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Showing posts from February, 2010

A Smile From God

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Do you see what I see in this picture? Look closely and you'll see a smiley face in the sky. This is a good omen for the week coming up. Tomorrow I start back at my regular work schedule at the hotel. I'm looking forward to going back to work. There just so much sorting of digital pictures and naps that one can take. Tuesday a friend and I are taking a Senior Citizen Bus to Philadelphia to see their annual flower show. I take this opportunity to have a reunion with an old friend and co-worker. It is also nice to go back to Philadelphia for a visit and see how things are now. From 1969 to 1981 I lived and worked in center city Philadelphia. Those were the Golden Years. When I moved in 1981 it was time. Next week is also the beginning of March. Spring is definitely on its way. The two "lost months" of the year are always January and February. These are months I just get through each year. This year was particularly rough with two back to back blizzards and

Saturday Morning Coffee

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Some may wonder how I come up with the subject matter for my almost daily blog. I say to them, EVERY DAY LIVING! For instance, today's blog features me (who else?) at Zorba's Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Once a week Bill and I go out for breakfast at Zorba's, a hole in the wall restaurant just outside of downtown Rehoboth Beach. This morning, while waiting for our friend Bob, I asked Bill to take a video of me (who else?) having a cup of coffee. I don't know about you, but I find this video fascinating. Perhaps because it is ABOUT ME! I’ve often thought if I had a digital camera and this cool little Flip video camcorder, how many pictures and videos would I have of my everyday living? Perhaps it is just as well I discovered these wonderful technological marvels late in my life. I doubt if I would have a computer hard drive big enough to hold all of those files. One thing that does give me comfort though is the fact that perhaps, sometime in the future

More Snow!

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More Snow! Yes, more snow. Can you believe it? Can I believe it? I am so over all this snow. The good news is that even though the winds are blowing like a blizzard (up to 50 mph), the snow is light. Unlike the back to back blizzards we had a couple of weeks ago, this snow is more like our usual snow down here on the southern Delmarva peninsula which just a dusting. At the most an inch or two that is gone the next day. I’ve already made my “milk and bread” run earlier this week so I have nowhere to go today. No need to panic. I do have a slight concern about the power going out because of the high winds but so far I’ve been lucky this winter and having lost power once. Now that I said that watch me lose power. Next week I began working my regular schedule at the hotel in Lewes. I’ll work Mondays and Thursdays, the 2nd shift (3 pm to 11 pm.) I’m refreshed and ready to go back to work after two months off from work. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at work and m

A Little Night Snow

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I awoke this morning to a light covering of snow on the ground. Usually the first thing in the morning when I wake up I pull the sheer curtain back from one of my bedroom windows and see what the weather is like outside. This morning it was all white again. Late yesterday afternoon we had a light rain which melted enough of the snow that was left over from our previous two back to back blizzards to show some of the green grass of my back yard. We still have snow banks lining the driveways in of my development and the roads outside my development. Those snow banks will be around until March, just like they used to at my home in Pennsylvania. When I moved to Delaware I thought I moved away from all that. The blizzards of the past two weeks were a rude reminder that I didn't move far enough south. Still, I love living in southern Delaware. Next week I'm going to the Philadelphia Flower Show with a friend. We're taking a senior citizen sponsored trip called Ad

Eggplant Parmesan - Ron Style

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Eggplant Parmesan is just about my favorite dish of all time.  Here is my version (after many tries) that I find suites my taste of crispy eggplant that is not grease soaked and the tomatoey taste of fresh tomatoes. In the past I've hesitated making Eggplant Parmesan because of all the preparation involved.  Salting the eggplant slices to draw out the so called "bitter" taste of the eggplant.  I don't know about you, but I like that "edgy" or "sharp" taste of eggplant.  To me that's what makes it eggplant.  Plus, when you salted the eggplant, you had to use paper towels to draw the excess water out.  That was just too much trouble for me to achieve what results?  Because the cookbook said it or some other cook didn't like the taste of eggplant?  My recipe is much easier than the standard preparation of eggplant.  I just wash the eggplant, slice off the top, and then slice the eggplant into about 16 pieces.  I prepare two bowls (or p

