Releasing my inner randomness..

Dateline: Later Saturday night. Dinner is done. The Steak Dianne turned out great. We did not have any potatoes. The fresh mozzarella was wrapped in prosciutto and the shrimp cocktail had a sauce that would clear your sinuses. Really, cold killing horseradish. We have forgotten what our parents knew all along about fighting colds.  I have been walking around for the last two weeks capturing random thoughts and not letting them go. Tonight I’m letting them go. You have been warned!

  • When you get on a plane and the person in front of you starts hacking up a hairball, you think you may have picked the wrong seat. But the air is re-circulated, so there is no escape.
  • Then the stewardess announces that it is time to turn off anything with an on/off switch. The same hairball hacker asks the stewardess how to turn his cell phone off. Really? Maybe you should not have one if you can’t even turn it off. I would have turned it off and not told him how to turn it back on!
  • You are sitting at a bar, one bartender tells the other that he has had the flu for the last week and is feeling better. Then he hacks up a hairball. Ask for the check and drink elsewhere!
  • Nobody that wants to stay unnoticed show wear chartreuse spandex pants. Even if you look good in them,
  • Thongs are to be looked at. If you don’t like that,why are you wearing one to a public, family friendly beach?
  • Your flip-flops should never have snow in them, mine did tonight.  It is snowing here in New Jersey.

There you have it. Maybe this should have been filed under “Things that bother me so.”  But wait, there are more pictures to share. Enjoy!




Welcome home from vacation, dude..

More like a rude welcome home. Not from my family, just reality reaching out and trying to bite me in the butt.  The last blog “Vacation Daze 13, 14 and 15” detailed my travel back to New Jersey from Florida and how DS3’s car needed brake work, again.  We dropped the car off Sunday night and I was ready to call the mechanic first thing Monday to make sure the car would be ready to be driven back to Scranton on Tuesday.

Monday morning started out cold, but sunny. I went to make coffee and remembered that I had left my insulated coffee cup at work two weeks earlier. No problem I used one of the “other” not really insulated coffee travel mugs for my coffee.  My DW kissed me, said “Have a nice day!” and she left for work.  I went out to start my car so that it might have a chance to warm up before I drove to work. Guess what, the car would not start. The battery was dead. Yes, I replaced the battery and the alternator a week before the accident two weeks before.  Crap. I did not have a dead battery scheduled in my morning.

All of  the other four cars that have my name on the title were elsewhere. Nobody to give the old man a jump-start. I have a battery charger from when I fished at night and needed to charge the car batteries that powered the lights.  I plugged the charger in and hooked up the battery and went back inside.  Tick, tock. I smiled, so I will be late for work after a two-week vacation. Nobody will even notice. I went back outside into the mid 20 degree weather after ten minutes and tried to start the van. It struggled and then it started. Nice!

Off to work I went. When I got to the office I shut the car off and then tried to start it, it started fine. I checked at lunch time, again it started. Work was busy. Not insane. I had checked email over the two weeks I was away in an attempt to soften the blow of returning to work. The people I work either missed me or they were glad I came back to do my work. Same result. Monday night DS3 and I played lacrosse in Robbinsville with the post-college crowd. Neither of us had any goals, but we had fun and did not get hurt.

By the end of Tuesday my vacation mojo was gone.  It lasted for two days..  The rest of the week was a blur. Wednesday night I spent two hours after dinner working on the hot tub (outside in the dark). A piece of plastic had fallen into one of the intake tubes and was banging up against one of the pumps. Sooner or later the plastic would either shred or the pump would jam. Either option was just as bad as the other. I had to drain the water before I could remove the pump. It is all back together and full of water again. This spring I will have to remove all the wood around the hot tub and replace it. Over the last 12 years the termites have trashed most of the wood shell. Fortunately for us, the hot tub is shielded by foam. The wood frame is more decorative than structural. With my wood working skills, this will be an interesting project.

I worked from home on Friday. The power went out at the office around 3 pm on Friday, so the day ended early.  Not bad. Friday night my date and I went to Calloway’s for a beer or two and a bite. No kids, no hassles, just some drinks, Buzz Time Trivia and each other.

Today is Saturday. Bacon and good coffee from New Orleans with breakfast.  I blogged this morning wrapping up my vacation. Tonight we are having filet mignon for dinner. The Shop Rite had them on sale last week. Shrimp, fresh mozzarella and baked potatoes will round out the meal. Hopefully we will do the hot tub hop tonight.  

