A distinct dislike for August..

Seems like the past few years, this being the third year in a row, that things and I just don’t get along on August. They break, get lost, break again and so on. Here are a few examples from this August.

  • My knees at the Lake Placid Tournament
  • DS3’s driver’s side window. It was a misbehaving. One child put the window down and then up. It has not worked correctly since. DS3 and I have replaced the window motor and parts. Today we replaced the window. Still the window will not stay on the track. This week before he goes back to college (hopefully) the car will go to the mechanic and see what he can do.
  • Last Tuesday was an election day here in New Jersey. We also had a tornado in our town. This is quite unheard of. My DW drove her van though a large puddle and the fan belt came off. The van got towed though the tornado zone and the fan belt replaced.
  • Saturday, DS2 re-ended a SUV on his way to work. The bumper, hood and other front end stuff are messed up The radiator was not punctured. The mechanic says that the problems are cosmetic and the car is driveable. They got the hood to close correctly.
  • Tuesday, while eating my Election Day lunch I chipped a tooth. I will be visiting the dentist soon.
  • Tonight, DS1 came out of the bathroom and asked why there is no hot water in the house. I guess I will be making that call tomorrow.
  • Friday, my laptop battery would not charge, I ordered a new battery from Amazon with Saturday delivery. By the end of the day it became apparent that the laptop was plugged into the wrong laptop cord. I now have an extra, new battery.
  • On the plus side, the student loans appear to be complete so the two younger children can go back to school.
  • The garden is between harvests. That is to say the cucumbers are about done and there are a few green tomatoes waiting for the sun.

Overwhelmed, I am. But, I will carry on. Due to my knees being bad from the tournament, yoga, lacrosse and bike riding are currently out of the question. Time for a new hobby, perhaps?

Here is a video from the storm that spawned the tornado in town. I was working the poll and went outside for some fresh air.  The person running across the parking lot was my DW. The siren in the background is the lightning siren at the ball fields adjacent to the polling place.




First day on the job..

Am I the only person that wonders what the first day on the job for the new pope was like?  I saw the headlines, he said mass, visited the masses, blah, blah..  When I start a new job, one of the first questions are Where can I park my car (Popemobile)? Where is the bathroom? Coffee pot and water cooler?  These are the important questions when starting any new job. Then you have to fill out the HR paperwork, the 401 K paperwork, the insurance paperwork. Most of the day seems like paperwork. Hopefully you can find your way back the bathroom and coffee pot after the brief first tour. I wonder of the new pope had to do all these new employee rituals? 

Today our company celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. Many of my fellow employees (including me) work from home on Fridays so today was good day to have solid attendance in the office. Not on time attendance, but bodies in the building by say, 11 am. The company president wanted corned beef this year. His wife hates the smell and taste of corned beef so having a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at work would enable him to get his corned beef and keeps his wife happy. I brought my turkey cooking set up and boiled the water. He, CP (company president) brought the corned beef in two boil bags from a local butcher. We put the corned beef in the cold water, brought it to a boil, turned the heat down and simmered for three hours.

While the corned beef was cooking we had the appetizer course. We had fruit, shrimp, smoked salmon, cheese slices, irish soda bread,  and various crackers and flat breads.  With the corned beef we had potatoes, cabbage and salad. We also had a dessert course which included an ice cream pie (for National Pi Day) and pistachio pudding .  Missing today was a pint of Guinness. This was the first of these celebrations that was dry, no alcohol. I’m not sure if no one thought to bring some or there was an edict against it. I think with all that food and a pint of Guinness, I would have been out in my car taking a nap!

See the pictures below from our celebration.  Enjoy!


New Pope and a trip to the beach..

Today the Catholic Church got a new pope. I’m sure you saw the news everywhere,  I certainly did. I will admit to watching the announcement being broadcast live on the internet. I wonder if that was a first.  I don’t remember the same excitement (?) with the choosing of the previous pope.  I did not get the job, that is the bottom line. I guess I’m not old enough to be pope. That is what I will keep telling myself.

I have been absent from the blogging world as of late (as you may have noticed).  April’s challenge will be to post something relevant, every day for the entire month.  This month, I’m just not there yet. I do have a short story to share, I have some minor editing to do then it will get whelped and sent out into the world. Chris, interested in some light english language editing? Not content (hopefully), just grammar?  Let me know.   This one feels special to me.

