Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Time to be Thankful

Looking back at the last year and how much my life has changed, I'll take today as a moment to pause and be thankful.

In August, I thanked my friends and family for all of their support as I stepped into this new phase of my life. They've been there for me, given great advice (some of which I even took), and I appreciate all that they have given. As I noted then, I would not be here today with out them, but today my thoughts are a little bigger.

I 'borrowed' Norman Rockwell's "Freedom From Want" because we take it all for granted here in the US. As a middle class American, I have been able to get an education, have two kids, eat when and where I want, travel, own nice stuff, get a decent job and so much more. What have I had to give up for it? Not too darn much. I have to work hard, but I am fairly paid for it. I have given up a few things here and there to be able to live as I wanted, but that was mostly a result of my own bad choices. One can argue things aren't perfect here, with $2 gas and a war in the Middle East, a moron in the White House, personal freedoms under attack and medical costs skyrocketing, but honestly, where else would you want to live. My buddy Dan is a conservative. I'm a liberal. We can talk and argue freely. I can call the Vice President a puppet master without worrying about imprisonment (yet). We can travel freely, marry easily (too easily), have as many kids as we want, create personal wealth, or art, worship freely if we wish to. This is truly amazing if you look at the rest of the world. The 102 men, women and children who braved two months of hellish conditions on the stormy North Atlantic to become the first to permanently settle here were remarkable in their fortitude and passion. Their ideals still form the foundation for much of the American psyche. They simply wanted to be free and they were willing to risk everything for it.

We have become so much more complacent about the freedoms we enjoy. I hope we each spend some time today remembering all the people who have sacrificed so that we can gather freely today and choose to pray if we want to, eat heartily, laugh deeply and enjoy all that we have.

Last night, as I read The First Thanksgiving to my children, I realized again how lucky I was to have been able to be complacent. And, as I do nearly every year, I promised I would be less so in the coming year. We’ll see.

A Time to be Thankful

Looking back at the last year and how much my life has changed, I'll take today as a moment to pause and be thankful.

In August, I thanked my friends and family for all of their support as I stepped into this new phase of my life. They've been there for me, given great advice (some of which I even took), and I appreciate all that they have given. As I noted then, I would not be here today with out them, but today my thoughts are a little bigger.

I 'borrowed' Norman Rockwell's "Freedom From Want" because we take it all for granted here in the US. As a middle class American, I have been able to get an education, have two kids, eat when and where I want, travel, own nice stuff, get a decent job and so much more.

What have I had to give up for it? Not too darn much. I have to work hard, but I am fairly paid for it. I have given up a few things here and there to be able to live as I wanted, but that was mostly a result of my own bad choices.


One can argue things aren't perfect here, with $2 gas and a war in the Middle East, a moron in the White House, personal freedoms under attack and medical costs skyrocketing, but honestly, where else would you want to live.


My buddy Dan is a conservative. I'm a liberal. We can talk and argue freely. I can call the Vice President a puppet master without worrying about imprisonment (yet). We can travel freely, marry easily (too easily), have as many kids as we want, create personal wealth, or art, worship freely if we wish to. This is truly amazing if you look at the rest of the world.


The 102 men, women and children who braved two months of hellish conditions on the stormy North Atlantic to become the first to permanently settle here were remarkable in their fortitude and passion. Their ideals still form the foundation for much of the American psyche. They simply wanted to be free and they were willing to risk everything for it.


We have become so much more complacent about the freedoms we enjoy. I hope we each spend some time today remembering all the people who have sacrificed so that we can gather freely today and choose to pray if we want to, eat heartily, laugh deeply and enjoy all that we have.

Last night, as I read The First Thanksgiving to my children, I realized again how lucky I was to have been able to be complacent. And, as I do nearly every year, I promised I would be less so in the coming year. We’ll see.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Ellie Newsome is Born!!!!

