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Preview: Archives: Steaming Cup of Joe with The Express-Times

Archives: Steaming Cup of Joe with The Express-Times





Last Build Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 20:03:29 UTC

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Check out lehighvalleylive.com

Fri, 18 Jul 2008 20:01:52 UTC

2008-07-18T20:03:29Z

Steaming Cup of Joe has moved to lehighvalleylive.com. Find new posts here.

Steaming Cup of Joe has moved to lehighvalleylive.com. Find new posts here.




Easton fireworks: The weather gave us a break, the show was good, but a few grumbled (as usual) about the finale (decide for yourself)

Mon, 14 Jul 2008 03:08:48 UTC

2008-07-14T03:29:04Z

Heritage Day Fireworks A nice capper to Easton's Heritage Day is always the evening fireworks. Downtown is filled with people, phones ring off the hook at The Express-Times newsroom ... "Are the fireworks still on?" ... and this year we even got a thank you email from a New Jersey Web reader who saw Mike Buck's update Sunday night informing... Heritage Day Fireworks A nice capper to Easton's Heritage Day is always the evening fireworks. Downtown is filled with people, phones ring off the hook at The Express-Times newsroom ... "Are the fireworks still on?" ... and this year we even got a thank you email from a New Jersey Web reader who saw Mike Buck's update Sunday night informing everyone that the fireworks would be on even if organizers had to wait out a little rain. Thanks to Mr. Buck for the updates on the fireworks for tonight at Heritage Day. The Express-Times web site is THE place to go! Best regards, Michael Newman Carpentersville, NJ We'll take the plug, Mr. Newman. The 25-minute show was as expected. Still, a little grumbling could be heard after the Grand Finale. "Is that it?" You can't please everyone. [...]



Family vacations are a lot of fun, but can be exhausting: Over and out from Hideaway Island.

Sun, 13 Jul 2008 02:37:25 UTC

2008-07-13T02:42:03Z

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- The Island is in the rear view mirror and the weeklong getaway is over. Family vacations are wonderful, especially with big families that don't see each other all the time. They can also be overwhelming. We often arrive back home and believe we need a vacation to recover from vacation. Of course, it never works out...

(image) If they gave an award to top beach bum last week, it would have gone to yours truly. Oh, and I made amends with the beach tag lady. I even purchased a tag, which if you look closely you will see attached to my hat.
HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- The Island is in the rear view mirror and the weeklong getaway is over.

Family vacations are wonderful, especially with big families that don't see each other all the time. They can also be overwhelming. We often arrive back home and believe we need a vacation to recover from vacation. Of course, it never works out that way.

If I have this right, a total of 19 family members and friends were present for all or part of the week at H.I.

So here's a tip of the cap to those who put up with me for a week (and, no, I wasn't blogging the whole time).

I hope I don't forget anyone, but Hideaway Island this week played host to Tom, Gen, Judy, Ceil, Joe, Kris, Tim, Al, Beth (who gets the award for longest travel time), Maura, Matt, Colleen, Maura (a different one), Mandy, Kristen, Kelly, Margot, Joseph, Michael, and ... did I forget someone?

Oh, and no Genevieve this year. That's another story. But most of the gang will be at her place for a big party this weekend.




Democratic Party has lost its appeal to the people who once were its core: Is this vacation or politics? Live from Hideaway Island

Sat, 12 Jul 2008 01:20:19 UTC

2008-07-12T01:30:39Z

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- One of the great joys of sitting on the beach doing nothing is catching up with newspapers that I don't get to enjoy during a typical work week. The Philadelphia Daily News is one of them. Typically, it's the sports, city news and gossip that keep me glued to the DN. Its op-ed page too often...

(image) It's still great to cuddle up on the beach with a newspaper. Well, you know what I mean.
HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- One of the great joys of sitting on the beach doing nothing is catching up with newspapers that I don't get to enjoy during a typical work week.

The Philadelphia Daily News is one of them.

Typically, it's the sports, city news and gossip that keep me glued to the DN. Its op-ed page too often caters to the fringe and is so leftward leaning, readers are left with a crick in their neck.

On this day, an op-ed contribution really caught my eye. It speaks specifically to the city HRC, but to me it summarizes everything that is wrong with the Democratic Party.

