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Showing posts from August, 2009

Watermelon Man

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Today did not seem like Sunday. It's been very quiet. Bill and I just got back from visiting our friend Bob and Jim. Their friend Kenny is visiting them from Ohio. Kenny is out of work and will probably be moving in with Bob and Jim to look for work down here in lower slower....er Sussex County, Delaware. He says he won't accept anything less than $18.00 an hour. Lots of luck Kenny, I don't even think they pay chicken pluckers $18.00 an hour. I worked at the hotel yesterday. We had almost a full house even though showers were forecast for the weekend. Our business has picked up since the economy picked up giving consumers confidence that they could spend a few extra discretionary dollars to visit our Nantucket style east coast resort in Lewes, Delaware. We have also offered a 20% discount on the rooms rates if the guests stay two or more nights. That helped also. It was good to see Mom and Dad and the kids stop by the front desk for towels and beach chairs on their way

Single Payer Health Care System

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Up until a few days ago, I was a strong advocate of single payer U.S. health care. However, an experience with the Veterans Administration health care system last Tuesday caused me to lose some if not all of my confidence in a single payer system. Since 2001 I’ve been using the VA health care system. I didn’t have a choice when I lost my job at the hotel where I worked in Lionville, PA. Luckily for me I had signed up for the VA health care system in 1998 just in case I would ever need it. Lucky because in 2001 the Bush administration discontinued the eligibility of non service connected (meaning we didn’t have a service connected disability) veterans like me from using the VA health care system which I was promised when I joined the Army in 1960. This act alone (making veterans like me ineligible to use the VA system) was the main factor in causing me to change my political registration from Republican Party did not care for me or my well being unless I was connected to the power s

Senator Kennedy

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I've been busier than a flea on a pack of hound dogs today! Phew. I've not nothing but run around all day. First up I had to get out the invitations of my 50th high school class reunion. This was the second time I've prepared the invites and I think this will be my swan song. It is a LOT OF WORK and I wonder just how much of it is appreciated. We have a class of just over 100 students, of whom about 90 are left. There is a hard core of former classmates who almost always go to the reunion. The rest of the classmates ignore the invitations which leads me to wonder, is it even worth sending the invitations to them. I think all of my friends tell me they always ignore their class reunions. They treat the invitations with disdain and derision which is probably what some on of my classmates do also. Oh well, I'm not going to get myself worked up over that now. We do have forty or so classmates who do appreciate the time and effort (and expense) that those of us on the re

DHS 50th Class Reunion

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Fifty years ago this year I graduated from high school in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. One thing I want to say right up front, "That was a fast fifty years!" I am on the reunion committee and I've been asked by our organizer, Carole Davis Turner, to put all the reunion information on a blog. So here it is for all of our fellow classmates for whom we have an e-mail address. I will also be sending out invitations by snail mail with a questionnaire to be returned to Cookie Seibert Pannebaker. The 50th class reunion will be held at the Whitford Country Club on October 17, 2009. The price per person (which includes the reunion booklet) is $55.00. There are also other activities scheduled for that weekend which Carole want me to make known to everyone. Please read the information below and if you have any questions please send me an e-mail to: ronstales@aol.com . Hope to see you all at the reunion! Please answer all the questions below and return all shee

The Point Is

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Not much going on this Saturday. Bill and I had our usual weekly breakfast at Zorba's in Rehoboth Beach. We arrived way too early (just after 7 am.) We go to Zorba's because it is gay friendly (although it is not a gay restaurant) and comfortable, if worn, seating. Our waitress is always very friendly. Bill especially enjoys teasing her. It is his weekly ritual. However, the food is not too good. In fact, it's pretty awful. Cheap, but awful. This morning we both had an egg omelet. It was like eating shelf liner, tasteless. I always get scrapple which I love (a Chester County, PA thing.) The home fries were good and the rye toast was especially good since the cook buttered the toast while it was still hot instead of cold like he usually does. So we're thinking of changing restaurants next week. Yesterday I ate at the new Ocean Point Grill at the Five Points shopping center in Lewes. Ironically, Zorba's used to Ocean Point Grill too. But the owners relocated to Lon

A Salad a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

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A few years ago I ran into an old classmate of mine from high school. We were both in the vegetable section of Wegmans supermarket. He was shopping for salad ingredients for his new health diet to combat heart disease. While I've never been one for salads I thought I would give it a try too. When I grew up Mom didn't make salads for our dinner table. We usually had overcooked green string beans or corn on the cob. That was about it. The only salads I had were when I dined out and that was a hit or miss experience. Once in a great while I got a salad I liked. Not very often though. So I took my friend's advice and got some salad ingredients for myself. Well, I have to say I am now hooked. I liked my salads the best. I have basically two types of salads. Either a Caesar Salad of Romaine lettuce, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a Caesar Vinaigrette salad dressing. I can't take the heavy fat laden salad dressings. I sprinkle Caesar croutons on top of the salad. My o

