Blazing Saddles..

Was the answer to last night’s movie quote question. My brother in Oregon wins the prize. He gets to fly at his expense to New Jersey and pick blueberries in the hot summer sun. I promise to provide cold beer AFTER the berries are picked.  If he picks his share, I will even send him home with some. How generous is that?  The blueberry season is upon us here in New Jersey. The fields to the south and west of us (away from the ocean) have been producing local fruit for the grocery store and farmers markets for the last two weeks. The blueberries in our garden are holding their own, meaning that they are not yet ripe. I picked my first cucumber today. We will have it tomorrow night with dinner.

Dinner tonight was veal chops with a basil – mustard sauce. The recipe can be found here. The sauce turned out well. I doubled the recipe so we have leftovers to use with some other meal. Along with our veal chops we had sauteed zucchini, mashed potatoes and jumbo lump crab meat. The crab meat was served on a chilled plate as finger food. My DW was my assistant tonight. She kept the dirty things moving off the counter and into the dishwasher.

DS2 was working the afternoon into evening shift. The grocery store on LBI was full of vacation people today. He said he was quite busy. DS3 worked the 8 to 5 shift. He spent 5 hours in the pool room watching dogs play in the water. His shoes were damp when he came home. I put his nasty lacrosse gear out on the hot tub today to dry out. Tonight when he came home he took them all to the cellar to be run through the washing machine, twice.

DS1 went out with friends last night. He did not sleep here. He was rushing around the house at 7 am this morning before going off to work. He must have looked bad (he did when he got home) because his boss sent him home early. He had dinner and watched some tv until 7:30 when the MLL Lacrosse All-Star game came on the tv. We invaded his space to watch the game and he went to bed.

Tonight’s pictures have captions to tell the tale. Enjoy!




Sand in my shorts (and other places)..

 Tonight we (DW and I) went to partner yoga on the beach in Harvey Cedars, LBI, NJ.  It was a little sandy. Now that we have that comment out-of-the-way, we can have some fun.  In this picture people are starting to show up for the yoga class. The man with his back to the picture writes for the local paper. He took the class (borrowing a partner) and asked questions and took pictures. Maybe we will wind up in the local paper next week.  There were about 10 “couples” attending tonight. Most of the couples were friends, like two ladies. There were only three male/female couples. Were there “other” couples, I don’t know and I did not ask.

 My DW in this picture is starting to stretch out on the sand. She took a beach yoga class a few years ago on Sunday mornings.  Me, this was my first time doing yoga on the beach.  The sun was setting, there was a nice breeze off the ocean. I saw porpoises playing along the beach(in the ocean). What a good night to get ourselves centered and in harmony. Yep, if you are waiting for the (a) shoe to drop, here it is. While we were warming up, breathing, listening to the waves, the wind shifted off the ocean and west wind pushed the heat and flies onto the beach. We spent the next hour or so slapping at flies. Being so close to the water, the switch in the wind did not have that huge an effect on the air temperature. When we got in the car after yoga the car temperature read 94 degrees.

We had a good time. It was not the strenuous yoga from Monday night. We (as partners) did some yoga poses that I have never done before. If they hold this class again, I would be interested in attending. After yoga we went to the public bay beach in Harvey Cedars (where they have public restrooms) and changed out of our sandy and sweaty yoga clothes. We stopped on the way home for dinner at the Gateway ( DS2 met us there. DS3 was at a friend’s house after working all day. He got his first real (two-week) paycheck and had lots of plans on things he could do with the money and his Mustang. DS1 was going out to dinner with some friends in Beach Haven tonight.

Work, for me was slow, dare I say easy? Dare, Dare (What movie?). My DW worked a full day. Her day started off with a bang and seems to have maybe, gotten better after the first 30 minutes. There was some “stuff” going on and she was lucky to be barely involved. In the end the “stuff” turned out ok and the patient went home. Stuff, she can’t talk about work, so stuff is the best that I get. Which is ok with me.

This last picture is of my DW and Mike the photographer/reporter for the local paper. In this picture she is in childs pose on the bottom and he is doing a back bend while laying on her back. She volunteered to be his partner for this pose. She was my partner first..  We all had fun and good laugh tonight. Enjoy. 



Nobody told me..

