Friday, January 31, 2014

Do You Fart?

Do you?  Of course you do.  Who hasn't farted?  If you said you didn't, you know you're lying.  Hey folks, even Queen Elizabeth farts. Oh yes she does.

I come from a long line of farters.  Not that I fart, Heaven forfend……I am after all a proper gay man and as such I.DO.NOT.FART.  Oh okay, I occasionally let out a gaseous build up (after ingesting several generous helpings of my famous homemade black bean soup) but my FARTS.DO.NOT.STINK. Just a wee release of gases that built up in my lower intestinal tract.

Black bean soup - natural gas producer
My dad and his brothers were major league farters in the Tipton family.  "Pop" liked nothing better than to walk by me and my brothers and lift up his right leg and "let one go."  That was one of the few times we would see a genuine smile on his face.  After his special delivery, and as he would walk away he would chuckle and say "that one was especially for you." Neither I nor my brothers were happy to be stink bombed just as we were about to eat out dinner but that was Pop, always thinking of us.  God forbid that he would do something like take us to a ballgame or fishing, but fart in our face?  Oh he loved it!  It was even worse when some of his ten brothers would visit.  Each one would try to outdo the other in noise and stink.  Uncle Henry was the best though.  He had the comfortable confidence of a star farter, as he would slowly lift his leg and shoot one in our direction.

Uncle Henry, Primo Farter
However, there was one time Uncle Henry's talent "backfired" on him.  He was just getting ready to leave our house after a visit, and as he was climbing into his pickup truck he did the old Tipton Leg Lift and let one off.  But this time Uncle Henry's gas pushed out a "bit" more than he intended.  Yep, he pooped his pants.  God did we all laugh at that one.  Of course my father and the other Tipton brothers never let him forget Uncle Henry's "wet deposit."  

So folks, just remember, sometimes overconfidence will cause you to poop your pants. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How To Stay Young

Swallowtail butterfly in my backyard last summer - I await her return!

A friend sent this to me a few days ago.  So true!


1..  Try everything twice. On one woman's tombstone she said she  wanted this epitaph:"Tried everything twice. Loved it both  times!"

2.  Keep only cheerful friends.The grouches pull you down.
(Keep  this in mind if you are one of those  grouches!)

3.  Keep learning: Learn  more about the computer, crafts, gardening,  whatever... Never  let the brain get idle. 'An  idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is  Alzheimer's!

4.  Enjoy the simple things.

5.  Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh  until you gasp for breath.And  if you have a friend who makes you laugh,spend lots and lots of  time with HIM/HER.

6..  The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person  who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are  alive.

7.  Surround yourself with what you love: whether  it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies,  whatever...Your home is your refuge.

8.  Cherish your health:
If it is good, preserve  it.
 If  it is unstable, improve it. If  it is beyond what you can improve, get  help.

9.  Don't take guilt trips... Take  a trip to the mall, to the next  county, even  to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt  is.

10.  Tell the people you love that you love them, at every  opportunity. 

I  love you, my special friend!

Remember!  Lost time can never be found.

Be  kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some  kind of battle.

"Chicken Man" Rehoboth Beach last summer - enjoy life NOW!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bully Boy

Rethuglican Representative Michael Grimm - bully

Have you seen the video of New York Republican representative Michael Grimm threatening a reporter with violence?  Yep.  Rep. Grimm, one of those pretty boy politicians that the likes of Karl Rove have pushed out there in public to hide the true, ugly face of today's Republican party.  Just remember folks, the Michael Grimms of this world may have a pleasant face but behind that face is the monster that is today's Republican Party.  Thugs, liars, cheats, and hypocrites.  I won't waste the space here recounting the many vile Republican politicians that are poisoning our political system today.  

So folks when you have a politician respond to a question that he doesn't like from a reporter like this:

"Let me clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f------g balcony!"

Then Grimm responding to the reporter's statement "why, why it's a valid question" Grimm said "No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."

Oh my Rep. Grimm, sooooooo butch.  Real rough and tough.  Hey Grimm, how about taking on someone your own size?  

This is the problem with bullies like Grimm, they never take on someone their own size.  

Grimm hasn't apologized yet, he's doubling down. But he will apologize but with the usual "Mistakes were made."  

You know, the Republicans keep talking about "rebranding."  How's that going Rethugs?

Snow Again!

