Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tent Caterpillars

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. After the cold, gray days of winter, the burst of new life and color of spring is a welcome reminder of the renewal of life. Maybe that's why we celebrate Easter at this time of year. Pagan holidays and religious observances intersect.

But one of the downsides of the life renewal of spring is the return of the parasites.  This past winter I took care of the telemarketer parasites. Now it was time to take care of the spring parasites. Tent caterpillars specifically.   Oh sure, I hear the argument "They deserve to live too" but folks, not on my wild cherry tree. NO way, NO how. They got to go. 

Not too many years ago an anonymous bird or birds deposited some wild cherry tree seeds (and you know how they "deposited" those seeds, don't ask me to go into detail) at the perimeter of my backyard wildlife sanctuary. This was one planting I didn't have to buy.  During the summer I pull up many wild cherry tree seedlings that are in an inappropriate place but this seedling was perfectly placed. The many birds who visit my backyard wildlife sanctuary during the season LOVE those wild cherries.  I see many of those seeds in my eight birdbaths. Thus, this was one "weed" I didn't pull up.

Then last year I noticed the ugly emergence of tent caterpillars.  You have all seen a tree decimated by tent caterpillars.  Always a sad sight.  Well, I was determined not to lose my wild cherry tree to this particular, unwelcome parasite.  And just as I got rid of the telemarketers calling my land line phone daily, I got rid of those tent caterpillars. 

The way I got rid of them was by destroying their tents when they are young and crawling up and down the smooth wild cherry tree bark to the young leaves of the wild cherry tree.  I found if I kept the young caterpillars busy rebuilding their tents until the leaves fully emerged, then I could starve the caterpillars and thus save at least one wild cherry tree for a food source for my backyard visitors. And that's what I'm showing you here on this blog post of the video that Bill took of me just a short while ago "brushing" the young tent caterpillars's tents.  

Hey, who else do you know who posts blogs about controlling tent caterpillars?  Just one more reason why you should ALWAYS visit my blog.  To quote the famous Forest Gump (referring to a box of chocolates):

"You just never know what you're going to get."

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring is Here!

Finally, spring is here!  

I just returned from my local nursery, Peppers'.  Yet another purchase of daffodils to place in those empty spaces around Casa Tipton-Kelly.

Pat's is trudging through the snow in Toronto. A few days ago a late snowstorm buried Denver, Colorado.  Just one day after Denver was basking in spring time temps of 70 degrees plus. No more snow her folks! 

Monday I begin a three day stay in Philadelphia visiting my friend Don McK. More on site instruction showing Don how to use his new iMac computer.  I'm going to try and talk him into buying an iPhone and fully joining the Digital Age, even though he is approaching 80 years old. Wish me luck! Don was the one person who introduced me to computers thirty years ago (1986). This is my payback to my friend.

With all the bad news of terrorist attacks in Europe and the ridiculous Republican fight for the presidential nomination, I'm concentrating on the gift of living through another spring season.  Last night I left work and I didn't even need a coat!  Hey folks, I'm ready for the NICE WEATHER and good news.

Note: the video at the beginning of this blog was taken from my bedroom window this morning.  My backyard birds indulging in a morning bath routine.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The 45's 60's Band of Toronto Canada

Yesterday I was talking to my former boss and long time friend Bill P. on the phone.  Bill lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania now.  For many years in the late 60's, 70's and 80's we worked together at Girard Bank (now Mellon bank) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Bill is a longtime fan of doc-wop music from the Fifties.  He's also a classic (50's) car fan.  I mentioned to him that my new friend Pat (you all know "Pat" from Toronto, Canada, my Travel Buddy and soul brother) plays part-time in a band called "The 45's". See HERE. They play music from the 60's.

Pat's been playing his whole life.  Here is an early band album cover of Pat and his band.

