Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cecil the Lion - Killed by American Dentist



Did you hear about the asshole American dentist (who obviously makes way too much money) who killed the famed Cecil the lion?  



You know folks, I'm not a religious person but at times like this I wish there was a Hell so there would be a seat reserved for this dentist, Walter Palmer. 


Big Brave Man who shoots a pet

Mr. Macho Big Game Hunter paid over $50,000 to shoot this lion with a bow and arrow then stalk the wounded lion for forty hours before killing him with his gun.  Then he cut the lion's head off and skin him.  Hey, now he can mount Cecil's head in his machismo big game den, which he obviously has and brag to his fellow macho buds about what a masterful man he is. 




You know folks, I never got the hunting thing.  Oh sure, I know all about hunting for food and I guess that's all right (my father was a dedicated hunter).  But I never go that hunting gene, neither did either of my brothers and they're both straight.  But to hunt for so called "sport."  





Smiling pretty with perfect teeth, Walter Palmer, Minneapolis's Top Dentist poses with his "takes". Proud of yourself Mr. Palmer, Big Game Gaping Asshole?

I won't say too much more about this, let the videos I've uploaded to You Tube speak for me.  But I'll tell you folks, it is at time like this that I am ashamed to be a member of a species that sees nothing wrong with killing "for sport" a magnificent animal like Cecil the Lion. When I hear of atrocious acts like this it makes my head go crazy.  My only relief is that there are other people like me who think that activity like this is so wrong.




Having said what I said, I do hope there is a special place reserved in Hell for Walter Palmer, Minneapolis's Top Dentist. 







Monday, July 27, 2015

Bagworms and Rabbits


Now there is a blog title I bet no one has ever posted before.  Hey, anything to get attention.

Lately I've been a bit off track in my daily postings.  Several reasons for my tardiness.  An obsession with online Scrabble games (trying to get my win rate up to at least 50% - not successful - yet).  Another reason is just the amount of time I spend in my backyard trying to maintain this garden oasis in Lower Slower (aka Sussex Country, Delaware).  

Every year I encounter challenges in maintaining and improving by sylvan wonderland.  This year my challenges are:

Japanese beetles
Bagworms
Rabbits

Oh my, oh my.  Several times a day I go out and collect Japanese beetles off of my rose bushes.  They're easy to collect, they just drop into my jar of soapy water and die.  


A Japanese beetle gangbang

I don't like to kill living things but I do make exceptions and Japanese beetles are definitely one of them.  Why I even slip them into their soapy death when they're having sex, which is quite often.



I think the female Japanese beetle must be the slut of the insect world.  I often find her, hind quarters up awaiting penetration by her male counterpart.  Yep, I slip both of them into their soapy demise.

Another pest I found this year are bagworms.  Ever see them?  Disgusting!  We have a whole like of pine trees bordering our property.  Just last week I found that part of them is already infested with these useless insects.  For the first time I went out and brought insecticide to kill the MF's. You can pick them off too like balls off of a Christmas tree. 
They may look like pretty pine cones but they are death to a tree


But believe me, these insidious, destructive insect will kill a tree in no time if left undetected.  I've already lost a wonderful arborvitae tree next to my front door when I discovered them chewing away from their innocuous bags that I thought were miniature pinecones. I had to have the whole tree removed.


I sprayed the line of pine trees yesterday morning in the hot and humid heat but some still survived, witness Bill holding this one in his hand late yesterday.

But folks, the most annoying threat to my Garden of Eden here is, you got it:  

RABBITS!

Every early evening, there they are, munching away on my expensive Peppers' Greenhouse plants.  And bold!  I almost tripped over these two last night while making my final rounds collecting Japanese beetles.




 I'll be quite frank with you folks, I wouldn't mind shooting both of these Easter bunnies. Really, I wouldn't. But I won't. What I do instead is just try and plant plants that they don't like.

These rabbits may look all cute and everything but they are destructive.  I've often said to Bill "Where is the fox when you really need one?" And coincidentally, yesterday as we were traveling up Route One to Milton to make a pit stop at Food Lion I saw a roadkill fox along the side of the road.  So here we go, the rabbits have no natural enemies here in Lower Slower but the foxes have one which is pretty efficient in keeping their population down:  automobiles. 

