Day 245, Happy Leap Day..

How come they give us an extra day in February? I wouldn’t mind an extra day in June, July or August. Or even in the early fall since the weather is usually nice and the tourist season is mostly over.  I guess the people in the southern hemisphere where it is late summer are enjoying the extra day of summer. Maybe they could share and let us have the extra summer day every other four years. I’d love to see the computer systems in the world be retro-fitted to handle a Leap Day that occurs on a different day every four years.  Good luck.

Today out support business was busy due our software not handling the extra day. Some of our customer use the age verification feature of the cash register program. This feature calculates if some one is old enough to purchase alcohol or tobacco based on their birth date. Somehow the calculations were bad since today was a leap day. Needles to say the phones were ringing off the hook this morning.  Sounds a lot like the Y2K problems. The company programmer had “car trouble” and was not in the building today. I wonder if he did some custom programming on his car. Ouch!

I was steady at work. I avoided the calamity in support. They have enough opinionated people to get the work done and they did not need my two cents. It was brought to my attention that as a salaried employee that I worked for free today. I get paid on the 15 th and the 30 th of the month. 24 paychecks for 52 weeks of work. Each weeks check is slightly more than if we got paid every two weeks.  Since I don’t get paid by the hour, I worked an extra work day this year for the same money. My DW was steady at work.  The children were busy doing their thing.

Tonight’s pictures are ment to put a smile on the face of DS2. He is having a difficult week with mid-terms. These pictures are from his birthday in May, 2003. He had just turned 12 years old. He was really big into Lego’s back then. We still have a huge bin of them. Smile dude and enjoy the ride.




Day 244, The return of a friend..

Well, not an actual friend.  Tonight my DW and I went to Adult School yoga for the spring session. The last time I went to yoga was in the middle of December. Going back tonight was like being visited by an old friend. The atmosphere was comfortable and we learned a few new things while we enjoyed each other’s company.  It was a good thing my DW and I signed up for the spring session. Without us they would only have had two students. We doubled the class. I’m sure there is a minimum number of students to offer the class. We were both surprised that some of the regulars from the fall did not return. Tonight I am centered.

Another bright moment for me today was DS3 posting two pictures from the Military Ball. These are the kind of pictures that parents are looking for when they ask you to take some pictures. Hint, hint. I will add the two of them on the bottom. DS2 is in the middle of his mid terms this week. His tweets have been of the “I’ve had enough mid-terms and need a few days off” variety. He will be coming home on Friday. I wonder what I should make him for dinner Friday night? Dude, suggestions are welcome.  DS1 worked tonight then he went to the gym. He called and texted during yoga wondering where his parents escaped to. I guess we forgot to tell him where we were going. Don’t you just hate that?

Work for me was steady today. Tomorrow should be about the same. DW had a frantic day that all of a sudden came to a stop when they ran out of patients. One of the major challenges this year for her is that they changed the computer systems back in January in the hospital. Now all the pre and post procedure charting is done by hand. The old system was all electronic. The handwriting of the charts his added minutes to each patient treated. Not very efficient.

Saturday and Sunday I completed putting the blue painters tape on all the walls in preparation for painting all the ceilings on the first floor. I have a little more spackling to do, then I can put the plastic down and paint myself silly. I can’t wait.  The real issue is that once all the ceilings are done, the walls will look crappy. And we all know how that will turn out. Yep, painting the walls as well. 

And, last night I played lacrosse with the old (and not so old) guys. I missed the first four passes thrown at me. Ug. I did however pick up a pass missed by somebody else and blasted the ball past the goalie for my one goal of the night. Such a roller coaster.

As advertised, tonight’s pictures come from DS3’s Facebook page. Enjoy!


Day 243, Then and now..

Today’s blog will be long on pictures and short on words.  DS3 texted me today looking for some pictures from when he was taking flying lessons. He took flying lessons at the airport across from my job most weeks during the summer months when he was ten years old. He had a really cool, young Marine pilot as his instructor. They would scrounge around the flight school each week to find the extra pillows that he could sit on so that he could see over the dashboard of the plane.  He is writing something for college about that experience and was looking for a few pictures.

I found the pictures in my account where they were uploaded back in 2003.  On this particular day, DS3 and the instructor took me up the Jersey Coast, between the spires of the Verrazano Bridge, up the Hudson to almost the George Washington Bridge where they turned around and flew back to the airport.  I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you click on a picture they will display larger and in a slide show.


Day 242, Missing my ice cubes..

