Showing posts from 2012

The Polar Express

Recently my wife and I visited Dollywood in Tennessee.  We had a great time, watching the shows and viewing all the Christmas lights.  Shortly after returning from Dollywood, we put up our own lights.  They do not compare, but they are nice. As I mentioned in my earlier post, we are watching through the Christmas movies.  Now I believe the reason for the season is the celebration of the Birth of Christ.  I am a movie watcher and enjoy many types of movies.  One of my favorites is the classic film, Miracle on 34th Street.  I will post about the movie a little later.  Tonight I will be talking about the Polar Express. There was a ride at Dollywood, for the Polar Express, it was a 4-D movie.  The seats were set up to make you feel like you were on the train.  Racing through the mountains up and down and side to side. It was tons of fun. The movie itself is pretty good too.  I really enjoyed the special effects and the animation.  My wife and I enjoyed the film very much.  I hope

Christmas TIme and Movies

I am a sucker for movies.  I do not write reviews, mainly because it is hard for me to criticize something that entertain me for a couple of hours. Now that Christmas season is drawing near my wife and I have drug out all of our Christmas DVDs and we are going to watch them between now and Christmas. The First one we watch, while decorating the house, is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  The Griswold Fun Family Christmas.  The antics of the family always make me laugh.  Considering this movie was released in 1989, 23 years ago, family gatherings still happen this way.  You love your parents and they support you with everything you do, your spouses family is condescending towards everything you do.  Sunshine and I laugh out loud when the lights finally come on, and when the dog, affectionally known as "snot" sees the squirrel. Although the true meaning of Christmas is missed in this movie, the spirit of family is presented.  We will be watching more and at the end

Christmas At Dollywood

Dollywood at Christmas time.  The fill the park full of lights and have a Light Parade every night.  The park has 10 different shows that occur through out the day in different theaters.  Sunshine and I, along with a good friend, attended 5 of them.  The Christmas on Ice skate show was excellent.  The group that performed was from New York City.  There was Christmas in the Smokies and O Holy Night.  We enjoyed every one of the shows.  There are live performers, singers, actors, and skaters.  There were lots of kids in the park while we we there and they were all excited. The best part is they do not shy away from telling everyone that Christmas is about the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  There are not many places you can go today to enjoy the true Christmas story and this was a welcome change of pace. Now I live in northern Virginia, and Dollywood is in eastern Tennessee, somehow Sunshine was able to talk me into buying season tickets.  So we will be returning, prob

Thanksgiving Weekend

I do not know how many of you travel over the busy travel weekend in America, but I do.  I never return home the Sunday after thanksgiving.  Why?  The traffic on I-95. Need a describe more?  When the average speed on an Interstate is 20 MPH for over 300 miles, there is no need for my fuzzy butt to be there and add the the frustration. This weekend I traveled close to 1300 miles this weekend.  We went to my parent's house, my gradson's house, Dollywood, and back home.  We ate, we had fellowship and we played with the grandson.  I am so thankful for my family and my friends. Have a great night, and let the Christmas season begin. My wife and I will be transforming our home into a Christmast wonderland over the next couple of days.  Exciting times are ahead.

Funny Traffic Signs

I am sure everyone out there has passed by a sign or two that was out of place.  For instance, when I was driving to work today, I am on a two lane road that narrows to one lane.  It leads into a neighborhood and is a cut through.  I am barely moving, riding the brake, and a look off to the side of the road and there is a sign that say "Reduce speed ahead"  Really, we are going to park up the road a little bit? Another great sign that is out of place.  Driving down a road that has been recently paved and you feel a thunk thunk as you reach the part of the road they have not worked on yet.  Look to your right, and you will see a sign that says "Bump".  Could you please place the sign BEFORE you bounce out of your seat or knock you car out of alignment. Some of my favorites are on busy interstates.  They say something about an intersection or exit 15 miles ahead, should take 15 min.  Is that a challenge?  Or when you drive past it and it says 15 miles, 45 minutes.

