When I’m 64 (post)..

Thank you to the Beatles for that opening line tonight.  Jimmy Buffett is 64 this year. One of the first computers was the Commodore 64.  Just a few 64 references for the post. I am back to using my laptop as a laptop tonight. About ten days ago the screen went dark. So I did some web research (fancy way of saying that I googled the problem) and I decided to buy an inverter for the computer. My other little laptop had the same problem.  So I bought two inverters. They came in a few days, and I fixed the little laptop with no problems. When I swapped out the old inverter for the new one (in my laptop), the screen lit for about five seconds and quit.  I took the inverter out and compared it to the original. They had different part numbers.  I contacted the original seller and they decided to send me another “correct” one for free.

While I waited for this new one to be sourced and shipped, I bought another one. They both came in within a day of each other and neither worked. This was certainly discouraging. I was out about 100 dollars in parts and no closer to a working computer. So I sourced a new screen that came with an inverter already attached. The new screen came today and I swapped the old one out and bamm, the laptop is back in business. I probably would have bought the screen the first time, but everything I read on-line said that the problem is usually the inverter. Shows me.

The other technology hurdle that was conquered (at home) was that I have two external hard drives on the network for storing pictures and documents. Two weeks ago one of the units stopped showing up on the network. Since I was feeling lucky  today I took a shot at reviving it. After some more web reasearch, I downloaded a program that upgraded the software on the unit. And now it is working correctly. Two for two today. At work they finally got the phones working. It was late in the day so not many people figured out that the phones were working before the day ended. I would expect that tomorrow will be crazy as a hurricane weekend and three days of problems all show up at the same time. Can’t wait. I have been working from home all week while I take care of DS2. That will probably be the deal again tomorrow.

College update (visualize weekend update with Chevy Chase):  DS1, no contact so far today. As i proofread this, DS1 surfaces with a picture of some burgers cooking on a grill. I guess they are having a cookout at his house tonight.

Cook out, Wheeling, WV

 Ds2’s eyesight continues to improve.  He worked on some school work again today. He is making plans with his friends for the weekend. Friday we go back to the doctor. DS3 had his first ROTC PT training from 6:30 to 7:30 this morning. His first class of the day (Math) starts at 8:00 am. He is having trouble with the math teacher’s accent.  For a child that needs help in math, this is not a good sign. He will be going to the learning center to see about getting extra help. There are two other ROTC kids in the class, so he should have study buddies if nothing else. The rest of his day went well. He told us that he is going on a weekend field trip with ROTC late in September. They will go to some woods near West Point and do ROTC stuff. I’m sure I will get a better description in the weeks to come.

DW, worked all day. She called me in the morning with a computer technical question. I guess I will have to bill her for that time.  Me, I worked from home. Ground up tomatoes from the garden and put them in the freezer. I cooked an oven stuffer/roaster chicken for dinner. It might be time to buy smaller birds. We certainly have leftovers. 

Tonight’s picture come from the resurrected external hard drive.  This is the first day of school picture from September 5, 2000. In the picture from left to right: DS1, Ds2, DS3 and friend from up the street. Enjoy! 

First day of School September 5, 2000

Irrelevant work at 63 (post)

Admittedly an odd subject line tonight. But, it is relevant in a discussion about irrelevant work.  Got that, did I spin those words or what?  There we go.  During dinner we were discussing college with DS2. The poor child is either enjoying being the only child or dreading being the only child. When you are used to being one of three children around the table, there is currently nowhere to hide.  They all learned at an early age that when mom and dad where interrogating your sibling, you should shut up and lay low with the hopes that the microscope would not be aimed at you.

So DS2 tells us that one of his classmates, a junior music education major, has signed him up to be in the Jazz Band at Marywood this fall. DS2 was in the middle school and high school jazz bands. He decided last year that he would rather not be in the jazz band and declined to sign up.  The following is an aside..  Have you ever been a member of a volunteer organization and missed a meeting? Did you attend the next meeting to find out that you were elected to the board in your absence? This is what happened to DS2.

DS2 says that he is ok with being in the Jazz Band. But,  that he feels that being a Music Therapy major and being in the jazz band is “irrelevant work”  He is not a jazz performance major. He is in the choir, the wind ensemble, the campus orchestra and the trumpet ensemble. (B, If i missed one, I am sorry) He feels that this is sufficient and that being in the jazz band is irrelevant work.

I for one almost fell out of my chair!. How would you like to tell your pointy haired boss (Dilbert reference) that while you don’t mind more work at work, you are not interested in any more irrelevant work.  I think the look on your bosses face would be priceless.  This would probably be followed by some directive to “just get it done”, a huff and the end of the conversation. But, wouldn’t be fun?