Pat, in the foreground on the right holding the CD and his band
After I told Bill about Pat (who I hope I can introduce to each other some day, I love to have friends from different parts of my life intersect), Bill had asked if he could see on You Tube Pat's band.  Bill's son also plays in a band of "old guys."  

At the beginning of this blog post is what I found on You Tube this morning.  First time I've seen it!  

I had a little difficulty finding a video of "The 45's" because, apparently there is more than one group called "The 45's".  Somebody didn't copyright the name (fellas).  Maybe they should have called their band "Five Naked Ladies."  But wait, there is already a band by that name isn't there?  And actually that is a Canadian band too, isn't it?

So folks, for your listening pleasure here is my friend Pat's band, The 45's.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Yet Even More Old Films Transferred to DVD

  This is your lucky day folks.  Yet even MORE old films transferred to DVD that I'm sharing with you today.  Hey, isn't this fun?  Almost as much fun as having a neighbor pressuring you to stop by and view an hour's worth of slides from their latest vacation trip.  Oh yes, I remember THOSE days.  When we lived in Philly, we had these delightful neighbors, the Kehrers.  Very nice folks.  One summer they took a vacation to Europe.  When they got back they invited us down to show us their slides. Folks, I have to tell you that was one of the most boring two hours I've ever had in my life.  And believe me, I've had some boring episodes in my life.  But hey, after you've seen one angle of a church cathedral in Cologne Germany, you've seen them all.  No need to show me ten different versions.  And they Mr. Kehrer got caught up on "Was this taken in Cologne or Koblenz Germany?"  I wanted to shout out "IT.DOESN'T.MATTER!"  But of course, the Best Little Boy in the World that I am, I didn't say anything but suffered in silence.  So folks, I am quite aware that I may be boring the pants off of some of you and if I am, then just move on to the next blog but for those of you who are interested, here is my latest installment. 

This video shows me cavorting with our two Pomeranian dogs at our new house in the woods outside of Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  Oh those were the days. I was so young and those dogs were so frisky.  Check me out with my skinny leg jeans, before they were fashionable.  Hey, I still have those jeans but they don't fit me anymore (waist).  The waist is 31 inches and length 36 inches.  These days the Old Ron takes 34/34.  Waist has expanded and I've shrunk.  Fifteen pounds heavier too. For years now I've been procrastinating selling those jeans on Ebay as "vintage jeans."  That's another project I should get in gear for. 

Me and my skinny legged jeans 1986

And guess what folks!  I found a video that I had taken of my workplace at Mellon (formerly Girard) bank in Philadelphia.  I had forgotten all about this video.  What a delight to see my former co-workers like Nazarene Regalbuto, Bill Price, Joe Moorhead  Peggy D'Allesandro, Nancy Wallace, Renee (I forget her last name) and Sue Saylor.  Hard to believe I took these films thirty years ago (1986).  Time does really fly.  

Two good friends and former co-workers Reno and Renee (Renee is gone now)

Note: Pictured at the header of this blog are my former bosses Joe Muirhead (now deceased) and Bill Price. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Old Films Transferred to DVD

What a job this is!  This morning I transferred more old 8mm film that was transferred to a VHS tape and now I'm transferring those images to a DVD format.  I think I'm getting better at this.  

One thing, it is time consuming and I have so many VHS tapes to transfer.  I hope I live long enough.

Me in Quebec, Canada - 1967

Another thing, much of the content is boring to the casual viewer.  What was I thinking taking film of water?  And I thought my father was bad taking film of the sky.  Well, at least I have film of people, including me (of course), which is now very interesting to look at.  I moved that fast?  Wow.  Now I can hardly get a smooth stride going.  I'm getting the Old Man Walk.  Not the "Shuffle" mind you but that hesitant walk that portends falling down, which I never want to do again.

Me coming out of the surf at Ocean City, New Jersey. The first and last time I was ever in Ocean City, New Jersey. Too many lifeguards blowing their whistles

So here goes, I'm posting this portion of the old 8mm film that I copied to DVD this morning.  By the way, I forgot how I uploaded it to You Tube so I had to figure that out all over again.  The brain is going folks.  Going, going, GONE!

