Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017

Me in my last Halloween costume trolling Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth Beach 2009

Scary times folks!  

Here we go with another Halloween. I won't be dressing up this year either.  These holidays just come up on my too fast. Years past I always used to make a big deal out of Halloween.  From the time I was a little kid of ten years old trick and treating up and down Washington Avenue until my adult Halloween days when I hit the gay bars in Philadelphia dressed as an Arab sheik. 


Me, Halloween 1980 in Philadelphia, PA

Not this year. 


Me and my late friend Bob McCamley, Halloween 1979 in Philadelphia, PA

Several reasons why I'm not immersing myself in the Halloween festivities this year.  The main  reason is that I don't drive at night. The last time I went out for Halloween was in 2009, eight years ago!  Where oh where does the time go?

Maybe next year, if I'm here.


Me (tall white haired slasher in back) with my late neighbor's Al and Don - 2007

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Greasy Spoon In Canada

Pat and I in front of the John Street Diner

My usual breakfast is a bowl of Walmart (cheap) bran flakes with unsweetened almond milk and strawberries sweetened with Truvia.  However, when I go on my quarterly vacation jaunts with my Canadian Travel Buddy Pat, I try something different for breakfast.

I grew up eating greasy spoon breakfasts of fried eggs, home fries, sausage, and scrapple with buttered toast and jam.  On weekends my Mother would make bacon grease gravy to smother homemade southern biscuits. Thus, when I'm on "holiday", I indulge in a greasy spoon restaurants. 

When in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada last month, Pat took me to the John Street diner. Oh my!  For $4.99 (Canadian dollar yet) I got a breakfast of two fried eggs, sausage, home fries and toast.  


Pat has pancakes with fake maple syrup and I have my usual greasy mess

Yum!  Of course I couldn't eat like this every day but I am on holiday.  Not only was the breakfast good but it was cheap and brought back fond memories of growing up in the Fifties when the whole family sat down together for a breakfast. Those days are long gone aren't they folks?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Procrastination

Me at Pat's countertop in his fabulous new condo in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


Folks!  

I'm here!

I really am!

Oh my, so much going on in my "retired" world. 

Just this morning I finished updating and mailing the minutes of our homeowners' association board committee meeting.  Yes, I HAVE been roped into the position as (acting) secretary. I hardly have enough time to do all my other activities and yet here I am, SECRETARY to our homeowners' association. A subject worthy of several blog posts, which you know I WILL do.

"Marie", one of my faithful blog followers left a comment about seeing enough of that Harvey Weinstein photo I left for you all to see for days on my last blog post.  For that I do apologize folks.  That wasn't my intention. With this blog post that offensive image of Harvey the Pig will go away.

Marie and others have asked for more blog posts about my Canadian vacation of which I fully intend to oblige. I have many photos and videos to share.  What's holding me back though besides procrastination is that I was going to use You Tube's Video Editor, but they discontinued it!  Now I have to use iMovie on my iMac and that's another whole time consuming activity what I have been procrastinating getting into.  But, I will.

Last Sunday Bill and I made the two and a half hour drive to Pennsylvania to attend my 58th high school class reunion.  More photos and videos taken there too folks of which I intend to share, hopefully after I make some cool video collages in iMovie.  By the way, this was my first class reunion that Bill attended with me.  For about forty years I've been asking him to go with me to my high school class reunions and he finally does when he's 89 years old.  My classmates think I took up with an OLD MAN.  Thanks Bill (smile).

Bill (center) at my class reunion with two of my classmates.

So folks, that's where I am now. Still trying to get my act together and wondering where all the hours go in a day.  And to think I used to work full-time and do so much in addition to my work and commute time.  How did I ever do that? Maybe because I didn't take daily two hour afternoon naps like I just did today.  

Have a great day!!!

Note: the header photo on this blog I took of the lobby of the Royal Connaught Hotel in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. That is Pat in the green T-shirt soaking in the luxuriousness of the lobby. Some lobby Pat!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein 

Many years ago I used to always watch the Oscars Awards show. One of the reasons I stopped watching the Oscars because I was tired of hearing almost every Oscar winner thanking Harvey Weinstein. 

After multiple thanks to Harvey Weinstein, I thought "Who is this Harvey Weinstein?"  "Is he some god?"  Then I heard Meryl Streep thank Harvey Weinstein and yes, she called him a god.

Being the inquiring person that I am, I did some research on this "god."  I did a Google search and came upon an image of Harvey Weinstein. I thought to myself "Now there is a stereotypical Hollywood mogul who probably requires a casting couch approach to casting his films."  But being the thoughtful and reasonable person that I am (no laughing), I didn't want to be unfair and make a rash judgement.

Over the years the accolades continued for Harvey Weinstein. WTF?  Ron Howard is a great director and I didn't hear near the amount of accolades his way.  Why all this adulation to Harvey Weinstein?

