Search This Blog

Friday, January 31, 2014

On The Road to South Carolina to See Family

We are at the Cracker Barrel in Jacksonville FL on the way to a memorial gathering in South Carolina. We are driving the Prius and the weather is good - traffic is light. The trip is 320 miles. We will be home Sunday night.

We are excited to see the kids and grandkids.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Real Seminole Walking On At FSU

Tampa Catholic wide receiver Justin Motlow knows what it's like to be told 'you can't do that.'
He's been told he's 'too small' or 'too light' to play football at a division I program.
But Motlow, like his heritage - refuses to give up.
Justin Motlow played in the Blue-Grey game
Motlow is one-fourth Seminole Indian. His father is half Seminole and his grandmother is 100 percent Seminole.
So for Justin to receive preferred walk-on status at Florida State - well, it's a 'dream come true.'
"I've always loved FSU," Motlow said. "My sister attends school there, and I have friends (Corey Martinez) who are going there."
Motlow said the fact that - if he does get a chance to don the Garnet and Gold - he'll be the first true Seminole to play for the Seminoles - is an incredible honor.

We Moved Into Our New Home - Hell Froze Over - We Closed Interstate 10 From Here To Alabama

This morning we had icicles on our new home. 

On our old home we had ice on the pool screen.

Lulu and I spent 3 nights in the new home. The weather has been testing our new heating system. Temperatures were in the 20s - add to that rain - sleet - snow - wind. We had a taste of Pennsylvania.

The Interstate from Alabama to Tallahassee was closed all night. People do not realize that it is 200 miles from here to Pensacola - right across the border from Alabama. That's 3 full hours of driving. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Internet Is Installed - We Are Officially Moved In Now

Comcast crossed the street to my pole.

It's Drew's birthday - and for a while I thought Lulu would have to teach her course from our old house because it had Internet and we didn't. It was sleeting outside and pretty cold - I doubted that Comcast was going to show up like they promised. But around 10 AM - a few trucks were circling out front. Ian Morrow - our Comcast Tech person - was at the door - ready to start the new service.

Simply - it was over 500 feet to the nearest junction. that is why on Monday they could not install it. A special truck came out and made a special tap near our pole. then they ran thick cable to our pole - down the pole - then along the ground. One Ian got to our service box - he and I pulled the thick cable through with a string. It was a tough pull but soon I had the thick cable in my hand in the attic. After that it was easy. Both our cable modem and Apple wireless router are in the attic. Viola - we had wifi.

A work crew will return in a few days to bury our cable - but it is up and running now. The service was excellent - we never expected to have the net in time for Lulu to teach her class at 6 PM.

I just did a speed test - we are getting uploads and downloads of 12 MBPS.

First they had to do a new junction box on the trunk line.

Then Iam Morrow ran the line on the ground to the home entry box.

Next - I pulled the line through the conduit while Ian pushed the other end. 

That is my modem and airport router in the attic. Also coming in that conduit is the Directv line.

Ian Morrow - Comcast Tech person - dressed the cable and attached it to our modem. They also attached sent basic cable to one of our TV's. The little set top boxes are much smaller now. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Move Is Complete - It went 95% Well

Not bad for two senior citizens. The moving van arrive at 9 am. AMWAT provides a van and 2 movers for $100 an hour. Right away they started padding and wrapping our furniture. Some times they used so much wrap - I thought the wrap was worth nor than the item. During the whole time the $2 a minute meter was ring in my head like a cash register. The guys did a great job. On the other end they put everything where we wanted it - I should say where Lulu wanted it.

The Directv man called to say he could come early. I figured early is better then late. He reminded me that such a large run of cable for the dish will cost extra. We has special conduit installed to pull the cable to our attic media center. We sucked a string through the pipe with a vacuum cleaner. We also pulled an extra wire throughout for the Comcast internet guy who would be there later.

The TV setup went very well. We were feeling pretty good. So good Lulu decided to get pizza for the movers and directv guy. I reminded her of the clock ticking - but she said they had not even stopped for a break. Also she was hungry. They were very appreciative.

