Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Irene - Day 4

OK, the blackout is starting to get old. I am not going to complain. I could be in VT waiting on an air drop of supplies. I could have damage to my house or cars. We could have it a lot worse. But I am ready to have power back. I called the NSTAR hotline last night. The good news was that I got a live operator. The bad news is that while they felt power could be back overnight, they still had to give worse case scenario of Saturday night.
At least the gym is now open. I never thought I would be so excited over those prison showers. A good workout definitely helps to improve the disposition. Poor Demi doesn't even have that right now. And I get to go to work and have power. But I need to have power back for the family.
Demi called at 2 PM to say the power was back on. She was not advertising it because the requests for XBOX would soon follow. She was in no rush for that. I can't blame her. But things are back to normal. Just in time for the first day of school.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene - Day 3

I was able to eke out one more quick, luke warm shower. I got up early but again, no answer at the gym. I attempted to go back to sleep for an hour. I still get up and into the office early. I know I still need to be home early to take advantage of the daylight hours.

We have cooked all the meat that we can. Demi definitely deserves a night off from cooking. Dinner out tonight for sure. We will still have to work around football practice of course. What? You think a little thing like no power is going to stop us from having football practice? Surely you jest. The kids will get a night off from showers though. Yep, they are going to stink. But fighting over cold showers is not in the plans. And since tomorrow is no longer the first day of school, we are fine issuing a reprieve.

Take out from Marshfield Famous. They just got power back and folks are on the same wavelength. That place is jamming when I get there.

After dinner is another quiet candlelit night. More reading and games. I have the Sox on the radio. It's kind of a throwback to an earlier time when folks sat around a radio at night. Family time. There is not enough of that generally speaking. People are just too busy running around. It's no wonder the family concept is taking a hit.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Post Irene

Day 2 of the blackout. No power in the AM. I call the gym and ofcourse get no answer. Back to bed for a bit. I take a quick shower and head to work. No work emergency calls, so I assume the office has power. I can't work here, that's for sure.

Parts of 139 seems to have power. Dunkin and Starbucks are packed.

Demi and the kids are cleaning up the yard. Yaya is over with the chainsaw.

I come home early to get ice for the fridge but Demi is already all over it. She cooks the chicken from the freezer. We are hoping the food does not spoil.

Sundown - the candles and flashlights are back. The family is reading on the couch until bed time. I make a crack about Pilgrim life. The kids dismiss it. I do like the quiet though and the family time.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene - Day One

10 AM - So far so good. Not a lot of rain. The wind is pretty steady, with some big gusts. Flashlights and candles are ready. We just made a big breakfast. The lights have flickered a couple of times. The boys are doing their homework in hopes of playing some XBox before we lose power. Where we live, and based on history, we will lose power. It's only a matter of time.

11:30 AM - Caz just got on XBox and as he predicted, the power went out. No power outage for Caz though. He's having a meltdown. He was sufficiently warned about doing his homework but it does not matter to him at the moment. Might was well start reading the Sunday paper.

12:45 PM - Coco sunk my battleship. This electronic version of Battleship is pretty cool. Coco won that battle but Dad wins the war. Game to the General. Caz appears to be done pouting and wants a shot at the title.

1:30 PM - I have moved the same large limb out of the street 3 times now. It's not light, but I can move it by myself. I moved it halfway up the front yard and it still got blown back into the street. Gizmo wants no part of going out but she does need to do her business.

2:15 PM - Clue the Harry Potter edition is going full bore.

3:00 PM - Lucious Malfoy did it, with the Vanishing Cabinet, in the Owlry.

5:05 PM - Thanking our lucky stars that we switched to a gas stove top during last year's renovations. Burgers on the indoor grill are great things right now.

7:15 PM - Candles and flashlights are out. My LL Bean shortwave radio is out. Sounds like the South Shore is getting hit pretty hard with power outages. No signs of NSTAR. Each of us has a good book going.

8:30 PM - We move upstairs with lights out for Coco, soon to follow.

10 PM - It's pretty quiet without all the white noise. At least we can crack the windows a bit to get some air moving. An early night is not a bad thing.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Waiting on Irene

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Diary - Day One

Irene should be hitting tomorow. It's time to batten down the hatches. The loose items in the yard need to be picked up. Lawn furniture needs to be stacked and tied down. The grill needs to be tied to the porch. The tomato plants need to be put in the shed. Mist changes to rain to downpour during all this. I take this time to sort 400 plus Duxbury Youth Football game shirts into 6 teams. Might as well, I have the time now.
We have bottled water, batteries, and bread. Milk is not a must have. I am thankful that we switched to a gas stove cooktop last year during the renovations. We have candles and board games. Cell phones, Kindles, and iPods are being charged to 100%. Cars are gased up.
The biggest thing was the garage. Demi thought there was no way we get one of the cars in it. We have all the new bathroom fixtures and items in there. We have all the game shirts I mentioned. And there was just random items in there since it was already crowded. I deem us as ready as we can be.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tough Times

