Return of the beast..

I was hunted by the beast all fall, winter and spring. I watched as my co-workers and extended family members were taken down by the beast.  Yes, they all got back up (after a few days/week). The beast is the winter cold or flu that rears its ugly head each year.  Cold and flu season in North America is from November to May. I guess in the Southern Hemisphere, the dates are reversed to match their cold seasons.  The Monday before Mother’s Day was when the beast caught me. I have spent the last two weeks coughing. Last Thursday I finally contacted the doctor since the cold had been kicking my butt for two weeks. I got some cough medicine with codeine that has limited the coughing. The cough medicine has also allowed me to sleep more that two hours at a time.

Mother’s Day was a bust here. Both (DW and I) were sick. I guess the best part was that DS2 came home from college for the summer. He has two job prospects that should bloom this week.  Usually I might include a prayer for wealth when saying my nightly prayers. This past week the prayer was for my health, forget the money. Being sick sucks.  I still have some congestion in my chest. My concern is that when the cough medicine runs out that the cold will come back. If that is the case I will be back in the doctor’s office.

Highlights of the last two weeks:

  • DS3 has finished his Sophomore year at the University of Scranton.  He will return there in the fall
  • DS3 has dropped out of the ROTC program. His grades and eye sight were two reasons that the Army was never going to give him money towards his education. He will take this extra time and work towards graduating in four years.
  • DS2 is done with his Junior year at Marywood University. He will be returning there in the fall.
  • DS2 is working on several compositions that he is submitting to international amature composer contests.
  • DS2 turned 22 years old.
  • DS1 is still working at the tree farm. He got a raise and two weeks of vacation after working there for a year.  His employer seems to be trying to show DS1 future opportunities in an effort to keep him from jumping ship this summer.
  • DW was the Nurse of the Month for her unit in April. And no, she did not get to park closer to the building! There is no monetary award, just a piece of paper and your name on a list.
  • The garden is pretty much planted. The lettuce and spinach are doing quite well. The tomatoes are showing some life after two weeks of dormancy due to the low overnight temperatures. I will probably have to put in the stakes and start tieing them off in another week or two.
  • Me, I played lacrosse jacked on cough syrup one night. I had no goals (duh!).  DS1 said “Dad, you don’t know how to play lacrosse with a buzz?”  This was a skill that I did not learn in college. Kids..

That is a short update from Manahawkin, NJ on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Here are a few pictures, 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

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.

Enjoy! 

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.

Magic of Disney..

Or maybe the magic of Word Press. With any luck your view of this blog should include snow flakes. Last year, if you moved your mouse from one side of the screen to the other, the snow would change direction to follow your mouse. Time will tell.

Working backwards here is the update for the last few days. Tonight I played lacrosse with the old (and young) men in Robbinsville.  I had two assists and no goals.  I had two shots on goal, one missed and the goalie stopped the other. My hands are still a little sore from being checked while handling the ball.  My DW went to yoga tonight. Boys to lacrosse, girls to yoga.   She said that the holiday doldrums have set in at her yoga class. Attendance is way down. Then, come the first of the year, bam! the class will be packed again. I guess she and the other regulars should enjoy the peace and quiet.

Work today was not too bad. I was busy all day. My DW worked a full day as well. I heard from the code enforcement officer today around noon time. It would appear that my neighbor behind my house is the guilty party that called the town about the trees that I cut up yesterday. The code enforcement officer was out to the “scene of the crime”  (Alice’s Restaurant reference) this morning and said the work I did this weekend is sufficient and there will be no further action by the town in this matter.  Maybe next time this neighbor has something to say, they will try communicating without using the town.

Sunday night, I watched the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. Did you?  It was awesome. I can’t wait for February to be here and the show to resume.  DS3 returned from his Fall FTX (Field Training Exercise) held this year at Fort Dix. He passed his day and night land navigation tests. He had a good time but was tired last night when we talked to him.

Sunday afternoon DS1 cleaned the gutters at our house and at his grandmother’s house. We also shot around the lacrosse balls down at the high school.  My DW and I did our grocery shopping around noontime. There seems to be twice as many people on the road this weekend as normal. Hopefully they will get this out of their systems and go back to wherever they came from. (New York, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Tennessee just to mention a few).  Someone drove their car from Alaska to Waretown, NJ?  Hello, McFly, Waretown?