Mom Update

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Good news on the Mom front. My brother and his wife will be moving Mom from her home in Pennsylvania to their home in South Carolina in September. Their home is more senior friendly than Mom's home in Pennsylvania. As is the case with so many Mom's who have lived in their house for a long time, her house is very cluttered. She can hardly move around. It's only a matter of time before she falls and breaks something. We are taking this preventive action to avoid such a catastrophe. Mom wants to stay in her home. She has lived there for 51 years (since 1958.) This is where she is comfortable. Like many older folk (me included), she is reluctant to change. Her husband (my dad) died August 20, 2000, nine years ago. My other brother has lived with her in the family home since that time and taken care of her. However, the time has come to make the big change. It's not safe for her to go through another Pennsylvania winter. The winters are milder in South Carolina thus the

The Search

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Since I was so stupid last night not to engage in conversation the angel who was standing right next to me, I'm now extending a search for this heavenly body who appeared out of nowhere last night on my evening cruise down the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal in Lewes. I've posted an enhanced picture I took of him. A friend of mine told me that the wording on his T-shirt is Armenian so he could be an Armenian. I know he is of Eastern European stock because of his features and the features of the group of men he was with on the cruise last night. I also know he probably wasn't Russian because, although I couldn't understand what they were talking about, their accent didn't sound Russian which to me has a lot of the "sh" sound. I'm hoping he is a waiter in the Rehoboth Beach/Lewes area. Believe me, once I find out where he works you can bet I'll know what to say the next time I encounter him, should I be so fortunate. I think I'm going down the There

A Dream Cruise

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More pictures of the young man who caught my attention last night on the evening cruise out of Lewes. I'm still reeling from the encounter. I am now full of regrets that I didn't engage in a conversation with him when he came and stood by me. I'm hoping he works somewhere in Rehoboth as a waiter. You can bet I'll keep my eyes peeled. I think I need to visit a few more restaurants to review for my Trip Advisor account.

Evening Cruise

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My co-worker Monica at the hotel where I work gave me a two complimentary tickets for a cruise on the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal. For the past two and a half years I've worked at a hotel on the canal and often seen boats full of happy folk cruise up and down the canal. I assumed they went from one end of the canal to the other. Little did I know they actually went out to the ocean for a two hour cruise and went dolphin watching. So I decided to take advantage of this bonus and invite my good friend Bob along for the ride. The cruise began at 7:00 pm. First we went for dinner at the new Wharf restaurant. I always like to dine at least once at the restaurants nearby where I work because I am often asked to recommend restaurants. Last year the restaurant on this location was the Lighthouse Restaurant and it had a terrible reputation. Dinner tonight at the new restaurant was alright but, like almost all restaurants in the Lewes and Rehoboth area, overpriced. My friend got fish and chips

Decision Time

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Christmas 1971 After my visit earlier this week I have come to the conclusion it is time to move my Mother from her long time home in Pennsylvania to my brother’s home in Greenville, South Carolina. My other brother is taking care of her now at her home but her care is becoming ever more difficult. Without going into details (out of respect for her privacy), my brother in South Carolina has the facilities that are better suited to taking care of a partially invalid 85 year old woman. Of course the big problem is that my Mother doesn’t want to move from the home she’s known since 1958. Another problem is that my brother who is taking care of her now may not want her to move either. We have not discussed that possibility. If we ask her to move, she will say “No” as she has said so often before. However, both my brother (in South Carolina) and I agree perhaps it is time to tell her that she is moving. As it stands now she has trouble walking and it is just a matter of time before she

You Can't Go Home Again

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What a day! I'm at my Mom's in Pennsylvania now. I just returned from my 50th Class Reunion Committee meeting. That went well. It was good to see old classmates and finalize the preparations for our 50th class reunion this October 17th. I will be preparing the invitation and booklet for the class reunion. The trip to Pennsylvania was agonizing. I experienced several traffic delays, the main ones being in Newark, Delaware, as I rounded the University of Delaware. No explanation other than a sign saying "Road Work" and a long line of cars and trucks at an absolute stop for about half an hour. Then, finally when that broke up I was caught in a Slow Boat to China Parade behind a contraption that sprayed the yellow dividing lines on the road. We were behind that spraying behemoth until the Pennsylvania border. Oh joy. When I arrived near my Mom's, I noticed that the time was only 11:30 am. That meant "The Price is Right" was still on and my Mother does

Cemetery Trolling

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This morning I engaged in one of my favorite activities, cemetery trolling. Through my membership in Find a Grave.com, they sent me a request to take pictures of two graves in the Milton Cemetery in Milton, PA. Today was hot and steamy but I ventured forth anyway and search for the graves. For some reason I can’t explain, I receive a great sense of peace and tranquility when exploring a cemetery. Spring and fall are the best times to troll through cemeteries. However, I had this request today and I felt a need to fulfill it now. Bill and I went to Milton earlier to check our friend’s lawn. He’s away for awhile and we stopped by to make sure it didn’t get too wild. While we were there I had visited awhile with his neighbor, who has an absolutely beautiful garden. Bill was mowing our friend’s lawn but had to stop because the heat was overbearing. I took him home and returned to the cemetery. Bill usually likes to go cemetery trolling with me but he couldn’t do it in this heat. I took

