15 years, seems like yesterday..

Fifteen years ago today, my mother passed away. She had a battle with pancreatic cancer that she lost.  I miss her each and every day.  As long as I keep her memory alive, she is not gone.

I have lots of pictures at home that I could scan of her, but I am at work.  I Google’d my dead mother, creepy, right?  I think so. I was looking to see if there were any images on the web that I could grab for this post. I did not find any.  I did find the picture below.

Hmmm, Interesting

Happy Veteran’s Day!  Thank a veteran today if you get the chance. Better yet, let’s thank them everyday!

Namaste

 

1940 Census

1940 Census

Personal experiences wanted..

Or maybe some advice if you are “in the business”

Here is the picture..

My DW and I stopped in Bloomfield on Sunday on our way home from visiting the college boys in Scranton. Bloomfield is where her mom (and dad) are buried. Her father died in 1972. If you follow this blog you will know that her mom died January 3, 2014. Recently, for sure.  This was the first time that we have been back since the graveside service on January 7, 2014.  That day was bitterly cold. The whole winter has been cold and nasty here in New Jersey.  We attended the service, placed our flowers and were happy (kind of) to get out of the wind and into our warm vehicles.

When we got to the cemetery on Sunday, the gravesite was partially filled in with dirt and the remnants of the flowers from that day in January were sitting there on top. It would appear that in the last four months nothing has happened to the gravesite. There is a secondary grave stone of her fathers’ that tells about his service in the Marine Corps. This stone is still pushed out-of-the-way where they moved it four months ago, when they opened the gravesite to bury her mom.

The question is this, should they have cleaned up the remnants of the flowers and filled the grave in to grade level already? I agree that the winter has been a harsh one but the snow and cold have seeming subsided of the last month.  As we looked around the cemetery on Sunday there four or five groups of people tending to the gravesite of their loved ones. The trash barrels were over flowing.  Are we expected to go back, level the ground, reposition the secondary stone and put down topsoil and grass seed?

The funeral bill had an expense for the opening of the grave, should there have been an expense for the closing of the grave?  It was really discouraging to me to see the apparent neglect in the cemetery. Do I bitch or wait?  My plan is to stop by this Sunday after riding in the Tour De Staten Island with some top soil, grass seed and a shovel and rake and straighten things out.

My parents were placed in a  mausoleum so I don’t have any real world experience in this matter.

Thanks for reading and commenting if you see fit.

Pictures?  Yes, but not of the gravesite.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving 2013..

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 to all. Yes, I am a little late posting.  We spent Thanksgiving Day at my wife’s mothers house again this year. Dinner was homemade manicotti, deep-fried turkey and many desserts. There also was the usual stuffing, sweat potatoes, salad and such.  I fried two turkeys Thanksgiving week.  One at the MIL’s house and one at work.

Wednesday at work my job was to cook the turkey. I did a little actual work related work, but cooking the turkey was certainly job one. I will add a few pictures of the finished turkey at the bottom of this page.  All three of the boys were in attendance at dinner. Saturday DS1 went back to his apartment and DS3 drove out to LI to visit his girlfriend. DS2 went back to Scranton Sunday morning.

The college boys have about two more weeks and then the fall semester is over.

We did reach a milestone this past weekend. I wrote my second of three (possible) graduation expense checks. DS1 did not attend graduation, but we had to pay the fee in order for him to get his diploma. DS2 is scheduled to graduate on Mother Day 2014.   There is one more possible graduation fee check to written next December. How the time flies!

Namaste

 

Kildare’s Irish Pub, follow up..

In a recent blog post entitled “Kildare’s Irish Pub – What do we do with you? ” which can be found here http://wp.me/p1FpfB-1pS , I wrote about a recent visit during the University of Scranton’s Parent’s Weekend.  I sent a copy of the blog to the Dave Magrogan Restaurant Group which owns and manages Kildare’s and several restaurant brands.  My goal was to inform them of our experience.  The balance of this blog is the email that I received from the new general manager at Kildare’s.