I've reviewed this DVD and only Part 1 has uploaded to You Tube which is just as well.  The whole DVD is about an hour long and folks, you'll have to admit that watching "home movies" that long would even bore the pants off of the person who took the home movies (that would be me).  So I'm only going to subject you to fifteen minute increments.  

My niece Karen Tipton with a cat - I don't think Karen has ever seen this video. Karen is 53 years old now and has a grown daughter. Time flies. Karen is to the left with her brother (my only nephew, Isaac, III and her sister Dawn)
Of course I know where and when all these scenes were taken but you don't so here is a list (hopefully) in chronological order:

  1. Ottawa, Canada - changing of the guard -1967
  2. Niagara Falls, Canadian side - 1967
  3. Cheswick Square Apartment, Roxborough, Philadelphia, PA - me at the apartment pool - check out my doofus diving (I can't dive)
  4. My father's "farm". My brother Isaac takes a puppy out.  "Pop" had pigs, chickens, ducks and even a goat.
  5. My niece Karen Tipton with an orange cat whose name I can't remember.
  6. Valley Forge, PA. I apologize for the long, boring scenic shots. They don't mean anything now except if those fields are filled with high rise apartments now which hasn't happened yet at Valley Forge State park but could very easily happen in the future with the King of Prussia megapolis creeping around the edges of the park.
  7. Our Pomeranian dogs "Horace" (the orange one - male) and "T" (short for "Tiffany") romping around at our new house in East Brandywine Township, Downingtown, Pennsylvania. 
Watching these videos brought back many good memories.  I've had a good life folks.  I'm glad I'm able to share it with you now.  Long after I'm gone these videos on You Tube and my blog will live on, a testament that even a skinny, gay man like me brought up constantly belittled can succeed in life.  

Who is this hunk? Why it's me! Actually, I wasn't too bad looking back In The Day was I? Shame I didn't realize it at the time.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Old Films Transferred to DVD's!

NOTE: I noticed that the video doesn't actually begin until a little over three minutes into the video right after the Jay Leno segment.  By the way, I used an old Jay Leno tape to test the copying but I didn't realize I had also uploaded that segment to You Tube. So please bear with me.  Also, bear with the background hillbilly music which could be annoying to you Mariah Carey fans (which I am NOT). Enjoy!

Finally!  I've started to transfer my old VHS tapes to DVD's. This is something I've been putting off for a long time. It's a big job folks. I have over a hundred VHS tapes to be transferred to the DVD format.  Because of this monumental job, I've been procrastinating for a LONG time.

Several years ago I bought a VHS/DVD combo unit to copy the VHS tapes to a DVD.  Folks, the process is quite complicated.  Almost too complicated for this 74 year old brain.

I was about to figure out how to do it six years ago when I made a memorial DVD for my Mom's funeral.  I haven't done anything with the VHS transfers to the DVD format since.  

This task has been hanging over my head for sometime.  Lately I've been spending a lot of time playing on line Scrabble in my Facebook account. I have to tell you, lately I've been feeling guilty when I'm "wasting" my time playing Scrabble on Facebook.  

Yesterday, I finally bit the bullet so to speak and planted myself downstairs in our finished basement in front of my old 40 inch SONY Bravia flat screen TV (which we paid $4,000 for years ago, being once of the early purchasers of the new "gigantic" screen TV's which don't seem so gigantic now - I have a 60 inch flat screen TV in the Tipton Cinema).  

Oh what a day yesterday was.  I had to relearn the whole process again.  My old brain cells really got a workout.  Unfortunately I accidentally erased about ten minutes of a VHS tape I had of my Mom counting her bonds which I kept in my safe.  What is the matter with me?  Practicing on a real tape instead of one of the many "junk" tapes I have?  Sometimes I could kick myself.