As they were unloading the comcast man arrived. He said since the cable had to go so far - they would do a special drop and use thicker cable. They would come down our pole and go underground. It would take about a week for the drop to happen. We were glum. Our perfect moving day would fade. Meanwhile the sod guys arrived with another truck of sod. They had to work around the moving van.

As this was going on - lulu and I took turns with the car carrying fragile stuff.

George and Joel dropped by and offered dinner out but lulu wanted to cook at home.

I almost forgot I had a craigslist deal going down at 5. Away I rode not telling lulu why. The guy was cool - waiting in his truck at CVS. I got back in time for a supper at the dinner table in front of the fire. Chicken fingers - perogies - and peas never tasted so good.

Just then we got a call from comcast. They would do the internet tap and drop tomorrow and then run the underground line Wednesday. The total run is 500 feet! But it was nice they speeded it up from a week to 2 days.

After supper we used the new bath tub and shower. As I type we are watching duke and Pitt play basketball.

You will note there are no pictures because I am posting from my phone. We will be without the net for 2 days - just phone.

Just as we got done with our last car load - it started to rain. We were lucky it was dry and not muddy for the move.

We have a lot of bins to unpack. The movers put all the bins in their proper rooms.

We left a skeleton furniture in the old house. We will stage it for sale now. In a few days it will be ready for showing. One realtor asked to bring someone Wednesday.

The new house is big - spacious - and tidy. The house is super quiet. You cannot hear the heat/ac one bit. I love that. When you are hard of hearing background noises are a pain.

We will continue with the sidewalks - landscaping - driveway - garage - now.

The house took 5 months - 100 work days. There were no hold ups Gary kept the subs lined up. They jump when he calls.

Until the garage is done. We will keep lulu's dodge staged at the old house. The Prius will sit over here.

We are tired and sore - the day was perfect except for the internet. We will settle for that. The move went about as well as the build. Not bad for a couple of gray heads.

One Of The Basic Food Groups In Tamaqua Was Tastykakes


Harry Note - Lulu's Daddy delivered Tastykakes in Tamaqua for 35 years. He would get up at 4 AM - load his truck and then seldom be home by 5 PM. He did that all the time and only took 2 sick days! It must have been the food.

Long before I knew I wanted to live in or near Philadelphia I spent a weekend in the area and when I left, I had a recipe for Tandy Cakes in my pocket.
If you’re familiar with Philadelphia you’ll have no problem connecting the dots between Tandy Cakes and Tastykakes best selling item, Kandy Kakes. (You have no idea how many times I rewrote this sentence. There’s just no easy way to spit it out!)
For those of you not from Philly, Tastykakes is a locally born baking company not unlike Hostess or Little Debbie, though I’m putting my life on the line by making that comparison.
Anyone who savors the combination of chocolate and peanut butter will appreciate Tandy Cakes. It’s an easy dessert, but it does require some planning as there is refrigeration time involved.
The base of this dessert is cake and yellow cake tastes the best. I’ve tried using white cake and it seemed too bold. The yellow jives better with the other layers, the second of which is peanut butter, as you can see above.
And the third layer is melted chocolate. Be still my heart.
I’ve always refrigerated Tandy Cakes; I love the hardened chocolate that cracks into the peanut butter with each bite.
When I went to the Tastykake website to grab their link I was surprised to find that they suggest eating their Kandy Kakes chilled! Who knew? Great minds, I tell ‘ya.
With a big glass of milk on the side, I say have a Tandy Cake for dessert or for breakfast. There’s lots of protein in peanut butter, you know…
Tandy Cakes
1 box of yellow cake mix 
(plus the ingredients the cake mix calls for)
1 (12 oz.) jar of smooth peanut butter
1 (12 oz.) bag of semisweet chocolate chips
Spray a jelly roll pan with non-stick spray.
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.
Pour the batter into a jelly roll pan and bake.
(Tricky, depending on which cake mix you use. I baked mine at 350 degrees for 16 minutes.)
As soon as the cake is done use a spoon to gently drop peanut butter on to the top of the cake.
DO NOT SPREAD the peanut butter yet as it will tear the cake.
Instead, put the pan back into the oven and let the residual heat melt the peanut butter.
When the peanut butter has melted enough to spread easily, distribute it evenly over the cake.
Allow to cool completely. 
(I usually wait about 15 minutes and then pop it in the fridge for a bit.) 
When the peanut butter has set and the cake has completely cooled…
Melt the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
Spread the melted chocolate over the peanut butter.
Place the pan back into the fridge to let the chocolate harden.
Cut into squares and serve chilled or at room temperature. 

