Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekly Roundup

Another busy week folks!

Sunday I traveled to Lionville, Pennsylvania for my 53rd high school class reunion which was held at the Chicago Bar and Grill.  I'm one of those class members who likes to go to the class reunions.  Actually, I only like to go to my high school class reunion because I know everybody.   I don't go to my college class reunion because I wouldn't know a soul there.  I went to night school at Peirce College in Philadelphia on the G.I. Bill for three nights a week for four years.  My fellow class members were just a blur to me.  But my former high school class members, we're all friends and keep in touch over the years.

The Downingtown High School Class of 1959 - 53 years later Sept. 23, 2012
This year I asked my friend and fellow blogger Mark of "Our Simple Lives" to take photos for me.  I asked him at the last minute almost.  Fortunately Mark obliged and took some great photos which I am now sharing with my classmates and will post on future blogs.

Jean Timmerman and Ron Tipton - I always sat behind Jean in class back in those alphabetical class seating days.  
Notice that we're color coordinated.  No, we didn't call each other the night before the reunion to check.
Jean - 1959 graduation photo
Ron - 1959 graduation photo
I really enjoyed seeing all of my OLD classmates and am looking forward to next year's reunion.

Monday morning I had an early dental appointment (7:30 am).  I got my teeth (and partial dentures) cleaned and came out clean without any new cavities.  There's no room left for cavities in my mouth!

Wednesday I had the big stress test.  THAT took about three hours.  I don't want to go through another one of those anytime soon.  They don't call it a STRESS TEST for nothing.  My electrocardiogram indicates an extra "blip", that is why I've been undergoing a series of heart test the past few weeks.  While I was on the treadmill the doctor said the "blip" disappeared.  However I am still getting those little whiffs of highs (lightheadedness) all day long. I think that has something to do with the "blips."  We'll see, my appointment with my cardiologist is next week and he will go over the findings with me. Funs time folks!.  Maybe this old body is slowing down.  Do you think?

I'm working Mondays and Tuesdays at the hotel.  My new days work out fine.  I feel like I have a longer week by having the rest of the week off.  Previously I worked Wednesdays and Thursdays.  I felt like I had a shortened week.  These days work better for me too because all my appointments and other activities seem to occur later in the week.  The only downside to my new days is that I don't make as many reservations because the beginning of the week is usually considered the slow time in the hotel business.

Bill and I had a little issue with the car.  He can't help himself, he's an inveterate backseat driver.  We now have a New Rule.  Whenever we go someplace together, he will drive.  We were hoping to buy our friend's car but that doesn't look like that's going to happen in our lifetime.  This is the friend who has dementia and his partner can't make a decision.  The hubcaps on his car already has spider webs.  I guess then mold appears on the car they'll be ready to sell.  It's just as well.  We don't have room to store another car anyway.

Downingtown High School - many fond memories

Saturday, September 29, 2012

First Kiss

I love this!  With all the bad news bombarding us these days and the deluge of presidential campaign ads it was refreshing to see this short video.

Carrie Underwood, queen of country and western music (sorry about that Faith Hill) and former American Idol winner (2005) saw a sign held up in her audience from a 12 year old boy asking her to give him his first kiss.  Carrie gave him a wink and asked him up on stage.  She asked him what kind of kiss did he want.  He, being no fool asked for one ON THE LIPS!  He wasn't about to get just a peck on the cheek.

I'm way past my first kiss.  In fact I can hardly remember my first kiss.  Yes, it was with a GIRL.  I think it was either Mary Jane Chudleigh, my 10 year old neighbor.  Her parents had arranged a date for us to go to the local cheapie, traveling carnival. I was thrilled to have my FIRST DATE.  I liked Mary Jane and all but I knew something was missing after that first kiss.  No lightening bolts or the parting of the Red Sea.

Mary Jane with my best friend Larry - about 1951 - the time of my "date"

Now, do you want to know my REAL first kiss?  Of course you do!  It was in 1963.  I had just gotten out of the Army after a three year stint.  I moved to Pittsburgh, PA to come out as a gay man (called "homosexual" back in those times).  I didn't want to come out at home and embarrass my family by my homosexuality.  You have to remember back in those Dark Ages, homosexuality was still against the law in many states, including Pennsylvania.  I had just completed three years in the Army Security Agency, 2 1/2 years working for the National Security Agency at Ft. Meade.  I lived with the threat of being exposed any day as a HOMOSEXUAL and thus lose my clearance and kicked out of the Army. Of course my FIRST KISS didn't happen while I was in the Army.  But it did happen soon after.

