Monday, April 25, 2011

Thanks Everyone

I want to thank everyone for your kind words about my uncle Sam. What I saw from the service's showed Sam to be a man that was well liked and loved by friends and family alike. There was a large crowd at the wake. His four daughters put their differences aside and pulled it together. Of course we were saddened by the passing of a man who was so robust and full of life and laughs. We all met back at a local restaurant and there was laughter as everyone shared stories of my uncle. There was a very touching scene at the cemetery as one of the two military people handed the folded up flag that draped the coffin to Sam's great grandson being held by his grand son Brian.
The lady who handed the flag over was from the Coast Guard. She said something to the child but I couldn't here what she said but when she was finished he audibly said "Thank You."

As for the other things in my life, I am on a new schedule at work. Hopefully temporarily. I am working until 10 pm. My day has been turned upside down as I have to take care of things around here in the morning. These new hours will revert back, I hope, by next week. As it is I will be taking a few days off this week and should be back on a more regular basis by Wednesday. Now to get back to my laundry, another cup of coffee, then off to work.

Thanks again my friends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Uncle Sam

I haven't been around for a bit. This passed week has been a busy and sad time for my family and myself. Last Tuesday, April 15, 2011 I learned that my Uncle Sam, my mother's brother, had a stroke. He was living on Cape Cod in a cottage that he himself had built some 50 years ago. He had just moved there about a year ago, though it had been winterized some time ago. Up until then he had been living locally very near me. I have wonderful memories of going there and staying there with Uncle Sam and Aunt Lucy and my four cousins. It was a two minute walk to the ocean and quite rural for most of my memory. I have not been down there since the late 80's.

Uncle Sam was a robust man with a great sense of humor, who didn't look 81 years old. The last time I saw him was at Christmas time. He did have some health issues as most of us probably do but you would never know it by looking at him. Though he was bald on top he still had jet black hair and no he didn't dye it. His father was exactly the same. He still had jet black hair at 94. On April 14 my sister called him to ask if would like to come up for Easter dinner. The last five years he had spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter with my sisters, brother in law and myself instead of his own daughters, two of which live in the same city as we do and one who lives about twenty miles from here. There is friction between at least 3 of his daughters. I don't know what the story is and frankly I don't want to know. The fourth lives in London. I suppose as to not show any favorites and more probably avoid the drama, he spent it with us. The children of his older sister, my mother. Growing up the holidays were always split, Thanksgiving at our house, Christmas at his. They were always noisy and fun gatherings.

Uncle Sam didn't answer the phone when my sister called him. She left a message. He wasn't home. He wasn't feeling well and he drove himself to the hospital. While he was being examined he had a stroke. We drove down on Wednesday. He was hooked up to all the equipment. His pulse and heartbeat were normal. He had been stabalized but he was about to be checked for brain activity. We waited for the results. A short time later the doctor came out and called his childeren into another room. We knew the results by seeing the look on my cousins faces. They had to make a decision. They made it the next day.

As I write this I have just returned from the wake. The funeral is tomorrow (April 20). We will all be gathering at a local retaurant afterwards.


On the left my father's uncle and aunt. On the right my father's cousin.
My mother, right center and uncle Sam in the middle holding me.

I thank you all in advance and hope to rejoin the blogging world in a few days.
Goodbye Uncle Sam. We will miss you.
(The above picture was taken from a broucher made by the funeral home. The April 14 date is wrong.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Godzilla's return part deux

First of all thank you all for the kind words. I do appreciate it. A little background first. I was always a fan of monster and fantasy horror movies when I was young. My 3 favorites then and still now we're King Kong, Godzilla and the Frankenstein monster. All three were serious movies. King King was a stop motion masterpiece. The gorilla itself was an 11 inch clay model. Each movement was filmed frame by frame. The same goes for all the dinosaurs in the film. It's the beauty and the beast story. Kong is taken off his unchartered island where he reigned, brought to New York to be exploited and "civilization" killed him. This film was released in 1933. It's a great adventure story. The effects still hold up today and it is sad when Kong is killed at the end. A great movie.

