Another Saturday night..

Welcome to Saturday night here in New Jersey. I took last night off from writing to spend some quality time with my DW and DS1. He came home from work earlier than his usual time and went out to dinner with us.  We had a fun time playing trivia and listening to the musician de’ jour.  Weather wise, it was tropical here today. Super humid, breezy and mostly cloudy.  This evening some thunderstorms came through and the temperatures are supposed to drop into the low 60’s. This should allow us to turn the a/c off.

Yesterday was drop off day for the food that was collected at my DW’s hospital.  We put the groceries in my van and drove to the next town over and  gave them to the people that run the food pantry. I have never been in a food pantry before. I consider myself fortunate not having been there before. But, we should visit them again with donations, they provide a much need safety net for those in need in our area.

Today we went out to the various stores at the wrong time. I’m guessing it was the wrong time because it seemed that everybody was crazy. Short tempered, rude, just plain nuts. It was hard to belive that the summer was over and the post summer weekend population was worst than the in season summer time population. Maybe it was the humidity, I just don’t know.

We picked up some water proof paint and some patching material to fix the areas where we saw the water coming through the foundation earlier in the week. That process will be tomorrow’s project. We also looked at ceiling fans. We purchased our house in 1987 and put the fans in the first year. Some of them can get quite loud at times.  We could not decide on which ones to buy.  Since they will hopefully last as long as the ones in the house, we better make sure we like what we purchase.

Our Roomba is complaining these days. Something about a bumper sensor issue. I have the repair manual downloaded on to my laptop. Hopefully I will be able to just clean the sensor and not replace it.  There are even You Tube videos showing you how to test and repair your Roomba.  Another Sunday project.

See the captions for tonight’s pictures… Click on a picture for large-sized pictures and a slide show. 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!




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

Where are those kids, it’s too damm quiet..

Really? After only 12 hours with just one child living in the house?   I asked my DW that question this afternoon while she and I were the only one home. DS1 was on LBI goofing off (some fishing, some whatever). The other two boys had left for school, arrived, moved in, got back together with their friends and promptly forgot that they live in Manahawkin. Just like that.

In the big picture, them adjusting quickly to the change in living location and rules is a good thing.  It is also a good thing that they can drive themselves back to school and get moved in without the help of their parents. I will admit that I missed going to Scranton today.  This was a step back (by the parents) and hope for the best moment.

DS3 went back to school on Saturday. He was supposed to move in on Sunday, but his roommate spent the summer on campus so DS3 had access to his room a day early. So far, we have not heard much from him.  We saw his plus one at the grocery store today. She works where we do our weekly food shopping.  I asked about him and she said he was doing fine.  Classes start tomorrow.

DS3 left the house at 6:30 am this morning for his move in adventure. He had no issues with the drive. He also has gotten together with his friends and slipped back into college life. Ok, I am jealous. I would like to be living in a full-time learning environment without the cares of the adult world. Who wouldn’t?   His classes start tomorrow as well.

At home, we (DW and I) did our usual weekend stuff. This was the last weekend for the outdoor professional lacrosse season so we watched the semi-finals and championship games on tv. There will be no more new lacrosse on tv until the indoor season starts around Christmas time. 

I have quite a few pictures from the last two days. I will post a few here .  Enjoy!


Weekend recap or why we sat in the rain..

 Where to begin?  Maybe with the most important part of the weekend. I got a new bottle of rum today, one that I have never tried before. This one is called Ron Atlantico, Private Cask. It is made in the Dominican Republic.  This company does not distill rum, they purchase rum and blend and age the rum and then sell the finished product. I was very happy with the first sample before dinner. The rum is very smooth with a very distinct vanilla flavor.  Two thumbs up to the rum mixers that created the finished product.

The next order of business is that Uncle Dude is in the hospital. Who is Uncle Dude you ask?  This link will take you the blog from September 6, 2011 where the origin of Uncle Dude is explained. He had a TIA on Friday afternoon. Basically a mini-stroke.  He is doing much better today.  The loss of feeling has gone away and his speech is fine. The doctors ordered lots of tests over the weekend. Tomorrow he is going to find out the outcome of those tests. He has had a headache for the last week. He hopes the doctors can figure why.

