Goodbye Graysville

Posted by – June 26, 2014

Well, after seven weeks working tornado response in the City of Graysville we are finally saying “Goodbye” and moving on.  There’s been a lot of progress made here since the April 28th tornadoes and soon you will be better than new.

I’ve worked with a great team here and the residents have been so friendly.  The only way I could have felt any more at home is if I had bought a house.  But that’s nothing new for the good people of Alabama.  I was here three years ago after the 2011 tornado super-outbreak (also in late April) and was treated very well then also. 

The folks here love to make and share cakes and other goodies.  I’m not much of a sweet eater but I’ve had plenty this visit.  In my defense, it’s considered offensive to refuse the love (goodies) someone prepares for you and I don’t want to offend anyone.  On the contrary, I have accepted any and all love.  And I have the added 10 pounds on me to prove it!

So Graysville, I just wanted to say thank you for your kindness, your support, and your southern hospitality.  It’s truly been a pleasure serving the people of Alabama again and I wish you all the best.

My Gas Buddy

Posted by – May 16, 2014

Gas BuddySave, save, save!  Coupons, Groupons, generic brands and discount sites. I’m always looking for ways to save my pennies no matter how small the savings.

A few months back I drove all over the state of Florida and when it was time to gas up, I wanted to find the cheapest available without going too far out of my way. At some point it occurred to me, there must be an app for that!   That’s when I found the Gas Buddy. 

You simply put in your zip code or just click the button to search near you and within seconds you have money-saving information at your fingertips.  It lists the stations, their address, price, distance, and when the information was last updated.  You can view the list by price or distance or you can view a map of area stations.  It’s very easy to use, so far seems to be accurate, and (best of all) it’s FREE.

The first time I used it I found a local station selling regular fuel for 25 cents less per gallon than any other station in the area.  Today I used it to find a station just 2 miles away selling regular for 28 cents less per gallon.  Score!

With summer vacation time just around the corner you may want to check out the Gas Buddy too.  Sure it won’t make you rich but if you’re anything like me, every penny counts and they add up quickly.


Posted by – October 2, 2013

Breast Cancer doesn’t discriminate.  It doesn’t care what color you are, where you come from, what your religious beliefs are, how old you are, or how much money you have.  And while it is most associated with women, men can be stricken with breast cancer as well.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.  A time when organizations come together in an effort to increase awareness of the disease by providing information and easier access to screenings, as well as, raising funds for ongoing research in the prevention and treatment.

Early detection makes a difference in the care and treatment you receive.  It also means a much better chance of survival.  Perform self exams.  Know your body.  Learn the signs and symptoms.  If something just doesn’t feel right, get to a physician and don’t let that physician dismiss your concern until tests have been done to support his/her opinion that you are well.

Get involved.  Get educated. Get squeezin!


Google Yourself

Posted by – September 25, 2013

Have you ever thought about how much of your personal information is out there on the web?  You may be surprised.  Your county property appraiser, your Facebook page, local law enforcement sites, people-finder sites… there are numerous resources on the internet willing to share YOUR information for a small fee or even free.

For as little as $1 someone can get your basic information and for not much more they can get everything from your social security number to your financial and criminal history.  Frightening isn’t it?  I searched for myself out of curiosity and found my name, address, previous addresses, phone number, age, names of relatives, past position, employer, and my mother’s Facebook picture.  (That was just on the first search page.)  I am very careful with my personal information so I must admit I was a bit shocked.  Fortunately, there are some sites that allow you to remove your information so I do.  Unfortunately, there are many that don’t.

I understand that some of you may put your information out there for business or employment opportunities but I’m always surprised at how quickly folks will put their personal information online without thinking.  Social networking pages are a wealth of information as well as your “smart” devices.  The more information you share, the more “at risk” you are.  Have you made yourself a target for identity theft, scam artists, and stalkers? Have you Googled yourself lately?  I just like to say Google but any search site will do.  The important thing is to research yourself, know what information is out there, take control of what you can, and minimize your risk.


Remembering 911

Posted by – September 11, 2013

Deja View

Posted by – February 18, 2013

(The Preface)
Last time I was in New York I had the opportunity to play tourist in the city twice. Both times only for a few hours and both times very quickly. It was bitter cold and my energy level was very low but I had no idea how many of these opportunities I would get so I tried to see as much as I could.

The first day I took the Staten Island Ferry over and walked around lower Manhattan. I checked out Wall Street, Battery Park, the 911 Memorial, and took a cruise up the Hudson River that included a look at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Those two sights were (and still are) closed due to damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

The second day I met up with a good friend of mine at a train station in New Jersey. There we hopped a train to Penn Station and walked around Midtown Manhattan. Our goal for the day was to go up in the Empire State Building so that was one of our first stops. We went up to both the 96th floor observation deck and the 102nd floor lookout. There’s not much you can’t see from that height. After a quick lunch we checked out Rockefeller Center, Macy’s Christmas windows, Bryant Park, and numerous other sites in Time Square.

This sort of “drive by” sightseeing was good enough for me at the time because I thought it was my only opportunity. But now I’m back! I’m feeling good and I’m hoping to make the best of my days off. That includes revisiting those places I sped through on the last visit. And hopefully an up close and personal look at the lady.

Return to the Big Apple

Posted by – February 2, 2013

Birthdays are always a reminder that I am getter older and that another year of my life has passed me by. It is for that reason I don’t usually pay much attention to or care to celebrate my birthdays. A casual dinner with a family member or two and a few beers with friends and/or family suits me just fine.

This year however I looked forward to celebrating in a big way with whoever wanted to celebrate with me. I would make it a “Happy to be alive” birthday celebration. Instead, duty called and I ended up on a 6am flight back to New York that day. What is the saying? “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”? So true. And yes, initially I was unhappy that my Big Birthday plans had gone awry but this IS the job I signed up for. So I decided instead to think of it this way….

My employer gave me an all-expenses paid trip to the Big Apple for my birthday. And, while I’m here I get to help out the folks trying to recover from SuperStorm Sandy. Sweet!

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