Monday, October 20, 2014

Released To The Press

Tucson-based independent truck owner and operator Ed Godfrey has joined an elite club receiving his One Million Safe Miles driving award from Landstar System Inc.

Godfrey, 39, who specializes in extreme freight, is part of Landstar’s worldwide transportation network, built on its 8,500-truck fleet of owner-operators. Pulling oversized loads, specialized equipment, hazardous materials and high-value freight coast-to-coast in the Lower 48 states, Alaska and Canada, he has driven eleven crash-free years without a moving violation or a damaged freight claim.

He credits patience, his attention to detail, the maintenance of his highway heavy-use tractor and trailer, and a little luck for his safety record.

Godfrey has seen, up close, how tragedy strikes in a split-second on the highway. In the months between earning his reward and actually receiving it at the celebration ceremony, he witnessed a highway tractor pulling a 53-foot van trailer flip over in front of him on Interstate 20 in Texas, 50 miles west of Fort Worth.

“A quarter-of-a-mile ahead of me a pick-up truck blew its tire, lost control, and T-boned the tractor-trailer unit,” Godfrey explained. “I drive fifty-eight miles per hour and that gives me time to react.”

Slowing down, he says, “and taking every precaution that you can is more important than anything. Maintenance on your equipment affects everything as an Owner-Operator.”

Truck drivers typically drive about 120,000 miles a year, ten times more than the commuting motorist does. It takes about 10 years for a truck driver to reach the one million mile mark according to Landstar, which is equal to 357 trips from New York to Los Angeles or 2 round trips to the moon. In July of this year, 126 One Million Mile awards were presented at the 2014 Million Miler Banquet held in Savannah, Georgia.

“Their talent, hard work and dedication to safety are truly worthy of celebration,” said Landstar Chairman and CEO Henry Gerkens. “They make the roads safer for all of us.”

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), a leader in truck-related crash research studied driver factors in fatal car-truck crashes and found that car drivers were responsible for 81% of crashes versus 27% of truck drivers.

Godfrey’s first trucking job was in August 1996. He writes a blog at Truckin' Ed, where he discusses business and safety issues related to trucking.

“If I were to teach a safe driving course I would focus on learning the skill of always being aware of your surroundings,” Godfrey says whose personal goal is to reach two million safe miles.

The U.S. freight market is worth more than $800 billion a year and long-haul truckers move more than a third of our goods.

###

Although Ed has driven over 2.5 million during his 18-year career, the Million Miler Award he received this year was specifically for achieving one million safe driving miles with the company he's currently leased to.

His receiving this award was recently published in our local paper - albeit in a much edited version of the original press release above - which was a surprise and delight to my mother (she's beaming with such pride, you'd think HE was her kid instead of me) and her WOW friends, one of who saw Ed in the paper and saved the clipping for him. Thanks, Judy!




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: In A Time When Gentlemen And Ladies Actually Existed

2012: The Great Affair 
2011: The Gaping Void Says It All
2010: Under The Tuscan Sun Within 3,000 Year Old Walls
2009: Dragged Back, Kicking And Screaming
2008: Seniors Maintain Law And Order By Way Of A Fluke Discovery
2007: Lisa Lavie Is The Angel Here
2006: Fight The Moth
2005: Abandoned But Not Forgotten

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Farm To Belly

This week we stopped at Wheat Montana Farms Bakery and Retail Store in Three Forks, Montana - Exit 274 off of I-90.  We planned on going to the Town Pump truck stop on the south side of the highway, but decided to turn north when we exited.  The side of their building says "Bakery" and "Deli" in giant letters that can be seen from the highway.  It was a no brainer.  
In addition to the wall of bread, rolls, and bagels, they had a bakery and deli case.  The place was pretty busy, so I couldn't get close enough to the main case to get pictures of the bakery items, but believe me when I say they had cinnamon rolls the size of an infant's head.  I didn't get one of those, as I was in the mood for a chocolate croissant.  Unfortunately that was normal sized, but delicious.
The store sells baseball caps and t-shirts - with clever sayings like "Stop and smell the flours" - in addition to crocks like the one below, mugs, candles, cookbooks, and other items.
You can also purchase large and small quantities of different types of flours and whole grains for baking.  They have flour and pancake mixes, cereal, specialty grains, oat groats, spelt, etc.  When we left, we chatted with a trucker parked next to us who bought a 50-pound bag of Prairie Gold Wheat for his daughter, who likes to bake bread.  They are known for their non-GMO products.
There is plenty of seating in the deli and if you can't stay for lunch, take it to go.  And don't forget to buy a cinnamon roll, muffin or croissant for later, to have with your evening cup of coffee.
There's plenty of truck parking and it's a great place to pick up something delicious to bring home to the family.

