Sunday, May 31, 2020

America is Burning

Police car ion fire at Philadelphia City Hall last night

Last night was the third night of destructive riots in several major cities in the United States.

The riots were triggered by the video taped torture and public execution of George Floyd by a white policeman (Derrick Chauvin), a 43 year old black man arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill in Minneapolis.  

As I watched the live coverage of the destructive riots last night on TV, my heart was sick. Not only for another needless death of a black man by a white policeman. THIS HAS TO STOP!

I'm trying to search for words to express my feelings of disgust and helplessness about the continued systematic racism and coverup of police brutality. 

Defaced statue of former Philadelphia police commissioner and mayor, Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia's most famous racist

Some of the scenes I watched last night were from Philadelphia, a city where I used to live for over twenty-five years and visit twice a year now.  I watched the rioters loot and deface City Hall, and stores on Chestnut and Walnut Streets on center city Philadelphia. 

I also watched Los Angeles demonstrators break into and loot Nordstrom's department store at The Grove in West Hollywood, only a few blocks from where Pat and I have often stayed when we visited Los Angeles. I knew they would hit Nordstrom's, all those $1,200 Jimmy Choo shoes.

Police have to be held accountable for killing black people.  


Friday, May 29, 2020

Leaky Sink Faucet

My leaky Moen faucet

With all that is going on in the county today (the pandemic and police still killing unarmed black people) I'm going to post a mundane blog post today.

Last night when I returned home from work, I had a late dinner. We don't use our automatic dishwasher but instead wash our dirty dishes by hand. After washing my dinner dishes, I reached under the sink for some old previously used paper towels to wipe the bottom of our dishpan. The paper towels were wet! The previous two days when I reached for those previously used paper towels there were also wet.  Still wet? I examined further and found a leak from in the back of the sink.

I cleared out all the things (too many) that I have under the sink, including the now soaked Cascade soap automatic dishwasher box that we never use. I got my light and examined the underside of the sink.  Where was this leak coming from?

What I feared was that I had a leak like my neighbor had last year.  I discovered that leak when I was watching their house while they were in Florida for a month. I happened to be in the basement and saw drops of water coming from their ceiling and landing on their basement wall to wall carpet.  I went upstairs and discovered the leak was coming from their automatic dishwasher, which they often used. 

I called my neighbors in Florida and informed them of what I had found. My neighbor asked me to turn the main water valve off which I did.  

The end result was that they had to have their whole first floor wood replaced and the wall to wall carpet in the basement, at a total cost of over $18,000.  Insurance covered most of their expense but man oh man, I didn't want to go there. 

I checked my leak and it wasn't a constant leak like their leak. But when I turned the water on, they I noticed water running down the cord from the sprayer of the spigot.  Ah ha!  

I called my plumbing company and arranged for them to come out today.  The plumber came out and confirmed that the leak was coming from a leaky cable of the spigot, where the sprayer is located.  He told me to call Moen who would replace it for free.  After a missed return phone call (long wait, had to leave my number) I made contact with "Beverly" of Moen. I gave her my information on the faucet.  She told me my replacement would be sent in seven to ten days, longer because they were out of stock of that particular faucet hose. 

Just another day in the life folks. Oh, by the way, I return to my regular work schedule at the hotel this Monday. Yes, we're open for business again. Should be interesting!

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Dirty Lowdown Band Tonga Hut Palm Springs CA February 16, 2020

This week Pat and I were scheduled to be in Philadelphia visiting our friend Don McK. 

Every spring and fall we visit Philly and Don.  This is the first year since 2013 we'll miss springtime in Philly. Hopefully we can visit Philly in November.  I'm not holding out much hope though. I think this pandemic will be with us for the foreseeable future, maybe years. 

I fear those days are gone that Pat and I so enjoyed this past February in Palm Springs when we were there immersed in Modernism Week. During one lazy Sunday afternoon, we by chance happened to stop in the Tonga Hut Tiki Bar. On this Sunday The Dirty Lowdown Band out of Los Angeles,

was playing at the Tonga Hut Tiki Bar. Pat had recently discovered the Tonga Hut during one of his solo forays while I was back at our rented condo taking a nap. Yes, I still take an occasional afternoon nap even on our trips.  I need my beauty rest. Plus, I wind down like an old clock if I don't have my afternoon nap.