After a while I wasn't the only on who noticed the excessive "thank you Harvey Weinstein" accolades. In even posted to my Twitter account several times about all the "thank you Harvey Weinstein"as a joke.

Now it has been revealed that Harvey Weinstein is a sexual predator. He used his position of power and influence to take advantage of women who had much less power than him. Harvey Weinstein was who I thought he was, a pig.  

Of course I am disgusted by Harvey Weinstein and his actions but I am even more disgusted by those in the entertainment industry who know about his behavior and not doing anything about it. And I'm not talking about the women he assaulted and harassed. I understand why they didn't and couldn't come forward when they were harassed and assaulted. They didn't have the power. But there are those in the entertainment industry who are in power who knowingly looked the other way. 

You can't tell me that many didn't know of Weinstein's behavior. Especially those in the Weinstein company who enabled him by settling with at least eight women who Weinstein harassed and assaulted. 

I commend the courage of the actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd who were courageous and went public with their experience with Weinstein. Now that they have broken the dam, many more women went public with their encounters with Weinstein.  What is disappointing is the silence of males in the movie industry. Have you noticed that too?  

Here is my suggestion for these movie types. At the next Academy Awards ceremony, leave all those ribbons de jour that you wear on your lapel home.  Leave all that phony baloney hypocritical displays of concern home.  When you are up at the podium accepting your Academy award, congratulating yourselves, apologize to the world for enabling this pig called Harvey Weinstein.  You should all be ashamed of yourselves for permitting this behavior to continue for so many years.  Show the same outrage at Weinstein's behavior that you should towards those other pigs Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly.  

And thank God we won't ever have to hear another 
"I want to thank Harvey Weinstein without this award would not have been possible." 

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Canadian Holiday 2017 Part One






Me at Pat take our seats early at the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 

Okay folks, I'm going to share some of the events I participated in during my recent Canadian holiday.  One of my blog followers reminded me that I haven't said much about my Canadian holiday. Here goes!

This is the third year I've visited my friend Pat F. in Canada. The past two years I visited Pat at his home in Toronto. However, this year I visited Pat in his new home in Hamilton. 

Pat sold his home in Toronto and purchased a sparkling, brand new condo at the renovated Royal Connaught Hotel in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. A former steel town of 500,000 or so souls that fell on hard times but is now undergoing a rebirth as a millennial destination of Canadians fed up with the congestion and expense of Toronto. 

I've already mentioned in previous blog posts of my difficulty in going through customs at the Toronto airport.  I won't belabor that extreme frustration other than to say I'll never put my body at the Toronto airport again in my lifetime.

And I've already mentioned that Pat's condo was a hotbox, with air conditioning that wasn't working properly.  I couldn't stand the heat so I got a hotel room instead at the Sheraton hotel a few blocks away from Pat's residence. That's another whole store that I haven't delved into all the way either but I might in future blog posts when I feel like venting.

Usually on our trips we don't plan anything special other than to dine at new restaurants, visit furniture stores, see some movies and play some Scrabble. However, this trip Pat planned two special events. One was to take me to a professional football game. That he did and it was fabulous!  I will post about that experience in a future post. 

The other event was a listening to a symphony orchestra in person. Something which I have never done in my 75 years of occupying space on this planet.  Pat took care of that omission by getting two tickets for us to attend the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. 

I've always loved symphonies. Not opera but symphonies. I especially love Russian composers. And what luck that the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was celebrating Russian composers the week I was visiting Pat. 

Rimsky-Korsakov
Stravinsky
Borodin
Tchaikovsky.  

Wow. Music just doesn't get any better than this.

So how did I like hearing this music in person?  I LOVE IT!  In fact I loved it so much I have brought two tickets for the Philadelphia Orchestra for me and Pat when he visits me next month in Philadelphia. I'm going to do it again!  

I've included a few videos of our attendance at the concert.  I didn't take any videos of the actual music playing because I wasn't sure of the protocol of videotaping the actual concert, even if it was a few seconds.  The only videos I took was of us taking out seats, the tune up and the end, when the encores took place.  I didn't want to be rude and actually take videos of the thrilling music itself. Now I wish I had.  Can't help myself.  

Thanks Pat for this new experience. 

Pat dressed for the concert - still got those sandals!

I'm so happy we found each other and can enjoy these experiences.  I've always said it's never to late to experience new joys.  


Saturday, October 07, 2017

Thoughts On A Warm Autumn Day



Another unseasonalbly warm day here in southern Delaware. 

I have bulbs to plant, debris to clean and fresh air to breath. But I cannot do it with these 80 to 90 degree temperatures. 

Fall is probably my favorite time of year. Probably because that's when my birthday falls (no pun intended).  Yes folks, I will be 76 years old in just a few short weeks.  And I ask myself, why am I still alive?

Thursday night at work I was talking to one of our regular guests about life, and death.  This is one of the many things I like about my hotel job. I meet a lot of people, some of which I have made lasting friendships. They are the guests who return year after year. And since I've been at the hotel going on eleven years now, I've made quite a few friends. 

