Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

 HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011 Pictures, Images and
Photos






A  very happy Lucy New Year to everyone!


Tonight balls will be dropping all around the country bringing in the New Year. 


Everyone will be celebrating the onset of the New Year in his or her own way.  


These are my plans:

As I sit here at my computer on this sunny, cold Friday morning on New Year's Eve, I think back to the past year and wonder in shock and awe at how fast this past year flew by.  

Each year as I get old the days, weeks, and months and even years fly by like the pages of those calendars in an old Forties movie.  That's my life flipping by folks!  Wow.  Time is running out.  This old hourglass is almost out of sand.

So did I have a good year last year?  I certainly did.  Every day I can get out of my bed and put both feet on the floor and have my wits about me, is a good day.  And last year I was able to put feet to the floor for 365 days!  Yes indeedy, it was a good year.  And for that I am very thankful.  Thank you oh Great Spirit in the Sky.

This year, for the first time in a several years I will not be working at the hotel.  So I invited our dear friend, The Retired Banker (no names please), to join me and Significant Other for a New Year's Eve repast.  I have been cooking all morning.  

What's on the menu? 

  • Beef Vegetable Stew 
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Corn Bread
  • Stuffing
  • Egg Nog Pie (made with real egg nog and HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM - sans the diets tonight)
The Retired Banker and I will probably imbibe in some spirits from the vine.  Significant Other will drink his Diet Pepsi (a gourmet diner he is not).  


For conversation we will:


  • Catch up on the latest gossip
  • Whine about our latest medical conditions
  • Tease each other with gentle insults
  • Discuss our plans for the New Year
Around 8 o'clock Significant Other will retire and go to bed.  He usually goes to bed around 7 pm (he gets up at 4 am) but will stay up "late" when his good friend The Retired Banker is over for dinner.

Usually The Retired Banker and I continue our discussion into more serious subjects in the hour or two hence when Significant Other goes to bed.  I'll ask him if he wants to stay up late and watch Dick Clark gargle through another Rocking New Year's Eve .  This year I want to check out CNN where Anderson Cooper is teamed up with D List Star Cathy Griffin.  I want to be there when Cathy finally outs Closet Case Anderson.  Maybe The Retired Banker will want to stick around for that spilling of Anderson's beads.  However, if he does he knows he will probably be subjected to me repeating some of my old War Stories again.  I'm not sure if that's a price he want to pay to stay.  Probably not.  I won't be offended if he doesn't stay

Right after this posting I'm going to take my first walk in about a week.  This cold Artic weather has been holding me back from stretching my 36" inch long legs for at least a week now.  Snow is still piled by the roadway but I do see a path for slapping my size 12 feets to the ground.

My best wishes to everyone who reads this blog and I hope you all have a very happy and prosperous (you get a lot of money) New Year!


I hope you get everything that you deserve.







Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fate

angel-desi-glitters-39



Fate:
the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the orderof things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause ofevents; time: 


About four o'clock this morning as I lay in bed as I was arousing from my deep nighttime sleep I got to thinking of how much the course of my life has taken by chance circumstance.


I am not a religious person.  Even though I was raised as a Christian in the Baptist faith, I was quickly dissuaded from that belief when I was about ten years old.  That was when I realized that the formal church had damned me for eternity because I was homosexual. I knew something was wrong because that was the way I was born.  Thus, at only ten years old I lost faith in "man made religion".  


However, I do believe in Fate.  Some may call Fate a Guardian Angel.  I do believe that my life has been Guided.  By whom or why, I don't know exactly why.  Maybe I'll find that out when I die.  I doubt it though.  I think when you die you enter a giant Nothingness.  The only thing that makes halfway sense to me is reincarnation but that's another whole blog posting.  In fact, that subject is a book.


What I think of is how drastically different my life would have been if not for some chance happenstance.  


I'll give you an example.  My life was pretty routine for the oldest of three sons of a truck driver father and office cleaning mother during the Fifties.  We were poor but so were many of my peers.  My life and circumstance wasn't a whole lot different from most of my classmates except that I was homosexual (even if I didn't know what that meant at that time).  However this blog posting isn't about my homosexuality.  It is about how my life took a life altering turn down a road due to what seems now like an accident of time.


