Monday, July 31, 2006

New Topic - Vacation Car Rentals

Aaron Stein, Long Island Insurance BY AARON STEIN

This week we will take another break from talking about the Long Island homeowners and flood insurance situation and talking a little about a question we still get a lot at our office. That would be the one about what insurance you have to buy from the rental company when you go on vacation and rent a car.

A number of years ago, in response to car rental companies trying to add $10-20 per day onto the cost of a rental vehicle through things like 'collision damage waiver', the State of New York came up with mandatory coverage to be included on every New York car insurance policy so that NY residents would not have to pay the extra charges.

So now, every New York auto insurance policy contains a 'rental vehicle coverage endorsement' providing coverage for actual damage to or loss of a rental vehicle. The coverage extents to rental of a passenger car, station wagon, van, or pickup, anywhere in the U.S., its territories or possessions, and Canada. So right away, note that coverage does NOT apply to a truck larger than a regular van or pickup, such as the type you might rent from U-Haul to move your stuff, for example. And coverage does NOT apply to rentals in Europe or anywhere outside the U.S. and Canada.

Note that the coverage specifically DOES apply to 'loss of use' of the rental vehicle. That means that if you have an accident, and the rental company loses 3 weeks worth of rental income while the car is repaired, that loss is also covered. That's because once the rental companies lost the extra daily rental charge, they tried to come up with other things to add on that were not covered under the NY auto policy. So the state included additional coverage.

Please note that you must read your own policy and/or talk to your insurance agent to make sure your policy has the exact same wording, but basically on something like this where it's required by the State, the wording has to match the State standards and so should be standard. So when you rent a car on vacation, and comply with the restrictions set out in your policy, the bottom line is that you do NOT have to buy any extra insurance for the damage to the rental car.

For more info on this or any of your other insurance questions, please feel free to contact us through our web site at

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Summer Sunset Over the Great South Bay

Summer evening, hot weather and a beautiful sunset on the Great South Bay...
...birds flying low above the water...
This is just one view of Long Island.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Are the Blue Jays becoming extinct on Long Island NY?

Click for more information about Blue Jay species of birdsMrs. Kane writes,
"Since last winter I noticed that the Blue Jays (birds) are gone from my backyard. I use to see quite a few eating in the bird feeder in my yard, but I am very concern that I haven't seen any this summer. To make matters worse, my friend that lives in Rocky Point was visiting last week and he also asked me if I have notice that the Blue Jays are gone. I live in Huntington Station. Please let me know what's going on or if you know who can I contact about this."

Thank you very much,
A very concern citizen

Try contacting the folks at these Audubon Societies,
they may be able to shed some light on the situation...

If you have seen a Blue Jay lately or have also noticed a decrease in the population of birds in your neighborhood, please post your comments below and include your name and town.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Passing The Internet Buck One Click At A Time


When the Internet first started it was an awesome new medium. An open invitation for the budding entrepreneur with a keen eye, looking to find his or her niche in undeveloped territory with virtually unlimited potential.

One of the first groups of newcomers to settle into cyberspace were the ones with nothing to lose, everything to gain and almost no government intervention. The porn industry found it's new home on the Internet.

An entirely new industry segment developed from this group. Their objective was to drive people to these sites by sending emails to get people to click. This group became quite proficient giving the brand name "spam" a whole new connotation. Quite a few people shyed away from the Internet because of this bad rap.

Perserverance won the race and the mainstream finally adopted the Internet as the new marketing media. The Internet boom came fast and furiously aided by the most popular marketing tactic ever created, the word FREE. No cost, no obligation, here you go try it for free...

Pardon the use of a cliched expression, but nothing in life is free. Somewhere down the road there is a price tag attached to the word free. You pay the price sooner or later. An advertiser may be reminding you to buy a product or service now or in the future, or a website owner is making a few cents every time you click. Never the less, the buck is being passed from one IP address to the next. The Internet has become one big giant cash register every time someone clicks.

