Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A Dream has come true

I have a sister Terri, who is one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet and give you the shirt off her back to help someone. Most of her life she had worked as a waitress in the restaurant business. She met her husband Nick when they both used to work at a local restaurant here in town called Ali Baba's.

Times changed and both of them were given more lucrative careers in the Vocational Rehabilitation profession here in West Virginia. It was a good job and a good living, but both of them had a dream of someday opening up their own restaurant. Years went by and one thing led to another and that dream seemed to sit on the back burner. Until about a year or so ago when the Vocational Rehab market dried up for lack of a better word and they were both put out of a job.

Since that time, Terri went to work at a restaurant/bar on the Grafton road, but I don't think she ever felt completely comfortable there. Nick was working 16-18 hour days installing satellite dishes in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

One of Terri's oldest and dearest friend, Tyler, took Terri on a drive to this restaurant/bar on Rt. 73 in Fairmont. Tyler introduced Terri to the owner and she was explaining that she was wanting to get out of the buisness and made an offer to Terri that I guess was pretty sweet.

Terri went home and talked to Nick and he also liked the idea. Over the past few weeks they scrambled to get financing to buy the buisness and have managed to do so.

So, as of Tomorrow, December 1, 2004. My sister Terri and her husband Nick are the proud owners of the Country Inn on Rt 73 in Fairmont. This is a golden opportunity for both of them and a dream come true.

Needless to say, I am one very proud brother.

Long weekend over

My first four day weekend since Christmas is over with and it was back to work yesterday. I was, and still am a little under the weather so let's just say that I wasn't overly excited about getting back to work.

I did manage to get some of my grandfather's music converted from from a Real Audio Format to a .wav and .mp3. I did a little windows media file of his music with some old family pictures, but then realized I have more pictures of him that would have been more appropriate for the music. I'll try to re-do and publish that when I'm feeling a little bit better.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanksgiving

Wow, what a day. As usual, Terri cooked a feast fit for the finest of kings. She and Nick are just naturals at hosting people, maybe in the next few days these two are going to have a little Surprise Announcement, but more on that later.

I do have to wish my Neice Val and very happy 21st birthday today. Hey, you're finally legal!! Happy Birthday Birthday girl.


Of course after we stuffed ourself for the Thanksgiving feast, we managed to make it to Suburban Lanes for our traditional Thanksgiving Night bowling festivities. I can't remember the first time that we did all managed to go bowling together, but I also can't remember the last year we didn't go.

Overall, it was a great day. I did manage to get a few pictures of everyone I hope, here's just a few samples, go to my picture page by clicking the word Thanksgiving to see the rest.














Monday, November 22, 2004

Family Portraits

Hey everyone, just a little reminder to anyone who is reading this and will be attending Thanksgiving dinner at Terri's. I'm wanting to do a series of family portraits of everyone to host on my website.

Pictures are a piece of time that we can capture and have forever. When we fail to capture an image, we lose it forever. The very few images that we do manage to capture will be keepsakes that someday will be a pleasant reminder of days passed.

I'll try to make CD's for anyone who should happen to want a printable copy of any and all the images. The pictures I take are at 5.0 megapixel and if you want prints, you can have them blown up to 20"x30" and not lose any resolution on the pictures (no pixelating). The one's I host on the site are cut down in size and resolution considerably to be able to load fairly quickly.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Weekend Tidbits

Yet another weekend has came and passed me by. It was a nice relaxing one that saw a rainy weekend for the most part. One with the tidbits.

* The Morgantown High Mohigans ran their record to 12-0 and advanced to the State Semi-finals against Riverside with a 45-14 ripping of Nitro. The Mohigans are 2 wins away from their third undefeated State Championship in five years.

* Saturday, my brother in law Nick's sister got remarried in Pittsburgh. I wish her and her new husband John the best.



* Sunday saw my beloved Steelers not play so well, but they still managed to get a 19-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals to run their record to 9-1 on the season.

* WVU was off this weekend, but are still ranked 20th in the USA Today/Coaches Poll . We are scheduled to play the University of Pittsburgh Thanksgiving night.

* WVU also kicked off basketball season with an 82-70 win over Saint Peter's saturday night.

* In football, MHS, WVU and the Steelers are a combined 29-3 on the season. I can't remember the last time the three of them combined for that type of a winning percentage.

* There is a very good chance another family member will realize a lifetime dream on my birthday this year. Not going to jinx it and won't say anything until it happens, so you'll just have to stay tuned to see if the someone's dream becomes reality.

* Jean and Rich had to go to Florida this weekend, I guess Rich's dad has had some health problems that need their attention. I hope things work out ok for them.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Morgantown High Alumni site

Mark recently updated his Morgantown High Alumni site and eliminated his own forums where I think only him and myself were the only ones posting and tied his site into a more active forum for Mohigan Alumni.

