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Showing posts from May, 2008

Back up and Running

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My computer is back. No, it wasn't a hard drive failure. However, something happened that corrupted my registry. According to Tom (my Computer Guy), the registry is the brains or central core of the computer. If that doesn't work, the computer can't even get started. What corrupted my registry? I suspect it had something to do with me uninstalling and reinstalling my Canon photo software. I couldn't upload my images. After uninstalling and reinstalling the Canon software, I still could not upload my images. Then, perhaps my fatal mistake, I restored my computer to an earlier time. That's when I really had a problem. I got the Blue Screen of Death. Shortly after that I got an error message (which I can't remember the exact text now) that said I had a defective something or other. That effectively stopped my computer from working. It was now time to call in the Heavy Gun, Tom the Computer Guy. He came in the next day, couldn't find immediately what the prob

Day Two of the Crash

This is the second day of my computer's hard drive crash. Tom, my Computer Guy, took my computer's tower yesterday. I haven't heard from him since. I put a call in to him today and left him a voice mail. I think it's time for a new computer. The computer that crashed was a Gateway that I purchses in 2001. It's been a good computer. I have absolutely no complaints about it. It's lasted a good long time. In fact, I have known I've been living on borrowed time with this computer. My previous computers only lasted three years before they crashed. I'm now shopping for a new computer. My head is swimming with all the choices. Basically, all I want is a fast computer that for my photo collection, genealogy records, e-mail and using the Internet to pay bills and searches. I don't do games so I wouldn't need one of those space shuttle computers. I've used Dell before but have been disappointed with the quality of their computers and the

Hard Drive Crash

This morning my hard drive crashed. My friend Tom, whom I call on to take care of my computer problems, took my CPU unit home with him to make sure that is what happened. Ironically, this morning, as I signed on to my computer, I was thinking that I better bring my backups up to date. Unfortunately, it may be too late. What I will really miss is the pictures that I took the past three months. I may have lost all of those due to my negligence in not performing regular backup. This has happened to me before. It is a sickening feeling in the pit of the stomach. I'm typing this entry at my workplace. I won't be able to make my daily blog entries until I get this problem fixed. Just another day.

The Flower Girl Gets Involved

During the beach wedding of Mark and Jenny, the bride and groom began a ceremony that involved sand. Normally, candles would be used in a wedding ceremony. One candle represented the bride. Another candle representedthe groom. The third candle would represent Christ. However, since this wedding took place on the beach, where the wind is almost always ever present, it was decided to use sand. Thus, when the minister began the ceremony of sand which would signify the unity of the bride, groom and Christ; Anna, the flower girl decided to get involved. Anna saw the bride and groom reach down for sand. So, she decided to join them. Why not? It was a Day at the Beach for Anna. Years from now, as a grown woman, Anna will surely look back on this video and see just how charming she was as a flower girl on this May day on the Delaware Bay beach in Lewes, Delaware.

Wedding on the Beach

Mark marries his bride Jenny on the beach in Lewes, Delaware May 24, 2008. Saturday, May 24th, was a perfect day for a wedding on the beach. Even though nor'easter that blew through here earlier this month took a lot of the Delaware Bay beach out to sea, there was enough left to have a gathering of families for the wedding of Mark and Jenny. The temperature hovered around 72 degrees, no humidity, and the winds that buffeted the beach earlier in the week had died down. Friends and family gathered to witness the event, seated on white folding chairs on the beach. The wedding was held at the groom's parent's house, at the request of the groom. Mark always wanted to be married on the beach. The wedding was planned months ago. No one could have predicted that the weather would cooperate so fully. There were smiles all around. Even the flower girl got into the act, much to the delight of the onlookers. Years from now, the bride and groom will show this video to their childr

Paul's Birthday

Friends gather for our usual Sunday night dinner at the Purple Parrot restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Tonight was special because it was our friend Paul's birthday. We're not telling how old he really is but he doesn't have to show his ID card anymore to get into a bar.

