Sunday, June 29, 2014

Service Today!

Emergency service yesterday

Late afternoon yesterday I noticed that the temperature inside Casa Tipton-Kelly was unusually stuffy.  I checked the thermostat and noted that we had it set at the usual 75 degrees but the actual temperature was 81 degrees and getting warmer from the late afternoon sun streaming through our Wall of Windows in our living room.

I asked Bill is the air conditioning was working and he said "Yes."  I went downstairs, where Bill lives, and indeed it was it's usually freezer walk in cold.  But once I got back upstairs, the temperature was uncomfortably stuffy.  I checked the vents.  Usually I can see the curtains moving but not today.  I asked Bill, "Are the blowers working?"  He said he didn't know.  I usually depend on Bill for any mechanical questions about the house but maybe it was time to call the professionals.  And that I did.

I made a call to this wonderful company, which is aptly named "Service Today."  In less than five minutes after I called the 800 number and the girl took my information down, I received a call from "Dave", the service technician.  He was on his way out.  I said to him "Wow! That was fast!  I just called your 800 number and you're calling back this fast?"  He said "Do you want me to hang up and call back later?"  (a little "funny" here folks).  Of course I said "No."  

In less than twenty minutes he pulled in the driveway of Casa Tipton-Kelly, went around to the HVAC unit on the side of the building and diagnosed the problem as "Your lines are frozen." 

"Dave" from Service Today diagnosing the problem late yesterday afternoon

Problem solved.  He said that they were probably frozen because our whole house filter was dirty.  Coincidentally I had just asked Bill to change the filter yesterday because of the excessive amount of dust that seem to accumulate on our granite counter tops.  

We turned off the air conditioner to let the "pipes" thaw out.  Bill turned on the heat later in the evening to thaw out the condenser (? - I think, don't ask me I'm not "mechanical").  So everything is back to normal now, Thank God! 

So here is what is amazing about "Service Today."  The trip out here to diagnose the problem only cost $79, and this is the weekend!  And we here all these horror stories about "Lower, Slower, Delaware" ("LSD" for short, you'll see it on some of our license plates).  And then of course you've all heard those horror stories about the $$$$$$$ that costs to have service done, with an extra premium on the weekend.  This is the second time I've used Service Today and I have to see, I am VERY PLEASED. Now this is call SERVICE.  What a novel concept.

Right now I'm waiting for Service Today to come back to check out our whole HVAC system.  I don't want this problem to happen during the next horrendous heat wave like we had the past two weeks.  I am totally spoiled about living in an air conditioned environment.  Totally.  Yesterday was too close a call.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I'm Back!

A selfie of Pat, Lar and me outside Yesteryear's Photos in Rehoboth Beach

Miss me?  I've been absent these parts (blogosphere) for lo these past week or so.  I think this is the longest in between blog postings for me since I started this blog nine years ago.  

So what caused the absence?  Several reasons, but the main one being I was just too busy being the Host with the Most entertaining our house guest (me and Bill) from Canada.  Yes, we had an event packed week.  From the time we picked up Pat (our guest) from the "bus station" in Dover last Monday (June 16th) until I deposited Pat at the Park 'n Ride in Rehoboth this past Sunday (June 22) to begin his 24 hour bus journey back to Toronto, Canada.  

Pat ready to begin the first leg of his 24 hour ordeal journey back to Tornonto

First, many thanks to my hubby Bill for breaking his privacy rule and having a houseguest in at Casa Tipton-Kelly for a whole week.  Thanks Bill!  Bill puts up with a lot from me.  In fact next week will be our 50th anniversary since we met on that rainy Saturday night at the Westbury Bar in Philadelphia and began our long journey as "Bill and Ron."  Happy anniversary Bill, 50 years is a long time to endure Ron. And only one man could do it and that is My Bill.

Lar and Pat waiting for their closeup at Yesteryear's Photo in Rehoboth Beach

This is just a short post to let you all know I'm still alive (but exhausted from long days and short nights).  I go to work again today.  Should be able to catch up tomorrow.  And by the way, the previous blog header that showed the lady with three arms……fake. I took a panorama shot and she moved (how dare her).  

