Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gay Marine Kiss Causes Stir

Embrace ... Sgt Brandon Morgan kisses boyfriend Dalan Wells

Hey folks!  This must drive Rick Santorum and his base CRAZY!

This article from The Sun newspaper in Great Britain today:

A WELCOME home kiss between a marine and his boyfriend on his return from Afghanistan has become famous worldwide after a picture of it was posted online.

Sgt Brandon Morgan was snapped as he jumped into the arms of Dalan Wells at a homecoming ceremony at his Hawaii base.
The photo became an instant internet hit after it was posted on the Gay Marines Facebook page.
And a supporter wrote: "As a veteran of the US Army it brings tears to my eyes to see you be able to express your love without fear. God bless you and your BF."
Sgt Morgan, from Oakdale, California, responded to comments: "To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you.
"We didn't do this to get famous, or something like that; we did this cause after three deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt."
The display of affection came five months after the US Army's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy expired.
It had previously banned publicly gay men and women from serving in the military. Now servicemen and women can be open about who they love.
Sgt Morgan was not the first. He and his boyfriend followed in the footsteps of Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta who in December became the first lesbian to kiss her girlfriend at a homecoming ceremony.
Oh John McCain, and all the rest of the Repugs:


Blog Make Over

Well folks, as you probably notice I've made over my blog.  I sure did!

I've had my blog since 2005.  I start out slow and actually dropped off for several months in 2005 and 2006.  Then at the urging of a former friend I picked up my blog postings until the present time where I blog almost every day.  Ironically the that friend dismissed me as a friend last month because he didn't like "three" things that I said in my blog.  So much for that friendship, which really wasn't a friendship but that's a subject for another blog posting which I may or not post about.

Blogging is part of my  daily life now.  I have four blogs now.  This blog is my most active.

My other blogs are:

  • My autobiography blog- updated weekly
  • My genealogy blog - sporadically updated
  • Word Press blog - this blog I started a few weeks ago the main reason being that I wanted an uncluttered blog which is what Word Press offers.  

This blog is my "bells and whistles" blog. No ads on this but I do like all the other extras.  I also like the ease of use. I like the uncluttered format of Word Press but maneuvering around their website definitely isn't user friendly.  I'll learn it eventually.  I'll probably keep my Word Press blog with the same design.

However, with this blog expect constant changes.  This time I'm in a colorful mood.  I like a lot of color.  The trick is not to make the blog format so "busy" that my actual blog posting is lost in all the "busyness."

So if you like this new format let me know.  If you don't, let me know also.  Be kind.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Mitt Romney is Running For President?

The question has often been asked in the past few days, weeks and months.


Every now and then one of the cable pundits stumbles across the obvious answer:


Yes folks, even though Mitt Romney's father, the former Michigan governor who ran for the Republican nomination for presidency back in the Sixties has long been dead, his eldest son and standard bearer has had a hard on to PROVE THEM WRONG and avenge what he perceived was the unfair treatment his father got when he returned from a briefing of the generals in Vietnam(remember THAT war?) and said he was "brainwashed."  Well, like father like son.  The elder Romney stuck his foot in his mouth and his spawn does him better by continuously sticking his feet, arms, elbows and everything else in his mouth just about every time he opens his trap.

Poor Willard Mitt, to paraphrase the late, great Anne Richards, governor of Texas:

"Poor Mitt, he can't help it.  He was born with his FOOT in his mouth."

I've been trying to hold off folks from posting political posts but I just can't help myself.  I have to let these demons out!

One more quote folks!  I promise you, this will be the last one!  To (paraphrase) quote Forest Gump:

"Voting for Mitt Romney is like a box of chocolates, you don't know what you're gowana to get!"

What Scares Me

Wayne helps Robert get into his locked car

Two of the really fine people I work with at the hotel, Robert and Wayne.

This is a picture of Wayne helping Robert get into his car after Robert locked his keys IN HIS CAR!

I'm telling you folks, I work with some great folks.  I am truly blessed.

I have wonderful neighbors, I live in a great state (LOW TAXES).

I have a wonderful new home.

I have a lot of space.

I have a loving and devoted Partner in Life (that would be Bill).

I have my health (so far, I'm 70 and still going strong).

The only thing that really scares me is if somehow, someway that hateful whack job Rick Santorum gets elected president.

