The Living Bathmat

And then there's this

A new bathmat made of moss is kept alive by the water that drips from your body as you dry...Each piece of moss is cut into a foam frame, which prevents the moss from spreading or growing out of control...the mat is very relaxing and needs little care.

Because don't you want to add "Trim bathmat" to your weekly To-Do list?

I can see it now...my sister arrives for a visit and makes a beeline for the loo (hey...it's an 8-hour drive). I call to her as she's dashing down the hall, "Oh - Please excuse my bathmat. I haven't had a chance to mow it yet."

I admit, it might be a pretty cool gift idea... for people without indoor pets. Which rules me out completely. With the number of cat and dog critters freely roaming around my home, I'm afraid the bathmat would either become the favorite buffet bar, or the primo elimination area...possibly both. And, that my friends, is just plain EEEEEEW!


Pitiful Blather Part Two

What happened, you ask? Well - okay - you didn't really ask. But, I knew you wanted to, so I'll tell you.

I'm pretty sure that what just happened to me over the last 18 months was a mid-life crisis. It wasn't a crisis, really. At least, not for me. I was having the time of my life - trying on new hats, testing out a couple of new career paths, breaking software and hardware and getting paid to do it for a little while. I had a blast. However, it hasn't been quite so much fun for the Husband. The poor dear spent the last year and a half watching in terror as I skipped from one lame-brained idea to the next, never knowing which idea would be the one to finally land us in a cardboard box, wrestling pigeons for stale bread crusts for the rest of our days. He developed an eye twitch and blamed me. He is, to say the least, WAY past ready for me to figure out my life already.

While I haven't yet figured it out completely, what I DO know is that I will not be returning to a "normal" job any time soon. We're opening our own business - yes, we are. Yes, we know we're in the midst of the worst economic crisis the country has seen in decades. Launching is set for mid-spring - and with any tiny amount of luck at all, I'll never have to punch anyone else's time-clock ever again. I also know I'll be traveling to Hawaii this year to visit the Daughter and the new Son-in-Law. Those two things are the only things I'm certain of at this moment. Well, I'm also certain I don't like the current stimulus bill. Those three things are the only things of which I'm certain.

Oh - and I'm glad Daschle isn't going to head HHS. I guess that makes FOUR things of which I'm certain. Everything else is still under review.


John G. Scharf

We Will Never Forget

John G. Scharf

"Big Kid"
Squirrel Wrestler

A Photo of John

Electronic Technician Free-Spirited Kid at Heart
November 13, 2001

As the world watched open- mouthed during the first moments of the attack, John Scharf made two chilling phone calls from the inferno of the south tower. He told his fiance he was having trouble breathing and that he loved her, said his mother, Marie. He said pretty much the same thing to his father, his mother recalled, before adding: "'Tell Mom I love her.' Then the phone went dead."
"He was our sunshine," Marie Scharf said of the second-oldest of her five children. "He always had a smile. He knew how to press your buttons, but he could always make you laugh."
Scharf, 29, was an electronic technician for the past two years with Liebert Global Services. He was on a service call to Aon Corp. on the 103rd floor of Tower Two Sept. 11. Scharf, who lived in Manorville, and Debbie Lofee of Brookhaven were engaged to be married in August, Marie Scharf said. The couple had planned a trip to Japan last week to visit Scharf's daughter, Momo, who lives there with his former wife, Aya.
A free-spirited kid at heart, Scharf was tattooed from head to toe. His upper left arm bore an eagle with the American Flag, his upper right arm had the initials of his daughter, MCS; his outer left calf Japanese had writing and his right one a long-stemmed red rose.
He couldn't hold back the kid in him, his mother said, recalling how at a recent family barbecue her son barged into the midst of a water gun fight between children at the backyard get-together. "He was a big kid" and a Mets and Jets fan, she said.
Scharf's body has not been recovered. A memorial service was held Oct. 13 at St. Peter's and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Manorville.
-- Collin Nash (Newsday)

photo and comments:

I first meet John while stationed oversea in Japan. I was his direct supervisor. John was always on top of things. Always knew what he wanted out of life. We became good friends. My wife and me introduced him to his future wife Ayoko.
John was a good friend to many. Loved his daughter and always had her on a pedistal. She was his light. We will always carry a prayer for John in our heart.