However, after much frustration I finally figured out how to transfer the images from my old VHS tape to a DVD.  The first one I did was of films that were taken in 1966.  Yes, FIFTY years ago.  I'm uploading it now to You Tube.  Hopefully that goes without a hitch.

The contents of that video tape were originally 8mm film.  Thus this is the third time the images have been transferred to a different format.  Of course there is some degradation. But you can still see a YOUNG Ron Tipton.  Did I really have all that hair?  And the sheen, where did that come from.  Believe it or not, I never put grease in my hair, I always kept it dry even when it wasn't fashionable.  Man, do I ever feel old now.

I see where my upload is now complete.  Folks, a warning, this is a long tape.  Over thirty minutes long.  So if you're really interested in my life, you can take the time.  If not, then I won't throw any guilt trips on you for moving on to another blog with a briefer post.  

Another warning, you'll notice I'm a little "fey" in the video.  Remember, this was back when I was young.  Twenty four years old.  I have no excuse for acting like a swish other than I can blame my good friends Ron Hampton and Ed Cage who were very femme. I have since realized that the "femme" route wasn't good for me so I butched it up big time.  

Long blog posting here folks.  But I did want to share my good news with you that now I can copy all my old VHS tapes to a format that I can post to You Tube.  I have a big job ahead of me but once I'm finished, and as I near the end of my time here on earth, I will go in peace.  By sharing this part of my life to You Tube, my legacy will be complete.  I don't have any family members now who are interested in my old photos, VHS tapes or DVD's but if someone in the future, family member or not, is interested in my time here on earth, then there it is . . . on You Tube.  

Me, exactly 50 years ago!

By the way, here is a photo of my friend Pat "way back then.  He's pictured with his band mates on an album cover.  Yes, that is Pat to the right.  Some hunk right?

Pat and his band "The 45's" way in the past - were we every THAT young? (and had all THAT hair?)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Good Morning Sunshine

Oh my, yet another gorgeous spring day here in southern Delaware! 

I'm loving this folks!  It's days like that that one feels grateful to be alive, in good health, with friends, nice home, not hungry and warm.  Just lovely folks, just so lovely.

With all the bad news in the world isn't it wonderful just to take time out and enjoy The Moment?

Yesterday I hit my favorite local nursery again yesterday and bought even more daffodils.  Oh yes I did.  One can never have too many daffodils, that cherry harbinger of spring and happy days to come.  

A garter snake I found at Pepper's whilst I was perusing the plants - oh yes, I almost peed myself

I've made it through another winter cold spell.  Thankfully this winter wasn't too brutal and even more thankfully I didn't fall and injure my leg or any other body parts like my hip or arm from bracing a fall.  I had a couple of close calls but no accidents.  And wonder of all wonders, I didn't even get a cold this winter. Maybe those flu shots work after all.  

Well folks, I'm off to work again today.  The hotel renovation is almost completed.  We'll be ready for the seasonal onslaught of guests to our spectacular, water view upscale boutique hotel in the smack dab center of Lewes, Delaware.  Come on down!

Best boutique hotel in Delaware

Yesterday I finalized my reservations for a three day stay in Philly at the end of this month.  I'll be staying in the guest suite of my friend Don McK.'s co-op on Walnut Street.  Spring will be popping (I hope) in Philly plus I'll get to spend more time with Don.  In may I'll be returning to Philly to meet my Canadian Travel Buddy Pat.  We'll spend a week in Philly and a few days down here in LSD (Lower Slower Delaware) before the hordes of summertime tourists descend upon us and make the roads impassable. 

Philadelphia, PA - one very COOL city! My "Goldilocks" city; not too big and not too small . . . . just right!

I hope all of you have a bright, cheerful daffodil day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Day in Philly

Sunday was my day in Philly.

Having living and worked in Philly for over thirty years, I visit as often as I can.  

Delaware Tech offered a $39.00 round trip to Philly this past Sunday.  How could I pass up that opportunity?  

