December 31, 2006

What Happened in 2006

Thought I would review some things that happened in '06. It was a good year overshadowed by a couple of sad or bad events.
  • My Mom Died
  • I guess that really overshadowed most of the other stuff that happened this year. Our relationship was at times difficult but she loved me unconditionally and I loved her very much. I miss both my parents (my Dad died in 2004) but I don't dwell on it. Sometimes it just hits me.
  • Vivian Berscak became Postmaster of Kill Devil Hills
  • Vivian is a handful. She relies on me a lot. Sometimes I find her style of management and approach to the Post Office very frustrating. Sometimes she makes me laugh
  • My health situation
  • in May I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and a bad ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. The doc said that people with these conditions, called metabolic syndrome, have about a 50% chance of a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. He also said that I had probably had the condition for 5 years. (This is now referred to as the "Diet or Die" talk
  • I lost 62 pounds
  • As of Sunday 12/31/ 06 I weighed 246 down 62 pounds from my starting weight of 308 in May (see above). The weight loss has been dramatic and effective. I no longer am diagnosed with diabetes, my blood pressure is down to a healthy range and we are working on my cholesterol ratio. It has improved by is not where Dr. Sanchez wants it. Much of the credit goes to my wife Carole who has embraced a different eating and cooking style and to Sara Blaha, a dietitian at the Urgent Care Center, who outlined an 1800 calorie a day diet that has been effective in generating weight loss without too much hunger.
    I will also take some of the credit. I have stopped snacking during the day and I now exercise every day. I have taken at least a 30 minute walk or a bike ride or both every day since the middle of June with just 4 days missed I have limited my alcohol consumption, though I have not stopped drinking and I have had the self control to stay focused on the diet even during the stressful times around my mom's death and at the Post Office.
  • We bought a new Toyota 4Runner
  • Very nice vehicle we wanted a 4WD vehicle for the beach, especially in Ocracoke and we got a pretty one.
  • I have taken a lot of pictures some pretty good
  • Regular visitors to this space know that I have moved away from political commentary to a personal photo blog for View from the Ridge. Digital photography has became a primary hobby and a source of great satisfaction. I have a lot to learn about photography, cameras, digital editing and publishing but I am enjoying learning very much. Thanks to my many subjects, not all willing, who have helped me along my journey.
  • I got a Nikon D50 digital SLR camera
  • Nov. saw a big shift in my photography hardware when Carole gave me a part birthday, part Christmas gift of a new camera with a set of lenses that cover most situations. I have been using it a lot (see above)
  • View from the Ridge was successful (or as successful as I wanted it to be)
  • I enjoyed writing this blog for the first several months of the year. It was fun to track and comment on local, state and national events. I even got chided by the OB Sentinel. I stopped when I found that personal attacks in some comments got me very upset. I simply decided that it wasn't worth the stress. The blog also served to buffer my personal transition from elected official to private citizen.
  • I made the transition from Mayor to ex Mayor
  • I miss the people and some of the challenges but I think I have been successful making the personal transition. It was not always easy. There were times that I wanted to scream at the NH BOC but I didn't and everything turned out OK. Perhaps the funniest moment was over Thanksgiving. I was in NYC during the northeaster and learned of the storm when my wife turned on the Weather Channel. I was a little disoriented by the news and finally realized the cause of my unrest. No one had called me to ask my advice or inform me of the Town's actions. In fact the town did just fine without me. Once I realize why I was unsettled, I relaxed and had a great tour of Manhattan.
  • Went to Ocracoke on vacation
  • Same great place for a vacation in the fall
  • Nags Head moved forward on beach nourishment
  • I guess my one lasting political invovlement was with the NH Beach Nourishment Finance Committee. I was pleased that the Board chose to accept our recommended plan. One big benefit of working on the committee was getting to work with Annette Ratzenberger. She and John are both terrific.
  • I went to the beach more
  • As a result of my diet and exercise program I actually went to the beach more this summer than any summer in recent memory. Lets hope this trend continues in 07 and beyond.
  • I got to play with a 2 year old
  • This year marked the first time in my life that I have been involved with an infant or toddler. I have enjoyed playing with my buddy Dylan alot. Another trend that I hope continues next year.
  • I read more books that usual
  • I got on a reading jag after my Mom died. I have slacked off some but not completely. I particularly enjoyed WIcked by Gregory Maguire and Collapse by Jared Diamond. Thanks to the Dare County Library (KDH branch) for their help finding books.
  • Saw the US Mens National Team Play
  • US v Peurto Rico in Cary. 1-1 draw as part of the final selection process for the World Cup squad
  • Saw several shows
  • Lion King in Norfolk was excellent. Phantom in NYC was wonderful, as you would expect fo Broadway's longest running show.


As I said it was a good year perhaps overshadowed by a couple of events. I end 2006 physically healthier than I have been in many years. Emotionally, 2006 has taken a major toll on me.
Tomorrow, a look ahead to 2007
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