Harrisburg Calendar for July

wildwoodI’m wondering what to do this month to really get into the spirit of summer. So I started checking out the Harrisburg Calendar for fun activities, especially those that are outdoors, and also – preferably – kid-friendly ones.

So next week there is a Stress Relief Walk, starting at the Nature Center! I don’t think my kids are going to go for that so I’m going to try to see if the ex will have them that night. It’s early evening (the best time to walk in my opinion) and it’s a 3-mile stroll with short climbs and easy trails. Why not? I think it’s a great way to kick off the summer!

Now, the next night there’s a Canoe Wildwood by Moonlight. That looks really interesting but I’m not sure if I can get away two nights (I also have a lot of work commitments next week and the week after). Anyway, if I do get to go, I’ll learn all about what’s changed over time vis-à-vis the lake and the park, as I paddle into the aquatic ecosystem to check out the lake and marsh. It sounds phenomenal, especially since the timing will provide picturesque views as the moon rises over the lake.

On July 12 there is a Volunteer Work Day to help Wildwood and all its habitat enhancement projects. That’s from 10am to 1pm so that’s perfect for the kids and me to do since they are on holiday from school anyway. Then I’ll treat them all to a pizza. It’ll be a good day out I hope.

So that’s a start at least. It looks like it could be a really good summer. That’s presuming the ex and the kids co-operate!

Summer Harrisburg Clubs for Kids

canooeingIt’s time to think about the summer. The kids are with me for a long stretch of time and I simply don’t have the cash to take them away anywhere. So I’ve just started looking around for local options. Thankfully there seem to be a few.

Clubs in the region will be opening ponds, streams and grounds for local kids to frolic and enjoy lots of outdoor activities – the perfect antidote to my three boys’ massive energy! Registrations are just beginning and I’m going to get in there! My philosophy is, the more exhausted they are, the better off for everyone!

This year there are some great opportunities for nine to sixteen year olds (which more or less covers all three of my boys). The Capital Area Sportsmen for Youth Field Day on June 14 will make a great weekend activity – starts at 7 30 and ends at 3 00pm. Thankfully I’m past the days of early risers so we’ll probably find ourselves there at around 11. It’s perfect – especially for my oldest who is constantly complaining we only do stuff for the younger ones. They are going to do shooting, canoeing, fishing, archery and more. He’ll definitely have fun there.

So it’s a start. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled though for more Harrisburg clubs and their activities to keep boys busy and active this summer.

Bringing in Extra Income

cashI’ve recently begun seeking out opportunities to make extra income. I have a lot of expenses coming up with the kids and I need to stop feeling panic every time my mortgage is due. I’ve seen a few online opportunities but I’m not sure I can find something that is in complete sync with my skill set.

I did some research and it seemed like the most methodical way of doing this is figuring out my skills and then seeing what work is out there. I like the idea of working from home but I’m not the best writer or editor. However, maybe I can do some telesales job? There was something interesting at Carnival Cruise Lines so I may apply that.

Later on in my research, I found something interesting with Primerica. When I did a web search I found their mission statement to be most appropriate for my needs: “to help families earn more income become properly protected, debt free and financially independent.” Debt free alone sounded good to me!

There’s also a job I’m qualified for going at Panera Bread nearby. Problem is it’s nights. I can do it – it’s a baking opportunity – but I’m not sure I want to commit to nights. I used to work nights and it was tough, especially with a day job. But I guess I’ll think about it.

Hopefully something will come up with Primerica – it seems that there are a lot of like-minded individuals working for that company who have the same requirements as me. We’ll see. I’ll start applying and then hope for the best.

Easter and Kids: Harrisburg, PA

IM000337.JPGI had the kids this year for Easter for the first time in Harrisburg.  Had no idea what to do with them.  I started looking on line for things to do with kids in Harrisburg, over Easter and found a bunch of things.  But since my kids are quite different ages, I eventually settled on Hersheypark’s Springtime in the Park.

