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Showing posts from August, 2011

Consider

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Consider this, in the last two weeks I've experienced an earthquake, a hurricane and the results of my second blood test came back and yes, my PSA score is still over the top. The Next Step is in order now.  I've called and made an appointment with a urologist.  The earliest he can see me is October 21st.  I hear that prostate cancer (if in fact I do have it) is a slow cancer (if you're going to get a cancer I guess that's the kind to get) so I guess I have TIME. I offer no excuses nor apologies for writing about my newest medical challenge.  One benefit that has come of me not being the Strong Silent Type (Gary Cooper I'm not) is that I'm finding out that several of my friends and relatives have gone through the same experience. They have all survived.  The only relatives who haven't survived a cancer of which they should have gotten a test was my cousin Jeffrey and uncle Sam.  They both died of colon cancer because they refused to get an colonoscopy.

Dancing With The Stars Season #13

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The cast of the new season of "Dancing With the Stars" season 13 was announced last night! "DWTS", the BEST show on TV!  I love it. This is my absolute favorite TV show, in spite of the annoying habit of some of the professional dance partners of the celebrities (think Mark Ballas) to ham it up and steal the spotlight for themselves. This seasons cast is varied and interesting but still seems to follow a familiar formula.  There are the athletic and naturally agile sports stars (this time Ron Atest and Hope Solo).  My money is on Ron Atest to win the Revolving Disco Ball. Then there are the klutzes who don't stand a chance because the ballet dancing hippos in "Fantasia" (think Nancy Grace, Chaz Bono and Ron Kardashian).  The producers put these sad souls on the show much like the Roman Emperors threw the Christians to the lions in the coliseum.  There are always those in the audience who like to see slaughter, no matter how predictable. The

Sometimes You Stumble

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Find a Grave Memorial for George A. Gift Notice the irony that Mr. Gift was born on Christmas Eve and died near Christmas This morning I was busily updated my Find a Grave account with the information I gathered on hundreds of graves last week in New London, Pennsylvania.  Why I like being a Find a Grave contributor is that I am doing something that will last long after I'm gone; I am putting the photos and information on the final resting place of individuals on the Internet.  Many times friends and family can't visit the graves of their loved ones and sometimes don't even know where the grave is.  With the new Digital Age and the thousands of Find a Grave volunteers, we are able to put all this information on the Internet at no cost to anyone who wants to see it. So much on the Internet these days has a cost attached to it, even information about obituaries and graves.  I am a firm believer that information like this should be available at no cost.  We already

Who's Been Eating My Porridge?

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The culprit on my dill plants One of my favorite summertime treats is freshly made zucchini soup with dill.  I grow my own dill plants in my backyard.  I grow LOT of dill in my backyard.  Thus I was somewhat perplexed yesterday when I ventured out into my private backyard Eden and found no dill. What happened?  It didn't take me too long to discover that I am now sharing my backyard dill plants with the pupa of the black swallowtail butterfly. I've already given up on harvesting much of my parsley plants because the swallowtail pupa also feast on that herb. This summer however they had a tough time because the pupa apparently are a favorite food source of the Purple Martins that take up residence in my backyard every summer.  I think the Purple Martins won that battle because I haven't seen too many adult black swallowtail butterflies in our backyard this summer. The Purple Martins left about three weeks ago for South America.  The swallows have also gone poin

"Dancing With the Stars" Season 13

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I just saw a notice of the possible participants in "Dancing With the Stars" Season 13.  Check out this list man!  Be still my heart!  Wow!  Hey, I am JUST DYING to see Chaz Bono tango. Possible participants on DWTS - Season 13

Back to Normal

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Butterfly activity was very busy in my backyard today.  Where did they hide during the hurricane? During the darkest hours during Hurricane Irene's onslaught of our Delaware coast home, one of my Facebook friends sent me a message "Don't worry Ron, the sun will be out tomorrow."   With thoughts of the roof of our house being ripped off by a random tornado or just the simple inconvenience of losing power for hours or days, that message was such a comfort. Well, I am very happy to say that we made it through Irene with little more damage than some beaten down impatiens plants and a torn tree limb or two.  I don't mean to minimize the real damage that was done here, only a few miles away where a house was completely destroyed and fifteen damaged by that random tornado. Aren't those random tornadoes the worst?  I say if you're going to have a tornado let's have one that is planned.  I mean, REALLY.  But I digress. That simple statement "

The Sun is Out!

