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Showing posts from November, 2008

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

Thanksgiving 2008

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Thanksgiving is here again. Doesn’t it seem like it arrives faster and faster? Why it seems like only yesterday it was witches and hobgoblins cavorting around celebrating the Halloween madness. This year as in years past I think back on previous Thanksgiving celebrations. For many, many years Thanksgiving at home was Mom cooking up the big turkey dinner for our family; Pop, me and my two younger brothers. Then, as my brothers and I moved away from home, we would visit Mom and she would still whip up the big diner for our ravenous appetites. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn (from Pop’s garden, lovingly frozen during the summer and brought out at this special occasion), cranberry sauce, string beans, and the special treat – Mom’s homemade biscuits with homemade gravy. At the end of the meal my brothers would good naturedly fight to see who could sop out the left over gravy in the gravy bowl with their biscuits. As the years passed, my brothers and I too to celebrating Thanksgiving

A Visit to the Urologist

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Okay boys and girls, here we go again. I had another appointment at the Wilmington Veterans Administration Medical Center this morning. That meant rising out of a deep slumber this morning at 4:30 am. Oh how I love getting up at that hour. I couldn’t sleep anyway, knowing that I had to get up that early. The American Legion Post 29 van picks me up at Routes 5 and 1 (just up the road about three miles) at 6 am. I was there about 20 minutes ahead of time. I wouldn’t want to miss my ride. The van arrives about 10 after 6. Just the driver and another old grizzled vet like me are going up today. The trip up was uneventful. In fact traffic was light. We arrive at the “city on a hill” (the way the VA building looks in the early morning sunlight just off of Rt. 141.) First thing upon entering the lobby, I have to scan my VA card. Yes, it confirms that I am 67 years old (you have to put your age in the computer to verify you are who you are) and have an appointment with the urologist today. M

The New Dell

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Today was the day I have been awaiting with great anticipation. Tom, my P C Guy (Tom is not politically correct – “PC” stands for personal computer) was coming over today to complete the setup of my new Dell computer. He asked me to prepare a list of things for him to do. I had that list ready for him. First item on the list was to get some sound coming out of the speakers. Tom turned the volume on the speaker up. Duh. Well, I wasn’t totally at fault here. Dell’s speakers have the volume knob the opposite way. I’m not sure if there is a standard way. I just knew Tom would dispatch that problem jiffy. Tom is pictured above, fist on the old Gateway (not his body language) then on my new Dell (again, not the body language. It's almost as if the new Dell commands respect.) Then it came time to connect me to the Internet. Tom asked for my encryption key code and the ESSID number from when he set me up on Verizon DSL. Uh, what? I search and viola! There it was. A slip of paper

Why I Blog

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This evening Bill and I had dinner at our home with our good friend Bob C. While many subjects were covered, the subject of my blogging came up. Bob C. stated that he wouldn’t blog. He didn’t see the need for it. I understand that. Bill also doesn’t see the need for him to blog. I also understand why Bill doesn’t feel compelled to blog. I tried to explain to them why I like to blog. It’s very simple, I love to write. Both Bob and Bill said they don’t want the world to know about their lives. I’m different. I do want the world to know about my life. Some may see that as arrogant or selfish. I see it as a compelling need within me that I am required to fulfill. While I’ve never had formal training in writing (and it shows), I have always had that need to write from the time I was a teenager. At one time I had 57 pen pals around the world. One of my special joys was to check my Post Office box (212) and see envelopes with the different postage stamps from my friends across the country a

Setting Up The New Computer

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Well folks, this was the day I set up my new Dell computer. The day I was dreading. Now I wish I had taken my good friend Lar's advice and bought a Mac. At least with that computer, all I would have to do is take it out of the box and plug it in and I'm ready to go. Not so with my new Dell Inspiron. Early this morning, at the first crack of daylight, I laid everything out on the floor of my home office. Which plug goes where. I'm going to make this story short because I have company coming for dinner in about an hour and a half and I have to make preparations. Here is what happened. I couldn't get the wireless mouse and keyboard to work. The instructions that came with the PC didn't match what I had to do. I called the Dell help line. I will give them credit, they did answer right away. However, I was connected to India. COULDN'T HEAR HER! Her voice sounded like she was talking on the other end of a tin can connected by string between me here in Delaware and

