by name. It makes me so proud to be a father.

9) The instant love you feel when you hold your newborn child in your arms for the first time. Knowing that this little thing in your arms is your flesh and blood, and so dependent on you, is almost overwhelming. I got to carry my son Patrick after he was born into the nursery. I was blessed with the fact that he even smiled at me. I loved it. I have never felt so proud, and so big in my life. I had recently seen the movie "Rocky Balboa" literally the night before he was born. There was a moment in the movie that has Rocky talking to his son, and talking about holding him in the palm of his hand. Before he was born, it was just a moment in a movie. Now after he was born, I saw the movie again, but this time it meant more! I knew then what the emotional feeling he was talking about.

10) The feeling of love I had for my son Patrick is amazing. It seems impossible to duplicate that. Then Jackson was born, and the love was recreated again. It is hard to imagine ever loving something as much, but it is possible. It is real, and unconditional.

11) The love of my wife is an amazing gift to me. I am trying to figure out what lottery I won to deserve it, but it is there and mine. We obviously have our ups and downs, but the love never wavers. I give her all the love that I have to give her, and pray that we'll make it another day, stronger than the day before.

12) We are blessed with amazing examples of love enduring. Both of our parents have been married for over 35 years. Both sets of my grandparents were married over 50 years. Her mother's parents died young unfortunately, but her father's parents were married over 50 years also. We have great examples to live by, and to be proud of.

13) The best and worst thing about families is they are yours for life. They will always be there for you, and then again, they will always be there. They may be embarrassing, they may be overbearing, they may be dressed in a way you might want to avoid being seen with them, but they are family. They can also be amazing, supportive- putting things in order to accommodate a busy schedule for sports or band or anything like that, and they will smile brightest on your wedding day. Or smile the biggest when they hold their grandchild or niece or nephew. The most awesome moment of my life so far, besides witnessing the birth of both my boys, was making the phone calls after, to tell the family of the births. Even now, I am tearing up remembering how proud I was, how amazing a feeling it was. I will never be able to have that feeling again... unless we have more kids!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Getting older...

So, this month I turn 33. Scary number, but no big issue really. Then I start thinking about the past 10 years. 10 years ago, I was single, goofing off, living carefree, and wasting money like it was going out of style. I would rent 10 movies a night from Blockbuster, then return them the next day after watching them. I had no real life, and was unsure where I was heading in life. In September of 2000, I drove cross country with my best friend. We did 19,000 miles in 3 months. Got to see some amazing things, and had some great experiences along the way. I have family and friends all over the country, and during this trip we only stayed in 7 motels. The rest of the time we stayed with my family or friends. We did stay with his family in Detroit and North Carolina though. But the experience was something I can never replicate. We had nothing tying us down, nothing we couldn't walk away from, and nothing we couldn't put off until we got back. We left in September, and got home in December. Best time of my life... until my wife had our first child. December of 2006. We weren't married then, but we were engaged, and my life changed instantly. Now my life is even better, with the addition of our second child, who was born in June last year. My wife and I have had our ups and downs, same as every couple. But our instant cure for things is seeing our boys play together. Patrick starts laughing, over nothing in particular, and Jackson start right on in with him. They do it at home, sitting in the car seats, anywhere they want to. It is absolutely adorable. They play together all the time, Jackson sitting in his activity center, and Patrick bringing him toys - lots of toys! They share things all the time, and Patrick just adores him. We have been lucky so far with them getting along so well. We can only hope they always stay this close.

So now, looking at my life, I am married, have two wonderful boys, and still really have no idea where my life is heading. I have decided that I am too fat for my own good, and am trying to eat much less. I am planning on either riding a bike (if I am allowed to buy one!), or walking leading up to running to get in shape. I need to be here for quite some time to raise the boys. I need to live a good life, and show the boys how a good father should be. Being 33 is a seemingly scary number, but now thinking about my life, it is just a number. One that the boys can learn to say while counting!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I have seen the video and heard the news of the so called "Flash Mob" incidents down in the city. They aren't fun groups, like the one in England this past week, or like the groups that do the improve singing in the train stations. These incidents are violent, attacking stores, innocent people, and causing major problems for the people caught in the middle - like the store owners. How are today's youths this pathetic? When did our society go this far downhill? Why not gather for fun anymore? Why does someone have to go to the hospital after these incidents? Why can't there be people filming it and laughing, instead of crying in fear, or begging the kids to stop beating them? (I can't believe I am saying this, but...) When I was a teenager, we got together to play football, or street hockey, or some other active thing. Hell, we would gather just to run if that was all we were in the mood for! How is it that today's youth are so tech savvy, have so many things working for them, but are still so common sense stupid? How are they so ignorant to right and wrong? How are they not doing things for good? Is life that shitty for them that they have to go out to take it out on some random person driving home? I hope the police catch on to the morons who is trying to organize the "mobs" and throw the book at them. WHo else says down with the bullshit? Get these kids to read a book or get a job!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Scary news...

