Recent Updates

06.11.07

I just setup my new Garmin Nuvi 680 GPS system for my car. It's awesome! I wish it had arrived before I left for Long Island, because I really could have used it. Oh well, next time... Anyone up for a road trip?

In other news, I am now officially Lodge Adviser of Owaneco Lodge 313. My term of office began over the weekend and new youth officers were elected. It's going to be a great experience and I am really looking forward to seeing what we can do together to improve the program. It's going to be lots of fun!


06.10.07

Matt and Lisa were married yesterday! The wedding was absolutely beautiful and it was a great weekend! I started getting really excited on Thursday as I left the office to pick up my tuxedo. We went to pick up the tuxes and had lots of trouble (didn't fit and were missing parts). Scott and I then went to Tashua Glen to shoot a quick round of nine. After getting the tuxes squared away on Friday, we went down to Long Island for the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. And after a quick stop to the hotel bar where TIm broke into a yoga session and once again made a fool of himself, we called it a night.

I woke up on Saturday morning and was I was pretty excited for the big day. We all got dressed filled up the flasks and were ready to go. The limo picked us up and we were off for the wedding. The ceremony was really nice and there were tears of joy all across the church. After the church, we hopped in the limos and were off to to reception. After a mess of pictures, it was party time! The evening was awesome and everyone enjoyed themselves. The amount of food at the cocktail hour was unbelievable, the band was awesome, the music was great, dinner (if you could still eat) was excellent, and everyone partied through the night. And then there was cake and dessert...

The bride and groom have probably landed in Maui by now. I'm going to hate them tomorrow when I leave the house for work. It's great to see the two of them together and they make a great couple. I wish them all the best...


05.28.07

I haven't been posting because I haven't had much time. And the time that I do have is being spent away from the computer, so I hope you understand!

It's been a crazy few months, filled with traveling, Beverly's wedding, Sr-7A Conclave, Ordeal, and other things. Life has been busy, but I'm having a lot of fun. This past weekend, I was up in Newport, Rhode Island for Matt's bachelor's party. It was great! We started on Friday morning and played nine holes of golf at Tashua Glen with Scott and his father. From there, we surprised Matt and drove up to Newport. Friday night was a blur and more than a few of us ended up having one (or three) too many. Friday night could be summed up in a few words: O'Brian's, Dockside, the laugh, and the tea bags.

We woke up fairly early on Saturday morning, considering. After lunch, we went for a spin around Newport to see the mansions. They are pretty impressive and it's hard to believe people actually live like that. We then met up with Matt's brother and father and sipped a few cocktails at the Hotel Viking before heading out to dinner. After dinner, we got ready to go out again and went out for the party. We were fairly well behaved and we all had a great time. Saturday night can be summed up with: relentless heckling at dinner, some for the big guy/some for the little guy, 3 bachelorette parties vs. 1 bachelor's party, Red Sox fan tossing, and the scuffle/picture/scuffle.


03.15.07

I have been back from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for a few days now, and life still isn't back to normal yet. I haven't unpacked, I took my dirty laundry out but most of my stuff is still in my luggage. The flight landed on Monday afternoon and I ended up changing plans and traveling home instead of staying at grandma's house. I worked some overtime on Tuesday at the office, last night was volleyball, and today was my regular late night coverage at the office.

But I know you really want to read about my trip to the Dominican, so here it is... I went down for my friend Kelly's wedding and stayed at the Iberostar Bavaro resort. In short, the trip was awesome! The beach was awesome, the weather was awesome, the resort, people, experiences - all awesome! And let's not forget about the reason why all of us traveled to Punta Cana: the wedding - it was awesome! I was one of the first of the friends group to arrive in Punta Cana. I flew down on Monday and by that time, some of Kelly and Lee's family had already arrived. A few others arrived on Monday, more people came in on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. By the end of the week, the group included 74 people. It was the largest wedding the resort has ever hosted.

I stayed on the resort for most of the time in the Dominican Republic. It was an all-inclusive trip, so there really wasn't a reason to ever leave. The typical schedule for the day included breakfast, laying on the beach, lunch, playing beach volleyball, and swimming. Evenings included trips to the lobby bar, dinner, the 50's Rock Bar, and the Discoteca. Nothing can beat laying on the beach with a cold drink in your hand! We did make a few side trips to go deep sea fishing on Tuesday morning and snorkeling on Friday morning. Both trips were great and I enjoyed the experience. I would have to say the snorkeling trip was better, but only because I ended up getting seasick for the fishing trip.