Dawn this morning - that's bill shoveling our driveway

Yep!  More snow.  What's going on here?  Usually we get one of two snowfalls here in Lower Slower Delaware.  And that snow doesn't stay on the ground long, it's usually gone the next day.  Not this year.  We're having a regular winter around here. The last snowfall didn't even have a chance to melt away and here we go again, more snow last night.  Ah well, did you here what happened in Atlanta?  They had an inch or two of snow last night, completely shut them down.  People sleeping in their cars on the highway.  As I often say, "It could be worse."

Bill was out early this morning shoveling out our driveway.  He's getting on my case because we got rid of our snowblower when we moved down here to Delaware, where there is NO SNOW.

Nanook of the North (aka Bill) finished shoveling our driveway - I'm ready to go to work!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Secret Video Recording

Once of twice a year my friend and former co-workers from my Previous Life Tom J. visits Casa Tipton-Kelly. Bill has always been fascinated by Tom's exuberant hand action when he talks.  So on this day Bill thought he was secretly recording a video of Tom but I think Tom was wise to Bill. Thus this video which records me discussing my funeral arrangements and look who has all the hand action, ME!  And take a look at how graceful my hand actions are.  No wonder I always threw a football like a girl.

What am I doing here?  Looks like I have to go to the bathroom.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Gail and Dino - barbers Rehoboth Beach, DE - 2013

I'm way overdue for a haircut.  Gail, my regular barber has been sick. For the past two weeks, every time I call, her husband answers the phone and says "She won't be in.  She's sick.  I think she has pneumonia."  

I'm in Shaggyville folks. For the past fifteen years, every since my hairline started to recede, I've gotten short haircuts.  Almost a buzz cut.  

You guys out there know how hard it is to get just the right barber to cut your hair the way you like it. Gail cuts my hair exactly the way I want it.

Nino the Barber cutting my hair in Philadelphia 3-31-1994

For over thirty years, when I used to work at Girard/Mellon Bank in Philadelphia my barber was an Italian immigrant (aren't all good barbers of Italian descent?) named Nino.  From 1965 to 1994 Nine was my barber.  Perfecto.  Even better, he didn't talk much when he cut my hair.  His barber shop was located in the basement of the bank building where I worked in Center City Philadelphia.  I would call from my desk to see if he was available and go down during the workday.  My boss didn't mind.  But alas, I eventually left my job in Philadelphia and went back to my hometown of Downingtown.

Nino and Joe Bosso - my Philadelphia barbers 3-31-1994
Much to my surprise the brother team of Tony and Joe Ursini were still cutting hair!  Tony used to cut my hair when I was ten years old.  In fact I used to clean his barber shop on Sundays for $10 and a homemade hoagie compliments of his wife.  Tony was born in the same year (1920) as my father.  And he was still cutting hair!

Brothers Tony and Joe Ursini - 2001
Funny thing, all the years when I was a smacked assed kid getting my hair cut by Tony I always had a cowlick.  After I got away from home and had other barbers cut my hair, I lost the cowlick.  I attributed that fact that my hair "grew up."  WhenI returned to Downingtown and got my hair cut by Tony again, after a nearly 40 year absence, the cowlick returned!  Hey, guess what?  He was combing my hair against the grain.  Thus I tiptoed through that very sensitive field and CHANGED BARBERS.  I started to have Tony's brother Joe cut my hair and the cowlick was gone.  But I still loved going to the Ursini's barber shop.  Such a feeling of "returning home".  Some of you guys will know that feeling if you have a regular barber.  
Sadly Tony died last year.  He was a legend in Downingtown and is sorely missed.  I can no longer get haircuts at Ursini's Barber Shop because they're in Downingtown, Pennsylvania; two and a half hours away.  I would love for Joe to cut my hair, just not practical.

Tony Ursini, World War II and at Downingtown's Veteran's Memorial Wall 2001.

So here I am folks, Shagsville.  Gail only has hours Wednesday through Saturday.  I'll give a call this Wednesday and if she's still sick, I'm going to have to to the unthinkable……get another barber to cut my hair.  I can just imagine what it will look like.  Pray for me folks.

Needing a haircut……BAD

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Black Bean Soup and Bisexuals

What does one do on a cold Sunday day in January after reading on another blog that I am (quote):

"He's an opinionated, cantankerous old fart….."

Well folks, what can I say other than GUILTY AS CHARGED.  Sounds to me like I stepped on someone's toes and they is (ad grammar intentional) mighty defensive.  Actually what prompted that outburst was my refusal to disavow my many years of experience with so-called "bisexuals" (Oh no, there he goes again).  