Each day is a challenge folks, especially in my backyard where there are many living creatures, some uninvited and not welcome, sharing with me. But then there are others like the honey bees and the birds, all welcome.  That's life!



Yeah, well we have tried to set out the Have-a-Heart trap with a carrot lure inside to catch the long eared critters to no avail.  We try folks.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I LOVE Donald Trump!



Yes, you read that right.  

I LOVE DONALD TRUMP!

You want to know why?  Of course you do.  

You're thinking "How can Ron, a former conservative (first presidential candidate I ever voted for was Barry Goldwater in 1964), turned Bleeding Heart Liberal, even consider taking Donald Trump seriously?"

I'll tell you why (that's why I have a blog folks).  

THE DONALD TELLS IT LIKE IT IS

Do I agree with everything he says?  Of course not.  I don't agree with everything any politician says, even the ones I vote for.

But here is why I like Donald Trump.  

He is shaking up The Establishment.  

I get a kick out hearing the Talking Heads news coverage of Donald Trump on MSNBC and the other Talking Heads political discourse shows.  They all seem to preface their coverage of Donald Trump with the qualifier:

"Donald Trump, a man who will NEVER GET THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION NOR EVER BE PRESIDENT said today . . . . . . "

It's almost like they're trying to convinced themselves that this couldn't be possible, "Donald Trump the Republican presidential candidate?"

And of course they're continuing their brainwashing of the public by steering their agenda of the Usual Subjects, like presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Now let's make this clear, I'm going to vote for Hillary.  I'm no big fan of Hillary or her husband Bill "Throw the gays under the bus" Clinton and their grasping, secretive ways but folks, can anyone seriously think I would vote for a Republican candidate that would take away my rights as an equal citizen of this country just because I happen to be born gay.  I would vote for Attila the Hun if he was for gay equal rights. 

Attila the Hun (Fierce)

Not to belabor the subject folks, but imagine if one of those folks in the Republican Clown Show was elected president and then had a chance to appoint a Supreme Court Justice.  Just imagine.  There goes the country.  I would again be a criminal because I am gay and I "engage" in "unlawful" activity.  Not to veer too far off the subject but I've always been amazed at some straights being so concerned with what I do in my private life with another consenting adult.  Excuse me for being happy.  But I digress.  I have to stay on subject.

Donald Trump is shaking up the current, smug, arrogant political equation but talking without a teleprompter.  

Donald Trump is causing his Republican political opponents to shake in their boots because he says what everyone is thinking.

Did Rick Perry start wearing glasses because he wanted people to think he was smart and not as stupid as he appeared to be on that debate stage when he couldn't even remember the three cabinets offices he said he would abolish once he became president? Of course and everyone knows it but no one said it.

Rick Perry - Before

Rick Perry - After

John McCain, War Hero, calls the 15,000 people who showed up for a Donald Trump event in Arizona "crazies".


McCain, War Hero, refused to apologize to the Trump supporters saying "Crazie" was an term of "endearment."  

You all know John McCain, War Hero. The Angry Old Man who has gotten a free pass for years because he was captured by the Vietnamese when the Naval Admiral's son and grandson went off of a hotdog mission as a fighter pilot (which he was not, he was a bomber pilot) after he had already crashed two jets, which should have disqualified him from ever flying again but hey, John Sidney McCain III was used to having his way being born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Now I am not discounting his year of imprisonment and torture during his 4 1/2 years of captivity but does that make him a hero?  My Uncle John Tipton was captured by the Germans TWICE during World War II (he was a paratrooper) and wasn't release until a few months after his mother died.  He suffered all kinds of deprivations as did his fellow prisoners but did he consider himself a "hero"?  No, he was just doing his job.  

Again, not to belabor the subject but I guess this all depends on what qualifies one as a hero.  A fellow soldier falling on a grenade to prevent massive death to other soldiers . . . that's a hero in my opinion.  Being captured is not being a hero.  Especially since he went on a mission that he wasn't qualified for but went anyway because he was the admiral's son and no one would question him.

