Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

A little bondage with "Frankie"




Halloween is here already! 
"Frankie" (Big Bob") clicks with a chick at the Venture Inn, Philadelphia, PA

"Lady Marmalade" Venture Inn, Philadelphia, PA 1980


This year I'm not dressing up unless you consider my hotel front desk clerk work drag as dress up.




I have the candy packets tied and ready to go on the dining room table.  Bill will have to hand them out tonight to all the little ghosts and goblins while I'm working at the hotel this evening.  Maybe I'll see some of the little monsters at work.  


A Lost Soul at the Venture Inn, Philadelphia, PA 1980




The pictures in this blog were taken from my last big Halloween blast 30 years ago when I had an apartment in center city Philadelphia.  My friend Big Bob and I went out and prowled the gay bars in costume.  I got more hits with my mask on that I ever did with my regular face.  Hmmmmm.


Have a happy Halloween!


Me, pretty well soused on my G & T at some after hours club, Halloween, Philadelphia, PA 1980



Saturday, October 30, 2010

37 Things About Myself

  1. I descend from English stock.  My paternal line has been in North America over 9 generations (1690) and my maternal line 5 generations (1850.)  I am thoroughly WASP (Baptist and Quaker.) 
  2. I am the oldest of three brothers.  I am the shortest in height (6'3") and the lightest in weight (160). I can still whip my brothers.
  3. Both parents are deceased  I never saw them argue but there were periods of silence (how my Mother let my Father knew she was upset.)
  4. I collect a lot of things.  In fact I'm a border line hoarder.  
  5. I love paintings of ships on the ocean.
  6. I hate sea food.  Sea food reminds me of what washes up on the beach after the tide goes out.
  7. Tea is my drink.  Turkey Hill Diet Decaf Orange tea, diluted half with water.  I will (and have) travel for miles to restock.
  8. I try to walk every day.  I love to walk.  Walking is my TM.  Plus, it keeps me trim and fit.
  9. My favorite singer of all time is Dinah Washington.  No one else comes close. I love her.
  10. My favorite actress of all time is Hedy Lamarr.  I consider her the most beautiful woman ever to grace the surface of the silver screen.  Many years later I discovered we had the same birthday, November 9th.  Spiro Agnew also has the same birthday.
  11. I joined the Army when I was 18 years old.  It was the best decision of my life.  I would have stayed in if I wasn't gay.  I loved being in the Army.
  12. I was the first in my family to graduate from college.  I got an associate degree in business management from Peirce Junior College on the GI bill.  Neither one of my parents finished high school.
  13. My work career was in bank trust operations.  I could reconcile any account balance and get trust remittances mailed on time.  My legend continues to live on long after I retired.
  14. I work now part-time as a hotel front desk clerk.  I love my job.  I get to meet all kinds of cool people and provide top notch customer service.  Every day is an adventure.
  15. I lived most of my life in and around southeastern Pennsylvania.  I now live in southern Delaware because I can no longer afford the high taxes in Pennsylvania.  Plus, I always wanted to live near the water which I do now.
  16. I take medicine for prostate and one baby aspirin a day.  Occasionally I take an allergy pill when the pollen account is high.
  17. I smoked cigarettes for six years (Marlboro flip top box.)  I quit July 15, 1967 because the price jumped from 30 cents a pack to 35 cents a pack.  Plus, I didn't like the cough I was developing.
  18. I smoked marijuana three times in the late 70's.  Didn't like it.  Never tried any other drugs. 
  19. When I make a mistake I try not to repeat it but instead learn from my mistakes.
  20. I love to read.  Biographies, histories and current events.
  21. I am a political junkie.  I used to be a conservative Republican until the 1992 Republican convention in Houston Texas.  Pat Buchanan gave a speech in which he compared homosexuality with deviant crimes.  When I saw the white, clean cut audience cheering him on I realized that I was in the wrong political party.  I am gay.
  22. I am in a long term relationship with my partner Bill since 1964.  He is Irish.  We frequently clash but we love one another in spite of our many differences.  I will never live with another person.
  23. I love cats.  I don't have a cat because my partner Bill doesn't like cats.  
  24. I love Pomeranian dogs.  We have had five of them but can have no more.  Bill couldn't take another death of one of these loyal and devoted companions.
  25. I am not mechanically inclined.  Bill is.
  26. I love to cook, Bill doesn't.
  27. I love to garden, Bill doesn't.
  28. I take care of running the household, Bill hates that  He fixes things when they break.  I can't.  
  29. My favorite dish of all time, eggplant parmesan.  
  30. I have a sweet tooth but I don't eat candy.  However, I do permit myself one indulgent dessert daily, usually before bedtime.
  31. Since childhood I have had a lack of self confidence.  I've grown much better as I matured but way down deep there is still that feeling that I'm not good enough.  
  32. I love to write.  When I was a teenager I had over 57 pen pals.  I discovered blogging in 2006 and haven't looked back since.  Blogging is part of my life.  I would be lost without it.
  33. Some of my favorite things - rainy days, cold windy January days (while I'm snuggled in the house), BBC Masterpiece Theatre DVD's, clocks (just ask Bill), pens, genealogy research, photography (ask anyone - I always have a camera bag around my neck), dining out with friends (which is rare because most of my friends are either too poor to dine out or else don't dine with me because I bore them), Fritos Blazing chips, and anything spicy.  I love to spice up my food.
  34. I'm usually easy going but I do have a fearful temper if riled enough.  You don't want to be around when that happens because it will change your opinion of the Easy Going Ron. It is truly a fearful thing to see.  
  35. I would like to visit England and my ancestral roots before I die.  The only time I was out of the country was a short trip to Canada in the early Sixties.
  36. I have no patience for rude people; inconsiderate drivers who don't use turn signals, keep their high beams up and use cell phones, and people who are dishonest with me.  
  37. I am naive.  


