Validation, thank you Pope Benedict XVI

I reported it here first, that maybe my God (or god) may not inhabit my time zone.  Back in Post 221 (dated February 5, 2012) I wrote the following..

Politics and religion, two subjects to be avoided in polite company. Two subjects never to be argued with a drunk or crazy person.  You also might consider the phase of the moon (as in a full moon) before bring up these subjects.  So I asked the question, “What time zone is your God in?” of my middle child today. He is the one with the philosophy minor in college. His answer was that his God was a metaphysical being that existed in all time zones.  And his God does not have the physical limitations of needing sleep.

Ah, that gets to the real reason why I asked him (and you) this question. Do you say prayers at night before you go to sleep?  I do. It is a habit ingrained into me as a child going to Catholic school for the first four years.  I pray for my family. Sometimes when I waste a few dollars on a lottery ticket, I will pray that I win. So far that has not worked out well for me.  Today I was in Scranton to visit my two younger children. Part of visit was attending mass where DS2 played his trumpet. During the homily the priest was telling us to “tell Jesus” our problems. He went through some serious and some humorous examples.

At night when I am saying my prayers, maybe my God has already gone to sleep. He probably needs a break from the constant chatter from us. He may be in a time zone east of New Jersey and he has already gone to bed.  Maybe I should pray in the morning or the evening. I really don’t know. This discussion is certainly “tongue in cheek”, but I am open to finding a more direct connection.  It seems that some religions pray several times a day.  They would be covering multiple time zones that way.

 

Today the current pope gave his last audience before resigning as the pope.  The NY Times article can be found here.

In tonight’s blog we are paying particular attention to the following passage from the article..

His eight-year papacy held moments of “joy and light,” at times resembling the boat carrying Peter and the other apostles on the Sea of Galilee, enjoying many days of sun, gentle breezes and abundant fish, Benedict told tens of thousands of people during his general audience, which was moved to a sun-soaked St. Peter’s Square from the usual auditorium to accommodate the crowd.

“There were also moments in which the waters were agitated and the wind contrary,” he said. “The Lord seemed to be sleeping.”

If I get struck by a lightning bolt, you will know why. So, the pope felt that Jesus was sleeping during some of the trying times of his papacy. That isn’t news to me. We just aren’t in the same time zone. It appears tha Vatican isn’t in the correct time zone either.

Go figure.

Make sure you smile everyday! 

Namaste

My DW in Tarpon Springs Saturday afternoon

My DW in Tarpon Springs Saturday afternoon

 

 

Where ya’ been, dude?..

Been, I’ve been. There and back in the last eight days of so. I’ve been dodging crazy people as I drive to work. I’ve been looking up at the sky and wondering when I moved to Scranton (not) and where the heck the sun has gone.

The last time we visited I wrote about attending three wakes, a funeral and a beer festival in one week. The next week, last week, was hell at work. If I was that hindu character (s) with the extra hands, I would still not have enough hands and hours at work.  Worked sucked, there is no other way to describe the week. By Wednesday night, I was a grouch at home. Come Thursday morning I was looking on the internet for sunshine, anywhere in the United States. I was on a mission to go where the weather suits my clothes.

My DW got Friday off and I called in sick (mental health day) and we headed south. Thursday night I bought two tickets to Tampa, Florida. The plane left at 8 am Friday morning and by 10:45 am we were in the 75 degrees weather enjoying some sunshine and humidity. I know, this summer I will be cursing that same humidity, but not last week. We picked up our rental car and headed west to Clearwater Beach.  There was quite a bit of traffic heading to the beach around lunch time Friday. I guess we were not the only people looking for some time in the sun.

We spent the afternoon at Sandy Key Park (on the beach). We walked, people watched, played in the water and took a nap on the beach.  After our beach afternoon we headed to the Westin in Tampa where we had a room reserved for the weekend. We ate dinner at Aqua in the Westin. The food was really good.  Tampa was under a boil water advisory Friday night into Sunday night due to a power outage at the water treatment plant. The hotel provided complimentary bottled water all weekend.

