Day 216, Enjoying cooking dinner on a worknight..

The usual order of things here in New Jersey (for at least the last 9 years) has been that I come home from work between 5:35 and 5:50 (sometimes later) depending on the traffic. My DW will have gotten home an hour plus (usually) sooner than me. She will have made dinner and gotten the table ready for my arrival. Then I change out of my work clothes, call the kids and we eat dinner. Tonight was a different story altogether.

My DW is on call at the hospital this week. She has her first college paper due next week. She is stressed for sure. Today she let me know that she would be stuck late at work. I texted DS1 to see what he was doing since I was cooking dinner. He was working until 7 pm and said that he would provide for himself. As I drove down the GSP I thought about what we had in the house that I could make for dinner. I could order in, eat out or cook. I like to cook, so cooking was tonight’s choice.

Sunday night we had filet mignon with crabmeat covered with Hollandaise sauce. There was about 4/5 of a can of crabmeat left. The crab meat will last forever in the unopened can. Once you open it you have a few days to eat it. I made crab cakes out of the leftover crabmeat. We had 2.5 dozen eggs so I made deviled eggs. I was unsure if the crab cakes would be enough so I defrosted 10 ten shrimp and butterflied them They got dipped in egg, then panko, then pan-fried along with the crab cakes. A simple salad and a bottle Pinot Grigio rounded out the meal. Start to table in 45 minutes. Bammm!

The Scranton children were quiet today. DS1 as I mentioned above worked and went to the gym. He has class again on Thursday (I think). My DW had a very long day so her school work got the night off. Hopefully she will get a better nights sleep tonight. Or, I might be up making her breakfast at 2 am.  Work for me was still busy. Tomorrow is the first of the month and I have several accounts that have end of the month needs. That will take up most of the morning. I have a big project scheduled for Thursday. The rest of Wednesday (excluding putting out fires) will be trying to figure out what a customer did to unbalance their books.  Needle in a haystack time.

I’m off to watch the news (or something). Tonight’s picture comes from my first week in Florida. This is the view from my room. And on another note, I walked 3 miles today at lunch time at Allaire State Park. It was nice and warm.


Day 215, Back to the office..

Today I returned to the office for the first time since January 12. I left a note on my door and computer alerting my fellow employees that if they left some paperwork on my desk I would not see it until today. The pile was surprisingly small. Maybe they are holding off until tomorrow to hit me with it. Or, I did not look hard enough for the prize. either way, work was work today. As you can imagine I spent a good part of the day trying to catch up. I guess if someone emails you and you reply that you are just returning from vacation and you will look into their issue after lunch. That the same person would call you twice after lunch to see how you are doing. Really people, there is only one of me.

Children, DS1 had class this morning. He was on butler detail for my wife doing various chores around the house. Tonight he was delivering pizzas. DS2 has decided that he wants a Baritone Ukulele this summer. Beats me, I will have to look on You Tube to see what they are all about.  He had his first (or second) clinical for the semester today. He said it went well.  He also went to yoga tonight. We are glad to see him out and about at school. DS3 completed the first day of his freshman spring semester today. He said that PT was tough, maybe he should have worked out more on vacation. He is enjoying his classes so far. His math teacher speaks perfect english and the class only has about 10 – 12 students. Hopefully this will be a winning combination for him. Last semester his teacher was first generation Chinese, with a heavy accent. The class had 30 + students. At least he can use the same book. He also had choir rehearsal today which he really enjoyed. He told me that he will be staying in Scranton after classes end in May to sing at graduation.

My DW worked today. She said most of her patients or their families were crazy today. After dinner she went to the cellar to work on her school work. No tv for her tonight.  Me, I got caught up on Fringe and Touch. Fringe continues to entertain, Touch was the pilot episode. I will give it a try when the series starts in March.

Tonight’s pictures come from my Florida trip. Here is the group of guys I played with on the GM (over 45 years old team).  Enjoy!




Day 214, still sunburned (and proud of it?)..

Sunday evening here in New Jersey. My youngest told me that the weather would be nice today. Hmm, I don’t remember seeing 50 degrees.. or 75 degrees for that matter. It is all a matter of what you are accustomed for your part of the world at any time of the year.  It was sunny today. The temperatures must have been decent lately because the garden hose was not frozen so I could clean the hot tub filters after being away for two weeks.