 Here is a picture from Thanksgiving 2012. Enjoy!

Namaste

thanksgiving12

 

Poked or maybe prodded…

It is Monday night here in NJ. Monday night means lacrosse for boys and yoga for girls. I played with the usual Monday night crowd at the Robbinsville Field House. The owners have finally fixed all the lights. All of them. When we started playing there about four years ago, all the lights worked. Then gradually, one by one, the lights would burn out and not get replaced. Then Sandy happened and the owners had to fix the lights. There is the silver lining from the storm. I had a few shots, caught a few passes. I did not score nor did I get hurt.  I had a good night.  My DW went to yoga at the Ocean Club. She said there were six students this week. One of them was a pregnant lady who, did not go into labor during yoga.  Good deal.

I spoke with DS2 this evening, second night in a row that he called to chat. Apparently he is unhappy with the lapse in my blog writing. He poked and prodded me.  Tonight’s blog is dedicated to him. He said that tonight was the fall Jazz concert. Note to the Marywood music department: How are the parents of the musicians supposed to attend a concert on a Monday night? We would have gone if the show was a Friday night, anytime Saturday or on a Sunday.  I don’t get it. He said the show went well. He also spoke of dodging a car in the cross walk in front of the music building. It’s good thing he is nimble on his toes.

Sunday he drove back to school from Lowville, NY. He said that the there was some snow on the highway north of Syracuse. He has very little prior experience driving in the snow. We live near the ocean in southern New Jersey, Sandy country. This is not an area known for snow fall in the winter. And while he has lived in Scranton now for the some part of three years of college, he will not usually venture out in his car if the roads are snow-covered.

Saturday, November 24 was spent doing the usual Saturday chores. We actually succumbed to the Black Friday sales (planned purchase waiting for a deal) and bought a 55 inch Samsung LED tv. This set replaced the tv in the cellar which was an old tube style tv.  Our other HD tv upstairs is 11 years old and still working. The picture on the new set is unbelievable. We have lived with a HD tv for 11 years and are blown away by the improvements that have been made to HD sets during that time. We spent Saturday night and some of Sunday watching college and professional football.

Sunday, DS3 drove back to school. He was home for the Thanksgiving break. He spent most of his vacation evenings with his girlfriend.  He will be camping this coming weekend with the ROTC boys and girls at Fort Dix, here in New Jersey. Fort Dix is about 25 minutes from our home. I have not looked at the weather yet, but I hope it will be nice.

Note to DS3: You took a few pictures at Thanksgiving and were supposed to put them in my Drop Box? Did you or could you? Thanks!

There you go DS2. I will try to be more faithful to my blog writing. Here are a few pictures from the last couple of days. The captions will tell the story. Enjoy!

Namaste

Homecoming..

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!

Namaste

 

Parents weekend, Day 2..

Today started early for us. My DW, DS3 and I participated in the Scranton Royals 5 k run/walk. DS3 ran with some of his ROTC buddies. He ran the course in 24 minutes. We walked the course in 56 minutes. We wanted to finish in under an hour and we did.

We met one of my cousins at the Coney Island Lunch today for hot dogs and a visit. It was nice to visit with one of my Scranton relatives. Her daughter is a freshman at Marywood, the same school that DS2 is attending.

Tonight we went to Doc Magrogan’s for dinner. They are known for their oyster bar and fresh seafood. I found out tonight that DS2 and DS3 eat oysters. I thought I was going to have them to myself. I ordered a second dozen after the two boys ate most of the first dozen.

After dinner, DS3 went back to school to work on homework.  We took DS2 back to his school and watched a musician entertain the crowd while DS2 put on his tuxedo and had some fun at casino night.  We bought raffle tickets and won a restaurant gift basket. DS2 now has a few choices to eat out in town.

The pictures will have captions.  Enjoy!

Namaste

Two for the price of one..

