Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
I'm disappointed in Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's decision to hold the parade on a Tuesday at noon. I can understand the desire to keep the crowd's limited, but it's a short-sighted, outright terrible decision on his part nonetheless.
This parade could have easily been scheduled for the weekend - following suit with the very successful victory parade held in 2004 - so as not to conflict with Boston work day commuter traffic, T shifts, and daily work day Boston activity. Moreover, the decision also impacts thousands of fans who work for a living, who cannot simply take the day off at the drop of the hat.
But the biggest victims of this terrible decision are the kids of New England. Even Boston area schools are not calling for a holiday, so it will be more difficult if not impossible for kids who play little league and emulate their Red Sox heroes to attend the parade, and cheer on their Beantown heroes. How can you leave the kids out in the dark?
All around it seems like Menino's decision is a poor one. Yeah, sure, some adult fans will be able to book off of work, and some will even let their kids play hooky for the day, but from a family perspective and a fan perspective - this decision stinks.
Mayor Menino - the RED SOX belong to all of us in New England. You are robbing a great number of families of the opportunity to celebrate the moment with Red Sox Nation. Even from a business perspective, you are missing an opportunity for businesses to reap the benefits of a hungry crowd.
Is this another example where you've picked the expedient decision over the right one? Just trying to "get it over with?"
Shame on you, Mayor Menino, and shame on the Boston City Council for going along with the idea of shutting out the fans. I hope that at least Boston residents remember this treasonous act against RED SOX NATION at the next election.
We all hear that you plan to do a dance. Well, we hope to do a little jig when you are out of office!
This just in from WEEI and the mayor's office:
October 29th, 2007 Red Sox parade plans rolling out
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino will announce plans for a Red Sox parade in one hour at City Hall (12:30 p.m.). Meanwhile, the team is set to land at Logan Airport today at 3:30 p.m. Stay tuned for more details.
City Hall sources tell the Herald’s Michele McPhee the “rolling parade” will be tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon.
The Red Sox will go directly to Fenway Park after landing at Logan, and the World Series trophy will be with them.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
The Boston Red Sox have plenty of lore and yarns that can keep you smiling, but there is one particular story that is actually worth viewing in its entirety and committing to memory. You might have caught the special DVD, Rooters: The Birth of Red Sox Nation on NESN, but if you haven't I strongly recommend it to true Red Sox fans. It seems that the heart pounding, fanatical behavior of being a diehard Sox fan didn't start yesterday, it started back in 1903 - so we can proudly say that there's never been "just another ballgame" in Boston.
One of the Champions of fanaticism is Red Sox Nation's Patron Saint - Michael "Nuf Said" McGreevey. McGreevey was the local owner of a pub called "Third Base" near Huntington Fair Grounds (The Boston (Red Sox) Pilgrims/Somersets/Athletics) used to play.
McGreevey was the leader of the Royal Rooters, which was pretty much a wild fan club of Sox fans that used to pile into the stadium, paying 50 cents a ticket, and cheered the team on through the early years of the Red Sox franchise. A few pics can be found here.
The Royal Rooters used to sing the song "Tessie" which is much different from the one that the Dropkick Murphy's sing. If you caught the 2004 Championship series you heard the original version sung by a Barbershop Quartet. The Lyrics to Tessie are:
The chorus to the original "Tessie" goes:
Tessie, you make me feel so badly.
Why don't you turn around?
Tessie, you know I love you madly.
Babe, my heart weighs about a pound.
Don't blame me if I ever doubt you,
You know I wouldn't live without you.
Tessie, you are the only, only, only.
And this is what is sounded like based on a 1903 recording sung by Harry MacDonough via Phonograph.
During the 1903 World Series against the Pirates, the Royal Rooters substituted "Tessie, you make me feel so badly" with "Honus, why do you hit so badly?"
So what's the big deal about "Tessie", and why has it come back from Lore to active superstition?
Before the 2004, the last time "Tessie" was sung was 1918 which was the last time the Red Sox had won the world title. Someone in the back office learned this and it was resurrected - and with all the talk of curses and superstition, the Sox ownership wasn't about to take a chance. The Red Sox to this day still use the old version and the new Dropkick Murphy version.
