Pages

December 27, 2011

Merry Merry Christmas Christmas 2011 2011...



Meet my new twin Grand-babies Haiden and Hailey... Born December 19, 2011 at 11:19pm.

If that's not the best Christmas present ever, I don't know what could be...

Over, "Out" and beaming from ear to ear, from Portsmouth, VA USA

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011...



Looking across the Elizabeth River at downtown Norfolk from downtown Portsmouth.

Safe travels to all!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

December 20, 2011

That's LIFE...






This is an interesting snippet from the July 7, 1927 issue of "Life" magazine (as digitized by Google)... Does anyone remember when these magazines did not have photos? I kind of scanned the whole issue and found it fascinating... The ads were all drawn, including the Automobile ads:




The interesting thing about this, as I do not remember magazines having only illustrations (rather than photos), is that the winner of the "Alibi" contest for this issue, was my paternal grandfather, who happened to live in Richmond, VA at the time... You can click on any of the images and it will take you to the original issue...

More on this in future posts, but remember, I did not visit Richmond VA until I relocated there in 1999...

Over and "Out", from Portsmouth, VA USA


December 19, 2011

All Wrapped Up for the Holiday...



This has been a very frugal Holiday for me. I find it hard to get into the spirit of the season when I am more concerned about how I will make ends meet financially.

I like to shop for family and friends, but this year I have decided we just can't afford it... We got Michael's son his gifts (an iPod touch and all the trimmings)... We will figure out something for each other after I get back to work...

We did decorate and that has helped my mood some, as has the above photo as my desktop background...

I hope all my blogging friends have a great Christmas. I am sure to post more beforehand, but if I don't Happy Holidays to all!!

Over, "Out" and a little depressed, from Portsmouth, VA USA

December 9, 2011

Christmas Lights are UP...



My first upload on YouTube... Am I a genius or not?... NOT

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

December 6, 2011

Six on the Sixth - December



I can't believe it's been a month since I've done this, where the heck did November go? Here goes this month's list of six things few of my blogging friends don't know about me:

1.  All three of my siblings and I have the same mother, but only 2 of them
     (and I) share the same (natural) father.

2.  My Dad adopted all 3 of us and legally changed our name when he
     was in his early 20's and past away in his mid 40's.

3.  My natural father's family did not come into my life until I was in my 40's.

4.  They all believed he (birth father) had passed away sometime in the '60's.

5.  I have a vast number of "new" cousins, aunts, and uncles now.

6.  My biological father (I call him Pop) reappeared about 5 years ago
    (he has been living in Tasmania since the 1960's).

Interesting stuff huh? My Dad had some big ones to adopt 3 kids and then have another all before his 25th birthday. I do miss him...

Over and "Out" from my little world here in Portsmouth, VA USA

December 4, 2011

Twenty Years Gone... RIP Pan Am...



Twenty years ago today, December 4, 1991, Pan American World Airways ceased all operations. As I have written about in past posts, my Grandfather was a pilot for them for over 35 years. As an om-age to the long life of what was once considered the flagship airline of the United States, I found the video above that chronicles the airline's history through the 1970's. It finishes with hope for a hope for the future which never happens...

It's a little long, but the photos of some of the memorabilia is extensive...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

December 2, 2011

World AIDS Day 2011.. RVA Remembers...




Who would have thought that the Capital of the Confederacy (aka: Conservative Richmond, VA) could have pulled this off? 400 red umbrellas (each sponsored by someone like me) opened at exactly 12:00noon, on a Thursday afternoon, on an island in the middle of the James River off the downtown area, to support World AIDS Day 2011...

I have a great friend Kelly Stern (over at Rambling Along in Life), that was very involved in this event, as was the Fan Free Clinic and numerous sponsors... Thanks Kelly for making sure the umbrella I sponsored opened on time! (I do hate a pre-mature release of any kind, at any place)...

I wish I could have been there...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA, USA

Just a PS on this...  The front page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch AND The Washington Post, both featured this story and event.. Congrats to all!!!

November 23, 2011

Macys Screams for Bieber...