 Rain? We sat out in the rain drinking boat drinks and listening to a steel drum player. One of the local restaurants has changed hands. One of their new plans is to create a tiki area and have an outdoor bar, music and such each Sunday afternoon. This week was the first time. It rained. Actually, there were torrential, tropical, thunderstorms.  We missed the first round of storms since we were still home. We sat through the second, third and fourth round of storms. Another couple that had staked out a table with an umbrella invited us to sit with them, out of the rain. The music was good, the air was warm, the other couple were nice people, the drinks were cold,.. we got wet. The umbrella was “water-resistant” not “water-proof”. No big deal, the bar was only 10 minutes from home. We had a good time. Some laughs, some drinks, some rain.

DS1 is returning home, or so, this evening. He spent the weekend in Ohio at the wedding of a college friend. Currently he is in Atlanta. His flight gets him into Philadelphia around 12:20 am Monday. He will sleep at his friend’s apartment in Philadelphia Sunday night (early Monday morning) and go straight to work on Monday. He should be back home Monday night. DS2 worked today. DS3 went into NYC with some of his college ROTC friends. He currently is driving home. He starts his new job tomorrow morning at 8:30 am.

There is still more from the weekend to share. I will save it for a slow news day during the week. Tonight’s pictures have captions. Enjoy!




No dog whisperer..

Job wanted: 19-year-old college sophomore looking for work until mid-August.  Bright, clean, resourceful. Not afraid to get dirty. Past jobs include: big dog group leader for four star pet salon, shoe salesmen to the rich and famous and french fry king.  Motivated future employee with a car and drivers license.  Currently enrolled in Army ROTC program at the University of Scranton.   Comment with thoughts, thanks… DS3

DS3 found himself unemployed this afternoon. He was not happy at the bark and biscuit this year. Last summer he came home everyday with a smile on his face talking about the dogs and how he liked the job. This year, bitten twice, one dollar an hour pay cut from last year, he just was not enjoying the job. What changed? Maybe it was him. He is a year older and a college student. He has been watching the Dog Whisperer and I guess trying to use some of those techniques to control the dogs. His employer did not agree with his methodology and fired him this afternoon. Hence the job wanted ad.

Life goes on. My DW was on call Sunday and had to go in to work Sunday night around 10 pm. Someone had not swallowed their dinner properly and the ER doctors could not solve the problem. She got back home around 12:30 am.  The procedure (whatever they did) was a success.  And to make things crazier for her, she was scheduled to start the day at 7 am. The other possible start times are 7:30 or 8 am. Maybe the person on call should not have the early shift the first day after their call week just in case something like this happens.  Random thought..

DS1 worked all day. He was home earlier that usual  (7 pm). He had a good day. His company is not hiring until September when the summer help goes back to school.  DS2 was scheduled to be off today but he got called in to work a 5 hour evening shift. The store should be crazy busy due to the vacation people. He made a drink called Horchata today. The recipe can be found here.  He seems to have enjoyed it. I have not yet tasted it.

Dinner tonight was homemade pulled pork. We bought a fresh pork shoulder at the Shop Right yesterday. I cut the meat off the bone and placed the boneless pork in a crock pot. Into the crock pot went a can of Coors Lite, one cup of water and two table spoons of cajun seasoning. I cooked it on low for 8 hours. My DW took about half the cooked pork out and using two forks, she pulled the pork apart. Hence the name. She added Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce to the meat.  This is served on a hamburger bun. It turned out real good. The leftovers are marinating in the refrigerator. The other half went into the freezer for a night when we need something easy for dinner.

Tonight’s picture is of the job wanted applicant.  Enjoy!



Day 319, Many hats, hats..

Pardon the interruption while I put on my blogging hat. I would have put that hat on earlier except that I was wearing my computer support hat. And no, work did not follow me home. That is a pretty hard rule in my life. Except at Christmas when I am on call. I spent the evening diagnosing DS2’s computer. It would start to boot, but never get past the Windows XP splash screen. He has had some problems over the last month and they came to a head this evening.  As best as I can tell, the main hard drive is shot. I loaded XP on a 500 gig drive that was the secondary hard drive in his computer. I did some of the Windows updates already. His job for tomorrow is to finish doing all the Windows updates. I will put a 1 terrabyte hard drive in the computer tomorrow night. That will be where he will save is music and game files. Hopefully he has been saving his important stuff to his Dropbox folder.

