Sunday, December 25, 2005

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oh, Christmas Tree...

Engineers love to develop specs for everything. Here is one for a Christmas Tree...

Click for PDF

Saturday, December 17, 2005

12 Days of Christmas

Earlier this morning, Jennifer and Tom were singing...and then stumbling over the lyrics...of the "12 Days of Christmas" To help you other stumblers, here is a refresher:

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!

Afterward, Tom started mumbling something about "and a a tree". This is a reference to a routine by Bob and Doug McKenzie. You can find the routine here, but it offers a list something like this:

12 Dozen donuts
11 donuts
10 donuts
9 donuts
8 comic books
7 packs of smokes
6 packs of two-four
5 GOLDEN Touques
4 pounds of back bacon
3 French Toast
2 turtlenecks
and a a tree.

Jennifer, of course, is not a big fan of Bob and Doug, but they would enjoy the lyrics she offered:

12 game misconducts
11 skaters skating (uh-oh, too many men!)
10 teams a-tying
9 fans a-chanting
8 grinders grinding
7 muckers mucking
6 gloves a-dropping (on no, third man in!)
5 minute major!
4 expansion teams
3 French Canadians
a 2-man advantage…
and a a chance to play with Wayne Gretsky!

(more hockey carols)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Week 27

Jen had to go into the doctor for a checkup and got a surprise sonogram. Here is what the baby looks like in week 27...

Sunday, December 4, 2005

First Snow

New York City had it's first snow of the 2005 season this morning. Jennifer was up at 3am to see it start...and by noon, much of it has turned to slush. But in the time between these extremes, there was the luster of clean fallen snow on the city...and Tom braved frostbite to capture some nice pictures of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. The Plaza had all the holiday trimmings...visitors enjoing the lit Christmas tree, kids building snow forts and snowball fights.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Turkeyday Balloons

In what may be the end of a new tradition, Jen and Tom went with Norm to see the famous balloons being inflated for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Its hard to comprehend what parade day must be like given the crowds at the inflating. And by the time our heros got to the area around the Museum of Natural History, where the inflation takes place, all of the helium had been transfered.

Monday, November 7, 2005

The Borucam is back

Tom has finally figured out how to use video in a Linux environment and has gotten the Borucam working again. Now you can follow the antics of the famed feline as he meanders across your PC screen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Little Sucker

According to the websites, at week 20, the baby is now the size of an average sweet potato. Tell that to Jennifer when it starts squirming around.


The latest sonogram shows that the baby is a cutie that sucks it's thumb. We also saw it waving at us.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Week 19

According to the BabyCenter, the baby is now about 8 1/2 ounces, about six inches long and the size of a small zucchini.


We went looking at cribs and strollers this weekend. Mike and Ellen Murgolo, in the city celebrating their 15th Wedding anniversary, helped point out the important and unnecessary items. Jennifer thought she felt some kicking, but it she thinks they were likely phantom kicks at this point. The weekend's big controversy was craddle vs crib. We have have compromised on a Pack 'n Play for the first couple of months, but a Moses Basket or other bassinet like contrivence might make a surprise showing.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Exciting news

For those of you who don't know...appologies for not telling you in person. But back on July 16th, Jennifer got positive results from three pregnancy tests.

This news has apparently shocked a number of close friends, who had not idea that Jen and Tom were interested in having children. Rest assured, Jen and Tom are very excited about the prospect of a new born and have been contemplating it for quite some time.

Here are some answers to typical questions:

- late March
- no, we do not want to know the sex
- currently, we plan to stay in the city

Friday, October 7, 2005

Rainy days

OK, so this is a little embarassing. But if you have ever tried to catch a the rain...on a Friday...the day of a subway bomb will understand that I was very frustrated after wandering around for 20 minutes and seven blocks. When the pedicab pulled up, I thought about it and was about to say "no thanks" when the downpour began. So here is my view from inside.

It helps my ego a bit to point our that I saw no available cabs on my trip across pick up the Jeep.

There's a new burger in town

Jen and Tom count themselves amongst the city's hambuger aficionados and were very excited to read in New York Magazine that a new burger joint opened up just down the block. Well, it might just turn out to be too convenient. As you can see from this picture from A Hamburger Today, the burger is thick, juicy and just good to eat.