The pay-per-click technology when first introduced took a while to be adopted, especially with the "free" mindset. Free is a great attraction, but you still have to pay the programmer.

Diminishing click through rates on banner ads and the dot com bust forced the major search engines to look for new sources of generating revenue. They started taking a closer look at the concept of this new idea to get advertisers to pay when someone clicks. was one of the originators of the pay-per-click technology. They started doing well, making money and getting lots of attention. There was some branding controversy with Disney's "" and the name changed shortly afterwards to May be the owner was a musician or something, but I still don't get the connection.

Anyhoo, Yahoo swallowed Overture up a few years ago. By that time Google caught on to the the pay-per-click revenue model and built it's own version known as Adwords. MSN was incorporating sponsored listings into their search results, and recently introduced their own sponsored search program based on the pay-for-click bidding system.

Ok, so the cash register "cha-chings" a few million more times as I write this article. The good news is lots of money is flowing back and forth on the Internet creating some plush greenery. The bad news is the quality of content and the future of search engine relevancy is at stake.

Now that the value of a click is worth something there is a new breed of sites developing that are not worthy of the click. Basically these are sites with little to no value. Smaller search engines and directories that display sponsored search results disguised as real links. The objective is to get you to click. This costs the advertisers money everytime you do so. They also make sure their sites come up high in the search engine rankings, so you think you are actually getting useful results. Three or four clicks later you might land on a website that provides useful information for the subject of your query.

I don't think they have coined an exact phrase for this new crop of budding entrepreneurs, but for arguments sake I will refer to them as the "crabgrass." The crabgrass seems to be growing as fast as the greenery. The search engines may eventually figure out a way to get rid of the weeds, or the end user will have to learn to live with the crabgrass and pay for it too.

Thank you for reading my rantings.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Summer Job Follies

Ask Mr. Long IslandBY MICHAEL WATT

Summer jobs. We’ve all had them. Temporary employment situations that you know will end in the fall when you go back to school, motivated to study even harder because you know what you WON’T be doing for the rest of your life.

My wife Sharon, for instance, worked in a shop that offered religious items such as crosses, bibles and the like. (That’s only funny if you know my wife – a woman of compassion and spirituality but decidedly non-religious). My friends Foley of New Jersey packed china dishes; Long Beach Elaine sold nuts at the Nut House and Cannon the Attorney ran the rides at Adventureland in Farmingdale one summer. If you ever want to laugh your butt off ask him to reprise some of the exchanges he had with the customers. Darragh the Reporter was a maintenance man at a Holiday Inn in New Jersey but the stories he has from that endeavor will not appear in a family newspaper anytime soon.

But with all due modesty I am the undisputed King of Crappy Summer Jobs. You name it, I’ve done it. Well, not exactly. I somehow managed to avoid the ignominy of wearing a franchise uniform – that is, I never worked at a McDonald’s or for any franchise for that matter, save a three-week stint as a gas jockey for Hess. More on that later. I also never worked inside a mall. I did spend four hours “working” inside a Sears store, but more on that later as well.

There was the summer, for instance, where I worked as a handyman’s helper – the handyman being a pipe-smoking World War 2 vet who made Archie Bunker look like Jimmy Carter. One of our tasks was to re-tar the roof on a grocery store in Ocean Beach. In July. With the help of two old Swedish guys who HATED each other. So there I was, a 16 year-old kid hauling up rolls of tar paper while learning that I would never ever work another day in my life with anything that involved asphalt. Or cranky Swedes.

The following summer I worked as a chambermaid in a small motel in Massapequa. Every morning I got to clean 30-plus rooms with three grandmothers. It’s a long story how that came to be, or why. It was an even longer summer.

The next summer I had a number of jobs. I started working at a Hess station somewhere in Pennsylvania (I had planned to stay in Scranton for the summer of 1980. Lord help me remember, or understand, why.) That job disappeared the day I came to work to find the whole station being renovated and the old gas tanks being dug up. That was the day AFTER the station manager – a witch of woman who can only be described as a meatball with eyelashes – had me scrape the paint off the curbs on the gas-pump islands, even though she knew damn well those curbs were going to be concrete crumbs the next day.

