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

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