Also see: http://baseballguru.com/omi/SEPT.htm
I admire candidates who campaign in the rain. Today we can expect fairly steady rain in West Hartford with highs in the mid-60's. If anyone comes to your door today and is running for public office - please 1) thank them for having enough dedication to go door-to-door in poor weather, and 2) Be nice to them even if you disagree with them 200%.
West Hartford Republicans OR West Hartford
Friday, October 26, 2007
I posted this link : http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18956567&BRD=1646&PAG=461&dept_id=11035&rfi=6 on West Hartford Blog this morning from the West Hartford News which I thought was a fair and balanced look at the two candidates running for Town Clerk.
Theresa McGrath has clearly been an advocate for families and children since she arrived here from New York, and she courageously led the battle against the huge tax increase that the Democrats proposed last year, and pretty much helped tip the scale in favor of working families in West Hartford. Since the tax issue has been so contenuous, its put her in the awkward position of being targeted and facing unprecedented verbal assault by pro-tax advocates in a highly uncivilized manner.
The very fact that she is willing to serve the town in any capacity after such tiring and painful experience clearly shows her high level of commitment for residents of West Hartford; it obvious that she cares tremendously for this town, and is willing to take on responsibilities in a non-partisan position.
I only met her once (the story is below in a previous entry). She was very pleasant and remarkably bright. From everything that I've seen of her, I think she'd carry out the role of Town Clerk in a very neutral style, meaning should wouldn't let politics enter into the Clerk's Office.
I'm not saying that Essie would either. I haven't heard much from her in this campaign, I only know that she is a well connected Democratic operative who has been a delegate to the Democratic National Committee - and those aren't slots that they hand out casually to just anyone - these spots go to liberal political activists. I guess I have a concern for why a Democratic operative would be so interested in securing the Town Clerk's position, if not for any other reason than to pull some strings and turn the Clerk's office into the Democrats new base of operations.
Theresa's ideas about facilitating open government, and providing minutes to meetings online seems like a no-brainer to most people since many towns provide minutes to residents so that they can follow actions taken by their officials. Since Essie hasn't commented on this one way or another so I'm going to have to believe she's against the concept. In a large town like West Hartford, there needs to be commitment from our public officials to make policy decisions available to the public.
Lately, it seems that many decisions are being made in a vacuum or in back rooms away from public scrutiny. The only people that fear public knowledge of their proceedings, are those that realize that the decisions they are making might not be in the best interest of the public. This kind of underhanded handling of the town government smells rotten of deceit and dishonesty.
Let's choose open Government, let's choose Theresa McGrath.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sorry, liberal dems and tepid Republicans (like Kelly Clark), its time to take a break from the lackluster and boring campaign here in West Hartford to focus on an even greater enemy - The Colorado Press.
As the Beantown 9 begin their battle against the alledgedly frightening Colorado Rockies, we thought we'd add some context to the Fall Classic from the enemy's point of view. Oh yes, the Rockies are our enemy. It didn't take them long to copy-cat the Boston Red Sox who have long had the logo "Soxtober". The Colorado Copy-Cats have purchased the logo "Rocktober". Don't worry, we plan to ROCK their October. Just wait.
First, let's remember that Colorado gets the handicapped edge during our visit out there with the "No Designated Hitter Rule" thus causing some complexity for the BoSox's regular line up plan. And we are even shelving our knuckleballer Tim Wakefield due to injury. So we are giving you the added edge and no excuses to fall back on. Hell, we're even substituting a rookie center fielder (Ellsbury) for a gold glove winner (Crisp).
I see your team is already talking smack. You guys play one three game series in Boston and you think you know us. LOL. Yeah right. So did the Yanks in '04, the Angels in '07, and even the Indians who looked fantastic on paper and on the field. And you guys at the Denver Post are all about the stats - but the Sox and Fenway are magical, and the laws of physics and reality don't apply. Ask Jeter, Haffner and everyone else who's entered Boston's version of the Bermuda Triangle and the Twilight Zone combined.
At least one reporter seems to get it at the Denver Post. His article is here.