Saw this this morning... Had to share...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

November 17, 2011

A Lesson in Making a Difference...



There's a story I would like to share with you. It was inspired by the writing of Loren Eiseley. Eiseley was a very special person because he combined the best of two cultures. He was a scientist and a poet. And from those two perspectives he wrote insightfully and beautifully about the world and our role in it.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.


As he got closer, he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" the wise man asked.

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!" said the writer.

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. "It made a difference for that one!"

His response surprised the man. He didn't know how to reply. So instead, he turned away and walked back to the cottage to begin his writings.

All day long as he wrote, the image of the young man haunted him. He tried to ignore it, but the vision persisted. Finally, late in the afternoon he realized that he the had missed out on the essential nature of the young man's actions. Because he realized that what the young man was doing was choosing not to be an observer in the universe and make a difference. He was embarrassed.

That night he went to bed troubled. When the morning came he awoke knowing that he had to do something. So he got up, put on his clothes, went to the beach and found the young man. And with him he spent the rest of the morning throwing starfish into the ocean. 


You see, what that young man's actions represent is something that is special in each and everyone of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference. And if we can, like that young man, become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our vision the power to shape the future.

And that is our challenge. We must each find our starfish. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, We can all make a difference to someone or something. IT DOES GET BETTER!!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

November 9, 2011

Bullying and the Crumpled Paper Lesson... The View...



Today on "The View", Elisabeth (one of my least favorite of the hosts) Hasselback, re-counted the following lesson "from a NY teacher"... I prefer to give Kelly Ripa of "Live with Regis and Kelly" the credit for this story forever (although I would love to know the teacher's name, that came up with it originally).

While Elisabeth's segue seemed less meaningful than Kelly's, I do give her credit for bringing the story back up in her abbreviated form. Here is my original post based on Kelly's story of the teacher's lesson at her child's school.  Again it is paraphrased based on my limited recollection and does contain a little artistic license:

"The teacher gave each student a clean crisp sheet of paper. She then instructed the class to crumble up the piece of paper, toss it around, get angry with it, and stomp on it.

After which, she told the students to return to their seats (with their piece of paper), flatten it out on the top of their desks, making it as flat and perfect as they can, and finally, apologize to the paper.

When all the students had done their best to iron out the paper and apologize to it, the teacher picked up the paper on the first classmates desk, held it up so the entire class could see it and said:

If this piece of paper had been another person, and you had done all those things to him or her, by making them feel less than perfect (through your words or actions), these are the scars you would leave. That person would never be the same, no matter how many times you tell them you are sorry, no matter how many times you try to smooth things out..."

Again, what a great way to share the point. While I am a firm believer in the "It gets Better" campaign, wouldn't it be so much better if we all learned this lesson beforehand? 

Thank you to all the bloggers, parents, and concerned citizens for linking back to my page for the original story... And thank you Kelly Ripa for sharing it with all of us...

IT GETS BETTER!!!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

November 6, 2011

Six on the Sixth - November



Here is the next installment of my Six on the Sixth series. This time I am going to include the number 6 in each of my six disclosures...

1.   This month my blog (the one you are reading) hit 66,000 page views.

2.   I am truly Six feet tall.

3.   I turned Fifty "6" years old this year and am feeling it.

4.   Yes, it's only Six inches long... But it works fine for me.

5.   The sailboat I grew up on "Firebird" was Sixty-Six feet long overall...

6.   I had my cardiac event (Heart Attack) Six years ago this past February.

So, there you go... Six on the Sixth, including the number 6, for November 2011...

Over and "Out" from my world in Portsmouth, VA USA

November 4, 2011

Crumpled Paper and Bullying Revisited...



It appears that my post about crumpled paper and bullying has been a hit... I went from an average of 100 hits a day to over 300 hits in a matter of days... Here is the story one more time:


I was watching Regis and Kelly the other morning. Kelly was talking about being on a panel at Rutgers University (the night before) as a part of an AC360 (Anderson Cooper) special about bullying.

