Return of the beast..

I was hunted by the beast all fall, winter and spring. I watched as my co-workers and extended family members were taken down by the beast.  Yes, they all got back up (after a few days/week). The beast is the winter cold or flu that rears its ugly head each year.  Cold and flu season in North America is from November to May. I guess in the Southern Hemisphere, the dates are reversed to match their cold seasons.  The Monday before Mother’s Day was when the beast caught me. I have spent the last two weeks coughing. Last Thursday I finally contacted the doctor since the cold had been kicking my butt for two weeks. I got some cough medicine with codeine that has limited the coughing. The cough medicine has also allowed me to sleep more that two hours at a time.

Mother’s Day was a bust here. Both (DW and I) were sick. I guess the best part was that DS2 came home from college for the summer. He has two job prospects that should bloom this week.  Usually I might include a prayer for wealth when saying my nightly prayers. This past week the prayer was for my health, forget the money. Being sick sucks.  I still have some congestion in my chest. My concern is that when the cough medicine runs out that the cold will come back. If that is the case I will be back in the doctor’s office.

Highlights of the last two weeks:

  • DS3 has finished his Sophomore year at the University of Scranton.  He will return there in the fall
  • DS3 has dropped out of the ROTC program. His grades and eye sight were two reasons that the Army was never going to give him money towards his education. He will take this extra time and work towards graduating in four years.
  • DS2 is done with his Junior year at Marywood University. He will be returning there in the fall.
  • DS2 is working on several compositions that he is submitting to international amature composer contests.
  • DS2 turned 22 years old.
  • DS1 is still working at the tree farm. He got a raise and two weeks of vacation after working there for a year.  His employer seems to be trying to show DS1 future opportunities in an effort to keep him from jumping ship this summer.
  • DW was the Nurse of the Month for her unit in April. And no, she did not get to park closer to the building! There is no monetary award, just a piece of paper and your name on a list.
  • The garden is pretty much planted. The lettuce and spinach are doing quite well. The tomatoes are showing some life after two weeks of dormancy due to the low overnight temperatures. I will probably have to put in the stakes and start tieing them off in another week or two.
  • Me, I played lacrosse jacked on cough syrup one night. I had no goals (duh!).  DS1 said “Dad, you don’t know how to play lacrosse with a buzz?”  This was a skill that I did not learn in college. Kids..

That is a short update from Manahawkin, NJ on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Here are a few pictures, enjoy!



Happy Birthday, oh – youngest child..

Today is DS3’s 20 th birthday. His vast (really vast) group of friends started posting birthday wishes on Face Book around midnight last night. We celebrated a week or so ago when we were in Scranton for the night. We sent him a birthday cake through the food service company that provides the meals at his school. A picture of the partially eaten cake will be down below.   Happy Birthday to you…

Today is Wednesday, April 24, 2013. I seem to be falling into a Wednesday night blogging routine. Monday is lacrosse , Tuesday is yoga, Wednesday is blog, Thursday, Friday,  Saturday and SUnday just fly by.  Let’s work backwards tonight. Last night was yoga. We started our second six-week session. There were a few new faces for this sessions. And I am no longer the only male in the class!  One of the ladies from the first session brought a man with her for the second session.  This is the first time in two years that I have not been the only male in the class. Monday night lacrosse saw no goals scored by me. It seemed this week that A: I was the oldest player on the field and B: The the other players were much younger and the game was played at a much faster pace.  Just one other comment about Monday night, one of the guys on defense that covered me Monday night will be playing professional lacrosse this summer. Covering me…

Sunday I rented a chainsaw and a 14 foot ladder and trimmed 4 huge branches from the oak tree in front of our house. This will allow more sunlight to reach the lawn and maybe the lawn will have one less reason not to grow.  Saturday we planted tomatoes and loaded up our flower boxes with various plants. Saturday night the temperature went down to 37 or so degrees. Some of the plants looked a little weary this evening when I was watering them. If they don’t make it, we will replace them in a few weeks when it’s warmer.  Here is a link to a video I shot on Saturday of the garden.