The Wedding on the Beach

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Just a short entry today. Keeping up with my practice of making daily blog postings. So busy around here. Neighbors dropping by, friends visiting, beautiful weather beckoning me to go outside and enjoy. Here are a few pictures of the wedding I attended yesterday on Cape Shores Drive on the Delaware Bay (near the Cape May-Lewes Ferry). Just an absolutely perfect day for a wedding. Gorgeous! The bride was beautiful too!

Jack and Judy Leave for the Wedding

The perfect house guests, Jack and Judy, prepared to leave for their son's wedding today on the beach at Cape Henlopen. As Jack said, they were "fully fed and properly ready to tackle the world." Their son Mark was to be married today at 3 pm or thereabouts on the sands in front of Jack and Judy's home on Cape Shores Drive, on Delaware Bay near Cape Henlopen and the Cape May/Lewes Ferry. This video was taken this morning before the wedding of Jack and Judy's son Mark and his lovely bride. I left around 2 o'clock in the afternoon for their house to take additional videos. I took the videos with my Canon Power Shot digital camera. Prior to today, I had only taken short 10 or 15 second videos. Today was going to be a test. I had purchased a 4 gigabyte memory card from Walmart yesterday. I already had a 1 gigabyte memory card. After a short visit to Cape Henlopen State Park (it's so near Jack and Judy's place and I've only been there once which I am

The Feathered One

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The “Feathered One” is our group’s nickname for the Purple Parrot restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll remember that the author had, shall we say a “dust up”, with another member of the group. Looking back on The Incident in retrospect, it was probably a combination of a misunderstanding and too much alcohol. I won’t go over the details of The Incident here (see my previous blogs on this subject), but I have decided that life is too short to carry my anger over such a trivial matter that had more to do with the tone of words used and a misunderstanding of a situation (late delivery of food to the author) than what really happened. The past two weeks I have not attended the Sunday night meeting of this group of friends at the Purple Parrot. Last week I was going to attend but I made the mistake of reading a couple of e-mails from the other party, which were written shortly after The Incident. I had delayed reading them because I was

Serving at Japanese Steakhouse

The cook serving our vegetables at the Tokyo Steakhouse in Lewes, Delaware.

Volcano

Friends and neighbors out for an evening of dining fun at the Japanese restaurant called The Tokyo Steakhouse in Lewes, Delaware.

Emergency Room Visit

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Bill motioned to me from across the backyard with his left arm to come to him. I put down the rose bush that I was transplanting and walked towards him over the thick mat of grass. As I got closer to him I saw he was holding his right arm. I asked “What?” He said that the neighbor’s dog had bitten him. He removed his hand and I could see the dog’s teeth puncture marks and blood on Bill’s arm. He said he was near the fence that divides our acre of backyard from our neighbor’s backyard. Our neighbor had put the fence in to keep his dogs in his backyard. He said he was standing by the fence when the neighbor's black Lab lunged at him and caught him by his sweater and sank his teeth into Bill's arm. Both Bill and I are veterans and use the Veterans Medical Association Center in Wilmington for our health care. The VAMC is located 93 miles from us. Bill called the local VAMC outpatient clinic in Georgetown, and they advised him to go to the emergency room at the VAMC in Wilmington

Ron Imbibes

In my never ending battle against dementia in my old age, here I am imbibing at the Tokyo Steak House in Lewes on last night. Kobe beef and an Appletini .