Back in the Saddle

This post is a post for catching up with my followers.  I have been working on exchanging my files from my old laptop to my new laptop.  The old laptop had a much larger drive, so I kept a lot of stuff.  Now that I am running a new slimmer laptop, I needed to determine what was important and what was not.  Thinking I could do that in one day was a mistake.  It took several hours of going through my old hard drive and setting up the external to work with the new laptop.  I have decided to keep most items on an external to save space. I still need to sync my phone and Ipad to the new laptop, I am worried that something will go wrong and it will screw up one or the other.  So lets hope apple has their "A" game going.

Football is here!

I like football.  I follow two pro teams.  The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Dallas Cowboys.  I grew up as a Cowboys fan and when Jacksonville got a team, I started following them.  I am still a fan football.  The NFL needs to make up nice with the refs. The replacement guys were not perfect the first week.  But they were not poor either.  This week the officiating sucked.  I mean they were terrible.  I believe on the first week they made some mistakes, but this week they blew calls over the place.  I watched three games this weekend, the Redskins, The Ravens and the Steelers.  Each of the games had issues with the officials.  In the Redskins Game, they call a personal foul for a hit on the quarterback out of bounds.  The only problem with the call, he was in bounds.  To quote Monday Night Football, "C'mon Man" It is time the NFL and the officials come together.  Figure out your differences and get it together.  The game is suffering.  The quality of your brand and of

Election Time

Although I do like to follow politics, I hate election time.  Gone are the days of new funny commercials advertising some service or product, here are the "that guy is a crook" or "this guy is not good for _____" fill in the blank.  I guess it is one of the challenges as Americans to wade through all of the political messages and determine in our own minds who will serve our country the best.  I try to stay aways from politics as much as possible.  Do some research on each candidate, give credit and blame where it is due, and then place my vote. Whoever you are supporting this upcoming election, remember many of our fellow Americans have died to give us the right to choose who will be our leader.  So go out and vote.  Don't forget, your live is typically effected more by your local leaders than your national leaders.  So pay attention to those who will be closest to you for the next few years.  They are the ones who write the zoning laws, the local traffic laws

Birthdays and New toys

Good evening folks.  I am coming to you live from my new toy.  My loving wife, provided me with a new MacBook Air.  I love this thing.  It is lightweight and much faster than my older mac. Why would she bestow onto me a new macbook air?  Because it was my birthday.  I am now another year older and closer to 40. I think it is great.  My friends provided me with a great meals, fellowship and a great time.  One thing about getting older, we seem to eat a lot more.  I have been eating so much for the last week.  Well as life moves on, I will continue to post about our adventures through live.  There will be more vacation reviews and more road trip reports.  As a matter of fact, we will be traveling to meet up with some good friends in east Tennessee.  I am excited for the adventure and looking forward to the trip. In addition I will be making an effort to visit more blogs and see what everyone is up to as this summer comes to an end. Have a great day.

New Equipment

It has busy this past week or so.  Parents of Tronster were visiting in the DC area.  Its always fun and I enjoy the company.  Sunshine (My Wife) works way to hard when my family visits.  She works really hard cleaning the house and getting everything together for the family.  She never takes a break.  Sunshine did many things, but one of the best was setting up a party for my father and I for our birthday.  We were able to throw a birthday party for my Dad with his oldest friend in attendance.  It was a great success.  Thank you Sunshine. In addition to the party for my Dad, my birthday was a few days away, and the party was fir me too.  It was awesome.  I got a new MACBOOK AIR.  As a matter of fact I am blogging from the couch right now with the new Air. Completely awesome. Thanks to Sunshine  

Talking about work

As I have stated in a few posts, my wife and I both work.  I enjoy my job, most of the time.  One of the things I like to do to handle stresses associated with work is to read words of encouragement or famous quotes that I can apply to myself to improve my attitude.  A few months back a picked up a book called  Wise Words and Quotes by Vern McLellan.  Oddly enough I picked it up at a grocery store. So tonight, while listening to the Monday Night Football game, I picked up the book and looked for some wise words.  Everyone's life is faced with challenges.  I face challenges, my wife faces challenges, my parents, friends and even some fo you, all face challenges. So one of the wise words:       The right angle to approach a difficult problem, is the "try-angle". Most of the quotes in the book are accredited, however, this one is not.  I am sitting here thinking about some of the challenges I face, and I think this is a good way to approach problems. I am a supervi