New Computer

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My new computer is here! It's a Dell. Yes, I'm taking the plunge again with a Dell. My last Dell purchase, back in 2001 was a disaster. I purchased a brand new Dell with all the bells and whistles. After setting it up, I discovered I couldn't turn it off. Oh I turned it off, but it came back on by itself without any help from me. Yes, it booted itself up. So, knowing that I paid for "premium" service, I call Dell support. Oh, the "premium", it wasn't so much. I still had to wait a long time on the phone and go through all the menu options. The "premium" service was in name only, not reality. When I finally got through to the Dell help line, I get a woman who tells me that I have to reformat my hard drive. Say what? I just got the computer. Reformat the hard drive? I finished that conversation and called again, hoping to get another person with a more reasonable solution. The new person I talked to said that I had too much on my desktop. We

My Trip to the VA

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Four-thirty a.m. came around early this morning. I knew I had to get up early so, of course, I was awake at 3:10 a.m. I slept in fits and starts until my radio alarm clock sounded the alarm, “BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!” I rolled out of bed, wash, shaved, did my morning exercises (to get my blood flowing), and ate my breakfast. By this time 5:25 a.m. had arrived and Bill was ready to drive me to liquor store at Rts. 1 and 5, where the American Legion Post 28 van would pick me up. Out of the house into the dark cold air, I climbed into Bill’s ancient Jeep. Ten minutes later we were at the pick up point. Another veteran was waiting there in his car. About 20 minutes later the van arrives. Only the driver and a World War II submarine veteran who was riding shotgun were in the van. Usually the van is full. But, this morning three vets cancelled and one was a no show. The other vet and I climbed in behind the driver and the submarine vet. Right away I made a mistake. I was behind the driver and

Lean Times

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The lean times are here. Last night I worked at the inn and we had exactly 0 guests. Yes, that’s right. NO GUESTS. Working at the Inn last night was almost like working at the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s “The Shining.” HERE’S JOHNNNNNNNNY!!!!” as Jack Nicholson’s character announced his entry through the door opening he chopped down with his ax. Earlier in the day, Bill and I were in Dover to do some shopping and to pick up my Christmas card photos (and that is a story for a whole ‘nother blog – wait until you hear bout that one!) Exiting the almost deserted J C Penney, I noticed the 40% off signs in the women’s nightwear department. I do very little Christmas shopping, but I do like to get my 84 year old Mother some warm snuggly night gowns and bathrobes. While Bill waited outside the danger area (like all men, he is very uncomfortable in the women’s wear department – a degree of butchness that I obviously don’t possess), I pawed through the soft and plush nightwear, trying to d

Overstepping My Bounds

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Today I received an e-mail from a William Tipton . I don't know Mr. Tipton personally, but I assumed that at one time he sent me an e-mail or an inquiry to one of my Tipton family web sites. All Tiptons that I receive e-mails from I add to my mailing list for Tipton genealogy assuming that they would also be interested in our common family genealogy. Each time I update my " Tipton Tales and Trails" blog, I send links to these e-mail addresses, assuming they would be interested in reading a blog about our family research. Since the evidence is abundantly clear that we Tiptons are all descended from the same common ancestor, a Jonathan Tipton who immigrated to this country in 1692 from Port Royale , Jamaica. Well, it appears that I have overstepped my bounds. William Tipton requested that I remove his name from mailing list, equating my e-mails with spam. If William Tipton intended to hurt me by his sarcastic and dismissive e-mail, he succeeded. I will honor his

