Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fort Myers is CommTech Jeopardy National Champion!

 (Story taken from

Fort Myers is bringing the Dan Aaron trophy home to the Comcast Southern Division after winning National CommTech Jeopardy Thursday night in Charleston, South Carolina.

The team, known as the Ed Parsons Project, is part of the Comcast Coastal Region and won the Southern Division Championship last November. Team members are Nils Laufer, James Grantham, DJ Simms, Tom Weisend, Andy Schickowski and Coaches Ken Sapp and Chuck Blaisdell. The team faced off this week in a battle of wits, technology and company trivia against the North Central Division’s Sterling FREQs (pronounced “freaks”); East Division’s Cherry Hill LanMINDS; and West Division’s Mountain Madness. The West was eliminated early Thursday leaving the final game to the South, East and North Central. Fort Myers enjoyed a significant lead for most of the game, and then showed confidence with the Final Jeopardy question which asked them to identify the eight components of a house amplifier.

Barb Hagen, vice president and general manager for the Comcast Sarasota/Fort Myers market, was thrilled. “What an awesome day. I am very proud of our team,” Hagen said. “They worked hard, studied endlessly and deserve this national championship. The Fort Myers system had numerous accomplishments in 2009, and this championship is the final chapter of a great story.”

“What strikes me again is not just how knowledgeable these guys are, but how fortunate we are to have ‘ambassadors’ such as all of these technicians representing our company to our customers,” said Scott Calloway, vice president of operations for the Comcast Southern Division. “Collectively, they are so dedicated and committed to their teams, their company and their customers. It should make us all proud to be Comcasters.”

With the trophy now safely in their grasp, Hagen shared some of the team’s strategy: “Divide the categories between team members so they all share in the preparation,” she explained. “They studied from a stack of note cards that was 36-inches high. The team involvement was noticed by our competition and Fort Myers was the most well rounded team in the competition.”

Hagen points out that this is the second time Fort Myers has competed in a national CommTech Jeopardy championship. In 2001, they placed second.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

International Fresh Faces Pageant

Today was Shaylee's very first pageant- the International Fresh Faces pageant. She was to compete in the three year old division. I had been very anxious up to this point, having picked her dress out off eBay weeks ago.I even used a straightener on her hair to make it perfect.

The pageant was being held at the local Holiday Inn in a conference room, which was thankfully only about 10 minutes from the house. When we arrived, there was only the director, her daughter, and another mother and her girls. The International Fresh Faces banner hung as the backdrop to the "stage" and a table was set up with lots of gleaming trophies and sparkling crowns and sashes. I knew Shaylee was going to at least get a crown and had a 3 ft trophy to be sent to her via the mail (since I did not get the sponsor check out in time) but what was about to happen totally surprised me.

After waiting for about 30 minutes, it was evident that noone else was going to show up. Poor Shaylee never really got to "compete" as she was the only child there! So she not only won a metal for each of the catagories: On Stage Beauty, Best Eyes, Best Smile, Best Personality and Most Photogenic, but also won a trophy for Most Beautiful and was crowned Queen! And therefore, she automatically qualified to go to state finals in April. I have to say, as awesome as it was to get ALL the awards, I was really looking forward to competing! I knew she was all these things, but I wanted to see what random judges in a beauty contest thought as well. I reminded myself that we never intended to pursue pageants. This was only for fun, to have a "princess day" with Shaylee, but I was slightly bummed just the same. Anyhow, after considering all the costs that would go into attending the state finals, Nils and I agreed that we would rather spend the $400+ on something better- a family trip to SeaWorld this summer!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

She Just Wanted Pink Roses- Saying Goodbye to Grandma Lisa

Today we said goodbye to my paternal grandmother, Lisa Ann Eugenio. She passed away Monday, December 28th at the age of 72. One of the few requests she had was that there be pink roses, as pink was her favorite color. And indeed there were.

One thing that surprised me was that Shaylee, although young, seemed to understand the concept of death fairly well. When asked what happened to Grandma Lisa, she would tell you that she "was very sick and died". She then would proceed to tell you that "she went to heaven and is an angel now.

At the beginning of the service, the casket was open. Shaylee asked to go see her. My mom, who was holding her at the time, looked to me for the answer and I nodded that it would be okay, although I was quite unsure myself. When my mom took Shaylee up to view her, she said "Bye Grandma Lisa." And that was that. She didn't question why she was in a casket (or box) or why she was "sleeping" which is what I anticipated out of a child her age. Once she was back at her seat, I quietly whispered "when people die, their spirits go to heaven but their bodies stay here and we bury them and put flowers on their graves", just in case the concept was still questionable. She said "oh" and that was that. Out at the actual grave site, we all said the Lord's Prayer and placed a pink rose on the casket. To my relief, everyone, although teary eyed, seemed to hold their composure well. It was a relief to all to know that she was at peace now.

After the service, we all went to my Aunt Debbie's house for fellowship. We ate, drank, and socialized. Shaylee entertained everyone by performing a dance routine she made up in the living room and everyone commented on how she should take dance. Even though the day was a sad one, it went along smoothly and well.

Rest in Peace Grandma Lisa.