I moved to Pittsburgh because a gay friend of mine (he was in the Air Force) lived near Pittsburgh (Elizabeth).  He got out a few months before I did.  He told me he could "show me around."  And did he ever!  Back in those days all the gay bars were either in the back of the regular bar of behind a speak easy type door.  This particular bar was in McKessport.  We went in (the four of us) and took a table.  The song playing on the juke box was "Where Are You" by Dinah Washington.

"Joe", my "First Kiss" (nice lips by the way)

After my eyes became accustomed to the dark, I looked across the bar floor and saw HIM.  He was gorgeous!  Dancing was going on.  Slow dancing.  So, naive as I was I got up from our table and went to his table where HE was with his friends and asked him to dance.  This was before I learned the gay art of cruising.  I was very direct, which surprised my friends and HIM.

When I approached his table he looked up quizzically, wondering what I wanted.  I asked him "Would you like to dance?"  He was a bit taken aback because he hadn't made eye contact with me before I had boldly asked him to dance.  He gave a slight "why not?" smile, looked back to his friends at his table with a look that said "What the hell?"  

He got up, held out his arms to meet mine and we glided across the dance floor to Ruby and the Romantics singing "Our Day Will Come."  He smelled good.  He also had a ruler in his pants pocket.  We had matching rulers.

He told me his name, Joe Labriola.  He lived in Pittsburgh and was a professional ice skater for the Ice Capades.  The picture in this blog (the only one I have of him) was taken of him in Mexico City, Mexico during one of his tours in 1963.

After the song ended he went back to his table but not before giving me his phone number.

I called him the next day.  We made a date.  He invited me over to his apartment that he shared with his mother.  She made roast pork and sauerkraut, my favorite.  DELICIOUS!  Later, after she retired to her bedroom Joe and I sat on the couch.  We talked.  Then he leaned over and KISSED ME ON THE LIPS!. Lightening bolts!  The parting of the Red Sea! Dear Jesus!  So this is what kissing is all about!  We kissed some more. We MADE OUT!  So this this what I was missing on all those dates in the back seat of my friend's car at the Exton Drive-In.  Vivian was nice but....

Ironically, that was as far as I got with Joe.  I was too backwards then to do more (which I have since made up for by the way).  I don't know what happened to Joe.  I left Pittsburgh after three months because I was homesick for my home in Downingtown, which is a suburb of Philadelphia.

I began going out to the bars in Philadelphia.  I met other guys.  We kissed. But those kisses were never the same as my first kiss with Joe.  THAT could never be duplicated.

I hope this young boy who got his first kiss from Carrie Underwood will carry as fond a memory over the years as I have from my first kiss.

Who else remembers their first kiss?

Romney Scares the Baby (and me)

The baby's not buying it either Mitt!

Hey, Romney scares me too!  Babies, like dogs know when somebody is BAD.

I have to admit I am enjoying the total collapse of the Romney campaign for president.  After the real Romney was revealed in the now infamous "47%" tape, almost all of the polls have turned in favor of President Obama and for good reason.  The hidden tape revealed what Mitt Romney really believes, he DOESN'T CARE about the "47%" nor does he care or understand about most of the rest of the country.  The only people he cares about are the "1%" of his fellow plutocrats who want to further plunder this country for their own benefit.

Did you all see Senator Jim Webb's speech a few days ago on this subject?  What really galls me about Romney is his total failure in understanding or supporting our veterans, who are in the "47%."  This is the same Romney who spent his Vietnam eligibility years in France on a beach sending a postcard to his future wife Ann.  See here. I don't blame Romney for avoiding the draft, I did too.  That's why I joined the Army (for three years) so I would have some say (not much as it turned out) over where I went in the Army.  Romney supported the Vietnam war.  He demonstrated for the support of the draft.  But oh, he wasn't about to be drafted.  Oh no, not Mitt Romney.  Romney was quite content to let someone else go in his place to the rice paddies of Vietnam and die or be injured in a senseless war.

Mitt Romney on a French beach 1968 making sand postcards to his future wife while some of his peers were dying in Vietnamese rice paddies

Then, when Romney returns safe and sound from la France after the Vietnam war, he marries Ann and they produce five sons.  Of course NONE of the sons saw fit to offer their service to this country either.  But Romney is quite content to make use of the freedoms of this country and it's capital markets to make a fortune for himself and his family.

