It Just Fell Over

My fishing trip was canceled due to gale force winds on Friday, it turns out to be a pretty good thing since I came down with an illness comparable to the ebola virus. 

I am reading The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, the book is incredibly depressing.  I think if Winston or Dalia ever wonder why education is important, I’ll make them read that book (hopefully, they’ll be literate!).

My parents had a plastic Christmas Tree that they donated to us for the holidays.  Jac has been trying to convince me to get a real tree, but I haven’t budged.  I just hate watering the thing, picking up the pine needles, digging holes, sawing, and fixing it to our vehicle for transport.  Jaclyn and I were talking in the kitchen as she was making soup last night and we heard the kids playing near the tree.  She was interrupted mid-sentence by the sound of the tree crashing down.  Fortunately it is a plastic tree, that is sparsely decorated with only a couple strands of lights and a diminishing supply of candy canes dangling from it.  We interrogated the children, the little buggers lied through their teeth and said, “It just fell over”.  We tipped the tree back onto the stand and the tree looked exactly as it did before the fall.

Jac and I had a wonderful date at the Black Bass on Saturday.  Ultimately, I enjoyed most our time alone with the ability to think coherent thoughts without interruption, to be thankful for each other, and to acknowledge the choices we’ve made towards a life that is meaningful and happy.  The restaurant was different from what I remembered, it was also packed.  I was hoping for a little more tranquility, but it was still beautiful along the Delaware River.  I’d probably put Hamilton Grill Room back on the top of my favorite restaurants though.  

Dirty Thirty – Checking The Box

Hello Folks,

My goal on September 22 was to write 30 posts in 30 days.  It is not November 22 and I have only completed 20.  Let’s finish this exercise off now!

20.  My cell phone needed to be switched from Lotus Notes to Outlook and I had to erase all my information to convert, could you all please text me with your name and number so I can put it back into my address book?  My number is 267.317.Six.Three.Eight.Two.

21.  Went to ride Thomas the Tank Engine in Strasburg, PA on Friday.  Winston literally shook with excitement.  Thomas traveled through Amish farms and we saw quite a few horse drawn ploughs that turned the fields dark brown.  There was an unbelievable amount of Thomas merchandise, we escaped purchasing a single train and some kettle corn.

22.  Ate lunch at CiCi’s pizza buffet after riding Thomas.  Cici’s offered free lunch to kids 3 and under (Dalia) and I think Winston was charged about $3, Jac and I ate for $5 a piece.  All you can eat pizza for $5 is awesome, the pizza wasn’t bad either.

23.  Spent the night at a Hampton Inn in Hershey and visited the chocolate factory the next day.  Winston and Dalia loved the chocolate tour, complete with singing cows, free candy, and little a roller coaster car that took you through a simulated factory.  The kids made us do it twice!  Dalia ended up getting one of the singing cows and I bought a chocolate bar with almonds.  I love Hershey’s, so much better than fancy chocolate.

24.  Painted the foyer green.  The lighting isn’t the best in that room so I think I need to heavy up on a couple spots, but looks pretty good.

25.  Attempted to clean my gutters with a ladder my brother brought over for me.  I consider myself very strong, think I am capable of lifting anything, the ladder he brought was honestly the heaviest contraption I’ve ever had to move, it would have been easier to move a refrigerator around the house and stand on top of it to take out the leaves.  The ladder is shaped like an A, with a third component that goes straight up through the middle.  After about 5 minutes of moving it closer to the house and realizing that I would probably take me at least 5 hours to move this terribly heavy object around the perimeter of the house, while accruing hernias and possible broken bones from falling, I decided to abort the operation and will contact a gutter guy this week.  

26.  Going fishing on Friday, way out in the ocean.  The boat goes out so far, I have a bed to sleep in until we reach out destination!  Should be quite an adventure, I hope for good weather.  

27.  Looking forward to Thanksgiving and seeing family.  Thanksgiving is also a good beer holiday, trying to decide what beer to have for the holiday.  Any suggestions?  Can’t be German beer, I’ve finally finished the surplus from my birthday and am looking for something lighter, possibly turkey flavored.

28.  For people who haven’t enjoyed football in the past, they should check out the Eagles right now.  They are playing incredibly fast, creative offense, it is fun to watch.

29.  My work is treating me and Jac to a dinner of our choice, any recommendations?  

30.  Looking forward to the Kane’s Christmas Party, haven’t seen my friends in way too long.


Day 17, 18, & 19 of 30 Days of Recognition – A Mixed Crowd In Phoenix

Since I am way behind my goal of 30 entries in 30 days, I figured I’d use my recent trip to Phoenix as an opportunity to catch up.

Day 17 – On my first night in Phoenix, I ate at a revolving restaurant on top of the Hyatt called the Compass.  Revolving restuarants would be much cooler if perhaps at least one degree of the 360 degree view had something interesting to see.  Downtown Phoenix featured a couple non-descript high rises and desert mountains in the distance, wow.  I did not enjoy the rotating floor either, it is like eating on a carousel.

Day 18 – Went to a sushi restaurant with a group of friends and had a gay waiter.  We asked him for a good place to grab a beer afterwards and he suggested a bar on Central Avenue, said it had a balanced mix of people.  As we walked to the place, we all tried to figure out what he meant by “balanced mix”, I thought he was suggesting half gay and half straight.  As we got closer, my interpretation was clearly wrong, it was all gay.  We concluded that the balanced mix he referred to was gay and lesbian.  We walked right on by.

Day 19 – I was sick of the terrible continental breakfasts and came across a supposedly haunted hotel, the San Carlos.  Apparently a couple people jumped off the roof of the place in 1928 and in 2004 and now they haunt the place.  I was less concerned with the ghosts and more excited about breakfast, I came in craving an omelet but the aroma of waffles made me reconsider.  Had one of the best waffles in my life, left me full until late afternoon.  