Today's blog header is one of the annual old time photo I take with my long time friend Lar (since third grade - 60 years ago!) who birthday is this Friday.  Since Pat was down I decided to take a threesome picture of poker playing cowpokes (my drag old time photos are over).  This is one where we caught Lar cheating with a card up his sleeve and one under his hat.  Dastardly!  

A Motley Crew (isn't that the name of a band?) for sure.  Only men a mother could love, and our mother's LOVED US!

It is "All Good in the Hood" folks!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Muggies Are Back

It had to happen folks, the "muggies" (hot, humid, muggy weather) is back.  Just the other day I was saying how much I appreciated real spring like weather.  Usually, here on the Delmarva peninsula, surrounded as we are by water, we get one, maybe two days of spring.  This year?  Why I almost lost count of the really nice days.  But that's all history now folks; We're back to August, middle of the summer, draining, humid, hot, muggy weather.  

Yesterday was a Three Shower Day and yet I still ended up the day peeling my clothes off of me as if I had just spent a half hour in a steam bath.  

These are the kinds of days that I don't like doing yard work other than changing the water in my seven bird baths.  I just can't take the heat folks.  

I remember the oft repeated warning when I was young that the old folks should be especially careful of the heat and becoming overheated.  I am there folks.  I am old and I quickly wilt under this oppressive, seemingly, non ending heavy humidity of heat.  Oh to live in a part of the country where, even if it does get hot, it's a "DRY" heat.  I hear that's nothing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pat Lands in Delaware

Some folks drive to Delaware and some fly in.  But my friend Pat?  He takes a 17 plus hour bus (five of them actually) from Toronto to Dover, Delaware.  Here is the video of Pat arriving in Dover yesterday at the Greyhound "bus station."  Actually there was NO bus station which was a source of considerable confusion when we (me and Bill drove looking for it.  Then when we couldn't find a bus station we assumed it was just the stop (which it was).  Then there was a problem parking because there is a hospital right behind the "bus station" but for EMPLOYEES ONLY.  

WTF?  So Bill dropped me of while he drove around, waiting for my phone call.  

Well, all's well that ends well and Pat is here. After his nap (and mine) yesterday afternoon we had dinner at our favorite Mexican (real) restaurant (La Quetzalteca) which is off the Beaten Path (on Rt. 24 outside of Millsboro).  

Me enjoying my frozen lime margarita at La Quetzalteca - tasty, refreshing, potent and INEXPENSIVE!

Then we went into Rehoboth to while away a very pleasant two or more hours enjoying an early summer evening in the wonderful resort that is Rehoboth Beach.  I rarely (actually never) get to enjoy this aspect of Rehoboth Beach because Bill doesn't like to go in and my friends all have their friends…..well, it just doesn't work out for me.  But with Pat, we're both so similar in our outlook on life, personalities and don't have the attitude "I can't do this! I can't do that! I can't afford it! I have another engagement." as has been my past experience with my Rehoboth "friends."  Oh the stories I can tell from being stood up for a lunch date to hearing just about every excuse why someone can't "go out."  I have come to the conclusion that these "friends" really don't want to spend time with me.  Not that that makes them bad people but they just don't have an interest in me or that I bore them or a combination of both.  But that is all history now and I don't want to dwell on the negative since I have a true friend who enjoys spending time with me and I with him.  

Pat in Browse About Books in Rehoboth last night - first time I've been in this bookstore - it's great! Who knew?

Who would have ever have thought that two Old Guys (Pat is 65 and I'm 72) hooked up this late in life?  Sometimes things work out.  I'm actually having the best time of my life folks.  It's all good!

Guess what?  It's time for the Old Time Photo today.  Now you know it's serious.

Pat Has Arrived!

The "Bus Station" in Dover Delaware - darn, I was looking for a building

Bill and I drove to Dover this morning to pick up Pat.  He was to arrive on the bus from Dover, after a sixteen hour trip from Toronto.  

Of course we couldn't find the Greyhound bus station in Dover because THERE ISN'T ONE!  What a joke that was.  We finally (Bill and I) figured it out though.  

Pat got of the bus and literally fell on the ground. I have the video to post which I will do later.  I don't have enough time now because I have to upload it to You Tube then go through all that rigmarole right now.  

Pat "fresh" off the bus after a 17 hour trip - just a bit disheveled

We brought Pat back to Casa Tipton-Kelly.  Pat freshened up at bit then we had a light lunch at the Backyard Cafe in Milton.

