Sunday, December 12, 2010

Something about you

 

This was a video I remember seeing in Germany on a video jukebox machine. It had an English/European feel to it. It also fit my mood at the time. I did have the Level 42 cassette with this song on it. I’ve always had a thing for it ever since.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Storm Stories: Hurricane Earl

Prior to Hurricane Earl coming towards Rhode Island it had all the drama leading up to it. First it’s bearing down on us, then it’s not…..then it it is…..maybe not…..yes it is again…..well you get the picture. What it ended up being was a partly cloudy afternoon with some rain showers. No hurricane force winds or street flooding that was predicted. Here’s a parody of the Weather Channels Storm Stories that sums it up:

 

Monday, August 9, 2010

How to be alone by Tanya Davis

I wanted to share this uplifting video I came across by Tanya Davis about how to be alone. I’ve watched it several times and feel strangely addicted to it. The rhythm and words are very soothing. It’s simplicity is it’s strength. The key element is that it’s OK to be alone and to embrace it. Henry David Thoreau writes:

I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.

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To find out more about Tanya you can visit her website here at http://tanyadavis.ca/index.html or her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tanya-Davis/8063194647?ref=sgm

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Up in smoke: Day 183

j0337276 Today marks my six month anniversary of becoming a non-smoker. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I believe making “The Decision”  to break free from cigarettes as the key ingredient. I heard almost every argument against smoking that you could think of. Many only serve to annoy or have a hard line against smoking.  Sure the pictures of black lungs, cancer victim testimony, warnings on packs, public service announcements in many cases only put smokers on defensive. I know I had that feeling also.

It comes down to making a decision to leave cigarettes behind and then seeking the best method to aid you. That’s if you need to. I did use Chantix as a helper and it seemed to work for me. Though I admit I didn’t finish the full prescription. I admired those that quit with a simple decision to do so. For those still chained to cigarettes I would advise you to concentrate on making your own decision to become free. No one can make it for you. Worry about the method secondly. Once the decision has been made then plan how your going to do it and follow through with it.

This following video is a clip of former smoker and author the late Alan Carr who wrote The Easyway to quit smoking in 1985. I did read this book a few years ago. Though I didn’t quit after reading the book, much of the book stayed with me since. The clip summarizes his basic philosophy that it’s easy to quit. Good luck!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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I first heard about The Road by Cormac  McCarthy when it was picked by Oprah Winfrey’s book of the month a few years back. I didn’t see the program where McCarthy was interviewed. What peaked my interest was the plot and characters. A father and son travelling along a road in postapocalyptic America. I think in most cases this genre is usually of the science fiction realm and perhaps not taken serious by the mainstream media. The fact that it was part of “Oprah’s book” club said this wasn’t your ordinary post disaster book. Even after reading this book over a month ago it still stays with me in my thoughts.

 

The Story

The story is about a father and son traveling along a road in postapaocalyptic landscape. What has  happened isn’t exactly explained and kept vague. Even the names of the father and son are never spoken or made known. We catch glimpses of the mans life before the unknown disaster happens from his dreams. The boy we learn was born on the eve of the disaster that wiped out civilization as we know it. The mother/wife commits suicide for reasons I’m not quite sure of or at least I didn’t quite understand. We see her character in the mans dreams which I helps give the man some depth of character. That he wasn’t always what he is today and he knew the world before it had become bleak and burned out.

In the beginning their hope lies in travelling south along the road to reach the coast. There they hope that they would find some relief from the colder winter that is soon approaching. They have to scavenged for food, fuel and shelter along a burnt out landscape. They also have to avoid bands of cannibalistic gangs hunting for more victims. They have one gun with two bullets for protection or suicide if capture seemed imminent.

The key focal point of course the father and son relationship. To each other they mean the world to one another. The father does what he has to do to keep him and the boy alive. He himself is ill but he keeps going on for the sake of the boy. They talk about “having the fire inside” them and remind themselves that they are the good guys. The boy is what keeps the father going despite his ill health. The boy in many ways keeps the man in check of his sanity and to stay on the side of good.