Current events for today.. DS1 will be providing a schedule for school and work soon. I think he sees me as the pointy haired boss. 🙂 DS2 continues to make progress. Today I took him to COSTCO to get out of the house and see the world. He has been home in his personal space for too long now. I can change that for sure. DS3 is doing better. We spoke today and he seems to be pulling it together. I need to remember that this is his college experience and my job is to witness. He received his ROTC gear today. He said he has enough stuff to go off to war, oh great. Not exactly what a parent wants to hear.  The 6:30 am physical training starts tomorrow. Should be interesting.

My DW and I have a quiet evening planned. I made Veal Francese for dinner. This recipe came from my younger sister. She used make this years ago when I would sleep over on lacrosse nights up north.  And in a completely unrelated thought, the mosquitos in New Jersey have spawned since the hurricane. Ug.

Tonight’s picture is from DS3’s scholarship night back in June at the local high school. Here he is accepting a scholarship and award from the local VFW post. Enjoy!

DS3 scholarship night 2011

62 (post) yoga poses..

Monday, Monday, post Irene Monday. Hopefully your storm experience was close to ours. I heard from one of my brothers in Westchester County, NY that the power is out and will be until Thursday, at the earliest. Another brother has a foot of water in his basement, but they were prepared and everything was up off the floor. I guess you pump out, then dry out. 

I went to COSTCO today to return the generator that I purchased on Friday. If you remember from Friday’s post, I got one of the last eight generators in the store when they opened. The generator stayed in the box, the box stayed in the car. It cost 600.00 so I was not going to open the box if I did not need to use the unit. The only power outage was Saturday night for four (almost exactly) hours.  Back to the story, COSTCO has a liberal return policy, so I was expecting a rolling of the eyes and then the return of my money. When I got to the store I wrestled the box onto one of those orange carts and wheeled it inside.

Before I got to the return counter, a man asked me where I got the generator and were there anymore. I told him that I was returning the unit since I did not loose power. He asked me the price and then he called his son. He had me explain to the son on the phone about the generator. When I was done, I gave Vince back his phone. He spoke with his son for another minute and then told me that he wanted to buy the generator. Ok with me. I was next on line. I told the women behind the counter “I would like to return this generator, I don’t need it. And, this man here would like to buy it”

I felt better about retuning the unit since someone else wanted it. The return ladies did not have enough cash to pay me so I had to wait for them to get more from where ever they keep their stash of cash. While I waited another six people came by, each one wanting to buy the generator. I could have held an auction in the parking lot! That is not my style, but it certainly was an interesting thought.

There was no lacrosse tonight. Last week was the end of the summer sessions. I am not sure if there will be anymore sessions or not. I guess I will have to watch my email and hope for the best. Since there was no lacrosse, I went to yoga with my DW. There were about twenty people in the class and only three of them were men!  I like that ratio..  If you have never taken a yoga class you should at least take one. Tonight’s class was probably my sixth or seventh class. I usually go on Monday’s when there is no lacrosse.  There is no yoga class next week due to Labor Day, but classes resume the week after that. If we don’t play lacrosse this fall, I will certainly be more limber by the end of the year.

Reports from the college front.  DS1, no contact today other than playing word feud with me around lunch time. I will be reaching out to him to find out what classes he is taking this fall.  DS2 continues to progress towards going back to school. He worked on some of his school work and practiced guitar today. He and I spoke with several people at the university today making plans for his return. DS3 has been on campus for two nights and three days. We spoke with him around dinner time today. He seems to be getting along with his roommate, enjoying his classes. I still think he is a little at a loss with what to do. I am sure he will figure things out. The bad weather this weekend disrupted the schedule for the incoming freshmen. Some of the team building events were cancelled. 

I worked from home today. The office at one point had no internet or phones. By the end of the day, the internet and email were back up. The phones were still down at the close of business. Hopefully this will be fixed during the overnight hours. I plan to work from home all week since I am the giver of eye drops.

Picture time once again. Today’s picture comes from last December. This is the Christmas tree in the Rotunda at Marywood University, enjoy!

Christmas tree Marywood University 2010

61 stairs to (post) heaven..

Well, maybe the hype of the storm was overdone. Probably not to the families that lost members due to falling trees and such. Here in Manahawkin things were not so dramatic. We lost power last night from 11 pm to 3 am. Now, the weather at 11 pm was not really bad and the weather at 3 am was not really that good. Did the powers that be turn us off for four hours for some reason? The Press of Atlantic City blogged at 10:15 that the local power utility was considering cutting the power to the barrier islands. We live seven miles from the ocean. It would seem to me if they cut the power, we were collateral damage. None the less, we got through the night.

