Saturday, April 30, 2011
The morning was crisp but clear--perfect weather for the members of the Harrisburg Young Professionals to attack one of their top projects, the beautification of the center divider of Forster Street in the 200 block. They have been tending this area for the past several years and we in the neighborhood are certainly gratified by their efforts; I suppose our daily commuters are as well. I especially appreciate the couple of "Knock Out" rose bushes which seem to bloom profusely right up to Thanksgiving . . . Despite the weather we had a very quiet day at the store. We miss you. Being sidelined has certainly been costly for us--we took in less than half what we needed for the month of April . . .
Friday, April 29, 2011
Most readers will already realize that Bob did yesterday's post without giving himself credit . . . I was waiting for the peak moment to photograph the beautiful flowering trees on Verbeke Street but, unfortunately, the storms tore away all the gorgeous petals . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY greetings to Ray Davis tomorrow . . . Bob and a couple of billion others rose early to watch the Royal Wedding. I was not among them, however . . . This decorative stack of cardboard boxes is $18 and each box would be a perfect receptacle for coupons, photos, etc . . .
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Rain was bad enough, but what we had this morning was something else! I have this weather thing that goes off whenever there is a weather warning. Well, it started going off at 3:30 this morning. I got awake. I heard thunder and saw lightning. Iwas awake, and I cannot go back to sleep with a thunderstorm in the vicinity; besides the weather thing kept going off again and again. So I got up, brushed my teeth, made coffee, and watched the rain by the light of the local weather on TV. We were fortunate that we got no wind or tornadoes, but the storm sewer did back up bringing water into the basement. No damage....Hope all of you fared well in the mess. Tomorrow and Saturday sound like real spring weather.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Well, it is official. There will be a new restaurant in the old Zephyr Express location. Home 231 will open Monday, specializing (it was first announced) in home-cooked food for neighborhood families. Hooray! We haven't had anything like that since the demise of Castiglia's years and years ago. What a great place that was. Mom always had a big pot roast, a mess of green beans and ham or an enormous bowl of spaghetti on the back burner for those who just wanted a quick meal after work. (And Italian specialties as well, if you were in the mood or were entertaining out-of-town guests.) . . . Well, I soon realized that my trust was misplaced concerning this new enterprise. One of the specialties is to be grilled octopus. Don't sound much like a neighborhood family spot to me . . . Does anyone remember the ham spread that Kessler Meats use to make and retail at Broad Street Market. That was delicious stuff, and I bought a carton almost every week. I still remember it fondly. Bob has had various successes with his own recipes, but nothing has come close to that Kessler treat that remains in my memory . . . The kids had out their magic wands tonight, filling the air with bubbles. Bob suddenly remembered our childhood days before this stuff came along. We both had a wooden bubble pipe that we dipped into soapy water and we blew the biggest bubbles with it. Bet some of you older readers had one of those, too. They were a big item at the five-and-dime . . .
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Too much of a good thing too soon. Temps near the 90s; had to dig out a pair of shorts . . . Heard my first car radio blasting in the uptown neighborhood this morning . . . It is almost inevitable--if you have baked ham on Sunday you will have a mess of ham and green beans sometime in the following week . . . No one ever told me that smoking is the primary--perhaps sole--cause of bladder cancer . . .
Monday, April 25, 2011
David Hoffman was in New York City this weekend for the premiere of a new opera based on the famous British film Seance on a Wet Afternoon. That film was highly lauded in its day and had quite a run at various "art house" theaters across the country here. Unfortunately the music in this new work is merely mediocre in David's opinion . . . Still unable to get a restful night's sleep; wide awake after an hour or two of deep sleep; terribly frustrating . . . Had a wonderful visit with former Harrisburg policeman Ralph Brown this afternoon; we go back a long way and can hash over any number of "events" in the neighborhood's past. He is working for the county sheriff these days . . . Ernie Kepner whipped up a holiday batch of his famous macaroni salad and he shared a portion with us. Ernie is counting down the days to retirement which will come early in June . . . So nice to see so many window boxes spilling over with pansies . . . This brass lady is about ten inches across and at $16 is a bargain in my opinion. Nice for the home or the patio. Just think, we can be lolling outside in the shade with a book in the not too distant future . . .