Double Trouble

Then back to the house ("hoose") for a nap.  After the nap (both of us - separate bedrooms of course), and a chat with Bill, Pat and I took of to La Quetzalteca for our favorite Mexican veggie dinner.

Hot salsa

We topped the night off at Starbucks in Rehoboth. After finishing our coffees we strode Rehoboth Avenue.  I took a lot of photos and videos which, again, I will post later.  Not enough hours in the day folks.  

Pat on the Rehoboth boardwalk a few minutes ago  - a LONG day!

Have to take a shower now and get some sleep and have another big day tomorrow.  I'm working on fumes now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Waiting for Godot er Pat

Pat on his Bus Trip Adventure (no sleep all night)

This time Pat (my friend from Toronto) decided to save on the wear and tear of his Fiat and took the bus from his home to Delaware.  I just got off of FaceTime with him.  He just landed in Philly (Philadelphia, PA) and that poor puppy is TIRED.

Pat caught the bus (Greyhound) from Toronto last night at 7 pm.  Almost as soon as he was seated a Muslim woman with two little darlings children sat next too him.  I was talking to him on FaceTime when I heard her asking "Is this seat taken?"  Pat, being the gentleman that he is, said "No."  Then she piled in with her two little miracles kids.  Right away I heard the little yelps of ear drum piercing screams that only a little girl could do.  I.CAN'T.STAND.THAT.SOUND.  It literally drives me crazy.  That's one reason I moved from our home in Pennsylvania.  We had a neighbor who had a little girl (Stephanie) who, as soon as she burst out her house in the morning, let the world know that she was THERE with a piercing scream, which she then continued ALL DAY LONG.  What is it with little girls and the screams?  I couldn't scream if I wanted to.  Is it because I have balls?

So anyway, Pat settled in for a long night's ride.  

First stop: Buffalo, NY. 

Hassel at U.S. Customs - keep out those terrorists!

Second stop: Syracuse, NY.

Third Stop New York City: ("New York! New York!"

Fourth stop Philadelphia, PA: (where he is just now).

Fifth stop: Wilmington, DE

Last stop: (at 12:40) Dover, DE (where Bill and I will pick him up.

Total time of trip?  Oh about 17 hours. 



And this is the trip I'm going to make to Canada in August?  Perhaps I will rethink my mode of transportation.  The airline is looking better all the time even though I would have to through all that Security Theater nonsense of removing my shoes and confiscation of nail clippers and toothpaste.  And of course there is the expense of getting to the airport and the plane trip itself, about seven times the cost of a bus trip.  

Got to go now, Pat just left Philly and is on his way to Wilmington.

Pat on the bus from Philly to Wilmington

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vacation Week!

Me, River Drive, Philadelphia, PA - September 1974 - alone and looking for my Friend

I know, I know.  Some of you think, just because I live at one of the premier summertime resorts (Rehoboth Beach) that I'm on vacation year round.  WRONG!  Once you live here year round it's not like vacation. Pretty nice?  Yes, of course but one does get used to living near the ocean, the overpriced and bland restaurants, the congested traffic, the paucity of shopping malls.  One would think a "vacation" for me would be getting away from this mess.  But no, this week really is a vacation because my good buddy Pat from Toronto is coming down Monday to spend a week with me and Bill at Casa Tipton-Kelly.

Regular readers of this blog know that Pat is my new Best Buddy.  Good-looking, kind, gentle, clever, funny, non judgmental and no strings attached (he's not married unlike all my straight friends); Pat is a dream come true.  A really nice guy (no smart assed, put down comments to me), who I really enjoy being with.  And…….he likes Bill and Bill likes him.  And, this is very important……no pressure.  Pat is just a nice, good friend who, when I'm with him, I feel complete.  We think alike.  We have the same values.  We both don't like fish.  

Oh, we have our differences but nothing major.  Pat is a vegan whereas I do like a well done hamburger.  He does have me drinking almond milk though.  Pat is also a minimalist whereas, you all know me as an inveterate Pack Rat.  I'm always one step away from appearing on The Hoarders TV program (is that still on)?