So for years John Sidney McCain has been getting a free pass.  He makes an insulting comment about Donald Trump's supporters in his home state of Arizona. McCain is used to making insulting and demeaning comments about his opponents, especially those who oppose his war mongering ways.  Then what a surprise, Trump comes right back at him and the whole Establishment is AGHAST!  

"Someone criticized our WAR HERO"."  Give me a break.  Thank you for your service to our county Senator McCain and I am sorry you were captured and suffered but a war hero?  Not really.  You were captured.  

So all the Talking Heads in The Media says "That's it for Donald Trump."  He "crossed the line."  Hey, guess what?  Donald Trump is still there bombastic as ever, leading the polls and fighting back.  

Here's what I really like about Donald Trump, 
he's shaking up the status quo.  Everybody had this political season down to Queen Hillary's Cake Walk and the Republican Clown Car fighting for recognition.

The Republican Clown car - let the show begin!

I especially like that he's shaking up the news media.  They just don't know what to make of The Donald.  They keep saying that The Donald Bubble will break but it just keeps going on.  

I think Willie Geist said it best on "Morning Joe" the other day, while the Usual Suspects at the round table were trying to figure out The Donald Trump phenomena. Willie said:


Exactly.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Backyard Tour 2015

All right folks.  Due to popular demand, here is a video I took on this hot and humid Sunday morning of my backyard.  Actually it was only one blog follower (the famous "Anonymous") who requested this year's tour but I agree.  

Growing up in second floor apartments, I only lived in a house with a real backyard the last year I lived at home (1958).  Then I graduated from high school and I was off to the Army for three years.  After getting out of the Army in 1963 (they didn't allow gays back then, that's why I got out while the getting was good), I lived in a series of apartments.  

Then I met Bill, my lifelong (51 years this year!) partner and friend in 1964.  We lived in his garden apartment (Penn Manor) in Pennsauken, New Jersey.  After a couple of years we moved to Philly (Philadelphia) where the "action" (ready "gay" for a young, not and horny guy like me) was.  We got an apartment in Roxborough (Cheswick Square).  Roxborough is a section of Philly like Brooklyn is a section of New York.  I was only a bus ride away from THE BARS (read "gay.")

Then when they raised our rent from $140 a month to $165, I said "Enough!" and we went looking for a house in center city Philadelphia where I could walk to work (and walk to the bars - read "gay").  

My first real house with a backyard, albeit, small.  

After eleven years I had enough of The Bars (read "gay") and center city living with the police sirens and the dirty streets and the crime, and the congestion.  I needed SPACE.

We moved to The Country.  Specifically East Brandywine Township, Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  Built a house on 6.875 acres of land and I really had a Backyard now, even though I had to share it with the local deer population.

After twenty-five years I had enough of the high Pennsylvania school taxes and power outages and congestion (yes Virginia, Pennsylvania was getting congested even where we lived).  We (read "I" because Bill was against the idea) brought land and had a house built right here in southern Delaware, near Rehoboth Beach and the large gay population.  I figured as I got old and needed a support group, the local gays would be more accommodating than my super religious, right wing, conservative, gay-hating neighbors in Pennsylvania.  Well, the gay support group thing didn't quite work out but I've made a lot of friends through this blog and I now have a real backyard that I thoroughly enjoy.  Of course I'm still "sharing."  This time with a rabbit

Yes, this is the actual rabbit that is decimating my flower beds (likes lavender especially) - I took this picture a couple of nights ago.  I haven't been able to take a picture of that fat groundhog that lives under my shed but I will, give me time.
and a groundhog that lives under my shed but what the hey?  There's enough for all of us. 


P.S.
I'll write about The Rabbit later.  He/she is worthy of a whole blog posting of their own.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Recirculating



Here almost a week went by and I haven't done a post.  "What's going on in your world Ron that you aren't posting everyday?"

Well folks, here is the answer: 

Scrabble

Yes, Scrabble is my new obsession.  

Specifically online Scrabble.  




