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New York - Day Two - The Big Cold Lady PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 25 December 2014 19:24

ong day today – took the subway first thing out to Battery Park where we caught the ferry to the base of the Statue of Liberty. Interesting that the last time I was out here, when I was seven, it was cold and bleak, too. Anyway, got to check out the monument’s museum and all the cool things there. Also got to go all the way up to the top of the pedestal (all 176 steps, which is nothing compared to my 14th floor office at work – like after a fire drill when the lobby is packed with everyone in line to elevator up and I take the stairs). But we hung around there for a bit, then tried to catch up with my Sister and Mom, thus bypassing Elis Island (hey, my ancestors came over in the 1600s and had nothing to do with it). Caught up with them and took the subway back to downtown, where we went to Macy’s.

What was Macy’s like a day or two before Christmas? My sister compared it to Cacophony (the Seventh Level of Hell). I mean it was packed, people all swarming every which way. And I was carrying my mom’s backpack, so more bulk for me. We finally got downstairs to the café for some sort of meal – only to share tables with the homeless (one of whom asked for my sister’s uneaten portion when she was done – a benevolent gesture right before Christmas and all, but do you really want that sort of thing?). Finally we got back out into the street and managed to snare the only cab in New York that didn’t have a fare. Dumb luck, really, since he stopped to drop someone right next to us.

That night, JB and I went out with my brother and his family to eat at a very good Afghan restaurant, kebabs and such. And then it was over to the theater for a play, this time The Last Ship with, of all people, Sting in a leading role. I geeked out for this – bought a signed show CD and all that. And there he was, on stage about one hundred feet away, right there. Wow.

Of course, my young niece didn't know who the F Sting was. I don't know what to say about that. I mean really...

The weather’s closing in. Looks like rain tomorrow. Going to check out the Strand Bookstore!

 

>>>PRIOR DAY<<<

>>>NEXT DAY<<<

>>>MAYBE I STILL HAVE TIME TO WRITE A PLAY, THEN STAR IN IT TO MAYBE BOOST THE BOX OFFICE? YOU THINK? ONLY TIME WILL TELL. WELL, HELP ME IN MY EFFORT. BUY A BOOK FROM ME ON THIS LINK AND PUT ME ON MY ROAD TO FAME!<<<

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 December 2014 09:19
 
New York - Day One - Hitting the City PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 25 December 2014 14:34

ur latest travels – my mom decided to sponsor the entire family for a trip to New York City, up to Christmas Eve. And that’s good – I haven’t been there since I was seven. And it would be a good test of JB’s resilience – given her injury and the complications that came from it.

Okay, so you gotta understand – this was one packed day. Up at 3am, on the road for the airport by 4am, in the air by 6am, and in New York shortly after 8am. Interesting to see this city (this ‘living reef’ as HG Wells called London) on the drive in. Traffic in the city was one step short from death-defying – glad me and Eleanor (my mini) weren’t out in these streets.

We started the day on a kinda confused note – the apartment we are renting didn’t come open until 3pm but we were in the city by 9am. Dropped our luggage at a luggage storage facility (there seems to be a thriving industry for this that I never expected). After that, we walked to Broadway.

Interesting place, this city. We walked around Times Square for a bit, then found a breakfast joint; tall ceilings, mirrored walls, vast windows, really nice. Had a good omelet. When we got out on the street, I realized that not pulling the scarf out of my luggage was a dumb mistake – it was cold and getting colder. Eventually JB and I stopped on a small outdoor market and bought some overpriced scarves – I don’t think we would have made it through the day without them.

Traipsed around Rockefeller Square, saw the tree and the ice skaters. The crowds. It was like Judgement Day on the streets, just pushing through the masses. But nobody was rude (not as I’d been led to believe) – everyone got around everyone else with a minimum of fuss. It was like watching one of those salmon farms with all the fish wiggling around each other. One or two people who bumped me apologized. And yes, I immediately felt for my wallet.

Eventually we got to see the Rockettes’ Christmas show. It wasn’t high on my list but after it started, I was nothing short of amazed. It was just brilliant all the way through. Massive Santa line dances. A train and a bus onstage. And a reenactment of the Nativity, including three camels and a half-dozen well-behaved sheep. They even had a bit where airship drones flew about. Just stunning. It was like Cirques Du Soliel on steroids.

