View Full Version : NEDA Summer Meeting - BRAVO !!!

07-26-2009, 11:09 AM

Firstly Thanks Mark and family for being a trememdous host all day and organizing an event that will only have good no no .. great memories.

It truly was a gorgeous day to have an outdoor event and with swimming pool by the side - a fantastic combo.

Auction - what an auction; Raffle - thanks all for contributing to the raffle ; Exquisite food - I liked it more than what I would have liked had I been eaten all of that , what to mention about the homebrew it was strong this time but nonetheless - I managed.

Simply Friends nice meeting all and enjoyed talking to all - Al (brewmaster), Mark (GrillMaster), Patrick (patrickrichard), David (dpt8), Fred (Fred22), Rob (subcooler), Tom (Organic farmer), Rich (RichT and Richweg), Martha (mmoris), Kenny (Acroken), Bob (BobTools), Shawn (ShawnHu), Donna (hope), Brian (Tofe) , Steve (Scolley), Mehran, Chandan (csarkar001) - I hope I have not missed anybody.. I like to remember and keep things in mind.. too much in it already!!!
There were many family friends, cousins visiting from UK (besides Paul) and Scotland - I knew we could have had a cricket match, seemed like a "house full" excellent excellent family event.

Friend from overseas - Paul (pcsb23 on SD and paul on BIDKA)- excellent friendship made my friend. One person for sure I can say that I can visit UK with pride and have quality time. Not to mention the discus and BIDKA ownership as his forte. Very interesting and in-depth account of organizing a discus show. Seemed to me like Gandalph telling Frodo the path to Fire of the Mount Doom in the Land of Mordor. The experience shared by Paul truly seemed like an event to be accounted by the minutes with hours being lost to gain tremendous pride and satisfaction. Task well done my friend.

Al – The White re-enforcing the need on conservation of the wild for the growth of the hobby. This is not just a need but a duty as part of the hobby with a motive that our kids and grand-kids (now I feel I am really old – not that there is anything wrong about it) get to enjoy the same hobby as we have so far. This discussion started with a very important topic of eradication of local pet store by chains as the business model has changed to more fast pace internet type of shopping model. Clearly none of these topics can be solved by “next Thursday” but its upon us to show the willingness to make the change happen more at the nuclear level and importantly the willingness to let go of some profit from internet shopping for the benefit of the local pet guy down the street. Local pet stores too are equally responsible for this – as the wise said – one cannot clap with one hand.

The firework spectacle was the one that rejuvenated the journey back home. Hope you guys enjoy the small movie again from the camera phone – I am a fan on my camera phone than my real digital camera.

http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr194/ashaysathe/th_MOV-0008.jpg (http://s483.photobucket.com/albums/rr194/ashaysathe/?action=view&current=MOV-0008.flv)

At the end of the day, I was thinking I spent 14 hours away from my own family. This is way more than most of my work days. But this time was with another family that this hobby has given me. How many are fortunate around here to truly embrace an event like this wholeheartedly, make it their own with one and one expectation we all need to have a good time. Think about it how many places and events we go to where involved people have their own agendas and then you come and be part of an event like such where you get together with no bindings, no action items, no dues just pure enjoyment. Cannot be any better than this. I truly feel there is some good karma that is with me to make me be a part of this group.


07-26-2009, 12:02 PM
Wow Ashay, great video, more reason I'm sad not to be able to be there....so glad it went well...hopefully I'll make the next yr get-together...

Dottie ;)

07-26-2009, 02:16 PM
Hi there... WOW sounds like an awesome time was had by all. Hopefully we will be out there for the next one... Beer, fireworks, bbq, great folks and discus.. How can you miss..Glad everyone had a fantastic time... More pics so those of us who couldn't go can vicarious re-live the experience.. Sue:D

07-26-2009, 02:27 PM
Ashay, you said this so well - read my heart and mind! Ditto!


07-26-2009, 03:56 PM
Thanks to Mark for a great get together... Thanks also to Mark and Al for getting Paul here and planning such an awesome event.. Great to see all our friends and meet new ones !! David

07-26-2009, 05:42 PM
Those of us who stayed late were up until the wee hours, drinking one more beer around the campfire and pausing to reflect on the events of the day. I thought the meet an unmitigated success and it was because everyone who came, brought with them a warmth and generosity that was second to none. I can't thank Paul enough for taking time out of his busy schedule to come so far to meet us and speak with us. He gave me a lot of good ideas to ponder. Mark not only provided the venue but was, literally, the backbone of all the scheduled events. Al invested so much of himself in the organization of the event, was the greatest of auctioneers and his presentation addressed a lot of crucial issues we are all facing. I think it's fair to say the brew was the best beer I've ever tasted! Many thanks to Patrick and Ashay, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. And thanks to all of you who brought sodas, food, eating utensils, auction items; to those of you who so generously purchased raffle tickets and who bid with such determination for the auction items. I am happy to have come away with new friends and some of Bob Tools' absolutely gorgeous discus!

fred 22
07-26-2009, 05:44 PM
Thanks Mark for a great time you can,t do it any better than that.


