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.

Namaste

DS1 and GF 2015-02-04 21.24.52

Stephen "Cat" Coore

Stephen “Cat” Coore

2015-02-04 22.02.41

Climbing back in..

Hopefully. I have been thinking a lot lately about blogging, or actually my lack of blogging.  I just have not been motivated. We came back from vacation and I seem to be trying to get back into that easy rhythm of life.  It has been cold here in New Jersey and just today we had another snow storm forecast.  We have pretty much missed the heavy snow down the shore. But if you travel 35 miles north to where I work, the snow piles are abundant. And I guess when I get back to the office on Monday, there will be even more.

Our vacation ended on Monday, January 27 instead of Sunday, January 26. I guess I did not look to closely back in August when I booked the trip. The reason we had (really, had to) stay was that our flight from Florida to Philadelphia was scheduled to stop in Chicago. And Chicago was closed due to weather. Who in their right mind decides to layover in Chicago in late January?  We tried and failed.

We spent the last night in Fort Lauderdale at the Riverside Hotel on East Los Olas Ave.  This is one of the trendy, hip areas of Fort Lauderdale.  We got a decent deal on Hotwire. The hotel was of the art deco style. The lobby was beautiful. They had a heated pool on the New River so you could lounge in the pool and watch the boats go by. The pool of course had table service.  What else would you expect?

We walked around the Las Olas Ave area window shopping and eating brunch at a restaurant called Vodka. Expensive, but good. Dinner after an afternoon by the pool was at a street side table at the hotel. The food was excellent, but expensive.  We were a little out of our league.  The only downer of the night in Fort Lauderdale was that I left a cash tip for dinner and the next day when I checked the charge, a tip had been added to the credit card charge.  It took two or three emails to resolve that. But the restaurant reduced the charge back to the correct amount.

Since coming home I have worked, and I mean worked. Everything that would have been done if I had not gone away was waiting when I came back. I played lacrosse several times. Each time I have scored a goal or two. Tuesday and Thursday night yoga with my DW has pretty much rounded out the week. Last Saturday I drove to Scranton to have dinner with DS2 and DS3.  My DW was on call for work and could not attend. She enjoyed a quiet evening of Olympics and her blanket.

Here are a few pictures from the last day in Florida and the last three weeks in New Jersey.

And, we head back to Florida next week for some more sunshine..

Namaste

 

US A1A..

Thursday morning we dropped the kids off at the airport and then went to Grandpa’s Bakery for breakfast. This restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  The food is excellent. You get a few samples of some baked good to eat while looking at the menu. After we ate the plane had taken off towards Philadelphia and we were free to explore.  We wanted to stay near the airport in case something went wrong and we had to go back and get them.

We drove to Hollywood Beach and walked the boardwalk. Two miles each way, no hills or snow!  We walked some of the walk on the beach near the water until my DW’s pant legs got wet from several waves. As you can imagine, I took some pictures. The Margaritaville Resort was under construction this year. Last winter the lots were vacant with a sign announcing the arrival of the building. Maybe by next January, the construction will be completed. I don’t image that we can afford to stay there, but we certainly can walk the grounds and have a cocktail.

After our walk we continued down A1A into Miami. We found Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant. This is another place we certainly can’t afford. We can buy our own stone crab claws and the mustard sauce recipe is on the internet, so why should we go there? To rub elbows with the rich and famous, I guess.  We stopped for gas near the American Airlines Arena where the Heat play. In the gas station we saw filling up, a matte black Lamborghini. Talk about awesome. And when the driver was done fueling up, he gunned the engine for all of us who were watching.

We drove around Miami some more and found our way behind the airport where we discovered the Lala Seafood Market. I will admit to being a fish market groupie. My DW will attest that I will stop in random fish markets to see what is for sale. I did spend the first 20 years of my working years in the seafood business. We purchased a fresh Hog Fish and some fresh white shrimp. The lady working the market did a good job filleting and skinning my fish. The entire transaction was done by us in english and her in spanish. Neither of us spoke the other’s langauge. I don’t know if she enjoyed our visit, but we did.