Saturday morning we went to Ybor City to walk around their Saturday Farmers Market. It turns out that Saturday was also the 10 annual Flan Festival. There was all kinds of food and booths set up in the area of the Farmers Market.  After we walked and ate our breakfast, we headed to Thonotosassa, Florida to rent canoes from Canoe Escape. We canoed for 4.5 miles on the Hillsborough River. We saw lots of alligators, lots of turtles and lots of birds. There are pictures and video from the trip. (Well of course there are pictures!)  The video can be found here in the You Tube link. The full folder of pictures can be found here in this Drop Box link

After our wildlife adventure we traveled to Tarpon Springs for a late lunch/early dinner.  We ate at Hellas Restaurant and Bakery.  The food was excellent.  Hellas is one of our favorite places to eat.  After dinner we headed back to the hotel in Tampa. We tried out the hot tub and pool. The hot tub was an intimate affair. Well, maybe affair is the wrong word. Intimate, it the right word to describe its size. If you went in with your significant other, the hot tub was the right size. If there were two couples in the hot tub, you would soon be friends. If there were younger children (under 10) in the hot tub, it was way too small. And the water was poorly filtered. We spent all of 5 minutes in the hot tub then went back up to our rooms for a hot shower. 

Saturday night was a few beers at the Bahama Breeze restaurant located about a half mile from our hotel.  We got back the room after midnight, soaking up as much of the humidity as we could. Sunday we were back on the plane for an 8 am flight back to Philadelphia.  We had a good time. Monday, back to work. I played lacrosse last night. I caught most of the passes thrown at me but scored no goals.

Thanks for reading!!

Here are a few pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!

Namaste

 

 

 

Beer 30..

Saturday evening DS1, the weatherman, another brother (needs a catchy pseudonym) and I went to the Morristown Brew Fest.  The event was billed as “unlimited beer tasting” for four hours.  If you paid an extra 20 dollars you could get in an hour earlier and get some “free’ food and “special” beers not available to the general public.  We choose the cheap (50 dollar) way out. My OB (other brother) lives in Randolph about 15 minutes from the Morristown Armory.  His wife drove us to the festival and shared their home for the night so we would not have to travel home after drinking. Thank you! The festival website can be found here.  There were a few problems with the delivery of the goods on Saturday. The organizers (as you can read on their website) had problems with the ticket scanners. They attempted to verify each of about 3000 tickets manually. You can guess how that went.

How it went was that we arrived at 4:35 for the event and stood outdoors in the cold for 1.5 hours in a line with 2000 other people.  When we finally got to the entrance, they had people checking id’s, that went pretty quick. The pinch point was that the one entrance was also the exit.  And lining both sides of the entrance/exit were lines of people waiting for the bathrooms. Hmm. The entrance was a double door, one side closed. So everybody in line entered the building one person at a time.  Once I got through the door, they just took my ticket and did not check it.  The people in line were well-behaved. The wait would have gone better if someone from the festival had come outside and explained to the people in line what the problems and solutions were. We would have felt less in the dark.   See some news coverage here and here.

Inside, warm, not too crowed and very loud. Sometimes my misspent youth comes back to haunt me. I don’t do will in loud crowds. The beer selections were great. I had all the beer I wanted. I waited many times in a line two or three people deep. But the lines were quick, the people pouring had smiles (for the most part). My son, and brothers all had stories to share by the end of the night. My brother worked one table while the lady working the table went to the bathroom. My son had somebody give him 10 dollars for food, I guess he looked hungry.  We had a good time. Will we go next year? I’m not really sure. I have been to two of these things (one in Manhattan and this one), this event had a good selection of beer.   Pictures, of course!

 

Other news,

  • DS3 went to the University of Scranton, ROTC Military Ball with his girlfriend this weekend.  I have not spoken to him about the experience. There is a picture at the bottom.
  • DS2 and his girlfriend celebrated Valentines Day and 5 months of dating this weekend. There is a picture below.
  • Friday night we (DW and I) went to the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank to see Pink Martini. We saw them a few years ago in Central park (NYC). They were pretty good Friday night. At the end of the night, my DW and I counted ten different languages that they sang songs in!  Pretty impressive.  There is a picture below from that concert.
  • Dinner Friday night was at the Dublin House in Red Bank.  Nice place, skip the fish and chips. The other things we ate were good.  Note to the bartender at the Dublin House, second floor, a black in tan is so named because it is poured with the light beer on the bottom and the dark beer on the top. Mixing them together and serving them mixed kills the concept. Practice, practice.

Here are the pictures, enjoy!

Namaste

Last man standing..

Writers warning: The following blog contains introspection and thoughts that may challenge your ideals.  If you are looking for a light-hearted, sometimes humorous account of my life and the world around me, skip this blog.  The next one will (should) fit that need.  If you want to travel down the rabbit hole (Alice in Wonderland reference) with me, let’s go..

The last man standing, do you want to be?

