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..



No, no, no and no, but maybe yes..

Nonsense of a title. Wednesday started off slow. It was nearly noon time before the “kids” were awake and moving around. They were scheduled to fly back to Philadelphia on Wednesday but, we decided to postpone their flight home by a day due to the 14 + inches of snow that fell in Philadelphia. That went along with single digit temperatures. Neither of them had anywhere to go, so why go fly into that mess any sooner than necessary.  This gave them a “free or extra” day in Florida.

Noon time they surfaced and we were ready to go out and do one of two different things. They needed to shower and dress for the day. We (DW and I) decided to wait by the pool for them. We walked out and sat down by the pool and both quickly came to the conclusion that spending the day in and around the pool was probably the best idea for the day. It was chilly, but the pool was heated and the sunshine warmed the pool deck nicely.

That is what we did. We stayed and played in the pool and the hot tub for the entire afternoon.  We caught the sunset from our room and went out to a local restaurant for dinner. Simple and easy, just like a vacation should be.

Here are some pictures from the day by the pool. Enjoy!

No driving, no walking, no problems, pool? Why yes!


Where are the snow plows?..

This is the question.  We spent Saturday night in Scranton visiting with DS2 and DS3. DS3 is in the choir at the University of Scranton and Saturday night was Noel Night. Noel Night (46 th. Annual) is the Christmas Concert for the choir and various musical groups. Various musical groups include a string group (violins and such), a flute choir and a low brass choir. Outside of the Houlihan Center they had a small band playing Christmas carols in the 20 degree temperatures.  As college students at a Jesuit university, I’m sure they found a way to stay warm.

Here are two videos from that night. This first is the choir singing the University of Scranton Alma Matter

And this video is of the last song of the night entitled “The Perfect Rose” The trumpet player is named Mark Gould


After the concert we went to Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant in Scranton. I had posted on Facebook that we would be there between 10 pm and midnight Saturday night and offered to buy a drink for anyone that stopped by. I was spared the expense by the cold and late night. Scranton rolls up the sidewalks early.  We had a nice visit with the boys and were out of there by midnight. And, if you remember a previous post where they promised to procure a favorite bottle of rum for me, they forgot or failed since it was not there Saturday night. Oh well.

Sunday morning was breakfast at the Bucktown Diner with the boys and then we headed home while they went to study for finals this week. Or that is what they told us. The ride was uneventful until we got to Ocean County on the Garden State Parkway. The promised “light dusting” of snow turned out to be about 6 – 8 inches and the Parkway authority was unprepared. A forty minute ride took almost three hours and we did not see one snow plow or police car during the entire trip. We did see several tow trucks making their money. I wonder if I can get my toll money refunded since the parkway did not provide the services (snow removal) that my tolls partially pay for. Typical New Jersey, over two or three years you double the tolls and reduce the services.  Not a peep in the local Gannet owned newspaper about the lack of plows or police. I guess they are all in it together.

Did I mention that I played lacrosse last night with DS1 and scored two goals! Yea baby!

Here are links to pictures from the weekend. This link are choir pictures, this link are family pictures and this link is of the winter weather on Sunday.


Sunday morning..

It is Sunday February 10, 2013 here in New Jersey. Sunny and cold.  Our possibly planned trip to Scranton to see the boys yesterday did not happen. One of the reasons for the trip was to avoid working on our taxes and the kids FAFSA paperwork.  It isn’t that the process is complicated, I do both every February. It is just tedious.  So, instead of spending money avoiding the inevitable (the taxes part), I just got them done. Four tax returns both federal and state. Now I have to review them, fill in the two or three missing pieces and send them off.  The FAFSA’s may get started today.  Next weekend will be quite busy.

Speaking of the inevitable (the death part), we (the LimeGuy family) seem to be slightly surrounded by people passing away this week. Thursday, I got a phone call from a childhood friend that his oldest sister had passed after fighting cancer for 18 months. This makes the second sister he has lost to cancer. The wake is Monday and the funeral is Tuesday. The obituary can be found here.  Saturday morning, DS2 told me that the father of the girl he drove home from college in December had died of a heart attack that (yesterday) morning. Funeral plans are unknown. I expect to be in Cherry Hill at some point this week to support our son and his friends. And to round it out, the father of one of DS1’s college lacrosse teammates died on Thursday out in Ohio.  What a week!