I had to get up early to catch the Jor-Linn bus leaving from the Delaware Tech campus in Georgetown.  Real early.

Always my worry in getting up early for a trip is my "bathroom needs" before the trip.  When I was young I didn't worry about such bodily functions but now that I have aged, I no longer have complete control over my bodily functions. Thank goodness my body cooperated with me on Sunday morning and "everything" came out fine.

The bus was going up for the Philadelphia Flower Show.  In previous years I paid the ticket price for the Flower Show, just to get to Philly for the 2 1/2 trip in the comfort of a big bus.  Those tickets were $89.  Now the ticket is $99 for the ride and flower show.  Just between you and me, the Philadelphia Flower Show never impressed me.  Just a bunch of vendors centralized at the Philadelphia Convention Center.  And oh, the CROWDS, so crowded.  No fun folks.  I'm glad I had the option this year to buy a ticket for the ride without the flower show option.

Getting on the bus at the Delaware Tech campus for the trip to Philly this past Sunday morning

The main reason I wanted to go to Philly was to visit my longtime friend and former co-worker Don McK.  Don lives in center city Philly. 

I talked him into switching from the God awful Windows operating system to an Apple iMac during my last visit to him last fall. But Don has a learning curve that he needs help with, and that was my goal during this visit to Philly.  And of course I always like visiting Don and sharing our Old Man Medical Issues.  Always fun.

As during my last trip, rain was forecast.  Lucky for me the rain didn't begin until I left Don's place and made the race for the bus.  And yes folks, I almost missed the bus again.  Just like last trip.  

I arrived in Philly at about 10:30 AM.  I walked to Don's co-op at 21st and Walnut from the Convention Center.  I don't walk like I used to.  When I lived and worked in Philly I didn't have to deal with my arthritic legs, hips and back.  Now I do.  Plus, there is so much construction in center city Philly, I had to make numerous detours. 

I arrived at Don's co-op and was admitted into the confines of his concierge guarded building at about 11 AM.  Got to his apartment and we spent about an hour updating our medical histories.  Then to his computer.  I showed him how to created folders for his porn Internet copied photos he had on his desktop. I told him "You don't want those photos laying around your desktop Don. And oh, can you forward me THAT one?"

After about an hour of iMac instruction, our stomachs were growling.  We were hungry!

Lunch at "More Than Just Ice Cream", a wonderful mostly gay restaurant off of 12th Street just around the corner from Walnut Street.  We took the SEPTA bus down.  Free ride for us, we just show our Medicare cards.  You see folks, there are some benefits once you reach the Geezer Stage.

Don and me in front of "More Than Just Ice Cream" restaurant 

After lunch, back on the bus, back to Don's apartment.  With the cleared desktop, we were ready to move Don's tax files from his old and SLOW Dell Windows based computer to his brand, new FAST iMac computer.  I just about completed the job when we both noticed I had only about twenty minutes to get to the Del Tech bus.

I called my tour director and told her I was on my way.  I wish I had a video of me hobbling down Market Street towards the Convention Center. Again, I kept encountering streets completely blocked off for construction of new skyscrapers.  Man oh man, has center city Philly ever changed.  Gone are the days when I worked there and most of the tall buildings, none taller than City Hall, were mostly office buildings.  Now that the computer has effectively eliminated the need for all those low paid office workers (me, being one of them), that prime real estate in center city Philly is quickly being converted into condos, co-ops, hotels (the bank where I formerly worked is now the Ritz-Carlton hotel) and apartments.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel formerly the Girard Bank - Philadelphia, PA
Lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel

All with high monthly fees.  I've been priced out folks.  Even the modest row house where Bill and I used to live in center city is now worth over $600,000.  We bought it for $27,000 in 1969 and sold it for $95,00 in 1980.  And at that time I thought I made a killing with that "huge" profit.  Anyway, I digress.