You didn't think this would be a totally positive blog posting did you?  If you did, then you don't know me.

"Sweet Battle Axe"

Me (see reflection) hard at work taking photos of cemetery headstones for F.A.G.

As regular readers of my blog know I am a Find a Grave volunteer.  The past couple of weeks I've been updating my account with photos and information on graves that I took at the Union Cemetery in Georgetown, Delaware.

Updating my Find a account is my stress reliever.

So while I was updating my Find a Grave. com account this morning I came across this headstone.  I had to laugh out loud.  I LOVE IT!

Christine Hawes
April 5, 1928 - Feb 28, 1983
Wife of James Ernest
"Thank you sweet battle axe for
24 years of hell and happiness"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Man Period?

Major Asshat - Willard "Mitt" Romney

Anne Marie (the dear) hit the nail right on the head this morning when she said (in response to my bitchy blog reviewing the Oscar cast last night on TV):

"uh oh, is someone having his man period this AM? :)"

Actually she was right. You see I had just completed and filed my federal and state taxes prior to composing and posting my Oscar blog.  I am always angry after doing my taxes.  This year was no exception.  

Even with taking all my deduction and having extra money taken out of my pay for my part-time job, I still owed almost $400!  Yes folks, I still owe.  My effective percentage rate was only two points below Willard "Mitt" Romney's tax rate that he paid last year.  You all know our Erstwhile Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney don't you?  He reported income of over 22 million dollars last year and didn't work a day.  He of the wife who has a "couple of Cadillacs."  Yes, THAT Mitt Romney.  The one who will say anything and flip positions just to win.  The one who thinks $374,000 for speaking fees isn't "that much."  Yep folks, that jerk-off.  

So here I am, collecting Social Security, collecting three small pensions and working part-time at a hotel, and I had extra money taken out of my modest hotel front desk job which I haven't gotten a raise in FIVE YEARS, paying over a 12% rate and Mittsy is paying a 14% rate.  I seem to remember President Obama making a campaign promise that Old Retired Guys like me who work part-time should have to pay ANY taxes.  I'm not even counting the full rate of FICA taxes I pay.  

Yep, every year I do my taxes and see how much I still have to pay I'm mad.  Usually I take my anger out on Bill or other friends or just complain to no one in particular but this year I let loose all my vent up frustration on the Hollywood Phonies at the Oscars last night.  Man it felt good.  I hate all those phony acceptance speeches.  I usually use the Mute button on my remote control to silence out their "I want to thank my Lovely Wife and my Darling little daughter/son" , et al, ad nauseam.  For Christ's sake, you would think one of these self absorbed ego maniacs discovered the cure for cancer.  

While we're on Academy Award Acceptance Speeches, what is it with local police departments that every time they are on national TV giving a press conference the FIRST thing they do is start thanking each other like THEY won an Academy Award?  I was watching the awful news this afternoon about yet another school shooting (oh when oh when are we going to change the mindset in this country about gun control?) and the FIRST words out of the trap of the local police chief is "I want to thank the extra-ordinary effort of all the local law enforcement officers in making this school a SAFE place....""'Uh...NO!  Didn't someone just die?  IT IS NOT SAFE DUMB ASS AND DON'T SAY IT IS SAFE UNTIL YOU MAKE IT SAFE AND YOU WILL 

Man oh man, this is one habit the local police have that really makes me mad, thank each other for the "wonderful" job they done did.  This makes me even madder than I am at asshats like Willard "Mitt" Romney.

Next up:

The other ASSHAT:  (I've been holding off on this one. I'm about to unleash.)

The Oscars!

For about two seconds I considered going straight when confronted with THIS!  Then I took a look to the left and settled back into my Gay Comfort Zone - admit it, Brad's leg is sexier.

