Wo(man) to blame..

I nominate Radio Margaritaville DJ Carson Cooper for this honor. No, Carson is not a woman, he is a man. He is to blame for last night for sure.  I have listened to Radio Margaritaville since it’s inception in the late 1990’s.  Between Carson and Steve Huntington, we (the family) have been exposed to quite the broad range of music.  Thank you gentlemen.  The roster of DJ’s has expanded since the early days adding a few new radio friends.

So last night.. While I was driving to work, Carson tells us that the reggae group Third World will be playing in Philadelphia that night. I have been listening to their music on RM since the beginning. Some people have a (much hated term) “bucket list” of things to do or places to visit. My list includes seeing many of the musicians that I have met through RM in person.

Fast forward to a Wednesday night in University City, Philadelphia. The club where the concert was held is called World Café Live. They have live music both upstairs in the café and downstairs in the club.  The show last night was downstairs.  A few tables, a bar and cozy dance floor and 200 other reggae fans made for a real fun night.

We had general admission tickets and got to stand and dance for three hours.  Oh, did I mention that we dragged (invited) DS1 and his girlfriend to join us?  I’m not sure what she thinks about her boyfriend’s parents now.  After the show as we walked back to the car in the early February cold, my ears were ringing.  Good stuff for sure.  Grandpa why can’t you hear me without your hearing aid?  Gee, I just don’t know.

Why wo(man) to blame?  See the lyrics for Margaritaville – of course

Wasting away again in Margaritaville,
Searching for my lost shaker of salt,
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame,
Now I think, hell it could be my fault.


DS1 and GF 2015-02-04 21.24.52

Stephen "Cat" Coore

Stephen “Cat” Coore

2015-02-04 22.02.41

Day 270, Naps are always nice..

Aren’t they? A nap is a guilty pleasure stolen from the people that promote productivity in the world.  Today is Sunday, March 25, 2012 here in New Jersey. I guess adding the date to this blog now and then will make it easier to figure out where and what was historically going on when this blog was written. Who knows, some civilization far in the future might be studying the ancients (us) and this blog could provide a glimpse into the life in 2012. Or not.

We (DW and I) just got off the phone with DS2. He called and told us about his trip to Baltimore and  Washington, DC this week. He really had a great time. I think this was his first convention.  He was very impressed and interested in a presentation given about the use of the iPad in Music Therapy. There are apparently many apps available for the iPad that can be used in the clinical settings. It would seem from talking to DS2 that an iPad is fast becoming a useful tool for his profession. He will talk to his grandmother over Easter and maybe she will take care of that for his 21 st birthday in May. Dude, you are going to be 21 in a few months!  Wow!

Dinner tonight was fresh Halibut steaks from the Shop Rite. I guess that the Halibut are in season (as it were) or the Shop Rite would not have it and they would not look as good as they did. I found a recipe Googling “fresh Halibut Steaks”. The first one was for barbecue (we skipped this one), the second recipe was for zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, basil and feta cheese, baked in the oven. It was delicious. The topping is adaptable to almost any kind of fish. While the Halibut was expensive, it tasted good. My DW wanted lobster tonight but they are just too expensive this time a year without a sale.

My DW finished up her first Master’s of Nursing course through Drexel University online. Her final grade was an 88. She is very excited. She is unsure about the  next step because this course with difficult since there are no classes. You read, write papers, comment on a discussion board. She grew up (as did I) in a time where college was in a classroom with teachers and other students. She is going to take this eight week period off to give the experience some thought. I am very proud of the hard work and the hours she devoted to this endeavor.

Me, made breakfast, went grocery shopping.  I took a nap this afternoooooon.  We went to a new yoga place tonight. They had a free yoga session if you donated to the Barnegat Food Bank. The session was interesting. This makes the fifth different yoga instructor that I have studied with. Again, 2 males and 15 females.  My DW and I were comfortable with the session. This teacher at the end put a tissue and a scented “eye pillow” on your eyes while in the final meditation. That was interesting, but I had to wash my face when I got home.

