October 30, 2007


I am going to take a break from posting for awhile...

October 16, 2007

Bad Blogger

I know, I still owe details of the second half of our week in SF... I'll get to them and more pictures, one day...

Meanwhile life does go on. While in (and on the way to/from) I was reading Michael Thomas Ford's latest novel "Changing Tides" It was great and now Jim is reading it and can't seem to put it down...

A great read and as always, Ford keeps you guessing for a while...

After I finished "Tides" I started "First Person Plural" by Andrew W.M. Beierle. Jim had been reading it and we just swapped books when we were finished.

Another well written book with an interesting twist: Conjoined twins, one gay, one straight, and a life full of overcome obstacles...

That's all for now...

Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

October 2, 2007

Where did September go (Part 1)?

Ok, we're back! San Francisco was AWESOME! Eight days may be a little long to stay for a visit, but we made the best of it...
Our flights out we uneventful and after grabbing a cab from the airport, checking in to the Parker Guest House , and unpacking, we started the exploration of the city by the bay. As we walked up towards Castro Street, this is what greeted us:
This is the corner of Castro and Market, the people on the left are coming up from the Muni, which became our best friend. The Castro is not conveniently located to any of the popular spots in the city except for.... well.... The Castro itself. We realized almost immediately that we were either going to have to walk or rely on the SF Municipal Transportation System. For those of you that have been to San Francisco, you know... Only half of the walking is fun. For every downhill stroll, there is an equally steep uphill climb, and it gets old really fast. Someone at the B&B recommended getting a 7 day Muni Pass, which allowed us unlimited access to the subway, buses, streetcars, and even the cable cars. It was a steal at $24 each, since the cost of each trip, each way (down to the Wharf area) was $1.50 and the cable cars alone were $5 each way.

Saturday afternoon, we took the "F" streetcar down Market Street to the Embarcadaro, and then down from the Ferry Building (Pier 1) to the heart of Fisherman's Wharf (Piers 39 and higher). Where we grabbed a cable car and of course, had to stand on the runners like the true tourists we were. We had dinner on the Wharf and then headed back to the Castro for a nightcap and bed.

Sunday was a whirlwind of tours. We took a motorized cable car tour first, to get our bearings, and then took off walking... and walking...

These are the public toilets (free) which go through self cleaning cycles after each use. The doors open and close automatically, which is one of the reasons I never used one....

Jim didn't want to bring a jacket (he thanked me numerous times during the week for talking him into bringing it)... There are a zillion little micro-climates in SF, you can be in 80 degree sun one moment and turn a corner and be in the 60's... These were taken down near Fisherman's Wharf.

Me at the end of one of the piers (Alcatraz in the background). It looks cloudy in the picture, but it was actually pretty early in the morning...

Of course we had to visit Coit Tower, on the top of Telegraph Hill... The views were spectacular, although the climb (on the streets) to the base took the breath out of both of us.

For those of you that have read the Tales of the City books, take a look at the next picture and tell me if this doesn't fit the description of Barbary Lane...

This was taken from the top of Coit Tower looking down the hill... I think I see Ms Madrigal!!

After a day of walking, we heading back to the Castro, and the wine social at the guest house. We met a great guy there, and afterwards headed out to explore the bars, shops and restaurants on and off Castro. We had dinner at the Sausage Factory and popped in and out of a few of the local watering holes... By 9:00pm on a Sunday the clubs and streets were packed with people...

Monday morning was spent recovering from Sunday night's wine social, drinks before dinner, wine with dinner, and drinks at each bar we visited... Jim lay in bed, while I went down to the garden and pretended to read "Changing Tides" (the newest from Michael Thomas Ford) which is actually very good and is set in Monterey.

Monday afternoon we set out for the Wharf and the Park Service's official cruise TO Alcatraz... There is only one cruise that actually takes you to and drops you off on the island. We chose to go on one of the evening tours which has more narration and offers access to parts of the prison that are not open to the public on the day tours.

Before boarding the cruise on Pier 33, we headed over to Pier 39 (which is a huge shopping and restaurant complex right on the bay). After the earthquake a few years ago, the sea lions migrated into the bay and took over the marina at Pier 39... These guys are the noisiest, stinkiest... and most adorable creatures...

