Monday, September 02, 2013

Stardate 67669.47 - Annual Update

It has been well over a year since I last posted to this blog...a far cry from the multiple posts per week that I wrote back near the start (June 24, 2004 to be exact).  I started the blog to mess around with RSS as we were using that technology for work (remember, nearly 10 years ago!), so the first few posts were just messing around.  But then I started posting photos and stories from our lives in Manhattan and later on the Jersey Shore.  It became the main method of keeping our families up-to-date on what we were doing and of sharing photos with them.

The blog was kept pretty well up to date until September, 2011.  At that point, Facebook took over as the main mechanism for keeping people up-to-date on what we were doing and of sharing photos with them.  In a way, it took over from the blog because it was so easy...just upload a bunch of photos, maybe write a caption, and you are done!  It took far less time than the narrative around the photos I wrote for the blog, and uploading photos was so much faster...in fact, getting multiple photos to upload in the proper order was a real hassle in the early days of blogging (at least on Blogger).

The demise of the blog also coincided with the transfer of primary photo-taking responsibility from me to Cheryl.  As Cheryl began shooting in RAW and doing post-processing of the photos, they simply were not available in a format to quickly post after an event or vacation, and once time had passed the urge to get the photos posted with a story wrapped around them would fade.  And it was easier to just share the album once she put it up on Facebook than it was to re-create the whole thing on the blog.

So for now, this blog is pretty idle.  Only had a post or two in 2012, and this is the first post from 2013.  If you are still subscribing to this blog as your primary way of keeping in touch, I recommend that you either click on the links on the left to add us as friends in Facebook, or subscribe to my Twitter feed (@SawyerCurt).  I'm sure you've figured it out by now, but Facebook (and to a lesser extent, Twitter) have pretty much killed off the blog as a "what are we doing" and photo sharing channel.  Until I can figure out a different use for it, one for which it is uniquely qualified, this blog will remain mostly idle.

Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stardate 66129.42 - Urgent Appeal

Please sign the petition!!

Memorial Sloan Kettering wants to build a new out-patient facility right up against our home.  Our building has been asking for compromises to preserve some light and air, and MSK is ignoring us. Please join us in protesting the decision of MSK to ignore the pleas of its new neighbors completely, and show total disrespect for our quality of life and the quality of life in the surrounding community by constructing a building without giving any thought to how it will impact its neighbors and neighborhood.  The point of this petition is to protest MSK's decision to ignore its neighbors and the grave impact that the construction of its desired building will have on our community. We are asking for a cordial discussion with MSK officials so they can work with us to minimize the damage caused to our residents, our building and our neighborhood.

Please sign the petition asking them to work with us, not steamroll over us!

NYC

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stardate 65694.12 - 9-11-01, Ten Years Later

Cheryl and I moved to NYC in November, 2001.  She received the job offer in August 2001 and we were starting to make plans to visit Manhattan to look at apartments when 9/11 occurred.  It was odd to be looking at apartments in the weeks after 9/11 and have landlords and agents ask if we were relocating from lower Manhattan.  Of course, 9/11 literally hit pretty close to home as we were living in the DC-suburbs of Northern Virginia at the time.  Cheryl was in her office at the US Census Bureau and I was in a meeting at my job at Booz Allen Hamilton.  I came out of the meeting and had a voice mail message from my mom asking if I was in the Pentagon that day (I had Pentagon access at the time).  I thought it a very odd question at the time, until a secretary ran by and told me what had happened.  I called Cheryl and while I was on the phone with her she was told her office was evacuating so she started what became a long drive home.  We lived only 10 minutes away from my office so I went home as well and we watched everything unfold on television for the rest of the day.

People asked me afterwards if we were still moving to Manhattan.  I tried to explain that I could have just as easily been in the Pentagon on that day (and Booz Allen Hamilton did lose 3 people in the Pentagon that day).  I don't think either of us really gave a thought to not moving.