Good thing the place is called GoodBurger. (2nd Ave and 43rd)

Monday, October 3, 2005

NOLA: Mass of Mary, Help of Christians

Dear Family and Friends,
What a great day for St. Rosalie Parish and School. The number of people attending morning Mass continues to increase and with school opening today there were several parents and students in attendance as well. After Mass Fr. Jim and I shared Morning Prayer then I quickly went to the parking lot to greet the students, especially our new students to the campus. There was Morning Prayer for the school over the public address system. As I walked the halls there were smiles and lots of tears as well-smiles from many of the kids who shared stories with their friends and cries from the little ones in pre-k and kindergarten who were homesick and did not want to leave their mom's dress or their dad's pants.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Oktoberfest in the Plaza

Jen and Tom helped to organize and Oktoberfest and Children's Fall Festival at Dag Hammaskjold Plaza. The weather cooperated and all of the planning payed off. The plaza was filled with children painting pumpkins...and amazed parents in wonderment about the free event.

Jen and Tom worked to get a strolling magician, a face painter they met in Central Park, a chocolate dipping experience from "Chocolat Bla Bla Bla", an inflatable bouncing castle, midway games along with beer and brats for the adults. German music filled the air...powered by Tom's tiny MP3 player and live music from Ken, the accordian player in lederhosen.

The only scary part was when Tom lost his wedding ring while spreading out the hay for the pumpkin patch. After a proveribial search, the ring was found and all was good with the world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

News from NOLA

Tuesday, Sept. 27th, 2005
Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul

Dear Family and friends,
Today as we celebrate the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul?the saint who personifies giving to the needy and poor. Most communities in the world have a St. Vincent de Paul Society who gives food, clothing, household items, and whatever the poorest of the poor needed. As we continue to pick up the pieces here at St. Rosalie, and plan for the future, we ask him to guide us in wisdom and judgment.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

News from NOLA

Dear Family and Friends,
Today we celebrate the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We reflect upon the call of the Gospel to follow the Christ each and every day, recognizing that we are sinners who are in need of God?s love. When we help others, especially our family, we build up the Kingdom of God on earth and are blessed a hundredfold by our loving God.

Friday, September 23, 2005

NOLA: Mass in honor of St. Pio

The Lord is kind and merciful. That is the refrain of our congregation today as we gathered to celebrate the Mass of St. Pio. The prophetic readings announce to us God’s call to follow His will and to announce to others that HE is the Christ, our Savior, who walks with us in faith.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Memorial of St. Januarius (in Gretna)

Dear Family and friends,

Today was another difficult day for St. Rosalie parish. We began, as usual, with the celebration of the Eucharist and the numbers begin to pick up. The Harvey Fire Department came during Mass and gave us five cases of fresh fruit to distribute thru the parish. Teachers began to return and view the damage of their classrooms and the school campus. There were many, many tears. At ten o?clock we gathered for a Prayer Service in Church, shared a few stories of faith, and then quickly made plans to begin to clean up.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Gretna)

Greetings from Harvey and St. Rosalie Parish!

Today was a great day to celebrate the Gift of the Eucharist with family and friends. We celebrated two Masses, 8am and 11am. They were great expressions of faith for parishioners and my family. My Aunt Dee and her family attended the 11am Mass and shared where their children and grandchildren are located. It is a great relief to know that they are all safe, even if they are in Texas, Florida, and Virginia.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

More news from New Orleans

From Father Jon:

Dear Friends,

There is always light at the end of the tunnel…. Today we began with the celebration of Mass in St. Rosalie Church. The Parishoners had to use the side entrance since the front door, blown off by the storm, is still boarded up and had cinder blocks for extra security. There were 11 people at Mass, grateful for the opportunity to gather and pray. Many cried as the Blessed Sacrament was placed once again in the Tabernacle and the sanctuary light was lit for the first time in over two weeks.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Towel Bunny

This "towel bunny" arrived in my Austin hotel room. Ironically, we had just seen one recently on a Carnival Cruise Line commercial. Obviously, they are multiplying...


Wednesday, September 7, 2005

St. Rosalie after Katrina

Father Jon Parks, pastor of St. Rosalie in Gretna (across the Mississippi from the French Quarter) and the man who presided over Jennifer and Tom's wedding, is currently here in NY at the Salesian headquarters. He hopes to be back in NOLA to say mass on Monday.