We, DW and I, shoveled the little bit of snow that fell, clearing pathways and the plow pile in front of the driveway.  The weather forecast for Monday is calling for a high of 50 degrees. That should clean up the snow that is still on the ground.  We bought a new printer for the house at COSTCO yesterday. A HP 7520 ink jet printer. The printer is web-enabled. What does that mean? It means that we can send emails to the printer and they will print at the house. If the email is a picture, the picture will print on the photo paper. If the email is a document, then plain paper is used. I added an app to my phone and tested it out yesterday. I took a picture that DS2 sent me in a text, shared it to the E Print app and then printed it, from my phone!  Nice! Tech people and their toys.  It is also convenient for my DW to print her coupons.

Pictures you say? Well, I said pictures..  Here you go.  Enjoy!

This link will take you to the Saturday snow pictures from our neighborhood.

Oh, partner yoga tonight 6:30 to 7:30 pm, dinner will be late..


Marywood University Saturday morning after the snow

Marywood University Saturday morning after the snow

Poked or maybe prodded…

It is Monday night here in NJ. Monday night means lacrosse for boys and yoga for girls. I played with the usual Monday night crowd at the Robbinsville Field House. The owners have finally fixed all the lights. All of them. When we started playing there about four years ago, all the lights worked. Then gradually, one by one, the lights would burn out and not get replaced. Then Sandy happened and the owners had to fix the lights. There is the silver lining from the storm. I had a few shots, caught a few passes. I did not score nor did I get hurt.  I had a good night.  My DW went to yoga at the Ocean Club. She said there were six students this week. One of them was a pregnant lady who, did not go into labor during yoga.  Good deal.

I spoke with DS2 this evening, second night in a row that he called to chat. Apparently he is unhappy with the lapse in my blog writing. He poked and prodded me.  Tonight’s blog is dedicated to him. He said that tonight was the fall Jazz concert. Note to the Marywood music department: How are the parents of the musicians supposed to attend a concert on a Monday night? We would have gone if the show was a Friday night, anytime Saturday or on a Sunday.  I don’t get it. He said the show went well. He also spoke of dodging a car in the cross walk in front of the music building. It’s good thing he is nimble on his toes.

Sunday he drove back to school from Lowville, NY. He said that the there was some snow on the highway north of Syracuse. He has very little prior experience driving in the snow. We live near the ocean in southern New Jersey, Sandy country. This is not an area known for snow fall in the winter. And while he has lived in Scranton now for the some part of three years of college, he will not usually venture out in his car if the roads are snow-covered.

Saturday, November 24 was spent doing the usual Saturday chores. We actually succumbed to the Black Friday sales (planned purchase waiting for a deal) and bought a 55 inch Samsung LED tv. This set replaced the tv in the cellar which was an old tube style tv.  Our other HD tv upstairs is 11 years old and still working. The picture on the new set is unbelievable. We have lived with a HD tv for 11 years and are blown away by the improvements that have been made to HD sets during that time. We spent Saturday night and some of Sunday watching college and professional football.

Sunday, DS3 drove back to school. He was home for the Thanksgiving break. He spent most of his vacation evenings with his girlfriend.  He will be camping this coming weekend with the ROTC boys and girls at Fort Dix, here in New Jersey. Fort Dix is about 25 minutes from our home. I have not looked at the weather yet, but I hope it will be nice.

Note to DS3: You took a few pictures at Thanksgiving and were supposed to put them in my Drop Box? Did you or could you? Thanks!

There you go DS2. I will try to be more faithful to my blog writing. Here are a few pictures from the last couple of days. The captions will tell the story. Enjoy!


The best times in life are often unscripted..

It is snowing here in New Jersey this evening. We got to leave work early today due to the inclement weather. That was nice. We had a power outage this morning at work and also lost the internet and phones for a short while. I guess the patch job that was done might have a few kinks to be worked out. The linemen will have months more of work after Sandy. My MIL got her power back on yesterday around 5 pm.  She was without power for eight days.  She lives in one of the most densely populated parts of Ocean County. Just imagine how much longer she might have waited if she lived out in the sticks. Yes, there really are “out in the sticks” areas in New Jersey. NJ is not just what you see driving down the turnpike or the parkway.

I forgot to mention that Monday night was the official Halloween Day in NJ. The governor postponed Halloween last week due to the damage from Sandy.  We had many, probably an average year, trick or treaters visit our house. I heard the night ended early. I was of course, off playing lacrosse in the dark.

Tuesday (yesterday) was: A. My DW’s birthday and B. Election Day 2012. Let’s tackle Election Day first. I worked the election again this year. We had to be on site at 5:15 am and ready to rock by 6 am. The polls closed at 8 pm. Then we have to break down the voting machines and do all the “stuff” that ensures that the votes are protected and delivered to the municipal clerk for tabulation. That makes for an easy 15 hour day.  We were busy.  There were 30 or more people that rushed in at 6 am to vote. And the waves of voters kept coming all day.  I worked with a good group of people. We had fun, but I was pretty beat by the end of the night.