Bill going into the garage at our row house in center city Philadelphia - 1976 - check out his blue Maverick 

I got to the convention center but I couldn't find the bus.  I saw a couple of police officers on the corner of one of the convention center buildings.  I asked "where do the busses come in?"  They directed me to around the corner.  Stepping over several stinky homeless people mounds on the ground (some things never change in Philly), I found the Delaware Tech bus waiting for me. The bus was leaving at 4:15 PM.  I boarded the bus at 4:12 PM.  Three minutes to spare!  Seriously folks, I don't like cutting things that close.  

We depart center city Philly and the rains began. Luck was with me folks.  

An as I and the other whiteheads (old people) departed Philly, I reflected "Another good day in my old hometown."  

I return to Philly in early May.  I'll meet my Pat, my Canadian Travel Buddy.  We'll spend a week at Don's then down here to Lower Slower for three days. 

Life is good folks.

The banner photo today is of the tree line at the Delaware Tech campus where I was waiting for my bus

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday Rant

Four Rethuglicans who can't wait to destroy this country should they get into power - Evil, evil, evil

Just got off the phone with my insurance company. So frustrating with these automated phone systems.  The good news is that I don't need my landline anymore while waiting for the "Your call is important to us" now wait a half an hour like you have nothing else to do while we try to straighten out OUR mistake in billing you.  

Folks, the main reason I had a landline was for those time I was put on hold.  Which, is as you all know when you call for HELP you're ALWAYS put on hold and hear the message "Your call is important to us" now wait while we f--k you over by wasting your time.  Oh, they have a new thing now, they'll call you back because "We realize your time is important to you and we want you to keep your place in line so we will call you back, just press One."  Uh huh, I press "One" and still get an automated call back and I STILL have to wait.  Then I still had to wait another twenty minutes until I got a live person on the phone.  

"Your call is important to us" Sure! Then why am I kept on HOLD so long?

So frustrating.  Well, at least I got them to back out the mistaken charge they put on my bill.  

Talk about frustration.  Have you all bee following the presidential contest?  First of all, the Republicans.

Check out the photo atop of this blog posting.  What a sorry bunch of liars, phonies, and egotists.  And now Trump has brought us to a new low.  I used to think he was amusing.  Now he just scares the hell out of me.  And as for the rest, really folks, is this the best we can do?

On the Democratic side (and yes I say "Democratic" and not "Democrat" as the evil Rethuglicans like to spout these hate filled days).  Hillary is going to get the nomination.  I don't even listen to any of the DEMOCRATIC coverage.  Nada.  I like Bernie Sanders but seriously folks, you think he can get anything done with Congress as long as it is controlled by the Rethuglicans who want to privatize both Medicare and Social Security so their Wall Street masters can have access to that massive honey pot of money so they can even further engorge enrich themselves at the expense of the middle class?  

Oh I know all about the Hillary Haters (frankly I never go that but who am I to judge as Pope Frances said except when he met with homophone Kim Davis but I digress).  

You know folks, I actually think that the Orange Faced Liar 

should be the Republican nominee.  The White House has to stay in Democratic control to prevent the aforementioned further dismantling of the social safety net.  I have an immediate interest here folks because I DEPEND on Medicare and Social Security for survival.  You want to save Social Security, take the cap off of the earnings limit and so the billionaires like The Reptilian Monster can pay their fair share of taxes.  God knows they have benefited massively from the American system already.  They won't miss those extra dollars so Melania can buy another two hundred pairs of shoes.  Oh yes folks, we have our own Imelda Marco right here in River City.  But I digress.

The new First Family - a stuffed lion - really?

The good news.  I'm going to Philly tomorrow to see my friend Don McK.  Good to get away from this mess that's on TV.  I need to clear my brain.  Sort of like a flush out. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spring is Here!

The calendar says Spring doesn't arrive until Palm Sunday, March 20th.  But folks, I'm telling you Spring is here!  

