Pro tips masquerading as post 94..

That is a term Ds2 uses when he has an obvious (to him) piece of information to share and does not to offend the person listening.  Tonight we saw two out three children.  We are back in Scranton for the University of Scranton Parents Weekend.  We have not done any parents weekend stuff yet. We did stop by Marywood to see DS2. We dropped off a replacement SD card for his phone.  He was wearing his contacts for the second day in a row. He says that his eyes are doing fine. Tomorrow is the first day that he can start playing his trumpet since August. He is looking forward to playing his horn again.

Over at the University of Scranton we caught up with DS3. He was at the parents weekend play. He is taking a theatre class this year so he has to write a report on the play and the performance. We sat outside until it we got to cold then we went inside the DeNaples Center and talked. He told us in great detail about his classes. He also told us about the Fall FTX that he attended last week.  He really enjoyed it. 

Short post, I’m beat. This picture was taken this evening. DS3 dressed in his ROTC shirt. Enjoy!

DS3 @ The University of Scranton


Ye olde post 93..

So last night we went south for the evening. Tuesday evening during dinner I brought up the subject of going to Annapolis, MD  to see Scott Kirby in concert. I told my DW, let me know before we go to bed if you want to go. I will drive, you bring your blanket and pillow. We went to yoga, watched some television and went to bed.  No mention was made about Wednesday and going to Maryland. I figured, dead subject.

Wednesday at 3:30 pm my DW calls to ask which night was the Annapolis trip?  Um, tonight? So we decided at that point to go. What is funny or interesting is that Annapolis and Scranton are the same distance from our home. Usually when I see him in Florida, I am staying in Ft Lauderdale and drive down to Key West for the night. The distance from the timeshare in Florida  to Key West is the same as the distance to Annapolis and Scranton from our home. Each trip is about 180 miles.  How odd.

 I left work early and drove home. Changed clothes, made coffee for the drive and headed south. We got to the venue at 7:40 for a 8:00 show. Just enough time to go to the bathroom, order a beer and some munchies to eat for dinner.  The show was excellent. Worth the time and effort to attend.  I took a few pictures. The management was fairly adamant in making sure that you knew that pictures and video were not permitted. We bumped into this issue in NYC at the Pink Martini concert and did not want a repeat. So, the pictures are fair at best.  After the show I drove home while my DW tried to sleep. It rained in Maryland and Delaware. Thankfully, the rain stopped when we got to NJ. We got home at 1:30 am and I was asleep some time after two am. Like I tweeted today, Livin’ like a rock star!

DW left for work at 6:45 for the 7 am shift today. When she got home this afternoon, she took a nap.  I worked from home today,  barely making it to the table with the computer by 8:30 am. But, a cafe latte and I was ready to go today. She was busy all day at work. I was busy in the morning then looking for work in the afternoon. Tomorrow will probably be the same way.

Tomorrow night we head back to Scranton for DS3’s parents weekend.  The weather looks to be cold up there this weekend. Temperatures between 40 and 55. That will be quite the change from the 777 weather we have had for the last three weeks. Outside and inside temperatures  in the 70’s, humidity in the 70’s.  We better bring a coat and long pants.

Kids, what’s that? Just kidding. Tonight is back to school night at the high school. We have been to back to school night at the hight school for eight straight years. It felt funny to not have to go this evening. Instead, we went to the Olive Garden for dinner. They built one here in town back in the spring and we had never eaten there. Tonight we had date night at the Olive Garden. It is only about two miles from home. Nice. Food was good, no complaints.

Tonight a couple of pictures from last night. I wish I could have brought a better camera. Enjoy!

DW in Annapolis









Rams Head Inn, Annapolis, MD


The band

Four good dogs at post 92::


Tonight’s blog come to you live from Annopolis, Md. We decided at 3 pm to go to the Rams Head Inn to see Scott Kirby. Scott is a Key West musician who I get to see each winter while in Florida playing lacrosse. We are between sets right now. After the show I will get some coffee and head 180 miles north to the very empty nest.
More details tomorrow when I am back on my computer. This picture is from tonights show. Enjoy

Acknowledge your random thoughts then dispatch them to post 91..

Tonight’s subject line comes from the adult school yoga instructor. We just returned from our second night of yoga in a row. If I thought it was warm yesterday, today was a visit to the tropics. At least the Monday night instructor has the ability, not the desire, to lower the temperature in the room. At the high school, nobody has the ability.  Waaa, waaa, I get it. Enough already. But, the teacher did provide the subject for tonight’s blog.

