social twitter facebook google_plus
Blogs

The "roads to hell" are here in NEPA!!!

There are few things on this earth that I claim to hate… but one of them is the roads of NEPA!

The driving in this state is abhorred, and year after year, as I continue sailing down the byways of the Keystone State I am less and less inclined to believe it'll ever be anything but that!

From the potholes to the heaving concrete, the crumbling road shoulders to the dilapidated signage, there is no joy in traveling from place to place here; but this week I saw the last straw thrown onto the camel's back… the state approved the install of my personal favorite road pain in the ass: "tar & chips"! Let me explain.

The stretch of road that separates Erika house from mine (Rt. 107) was a road that could have easily fit in well to a war zone! Regular air raid bombings could only produce more damage than was visible on that 14 mile stretch of highway for the past 8-10 years. Well a miracle happened, as the macadam God's smiled on us and a crew of yellow trucks delivered miles of fresh black smoothness to the gateway to my fiancé's house, and Rt. 107 got a new and flawless layer of paving last year. Sadly, that was LAST YEAR!

Fast forward to yesterday and the disaster that is Rt.107 now… (see the attached picture).

"Tar & chips" is a process where by a huge spray truck applies a generous layer of hot sticky tar to the flat (usually flawless) road surface and then another truck spills an equally massive amount of crushed gravel (dusty, dirty and most of it not adhering to the tar) on top of it. It then is brushed over by a vehicle that I can only describe as a street sweeper from hell that pushes the excess to the ditch. In about a week the street sweeper from hell does an additional pass, and the job is considered complete.

The problem is that during the week that spans from application day to the final sweep day, it is up to the cars and trucks that travel that road to compact the chips into the tar, and during that process your vehicle is treated to a covering of dust, clanking gravel smashing under your fender wells, slippery stone filled travel lanes, and a shower of the same gravel flying over your vehicle from the drivers (just as pissed as you are) traveling the same road at a speed that sprays your car with military precision!

May I now ask: What in the name of the good Lord almighty above are you doing PennDot?! Why, when you do your best work, do you find it necessary to cover it? Why have you ever so consistently done this on the roads I frequent? Why is it that you have no respect for those of us who own black vehicles and wish them to remain clean and free of paint chips?!! WHY?!!!!

Dang it!
 (0) Comments




 

Ugh! The White Marks!!

I had to laughed - I was just talking to friends about the painstaking steps we take to avoid getting deodorant marks on our shirts ... "...well, you have to get your WHOLE torso into the shirt by digging your arms into it up to your elbow and stretching it out so the bottom of the shirt doesn't fold into your armpits, wiping the deodorant off...." It works. Sometimes. "...you HAVE to wipe the deodorant off IMMEDIATELY with a damp towel. NOT tissues, otherwise it's a WHOLE MESS.." Nothing like white streaks AND wet spots on your shirt. Classy. "Well, just don't pick up your arms all day and no one will see it...." Ever try this:
 
Tags :  
Topics : Human Interest




 

The last "pretty place" left in NEPA...

There’ has been a ton of chatter this past week (maybe a lot longer) about the lists that rank the Scranton metro area as “unhappy”… not mention unemployed, hung over and massively corrupt, so it might seem awkward for me of all people to write a blog about a happy place here in NEPA,
but I will,
because I own it.

I was padding through the back lawn of my family’s home in Dalton when it hit me… I felt at peace.  It was strange feeling these days, seeing as how I haven’t felt peaceful at all for a time frame that I can only describe as: “as long as I can remember”.

It was warm, very warm in fact, and the swarming bugs were intense, but that didn’t detract a thing from the peaceful calm that settled over me in that moment. The breeze blew through the trees that hung heavy over me, and the sky pushed a series of foreboding clouds around that gave you the sense of a pending storm at any given moment, but the world seemed strangely right somehow as I toured the grounds.

In my eyes, during the last ten to fifteen years, NEPA has become a place that sadly lacks an abundance of true beauty. I know there will be people who sharply disagree with me but I have traveled enough to know how we live surrounded by a landscape of mediocre architecture and landscape design. The detail work of creating true beauty is lost here for the most part… it’s like we take no pride in our area or the things that we create here any longer.

Many formerly magnificent places in NEPA suffer from anything from basic neglect, to the problem of having been abandoned years ago and never fixed. Trees grow over clum dumps (drive the Casey Hwy), beautiful city buildings that represent our former glory are allowed to deteriorate to a level where razing them is the only option (The Sterling Hotel), it’s become routine to pass rotting cars in the front yard of a see through house and soon pass a development of estate style homes… sad, sickening, not to mention downright depressing.