After I graduated from high school I decided to join the Navy.  At that time I knew I didn't want to get drafted into the Army because I didn't want to shoot anybody or get shot at.  Also, I wanted some control over my fate.  And, I liked the Navy uniforms.  Such is the thinking of a 17 year old straight (well I wasn't "straight" but I lied) out of high school.  


A few days after graduation in June of 1959 I make the trip to the Post Office in Coatesville, Pennsylvania and go down to the basement where all the service recruiters each had a desk.  I was asked who I wanted to see. Without hesitation I said "Navy."  


There were four desks in the basement room.  One for each branch of the service:


Army
Marines
Air Force
Navy

The Army was out.  I would have to learn to shoot somebody and be shot at.  Definitely a "No!"

The Air Force was out.  I didn't like their uniforms.

The Marines was definitely out.  I took one look at the bulldog faced Marine recruiter and knew without a doubt that I DID NOT WANT  TO GO THERE.  I surely would break my fingernails.

The Navy was IN.  It was safe, and they had cool uniforms.  Plus, I love the water.  

So I sit myself down at the Navy recruiter's desk and we begin the process.  About an hour later my papers are completed and a date is set for me to return and sign my final enlistment papers  Ron was going to join the Navy for four years.  I left the recruiting station at the Post Office to take this news home to my family.  

About a week later I get a phone call to come in and sign my enlistment papers for the Navy.  I make the trip to the Coatesville Post Office again.  I arrived around noon at the Navy recruiter's desk in the Post Office basement.  He wasn't there.  I was told my the Army recruiter (who sat at the desk across from the Navy recruiter) that he was at lunch.  

While I sat waiting for the Navy recruiter to come back from lunch, the Army recruiter started a conversation with me.  As I remember he was a handsome, friendly man.  Of course he had my full attention.  He asked me "Why are you joining the Navy?"  I told him "I want to see the world."  I didn't want to tell him that I liked their uniforms.  I knew he would think that was a silly reason and I didn't want him to think I was that shallow (even though I am and still am to this day.) However I did him that I didn't want to be in a combat unit, which was absolutely true.  I faint at the sight of blood.  Wuss that I am.  If I was in combat I would be like those fainting goats.  I would not be a good combat soldier

He told me that the Army had a program that I could join that is "99% guaranteed" that I would "see the world" plus I would only have to serve three years.  And..........I wouldn't have to serve in a combat unit.  Well, this sounded pretty good to me.  Only three years?  No combat.  No shooting or getting shot at.  Sounded good to me!

By the time the Navy recruiter came back from lunch, I was now sitting at the Army recruiter's desk having a new set of enlistment papers filled out.  The blond haired Navy recruiter gave his friend the dark haired Army recruiter a friendly, chagrined look that said "Okay, you won this time."  I sensed that this wasn't the first time that this has happened.  I felt a little guilty but I also felt that I had made the right decision.  

Thus, by this purely chance circumstance I choose a road that would forever change my life.  

If not for the Navy recruiter being out to lunch that day and the Army recruiter persuading me to join the Army, I would not have the friends that I have today.  I would not be with my life partner of the past forty-six years.  I would not be living in Delaware.  I would never have worked in the banking industry for almost forty years.  In fact, I probably would not be alive today.  

On that warm June day in 1959 my life changed forever just because the Navy recruiter was out to lunch.  

Pure chance?  I think not.  Maybe an angel was watching over me.  

My guardian angel.

Private Ronald W. Tipton 1960


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Day After - Still Digging





As I type today's blog entry I hear the whirl of  snowblowers in the neighborhood.  Yes folks, here we are on Day Two after the big snowstorm, the Christmas Blizzard of 2010.  Still digging out.


Now I know we're all a bunch of Snow Wussies down here because we just ain't used to all this snow!  I estimate we had about 8 to 10 inches of snow in our neighborhood, which is about 9 more inches than we receive ALL WINTER.  