Big Sky In Delaware

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Delaware is one of the smallest states of the union. When one thinks of a “Big Sky” country one thinks of a state like Montana. While I’ve never been to Montana (one of the many items on my Bucket List ), I’m very happy living in Delaware, my “Big Sky” country. Having been born and spent most of my life in southeastern Pennsylvania , I was used to rolling hills and winding roads. Here in Delaware, those geographical attributes are almost non existent. Perhaps the only part of Delaware that is somewhat like the topography of Pennsylvania is Greenville , which is near the Pennsylvania border. Bill (my Domestic Partner ) misses those forested hills and picturesque roads of Pennsylvania. We visit my Mom occasionally who still lives in Pennsylvania. Bill always gets nostalgic when we cross the Delaware/Pennsylvania border on Route 896 on the other side of Newark, Delaware. Bill doesn’t like the flat country of the coastal plain of Sussex County, Delaware where we live now. I love it. At

Visit to Cousin Elsie

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In 1994 I began my research into my Tipton family genealogy. For many years I had wondered where my father came from. All I knew was that he was a “hillbilly” from Pigeon Roost, North Carolina . He and his eight brothers and parents moved to Pennsylvania around 1929, when my Father was nine years old to work as tenant farm labor on their Uncle Don Byrd’s farm near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Two more brothers would be born in Pennsylvania. As anyone who has studied their family tree knows, the first place you start is to ask your parents questions. What were their parent’s names and when were they born? Then you ask what were your grandparents’ names and when were they born? Well, my dad didn ’t even know his grandparents names. Early on, I learned when one road comes to a dead end, you go down another road. In this case I asked another relative, my Uncle Ed. He knew the name of his grandfather, my great-grandfather (it was Hiram Tipton born 05 Mar 1852 - died 1933.) Thus beg

The Birthday Boy

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Another birthday ended yesterday. This year it was somewhat low key. I worked at the Inn during the day. I hung around about an hour after my shift ended at 3 pm (after clocking out of course) to show Monica (my relief) this fabulous new web site called Find A Grave.com. Then it was off to home, shower and change to meet my friends at the Purple Parrot in Rehoboth Beach for our regular Sunday night get together. Thus ended a good day. At 67 years old, it was agreed that I am officially an Old Geezer. Checking my e-mails this morning, I see my birthday greetings continue. The first e-mail I opened was from my longtime friend (from 3rd grade elementary school when we used to trade comic books), Larry. Larry is one of the most inventive and artistic people that I have known in my lifetime. It has always puzzled me why his artistic talent wasn't discovered long ago. In my mind Lar (as we who know him well call him - he also goes by the non de plume of "LEM") should have b

Happy Birthday!

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November 9, 1941 at approximately 9:30 A.M. Sunday morning a baby boy was born to 21 year old Isaac Walter Tipton and 17 year old Betty Louise Hadfield Tipton at the Chester County Hospital in West Chester, Pennsylvania. This child was this young couple's first child. Another son was born April 8, 1943, and June 10, 1944. The birth was difficult. Forceps had to be used to pull the baby out. Once the baby was out, its head was covered in blood. The forceps had cut to the bone of the baby's right eye socket. A millimeter of an inch more and the baby would have lost its right eye. Thus, I used the first of my nine lives, barely 10 minutes into this world. Yes, that baby was me. The person who is writing this blog. Sixty seven years later it is safe to say that baby has had quite an adventure. He has made a few waves along the way. He has angered a few people and, hopefully, enriched the lives of many more. Now that baby is comfortably into his retirement years. He is looking bac

The Revolution Has Arrived

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Just in case any of my die hard Republican friends and family think that I am alone in welcoming the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States, take a look at this picture folks. I'm not alone. There are a "few" other folks who agree with me. I recently sent e-mails to my friends on the right asking them if they were nervous or apprehensive. Then I told them, "now you know how I felt after the election of 2000 and 2004." Then I advised them to "fasten their seat belts because it's going to be a bumpy ride." The last eight years of the Bush-Cheney rule were almost unbearable. Thank God we're coming out of that long, dark tunnel coming into the open light.