Yesterday the temps were up to 77 degrees.  I took sought to take advantage of the spring like temperatures and began laying flagstone around my compost pile.  I had to quit after about an hour of that hard labor, I was sweating.  I had to quit folks.  I am of that age that if I get overheated there may be serious consequences.  Bill said even he got dizzy working outside.  We both came inside to the cooler climes of Casa Tipton-Kelly.

Me yesterday putting a border of leftover flagstones around my compost pile
Note the picture at the header. It is of the double wide where my late friend Bob McC. lived with his husband Jim D.  That photo was taken last week a day after our last snow (I hope).  That place, scene of many a good times is now abandoned.  Now only a sad reminder of what was and will never be again.

These days I have new friends and new "good times."  One day too Casa Tipton-Kelly will be no more, only a faint reminder of the happy and contented life that Bill and I enjoy now.

Today I go to work for my regular 3 to ll PM shift at the hotel.  The hotel is undergoing complete renovations thus creating some discombobulation of everyone's regular routine.  But all that will be well worth it because I'm telling you folks, that hotel is absolutely fabulous now.  I am so proud to work there. I don't work in any dumps. Oh okay, I'll admit it.  I am a hotel snob. 

I'm back on my regular shift.  I don't like switching around every week.  I lose track of when I'm supposed to work plus I can't plan my "other" life.  Right now I have a balance that works for me.  Part-time work and retirement doing what I want and enjoying doing.  If I'm working all the time, especially filling in on short notice, then I feel like one of those firemen who sleep at the firehouse waiting for a call to slid down the pole and fight the latest fire.  I don't mind filling in occasionally folks, but not all the time, on a regular basis. I work part-time.  I'm not a substitute worker. 

I'm posting two videos to You Tube I took.  One of the renovations at the hotel and the other of the new daffodils that have arrived this Spring at Casa Tipton-Kelly.  Hopefully I'm not infringing on anyone's copyright status.  Most of my last videos that I posted to You Tube were blocked by You Tube because I dared to have background music in them.  God forbid I would prevent one of these overpaid entertainers from getting a few more pennies for their "art."  It's not like I have ads on my blog and I'm making money from posting those videos.  What a time we live in folks, every one is so hyper about political correctness and copy right infringement but yet we're bombarded every day with incessant ads from all angles.  Thank God I got rid of my land line which I DON'T MISS AT ALL.  At least I stopped that one form of ad harassment. Should've done that a LONG TIME AGO.

Okay, I'm ranting now and I shouldn't be.  Such a beautiful day outside.  Think nice things Ron.

Me at work with my "Barney" sweater

Monday, March 07, 2016

Colonoscopy Time Again

That time again?

Oh yes, I can no longer deny the inevitable.  It is colonoscopy time again.  

I had my last colonoscopy in 2011.  My family on the male side, has a history of colon cancer.  My uncle Sam and my cousin Jeffery, both who always refused to have colonoscopies, both died of colon cancer.  I'll always remember what my Aunt Shelby (Uncle Sam's wife) told me when she urged her husband to have a colonoscopy.  He said "No man is going to stick his finger up my ass!"  Well, he's dead now.  He was only 67 years old.

My cousin Jeffrey was only 49 years old when he died of colon cancer.

This year I will be 75 years old.  I've lived a long time but I would like to live a few years longer.  Maybe ten or fifteen years longer?

I'll take another 24 years!

I've had four colonoscopies so far.  My second colonoscopy the doctor found two benign polyps. Although not cancerous, such polyps could turn cancerous if left undetected.

Thank goodness I'll be knocked at at this juncture

So here we go folks. While the actual colonoscopy is a "breeze", the difficult part is the night before when you have to take the prep.  God, it is awful.  

You have to drink four liters of a green solution (eight ounces every half hour) that tastes like lime flavored antifreeze.  Then, and this the "best" part, once the solution hits, you peeing out your ass a black solution.  Sorry folks if I grossed out anyone but man oh man, I'm not looking forward to this.