Tonight’s pictures are a mixture from the weekend.  The captions will hopefully explain. Enjoy!


Day 260, Man, I have a million stories..

But not tonight. I have a few more special moments to share. Some of them are planned to be shared, others are just like spontaneous combustion.  I enjoyed last nights story. Looking through the picture archives from 2007 I realised we had a really good year (traveling wise) that year. We went to St. Pete’s Beach in February, Jamaica in June, Vail in late June, college lacrosse in the fall. Numerous football and band competitions. And rec lacrosse for the youngest.  We had a senior prom, high school graduation,redid some of the kitchen and had the youngest start high school. Just looking at the picture collection from that year makes me dizzy.

Back to modern times, things are about the same. Yesterday I walked at  Allaire Park once again. I walked 9 miles this week at lunch. Three miles each day. Today the weather was crappy, so I went to the bank and played wall ball for 20 minutes. I wore the wrong jacket to work this morning. The jacket I wore was too light for the breeze, the grey skies and the temperatures.  Last night it was warm enough that DS3 and I went down to the lacrosse fields to throw around after dinner. We played until it got dark. The local rec teams were practicing so they had the lights on. Without a helmet, I was reluctant to continue throwing and catching once it got dark. My eyes just don’t see as well as they used to. If I had brought my helmet, then what the heck, keep on going.

My DW worked both days. She has wrapped up most of her first college course work. She has to submit the class evaluation next week. It is already written. I guess next week she will see the grade from her second term paper.  She has been sharing her car with DS3 this week.  He got up a few mornings to drive to work with her and then bring the car home. He is then on call to bring her home later in the day. Tomorrow he is going up to Brick to visit his grandmother. We encourage the boys to go and have lunch with their grandmother when they are home on break. I’m sure she enjoys their company.

DS1 had the day off. He had some take home test in his college course to work on today.  DS2 has again been very active on Twitter. He said that they had another day of sun and warmth. As I was writing this I got a call from.. DS2. We talked for about 30 minutes about his fall schedule. He told my DW and I what classes he is interested in for this fall. He had sent an email earlier today that the music therapy students may be going to Norway over spring break 2013.  I imagine it will be cold. My DW asked if the sun would come up or would they be in total darkness that time of year. At this pont, we don’t have a clue. Maybe this means that the Christmas break trip to India is off.

Pictures, pictures. Tonight’s pictures come again from 2007. This was the year that DS1 graduated from high school. He and I went out to Vail, Colorado for a national lacrosse tournament. He played, I was the sherpa.  In these pictures we rented ATV’s and dove up a mountain. We walked the last 1500 feet to the summit. We were at almost 12,000 feet in these pictures. Notice the snow, the date? July 2, 2007. Enjoy!


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Day 250, Could not catch a cold..

I am trying not to be the king of excuses tonight. Tonight, being a Monday night, was men’s lacrosse night. As you may remember I have been trying to learn to play attack after being a defender for the last 8 years. I have struggled with catching the ball. If I can catch it, I have a very good chance of scoring a goal, or at least making the goalie work for the save.  I am (as are most of us) my own worst critic. Tonight I could not catch a cold. The last ball thrown at me hit me in the chest. It would not have hit me if I had caught it. My goal for the next week, before playing next Monday night, is to get my oldest son outside on the field and working with me on my fundamentals. A plan has been hatched.

Work from was busy. I walked into work ten minutes early and found five messages on my phone from the weekend. One guy called twice. It astounds me that people would call on the weekend and leave multiple messages asking for help. My answering message tells you that “You have called after our normal business hours. All messages will be returned when we return to work on the next business day” (or something like that). Does that infer, in any way, that I will be checking messages all the time during non-business hours looking for people to help? Yikes! The main message tells the caller how to receive support from the after hours (emergency) support person.