I went to Eastport Highschool with John. We were in the same homeroom. Sometimes we would hang out together. I am saddened by his death and how it came to be. I send my best wishes to his family. The highschool reunion will not be same without him.

I worked at the same company as Mr. Scharf's mother. I had started about a month after the attacks and I remember seeing his "missing" poster on her car in the parking lot. I wish the Scharf family the best.


John will always be remember for who he was.
John will always be remember for who he was. He was a great man with a great personality. If you needed help, he was there in a heart beat! It's been awhile
now and you will always be in our hearts and in our memories!!

John was a great friend and someone who did what he had to to do to get on track with life, he was a amazing friend when you needed someone to tell you what was a good choice for you with out him I would not be where I am and may have made the wrong choice with moving and would not have the life I do now!!! I only wish he could've seen or heard how my life turned out, I think he would've been proud of me!!!Like I am of him for doing what he had no choice to do on 9-11-01. I will never forget him or who he was and could've been!!!!

The Big Kid of the Family
At a family reunion in Manorville, N.Y., this summer, John G. Scharf got sprayed in the face from a watergun-waving posse of young, giggling cousins. A former Marine Corps sergeant, Mr. Scharf couldn't let them get away with that. "It wasn't just retaliation, it was double retaliation," said his sister-in- law, Kim Scharf. "He wouldn't let the kids win." At 29, Mr. Scharf was the second oldest of five children, but he remained the "big kid" of the family. His encounters with life constantly earned their laughter, and inspired their awe. A favorite tale is the one about how he tangoed with a squirrel while trying to place a birdhouse in a tree in the backyard. He dangled back and forth from a limb, with the squirrel on his face, before finally getting the birdhouse just right. The squirrel survived, too.

I went to Eastport High School with John.

I went to Eastport High School with John. I found it difficult to adjust to school that year I attended, but I remember John being a friend to me. My most vivid memory of him is him putting his arm around me to give me an encouraging hug. I never saw him after 1991 but I've thought of him often this past year and I wish I could see him one last time to tell him that I always appreciated his friendship. I want his sister Christina to know she is in my prayers.

John was a true and great friend to many. He had a wierd sense of humor, but that is what made him fit in with the crew. He will be missed by all of his friends and family. John will always be in our hearts and memories.

John was an Engineer who worked for me at Liebert Global Services New York District. He was always there when you needed him and often volunteered to make himself available. We all feel the burden and loss of John and pray for him and his family all the time. John often talked about his daughter (Momo) who lives with her mom in Japan. He would often mention how he was looking forward to going over to Japan and spend time with her. We will miss you my friend, it's not the same around here seeing your wonderfull smile and your careing concern for others. You are giant and an Icon who will be missed. We all Love you John and you will always have a special place in our hearts.

John was a gentleman who carried out service for us in the New York City area. He was
dependable and from what I understand, a man with potential to advance within our company. I cannot tell you a lot about John’s personal life but I do know this. We will miss him. Out of more than 100,000 Emerson employees, John is the only associate we lost. He is an icon and a treasure of remembrance for a day that changed many people, many companies, and many nations. I did not know John, but I love him. I miss him. We miss him.

back to 2996

On edit: Have been informed the 2996 main site is down due to volume of traffic. Raggedy has kindly supplied an alternate link to the 2996 list, here.

Blessings to all of you who have participated. Blessings to all of you who have been visiting the links to read the tributes. None of us must ever forget.

I haven't figured out how to sticky John's tribute at the top of the page, so am adding this here:

11:50 p.m. 9/11/2006
I'm sitting here in tears as September 11, 2006 creeps to a close. I've read so many moving, sad, beautiful tributes that I'm full. Full of sadness. Full of memories of that horrific day. Full of love and compassion for people I never knew - and for their families, whom I will probably never know. I'm humbled as I read other tributes written by my fellow bloggers - most of whom are so much more talented than I. Please say a prayer for the family and friends of John G Scharf - and for all the other families and friends who lost loved ones that day.


PB's 6-Month Update

Well, not really a full update. I just wanted to make sure my site was still here. I'm surprised I remembered how to log in.

I'm not in school yet, though I should be starting this fall. I'm getting a Masters in Information Security - because, let's face it, there's a problem with that these days.

So, on to the update.

Everything in my life seemed to go to hell in a handbasket last year. Damn that handbasket!