The rest of you guys can enjoy the ride. Don't be surprised if you take the first three games, and suddenly we win it in seven. Like the Dallas Cowboys of the 70s and 80s, we don't give up until the end. Better wake Rod Sterling... you guys are toast.
Monday, October 22, 2007
West Hartford Blog shows by the link title that there are blogs for a few of our West Hartford hopefuls: Joe Visconti, Steve Adler, Leon Davidoff. But I tend to disagree with this particular point of view.
For years now, would be political hopefuls have had websites that contain fairly static information about themselves and their positions. Usually, the information provided is meant as a public relations tactic to look viable and "on the web". Since its incarnation, "Blogging" is different in that blogging by definition means that timely information is published with some frequency (either weekly or a few times during the week). To be considered a political blog over a political webpage, you need to publish somewhat regularly, and provide readers with near real time updates on events, issues, positions, thoughts and what-have-you.
Joe Visconti's blog for example appears to be updated almost daily with tidbits, positions, and food for thought items. The picture of him on his blog is somewhat disturbing - he looks like he's passing a kidney stone or suffering. But content wise, it qualifies as a blog. It's not that he's putting out heart stopping press releases (which he should), but it beats not seeing anything.
Adler's and Davidoff's pages are clearly not blogs. There is some good information about their positions and great background information about them but after one or two visits, you realize that you will be disappointed if you expected timely releases and updates etc. In fact, its a very disappointing effort to say the least, particularly from two very intelligent individuals like these guys. Since they went through the effort of setting up blogs/pages, the least they could have done was to devote 10 minutes every couple days to add new content or reveal a little more about their positions, etc. When you are trying to topple those in office, it takes a full blown effort and a diversity of tactics - particularly in such an internet focused society.
The Democrats have not seemed to embrace technology or the web in blog fashion but they have one known website which can be found here and it's for the incumbent School Board team. The Democratic strategy is an interesting one... I like the way they've focused on running as a solidified team. The Putterman-Schmitt-Kindall logo is a fabulous campaign tactic - sort of the "all or none" approach. Often as I drive around town, I'll see the three signs in yards displayed the same way as depicted on their webpage. That's usually the sign of a well-organized campaign. Perhaps they don't feel the need to advertise in cyberspace with their clear edge.
The rest of the candidates also seem not have embraced blogging or webpages which is a real shame. For relatively unknown candidates trying to unseat the incumbent party like Kelly Clark, Peter Martin, Diane Mudge, and Mike Seder - anything would have been a boon to their dwindling campaigns.
Surprisingly, the outspoken Theresa McGrath doesn't have a blog or a webpage, but she does have name recognition. Why they didn't draft her for Council over Kelly Clark is beyond me. Seems like they should have switched nominations - Theresa probably would have made a real run at it, and brought some energy to the G.O.P's lackluster campaign. But I digress.
Elliot Check, mild-mannered but sharp, checks into West Hartford Blog now and then and makes some brilliant points. Elliot is the most underrated candidate in the field. But he doesn't strike me as a blog guy - but I bet if he had one it would be incredibly interesting and thought provoking. Even if Elliott had a "dental blog" it would be fascinating to read. Besides, any guy that wears a yellow suit to a televised debate has guts.
Scott Silvka probably doesn't need a blog since he has the bully pulpit of the mayor's office to wage his campaign for re-election. Scott presents well and has really come into his own since Harris left office. A mayor's blog would be an interesting take, but its unprecedented stuff. Perhaps he might be bold enough to take it up in the future.
The rest of the Democrats in the field have apparently forgone websites and blogs in favor of door to door campaigning, and telephone banks.
For yuppie, up and coming, state of the art, on the cutting edge of everything, West Hartford Candidates and their organizations get a "D" grade for using the world's greatest medium to get out there message to their constituencies and voters.
Another tantilizing comeback victory for the Beantown 9, as they make short work out of a well-respected, and outstanding Cleveland Indians team.
But the Indians simply couldn't overcome the heart and soul of Red Sox Nation, and the magic of Fenway Park. Some things have nothing to do with stats and strategy, and the win by our Beloved Boston Red Sox this time around is yet another example of this very thing. Some things are simply meant to happen.