Finally, when this was all over, we got to get into the rooms. Once that was done, a little down-time (very little) before hitting the streets again, this time with Mom, Pat, JB and I going to a play (“Constellations” – just opened). The walk over was brisk – Sunday night at 6:30pm and Orlando’s gone to sleep but the big apple keeps churning. Millions of taxies, bike delivery guys, and the occasional FUV (why would you drive one of them in this city?). Also saw a hint of snow in the air – been years since I’d seen that.

The play was great (with my nice slacks, while shirt and tie, I was overdressed – I live in the wrong era). On the way home, we stopped in a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint (still going strong with walk-in business at 9pm). Good food, then home to relax, to blog, to pull out a novel and take it easy.

What a city.

>>>NEXT DAY<<<

>>>AFTER MASON CAME TO ANCIENT TYRE, THAT CITY STARTED TO BECOME ITS OWN BIG APPLE. SEE WHAT I MEAN IN “EARLY RETYREMENT”, FOR SALE HERE!!!<<<

Last Updated on Friday, 26 December 2014 09:03
 
Is this thing on? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 22:01

I don't remember when the last time I checked this was - my CONTACT ME option in the left menu column. And I don't know why I went and tried it now. But today, out of whimsy, I posted myself an email while at work, from my site.

It didn't work.

I clicked it a dozen times. Nothing. Oh, I'd get a form, all with who you were, a numeric anti-bot check, all that stuff. But no message went through.

Then I went online and looked up my version of Joomla and guess what - a lot of people were having this problem. I messed around with it for about an hour, kinda got it to work, but I wasn't happy with it. Also, that messy form of theirs was too busy. Finally I figured out how to turn the troublesome form off and just have a simple button that used the user's existing email box to post me. That's nice and simple and works like a charm.

Which makes me wonder - did any agents try to post me with interest on my available books and not get through? Ah, the things that keep a writer awake at night...

>>>I DON'T CARE IF YOU WRITE ME OR NOT, JUST BUY A BOOK, OKAY? THIS LINK WORKS!<<<

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 22:21
 
Special K PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 18 April 2014 07:30

It was my second 5k.

Haven’t mentioned it, but these things really get in the way of writing (and lunches, and comfort). We’ve been training at work (a couple of coworkers and myself) for weeks now, jogging pretty much ever lunch time, three miles through a tree-less neighborhood under a hot tropical sun (except for that time it poured on us). I got to the point where I wouldn’t stop, and could do three miles in something like 35 minutes. That’s about as good as it gets with this old body.

So we went over to Eola Park at 3pm or so, picking up the food on the way, the little setup crew. It was pretty windy and there was a little confusion of how we wanted to set up tables and banners and such, but eventually things got straightened out. While I was working, my brother Mike showed up and we chatted a bit. My wife JB was also there – she was going to do the walk, so good for her – she’s very intune to the benefits of walking and tries to do it as much as possible. Me, I’m very intuned to the agonies of running, but I was dumb enough to do it anyway.

Two optimistic guys - selfie credit: Mike RaymondSo before race time, we drifted over to the start with about 18,000 people, a small collective. I was the last to leave the tent and so I ended up pretty much by myself in the milling pack, until I bumped into a coworker and then, surprise, my brother! Out of this multitude and there he is. I knew he’d leave me once things got going, no surprise. We crossed the start line at 14:00 (think about that, it took us fourteen minutes just to get to the start line, the crowd was so big and slow).

There was the usual bunch of misrepresentations/over-estimations/lying on expected times for registrants – Mike and I were weaving through people who were walking before the first 300 yards had passed beneath our sneakers. Just people trudging along, having said they could do it in under twenty-four minutes because they had in college fifteen years ago. And if you are pushing a stroller, I don’t think you are going to do it in under twenty-four minutes (being able to do it in your odyssey doesn’t count).  But then again, there was a one-legged man humping along in front of me that was making good time. I don’t know if I ever passed him. So many people. So much to see.

Anyway, I cleared the finish line 34:10 after my start, so that’s decent. I’d have liked to have beaten my jogging nemesis Manjula but that wasn’t happening – she’s been training and is in better shape than I was. But it was fun, the breakdown of the tent went quick (and we had lots of help), and we were home by 10pm.

I think even JB will come again next year.

>>>IF ONLY PHEIDIPPIDES HAD TAKEN HIS TIME AFTER THE BATTLE OF MARATHON, WE’D HAVE BEEN SPARED ALL THIS. THAT’S HISTORY FOR YOU. READ SOME OF MY HISTORICAL BOOKS HERE!<<<

Crosing the line: photo credit Mike Raymond

Last Updated on Friday, 18 April 2014 07:47
 
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