Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WrestleMania XXIV revisited

WrestleMania XXIV

Rood, Jay, & I traveled south to Orlando for the 24th annual WrestleMania!

Thursday March 27th

Our adventure begins by flying from Portland to Orlando a day early to beat the rush, and I’m glad we did.  We bought packages from WWE that included 3 night hotel accommodations at the Double Tree Hotel, ticket to Hall of Fame, ticket to WrestleMania, exclusive signing, exclusive souvenirs, and a two day pass to Universal Studios which was right across the street.  We paid for an extra nights lodging because I figured most would be coming in Friday and the hotel lobby would be mobbed, and it was.

We lucked out as there was three of us we got a room with two beds and a couch, Jay took the couch, so the sleeping arrangements were set.  With nothing on the agenda we got settled into the room, had a quick dinner at TGI Friday’s then played some in the arcade.  Rood and I called it a night know the long day ahead whereas Jay decided to go to the bar, a pattern that would continue over the weekend.  Jay called the room twice from the bar to tell us there were TNA wrestlers in the bar and we needed to come down.  As it was past midnight we were all set. 

Friday March 28th

Rood and I arose early to get a start on the day.  The earliest we would be able to get out travel packages was noon.  We hit the Ponderosa for some breakfast buffet at a great price then picked up some groceries for the room at a Publix.  When we got back to the room Jay was fast asleep.  We tried to wake him so he would come down and join us in line to get the packages but he just wouldn’t budge and instead cocooned himself in the comforter to ignore us.  So I cranked the heat in the room to sweat him out.  The line had already started and as we would rather wait more before than after we too got in line about 9am.  What’s cool about this is that we are all here for the same thing Pro Wrestling so it was easy to talk to people in line and make quick friends

Promptly at noon the opened the doors and ushered us in to start handing out the packages, Jay never came down.  It was so exciting to finally have our tickets in hand and we ended up with fantastic seats for both the Hall of Fame and Mania.  Along with the tickets we got a generic WWE program, key chain, WrestleMania XXIV beanie buddy, small photo album, and a couple other small odds and ends.  Some cool stuff! 

We got back up to the room and were shocked to find Jay still cocooned in the blanket, but now it was sweltering in the room and you could see sweat stains coming through the blanket.  We cranked the air conditioning peeled back his blankets.  The noxious odor of sweat, booze, and pure heat radiated off of him.  He was coated with this viscous layer of sweat and his lips were discolored.  We tried shaking him a few times to no avail.  So I gave him a sternum rub to which he promptly shot up gasping for air looking around with a “what the fuck” look on his face.

It was now about 1pm and we were all hungry, and Jay was severely dehydrated I imagine.  We never told him what had happened or how we’d cranked the heat.  There is a lot of stuff that Jay probably doesn’t recall as at this time he was still drinking.  TNA Wrestling tapes at Universal Studios and as it was WrestleMania weekend they were taping Thursday, Friday, & Saturday to take advantage of all the wrestling fans in town.  I really wanted to go to the Impact Zone.  We headed over to the park and I agreed to go first standing in line as Impact was first come first serve seating, or so we thought.  Basically they gave out a bunch of VIP passes to the regulars, which I understand, and to those that were there Thursday night but couldn’t get in.  Basically after standing in line for over an hour I realized that there were so many people in the VIP section that we would either not make it in, or would have horrid seats, couple that with that fact that they doors didn’t open for another 5 – 6 hours I had no interest in standing in line any longer.  The only good thing that came from it was I got a couple cards signed by Don West and Earl Hebner as well as getting my photo taken with Earl. 

As I left and went out to search to Rood and Jay, as luck would have it Rood was heading my way with a PowerAde which I really needed as it was oppressively hot for March.   We tooled around the park with Jay riding Roller Coasters, taking in the Beetlejuice show, and other attractions.  We concluded with dinner at the ESPN Zone before heading back over to the hotel.  Once again Rood and I headed to the room while Jay headed to the bar.  When he eventually came back into the room he fell on top of me, twice, I assisted him to his couch. 

