Tag Archives: Panera Bread

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.

I dub the Keurig experiment a partial failure

Greetings, readers. Although I love my Keurig coffee maker, I am finding that since I bought it three months back, I have failed to make my budget each month. When I would get my coffee at Panera, in the early morning, I would tend to get a muffin or souffle, which would add to the cost. I would sit there for several hours, drink cup after cup of free refills, and fight with their internet connection. I figured that the Keurig would let me stay home, have a cup or two of coffee, and save a bunch of money.

Scanning my receipts I have noticed that the K-Cups are close to $8 per box at the store next door. I will usually have three or four cups a day. This means one box will last approximately four days and then more will have to be purchased. This starts to add up quickly. The per unit price is larger than I thought it would be, I am using more K-Cups per day than I thought I would, and I still buy food at Panera (with water), just closer to lunch time.

The way I used to get my coffee was to either make a big pot in the Sunbeam coffee maker, switch it off and nuke each cup as I needed it, or I simply went to Panera, paid a couple of bucks and could enjoy as many refills as I wanted.

Sure I get more time at home now, and that is good, but yet again today I had to ask my accountant for a little extra to make it through the month. This is frustrating me to no end.

At this stage of the game, I am not ready to sell my Keurig on E-Bay or put it downstairs on the swap table. I think the answer lies in finding a store where K-Cups can be bought in bulk so that each individual one is a bargain, i.e. Sam’s Club. A friend of mine says that she is going to look into this for me, and perhaps purchase some and I will pay her back.

I have loved coffee from the age of ten years old, and have no plans to give it up. I thought for sure that the Keurig coffee maker was the answer. Yes, it has kept me at home, but as far as being the economic answer that I was looking for, the jury is still out.

We will be back to a three-day work week next week.

Until tomorrow, have a good day, take care, and happy reading.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Greetings, readers. An interesting thing happened to me last evening at the weekly church dinner. I don’t go to it very often, but I really enjoy the spaghetti dinner with all the fixings. I met someone there who I can honestly say gave me such an emotional high that I had to come home and analyze what happened. Let me explain.

While trying to find a table to sit at, I happened to come upon a very sweet lady. Her name is Rose. Now, I don’t talk to people confidently the first time I meet them. I’m either nervous or flustered. But with Rose, it felt like all the shields came down and I could talk to her as though I had known her for years. She went to sit at her table and I sat at my table. I conversed with my friend Terry, my good friend from my apartment building, while we ate. I finished before he did and I took my plates up to the dirty dishes bin. I just happened to see this dazzling young lady again. As chance would have it, with my memory issue that I call oatmeal brain, I was fully ready to admit that I had forgotten her name. To my surprise, and I must admit to my delight, she told me that she had forgotten mine. This gave me an opportunity to ask for hers again. After she told me – I was in the process of shaking her hand and was gently holding it – I said, “I know how I am going to remember your name. You are as pretty as a rose.” Unless I totally misread her facial expression, I think she was impressed. Again, I’m not dashing or debonair with strangers of the opposite gender, but every once in a while I can be.

On my walk home, I knew I wasn’t in love, but for the first time I understood the feeling that people have when they do experience love at first sight. I was on an emotional high. I could not stop thinking about this absolutely gorgeous woman. Am I going to the church dinner next week? You better believe it. In my current situation, I think the best thing I can hope for is a very good friend. For one thing, I’m not going to take for granted that she would be interested in me, although there is only one way to find out. For another thing, with my financial situation the way it is, I just don’t see marriage in my future.

Now I know what you are thinking. I just met her and I’m mentioning marriage in my blog the next day. Readers, you have to understand. I have very vivid imaginative daydreams. Whatever this friendship develops into, if anything, is going to be a very slow process. Over the years, I’ve scared women by going too quickly and lost others by not going fast enough. As I told Rebecca earlier today, even if I get a good friend out of this, as a social media companion or a Panera coffee buddy, that’s okay by me. There is always room for one more friend.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care and happy reading.

Time seems to fly when you’re having fun

Greetings, readers. When I was a small boy in elementary school, school days felt like weeks and the weekend felt like ten minutes. I’ve often wondered why that was. A minute is a minute and a day is a day, etc. I suppose it’s how our brain perceives time.

I’ve had it happen many times over my lifetime that when I’m doing something fun, time flies. When I’m studying, doing something boring, or doing something I flat-out don’t like, time seems to drag.

