Monday, January 31, 2011

Babydoll - Crazy Dog

My niece Karen with Babydoll as a puppy
Remember when I told you about my one and only cat Bobby a few posts back?  On this cold and rainy evening I was trolling through some of my 42,345 pictures that I have on my iMac and I came across this series of pictures of me and my little Pomeranian dog Babydoll.


Okay, okay.  I know "Babydoll" is a stupid name but it fit her perfectly.  Babydoll was one of two female puppies that was the result of the one and only time Bill and I were going to raise Pomeranian dogs to sell.  Oh how foolish we were.  We thought we would enjoy the benefits of raising the puppies then sell them.  Not to get rich but just for the enjoyment of raising them and finding a good home for them.


Well, the result of the one and only mating between our male Pomeranian Horace and our female Pomeranian T was two pups.  They were sold even before they were born.  We expected four puppies.  What we got was one big pup, which we called Jumbo and a little, tiny, teeny pup which we called Babydoll.  


Babydoll came out with a bad temper.  She was a crazy dog.  But oh how we loved her.  We felt very protective towards her because she had to compete with her much bigger sister Jumbo when it came to feeding time with mom.  Jumbo lived in fear of Babydoll.  


Thus when they were both eight weeks old we were distraught that we had to deliver both of them to their new owners.  I tried to talk the buyers out of their purchase but they would have none of it.  

Two weeks after delivery of the pups to their new owners, one owner called me and asked me if I would like to have the pup back.  It was Babydoll.  Of course we would take her back.  


Thus Babydoll enjoyed eleven very happy years with us; her mom and her pop.  Unfortunately, she died before either her mom or pop.  Her mother lived until she was fourteen years old and her father lived until we was sixteen years old.  We always felt like Babydoll got the short end of the deal.  


Babydoll is the first living thing that caused me a great heartbreak when she died.  I never knew such pain could exist when someone or something you loved could die.  


Babydoll died in 1994.  She is the reason we have never got another dog.  Bill still isn't over her loss.  Bill said he wouldn't survive another loss like the one we did with Babydoll.  


Going through my old pictures tonight (I was actually looking for one of me by the bed I shared with my two brothers taken when I was eleven years old - I was going to write a blog post on why I always sleep alone now after spending years sharing a bed with my two brothers), I came across this picture of me playing with Babydoll.  This is why I have pictures, they bring back a lot of happy memories.


Someday Babydoll, we'll be together again.  




Soo Ready for Spring

Ron bundled up for the cold

I just returned from a very abbreviated walk.  The temperature here is now hovering around 23 degrees.  I was all right with my walk until I started to walk against the wind.  I just can't take that painful cold wind on my face.  


The picture above is how I bundle up before I go out for my walk.  Yes, I know.  I'm turning into a big wimp.  When I was younger, the cold didn't bother me near as much as it bothers me now.  


Every year when January and February rolls around, those are my "just get through it" months.  


This is the last day of January.  Now for February, one more "just get through it" month.  


Then, THEN the beginning of glorious spring when everything comes to life after a long winter's hibernation.  


The daffodils will bloom again.  Colorful tulips with burst through the frozen earth.  Scouting Purple Martins will return from South America to check out their summer house in my back yard.  


And most of all, the people will come alive.  They will stream out of their houses into the bright, clear sunshine of springtime.  The garden departments of Home Depot and Loew's will again be crowded with erstwhile gardeners.


Loew's Garden Center, Lewes, DE


Bill with a load of mulch from Lowe's, Lewes, DE

I am soooo ready for Spring

Sunday, January 30, 2011

iHappy



Today I am on brain overload.  


Yesterday my new friend Don V. was over for dinner.  After dinner Don, who has been a happy and faithful user of Mac computers for the last twenty years or so, showed me some cool things to do with my recently purchased iPad.  WOW!  To say I am impressed is an understatement.  I am literally blown away!


For too many years I was a user of Windows based computers.  And of course for too many years I went through the usual nerve wracking inevitability of wondering when my computer would crash.  And crash they did, with regular basis.


After my year old Dell computer crashed last year, I gave in and brought an iMac computer with all the bells and whistles. I haven't looked back since.  