All in all, the trip was a lot of fun. I really only knew four people before the trip (Kelly, her parents, and Erica) but by the end of the week, everyone there was a friend and we shared some great memories together: speaking Spanish, peacocks that sound like loud cats, "Do you have cold sores?", passing out in the bathroom, Uncle Phil's secret fishing bait, building a six foot high pyramid and moving 22 tons of sand with one shovel, Uncle Mike and his whistle, the same twelve songs at the Discoteca, broken knee and sixteen stitches in the head, the lady in the green dress, the lady with the twins at the wedding, the hunchback of Punta Cana... wow, good times!


02.25.07

I've been home for just about a week now and as much as I miss being in London, it is nice to be back here and being involved in everything I'm normally doing. Besides, I'm off for Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic next Monday for a nice vacation on the beach and Kelly's wedding!

This past week was very busy and hectic for me. I had a little bit of trouble adjusting to the time difference and jumping back into things at work, scouts, life, etc. I'm back in full force though!


02.17.07

My last day in London proved to be quite busy. I did some sightseeing today and kicked off my day with a visit to Westminster Abbey. I was really impressed with the intricate designs of the Abbey. The Abbey is an historic memorial where some of the most famous and influential people in British history are buried. It really is amazing how many centuries of history is within those sacred walls. I was also able to see Big Ben and Parliament again. I have seen those buildings MANY times during this trip and and those buildings never cease to amaze and impress me.

My next stop was to the Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms, which was very interesting. The Museum has a ton of interactive exhibits, videos, and speeches that covers the political and military life of Winston Churchill. The War Rooms are where Churchill and his advisers made the critical decisions during World War II. One of the most interesting artifacts in the museum is the Enigma Machine, which the British used to decipher German messages during the War.

After a quick bite to eat, I continued onward to the Royal Guard 's Museum. There wasn't a whole lot there, but the military honors and uniforms were pretty neat. I took a quick swing past Buckingham Palace, The Queen's Gallery, St. James's Park, and St. James's Palace before finally arriving to the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalagar Square. I was able to see some of the most famous works of Picasso, Monet, Manet, Renoir, and others. I'm not the biggest art buff, but the trip to the Portrait Gallery was enjoyable and I was able to appreciate the paintings.

And as daylight began to fall, I walked over to Leicester Square and Chinatown where they are preparing for tomorrow's Chinese New Year Celebration. I couldn't bring myself to take the tube back to the hotel, so I continued past Picadilly Circus to Oxford Circus, and back down Oxford Street to dinner and then back to my hotel.

That's all folks... my trip to London has come to an end. I am almost finished packing my luggage for my flight home tomorrow. The past two weeks have been some of the most enjoyable times I've ever had. As you can tell, I kept myself busy and took full advantage of every minute of the trip. I've seen some amazing sights and I've experienced and learned a lot. Work was also very rewarding and we were able to complete just about everything on our itinerary. I will certainly miss being in London. Hopefully it won't be my last visit!


02.16.07

Today was my last day in the office. Lee and I ended up putting in a full day to finish up some projects and troubleshoot some new issues. After work, a few of us went to the pub to grab a few drinks to say goodbye. From there, I went to dinner with Lee, Alex, and Catalin... and then we went for more drinks. One of Lee and Alex's friends met up with us and we all had a really good time before calling it a night.

It was a little weird saying goodbye to everyone this afternoon and tonight. I'm definitely going to miss working with them face to face and spending quality time at the pub together. Since it's more likely that they'll come out to New York before I get to visit London again, we'll have to catch up then.

One last day in London tomorrow and I still have a few more sights to see!


02.15.07

Last night I watched the Arsenal vs. Bolton "football" game in my hotel room. It was an extremely exciting game! Arsenal jumped out for a quick 1-0 lead and controlled much of the game. They had plenty of chances to put the match away, but failed to execute on a penalty kick and an open netter. Bolton ended up tying the match 1-1 in in injury time after the 90th minute and foced overtime. Bolton had a chance to win the game, but the ball hit the left goal post and was cleared. In the second half of overtime, Arsenal converted on a brilliant play and ended up winning the match. Note the use of word, "brilliant" - haha!

