Tag Archives: Denny’s

From Rebecca: Top something list of businesses no longer in State College

This is not the typical top ten list that you are used to reading here. I had the idea of a list of businesses that used to be in State College, but aren’t any more, but when I talked it over with Joe and my husband Darren the three of us came up with more than ten. I tried to write the post in prose form instead of a list, but that version was soooo dry and boring. So I went back to list form, but the list is not an even ten, and is in categories, so it is a top something list. They are in no particular order and I will start with #1 and go down to #6, the number of categories I reached.

State College is a busy, thriving place. It is the main campus for the Pennsylvania State University, it has a steady local community, and is surrounded by a lot of small towns with people who drive in for various reasons. We have had a lot of businesses come and stand for decades, some have come and lasted for many years, and some have come and gone so fast that they barely made a ripple. The reasons these businesses left State College are many, from the owner(s) retiring, to the money running out, to the rents rising too high, to the lease not being renewed, to society moving on to another form of entertainment, etc. All three of us grew up in this area and remember a lot of changes over the years.

#1. Businesses in downtown State College a long time ago, that left a long time ago: Danks department store; a five and dime store that I think was G. C. Murphy; four or five movie theaters, including The Garden and The Movies; Svoboda’s Books; and video game arcades, including Playland and Campus Casino.

#2. Businesses outside downtown a long time ago that left a long time ago: A&P grocery store; Riverside grocery store; A&W Root Beer stand; Hills (the Hills Plaza is still there with other businesses in it, but the main building is sadly sitting empty after all these years); K-Mart (I sometimes give directions to people using the phrase, “Past where K-Mart used to be, even though it left State College a few decades ago;) and Hardee’s.

#3. Businesses in the Nittany Mall (I haven’t been there for a while, alas, so this is an old list): Sun Coast Video; Gee Bee department store; KB Toys; and B-Dalton.

#4. Businesses that Darren, Joe, or I have worked that are no longer here: CiCi’s Pizza; Kentucky Fried Chicken; BiLo Foods and then Jubilee grocery stores; Ponderosa Steakhouse (I still miss their food so much); Shoney’s restaurant; and (I worked at B-Dalton too, but I decided to put that in the Nittany Mall entry.)

#5. Businesses we lost in the last 1 or 2 years (many of these were sudden and unexpected): Denny’s; Eat’n Park; Don Patron (our favorite Mexican restaurant;) Mario & Luigi’s; and Chili’s Grill & Bar.

#6. Businesses we lost in the last 15 to 20 years (assuming my memory for time is correct): Arby’s; Nittany Line Hobbies & Toys; Starlite Drive-In theater;O.W. Houts & Sons; Blockbuster Video; and Hollywood Video.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Most of these places are on my list because they meant something to me, I used to go there a lot, or they were part of the landscape of State College. Are there businesses you can think of that I didn’t mention, from State College or from where you live, that you would like to share with us? Please feel free to share in our comments. We love hearing from you.

Joe will be back next Wednesday with a new blog entry. Until then, as he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

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Oh, what a storm we had

Greetings, readers. In central Pennsylvania this past Monday evening we had a one of the worst thunderstorms I’ve experienced in a long time. The clouds grew dark, the wind whipped up to past 50 miles an hour, and there was a torrential downpour. At its worst, the rain was coming down sideways. I was certainly glad that I was inside.

We had known about the coming storm all day and I caught many people throughout the morning checking out the weather apps on their smartphones to keep track of the impending storm. These folks wanted to get all their chores done and get home. I was with Traci at a doctor’s appointment and luckily, though it was windy, the rain waited until we got home.

Around 6pm the rains came. The power in my building flickered, went off for 30 seconds, and came back on. People in my building were lucky. Others around the area, such as Rebecca and Darren, not so much; they lost power for almost 3 hours. Some folks in the outlying areas had to wait until the next morning for their power to be restored, and in other areas, according to the Centre Daily Times, it might still be off until later today. Rebersburg, PA. got a F1 tornado.  Many trees and power lines blew down. A friend of mine who is a CATA bus driver told me that her daughter lost all the big trees in her back yard. I remember as a child how much I loved our big old trees at my house. I would have been devastated if a storm blew them all down. The bus driver also told me about her eerie ride home after work where all the businesses and street lights were dark where she lived. Years ago in a different power outage, I drove in the same conditions and it was strange. I had arrived at Denny’s just after the lights went out and I had to go back home without the aid of street and traffic lights; the intersections had been extremely dangerous.

