Checking off another concert..

This past weekend we (DW and I) were in Scranton to see DS2 perform in his last undergraduate Marywood Wind Ensemble concert.  We arrived Saturday afternoon and grabbed DS3 from the clutches of his GF who happened to be A. In Scranton (she lives on Long Island), and B. Heading back to Long Island as we arrived. I must have missed the memo that she was in town.  The concert went well. After the concert I took some pictures of the seniors and the conductor. The Drop Box link to those pictures can be found here.

After the concert and before dinner we went to the Best Western to check into our room for the night. We have stayed at this hotel dozens of times over the last five years. It is relatively cheap, clean enough and not far from Marywood. This time when we arrive the hotel was in chaos. People everywhere, cars parked in the wrong places, just crazy busy. I got my room key and headed to the room. I opened the door to the room and was overpowered by the stench of cigarette smoke. Somehow we were given a smoking room. We don’t smoke. I called the front desk and was told that since we booked through Hotwire they could put us in any room they wanted. And, there were no other non-smoking rooms available. Sucks to be you, have a nice day. Not!

I called Hotwire and got them to cancel the room and book us into the Holiday Inn near the Wiles-Barre – Scranton airport. The hotel was a little further out of town, but it was a step up in cleanliness and customer satisfaction.  Dinner was at Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant with DS2’s GF and her mom who drove drown from upstate New York for dinner.  The food was fine and we had a table out of the way and had plenty of time to talk and visit without the hustle and bustle of the main part of the restaurant.

Sunday morning we went back to Marywood for mass. DS2 plays his trumpet during mass. After mass we went to lunch with the same crew as the night before except for DS3 who “did not know what time” to be there. He stayed in bed Sunday morning. Enjoy college life son, the real world is waiting for you!  The drive home was uneventful except for the various people that seemed blinded by the lack of bad weather and did there best to occupy our space on the highway while we were using it.  Go figure!

Thanks for reading, enjoy the pictures!

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.



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.








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.

Late Thursday night..

I had better get started before it is Friday. I read somewhere (Face Book) that today was National Procrastination Day. If I celebrate any harder this will get written on Friday.  The drying continues in the basement. No new flooding in the last 24 hours is a good thing. DS1 posted a picture tonight of one of the farm sprinklers that they use where he works. This explains the reason for the flooding. Maybe if they aimed the jet a little better it might avoid our neighborhood.

Work, I moved ahead with several projects today. I left the building at lunch time since I needed to turn my lottery ticket in to cash. The money hit home when the lady handed my three one hundred-dollar bills, a fifty, a twenty and two singles. I said thank you and left. So far, they have not gotten any of my winnings back from me (the lottery people).  Tomorrow is a busy work from home day. I can’t wait.

My DW worked a full day today, that is nice. DS1 was home early (for him). He actually had dinner with us. He needs to be back at work at 6 am so he decided not to play lacrosse with me tonight. DS2, working on stuff. Some of his music history class requirements include chanting (music?). He was getting his “chant on”. DS3 is moving along.  He needs help with calculus. He said one of his roommates is a math major. I suggested that he ask for help. Other than that, he seems to have things under control.

Tonight’s picture is of the rain maker that DS1 controls. Enjoy!


better aim needed

Dorm room madness..

Here’s a backward post for tonight..

Tonight’s pictures are of the two children’s dorm rooms in Scranton. The captions will explain which child which picture(s) belong to.  Enjoy!

DS3’s dorm at the University of Scranton

DS2’s dorm room at Marywood University

DS2’s dorm room at Marywood University

DS2’s dorm room at Marywood University

We (my DW and I) traded texts and tweets with both college children today. They seem to have enjoyed the first day of school. Ds3 mentioned that he did not have ROTC PT this morning. He also said that he can see his car from his bedroom window. DS2 mentioned that the sun came out at lunch time and it was hot in Scranton. He should grasp that memory tightly, winter is coming.  He also mentioned missing the music building. His classes this year have less of a music focus than the first two years. He is still involved with all the performing groups. They seem to meet in the evening.

 Tonight I was back to Monday night lacrosse with the old men. Almost all of the college students are gone. We had enough people show up to play two full teams with two substitutes on each side. me, I had two goals tonight.  One from the right side and one from the left side. I narrowly missed the hat trick tonight. I also had an assist.  My leg was fine, no pain at all. My DW went to yoga this evening. She said that the class was not well attended. I guess the yoga people are on vacation. Good night moon, Namaste

No dancing tonight..

Yesterday was our big mid-week date night. Tonight?  Leave to Beaver night. What that means is staying home, not doing much. We had dinner as a family (except for DS1 who was not home from work yet). The other two boys had the day off.  My DW worked a full day. Me, I was crazy busy at work. I got quite a bit accomplished.  I have one more crazy day planned, then Friday will hopefully fill in the blanks from the week.  Thankfully most of the customers have been on their best behavior this week.

DS2 went to the eye doctor for his annual before school check up. This is the fateful check up last year that revealed that he had two detached retinas and needed immediate surgery on both eyes. This year, no problems. Simple eye exam, update the proscription and have a nice day. His car goes in the shop tomorrow for a safety check before he leaves for college next weekend. He is pretty excited about his eyes and that college is “nearly single digit days away”.  But, who’s counting.

My DW did go to yoga tonight. She has been coughing quite a bit tonight. I hope she does not get worse.