After she explained what it was all about, she added that her kids go to a very "progressive" school and recounted a lesson by one of the teachers at that school. The following is paraphrased based on my limited recollection and does contain a little artistic license:

"The teacher gave each student a clean crisp sheet of paper. She then instructed the class to crumble up the piece of paper, toss it around, get angry with it, and stomp on it.

After which, she told the students to return to their seats (with their piece of paper), flatten it out on the top of their desks, making it as flat and perfect as they can, and finally, apologize to the paper.

When all the students had done their best to iron out the paper and apologize to it, the teacher picked up the paper on the first classmates desk, held it up so the entire class could see it and said:

If this piece of paper had been another person, and you had done all those things to him or her, by making them feel less than perfect (through your words or actions), these are the scars you would leave. That person would never be the same, no matter how many times you tell them you are sorry, no matter how many times you try to smooth things out..."

What a great way to make a point. While I am a firm believer in the "It gets Better" campaign, wouldn't it be so much better if we all learned this lesson beforehand? I think even most of out politicians can learn from this too... 

Thank you to all the bloggers, parents, and concerned citizens for linking back to my page for the original story... And thank you Kelly Rippa for sharing it with all of us...  IT CAN GET BETTER!!!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

October 31, 2011

Halloween - GOP Style...



Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

Over, "Out" and waiting for the trickle-down, from Portsmouth, VA USA

October 29, 2011

This is Halloween... Another look!



Another look at the same house in my last post with a different song...

Halloween is a comin' get ready!

Over and "Out" from a chilly day in Portsmouth, VA USA

October 23, 2011

Party Rockin' Halloween...



My blogging and FB friend Jeff (who doesn't blog much anymore) posted this and I thought it fun to watch and listen to as we all approach All Hallows Eve...

Enjoy!

Over and "Out", the Sunday before Halloween, from Portsmouth, VA USA

October 20, 2011

Spirit Day 2011



Happy Spirit Day, hope you all wore purple!



It's more evident than ever: discrimination and hate aren't reserved for far right politicians and pastors. 

Last month at The Master's School outside Hartford, CT, a model student told school administrators she was a lesbian – and was immediately told to withdraw. 

And just last week in New Jersey, a special education teacher publicly tore into gays and lesbians in a hideous tirade on Facebook, calling homosexuality "a perverted spirit." 

It's all happened in the last few weeks around National Coming Out Day, a time to encourage openness – not intimidation, discrimination, or hatred. 

If incidents like these make you want to stand up and say "No more!" you're not alone. Since we launched our new Call it Out campaign, HRC supporters have written hundreds of thousands of letters holding people accountable for discrimination.. 

HRC has made remarkable progress together in the last few years. From repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," to boosting awareness of bullying, to winning marriage equality in New York – our movement has only grown in its victories. 

But opposition to LGBT rights continues, and it isn't relegated to the far-right fringe. You and I are up against mainstream, powerful organizations like the Catholic Church, whose top U.S. bishop just sent a letter to President Obama threatening a "national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions" if he continues to stand up against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.

We won't stand for these damaging attacks, and I know you won't either – certainly not when lives and livelihoods are at stake.

Demand school policies that protect students, just as we did this week when HRC supporters like you sent 49,619 letters to The Master's School asking that they adopt a non-discrimination policy;

Continue to push New Jersey school officials to investigate teacher Viki Knox for her anti-LGBT Facebook rant;

Mobilize red-state communities to fight for equality and help stop bullying through our "On the Road to Equality" national bus tour; and,

Grow our Welcoming Schools program, which helps school communities embrace family diversity and reject harmful bullying and name-calling.


Just some info worth thinking about...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

October 12, 2011

Choice or pre-disposed genetic variation?....



I was chatting with a man online today. He described himself as a bisexual cross dresser. I understand the bisexual part. I think that every person is sexually attracted to the same sex in some way (say on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being almost exclusively attracted to the opposite sex and 10 being almost exclusively attracted to the same sex). The person's choice (yes I said choice) to act on their personal (genetically predisposed) attraction to the same sex as a sexual partner, is totally based (I believe) on their upbringing and where they fall in that scale. For people on the low end of the scale they may never act on that attraction, while people on the higher end of that same scale may never act on the opposite.