Arm Injury Update

Bill waiting for me this morning at the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach




This morning for the first time in almost two weeks, I walked the boardwalk.


Bill took me down.  I still don't feel comfortable driving with my arm that I injured in a fall two weeks ago.  


The only time I've driven since my fall on Sunday, October 17th, was last Sunday when I took a short drive down Oyster Rocks Road.  My arm was still stiff but I was able to drive.  However, I still didn't feel comfortable driving on Rt. 1 so Bill drove me to work this past Wednesday.


I"m scheduled to work tonight and tomorrow night.  I'm going to drive myself.  I have to start sometime.


This week on Tuesday I'm scheduled to see the orthopedic doctor.  I am upset that it will have taken me two weeks from the time of my X-ray until I see the doctor for his analysis of the X-ray.


Hindsight is 20-20 so now I know the next time (which I hope there never is) I fall and injure a limb, I will go directly to the emergency room.  


I thought I was doing the right thing by going to my doctor but apparently this is not the way things are done in the private health care system.  What I should have really done was gone to the VA.  They have always taken good care of me.  


The VA is not a for profit system.  They operate differently.  They see their patients and take care of them immediately.  


It is very obvious from my experience since my fall that the private health care system is inferior to the VA.  Their first priority is to generate a profit.  The care of the patient is obviously secondary.  


I learned my lesson.  I won't make that mistake again.  

Friday, October 29, 2010

In the Neighborhood

Marti and Jane, my neighbors and friends




One of the main reasons I moved to Delaware (four years ago this November 17th) was to move in a friendly neighborhood.  


In the forty-six years that Bill and I have been living together we have lived in a garden apartment complex in Pennsauken, New Jersey.  


We moved to a two story apartment complex in Roxborough (Philadelphia), PA in 1966.  


When the rents went up, we decided to buy a house and we moved to a cute little 16 foot wide town house in center city Philadelphia in 1969.  We lived there for eleven years until I grew tired of the constant wail of police sirens and the lack of green space in the city.


In 1980 we built a two story gambrel roofed farm house on 7 acres of wooded land we purchased in Chester County, PA.  For twenty-five years we enjoyed the sylvan splendors that only a Pennsylvania landscape could provide, deer included.  