He sent some pictures of his church after the storm:

When he returns, Fr. Jon will be collecting donations to help get his flock back on their feet. Check back here for details.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

News from New Orleans

Jen and Tom's good friend Fr. Jon Parks is a resident of New Orleans. There has been a lot of concern for him and it turns out he is alive and well...

Dear Salesians, family, and friends....

Pray for all the parishoners at St. Rosalie in Harvey and the Salesians from our priests,brothers and sisters and all who are displaced because of Hurricane Katrina.


Yesterday Fr.Jim Curran and I left via Baton Rouge--Fr. Jim is in New York and I am with friends in Tampa. The other Salesians from Marrero and Harvey are at Mary Help of Christians Schoool in Tampa while the Salesian Sisters are going to move to their respective Mother Houses in Texas and New York.

I received a phone call from the Gretna Police (where my mom's house is) and they said power and water are restored. There is some electricity back in Marrero and in Westwego, but the lawlessness continues in all areas of the cities and until that ends then no one can go back.

My family is fine, my sister, brother in law, niece and grand nephew are on their way to Virginia, and won't arrive for another day or so.. the travel is slow, my brother in law is quite sick.

I received a call that Mr. Lenny Thibodeaux died, the father of Jeremy Thibodeaux. He reamined in Marrero and expired from a heart attach. Have been playing phone tag with many people in the south, as cell phones allow...things are bad but are getting better slowly.

The Salesians count on your prayers for all of the victims, and for our ministries.
If anyone cares to help, a fund will be set up at St. Rosalie's to help the kids in the area upon our return, pray God soon. Until then pray for all of us and know of my prayers.

My cell phone is off and on since I have a LA area code.. ugh...

May God Bless each one of you.... Fr. Jon Parks

It is great to know he is well and our prayers are with Jon and his family.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Apparently, Long Beach Island is the place to vacation when you live in NYC. At least that is the impression Tom has gotten over the years. You see, he is new to east coast vacations (as an adult) and never got to experience the Jersey Shore. Thanks to Greg and Lisa, Tom and Jennifer have had a couple of wonderful visits to the shore.

This year, Greg and Lisa's daughter Sophie showed everyone how to enjoy the beach...

Friday, August 12, 2005

There are no shrimps

Anyone who really knows Jennifer has seen her react to a menu which offers "shrimps". She will become righteously irate and exclaim that there are no shrimps. "It is one shrimp or 50 shrimp." She will simmilarly react to "deers".

Imagine her indignation when visiting the Museum of Natural History and she sees this:

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anything on the web to backup Jennifer's spelling claims. As horrible as it may sound, "shrimps" does seem to be an accepted plural. Arghh.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

King Family Reunion 2005

Bob and Pat King once again staged a family reunion at their Mantoloking retreat on the Jersey Shore.

Jen and Tom arrived a day early to take in some golf with Bobby and Danielle King...but neither Danielle nor Jennifer could seem to make it out of bed for the 8am tee time. Tom and Bobby had a grand time with some fellow duffers, one of whom was a first timer.

After the golf, it was time for the beach. This year there was a little more sun than on previous occasions. The highlight for Tom was when Pat and Bob came around with weiners. Yum.

After the beach, there was a catered affair back at the house. After a few drinks, Kathy got up the nerve to take a ride on cousin Bobby Burke's Harley.

A good time was had by all.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Kimberly and Jesse get married!

Jennifer's cousin Kimberly Burke got married to her childhood friend, Jesse. Kimberly and Jesse were neighbors at the Jersey Shore and rediscovered each other years later.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Golf and Opera in Baseball Country

Jen and Tom seem to be making an annual trip out of the Glimmerglass Opera season in Cooperstown. This year, they were joined by Tom's Aunt Arlene and Uncle Bill, who came down from Syracuse for the weekend.

This year, the trip finally involved something that Tom Unfortunately, a stomach flu kept Tom curled up in a ball on the golf cart as Jennifer, Bill and Arlene puttered about.

Jen and Tom were sent with a special task. They were supposed to get Carey Keesler a special baseball pacifier from the Cooperstown General Store. Unfortunately, the store was out of the prize. Good thing there will be future trips.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Hiking in Harriman

Jen and Tom were joined by Doug and Penelope & Skull on a journey through New York's Harriman State Park. Doug and Penelope are not typically found outside of the City, so this was quite a unique experience.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Marsha had a baby!