Now he wants to complete his resume and be president of the United States of America.  I assume part of the reason he wants to be president is to avenge his father George Romney's aborted run for the presidency of the U.S. after his famous "brainwashed" statement after he returned from a fact finding mission in Vietnam.  The elder Romney claimed that the generals "brainwashed" him into believing the United States was winning the war in Vietnam.  I also think Romney wants to be president because he really believes it is HIS DUE.  After all, he was born with a silver foot spoon in his mouth and in his mind it is only right that he should be president.  After all, he LOOKS LIKE A PRESIDENT.  Qualification enough for someone like Mittsy.  The current version of the Republican Party is only too glad to support him because they see him as an vehicle that they can manipulate for their goals of further tax cuts, and eliminating all social safety net programs.  Yes folks, they do want to take us back to the 19th century.  That's why they are called conservatives.  If the 19th century (with child labor, low wages, seven day works weeks and the elderly living in chicken coops) was good enough for their ancestors, it's good enough for you!

Some of my best friends wear these - they're called "Republican glasses"

Here is what really scares me folks.  Yesterday I was talking to a longtime friend who I like and respect.  He is a conservative Republican and Romney supporter as most of those of my age group.  I casually asked him if he had seen the hidden video clip where Romney mentioned he didn't care about the 47%.  My friend's reaction?  It was the usual knee jerk reaction "Oh THAT!  That doesn't mean anything. That's just the news media taking things the wrong way." 

Friends, this is what really scares me....that so many people like my friend yesterday have these horse blinders on and can't see the obvious even when it is right in front of them.  They think the whole collapse of the Romney campaign is the result of a biased news media rather than the failure of the candidate.  Romney said in his "47%" video "I'll never have their support."  He was referring to the 47% of "victims" who think they are "entitled" to "health care, a job, and a home."  How about the other 47% like my friends who wear the horse blinders?  They my friends will ALWAYS vote for an empty vessel like Romney.

More images of my conservative friends - they're tuned in to "Faux News"

One thing is for sure though, that baby Romney was holding yesterday wasn't fooled.

At least George knew he was scaring the baby

Friday, September 28, 2012

Isaac, Ron and Bill

Isaac (my brother), me and Bill (my spouse) - September 23, 2012

The photo above was taken by my good friend Mark Himes of "Our Simple Lives....".  The photo was taken last Sunday, at about 4:30 pm at my brother Isaac's home (our former family home) on Hopewell Road in East Brandywine Township, four miles north of Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

I had just attended my 53rd high school reunion (Downingtown High School Class of 1959.)  Mark took pictures of at our reunion for me.  Bill wouldn't attend the reunion with me, to my great disappointment.  He still feels uncomfortable attending such a function in his role as my partner/spouse of 48 years.  He refused to go in spite of my pleas that "no one cares!"  Some of my classmates have met him one on one and liked him.  In fact, everyone likes Bill when they meet him.  I used to get a little jealous about that fact because sometimes it seems they like him MORE than they like me.  But I've gotten over that tinge of jealousy over the years.  At least I think I have.

So last Sunday, after the reunion, Mark brought me back to my brother Isaac's home so he could transfer the 518 photos he took to my flash drive so I could take them home with me.  While there I asked Mark to take a few photos of me, Bill and Isaac.  Who knows, at our age we may never see each other again.

Ike, Ron and Bill

Romney's "Too Many Americans" Ad

Thank goodness Mitt Romney made an ad countering that awful ad that the Democratic National Committee put out about Romney not caring about the 47% of Americans who don't pay taxes.

You all remember that statement taken out of context (according to the Kool-Aid drinking Republicans) that Romney called the 47% of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes "victims" who felt they were "entitled" to mooch off the government.

This ad by Mitt sets the record straight.  Mitt REALLY DOES care about 100% of the Americans.

Believe that and I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Bill, Mark and me at my brother's house in PA this past Sunday

Been busy folks!  I'm still trying to get my stuff together after all the activity of the past week.

Let's see, Sunday Bill and I traveled to Pennsylvania for my 53rd annual high school class reunion.  Yes folks, I graduated from Downingtown High School in June of 1959.  So I go to the class reunion and what do I see but a bunch of OLD PEOPLE!  Seems I'm the only one who hasn't changed.  I must be living right.  Believe that then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell to you.

Yes, I had a very good time at the reunion.  My friend and fellow blogger Mark of "Our Simple Lives" graciously acceded to my last minute request to come and take pictures of me and my fellow senior citizens while we traded stories about our medical conditions.  Mark took 518 pictures under difficult circumstances.  Our reunion was held at the Chicago Bar and Grill in Lionville, PA.  We were off to the side in a narrow room with a wall of backlight.  But even under those challenging circumstances Mark did a fabulous job of taking photos.  Thank you Mark!

Guess who is dominating the conversation at this table?