As much as we loved our Pennsylvania home in the woods there were several problems.  


We had homophobic neighbors who made our lives a living hell for many of those twenty-five years.  We only got relief when I called the police and threatened to take action with the recently enacted Pennsylvania Hate Crimes law.  Our homophobic neighbors finally backed off but the tenseness never went away.  Even though we built our house there first, we were made to feel unwelcome in that "family friendly neighborhood."


Some of the other problems with living in Pennsylvania were the high school and property taxes and the isolation of living in the woods.  


Late in 2005 I made a decision to get out of that mess we were in Pennsylvania and move to the more tax friendly state of Delaware.


That was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life even though I ended up with a $100,000 mortgage (first mortgage we were carrying since the early 70's) because of the crash in the housing market.  


We had a house built in a planned community (Ryan Homes) with only one tree.  I had enough of living in the woods.  We were also now living in a neighborhood.  We have neighbors.  Our neighbors are great!


We have a diversified neighborhood.  


Straight families and gay families live in this neighborhood.  There are two gay male couples and two female couples (that I know of).


Black families and white families live in this neighborhood.  


Retired couples live in this neighborhood.  A lot of retired couples. 


Families with small children live in this neighborhood. 




 Families with teenage children live in this neighborhood.  


We are a diversified neighborhood.  We all get along together.  We're all in this together.  


This morning Bill and I were headed out of our development to do some shopping (actually, I do the shopping.  Bill was driving because I'm still not driving because of my injured arm - more about that in a future blog posting.)  


As we turned the corner there is Marti and Jane.  They were weeding the plants and shrubs around the entrance to our little 57 unit development called Covington Chase.  They belong to our garden club.  I'm a member too.  But for my still sore arm, I would  have been right out there on this sunny, brisk and windy morning pulling weeds along with them.


Bill stopped his Jeep and I rolled down my window so we could say "Hi!"  Seeing those smiles I couldn't resist taking the picture you see at the beginning of this blog.


Folks, this is what it is all about, good friends and neighbors. 


It doesn't get any better than this.  










Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Do Retired People Do For Amusement?




Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting.  Well, for example, the other day my wife and I went into town and went into a shop.  We were only in there for about 5 minutes. When we came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.  We went up to him and said, "Come on man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?" 









He ignored us and continued writing the ticket.  I called him a Nazi turd.  He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires.  So my wife called him a sh*thead.  He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first.  Then he started writing a third ticket.  This went on for about 20 minutes.  The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote.















Personally, we didn't care.  We came into town by bus and saw the car had a Christine O'Donnell bumper sticker.



We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired... it's important at our age.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Madness Continues

The injured hand

So I go to the Orthopedics Associates for my appointment today at 2:20.  They tell me it is for NEXT TUESDAY, November 2nd.  That would be Election Day.


I am going to see Dr. Otter to go over the results an X-ray I had taken of my injured arm on October 19th, or my fall on October 17th.  TWO WEEKS LATER.


Then I have to go back to my original doctor for what I don't know.  I stopped there on the way back and asked why.  Sandi, the person in the office said "Well, not unless you want to.  We really can't do anything for you. Dr. Otter has the facilities to read the X-ray, we don't."  


You know what I'm thinking?  I'm thinking I would have done just as well to see a doctor when I was at the VA yesterday.  All this talk about a Single Payer System and government takeover of health care....I'll tell you one thing right now.  I get the BEST HEALTH CARE from the VA without all this bullshit.


So I'm using my private health care for an arm injury.  First I go to my doctor.  She sends me to Beebe Medical Campus to get an X-ray.  Then I have to go to the Orthopedic Unit to have the X-ray read.  Then I have to go back to the doctor.  I'M WAITING TWO WEEKS TO HAVE MY X-RAY READ.  Does that make ANY SENSE?  


