Showing posts from 2014

North Korean hacking solution

So i t seems the North Koreans really can't take a joke! They  launched cybar-attacks in response to thew lame-ass movie The Interview that puts their leader in the spotlight and makes him look like a fool. Little Kim Jun Il didn't only give to movie a big thumbs down, he decided since the US "allowed the film to be made", it endorsed the film and Il took that as an "act of war" I shit you  not. So Sony, who was scheduled to release the film on Christmas Day, had it's computers hacked mysteriously with a message not to release the film or the company w ould be facing even more cyber attack. "Hackers" even got copies of e-mails sent by Sony Execs criticizing President Obama, the same guys who wanted to get Bush and Chen ey on war crimes. So stup id movie execs of course caved and cancelled the movie's release, although there have been rumblings about having the movie go right to DVD or ondemand, maybe leaks on the Internet. No doubt the mov

Flaws of reporting crimes that never happened

We have all heard it by now what DIDN'T happen down at the University of Virginia. In September a freshman girl named "Jackie" was invited to a frat party where she was pumped full of slcohol and raped by seven frat boys in a bedroom. She left ,the frat house, caalled a friend, cue the investigation. Of course every news outlet in the country swooped in and reportedly on the case ruined the bo=ys reputation and what happened? It was all a hoax. The major problem was Jackie's story fell apart from the word rape. First of all when these guys were finished attacking her, Jackie  found the strength to walk out on her own, without being noticed by a house filled with people (of course there was a party going on). She then called a friend who took her to the hospital. In the original article Jackie bemoans the fact nobody believed her story (  I wonder why ) and it took going to the media for her to see some action. Enter Sabrina Rubin Erdely who wrote this heart-wrechi

I wrote it no credit

There are pages on Facebook where people report fires and  other emergency incidents either in the local area or nationwide. In Northern New Jersey we have a group where we can discuss such incidentsa. Well there's a guy on there who uses the incidents to write a few new reports for his own website. Usually he just gets the headlines and then follows up by either calling a department or listening to his own scanner. This time I was amazed to find n a summary of what I wrote appear on a commercial website. I know all this because the webmaster asked questions through a stream of replies basically took the information and composed his article. It doesn't bother me he did this, but even most newcasts mention "sources say". While most want to reemain unknown, they want people to realize other people helped them out with the research Photographers get their images ripped off all the time and make the biggest stink, as they should but it seems too often than not writers of

6TH Annual ALPCA Garden Region Meet Report

For the second year in a row the American Legion Post 147 in Elmwood Park graciously hosted the ALPCA Garden State Region for a day filled with friends laughter and trading tin. 48 members from six states and a few guests filled tables shortly before 8:00 and by the time the official start came around, the trading floor was busy.  Fred Shreeve traveled out from Missouri to join in the excitement.   Once again Steve "16 Lizards" Benson made the trek out from Arizona  to show just how much ALPCA members are dedicated to  the regional meet.  Among the other guests Rich Dragon from Rhode Island , Dave Kuehn,  Adam Garstka  and Joe Wasielewski from Connecticut.  Paul Rosenberg drove up from  Atlantic  City. John Willard ALPCA #909  was the most senior member in attendance and Rob Maitner  ALPCA#11935 was the newest member to join our ranks! Same except ional plates where spotted inside the hall including a NJ US Senate plate! Once again Ron Ridolph exercised his auct

My name in Billy Joel songs

I belong to a group a Billy Joel Facebook page and there was a challenge to make up songs starting with the first letter of your name. This was child's play because of my Baby Name Poem project (insert your eye roll.)  However it' s a writing exercise I thought would be nice to put on Mattes's Madness . J ust the way you are U ptown Girl S cenes from Italian Resturant T he Longest Time I nnocent Man N o Mans Land M y Life A ll About Soul T he Entertainer T he Stranger E veryone Has A Dream S he's Always a Woman.