Saturday March 29th
Another early start for today as we wanted to get in line for our Midday Madness special meet and greet with WWE Superstars.   Jay opted not to attend this event.  After waiting in line for a few hours we were herded into another queue where you ushered into one of two rooms that had WWE Superstars in them.   Not to sound ungrateful but the next room was so much better than ours.  You went in and sat between Big Show and Mark Henry for a Polaroid photo, while waiting Coach worked the line signing autographs and taking pictures, which was cool.  The on the other side of the room you could get autographs from Melina, Ashley, Santino Marella, & Jamie Noble.  The other room has Lillian Garcia working the line, Polaroid with Edge & Chavo, and at the table I could only see Beth Phoenix and William Regal, but that was enough for me to feel  jipped!

We rounded up Jay and left for the Central Florida Fairgrounds for some UXW Pro Wrestling.  I had found this indy show searching the internet and it was perfect because it was a 1pm bell time and it advertised Jake “The Snake” Roberts (fresh out of rehab) Abdullah the Butchers, and plenty of mayhem.  Boy did it deliver the mayhem!  It was in and open air building right on the Fairgrounds and the weather was just gorgeous for it.  I snagged a photo with Jake, Abby, Big Vito, and a couple others.  They has two 6 way matches, a triple threat, and the most insane 2 out of 3 falls tag team match I have ever seen.

Here are the results;
March 29, 2008
UXW Pro Wrestling                                                        Central Florida Fairgrounds                        Orlando, FL
Mike Tobin defeated The Greatness, Naphtali, Wade Koverly, Chris Jones, & Craig Classic
Francisco Ciasto w/ Ron Neimei pinned “Lifeguard” Darren Smythe
Skull Von Crush pinned Vordell Walker to win the vacant United States Championship
Extreme Triple Threat Match: Ray Beez defeated Aaron Epic & Sideshow
Raymond Snow won a 6 way match
Jake “The Snake” Roberts pinned Kenny Kendrick with a DDT
2 out of 3 Falls Match: The Heartbreak Express: Sean & Phil Davis w/ Amy Vitale defeated Jon Davis & Bruce Santee 2 Falls to 1.  Fall 1: Double Dog Collar Match, Fall 2: I Quit Match, Fall 3: Last Man Standing.  Jon Davis required 16 staples to close a wound on his head. 
Lou Cypher pinned Jason Sorrow
Abdullah the Butcher defeated Lou Cypher
The Heartbreak Express and Jon Davis & Bruce Santee battled all over the building, used chairs, barbed wire, thumbtacks, light tubes, blood everywhere.  Jon Davis took a hard-way to the back of the head and blood just gushed, I’ve never see so much in a match ever!  I read online later that he needed 16 staples to close the wound.  Rescue showed up and he was legit taken away during the main event.    We definitely got out $20 worth!

That night was the WWE Hall Of Fame Ceremony.  We headed back to the hotel and but on our dress clothes for the prestigious event.  Here were the inductees:

March 29, 2008                                                  Amway Arena                                                   Orlando, FL
WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair by Triple H
Gordon Solie by Jim Ross accepted by The Solie Family
The Brisco Brothers: Jack & Gerry by John Bradshaw Layfield
“High Chief” Peter Maivia by The Rock accepted by Ata Johnson
“Soul Man” Rocky Johnson by The Rock
“The Great” Mae Young by Pat Paterson
Eddie Graham by “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes accepted by Mike Graham
Hosted by Jerry “The King” Lawler
Our seats were fantastic!  On the right side of the stage It was cool to see the Rock but he went too long and it cut into Ric Flair’s awesome and impassioned speech.  I feel very fortunate to have been there for it.  It had been rumored that he would be going in and it is why we came to Orlando this year.   They gave us very nice programs that featured a mini bio on all those being inducted.