The team celebrated like wildmen, if not a bit overdone - Jonathan Papelbon is certainly a little wacked - how many relief pitchers do you know that perform an Irish Jig on the mound?
The team deserves to celebrate, they beat out the Yankees, the Angels, and the Indians to win the American League Championship. Everyone contibuted from the mighty David Ortiz to the unstoppable MVP Josh Beckett, to the offen ridiculed JD Drew. It was a team effort with a big result.
Now its on to face a whole different caliber team - the Colorado Rockies. It's a mountain to climb, but with Red Sox Nation's legions, we can take Mount Everest.
To be continued.....
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Dear Mrs. Clark:
You seem like a very nice lady. I'm willing to bet you are a loving and caring mom, and a great wife. You seem sweet when you smile and giggle during your West Hartford Television appearances. And you even appear attentive and generally interested in the conversation being conducted in front of you by your opponents during televised and live debates.
But what the blazes are you really doing in this race? Who hoodwinked you into running for Town Council when its apparent to anyone watching that you are out of your element? And you clearly aren't comfortable talking in public about issues and matters of public concern, or articulating your position on any matter. And you aren't comfortable engaging or debating or doing anything that remotely resembles passion for being a candidate for public office.
What is going on here? Was this your idea? Your husband's? Or someone else?
Yesterday, I watched you give your closing statement on WHCT. Surely, if you had real passion for being on the Council, you would have told viewers you want to be elected for better reasons than "keeping traffic flowing" or keeping sidewalks and roads safe. You want to be the safety candidate. And you are worried about recycling measures. Fine, but that doesn't make for any sort of platform on which to run for public office. And furthermore, you don't have to be elected to champion any of those worthy causes. You had an eternity to craft your message to the voters, and you gave them 10 seconds of silence before you could knit together a few empty statements.
It's probably too late for you to withdraw. I expect that your message of "safety for all" probably won't resonate with our citizens. And I'm sure you probably don't expect to win at this point. But I'm disappointed that you took a spot (an endorsed spot) that would have been better suited for someone who really wanted to run for Town Council on behalf of the residents of West Hartford. And I'm very disappointed in the West Hartford GOP for putting you in such an awkward and embarrassing position. They should be ashamed. And you should be disappointed.
The next time someone suggests that you do something that you are not comfortable doing - like run for office, please tell them politely "no". Being a politician takes passion and willingness to fight for ideas in a public forum. That's just not you.
Best of luck in the future. I hope you enjoyed the experience. I just hope that you being the weakest link on the ticket didn't help embolden or catapult the West Hartford Democrats to an easy victory in November. There is so much at stake for those of us who really want a change in tax and spend policies, I just wish you considered our situations before you embarked on this half-hearted venture.
West Hartford Republicans OR West Hartford
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Taking a break from my disgust with the local GOP's half-hearted effort during this year's campaign, I thought I'd bring you some funny entertainment on an old theme.
This is halaroius series from BlameSocietyFilms is well worth watching. It's about Chad Vader brother of the well-know Darth Vader as he struggles through his career as a Day Manager at Empire Foods. This is another example how films don't need to be high budget or full of fancy CGI graphic images to be successful. Great job guys... unbelieveably funny!
Check it out:
Monday, October 15, 2007
Often there is debate on West Hartford Blog regarding the use of screennames and such when posting. During one of my first postings, Joe Visconti ripped into me for not disclosing my real name while posting. Well, Joe and I have had a talk about it face-to-face and we have come to some sense of understanding about it, although I do agree that proponents of full disclosure have their points.
But alas I make a few points here for the reasons for using a screenname:
About two years ago, I interviewed this woman who apparently decided to research me on the Internet prior to interviewing with me. I had given a comment to the Yale Newspaper during the 2000 presidential election. It was a neutral comment about how enjoyable it was to see a close neck and neck race between Bush and Gore. So the lady, having read my comments mentioned it to me during a discussion. That sort of made me think about how powerful the Internet can be, and given the competitive if not cut throat nature of business - how damaging it could be to a career given the small-mindedness of some individuals who hold political beliefs higher than merit when making promotion decisions.