After the rain the cooler temperatures rolled in and it is going to remain cool all week. Now I’m not complaining, but it is May. We should be in the 60s and 70, not in the upper 40 and mid 50s. This blogger is not very happy. But as I told the bus driver last evening, Mother Nature is fickle and can do anything she wants, we have no control over it.

Briefly, I saw a diagram on the Weather Channel depicting that the cool temperatures will be with us all week. There will a stalled low pressure system over our area because a high pressure system in the Atlantic ocean is not letting the weather system move off the East coast. Cool and rainy, not good unless you are a flower. Lol.

Switching gears, I’m taking a personal day tomorrow and Rebecca has agreed to post a From Rebecca entry for me, which I am sure will be a good one. Please look forward to that tomorrow. Take care, and until next week, happy reading.

David arrives tonight. Yay!

Greetings, readers. It has been a year and a half since my buddy and brother David has visited me from New Jersey. I always love it when he comes because we’ll sit and chat, get caught up, watch movies, and play video games. This time around I have some plans made for Friday and Saturday evening with friends whom David hasn’t seen in a number of years. Everyone is looking forward to it.

There’s always a lot to do to get ready for Dave but I love it. Being a bachelor, I sometimes let the place go and use the bedroom for storage. That has to change for five days. Now the question becomes, where do I put it all? Don’t worry, I’ll find a place. It’s not horrible swamped with stuff. After the Christmas season is over, I plan on doing a winter cleaning which will involve letting some things go that are dear to me. I don’t like it, I don’t think anyone likes it, but in a small apartment it is necessary. I already have a few ideas of items that will not make the cut, such as books and DVDs that I never use.

After David goes back home on Tuesday, I will meet my friend Jim as usual at Denny’s and then on Wednesday morning get ready for Rebecca to arrive and start another work week. It’s going to be a fast long weekend, and if it is anything like last time, I’m going to need a holiday from my holiday. That is fine with me because Dave and I are not the kind of people who just sit and let time go by, and call that a vacation. If I want to relax with a book or a meditation video, I can do that on my own time.

The last time Dave came, bizarrely enough, we watched Disney movies. I didn’t think I was going to like them. “Dave, these are for kids,” I said. We had a blast. I am hoping, however, that we chose something slightly different for our entertainment this time around. Netflix has lots to offer, and, of course, there is also the Big Ten championship game on Saturday.

Well, there’s what’s happening. We will have two more entries for you next week and I’ll share all the news from Dave’s visit. Until next week, have a wonderful weekend, take care, and happy reading.

The United States of America has chosen their President

Greetings, readers. I never thought it possible that a person with no political experience and no military service could obtain the White House, but that’s exactly what happened. Shortly after 3AM, Donald J. Trump became President-Elect of the United State of America. When sworn in, he will be the country’s 45th President.

I knew things were brewing at 9:20 last evening when I saw on a man’s laptop at Denny’s, that Trump owned the entire part of the country known as tornado alley. That’s when I knew Hillary Clinton was in for a dog fight. I still believed she would win.

By the time I got home at ten o’clock, the electoral college was 163 to 109 for Trump, and my hopes of being able to say that I was alive when the first woman President was elected were fading fast.

I watched the NBC broadcast from 10:00 until 3:15, when Donald Trump made his acceptance speech. Even though it pains me to say it, his speech was gracious and eloquent. He thanked Mrs. Clinton on her hard-fought campaign, as well as his family and all the workers who helped him. After the, “We’re going to make America great again,” part of his speech, I went to bed.

What does a Donald Trump Presidency mean to our country if his temper and mouth explode? Well…, it will mean loss of allies for certain, and in the worst-case-scenario, a war with an angered foreign country. Let’s hope that does not happen. Please, President-Elect Trump, let cooler heads prevail. War is never the answer.