Okay, where do I start?  What do I say that hasn't already been said?  Well, here we go with Ron's Stream of Consciousness Thought:

  • What was the deal with Angelina's right leg?  Did it have a hard on? 
  • Billy Crystal was great as the host.....however
  • Not original Billy with the ageist jokes about Christopher Plummer's age, not funny either.
  • Another "What Was The Deal With?..." Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow?  I never got the charm ?) of Mr. Reform Druggie ex-convict Robert Downey, Jr.  Somebody tell me why he thinks he's funny and relevant?  I have to give Gwinnie props for trying to save that awkward Banter Moment
  • And yet another "What Was the Deal With?" the Cirque du Soleil performance?  I thought this was the Oscars, not Las Vegas.  Okay, okay.  We got it.  Cirque du Soleil is SO COOL (but I did see one guy fall on his ass during one of the acrobatic tumbles so they're not PERFECT)
  • I was very disappointed in Emma Stone.  She doesn't do BANTER well. Of course she had as her Banter Partner Ben Stiller, MR. LARGE EGO. Both were VERY BORING.
  • And PUH-LEEZE....enough with Jenny From The Block and her boop-boop-pit-de-doo Little Girl Voice and Plunging Neckline gown.  We got it Jo-Lo, WE GOT IT.  You're hot (at least in your own mind)
Big Ass

  • And Woody Allen, didn't disappoint again.  He WASN'T there to accept his Oscar for best screenplay.  Where was he? Playing his clarinet at a New York jazz club?  Oh SO COOL.  Oh Woody, you're so over. BORING.

  • Let's see, what else can I bitch about?  Who was the dude in the audience with the maharaja head do with the bling?  Yeah, we SAW you.   Like , WHO ARE YOU?

    Of course the first recipient of an award bounds up on the stage with shoulder length white hair.  WTF?  Yes, WE SEE YOU.

      I thought Halloween was over.

    So have the Hollywood Trendsetters signaled that long hair is back in style again?  Even Brad Pitt had long hair, albeit it greasy..  Oh don't tell me, "It's for a role."  Brad didn't look to bad this time.  At least he trimmed that scraggly beard he had the last time he deigned to appear in public before his Adoring Fans.  Wash you hair the next time Mr. Sex Pot, it looks better when it's blonde and fluffy.

    Oh let's see (I knew I should have taken notes last night while I was watching the Oscar commercials Show.  I can't think of anything else to bitch about so here are some good comments:

    I was SO GLAD Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress.  I LOVE THAT woman.  By the way, who the HUNK with her?  WOWSIE!

    Gorgeous Octavia!
    I was very disappointed that Viola Davis didn't win Best Actress but I am glad that Meryl Streep won.  She is a fantastic actress and thirty years is TOO LONG to go between receiving an Academy Award for her consistently outstanding performances.

    I didn't see that silent movie and I don't think I will.  I don't go for the Cute Factor.  If you all think silent movies are the new Trend, let's see how many they make this year.  I'll go out on a limb and make a prediction:   NONE.

    I didn't see "Hugo" either and probably won't.  I'm not into cutsie poo kiddie pictures.  Don't get me wrong, I like kids (as long as they're well behaved) but I don't go for the Hollywood Kiddies.  They don't seem genuine to me.  Way TOO CUTE (hear that Dakota Fanning?)

    That said what was the deal with all the awards going to "Hugo"?  A Lovefest for Martin Scorese?  Which remind me...did anyone notice how many SHORT actors were there last night?  No room for tall guys like me (I'm 6'3" - used to be 6'4" before old age shrunk me).  Either the actresses were all wearing 10 inch spiked heels or Tommy Boy wasn't wearing his lifts.  Oh, that's right.  Tommy Boy appeared ALONE.  Not taking any chances he of being dwarfed on the Big Night.
    Another dwarf accepting an Oscar - big heads little bodies  

    Check the Dwarf on the right with the Angelina Stance - love it!

    What was this?  Partners? Lovers? Jerkoffs?  I heard some mention of "wife" and "my children" so I assume they're straight but you could've fooled me!

    Another "couple"? The Buzz-Cut on the left is sort of cute if dorky.  Hey, I have strange tastes.  I'd take him over Brad Pitt  

    And yet more Dwarfs!
    Hey gang, did you see the Horse Face on this babe?  God, I almost fell out of my chair when she turned around and displayed the best Horse Face since Celine Dione.  Move over Celine, you have a replacement!
    Ah "SHUT UP!"  This is when I'm glad I have a MUTE button on my remote control.  

    Christopher Plummer, Best Supporting Actor
    Class Act - Well Deserved
    Meryl Street, Best Actress
    Class Act - Well Deserved

    Oh, I almost forgot.  What was that with the Focus Group skit?  That was downright embarrassing.  I thought it was a spoof on comedy skits, just to see how GAWD AWFUL a bunch of old Hollywood writers could write a bad skit.  NOT FUNNY.

