Monthly Archives: October 2008

February 17, 2009

On February 17, 2009, all television broadcast will switch to digital. So televisions that have rabbit ears, and the ones that are not connected to a cable box or satellite dish. So go help out your parents, grandparents, or neighbors who are clueless about technology and help get them on board.

Last night some of the local news stations were scaring their viewers. My grandmother acted as if the world was coming to an end. Her television is connected to cable, so she has no need to worry.

You can check out this link here, where Norm Abram and Kevin O’Connor of This Old House explain it, clear and simple.

Planet Green

I have recently become attached to Discovery’s new Green Channel. Shows about how to live environmentally friendly. Some really great ideas are shown on this channel.

Emeril Lagasse, hosts a show called Emeril Green. He helps people who have no clue about cooking, and helps them become better and offers hints and suggestions. This time he is using food products that you can find at the local store, and nothing too fancy. Although the shore is shot at a Whole Foods Market which specializes in organic products, the show always has valuable ideas and information.

The second show I enjoy is Renovation Nation. It is hosted by Steve Thomas who used to be on This Old House. The show features homeowners who are building green and sharing their tips and ideas. I have learned so many new ideas to use rainwater as well as the water that is used in my sinks and bath tubs and recycling that water.

Being green also means recycling. So many of these projects feature wood floors that came from an old school or a barn. The same goes with old bathroom fixtures.

At first I thought going green would be cheesy, but a lot of good ideas and if most of the world can do their part, the World won’t be as polluted.

Finally, Bill Nye the Science Guy hosts this show called Stuff Happens. A great show in which he features who goes on behind the scenes and shows what is going on and how these products are being made. Nye is also the guy who can say the long names of the chemicals with no problem. He adds humor to the names as well. Last night’s show features where sneakers go. I learned that they grind them up to a fine partical and actually make green grass for a sports field.

Staten Island Parish Mission

I wanted to share with you the text of my father’s speech. This is part of the mission that is happening all over Staten Island the first week of November.

I was the “seed on the rock.” The shallow seed would bloom quickly and majestically and then soon thereafter burn with the blazing sun.

Fr O’Hara once told me that I was “both brothers” in the Prodigal Son.

Today’s gospel reading is quite profound. Two commandments, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Second, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

A prayer given to her nuns by Mother Teresa goes like this, “Give yourself fully to Jesus, allow Him to use you to accomplish great things on the condition you believe much more in His love than in your weakness.”

Up until three years ago, how could I love my neighbor when I turned my back on my own parents? I always thought my neighbor was the person living next door to me. No, it is you and you and you. And today, I love you all just the way you are. You see, three years ago, I learned how to forgive. I learned how to love. I learned how to be forgiven. I asked the Lord Jesus for help and so can you, you and you. I began to believe more in His love than in my weakness. Next week’s Mission, right here at St Teresa’s will help you too. “Come and See.”

My parents died with me being estranged from them. I was estranged from the Catholic Church as well. Yet something very mystical happened to me on the third day after my mother died – something very powerful and positive. Yet, I still can’t describe it.

It would take another five months before St Therese would lead me back to her namesake right here. I would meet our Pastor, Fr John O’Hara for the first time and confess after thirty five years. Never before did I ever experience such warmth and kindness. Fr O’Hara, was re-introducing me to his friend, Jesus Christ. We expect to do a lot of re-introducing during this Mission. “Come and See.”

My brother in law recently died from complications from surgery. He endured five months of “inhuman suffering.” My wife and I and our three children were his principle caretakers. He was always like a brother to me, a best friend. Yet, I fell more deeply in love with him on the weekend he slipped into his final coma. His care was so poor, I can only sadly name on one hand his caregivers who even remotely cared for him. I forgave them. It was as if his caretakers were the Roman soldiers pounding the nails into Jesus. All I could say is what He said, “Father, forgive them for they do not what they do.” When you forgive, you release. You forget. The people who hurt you will never be a burden on your mind. Only his beautiful memory. This coming Mission will help. “Come and See.”

I did for my brother in law Bobby what I should have done for my Mother and Father. It was too late for me to fall into the arms of my Father as the Son did in the Prodigal Son. He had already died. But Mother Mary held out her hand, and led me to her Son Jesus. “Jesus, there is someone whom I would like You to meet.” Through the words given to Fr O’Hara at ordination, he was able to speak on behalf of Jesus. “I absolve you.” Psalm 51 tells us we get a new spirit and a new heart. Next week’s Mission beginning on November 3rd and lasting for four days can lead you to receiving a new heart and spirit too. “Come and See.”

Jesus said, “What you do for the least of me, you do for Me.” My brother Bobby (we called each other brothers) was away from the Church for fifty years. He turned down an offer to visit with a priest before he went into the hospital. Waking up from his first surgery after two weeks, I asked him again. He nodded yes, with a smile I will cherish forever. Fr Xavier was forgiving him two hours later. Father Xavier asked Bob as Jesus had asked Mary before He raised her brother Lazarus, “Do you believe?” He nodded yes, again with a smile that never seems to go away.