That summer I also got to work as a stock boy in a furniture store where my nickname was “Stupid.” I actually earned that moniker. The first day on the job I was told to change the flat tire on one of the delivery trucks and I endeavored to do so, not realizing I had placed the jack square on the metal springs that served as a shock absorber of sorts. I would still be out there today trying to raise that truck had my co-workers not intervened. They also called me Stupid because I naively shared with them that right after work at the store I had to head into town to work as an intern for the local Scranton newspaper.

“How much do you get paid for that?” my curious co-workers asked.
“Nothing,” I replied, trying to explain that I needed the experience and the clippings.
“That’s stupid,” they said, almost in unison. The name stuck.

One time I got a job as a maintenance worker at a Sears store. I was told to sweep the floors on one side of the building. I did a very thorough job – this was the late 1970s and teenagers had to be concerned about keeping their jobs then – and 20 minutes later reported back to my supervisor, looking for my next assignment.

“Are you crazy?” the guy shouted, looking up at the clock. “That job is supposed to take you four hours.” So for the next three hours and 40 minutes I walked up and down the aisle of a Sears store, pretending to sweep a floor that did not need sweeping. When I was done I walked to the broom closet, hung up my broom and walked out the door, never to return (or get paid, for that matter).

Let’s see, what else have I done? Washed dishes (lousy pay - good eating). Driven a cab (that was fun but there was zero money in it). I loaded milk trucks – taking crates of milk from tractor-trailers and then stacking them on box trucks. It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds, but I did develop some manly calluses on my hands and even on my head. It seems the box trucks had doorways designed for loaders lower than my six-foot-four and more than once I forget to duck.

Obviously I never did anything cool, like work as a lifeguard or tend bar, but I can say I was always the happiest guy around when school started again in the fall.

Thank you for reading this column.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Shameless Plug for the (Ca-ble) Optimum Guy


The door bell rang, it was the cable guy. My young daughter asked, "Who is that Mommy?" I replied in the sing sing voice, "Ca-ble guy," you know from the movie "The Cable Guy" with Jim Carrey. I said it loud enough so the cable guy would hear me and as he walked away I caught him grinning.

My kids pushed their way past me, finding it most interesting to watch the cable guy climbing the pole to do his job. We sat on the front stoop to watch him. Inquisitive as children are, they asked quite a few questions as to what he was doing up there and why.

Inquisitive as I am, I thought to myself how many times does this poor guy hear that indelible line from the movie? On the job application is there a question as to how many times they have seen that movie? And if so, are their chances of getting the job drastically improved if their response is more than three times?

Oh, just silly ponderances that strike you in the middle of a hot summer's day.

As the cable guy climbed down the pole and walked past us to check the ground connection I could not help but ask him, "How many times a day do you hear that Ca-ble guy line?" He said, "All day long."

As he walked backed to his van he said, "You know, I am not just the cable guy...I do phones and internet access too." I said, "Yes, I know Optimum Triple's Optimum, or it's not.SM

This time I grinned, a little secret grin and said in my sing sing voice "Thank you Opti-mum Guy!"

And the reason for my secret grin and this shameless plug... Optimum recently joined us as participating sponsor of the Best Pizza on Long Island Contest :)

Thank you for reading my rantings.

TWA Flight 800 Memorial

Photos by Alida Thorpe
Ten Years Ago Today....
TWA Flight 800 Memorial at Smith Point Beach

Saturday, July 15, 2006

First 'Wind vs. Flood' Insurance Lawsuits from Katrina

Aaron Stein, Long Island Insurance BY AARON STEIN

Well, we knew it was coming, but the first lawsuit against insurance companies resulting from the denial of Katrina claims has started. Unfortunately, most people did not have flood insurance, either because they felt they were protected by the levee system (those people may have a legitimate beef with the Army Corps of Engineers or others, in thinking the levees should have worked) or they thought they were far enough from the water to be safe.