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Glory be, the sun is out!  Just as I had hoped for, after the long, dark, windy, voice, fear filled night that was Hurricane Irene passing though here; the day after is a whole new day.  I know, a long sentence but you get the idea of what I'm trying to say. What a wonderful feeling to feel the warmth of the sun's rays after last night.  I can hear the vehicles steaming again down Route 1 to Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Ocean City, Maryland.  Now that is a sound I am glad to hear again, life getting back to normal here on the Delmarva peninsula. In fact, I am so enthused I'm going to go outside right now and do some yard work!

A Drive Through Our Neighborhood After Irene

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This is a video of Bill and I driving through our neighborhood the morning after Hurricane Irene slammed into us last night.  There wasn't too much damage. We took a drive to the town of Milton (which I may have already posted about) to check our friend's house.  It was still standing intact. We saw some big trees down at one house but the owner was outside walking around with a coffee cup assessing the damage and I didn't have the guts heart to take a picture of his new involuntary landscaping project. More video to come (now that I know how to upload videos directly to my You Tube account).

Hungry Hummingbirds

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All is well here now.  Thank goodness!  Bill and I took a ride around our development as well as the development next to us.  Some major tree damage but otherwise we basically dodged a big one.  I didn't even have any roof shingles blow off like I did this past spring during a heavy windstorm. The windy remnants of Irene are still here, breaking up my too big knock-out rose bushes outside my sunroom windows.  They needed trimmed back anyway. Bill and I ventured out of our development (no, we didn't seek the permission of the AUTHORITIES - hear that Wayne?) and took a drive to the town of Milton to inspect our friend Bob C.'s house to make sure there was no damage (there wasn't).  We saw his neighbor M.J.  She smiled and waved at us.  Life is getting back to normal. The video posted is of our hungry hummingbirds.  Irene totally messed up their food source which is plentiful around the house.  I make sure I plant a lot of flowers that are humming bird friendly and

The Neighborhood After Irene

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Just got back from a quick walking tour of my end of the neighborhood. Wayne, call the authorities!  I stepped out of my house!   Wayne (aka "The Cajun") is my friend who lives in Rehoboth who got his panties all twisted into a knot because I took a ride into Rehoboth Beach early yesterday morning BEFORE THE STORM and took some videos. The winds have died down considerably but are still here and there is a light rain falling. There wasn't too much damage in the neighborhood.  My neighbor Barbara's cherry tree looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa now after Irene's visit.  My neighbors the Hughes' flowering plum tree has a big branch sheared off the bottom.  It probably need to be trimmed anyway, Mother Nature took care of it for them. At the end of the development, the large sand bed which I cross over into the neighboring Oyster Rocks development for my daily walk, is now covered with water.  It is quite the lovely pond now.  My neighbor Alan and his wi

Hungry Hummingbirds

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The worst is over (I hope).  I awoke this morning at 4:23 a.m. exhausted.  Yes, exhausted.  Not because I was outside in the sturm und drang of Hurricane Irene but because I was worried about a tornado hitting our house.  As I reported in my previous blog posting, a tornado did hit in nearby Lewes, totally destroying one house and damaging fifteen others. I haven't got out and assessed the damage in our neighborhood here but I do see my neighbor Barbara's beloved cherry tree listing at a 45 degree angle.  Of course my beloved impatience are gone which I fully expected to happen with the deluge of water that was dumped on us yesterday by her highness Hurricane Irene.  However, I usually lose those impatience anyway during a heavy thunderstorm which happens almost every summer so no big loss there.  I will miss the that riot of color in the front of our house. We didn't lose power!  Of that I am so thankful for.  Wow.  I did lose my satellite TV for several hours because

