Saturday, December 31, 2005, 11:54 AM // 1 comments

A Note to Self: 2006 Goals

I refuse to call the following "resolutions." I've been making New Year's resolutions for years and have never, ever kept one. Have you? So, what follows are my 2006 goals I wish to accomplish by before 2007.

My 2006 Goals - In No Particular Order

  • By year's end I will live in a home with an updated foyer, stair rail, and living room. The first room I work on, however, will be my son Michael's room. At this time he doesn't even have closet doors.

  • By the end of 2006 I weigh 190 lbs. As of this writing I'm checking in at 203. That's 13 pounds. Not that difficult. I just need to stay away from late night snacks and cut down on McDonalds, pizza, and all the other crap I eat. 2006 will be the year of the "I'll have a salad please."

  • By the end of 2006 I watch less television and read more books. I tend to fall asleep the moment I start reading. That might have something to do with the fact that I read in bed--after watching TV and a long day. In 2006 I'll find a quiet place to sit and read.

  • As of December 31, 2006 I will be recognized by my peers as an expert in internet marketing. I'll accomplish this goal by sharpening my focus--keeping up with the latest news, taking any online seminars or classes applicable to internet marketing, experimenting more via this website, and providing regular detailed reports displaying the progress of the projects I am working on.

  • By year's end I will focus my energy on work during the week so that I can spend more quality time with my children. I'll admit it. I don't "play' enough with kids. One day they'll be gone and I'll regret that I did not spend enough time with them.

  • In 2006 I will give my wife the respect she deserves every day and not take her for granted. Think about it: What is life without my wife? I want to put the magic back into her life and forget my minor troubles and strife. For what is a wife without a life.

  • I have temper. Always have. At times I'm able to keep it in check. Sadly, that has not been the case of late. By year's end I will learn to control my temper by not trying to change a situation or a person to my liking. I will accept the situation or person as they're are. By doing so, my life will be a little calmer.

  • I need to reach out to my loved ones on a regular basis. My great-grandmother is 103 and her daughter is 83. I don't talk to these ladies enough. In the year 2006 I will call Little Gram and Big Gram at least twice a month.

  • I really love to cook. That said, I don't do it enough and I tend to cook the same meals over and over. In 2006 I will cook at least one meal a week. This will force me to try new recipes and allow me to give my wife a night off.

As we move through the new year I will perodically revisit this list and detail my progress.

Paul Altobelli
December 31, 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005, 11:29 AM // 1 comments

eMusic: 50 FREE MP3s

Paul Altobelli - www.paulaltobellli.comHave your heard about eMusic? Its a new MP3 online music store. They've introduced a new promotion--50 FREE MP3s as a gift just for checking out eMusic. Start downloading your FREE MP3s today and take two weeks to decide if you like eMusic. If you're not 100% satisfied simply cancel before your trial period ends and you'll never pay a dime. Keep the 50 FREE MP3s as a gift just for checking out eMusic. And that is exactly what I did. You'll find that the selection is not as vast or popular as iTunes or Napster. But that after an hour or so and I'm sure you'll find 50 good songs.

Click here to visit eMusic


Friday, December 23, 2005, 3:51 PM // 3 comments

Merry Christmas

Paul Altobelli -
The above Christmas greeting was inspired by Dennis DiClaudio's electronic Christmas Card.

Paul Altobelli -

Thursday, December 15, 2005, 3:46 PM // 1 comments

Oh! What A Babyface!

U2 - Babyface


Wednesday, December 14, 2005, 10:44 PM // 0 comments

Pink Floyd Live 8 mp3 downloads

Paul Altobelli
There was a joke my friends and I used to say: "When do you think Pink Floyd will reunite? When pigs fly." Well this past summer I guess pigs really did fly when David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright took the London stage at Live 8. The four had not played together since 1981 but you would not have known it watching them perform Breathe, Money, Wish You Were Here, and Comfortably Numb. The band was tight and loose at the same time and as I watched their performance I remember thinking how much fun they seemed to be having.

Now, some six months after watching them perform and then stand arm-in-arm on stage I believe that July 2nd 2005 should be the day we fans celebrate Pink Floyd's graceful goodbye. Think about it. We were given four songs from four men that wanted to play together one more time. There was no greed here. Pink Floyd reunited for a worthy cause and not for money. It was about the music. Pink Floyd music.

That said, I spent about an hour last evening seeking their Live 8 performance. My search is your gain. Enjoy.