Well, what a treat this band was. Pat has given me a new appreciation of live music at bars. Up until I met Pat the only live music I experienced was those too loud piano players at gay bars and gay restaurants singing Broadway tunes. I HATE Broadway tunes, especially sung by wannabe gay   Broadway players stuck in the boondocks shout singing to a captive gay audience trying to enjoy their too expensive restaurant meal. I must have been sick that day they handed out the gay gene that says all gays MUST love Broadway tunes. But I digress. 

Pat and I visited the Tonga Hut several times after that lucky strike Sunday afternoon visit. Our waitress remembered us and always brought me my favorite concoction, a drink called the ChaTai and my favorite snack, chicken egg rolls. Pat had the veggie egg rolls.

During our visits to the Tonga Hut we made friends with several very nice people. Here is Pat with "Jennifer"

who lives in one of our favorite places in Palm Springs, Sol Concepts. If Pat and I won the lottery we would immediately buy one of those million dollar units.  They are so ultra modern and glamorous.  

We also made friends with this couple from Iowa who are tiki fanatics. In fact, they had a whole tiki themed living unit at their home in Iowa which they invited us to stay.  

Unfortunately Pat and I probably won't be able to make that trip, we're flyover folks. We just do the coasts.  I'm saying that jokingly but actually that's all I've done my life, is the coasts. What would we do in Iowa? 

Oh how I hope we can replicate our wonderful visit this February 2021. If not, at least I will always have our wonderful memories of our trip to Palm Springs last year.  That's why I take the videos and photos folks, I can relieve those wonderful times. I just hope this isn't the last time we can all live freely like we have in the past. 

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Thoughts On Going Back To Work

Delaware is beginning to reopen but hotels are not included.....yet.  I have returned to work last week.  While I like being back in the rhythm of my regular routine of working part-time, two days a week (Mondays and Thursdays).  

Delaware governor John Carney has issued the tenth iteration of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning June 1st. All hotels, including the small hotel where I work, are not included.

I was collecting unemployment benefits, which included an extra payment to stimulate the economy. I was making more weekly on unemployment that I make a month working. When I returned to work that payment stopped. I knew that situation was too good to be true. It was.

I am glad to return to work though. Working gives my life balance. I understand others may prefer full retirement and no job or volunteer work, but for me working part-time is the best of both worlds. I earn extra money plus I know I am still making my contribution as a good citizen of this country. Ever since my Mother got me a job as a paper boy when I was ten years old, I've been working. Works for me.

When I wasn't working the past six weeks, I felt at loose ends. While I enjoyed receiving the extra stimulus payment, I actually prefer working. But my concern now is that I'll eventually get laid off again because I don't see this pandemic going away this summer. 

Interesting times folks. But I know I am extremely lucky that I have other sources of income and we can survive. We'll always have enough food on the table, even though we don't eat off a table or even eat that much. We done' have to worry about rent because we own our house. Just the other house expense like heat, air conditioning, electric, taxes, lawn maintenance, Internet connection and TV. We'll survive. I think I can even continue those quarterly trips with Pat that I so look forward too.

Interesting times folks.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Ron Returns To Work at the Hotel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Yes, I have returned to work at the hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

I will now work behind a pexiglass partition to protect both our guests and me from infecting one another with the virus.

We're not accepting guests just yet. However, our governor has opened the boardwalk this weekend. He was forced to because both neighboring states of New Jersey and Maryland have opened their beaches.  

Today is a beautiful, sunny, spring day with a slight breeze. Route One (aka "Coastal Highway") is viewable from our sunroom. For the first time in weeks I both hear and see vehicles streaming down Route One towards their destination of Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City, Maryland. There are restrictions still in place like social distancing, wearing masks and no lying in the sand working on their tans.

Bill and I just returned from our biweekly visit to BJ's Wholesale Club in Millsboro. Everyone we saw was wearing masks and keeping appropriate social distancing. The shelves were mostly well stocked. We got in and checked out with the usual BJ's efficiency. 