We’ll have to see if Mr. Trump can make good on his promises to the people. I’m not sure he can. I just don’t think he can ‘play together with others’ well enough. We’ll see how he responds the first time he doesn’t get what he wants. Time will tell.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a good day, take care and happy reading.

My day today and plans for the week

Greetings, readers. Right before today’s weekly meeting with my accountant, I realized that I had forgotten my keys at Panera Cafe. I was in luck in two ways. First, Rebecca has a key to my apartment for when I am in Maine, and second, Panera is right across the street. I was able to retrieve the keys in time for my meeting.

It is a good thing I retrieved my keys because there was plenty of mail to go over. After all the bills were paid, and other tasks finished, it was time to come up to the office and get to work. Rebecca and I always begin our work week reviewing last week’s blog statistics. Numbers have been holding steady and the entry about the Air Crash Investigation series continues to be the most popular entry of all.

On a weather front, no pun intended, I could see from my top floor window a horrific thunderstorm yesterday; complete with thunder, lightening, dark clouds and rain that was blown literally sideways. The one thing it did manage to do was knock the humidity way down. Yesterday evening and today have been sunny and much more comfortable.

After a coffee date this afternoon, I have an open evening where I plan to do some writing. I am keeping my new project tightly under wraps, because I am on page one. I’m not going to get overly excited about it just yet, but still it feels good to be creative again. I have made a decision and it is this: If I have another unproductive year [measured from camp time to camp time] I’m going to close down the writing career and cut bait.

As far as the rest of the week goes, I do plan to go to the Thursday night church dinner. It will be a nice follow up to last evening, when I had a delicious bowl of spaghetti at Denny’s. I am trying to improve my diet. It is becoming a top priority. My health is starting to suffer; I’ve dropped weight. Some people eat when they are depressed; when I am depressed I eat all the wrong things.

On Friday it will be a regular work day and also a free evening. By Saturday’s gaming day, I hope to have between five to eight pages on my new project done. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, this is only the second or third time I have tried to write a novel. Wish me luck on this project, I’m going to need it.

If you are in an area of good weather today, enjoy it. Take care, stay safe, and happy reading.

Reconnecting with friends 2: massive fail

Greetings, readers. Over the years I’ve lost touch with some friends and I miss them. Some I have reconnected with, especially through Facebook, but a few I am still looking for so that I can re-establish the friendship. On two separate occasions this past weekend I came oh so close to making contact with friends from long ago. Thanks to an internet service, for a very inexpensive price, I was able to get leads on my two friends. After plugging in their correct middle initials, I was happy to see that I had indeed found the people I was looking for.

I tried to call friend number one and got the family’s answering machine. I could tell right away it was my friend’s husband, who does know me quite well. My mom and I have visited with them many times on our Maine vacation trip when we would stop overnight in Connecticut. I left a detailed message on the answering machine and either they don’t remember me – which would be disappointing – or the message was never relayed to my friend. I’m sure she would have called me. Oh, and yes, I did leave my phone number.

That same afternoon I found a friend of mine from junior and high school who still lives here locally. Yesterday afternoon with address in hand, I went to the house. I must admit I was a little nervous. But when the young gentleman answered the door, I explained who I was and why I was there. To my disappointment, I learned that the information from the website was outdated and that friend number two no longer lived there. Oh, if I had only done this a year ago. To think, every time I went to Denny’s, she was a stone’s throw away.

Maybe I’m not supposed to find my friends. Perhaps it’s not in the cards. I’ve asked for help on Facebook, hoping that perhaps friend number two’s brothers will see it and respond. Then I realized for them to see it they have to be on Facebook, and to my knowledge they are not. So, I could not ask them directly where their sister is.

I’ve decided I’m not going to push the issue and I’m going to back off for a while. If I’m meant to reconnect, it will happen. I hate losing friends, I always have. I’d give my left arm to know where my junior college girlfriend is today, but she is probably married with a wonderful family of her own. I was never very good in the romance department. That’s why I am about to become 50 years old and am still unmarried.

