Thursday, May 08, 2008

I really want this week to be over...

...I can't stand hearing about all my friends who have passed away.


Another Max...

Max, November 23, 1998

This isn't my week. Today I learned about that a good friend of mine, Max Mandle, passed away suddenly at the age of 55. Max used to work with me, and was my boss for a short while...and I learned a lot of things from him. Like Sonia, he was one of the most important mentors I had in my life. Max was funny all the time...but had a way of engaging you when he needed you to focus on something. Quick to laugh, Max was a lot of fun to be around.

Max was one of the first people to try out an old Polaroid land camera that I bought at a garage sale for $2. He took this photo of me when I came into work one Saturday in 1998.

I used to call Max on his birthday every year; Max lived up in New England, and we saw each other infrequently...but we did keep in touch once or twice a year, and I always looked forward to calling him on his birthday, just to say hi for a few minutes at least.

Max focusing intensely on the work at hand...

I hadn't worked with Max for several years now...and haven't seen him in person since 2001. But the friendship remained strong. While Max could get easily excited/stressed about things at times...there's one major thing that he never seemed stressed about: that he almost died on 9/11/2001. Max had tickets on one of the four flights that were hijacked that from Boston to L.A. ...but Max switched flights at the last minute after some meeting details couldn't be worked out before his trip, so he decided to fly out earlier. If it wasn't for that...Max wouldn't have been here until now. But, just as suddenly...he's now gone.

The last time I saw Max, October 6, 2001, when I got to stay over at his place during a trip to Boston.

Max, I miss ya, buddy. You were a great friend, and someone I always looked up to and admired (not that you would have felt that was appropriate). I hope you are in a better place, and that your family and friends are taking your loss well.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sonia Dietz

I received some very sad news today. Sonia Dietz, a friend as well as former boss/mentor of mine, passed away this morning. She had been fighting cancer for years, as well as heart problems, and the combination was finally too much for her.

Sonia was a wonderful woman. I would not be where I am...who I am even...if it had not been for her. A fellow red-head, she helped teach me to exhibit patience when I needed to the most, and, well, how to schmooze...but then again, I may have had some of that in me already.

(Sonia in a rare 'more relaxed' moment, not that she would have ever posed for the photo.)

A friend of mine and I were going to go up and see her next month...we believed it would be the last time that we'd have to see her. Sadly, she died before we had that chance.

Thanks for the prayers and well wishes. I plan on going to the funeral up in North Carolina on Thursday, and I'm sure it will be nice. I'm sad to see her go.

We love and miss you, Sonia!

(Sonia and I at her last day at work in 2006)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Some people are just sooooo lucky...

Today, a friend of one of my co-workers came by to show off his new baby.

No...we're not talking kid...we're talking about his brand new Lamborghini, still with temporary tag!

It was...beauuuuuuuutiful!

*cue Yello's "Oh Yeah" from Ferris Bueller's Day Off now...*

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Top 10 Reasons to Watch Battlestar Galactica

The fact it's on SciFi, who is jerking the show around, does not take away from any of these...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The lunar eclipse

It was pretty cloudy last night, but my camera did manage to eke out a couple of nice pictures, not just showing the moon, but also Saturn (at the bottom) and Regulus (at the top) also making an appearance! Fantastic!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More memories of Max

I received a great email from Dave Henning, another friend of my cousin Max, who found my blog entry about Max's death. He's allowed me to share his comments here with you (I've slightly edited them from a couple of his emails to put a more complete picture on them):

Max and I had known each other since 2nd grade. He lived two doors around the corner from me. His parents moved and he then went to Webster Stanley before going to Lourdes. Once there, we quickly rekindled our friendship and kept in touch for many years. After my wedding, we drifted apart again and I'd not heard from him for going on 5 years.

Max had never been able to settle into what most folks would call a 'normal' life. He was always trying something new or different, trying to find himself and his path in life. He was one of the funniest, most creative dreamers of dreams I've ever met. Even with the distance of many years and miles, I will sadly miss him. I'm also sad that I will now have to wait until the afterlife to rekindle that friendship again.

I have lots of favorite memories of Max but a couple particularly stand out. One time, he was in trouble with Sister Miriam (the Vice Principal, aka Sr. Stoneface). She was going to call his parents and asked him his phone number. He replied 911-xxxx which she started to dial before she realized what it was. The Police called right back and she had a bit of explaining to do. Also, there were the many days he got to wear camouflage pants to school because the dress code only restricted 'denim jeans' and camouflage wasn't denim! Playing football, video games until the early dawn hours, and just being able to hang out and talk with someone who understands you.

I've also got a really great picture of him in Cub Scout uniform with his eyes closed. It was always one of my favorites (he generally hated it of course).

I like to think that in Heaven, we see others how we remember them at their best. I think that much more innocent time will be the way I remember him.

May he rest in peace,
Dave Henning
Dave, thanks for your wonderful words and thoughts! Here is the picture that Dave shared with me, which I believe was taken at our grandparents' house in Oshkosh oh those many years ago.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ads, ads, ads...

Wanted movie! NICE! JOLIE!

G2....yawn..., okay....

Dell dream...kinda...weird geek dream...

Damn Pats...scoring a TD...owel...

Pigeons with night vision...hahaha...FedEx...hehe


Budweiser horse doesn't make the


Toyota, wolverines...yes!

Leatherheads..looks okay!

Mini with no driver? Napolean? Huh? I like my Garmin, but...WHAT THE HELL?!

Careerbuilder? Heart? Ick...

Thriller lizards...who knew you'd get another Jackson appearance in a super bowl? Then again, it WAS MJ in the flesh...

Drug dealer PSA...yawn...

Sisyphus....or however you spell his name..owel...FOR A HYBRID CAR?!

