First in line for takeoff..

Pull those seatbelts tight, we are first in line for takeoff.  The flight attendant on our Southwest flight announced to the relief of all of my fellow passengers.   Florida beckons, once again.  Escaping the cold for some fun in South Florida.  Fourteen days to pretend we made it.  Six days in the Keys, the rest in Weston where I play in a 45 year and older lacrosse tournament at this time each year.
As I write this the sun is rising above the Virginia Capes.  I like the window seat.  The sunshine feels good on my face.  Along for this adventure are my DW, DS1 and DS3. The middle child is house sitting.   Look for more posts this week from our trip

Back in November I worked as a poll worker during the most recent election.  The day was boring due to low voter turn out. One funny (maybe not, if you give this story any thought)  happened late in the afternoon.   A women came in to vote carrying one small child and guiding another slightly older child by the hand. Neither child wanted to be there.  Cranky would best describe their behavior.  The mother signs in and takes her voting slip over to the voting booth.   She handed me her slip and I tried to smile as the children got louder.  The older one says in a loud voice “NOT THE CLOSET MOMMY!  NOT THE CLOSET!”
Hmmm. I just kept a neutral face while everyone in the polling place looked on.
That statement comes up now and then in conversation. Seemingly at the oddest of times.

Some psychiatrist will put their child though college with that child.


Lunch at Keys Fisheries, Marathon, FL

Lunch at Keys Fisheries, Marathon, FL


Enjoying a nice warm breeze..

Greetings from Sugarloaf Key, Florida. We are sitting in the screened in second floor porch watching the water and relaxing. Dammit, we are relaxing!  Really, it is all good.  We flew down Sunday into Fort Lauderdale and had breakfast then drove south to the Lower Keys. We wanted to try to make it for the sunset celebration in Key West Sunday, but that would have ment that we could stop nowhere on US 1. Driving straight through skips some of the fun of that drive. So we stopped and acted like tourists.

Monday we went into Key West in the afternoon. In the morning my DW and I went out and kayaked in the bay for an hour or so. Sun screen is mandatory for us visitors from the north. DW3 and his GF went for a bike ride. Today they said they want the kayaks. It is 10:30 am and they are still asleep. They might miss their kayak chance again today..

Key West was fun. We went to the Smokin’ Tuna to see Scott Kirby, a favorite Key West musician. The only problem was that his scheduled changed between Friday and Monday and he was not there. We had a few beers and a cheeseburger. The beer was cold and the burger was fine. Then we walked Duval Street for a while and ended our walk at Mallory Square. We watched some of the street performers and the crowd as we waited for the sunset.

The clouds and some rain changed the sunset viewing plans of the tourists yesterday. I got some pictures before the rain blew in. We may go back and try again tonight.  Dinner was at the Hogfish Grill on Stock Island.  Here is a tip, if you find yourself in Key West or the Lower Keys, eat dinner at the Hogfish Grill on Stock Island, you won’t be disappointed.  And yes, the neighborhood you drive though appears a bit sketchy, but you will be ok.

Here are a few pictures and we will check back in later in the week.

Thanks for reading!


Scott Kirby, Concert II..

Tuesday night my DW and I went to the Tuckahoe Inn to see Scott Kirby perform. Scott is one of our favorite musicians. He is a part owner in the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon in Key West. Scott seems to winter in Key West and spend the summer driving around the United States performing. The last couple of years we got to see Scott each time he was at the Tuckahoe Inn. This year was a treat since he performed there twice in one summer.

The Tuckahoe Inn is in Beasley’s Point, NJ. They are not far from Exit 25 on the Garden State Parkway. Here is a link to the pictures that I took that night of Scott and Lew London. I also shot some video which I uploaded to You Tube. That video can be found here (Scott Kirby and Lew London at the Tuckahoe Inn).

Enjoy the pictures and stop in and see Scott if you find yourself in Key West this winter. We surely will.






Summer time is garden time..

Tomatoes and cucumbers are the main crop again this summer. We had two yellow squash and then some insect that boars into the stem killed the squash plants. They also killed two of the pumpkin plants. The melon plants, no fruit so far again this year.  They never seem to produce in my yard.  The tomatoes have been ground up and frozen for the most part. The cucumbers have been pickled, eaten raw and given away.  I need to go out and pick tomatoes again tonight or tomorrow. There are lots of red “things” mixed in with the green leaves in the garden.