What happened to the Democratic Party my parents cherished? Where is the seat at the table for me?

Are you listening Al Gore? Hillary Clinton?

Barack Obama is still an open question. Is there room at the inn for the people described in this column?




When did it require a second mortgage to take the kids for a round of miniature golf? Live from Hideaway Island.

Fri, 11 Jul 2008 17:09:20 UTC

2008-07-11T17:22:31Z

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- Today we offer a beachfront quiz. How much is it for one person for a round of daytime miniature golf? 1) $2 2) $4 3) $6 4) $8

(image) This is a nice, reasonable mini-golf joint back home. The thieves here at Hideaway Island ought to wear a mask and a gun when they collect your greens fees.
HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- Today we offer a beachfront quiz.

How much is it for one person for a round of daytime miniature golf?

1) $2

2) $4

3) $6

4) $8

That's right, the cheap rate during the day here at H.I. is eight bucks. Or $7.95 to be precise.

That's right. $23.85 for three of us.

Ummmm, it seems a little steep.

On the plus side, I beat the little Steamers.

(P.S. The beach tag lady spotted me on the way back. She runs pretty fast in those flip-flops with plastic flowers on top. But I rolled a trash can in her path and got away. One more day ...)




Go swimming, says blog poster. Yeah, you try it, buddy. Live from Hideaway Island.

Thu, 10 Jul 2008 20:07:01 UTC

2008-07-10T20:25:08Z

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- I've stopped looking at the weather reports. It's not as if we've had the worst weather. We've been on the beach every day and rain has mostly been in off hours. But that hasn't been the biggest problem. I'm an ocean guy. I like flopping around in the waves, body surfing and generally cooling off. One...

(image) A coastal drilling team heard about my snorkling episode and immediately went on a search-and-rescue mission.
HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- I've stopped looking at the weather reports.

It's not as if we've had the worst weather. We've been on the beach every day and rain has mostly been in off hours. But that hasn't been the biggest problem. I'm an ocean guy. I like flopping around in the waves, body surfing and generally cooling off.

One blog reader offered feedback that I should lay off the blog
and spend more time on the beach and in the ocean.

"Shouldn't you be, I don't know, swimming and enjoying time at the beach with your family?"

Here's a news flash -- last time I looked, and it's been a couple days, the ocean water temperature was 58.

FIFTY-STINKIN'-EIGHT!!

Hello, that's appendage-numbing.

I have, along with Tiny Steamer, been in the ocean each day of our trip. The littlest Steamer loves the ocean. He'd hit the water in January if we were here. So on Saturday, our first day here, I made a pact with the little strapper that we'd swim in the ocean each day of our H.I. visit no matter what.

Yesterday, maybe the chilliest day yet (this is July, isn't it??), I ventured into the ocean with Tiny Steamer in tow. I sucked it up, literally, and dove straight in. You've heard weather people talk about "real-feel" temperatures? Well, if the ocean temp was 58, the real-feel temperature was 38.

Still, I splashed around, grateful for the company of Tiny Steamer. I turned to him and said, "Wow, it's cold, huh!"

The little bugger was already back on the beach.




Nude beaches, empty bars and kids who don't know Rock 'n Roll. Live from Hideaway Beach.

Thu, 10 Jul 2008 15:40:52 UTC

2008-07-10T15:41:17Z

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- The Hideaway Inn was the place to be last night. I finally convinced Mrs. Cup to join me at the local island hangout. "We'll watch the end of the Phils," I reasoned. Bad news. The only TV was about the size of my fist. Double bad news. The Budweiser mafia is connected in this joint, since...

(image) OK, the moment you've been waiting for. They finally convinced me to go to the nude beach here at Hideaway Island. That's me on the top left. And, yes, I'm blushing.
HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- The Hideaway Inn was the place to be last night.

I finally convinced Mrs. Cup to join me at the local island hangout.

"We'll watch the end of the Phils," I reasoned.

Bad news. The only TV was about the size of my fist. Double bad news. The Budweiser mafia is connected in this joint, since you can only get Bud products.

On the plus side, a trio took stage directly in front of me and Mrs. Steamer. A young woman with a lovely voice fronted the group.

Since we were the only people in the place, they asked if there was something we wanted to hear. With a chick lead singer, I said "Sure, how 'bout some Pretenders."