DS3 left for school this morning. He drove his brothers car back to Scranton. If you remember three weeks ago, DS2 was recovering from retina surgery and did not feel confidant driving 200 miles back to school. He is doing much better. The gas bubble in his eye continues to dissipate. DS3 has a very close hair cut, nearly bald. He was sporting a slight beard when I got home last night. I continue to ask for a picture to post here. There is more hair on his face than on the top of his head. Tomorrow morning at 6:30 am he has PT and the face must be clean. DS3 has slept in for six weeks and getting up tomorrow morning will probably be difficult.

DS1 has reclaimed his position as an only child. He was an only child from 1988 until 1991 when DS2 was born. In this instance I don’t think he is enjoying being the only child (child = butler). He will be helping out when needed. My DW continues to work on her Masters college work. She has been a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that has been assigned. We are trying to help her by taking some of the chores she would do around the house. Also providing that afternoon latte, a nice smelling candle and flowers don’t hurt. But, in the end, she has to do the work, comfy surroundings or not. I am very proud of her to take this step.

Me, I slipped back into domestic mode today. We had breakfast, then went food shopping. I went shopping for other stuff that was needed while my DW did school work. I made blueberry muffins for this week’s breakfast. Tonight we had filet mignon smothered in crab meat covered with hollandaise sauce, a baked potato and a salad. Also shrimp and fresh mozzarella. My butler helped by peeling the cooked shrimp and cutting the cheese (pun intended).

The pictures today will include the head shot of DS3 with the short hair and the slight beard. Not the best picture, but what he sent me to work with.  The other pictures are from my fishing adventure Friday afternoon. If you click on any of the pictures the slide show will open. Enjoy!


Day 213, Random thoughts from my time in the sun..

I am sitting in the Fort Lauderdale airport. I got here a little early. I had to be out of the room by 10 am and the flight is at 5:50 pm.  I drove around Weston and Davie trying to get a better feel for the area. After making my way to the ocean staying off the interstate, I parked the car and walked the Hollywood Beach “boardwalk” again. I had lunch watching the people walk by. During lunch some (up and coming ?) singer was shooting a video on the beach. After they wrapped up the beach part they moved to the boardwalk to shoot some more. I shot a few pictures with my phone of the goings on. I will post them on the bottom.

Today’s blog will be a catch up from the last week or so.  Here goes, in no particular order:

  • Fishing yesterday day was on the  Lady Pamela III. There were six men and one women on the boat. She arrived to go fishing alone. We caught Kingfish, Triggerfish, Squirrel Fish, Sand Tile fish, Grunts, and other bottom dwelling fish. I had fun. The idea for me was to get outside for the afternoon, mission accomplished.
  • After kayaking in Key Largo I went to the “World Famous Caribbean Club” for a beer while waiting for the sunset. This is a dive. World famous? Maybe in their minds. At one point there were three dogs running in and out the open doors areas and around the bar’s interior. This was a locals place for sure. ** Late edit** While driving home tonight Jimmy Buffett was performing in Miami. He mentioned the Caribbean Club. (Go figure) It is still a dive.
  • My neighbors the second week were odd. They had at least one small child. That was not the odd part. The odd parts was the playing of an Indian chanting, droning music (calling it music is a stretch for me) all hours of the day and night. They played it loud enough that I had to play the tv during the day to drown the noise. And the small child was up and screaming until nearly midnight each night.
  • Steven Spielberg has a huge boat. We saw the boat tied up at the marina yesterday. The pictures from fishing are still in my camera. I will put them up tomorrow when I get home.
  • I had short ribs last night for dinner. I had never had them and now I have eaten them twice in three weeks. I am going to find a recipe and make them myself.
  • Most people in the hot tub at the resort are friendly. Everybody talks, nobody seems to judge. At least not outwardly judge.
  • I went back to the fields where we played lacrosse last weekend and shot this video. It was pretty empty this morning.
  • I stopped to watch an informal high school lacrosse practice in Davie this morning. I drove by and saw the people throwing the ball around so I drove over to the park. They were all young kids. I thought that it may have been people my age (or so) and I was going to get one more chance to play down here.
  • When I went to return the rental car today a women in a Ford Edge cut in front of me in the lane that leads to the rental car return. I figured she must have full coverage. She goes the same way I was going, into the Budget return line. She cuts across three lanes of cars so that she can be in the front row of an empty lane. The ladies checking in the cars ignored her. I laughed all the way into the terminal.
  • It is cold in NJ. I am home again. The trip was for the most part uneventful.
  • DS3 heads back to school tomorrow. I’m glad I got back in time to see him off in the morning.
  • The refrigerator here in NJ has less stuff than the one I left in Florida. Tomorrow will be a food shopping day for sure
  • I saw some teenagers waving signs at an intersection today in Florida. They were part of the Get Out the Vote campaign. See the picture below.