Today, the EMS world here in Bucks County PA was rattled by the horrible news of a paramedic getting attacked and killed by a patient. This is obviously a horrible aspect of the job we choose, but rare that it does happen. It does put my job as an EMT in perspective very quickly though. How much do I really want to help a suicidal patient? We are taught to always make sure the scene is safe for us. We are literally taught to allow people to die, even in front of us or large crowds of people if there is no police presence there to ensure scene safety. LET them die unless it is safe for us. Now back to today, Suicidal patient, no cops there yet... why does this medic bother with the pt? Cause we care too fucking much. He ignored his training to save someone he prolly didn't even know. We have a strange job, but no one is worth that price! I have 2 adorable (sorry, they really are cute) boys, and an amazing wife. If someone wants to kill themselves, and the cops aren't there yet, I will let them die, without thinking twice about it. Does that make me a bad person? Am I wrong for not losing sleep over a situation like that? I honestly have no qualms saying that my life is worth so much more than someone who wants to kill themselves, and I get called to help them. Now don't get me wrong, I am not advocating suicide, nor am I saying I think everyone should just die. But I am NOT risking my ass for someone who could kill me. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!! Am I wrong?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My thoughts...

So I am sitting here watching the Olympics on TV, and remembering how much I used to love watching them with my mom. I am not too old, but I actually remember the moment of the torch lighting in the 1984 Olympics in LA... I don't remember who it was, but the guy ran up the steps, then another set of steps, and lit the wick that went upward, traced out the Olympic rings, then lit the cauldron. I remember crying when I saw Muhammad Ali light the torch in Atlanta. I have personally been on the ice surface where the 'Miracle On Ice' took place. I have a great picture of my best friend Chris standing mid ice, under the American flag, hands raised in celebration of the moment. The two of us were in the middle of taking a cross country trip that lasted 3 months, and we stopped in Lake Placid. The moment we drove into eyesight of the Ski Jumps, a warm feeling came over me. When we went inside the ice rink areas, and got to see the athletes practicing, the amazement and awe factor went off the charts. This was in mid-September in 2000. We were introduced to the name of a 'future Gold Medal champion' for the first time. One of the trainers was a large Russian woman, who saw us watching. She came over to us and said "Remember this name... Sarah Hughes! She will win Gold Medal in Salt Lake City in 2002. You remember that name, OK??" She was right! We saw Sarah skating, and even got her to wave at us while she skated around between jumps. I was in heaven. This was the Winter Olympic Training Site of the United States! Chris wasn't as thrilled as I was, but he did appreciate the site to some extent.

I get into all this detail to try to give an insight into how I feel about the Olympics. I stay up as late as I can watching them. I actually watch Curling, and have developed a fondness for the game. I try to watch as much of the Games as I can. Every year they are on, I am hooked on them. I owe this love of the Games to my Mom. She sent me an email the other day saying she missed watching the Games with me. But deep down inside, she knows I won't miss the Opening or Closing ceremonies, or even the most obscure events. I am a die hard fan of the Games, and the fact that American Idol beat out the Olympics the night Shaun White sent shock waves by winning his second Gold Medal really bothered me...

I hate 'Reality" TV. None of those shows are true reality anyway. Even Survivor was busted for having a re-shoot of a scene. Let's see a show about firefighters who blow through the slums and ghettos putting out fires... Or the heroin addicts being revived by the EMT and Medic on their 19th call of the day. That is a show I will watch. But until then, I am content with sobbing at the moments I see happen on the Olympics. And that damned Coke commercial about the Special Olympics!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowmageddon x 2!!