Well, the sun is out but the temperatures are still hovering around the freezing mark.  Later this week we will experience the downright balmy temps of 50 degrees.  A regular heat wave.  That should get rid of the rest of the snow.  Who wants to see 14 foot piles of snow in the Food Lion parking lot until spring?  Not me for that's for sure!


Pictured at the top of this blog is my neighbor Rich.  He wasn't too happy because he paid $25.00 to have his driveway cleared out yesterday, only to have snow cover it up again last night.  He claims it was MY SNOW that is on his driveway.  I hope he was kidding.  The wind DID blow a lot of snow away from our house though.  Do you think?  Maybe this is something we can take up at the next Homeowners' meeting.  That should be about next summer, that's how often we have those meetings.


After breakfast this morning Significant Other took me to the Post Office in his four wheel drive '91 Jeep, just in case we got caught in a snow bank.  I had to return my old DirecTV receiver or else I would be charged $250.  I also mailed in the card and an viewed Netflix DVD that was stuck here in the house during the snowstorm.  I'm glad Netflix doesn't charge by the day.


My plans today are just to veg out here in the house and see what kind of trouble I can stir up on the Internet.  I'm looking for some new and interesting blogs.  Through one of my favorite bloggers Spo, I have discovered some very interesting blogs and bloggers.  Now I'm going to go the next level down and see what treasures lurk beneath those murky surfaces.  


Pictured in this blog is the snow covered Christmas lights on my singular column outside my front door.  They look pretty in the snow don't they?  Guess what?  Those lights are staying there until the snow melts and the temps get up to at least 50 degrees and the wind dies down to only 20 mph gusts.  


Have a great day everyone!  

Monday, December 27, 2010

Digging Out

Me on my iPad in my fancy, dandy hotel room last night, checking my e-mail before I collapsed into bed


I'm back home!  I can truthfully say there really is no place like home.


Yesterday I had to stay overnight at the hotel where I work the front desk.  My shift was from 3 pm to 11 pm.  Significant Other drove me to work in his four wheel Jeep.  That got me to work.  I brought my suitcase just in case I had to stay overnight.  That turned out to be a very wise decision.


As the hours progressed yesterday evening the Christmas Blizzard of 2010 became fiercer to the point where it would have been foolhardy to expect Significant Other to come in and pick me up at the end of my shift.


So I stayed at work, going outside every hour or so to shovel snow away from the two entrances to the hotel.  Now wasn't that some fun with winds gusting up to 50 mph?  I almost got blown against the wall a couple times by some exceptionally strong gusts of wind that had to be more than 50 mph. 


In fact the wind was so insistently ferocious I started to question the wisdom of even shoveling the snow because as soon as I would shovel, the wind would blow more snow back against the doors.  I kept shoveling and as it turned out that was a wise decision because it prevented any significant accumulation of snow around the doors to the hotel.  The owner of the hotel came down this morning with shovels in hand and was pleasantly surprised that I had already done most of the work.  Points scored.


I ended my shift early and went up to my room on the penthouse floor (fourth floor).  One good thing about working in a hotel, there isn't a problem finding a place to stay.  I chose a room with a big fluffy king sized bed that I collapsed in when I clocked out at 9 o'clock.  There were only two other guests in the hotel and they were in the room next too me.  They were stranded and decided to extend their stay. Yet another wise decision.


This morning at the hotel we had an event.  What we call an "event" is when guests rent out the meeting room for a function.  This morning there was a scheduled business meeting.  Since the neither the manager, assistant manager or sales manager would be in to set up the event, guess who?  Yep! It was moi.   


This is what I call a Learning Experience.  And what a way to learn!  Well, I did pretty good. By the time the assistant manager came in I had everything set up (coffee, pastries, tea, sodas, tables, pens, and I even covered the projection stand with a table cloth - a tricky maneuver of pinning the table cloth just the right way).  The only thing I forgot was to set out was a pitcher of cream for the coffee.  The assistant manager caught that.  She said it was no biggie.  A minus for Ron!