Bill and I had to get out of Pennsylvania to begin out 2 1/2 hour drive back to Delaware.  Neither one of us likes to drive in the dark.  We just made it through Newark, Delaware and all that road construction to hit Route 1 to home sweet home in Lower Slower, aka Sussex County, Delaware.  Once we hit Route 1, it's a straight shot to Casa Tipton-Kelly.

Wednesday, yesterday, I underwent my stress test at Cardiovascular Associates in Lewes.  I'm still recovering from that three hour ordeal.  Man oh man, talk about a stress test.  I was stressed when that was over.  I'm still exhausted from my TWO 20 minutes trips into the "tube" and the treadmill.  In addition I had all kinds of needles sticking out of the back of my right hand.  I'll write a separate blog posting about that fun time yesterday.  Now I hear I may have to get a catheterization.  THAT I hear is pretty invasive.

Yes, it hurt going in

After I had the stress test, Bill borrowed my car and visited my two long-time friends and to make amends for my blow-up in the parking lot last Saturday.  This was the first time Bill has seen them in over a year.  Bill agrees with me that both of them are pretty much in La La Land.  I don't have time for it.  Bill said the one who was on the receiving end of my fire-breathing dragon blast is going to call me.  I won't hold my breath.

I think I have the next few days off.  No doctor's appointments or fence mending.  I spent most of the morning sorting through the 518 pictures that Mark took of my class reunion.  I'm telling you folks, if any of you have an event where you need a good photographer, Mark is the person to hire.  He's good!

Mark - photographer and friend

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mike Rowe Does a "Dirty Job"

Mike Rowe on the same stage with Mitt Romney today

Omigod!  I just saw where one of my favorite men, Mike Rowe of "Dirty Job" fame appeared on a stage with Mitt Romney today.  WTF?  See here.

My opinion of Mike Rowe just plummeted by at least 50%.

Mike, what are you doing?

Mike, where were you when Mitt Romney callously dismissed the 47% of the American public as "victims".  Mike, Romney was talking about the people who do dirty jobs.

Mike, what were you thinking?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekly Roundup

"Rounding the curve"

What a week it has been!  And it's still not over.  I leave today for my 53rd class reunion.  Yep folks, I'm one of the remaining surviving members of the Downingtown High School Class of 1959.  The Last Class of the Fifties, a distinction well worth noting.  I am very much looking forward to this reunion.  My friend and fellow blogger Mark of "Our Simple Lives..." will be taking photos for me.  It will be good to see Mark again.  This all occurs later today.

Where do I start with this week?  I'll start with yesterday.  I'll try to make this as brief and painless as possible.  Yesterday marked the end of a long friendship with three guys who I used to "pal around with" since the 70's.  In fact, the one guy (who I met when we were in the Army in 1960) was one of the main reasons I retired to Delaware.  Because of my visits to him and his "ranch" in the country outside Georgetown since the 70's, I grew to love Delaware.  Unfortunately he is now suffering from Parkinson's and memory loss.  He still knows who I am but that's about it. It is almost impossible to have a conversation with him.  Their is no input from him and I doubt he even understands what I'm talking about.  Talking with him is like talking to the wall.

For many years I used to go out for breakfast with him, his partner (who I have never liked, no has he liked me - he considers me a threat and is jealous of me) and another friend of their who is a non-stop talker and a major Bore.  A few years ago I stopped going to breakfast with them because I just didn't have the time or patience to deal with his non-stop talker friend or his partner, who is a major Drama Queen.

Recently they moved nearby so I thought it would be a good idea to renew our weekly "going out to breakfast" together.  Without going into the depressing details, the breakfast didn't turn out too well.  In fact I had a major blowup (which is rare for me) and ended the friendship or whatever shreds of friendship remained until my meltdown.  I simply do not have time for users and bores.  The only reason I tolerated the other two guys in the past was because of my friendship with my longtime Army buddy.  But he is so out of it now it really doesn't matter.  I thought my head was going to explode yesterday.  So the "friendship" ended with a dramatic scene in the parking lot.  Wouldn't you like to see that on a video?  No pictures this time though, my hands were too busy waving in the air while I was screaming.

So much for the "reunion" breakfast

The later part of the day fared better.  Another friend of mine, this one from school days, was in town.  I needed something to take my mind off of the early morning blowup so I called him to see if he wanted to catch up on gossip. He did.  I hopped into my red Subaru Forester and zipped on down to his cottage in Rehoboth.  Later that afternoon I took him to an early dinner to celebrate his 71st birthday.  We went to the Purple Parrot, the only place I know of in Rehoboth that serves a charbroiled hamburger that actually tastes like a hamburger.  We got caught up on all the latest juicy gossip, including the news that one of my gay neighbors here in my neighborhood has sold his house after he took it off the market.  He had decided not to sell his house after being given an offer.  The buyers came back and said they would pay his asking price.  I should have such luck.