Our house has a cellar. It has flooded twice in the twenty-seven years that we have lived here. Once when a storm “sat” on the town and dropped nine inches of rain in two and a half hours. Nobody was home and there was nothing that could have been done. The other time was after a huge snow storm, The 30 inches of snow were followed by 2 inches of rain. Somehow the water came in. The ground was certainly frozen at that time. Anyway, one of the cellar windows is below grade. We have a hole in front of it to catch the excess rain when this happens.  We cleaned the leaves and such out of the hole Friday in preparation for the storm.  We also cleaned all the gutters for better drainage away from the house.

I emptied the hole of water at 7 pm Saturday night after returning from Scranton. Then I was back out at 9:30 to empty again. At 9 pm there was a tornado warning, like take shelter now, in our neighborhood. We had no problems. After the warning, I was out with a shovel making the hole twice as big to catch the water. I was up every two or so hours during the night to empty the water. Sometimes it would be raining and blowing, other times it would be just windy. It was a bumpy night.

7 am came and the skies cleared and we were in the eye of the storm. The www.app.com website said that we would have the worst of the storm at 8 am.  Umm, they missed that headline. Completely wrong. The rest of the day was anti-climatic. We watched the radar, waited for the huge wind. We got some wind and some rain. Nothing like Saturday night. Sunday evening we started undoing the hurricane preparations that were done on Friday. Tomorrow I will return the generator to COSTCO. It is still in the box, I never opened it. It was like an insurance policy against the worse case scenario.

Tomorrow is Monday. I will work from home. I am on eye drop brigade. DS2 who had the two eve surgeries continues to need care and watching on a daily basis.  He is doing well and all signs point to him returning to school next Sunday and returning to classes on Tuesday after Labor Day.

DS3 is enjoying college. He has not communicated much, but I think he is trying to figure out what to do with himself now that he does not have parents setting the schedule. Classes start Monday, so his getting into a routine will make a big difference. DS1 appears to be doing fine. We got a call from one of his lacrosse buddies parents. Both kids had done four years playing at WJU together. This fall they are roommates for the first semester of their fifth year. The parents said that the boys were doing better than fine in the new house. 

We heard from any people over the weekend inquiring about our status as per the storm. We was heartening to hear from everybody and to know that so many people care.  Yes, we are alright, and life is currently looking up. We may actually have an empty nest come Labor Day Monday!  Tonight’s picture is DS2  getting his four-time a day eye drops. My DW has been doing this for the last week. I need start this care come Monday. And no, the poncho is NOT necessary. It used it during the storm and thought it would be a fun prop for the picture.  Enjoy!

More eye drops please!

Sixty is a nice number of posts..

Leaving home, first day of school picture 2011

Hurricane watch..  OH MY!  Run around willy nilly!

Ok, now that we are past that. Today was move in day for our youngest child. Yes, the baby is gone. We were up early, out of the house by 6 am. Three hours later we were in Scranton, PA. Since DS2 is still off-line due to his eye surgeries, DS3 drove his car to Scranton. We picked up DS2’s books and parking pass and parked his car in the freshmen lot out-of-the-way. It will be there when he gets to school next Sunday and then available whenever he is cleared to drive.

The drive up was a little creepy. The Garden State Parkway was closed southbound at Exit 98  by the resident NJ genius Friday night at eight pm. Why? Just like the same genius decided to close Route 72 east bound at six pm Friday night and make all four lanes outgoing. Well, at 5:30 pm, there were no traffic jams and people were heading west without any difficulty. I’ve seen worse westbound traffic on a Sunday afternoon in the summer.

They paid someone to distribute brand new DOT/FEMA barrels and cones at every intersection, for 28 miles. Then they paid probably the same people to pick them all up. At one spot where the barrels were set on the side of the road, they neglected to pick up all the parts. SO somewhere there about 20 or brand new orange traffic barrels without the black tops/bottoms. The real shame of it is that I’m willing to bet that the 28 miles of cones and barrels will be disposed of and new one purchased.  Want to make a bet with me?

The other challenge to the ride was all the families driving towards Scranton with their college student on board. Not many of them had probably made the trip more than twice, now they all were trying to do it at the same time. And for some reason, many of the parents felt comfortable letting their freshly minted college student drive the family SUV. Ug, it was amateur hour this morning. I am so happy that we left early. And the people coming from the south up Interstate 81 were totally screwed. There must have been an accident because as I drove home, I passed miles, like 6 or 8 miles, of north bound traffic. All stopped, all trying to go north, all still south of Scranton.

