30 November 2008

A Shirl is born...

I see below that Chris beat me to the punch with an AA birthday post but I felt the need to add my two cents...

She is thoughtful, funny as hell, enormously talented and is the best sister-in-law a girl could ask for. Plus she can smile with her eyes better than Tyra herself.
I feel grateful to have her in my life and I just love her to pieces.
Happy Birthday Alli Arnold!!!!


Happy Birthday Alli !

29 November 2008

Change is good?

Inspired by Tina and Shirl....I've gone dark.


24 November 2008


Well it official....the TV show 24 is driving me mad.

Much like PrisonBreak the first season was great, but having watched 3 episodes of season 2, I am already throwing in the towel.

I like a good show, except when I sit there the whole time saying "Oh for the love of God, why not just go to the Police!" or "WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU DO THAT!".

I'm going back to watching comedies.

22 November 2008

Reasons I love NY, parts 9 & 10

Watching my brothers make music together....
...and watching my brother and his daughter make music together.


19 November 2008

Reasons I love NY, part 7

The attitude (which occasionally rubs off on neighboring states.)


18 November 2008

Reasons I love NY, part 6

My weird and wonderful singing family.
(the smoke goes up the chimney just the same...)


17 November 2008

16 November 2008

14 November 2008

Nurnberg, Germany

I felt like I was returning to the scene of a crime.

My first time in Europe, relived....Nurnberg.

21 years ago (ugh) I got off a bus from Frankfurt airport in this same spot. I was 17 and had never been to Europe...hell, I hadnt been anywhere.

Walking around the old town, I realized how lucky I was to have had my first European experiences here....it is absolutely beautiful.

Nurnberg is old. Really old. Lots of history here.

Having lived here for 4 years, I still knew my way around but...it wasn't the same.

pictured above, Lorenzkirche

The city was more modern, lots of new stores and buildings, but the same old ones.

below, the Main Market

I only had a brief overnight stopover, but the vibe was different. I think mainly because there were no Americans. No soliders. No one in uniform.

When I was stationed here there were 4 military bases around Nurnberg and one, where I lived, in the city.

I walked up to the castle, thousands of memories came rushing back as I walked through the old city.

It was great to be back and to see it...but it felt lonely.

The bars where GI's used to hang out are either closed or only open on weekends. I was there on a Tuesday night, so I couldnt even visit my old haunts.

I went to bed early....lol. Never wouldve done that back in the day.

In the morning I took a cab down to my old base, Merrell Barracks.

You first get a glimpse of it from up the road. Its an impressive building. Built by the Nazis in the 30's, it was home to the SS before it was taken by Patton's troops in the war.

Now it is a German Army office complex. I couldnt even get in to poke around. The guy at the front office seemed annoyed that I even asked, it must happen all the time since American soldiers were stationed here for 45 years.

So I sat across the road and took pictures of my old home. The front gates where convoys used to roll out of to patrol the Czechoslovakian border or to go on maneuvers.

The same gate we left from to deploy to the Gulf. The same place we came back to when it was over.
I'm glad I came back, but it wasn't the homecoming I had expected. I dont know what I thought it was going to be like, but...I dont think I'll go back again anytime soon.

Thanks Nurnberg...Auf Wiedersehn.

12 November 2008

06 November 2008

Hello Vienna !

After 5 days in Germany and 5 days in Switzerland, it was time for the long distance train to Austria !

I took the overnight train from Zurich to Vienna which takes about 9 1/2 hours. I got a schlaftwagen (sleeper car) berth, or as I like to think of it, a small closet with a sink.

The ride was pretty cool, I left the window shade open so i could see the train zippping through sleepy little villages and see the farms at night. Thats all great, but I woke up at midnight to find us stopped at a well lit station with people standing right outside my window. I gave them all a wave and a smile and went back to my bunk. The train was louder then I thought it would be, and was a fairly bumpy, shaky ride, but all in all a great experience doing the overnight bit on the train.
Morning on the train was nice, as my breakfast was delivered and I shaved (didnt cut myself) before arriving in beautiful Vienna.

I stayed at friends Richi & Anita's house (Thanks again) for two nights. I coached the Vienna Cherokees Men's & Women's teams, one each day and took a whole day to go sightseeing with Richi, pictured below.

Kelly & I had been to Vienna last year and it is a really beautiful city. As an added bonus, it is safe and you can drink the tap water. Vienna has some of the best water in Europe (due to its close proximity to snow melt from the alps) and, as Richi is quick to point out, the water they use in their toilets is better then most tap water elsewhere.

So Richi and I just went around drinking out of toilets like dogs.

Around every corner in Vienna is another majestic building to remind you of its very important past....a truly grand city.

They also have some kickass graffitti.

Richi and I crisscrossed the city on the U-Bahn (subway). I've seriously spent more times on trains this trip then the last 15 years combined.

Last November when we were in Vienna it was cold and snowy....this time, very very nice. Chilly but clear and sunny.

The Danube


I even had a chance to pop in to our favorite gasthaus from our last visit and say hello to Gary & Inge.

I spent an afternoon wandering around alone, making my way to the evening lacrosse practice.

I don't know what it is about Vienna but its got charm.

Everywhere you go....BAM! more beautiful scenery.

....but the rails were calling my name. After 3 days it was time to move on to the next stop...back on the train Arnold !

I boarded this futuristic train headed back to Germany to visit my old home, Nurnberg.

05 November 2008

Swiss Family Haltigan

My time in Switzerland was centered around home base at Haltigan Haus in Zurich.

Centrally located and easily accessible by public transportation, I was able to hop out to other locations easily from the Zurich main train station.

Michael & Gabi already have a full house with 3 kids, but they made room for me....but you have to be careful, cause lil' Moira is always underfoot ! She logs about 100 miles a day and brings her smile to wherever the action is.

Gabi had to work much of the time that I was there, which means Michael was HausFrau, making meals etc...and a great job he does indeed.

My little buddy Silas was the star of the show, he's at that perfect age where you can barely stand how cute they are....especially when they just want to spend time with you.

It wasn't all fun and games, there was serious business as well...like starting the boys' lacrosse training...Silas & Juri got a few lessons and I left a stick there with a rigid training schedule.

Somehow I didn't get a picture of Gabi...(sorry) but I thank all the Swiss Haltigans for their hospitality.... Vielen herzlich Dank

Ladies & gentlemen....presenting Silas...enjoy