Four days off..

I took four days off from writing my blog. I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about writing, not much time actually doing, the writing.  We left off on  Wednesday night talking about my DW’s birthday and working on Election Day.  Today is Sunday, November 11, 2012. Each November 11 is also known in the US as Veterans Day. This day is dedicated to those men and women who served (serve) their country, some giving the ultimate sacrifice. Today is also the anniversary of my mother passing away from pancreatic cancer in 1999.

Friday I went to what was the St. Mary’s Parish Center to see a man about a horse.  Not really. The county bought the parish center when the parish built a new church and parish center up the road. The plan at the time was to move the county library down the street and expand it. Due to budget issues, this has not happened. What has happened is that the NJ National Guard has taken over the building and grounds and set up a staging area for the troops that are helping out to secure LBI.  My DW was down there the other day and got a list of items that the troops needed to make their mission more successful. Not trucks, or bathing suits (joke!), but fruit, some office supplies, pillows, and other stuff.

I used to work in the Food Distribution Center in Philadelphia. I still have lots of contacts in the seafood and produce business. I figured I would get more fruit for my money if I bought it wholesale instead of going to the Shop Rite. I dropped off several boxes of fruit and talked with one of the sergeants for about 15 minutes about who they were and what their mission is.

The guard units that were mobilized to work in “Task Force South” are my neighbors.  The sergeant was from Toms River, the sergeant replacing him after his two-week tour was from the NJ Air Force National Guard and he lives in Little Egg Harbor. Both of these towns are within 20 minutes of where we were standing and talking that day.  Their mission was originally search and rescue. Now two weeks post Sandy, their mission is more about keeping the area secure from looters.

Ok, I read the paper everyday. I feel that I am reasonably informed about my community, but looters? I had not heard a thing about that! It seems that the Army gave them night vision “sets” and part of their mission is sit on the bridge between the mainland and LBI and watch for boats. If they spot a boat, they contact the coast guard who handles stopping the boat. Not homeowners trying to get back on the island, looters. Yuck!  As the sergeant told me this story he had a smile on his face. He was excited to be using the night vision equipment that they had trained on.

Further conversation briefly touched on the fact that many of the guys detached to Manahawkin had been deployed previously to the Middle East. They were excited and happy to be helping out in their community.  It must be better to be helping out your neighbors than somebody you don’t know in a land where you are not exactly welcome.  You might see the trucks and such here by the beach and not give it a second thought. These guys are hero’s for sure.  If you see them, say hello and thank you, I did!

A picture from the weekend. Here is my DW sitting in the stands at the high school football game Saturday. I was on the sidelines taking pictures. She was in the stands cheering for the band (and the football team)



Hype or Hide?…

The tale of two storms. One forecast said to run and hide. The other, well, could be all hype. I asked my brother the weatherman this morning this exact question. His reply, “You are ground zero for 8 – 10 inches of rain and wind gusts to 60 mph. Hopefully your waterproofing works” A direct quote, no, but really close.  Storms like this must be like Christmas for people that work in the weather profession. Day in and day out, we chuckle at their employment when they forecast sunshine on a cloudy day (there is a song in there).  But, big storm, they are king!  It’s nice to be king.

I owe my readers a recap since I took a few days off.  Quickly the last few days went like this:

  • Thursday, worked, no lacrosse, steak dinner (yum). Saw hurricane tracks on-line. All but one were heading out into the ocean after the storm passed Cape Hatteras. The radio was already talking up the storm
  • Friday, found me in Jackson, NJ taking pictures of the Southern vs. Jackson football game. I will add a few at the bottom. No, I don’t have a child playing for either school. I volunteer time taking pictures for various teams at the local high school.
  • The computer models on Friday showed the storm heading west after passing Cape Hatteras (all except one) How could they all be so different from one day to the next?

Today is Saturday, October 27, 2012. The storm (named Sandy) is due to hit this general area on Monday. We spent most of the day putting things away outside and getting ready for the storm. Are we ready? Hmm, we could be more ready, but, we are ready enough. I hope to not regret those words. Check back on Wednesday and see if our storm readiness preparations were correct.

Sunday (tomorrow) was supposed to be an 80 th birthday celebration in Brick for my DW’s mom. The party has been postponed due to the impending storm. I was going to drive to Scranton and pick the boys up and take them to the party and then take them back after it was over. Yes, they are adults. Yes, they have cars. I, would worry less if I did most of the driving. I’m not a control freak (much), I just am a better long distance driver. Hah! Argue that, I say.