The Book

The book itself is intense although reading this can be very easy. I read this through in about a day which is very unusual for me. I’ve read some critics say it starts off too slow. I do agree with that to some degree but found that after the thirty to thirty five page marks it really grabbed a hold of me and didn’t let go until the end. McCarthy's style of writing almost matches the landscape it describes with it’s bare bone punctuation and lack of traditional chapters. The story moves along in what can be described as a series of snapshots or moments in the journey.

The Movie

Of course a book of this acclaim and stature was made into a movie in 2009. One part of me was curious how this would translate to film and the other was nervous to actually see it translated to film. Would it it serve the book justice? How would it be seen visually? How the horrors of cannibalism be handled? Would the story be twisted like many other novels turned to film? Well I eventually saw the film and I must say it’s one of the better translations from book to film I’ve ever seen. The film stays with the book almost verbatim. I noticed more was left out from book than was added into the film that wasn’t in the book. Some scenes from the book that were left out of the film were not essential to the story. Though I believe the ending of the movie ties more of the story together than the book does. I don’t to spoil it much so I’ll leave it at that.

Myself

As fan of post-apocalyptic fiction  I was hooked to this story. One story that comes to mind is the Stephen King novel The Stand which also describes a apocalyptic event and the aftermath.  I also remember the film “Omega Man” starring Charlton Heston in a zombie filled wasteland of Los Angeles. I’ve read others that I can’t recall the names of that describe a world after everyone is gone. I thinks it’s a curiosity I have with a world with very few people left in it. What would society or the world be like. What kind of footprint would we leave on this Earth.

Being a father of two sons this book has hit me on a personal level. In a way I see it as an symbolic of father and son relationships on a deeper level. A father trying to prepare his sons for the harsh world in which his days are numbered. The boy represents hope for the future after the father eventually passes along. I know it’s made me look at my sons in a different light. It has made me think of my own mortality and what will I pass along to my boys. Will it be enough for them to survive in this harsh world we live in?

Overall

This book(and movie) has the the ability to stay with you for a long time. It has the ability to horrify you, depress you but still in the end leave you with a glimmer of real hope. I’ve read the book over a month ago and the movie about two weeks ago yet it still stays with me almost daily. This is certainly a story that you’ll be thinking about long after you read it. If your a Dad this is a must read for you. You’ll look at your kids in a different light, especially if you have boys. I don’t mean it to sound that it’s exclusively for guys. It is wonderfully written and well paced. I think it’s one of those books that will be used as an example of a masterpiece novel that is a classic many years from now. Perhaps in the same vein as Catcher in Rye, Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice an Men  and so on. If you’ve been on the fence about reading the book (or seeing the movie) take the plunge you won’t be disappointed. My only regret is that I hadn’t read it sooner. I still feel as if I haven’t absorbed everything this book has to offer.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hitler’s car – The Volkswagen - Germany

I found this interesting documentary on the early beginnings of the beloved Volkswagen Beetle. It has a lot of early footage of early prototypes. Also the vintage assembly line footage is interesting.

On a side note I think the connection to Hitler is overplayed. It was Dr. Ferdinand Porsche’s design and concept of a “People’s Car”. Hitler went along with it for his own selfish reasons. Ferdinand gathered support where he could at the time. Hitler and the Nazis were in power so where else was going to go? Calling it “Hitler’s Car” I believe is misleading and takes away from Dr. Ferdinand Porsche’s involvement.

I’m done with the rant. Please enjoy the film. It runs about 30 minutes long. Annoying though is that the video and audio are out of sync.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back to the 80’s: Patience

Just some Guns N’ Roses for the heck of it. I just don’t seem to tire of this song. Despite Axl’s faults and egotistical behavior he did get it right on this song. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Buying a VW Bug Part 2

Here are more tips from my VW Guru Chris Vallone of Classic VW Bugs  whom I spoke of earlier. This is a continuation of the video series I mention in my first post. It has a lot of helpful tips for those considering buying one of the classic cars.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Up in Smoke : Day 142

PH01569J Today marks my 142nd day without smoking. Hard to believe I made it this far. Thank you to all who have wished me well. I couldn’t have done it without the support of others,  especially my wife and family. She and others had hoped and prayed for years that I would decide to quit smoking.