We had a great time on Alcatraz and the views of the city at night were spectacular. The views from inside were not as great!

Tuesday was my birthday, and we did more walking and exploring, cable car riding, and chocolate eating and shopping...

The cable car museum and powerhouse.. If you look at the I-beam you can see the words "California", "Mason", and "Powell", the 3 main lines. The white machines in the foreground are actually keeping the cables running all the time.

No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a visit to Ghirardelli Square. While the actual chocolate factory has moved to Oakland (I think) the shops and Ice Cream Parlor were wonderful... Another free sample??? Sure.

We had a late lunch at E & O Trading Company and then headed down to the theater district to see "Mama Mia" which was awesome and very entertaining. Jim had us sitting 4th row center, I had a grand 52nd birthday! Thank you Baby!

Ok, this is taking longer than I thought... Wednesday through Saturday events will be detailed in my next post!

Over and "Out" from back home in Toano, VA

September 6, 2007

Nine Days and Counting

In nine days, Jim and I will be off to San Francisco for a week... I am getting excited about revisiting, and even more excited about seeing the city with a gay perspective.
We are staying at a highly recommended (gay) B&B in the Castro, have plans to see Mama Mia on the night of my birthday, have booked trips to Alcatraz and the Napa Valley and plan on filling the balance of our time exploring this fabulous city...

The last time I was there was 20 years ago, while I don't expect things to have changed all that much, it will be interesting to see the same things through different eyes...
Jim has never been, and as the "planner" he is, has lined up all sorts of things to do and places to visit... I do love having a significant other that likes to plan... I can do it at work, but I am more the spontaneous type when it comes to time off... I know we will more than likely use his itinerary as a guide, but also know we will stray as we run across an unexpected event or place.
Between now and next Saturday we both have our respective work to deal with, packing, and all the things required to be away for a long week, so posts may be sparse...
Over and "Out" for now, from sunny Toano, VA
ps: any advice on places to go, things to see, would be welcome...

September 5, 2007

I am an Aristocrat

Ok, I was visiting over at Karen's blog, and I saw her title and a link to this silly website...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Viscount Thomas the Festive of Much Bottom
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I'm not sure exactly how to interpret the title, but... if "the foo shits, wear it" ...

Over and "Out" from a busy day off in Toano, VA.

August 28, 2007

What a handsome couple

We attended a friends wedding on Sunday and had a great time. As the only gay couple there, the comments (and compliments) we got were very interesting, and very accepting...
On a more somber note, "Buster" (one of the owners of Club Z2, in Richmond) passed away on the 24th. Johnny and Buster were there for me as I came out to the world a couple years ago. I spent many a late night shooting pool with both of them and talking...
We'll miss you Buster! Rest in peace...
Over and "Out" from my neck of the woods: Toano, VA

August 24, 2007

I can ONLY Imagine....

Over the past few days I have been re-evaluating my connection with the higher power that some call God...

I was raised, was married (the first time), and raised all of my children as a fairly good catholic. Some years ago I had a falling out with the church. The thought that I would not be forgiven for being gay and happy somehow just didn't seem to demonstrate the teachings of the faith I had always been a part of... Yet Pope John-Paul II assured me (at the same time he condemned me) that the priests involved with children of their parishes, caught years after the fact, would all be forgiven, as they knew what they did was wrong. What a relief... I wonder if they asked for forgiveness before or after they were caught?

I tried, not too long ago, to re-enlist in organized religion. I found an Episcopal church that I really liked the feel of and really liked the similarity to the service I had always been a part of. I began dating Jim (long distance) shortly after and found that I was spending more and more time in Williamsburg, hence missing the services at my new church in Richmond.

Eventually I moved to Williamsburg/Toano and left St. Thomas and the attempted re-connection with faith behind... It has only been over the past few days that I have realized that faith is not something that can only be had by entering the doors beneath a star or cross. It truly is something that travels with you wherever you go. Like FATE (which I also subscribe to), FAITH is a part of what makes me.... me.... It's not something you get in return for placing coins or checks in a basket, it's not something you can teach yourself to do, it's something that you just have. Sometimes it hides itself deep inside and comes out only in times of other emotional distress, other times it hangs on the edge of your shirt sleeve for all to see...