In the recent flooding in some upstate New York counties, it has been estimated that only one per cent of the people had flood insurance. If you live in a mountainous area, it's hard to imagine needing flood insurance, but FEMA estimates that 25% of all flood claims come from areas that are NOT considered 'special flood hazard areas.'

Here on Long Island, and especially in Suffolk County (the further east you go, the more Long Island is considered vulnerable to hurricanes and other such big storms) we have a slightly different situation for those right down by the water. Since most homes have been built or in some way refinanced over the past 35 years (since the National Flood Insurance Program started), most have been required by their banks to carry both wind (homeowners insurance) and flood insurance. Many people should probably review their limits to be sure they are enough, but there is a lot of flood insurance in force near the South Shore.

Move a few blocks north of the water, however, and the situation is quite different. That's where the flood zones change to something other than 'A', and the banks have, until now, not been mandated to require flood insurance. That is all about to change as congress works on the 2006 Flood Insurance Act which will change the whole system to require more participation based on what happened with Katrina.

A few weeks ago Newsday published a map that clearly shows what our Emergency Preparedness people have been telling us for a long time. Based on elevation (facts, not guesses), water from a hurricane the size of Katrina would bring flooding past Sunrise Highway in many places, and certainly much further from the shore than has been seen in the memories of most of us.

Still, flood insurance in those Long Island areas outside the hazard zones can be as little as $352 (even less for a house on a slab), so many people are buying it anyway, since it seems a small price for a lot of peace of mind.

As always, for more info on flood insurance, visit our site at

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Stupid Things We Do

Ask Mr. Long Island BY MICHAEL WATT

I was chewing bubblegum while watching my 11 year-old son Max’s baseball team participate in a game last Sunday. There was a close play and a bad outcome for my son’s team and in the ensuing excitement my teeth missed the gum and instead chomped down on my tongue. A “not-so-bad-but-still-something-I-wouldn’t-say-in-front-of-my-mother” word came out of my mouth. This was not good, as I am the manager of my son’s team and everybody thought I was mad at the kid who made the error that caused the bad outcome. Unfortunately, I did not have the time nor the wherewithal to explain to the dozens of parents in attendance that the not-so-bad word out of my mouth was just an expression of the frustration one feels when one inflicts pain on oneself, especially when done in a particularly embarrassing manner.

As you might expect this was not the first time I had bitten my tongue. Back in the day a bunch of us were celebrating something with free flowing beer and adult beverages dispensed by a lit fountain in a backyard soiree and I did a headfirst dive into one of those plastic kiddie pools. Somewhere along the line, however, my teeth came down on my tongue like a room full of Rush Limbaugh fans on a card-carrying member of the ACLU. I did not feel much pain that night but the next day it was excruciating. To complete the picture, when I spoke I sounded like the Hangman in the movie “Blazing Saddles.”

It seems silly to get embarrassed when we do stupid things like biting our tongues, especially when we know everybody else at one point in their lives has done it the same thing. Still, that is little consolation when walking down the hall at work and your shoe gets caught in the carpet, or walking on the sidewalk and you trip over nothing in particular. The latter is all the more jarring because your body lunges forward and it’s all you can do to keep from falling down. The cool people, of course, just keep walking. I am more curious than cool so I am more likely to look back to see if some kind of evil hand rising up from the ground was responsible for my stumbling.

One time I was walking through Greenwich Village in broad daylight. I don’t know how it happened or why, but I was minding my own business when I walked right into a parking meter. I was mortified and in pain but had the presence of mind to say, “Excuse me” to the meter. I then got the heck out of there and never walked down that street again, just in case somebody was watching.

Speaking of stupid things people do I hope that someday somebody with a scientific bent for such things studies what it is about alcohol that compels people who drink too much to call on the phone people they have not spoken to in some time. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I pulled this stunt more than once -- again back in the day. However, after paying for one too many midnight ramblings I decided to take things one step further. Not only would I call, but I would call collect. From what I remember, though, the calls almost always entertained the recipient, which may or may not explain why those who received them are still friends with me.