    So let's see, what else?  One good thing, the Oscar cast wasn't three hours long this time.  I thought the Ellen DeGeneres J. C. Penney commercials were funny.  Hey, that's me.  She's funny in just about anything she appears in or does.  Unlike that lame Focus Group skit.

    Oh, and another "I almost forgot"....what was the deal with the Popcorn Ladies strolling down the aisles handing out boxes of popcorn?  Were WE trying to replicate an old movie theater experience? Me thinks so.  Only problem, I didn't see them charging anything for the popcorn.  Hey Producers of the Oscars, if you're going to mimic the Old Time Movie Experience, charge $10.00 for the popcorn.  And also have a sullen, teenage pimply kid hand out the popcorn, not some beautiful Babes.  Talk about Fantasy Land.  And thinking about it, if you really wanted to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT...have some hunky guys handing out the popcorn.  Now that would get me attention plus recognize that there are a LOT of gay guys and women in the audience.  In fact, a LOT MORE than the Old White Men who control Hollywood.

    I can't get that image of Angelina's Hard On Leg out of my mind.  Help me somebody!

    It was close but the director of "The Artist" was the Most Boring Idiot on the stage last night -BORING!

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Snow Geese Settle In For The Evening at Prime Hook

    A few miles up the road from where we live is the Prime Hook National Refuge.  Snow geese winter over here on the East coast of southern Delaware where we live.  In a few weeks (or days) they will be leaving for Canada to spend the summer in cooler climes.  Before they left I wanted to get a video record of them settling in their nighttime quarters after a busy day of feeding on our Sussex County fields.

    I love where I live!

    Two Oscar Worthy Scenes

    The Oscars are tonight.  We'll all have to endure the seemingly endless self congratulatory proclamations of the Hollywood phonies raising their Oscar statuettes above their heads showing us the Oscar base (I hope it doesn't say "Made in China").

    I will endure all the thanking of "My wife, my Mother and my children without whom this wouldn't be possible" (give us a break) just to see Viola Davis receive the award for Best Actress and Octavia Davis receive the award for Best Supporting Actress.

    I don't care for that cutsie poo silent film nor another George Clooney Suave-Vo Moment.  And please God, no Oscar for Brad Pitt.  His time is SO OVER.

    I'll try and take notes tonight while the Oscars are on and give a scathing review tomorrow.  That is if I can stay awake.

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Ron's Ramblings From His Rainbow Office

    Time for one of those homemade videos that signify absolutely nothing but the enjoyment I get out of working in my home office.

    This video I made a few minutes ago while I was multi-tasking:

    • Updating my Find a Grave account
    • Listening to Chris Hayes' program "Up!" on MSNBC
    I usually work in silence or listening to Howard Stern on my Sirius Radio.  I like listening to Howard Stern when he is mocking the absurdities in our pop culture.  I don't like listening to him when he is on his Stripper/Whore/Hot Babe segments. That got old a LONG TIME AGO.  

    After the removal of a cyst from my lower back (on my spine) yesterday, I'm still bleeding.  Bill told me the blood came through on my shirt (and tee shirt of course).  So he put another bandage on it and I'm good to go for another blood soaked bandage day.  I only had three stitches (to be removed two weeks from today) but that is enough to feel sore.  It seems my life is just one series of doctor's appointments these days.  That's what I get for teasing my Mother (while she was alive) about her seemingly non-ending series of doctor's appointments.  

    I'm not sure what Bill and I have planned for today.  We'll probably go to Food Lion so I can see if they have chicken breasts for sale. I never pay regular price for chicken breasts, I always get them on sale. I rarely eat beef.  It's a funny thing about not eating beef for a period of time.  When you go back to eating beef whether it be hamburger or beef stew (I never eat steak), you don't realize how hard your stomach has to work to digest all that chemically induced meat.  

    Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous.  A cold front came in last night causing the wind to whip around outside now.  I'm not sure if I'll get my walk in today.  I always feel so much better after my daily walk.  The walk gets my blood flowing throughout my old body.  