Tornado Hits Lewes

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Just got the news that a tornado touched ground and totally destroyed a house in Lewes and damaged fifteen others!  The house was located off of New Road, two miles from where I live and my route to work.  Too close for comfort! It's been raining here hard with the winds since two this afternoon.  It's still raining hard with a few brief lulls and it is 10:15 PM now.  I'm afraid to go to sleep for fear of a tornado tearing the roof off of my house. I was just talking to my friend Larry in Claymont (upstate Delaware) on FaceTime and he started to hear transformers pop.  Sure enough, after about the third pop I lost him. I've been checking the hurricane storm tracker on Weather.com but it seems that it's stuck right over where we live for the last four hours! The winds are really picking up now and the lights are flickering.  I better post this before I lose power.

Preparing for Irene

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Just got a call from my neighbor Barb.  She said that Ocean City, MD turned off their water treatment plant.  You know what that means, fill up the bathtubs!  I don't want to be stuck not being able to flush the toilet. The rain has been coming down for about five hours now.  I just got up from my afternoon nap (a very nice nap by the way with the rain falling outside).  We're expecting the full brunt of Irene in about eight hour or 2 a.m. this morning.  I wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight as well as I did this afternoon. We have a lot of water outside but I've seen worse during several nor'easters that have blown through here since we moved here in November of 2006.  The wind is buffeting the side of the house now.  If I told you I wasn't afraid I would be lying.  This is NO FUN, believe me.  Thank God I haven't heard anything more about a tornado for our area.

Rehoboth Avenue Closed

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It is now official, Rehoboth Avenue is closed.  If you manage to go in, they won't let you out.  It's a good thing Bill and I went early this morning for me to take my videos. Just think, a Saturday afternoon in August on the main drag in Rehoboth and you can't get out.  Hey, that's what it was like the last time I was in on a weekend day, I couldn't get out.

Irene's Rains Arrive

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Hurricane Irene isn't expected to hit us here on the east coast of the Delmarva peninsula but as you can see by the video, her rains have already arrived.  As I expected, the heavy rains are beating down my impatiens flowers.  Oh well, it happens every summer.  At least we enjoyed them for about a week after the summer long heat wave subsided about a week ago. Look at the water that accumulates on the road out in front of our driveway, that's my worry.  During just a regular rainstorm we have a small pond out there.  I can't imagine what six hours or more of heavy rain will do to our little "pond" at the entrance to our driveway. A friend just called from Pennsylvania.  He told me he heard on the news there was a tornado warning for the Milton area of Sussex County.  Oh wonderful, that's what we need now in addition to the oncoming tornado, possible floods and almost certain loss of power. It's about time for my afternoon nap.  I'm hoping when I

Entering Rehoboth Beach the Morning of Irene

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Bill and I take a ride to Rehoboth Beach, which is six miles down the road from where we live north of Rehoboth.  I want to take some videos of the once in a lifetime event of a deserted Rehoboth Beach on an August Saturday morning.  I wasn't disappointed as the following videos will show.  To listen to me talking on the videos, turn off the music on this blog by pushing the Pause button. We continue our ride into Rehoboth this morning as the darkness recedes. Now we are about to enter Rehoboth Beach. We drive down a deserted Rehoboth Avenue, the main drag in Rehoboth Beach. Normally on a late August Saturday morning like this morning, this road would be clogged with vehicles and people and bikes. I get out of our Jeep and walk to the Atlantic Ocean in Rehoboth.  Already the waves ares starting to swell up and a light rain falls. Walking down a deserted Rehoboth Avenue this rain and wind sweated August Saturday morning in Rehoboth Beach Delaware. Bill a

The Night Before

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The sunset this evening during my walk Here we sit awaiting Irene.  If I didn't tell you that I hope that all the weather forecasters were wrong, I would be lying.  I have butterflies in my stomach right now because I don't know what to expect.  Well actually I sort of know what to expect, a nor'easter of the likes of which I never experienced before. I just came back from my early evening walk in the Oyster Rocks development behind the development where I live.  The sun was just setting.  I took several pictures with my iPhone some of which are on this posting. There was an eerie calm in the development.  Usually on a late, summer August evening such as this some of the folks back there would be cooking out on their barbecue.  The happy sounds of relatives and/or friends visiting to take advantage of the last days of summer.  No such late summer evening activity this evening among my neighbors in Oyster Rocks.  All was quiet except for a long doggie yapping at