This morning I got up at 6:45 and thought to myself, “I have the whole morning ahead of me.” I checked Facebook, practiced for my show a little bit, and ran a train simulation. Next thing I knew, it was 11:30. I had to shut down the computer and get ready to go meet Rebecca at Panera.

I can’t change how I perceive the time or how it goes. I know when I go to Bear Spring Camps, the first few days seem normal, but the closer I get to the day I leave, the time just seems to speed up. Back in the day, when camp used to have the benefit softball game, I really got the sensation that the finish of the game was the beginning of the end of the vacation. The game happened on a Thursday, Friday was mostly packing up, and Saturday morning was saying good-bye, having that final breakfast and getting on the road.

During my college years, when I really struggled with my classes, I felt like time was traveling through molasses. Then came the weekend. Penn State football on Saturday, rah rah rah. On Sunday, I’d watch the Steelers and Eagles. And then it was back to classes on Monday and time would drag again.

In conclusion, there is probably some theory from some scientist that deals with this topic, but I can only speak from my own experiences. If you would like to, please chime in with your experiences on how you perceive time or any stories you would like to share in the comment box.

As far as next week goes, I’m taking a personal day on Wednesday, so I believe we will put up blog entries on Thursday and Friday. At least that is the plan for now.

Until then, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

I had a great weekend with my buddy and brother

Greetings, readers. The long-awaited weekend visit of my best friend Dave has come and gone. It was a wonderful four and a half days. We met Rebecca and Darren for lunch on Saturday afternoon and talked a little about the book project. Later that evening, Dave and I met my cousin Ed and family for dinner. We chose our local Chili’s restaurant for both meals. It had very good food and the service was excellent. Dave and I got there early in the evening and we had to wait for a table at the bar. I partook of a Bud Light in a frosty glass. It was the first beer that I had had in at least a couple of years. I enjoyed it very much. When it was time to be seated for dinner, I switched to my stand-by beverage, coffee.

Sunday and Monday were filled not with PS3 baseball as I thought, but with Disney movies on Netflix streaming. When I watch TV alone, that is not my first choice, but I will admit Dave chose some Disney flicks that were quite enjoyable. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was excellent in story and acting, and had exquisite animation as well. Another two favorites of mine were Pocahontas and Atlantis: the Lost Empire. I can’t get into the actors who did the voices, but if you are into Disney movies, I’ve given you a few good choices to check out.

Dave and I also made much use of my new Keurig coffee maker. That is coming in very handy. Dave enjoyed the Panera K-Cups as well as the Donut Shop blend. Our favorite movie snack, however, was the Tostitos Scoops with creamy onion dip. Most delicious.

I talked to David brother to brother about a few issues that I wanted to get straight. Our conversations were enlightening and I was satisfied with the outcome.

The weekend went fast and on Tuesday morning when it was time to take David to the bus in a Zipcar, the car I was supposed to have wasn’t in its parking space. Oops! I called them up, nicely chewed them out, then Dave and I hopped a cab to get him to the Wal-Mart parking lot on time. He called me from the Megabus and told me everything was fine, but with their policy he couldn’t talk very loud.

All in all I give this visit a 10 out of 10 rating. No brotherly quarrels, spats, or problems that would ruin the weekend. The fact that I had to put us in a cab was quickly overlooked. Yes it was an expense I wasn’t expecting, but no harm no foul. Zipcar did refund my money.

As far as the rest of the week, my accountant wants us to look up some information about a local ambulance subscription service, in case I ever need to use them again in the future. Regular readers will remember that I needed an ambulance a couple of weeks ago and apparently I will pay full price for it.

Rebecca and I are back to our regular three-day work week and another blog will be posted on Friday. Until then, take care, stay warm, and happy reading.

Self hypnosis, anybody?

Greetings, readers. I’ve been very busy on YouTube the last couple of days, checking out different people’s self-hypnosis videos. I like what I see. Obviously, I’m not trying to make myself act like a chicken. I’m trying to use it for relaxation, memory enhancement, and relief of closed chakras. A year or so ago, my massage therapist had to retire and by now my chakras are as closed as they are going to get. It makes me feel lethargic, cranky, and depressed. When they open, I feel much more energetic, happier, and I’ll bet you my work productivity will greatly increase.