After our early dinner, I went down to the Olde Timey Photo Beach Tourist Trap Too Expensive photo place and had my annual fake photo taken (you'll see it later).  Camille (the proprietor) remembered my name which greatly impressed me.  This time I posed as a fur trapper.  Can you believe it?  I'm about as far from a fur trapper as you can get.  I'm considering posing as a western salon girl with the big ostrich feather next year.  Whaddya think?

Earlier in the week I had my three doctor's appointments.  My life is becoming a series of doctor's appointment.  Wednesday I wore my Holter heart monitor.  That was an annoyance and I almost bungee dropped the monitor in my toilet the first time I visited my bathroom with it on.  Thank goodness the cord wasn't long enough and the monitor stopped just short of the "water."

Friday I visited my dermatologist and had two more spots burned off of my face.  My poor face, it's beginning to looking like a Pennsylvania country road full of potholes.

Also on Friday I received my annual flu shot at the Georgetown VA.  My arm still hurts from that puncture.

My body and psyche took a lot of hits this week.  I'm looking forward to a pleasant, relaxing day with my former classmates from yesteryear.  Always fun to get together with them even though they are all to a man and woman conservative Republicans who are still going to vote for Romney.  Don't worry, the woman who organized the reunion sent an e-mail out front that there would be no political "discussions."  That's fine with me because I don't think I could take one more comment about how Obama is a radical, socialist, Muslim who pals around with terrorists.  One blowup a week is enough for me.

A few door dings here

Friday, September 21, 2012

Paul Ryan Booed Throughout AARP Speech

Paul Ryan was booed numerous times during his speech today in New Orleans before AARP.  Representative Ryan was telling his lies again and they weren't buying it.  See here.

Ryan repeated the lie that President Obama is "raiding" Medicare $716 billion dollars to fund Obamacare.  NOT TRUE.  President Obama is NOT REDUCING BENEFIT PAYMENTS but instead cutting payments to providers and eliminating unnecessary duplication of payments.  Ryan of course neglects to mention that his budget cuts Medicare benefits payments by 716 billion dollars.

Ryan lies.

Karl Rove and his ilk may think if they put a pretty face on the lie that the gullible seniors will believe their lies.

Ain't happening.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell - One Year Later

Me (on the right) and my gay friends at Ft. Devens, Mass. 1960

Well, it's been a year since "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been repealed and the sky hasn't fallen in.  Did someone think to tell the angry old man  John McCain?  He said it was a "very sad day" when DADT was repealed.  See here.

When I joined the Army in 1960, I was the only gay boy/man in the world.  I didn't meet other gays until I joined the Army.  Ironically, it was the Army Security Agency were we all had top secret clearances and we could get kicked out if we were found out (we weren't although a lot of our friends were).  

I enjoyed my three year tour of duty in the Army.  I made a lot of friends (gay and straight) and had a great job at the National Security Agency in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, right outside Washington , D.C.

Sal De Rosa and Ron Hampton - two of my best friends at Ft. Meade.  Yes, they were both gay and put on a Broadway (what else?) type show at the Ft. Meade service club  - that's my sign!

I would have stayed in the Army or even transferred to a civilian status and continued to work for the NSA if it wasn't for the fact that I was gay and could lose my job at anytime if exposed.

National Security Agency Headquarters, Ft. Meade, MD

The reason I would lose my job was that homosexuals (the quaint term used back in Those Days for gays) was that I would be subject to blackmail.  Of course there was never a documented case of a gay man or woman ever being blackmailed to reveal secrets but that didn't prevent this very discriminatory law to stay in place.  I couldn't even transfer to a civilian status to work for the NSA because they had the same law, no homosexual could hold a top secret clearance.  Of course it was a Catch-22 law because if gays were acknowledged and accepted they wouldn't be subjected to blackmail.

I am glad this country has finally done the right thing and repealed this stupid, discriminatory law.  I'm still waiting for John McCain to admit he made a mistake.  Where is all your courage now Senator McCain?

1945 - 2012 - my, how times have changed!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Busy Day

Bill (with red sweater over his shoulder) returning to Dover Subaru dealership

Another busy day here in Ron's World.  Today I had an appointment at Dover Subaru in Dover (where else?) to have the oil changed in my 2010 Subaru Forester and the 15,000 mile maintenance.