He did a great job with his site for the class of '84. Mark is truly the master of MySQL databases. For those of you who don't know, Mark also put in numerous hours putting together the WVU Men's Basketball Database that is one of a kind. He's also managed to do one for Women's Basketball and my begging and pleading long enough he has managed to do a WVU Football database that he is just getting started. He's also been known to be a clutch softball player when he's not in front of a computer.

The Alumni site is starting to look like it could be something very special and a very valuable resource for finding and keeping up with Alumni from Morgantown High. It would be nice if someday all classes could have a way of finding each other.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Survivor Night again

Once again it is my favorite night of the television week.

It's the week following Sarge getting voted out, and it seems like Chad and Chris both committed what I would call survivor suicide last week in their voting by turning against the men that they are and voted Sarge out last week. Even though the women already had the numbers, this could very well have been a fatal mistake.

The Rewards challenge had the remaining 8 survivors split up into two tribes of four to compete in the obstacle course. Eliza, Chad, Chris and Ami won the very unique obstacle course to win the reward challenge and a chance to get away from camp for a while.

For the immunity challenge, it was a battle of strength and balance in who could climb a pole and grip on for dear life the longest. It came down to Chad and Twila as the last two holding onto that pole. In the end Twila managed to win the battle of wills to win the oh so coveted necklace of immunity.

This brings yet once again the question of will the women continue to stick together and continue to pick the men off one by one, or will some of the women not targeted for the womens final four break ranks and side up with the men and vote one of the leaders of the womens tribe out. When it all came down to voting, my personal favorite Chad Crittenden became the second member of the jury when the women continued to hold on to their strong alliance.

The final male Chris Daugherty will most likely be voted out next week leading to an all woman final six.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The weekend

It was another good weekend for me, so I guess I'm a little bit lucky in that respect.

Friday Night started out with Morgantown High attempting to win another state Championship. The Top ranked Mohigans beat Cabel Midland 49-7 to advance to the state quarterfinals next Friday night.

Saturday was a big disappointment as the Mountaineers showed the nation how NOT to play special teams by getting embarrassed by Boston College 36-17. A win would have locked WVU into a BCS bowl. We can still win a share of the league title by beating Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving.

Sunday brought about the Pittsburgh Steelers successfully running their record to a league best 8-1 with a 24-10 thrashing of the Cleveland Browns.

My favorite teams gave managed to extend their records to a combined 27-3 on the year for me.

On a personal note not much went on for me this weekend. I did manage to stop by and visit my sister Terri this morning. It's always a pleasure to stop by for a little BS session with her.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Survivor Night!!!!

OK, last week was the merger so it's Game On this week. The battle lines have been drawn and they have been drawn by gender. Ironically if you would go back to week one of the show when they first landed on the island, the locals basically treated the men like gods. Right now it looks like the women are going to pick the men off one by one.

In the rewards challenge, it was a challenge of the minds on Vanuatu culture. Leann Slaby was the last one standing after the battle of wits. Of course Jeff would never make her go enjoy the reward alone so selected Julie Berry to go with her on her reward of a nice little helicopter ride around the island and a nice lunch on top of a dormant volcano.

Back on the island, Eliza feels like she was slighted by her fellow women because she was the first woman knocked out of the rewards challenge. Of course the men picked up on this, but I don't know if they will be able to exploit it.

On the reward challenge, the survivors has to assemble a puzzle. On the first round, all five women got the puzzle correct and all three men got the puzzle wrong. When it was all said and done with a few more rounds of puzzles to assemble, only Ami Cusack was left standing and had acquired immunity. With Ami winning immunity, that left all three men susceptible to being eliminated.

At this point of the game, I think the women think that Sarge is the strongest player and the biggest physical threat to them and their gameplan. Tonight, the person voted out will become the first member of the jury that they will need to get a popular vote from to win the Million Dollars. When the votes were counted Lea "Sarge" Masters was voted out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hump Day

Woo Hoo, we are over the hump and now looking for the weekend. Not too much to say tonight (believe it or not), but WVU is up for a big game this weekend against Boston College. A win could guarantee a BCS bowl game and a big pay day.

A win could either give us a chance to play in the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl




or it could mean a game in the Nokia Sugar Bowl



Either way it plays out, a win will create a lot of excitement here in town.

Stay Tuned...

Monday, November 08, 2004

Monday's tidbits

* It was a nice little weekend, I managed to get some Christmas 1998 pictures scanned and made a Media file of it.

* Morgantown High was off this week before the playoffs, but now go into the playoffs ranked #1 at 10-0.

* West Virginia University beat Temple this weekend 42-21. Kay Jay Harris scored four touchdowns as WVU ran it's recored to 8-1

* We are currently rnaked #10 in the Coaches poll and 13th in the AP Poll.