I am sitting before my 27 inch screen iMac computer as I happily type this blog post.  I don't worry about my Mac freezing up.  I don't worry about viruses.  I don't worry about registry problems.  I don't worry.


Now that I have a new found comfort level I decided to dip my toes into some of these other Mac products I've been hearing so much about.  A few months ago I purchased an iPad.  I love it!  


I take it to work with me to access my e-mail, blog, Facebook - all functions that I am unable to do on work computer.  Those functions are blocked to prevent a virus or maleware to infect the work computers, which has happened in the past.  So I was quite happy doing these few functions on my handy, little iPad notebook.


Then last night Don opened up my eyes to the whole new world of apps (short for applications) for Mac. Wow!  I'm not a game player or one of those virtual reality guys but he had me driving a car through the city streets of Chicago, my hands gripping the sides of my iMac as a steering wheel.  I was a little kid again!  That was fun! 


So here are just some of the apps: 

  • Beautiful Planet - gorgeous pictures of this planet
  • Weather Channel - yes, just like on TV!
  • Eyewitness Guardian News - current photo coverage of news events around the planet
  • White and Yellow Pages - a must for me who is always looking up this information
  • Ebay - yes!  I am an eBay customer
  • iFishpond - not quite the same as my ponds in PA but close
  • NFS Shift - the aforementioned auto racing - FUN!
  • X-Plane-9 - flying an airplane - more FUN!  I crashed and burned first time up!
  • Pandora - music all kinds all the time - LOVE IT!
  • Angry Birds - need I say more?  Just the most popular game on the planet
  • E*Trade - easy access to my millions
  • Mint.com - my favorite!  All my financial records at the touch of my fingertips
  • Rehomobeach - an awkward name for all the gay places in the Rehoboth Beach area
  • This Day in History - a must for this information hog
This probably sounds like a promo for Mac products.  Well, maybe it is! 

I showed Bill (my 82 year old stick in the mud partner) and even he was impressed.  He has finally agreed to replace his twelve year old Toshiba Satellite lap top computer (with one gigabyte memory that runs slow as molasses) for the iPad we have now.  I'm going to buy the new iPad that is scheduled to come out this June with a camera so I can use their FaceTime function, which is another great application.

Next up,  I'm placing my order for my first ever iPhone through Verizon.  

Just yesterday I was slipping into the doldrums because of an offhand remark about my sexual identity.  Perhaps I was a little too defensive.  Perhaps I should just let insignificant "things" like that pass me by.  

It seems just when I'm down someone comes along and through their kindness and generosity, they renew my faith in the goodness of most people.

Thank you my new friend Don.  You have made me iHappy!
Don V. - my iPad mentor



Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dan's Pussy



Continuing on with my cat theme from yesterday............pictured above is my friend Dan's pussy...cat.  I would tell you the cat's name but I've forgotten.  Short term memory loss is one of the inevitable afflictions of a 69 year old.  I'm getting there.


Since I don't remember this cat's name, I will refer to him as "Dan's Pussy" (which I'm sure Dan will appreciate when he reads this blog.)  Hey, I tried calling him this morning to ask him the name of his cat but no answer. Dan's a busy guy traveling between his three properties; one in Landenberg, PA, another in Rehoboth Beach, DE and a third in Sarasota, FL.  Dan's Pussy travels with him to his home in Landenberg and Rehoboth Beach.  When Dan travels to his home in Florida, I guess he goes pussyless.


The first time I met Dan's Pussy was in October of 2009.  I was immediately struck by how big Dan's Pussy was.  I do like me a big, fat orange.................WAIT A MINUTE!  Dan just called on the phone.  


I'm back!  The name of Dan's cat is..................MAX!




So from here on out I will refer to Dan's Pussy as Max.


As I was saying before I like a big, fat, orange pussy cat.  I asked Dan where he got Max.  Dan told me that Max was abandoned in the parking lot of an apartment complex near Wilmington Delaware along with another cat.  Both of the cats belonged to an old lady who died.  When her relatives came to clean out her apartment, they put her cats out in the parking lot of the apartment complex to fend for themselves.    