Tomorrow is my last day at the London office... it's a little sad! We've just about completed all of the work that I set out to do. We had a conference call with the guys back home this afternoon and our manager told us to come in tomorrow, show face, and enjoy the rest of the day. We'll see what happens - Lee and I are both looking forward to completing the last few projects, but we'll probably take a nice lunch and leave early for the pub!

I took an early lunch break this afternoon and went to Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. The crowds were huge and the ceremony was pretty interesting. I was able to find myself a nice location right up in front. The crowd was shifting and was very lucky to slide into the spot I found. The group standing next to me staked their claim two hours before the start of the ceremony. The ceremony was an elaborate way to change the Old Guard with the New Guard. In between, the band played a bunch of songs. Some were traditional "band music" and they also mixed in a few popular songs including the Hawaii Five-O theme, Thriller, Time After Time, Eye of the Tiger, Piano Man, Theme from An Officer and a Gentleman, and You Give Love a Bad Name. I certainly wasn't expecting any of those to be played!

Tonight everyone in the office went out after work for a few drinks and dinner to celebrate Nicolas' birthday. It was really nice to be able to spend time outside of the office together. Everyone is very close and it's a great working atmosphere.


02.14.07

My time in London is quickly coming to a an end. Last week it seemed like a while until I would have to leave. Today, it feels like I'm leaving tomorrow. Unfortunately, I've already started to think about packing my bags and making sure I have room for all of the great souvenirs that some might be lucky to receive (haha). I still have a few days left and I plan to make the most of the time!

We had another very productive day at the office. Lee was feeling better and came in today. I was also surprised to see a few of my coworkers from New York join us at the office this morning. They're here for a client pitch and a few meetings. Lee and I had a conference call with the boys in New York this afternoon and we received a few more projects to work on this week. With time ticking, it's sure to be a pressure-packed rest of the week!

Happy Valentine's Day or Happy Anti-Valentine's day, whatever your pleasure...


02.13.07

Well, I flew solo today at the office. It was a piece of cake. Lee stayed home with a fever, he wasn't feeling well yesterday either but he came in because the SAN consultant was coming in. Hopefully he'll feel better by tomorrow.

Anyway, I finally had a chance to get back to the British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone. The museum is literally one block away from the office. I had about a half an hour to browse the museum and the Rosetta Stone was my first stop. It's absolutely mind-boggling that archeologists were able to use it to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics. After spending a few minutes there, I was quickly supervised by some of the other exhibits. Parts of the Parthenon are on display and there were several other neat Greek and Egyptian exhibits in the few rooms that I was able to visit. I might have to schedule another trip back to spend some more time wandering.


02.12.07

Another gray, rainy day in London. The weather is depressing! We've had flashes of blue skies here and there since the snow fell last Wednesday. Ever since then, it's been much of the same in London - gray skies and light rain showers, day after day. Tomorrow is supposed to be clear and sunny (let's hope!), but it's supposed to be cloudy and rainy for the rest of my stay here.

Today was a really busy, but important day at the office. With the help of an outside consultant, we installed a tape backup library and a storage area network (SAN). The SAN holds about 1.9 terabytes. For those who don't know how much storage that is, one terabyte is equal to one thousand gigabytes. We ended up working late again tonight, so I didn't get a chance to go to the British Museum after work like I had planned. I still have a little bit of time left though!


02.11.07

Today's itinerary included a trip to Greenwich Observatory to see the Prime Meridian and exhibits on Latitude and Longitude. I met Lee in Oxford Circus and we walked down to the London Eye to catch a boat on the Thames River. We sailed down the river underneath all of the bridges and out toward Greenwich. Right past the gate lies the Prime Meridian where world time begins. The observatory there was pretty neat. There are server al exhibits about time and many of the original clocks were on display.

Before leaving Greenwich, we walked around Greenwich Market and took the train back to Liverpool Street where we visited Spitalfield Market. We walked around for a little while before Lee had to leave and then I headed down to Covent Garden to see the street performers. While I was there, I noticed a bunch of people waiting outside a restaurant. Apparently Judi Dench and Kate Winslet were having lunch there. After walking around the Covent Garden market, I noticed a large group gathering and people were cheering. They were hoping to catch glances of their favorite actors and actresses at the British Academy Film Awards. Since the crowd was pretty big, so I couldn't really see much and I didn't stay long. I did see the back of Emma Watson's head - she is better known as Hermoine Granger from the Harry Potter movies. On the way back to my hotel, I stopped to see Scotland Yard.