This is their corporate headquarters location and the store is open Monday through Sunday from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Wheat Montana Farms Bakery and Deli
10778 US Highway 287
Three Forks, MT  59752
406.285.3614



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: It's The Weekend. Kick Back And Relax.
2012: With Pleasure
2011: It’s Exhausting Imagining You In These Pants
2010: Florentine Youth
2009: What’s In A Name?
2008: Farming The Wind
2007: Eddie In The Big Little City Friday
2006: Photograph It If You Think You May Never See It Again
2005: Why???

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yellow Trees, Big Sky

Earlier this month I posted another photo of yellow trees in Montana.  We've been through here a few times in the last two weeks.  I'm drawn to their brightness and varied yellow hue.

This picture was taken in the late afternoon, but the sky was still bright, the river was flowing in the background, you can get a glimpse of a small mountain ridge, and then there's that line of pretty trees in varying shades of yellow.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Negotiation
2012: Going Au Naturel
2011: A Great Idea
2010:
The Real Deal
2009:
This Should Keep You Buy For A While
2008:
Plenty Of Room For The Ladies
2007: It All Began With The Cheese
2006:
Zig Zag Wisconsin Color
2005: Made In China

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Way The River Went

"It is pleasant to have been to a place the way a river went."
~ Henry David Thoreau

There is some benefit to us having down time.  Things I dream about I can research.  And sometimes the research turns into actual plans.

Like my dream to go on a European River Cruise.

I've been wanting to do this for a few years now, and I'm finally able to get to the actual planning stage.  The trip will take place in the Fall of 2015 and at this writing our intention is go to with our friends from LWNFA.

There are a lot of choices, but I think I've narrowed it down a bit.  I definitely want to do one of the European ones.  My favorite is the 23-day cruise that hits nine countries which include a few in Eastern Europe.  We've been talking about doing an eight or ten day cruise and tacking land travel days on either end, which I think I'd be okay with. MacGyver is interested in the Formula One races in Belgium and Italy, but us girls don't really care about that and it will only be included if it works out with the plan.
My top cruise choices are:

European Sojourn:  23 days, 19 guided tours, 9 countries

Grand European Tour:  15 days, 13 guided tours, 5 countries

Rhine Rhapsody:  10 days, 8 guided tours, 4 countries

Rhine Getaway:  8 days, 6 guided tours, 4 countries

Passage to Eastern Europe: 11 days, 7 guided tours, 5 countries

See what I'm talking about?  Hard to choose.
The thing I like best about the river cruising is that you're not out in open water, like a regular cruise, with nothing to look at.  On a river, there's scenery.  You travel through quaint villages.  You get a glimpse of what it might have been like to travel these waterways many years ago.  It's leisurely.  There are castles.

Like Winnie the Pooh said, "Rivers know this: there is no hurry."


The photos in this post were taken from the Viking River Cruises website.

If you're interested in seeing more, check out their site or order a free brochure.  




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: If You're Looking To Flip A House For Money....Don't

2012: A Sad Day For The Piggies
2011:
A Warrior Waging A Noble Fight, Fueled By Chocolate Ice Cream
2010: Ragazzo dell’Ombrello
2009: Eddie It’s Not Even Halloween Yet Friday
2008: Not So Different, Are We?
2007: Quite Uneducated, If You Ask Me
2006: Sometimes Identity Theft Can SAVE You Money
2005: Mina In Fifty Years

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Where The Food Is Delicious And The Service Is World Class

The last weekend of September, my mother was admitted to the hospital.  Initially, I would have said it was "nothing serious" because it's something she's dealt with in the past - cellulitis, a common bacterial skin infection - without incident.  But we didn't really realize how serious it was until I started Googling, and how serious it could have become until she saw the doctors and they gave their assessments.