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Disappointing Easter Eve. Cold, damp and gloomy until late p.m. Generally, the later the Easter holiday, the better the business, so we stocked additional bunnies, peeps, and cards. But the week's weather was more like March than late April, so the anticipated excitement failed to materialize . . . Now for the latest rebirth of a continuing rumor: a new eatery will open in the old Zephyr Express space around May 2 . . . Jack Brandt back home after some serious surgery at the Medical Center in Hershey . . . Nice visit with Jacquie Kirby Hensel this afternoon . . . Bob and I wish all of you a wonderful Easter and/or Passover holiday and hope it finds you surrounded by friends and family . . .
Friday, April 22, 2011
Efforts to turn the old convent at Second and Liberty Streets into a rabbit warren for 39 roomers was again thwarted last night when the Zoning Board rejected the proposal. Attendees tell me that Kathy MacNett made a dramatic and impassioned objection to the idea on behalf of the CAN neighborhood . . . I guess it had to happen sooner or later: the REALLY BIG movie in Hong Kong and Taiwan these days is a 3-D porno . . . Today's TripAdvisor couple was from Toronto, Canada. Bob also entertained a family from Doylestown in Harrisburg for sightseeing and, hopefully, a baseball game . . . Happy Birthday to Eric W. today; I was going to reveal his age but wife Joanne objected . . . Spent the afternoon in the apartment over the store. It was great to hear the comings and goings; hope I can soon assist at least occasionally. Had a Subway chicken salad for supper. Maybe we are getting back to normal faster than we expected. However--I am a bit exhausted at the moment . . .
Thursday, April 21, 2011
This item was sent for use on April 1, but by that time I was in the hospital and the blog was being used for updates only. I do apologize and am happy to provide it now belatedly . . . Kathy and Pam MacNett have just returned from the Black Tie Gala Premier of the movie, The Mighty Macs. This Tim Chambers film is the story of the women's basketball team at Immaculata University, coached by Kathy Rush. (Kathy MacNett is an Immaculata grad.)The mighty Macs won the National Championships in 1972, 1973 and 1974-- before there were divisions of colleges. That was amazing since Immaculata had only about 500 students at that time . . . The movie opens nationally in October, and is great upbeat family entertainment. Stars include the well-known and talented Ellen Burstyn, Carla Gugino (Spy Kids) and David Boreanaz ( from Bones) . . . The gala event, at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, included a red carpet entry into the Ben Franklin Hall, with its huge statute of Ben . . . Mar 31
Sad news day . . . Matt Meehan's mother passed away Tuesday . . . One of Bob's club brothers, Jeff Roberts of Lewes, Del., passed away this morning, the result of a fall from a 20-foot ladder a few days ago. Jeff had been a long-time and well-known Harrisburg resident and house painter before moving to the coast . . . not sleeping well at night, so visiting nurse suggests I try to keep wide awake during the day. My efforts to that end were less than successful today, though I did spend an hour in the sun on the neighbor's (Betty Immers) stoop . . . All kinds of goodies have been showing up at the door and I hope to acknowledge them all at some point. Immediate thanks to Kathy MacNett, Yvonne Brown and Michelle Freed; I am sure there are others . . . Just might try a short visit to the store tomorrow, depending on how well my night and morning go . . .