Musings on a Hot and Humid August Sunday

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The oppressive heat and the humidity continues heavy in the air on this August Sunday in lower Delaware, bringing outside activity to a halt. I would love to take my daily walk but I know when I return I will be drenched in sweat. I’ ve already taken one shower today. I don’t feel a need to increase Tidewater’s (our local water supply company) profits anymore than I have already this summer. Bill and I took a ride up to Milton this morning. I was out of strawberries for my breakfast of corn chex cereal. I decided to swing on my Pepper’s Nursery. Not much activity going on their either. I purchased a large flowered pot to transplant my poinsettia flower which I’ ve been coddling along in a succession of ever bigger pots since I purchased it as a $1.29 orphan this past Christmas. By Christmastime this year I should have a monster poinsettia to celebrate brighten up my sun room on the cold days of winter, which will surely come. Mr. Pepper had an obituary and a picture of his longti

A Good Day

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Today was one of those good days. Our friend, who I've been writing about, agreed to visit us today. He came over in the afternoon and spent several hours with us. We watched the classic "The Boys In The Band" downstairs in the cool climes of our finished basement on a wide screen TV. The last time he saw this movie was thirty nine years ago. Time sure does fly. After the movie we had dinner and my new favorite restaurant, The Flying Crab. The owner recognizes me now (I've been there so often) and waited personally waited on my. I'm not used to all this attention but I welcomed it. Later, we came back and our friend spent some quality time with Bill on our back deck. He said he felt a lot better since he came over for this visit. He left just before dark but not before promising to come over for dinner when we have our other mutual friend over for dinner. I think the best medicine for our friend now is to get his mind off of his bad situation and to enable

The Dog Days of Summer

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The days are getting shorter. In a few short weeks, summer 2009 will end. Another year, another summer, another season will be over. The bluebirds have already gone. Most of the Purple Martins have departed for destinations unknown. A few have returned at the end of the day of nest on top of their summer home out in the back yard. A nest of young sparrows is in one of the Purple Martins apartments. Yes, I relented and finally let one sparrow couple raise their young in the Purple Martin house. They persisted all summer in building their nest and laying their eggs and I was just as persistent in getting rid of the eggs before they hatched. I felt guilty every time I did it but I had to make room for the Purple Martin young. Now that most of them are gone, I have relented and let them raise at least one batch. I know it's not logical but maybe it will make up for all those sparrow eggs that I tossed earlier this summer. Tomorrow I was supposed to go to a Gouge family reunion near

Dinner at Paul and Jack's Place

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Bill and I took the long ride down to Ocean City, Maryland this afternoon for dinner with our friend Paul and Jack. This is the first time I’ ve driven to Ocean City since we moved here almost three years ago. It was an experience. First we ran into the heavy rush hour traffic in Rehoboth Beach. Then as we entered Dewey Beach, the skies opened with a heavy shower. We had to pull off the road for about 20 minutes for the cats and dogs to stop falling. Then we were on our way again driving down the narrow strip of land that connects the southern most part of Delaware from Ocean City, Maryland. We drove through sunshine, another shower, sun again and again another shower. It was like we were being tested. Finally we saw the high rises lining the ocean beach that are unique to Ocean City, Maryland. Paul and Jack’s condo was just off 120 th Street. Even though I missed the first turn, we still arrived on time (5 o’clock) and were greeted warmly by Paul and Jack

Hubris

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“Hubris” is a book about the inside story of the spin, scandal, and the selling of the Iraq war written by Michael Isikoff and David Corn. It was my good luck that Mr. Isikoff was a guest in the hotel where I work. When I told Mr. Isikoff that I had a copy of his book, he generously offered to autograph my copy of his book. Never one to miss an opportunity, I called Bill and asked him to bring it o me at the hotel. Mr. Isikoff autographed my book with the message “To Ron, who has a sharp eye for the news. Best Wishes, Michael Isikoff, 8/03/09.” My book and the autographed page are pictured on this blog. Needless to say I was very honored and happy that Mr. Isikoff took time to autograph my book. Even better, he stayed a while and we discussed the run-up to the Iraq war and how the news media failed to ring the alarm. I mentioned to him that my co-worker now has a son in Iraq which brings home the consequences of this war of choice which should never have happened. During our conv

Breakfast Room at the Inn

If I say so myself, I think I set out a pretty nice breakfast at the hotel where I work. Breakfast comes free with the room!

Brush with Celebrity

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Every once in a while, in my corner of the world, wherever that happens to be, I occasionally meet a famous person. My latest brush with celebrity was Saturday morning at my job as a front desk clerk at a small boutique hotel in Lewes, Delaware. I cannot mention the name of this famous person out of respect for his privacy and my position at the hotel but I can say he is a very well known person. I’ve seen him on TV for the past twenty years or so and have always admired him and his candid, straightforward way of explaining the issues in the field in which he is a recognized expert. He is also in charge of a large government agency which has a budget of billions of dollars. I haven’t met or encountered that many celebrities in my lifetime but I have found the encounters to be very interesting. I have a chance to see what they’re really like . The famous person I met this weekend was a very pleasant, unassuming, down to earth man who, if you didn’t know who he was, you would never s