    I should finish my taxes today (or tomorrow) and transmit them to the state of Delaware and the IRS.  I hate doing my taxes. I always owe money, no matter how much I have taken out of my part-time job.  This year I had a flat 20% taken out and I still owe.  Obama made a promise during his presidential campaign that retirees like me wouldn't have to pay taxes on our part-time work.  So much for that promise.  It's not like I get a whole lot in Social Security or my bank pensions, I don't.  Just barely getting by folks but I have enough to keep me and Bill warm and secure here at Casa Tipton-Kelly.  

    We're planning on taking our third annual Trip South in April.  The cost of that trip will deplete our meager savings (van rental and separate hotel rooms) but it is well worth it.  Who are we going to leave our money too?  I have twenty beneficiaries in my will set up, most of them my nieces and nephews down to the grand niece and nephew levels.  I never see them.  They might as well be strangers but at least I'm keeping The Money in the family.  

    Bill is downstairs in his basement living quarters.  I can hear him playing his favorite polka tunes.  I'm up here in my wonderful home office (I love this place) updating my Find a Grave account with photos I took of graves at the Union Cemetery in Georgetown during a mild, sunny day last month.  There is another Find a Grave volunteer in this area who just happens to be gay, who also takes photos and posts the memorials to Find a Grave.  Both he and his partner act as a team.  I'm a solo act.  Bill goes with me to the cemeteries but he doesn't post anything to Find a Grave.  I'm in constant competition with my gay Find a Grave volunteer friends to see who can post the memorials and photos first to Find a Grave.  I love the competition!  It beats what most other gay guys do down here in Gayberry which is eat out, get fat and talk about other people.  I'm left that "lifestyle" behind me when my faux friend dropped me several weeks ago.  I decided then and there I've had enough. From here on out I do what gives me pleasure which is:

    • Blogging
    • Find a Grave updating
    • Genealogy research and updating
    • Cooking
    • Walking
    • Working part-time
    • Watching my political shows on MSNBC
    • Reading
    • Writing my auto-biography
    • Talking with my friend Larry on FaceTime
    • Decluttering
    • Photo organizing

    Now this was a good Rambling Blog wasn't it?  Just the way I like it.

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Governor "Trans-vaginal Probe" McDonnell Gets His Ass Handed to Him By Governor O'Malley

    Return Visit To My Dermatologist

    "I got a hole in my back!"

    First of all, apologies to the readers of my Word Press blog because I'm going to do a repeat here, I also posting a this story to my Word Press blog today.

    This morning I returned to my dermatologist to have the one stitch removed from my forehead.  Remember that wart like growth that popped out of my left temple a few weeks ago like a volcano?  I worry about these things, could be cancer.  Well, I have good news.  It wasn't cancer.

    My dermatologist told me it was "only" keratosis.  Not even actinite keratosis, which is a pre cancerous condition.  For the past twenty-five years I have had numerous actinide keratosis spots removed from my face.  This was only a benign growth, my dermatologist said. I dodged another bullet!

    His assistant removed the one stitch that was in my forehead the past week.  Didn't hurt at all.  She was good.

    My doctor told me to take off my shirt and tee shirt and lay on my stomach on the pummel horse bench that is the common fixture in all doctor's office. Oh the stories that contraption could tell if it could talk.

    The pummel horse bench was covered in that crinkly butcher type paper (how appropriate) and was cold!  I took off my clothing and rather awkwardly tried to position myself (what do I do with my arms?) on the bench.  It was cold.  Oh, I said that already.

    He then gave me a needle in my lower back where he was going to remove the cyst growth near my spine in the small of my back. I've had this cyst removed twice before in years past (as long ago as 1986) but my doctor said they "didn't go deep enough."  Uh huh, sounds like we're going to do some DIGGING here, always fun.  Stick that needle in doc and numb me up!

    In a few minutes I'm numbed up.  Now all those names I've been called over the past years like Numb Nuts and Numb Skull one could add Numb Back.  Doesn't quite have the same ring though does it?

    So the small of my back is numbed up.  My doctor grabs his scalpel and proceeds to dig....and dig....and dig.  No pain but I could feel the pressure.  That's MY MEAT he's digging into!

    Finally he says "Ah ah! "  Then he shows me the recalcitrant invader that took residence up in the small of my back.  It was pink and bloody and big as a large walnut!  Another Piece of Me gone!

    The "aftermath" - that's my blood folks!