We start the night with the lights out, flat on our backs, practicing our controlled breathing. Concentrating on your breathing helps to clear your mind.  First she said to dispatch any random thoughts. Then she said to acknowledge them, then dispatch them.  I guess the random thoughts get a reprieve on the second go around.  Yoga was good tonight. I look forward to it each week. I may go north next Monday and play lacrosse. It all depends on our travels this weekend.

My DW had a long day at work today. She defrosted filet mignon for dinner. Yum (DS2’s favorite expression when encountering food). Seasoned potato slices, fresh mozzarella and vegetables. No wine though. Not before class.  The meat cooked quick on the Forman grill. We have a grill outside but sometimes it is easier to heat up George and cook. 

The milk man continues to deliver to our house once a week. We may need to stop them entirely. We scaled the deliveries back after DS2 went back to school. This evening I went next door where there are four children and dropped off two half gallons of orange juice and two dozen eggs. We still have more of both in the house. With another parent’s weekend this week, nobody will be home to eat breakfast.  They certainly appreciate the gesture. I just hate to see the food go to waste. So, the milk man may be the first casualty of the empty nest.

Kids, DS2 had an excellent day at clinical. He walks three blocks down from Marywood to the St Joseph’s Center. There he observes and assists with music therapy clinical work. After his session, he walks back to school. He really enjoys the clinical work.  DS3 was busy when I texted. He said he had a tough day and would not be any fun to talk to.  We will let him work through this (whatever it is).  We won’t pry, but maybe tomorrow or Thursday we will ask for details.  DS1, nothing today. Me, work was ok. I stuck my hand in the vipers nest once again and did not get bitten. Sometimes when you are upgrading third-party software you can get bitten pretty hard.  Not today. 

Picture time boys and girls.  Today’s picture comer from 2007 when DS1 was a senior in high school. He took an early childhood development class (to meet girls I think). One part of the grade was that each student took home “Baby think it over”. The “robo baby” would eat, cry sleep, need to have the diaper changed like a real baby. The sensors would record the care that the baby received over the weekend. The teacher would download the information on Monday when the baby was returned. While he did not receive a passing grade on this portion of the class, he did receive the highest grade by a male student ever.  Enjoy!

DS1 with his "robo baby" 2007

We’ve hit the big 90 (post that is), pilgrim..

We just got back from 75 minutes of yoga (DW and I).  The class is mostly women, surprised, not really.  The teacher, a women, mostly instructs and corrects (gently to newbies like me) during the class. She starts off with her sweatshirt on, then the room warms up, off comes the sweatshirt. Then the room continues to warm up (maybe it’s me that continues to warm up) and she has her sweatshirt back on. I’m sweating up a storm, she’s cold.  Somewhere during the class she might turn the air conditioning on, but for just a few minutes.  If it were a men’s yoga class (is there such a thing? and would I want to attend?) the air conditioning would be on the whole time! 

Usually my DW and I have a spot off to the side in the back row where we can “hide” during class. Neither of us is that 20 something, skinny, flexible “I’ve taken yoga since I was ten years old” person. Tonight I was in the back row, but right in the center. I got some extra attention today. All good, extra help is the only way to get better. I really needed to do something tonight. With weekly lacrosse playing becoming irregular and the stress of life, I need an outlet. Either the opportunity to whack somebody with my lacrosse stick or the challenge of getting my body to stretch and bend in ways I never could have imagined.

Kids, hmmm. Everybody is busy doing their own thing. DS2 tweeted a few times today. struggling with Aural skills class. He has a tutor so that should help. He got a 94 on his sociology test. That is good news. DS1 broke my chops earlier in the day about being busy and not communicating with his parents. He did find time late in the day to request that I donate money to the WJU lacrosse team’s golf outing fund-raiser this weekend. One of the coaches needed a fourth player and DS1 came looking for my donation to the cause. See, he does have communication skills. DS3 has been busy and did not check in today. He had a long night of studying last night after his FTX weekend.

I actually went to google today to look up the Empty Nest Syndrome. I have been feeling a little down lately and was not sure how much of the kids being gone was part of it.  I still don’t know, but I am better educated for the effort. I think the toughest thing for me will be the non-contact on a daily basis. We (DW and I) were involved for their entire lives and now a simple text like “good pizza for dinner tonight”  seems out of the question. I am re-thinking my attitude towards this while looking back at my early to mid twenties and my communication with my parents. Based on my experience, my kids communicate with us a lot!  You can figure out the other side of that statement without any help from me. 

Enough Oprah tonight. Here is the picture of the day.  It comes from  Saturday’s drive to Red Bank. Here is a picture of the fall colors on the side of Route 380 between Scranton and Route 80.  Enjoy!

