Holidays Journal

The End of Halloween 2018

Holiday season is upon us.  Halloween came and went and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I’m just slightly late in the time frame I like to buy Christmas presents; I really enjoy getting my two boys great gifts but must get them before they sell out.

Goodbye Halloween 2018

Being busy with the new job and our hectic schedule, I did not feel as though I was able to get into the Halloween mood again this year.  We went to Dallas for the company Halloween which was absolutely incredible.  However, Kai didn’t like it too much because the campus is huge and he had to walk a lot.  He also felt as though he didn’t get enough candy.  Since it was my idea to go to Dallas for Halloween I felt bad and let him choose whatever candy he wanted from Safeway.  It was a great experience but I think the next time we visit will be when they are too old for trick or treats.

Today is voting day and I’ve made my choices.  It can be difficult to figure out which is the right choice as both sides will employ all tricks, lies and spin in order to just win.  In this election I’ve realized how dirty, messy and downright shameful the democratic process actually is.  America and morals or doing the right thing?  Ha!  Not these days.  Money, power and doing whatever necessary to win, screw everyone else, that is what America is about.

But this post isn’t about that, it is about the holidays.  I like to do my research and buy presents well in advance since it can be very difficult to get the more popular items the closer we get to Christmas.  Last year there were a lot of cool items on the ‘hot toys list’ but this year it is struggling.  It took me longer than usual to find some really great gifts but I was able to do so.

A couple of days ago Target had a one day sale where you would get one free Nintendo Switch game if you bought two.  They were the less popular games but ones that look fun anyway so I did that.  I also saw they had two Amiibos that were in stock.  I asked and the lady working didn’t think they had any but upon further research was able to find them in the back.  She simply hadn’t put them out yet and I let her know that they would go very quickly once she did.  But it was good for me because since they weren’t even out yet I was able to grab two.

My youngest likes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so I’ve got a few items of that on his list now from Amazon.  Amazon just makes it easy but you have to figure out how to tell the kids that there is nothing interesting in the delivery once it arrives and they cannot look inside.  Soon they’ll figure it out.

Next up is Thanksgiving and we’ve already watched A Charlie  Brown Thanksgiving.  It will be here soon and again I’ll do most of the cooking.  I really have to study and remember how to cook it all; nobody wants to ruin the Thanksgiving meal and it takes a lot of preparation!

I find that I enjoy the preparation, the cooking all-day to actually be more enjoyable than eating the meal.  It is an exciting day and I enjoy reflecting on it as well as writing a post during it.  Here they are:

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2014

I’ve surprised myself finding so many Thanksgiving entries and I wonder where 2017 is.  Perhaps I forgot to write one?  In any case, seeing these entries makes me realize how quickly time passes.  It makes me very thankful that I write this journal.  Life is such an incredible experience but it is as though almost everyone is sleepwalking through it.  How many people simply take a moment in the day to just ‘be,’ or just ‘exist’ and be happy for it.  Our consciousness and the fact were exist at all is the greatest of mysteries and something that all of us should be reflecting on every single day.

But without going down that rabbit hole, I love that I have this journal and am able to record my own life.  If I want to remember my past I can simply look it up!

Well, the time is 6:26 AM and it is time to start the day.


End of Halloween

I always put the pumpkins outside of the gate to rot after Halloween has ended.  They are a reminder to me of the passage of time.  Time goes quickly and the pumpkins slowly rot to nothing until the next Halloween is just around the corner.


This year’s Jack-o’-lantern

Holidays Movies

Snoopy’s path behind German lines – World War One Flying Ace


For my Halloween post this year I thought I’d try to figure out where Snoopy – World War One Flying Ace – crash landed in “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

When I studied France I was always fascinated by all the small towns that quickly passed by when I was riding the TGV somewhere between Lyon or Besançon and Paris.  I remember stopping at one small town when taking the night train; I do not remember the name of it but that it was around 10:00 PM, only one passenger got off; I remember thinking how quiet it was and how small the town was.  In fact, it might not have been a town at all but a village, although I don’t think the TGV would stop at a village but who knows.

Since then I’ve always wanted to travel in the French countryside going nowhere in particular.  Just stroll into a small town like the one I just mentioned, have a café, read the newspaper, visit the small churches and perhaps even strike up a conversation with a few of the locals.  I’d love to visit small memorials and forgotten places of the world wars that are now known only to the villagers.

A trip like this might seem boring to many in the fast place, ADD world we live in.  But for me, this would be a dream trip which would only be topped if somehow I could know everything and everyone in the town from its founding and know each and every story that ever took place there.

It is from this fascination that I noticed the signs of real places as Snoopy made his way behind enemy lines after being shot down.  I’ve found most of it but am still a little confused by the last sign which I’ll explain.

Interactive Google Map

Now I’ll use pictures from the movie to explain what these points mean:


The first sign we come to is Châlons-sur-Marne.  This city is now called Châlons-en-Champagne and is shown by the pin on the above map at the far left.  Snoopy is 70 kilometers from there so that puts him crash landing near the middle pin close to Verdun.

