some friends, a lake, and a good time

So here I am, sitting next to my brother and my best friend. What am I doing? Blogging:)

Not for long tho, I’m enjoying the company, the weather and the relaxing time. Just wanted to remind myself that slowing down and watching the scenery makes the stressful times okay.

Hope this finds you and yours enjoying the labor day weekend

NBC won’t show…

Newest Pickens Plan ad.

Interesting that NBC is owned by GE, which I hadn’t known before. Makes me want to go out and buy a Natural Gas Car 🙂

Speaking of which, if we do decide to move to more electric based technologies, aren’t we still going to be dependent on foreign oil to generate all that electricity? I genuinely don’t know.

Family

It’s amazing how two short visits will rekindle feelings I haven’t had in a long time. We were at my Dad’s 70th birthday in May and Fae and I got to hang out with a bunch of my cousins that I hadn’t seen in a while. With promises to keep in touch and get together soon, we left, and I felt a little sad because we had all said it before and of course it never happened.

Fae, thankfully, decided to take matters into her own hands and contacted my cousin in Albany the day after the party and the two of them nailed down a day, and my sister extended her stay back east so we could all hang out. So last weekend, after my company picnic on Friday, Fae and I drove up there with the kids to stay with my cousin MP. MP has a daughter Aidan’s age, and a son that’s a little older than Gillian. My other cousin Mo came up by train and met us up there. Friday night was cool because Fae put the kids to bed and I hung out and talked to my cousins for a while. Woke up the next AM and more of the same until around 2 when Peg got there with her two, and Tom got there around 3 with his wife and two kids. What transpired was not necessarily a walk down memory lane, but a reconnection on a level I hadn’t really anticipated. It was comfortable, fun, and hilarious at times, sitting around the pool and then the dinner table that night.

We left that night and came home, and reflected on what a great experience it was all around. In the meanwhile, and my Father In Law’s 70th birthday, Fae reconnected with her cousin that lives in Philly, and decided the same thing: lets REALLY get together and hang out. We went to Philly yesterday afternoon and hung out at her one cousin’s place with her three kids, and then over to her brother’s house in Philly and had dinner and sat and chatted. It had the same feeling of reconnection and rightness that the day in Albany had the weekend before.

I guess what I’m trying to say is Family is important. With all of their flaws, weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, joys, strengths, and fun quirks – keeping in touch and fostering those bonds is really important. We all sometimes get so caught up in the every day that we don’t realize that it’s been WAY too long since you picked up the phone, or talked with or sat down to dinner with these people who are so precious and special.

Know someone it’s been a while since you talked to them and wish you could see/talk to them? Call them today, make a point of it.

Techie post – Redmine install on Ubuntu

I am trying to put that in the title of my posts so my honey doesn’t bother reading it 🙂

I’m making attempts to branch out in our infrastructure by using different technologies. Right now, almost everything is Microsoft using SQL Server and C#/.NET. Not that I’m totally against MS, far from it – IF you’re willing to spend the money. I’d like to start saving some, and I needed a bug tracker, and I like the way Ruby and Rails look, so I chose Redmine.

this walkthru over at MartinLanner.com is very good if you’re going to Ubuntu, which we decided on as a linux server platform. The server guy and I are familiar with it, as is the VP of IT (man, just make the guy CIO, save me some keystrokes!).

Now all I have to do is figure out how to set up LDAP and we can all log in! 🙂 I can, and any id’s I create can, I just want to get it so anyone in our Active Directory can without having ANOTHER id and password.

Catching up

I was really trying to post every day, but the last two weeks have been over the wall crazy here. Work, Kids, Places to go, things to do. OYE!

I’m going to say what I thought I would never say – “I can’t wait for the kids to go back to school!” It’s not that I don’t love them or want to be around them…I just want to get back into a rhythm. Summer break is not conducive to that.

So! What’s been happening? The kids came back from their various camps (I’m going to post something about Gillian’s camp in a separate post), we went to my parents for the weekend – I grew up at the beach so being back down at Lido Beach for the weekend was nice and relaxing, burned thru last week like a bat out of hell pulled in 15 different directions, went to the company picnic, then to Albany to my cousins for an overnight stay.

PLUS! We’re going to visit some of Fae’s cousins in Philly on Wed, and to a cabin in NW Jersey and hiking a lot for labor day weekend. And Fae and Beth want to go to the Renaissance Festival in NY on our way home.

Now can you understand why I want the kids to go back to school? I need a break!!!