The fish got marinated in the juice of a fresh lemon and some fresh garlic. After an hour I added the fish to a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.  I used a cajun seasoning to give the meal a little bang. The fish and shrimp turned out good, no leftovers.

Thanks for reading and here are some pictures from the day.

Namaste

 

 

Busy living, not writing..

That is my excuse.  We have been busy living our lives, and have not had much time to document the journey.   Writers block is too strong a term or phrase for the current situation.  I am going to resort to bullet points tonight. And they are in no particular order:

  • Sunday, was supposed to be a quiet day. Stay home, 6 pm gentle yoga, dinner and bed.  While watching football my DW called me into the kitchen where the back door was open (45 degrees out) and the kitchen smelled like natural gas. I said, hmmm. Seems the stove did not want to light even though the gas wanted to flow. The stove was about 15 years old. We bought it when they brought natural gas to our street.  Instead of fixing it again, we decided to replace it. So, at 3 pm Sunday afternoon we did some online shopping at Home Depot and Lowes and then went to Lowes and bought a new stove. I put it in the van, removed the old one and installed the new one. We were not late for yoga. Nor were we early.  The stove works great and by 5 pm the next day the old stove had been trash picked from the curb.
  • Saturday, we decided to buy a new table to put the 55 in tv in the tv room on. It had been sitting on a chest from the bedroom for months. The cable box, surround sound and DVD player were all sitting on the floor. We had shopped for something to put them on but had balked at the cost. We found a reasonable piece of furniture at Kohl’s that would do what we want.  We put the table together, disconnected all the wires and re-wired the connections with the cable hidden and the outward appearance looking really nice.  I mean adults live here, shouldn’t things look nice?
  • Saturday night we visited DS1 at his new apartment. He moved out back in September and for the first four weeks we had a general idea of where the apartment was. Then we actually got a mailing address.  After we visited and dropped off some goodies for his apartment we traveled to Philadelphia to eat dinner at Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House. The restaurant is on Samson Street near Penn and Drexel Universities. Dinner was excellent!  I had oysters and fish and chips. My DW had the lobster mac-n-cheese and DS1 had the lobster raviolis. We also shared a lobster dip. This month lobsters are the focus of their menu. We have eaten at another of the Doc Magrogan’s in Scranton several times. Not cheap, but really good food.
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were days that we celebrated my DW’s birthday. The actual day was Wednesday. On Wednesday we had dinner at home and went to yoga. Thursday night we had a birthday dinner at one of the local BYOB Italian restaurants. The food was good. Friday we went to our local watering hole for a burger and soup. Another birthday celebration toast was shared that night.
  • Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were yoga nights. Work has been really busy for me. It is not like I tote that barge and lift that bale kind of work. But the details, stress and sheer volume have left me pretty burned out when I get home.  My DW has had a few crazy weeks at work as well. Some days she works overtime and then the next day she is flexed because there are no cases. Same old story where she works.
  • Today I went to see my cardiologist. It has been two months since my procedure in the hospital. It was decided at the visit that I can stop the blood thinners but continue the beta blocker. Upside? Yup, I can go back to playing lacrosse in a week. I hope to play with DS1 next Wednesday night. 
  • Tonight my DW attended a retirement party for one of her co-workers. I had dinner alone (boo hoo) and went to yoga alone. The ladies were asking where my DW was. We almost always attend together so when one of us is missing they always ask why. The class was full. There may have been room for one more student tonight.
  • Children – DS2 is working on his graduate school admissions stuff. He has a concert Saturday afternoon at 4 pm. DS3 is going to Long Island this weekend to visit his girlfriend. He will miss seeing his parents in Scranton.

Pictures, yup – there are a few.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Namaste

 

Good and Evil Chocolate..

