Two Years With Doppler

IMG_0001 2nd birthday Doppler-w1400-h1400

Doppler arrived with a mysterious past. She’d been abandoned–purposely trapped in a baseball dugout.

When animal control in Wallingford rescued her, she was a mess! Doppler’s hair was long and matted and infused with dirt and worse. Her nails had begun to turn in.

At the pound they gave her a shave and pedicure. Her rehab had begun

Who knows what name she originally answered to? The pound renamed her Charlotte.

A few days later Helaine and I showed up. She was renamed again.

It’s difficult to believe there’s a more gentle, more sweet, more adorable dog than Doppler. How anyone let her go is beyond comprehension.

We don’t know her real birthday or even how old Doppler is. We choose to celebrate it on November 18, because that’s when she rescued us.

Happy birthday dear Doppler. Happy birthday to you.

Facebook’s Birthday Fail


Facebook says I got 633 birthday greetings Friday. The problem was I didn’t see 633. That was troubling.

The way it seems to work is, Facebook only lets three or four similar posts sit on your wall at any given time. Once you’ve looked at them new posts will come through, but again only three of four.

What about the posts that come in-between? Under normal circumstances they’re hidden! Worse still, Facebook never mentions this (or it does it’s in the most obscure way).

I knew something was up when I looked at timestamps. Posts were clustered close together, then large gaps. How could three people send birthday notes over five minutes, then nothing for hours?

A little Google sleuthing revealed the trick to finding them all, but what a pain! Don’t ask me how I did it, because I don’t think I can replicate the steps!

Once the magic was unlocked, I went back and read (and “Liked”) each and every one.

Without Facebook I wouldn’t have gotten 633 greetings. That part is good. But it’s obviously a two edged sword.

My Birthday Postscript

Sunset over Newport Beach, CA

My birthday is over. If you don’t think about the number (a sobering number) birthdays can be lots of fun. Mine was.

I told Helaine, “No gift.” That, of course, meant a very special gift which will be redeemed next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. More on that later.

In the meantime I was treated to a birthday dinner.

We don’t know restaurants yet, but I wanted to eat by the beach. I chose, almost randomly, 21 Oceanfront in Newport Beach. It is across the street from the beach, not far from a tsunami evacuation warning sign.

The cuisine is American. The decor is 19th Century opulent. That part was a little much for me.

I had a bowl of bisque followed by lamb. Helaine ordered the salmon. Both were very good as was the service.

I’m not going to be able to get Rhode Island clam chowder anymore, am I? It’s my favorite clam chowder and the least likely to require a follow-up visit to the cardiologist. No one outside New England has ever heard of it. If you know where it’s available in SoCal, let me know.

Sunset here is just before 8:00 PM. We left the restaurant and walked onto Newport Beach Pier. Both sides were lined with fishermen. Unlike piers in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara this one has no commerce, just fishing and watching.

With the Sun going down it was chilly. I can’t believe I’m complaining. The locals were smart enough to wear jackets or sweatshirts.

We left the pier and walked south down a concrete path at the beach’s edge. On the inland side were small houses, most marked with signs noting their availability as weekly or monthly rentals. That would be fun, but maybe not here. Too much foot traffic going by your door.

The sunset was everything we anticipated. There were clouds, but the Sun ducked under them and finally disappeared as a bright red ball behind the hills on Santa Catalina Island. I told Helaine it was actually Maui.

We drove home with the top down.

Finally FedEx

Judah and the Hot Wheels

I know a three year old in Milwaukee who won’t want to go to sleep tonight. He’ll want to play with his brand new Hot Wheels. Happy birthday Judah!

If you follow my blog you know this package took the long way to Judah’s house. It was tendered at FedEx in North Haven New Year’s Eve afternoon.

It didn’t leave North Haven until the 2nd. By the 3rd it was in Keasbey, NJ. It hit Chicago early enough on the 4th to be in Oak Creek, WI (just south of Milwaukee’s airport) and on a truck for delivery that same day!

This was great. It was the service I paid for.

Unfortunately all it got was a ride in a truck. On this Milwaukee day with clear skies for the entire 24 hour period, the package was returned to the depot because of:

Local weather delay – Delivery not attempted

The same thing happened the next day with the same lame excuse.

FedEx Home Delivery only operates Tuesday through Saturday. Monday was out too.

At age three Judah probably doesn’t mind the delay as much as I do. I’m told he’s ecstatic.

My niece Jessie texted,

He’s soooo excited. He kept saying, “Whoa! This is sooooo cool!”

The box says age 6 and up. Like all relatives our assumption is he’s bright beyond his years.

It’s My Birthday

It was no big deal to the people at the Draft Board. It wasn’t that big a deal to me. I never thought there was a chance I’d be drafted, which was absolutely stupid. I was prime meat!

