Sunday, June 28, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson - June 25, 2009

I don't think there is anyone who can say that they haven't in some way been touched by Michael Jackson. If you were a child of the 80's, he truly was the King of Pop. When I saw him in NYC in 2001, for his 30th Anniversary concert that eventually aired on TV, he was absolutely amazing. An incredible performer and an incredible talent that we have now lost.

After news of his death was announced, the amazing hubs told me he had purchased, as a surprise, tickets for us to see Michael Jackson in concert when we are in London next month. Talk about being a major bummer.

So I thought I would share a few memories of Michael Jackson's music, since I am a fan through and through.

I was young in the 80's but I vividly remember my Auntie G playing the Thriller album (yes album, vinyl) for my sister, brother and I. I remember Thriller being the first real album I ever owned. I remember my Aunt Andie talking about going to see the Thriller tour, and because she had sold the tour company something for the show she got to sit at the Sound Stage with Billy Joel, Bette Midler and Mick Jagger.

I have a memory of knowing all the words to Billie Jean and not figuring out what the topic of the song was till I was older.

Singing "Eddie are you ok? Eddie are you ok?" instead of "Annie are you ok? Annie are you ok?" any time I heard Smooth Criminal (I still tend to do this)

I grew up at a time when Weird Al made a parody of Bad called "FAT"

My Aunt wore one glove when she went to a concert.

My mom played Jackson 5 in our house while we were growing up, and we could sing all the parts!

One year our Junior Color Guard did their floor show to Black or White. And I thought I was so cool for knowing the words to the spoken part.

Buying the CD "Number Ones" and getting teased relentlessly for liking "Wacko Jacko" (love my fam!)

The band at my wedding played "Wanna Be Startin' Something" cause it was one of the hubs and my requested songs.

I associated the song "Remember the Time" with an ex-boyfriend who I was trying to convince to get back together with me. (And the video was pretty cool too!)

Falling in love with the song "I'll be There" because the New Kids on The Block covered that song on the Magic Summer Tour Concert that was aired on TV.

In 2001, loving Britney Spears dancing around Michael Jackson during PYT (which was not aired on TV since she was under contract for an HBO special of her concert tour).

And seriously, can you honestly say that "Man in the Mirror" is not a powerful song?

I'm sure there are many more examples then what I have posted here.

R.I.P Michael Jackson.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 26, 2009

It has rained so much that we have mushrooms sprouting in all of our tree beds.

Do you think they are portobellos????

June 25, 2009

Dinner with some friends from college. Aren't we a bunch of lookers!!!

June 24, 2009

My herbs seem to be doing quite well. We repotted the parsley, and it has started growing like crazy.

I was thinking I should have put a popsicle stick with what I planted. This started to sprout, but I don't know if it is mint or cliantro. I'm sure it will eventually become quite evident.

My vegetables seem to be taking a bit longer to sprout.. so we'll see how they turn out.. will update as appropriate.

June 23, 2009

More sustaining than meat. EXACTLY. Resistance is futile.

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 22, 2009

Here are my plants under the table on the deck, because it keeps raining and I don't want them to drown.

I have to admit this is pretty funny.

June 21, 2009 - Father's Day

So yesterday we went to Lake George, and today... I threw my dad a surprise 60th birthday party. (Ever hear the expression "I need a weekend for my weekend"? Exactly). Any way, I decided it should be cowboy themed since my Dad is very much into Single Action Shooting Society. I went totally crazy with the cowboy decorations, and even the invitations. Oriental Trading Company had quite the selection. We had cowboy cups, plates, bandana napkins, cowboy boot garlands, cowboy balloons, and mints wrapped in bandana print wrappers.

Here is a picture of the inviation:

Here is a picture of the cowboy banner I had made:

Here is a picture of the cowboy boot cake that my sister-in-law made:

And finally here is a picture of my unsurprised Dad after he came through the door and everyone yelled "Surprise! Happy Birthday!"... he totally knew I planned this. Not that it mattered, we had great time anyway!

June 20, 2009

So my family is crazy. Seriously... who drives 3 hours each way to spend a few hours somewhere? Well, we do. You see, this weekend (well technically Monday) my darling dad turns 60. And it happens to be Father's Day weekend too.... and he wanted to go to Lake George... so we did... for a day. Left the house at 5:30 am, and got up there in time for breakfast at our favorite place.. Sutton's.

What we didn't realize when we decided on this trip was it was a fireman's convention, parade and competition. So of course we had to go... did you know fire trucks come in BLUE...

And in YELLOW.....

And in OLD (LOL!!!).....