    In the medical waste he tosses it.  He applies three stitches and then bandages me up and tells me not to take a shower for twenty-four hours.  Good thing I took a shower last night.

    Before I put my clothes back on I asked if I could take his picture for my iPhone Address book.  He reluctantly agreed.  He wasn't real thrilled but let me take TWO photos. The first one was blurred which is the one I'm posting here.  The other went directly into my Address Book.

    My dermatologist - he's taking good care of this Old Man

    My next appointment is two weeks from now.  I guess that is how long it will take that hole in the small of my back to heal up.

    Again, more proof of that old Bette Davis quote:  "Getting old isn't for sissies!"

    Hey, I may be a SISSY but I'm not a sissy.

    Larry's Cats

    "Cat Love"

    Larry is my longtime friend.  Larry and I have known each other since we were both in third grade. We first met when Larry outed me to our third grade teacher.  I was giving a book report.  Larry "helpfully" told our teacher that I stole the idea from my story from a Scrooge McDuck comic book.  He volunteered this information in class in front of me, the rest of our classmates and Miss Ezrah, our third grade teacher.

    Me, Miss Ezrah (our third grade teacher) and Larry in 2005

    After school Larry thought I was going to beat him up (I was much taller than him) because he ratted me out.   As we were walking across the blacktop that was the "playground" of our Fifties school, I approached Larry.  Larry was waiting for the First Punch.  Instead I said "You have comic books?  You want to trade?"  That sounds like me, non-violent and looking for an opportunity.

    The only cats I have now - my friend's cats - this one is Stormy - a cat that showed up on my friend Bob's doorstep one stormy night

    I had forgotten this exchange.  Larry had forgotten it also until he started to write his autobiography.  We're both writing our autobiographies through another blog.  No doubt more memories will be unearthed.

    Larry (standing in front of Miss Ezrah) and me far right third row with mop of hair) in third grade 1950
    Me with my head partially hidden

    Larry and I talk almost every morning by FaceTime.  Larry is my Friend.  Larry is not one of these so-called "friends" who only befriend me for what they can get out of me.  Larry is a real friend.  Real friends are rare. I am very fortunate to have a few real friends in my life.  Larry likes me just as I am.

    Larry likes me just as I am.  Larry and I are at the opposite end of the political spectrum.  Larry is straight and I am gay.

    There is a lot we don't have in common but one very important thing we do have in common is our love of animals. We both love animals, especially cats.

    My Mom feeding her feral cats Molly, Rusty and Smoky

    Larry and his wife Lois and his daughters Noell and Laurel and son Darryl have a couple dozen (give or take a few) cats living in their house.  All their cats are rescue cats.

    Yesterday I was talking to Larry on FaceTime.  Larry swung his computer monitor around to show me a few of his "buddies" who were keeping him company while he was talking to me on FaceTime.

    Here they are:
    Kerouac - found as a scrawny kitten hiding under a car in the parking lot where Larry's son Darryl worked - named after the famous Fifties beat poet Jack Kerouac
    Diesel - found in her car's engine by Larry's wife Lois as she was leaving her job at the Delaware Humane Association Shelter

    "Mark" - was found as a kitten near the highway by St. Mark's School by Larry's daughter Noelle thus the name "Mark"

    To be the true measure of a person is how they treat animals, especially animals who are in harm's way.  I know people who have no feeling for animals.  These people are not my friends.  Some start out as friends but once I find they have this dead zone in their character for animals, I am no longer friends with them.

    These are cold, heartless people and if they treat animals in an indifferent or cruel manner they are less than human to me.  I know that sounds like a harsh statement from me, but it is true.

    Whenever I talk to Larry on FaceTime and I see his collection of rescue kitties, I feel good.

    Thank you Larry, Lois, Laurel, Noelle and Darryl for what you do to make life on this planet a little more bearable for some of our critter friends.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Writing My Autobiography

    Wading in the cold waters of Provincetown, Mass 1979

    The time has come folks to write that Great Book that most all of us dream about.  You know the one, the Story of My Life.  Go ahead, admit it.  You know you have a fascinating tale to tell.  Put all false modesty aside and Tell Your Story. So I'm going to wade in.  My blog is called "My Life."  Go here if  you want to read it.