My upbringing as a practicing Catholic fooled me into believing that acting on the same-sex desires that I had all through my young life, was wrong or sinful. I did act on them periodically but always felt dirty and sinful afterwards. I pretended for years that I was near the bottom of that 1-10 scale, got married two times (to women), and have four great children as a result of my religious beliefs (and those marriages). I do not regret any of that especially knowing that I was not the only one to stifle those desires for a same sex encounter or relationship.

Now for my point (as vague as it may seem to be), I have dressed up a total of three times in my life, as a woman. The first was when I was 9 or 10 and I dressed up like Aunt Jemima for Halloween. The second time (also for Halloween) was as the "Church Lady" from SNL in the early 80's. The last time was as Lady Gaga last year for a neighbor's Halloween party (yes the photo above was me, not the real Gaga). I am a pretty open-minded guy, but for something other than a Halloween "scream", why would any man think he would be sexy or attractive to another man if he was dressed as a woman? Personally to me, I am sexually attracted to men that are MEN (not that I don't like a good Drag Show)...

I guess the whole point of this post is:  Is Cross-dressing (not Transgender or Transsexual) a choice? Or is it too, a pre-disposed genetic variation of our species?

Just wondering what others might think...

Over and "Out" on a rainy day, from Portsmouth, VA USA

October 10, 2011

Ode to my Baby Brother, and Coming Out...



Today is my baby brother's 53rd birthday... How in the world have we gotten this old? Wait... Don't answer that, I'm not ready for the truth...

I have posted about my coming "out" stories before and since tomorrow (10/11) is National Coming Out Day, and today is my brother's birthday, I figured I'd write something about his reaction when I finally came out to him...

I was very concerned as to how he would think of me if I were to tell him I was gay so when I came out (actually quite inadvertently on 10/11/2005) I did not call him or talk to him for a couple of months.

As a little back story here, I have always been very proud of my little brother. He has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and passion and I so admired him for that, but I really never knew where he stood on issues (such as gay rights). Even though he moved to Cape Cod many years ago, I suspect that there are still a few conservative souls left in that State/Commonwealth... He and I became closer over the years that he was promoting Star Trek conventions all over the country and world and would call me (in Miami) and fly me to the city he was hosting a show (asking if I could help him out), but I still really never knew how accepting he would be.

On Christmas Day in 2005, he called me. By then he had probably talked to several other family members, but in his words to me that day, he wanted to hear it from me. I hemmed and hawed a little before just blurting out that I was gay and felt that I always was, even though I was married and had four kids...

I waited for his response... 

He said: "Tom, I am so proud of you, that you have done this, I'm sure it took a lot of consideration, and I am so happy for you and so proud to be your brother"...

Not at all what I expected, and to this day I still don't know why. He has always been supportive and never gone off on rants (like I sometimes do), he is the only of the 4 boys to stay married to the first person he wed. I guess by not confiding in him in those years preceding my coming out, I was the one that missed out on something...

To my little brother: Happy Birthday, thanks for being my friend, and I love you!

Over and "Out" Six years tomorrow, from Portsmouth, VA USA

October 7, 2011

Crumpled Paper and Bullying...



I was watching Regis and Kelly yesterday morning. Kelly was talking about being on a panel at Rutgers University (the night before) as a part of an AC360 (Anderson Cooper) special about bullying.

After she explained what it was all about, she added that her kids go to a very "progressive" school and recounted a lesson by one of the teachers at that school. The following is paraphrased based on my limited recollection and does contain a little artistic license:

"The teacher gave each student a clean crisp sheet of paper. She then instructed the class to crumble up the piece of paper, toss it around, get angry with it, and stomp on it.

After which, she told the students to return to their seats (with their piece of paper), flatten it out on the top of their desks, making it as flat and perfect as they can, and finally, apologize to the paper.

When all the students had done their best to iron out the paper and apologize to it, the teacher picked up the paper on the first classmates desk, held it up so the entire class could see it and said:

If this piece of paper had been another person, and you had done all those things to him or her, by making them feel less than perfect (through your words or actions), these are the scars you would leave. That person would never be the same, no matter how many times you tell them you are sorry, no matter how many times you try to smooth things out..."