In the meantime, my supplemental insurance has risen from $117.32 to $136.56 in a little over a year.  It was $117, then $120, then $126, then $130, now it's $136.  I also pay over a $100 a month for Medicare Part B.  So what am I getting for my money?  Basically insurance for an emergency room visit.  I'm not getting timely medical care.  


Last year I tried to see a dermatologist through my private insurance.  This was in May.  I was told the earliest I could get an appointment was DECEMBER!   That's when I decided to go back to the VA even though it requires a trip on the American Legion Van to the 89 miles to the Wilmington VAMC.  I saw the dermatologist yesterday at the VA.  They are from Thomas Jefferson University.  One of the top hospitals in the country for dermatology.  


If the Republicans get in power and have their way they will privatize the VA.  Then everything will be screwed up.  EVERYTHING.  


I'm glad I'm old and I won't have to put up with this crap much longer.  


What a joke.

Incompetence





So yesterday I called Verizon.  I jumped through all the required hoops regarding my poor Internet connection.  The technician said he would send me a new modem.  


I got the modem today.  IT IS THE WRONG MODEM.  I needed a wireless modem (as I told him repeatedly yesterday).  So what do I get, the single modem.


I call Verizon again.  I jump through all the hoops of the telephone menu system that Verizon requires one to endure.  I'm hitting the pound (#) button over and over again.  Then I get a real person.  They promptly put me on hold.  I take out my journal and make my daily entry (I have the time).  


A technician comes on the phone.  I explain my problem.  He puts me on hold while he "checks my account".  I'm on hold a LONG TIME.  He finally gets back on the phone and says he's going to connect me to the billing department.  He tells me they will take care of replacing my modem.  Now I'm in the vortex of hell.


After holding I get someone obviously from India.  The heavy accent in which I can only understand every third word or so.  The women sounds like she's talking from the bottom of a well.  She asks my address.  She asks my name.  She asks for my telephone number.  Here I go jumping through the hoops again.  Finally we get to the problem at hand.  She tells me it will cost me $60.95 to replace the modem.


SAY WHAT?


I impatiently inform her that I have a service contract.  She asks for my address again. AGAIN!  I tell her "I already gave it to you!  Why do you want it again?"  She says something I cannot understand.  I tell her she has a heavy accent and I cannot understand most of what she is saying.  There is a silence.  Then she tells me she needs a mailing address. 


Then we get into the charge.  I ask her "Why am I being charged for a new modem?  I have a service agreement on this modem that I have ALREADY PURCHASED."  She puts me on hold.  She comes back.  She tells me there will be no change.  The new modem will be delivered within 3-5 business days.  




She asks for my e-mail address so she can send me a return label for the wrong modem that they sent to me.  I'm still waiting for that e-mail.  


Why is it that I have the feeling that I'm going to be charged for this modem?  Huh?  Huh?




So here is where I am now.   The old modem is now working, albeit I still have a very slow Internet connection.  I'm waiting for my replacement modem which may or may not work.  


I wasted another two hours on the phone this morning with Verizon.  My arm is hurting.  My appointment at the orthopedic unit is 35 minutes from now.  


I'm outta here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Internet Connection Blues

Stay cool Ron, stay cool.

Hey folks, I keep losing my Internet connection. 


Thank you very much Verizon.


Here's my choice, Verizon or Comcast.  Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. They both suck.


Bear with me.  The new modem will arrive in two days.  If that doesn't work then I will dump Verizon and go back to Comcast.  I hate Comcast.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On The Mend


Another day and another small step forward in improvement.  


My arm is still sore but not as sore as yesterday.  What it feels like is a mind blowing sprain.  


I know what I did now.  My friend Mike of Studio City, CA put it best.....I took a "Dick Van Dyke" fall.  Yep, that's what I did last Sunday when I tripped and fell at the entrance to the American Legion Post 28 building in Millsboro, DE.  


When I knew I was taking my "Dick Van Dyke" I put out my right arm to prevent me from crashing through the double glass doors at the entrance.  Quick thinking for sure but I paid the price for it this past week with the lack of use of my right arm.


