10 March 2010

It's been a long time and I have experienced many things. All of which I am posting on my pic page. I have also learned much about security and ID theft.


Truman and S

13 May 2009

Educator's Day at the Ballpark with the USCG and USCG Auxiliary

National Safe Boating Week runs from 16May to 22 May. In Rochester, we got started a little early with our participation in the Educator's Day at the Red Wings game at Frontier Field. The USCG and USCG Auxiliary worked together to bring our 25' Response Boat - Small (RB-S), COASTIE and our usual Public Affairs materials including coloring books and stickers for all the kids.

The day began with us arriving at 0930 and setting up our RB-S at the main gates to the ballpark. As all the buses arrived with the kids they had to move past our boat and booth to enter the game. We found ourselves engaged in many ways with all the kids and their teachers. Some of the personnel spent time getting all the kids on and off our boat so they could see what it looked like inside. The new Cadets assigned to our station spent the morning engaging the classes with COASTIE and answered all their questions about boating safety. The rest of us tried to keep up with all the people at our PA table and providing them with information on a range of topics relating to safe boating and the use of Life jackets.

The kids loved COASTIE and spent lots of time around him asking questions and talking about safe boating. When they weren't with COASTIE or climbing on our boat they were trying on all the life jackets and safety equipment we brought for our static displays. The teachers even got into it checking out the boat and trying on the life jackets.

The day ended with all the USCG and USCG Auxiliary personnel finally able to take in the baseball game. We got on the Jumbo-tron and they had a special message on the board about Always Wearing Your Life jacket along with the dates for the upcoming National Safe Boating Week. I can only hope that our Water Safety Expo and Open House this Saturday are as well received as our time at the ballpark.
Remember, WEAR IT NEW YORK!!

09 May 2009

The Island

In 3 weeks I have experienced many things on Oahu. I have worked with the USCG and Auxliary, done my job and spent plenty of time exploring. Living and working in Hawaii is most enjoyable. The drive to and from work in a convertible rental car is like taking an hour a day to sit at the beach and sunbathe. Only caveat, if you are already sunburned from the weekend, the daily commute may hurt if you don't have the 50SPF sunblock in the car.

As someone from the mainland, I have found the following to be true...
It is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and the opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural habitat are around you each and every day.

The natural resources, outdoor activities and wildlife are AWESOME!!

The commute to work may be long but it is always fun as you are in paradise and most times you have a water view while driving on Oahu. Well at least where I work.

  • Drections are based on landmarks you can see from almost everywhere like turn right when you are even with the Pink Hospital on the hill.
  • Law and order is very good considering half the population is military and under Federal Government control and the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice).
  • There is a never ending number of activities both tourist and local you can become absorbed in on any given day.
  • The Hawaiian culture is fascinating and great to experience. After all, this is the only part of the United States to actually have a Royal Family (King and Queen and a Palace). even a Queen Emma like my niece. All worth visiting and learning about.
  • 2009 is the 50th Anniversary of Hawaii becoming the last state on 21-Aug-1959.
  • LOST is filmed here and you can visit many of the sites.
  • CONs:
  • The 6 hour time difference between Hawaii and the East coast and family can be very challenging, especially when you travel back and forth each month or want to talk.

  • The TV schedule is totally weird for me - some channels are on Pacific Coast Time (TBS/TNT/USA/DISC), broadcast channels start prime time at 7 PM like Central time at home and then you have to find the ABC/CBS/NBC channel not in Japanese. It makes me soo confused ;-)
  • Its 6 hours different from EDT until October as Hawaii doesn't do daylight savings time.
  • While the island appears safe because of all the local and military people following rules, like every big city they have crime and drug problems and in some cases they are more pronounced because of the lack of physical space.

  • Truman can't come live with me because of the animal 30 day quarintine rule for Hawaii. However; he has learned that there are plenty of things to do at Mom and Uncle Jeremy's house like "Let's checkout the new flowers. I dumped the last ones and you would think they have learned better than to give me new ones!!"

