Yesterday my sister-in-law Barbara sent me an e-mail requesting a clip of an old 8 mm movie that I had transferred from VHS format to a DVD. I would be glad to do this for her but there was one BIG problem. How do I convert the DVD to an iMac compatible video? Oh woe is me. My brain was going to get exercised again.
Hey folks, I'm no tech guru, far from it. I'm a 72 year old man with a brain that is cluttered with the debris of over 40 years of office work. I don't have the clear (empty) head of my boss's five year old daughter who probably knows more about computers than I do. And to be quite frank, I'm sometimes just plain afraid to mess around with my computer lest I cause it to explode.
But folks, I've been putting off this latest challenge, converting my old VHS tapes to DVD then to iMac. Thy name is procrastination.
Well folks, I could put it off no longer. I jumped right in today and figured it all out. Yes, I DOOD it. And yes, my head is hurting right now but I finally got that short black and white film of me departing from the family home in April of 1960 for Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, after I finished Army basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Wow, was I EVER that young?
So here it is folks, Chapter One of the Old Family Films. Some of you may not find it interesting but hey, this is my blog and I find these old films fascinating. Plus, I'm leaving a history behind which is my goal now that I am entering my Twilight Years. It's all good folks. Enjoy!
Monday, December 02, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
|"Ya want some of this? Oysters Rockefeller."|
My friend "The Cajun" invited me to a birthday lunch today. In years past we used to treat each other to lunch on our birthdays. However, the past few years (the time goes by so fast), we've missed a few birthdays.
A few days ago I was talking to The Cajun on FaceTime (he's on my growing list of FaceTime contacts) and he invited me to lunch with him today at The Henlopen Oyster House in Rehoboth Beach. Of course, non fish eater than I am, I immediately responded "I don't eat fish." He said "Get an hamburger then!" Well folks, I did get a hamburger and I have to tell you it was probably the best hamburger I've ever had since we moved to Delaware seven years ago. Will wonders never cease? I think the secret ingredient was FRESH HAMBURGER and not the usual frozen patties which is a whole different animal.
So here is an accounting of my little adventure today to meet The Cajun for lunch. I was to meet him at 12:30. I only live ten miles from Rehoboth, a straight shot (well, not really, probably a "gay" shot but I digress) up the infamous Route 1. This is the off season so I thought "No problematico." HA! Little did I take into account today is the DAY AFTER BLACK FRIDAY and I had to drive past all the outlet malls on Route 1. Plus this is "Shop Local Day" so everybody and their grandmother is out of their houses and in Rehoboth. IT TOOK ME FORTY-FIVE MINUTS TO MAKE THE TEN MILE RIDE FROM MY HOME TO REHOBOTH BEACH.
The Cajun had suggested to me to save a seat for him if I got to the restaurant early. HA! By the time I parked and braved the cold wind and gray skies to Wilmington Avenue, I was already five minutes late. Here is what I saw waiting for me as I entered The Henlopen Oyster House (yes, I stopped to take a photo but as anyone who knows me knows I take a LOT of photos, something one has to tolerate with moi). One does have to be patient with me (but it's worth it folks!)
|Waiting for |
Our hunky waiter came by and asked us if we were ready to order. Again, another GOOD sign. Restaurants, you want good business straight and gay? Hire hunky, friendly waiters (and waitresses) but mainly WAITERS. We gay guys (and straight women) like eye candy too you know. Who cares about the straight men? They can go to Hooters down the street. It's refreshing to go to a restaurant that appreciates at least HALF of the clientele would like to see good-looking men waiting on them. Just saying.
|Two of the help at The Oyster House. Easy on the eyes..…front or back.|
|Me and The Cajun|
Time to order. Since it was my birthday I ordered a festive (as The Cajun often says) drink, this time an Eggnog Martini. Slurp! Slurp! It was most wonderful and did give me the proper giddy buzz for which I am well known in these parts.
Then time to order. I ordered the hamburger.
|Hamburger and Fries - my usual|
But the best thing about our lunch today? Seeing my old friend The Cajun. Thank you The Cajun! A most enjoyable lunch.
|The Henlopen Oyster House 50 Wilmington Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE|
Friday, November 29, 2013
|Me, yesterday at work. I cannot tell you what my co-worker Robert told me to bring this smile to my face (you don't want to know but we DO have fun)|
So how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was just dandy. I worked at the hotel yesterday from 3 pm to 11 pm. I don't mind working the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas because the guests are (almost) always in a cheerful and upbeat mood. Unlike wedding guests (the worst), holiday guests are happy. They don't seem to be as demanding as the usual wedding guests are.
Yesterday I wore my new purple outfit to work. Purple or lavender is probably my favorite color. So hard to get though for men. This sweater I got from L.L. Bean which is a new thing for them.
