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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Our Scooter Broke Down On The Way To See The Seminoles Clobber Syracuse

Lulu loves her Noles - 2 Nice Tickets - $10

We left the house a little early at 11 AM for the noon game because George and Joel were to meet us by the statue at the stadium. I was supposed to get 4 tickets together for us - thus the little extra time.

Lulu and I pulled the Vespa scooter out of the garage and headed west - 2 miles or so to the stadium. About half way there - the scooter sputtered to a halt. I was not in the mood to putter with the scooter - so we parked it - then caught a rickshaw to the stadium. The rickshaw guy worked for tips and was delighted to get $10.

There were plenty of tickets for sale around the stadium - but no George and Joel. We got a message saying they were going to the hospital for family trouble. We did not shop long for tickets - we took two of the first ones we saw because they were in section 32 - which is shady on sunny days. Also - they were on the 30 yard line - row 37. We paid a total of $20 for the tickets - although face value was $60 each.

It looked like rain at kickoff - with a completely overcast sky. Syracuse bounced out to a 7 point lead - FSU was playing a lot of second stringers because some of our top players were hurt. Our best quarterback and running back did not play all day.

After a quarter - the sun came out and we had a clear blue sky - it was perfect weather for a game. By halftime - we were in the shade - but the breezes were wonderful. Some of the third stringers were really rolling up the yards. Seminoles won by 3 or 4 touchdowns. The starters got some needed rest - and Jimbo sandbagged a bit - not showing undefeated Clemson - many of our good plays or players. Still I think they are going to kill us. The world will be surprised if we win.

Although I brought 4 cans of coke in my magical underwear - and Lulu had two hoagies in her purse - we did buy $10 of snacks.

On the way home - we chose to catch an Uber cab - and it got us home quickly for $15. All told - we spent $55 for 2 tickets - game snacks - and rides back and forth. I will put my trailer on our Leaf and go over and pick up the scooter when the traffic clears.

Riding the rickshaw to the stadium - you can see our chief of police in this video.

The 6-1 Seminoles played to a half empty stadium on Parents Day - and no flyover.

Renegade did his best "rear" - he did a wheel stand at the spear planting.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Cousins Do Cocoa Beach - Fab Four at the Shore

When the cousins were little - the bets week of the year was when they were together on the Jersey Shore. Now once a year - they get to relive the good old days.

Get ready for the excitement of the "Fab Four at the Shore."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Getting Our Money's Worth At Disneysworld After Our Pass Ran Out

All fresh in the morning - Halloween Disney

The Fantasia Show at Hollywood Studios - water show and fireworks were wonderful.

Elsa and Anna - our granddaughter - and everybody's granddaughter loves this movie. 

Last weekend I offered to take Lulu to Atlanta to see Florida State play at Georgia Tech. We never saw a football game there - and after all - it was such a sure victory. Lulu said she would rather go to Disneyworld for 3 days. Last December we took the kids there - and we had some leftover passes that were expiring at the end of the month. 

So Tuesday morning - we piled into our non-electric car - and drove 4 hours to that enchanted place of our youth. DisneyWorld opened in 1971 - the same year we married and we have not missed many years in between. In 1974 - we chartered a jet and brought my 150 - 7th graders from Pennsylvania to the park for one day. Legends were made from that trip. It was icing on the cake to take our grandkids there last year. Now we have new memories to re-live. 

Lulu booked us into the Pop Century Hotel - one of Disney's new budget places. They give Florida residents rooms for $91 - before taxes.

Wednesday morning it was a rush to have breakfast and hop the bus and get to the Magic Kingdom in time for opening ceremonies at 8:30. We have not done it before - and probably won't again - unless the grandkids want to see it. We had our old Disney pass cards and the new Disney pass bracelets with us. The fun was about to begin.

We marched right up to the bracelet reader - and the sensor rejected us. We got out our cards - the sensor rejected them. We were directed toward the courtesy counter - where they informed us that our passes had expired after 6 months - not 12 months. 

I missed Atlanta - paid $200 for hotels - drove 4 hours - and our passes were expired. It turned into an "American Express" moment as we paid $244 total for 2 - one day park hopper passes. I reminded Lulu that the airlines just gave her $1850 in cash for bumping her from her plane home from Kuwait. You just have to give a little back now. 

In minutes we were in the park enjoying the sparse crowds - but it looked like rain. We enjoyed many of the indoor adventures as it started to pour. I refused to buy the $10 ponchos that were about as big as a garbage bag. We would wait it out inside. It did not take long - by noon - thousands of people were lugging around their $10 garbage bags. The sky was clear blue for the rest of the day. I swear that Disney can make it rain for an hour a day just to sell those ponchos. 