The truth is that some people simply cannot separate political position from the person. And while we all banter back and forth on West Hartford Blog taking this or that position - admittedly, it can get rather heated, and sometimes it gets personal. People should take public policy seriously and depending upon your viewpoint someones argument can be seen as an attack. Discussing a politician's failed record fairly is also seen as an attack unless its packed full of praise.
I think myself fairly normal in the scheme of things. Obviously, I like to joust with my nemesis' on WHB, but I leave the thoughts on the webpage and don't take them beyond my computer portal to the world. But there are some people out there that can't handle debate and banter without going overboard. And the last thing you want is someone showing up at your house or calling you on the phone about this or that. Frankly, there isn't enough time in the day, and no one is paying me to be a politico. I do care, but not enough to spend my free time tracking people down over their personal views, or wishing to respond to people as to why I have mine.
With that being said, I do want to disclose a few things. First, when I knew I was going to start posting regularly on West Hartford Blog, I sent an email to Whdad pretty much telling him who I was and where I lived, etc. I also offered to speak with him and introduce myself. Unfortunately, Whdad never took me up on the offer (and I did try to reach out a few times). But I didn't take it personal. I was disappointed but I truly understand.
I did this out of courtesy and of course it was a risk since he could easily have published all my information on his site. Fact is that he runs a the Blog with great measure of dignity and restraint. Some of my friends on the GOP side feel he's a liberal hack, but I see no evidence that he is any such thing. and people are allowed to have a bias. He gives his opinion and opens it up for debate. As a moderator, he does a fine job to separate himself from his role and avoids pushing his views on others.
But you'll also notice that he remains anonymous too. Can you blame him? The last thing he needs is some wackjob calling him at home over this or that. I assume he has a family (thus the screenname: West Harford Dad), so it makes perfect sense to me.
The second disclosure is that I have disclosed who I am to a few political folks in town. Most of them give a quick laugh when they find out its me. So naturally that tells you that I've disclosed to many in agreement with my ramblings. Here are few stories about that:
About a month ago, my wife needed to pick up a few items from the grocery store. So I pulled up in front of Stop & Shop so she could run in. Lo and behold, there was Joe Visconti - clipboard in hand, animated as ever, soliciting signatures for his GOP bid. My wife looked at me and smiled - we were thinking the same thing. At first, I said no maybe I won't tell him. Then I thought oh what the heck. The worst thing he could do is punch me, right? And Joe isn't that kind of guy anyway... he's actually a great family man, a fun-loving guy, but incredibly passionate about West Hartford.
So as my wife starts to go in the store, Joe asks if she's a registered Republican (and for the record she isn't by the way - she's Independent and hates politics), she responds, "No, but you should talk to my husband over there in the car. So over comes Joe with my wife in tow. He gives me his 2 minute spiel about how he's trying to get on the ballot - jadda, jadda. I told him that I was a big fan of his and I'd be more than happy to sign his petition.
I took the clipboard, and paused, looked up at him and asked, "so... should I sign my name or simply sign it - "The King". Joe reeled back in laughter and said, Oh my God. And he sort of dropped the political thing for a minute and shook my hand. It was a great moment and a lot of fun. I introduced myself and family and we talked for several minutes.
I tell you, Joe is a stand up guy, and I'm happy to be a supporter of his - even though we disagree on a number of key issues. Of all the people I've met, I really do hope he gets elected. I think he'll bring excitement and passion to the Council. He's down to Earth, and a blue collar Republican. He's what the party needs ... a guy that works by getting his hands dirty and who loves live, family and God. But I digress.
Last week, I was at Waldbaums (seems like all I do is grocery shop, eh?). So outside are two Republicans... Steve Adler and Leon Davidoff.
I've actually known Steve for several years - I think about five or so years. You can't ask for a nicer guy to run for Council. Steve and I commuted together for a period of time and discussed everything from Sports to family to job to politics. When I heard that Steve finally made the move to run I was very happy. Steve has a great mind and a wonderful personality. He has great command of the issues and can articulate solutions and thoughts in an organized fashion. Steve has known that I post but he really hasn't taken any interest in it whatsoever. I think he sees a lot of the Internet banter as a distraction. I doubt he even reads WHB on a regular basis. He more of a doer than a talker. So in that respect, he's very engaged in getting things done. His wife is very nice too.
