Archive for the ‘Family’ Category


George Lyssikatos

November 27, 2009

Reprinting George’s obituary:

George Lyssikatos, 73, peacefully passed away on November 24th with his wife of 43 years, Katerina, at his side. Born in Melana, Greece, George was the fifth of seven children. As a teenager he immigrated to Montreal, Canada and in the years that followed, George married, relocated to the United States, and raised three children. He was a restaurateur who opened successful businesses in Canada, New Jersey and ultimately Arizona. He was the charismatic proprietor of Dee’s in downtown Phoenix for a number of years before opening a restaurant in Apache Junction. George was an avid Boston Bruins fan and enjoyed traveling and exploring the world. He was a firm believer in the American Dream and ardent supporter of education.

George will be missed by his wife, Katerina, and three children: John and Emily of Edison, New Jersey, and Gregoria Lyssikatos Lenze and her husband Troy of Arlington, Virginia. George is also survived by his brothers Constantine and Basil, his sister Eleni, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

A viewing will be held at Queen of Heaven Mortuary, 1562 East Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ 86204 on Sunday, November 29, 2009 from 4pm to 7pm.

Services will be held at St. Katherine Church, 2716 N. Dobson Rd., Chandler, AZ 85224 on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 11am.


In Memory Of…

November 26, 2009

… George Lyssikatos.

I was a foreigner to him.  Xenos.  I was dating his baby girl.  He had never met me before, never talked to me on the phone, even.  Yet, from the moment I met him, he was nothing but nice to me.  I truly believe that the best judge of a person’s character is how they treat strangers.

I was more than a stranger, though.  I was practically an invader.  Darius to his Delian League.  I was inserting myself into his life, though his daughter’s life.

I still remember sitting down with him in his own private room, five degrees hotter than the rest of the house.  That was not why I was sweating, though.  I was asking his permission to marry his youngest child.  The only question he asked me was if our children would be raised Greek Orthodox.  I told him they would be going to Greek school.  After that, he gave me his blessing.  He had already accepted me into his family.  The wedding was only a formality.

He is at peace now, without pain.  After fighting for 17 years with congestive heart failure, he finally wore out.  It takes a lot of strength to fight for 17 years straight.  It was an honor to know him, and become part of his family.  I am glad he was a part of mine.


I Am Not Really Shocked

April 6, 2009

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously rules that marriage in Iowa is open to any combination of gender. They affirmed that churches are free to only marry people of different genders, but the State itself cannot deny gay couples marriage licenses.  They basically said, “Your religion my not support gay marriage, but the Constitution of the State of Iowa is not subject to your religion.”

Iowa has a strong history of independence, liberty and fairness.   Let me quote some passages from the state constitution:

"Sec. 1.   All men  are,  by nature, free  and equal, and  have certain
          inalienable rights  among which  are those  of enjoying  and
          defending life and  liberty, acquiring, possessing  and pro-
          tecting  property,  and  pursuing  and  obtaining safety and

I think it is safe to say that most people consider marriage part of the "pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness."

Sec. 4.   No religious  test shall be required as a  qualification for
          any office, or public trust, and no person shall be deprived
          of any of his rights, privileges, or capacities, or disqual-
          ified from the performance of  any of his public or  private
          duties,  or  rendered  incompetent  to  give evidence in any
          court of law  or equity, in  consequence of his  opinions on
          the subject of religion; and any party to any judicial  pro-
          ceeding shall have  the right to  use as a  witness, or take
          the testimony of, any  other person not disqualified  on ac-
          count of interest, who may be cognizant of any fact material
          to the case; and parties to suits may be witnesses, as  pro-
          vided by law."

Which lays out all the ways in which religion is not allowed to affect the state government.  Iowa has a strong list of protections from religion.

I am also glad the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against civil unions.  They smack of "separate but equal," which was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

So, yeah for liberty in Iowa!

Life Update

February 9, 2009

I do not have anything too deep to post about today, so I will give you a rundown of some of the random things that have been happening:

  • Had my Facebook profile disabled for some yet-unstated reason.  I am still trying to get some kind of response from Facebook other than the initial auto-response message.
  • Kept up on all my homework and most of my reading.  (Business Law is an interesting course but REALLY dry reading.)
  • Watched some Hulu on my 22″ LCD monitor (Christmas gift from my wife) on my Ubuntu box using Boxee.  Now I just need Netflix to get their act together and support Linux.
  • Got a new general manager at work.  I think he will work out better than if the interim general manager had stayed.
  • Nursed my wife through her bout of flu.  Now I just hope I do not get sick.
  • I think we are cancelling a trip to New Jersey because my wife missed two days of work this week.  It is kind of a bummer, but I get another Dungeons & Dragons game in this way.
  • I have not been able to have lunch with my friend Chris, but due to the pending trip cancellation, I might be able to this week.

Welcome My Wife

January 20, 2009

My wife has setup a blog of her own.  It is The Pointy Stick.  Check it out.


Getting On Top Of Finances

January 14, 2009

One of my resolutions this year was to be more active in the finances.  Right now my wife pays all the bills and keeps an eye on the accounts.  All I really do is contribute money from my paycheck.  So, I have begun accounting for us in a nifty little program:  KMyMoney2.  Even though I run GNOME, I like KMyMoney2 better than HomeBank and GNUCash.  So, I am running a KDE application on GNOME.  It is another of the features I like about Linux and Ubuntu.

This will also fit in nicely with the accounting class I am taking this semester.


Not Much Today

January 12, 2009

So, not much to post about today.  Finishing up in Arizona with the in-laws.  Did some cleaning and picking of lemons.  I case you did not know, lemon trees have thorns on them.  Hopefully we will be taking some of the fruits of my labor home with me!