This guest, his wife died a few years ago. I asked him how he was doing. He's a few years older than I. He said he sold his home and moved into a retirement community. I discuss these things with others who are my age and in similar circumstances. Bill just turned 89 years old. Odds are that I will survive him. What will I do?

Will I continue to live in this 5,268 square foot home with four bedrooms and four bathrooms and an acre of lawn to maintain?  Do I want to rattle around in this house . . . . alone? Yet I can't imagine living with anyone other than Bill. God, it took me so long to train him and I'm still working on it.  

While visiting Pat in Hamilton (Canada) a few weeks ago, I took in his new living arrangements.  He now lives in downtown Hamilton in a condo of a renovated luxury hotel.  His condo is small but has everything one (a single older man) could ask. I could see myself living like that.  Of course I would have to get rid of a massive amount of THINGS I have accumulated over my past seventy-five years. Hard to do but not impossible. Yes, I could see myself living that downsized lifestyle.  But could I afford the monthly maintenance charge?  That's the catch folks, when you get older there's always a catch.  I doubt if I could afford those monthly maintenance charges.

I'm used to a lifestyle now that I can afford by working part-time to supplement my income and Bill's retirement income. Once both of those sources of income are gone, my lifestyle would probably have to undergo some radical changes. 

For most of my life I've been poor. No exaggeration, I've been poor. There have been two short periods that I enjoyed a comfortable standard of living but never anything luxurious by any means. One period was when I left one bank where I worked and was collecting severance pay while working at another bank. Another period has been the past few years in which I inherited a small amount of money from my Mother's estate in which I was able to pay off our mortgage. During these periods I have often thought "So this is how the other Half lives?"  Nice!

But no complaints here, no recriminations or "what ifs?"  I've had a good life.  I've been luckier than most. I'm way past my sell by date. However, I do have to think of the next (final) chapter of this life adventure than began at 9:30 AM on a November Sunday morning in West Chester, Pennsylvania. As I discussed with the guest at our hotel, I'm not afraid of dying, just concerned (as was he) of how I'm going to get there. 

In the past few years I've seen the long, protracted and humiliating deaths of two of my very close friends.  Friends who I have discussed this very subject with.  They didn't want to go "that way" and yet they did. 

I don't know how I'm going to depart this earth but one thing I know for sure. I have another trip coming up at the end of next month. A trip to my old home town of Philadelphia.  I will be reunited with my friend Pat.  Pat has also fallen in love with Philadelphia. I've already secured the tickets to attend our first Philadelphia Orchestra Symphony. Prime seats folks. At this time of my life, it's all prime seats.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Yet Another Mass Shooting



The past week I've been resting up, recovering from my stressful ten days in Canada. From my nightmarish Toronto airport ordeal to trying to avoid the heat and humidity of late summer Canada, I'm trying to gather my good memories to post to my blog.  But first I had to return to work at the hotel which further delayed my sharing of my Canadian vacation experience. Not only did I work my regular shift on Thursday evening but I had to fill in for my co-worker on Saturday during the day shift. And just my luck, this Saturday the hotel was the site of a major wedding. And you know how I LOVE weddings at the hotel.  This was a same sex wedding (two guys), thus not as stressful as the straight weddings where the mothers of the groom and/or bride drive everyone up the wall with their demands and changes.

Just when I was getting settled down comes across the news of another mass murder shooting.  This one in Los Vegas, Nevada where a lone gunman kills 59 people and injures 527 people who innocently attending a county music event in the street outside the shooter's hotel room at the Mandalay Bay hotel. The murderer used a machine gun to kill and maim all those people. I thought machine guns were against the law. 

I have to tell you folks, I am just deflated. What kind of society do we live in? Why are we the only major industrial country that lets so many of its citizens accumulate such an arsenal of weapons? Sure, I can see hunters having weapons. I can understand individuals owning guns to protect themselves in their homes. But why in God's name (and I'm not religious) does this country not outlaw semi-automatic and automatic weapons whose only purpose is to kill people?  Are those who accumulate all these weapons in their homes really afraid that someday the government forces are going to come for them?  Where are our politicians who have their pockets stuffed with political donations from the NRA who are silent every time there is a mass murder like happen in Los Vegas with semi-automatic and automatic weapons?  Is their office worth more than all those lives that are lost and those who are wounded and have their lives changed forever?

I heard on the news last night that some of those young concert goers who were wounded are permanently paralyzed. One girl survived a bullet through her eye that is now lodged in her brain. She survived. But did she?

I am disheartened folks. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. Exhausted by the ignorant and cruel man who poses as our president. Our fake president.  

"Thoughts and prayers" are offered by many including the politicians who will do NOTHING. "Thoughts and prayers" aren't going to bring back those who died or make those who were wounded better. The time for thoughts and prayers are over. The time is to finally do something, ANYTHING, which will make the ownership of semi-automatic weapons illegal for everyone except the police and military.  

The time is NOW.