So as I walk up, he yells "Here's West Hartford's number one Republican." Leon looks at me, and probably wonders who the heck I am. So the three of us chat for a few minutes.
I told Leon that it was great to meet him and that we have a mutual friend - Mark Pappa. Mark ran for mayor of Newington last time around. Mark is a great friend who I met in College and we've been friends ever since. I told Leon how well Mark speaks of him, and told him that if Mark thinks highly of him than I should vote for him too. Leon and I talk policy for a few minutes and in particular focus on taxation and spending in West Hartford.
Then suddenly, up walks Theresa McGrath who's running in Waldbaums to get a few things to make a pasta salad. So I say, "ah, you're Theresa McGrath. Great to meet you. You did a nice job, jadda jadda."
So the four of us sort of blab for a few minutes. She relates how one of the Democrats, out of nowhere, started screaming and accosting her in public at the Park Road Parade, and how immature it was to be bushwacked by a politician [I can't recall the name] in public by a blithering idiot in front of families and such on a public street. We pretty much agree that that kind of behavior is uncalled for. So we banter longer, and West Hartford Blog comes up. She said a few things, and I "slipped" and said, "yeah I like to post a few things and get them going, etc." Keenly aware of what I just said, she looks directly at me and says... "Wait, wait... are you The King?" I say nothing. Steve smirks. I think I tried to dismiss the notion, by saying I wasn't going to say (which was sort of dumb because I was probably turning beat red). She asks more loudly and directly.. . "ARE YOU THE KING??!"
I finally nod and acknowledge, "Yes, I am The King." She cheers and says, "I got to meet The King." We had some friendly discussion. And she says, "Do you want to go to a party?" She was very nice. But in a hurry, she probably thought I was annoying when I approached her later in the store a few more times to make idle conversation, since she told me she was in a hurry. But it was still nice to meet her. She planned to meet later with Elliot Check. I do hope to one day meet Elliot. He seems like a guy I have a few things in common with.
I think Leon was a little taken aback when he saw me acknowledge I was The King. I could tell he wasn't a fan of the Blog. He rattled off a few screennames... I remember hearing him say "King, Turtle, West Hartord Dad" etc. He sort of stopped talking to me for a few minutes. So I asked him directly, "So what's wrong David... er Leon, not a fan of West Hartford Blog? You've sort have gone quiet. Are you mad? Didn't like something I wrote or what?"
I think he was taken aback by the seriousness of my challenge.
But he rebounded, and we chatted for a few minutes. He again invited me to the party that Theresa said she was going to. I thanked him, said good-bye to Steve, and resumed shopping.
You have to realize that even politicians on your own side can give you a sort of cold shoulder for participating in the Blog, which sort of goes to show you that you never know what kind of reaction you'll get when people find out who you are.
Leon's reaction post blown cover may not stop me from voting for him. It's policy that counts. But I'm still deciding who gets my votes. So far, I'm definitely voting for Joe Visconti and Steve Adler, and Theresa McGrath. And I'd vote for these three regardless, based on passion and position.
I do know a few others and they know me. But for now that's enough "exposure" for the time being.
Monday, October 8, 2007
It was an interesting weekend for The King. One of the those weekends that I'll look back on fondly when I'm sitting in a rocking chair next to my bride of 50 years, and hosting our grandchildren in our retirement home telling yarns about West Hartford Life. OK, a little melodramatic, but that OK for a Monday morning, right?
In addition to slaving away around the house and playing with my 2-year old firecracker of a daughter, I attended my 20th high school reunion, enjoyed food and beverage at my neighborhood block party, and watched the Red Sox clinch their spot in the American League Championship Series. We also attended the Park Road Parade - always a fall highlight in West Hartford. I also had the chance to meet a few West Hartford politicians and "introduce myself" to them as The King! You can imagine the reaction. Weekends like this give us that sad feeling of leaving a community that we greatly love and admire.
Obviously each of these episodes contains its own stories and subplots. I'll see how far I can get with all of this in an early morning entry. It's going to be another hellish week at work and home, so I thought I'd get my postings out early this week.