I didn't realize how much I depended upon my right arm for every day activities.  I depend on it a lot.  I felt like my freedom was taken away, which it was.


Tonight, for the first time since I fell last Sunday I took my car out (with Bill as a passenger backup) to see if I could manage the steering wheel.  I could.  I still have problems with turning left.  My wrist still feels like someone twisted it around several times.  But at least I can manage to drive myself to work.  


I'm scheduled to go to work at the hotel this Wednesday.  By then I hope most of the pain of the sprain is gone.  If it isn't, I can still manage.  However, I still can't manage to drive into Rehoboth or take on any other traffic challenges.  No, I'm not ready for the Rt. 1 gladiator combat course.


I'll have to end now because the pain is coming back but the good news is that I'll soon be back to my normal speed.  I'll have lots of blog subjects to catch up on.   The world didn't pause just because I did a Dick Van Dyke.  


Oh the wrist is hurting now. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lost Week

Winged Ron




This was a lost week.  I learned something though.  I have a new appreciation for anyone who is disabled.


All this week I've been in pain, dragging around my right arm that I injured in a fall last Sunday.  


Today I finally wised up and got a sling for my arm.  The sling took a lot of pressure off of my arm and thus lessened the pain.


It took me almost a week to realize this.  I noticed that when I went to bed or just laid on my bed and put my right arm at rest, the pain went away.  But during the day, when my right arm was hanging all day, the pain returned.  So viola!  Get a sling Ron. 


That's just what I did this morning when Bill (I still can't drive) took me to Food Lion for some backed up grocery shopping.  I stopped at Happy Harry's and asked where the arm slings where.  The saleslady told me "aisle 13."  I checked aisle 13 and sure enough, there was an arm sling.  One left.  $14.95.  I bought it.


I got back to Bill's Jeep and put it on.  I experienced immediate relief.  


However, I have to stop typing now.  The pain is returning.  


I'm getting better folks.  I really am.  I can't wait until I'm back to normal.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Still Hurting

Jim, Bob and Me - Old Guys With Problems - still smiling




Slowly I am making a recovery.  I am still experiencing a lot of pain, especially after typing or using my right hand for anything.  I'll tell you one thing, I have a new appreciation of using both limbs.


I am right handed.  When I fell I automatically put out my right arm to brace myself (from preventing from falling in the glass door).  That was a mistake.  I should have let my full body weight fall.  But then I may have injured something else, like my collar bone.


On the first day of my injury I couldn't even lift my right arm.  I could put no pressure on it at all.  Which meant that I couldn't brush my teeth, peel a potato, or even use a knife to cut a piece of meat.  I had to learn to take a shower and wash myself with my left hand.  Even going to the bathroom was a problem.  I know, TMI but going to the bathroom and "taking care of business" was even difficult if not impossible.


Since Sunday I have been spending most of my time in bed reading, watching TV and sleeping.  Time is what will heal my arm.


I went to the doctor on Tuesday and she suggested that I have my arm X-rayed, which I did.  Yesterday she said there were "questions" about the X-ray (whatever that means).  She said the orthopedic unit of the hospital would be calling me.  They haven't called yet.  I called the doctor's office today but no one was answering the phone, all five times that I called.


Each day my arm is a little less sore but it is still very painful and I still can't put any pressure on it at all.  I cannot drive because I get shooting pains up my forearm when I make a left hand turn.  Those shooting pains (like an electric shock) are so painful that it distracts my attention from driving.  As a matter of fact, just this little bit of typing is causing ever increasing pain so I'm going to bring this posting to a close now.


Oh, just a note on the picture of the entrance to the American Legion Post 28, no Mark, that wasn't my car in the handicapped parking spot.  I almost always park far away from any entrance mainly to protect my car from dings (which I got one anyway) and for the exercise.  I'm not one of these people who abuses the handicap parking slot.  In fact, the people who do abuse that privilege is one of my pet peeves.


The picture on this blog is of me and my friends Jim and Bob who stopped over for a visit today.  I'm glad they stopped over because it took my mind off of feeling sorry for myself.