Bud Light Mencia...BOOD LIGHT! heh heh...

American Idol? Yawn. If they ever do Floyd covers, I will personally slaughter the producers...

Prince Caspian movie...okay then...

Unibrow...umm....ick...A Planters commercial?!@

Fave 5, T-mobile...give it UP!

United Way FIT commercial...sheesh...careful, or you tack on $5 to your cell bill!

Justin Timberlake for pepsi...not bad.

Doritos...mousetrap...and...a guy comes out of the


Daytona ad...blah. Don't like racing...

Pioneer ad...okay.

A Miami ad? I's in SPANISH?! Leon Medical Centers? HUH?

Acura TL...okay, it's a modern car...I get it.

Comcast HD...yeesh...I hate those commercials.. Annoying. That's why I have Dish.

Loser son being taught to drive for the first time. Has he NEVER BEEN IN A CAR BEFORE?!?

NFL Network ad...riiiiiiight...


New Amsterdam...well, okay...


Tom rocked. back to commercials.

Lincoln car ad. Yawn.

Florida ad for the Miccosukees...nice! Keep it up!

A Ford F150 ad. Yawn. How much did you all waste on these commercials, oh local advertisers?

Anti-smoking ad. Yawn.


Zantac ad...please...keep our drug prices high because of all these ads...

Semi-Pro! Can't wait!

Claritin ad...jeez, HOW MANY ADS DOES THIS GUY WEAR ON HIS CHEST?! ad again...witch doctor...heh heh...I need to find out if he's in my health plan... should learn need a better commercial.

Horse race...SHAQ!!!!...GO SHAQ!!! KID PICKING NOSE! I need that water...


Carmen Electra...yum...WHOA! (*OUCH*)

Damn, they didn't hit Richard Simmons...

What's a singing cricket...oh, good...a spider came along and a him...

Sarah Connor...have to start watching that show...

A FOOTBALL COMMENT: PATS, YOU SUCK! Using a challenge to call a all are WIMPS! WUSSES! YOU SUCKKKKKKK!!!!!

Genesis car...I don't see any relation to Star Trek II here...

PIXAR! WALL-E! BUZZ! WOODY! HEHEHEHEHEHE!!!!! Can't wait for the movie!!!!

Jumper commerical...looks Samuel "The Man" L. Jackson...

Talking baby? Etrade? Ugh. Ick.

BUD LIGHT AD! FLYING! Ooops, guess it wasn't FAA approved yet...

Chester the Oboe player. Cool. Fun commercial. :)

Lexus ad...sheesh. Enough. Enough enough enough. I want a car to blow up in the next spot I see.

The same weird Leon Medical Center ad. SAVE THE MONEY AND MAKE OUR HEALTHCARE CHEAP!

Okay, a Nissan commercial...nothing is blowing up...I don't like this!!! GRRRR!!!

4th quarter...7-3 still! WOOHOO! KEEP IT UP, GIANTS!

Hair ad, Marylin Monroe? Huh? Sunsilk? Errr....okay....



Coke commercial, politics...ugh. No wonder I'm preferring Diet Pepsi these days.

Big wheels! Races! Cool! I wanna race!

Adam Sandler! Hairdresser! Spy! Zohan! hehe

Terminator...again...I GET IT...the show is ON THE AIR...


Fiesta platters...taco is to be enjoyed?! HUH?

Loud drinking


Bud Light...Jackie Moon! hehe


Moment of truth...ugh. Who cares?


Mmm...Victoria's Secret am I watching again?

Jumper cables on will NEVER drink Amp...

Steelers...Pina Colada song...I HATE AI!!!

(C'mon, Giants...less than 2 can do it!)

Wow...catch of the game! On his helmet! GO GIANTS!

:35 seconds left, Giants, you give me all the happiness in the world right now!!!

Do you smell "end to the perfect season"? I know I do...

Brady NAILED to the ground...hehehehehehehehe

GIANTS WIN!!!!!!! Amid chaos...heh heh...but owel...


Ads continued...

Screaming animals...cute...

Doritos band contest whatever...huh?!


Apparently you can go here to watch the ads.


First off, GO GIANTS!

You beat my frozen weather. Great job. suck. Sorry. You took the unbeaten regular season from my Dolphins. If you can't win the Super Bowl...the whole season means NOTHING. NOTHING!!!!


Second off, best commercial so far...the Pepsi Max "What Is Love" commercial. Second best, Bud Light "Breathing Fire".

3-0 Giants! KEEP IT UP, GUYS!

The best $20 ever spent...

I hate making my money this way...but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


The greatest reality show of all time is returning!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hector Dachelet

My great uncle passed away on New Year's Eve...on the day of his 100th birthday. He had a good life, and I tried to see him as often as I could (he lived in Wisconsin, so I only saw him when I went up for Green Bay Packer games), even though he really didn't remember me as much as the years went by.

I have a special place in my heart for Hector. He was my grandmother's brother (on my father's side), and he was the last of his four siblings that was still alive. I had always wanted to have my grandparents see their great-grandchildren, but, sadly, they all passed away before we had kids. However, I did have the chance to bring my kids up to see Hector a few years ago, and he thought they were his grandchildren...and it really made me proud...and feel warm inside. He was very happy to see them...and the whole feeling of the importance of sharing family just hit home.

Hector, we love you and we will miss you!


I am happy to report that I was mistaken in the last time I had seen Max. In combing through my photos, I did see him in 2005, when we were up in Wisconsin for another Packers game. I still miss ya, Max!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here's looking forward to 2008!
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Rock on!

Rock Band is some serious fun...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

For a couple of special friends...

...currently separated by a vast ocean...I hope this helps a bit!

Thankfully, I found a good place to buy them!

So say we all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007