The ride to Dover (where all the dead bodies of our heroes from our foreign adventures are returned to this county) was pleasant on this brisk, sunny, fall day.  The traffic was light on our newly repaved, stimulus fund paid for Route 1.  Hey Republicans, there are a lot of folks working at night repaving that road.

Usually when I take my car for an oil change in Dover, which is quite a trip for us (39 miles one way), I'm in and out.  That didn't happen today.  After I dropped my car off, Bill and I walked to the Dover Mall.  I bought three new pairs of Docker pants for work.  Depressingly my size has changed.  I used to wear a 32 waist and 36 length.  I NOW WEAR 34-34!  My waist is expanding and my legs are shrinking.  Wow.  I'm slowly being squished.

J. C. Penneys at Dover Mall

I also stopped in the Hallmark card shop and bought Bill a birthday card (his 84th is next Wednesday) and a pack of sympathy cards.  So many people in my life are dying.  I don't remember this happening when I was a young whipper snapper eagerly looking forward to the weekends when I could hang out at the local gay bar looking for Prince Charming.  How my life has changed!

Well, I slow-jammed my stay at the Dover Mall, figuring I didn't have to rush. Bill was very patient, finally sitting on a bench like any respectable old guy.  We walk back to Dover Subaru and my car still isn't ready.  By the way, I still have my Halter heart monitor on. I had to turn it in today which I was very glad to do.  I sort of got used to it but I was glad to be rid of it too.

When we got back to the dealership and checked on my car it wasn't ready.  Oh man.  So I played Patient Ron.

Patient Ron - waiting
When my car was finally ready, we made a stop at Sam's Club. I renewed our membership ($40.00 for a year) and bought a rotisserie chicken, fresh made Pillsbury fudge brownies (which are DEE-LICIOUS and I will have some after this blog), oatmeal for Bill and fresh sliced fruit jar for Bill.  These are items we can only get at Sam's Club in Dover.  I love living in Delaware but sometimes shopping is a challenge.  I have to go to one store for my Turkey Hill Diet Decaf Orange Ice Tea (Milford Walmart, big chocolate chunk chip cookies (B.J.'s in Millsboro) and Doritos Blazing chips (Rehoboth Beach Walmart).  Thank goodness Delaware is a small state because I have to go from one end to the other to fulfill my culinary needs.

We got back, took off my Holter heart monitor, had lunch then dropped off my Holter monitor at the Cardiovascular office.  When I handed the front desk lady the bag with the heart monitor she said "Gee, my lunch?"  Little humor in the day.

On the agenda tomorrow is a visit to my dermatologist then to the Georgetown VA for my annual flu shot.  I would like a week (or two) that I can just do nothing.  I'm ready to coast.

Gay Marriage Likely To Go Before Supreme Court Within The Next Year

Me and Bill - 1972

Could it be possible? Could marriage equality, also known as "gay marriage", become  a reality in my lifetime?  Dare I even imagine?

Bill and I often talk about how far our country has come towards ending discrimination against gays and lesbians.  We never thought we would see this in our lifetime.

We remember all to well that it wasn't that long ago that we had to hide who we were for fear of our physical safety and economic survival.

This morning I read on Huff Post where Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the Defense of Marriage Act would probably come up soon before the Supreme Court this year.  See here.

Last year Delaware passed a civil union law for same sex partners.  Initially Bill and I were going to rush down to the courthouse in Georgetown and get "hitched".  Then we thought, "This still isn't the real thing" and it isn't.  Delaware's civil union law is a second class "marriage" of same sex partners.  To us, it is not equal to a real marriage.  I'm reminded of what a friend of mine said a few years ago after he and his partner of 31 years ended their relationship.  A few years earlier he and his partner traveled to Canada with a lesbian couple and "got married."  After their breakup I asked him "Are you going to get a divorce now?"  His answer was "Oh that wasn't a "real" marriage. That was make believe."  

I think that says it all, those civil unions and all other arrangements that are designed to give same sex couples they are "married" but designed not to offend many heterosexual couples are "make believe."

Maybe, just maybe in our lifetime Bill and I can get married for real.  It's about time, this summer we will mark 49 years together as a couple.  What a nice 50th anniversary present, to get married.

Bill and me - 2011

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Mom Was One of the 47%

My Mom, Isaac and me (center) 1945

Yes, I plead guilty.  I'm one of the 47% of the American public that Republican presidential candidate arrogantly dismissed as "I don't care about them."  I know I've written about Romney's "47%" comment but it bears writing about again.