When Ed and I were home earlier in September, we noticed she had a little swelling in her foot and ankle area, but because she'd had this happen before (but never been hospitalized for it) she just kept saying, "It'll be fine."  Then, that last Sunday of the month I spoke to her while she was preparing to have my brother and family over for dinner.  She was making meatballs, browning her sausage, making her gravy, and setting the table.  When she told me the redness had traveled up her leg overnight, I hit the roof.

I essentially scolded her up and down, told her my nephews would live one Sunday without macaroni, and that she needed to to go the Emergency Room immediately.  Traveling redness and swelling was not good.  "Okay, okay, okay." she said.  I could tell she was annoyed that I was badgering her.

Her last words to me before she hung up were, "I'm going to take a shower now and then I'll go up to the hospital.  But if they admit me, I'm going to be really pissed at you."
Really? And how's that different than any other time you're pissed at me?  I can deal with that.  


Surprise, surprise.  They admitted her.  She was not happy.

I started making phone calls, letting my brother know Pasta Sunday was off, and asked my sister-in-law to stop at my mother's house to make sure the lights, ceiling fans, and A/C were off.  Turns out my mother left the gravy on the stove, it was still bubbling

She remembered to take her iPad - fear of being without Pogo probably prompted that decision - but she didn't turn off the stove.  I created a monster when I bought that iPad for her.  And Pogo, that's another monster with it's grip around the elderly population.  Sometimes she can't sign onto Pogo because there's a little password glitch and she calls me, frantic.  It's one of those things where you enter the password and the cursor pops around making you lose your place, then you have to backspace to fix it.  Pain in the ass for sure, but when I try to tell her how to do it you'd think I was explaining quantum physics.  As if I could.

So, long-story-sort-of-short here, she spent about ten days in the hospital, being poked and prodded, and x-rayed and scanned.  She made friends with all the nurses learning every detail about their lives, had the doctor who "never spends that much time with patients" wrapped around her little finger according to her favorite nurse, and even found time to send me pictures of the meals she ate.

She loved everything they served her, loving even more that she didn't have to cook it.  She also liked that the salad, Jell-O, and pudding came in individual cups, which satisfied her anal-retentive gene.  She said she felt like she was at a resort and was probably the only one in that hospital who wasn't complaining about the food.

There were a few scares that had me worried, but it seems the antibiotics did their job and she was instructed to go easy on the foot now that she's back home.  The doctor wants her to conduct herself just as she did in the hospital, which means no excessive walking (so no shopping), no raking the yard, no open toed shoes, no strenuous housework, etc. until her home dose of antibiotics is finished.

I'm really glad she's home and feeling better.  Today she had a visit with all the WOWs, who came to her house and did all the work to pull together their monthly meeting, taking the brunt of the work off of her.  They're such great ladies, and I'm so happy she was able to be in the company of all of those women who love her.

I just hope she doesn't pull any funny stuff to land herself back in this "resort".  Even if they do have delicious Jell-O in tiny cups.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Something To Look Forward To

2012: Two More For You, Mr. President!
2011:
A Thing About Things
2010: Americans Among Us
2009: Next Time I’m Buying Him Carbon Paper And White Out. And A Roll Of Stamps. And Maybe A VHS Player.
2008: Flash Flood
2007: Consider The Source When Getting Advice
2006: Perfectly Apropos For Bush’s Home State
2005: Soul 2 Soul

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Even The Deer Are Bored

Wow.  It's been such a slow day for blog activity that the best I can do is a picture of a few deer we crossed paths with as we were tooling around the PNW (that's the cool way to say "Pacific Northwest").  They were so uninterested in our existence that it took forever for one of them to even turn our way for a picture.  Whatever, deer.

We saw them the last time we were here, even fed them a few veggies I was planning to get rid of.  Well, fed isn't exactly right, it was more like veggies I threw in their direction.  We also heard there were recently a few black bear sightings but we haven't run into any of them yet.  And they don't seem too interested in joining us at the campground area.  


The weather has been rainy and cool, and this weekend the wind blew so ferociously, the truck was in a perpetual rocking motion for most of the day.  I felt like I was on a boat in the high seas.  It finally died down, but then the rain came.  Again.

We'll be looking for a load out of here, but I'm not sure how much luck we'll have since there are five other trucks exactly like ours here.  All pulling the same type of trailer, all looking for the same type of load.  Last time we spent six days up here.  I could get bored in that time.

Which means you may be getting more lame pictures of wildlife.  Prepare.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Happy "Columbus" Day!

