Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Day on the Life of A Suburban Girl

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me 
Writer(s): Rachel Platten, Dave Bassett

Cast of Characters:
Mom of the Year - Me, (Yes, finally I am Mom of the Year )
Mr. Engineer - Husband
Soccer Boy - Son
Apologetic Dad  - Parent
Little Soccer Kid  - Apologetic Dad's Kid
Officer Info-Taker - Officer #96, Undisclosed Police Dept
Officer Pessimism - Officer Rowland, Undisclosed Police Dept
Officer Action - Officer #739, Undisclosed Police Dept
Officer Awesome - Officer Perozzi, Horsham Police Dept.

All times are approximate.

Here's What I Did All Day Honey
One hot humid evening between 8-10pm
Soccer Boy was playing pick-up soccer with the local soccer club.
Earlier the same evening Little Soccer Kid
played pick-up soccer in the younger age group from 6-8pm.

"The Ball"

Soccer Boy is dropped off at home -
Hmmmm - where's our car?
His bag was taken, missing, gone.

No bag =
no car key
no iphone
no wallet
(thus no driver's license, debit card, gift cards, cash
and worst of all no Chick Fil A monthly club card)
no work ID
no work shirt

Retrieve car with Soccer Boy
Look around for the bag
Mr. Engineer is sleeping blissfully unaware.

Wake Mr. Engineer from his blissful sleep.
File Police Report with Officer Info-Taker
who asks all the same questions I just answered on the form
I had to fill out before talking to him

"The Bag"

Debit Card cancelled
'find my iphone' finds the phone
blink, blink, I am.
Call Officer Info-Taker to report the find.
Officer Info-Taker is too busy now to check it out.
blink, blink, blink
"Do not go there,"says Officer Info-Taker, "we will handle it."
blink, blink, blink
We fall asleep to
blink, blink, blink

Never mind, I can't sleep.
I find the name of Apologetic Dad
I find Apologetic Dad's phone number (temptation, but officer said no)
I find Apologetic Dad is divorced
I find where Apologetic Dad's X lives
I find how much Apologetic Dad paid for his house
I find, I find, I find... 
You'd be surprised what you can find when you can't sleep.

"The Work Clothes"

9:00 am
Stop by Undisclosed Police Department
with a printout of the "find my iphone" map identifying the phone location.
We're really busy says Officer Pessimism
but don't go there yourself.

Hmmmmm...the dog didn't great me this morning. 

Officer Pessimism rings the door bell.
hope, hope, hope
Officer Pessimism states
'The family does not have the bag with the phone, they looked.'
Very vague...and continues
'They can't possibly have the phone.'
'The kids were home with the parents all evening after 6pm.'
blink, blink, blink 
Mom of the Year: 'But 'find my iphone' is blinking on their house'
Officer Pessimism: 'Oh, those things are not very accurate.'
Mom of the Year: But they have an iphone, wallet, key....
Officer Pessimism: There really isn't anything you can do
Mom of the Year: 'Can I just talk to them myself?'
Officer Pessimism: 'I prefer not. They don't want to be involved'

 Hmmmmm...the dog sure is drinking a lot of water 

Mom of the Year makes flyers to place on mailboxes around where
the blink, blink, blink signal since Officer Pessimism
says blink, blink, blink is not very accurate.
Mom of the Year delivers flyers (with typo)
and meets Wonderfully Nice Neighbor of Apologetic Dad  
Wonderfully Nice Neighbor and Mom of the Year's
kids were in the same GeoScience class.
Small world. 

Mom of the Year gets her hair done.

 Hmmmmm...the dog sure is licking his paws a lot 

Mom of the Year's new lens arrives
but Mom of the Year has no time to play since Mom of the Year is being Mom of the Year
and doing laundry, laundry, laundry
mopping, mopping, mopping
dusting, dusting, dusting
That's what Mom of the Year does when she is frustrated.

Dang, something sure is wrong with that dog. 

Call Vet 1 - No openings, not now, not ever...basically is what the message said.
Call Vet 2 - We can see him Friday, make appt.
I am really busy Friday, I need something sooner.
Call Vet 3 - Leave a message and we will return your call
(Call returned at thank you.)
Call Vet 4 - 'We have something tomorrow.'
'Great, I'll take it.'
Cancel Vet 2

I better replace the license for Soccer Boy
since Officer Pessimism said there
is nothing I can do.
Open form for lost/stolen licenses on DMV website
Enter your license # here ________

Click here for where to find your license #


I kid you not...
the DMV refers you to your lost/stolen license to find your license number.