Searching For Gravestones In Cemeteries

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A few weeks ago, my distant cousin (Tim Tipton), and fellow genealogist researcher called me to inform me that he was finding more Tipton headstones in cemeteries in North Carolina and Tennessee. For many years I have searched cemeteries for records of my ancestors. I've taken many pictures of their headstones. Tim has been posting his photos and information to the Find A Grave.com website. Ironically, this web site was founded by another Tipton, a Jim Tipton. There must be something in the Tipton gene that pulls us towards exploring cemeteries. Through Tim Tipton and another fellow Tipton researcher, Paul Tipton of California I discovered Find a Grave.com. Now I am posting my own cemetery photos to this web site. From my location here in the southern most county of Delaware, Sussex County, I had determined that most of the cemeteries in my area are unrecorded on Find a Grave.com. Thus, I have another "hobby." It's more like a passion. The extra dividend this pays is

Africa Is A Continent

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If any of you happen to run into the former Republican vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, could you please inform her that Africa is a continent, not a country. Apparently, according to unnamed members of the McCain campaign, Palin thought Africa WAS A COUNTRY! She thought South Africa was PART OF THE COUNTRY OF AFRICA. Wait, it gets even better. She didn't know what countries make up NAFTA! The North American Free Trade Agreement. Uh Sarah, those countries are: Canada The United States Mexico When I first heard this news, it briefly knocked the wind out of me. A third grader knows that Africa is a continent! Palin, being the governor of Alaska, one would think would know what countries comprised the North American Free Trade Agreement. What took my breath away was the fact this this person could have been one heartbeat away from the presidency of the most powerful country in the world. Apparently this lack of knowledge wasn't the McCain campaign's mai

Why McCain Lost

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Simply put, the American voter this time voted for hope, not fear. The current version of the Republicans who were in control of the government has basically put the message out “Vote for us or die.” This was the message of George Bush, senior and junior. It was to win at all cost by whatever means. McCain accepted this methodology. He conducted a slash and burn campaign against Barack Obama, painting him as “dangerous and untested.” Perhaps the death knell of McCain’s campaign for the presidency was his selection of Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska as his running mate. Up until his selection of Palin, McCain’s strongest case against Obama was that he (McCain) had more experience than Obama. McCain threw that argument out the door when he selected Palin. Then McCain tried, unsuccessfully, to adopt the mantle as a “change candidate.” McCain underestimated the intelligence of the American voter not to figure out that McCain was trying to hoodwink them. His fate was seale

The Day After

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It's still sinking in. Barack Obama won the presidency of the United State of America. I have received several e-mails from friends of mine who are as happy as I am with the outcome of this presidential election. Interestingly, I haven't received one e-mail from friends or family who supported the McCain/Palin Republican ticket. I hope as time goes by they will realize that this country needed change and Barack Obama was the person to lead us to a better future. I am so excited. I don't think I have every felt this way before in my life. The only time I felt even close was when the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series in 1980. However, that feeling now pales in comparison to the feeling I have now with the knowledge that Barack Obama will be the president of our country for the next four, and hopefully, eight years. Once again our country will be inclusive instead of divisive as it has been the past eight years. No longer will we have to watch the smug countenance o

Barack Obama, President

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It's official, Barack Obama is the next president of the United States of America. We have changed history. Savor the moment.

I Voted!

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It's done. I voted. I was expecting a long line at the Brittingham Elementary School where I am registered to vote in Milton, Delaware. Upon driving in the parking lot of the school, I saw the line. The line snaked out into the parking lot of the school. Luckily, a big SUV just pulled out of a parking slot and I was able to pull in and park my red Subaru Forester. I placed my white sneakered feet at the end of the line. It wasn't too long before I was engaged in a conversation with some of my fellow voters standing in line. The older couple I was talking to were from New Jersey. They had relocated to Delaware as I did to escape the high school property taxes. Frequently, during our conversation, we noticed that some voters went right into the school. Who were they? VIPs? It wasn't too long until I found out that I was standing the wrong line. I was standing in the A-L line. Since my name is Tipton, that would mean I was to go to the M-Z line. Aha! That's where the

Election Day

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As I awoke this morning, I heard a steady rain falling. It must be Election Day. After a long, long campaign, it is finally time to vote for the next president of the United States of America. I am very excited. Today we are witnessing history. Today the majority of voters will reject the failed policies of George W. Bush and his administration. Today the voters will reject the negative and divisive campaign of John McCain and Sarah Palin. Today this country will elect a president who will affirm that I am no longer a second class citizen just because of my sexual orientation. Today this country will elect Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.