2012: Not So Subtle
2011: Satan Called. He Wants His Weather Back.
2010: If Only I Looked As Good As He Does
2009: What Grandmothers Do When Their Grandchildren Grow Up
2008: The View Of The Valley And Meadow
2007: A Beautiful Dimple In The Earth
2006: Dive The Sky
2005: G-Y-M

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sailed The Ocean Blue, My Ass

We've been hanging around the East Coast for a while, but Ed was finally lured out west by a load he couldn't resist.  I took a picture of the Space Needle for you.  See it right there?

We expected to deliver our load today but guess what?  It's a Federal holiday.  No one is working.  It's hard enough to keep track of days in general on the road, let alone the not-so-major holidays.  Like Columbus Day.

And speaking of Columbus Day...

I read this about Christopher Columbus today.  It expanded on this, which I posted last year.

I've gotta say, I'm liking the idea of "Kids Who Are Changing the Planet" Day.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2013: Blank Mind
2012: Digging Through The Vault
2011: Shopping Hysteria
2010: We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging For A Word From Our Blogger
2009: Here, Let Me Get You A Tissue For That Eyeball
2008: The Secret Lies With The Twinkies
2007: Where In The World Are You Carmen Sandiego?
2006: Paraskevidekatriaphobia
2005: Love’s Language

Sunday, October 12, 2014

法拉盛華埠

The intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing, Queens.  It is the third busiest intersection in New York City after Times Square and Herald Square.

Flushing's Chinatown, according to Wikipedia, "is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia, as well as within New York City itself."

法拉盛華埠 means "Chinatown, Flushing" in Traditional Chinese.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: The Pumpkin Master
2012: Prime Viewing
2011: Still Flowering
2010:
Wishing I Could Trade My Feet For Wheels
2009:
And The Winner Is…
2008:
Palm In The Dirty South
2007:
Ed Makes Out With Fair Fluff Friday
2006:
Blue Light Special
2005:
Blue Collar

Saturday, October 11, 2014

If Your Name Is Tinsley, You Probably Use A Fountain Pen

photo credit @oliveleafcalli
If you or someone you know is a fan of architectural achievements, here's a poster for you. 

Just in time for Halloween, I love this little Bruja

Blond schmond.  Brunettes have got it going on.

Ummmm....how about you go behind a tree, or in the restroom, or maybe even your hotel room?  Or, just ask someone else to take the picture.  This is an awkwardly long selfie.  


"Trendy is the last stage before tacky."  See who made that comment here.

Pretty and fashionable.  Town & Country's picks of the most stylish young women in the world.  

And if you're planning to have a Town & Country crowd kid, you might want to take a gander and their list of preppiest names.  Tinsley, anyone?

I've lived in two of these cities and within seven miles of another.  And I have many friends and family who live in several of them.  Funny, I've never noticed the snobbiness.   

The "conscious uncoupling" thing was just stupid, and if Gwynnie thinks she can equal or top Martha Stewart with something as ridiculously named as GOOP, her obsessive detoxing must have fucked with her brain.


I have been in love with fonts for as long as I can remember.  I even asked for a calligraphy set for Christmas one year.  And I don't know why I didn't go into graphic design or something that would have fed that love.  Now I follow The Daily Type on Instagram and get to drool on my phone.  

I could have used this years ago when I used to struggle over how to pronounce Hermès.

And finally...

Whaaaaaat???  Oh.  My.  GOD.  No WAY.  My love of kittens will not allow this.  And now I can't unsee it.  



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: British Invasion

2012: Splendid Fantasy Road Trip
2011: Hard To Get Close To
2010: Lunch In Fossombrone
2009: Taking Carving To A Whole New Level
2008: Is There Enough Yellow In THIS One For Ya?
2007: I Didn’t Realize Railway Workers Were So Frisky
2006: Individuality
2005: Text Me

Friday, October 10, 2014

Montana Moments

We crossed the country from Virginia to Washington and the Fall colors were really great. Lots of reds and oranges in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, but then we got into more yellows once we hit Montana.