Good evening Mr. Davitt,

I hope this message finds you well. I received a copy of your blog that  was sent to Dave about your families recent visit to Scranton. I have to
say it is nothing less than embarrassing. It is truly unfortunate that  we missed the boat on so many steps of service, not only your family,
but more than likely so many others.

First off, please accept my personal apologies for the service you  received. Simply unacceptable, next allow me to thank
you for taking the  time to share the experience with us.

Your experience was unacceptable and has already been addressed with  the managers of this location as well as the entire staff, as your
direct comments will be shared with them at our daily pre-shift coaching  sessions to ensure a similar situation does not occur in the
future.  Actual guest experiences send a powerful message to our managers and  staff; they learn from it.

Thanks so much for allowing me this  opportunity.

I have just taken over as the District Manager of this location for a  few reasons, Scranton needs leadership to put it back on track and I
have the experience to help do just that. I have been in charge of the  Doc Magrogan’s Oyster house in Montage for the past year and a half and
we have built a great team up there while developing a great reputation.  We have done that because our staff knows our guests are the reason we
exist, and also will allow us to grow or fold if we fail to hold our  high standards. Finally I am from the area and have developed some great
relationships throughout the years by doing the right thing or making it  right.

Dave Magrogan and I talked and he wanted you to know that we are going to put Kildare’s back on track. I am hoping that I may get a chance to
make it right with you and your family. If you have time out of your busy schedule I am hoping you can give me a call so that I may apologize
personally. You can also send me an email if you would like to as well.
I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you in advance.

Joseph T. Kenney
General Manager
Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House
7011 Shoppe Blvd.
Montage Mountain Moosic, Pa
FRESH STARTS HERE

Parents Weekend – University of Scranton 2013..

Last weekend was the Parents Weekend for the University of Scranton. DS3 is a junior there this year.  I would guess that as students move up in their years, that the parents might visit less. Sorry boys, that is not the case with us. As you may know we have two college children in Scranton along with my parents and a bevy of relatives.   We did not see any of the relatives this past weekend.  Visiting time was short and probably will be again this week. Maybe we could all meet at Coney Island Hot Lunch for a dog or two around 1 pm on Saturday.  Anybody interested?  Buhler, Buhler?

Saturday morning started early for us. We were on the road at 6:30 am to arrive in Scranton by 9:30 am. The University of Scranton athletics department was holding the Second Annual Royals 5k run/walk. We did this last year with DS3. This is my 5k for the year. And no, we don’t run. We are in the walking group. DS3 was in the running group and finished in 8 th place with a time of 24.21. Since his entry form (or the translation of that form into the computer) was incorrect, he as listed as 0 age and without a name. He was unknown runner 800.  He would have gotten the first place trophy in the 20/29 age group. My DW and I finished in 54.04. I came is second to last in the runners (I was a walker) and she came in 8 th place of the walkers.  I beat her by .01 yet her finish looks better on paper.  No big deal. The person running the timing was having technical problems Saturday.  A link to the results can be found here.

Lunch was at the Coney Island Hot Lunch. DS3’s GF was in town for the weekend. We ordered her a hot dog with everything, she would not even taste it. Her loss. She wound up having a hamburger. Business was slow so we did not feel too bad sitting and talking with both boys after finishing our lunch. We took take home for DS1 when we left. The afternoon was spent visiting my parents, getting DS3 a new cell phone and throwing around a lacrosse ball on a field at Marywood University. Dinner was at Kildare’s Irish Pub. A full accounting of that meal can be found here. It rained Saturday night in Scranton, surprise!

Sunday morning we went to Marywood University to attend mass and watch DS2 play his trumpet with the choir. After mass we all went the Bucktown Diner for brunch. Then it was time for the boys to do some school work and the old folks to head back to New Jersey. We had a nice weekend visiting the boys.  We stopped in Red Bank, NJ on the way home for the Guinness and Oyster Festival. I will detail that in a different blog.

Thanks for reading

Namaste

 

Kildare’s Irish Pub – What do we do with you?

What do we do with you? The following is a restaurant review and a “modest” rant about Kildare’s Irish Pub in Scranton, PA.