Waiting for Irene

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We await Irene.  The weather today is deceptively calm. I guess you could really say this is "the calm before the storm." I took this video a few hours ago to show what my lovely impatiens look like.  This flowers will be no more after Irene arrives. I just heard on the news that Mayor Bloomberg ordered a mandatory evacuation of all lower areas of New York City.  Delaware governor Markel has ordered mandatory evacuation of all areas of coastal Delaware. Guess what folks?  That's where we live.  We're staying here.  Bill says if it gets too bad we can always get in our car for protection. Bill and I dragged the generator from our shed, down through our grass to the garage.  Bill revved it up.  It's working. We'll have enough backup power to keep our refrigerators and freezers going.  That's all we need. It would be nice if we don't lose power but I fully expect to lose power. I'll keep blogging until we lose power.

Getting Out of Dodge

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And here I thought I was going to have a nice quiet weekend.  The laugh is on me and about fifty million other residents of the Eastern seaboard who are in the path of Hurricane Irene. The video I have posted I took a few hours ago of the steady stream of traffic going north on Route 1.  Normally on a summer Friday morning such as this, the steady stream of traffic would be traveling SOUTH on Route 1.  However, since governor Markel has declared a state of emergency and mandatory evacuation of Ocean City, Maryland; Rehoboth Beach, Bethaney Beach, Dewey Beach and Lewes, Delaware many are headed north.....to what?  Dry land?  I don't think so. Hurricane Irene storm path up the east coast Bill and I are going to tough it out here in Casa Tipton-Kelly, 2 miles east of the water.  Yes, we are east of Route 1 which is a bad sign but we're not "on the water."  Those who are "on the water" will probably be "under the water" come this Sunday.  I

Awaiting Irene

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Evacuation Route Yes folks, I'm right in the path of the biggest hurricane to hit the Delmarva peninsula in decades.  Oh joy.  This is supposed to be the biggiest hurricane to hit the east coast since Hurricane Hazel in October of 1954, 57 years ago.  I remember Hurricane Hazel.  I was just a young lad of 11 years old but it scared the bejuses out of me.  I was sort of hoping I wouldn't go through something like that again in my lifetime. So here I sit at work, for once wishing I lived in Phoenix, Arizona.  Most of the hotel guests have cancelled their reservations for the weekend or left early today.  We have a few guests left in the hotel but as the one guest told me when I informed him of the dire situation approaching us this weekend, "Where am I going to go?  We live in New York."  Ocean City, which is about 25 miles down the road, has a mandatory evacuation order.  We, here on the east cost of Sussex County have a voluntary evacuation order.  Bill and

Earthquake!

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Me at the great oak tree at Northwood Cemetery, Downingtown, PA Where were you when the Great Earthquake hit yesterday?  Bill and I were in Pennsylvania.  Bill wanted to visit our old property (again) and I wanted to visit three cemeteries to take more pictures.  I also wanted to visit our cemetery plots at the Northwood Cemetery in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Where Bill and I will be "planted" So where were we when the earth shook on the east coast at 1:51.04 pm?  We had just left my brother Isaac's home on Hopewell Road outside of Downingtown and were headed towards Wegmans (my absolute favorite SUPER market in the whole world) for lunch before we head to the Northwood Cemetery on a hill overlooking Downingtown.  We didn't feel a thing. The only earthquake I ever experienced in my life was a very mild earthquake back in the 70's when we lived in Philadelphia.  That earthquake occurred about 1 o'clock in the morning.  We lived in a three sto

Man Flies!