    My life long friend Larry and I have finally started to tell our story.  I admit at one time I thought I would write my autobiography which would become an instant best seller much like "The Best Little Boy" in the world was.  You know, the young boy who at a very early age knew he was "different".  Then, as he grew older he began to understand that he was a QUEER (this was the Fifties after all for this young boy). 

    Then even later as he reconciled his nature with his environment he accepted that fact the he was GAY.  And oh the experiences he had.  Wouldn't those experiences just fill up the pages of a juicy novel?

    But alas, by the time this young boy experienced his first seventy years of life, that story has already been written...many times over. 

    So what is one to do with all this information?  Do I let it die in the great ether of the universe when I expire?  All those near misses with injury and death?  All those brief periods of estactic highs?  Do I let that all die with me? No, I do not let it die with me.

    So what is to be done?  Well, this is what my friend Lar and I have decided.  We will blog about it.  Of course we now realize in the sage wisdom of our advanced years that no one else would be interested in our story other than us.  But therein lies the answer.  We write our story for ourselves.  In addition to being a type of catharsis, there is the pure enjoyment of reliving our totally unique stories of our life.

    Everyone has their story.  The first books I read were biographies.  Biographies are still my favorite form of reading.  Who know, maybe after I'm long dead and gone, someone will stumble upon my blog postings orbiting forever in the endless vastness of the Internet and be mildly amused at my self absorbed ramblings.

    And that my friends will be my legacy.  The story of the life of one man who lived for a nano-second on this planet called earth.  There will be no repeats.

    New employee Fidelity Bank, Philadelphia, PA - 1988

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    "You're Getting a Job"

    Me and my trusty bicycle with basket that helped me deliver thousands of newspapers  1951-1956

    The year was 1952. I was ten years old.  I was the oldest of the three sons of Ike and Betty Tipton.  Ike, my father, was a transplanted hillbilly. He came to Pennsylvania from the western mountains of North Carolina with his eight brothers (two more would be born in Pennsylvania) when he was ten years old.  He and his brothers were to work as migrant farm labor for his uncle Don Byrd's farm in southern Chester County.

    My Mother was the youngest of a family of Pennsylvania Quaker descent.  Her Mother died when she wasn't quite two years old.  Both my parents had a hard upbringing.  Neither had an easy childhood.  Both began working before they reached their teenage years.  I was to be no exception.

    I came home one day from school and my Mother told me "You're getting a job.  You're going to be a paper boy."  Uh....okay.  What did I know?  We were poor and lived in the poorer section of town.  My father was a long distance truck driver, exempted from serving in the military because of his three sons being born in 1941, 1943 and 1944.  Mom, at that time, was a stay-at-home Mom with her hands full taking care of three rambunctious boys.  Any woman knows that three sons can be a handful.  My brothers and I were no exception.  We kept her busy. 

    I wasn't asked if I wanted a job, I was told.  I didn't even think to protest.  What I did know was that I wasn't getting an allowance like most of my classmates and that my brothers and I didn't wear shoes during the summer months off from school because it was too expensive.  I would be earning MONEY.  I knew that.  Up until this time I earned a a nickel here and there running errands to the grocery store for my relatives who lived in the same apartment building we lived in on Washington Avenue in Downingtown.  Once in a great while one of my uncle would give me a whole quarter for running an errand to the grocer store.  Now as a paperboy I would be earning BIG MONEY....up to $5.00 a week!

    She told me a Mrs. Lindermann would come over to our second floor apartment at 120 Washington Avenue to explain to me what I had to do.  Mrs. Lindermann arrived on a hot and humid August night (no air conditioning in the Fifties - we didn't notice).  She told me that I would pick up my newspapers (The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin) at the Sam Charles News stand, which was located on Lancaster Avenue, the main road through Downingtown.  This was only a few blocks away from where we lived in the center of Downingtown.  I would also be deli-vering a few copies of the local newspaper but the bulk of my deliveries would be the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, about 60 copies.  I would pick up these papers after school. 

    My Mom, Mrs. Lindermann and my brother Isaac looks on as Mrs. Lindermann scoops up my weekly take - leftover newspapers on chair to left - 1954

    She gave me a small, black, hand-size three ring binder.  This notebook contained a monthly grid of individual sheets of the customers I was to deliver the newspapers too.  Each sheet had the customers' address and which paper was to be delivered to them.  There was also an amount listing what I was to collect from the customer once a week.  She turned over this notebook of customers' names and addresses to me.  At ten years old I had my first Real Job.  I now had responsibility.  I felt grown up.  It felt good. 