I am really looking forward to getting back got normal.  This is the first time in my life I ever injured my arm.  It has caused me to realize how fortunate I am to have both limbs that work.  I will never take them for granted again.  


Now that I'm hurting big time again I will end.








Update on Injury

MY arm is still bad.  I went the doctor Tuesday.  X-rays were taken.  The orthopedic unit is to call me.  That's where I am now.

I still cannot drive.  Thank goodness my co-worker Lisa is filling in for me.

It is very painful for me even to type this little bit.

I look forward to being well again.

Sorry.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Injury



Yesterday, about a minute after this picture was taken of the entrance to the American Legion Post 28 in Millsboro, DE I tripped and fell.   I injured my right arm.

I won't be posting my blog until my right arm heals. It is very painful even as I type this short entry.

The irony is that I trip on the ledge at the entrance to the American Legion Post where are the old people are.  One would think they wouldn't have a ledge at the entrance.  One would be wrong.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It Gets Better

Solitary figure on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, this morning.


The past few weeks several gay teen suicides have been reported.  These gay teens were victims of bullying and harassment by their school classmates and neighbors.  


Joel Burns, a city councilman from Fort Worth Texas made a statement on October 12th during a city council meeting stating that when he was a teenager he was also subjected to bullying.  He stated that he started to question his self worth and thought about suicide.  He went on to further state that he couldn't do that to his parents (commit suicide) and got through his bad period of life during his high school years.


I went to school during the Fifties.  I knew I was different.  I knew I shouldn't tell anyone about the way I felt, especially my family.  However, a few of my classmates did suspect because I was at times called "queer" and "fairy."  The epithet "faggot" hadn't come into universal use yet (that's how old I am).
Me during my "sissy" period in high school, before I learned to butch it up.


I especially remember one time during lunch period in ninth grade (middle school).  I usually ate lunch by myself but on this one occasion I sat down at a table with another group of guys in my class who I liked.  I especially like one guy but I had never talked to him or even introduced myself to him.  I thought this would be a good occasion to try and make friends with this group of guys.


I had already gotten my tray of food and was sitting at an empty table by myself.  I saw the group of guys, including the guy who I really like, coming my way.   As they passed my table, the guy I really liked paused and said to the other guys "Look at the fairy eating by himself.  No one else wants to eat with him.  I WONDER WHY?"  Then they all laughed and sat at the next table.  There were more things said but I couldn't understand what they were saying because of my immense embarrassment.  Then someone would say something again, and they would all laugh.  I was sure they were laughing at me.  I was sure everyone in the cafeteria knew "my secret."  


I don't remember what happened after that other than I changed my lunch period.  I avoided those guys as much as I could.  I wasn't bothered by any of them any more, especially the guy who I liked.  He apparently was the ring leader.  He didn't bother me because his family moved the next year and he no longer went to my school.


In the years since I was occasionally harassed and bullying was attempted.  I won't go into the details here (that's for my book) but what I will say is that I put an end to it with my fists.  A couple of good punches on three different occasions and I was no longer bullied. Of course I know I was very lucky not to have been seriously hurt or hurt someone else.  I was lucky.


I never, NEVER felt like committing suicide.  Again, I was very lucky. My only concern was how to get through school and the Army in one piece without being injured or killed because I was "different."  Ironically, I was never sexually active (I didn't even know what to do) until I was 21 years old and out of the Army.  


I think the reason I was harassed at school was that I was somewhat effeminate ("sissy" was the word used back then.)  I learned to "de sissify" myself.  That's probably what saved me, especially during my Army years.  During basic training I almost killed a fellow trainee who was bullying me.  Again, I was very lucky I didn't end up in the stockade for going after my harasser with a broom handle.  My company commander realized what was happening and told the man (Rondeau, I'll never forget his name) to leave me alone or else HE WAS GOING TO END UP IN THE STOCKADE.  Again, I was very lucky. 

Me, 1960.  Arny basic training.  