Yes folks, this was the response from one of those guys who got married, had the kids and then decided late in life that they really are gay or, shall we say "bisexual."  (Oh no, he's NOT going there again is he?)  You know the guys, the ones who have the porno blogs with graphic images of YOUNG men, not old, cantankerous farts like me. The ones who hide behind "Anonymous" or fake names.  You know, the really brave guys who want to have it both ways, or in other words a "bisexual."  

Folks, I don't have all the answers.  For all I know there are bisexuals.  It's just my experience the only "bisexuals" I've ever encountered were gay men who either didn't know what they were, did know and tried to suppress it, or who just cannot take the risk of coming out due either to their fear social ostracization, job loss, or physical harm, all of which are still possible in all still too many pockets of ignorance and homophobia in this country.  

I'll say it again and again folks, homophobia will not end until everyone and I mean everyone comes out to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.  As long as you stay in the closet you permit the ignorant and brain dead homophobes to control your life.  If you have a fear in coming out, that is quite understandable and doesn't make you a bad person but to attack those who tell the Truth as an "opinionated, cantankerous old fart" (actually a little too close to the truth in my case), is a cheap and cowardly way out of denying the truth.  

When I first read that comment about in a friend's blog (in the comment field) I let out a laugh "HA!" Then I got to thinking "Well, I actually am an OLD (72), cantankerous (can be, guilty as charged again), fart" (black bean soup will do that to you every time).  Then I got to thinking how sad I felt for this person who said it.  This is a person who is obviously living a life struggling with his own sexuality, having convinced himself that he was straight at one time but now that he's reached middle age he's found his "true self" and is now…..wait for it…..BISEXUAL. Yeah, and Elton John is bisexual too (at least that's what he says).  
Elton John - famous bisexual

Hey folks, have a great day and, by the way, here's the recipe for this great black bean soup.  You too can be a "cantankerous old fart."  Maybe not as old as I am (and I am OLD, believe me but then I don't lie about my age) but this soup will definitely get you to the cantankerous old fart category.  Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup (to make you an Cantankerous Old Fart)

2 15 1/2 oz cans drained black beans
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup medium Pace salsa
1 tablespoon cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce

Rinse and drain the black beans in a colander
Place two thirds of the drained and rinsed black beans in a blender
Pour in chicken broth
Pour pureed mixture into large pan
Heat on stove and add remaining beans, salsa and hot sauce

Serve.  One bowl of this delicious soup and in an hour you can be your very own Cantankerous Old Fart. Enjoy!

Cantankerous Old Fart (after only one serving of  above black bean soup) - this could be you!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Snowbird out in the cold (looking out our living room window)
This afternoon I happened to look out the side window in our living room and I saw about a half a dozen snowbirds picking seeds from our crepe myrtle tree.  

Poor little thing is cold and hungry

Today was another cold and windy day with more snow.  Not a whole lot of snow but enough to coat the landscape in a blanket of white.

My tracks out to the bird baths in our backyard yesterday

Earlier Bill and I went to Milton. I needed to get more bananas and some Neosporin for my wounds caused yesterday by my dermatologist taking biopsies.  Bill also need some medicine, Old Man Stuff.  We didn't tarry too long out in the cold and wind.

I'm so glad I didn't have a chance to cut back this crepe myrtle

Yesterday I saw our resident catbird land on our snow covered back deck, looking a bit bedraggled.  Poor thing, it was probably looking for some water and food.  I don't have a heated birdbath but I ordered one from after seeing the sorry state of my avian friend yesterday.

All puffed up to keep warm - that's the blinds at the top of this photo - he was too cold to care that I took his picture

I love our backyard.  My ongoing project is to make it a bird sanctuary/retreat by planting bushes and trees that provide shelter and food for the birds.  It wasn't my intention to have an animal retreat but I also have resident rabbits.  Bill said he saw one yesterday.  I don't know what the poor thing could find for food, the snow is frozen over everything edible.  

The rabbit lives under yonder shed

This is the first year that I've seen snowbirds.  I was very happy to see them feeding off of the seeds of our crepe myrtle tree.  I'm glad I didn't cut that tree back yet like I did the others we have. Next year I won't cut any of them back until the threat of snow and cold is past.  Now I know why the garden center advised me to cut them back in late February.  


While others do the Polar Dip and 5k runs for various causes, this is my Causes. Providing a backyard habitat for those creatures that were here long before us and will be here long after us.  That makes me feel good.