Dining In

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These days I'm dining in. I have three good reasons for dining in: 1) No one is available (or can afford) to dine out with me (I don't like to dine alone) 2) The food at the restaurants that I've dined at, isn't as good as my own cooking 3) It is too expensive to dine out I've always like cooking. I'm not a gourmet cook. I don't cook fish, most meats or any exotic food. I'm a comfort food cook. At one time of my life I used to like cooking for company but I have lost interest in that over the years. Occasionally I'll have a friend over for a meal, but nothing like pot luck for multiple folks. That's not my style. One of my all time favorite dishes is Eggplant Parmesan. I always ordered this out because I didn't think I could cook it. Another favorite of mine is French fried potatoes. I don't deep fat fry food in my house because I don't want that greasy smell permeating my curtains and the upholstery of my liv

Tiger Woods - Just Another Hypocrite

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Tiger Woods finally came out hiding yesterday and made a statement about the ongoing scandal that now defines him. Tiger Woods, the ultimate control freak, made his statement with invitation only “guests” of friends and family, much like those screened audiences for those George W. Bush “town hall” meetings. He robotically read his statement (obviously written by his highly paid public relations people) with cued pauses on certain passages for dramatic effect in which he would look at the camera and attempt to well up tears and generate sympathy for himself. Personally, I don’t care what this man does in his private life. That is his business. That he is a serial adulterer wasn’t fair to his wife or his children but that is something for them to work out in private. Where I have the problem is his hypocrisy. I’m not a golf fan and I’ve never watched Tiger Woods play golf. I couldn’t care less about golf or Tiger Woods. But where Tiger Woods does affect me is that I

Getting the Balance Back

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Yesterday I returned to work to my job as a front desk clerk at the hotel. Driving down New Road into downtown Lewes I was reminded of the back to back blizzards of last week by the six foot high piles of snow along the road. After parking in the hotel parking lot and walking around the side of the building I hear someone yell “Ron!” from behind me. I turned around and it was the hotel maintenance man. With a big smile he said “Hey! We missed you!” Well, THAT was good to hear. I was glad to be back to work.  I missed them too. Walking through the front lobby I was again reminded of how much I like working at this hotel. It has a “homey” feel to it. But then I’ve almost always felt that way about any place where I have worked. I always try to make my workplace personal and not just someplace where I work. I believe this attitude is essential for a successful performance of a job, especially in the hospitality industry. Of course it also helps that I work in th

The Long Road Back

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Today I got a call from my manager at the hotel. He asked if I could work tomorrow night. Could I? Of course! Yesterday he called and asked if I could work for a few nights in April. Absolutely! I hope the economy has begun to recover enough that we can all begin the long road back (pictured is Oyster Rocks Road leading to the Broadkill River – I took it this morning.) I have never experienced in my lifetime such a bad economy that affected so many people. I have lived through recessions before but they never affected me. I always had a good paying job at the bank. But, I like many others of my generation were “outsourced”, “right-sized”, and “job eliminated” before we could reach our normal retirement. I was one of the fortunate few because I was able to make lateral moves throughout the rest of my career. Others, of course, were not so fortunate. I don’t know of one person in my peer group who was able to reach normal retirement age at their long term job. Not one p

Ten Bad Things About Being Laid Off

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As promised in my previous blog, listed below are the ten bad things about not working (in no particular order): 1) Decreased cash flow, i.e.; less money 2) No money 3) No pay 4) No income 5) No cash Okay, the first five are the same. I made my point. Talk about beating a dead horse………… 6) No mental stimulation 7) No reason to get up in the morning 8) No one to bore with my stories (something us old folk tend to do) 9) Fall behind on workplace gossip 10) Gain weight because now food is my only solace, company and friend Ironically, shortly after I posted my blog about ten good reasons for not working, manager called and asked if I would be able to work in April. Would I? YES!

Ten Good Things About Being Laid Off

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It is now almost two months since I’ve been laid off my job at the hotel. So how is retirement? Well, it’s been good and bad. First with the good: 1) I’m getting a lot more sleep. I never miss my afternoon nap. And it shows. I look rested and refreshed. My eyes have that youthful sparkle again. No more the haggard look. I am looking good if I do say so myself. 2) I’m saving money on gas. When I was working I would have to fill my tank at least once at week at $15 to $17 a pop. I don’t remember the last time I filled my tank. Maybe about 2 ½ weeks ago. Could be longer. 3) I get to see all my Netflix movies on a timely basis. I’ve upped my subscription to four movies out at a time. That provides a nice turn around. I always seem to have a movie or two waiting for my viewing pleasure. 4) I’m almost caught up on my backlog of e-mails. At one time I had over 400 messages (not all personal) in my Inbox. I’ve since whittled that down to just a little over hundred (mostly having