How about when you are driving along, seemingly paying attention, and you switch lanes. Once you do, however, you realize you just cut off the guy behind you. Now you might be inclined to wave an apology to the driver behind you, but in doing so you run the risk of that apologetic wave being mis-interpreted as an offensive gesture. Then you’d be in big trouble. So, if you are like me you just kind of cringe and make a point of avoiding eye contact with that driver for the rest of your trip – even if the both of you are driving across country.

I always imagine the guy behind me being a distant relative of the truck driver in the made for TV movie “Dual,” starring Dennis Weaver (and featuring a novice Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair.)

Ever call somebody on the phone (drunk or otherwise) and then between the time you dial and the time somebody picks up you have forgotten who you called? This happens to me anytime I am going down a list to make a bunch of phone calls – like when I have to tell my Little League parents that a game has been cancelled. What makes the situation really challenging is when I forget and a person with a high voice answers. I can never tell if I have one of my pre-pubescent players or his mother on the horn.

Let’s see, what else? Have you ever:

-- Rented a movie you have never heard of at Blockbuster because you liked what you read about it on the cover, only to discover the movie is about as entertaining as a tax audit?

-- Stuck your finger in a cup of water to see if it was hot enough for tea?

-- Lit a match to see if the propane tank was turned off?

-- Spent 20 minutes looking for your keys when they are in your pocket the whole time?

-- Spoken loudly to someone so you can be heard over the music, only to have the music stop about mid-sentence but you keep talking loudly?

-- Grabbed the wrong luggage off the luggage carousel at an airport?

-- Said hello to someone thinking they were somebody else?

-- Dated an Amway representative?

I am sure there are plenty more examples of stuff like this. If you have any and you want to share, send me an email at If I get enough of them maybe I can do a follow up column – unless you think that would be a stupid thing to do.

Thank you for reading this column.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Brown's River in the Early Morning

Photos by Alida Thorpe
Brown's River, Sayville New York
Another beautiful day on Long Island.
These are the Islip Town boat slips on Brown's River in Sayville. It is a busy river with the ferry traffic to Fire Island and the many pleasure boats you see here.
The east side of the river is in Bayport.
Kayak activity is increasing since kayaks can go further north, up the river, where there is no other boating.
If you are looking to dock a boat, call Islip Town for more information.
See the links on the sidebar for additional information about boating, fishing and ferry service.
See you on the water!

Friday, July 07, 2006

When The Young Ones Marry

Ask Mr. Long IslandBY MICHAEL WATT

Last month my sister Annie announced her engagement to a fine young man named Mark. As a family we could not be any happier for them or about the situation. But the news is tinged with just the slightest bit of melancholy because it marks the end of an era for the Watt family.

Annie, you see, is the youngest of the 13 children in my parents’ family. She was born when I was a senior in high school (1977). When I was in college my friend Pat Foley of New Jersey came to visit me on Long Island. Annie spent the better part of the evening sitting on the kitchen floor, grabbing raw potatoes from a bowl and tossing them around the kitchen. My mother retrieved them AND carried on a conversation with Pat at the same time. The skill and aplomb with which my mother executed these actions so impressed him that to this day the mere mention of Annie’s name will inspire him to relate that story. A few years later, when she met my then-girlfriend now-wife Sharon for the first time, she was wearing feetsy pajamas.

Now she’s getting married, the last of the six Watt girls to do so. My older sister Margaret got married in 1974, Joan in 1985, Mary Ann and Katie in 1994 and Jeanne in 1999. What’s a decade without a Watt family wedding or two? After this we just start marking time until the nieces and nephews start announcing their impending nuptials.

There is something special about seeing a sister married off even though there seems to be a lot more work involved. I say seems to be because fortunately for me whatever work there is to be done does not involve me. And if I were in the business of handing out free advice to brothers-in-law – and I am not – my advice to Annie’s beloved would be to plan on having as little to do with the wedding planning, as well.