Vacation Review: Needle Highway

South Dakota is a great place to Visit.  One of the scenic highways you should take is the Needle Highway.  At least that is what my google search turned up as the name.  Our tour guide and his wife and Sunshine and I set out for an adventure. We drove through the highway, and came to a spot to stop.  "The Needle" extends up to the sky and is shaped like a sewing needle.  There is a small area to park, holds about 15 cars, 40 or so motorcycles.   When we were there, it was a cool day and there were about 10 motorcycles and a few cars. Along with the cars and other adventurers, they were holding a mountain climbing class on the peak you see in the pictures.  No worries all you Tronster Fans, I was not enrolled in that particular class.  To the right, you might be able to see the climbers on the side of the rock. Driving this route requires you to pass through a few one way lanes.  These roads run through the mountains. Some of the tunnels are very narrow.

More Updates coming

I have been extremely busy this past week.  We are swamped at the office and personal business has taken me on the road the last two weekends in a row. I have been checking a few of the bloggers who have left comments.  I greatly appreciate the feedback. There will be more vacation updates soon. So keep coming back. I have a few more to share from the Dakota's and then some from Orlando. Our travel for personal business was not as much fun.  We have a property that needed a little love.  I think I lost 10 pounds in water.  Drove from NOVA to East Tenn for 8 hours, then worked on a house for the rest of the day. I do not know about the rest of you, but if i do not have satellite radio, I just assume ride without the radio.  Since sunshine falls asleep within ten minutes of departure, I can be alone with my thoughts.  You would think with 8 hours on the road I could think up some good ideas for this blog. So keep coming back and checking out the posts.

Vacation Review: Crazy Horse

During our guided tour of South Dakota, we visited the Crazy Horse Memorial.  What a great place.  I never knew it existed.  This memorial has not received federal or state funding. Go to this website for more information. My wife and I were touched by the story of the memorial.  The story of Crazy Horse and the story of the builder.  Korczak Ziolkowski worked on the memorial for 36 years.  This is a must see if you are ever in the black hills.

Vacation Review: South Dakota Water Falls

 During our little trip to South Dakota, we visited many area that had water falls.  It was a warm and muggy day.  When we visited the falls in the picture to the right, the temperature would drop 10 degrees as we walked down the trail.  Our tour guide, who has been married for about 30 years.  As he was explaining that he had walked to the falls when they were dating, and how he could walk along the wall and have their picture taken under the falls.  Now they have a boardwalk, which allows more people to visit the falls, however, we can not walk down to the water any longer. During exploration for gold or some other precious metal, the mining company hit an underground water source.  So they may not have found gold, but they have been taking money from tourist ever since.  I do recall the name of this place.  Thunderhead falls. We must have visited 15 different falls, driving through the mountains.  I have been to Niagara Falls, Great Falls (MD and VA) and to the tallest fall

Vacation Review: Mt Rushmore

A recent trip to South Dakota, my wife and I, along with some old and new friends, visited Mt. Rushmore.  It was a magnificent view.  The work involved in creating such a monument. There are four presidents on this monument.  I never knew them by memory, however, looking at it a could identify each head.  However I never knew why each of the presidents were chosen. President Washington, our first president was chosen for the theme of the "Birth" of a nation. President Thomas Jefferson, was chosen for the Louisiana Purchase and the theme "Expansion" of a nation. President Theodore Roosevelt, was chosen for theme of "Development" with the Panama Canal, National Parks and other acts. Abraham Lincoln was chosen for the theme of "Preservation", credited with saving the Union. This monument cost less then a million dollars to build. (Who knew) It was finished sometime in 1941. This should be on the bucket list for all Americans.

Lost on Vacation

Okay, I am a tech guy.  I work as network engineer, IT Project manager and "other duties as assigned" regardless of my professional persuasion, I am not a fan of the Blogger iPhone or iPad applications.  It is extremely difficult to draft a post and difficult to manage comments. So now I have to catch all you fans up with what has been going on.  First, I will post about our trip to South Dakota.  Then I will discuss our little family reunion in Orlando. Then our home was in the path of the recent derecho in virginia.  This is a new term for me.  Apparently a derecho is a land based hurricane. Many of my neighbors experienced long power outages.  Personally, I was only with out power for about twelve hours.  Not without discomfort.  I had some family coming into town to visit.  The last three times family has visited my home, we have had some sort of severe weather.  An earthquake, snow storm and now a Derecho.  We have decided to force my family members to first acquire

Weekends are for?