This is Pat's fourth trip to Delaware.  This time he's taking the bus.  The trip is going to be about 18 hours.  He leaves Toronto at 7 pm tonight.  He should arrive in Dover at 12:30 pm tomorrow afternoon.  Bill and I will pick him up in Dover.  

Ironically, Dover is the reason that Pat knew I existed.  During my testimony for marriage equality last year in Dover, Pat happened to see my picture

Me at Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware last April waiting to give my testimony for marriage equality, the photo that Pat saw and decided to look me up - and here I thought I had only a face a mother could love

on the Internet.  He knew nothing about me or my blog but he was intrigued by my photo.  Thus he went on a mission to find out more about me.  To make a long story short (cliche time again), he found my blog, started to make comments, I responded.  That progressed to FaceTime and then I casually suggested that, if he was ever came down to Delaware we could have an old time photo taken.  

Pat and me, our Old Time Photo last August - we get another this week!

Little did I know (or expect) he would take me up on that casual, off the cuff offer.  He came down the next week, I met him (in the parking lot of Hotel Blue, I thought he was the parking lot attendant but that's a story for another blog) and realized immediately this was the person I've been looking for all my life.  Yes, I'm married and will continue to stay married.  Fifty years is nothing to throw away (Bill and I will celebrate our 50th anniversary in a couple of weeks).  But Pat is my Friend and he is also the friend of Bill.  It's all good folks.  And we plan to have a very pleasant and relaxing week just being together.  

So folks in the Rehoboh/Lewes/Milton area.  If you see me with a man who looks like my brother, that's my friend Pat. My brother from another mother, and he ain't heavy.

Me at the beach ALONE - no longer alone folks.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lost Dog!

"Red", lost dog in our garage this morning

Somedays you just never know how your day is going to start.  This morning was such a morning.

This morning started out as usual, I groggily arose from the dead got out of bed, hit the bathroom for my morning pee, then slumped to our kitchen for my breakfast of bran flakes and strawberries.  After feeding my face, brushing my teeth I trekked to my home office.  I called my friend and former high school classmate Jack S.  Jack had called me yesterday as I was just going into work.  He needed my help with is new iPhone in navigating the Calendar function of his iPhone.

I called Jack.  After about a half an hour of Ron's iPhone Class, Bill breathlessly bursts into my lair. He gasps "There's a lost dog outside!  I put him in the garage."  Oh great, an emergency this early in the morning and I'm already in my Mr. Fixit mode.  Make no mistake about it folks, I'm the Go To Guy in this household.

A stressed lost dog and a stressed Ron taking a selfie

So whose dog is this?  Our neighbors across the street who just installed their invisible dog fence?

Bill said the lost dog has a phone number on his collar.  Out to the garage I am met by an anxious WET, PANTING red Irish setter.  Oh great, just what I need this morning.  Putting out another fire.  I understand Bill rescuing the poor dog.  We don't want the dog wandering out on Route One to risk being hit by one of the speeding idiots on Route One, especially today Friday when the Horde descends on Gayberry Rehoboth Beach for the weekend. 

Route One (Coastal Highway), ready for the onslaught of the weekend Horde

I get the phone number off of "Red's" collar (and actually, I later found out that this dog's name is actually "Red.")  I call the number and I get voice mail.  I leave a message.  Now what to do?  We have a panting, (which we gave some water), WET, dog in our garage.  

I go back to my office and my computer.  I have a lot to do.  My friend Pat from Toronto is coming down this Sunday and I have to coordinate picking him up and taking him back (to Wilmington) for the following week.  Yes, Pat's taking the bus for this time instead of driving himself.  A fifteen hour trip.  Yes, it takes that long to travel from Toronto to Casa Tipton-Kelly.

Me and Pat last year just before leaving for our trip to Philadelphia 

The phone rings.  The man on the other side of the phone identifies himself as "Donald."  I recognize his voice.  He is a former (gay) neighbor of ours who we had falling out with his late partner.  I say to "Donald", "This is Ron!  You know who I am Don!"  He says he's calling from ---------- (I'm leaving the name out because I don't want his boss to to an Internet search and read this blog), and that dog "Red" (yes, that's the dog's name) is his bosses' dog.  He asked where I live. I told him "Don, you know where I live!"  Then he realizes who I am and said "Ron!  Hey! I know where you live. I'll be right over to pick up Red."  

