Thursday, May 31, 2012

Angels in the Outfield

Alison and I decided to root root root for the away team, as we caught the last game of the Angels Yankees series in Anaheim, our presence aided the Yankees in their victory.


Enjoying a delicious double double at the famous In-N-Out Burger. Woodstock is also along for the ride.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Traveling Companion

We left flopsey the bunny at home to hold down the fort. Kermit decided to join us this time.

Middle Seat

I avoid the middle seat like the plague...poor Alison gets stuck there because she is rather slender.

Today she gets to sit next to me who is a few cheezeburgers short of a seatbelt extender, and another lady who had to get a seat belt extender. At least my arm rest went down. The one one the other side did not. At least Alison was kind enough to offer her a twizzler. Should be a fun flight.

Poor, poor Alison.

LA bound

Alison and I are headed on a mini vacation to Los Angeles for the next few days to attend a wedding.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Every year around Memorial Day Grandpa T prepares a little presentation for Boy Scout Troop 27 of the former Ridgewood-Glen Rock council, to remind them that Memorial Day is about more than a day off from school or work, and BBQ.

Here is this years presentation

6 feet 4 inches tall and 230 lbs. is awfully big for a fighter pilot, especially when you realize that those cockpits were designed for men no bigger than 5' 10" and 160 lbs, but Ernie Fieblekorn, (Feeb or Red to his friends) always wanted to be a fighter pilot. Accepted for the Aviation Cadet Program in 1942 he repeatedly turned down offers that would have put him in a bomber. He had skill though and raw talent that got him known as a "hot pilot". He graduated at the top of his class and was assigned in 1944 to the 20th Fighter Group in England. He did not have an auspicious start. Assigned first to the 79th Fighter Squandron, he was grounded several times and almost court marshaled for his antics. Supposedly one involved flying through a hanger. 

The 79th, did not want him anymore and his flying career would have been over except that the Commanding Officer of the 77th Squadron was looking for a hot pilot and felt that he could control Feeb's enthusiasm. It turned out to be the perfect match. Fiebelkorn took advantage of this final chance and settled down. He started racking up victories. On 8 Nov 1944 he and another pilot ganged up on Col. Walter Nowotny, a top Luftwaffe Ace with 258 victories. their P-51 Mustangs were outmatched by Nowotny's Me-262 jet, Feeb hit him high and Lt. Hayden hit him low. At the last minute, before landing Nowotny spun into the ground and was killed on impact. 20 days later, on a sweep over Germany, Feeb downed four German fighters on one mission, three Me-109's and one FW-190. Having completed 100 missions, destroying 11 enemy aircraft,  receipt of two Silver Stars and two Distinguished Service Crosses before his 22nd birthday, Feeb went home to Pontiac Michigan with his new wife for Christmas 1944. While home on leave, he learned of the death of his 19 year old brother during the Battle of the Bulge. His brother Roger, a Private in the 100th Infantry Division had been awarded the Silver Star for his gallantry. 

Feeb with ground crew, Sgts Tucker, Yanchitis, Trynosky 28 Nov 1944

He did not return to Europe but stayed in the US as an instructor pilot. After the war, Feeb stayed in the Air Force until 1947. Bored with routine duties he left in January. By the middle of the year he was miserable. A hot pilot on the ground is a sad sight to behold. In mid summer, he looked up one of his old ground crew, a bartender in NY's Astor hotel. Over a beer, he poured out his heart. Former Sgt. Trynosky listened and told him that few in this life have the chance to do what they want and the skills to keep doing it. By Sept. he was back in uniform at Mitchell Field L.I. 

The outbreak of the Korean war, June 25th 1950 found Feeb in Japan flying F-82 twin Mustangs in the 4th fighter Squadron. The North Korean invasion, backed by the Soviet Union and their superlative T-34 tank was  rolling over the US and South Korean forces. All available US assets went to Korea. On 6 July, 1950 Capt. Fiebelkorn led a four plane element on a hunt for North Korean tanks who were threatening an American unit. Unable to see through the overcast, he let his aircraft down to see if he could get below it. Nothing was heard from him again. Two years later the bodies of Capt. Fiebelkorn and his RIO were found in the wreckage of their F-82 on a mountainside about 40 miles north of Seoul. Captain Fiebelkorn, 27 years old, father of a three year old son, the hot pilot, became the first American pilot to die in the Korean War. He received another DFC for his actions that day and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

failure and denial

It's a humid Sunday morning on a holiday weekend, and I'm going on vacation in a few days. We've been invited to a friends wedding out near Los Angeles and Alison and I are headed to the west coast for the better part of the next week to have a mini-vacation of sorts. We've been looking forward to it, but work has been so crazy lately it's been a bit stressful.