Oh, he should (and does) care and he should (and will) chip in whatever elbow grease he has available, especially when it comes to licking the envelopes. But let’s face it: if it were up to most guys the “to do list” for every wedding reception would be simple – get a church, ice the beer, order the pigs in a blanket and make sure the band or DJ has some rocking tunes with “Louie Louie” and “The Worm” from “Animal House” an absolute must.

(In case you are wondering; yes – even though Mark barely remembers the Reagan Administration he is cool enough to understand and appreciate the social significance and musical magnitude of both.)

Mark is my kind of guy. When the womenfolk were discussing the wedding reception someone mentioned the seating chart. “What’s a seating chart?” he asked. Now Mark has a deadpan sense of humor so I can’t say for sure if he was kidding. I do know that by the time they get married – August 11, 2007 – he not only will know what a seating chart is, he will feel about seating charts the same way President Bush feels about polysyllabic words.

There are other phrases he will come to loathe. Color schemes. Paper stock (for the invitations). Bridal registry. Wedding photographer. Thank you cards. Bridesmaid gowns.

Ah yes, bridesmaids and bridesmaids’ gowns. I have no idea how big the wedding party is going to be, nor do I care to know. I do know that men have it so much better than women when it comes to dressing formally. Rather than fret over color schemes and accessories and whether matching shoes can be found, guys go with black tuxedos and black shoes. Oh there may be the occasional groom in a powder blue suit, but the only purpose that can possible serve is increasing the odds that a segment of the wedding video is going to show up on “America’s Funniest Videos” or “Cops.”

Then there’s the food. Again, if it were up to the groom it would be burgers all around, pass the chips and Bud and who’s pouring? Of course one of the reasons guys get married is because they realize that the bachelor lifestyle comes up a little short in the long run. If anything, the wedding reception marks the transition in a man’s life where using shot glasses for your morning dose of mouthwash is no longer an acceptable practice. The next thing you know he’s learning that it’s pronounced “crew-da-tay” and not “cru-dites” and that they are really referring to vegetables on a platter. Why would anyone voluntarily eat vegetables, much less put effort into arranging them nicely on a platter? Not even married guys know the answer to that one, but they also know not to ask.

So don’t ask, Mark. Just nod. And oh yeah, watch out for free advice from future brothers-in-law. It can be more dangerous than air-borne raw potatoes.

Thank you for reading this column.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hilary Confused about Homeowners vs. Flood?

Aaron Stein, Long Island Insurance BY AARON STEIN

Well, I never had any doubts that it is very common among the average 'person on the street' to be somewhat confused about just what is covered under homeowners insurance as opposed to FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. But I would have hoped that a U.S. Senator and Presidential hopeful would have been able to get better information.

Hilary Clinton was touring some of the flood-ravaged areas of upstate New York recently, and took the opportunity to call on Allstate Insurance Company to reconsider their position of not writing new flood insurance policies on Long Island and other downstate areas, along with the cancellation of tens of thousands of existing policies. (Note that 'flood' in that case was her word, not ours)

Unfortunately, the flood damage she was looking at would ONLY have been covered under flood insurance policies issued by the National Flood Insurance program! While it's great that she is advocating on behalf of us here on Long Island and other areas that are prone to hurricane damage, Allstate would not be the culprit here, nor would they be the problem if we had major flooding here on the South Shore or anywhere else for that matter.

According to the article in National Underwriter magazine, Mrs. Clinton stated more than once that it's a shame that Allstate is no longer willing to provide flood insurance to their customers in Long Island, NYC, and Westchester. This kind of misinformation can only add to all the confusion and problems currently surrounding the market for coastal homeowners insurance.

Unfortunately, from what I have read, only about 1% of the people affected by last week's flooding actually carried flood insurance. That's most likely because they live in mountainous areas and would never have expected floods. But here on Long Island, and specifically on the South Shore, you need both a homeowners insurance policy AND a flood insurance policy if you want to be properly protected.

As always, for more information, please visit our web sites at and

Monday, July 03, 2006

I Thought You Said You Wanted A Weber?