Five years ago I took the following pictures from the balcony of our rental place at 66th and 2nd ave.  We don't live there anymore and I don't think I've taken any more recent photos so I've posted these again now.  I felt like I should put something up here on the anniversary but I also think we've moved on.  Maybe because I personally didn't know anyone lost on that day, but at some point we have to get past it.  Not over it - never over it - but past it.

I'm glad to live in Manhattan, to have my kids go to school there, to work there.  Even though we usually spend our weekends outside of the city we have no plans to permanently relocate out of Manhattan any time soon.  I said it 5 years ago and I'll say it again - we're proud to be in NYC since November, 2001.



Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Friday, September 02, 2011

Stardate 65669.46 - A Wedding on the Outer Banks

Back in May my cousin Jenny Orrock got married on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  It was too far of a drive and too expensive to fly everyone down there, so I went to represent my family and my cousin Angelique went to represent her family.  It was a wedding on the beach with reception in the large beach house they rented for the bridal party.



The mother of the bride, my Aunt Melinda.


My Uncle Harry, with his daughter Jenny.


I loved the cake with brown sugar as the "sand" on the beach.





Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Stardate 65669.43 - March of Dimes Walk

So I am pretty far behind (as usual) in posting items to the blog.  Back in April of this year, after we returned from vacation, we participated in the March of Dimes walk out in NJ.  Our neighbor (Michael St.Amour) from when we rented the house in Highlands, NJ (before we purchased a place one town over) asked to borrow our kids for the walk.  He had constructed a double-decker carrier for his own kids (who, as you can see from the pictures, are far too big to fit in it anymore), but had made a tradition of walking with this contraption.  We walked with him in NYC last year with the kids in it, so we agreed to do it again this year (only in Asbury Park, NJ).  Here are some photos from that event.

Here is daughter, now far too old to ride, helps get our kids situated.


It was a very overcast and cool day.







Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stardate 65557.05 - April Vacation to BEYC

Back in April we took a 1 week vacation to the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.


The club was great, but getting there was not. We were not sure Cheryl would be able to be away from work until shortly before Loren's Spring Break, and the cost of the airfare was so high we decided to travel on miles. This meant that we had limited options on getting there. So we flew from JFK to St. Thomas, stayed overnight on St. Thomas, took a taxi to the ferry which took us to Tortola, took another taxi to the dock where yet another ferry was to take us to Virgin Gorda and the BEYC. Then we repeated in the opposite direction for our return trip. It was a lot of travel to get to our destination and back.

Here is the pool at the hotel we stayed at on St. Thomas.


Here I am trying to keep Kate contained as we wait for the ferry to Tortola.


We ended up not seeing part of the paperwork we needed to complete to enter the BVIs, so after a huge melt-down (me and the kids) at passport control, we ended up missing the ferry to the BEYC. Luckily, they sent a power boat to come pick us up. Unluckily, it was quite a bumpy ride. When we finally got to the BEYC this was the view we had from our room.



Here Loren waits for the "taxi" car to take us down to the main resort.



The food was pretty good, especially the open air bar-b-ques at night. We ate right down by the beach and the kids loved being able to play when they were done eating and we could easily watch them while we finished eating.


Here is the view from our usual table.


There was also a pool, and for the first couple of days we spent a lot of time in the pool.




We took a sunset motor around the resort. It was supposed to be a sail but winds were very light while we were there.








Our room is in one of those little huts up on the hill.


We also took an excursion one day up to Anagada. This trip also involved open pick-up truck taxis to get us to the beach, after a high speed ferry ride to the atoll.





Here is one of their taxis, back at the resort. We walked the first couple of days, but it was a good 20 minutes to get to the main resort so by the end of the week we just called for the taxis.


Loren met a friend (Sadie) at the resort and we ended up hanging out with her parents a lot while the kids played.












We also took a small Boston Whaler out to Oil Nut Cove where a very exclusive resort was just about completed and ready for guests.



Here the girls play after breakfast on our last day at the resort.



And now we're back in the pool on Tortola before our flight back to NYC. At least our return flight was direct - we had a stop in Miami on the way down.



And finally, here are a couple of iPhone photos Cheryl took.



NYC