So I find myself here in the office on a Sunday to try and wrap up all the loose ends, so I can leave with a clear head and try to enjoy myself. It's a bit of a bummer, but my spirits were lifted this morning when I saw this as I walked past Federal Hall...

Who is still here? Casper the Friendly Ghost?
This is the remnants of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and their presence in lower Manhattan. Apparently they think they are "still here". Of their recent attempt to take advantage of the various NYPD jurisdiction gaps at National Park space, they had been loitering outside federal hall for a few weeks, camping on the street outside a TJ Maxx on Nassua St. and popping up in various places periodically. Their general strike on May Day was a big nothing, and apparently all that remains are a few pieces of tattered cardboard and crushed dreams.

We're Still Here! Down with the 1%

This fills my heart with glee, and I'm ready to tackle the work items I have so I can get home and enjoy my vacation.

Oh yeah, and if the people in the William Beaver Apartments could put some pants on that would be great. Apparently that's only standard protocol during the work week.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Jackie visits the Air Force

I wasn't able to attend this event, but Alison took a lot of nice pictures that I am happy to share. Mothers Day weekend was also the Air Show weekend down at McGuire Air Force Base. Uncle Joe thought it might be nice for Jackie to come visit and see the airplanes (also I think he wanted to show off his adorable niece to his Air Force colleagues)

Friday they have sort of an unofficial air show day that families come to, to see the practices, and they planes coming in from other bases, and locations to be shown off. It seemed like a perfect day to go check it out and avoid the big crowd that always visits on the official days.

Jackie as usual had a ball, and I offer these photos as proof.

Jackie checking out Uncle Joe's office, here is a picture of Great Grandpa in WWII

Walking the flight line with Uncle Joe

Precious Cargo

What's this?

Jackie was a WW2 Ace?

Checking out Uncle Joe's favorite plane, the C-130. This one, was from the Navy.

Someday I will fly in a real Helicopter!

It's Windy on the flight line!

Hi Grandpa!

What a fun day

It's noisy out here

Admiral Jackie calling in an Air Strike on the Taliban

Playtime at AAFES after the show

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

The farm where we purchased out CSA share for this year (Melick's Town Farm) has a number of pick your own crops including strawberries, pumpkins, apples, and peaches. Last Saturday was the first day for pick your own strawberries and we decided to see how Jackie would do with it. It seemed to me, like it would be a fun morning out of the house, and I had got in in my mind to do a few different preserve experiments with fresh local strawberries.

Don't smoosh them Jackie

Strawberry puffs in the strawberry patch?


Time to sit down

I'm tired of this

Time to go home!
We ended up with almost 8 pounds of strawberries, and also picked up about 2 pounds of rhubarb at the farm stand as well. It was a fun little outing, and I recommend it to anyone looking for good local produce instead of the stuff shipped in from California, or Mexico or some other foreign land. NJ is the Garden State after all.


So that's one of the headlines on drudgereport. The new movie "Battleship" based on the hasbro board game of the same name is a flop. If only I had been in the pitch meeting for this, I'd have been able to save everyone millions of dollars.

Pitting a horribly conceived movie based on a board game starring Rihanna against the juggernaut that is "The Avengers" while it's still a relatively new release. Who could possibly have guessed how this one might turn out?

Oh right...everyone.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cozy Coupe Crash Course

I have a whole series of posts that I'm going to be making from the last weeks worth of activities, we've got a trip to the Air Force, strawberry picking, family party, jam making, chut-a-nay making, etc. That all can wait though, because this was hilarious.

We had the Gillespie clan over for a cook out tonight, since we hadn't spent any time hanging out with Charlotte and the gang for a while. The original plan was to go out to eat, but we had all the fixin's for a bbq, so we decided to do that instead. Once I got the grill going, we took the ladies outside to play in the yard for a while. That was interesting playing keep away from the hot weber grill, i was tempted to put the grill in the playpen to make things easier.

We got out the cozy coupe, and the bubble mower, and the girls were having a ball. Jackie decided to take Charlotte for a ride, and I decided I needed to get this on film. Here is the result.... please note, it's OK to laugh, the end result was mild bewilderment and giggles.