Day to-day routine has returned. Schemes are being hatched to move to the St. Augustine, Florida area in three years after the boys are all out of college. Maybe not, without dreams, where would we be?  The kids keep telling me that it’s no too late… Adult school yoga is signed up and paid for the spring sessions. Now we have to wait another three weeks for classes to start. I can’t wait.  Maybe vacation and yoga (at the same time) would help to keep the vacation mojo longer after returning home.

Pictures.. Yes, I have a few to share (like 5000 of them). See the captions and enjoy!


Key West pictures…

I’m off the hotel wireless and running internet via my cell phone and a tethering app. Here are the Key West pictures from the Vacation Days 2, 3 and 4 post.




Vacation Days 2, 3 and 4..

Today is Thursday, January 24, 2013.  Vacation days 2, 3, and four would be  January 14, 15 and 16. Yep, I am behind. Fortunately, I took pictures back then so I can remember what happened those days.  Without any further nonsense, here we go.

Day 2, January 14

This day was a Monday. We woke up in Weston in our timeshare traded room. DS3 was sleeping on the couch. We traveled south after breakfast to Ramrod Key.  Ramrod Key is 28 miles north of Key West. We rented a three bedroom, three bath home through .  We have used this website to stay in private homes several times. Usually the cost and amenities are better than staying in a hotel room. The house was nice, neat and clean. Probably about three years old. The back deck looked out on a lagoon with boats and other homes across the lagoon and on both sides of us. I will post a few pictures below of the house.

During the ride we stopped for lunch at Key Fisheries in Marathon. This is the same company that we purchase seafood from and have it shipped to our home. The food was excellent as were the views. See the pictures below. We also stopped at a tourist attraction consisting of a giant (25 foot) sculpture of a spiny lobster. See the pictures below.

After getting ourselves settled, we drove the 28 miles to Key West and watched the sunset and the sunset celebration. (More pictures). After the sunset we drove back to the house and cooked and ate our yellow tail snapper dinner. Bed time came early for all of us after the long trip and a great meal.

Day 3, January 15

Today went drove to the Geiger Key Marina on Geiger Key to rent kayaks. The marina was recommended to me by Barbie Wilson, who posts a sunrise picture on Twitter every day.  My DW and I shared a kayak. DS3 had his own. I have decided that next time I will get my own kayak. Not that I don’t like sharing, but when the wind is blowing and the person in front of you is paddling, the back seat person gets wet. Several times I made course corrections for the simple reason fo getting the spray to go in a different direction. We had a good time paddling for about three hours. Pictures, of course!  After paddling, we ate lunch at the marina. The food was good and we sat right on the water’s edge. Pretty cool. A huge pelican can by looking for lunch as well.

After lunch we went back north to the house. DS3 and I went to the local hight school to practice lacrosse. My DW took the late afternoon off to read her book on the back deck of the house. I worked on getting the stick head that DS1 had given me to work with my throwing mechanics. That accomplished and a good sweat, we stopped at two fish markets and bought fish for dinner. Dinner that night was cobia, stone crabs and shrimp.

Day 4, January 16

Today was the day that we had planned to spend in Key West. Our first order of business was to have lunch with Barbie Wilson. I was going to meet an internet acquaintance for the first time. We all had lunch at a restaurant called the Hog Fish Grill.  Eat here in Key West if you can. The food and the atmosphere were great. Barbie is a great person and we hit it off during our lunch. Pictures..  After lunch she went back to work and we went to play tourist in Key West.

We visited the Hemingway House, the Key West Light House, the Rum Bar (1000 block of Duval), the Southern Most Point and Mallory Square. In front of the Hemingway House we saw a 2014 Lamborghini out being photographed for publicity shots. The car was space age cool! Pictures..  After our visit in the area around the Hemingway house, we drove down Duval and parked near Mallory Square. This is where the sunset celebration takes place each night. See this spectacle at least once in your lifetime.  After the sunset we went to The Smoking Tuna for dinner.  Dinner was a disappointment. I would say based on that meal, eat elsewhere and go there for the music and the bar. We were out of Key West by 8:30 pm, exhausted.

There you go, three days in the Keys. Pictures are below. Enjoy!