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Some days I cannot see the future. I doubt that I can be self-sufficient ever again. I fret; despite Bob's Herculean efforts these last three months the store has not generated enough income to cover its costs. Worse, I feel helpless; I simply haven't the energy to hop into clothes and head for The Bare Wall to assist with the problem . . . When I was a little chap I envied Robert Louis Stevenson. I had learned that as a boy the Scottish author had been confined to bed by illness for a long time. I thought then that it would be marvelous to laze and do nothing but read day after day. Now that I have that opportunity I find that filling those endless hours with books, puzzles, the Net and TV is not as attractive as it sounds. Nothing can substitute for interaction with other people . . . The sun came out briefly at noon. I was able to totter half a block up the street. Daffodils were in bloom and iris and tulips were in bud—a promise that life goes on. It was warm, too—warmer than inside as is so often the case at this time of year . . . Things looked a bit brighter and the foggy future wasn't so distant . . .
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Well, I'm back for tonight. Ronn's doing better; he's eating fairly well and he's moving around a good deal more than he was and he's getting cranky. We got a report from Dr. Dowling about his CAT scan last week: everything looks good. That was good to hear because we were a bit concerned. There appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel.....Aren't you tired of rain? I only became worried when I noticed all those animals walking in pairs.....My Deib-a-tribe: Corbett tells us that the million dollar contribution to his campaign does not influence his stance about not taxing the Marcellus shale guys. Believe that and I've got a bridge in New York to sell you.....Ronn forced me to advise you that the Bare Wall is open from noon to five and that we still have some nice gifts, cards, and other goodies for Easter.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Our friend Mark Stevens, visiting family in Texas, was caught up in the deadly wildfires that are ravaging the state. Authorities wanted everyone to evacuate, but Mark and family members stayed behind to hose down the buildings on the property. It was a very scary situation since the water pressure fell to almost zero . . . a major water main break today sent most state workers home and has all of us it boiling water for a day or two. Many downtown restaurants closed, I am told . . . Dr. Coldren and I teamed up to get this photo into the blog; it is now up to our usual quality and I apologize to Bryan MacLeod for that . . .
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Exhausted all my energy today by returning to the store for a couple of hours; had to file the quarterly state sales tax report. The computer had not been on for several weeks so all the programs wanted to update themselves. That was a long time consuming project and stressful as well . . . Bob indulged me by driving to Arby's for one of their original unadorned sandwiches. I hadn't had an Arby's for a couple of years . . . Angela Lawson had a big family weekend--her mother's 92nd birthday. I benefited from left over cake and donuts . . . The MacLeod's were busy this afternoon hosting friends and family who wanted to meet the new baby; I caught Bryan outside and admired the new brick sidewalk--quite an upgrade to the property and neighborhood. I had planned to share a photo I took, but I cannot figure out how to get it into the computer; perhaps I can't. Hopefully Rick May will read this entry and give me a call . . . Hope none of you suffered too much "water in the basement" yesterday. Have had several reports of friends who were not so lucky . . .
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Rain was so heavy and constant today that the weather was downright scary at times. Thunder and lightning even as I write . . . Circumstances have kept me from following the daily news recently. Sad to say, not much has happened in the two-plus months I've been out of touch. Things are still a mess and still similar to a kindergarten disagreement. I have many reasonable GOP friends but I must confess that I am embarrassed for them these days; the idiots seem to have taken over the asylum, leaving traditional Republicans tainted by this idiocy. We recall that Hitler arose from the radical right of his party and have every reason to fear these clowns who have captured the media. Please, please, Conservatives, take back your party and let's return to a profitable dialogue . . .
Friday, April 15, 2011
A quiet day at home and office . . . JJ now in his new house with his own room to decorate a la Hogwart's. And I can remember not too long ago that all his attention was on Thomas the Tank Engine and Kipper the Dog. (The Lego craze was short-lived so sister Cecilia has adopted those for herself.) I was taken to task at his latest birthday party for not providing the last film installment of the Harry Potter series--no matter that it hasn't been in theaters yet, let alone DVD . . . Parents promise that this is definitely the last move, that they have at last found the family homestead. We shall see . . . Appetite perking up but there are still occasional cravings for ridiculous fast-food items that the palate thinks it wants. Also back into reading a bit and the puzzles are moving along better. The best Sudoku site on the net for me is at www.msnbc.com. If you have found something better, please let me know . . .