Want to know who is primarily responsible for this new obsession of mine?  (Of course you do).  Take ONE big guess:



There's the culprit.  That retired Canadian police department fingerprint inspector, that part-time Sixties band bass player, that full-time movie extra, that vegan minimalist who lives in that ultra modern house (or "hoose" as he says it) in Toronto:  yep, that's him:


PAT

Pat, one of the few (probably) only people in the world who can put up with my many idiosyncrasies and still like me for the wonderful fellow that I am (hey, no need for modesty here, this is after all MY blog).  

When I visited Pat last year in Toronto, Canada he asked me to play a game (or two) of Scrabble with him.  I acceded thinking that I'm going to excel at this word game because I have read so much and like to write.  Oh how mistaken I was.  First game Pat skunked me.



Second game, skunked again.  Third game:

SKUNKED! 

Well, you get the idea.  Ole Ron wasn't a smart at he thought he was.  

The last time I played Scrabble was perhaps when I was in sixth grade.  I never progressed much past simple three and four letter words. I knew nothing about Scrabble strategy.  (Strategy?  You say "Strategy?" Yes, Virginia, there is a Scrabble strategy.) 

Well, long story short, after getting beat so many times by Pat I made it my mission to vastly improve my Scrabble playing skills.  

My last game with Pat I did win. "Crudites" was my winning bingo word; last play which left Pat's mouth agape and challenging my word - which he, of course, lost).  

The thrill of victory; ah so sweet!  Of course there was also the agony of defeat which wasn't so sweet.  

Please excuse me for going on into a long blog post so I'll try to tighten this up:  

I never like chess (it made my head hurt thinking of all those moves ahead).  

I never got involved in computer (mainly Facebook based) games because I just didn't have the time. 

Over the years I have turned down many an invitation from my Facebook friends to play their silly (I thought) games (like that "Farm Animals thing).  But now folks, in my quest to be the ABSOLUTE BEST at Scrabble, I'm playing multiple games with friends on Facebook.  I'm so obsessed I'm even playing with random strangers on Facebook.  Yes folks, I am now a Promiscuous Scrabble Player.  

So how am I doing?  Well, one thing I'm not losing every game like I was at the beginning.  And I'm getting better at making word more than three letters without giving my opponents opportunities to make the big score by playing triple word scores. 

So every morning I check my Scrabble boards on Facebook (about twenty now and moving up) to see how many are my turn.  

I am loving this interaction with friends like Dr. Spo who, of course, is terrific at Scrabble and Sean who is also a master at Scrabble.  

Sean recently informed the world he was closing his blog.  I have to admit that occasionally I have thought of ending my blog but I just can't do it.  I don't want to lose all the friends I've made through my blog.  Plus, I just like to write since I had my first pen pal when I was twelve years old.  

Maybe it's because I was and am lonely and always in a quest to make new friends. Or maybe it's just because I like to talk about myself, my lifelong quest to find out who I am.  Or maybe it's a combination of those two factors.  

Whatever, I will continue to write my blog posts, but maybe not as often as I have in the past.  Of course this obsession will eventually pass (they all do) and I will be back to my daily posts (or more, you know me when I'm hot on a topic).  

So bear with me folks.  I'm still here ruffling feathers and enjoying life to the fullest.  


  


  And of course looking forward to the day when I can skunk Pat and my friends on a regular basis.  Ah yes, life is good.

Oh, the photo at the top of this blog?  Drama this past week in getting this contraption installed.  In more normal times I would write about it but these aren't normal times.  

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pat and Ron on the Boardwalk



While Pat was down here for a few days last week (settling on the sale of his lot in Milton), I took advantage of his driving skills (he had a rented car) and had him take me to the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.

Normally during the summer tourist season I stay as far away as possible from the madness that is Summertime In Rehoboth Beach.  But I do have to admit I do like to experience the "Gone to the beach summer ambiance" at least once. However, when I've done The Deed on my own, it's just not the same as experiencing this unique summer tradition with a friend.  Bill can't stand the crowds and the posing and the noise.  The only time I can get Bill to go with me to the boardwalk is very early in the morning when no one else is around except those crack of dawn yoga ladies on the beach (what is THAT all about anyway).  

