Category: Events

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.


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!


Remembering 911

Posted by – September 11, 2013

Sandy Relief

Posted by – November 25, 2012

The outpouring of generosity here has been phenomenal!  There are always people and organizations that come out to help in a disaster and, in major disasters, corporations and celebrities get added to the mix.  This is the first time I’ve seen SO MANY individuals come to lend a hand.  People have come from all over to donate items and volunteer their time to help out.  They’ve helped to handout meals, pack & distribute needed items, and help survivors with cleaning out their property.  Volunteer distribution sites popped up all over so survivors didn’t have to look far for needed supplies.

I decided to visit a few local places working for the cause.  This is only two of the many out here but I wanted to share what they’re doing:  The Mount Loretto Hurricane Relief Center at 6581 Hylan Boulevard (building #7) in Staten Island is a volunteer-run distribution center that has collected truckloads of items from corporations, celebrities, and individuals  and will not only distribute to folks that come to the warehouse but also pack up needed items and deliver them to other locations.  I got the grand tour of the place from the guy who’s taken the lead on this project.  He gave me the 411 on how it got started, how they process requests, and the record-keeping they put in place to inventory and track everything.  It is quite an impressive operation.

Possibili Tees , also at Mount Loretto (in building #20), is a little custom t-shirt shop that provides employment and job skills training to young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disorders.  They have designed two disaster related t-shirts (see pics above) and are selling those at $10 a piece with the proceeds going to the disaster relief fund.  (You know I had to get me one!)

Kudos to all of the individuals, businesses, and organizations assisting the Sandy survivors including:  the Red Cross, United Way, Catholic Charities, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Samaritan’s Purse, Team Rubicon, FEMA Reservists, Google, Verizon, Anheuser-Bush, Jet Blue, Tide, Walgreens, Labella’s Restaurant, Arena Restaurant, Drunken Monkey Bar, Shoprite, Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Project Hospitality, Kiwanis Club, Rick’s Café, Ariana’s Grand & The Loft at Ariana’s Grand, and Rebuild Staten Island Foundation.

SuperStorm Sandy

Posted by – November 21, 2012

On October 22nd, Tropical Storm Sandy formed in the Caribbean and meteorologists began warning that Sandy would combine with a strong nor’easter and produce a storm of the century.  The Weather Channel initially dubbed it “Frankenstorm” but it later became “SuperStorm” Sandy.  On the night of October 29th, it slammed into the northeast coast near Atlantic City, New Jersey leaving catastrophic damage in its wake.  As one survivor put it “Sandy kicked our asses”.

In the days leading up to the storm authorities warned millions to expect power outages at some point during Sandy and many would likely not have power restored for days, if not weeks.  High winds, heavy rains, storm surge, flash flooding, and heavy snow were expected with this monster that caused impact states from Florida to Maine to prepare for the worst.    Utility trucks were staged, evacuation orders were issued, power was shut off in anticipation of the surge, and the President issued emergency declarations to provide direct federal assistance to the states of CT, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, RI, DE, and the District of Columbia.

There was a lot of talk before this storm about media hype but everything happened exactly the way forecasters and authorities warned.  Sandy was a multiple day event and, in the aftermath, 8.2 million people were without power, thousands were in shelters, hundreds of homes were destroyed, thousands more damaged, and near 100 people lost their lives in the US  alone.  The road to recovery will be long but hopefully the folks here, with the thousands that came to help, will stay strong and come back better than before.

Hug a Friend

Posted by – April 26, 2012

Did you know that hugging is good for your health?  Research shows hugging is actually beneficial physically, psychologically, and socially.  Among the benefits: it can help reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of heart disease, and build the immune system.

I come from a family of huggers.  My neighbors are huggers.  My coworkers… huggers.  I’m surrounded!  And I love it.  I get all the hugs I can get and I get em coming and going.  It makes me feel loved and appreciated and allows me to convey those things to the people I care about.

Today is HUG A FRIEND DAY.  If you’re not normally a hugger, make today the day to show your friends some love and appreciation.  It’s healthy and it’s free so come on…. get huggin!


Posted by – November 5, 2011

Like it or not, it’s that time again.

Tonight’s the night to change the clocks BACK one hour for the winter months.  I personally would appreciate it if we could leave the clocks alone but the good news is, for this one night, we gain an hour.

For all of you Saturday night revelers, you get an extra hour to party.  I will (hopefully) be enjoying an extra hour of much needed rest.  Enjoy!

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