Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Ride Down Hollywood Boulevard



One of the joys of our annual visit to Hollywood is that Pat and I have no set schedule. We just "go with the flow."  The one set thing we do (at my insistence) was attending a taping of "The Price is Right."  Which, by the way, we will appear (in the audience) on the May 2nd and 3rd show on TV.  Check your TV listings. 

This post features one of our rides around Hollywood one evening. During a previous visit we walked down Hollywood Boulevard to Hollywood and Vine.  Walking past the famous In and Out Burger, which I have yet to sample. Next year for sure!

This year, we didn't get a chance to walk down to Hollywood and Vine and mingle with the touristas but we did ride down there.  If you look closely you can see the Walk of Fame.  

As a matter of fact, we missed out a lot this year during our visit. For the second year in a row we didn't visit Oil Can Harry's gay bar.  We visited there the first year (remember when I fell on the disco ball glittering floor to "Ahhhs!"?)  I have yet to take any of the studio tours.  The Paramount studio is nearby where we stay.  Again, next year for sure.  But we did visit the new Ikea store in Burbank.

Well anyway folks, here are a couple of fun videos of our ride down the famous Hollywood Boulevard at night. Very interesting and always fun.  Next year we walk (or maybe skateboard).  Yeah, sure.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Thoughts on Blogging and Meeting That Special Friend

Me and Pat in Los Angeles this past February


Lately I've been phoning in my blog posts. I go through these periods when my interest in my blog wanes. However, do not be concerned, my interest is and will always be there. 

I began this blog back in 2005.  I've been blogging for over twelve years now. My posts have ranged from everything from childish, self-absorbed rants to truly thoughtful observations on life here in southern Delaware during my retirement.  

I have made several very good friends through my blog that I would never have known otherwise. For that will be eternally grateful because these friends have truly enriched my life.

Some of my blogger friends who I met up with in Palm Springs California this past February


But by the same token I have seen some of the ugliness that lurks out there in the ether of the blogosphere. That's why I have to moderate the comments left on my blog postings. 


I read other blogs and sometimes wish I could be as interesting as those bloggers. But alas, I am who I am. A seventy-five year old gay man who has worked hard all his live (and continues to work) to attain some measure of comfort and self-worth in my life. That goal of mine has largely been attained.  

Perhaps the greatest reward of my blog was meeting and acquiring the friendship of my Travel Buddy Pat of Toronto Canada. When I began my blog one of my reasons was to open my chances of meeting someone who was a lot like me.  Oh sure I have a life-time partner (and now spouse) of Bill for these past soon to be 53 years.  But Bill and I have little if anything in common except for the fact that we both like each other. Opposites attract for sure. But all my life I wanted to meet that person who was a lot like me.  A person who had the same interests as me, who was thoughtful, funny, witty and (of course) cute.  A person who didn't try to control or take advantage of me.  And most important a person who liked me as much as I liked him.  

My thoughts when I began my blog to meet someone like that was that there are several billion people in the world.  As many people as there are grains of sand on the beach. Surely there would be someone like that in the world who would stumble across my blog.  

After several years of blogging I gave up on meeting that person.  Then out of the blue about three and a half years go this person from Toronto Canada left a comment on my blog while I was posting another blog. First time that happened.  I answered is comment right away, thinking nothing more of it other than being polite.  

One thing led to another and we started to talk via FaceTime.  Ironically Pat had never read my blog before. He found my blog after seeing my photo during my appearance at the Delaware State legislature testifying for marriage equality. He was interested in me and did some research and found my blog.

A funny thing about our meeting was I didn't think too much about Pat during our FaceTime conversations other than he was a nice guy.  I didn't really become interested until I met him in person during his trip to Delaware in August of 2013.  When I met him in person I realized this was the Someone that I've been looking for all my life.  He was me. I felt totally comfortable with him.  

All those years hanging out in bars looking for this Someone.  Actually hanging out in all the wrong places too.  And here all along this Someone was in Toronto.  And I would never have found him except for my blog.

Folks, I'm not a religious person but I do believe in Fate.  I always knew I would meet this person, always.  I never doubted it.  

Now all you conservative traditionalists, do not worry.  I'm not leaving Bill.  Bill and I will always be together until one of us dies.  But I know now my life is complete with my friendship with Pat and life with my spouse, Bill. And to think this was all made possible by blogging. 

If I should die tomorrow, I will do so without any regrets that I missed something from life.  I haven't missed anything folks. I am one of the lucky ones in this world, I have realized my dreams.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Good Riddance

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah

Chaffetz won't run for reelection


Two totally despicable human beings will no longer be with us. The first is Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Republican who doggedly investigated Hillary Clinton before the 2016 presidential election but declined to investigate President Donald Trump, abruptly announced today that he won't run for re-election. 