Everyone loves Hersheypark.  I know that I’ve taken the kids there a lot already but I find I never get bored of the place.  I’ve actually not yet experienced Springtime in the Park so I figured this would be as good a time as any to start, especially now that the weather is really great.

So we went and we really had a blast (I totally overate the Easter Eggs but of course that would happen at the Hersheypark!).  I was delighted to see that there were new rides just in time for the holiday season and my kids enjoyed both the Cocoa Cruiser and Memory Machine.  If you want to go, get your tickets ahead of time.

The best part for me was just before we left, my little one said “daddy, this was the best day ever; let’s come again soon.”  Success!

Winter Harrisburg Fitness

jumping-jacksWhen it comes to the cold weather, the only thing I want to do is lie down and do absolutely nothing.  I mean, seriously, who wants to do anything other than snuggle under a blanket?

But apparently that’s really not the way to beat the blues.  The way to beat the winter blues is actually by exercising!  Aah! That doesn’t sound like fun!  But I read recently – and my girlfriend keeps confirming it (very into fitness is she) – that exercise is the most important when the weather is like this.

No matter what it is you do, just do something apparently is the message.  The idea is to REALLY sweat.  And the theory is, that by exerting energy – even if one is freezing to start with – it is like having an internal heater as one sweats so much from the exercise that they are no longer cold.

Now I get it. I really do.  I mean sweating sure is one way to get warm.  But the thought of getting dressed up, in the car and seek out some Harrisburg fitness actually fills me with dread.  So I came up with a different solution (and also a way of getting my 3 boys to exert some of their excess energy – something boys ALWAYS seem to have) and that is, jumping jacks in the living room.

Boy did we sweat!  And when my girlfriend gave me the Wahoo Fitness Heart Rate Monitor I figured I would get really competitive while getting in shape. What could be better?

Harrisburg Calendar in Sports

city-islandersHarrisburg City Islanders just began their busiest season ever.  Two days ago saw the start of the 11th USL PRO campaign.  Beginning and ending in North Carolina, the team will participate in 28 regular-season contests for the first time.

Included in this are four games that will be played against Dayton, three against Charleston, Richmond and Pittsburgh and home-and-home sets with Wilmington, Charlotte, Orlando.  The Rhinos are also taking part.  The single-game series will be played with the Blues, Sacramento, Phoenix, Los Angeles Galaxy II and Oklahoma City.

In 2013, the team played a home-and-home set with the Colorado Rapids reserves.

Rabbi Tully Bryks on How to Find Your Soulmate

soulmatesSo the search is on again.  I just got dumped.  And I’m tired.  I really want to find my soulmate already.  Enough of just dating, or being married and then divorced.  I want to find THE ONE.

So rather than just go to my local bar, or sign up for a dating website, I thought I’d do some research into what “experts” have to say about how to find one’s soulmate.  During my research I found that Rabbi Tully Bryks had something interesting to say.  Now I’m not Jewish or anything but I figure if someone has some sound advice, who cares what religion they are from?

According to him, “one of the many beautiful Jewish concepts is the idea of a soul mate. Forty days before a baby is born, a proclamation in heaven declares the ideal future soul mate for that baby’s soul. When G-d created the first person, the verse says, ‘G-d created ‘Adam’ in His image, male and female He created them.’ The definition of the Hebrew word “Adam” is person. A careful reading of the text indicates that this 1st person was some sort of hermaphrodite. G-d then took from the rib of this dual-gender being and created two separate genders.”

Not wanting to confine myself to Jews’ opinion of soulmates, I then moved over to research the Buddhist attitude.  While Buddhism in and of itself does not promote soulmates (being a proponent instead of monasticism), there are still four areas one keen on finding their soulmates, should focus on.  According to an article by Tara Springett, these are: commitment to love and grow in love; law of an even deal(for satisfaction amongst both partners, they need to equally give and take); harmonious energies (romance) the intimate relationship.

