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December 30, 2005

New Year almost upon us

Today is the last day of work for me this year. I have a three day weekend coming up like everyone else. 2005 has been a tumultuous year. Overall it would have been a good year except for the death of my beloved Ginger. She was an amazing dog and was with me for 9 wonderful years. Life without her has been depressing and trying at times. I don't think I will ever get over losing her. She was such an important part of my life. The other big event of the year was the threat of losing my job, facing the prospects of retirement, and finally finding a new job with the US Army here at Ft. Monroe. I feel that God had a lot to do with me finding this job. The stress level in my life has gone down dramatically since I have started working here. I am still faced with the prospect of retiring soon and I have mixed feelings about it. More end of year thoughts to follow. I hope your 2005 was at least as good as mine and hopefully better.

Posted by Michael at 8:42 AM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2005

Much to report, no will to report it.

 Where do I begin. Just got back from our trip to Italy. Not... Just got back from our trip to Key West, Florida. Long story, maybe another entry. Anyway, we had fun in Key West even though the weather was unseasonably cold for several days. I also have had time to play with my new Nokia 770 internet tablet device. So far I am loving it. Additionally, I have found that there is a much larger free wifi presence in the US than I had imagined. On our trip to Key West, I was able to connect for free in the Charlotte, NC airport and the Ft Lauderdale airport. The hotel we stayed at in Key West, the Casa Marina Resort, had wifi access but it cost ten dollars for 24 hours of access, not that unreasonable. Just before we went on our trip I took my son out to dinner for his birthday and there were several establishments in the area that had wifi. We ate at Barons pub and were able to connect while eating.

So more about the trip to Key West, and why we didn't go to Italy in the next post. I will leave with one of the photos I took that shows the Christmas spirit in Key West. 


View image

Posted by Michael at 7:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2005

Getting close to Italy

It is less than a week until we head for Rome and Florence in Italy. I am really excited about the trip but I am also a little nervous. I just hope that everything goes well and we have a great time. I need to stop worrying so much about the details like hotels, transportation from the airport to the city, the train from Rome to Florence, and the fact that we will be staying in three different hotels. Mostly I am worried about the language barrier. In all my other trips overseas, to Europe, St. Lucia, and Belize, I was always able to communicate effectively with the locals. In Europe I was with a tour group and an experienced guide. In St. Lucia and in Belize most people spoke English. In Italy however, I expect to encounter many situations where I need to be able to communicate with someone who speaks little or no English. I have learned some basic phrases and will have my pocket dictionary and phrase book with me. I hope these will be enough to ensure that there will be no mixups or misunderstandings that will result in any vacation spoiling incidents. But why worry, just go with the flow and enjoy the trip. Don't worry, be happy....

Posted by Michael at 8:54 PM | Comments (0)

December 5, 2005

Saddam Hussein

Ok, I usually don't post political comments on this blog but I could not stay silent on this. Saddam Hussein is on trial again and running his big mouth again as usual. There are big headlines on CNN and Foxnews that quote him as saying he is not afraid of execution. Wow, what a brave man. This coming from someone who was captured cowering in a hole in the ground, armed but unwilling to resist capture, unwilling to die before surrendering to the evil Americans. Where was his vaunted 'courage' then? If he is so brave as to be unafraid of execution, I wonder why he allowed himself to be captured? Could it be because in actuality he a a blustering, bullying, loudmouthed coward who is afraid of his own shadow? Me thinks so. That's all I have to say about that.  

Posted by Michael at 5:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 4, 2005


ancestor.gifI have been listening to a podcast from Scott Sigler called 'Earthcore'. It is the first novel released as a podcast only. I have really enjoyed the novel a lot. It is very well written and read. It is released in installments that I download via iTunes. Each installment is several chapters long. The quality of the novel is on a par with most of the audio books I download for money from Audible.com. From the authors web site" And here we go! EarthCore officially kicks off today with the Prologue. In the Prologue, you get just a taste of the evil buried deep beneath the Earth's surface. Get ready for 'Death from Below.' Next week we slap you upside the head with Chapters 1-4.

Warning! This is not a kid's book -- EarthCore runs the gammut of politically incorrect topics, from language to sex to raw violence.

I have four installments left before I am done and I am really addicted to this book. The author has released a new podcast called 'Ancestor'. If it is as well done as his first effort, I will be downloading it before I finish the first one. Click on the icon in this entry to get the authors latest podcast.  

Posted by Michael at 8:08 PM | Comments (0)

December 1, 2005

Why a chore?

Why does it seem so hard to write a blog entry sometimes? There is a lot going on in my life but I just don't feel compelled to write about it. Anyway, what is happening in my life lately. Work has been going well, Shakespeare has settled down and stopped tearing up the house, our new tenant Michelle is very sweet and keeps a low profile, and I have been feeling generally well health wise. I bought a PlayStation 2 and a hundred dollar gift certificate for a child named Xavier through our church. He is from a disadvantaged family. Plans are in the final stages for the trip to Italy. I have reconfirmed our hotel reservations and I just received two pocket guides to Rome and Florence as well as a really nice laminated folding map of Rome with lots of other useful information. I already had a similar map for Florence. So I should be really excited about things but for some reason I am not. Maybe it is the weather or maybe it is something I ate.. Who knows. Anyway, I hope my spirits will pickup again soon. Oh, I know now, it is the typical holiday blues I feel every year. Yeah, thats the ticket....

Posted by Michael at 7:10 PM | Comments (0)