Chaffetz used the tired old excuse of "spending more time with his family" excuse.  Yeah, right.  Chaffetz knows he has no political future after Trump was elected president and he has to defend Trump at his town hall meetings. And of course Chaffetz, as head of the House investigative committee will not investigate Trump, even though there is a wealth of things to investigate with Trump. Chaffetz was quite happy making up things about Hillary to investigate. Not so happy investigating The Liar.  Good riddance.


Bill O’Reilly Officially Out at Fox News Amid Sexual Harassment Claims


Bill O'Reilly



The other announced departure today is Bill O'Reilly of Faux Fox News, an oxymoron if there ever was one.  O'Reilly, a serial sexual harasser, who Fox News has literally spent millions in settlements to his accusers, will not be back to his NO SPIN ZONE, "The O'Reilly Factor."  Did Fox News all of a sudden get a conscience? No, "The O'Reilly Factor" lost most of its sponsors. Money. Fox News would be losing money.  Goodbye Mr. No Spin Zone.  Good riddance.

Medical Update



Last week was busy with three medical appointments. All in one day too!

Bill went for his week after cataract surgery update and all went well. I still continue to apply the drops to his right eye. That will continue until the end of this month. 

At first Bill said he couldn't see any difference in his right eye.  He said there was "a cloud" over his eye. However, as his eye has healed his vision has improved. He can see things in a distance clearly.  In his left eye, which will be done in June, his vision is still cloudy.  Bill was considering only getting one eye done but of the annoyance of having the drops put in every day.  Bill doesn't like his routine disrupted. But I've convinced him that his vision will be much improved when he gets both eyes done and he can get his driver's license back. 

Also last Thursday I had to get an X-ray of my bladder.  I haven't gotten the results yet. I just left a message to get the results. Let's see how this goes because I haven't had a good experience with the staff of my urology doctor. Hopefully they have had an attitude adjustment since my last "conversation" with them.

Now for the good news. I had my six month checkup with my doctor at the VA.  My PSA continues to be low (.2)  No change with is GREAT news.  I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May of 2013.  I had a seed implant procedure to zap the cancer which was localized in my prostate gland. I can now add "cancer survivor" to my medical resume.

This week was a pleasure, no doctor's appointments.  My next appointment is with my urology doctor for a cystoscopy. A benign name for a very invasive medical procedure which I  AM NOT looking forward to.

Now to enjoy this wonderful spring weather.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hotel Front Desk Agent

Me at my desk as a sales associate at the Hampton Inn, Lionville, PA 2000

Yesterday I marked my tenth anniversary as a hotel front desk agent at the hotel where I work part-time in Lewes, Delaware.

Wow, time flies when you're (I'm) having fun.

I began my hotel career as the first job I had when I was discharged from the Army in January of 1963.

My first job was as a night auditor at the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel in Pittsburgh (of course) Pennsylvania.  I was paid $250 a month, payable on the 15th and the 30th.  I could hardly survive on that pay, which was less than my Army pay of $389.00 a month which was payable once a month. And in the Army I had my housing, food and medical care provided free of charge. 

I only had that job for three months before I quit and moved back to my family home in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  There I got a job for $80 a week as an accounts payable clerk at a local scrap yard.

I had that job for two years then I got a job at Girard Bank in Philadelphia which I kept for the next twenty-two years.  

Then came the bank mergers.  I left Girard Bank and worked at Fidelity Bank for the next seven years. I left that job because I was tired of working in the city and homophobia on the job.  

I got another job in my hometown of Downingtown for the next four years. However, I ran into homophobia again and was fired from my job when a new boss (the homophobe) took over.  That's when I returned to my hotel roots.  

I applied for a part-time job at the Hampton Inn in Lionville as a night auditor.  That job turned into a full time job as a front desk agent and sales associate.  I had that job for four years also until we sold our house and moved to Delaware.

Me with one of my co-workers at the Hampton Inn, Lionvville, PA - Angelo Vasquez - 2000

After we got settled in Delaware I applied at all the hotels in the area and was very fortunate to get a job at a boutique hotel in historic Lewes, Delaware. And that folks is where I have been working for the last ten years as of yesterday.  

The Hampton Inn, Lionville, PA - where I worked for four years - 2000

A few weeks ago one of my co-workers asked me how long I was going to work at the hotel.  My answer was "As long as I can walk into the hotel and I know what I'm doing."

I enjoy hotel work.  I like to meet people and I enjoy the challenge. 

Me with "Barbara and Bonnie" from NYC - two very difficult customers of the Hampton Inn but who LOVED me! - 2000

I also like working part-time.  I could never work full-time again. I do have do recognize my age limitations after all.  

Some of my co-workers at the Hampton Inn, Lionville, PA 2000

So yesterday, as I was checking in guests last night and taking phone calls for reservations I remembered that I've been at this hotel for the past ten years.  Where DOES the time go?  This means I've been working at hotels for the last nineteen years.  Wow.  

One thing about working at hotels, you'll never get rich.  I make $12.00 an hour.  I started at $9.00 an hour.  Not much increase for nineteen years of hotel front desk agent employment but I make enough to pay for my trips to California and Canada.  

Life is good folks.

