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Showing posts from November, 2010

Christmas Lights 2010

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The Christmas lights are up! Every year putting up the lights gets harder and harder.  I may just be getting too old to untangle strings of colored, blinking, Christmas lights looking for that one bad light that knocks half the string. This year I even flirted with the idea of putting one significant Christmas candle in a window as my contribution to the yearly, friendly competition in the neighborhood to see how can have the most spectacular Christmas lighting display.  But then I decided that I didn't want to be the "Bah humbug!" old man of the neighborhood.  I gave in and asked Bill to drag out the Christmas lights from the attic.  I would take them out myself but since I stepped through the ceiling floor last year when I put the lights up there I'm not allowed in the attic anymore.   The day after Thanksgiving was a mild day so that was the perfect time to put up the lights.  I hate to put up Christmas lights on a windy, cold day.  Best to take advantag

Heroes of the Day

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Del Dot Roadside Litter Pickup Crew Volunteers on Oyster Rocks Road November 27, 2010 We hear a lot about heroes these days.   Pictured above are my candidates for heroes of the day.   You won't see these heroes featured on Anderson Cooper's "Heroes" program.   You won't read about these heroes in the newspaper. You won't see these heroes presented with an award by President Obama. No, these heroes don't fit in any of the above categories. These heroes are a group of fine folks who have volunteered to pick up the trash that is strewn aside our beautiful roads here in southern Delaware. I was returning to my home off of Oyster Rocks Road, east of Route 1early this cold and windy afternoon.  I had just spent about two hours teaching my elderly friends Bob and Jim how to use e-mail on their new computer.  Jim and Bob live in a doublewide about two miles outside of Georgetown, on Anderson Corner Road on twenty-two acres of scrub woodland.

Black Friday

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Friday is almost gone and I did not spend one penny shopping.   Very good Ron! Oh I remember years past when I was out there in the thick of the throng of shoppers.  Not this year nor did I go out last year.   Part of the reason is that I really don't have anyone to shop for.  Bill doesn't like to receive Christmas presents.  I don't give out any other presents other than to my neighbor Barb and my friend Bob.  I like to give them something personal that I created myself which is usually a picture calendar from photographs I've taken during the year.   In the past I always shopped for my Mother.  Her birthday was on December 24th so I did double duty on the shopping for her.  Mom died this year so I won't even do shopping for her.  And I'll tell you, it's sort of hitting me harder than I thought.  This is the first year in my life that I'm not shopping for my Mom.  The first time in 69 years.   The temperature was a tolerable 61 degrees

Thanksgiving 2010

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Horace (my pal) and T (Bill's pal) during a rare moment when they shared the same basket Here I am sitting at home on this gray Thanksgiving morning 2010.   In a few hours I'll leave for work at the hotel.  This is how I've been celebrating Thanksgiving since we moved to Delaware four years ago this month. I have no complaints.  I don't mind working Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I'm not one for all the hub bub of holiday activity.  I'm not a "Bah humbug" kind of guy, but some years ago I just decided to opt out of all the holiday season pressure and celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas the way I preferred, which is this way.   Having said that, now here are some of my reasons (in no particular order) why I am thankful this Thanksgiving: I AM THANKFUL FOR: My freedom - to do, say and live as I please Living in the United State of America - the greatest country in the history of the world My friends - many and varied but I love them all

Security Theater

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Today is the busiest travel day of the year, the day before Thanksgiving.   Today Security Theater will be in full mode. The ridiculous, ineffective, invasive new security procedures at airports of full body scans and pat downs will be in effect for the prisoners  airline passengers traveling today. Editorials are being written about telling airport passengers to "get over it" and submit to the new humiliating and ineffective procedures of having their bodies scanned revealing all and/or having a personal "pat down" which in effect is a full body grope.  What has happened to our society?  I thought these procedures were for folks arrested for crimes and prisoners upon entering prison?   Many of the talking heads on TV also voice "what's the big deal?"  I find it amazing that people who are paid a LOT OF MONEY to analyze these things are SO STUPID.  Chris Matthews of "Hardball" is one that comes to mind.  He says h

An Element of Risk

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Let's face it, we're always going to be at risk when we fly.  No amount of airport security will guarantee 100% safety from a potential terrorists once we're on the airplane. Tonight I was watching Chris Matthews on "Hardball" debate the subject of enhanced airport security with the full body scans and the pat downs.  While I usually agree with Chris, on this subject I do not agree.  Chris, with the typical arrogance of most of the talking heads on TV and cable, says he travels a lot and "doesn't have a problem with airport security."   Well goody two shoes for Chris.  So he's not bothered.  That still doesn't address the problems of others who are humiliated by the new airport security with the body scans that show the nude body and the invasive pat downs. Chris asks the question of the person he is bullying "What do you expect the TSA employees to do?"   I have an answer for that.  Have the public empty their pocket in a co

Back on Line

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I 'm back on line folks and not a minute too soon.  So much to discuss. Well, it turns out the problem with the Internet connection was inside.  My telephone cord went bad.  Just like that, it went bad.  I didn't touch a thing.   Vicky, my Verizon service person (who I know quite well now from her numerous visits for my numerous service calls) checked the DSL speed coming in my house.  I have a direct line from outside the wall into my home office.  That speed was 7 MP.  At a loss at what to do now, we switched the telephone line inside that goes to the router.  Viola!  That worked!   I am humbled.  I was wrong.  It wasn't Verizon's fault but my own negligence for having a bad telephone line.  Uh, and just how was I to know that.  Well, "things happen."   So I'm back on line and now it's Catch Up Time. I have a lot to write about the TSA and their Security Theater at the airport.  I will do that in a future blog posting.  I'll prob