Today I went to the beach in Belmar, NJ to eat my lunch and take some pictures.  I have included some below and this link will take you to the Drop Box folder with all 55 pictures.  The beach in Belmar was hit pretty hard by Sandy.

Yoga last night was good!

Enjoy the pictures and smile everyday! 



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 WordPress.com 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.

Easy money..

The mail came over the weekend while we were away in Scranton.  The mail consisted of  the usual collection of bills and advertisements. It’s probably a good thing that Christmas time and the election season are not at the same time. Can you imagine how much crap you would get in your mailbox if the politicians were competing with Christmas for our attention?

Mixed in with the Christmas cards was my check from the county for working the election! That helps pay for Saturday night’s extravagance with the boys and their friends. The other “windfall” was a card from the lady who lives behind us. You might remember her as the person (or someone in her house), that called the town on me to get me to clean up a tree that fell from another neighbors yard, into my yard, into her yard and taking out part of her fence. I rented a chainsaw and cleaned up the mess. My DW helped me put the fence back together. During this work in her yard, “grandma” chatted me up quite a bit.

In her card were two – twenty-dollar bills!  Found money, baby!  I still wish that they had handled their concerns differently. Whatever. I spent the 40 dollars on lacrosse tonight. DS1 came to lacrosse to play with us in probably the first time in over a year. I was on attack and he was on defense, different teams. There was part of the game where he was covering me. Maybe he choose to cover me when he needed a break!  I had fun. It is always fun to play lacrosse with my boys. I did not have any goals or assists tonight. I did have two shots, both went wide.

The Scranton boys are prepping for finals this week. One will be home Friday night, the other on Saturday.   Friday night at dinner, DS2, DS3 and I decided not to share our moustaches until Christmas.  My DW asked me at dinner tonight about the scruff under my nose. DS2 has a decided head start since he has not shaved his moustache in over a year. DS3, dude, are you still in?  I asked DS1 tonight during a lull in the action if he was interested. He said no, he can’t grow a moustache.

Pictures tonight, I took none of them.  All of these came from DS2’s Face Book page.  Share and share alike!  Enjoy!


brian_1 brian_4 brian_3 brian_2

The best times in life are often unscripted..

It is snowing here in New Jersey this evening. We got to leave work early today due to the inclement weather. That was nice. We had a power outage this morning at work and also lost the internet and phones for a short while. I guess the patch job that was done might have a few kinks to be worked out. The linemen will have months more of work after Sandy. My MIL got her power back on yesterday around 5 pm.  She was without power for eight days.  She lives in one of the most densely populated parts of Ocean County. Just imagine how much longer she might have waited if she lived out in the sticks. Yes, there really are “out in the sticks” areas in New Jersey. NJ is not just what you see driving down the turnpike or the parkway.

I forgot to mention that Monday night was the official Halloween Day in NJ. The governor postponed Halloween last week due to the damage from Sandy.  We had many, probably an average year, trick or treaters visit our house. I heard the night ended early. I was of course, off playing lacrosse in the dark.

Tuesday (yesterday) was: A. My DW’s birthday and B. Election Day 2012. Let’s tackle Election Day first. I worked the election again this year. We had to be on site at 5:15 am and ready to rock by 6 am. The polls closed at 8 pm. Then we have to break down the voting machines and do all the “stuff” that ensures that the votes are protected and delivered to the municipal clerk for tabulation. That makes for an easy 15 hour day.  We were busy.  There were 30 or more people that rushed in at 6 am to vote. And the waves of voters kept coming all day.  I worked with a good group of people. We had fun, but I was pretty beat by the end of the night.

After the election was over, my DW and I went out for some wings and a beer (or two). The beer was medicinal. My back was sore and the beer made that problem go away.  At the bar we had a beer and a cider and toasted my DW’s birthday. I’m sorry to say, due to my being at the polling place all day, I did not have a good party planned for her. I will do better next time (or maybe this weekend). While we were sitting at the bar, the bar started to fill up with 20 somethings and a musician started playing music that was appropriate for their age.