And who doesn't like a man in a uniform? (ok maybe not the men in my life...)

To avoid some of the craziness, as the parade was right through the little village area, we drove north up to Bolton's Landing. Nothing like a giant Adirondack Chair...

Here is a pic of the Family out to lunch. Just me, mom, dad, sis and bro.
(The amazing Hubs and Wonder Sis-In-Law were kind enough to be taking this pic on multiple cameras)...

And finally... because we all need a little spice in our lives, how many people can you cram into the mouth of a giant paper-mache snake at the mini-golf course?

Monday, June 22, 2009

If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback

I must admit that I have been looking for some motivation as of late. I heard this song a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with it. I love that is has the positive message of living your life because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Whenever I hear this song I crank it up. I sing out loud, and I find myself humming it when I need to make a decision. I just loaded it onto my ipod for when I run, nothing like an uplifting song to help you make it through a workout.

"My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are

So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way
'Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 19, 2009

A positive end to my day

June 18, 2009

Today was a day for indulging my inner 11 year old. CenzLuccsMom and I went to see New Kids on the Block in concert at Mohegun Sun Arena.

It really is amazing the amount of energy in the arena. Everyone (mostly women in their 30's) are screaming, on their feet and having a great time. The NKOTB concerts I have been to, have been some of the best memories of my life.

We saw NKOTB on my 11th birthday at the New Haven Colloseum (which consequently is no longer in existence), and it was my first concert ever. I went with my mom (duh!), my sister, and my neighbor who was a few years others and completely NKOTB obsessed. Turns out she was at the show tonight too, so we met up afterwards....

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures during the show ( I was too busy videoing...), my videos were way to large to post. So here is a clip from the Pittsburgh concert a few days before.

I admit... I am still a groupie.

Juen 16 & June 17, 2009

So, I have been completely uninspired lately. The rain is pretty much killing any ambition I have to take pictures and share them with you. So since I didn't touch the camera on either of these days, I thought I would share some funny signs I found in an antique store in Bolton's Landing, NY. Enjoy!

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15, 2009

My plants are springing!!!! I have no idea what any of it is yet, but they are springing!!! We keep having to take them in due to the arc - requiring conditions as of late, but here are some pictures of my little seedlings!

June 14, 2009

I took this on my cell phone. This guy's outfit just cracked me up.

June 13, 2009

For something different, the hubs and I went strawberry picking at Lyman Orchards. It happened to be Strawberry fest, so seemed like a good idea. Well the day was muggy, and when we got up to the patch it was so hot, we both almost passed out. We were dripping with sweat. Ewww. The strawberries were small and you had to go crazy to find them. I planned on getting 4 lbs, but came away with only 1.25. Bummer. But even though the strawberries were small, the strawberry mojitos we made with them were super yummy!!

Here are some pictures of us in the patch:

June 12, 2009 - the bad and the good

Back at the car dealership (hey when you put 700 miles a week on your car going to work oil changes come up quick). And I found the bad:

Seriously, I think this is the ugliest car I've ever seen. It's the Nissan Cube, but I think it is just plain ugly.

Now on to the fun stuff.... the good. While out to lunch with my staff on Friday, as we mosied past the local Starbucks there was this adorable little dog. His owner was very nice and let me take his picture. His name.... get this.... is Pookie! LOL

June 11, 2009

I know this picture is blurry, but I was surprised at the license plate.

Can you see it? It says "BOCK HTR"...BOCK Hater??? What the heck is that?

June 10, 2009

I think it is time to build an arc.

June 09, 2009

Building update. All gone! I know I need to get out more and find some better pictures.

June 08, 2009

Am I too impatient? Nothing yet. Bummer....

Except in this one. I can't quite tell if it is an herb I planted or some random thing floating around in the air that took root in my pot. Guess we'll find out!

Monday, June 8, 2009

June 07, 2009

Hi everyone, it's hubs here again, reporting on Day 2 of my adventure at the Continental Airlines PTC. Take a good look at the picture below. What do you see?

At first glance, this looks like a picture of runway 28R at the San Francisco International Airport, taken from the flight deck window of a Boeing 737, just before dawn with the aircraft's landing lights illuminating the foreground. In actuality, it's a 3-dimensional holographic image in Houston, TX photographed by yours truly, as I saw it from the window of Continental's Boeing 737-800 full motion simulator at 4 in the morning on Day 2 of my trip.

This simulator not only provides a genuine reproduction of an actual Continental B737 flight deck like the FTD we saw the day before, but in addition to this, provides a panoramic view of photo-realistic scenery and all the forces of acceleration one would feel in a real aircraft. The simulator operates on a set of hydraulic lifts, which are used to simulate the feeling of steep takeoffs, turbulence, rough landings, and anything else you would ordinary feel in a real aircraft.