TSA and the "audacity of grope" - On Liberty blog - Boston.com

TSA and the "audacity of grope" - On Liberty blog - Boston.com I found this blog that expresses my feelings about the absurdity of the new enhanced methods of airport security which gives the passenger the option of a Full Montny naked body scan or a "check your junk" pat down with gloved hand (like that makes a difference whether or not you're being sexually molested.) My Internet connection at home is still being held hostage by Verizon's "not over the weekend" service. I got an automated call from Verizin today that said a service technician will be at my house by 7 pm. Oh goody, I didn't have anything to do all day anyway than wait around for a telephone service rep. Bill said it right yesterday, we really are getting to old for this aggravation. Two weeks ago I had the DirecTV guy in to straighten out my satellite signal. Now I gave another precancerous growth on my neck and I was just at the dermatologist at the VA last month and

Lost Internet Connection

Hi folks! I lost my Internet connection.......AGAIN! Thank you very much Verizon. I'm working from my iPad at work now. I'm glad my workplace has a wifi. I'm glad I have an iPad, one of the best investments I've ever made. So here I am, thwarted from expressing my usual creative juices through my blog postings. Verizon is coming out Monday afternoon to "fix" the problem. What the problem is that Verizon just doesn't have the capacity to handle it's customers here in lower Delaware. If they can't fix this problem with my slow and dropped Internet connections I may had to go back to Comcast........humbled and with my tail between my legs. I hate Comcast. There customer service skills are atrocious. They're too expensive. But at least they have reliable service. That's because they're operating through a cable and Verizon is operating through a phone line. Who knows? Maybe Comcast will surprise me and dropped their arrogant att

Don't Touch My Junk!

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"Don't touch my junk!" is the new phrase de jure.  Actually the exact phrase was "If you touch my junk I'll have you arrested for sexual assault!"  It was uttered by a young man from San Diego who was undergoing the new "enhanced" airport security measures.   I stopped flying when you had to take your shoes off before boarding an airplane.  Hey, I make most people take off their shoes before they enter my house but this idiotic requirement to take off your shoes to check them for explosives is asinine.  How many potential shoe bombers have we caught since the practice was put into place?    NONE. Now we have new "enhanced" requirements that the TSA airport screeners use the front of the hand to go around a woman's breast and up and down a man's leg.  I don't know about you but the last time I underwent a "procedure" of that sort was when I was in a gay bar on New Year's Eve.  Back then we called it gr

Four Years and Counting

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Yesterday, November 17th, was the fourth anniversary of our move to Delaware. I will always remember that date, not only because it was the traumatic ending to the nightmare of selling our house in Pennsylvania but it is also the birthday of my favorite (and only)  sister-in-law, Barbara Tipton.  And yes, I did call Barbara yesterday and sing "Happy Birthday" to her over the phone.  I can't sing but she said she liked it.  That's Barbara, just about the best sister-in-law a guy could ever have.  We're both Scorpios, maybe that also helps to explain the special affinity we have for one another. The picture on this blog is of Bill, me and my brother John.  I don't remember what we were studying but we were in our new house.  Whatever it was, it was important.  Don't tell anyone, but John is the smart one in our family.  That is a big admission for me to make since I am the oldest brother.  John is the youngest and Isaac is in the middle.  We are br

Holocaust Museum

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Nazi Propaganda Poster from the Holocaust Museum Yesterday my friend Bob C. and I took a church sponsored trip to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. The weather was appropriated gray, overcast day with slow, intermittent rain for such a solemn visit to this memorial of one of the worst episodes of man's inhumanity to man. I thought I knew just about all there was to know about the holocaust.  After a day at the Holocaust Museum I have a new awareness of the true extent of evil of this dark period of human history. One thing that impressed me mightily was how well done everything was done.   From the architecture of the building to the visual displays.   Within five minutes of entering the building and seeing the first photographs and film, I was overwhelmed.  My throat choked up and tears welled in my eyes.   I can now see the need for the numerous benches and places to sit.  Sometimes you have to stop and just gather yourself before proceeding on.

Almost There

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Hey folks!  I'm almost back to my ornery self.  My arm is MUCH BETTER! Today I engaged in a tete a tete with one of my Tipton cousins on FB.  We had a political discussion.   He is of the conservative Republican persuasion that believes in no government or social programs.   Do away with Social Security, Medicare, the VA.  You know, the Glenn Beck/Bill O'Reilly/Sean Hannity mantra. No taxes. No government except to declare war so those of us in the lower socio-economic order can sacrifice our sons and daughters in this mindless destruction. I've been holding off commenting on the recommendations of the Deficit Commission.  I can't hold off any longer.  Here goes! How about those two bozo's who are chairing the commission?  Alan Simpson, the Angry Old Man from Wyoming.  Did you ever see a better candidate to play The Grinch? Then there is Erskine Bowles?  WTF kind of name is "Erskine?"  He looks like an "Erskine."  You

Arm Injury Update

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Exactly one month ago today, as I was entering the front door of the American Legion Post 28 in Millsboro I did a "Dick Van Dyke" trip and fell and injured my right arm. The only other time in my life I injured any of my limbs was in 1960 when I dislocated my right knee while playing pool (don't ask how that happen, that's another whole story) in the day room of the Ft. Meade, Maryland barracks where I was stationed while I was in the Army. That injury resulted in me wearing a cast on my right leg for six weeks, hip to ankle.  While inconvenient, that injury wasn't near as painful (except when the doctor in the emergency room slipped my knee socket back in place - OWWWWW) as this injury. Thank God I didn't break anything during my fall a month ago.  An X-ray did reveal a small fracture of my upper right arm which the doctor told me "don't do anything."  If I touch that area, it is sensitive but doesn't hurt.  Where I had my big pro