An open letter to the Dave Magrogan Restaurant Group,

They say you only get one chance to make a good impression. Saturday night (09/21/2013) your Kildare’s Irish Pub in Scranton gets an D in first impressions. Harsh? Not really considering the evening we spent there.  Last weekend was Parents Weekend for the University of Scranton.  If you are not sure about the location of your restaurant in relation to the university, they are a walking distance apart. This weekend was an excellent chance to show off to the parents and entice them to return over the next four years as their children go through their studies at the university. This coming weekend is the Parents Weekend for Marywood University. Your 3 – 4 mile distance across town should limit your exposure to these parents.

We are parents of two college students. One is a senior at Marywood and the other a junior at the University of Scranton.  We visit Scranton often and have eaten at Kildare’s and the Doc Magrogan’s Fish Market many times. And I have the credit card slips to prove it!  My expectation for Saturday night was a moderate wait since Kildare’s does not take reservations and for the service once seated to be reasonable. Not speedy, but certainly not death valley slow.

Low points of the night:

  • Girl working the front desk was clueless. People were milling around, some on the list, some not, nobody in charge. Moderate chaos would be my best description.
  • Once people were seated, nobody liked the barrel tables. Three different parties were seated there and then moved when another table opened up. We took the barrel tables as better than nothing.
  • We sat down around 8 pm. We had a party of six. We ordered three appetizers and everyone ordered an entre. The appetizers came out one at a time over the next hour. If we had each ordered an appetizer, we still might be waiting for our dinners to arrive.
  • The dinners came out at 9:30 pm.  We watched an entire half of college football between ordering and eating!
  • We had no silverware. I asked a waitress for silverware as she walked by, she smiled and said sure and never came back.
  • Our waiter returned when I walked up to the bar to ask for silverware and provided forks from the front and after walking somewhere else, he brought knives.
  • One person in our party ordered the corned beef and cabbage. The corned beef was cut incorrectly and really thick. Anyone with any experience in the restaurant business would not have cut the corned beef that way.
  • Where was the manager?  Maybe she was working in the kitchen.
  • They ran out of wings. On a Saturday night at 8 pm, out of wings, really?

 

High points of the night:

  • Other than the silverware gaffe, the waiter did a great job with what he had to work with
  • The food was hot and other than noted above, good
  • LSU won the football game

We will go back and eat there since this meal was an anomaly based on previous visits.  The other parents/patrons that may have been there for the first time? Probably not. Your loss, Coopers and the rest of the cities restaurants gain.  You only get one chance to  make a good impression.

Namaste

Family Plus!

The rest of the weekend..

The rest of the weekend in Scranton was anti-climatic after the Sunday mass panic. We ate lunch at the Bucktown Diner with DS2 and DS3.  After lunch DS3 went back to school to do some homework, The rest of us went shopping at the Giant for those things that missed the move in list. We stopped by Cathedral Cemetery to visit my parents. The always appreciate a quick stopping by and saying hello. It is interesting to see how much the trees have grown in valley since my father was buried there in 1984. It helps to bring home the passage of time. After the cemetery went downtown to the Italian Festival.

The Italian Festival is held each year in Scranton on the streets around the courthouse. As you can image there are lots of food vendors. And not just Italian food. Our favorite place is Mr P’s where they sell home-made potato pancakes.  I had my three, sitting on the courthouse steps with sweat dripping down my back. Maybe one Labor Day the heat and humidity won’t be brutal at the festival. DS3 finished his homework and walked down from his campus and met us while we were walking around. DS2 got some fried Oreos. They were delicious. Both boys got some home-made root beer soda. I had a taste, it was good. Some vanilla ice cream would have made it extra primo good. The only ice cream stand there was swamped with people. We walked around a second time and only found that one ice cream vendor.  Hard to believe.

After we walked around we went up to the University of Scranton with DS3 to see his new dorm. He has his own room. The group of guys each have their own room, a common kitchen, living room and one bathroom. The building and the rooms looked pretty new. There was no air conditioning. We bought DS3 a box fan to put in his window. At least at night the box fan can pull the cool air into the room. In another month they will need sweatshirts and the fan will not as be useful.