He then travels south east and we know he is still behind enemy lines because he must sneak across by night.  He also comes across trenches which puts us right on the front lines.

The best guess is that he is very close to the Armstice line of 11 November 1918.  Wikipedia:

Original map drawn by Joanna Legg on CorelDraw 1999/2000. Modified in 2003, 2010, 2014.
Original map drawn by Joanna Legg on CorelDraw 1999/2000. Modified in 2003, 2010, 2014.


Next we come to our second sign which is Pont-a-Mousson.  On the map above there are two pins close together on the far right.  One is Pont-a-Mousson and the other is three km away showing Snoopy’s approximate location.


Then in the next frame there is another sign simply saying La Moselle is 4 km away.  There isn’t a town called La Moselle close-by but there is the Moselle river.  One detail that is very hard to see is the letters in red – N57.  This is for Route national 57 which tells us Snoopy is on this road.

Route national 57

Route Nationale 57 –

And we then see Snoopy come to a river that he swims across which must be the Moselle.

Finally, he sneaks inside the farmhouse and joins the Halloween Party.  While at the party Schroeder plays some famous songs from World War One that makes Snoopy pretty emotional.

Schroeder’s World War One Music:

  1. It’s a Long Way to Tipperary
  2. There’s a Long, Long Trail A-Winding
  3. Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile.  (Snoopy smiling on the smile lines)
  4. Roses of Picardy


  1. Link to the only website I could find that also had information about Snoopy’s path which helped me a little bit.  Thank you!
  2. N57 on Google Maps:   Click Here
Holidays Journal Sunrise / Sunset / Moon

Journal Entry – 10.20.2016

It is 5:16 AM.

Today I have an all day travel industry event and must leave very early so my morning ‘me time’ is cut very short.  These things can be a bit draining but also great opportunities to do a lot of networking.  Needless to say I’m looking forward to tomorrow which is Friday.  Work has been much busier than usual because yet again I have to fill in for another territory.  I’ll be glad when we get someone permanently in place there.

Halloween is also almost here and I’m trying very hard to get into the mood and appreciate the beginning of the holiday season.  One of my son’s favorite movies is The Nightmare Before Christmas so we’ve watched that and have been listening to two of the best songs which are: “This is Halloween,” and “What’s This?”  The song ‘This is Halloween,” also has a version sung by Marilyn Manson which I appreciate:

The decorations are up and we’ll be carving the pumpkins soon.  But, due to work being so busy I’m still not completely in the holiday spirit just yet.

As for karate my body continues to be sore as it is being twisted, punched, kicked and going through workouts which it just isn’t used to.  It is used to the gym and lifting weights from which there is always a speedy recovery but karate is a whole different matter.  My body doesn’t recover as quickly and it makes me feel a bit old here at only 39.  I plan on continuing karate for the rest of my life so I’m banking on my body adjusting because things could be worse at 50 if it hasn’t.

It is great to be able to do karate with my son.  I can see it already gives great confidence and confidence is critical during the school years.  Without confidence kids get picked on, never get a girlfriend, get worse grades and generally just have a bad to mediocre time.  With confidence however, school can be a lot of fun, especially high school.

Last night we watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I hadn’t seen in a long time and it is remains a great movie 30 years later.  The best line is “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”  There is a lot of wisdom in that quote!  For so many people life is work, whether that be going to an office everyday or completing a series of tasks.  Everyone has a series of tasks to be completed everyday but how many stop and just be?  How many stop and appreciate the special moments that appear throughout each and every day but often go by unnoticed?

In the movie Ferris’ father works in a high rise, has a nice office with a view and drives an Audi.  But these things are paid for with the greater part of the week.  He spends each and every day in that office except for weekends.  Money is necessary to live but it is sad to think that the world demands people still spend the majority of their lives working, in order to get money, in order to pay for shelter, food and now thousands of unnecessary things as well such as bigger, fancier shelter, a number of vehicles, more stuff!

With technology life was supposed to get easier, it was supposed to give us more free time.  But greed takes over and ‘more’ is never enough so here we are working as much as ever.  It is sad to think that most of humanity must look back on their lives and think 90% of my time was spent working, doing something I really didn’t enjoy.  I hope that future humans would at least be able to spend 50% of the time they are alive not working but be completely free to do whatever they wish.

Decision time.  The sunrise today is at 7:24 AM and I would have to leave even earlier to catch it.  That means I should go get dressed now and out the door soon.

Decision made – it has been a long while since I’ve seen a sunrise, I’m going.

Got the sunrise and sunset!

Oyster Point sunrise on 10.20.2016
Oyster Point sunrise on 10.20.2016
Sunset at Nick's - Rockaway Beach - 10.20.2016
Sunset at Nick’s – Rockaway Beach – 10.20.2016