Monday, June 22, 2009

a trip to the SANDS bethlehem, pa

Well today was my token 'day off' from work. What is nice is that it's a Monday and in the past Sunday nights were just ominous and as the night wound down I started missing the weekend .. even before I went to bed. Now it's a different kind of feeling with the prospects of having an entire day to do what I want (usually Sue is at work and Carter at school). Monday nights aren't like Sundays since 3 days of doing nothing (but mostly house stuff) is enough and I actually look forward to going back to work.. hey, it's only 4 days of retail torture now...

Ever since I mentioned the new SANDS casino (in Bethlehem, PA) my father has been bugging me (or asking whenever I see him) about going. Last Monday we were supposed to go but nothing was set. I get a call about 6pm and my dad is on the other end, "What happened? We were supposed to go to the casino today"..

So, when I saw my Dad on the weekend I told him we would go. We had planned on heading over there around noon. Well, today I get up around 9:30am ... I get a call from my dad at 10am saying "I'm on my way over". Luckily he doesn't own a cell phone so "on my way over" means he's just leaving the house.

I was in the middle of a bagel and coffee when he called, so I needed to step things up a bit. My dad still drives at 83 but doesn't drive far. He knows where we live but can't see to remember the two turns after getting off of Route 191. So, I meet him down the road in the church parking lot.

My dad followed me to our house and we came inside for awhile so I could finish my coffee and brush my teeth. We headed out about 11pm.

The casino opened about a month ago but Sue and I haven't had a chance to go there. She tells me that her and her friend (Lani) are going sometime soon. The casino is about 15 minutes from our house.

I wasn't thinking but my dad brought a baggie full of change with him to 'play the slots'. I had to use the restroom so when I came out and found my father he looked confused. He says, "Where do you put the money?". For a second I almost forgot myself that the machines no longer accept coins. He probably hadn't been in a casino in about 4 years. But I'm pretty sure they didn't accept coins back then either.

The next problem is that my father has all these 'ones' with him. Well, go figure, the machines will only accept a $5.00 bill and higher. You would think that maybe you could put a one dollar bill in a penny machine.. but no. But the casino is happy to print you out a .04 receipt.

So after about 20 minutes.. maybe 30 minutes my $30.00 I came with is gone. I figure if I only spend $30.. then I only lose $30.

My dad seems to be doing pretty good on the video poker machines. I think he's up to $10.00 now. He notices that I'm just sitting there and tells me he'll give me $5.00. So I start playing the $5 and after about 20 minutes I'm up to $20.00. I'm thinking I should have started to play the video poker in the first place. But after about another 10 minutes I've lost it all again.

The casino isn't too big.. mostly a large room filled with slot machines and restaurants. Free parking (as most casinos have) and no ticket to redeem; just drive in, drive out.

My dad enjoyed the day and it was great taking him there since he worked at Bethlehem Steel (the site of the casino) back in the late 50s (when they produced 23 million tons of steel a year!) and worked there for 15 years.

Check it out:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

VACATION - day 5 - Friday

9:00 am - Carter and I woke up (sue also was up with a terrible migraine)

10:00 am - Had a cup of joe and peanut butter captain crunch.

11:00 am - starting putting the '3rd' coat of paint on the bathroom. A trick that Sue told me for storing paint-brushes overnight (so you don't have to wash them out right away) was to put them in the freezer. Then you thaw them out the next day and they are good to go again.

1:30 pm - finally finished the bathroom. I wasn't too happy when I started taking off the tape since in some areas around the shower it peeled big chunks of paint right off!

2:30 pm - made a visit to work (yes, on my day off) to collect my paycheck and fix a computer problem. I called my boss at 1:45 and he said (I'll be there in 45 minutes). I got to work at 2:30 and he showed up 45 minutes after that.

4:00 pm - leaving work for the bank

5:00 pm - arrive at Michaels. Looking for small b/w photos for the bathroom. Why is it that Michaels only has photos of Paris? They have some weird obsession with the Eiffel Tower. I do get 4 8x10 wood frames - it's a start.

5:30 pm - go to Barnes and Noble to see if they have a book of photos I can incorporate into the bathroom scheme... nothing that jumps out at me. I leave with nothing.

6:00 pm - arrive back home.

7:00 pm - re-arrange the downstairs in anticipation of the concert next saturday. Moved the bookshelf into the guestroom and re-arranged the pictures on the wall. Now I realize I need one more 24x36 frame. It will be back out to bed, bath & beyond tomorrow (their frames are $25.00 - michaels are $50 with a 40% discount.. I swear they up the price so the sale looks more attractive).

8:30 pm - finished up the downstairs.. now it's relaxation time and time to watch a Grey's Anatomy episode (we are only on episode 10 of season 2).

So ends my vacation. I do not go back to work til' Tuesday.

Stay tuned for more exciting blogs in the near future!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


8:30 am - woke up

9:00 am - started painting the walls of the bathroom

10:00 am - had a cup of joe and wheaties (the breakfast of champions)

10:30 am - continued painting

11:30 am - still painting

1:30 pm - finished painting but unfortunately it needs another coat

2:30 pm - made myself a tuna-fish, lettuce sandwich on toast and had a diet coke - watched some news. Can't believe David Carradine died :( - not right.