The assistant manager took over my shift and I went back up to my penthouse room with that deliciously sensual king size bed (oh God did I ever drift away to La La Land last night once my aching body hit that mattress).  I was awaiting word if the 3 pm shift clerk could make it in today.  If not, I would stay at the hotel and fill in for her shift.  As nice as the room was where I was staying (and it was nice, believe me), there is really no place like home.  


At 12 noon I got the word.  She would be in!  I called Significant Other to come in and pick me up.  And here I am now at home.  


We had a little trouble getting into our development.  A car was stuck right as you turned off the road.  A tow truck hooked up to her car and pulled her out.  The picture you see at the top of this blog is of the road to our house.  As you can see, our road HAS NOT BEEN CLEARED.  This bring back memories of last January and the back to back blizzard that we endured and survived.  We couldn't get out of this development for four days!  


We're not used to all this snow here on the eastern shore of southern Delaware.  I remember what a lot of people said last year after we finally got through that second blizzard.  They said "You'll never see another one of these in your lifetime."  Ha!  We just saw another one.  


Never say never.

Are We In Minnesota?

Here I am, at the hotel a 7 a.m. in the morning.  Yes, I stayed overnight.  Snowed in.


Are we in Minnesota?


Now I have to go and shovel more snow.  Who said they "just love the snow?" 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Four years ago I moved to southern Delaware to retire. I moved for several reasons, the main reason being to escape the high Pennsylvania taxes. Another reason was the slower paced life in Delaware. Where I moved, the Rehoboth Beach/Lewes/Milton area on the east coast also has a high population of older gay men and woman who have also retired to southern Delaware. After a lifetime of homophobia, it was a pleasure to retire to an area where I would be accepted as who I am.



Another reason I moved to southern Delaware was the milder temperature. Southern Delaware is location one temperate zone below where I lived in Pennsylvania. I was told that it doesn't get as cold in Delaware and, this is a biggie, not as much snow. As a matter of fact, I was told when it did snow it rarely lasted more than a day.


That fact was true the first three years I lived in lower slower. Not last year. Remember the back to back blizzards in January? Oh yes. Fun times. However, I was lucky that I didn't have to go to work during that period. The hotel business was so slow that the owner laid off me and the other part-time Old Guy.


I remember during those back to back blizzards of last year when I was told "You'll never see another one of these again in your lifetime." Ah ha! I should have known better! Right now I'm sitting at the hotel front desk fielding phone calls. Yes, I'm stuck at the hotel. No complaints, at least I have a warm place to stay for the night. I've been shoveling the snow outside the side and front doors but man, I'm telling you that this 69 year old geezer isn't used to that exercise.


I just got another phone call. It was from Significant Other. He was going to come in and pick me up tonight but I decided not to because the weather bureau is calling for 18 inches of snow before this stops. Also the winds are gusting up to 50 mph. Real fun times. Anyone who says they LOVE SNOW has to be crazy! I hate it. But, I'm glad I can do something to help out where I work.


Last year during the back to back blizzards my manager was stuck at the hotel for three days while I was snug as a bug in a rug at home. Turn around is fair play (or something like that). 


Please excuse me now for I smell the aroma of a Stouffer's frozen lasagna wafting from the micro-wave in the kitchen. Dinner is calling.


Later...............................

The Day After Santa

Ron on ice earlier this morning
Another Christmas has come and gone.  Doesn't it seem like Christmas rolls around faster and faster every year?  Maybe it's because I'm older but the years seem to fly by like those calendar pages flipping ahead in those old 40's movies.  


Our Christmas here in Lower Slower was very quiet.  We only had one family in the hotel, a Jewish family.  Of course I made a faux pas when they exited the elevator yesterday morning and I greeted them with a big, cheery "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"    Count on Ron to put his size 12's in his mouth.  


They were nice about it though.  A young couple with their 3 year old daughter about to turn 4 years old next month.  Obviously they rented a room at the hotel to get away from all the Christmas hub-bub in Washington D. C. where they lived.  Way to go Ron.


Today we have a MAJOR WINTER SNOWSTORM forecast.  Oh joy.  And I have to work again today.  Yes, if you have been following my blog postings this is my FIFTH consecutive day of working at the hotel.  I'm filing in for my co-worker who took vacation to spend the Christmas holidays with her two little girls.  I'll survive.


