Sandy, Post 1..

I’m thinking that this Sandy topic will take two, maybe three nights to tell the tale.  You probably have seen the pictures on tv or the internet showing the devastation of the Jersey Shore. We are fortunate that we live 7 miles from the ocean. The waves did not make it that far.  My previous post was entitled Hype or Hide. I guess in retrospect, hide was what happened. So to start this tale we go back to Sunday, around noontime (cue the time traveling music)

It’s noon time Sunday, the wind has been picking up all morning. No rain yet. All of our pre-hurricane preparations are complete. My cell phone rings, a number that I don’t know shows on the call id. I answer the phone, it is DS2’s girlfriend on the phone. Hmmm.  I ask how she is, she is fine, but my son is going by ambulance to the local emergency room.  Ummm. Ok. I said wait a minute, and I handed the phone to my DW, who is a nurse. She listens and asks a few questions and then hangs up. They found DS2 sitting in the lobby of his dorm, no shoes, id or cell phone. He was just sitting there in a stupor. He had no idea where he was or how he got there. The head of the dorm came down and spoke with him and decided to send him to the hospital.

Ok, college kid, Sunday morning, looking like he was under the influence, I get it. Wrong child for that diagnoses (so far).  We (my DW and I) packed a bag, changed our clothes, left DS1 with some hurried hurricane instructions and rolled out-of-town heading north. The ride to Scranton is 190 miles, one way. Sunday was the final pre-hurrincane evacuation day. All the people getting out-of-town were headed north, just like us. We made a few calls while we were driving up and got one of my cousins to go over to the hospital and check on him. We also set DS3 over to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital we found out from DS3 that his brother was fine and he was going back to school to work on some homework. My cousin and DS2’s girlfriend and another friend were in the emergency room talking to DS2. He seemed fine when we got there. Then again is was three hours after the initial phone call. We asked some questions of DS2 to understand what was going on.

He woke up and went back to bed several times Sunday morning. The last time he woke up around 10 am he sat at his computer to play some games. The next thing he remembers is sitting in the lobby with the head of the dorm talking to him. He had “lost” those two hours.  He was disoriented and agitated. He started to “come out of the fog” as they were putting him in the ambulance to take him to the hospital.  How odd.

We met with the emergency room doctor and a neurologist. They decided to keep him for the night and do some tests on Monday morning. He seemed fine to me. He was talking and acting like his normal self.  After we got him settled in his room we went out for dinner with DS3.  We watched the end of the Giants game, ate and went to our hotel. I think the two of us were asleep by 9:30 pm. What a crazy day.

Here is a few pictures from the hospital. Tomorrow’s blog will take us through Monday. Enjoy!





Hype or Hide?…

The tale of two storms. One forecast said to run and hide. The other, well, could be all hype. I asked my brother the weatherman this morning this exact question. His reply, “You are ground zero for 8 – 10 inches of rain and wind gusts to 60 mph. Hopefully your waterproofing works” A direct quote, no, but really close.  Storms like this must be like Christmas for people that work in the weather profession. Day in and day out, we chuckle at their employment when they forecast sunshine on a cloudy day (there is a song in there).  But, big storm, they are king!  It’s nice to be king.

I owe my readers a recap since I took a few days off.  Quickly the last few days went like this:

  • Thursday, worked, no lacrosse, steak dinner (yum). Saw hurricane tracks on-line. All but one were heading out into the ocean after the storm passed Cape Hatteras. The radio was already talking up the storm
  • Friday, found me in Jackson, NJ taking pictures of the Southern vs. Jackson football game. I will add a few at the bottom. No, I don’t have a child playing for either school. I volunteer time taking pictures for various teams at the local high school.
  • The computer models on Friday showed the storm heading west after passing Cape Hatteras (all except one) How could they all be so different from one day to the next?

Today is Saturday, October 27, 2012. The storm (named Sandy) is due to hit this general area on Monday. We spent most of the day putting things away outside and getting ready for the storm. Are we ready? Hmm, we could be more ready, but, we are ready enough. I hope to not regret those words. Check back on Wednesday and see if our storm readiness preparations were correct.