    I was a paperboy from third grade until I entered ninth grade, from ten years old to fifteen years old.  Believe it or not the main reason I quit the paperboy job was that I thought I was too big to ride a bicycle.  Remember, back in the Fifties only kids rode bicycles. 

    I can honestly say from my vantage point now, that paperboy job was the best job I ever had in my life.  The best.  I was on my own, I was out in the fresh air, I got to meet and interact with people (which I love and do to this day as I do at my part-time job as a hotel front desk clerk), and I made money.  If there was any downside at all (and I didn't and never did consider it a downside) was that I didn't have time for the extra-circular activities at school.  While the rest of my classmates were spending their allowances and getting into trouble or just being bored, I had something to do after school, deliver papers.  And oh the experiences I had delivering those newspapers, something which I will write about in future blogs. 

    I don't have any pictures of me delivering papers but I do have a picture of me on my bike that I delivered newspapers.  My trusty, dependable bike that got me through many a day; hot, cold, windy, snow, rain. 

    I am so thankful that my Mother gave me this lesson early in my life to teach me responsibility.  She is gone now but her lesson has stayed with me for the past sixty years.  I am working now, albeit part-time.  I will work until I can no longer function either mentally or physically.  I know of no other  way.  Mom trained me well. 

    Thank you Mom, wherever you are.  I have no doubt she will have a job waiting for me when we meet again in Heaven.

    Mom and me Mineral Springs, PA - 1942 - she already had plans for me to go to work

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Bird Migration in Southern Delaware

    Southern coastal Delaware, where I live, is a major bird fly way.  Last week as I took my evening walk in the Oyster Rocks development behind me I took this short video of a flock of brown birds trying to rustle up an afternoon meal before settling in trees for the evening roost.  Look closely, they're hard to see.  Hundreds of small brown birds swirling around the vacant lawns of my neighbors in Oyster Rocks.

    This is one of the many reasons why I like living in the Big Sky country of coastal Delaware.  Earlier today Bill and I were making our rounds (Walmart, thrift stores), the cold February skies above us were filled with the chatter of the Arctic Snow Geese discussing their impending departure for points North.

    When we lived in the crowded suburban sprawl of southeastern Pennsylvania, we rarely if ever witnessed these centuries old seasonal activities of nature.

    Just another reason I love living where I live, southern Delaware.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Chicken Ron

    I miss my chickens!  I used to have four Rhode Island red chickens when we lived at our wooded paradise in East Brandywine Township, outside of Downingtown PA.  I always wanted pet chickens and finally got four (all the township bylaws would allow).  I had a friend build a chicken house for me.

    I purchased the chickens from an Amis farmer for $5.00 a piece.  When I took those chickens away in my Chicken Carrier I bet they thought they were headed to the chopping block.  Not so!

    My Rhode Island Reds

    I had the chickens for a little over a year.  Almost every day I would let them out towards the end of the day and they would follow me down to the woods.  One day a fox attacked one of the chickens while I while we were out for our evening stroll!  One chicken down, three to go.

    Me with my "pals:" - I rake the leaves and they find "goodies" 

    Some months later a hawk got one of the chickens in their penned in yard next to their chicken house.

    A month of so later another one of the chickens broke her leg jumping down from her roost.  I took her to the vet and had her put to sleep.  Cost me $25.00 but it was worth it.  She trusted me as I held her and the vet injected her with a lethal dose.  I saw her eyes gently close and she was no more.

    I was now down to one chicken.  The last chicken was afraid to go out in her yard.  She was afraid to go out with me.  I fed her in the chicken house.  Then one day I went to the pen and she was no more.  She had been beheaded by the (same?) hawk.

    That was the end of my Chicken Adventure.

    Last week I took my neighbor to Dawn's Farmer's Market.  She had a load of chickens, including my favorites, Rhode Island Reds.  Seeing them brought back nostalgic memories.

    That's all I'll ever have, "chicken memories."  I'll never have chickens again, my homeowners association bylaws forbid it.

    Caregiver Update

      Bill with his hospice nurse last week Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular ba...