My other half restarted work after maternity leave and even that is an adjustment for all of us here particularly with regard to getting the kids readjusted to daycare, and us readjusted to daycare drop off and pick up. You parents understand the mental drain underlined by feelings of guilt versus their need for learning and socialization, etc. The King gets the villain role in "drop off" duty, and Mommy gets to be the hero playing "pick up". What can you do. That's the balance that keeps harmony in the home.
I attended my High School 20th Reunion on Saturday night. It was meant to be a combined event between Mercy and Xavier. I have to say that I was greatly disappointed by the event for many reasons. In the first place, I was really looking forward to catching up with old friends and schoolmate who I hadn't seen in 20 years, but unfortunately the turn out was exceedingly poor. Out of the sixty three or so people who attended, about 14 were from my class of 220 Xavier grads from the class of 1987.
Having seen a flurry of emails with dozens of address and names, I set the expectation my mind that I would have at least caught up with thirty or so buddies. This isn't to say that I didn't catch up with some old friends, I did and enjoyed having a few drinks with them and finding out how they are making out. Our table was a group of those of us who still keep in touch quite regularly. In fact, we get together about six or seven times a year, and really enjoy getting out families together and navigating through life at the same pace with similar situations. In fact in one case my daughter is two weeks younger than their son, so that makes for great opportunities for the kids to grow up together.
The food was awful. $80 got us very little and we actually expected more than boneless chicken wings and mushroom appetizers. If you are planning an event at Baci Grill in Cromwell or hear of someone planning it - I recommend urging them to find another location. This isn't meant to be a reflection on the organizers who are volunteers and moms and dads etc. The schools (particularly Xavier) could have done a lot more to help, particularly since they devote so much time to reaching out to alumni for donations. The stupidity of these people is beyond belief - even from a business standpoint. Don't they realize that they might have used this opportunity to network and fundraise with alumni for the future? Instead, not one staff member from Xavier showed up to say hello to Alumni. The stories floating around were that the relationship between Mercy and Xavier has greatly deterioted over the past several years since Brother William became headmaster. Having spent four years getting to know William, I'm not surprised in the least to hear the downturn. Tisk, tisk.
And so much for our class president who decided to blow off the event after helping to circulate emails early on and drum up support. If you're going to volunteer and offer to help, carry out the work or at least signal an alarm that you can't follow through. Shame on Dan for dropping the ball. If I knew, I would have helped. Lastly, I do want to thank Mercy for stepping up and including us in the event.
Message to Xavier. Don't expect another dime from me (or those who attended). You guys are on your own.
On to the Red Sox...
The Red Sox seem to be back on track after ending the season in lackluster fashion. Both Manny Ramierez and David Ortiz are hot with the bat again, and it looks like our pitching is on track even though knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield is out with an injury. I honestly didn't expect such a dominating performance by our pitching staff since we've been up and down lately - most notably Dice K has had at least one huge fallout inning per game where he's given up multiple runs.
The best part of the team is that they are playing like a team. This will never be the team of 2004 - which was just special for bringing a world championship to Beantown after 86 years, but its still a fun team to watch and root for. There are a lot of holes in the line up, so this team is going to have to rely on consistency from their star power, and a hope and prayer combined with sheer will to get through the rough spots. Whether its the Yankees or the Indians in the next round, it won't be the cakewalk that we saw over the past three games. Let's face it, the Angels brought their C game. Only Game 2 was competitive. After that late night 9th inning loss on Friday night, they seemed to lack the will to compete, and thus Game 3 was a gimmie.
Our archfoes, the Yankees, won't lie down and die. And Cleveland is also a team gunning for a world title. Enjoy the days off boys, the next round will be harder. You have to love the Sox's chances though... what a great team - Ortiz, Manny, Youkilis, Pedroia, Crisp and consistent Mike Lowell, along with Beckett, Schilling and Papelbon. Bring on the ALCS!
On our Neighborhood block party....
It's great to live in a neighborhood where there is a great mix of people, and everyone has a vested interest in keeping our neighborhood clean and safe. Our immediate neighbors tend to be quiet and keep to themselves, but they are always friendly and willing to say hello or lend a hand if you ever asked for it.