Dinner at the Tokyo Steak House

The neighbors and I gathered for a fun dinner at the Tokoyo Steakhouse in Lewes Delaware tonight. We're all retirees from other states. Bob and Barbara are from New Jersey. Rich and Mary are from Florida. Bob and Josie are from New York. Jane and Tom are from Pennsylvania. Ray and Frances are also from Pennsylvania. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have such good neighbors. That was not the case in Pennsylvania. Of course you cannot chose your neighbors, it's the luck of the draw. Well, this time I got very lucky. Pictured in the You Tube video are my house guests for the weekend, Jack and Judy. Their son is getting married this weekend on the beach in Lewes and their children and grandchildren have taken over their house. They are welcome guests in my home this weekend. I can now repay their kindness to me when they let me stay in their home when my house was being built in early 2006. Pictured in the video is Judy and Jack attempting to catch a flying shrimp fr

House Guests

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This weekend Bill and I are welcoming our first house guests. No, the house guests will not be the Determined Sparrow and his mate. Our house guests will be Jack and Judy, dear friends for a long time. Judy and I graduated from Downingtown High School in 1959. We renewed our friendship at a class reunion 10 years ago. When I was building my house in Delaware in 2006, Jack and Judy graciously offered me the use of their lovely house that is located right on the Rehoboth Bay in Lewes, Delaware. Jack and Judy told me that when they were building their house some years previously, friends of theirs had offered them the use of their house during its building process. They said how useful it was to be able to monitor the building of their house without the added expense of renting a hotel room each time they visited. They were spending the winter at their Florida condo and they told me I could use their house anytime time I wanted. What wonderful friends. I was so appreciative because it

St. Francis

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St. Francis of Assisi , the patron saint of animals and the ecology, is in my yard. This weather beaten statue of St. Francis also had an honored place in my yard when I lived on seven acres of hilly wooded land in Pennsylvania. Many birds have perched on top of his cement head, while taking a brief rest from building a new nest or foraging for food for their new nestlings in their nest. When I moved to Delaware from Pennsylvania in 2006, I left many landscape structures behind for the new owners of the property. I built my house in 1981 in a clearing on that wooded Pennsylvania hillside (see the slide show on the upper left of this blog page). One of the first things I did was ask my father to build some more of his birdhouses for my new property. My father had built birdhouses for years and had much success in attracting bluebirds and other beneficial species of birds to his three acres of land nearby. Each year without fail, the house wrens would arrive from their winter quarters

Mortified

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This morning I arose from my slumber at about 7 AM. As I sleepily stumbled into the kitchen, my partner tells me “The Inn called.” I thought “ who isn’t coming in today?” I work two days a week (Monday and Thursday nights) and every other weekend, once during the day and once during the evening, in order to give the two fulltime front desk clerks at least one weekend a month off. Sometimes I’m called in on short notice to fill in for one of the other front desk clerks due to illness or another different emergency. This morning I assumed I got the call to come in and fill in for someone. I called my voice mail. The owner of the Inn left me the message “Where are you?” Quickly, I look to my calendar. Yep! I was due in today! How did that happen? I thought I had a fail safe method for recording the times I was due in for work. I checked the copy of the schedule the manager gives me. I keep that on top of my bedroom bureau where I conduct almost all of my business. There it was in bl

One Determined Sparrow

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There has been a compromise of sorts between me and the Determined Sparrow. As soon as I would bring down the pole to the Purple Martin house (a tricky operation, lowering two metal poles without slicing a finger off if one of the poles slips), and tearing out the beginnings of the sparrow nest, the Determined Sparrow would wait until I put the pole back and he would again begin building his nest. He wasted no time. Not a Shy One, this sparrow. After the last nest clean out, I left the door to the apartment opened. The Purple Martin birdhouse has six apartments, two on the bottom and one on the top on the side facing east. On the other side (west), two apartments on the top and one on the bottom. Mr. Determined Sparrow preferred the one on the bottom facing west. I raised the pole again and went to the shed to observe what Mr. Determined would do now. He shot right up into that now garage door opened apartment. He looked up and down and around and then sat there, contemplating his n