I've often wondered "Why doesn't L.L. Bean make colors available for ALL the people?" Well, finally they have. Maybe, just maybe diversity is catching up with that staid institution of manliness called L.L. Bean.
Well folks, today is Black Friday. Leaving work last night after 11 pm and driving north on Rt. 1 to Casa Tipton-Kelly, I witnessed the once a year phenomena called "Driving to the Rehoboth Outlet Mall to take advantage of Black Friday stores opening at 12 am." Egads! Can you believe it? Folks driving down at midnight to SHOP! Every year I am amazed at that steady steam of headlights headed south on Rt. 1 in the darkness of the cold night. Nothing is worth that. Are you kidding?
Well today I have to figure out what to do with this turkey (a real one, not Bill) that our neighbors so graciously gave us for Thanksgiving. I think I can freeze a lot of the white meat to use in future meals. I'll have to check it out. I love turkey though and especially left over turkey. I'm sure I can come up with some very interesting concoctions for that turkey meat.
What's to to this weekend? I called my friend Ed who was down for the annual Gay Man's No Place to Go for Thanksgiving dinner. This year the dinner was held at Tim's and Mile's house. Unlike many years past when it was held at Bob and Jim's but both Bob and Jim are in
My friend Ed said he doesn't know how much longer the annual Gay Man's No Place to Go for Thanksgiving dinner will be held. Attendance was down to nine this year. In Bob and Jim's heyday the attendees sometimes totaled two dozen and two turkeys (not including the attendees). I suggested to Ed that maybe he cold hold the dinner at his place but he shot that suggestion down even before I could finish my sentence. I'm certainly not holding it at Casa Tipton-Kelly. My once a year Bloggerpalooza is my thing. I've done the family reunions. The poor attendance at this year's reunion has cured me of that folly. I won't be organizing any more reunions but the Bloggerpalooza I will. That's a lot of fun with fun people. I never did like the annual Gay Man's No Place to Go for Thanksgiving dinner because it seemed to me to be a place to get hit on by dirty old men. At least that was always my experience. Yes, I'm going down THAT road. Just telling it like it is folks. I'll tell you, it's not all fun being a Man Magnet like I am.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
|Feeding the seagulls this morning at Rehoboth Beach|
How are you doing on this Thanksgiving morning folks?
Today, here in good old southern Delaware the sun is bright (blindly so) and the temperatures are frigid ) 23 degrees when I woke up this morning by a "Happy Thanksgiving" message on my iPhone from my fellow blogger friend Dr. Spo from Phoenix, Arizona (what TIME does HE get up?)
After a quick breakfast of bran flakes (with 100% of all the vitamins available - taste like dried leaves but it is good for me so my urologist tells me) topped with a sliced banana, we were on our way to Rehoboth Beach.
|A deserted Rehoboth boardwalk this morning - frigid temperatures!|
For many years now on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day I clean out some of the old food items from my frig an take it to Rehoboth Beach to feed the seagulls. This morning on the menu were veggie dogs from a few weeks ago that made me sick (I can't handle hot dogs in any form but I keep trying). Of course the sea gulls were most appreciative.
I like making the ten mile straight shot down Route 1 on these holidays because there is hardly any traffic and the sea gulls ARE APPRECIATIVE.
I worked at the hotel last night as is usual on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the guests were all so nice. Unlike so many of our guests we have in for a wedding, the holiday guests are almost invariably in a good mood and most cheerful. That's why I don't mind working the holidays, that where I get a lot of my holiday spirit from. I don't need me and stinking Black Fridays, I feed off the goodwill and bonhomie of these delightful holiday guests.
Bill called me at the hotel last night with quite a surprise. Our wonderful neighbors brought over a WHOLE TURKEY for me and Bill. Folks, I cannot tell you what wonderful folks our neighbors are. We have truly been blessed.
|Bill digging into his Thanksgiving turkey (courtesy of our neighbors Bob and Barbara) early this morning - turkey for breakfast with a dollop of mayonnaise for Bill!|
I have so much to be thankful for today but next to my health I have to say I am most thankful for (in no particular order):
- All my friends
- My job
- My health
- My wonderful home
- Living in a state like Delaware which recognizes me (and Bill) and regular human beings instead of gay pariahs
- All my friends (oops! I already said that didn't I?)
- And those special friends (they know who they are)
These days I'm getting a little long in the tooth (no, I'm not going to die anytime soon although I do like to tweak some of my friends by belaboring that point). I see others who are my age or young tottering around like they're on their last leg. They have given up hope. They think their life is over. Well folks, everyday I get up it is a New Beginning for me. I feel as if my life has just begun. And for that, I am so thankful.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
"Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better."
Harvey Milk died thirty-five years ago today.