It’s my birthday. A promise has been made. My age will not be revealed. However, think old.

Helaine baked a cake and got me a gift. Stef sent a card from SoCal. Doppler sent a card too.

Has anyone else noticed, dogs are dyslexic? I only base this on Doppler and Roxie’s signatures.

I’ll spend a good part of today looking in on Facebook. There is a constant stream of birthday greetings on my wall. It’s like reading pledges on the “Geoff Fox Telethon.”

I read and cherish every good wish received. I am touched you let me in your life.

I was thinking back to my 18th birthday. Nothing really earth shattering happened, but it was a milepost day and I remember some of it in great detail.

I worked at Sears. This was a long time ago, but we were store #4524, a B3A store. I worked in catalog shipping and on the credit desk.

I worked with a girl, a year or two older than me. I think her name was Lucy. We flirted. Nothing ever came of it. I knew very little about girls.

Sears paid us weekly in yellow envelopes. On the outside of the envelope were the handwritten details of my weekly pay. Inside was the money in actual bills and coins!

At lunch I went out, bought an two albums (Cream and Doors, I think, each $2.79) then walked to the Selective service Office at Main Street and Kissena Blvd. On my 18th birthday I registered for the draft.

It was no big deal to the people at the Draft Board. It wasn’t that big a deal to me. I never thought there was a chance I’d be drafted, which was absolutely stupid. I was prime meat!

That draft card with a beta version of my grownup signature is still in my drawer upstairs.

I went back to work

I was nearing the end of living at home. In August I headed to California on my own. In September I moved to Boston to go to college.

I was so naive. I had no idea what awaited me. That’s a lot of birthdays ago.

Birthday Post Mortem

Damage in Connecticut was significant, but manageable. We proved we could do handle it.

Yesterday was my birthday. I had a great time, but nothing comes easy. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued as I got to work and from there things just spiraled.

One cell in Massachusetts was particularly vicious. We were able to track it as a Tornado Warning was issued, then started giving a heads up to Connecticut communities in the path. The Connecticut Tornado Warning soon followed.

We preempted the regularly scheduled newscast and stayed on long past our normal off time at 5:00 PM.

I’m not sure I mentioned this before, but one reason I went to FoxCT is because of Rachel Frank. I sensed before the fact we’d be able to work together. That’s no small thing during severe weather coverage when you two people share time with no script nor coordination other than shoulder taps and what you’re saying on live TV. You need a partner who plays well with others.

She’s a really well trained meteorologist (this year’s New England Emmy winner for weather). She’s also way ahead of me on our weather gear. Rachel was able to punch up screens I might not have thought to use. She certainly made the right call knowing when to show the Doppler part of Doppler radar.

What I can do after 27 years is sight read Connecticut maps. Even better I can visualize the map without seeing it. That’s important.

Your TV screen isn’t as dense as paper. We show many fewer towns that a printed map might. I can look at the map and start spouting off other nearby towns which helps viewers better understand the area we’re discussing.

It’s our job to make sure a viewer with minimal knowledge of where he is still gets value from our broadcast.

Anyway we done good! Damage in Connecticut was significant, but manageable. We proved we could handle it.

Thanks Mother Nature. Happy birthday to me–not!

In he middle of all this Helaine drove up from home to take me to dinner. She parked in a loading dock the newspaper uses overnight for delivery trucks.

It isn’t very reassuring to text your wife and tell her to stay put (she was in a safe location) because you’re doing tornado coverage. That’s what I had to do!

As the skies cleared we drove to West Hartford and had dinner on the patio at Bricco. That place is hopping on a Tuesday night!

We both had individual pizzas; mine a shrimp pizza with artichokes, soft onions, fresh mozzarella, leeks, plum tomatoes, arugula salad & Grana&#185. Killer!

So, my brthday was a very full day made better by the outpouring on Facebook. Tuesday ended with well over 1,000 birthday greetings on my wall. Yikes! I made sure to go back last night and read every one.

If you’re wondering, yes it was a happy birthday.

&#185 – I had to look it up. It’s cheese.

It’s My Birthday

If the photostuff had come with charged batteries I’d be talking to you later, not now.

It’s my birthday. Maybe that’s not the kind of thing one should point out about ones self? Too late. Facebook. Cat’s out of the bag.

On my way home tonight Stef called. It was three of midnight. She asked me to wait. While I did she conferenced in Helaine. This was a first. Stef has mastered a new skill.

At midnight they sang happy birthday in the silly, laughy way only a family can understand. I’m not saying family life is always silly and laughy, but a family has such deep understanding of each other it’s easy to know what will play!

Helaine baked. Banana cake with an amazing frosting. Wow.