PS: I’m having problems adding pictures with the current internet connection. The Wednesday Key Pictures will have to be added another day.



Stories don’t come cheap..

The following short story was written to fulfil a challenge to write a fictional story about the killing of the last velociraptor in North America.  DS2, I hope you like your story…

So this is what mankind had become..  Millions of years of evolution, cultures and kings raising and falling. Each contributing something to the great story known as mankind.  I tipped my chair back as I looked around the old bar room. Dusty furnishings and people just as dusty sat around the tables and at the bar drinking the homemade liquor. All the real stuff had been consumed years ago.  Off to my right was a pitted mirror, still reflecting back the scene in the bar as it had for the last one hundred or so years.  As I picked up my glass for my final swig, the back of my right hand caught my eye. Hell, it always caught my eye. Maybe that’s why I usually drank and used my left hand. On the table sat my leather gloves. Why had I taken them off tonight?

The back on my right hand is covered in a brand. Not a tattoo, a brand cast there years ago by men around a campfire. There were five us in all. The brand was our way of joining or creating our group, our posse. That was a long time ago. I am the sole survivor from that fateful night. I don’t like to tell the story even though the story has provided me with a life time of free drinks, beds to sleep in and more than one offer of companionship.  I am writing these stories down knowing that my time on this planet is limited.

The campfire was believe or not, built-in the ruins of the old White House in what was then known as Washington, DC.  The president had long been evacuated to some mountain and the city was left to the survivors and dead. What happened to the city? That’s not the focus of the story tonight. Suffice it to say, people with power played chicken with each other and the end result was the near end of the world. 

One of the stranger outcomes of this conflict was the revelation that the government had been secretly working with dinosaur DNA. This may sound like a movie plot. It actually was a movie plot quite a long time ago. Did the scientists see the movie and get the idea or did the scientists leak the story to some writer who then made a fortune? I haven’t a clue.  The scientists had taken the DNA and in a few instances, created real dinosaurs. The dinosaurs were kept in pens, actually more like an indoor zoo that nobody knew of. When the power went out, the dinosaurs naturally escaped into the wilds of Fairfax, VA.

Dinosaurs for the most part are dumb. Big bodies and small brains. The exception to this was the Velociraptor. This dinosaur was smart and could learn. They were ferocious eaters and breeders.  Within three years of their escape, they had terrorized an area from Washington, DC to Savannah, Ga.  The army had fought them with everything they had left, but still the velociraptor’s killed at will. The President invited five men to visit the ruins of the White House that night. There was me, two dinosaur experts and two expert hunters. I was there as the “project manager”. I expect the other members of the group saw me as expendable since I did not have the skills that they possessed.

The army had, through the use of the last of their drones, killed all the velociraptors except for one.  The common thinking was that this particular creature was exceptionally smart having figured out the sound that the drones made and hiding when they approached. Our mission, was to kill the last velociraptor in North America.  The President offered any weapons or electronic tools that we might want. All through the night, under the cover of darkness, the five of us and the President kicked around idea after idea. The President wanted to keep the visit and the mission secret. A few of our team thought that asking the public for help might make the job easier.  In the end, it was decided that mission would include just the five of us.  The branding happened that night. We found a presidential seal in the ruin, heated it up and pressed the back of our right hands to the heated metal, forever marking our flesh. 

Our quarry was last spotted two nights before in the Fairfax, Va area.  Suprising at the time, was the notion that this particular animal had never strayed far from the laboratory where it was created. Most of the dinosaurs had moved south when the first winter set in. The army had established a 30 mile parameter around the area and the velociraptor had not tried once to escape the quarantine. We were flown by helicopter to the center of the hot zone and left with our requested equipment. What equipment? Does it really matter? Most of it was lost in the first day and amounted to the usual government overkill.  We needed to move quickly, quietly and being burdened by all the supplied equipment cost us one of the scientists and one of the hunters on the very first day.

Day one: We arrived by helicopter and unpacked our equipment. We set up a perimeter fence that was both physical and electronic. The idea was that the physical fence would provide protection, the electronic fence would provide an early warning and give us an idea about what we were facing. There still were other, nonlethal dinosaurs walking around.  Our mission was to kill the last velociraptor in North America, nothing more if we could help it.  After dinner we choose who would work each watch. The plan was to sleep for four hours and be awake for four hours. If we alternated the start times we could always have two people on guard at any given time. 