Good Saturday morning to all you out there on the interweb. What are weekends for?  I think about this a lot.  When I was a younger man, they were for fixing up the house, cleaning and organizing, and preparing for the next week.  Now that I am a little older, both my wife and I work full time plus, I think that has changed.  We now use the weekend to recharge.  But recharging sometimes means that all the chores have to be done after work during the week.  That is the bummer factor.  It takes me an hour to get home after work.  Which is convenient, because that is about the time dinner is ready.  After supper, I am not ready to much of anything.  the result?  A yard needs trimming, gutters need to be cleaned, and squirrels need to be evicted from my shed.  Regardless, the wife and I will be "Party Hopping" this weekend.  We have two birthday parties and the Pac-Man fight to watch.  Do any of the hosts live within an hours drive of one another? Nooooooo!! Reminds me of the

Summer time, Vacations and Fun

As a long weekend approaches northern Virginia, Sunshine and I had determined to take a little vacation from all the hustle and bustle of the area.  We made plans to travel to a far off country and see other cultures.  This past weekend that culture was Canada.  Okay Okay, I know what your thinking, that is not a far off country or an exotic culture.  That may be true, but it the country right next to Niagara Falls.  So on a coll morning, we loaded up the Lincoln with clothes luggage, snacks, and a Tom Tom, and off to Niagara Falls.  Our decision decision drive was made by comparing the air fare and airport time to driving. We set out on Saturday Morning.  Waiting until the traffic died down really helps with the stress level associated with long weekends and Washington DC.  Our journey was through the hills of West Virginia, up to Pennsylvania, and over to New York.  We arrive in Niagara on Saturday, and tour the American Side.  My co-pilot, Sunshine, was able to nap off and on

Out of Order, or in this case, out of town.

This past week I was working in another town.  I had to travel to Slidell Louisiana.  Not because I had to work in Slidell, but I had an assignment in MS.  Which was right across the border. It was a couple of meetings with a few people.  The work was not that exciting, however, there was some interesting people at the hotel.  There was a TV crew, from SyFy and a nightmare investigator from Orlando Florida.  In addition, I met a guy from South Carolina.  He lived close to my parents and where my cousin lives.  Now parents live in an area where they pipe in the sunshine.  There is very little Internet connectivity, and it is very frustrating.  I never like to get on the Internet there because of the frustratingly slow  Internet.  This guy I met in Slidell Louisiana new the very town.  Go figure. This weekend the love of my life and I will be seeing "Battleship".  I am ready to see the movie.

The End of one Challange, the begining of the next

We have completed the month of April, A to Z Challenge.  I discovered the challenge at the end of March, and thought to myself, what a great concept.  I was able to keep up for most of the days, only having to play catch up for a couple. One of the great things was finding other blogs to read and follow.  I was not able to visit 5 new blogs a day, but i did visit on average 3. (Some days more, some days less) and I was able to find blogs to follow. The month of April was very exiting for me, having a busy time with the office, family challenges, and visitors from out of state.  That made the challenge a real challenge.  My goal was to find inspiration, design ideas and new friends to read.  I say friends, but until we share a cup of coffee discussing issues of today, you are really an acquittance.  I live a relatively boring life, and this is an escape to help me to improve my writing.  Therefore, I have resolved to continue writing here, and to share a few adventures and stories

A hearty Thank You

Thank you to all who came to my blog during the A to Z Challenge.  I had a great time and enjoyed reading many of the participating blogs.  I am going to keep this going for as long as I am able.  My goals now are to improve the site, and write better posts.  I will probably will not post every day, but there will be some better content, (at least I hope so) and there will be some longer and shorter posts.  I am an apple guy, and I will be posting from the iPhone with the Blogger app.  I have reservations because I am unable to moderate the comments effectively from that app.  That could be ignorance on my part, but it does allow me to post. Today is Friday, and Sunshine, (my loving wife) and I are going to have a great weekend.  The rain has soaked the yard and I should go ahead and cut the grass, but I will not.  I will suffer through cutting later next week.