My DW was flexed from work today. She asked to be flexed since she worked the entire day on Saturday and was not able to work on her research paper. She got to spend most of today writing and researching. This paper is due by the stroke on midnight on Sunday night. She appears to be almost half done with the writing portion. Then the dreaded APA formating nonsense will be applied so that she does not get points off for poor formatting.

Tonight’s picture comes from the Royal Warriors Battalion Military Ball. This is another picture that was posted on Facebook. Enjoy!





Day 238, A new age in clothes washing..

Really? Not! As I wrote about previously our old washing machine made a puddle/stopped working/was temperamental for the last time on Saturday. We purchased a new one at Home Depot. Today was the scheduled delivery day. I was going to have DS1 take care of watching for the delivery guys this morning, but I felt if there were any “issues” I would not be happy with how he handled them. No matter the outcome.  Maybe I am a little type A despite my efforts to ramp it down.

The delivery came at 9:10 this morning. They called about 8:45 to say they would be here shortly. The lead delivery person came in and went down to the basement to see where the machine was going. He was pleasantly surprised that the old machine was gone. Come to think of it, he was not the least bit disappointed that they did not have to carry it out from the cellar. They strapped on their carrying apparatus and carried the new machine down the stairs and placed it where the old one had been. He hooked it up, tested the functionality and they were gone on their way in less than 15 minutes.

After the delivery I went to the office to work for the rest of the day. I had not planned yesterday to stay home this morning so I was not prepared to work from home.  Work for me was slow. I spent some time setting up next week’s work.  My DW had a decent day. It was less crazy than the last two days have been. Tonight after dinner she went to the basement to work on her masters class homework. She spent the entire evening down there. I don’t think she could have done this class while the kids were in high school. There always was just too much going on every day here for her to get the quiet time that she needs.

The kids were quiet today. DS1 is working. I have not seen him yet today. He slept through the washing machine delivery. DS2 and DS3 have been doing their college thing. I will try to schedule some time Friday afternoon to talk to them. They both are done with classes on Friday by noon.  Hint, hint!

Tomorrow the temperatures are forecast for around 60 degrees again. I will definitely find something to do at lunch time outside. Tonight’s pictures comes from July 2006 when my DS2 was in France. I think the pictures were shot near Paris. Maybe he will read the blog and text me where the pictures were taken.


Day 203, Now that is much better..

Vacation started today at 2:45 pm. I ducked out 15 minutes early to head to the airport. In this picture


from www.flightview.com is where my DW’s plane was at the time I looked. She had a safe flight. When she left Philadelphia the temperature was 40 degrees. When she arrived in FLL the temperature was nearly 80 degrees. She was happy to feel the warm sunshine on her face. She brought down with her my lacrosse sticks. Since I already had two bags, the stick bag would have cost me 50 dollars each way. In this picture

DW waiting for her luggage

 my DW is waiting for her luggage. Which, I am happy to report, arrived safely with her.

After she got back to the timeshare she had to attend her Drexel class. The class started out rough since the they were teaching a huge group how to use the on-line library at Drexel. After about 20 minutes their librarian and IT people finally got the web program working. I read my book while she did her college class. While she was waiting for her class to start she had the third stone crab that I bought the other night. I was a nice Welcome to Florida moment.

For dinner we went to Flanagan’s in Weston. The food was good. We were able to eat outside alongside the small lake the runs behind the restaurant. After we returned to the timeshare I took her for a short tour of the complex.

The pictures at the bottom are from today’s lunch time walk. The captions should explain what the are of. Enjoy!



Elevator in the building, notice that none of the controls are square with the elevator


Turtles in the sun


Day 202, When does the vacation start?..

Today is Tuesday, January 17, 2012. I have been in Florida for two days. My question after the work day I had is, When does the vacation start?  The “drop dead” starting time is tomorrow at 3:00 pm.  Hopefully I can ease into 3 pm and not work flat-out until then. At 3 pm I need to leave for the airport to pick up my DW. She will be staying here until next Tuesday when she flys home. I am here until January 28.

