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Showing posts from 2008

Happy New Year

Last night several of my friends agreed to join me for Mumbo Jumbo Burger night at the Purple Parrot restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. This was our New Year's Eve celebration. We're too old to stay up for tomorrow night's standard New Year's Eve celebration. We'll all be in bed by 10 o'clock tomorrow night except me, and I'll be working at the Inn until 11 PM. I will get home in time to watch the countdown but it will be in the comfort and quiet of my own bedroom. I prefer that alternative than to paying some outrageously high cover charge to bring in the New Year's at some eatery and then take my chances getting hit by a drunk driver on the way home. We discussed New Year's Eve celebrations of the past and we all agreed that New Year's Eve is perhaps the most overrated holiday of the year. Big whoop. The best times I had on New Year's was back in the 70's during my peak bar hopping and socializing days. I'm long past those days both m

The Week In Between

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Christmas is over. Santa is gone back to the North Pole and the carolers have hung up their coats and scarves. In only a few days, the New Year will be celebrated around the world. This is the week between Christmas and New Years that is effectively a No Man’s Land. Almost all of the original TV programming is gone from the tube. The talking heads are, for the most part, off to sunnier climes. Not for them the cold winter chill of New York City or Washington, D.C. Reruns of old and tired programs contaminate the airwaves. We don’t have a choice. You will watch that umpteenth running of “Lockup!” on MSNBC whether you like it or not. Having just come off of a five day stint of working at the hotel, I am exhausted. Not that the hotel was full, it wasn’t. However, whenever one is behind the front desk one is on call for the strangest questions and requests. This year it was to arrange silk flower petals on the wedding night bed for two of the hotel’s guests who were married earlier in

Tis Christmas Eve at the Inn

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It is all quiet in the hotel now. The guests have departed to visit their children and grandchildren, bearing their gifts as they go. The silence of the lobby is punctuated by the clatter of the ice machine turning over new ice cubes and Christmas music playing on CD’s in the background. And here I am, exactly where I want to be on this holiest of all days in the Christian calendar, by myself. Many years ago I discovered the special peace of Christmas Eve. When I was young I was all caught up in the tradition of our culture to rush about getting just that right Christmas gift. I would be oh so careful in wrapping the presents in appropriate Christmas paper, just like I saw in the movies and on TV shows about Christmas. I would take my profit sharing bonus from the bank where I work, and spend it all on Christmas presents for everyone from the mailman to my nieces, nephew, friends and coworkers. These days I only buy Christmas presents for my Mother. Her 85th birthday is today, one

Celebrating Chanukah at Harvey's

This is the time of the year for religious celebration. While many celebrate the birth of Christ with the observance of Christmas, there are others in our community of the Jewish faith who celebrate their religious holiday of Chanukah . I am fortunate to have a friend who is of the Jewish faith. He (Harvey) invited me to his home again this year (as he did last year) to help him observe his religious observance along with his other friends. My friend Wayne and I arrived at Harvey’s home last evening a bit early. Harvey answered his doorbell in jeans and bare chested; fresh out of the shower. We were too early. Oh well, we’re all friends. Later we found out that another couple, Tim and Miles, arrived about an hour earlier than we did. So we weren’t the first. Just goes to show how anxious we were to participate in this annual event. On this special occasion Harvey prepares his special latkes . Last year was the first time I ate these fried potato, onion and garlic pancakes. They are

Christmas Party 2008

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Tonight was our annual Christmas party for all of us Inn employees. I’ve worked at several hotels over the years (Pittsburgh Hilton, Hampton Inn, Marriott Inn) but I have never worked for a hotel that treated its employees as well as the small boutique hotel that I now work for in Lewes, Delaware. The reason is because the owner of the hotel takes a personal interest in his property and employees. This year the Christmas party was held at the Second Street Grille, an upscale eatery on Second Street in Lewes. While I frequently recommend the Second Street Grill to my guests in the hotel, I’ve never eaten there myself because of the price range. My budget is more Bob Evans than Second Street Grille. Everyone was there tonight. Many brought guests. I took my neighbor Barbara. She is always delightful company. The restaurant set up two tables for our private party. I’m not sure, but I think we were seated at Table B. The owner and the manager, assistant manager and sales director were

