New tech toy..

This blog can hardly be called a “Tech Blog”  Maybe I would fall into the “Travel Blog” or the “Walk a mile in my shoes” blog.  Writers are supposed to write about what they know, right?  I like my electronic toys.  I try not to follow the current trends, but when I do, I try to run to the head of that trend’s pack.

About a month ago I bought a Roku 3 for our family’s Samsung HD TV. Back when we bought the TV, money was real tight and the cost difference between the Smart and non-Smart TV was enough that we bought the “dumb” TV. Smart vs. Dumb, what does that mean? A Smart TV can go on the Internet and view content that might only be available on-line.

An example of that would be ESPN 3. This Internet only channel broadcasts some of the second market or smaller colleges men’s lacrosse games. I can watch ESPN 3 on my phone or laptop. Neither of them have a real HDMI output. The phone has one, but the picture does not come out well when plugged into the 55 inch HD TV. And not just lacrosse, ESPN 3 covers a HUGE range of sports from all over the world.

The ROKU 3 (purchased from Amazon with free delivery) delivers HD content from the Internet. That assumes that the content is HD to start. We have also watched via Livestream other college lacrosse games.  Since we also own a VIZO  Smart TV (for the kids), we have a Netflix account.  The Roku and Netflix play well together.

Are you a tech (geek) with a HD “dumb” TV? Buy a Roku 3 with confidence. The Roku people have thousands of channels available. Some are free, some are subscription based. They even have an “adult” section that they don’t advertise but a quick Google search will show you how to find you way there (if that is your thing).  And you can play games like Angry Birds on the Roku 3!

Thanks for reading and enjoy having 1000’s of channels to watch with nothing on!



Tampa trip wrap up..

I think I have covered the entire five days in various blogs. As I look back I have missed a few things that may be of interest.  Missing from the Clearwater, Florida is a video that I shot of a street performer.  Here is that video

Monday we traveled home from Tampa to Philadelphia. When we landed in Raleigh – Durham Airport we found out that our flight from RDU to PHL was cancelled. We learned this as we stood on the jet way waiting for our  gate checked luggage to arrive. We flew on one of those regional jets that have no overhead space. While we are waiting one of the passengers that had flown first class was complaining that his bag did not come up in the first group. He said, I’m flying first class!  The gate attendant was not impressed.

Seems he was traveling to PHL as well. I said my flight to PHL is cancelled, he said same here. Then a college age girl came up the jet way and asked about the flight. Cancelled I said. She said why?  I told her that I don’t know why. And really, what difference does it make? You won’t be able to convince someone to un-cancel the flight. The most important thing at that point is to find the next flight before your fellow passengers do. There are not an unlimited number of seats.

I called the Delta 1 800 number and went into a queue, call me back in 10 minutes. I looked over at the counter and saw the attendant finish up with all the customers that had been standing there. I walked over and explained my problem. She took care of my re-booking and gave both of us 20 dollars for lunch and dinner since we were going to be stuck for a while.  We went to a white table-cloth restaurant and ate good on Delta’s dime.

The flight home was uneventful as was the drive to the shore.  I hope you enjoyed the trip, we sure did!



Set your intention..

Greetings from foggy Manahawkin tonight.  We spent the weekend between the Manahawkin mansion and the Best Western Plus in Dunmore.  Sound like quite the dichotomy of locations (at least from the titles of the locations). The reality was quite a bit different.  Dunmore, PA is one of the towns that Marywood University can be found in. The other is the city of Scranton, Pa. As long time readers, you would know that DS2 is a student at Marywood. A senior in fact. Graduation, possible grad school and a job are all looming in the not to distant future.

This weekend was all about a Wind Ensemble concert, dinner with the parents and Sunday mass. I guess he may have done some studying and whatever with his friends as well.  We arrived in Dunmore/Scranton at exactly 4 pm. The concert was scheduled to start at 4 pm. My DW had a continuing education class to attend in Atlantic City Saturday morning that caused us to leave for school later than usual.  It was nice to make it in time and not have to enter the concert hall during the show.  The concert went well. We enjoyed, but may not have understood, all the music. I have come to realize that I can enjoy the university level music without understanding it. I am making progress!

After the concert DS2, his GF, DW and I went to Coopers Seafood Restaurant for dinner. For all of you Office fans, Coopers is alive and well six months after the show went off the air. The menus are redone, the food tweaked and the selection of beer (draft and bottled)  is probably unrivaled in the city of Scranton. If you go there, ask for Pat. She is a our favorite waitress. A single mom, our age with a daughter attending Seton Hall Law School after graduating from the University of Scranton. Her daughter was a student of the wife of one of my uncles when she was in elementary school. Talk about a small world.

Saturday night we stayed at the Best Western Plus in Dunmore. They had a party in the “party room” which was under our room. The music stopped at exactly 11 pm. That was great. Sunday we attended mass at Marywood University. As long time readers (same assumption as before) you will know that DS2 plays his trumpet during mass. His GF is in the choir.  A fun thing for me, is that my DW has been welcomed into the choir whenever we are in town. This morning was no exception. It was cool to see my son, my wife and my son’s girlfriend all singing/playing during mass.  I can’t sing. I can however take pictures. Yes, I did.

Sunday after mass we went to the Buck Town diner in Dunmore. Eat here. Simple enough statement.  Elegant, no. Reasonably priced, good tasting food, yes. Good table and kitchen staff, heck yes! We drove home listening to the Cincinnati Bengals playing football on Sirius. They absolutely sucked in the first quarter and could do no wrong for the rest of the game.  The final outcome being a resounding win for the Bengals.