3:30 pm - started cleaning up the house; the in-laws will be here soon

4:30 pm - Sue left to pick up Carter. Finishing up a couple things on my 'list' Sue left for me this morning. Didn't find the 'list' til 2:00.

5:00 pm - the in-laws arrive

5:30 pm - go out to pick up the pizza

6:00 pm - sit down and eat pizza and have some conversation

6:30 pm - we leave for Carter's kindergarten graduation

7:00 pm - meet the rest of the parent's at the school and video tape the ceremony (see photos)

8:00 pm - get back home

9:00 pm - in-laws leave and I'm wishing I had more cake (not a real 'sweets' person but craving some icing; don't know why)

10:00 pm - start typing this blog

10:20 pm - finished blog (are you happy now, Lani? LOL)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

VACATION - day 3 - Wednesday

8:10 am - woke up; yes I decided to finally get up early and see off Sue and Carter - also get an early start on the painting.

8:30 am - started taping the edge of the wall; where it meets the ceiling.

9:30 am - getting started on painting the ceiling.

10:30 am - painting the ceiling. As you can see in the photo - it is true: I am painting naked. It's good for the soul. Only got one call from a neighbor across the street. Picked up the phone and all I heard was "COVER UP!"

10:31 am - I put my clothes back on.

11:30 am - electrician shows up (finally; thought he'd be here yesterday). Our lighting fixture in the laundry room stopped working. Appears to be the ballast. The electrician told me he would send me a bill.. doesn't sound good but it's fixed.

12:30 pm - putting the finishing touches on the ceiling. Started with a roller but the sand seemed to build up on the roller. Every now and then a huge clump of sand would come off of the roller. I then switched to a brush and that seemed to work much better. The texture paint was our only choice since it appears that someone replaced our lighting fixture and didn't sand down the areas around it.

1:30 pm - head out to pick up my new contact from the eye doctor

2:30 pm - go to Toys 'r us to pick up some b'day gifts for Carter. I don't know who will be more excited to try out the Star Trek transporter; me or Carter.

3:00 pm - since Toys 'r us did not have Spock I am on a quest now or, if you will, a 'search for Spock'.

3:30 pm - my search ends in not finding Spock (went to both Walmart & Target) but I picked up a SULU so Carter will have three figures to play with. Got some other stuff for Carter but it's a secret for now.

3:45 pm - gave my Dad a vist. He's excited that we will be going to the new SANDS casino soon.

4:15 pm - had to leave my Dad's in case I have to pick Carter up.

4:45 pm - pull into the driveway and Sue calls to say she can get Carter.

5:15 pm - put the Chicken in the oven and peel the potatoes. Tried a new marinade of Lemon Juice, Worcester Sauce, Olive Oil & Garlic.

6:15 pm - Chicken is delicious - Sue says it's a nice mild flavor. Can't taste the garlic but probably got lost on the bottom of the pan.

7:00 pm - I may head out to Barnes and Noble. More painting tomorrow but hope to get up early again.


9:30 am - woke up

10:30 am - had some peanut butter Captain Crunch & a freshly brewed cup of coffee

11:30 am - watched Rachael Ray (sorry but I have to say this - she's gained some weight!; it's all that good cookin')

12:30 pm - headed off to Lowe's.

1:30 pm - found out that the paint Sue wanted for the bathroom ceiling would cost $55.00 a gallon... do we really need sparkles in the ceiling paint? Ended up buying a textured paint - color: warm cappuccino. Also found out that some of the colors for Lowe's VALSPAR (what the hell kind of name is that?; sure it means something) are only available in the more expensive 'signature' series. Silly me, I thought a color was a color.. but was told it was 'trademarked'.. They've supposedly been in business since 1806... I think it says 'the paint of Edgar Allan Poe' on each can. Here's an excerpt from 'tale of the tell tale heart' - "It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see the old man as he lay upon his bed. I marveled at the fresh coat of Valspar paint on the walls.'

Anyway: the color Sue picked for the walls is called "PUMPKIN"...

2:30pm - watched the movie 'Joe Kidd' (with Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon). Never realized before that this movie was written by Elmore Leonard (one of my favorite authors; author of Get Shorty, Out of Sight and many others that were made into movies). He started out writing westerns; first novel was in 1953.

4:30pm - had to take a trip to GIANT since we were out of Hamburger. And did you know, Hamburger Helper makes a great meal? I've known this for a long time.

5:30pm - Carter and I arrived home

6:30pm - Finished my Stuart Woods book - maybe I'll take a trip to Barnes and Noble tomorrow for another book. But there is painting to do tomorrow! Another day of vacation.

Monday, June 1, 2009

VACATION - day 1 - Monday

9:30am - woke up

10:30am - brewed some coffee - ate a bagel with extra-fat cream cheese

11:30am - watched some Tyra

12:30pm - straightened up the garage - almost was taken out by an enormous ladder

1:30pm - on the deck trying to finish up a Stuart Woods book

2:30pm - still on the deck but now I'm sipping iced tea

3:30pm - still on the deck but thinking about coming in to work out

4:30pm - finished doing my 'workout' (gold's gym cardio workout for the wii)

5:00pm - getting ready to pick up Carter

when it hits 6:30pm - on my way to the baseball game