Me with my co-worker "Robert" at where I work now - 2015

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Male Restroom Etiquette

 


I've posted this before but it bears posting again, in case anyone missed my original posting. 

Happy Easter everyone!


Friday, April 14, 2017

United Airlines - Fairness, Respect and Dignity For Your Customers?




Normally I'm not a fan of lawyers but this lawyer for Dr. David Dao, the paying airline passenger who was forcibly and violently removed from his seat on a United Airlines plane, has it exactly right. For too long we have let some airlines and some other businesses who have a monopoly (hear that Comcast?) to treat us with less than fairness, respect and dignity.   

Recently when I made an appointment with my urologist I was treated rudely and dismissively by a person in his office.  I called because I was in distress from passing a kidney stone, one of many I have passed in the past few years.  This person barked at me, didn't listen to what I was saying and dismissed me.  I was so angry that I called her back and gave her an earful.  I told her not to talk to me like I was a child and to talk to me like an adult.  I told her she was doing me no favors and to "drop the attitude."  I don't like to be this way, confrontational, but sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself or else people will walk all over you or drag you out of a plane, breaking your face in the process.

What especially galled me about the United Airlines incident was the United CEO's Oscar Munoz's


Oscar Munoz, the clueless CEO of United Airlines. Proof positive that the fish rots from the top.

initial response.  He didn't apologize to the customer that they wrongly and violently removed from plan but for "re-accomodating the passenger." 


 WHAT THE FRICK?  


And this jerk just receive a COMMUNICATIONS award the previous year?  What planet does he live on?  Talk about tone deaf. 

It took him three times to issue statement until he finally apologized to Dr. Dao.  And even then the apology didn't sound sincere. The apology sounded like it was crafted by a committee.  I guess Oscar didn't want to apologize to Dr. Dao because he was afraid of acknowledging wrong and being sued.  Well, I have news for his dumb ass, he and his company will be sued big time. Then he's on a morning TV talk show and he's asked if Dr. Dao "was at fault in any way" and this clueless, arrogant bastard , wait for it, 


HESITATES!  

Man oh man, what a total jerk. And he is the Communicator of the Year?

Hopefully this is a wake up call to the airline industry that has been riding roughshod over its customers since 9/11 gave them unbridled power under the umbrella of "airline security."  

There is literally no way in this world that an airline has the right to forcibly remove a paying customer from their airline. NO WAY.

This past week I kept my appointment at my urologist's office after my blowup on the phone. I wasn't looking forward to the appointment and another confrontation but I wasn't going to take any more "attitude" from the staff.  I don't care if they are the only game (urologist) in town.  That is no way to treat their customers/patients the way that office person talked (barked) to me on the phone.  

All was quiet when I went into the office. Could hear a pin drop.  I didn't bring up the phone call and no one else did either.  We went through the normal procedure (filling out multiple forms - again) and then the doctor saw me. Again, no mention made of the "incident."  However, he did schedule me for a cystoscopy.  



Hmm, maybe this is the payback. The cystoscopy is scheduled for June. I'm not sure if I'm going to take it. He thinks my kidney stone is in my bladder. I think it is too because I don't remember passing it. I haven't made my decision yet but I do want to get rid of this kidney stone if it is in my bladder. 



Yes, it is very invasive. What's worse? Being dragged off a plane and having your face smashed or having a rigid instrument shoved up your penis?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane



So what happens when an airline decides four of its employees have a seat on a fully booked airplane?  They bump paying passengers.  And, believe it or not, they are within the law. Check the small print on your ticket.

However, yesterday the arrogance of the airline industry fell victim to the ever present smart phone video recording the almost every individual has.

United Airlines needed four seat for THEIR EMPLOYEES who had to be in Louisville, Kentucky, three hundred miles away from the departure point in Chicago.  They offered an incentive of $400 for any passengers willing to give up their seat. No takers.  Then they offered $800. Still no takers. Then they randomly selected PAYING passengers to leave the place to make room for THEIR EMPLOYEES (so much for the "customer comes first" mantra).  

Three PAYING customers got up to leave.  However, the four passenger, a man of Chinese ancestry, refused to leave.  He said he was a doctor and had to be in Louisville the next day. He was on the plane with his wife. 

Since he refused to leave, the airline employee who was in charge, called the airport police to forcibly remove this passenger. The above video shows this outrageous decision on the part of the airline. 

The airport police dragged the screaming passenger out of his seat, hitting his head on an armrest in the process. 

Now the worst part, the CEO of United Airlines defends this outrage blaming the passenger for being "belligerent".  Excuse me? The Chicago police said the passenger "fell" while being "re-accomodated" (a new word for forcibly removing passengers from their paid seat) from the plane.

Folks, I don't travel that much, my last trip being from Los Angeles, but I can tell you that the worst part of my trips are the airlines. I wasn't dragged out of my seat during my last flight but I did have a tough time, both going and returning.  I literally dread the flights as do most people. Something has to be done to stop this outrage and be done now.  This will not stand.