The urge or need to survive is what has kept mankind churning along for quite some time.  This has been quite the week for me and my family. As detailed in previous blogs, five people that we know died in the last week. I would understand if my DW and I were 80 years old and we had a bunch of people that we knew die in February. It’s after the holidays, it’s the cold and flu season, the cold and grey can get people down and they just say the heck with it and stop fighting whatever infirmity they have.  I get it.

Monday I attended the viewing of one of my childhood friend’s (Uncle Dude) oldest sister. She fought cancer for 18 months including three rounds of chemo. The last month or so of her life was spent in home hospice. I experienced the family side of that experience with my mother back in 1999. Dying at home is not all that it is made out to be.  Thursday night, my DW and I attended the viewing of one of her uncles.  He had suffered with Alzheimer’s for the last four or so years.  Neither of these viewings had the emotion of Friday’s viewing and service. I would say that both families were ok with their loved ones being at peace.

Friday we attended the viewing and funeral of a person that we did not know.  The father of one of DS2’s classmates died suddenly at 56 years of age.  We (DW and I) cried. This was the first time this week for me, my DW, I think the same for her. We did not know the family. We went there to support our son whose’s friend lost a parent.  The viewing and the funeral took me back to the days surrounding the death of my mother.  As much as I tried to remain emotionally detached during the service, I failed miserably.  The man who died was a twin, the other twin is still alive. That must be tough.

The saving grace for me was that the viewing was followed by the mass which was followed by the cemetery followed by the repast. I did not have to make any decisions, just bear witness to someone’s life and the family that was left behind. It was good to see quite a few of DS2’s friends make the two-hour trip from school to support their friend. One of the nuns from the university made the trip as well.

Being the last man standing will require that you watch everyone you love go before you.  Does that mean you win? Good question.  I’m going to hang out as long as I can and make the most out of every day that I get.  I think that was the message from yesterday’s funeral.

And yes, there is a picture. Here are the college friends at the repast.

Namaste

IMG_4829

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday post (needs a better title)

Rain, snow, dark of night. Not a cute (inaccurate) rhyme about the postal service. Just the state of affairs here in New Jersey this Wednesday night.  The blessing of living on the cost (usually) is the lack of snow in the winter time. This year has followed that rule pretty well. Two years ago we got just as much snow as the rest of the state. Not this year. So, yes, tonight, rain, snow, ice and of course, darkness. A good night to stay home and read a good book. It must be warm in Key West tonight. Scott Kirby has shorts and a tee-shirt on while performing at the Smoking Tuna Cafe. See the Tuna Cam here.

If you are keeping score with us this week, we have two more deaths to report. Well.. My DW’s mom’s brother died on Sunday. His viewing is tomorrow night and the funeral is Friday.  His obituary can be found here.  Another of DS1’s college teammates had a death in their family. The grandfather died Sunday as well.  That makes 5 in the last week. Related to DS1 =2, related to DW = 1, related to DS2 = 1 related to me = 1. It would appear the people that know DS3 are either in good shape or are next on the chopping block.  It has been pretty crazy. I have become fairly adapt at finding obituaries online. Not a skill I will list on my next resume. 

 Other than that, same old thing. DS1 has been working everyday (Monday – Friday). DS2 performed at the  first jazz dance at Marywood on Sunday night.  He seems to be doing ok. DS3 will have company from his LI girlfriend for the weekend up at school.  My DW and I continue to go to work and keep the house clean while the oldest seems to do his best to undo our efforts.  I made home-made Farmer Cheese this week. My mother used to make it when we were kids.

Today is Ash Wednesday. Yesterday was… Fat Tuesday.  I watched some of the craziness in New Orleans via several webcams in the French Quarter. One day we will be part of that silliness.  My DW wants to go for the last hour so she can watch the police clear the streets at midnight. 

Here are a few pictures from this week. Enjoy!

Namaste

Sunday morning..

It is Sunday February 10, 2013 here in New Jersey. Sunny and cold.  Our possibly planned trip to Scranton to see the boys yesterday did not happen. One of the reasons for the trip was to avoid working on our taxes and the kids FAFSA paperwork.  It isn’t that the process is complicated, I do both every February. It is just tedious.  So, instead of spending money avoiding the inevitable (the taxes part), I just got them done. Four tax returns both federal and state. Now I have to review them, fill in the two or three missing pieces and send them off.  The FAFSA’s may get started today.  Next weekend will be quite busy.