This is the kind of mindless, thoughtless, selfish treatment of animals that I hate to hear about.  Sometimes I can hardly stand to have knowledge of this kind of heartless cruelty towards animals.  


Dan and his partner Dave rescued Max but were not able to find the other cat.  The poor animals, just try to imagine what they were going through.  Used to a life of comfort and security in an apartment of an old lady who apparently loved them, now to be tossed out into the unknown.  These kinds of stories just break my heart.  I try not to think about them.  




I asked Dan if Max ever goes out.  Dan said "Never!"  I suspect Max used up all of his remaining nine lives the time he was fending for himself in that parking lot.  


Well, he has a good home now.  Dan is a sweet guy and will take good care of him.  And I can see where Max is providing love and comfort for Dan too. 



Someday....someday I'm going to get a kitty cat for myself.  Just you wait and see.

Cats

Me and my friend Big Bog's cat, Stormy
As regular readers of this blog know, I like cats.  Unfortunately, my partner doesn't like cats. So, the forty six years we have lived together, a cat has never crossed our threshold.


I used to have my own cat once.  His name was Bobby.  He was a stray cat that I adopted when I was a ten or eleven years old.  My family lived in a second story apartment above the offices of Gindy Manufacturing Corporation in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  We lived next to the trailer manufacturing plant.  


I don't remember exactly how Bobby came into my life.  I think he was a kitten of a feral cat that just appeared at our doorstep one day.  


I looked forward to seeing Bobby everyday when I came home from elementary school.  He would curl up and lay in my lap while I watched TV.  I would carry him around.  He loved me and I loved him.


Then one day Bobby wasn't there any more.  I asked my Mother if she had seen Bobby.  She said "Oh, Pop took him to the SPCA.  He was peeing on the door so he got rid of him."  


That was my dad. No explanation.  No consideration of my feelings.  None.  Maybe that's why I'm gay.  I was looking for the man who would be kind to me.


How ironic then that I hooked up with Bill, my partner in life for these past forty-six years.  In every way Bill treats me like a prince.  But he doesn't like cats.  In fact he's bragged that as a kid he used to tie tin cans to their tails.  Whenever he tells that story to friends and neighbors, I always get on his case for his thoughtless cruelty.  He just laughs it off.


Over the years I've encountered many cats.  Many belong to my friends.  Whenever I visit my friends who have cats, I take that opportunity to get my Cat Fix by petting and praising them.  The feline creatures seem to understand.  


I love cats.


One day I will rescue a kitty (or two) from the SPCA to make up for Bobby.


Me and Bobby 1953

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Black Dog Returns



He's back.  The Black Dog.


The Black Dog Returning is how Winston Churchill described his returning depression.


Do not worry friends, I'm not clinically depressed.  I'm not catatonic.  I guess you could say I'm a little blue over a few recent events.


First of all, the weather is not cooperating at all in enhancing my mood.  Every winter, especially during January and February I get a serious case of SAD (Seasonal Affectional Disorder.)  That is a mood swing caused by lack of natural sunlight.  I am a prime candidate for this common affliction.  I love the sunlight.  That's why my house has more windows that you can shake a magic wand at.  The first thing a new visitor to my house always says is "Wow, look at all the windows!"  Still, with all those windows don't make much difference if the day outside is a gray, cold, monotone day.


I can usually get through these days of the depths of Winter Doldrums by engaging in activities that normally bring my happiness.  However, I am on very tentative ground because it just takes one or two things to happen to throw me into the Pit of Despair.


Just this morning I had one of those "things" happen.  For eleven years I have worked very hard to accumulate and share my family history.  Unlike some other family history researchers, I share everything I have, sometimes at great personal and financial cost to me.  Thus, it is always a shock to me when someone throws my kindness and generosity back into my face simply because of the fact that I am gay.


Some years ago I used to edit the nationally distributed TFAA Newsletter.  I paid for all the expenses of printing the newsletter and the postage.  When I lost my job I could no longer afford to distribute that newsletter.  Thus the newsletter withered on the vine.  This past week another family member researcher resurrected the TFAA and sent out a new newsletter by e-mail.  I thought I would help him out by sending the newsletter to my mailing list through my genealogy blog.  On my genealogy blog is my profile.  My profile states that I am gay, which I am.  This morning I received this message from one of the persons (located in Tennessee) who received my e-mail:

"Who gives a rat’s ass about your sexual preference!!! Otherwise, it’s pretty interesting."