Between 3 am and 4 am the  velociraptor entered our compound unseen and killed one of the scientists and one of the hunters as they stood guard. The rest of us were asleep and for some reason were not killed.  Our mission had a “no extraction” clause. This ment we went in and only came out when the velociraptor was dead. 

Day two: In the cold light of day we three survivors sat and discussed our next plan. Obviously the velociraptor knew we were there. There would be no element of surprise.  We spent the day fortifying our compound and doing some general reconnaissance. That night we did not have any visitors.

Day three: We set out in the morning on foot following fresh tracks that we found outside of our fence that morning. It would appear that the velociraptor was there the night before but choose not to engage us. The tracks led us straight towards the laboratory where the dinosaurs were created. We did not understand this at the time since the facility had been throughly searched and gutted.  The tracks appeared to just stop at the side of a wall. No doors or windows existed to allow entry or exit. Just a set of tracks leading to the wall. We looked around and not seeing anything ,we leaned against the wall for rest and the wall moved.

The entrance to building that the moving wall created was not in the plans that we had been given. We quietly walked down the path into the building, guns at the ready, spread out for maximum survivability.  Suddenly, the wall behind us closed and we were left in complete darkness. I felt a whoosh go past my face then the scientist screamed once and was silent. I slipped to the ground as quietly as I could. It would appear that the velociraptor was here in the passageway with us.

I took my machete out of my bag and held in my right hand. In my left hand I held a pistol. I waited. My eyes started adjusting to the darkness.  It was quiet, deathly quiet. Then, whoosh again this time going from left to right and the hunter screamed and his gun went off firing a few rounds harmlessly into the ground. I crouched down and took the machete in both bands  and turned to the right.  As I braced myself against the wall the whoosh came back toward me from the right and impaled itself on the machete. I was covered in a warm sticky substance. I hoped this was not my blood.

I pushed the velociraptor off me and got up and turned on my flashlight. What a scene. The velociraptor lie dead at my feet. To my right and to my left lie the two men that I had entered the passage with, dead.  I walked further into the passageway and found what appeared to be a nest. Inside this nest were ten eggs. I smashed those eggs with my machete.

Day four: I spent the afternoon of day three and the morning of day four exploring the ruins of the laboratory building. It appeared from the building diagrams that there was another entire floor under the published floor plans. I did not find anymore nests, nor did I find any other dinosaurs or people. I called for extraction and the helicopter came and took me out. I heard later that the army searched the mystery bottom floor as well then demolished the entire building.

Here I am fifty years later. I’m still alive, the world is struggling to stay alive.

The dinosaurs, they are extinct once again.

The End

Copyright @2013


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.

Flying on my own tonight..

The last two nights I’ve had DS2 as my wingman writing this blog. He poked me one night and sent me pictures the next night. With just a little inspiration, I can make up the rest.  I have been thinking or wondering, if it is correct to blog about the blogs you follow?  Hmmm. I decided that I would share a few of the blogs that I follow just in case you were looking for some variety.  So, in no particular order are the blogs that I follow:

My DW just walked by and asked “What are you doing?” I said “Working on my blog, making a list a few of my favorite things!” There could be a song in there. I would have to ask my oldest sister about that.

I worked in the office again today. I was  able to have a mostly peaceful day since the resident “not sure what word should go here” was not in the office.  At lunch time I went down to the Wind Mill for hotdogs. Afterwards I shot two videos. One video, seen here, is of the trash pile at the Belmar Marina. This trash pile was created when some of the debris from Hurricane Sandy was collected from the streets of Belmar and the surrounding area.  The second video, seen here, was shot on Ocean Ave in Belmar. You still can not drive on Ocean Ave and if you linger too long, the rent – a – cop will chase you away.  It was chilly here today and the camera in my phone did not focus as well as it should. Maybe when I dropped in it in Scranton two weeks ago I did some damage.

One picture to go with the two videos. This is a picture of my lunch. Oh, Wednesday is buy one, get one for senior citizens.  I had a BOGO coupon from the internet. The restaurant looked like the senior bus had stopped by. That is not a bad thing, just really busy. Maybe next time I will visit on Thursday. It is less crowded on Thursdays.



Two dogs, chili and cheese

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