Ten minutes later Don pulls up in our driveway.  I told Bill Don was coming over.  We were both out in our parking lot to greet Don.  

Bill greets Don and "Red" is going home

Now how about this?  Don doesn't know why we had a falling out with his late partner who died three years ago.  And I don't really want to rehash why either because his partner is gone now and it's probably best that we leave that negativity behind us.  But we never had a problem with Don. Who knows what his partner told Don why we had a falling out but that's all history now.  

Friendship renewed

We had a wonderful reunion right in our little parking lot by the garage.  Don now has a new love.  They're getting married this September.  Don gave me his new address (and phone number and e-mail).  Bill and I will visit.  We also have a mutual friend, Ed C. who, coincidentally will be vacationing next week at his home in Rehoboth.  What great timing!  My friend Pat will also be down next week.  I can introduce Pat to Ed and Don.

"Red", the catalyst for a friendship renewal this morning

So folks, you just never know.  Somedays you get out of bed and your whole world changes….for the better.  I'm not a religious man but sometimes I wonder.  

Don and Ron, renewed friendship after three year estrangement (is it me or does Don look like he's not quite ready? I'm always ready)
You're going home buddy.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Me sitting in the back of my friend Bob's pickup truck at Bob White's Motel in Provincetown, Mass - August 1974

My Throwback Thursday this week is a recently discovered photo of myself taken during my first visit to Provincetown, Massachusetts.  This photo was taken in front of Bob White's Motel. I'm sitting on my friend Bob McCamley's pickup truck.  We made the trip together.  

The date on the back of this photo is August 1974. Egads!  Forty years ago?  What happened?  Talk about time flying when you're having a good time (well, mostly good anyway), here is a good example. 

A little background history to this photo and our trip to Provincetown.  Forty years ago I was working at Girard Trust Bank in Philadelphia.  One of my co-workers had recently returned from a trip to Provincetown, Mass.  He was gay and he told me that Provincetown was THE PLACE TO GO FOR GAYS.  Up until 1974, the only vacation trips I had ever made was one to Canada in 1966 and one to visit Bill's hometown in Toccoa, Georgia in 1965.  

Me and my friend Bob getting ready to leave Philadelphia for our road trip to Provincetown, Mass - 1974

I was intrigued by my friend Don's recommendation to visit the gay Mecca of Provincetown so I made a suggestion to my friend Bob.  He was up for it.

Our only requirement was that we didn't want to be too gay.  I did my research and found a place to stay in P-town called "The Ranch."  I called and made our reservations.  

On the appointed day of our departure from my home in center city Philadelphia, Bob arrives with his pickup truck.  It was a bright, sunny Saturday morning.  The trip took just over eight hours.

Saying "Goodbye" to Bill - we're on our way!!!

We arrived Saturday evening in Provincetown on the main street which was PACKED WITH PEOPLE.  By the way, the main street is called "Commercial Street."  Interesting, one would think they would have named it something more in line with a Gay Mecca, say like Spruce Street.

"The Ranch" was located right in the center of Provincetown.  Wow.  Not what we had imagined, a bucolic setting in the country.  

We check in and found that we had registered with the gayest establishment in Provincetown.  There was so much swishing going on there with the residents that Bob and I got dizzy.  What really threw Bob was his room.  It looked like a whorehouse bedroom, with the canopied bed with red silk tassels dangling around and the mirrored top of the bed.  My room was a little butcher, called "The Harness Room." I had visions of a sling.  WE.HAD.TO.GET.OUT.OF.THERE. 

The next day I did some frantic searching and found a suitably butch motel on the outskirts of Provincetown.  That is where this photo was taken.  

Ah memories.  

This was just the beginning of our somewhat disastrous week.  I had planned to spend the week with my friend Bob but he had other plans.  One day in he met a twinkie from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  I was on my own.  

My subsequent trips to Provincetown I made by myself except for one other disastrous trip when I convinced Bill to go with me.  He went but wouldn't come out of his room at the Best Western motel, the only other "butch" accommodation in P-town.  

Ah memories.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Who The F--k Are You?"

"Do I know you?