Ok, bet you will never guess the reference to that title?  Yesterday’s blog was devoted to DS1. I probably could write anything I want (oh, I do) since he never reads my blog.  He is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to social media. Yes he has a Facebook page, but Twitter, FourSquare and whatever other social media that is out there, he does not participate in.  I really don’t get it. I have reluctantly embraced Facebook. I say reluctantly since I heard so many bad stories about Facebook that I avoided it like the plague. Now it just another way to keep in touch with my family. I have enjoyed Twitter since my two younger sons are on Twitter as are several of my siblings.

Damm, have I got fat fingers or what?  NO spell check, no pictures, no clean up? I was in the middle of writing this blog when the I hit some key and the blog published itself.  Maybe that means that I am done writing for the night. Maybe not.  I will proceed as if I did not punch the print button.

Yesterday was an off day for my DW and I. DS1 worked, DS2 had homework and practicing and DS3 had his Military Ball. The battalion had its annual dinner out night. The ate at the Radisson Hotel just down the street from the university. We asked DS3 for some pictures. We were looking for pictures of him dressed for dinner. We got a few general pictures from the dinner. They are at the bottom of the page. 

Today, Sunday my DW had her hair done. She has an appointment every six weeks like clock work. Me, I am more of the gee, I need a haircut, kind of scheduling.  After she had her hair done we went grocery shopping. After we got home we watched some college lacrosse on TV. Dinner was Cioppino. In the cioppino we had bay scallops, tile fish, shrimp, clams and mussels. It was really good. I also had some sour dough bread to dip in the sauce.  Last night we had fish and chips. We beer battered some codfish and had french fries to go with it. I enjoyed the meal It has been a fish weekend for us. Don’t worry, there are steaks and chicken on the menu this week.

The ice cubes, they normally go in my shot or two of rum in the rocks glass that lubes this blog. I forgot them tonight. Tonight’s pictures are from the Military Ball that were uploaded by DS3.     Enjoy!


Day 241, A Sports Center Morning..

Not for me or my DW. It was a Sports Center morning for DS1. I guess some history is in order to understand the title. STORY ALERT!   Our oldest son is finishing up his college degree as you probably have figured out from following this blog. He attended Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virgina for four and a half years.  He started for the men’s lacrosse team for all four of those years.  The jury is still out whether this was the right school for him or not. I guess at this point with 20/20 hindsight we should be able to form an opinion. But in the end, the deed is done, so just get on with your life, already.

The trail to playing lacrosse in college took my son and I through most of the states from Maryland to Massachusetts.. He played on a tournament team for two summers. Each weekend from late June until mid August for those two years he and I would be somewhere in the North East. The idea was that he would play in 3 to 5 games a weekend before college coaches in the hopes of being recruited and receiving a scholarship to play at their school. The long and the short of scholarships is that the schools give out more money for good grades than they ever give out for sports. Encourage your children to get good grades. The colleges will chase them.

When we traveled DS1 and I would share a hotel room. We certainly did not have the money to provide each of us with our own room. I would get up and shower, maybe go the lobby for breakfast and he would still be in bed. Looking at the time, knowing when his next game was,  gave me a clue as to when to turn on Sports Center. When I needed him up and out of bed I would put Sports Center on and he would open his eyes and pay attention. Then maybe 15 or 20 minutes later he would get up and shower and the day would start. This was the pattern for those two years. It still is an inside joke between my DW and I.

Last night he worked until 8 pm. He came in after we returned from our date night dinner. He went out with a few of the girls that he graduated with. Our constant admonishment is “Don’t drink and drive!”. We went to bed around 11 and he was not home. For DS1 and his friends, the night had probably just started. I got up at 4:30 and looked out and did not see his truck. I figured that he slept over at a friend’s house. I checked my cell, no text. Not the best sign. At 7:30 this morning I hear him moving around. I looked out, the truck was still not there. Ok, someone drove him home. Around 10 :30 am he got up, got a bottle of water and stumbled into the tv room to watch, Sports Center. I looked at my DW and said “It’s a Sports Center morning”. She just smiled.

That was just a peek into the life of a 23-year-old child. I hope you enjoyed. Today’s pictures comes from DS1’s lacrosse days.  This game was played in the rain, March 28, 2010 against Mercy College in Wheeling Island Stadium, Wheeling, WV. Enjoy



Day 240, Slow start, nice finish..

I guess that each day is different. I really know they are, but some days seem to start out the same and then somehow make that move from hum drum to ok,not  too bad.  Today started out with me waking up at 3:25 am and thinking it was time for my DW to get up for work. She does not need to get up until 5:45. I was talking to her (why? she is not a morning person) when I checked the clock and groaned and told her to go back to sleep. Then I apologised for waking her and rolled back over. Somehow she missed her alarm and got up at 6:30 when I checked the clock again. Crazy night. The night before I kept dreaming different scenarios where I was over sleeping and then compensating for that error.  I bet a shrink would enjoy that conversation.