I even found a video that supposedly can turn you into a magnet for the opposite gender. This one I will have to watch and stay awake for to believe. There might be something to it, so as with most things, I will view it with an open mind.

In the last two or three weeks, my state of mind has been either depression or something I can not put a label to. I seem happy enough, but I just don’t have the energy to do anything. Not only is my writing suffering but my early to bed early to rise routine has shifted about an hour later each way. That is partly because the weather is so frigid here in Pennsylvania that I just don’t feel like going out to Panera at 7 in the morning. I do miss the usual morning crowd. I always enjoy greeting them as I would the folks at Bear Spring Camps.

I think this afternoon, after work hours, I’ll spend some time seeing what videos various YouTube channels have to offer. I’m a little bit leery of it because I’ve never hypnotized myself before. So readers, keep your fingers crossed. If you don’t hear from me on Friday, you will know I have turned myself into Keekee’s cat.

On a side note, our local library here in State College, Schlow Centre Region Library, had major damage due to the severe cold. Flooding was the result of one sprinkler pipe bursting, leading to several hundred thousand dollars in destroyed books, clean up of water damage and mold prevention. Schlow will be closed until at least this Sunday. I don’t want to sound selfish, but my books were in the section that got it the worst. We just found out via their website that two of my three books were destroyed. I have other copies here to give them if they want; no big deal.

Until Friday, take care, please be careful, happy reading, and stay warm; a major cold front is dropping down from Canada.

Friend David’s visit is less than a month away

Greetings, readers. It’s been a least a couple of years since my best friend Dave has come up to State College to visit me for a long weekend. He’ll be here from Thursday, March 5th through that following Monday, and the two brothers will have some good old-fashioned bonding time. It has been way too long. In Maine, at Bear Spring Camps, he is always busy with the family doing this or that, and usually only visits me in the evening time. On this occasion we will have a good solid four days.

Along with the general catching up, there are a few private topics I want to discuss. Some discussions are easier to have face to face rather than in a Facebook message or than in a phone call. After our four days, I’m sure that Dave and I will be back on the same page.

The rest of the time we’re going to be doing a lot of PS3 baseball and movie and television watching. I have a feeling that Netflix will be running until the wee hours of the morning. I think Dave likes shows such as Emergency, Dragnet, and Adam 12. If not, I’m sure we can find some action/adventure movies that we will both be entertained by. One of his personal favorites, I shall let you know, is Despicable Me. When Dave is on vacation or a long weekend, he likes to laugh, so movies such as this, and clean stand-up comedy, are our go-to choices.

Although I can’t tell you exactly what my surprise is going to be, I hope Dave comes by Megabus. I have a little treat for him which I’m sure he’ll find quite comical. It stems from a few years back.

As far as where we will be eating, I’m sure we will have some meals here at the apartment, but I fear that Panera and the Diner will be our second and third homes. I keep forgetting that there is a Subway sandwich shop right near-by and of course we can always order pizza. I don’t think we’ll starve.

Now to the biggest problem. With Dave’s visit three weeks away, I still need to clean out the bedroom. I got a good start on it a couple of months ago but then things went awry. Although I have managed to keep the rest of the place pretty tidy, I’m afraid the bedroom will require the old chuck ‘n duck system. Throw things in trash bags and get them out of here.

Lastly, I’m not sure how Keekee will react to Dave. She doesn’t tend to do well with people she hasn’t seen in a while. If she hisses at him, which is a big no-no, she’ll get the compressed air can blown her way. I don’t do it directly on her because that would be cruel, but she hates the sound enough to know that said behavior is not acceptable. It’s always been my experience that after 30 or 40 minutes, Keekee warms up to Dave and everything is okay. With animals, who knows, she might smell the scent of Dave’s dog or cat. Keekee can’t talk to us and tell us what is on her mind; if she could we would be in Hollywood.

Until Friday, bundle up because it’s going to get cold. Take care and happy reading.

Is Hell cold?

Greetings, readers. The sun is currently out but the temperature is about 15 degrees. Tonight’s low will be a frosty 5 degrees. Earlier on we briefly had a snow squall with whiteout conditions. Mother Nature decided to get angry.

This morning as I was having my breakfast at Panera I overheard a couple of women discussing the weather. One of them said, “It is cold as Hell.” That got me thinking. From what I have learned in church, Hell is not cold. It is such an odd expression; I’ve used it myself many times. As I understand the stories, Hell’s a place where the Devil lives and flames are all around. Does this sound cold to you, readers? It doesn’t to me. I have no idea of the origin of the phrase. If any of you know, please leave it in the comment section.