Cold in Delaware

"And Now For a Few Words From Our Sponsor"

  I hate most commercials.  I DVR TV shows so I can fast forward through commercials.  But every now and then, I see a commercial that I like.  This morning was one of those times.

This was a commercial for Volkswagen Passat.  Only 30 seconds, it says everything you want a commercial to be.  Shows the car, has respect for the viewer's intelligence, and leaves you feeling good after watching the commercial.  Plus, in this day of diversity, it is sure to appeal to the growing Hispanic population in this United States of America.

Too many commercials I see today (and in the past) have the same common theme:  the adult white guy (dad) is portrayed as a clueless Doofuss and the wifey poo is portrayed as the "adult" and the children spout a vocabulary beyond their years.  I guess all of this is supposed to be "cute", but I find it always annoying.  

Now here is another car commercial, this one for Volvo that is also innovative, interesting and will make you remember the product.

  I didn't mean to go this way with the car commercials but here's one from the 2013 Super Bowl for Audi that's pretty cool.

One of the funniest commercials (getting away from the car commercials now) that I ever saw was the "Mama mia that's a spicy meatball" commercial for Alka Seltzer. This commercial was made in 1969 and I haven't seen it in years. I just viewed it again to see if it was funny enough to add to this posting and man oh man, I laughed just as hard. Damn but this is a funny commercial.

Continuing on with the funny commercials, who can forget the "Where's the Beef?" commercial for Wendy's? Can you believe this was made 30 years ago in 1984? Time flies when you're having fun. 

Then there is my favorite, Doritos! This one is from the 2013 Super Bowl. Short but to the point. Yes, I am addicted to Doritos. Don't have a goat though but when I'm out of Doritos (just brought two more bags this morning), watch out!


I searched and searched but I finally found a commercial that depicted a woman (a blonde) as the dummy instead of the white dad/guy. Here is one for another car, this one Mercedes Benz.

  I'm on a roll folks. Here is a funny commercial from Land Rover. I was going to write a blog about commercials I hated but decided to write one instead about commercials that make me laugh. Unfortunately, we don't see too many of these commercials. 

 And how can I let out the Fiat? 

  And we'll end with dog commercials. How can anyone go wrong with a dog commercial? Enjoy and have a great day!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Slice and Dice

This morning at the Medical Arts Building

7:15 a.m. this morning, slice and dice time for Ron.  Yes folks, this morning I continued to pay the price for all those years of baking on the beach working on my tan.  

7:15 a.m. was the time of my appointment with my dermatologist.  During my full body scan two weeks ago he found two suspicious spots on me.  One on my right cheekbone and the other on my right knee.  This morning my dermatologist sliced off both of the offending patches of skin for a biopsy.

The first part of the procedure are needles in the offending patches of skin.  This is the part of the procedure that really hurts.  And hurt it did. 

This is when I show my age, right before a medical procedure
I also had a keratosis patch burned off of the tip of my nose.  That hurt too.  I know I know, I'm a pussy. Looks like I need a haircut too.

The first biopsy taken
Next up, the knee.

I have my running shoes on.  Can't run away from this.
My dermatologist, the best!  

He's done a lot of slicing and dicing on my since I've been in Delaware.  This morning's procedure was done because he was concerned that the offending patches of skin were uneven and could be a precursor to melanoma.  That's one cancer you don't mess around with.

This is as close as I get to looking at my own blood
After the doctor stitches me up (yes, both cuts required stitches), Tammy comes in for the cleanup.

Tammy gets ready to clean me up and give me instructions - no bath for 24 hours - I'm gonna smell ripe this time tomorrow
I've had more work done on me these past 12 months than I've had the entire previous 72 years of my life - I may be falling apart - I feel like an old car that has to keep being patched up to keep it running

I'm done now.  Bill was waiting for me downstairs in the lobby.  He never goes into the dermatologist's office with me.  We head out in the cold (9 degrees) frigid air and home and warmth.  Another hurdle accomplished.  What's next?

Procedures done, I can smile now

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Biebs

The Biebs under lock - the neighborhood is safe……for awhile anyway - young and too rich asshole

The arrest early this morning of Justin Bieber for DUI, drag racing, expired license and resisting arrest comes as no surprise.  Bad behavior by celebrities is nothing new.  I'm reading a biography of Frank Sinatra now.  I knew Ole Blue Eyes was a hell raiser but man oh man,  what a douche he was.  For all his God given talent (and yes, even I admit that The Biebs has talent although it's not to my taste) Frank Sinatra was a violent, self-absorbed anti-social asshole. 