Sunday (tomorrow) was supposed to be an 80 th birthday celebration in Brick for my DW’s mom. The party has been postponed due to the impending storm. I was going to drive to Scranton and pick the boys up and take them to the party and then take them back after it was over. Yes, they are adults. Yes, they have cars. I, would worry less if I did most of the driving. I’m not a control freak (much), I just am a better long distance driver. Hah! Argue that, I say.

So, without any further nonsense from me, are a few pictures from last nights game. Enjoy!


Wednesday tradition..

Some Wednesday’s at least. Any good tradition requires a bit of an effort, sometimes.  I seem to have fallen into a tradition of a mid-week photo shoot in the area near my job.  Some weeks I walk and take pictures, other days, I have a moment of brilliance that disappears and I just go shoot the pictures anyway.  The local natural gas company dug up the shoulder of Route 34 near my job this summer to replace a gas main. They decided that this week they would mill the shoulder down an inch or so and re-pave. Nice plan, they could have started after rush hour on Monday. That would have shown some forethought.

After sitting in traffic Monday and watching them re-pave the highway Tuesday, I got to thinking that there might be some pictures in this paving project. The ride to work this morning was courtesy of the Bruce Springsteen channel on Sirius. There were several “working on the highway” type songs to further reinforce the idea. However, the construction crew was either finished, or taking the day off.  That kind of killed that photo shoot before it even started.

Time for a new idea as I drove down the highway (headed nowhere, I might add)at lunch time. Then the tree colors got me thinking about signs of fall in the greater Wall area.  Fair enough, what would some of those signs be? A trip to Hink’s Turkey Farm (we saw this last year), a trip down to the beach, some front yard Halloween decorations and a few trees in the middle of changing colors.  As Captain Picard would say, “Make it so!” And I did. Below are a few of the 65 pictures that I shot today.

Here is a link to see all the pictures via Drop Box.




Yoga and a Klondike Bar..

Perfect together? They were tonight. Somewhere along the way over the last two or three days my DW and I did something (alone or together?) that has caused various back discomfort. I think her neck is sore. I asked “What did you do?” She said, “I turned my head getting out of the shower” Yep, does it every time. Me, I think the 120 plus shots on the goal Sunday afternoon may have been a few too many. Like most things, I go from almost or none to ballistic. Usually some part of my body complains. Oh well..

We did go to yoga tonight. It seemed to me that the focus was on the lower back. Stretching and breathing.  Maybe that was exactly what I needed. Ask me tomorrow how I feel.  My DW slept with the Tiger Balm on last night. She seems somewhat better today. That’s a good thing.  She skipped yoga last night due to the discomfort.

Monday night lacrosse was nothing special. I got to run around, take some shots, drop some passes. An average night for me. I did get an assist last night. No injuries during the game, a plus. 

Work.. For me, stopped and started. All busy then all not. No evenness to the work flow. My DW had two full days. Tomorrow night the hospital is having a women’s health fair. She is working the fair.  They have no cases scheduled for tomorrow and only two scheduled for Thursday. But Friday, you can almost guarantee that they will be working overtime. Crazy! 

Children.. DS1 went out last night to watch some Monday Night Football. He locked his keys in the car in front of the house. He was an hour plus late getting on the road this morning. As a side note, he needed that extra hour’s sleep. DS2 sent me a picture of the snow crab claws that were served at dinner Monday night. He said they were good. He also asked that we bring his snow boats up to Scranton. Apparently, he will need them at Thanksgiving when he spends Thanksgiving with his girlfriend and her family in upstate New York.  DS3, not much new news to report. He is working hard in his classes. He posted a picture of a girl on Face Book. I think she is the sister of one of last year’s girl friends. No mention about dating or anything like that. Just a picture.  Writer’s note: I was informed she is just a friend!

Tonight’s picture comes from our most recent trip to Scranton. Here are the Scranton boy’s waiting for their dinner.



Sunday night blogging..