I know that you’re saying that “of course your family home is your favorite, it's a place where your memories are and of course you’ll have a prejudice to it” but I’m not alone in feeling it’s soothing effects… Erika feels it too (and not because she drank any Kool Aid either).

Maybe I just love what I have; maybe I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the property itself, or maybe it really is as awesome as I think it is, but in all honesty, the combination of location and convenience plus the somewhat uppity neighbors that surround it make it a safe, quiet, and sort of “Eden-istic” type of place. It’s pretty place, and honestly there’s not too many of those left here… trust me I’ve looked.
 
 (0) Comments


 

My own personal time machine....

As I was humming along on the lawn mower the other evening a realization suddenly occurred to me… I love cutting the grass.

As a teenager I used the family mower as my primary means of income, and as a supplement to it for several years after that as well. When I circle the lawn these days that old familiar vibration from the whirling blades is like a sort of time machine, and in my mind (for a brief moment) I'm back in high school on my summer break working for gas money, or home from college putting a fresh cut on the grass for some extra beer bucks, or maybe just doing what my mom no longer could in her later years... it's amazing what places that mower can take me in my imagination.

Maybe it’s the accumulation of hours spent making laps in most of the neighborhood lawns, or the familiar and welcome smell of fresh cut grass combined with the exhaust of a Tecumseh engine, or possibly it’s the gentle roll of the mowers tires upon a well fertilized field of green that is so inspiring to me… who knows, who cares, whatever it is I love it!

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t choose it as a career change, but I do completely enjoy the simple pleasure of making the lawn look like a golf course every week… almost as much as I enjoy the beer that awaits me when I’ve returned the mower to its spot between our cars in the garage.

Ah!
 
 


 

Tell me how the summer went... I'm going to miss it again.

It’s an amazing thing: when you have extra time you have no money, and when you have no time you have extra money! Oh boy, is that me!

I guess I shouldn’t complain… I have a successful business, I love what I do, I make enough money to afford an amazing lifestyle, and I am grateful for all of those things, but I just wish that I could slow it all down a bit these days.

I look forward to the summer months with an adoration bordering on idol worship, yet in my line of work, when they arrive I begin a schedule that allows me nearly no time to enjoy the warm NEPA summer weather at all. My grueling 6 to 7 day work weeks come at a heavy price too: I rarely rest, when I do it’s abbreviated, and I miss my family terribly.

Yeah, I make a sizable amount of money (that’s usually spent by the following April) but the world spins another direction from where my attention is focused during the 5-6  month time frame that I’m talking about.

I usually begin to lighten up with commitments around the beginning of November, which as you know, begins the slow decent into winter, and thus the ugly side of the cycle begins again.

Sadly, we need the money I’m making to do the things we’ve planned for our future more than I need an extra nap, and that requires work, so I suppose that I have to come to terms with the fact that I will wake up at the end of this glorious summer span and once again realize that I have worked my way through all of it.

Sigh.
 
 
Tags :  
Topics : Human Interest
Social :




 

Portable Toilet Boardroom

This may be one of the greatest pranks ever pulled off!
 (0) Comments


 

Who knew that I would learn from a five year old?

I need to make a confession… I never wanted to be involved with a woman who had kids (or one kid) at all.

There I said it. It’s not that I didn’t try a few times to date a mother of one (or two+) but it always ended badly, or maybe never started at all. I lived most of my life like a member of the Seinfeld cast… too picky, and if there were even the slightest reason to abandon a relationship (or even begin one at all) I would take full advantage of that exit sign and bolt.

I remember being 3 minutes into a first date when a woman asked “So, do you like kids”… then confessed that she had five. Ladies a word of advice: Don’t do this! Let us decide if we like you (and you decide if you like us) then drop the bomb and we all can decide on taking the next step together, okay? Okay.

I also remember the girl that insisted that I meet her son for the first time at the mall (why, I’m not sure) and he showed up with a kiddie police helmet that had a flashing light and siren on it. As we walked the mall, for the next thirty minutes I wasn’t sure if I were on a date or under arrest!

Then was the closest call of them all… I’d met a very beautiful friend of a friend, who had a young son, and was moving to Vegas. She knew I was intimidated by even the thought of kids, and told me that if I wanted to her to stay in PA., and if I wanted to have a relationship with her, I’d have to be equally involved with her son (good move). When I turned her request to meet him down, I instantly realized that I wasn’t ready for that big of a step, and apparently I was not wanting her in my life enough to take it.