Thursday and Friday were just regular days here in New Jersey.   Work, beer, lacrosse on tv.  What could be better than that?

I have a few pictures to share, see the captions.  Thanks for reading!


Beer 30..

Saturday evening DS1, the weatherman, another brother (needs a catchy pseudonym) and I went to the Morristown Brew Fest.  The event was billed as “unlimited beer tasting” for four hours.  If you paid an extra 20 dollars you could get in an hour earlier and get some “free’ food and “special” beers not available to the general public.  We choose the cheap (50 dollar) way out. My OB (other brother) lives in Randolph about 15 minutes from the Morristown Armory.  His wife drove us to the festival and shared their home for the night so we would not have to travel home after drinking. Thank you! The festival website can be found here.  There were a few problems with the delivery of the goods on Saturday. The organizers (as you can read on their website) had problems with the ticket scanners. They attempted to verify each of about 3000 tickets manually. You can guess how that went.

How it went was that we arrived at 4:35 for the event and stood outdoors in the cold for 1.5 hours in a line with 2000 other people.  When we finally got to the entrance, they had people checking id’s, that went pretty quick. The pinch point was that the one entrance was also the exit.  And lining both sides of the entrance/exit were lines of people waiting for the bathrooms. Hmm. The entrance was a double door, one side closed. So everybody in line entered the building one person at a time.  Once I got through the door, they just took my ticket and did not check it.  The people in line were well-behaved. The wait would have gone better if someone from the festival had come outside and explained to the people in line what the problems and solutions were. We would have felt less in the dark.   See some news coverage here and here.

Inside, warm, not too crowed and very loud. Sometimes my misspent youth comes back to haunt me. I don’t do will in loud crowds. The beer selections were great. I had all the beer I wanted. I waited many times in a line two or three people deep. But the lines were quick, the people pouring had smiles (for the most part). My son, and brothers all had stories to share by the end of the night. My brother worked one table while the lady working the table went to the bathroom. My son had somebody give him 10 dollars for food, I guess he looked hungry.  We had a good time. Will we go next year? I’m not really sure. I have been to two of these things (one in Manhattan and this one), this event had a good selection of beer.   Pictures, of course!


Other news,

  • DS3 went to the University of Scranton, ROTC Military Ball with his girlfriend this weekend.  I have not spoken to him about the experience. There is a picture at the bottom.
  • DS2 and his girlfriend celebrated Valentines Day and 5 months of dating this weekend. There is a picture below.
  • Friday night we (DW and I) went to the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank to see Pink Martini. We saw them a few years ago in Central park (NYC). They were pretty good Friday night. At the end of the night, my DW and I counted ten different languages that they sang songs in!  Pretty impressive.  There is a picture below from that concert.
  • Dinner Friday night was at the Dublin House in Red Bank.  Nice place, skip the fish and chips. The other things we ate were good.  Note to the bartender at the Dublin House, second floor, a black in tan is so named because it is poured with the light beer on the bottom and the dark beer on the top. Mixing them together and serving them mixed kills the concept. Practice, practice.

Here are the pictures, enjoy!


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.

Magic of Disney..

Or maybe the magic of Word Press. With any luck your view of this blog should include snow flakes. Last year, if you moved your mouse from one side of the screen to the other, the snow would change direction to follow your mouse. Time will tell.

Working backwards here is the update for the last few days. Tonight I played lacrosse with the old (and young) men in Robbinsville.  I had two assists and no goals.  I had two shots on goal, one missed and the goalie stopped the other. My hands are still a little sore from being checked while handling the ball.  My DW went to yoga tonight. Boys to lacrosse, girls to yoga.   She said that the holiday doldrums have set in at her yoga class. Attendance is way down. Then, come the first of the year, bam! the class will be packed again. I guess she and the other regulars should enjoy the peace and quiet.

Work today was not too bad. I was busy all day. My DW worked a full day as well. I heard from the code enforcement officer today around noon time. It would appear that my neighbor behind my house is the guilty party that called the town about the trees that I cut up yesterday. The code enforcement officer was out to the “scene of the crime”  (Alice’s Restaurant reference) this morning and said the work I did this weekend is sufficient and there will be no further action by the town in this matter.  Maybe next time this neighbor has something to say, they will try communicating without using the town.

