I continued a somewhat idiotic tradition of staying up to the bitter end to watch last night’s Academy Awards show which ended shortly after midnight.  

Director Ang Lee (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

Among the lead categories there was only one surprise with Ang Lee taking home the best director Oscar for “Life of Pi” over Steven Spielberg.  As expected Daniel Day-Lewis became the first person to win 3 best-actor Oscars for his incredible performance in “Lincoln” and 22-year old Jennifer Lawrence came out on top in the best actress category for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook” while “Argo” walked away with the coveted Best Picture award.

I enjoyed the show which had a musical theme to it and featured some great performances by Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey, the cast of Les Miserables and Adele.  I would also give two thumbs up to host Seth MacFarlane who took some shots at celebs and also showcased an outstanding singing voice.

You probably heard that a few homeowners returned to Mantoloking this weekend for the first since Superstorm Sandy so yesterday on our way back from Point Pleasant Beach we decided to travel on Route 35 through the storm-ravaged borough.

Pictures may be worth a thousand words but they’re not nearly enough to appreciate the true devastation of an oceanfront community in which multimillion dollar homes have been turned into piles of rubble.  By the way the number of vehicles on the road made it look like a summer weekend as many opted like us to get a first-hand look and traffic moved very slowly from Bay Head south through Mantaloking.  As a reminder you cannot stop to take pictures or get out of your car unless you don’t mind receiving a summons.

While it was not necessarily pretty Lakewood High School is very happy to be back on top of the Shore Conference basketball heap for the first time since 1991.  The Piners outlasted Point Beach 39-33 in Saturday’s championship final at Monmouth University as Randy Holmes joined select company as both a Shore Conference Tournament winning player and coach.

Ironically Holmes was a standout on the Piners team that won the SCT 22 years ago and his coach and mentor John “Pott” Richardson was sitting right behind the team bench Saturday and was quite proud of his pupil.  Holmes and Richardson share in the strong belief that their job is not just to win games but serve as role models to young men and help them win in the game of life.  They are champions when it comes to both.