Speaking of the inevitable (the death part), we (the LimeGuy family) seem to be slightly surrounded by people passing away this week. Thursday, I got a phone call from a childhood friend that his oldest sister had passed after fighting cancer for 18 months. This makes the second sister he has lost to cancer. The wake is Monday and the funeral is Tuesday. The obituary can be found here.  Saturday morning, DS2 told me that the father of the girl he drove home from college in December had died of a heart attack that (yesterday) morning. Funeral plans are unknown. I expect to be in Cherry Hill at some point this week to support our son and his friends. And to round it out, the father of one of DS1’s college lacrosse teammates died on Thursday out in Ohio.  What a week!

We, DW and I, shoveled the little bit of snow that fell, clearing pathways and the plow pile in front of the driveway.  The weather forecast for Monday is calling for a high of 50 degrees. That should clean up the snow that is still on the ground.  We bought a new printer for the house at COSTCO yesterday. A HP 7520 ink jet printer. The printer is web-enabled. What does that mean? It means that we can send emails to the printer and they will print at the house. If the email is a picture, the picture will print on the photo paper. If the email is a document, then plain paper is used. I added an app to my phone and tested it out yesterday. I took a picture that DS2 sent me in a text, shared it to the E Print app and then printed it, from my phone!  Nice! Tech people and their toys.  It is also convenient for my DW to print her coupons.

Pictures you say? Well, I said pictures..  Here you go.  Enjoy!

This link will take you to the Saturday snow pictures from our neighborhood.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5mieirv2cesxaic/Jtl9A3mNzc

Oh, partner yoga tonight 6:30 to 7:30 pm, dinner will be late..

Namaste

Marywood University Saturday morning after the snow

Marywood University Saturday morning after the snow

Snowpocalypse 2013..

Maybe I’m being premature to write the epitaph of the “biggest snowstorm in the last 100 years”, but what the heck. We made it through Sandy and Irene.  Bring on the Snowpocalypse 2013. Is snowpocalypse even a word?  After the Mayans failed to end the world back in December, events that end in “pocalypse” haven’t quite carried the weight that they used to. DS3 sent me a picture from Marywood University this morning with Snowpocalypse as the message.

We were planning to go to Scranton for the weekend. We still may, we will decide around noon time Saturday. No sense driving on the highway if the highways is plowed to New Jersey specifications! And, the overnight low for Saturday is predicted to be 5 degrees. I can skip that.

This week has been incredibly busy at work. I worked two hours late night Tuesday and was in the office 2.5 hours early on Wednesday.  (Atta boy, right!) The project that I was finishing started in October! Really.  Everything ground to a halt for the holidays and my vacation.  Everything turned out well. Now I am setting my sights on the multitude of smaller projects that have popped up since the beginning of the year.

We received our relocation package in the mail yesterday from the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce. St Johns county includes the area around St. Augustine, Florida.  Time will tell.

Here are a few pictures with captions. Enjoy!

Namaste

 

The drought is over..

I haven’t had the opportunity in quite a few weeks to write these words. I think the last time I scored a goal on a Monday night playing lacrosse was in early December. The college kids came home, the pace of the game changed. Then we were off for two weeks for the holidays. Back for a week then off to Florida for two weeks. Phew! But, I did score the last goal of the night tonight. Since we don’t keep score (officially), the last goals wins it, right?  Works for me.

Yesterday was the Super Bowl. Did you watch the game? We did, my DW and I. DS1 was at a friend’s house and DS2 and DS3 are away at their universities. Empty nesters watching the Super Bowl. We had wings (of course), deviled eggs, 6 layer dip from COSTCO, lime chips and shrimp cocktail. I ate a years worth of 6 layer dip last night. It’s a wonder that I could play lacrosse tonight.  The power outage last night was pretty well-timed, don’t you think? I am glad Baltimore won.

Upcoming events include:

We’re packing quite a bit into this short month!

Here are a few more random pictures from the last two weekes.  Enjoy!

Namaste

PS: Funny, the pictures all turned out to be of birds tonight..

Releasing my inner randomness..

Dateline: Later Saturday night. Dinner is done. The Steak Dianne turned out great. We did not have any potatoes. The fresh mozzarella was wrapped in prosciutto and the shrimp cocktail had a sauce that would clear your sinuses. Really, cold killing horseradish. We have forgotten what our parents knew all along about fighting colds.  I have been walking around for the last two weeks capturing random thoughts and not letting them go. Tonight I’m letting them go. You have been warned!