Thursday night lacrosse is over for another week. We used to play on Wednesdays but now we play on Thursday nights under the lights in Manalapan, NJ. Interested? Leave me a comment and I will get you more information.  I played attack for most of the night with limited success.  Then one of the other fathers asked if I would let his son play some attack. I said sure, and went and played some middie. Yes, middie means that you run from one end of the field to the other and back.  I was not on the same team as DS3 tonight. He pestered me when I had the ball and he was on defense. I had an assist late in the evening throwing the ball to the same father that asked me to let his kid play some attack.  I ended the game by scoring my only goal of the night. It was late and someone decided that the next goal would be the last goal. Nobody told me. I still would have tried to score given the chance.

Work was another long day for me. I started 45 minutes early working from home since I had a customer that need some work done while the store was closed. We got the work done before the store opened, but that 45 minutes is a gift to my employer. I will get is back. They owe me an hour from yesterday as well.  Maybe I will submit an overtime sheet and see how that goes..  My DW had a busy day.  She was home when I got home after work. DS1, I did not see today. We did talk about him playing tonight. His employer needed trees and plants watered. He missed playing tonight.  DS2 was on the second day of his weekend. He will probably work straight through for the next week since July 4 th is right around the corner. DS3 was also off today. He spent some time out with his friends driving the new car.  He had one goal tonight.

For lunch I went to Point Pleasant Beach to  a fish market and had a Shrimp Po’Boy sandwich. That sandwich is one of tonight’s pictures. The other two the captions will explain.  Enjoy!


A brave new world, same as the old world..

Should have been the title of a Who song.  It took me a year to add a picture to the header of the blog. Just think where I will be after another year of learning how this blog software works. Maybe this year I will take their class when it is offered. I signed up last year but circumstances prevented me from attending.

Your birthday (if you are a Facebook person) is a very busy day. People seem to come out of the woodwork to wish you Happy Birthday. I’m not complaining, I enjoyed the notoriety of the day.  The day started out pretty good. When I got to work there was a box from a customer waiting for me. The customer had a request in for some data mining and the company could not seem to get it done for him. I taught this owner how to use the software before they opened the store about 8 years ago. So we have a common bond.  We talked for some time  and I found a slower, but accurate way to get him the information out of his database. He sent me a bottle of Don Q Gran Anejo Rum for my efforts. I wanted to try it this morning, but 8:30 am was a little early to have a taste. I stuck my finger in the bottle and got my taste that way. Tonight when I came home from work I had a real taste. Yum!

At lunch time I went to the Windmill for hot dogs with chile and cheese. I have two for one coupons that I use there. I took my dogs to go and drove the 5 minutes to the boardwalk in Belmar. I ate my dogs and people watched. Are you over 40 years old? Do you want to really feel old? Probably not, but if you are in for a reality shock, go to the boardwalk around 1 pm during the week in the summer time. The average age is probably 16 years old. The average amount of skin showing, probably 80 + %.  I tell myself that the people walking around are really all over 18 years old, making them adults.  Yikes!   Enough said. Do their parents know that they are dressed/undressed like that?

For dinner we (DW, DS2 and I) went to L.A.’s for $1.50 mugs and bar pies. We hit the happy hour and saved some money. The restaurant did not have the a/c on so being there was uncomfortable. I asked our friend the bartender about this. She turned one unit on, but it really did not help. I was glad to go outside where it was nicer. This evening when everyone was home, I opened my presents and we sang and had cake. I had a fun time singing with my DW and children.  They also sang for me at work. Not quite the melodious group at work.

Pictures tonight come from todays’ events. The captions will explain what they are of.  Enjoy!


Day 365, Last chance..

Well, tomorrow is my birthday.  In about two hours (or so) I will be 51 years old.  Hmmm.  Older, yes, wiser, I’m not sure.  I have enjoyed writing for the last year. I know that my family and friends probably know more about my daily life than most people ought to know.  Some days were mundane, some days writing was a chore. But the most fun days were those days when I saw or experienced something and said to myself “Blog Material”  I have even written things down during the day in an attempt to capture the moment.

Here is one of those “Blog Material” moments. If you notice this part of the blog is below the title and the first few lines. Many people see my blog on Facebook but probably don’t read the whole things. That’s why some stories get buried below the fold.  Below the fold refers to the part of the newspaper below the fold. The top stories of the day would be above the fold where people could see the instant they picked the paper up.  There is  your history lesson for today.

Enough nonsense. Yesterday I wrote about going out into the wild to install and upgrade some computers on site.  I don’t do this ever (once a year) for various reasons. The biggest reason is money. The guys that do the installs are not adequately compensated for their time. As an example, if I have to drive two hours to a job site, then work eight hours  on-site and the drive two hours home, How many hours did I work?  If you guessed 12 hours you would be right. My pay would be the same if I worked 8 hours in the office.  Seems like a no brainer to me.

