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Showing posts from September, 2009

Why I Quit My Census Job

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This past winter when I heard from a friend that the U.S. Census Bureau was hiring workers for the 2010 census I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for a part time job. For years I have been researching my family genealogy. I have often read the census records from 1790 (the first official U.S. Census) to 1930 (the latest year for which the census is available to the public.) I often thought that if I had the opportunity I would be a census worker myself so future generations could view the results of my conscientious efforts. In early Spring I took the test for be a census worker. I passed the test and was offered a job as census enumerator. Basically, that is a pre census job in locating the housing units to send the official census forms in the fall. I was scheduled to attend a week long class before I begin my actual job. The first day of class a red flag went up. Sure, we were to be paid $16.25 an hour and now I knew why. This is a hard job. Not only i

Reality is Settling In

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The reality of the condition of our former home is starting to settle in now. Back when we sold our home in November of 2006 I would never have predicted that our former home would end up as a "Grey Gardens" home. It is ironic because just a few weeks ago I saw the documentary about Grey Gardens from one of my Netflix DVD rentals. Bill has always been upset that we left our home in Pennsylvania because he treasured the privacy that it offered him. Over the twenty five years that we lived there, he put his heart and soul into building the sun room and the massive brick edifice in the front of the building. It was heartbreaking for Bill to see the neglect of the property over the last three years. Bill builds drainage ditches. They were all clogged with debris. The roof gutters had weeds growing out of them from the accumulation of three years worth of debris. My fishponds that I lovingly took care of faithfully every spring, summer and fall were loaded with dead l

Five Lessons in Life

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I don't usually post something like this to my blog but I thought this was well worth it.  A friend sent it to me by e-mail.  Good lessons in life.  Always remember, the best lesson in life is the Golden Rule.  Treat others the way you want them to treat you.  I know this one has been around before, but It's worthwhile reading again. Five (5) lessons to make you think about the way we treat people.. 1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady. During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: 'What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?' Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times.. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student ask

You Really Can't Go Home Again

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Bill and I visited our former home in Pennsylvania today. We just got back home here in Delaware a few minutes ago. All I can say is that we're still in shock after discovering the advanced state of disrepair of our former home and property. The grounds were totally unkempt. I don't believe the hedges were ever trimmed since the say we sold the property on November 17, 2006. Fallen branches and debris litter the lawn at every turn. The fish ponds are still there but are full of decaying leaves. Much to my surprise I saw two goldfish. God knows how they survived the past almost three years. I feel so guilty leaving them to this fate. The inside of the house is just as bad. The beautiful solid walnut wood floors that were Varathaned to a high gloss, are chipped and scratched big time. I suspect the scratches are mostly from dog toenails since the owners have a dog. The scratches are extra high near the windows where the dog obviously got excited when someone approac

House for Sale

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I just heard that our old property in Pennsylvania is up for sale.  If I had the money I would buy it back in a second. Bill has never been happy at our new home in Delaware.  I am very happy at our new home in Delaware. My plan was to win the Powerball so I could buy our old home back.  Bill could live up there and I could live here in Delaware.  We could visit each other. I have a rich friend who has a home in Rehoboth Beach and a home not too far from our old home in Pennsylvania.  Like our old home, his Pennsylvania home is also in the woods.  His home in Delaware is three blocks form the Atlantic Ocean.  Our home in Delaware is two miles from the Delaware Bay.  Our friend travels back and forth between his two homes.  Our friend is rich.  We are not rich.  That's why I want to win the Powerball lottery.  Then I will be rich and can buy back our old home in Pennsylvania.

Never Too Many Flowers

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Bill and I got back from our weekly breakfast at Zorba's restaurant in Rehoboth Beach a short time ago. We're both full of buttermilk pancakes. What a wonderful way to start the day. The skies are clear, the temperatures are cool (66 degrees) and the cool breeze of the morning invigorates the spirit. It is on days like this that one is glad to be alive. Our neighbor stopped by last night to bring Bill some of his homemade grilled chicken. He warned me and Bill that he may have to use a machete to cut his way through our foliage to get to our front door the next time he stops over. I love a walkway that is enveloped by a colorful border of flowers. For years and years I wanted such a walkway but when I lived in the woods in Pennsylvania the deer would not permit it. The deer ate my impatient flowers as soon as they bloomed. They ate my Hosta plants. They ate my azalea plants. They ate my rhododendron plants. They ate everything. Today I start my three day bl