  • Tuman pulled down the ceiling at Mom and Uncle Jeremy's house so now we have to buy a new one. Baad kitty...

Overall Opinion 9May09

  • All in all the community in Honolulu and all the people I meet, work and socialize with day to day are great and a welcome source of strength away from home.
  • Can't wait for my friends and family to come over the next few months to visit and hang with me. This will be most fun!! I can't wait
  • Truman likes living with Mom and Uncle Jeremy but he still remembers his real house and the monthly moves should not be a problem. Uncle Jeremy however should learn to endure longer lick sessions from Truman.
  • Truman now has his own email account, so I hope to hear more from him beyond the usual phone and web cam sessions!

30 April 2009

Working in Hawaii

I arrived in the islands 10 days ago and I am starting to feel like a regulare resident. Things fly right by here if you are working and the hours are slow when you are not. I have agreed to live and work here for at least the next six months on a long-term project as the Program Manager.

That means I have an apartment and need to learn to fit in and live and work on Oahu. I have a 8.4 mile commute to work one way daily that takes an averag of 20 minutes, +/- 20 minutes for traffic dependent on the time you leave. My current rental car is a convertible as that is all Hertz had when I arrived. Now that sounds great for Hawaii; however, as I have learned, that also means getting sunburned during the commute to and from work during any given week while sitting in traffic. I now carry sunblock in the car for that exact purpose.

I am on the 30th story of an apartment building just at the beginning of Waikiki (West end). I overlook the ocean, Honolulu Harbor and the Ala Wai canal. I have learned that when asking directions you need to have people spell the name of the streets if you don't know Hawaiian and can't figure out what vowel combination was in the word they just told you. The words sound beautiful but the spelling is a real bummer and can lead to very messed up directions on google or MapQuest.
When in paradise, it appears the norm is a 4.5 day work week. If you are still at work at noon on a Friday, you are working overtime or considered an over achiever. If you haven't planned your work week to fit into that model you have bad time managment skills. Needless to say I am learning to have better Hawaiian time management skills.

All in all the experience so far has been very positive. I have been able to connect with the local USCG and USCG Auxiliary and I particpated in my first even on Wed as a victim for a inter-island WMD disater drill. It was very cool. I have also been able to talk with and welcome to of the boats from Kodiak, AK to Honolulu and the USCG ISC. The CGC SPAR and the CGC Munro are both here in Honolulu now. The Munro was involved in the 2008 rescue of the crew from the Alaska Ranger in Mar 2008 with Air Crews from Air Station Kodiak.

The thing I miss most from home besides my family and friends is my cat Truman. I think he misses me too because he has given my Mom and my brother Jeremy a run for their money. I should have told them that I say "Truman I'm going to bed" each night. I didn't and when Mom said it he raced her to her bedroom and was lying on her bed waiting for her.

Things Truman has done to gain noteriety in his new home:
  • Climb in the false ceiling in the basement and pull it down.

  • Hide in Jeremy's closet.

  • Leave nose prints all over the porch windows a foot below Emma's while chasing things outside.

  • Tipped Mom's birthday bouquet of flowers all over and then distributed the contents through out the house.

  • Hide under the freezer in the basement.

  • Licked everyone who was sleeping during the night and woke them up including my sister and her kids.

Well, its been a great 10 days. Once I figure out what I am doing for my long weekend I will let everyone know. In the mean time, Aloha from Hawaii!

06 March 2006

The story heard round the US

Early on 17-Feb, the Greater Rochester International Airport recorded the highest winds in history for Rochester, NY at 78 MPH. It was also the same moment that the largest tree in my yard, a 60-70 ft pine, planted in 1953, came crashing down to cover the entire front of my 2-story brick home in the city.