The group next to us, four girls and one guy we out celebrating his 25 th birthday. We congratulated him and toasted his and my DW’s birthdays.  A little while later one of the girls went up to the musician requested Happy Birthday. So, everybody in the bar sang to this guy and my DW. I spoke to the girlfriend of the birthday boy and gave her 20 dollars towards his birthday bar bill. She was driving last night. A few minutes later they bought two shots of something they called “Birthday Cake”. A shot and a slice of lemon coated in sugar.

My DW and the birthday boy did their shot and then sucked on the lemon. Everybody laughed and smiled. The bar by now was packed and quite noisy. We, the old people, figured it was time to go home so when we left we congratulated the birthday boys once more and he gave my DW a hug. It was a pretty cool, spontaneous night. We figured a beer and some wings and wound up with a birthday party. Unscripted.

Pictures, pictures. Here are a picture of the snow on my way home from work. Enjoy!


Snow in Wall, NJ

Fall back, sort of..

That was Sunday’s story.  Here is most of the USA we have Daylight Savings Time. In March or April the time is changed one hour forward.  On the first Sunday in November, that hour is “returned” to normal. Sunday morning we had to get up early to be in Scranton for 10 am. DS2 plays his trumpet at the 10:30 am mass. Planning on arriving at 10 am gives me a 30 minute window for “things” to go wrong.

Saturday night I watched the end of the LSU – Alabama game. As a LSU fan, I was disappointed, again.  The game ended at 11:50 pm DST. I went to bed and set my clock to get up at 5:45 am so that we could be out of the house by 7 am, and in Scranton by 10 am. So far, so good.  I woke up to the alarm making it’s noise. I got up, showered and got dressed.  While my DW was taking her shower I sat down to clear out the emails from the overnight.  I looked at the clock on my computer and saw that the time was 5:15 am. Ummm, crap, DST ended during the overnight.

Now what? Go back to sleep, play games on the computer or just get on the road an hour early. We got on the road an hour early and found ourselves in Scranton at 9 am.  The rest of the day was a blur. Mass at 10:30, brunch at the Bucktown diner with both boys at noon, wind ensemble concert at 4 pm. Dinner at Uno’s in Dickson City with DS2’s girlfriend’s family. Back on the road 8:30 pm heading home. In the house at 11:30, brush and flush. Bed time.  Sunday was one long day. I have some pictures from the concert and dinner.

Monday, the office had power, internet and phones once again. We all worked pretty hard to try to get caught up from last week. It will take all week to “maybe’ get caught up. My DW worked most of the day. DS1 spent the weekend at his girlfriend’s apartment. He worked all day today.  DS2 had classes as did DS3.  I played lacrosse tonight. Not much success but, here is my excuse. Some of the lights were not working in the building, post Sandy. So I had a hard time seeing the ball. No goals, I did have two shots that missed. I also played some middie. That position is where you run from one end to the other and back. What was I thinking?

Tomorrow is Election Day in the USA. You know what they said back in the 1960’s? Among other things they said, “Don’t Vote, Don’t Bitch!”  So, get out and vote!  I will be working in District 19 in Stafford Township tomorrow.  6 am to 8 pm.


Here are some pictures from yesterday. Enjoy!


Another great use for a library..

Tuesday night yoga started up again tonight. Tuesday night yoga is offered by the local high school under the auspices of the adult school. My DW and I attended last year for three sessions. Two sessions in the Fall and one session in the Spring. The yoga class is held in the library at the local high school. Our Fall session looks to have four students including my DW and I. Everyone in the class (students and teacher) attended the Fall session last year.

Centered? Not yet. It was real nice to get back to yoga. I think it will take a few weeks before the mind starts listening. My body picked up mostly where it left off.  Turning my mind off for that hour is going to take a little more practice. I’m pretty sure I can get back there.  I think the teacher took it easy on us since this was the first session.