Bill Chases Barbara

To take a lighthearted new direction from my recent blog postings, I am posting this video I took about a week ago of my partner Bill playing a joke on our neighbor Barbara. He waited until she took a turn around her and then fell in behind her, walking closely. Look carefully and you'll see Barbara coming around the turn, waving at me taking her video, realizing that Bill is right behind her. Thank goodness she didn't fall off the mower! Now that would have been a video. As a follow-up to the sparrow drama, this morning my Determined Sparrow was again rebuilding his nest in the Purple Martin house. I, again, tore it out. After I got back from breakfast at Zorba's Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach with Bill, I looked out my sun room window and saw that my Determined Sparrow was now building his nest in one of the blue bird boxes. In fact, it was the box that I found five dead sparrows last week. They had probably died from the heavy rains of the nor'easter. I decided to c

Eviction Day

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Pulling the curtains back from my bedroom window this morning, I could see the sparrow fly up to the Purple Martin house with a couple of strands of straw in its beak. The little bird was determined to make a nest on the southern side of the multi apartment birdhouse. The previous two days I had taken out the sparrow’s nesting material only to see it immediaely fly back to the opening with more dried grass and stalks of small weeds. The Purple Martins swirled about its head, chattering in protest, but the little bird continued building its nest. The determined sparrow was not to be deterred even though it was out numbered. However, I had made my mind up to evict all the sparrows in my birdhouses today, especially the Purple Martin birdhouse which is a communal bird house and not conjunctive to sharing their apartment complex with an outsider like the sparrow. In the morning mist, with a light rain falling, I checked the other four bird boxes that border the acre of land behind my ho

Betty and Ike

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Betty Louise Hadfield was born on December 24, 1924, in the front bedroom of the small house on Pennsylvania Avenue in Downingtown, PA. She was the youngest of five children of George Lincoln Hadfield and his wife Ethel Darlington Hickman. Her mother died almost two years later (December 12, 1925) from complications of childbirth. She had two sisters and two brothers. Betty had a lonely childhood since her sisters were the two oldest children and closer to each other than Betty. Her brothers were the next two oldest children and were also closer to each other than little Betty. Betty’s father remarried twice. The second marriage produced another daughter who was now the youngest in the Hadfield household. Growing up during the Depression was not easy. Many days Betty went hungry. She would rush home from school when lunch period arrived because she was embarrassed she had nothing to eat. There wasn’t a need for Weight Watchers during this period of American history. However, there c

Mom

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Mom was sitting in her usual chair when I made an unannounced visit to her this past Saturday. I didn't tell her I was coming because she would just worry. I find it’s better to just walk in and say “Hi Mom!” just as I did for years when I lived one road across from her home in Pennsylvania. She had a new haircut and fresh perm. Molly, her 14 year old calico cat, was languorously stretched out on the back of the couch facing my Mother. The TV was on as usual. She didn’t turn it off. She never does. It’s something I find older people do, they’re so used to having TV as company; they don’t think to turn it off when they get real company. That’s alright with me. It’s my Mom. She’s 84 years old now. Widowed since August 22, 2000 when my father died of lung cancer after a long illness. She lives with my younger brother Isaac in the same modest ranch house that was built in 1958. Isaac is the sibling who takes care of Mom. I have a room set aside for her as does my other brother John,

The Empty Bird Box

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“You see these eggs? They’re brown. They’re no good.” He then threw the eggs across the gravel road that borders my property, into the newly planted corn field. “See this nest? It’s a sparrow’s nest. You don’t want this nest. They’re trash. I shoot sparrows. They’re not a native bird.” He then tore out the carefully constructed nesting material and also tossed it across the road towards the same area where the broken eggs laid in the corn field. He saw the look on my face. I was dumbfounded. First, he destroyed a living thing, if a bird’s nest could be called living. Also, he was presumptuous in deciding for me what birds are allowed on my property in my birdhouses. His name is Frank. Frank the Birdman. I had recently contracted with him to install a Purple Martin house on my open acre of land behind my house. I called him in today because the nor’easter of yesterday had permanently tilted the long pole which held the birdhouse he installed two weeks ago. I wanted him to fix it. I a