Jennifer's friend and bridesmaid, Marsha, recently gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, Ryan Patrick

Weight: 5 lbs 12 oz
Length: 18.4 in
Born: 06/21/2005
Time: 7:13 PM
Congratulations Marsha, Matt & Emily !

Monday, June 27, 2005

May the Farm be with you...

A friend sent this to Jennifer today. Click on the image to see the Flash movie...starring Obi Wanna Cannoli and Cuke Skywalker.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Jim's 40th and the Renegades

This year, instead of the traditional backyard soire in Pawling, we celebrated Jim's birthday at a Renegades minor league baseball game at the Dutchess Stadium.

The temperature was sweltering, the beer cold and the home team won. All around a fun time.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Pete's 40th

Tom's SigEp brother, Pete "Fetus" Feranda celebrated his 40th Birthday a day early in his backyard with his family and friends.

Some day he will have to explain to his daughter, Mary, the origin of "Fetus".

Friday, June 24, 2005


Jen and Tom "won" Yankees/Mets tickets at an Ohio U silent action. Apparently, when the weather is hot and the beer is cold, official Yankees "Blue and White" cookies are extremely appetizing...

Friday, June 17, 2005

Love is...

Tom got this in an email and it reminded him how much he loves Jennifer...


Touching words from the mouth of babes. What does Love mean? A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."

Rebecca- age 8
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."

Danny - age 7

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Mother Duck

Over Memorial Day Weekend, Jen and Tom visited cousin Anne Marie and Bob's new place at the Jersey Shore. Their visit was overshadowed by an expectant mother duck...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


This is one of Tom's favorite cartoons. It was originally run in "Pluggers" back in 1993. Tom would refer to it whenever people at work started to take for granted the minor miracles that had become part of the job. It obviously took on deeper meaning after the Challenger and Columbia disasters.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Geeks in Space

It's only three days from the premier of Star Wars - Episode III - Revenge of the Sith...and the geeks are lined up again in front of NYC's Zigfield Theater.

It saddened me to think that this is the last time these geeks will get to assemble in such a manner. When again will any theatrical event engender such devotion and enthusiam? Worst yet, Tom has to work most of the day may 19th and it looks like a "first day" tradition is about to be outgrown...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Yankees - up close

Dan got tickets to the Yankee game. Unfortunately, the people at Roche were unaware that Jennifer was such a big fan. There were only enough tickets for Tom, Skull, Jim and Dan.

Tom thought of offering his ticket to Jennifer but thought better about it a couple of minutes later. After all, she did get a new anti-Red Socks T-shirt out of the deal.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick's

Every couple of years, Tom can convince Jennifer that McSorley's Olde Ale House really is a wonderful place. Even more incredibly, we need to get on line at 7am to insure a seat.

And don't think we even consider drinking at that hour!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Apparently, everyone in New York...even the most jaded urbanites...had to visit the Gates at some point. So too, our heros made a day of it with Tom's parents and Jen's cousins, Bobby and Danielle.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Hometown in the news...

While Tom claims Brooklyn as his true hometown, he has a certain connection to his adopted town...(click on the picture to see the whole story on the NY Times website.)

REAL ESTATE | February 13, 2005
Living In:  A Hamlet Allowed to Grow at Its Own Pace
Located in southern Rockland, directly on the New Jersey-New York border, Tappan is a quiet neighborhood of single-family homes.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Jennifer is in print!

Jennifer recently helped some dear friends sell their NY apartment. The sale was apparently noteworthy enough to be printed in the NY Observer, a local newpaper! And she is mentioned in the same article with Harvey Weinstein (of Miramax fame), Rupert Murdoch, and the Rockefeller's.

The Upper East Side just lost a piece of television history. The actor Jimmy Harder, who achieved a cult fame of sorts for his roles as the Butterball turkey pilgrim and the Sealtest ice-cream man, as well as for his infectious Fig Newton jingles, recently sold his apartment in the landmarked Black and White townhouses at 531 East 72nd Street for $625,000.