His favorite song was “Amazing Grace.” Shortly after his death, I read the words for the very first time.

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

‘It was grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

‘This grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

“Follow me” and “Come and See.”

To learn more about this mission click on this link:

Popular Baby Names

The New York City Department of Health released it’s list of baby names. The growing trend of what name is the most popular. Who is up and who is down.

My name, Andrew, has been on the list on the past, but these past few years, has gone into outer space.

I can say there is a diverse listing of names between girls and boys and the different races.

Check it out here:

Should Mayor Bloomberg’s Term Be Extended?

Right now they are considering extending the term of current Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Currently, Mayors can run for two four year terms in New York City.

The same idea was considered with Rudy Giuliani especially after September 11th and his leadership through the difficult times.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, jumped in the mayoral race, and actually won the heart of New York, and in since took off from where Giuliani left off. People said he won since he spent so much money on the election. True, but I believe he is no phony and has done some great things for New York.

While someone can’t be Mayor forever, I believe that it should just stay for the two terms. I believe the future mayoral candidates will meet or exceed Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani only leading New York City in the right direction.

After the subprime mortgage crisis, job layoffs, and Wall Street a mess, we need a new vision and someone with the same thoughts and ideas of Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani and to lead us to the next four years.

It will be interesting to see how they vote. Will it actually go through? If it does go through, where do you draw the line? What happens after the 3rd year, does it go to a fourth?

The term limits were set to not be harsh or evil, but we need fresh, new ideas, and someone who can pick up on the leadership. New Yorkers have done a great job in electing Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani, and I am sure New Yorkers will pick the next Mayor just like they did with Bloomberg and Giuliani.

Lastly, if I did have to offer something is that is to offer a cap on how much you can spend on your election, so that it can be a fair playing ground for all. Mike Bloomberg was kind enough not to accept a check for his work as being mayor, but for the future candidates, it would be nice to offer a cap or a limit to the amount of money you can spend. Otherwise, things can really go to the extreme.

The future mayoral candidate will be selling themselves to the people of New York. They will lead us to the future of New York, and continue to build strength and stability. I am sure we will have the best leadership, and will continue to grow and flourish.

Shoprite Home Delivery

For the past few weeks I have been testing the Shoprite at Home Delivery Service. Yes, Shoprite will do all of your grocery shopping and deliver your groceries to you. The only thing you need is an internet connection. It works well for people who cannot get out, or the busy working family.

It is a great idea for senior citizens, but they would have to have a computer, or have a family or friend who has a computer that can shop for them. You would also need a valid credit card.

If you are a price club member, you input your member number, and discounts are applied to the order.

The system that Shoprite has set up allows you to do a virtual shop, picking out all the items you normally do. Then someone at Shoprite will shop for all of the items you requested, and then have it delivered to your door. You can also put in special requests for items you can’t find as well.

There are two delivery windows your order can come. Either 1 – 3 p.m. or between 5 -7 p.m. This is seven days a week. You have to meet their time frame deadlines in order to give them enough time to shop and get your order delivered.

Another option is that you can pick up your order at Shoprite itself. There are also designated times you can go and pick the order up.

There is a delivery fee is around $20.00. I am figuring half for shopping and the other half for delivery. My recent 5th order, I got $10.00 off my order. So there are definite benefits to having them shop and deliver for you.

Every delivery has gone flawlessly and no errors. I was even impressed the other day, the delivery man called to say that he was running a few minutes late, and that he didn’t forget to deliver the order.

The service has also helped me save money. I am buying things that I need, and if I was shopping, I would be buying a whole lot more. So I am just buying the true necessities, and nothing else. A great idea and I hope Shoprite continues with this service.

Robert McClellan

Robert L McClellan

December 25, 1947 – September 13, 2008

I wanted to finally talk about my uncle who passed away on September 13, 2008, after being in the hospital (for over 5 months.) He went in for what was supposed to be a normal routine operation, and become a long story, and sadly he never really made it at the end. He truly put up a fight for it, and I spent the past five months visiting him daily in the hospital, and coaching and cheering him on. I never saw someone fight so hard as Uncle Bobby did.

My father really wrote something nice, and went into more details on his experience with him. Although they were not related, they truly connected at the end.

It is really weird that he is gone, but I still do feel his presence, and have even had two dreams with him appearing and speaking really crystal clear. It’s a bit creepy, but it is comforting to know he is still present.

Labor Day weekend I moved in with my grandmother. My uncle lived with her. I didn’t move in to take care of her, just pick up where my uncle left off. I know he would have wanted it, and he did thank me for it in the dream that I had. Ma and I watch each other and try to live life to the fullest.

While my uncle was in the hospital, we also too bonded closer together. Never in my life had I had a bad experience with him, nor did I have anything negative to say about him. I have nothing but the nicest of memories of him, and I am glad I had the opportunity to meet him.

Prior to where he was living, he lived with my family. So for about 6 years he lived with us, and was truly involved in the family. As my father put it, he became a second father to my bother, sister, and I.