07-26-2009, 05:48 PM

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07-26-2009, 05:56 PM
My apologies for the size of these three; I wasn't allowed to post them any other way.

07-26-2009, 06:03 PM
Martha, Thanks also to you for your tireless efforts and bookkeeping !! :9) David T

07-26-2009, 06:06 PM
Mark thanks for your hospitality breakfast was great. It was nice to put some faces with names it was nice meeting you guys. Al thanks for the beefheart mix it smells like freash seafood my fish are going crazy over it.

07-26-2009, 08:33 PM
Great pictures Martha, really wish I could have gone. Looked like it was a great time!

Take care all,


07-27-2009, 05:53 AM
It was also great to have the ladies from the Pioneer Valley Aquarium Society and the two ladies from Feather and Fin Aquarium ( LFS ) join us. Great interaction and thanks for their interest !!

Elite Aquaria
07-27-2009, 06:58 AM
Looks like it was a great time...When is the next meeting so I can start to plan to meet up with you guys and gals...:D

07-27-2009, 09:22 AM
Hi all,
I'm still on a High over this meeting...though I'll admit it...Seeing Paul, Mark and myself yesterday afternoon you'd have thought we'd run a marathon... Several days of energized excitement wears off fast and hard!:)

I don't even know where to begin. I picked Paul up at the airport on Thursday and we spent all that afternoon and Friday talking about many topics. ..Its one thing to know someone thru internet correspondences and forums, but to just sit down with them and really talk and talk for hours on end..Its something that can't be replaced. I will always keep these past 4 days close to my heart and in my mind.

Saturday's event was an absolute unbelievable success on all accounts. Everyone should pat themselves on the Back for the support they gave on an organizational level and on a participation level. Mark aka Grillmaster put together an event to remember...Martha organized and coordinated much of the Foods and supplies and I can say without a doubt, made the Auction possible. She organized it, arranged for donated items, kept track of everything..It was to quote paul.."Brilliant"! Pigroast, great food, fireworks and great friends...amazing!!!

Patrick and Ashay contributed so much as well... you guys Rock! Events like this take time to organize and take alot of people pulling together...and the two of you pulled hard!:)

Paul's Talk was extremely insightful and chock full of practical experiences on setting up a discus show..I felt like I was there along side him while it happened. I Can't thank him enough for taking the time to come here and give us this talk and share with us his hard earned experiences.

We had a very successful raffle, with items donated by Mark and had 2 29 gal tanks and filters donated to the raffle by The owners of a great LFS in the area..Fin and Feather....Thanks so much to them!! They stayed for a good part of the afternoon and participated in our discussions.

Speaking of the Auction...I got to play auctioneer...and let me say this... WOW...I can't believe all the auction products there were... Great Discus by Bob tools , supplies, awesome plants brought by several members (thanks Mehran and Shawn!) Tanks of sizes up to 55 gal and even a whole 55 gal tank and stand set up with a hood. hand made discus crafts as well. Just amazing! My son Auctioned off some of his home bred Marble angels and my daughter sold her Mollies... Those of you that supported the angel and mollie sales really made my kids day..At ages 6 and 8 ...these are memories that may keep them in the Hobby. They haven't stopped talking about it! thanks so much!! And thanks to all of you that supported the auction, some items brought some great prices and some people got some great deals!:)

Special Thanks to Pioneer Valley Aquarium Society (PVAs) for their donated supplies and to one of our Simplydiscus sponsors...Kens Fish for some very generous Fish foods for the auction.(Thanks Ken!!!)

Many New Friends were made...It was great meeting friends from the Pioneer Valley Aquarium Society. and Fin and feather LFS ...I hope to see them again soon. Many new friends came from Simply too.. Chandan, Hope, Mehran, Brian,Richard and Richard, Bob,RichT-- so glad you all made it to the meeting.. I hope you had a great time and hope you'll consider attending the next get together (fall 2009-date to be announced) Mark had put up some fliers in area LFSs about the event and we even had a visitor that found us thru the LFS flier... John, You guys would not believe the massive 5 gal bucket of java moss that John brought ...It was absolutely amazing. Johns considering setting up a discus tank so I hope we'll see him again.