Dorm room U of Scranton 2011

DS3 Got into his room with no problems. He chose the side he wanted since he was the first one there. The rooms are a concrete box, two beds, two desks, two dressers and two armoires. Not a lot of room. The bathroom is down the hall. Fortunately (or not) the bathroom is very close by.  After unpacking and taking pictures, we went over to the bookstore to get his books. They were not ready. He needs to stop by on Sunday to get them.  We went down to Coney Island Lunch for hot dogs. They were delicious. I brought home a dozen for those of us still living in NJ.

Then I took him back to school. Gave him a hug and sent him off into the wild blue yonder.  I still can’t believe he is gone off to school. While we were waiting for our dogs to arrive, he said “Dad, I don’t believe I’m here to stay, not just visit” I guess that was the point that it hit home that he was staying, and I was leaving.  Other stops in the city included Radio Shack to pick up a pair of head phones and the cemetery to visit my parents.

So, he is safe, DS1 is safe in Wheeling, WV. The rest of us will ride the storm out and hope for the best. If the blog is not updated each day you will know we lost power, internet and/or cell service.  Today’s pictures from move in day. I will post a few.  Enjoy!

Damm, now what do I do? (Kidding)













Damm 59 (post) Yankees..


Today’s post is mobile. We are in the tv room watching AJ Burnett throw away another game. DS3 is using the working laptop, so I am working on my phone. College move in day for DS3 is tomorrow.  We leave at six am to arrive in Scranton for nine am. I was going to spend the day there but with road closures and the coming hurricane, I hope to be back home by two pm.

Today was the get ready for the hurricane day.  Everything that can blow away is put away. I purchased the last generator at our local COSTCO this morning. There were eight to be sold and I got one. I will leave in the box in my van and wait to see what the storm brings. I have gasoline for it as well. We got the usual storm preparation stuff.  We are ready (I hope).

We had a post operative meeting with the doctor early this morning.  The doctor was very pleased with the outcome of the previous day’s surgery.  If the recovery stays on track DS2 will return to school the Tuesday after Labor Day. 

Good night, another early day tomorrow.  The picture of the is of DS2 goofing off on his laptop, waiting for school to start.  Enjoy!

Someday’s are like being on friggin’ (59) post Jeopardy..

Credit for the title goes to my DW. She walked out of the bathroom this morning after taking her shower and said that she had the title for tonight’s blog. Usually the blog title and contents are trapped in my head until the time comes for them to spill out on these electronic pages. And why, do most of my blog’s include a mention about bathrooms or food?  Hmmm. Freud (or some psychiatrist) would enjoy that discussion. Anyway, here’s the result of the discussion with my DW this morning. Picture in your mind’s eye, you are on Jeopardy, the other two contestants are on either side of you. Alex Trebek tell you to pick a category. So you say, “Give me things that could never happen in a week of my life, Alex, for 1000”. And the question is “What is a hurricane, an earthquake, two eye surgery’s in one week, three children going off to college, getting hit by two lacrosse balls in one night?” Buzz, you know the answer, What is S__T you just can’t make up?  Winner, winner, chicken dinner. We have a winner.

Ok, so another crazy opening for my blog. I hope you slogged through it. The second surgery went very well today. The doctor was very pleased with the operation and the quick recovery that DS2 is making on the right eye that was done on Tuesday evening. The hospital staff was great, again. Our gratitude goes out to all the people that we came in contact with over the last four days. We have a post operative check up tomorrow morning at 7:30 am.  Right now DS2 is sleeping in the Lazy Boy recliner. I am typing and working the emails while keeping on eye on him.  His blood pressure was up today. The hospital staff made no mention of this Tuesday night. We will wait a few weeks for all this hub bub to go away and then my DW will check his pressure. He is a big boy, so maybe this might be a wake up call about eating better, or maybe the stress of the week has him as well. It surely has me on the ropes.

DS3 worked his last day at the bark and biscuit today. He spent part of the day making sand bags that will be used to try to keep flooding out of the biscuit during the hurricane this weekend. He and I head to Scranton early Saturday to get him moved in and pick up DS2’s books from school. That way we can help him next week keep current with his studies.  DS1 has secured an internship working for the university this fall. This should fulfil a graduation requirement and give him some spending money.

That is it for the night. I’m done, stick a fork in me, done. But first a picture. Here is DS2 pre operation today. My DW was giving me the business about taking his picture until she saw other “normal” people doing the same thing.  🙂 And I almost forgot, there is video! Click here to see it.


DS2 in the hospital, again



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