After the Hall of Fame Rood and I were ready for some food and tonight was the night we planned to hit What-A-Burger because we had never been.  Jay asked me to drop him at the hotel, he didn’t want to go and he wanted to hit the bar before it closed.  I didn’t want to stop because it would have been very inconvenient because of the location of What-A-Burger in relation to the hotel.  To set it up we were on a 4 lane one way highway going west to our left is a 4 lane one way highway going east, the hotel is on our left.  To drop Jay off we would have to drive past the hotel, cross over, drive east, drop him off, drive east some more, cross over west again, drive back past the hotel then turn left down a side road that brought us to What-A-Burger get back on the highway east and stop at the hotel.  The easiest solution was to have him wait a few and drive with us to grab our food so we didn’t have to drive all kinds of extra and drive back and forth.  He started becoming cranky, demanding to be dropped at the hotel, and just generally annoying.  So with the hotel in sight to out left I stopped in the middle of the road and told him to get out.  If he wanted to go to the hotel so bad now was his chance.  Much to our surprised he jumped out of the vehicle hopped the center barrier separating the roads and froggered his way across the 4 lanes of traffic, almost getting struck in the process.
What-A-Burger was fantastic!
Rood and I decided to rib Jay and left bags, shoes, and whatever else we could along the walkway Jay would take from the door to his couch.  Sure enough when he came in the room he immediately fell down, and continued to do so, repeatedly and with running commentary the entire way.  Rood and I were trying so hard not to laugh, even in the dark I could see the shape of Rood convulsing on his bed as Jay hit the floor again yelling “this is bullshit!”  Of course in the morning we were up before Jay and had the room squared away as if the obstacle course didn’t exist.
Sunday March 30, 2009
Finally WrestleMania Sunday was upon us!  Such a fantastic day is WrestleMania Sunday!
When Jay was brushing his teeth he kept walking back and forth in the room like he was looking for something, he then told us of how last night when he came into the room he kept falling down.  We fought back the laughter.
We stopped at Hooters on the way to the Citrus Bowl and I have my first ever fried pickles, and I fell in love with them that day. 
I had pre-paid for parking and studied the map diligently in doing so to find us the best parking area and then were to park for a strategic departure.  When it was time to leave after the event we were able to get right out onto the main road, also I had learned the back way in so when we headed back to the hotel we didn’t have to deal with traffic at all.  In fact when we crossed over the interstate you could see the traffic backed up for miles!

Outside the Citrus bowl WWE had a fan access of sorts set up.  Nothing like they do today, but some minor stuff to entertain people before the Showcase of the Immortals began.  Rain threatened and it did mist a bit, but in the end it was just overcast.  I bought the official WrestleMania XXIV program that highlighted all the matches on the card.  A wonderful souvenir of the day.

Once again we had fantastic seats in the first row off the field dead center with the ring.  No complaints at all!  It’s pretty warm out, I’m dry mouth but I don’t want to leave my seat and miss anything.  It’s time for the ECW Championship Match with Chavo defending against Kane, a guy shows up selling Coke.  I HATE Coke, but I’m thirsty and as Kane’s entrance takes a long time I figure I have time to buy the stupid Coke.  As I have my head down getting money and talking to the guy I hear the bell ring and the crowd cheer and Rood laugh.  I look up and Kane is holding the ECW Championship!  The friggin’ match was over!  Kane had been hiding under the ring and won the match in seconds!  I missed it buying a stupid Coke!!!

The match we came for was the retirement match of Ric Flair.  The gimmick was that if Flair lost a match he would be forced to retire and since last November had been on quite the winning streak.  Well now he was facing Shawn Michaels and it was obvious that Flair was going to lose.  He came out in a glorious new robe reminiscent of his most famous Starrcade 83 robe.  The pyro was that of a Fourth of July Celebration.  With Mania being outside the pyro all night was something, but this was marvelous.  It was one of Flair’s finest matches in years and after 20 minutes it was crystal clear that it was time to go home.  Michaels was in the corner, is set up position for the finisher the Superkick, I was watching Flair who was getting off the canvas and as he was doing so he was already crying, which made me cry.  The fans were on their feet and Flair gave him the “c’mon you son of a bitch” and then HBK kicked him in the face for the 3 count and that was it.  Even though I knew what was going to happen it was very emotional for me.  Jay said that he was going to get a drink and be right back. 
I’m not sure how much later, it was during the next match when Rood asked where Jay was.  I checked my phone and found a text message, “I saw what I came to see, I took a cab back to the hotel.”  Really!  Come all this way to leave with 4 matches left on the card?