One of my favorite bloggers Jon of "Lone Star Concerto" wrote a blog posting on the lack of spontaneity in his life.  He wrote about one of his experiences when living in southern California:

"Late at night in Hollywood it wasn't unusual to see streets blocked off while scenes for movies or a TV series were being filmed. One night I was walking home and the street I needed to access was blocked by a filming crew.  Annoyed and a little drunk, I simply kept walking - right through the set while they were filming.

The director said "Cut!" and then he yelled (at me) "Who the f--k are you?"

"I'm an unpaid extra," I told him."

The question the direction posed to Jon "Who the f--k are you?" struck home with me.  Isn't that question a great metaphor for our lives?  At least my life.  I liked Jon's answer: "I'm an unpaid extra."

That folks is the STORY of my life.  It seems that all my life, when I encounter someone I don't know whether it be from my childhood to my encounters here in Gayberry (Rehoboth Beach and environs) Land "Who the f--k are you?"  

Doesn't it seem to you (and you and you) that we constantly have to prove that we are somebody?  That we matter?  

Even my own father seemed to pose that question to me even though I was his the first of his three sons; sometimes the way he looked at me it seemed that he was wondering "Who are you?"  More than a few times he accused me of not being his son, that they got the babies mixed up in the hospital where I was born.  No matter that I'm almost the spitting image of him (especially as I grow older) and I have just about all of his physical mannerisms (much to my chagrin).  Sometimes I even wonder to myself, "who am I?"

Then there are to occasions, most recently at my job as the front desk "agent" (clerk actually, the schmoo who checks you in at the hotel) when I come face to face with "important" people.  I remember one such occasion.  A local, self important photographer stopped by the front desk to see the owner of the hotel.  As is my style, I attempted to engage him in small conversation while he waited for the owner to show up.  

I forget what I burbled but I said something innocuous to pass the time.  As the sound waves of my inane talk entered his ear drums and attempted to register, he slowly turned and looked at me with what could only be described as "Who are you?" or more accurately "Who the f--k are you?"  The contempt emanating from his narrowed eyes towards me could wilt a flower (yes, I am a gentle flower folks).  I quickly retreated back into my position of subservience and made a mental note not to ever again talk to this ectoplasm that purports to be a living, breathing human being.

Growing up poor, on the wrong side of town (literally), with a hillbilly (literally) father who didn't want children and who constantly belittled and demeaned me, I grew up learning that the best way to navigate my way through life was to keep my head low and not to say too much lest I offend "my betters"  by daring to speak unless spoken to.

Joining the Army after high school and leaving the negative environment of home was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to me.  Those three years in the Army matured me more than my previous eighteen years of walking and dodging on this planet.  For the first time in my life I wasn't denigrated for the way I looked (skinny, big nose, poor posture) or my humble family background (which is actually very noble once I researched into my family history, my first ancestor landed on these shores in the late 1600's)  

These days I sail through life as my own man.  Either you like me or you don't, that's your choice and if you don't like me that is your loss.  Actually, it really is your loss because I'm a damn nice guy.   

I never cease to be amazed at how many people dismiss me and others like me just because I don't have the pedigree of family or social connections and only consider me worthy of their attention because of my physical attributes (sex) or for what I can do for them (money).  

So to answer the question that anonymous director shouted to my friend Jon "Who the f--k are you?"

I'm somebody, that's who.  Somebody they will never be because never in my life have I ever asked anyone, "Who the f--k are you?"  I accept and judge people by their character and not their social pedigree, sexual conquest, or what I can get out of them.  And that folks makes me the odd man out.  But then I always knew I was odd.  

Welcome to my world.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

No Solicitations


We have a sign at the entrance to our community that reads "No Solicitations". Of course that doesn't stop some people.

Yesterday morning, as I was on my computer I hear the front door ring.  My home office is right next to our front door. I get up from my desk and take the few steps around the corner to the front door.  I have the front door open and only the full glass storm door open.  There I see a young black man.  Of course my first thought was "Now what does he want?"  

Not wanted to appear discriminatory by not answering my door where this well dress, seemingly earnest young black man was standing, I opened my storm door and stepped out onto my small front landing and said "Yes?"

He said he wanted my "vote."  Then immediately he told me he wasn't running for office, chuckling as he said so.  Instead he told me he was introducing himself to people in my neighborhood presenting himself as a well spoken young man, standing up straight, and being courteous in order to get enough "votes" to win a trip to Spain.  He said if he got one hundred votes he would "win."  