Sure Godzilla was a guy in a rubber suit. The millitary vehicles are little plastic models but the story is really an allegory to what happened in Japan a few years earlier. The U.S. dropped  2 nuclear bombs on Japan bringing the war in the Pacific to an end. As the cliche goes the nuclear genie was out of the bottle. That is essentially what the movie is about. To a little kid it's just a enormous monster attacking humanity and all our weapons, save for the one at the end, are usless. It scared the hell out of me when Godzilla made his first appearance. His head appeared over the top of a hill. I thought, "He's bigger than the mountain!" In the film he was said to 500 feet tall. There was more to this movie than a gigantic monster reeking havoc. I didn't realize this until I was older. Technically it was not the achievement that King Kong was some 20 years before, but the story was actually more more relevant to the modern world. There was a follow up movie a year or two later but it was just a sequal to capitalize on the success of the first one. As a side note, the movie that was released in the U.S was Americanized. What they did was film sequences with Raymond Burr as an American reporter named Steve Martin (not the wild and crazy guy) in Japan and cut it into the film. Anytime Burr character was shown interacting with some of characters of the original film they were portrayed by stand-ins who were always shown with their backs to the camera. Many more Godzilla films were made as it became a popular franchise to this day, but they just got sillier and sillier.

Frankenstein is another great film. Boris Karloff was great as the monster. Essentially it was the story of man, Dr. Victor Frankenstein trying to play God by creating life by sewing together body parts from various corpses. The monster was actually innocent, naive and tormented. Misunderstood he was actually killed at the end of the film. At least until the sequal. The original film still stands up today

I was also into comic books when I was a 10 or 11 year old and collected for a long time. I do have some very valuable comics including the first issues of Spider-man and about a 200 issue run in a row. The first issue of the Fantastic Four and a nearly complete run of 200 issues plus many others. Couple all the above with my tendency to get silly and you get part two of my silly Godzilla story. It was inspired by current events. I had the basic idea and kind of made it up as I went along. I had no idea how to end it but fortunately the Charley Sheen epic is still ongoing. In fact he appeared in Boston on Tuesday evening. He's a real piece of work. All in all this whole story came together over a 3 week period. Finding all the pictures and manipulating them with my photo program. sometimes the pictures I found dictated what elements I would add. OK it's now 1:40 in the morning. I have been writing this ever since I got home from work at 10:45. I will add the rest of the story in the morning and publish the whole shebang. Right now it's bedtime but when you read it all that I am writing now will be pointless.

And now, Part two.
I'm outta here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Godzilla's return

Alright so sometimes he's 6 feet tall and sometimes he's 500 feet tall. Yeah the story has some inconsistencies but what the hell I don't claim to be a professional. Some of former Spacers will remember the little story I did starring Godzilla, well he's back. This was all inspired when I heard a local woman on the radio mess up Charley Sheen's name calling him Sharley Cheen. I present part 1.
To be continued...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

While I have a minute, maybe two.

I know I haven't been around as much as I would like and I have to say I feel guilty when I miss a day or two of blogs. With the tough economy my work schedule is all over the map. I can start work at 6 a.m. or 2 p.m. Not to mention once a month there's inventory and that starts at midnight. This kind of schedule is very disruptive to sleeping and eating habits not to mention just the everyday domestic chores such as laundry and housework. Yeah there's a bit of whining here but hey it's my blog. Still I'm luckier than many other people. I live fairly comfortably, have food, friends and some money tucked away. I chose this line of work for good or bad. The bad, dealing with the public (sometimes) and ridiculous company decisions. The good, I have been employed steadily for 40 years at the same job (40 years as of April 1). I also have to say in just the last 6 months it has started to get to me. I'm hoping for an early retirement when I hit 62 in a bit over 2 years. Of course there are many factors that could change that. I'm hoping they don't occur. I'm in good health and reasonably good shape.

I remember my brother in law saying that he would never retire. After all what would he do? Then he got laid off about 6 months ago and now he loves it. He is fortunate that my sister is still working and they have some money tucked away. If I had about twice as much tucked away as I do now I would do it a.s.a.p. but that's not the case.

Hey the Red Sox won a game and it was at the expense of our dreaded rivals the New York Yankees! It's about time they won! They were touted on the cover of Sports Illustrated as being the eventual winner of the World Series. So what happened. They lost their first 6 games. As Red Sox fans do, it was all doom and gloom. They complain that the Yankees spend their way to championships. Buying top players for oodles of money. What the Red Sox faithful forget is that the team that spends the second largest amount buying top players is their own beloved Red Sox. We've had more than our shares of championships around here in the last decade. We're spoiled. I'm not a sports yahoo. I do enjoy sports but I'm not going to slit my wrist if a team loses a game or a championship. It's just sports, entertainment, a show.

Outside Fenway Park a couple of years ago.

A shot from atop the left field wall also known as the Green Monster. 
 Alrighty then. It's about 9 p.m. on Friday evening. I'm about out of gas. I'll publish this on Saturday morning before I go to work and I will visit around when I get home from work.
I need a vacation.
I'm going to bed and
I'm outta here