27 November 2009

Big River

Waiting for a boat to Disney's Hollywood Studios can be fun.

Black Friday Swim Practice

6:45am swim practice at Rollins College.

26 November 2009

Alaskan Amber

As a reward for getting my turkey in the oven, I am having an Alaskan
Amber. Thanks, Suegros.

Sticky Buns

I wasn't kidding yesterday when I promised sticky buns. They just
came out of the oven as the sausage, corn bread and chestnut dressing
went in.

Happy Thanksgiving!

25 November 2009

Dessert is Ready

A long day in the kitchen will pay off tomorrow with more time for
football. Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Relish are in the fridge
already. Whipped cream was just made from scratch and I am calling it
a day.

Preparations are Underway

If you are not going to be at the Kennedy house for Thanksgiving, you
may want stop reading now. Sticky buns are made and ready to go in
the oven in the morning. First pie is out of the oven, and it is
pictured here. Sweet potatoes are nearly done and will get finished
in the oven tomorrow with a marshmallow and pecan topping. Happy

22 November 2009

Chillin' at Starbucks

Sunday evening relaxing at the local Starbucks. The Kennedy's
monopolized all four comfy chairs for an extended period of time.
Mickey had a Strawberry Creme Frappucino. Shannon had a Decaf
Peppermint Mocha Latte. Ana and I shared a French Press pot. We
picked up some more ground coffee (Ethiopia Sidamo) and we all shared
a cookie. We downloaded some free music and they were already playing
Christmas music. Visit your local Starbucks today and chillax.

20 November 2009

Work, Work, Work

Having to run to Ormond Beach to meet with customers to spec a job isn't the same as surfing, but seeing some surfers will have to do.

17 November 2009

Pei Wei

I had no idea that Pei Wei was not ubiquitous, but nobody that I talk
to has been there. Consider it PF Chang's Express, and find the one
nearest you.

15 November 2009


Family, Liter Blue Moon, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Hot and lots of TVs
with the NFL. What are you doing right now?

Ein, Zwei, Drei...

Sunday's entrance led by Matt Curby (pink drag suit, future Olympian,
Top 5 in the US in backstroke). The cheer at the end, "Ein, zwei,
drei, Hasselhoff"

Patriot Aquatics Winter Invitational, Day 2

Day 2 always brings back the faithful. A lot of swim families only ever sign up for one day of a meet. Of course, we believe if something is worth doing, it's worth doing right. It is also another NFL Sunday which means, of course, that I will be relying heavily on my iPhone and DirecTV SuperCast via NFL SuperFan. I will not miss a score.

Shannon started with a relay again. This time it was the 200 Medley and she took the 50 Breast in 33.8 by my stopwatch.

Shannon, 200 Free 2:09.32

Mickey, 200 Free 2:24.76

Shannon, 100 Back 1:10.50

Mickey, 100 Back 1:21.59

Shannon, 200 Breast 2:43.44

Mickey, 50 Breast 45.25

Shannon, 50 Free 26.98

Mickey, 50 Free 29.90

What a great weekend. The kids had a great time and had great times. They are in the home stretch for the big meet in Gainesville in December.

We closed the night out with a visit to WingHouse. We got home in time to do a couple loads of laundry, homework, music practice and get ready for the week ahead.

As I post this, Sunday Night Football is in the fourth and Randy Moss has just caught another TD to put the Patriots up 31-14. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Blue Dolfins March

Patriot Aquatics Winter Invitational, Day 1

We find ourselves spending the weekend at Lake Brantley for another
swim meet. This week we celebrated Coach Joe Auer's birthday and he
asked the team to get excited and make this a team meet. The gauntlet
was dropped for body painting, posters and noise making. Wouldn't you
know it, Shannon and Mickey take the lead and get put in charge.

After practice on Thursday, we had birthday cake and presents, but
then all the kids were painting posters and decorating crowns that Ana
got from Burger King. Needless to say, poster paint and glitter got
all over everything and everyone (sorry about the clean up, City of
Oviedo.) Friday, we went in search of cow bells and balloons. After
practice, the kids coordinated their cheers and worked on getting loud.

Saturday involved hanging balloons and painted posters all around our
corner of the pool. After warmups, Joe marched the kids out the gates
and minutes later they processed in two by two beating on cow bells
with drumsticks and chanting to a cadence. When they were all in,
they huddled and went through a series of cheers. The mood was set.
The other teams were intimidated and unprepared for where we were
taking them.

Relays start the day and Shannon was ready. In the lead leg of a 200
Free Relay, Shannon flew out to an early lead with a peronal best
25.48 50 Free (Note: maybe 26.48, timing was a mess all day.) Mickey
supported his relay too with a near best 50 Free around 31 seconds in
the anchor and hung on for the win.

Shannon, 100 Free 59.48 (28.65 split).

Mickey, 100 Free 1:05.33.