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Bill and I took an impromptu trip to our old home in Pennsylvania today. We just got back about a half hour ago and this is what we saw flying over our back yard...two men in their flying machines.  I you look closely you'll see that both of them are sitting in chair like contraptions with their legs dangling.  Wow.  Talk about being afraid of heights. When I was up in Pennsylvania I stopped in to visit my brother Isaac.  He was telling me what an adventure it was for him to climb up on his single story ranch house roof to put a scree over the chimney so the stink bugs won't get in the house this year.  He said "this old man can't climb anymore."   I agreed with him.  Heights didn't use to bother me but they bother me now.  Maybe it has something to do with getting older. Watching these two guys fly around the sky right above us like a couple of noisy mosquitoes was interesting.  The view from up there has to be great.  Imagine the great shots with my

My Family Tree

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Samuel Pennell Hannum 1836-1911 (Pennsylvania Quaker) My great-great-grandfather on my Mother's side of the family This is where I will be the next few weeks, furiously updating my family tree on Ancestry.com.  I've left it go long enough.  My relatives are dying off, I'm losing valuable information. Ancestry.com and findagrave.com are great resource tools to help me update my family tree.  I want to do this now in case I'm not around.  Someday THAT will happen, be not being "around." Now I may "go" tomorrow, wiped out by a rude tourist on Route 1 anxious to get to Rehoboth and a parking spot near the beach.   Maybe I do have prostate cancer and my days are numbered (I really don't believe that but I'm prepared).  Then maybe I'll live to be 100 years old but we all know how fast time flies by (when you're having fun and I always have fun). I started my family genealogy research back in April of 1994.  Since that time I

Mr. Fixit

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Bill examining the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner This is Bill, trying to figure out why our neighbor's Roomba robot vacuum cleaner is acting erratically.  Barb (our neighbor) says "it just goes around in circles."   She ask Bill to "take a look at it" , which in Bill parlance means TAKE IT APART AND SEE WHAT MAKES IT TICK. Well, back in Bill's previous life, he was an electronics technician.  He retired in 1982 from that job to take care of our house and grounds and ME fulltime (I am high maintenance).  Needless to say a LOT has changed in the electronics since 1982.  We're talking almost 30 years.  But Bill still likes to take things electronic things apart.  He took our friend Bob C.'s computer apart when it crashed on Bob.  Bill found the hard disk.  He proudly showed me the shiny silver disk saying "Hey Ron, this is a hard drive."   Uh...big whoop (I guess). Bill's "office" is full of disembodied electronic equip

Blood Test

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Impatients (out front of my house - they survived the Heat Wave) Went down to the Georgetown VA Outpatient clinic this morning to get my blood retested.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog posting, my prostate PSA score was significantly higher my last blood test.  The VA wants to test it again.  If the score is still high then the next step is having biopsies taken to see if I do have prostate cancer.  I hope I'm not going down that path but I do have a weird feeling this time. Well, anyway I was one of the first this morning at the outpatient clinic.  My appointment was for 7:45 a.m. but they didn't open their doors until 8:00 am.  What was that all about, making my appointment earlier?  Who knows?  I no longer got in and scanned my VA ID card and sat down and pulled out my iPhone to while away the time than I heard "Ronald Tipton?"   Yep, that's my name, don't wear it out. I get up and am ushered into the room with the electric arm chairs where

A Short One

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Me with our tour guide outside Cades Cove, Tennessee this past May Just a short post today.  I have to get ready for work so I don't have a long time to ramble on (which should be a relief to some of my readers!) I go to work tonight again (third evening in a row).  Last night was crazy at the hotel.  Several guests need that top notch quality service that only Ron can offer (I am a gem and I know it). I spent all morning "relaxing" by updating my Find a Grave account and Ancestry.com.  I also made a call to the wife of a distant relative after I discovered her husband had died earlier this year.  He had helped me a lot on one branch of the family tree and I was going to give him a call next week.  While I was going through the Johnson City, Tennessee obituaries updating my records there was his obituary!  What a way to find out that my friend James Tipton had died.  We had a long conversation and it got quite emotional at times.  She told me he knew something