My first appointment is April 18th, to go over my medical history since my last colonoscopy.  Here we go folks.  

By the way, I called Medicare this morning to see if I was eligible.  Oh yes, I am a glutton for punishment but hey, I'm not ready to check out yet.  So I do what I must to maintain this aging body for a few more years of good times.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan died today.

Nancy Reagan
1921 - 2016

I'm always surprised by my reaction to the deaths of public figures.  There are times which I expect to be very sad and I am not.  Then there are times I don't expect to be sad but I am. Today, when I heard of the passing of Nancy Reagan, I am experiencing profound sadness.

Nancy Reagan, widow of former president Ronald Reagan brought class to the White House.  

Today, during the most base and vulgar campaigning of the Republican presidential candidates, remembering Nancy Reagan brings back memories of a better time in this country. 

During her lifetime, Nancy Reagan received much criticism but always responded with grace and class.  

Nancy Reagan, actress

Nancy, our country will miss you.  Real class and dignity. 

Nancy and Ronnie

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Santa Monica Pier

Me on a cloudy day at the Santa Monica Pier

Back to California folks!  I still have many photos and videos to share of our annual January trip to sunny California.

Today the photos are of the day we spent at the fabled Santa Monica Pier.  

Pat at Santa Monica Pier

This is the second year we have visited California.  This is our annual tradition now, to "punch a hole in winter" and visit sunny California.  However, this year there wasn't so much sun in sunny California but we had a good time anyway.  Matter of fact, Pat and I always have a good time wherever we go.  We're good traveling buddies. 

Pat and Ron, the Intrepid Traveling Duo at the Santa Monica Pier selfie - hey! It was a little breezy that day

We don't have any set schedule of places we want to see prior to our flight out to California.  We just meet up in Philadelphia, take the five hour flight, land at LAX, rent a car at Enterprise Car Rental, check in at the Hollywood Bed and Breakfast and go from there.  Our only "must" is to eat at the Veggie Grill at 8000 Sunset Boulevard, right across from the legendary Chateau Marmot hotel.

Last year, we made it a point, actually I made it a point to touch the Pacific Ocean.  Just because I live so near the Atlantic Ocean here.  That we did. Regular followers of my blog probably remember that "Ron and Pat Show" video we made of that toe dipping adventure.  When we were at the Santa Monica Beach last year I saw the famous Santa Monica Pier but we were too late.  It was just about to close.  So this year we got to Santa Monica earlier so we could partake of the Santa Monica Pier.  

Is that a rainbow flag behind me?  Well, I'll be!

So how did I like it?  Of course I loved the Santa Monica Pier.  I would go back again.  Now next year's goal will be to make it to Venice Beach.

I'll pump it up for our visit to Venice Beach next year

So many places to see, so little time.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Trump's Small Hands

Trump displaying his "baby" hands

Well folks, it looks like Donald J. Trump is well on his way to the Republican nomination.  I'm listening to the results of the Super Tuesday primary as I write this blog.

I could say so much about this impending disaster of Trump getting the Republican nomination and actually getting elected president (wake me up, I MUST be dreaming!), but I'm only going to address one subject in this blog.  Trump's small hands.

I was surprised when Marco Rubio also noticed how small Trumps hands were.  I noticed the same thing during the first Republican debate.  

I just happened to notice his smallness of his hands while Trump was waving them about and pointing his finger while making a point.  I thought "Why, he has doll's hands!"  I thought my TV somehow distorted how small his hands were. But now I know, he DOES have those little "baby" hands.  Man oh man Donald Trump.  

All I can say is I'll repeat what Marco Rubio said:

"You know what they say about a man with small hands . . . . YOU CAN'T TRUST THEM!"  

Wow, these are tiny hands
By the way, in case you're wondering . . . . . yes, I have large hands. You can trust me. 

Me and my "paws" after a visit to my dermatologist's office when he took another piece out of my face 
I have big feet too.

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...