Quickly on to other news. Now that the holidays are over, I will be taking down my decorations tonight, vacuuming and dusting, and getting my living room back in order. Since it will be so frigid this evening, I am going to treat myself to a can of soup for dinner. I did that the other day in the microwave oven, and though it is dying, it was still up to the task. Eventually, I’m going to throw away my oversize bowls and cups along with that old microwave and get some new things in the apartment. I’ve lived here at Addison Court for about 9 years but don’t really feel like this is my home. It has the feeling of a roof over my head, a place to keep me dry and warm, but I find myself saying to people, “I’m going to go back to my apartment now,” instead of, “I’m going home.” Cleaning out the old and buying a few new things, I think, will solve that problem. I want my little apartment to feel like home. I want to be proud of it when I have people over for a visit – not embarrassed by it.

Well, folks, since today was our meeting day with my accountant, time’s running short and we have just enough time to edit this entry. So until Friday, take care, stay warm, and happy reading.

The ultimate in technology grrr day

Greetings, readers. I am dictating this blog entry while gritting my teeth. My alarm went off this morning at 6:45 and I turned on my laptop by 7:15. I was going to enjoy a morning of Train Simulator 15. Ha ha ha.

After coffee was made and I had my comfy seat arranged just the way I wanted it, I activated the game. The error message read something like: Missing start application. Right there I knew my whole morning was screwed. After fiddling with it for ten to fifteen minutes, I decided to play some music on my PS3 using Music Unlimited, go back to my laptop and uninstall said game. It shouldn’t take long to reload and I will have it running by 9:00. Ha ha ha.

By 10:15, I was still struggling to get the program to run. With no one else in the room, I actually said out loud to the computer, “Eight stories is a long way down.” Yes, readers, I talk to myself when I’m angry.

By 11:15, I had to leave the apartment to get some brunch and meet Rebecca. I shall try one more time to re-install the game this afternoon after work hours. Most of you, I’m sure, are thinking, “Well, what’s he complaining about?” But my days and weeks are very rigidly scheduled. Afternoon is writing and creation. Evening is filled with activities with friends or getting caught up with Netflix, so my mornings are slated for personal computer time. After almost four hours today with nothing but troubleshooting, I threw my hands up in the air and said, “I’ll try this again later.” As my pop would have said, “So it goes.”

While waiting for Rebecca at Panera this morning, I almost grabbed a newspaper and read my horoscope. I would have laughed if it had said stay in bed, for today is going to be a terrible day.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. For this weekend, Saturday will be my usual Dungeons and Dragons day with Rebecca and Darren, and Sunday will be filled with watching football and having someone come to help keep up the apartment. So I wish you all a good weekend, do stay warm if it is cold outside, and happy reading.

Money money money … money!

Greetings, readers. Have you ever had one of those weeks where money just seems to fly out of your wallet? I’m experiencing one of those weeks right now. Christmas is right around the corner and I have some people to shop for. I’m also going to treat myself to one Christmas gift this year. That’s not the big issue. Some unexpectedly high bills have come in, putting a slight damper on my holiday mood.

Yesterday I went to the dentist. Although it was a painless and relatively pleasant experience, as dentist visits go, the bill was much higher than I was expecting it to be. It is enough to make me never eat sweets ever again.

Speaking of that one Christmas gift I’m going to treat myself to, it’s either going to be a trade in and upgrade of my gaming system, or a Keurig coffee maker so I don’t have to spend as much money at Panera. For the gaming system trade, I would imagine I would have to shell out $200 to $300. For the coffee maker, probably $125 for the version with the water reservoir. Right now the Keurig is in the lead.

I’m definitely getting into the Christmas season mood. This morning I listened to Christmas music on Pandora while waiting for Rebecca to come to work. I know that it seems that money is leaking out of my wallet, but it is that time of year, and I’ve already told my accountant and Rebecca that in the next month or so I will rein in my expenditures if I can. Well, how about that, another goal set. I will be pleased to keep you up to date on my progress.

Lastly, I passed my latest inspection yesterday with flying colors.

That is the news from here. Rebecca and I will have a new blog entry for you on Friday. Take care, stay warm, enjoy life, and happy reading.