Pink Floyd - Breath (Live 8)
Pink Floyd - Money (Live 8)
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (Live 8)
Pink Floyd - Confortably Numb (Live 8)

Labels: ,

Monday, December 12, 2005, 1:42 PM // 2 comments

Talk About Your Double Vision

Richard Pryor: "Just Us" and Elmer's Glue

Richard Pryor -
It was Christmas 1977 and my parents gave my brother Stephen and me a three-album compilation titled 25 Years of Recorded Comedy. This compilation included Stan Freberg, Jonathan Winters, Lenny Bruce, Shelley Berman, Cheech and Chong, 25 Years of Recorded Comedy - www.paulaltobelli.comThe Firesign Theatre, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, Monty Python, and Richard Pryor. I remember the first time listening to this compilation. I was sitting in our living room with my brother and father. In many cases it was the first time we had ever heard these comics.

Now, my father, like Richard Pryor, has multiple sclerosis. In 1977 he was beginning to show visible signs of the effects of the disease. His reflexes were very slow and he walked without balance as if he were about to fall at any moment. Well, when Richard Pryor's "Just Us" started to play my father jumped so quick out of this chair. He ran over to the stereo and practically broke the turntable as ripped the needle off the record (you would have never known he had MS). You see Pryor's bit, "Just Us" is laced with "niggers" and four letter words that our virgin ears had never heard before. He took the physical album and smeared Elmer's Glue on Side 5, track 2 - Pryor's "Just Us."

Well, since my father had acted so quickly Stephen and I hadn't really heard what the fuss was about. So, a few days after dad had censored our listening experience I very carefully took an Exacto knife and peeled the glue off the album. Isn't it interesting that I could not listen to a comedy record with curses but I had access to an Exacto knife? After the I got the glue off the record my brother and I sat and finally listened to "Just Us." The way my father reacted we thought that this was going to be the worst (or best) thing we had ever heard. To our dismay, the actual "bit" did not live up to the hype. For starters, I had knicked the record a few times so there was audible scratches and pops. Secondly, we were so young we really didn't understand what "Just Us" was about anyway. We just laughed with he cursed and after a few listens we went back to listening to the other tracks.

Richard Pryor died this past weekend of complications associated with his multiple sclerosis. Even though we did not enjoy "Just Us" the experience exposed us to Pryor's comedy and years of laughter. I'll leave you with "Just Us" and one of my favorite Pryor moments--a sketch from his 1975 Saturday Night Live appearance.

Richard Pryor - Just Us
Richard Pryor / Chevy Chase - Word Association (SNL, 12/13/75)

Labels: ,

Blink It

Saturday, December 10, 2005, 9:47 PM // 2 comments

Clean living pays off with 103 years

My great-grandmother, Mary Ferrante (aka Little Gram) turned 103 years old this past Thursday, December 8th. The following is an Gloucester County Times article written about her.
www.paulaltobelli.comLittle Gram - age 12www.paulaltobelli.comLittle Gram - age 102

written by Bob Shryock
Mary Ferrante may not be the oldest resident of Gloucester County, but she may be the oldest who still cleans the house, cooks, washes and irons her clothes, maintains two residences, and has no major health problems.

Widowed for 61 years and the mother of four children who are in their 80's, Mary will celebrate her 103rd birthday on Thursday (Dec 8).

"We have nothing special planned," says Franklin Township resident Pauline Villa, a granddaughter with whom Mary lives with five days a week. "We'll take her to lunch. She loves grilled cheese sandwiches."

Born near Corleone, Sicily in 1902 and one of six siblings, Mary Taormina immigrated to the Unites States when she was three. All but one sibling lived into their 80s and 90s.

After settling first in New York City, she moved to Youngstown, Ohio, where her father, Francesco, was a projectionist for Warner Brothers. Francesco died of lung disease in the 1940s, but Mary's mother, Josephine, lived until she was 99.

Mary's husband, Frank Ferrante, a contractor, died in a 1944 accident soon after they moved to Pennsauken and she never remarried. All four of their children are living; Angelina Lorren (North Carolina), Josephine Endner (Sicklerville, NJ), Jim Ferrante (Guam), and Frank Ferrante (Florida). She has eight grandchildren, twenty-two (22) great-grandchildren, and twenty-eight (28) great-great grandchildren. Mary's extended family numbers close to 300.

Mary worked in the alterations department of Strawbridge & Clothier in Cherry Hill, NJ until she was 80.

After spending five days a week in her granddaughter's home, Mary lives in Sicklerville on weekends.

"She is in excellent health," says Pauline, while her kitchen was being cleaned by her grandmother. "She's fantastic, she's never had major health problems. I think it's because she has always eaten well, plenty of fruits, vegetables, and bread. And she'll tell you she has not had any alcohol since her brother's 1914 wedding, never smoked, and never cursed. Her whole world has been her family."

Always busy around her homes, Mary is an excellent cook whose specialty, not surprisingly, is making spaghetti sauce and meatballs from scratch.

"She lives a quiet, simplistic life," Pauline says. "She helps make the world a better place."

Click this image to enlarge Mary's descendant tree.