Life is returning to some semblance of normal, albeit with face masks, hand sanitizers, and social distancing. Handshakes are gone. Hugs are gone. Get used to it folks. 

I for one am glad I'm back at work. Even though I only work two days a week, those days give me a balance in my retirement that I like. I need the extra money for my quarterly trips with Pat plus I like interacting with hotel guests. Also, I still have that need to be a productive member of our society. And working two days a week makes me appreciate my time off more. When I just have endless weeks of "time off", it doesn't feel the same.

Stay safe everyone and enjoy the spring time weather.

Oh yes, I know I need a haircut. Who doesn't these days?  I have one scheduled next Tuesday. Can't wait.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Going Back to Work This Week

Thursday I will be returning to work at the hotel. 

The doors will be locked and we are not accepting guests at this time. We're going back to get the hotel ready for opening, at twenty-five percent capacity, on June 1st. 

I will be working the 2 PM to 8 PM shift. My responsibility will be to answer the phone. Housekeeping will give the hotel a thorough cleaning for our reopening in June 1st.

There will be a few changes. My temperature will be taken upon entering the premises. I will wear a face mask and work behind a plastic shield. 

I will no longer be handling the guest's credit cards. They will run their own credit card through the machine. And of course I will be maintaining a proper social distance of at least six feet.

The new normal folks, should be interesting.

Yeah, I noticed in the generic image of a hotel front desk clerk checking the temperature of a guess, "Where are the face masks?" 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Mothers and Brothers

 Brothers Isaac and John - 1954
Brothers John and Isaac 1979

"My boys", that is how my Mother always used to refer to me and my two younger brothers. 

Yesterday  I posted my annual Mother's Day tribute to our Mother. Both my brothers and I agree what we had the best mom ever. Even though she died ten years ago, she lives on through us.  She raised us to be responsible adults.  Even though she wasn't a "huggy" Mom, probably because she never had a mother to hug her, she loved us all the same without that outward show of affection.  In later life we (my brothers and I) would often hug her jokingly, because she would always stiffen up like a log when we did so.

Me and my brothers (I'm the tallest on the right with Isaac and John) during a visit to my cousins and Aunt Mable and Uncle Ed Tipton - 1947

At the end of her life, we took turns caring for her, fulfilling our promise that we wouldn't put her in a nursing home. It was a close call during the end of her life because she did become difficult, but we were able to keep that promise.

Now my brothers and I are at the end of our lives. Both my younger brothers are seriously ill.  Fortunately for them they both have a loving daughter that is their care giver. Thank goodness for them. I'm not in that situation though, I'm Bill's caregiver. If and when he goes, I'm on my own. And I can tell you right now, there isn't going to be anybody else coming into this house. Except maybe a dog or/and cat to keep my company.

These days during my layoff from work (I return this Thursday) I've been organizing my photos.  I came across these two photos of my brothers taken many years ago.  Growing up I didn't hang around them except that we lived in the same house and slept in the same bed.
Me getting ready for bed 1957). Brother John took this phone, brother Isaac was already in the bed. I hated this bedding arrangement. To this day I sleep alone. Yes, ALONE.

Yep, that's right, the three of us slept in the same bed until I got my own fold away bed after incessant complaining to my Mother. Of course we were still in the same bedroom but I finally got my own bed.

My first bed - still shared the bedroom with my brothers (they had bunk beds) but I had my own corner of  the bedroom. Hallelujah!

 I was fourteen years old when that momentous event happened. Anyway, back to the two photos of my brothers. It seems that brother John was always showing brother Isaac how something worked. The photos of the three of us together always show me a slight distance from both of them. 

Isaac, me and John. Enjoying our Dixie Cup treat after weeding Pop's corn Summer of 1954

Soon the three of us will be a memory. Hopefully some family member will rescue my old photos that are in my basement media room, here on this computer and posted to my blog. That would be nice but I doubt that will happen. No one in my extended family (my brothers' children, grand children and great grandchildren) has shown the slightest interest in our shared family history. That is sad but true. I try not to think about it while I'm here. When I'm gone it won't matter because I will no longer feel bad about it.  

Brother John, me and Isaac with Isaac's daughter Dawn and granddaughter Kandacc - 1987