Shannon, 100 Breast 1:16.15

Mickey, 100 Breast 1:40.69

Mickey, 50 Back 38.10

Shannon, 100 Fly 1:10.70 (31.71 split)

Mickey, 100 IM 1:21.25

The Matschner's had to leave and left Wyatt as a Kennedy for the rest
of his day.

Wyatt, 100 IM 1:11.72

Shannon, 500 Free 5:48.07

Wyatt, 500 Free 6:01.24

The hardcore families that stayed to the end all met at Sweet Tomatoes
and took the place over.

We all got home showered and climbed into bed and put "Twilight" on
Blu-Ray to get ready for "New Moon" and everyone was asleep before it
was over.

13 November 2009

Mexican Food Review

I find myself in Kissimmee today and have heard that the Mexican food
here is more authentic and delicious. In my opinion, it tastes
exactly the same.

Terrorist Rights

"One of the worst decisions ever made by any President." - Peter King, R-NY

I won't say that Obama loves terrorists. That is probably not true.

Obama is a terrorist.

Obama has taken giving what we have to others way too far now. Obama is so dedicated in fact that he wants to make sure that terrorists can avoid military tribunals and harsh interrogation tactics that he is going to bring them right into the US and a civilian court granting them all the rights that a US citizen would receive.

"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be sent to New York to face trial in a civilian federal court, an Obama administration official said Friday." - Fox News

Obama will do whatever it takes to make one of his campaign promises finally happen. He won't meet the deadline that he promised for closing Guantanamo, but no matter how many Americans are hurt, upset or merely put at risk, he'll try to close it.

Pay me the $6B a day that this administration is increasing spending and I will go down to Cuba and close the base the old fashioned way. At $6B per day, I could be the richest man in the world in less than a month and beat the deadline by two months. Let me know.

Before I could post, I got to hear the sister of the pilot whose plane was crashed into the Pentagon crying about how politicized the 9/11 victims have become. Those families surely have not had enough pain. We should give the mastermind of those attacks a platform to mock us and them. Thanks, PresBO.

11 November 2009

Modern Warfare 2

I would have posted yesterday, but I was deployed in a Campaign and
finished the day with a Team Deathmatch. Hold your fire when you see
Pappagiorgio. Respect.

08 November 2009

NFL Sunday

You spend your Sunday's how you want. This is how I spend mine.

Florida's Changing Seasons

It may be 83 degrees on a November Sunday morning, but we have other ways of knowing what time of year it is in Florida.

07 November 2009

Truth via Bumper Sticker

Had to jump out in traffic to get this picture in order to share its
wisdom with you. Represent.

Saturday Swim Team Run

Up at 5:45 am on Saturday morning for the Joe Auer prescribed Blue
Dolfins 4 miler. Among the rewards is a crisp 60 degree clear day
with singing birds along the Seminole Trail.

04 November 2009

Rock-a-thon Fundraisers

Apparently just asking for donations has been more successful than all
other previous fundraising attempts when they were actually selling

03 November 2009

Are You Happy?

Are you reading the paper or listening to the radio? We will get into which paper and radio station another time. Are you watching the news or talking at the water cooler? Do you know the reality of America today? What version of that reality are you accepting as the truth? If given the choice today, would you take the blue pill or the red pill? Do you know how far the rabbit hole goes?

Either through your action or inaction, you find yourself where you are right now. Are you happy? Are you simply going to take what they give you? Or more correctly, are you going to give what they take from you? If you are looking for the government to solve your problems or to take from you rather than going out to help others in need when you can, stop reading now. Return to your life and forget that I said anything. Your blue pill is on the table.

Good. I am glad that you decided to push through. Now, what are you going to do? I intend to fight for liberty. How? I am going support candidates that share my values. I am going to seek them out in my community and others and offer whatever help I can. I am going to fight where the battle lines are being drawn. Today that is in Virginia and New Jersey. There are others and there will be more. The issues are too numbered to mention. The big rocks for me right now without rehashing the issues are FairTax and less government.

If you agree with me or simply disagree with Obama, check out what you can do to get involved at http://my.huckpac.com/

I hope that you will go check out the website, but to give you a sample, here is some info copied directly from their site:

Our Mission

Team Huck’s mission is to elect strong common-sense Republicans who support the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, lower taxes, fiscal sanity and a strong national defense.

This exciting new grassroots organization provides you with the online and offline tools you need to effectively organize in your community.


Each state has a team of grassroots Coordinators tasked with organizing the grassroots in their state. Our goal is to have a Group of Volunteers form in every county in the country. Multiple groups can form per county and we hope these groups will work together to support Huck PAC endorsed candidates.


Our goal is to identify and support candidates in every state in the country. You can see which candidates we have endorsed by clicking on the candidates section of our website, or by clicking on your home state image in the Team Huck headquarters section of our website.

If you do not see a candidate listed for you state, please suggest one to your state’s Grassroots Coordinator. Huck PAC endorsed candidates must be pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, a fiscal conservative and a strong advocate for lower taxes.