It was a great night of wrestling action and even though Flair didn’t stay retired you can tell he regrets coming back to wrestle in lesser matches on a tour in Australia with Hogan and for TNA, instead of going out at WrestleMania. 
It was a Superfantastic Weekend and here are the full results of the card:
March 30, 2008                                                  Citrus Bowl                                                                         Orlando, FL
Dark Match
Shown live on Kane won a 24-man battle royal by last eliminating Mark Henry with a boot to the face at 6:23; stipulations stated the winner would earn a ECW World Title shot later in the night;
Belfast Brawl: John Bradshaw Layfield pinned Finlay w/ Hornswoggle at 8:37 with the Clothesline from Hell

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: CM Punk defeated United States Champion:  MVP, Intercontinental Champion:  Chris Jericho, WWE Tag Team Champion:  John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, Ken Kennedy, and Carlito at 13:54 after Jericho's legs became stuck in the ladder; late in the match, Matt Hardy came out of the crowd and dropped MVP with a Twist of Fate off the top of the ladder

Batista pinned Umaga at 7:07 in an interpromotional match with a spinebuster and botched Batista Bomb

Kane pinned ECW World Champion:  Chavo Guerrero Jr. with the chokeslam to win the title in 11 seconds

Career Threatening Match: Shawn Michaels pinned “Nature Boy” Ric Flair with the superkick at 20:25

Lumberjill Match:  Women's Champion: “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix & Melina w/ Santino Marella defeated Maria & Ashley at 5:58 when Phoenix pinned Maria with a fisherman buster after Maria became distracted by Jerry Lawler punching an interfering Santino on the floor; lumberjills for the bout included Mickie James, Jillian Hall, Layla, Cherry, Victoria, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Katie Lea, Michelle McCool, and Eve; prior to the bout, Snoop Dogg was the special guest MC for the match
No DQ No Count-out Match: WWE Champion:  Randy Orton defeated Triple H and John Cena in a at 14:10 by pinning Cena after Triple H dropped Cena with the Pedigree and Orton kicked Triple H in the head

No Holds Barred Match: WBC Welterweight Champion:  Floyd “Money” Mayweather w/ several corner men defeated the Big Show via KO at 11:36 after landing a low blow, three chair shots to the head, and finishing by punching Show in the face with a pair of brass knucks;

The Undertaker defeated World Heavyweight Champion: Edge via submission to win the title at 23:48
Thanks for reading,
Later Readers!

The following photos are from that very bloody UXW Match: Caution they are Graphic!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Years Blog

Greetings and Happy New Year! 

I started the New Year, once again, watching the ball drop at work.  How did you spend yours?

I’m not going to make any New Year’s resolutions, but I am going to try to accomplish a few bucket list items this year.  The one main theme for me this year though is my goal to lose ½ pound a week.  Yes one-half pound.  I’ve tried so many diets over the years and the weight just yo-yo’s.  This slow methodical approach is working for me and I’m going to stick to it.

Recently a Facebook friend of mine that runs a Japanese wrestling group made the journey to Japan for a dream 25 day vacation.  In fact as I write this he is still there for a couple weeks.  He has been posting about all the shows he has gone to and other wrestling related adventures while he is over there.  In Japan wrestling is tremendously huge and there are several wrestling leagues.  Korakuen Hall in Tokyo averages over 20 wrestling event a month alone.  Also several wrestlers have opened restaurants and bars and he has met a who’s who of Japanese wrestling legends.  Reading daily about his adventure has made me reminiscent of my own adventures in wrestling and I have a couple big ones prior to starting this blog and I’m going to write posts about them to publish in the future. 

One of the things on my list is to attend a WWE Live Event at Madison Square Garden.  The Garden has always been the mecca of professional wrestling not only in the Northeast but around the world.  It’s a very large accomplishment to have wrestled at Madison Square Garden. I know if I ever go it’s going to be an expensive ticket, because if I do go then I want to have a good seat.  I just want to experience it once in my life. 