Here's drive-by photographic proof.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Scanning Comes To A Mouth Near You

2012: Go Ahead, Judge Me
2011:
Con Los Años Que Me Quedan
2010: Ten. Ten. Ten. A Perfect Score!
2009: Lighting The Testosterone Torch
2008: Eddie Helps The Economy Friday
2007: Talk About A Thorn In Your Side
2006: My Sentiments Exactly
2005: Mason? Dixon? Line? BELOW It.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Where The Cranberry Is King


I got this shot while whizzing past the cranberry bogs in Tomah, Wisconsin.  Cranberries say "Fall" to me.  And they're a good indicator that Thanksgiving is on the way!

From the Ocean Spray website:


"The cranberry is king in Tomah, Wisconsin where bogs stretch from horizon to horizon and color every aspect of life with the deep, rich crimson of Ocean Spray.  Snug in the heart of the Badger State, this friendly little town of just over 8,000 thrives midway between Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St.Paul.

Founded in 1855 and named after a Native American Chief known for his high ideals and strong character, Tomah lives up to its legacy with a proud history of honest, industrious citizens who live and thrive in the outdoors.  From farming their famous cranberry bogs to hiking, boating, fishing, snowmobiling and every other outdoor activity, Tomah is a town for the outwardly mobile.

It’s also home to Ocean Spray’s Tomah Processing Plant where 3 production lines produce 31 million pounds of Sweetened Dried Cranberries (SDCs) and Concentrate every year.  Situated on 243 acres, this 75,000 square foot facility is kept active 24 hours a day, seven days a week by 125 non-union employees who have been with Ocean Spray an average of nearly 10 years each.  First opened in 1988, the plant embodied Tomah’s hardworking history by earning Ocean Spray’s 2009 Throughput Award for highest average daily productivity."


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: How To Lower Your Blood Pressure While Raising Another's

2012: I Made It Because I Like The Word Schnitzel
2011: I May Be Old, But I’m Not That Old
2010: Today’s The Day!!
2009: Ed Getting Jiggy Among The Sunflowers
2008: The Bridge To Everywhere
2007: Scared Into Anorexia
2006: A Good Hot Cup Is Desperately Needed
2005: Am I The Only One Who Noticed This??

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Peace Through Understanding

I'm a huge fan of the show King of Queens, and if you've ever seen the show, you might remember seeing the main characters - Doug and Carrie - rolling around in the grass in front of this massive globe during the opening credits.

I've seen it hundreds of times on TV and I've been driving by it for years - you can see it clearly from the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678) and the Long Island Expressway (I-495), which intersect at the edge of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park located in Queens, New York - and last week while waiting for a load that was picking up nearby, we were able to see it up close, in person.

The Unisphere is the world's largest global structure and was built for the 1964 World's Fair.  It was designed by landscape architect, Gilmore D. Clarke, and fabricated by U.S. Steel.  It's 140 feet high, 120 feet in diameter, weighs 700,000 pounds, and contains more than 500 major structural pieces of stainless steel.

From the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission document:  "It is covered with representations of the 
continents, showing the major mountain ranges in relief, and is encircled by three giant rings denoting the first man-made satellites, which had been launched in the late 1950s. The globe tilts from the vertical at an angle of 23-1/2 degrees, the normal tilt of the earth. The circles which make up the armillary sphere represent the lines of latitude and longitude. The capital cities of the world are marked by lenses which, during the fair, were backed by flashing lights."  

Here's an interesting tidbit - the Kahnawake (Mohawk) Indians, from the Canadian/New York border area along the St. Lawrence River, have a history of being involved in large engineering projects.  During the construction of the Saint Lawrence Bridge in 1886-1887, the Kahnawake men worked hundreds of feet above the water and ground which started the legend that Native American men had no fear of heights.  From there, the Kahnawake men took part in the construction of many bridges, structures, and major skyscrapers in New York City - the Empire State Building and the Unisphere among them - and because of that, one of the flashing lights mentioned above was also placed to mark the Kahnawake Indian Reservation to honor the labor of the Mohawk iron workers who constructed the globe.

The Unisphere is surrounded by a reflecting pool that contain fountains which spray water twenty feet in the air.  The effect the fountains create obscure the base the sphere is sitting on, giving it the appearance that it's floating in the air.  Unfortunately, since it's October, the reflecting pool was empty and the fountains were not operating.  We'll have to go back again to see that and also to visit the adjacent Queens Museum if for nothing else than to see the Panorama of the CIty of New York.

There's so so so much to do and see in the boroughs of New York, and I'm glad I was finally able to see this iconic structure.  Here's to Man's Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe.  