The weather today was real nice. Yesterday is was cloudy and breezy. Not really a pool day. Today it got to nearly 80 degrees with lots of sunshine and not too much wind. Two weeks ago when I scheduled today’s work I knew it would be a rough day. I underestimated the type of day it would be. The customer I was working on today has 12 computers in their store. Most stores have 2 to 5 computers. 12 is a huge undertaking to work on remotely.  Add to that the first order of business was to upgrade a third-party software. The upgrade was a disaster. I spent two hours on the phone with some Eastern location having someone read from a script as they tried to help me. We got it done but what a pain in the butt.

One of the biggest challenges was that I was using the company T-Mobile cell phone today. My Verizon cell phone was providing the internet connection. And no, Comcast has not yet solved my problem. Their 72 hour repair window closes tomorrow.  The T-Mobile phone would constantly drop during a conversation. I could be sitting at the table with four bars one second and then have the call drop due to having no bars. How does that happen? I did not move, the building, windows, trees and such are all in the same spots. Crappy network. I dislike the cost of Verizon, but it usually is reliable.

I never got my walk in today. I worked 8:30 am to 6:30 pm with no lunch. I don’t work that hard when I am back in New Jersey.  Yuck!  Enough complaining. At least it was warm. I slept with the slider open and screen door closed. I was very pleasant. Last night I bought three stone crab claws. Yes, three. They weighed nearly 1.25 lbs all together. Talk about Jumbo Stone Crab Claws. I ate two of them, the third is for my DW. They cost 33.95 per pound. I had a hard time making that decision. I enjoyed them for sure. There is a picture at the bottom  of the two crab claws.

Tomorrow my DW has her second college class. She can call in on her cell phone to attend. The computer will be available for her to use as well. She has written her answers to the three questions that were assigned as homework. She has found the first weeks work very eye-opening. She has not been in college since 1984. She will do fine. Tomorrow DS1 is going up to Ocean County College to sign up for the missing class. Ds2 has been fairly quiet. He posted on Facebook something about taking a class in Arabic next semester. I really don’t know how to respond to that post. DS3 returned home from visiting his girlfriend. He had a good time. There is a picture at the bottom of the loving couple. This week marks 3 months that they have been in a relationship.

Picture descriptions are found above, captions will tell the story. No, my Spanish has not gotten any better either. Good night.


Day 196, Is it Black or Blue…

Sometime in the dark it is hard to tell if your jacket, socks or pants are black or blue. Yesterday DS1 needed another suit jacket for his shadowing of an employee for the potential new job. He was looking to go shopping at Kohl’s when his parents sent him to the local thrift store. I had never been in a thrift store in my life before last year. We took DS2 took the local thrift store in Scranton because he needed a suit to wear for a Halloween costume. We found the necessary pieces and only spent ten dollars.

DS1 found a black (or is it blue) suit jacket yesterday for 5 dollars. Come on Kohl’s, beat that. My DW has a home dry cleaning system and she ran the jacket through the dryer. It came out smelling nice and not wrinkled. It worked fine for his shadow day. He was offered a job yesterday. The company works selling electric and gas. They represent a company that will reduce your electric and gas cost in New Jersey by at least 10 %. We have done this at our home for the last two years. The electric has worked out fine, the gas provider needs the heave-ho since they are not currently competitive.

DS1 will be working on commissions. I spoke with him for about an hour discussing what the job was, questions and concerns we had that he should probably ask the company about. Tomorrow he has to go for a background check. From there, I don’t know. We continue to encourage him to seek employment in case he finds that door to door cold calling is not for him.

Tonight my DW had her first class as a Master’s of Nursing, Nurse Educator student. She forgot to bring the apple to class (joking). She was ready at the computer at 5 pm but had problems getting connected to the Drexel online class website. She was able to call in on her phone and participate in the class.  I was able to help her get connected to her class once I got home.

