Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Parliament. (I am wearing the white hat.)
October 30, 2007

St. Paul's Cathedral
As seen from the British Airways London Eye
October 30, 2007
I was in London earlier this week. A couple of observations.

-- British people are very friendly. I spoke to a young couple on the British Air flight to London. They were both 24 and had just visited, among other places, Mystic, during a "holiday" in New England. We're now Facebook friends. I met a couple a few hours after landing at a small breakfast spot. The woman had never seen American money. On the way home, I met a married couple traveling to Connecticut to attend a funeral. The gentleman was thrilled the onboard meal was sausage and mash. It was very cute.

-- Everyone asked what I thought of President Bush, and all were amazed when I said most of the U.S. (including me) was not happy with him. They were equally amazed he was leader of the free world.

-- Why do they not have cream with coffee in Britain? It's all milk. Weird.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Death sucks.

John R. Levanto
July 12, 1922 - October 20, 2007
NORWICH - John R. Levanto, 85, husband of Rita (Shalkowski) Levanto of 112 Ox Hill Rd., Norwich, died Saturday evening at Norwichtown Rehabilitation Center. Born in Norwich on July 12, 1922, he was the son of the late Charles and Lucy (Tedeschi) Levanto. He graduated in the Class of 1940 from N.F.A., and had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II being honorably discharged with the rank of Aviation Radio Man. Prior to his retirement he was the owner of Levanto Insurance and Real Estate Agency in Norwich. He was a past president of the Insurance Underwriters Assoc.; assistant tax assessor in Norwich; a life member of the Norwich Lodge of Elks; a member of the Knights of Columbus, and the Italian Heritage Society. On April 15, 1944 at St. Joseph Church in Norwich, he was united in marriage to Rita (Shalkowski) Levanto who survives along with their two sons and daughters in law, David M. and Bonnie Levanto of Franklin, and Charles F. and Reggie Levanto of Lisbon. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Mark, Scott, Ross and Brett Levanto; four great grandchildren; a sister Albina Antoch of Pawcatuck, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three sisters, Madeline Maruzo, Frances Macaione and Veronica Seaberg. Visitation 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Labenski Funeral Home, 107 Boswell Ave., Norwich, where the Funeral will assemble on Wednesday at 8 a.m. and proceed to a Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral of St. Patrick at 9 a.m. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to St. Patrick School, 211 Broadway, Norwich CT 06360.
Published in the Norwich Bulletin on 10/22/2007.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Reaching the summit on a perfect fall day. From left to right: Me, Jen, Naki and Nikko.
October 13, 2007
Jaffrey, N.H.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My thumb feels good enough that I am taking myself off the PUP list... I expect to be back on the field Sunday playing football. Tomorrow I am hiking Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Yankees play Cleveland tonight, down 2-1 in their ALDS series. Some observations:

-- I am not sure why they chose to start Chien-Ming Wang in game 1. Andy Pettitte has pitched better all year. Then again, if your team is not going to give you any run support, it doesn't matter.

-- The Cleveland Indians look like a better team this series. I had the same thought about Anaheim when they took a season series against the Yankees in August.

-- Joe Torre is going to resign at the end of this year, so the threat from THE BOSS about firing him really doesn't matter. Is it possible at their lunch meeting two weeks ago, Torre told THE BOSS to make the threat to pump up the boyz? Certainly there was no contract talk at that lunch, and at that point, the Yankees were about to make the playoffs, the result of Torre managing one of the best single season turnarounds ever.

In any event, Blake is coming over for our normal Monday Night Football evening, but I have informed him that the Yanks-Indians get top billing tonight (Tough for him since the Cowboys are playing).

In other news, late last week, Scott Lauber and I booked flights to Munich for a vacation in December we are calling "Jason Bourne on a budget." Essentially, we plan to fly in and out of Munich and for a week just aimlessly wander around some European cities, much in the same way Bourne does in his movies. Except were not traveling in a Mini and we can't really beat anyone up...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Brighton Center, Boston
October 3, 2007

I have been spending a lot of time lately at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton, Mass. Long story short: I broke my thumb playing flag football two Sundays ago. After putting off going to the hospital for a week, I finally resigned to x-rays, which revealed a partial fracture of my left thumb.

I took the picture above from the back of the hospital's cafeteria, after seeing my hand specialist and on the way to my regular doctor. Not a bad view. Certainly the best view of Brighton I have seen. Who would have thought one could find a very neat view of a Boston neighborhood from a hospital cafeteria. It's too bad that everyone eating had their backs turned to the window.
So I guess this means I am on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Though I think I should be back on the field in a week or two. Just in time for the flag football playoffs.

I do like my hospital. Despite the fact it is a 20-minute drive from my apartment, which is across the street from another hospital (Mass General), I like St. Elizabeth's because it is small (relatively speaking). In passing through the emergency room for X-rays, and then the hand specialist, everyone knew my primary care doctor. That's kind of cool.

Yanks v. Cleveland, tomorrow night!
Erin Boyd, Jon Surmacz, Me, Paul McNeeley
@ Nathan and Cristin's Wedding
September 21, 2007
Nathan and Cristin Wenig
September 21, 2007

Monday, October 01, 2007

Well, my prediction for this season was wrong. The Yanks are in the playoffs. Maybe the players saw my blog post from August and took it as a rallying cry?

The Yanks fans I know in Boston are planning parties to watch the divisional games at secure locations.

Congrats to the Phillies for making it yesterday and making Scott Lauber's job very fun.