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Goodwill Hunting

2012: Approaching Talladega
2011: Music Sets The Stage
2010: Tacky Prevails
2009: Not As Hot As It Looks
2008: Burst
2007: Stockholm Syndrome
2006: Playing In A Dream Near You
2005: The Greatest Story Ever Told

Monday, October 06, 2014

How To Achieve 365 Days Of Perfection

So I was looking at JLo's Instagram feed the other night and noticed a particularly gorgeous picture of her (as if you can find any bad ones) and then saw that someone in the comment section said, "It looks like JLo is using the Perfect 365 app."

Color me intrigued.

I immediately logged into the App Store and downloaded the app.

Then I tested it out.

This first picture was taken on May 19, 2014 before I got my hair cut.  The lighting in the truck isn't the best to be taking pictures in - they're halogen overhead lights which cast shadows - and unless I'm looking directly into the light, face up, there's inevitably a shadow somewhere.  Especially under the eyes.

But just look at the difference the app makes.  One swoop with the "Natural" filter, which keeps everything closest to the original photo, and I'm rendered flawless.  Like a magazine photo.

Same with this second photo, taken July 24, 2014.  This photo was taken in the same spot in the truck, but for some reason it's a little hazier.  Who cares about the haze.  Look at the SKIN.  

Flaw. Freakin'. Less.
Believe me, I know I'm no JLo, but this app is amazing.  It gives me the skin of my twenties and thirties.  Oh, how I miss that skin.

It just makes me realize something I've already known - that most of what you see in a magazine is created with good lighting, airbrushing, and creative photo editing techniques.  Or just good genes.  Or Botox.  Who can know anymore?  It also shows how it's virtually impossible to achieve that level of perfection every day of your life, like they want you to believe all these models and celebrities do.

So if you see me in real life, on the fuel island, or in the mall, just know that what you're going to get is the me in the photos on the left.  



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Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Piano Man Put Us In A New York State Of Mind

"Friday night I crashed your party, Saturday I said I'm sorry, Sunday came and trashed me out again..."

We crashed a party Friday night.  A cool party.  Well, maybe crash isn't exactly the right way to put it.

We went into the city on Friday afternoon just for something to do.  We took the train into Penn Station, got up to street level to walk around a bit, grabbed a slice of pizza, and then spent three hours in B & H Photo.  The have absolutely everything camera and video related.  We left there without spending a dime, although I'm not sure how that happened, and strolled a little while trying to decide what else we should do.  That's when we saw some guys holding signs for parking at Madison Square Garden and wondered what event was going on there.


Turns out, Billy Joel was playing - information I did come across when I was researching stuff to do, but forgot - and Ed immediately checked online for tickets.  Ticketmaster showed that since it was so close to showtime, tickets were no longer being sold, so we decided to go directly to the source. Maybe they had some left at the box office.

Aaaannnd, they did.  We were going to see Billy Joel!
We arrived early, about 7:00.  The opening act started at 8:00 and Billy was expected to play from 9:00 to 11:00.  The place was empty and we had gotten really good seats. Here's Ed in our seats, stage right in the background.
I haven't been to Madison Square Garden in almost thirty years!  The last concert I saw there was Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet tour.  Things.  Have.  Changed.  The place is beautiful.  New, bright, shops and food vendors.  Of course, I don't really remember what it looked like before - I was only interested in seeing Jon Bon Jovi.
I have been a fan of Billy Joel since I was ten years old.  That was the year The Stranger came out.   It was awesome to finally see him in concert.  He opened the show with "Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)".  I LOVE that song.  
Here's The Garden midway through the concert at a very bright stage light moment.  Look at the people!
It was a full house.  This is the stage area.  Between the zoom on my camera, the location of our seats, and the big screen TVs, I felt like I was right next to Billy. 
The energy in the room was high.  People standing, clapping, hooting and hollering.  Singing along.  Every song, every word.
This year, Billy Joel was "established as the 4th franchise at Madison Square Garden, joining the Knicks, Rangers, and Liberty as a resident in the World's Most Famous Arena".  He's been there all year, playing sold out shows.  There are still tickets left for the December show if you're interested.
Here are two panoramas of The Garden - the first one before the crowd got there and the second one at the height of the show.  Click on the photos to enlarge.



"Well we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feeling alright."
~ Piano Man



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