My husband calls me cheap, I prefer "cost-effective" to describe my spending habits. We are at opposite ends of the totem pole when it comes to spending. We bought a Char-Broil BBQ grill which lasted about five years. Since it wasn't a "Weber", my husband never put the grill cover on it. It also remained outside the entire time because we did not have enough room for it in the shed. Because it wasn't my husband's favorite name brand he refused to set aside space in his closet to store it inside during the winter.

Around the holidays and his birthday he usually clips out a page from the Home Depot Catalog or the latest fishing equipment magazine and conveniently leaves the not-so-subtle hint on the desk for me to find. "If it's not broke, we don't need to buy a new one," is usually my response when he is trying to convince me to buy something new. It was coming close to Father's Day and the circulars were piling up on the kitchen table, so I started flipping through them for ideas.

The old grill was basically falling apart, so it was time for a new one. My husband reminded me many times how he really wanted a Weber Grill. He said he had conceded to me when making the grill purchase because we really could not afford a Weber. I still think they are expensive, but everyone you talk to is adament that they are the best name in barbeque equipment.

The whole "backyard-bbq-pride-thing" among men is one of those non-sensical things that we women have yet to figure out. The debates about who makes the perfect steak, the best burgers, etc. this is a story unto itself. Bottom line, I decided it was time to make him happy and splurge for the Weber.

Now, if I had gone to the store and bought it myself to surprise him I am sure he would have been extremely pleased. But, I would have heard some small joking remark at a future family bbq about how I was too cheap to buy the "top of the line Weber." So, instead I gave him a shopping assignment.

He mentioned that he was going to Home Depot to pick up a few needed items for around the house. He asked if there was anything I needed. Seizing the opportunity, I quickly jotted down a few items and handed him my list. He almost fell over when he saw the Weber Grill as a line item on the list. I put the budget in parenthesis and under that Happy Father's Day.

Now, this is a big deal. A substantial purchase and he is finally going to be the proud owner of a Weber Grill. There are lots of brownie points in this for me, so I let him enjoy the shopping excursion without me cramping his style. He does the manly thing and takes his friend with him to go buy the grill.

I get the phone call while he is out shopping that he found the perfect grill and is on his way home with his new purchase. I remind him to buy a grill cover. He replies, "I got it already, I am one step ahead of you babe."

They get home and unload the grill into the shed. BTW, he made room in the shed prior to going shopping. He calls me out to see the new grill. It is awesome, a stainless steel, shiny, new...Charmglow grill.

"So, whatdaya think?" he says. I reply a bit puzzled, "I think it is beautiful, but for the past five years you have been telling me that you wanted a Weber grill." He starts elaborating, "Yeah, I know but I really liked this one, and look it's got..." "Shush," I said, "just enjoy your grill."

P.S. The grill is great, he is happy and the steak came out perfect.

Thank you for reading my rantings.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Show me the Fireworks on Long Island New York!

Long Island Dinner Cruise with Firework DisplayJuly 4th Celebrations across Long Island, NY including Grucci and Bay fireworks shows. Location vary including some of the biggest at Eisenhower Park, Point Lookout, Jones Beach and the Nassau Coliseum Uniondale New York.
Celebrating the Fourth of July...
Fireworks Displays across Long Island, New York
Long Island Dinner Cruises with Fireworks Shows
Nassau Coliseum Fair with Firework Shows

Great South Bay in the early morning...

Great South Bay in the early morning...
At this time of year, on the weekend, the Great South Bay can get very busy.
After all, f you don't use your boat this weekend, then when will you use it?
Caution must be taken. Accidents do happen. Be careful and act responsibly.
Don't drink and take the wheel of your boat, or your car for that matter!
This photo was taken on the bay at 8 am in the morning, during the week. Weekend boaters never see the bay this calm or this empty. It won't look like this on many days. On the ususal busy day, boats are traveling in all directions.
Everyone is out to have a good time but all plans can end with just one accident.
May you all have a wonderful July 4th weekend and holiday....and if you are doing any boating...
be cautious, and act responsibly!