Other summer happenings include my DW and I going to the Tuckahoe Inn in Beasley’s Point, NJ to see Scott Kirby play. Scott is one of our favorites. We try to catch his shows when he is on the road in the summer time. During the winter he can be found at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon in Key West, Florida.  Here is a link to the pictures I shot last night. I also shot a video of one of the songs and posted that song on You Tube.  We had great time even getting up to dance to two songs. We probably would have danced more, but I was concerned about leaving my camera at the table unattended. He will be back in New Jersey in August.  We are already planning on going to that show.

DS1 continues to work. He has found some friends that he is supposed to be moving into an apartment with in mid September. The apartment is closer to his current job and closer to Philadelphia (should he be looking to change jobs).  DS2 has returned from his week’s vacation in North Carolina with his girl friend’s family. He had a good time and learned how challenging a ten-year old child can be. DS3 is continuing to work in the landscaping business this summer. The  two college boys are looking forward to returning to school (and getting out of the house..).

Saturday we are planning to go to Annapolis for the day to see the Chesapeake Bayhawks  professional lacrosse game.  There is too much going on to stay the night (and the extra cost).

Here are a few pictures from the last week.  Enjoy, and thanks for reading!


Wednesday post (needs a better title)

Rain, snow, dark of night. Not a cute (inaccurate) rhyme about the postal service. Just the state of affairs here in New Jersey this Wednesday night.  The blessing of living on the cost (usually) is the lack of snow in the winter time. This year has followed that rule pretty well. Two years ago we got just as much snow as the rest of the state. Not this year. So, yes, tonight, rain, snow, ice and of course, darkness. A good night to stay home and read a good book. It must be warm in Key West tonight. Scott Kirby has shorts and a tee-shirt on while performing at the Smoking Tuna Cafe. See the Tuna Cam here.

If you are keeping score with us this week, we have two more deaths to report. Well.. My DW’s mom’s brother died on Sunday. His viewing is tomorrow night and the funeral is Friday.  His obituary can be found here.  Another of DS1’s college teammates had a death in their family. The grandfather died Sunday as well.  That makes 5 in the last week. Related to DS1 =2, related to DW = 1, related to DS2 = 1 related to me = 1. It would appear the people that know DS3 are either in good shape or are next on the chopping block.  It has been pretty crazy. I have become fairly adapt at finding obituaries online. Not a skill I will list on my next resume. 

 Other than that, same old thing. DS1 has been working everyday (Monday – Friday). DS2 performed at the  first jazz dance at Marywood on Sunday night.  He seems to be doing ok. DS3 will have company from his LI girlfriend for the weekend up at school.  My DW and I continue to go to work and keep the house clean while the oldest seems to do his best to undo our efforts.  I made home-made Farmer Cheese this week. My mother used to make it when we were kids.

Today is Ash Wednesday. Yesterday was… Fat Tuesday.  I watched some of the craziness in New Orleans via several webcams in the French Quarter. One day we will be part of that silliness.  My DW wants to go for the last hour so she can watch the police clear the streets at midnight. 

Here are a few pictures from this week. 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.

Good thing I have a Hall Pass..

What, a hall pass, you say?  Yes, this gets me past the hall monitor and able to do whatever I want instead of being in class doing what I am supposed to be doing.  My hall pass allowed me to take last night off and to write a short blog tonight.  Really, that what is says right on the paper.

Last night, well in a word, magical!  My DW and I went to the Sandi Pointe Bistro in Somers Point, NJ to see Peter Mayer (plays for Jimmy Buffett as his full-time gig), Brendan Mayer (his son), Scott Kirby and Lew London. We are big Scott Kirby fans. We are Peter Mayer fans.  After the show we became huge Peter Mayer fans. That man can play the guitar. As good and with as much feeling as anyone I have ever seen. If he comes to your town, cut work, skip school, or just play hookie.  It was a magical night. Here are two videos from last night.

In this song, Peter, Brendan and Scott are singing “Approaching Caroline“.  In this video they are joined by Lew London on India into Teach your children well (CSN song). They were shot on my camera in HD. Sorry for the shake and the crowd noise. The videos are worth the price of admission tonight.

Tonight I played lacrosse on the grass for the first time since August. My knees do not like the uneven surface. I had two goals (against an inverted net and a garbage can). The can does not move much, but it has a high save percentage (not kidding).

Here are three pictures from last night’s concert. Magical…  Enjoy!



Welcome back, college football..

As a fan of college football, I’m happy to see the season has started today.  A die-hard fan? Not even close. But, there usually is a game or two on most weekend nights that I am interested in watching. Does anybody know why USC is ranked # 1? Let’s hope that does not last too long. I’m not a USC fan.  Geaux Tigers!