The tree crashed and my cat and I were up in a flash. After checking to see if it was a car accident in the busy intersection behind my house, we ventured further to find the cause of the loud noise. What we found was pine tree covering all the front windows at both levels and blocking the front door. After emerging from the garage, I saw what the neighborhood and motorists were looking at - A pine tree covering the entire front of my house - both stories and all the way to the peek of the roof.

Well 5.5 hours later and as many trucks and truckloads of debris, the tree was gone and just a huge mud spot left in my yard. The folks at Michael's Tree Service did a great job and it only took a total of 6 guys and all their equipment to remove and haul off the tree. One neighbor commented that it was a tree worthy of Rockefeller Center at Christmas had it not been on my house.

Two weeks later the only remnant of that once beautiful tree is the limb still embedded in the roof awaiting a nice day to remove it and patch the hole and replace the shingles. The inside work where it came through my niece's bedroom is almost complete. The niece's biggest concern, "Did it mess up the planets on my wall?". My answer, "no they are all still there, differnt wall".

21 December 2005

A Holiday picture of friendship

My niece has many friends but this is one of her "big people" friends. They have shared many fun times together including learning to count and generally hanging out.

Breakfast with Santa

An annual tradition at the Seneca Park Zoo is "Breakfast with Santa". On a very cold and chilly Saturday morning we all gather at the "Rocky Coasts" exhibit and have breakfast and a visit from Santa. The Polar Bears are out doing there thing and the Sea Lions are entertaining as usual. All from below the surface of both pools the families enjoy breakfast and seeing the joy in their little one's eyes as they visit with Santa and get a gift from the Zoo. Just another holiday tradition that adds to the enjoyment of the season for every family.

Annual Christmas Tree Expedition - 2005

As usual it was off to the tree farm in search of the perfect Christmas tree. There were plenty to choose from but we had to make sure of the size...and is it straight?...and can we haul it back to the truck? Some of the help was just more interested in being artistic and leaving their imprint behind in the snow. Ahh...snow angels...I remember making them! At the end of the day everyone had a tree and off we went to decorate them and on to the next step in holiday preperations

07 December 2005

Remembering our Dad: 06 June 1939 - 08 Dec 2001

It has been 4 years since our father passed but we have not forgotten his efforts or contributions in the Western New York Conference of the United Methodist Church or our family and our lives. For 38 years he was there for numerous congregations and our family.

From the very beginning my father's life and ministry could be defined as one of inclusiveness. Like the Unted Methodist Church (Open Doors, Open Hearts and Open Minds) Dad felt strongly that the worship service should be a participatory experience for all. He looked for ways to include people in the worhip service each Sunday. Music was a most important part of that participation. He encouraged his congregations to read the rules for singing hymns as set forth by John Wesley in the front of the hymnal. He encouraged the involvement of everyone in the congregation from children to adults.

I believe I was a constant reminder of my Father's commitment to the ministry and the traditions of the United Methodist Church. I was named after the Methodism founder John Wesley's mother. When Mom and Dad named me, I don't think they thought I would be such a vivid reminder of Susanna Wesley. It was evident by the age of two when I announced "I do it Myself", that I surely had Susanna Wesley's qualities of stubborness and determination in me.

I am a United Methodist minister's daughter but never fully understood the meaning of that and the bond I shared with my Dad until recent years. I spent most of my childhood acting like "Lucy" from the Peanuts cartoon and doing everything to not live up to the expectations of that title. It wasn't until I went off to college that I began to realize how important Dad's ministry had been in shaping my life.

I remember the almost weekly calls by Dad to check-in and that inevitable question: "Did you go to church this week?". I had sworn when I moved off to college that I would never go to church again. I had done all that I could of that when I lived at home.

Finally, in the Fall of my Freshman year I did go to the University UMC with some friends. It was an unsettling experience and I wasn't sure why. As far as I could tell everything was the same, the hymnal, the order of worship, the lectionary. When I came home for Christmas Eve that year I realized what was missing at school. It was my Dad. It had been the first time in my life I had attended a worship service where my Father wasn't participating or preaching. I had come to expect him to always be the minister.