Sunday night, I watched the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. Did you?  It was awesome. I can’t wait for February to be here and the show to resume.  DS3 returned from his Fall FTX (Field Training Exercise) held this year at Fort Dix. He passed his day and night land navigation tests. He had a good time but was tired last night when we talked to him.

Sunday afternoon DS1 cleaned the gutters at our house and at his grandmother’s house. We also shot around the lacrosse balls down at the high school.  My DW and I did our grocery shopping around noontime. There seems to be twice as many people on the road this weekend as normal. Hopefully they will get this out of their systems and go back to wherever they came from. (New York, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Tennessee just to mention a few).  Someone drove their car from Alaska to Waretown, NJ?  Hello, McFly, Waretown?

 Here is a picture from Thanksgiving 2012. Enjoy!




What is the world coming to?..

Yesterday was Wednesday, October 4, 2012. There are 77 days left until the end of the Mayan Calender.  Wednesday,  we were supposed to go sailing on Barnegat Bay. Unfortunately, the fog that we woke up with did not burn off in time to make either a 10:30 am or a 2:30 pm sail. We will try again on Saturday morning.

Since I had taken the day off to go sailing, we both did our usual Sunday things. Like grocery shopping, paying bills, house cleaning. I even tried to fix our Roomba. The Roomba has a problem with the optical sensors that tells it when it hits a wall.  I bought the necessary parts and had the Roomba completely apart. I replaced the sensors and still the problem persists. Today, our Roomba was shipped off to be fixed. 

We had a nice dinner of mussels and clams in a white wine sauce.  We enjoyed some of the white wine that was left over from cooking, really.  DS1 came home from work all full of energy and went off to the gym.  After dinner we got caught up on some of the tv shows that we missed so far this season.

Thursday was back to work. Having Wednesday off was like having an extra weekend this week. Work for me was busy all day. I went out at lunch time and bought two headlight bulbs for my DW’s mini van. One of the bulbs burned out Tuesday night on the way to yoga. Tonight after I dinner, I rushed out to replace the bulbs since I was driving that van to Thursday night lacrosse. After I finished the headlight swap, I got an email from the Thursday night lacrosse organizers that the game was cancelled tonight due to weather up in Manalapan. Hmmm. Two cancellations in a row due to the weather. What is the world coming to?

Collage children, no contact since the weekend. I guess they had enough mom and dad time over the weekend. DS3 posted on Face Book about his Army PT test scores.  He said that he needs to run more. 

Tonight’s pictures are from Sunday’s trip home. The fall colors have already started in Scranton. Enjoy!



Parents weekend, Day 2..

Today started early for us. My DW, DS3 and I participated in the Scranton Royals 5 k run/walk. DS3 ran with some of his ROTC buddies. He ran the course in 24 minutes. We walked the course in 56 minutes. We wanted to finish in under an hour and we did.

We met one of my cousins at the Coney Island Lunch today for hot dogs and a visit. It was nice to visit with one of my Scranton relatives. Her daughter is a freshman at Marywood, the same school that DS2 is attending.

Tonight we went to Doc Magrogan’s for dinner. They are known for their oyster bar and fresh seafood. I found out tonight that DS2 and DS3 eat oysters. I thought I was going to have them to myself. I ordered a second dozen after the two boys ate most of the first dozen.

After dinner, DS3 went back to school to work on homework.  We took DS2 back to his school and watched a musician entertain the crowd while DS2 put on his tuxedo and had some fun at casino night.  We bought raffle tickets and won a restaurant gift basket. DS2 now has a few choices to eat out in town.

The pictures will have captions.  Enjoy!


Two for the price of one..

No coupon needed, even!  Tonight’s blog will cover yesterday (Thursday) and today (the last day of summer) 2012 in the Northern Hemisphere. Yesterday went to hell pretty quickly around 4:30 pm. I work from 8:30 to 5 pm, so how bad could the last thirty minutes be?  I got snagged by a customer doing their own work that caused thing to go bad at their store. Since they are a part of a 25 store chain, I could not just blow them off until Friday.  The end of the story is that I worked an extra hour last night to resolve their problems. And I did.