Most of regular Group made it up to the meeting as well.. Ashay,Patrick, Martha, David and Celest, Rob and his family,Tom, Steve, Mark,Kenny,Fred....I can't tell you all how much I enjoy seeing and talking with you!

There was so much going on I am sure I missed something and hopefully I'll add more as my brain recovers.:) I do need to say...Thanks so much to Mark and his Family..His Wife Carol is an unbelieveably tolerant person to let this event happen in her home..not just for one day but for days leading up to it and the day following as some of us stayed over camping on their property. Even Marks Family helped out here...with the set up and cleaned up... Marks Son-in- law "D" manned the grills and did alot of set up and breakdown. Marks son Mark jr. took a ton of pics that he'll get them on line as soon as he can ..

Not much I can think of right now except to say..Safe trip back to England my friend! and thanks everyone...

take care,

07-27-2009, 02:50 PM
Well I finally made a meeting and am very glad I did. It was great to put faces to names that we interact with on Simply daily. Mark was a great host who offered his home to make this event possible and made you feel at home. Lets not forget to thank his wife who went beyond the call of duty, of being a discus hobbyists wife. Then there is Al whom we all know is very educated when it comes to fish keeping, but when you listen to him speak in person it takes your respect of his knowledge to an entirely different level. Now we move onto Martha to whom I have conversed with a countless amount of times through the PC. What a great person and she put together a top notch auction where almost everyone who attended, left with something they needed for their highly addicted hobby. Last but not least to single out is Paul, who came all the way from England. How impressive is that. Our little forum must really mean something :). What a great guy who gave a very informative talk. Now that I have met him, he is no longer the man that some of us fear when we post a discus to be evaluated, but a great, regular guy with a wealth of knowledge. To everyone involved in putting this event together I would like to thank each and everyone if have not singled you out. To all that have yet to make a NEDA meeting, I highly recommend planning to make one in the future. You will not be sorry. BOB

07-27-2009, 04:36 PM
I was finally able to get to another NE Discus Club event (plans fell through the last 2 times:mad:)
It seems I picked the perfect time to return to the fold.
It was nice to chat again with all the regulars(Al,Ashay,David,Mark,Patrick,Rich T.,Steve, etc..).
Even nicer to meet all the new folks-too many to name.
The discus challenge will be much closer watched, as I got to meet a competitor. Best of luck Ken.
There was a wealth of knowledge on water chemistry/discus/planted tanks etc...
There was something for everyone in the auction & I walked away with
an Acrylic Sump setup for the Wet/Dry filter I been threatening to build.
The only thing limiting the opportunities to obtain hobby items in the auction, was "Am I gonna be able to fit it all in the car?" :confused:

A special thanks to Mark & his family for having us & putting on such an impressive spread of food.
Very happy that Ashay got his chicken!

Paul- Thank you making your way across the Atlantic to spend the day with us & share you knowledge.It was nice to finally meet & express my thanks for your past help with this (@ times) very challenging hobby.

The event went off without a hitch-which just proves there was lots of planning & workers involved!

A lot of effort went into making the families feel comftorable(not just us fish heads!)

Thanks guys for a great time!
Looking forward to the next event already,

07-27-2009, 06:39 PM
Hi all I have just got back from dropping Paul off at the airport, and he got off safe and sound. :)

Wow!! what a weekend! What a blast!! :thumbsup:

Gees... Now I have to follow Al's write up...:shocked2:

I wanted to start out by thanking Al, Martha, and Patrick for all the help and hard work they also put into this event behind the scenes. I couldn't have pulled it off without them! :)

Al and Martha handled the auction which with the amount of items at it I was thinking it would take all day. They handled it flawlessly in a couple of hours. I would like to express my undying appreciation to all the people that donated the items to the auction. Ken's Fish for all the food, John's daughters Laura and Maura from Fin and Feather in Groton for the 2 new 29G tanks and filters. The PVAS members and Elva for the discus mobiles, Bob (Bobtools) for the awsome fry and wall tank! Steve Colly bought it for $25 and then let my daughter con it off of him... :D I actually won the bid on the 10 rose red fry for $50. :D Diane (Hope) conned em off me by the end of the night. ;) (I still have your crock pot Diane...). Martha literally packed her car with so much stuff that we had to pry her out of it when she arrived!! :D :D :D Mehran for some stunning plants!! Steve C. for his more than generous contribution to the event. So many people not only had a fantastic time but helped with their generous contributions! I just want to again thank each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart...:)

I would personally like to thank Paul for taking the time from his schedule to attend. I am glad I finally got to meet him and make yet another great friend!! :) Hope you had a safe trip back and look forward to seeing you again very soon my friend.