Somebody, and I won’t mention names, suggested back when I was thinking of changing career paths, that I should do for work what I like do as a hobby. That way I would be able to enjoy my hobby and get paid for doing it. I would disagree having 20/20 hindsight. I think it is better to have work and hobbies separate. That way you can escape one or the other when you want to. Or, your hobby might follow you home from work.

My DW worked a full day again today.  I worked a full day as well. Tomorrow is already scheduled to be a challenge. DS1 worked today. He came home late, went to the gym, got some food to eat and went to bed.  DS2 ran some errands for his mother today. He is enjoying his week’s vacation. Marywood University sent him a Happy 21 st Birthday card. In the card was a wallet sized missive about alcohol and the dangers of drinking and driving. How thoughtful of the them. Tomorrow he will turn 21 years old.  DS3, finals I guess. I have not heard from his since the weekend. DS2 said he was playing video games today. I asked if that was a code word for studying for you finals. I don’t think so.

Tonight’s picture is from October 2008. DS3 (with American flag) is commanding the color guard before a high school football game. Enjoy!


Day 315, Four days until..

Family note: Boys (even though your are men), Mother’s Day is in four days. Don’t be a slacker and wait for the last-minute.  Enough said.

We finally had a decent day of rain here in New Jersey. Maybe knowing that the rain was coming is why I slept in until my DW woke me at 7 am. Some days I am up early on my own. Not this morning. The past few mornings I have been getting up early to water the garden and the new grass that we are trying to grow. So far, so good. As you can imagine the GSP was a mess in Brick today because of the rain. 

The following rant may be familiar if you are a consistent reader. Each day while driving to work I turn the radio from Sirius to a local station for news, weather and traffic at 8 am. After a healthy dose of commercials and the news, I go back to Sirius for the rest of the drive.  The traffic follows the weather which follows the state/local news. The traffic is the real reason that I listen. Why,I keep asking myself?  The traffic person talks about Rote 9 being heavy and some other minor stuff. Advising us to “slow down” due to the rain. Aren’t we smart enough to figure that out? And will I slow down because some faceless person on the radio suggested that I should? Obviously the answer to both questions is NO.  We are not smart enough and I won’t slow down if you suggest it.

After the traffic report the morning DJ’s go back to quacking, I go back to Radio Margarittaville. In no more than two minutes I am stopped in traffic. This phantom traffic jam lasts for nearly ten miles and takes 45 minutes to traverse. In the end I am 30 minutes late for work, but no one really cares. How could the traffic people at that radio station not know about the ten-mile long traffic jam? Maybe they need better sources. Something. So, the traffic reports on WOBM FM in Ocean County, NJ are a waste of time. Will I listen again tomorrow? For sure.  I’m crazy!  End rant..

I obviously worked from the office today. I ate at my desk due to the rainy weather. My morning was busy, the afternoon, not so much. The company is working towards completing a software re-write so I started working on training documentation today.  When I get tasked with upgrading people from one version to another the first question is what has changed? In this case, quite a bit. And the company I work for is notoriously bad at documenting things.  My DW was in charge again today. Her manager is on vacation so the nurses are sharing (right) the responsibility of managing the unit. They get extra pay for taking the job.  She was home again at a decent time. She unfortunately is on call all day on Mother’s Day.

DS1 went to work today. It appears that classes are over at the community college. I guess once the grades are in and he sends the transcript to WJU, he will be a college graduate. He told his current boss that classes run for another week. Hmm, must not need the money. Oh, he has rich parents, so he doesn’t.  DS2 sent a quick text about his amazing internet speeds now that most of the students have gone home for the summer. He will be home Sunday evening.  DS3, must be getting close to finals week. He was quiet again today.

Tonight’s pictures are of my office. This was today’s lunch time view.  Also an older picture for DS3.  Enjoy!




Day 313, Monday night ..