Since we have a major winter snowstorm forecast today I thought we would take a quick run up to the local Food Lion in Milton to get some bananas.  It was early this morning so I didn't expect too many folks at the store.  WRONG!  


The parking lot was almost full.  It wasn't even 8 a.m. yet!  All I needed was bananas (for my breakfast of Corn Chex cereal).  I joked to Significant Other that the "shelves will probably be cleared."  Guess what?  A lot of them were cleared.  Empty.  Wow.  


Never, never, never underestimate the panic level of the Great Unwashed when they hear a forecast for a major winter snowstorm.  Usually when there is one of these snowstorms we only get a dusting of snow here on the east coast of Delaware.  Now last year was the exception.  We got two back to back blizzards and we were actually snowed in for several days.  For real deal.  We were snowed in!


As I type this posting I see the snow accumulating on the road outside my office window.  My wind chimes at the front door are chiming (which drives my neighbor Bob crazy) so I know the wind is picking up.  Occasionally I hear the plaintive wail of the wind as it slides down the font of my house into the corner where my porch meets my home office, a converted small bedroom.  My gas heat just kicked in.  I'm snug and cozy.  


When Significant Other and I left out of here this morning for the store I slid on our ice coated driveway.  The road in our development is covered in ice.  However, the main road (Route 1) is clear and cars and trucks are whizzing up and down that artery in spite of the snow flurries swirling around their vehicles.


To be quite frank with you, I'm glad Christmas is over.  I like the all the colors and the good feelings but I prefer to have life go back to normal.  Now we're entering into that gray phase of life known as January and February, the dead of winter.  But before we enter those monochrome days this next week we will have to endure "The Best of the Past Year." 


I hate those retrospectives. HATE THEM.  I know what happened last year, don't need to be reminded.  The news organizations go through this lame exercise that absolutely no one cares about because most of their staff is on vacation the week after Christmas.  They make up these retrospectives ahead of time so it is a cheap way to fill air time.  I'm not fooled.


One thing I am looking forward to again this year is watching to see if Dick Clark makes another appearance on "Rocking New Year's Eve."  Hey Dick.  Pack it up and turn your New Year's welcoming duties to Ryan Seacreast finally.  You're no longer America's Oldest Teenager. 


 It's over Dick. 





Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

Breakfast Tray this morning at the hotel 



As regular readers of this blog may know, I work part time at the front desk at a boutique hotel in Lewes, Delaware.  My normal schedule is Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  I also fill in for the full time front desk clerks when they go on vacation, are sick or having a baby.  In fact, many of the jobs I've had in my adult work career are as a result of filling in for a pregnant worker. That is how I got my first job at Girard Bank in 1965.  I stayed on that job 21 years!  But I digress (again he says).


What my blog post is about today is how I spent my Christmas Day.  First thing this morning  I drove the six miles down Route 1 got Rehoboth Beach to drop off the Spo-shirt that I received yesterday.  I tried it on, took my pictures and posted them to my blog so now it is official, Spo-shirt has made a visit to Casa Tipton-Kelly.  The next stop for the Spo-shirt was my friend, The Cajun.  He lives in an apartment on the second landing of a building just off the main drag in Rehoboth.  I've only been to his place twice (to help him move) so I wasn't real sure how to find it in the dark.  As I suspected, I had a problem.  


After driving slowly up and down Sussex Avenue (I knew he lived on Sussex but I neglected to bring his apartment number with me....natch), I couldn't find the white steps (in the dark) leading to his second floor apartment. I decide to park my car and get out and walk and look for his building.  So here I am, walking around in the morning darkness obviously casing out these buildings.  At any moment I'm expecting to hear the wail of a police siren and the flashing blue, red and white lights of a police cruiser.  The time was 6:43 am.  I'm due to open up the hotel at 7:00.  Plus, I had to serve breakfast to guests in their room because we didn't have enough guests in the hotel to open the breakfast room. 


The clock is ticking.


My heart is racing.


I'm starting to sweat.  


No white steps leading to my friend's building.


I get back into my car.  I'm headed out to Rehoboth Avenue to north on Route 1 to Lewes, where I work.