I believe the success of any event is due entirely to the people participating in it and this event couldn't have been anymore successful! :) With each passing meeting, this tight knit NEDA community seems to be growing by leaps and bounds and I for one am confident that it will continue to do so. :)

I will add pictures as soon as my son can give me a hand uploading them. My son in law took a video of the fireworks that also went off perfectly. I will try and get it uploaded as well.

I don't know what more I can really say since I was so blown away by the hole event. My wife, son, daughter and the rest of my family and in laws want to personally thank all of you all for making the weekend one to remember for a very long time!! As Al said you guys rock!!! :thumbsup:

Now we can start planning the fall get together at Steve's place.


07-27-2009, 06:53 PM
Sounds like you all had a fabulous time, I was thinking about it all weekend :D. Now I want to know, where does Steve live????

07-27-2009, 06:59 PM
Not too far from you. ;)

07-27-2009, 07:44 PM
Not too far from you. ;)


07-27-2009, 09:47 PM
Hi Guys,

I would like to thank all that I met at this meeting and hopefully not leave anyone out, Al, Mark, Patrick, Ashay, Mehran, Chandan, David, Kenny, Martha, Fred , Rob, Tom, Rich, Bob, Shawn, Donna, Steve and our special guest Paul.

Mark a special thanks for having it at your wonderful home with your family. Great spread.

I enjoyed talking discus with all of you and picking your brains. I learned alot and can not wait till the next meeting. Talk to you guys soon

Brian "Tofe"

07-27-2009, 10:03 PM

Well, maybe not a day trip. You might want to make it the weekend. :D

07-27-2009, 10:07 PM
where? .... Westport CT will be our fall get together and winter will be at....to be announced :D


patrick richard
07-27-2009, 11:29 PM
I would like to start out by saying (THANK YOU) to Mark and his family for allowing this event to happen at their house. Mark's family makes you feel right at home when your there. Mark you should be proud of that family of yours, they're great people.

Also a big thank you to Al and Martha for helping to put on one of the greatest times that a discus lover could have. They said that they never did an auction before, but I'm not so sure. They handled it like pros.

Paul, thank you for giving us your time and knowledge. I know we all went home with alot more information about these wonderfull fish. I also wanted to say that it was a great honor having you and Al over to look at my new fish room. Sorry about the heat and bugs:D:D:D, I am starting to take care of that this week.

To all my regular friends (Ashay, David, Rob, Fred, and Steve) It was great getting to talk and spend time with you again. I will see you all at the next one.

Last, to all the new friends that made it to this event, it was great to meet you. I had alot of fun talking to some new faces that have the same addiction that I have.

To all that donated to the auction and Raffle, THANK YOU

See you all at the next one,

07-28-2009, 11:03 AM
Well folks, I'm home safe and sound, and absolutely knackered!

What can I say that hasn't already been said? mmm - won't stop me trying ;)

Al & Mark, and your families, thank you for hospitality that is hard to match, I enjoyed myself virtually all of the time (except when those maniac mozzies were biting!!), it was wonderful.

To Patrick, Ashay and Martha for all the efforts you guys put in, very well done indeed, and I know it's a lot of hard work!

To all the new friends I met, thank you all for your warmth and generosity, it made it a truly spectacular event.

Great people, great food and great weather - made for a memorable day.

07-28-2009, 01:03 PM
mann, I gotta make it to one of these meetings! they look like a blast! it would be great meeting everyone. Eddie and Dan, you guys get to the next one! Ill meet you there! ;):D

07-28-2009, 06:26 PM
Glad ya made it back safe an sound Paul! :)

Is it safe to say that we can make this an annual NEDA summer event at my place then? ;) :D :D :D

Next year will be bigger and better!! Promise... :thumbsup:

BTW Patrick...I was hounded relentlessly about the beans you brought! They were a huge hit my friend and I find it fitting that the recipe be posted right here!! :D :D

Chad Hughes
07-28-2009, 06:50 PM
Sounds like you all had an outstanding time! Almost makes me wish I lived on the East coast. Wait... no, not really. LOL! I sure wish that I could have made the trip out. I was just in North Carollina last week and tried to get up with Barb (Disgirl) but wedding events and timing was all off. Maybe another time!

Anyway, it's great to hear about these types of gatherings and all of the fellowship that is shared amongst folks in our hobby. thaks for the efforts by all and the great posts and pictures! I really apreciate it!

Best wishes!