The residents of the Philadelphia area, have been subjected to two massive winter storms in the past 5 days. On Saturday, some areas got 3 feet! Personally, we got about 10 inches here in the Grove. Today, we got hit with another storm, lasting 24 hours, that dumped another large amount of snow on the area. No official numbers out here, but I think our number is around 22-24 inches. My son was trying to walk through the snow and it was over his waist! Mind you, he is only 3, but still, this is deep! We haven't been hit like this in quite some time. Statistically, this has been the snowiest Winter in the history of Philadelphia's record keeping. Us suburbanites usually get left out of those numbers, but we all know the depths, and have good memories of the "Big" storms. There is one problem with all this snow... The MSM (Main Stream Media) coverage of Snowmageddon, and the Snowmageddon sequel. Today, the local news stations had all day coverage of the fact that they were putting their reporters out in harms way, and making sure we were nice and close to panicked over the fact that this white stuff was falling. I'm all for news coverage, and the occasional "on the scene" report, but all frikkin day? C'mon, there is other shit in the world happening today. The world did not stop spinning to let the whole 6 or 7 billion residents to watch DC, Baltimore, and Philly get blanketed. There have been major accidents in the area that resulted in fatalities. Where was the news coverage of these sad events? Nope, instead we get 14 different reporters saying "Man it's cold and snowy!" for 12 hours. For crying out loud, we get the point. Do we need to hear it the whole frikkin day? Now our area was literally a blizzard today, and they shut down the major roads in the area- I-76, I-476, I-676, I-81, I-78, I-80, The Roosevelt Extension, and a few more roadways that aren't interstates. These roads were sealed off by the National Guard. If you were trying to get on the roads, you have better have had a damn good reason to be there. I could understand breaking into a show to announce that the roads were shut down. That is very important news. The EAS (Emergenc Alert System) did a great job of warning of us about the closures. Did I need to see reporters freezing their asses off to report they were chilled to the bone? Not really. I got the point a few times over. Please realize that there are other things going on in life, not just the snow coming down. I do like hearing about the rest of the world!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The sad leftovers...

This is a site showing one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen: The forced screwing over of Conan O'Brian. The set from his short lived stint as host of the Tonight Show is ruined, as is my respect for Jay Leno. Oh, he claims he had nothing to do with it, but who really believes that? Oddly, there is a video from Conan's show back in 2006, when Howard Stern was a guest, and Howard predicts way back then that Jay would be a problem. I'll attach video of that here so you can see it yourself. ( Sadly, the issue got VERY ugly, and very public, much to the chagrin of NBC. I used to be a big fan of both comics, with each of them having their own style of jokes. Jay had his Headlines and Jay-Walking, Conan had The Masturbating Bear and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Great routines, fun had by all. When Jay announced years ago that Conan would replace him, tons of people were stoked, feeling he deserved the chair after years of following Jay. I heartily agreed with that idea. Then, when time came for Jay to step aside with dignity, he fucked it all up by demanding his own prime time show. NBC fell for it, moving great shows all over (ie: SVU) and getting rid of others, only to see them resurrect on other channels (see SouthLAnd on TNT). They completely screwed things up to kiss Jay's ass so he didn't go to another network. It is sad, because it all failed. Failed miserably. And now it is over. Conan got screwed over. People will say he didn't, cause he got paid big time. But his career took a big hit here. And noble to the end, he made sure that his whole staff got paid well. I have since decided that I am never watching Jay Leno again. I was loyal to Conan, and will remain so. I respect his decision to walk away instead of getting shafted. I refuse to support Jay now that he cried to get his show back. Sadly, NBC gave in to him. So now he gets the Tonight Show back. It is sad they kissed his ass. I hope Conan's followers all band up, and he goes up against Jay and destroys him in the ratings war. I know I will be watching... will you?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Writing Challenge!

I found this challenge while on Twitter, and felt the urge to answer the call... It is hard to write a story using only 40 words!!!

The dispatch worried him. These calls always made him come home with a heavy heart. “Vehicle rescue – possible juvenile entrapment”. He put on his gloves over the latex gloves. He knew the intersection well. How bad would it be now?

See how good you can do here!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

I have been a huge fan of Pixar since I first heard of them in high school. I missed my chance to invest in them before Toy Story was released. I look back at the small fortune that could have been made had I done that, but I have learned things happen for a reason. Anyway, I have enjoyed all of their movies that have been released, and am eagerly awaiting the release of Toy Story 3 in June. Now the most recent film, "Up", impressed me on a whole new level. The story was so complete, the animation so incredibly detailed that I went around running around saying it should be up for "Best Picture" Academy Award. How tickled pink was I when the nomination list came out this week, and sure enough, "Up" was nominated for "Best Picture"!! Most people think it doesn't deserve the nomination being only an animated film, but they haven't realized the Joys of Pixar's incredible mastery. Fortunately, I have. So this list will be my 13 favorite quotes or moments from Pixar movies. Hope you enjoy it!

1) "You are a TOY!" "You are a sad strange little man, and you have my pity... Farewell!"

2) During the out-takes on Toy Story 2, the clip of the Prospector (Played by Kelsey Grammar) talking to the twin Barbie Dolls... "So you two are absolutely identical? You know I'm sure I can get you a part in Toy Story 3..."

3) The moment of WALL-E coming back to his regular self after EVA fixes him on Earth. The happiness my 3 year old son had made that scene so much more worth it. (I loved it too!)