* A win Saturday against Boston College locks us into a BCS Bowl Game

* The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the last of the unbeatens this weekend. The beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-3 to run their record to 7-1 on the season.

* The combination of my HS alma Mater, College Alma Mater and favorite NFL team have a combined current record of 25-2 for the season. Talk about a good year.

* I came up with the idea of maybe doing family portraits this year for everyone next time we all get together. I think it would be a nice addition to the website.

* After reading Kim's Journal this morning, I noticed a little statement by her that she wasn't there for Dad's last Christmas. I know for a fact she was there, she just arrived later. I was showing Ed where to park the moment Jane walked back into my life, and that was that Magical Christmas of 1998. Unfortunately though, after she showed up I got sidetracked in my picture taking and never really got a chance to showcase the 50+ people who enjoyed Christmas eve there that year. I just hope my memory doesn't fade when I reach her age. =)

* George is starting the second floor of his addition. They have done a great job on it and are now starting to show some real progress.

* On personal note, there has been a few inquiries about my Resume as of late, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

* I bought the Shrek 2 DVD this weekend. I confess, I'm a big kid.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

I'll Be Home For Christmas

This is my next attempt at a movies file, my first one that I did was Wonderful World and I think I like how it turned out. I hope everyone liked it because it was fun to do.

This weekend thanks to my neice Valerie I managed to get a hold of some pictures from the Hall Family Christmas in 1998. Our traditional family Christmas's had changed over the years and we all wanted to have another one like we all remembered. Dad really wasn't up for it at first, because he had his almost traditional "I Have to Work" line ready to go. Seems like every major holiday he used this line and really didn't want to take part of it.

That year was Magic, because none of us listened to him that year and decided to have one of our long lost Christmas's at his house anyways. He wasn't initailly responsive to the idea and it had me worried, but in the last day leading up to our Christmas Eve he managed to get involved and took the night of Christmas Eve off. That morning I knew it would be a magical day.

In our family, Christmas Day is usually a day spent with the individual family unit, but Christmas Eve was when everyone gathered together and is the time that everyone seems to remember the best.

1998 was a magical Christmas eve for many of us in many ways. We did not know it then, but this one Christmas Eve that we basically tricked him into having, was his last. He passed away some seven months later but had did not start having health problems until a couple months after that night.

So, in its world internet debut after Mom gave me the idea to do it, here is I'll Be Home for Christmas.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Survivor Night

Woo Hoo, my one weekly show that I actually look foreward to is on tonight. I've missed two of the past three weeks, but I'm up for watchig my second week in a row and hopefully start getting back into the full swing of Survivor 9.

Lopevi won the reward challenge of the chocolate cake, cookies and ice cold milk. Talk about something that would be real reward after being out there a few weeks.

The Big surprise of the night came when Jeff told them to drop thier Buffs and that we are now at the merge. It's no longer tribal immunity, but it is now individual immunity.

Individual immunity challenge was broken down into first two heats of five survivors with Sarge and Eliza winning the first heat. In the second heat Ami and Rory advanced to the finals. Sarge was the first survivor to manage to win individual immunity.

Of course, now that we are at the merge, my personal favorite is STILL Chad. He has managed to make it to the merge. The new merged tribe name is Alinta, which was a local word for fire maker.



The first Tribal council after the immunity means appears to be a power struggle between the men and the women, the women had the numbers 6 to 4 going into tonights tribal council.

The survivor voted off was Rory Freeman and it appears that the women have a very strong alliance, Ami gathered the first four votes and appeared to be gone until the next six ballots said Rory.

Game On.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

SHIT!!!!

Oh well, I go that off my chest. I really thought Kerry was going to win, boy was I surprised.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I vote today

Today is election day in the United States. The incumbent President George W. Bush is going against challenger John F. Kerry, and it should be a very close race. I've avoided posting who I was voting for until today.

On September 11, 2001 this nation came under attack. Terrorists Hijacked four planes and ran two into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and one crashed in PA. The action was united, and our President vowed to get those responsible for the attacks.

I did not directly know any of the victims, however one of my best childhood friends lost his wife that day in the Pentagon. Shelly Marshall was someone I never had the opportunity to meet, because Don Eric and my lives had taken different paths and we lost contact through the years. As children, we all ran around in the same small group of friends, and up until we graduated High School we ate lunch together every day.

I was shocked when our nation was attacked, but stunned to find out that Don's wife was a victom of the attack. Her killer must be brought to justice.

Here we are 3+ years later and Osama Bin Laden is still running around. From a Conservative Democrat who in five Presidential elections has NEVER voted for a Democrat for President, today in memory of Don's wife and every other victom of 9-11, I'm voting against the man who failed to bring their killer to Justice. George W. Bush, you lost my faith and my support. I'm voting for John Kerry.

This is Shelly Marshall's memorial tree that I drive past every day.