Of course he now had my interest.  I'm wondering "What is his angle?" but he seemed so sincere I continued listening.  He smiled and he further went through his script.  He was reading but I could tell by the wording he was using that his verbiage wasn't normal for him.  But as I said, he was relaxed, friendly, courteous and well spoken.

Then came the hook.  I saw in his right hand the familiar blank credit card papers.  I'm wondering "Is he selling magazine subscriptions and this is just another ploy to GET MONEY FROM ME?" 

He asked me if I wanted to CONTRIBUTE  to one of the following from a laminated card that had a list of names from veterans to students and religious organizations.  Ah yes, HE.WANTS.MONEY.FROM.ME.  His whole innocent, "You VOTE for me and I win a trip to Spain" is a scam.

With a smile I tell him "Oh, we're not doing money here" and turn around to open my storm door to return to what I was doing before I was rudely interrupted with this latest neighborhood scam.  Immediately his demeanor changed and he said (shouted actually):


Uh huh.  Just another scam.  The mask comes of and the real earnest young student looking to earn votes for a free trip is exposed.    His smile was gone as he turned away and left my front door.  

I told Bill what happened.  Bill went upstairs and saw the oh so earnest and sincere young man go to the house across the street only to back off when my neighbor's two large dogs lunged at the front door, ferociously barking at him.  

Yes, I got suckered in yesterday.  I should have dismissed him right away before he started his spiel but this young BLACK man knew exactly what he was doing, taking advantage of take new white guilt complex in the wake of the Travon Martin "hoodie" shooting.  Show up in a white neighborhood, where the appearance of a young black man knocking at one's door is about the last thing we white folks would expect, and play the race card for all it's worth.  

Funny think happened later in the afternoon.  Another black man (this one more mature) shows up and wants to know if I want to buy any meat.  Say what?  I see his van in our driveway, it says "Capital Meats."  I tell him "No, I'm a vegetarian (I'm not by the way but I was trying to be gentle and not rude)"  He wasn't taking "No" for an answer and said "You eat fish?"  I said "Definitely not!"  Then he said "How about chicken?"  WTF?
I don't eat that much anyway and if I do I'll buy my meat at the store.  I told him: 


He finally leaves.  I look for Bill to tell him I have a twofer for today.  He looks at our TV monitor for the road coming to our house and sure enough they is Mr. Capital Meats pulling in the driveway of our neighbor.  

I look up "Capital Meats" on the Internet.  Yep, it's a scam.  In fact, seeing that he had a van I suspect the kid was in the back of the van.  I didn't see him pull up in a car.  

They're out there folks.  After your money.

I called the police to tell them the kid was in the neighborhood running a scam.  I had a heck of a time getting the police first.  Is this a "9/11?"  No. I have a Lewes phone number but a Milton address. Do I call the Lewes police?  I did.  They told me to call the Delaware State police.  I did.

After being transferred a few time an Officer Mack got on the line.  I told him my situation.  He was a "Just the facts ma'm" kind of guy.  He said he would stop out to get a statement from me.  That was yesterday afternoon.  I'm still waiting.

Just another day in the neighborhood folks.

So here's what I do the next time folks when a stranger rings my doorbell.  I have my iPhone with me set to camera and I take their picture first.  If they don't like it…..well, it was their decision to stop at MY front door.

Fact of life folks, no stranger is going to call you out of the blue on your phone or stop at your door that doesn't WANT something from you, preferably money.  Even the politicians who stop at my door, who I will answer for, want my vote or as is the latest case to be the neighborhood volunteer.  Which reminds me, since I was "volunteered" to canvas my neighborhood as well a two bordering neighborhoods for the local Democratic Delaware state senate candidate, I'm not going to knock on any more doors.  I'll hand the political literature on their doorknobs right before the election but I am not going to knocking on any more doors.  A very distasteful experience yesterday folks, very distasteful.  

In my old age dotage I'm trying hard not to turn into what my Mother was a few years before she died; a bitter, paranoid, cynical person distrustful of just about everyone, including family.  I'm already estranged from both of my brothers, and other members of my family as well as a life long good friend because I had the temerity to get officially married to Bill.  They were alright with me living the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" life but once I made my marriage public just like theirs, then I'm "shoving it down their throats" or as my estranged friend said "What's next Ron? Marrying your pet?"  He doesn't get it.  Friendship all but over (until he gets it). 