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Ramblings . . . Room 606 looks down through the glass roof over the Harrisburg Hospital entrance; would have been a wonderful vantage point for comings and goings had I been up to it at the time . . . Don't understand the symphony board's conflicts with Odin Rathnam that was recently reported. I am not an attendee, but Odin has garnered more publicity for that organization than it has enjoyed in thirty years . . . Saw Too Many Girls on TCM recently; Lucy met Desi when they were working on that film . . . Brain function still sluggish . . . Totally zonked after a trip to the hospital for an emergency scan . . .
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
CAN CELEBRATES A NEW RESIDENT ! ! !Proud Papa Bryan MacLeod announces that wife Jaime blessed our neighborhood with a daughter last night at 11:35 p.m. Annalise MacLeod clocked in at seven pounds and is 19.5 inches tall. Our congratulations go out to her, her parents and their families . . .
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Eagerly awaiting word from the MacLeods. Jaime entered the hospital this morning and their first child is expected sometime today . . . Story on the front page of the Pat-News this morning caught my eye. Persons living in the 600 block of Dauphin Street are trying to preserve their street in the face of neglect, absentee landlords and roving graffiti artists . . . Please correct this old man if he is wrong, but as I recall all the houses on that block were totally restored in the 1960s by Dauphin Deposit Bank as a demonstration of urban renewal. Properties were then offered at very attractive rates and for a few years at least this was a stellar example of city/financial institution cooperation on the renewal front . . .
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sorry to be late writing this blog today. No excuses; we forgot until now. Ronn's bedded down for the night, so you're stuck with me. Ronn's visit to the doctor went better than I had thought it would. A big thank you to Larry for driving us there. The doctor was rather pleased with Ronn's progress, and he doesn't go back until next month. He's still having problems eating, but since his doctor took him off the antibiotics, we hope for the best. Bob's Deib-a-tribe for today: actually it's a hooray to the union people who showed up at the Capitol today to protest the right to work legislation that is being offered. I'd like to let all those right to workers know where they'd be without the good things the unions have done for the American labor force.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Progress very disappointing. Did not sleep at all last night. Had two "costume malfunctions" in the last two days; thank the lord for patient visiting nurses. Have been able to ingest some protein via yogurt and Insure, but everything else generally tastes bad. Somehow must get something a bit more solid inside. Bob too has shown remarkable patience with me. I am usually a puzzle wiz but a 15-minute Sudoku takes nearly an hour, and a "Monday" crossword is just as difficult as Friday's. Headed out for my first doctor's appointment since hospital discharge tomorrow morning . . . Jack Brandt and Mike Reber are back from what might be called the trip of a lifetime--Plane to Buenos Aires, cruise to Barcelona, Spain, and home. In Jack's case, however, we have to moderate the claim since he has already been around the world . . . He is facing some serious surgery of his own in a few days . . . Loved all the e-mails you sent Bob about his deib-a-tribes. He promises to return with more soon . . .
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Well, you're stuck with me again. When Ronn takes over again he will have many things to say and stories to tell. The visiting nurse came today; she has been with Pinnacle for eight years and was most helpful to me as she changed Ronn's "bag" because I know that it won't be too long until Ronn and/or I will need to do it ourselves. I opened the store late today, but I had a customer or more, and had visits from Bob, Jon, and Kathy. I know that this blog is not political, but I read in the newspaper that Linda threw out the first pitch at the baseball opener to a round of boos. No comment............