Kaci Hickox is neither a villian or hero

I decided to weigh in on the Ebola debate after reading Kaci Hickox's account of what happened to her when she reentered the United States after treating patients in Africa. Her story is publish in the Dallas News: If we didn't have enough to deal with in this countrry now we have an Ebola problem. I'm not talking about an outbreak nor am I really worried, but this recent Kaci Hickox story has once again made me stop and wonder that so maNy people in this country or dying. Why travel to Africa? There's a greater risk  of not getting the proper healthcare if the nurses and doctors themselves get sick. That should  have been her number one concern when she reentered the country. She's claiming her reward for helping people in a third world country was to be treated like a common criminal. Hickox, who currently isn't showing signs of Ebola

Everyone agreeing not always good

It's October and we're in the midst of the political season which means endless phone calls, fliers and of course TV and Internet ads.  Every one hates them although like the horrific car accidents, you can't help but watch. There's always at  least  one ad that has everyone talking and this year Texas governor candidate Wendy Davis  found herself in hot water.  Davis is running against Greg Abbott, who is in a wheelchair due to a tree accident that left him paralyzed from the waste down. Being a Texas Republican, Abbott is of course a strong supporter of tort reform. The ad was designed to highlight Abbott's hypocrisy on the subject but like all provocative ads, it backfired and even Davis supporters gave the ad an "F". It's not everyday you have liberals and conservatives basically agree, and it's downright toxic to have it be in the  middle of the election season. That's the damage the ad did, it brought both sides together, but for the wron

World CP Day 2014-- My advice for Max

This is the second year I have written something about World Cerebral Palsy Day. Last year I wrote about World CP Day . The need for more research, better oversight of doctors in the delivery room along with more explanations. I also tipped my hat to Ellen Seidman author of Love That Max , about  her 12-year-old son Max who has CP. Even though we haven't met yet, every time I read one of Ellen's posts I feel I know Max,He's also a fire buff and I have encouraged Ellen to get Max into patch collecting. Ellen encouraged parents to submit stories about their children. I decided to  jot down a few notes for Max as he gets older   Recognize other people have CP - while everyone is an individual there are commons themes that folks that only have CP can g et. Never compare yourself to other people but learn from their experiences  and share your experiences with other kids One minute you think you're on to of the world, the next minute it come crashing down CP has a funny

Another day in Cape May!

The hive hanging on the branch. It has been haunting Congress Street for weeks1!Everytime someone walked under it they say a little prayer they wouldn't disturb the occupants. I imagine folks who blocked our driveway should have gotten stung a few times, but no such luck. I also at times wished for a flamethrower but I would like to keep myself on the Cape May  FD's good side! After a few reminders from my mother and people on the street eyeing this insect haven every time they passed, my father called the town, who immediately inform him he wouls need to take care of it himself. He finally broke down and callled a pest control  company yesterday.When the extermination team arrived, a van and a truck, they blocked the sidewalk off with cones and the whole nine yards. The guys shot chemicals at the hive then used saws to cut the branch down, it wa People walking on the other side of the street snappeds pictures with their cell phones so I decide to get in on the action. T

Putting things in perspective

The riots in St Louis about the shooting of a teenager sparked this status update on Facebook. I am not here to  judge nor to  defend actions. However  I posted the status bel=ow and got a huge number of  "likes". Just a thought.... I have been discriminated against at times in my life, been called names I KNEW were lies, have seen hate in a man's eyes because I was different. YET I have NEVER felt the urge to destory the town I live in. I hated people that occupied the local school, yet NEVER thought about taking their lives. RIOTS destroy where YOU live and are NOT the answer. While I would never preach "give peace a chance" I question the destruction of one's "hometown" as a method of expressing one's dissatisfaction in the environment they occupy........Just a thought — in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Rochester Review

Well who says the shortest distance between to points is no fun? I tell you folks I loved every second of the convention despite the trips there and back.  I boarded Amtrak in Poughkeepsie headed to Rochester with the scanner in one hand and a cold soda in the other (yes I do drink stuff besides Coronas and Yuenglings) Everything was fine except  when we got to Buffalo and had to let a CSX train through. Although I did enjoy listening the the conductors jockey around one track! This  delayed me so I missed the parking meet completely . The view from our hotel room Originally when I arrived I was going to have the hotel shuttle pick me up but they were over booked so it was good old Rick Kretschmer  to the rescue, like always. He has been a savior on many occasions and we roomed together again in Rochester. Speaking of rooms, we had t he corner room  on the fifth floor and the view was absolutely amazing. It was great seeing everyone, including Tom Smith, Tom