When I hear a plutocrat like Romney, a man who was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run, a man who was born into wealth and privilege and had every door of opportunity opened to him, a man who was fortunate enough to be born without any physical maladies and a handsome appearance (not my type though, to me he's ugly), I think of this story my late Mother often told me.  That my Mother told me this story is ironic because she was one of those right wing nuts who would only listen to and believe everything Fox News said.

Here is the story.  I was born in 1941 and in the following two years both of my younger brothers were born.  This was during World War II.  My father, who was 4-F and turned down for the draft, was a long distance truck driver.  My Mother, who married my father at 16 years old (I was born when she was 17 years old) was left to raise me and my brothers in a rented, small house in the country.  The house had no plumbing or running water.  Her only source of income was what my father gave her after one of his long distance truck trips.

She said one day during the summer of 1944 she was walking down the country road with me and my brother Isaac  We were crying because he had no food and were hungry.  She did not know what she was going to do.  Finally, at her wit's end, she swallowed her pride and asked her father for money "to buy milk" for her "boys."  Her father gave her $5.00.

Every time my Mother told me this story I asked her why she didn't go on welfare.  Her answer was always the same.  "I couldn't do that.  Only bums do that. Our family weren't bums.  We were just poor."

Knowing how solidly Republican my Mother was later in life she would probably agree with the now infamous quote from Romney on the hidden 47% video:

The Quote "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

My Mom receiving her 25 year award from Pepperridge Farms

Well Mitt Romney, I guess my Mother would pass your test.  She did take "personal responsibility" and care for her life.  My Mother raised her three sons and they worked most of her life for Pepperridge Farms in the frozen foods division.  Did she pass your test Governor Romney?

Heart Monitor Part Deux

Well folks, I'm wearing the Holter (heart) monitor now.  I wish I had read Sean's suggestion that I shave some of my chest hairs before I had these electrodes strapped to my chest this morning.  As soon as I got up after Kim taped them to my chest, I could feel my chest hairs pulling.  Nice.

Then there was the problem of where do I put the wires leading to the monitor box?  In my fly or outside my fly?  I put it outside my fly.  I didn't want to be too suggestive to my fellow shoppers at Food Lion (where I went after the "installation").

Then I ran into another problem when I got home, going to the bathroom.  All those wires when I disassembled my clothing prior to "seating".  Oh, I sit for both No. 1 and No. 2, no splashing No. 1's around this house.

I just got up from my afternoon nap and managed not to get tangled in wires.  I still have the nighttime slumber to go through.

This thing comes off tomorrow morning.  Can't come soon enough.  Talk about an encumbrance.  This is annoying.  But, as some of my blog followers have noted it beats the alternative.

Holter Monitor

Holter Monitor - (model - not me - my photo will appear later)

Today at 10:30 a.m. I get a Holter monitor.  Folks, I am dreading this.

Years ago Bill had to wear one for a day.  I remember what an annoyance it was for Bill.  Now I'm there.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get the oil changed in my car and 15,000 mile maintenance performed.

Friday an appointment with my dermatologist and then over to the Georgetown VA for my annual flu shot.

Whatever happened to those days when I could just coast through the whole week doing nothing but sitting at my computer; posting to my blog, updating my Find a Grave account and surfing the Internet to see the reactions to the latest Romney presidential campaign fiasco?

I remember years ago when I used to tease my Mother about her week filled with doctor's appointments.  Guess what?  I'm there now.

Ah yes, the "Golden Age" of retirement.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hidden Camera Catches Romney's Thoughts on the other 47%

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax."

Folks, I am one of those 47 percent who Romney cares nothing about.

I saw this video and heard this quote after I returned home last night at 11:30 PM from my part-time job as a hotel front desk clerk.  One might ask

"You're a senior citizen, collecting Social Security and three small bank pensions, why are you still working at 70 years old?"

I'm working because I need the supplemental income to survive.  I am one of those "victims" who believe the government has the responsibility to care for me.  To Romney, it doesn't matter that I EARNED my Medicare coverage because I paid into it (and am still paying into it) during all years of working.

I EARNED my Social Security payment because I paid into it since 1953 (yes, I was twelve years old when I first started paying into Social Security).  I am STILL paying into Social Security.

I am one of those "victims" who uses the Veterans Administration for my prescription drugs.  I EARNED it by serving three years in the Army when I joined in 1960.  Lifetime medical care, if I needed it, was part of the deal when the Army recruiter talking me into joining the Army.  I EARNED IT.