Friday, April 8, 2011
Ronn is goofing off or he really is not up to it, but you are stuck with me again. I decided today that if I were doing the blog permanetly, I'd have a last part which I'd call Bob's Deib-a tribes where I could bitch about everything that bugs me. So since Ronn's not doing the blog tonight, here goes. I can't believe that Congress is fooling around getting ready to close down the government because some tea party members want no funding for planned parenthood. Seems to me we'd have things better if parenthood were planned. Corbett seems to have decided that the fat cats should get fatter. I think it's wonderful that he's going to take his raise but give it to charity. That way he gets a deduction on his income tax but it is credited income when determining his retirement from the state. Oh, I could go on and on, but when Ronn sees this I have a feeling you won't hear from me soon again.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Greetings from home and my own bed. Bob insists that I type this entry despite the fact that I am pretty weary; I am surprised how quickly one's energy can fade. The worst part just now is that every bite of food tastes just like every other bite--terribly bitter . . . met our visiting nurse who will be with us for the next several months; she was very reassuring . . . Have lots to share as soon as I can get back into the saddle--or at least the pony cart . . . JJ is always fascinated by Uncle Bob's musical Ferris wheel . . .
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Well, Ronn was discharged from the hospital this morning, and he is at the house recuperating. He has been lethargic since he came home. I wanted him to do his blog tonight, but he was not up to it. Tomorrow it is his! I am not in a good mood; I don't know why, but it will pass. The more I hear about Corbett's budget, the more it appears to me that it is goingto be a great time for big business and the Marcellus shale fellows in particular. He keeps reminding us of the shortfall in revenue, but refuses to tax them. I do not understand. That's all I'm going to bitch about. Happy days aren't here today.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
It looks as if Ronn will be released from the hospital either tomorrow or Thursday. He's doing rather well, but this evening he was having some nausea, but his temperature was normal. I think he simply needs to eat more than jello. Well, we had one day of good spring, but today.... There seems to be nothing happening in the neighborhood; I don't know that it's such a bad thing....... I heard on tonight's news that the school board here in the Burg is considering cutting anything that is not state mandated, including kindergarden. That's ridiculous to even consider inthis day and age. The board can't be serious!
Monday, April 4, 2011
Good news: all of Ronn's tubes are gone; he's eating real food, not food out of a plastic bag, and he's moving around quite well for an old man who has been cut apart. He was very pleased to have had a visit from JJ and the rest of the family. He gave JJ some medication to be taken two every two hours. The medication begins with a Tand ends in roll. George, Eileen, and Angela stopped by this afternoon to visit with Ronn.Then Angela got a call from sister Madeline and Ronn got some advice from the nurse. The Bare Wall did a bit of business today and I had some conversations with some of the neighbors. Everyone is so kind to us , offering all sorts of help. Thank you all.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
I'm doing the blog early today so that I don't need to concern myself with it later. I'm still not comfortable wirh the computer. I guess I'm a nineteenth century man who is stuck in the twentienth! First, Ronn sends a special thanks to everyone on the sixth floor surgical unit for all they are doing to make his stay less trying. He'd like to mention that there's cookies and candy awaiting any of you who stop by his room 606. Ronn had a good night; he said he got some real rest(now that's unusual for a hospital). His stomach is rumbling away, but so far that's all. I think he's feeling somewhat better because I was a party to his ire with someone who he didn't want poking around him. You'll need to ask him for details. I know that I must have a weather hangup--so what else do old men have to get excited about? I'll only say finally some sunshine and warmer temperatures. Hooray!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Ronn had several visitors today, and he enjoyed the visits and thanks everyone who came to the hospital and for the cards and flowers. He has a lot of rumblings in his lower abdomen, but not the big breakthrough so that he could start eating and get rid of the tube up his nose and down to his stomach. (He's looking forward to jello!) When I left, he was sitting up doing a puzzle. Business at the Wall was better today than any day this week. For all who know Ronn, you know that nothing makes him feel better quickly is money coming in to the store. I refuse to say the obvious.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Ronn was in a chair when I went in to visit tonight. He was wearing his glasses and looked like himself. He had quite aa bit of pain today, but he is having some stomach rumblings, which is a good sign that his intestinal track may be "waking up." When the waking is complete, he will begin to eat. Just wanted to mention that on the day of the surgery at check in at pre-op, his number was 007. James Bond he is not, Ward Bond maybe! Not much else to tell tonight; I'm hungry. Till later.....