From the Rainy Day Baker

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moving Time On Seminole Drive - Monday Morning

George and Joel gave us a wonderful canvas for house warming. "Nothing gonna stop us now."

Lulu got home late last night from Philadelphia. Today we spent most of the day packing. I bought 40 bins at Cosco. We are using them for packing - then we will store stuff in the attic in them.

Yesterday - I begged my way in Costco. Lulu is a member - but not me. It did not take too much convincing. They let me buy 40 bins for the move. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lulu Is On Her Way Home

Safely home early - landed at 9:09 PM.

Just Sold Washer and Dryer on Craigslist

They were 5 years old and they did not match Lulu's laundry - so they had to go. They were two of LG's first energy saver models. 

Three guys called last night - I told the first guy he must be here by 9 AM - he was. while we were loading them on his truck a guy called offering more money. I already took the other guy's $650 cash.

They were only listed on Craigslist for a few hours. I must have priced them too low.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Sod Is Brown - But In 5 Weeks I will be Mowing Like Crazy

1816 Seminole Drive - Tallahassee

The house is complete. They put the sod down - it reminds me of the Penn State football field after a bad game. The grass is dormant - but in 5 weeks - it will be green and cushy. 

Lulu has not seen the house yet - she is slugging it out in Philly for 5 days in that cold snap. She toured the prison with her cousins and nearly froze. Delta has already told her they are flying her home first class. She will get home late on Saturday night. 

All day Sunday she will be packing. Monday the moving van comes early. Monday night will be our first official night of living there. 

Today a lovely couple toured our old home at 1607 Seminole Drive. I am optimistic - but would not bet the house on it. They saw it listed on

Tomorrow at 9 AM - two people are coming to buy our old washer and dryer. Let's start a bidding war  :-)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

House Day 100 - We Got Inspected and Got Our Certificate of Occupancy

14 pallets of sod arrived on the flat bed.

Day 100 finally arrived. The city inspector passed our home with a perfect score. The inspector loved the home - and the quality of materials. It was almost anti-climatic. We can move in now. 

The day started with the sod men working hard grading the property. Mike Runyan of Big Bend Landscaping is doing the job. Around 10 AM a full tractor trailer of centipede sod arrived. It was pretty brown - but I was assured that the sod was dormant - a great time to install it. Mike said in about 5 weeks I will be mowing it.

Lulu at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

House Day 99 - Grading the Yard

Grading of the yard took all day with a large crew of men and machinery.

At 5 PM today - the sun was setting on a graded lot. It is ready for sod tomorrow.

It was pretty cold - it started out 30 and only got to 50. The sun was out - and that helped. We expect no rain for several days. 

Kevin put the shelves in all the cabinets today - the cleaning crew made everything sparkle. 

Lulu is in Philadelphia in that blizzard. She will see the house Saturday. Monday we plan to move in.

We have applied for a building permit for the garage. That is a second project.

House for Sale - 1607 Seminole Drive - Tallahassee

Click here to see the details

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Notre Dame Loses at Florida State by 2

I kept score for the game.

This is the free program cover.

Paul Marty captured the bat on TV at home. 