Thoughts at the End of Summer

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Knock out roses from our back yard  Wow, this summer has gone by fast.  Just a couple more weeks an it's Labor Day, the official end of summer.  I think the reason the summer seemed to go by so fast was because of the long heat wave.  We stay inside most of the time, neither one of us can take the heat and humidity.  Two weeks after Labor Day, summer if officially at an end here in Summer Resort Land. I worked at the hotel last night.  Busy again.  I'm working again tonight and tomorrow night then on Friday I go to the VA Outpatient clinic my new lab testing.  Then I'm off the weekend and don't go to work until next Thursday.  I'm looking forward to having that time off while I await the results of my PSA test. All kinds of crazy things are going through my mind but one thing I'm not all that concerned about is if I die. Hey, we're all going to die someday.  It's just that some may know when they die.  In a way that is an advantage because you

On Hold

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My neighbor's lawn service deserts gets caught in the rain Finally, the summer long heat wave broke yesterday.  The rains came yesterday afternoon.  The guys from Lawns Unlimited who were mowing my neighbor's lawn got caught in the sudden summer afternoon storm.  I don't know where they went but they left all their equipment as the picture above attests. This morning the temperature is a realistic 73 degrees.  Wonderful!  Bill even put on his old man sweater this morning as he headed out the door.  I don't know where he went (he doesn't have to report in like I do to him) but he is enjoying this rarity, a nice summer day. I'm off to work today for the next three days.  This Friday I have an appointment at the VA Medical Center in Georgetown for another blood test to recheck my PSA levels.  Everything is sort of on hold since then. I've been spending most of my time lately updating my Ancestry.com and Find a Grave.com accounts.  This is my way o

Time for a Chuckle

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Lar My last few posts have been a little (I would say) on the downbeat side.  Here's a video to make you smile. Guaranteed!

A Rainbow of Hope

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Rainbow from my garage door taken late this afternoon The skies were cloudy all day until this afternoon when the rain ladened dark clouds finally arrived.  After about twenty minutes of a heavy downpour, the pure light of the sun made its appearance again, albeit through the few remaining rain drops.  As I was sitting at my computer, updating my Find a Grave account with photos of tombstones (a fine activity for a Sunday no?), I thought "I bet there is a rainbow out there!" I leave my iMac, go to the kitchen and get my iPrecious iPhone to see if I can capture The Moment...a rainbow! Sure enough, I look out the garage door and there is the pure colorful arc of a perfect rainbow.  I take my iPhone out, switch it to the camera mode and start taking pictures.  These are the pictures you see on this blog posting.  If you look closely you'll see the faint outline of a second rainbow. All this weekend I've been having flashbacks of earlier memories.  Memories th

Adventures in the Hospitality Business

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The Hampton Inn Team 1999 (I am the second from the right in the back) As regular readers of this blog know, I work part-time at a local boutique hotel.  Since retired from my chosen career in the banking business (manager, trust operations) I have worked in the hospitality business.  You ask "hospitality business, what is that?"  That my friends is that I am that person behind the front desk when you check into a hotel. Me with Barbara and Bonnie, two New York City Jewish lesbians See those smiles?  Guests don't get any tougher than these two ladies. All my other front desk co-workers were scared to death of these two women. Not me.  I bring out the smiles.  Not for nothing did I get the Best Guest Service Award (not that I'm bragging or anything I actually am because I am DAMN GOOD!) In 1998 I began work as a part-time night auditor at the Hampton Inn in Lionville, Pennsylvania.  When I got out of the Army in 1963 my first job was a night audito

There Is Not a Day That Goes By....

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Nancy (my niece), John (my brother) and Betty Tipton (my Mom) that I don't think of her and miss her. My Mother died last September 16th, after a long illness.  Towards the end she wasn't herself but she was still my Mom. In October of 2009 my brother John and his wife came up from their home in South Carolina and to my Mom's home outside of Downingtown Pennsylvania.  My Mom had lived in that home since 1958.  My father died in August of 2000.  My other brother Isaac has lived with our Mom since then taking care of her.  However, last year she needed more care, so against her wishes but to keep her out of a nursing home, we moved her to my brother's home in Greenville, South Carolina.  There she was well taken care of, but very homesick. In June of 2010 Bill and I took a trip south to visit her in Greenville and to visit Bill's hometown in Toccoa Georgia.  I had suspected that it was probably the last time I would see her and I was right.  She died thr