Welcome to Sunday night. The Giants won, the Saints won and who would have thought based on the first quarter, LSU and Rutgers won.  Geaux Tigers!  There is my football update for Sunday, October 21, 2012.  

Today was the start of the fall shut down, clean up, that happens every year. In the spring, we take things out of the shed and decide if they are salvageable from the previous year.  Then in the fall, you just put things away figuring that you can always throw them away in the spring!  The most important part of the fall close up ritual is running the lawn mower out of gas. I never did this before last year. And, each spring the lawn mower would be in the shop since it would not start. Last fall I ran it out of gas. And guess what?  This past spring I put gas in the lawn mower  and it started right up! A miracle? Hardly.

Saturday, hmmm.  No meteors. Did you see any? We went out to the hot tub at 11 pm last night and soaked for 40 minutes with nary a shooting star. The NASA website said that we should go out before dawn Sunday morning. That obviously did not happen.  Maybe you were more motivated than we were. There is always next year, right? 

I worked Saturday for one of my local customers. He messed up his accounting software interface and needed help. I worked for way to cheap yesterday. I solved his problem and took a 12 pack of beer for my hour’s effort.  I will do better next time. My DW and I did the usual Saturday chores and shopping. Lunch was at Mud City Crab House. They always do a good job there.

Sunday we went grocery shopping and watched some NFL Red Zone. Today was especially difficult to follow along. Some weeks all the games are not close, so you get to watch a lot of several games. Today it seemed like all the early games were close. There were double, triple and quad boxes at the same time.  Football for the person that can watch four screens at the same time. Yikes!  I enjoyed it, it was just intense.

After the early games ended I went out and put gas in my van and drove to the hight school to work on my shooting. I purchased a “cage cover” which covers the front of the goal leaving several openings for you to shoot at. The openings would be where the probable goal scoring opportunities would be. I shot about 120 balls into the gaol. Some took more than one try!  Hopefully this will help my shooting skills.

Children, DS1 went to AC last night to see a band at the House of Blues. He sent a picture of AC at night. DS2 continued to enjoy his relationship status. He is playing in the Jazz Band tonight at the Jazz Band dance. He sent a picture. DS3 went to Philadelphia Friday to see the haunted prison in NE Philadelphia. No pictures.. 

Here are the pictures that my children shared plus the cage cover. Enjoy!




Been talking rum, how about you?..

Yep, I took last night off from the blog writing gig. I am, back in the saddle this evening. Yesterday my DW and I went to Atlantic City for dinner. We live about 45 minutes north of the city. We are not gamblers. I would rather enjoy a good meal or a trip somewhere than sit at a table or slot machine watching my money disappear. There are plenty of people that feel the opposite. I see them on the GSP every evening while I am driving home.

I woke up Thursday morning and decided that I did not feel like playing lacrosse that night in Manalapan. Turns out that lacrosse was cancelled due to the weather.  Go figure! I got the idea that I could probably find some good, fresh oysters in Atlantic City. I went online and looked at the various casinos and what their room rates were. There are certainly some good deals mid-week in the Fall and Winter.  I read many of  the reviews on Trip  Advisor and decided to book a room at Caesar’s.  

After work, I drove home and picked up my DW who was dressed in the “little black dress” outfit for the night.  I changed into some nicer clothes and we headed south. We checked into the casino and found out that the king bed we reserved would actually be two twin beds. Whatever, my DW prefers a larger bed. Something about me not sleeping in one spot. Beats me..

We walked around the casino and finally found our way to Morton’s Steak House. We had one of the most delicious steak dinners ever. Ever!  Ruth’s Chris in Annapolis was better because someone else picked up the check. Talk about steak that melts in your mouth. And yes, I got my oysters. Six of them, no need to share.   We really enjoyed dinner.

After dinner we walked down to the Tropicana and visited the Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar. We were the only customers sitting at the bar that night. The bartender asked what kind of rum I liked. I showed him one of the bottles on his shelf, the top shelf, that I enjoyed. We talked rum for the next hour. He brought down and gave me a taste of each of the high-end bottles of rum that they had in the house.  Wow!  I had two doubles of Vizacya 21 year rum. The rum is produced in the Dominican Republic by Cuban ex-pats. It was really good. My DW had the house-made white wine sangria.   After we left the Tropicana, we rode in one of those wheeled chairs that the guys push up and down the boardwalk.