So I got to the site this morning, ten minutes early. Good sign. I went inside and said hello to the owner. I was last in his store almost 10 years ago when we installed the current computers. I looked in my bag for my flash drive which has all the necessary software and could not find it. Then I remembered my bag tipping over at home and some of the stuff falling out. The flash drive must have rolled under the hutch, dammit.  I carried the boxes into the store and squatted down to look under the counter to see what I had to work with and I heard a rip. Yep, I ripped the seat of my pants.  Dammit x 2!

The rip was kind of low and the owner left me alone to do my work. The store was closed, so I was the only one up front. I had to have the hardware swapped out by 9 am when the customers would start showing up. So, I sucked it up and kept working. After I got the hardware swapped out and the new machine running the old software, I drove the 15 minute home for a change of clothes and the flash drive.  The rest of the install was easy.  I worked the rest of the day from home.

I have no big plans for tomorrow. I’m sure there will be the obligatory singing and cake at work around 3 pm tomorrow.  It looks like my DW and I will be eating dinner without children tomorrow night. Hopefully everybody will be home around by 8 or 9 pm to have cake and candles.

Tonight’s picture is of my pants. Which now are in the trash. Maybe, and I’ve had this thought after past wardrobe malfunctions, I should always have a change of clothes in the car.  Once an Eagle Scout, always and Eagle Scout. Enjoy!



Day 364, Yoga Daddy..

That was me tonight. Yoga daddy. I accompanied my Yoga Momma to her yoga class tonight. I had not been to this class since before Christmas. This class meets on Monday nights which happens to be the night I play lacrosse. Usually my DW will either go by herself (during the school year) or with DS2 during the summer and school breaks. Tonight lacrosse was cancelled and DS2 was working. So I got my big chance!

I forgot how hard this particular teachers pushes her class. I am used to Adult School yoga which is not quite as intense. My DW told me when we got home that the  instructor took it easy on us tonight.  I enjoyed the stretching and the sweating. The only negative part of the evening was that a huge thunderstorm raged during most of the class. All I could think about was the flooding problems we had Friday during the storm. Fortunately the rain must not have fallen at home as hard as it did at the gym. We did not get any water in the house. Also, the storm on Friday sat on top of our area and it rained torrentialy for three straight hours. Tonight’s storm lasted about 45 minutes.

Last night I wrote about getting a new cell phone. After I posted, I realised that I did not say which phone I got.  I had a Droid 2 before. I am old school and like the physical keyboard. I had a $50 dollar off coupon for any 4 G Verizon phone. I decided to get the Droid 4 since it is a 4 G phone and I still like the keyboard. I have been playing with it for about 24 hours and I like it a lot. I still have some tweaking to do to get the phone set up the way I want. I did plug my laptop into the phone to see if I could still use the Easy Tether program I purchased for the old phone. It worked great. I did a speed test and I got 8 megs down and 6 megs up!  Pretty impressive. I’m sure that Verizon will throttle that back once my data usage spikes past a certain point.

Work, it was nice to be back in the office today after the debacle that Friday was. Tomorrow I am going on site to install a computer at one of our local customers. I actually volunteered to do it. I will probably regret volunteering. My DW worked a full day. I think she was happy to have company at yoga tonight. DS1 worked, came home and went to bed. He was in bed by the time we got home at 9 pm. Last night he, his college buddy and DS3 had a fire in the backyard and drank a few beers. I’m sure he was hurting this morning. DS2 has returned from Upstate NY. He had to work today.  DS3 continues to enjoy his Mustang. He also worked today. Tomorrow he is on the 6 am to 3 pm shift.

Tonight’s pictures are just me fooling around with the new phone.  Enjoy!


Day 360, Slight math issue..

The starting premise of this blog was to document my reaching the age of 50 and surviving to 51 and beyond. At some point, I decided that each day, I would title the blog with the day number and hopefully something catchy. Here’s the issue. Wednesday is my birthday. I will turn 51. This year was a leap year so there should (are) 366 days in the year.  In three days is my birthday. Day 360 plus three days equals..  class, class? Day 363. It would appear that somewhere along the way, I lost three days. Hmmm.  I just don’t know. Tomorrow’s blog will be Day 364…

Today was Sunday, June 24, 2012. It was sunny here in Manahawkin, NJ.  The clean up from the rain and thunderstorms on Friday is all about done. We have a little more drying out to do then everything will go back where it was until the next time. I have some preventive projects to work on over the next week or so to try to keep this nonsense from happening again. Did somebody say there was a tropical storm in Gulf of Mexico? I hope it does not head up this way. Out to sea would be the best plan.