Frank Sinatra - good singer, even better asshole

Some of my friends who are really interested in knowing me, know that I am interested in the human condition.  My favorite movies, books and TV shows are about the human condition.  Not for me those fast car chase and cartoon movies.  

I am fascinated by the foibles of human nature.  The why and how someone with so much natural talent who brings pleasure to millions can be such a low life with little or no feelings for his (or her) fellow human beings.

Celebrities like Justin Bieber and Frank Sinatra may be able to get away with their antisocial behavior because of their talent, money and good looks. However, that's not always the case.  There was another celebrity who had talent and money but God, he sure didn't have the good looks.

Phil Spector - famous songwriter and murderer

So folks this is what is going to happen to Justin Bieber.  He'll get out of jail and continue on his rampage.  Oh yes, he will continue.  Let's just hope that no one loses his or her life because of our society's propensity to give a pass to the good-looking psychopaths and put the ugly ones in jail.

All the money in the world can't buy a good soul

After the Storm

Pilottown Road outside the Inn

I survived the storm, hallelujah!  

Bill dropped me off at work Tuesday night.  The wind was thrashing, the temperatures dropping to the single digits. Only a few guests at the hotel.  I planned to stay the night because I was working the day shift the following day.

As the night wore on, I noticed that the snow had not arrived but the wind made trolling around downtown Lewes almost impossible.  A few brave hotel guests attempted but quickly retreated to the warm and toasty environs of the hotel.  

Room at the Inn

About an hour before my shift ending, I peeked out side and saw that the snow was finally making its boisterous and insistence entrance.  Oh yes, I was now glad that I told Bill I was staying at the hotel overnight.  I couldn't imagine him driving in that cold swirl of sleet, rain and snow.  

One good thing about working at a hotel, you have a place to stay when you're snowed in.  I remember the one time when I worked at Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia.  All railroad lines were down because of the weather. I had no way out of town.  I was facing going back to the bank and sleeping on the floor.  Fortunately my friend and co-worker Don put me up at his place nearby.  

After a very comfortable night in the plush king sized bed that is in room 403 at the hotel, I put on my face and went downstairs to set out the breakfast bar. Then I shoveled the snow from the front door.  Not too much snow but bitterly cold with the wind gusts up to 30 mph.  With wind gusts like that, the cold just seeps through any layers of clothing one drapes on their body.

My crash pad for the night at the hotel - better than sleeping on the floor of the office

About an hour later Mike the manager shows up and finishes the shoveling outside the doors to the Inn.  I settle in for the day shift at the hotel.  

The hotel manager  shoveling snow at the hotel entrance

I receive a text message from my co-worker asking me if I could work his day shift tomorrow (which would be now).  Unfortunately I have to turn him down.  I've already switched shifts with my other co-worker Don, that's why I was working Tuesday night instead of Wednesday night.  Plus, I had already switched day shifts with my coworker Robert which why I was working yesterday.  Robert was asking me to switch again.  I couldn't, I was all switched out. 

Breakfast is ready!

Bill came by to pick me up after my shift ended yesterday at 3 pm.  Bill prefers me not to drive in the snow because he has the "Alaska experience."  I accede to his suggestion. 

I arrive home, my digestive system totally out of whack.  And I mean TOTALLY.  I would never make a good fireman, on call.  

Last night I was so tired talking to a friend on FaceTime I almost fell off my computer chair.  I was WIPED OUT.

After a good night's sleep, here I am refreshed and ready to go. 

The sun is out, the sky is clear and the air is COLD.  Not much of a wind today but COLD.  I'm going to give my barber a call now and see if she's in so I can get my hair cut.  I'm about two weeks behind on my haircut because she's been out with a bad cold.  

January and February, the Just Get Through It Months for me.  

It's almost over folks.  Next month February then March and the Bloggerpalooza.  I always have something to look forward to in my life.  I plan it that way.  If you don't then  you're in a rut.  When I feel I'm in a rut I do something to get out of it.  And folks, it's been a long time since I've been in a rut.  

Now, to make that phone call to my barber.

Me braving the elements this morning - no wind thank goodness!

Random Observations on a December Morning

Late yesterday afternoon sun on our cozy home (in the background).    What? Yet another selfie of yours truly in a hoodie on his property in...