The weekend is behind us and another one is slowly creeping our way. I had to do chores tonight. Chores as defined as things that you don’t want to do. The chore in question was the bill paying chore. I got to open the envelopes, separate the important from the trash, pay the bills and settle up my Quicken. Not my favorite time of the month. But, I am always happier when I’m done since the specter of the “pile of bills” has been smited for another month. It may not always be that dramatic, but you get the point.

Things going on.. I painted yesterday. All the edges and stuff that the roller can’t reach. I will take the tape down tomorrow.. I have one bedroom left to do. Today was my brother’s birthday. I am one of ten children. Three girls and seven boys. He would be b3 (brother 3) if I haven’t lost all of my mind.  I am b2. He said on Facebook that he had a nice day. Happy Birthday Dude!  My oldest sister has placed her home up for sale. We (the family) or me, found out tonight. I don’t know where they are going to move to. Stay tuned for further updates.

My brother the weatherman ran (and finished) the NJ Marathon on Sunday. He said the first 18 miles were fun but the last 8 were pretty tough. Good for him. Me, I worked in the office today. Nothing special. I have projects scheduled for the rest of the week. At lunch time I walked 1.5 miles while working on my lacrosse stick skills. I need the practice. Tonight I had an assist and caught one of the two catchable balls thrown at me. I did not score on my on attempt.

My DW worked a full day. She made bratwurst on the George Forman grill for dinner. I enjoyed them. DS1 had a job interview with a chemical company in Reading, Pa. He said it went well. He met and was interviewed by about six different people. He hopes to hear more from them in the next few days. DS2 sent me an email about studying abroad in Australia. I won’t be able to attend his concerts if he does that. Sorry, Australia is just to far to go for one night. Wheeling, WV is my out and back in one day distance limit.  DS3 was quiet today. I pulled a few pictures off Facebook from his ROTC group.

The pictures tonight are of DS3 and his MS1 friends. Enjoy!




Day 311, Isn’t the name of a band?

See, I’m not that old. Last night “the chair” swallowed me whole while I was writing my blog. It was 11:40 pm, my friend had left, I had my glass of liquid sugar cane and I was in the “writing zone”. I had finished up the blog, done all the editing I was going to do and I went and uploaded a picture to the web. The next thing I know it is 02:30 am. The computer is still on my lap, and I am still in the chair. Crap, there goes a good night’s sleep. I mashed the publish button and went to bed. I made up for the chair time by not getting out of bed until nearly 10 am this morning.  So, I did write the blog on Friday and I did publish on Saturday. What can I say. I fell asleep with one more click. That will not happen tonight.

Saturday in New Jersey. DS1 left early to go to work. He did not return until nearly 4 pm.  That is ok with us. He needs the hours.  My DW and I went to Home Depot, Lowes, Shop Rite, K Mart, Costco. Whew!  We work all week then spend it on the weekend.  Today was finish the garden day. By the end of the day I had planted 20 tomato plants, 20 cucumber plants, 6 honey-dew melon plants, 4 cantaloupe plants, four blue berry bushes and laid out landscaping plastic to block the weeds. I also seeded the patch of the front lawn that I tilled in March. The first set of grass seed I put down was three or more years old and none of it grew. Maybe todays planting will do better.

My DW pulled weeds in her flower beds and put down mulch. She has put down about 20 of the 40 bags that her loving husband bought for her. She also worked on window boxes for our deck.  It was damp here today. This made it a good day for planting.  At about 5 pm we both had had enough of the yard work and called it a day. She still has two flower boxes to finish after we get more potting soil. I have four snap peas to plant. One the side of the house I still have 8 hills to plant something in. The soil on the side of the house is mostly clay so I got 20 bags of dirt and made hills out of each. 8 of those hills are currently only growing weeds.

Scranton children, hmm. DS2 is alone in his room. His roommates have gone home for the summer. He will be staying to play his trumpet at commencement. He will be home on Mother Day in the evening. He is using this down time to practice his various instruments and catch up on the spring tv season that he missed.  DS3 sent some ROTC paperwork. There are no brigade scholarships available for the next school year. He has the option of committing without a scholarship. This would give him a monthly stipend during school months. When he graduates he would be a Second Lieutenant. We will discuss the pros and cons with him.

Tonight’s pictures are of various things in the garden. The captions should explain what you are looking at.  Enjoy!


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