That kind of killed going to lacrosse last night. By the time I walked in the door, I should have eaten, gotten dressed and be walking out the door. One reason to play lacrosse is to relax and de-stress. Walking in and then right back out would not have worked. We went out to dinner instead. We went looking a few weeks back for a place to rent kayaks on the bay and found a few marinas with restaurants attached. We went to one of these restaurants to eat. The first “hmmm” was when we sat down and the people next to us had a box of wine on the floor next to their table. Must be BYOB.  We missed that memo.

The next “hmmm” moment was when we looked around and saw that we may have been the youngest partons in the place. At 50 years, the youngest partons. The guy playing the electric piano had to be 75 years old. he was no too bad. His song book was from a different era, go figure. The food was ok, The prices, not cheap. The service was excellent. Go back, probably not. There are better and cheaper places closer to home.  Maybe a quick bite in the summer time at the outdoor tables.

Friday was a WFH (work from home) Friday for me. Nothing tooexciting going on at work. My DW worked full days both Thursday and Friday.  Tonight we went to the local high school football game. I am one of the adults that shoots pictures or video of the football team and/or the band. The team lost tonight. The other team had a field goal kicker that connected for a 45 yard field goal! In high school! Some of the guys in professional football had trouble at that distance.

Children, DS1 works and works.  I saw three of his high school coaches tonight. They all asked how he was doing. DS2 is in upstate New York this weekend attending the wedding of the sister of one of his college buddies. DS3 is doing homework and goofing off.

Tomorrow my brother the weatherman is doing a triathlon at Great Adventure here in New Jersey. Just for fun after the race he is meeting my at Allaire Park where we will ride our bikes for about 22 miles together. Maybe the race in the morning will help equalize things. Probably not.

Tonight’s picture come the football game tonight. One ROTC, one football and one band picture.  Enjoy!


If you haven’t used it in 10 years…

Maybe it’s time to throw it away.  This seems to be the theme this weekend.  Many items have been dragged out of closets and revisited. Most of them have very little useful or sentimental value.  Their value lies in their ability to collect dust and fill the top shelf of the closet.  Note to my children away at college: your precious things have not yet been throw away. They may be on an “inventory” list that gets looked at (discussed) some time when you return home from school. Take notice of the word “yet”

Quiet Saturday here in New Jersey. What a difference a week makes. Last week the humidity and the visitors from out-of-town were unbearable. This week, cooler temperatures and crazy people may have just figured out that the summer is over and they should stay home and do stuff in their own neighborhoods.  I picked tomatoes, a cucumber, carrots and brussel sprouts today. Their picture is at the bottom. This is the end of the carrots. The greens were starting to look bad, so I dug them all up and cleaned them in the sink. The brussel sprouts are a work in progress. They will be part of Sunday night’s dinner. The lonely cucumber will be enjoyed the week. We had home-made pickles with dinner made from the earlier summer harvest.  The tomatoes may get crushed up and frozen for sauce this winter.

DS1 went to work today. My DW and I were off. We worked at home.. No kids in the house, nice weather. We had a decent day doing our Saturday chores. Tomorrow I head back into the cellar for a few hours of waterproofing work. Dinner tonight was cheeseburgers with beef from the local butcher and fresh mozzarella from the same butcher. The burgers were good. There are leftovers that will be lunch Sunday and maybe Monday. DS2 continues to work on writing music. He sent me (via Drop Box) the first seven minutes of the song that he is writing for a student film being filmed by a student at his school. I was impressed. I will find some pictures to go with his music and make a slide show.

DS3 had a good day off. Some homework, some goofing off. Tonight is movie night in his dorm room.  I spoke with his high school lacrosse coaches last night at the football game and they told me that one of the current high school lacrosse players was in Scranton looking at Scranton and Marywood. They bumped into DS3 while they were on their college tour. Small world.

Tonight’s pictures have captions as necessary. Enjoy!


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!



Previous Older Entries