A few other things on the list;

Have a story published

Fire Walk

Visit every state in the United States
                I have things I want to see or do in every state as well

Go on a ghost hunt

Go on a cryptozoological adventure

There’s also a list of wrestling related items, MSG, Arena Mexico, Korakuen Hall, and a bunch more.

I might print the entire list someday. 

Here’s wishing everyone a great new year!
Later Readers!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year End Blog 2014 Style


It’s that time, once again, for the year in review. 

All in all 2014 was a good year;
I attended 14 wrestling events including meeting the legendary “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and attended the Rhode Island Comic Con with John, Jay, Jonny, Jeremy & Juliana.  I was the only non-J named person in our group to attend.
John and I took in a screening of Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol 1 at the Nickelodeon in Portland with an appearance by the man himself Lloyd Kaufman!
Kate and I had a weekend getaway to Cape Code and Rhode Island and had a fantastic day trip that took us through the heart of New Hampshire dipping into Vermont.
For our 1st Anniversary we dined at Chick-fil-A and went to the historic Boston Opera House for a phenomenal production of The Phantom of the Opera.
We took our moms to Fenway Park for a Mother’s Day excursion, sadly the Sox lost to the Toronto Blue Jays.
WWE launched the WWE Network….so friggin’ awesome!
I took Kate to the Cumberland County Civic Center for her 3rd Tom Petty Concert, fantastic show!
Emma and Caleb got married.
Kate got Pregnant, it’s a boy!
We moved from Randolph to Gardiner.
Addison – she started Kindergarten, participated in Gardiner Youth Cheering, and is currently take Jazz dance class.  She is very excited to become a big sister.  She has grown up a lot this year but she’s still my little girl.
Canaan – big ole 3rd grader now and still very active in sports playing baseball in the spring, football in the fall, and basketball in the Winter.  Also this year he joined the Boy Scouts and is a Bear Scout.  Canaan is finally at that good age for sports where they play full games with stricter rules and standards.  Baseball was the Minor League where kids only pitch, 3 outs, 3 strikes, and the score counts!  His team swept the playoffs and won the 2014 Gardiner Cal Ripken Minor League Championship.  Football was 3rd grade & 4th grade tackle; he was awesome on defense, not so much on offense.  There was not a championship per say that they played for.  However the participated in the BAYFUL round robin against 3 other teams and won all three of their games.  Basketball is just getting underway, they don’t keep score, but they are much stricter on the rules with active play clocks, and calling all rule violations like double dribble and traveling. 
I’m so very proud of both of the kids!

2014 brought some sadness and loss as well.  My grandfather Bump (Raymond Young) became ill over the summer and rapidly deteriorated passing away in August a month shy of 89 years old.  I will miss Bump and miss playing cribbage with him.  The next month in September saw Grammie Connie leave us.   For a while there it looked as though Grampa Hobart was going to join her, but he seems to be doing much better now.

I had made a few declarations and have been able to keep up with most of them.  The biggest one being I would lose 25 pounds this year.  I’m happy to say with diet, exercise, and the constant support of the family and friends in our Facebook weight loss group I have managed to lose those 25 pounds!
My approach was one of just taking it slow and steady, weighing up every Friday and looking for a 1 pound loss.  I cut my portions, and over all decreased the amount of food I eat.  I feel that for the first time in my life I am approaching weight loss the right way and doing it in a way where the weight is staying off even if I stray for a meal or two.   For the coming year my plan is to continue on the path that I have been on and continue to watch the scale creep down. 

One thing I have really enjoyed this year is the almost weekly movie nights with Jonny watching some of the best and worst horror movies out there, and some of the worst!  The bad titles don’t tend to stick with me, however some of good ones that were new to both of us were; Wolf Cop, As Above So Below, and Tusk has stuck with us and was quite disturbing.  That wasn’t the most disturbing film I watched this year, that was a film called “A Serbian Film” which I won’t even bother to talk about here, if you want to know about it do some research but I wouldn’t bother.
We also caught up on a lot of movies he’d never seen or heard of and vice versa.  Off all the movies in that category though the number 1 flick was me introducing him to “Monster Squad” which is basically his new favorite all time flick!
This year had some great movies in the theaters and I managed to take in a couple with my favorites being; “Captain American: Winter Soldier”, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Oculus”. 