Then I decide "ONE LAST TRY!"  I did so want to leave the gayly wrapped Christmas box with the Spo-shirt in it to my friend so he would be surprised when he opened up his door this morning.  


I turn off Rehoboth Avenue to the environs of the side streets.  And there it is!  My friend's apartment building.  How could I have missed it earlier?  Maybe it was too dark.  Still no police.  I was in luck.


I park my car.  In fact I pull up behind my friend's car which I knew was his because he has a bumper sticker that says something about "Don't piss me off or I'll release my flying monks on you!"  Yep.  That's where he lives.


I get out of my car and grab the bag that holds the gayly wrapped box containing the Spo-shirt.   "CRASH!"  I stumbled into two trash cans!  Talk about waking up the dead.


I ascend the step stairs outside his apartment on the second landing.  I open up his storm door.  I gently place the bag in between his storm door and regular door.  I steal away.


I'm outta here!


I get to work (no traffic so I was able got whizz up Route 1 without hitting any red light or stoopid drivers), at two minutes before 7:00 am.  


I open up the hotel and prepared this breakfast for my guests.  And that my friends was the start of my Christmas  Day.  


Below are pictures of my co-workers who also joined me for work today.  The lady is Dee, the head housekeeper.  The young man (young enough got be my grandson - he's 31 to my 69) is my boss, the manager of the hotel.  


Dee (Head Housekeeper) at me at the hotel this morning on Christmas Day


My boss brought in a tin of candy that his wife made for me.  That was so nice of her!  Russian candy for Christmas.  That is a first.  


My boss and me Christmas 2010
I had a delightful Christmas.  I hope yours was as wonderful as mine.






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Friday, December 24, 2010

Look What I Got in the Mail!

Me in a "Spo Shirt"


I returned today from work at the hotel and I had two packages awaiting me.  One was my new DirecTV DVR receiver.  My old one gave out last week.  DirecTV sent me a new one.  I would have to set it up all by my little self.  I hate dealing with all these wires and technical stuff.  So, I got down to it.  I wanted to get everything done (the TV is in my bedroom) before it got dark.  I was dreading this.


I called and lo and behold I got a technician on the FIRST RING.  And this is Christmas Eve!  His name was Adam and, together, after about an hour, we SET IT UP.  My TV and DirecTV DVR are now working in my bedroom.


Then my second package. I had ABSOLUTLY NO IDEA who this package was from.  The return address said "Hanuman Das" from Springfield, Massachusetts.  WTF?  Do I have a secret admirer?  Wow!  So I open the package and the first thing I see is a "Disco" notebook.  WTF?  I pull out the bubble wrap.  LOTS OF BUBBLE WRAP.  Then I pull out this absolutely gorgeous Hawaiian shirt!  Now I know who it is from.  It is from, by a circuitous route, on of my blogger buddies, Spo.  Spo makes Hawaiian shirts for relaxation.  He has a day job as a shrink or also known by the currently fashionable term "therapist."  I don't know, when I hear "therapist" I think of physical therapy, not mental therapy.  But I digress (again). 


So I try the shirt on.  It fits perfectly!  Wow!  Do  you know all the years I've wasted trying to find a shirt that fits let alone looks good?  Lots of years my friends.  Lots of years.  This shirt not only looks good on me, but I love the pattern.  I love the feel of the cloth.  This is a great shirt!








Sadly, I have to pass it on now.  I'll send it to the next blogging buddy of Spo.  


You're probably thinking like Significant Other thought, when I asked him to take my picture in this gorgeous shirt.  He said "Why is he doing this?"  I explained to him that Spo sends the same shirt (that he made) to different blogging buddies.  They get their picture taken with the shirt then they indicate what charity that they would like Spo to donate.  Then they send it on.  Sounds silly doesn't it?  Significant Other thought so.  Well, I didn't.  Life is too short to take everything seriously.  This is a wonderful thing that Spo (aka Michael) initiated.  I'm glad he included me in on the "tour of the shirt" this time.


Thanks Spo!


Do I look good in this Spo Shirt or what?






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