Sunday, April 29, 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at <span class=Photobucket" border="0">Outside my building at work, directly outside the window in my shared cube, is a 20 story high tower crane. It was put in place last week for the construction of a new building of condos across from city hall. I have no idea how they put it up since it wasn't there on Friday and then suddenly was on Monday.

Watching it has just been fascinating.

Productivity in every office building facing the crane had to be near zero as it was just amazing to watch them get the crane ready for operation. About 5 men climbed ladders inside the tower structure to reach the cab at the top. That would have taken me all day just from the physical work that it took to get that high, let alone from the fear of falling off the thing and crashing below.

Everyone in our office was mesmerized watch these daredevils climb out on the crane and rig it for operation. Men just love this stuff. I have no idea how cranes operate and neither does anyone I work with but there we were, eyes glued to the windows, talking with great authority about what they were doing.

I was scared just watching. My palms were sweating as one man worked his way out on to the boom to rig it with nothing below him but air.

Good luck getting anything done in Center City for the next few months as they build the actual building. All the men will be stuck to their windows, watching.

Full pictures here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

From God's view, I look like a lightbulb.

My head looks like a light bulbSee it?


It's hard to remember after today's beautiful 80 degree weather that just a week ago we got slammed with 6 inches of rain.

We have had previous water issues and we did have an issue with the "other"pump this time, yes we have two sump pumps in the house. Jersey. Flat. High water table. Enough said.

Mrs F got up in the middle of the night because one of the dogs cowardly refused to go out in the torrential downpour to pee on the early hours of Monday morning.

She woke me up at 3 saying something about water in the crawlspace. I was half asleep and half dressed as I stumbled into the dark, dank, musty place where I heard the pump running continuously.

I spent about an hour repairing a clamp that had rusted through and decided tonight was the night to finally snap. Why is always pumps?

Anyway we are getting the back regraded so that water will run away from the house rather than down and into the pit beside the house.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sea Diamond

On Thursday I was checking out my favorite news web sites and came across an article about a cruise ship being evacuated off Santorini, Greece. At first I thought it was interesting since in last July, we had just taken a cruise through the Greek islands, including Santorini.

Then I saw the name of the ship: Sea Diamond.

This was our ship! They were evacuating the same ship we were on last July.

On Friday morning it sank. The cruise ship that we were on last July, sank.

It sank. Gone.

And two people are missing.

If you have ever been on something that big you find it impossible that it could ever sink like that so quickly. It only took 15 hours for the ship to sink.

I kept thinking that our friends and both sets of kids were on the lowest deck forward and so I can only imagine that those cabins were flooded almost immediately. One of the kids said "We are down here like the Irish" refering to Titanic.

That's ironic now.

I can't believe that the ship that we knew so well for 4 days last July is completely under water .

Santorini is a magical place built on the rim of a volcano and the ship pulls in about 3 PM every Thursday as part of the 4 day cruise. It seems that this time they hit some rocks that are part of the volcano caldera. The rest of the caldera is very deep and there is only one anchorage, which the Sea Diamond usually gets because it is usually the first ship to get to Santorini and Sea Diamond is the largest of the cruise ships that come in on Thursdays.

I hope that they find the missing and that they got safely to land.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Brazilan Junior Team

This is youngest son's last year on the local travel soccer team. The local soccer club doesn't have the next level of teams so we are trying to enjoy the last of watching our son play on this team.

He has been on the same team since leaving "rec" or recreational level soccer. Last year they played well against the competition at that level and so the coach decided this year to move them up. This happens every once in awhile. The coach moves them up and they get creamed at the next level until they grow a bit and get going at the style of the next level. We expected the teams at this level seem to playing at a much higher level then the teams we are used to but today's team was just ridiculous.

The team had a distinctive Hispanic flavor to it and our team's parents on the side lines sort picked on this when the kids were all signalling to each other Spanish.


There was one red headed kid, an oriental looking kid and 9 Hispanic looking and sounding kids. The were big, fast and kicked our kids butts. The Oriental looking kid this move where I thought he was from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

I thought he was on wires. He jumped up the air and his legs moved like was on bicycle and he kicked the ball like 3/4 of the way down the field.

The one highlight we had was when one of kids stole ball from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and he looked just stunned. The rest of the his team razzed him.

Final score 5-0.

The funny part was that when you looked at the parents of the other team on the sidelines, none of them were Hispanic. They were all Anglos.