What a great way to make a point. While I am a firm believer in the "It gets Better" campaign, wouldn't it be so much better if we all learned this lesson beforehand? I think even most of out politicians can learn from this too...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

ps: If you liked this please leave a comment or click on "Home" above and read more of my story... and thanks to ocalamom.com for including a gay man's website link to your stories...

October 6, 2011

Six on the Sixth - October



This is part of a continuing series. On the sixth of each month I will post 6 little known facts about myself:

1.  On the 11th of October I will have been totally out for 6 years.

2.  I did not know that October 11th was National Coming Out Day.

3.  I didn't tell my Mom I was gay until her 70th birthday.

4.  I think she was surprised, but it didn't change a thing.

5.  I have never owned any "Apple" product.

6.  I feel a little guilty about #5, especially with the news of Steve Jobs passing.

Life is good here in Virginia. The weather is finally getting a little cooler and I am happy for that.

Over and "Out", from Portsmouth, VA USA

September 21, 2011

I Loves PUSSY...



Ok, maybe not "pussy" but definitely kittens... And Star Wars ...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

September 18, 2011

Cheney's both ok gay marriage... I am so relieved...



The above video was from Tuesday's broadcast of The View. A friend of mine suggested I post this on my blog, I just wish Whoopi's reaction to the final comment by Mr. Cheney was included in the clip. It was truly "priceless".

Here is the account of the interview:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, surprised viewers on Tuesday's episode of "The View" when they they expressed their support for gay marriage.

"I think freedom means freedom for everybody," said the former vice president, "and you ought to have the right to make whatever choice you want to make with respect to your own personal situation."

"I certainly don't have any problem with it," he added.

Barbara Walters, one of the hosts of "The View," raised the subject when she asked Lynne Cheney what she thought of gay marriage.

Lynne Cheney responded by telling Walters about their gay daughter, Mary, and her partner, Heather, who have two kids. "Whatever Mary and Heather decide to do is up to Mary and Heather," she said.

"So you're not against gay marriage?" Walters asked.

"That's right," Lynne Cheney said, nodding as the crowd applauded.

This isn't the first time that Dick Cheney has expressed support for gay marriage, and his comments on Tuesday echoed what he said at the National Press Club in June 2009. But in those comments, however, he added that he believed that same-sex marriage "ought to be handled on a state-by-state basis."

The former vice president was on "The View" promoting "In My Time," his new memoir.

Over, "Out" and a year older (today) from Portsmouth, VA USA

September 15, 2011

Filler between the Meat...



Who doesn't like British humor...  Just a note... Make sure you watch until the end... You'll love the optical illusion of the Queen too!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA (with obviously too much time on my hands).

September 11, 2011

Welcome Home Lower Manhattan!



Now that the memorial ceremonies are over... I felt it more appropriate to look to the future... Welcome home Lower Manhattan... Welcome Home!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

September 8, 2011

Intense wireless hack...


Something fun:



Images Courtesy of The Chive




I love a good hack, especially one that requires me to throw back a cold one before hand (or during). This simple wifi boost has actually been shown to increase signal strength by at least 2 to 4 bars. And, well, I will drink to that.


These instructions came to us via The Chive and we think they are most definitely worth checking out. But here is the most important question: what kind of beer will you use?


For this project you are going to need scissors, a utility knife, some adhesive putty and an empty beer can. More than one empty beer can is acceptable but don’t kid yourself, the router only needs the one.






The first step is to wash out your empty beer can, unless of course said beer is a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. If it is PBR, promptly go drink a better beer. You really should be ashamed of yourself.


Once the can has dried, you will want to remove it’s pull tab.


Only perform this next step if you have not been drinking. Using the utility knife, saw off the bottom of the can. Chances are your can will not have a red dotted line. If you see one, put down the knife…you’ve had too much beer.






You’ll notice in the above step that the can’s pull tab has returned. Clearly, there are only two possible reasons for this. One, you are really drunk and you never removed the tab in the first place. Or–the more likely answer–beer cans can regenerate themselves.