Zoom Zoom

This month has sure flown by.  I must admit, I was late on (2) posts plus this one.  I want to thank everyone who had participated in the A to Z Challenge and I want to say , I had a great time. The original intent was for me to find more writers on the web, and idea for the page.  The time I have spent reading the different blogs has been well spent.  I appreciate all the people who have agreed to follow my blog, and I promise to keep updating it regularly.  Now that that 2012 challenge is behind us, I am looking forward to the next challenge.  Have a great day, and come back often. Tronster

X and Y

I purposely waited to do both the X and Y of the Challenge on the same day.  I wanted to talk about males and females.  The X and Y of life.  Being so far removed from high school biology I just completed the Internet search for a quick refresher.  If you contain two "X" chromosomes,  you are a female.  If you have one of each, your a male.  So I guess all of us tough guys have a feminine side after all. Call me a male chauvinistic pig if you like, but I believe we should take care of our women.  Give them what they ask for and make them happy.  Besides God, my wife is the most important thing in my life.  God brought us together, and I am the one you is to keep us together.  We are still young in our marriage, although we are not young.  But I work to keep us happy.  By that I mean I try to keep her happy, which makes me happy. So as we travel through this life, remember this little bit of advice that my Dad gave to me on my wedding day a couple of years ago.  "If


Well that's Fantastic.  What?  You thought about some other strange meaning for WTF? It is not always acceptable to use those words that are considered "bad".  So, lets generate better meanings for such things that might bring a smile to the face of a friend. Have a great day in the Challenge.


I believe one must feel the agony of defeat before they can enjoy the sweet taste of Victory.


As my family's main technical staff, I am the ubbergeek of the family.  I get calls from all my family members as to why something involved with new equipment that was just purchased.  Do the ask me before my family buys something?  Noooooo.  Just after they get it home, they call me to make sure it fulfills their expectations. Most of my family lives in another state.  In rural area to boot.  What does that mean for the ubbergeek of the family?  I have to explain why satellite internet is not as fast as cable or DSL.  This post is about a day when I received such a call about a new wireless router.  Site unseen, I have to figure out why the network will not allow them to share files across computers.  Oddly enough, everything was set up correctly as best I could tell, it just wont share files.  Three of my evening was spent on the phone, What model router?  What model computers?  Are you the administrator on the computers?  So after we figure all this out, get it up and running.

How did you get this name?

If you search for Tronster you will find there is another one out there on the Internet. I have checked out the other Tronster. Alas, this is about me, not the other. I have written about my Navy years once, maybe twice, already. One thing I mention was the nicknames we give to each other.  It has to do with your personality and the personalities of the people you serve with in the military.  I was an electronics technician when I served.  Mainly working on radio communications equipment.  I was a pretty good technician.  (I like to think so anyway)  My first name shares a few of the letters.  They called me "Tronster".  All Electronic Technicians were referred  to as "twidgets".  I think its because we worked on all the widgets that did not belong to any other group on the ship. I kept the nickname for years.  I am a little bit of a geek, but never really watched the movie "Tron".  I have seen the newest one, and it was pretty cool to watch.  Some o


I do not know how many of the WWW readers out there have ever served in the US NAVY, but one of the words we used was "Shipmate".  It has a special meaning you see, it means you are both on the same ship. A ship, is your home away from the safety of the shore.  You may not be best friends with everyone on board, but you should be good buddies.  If something on the ship goes awry,  it is you and your shipmates that have to spring into action.  There is only so far you can run.  If you jump, you can only tread water for so long. When you are isolated from the everyone else in the world for an extended period of time, you learn to accept that it is you and your shipmates.  They help you through the times you miss your family, we tended to entertain one another and give advice. I am sure today's Navy is a little different.  I think now there is email for the men and women that serve on ships today.  (That is one difference, there where no women on combat ships until the


