Thursday, February 28, 2008

Camp Russell, Upstate NY

As a boy/young man I spent a week almost every summer from 6th grade until sophomore year at Camp Russell in Woodgate, NY on White Lake.

One of the neat things about the Internet is you can find pretty much anything if you look long enough. I've searched a number of times for information about Camp Russell, but never found much. Then today my friend Glenn sent me a link to the 'Camp Russell Alumni Association' web page. See it here.

At that age going off into the woods was one of the things I enjoyed most and I was working towards my Eagle Scout award so going to camp Russell was something I looked forward to each summer.

The first year I went, my Dad, brother John and I all went. That year our troop sent 4 full patrols worth of scouts and dads to camp. We broke into 4 groups and went hiking through the Adirondacks. None of us were in the same group so for years we argued about who had the harder trip.

For those who have heard the story, this is where I ran into the bear. We were stopped for the night alongside a river and stayed in an open-face lean-to. It was pouring rain that night so we went to bed early. I woke up a few hours later and the fire was going and I could see a bear outside the lean-to looking around. I slowly looked around and found that everyone else was awake as well. I don't know how long we sat there, but eventually the bear walked away.

I'm sure John, my Dad and Glenn can add their own stories from that trip!

Another memory is that we always had the biggest troop there. Some years we'd have 15 or 20 kids while most of the others troops were 4 or 5.

I also remember the songs from around the campfire. Anyone ever figure out what a billabong was?

The scout master, Frank Devito, who ran the camp died a few years ago. I remember him helping me carve the wooden bench that sat in my parent's house for more than a decade with 'CURTIN' carved in the top. Here is a link to the page remembering him.

If you went to Camp Russell, please add your stories!

Okay, so I'm gloating a little bit

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Is Wall-E the Terminator?

Hmm. I've been watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles, which is okay so far so I went back and watched the orginal Terminator. You know "I'll be back".

So today I get a link to the trailer for the new Disney/Pixar movie 'Wall-E'. And the original voice-over is replaced with the one from the original Terminator movie. The way the voice matches to the animated trailer is scary.

See here.

Still, I can't wait to see this movie. It looks pretty funny.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Part numbers

I'm a guy.

I like cars and computers and fixing stuff that is broken. (sometimes breaking things is fun too).

When I break something or need to replace something, I get the part number and go to the appropriate store (or online) to get the replacement.

So I want to buy Deb some new clothes. So I get out the old pair and start looking for part #'s (and sizes but that's a different topic.) I've bought enough at this vendor over the years to know they put the part numbers in the clothes. Deb sees me and asks what I'm doing. 'Looking for the part number' I say.

A few minutes later after she stops crying from laughing so hard, she tells me they are called 'styles'. 'Right, a part number' I say. 'No, a style' she says. Sensing this isn't going to end with me winning, I give up and ask her where the 'style' is on this piece of clothing.

It still looks like a part number to me.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Christopher's Second Birthday

Christopher turned 2 yesterday and we had his party on the same day. I can't remember the last time we had the birthday and the party on the same day.

We had about 20 people, including kids of all ages. Christopher and his friend Zoe were the youngest (she's 18 months). The rest aged up to 14.

He was a little better this year with the cake than last year

He received a lot of Curious George gifts, including booking, games and toys. Only one really annoying toy, which Uncle Pat and Aunt Kerry sent. Payback, baby, Payback. Keep it in mind ...

More pictures here.

Unfortunately, he ended the night by throwing up all over his bed. Not sure why, but he didn't sleep well after that and wouldn't take a nap today. Please no comments about traditions and puking on birthdays!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Too bad he didn't mention Green Bay

So much for a little Brotherly Love.

The U.S. House of Representatives, which has spent just a little too much time dealing with sports issues lately, passed a resolution today honoring the Giants for their Super Bowl XLII victory. The resolution passed by a vote of 412 to 1.

The one? Patrick Murphy, a Democrat from Bucks County, Pa., and a self-described “lifelong Eagles fan.”

“I couldn’t, in good conscience, vote for the New York Giants,” he said, according to the Bucks County Courier Times. “The only thing worse would have been a resolution honoring the Dallas Cowboys.”

Incidentally, a U.S. Senate resolution praising the Giants passed 100-0 back on Feb. 6.

The Blue Screen

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Christopher's first haircut!