Then there is the Christian approach.  Like Judaism, it takes a Biblical approach, quoting Genesis 2: 19: “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” From the beginning, God designed the concept of companionship and created a picture of partnership in the first relationship between Adam and Eve, which is further evidenced throughout Scripture in the lives of Abraham and Sarah; and Mary and Joseph; and many others.”  True believing Christians also believe that they should trust God to find their soulmate.

I like that idea.  I like the idea of putting trust in a higher being (rather than a website!)  But I do believe I need to do a bit of work too and not just wait for God to rescue me.

So I may take a leaf out of Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity’s book – why not use all three – and see if that way, I can somehow find my soulmate quickly and smoothly.  Why not try religion? So far nothing else has worked!

Open Stage: Harrisburg Clubs

microphoneI was looking for a show with a difference.  So when I read about Mark D. Lingenfelter’s one-man show at Open Stage of Harrisburg club I figured perhaps I should try it.  Apparently he opens by jumping out of a suitcase!  Well, that’s certainly an evening with a difference!

The show lasts for an hour and is funny, self-deprecating and altogether entertaining.  Or so the reviews say.  I’ll have to think about taking my lady friend.  I know that she’s not up for the regular Harrisburg clubs – I think I’m at the age now where I’m not either – so this might be something she’d agree to.

Well, it’s definitely worth a shot and worst case scenario, at least I’ll feel like I’m doing something with a little bit of culture.  After all, I have to lead by example with my boys if I ever want to get them off the Wii!

That’s it for now!

Christmas Things to Do with Kids in Harrisburg

fire-engineSo given that the ex is going to be with the kids over Christmas, I decided to find out what there was to do to celebrate the festivities prior to that.  The kids arrive today. When I heard about the event at the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, I was delighted!  I mean, what boys don’t love fire engines and stuff?

From December 15 the museum hosted a new exhibit with a cool collection of artifacts from the hand-drawn equipment of history to the modern tools used today.  This is in the 1899 Victorian firehouse Reily Hose Company No. 10.  Fire equipment and fire company operations during the Civil War period throughout the museum will be highlighted. There will also be fire companies in the Commonwealth, military units composted of firefighters, firehouse mascots and major incidents which occurred around Penn. We’ll also get to see the 1840 Agnew hand pumper owned by the Undine Fire Company of Bellefonte. It’s sure to be a hit.  I think we’ll go tomorrow.

Apparently Santa is also coming for a visit.  And even if he doesn’t show up, there are plenty of other places to find him.  I don’t think any of my kids are too old for sitting on Santa’s knee…because I know for sure that I’m not.

Here’s to a very merry Christmas from me and the kids from Harrisburg.  Stay warm now.

Harrisburg Clubs: Gambling News

gamblingLegislation was approved last week by the state House of Representatives to expand gambling into bars and taverns in Pennsylvania.  Social and fraternal clubs would also gain increased control of gaming revenue.

I personally am quite delighted by this.  I believe gambling goes on in the region anyway, so why not make it proper?  Legalize it.  It’s fun and doesn’t harm anyone.  And it’s about time.  As executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage Association, Amy Christie pointed out, they have worked really hard on just this for over two-and-a-half decades to give small businesses a “more level playing field.”

Put the power back in the hand of the little guy I say, and give us all a great place to go – legally – to have fun at the end of a long working week.  The only fear is that other places that offer it legally will lose out.  Well, to them I say, rise to the challenge and make your legal gambling place better and we’ll choose that.

Increase competition and everyone benefits, and it seems like House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods agrees with me.  He described gaming expansion as being a “matter of fairness for businesses holding restaurant liquor licenses.”  And still, there will be limits.  Tavern games will have to institute single prize limits of $2,000 per chance and licensees won’t be allowed to offer more than $35,000 in total prizes per week.

Bring it on!