Well, we certainly seem to be in one of those ruts with Caz. It's been tough the last few days. He's been very "woe is me" and argumentative. Nothing is "going his way." Demi and I are end of our wits. Patience is in thin supply.
It is very hard to tell what is typical teen (or pre-teen in this case) angst and what is ADD. That is probably the hardest thing for me. I do not think like Caz. And I have a hard time knowing what he's doing on purpose. Even the spontaneous outbursts of impropriety catch me off guard. In that split second of something fresh leaving his mouth and it registering with me, I can't just stop and think to myself "ok, he doesn't mean it and likely doesn't even know he's saying it."
Even when he seems rational, he likely isn't. He argues just to argue. The mistake then, is arguing back. I tell you though, at the end of a long work day and being mentally tired walking in the door? It's hard to not argue back. That is why this is all a work in progress still.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Date Night/Family Night

In the blink of an eye. That is how quickly things change in a family. Saturday night was supposed to be Date Night for Demi and me. But Saturday came and Demi felt guilty. She felt like the family hadn't been together, even though she had taken them to Espionage at Patriot Place the day before. True, I was working but she got some quality time with the boys. Later on Saturday, Caz "wasn't feeling well", didn't want to go out and proposed staying in for a family movie. I proposed dinner on the water in Plymouth. An annual event for fried seafood. Then a movie in the theater after. As we started that path, Caz got a call from a friend to sleep over. Family night quickly turned into an early dinner at the 99 and a drop off of our eldest son. Well, a movie at home with Coco right? Wrong. He ditched us for watching iCarly in the den. So Demi and I chose Due Date from OnDemand. Just like we wrote it up. For a movie review, it was pretty funny. Not great, but some good solid funny moments.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Training Camp 2011 - Day 2

Proud Dad Moment:
After the team split up for drills, the coaches convened during a water break. Coach Q and Coach Mortimer approached me to tell me that they had to move Caz back 7 yards further than anyone else for a one on one RB/Tackling drill (Oklahoma drill). He was getting up too quickly and no one could touch him before he was off to the races. Must get that from Demi......

Monday, August 8, 2011

Notes from Training Camp

Day one of preseason for Caz. New Coach. Same Drills. Same summer heat and humidity. We ran the kids pretty hard. Not Bear Bryant training camp hard, but they boys were certainly tired at the end. I think Caz slept pretty well. It's another new coaching staff for me to integrate into. The head coach expects hard work and discipline from the kids. He's loud but it's positive. He is a motivator. He speaks loudly to be heard, not to punish. He was very accepting of my offer to help. He had no issue asking me to run some drills on my own. All in all, a very good first day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Movie Review - Captain America

Coco and I went to see Captain America. This and the Green Lantern were two of the movies I really wanted to see this summer. I always like the underrated superheroes growing up. Sure, I was into Spiderman, Superman, and Batman. But the second tier guys, like the Flash, Green Lantern, and Captain America were very appealing to me. Especially Cap. It was probably a biproduct of growing up in the Cold War era.
I think this was the best superhero movie of the summer. I was very happy that the movie makers got it right and did Captain America justice. Simliar to X-Men: First Class, the historic setting worked well. You wonder how a period piece will play with kids. But I think Coco was just fine with the 1940's setting. He didn't even blink at eye at the lack of cellphones and iPods.
The action was great. The storyline was very well done. Chris Evans was just fine. Tommy Lee was his typical bad ass self. This is a 2011 must see film.
4 Chinnies out of 5

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Season Tix Nite @ the Blade

Uncle Lex had some tickets to a special night at Patriot training camp for season ticket holders. He kindly offered to take me and the boys. Seemed like a cool idea and the boys were fired up to go.
We kicked the night off right by hitting Dave's Diner first. Coco got his favorite, Eve of Destruction (chili cheese fries) to the fear of all. However, it was Caz's steak & cheese wrap that ended up doing the damage while we were stuck in Patriot traffic on Route 1 a mile out from the stadium. Windows down, captain!
There were a lot of people at this event. I think the turnout was far greater than expected. It was very cool though. We went to the far end of the stadium, knowing that they would flip the field for practice at some point. We ended up 5 rows up in the end zone when the Patriots changed directions and came down to our end. The boys got a kick out of seeing the Patriots, both old and new, up close. We got good looks at Ochocinquo, Haynesworth, Welker, Branch, Brady, Wolfork, and Mayo. Rookie QB Ryan Mallet looked good.
The Patriots were due to make rounds at the sides of the stadium for autographs after practice. The boys started to head down but came back. They were too tired to deal with it. The sides were mobbed. And it wasn't like they could pull the "I'm a kid" bit. There were other kids lining the field, all over the place. There were no adult to try and guilt. The boys were happy just to be there.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sorting It All Out

Well, things seem to be back to normal. Caz is home from a week away at camp. The whole family is back together.
The reunion got off to a bit of a rocky start. Coco was a bit tired from a week of baseball camp. Caz was over tired from a week of not sleeping well. The last night apparently there was almost no sleep at all. I am sure there was a lot of excitement being he last night of camp, but the boys were up way too late. He was a bit of bear for the entire weekend.
I am sure there was an adjustment for Caz, from being on his own for a week. I guess it is sort of like coming home from college and going back to your parents rules. So I need to restate that it was an adjustment for all of us. It was not a smooth one. But we lived through it. Back to a sense of normalcy.