This next one was slightly less horrifying 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rocky Goes to Camp

One of the challenges of dog ownership has been making sure that Rocky the Beagle isn't cooped up for too long in his crate, or in the house, or tied up outside. It can get kind of tricky when we're running errands or visiting relatives, or even going away for the weekend. Alison's family has been great about watching him when we need it, but sometimes it's not possible, or not convenient.

Alison and her sister Maryellen, took Rocky to his first obedience course over at Camp Bow Wow  it was a six week class on Saturday's and Rocky graduated with High Honors. They also run a day care/boarding operation that is pretty reasonable.

In order to make sure he's not a crazed lunatic type dog, they make you drop him off for a few hours of monitoring and socialization. After spending his time in observation, he was released to the general population. They have web cams set up, so we were able to see Rocky playing with all the other dogs, and it looked like he was having a great day. I could tell he was going to be exhausted, and when I go home late from work, he was dead to the world and didn't even stir this morning when I got up to get ready (I make a lot of noise)

They took some photo's and gave Alison a certificate.

They took good care of him, and now we have a standby place to drop him off if we need to go anywhere. I'm sure everyone will be relieved, especially the cat on the leash that taunts him from across the path in Fair Lawn.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tax Hike

I stumbled across this article this morning, actually it's probably also listed in the widget on the sidebar from the Bridgewater Patch.

New Cuts Leave Tax Rate Increase at 3%

This is frustrating, the increase won't amount to a large sum, my monthly mortgage payments will go up a few bucks. But I feel like a yo-yo. I've been watching this drama unfold the last few weeks. Originally we had been scheduled for a 6% hike, which was knocked down to less than 2%. That however would have caused catastrophic harm to various town programs apparently, so we are back with a final hike of 3%. 

I know this is one of the joys of home ownership, and we do have lower taxes in Bridgewater than some of the other towns nearby, likely because of the mall and large shopping centers. But with the real estate prices continuing to collapse in the area, unemployment still being so high, when is enough enough. I thought our tax rate hikes in NJ were to be capped by the legislation that was signed last year? This 3.03% raise clearly exceeds the limits in that legislation. What loopholes got written into the law that are being put to work here? Is this the same situation in every town? 

We are blessed to be able to afford it, but I'm sure there are others that might be having a tougher time. When will the day come that our elected officials and appointees exercise some restraint in their budgeting. Obviously it's an issue at the local, county, state, and federal levels. 

Sorry for the mild rant, I promise the next post will have more cute pictures of Jacqueline or something. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Last month we headed down south to visit with Tim, Lupita, and Patrick to help celebrate Tim's birthday. We attended a nice birthday party with great food and a Pinata for the kids. Jackie got to take a few whacks.

Beware of fat men stealing babies.

Tim got in on the fun, lucky for me the pinata did not survive long enough for them to make me try.

I don't like hats remember?

Admiral Jackie

I'm out of here

Jackie and Mom practicing football?

Drive By

Hey Cuz!

Jackie had a nice visit this past week with her cousin Stephen, and Aunt Jill and Uncle Steve. They were up visiting for the day on Friday, and Jackie was there to greet them, and say farewell on Saturday when they left Grandma and Grandpa's. She'll get to see him again later in the month when they stop by while Uncle Steve is taking a course in upstate New York for the week, fun times will be had I'm sure.

You're leaving so soon?
Don't worry Jacqueline, they'll be back soon enough.

Bye Bye for now

When we got home, Alison headed out to the grocery store, and Jackie was none too happy.

After a long weekend, it was time for bed.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shark Tank

We were watching the TV show "Shark Tank" the other day, and were totally fascinated by a new sippy cup developed by one of the couples appearing on the show. I believe they ended up getting a 50/50 funding deal from everyone's favorite billionaire psychotic basketball franchise owner Mark Cuban, and Robert Herjavec.

The cup was called lollacup, and it's got a weighted straw so the child drinking from it will be able to get all the liquid from the cup in an innovative and frankly obvious way. We thought it looked neat so we decided to get one, we ordered it from The price point is insane for this type of product, near 18 bucks, but the inventors were passionate about it being made in America, when one of the other investors wanted to ship it to China to save money. I admire that, and I'm sure if the product takes off the price will come down.

Jackie seems to like it too, she give it a big smile when it came out of the box. We cleaned it out and gave it to her, and low and behold she was able to drink the whole thing, where with her other straw cups, she can never get the last bit. For the price I'd have preferred the handle be a bit sturdier, but so far so good.