Day 212, last full day in Florida for 2012..

Today I will set the record for the shortest blog.  Too much post fishing fun, guilty.

This video was shot during the fishing trip. 



Day 211, I still did not make it to Key West..

It baffles me. Here I am about 180 miles from Key West. I drove 190 miles to and from Scranton in the same day weekend after weekend. Yet I can’t seem to make it all the way to Key West. Only the first hour of the drive is on the interstate, the next three hours are on roads with lower speed limits, traffic and traffic lights. That is probably the reason. Or maybe that is the reason I tell myself.

Today I went to Key Largo. I drove the Card Sound Road for the first time. If you have ever driven into the Keys there is a way to skip the beginning part of US 1. Going on Card Sound Road requires a dollar for the toll and a few extra minutes since the route is less direct. When I got into Key Largo I stopped at Florida Bay Outfitters to discuss renting a kayak for the afternoon. The rate was reasonable, the equipment looked good and the people were friendly. How can you go wrong when the stars are all aligned like that?

I went to lunch then returned to the shop and completed the paperwork and headed out into the bay. When I left the wind was blowing briskly from behind me. I understood that would mean I would be kayaking against that wind on the way home. The open water section of the paddle was a little over a mile. After the open water section was behind me I entered the mangroves. In this video you can see the mangroves and the water, notice the silence (except for me narrating). I finished paddling through the mangroves and headed back towards the dock.

My course back to the dock was directly into the wind. The waves were about 1 foot (no big deal in a boat) with some slight white caps. I got a little spray with each wave that hit the front of the kayak. During part of the ride I was accompanied by a pair of bottle nose dolphins. They swam with me and around me. I have to say it was really neat. I would have shot some pictures but it was too rough out in the middle of the bay.

When I got back to the dock they told me I still had two more hours of rental and that I should go back out and paddle some more. That is what I did. I stayed close to the beach so that the land blocked the wind and reduced the waves. I saw some Tarpon swimming under a dock near a restaurant. The restaurant feeds the Tarpon so they hang out under the dock waiting for dinner.

After finally being done with the kayak, the rental guys said that they had a shower and a changing room. I was excited about that since I was wet from the ride across the bay. The shower turned out to be an outdoor shower with only one water temperature. Hmmm, I must have missed that memo. I took a quick shower, real quick.  After the shower I had a beer and waited for the sunset. There are pictures on the bottom of the sunset.

I had dinner at the restaurant next door. The wings and the beer were good. The calzone was bad. Not really bad, just not what I am accustomed to getting in NJ. Maybe it is the water, maybe the flour or something. I ate the cheese and not much of the dough.

I’m back at the condo in Weston for the night. I have one more full day left in Florida. I am thinking about going fishing tomorrow. I just am not sure where.

Enjoy the pictures,


Day 210, Back on vacation..

I decided today to take an extra vacation day this week. I was scheduled to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. After the last two days I figured that while I was in Florida I should get out and enjoy the world. I am off tomorrow and Friday. I fly home on Saturday. The weather at home has been mild during my visit. I almost feel cheated since it is warm here and there. It is supposed to be cold, lots of snow, really bad up north while I get to enjoy the incredible weather. On the other hand, I am glad the temperatures in NJ have been mild since this reduces the heating bill.

Today was like yesterday. Sunny and warm. I worked from my room again. I walked to the grocery store for a lunch time sandwich. Down below is a picture of the shopping center where I ate my lunch. It was not as picturesque as the day we spent on the beach in Hollywood Beach, but there were still palm trees in the picture.

My DW went to work today. Her co-workers commented on her tan and well rested appearance. She spent a few hours again today working on her college work. DS1 had his first class the other day. He stuck out in the class since he has four plus years of college under his belt and most of the other students are fresh out of high school. DS2 gave blood today. He also is looking into a Music Therapy field trip to India between the fall and spring semesters next year. DS3 has started packing and getting ready to go back to school on Sunday.

Have a good night!


Lunch time vista

Day 209, Return of the bachelor pad..

This morning I dropped my DW off at the Fort Lauderdale airport. She had a 9:25 am flight back to Philadelphia.  I am here in Florida until 5:50 pm Saturday night. Hence, the Return of the Bachelor Pad. Things haven’t changed one bit from when she was here. But really, what kind of title would that be? Who would want to read,She went home and things are the same? Not me.  While we were in the parking garage we saw this.

Police car?