Harvey Milk is one of my heroes. He was an ordinary person who did an extraordinary thing, he fought and died for the freedom of gay people.
|Harvey Milk with President Carter|
The words he uttered at the beginning of this post was and has been my mantra since I came out of my personal closet in April of 1963. I made a decision then not to live my life as a gay man according to others' terms but on my own terms. Of course there was a price to pay, sometimes a high price for demanding my freedom but it was worth it. Harvey Milk fought on a much larger stage than I did and he paid the ultimate price, his life.
On this day before our national Thanksgiving holiday, I pause not to remember the false myth of the Pilgrims who shared bread with the native Indians of this America but one of the true heroes and martyrs for freedom in this country, Harvey Milk. A man who gave his life for the right of all gay people to choose who they want to love without fear of social ostracization or bodily harm. A man who gave hope, as the first elected gay official, for gay people to live their lives in freedom equal to their fellow Americans. On this Thanksgiving, I thank Harvey Milk.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Come on folks admit it. You LOVE Toronto's mayor Rob Ford! Hey, what's the big deal anyway. He's fat. So what? Who cares other than the media who likes to take cheap pot shots. Look, this guy is as honest as they come. Check out Ford pointing out the hypocrisy of a Toronto city council member accusing him of substance abuse when said city council member was arrested himself for drunk driving.
I am thoroughly enjoying watching the prim and proper public figures from the media and Toronto city council being outraged, I say OUTRAGED that a fat man dared to not run and hide once they started to mock him.
And then there was the instance where he ran over a fellow city council woman (get out of the way woman!) for what reason I don't know but it is funny to watch.
Comedians are getting high from all the way too easy jokes making fun of a fat man and a politician.
Remember when Bill Clinton used to be fodder for the late night comedians? Uh huh, move over Bubba! Toronto's redoubtable Mayor Rob Ford has assumed the new position to be the butt (pun intended) of the late night comedians' jokes.
But you know hat folks, Mayor Ford doesn't appear to care what anyone thinks. Bravo for him! Even the famous anchor Ron Burgundy has got into the game. Here Ron sings Mayor Ford's new campaign song.
Rock it Ron!
And finally, here is a compilation of the late night comedians' joke at Mayor Ford's expense. Hey folks, you have to admit this is funny. Sad yes, but funny. And really in the end, isn't this better than killing people in an unnecessary war in Iraq? (What did Ron just say?)
|Me posing make believe like I'm changing our flat tire on Skyline Drive in Virginia the summer of 1965|
No, I'm not talking about a 70 year old former stripper, I'm talking about getting a flat tire in one's vehicle.
Although said photo atop this blog would indicate that I am changing a flat tire on Bill's Chevy Corvair (remember that lemon?) sans 1965, I was actually only doing my "I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV" pose. I am proud to admit that I've never changed a flat tire in my life. NEVER. Why do you think I joined AAA in 1982? Of course I've never had a flat tire since then and my dues have gone from $25 a year to now $89 a year but you know, JUST IN CASE.
I remember an instance when I was in the Army at Ft. Meade in Maryland. A few of my friends and I were going to take a jaunt to nearby Baltimore. All of my friends (all four of them) happened to be gay. Yes, that's another whole story to be told at another time but I always thought it was ironic that before I went into the Army at age 18 I was the only "homosexual" in the world. Hey, I was from a small town and the world "homosexual" was only furtively whispered with scowled faces. But I digress.
So here we were on that humid August night in 1962, five light in the combat boots, taking a gay expedition to Baltimore. About halfway there, as we were crossing a bridge whose name I have forgotten, and we hear a "flap! flap! flap!" OMG! Our driver Doug says "Hey guys I think we have a flat!" The rest of us; me, my friend Ron H., Sal and (yes) another Ron P. all look at each other in askance. The term "WTF?" wasn't even invented at that time but if it was we all would have said it unison. As it were, we all just looked at each other saucer eyed.
Finally someone (me) said "I can't change a flat tire." Someone else (Ron H.) said "I don't know how to change a flat tire either." Sal said "Don't look at me, I don't know how to change one either." And yes, Ron P. expressed a similar response. Hey folks, a carload of gay guys and NO ONE KNEW HOW TO CHANGE A TIRE.
After a few moments of stunned silence (when we realize just how GAY we were), we started to laugh. That's when I said "I like grease on a man's hands but not mine." Similar jocular one liners were made by the others. It really was a joke folks. A carload full of SOLDIERS and NONE OF US knew or wanted to change that flat tire.
So I guess you're all wondering what happened to us. Yep, you guessed it. A car came by with two women. WACs. Yep, they changed our flat tire. Don't tell anybody.
|Wac's to the rescue|
Monday, November 25, 2013
Okay folks! This is what you've been waiting for. Ron's take on Dr. Spo's Blogger meme. Here are my answers, straight from my heart and painfully and sometimes embarrassingly honest (as is my style):
What you like most about being a blogger?