As far as the rest of this work week goes, yes a new blog will be up on Friday on a yet unknown topic. I’m sure that Rebecca and I will come up with a good idea. I’m struggling today to deal with the weather. It is raining, not snowing, but it is that cold damp rain. I knew it was coming because this morning my left knee was aching. As my mom used to say, I have accuknee, instead of Accuweather.

Until Friday, take care, have a great day and happy reading.

I’m on a budget now

Greetings, readers. After three or four months of continuously spending too much money, I’ve decided to make a budget on paper and try to stick to it. I need it on paper because that can be copied onto a computer document; I’ll be able to see it and work with it. For me it is always better when I can see something and adjust it as needed.

My accountant has not been happy with me because I’ve been spending way too much money. So this morning, before our weekly meeting, I jotted down a preliminary budget that I am going to try in November. Expenditures include groceries, Zipcar rentals, medications, and trips to eat out. The first area I can work on is to cut down going to places like Panera and Denny’s. That will be difficult, for I love to get my morning coffee and blueberry muffin while I have my computer time, usually at Panera. If my spending situation does not improve, I will probably be forced to make coffee at home and find something breakfast-like to munch on. Instant oatmeal comes to mind as a good choice. I had it every morning during my school years.

Downtown State College does not have a grocery store per se, but one of our drug stores close to me does have several food aisles. I’m going to compare prices with the other place I go to, which is right next door to me.

I’ve never been good at saving money. I’m not a big impulse spender by any means, but every once in a great while if I see something I just have to have it. Now that I am on my new budget, that is the first thing that will definitely be cut out. Impulse spending is a no-no.

Three of my biggest expenditures will be for Keekee, unfortunately. I have cat food to buy, cat litter, and of course her treats. Also there are her vet bills, like the upcoming check-up, but those are handled by the accountant. Keekee is my baby girl, and I’m not going to scimp on her.

Briefly on another topic. Apartment cleaning is going well. Slow, but well. I’ve made definite strides in the living room and bedroom; I do think Rebecca is proud of me. I have set a lofty but obtainable goal for myself. I am planning to have my accountant and his wife over for coffee or tea near Christmas time. I have that long to get the place in white glove inspection order. My accountant doesn’t believe I can do it. That is all the incentive I need. Haha.

Until Friday, take care, have a good few days, and as always, happy reading.

My brain fart from last night

Greetings, readers. Last night something happened to me which has only happened once before. I went to a place of business without my wallet. Here’s how it happened.

On my mother’s credenza, sits a wooden duck. It’s sort of a bowl for storing things. I use it specifically to put my wallet and keys in; that way I know exactly where they are at all times. Last night my keys were on the dining room table. So after putting on my hoodie and loading my pockets with cell phone, keys and bus tokens, I thought, okay, I have everything, let’s go. After getting on the bus at the downtown stop, I plopped my bus token into the payment slot and took my seat. Off I went on the forty minute ride.

When I got to Denny’s restaurant, my friend Jim had not arrived yet. I meet him there every week to catch up on the week’s happenings. I ordered a Coke with light amount of ice, looked at the menu, and then ordered. My food arrived while I was waiting for Jim. I emptied my hoodie pockets to be more comfortable and to my horror, my wallet was not with the things in my pocket. Jim arrived and we started talking. unfortunately, the conversation dealt a lot with my missing wallet. When I am upset about something, I tend to not be able to let it go.

Did I lose it on the bus? Or did I forget to take it with me? From that moment until I got home, I did experience a junior nervous breakdown. It is a hopeless feeling knowing this money, debit card, and driver’s license could all be lost forever, and would then have to be replaced. What is worse, my security pass card to let me back into the apartment building was also in the wallet. That meant that at 10:00 at night I had to call a friend inside the building, have him walk down, and let me in. A wee bit on the embarrassing side. But I suppose these things happen.

To my relief, when I got home, there was my wallet sitting safely in the duck. I actually remember saying out loud, “Oh goodie, I’ll be able to sleep tonight.” If the wallet had really been gone, I would have been too angry and frustrated to doze off. Danger was averted, as well as a lot of paperwork.