This morning came early. My DW could not get out of work so she had to be at work for 7:30 am. The drive up the GSP was uneventful. After I dropped her off I took a nap for an hour before I started my work day. I was surprisingly busy today.  Most Friday’s are slow. This one was not. While I working this morning the brown truck stopped by.

On the brown truck was my box with three pounds of jumbo Florida Stone Crab Claws. The season opened up on Wednesday. We had fresh claws on Friday.   They were dinner tonight. That and some fresh mozzarella and prosciutto.   A picture of the claws will be at the bottom. Three pounds equals 8 claws!  The claws came from Keys Fisheries in Marathon, Florida.

The other interesting development is that my middle child posted on Face Book that he is in a relationship. That is pretty cool.  We’ve watched the other two children go through the first girlfriend process.  A process is not necessarily a bad word in this context.  They will do what they do.  We both wish them the best. One day at a time.

Tonight’s picture is of stone crab claws we ate for dinner. Enjoy (we did)!





Thinking up a new page or blog site..

Tonight’s blog will be focus on the Brick Municipal Reservoir in Brick, NJ. If you have ever driven north on the GSP between mile marker 90 and 98, then you have seen the reservoir on the right hand side. If you are like me, you have driven that route for the last ten or more years and watched the reservoir being dug and then filled. I often see people walking along the reservoir in the morning as I drive to work. I often wonder what the reservoir looks like from the walking path. You only get a few seconds of view from the highway.

At lunch time today I did a Google search and printed out directions to the reservoir. It turns out the parking lot is only 10 minutes from my office. Here is the website for the reservoir. The path is paved and  an easy 1.6 miles around the water.  There were maybe 25 people and dogs walking the path today with me. I decided to say hello to each and every person I met walking around the reservoir. You can imagine how that went over. Some people ignored me, some greeted me and some were genuinely friendly. I would say the “ignored me” group was about a third of the walkers. The most of the rest of the people said hello back. One lady walking a dog stopped so I could take a few pictures of her dog. You will see them below.  If you said hello to me today, thank you!

The path has a few “interesting” points to be discussed. About every half of a mile is a wooden stand with a water jug (5 gallon commercial type) with a paper cup dispenser attached. I guess that somebody fills the jugs everyday. Under the jugs are a few flowers that benefit from the water that drips out and falls towards the ground. There are two pavilions where you can walk out from the path and be surrounded on three sides by water. Fishing is allowed from the pavilions. There are a few gazebos, lots of benches and several garden areas with various types of flowers. On the east side are several different seating areas that would offer a view of the sunset.

I had a nice walk. I will do this again. Pictures.. some not as many as I had hoped for. I will share a few of them with you. I’m thinking of taking these photo blogs from my lunch time walks and re-working them into a website or a blog about lunch time walks in Monmouth County. Will see. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures!



Off center..

Right of center, left of center, center? Not tonight, that is for sure. Tuesday night is supposed to be my yoga night. A chance to get “centered” and then breathe my way through the week.  My job found me this evening at home. I am at fault for leaving my work cell phone turned on. I was expecting one call, but got bush whacked by a second call.  The second call stole an hour from my life this evening. Now I need to plan my revenge. Absolutely way too dramatic.  What can I say.

Yesterday DS3 and I played lacrosse with the older crowd at the Robbinsville Field House. He looked like he was having fun last night. He took most of the face-offs for the other team. And won those that he took.  He had a few shots, quite a few good passes and at least one goal. He played for the other team so I cheered, just not as loudly as when we play on the same team. Me, I played. Not my best, not my worst. I seem to attract the better defensive player some nights. I don’t see my self as the top offensive threat. Maybe they do..