After the Magic Kingdom parade we went to Hollywood Studios. It is a favorite - but I doubt that Hollywood streets were ever that pristine. The Fantasia fireworks and water show is truly astonishing. 

We planned to go to until 1 AM to get our moneys worth - but that long walk around the lake in Epcot is really a stamina sucker. We love to visit those countries - but by 11 PM - we were pooped. We sat in the Germany courtyard - all alone - the places were drained of people. We imagined our up and coming spring semester in Berlin. We got excited all over again. 

The bus got us quickly back to our hotel. Our iPhones said we walked 8.5 miles in one day. 

Thursday morning - after a quick breakfast and a swim at the hotel pool - we headed home. After a  slow 5 hour drive home - Lulu was home to teach her 8 PM class. 

Buying a few Legos for Kate

Our hotel - the Disney Pop Century

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wait Until You Hear About Our Trip To Disneyworld Before Our Pass Expired

We are enjoying a little rain. The big story is coming on the tickets. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

For Sale - Beautiful 2002 Toyota Camry

2002 Toyota Camry - 96000 miles - $4995

I am selling a beautiful one owner 2002 gold Toyota Camry - 4 door sedan. The car has been owned and driven by two FSU professors - thus the pretty gold color. It only has 96,000 miles on it - it has been garage kept. It was purchased new in Tallahassee and all the maintenance has been done including replacing the timing belt at the normal interval. The car is loaded with some neat luxury features. It has the factory premium radio/CD/tape/sound system. It has interval wipers - cruise control - power seat - power steering - power windows - power brakes - power mirrors. It has a 5 speed manual transmission with overdrive. The Toyo tires are recent and have plenty of tread. The 157 HP four cylinder engine is rated by the EPA at 29 miles per gallon highway. If you want to buy it but cannot drive a standard transmission - I will teach you for free after you buy it. I am a certified drive education teacher. This is a Florida car - it has never seen snow or salt. Call me at 8507661105 - 
ask for Harry. $4995. Come take it for a test drive - I am sure you will thank me. This was the number one selling car in 2002. It needs nothing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cousin Georgeann Going Back To Pennsylvania

It is nice for people from back home in Tamaqua PA to come to visit us. We are just a few miles from Tallahassee "International" Airport. I guess Atlanta is in another country because most of our flights go there.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Death of George Bell - In the NY Times - Fascinating Long Story

The Lonely Death of George Bell

Sniffing a fetid odor, George Bell's neighbor called 911. Once firefighters had jimmied the door, the police squeezed into a beaten apartment groaning with possessions. Josh Haner/The New York Times 
They found him in the living room, crumpled up on the mottled carpet. The police did. Sniffing a fetid odor, a neighbor had called 911. The apartment was in north-central Queens, in an unassertive building on 79th Street in Jackson Heights.
The apartment belonged to a George Bell. He lived alone. Thus the presumption was that the corpse also belonged to George Bell. It was a plausible supposition, but it remained just that, for the puffy body on the floor was decomposed and

Tamaqua Today - My Hometown

This is my hometown of Tamaqua PA. It is in the center of the Coal Region where Anthracite has been mined for hundreds of years. I spent my wonder years of the 1950s and 1960s here. Don Serfass - a local journalist - took this picture today. 

Lulu and I were raised about 1 mile apart - her home was just on the other side of that mountain. I spent my entire teaching career about 5 miles east of the train station. 

Most of the coal industry is gone - along with it the thriving railroad industry. Many of the people there that still work - drive an hour or two to work into big city. For 10 years - Lulu drove over 100 miles each way to be a professor in New York City. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cousins Watch Seminoles Beat Louisville (41-21) For Free

After the game - the girls posed by
the FSU equipment truck
Bobby Bowden points the direction to
 Sonny's Barbecue for supper
The cousins enjoyed an afternoon of Seminole football for free. Although the ticket face value was $100 each - a nice guy going into the president's box gave his tickets to me for free. So the girls were in the stadium a half hour before kickoff. 

The Seminoles were losing at half time 7-6 - but then scored 5 straight touchdowns in the second half to make it a landslide. The final score was 41-21. Although the stadium holds 82,000 - it looked to me that only 50,000 people showed up on this picture perfect day. It was bright and sunny but the mercury never rose above 77 degrees - and there was a strong breeze that kept the flags straight out the whole game.