It’s the home stretch! You just need to attach your modded beer can to the wifi router. Hopefully no other parts of the can have actually grown back. You now have beer-fi!


So, what kind of beer did you use?


I swiped this from here

Over and "Out" with great signal strength, from Portsmouth, VA USA

ps: I only drink beer from a bottle, I had to find a can in the neighbor's trash....

September 6, 2011

Six on the Sixth - September



Has is already been a month since I did this last? Seems like just last week, where did the Summer go? Here goes the six on the sixth for September:

1.   I learned to cook out of necessity (on the boat), as my family got seasick.

2.   I prefer hanging by a pool rather than hanging at the beach.

3.   After 30+ years in the tropics, I prefer snow to heat and humidity.

4.   I love older homes with character (ours was built in 1929).

5.   By choice, my cellphone is not a "smartphone" and has no internet access.

6.   I like all sorts of fruit, but will rarely eat watermelon.

That's it for this month's six on the sixth. I hope someone is learning a little more about me... If nothing else it's kinda fun to list this stuff!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

September 5, 2011

Labor Day 2011



Happy Labor Day to all!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

September 1, 2011

Mommy, they are just like me....



This was posted by a fellow blogger and originally came from HERE...

It's a great story and brings back just a couple of memories from my youth (that never happened)...

My oldest son is six years old and in love for the first time. 

He is in love with Blaine from Glee. 

For those who don’t know Blaine is a boy…a gay boy, the boyfriend of one of the main characters, Kurt.

This isn’t a ‘he thinks Blaine is really cool’ kind of love. It is a mooning at a picture of Blaine’s face for a half hour followed by a wistful “He’s so pretty” kind of love.

He loves the episode where two boys kiss. My son will call people in from other parts of the house to make sure they don’t miss his ‘favorite part.’ He’s been known to rewind it and watch it over again…and force other to, as well, if he doesn't think people have been paying enough attention.

This infatuation doesn't bother me or his father. We live in a very hip-liberal neighborhood, many of our friends are gay, and idea of having a gay son isn’t something that bothers either of us. Our son is going to be who he is, and it is our job to love him. End of story.

He is also six. Six year olds get obsessed with all kinds of things. This might not mean anything at all. We always joke that he’s either gay, or we have the best blackmail material in the history of mankind when he’s a 16 year old straight boy. (Take that naked bath time pictures!)

Then the other day we were traveling across the state listening to the Warblers album (of course), and in the middle of Candles, my son pipes up from the back seat.

“Mommy, Kurt and Blaine are boyfriends.”

“Yes, they are,” I affirm.

“They don’t like kissing girls. They just kiss boys.”

“That’s true.”

“Mommy, they are just like me.”

“That’s great, baby. You know I love you no matter what?”

“I know…” I could hear him rolling his eyes at me.

When we got home I recapped this conversation to his Dad, and we stood simply looking into each other’s eyes for a moment. Then we smiled.

“So if at 16 he wants to make a big announcement at the dinner table, we can say ‘You told us when you were six. Pass the carrots’ and he’ll be disappointed we stole his big dramatic moment,” my husband says with a laugh and hugs me.

Only time will tell if my son is gay, but if he is I am glad he’s mine. I am glad he has been born into our family. A family full of people who will love and accept him. People who will never want him to change. With parents who will look forward to dancing at his wedding.

And I have to admit, Blaine would be a really cute son-in-law.

I love this story and wish I had this kind of support when I was younger (it didn't exist in the 60's)...

Over and "Out" from 2011, in Portsmouth, VA USA

August 29, 2011

Bye... Bye... IRENE...

Ok, so that was not too much fun... 

Saturday began with tons of rain and alot of wind coming out of the north and northeast... We kept the TV set to our local favorite wvec.com (the ABC affiliate here in Hampton Roads). They ran non-stop all day and evening and the coverage was exceptional (though at times very repetitive)...