Their noses crinkled as they looked at each and then back at me.

"Who?"

Oh, forget it.




Seafood at the beach. Does it get any better? Live from Hideaway Island

Thu, 10 Jul 2008 10:35:44 UTC

2008-07-10T14:26:55Z

It's seafood tonight, but do you really think they pulled this stuff from local waters? Let's review: Shrimp? No. Crabs? No. OK, maybe. Lobster? No. Clams? Doubtful. So how is the seafood here any different than my favorite place in Bushkill Township? One person ordered salmon. Do you think that's local salmon? No. Sitting here watching the fishing boats...

(image) I encountered this predator (see what's in his mouth!) during a recent stroll. People are lulled into believing these creatures are cute and cuddly. Check out the teeth on this sucker.
It's seafood tonight, but do you really think they pulled this stuff from local waters?

Let's review:

Shrimp? No.

Crabs? No. OK, maybe.

Lobster? No.

Clams? Doubtful.

So how is the seafood here any different than my favorite place in Bushkill Township?

One person ordered salmon.

Do you think that's local salmon? No.

Sitting here watching the fishing boats heading out, I'm wondering what it is they hope to land. Blues? Tuna?

Is there any kind of fish that goes nicely with a soft Merlot?

Whatever. I'm somewhat jealous of these fisherman. I believe their real goal is to get away from the wife and kids and drink beer all day.

Anybody seen the harbormaster?




Riding bikes and surreys on the boardwalk? Sounds like work. Live from Hideaway Island.

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 22:21:56 UTC

2008-07-09T22:31:31Z

"Hey Dad," says Junior Cup of Joe. "Let's rent a surrey." Yeah, right. Among the pile of garbage we carted to the beach from Pennsylvania were bikes that have been unused almost the entire time we've been here.

(image) Junior Cup of Joe wanted to hijack a surrey. I convinced him to overtake this yacht instead. We took a spin around the harbor, then ditched it.
"Hey Dad," says Junior Cup of Joe. "Let's rent a surrey."

Yeah, right.

Among the pile of garbage we carted to the beach from Pennsylvania were bikes that have been unused almost the entire time we've been here.

Still, I admired his gangsta approach as we strolled the boardwalk and saw an idle surrey outside an ice cream parlor.

"Look, Dad, a surrey."

Yeah. So what?

"Let's jack it!"




Boogie-woogie bugle boys and girls know how to light up a crowd: Live from Hideaway Island

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 17:11:07 UTC

2008-07-09T17:30:29Z

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- Among the treats here at H.I. are the free concerts held in the center of town a couple nights a week. I've been known to cut a rug to Big Band impersonators and Beach Boys wannabes in the glimmer of the setting sun. (It helps if the sun is in your eyes while I'm dancing.) This...

(image) These men and women really know how to rip a tune.
HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- Among the treats here at H.I. are the free concerts held in the center of town a couple nights a week.

I've been known to cut a rug to Big Band impersonators and Beach Boys wannabes in the glimmer of the setting sun. (It helps if the sun is in your eyes while I'm dancing.)

This week's special performance came from the New Jersey National Guard Band. They played for about 90 minutes before several hundred people on a gorgeous evening.

While many of my liberal friends would be appalled at the idea of service men and women playing patriotic songs, it was quite enjoyable. And they didn't only play the yankee-doodle standards.

The several dozen soldier/musicians broke down and played some blues, some boogie-woogie and lotsa stuff to get the toes-a-tappin'. A nice night was had by all.

And, yes, I did sing along. But no dancing




Anna is pregnant and Fran lost his job. Do I need to hear that on the beach? Live from Hideaway Island

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 15:13:43 UTC

2008-07-09T15:20:17Z

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- We're sitting on the beach next to the Nichols family from New York. We haven't been formally introduced, but their conversation is so loud I feel like part of the family. And their name is emblazoned on everything. They miss Fran and Donna this year, but Fran lost his job and Donna is too proud to...

(image) I got tired of listening to people talk on their cell phones on the beach, so I decided to take in some snorkling. I like being close to nature. This is me taking the plunge.

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- We're sitting on the beach next to the Nichols family from New York.

We haven't been formally introduced, but their conversation is so loud I feel like part of the family. And their name is emblazoned on everything.

