Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

A rocket launch seemed like a regular event when I was boy and there seemed to be one every few months or so. To me, the space program wasn't life shaping, I didn't have model rockets nor did I want to be an astronaut. Rockets and Astronauts were just sort of there. Like furniture.

Apollo 11 was different.

I was I was 11 years old on the day men landed and walked on the moon and I was home with my family for the day. It was a strange day since my father had invited an old friend and his family over - people I had never met before. I seem to recall the family had a boy older than I and a girl but honestly I'm not sure. There was something about an injury too, maybe my fathers friend or my father had a lawnmower accident before the visit? It's all very murky.

I remember we watched the event in the un air conditioned living room on the "big" Magnavox console TV and I was in pajamas. We never watched anything there which makes it memorable. In exactly 7 years I …

Deli number ticket scalping

I was arrested today for scalping low numbers at the deli. Sold number 3 for 28 bucks. 
-- Steven Wright

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I post my #delinumber every Saturday. Why do you do this you ask? Good question. I learned long ago that if you repeat anything long enough, it becomes a "thing".

So this is my thing. Sometimes I wish I would have started earlier on my "thing" so I could have had a better "thing" like making diagrams on index cards or comics about math but I procrastinated and am stuck with weekly photos of my fat little thumb, dirty thumbnail  and "C 24" every week.

This week I found myself at a market I don't usually shop in due to some errands I had to run. If my home market is the Wegmans on Centerton road then this was an "away game" if you will. I hate Away games.

I tend to think of a market like a song. If it's a song you know, then it tends to be familiar like an old friend. You know the word…

Shen Yun

The Chancellor's sister has been having a tough time of things (which I'll not go into detail here) and wanted to get out for a night. She wanted to go to Shen Yun, a "program of music and dances inspired by China's five thousand years of civilization" and so The Chancellor, Captain Rick, his 1st  mate and I took her to the Philly show at the Merriam..

It was - well - very different.

Shen Yun of course is the Chinese expression that is roughly translated as "TV advertising from October to March without stop on every channel" and is a program of about 20 dance and song numbers with colorful costumes, a full orchestra of both Western and Chinese instruments and a patented computer generated backdrop that the dancers interact with.

It's really quite clever and beautiful.

The dances have gymnastic aerials and flips with spins and this crazy unique quick-step-shuffle that makes the ladies in long flowing skirts appear as if they were slid by a higher po…

A Short History of Birchfield: Part 1 The Farmers

A Short History of Birchfield Birchfield is one of  the first Planned Unit Developments in New Jersey and is located in Mount Laurel. The first homes in the development were sold by the builder J.S. Hovnanian in 1973 and today Birchfield remains an active and vibrant community of 861 Condominiums, Town Homes and Single Family Homes.

In a several part series, I will reveal the history of this development using genealogy records available through the Mount Laurel Public Library, Newspaper records, Burlington County public land records and documents available in the New Jersey State archives. Surprise! It was a farm Like many post-war American suburban developments, the 200 acres we would come to know as Birchfield began as collection of adjacent farms. Being in West Jersey, these farms had largely Quaker roots. In the 17th century these Society of Friends farmers had departed from all over England in search of religious freedom and good farmland in America.  Francis Dudley was one of …

Italy 2018 - Part 2 - La Famiglia

This is Part 2 and you might want to skim part 1 first.

When we tell people we are going to Italy - yes, again - they almost always ask if we have family there, and we do though that's not always been the case. In fact, we've only known the Chancellor's Italiano famiglia a few short years but we've grown very close in that short amount of time.

The Chancellor's maternal grandfather and grandmother passed before even her oldest sister was born and therefore she and her siblings never knew them. Their mother knew she had aunts, uncles and cousins "in America" and would occasionally search for the family name on trips and such but she never found them. The grandparents you see, were the last connection to family in Italy and when he and the grandmother passed , any knowledge of them faded as the years passed.

Then in 2013 the Chancellor received a random email from a woman from Toronto. Did her mother have a maiden name of X, did you have an Aunt named Y, et…

Italy 2018 - Part 1 - Introduction and Arrival

The passports are once again secured in their lock box, my Tuscan suntan is fading and we are all back at work so I guess our seemingly never-ending tour across Italy is now over.

All we have now are several thousand pictures, a bag full of receipts and the memories. Oh and bills. The bills are still rolling in.

We traveled with the Chancellors Sister and her husband Cap't Rick, otherwise known as the "core" group. You may recall that Cap't Rick and the Chancellor's sister own the S/V Kukaro in the Chesapeake Bay.

The trip was to broken into four legs and we'd be meeting up with my brother and wife for the last leg. We would travel by car and yes, I checked my license expiration.
We'd be hitting: Four days in Campli in Teramo, Abruzzo where the Chancellor and her sister have Famiglia. Back to Rome for four days so the Sister and Cap't Rick can do the Cesar shuffle through the typical Roman sites and that I just like Rome. Or more properly, past tense: …

Off to Italy

Well, today is the day that has been circled on the calendar for along time: oggi andiamo in Italia (today we travel to Italy).

The Chancellor and I  are traveling with her sister and her husband, who recently retired. It's a long trip: Eighteen days. Even longer away from work: 23 days

We headed to Campli in Teramo which is in the Abruzzo region to visit with family at the annual Pork Festival, then to Rome for Sister and husband to do the Roman Shuffle (Vaticano, Coliseum, Trevi Fountain etc), off to Lake Garda and Sirmione, then we meet my brother for a week in Lucca, Tuscany and finally a night in Roma before heading home. 

It seems like a long trip but really it's only two more days then the last trip in 2014.