Children, DS1 has a friend from college over today. This friend is a year older than DS1 and also played lacrosse. He is on the East Coast for summer recruiting lacrosse tournaments. He is coaching a traveling team from Michigan and has a few days between tournaments. DS1 took him to the beach today. Tonight we had broiled halibut smothered in pan seared lobster with fresh scallions. On the side we had shrimp cocktail, fresh mozzarella with basil, steamed clams and corn on the cob. Yum and yum. Quite the feast. Tonight the boys are having a few beers and a fire in the backyard. Tomorrow everybody goes back to work.

DS2 is still in upstate New York. He is traveling home tomorrow. He has continued to eat venison for breakfast. I would imagine that he has eaten quite a few things that don’t usually grace our table this week. DS3 worked at the bark and biscuit today. He said the day was slow. He is out visiting one of his high school friends. It seems that he is determined to take all of his friends for a ride in the new car. Good for him. I remember those days.

DW and I, we did Sunday chores. Food shopping and basement duty. I got a new cell phone today. On Thursday, Verizon is getting rid of the grandfathering of people that have unlimited data plans. That means after June 28 when you upgrade your smartphone you will lose your unlimited data plan. Up to now, you (we) were grandfathered in. I figured that I better get a new phone before I screwed up our plan.  The only child that might be looking to upgrade is DS1. I have mentioned this fact to him, he does not seem all the worried. 

Tonight’s pictures come with captions that will explain what they are of. Enjoy!



Day 359, Sunshine returns..

We (DW, DS3 and I) had an early start to the day. Today is Saturday and neither my DW nor I are scheduled to work today. DS3 was scheduled to work. The people we bought the car from are going on vacation for a week Sunday morning.  If we did not get the car today, DS3 would have to wait until next Saturday to get his wings, err wheels. His parents dropped him off for an 8 am work shift then drove an hour north to get the car.  The transaction went well. I put plates on the car and we drove home. Once we got back to town we went to DMV to take care of the paperwork and get the real plates for his car.

DMV today was like going to Wal-Mart without the 20 cashiers.  It was Saturday morning, the office is open from 9 am to 1 pm. They had two people working the counter. When I got there the line had six people in it. When I left there were 30 people in line!  It is Saturday, people are off from work and might, might, be looking to get some DMV paperwork done. Why were there only two people scheduled to work? I’m glad I got there when I did. If I walked in and saw 30 people waiting for two clerks, I would have turned around and gone home. The car could have waited until Monday to be legal.

DS3 texted me at lunch time to see how we made out with his car. I told him that we (DW and I) were going to cruise around the area in his Mustang, and try to look cool.  He was ok with this as long as somebody brought the car down around 5 pm so he could drive it home. Hmmm, choices, choices.  In the end, I drove down to his work and let him drive me home.  At dinner we (DW and I) talked with him about being a safe and responsible driver.  He was offended by the discussion. I explained to him that the discussion is covered on page 9, sect B of the parents manual. And we were obligated to have the discussion.  Really, we just care and love him.

DS2 continues to be in upstate New York. For breakfast he had venison, an omelette and breakfast potatoes. I was astounded that he would eat  (or try) venison. He did not mention if he liked it or not. I guess that and other details from his visit will be discussed when he returns home.   DS1 worked all day. After work he went to throw the lacrosse ball around with one of his high school lacrosse teammates. 

We had lunch today at the Mud City Crab House. If you find yourself in the Manahawkin – LBI area, take the time to eat a meal here. Downside, no reservations (and they are popular) and they are BYOB.  The fish is fresh and good.  For dinner we had haddock and shrimp pan-fried with cajun breading. The fish was good. Sometimes the breading can overpower the fish. This was not the case tonight. Two fish meals in one day!

The cellar cleanup continues. Most of the towels that got wet/dirty yesterday have made the trip through the washing machine and the dryer. The a/c continues to crank in the house. The de-humidifier is running as are the fans on the floor. Tomorrow we will spray some bleach and then start to put things back together.  I spent two hours today in the garden trying to save the tomatoes and cucumbers. There was quite a bit of damage from the hail yesterday. Since I over planted the garden, we may still turn out ok with the loss of the plants that got destroyed.