He'll be 2 next weekend, so it was time for him to get a haircut. I kind of needed one also.

Christopher before:

Chris before:

Christopher after:

Chris after:

For more pictures go here.

The worst things I did before age 18

No sure how I got suckered into this. My friend Ris lost a bet because she was cheering for the Patriots. We know what happened there, so she lost and had to do a somewhat embarassing blog post. For some reason she then 'tagged' me to do the same. Hey, the Giants won!

Note: I have a teenage daughter and a 'tweener' so I'm going to go tell EVERYTHING here. Of course, I'm sure my family will add comments about things I missed.

So here goes:

What is the worst thing you ever did as a child?
Two thoughts come to mind here. First was knocking over my Dad and Uncle's beers. Even did it deliberately as I got older. Thought it was fun. Christopher is paying me back for that.

Second is what I used to do to my mom. Whenever we'd go anywhere, I'd wander off without her, usually following something cool I saw or something I wanted to watch. Of course when my mom would finally find me, or I'd notice she wasn't with me and got scared, I'd ask her where she went.

Burning my mom's 70's lime green carpet in the dining room becuase I tried to use a napkin to light a candle is a close third.

What is the worst thing you ever did to a sibling?
Where to start, oh where to start.

First, with two brothers we fought, well, like brothers. I don't remember a time when we weren't hiting slapping or throwing things at each other. Taking all the fights out of options, one thing stands out. When I was 11 or 12 the 'in fashion' were those bad 80's vinyl t-shirt transfers. I don't remember wha we were fighting about, but John and I got into a fight and I sprayed him with the baby oil from a bottle in my parent's bathroom. It destroyed his t-shirt, right before he was going to go out. I'm pretty sure it was an Aerosmith shirt. Like I said, I don't remember what we were fighting about, but I'm sure he deserved it ;-)

What is the worst thing you ever did to a classmate?
I had to think about this for a while and don't really have anything. School until college generally sucked so I don't dwell on what happened there. I'm sure I did something mean, but for the most part I tried to stay under the radar to not get harassed myself.

What is the worst thing you did as an adolescent?

See above about wandering off. Did that a lot more as I got older. One thing that does come to mind was in 7th or 8th grade my dad was the school basketball coach and I was given the 'academic suspension' list to take to him. Basically due to peer pressure (and threat of violence by one of the kids), I opened the letter on the bus and let everyone see it. It took years before my Dad would trust me again.

What are the other bad things you did when you were under 18?

Okay Meghan and Courtney, top reading now. Or you're grounded ;-)

There is a theme here, but I swear I didn't drink that much.

First would be having a beer before school a couple of times my junior year in high school.

Second would be sneaking beers at the family parties with my brothers and cousins. If we'd get caught with one we'd say it was for whichever Uncle wasn't in sight. 99% of the time we got away with it because it wasn't unusual to be sent to get a beer for one of our uncles.

Third would be sneaking into bars around the Danbury area well underage. Never came even close to driving under the influence.

Most of the really bad things happened after I was 18, but we'll not bring those up.

So, if you want to comment, remember my kids read the blog so stories about things I did (or Deb did with me) may be censored

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Payback is a B!tch

Not what I was expecting tonight.

Deb took the girls to see the Hannah Montana movie and Christopher and I are at home. I ordered a pizza and went to check on line when it would be delivered. While I had my back turned, Christopher picked up my beer and dropped in on the floor. Luckily it didn't break, but the house smells like beer now.

Why payback? Aparently as a youth I oftend kicked/knocked over my uncle's beer. I had tried to have Meghan and Courtney to do that to John and Pat, but no luck.

Sorry Uncle Otto, Uncle Billy, Uncle Jack, Dad and whomever else I did that to. It's not as funny when it is YOUR BEER.

As I was writing this the pizza came. Cold of course.

But, they Giants WON!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

18 -1

That's all I'll say.

Actually, nice sportsmanship Belicheck. Couldn't stay for the final snap? Coward.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Anna on her tummy!

My niece Anna is now able to hold her head up and hang out on her tummy.

John and Katharine are in for it now!
I tried to link but it wouldn't work, so click here.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Online Videos by

Sounds a lot like the more folksy Led Zeppelin stuff. I want to hear some other songs because I can't hear her, only Robert.

Still, a reason to watch CMT!