2015 looks to be an exciting year ahead with some fantastic movies in Avengers & Star Wars sequels, The Boston Pro Wrestling Marathon, and of course the birth of our son!!

Take care!

Later Readers!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Labbe's 8 days of Christmas

Season's Greetings!

 Christmas is never just a one day event, it just couldn’t be considering the size of most people family’s, mine being no different.

Christmas this year started in Sunday 21st with Church in the morning and the Mueller/ Higgins celebration in the evening.  My day went like this, get out of work at 7am, sleep for about 90 minutes, go to church, drop the kids at their mothers, go home, sleep about 2.5 hours, go to Higgins’, go home and sleep 90 minutes, get up and go to work…I was tired.  The kids were in the Christmas Pageant this year with Canaan as a Shepherd and Addison playing Jesus’ mom Mary.  The kids did a fantastic job, sang wonderfully, and I’m truly very proud of them.  The Muller/Higgin’s shindig was a lot of fun and featured a great meal.  Mama Mueller got a good sized prime rib and cooked it like a roast, it was fantastic!  Jonny really liked his gift of a Colt Cabana shirt, Kate got some Chocolates, and I got a gift card to Target.  Kate’s cousin Thomas, his fiancĂ© Anna, and her daughter Lera are visting from Russia and it was very nice to see/meet them.

Monday the 22nd Kate and I had dinner with Jay, Amy, & Erin Willoughby at the Liberal Cup in Hallowell.  It was so nice to see them and have that time with them.  The food was delicious, the tar box cream stout was the best, and it was simply a great time!

Tuesday the 23rd I ended up having the kids for a few hours in the morning.  We ended up watching some great holiday classics with “A Christmas Story”, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and “Jetsons Christmas Carol” before their mother picked them up.  That evening Kate and I continued the holiday classic’s marathon with “It’s a Wonderful Life” and later while I was wrapping presents I watched the 1938 version of “A Christmas Carol”.  I hadn’t watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” for many years and I must say it’s a darn fine movie from beginning to end.  One of those timeless classics that’s for sure!

Wednesday the 24th, Christmas Eve was our day to have Christmas with the Kids.  I picked them from their mothers at noonish, Kate got home from work about 1:30 and we commenced with Christmas.  Of course it was over in a blink, but that’s how it is.  The kids really liked what we got them and Addison had everything put away and in its place before you knew it!  Mrs. Mom, Mr. Bob, & AJ came over for a nice visit and to give the kids their gifts.  Mom & Irving got their after mom got out of work and we proceeded to have Christmas with them.  It was a great day and it was nice to have the time with everyone.  I managed to get in a nap before heading into work my shift, where it was quite dead.

Thursday the 25th, Christmas Day, when I got home from work Kate and I exchanged out Christmas stockings were I received a large supply of toiletries that will keep me well supplied in the coming months.  I also got a bad ass Godzilla t-shirt!  We went to Kate's parents for Christmas morning and delicious home made cinnamon rolls!  SO GOOD! Emma & Caleb came over and it was a really nice morning.

We had to go home so Kate could make yeast rolls to take to Aunt Carolynn's that afternoon.  I managed a quick nap.  We got to Aunt Carolynn's for 1pm for a turkey dinner.  Attending was Mrs. Mom, Bob, Andrew, AJ, Emma, Caleb, The Chases, Krista, Seth, Will, and of course Jack & Aunt Carolynn.  The meal was wonderful and we all had a great time.

It was absolutely gorgeous outside, and with the sun being out for the first time in days I took the time to head down to the pond and enjoy the crisp fresh air.  I took the time to grab a few photos including this one. 