I’m glad I decided to take the leap and make the commitment. It really does come down to a commitment. It wasn’t the drug Chantix that was the miracle cure. I had made up my mind before using the pill. It was a tool that helped accomplish the task. Don’t get wrong though, it did help tremendously. It got me through the initial stages of quitting. This is usually the hardest period of quitting and where I usually faltered in the past. The first few weeks were the hardest for me in the past.

I do get urges for a cigarette from now and then. They occur less frequently as time goes by. I notice now that they generally occur at times when in the past I would have smoked. It’s not that I actually need a cigarette but, was something I did in similar situations in the past. When the urges do occur I do think to myself do I want to throw away all I’ve accomplished for a drag on a cigarette? What does it really accomplish other than satisfying a craving? Cravings were gone a long time ago anyway. The urges generally last only a short moment and then forgotten.

What have been the rewards of this? Taste buds and sense of smell are gradually returning. Ironically I find that cigarette smoke does indeed smell bad. Saving money has been big. I’ve saved close to a thousand dollars so far. I got the iPhone I’ve been wanting for quite some time along with a 71 VW Super Beetle I’m working on. Neither of these would be possible while I was smoking.

To wrap this up I want to address smokers and non-smokers who wish others close to them to quit. First to non-smokers, be patient and supportive. It’s OK to let smokers aware of your opinion of smoking but, the worst thing to do is to nag. This will just put them on the defensive and not want to quit already. Yes they know it’s bad for them. Secondly they have to decide for themselves to quit. You can’t do that for them. It just builds resentment anyway.

To the smokers: It can be done. I smoked for over twenty-five years and I did it. I understand what your going through and you have my support. This is a decision that has to come from within yourself. No one else can make up your mind for you. Though my method worked for me it may not for you. I urge you be patient and persistent. If one method doesn’t work, regroup and try a different way. The biggest factor is to make up your own mind to do it then follow through with it. I wish you the best in your journey.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Procrastination is….

one of the reasons I haven’t posted anything here in awhile.

 

Procrastination from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Up in Smoke : Day 29

j0433872 This is my fourth week using Chantix to aid me quitting smoking. It also marks day 22 of quitting. Technically I should be done with my first installment of Chantix but along the way I forgot a few pills so I still have a few left. I’ve still got to call my doctor to get the second installment. I’m partly debating whether to continue with the Chantix.  I’m open to any comments about this. No I’m not starting smoking again but just thinking whether to continue with the pills. Yes It’s gotten be this far but the nicotine addiction passes in the first few days. The rest of the addiction is in mind. For those that don’t smoke may not realize how deeply ingrained this habit becomes after many years of smoking. It in a sense becomes part of who you are. It also becomes a friend of yours. So when you quit it can be like breaking of a long term relationship.

For the most part I’m feeling well. I don’t weigh myself regularly so I couldn’t tell you if I’ve gained any weight. I think I gained a few but then I’ve always had a few extra pounds on me so I’m not exactly losing sleep over it. The pills do give me a touch of nausea if I don’t have some food in my stomach. No weird dreams or suicidal thoughts as the warning label reads.  My lovely wife has noticed though that I’ve not been irritable so much but, I’ve been more apt to communicate  about stuff that may be bugging me.  This may be due to not having cigarettes to hide my true feelings or put them off.

Other than an urge occasionally I’m doing very well.  Thanks to all who have supported me with your messages of encouragement. They do have an impact. Have a great day!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year’s Day 2010 !

j0412064 I want to wish all my friends, family and guests to this website a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Usually New Year’s day is a day of parties and resolution’s. For me it is a time to spend with family without much fanfare.  This past year has been a challenge but we made it through which we can be thankful. We lived through the challenge of bringing up my new son Sam(in his first year) and my oldest son Josh who still wants the same amount of attention as before.  I don’t have any new “resolution’s” to reveal. I’m still continuing along with the goals I’m working on. They include to continue with my quitting smoking with Chantix, to get an “A” in every class I take at New England Tech and not to forget to love and support my family throughout the year.

I actually think New Year’s day should be the day of thanks instead of Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for my wife bearing the brunt of raising  two son’s and running a household. Thankful for a job that has been steady and keeps food on the table and a roof over our heads. I’m also thankful to new and old friends and family I’ve met through Facebook. I hope you all have a……..

Happy New Year!