Since Lulu was in Philadelphia for the Great Blizzard of 2014 - I had to go to see Notre Dame's first appearance ever at the Tucker Center alone. Face value of tickets was $40 - and I was able to sell my 4 season tickets for $100 total. It was a good crowd but maybe only 70% of the seats were actually occupied. Duke is still the big draw - and they seldom come to Tallahassee.

The Seminole jumped to an early lead and held an 8 point advantage for most of the game. The biggest excitement besides a technical foul on the Notre Dame bench was the "bat delay." For several minutes a bat was buzzing the court down at eye level. they tried to chase it but the bath was enjoying himself. He finally flew off into the sunset. 

The last 5 minutes saw Notre Dame typing up the score. In the lat 30 seconds - FSU took the ball down court and Ian Miller put up a nice 2. Notre Dame did not have enough time to recover. So Notre Dame is 0-1 at FSU.

Lulu watched from her hotel room in Blizzard City PA. 

Seminoles beating Notre Dame at halftime 41-33

The Fireplace Mantles Are Completely Installed

The little details are being completed. The fireplace mantles were installed - they are solid cherry wood - made from scratch by Kevin. Each side of the fireplace has one. 

Tomorrow - the grading of the lot will be completed. We are lucky - the weather is predicted to be clear for the entire week. Thursday - the sod will be placed. 

Viola - the house will be done. 

Thursday - the new stacking washer and dryer will be delivered and installed. 

We have applied for the building permits to build a garage now. 

Cancelled flights in Philly

Lulu successfully landed in Philadelphia.

Overcoming the Prejudices of Others

Doris Hollenbach Meneses and her lovely family. Doris grew up on Rowe Street in Tamaqua PA - she now lives near Miami FL

Dr. Martin Luther King Day is observed next Monday, the 20th of January.  This federal holiday is celebrated, on Dr. King’s birthday. It is combined with other days in different states. For example, it is combined with Civil Rights Day in Arizona and New Hampshire, and with Human Rights Day in Idaho. It is also a day that is combined with Robert E. Lee’s birthday in some states. In Wyoming it is known as Equality Day.

Wanted Coal Cracker Slips Up On Facebook

FREELAND — If you’re wanted by the police, it’s probably not smart to post a police department’s “wanted” photo of yourself on your Facebook profile.
But, that’s just what Anthony James Lescowitch apparently did. And he was captured 45 minutes later, Freeland police announced, fittingly enough, on the department’s Facebook page.
The Freeland Police Department posted a photo of Lescowitch at 9:19 p.m. Monday, noting that Lescowitch, 35, was wanted for aggravated assault and numerous other charges. The post asked that anyone knowing Lescowitch’s whereabouts to call police at 570-636-0111 or 911.
Less than two hours later, Freeland police posted another photo of Lescowitch, this time with the caption: “CAPTURED!!!!!! SHARES OUR STATUS ON FACEBOOK ABOUT HIMSELF, CAPTURED 45 MINUTES LATER.”
Police said they noticed that Lescowitch shared their post about him on his Facebook page minutes after they posted it on theirs, and that he taunted police in his post as well. So, undercover officers used a Facebook profile of a fictitious attractive woman to engage in online conversation with Lescowitch through Facebook, pretending to be interested in meeting him.
Lescowitch initially declined an offer to meet for a drink, but when an officer asked him where he was and said, “The least you can do is come out and have a cigarette with me,” Lescowitch agreed, police said.
Sure enough, when undercover officers pulled up in a car at the location he specified, Lescowitch came out and was promptly arrested.
Freeland police said they wanted Lescowitch for an assault back in the summer, and he had been ducking them since the fall. He was also wanted by Luzerne County Probation.
Like and follow Freeland police on Facebook
From the The Times Leader 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 98 - The Kitchen Is Complete - The Cleaning Crew Arrived

The kitchen is complete - made completely of cherry wood from scratch by Kevin Rodgers of Woodville.

For the next 10 days we are supposed to have 0% chance of rain. It will let the ground dry out for grading and sodding. 

Inside - Kevin completed the kitchen. He installed some cabinet doors and drawers. The wood corbels completed the motif. Gary also installed the towel racks - toilet paper holders - and towel hooks.