Like Dr. Spo, I started blogging in 2006 to express myself and to use my love for writing. I have since discovered new friends for which I am most appreciative.
How many bloggers have you met?
I have met approximately twenty bloggers, most of whom I met at last year's Bloggerpalooza in Lewes, DE.
Do you ever go back and read your old entries?
Rarely. When I do I'm usually embarrassed at what I wrote, so juvenile and self-centered. I ask myself "What was I thinking when I wrote THAT?"
Do you share your job skills here?
No, mainly because my career as a trust operations manager is of no interest to anyone, let alone readers of my blog. Occasionally I mention something about my present part-time job as a hotel front desk clerk but I am very careful about what I write because my blog postings are closely monitored by my co-workers and others at the hotel and associated businesses for any misstep that they can chastise me on, which they have done on numerous occasions.
Have you changed your views about anything thanks to blogging?
Yes. I am a lot more tolerant of others who have different political views than my own. However, I still am intolerant on those who have differing social views. I have also changed my views on every gay man and woman coming out. I now realize that many of my gay brethren circumstances aren't as conducive to coming out blatantly as I did many years ago.
Do your coworkers know about your blog?
Oh yes! And they closely monitor my blog for any misstep which they do not hesitate to bring to my attention. Yes folks, I have a censoring crew at work.
What advice would you give for successful blogging?
Write what you think and feel. Let it flow. Don't worry or concern yourself on the "proper" form of writing and certainly don't concern yourself that you're going to offend anybody. No matter what you write, you're going to offend SOMEBODY. The one advice that I would offer though is to be careful with throwing the cheap shots out like criticizing someone's weight or marital situation. You don't know what is going on in their lives so let it be.
What is your opinion of aardvarks?
Absolutely no opinion whatsoever. Except, I find men who have an aardvark profile extremely sexy.
Do you publish everything you write ?
I publish almost all my posts. I just let it hang out there. I have about twenty posts in draft that I haven't got back to and have now lost whatever momentum I had on them and probably will delete now that I have written this response. I have deleted a few posts (in a weak moment) that others took offense too, who said they were "hurtful". I try not to be "hurtful" but I have found that invariably, as I write my honest feelings, someone else's feelings are going to get hurt or some extra sensitive reader will be offended and inform me that he (always a "he") will no longer read my blog. So be it.
If you could make ‘three rules’ for blogging, what would they be?
1# Write exactly what you think. Don't over think it or rewrite it unless there is a distractive grammatical error. Let it flow.
2# Stop trying to sell me something on your blog. I'm following one blog now from a "writer" in New York. She thinks she is so clever (she's not) and is almost always trying to sell something. I cannot get rid of her posts. They always show up in my e-mails. Rule: don't have a link to your blog that you can't discontinue.
3# Use bigger fonts. Come on guys (and gals), is it that hard to click on the bigger font?
Do people help you write your blog?
Absolutely not! Some have tried (unsolicited of course). I have lost several "friends" because I didn't take their direction. My spouse has given up on trying to control the content of my blog. What you read in my blog is me, rose and warts and every thang.
Who are your blogger super-heroes?
Harper's Valley - always interesting and informative and amusing. An excellent writer, this blogger consistently amazes me with the depth of his knowledge of the vagaries of life. He specializes in movie and theater reviews (which is not my milieu) but he is such a good writer that it is one of my secret pleasures to luxuriate in his posts.
Lone Star Concerto - again, always interesting, informative and amusing. Although the writer of this blog and I have diametrically opposed political views (he's conservative and I'm a "progressive") I find him to always be totally honest and open, which I find is a rarity in bloggers. Many of his blog posts are about him being stuck in the hell hole of west Texas (and I sympathize, believe me), he is consistently interesting although he doesn't think he is.
On Transmigration - this is a dear friend of mine who I encouraged to write a blog to help him deal with the pain and frustration of the ending of his long-term relationship. He doesn't write that often but when he does he also has that formula for writing a blog that draws me: he is a good writer, honest, informative and amusing (albeit a wry, self-deprecating humor).
Spo-Reflections - and who doesn't love this blog? I found this always delightful blog through my friend's On Transmigration blog. I was initially attracted because of the writer's physical attractiveness (always loved serious men with beards) but once I started to read this blog I realized that "Dr. Spo" was more than a mere pretty face. Always insightful and helpful, I never miss his blog.
I Should Be Laughing - One of the best written, funny, informative and honest blogs about hypocrisy both in the political realm and entertainment industry. In fact it is THE BEST gossip blog on the Internet because it is not burdened down with a mountain of ads. How this guy (Bob Slattern) writes for free I don't know but he is a treasure. Only problem I have is that he is so prolific that I miss some of his postings which is my loss.
Final question (if you dare!) :
Have you slept with any of your fellow bloggers?
Do commenters count?