While visiting The Way I See It (one of my regular reads) I listened and watched two versions of the following video. I have always enjoyed the original, however, Wynonna's story and rendition is truly inspiring, soulful, and hanging right there on that sleeve for all to admire:

Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

August 19, 2007

A new twist to The Ghetto

Over and "Out" from cooler Toano, VA!

August 14, 2007

I am Alive!

I haven't posted in a while...

I have had my hands full with happenings at work that I will write about soon. For those regular readers, I apologize. For those who have sent me notes of concern, Thank you!

I will return soon!

Over and "Out" for today, from Toano, VA

July 25, 2007

10,000 and counting

How about that? I hit 10,000 visits the other day and never noticed. It's a great feeling to know that some of the visitors even stayed around long enough to learn something about "My New Life". I started this blog as a way to think things out and share my feelings with those that may be in similar situations (in their own lives). Additionally, it was a way to let my family know what I was doing and going through without being too graphic.
I had no idea I would end up with a new family as a result of my posts. To my blogging family, thank you for coming back and your comments and well wishes. I don't know if I could have kept doing this if not for you.
Thanks all for visiting, and for coming back!

Over and "Out" once again, from Toano, VA...

July 20, 2007

Pride in Richmond 2007

July 17, 2007

Just Some Thoughts and Ramblings

Happy July 17th everyone! I just finished up reading some of my favorite blogs... I guess summertime is the season for alot (especially me) of us to kinda sit back and take a break from posting any real substance.
Jim and I have been adjusting to my new (seemingly changing constantly) schedule. I was supposed to have Sunday and Monday off (remember Jim is off Sat/Sun/Mon), but was asked to cover for my fellow Ops Manager (in the Richmond store) on Saturday and Sunday. The store in the west end of Richmond was extremely busy on Saturday and was short-staffed in the office, so I spent most of my time in Customer Service assisting. After leaving, and trying to unwind during the hour-long drive home, I arrived at our neighbors' home to find a scene that would put most of the gay clubs in Richmond, to shame. I knew that Jim and a friend of ours and his new boyfriend were there sitting around the pool, partaking in liquid spirits. What I didn't know is that a drama had unfolded with a mutual friend of ours and the neighbors. I think everyone had too much to drink, and nothing to eat, sitting in the sun most of the afternoon. Without getting into the details, the only talking going on, was at high decibels, punctuated with flailing arms and rolling eyes (and this was just the straight people). I found myself a Miller Lite and our friend (and his new man) quietly (confused) sitting out by the pool and attempted to stay out of the theatrics floating around the rest of the house... Sunday was a lot less hectic, both at work and at home. Jim and I spent a quiet evening at home after I got done with my day in Richmond.
Yesterday we spent the morning mowing, clipping, edging, and pruning. Then cleaned out and reorganized the garage. We took a shower and headed over to our favorite Mexican Restaurant for a late lunch, after which we came home, curled up on the sofa, and watched all the new Lifetime shows we had recorded from Sunday night. I am off again today (in place of my previously scheduled Sunday) and have a small list of things I'd like to get accomplished. Afterwards, I will probably head for the neighbors' pool with my current read "Michael Tolliver Lives" and a cooler of Rock Green Light...
Over and "Out" for now, from my neck of the woods in Toano, VA

July 9, 2007

One Year and Counting

This past weekend, Jim and I celebrated one year... Additionally, it was 12 months ago I met our neighbors H, S, and their son A... When putting together the July schedule for work, I purposely gave myself Saturday off so that we might do something Friday night. Unfortunately, Jim's dentist appointment on Friday went late and was quite painful. He went in for a routine root canal and it proved difficult for the doctor, and for Jim...
We still made the best of the celebration even with the addition of pain relievers. We spent Saturday morning doing our yard work, and the afternoon/evening with the neighbors at their pool. Jim played with two 6 year olds, in the pool, all afternoon. It was great just spending a relaxing summer day with "family".
Tomorrow marks my oldest son's 29th year. Happy Birthday B! It's hard to believe he's almost 30...
We are looking forward to our long weekend trip to Melbourne Beach with my mom on the 28th. It's been over a year since I have seen her and she seems excited to meet my Jim.
I have the next two days off and have chores to do around the house, but will try to post some substance here too! Thank goodness for YouTube, it makes good filler when I don't have time to post, or have nothing much happening...
Over and "Out" from sunny and HOT Toano, VA

July 5, 2007

Timeless from 2001

I know this is a day late, but I saw it HERE and had to share!