I worked from home today so my challenge was to get the computer logged into the company network by 8:30 am. No problem. My horoscope said that the day would start with a barrage of questions and phone calls. And I would be missing the hot cup of coffee and the warm greeting. The phone did not ring all day. I made my own coffee and was rather bored  for most of the day. Being bored allowed me to be a good house husband and gets some chores done. This was a good thing since my DW worked another long and crazy day today. I took her out to dinner to help her relax from the week.

Dinner was at the same local restaurant where we ate last week. We saw the same people that bring their own wine glasses with them. We spoke for a few minutes, the subject of the glasses did not come up. I still can’t belive they bring their own wine glasses to the restaurant. I looked up the wine they were drinking, not such a big deal  For us, dinner was great. We enjoyed our dessert and espresso.  We bought a small bottle of Sambuca to add to our espresso. We left the rest of the bottle with the restaurant. We have enjoyed their Sambuca in the past and wanted to return the favor. This restaurant does not have a liquor license. It is BYOB.

DS1 delivered pizza today. He brought me a pie for lunch. I only had tip money so he had to pay for the pie. Having him pay, even the smallest amount, makes me smile. I am sure I will (and am) going to end up on the short end of this transaction. He has several bills from his fall college house rental that keep coming in the mail and he and his old roommates don’t seem to be getting them paid.  I hate being a parent. DS2 decided that today would be the end of his liquid food only Lenten experiment. Tomorrow he will go back to eating food with his teeth.   DS3 wrapped up his week. So far there are no new ladies on the horizon. He is going to “let them come to him”. He has a military ball/dinner tomorrow night at one of the local hotels. He has promised me a picture.

One of the more fun things this evening is that after we got home from dinner we wanted to watch college lacrosse on tv. The game was only on ESPN3, which in our world is an internet only game. We went down to the cellar and watched the game on the HD monitor that DS3 has on his computer. I hooked up my old 19 in monitor to his computer as well.  On one screen we watched the game, on the other we watched and listed to Scott Kirby at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon in Key West. It was a techie moment for sure.

Tonight’s pictures are from various locations. The captions should explain. Most relate back to the blog related above. Enjoy!


Day 239.. Just another sunny day..

The first order of business is to correctly identify the pictures from last night’s blog. They were of the palace of Versailles and the grounds.  DS2 went to France with American Musicians Abroad for three weeks two different summers.  He really enjoyed the experience and often will still tell us some tidbit from the trip.  Maybe he should look into be a chaperone/employee one summer and go back again for free. Dude, it’s just a thought. They have employees just like any other company.

Today is was sunny and warm in New Jersey. I hate to say it because everybody else is saying it but, this is turning into the winter that wasn’t. I hope the trend keeps up. I am already looking out at the garden and itching to get my lettuce in the ground.  The temperature today was in the low 60’s with a brisk wind. I was able to go out during my lunch and play wall ball at a local park where they have handball courts set up. I took some pictures with my phone, looking for an artsy shot. I don’t think I accomplished that. The pictures are on the bottom none the less.

My DW was impossibly busy at work again today. In addition to her usual cast of characters, her unit had two college nursing students earning clinical time by spending the day in her unit. The “kids” did well. They weren’t any real hinderance. They just are encouraged to ask questions. And they did. My DW said they were both college seniors getting ready to graduate in May. I was busy, very busy this morning. I spent the afternoon helping fellow co-workers with their problems. Tomorrow is a work from home Friday. I hope the weather cooperates again.

DS2 has decided to give up solid food for Lent. He has been on a liquid diet for the last two days. He has pledged to reconsider his decision at Day 10. We (the parents) have encouraged him to take a daily multi vitamin and possibly do some research on liquid diets so that he does not get sick. Other than that, go for it. DS3 has been quiet again today. DS1 is working right now. Last night I went to bed and he was not yet home from work. I guess given that pattern, I will see him around noon time tomorrow.

As I mentioned, tonight’ s pictures are from today’s wall ball session. Wall ball is when you throw the lacrosse ball against the wall and catch it (hopefully). The repetition is supposed to help with eye – hand coordination. It also should strengthen your arm and shoulder muscles.   Enjoy!



Day 238, A new age in clothes washing..

Really? Not! As I wrote about previously our old washing machine made a puddle/stopped working/was temperamental for the last time on Saturday. We purchased a new one at Home Depot. Today was the scheduled delivery day. I was going to have DS1 take care of watching for the delivery guys this morning, but I felt if there were any “issues” I would not be happy with how he handled them. No matter the outcome.  Maybe I am a little type A despite my efforts to ramp it down.