Just a quick post to congratulate my sister, Carin and her husband Kevin on the birth of their daughter, Ellis Elizabeth Newsome. Ellie was born at 7:57 on Friday, November 17th, 2006. She weighs in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces and measures 18 1/2 inches. She is quite pink, and has a bunch of dark brown hair. In the few hours I visited her at Lankenau Hospital today, Ellie only opened her eyes for a few split seconds. She seemed very content to sleep on my chest, her mother's chest and her father's chest. She's really cute and I enjoyed meeting my first neice very much. Congratulations to Carin, Kevin AND big brother Andrew!

Ellie Newsome is Born!!!!

Just a quick post to congratulate my sister, Carin and her husband Kevin on the birth of their daughter, Ellis Elizabeth Newsome.

Ellie was born at 7:57 on Friday, November 17th, 2006. She weighs in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces and measures 18 1/2 inches. She is quite pink, and has a bunch of dark brown hair.


In the few hours I visited her at Lankenau Hospital today, Ellie only opened her eyes for a few split seconds. She seemed very content to sleep on my chest, her mother's chest and her father's chest.


She's really cute and I enjoyed meeting my first neice very much. Congratulations to Carin, Kevin AND big brother Andrew!

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Stuff For Friday

Flyers Sorry Matt, this is going to be a long season for the men on skates. It's all been said before, but after last night's 3-1 loss to the Islanders was pretty ugly. As is noted in Tim Panaccio's article today, the Fly Guys were booed on their home ice as it became apparent that they are basically unable to play major league hockey. Eagles Ok we have been talking about the last loss for 2 weeks now. It's time to see if these guys are made of anything. Yeah I know it's a tough run through the last half of the schedule, but this is going to be a brutal town if the Eagles aren't in this thing. At least we know they can't find any more painful way to lose than this. Rutgers I feel really good for these guys. But the win last night over #3 Louisville basically cements my position that the Big East is a sham this year. Are these guys BCS contenders? Give me a break! Did anyone catch Erin Andrews on the sideline of the game last night? She ain't Suzy Kolber, but she ain't bad either! Winter Beer Great article in the Inquirer yesterday signalling the opening of the winter beer season. They mention one of my local favorites, the Troegs Mad Elf. If you want to have the best in the nation, you will have to call Matt at The Beer Yard soon. It always sells out. The Wheels Are Starting to Come Off First Bush fires Don Rumsfeld, apparently after misleading reporters about whether Rumsfeld would serve out the second term. Then Bill Mahr outs RNC National Chair Ken Mehlman on CNN's Larry King. (Holy Shit Batman! There ARE gay Republicans!!!). Now Lincoln Chafee (Lame Duck R-RI) has said that he intends to block John Bolton's permanent appointment as US Ambassador to the UN. What's next? Laura Bush shooting Dick Cheney? Weekend Plans Finally, I just want to say how much I am looking forward to the weekend! A quiet night this evening. Packing for Phoenix tomorrow. The UArts 130th Anniversary Gala tomorrow night. A room at the Ritz Carlton. Then off to Phoenix for the AACRAO SEM Conference! Should be a great weekend and a fun week! See you all on the other side.

Stuff For Friday

Flyers

Sorry Matt, this is going to be a long season for the men on skates. It's all been said before, but after last night's 3-1 loss to the Islanders was pretty ugly. As is noted in Tim Panaccio's article today, the Fly Guys were booed on their home ice as it became apparent that they are basically unable to play major league hockey.


Eagles


Ok we have been talking about the last loss for 2 weeks now. It's time to see if these guys are made of anything. Yeah I know it's a tough run through the last half of the schedule, but this is going to be a brutal town if the Eagles aren't in this thing. At least we know they can't find any more painful way to lose than this.

Rutgers


I feel really good for these guys. But the win last night over #3 Louisville basically cements my position that the Big East is a sham this year. Are these guys BCS contenders? Give me a break! Did anyone catch Erin Andrews on the sideline of the game last night? She ain't Suzy Kolber, but she ain't bad either!