You might think this is about a sports team.  Maybe your thinking this is about an Army Unit.  It is not.  It is about the Ford Ranger.  According to everything I have read on Al Gore's amazing Internet, Ford has decided not to bring the international version of the truck to the USA and has stopped production of the Ranger as we know it. A funny thing about the little Ford truck.  I had one in 1992, and I now own a 2000 model.  They are basically the same truck.  No major changes in the last 10 years.  Then Ford wonders why the Ranger sales numbers kept going down.  I for one can say, they lasted a very long time for the people who bought them.  My current 2000 has 90K miles, my 1992 had 105K miles when I traded it in. The current argument I hear is that the Ford F150 now matches the mileage and price of the outgoing Ranger.  Well, that is just skippy.  The F150 is not as nimble as the small Ranger.  It is wider and longer in its base form than the Ranger was in its extended fo


The Redskins are going to draft a quarterback this year.  I am not a Washington Redskins fan, however, I live in their market and they dominate the local sports programs.  I listen to the sports radio station everyday on my way home from work. I must say, the fans for the Redskins are loyal.  They believe that the Redskin will make it to the Superbowl every year.  This year is no different.  No matter who plays the position of Quarterback. I find this to be an unrealistic goal.  The team has issues in several key position, and they are more than one player away from the playoffs.  I mus admit, it is fun to hear them talk about winning though.  I believe we should face everyday with the optimism of the Redskins fans.  Everyday when we wake up, we should expect to reach the Superbowl.  Now every football fan knows, it takes more than optimism to win.  You must work at it every game, every quarter, every series, and every down.  You must not quit.  If you give it your all and you don


Cultures from different parts of the world are different.  I can accept that fact.  I am married to a Filipino.  We are invited to parties and cook outs all the time.  Another part of my history is that I am a military brat. What does this have to due with punctuality?    This T-shirt says it all.  We are told to be somewhere at a certain time, we arrive 15 minutes late, and we are the first ones there.  Whats wrong with being on time? Have a great day.

Things that make you say Ohh?

Going through life, I have discovered, I am always learning. Sometimes there are things we do not understand. Other times, there is stuff we knew, but was wrong.  Then there is that moment, we you learn something, and you go "ohh" that is how that works. We all have this experience, some are more willing to admit it.  I grew up for the most part in North East Florida. (Go Jags).  In Florida, we have heat pumps.  I particular way to heat up your house on a cold day.  When I bought my first place in northern Virginia, I had a gas furnace.  During the winter my skin continued to dry out.  I was always "lubing up" with moisturizer every morning.  While discussing this with one of my northern colleagues at work, he explained how the gas furnace worked.  It it removes all the moisture out of the air.  This was a moment where I went "Ohhhh".  Then I bought a humidifier. Have a great day and lets always learn something every day.


Ever sit in such a manner when you go to get up, your leg is numb?  Happens to the best of us, happens to you and has happened to me.  I could be watching TV and the Wife asks, "Can you reach my phone", and I get up to get to the phone and stumble.  It was two steps and I was not prepared.  Extreme discomfort has occurred and I am on all fours.  Without a drink.  Most of the time I laugh.  I think it is due to lack of blood flowing to my legs.  Some special way I was sitting in the chair. It can happen when we sleep.  You have you arm laying across your forehead, and in the middle of the night you are trying to remove an object from your face and you wake up and only to discover it is your other arm in the way. Once on an international flight, I believe I was going to Frankfurt airport, and it happened to my leg.  I was asleep for about 3 hours with my legs crossed.  Ready to get off the plain, I stoop up  as soon as we landed, oh boy.  Lucky for me the seats are just wid


Although I have traveled to many distant location, I have never been to Monterey.  However, when I was a younger man I was in the US Navy.  I spent my first six adult years in the Navy.  I served on only one ship, the USS Monterey.  The Monterey was a great ship, with great people and I miss some of my shipmates. We had adventures that included Turkey, the Persian Gulf, Counter Drug operations, Haitian Vacation and Italy.  I have since lost touch with many of my shipmates, and if any are reading, drop me a note.  I'd love to see how some of you guys are doing.  We all had nicknames, mine was Tronster.  I worked with "Trigger", "K-Bone", and "Flip".  There were more, but it is the Navy and I run a family friendly blog. We are proceeding through this great challenge of letters and I appreciate all the support from the fellow bloggers.  Keep up the good work.