Frustration

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Having just got off of a five day stretch of work at the Inn, I was looking forward to the next week and a half of doing what I want to do. My first plan to visit my Mom in Pennsylvania went awry the first day. I had planned to spend three days visiting Mom. Monday, my first day off, was bright and sunny. But alas, the rest of the week rain was forecast. Since Pennsylvania is in a colder temperate zone, there was a good possibility that rain would be freezing rain. Thus I postponed my trip until this Friday or Saturday, when sunny skies are forecast again. My next plan was to work on my new computer, building my genealogy files. But first, I wanted to print out a few pictures as a Christmas gift for my neighbor Barbara. An innocent enough task one would say. Ha! You know how little things turn into big things? That is just what happened. For the third time my HP Photosmart All-In-One printer had disappeared again from my computer. I try to print and I get the message “Cannot detect

The Afternoon Nap

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Growing up, my Mother often talked of her grandmother’s fond habit of taking an afternoon nap. I thought at that time, that’s what little kids and old people do, take afternoon naps. Because I missed kindergarten (I went straight to first grade, my Mother didn’t know to sign me up for kindergarten), I wasn’t introduced to concept of a nap. Fast forward about 35 years (1980) to when I worked full time as a 40 year old bank operations manager. I was in the process of having a house built in Downingtown, PA. I had sold my previous house and thus didn’t have a place to live until my new house was completed. My partner Bill retired early from his job and lived in the basement of the new house while the men building our new house worked around him. I rented a fourth floor walk up apartment so I would have a place to live while I worked at the bank. One afternoon I had a cold that I just couldn’t’ shake. I left work early. After walking up the four flights of stairs to my apartment, I wa

The Night I Saved Six Lives

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On a recent blog I answered 100 questions about myself. One of the questions was “Have you ever saved a life?” I immediately answered “Yes.” I didn’t hesitate to answer “yes” because I knew I had saved lives (plural.) A reader of my blog posted a comment suggesting that I use the answer to this question as a future blog posting. I thought “What a good idea.” Then I tried to think of the lives that I had saved. Not just lives that I had influenced but lives that I had directly saved. For example, such as by yelling “Fire!” in a burning building, thus warning the residents of that building to escape for the flames engulfed them and ended their lives. Curiously, I couldn’t remember the exact details of the circumstances where I was directly responsible for saving these lives. For the past few days I’ve been racking my memory, trying to remember when I saved these lives. I thought to myself, “Am I deluding myself?” But I knew that I had directly been responsible for saving several live

Wal-Mart Redux

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My blog posting on Wal-Mart generated quite a few comments. Instead of responding by way of the "Comment" section of the blog, I am responding by another blog posting, because my response is that long. Specifically, I am responding to the coments that Jim Rossingale, who differed with me on patronizing Wal-Mart stores. I always like a good, well thought out and mutually respectful discussion of a topical issue. I am glad Jim has engaged me in this conversation. My longtime friend, Nitewrite has also joined in the discussion. For years Nitewrite and I have engaged in discussions, usually disagreeing with one another. And yet we remain good friends. Isn't that the way it's supposed to me? I am always willing to listen and sometimes I even change my mind. However, on this issue I will continue patronizing the Wal-Mart stores even though I know they are giant behomoths who are out to wipe out every mom and pop grocery store they come across. Below is my re

Domestic Partner Benefits at Wal-Mart

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Today was another Wal-Mart day for me and Bill. Bill is making custom curtains for our sun room and he was looking for trim to put the finishing touches to his curtains. He wanted to check out the cloth section of the Georgetown Wal-Mart. We have four Wal-Marts and one Sam’s Club within striking distance of us. Each one offers something special. All of them offer the best prices for food and other products. I may sound like a commercial for the Wal-Mart chain but I have nothing but praise for their prices. For instance, I can buy a box of Ralston Purina Corn Chex at the local Food Lion for $4.34 a box. This week they had a “special” on; two boxes for $6.00. At the Georgetown Wal-Mart I brought four boxes of the Ralston Purina Corn Chex for $1.88 a box. That is savings I can understand. One Wal-Mart is in Rehoboth Beach. That is not a Super Wal-Mart, which means they don’t have a full grocery section. If they did, they would quickly put out of business the local Food Lion, Safeway,

100 Things I've Done

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I'm at it again, stealing ideas for lists. This idea of "100 Things I've Done" I absconded from my friend's blog "On Transmigration." I've made a few changes to the list, some of the items were a bit too self serving like "Selling Girl Scout Cookies", "Giving too much to charity" and "Buying a stranger a meal at a restaurant." These things are so patently ridiculous that I could not in good faith include them in a credible list. That said, here is my corrected list of "100 Things I've Done." The bold items are the things I've done. The items not highlighted are still on my Bucket List. 1. Started my own blog 2. Acted in a play - grade school and high school 3. Played in a band - high school and I loved it 4. Visited Hawaii - got close one year 5. Watched a meteor shower - if I did I didn't know it 6. Had a paper route - favorite all time job 7. Been to Disneyland/World - late in life - won