So, without any further nonsense from me, are a few pictures from last nights game. Enjoy!


Two for the price of one..

No coupon needed, even!  Tonight’s blog will cover yesterday (Thursday) and today (the last day of summer) 2012 in the Northern Hemisphere. Yesterday went to hell pretty quickly around 4:30 pm. I work from 8:30 to 5 pm, so how bad could the last thirty minutes be?  I got snagged by a customer doing their own work that caused thing to go bad at their store. Since they are a part of a 25 store chain, I could not just blow them off until Friday.  The end of the story is that I worked an extra hour last night to resolve their problems. And I did.

That kind of killed going to lacrosse last night. By the time I walked in the door, I should have eaten, gotten dressed and be walking out the door. One reason to play lacrosse is to relax and de-stress. Walking in and then right back out would not have worked. We went out to dinner instead. We went looking a few weeks back for a place to rent kayaks on the bay and found a few marinas with restaurants attached. We went to one of these restaurants to eat. The first “hmmm” was when we sat down and the people next to us had a box of wine on the floor next to their table. Must be BYOB.  We missed that memo.

The next “hmmm” moment was when we looked around and saw that we may have been the youngest partons in the place. At 50 years, the youngest partons. The guy playing the electric piano had to be 75 years old. he was no too bad. His song book was from a different era, go figure. The food was ok, The prices, not cheap. The service was excellent. Go back, probably not. There are better and cheaper places closer to home.  Maybe a quick bite in the summer time at the outdoor tables.

Friday was a WFH (work from home) Friday for me. Nothing tooexciting going on at work. My DW worked full days both Thursday and Friday.  Tonight we went to the local high school football game. I am one of the adults that shoots pictures or video of the football team and/or the band. The team lost tonight. The other team had a field goal kicker that connected for a 45 yard field goal! In high school! Some of the guys in professional football had trouble at that distance.

Children, DS1 works and works.  I saw three of his high school coaches tonight. They all asked how he was doing. DS2 is in upstate New York this weekend attending the wedding of the sister of one of his college buddies. DS3 is doing homework and goofing off.

Tomorrow my brother the weatherman is doing a triathlon at Great Adventure here in New Jersey. Just for fun after the race he is meeting my at Allaire Park where we will ride our bikes for about 22 miles together. Maybe the race in the morning will help equalize things. Probably not.

Tonight’s picture come the football game tonight. One ROTC, one football and one band picture.  Enjoy!


Friday night lights..

Living the tv show. I never watched the show, so I’m not sure if I am living it.  I was however at the local high school that our children attended for the Friday night football game. In many of the past years I was part of a group of parents (usually men) who shot still and video pictures of the game. The still pictures would be made available to the parents and players during the week after the game. The video would be edited and turned into a game film for the entire season. Usually this would be shown at the year-end banquet.

I took last year off from being involved with the high school. We (my DW) were involved for eight years in everything that our children were interested in. Last year was our year off.  I eased back into the photographer’s group at a scrimmage two weeks ago. Tonight was both feet in, as it were. I shot 900 pictures tonight between the ROTC, the band and the football team. I edited them hard. I think I kept 600 of the pictures. This camera makes me look good.  We stayed for the first half and the band’s halftime show. The halftime score was 19 to 0, in favor of the home team. The final was 19 to o, in favor of the home team. I guess I did not miss much in the second half.  Yes, 900 pictures in only half of a football game.

Thursday was a lacrosse Thursday.  My brother the weatherman joined us in Manalpan for the game. Neither of us had a goal. I feel that I am playing better. I am making better decisions when I have the ball. Now if I could catch a few more of the passes thrown at me. I hit the goalie twice shooting and missed the goal four times. That is a pretty active night for me.

Thursday afternoon I went to the Shark River Inlet to take pictures. Different inlet, different day. The video is below. A few notes about the video: the cormorant (?) in the water has a fish in its mouth. In the pictures it is trying  to get a fish down its throat. The huge seagull has a hook in the right side of its mouth. I guess this has not impeded its eating. The red boat coming in the inlet is a lobster boat returning from checking traps in the Atlantic Ocean.  The two pictures at the end of the flowers and the railing are an artistic attempt on focus. In the first picture the focus is on the railing and the town name “Avon by the Sea”. In the second picture the focus is on the flowers..

The Shark River Inlet video can be found here. The pictures below will have captions were needed. Thanks for reading and ..