No coupon needed, even!  Tonight’s blog will cover yesterday (Thursday) and today (the last day of summer) 2012 in the Northern Hemisphere. Yesterday went to hell pretty quickly around 4:30 pm. I work from 8:30 to 5 pm, so how bad could the last thirty minutes be?  I got snagged by a customer doing their own work that caused thing to go bad at their store. Since they are a part of a 25 store chain, I could not just blow them off until Friday.  The end of the story is that I worked an extra hour last night to resolve their problems. And I did.

That kind of killed going to lacrosse last night. By the time I walked in the door, I should have eaten, gotten dressed and be walking out the door. One reason to play lacrosse is to relax and de-stress. Walking in and then right back out would not have worked. We went out to dinner instead. We went looking a few weeks back for a place to rent kayaks on the bay and found a few marinas with restaurants attached. We went to one of these restaurants to eat. The first “hmmm” was when we sat down and the people next to us had a box of wine on the floor next to their table. Must be BYOB.  We missed that memo.

The next “hmmm” moment was when we looked around and saw that we may have been the youngest partons in the place. At 50 years, the youngest partons. The guy playing the electric piano had to be 75 years old. he was no too bad. His song book was from a different era, go figure. The food was ok, The prices, not cheap. The service was excellent. Go back, probably not. There are better and cheaper places closer to home.  Maybe a quick bite in the summer time at the outdoor tables.

Friday was a WFH (work from home) Friday for me. Nothing tooexciting going on at work. My DW worked full days both Thursday and Friday.  Tonight we went to the local high school football game. I am one of the adults that shoots pictures or video of the football team and/or the band. The team lost tonight. The other team had a field goal kicker that connected for a 45 yard field goal! In high school! Some of the guys in professional football had trouble at that distance.

Children, DS1 works and works.  I saw three of his high school coaches tonight. They all asked how he was doing. DS2 is in upstate New York this weekend attending the wedding of the sister of one of his college buddies. DS3 is doing homework and goofing off.

Tomorrow my brother the weatherman is doing a triathlon at Great Adventure here in New Jersey. Just for fun after the race he is meeting my at Allaire Park where we will ride our bikes for about 22 miles together. Maybe the race in the morning will help equalize things. Probably not.

Tonight’s picture come the football game tonight. One ROTC, one football and one band picture.  Enjoy!

Namaste

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!

Namaste

If you haven’t used it in 10 years…

Maybe it’s time to throw it away.  This seems to be the theme this weekend.  Many items have been dragged out of closets and revisited. Most of them have very little useful or sentimental value.  Their value lies in their ability to collect dust and fill the top shelf of the closet.  Note to my children away at college: your precious things have not yet been throw away. They may be on an “inventory” list that gets looked at (discussed) some time when you return home from school. Take notice of the word “yet”

Quiet Saturday here in New Jersey. What a difference a week makes. Last week the humidity and the visitors from out-of-town were unbearable. This week, cooler temperatures and crazy people may have just figured out that the summer is over and they should stay home and do stuff in their own neighborhoods.  I picked tomatoes, a cucumber, carrots and brussel sprouts today. Their picture is at the bottom. This is the end of the carrots. The greens were starting to look bad, so I dug them all up and cleaned them in the sink. The brussel sprouts are a work in progress. They will be part of Sunday night’s dinner. The lonely cucumber will be enjoyed the week. We had home-made pickles with dinner made from the earlier summer harvest.  The tomatoes may get crushed up and frozen for sauce this winter.

DS1 went to work today. My DW and I were off. We worked at home.. No kids in the house, nice weather. We had a decent day doing our Saturday chores. Tomorrow I head back into the cellar for a few hours of waterproofing work. Dinner tonight was cheeseburgers with beef from the local butcher and fresh mozzarella from the same butcher. The burgers were good. There are leftovers that will be lunch Sunday and maybe Monday. DS2 continues to work on writing music. He sent me (via Drop Box) the first seven minutes of the song that he is writing for a student film being filmed by a student at his school. I was impressed. I will find some pictures to go with his music and make a slide show.

DS3 had a good day off. Some homework, some goofing off. Tonight is movie night in his dorm room.  I spoke with his high school lacrosse coaches last night at the football game and they told me that one of the current high school lacrosse players was in Scranton looking at Scranton and Marywood. They bumped into DS3 while they were on their college tour. Small world.

Tonight’s pictures have captions as necessary. Enjoy!

Namaste

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