Tonight’s picture comes from our visit to Anna Farms near Charlotteville, VA back in April. This porch was a perfect place to start or end the day. Enjoy!


Typing and sweating x 2..

Monday night blog from the Robbinsville Field House. I just came off the field after playing 60 minutes on attack.  I had no goals tonight. I had three shots on the crease that the goalie stopped. I had a better night catching the ball then most.  This is the first night playing with my new lacrosse head. I am still happy with the job that was done stringing it. It would be great if stringing a lacrosse head was standardized instead of being part all the same and part improvisation.  

Work was busy for me.  There are a few projects that have sat on go for a month now the push is for completion, yesterday.  We’ll see. My DW got chauffeured to work by DS3 since her van remains in the shop. Hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow.  DS1 worked all day. DS3 was off from work today.  DS2 came home this afternoon from his concert last night.  He had some fun stories to tell about the night at dinner.

Tonight’s pictures come from last night’s concert.  I posted a few last night. He sent these pictures after I went to bed.  Enjoy!


In the dog house again..

Or maybe the title should be Get out Your Pitchforks and Torches..  I’m trying to take the high road here.  Maybe I should ask myself, self “Why are you taking the high road?”  Like most things, there is a story in this. Tonight is Thursday, July 19, 2012. On Thursday nights we play lacrosse outside under the lights in Manalapan, NJ.  This is our second year using this field and playing in the evening. We start around 8 pm and end around 10 pm.  So far so good.

Each night that I go to play, I bring an amp that I plug my Sirius satellite player into. We listen to Alt Nation while playing lacrosse. I place the amp as far as the extension cord will reach, aim it towards the field and away from the houses. We play lacrosse and listen to music. We were asked one night last year to turn it down, we were still playing after 10 pm that night and it was only fair to the neighbors to turn the music down.

Tonight, at 9:30 the Manalapan police came by and asked us to turn the music down. It really was not any louder than any other night.  The heat wave broke and I guess people opened their windows and could hear the music.  I walked over to the amp and turned it down from three to two. One third reduction. I looked towards the road and there were two men and a women giving me the evil eye.  They started walking towards me I figured, oh boy, angry neighbors.  I turned the amp down from two to one.  Two thirds reduction. The police car continued to sit 100 yards away in the parking lot.

The people came over and started yelling at me about the music. I told them that we play lacrosse and listen to music  every week for the last two years…  The women started screaming at me about a noise ordinance and that the music was not allowed. Again, I pointed out that we had been doing this for two years. I told her that the police asked us to turn the music down, and I did. That’s it. And, if they talk to the policeman and he tells me to turn it off, I will. I said, go and talk to him!  The woman yells back “You won’t play that music tomorrow night!’ I calmly replied “We are not playing lacrosse tomorrow night”. I think that made her even more angry.

So again, I calmly told her, the policeman told us to turn it down, I did.  If he wants me to turn it off, have him tell me that. Then I told them to have a nice day and I walked away. I’m not 19 years old. I don’t rattle that easy. After I walked away the policeman drove over and they talked to him for a few more minutes. Then they walked home and he drove away. And the music stayed on, at a lower volume.  Maybe next week the neighbors will come down to the field with their torches and pitchforks.  And, I looked up the noise ordinance for Manalapan, quiet time is 11 pm to 6 am.

Me, no goals, missed one shot and lost two passes as I tried to shoot them. I think my brother the weatherman had a goal. I know that DS3 had a goal. We had a good time.

Pictures, hmm. I can always find a picture. See the caption. Enjoy!


DS2 at Christmas 2009. It looks like he is looking for something under the chair..


Day 351, Not far from the tree, I guess..

Saturday, June 16 here in New Jersey. The weather was pretty close to perfect today. Last night cooled down around 60 degrees and the high here was around 78 degrees. Sunny, some breeze and no children, all day. Really, it was the weather.. (Note to the children, this is all tongue in cheek, or in your world, LOL).  Easy Saturday morning for us old folks. Breakfast was pork roll and eggs. Some excellent coffee from New Orleans and an easy, slow start.  After we finally got going, my DW did inside chores, I did outside chores.  This seems to be the usual Saturday division of labor. The garden is looking good. I will take some pictures and share them tomorrow.

Lunch was at the Stafford Dinner.  Then we went to COSTCO for stuff. We went to lunch first so that we (I) would not buy any unnecessary items at the store. They say you are not supposed to shop on an empty stomach.  We never (right) buy unnecessary items at COSTCO. But when we do, they usually cost around 10 dollars each. That seems to be their more or less price for most things.   Dinner tonight was Veal Francese. The veal came from the store today.  Dinner turned out great. My DW was my helper keeping the dirty dishes moving into the dish washer.

DS1 came home around 9 pm from working all day. He must have stopped somewhere for dinner. He had a small piece of veal. He watched some professional lacrosse with us on tv. DS2 was in Copenhagen, NY for a funeral today. The father of one of his classmates died. He and some of his college friends got together and traveled to upstate NY for the funeral. He got home around 7:30 pm tonight. He was very hungry. They did a lot of traveling and not a lot of eating.  I offered him a Victory Summer Love to go with his dinner. He declined (gasp) and went looking for the River Horse Hop Hazard. There was one left. He seems to like beers that are hoppy. I like beers that are hoppy.  Not from the tree, right?  DS3 worked and then went to friends graduation party. He will be sleeping there tonight.

Tonight’s pictures are from today’s travels. Read the captions, and enjoy!


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