Here are some random thoughts or news from the last two days:

  • Ron White, the comedian has a new video out. You can buy it online for 5 dollars. We bought it two weeks ago on a pre-order for 4.20. We watched the video tonight. If you are a fan, get your hands on this video. It is pretty funny.
  • Monday nigh lacrosse did not go well. As good as last week went, this week did not go well. No shots, no goals, not many balls caught. Yuck! Back to the drawing board.
  • Parents weekend in Scranton is this week. We will be in the neighborhood for most of the weekend.  Both schools have quite the schedule of activities.  We will attend some, and skip some.  It will be nice to see our two younger children.
  • Younger children, if you want anything from home, now is the time to email your parents. DS2, I got your email today.
  • I went to a poll worker training class this afternoon. I am a poll worker in our county. The county decided that everyone that is working this election needs to go through a retraining program. Boring..  I was probably one of the youngest attendees today.
  • Yesterday was my sister’s birthday. She has now made it into the 50 + club. Welcome to the team.
  • Monday night dinner was meatloaf, Tuesday night dinner was ham steak. (Thought you might want to know)

Tonight’s picture comes from when DS1 was out in Ohio for a friends wedding. DS1 in all the way on the right hand side. Enjoy!




Issac watered the garden and more..

New Jersey got it’s share of the remnants of Issac last night and today. We had a thunderstorm last night that seemed to go on forever. Today it was very humid with intermittent thunderstorms. About 3:15 pm this afternoon my phone started making funny noises. The Weather Channel app was alerting me to a tornado warning in my area. I was to seek immediate shelter. Unfortunately I was driving in my car. The warning expired without an actual tornado (that I know of). We don’t get many tornadoes here in New Jersey.  I guess if we lived in the mid west I would have taken the warning more seriously.

I missed my poll worker class today. I had the right day, the right location, I thought the class started at 3:30, well it started at 3 pm. I got there at 3:15 and was told that I was too late to attend.  I called and left my name and number so they can reschedule me. Oh well. I got to work from home, that is always a good thing.  My DW worked a full day.  Tonight for dinner we had leftover night. We had lots of leftovers from the weekend. Now we have less leftovers from the weekend. It is difficult to switch from feeding five people to feeding two and sometime three people. The sometimes part is because we never know if or how much DS1 will eat for dinner. We stopped worrying about that 10 years ago.

The children, DS1 worked all day. I guess he was tired tonight, he did not go to the gym after work. DS2 has me on the lookout for mail from the Obama campaign. He has a bumper sticker coming in the mail and would like it forwarded to school. DS3, his picture showed up on the ROTC website. His name was not mentioned, but that certainly is him. Classes, hopefully going well for both of them.

Tonight’s picture is of DS3 on campus . He is the guy with the short hair and sunglasses in the background. Enjoy!




Happy Labor Day USA..

Today is Labor Day here in the USA. If you are fortunate, you had a paid day off from work. Unfortunate, well those choices would be either working or a non-paid day off from work.  Today also officially ends the summer tourist season here at the New Jersey shore.  Most New Jersey children will go back to school tomorrow or Wednesday.  Their parents are back to work and the warm ocean and relatively empty beaches and streets belong to the locals again.  The chamber of commerce schedules things for most weekends in an attempt to lure the families back down the shore for a few more weekends.   Most weekends LBI will be busy unless the weather is forecast to be bad.

Today the traffic heading west (away from the beach) in the afternoon was epic. I was foolish enough to head to the grocery store (east). We food shopped for the week yesterday, but I wanted ribs for dinner tonight and I forgot to purchase them yesterday. It is 3 miles from our house to the Shop Rite on Route 72. The traffic on the west bound side was stopped from past our development (west) to as far as you could see looking towards the ocean (east).  Beep, beep and yes I forgot my manners at home.

Around the house? We made salsa today with the tomatoes that I picked from the garden yesterday. There is a picture at the bottom of me chopping up tomatoes for the salsa. We had Eggs Benedict for breakfast. There is also a picture of that (with the tomatoes in the background). DS1 came in at 8 am this morning. He was out for the night with some friends up in Belmar (another beach town near where I work). He stayed in bed until after 3 pm.  DS2 and DS3 worked on school work and goofed off with their friends. In a picture below (lifted from Face Book) DS3 and some friends are doing something Saturday night outdoors at the University of Scranton.

Tomorrow I am working from home since I have to attend a poll worker training course in preparation for the November elections. It seems that all the poll workers will be having the additional training. I can’t wait! Just kidding, of course.

Tonight’s pictures are as described above. Enjoy!


Previous Older Entries