Continental pilots who are training to become B737 First Officers will spend plenty of time in this device. The simulator is so realistic that the FAA permits it to be used for 100% of a pilot's training. This means that the first time a first officer will ever handle the controls of a real 737 aircraft will be during actual airline service with passengers on board.

For the most part, my 3 hours of flying in the simulator were quite smooth, except for the brief wing fire, engine failure during takeoff, thunderstorm, and complete loss of hydraulics we encountered while circling around the Golden Gate Bridge. During the session, everyone flew as both Captain and First Office at one point. I flew both positions twice, one round with "pops" and another with a guy named Clifford.

Here's a picture of me, feeling rather gratified by the whole thing after recovering from all those disasters and saving the day:

In all, the simulator session ran from 4 AM to 8 AM, with a 1 hour break. After the session, we were debriefed and then taken back to the hotel. By 9 AM, the day hadn't even begun and it was already over! I can really get used to this simulator. Seems like it would make an excellent addition to my downstairs area at home, hydraulic tanks and all. Now if I can just convince my loving wife... :)

June 06, 2009

Hi everyone! Hubs here. As my beloved may have mentioned already, I'm a commercial pilot and flight instructor at the Danbury airport. This past weekend, me and "pops" had the fortunate opportunity to travel down to the Continental Airlines Pilot Training Center in Houston Texas to check out the facilities and try out some of the training goodies. As the name suggests, this is where all pilots for Continental Airlines (and some other random nutjobs like me) go to receive initial and recurrent flight training. The facility is open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year (closed on Christmas Day. How nice of them.)

June 6 was Day 1, and we spent most of the time with Detroit-based FAA inspector Wayne Phillips inside the "Human Factors" classroom learning about the ins-and-outs of the Boeing 737 systems and cockpit instrumentation. Human Factors, which seems like a strange name for a classroom, refers to a broad range of subjects ranging from crew communication to medical issues to the study of the causes of pilot error and aircraft accidents. They also use the room to teach General Subjects. We commondeered this room for the day to discuss the B-737.

Below is a shot of the sign on the outside of the room. Not pictured are the 3 large canisters of coffee which kept us all awake inside that room for the 10 hours we were in there.

In the airline world, FTD stands for Flight Training Device, not the place that delivers flowers. In this device, Continental pilots learn the general layout of aircraft flight decks, review ground procedures, and can hone their "instrument" flying skills. Below is a picture of me standing in front of a Boeing 737 FTD.

The inside of the FTD is an exact reproduction of the inside of a Continental Airlines Boeing 737 cockpit. During simulations, all instrument indications are exactly the same as would be found in a real 737 Cockpit. However, in these devices, there is no view out the window. It's perpetually "cloudy" out.

During FTD sessions, an airline trainer sits behind the captain & first officer and runs through various scenarios, including normal procedures and simulated emergencies. As for me, First Officer Connor and I used this device to simulate a rapid depressurization emergency (as flight attendants would say, "sudden loss of cabin pressure") at 29,000 feet. The trainer sat behind us at a computer the whole time, essentially controlling the entire aircraft environment, including the simulated failures, with a mere push of a button. Here's what the inside of the FTD we used looks like:

After a full day of classroom training followed by some time in the FTD, everyone was just beat. We retired to the nearby Sheraton North Houston hotel for a good night's sleep and an early 3:00 Am rise the next morning.

June 05, 2009

The Hubs and his Pops spent the weekend in Houston at a Continental Airlines sponsored 737 simulator training weekend. I am going to have the Hubs act as "guest blogger" for the next two days to tell you about some of his pictures, but it all started with an American Airlines flight to Houston. The first pic is the Hubs (of course!) and the second is of Pops reading up on his procedures before the big event.

June 04, 2009

I stopped at the Starbucks in Southington today to grab a coffee on my way to work, and in the Denny's parking lot was a bunch of vintage cars. All beautifully redone. I thought they made a nice picture of the day. I especially love the truck because it reminds me of Bella's truck from Twilight.

June 03, 2009

So here is a picture of the REALLY expensive wireless headphones I asked for for my iPod for Christmas. I begged for them, my family all pitched in to get them, and here there are 6 months later still in the box. I seriously have to get my act together!

June 02, 2009

It cracks me up!

Had dinner at a friend's house tonight and inside her condo complex they installed new speed bumps as a way to get people to obey the 25 mph speed limit. This sign is the first one you see. It brought a smile to my face.