4) I love the many adult jokes that go un-noticed by the kids. When Buzz is first introduced, Mr Potato Head is shown using his own lips in an "ass kissing" motion.

5) The trailer for Toy Story 3 shows Mr and Mrs Potato Head carrying a chalk board. Halfway across the screen, his back hideaway panel opens, and he gripes "Great, I just threw my back out!"

6) In the Incredibles, the first time Mr Incredible is sent to the island, and is launched out of the plane. His large belly gets in the way, and it takes him multiple times before he gets out.

7) I think the one thing Pixar does that is always clever to do, is put a reference to their other movies in each one. Since Toy Story was their first movie, they referenced Disney Movies. There was a Mickey Mouse Watch clock on the wall in Andy's room!

8) During the chase scene in Toy Story, they show a view from inside the minivan. Of course, the music playing is "Hakuna Matata".

9) In Cars, the best scene (there are too many to choose from in this one) is when Lightning McQueen rushes to Flo's gas station and tells everyone that Doc was a Piston Cup winner. At that point Mater spits out the oil he is drinking and blurts out "He did what in his cup?"

10) The perfect casting of voice talent by Pixar never ceases to amaze me. For example: Jeremy Piven being cast as McQueen's agent. Playing into his role on "Entourage" was so easy to see!

11) Speaking of casting, how about John Ratzenberger? He is Pixar's 'Lucky Charm', appearing in EVERY movie they have made! For those asking, he was the "Underminer" in The Incredibles.

12) The moment in Finding Nemo when you choked up. Dory is asking Marlin not to leave her, cause when she looks at him "I'm home". Every damn time I watch that movie i choke up.

13) This one takes a bit of explaining. I was sick home with bronchitis, and coughing up a storm. My wife and I were only dating at this poi nt, and she was down at her parents house, and she called to see what I was doing. I was watching the Out-takes from Toy Story 2, and the moment when Wheezy tries to catch Mr Microphone's mic. "Oh, Mr Microphone, are you ok? Did I damage you equipment? You gotta throw it to my flipper here, I can't reach very well!" I was on the phone with her, and started laughing so hard and coughing that it was hard to stop. She always references to this when we are talking about funny points in our lives. Anyone who has seen this scene, knows just what I am talking about!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


How many times have we heard that people are hurrying here, hurrying there, and there is an accident along the way? "Alcohol is not suspected to be a contributing factor, but speed apparently had a bearing on the scene" I will post a picture of one of the scenes (SFW, but sad to look at) that speed played a factor in. 3 people got ejected from the car, and were really critically hurt. How many do we hear about where people get killed from trying to get there faster? And how stupid can people be for not wearing a seatbelt? Seriously, in today's society, where we see pictures, hear stories on the news of fatal accidents, how can people ignore the facts? How is this possible? I can tell stories of people who were killed or critically injured due to not wearing a seatbelt. Been there cleaning up after too many of them. Kinda the same thing with not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle. I know here in PA they repealed the law for over 18 years old. And yes, accidents have dropped since they did repeal it. But the small print that most people don't see is that fatal accidents are rising among those "fewer" accidents. I don't care how good a rider you are... it's not you I am worried about... it is all the other people out there driving like idiots. Hey, I don't care how good a driver you are. It isn't the way you drive, or your habits. It is everyone else out there on the road. That is the problem on the roads. I even tell my wife the same thing. Today was a perfect example. The roads were horrible, and numerous accidents were all over the place. There were flipped cars on the turnpike, people in ditches along the side of the road, and why? Simply because people had to get somewhere, and were afraid to slow down. Afraid or too stupid, I'm not sure which. She drove to work, and had no problems. as for the other people out there in the ditches, SLOW DOWN! Thankfully we didn't hear of any accidents where people were killed. There was an accident in Bethlehem this morning where 3 people were killed, but we didn't hear how the accident occurred, but I hope it didn't happen to be due to speed. I feel for the families of these people, but could there have been a different outcome with seatbelts? I was raised to always use my seatbelt. Heck I used to put it on just sitting in the car to eat lunch on a job site working with my dad. My kids are being taught to always use them as well. How easy is it to use them all the time, and raise kids to do the same? I never cared about peer pressure, I used my belts anyway. If people had a problem with that, TFB. I didn't care. I wanted to be safe, and was. Thankfully, I was never in an accident with friends who weren't wearing a seatbelt. But in my life, I have been in a few. I was just in an accident in July where I totaled my Ford Escape and a new BMW. Speed did play a factor, as I hydroplaned on wet roads. The driver of the other car and his kids and I all literally walked away from this accident. What if one of us weren't belted? Would I even be here to write this? Please people, can we all slow down and save some lives? I'm sure someone would like you making it home...