Saturday December 27th - We traveled to Litchfield to see Gram-Gram and have Christmas with her.  It was really nice to see her and the kids hit the jackpot with some pretty awesome posters for their walls.  Addison got two Frozen and a big Frozen coloring book, Canaan two Star Wars posters and a Star Wars the Clone Wars movie event, The Return of Darth Maul.  Mom and Irving came down and it made for a couple nice photos.  

After Gram-Grams we traveled south towards Topsham for Christmas at Nana's.  The sauce in Nana's meatballs was really, really good this year.  It was nice to see my two Gram-Nana's in the same day. 

Sunday December 28th - Our official last day of Labbe Christmas, and it was spent with Labbe's.  Dad & Linda, and Adam, Nell, & Frederick came over after the kids got back from church.  We had some great food including what I feel is my best batch of meatballs ever.  They were indeed a hit!  It was a really nice afternoon seeing everyone and spending sometime together.  I would like to do it more just to spend some time together. 

After the Labbe's left Canaan and I took the tree down.  As of this writing it  now sits on the front lawn awaiting Bob to pick it up.  

It was a wonderful Christmas this year and doing a little each day was much nicer than trying to cram everything in, in one or two days.  

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!!

Later Readers!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

another blog about Christmas Past


Christmas is almost upon us and like most I tend to get nostalgic this time of year thinking of Christmas past when I was just a youngster.  Christmas morning was always spent at my Mom’s house until my Dad picked me up.  Dad would take me around to various relatives before ending up at Nana’s for the large family gathering and then home to his house where I we would have our Christmas and by that time I was pretty tuckered out.

Because my Dad picked me up Christmas morning I never got to experience the traditions on my Mom’s side of the family.  One year I almost did as I was determined to stay with my Mom for Christmas and see what exactly they did.  Once Christmas Day arrived though, I was super sad that I was not going to be with my Dad or go to Nana’s that I broke down and cried and asked to go to my Dad’s.  I’m still not sure why my Dad didn’t come pick me up, but instead Mom & Irving drove me to my Dad’s house that morning and we had Christmas in reverse starting at my Dad’s and ending at Nana’s. 

Now a days with my family being splintered and big it would be impossible to celebrate with everyone on the same day so we celebrate on and around Christmas when I have the kids and when it works out for everyone’s schedules.

Kate and I are making a conscious effort to establish our own traditions by doing things together that we had not done with anyone else before.  The first one being Kate’s idea last year when we celebrated our first Christmas together being married was making popcorn strands to trim the tree with.  I love this idea because it’s a very old Christmas tradition and they look really good on the tree!  It is a bit time consuming but we can get them done in one evening. 

I have a certain set of Christmas Specials that I like to watch every year, in no certain order;

A Christmas Story – Jean Shepherd’s classic story of Ralphie and his red ryder BB gun, how can you not like this movie!? 

Garfield’s Christmas

 Charlie Brown Christmas

 Muppet Family Christmas – It’s the only time the Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, and Muppet Babies were all in one special, capped with a cameo by Jim Henson at the end it’s THE greatest Muppet production ever!  I have the Canadian bootleg edition with is a complete uncut version.  When it originally aired they only had the rights to use certain songs for the initial broadcast so when they home video version came out they had cut scenes and entire songs while adding in a few scenes.  This version I have someone seamlessly cut together a crisp DVD release with a high quality copy recorded off TV. 

Twas the Night Before Christmas – 1974 Rankin and Bass cartoon that has also suffered over the years from harsh editing.  This time though and entire song was edited out because the lyrics used the word gay to describe happiness. 

Prep & Landing – the newest addition, these tow half hour specials and 1 short are just fantastic!

Love Actually – a British flick featuring a wonderful ensemble cast of multiple intertwining stories of love during the Christmas season.

A Christmas Carol - the 1938 version with Reginald Owen as Scrooge.  I first saw watched this in my early teens on Turner Classic Movies and now watch it every year on Christmas Eve.  There have been several other outstanding versions of the classic Dickens story that I truly enjoy, but this one has always been my favorite. 

I try to watch each of these with the kids in hopes that they will also grow to love them as I have.

That’s all for today, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, and until next time,

Later Readers!