Tonight we went to gentle yoga with Gabby at Hot or Not Yoga in Manahawkin.  Tonight’s class was the perfect cap to this crazy weekend. Dinner was flank steak, red wine and mashed potatoes. DS1 was over for dinner. He was off from work for a few days and spent the weekend at home. Tomorrow he heads back to his apartment and off to work on Tuesday.

Me, I have a stress test with my cardiologist  tomorrow morning. Then I will work from home and probably go to a hot yoga class Monday night.

I hope you enjoyed living in my shoes for the weekend. I will add some pictures below.

Here is a link to the Wind Ensemble concert pictures.

Here is a link to the Sunday Mass pictures.


Thanks for reading.



Halloween 2013 – Jersey Shore edition..

No, not that Jersey Shore edition!  I’m sure that there was or will be an episode like that. But this is not it. We however have pictures and video from Halloween 2013.

We don’t have small children anymore. If you follow this blog, you already know that. Halloween used to be a huge event here at our house. We would spend the better part of October building a haunted maze on the front lawn complete with scary effects, fog machines, strobe lights, music, you name it, we had all kinds of crazy stuff.  Then, the kids grew up, life got more hectic and the Halloween tradition of the crazy maze in the front yard stopped. We still have all the stuff, maybe next year.  I have one more epic display to do.

We both got home from work around 5:30 pm so we missed the smaller children.  As a matter of fact, we must have missed most of the children.  It was pretty quiet around here.  I took some pictures that I will share at the bottom.

I also went to the Belmar boardwalk to look around and shoot some video. I posted the video on YouTube and will re-post it here.

Enjoy the pictures and the video




2012 in review or Happy New Years!

First off, to those that have read and visited my blog, THANK YOU!  Yes, I’m shouting. 

Below is the end of the year report that detail where you are all from, how many times you visited, or if you have been naughty or nice.


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Last chance for romance..

There might be a song title in there. Hmmm. Thursday night here in New Jersey.  This will probably be the last quiet night for the next six weeks or so here at the ole homestead. DS2 returns from school tomorrow. DS3 returns on Saturday. Tonight DS1 is visiting “she’s not my girlfriend” for the night. That means we are empty nesters for the night.  Big plans are in order. First we had leftover meat loaf, mashed potatoes and a salad to for dinner. I brought home a small keg, what do they call these things?  See the picture below. Christmas Ale from the Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado. Interesting Christmas Ale. 

After dinner we are resting. I am in “the chair”, she is on the couch reading a book on her Kindle. I type, she reads.  Tonight the Bengals and the Eagles are playing football. Since we follow the Bengals we will watch on the new tv. We don’t have to share when nobody else is home. Tomorrow I am off. This is my last day of vacation for 2012.  I work for a company where you use your vacation, or loose your vacation.  My DW is working tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon I am getting my hair cut  (and colored) for the holidays.  Friday night our company is having their annual Christmas Party. I am on a strict three drink diet so I can drive home afterwards. This is an employee only, no spouses or such, allowed.

Last night was the 121212 concert to benefit Sandy survivors. You probably are among the estimated 2 billion people that saw some of the concert. I saw most of the show, going to bed at 11:00 eastern. I’m sure somebody out there is saying, “You went to bed without seeing Paul Macartney?” Yes I did.  I have a few personal observations from the show.

  • Bruce and the band were excellent
  • Rodger Waters is an odd duck. Duh!
  • John Bon Jovi was excellent
  • The Rolling Stones – good, Mick is skinny as ever. Keith Richards looked lost
  • Alicia Keys was good. I don’t know her music. Whatever her first song was, it ment something to her. She pounded the heck out of those piano keys!
  • The Who, Rodger, keep the shirt buttoned, please! And skip the tea..
  • Eric Clapton, I’m a passing fan. I was impressed how he pushed that trio with his guitar. The young man on the drums was sweating up a storm and seemed happy to have kept up when they were done

Quite the enjoyable night for sure!

Here are a few pictures from the last few days. Enjoy!


Giants win, Cincy wins, what happened to the Saints?,,

Sunday football, week two. The Giants looked like they were going to start the season 0-2 until they woke up in the third and fourth quarters. Cincinnati bounced back from a thrashing by the Ravens on Monday night to win. And the Saints? Who Dat? I think they can’t get their coach back quick enough. Other teams played today, these are the three that I follow.

We spent a good part of the day defrosting the upright freezer in the cellar today. We just can’t seem to get enough water in the basement so we make the best of any and all opportunities.  The freezer door was not closing properly for some reason and the inside was getting full of frost. Remember yesterday’s thing about ten years and throwing away? The freezer probably has not been defrosted in at least that long. When we got it defrosted and clean, the door was still not closing correctly. We put the frozen things back in and bungee corded the door shut. We got the freezer with the house in 1987. Maybe its time to get a new one.

Last night my DW and I did the hot tub hop. She lit lots of little candles on the deck and we enjoyed 40 minutes of warm bubbling water. We even saw a tremendous shooting star. The shooting star seemed to last four or five seconds. It lasted long enough for me to see it, say something, and for my DW to turn her head and see it. It was quite bright.

DS1 went out to a friend’s house last night after dinner. Tonight he is at another friends house for dinner and such. I imagine he will be home soon since he has to get up early for work in the am. Working six days a week does not allow him much down time.  You know the story about idle hands..

College children, DS2 had a Jazz Band dance at the university tonight. He was in the band, not doing the dancing. He said that he enjoyed it. DS3 posted a picture on Face Book of him dressed in his ROTC “outdoors” gear. Complete with his pack and helmet. I’m sure there is a story behind the picture, we just have not yet heard it.

Tonight’s picture is of DS3 in his Army stuff. Enjoy!


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