Bang head on wall a few thousand times.

Put the new lens on the camera and take a few pics.
It works.

Pick Mr. Engineer up from the train

Soccer Boy is home from work and checks 'find my iphone' updates.
Now we can tell you
where Apologetic Dad works
where Apologetic Dad went for lunch
where Apologetic Dad got gas
where Apologetic Dad is parked in his office complex

5:30 pm
Call police, "The phone is on the move."
Officer Action asks all the same questions
answered on the form
answered to Officer Info-Taker
answered to Officer Pessimism
takes details of the phone's location.
Officer Action forwards information to Horsham PD
where the blink, blink, blink is.
Horsham PD send FOUR Officers...
apparently THEY are not too busy to help.

Officer Awesome calls Mom of the Year.
Over the phone, Soccer Boy and Mom of the Year
guide Officer Awesome
to the location of blink, blink, blink  
in a large business complex parking lot.
Officer Awesome locates the bag with the
blink, blink, blink. 
Officer Awesome stakes out the car with the
blink, blink, blink. 

Apologetic Dad sees police activity near his car.
Apologetic Dad checks out car and sees bag in car.
Apologetic Dad gives bag to Officer Awesome.
Apologetic Dad never knew the bag was there.
Little Soccer Kid must have picked it up with his belongings.
Officer Pessimism never talked to Apologetic Dad
All his information came from the BABYSITTER
who was only with the kids til 6pm.

Officer Awesome is now Soccer Boy's hero.
Hmmmm, what about Mom of the Year? 
Seriously, she is underrated. 

Apologetic Dad calls Mom of the Year and apologizes profusely.
Him: Why didn't you just come to the door?
Me: Officer Info-Taker and Officer Pessimism told me not to and
Officer Pessimism said you didn't want to be involved.
Him: It was the babysitter who didn't want to be involved.

Officer Pessimism has a few things to learn. 
Next time just go to the stinkin' door. 
Track my iphone is pretty darn accurate. 

This is the abridged version of my day...really, 
I left stuff out.  

I now award myself
Mom of the Year.

In case you are wondering....
The dog will be fine. 
Pomeranians often have issues with their teeth since they are so small. 
He needs an antibiotic and likely another tooth pulled. 
After 7 years I recognize the symptoms. 

"The Toothache"

Thanks to the tenacity of Officer Amazing 
for not giving up in a sea of cars
 we have the bag and all of its contents back. 

And fortunately for Mr. Engineer,
he didn't ask what I did all day.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

A Cruise Courtesy the US Navy

You are invited... 
on a Tiger Cruise courtesy of the US Navy.
USS Kaufmann FFG59

A Tiger Cruise is the chance for family and friends to see up close what the US Navy does on a day to day basis by observing at-sea operations during transit from one port to another. 

A "Tiger" is any relative or friend (but not girlfriend/boyfriend, fiancĂ©e or spouse) of a crew member  joining the crew during transit. 

Tiger Brother-in-Law (son) and Tiger Father-in-Law (husband)
eagerly accepted the invitation from our Sailor Boy for the final cruise
on board the USS Kaufmann sailing from Florida to Virginia.
I opted to meet them in the port of arrival and sleep in a 4 star hotel.

Leaving from Jacksonville, FL

Tiger Quote: Trying to sleep on a battleship is like running a lawnmower in your bedroom all night. 

Tiger Dad, Sailor Boy, Tiger Brother in Law, Tiger Father in Law

Tiger Quote: I lifted my head from the pillow and hit my head on the rack (bunk) above me. 

Tiger Thought: This food is terrible. 
Sailor Quote: We're glad you're here.  The food is like it is from Martha Stewart compared to the usual fare. 

Starting the grill for the Steel Beach Picnic

Tiger Quote: This (bakery bread) does not in anyway resemble the stuff they called bread on that ship. 

Tiger Quote: It was an experience and I am not sure I will ever repeat it. 

Demo helo flyby

Tiger Quote:  When they build battleships there is no consideration for human comfort.  
There is no place to sit outside of the mess hall. 

Tiger Quote to Sailor's Wife: If he doesn't hear you...he really doesn't hear you. 
I think I suffered hearing loss. 

Tiger Brother-in-Law 
poses with an unloaded weapon for a pic to send Mom. 