Fall colors


A fine Chianti and post 89, perfect together..

Another humid Sunday night here in New Jersey.   We made it back to home base this afternoon with only a few jerks on the road.  Things were intact at home despite nobody being here for three days. Or maybe that sentence should read, Things were intact since nobody was home for three days. It could go either way. 

Last night after posting, DS2, DW and I attended the casino night and enjoyed the music of Dave Binder.  He is a staple at Marywood, and from reading his website, a staple at many college campuses.  One of the funniest parts of the night is near the end of his performance. He sings the Fast Food Song. Which consists of the names of most of the major fast food brands. The fun part is that the song requires audience participation.  When Dave says the name of the fast food place, the audience does a different gesture, something like the YMCA song. And, as the song goes on, more business are added and the song goes faster. It really is fun to watch and try to follow along. See the video by clicking here.

Sunday morning DS2 was in the choir at Mass. They had a huge turn out (duh, I guess).  Below is a picture of him during the warm up before Mass.  We were both very proud to see him up there singing in the choir. He was the only male voice in the choir.  The back of the chapel swings open so they can accommodate more people outside.  I’ve written it before, and I will write it again. The priest, Father Brian, is the perfect person to be working on a college campus. If we lived in Scranton, we would attend church here. Not just to see our son perform in the choir, but the priest has a way of delivering the message of the week in a way that makes sense.

We just got off the phone with DS3. He was at Camp Smith for his first FTX (field training exercise) with the Army ROTC. He sounded tired, but happy. He enjoyed the weekend outside. They slept on the ground in sleeping bags, No tents or cabins for this group. He said he has quite a few bug bites from the weekend. I asked about insect repellant. He said if you had it, you used it. It was not supplied. OK.

Now he has homework to do for tomorrow. Monday’s 6:30 am PT was cancelled. They will resume PT on Wednesday. 

Picture time. Here are one from church and one from Saturday’s Fall fair.  Enjoy!

Practice before mass @ Marywood University September 2011


@ Marywood University September 2011


Awesome day for post 88..

Today was an awesome day.  As you read over the past few days, DS2 was having pain in his left eye. We drove from Scranton, Pa to Red Bank, NJ this morning for a 10 am appointment with the surgeon. The surgeon came in and calmly asked why were there so soon. Our next scheduled appointment is the day after Thanksgiving. We told him that DS2 was having pain in his left eye. The doctor calmly (I keep using that word, we were not)  said that pain was not uncommon with this type of surgery. Then he looked at DS2’s left eye and said that yes the two stitches in his eye needed to be removed.  And that the eye was fine. My DW grasped my hand in relief. I was still on edge since the doctor was now looking at the right eye.

And still looking. And more looking. The right eye was the worst of the two before the surgery. Then he pronounced the right eye was doing fine as well. Then I was able to relax. The doctor took the two stitches out of the left eye, gave a new prescription and sent us on our way.  Unreal. Did we over react? Not a chance.

After our doctor visit we drove back to Scranton. I got my 400 miles in today, thank you very much. On the way back we stopped at Hotdog Johnny’s in Buttsville, NJ. A video from that visit can be seen here.  As children, our parents would put us in the family station wagon and drive us two hours to visit the Scranton relatives. Hotdog Johnny’s was about the half way point. With some part of 10 children in the car, I’m sure they needed the break.  The menu is simple, hot dogs and french fries. Add the toppings of your choice and a drink. The two best drink choices are Birch Beer or Buttermilk.  Both are server in frosted glass mugs. It was for me a perfect way to work through the stress of the week.

When we got back to Marywood University we attended the Fall fair on campus. Then a nap. We went grocery shopping with DS2 for things that college students need and don’t want to pay for. Followed up by dinner at Kildares in downtown Scranton. I’ve raved about the Fish and Chips here before. They were good once again.

Tonight there is a casino night and a musician in the fireplace lounge.  We were talking amongst ourselves while the musician was setting up and he heard me talking about seeing Scott Kirby in Key West. He asked about Key West and then for the sound check he played Come Monday. This should be a real good night.

I am doing tonight’s

Swing set, I rode this 40 years ago

blog on a public computer at the university. Pictures are from today. Don’t ask tonight about the hoops jumped to get them from my cell phone to this computer.









that's a good birch beer

hotdog johnnys

On campus for post 87..


I am writing this from Marywood University in Scranton, PA. It is parents weekend for DS2.  Work was interesting in that your hero (me) stood up for himself at work.  I still have my job, I did not stick my foot in my mouth.  Things won’t change at work, but I feel better.