Visit To Pennsylvania

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Yesterday I made my long put off trip to Pennsylvania to visit Mom. The trip is a 2 ½ hour drive one way for a total 5 hour plus trip. I always come back the same day. Yesterday posed a problem because it gets dark at 5 PM. I didn’t want to drive back in the dark. I don’t do well driving in the dark. Everything is headlights and taillights. I find the older I get the more difficult I have navigating the multi lane highways. Thus, the goal yesterday was to leave by 2:30 PM. That didn’t happen. Listed below are the six things I wanted to do: 1. Return my elderly cousin’s pictures to her that I had borrowed to scan in my genealogy reports 2. Take pictures of some family graves at the Hopewell Methodist Church Cemetery and the Northwood Cemetery. 3. Visit Mom and give her Christmas presents to her. 4. Have lunch at the Brickside Grille (they make the best Chicken Quesadillas.) 5. Stop at a fabric store to pick out ribbon to finish the curtains that Bill made for the sunroom. 6.

Visit

50 Facts About Myself

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Recently, I got a great idea for myself after reading another person's blog. On his blog he listed "37 Things About Myself." What a great idea. Many of us want to know one another better. What better way than to list a stream of consciousness thought of facts we, and only we know about ourselves. Below are the first forty that come to mind about myself. There are many more facts of course but this is a start. 1. I descend from English stock. My paternal line has been in North America for 9 generations (1692) and my maternal line 5 generations (1850’s). 2. I am the oldest of 3 boys. I am also the shortest at 6 ‘3 ½” and lightest (by 100 lbs plus) than my younger brothers. 3. My father was born in Appalachia (hillbilly.) His family moved to Pennsylvania as tenant farm workers in 1929. 4. My Mother is from Pennsylvania Quaker heritage. 5. My Father used to call me “half a hillbilly.” I like to think I have the sex appeal of a hillbilly and the sensibility of a Quaker.

New Photo

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It was time to replace my profile photo on this blog. Look to the left and you'll see a candid shot taken of me at a local restaurant where I was dining with friends. If I remember correctly, one of my friends said something really funny and the waitress, who was taking our photo captured my real expression just right. There are very, very few photos of me with a genuine smile. Ironically, I smile most of the time. I have the cheek wrinkles to prove it too. When I was younger, I wasn't so self conscious of having my photo taken. From the few photos taken of me then you can see that I was genuinely happy. The photo included in this blog is one that was taken in 1951. I remember the day so well. I won first prize at a fishing rodeo. It was the West Chester, Pennsylvania Fishing Rodeo held at the quarry outside of West Chester. Would you believe it, but I caught the biggest fish! What is ironic is that I'm not a fisherman. The boy to the left of me is my cousin, Edward "

December Is Here

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Christmas is only a few weeks away. I notice that the older I get the faster time passes by. When I was young, very young, it seemed like forever until Christmas arrived. I enjoy the holidays but I just can’t get into all the decoration. I’ll look at others. We do have one of the white pines that border our property covered in multicolored lights. That’s about as festive as we’ll get this Christmas. Yesterday Bill drove me to Dover for my dental appointment to have my teeth cleaned. For years I had the same dentist in Downingtown and was very pleased with him. This year that dentist and his wife retired. Oh yes, they also retired to Delaware. It was with some apprehension that I went on the search for a new dentist. At work I signed up for an HMO plan. I wouldn’t have my choice of dentist. As it turned out, I’ve been very fortunate. The dentists I’ve at the dental clinic in Dover have all been very good. However, yesterday I received some bad news. My dentist advised me that I woul

Rainy Sunday

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As the rain beats against my window this Sunday morning, I am again reminded of how fortunate I am to have this warm, cozy and secure home. This morning I am reviewing the files on my old Gateway computer to transfer to my new Dell computer. This is a job I’ve been procrastinating for a few days but I have no excuse today. To me cleaning out these old computer files is akin to cleaning out a closet or a desk drawer. I would rather be updating my genealogy files. That is a pastime I literally can spend hours doing. Thanksgiving came and went. As you know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I spent the day (3 PM to 11 PM) at the front desk at the hotel where I work in Lewes. The hotel was about two thirds occupied. As in past holidays, especially Thanksgiving, the guests were gentle, sweet and appreciative. Most of the guests during the holidays are grandparents visiting children and grandchildren. This year we had a few gay couples, some singles and a group of airplane re fitte