They miss Fran and Donna this year, but Fran lost his job and Donna is too proud to be around people when her husband is out of work.

It's just as well because Anna, someone's daughter, is pregnant and no one wants to have to dance around that issue. I know because Mr. Nichols just had a long cell phone conversation about it, and told the other end of the line that if it was his daughter, that ornery punk of a boyfriend would be marrying her right quick.

The Nichols parents are making plans to chug $2 beers at Hideaway Inn tonight. If you're worried about who will be watching their three bratty kids, don't sweat it. No one's been watching them all day.

"I got a great Yankees jersey yesterday," Mr. Nichols bellows into the phone. "They had Jeeet-AH!"

Why would anyone bring a cell phone to the beach? Or a Blackberry?




Waiting for a weather front, here and back home: Live from Hideaway Island

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 00:56:33 UTC

2008-07-09T01:11:12Z

View Larger Map First things first. For the curious, I'll offer the hint that Hideaway Island appears somewhere on the map above. Now, for the weather ... HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- OK, here's the truth. I so much more enjoy vacation if I know the weather back home is unbearable. So let me say that this week hasn't been perfect....

width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=southern+new+jersey&ie=UTF8&ll=40.07241,-74.728565&spn=2.279252,0.954096&output=embed&s=AARTsJpsxWi_3dDoORM94EPSqAWOc1z5RA">
View Larger Map
First things first. For the curious, I'll offer the hint that Hideaway Island appears somewhere on the map above.

Now, for the weather ...

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- OK, here's the truth. I so much more enjoy vacation if I know the weather back home is unbearable.

So let me say that this week hasn't been perfect.

I should also say this same perspective has been shared by Regis Philbin, but I had it long before I ever heard it from him.

It goes like this. Sunny and warm at the beach is great, but it's especially good knowing that everyone back home is suffering with record heat and humidity.

That's why this week has only been so-so. The weather here has been OK. Not great, but OK. And from what I can gather, the weather back home has been mostly OK.

Although I hear it's going to heat up in the next few days. Maybe even become oppressive.

Music to my ears.




What a day. A quick fishing trip brings in quite a yield: Live from Hideaway Island.

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 22:12:05 UTC

2008-07-08T22:16:08Z

(image) I promised to fill you in on my day fishing. This nice young fellow helped me stack up my boodle. I hope everyone is hungry.

As I mentioned, fishing is my thing.




Why do we take so much crap to the beach? Live from Hideaway Island.

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 16:03:29 UTC

2008-07-08T16:15:23Z

HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- As a special treat to daydreaming readers, I write directly from the beach today. Worry not. I haven't placed my new laptop in harm's way, instead choosing to thumb-write on this Knuckleberry. We've arrived on the breezy beach after an exhausting two-block trip from the house. This is supposed to be relaxing?

(image) I spend a lot of time with nature during my stay on the island. In this photo, I am reviewing the cell structure of dried sea weed, one of my hobbies.
HIDEAWAY ISLAND -- As a special treat to daydreaming readers, I write directly from the beach today.

Worry not.

I haven't placed my new laptop in harm's way, instead choosing to thumb-write on this Knuckleberry.

We've arrived on the breezy beach after an exhausting two-block trip from the house. This is supposed to be relaxing?

First, we needed to lather up with lotion, then pack a cooler with ice cold drinks and the sandwiches we just finished making for lunch.

Then we had to pack the dumb buggy contraption that carries all the stupid stuff to the beach ... chairs, umbrellas, towels, shovels, toys, newspapers, books. We look like the Beverly Hillbillies riding Jed Clampett's people mover. It takes two of us to carry it down the steps to the beach.

Now we're here and I've inserted this year's latest beach umbrella clamp invention into the sand. With a stiff breeze, I feel compelled to keep an eye on it.

This is relaxation? Oops. Gotta run. That beach tag lady just spotted me. It looks like the swelling on her forehead has gone down.




Fishing is a lot of fun, and I'm very good at it: Live from Hideaway Island

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 10:57:19 UTC

2008-07-08T11:10:04Z

(image) You can see me in the vessel in the foreground. The kids wanted to test out the long lens on the camera, so I went out and set this up. Check back later to see what I landed.

Hideaway Island is a well-known fishing resort, and I'm at my best when I'm close to marine life.