We had some dinner and settled in to bed around 9:00pm after switching to the Food Network for something other than hurricane coverage. I awoke around midnight hearing some unusual noises. It appears our power crapped out at around 10:30pm and I started to hear more of the effects of the "backside" of Irene, coming from outside the house. I headed out to the front porch (which had been safe all day) only to find that the wind had shifted dramatically and was now coming from the side of the house and nearly blew me off the porch (in only my boxer-briefs)... 

Irene's posterior proved to be much more intense than her front side. The rain was not as severe, but the wind was much stronger (at least for us). Large tree limbs and alot more smaller debris arrived during the overnight hours.

After a very sporadic (sleep-wise) night, we woke to yards and streets filled with organic materials layered over all the normal surfaces.

Our neighbors upstairs to the west (all 3 homes) and across the street were either already out of town or had bugged out on Friday. I texted all of them to "Not hurry back" as we had no power. Most showed up before noon-time regardless. We did a group cleanup of the leaves and branches then all hung out on the porch hoping our electricity would come back on before bedtime. Our neighbors' two young girls were a bit antsy so we fired up a sprinkler in our front yard to give them something to do. Of the six adults, I don't think one of us didn't take a run or two through that sprinkler to cool off too...

I will probably recall more of our experiences as the days pass. I would however, like to thank our really cool neighbors for making the day (Sunday) more palatable... Thanks Toni, Meredith, Ryan, Brian, and of course my Michael for helping the day pass with a little less stress.

Over and "Out" for today, from Portsmouth, VA USA

August 26, 2011

Eye... Eye... IRENE... (Part Four)



Just received this on the City's Facebook feed. Our garbage can is still full and in the street... I am not bringing that smelly thing into my house!

Over and "Out" from the closed city of Portsmouth, VA USA

Eye... Eye... IRENE... (Part Three)


   Forecast for Portsmouth, Virginia


Hurricane Warning in effect...

  • Today

    Partly sunny this morning...then mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s. Southeast winds around 5 mph...becoming east 10 to 15 mph this afternoon. Chance of rain 30 percent.
  • Tonight

    Tropical storm conditions expected with hurricane conditions possible. Cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening...then rain likely with scattered thunderstorms after midnight. Rain may be heavy at times after midnight. Lows in the mid 70s. East winds 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph...increasing to 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph after midnight. Chance of rain 60 percent.
  • Saturday

    Tropical storm conditions expected with hurricane conditions possible. Rain and scattered thunderstorms. Rain may be heavy at times. Near steady temperature in the upper 70s. Northeast winds 45 to 55 mph. Gusts up to 70 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain near 100 percent.
  • Saturday Night

    Tropical storm conditions expected with hurricane conditions possible. Rain and scattered thunderstorms. Rain may be heavy at times. Near steady temperature in the mid 70s. North winds 55 to 70 mph with gusts up to 85 mph...becoming northwest 50 to 60 mph with gusts up to 75 mph after midnight. Chance of rain near 100 percent.
  • Sunday

    Tropical storm conditions possible. Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 80s. West winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph... diminishing to 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph in the afternoon.

    Not looking so good for us here...

    Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

    August 25, 2011

    Eye... Eye... IRENE... (Part Two)



    Hmmm... Based on my first post (two days ago) it looks like the Hurricane Center's prediction about Irene is pretty close. The local news has pretty much dropped any discussion on the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked the east coast (including our area) and in it's place is repetitive coverage of the impending hurricane.

    I understand the need to encourage residents to act early to protect property, but the local news here runs from 5pm to 6:30pm in the evenings and from 4:30 to 7:00 every morning... Irene, Irene, Irene... Yack, Yack, Yack...

    I know it's only going to get worse over the next few days... I so remember Brian Norcross (the local ABC Weatherman in Miami) before (and after) Hurricane Andrew blew through South Florida 19 years ago yesterday. He was talking to people in closets, bathtubs, and under mattresses (on the phone) giving them advice as to what to do. He is now one of the Hurricane Experts on the Weather Channel...

    I'll try to keep everyone posted, unless "someone drops a house on me too"...

    Over, "Out", in the path of Hurricane Irene, here in Portsmouth, VA USA