I hope that whatever you believe you get more involved. Be a leader in your family. Be a leader in your community. A little actual leadership repeated will grow beyond your expectations. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing what you can do.

LuLu's Bait Shack, Fort Lauderdale

Some lunch stops provide more scenery than others.

01 November 2009

Smashed Pumpkin

Pugsley's Signature Series Smashed Pumpkin from Shipyard poured into the 2009 Titletown Mug Club mug.

Sunday Morning

November 1 and I am up even earlier than usual. It is actually about the same time but the clocks were rolled back last night making it only 6:37 am. Early enough that my Sunday paper has not arrived. I grab Ana's MacBook and head for the back porch. I get in some bitter exchanges on the fantasy football websites adding only more credence to my earlier post on the subject. I check out my weekend matchup and check the driveway again, happily finding my big Sunday Edition of the Orlando Sentinel.

I have some habits when it comes to the paper. For years, I would sort it so that I could save the best for last. I would get through all the news and propaganda first and save my sports and comics to the very end. In the last few years as my kids started pilfering my ads and comics, I now get them out of the way first and leave them in a pile so that nobody takes the things that I have not read yet.

I am back on the back porch and have returned the things that I have no need for like the classifieds and ads for stores that we have no need to the plastic bag from which they came. I knocked out the comics in record time. Are there fewer comics in the paper? "Zits" by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman is my absolute favorite and I enjoy the plot line in "Luann" throughout the week, but she is noticeably absent from my Sunday page. Of course, nothing can ever take the place of growing up with "Calvin and Hobbes", but I don't want to get started on that.

Oddly enough, I have never been a clipper of coupons, but I found myself unable to simply recycle the ads without checking to see the deals and ended up clipping way more than I will ever buy from today's paper. Some of it I should not even show the family as it will inevitably lead to shopping that we would not do otherwise, but "you never know" and Christmas is approaching.

Let me stop here and climb up on my soap box. One advertisement in the coupon pages got my relaxed Sunday morning, back porch, birds chirping, looking out over the calm lake blood boiling. Lenox, those crafty creators of artificial collectibility and heirlooms, have gone off the proverbial deep end. You can now buy a hand-numbered, limited edition, shipped with a certificate of authenticity, and with the Lenox special edition Insider's Guide "President Barack Obama" sculptural portrait. I have seen plates and figurines and many other things just like this that has never given me reason to pause. Something about this made me freeze. Who would buy this? What other presidents have had little statues of themselves sold as collectibles? How much would someone spend on something like this? The price is $295. WHAT? Five monthly installments of $59. WHAT? I am purposely editing out the profanity-laden tirade that my brain is trying to force from me. I am assuming that the use of his likeness for this must be approved. If I am wrong, please correct me. Otherwise we need to form a PAC and make sure that America gets headed in the right direction again.

I am going to move on for reasons of personal sanity. I made it through most of the ads. Can you say Toys R Us Biggest Big Book Ever? Then my beautiful daughter, Shannon, made me an awesome ham and cheese omelet before I had to run Mickey to a retreat for church. I got to listen to him and his friend Wyatt recount their haul from last night's halloween activities and the accomplishments of the morning's adventures playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare live on PS3 this morning. I don't remember being 11 or 13 as clearly as I once did, but I apologize to my mother since I know that I was never as well behaved as my kids are now. On the return trip from the retreat center, I got to hear the radio that was not audible with Mickey and Wyatt in the car and it was all Brett Favre radio as he returns to Green Bay today as a Viking for another rematch.

Back to the back porch and the newspaper, my brilliant wife, Ana, groggy from a few days in Vegas with girls presents me with a french press that reminds me of our breakfasts in Spain last summer. I read in Parade about Sandra Bullock and look forward to her next movie, "The Blind Side", based on a true story. I didn't know that she was married to Jesse James. What a cool couple.

I found it funny that an 8th grader has a group that he administrates on facebook with over half a million friends asking for changes at the social networking site and his parents didn't know until a reporter called. I also read about "slow money". It seems that someone is trying to pattern socially respectable investing after the "slow food" concept of socially respectable eating. It seems a little weak right now, but the article did ask a great question that I hope to think about as I spend my money going forward. "Is this a company I want to support or is there a better choice I can make that's more aligned with my values?" I have done this a little recently in wondering if I am buying something that I could buy a little closer to home in order to support my community and keep local stores open. My local mall is dying before our very eyes and if it closes will be a blight on our community.

The bulk of the news was unimportant. More propaganda from the liberal media. Half truths and poorly reported stories meant to intentionally lead those reading them to a predefined opinion. Maybe this week's elections will show congress and our executive branch that we are not going to take it anymore. The best story outside the sports page was a married couple that were childhood friends and spent over 64 years together and died within 24 hours of each other. My wife only went to Vegas for a few days and I can understand how this happens. If you spend 64 years married to someone, losing them is probably like losing oxygen. Maybe next week will be better. What are you going to do to help? Start by hugging your family and getting out to vote.