After the election was over, my DW and I went out for some wings and a beer (or two). The beer was medicinal. My back was sore and the beer made that problem go away.  At the bar we had a beer and a cider and toasted my DW’s birthday. I’m sorry to say, due to my being at the polling place all day, I did not have a good party planned for her. I will do better next time (or maybe this weekend). While we were sitting at the bar, the bar started to fill up with 20 somethings and a musician started playing music that was appropriate for their age.

The group next to us, four girls and one guy we out celebrating his 25 th birthday. We congratulated him and toasted his and my DW’s birthdays.  A little while later one of the girls went up to the musician requested Happy Birthday. So, everybody in the bar sang to this guy and my DW. I spoke to the girlfriend of the birthday boy and gave her 20 dollars towards his birthday bar bill. She was driving last night. A few minutes later they bought two shots of something they called “Birthday Cake”. A shot and a slice of lemon coated in sugar.

My DW and the birthday boy did their shot and then sucked on the lemon. Everybody laughed and smiled. The bar by now was packed and quite noisy. We, the old people, figured it was time to go home so when we left we congratulated the birthday boys once more and he gave my DW a hug. It was a pretty cool, spontaneous night. We figured a beer and some wings and wound up with a birthday party. Unscripted.

Pictures, pictures. Here are a picture of the snow on my way home from work. Enjoy!


Snow in Wall, NJ

Day 334, Who invited the mosquitos?

Back to work Wednesday for me. I will work in the office tomorrow, then from home on Friday. Maybe I should work from home tomorrow as well?  I’m not sure. I am probably due for some face time after being out of the office for the last week.  As you can imagine, if you have a work email account, that I was buried by emails when I returned this morning. Most of the them were read, dismiss and delete. There were a few that needed attention. The important customers knew in advance that I would be away. 

My DW worked a short day. Two of her doctors are on vacation. One of the doctors covering for the vacationing doctors was not informed about patients that the office had scheduled for him. She had a disjointed day. DS1 worked, he was home a little later than usual. No complaints from him. DS2 worked the evening shift so he got home around 9 pm. He said work was fine.  DS3 had the day off. He went to the high school to work out in the fitness center. Alumni are welcome to use the weight training equipment.  

After dinner I went out to the garden to tie the tomatoes up to the stakes I pounded into the ground yesterday. The mosquitos have benefited from rain of the last two days and were out in full force. I got most of the work down before I gave up and went back in the house. I will go to Home Depot tomorrow and get the mosquito spray for the yard. At times there were swarms of them circling my legs as I worked. Yuck!

Tonight’s picture is from March 2, 2009. I guess it snowed that day..  This would have been the view from the front porch looking at the street.  Enjoy!



Day 224, Tunes for the looney..

Or in the early English translation, music for the crazy. Have you listened to Pandora yet? I have been listening on and off for about four months. It cost 36 dollars a year for a subscription. I bought one for DS2 since he was using the free version and had used up his 40 hours that month. I tried creating my own channel along the lines of Radio Margaritaville. I failed twice. My latest effort was to take the Springsteen channel and add one Bob Marley and one Jimmy Buffett song.  This has worked ok except for what seems to be a reggae top-heavy song line up. But I enjoy most of it. I know that DS2 has been exposed to lots of music that he never would have encountered listening to his Pandora channels.

It snowed here this evening. The snow started around 4 pm in South Jersey. There is about a .25 of an inch (Dude, how many cm’s is that?) on the back porch. The roads are wet, the front yard has slightly less accumulation. The ride home was ok which is hard to belive with anything falling out of the sky. I’m sure the payback commute is coming up soon.  I will post a few pictures of the snow at the bottom.  This silly amount of snow would have gone unnoticed last year with all the snow that fell last winter. This year snow has been hard to come by. And that is how I like it. Snow belongs on the tv while I am wearing shorts and flip-flops.

Family doings for this day are not much. Me, I was busy in the morning and mid afternoon. The late afternoon was quiet. My DW had hospital cases in the morning, in the afternoon she attended her hospital committee meeting. Employees are encouraged to be on various committees, This one meets every two weeks for about four hours on Wednesdays. She gets paid to attended and has work on a day when often times she would be flexed.  After dinner she worked on her homework. DS1 worked this evening. DS2 tweeted that he had a busy day today. He texted later that he was not feeling good and might be taking a few classes off tomorrow. I suggested student health or speaking with his mom, the nurse. DS3 had a great day yesterday with his girlfriend according to his Facebook post. I sent him a link to a company that makes cases for the iPhone. In the video they put a protective case on an iPhone and use it like a hockey puck. Pretty crazy stuff.