That all changed (not at once mind you) when I met Erika and she introduced me to Piper. I started learning a new life and a new way to look at life as well. Yeah, I fought hard at first to avoid the idea that I was falling for a 2 year old, but like it or not it was happening, and there was little I could do about it.

Now, let’s be honest, kids are a full- time commitment and bring with them a HUGE change in the way that a single guy  with no kids has to live his life.
Your schedule and freedom are compromised.
Your patience and ego are tested.
Your budget and sleep schedule are busted, completely…
and somehow it all makes sense, when you have the love a child.

I have found my soul mate in Erika, but I have also met the love of my life at the same time… she is five years old, a fussy eater, and can throw a wicked tantrum without a word of warning, but she has taught me how to be a person I never knew I could be, and she makes me better just by being in my life, every day.
 
 (1) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Human Interest
Social :
Locations : Pennsylvania




 

Sure it's not a Sausage Fest?

The Nude Beer Fest in Palmerton is getting a lot of exposure ... yes, pun intended.

Sunny Rest Resort is a nudist colony in Carbon County (I prefer to call it "Full Moon Resort, but I digress...)
The welcoming resort is holding the Bare Beach Beer Bash Saturday June 28th, and yes, clothing is NOT optional.¬† “Nudity is required in beer festival and pool/hot tub areas.”


By the way, it’s cheaper to pay in advance, which I highly recommend … where will you put money anyway once you get there?¬†
Hats off to ya if you go … and shirts, and pants, and socks, and….
...Just bring EXTRA Sunblock
INFO:  CLICK HERE FOR A GOOD OL NAKED TIME!

 
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Hospitality_Recreation
Social :
Locations : Carbon County




 

If you could change your world... would you do it today?

I truly believe that life’s toughest duty is to be as thankful as you should be for the great things in your daily existence.

Let’s face it, there is constantly another annoyance that will derail your ability to accurately see the amazing gifts that God has given you, or in short to be happy.

How about a small list of distractions:
The bills, weather, cold, heat, rain, grass, snow, car payment, car trouble, gas prices, lack of sleep, lack of money, lack of vacation, low pay, long hours, extra weight, old clothes, small closets, too small of a house, too dirty of a house, no friends, bad friends, no date, boring date, too many dates, cell won’t work, nothing to do, too much to do, no time, too much time on my hands… etc.
You get the point.

The reality of the situation is that we can choose to be unhappy, every day in every situation… yes, I said choose.  Happiness is a choice!

It may seem a little hokey but it’s a proven fact that your attitude governs how well you feel, and that it’s not what happens to you that matters but how we react to that event that controls our happiness. When you’re happy you walk through the door at the end of the day (even a day loaded with hard work) and think: that was a great day! It is your perception of it that makes it so.

Don’t believe me?... then take a second right now and try a little experiment.
Think of a situation you may be unhappy about and ask if it’s you and not the situation that’s making you unhappy. Could you simply change your mind about it and in the process change the problem? The answer is a resounding: YES!

When you choose happiness you render any and all obstacles to it powerless to your attitude. If you wake up and say: “I choose to be happy today” you are setting the tone for the next 16 hours of your life, a great tone, and if you at least try to carry on your day that way, it’ll change the way to perceive all the events that happen to you that day. Every single one.

I am grateful for TONS of things and people in my life, entirely too many to list here, but none more that Erika and Pipe and I think that my choice to be happy, at least partially, brought them into my life. I had to “fake it till I could make it” at first, and it wasn’t easy to keep myself on the upbeat track at first, but the results don’t lie. I am happier, have more respect and more quality people in my life than ever before. … and I choose happiness today and always, will you?
 
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Human Interest




 

BEST way to handle paparazzi

...a good tip for Eric Petersen next time he goes shopping.  Take that, Paparazzi --- to a good cause!

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were surrounded by the Pap's while walking through NYC. 
Soooooo, they covered their faces with this handwritten note:

"Good morning! We were eating and saw a group of guys with cameras outside. And so we thought, let's try this again. We don't need the attention, but these wonderful organizations do: www.youthmentoring.org, www.autismspeaks.org, (and don't forget:) www.wwo.org, www.gildasclubnyc.org. Here's to the stuff that matters. Have a good day!"

Genius.
Here's the pic: Emma&Andrew Pap Cause
 (0) Comments




 


advertise with us
Recent Blog Posts
Categories
Archives