Monday work for me was slow. My scheduled work got cancelled on Friday afternoon, too late to find a replacement. I kept busy. Today was a very long day with one customer. Part of today’s work involved upgrading a third-party software that is known to not upgrade well. Today was one of those days. In the end, I got it done. That was the call I was expecting after hours. And I got it.  As a matter fact she called five times in ten minutes. 

DS3 went back to school today. No problems during his commute. He did get lucky in a way Sunday afternoon. He and I went to COSTCO to get windshield wipers for his car and a case of Gatorade for his dorm. When we got home we were swapping out the old for the new blades when I noticed a trail of fluids on the road when he had just been driving. We took the car down to the mechanic that evening. The next day they put the car in the lift and found that the oil filter was leaking. DS3 had the oil changed on Thursday up in Scranton before driving home on Friday. My mechanic said that the filter was tightened with a pair of pliers and they punctured the filter. The car was 3 quarts low when they looked at it on Monday. We got really lucky that I saw that trail of fluids. He never would have made it to Scranton with that oil leak.

My DW worked a full day on Monday. Today and tomorrow there are very few cases so she is flexed for part or most of both days. This happens each October when the same doctors all go on vacation.  She went to yoga last night and tonight.   DS1 worked two full days. Tonight he has the company pick up truck. He made a late day delivery in the area so he got to take the truck home.  That saves him over two hours of driving tonight.

Here are a few pictures from October 2000. Our family went to St Thomas for a week. Enjoy!




More pictures, less words..

The crowd chants “More pictures, less words!”  Hmmm, that crowd is in  my mind.  There must be a way to quiet them. Think! Think.. Ok, so you will get more pictures.  Today is Sunday, October 14, 2012. I went down to the high school this morning with DS1 and DS3 to throw the lacrosse ball around. When we got to the school, there were motorcycles everywhere. It seems that there was a toy run scheduled for last weekend and the weather was poor. They rescheduled the run for today.  The weather today was exceptional for the middle of October.

Dinner tonight was a boneless rib roast. DS3 ‘s favorite meal. The roast was done and I cut the end for my DW, she likes hers a little more well done. Then DS1 was next, I said “How much?” He chose a larger piece than I thought he would have. I guess he was hungry. DS3 was next. Same question was asked. Hmm, can I have the rest? No, I did not get my piece yet!. I put the knife on the roast, here? More, Here? More, Here? Ok. The slice was about three inches think. Easily 30 plus ounces!. He finished his dinner and the baked potato that went with it.  It was nice to see the smile on his face when he was done.

Pictures, from this morning. Some of the boys throwing around, some of the motorcycles.  Enjoy!



It is Homecoming Weekend here in Manahawkin, NJ.  My DW and I went to the high school football game this afternoon. I took pictures of the ROTC, the band and the football team. And some family stuff of her and DS3. DS3 attended in his BDU’s from his college ROTC.  The home team lost. We had lots of chances that went unfulfilled.   I enjoyed the camaraderie on the side lines with the other parents that either shoot still or video of the game for the team. I’ll post a few pictures from today at the bottom. Pictures, I shot 928 pictures at the game today! Yikes!

Friday was a slow work day for me. I was actually busier than on Thursday. My DW came home at lunch time so I shared my fried shrimp lunch with her. I actually made more than I could eat expecting to have leftovers for whomever wanted. DS1 worked a full day Friday. DS3 came home Friday evening from school. He is off until Wednesday. Last night my DW, DS1 and I did the hot tub hop. It was nice to enjoy the hot bubbly water, a fire and catch up with the youngest child.

Tonight after the football game, we went to the local Olive Garden to eat. I did not feel like cooking and thought that the Olive Garden would be an easy meal that everyone would enjoy. Well, I enjoyed my meal. My DW has been (and continues to) try to be gluten-free. This was quite the hassle that it was not, the last time we ate there. DS3 enjoyed his dinner. DS1 yawned and moped through the entire meal. Maybe he should have stayed home. Nothing would have been the right thing or place for him. After dinner we got home and DS3 left for a friend’s house. DS1, captain sleepy, went out to a friend’s house. Hmmm.

Here are few pictures from today’s game.  Enjoy!



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