Ds3 and I went to the Marywood campus and found a field with a lacrosse net. We spent 45 minutes sweating and feeding the bugs while we threw the ball around and worked on our shooting. DS3 must have hit the pipe (cross bars that hold the goal together) at least 12 times in that 45 minutes.

Dinner was a Doc Magrogans Fish Market. The restaurant is located on the way to the local outdoor concert venue where Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5 were performing that night. We sat for 40 minutes in concert traffic to get to the restaurant. The attraction for me to this restaurant is that the specialize in raw, freshly shucked oysters. We have gone there on nights where there were ten different types of oysters from around the world. That night the list was kind of short. They had sold out of many of the more popular oysters.

We still managed to eat four dozen for our appetizer. DS3 brough along a friend from school that has eaten with use before. He likes oysters as well. The dinner was ok. Everybody but me had dessert. I was stuffed. We drove DS2 back to school, then dropped DS3 and his friend off at the U.  The city of Scranton had fireworks Sunday night. Our hotel was downtown, but our room faced the university. The fireworks were on the other side of the building. Neither of us had the energy to back downstairs and outside to see the fireworks.  We certainly heard them.

Monday, Labor Day saw us at the Bucktown Diner once again. This time DS2 brought his girlfriend. She was at the concert the night before, that is why she missed dinner. She likes snow crab legs, but certainly does not like oysters.

Pictures, here are a few from the weekend.  Thanks for reading and Enjoy!

Namaste

Back to school specials..

Did you participate in the back to school madness this year or have you escaped the back to school grind?  Here is Manahawkin, the grind appears to be over.  This past Sunday both of the college students packed their cars and drove back to Scranton. DS2 returned to Marywood University for his senior year. DS3 returned to the University of Scranton for his junior year. Right after they left we (DW and I) went food shopping.  As we are getting ready to leave, I glanced at her shopping list, it was still quite extensive. I asked, “If both of the boys went back to school, why is our list so long?” Her reply, “Well, they took everything with them!” Good point.

Our back to school shopping does not/did not include the Wal-Mart or Target. We were shopping in both stores over the last week and watched the families with children in tow choosing paper, pens, notebooks, backpacks.. The list goes on. In our world, back to school starts in July with student loan paperwork. Then the parents and students have to survive August. We had a car accident with DS2’s car. The damage was minor, the other party lives locally and were ok.  DS3 had the passenger window on his Mustang come off the track and fall apart. After 250 dollars and at least 8 hours of my life, the window goes up and down (more than once).

Oil changes, windshield wipers, brakes and headlights… The list goes on and on. Our shopping for back to school is just a bit more expensive than the Wal-Mart or Target families.

We are heading back to Scranton Sunday to see them. Yes, it has only been a week. And no, we are not in withdrawal.  Sunday is the Italian Festival in downtown Scranton. There are supposed to be fireworks Sunday night. I need to figure out where the fireworks will be. We are planning on dinner at Doc Magrogan’s Seafood House.  This Sunday and Monday they have their Buck A Shuck oyster sale.  Shucked oysters will be a dollar a piece. I’m looking forward to that.

Buried deep in tonight’s blog is a sidenote about the LimeGuy being diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. I’m not sure if this is the proper forum for this sidenote. This entry into the A Fib club has curtailed my lacrosse playing for the time being.  I did attend yoga for the first time in three weeks tonight. It was nice to do something active (yes, yoga is active) again. My knees have healed from the fall I took while playing lacrosse in Lake Placid three weeks ago. All I need is the all clear from the cardiologist and I will be back to playing. Further medical details can be shared by you the reader, emailing, texting or calling me directly.

Here are a few pictures from the back to school weekend with the boys.  Here is a Drop Box link to the entire group of pictures.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste

Office Wrap Party – Scranton, PA..

We spent the past weekend in Scranton.  DS2 had a choir concert that we wanted to see.   The concert was Saturday night. The music was sung A Cappella. That just means that there were no musical instruments other than the voices in the choir. The music was the Mass, with various parts of the mass coming from different composers. Here is a link to the Marywood University website with more information about the concert.  The concert was in rotunda on campus. The singers sang from the second floor and the audience sat in chairs or the first floor level.   We (DW and I) both enjoyed the concert. I shot some video and pictures.