On 1/28/11 10:32 AM, "Ronstales@aol.com" <Ronstales@aol.com> wrote:

Tipton Tales and Trails: The Tipton Family Association of America Resurrected!   
Dear fellow Tipton family descendants,

I am sending a link to my latest "Tipton Tales and Trails" blog posting.  On this posting I have duplicated first Tipton Family Association of America newsletter that John Parrish has produced for the resurrected TFAA.

I have included all my Tipton family e-mail addresses.  If you wish to be taken off this mailing list, please send me an e-mail telling me so.  Some of the e-mail address may be duplicated and/or outdated so please excuse any mistakes in mailing.

If you know of any other Tipton family member who is interested in being put on this mailing list, also send me an e-mail telling me so.

We are all looking forward to the resurrected Tipton Family Association of America newsletter and our new website.

While I know I should be immune from this homophobic remark after having enduring this crap for most of my sixty-nine years on this earth, it is still disheartening to be on the receiving end of hate.  No matter how much I think I have a thick skin, hateful darts like this still pierce me.


Of course I responded to this hateful person which I probably shouldn't have because this type of hateful person is unreceptive to reasoning.  They only know their narrow, bigoted view of life and anything that views from that view is considered not worthy of common decency and respect.


Try as I might I can't get my mo jo back today.  I was going to go out to the Friday Night Dinner Group tonight just to get mind off this hate but of course the weather intervened (rain, sleet, snow and ice) and I can't go out.  I have this picture in my mind of my new 2010 red Subaru Forester sliding on the ice into an accident.  I don't need that trouble.


Try as I might, I can't get up the enthusiasm to write a positive, cherry, "happy with life" blog although I am by nature a happy, cheerful person.  I even went into my 42,000 plus digital photos on m iMac to sort through them and organize, label, and enjoy the memories invoked when I see pictures of happier times. That didn't work tonight either.


So here I am writing on my blog about my depressed state.  But then that is why I have a blog, my blog is my therapy.  I've never been to a "therapist."  When I need some mental work I write.  I've been doing this for years and it works most of the time.  I think it is working now.


What also makes me feel good is thinking and looking at people I know and like.  While going through my pictures a few moments ago I came across these two pictures of two of my favorite bloggers, Spo and Mark.  Notice that both of them have almost the identical pose?  It is almost as if they know my present plight and are concerned.  At least I would like to think so.




I'll be back tomorrow when I'm in a better frame of mind.  I was going to apologize for this downer of a blog (I always think of Debbie Downer when I post negative blogs) but I'm not going to apologize.  This is my life and this is exactly the way I feel now.  I just have to get through it.

Homophobia Alive and Well

Me at Gay March in Washingtoon D.C. October 4, 2009
Out of the closet BIGTIME


I have three blogs.


One of my blogs is this one, "Retired in Delaware".  This blog is my personal journal.


My second blog is one for my former high school class, called "Downingtown High School Class of 1959".


My third blog is for my family genealogy called "Tipton Tales and Trails."


As regular readers of this blog know my profile list me as a gay man.  When I first posted my profile I hesitated to publicize the fact that I was gay, lest that I offend some readers of my blog.  That hesitation lasted for about four seconds because I thought "This is who I am, if a reader of my blog is offended then that person is a homophobe and I do not want them reading my blog. "  


I haven't had a problem identifying myself as gay in my profile.  That changed today.  Homophobia raised its ugly head again today.  


Today I did a mass mailing of my "Tipton Tales and Trails" blog to a new mailing list that I obtained from the new president of the Tipton Family Association of America.  His name is John Parrish and he has resurrected the TFAA and started to publish a newsletter.  Ten years ago I was the TFAA editor of the newsletter.  When I published the newsletter, I did not identify myself as gay.  It wasn't necessary.