The island is surrounded by cabinets and drawers. Notice the wood corbels which match the fireplace mantles. The granite slab weighs 1300 pounds. The fireplace mantles will be installed tomorrow.

A heated towel rack seems frivolous until you try one. Lulu bought one about 7 years ago - and it is great. It only uses 50 watts of power  - but it keeps your towels warm and dry. In Florida with the humidity - it seems your towels are always wet. This ends that. It can also be used to hang wet bathing suits.

All the Branbury hardware matches the faucets - not only brushed nickel color but the specific design motif.

A home is not official until toilet paper is hanging there.

The laundry has cabinets and a clothes folding table. There is a hanging rod under the table.

A regular brushed nickel towel rack.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stephen Simchak Was in My First Science Class in 1970 - Here He Does a Story About the Snowy Owl

Today Stephen is the manager of the Hazelton Airport. A few year later I had his son - Stephen Simchak Jr - in my class. He was a another science enthusiast and now works in Washington DC.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Court Strikes Down Pennsylvania Voter ID Law

The law requiring Pennsylvania’s voters to show photo identification at the polls was found unconstitutional by Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley.

He said the controversial 2012 voter identification law places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote.
State Rep. Mike Carroll, D-Avoca, welcomed the decision, saying it will allow older citizens to continue exercising their constitutional right to vote.
“While many believe a state-issued ID is an everyday tool in life easily held or obtained by all, the reality is there are people, especially older citizens, who do not have an ID but wish to vote,” Carroll said. “This decision ensures their right will be protected.”

Friday, January 17, 2014

Family of 14 Live in an RV Camper

See the RV Family Video Here

People often ask Susie Kellogg how she can live in an RV with 12 children.

"We don't 'live' in here," Kellogg said from the couch of her 1999 Georgie Boy Cruisemaster. "We just sleep here. We live outside."
The Kelloggs, a family of 14 from Colorado, sold their house and took to the road in the fall of 2012 with their dog and 18 kayaks in tow.

Lulu's New Swimming Pool

Yuengling Ice Cream - Made by Tamaqua PA - Back in Production

From The Morning Call - 

Life doesn't offer many do-overs, but David Yuengling was granted one this week when, after a 28-year hiatus, Yuengling's Ice Cream went back into production.

The premium all-natural ice cream is being made at Leiby's Dairy Inc. near Tamaqua and will be available in 10 flavors by mid-February.
Initially the ice cream will be sold at Acme, Weis and select independent grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. It will retail for between $5.49 and $5.99 per quart. A launch into other major grocery stores is anticipated for later this year.

Car Theft Up 80% in Tallahassee

The Tallahassee Police Department is asking for the community's help in stemming the tide of vehicle thefts in the area. Over the last thirty days, TPD has taken reports for eighty-one stolen vehicles. This is an 80% increase in auto thefts over this time last year. In several of these thefts, the vehicles were unlocked and/or had a spare key to either that vehicle or a secondary vehicle, which was parked close by. The thieves were able to open the unlocked vehicle, find the key and drive away.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day 97 - Kitchen Drawers Installed - Cabinet and Drawer Knobs Placed - LED Lights in Kitchen and Bathroom - Painting - Grading Outside

The guest bathroom got cabinet drawers - cabinet knobs - and LED lights above the mirror. The shower tile was sealed. 

Temperatures dropped down into the 20s last night but the house had heat and was toasty this morning. The day was spent tying up a lot of loose ends. 

Tomorrow - the rest of the kitchen cabinet doors will be installed - the shelves will be put in place - and a little trim will spice it up. 

The mantles for the fireplace will be installed. They will be made of cherry wood and match the kitchen cabinets - both in color and design.

The master bath got faucets. Everybody loves Lulu's bathrooms and kitchen. 

Tallahassee Pays You To Install Gas Appliances

The City of Tallahassee provides both electricity and natural gas. They encourage people to switch over to gas appliances because gas is more efficient. Also most of our electricity is produced by burning natural gas. 