Tonight’s picture is of the new classroom. Gone are the blackboards and the wooden desks with the hard back seats. Welcome to college 2012. A mug of coffee, comfy clothes, a headphone/microphone and a 23 inch monitor.  Enjoy.


The new classroom

Day 190, Clean bill of health..

Maybe those words don’t go together. Clean bill of health. In this case they just might. This morning we (DS2 and I) were in Red Bank at 7:30 for a follow-up with the doctor that has done the surgeries on DS2’s eyes. As discussed in previous posts, DS2 had two detached retinas fixed in August of 2011. The right eye was redone in December of 2011. Today was the final follow-up from that second surgery. The doctor said that the eye was healing and while he could not guarantee that DS2 would never have this problem again, the likelihood in the near future was nearly zero percent. That is great news. Our next eye doctor visit is in January 2013.

School starts up from DS2 this coming Monday. Sunday we will drive him back to school since he is not comfortable driving with his glasses and the glass bubble in his eye.  The gas bubble should dissipate in about another month.  DS2 is excited to get back to school and (I think) away from his parents.  We certainly seem to cramp his style. Tonight he and I cooked potato pancakes.  They are one of his favorite foods, so I decided to teach him how to make them. We started with whole potatoes, onions and eggs.  He probably has a greater appreciation for the amount of work involved to make them from scratch.

The plumber came at 8 am this morning and was done by 9 am. The bill was 155 dollars for an hours work and about a foot of copper pipe.  I guess after a night of flushing the toilet with a bucket of water from the bath tub, he could have charged nearly anything he wanted. I did several loads of wet towels today. We used up all the beach, pool and bathroom towels in the house drying out the cellar. All day we had fans running in the cellar. Tomorrow I will put things back together

My DW came up from using her college computer (DS3’s machine) with a list of books she needs for school. Her first class starts next Wednesday at 5 pm. One of the ladies that she works with is a few years ahead of her in the Drexel Masters program. She has offered to loan to my DW any books that she can. That should certainly help.

For tonight’s pictures I will post a few of the old pictures that I have harvested from the backup files I found yesterday. I think I may have had a little too much fun posting pictures on Facebook tonight and last night. Enjoy!



Drexel University wants you, post 139..

When I came home tonight from work I was greeted by the next college student in our house. She says, “I got the big envelope!”. To that I replied, “ummm, ok. ” Then she showed me the envelope from Drexel University.  She has been accepted into their Masters of Nursing program.  Yea, good for her!. The obvious “her” would be my DW since she is the only women in the house. She is pretty excited. I am excited to see where this will take her.

The story behind the “big envelope”? If you have or maybe some day will have children that apply for college, getting the big envelope is a good thing. If your admission letter is in a business sized envelope, you most likely have not been accepted. If you got the big envelope full of this and that, you most definitely have been accepted.

On to the boring, hum drum, everyday news. We both worked full days today. Tonight she had yoga with the ladies. I had lacrosse with the guys. Neat how that works out.  We had enough guys to play two full teams, but there were no goalies tonight. In place of goalies we flipped the wide side of the goal down and put a trash can in the hole to reduce the size of the opening. The game was not as competitive without a goalie. Who wants to go home and say “Honey, I had a hat trick against an upside down goal with a trash can inside!”  There was lots of passing and running. I play with a good group of guys. I did have one goal against the trash can to end the game.

Children, DS1 called to chat, looking for grocery and gas money. We discussed his plans for Thanksgiving travel. DS2 had a Jazz  Band Dance performance last night which ran late. He said that he had a good time. DS3 posted on Facebook about this being the one month anniversary with Caroline. I reminded him to do his homework. I am a parent aren’t I? LOL

Off to bed for me. This picture was sent in my a long time reader who has not kept up with his blog reading. DS2 has hung this flag on the wall of his dorm. He wants to study abroad, maybe Australia. Keep following your dreams young man! Enjoy!


DS2's dorm room