 It seems that the Broward County Sheriff has at least ONE Smart car police car. It probably is a good thing that Florida is mostly flat. We exchanged a few words with the women  sheriff’s officer driving the car. She was a good sport about the whole thing. I would have to guess that the car is a publicity stunt, not a member of the high-speed chase support team
My DW’s flight and all went well. She checked my lacrosse sticks as her luggage to save us a third bag fee when I fly home on Saturday. The downside for Southwest is that the sticks did not get on her plane. I have had a few calls from Southwest this evening about the lost luggage. The sticks are “out for delivery” and should be back home by 1 am. Does that make any sense to you? How about tomorrow? Why deliver them in the middle of the night? I giggled when the person said they would be out for delivery around 9 pm with  a four-hour delivery window. I said, “Delivered before 1, um, 1 am?” and the lady very matter of factly said “Yes”  Crazy.
 I returned to the work grind today. In the picture (at the bottom) you can see what this week’s Florida office looks like. I took the kitchen table and moved it into the bedroom area near the windows. This way I can enjoy the sunshine and still be at work. After work I walked over to the pool and went for a swim The water was warm. When I was done in the pool I spent 40 or so minutes in the hot tub. The hot tub near this building is smaller and warmer than last weeks hot tub.. I had the chance to relax with a few beers and yack with my neighbors.
Speaking of neighbors, in the parking lot here is a car with NJ plates. Ok, big deal, but, the license plate holder is from the local car dealer in my hometown. I met the owners of the car tonight. They live in Surf City, NJ. Surf City is one of towns on Long Beach Island. I walked to the Publixfor lunch today. After getting my sandwich from the deli I walked the 1.25 miles back to my condo. It was certainly good excercise. Dinner tonight was fresh ravioli and red wine. It was Italian night here in Florida. Good night to all and enjoy the pictures

Florida office


Day 208, working on my sunburn..

Wow, I can’t belive that the Florida lacrosse tournament is over. I started planning/paying back in May.  I went down to the fields around 5 pm to walk around and play some wall ball with my short stick. My short stick had to take the weekend off since the team expects me to play defense, not offense.  The fields were all cleaned up. Only the lacrosse nets still on the fields and the fading lines on the fields are the only artifacts of three days x 37 teams playing lacrosse.

Earlier today my DW and I went to the beach for the day. We wanted to walk the “boardwalk” in Hollywood Beach. This year I am trying to get around Florida without the GPS. I am trying to learn where things are and where they are in relation to other places. When you follow a GPS you lose track of where you are and what is near where you are.  We went east on I 595 and then went north on Route 1. While we enjoyed the trip north on A1A, we finally looked at the GPS when we got to Boca Raton. Needless to say, we should have gone south from the airport.

We stopped at the Hillsboro Inlet to walk around and shoot some video and pictures.  Click on the link for the video, the pictures will be added to the bottom.  We saw that Broward County has a bike share program. You will see a picture of the rental bikes at the bottom. After walking around the inlet park we headed further south to Hollywood Beach.

We walked about 2 miles north and then about 3 mile south and then back another mile north to where we started. During the walk we: Walked on the beach and got our feet wet (nice), watched the other tourists (French was the primarily language), had lunch, and generally got sunburned. We really had a nice (couples) day walking hand in hand. After we were done walking the “boardwalk” (the boardwalk here is a concrete path along the ocean front). We walked along the intercostal waterway on a extended wood boardwalk that would allow you to go fishing, have a picnic or watch the world go by.

Dinner was at Flanagan’s (we ate here another night). One of the best parts is that we get a discount off our meal and that the development that we are staying in provides a free shuttle service to the local  area. No worries about drinking and driving. All of the drivers that we have met have been the greatest. Down below are several pictures with captions from todays travels. Enjoy!



Day 207, Lacrosse is finished for now..

Today is Sunday, January 22, 2012. We played two games of lacrosse today. The GM team lost 7 to 5, finishing with a record of 2 wins and 3 losses. The SGM team won by forfeit. The other team decided not to play. The GM team came in 10 th out of 14 teams. I am not sure where the SGM team finished out of the six teams in our division. The SGM team played a pick up game since we did not have a final game.

Tonight many of my teammates met at a bar in Weston to watch the Giants vs. San Francisco football game. The food and the company was good. We talked and laughed a lot. At about 4 minutes left in the game, the restaurant’s Dish Network system stopped working. We caught the end of the game at our timeshare after traveling home on the timeshare’s shuttle.

In this picture you can see the snow that fell in Scranton Saturday. DS2 sent this picture. I will write more about the weekend tomorrow. Enjoy!


Scranton snow


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