The holidays are coming. Maybe you want to get something for that foodie on your list. Odd, unusual, but still edible. No sense getting them something that they won’t ever eat. That would just be a waste of money.  My DW and I discovered the Anthony Bourdain show, Parts Unknown last season. The show airs on CNN on Sunday nights, 9 pm eastern. Do yourself a favor if you like travel shows, gaudy cinematography and an outspoken host, see this show. Set up the DVR and set aside an hour of your life.  Will it be the best hour of your life, maybe not, but it is always interesting.

Last season they did a show based in Peru. Part of the episode was spent with Anthony and several other men searching for the elusive Peruvian Pure Nacional cacao beans. These are the type of beans that chocolate is made from.  Watch the episode and learn about cacao farming in the Andes. The chocolate that is produced from these rare beans is available for purchase (not on Amazon, believe it or not) on the internet. The Eclat Chocolate website can be found here.

Expensive? Yes. Good, absolutely! We saw the episode and were intrigued by the people and process of the farming and the harvesting.  We got our bar via the brown truck today. At this point tonight, the bar is half gone. I think I will hide the second half so we have a treat for tomorrow night.  We we buy another bar? Probably not. We don’t have money like that.

Enough said.  Maybe you might find one of these chocolate bars under your Christmas (holiday) tree.

Namaste

ge_bar_large

Can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man..

Sunday, my brother the weatherman and I rode our bicycles in the Ataxia FARA Bike Ride outside of Philadelphia. We choose to ride the 25 mile  route. The cue sheet that was provided before hand seemed to indicate that the total elevation of the ride was 1500 feet over 25 miles. That would be a hilly course. After the ride, the Map My Ride app on my phone recorded something closer to 600 feet of elevation change. I’m not disappointed that the hills were less than we thought.  The ride was fun. The weather was ok, cloudy and cool. Just a bit breezy.

By far, the best part of the ride was the after the ride food and beverages. Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bone Fish Grill provided the food. First class, restaurant quality, all you can, food. You got your bracelet when you signed in for the ride.  The bracelet was you ticket to all the food you could eat. The beverages were provided by Victory Beer and Barefoot Wines.  There also was water and powerade. Also, all you can drink.  We both enjoyed the food and a beer or two after the ride. And, at one of the rest stops there was a tub of home-made chocolate chip cookies. I’ve never seen that before.  We will do this ride again.

My heart handled the ride just fine.  My legs held up there end as well.  I have been pushing myself a little more each week trying to figure out what my new reality is.  I could have pushed harder Sunday. I tried to push here and there and take it easy and enjoy the scenery at other times.  I took two hot yoga classes last week. One was the usual Absolute yoga class with a different teacher. The usual teacher was on vacation. The Thursday night hot yoga was a “fitness flow” class.  This means that you move a lot in the heat. That was a tough class. I survived and will go again this week.

Here are a few pictures from the ride on Sunday.  Enjoy! 

Thanks for reading.

Namaste

 

Common sense?..

Gone out the window for sure.  In my best Rod Serling voice..

Consider this, you are in a restaurant. Your meal is late coming to the table and you have had a few adult beverages (maybe more than a few). You are laughing and having fun with your table companions. Suddenly, your dinner shows up! Starving , you grab your fork and start to shovel the food into your mouth without even tasting or cutting your food.

You start to choke, the food that you would not cut has gone down your wind pipe. Suddenly you are seeing stars and your face gets red and then starts to turn blue. You bang you fist on the table and try to cough, no luck. You turn to the person closest to you and you grab your neck with both hands, the international symbol for “I’m choking to death”.

Quickly your companion gets behind you, makes a fist and does the Heimlich Maneuver on you. The food becomes dislodged and your life has been saved. You immediately attempt to swallow the same piece of food without cutting it up. Results? Now the food is stuck in your esophagus and you are going to the hospital in the middle of the night to have a doctor remove (for the last time) this piece of dinner.

The moral of the story?

If you choke on your dinner and someone has to save your life, do them a favor and spit the piece of food out and try another piece. That piece of food won the battle.

Common sense?

Namaste

 PS. A true story (did not happen to me, thankfully!)

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