This morning I wanted to help John by publishing his newsletter to my blog.  I also included the mailing list he sent to me.  One thing I neglected to remember, was that my profile on my "Retired in Delaware" blog also appears on the profile on my "Tipton Tales and Trails" profile.  Much of the mailing list for the TFAA newsletter is in the south.  Yes folks, many of my Tipton relatives are conservative southerners. I hesitate to paint all southerns with the broad brush of gay bigotry but we all know that many of those in the South feel quite comfortable exposing their discrimination against gays.


Thus it was with some sadness that I received this response from this person who I e-mailed a link to my "Tipton Tales and Trails" blog this morning.

"Who gives a rat’s ass about your sexual preference!!! Otherwise, it’s pretty interesting."


You know folks, as long as I've been on the receiving end of this kind of hate, I never get used to it.  


I'm reminded of a quote that Charles Tipton, my predecessor as editor of the TFAA Newsletter always had in quotes on the top of each edition of his newsletter:


"You can pick your nose but you can't pick your relatives"

As regular bloggers know, your profile appears the same on all blogs that you own.  I don't have the ability to "censor" my blog on "Tipton Tales and Trails."  However, even if I did I wouldn't.  I am gay.  I think it is pathetic that some people in this day and age still feel uncomfortable when confronted with the fact that some of their fellow human beings are gay. 

Ron, out and proud Washington D.C. March, October 4, 2009


I came out of the closet in 1963 and I never intend to go back, no matter how many people I upset. In fact, I think it's time for more gays to come out like me and to make more of these gay haters expose their ignorance and bigotry.  

Me with my gay friends at the Washington D.C. March
We're all out of the closet -never to look back!
While I'm a bit upset this morning (and after a good morning too), I feel like I accomplished a lot more than I intended to today.  I exposed another bigot.  

I'm tempted to send an e-mail back but I know that won't do any good to persuade this ignorant bigot to change his views.  I've seen that movie and I know how that ends.  Unless someone in their family comes out, they will go to their grave with all that hate.  

Sad isn't it?



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Old Friends in Lewes

Friends Larry and Ron have breakfast at The Filling Station, Lewes, DE 
January 27, 2011
One of the nice things about retirement is that you can spend more times reuniting with old friends.  


One such old friend of mine is Larry M. of Claymont, Delaware.  Claymont is at the northern top of the state in Newcastle, County while I am at the lower end of the state in Sussex County.  Kent County separates us.  Delaware only has three counties, we are a small state.


I've known my good friend Larry since third grade.  Now that would be since 1951 which is exactly SIXTY YEARS AGO!  NO!  We can't be THAT OLD.  Hard to believe.


Dressed as scarecrows for a sixth grade Operetta 1953
I am in the plaid shirt in the back on the left 

 Larry is on the back on the right
Larry and I used to trade comic books.  I would bring my stack of sixty of so comic books of the Crypt Keeper and Little Lulu's to trade for his Scrooge McDuck and Superman comic books. Oh how I used to love those innocent days.  


We both lived on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  Larry's family (he is an only child - both of his parents are in their 90's now and still on their own) lived in a rented house at 417 Washington Avenue near the East Ward Elementary School.  My family lived in a second floor rented apartment on 120 Washington Avenue, near Wagner's Grocery store.  Both of our fathers were truck drivers and our mothers were stay at home moms.  Larry and I clicked right away and we were best friends until his parents moved to Pughtown (what a name for a town)PA right before we were to enter tenth grade in high school.  Larry and I stayed friends but we had the geographical distance took away the "best friend" classification.  Bill B. became my new BF.  A boy has to have a BFF.


BF'S Larry, Stuart and Ron October 1957
Larry and I had a lot in common except for the big difference in that he is straight and I am gay.  But I'm a tolerant person by nature so I never held Larry's heterosexuality against him.  (Hey, I'm kidding Lar.)  


After we graduated from high school we gradually drifted away from one another.  I tried to get Larry to join the Army with me under the Buddy System but fate intervened again and his Mom wasn't having any of that.  So I joined the Army alone, which coincidentally was exactly 51 years ago to this day - I shipped out January 27th, 1960. A day I will never forget for as long as I live because I was scared to death when I boarded that for basic training to Ft. Dix, New Jersey.