Also on Saturday, the tv show, The Office, held it’s Office Wrap Party in Scranton.  My DW and I went to the parade. We aren’t big fans of the show but I figured we were in town, so why not go and experience the spectacle. And yes, I shot some pictures. I saved them in two groups. This link will take you to the pictures taken of the cast members in attendance.  This link will take you to the crowd pictures that I took. It was 75 degrees and sunny in a college town.  Enough said.  DS2 was not interested in the parade. DS3 had a paper to proof read then email in by 5 pm that day so he missed some of the parade.

After the parade we went across town to Marywood with DS3 to see DS2. They would never see each other if we did not get them together. DS2 and my DW walked around the lacrosse field and talked while DS3 and I spent an hour shooting and passing lacrosse balls.  We walked over to “The Rock” afterwards and took some pictures. The rock is a formation of two flat as a table rocks in the field between the lacrosse field and I 81. Each time we play on the field I look over at the rock and think that it would make for some neat pictures.  I will add a few of them at the bottom.  After the concert Saturday night we went to Coopers for a snack and a beer (or two). Both boys attended this function (there was free food – parents paid). College students know better than to skip a free meal!

Sunday we went to mass and watched DS2 play his trumpet with the choir. After mass we all got together one more time at the Buck Town Diner for lunch. Then we drove home and the boys went back to their lives. Monday night was lacrosse. I scored my first goal in a month! I was pretty excited. Tuesday was yoga. Tonight might be outdoor lacrosse depending on the weather and how I feel. I found a cold somewhere in the last 7 days. Cough, cough and cough.

Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading

Namaste

Sandy, Post 2…

Thankful, that is the word for this week. Thankful that the power is back on (for us). Thankful that everyone in our family is safe. And thankful that we did not get water in the basement.  In that order, maybe not. The power being back on is way up there, though.   Yesterday’s blog ended with Sunday night, sleeping in Scranton, PA, after spending a frantic afternoon driving to Scranton and making sure that DS2 was ok and getting the proper (and best) care.

Monday morning was grey in Scranton. I could write that sentence everyday and be right two-thirds of the time.  We called over to the hospital at 8 am and the nurses told my DW that DS2 was off to have his MRI done. We checked out of our hotel since they would not give us the same rate as the previous night. We moved across the street for the same price. Just as nice. After coffee and a breakfast sandwich we got to the hospital as DS2 was returning to his room. He had just finished having the MRI and EKG done.  We hung around with him all morning and then the EEG tech came by and did that test. Several doctors and residents came by over the course of the morning. All asking essentially the same questions.  The highlight of the morning was having hot dogs from Coney Island Lunch (for lunch).

Around 3 pm the neurologist came by, the same one from Sunday afternoon. He had looked at the test results and did not have a definitive answer. He said either it was a case of sleep walking or a seizure disorder that does not cause you to flop around, but causes you to lose track of time. He could find no evidence to support one reason over the other. So, he sent us on our way. We will continue to monitor things. Maybe this was a one time episode. Hopefully. 

We dropped him off at school so he could visit with his friends and tell the story of his hospital stay. We headed down to the hotel for the night. We got to the hotel around 5 pm. It had been raining all day. Both children’s universities had been closed for the day. We went down to the bar to find a drink and some dinner. As we sat there watching the weather channel chronicle Sandy’s landfall 30 miles south of our home, we ate dinner.  During dinner the bar started to fill up with power crews from as far west as Wisconsin. Everybody was having one last fun night waiting for the next day when they would start putting the power grid back together in New York State.

After dinner we spoke with DS1 about conditions at home. He said there was no water coming in, but that he had lost power around 4 pm Monday afternoon.  We spoke with DS3, he was playing video games with his friends. We figured no reason to drag him out into the storm to see us. We watched some tv and went to bed.

I did not take any pictures on Monday. We were a bit on edge wondering what the doctors and their tests might find. All clear, for now. Here is a picture from Face Book of DS2 in his tuxedo. Enjoy!

Namaste

Previous Older Entries