Winter Beer


Great article in the Inquirer yesterday signalling the opening of the winter beer season. They mention one of my local favorites, the Troegs Mad Elf. If you want to have the best in the nation, you will have to call Matt at The Beer Yard soon. It always sells out.

The Wheels Are Starting to Come Off


First Bush fires Don Rumsfeld, apparently after misleading reporters about whether Rumsfeld would serve out the second term.


Then Bill Mahr outs RNC National Chair Ken Mehlman on CNN's Larry King. (Holy Shit Batman! There ARE gay Republicans!!!).


Now Lincoln Chafee (Lame Duck R-RI) has said that he intends to block John Bolton's permanent appointment as US Ambassador to the UN.


What's next? Laura Bush shooting Dick Cheney?


Weekend Plans


Finally, I just want to say how much I am looking forward to the weekend!


A quiet night this evening. Packing for Phoenix tomorrow. The UArts 130th Anniversary Gala tomorrow night. A room at the Ritz Carlton. Then off to Phoenix for the AACRAO SEM Conference! Should be a great weekend and a fun week!


See you all on the other side.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Potpourri

Gooden Released From Jail

In case you were still keeping track of the four time Cy Young Award winner, Dwight Gooden was released from prison today.

And here I thought he was dead.

Remember that Gooden had to serve this jail sentence after repeatedly violating his parole on drug and drunk driving charges. He took a 1 year jail term rather than a probation, which had he violated it would have reverted to 5 years in the pokey. Even he didn’t think he was enough of a stand-up guy to do it.

Sixers Lose Second

Ok. Even I will admit I thought that they had a chance to be better after the first 3 games, but perhaps the planets are lined up against them. The Raptors’ CENTER Chris Bosh launched a bomb that effectively killed any chance the 76ers had of topping the Raptors last night. Gotta wonder what else the 76ers could have done to win this game. They were darn near perfect then this guy launches one from about 40 feet and the feeling is suddenly a whole lot worse about the hoops team in Philly.

The Voters Come Through

After several years of collective insanity, the voters of Pennsylvania regained their senses Tuesday and sent Rick Santorum home to play with his kids and have sex in the missionary position with his wife, Karen Garver Santorum. People love to say not nice things about this guy. I am restraining myself not to kick the guy when he is down. Good job Pennsylvania!

Potpourri

Gooden Released From Jail

In case you were still keeping track of the four time Cy Young Award winner, Dwight Gooden was released from prison today.

And here I thought he was dead.

Remember that Gooden had to serve this jail sentence after repeatedly violating his parole on drug and drunk driving charges. He took a 1 year jail term rather than a probation, which had he violated it would have reverted to 5 years in the pokey. Even he didn’t think he was enough of a stand-up guy to do it.

Sixers Lose Second

Ok. Even I will admit I thought that they had a chance to be better after the first 3 games, but perhaps the planets are lined up against them. The Raptors’ CENTER Chris Bosh launched a bomb that effectively killed any chance the 76ers had of topping the Raptors last night. Gotta wonder what else the 76ers could have done to win this game. They were darn near perfect then this guy launches one from about 40 feet and the feeling is suddenly a whole lot worse about the hoops team in Philly.

The Voters Come Through

After several years of collective insanity, the voters of Pennsylvania regained their senses Tuesday and sent Rick Santorum home to play with his kids and have sex in the missionary position with his wife, Karen Garver Santorum. People love to say not nice things about this guy. I am restraining myself not to kick the guy when he is down. Good job Pennsylvania!

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Emma Turns Three!!!!

Emma turned three yesterday and I can’t really believe it. She is my little princess and I am amazed at what a sweet little girl she is. While there is no doubt that she has a stubborn streak a mile wide, she is still the most wonderful, joyful girl I know.

She had her struggles early on, spending almost two months in Virtua Voorhees’ NICU until she was able to breathe and eat on her own. I still have dreams about the big scary room that she lived in for her first week, before moving onto the smaller, less intense rooms. I am in awe of the nurses that work in those rooms and how much caring and empathy they were able to give me and my daughter. Don’t get me started on the doctors or LaLeche freak.