Over and "Out" for today, from Toano, VA

July 4, 2007

Gotta Love Dancin!

I saw this over at Kelly's blog and it made me smile too!
Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

June 29, 2007

Shared Thoughts

I read this over at TJ's blog (who got it from here) and thought "how appropriate" to end Pride Month with a collection of thoughts from our gay brothers and sisters. I've read the entries several times and have found more than a handful that apply or have applied to me. I know it's long, but take the time to read through them, especially if you are NOT gay!
Imagine you have a deep dark secret. It can be anything, it doesn't matter. Now imagine that if you told people this secret you would be ridiculed, hated, looked at like you are a freak. Imagine how badly you want to tell someone your secret. Imagine your fear of a persons reaction if you tell them your secret. Imagine you tell someone the secret, but it leaks out and soon everyone knows. Imagine people whispering and pointing at you as you walk down the hall. Imagine people staring at you as if your a freak, as if there is something wrong with you. Imagine people throwing their lunches at you or spitting on you as you walk across the courtyard at lunch. Imagine people taunting you with names that hurt you like a bullet.
Now open your eyes. Gays go through this every day. We don’t have to imagine. For us, its reality.
I’m a bi who wishes she was straight because i’m sick of hiding, sick of the heartache and i’m tired of not knowing what will happen what friends i’ll lose next what words i’ll let slip and what questions i have to avoid answering.
I am the boy who never finished high school, because I got called a fag everyday.
I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.
I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.
I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.
We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.
I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.
I am the gay teenager who cant tell his school who he really is, because he is afraid of what they will do to him.
I am the gay athlete who wants to use the locker room, but hears the ridicule of homosexuality just outside the door.
I am the gay friend that only has a few people who actually care, but hardly get to see.
I am the gay boy that wants to cry when he hears fag, gay, or homo in a way that makes me feel less human.
I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had… I wish they could adopt me.
I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.
I’m the girl who was scoffed at by her teacher when she confided in her she might have a crush on a girl.
We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.
I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.
I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.
I am the girl who hides under lies just to feel that she belongs.
I am the girl that lost her two best friends because they were gay as well.
I am the girl that spent heart breaking nights holding her gay cousin until he cried himself to sleep.
I am the girl who lost her best friend because she found out she had a crush on her.
I am the kid whose own parents told her that she was going to hell.
I am the girl who gets in trouble with her parents for wearing a rainbow colored belt and hanging a poster of Freddie Mercury on her wall.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.
I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.
I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.
I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.
I am the woman who died when the EMT’s stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.
I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.
I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don’t believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.
I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most… LOVE!
I am the person ashamed to tell my own friends that I am a lesbian, because they constantly make fun of them.
I am the boy tied to a fence, beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die because two straight men wanted to “teach me a lesson”.
Over and "Out" from Toano, VA.

June 19, 2007

While I was OUT

The Outer Banks, specifically Corolla, were/was awesome... We arrived Sunday the 10th at around 4:00pm, after stopping by the new store to see the progress, get an update, and pick up our digital camera (I had left it in my desk when we were asked to leave so hastily). This is what greeted us in Corolla:

The house was beautiful and just down the street from the beach. The Corolla Lighthouse can be seen in the background on the right...

I'm not sure if any of you have heard the Joan Rivers bit, where she talks about "Beach People" and "Pool People", well I am most definitely a "Pool Person" (perhaps a result of spending most of my childhood around the ocean, bathing in salt water, washing dishes in salt water, etc... on the boats I grew up on). Here's another reason being a "Pool Person" for the week was not necessarily a bad thing:

We only had one day without sun, which we used to explore the shops and other sights in Corolla and nearby Duck.

At times it was hard to believe there were 14 other people staying here with us. We had a great group, including Jim's brother's family, and other friends from the Pittsburgh area. The only time we were all pretty much together was for the meals. Oh... the meals were grand! Rather than dining out, we opted to prepare almost all of them at home. Jim and I made a Costco run the week before and picked up steaks, burgers, chicken, and pork for the many grilling nights we had. The rest of the "fixins" were picked up at the local Food Lion. I think I gained about 5 pounds over the week....