To print out Mary's descendant tree click here.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 02, 2005, 10:00 PM // 30 comments

It Was 9 Hours Ago Today

It was 9 hours ago today that my second son, Joseph Giovanni Altobelli entered this thing called life. In other words, at 9:15 this morning Joey was born. If you read my earlier post you'll know that forty years ago today I was born. Wow, I never thought turing 40 would be so cool.

Joey Altobelli

The two birthday boys

www.paulaltobelli.comFor additional photographs and a side-by-side
Joey vs. his older brother Michael comparison click here.

Labels: ,

It Was 40 Years Ago Today

contributed by my mom, Pauline Villa
There was once a time when I heard the expression “forty years ago today…” it meant eons ago, a time in long lost history, an era when everything seemed so pre-historic. Well here I am recounting something that happened in my life “forty years ago today…” and it seems like just yesterday, a blip on the screen of life.

December 2, 1965 I was a young and a very pregnant woman waiting the birth of my first child, gender unknown. My husband, Don, and I expected to be parents a week earlier, Thanksgiving Day. After that day when I did not go into labor we settled into a strange lethargy. We just became resigned that when it was time, it was time. And whenever it would happen, it would happen.

The morning of Dec. 2, 1965 was a glorious day. It was sunny and warm. So warm that I didn’t even wear a coat or jacket to go to my weekly obstetric visit which was in walking distance from our apartment on Orthodox Street in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.

The doctor’s office was full of women who were in various stages of gestation. There was one woman in particular who exhibited great discomfort. I felt so sorry for her as I watched her try find some relief sitting on a small, hard folding chair that the nurses had brought out for additional seating, that I offered her my more comfortable, soft cushioned chair. Soon she went in for her exam. Not too long after the OB doctor, Dr. Kennedy rushed out the front door.

The nurse came out into the waiting room and announced that it would be awhile before we would be able to see the doctor so she suggested we come back at a later time that day.

I was still feeling euphoric about my situation. I could not imagine that soon I would be giving birth. I was also relieved that finally I did not have to be concerned about my weight! All during my pregnancy the nurse in the doctor’s office scolded and chided me for every ounce I gained. I was terrified of her and therefore watch every morsel I consumed. But not this day. I was feeling too good to let anything keep me from enjoying such a beautiful, warm December day.

The doctor’s office was just a few blocks away from the bustling, harried shopping district of Frankford Avenue. I leisurely walk there and enjoyed window shopping and treated myself to an, up to this point forbidden butter pecan ice cream cone – the best I had ever eaten! Calories were finally no longer a concern.

I returned to the doctor’s office and patiently waited while other women went in and came out.

Around four o’clock I met with Dr. Kennedy and he could not believe I was still holding on to that baby. After an exam he announced that I was at least 5 centimeters. Now to those of you who are uninformed that means “Here comes the baby ANY SECOND NOW!!!” He told me I had to get to the hospital IMMEDIATELY. My only option was to walk the three blocks from his office to Frankford Hospital by myself!

Now at age 22 I was scared, big time. I had to walk to the hospital alone with nothing but this little thing moving inside of me to give me strength. I remember rubbing my stomach as I lumbered along and saying out loud “Well, little one, we are both about to experience a great adventure!”

At the hospital I went to Admissions. The clerk asked why I was there. My reply – “To have my baby”. She look behind me for my husband or relatives and was shocked when I told her I was “just me and my baby.”

From that moment on was just a flurry of activity. I was prepped, shuttled into a wheel chair, sent up to delivery and then had to wait and wait and wait.

After about an hour or so my “water broke”. Again, for the uninformed it means the poor mother-to-be then knows exactly what it feels like to need a diaper. What a cold, wet mess it was.

Oh, my God! Soon after I experienced PAIN! Yes, GREAT PAIN! No amount of screaming, pleading, bargaining, would cajole the cold, cruel nurses who periodically looked in on me to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to put an end to the torture.

It did finally come to an end. Thank God. I was wheeled into delivery and 7:34 on Dec. 2, forty years ago today Paul Altobell uttered his first, audible sounds and they have never stopped!

Where did the years go? Who knows? How does one become a young mother and then suddenly a grandmother? Today, 40 years after his birth, Paul will be experiencing the birth of this third child. While this wonderful event takes place I will be watching over his two other children, Rachel, 11 years and Michael, 2 and a half. I will see in them my sons eyes, smile, quirks, laugh, qualities. I will see in them all the wonderful things I saw as I walked from Dr. Kennedy’s office to Frankford Hospital forty years ago today. And I will reaffirm that we have and we are experiencing a great adventure that will continue as long as we are Mother and Son.

Happy Birthday Paul!
Love, Mom


About Paul Altobelli

Paul Altobelli is a veteran Internet, marketing and technology professional with considerable expertise in search engine marketing, web site development, design, implementation and project management. [more]

Flickr Photos