Eventually she came home and got to spend some time with her brother. They are very close and Every time John gets frustrated with her, I just remind him that Emma wants to play with him because she loves him so much. They are wonderful kids.

Emma was tiny and she fought hard and I am so proud of all that she went through to be the funny, happy, tiny bundle of energy she is at three years old. Today she runs and jumps (only about an inch off the ground for all her efforts), plays with her brother, has tea parties for her baby and bunnies, and lights up my heart every time she smiles. She tells jokes she doesn’t understand and tries to pitch in her thoughts in every conversation.

Her love of the color pink and drawing are constants. She loves to read but virtually ignores TV, preferring to make a million pages of crayon work to spread through the house. Picking up after her is a non-stop job, but I do it willingly given the fun she has. Recently she has begun cleaning up her own messes and I think it’s hilarious to watch her pick up a room one item at a time.

I will admit I spoil her rotten, but who couldn’t. I let her climb into my bed on cold mornings and she gets a few too many cookies. I’m not the only one who spoils her though, as she has more shoes than her brother and I combined.

I hope I always remember her asking me hoist her up to the mirror to show her the shampoo I give her in the bath tub and the shrieks of joy that the soapy mess brings her. I know that her “Lock the door!” and “John ILLiam” shouts from the backseat are forever in my memory.

This time last year, Emma and I were able to spend an entire month together before I started at UArts. It was an important month for both of us, as it reconnected me with her and brought back many of the intense feeling I had from her first two months. It’s hard not to see her every day, but when I am missing her most I think back to that special month. I am looking forward to the same kind of experience this December for a shorter, but hopefully as fun time.

Happy Third Birthday Princess!

Love,

Daddy

Emma Turns Three!!!!

Emma turned three yesterday and I can’t really believe it. She is my little princess and I am amazed at what a sweet little girl she is. While there is no doubt that she has a stubborn streak a mile wide, she is still the most wonderful, joyful girl I know.

She had her struggles early on, spending almost two months in Virtua Voorhees’ NICU until she was able to breathe and eat on her own. I still have dreams about the big scary room that she lived in for her first week, before moving onto the smaller, less intense rooms. I am in awe of the nurses that work in those rooms and how much caring and empathy they were able to give me and my daughter. Don’t get me started on the doctors or LaLeche freak.

Eventually she came home and got to spend some time with her brother. They are very close and Every time John gets frustrated with her, I just remind him that Emma wants to play with him because she loves him so much. They are wonderful kids.

Emma was tiny and she fought hard and I am so proud of all that she went through to be the funny, happy, tiny bundle of energy she is at three years old. Today she runs and jumps (only about an inch off the ground for all her efforts), plays with her brother, has tea parties for her baby and bunnies, and lights up my heart every time she smiles. She tells jokes she doesn’t understand and tries to pitch in her thoughts in every conversation.

Her love of the color pink and drawing are constants. She loves to read but virtually ignores TV, preferring to make a million pages of crayon work to spread through the house. Picking up after her is a non-stop job, but I do it willingly given the fun she has. Recently she has begun cleaning up her own messes and I think it’s hilarious to watch her pick up a room one item at a time.

I will admit I spoil her rotten, but who couldn’t. I let her climb into my bed on cold mornings and she gets a few too many cookies. I’m not the only one who spoils her though, as she has more shoes than her brother and I combined.

I hope I always remember her asking me hoist her up to the mirror to show her the shampoo I give her in the bath tub and the shrieks of joy that the soapy mess brings her. I know that her “Lock the door!” and “John ILLiam” shouts from the backseat are forever in my memory.

This time last year, Emma and I were able to spend an entire month together before I started at UArts. It was an important month for both of us, as it reconnected me with her and brought back many of the intense feeling I had from her first two months. It’s hard not to see her every day, but when I am missing her most I think back to that special month. I am looking forward to the same kind of experience this December for a shorter, but hopefully as fun time.

Happy Third Birthday Princess!

Love,

Daddy

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