02.10.07

Another full day of sightseeing in London is in the books. I had another full schedule and I was able to visit a lot of places. The British Literary Exhibition Center houses the Magna Carta, original literary works including the first copy of Alice in Wonderland, Charles Dickens, Beethoven compositions, handwritten copies of several songs from The Beatles, old bibles, and a lot of other exhibitions. It was a smaller exhibit, but I found it to be very interesting.

My next stop was to the Tower of London which is steeped in British history and holds the Crown Jewels. It is a Royal Palace, but it is no longer a Royal Residence. The Tower grounds are extremely impressive. On the tour, we learned about the dungeons and stories of beheadings and executions that occurred at the Tower in the past. Most people go to visit the Crown Jewels, which are extremely impressive. To see the crowns, scepters, rings, orbs, and swords up close is incredible. The Royal Family definitely spares no expense! You have to constantly remind yourself that the jewels are in fact REAL. Unfortunately, tourists are not able to take pictures - but even pictures wouldn't do justice to the magnificence of the Crown Jewels.

From the Tower, you get a great view of the Tower Bridge. Everyone knows London Bridge, but Tower Bridge is by far the more impressive of the two. London Bridge, is well... a bridge, and a boring one. After walking around the bank of the Thames for a little while, I headed to St. Paul's Cathedral. On the way, I saw the Monument and decided to climb the 311 stairs to the top. The view from the top of the Monument is great. You can't see a lot of the most famous London landmarks, but you get a nice view of Tower Bridge and the surrounding areas. St. Paul's Cathedral is a very large church and is most notably known as the Church where Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married. I chose not to take the tour of the inside of the Cathedral since it was getting toward the end of the day and I would have had to rush before closing time. I ended the afternoon with a walk across Westminster Bridge to get a sight of Big Ben and Parliament from the other side of the Thames River. I took a quick swing to Westminster Abbey to check visiting hours and headed back towards my hotel for dinner.


02.09.07

It's Friday and it's the end of a long week at the work. We accomplished a lot or projects, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Lee and I unexpectedly worked late tonight. We had to coordinate things with the New York office and when we were finally finished, we went out for a well deserved drink at the pub. Lee had plans set for tonight, so I came back to the hotel and grabbed some dinner. I'll probably try to get to bed early tonight since I'm tired and there's a big day of sightseeing ahead of me. I'm not sure where I'll end up going tomorrow, but it should be fun.


02.08.07

We didn't get all that much snow in central London, but the suburbs had a few inches. Londoners are not used to getting snow, so travel becomes difficult and the tubes have problems. There were a lot of delays this morning and some of the people in the office weren't able to get to work. Alex treated all of us with pastries and hot cross buns. She thought it would be a nice way to start the morning due to the commuting problems that everyone faced.

After work, we went across the street to one of the local pubs. It was a really nice place and a few of the people from work joined us. Everyone usually gets together on Fridays, so we'll do it again tomorrow. After a few drinks, Lee and Alex took me out for dinner... and more drinks. We went to a Thai restaurant in Covent Garden and visited another pub that had a very good live band. We had a few more drinks and we were well on our way to getting pissed. It was a good time.


02.07.07

It's my first day in London where I didn't take any photos, sorry. I decided to take it easy tonight, relax a little, and get to bed at a reasonable time. The past few nights have been pretty late. I walked to the office this morning and it was fairly chilly. We're supposed to get four inches of snow overnight in London, which from what I hear is a lot for this city. Work has been strenuous, but we're getting a lot accomplished so it's very rewarding. The London team has been really great and it's been an enjoyable experience working here.

One of the things that I haven't mentioned yet is the breakfast buffet at the hotel. It's included with my room, so I have been starting my day off on the right foot and taking full advantage. They serve a full breakfast and the buffet has tons of choices including is a wide array of fruit. My little sister will be jealous when she finds out that they have fresh pineapple.


02.06.07

It's only been four days, but I feel like I've been in London for a while now. I'm getting more and more acclimated to the city and figuring out where everything is in relation to each other. I've got the tube lines down (at least the ones that I need to use) and I've taken the bus a few times. It was a little less busy at the office today, although we still made significant progress on our projects, while running into a few road bumps as well.