Crazy Days

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I thought I was going to coast through this week after only having to work Monday night at the hotel. That didn't happen. Here's just a short list of all the unexpected things that happened that has worn this old boy out: Monday: Had a scheduled appointment with the dermatologist at the Wilmington VA. I missed my ride (they were looking for me at the American Legion Post 28 in Millsboro and I was at Rts. 1 and 5.) Bill had to drive me to the VA. At the VA I got three precancerous spots burned off of my face. That procedure didn't feel good. After shopping at Sam's Club in Dover, we get home in time for me to have a quick lunch and go in early to relieve the daytime front desk clerk who had to pick up her daughter at school. I get off work at 11 that night and get home exhausted. Tuesday: A day of "rest." No obligations today so I took the time to mow and trip the grass on my one acre property. That chore took about two hours. While I love wo

Visit From an Old Friend

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Today I had a visit from an old friend and former co-worker from my Philadelphia bank days. The last time I saw Tom was in 1996. We used to work together from 1987 to 1994 at Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia. Over the years we have talked on the phone but not seen each other face to face since the last time he visited me when I worked at Downingtown National Bank. Tom called last night and said he was in Ocean City Maryland and would I mind if he stopped in for a visit. Of course I said I would love to see him. Tom was one of my favorite co-workers at Fidelity Bank. The reason for that is probably because we think a lot alike. However, that is where the similarities end. Tom is straight, I am gay. Tom is a millionaire and I am poor. But he's still the same Tom that I remember from our days at Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia. Friendly, funny and personable.  I've often told Tom he could make a living as a stand-up comedian, he is that funny.  When Tom was a youngst

Visit to the VA

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I missed my ride to the VA yesterday. As Bill and I sat waiting in the early morning murkiness that is the parking lot of the liqueur store located at Rt. 1 and Rt. 5, I had an ominous feeling that the American Legion van wasn't stopping by to pick me up. I was right. Six o'clock rolled around. No van. It is now six fifteen am and still there is no van. Maybe they're late. "No ", I tell Bill,” they're not coming ." Six thirty and it is now daylight. We're still in the parking lot waiting in vain for a ride that will never arrive. I call the van coordinator, waking him. Still half asleep, he told me he put me on the calendar at the American Legion. Then I thought "I didn't tell him to pick me up at Rt. 1 and 5." Ah ha. My fault. My appointment at the VAMC in Wilmington was for 9:00 am in the dermatology department. I told Bill he will have to take me to the VA. It's a 90 mile trip one way. One plus is now we could give

Feed the Meter

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This evening I met my friend The Cajun in Rehoboth beach for a drink and a Wimpy burger at the Purple Parrot. We haven't been to any downtown Rehoboth Beach restaurant since before Memorial Day, the influx of the Horde (aka Summer Tourists.) We locals tend to stay away from downtown Rehoboth during the height of the summer season. We turn the town over to the tourists to deposit their cash at our many and sundry summertime attractions. One of the biggest money earners are the parking meters. $1.50 gets you an hour parking spot right in downtown Rehoboth Beach, where all the action is. Traveling down Rt. 1 was a breeze early this evening as compared to the summertime traffic which is likely as not to be backed up. Taking the turn on Rt. 1A into Rehoboth was a pleasure this evening. My friend The Cajun and I caught up on the past few months. We're both in the service industry (he a host at a local restaurant and me a front desk clerk at a local hotel.) We traded war sto

A Touch of Fall

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Yesterday morning Bill and I headed out to Rehoboth Beach and Zorba's Restaurant for our usual weekly breakfast. The food at Zorba's is mediocre at best but the layout of the restaurant is comfortable (a lot of booths)and  the services good and also gay friendly. Yesterday morning we both ordered a short stack of buttermilk pancakes. I have to say they were heavenly. I brought along my own authentic 100% maple syrup. I try to keep my consumption of all those high fructose corn syrup concoctions down to a minimum and who knows what's in that pancake syrup they serve at Zorba's.  My stomach is too tempermental at this stage of my life for me to take a chance on the unknown substance they call "maple syrup" in the sticky container the waitress placed on our formica topped table. As we sat in the restaurant sipping our coffees (mine decaf and Bill's full blast caffeinated), I watched the traffic out on Route 1. The amount of cars and SUV's with bicyc

Barry Goldwater is Rolling Over in his Grave

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Want to know why I'm not a registered Republican anymore? The picture on this blog will tell you why. It is of a straight, white man from the South. It is of Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina. Last night during President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress, Representative Wilson broke all decorum by shouting "You lie!" in response to President Obama's speech that his health care proposal would not cover illegal immigrants. While no one disagrees with Representative Wilson's right to disagree with President Obama, few will agree that his manner of expressing his opinion was way out of line. Few that is except Fox News but that is another whole world that I won't go into now. For most of my adult life I was a registered conservative Republican. The first president I voted for was Barry Goldwater. He espoused my views on government and our society. I started to lose it with the Republican Party during the 1992 Republican Party Conv

Black and White Photos

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Remember when the only pictures your could take were black and white? This was back in the Fifties when I first started to take pictures. Then color photography arrived on the scene. It didn't take too long before almost all amateur photographers took color pictures. Unless you were Annie Leibovitz , most didn't realize the dramatic effect and beauty of black and white photos. On this rainy Wednesday afternoon I was looking through some old photo albums and I came across one with black and white photos. I don't remember where I got the black and white film but here are some of the photos that I took of myself. The date was 1981 (almost 30 years ago, hard to believe) at my previous home in Pennsylvania. Nice beard.