Not all teenagers were as lucky as I was.  That's why this epidemic of bullying has to stop and it begins with the people in authority, from the top on down.  That would be President Obama (stop enforcing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy), Congress, law enforcement, local officials, teachers, and parents.  


THE BULLYING HAS TO STOP.


To all gay teenagers who feel trapped and see no way out.  IT DOES GET BETTER.  You're in a much better position that I was in when I was growing up in the Fifties.  You can go to authorities and report being bullied and harassed.  


There will always be those in our society who bully those who they perceive weak, timid and mild.  I was perceived that way.  I refused to let it happen to me.  You can do the same.  Do not turn their hatred into self-hatred.  Throw it back in their face.  


Even at this late stage in my life there are still attempts to bully me.  Recently the husband of a co-worker of mine didn't like the fact that I posted a video of two men dancing the tango on my Facebook page.  He told me "Give it a break."  I confronted him and asked him what he meant by that remark.  He said "Ron I always considered you one of the good gays."  Uh huh.  Does this sound familiar?  Sort of like those Negroes and the good Negroes.  I told he that he sounded a bit homophobic.  When he got that response from me, a "good gay", he went off the deep end.  All his homophobia came out in full bloom. Here we go again, the civilian version of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".  


The bullying will never stop.  When it happens, it must be confronted.  That is the only way it will end.  Because it is true, life does get better.  I know, I'm living it now.  
I still like cats

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Remembering Mom

Me and Mom having lunch at Wegmans in Downingtown, PA Feb. 2009
I didn't know it at the time, but this was the last meal I would have with my Mother


I knew this would happen.  


Today was another one of those days that hit me hard how much I am going to miss my Mother.  


Mom died last month, September 16th.  We knew she was dying.  Her death was actually a blessing because the last three weeks she suffered much.  Even though we knew she was dying her death still was a shock to the system.


We had our funeral for Mom.  Everything went perfectly.  The weather was clear, sunny and crisp.  The James J. Terry Funeral Home in Downingtown saw to our every need.  


For the past twenty-five years or more I've always taken Mom to the family funerals.  Mom would have loved her service.  


Now that everything is all settled down I knew there would be those unexpected times that some place or thing would rudely trigger my memory of just how much I will miss her.


Last week was one such occasion.  I was shopping at J.C. Penney at the Dover Mall.  They had a great sale of women's nightgowns and bathrobes.  I always used to buy my Christmas presents for Mom early.  I also brought her birthday present at the same time.  Her birthday was on December 24th.  I always made sure she got separate birthday presents wrapped in birthday paper.  She often told me the story of how when she was a little girl she never got a birthday present but instead was told "this is your birthday AND Christmas present."  All my life I made sure she got a separate birthday present and one that wasn't wrapped in Christmas paper either.


When I was shopping at J.C. Penney's last week I almost bought her a soft, fluffy bathroom until I remembered....Mom is no longer here.  The stabbing pain of loss hit me right there in the middle of the crowded floor of Penneys.  I paused while a wave of sadness washed over me.  I took a few minutes to recover then I continued to shop.....for myself.


In a few weeks it will be my birthday.  My Mother, all her life, never missed sending me a birthday card.  NEVER.  Friends come and go.  Sometimes they send me cards, sometimes they forget and sometimes they just don't send me a card because they don't consider me worthy of a card.  But my Mom, SHE ALWAYS sent me a card.  SHE NEVER MISSED. NEVER.


This year I had already purchased a birthday and Christmas card for Mom.  Mom wasn't too much on receiving presents (she always told me I bought her too much) but she did like to receive a card.  I wanted to make sure she got her cards this year.  I sent them to her a week before her death. 


I'm glad I did.  John said that even in her pain and her confused mental state at the end, she did recognize the cards and that they were from Number # 1 Son (that would be me).  John said she smiled when he showed her the cards.  


I made sure to send them on two separate days too.  I always made sure not to include her cards together.  That's the way she wanted it.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Profound Disappointment

Resident  cat on Rehoboth Boardwalk this morning.

A federal judge yesterday ruled that the 17 year old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is unconstitutional and should be discontinued immediately.