The drive to Scranton was rain, rain and more rain. It is to bad we can’t send some of this to Texas where it is needed.  DS2’s eyes look ok. We have an early doctors appointment tomorrow in Red Bank. 

That is it for tonight, blogging with my Droid phone. I can add pictures. Here is DS2 waiting for the murder mystery theatre to start tonight.

86 (post) problems, maybe 300 or so solutions..

Everyday we are faced with choices, turn left or right at the traffic light. Maybe you need to choose skim or whole milk or no milk in your coffee. Choices, choices, maybe too many choices.  Do I make lunch and brown bag it, or do I eat out. Reply or not to that email or text. Little dramas that play out in our daily lives.  Today we had a visit from the big drama version number two.

This weekend, as you may have read yesterday, is parents weekend at Marywood University. In preparation for going to visit the child of the week we usually: A. Remind them that we are coming to visit. B: Ask if they want anything from home. Pretty standard method of operation this being the fifth year of parents weekends for us. Today DS2 texts me to ask if I will bring up the pain medication that he got when he had his eye surgeries last month. Not a good sign. He has not taken any of them in three weeks. Big sigh, then the text storm starts.

Bottom line is that after his religion class this morning his left eye was hurting. He has had some discomfort over the last month now and then. The eye drops that he is taking has solved that discomfort. Today the drops did not help. I asked him to send me a picture of his two eyes so that we could see if there was something dramatically different from one eye to the other. They looked better than when we dropped him off, still a little red.

We sent him to student health to have the nurse there take a look at him. She suggested that he visit the local eye institute. I spoke with her on the phone, she said the eye was red (I knew that from the picture, not bloodshot by any means) and that given his surgical history, a visit to a specialist was warranted. We both agreed. She was covering herself in case something is really wrong. DS2 spoke with the doctor’s office where the original surgery was done. They want to see him Saturday morning.  A later in the day update is that he feels better now. But, he is still going to see the surgeon.  Crossroads and choices and problems with 300 + solutions. Yea!  I will update this story as the weekend progresses.

I did work from home today. I could not manage to avoid the 4:30 dumpster again this week. I worked 1.5 hrs extra bailing out one of my favorite people. Seems like this is becoming the norm, not the rarity that it once was. Smile, smile. Since work ran late and other “issues” I decided not to travel and play lacrosse tonight. I will be doing enough driving Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  My DW got stuck late at work as well. At least that worked out well. Neither of us were done on time.  DS3 called to say good-bye for the weekend. Tomorrow he leave to spend three days in the woods with ROTC. The oldest sent a few texts and one email. Nothing of much significance.

The picture de’ jour is from my DW’s bithday in 2009. Enjoy!

Birthday 2009


85 proof post…

What did Jack Sparrow say?  There are actually websites devoted to the quotes of Jack Sparrow, odd do you think? The quote I like is  “Why is the rum always gone?” Story of my life.  In the next one I am coming back as a master distiller working in the rum distillation business.  I would probably be allergic to distilled spirits in that life. Damned if you, damned if you don’t. 

This blog got off to an interesting start tonight. I traveled over to Facebook this evening following some link. I found that the good people at Facebook have changed the layout and functionality of the page. Hmmm.  Now I have to learn a new trick. What about those of us old people who were comfortable with the old layout?  Out of luck appears to be the answer. DS2 posted that it has been a month since his first eye surgery. He has apparently made a full recovery. He should be able to discontinue the eye drops in another week and start wearing his contact lens again. I’ll bet he can not wait.  We will see him this weekend at the Marywood University parents weekend.  We (DW and I) are both looking forward to this visit. I wonder if he is?

DS3 went radio silent for about 36 hours.  I had no contact with him for a day and a half so I texted him today to see what was going on. He has his ruck packed for the weekend trip to Camp Smith for his first FTX.  He also attributed his dropping of the radar to “Scranton, pt, classes, Caroline, hw, eating, Life”   So, has he found a way to fit into college life?  I would say so.  Good for him. Keep up the good work dude!  And, don’t forget your towel this weekend!

Work was busy for me today. I heard on the radio that there was a transformer fire in the town next to where the office is. I drove up the GSP watching the column of smoke hoping that the power was out at the office. No such luck. I guess no internet once a week is the best you can hope for. Tomorrow I will work from home.  Hopefully I will get to play lacrosse Thursday night if the weather cooperates.

Picture time once again. Tonight’s picture comes from deep in the archives. Back in 2005 we had an inflatable Mardi Gras guy that spent some of Lent in the front yard. The wind and weather end his life after a few years, but his lives on in our memories.  Enjoy!

Mardi Gras guy


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