Nope. Not this year

I have decided not to run for State Representative this year.  It’s been a tumultuous year (even though it’s pretty young); the company I work for lost its largest contracts and I found out the absolute wrong way that my future is limited in their reorg plans.  Limited as in, there isn’t one too far after March.

So I have decided that I will begin my MBA, and have been accepted into Rivier University’s MBA program as a full time student.  I believe that completing the MBA will make me more marketable in the workplace as well as give me a better footing in running for State Representative in 2018.

On top of all that, this year is the third Coast Guard Station Gloucester Alumni Reunion, and I am in charge of planning it.

Well, here’s to hoping the year gets better!

Sadie Belle Good Puppy

Cowboy Sadie

She was born on the New Year of 2002.

We picked her up one afternoon from a breeder in Hudson, NH.  That was over 13 years ago.  She whined the whole way, standing on her hind legs looking out the back window of the pickup.  She whined that night until I lay down next to her crate.

She was the runt of the litter, the last to be picked, but we didn’t care.  We sat with her in the kitchen, E on one side, me on the other; getting her to sit, stay, come, wait, off, down, play dead and roll over.  She loved getting that ball, and would run at Mach 1 to get it, not caring if there was a tree in her way.  She would pull me on a tube on the lake, swim with reckless abandon after a stick thrown off the dock.

Watching her do search patterns in the snow was something to behold.  If the snow was deep enough, we would throw the ball off the deck and she would race into the yard to find it.  Her tail sticking straight up and wagging, she would bound (not run, not trot or jump, but bound) around the yard sticking her snout in the snow here and there until she found it.  Once in a while she wouldn’t find the ball until spring…..

She has been such a good companion to us, a watchful friend to the children, and patient with them when they pulled her tail or tried to ride her when they were babies.  She even was patient when we adopted Stella Blue from a rescue in Georgia.  She’s been such a good mother to Stella.

She’s an ornery old bitch now.  Throw a ball and she looks at me and barks.  She limps and has an issue with her ACL.  She sleeps a lot.  The fasted she moves is when she hears “want to eat?”  Boy, does she get excited when she hears that!

I find myself lying on the floor with her like I did when she was a puppy, new in the house.  Early in the morning when I get home from the gym, I just lay on the floor with her and pet her as she’s waking up, wondering how much longer I have with her, and I dread the thought of it all.  Sometime when I’m lying there petting her, she seems lost, but then the fog clears and she’s smiles, like she has since we brought her home.

She still swims pretty strong, but tends to be slower after she does.  She thinks the mooring ball at the lake is something to fetch.

Not long now I think, but I hope there are more years to come with my Sadie Belle.  She’s my furry friend and I love her.

Sadie Belle Sadie Couch Sadie Stella

Job searching

Looks like the contract I work on is starting to really wind down, and the possibility of me being without employment may in fact become a reality.  That said, I am going to add a tab with a slightly redacted resume on it, in hopes of getting more exposure in the career field that I am seeking gainful, full time employment in.

I am an industrial security specialist, or more to the point, a Facility Security Officer (FSO).  It seems that only people “in the know” really understand what that is, so I would like to explain it more in depth.

A Facility Security Officer is a person designated by a “contractor company” to maintain said company’s Facility Clearance Letter (FCL).  In other words, the FSO is in charge of all things security related as set forth in the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM), DoD 5220.22M for the company it works for.  Any “cleared” contractor company requires an FSO.

I have been in the industrial security specialist field for almost 11 years now in one capacity or another, with increasing responsibilities.  For the last 4-ish years, I have been the FSO for a contract company that services one of the US Air Force’s largest personnel services contracts of over 700 employees.  I would like to think that I am pretty good at what I do, as my last two (and only) Defense Security Services Risk Assessment scores as an FSO have been “Superior” and “Commendable”.

Please take a look at my resume.  If there is something you know of in the state of NH or MA, feel free to email me.



Heady Topper: The hype has worn off for me

Heady TopperI first had a can of Heady Topper on February 16th of 2012.  I’m pretty sure it was before the serious hype that occurred once Beer Advocate rated it the #1 beer in the WORLD.  That first time I popped the can and took the first swallow, I was blown away.  The hops.  THE HOPS!  The smell and flavor seemed to invade my sinuses when I drank this fantastic beer.

After that first can, if I knew someone going up there, I asked for some.  I’m pretty sure I’ve had a case or three since then, and every time I drank that beer fresh, it was bliss.  A solid 5 stars out of 5 on Untappd.

Until yesterday.

A cousin of mine (actually not really, but we were brought up by parents that were very close) dropped in on me last Wednesday with 2 fresh four packs, and I decided that I would share them.  After all, when good fortune lays its hands on you, shouldn’t you share it?  So I did share last night with my brother-in-laws.

I was underwhelmed.  I don’t know why.  Had I killed my taste buds with the glass of Bullet Rye and Coke that I enjoyed before having a can?  Has something changed?  Are the hops different?  Is the water different?  The taste just wasn’t the same.  It didn’t invade my palate, didn’t fill my sinuses with the fantastic aroma that it once did.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still great, but not like that very first one over three years ago.

Sorry folks, I know it’s a great beer and all, but I don’t think I’m going to hound for it anymore.  The hype has worn off for me.  The craft beer explosion is soo fantastic in New England right now; a person could spend a solid year trying everything in this area that is more readily available, and be just as blown away in some instances.