These days folks I try to concentrate on the positive.  My relationship with Bill, with whom we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in less than a month.  My new found friendship with a new friend who I've been looking for all my life.  We complete each other.  My (relatively) good health, good job and ability to still pay my bills and not be in debt.  Sure I've had to remove all the bushes out front of the house because they became infected with a parasite (scale) but I'll be damned if I subject myself to another human parasite seeking to take advantage of my good nature.  

So that's why when I realized I was being scammed (yet again) yesterday with that young man, I said (with a smile) "No, we're not doing money here" and turned around and closed the door in his face.  I'm too old for this folks.  I've had enough.  Be it family or strangers, or anyone else.  Doesn't work here any more folks. 

I know who my friends are and I know who wishes me well and I know those who don't.  

These are the people that I share my life with, not some stranger showing up at my door. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

Pat Hosts a Modern House Tour

My friend Pat of Toronto, Canada hosted his house on a Modern House tour this past Saturday.  I talk to Pat almost every day on FaceTime.  I occasionally take photos of Pat and his house while talking to Pat.  Last week he told me he was "volunteered" by his architect for a Modern House Tour of Toronto.  

Pat has a minimalist house.  He had it custom built a few years ago.  He's very proud of it.  His house (or "hoose" as Pat pronounces it with his Canadian "Eh" accent) is in TinyTown, Toronto, Canada.  He frequently has stranger knock on is door inquiring about his house.  Pat almost always invites them in to "have a look."  So it was nothing new for the organizer of the Toronto Modern House Tour to ask Pat if they could include his house on their tour.

I asked Pat if I can sneak a look via FaceTime while his guests were having a look at Pat's unique living quarters.  As usual, Pat is very gracious and acceded to my request.  

I took a number of photos, too many to post individually so I put them in an iMovie with some cool music.  I love making iMovies.  

So without further adieu, this is the iMovie I made this morning of Pat's preparation (cleaning up) his house for the tour and the tour itself.  I must admit I found it fascinating the looks of askance when Pat told them "a friend of mine if watching via FaceTime."  Check out the expressions of the folks who then looked at me on FaceTime.  It almost looks like they're saying "What are you doing here?'  Funny that.  Just another marvel of the modern age of technology….there is NO privacy anymore.  

I hope you enjoy the iMovie folks but I actually just made it for myself and Pat but I thought some of you who follow this blog might be interested in seeing it too.

Have a great day!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Now This Is How a Man Wears Shorts

Bradley Cooper in "costume" for his latest movie playing a Navy Seal - now this is how a MAN wears shorts

I'm old enough to remember that when a man (or boy) wore shorts, they actually were shorts.  I don't know what happened but somewhere over the past ten, fifteen or twenty years the women's "shorts" got shorter and the men's shorts got longer. 

Adam Sandler, movie star and fashionista wearing his "shorts" - right up  there with the latest fashion trend but he looks like crap (to me anyway)- is it me or does it look like he's wearing a red pair of ladies pantaloons? 

I think the trend started with the black NBA basketball (no pun intended) players.  Once the blacks got into the NBA, I suppose that then then NBA basketball shorts weren't enough "basket" to keep their family jewels (I don't call men's genitals "junk", thank you, because they're NOT JUNK) in place. 

"Basket….ball" shorts back in the Fifties

Then the Cool Dudes (black NBA basketball players) took over the NBA and set a new fashion trend which, of course, The Whites quickly followed, not wanted to be subject to the Fashion Police scrutiny.

Then wearing real shorts (looks good doesn't it?)
Now (they're wearing "skirts")

 Even boxers took to trading in their boxer trunks for silk dresses.

Joe Louis and Max Schmelling - back when men were men and wore real shorts and not silk mini dresses

How long do you think it will take until the "shorts" are down to the ankles?  I give it another five years then we will have come full cycle, long pants for boxers.  Long silk pants (ies).

So folks, feast your eyes, this is how a real man wears shorts.  Oh yes! I do love me some man thighs………and the rear view isn't bad either.

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...