It appears that it will be a while before I'm working in the basement of your office with the other annoying geeks. But, I'll get there eventually. In the meantime, I'm doing things like mystery shopping and merchandising and have started my own little home business fixing other people's PC's at these really fun (for me) exhorbitant prices - even have my own business cards now!

The husband got a nice promotion which has allowed me to rest somewhat on my little laurels. To be honest, though, the finances are beginning to reach the breaking point, evidenced by the look of sheer terror on his face whenever I tell him I need to go to the store "to pick up a couple of things."

A friend recently asked how my business was growing. I laughed hysterically for days.

I may or may not be back soon. No promises.



Well, I'm not really back. Just popping in.

The first semester of grad school is almost over, thank All that is good and holy! In the last few months, I had an occasional thought about dropping by for a quick post...but, after sitting for hours and hours and hours at the keyboard writing an insane number of papers for school, there was no way I could bring myself to come here and write even more. Ugh!

I'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seats, wanting to hear all about everythig I've been studying this semester. But, I'm a mean person, so I won't tell you. I WILL say, however, that I discovered I am definitely NOT Social Worker material. And, since I was going for a graduate degree in Social Work, well...you can see how that discovery might have created just a wee little problem.

But - problem solved. I finally figured out what I want to do with my life. I want to be a geek. A computer geek. Specifically, I want to be one of those strange people who lurk in that mysterious room somewhere in your office building. I want to be the person who comes to your office when you call to say your monitor isn't working, so that I can be rude and obnoxious and ask you if the monitor is plugged in and the power is on. I just think that would be so cool. To get paid lots of money to be rude, arrogant, and obnoxious. Awesome! Can you see why I'm not social worker material? Why in the world would ANYONE want to get paid pennies for being nice, helpful, and compassionate, when they can get paid bazillions of dollars to piss people off?

Yep. I'm gonna be a geek. And piss people off. And make tons of money.


Hey - Anyone ever hear of Sudoku? I'm addicted. Just wondering if there are any other addicts out there....


Thank You, God

Have you ever tried to count all the things that needed to happen exactly as they did in order for a certain outcome to have occurred? For instance -

IF my agency had not closed, thereby resulting in a change in my schedule whereby I would no longer have to be at the office until midnight on Wednesday nights....

And IF the pager I was carrying had not remained silent, allowing me to be at home at exactly the right time....

And IF I had not stayed dressed in my regular clothes, and instead had changed immediately into my comfy, though very raggedy, around-the-house clothes, as I usually do upon getting home in the evenings...

And IF I had not remembered to fill up the tank on the way home from work that day...

If any of these things, and many more, had not all been exactly as they were... In all likelihood, I would not be sitting here full of wonder in front of the computer - but would instead be attending my husband's funeral.

Every moment of Wednesday was orchestrated - and every change leading up to Wednesday was directed - and certainly not by me.

My husband is of course realizing all these same wondrous things - and probably in a much more profound way. Last night he thanked me for saving his life. But, it was not me. Believe me. It was NOT me.

Thank you, most Amazing and Wonderful God, for the miracle of Wednesday.



Hours upon hours in the basement sorting through boxes still packed since our move to this house over 2 years ago...

Hours of figuring out stupid prices and putting tiny little tags and stickers on things....

Load after load of laundry, washing old clothes, sheets, stuffed animals, etc, - a process that totally wiped us out of laundry detergenet and fabric softener....

Hours upon hours of cleaning, dusting off, polishing, rinsing all the trinkets, doo-dads, thingamajigs, and whaddyacallits...

Dragging the husband out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to load the furniture and other heavy items onto the truck, drive to the neighbor's, set up the canopy, and UNload the truck...

And, the amazing result of all the hard and tedious work? My take from yesterday's yard sale totalled a whopping (drum roll, please)


Yep. That's right. There is no zero after that "5" and no digit in front of it, either.

There were a total of 12 - count 'em - TWELVE ! cars that stopped at our two-family lalapalooza of a yard sale between 7:15 and 1:30. The weather was clear with nary a drop of the predicted rain and the heat and humidity were stifling.

12 cars. $5.40. Literally DAYS of preparation. I HATE yard sales.

Here and now, PB makes a solemn vow to never, ever, ever host or participate in another yard sale/garage sale/rummage sale. Instead, she will follow her sanity preserving instincts and either donate everything to charity...or just take the crap out back and burn it.