Tonight’s pictures are from various points today. The captions will explain.  Enjoy!


Day 358, Annual flood cleanup..

So it seems. As my brother the weatherman explained it, the ocean breeze pushing against the low-level jet stream caused the thunder storms that popped up today to sit stationary over our house.  This is not the first time we have been ground zero for a huge, short time, rain event. The lightning today was unbelievable. Multiple instances of flash and bang, no time in between them. We have only had water in the cellar when we have one of these 100 year storms. I think that maybe I’m like, 300 years old since this is at least the third time that thunderstorms sat over our area and just rained like crazy. I have not yet seen the rainfall amounts for Manahawkin, but I am willing to guess that the rainfall for the day will exceed 4 inches.  We had a break from the rain for about 3 hours, now it is ramping up again.

Mixed in with the rain and lighting, was about an hour of hail.  The hail really beat the heck out of my garden. Tomorrow I will have to go out and re-tie the tomatoes and cucumbers and hope that the plants rebound from the storm. If you click here and here, you will see video that I shot with my phone early in the storm. The noise in the background is the hail striking the roof of the canopy over the back deck. At one point, I was out on a ladder cleaning the downspouts so that the gutters would drain properly. Big fun, in the rain, on a metal ladder with a lightning storm going on.

The cleanup is going well, and will continue to go well if the rain were to stop.  All of the standing water is gone, the fans are running to dry the floor. The a/c in the house is cranked up to take the humidity out of the air and the de-humidifier in the cellar is going full blast. I know where the water was coming in today. Or I know of two places where the water came in.  When we went from well water to city water, they cut through the foundation and ran the water pipe in from the street and through the wall. The water pipe is about 5 feet below ground leve. This is where the water is coming in. I will need to find a way to seal this so next time we won’t have water enter the basement this way. It will just have to find another way in.

The power went out around 1:30pm and came back on around 5 pm. Just in time to discover the additional water leaking in and making a mess.  My next house will not have a basement.   For dinner my DW and I went out for beer and bar pies.  We were hungry and wanted to get out of the house.  I guess we were both hungry since we finished our bar pies. DS1 worked late. we brought him home a bar pie to eat. DS2 is still in upstate New York. He had his first taste of Scotch tonight. He does not like it. DS3 is working at the bark and biscuit as I write this. He worked the closing shift tonight.

Tonight’s picture is of my bar pie. What can I say?  Enjoy!



Day 357, Who needs sleep..

When we last met (through this blog) it was nearly midnight here on the East Coast.  I had just returned from playing lacrosse in the 90 degree heat with DS3 and 20 or so other foolish lacrosse players.  After publishing last nights blog I went to bed. You would figure after working all day, driving 150 miles, buying a car, playing lacrosse and having a cocktail, I would have slept like a baby.  Well, that was not the case. I tossed and turned and could not get comfortable. Dammit!

Tonight we had a marinated flank steak on the grill with pan sautéed zucchini and some nice, inexpensive, Merlot wine.  The zucchini came from a local farmers market. This was the first market of the year. My DW also picked up some fresh mozzarella and sour dough bread. I like sour dough bread. My father used to “commute” to San Francisco for work when I was a child. He would bring home sour dough bread when he returned from each trip. That is how I came to enjoy sour dough bread.

Work was  only busy because I went looking for work to do. The company president asked me to jump into support since they were short-handed this week.  I did as I was asked. Sometimes you have to play ball. My DW had a decent day. Tomorrow looks to quite busy. DS1 worked a full day today. He seemed to enjoy the flank steak leftovers tonight. Most nights what we had for dinner does not interest him. DS2 left this morning to visit the college friend whose father died last week. We are proud of him that he sees a need and is willing to give of himself and his time (and money) to put his values first.  DS3 had the day off. I guess the highlights of the day for him would be his trip to the beach with a friend and the fact that his parents will be picking up his car Saturday morning. If all things go as planned he will be able to drive it home from work on Saturday.

Tonight as I write this I am listening to the Smokin Tuna Saloon live stage feed. Joe Bachman is on stage again tonight. If he shows up in you neighborhood, make the trip. He has an amazing stage presence. We will go see him this summer at the Jersey Shore. Joe can be found on twiiter @joebachman .

Picture time. This picture is from DS3’s 18 th birthday in April 2011. Enjoy!



PS I need to get back to yoga class. Soon..

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