What was so funny was, I went to a psychological testing that day to see what is wrong with my memory. It was the first of three testing dates. Rachel, the technician, is a sweet person and the testing is not too tedious. Hopefully they will be able to find out why I am beginning to forget things and not retain information. As I told my accountant this afternoon, I think it is a combination of age, slight brain damage from seizures, and my seizure medication. In four to six weeks, I’ll have my evaluation and hopefully there will be an answer to what is wrong with me. Please keep your fingers crossed for good news.

Until Friday, take care, enjoy good weather if you have it and happy reading.

Weather, sports and games

Greetings, readers, from wickedly cold State College, Pennsylvania. As a friend of mine from Canada pointed out to me yesterday, minus 2 degrees at 7:30 this morning is nothing; he has minus 30 something. It has been several years since central PA has experienced this type of brutal cold. In one word: Brrr. Luckily, not too much snow fell with this last storm. As I understand it, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City got hit much harder. We escaped with an inch or two .

It’s a beautiful sunny day out today and it looks like it could be in the upper 70s. Looks can be deceiving. After the work hours are over today at 3pm, I’ve decided I’m going to stay inside and keep warm. I should take a walk and get some sun, but I think comfort will win out.

I was up early this morning over at Panera cafe, doing some reading for a friend of mine which I had put off for way too long. His topic is not quite over my head, but it’s close. It makes the task of editing  doable but tedious. I should be ready to have our meeting by Friday, weather permitting.

Last evening, after I got back from seeing my friend Jim at Denny’s, I played a game of Madden football, and there was a real-life sports news ticker on the bottom of the screen. I saw that the NFL commissioner is thinking about making some rule changes that may include getting rid of the extra point. I say: Why? I have seen games won and lost on a missed extra point. Certainly the PAT is often automatic, but every once in a while … I hope the commissioner leaves well enough alone.

While I am on sports, it’s hard to believe that baseball catchers and pitchers report to Florida and Arizona in about five weeks. Yes, spring training is almost upon us. I’ll certainly be rooting for my Pirates once again.

Lastly, my best friend, Dave Trost, invited me to play a Facebook game called Criminal Case. It’s highly addictive and is actually good for my ailing brain. You have to solve puzzles by clicking on items in a scene from a given list, and at some point those items are used as evidence against the bad guy. It’s amazing, I’m already much quicker at completing each screen. Yay for engaging the brain. I might not be reading a 300 page novel, but anything to get the brain synapses going is a start.

If you have warm weather, enjoy it and be glad. I hope everyone has a good day, take care, and happy reading.

A dreary Friday

Greetings, readers. This will be a short one today because our note-taking for a new writing project took longer than I expected; I needed to do more research for it than I thought. Both Rebecca and I think that the idea has much promise. I still have details to iron out and to get that all important first chapter going. Once I get into a work routine, i.e. number of pages per day, I intend to stick to it. For me, it’s just getting started that is the big bugaboo.

Yes, it’s a dreary, rainy Friday. There was heavy rain this morning in State College, which made my leaky ceiling – I am on the top floor of my apartment building – start to drip. It’s looking a bit brighter now and the rain has ended. Hopefully the storm front will be out by tonight. I’m just glad it all wasn’t snow. As we approach mid-October, it’s only a month or so until those rain showers could be snow showers. Oh, how disgusting.

As for next week, I plan on working on my new project parts of Monday and Tuesday, Rebecca and I will put a new blog post up on Wednesday, and then probably back to work on the new project Thursday and Friday. I shall try to get up a second blog post toward the end of Friday afternoon, if I can.

Today I will fighting the bus schedule, because the Penn State football team’s homecoming parade will be taking place just when I need to get on a bus. But that is okay, I’ve got a flight sim I need to do for research and for fun, so I will go to Denny’s early and wait for my friend, who will arrive around 8:00. Plus I have my video of the show I did for my friend Erin, and I can watch that too if I get bored with the flight sim.

One last football note. I didn’t realize that last Saturday PSU lost to Indiana. My friend Dave said that Indiana is an up-and-coming team and that’s good for them. However, if we lost to Indiana, I’m not certain at all we will beat Michigan, our homecoming opponent. But as they say, on any given day any team can beat any other team.

Until next week, take care and happy reading.