And now it's back to the grind for both of us... The new store opened last week while I was away and had their Grand Opening this past weekend. I am looking forward to going in to work today, even though I wouldn't mind another day lounging in the sun. I did manage to finally get some color on my lily white body... The picture below is of Jim (3rd from right), his brother's family, and me, right before leaving:

That's it for now... Over and "Out" from Toano, VA
(Oh, and happy belated Father's Day too)!

June 9, 2007

9.000 Visits

Just a note to thank you all for visiting, reading, and coming back to the trials and tribulations of "My New Life". I hit 9,000 on my sitemeter on June 9, 2007!

Not Quite Ready

Well, it didn't happen... We were originally supposed to open the new store up on 6/7... That got changed to 6/9 (today) and now it looks like it will open while I am on vacation down in Corolla (the Outer Banks) possibly on Wednesday. All through no fault of our own.
The contractor handling the demolition and reconstruction of the building apparently neglected to get the permit to install the fire system. They did the work thinking the permit had been pulled and then realized it hadn't, and when the city came for a periodic inspection, the inspector had a cow when he found out... That was just part of the delay... The Value City set-up crew (including the new store's management team) started taking trailers of floor samples on Friday of last week, all through the weekend and all week long, with the last delivery yesterday. The entire floor is set up, tagged and accessorized, and ready for opening... But there are too many things unfinished with the building.
By Thursday, the contractor was starting to sweat... The new store management was asked to leave the building until completion. I guess the contractor felt the pressure and didn't want any conflicting directions being communicated to his people... I had been working 14 days straight by then, so I welcomed the down time.
Yesterday afternoon I received the call that we would not be opening today. I really wanted to be a part of the "Hoop-La" on grand opening day, but guess I will miss it... It will all be there when I get back next Sunday...
I am hoping we have wireless service in the house down on the beach, if so I will post with some pictures of the beach, pool, and parties!!
Over and "Out" for now, from Toano, VA

June 1, 2007

2007 Pride Challenge

This photo is from my friend Kelly Stern's blog. He took the picture and, like last year, asks everyone to pass it around in hopes of spreading the idea of diversity.
"It may not be as pretty as last years" says Kelly on his website, "but it is more of the point I am trying to make. This is a rainbow created by different forces in nature (a little sunshine, water and wind). Last year there were over 100 of you who participated in my challenge and this year I want more. As I find the picture on sites, I will link to that site".
"This challenge is not just about being accepted as a gay man, but it is about societies around the world learning to accept people for being themselves... diversity. Gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, skinny or fat... we need to be a little more accepting these days. The world is a mean place, let's work to make it a little nicer by showing this colorful rainbow that formed thanks to the right angle of the sun and a slight breeze across the pond. Mother natures way of saying she approves of this challenge... shouldn't we all".
Happy Pride Month 2007!
Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

Happy Monday all... I know Memorial Day is supposed to be a day to remember those Americans fallen in military actions around the world... But, I decided to post some photos that I thought were worthy of remembrance today as well:

Over and "Out" in memoriam from Toano, VA

May 24, 2007

Will we open on time?

These are a couple of pictures from the front of the new store... Question is, will it be ready for us to set up and open by June 7th? You be the judge...

Over and "Out" (for now) from Toano, VA

May 19, 2007

Saturday Morning

Happy Saturday all...
This is my last weekend working in my old store up in Richmond. Two of the people working there are transferring down to my store (the new one) in Suffolk, and had their last day yesterday. I continue to cover for the Ops Manager through Sunday, then meet with the new store management team on Monday to prep for the orientation and training for all new and transferring associates beginning Wednesday at the hotel in Suffolk.
I was concerned that getting back into management after my "cardiac event" two years ago might be too stressful for me... Quite the contrary, I have never felt so comfortable doing anything in my life... I never realized how much I missed working with the people that make these stores tick (we don't handle furniture, we handle people)...