  • When you get on a plane and the person in front of you starts hacking up a hairball, you think you may have picked the wrong seat. But the air is re-circulated, so there is no escape.
  • Then the stewardess announces that it is time to turn off anything with an on/off switch. The same hairball hacker asks the stewardess how to turn his cell phone off. Really? Maybe you should not have one if you can’t even turn it off. I would have turned it off and not told him how to turn it back on!
  • You are sitting at a bar, one bartender tells the other that he has had the flu for the last week and is feeling better. Then he hacks up a hairball. Ask for the check and drink elsewhere!
  • Nobody that wants to stay unnoticed show wear chartreuse spandex pants. Even if you look good in them,
  • Thongs are to be looked at. If you don’t like that,why are you wearing one to a public, family friendly beach?
  • Your flip-flops should never have snow in them, mine did tonight.  It is snowing here in New Jersey.

There you have it. Maybe this should have been filed under “Things that bother me so.”  But wait, there are more pictures to share. Enjoy!

Namaste

 

 

Welcome home from vacation, dude..

More like a rude welcome home. Not from my family, just reality reaching out and trying to bite me in the butt.  The last blog “Vacation Daze 13, 14 and 15” detailed my travel back to New Jersey from Florida and how DS3’s car needed brake work, again.  We dropped the car off Sunday night and I was ready to call the mechanic first thing Monday to make sure the car would be ready to be driven back to Scranton on Tuesday.

Monday morning started out cold, but sunny. I went to make coffee and remembered that I had left my insulated coffee cup at work two weeks earlier. No problem I used one of the “other” not really insulated coffee travel mugs for my coffee.  My DW kissed me, said “Have a nice day!” and she left for work.  I went out to start my car so that it might have a chance to warm up before I drove to work. Guess what, the car would not start. The battery was dead. Yes, I replaced the battery and the alternator a week before the accident two weeks before.  Crap. I did not have a dead battery scheduled in my morning.

All of  the other four cars that have my name on the title were elsewhere. Nobody to give the old man a jump-start. I have a battery charger from when I fished at night and needed to charge the car batteries that powered the lights.  I plugged the charger in and hooked up the battery and went back inside.  Tick, tock. I smiled, so I will be late for work after a two-week vacation. Nobody will even notice. I went back outside into the mid 20 degree weather after ten minutes and tried to start the van. It struggled and then it started. Nice!

Off to work I went. When I got to the office I shut the car off and then tried to start it, it started fine. I checked at lunch time, again it started. Work was busy. Not insane. I had checked email over the two weeks I was away in an attempt to soften the blow of returning to work. The people I work either missed me or they were glad I came back to do my work. Same result. Monday night DS3 and I played lacrosse in Robbinsville with the post-college crowd. Neither of us had any goals, but we had fun and did not get hurt.

By the end of Tuesday my vacation mojo was gone.  It lasted for two days..  The rest of the week was a blur. Wednesday night I spent two hours after dinner working on the hot tub (outside in the dark). A piece of plastic had fallen into one of the intake tubes and was banging up against one of the pumps. Sooner or later the plastic would either shred or the pump would jam. Either option was just as bad as the other. I had to drain the water before I could remove the pump. It is all back together and full of water again. This spring I will have to remove all the wood around the hot tub and replace it. Over the last 12 years the termites have trashed most of the wood shell. Fortunately for us, the hot tub is shielded by foam. The wood frame is more decorative than structural. With my wood working skills, this will be an interesting project.

I worked from home on Friday. The power went out at the office around 3 pm on Friday, so the day ended early.  Not bad. Friday night my date and I went to Calloway’s for a beer or two and a bite. No kids, no hassles, just some drinks, Buzz Time Trivia and each other.

Today is Saturday. Bacon and good coffee from New Orleans with breakfast.  I blogged this morning wrapping up my vacation. Tonight we are having filet mignon for dinner. The Shop Rite had them on sale last week. Shrimp, fresh mozzarella and baked potatoes will round out the meal. Hopefully we will do the hot tub hop tonight.  

Day to-day routine has returned. Schemes are being hatched to move to the St. Augustine, Florida area in three years after the boys are all out of college. Maybe not, without dreams, where would we be?  The kids keep telling me that it’s no too late… Adult school yoga is signed up and paid for the spring sessions. Now we have to wait another three weeks for classes to start. I can’t wait.  Maybe vacation and yoga (at the same time) would help to keep the vacation mojo longer after returning home.

Pictures.. Yes, I have a few to share (like 5000 of them). See the captions and enjoy!

Namaste

Previous Older Entries