Last night I picked up my pay stub.  I calculated the TOTAL taxes that I paid and it comes to 21.3%, MORE than Mitt Romney paid in 2010 (13.9%)

I am the sole support of my spouse, who retired in 1983.  He now receives a small Social Security payment.  He also uses the VA for his medical needs.  He EARNED it because he served in the Army and Air Force for nine years.  He left the service to take care of his mother.  He is another one of Romney's "victims."

Yes folks, I am one of those "dependent" Obama voters who will never vote for an out of touch plutocrat like Mitt Romney who HAS NO CLUE OF WHAT MY LIFE IS LIKE.

Notice how the states that have the highest number of people who "don't pay taxes" are Romney's base?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekly Roundup

Another week flashed by folks and what a week it was!

This was the week I voted at my new polling location, the Cape Henlopen High School.  What a mess that was!  As usual, the local Slower Lower government (aka Sussex County, Delaware) didn't disappointment with their ineptness in arranging a public location for a civic event which they made almost impossible to access.  Yes folks, the local political mucky mucks arranged to have our new voting location at the Cape Henlopen High School, DURING A SCHOOL DAY, DURING CONSTRUCTION OF THE ENTRANCE TO THE SCHOOL, and WHERE THERE WAS NO PARKING.  Welcome to Sussex County's voter suppression.

Well, after about an hour of dodging and overcoming these hurdles I voted and the next day I was very pleased to discover that BOTH of the gay candidates I voted for WON!  It's about time.  Here on the east coast of southern Delaware, we of the gay community of mainly occupy this little sliver of land from Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, and Milton are now finally going to have our OWN representation and not have to beg and plead (and kiss ass) with the local STRAIGHT lawmakers to get some equality here for our increasingly gay heavy population.  Yes Virginia, a gay man and a gay woman won election.  See here.

Andy Staton, our new state senator candidate
Yes, Any is "straight friendly."  Congratulations Andy on your victory!

Marie Mayor, new state house representative candidate
Marie has a business nearby where I live called (appropriately) "Lavender Fields."  I would say!  For news of her election victory see here.  Of course these are both primary wins.  I fully expect the straight candidates to pull out all stops to emphasize the fact that they are the "family values" candidates with the prerequisite photos of them and their families, holding their adorable children.  This will be Marie Mayor's Republican opposition in the November general election.
Tom "I'm Straight!" holding Princess Suri

Ernie Lopez, winner of the Republican primary for state senator, with the "Tom Cruise "Look I'm Straight!" holding his daughter (who is old enough to stand on her own two feet).  
The Lopez Family (holding those kids again)

This was the week (staying on the political theme) that the Romney campaign blew itself up by Romney's blatantly political opportunistic Hail Mary pass to take the lead in the presidential race by blaming president Obama for the assault on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo even before it happen.  Romney, by his action this week, showed that he is nothing more than a crass political opportunist who is driven by nothing more than ambition.  This week was Romney's "Lehman Moment".  This in reference to the last presidential campaign when John McCain decided to "suspend" his campaign so he could "fix" the economic crises brought on by the eight years of the Bush-Cheney regime.

Mitt Romney - Loser

Enough for politics. The second in the series of my heart tests went all right (I guess).  I had an echocardiogram.  I was very impressed that my heart has been beating three score and ten years.  Keep on beating heart!

Friday I visited my general practitioner doctor and was pronounced fit to serve another ten years or more of  blog postings.

Yesterday I visited my friends who were removed to a furnished condo, after no longer able to care for themselves.  The one is the same age as me and the other nine years younger than Bill (my love).  Seeing them in their troubled and helpless situation made me realize how fortunate Bill and I are to still have our  good health and our wits about us.  I would like to attribute that happy circumstance to the fact that Bill and I stimulate our minds and bodies with lots of activity unlike our friends who seemed to atrophy after they retired.

I started work my new shift of Mondays and Tuesdays at the hotel, replacing my former shift of Wednesday and Thursday.  Of course I still get the questions of "What are your rooms like?" (NICE!  What do you expect me to say?)  and the ever popular "Do you have a pool?" (NO!)  Working at the beginning of the week instead of smack dab in the middle of the week makes it seem like I have a longer week which is good.


I feel fall in the air.  Unfortunately our resident rabbit in our backyard ate all of our impatiens plants.  Impatiens plants do so well in the fall.  They struggle in the summer heat but provide a wonderful palette of cool color in the fall.  That's not to be this fall so don't look for my annual blog header photo of our impatiens.

Bill and I are off to an abandoned church cemetery in Gumboro, Delaware (near the Maryland border) this morning.  There is a chill in the crisp pre autumn air this morning, perfect for exploring and taking photos in an old Delaware cemetery in the hinterlands.

Have a great week!

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...