On a side note, for any "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition" fans... American Signature (Value City Furniture's, American Signature Furniture's, and Rooms Today's parent company) is now a participating sponsor, supplying the show most of the home furnishings and accessories seen weekly. Check out their websites...

Not alot else happening in my neck of the woods...
Over and "Out" for now, from rainy Toano, VA

May 16, 2007

Jerry Laymon Falwell, Sr. 1933 - 2007

Rest in peace Mr. Falwell...
Just a couple of Jerry's views:
On the September 11th attacks:
"The pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
Who can't help but love this guy?
"I shudder to think where the country would be right now if the religious right had not evolved,"
Unfortunately, we will always remember him as a founder and leader of America's anti-gay industry, someone who exacerbated the nation's appalling response to the onslaught of the AIDS' epidemic, someone who demonized and vilified us for political gain and someone who used religion to divide rather than unite our nation.
My heart goes out to the Falwell family, for their loss...
Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

May 8, 2007

What did I miss?

Ok, after working 7 days in a row, I was off yesterday... Well kind of...
Jim had been off Saturday and Sunday, and to my surprise (considering the weather) he had the lawn mowed and edged on Saturday, and got all the laundry done Sunday. Leaving me very little household chores for Monday... That was very nice!
We decided to run a few errands yesterday locally and in Newport News. Since we were out and about, we took a little side trip through the Monitor-Merrimac bridge-tunnel over to Chesapeake and Suffolk to take a look at the progress of the new store. We parked and were just looking at the front of the store (which still has no windows or doors) when a guy came up to us and asked if he could help us. Turns out he was the project manager for the renovation. After explaining who I was, he let us walk around the interior of the building and have a "look-see" as to the progress. I am having a hard time believing that what I saw is going to be finished for our scheduled opening date of June 7th, but then what do I know of such things? The guy was very nice and gave me his card before we took off to do some shopping at the Chesapeake Square Mall, right next door. He told me if there was anything I needed to give him a call...
We walked the mall, bought some Mother's Day cards, and a pair of shoes, then headed over to have some lunch, and drove home.
Before we left for our day, I had fired up the slow cooker and sliced up the ingredients for our pot roast dinner (there weren't many home cooked meals last week due to my schedule). When we walked in to the house, it smelled delicious! We ate early and settled in to watch "Dreamgirls" which we missed at the theaters and added to our netflix queue.
I now am in a quandary, what was the fuss all about? Did I miss something? I mean, it was an ok movie, but I was extremely disappointed... I expected more. There was even one time when I got up from my comfy spot on the sofa next to Jim, and said something like "Damn I wish they would stop singing and interrupting the dialog" or something to that effect. Oh well, I guess we are all entitled to our own opinions...
I am back in Richmond (commuting) for the next 2 weeks, but I do have a 3 day weekend coming up. That will be great! We start associate training for the new store on May 21st, and that will be exciting, as will beginning the transition into the new store as it finishes up.
That's all for now from Toano, VA...
Over and "Out"!!!

May 4, 2007

Queen(s) In Williamsburg

I guess the gig is up! Williamsburg is now right up there with Provencetown, San Francisco, NYC, and the like... All favorite hangouts for queens!
I think it's great that Queen Elizabeth II took time out of her busy weekend schedule at the Kentucky Derby to visit what is now referred to as the "Historic Triangle": Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown... I once got a glance of her in a limo riding and waving through the people lined streets of Miami, and felt no need to fight the crowds for another "look-see" here in Virginia... If you've seen one queen... You've seen 'em all...
Seriously though... I do think it's awesome that today's leader of the country that lost it's rule over our nation over 230 years ago still feels comfortable enough to visit. Our current leader should take note, and try to emulate some of the finer qualities of the British Monarch.
Now on to a vote of sorts. I just recently rented and watched Dame Helen Mirren's academy award winning portrayal of HRM Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen". Personally, I think Ms. Mirren is more convincing in the role than Ms. Windsor... Your thoughts?
Over and "Out" from just outside the Historic Triangle, in Toano, VA

April 30, 2007

Springtime Chores

My posts have been slow in materializing these days due to the beautiful weather and training in my new position... Sorry all...
This past weekend was spent mowing and doing chores around the outside of the house. You ever notice how the grass doesn't grow all winter (late fall and early spring too) and then after you apply the first round of weed-n-feed it grows like a hippy's hair on Rogaine? I cut the grass less than a week ago and this is what it looked like, in my eyes, before I started mowing with our semi self propelled mower, on Saturday:

Of course, our yard is a little smaller and hillier, but you get the picture. I was a little sore after making the rounds and fighting with grass that grew six inches in less than a week...
While I tended to the greenery, Jim was blasting away the winter residue on our lengthy driveway in preparation to re-seal it. Now mind you, we went out in early January and got the pressure cleaner, the sealer and all the necessary equipment and tools to do this (the first time the weather warmed up to 70 degrees). We took turns back then and cleaned it hoping to seal it in a day or two. The weather turned sour and we never got back to sealing until now. The sun came out Sunday morning and it was decided that the day for black topping had arrived... We garbbed ourselves in our Sunday worse and headed out to spread the 30 gallons of black goo onto what seemed to be something like this:

Again, the photo maybe somewhat of an exaggeration, but I can assure you that our arms, legs and backs were feeling not too great, after we were finished.

We were invited over to our neighbor's house for dinner last night. Which was a great thing, as I had no energy to cook anything. It took Jim and I about an hour to get all the sealer off our hands legs, faces and other extremities, but it did feel good to be clean and sweet smelling again.

For those of you that want to know what the driveway and yard really look like, here are a few pictures taken this morning:

I work later tonight (training with store closing procedures) and have been asked to fill in for the manager that has been training me for the rest of the week... Indoctrination by fire??

Over and "Out" from "Springtime in Toano"...

April 22, 2007

Earth Day 2007

Just a beautiful picture of Toano, VA (and the rest of this side of our unique planet)... Over and "Out" for today!

April 20, 2007

Virginia Tech: In Memory

Ross Abdallah Alameddine
Christopher James Bishop
Brian Roy Bluhm
Ryan Christopher Clark
Austin Michelle Cloyd
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
Kevin P. Granata
Matthew Gregory Gwaltney
Caitlin Millar Hammaren
Jeremy Michael Herbstritt
Rachael Elizabeth Hill
Emily Jane Hilscher
Jarrett Lee Lane
Matthew Joseph La Porte
Henry J. Lee
Liviu Librescu
G.V. Loganathan
Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan
Lauren Ashley McCain
Daniel Patrick O'Neil
J. Ortiz-Ortiz
Minal Hiralal Panchal
Daniel Alejandro Perez
Erin Nicole Peterson
Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.
Julia Kathleen Pryde
Mary Karen Read
Reema Joseph Samaha
Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
Leslie Geraldine Sherman
Maxine Shelly Turner
Nicole White
This list was updated April 21, 2007 @ 5:30am

April 18, 2007

From the halls of Montezuma....

Just a cool picture I found on rickster67's profile... Thanks dude!

Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

April 17, 2007

And so it begins...

Yesterday was my first day of training in my new position. It was awesome. I started the day by driving to Suffolk to sit in on the training for the managers that are manning our Hiring Clinic for the new store. I got to meet the new store manager (transferring down from one of our Chicago stores) and the Merchandise/Sales manager (coming from our store in Chesapeake). They both seem like great people and I think we will make a terrific team.
After the hour long meeting, I drove back up to Newport News and spent the day with the warehouse manager in the store I have been working in. We reviewed "Best Practices" and systems/procedures for the receiving, internal movement, and shipping of product within the store. I can see how important it is going to be for us (in the new store) to hire a competent person for this position. It will make or break the ease of my job for sure.
I will continue to train in Newport News for the balance of the week, then train with the Operations Manager in the Richmond store next week. I look forward to working with the manager up there, as I respect and admire the techniques he uses to deal with situations with customers and associates.
Not sure what happens after next week, other than recruiting and working with the new store manager, but I look forward to each day!
That's it for now folks, Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

April 8, 2007

Easter Bunny? I don't see no Easter Bunny?

Happy Easter all!!!

Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

April 7, 2007

Something new and blue

Jim was concerned about the commute for me and the age/mileage on my Sebring convertible, so to keep him happy we went shopping today, and this is what we ended up with:

My old Sebring got traded in... and this Equinox is awesome!!!

More to come, from Snowy Toano... Over and "Out"