The Blizzard of 2010 - Lessons Learned

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A week after the Blizzard of 2010 here are the lessons learned: 1) Always have a supply of fresh water on hand in case of emergencies. 2) Always have an alternative heating source available in case your lose power. 3) Always have an alternative light source (flashlight, candles) in case you lose power. 4) Always have non-perishable food on hand for extended power outages. 5) Always have a cell phone to contact the outside world for help 6) Always have a backup plan (or two) for evacuation for prolonged power outages 7) Do not depend on friends or neighbors to rescue you. They may be in the same or worse situation than you are in. 8) Be patient with those responsible for snow removal. Blizzards are not the norm and it will take longer for snow removal. 9) Don’t go out in a blizzard. Something that seems obvious but some people do stupid things thus putting their own lives and those that rescue them in danger. 10) Don’t vent your anger on others because someone is

Another Day of Recovery

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This morning I woke up to the bright light of a new day. The snow is still here but I feel the worst is over. More snow is forecast for Sunday but it doesn't appear that is another Major Winter Snowstorm. On the news last night I saw a statistic where only once in every 100 years does Philadelphia have 25 inches or more of snow. The last two weeks Philadelphia has had 25 or more inches of snow. I don't know what the average is here where I live on the coastal plain of southern Delaware. I do know it is very unusual. All this snow and digging out brings back the bad old memories of my winters in Pennsylvania. I never thought I would experience those days again. I was very angry at the Other Half yesterday for his constant mocking of me shoveling snow and then making blasting me at the end of the day as to why I was out driving around in our development when I was only helping our HOA person in charge of the snow removal. I blasted back. I've had it with the

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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Most of the day I shoveled snow. I shoveled my driveway as well as shoveling the driveways of my neighbors on both sides of my house. As usual, my Other Half (my partner of 45 years) mocked me while I shoveled the driveways. He loves the snow. Ever since we moved down here he has whined about how he missed the snow. Now we have it and he is a happy man. That's wonderful. I take the mocking in stride. That is his style. He loved the snow so much that I left snow removal job to him in PA. However, he is 81 years old now and not capable of such strenuous activity. So I go out this morning to shovel snow. I see the shovel is missing. I go out the garage door and there is Other Half helping my neighbor shovel his driveway. I go over to them and ask to take over. Later, after I finished, the Other Half tells me the only reason I help was because I wanted to work with my cute neighbor. No, not really. I wanted to help. Is that so hard to understand? But, as usual, I let this insu

Another Day After

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This morning Whitehall Drive is living up to its name again…..it’s white. Yesterday we had our fifth snow storm of the season. The last two snowstorms were blizzards. Snowstorms like this are very unusual for this area of southern Delaware. Bill loves the snow. In the three years since we moved to southern Delaware that has been his number one complain. He missed the snow. Well, he got his wish. I have to admit it is beautiful. This morning he was watching the loose snow blowing over the snowdrifts that formed overnight. A smile crossed his face. I’m glad he’s happy. He may never see snow like this again during his lifetime. Now we wait to get plowed out again. I think we had about 2 inches of snow last night. There was a lot of furious wind but not that much snow which is fine with me. Again, I am so thankful our power did not go out. I am looking forward to life getting back to normal. Enough with the snow storms already. Underneath all that snow are spring

Here We Go Again

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It's not over. While still recovering from the Blizzard of 2010, more snow is expected today. I awoke this morning to the rain softly pelting my bedroom window. I look outside and see the kind of gray sky that precedes a snowstorm. After my morning bowl of Corn Chex and banana, I go out to my driveway to shovel off the slight coating of slushy snow. Two minutes later the rain starts fall heavily. Out of the corner of my eye I see a gray figure. It is my neighbor walking his miniature Yorky. He's cursing under his breath and urging his dog to do her business they he hurries inside to the warmth and comfort of his house. I was getting soaked so I returned to the warmth and comfort of my house. I hang up my wet jacket and change out of my wet jeans. Bill asks me "What are you doing outside?" Good question, just what am I doing outside? While at my computer checking my e-mails, I get a phone call from my brother John in Greenville, South Carolina. He call

Day Three After the Blizzard of 2010

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This morning when I woke up I was aching all over. The cause of my aching body was all the shoveling of snow I did yesterday. After shoveling out our driveway, Bill and I noticed our new neighbor two houses up shoveling his driveway. What better time to meet the new neighbor than help him shovel his driveway? We trudged up through the frozen snow on the road that sill had not been cleared and introduced ourselves to our new neighbor. He is a 64 year old retiree who formerly lived in Rhode Island and moved to Delaware for the same basic reasons we moved – to escape our ever escalating local school property taxes and the milder weather of southern Delaware. Our new neighbor has only been in his house for two weeks and he is greeted with this major dump of snow. We assured him this was VERY UNUSUAL. I’m not sure he believed us. After shoveling snow like madmen (I really pushed myself), I retreated to the warmth and comfort of my house (which didn’t lose power during