After college, I returned home and continued to be a member of Dad's congregation in Hornell even though I was living in Rochester. It wasn't until the merger of the churches in Hornell that Dad suggested maybe I should find my own chuch in Rochester. For the first time in my life, I was going to choose my own congegation instead of having the Bishop choose it for me and my family.

I decided on Asbury First UMC. It was the closest UMC to my home in Rochester. It was also the church my Dad had attended as a child with his parents. Dad gave me the usual advice - "Don't rock the boat"!. I had come full circle since college and was now a part of a vibrant and caring UM community.

Dad encouraged the use of my talents at Asbury First and soon I was singing in the Sanctuary Choir and on several committees. I donated my timpani to the Asbury First Orchestra. I even found myself helping in the Children's Christian Education area. Something I swore I would never do after all the times Mom and Dad had used us as test kids at Chrsitian Education Lab Schools.

After Dad retired, he and Mom traveled to Rochester often to attend church with me and go to some of the various music programs at Asbury First.

My father has left me several reminders of his ministry and the bond we shared. I wake every morning to the bust statue of Susanna Wesley from the Americn Methodist Bicentennial Conference he attended in 1984. I have a cross and flame pendant I have worn since I was 15. Most importantly, I have the leather bound United Methodist Hymnal he gave me when I started singing in the Asbury First Sancuary Choir.

His ministy with his congregations and all of us can best be expressed by the text to one of his favorite hymns:

We Are The Church
"The church is not a building, the church is not a resting place, the church is the people..
I count if I am ninety or nine or just a baby...
That is somthing I am sure about and I don't mean maybe!"...

My Dad was my best friend and hero. He was my city on the hill. when I hear "O come, O come Emmanuel", I think of him and the ideals he embodied and I find solace in all of that.

Rev. E. Robert Ferris Jr. - His Life

Born in Corning on June 6, 1939, he was the son of Earl Robert Ferris, Sr. and Helen (Ryal) Ferris.

He graduated from Colgate Rochester Divinity School and became an ordained United Methodist Minister in 1965. He served churches from 1959-1999 in Spencerport, Hamlin/Kendall Mills, Colden, Sweet Home, Livonia, Spencer United Methodist here in Hornell, Silver Springs/Gainesville, and Dalton/Swain/Short Track.

He was married December 26, 1959 to the former Shirley McManis of West Rush, who survives. He is also survived by two daughters, Susanna Ferris of Rochester and Nancy (Michael) Postilli of Hilton; two sons, Timothy (Tracey) of Fairport and Jeremy of Hornell; a sister, Virginia (John) Williams of Plant City, FL and two granddaughters, Rachael Ferris and Julia Postilli.

Prior to moving to Hornell in 1979, he had become active in community affairs. He was involved in the Livingston County Coalition of Churches and the Genesee Valley Girl Scouts Board of Directors.

Since 1979 he helped found the Spencer Nursery School, he was active in the Pastoral Care Department at St. James Mercy Hospital, served as President of the Hornell Area United Way, received the United Way’s Hall of Fame Award, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad, and acted as a rail safety program presenter and State Treasurer for New York State Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of Steuben Educators Federal Credit Union, member of the Board of Directors and first chairman of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, and was also on the Board of Steuben Arc.

He was an active member of Rotary since 1971. He joined the Hornell club in 1979 where he served as a representative on the Camp Star Board and became its President. He became a Paul Harris Fellow in 1997 and was a former President of the Livonia club and former Treasurer of the Hornell club.

Most importantly he was our father and protector and we remember him to this day and forever!

Advent and Christmas were always our favorite times of year and this year and always we will remember his commitment to his congregations and our family.

From our family to yours in the words of our father:

"May the grace, peace and mercy of the Lord of Christmas be with you and your family this holiday season and always throughout the year".