On the upside of life, yoga starts on February 28.  I can’t wait, it has been too long between classes for me. Tonight’s pictures are of the snow falling at my office and the snow on the back deck. Enjoy!



Day 206, Lacrosse overload phase 2..

Today is Saturday, January 21, 2012. Today I played in four more lacrosse games. This brings the weekend total to 8 games so far. The GM team (Grand Masters, age 45 +)  lost their first and won their second game. They now have a record of 2 wins and 2 losses for the tournament. The SGM team (Super Grand Masters, age 50 +) lost both of their games today. They now have a record of 2 wins and 2 losses as well. The three losses today had a total point differential of 4 points. One loss was in overtime, the other two were regulation time.

We all had fun. At least I did. I am quite sunburned. The sunburn is mostly on my face, ears and the back of my neck. Tonight the team had our team party. Usually the team party is on Sunday night so as to encourage the team to not stay out drinking all night on a night when we have several games the next day.  Due to the NFL playoffs, the bar could not accommodate us Sunday night.

Tomorrow starts my second week in Florida. I tried back in the summer time when I traded this week to get an A room for both weeks. The best I could do was an A room for the first week. What is the difference? The B room is like a shotgun shack. Straight through from the front door to the back windows. The A unit has several rooms and a full kitchen. I will be learning (re-learning) how to make eggs in the microwave.

I am going off to bed. There are two more games to be played tomorrow. My DW must have shot almost 800 pictures over the last two days. I will be working on them during the next week and sharing some of the better shots in this blog.  Tonight’s picture comes from Bloomfield, NJ where is snowed last night into today. In this picture one of the weatherman’s children is out enjoying the snow.


Playing in the snow


Day 199, Why did I do that?..

I set the alarm last night to go off at 6:30 am this morning. On a Saturday morning no less. If you work on Saturday, you have my condolences.  The alarm went off and I hit the snooze. It went off again five minutes later. Logic would tell us that the time should be 6:35 am. Me, I got up and checked another clock in the house in the desperate hope that the alarm clock was wrong and I had another hour or two to sleep. Not!

From reading yesterday’s blog, you will know that we (DW and I) went to a company party last night. I finished up the blog and got to bed around midnight last night. Having the alarm go off at 6:30 am this morning was way too early. I set it to go off early since I wanted to be in Scranton early. Getting to Scranton early should mean that I could be back home early..  DS2’s computer had a hard drive failure issue during the week.  His local tech (me) is located 200 miles from school. I took my toys, stopped for a bagel and headed up the GSP at 7:15 this morning. I was in Scranton by 10 am. Do me a favor, don’t do the math. It’s really closer to 190 miles each way with some driving around town.

I arrived at his dorm after driving through the snow squalls in the Poconos. DS2’s roommate was asleep. I don’t know if I have ever seen him awake (or not in bed). They ( the roommates) live on different schedules. DS2 gets up early, the roommate, stays up late. I quickly came to the conclusion that the hard drive was dead, when power was supplied, it would not spin. I swapped it for a new 500 gig hard drive and loaded a few programs. I cleaned up my mess (not a trait of repair people) and we went to lunch. We had cheese steak sandwiches at  the Bistro in OLP. Click on the link if you are interested.

After we ate we went to the Wal-Mart in Dickson City. DS2 needed new computer headphones and a new mouse. It was a computer repair/replace weekend for him. After we were finished at the Wal-Mart I dropped him back off at school. Then I visited my parents (it was cold and windy), picked up coffee at Northern Lights and hot dogs at Coney Island Lunch. Notice the re-occurring theme of food, food and food.

The ride home was uneventful once I got out of the Poconos. This video was shot on Interstate 380 east/south going away from Scranton towards the Delaware Water Gap. Notice the snow in the air and the snow on the side of the highway. The ride up, that was another story. From about 117 on the GSP to 140 on the GSP there were NJ State Police everywhere writing tickets. Then when I got up on Interstate 80 west of Interstate 287 there were even more police writing tickets.  It was like every turn around in the middle of the highway either had a police car in it or right down the road from the turn around was a police car with someone pulled over.

I am all packed for my trip. The flight leave out of Philadelphia at 7:10 am. Hmm, sounds like another early day. Here are a few pictures from the last few days. Hopefully the captions explain what the are. The next time we meet I should be in Florida.  Enjoy!


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