In past years my longtime friend Lar and I would take the "boardwalk walk", Larry driving of course.  We would do that on the day of Lar's birthday on June 27th, right after we had our annual Olde Time photo session.  However this year we took the photos early during Pat's spring visit.  We took the walk on the boardwalk but it wasn't the same as the craziness that is the height of the season Boardwalk Walk.

I especially like walking and experiencing the boardwalk in early evening just as the sun is going down.  So, to make a LONG story short (why am I taking so many words to say this?), I absconded Pat to take me to the boardwalk.  

I got plenty of photos and videos (two of which I'm posting here including the one below which I just found out I was "video bombed" by a girl behind us - the nerve).  

So sit back and enjoy our fun videos from the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.  The only downside of our wonderful experience last week was our two friends Ed and Wayne ("The Cajun") weren't here to enjoy our camaraderie.  Both Ed and Wayne had homes right in Rehoboth Beach, only a few blocks from the boardwalk.  This year their homes are empty but their memories, and the many times we shared laughter, will remain.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

What a Week!

I "graduated" from physical therapy - here with "Rich", my physical therapist


What a week I've had.

My regular blog followers will notice that I haven't posted in a week.  When was the last time that happened?  I don't think it has ever happened.  

So what happened?  I don't think it was any one event but a combination of events.  

First, I'm back at work and you know that always takes a chunk out of my time.  Even though I only work two days a week this is the height of the tourist season and Old Ron is exhausted after an eight hour shift of concierge duty at the hotel where I work.  It takes me a whole day to recover.

Another reason for my tardiness in posting is that I have to maintain my gardening at its usual high standard.  After all I do have  reputation in this neighborhood to maintain. Recently the Japanese beetles have invaded and are munching away happily on my roses and crepe myrtle trees. And here I thought I had a problem with my Resident Rabbit.  Yes folks, I do collect and kill  dispose of the Japanese beetles several times daily. I don't like doing this because I like to let all living things go freely but I do makes exceptions with certain insects.  Add flies, mosquitoes and yellow jackets to my execution list.

A big reason for my neglect of daily postings on my blog was my Canadian friend Pat paid a visit.  Although he only stayed a few days, those days were totally devoted to Pat.  You all know about our special friendship.




Pat was down for the settlement on the sale of his lot in Milton.  What an experience that was but thankfully I can report that all ended well and Pat left with $$$$$$$ and now a young couple has a beautiful lot in Milton.

While he was down I took advantage of his driving and we went down to Rehoboth on Wednesday evening.  Normally in the summertime, when the tourist season starts, I stay away from Rehoboth Beach, especially on the weekends because it is just too crowded and crazy.  But I do like to experience the Summer Feeling at least once during the summer.  Bill won't go with me and I don't like to do the Solo Act so when Pat arrived, I persuaded him to taxi me down to the boardwalk.  

We had dinner at a favorite restaurant of mine, marred only by - yes - A SCREAMING KID.  We were only minutes into our booth when I heard this ear piercing scream.  


OH.MY.GOD!


I looked up and THERE SHE


WAS.  "It" was a little two year old girl jumping up and down in her booth, DEMANDING attention.  Folks, I have to tell you that her scream was the LOUDEST and most PIERCING I've ever had.  Ah yes, now my "dining experience" was complete.  Almost aways when I dine out in the tourist season, my Dining Experience is accompanied by crying babies or screaming kids.  But enough of my complaining on this subject, you've heard it all before. 

Of course the Big News this week was my last day of physical therapy.  I think I've been going for about a month and a half (six weeks - one loses track of time when one is having a good time). 

So how is my leg? I'm walking and talking.  MY leg is still a bit swollen but is not as painful as it first was (I couldn't sleep).  I can bend my leg back almost all the way now but I still walk with a slight limp.  My leg won't be completely back to normal for another six to eight months but as my physical therapist Rich says "You've made great progress Ron!" And indeed I have.  Seriously folks, I am so glad I'm able to walk on my own now without the aid of a walker or a cane.  You never know how vulnerable and dependent you are until you lose the use of your mobility.  

So I'm back folks.  I hope to get back to making more frequent blog posts but right now I have to get back to my online Scrabble games.  I have to get my ELO rating up!