Mr. Harder, 75, relocated with his wife Dorothy, a retired ballet dancer, to their summer home on Cape Cod, according to his broker Jennifer Bancroft of Warburg Realty Partnership. The buyer was an ordained minister from Atlanta and was represented by Elinor Sheppard of Stribling and Associates.

The prewar co-op has two bedrooms, a windowed kitchen, a wood-burning fireplace and East River views. Other details include original moldings and Subway tile bathrooms. The apartment was on the market for eight weeks and was originally listed for $649,000. The townhouses at the eastern reach of 72nd Street were originally built in 1894 and then renovated by the firm Sacchetti and Siegel into the four existing buildings in 1938 at the behest of Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar, who soon enticed her friends on The Social Registry to move into the apartments. Residents have included George Plimpton and Frances Fitzgerald, and The Paris Review is still run out of the buildings at 541 East 72nd Street.

See the full article here

Saturday, January 15, 2005

That damned Chrinitoid thingy

Tom's obsession with the Chrinitoid has gotten him published in the Rensselear alumni magazine. Jen still thinks he's a bit crazy

Chrinitoid from 1974 Transit (RPI's yearbook)

Monday, January 10, 2005

NOLA - Jen and Tom invite themselves along...

Jennifer and Tom invited themselves along on a trip to New Orleans with Bob and Danielle Burke. It all started at Kimberly's engagement party..."Did we tell you we are going to New Orleans?" "No! We love New Orleans". The next thing you know, airline tickets are purchased, hotel reservation are made and Jennifer and Tom are invading Bob and Danielle's vacation.

Cafe au Late and Bignets at Cafe du Monde (click for more pictures)

The trip turned into a veritable family reunion. Bob and Danielle were going down to Nawlins with their aunt and uncle (Jeff and Ann). It turned out that Tom's Aunt Arlene and Uncle Bill just happened to be in town the same weekend as well. And Father Jon Parks, the priest that maried Tom and Jen and their dear friend had returned to his home town. A great time was had by all.

Saturday, January 1, 2005

James' tsunami adventure

Tom's friend James was visiting Thailand for Christmas & New Years this year when the tsunami hit. For several days, we didn't know if James was among the thousands of unfortunate victims. On New Years day, Tom received the following email indicating James was alive and well...and has some great adventure stories to tell!


I'm still in Thailand, in Ao Nang. I was scuba diving in about 60 feet of water in Phi Phi when the tidal wave it. It was my first dive as a qualified Open Water Diver, which I obtained here last year. Anyway, we were diving when a big current surge swept us along the edge of the reef wall, pushing us down as the water drained off the reef. Within a few minutes, it swept us beyond the island into a big eddy current, where we surfaced and the boat picked us up. We thought is was a pretty cool ride. The dive master said it was similar to a normal dive in Indonesia, where they normally have strong currents. He had only been diving in Phi Phi for about 2 weeks.

After getting onto the boat and having some lunch, the boat driver heard what happened on the island. As series of tidal wave completely washed over the middle, low section of the island. None of the boats would go ashore for about 4 hours because they were afraid of another waving coming. We finally went ashore about 2 hours before dark. To me, it look like in the worst-hit area, the water was about 20 feet above normal level. At our bungalo, the water just one inch below the bottom of the window, about 4 feet up from the ground, which was about 10 or 15 feet up from the normal water level. The waves surged in an out several times. Fortunately, our bungalo was fairly water-tight and the door didn't break down - like the one next to us. So everything was dry except for the few things we left on the floor. Most of the bungalos in the other low parts of the island were completely destroyed with all the contents washed away.

That night, decided to sleep on higher ground and met some people from a Thai village that took us in, fed us and then found us a very nice bungelo on the hill that was vacant. We hung out with them around the campfire under the full moon until about 1 AM. They the men politely convinced Alexandra that she was tired and should go the bungalo. So after that, it was just me and about 15 of the Thai guys sitting around the fire eating fresh cooked fished and drinking warm beer and tequila that they "salvaged" from the abandonded market below. They were mostly hotel facility operators and taxi boat drivers. So they had lots of stories to tell about what happened. One of the guys had climbed us to the top of the roof on the main pier in the middle of the low section and watched everything from there. He said the water rose from both sides of the island simulaneoulsy and then retreated many times, carry a lot of people with them. I'm guessing that the death estimates are still quite lower than reality.

I'll send you some photos when I get back home around January 6 or so.