Larry, Ginny (my blind date Larry set up up with) and me 1959
Ginny was nice but the blind date was an exercise in futility
I still hand't come to terms with my sexual identity


We kept in contact by mail while I was in the service but over time our friendship gradually faded into the background as our other life events demanded more of our time.  


Larry and me when I was home on leave from the Army in the summer of 1962

Over the years we kept in touch by Christmas cards, as I have done with many old friends, relatives and former co-workers.  However, except for one chance encounter on Spruce Street in Philadelphia, I didn't see Larry face to face for many years.


Then on Thanksgiving 2001 (I remember it well because it was the year of 9/11), I received a Thanksgiving card from his mother suggesting that I call Larry.  She told me that Larry had recently lost his longtime job at the bank where he worked in Wilmington and was depressed.  She thought maybe if I talked to him I could lift him out of his depression.  Larry's mother knew that if anyone could distract Larry from his doldrums, it was me.  I gladly accepted her challenge


Coincidentally, I had also had a longtime job at a bank (in Philadelphia) which I had recently lost.  I called Larry and that was the beginning of the renewal of our friendship.  



Larry and me at 10 Downing Street Restaurant 2003
Resuming our friendship after a 40 year intermission
From that time, now ten years ago, Larry and I have maintained an e-mail relationship.  We have differing political views.  A few times there has been periods of silence after a disagreement after a particularly heated e-mail discussion about a political issue (Lar is basically conservative and I'm progressive on most issues) but we overcame these minor speed bumps in our friendship and resumed our relationship like nothing ever happened.  That is the definition of true friendship.  Political disagreements come and go but friendship is forever.

Larry, his wife Lois and me on the Spirit of Philadelphia Cruise 2004
(Note:  I'm still traveling solo, no date) 
For the last two years Larry and his wife Lois planned a little getaway for themselves and visited the Inn where I work for a personal visit.  This week Larry and Lois came down for a visit on Tuesday night.  We went out to dinner at the Irish Eyes.  That dinner was the subject of my previous blog posting "How Not to Dine Out."  The problem wasn't them but the in house entertainment at Irish Eyes, some guy singing Irish jigs the whole 1 3/4 hours were  eating and trying to have a conversation.  Of course maybe part of the problem was that the waitress sat us ringside but I already explained that little adventure in my previous blog.


Last night I worked at the Inn while Larry and his wife were still guests at the Inn.  It was raining when I went in at 2:45 pm.  By 8:30 pm the rain had turned to a mixture of snow, sleet and ice so I decided not to risk life and limb by driving home after my shift ended at 11 pm.  I decided to stay overnight at the Inn, two doors down from my friends Larry and Lois.


My involuntary incarceration at the Inn was not really a bad thing considering that I work at the premier boutique hotel in Lewes.  That's one of the good things about working at a hotel, when you can't go home you have a place to stay.  I picked one of those plush rooms on the top floor with the king size bed after my shift ended last night at 11 PM.  Once my head hit that feather pillow, I was off in Dreamland for the next seven hours.  I didn't even get up to pee, that's how comfortable I was.  Man oh man, I DID NOT want to get up this morning.


So I get up, see that my car all iced over, and decide "What the hey?"  I'll have breakfast with my friend of sixty years, Lar.  


It looks innocent but that is ice on my car this morning
We walked down Savannah Road to The Filling Station Restaurant.  It wasn't opened yet so we decided to take a tour of downtown Lewes on the cold, gray, ice covered streets of Lewes, Delaware and take pictures.  Larry likes to take pictures almost as much as I do.  


So here is my photo essay of my Breakfast in Lewes, Delaware with my good friend Lar this morning, January 27th, 2011 while we were awing the restaurant to open:


Larry M, January 27, 2011 - Lewes, Delaware
Ron, January 27, 2011 Lewes, Delaware


Larry doing his best Samson imitation in the Lewes Park

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How Not to Dine Out


This evening I took my good friends Larry and Lois out for a quiet dinner at the Irish Eyes Restaurant in Lewes, Delaware. I have dined at the new Irish Eyes before and liked the food. Thus this evening I was looking forward to a return visit and an enjoyable dinner with my good friends Larry and Lois. Ah ha, you know how sometimes the best intentions go awry. Tonight that happened.

