Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Get Out The Tissues!

I saw this story and got rad...I mean, in the face of an absolute tragedy and parents worst nightmares, this was one hell of a to pay homage to a valiant little boy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vacation Disconnected!

So, one thing I noticed on a recent trip to the beach was everyone on phones....walking & texting, talking, taking self-ies, us-ies, and videos...almost every person was engulfed in their cell phones.

I have to admit, my blogging and addiction to Twitter also kept me in close reach of my phone.

It all made me think, why not have a vacation completely disconnected?  No phone, no computers....just a nice place, good company and a great time.  You have to be old to say this, but, when I grew up, we did not have cell phones.  Looking back, there was a "freedom" involved with leaving out on vacation or on a small road trip.  Doing too much research on a location, places to eat, things to see, can cause you to set expectations that are often hard to meet, thus taking away from the experience.  Sure, you wouldn't want to blindly stumble into the wrong section of Philly with no phone...most resort areas and popular vacation spots are better discovered in person then online...the smells will be better, the tastes will be more stimulating, the experience will be more exciting.

It would go something like this...

Vacation Disconnected

Imagine a time before cell phones, the internet, and amazing home entertainment systems...

A time when people had to venture out of the house to discover new things and places, without the help of an App, a travel blog, or Google Maps...

A vacation where you learned about the new surroundings of your vacation spot, getting more familiar with each trip...

A multitude of "You just had to be there" moments and memories that will never be watered down by countless pictures, videos, texts, and interruptions...

A real physical connection and experience, uninhibited by technology...

This is possible...with a little self control, you can step back into a time when vacations literally gave you a break from your day-to-day life.

  • Find a Destination!  Older, more established vacation spots are ideal for a techy-free adventure...vintage beach boardwalks, historic landmarks and parks, and small resort towns specifically.
  • Don't Over-Research!  Do some research on your destination, finding maybe one or two key things to look for or see.  Doing too much research will cause you to set expectations that could be hard to reach and that take away from your experience.
  • Know the Roads!  Since you will not be allowing technology to interfere with your experience, you will not have any back-up.  Print some maps.  Most hotels provide maps of the local sights, as well.  Go old Nav!
  • No Gadgets!  No I-Pods, I-Pads, Tablets, Laptops, Smartphones, or anything that connects to the internet.  
  • Cell Phones Off!  It could be dangerous to venture into uncharted territory without a cell take it with you, just do yourself a favor and turn it off!  
  • No Internet!  Just avoid the internet, even if the hotel has a computer you can use.  If you need to find and discover things, do it the old fashion way, talk to people or just go out and discover things on your own!
  • Take Pictures!  Digital cameras are fine to record a record of your trip, if you still have one!  These days, most people use their phones for sure, you COULD use your phone this way, but if so, turn in on Airplane Mode...this will avoid updates, dings, calls, and all those pesky distractions.  Plus, digital cameras often have a much longer battery life then cell phones.
  • Enjoy the Outdoors!  Do not just lay around the room, go out and enjoy the new environment you set out to discover!  
  • Nigh-Time TV Only!  It's perfectly understandable, that after a long day of walking, discovering and adventuring, you may want to settle down and relax in the evening and watch some TV.  One thing I might suggest, though, is choosing programming that attracts the rest of your fellow travelers (friends, family, etc) this point, most kids are willing to watch anything to get in some TV time!
  • Plunder and Discover!  You came all the way to where-ever you chose, get out there and explore every day!  Even rainy days can lead to indoor discoveries (like museums, shopping, show, etc).
  • Don't Get Distracted!  Don't let anything petty get in the way of your good time!
  • Have Fun!  Fun can be derived from millions of experiences...go out and have it!  People need to sometimes be reminded how to have fun without the guidance of others and some smart-phone App.


Over the weekend, we took a short, family trip to Virginia Beach.  We had other plans early in the week to visit family in Tennessee, but budget woes led us to cut our travels well short, down to a one day trip.  We did make the best of it, though.

The weather was fantastic...

The water was frigid...

I found us a nice, affordable place for the night, strategically located between Flipper McCoy's (the greatest old-school arcade in Virginia), the Atlantic Fun Park and many great restaurants.

Here is our view from the 7th floor of the Sun & Surf Hotel...

The room and staff were really nice.  It was a no-frills kind of place...clean, breakfast or indoor pool, and the rate reflects just that.  Rooms had nice beds, an adequate TV (big enough to watch, not so big that you felt like you needed to watch it), tile floors, and a nice view of the boardwalk.

We had a lot of fun...and boy, did we need to.

We also located the best breakfast spot in Virginia Beach!

Family owned and operated for over 40 the Log Cabin Pancake House!
Best bacon I have had in a long time.  They offer a buffet too!

We will hopefully do this same trip many times this Summer.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Making Magic...

I am looking for ways to recreate some of the magic 3 Little Birds 4 Life helped us with last summer.  Any/all suggestion are welcome...and you may see another fundraiser to support efforts.  Not all cancer spreads to other parts of the body, but it ALWAYS invades your wallet.

Melissa is finally starting to feel a little better...and with everything little man has gone through this year, he needs to have some fun too.  I could use a tad, myself, for that matter.

Message me, email me, or comment with suggestions and ideas!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Quiet Times...

During this quiet time on the blog (both with readers and my posts), it triggered me to think of how much I enjoy/need my personal quiet time.  Now, for most that may be reading, napping, or a little TV...for me, it is video game time.  I have been addicted to video games for the better part of the last 30 years.  Today's technology allows me to play online with headphones/mic, meet people, hold conversations, and, of course, play...and todays games are amazing.  I am currently most addicted to The Last of Us - a post-apocalyptic shooter...but really, it is much more than that.  Though I mainly play the Factions mode online, the story mode is intense.  I also LOVE Madden.  I have played this franchise since the very first release on the Sega Genesis.  I have owned and played every years game since.  Madden 25 is so good and in-depth that it can be overwhelming...I like my football that way.  It is a lot like the NFL regular season, lot's going on all the time.

So how does my addiction to video games relate to cancer?  Well, it is my "thing".  Whether you are a care-giver, patient, or just close the a patient, we tend to rely on our "thing" to find a moment of normalcy....whatever it is that is your "thing", embrace it when you need to.

One non-profit talks about "get back to living" post treatments...that can be damn near impossible, but could start with that one "thing" and can grow from there.

Do your thing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

MRI Is Scheduled For May

Turns out Melissa's MRI is not until early May...with several doctors appointments afterwards.

Midget started tutoring with reading on Mondays at a local church...he loves it.

Spring Break starts next week!  Might take a short road trip in the that ride.

Due to a water main break, we have had very low water pressure and on a boil-water advisory is in effect.  I do not have much experience with dirty water.  Who knows when things will get back to normal.  Couldn't make sweet tea yesterday, but I will be brewing with bottled water tonight...just can not go without my sweet tea.

Friday, April 4, 2014

What To Do....

Little man has been on a tear, as of late, not behaving in school, being defiant to teachers, and being disruptive.  It has really taken it's toll on his grades and my nerves.  I have tried almost everything.  Sure hope he straightens up or it may be time to take him to a psychologist...if not, I am going to need one.

Melissa Update!  MRI scheduled soon...that is about it.  For now, she is moving around more and eating a lot more...just glad she is feeling a little better.

Wow...I sure miss the days when all I had to worry about was playing music, seeing my friends, and enjoying myself.