Rochester Preview

  Below is the post I made to the ALPCA Facebook and Listserv and is a preview of my report on the 60th ALPCA convention!! It's something different that I wannted to try and figured it will settle my nerves a little. This is actually a pretty long post for Facebook standards and will not replace my Rochester Report due out next week Well I'm sitting here just completing my want list, printing my ticket for the train, making sure Marco brings my trade box, packing the plates I have for the Favorite plate display and the plates I'm donating to the auction,charging the "portable" scooter, programming my radio and trying to settle myself from the nervousness of a 7 hour train ride alone.Thinking about getting off the train in one piece, easing my parents' mind that everything will fall into place, just like it has for the 9 other conventions I have attended. I  look forward to more conversations with folks like Jeff Minard, Tom

Standing your ground is better than boycotting

This is in response to an inc ident at KFC where a three year old and her grandmother were denied service because the little girl's face was disfigured because of a dog bite! Read the article : This 3-Year-Old Was Reportedly Asked To Leave KFC Because Her Face “Scared Diners” Back  in the sixties in the  South black people orginized "sit-ins" where they would sit in "Whites  Only Sections"  in resturants and demand they be served. Of course this all started with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. It started a chain reaction whites and blacks sat in white sections together and refuse to leave until they were forced, sometimes causing bodily harm. However they stood their ground and brought down a  way of life that scared this country since before it was born! They saw change. A small part of the moment also involved stars, like Ray Charles, who famously refused to play segergated venues, most fam ously in Georgia.  We all know the stor

Plate Trading Atlantic City Style

The ALPCA Garden State Region 1st Annual Spring meet was held at Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City Well despite   a little wet  weather 47 collectors gathered *in the ballroom at the Resorts  Casino and Hotel. Trading was brisk  inside what is an amazing layout rivaling Las Vegas. Chuck Bahnor once again drove in from Indiana to spend some time with us, always great to see him. We also  had the usual suspects like Roy Rich(representing the ALPCA Board), Jim Moini, Walter O., Dale Bernecker to name a few. John Anshant and John Willard drove in from Pennsylvania  with plenty of plates for sale Marco's wife Kristy once again handled to registration desk . Paul Rosenberg "won" the shortest distance award, he owns Atlantic City Taxi and instead of business cards, hands out gambling chips with his phone number on them, too bad they couldn't be redeemed in the casino!!!!The staff at  Resorts did a great job providing coffee and

Somewhere on Dan Aykroyd's computer-- A tribute to Harold Ramis

Like the rest of the world I mourn the loss of Harold Ramis who passed away yesterday due to numerous health complications that started in 1999. Like everryone else my thoughts and p rayers go out to his family and friends. Being a writer takes a lot of talent, being an actor takes a lot more talent, combine the two you have a man that truly is an artist. Like singers who compose/ their own melodies, actors who write their own scripts have a personal perspective to the film no other actor or actress, no matter how great, can possess. From Caddyshack to Year One  and everything in between, Mr/ R/amis always kept millions of people laughing. The key of his writing was it always tetered on the edge of comedic greatness and comedic madness.  There are many examples of both but I  think we can all agree Ramis lived on that edge throughout his career and that made him truly a rare breed.Like his writing/acting partner, Dan Aykroyd, Ramis's  interviews mainly were straight shooting, not

Ringing in the New Year with the WCLFD

Alright so this is January 2nd and I did go out New Years Eve but for me it wasn't really 2014 until I went to the Woodcliff Lake FD swearing in ceremony. I had to go this year because my good friend from high school George Lucia was sworn in as Chief, yes folks he's younger than I am. I went to school with his older sister and think I met him when his father starting hanging out at the WCLFD even thoou gh he is a life long member of the Hillsdale, Fire Department. Actually George, Jr was a few years behinds me at Pascack Valley High School, his older sister Kristy was in the class of '97 with Derick and all those folks, so I know the family. Since I hang out at the firehoouse a lot anyway, they figured mthey invite me down. I watched as each of the officers took ttheir turn placing their hands on the Bible and reciting the oath of office. During the ceremony I couldn't help but notice the generationg in the room, especially the chiefs and the assistant chief, bot