Gone and never forgotten..

Yes, a bit melodramatic. The reality is the DS1 moved out on Saturday, September 14, 2013. He is sharing an apartment 45 minutes closer to work with some high school friends.  He will be back this weekend and next weekend since he has things going on in town that are good excuses for sleeping in his old bedroom.  When I asked him why he was moving out (several weeks ago when the move was announced), his response was that it was time. He pointed out that I was out on my own at age 18 or 19. I think he has a romantic idea of what it is like to be booted out of the house when you are 18 years old. Time and beer has softened the experience, but I would not wish those years on anyone. I survived as will he.

If you follow along with this blog, you will have figured out that we (DW and I) are again, empty nesters! The oldest has moved out, the younger two are away at college probably until Thanksgiving (at the earliest) and more likely until the end of the semester. We will see the college kids off and on during the fall. I unplugged the big screen, the cable box, the surround sound and the X-Box in the cellar since there is nobody in the house to use the electronics. Maybe I can save some money on my electric bill this fall.

Speaking of electric bills, the power in our neighborhood has been sketchy for the last month or so. The power has gone out four or five times since the beginning of August. The most recent power outage may have prompted the power company to solve the problem once and for all. Sunday morning at 2:45 am the power went out and the smoke detector in the house started beeping every few minutes. I contacted the power company via an app on my smart phone. They called the house 15 minutes to inquire if the power was out. Fortunately one of our phones is old school and works when the power is out.  After walking me through the stupid customer questions, they promised to dispatch a truck to investigate. At this point I was the only person to have reported the outage.

Looking up the street and down the street, I could see lights. Not in the middle of the street. That was odd since when we loose the power, most of our devolvement goes dark. The truck showed up at 4:30 am and drove around with a spotlight looking a the wires and the poles. After about 20 minutes the truck left. The app on my phone said the approximate restoration time was 6 am. Then 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10 am..  You get the point. At 9:30 two trucks showed up and they replaced the transformer on the pole across the street. Then like magic, the power came back on. Yea!

Here is a link to pictures I shot during the transformer replacement.  The pictures below are from the move on Saturday.



2013-09-14 15.44.48 2013-09-14 15.44.37

The drought is over..

I haven’t had the opportunity in quite a few weeks to write these words. I think the last time I scored a goal on a Monday night playing lacrosse was in early December. The college kids came home, the pace of the game changed. Then we were off for two weeks for the holidays. Back for a week then off to Florida for two weeks. Phew! But, I did score the last goal of the night tonight. Since we don’t keep score (officially), the last goals wins it, right?  Works for me.

Yesterday was the Super Bowl. Did you watch the game? We did, my DW and I. DS1 was at a friend’s house and DS2 and DS3 are away at their universities. Empty nesters watching the Super Bowl. We had wings (of course), deviled eggs, 6 layer dip from COSTCO, lime chips and shrimp cocktail. I ate a years worth of 6 layer dip last night. It’s a wonder that I could play lacrosse tonight.  The power outage last night was pretty well-timed, don’t you think? I am glad Baltimore won.

Upcoming events include:

We’re packing quite a bit into this short month!

Here are a few more random pictures from the last two weekes.  Enjoy!


PS: Funny, the pictures all turned out to be of birds tonight..

What storm?..

 When I left work this evening the sky to the north looked ominous. It has been 90 to 100 degrees and humid for the last three days.  The skies lighted as I drove south. We never had any thunder or rain this evening. Maybe later tonight will be our turn. One of the two customers that have my personal cell phone number called after dinner in a panic since his credit card software was not working. I needed information from the office so I got connected to my computer at work. Almost immediately I was disconnected and could not get reconnected.

I brought up the regional radar and there was a huge red and purple blob over my office. I tried several other machines at work and eventually they all dropped off when their battery backups failed.  Tomorrow should be a joy as people get to work and find out that nothing is working. Me, I have a 7:30 am appointment with a customer working from the kitchen table. I may work from home after that. 

Tonight DS3’s car came home from the shop. The mechanic said that their was no damage to the suspension and such of his car. The car did need tires, we knew that when we bought it. We put four new tires on the car. They also put a few screws into the plastic part of the bumper so that it would not hang down. Our next project (DS3 and I) is to figure out if we can replace the plastic bumper cover.  It would appear from doing web research that the part is available for 50 dollars new and the old one should un-bolt and the new one should bolt back on. I hope the damage is just cosmetic.

It seems that DS3 (according to Facebook) is back in a relationship. It’s tough to keep track.  Back on Sunday when we had not heard her name for a few days we asked and were told that it was over. I guess not.  DS1 worked today. He spent a few minutes after he came home telling me stories about work. That was kind of neat. DS2 worked the evening shift. He came home a few minutes ago. He is battling with his employer to get more hours. They want to keep everyone under 30 hours. It’s tough to pay bills and set money aside during the summer when you work less than 30 hours a week.  DS3 was off today. He hung out with one of his high school ROTC friends.

I ate lunch in Belmar at the boardwalk. It was nice to breathe the salt air and eat my sandwich. It really was not very cool at the beach. Maybe next to the water it was cooler, but back on the boardwalk it was as warm as back at the office (10 miles away). My DW worked a full day. She went to yoga tonight while I worked tech support. I was going to go with her. I need centering..

My pictures tonight come from my visit to the boardwalk. Enjoy!


Are you entitled to post this extra post..

Warning: this is an OP/ED page blog posting. Read at your own discretion.

This blog was prompted by watching the 10 pm news one night following Hurricane Irene’s trip through the eastern seaboard on the United States.  Things are just wrong in this country on a fundamental level. Whether it is what I’ve heard called the Disneyfication of America or just the expectation that somebody will take care of you. Let’s get to the heart of the matter that has caused this rant.

So class, open you books to chapter (Things That Bother Me So).  In this Chapter our hero faces the sirens from the Odyssey and manages to keep his ship off the rocks (mostly). My DW and I were watching the local NYC news on Fox that night.  One of the lead stories besides the flooding in the area was that the power was still out to some large number of customers on Long Island (and elsewhere, mind you). Then the anchors go to the remote location where the reporter de jour tells us what is happening and then does an impromptu interview with the man/women/crazy person on the street.

So we get our background story from the reporter, the same story that they have been telling for the last four days. LIPA has not restored the power on Long Island, people are inconvenienced and angry. Then the man on the street interview starts. Two women are being interviewed. They are white, average looking (not models or trailer trash). They are probably in their late 30’s or early 40’s. So the reporter asks them about the power being out and how they are doing. These two ladies went off like a firecracker. They were angry that their power was not yet restored. Their reason for being angry, besides that it was still dark?  They were angry because they live in the two counties of New York, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, that pay the highest property taxes in the United States and how could they not have their power restored first? 

Entitled, they were entitled to have their power restored first. Nevermind any other factors. Entitled.  They pay the highest taxes, so how could they not be entitled? That attitude set off a bell or a light bulb in my head. Suddenly many things I have seen, heard or been repulsed by, were explained. Entitled, pure and simple. Not the do on to others or treat your neighbor like yourself. Entitled. Yuck!

Not exactly the message we are trying to teach our children, at least our children.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.