Tiger Quote:  You should have seen the storm we saw.  I knew it was unusually cool because all the sailors came out to take pictures of the lightning too. 

Tiger Quote:  We had a Steel Picnic.  Burgers and hotdogs on the flight deck.  I passed on those unidentifiable meats and ate ice cream instead. 

Ammo for the weapons demo

Tiger Quote: When the CIWS fires (90 rounds/second)
it is like having a messed up pacemaker thumping in your chest. 

Tiger Quote: You can't mess up ice cream. 
Sailor Quote: Oh? 

Weapons Demo

Tiger Quote: I had one sip of coffee and I don't think I will ever drink coffee again. 
How do you ruin coffee? 
Answer - You don't change the filter, just keep adding coffee grounds.

Weapons demo 

Tiger Quote: There is absolutely no privacy on a battleship. 

CIWS Demo - 90 rounds per second fired by our Sailor Boy.
close-in weapon system (CIWS), often pronounced sea-whiz, is a point-defense weapon for detecting and destroying short-range incoming missiles and enemy aircraft which have penetrated the outer defenses.
Cool Fact: This weapon fires in every direction but is designed that it will not
fire on any part of its own ship. 

Tiger Quote: We had luxury of 2 toilets, 2 showers, and 3 sinks for 60 guys. 

Text from Tiger: I see land. Thank God. 

The 29 year old USS Kaufmann is now being decommissioned
and will likely be sold to another country.
It will await its fate in nearby Philadelphia.

Photos by Tiger Father-in-Law

To see my heartwarming Sailor Boy homecoming post click here.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Variations on a Theme

Sayen Garden, New Jersey

I love to edit images in Topaz for a new look.
The problem -
I can't decide which is my favorite.

Click for $20 Topaz Credit

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Our Hero is Back

I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the World I’m coming home 

Song by Diddy – Dirty Money

A Homecoming Story

Navy Photographer Photographs Eager Families

Clear security. 
Find the pier.
Clear more security. 
Join other families awaiting the arrival of a loved one 
they haven't seen in 6 months. 

Creative Signs Abound 

Wait, wait, and wait some more. 
And then...
They are close. 
Up the adrenaline a notch. 

Sailor Boy's Sister Made Spider Man Themed Signage
Sailor Boy is aka Buddy, his childhood nickname. 
Sailor Boy is my son-in-law. 

Catch a glimpse. 
They're coming home!  

The First Glimpse

But where is our Sailor Boy? 
We squint, we scan, 
our Sailor Boy is not seen. 

Other Sailor Boys

Where, oh where, is our Sailor Boy?
He was down below
manning his weapon
during the approach into port.

Our Sailor just arrived - on the left. 

We cheer, we jump, we wave 
and Sailor Boy flashes his wonderful smile. 

The Captain's Speech

The Commanding Officer makes a speech. 
We share pride in all our Sailors accomplished 
in intercepting the 2nd largest 
amount of cocaine in naval history.
Way to go Sailors! 

First Hug

Loved ones bid for their sailor to be one of the first off the ship. 
They bid for the first kiss. 
They bid for the first hug. 

Daddy Meets His Baby Boy

Next off, 
sailors who have yet to meet their babies. 
If that doesn't tug at your heartstrings .... 

Daddy Meets His Baby Girl

And then comes the Commanding Officer.

Commanding Officer Greets His Family 

Our Sailor Boy!

Sailor Boy and Teacher Girl 

Reunited at Last! 

Coming Home

What's Next? 
Sailor Boy is home for 3 months. 
His ship is being decommissioned. 
He has some leave time 
and then he and Teacher Girl 
relocate from Virginia Beach back to San Diego. 
(They moved from San Diego just under 2 years ago.) 
His new ship just deployed. 
That means Sailor Boy will be joining 
the ship while it is already underway.  
They'll be another homecoming sometime next year.  

Of Naval Interest....
The ship, the USS Kaufmann FFG 59,  
is a guided missile frigate. 
All the other naval frigates have already been decommissioned. 
This deployment was significant 
in that is was the last frigate still sailing. 
Their deployment was in and around 
Central America 
with the goal of keeping illegal drugs 
from reaching our country. 

Of Photographic Interest...
I used the world's worst lens for these images. 
(I was trying out a lens.) 
The lens is being returned TOMORROW. 
I would have been happier with images from a point and shoot 
than with this crappy lens. 

Welcome Home Sailors! 

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All images by Rebecca Haegele have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Click on any image to go to its gallery for purchasing information.