After the Storm

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The winds have died down, the rain has ended. The sun burns brightly in the clear blue morning sky. It is the dawn of a new day. Not only for this speck of land that I live on in coastal Delaware but in my life as well. A nor'easter blew in from the Atlantic Ocean early Sunday night and lingered all day Monday . Wind gusts up to 50 MPH tore the new green leaves off of trees. Roads in low lying area were flooded. Sporadic power outages testified to the relentless fury of the winds. Yesterday I was scheduled to work the evening shift at the Inn in Lewes. I drove the mile down the rain swept Route 1, buffeted by the high winds. Turning on New Road, I had to slow down to drive through the portion of New Road that was flooded by the Rehoboth Canal. Arriving at the Inn, I made sure to park where there was little chance of a tree falling on my car. The few guests in the hotel took the bad weather in stride. They were appreciative they had shelter from the storm. We joked about th

Monday Morning Rain

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Rivulets of rains slowly slide down the window at my left shoulder. The wind driven rain beats against the side of my house, as if seeking shelter inside. The clouds of Sunday have morphed into the wind and rain of Monday. As I sit at my computer, composing this journal, I think of how fortunate I am to have a safe and secure home that shields me from the elements outside. All my life I have toiled, struggled and sacrificed to arrive at this time to have this oasis that is my home. With this thought in mind, I am not heedless to those who are not as fortunate as I am. Critters such as stray dogs and cats, who do not have a warm and dry home to protect them from the cold, wind and rain, and must seek shelter where ever they can. Perhaps they gained entrance in an abandoned building through a broken window or unlocked door. There they sit cuddled into a fur ball patiently waiting for the storm to pass. Perhaps they find shelter near a dumpster with overflow trash. There, under wet

Cloudy Day

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The clouds rolled in today. Gray and dreary. Temperature falling. Wind picking up. I missed my Sunday night outing at the Purple Parrot with friends. A chill in the air. The realization that I wasn't wanted in the group. Painful but probably true. Again, that incurable naivete of mine. The day is ending. Rain is beginning to tap on my window. Life goes on. The sun will shine again.

Pennsylvania Visit Part 1

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Morning daylight revealed blue gray clouds heavy with rain on the far horizon viewed from my great room's wall of windows. This Saturday morning Bill and I planned to visit Downingtown, PA, near our former home in East Brandywine Township . As much as we would like to visit our old home, we could not because the new owner and his family now occupy the house and grounds we so lovingly developed, nurtured and cared for from 1976 to November 17, 2006, the date we settled on the sale. We would ride past and longingly look up the lane which we had driven up so often. We will always miss our former home. Our trip to Pennsylvania was fourfold this morning. We make our obligatory Mother's Day visit to Mom. Also, a visit to Wegmans supermarket would be in order to stock up on some of my favorite items from that outstanding establishment. There is nothing like Wegmans in Slower Lower Delaware, which is very sad. The lack of a Wegmans is perhaps my biggest loss after moving to

Live While You're Alive

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We all need to read this one over and over until it becomes part of who we are! HOW TO STAY YOUNG 1. Try everything twice. On Madam's tombstone (of Waylon and Madam ) she said she wanted this epitaph: ' Tried everything twice...loved it both times!' 2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. (Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches.) 3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's! 4. Enjoy the simple things. 5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath... And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with him and/or her. 6. Disappointments happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive. 7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsa

Rain in Delaware

The rains arrived this morning. I listened to the comforting sounds of the rain glancing off of my skylights in the sun room. I opened my front door, leaving only the glass door to protect me from the rain. The brightly colored flowers that lined the walkway to my front door proudly showed me their freshly washed faces. Thus another new day retired in Delaware. I worked last night at the Inn. I don’t have to go back to work until Monday night. I have the whole weekend to luxuriate in the rain, sun or whatever Mother Nature delivers to my home on Delaware coast. I’m thankful that we’re getting rain this year. Last year we had a drought in this area of southern Delaware. It was so sad to watch the cornfields wither and die because of the lack of rain. So far this year, the unpredictable forces of nature have been kinder to the farmers' fields of grain in Sussex County. From my sunroom vantage I could see a large flatbed truck hauling stacked crates of chickens to their doom this earl

Those Who Didn't Make It

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Don S., Kenny V., Joe M., Alice K., Linda T., Jerry L., Bob S.. Those are just a few of the friends, former classmates, co-workers and lovers who did not reach the retirement age of 65. Actually, none of them even reached the early retirement age of 62 years. Don S. was only 56 years when he died in 1997. We were the best of friends during our Commercial Course days in high school. Ours was a friendly competition to see who could get the best score in bookkeeping. Don usually won. Kenny died in Vietnam. I found out that Kenny died when I attended my first class reunion, which was the 20th. I felt guilty that he died. Not because he died in Vietnam but because Kenny was the first person I had a fist fight with. We were in 7th grade waiting in line to go into Mrs. Roger’s science class. He shoved me (Kenny was a bully). I shoved back. Next thing we were both rolling on the floor, thrashing about with elbows flying. I don’t think either one of us landed a blow. We both ended up in the p

A New Day in Delaware

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As the song “Nature Boy” by Nat King says, “The greatest thing is to be loved, and love in return.” That sentiment can be applied to a person, a pet, a hobby or a state. I love Delaware. And Delaware loves me in return. Rain or shine, cold or warm, I love Delaware. Each day I roll out of bed I think of how lucky I am to live in this wonderful state. Yes, other states have their charms. They may have their mountains, rivers, historic landmarks, cultural attractions. Delaware is perfect for me in this, my retirement. Even though I work part-time, I still consider myself retired. My job is fun and without the pressure of a five day a week, 50 week year grind. The people I work with are a varied and wonderful group of folks. We all have our individual personalities with our strengths and weaknesses, but we all work together towards the common goal of providing excellent service to the guests of the bed and breakfast where we are employed. What more could on ask for other than to appreciat

Lunch With Barbara

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This morning I awoke to another coastal Delaware gorgeous spring day. As I lay in my bed, I reviewed in my mind what I wanted to do on this beautiful day. The freedom to decide what to do is perhaps the best benefit of being retired. Although I work part-time (I worked late last night), I now have the next two days off to do as I please. What to do? Clean the house? No. Clean out my storage room in the basement? Definitely not. Ah, I will get outside and soak up the sunshine, fresh air, and the sounds of the many birds chirping and going about their business. First on the agenda was to refresh the bird baths that surround my acre large backyard. That done, it was time to make the short drive to the Ace Hardware in Milton to stock up on supplies. I needed a new hummingbird hook, inpatients plants, a miniature petunias for my planter, and a can of Bartender's Helper to remove the stain in my stainless steel sink. The drive to Milton past flat Delaware landscape was as pleasant as e

Amitié, Partie Deux

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After a good night’s sleep, I have reviewed what occurred last night during our weekly get together at the Purple Parrot. I admit that I probably overreacted to the condescending and dismissive remarks my friend made to me when I was served 25 minutes after everyone else at our table had already eaten. Granted, the restaurant was busy and the waiter was new. There were so many prime rib specials ordered from our table (four) that my modest “Wimpy” order (a half pound hamburger) got lost in the shuffle of green order slips in the kitchen. When my friend made his totally unnecessary and thoughtless comments to me, excusing the waiter from his mistake, I responded by saying “That’s bullshit, he made a mistake.” My friend did not approve my response and put it back on me again by saying “Get over it Ron”, thus throwing more gasoline on the fire of my anger which was fueled by two martinis. After I repeated my “Bullshit!” response, my friend gives me a look like one would give a school ch