I got cards from Stef and Helaine and a few friends. There were a couple of gifts including some photo equipment.

If the photo stuff had come with charged batteries I’d be talking to you later, not now.

The Facebook greetings have begun to flow in. By the end of the day hundreds of you will have wished me Happy Birthday and I will have read every one while looking at your teeny little profile picture.

I love your profile pictures. You look like the crowd I’d see at the DMV. It’s a place everyone has to come regardless of position or social status.

I like getting your birthday wishes. You are very kind.

Helaine asked I not mention my age. I won’t.

I will only say I walk the stairs as often as I can at work–at least once, sometimes twice a day from the basement to the third floor. Walking the stairs is like checking the oil in your car. Doing it will let you know when something goes wrong, but it won’t fix something that’s already broken.

Last year was tumultuous. It ended like a fairytale where the protagonist rides off into the sunset his head held high. I like a fairytale ending.

It was the middle that sucked.

I would like a better year next year, please.

Who’s The Birthday Puppy? (photos)

We expected Roxie to be a miniature dachshund. Uh… not quite. Love trumps all.

Stef’s puppy Roxie turns two years old today. She is still freakishly long. She is still a pretty lady. She still dries like a ShamWow.

We expected Roxie to be a miniature dachshund. Uh… not quite. Love trumps all.

Here are some photos from Roxie taken during recent dinner theater tour of “Jaws.”

Dr. Mel: Birthday Boy – Party Pictures

Though Dr. Mel often claims we’re in prediction and not production it’s tough to believe he didn’t have some hand in this beautiful day.

Today’s Dr. Mel’s 65th birthday. There was an even more important occasion for the party he and his wife Arlene threw. It’s 165 months since Mel was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

The disease develops in 1–4 per 100,000 people per year. It is more common in men, and is twice as common in blacks as it is in whites. With conventional treatment, the prognosis is 3–4 years, which may be extended to 5–7 years with advanced treatments – Wikipedia

If there’s a single reason Mel’s still alive it’s because of the relentless advocacy he and Arlene have shown. The Goldstein’s have made sure his treatment has been thorough. There is no slacking off with a very educated patient.

The party was a great celebration held in Mel and Arlene’s beautiful house on-the-water in East Haven and attended by many of my co-workers and friends.

Though Dr. Mel often claims we’re in prediction and not production it’s tough to believe he didn’t have some hand in this beautiful day.

Stef’s Birthday

“Twenty one is a cute age,” says Stef. She was 21 when she was 19. She was 21 at 21. She is 21 today. It makes life simpler and cuter.

Yesterday was Stef’s birthday. That’s the reason for our trip and the focus of yesterday’s event including our drive to Malibu. She was 23. However, if you ask she will tell you she’s 21.

“Twenty one is a cute age,” says Stef. She was 21 when she was 19. She was 21 at 21. She is 21 today. It makes life simpler and cuter.

I’m less hip and happening than I’d like, but I do know (at least here in SoCal) birthday cake is out. Birthday cupcakes are in!

Helaine ordered Stef’s before leaving Connecticut. We got them from two separate cupcakeries: Sprinkles in Beverly Hills and Unicorn Magic Bakery (actually in a private home) on the far opposite side of town! The cupcakes from both places were very good but the icing was amazing. I think there are a few left.

Dinner last night was at “The Ivy” on North Robertson Blvd in Los Angeles. We’ve been going there for around ten years since my former agent suggested it.

We’ve seen it get hot, become a celebrity and hangout and then mature. Stef, who knows this stuff, says it’s not the celebrity magnet it once was. Our biggest get was Marcus Schenkenberg (there with a willowy blond woman)… which is not really a get&#185.

The Ivy was only half full last night, probably because the Lakers NBA playoff game conflicted.

We sat outside surrounded by ivy covered walls and an ivy covered trellis. Propane heaters were scattered about eliminating any sign of nighttime chill.

As opposed to most trendy chi chi restaurants The Ivy has large portions. I had the lasagna which was very good and preceded by the best, hottest sourdough roll I’ve ever eaten. The five of us shared a single symbolic piece of cake. Coffee is served in a cup the size of a small hot tub!

Before dinner everyone at the table ordered drinks. The waiter looked at Stef and asked if she was 21? “It’s her 23rd birthday today,” someone said. In Los Angeles that was proof enough.

Normally I’d sprinkle some Ivy photos here. In deference to the restaurant’s aura and so not to embarrass my child Clicky stayed in the hotel room. Maybe I should have brought a courtroom sketch artist?

&#185 – Celeb tally for this trip: none for me. Stef and Helaine bowled next to Ray Romano and saw Brian Grazer at Cross Creek yesterday afternoon. They say he looked like a man wanting to be noticed.