Day Two After the Blizzard of 2010

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Here we are, Day Two after the Blizzard of 2010. Like yesterday, this is another sunny day. However, still very, very cold. Early this morning Bill and I took a walk to the end of Whitehall Drive, our exit out of our development. Up to Robinson Drive (halfway up) the only disturbance in the snow are footprints. We walked in those frozen footprints. Up at Robinson Drive there were deep ruts in the frozen snow caused by SUV’s. While we were walking another SUV drove out. I took as many pictures as I could before my fingers got so numb from the 19 degree temperatures that I couldn’t operate the camera. At the end of the driveway we encountered a Verizon truck. The driver told us he was picking up his boss who lives in our development. We took not that he didn’t enter the development lest he also got stuck in the snow. A short while later his boss (and our neighbor) trudged out of his house and up Whitehall drive to meet his driver. It was too cold to linger outside s

Blue Bubble

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See this Accuweather map? See the blue bubble? See what it says to the left? “Anyone living under this bubble is totally screwed.” Do you know where I live? I live in Delaware, Sussex County. Sussex County is the southern most county in Delaware. It is on the Delmarva Peninsula right before the border to Maryland. Yep. That’s where we live and we are totally screwed. The snow started Friday night about nine o’clock. When I woke up in the morning and looked out the window all I saw was a total whiteout. White, white, white…..everything was white. Estimated snowfall is 30 inches. I can’t even open my front door. Bill got up early to shovel the driveway at 3 a.m. He got up again at 8 a.m. He went out to shovel the driveway again in the horizontal snow. There was no trace of what he had shoveled out earlier. At 4 p.m. he went out to shovel the driveway again. No trace of the earlier shoveling. The wind had blown all the snow back into the opening he had create

Every Day is an Adventure

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What I woke up to this morning was no phone service. That meant no Internet service. Here we go again with Verizon. I have lost track of the times I have had difficulty with my phone service, Internet service and cable TV since I move to good old Lower Slower. First it was with Comcast. Thank God I got rid of them. Comcast was ridiculously expensive and had a bad “We’re the only game in town” complex to boot. So I went with Verizon. I won’t bore you with the difficulties I have had with Verizon but at least one thing I haven’t had to put up with is the arrogant attitude that I always got from the Comcast representatives. I make the call to Verizon. I go through all the automated prompts and the warning (over and over again) that if the problem is in my house I will have to take out a second mortgage to pay for the repairs. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The problem ALWAYS is outside of my house. At least I got them to stop coming in my house and traipsing through my house with their

Gay Movies

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Now that I have a lot of time off from work, I’m taking good advantage of my Netflix DVD movie rentals. Lately I’ve been renting quite a few gay themed movies. One would think this would be a genre rich for exploitation into many fine dramas. However, one would be wrong. I don’t know why, but almost all of the gay themed films I’ve rented are lousy films. The actors are almost always unattractive actors with stereotypical gay mannerisms. The stories are two dimensional and predictable. The production values are little more than home movies. The movies are an insult to the intelligence of the audience. However, every now and then I discover a little gem. I found one last night. It is called “Shelter.” The two main actors are men who just happen to be gay, not the other way around. The child actor isn’t the usually annoying child actor who dominates the movie with their cutsie poo, smart alecky antics. I’ve seen that so often that I’m sick of it. It was very refreshing to

A Night Out on the Town

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We braved the after effects of the Saturday night winter snow storm and ventured into downtown Rehoboth Beach for a festive night on the town. My friend Bob C. and I were going to see the first performance of the Camp Rehoboth Chorus. But first we met our friends Jack and Paul for dinner at The Feathered One, also known as The Purple Parrot. For several months last year we had a semi-routine of meeting friends on Sunday night at the Parrot for dinner. This was before the Tourist Hordes descending on Rehoboth during the summer. We locals don't even attempt to go into town during the season. But the off season? It's wonderful. We missed our friends Wayne and Harvey last night. Wayne was working and Harvey moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. No more cold weather for Harvey. After a delightful and festive dinner (and after Paul had to have the waiter back out his $9.00 Happy Hour price for a table wine) we were off to the Rehoboth Theater of the Arts f