After work, I decided to try and walk down Oxford Street back to my hotel which would give me the opportunity to do a little bit of shopping. I also wanted to see Picadilly Circus, Leicester Square, and Chinatown on my way. Chinatown was nice and reminded me of Chinatown back home in NYC. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and continued on my way. Somewhere I made a wrong turn and ended up in Trafalgar Square, which I immediately recognized. So since I was in the area, I decided to walk down to Big Ben to snap a few night photos. The light at the top of the tower was lit, so I decided to sit in on a session of Parliament. I listened to the debate for nearly two hours until adjournment and I found it to be absolutely fascinating! There weren't many MP's (Members of Parliament) participating in debate, so I might swing by again if I have a chance.


02.05.07

Well, my first day working from the London office was VERY busy, but we got a lot accomplished. We worked hard in the morning and started some of the projects that we'll be working on this week and next. By the time I knew it, it was lunchtime. Lee and I took a break and walked down towards Westminster to see Big Ben. He was kind enough to play tour guide and on the way we walked past Covent Garden, the Horse Guards, 10 Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben & Parliament, Westminster Abbey, MI5 and MI6 buildings (CIA equivalent), and the London Eye. I'll probably swing by there again to spend a little more time being a tourist later on this week.

The day went by quickly and we left work at around 7:00. Working in London is almost like working two days - the first part of the day is spent working on things and a totally different day starts at 2:00 when it's 9AM in New York. Things definitely start getting crazy after that, especially when there are problems or issues to work out! After work, we went out for dinner at a local Thai place. The food was pretty good and then I headed back to my hotel to deal with some other issues at home. It'll likely be another busy day tomorrow, but at least we're being productive.


02.04.07

Wow, I saw a TON of things today! I woke up early and spent the day touring London - what a wonderful city! I started my excursion with a quick ride on the tube to South Kensington where I proceeded to go to the Baden Powell House. Baden Powell was the founder of scouting worldwide. It was a pretty quick stop since there wasn't a whole lot to see, but it was nice to honor the man who started it all. From there I walked up through Kensington Gardens to Kensington Palace. I took the tour and it was very interesting. The Royal Family definitely totally lives a different lifestyle! After my tour, I walked to the Notting Hill neighborhood and then went back to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park to visit the Peter Pan Statue, Princess Diana Memorial Playground, and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. The fountain was a particularly interesting design and I took some great photos.

After visiting the Royal Parks, I decided to walk through towards the retail stores and stop by at Harrod's. The exchange rate is currently $2 to 1 Pound Sterling. In other words, nearly every is too expensive (even if the prices were in US Dollars, they were expensive)! Harrod's was a very nice store and it was a lot bigger than it looks. There are 6 floors and you can easily get lost in the store if you lose your bearings. After window shopping, I walked through Green Park to get to Buckingham Palace. I think the Queen is in residence now, so unfortunately I don't think I can tour the palace.

In an odd twist, I met up for dinner with one of my scout advisers from New York. We were making plans last week and realized that we would both be in London this week, so we decided to do dinner here. It was a really nice dinner and a good way to wrap up a long day.

Now, it's time for me to iron my shirts since they acquired a few wrinkles in the trip over and get ready for bed. Tomorrow is a big day at the office...


02.03.07

Greetings from London! I'm here on business for two weeks and I'll be working on a bunch of projects at our new London office. I landed at Heathrow a little while ago and I just finished getting settled at my hotel. My hotel room is really nice. I'm at the Radisson Inn at Portman Square and I'm in the business class suite. During my stay I hope to be able to upload updates and pictures, so visit often! For pictures, see my London Pictures page.

After I arrived at my hotel, I ran out to grab a bite to eat but everything was closed. I was forced to rough it and order room service. In my quick tour around the neighborhood I noticed a few things: streets are marked with "look left" and "look right" so you don't get run over by the drivers in the cars who sit on the front right seat in the cars that drive on the opposite side of the road. This might take a little while to get used to. The weather here is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (I'm still don't understand degrees Celsius). The British also use 24-hour time and I know how that works!

Sorry for missing the month of January, but it was a very busy month full of meetings, volleyball, late nights at work, and little time for relaxing.


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This page was last updated on June 11, 2007.

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