Are They Gone Yet?

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As I was waiting to cross over Route 1 on my way to work yesterday I viewed the steady stream of cars, vans and SUV's headed north on Route 1, which seemed endless. Finally, there was a break in the lava flow of traffic and I quickly darted my 98 red Subaru Forester across the road to make a left turn and head down to Lewes, where I work at the hotel and was due on the afternoon shift at 3 PM. All the cars, bicycle laden SUV's and motor homes were going home from the shore points of southern coastal Delaware after a glorious, sun drenched Labor Day Weekend. Goodbye! We full time year round inhabitants really appreciate you all coming down and spending your discretionary dollars but now you can go home. THANKS! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Last night at the hotel we had precisely ONE room rented. Now this is a Labor Day Drop off. This is good news and bad news. The good news is that the job won't be as stressful from here on out. The bad news is that my ho

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

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Sometimes I feel melancholy. Not sad, but melancholy. Today was one of those days. I am saddened by what I see happening in our country. There is a persistent and increasingly successful campaign by those on the Right to delegitimize our president. This cannot bode well for our country. At best our country will be led by an ineffectual and irrelevant president. At worst (and I hate to even contemplate this thought) our country will dissolve into an anarchy worse than any that foreign terrorists could wish upon us. As Pogo said many years ago “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Indeed, this prophetic announcement made in a cartoon all those years ago is coming true today. I will not go into the politics in this blog. My only purpose in this posting is to express my sadness and concern. Those who know me know that I’m not a church going religious person. The church left me down a long time ago when it condemned me to Hell for my homosexuality. I could never accept man made or

Full Moon Day

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Five o’clock rolled around early this morning. I had to be in work by 7 am to open up the hotel on this Labor Day weekend. Looking out my Wall of Windows in my great room I saw a full moon hanging in the sky. That portended the day to follow. First thing I do on the way to work on the morning shift is to stop at the Food Lion in Five Points to pick up the morning papers to place in the hotel’s breakfast room. At this early in the morning, everyone is moving slow, including yours truly. At quarter to seven I burst through the doors to Food Lion looking for the papers. No papers. Right behind me is a rough looking gal delivering the papers. I quickly grab the papers I need and I’m off to work. I arrive shortly before 7 am, clock in and immediately encounter a Needy Guest. Now my job at the hotel is the front desk clerk. I check guests in the hotel, I take reservations, I answer questions like which restaurant serves the best crab cakes, where can they rent bicycles and other m

Sour Cream Apple Pie

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With the cooler temperatures I can start using my oven again. Hallelujah! Below is my adapted recipe from Cooks.com for sour cream apple pie. I use Granny Smith apples but you can use any apple that you like. Enjoy! SOUR CREAM APPLE PIE 9 inch unbaked pie shell 1 egg 1 cup sugar 1 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon salt 6 cups thinly sliced apples TOPPING 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 1/3 cup all purpose flour 1/4 cup salted butter Bake pie crust at 350 degrees for 7 minutes (partially baked.) Beat the egg slightly; add sugar, sour cream, flour, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Add sliced apples; mix and put into pie shell. Bake 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Meanwhile, make the topping. Mix brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter (make sure it's cold). Sprinkle on pie. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake 15 minutes longer or until topping is nice and browned to your liking. Take out of oven and co

A Beautiful Day in Delaware

This is two of an absolutely beautiful day in Delaware. The air is crisp, the humidity is low and the breeze is gentle. Most of all the temperature is perfect at 70 degrees. It just doesn't get much better than this. The impatients that line our walkway come up from the seeds spread by the previous year's impatient plants. Nature chooses the color. The red salvia in the back also came up by themselves, from seeds of previous years. I love impatients because they always stay neat and last the whole season until the first frost. When the first frost hits, they're gone. They look like the Wicked Witch of the West after she melted. But until that day of demise, they are glorious and we are enjoying them. The question is now, why am I sitting at this computer when I could be outside enjoying this wonderful day. I'm gone!