We were seated ringside to the Irish singing entertainment. Okay, this won't last too long. Oh how wrong I was. I have a difficult time understanding my friend Larry anyway because he is a very shy person and speaks very low lest he bother somebody nearby. Thus, with the entertainment of the evening singing Irish jigs behind me and Larry mumbling in front of me I was constantly shouting asking him to repeat himself. I usually caught the end of his sentences but couldn't make out the beginning of what he was saying. So much for a nice, enjoyable, QUIET dinner out with my friends.
Oh I can't say I blame the singer, he was just doing his job. In fact, towards the end of his two hour (oh yes, he entertained without break for almost two hours), he gave us special recognition for putting up with him "on the front line" the whole evening. We weren't being too polite to him either by talking (and shouting) while he was singing. He was just doing his job. 

My good friend Bob C. will not go to the Purple Parrot in Rehoboth Beach when they have entertainment (usually a reggae band of all things) because you can't hear one another. So here is the choice, either go to a restaurant with the screaming kids (at least THEY weren't there tonight) or "entertainment" like we had tonight. My head is throbing now.

You know what? I think I'm becoming an old fuddy duddy because I just want things quiet, uncomplicated and smooth.

Next time I call ahead.

Judge Judy



She shouts!

She insults!

She's sarcastic!

She's rude!

She's Judge Judy!




One of my little pleasures of daily life that I sorely missed when I moved to Delaware in November of 2006 was that I could no longer get the "Judge Judy" show on my television.

In Pennsylvania I had satellite television with local channels, which means I could get the syndicated "Judge Judy" show daily. In Delaware I could not get local channels thus I couldn't get the "Judge Judy" TV show. I went four years without "Judge Judy!" Last month DirecTV finally came through and now I can get the "Judge Judy" TV show right here in my comfy, cozy home here on the east side of Route 1 in Lower Slower Delaware.

Who is Judge Judy? Judge Judy is a former family court judge from New York who was discovered during a "60 Minutes" profile. For almost the last twenty years she has had her own TV show. She is the top rated syndicated TV show in the land and for good reason, she is good!

While Judge Judy is all of the above things I said about her, you have to understand the context in which she responds the way she does. Once you see the characters and their court cases not a who appear before her in court and their cases, you will understand all too clearly.

Judge Judy is real.

Judge Judy is smart.

Judge Judy is right.




The success of her show has spawned other "judge" shows but none come close to the authenticity of Judge Judy. Most of those other judge shows have come and gone and for good reason. They are fake and put on.

Then there are the reality shows like the rude restaurant owner (I can't even remember that idiot's name) and the some other shows on Bravo TV like the fashion show with Iman and the beauty salon show. The stars of those shows try to be like Judge Judy but they only come off as mean and cruel. There is only one Judge Judy.

Snag (what I will now call Bill, my partner heretofore referred to as S.O.) hates Judge Judy as does my good friend Bob C. They think she rude. Well............yes but as I've said she has good reason to be rude. Sometimes you have to hit a mule with a two by four between the eyes to get their attention.  She cuts through the BS and gets to the core of the matter. I love the look on the faces of some of plaintiffs and defendants when they realize their usual tricks aren't going to work with Judge Judy.

And then there is the other reason I like Judge Judy. It came to me the other night when I arrived home from work at the hotel late a night and turned on my DVR which had previously recorded the Judge Judy show that had aired earlier in the day. As the opening theme song played a warm, comforting feeling swept over my body. For an instance I didn't understand and then a very familiar feeling came to me.

When I lived in Pennsylvania I lived the next road over from my Mother. About three or four times a week I would take a ride over to visit my Mom. She would be lying on the platform bed that I had given her many years her cat Molly cuddled up next to her. I would walk in her living room and take a seat in the small rocker next to her bed. We would talk awhile and then she would grab her remote control and turn on the "Judge Judy Show." The opening song and credits would appear on her 30 inch Sony TV that my brother had set up high in the corner of her small living room. Then we would sit back and watch "Judge Judy" together.

Now when I watch "Judge Judy" I feel like I'm with my Mom again.


That is a good feeling.