The delivery came at 9:10 this morning. They called about 8:45 to say they would be here shortly. The lead delivery person came in and went down to the basement to see where the machine was going. He was pleasantly surprised that the old machine was gone. Come to think of it, he was not the least bit disappointed that they did not have to carry it out from the cellar. They strapped on their carrying apparatus and carried the new machine down the stairs and placed it where the old one had been. He hooked it up, tested the functionality and they were gone on their way in less than 15 minutes.

After the delivery I went to the office to work for the rest of the day. I had not planned yesterday to stay home this morning so I was not prepared to work from home.  Work for me was slow. I spent some time setting up next week’s work.  My DW had a decent day. It was less crazy than the last two days have been. Tonight after dinner she went to the basement to work on her masters class homework. She spent the entire evening down there. I don’t think she could have done this class while the kids were in high school. There always was just too much going on every day here for her to get the quiet time that she needs.

The kids were quiet today. DS1 is working. I have not seen him yet today. He slept through the washing machine delivery. DS2 and DS3 have been doing their college thing. I will try to schedule some time Friday afternoon to talk to them. They both are done with classes on Friday by noon.  Hint, hint!

Tomorrow the temperatures are forecast for around 60 degrees again. I will definitely find something to do at lunch time outside. Tonight’s pictures comes from July 2006 when my DS2 was in France. I think the pictures were shot near Paris. Maybe he will read the blog and text me where the pictures were taken.


Day 237, Happy Mardi Gras..

Happy Fat Tuesday!  We celebrated at work today by sharing this (see bottom) King Cake.   The cake come with a plastic baby that is to be hidden somewhere in the cake. The tradition is that the person that gets the piece of cake with the baby in it buys the King Cake the next year. The reality is that nobody ever finds the baby. And the same people decide that they enjoy King Cake enough once a year and purchase it to share.

During the day while I was working I had one of my computers showing a live web cam view from The French Quarter. I enjoyed the distraction during times that I was waiting for screens to change or files to upload. This evening my DW and I watched some web cams on the big monitor on DS3’s computer. It was fun to people watch especially when those people are in New Orleans enjoying Mardi Gras. We have already added attending Mardi Gras to one of our empty nest plans. 

DS2 emailed me that his school served Crawfish Alfredo, King Cake and Beignets for dinner tonight.  He added some chocolate milk and was quite proud of his dinner. We had cheeseburgers and french fries. DS1 was working during dinner. He said tonight was a slow night delivering pizza. DS3, emailed looking for a computer cable. Unfortunately for him, the Army hat that he was looking for yesterday had already been shipped out. I will have to bag the wire up and send it out another day.

Last night I played lacrosse with the old men (and lots of 20 something’s). I had a few passes, I caught all of them that were reasonable to catch. I did not score. Oh well, I had a good time. We had just enough guys playing that I was able to stay on the field for the entire hour. What a pig I am. One of the three midfield players (they run the length of the field and back) who is probably 24 years old tried to get me to switch positions with him. I told him there was no way I was going to run from one end of the field to the other and back. He’s younger, let him run!

Tonight’s pictures are of the split screen on DS3’s computer tonight and this morning’s King Cake. We (DW and I) were watching two New Orleans web cams at the same time. People would walk from one camera screen to the other. It was fun. Enjoy!


Day 236, Happy Lundi Gras..

Lundi Gras is the Monday before Ash Wednesday. The translation (a translation) would be Fat Monday. The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is obviously Mardi Gras.  Also know as Fat Tuesday.  Today also was Presidents Day. This is a quasi Federal holiday in the United States. The holiday is to honor the birthday’s of the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  There was no mail service today. I guess the bills and the junk mail will have to wait another day. The UPS truck came today. It brought two Mardi Gras King Cakes that will be enjoyed tomorrow at my work and at my DW’s work.  

Did you have the day off today?  I could have had the day off if I had thought about it. I decided to work from home since the plumber was coming to replace the hot and cold water spigots for the washing machine. Do you think corporate executives are over paid? I do. Do think your plumber is over paid? I do. He was in the house for all of five minutes. His son did the work.  He never took off his sunglasses. The bill for five minutes of work $120.00. Ouch. My DW worked today. She worked an extra two hours today. That will help pay for the plumber.

Kids, DS1 was stopped yesterday in Pa for doing 71 in a 55 zone. The officer could “not find” DS1 in the computer when he ran the driver’s license. This led the police officer to search my son and place him in handcuffs on the side of the road. After handcuffing him the officer asked for an alternate form of id, like a social security card. My son responded that the card was in his wallet which was in the center console of the car. The officer requested permission to search the car for the wallet. After he found the wallet and nothing else, he re-ran the driver’s license and the social security number. He released my son and told him to have a nice day. What do you think of that?  I think the whole thing was a ruse to search the car.

Tonight’s picture comes from


ROTC Scranton, person holding the red flag is DS3



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