Saturday, July 04, 2015

Fourth of July, 2015



For the first time in my life, this Fourth of July I feel like an equal citizen of this country, the United States of America.

For all of my life (73 years) I have played by the rules.  I went to school and graduated.

After high school I joined the Army to fulfill my obligation as a citizen of this country to volunteer three years of my life in defense of this country, the United States of America.

After my three year service obligation was completed in January of 1963 I left the service because I knew I was gay and I didn't want to live a life of fear of being found out and being discharged from the Army as an "undesirable."  

I would have applied for a job at the National Security Agency, where I worked for two and a half years (in the closet) while I was in the Army.  I could have easily converted my status from Army soldier to civilian government worker at a nice GS rating.  But I didn't because at the National Security Agency, I had a top secret clearance and back in the Dark Ages of the Sixties, gays were considered blackmail material. Thus I left a potentially lucrative career as a government service worker.  Just think, if I had stayed in the closet and had a longtime secure career as a government worker, I could be one of those "Washington D.C. gays" who dominate the Rehoboth Beach social scene.  I would belong to "the club."  But alas, I digress of "would've, could've".  

Instead I got a job.  I won't bore you with the details of all my jobs but suffice it to say I had a mildly successful career first at a hotel, then thirty-seven years in bank operations and now the past seventeen years in the hotel business (again).  What comes around goes around.  

All these years I've worked I've paid my taxes.  I've been a good citizen.  I've paid more than my share of school real estate taxes and income tax to subsidize straight couples and their kids, so they could enjoy the Good Life.

Now this year, for the first time in history, gay marriage is the law of the land.  

For the first time in my life, my seventy-three year journey survival as a gay man, I am now an equal citizen of this country.  Know what I say?  

Better late than never.  

Happy Fourth to everyone!

Me and Bill's "official" 51st anniversary photo - a Selfie!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Happy Anniversary! Fifty-One Years and Counting!


Bill and I after the "deed was done." Pure happiness

Today marks our 51st anniversary.  Yes, we're Two Old Gay Men who survived.  

Two years ago Bill and I got officially married at the Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown, Delaware.  

Ever notice when gay couples get married they all have BIG SMILES?

Our dear friends Jack and Judy Dawson were our witnesses.  

The Happy Newlyweds with their witnesses, Jack and Judy Dawson

Although our official marriage resulted in most of my family (two brothers and their families and many cousins who didn't show  up at the family reunion because Bill was there), we were so fortunate to have friends like Jack and Judy.  Our dear neighbors Bob and Barbara Murphy also volunteered to be our witnesses.  These fine folks are my "new" family, since my family can't bring themselves to recognize that Bill and I are their equal now.  Even one longtime close friend greatly disappointed me when I informed him of my marriage he blithely said "What's next? Marrying your pet?" I have mentioned this conversation before in previous blog posts so I won't go into it again now just to minimize the negativity on this post and this wonderful day.  Needless to say I told him his comment was very insulting and hurtful.  However, I still don't think he or his wife "gets it" which is a shame.  But people, even family or longtime friends who want to continue to view us as Less Than and not their equal in societal law, I cannot let them hold me back from living my life as a free and equal citizen of this country.

Waiting outside the Sussex County Courthouse with our friends (witnesses) Jack and Judy Dawson

Today marks the first day of our 52 year together.  It doesn't seem that long ago that I met Bill on a rainy Saturday night in July at the Westbury Bar on South 15th and Spruce Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Truth be told, Bill knew at that time that we would be together the rest of our lives.  To me, he was just a very nice man who was kind to me and treated me like a prince (and still does).  

Bill overcome with emotion as we're announced "husband and husband"

During the past fifty-one years, we've had our ups and downs like all couples, gay or straight.  But we've always been (lived) together no matter what our travails and circumstances.  I know it's an old overused cliche but Bill has always been "there" for me and I for him.  And we will be together until one of us departs this earthly existence.  

Bill couldn't hold the tears back

So on this day and every July 3rd until I die I will always remember that dreams sometimes do come true.  

Bill and I reflecting on our future together at the Georgetown Circle Fountain after we got married