This is good news.  The bad news is that the justice department of the Obama administration will appeal this decision.

This is the administration of the same Barack Obama that pledged during this campaign to do all he could to end the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.  

Does it sound like Barack Obama said one thing during his campaign but is now acting differently once he is in power?  If you thought that, you would be right.

What was the campaign slogan?  "Change That You Can Believe In?"  Well, guess what?  That was a lie.  

I am profoundly disappointed in President Obama and his lack of leadership on this issue.  

Vice President Joe Biden is running around the country telling those of us unenthusiastic Democratic voters to "stop whining and buck up."  Biden is a jerk.

Susan Collins gets on the Senate floor and tries to have it both ways by saying she believes in the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" but has to vote against a bill to "discuss" the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", because it doesn't permit amendments.  Collins is a jerk.

This is what is going to happen.  Eventually "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be reversed.  It is going to happen.  

As more gays and lesbians come out of the closet and those in power realize that gays aren't those extreme examples seen in gay pride parades like nuns on roller-skates and gyrating men in thongs, they will see that gays like me are not a threat to their lifestyle.  Being gay isn't contagious.  

I'll vote this November.  I'll probably vote for Democratic.  I cannot see voting for a nut bag like Christine O'Donnell.  

One thing is for sure, I'll never vote for Obama again.  He's just another lying politician (like Clinton) who takes the gay vote for granted.  

Lying has consequences.  Got that Joe Biden?




Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Diversity in Action

Bill explaining how the tractor works


Yesterday Bill gave his beloved Wheel Horse lawn mower away.  


Bill bought the Wheel Horse from my brother John for $1,000 in 1980.  John was preparing to move to South Carolina and didn't want to take his tractor with him.  


Bill used that Wheel Horse to mow our lawn in Pennsylvania for 26 years.  


He brought the Wheel Horse with us when we moved to Delaware.  He continued to use it to mow our lawn for the past four years.


A couple of weeks ago our neighbor (who happens to be a Pakistani Muslim doctor) across the street from us told Bill he was selling his house.  He asked Bill if he wanted to buy his John Deere tractor.  Bill jumped at the offer.  Our neighbor doesn't live at his house and only used his tractor a few time before he and his family moved to Philadelphia.


Now Bill had two tractors.  What to do with the Wheel Horse?  


Bill decided to ask the man who mows our other neighbor's lawing he wanted it.  That man is Hispanic.  We don't know if he is an illegal or not but it doesn't matter to us.  Every time we see him mowing and trimming our neighbor's lawn we have always been impressed at how hard he works.  He obviously has his own business.  We did have that little incident this past summer when his little boy got into one of my bluebird houses but I have since moved past that.  He hasn't brought the kid back since I complained to him. 


He said he wanted it.  He was very happy.  Bill explained to him how the lawn mower worked and gave him the papers with instructions.  I don't know how much good those instructions will do because they're so old, they're only in English (unlike instructions these days which are in both English and Spanish).


Thus we had a successful, friendly, neighborly transaction yesterday.  


Now would this transaction have been possible in the kind of country that the Tea Party wants?  Consider what has happened here:



  1. Mr. Hameed, our Muslim Pakistani neighbor offers his John Deere tractor for sale to Bill.
  2. Bill is gay.  
  3. Bill offers his Wheel Horse tractor to the Hispanic (Guatemalan) man who mows our neighbor's lawn.
So consider what happened here, a Muslim neighbor sells his tractor to his gay neighbor who, in turn, gives his old tractor to a Guatemalan man.  

What in the world would Christine O'Donnell think about this activity? 

Would Carl Palidino approve?  After all a gay was included in this transaction and as Carl said yesterday, "being gay is not an acceptable lifestyle."

Would Sharron Angle look on in askance?

Would Rand Paul condemn such an action as being unpatriotic? 

Would Jan Brewer have someone check the Hispanic man's papers?

Just goes to show you what happens when you live in a diverse neighborhood. 

People being kind to one another and working together.