So the block party was a great way to meet a lot of our street friends who all seem to have kids in one stage or the next! The kids enjoyed playing with each other and the grown ups happily shared a beer or two. And we all cooked up a storm and feasted on awesome treats for several hours! It was great to chill out and end the week on such a high note.
I was invited down to watch some of the Sox game with a few neighbors who rolled their television out onto the driveway with a long cable. True Sox fans never let block parties stand in the way of watching the Sox! So with beers in hand, we really yucked it up over a game three win while getting to know each other better.
My two year old daughter really enjoyed getting paint all over herself, her clothes and everything else. And the fabulous West Hartford Fire Department came and let the kids get on the truck and tryout the firefighting gear. They were awesome with the kids. West Hartford Fire ... thank you!! (bizarre sub note... The very truck that was at the block party... just drove past my house as I finished the last sentence ... very, very weird. LOL.) Thanks crew of Quint 2!
So there it is. I'll need to write on my introduction to some of West Hartford's politicos in the next go round. It took me a week to get this entry out!
Posted by The King at 6:25 AM
Saturday, October 6, 2007
I don't know why Sci-Fi and the producers agreed on such a long lapse, but if it had anything to do with ensuring that the actors could pursue other interests - then I guess I have to be good with it if it meant losing another season installment.
Sci-Fi recognizes the huge fans base and loyalty to the series. They opted to provide us with a little taste to keep our interest flowing with the start of the mini-series - Razor which can be accessed on the Sci-Fi Channel website. The first episode deals with a young Bill Adama and takes us through the Cylon War. From the image depicted, it looks like they bring back the old Cyclon look from the 70s.
I give them credit these guys are great at intertwining the old with the new.
OK, so its an eleven series mini-teaser for the next season. It will have to do.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
10.01.2007 Asteroid Named After Takei (UPDATE)
No, it's not one of those deals where you pay someone to "name a star" after yourself — it's legitimate and official. George Takei has been immortalized in the heavens with his name permanently affixed to an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter.
The name was suggested by Tom H. Burbine, a Massachusetts astronomer, who cited Takei's work with the Japanese American Citizens League and the Human Rights Campaign, as well as his celebrity.
For explanations on how asteroids are named, and how official designations differ from the selling of star names, see further articles listed below under Related Links.
"I am now a heavenly body," Takei said Tuesday, laughing. "I found out about it yesterday ... I was blown away. It came out of the clear, blue sky — just like an asteroid."
"It's in general considered quite an honor," Lars Lindberg Christensen, spokesman for the International Astronomical Union, said of the latest renaming...
It's been a weird Fall season so far. Seems that "working hours" have been very much extended at the job - mostly because I've been asked to take on another "program". Not project - but program. It's interesting how managers pile work on those who already have tons of work to do. Not that anyone else is sitting idle, but I'm completely maxed to the rafters. When you have too much work, you tend to move from a proactive, creative thinking mindset to a reactive, minimalist state of being - we joke about plugging the dikes on an overflowing dam. And your mind continuously prioritizes each task, and honestly - some you actually prefer to do simply fall off the list.
Throw the stress of work in with our house hunting effort, fall cleaning, and the trying to spend valued time with your kids and you get the feeling you are this continuous endless loop.
I admit that its been difficult to keep my blogs current with everything to do. And obviously daylight seems to be a premium at this time of year. Eventually we get to a point where we commute to work in the dark and come home in the dark which adds to mental depression.
This past Saturday we held a tag sale. For all of the effort and energy (and time loss to do more productive things) we made about $70. A couple trips to the dump or salvation army and I could have saved 10 hours of prep, sitting, selling, and watching people pick through my junk with disgust. I can't blame them for disgust - obviously its out there on the table because I don't want it (or its not been in use in months or years).
I also have to say that we sold a few nice things for far less than they are worth, but perhaps the buyer will turn that around in time and give someone else a break.
I have to say that West Hartfordites are real penny pinchers. It's almost comical to watch some of our loaded (not immediate) neighbors haggle over a dollar or a quarter. On the positive side, tag sales do make an excuse for you to chat with your neighbors, so that aspect is always a positive.
Yep, just another typical weekend in West Hartford.