Today DS1 went to work. DS2 worked on a psychology paper. DS3 went to the Italian Festival in downtown Scranton today with his roommate. Us, my DW has been doing “Walk at Home” fitness tapes that are on You Tube. She walks two to four miles a day with these tapes. Me, I rode my bike 20 miles today.  Most of the ride was in the Barnegat Branch Trail. I shot some video with a Scott Kirby song in the background. The video turned out pretty good. It is posted below. My leg felt fine. I wore the neoprene sleeve on my calf just like when I play lacrosse.  Tonight we had steak, cajun shrimp and mini crab cakes for dinner. It is tough cooking for 2.5 (or sometime 3) people. We never know what or how much the oldest will eat. After 24 years we have stopped worrying .

I have pictures and video to share tonight.  The video is from my bike ride.  The pictures, the captions will explain.  Enjoy!


Dancing was allowed..

We went to the Tuckahoe Inn this evening to see Scott Kirby and Dave Edminsten play.  What a magical night!  We left Manahawkin for the 40 mile drive south and it was raining here and had rained off and on (flash flood warnings, raining), all afternoon. By the time we got down to Beasly’s Point (location of the Tuckahoe Inn), the road was dry as were the picnic tables.  In this video you can see the band performing and a shot of the crowd and the patio where the concert took place.

We had a table to ourselves for most of the evening.  Towards 9 pm another couple asked if they could sit with us since all the other tables were full. We said sure, and met some new people.  Turns out the husband is a nurse. The wife, I’m not sure. The husband also works beach patrol EMT in the summer time. He had a few interesting stories to tell. 

We, my DW and I got up and danced to quite a few songs. The “dance floor” was a concrete patio that was slightly sloped towards the water. I guess for better drainage or, the concrete settled over the years. Either way, when we danced, she was closer to my height when I was downhill and she danced on her toes when she was downhill. It was a funny (to me at least). Maybe we should have dance laterally with me downhill the entire time..

The food was decent bar food, the table service was not rushed. I guess they figured that we got our table early were going to stay until 10 pm when the show was over. Why rush?  In this HD video, hosted on You Tube, you can see more of the band, the crowd and Great Egg Harbor.

Kids, they all worked today. My DW worked a full day. I worked from home and went to see the orthopedic surgeon with my MRI films. He looked at the films and told me that I had a tear of the muscle in my calf. I should not run or play lacrosse for a few weeks. That the injury could take up to 8 weeks to heal and.. the longer I stay off it (re:lacrosse), the shorter the time to getting my leg back to 100 %.  Hmmm.  Then he sends me an invitation to do a 12 mile Tough Mudder with him and some other men our age on June 1, 2013.

Tonight’s picture is from the show. Enjoy!



One day off from the A/C..

The weather here in New Jersey was pleasant today. The humidity was decent and the temperatures got into the mid 80’s. We turned the a/c off this morning after what seems like a two-week straight run of hazy, hot and humid weather. The humid stuff is forecast to return tomorrow.  DS1 brought home the work truck tonight. I posted the picture of this truck last week. I will include it again at the bottom. He parked the truck in the driveway since the town does not allow overnight truck parking on the street. It is pretty comical to see this huge truck in the driveway with… farmer plates. I did not know that the State of NJ issued Farmer Plates. They must, there are a set on the truck in the driveway. He drove the truck home since he was making a delivery to a local landscaper.

Ds2 is working the closing shift tonight. He is counting the days to returning to school. DS3 worked the day shift at the B & B Department store today. He said work was slow. Tonight he and  his girl friend are at Kelly’s in Barnegat Light for dinner. He asked about the restaurant I told him “the food is ok, the prices are ok, the table service is slow. And, you will probably have to wait for a table” He said that was just fine. I guess waiting with your honey is a good thing. 

My DW worked a full day then had to go back for three more hours. This is her call week. I was busy today. Tomorrow I am working from home because I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning about my calf. It still hurts. Not that I am complaining (maybe a little), just every now and then it hurts a little bit more. 

I got caught up on my Falling Skies episodes tonight. I missed two weeks during the Olympics. Not that I watched the Olympics, I just missed watching my show. I don’t watch much tv during the summer.  Dinner tonight was a COSTCO chicken.  I was cooking tonight and had not defrosted anything this morning. The COSTCO is 5 minutes away.  Easy in and out. The best part, the only thing I bought was the chicken. I resisted the urge to buy the jumbo bag, box of something to help fill my cart.

Tomorrow night, all things being equal, we are going to the Tuckahoe Inn to see Scott Kirby.  I may miss posting due to having too much fun! (I hope)

Tonight’s picture is of the truck that is in my driveway. Enjoy!


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