Overall, I would say Phoenix is the worst city I’ve ever been to.  I’d take Syracuse, Cleveland, or Columbus Ohio over it any day.  Downtown Phoenix is a borefest with few restaurants, people, or interesting things to do, avoid at all costs. 

Day 16 of 30 Days of Recognition – Treme Soundtrack

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that New Orleans ranks high on my favorite destinations, the food, art, drinks, buildings, music, all create a unique flavor that can’t be found anywhere else. 

HBO has a show called Treme that is based in New Orleans.  I’ve only seen one episode and cannot say if the show is any good, but the music was awesome.  Last weekend I downloaded the soundtrack to the show and it is brilliant.  If you’re looking for some high energy New Orleans music, I give it two big thumbs up.   

Day 15 of 30 Days of Recognition – Dalia’s Turning 2

Dalia is turning 2 this Sunday, here’s some fun facts about her:
– Dalia loves to run around like a monster and roar
– Dalia eats more than Winston and her mother combined
– Dalia starts fights with her brother and never quits until we pull her off him
– Dalia loves Chihuahuas
– Dalia knocked her mom over, Winston off a chair, and broke the chair Winston was standing on with one tug
– Dalia hugs me for several minutes when I come home from business trips
– Dalia sneaks into our room when we’re sleeping almost every night, we’re thinking about locking our door when we go to bed tonight
– Dalia tried to wrestle the candy back from the trick-or-treaters who visited us on Halloween
– Dalia resists sleeping, she hates sleep, she will only sleep if it is impossible for her to stay awake
– Dalia has drawn on every wall we have painted
– Dalia has been bitten by 4 dogs in her 2 years on this planet

Looking forward to celebrating with her on Sunday, after reading the above points, you know it will be a party!

Day 14 of 30 – An Excellent Plumber

I want to acknowledge Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, in particular, Master Plumber Andrew Yondura.  This guy was incredibly thorough, provided great knowledge, was friendly with the kids, and helped us resolve a significant problem.  For the services rendered, it was at an excellent value.  If you need a plumber, please call 215.443.8555 and if you can get him, ask for Andrew Yondura.

The clogged pipe that I mentioned in previous entries was excavated yesterday and the operation went as planned.  When the pipe was exposed, you could see that the pipe was collapsing/disintegrating, roots had managed to enter in several spots, and it was jam packed solidly blocked.  Jac took a picture, I’ll post once I upload onto the computer, it is unbelievable.  The pipe is now replaced, we can flush, shower, do laundry, wash dishes and our hands, without worry of seeing that water flowing on our downstairs floor.  

Andy will be back on Wednesday to fix a faucet on our kitchen sink and replace a part that is currently being held together by duct tape.  We couldn’t be happier with his service and hopefully, we won’t need his services for a long time now!  

Day 13 of 30 Days of Recognition – The Sh*t Has Hit The Floor

I woke up on Halloween morning (Sunday) to find water coming out of the toilet and creeping from the bathroom floor and into our downstairs rec room.  The good news is that the plumbers were coming on Monday to excavate and replace the pipe with roots creating the blockage.  The bad news was that I had to clean up water that had come in contact with fecal matter in the blocked pipe and was now all over the floor.  I cleaned up the mess with a bunch of towels then mopped and sponged the floor until is was sparkling clean.  I threw all the towels into the washing machine, started it, and within minutes more water was coming out of the toilet and leaking all over the floor that we just cleaned.  I cleaned the floor again, placed all the contaminated laundry into a huge trash bag that must have weighed 150 pounds since everything was soaked.  I really needed to go to the bathroom, but was fearful of another overflow, I decided to take the dirty laundry to my parents where I could also use their washing machine, bathroom and shower. 

We were expecting company around 3PM, at about 2:45PM, I was walking downstairs into the rec room with a nice hot bagel that I had just prepared and didn’t realize that water had overflowed again all over the floor.  I stepped in it, slipped, lost my balance, my bagel flew in the air and landed face down in the fecal soup.  I was now very agitated.

I started cleaning it up, but Jaclyn finished it, I think she sensed that I was about to kill someone. 

Company came, it was a very nice afternoon and we managed to remain cheerful despite the circumstances.  

Around 9PM, I started feeling awful, sick to my stomach, looking back, I probably accidentally ingested some of the crap I had been cleaning all morning, but hadn’t cleaned my hands thoroughly enough (although I did rigorously wash my hands). At 11PM, I woke up in a serious predicament, similar to the scene in Dumb & Dumber when he uses the bathroom, only to find out the toilet wasn’t working.  Fortunately, I had the upper hand, I knew the toilet was going to overflow, so I decided to drive to Wegmans which is open 24 hours 7 days a week.  In addition to using their bathroom, I bought a new mop, a candle and some energy drink for the next morning. 

I couldn’t fall asleep, my stomach was killing me.  I popped in my Netflix movie, “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – Season 1” and watched about 2 episodes before Dalia woke up around 1AM and decided to join me.  I think she was having nightmares.  We watched about 4 more episodes before I went upstairs with her and we all went back to my bed and rejoin Jaclyn around 3AM.  Winston then came into the room around 3:15AM and decided to join us, now we have all 4 of us in the bed.  Not enough room for me, I leave the bedroom and go sleep in Winston’s bed.  

I slept in until 8AM, Winston needed a light turned on to use the bathroom.  I showered, got dressed, and as I was leaving, the plumber was walking in, the toilet was overflowing, and I was actually happy to go to work on a Monday morning.  Thank goodness for those energy drinks I bought last night.