Before the kickoff - the  military sky diving teams delivered the game ball to the 50 yard line.  We sat on the 25 yard line facing the sun - so we got a good dose of UV rays.

After the game we enjoyed supper at Sonny's Barbecue with our 25% off senior citizens discount. Now we are home and will enjoy the replay of the game - to see what really happened.

The sky divers deliver the football to the 50 yard line.

Chief Osceola plants the spear to start the contest

I am happy to announce I have my good old Sony RX100 camera back. My son Drew took it apart and replaced the main sensor - it works like new again. I took the above pictures and videos with my RX100.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Plenty of Oranges and Tangerines - But No Lemons or Grapefruit Yet


It was only a year ago that we planted 4 citrus trees in our back yard. We already got one crop of oranges last December. Now both the orange and tangerine trees have bumper crops. The lemon and grapefruit trees look healthy - but no fruit or blossoms yet. 

All 4 tree were purchased at Lowes and planted in September 2014.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Four Kuwaiti Princesses At Cocoa Beach

Cathy - Ruthann - Lulu - Georgeanne

We used to call them "moo moo's."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Celebrating The Marshmallow Rabbits On Cocoa Beach

In The Capital Of The New South - On The Way To The Capital Of The Old South

I just changed planes in Atlanta - on the way to see the grandkids in Richmond. I parked the Leaf at the Tallahassee Airport at 5am - the 3 day parking fee will be $45 - much more than the price of this round trip - $11. Lulu bought the flight for me with 30000 frequent flyer miles and $11 tax.  

The first flight out of Tallahassee this morning went nearly empty. I guess there were 15 of us in the plane that held 100. With the light load it jumped off the newly constructed runway like a rocket. 

Lulu is in Cocoa Beach for her cousins week - thanks to the Maas family letting her have the condo. 

I will return to town in time to clean up for lulu's arrival home Friday. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Tesla For The Rest Of Us

I love driving my 2012 Nissan Leaf. It is a really neat little electric - plenty of pep - super quiet - nimble. The 70 mile range is not a problem for me because I seldom put more than 30 miles on a car in a day. 

I would give up my Leaf for this Tesla. Tesla makes the absolute best car on the market - but their prices are really high. The Tesla S sedan costs upwards of $90000. They just came out with an SUV called the Tesla X - but it costs a whopping $150000. 

It will be interesting to see the specifications of this $30000 model. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

I Sold This Television on Craigslist

I love to sell stuff on Craigslist. You meet interesting people with fascinating stories. Anthony bought this Panasonic 42 inch TV for $250. It was in excellent shape - and 9 years old. It was in one of our guest rooms. Lulu says whenever she travels - I sell stuff out from under her. Of course she approved listing it before she left. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

How Lulu Went To Kuwait for 10 Days And Ended Up At The Florida State/Wake Forest Football Game in North Carolina In The Worst Rain Storm In 1000 Years

President of Kuwait University, Hussein Al Ansar,
presents Lulu
with a gold ship, a symbol of Kuwait.
A side trip to the Arabian Desert
This Starbucks is about 10 times
 the size of one in the U.S.
Lulu just got home from a 10 day trip to Kuwait - yeah the Arab country that was overrun by Saddam Hussein. It all started last spring by a little email that she almost erased as junk. You know what I mean - the emails from Asian countries that offer you all sorts of money - if you just reply. Lulu is one of the world’s foremost experts on school library media - so this is not the first time a great trip started like this. She has taken me  to Portugal - Brazil - Australia - England under similar circumstances. So she replied saying she would like to help. 

The Kuwait University wanted her to evaluate their library science program. They would pay her a nice stipend - fly her first class - and pick up all of her expenses. She accepted. She was certainly surprised when they sent her this first class plane ticket - 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Cousin Georgeanne And The St John XXIII Parish of Tamaqua Visited With The Pope

Philadelphia City Hall and the Tamaqua group. Cousin Georgeanne is in red.
 Above the right hand corner of the sign. If someone sends me a
list of the names I will put them here. 
They saw the Pope and took this picture. He is the one in the white.
Here is the program.
Heroes the bus leaving Tamaqua at 6:30 AM - 90 miles north of the city.
by Georgeanne Knowles
When our Parish decided to get a bus to see Pope Francis - I was signed on right away. I thought this is a once in a lifetime experience that I would have loved to take with my Dad  who was so strong in his faith that his last words on earth were "I want to be with My Lord" and so I hope you were watching from a seat in Heaven next to him as I made my pilgrimage Dad.