My uncle was cremated, and his remains are with his mother on a nice shelf with all of his teddy bears. I see him every morning, and ask him to watch Ma and take care of her until I get home. I call my grandmother Ma, and we have done so ever since we were little.

Even Ma feels comfort in knowing that Bobby is back home, safe, and with the family. No more hospitals, torture, just pain free and living in peace.

Personally it has been weird for me trying to get back to normal life. I was so used to going to the hospital and visiting him on a daily basis, and now I don’t have to go there anymore. These past weeks have been the first time things are really back to normal, and it has been difficult. I know that Uncle Bobby is pushing me to go out again and socialize with the world, just as I used to.

Thanks Uncle Bobby for everything that you did for me. I know you have more surprises for me. I don’t know when or where they will come, but I know you are present in my life and you are welcomed to stay on for the ride.

Ford Fusion

For about a year now, I have been driving a Ford Fusion. While this car was not on my original car choices, it ended up becoming the best choice for me. I am rather impressed with the car.

I really believe Ford is trying to put themselves back on top with this car. The features in my car are superior to the ones found in a luxury car. While some people say you can’t compare this car to a BMW or Benz, the Ford Fusion really stands out. It certainly made an impression on me.

The second thing about my car is that I never expected to get a white car. I thought it would have been hard to keep clean or maintain, but it hasn’t. My only difficulty is when I go to wax the car. It is really hard to wax a white car! But I think I have been successful, because once it is done, it glows brighter than white teeth.

The other part I like about the car is that it is a four door car, and not a two door like my prior car. So it is easy for family and friends to get in and out of the car, as well as enough “leg room.”

I leased this car from Island Ford. I dealt with Mike Mattei, a long time Island Ford salesman. Island Ford is located on Staten Island, about a block away from the Staten Island Mall. When I first called Mike, he really pushed the Fusion on me, and I don’t think I was going to go for it.

When we went to the lot to see the inventory, my white Fusion with the black interior was a home run. I was even impressed with the lease price. It was cheaper than from what I am paying and I am getting more goodies. So that is always a plus.

Some of my new goodies are leather seats, heated seats, moon roof, satellite radio, and MP3 input jacks. I also have 17’ wheels as well, with tire pressure sensors.

The only bummer of my car is the tire pressure sensors. They are truly sensitive and I have taken it to the dealer a few times, thinking that the senor is malfunctioned. They said no, and that it is a safety item to make sure the tires are at the correct pressure. I just find it annoying. When the alert goes off, you think your tires are going to blow. Thankfully, they haven’t.

The trunk on my car is rather spacious. It was a big help to me when I was moving to my grandmother’s house. I was able to pack a lot in the trunk.

Fuel mileage it does very well with saving gas. It is only a 4 cylinder car, and sounds like a monster when it drives. It has good horsepower, and no glitches.

Overall, the Ford Fusion has won my approval has been a very reliable, safe, and fun to drive car.

NJ Nets

On October 16th, I traveled to the NJ Nets practice facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey. I attended this event with my father. It was in a real secret location, and surrounded in a nice corporate part setting. The only reason you knew it was the Nets facility was because of the sign outside. Otherwise, you would never know that the actual Nets practiced there.

There was a networking even hosted there by the North Essex Chamber of Commerce. Brett Fisher, Senior Director of Premium Seating of the NJ Nets was our host. There were sandwiches, chips, and soda, as well as some NETS basketball goodies.

When I first arrived, I expected to see the players practicing. When I learned that they were gone and getting ready for their game against the Celtics, I was rather disappointed. It would have been nice to see the players practice and see the teamwork, and see them in their own home.

The NETS facility is rather impressive. The whole NETS family really comes together in this building, and its really changes from a building to a home for the NETS.

Brett Fisher realized we were disappointed in not seeing the player practiced, but promised to take us behind the scenes, and show us how the NETS get ready for a game. I got to see their video room, weight room, as well as their locker room, and their game room where they go to just relax just before a game or practice.

The NETS locker room is where they get ready for the game. At the IZOD center at the Meadowlands is just where they play their games.

When I went to the player’s locker room, it was amazing seeing their stuff and their sneakers! These sneakers were the biggest I have ever seen in person, and I never knew a sneaker could have been made this large.

A personal chef is also at their facility to cook for the players and to ensure that they have the best meal prior to the game.

While I was touring their facility, I felt like a little kid in a candy store seeing their whole operation and it really was impressive. Their gym really portrays teamwork with the signs posted throughout. I took pictures of them, and will post some of them.

So at the end of the event, Brett Fisher offered us some tickets for the game, and I was able to see the NETS play the Boston Celtics. The seats were really nice, and it was my first NJ Nets game as well. Seeing the players warm up, and all the pre-planned activities prior to the game was really amazing, and well orchestrated.

So, if you are looking to purchase season tickets for the NJ Nets, give Brett Fisher a call. Brett will be the one to give you the nest seats, as well as not drain your wallet at the same time. I hope to one time again meet with the NETS at their facility, and see them practice, and maybe even eat with the team. They did have a video game console in their lounge. So it would be fun to play with them as well.