One of the biggest problems with the Heady Hype at this point; every beer traveler/snob/connoisseur/whatever is driving to Vermont and buying as many cans as they can.  But I think the stores have caught on, and are holding back.  Store owners know who the locals are, and are probably more inclined to sell to a local rather than someone they don’t recognize.  But as I said, there is more readily available beer in this area to be had without having to drive 3-4 hours and risk a store owner telling you he is all out……


Hello March

What an unbelievable winter this year.  On the first day of 2015, the kids and I went skiing with the in-laws at Gunstock, and everyone of us complained about how horrible the conditions were.  Fast forward to today, and the snowbanks are higher than cars can see around, and it seems like it snows at least once a week.

I’m willing to bet that ski conditions in the mountains are going to be great up until April at this point.

So, month of March, I’m begging you (after we had another 2 inches of snow last night), please stop the snow?  Please?  Give Nashua a little bit of warmth, melt some of the snow so my dogs can actually go out into the yard.  Please?  I’m ready for some sunshine and warm weather!

No more!

Snow 1


It’s that time of the year: Impact a life

It’s that time of the year.  Families get together, open gifts that were thoughtfully (or not so thoughtfully) purchased, eat, make merry, yada, yada yada.  As usual, I’m behind the 8-ball.

It’s also the time of year where you can make a serious impact on someone else’s life.  This can be done by donating your time, donating material or donating money.  I’m a big fan of donating my time with Toys for Tots.  This year was no exception.

This year, like every year before that I have been a part of Pack/Troop 410, we (the troop) swooped into the NH Toys for Tots depot in Londonderry and took over.  It’s a pretty funny sight, 10 kids with 6 adults swooping in and running roughshod over the tasks of counting, sorting and bagging up toys by age and gender at a rate that astonishes the Marines in charge of the depot.

The Toys for Tots program itself is a fantastic way for people to make a positive impact on a child’s life; whether by donating an unwrapped toy at a Toys for Tots box, or donating time to help get those toys into the hands of a child.  I can’t help but feel proud of those boys volunteering their Saturday to help.

If you still want to impact a child’s life this Christmas season, but feel it is too late to get on the Toys for Tots train, you still can do something.  There is another phenomenal local (read: Merrimack Valley Massachusetts & New Hampshire) charity that needs your help every day of the year.

Catie’s Closet

(The following is taken right from their website)

Catie’s Closet improves school attendance and removes social stigma by providing clothing to students living below the poverty line.  For students in grades Pre-K through 12, we build “stores” or “walk-in closets” inside schools so kids have immediate access to what they need, free of charge.

Providing up-to-date clothing and shoes, new toiletries, and school supplies to students – in a sensitive and discreet environment – increases students’ self esteem and sense of belonging.  Students want to attend school and can do so without the worry, distraction, and social consequences of not fitting in. 

Catie’s Closet has evolved from a family-sponsored project into a social enterprise. The project began as a tribute to Catie Bisson, a graduate of Lowell High School who was passionate about the power of education. Catie was a sophomore at Bridgewater University when she passed away at the age of 20 due to a connective tissue disorder.  Her dream was to be a writer and author. Catie felt strongly that education should not be a privilege and so her family sought to honor her memory by helping kids succeed in school. They opened the first Catie’s Closet in a single school. 

Today, Catie’s Closet serves 12,000 students in 22 schools in Lowell, MA and Hudson and Nashua, NH.

This Christmas season, please consider helping out Catie’s Closet.  You can do this three different ways (clicky):

Donate your TIME

Donate some CASH

Donate some CLOTHES

Catie's Closet


Merry Christmas,


My Dad is Santa

No, seriously.

Every year now, he dresses up as Santa Claus for all the schools in his area.  He also rides in the parades. So in June, he starts growing out his hair and beard in preparation for his winter duties.

So, he started “playing” Santa Claus quite a few years ago, (I really don’t remember what year it was), but I remember clearly one year he had played Santa, and freaked my cousin Phil out. I think Phil was like 3 years old at the time.

But I don’t think he is really “playing” Santa anymore. I think that when he lets his hair and beard grow out, and puts that suit on, he really becomes the man. During this time of the year, kids start following him around in wonder. At the gas station, at Wal-Mart, anywhere, kids will start following him around, tugging on their parent’s sleeves, giggling. So Dad will turn and look at them, and give them a low “ho, ho, ho.” How cool is that?

The first year that he became Santa Claus, the stories that he told me about his experiences were heart wrenching. You could hear it in his voice how affected he was by the kids he talked to. One little girl asked him if she could have “her Daddy back” for Christmas. Later on, he found out that the little girl’s Dad had died saving her from drowning. How do you respond to that?

My sister Amanda told me about one little girl that had seen a mall Santa. The little girl asked Santa if she could have seeds for the family garden for Christmas. Families down in that area are pretty poor, and you know, that little girl was thinking of her family. So the mall Santa says to her “wouldn’t you rather a doll or a toy?” After a while, the little girl just accepts the fact that Santa only gives toys, so she agrees with him and says she would like a doll instead. Amanda was there for the whole episode.

The next day, my Dad was Santa at that little girl’s school. Amanda told Dad what had happened at the mall with the mall Santa, and gave Dad a bag of seeds. It had carrots, cukes, squash, and all kinds of vegetables. So the little girl gets on Dad’s lap. “What would you like for Christmas little girl” asked my Dad. The little girl looks at him and says “I would like a doll.”

“Wouldn’t you rather have some seeds for your garden?” Dad asked, and produced the bag with the seeds in it. “You really are Santa, aren’t you?” That little girl’s hopes were boosted and forever changed by my Dad; Santa Claus.

This year he changed his glasses to better complete the illusion, and he absolutely nails it.  You tell me.  You think he nails it?


Ron Simoneau© 12-17-2014