My favorite Christmas Song

Friday, December 5, 2014

Last of November


So a bunch has happened but I’m going to try and keep this short.  As you can see this is my third post in rather quick succession and you’ll know why in a moment. 

Firstly we found a place and moved to Oak St in Gardiner.  I did the majority of the moving but got some great assistance at different times from Irving, Mama Muller, Emma, Bob, Aunt Trish, and Andrew.  We are getting the house situated and are making it our own.   It’s a big home with three bedrooms, dining room, other room, large kitchen, small bathroom, back storage room, and cellar. 

I’m still looking for a record player. 

The biggest pain about the move was dealing with Fairpoint.  I called them several times and was on hold so long I would give up.  Finally on November 5th I waited on hold for 25 minutes before someone pick up.  Then it took another hour for them to find my account to transfer it over.  Once they were done they told me it should be ready November 13th.  Awesome.  The 13th rolled around, no internet working.  I called technical support, where they proceeded to tell me that the DSL isn’t synched.  They need to have a technician come out, but they don’t schedule those.  They gave my number to another department that schedules them and they will call when they have it set up.  So who knows how long that will be. 

So we have been internet less for over a week and it’s getting to me.

Canaan joined the Boy Scouts, he’s a Bear Scout, he is loving it and has even already earned his Bobcat Badge.  Addison joined dance, Jazz dance, and has a recital in May.   Canaan will be starting basketball soon with games on Saturday morning. 

We went for an ultra sound and discovered that our baby is going to be a boy!

What you've read so far I wrote two weeks ago.  It only took Fairpoint 3 weeks to get our internet up and running so I'm finally able to post my blog about the Rhode Island Comic Con.

Once again Kate prepared a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for us.  We were joined this year by Cousin Jonny and the Orions. Now that Thanksgiving is over it is officially the Christmas season to me and of course it'll be over before you know it.

In closing here is a video of Cousin Jonny performing Farewell to Nova Scotia recently

 Later Readers!

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Here's the Piss-kaw-talk-us story I told Anthony Michael Hall at the Rhode Island Comic Con

In the background is Anthony Michael Hall at the Rhode Island Comic Con
I was a huge fan of the series The Dead Zone that aired on the USA Network for 6 season from 2002 – 2007, it starred Anthony Michael Hall and was based on the book by Stephen King.  Being a Stephen King story it, of course, took place in Maine and even though the show was filmed in Canada.  Through-out the series they would use actual town names and other locations that were actual located in Maine which I always thought was cool.  In one episode the even had to go to Litchfield, which is where I grew up. 

In Season 2 Episode 18 episode “Precipitate” Johnny must find the Blood Mobile to put right what might go wrong.  For whatever reason the lady at the Blood bank cannot tell Johnny what town the Blood Mobile is in, but she can tell him what County.  He accepts this nonsensical policy and tells the kindly Blood Bank tech to tell him the name of the County.  She checks the book and proudly announced “Piss-kaw-talk-us.” 

I was perplexed, here was this show that always used actual Maine locations and now they are using a made up County name?  I sat there saying the word over and over until I finally realized that they were using an actual Maine county, they just horrible mispronounced Piscataquis. 

From that point on whenever I say the word Piscataquis I always pronounce it Piss-kaw-talk-us.”

On Halloween night 2014 some friends and I traveled down to Ocean State for the 3rd annual Rhode Island Comic Con weekend.  At the Halloween party that night the man himself Johnny Smith, Anthony Michael Hall walked in the take in the festivities.  I worked up the nerve to go and speak to him and told him the above story of the mispronounced word.  He either genuinely thought my story was humorous or he is a really good actor, which he is. 

I lean to believe that he was being genuine as with each person he interacted with that night and through-out the weekend, from what I saw, he was wonderful with each and every one of them.  He would stand up, shake their hand, give them his undivided attention and have lengthy conversations with them.  On Saturday I noticed he was there right at 9am when the early bird got in, and he was THE last person to leave his table that night at 7pm when they were closing the floor for the night. 

He seems to truly appreciate his fans.

Later Readers!