Tho I have to admit Friday and Saturday went a LONG way to recharging my batteries. Friday was the summer picnic for my company and I just relaxed and talked to people in my office while the kids went swimming for several hours. Its nice to kick back and just hang out with people. Our CEO belongs to a posh country club in Greenwich CT, (yes, say that with your jaw locked please) and it was a nice relaxing time. So around 5:30, we took off and went up to Latham NY, which is right around Albany, to my cousins house. She and her two kids, and her sister who came up for the weekend hung out for a while before putting the kids to bed and just hanging out and talking.

Have you ever just hung out for hours with someone you’ve known your whole life and it just seemed right again, even tho it’s been years…YEARS since you got a chance to hang out? We’ve seen each other over the years at this wedding, or that family party. This was totally different. Fae was up putting the kids to bed, and then fell asleep herself and I got to sit and just talk to my cousins about pretty much everything for several hours. I think the biggest difference was no parents. We could all pretend we were actually adults having a conversation 😉 It was very cool.

So we all woke up and ate breakfast and the adults sat by the pool while the four kids played in it, again having deep conversations and talks that we should have had 10 years ago. Then Peg showed up with her two, and Tommy an hour later with Cindy and their two and it was probably one of the most enjoyable days I’ve had in several months, if not years. Just sitting and cracking each other up, and sharing insights into everything from belly button lint to growing tomatoes to how many people did you date in college?

Fun, relaxing, recharging. I just drank lots of water and sat on my butt all day. Except when I had to throw the kids in the pool, one by one. I’ll get the pics, I promise.

For now, I’m going to go to bed and rest my weary head for an interesting week.

Reconnect with a loved one or a family member. Just do it, don’t think about it.

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20 situps
10 pushups
yeah, I’m going to keep track. Hopefully it’ll help me do this everyday and post every day 🙂

What you’ll do for your kids…

Konbanwa! O genki desu ka? (Good Evening, How are you?) (Con Bah Wah! Oh Genki Des Ka)

One of the things I have been repeatedly reminded of, is the fact that this is really my blog and I’m supposed to be writing it for me. Well, I am. I do like when people read it tho 🙂 So! I thought that I would start including some of the things I have been doing to help me and my family to accomplish some of the things we’ve just been talking about but never did anything about.

First up? Learning Japanese. “Why Japanese? If you’re going to learn something, learn Chinese!” Well, there are two reasons for this. First of which is that there are plenty of people who speak Chinese and english, so it’s not like my kids will become interpreters or anything like that. Secondly, and to me most importantly, is Aidan wants to learn it. He and I are taking classes in Kendo and for a long time now, he’s been nuts about anything that is Japanese, especially martial arts and anime/manga. So I am going to try and post something that has to do with Japan or japanese culture each time I post. Or at least once a day. I know I’ve been lax the last few days, but I’m trying to catch up.

I found a good place to teach kids, or anyone for that matter, phrases in Japanese. It has sound so grab your headphones.
Kids Web Japan

The shame of it is, at one point during the year last year, he was teased because anytime he made a point, it usually had something japanese related to it. He ignored it and is even more enamored with the culture. One of the things I have been working on here and there is to see if there is some kind of exchange program for when he’s older – maybe high school or even a semester abroad in college. I couldn’t be happier since I’m equally enamored with the culture. My wife often asks me why I married a short, fiery, jewish girl from Jersey instead of a woman from japan. To this day, I don’t know. I do know that at some point in my lifetime, I WILL take my son to Japan. And my wife and daughter if they want to come too 😉

Itterasshai. Ki o tsukete (See you later. Take care)

GilliSongs

My daughter has been singing pretty much since she came out of the womb, so it’s no big surprise that she’s writing songs now. I thought I would share them.

Mr. Moon
Mr. Moon don’t be blue, don’t worry we’re gonna help you.
It’s okay, you’ll be fine, don’t worry we’ll have lots of time.
Just listen to the song and sing along.
Don’t worry, nothings wrong

You’re not made of cheese, just listen to me please!
It doesn’t matter what other people think, it matters what you think of yourself.
I care about you and I hope you care about me too.

Rain
Pitter Patter, pitter patter goes the rain drops
Pitter Patter, pitter patter goes the rain falling on my rain coat
It falls on my rain hat and rain boots.
It makes big puddles, bigger than my head.
When it falls down and lands on the grass, it trickles down like dripping water.

It’s Rain..OOh…It’s Rain.