Due to the discovery of huge amount of natural gas in the USA using the fracking process - the price of natural gas has dramatically gone down. The fracking industry likes to say that the USA is going to become the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. 

When you install a new gas range in your home in Tallahassee you get a $200 rebate.

When you install gas fireplace logs - $50 is your reward.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I Make A Trade On Craigslist Today

The iPad 2 in the open leather case.

I have only made one other trade on Craigslist - when I traded a Honda van for our Prius. That one involved some cash. Today - I traded even up - a MacBook Air for an iPad2. Now before you say I got ripped - my MacBook Air was broken. 

The MacBook Air needed a new screen. The local Mac shop said they wanted $300 to install a new screen. You can buy a screen for $90 - but then you would have to find someone to install it. I decided I did not want to invest that much more into a 3 year old computer. 

Today We Hooked Up the City Gas - We installed the Heat Pump - the Fireplace Logs Are Burning

Lulu's fireplace is the first thing you see when you come in the front or back door.

Day 96 was really busy. We had painters - gas men - cabinet men - all working around each other. Reality is setting in - we are probably going to finish in 100 work days just like Gary predicted.

Gary's pretty wife - Cindy - came by for the tour today for the first time. She and Gary are planning a cabin - and they might use our plans. 

Technically - now that we have hot and cold water - heat/AC - electricity - stove - refrigerator - lights - we could move in. First the city must come to make the final inspection. 

City gas fuels the fireplace - the tankless water heater - and the kitchen range.

Here Comes The Band Wagon - No State Is Going To Let All Their Money Go To Colorado

Pa. Senate to debate use of medicinal pot

HARRISBURG —Will medical marijuana be legalized in Pennsylvania?
State senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer introduced a bill Tuesday that would legalize cannabis for medical purposes under a physician’s direction.
Leach, D-Montgomery County, and Folmer, R-Lebanon County, said the introduction marks the first time in state Senate history a medical marijuana bill has been drafted with bipartisan support.
Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, said he is open to the discussion on SB-1182, and he has been impressed by the growing body of research on the issue.
“As the proposal moves through the legislative process, I will continue to look to the medical community, the Food & Drug Administration, and to the Pennsylvania families impacted by the legislation in every effort to make the most informed decision I can on a matter of this significance,” Yudichak said.

This is a cool logo.

Bruce Springsteen Sings About the George Washington Bridge Traffic Jam

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Small World - Someone From Facebook Spotted Our Camper On The Highway

House Tour With One Week To Go

The project started back on August 12, 2013. A bulldozer approached the house - and the rest was rock and roll. It has taken about 5 months - we purposefully pushed the project into 2014 for tax purposes.

We are still friends with our builder Gary Shiver.

Tomorrow is a big day - the heat pump will be installed - the gas fireplace logs will be hooked up - the gas range will work. The kitchen cabinets will be completed. The painters will finish up the woodwork and outside siding.

The video ends abruptly because my camera battery died.

Day 95 - About One Week Left

The house is moving along well. We have a week left before we can move in. 

All the water is on - the electric is on. Tomorrow the natural gas gets hooked up - the heat pump gets fired up - and the gas stove and fireplace logs will work.

All of the interior locks and door handles were installed. The final pocket door was put in place. 

I bought the lights for the guest bathroom and the upper kitchen cabinets. I also bought the cabinet handles. 

Lulu's backsplash is not grouted yet - but the row of fireplace stone really highlights the room. 
Mission Style square door handles are very nice - matching the brushed nickel motif.  
The handles on the closets do not turn - they just pull the doors open. 
Indeed the center piece of the home is Lulu's two sided see thru fireplace. It is covered with stacked stones. Hidden behind the stones are outlets for power and television. There will be a mantle attached to that board. Tomorrow the gas logs will be installed and fired up.

Josh and Gary Wayne installed the last pocket door. Tomorrow the painterscome in to  do some second coats on the woodwork and some siding.