Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bill Gets His New Glasses

Bill tries on his new glasses

It's been a long slog folks, but Bill finally got his new glasses.

Last June Bill failed his eye test for renewing his driver's license. Thus began the long journey to get Bill's license back.

First up was an eye examination. Bill hadn't had one for years (his choice).  His doctor discovered that Bill needed cataract surgery.

Now any of you who have had cataract surgery or know some who has had cataract surgery, you know how long that process is.

We scheduled Bill for cataract surgery in the following months. But then Bill had an emergency room visit. He had ulcers that hemorrhaged. Thus his cataract surgery was delayed, for months. 

Back to "GO."  

Long story short, Bill endured went through the long procedure that is cataract surgery and recovery. Something that is in my future by the way folks.

Last week we made the final visit to Bill's eye doctor and got a prescription for his new glasses. 

We immediately went down to BJ's and ordered new glasses for Bill.

The video below shows the result.

Bill can see!!




Now just to get him used to wearing glasses. Bill is so used to not wearing glasses, he keeps taking his glasses off.  

He wants to get used to the glasses before he takes his eye test to get his driver's license. 

It's looking good folks!



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ron's Short Comings



My Nebraskan friend Randy blowing bubbles at the last Bloggerpalooza 2014

How about it folks? My last several blog posts have been so serious, with a heavy emphasis on medical.  This morning, while perusing some of my favorite bloggers I came across my dear friend Dr. Spo's recent blog post.  It was titled "Spo Short-Comings" or things he hasn't or can't do. 

We all have those lists. Here for your contemplation and amusement are some of my short comings (some of which are exact duplicates of Dr. Spo's shortcomings):

Throw a ball (football or baseball, I throw like a girl)

Whistle (it's true, gay men can't whistle)

Spell "architect" (which I had to look up just now) and other words like "occasional" - I have a mental block, all my life

Swing a baseball bat or hit a ball (yep, when I try, swing like a sissy)

Dribble a basketball (I can't run and dribble at the same time)

Run (seriously, I can't run. I can walk fast though)

Scream. Of all the things I can do like a girl, curiously I can't scream.

Experimented with drugs (does pot count?)

Had children (yes, a regret)

Have sexual relations with a woman (I tried years ago but couldn't rise to the occasion)

Run a 5K race (or 10K or any race. I can't run, remember?

I can't draw (I wish I could)

I can't play a piano (however, I can play a Sousaphone)


Ron - DHS Marching Band 1958


I can't speak a foreign language (except to greet my landscapers with an "Ola!" which never impresses them)

Drove a car in a city (like Philadelphia or Los Angeles) and I never will

Never sky dived (although given the opportunity many years ago, I chickened out)

Never been off continental North America (only foreign country Canada)

Never changed a flat tire (which I am very ashamed to admit)

Never wrote my autobiography (not too late but I keep putting it off, unsure whether or not to include ALL the salacious details)

Never waterskied (tried once and almost drowned, swallowing massive amounts of water much to the amusement of my friends in the speedboat dragging me mouth opening the water)


My friends waterskiing - this is the boat where I almost drowned because I couldn't' get up on the water ski's, they could! (1958)


There are many more shortcomings of yours truly but I like to keep my blog postings short because I know my blog readers have other things to do today!












Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Results of Bill's Latest Doctor's Visit



Good news, Bill doesn't have an infection in his legs. 

That was the good news. Also good news was that we were able to get into the VA system after having called yesterday.  In the past, our wait would have been a good two to four weeks, if that.
Now we have instructions to call a Nurse number. I explained Bill's situation to the nurse yesterday and she put us on what is called a "Rapid Response Team."  It worked.

We had an appointment at 8:00 am this morning at the VA Outpatient clinic. They couldn't take us. Too busy.  They asked if we could stay until 9:30 am, in case that person didn't show up.  We stayed another hour and a half. The patient showed up who had the 9:30 am appointment. 

They asked us if we could come back at 1:00 pm.  Well, we could. Bill had to get his leg looked after. 

We drove the twelve miles back home. 

We returned at 12:30 am. We always show up early for our appointments.

The doctor saw us at 1:15 pm.  She looked at Bill's legs and determined that he had chronic swelling of his legs.  Her advice was to keep his legs raised as much as possible. I asked why his legs were so red and swollen. She said probably the after effects of the IV Bill received during his endoscopy last week. She gave us a prescription to help remove the water accumulated in Bill's legs.

She took a look at the gash in Bill's right leg. She and the nurse cleaned the wound and applied a gauze bandage. 

Thank goodness we got this resolved. We were both concerned that Bill had a serious infection.  

Another day in the life folks.

More Doctors' Visits

Bill's legs, look better than they actually look in person


Bill and I just returned from the Georgetown VA Outpatient Clinic.  We had a Rapid Access appointment this morning to check why Bill's lower legs are red and purple and swollen. 

Bill sustained a deep gash on his left leg after his endoscopy procedure on July 17th. The hospital said they "didn't do it" but I suspect otherwise. How can I prove it? 

We were hoping the wound would heal it self but alas, it is still draining and Bill's leg looks terrible.

Bill says his leg doesn't hurt (unlike mine which are hurting right now and most of the day) but his legs look terrible. 

As you know Bill's medical care is total VA and you all know how burdensome that can be. But I have to give the VA credit for allowing us to see someone about Bill's condition today.

This morning we had an appointment at 8:30 am. The nurse saw us but Bill's doctor was unable to see us this morning. The nurse asked us if we could stay around until 9:30 in case the doctor's appointment didn't show up.  Alas, the 9:30 appointment showed up.

She then asked us if we could come back today at 1:00 pm.  Of course we can, Bill's legs have to be looked after.  I'm relieved that someone is looking at Bill's legs.  I'm also relieved that we could get in so soon at the VA Outpatient clinic. This is something that wasn't possible just a few months ago.  Dare I say it?  I think Trump is the difference. All I know is that before Trump it would have been months before we could see anyone at the VA.  Now it's one day, even though our appointment has been delayed a few hours. At least someone is seeing us and they seem to care.

And yes, I have another day lost doing my caregiver duties. I got to work tomorrow at the hotel, yet again filling in for a co-worker.  Then my regular shift on Thursday. Maybe I'll be lucky and have the weekend off from caregiver duties and hotel front desk duties.  That would be nice to have some time to myself.  And folks, if you're wondering why I'm not making my regular visits to my favorite blogs, this is why. 

As the new description on my blog says, we're at this time of our life when we're facing multiple medical challenges. 

Again, bring up Bette:




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Free Grocery Winner!

My "win" this morning. I'll take it!

This morning as I was checking at our favorite local supermarket, my bill came up zero.

The elderly lady was a new checker. She thought she made a mistake. I had already inserted my credit card in the chip receiving device, waiting to see the "OK" I could touch screen.  

She called the manager, thinking he had done something wrong. The manager came and looked at the above screed and said "Oh, there is nothing wrong.  You won free groceries today."  

Hey, I'm a winner!  How about that?  

Always nice to win.


During the unexpected mini celebration of my win I noticed the customer behind me.  His downcast fast said it all.  I said to him "You missed it by one."  He looked up at me and said "Hey, that's the story of my life."  

My happy win this morning reminds me of this Spy TV joke that ran a few years ago.


Only difference is that I didn't win a million dollars and my win wasn't a joke. But to the guy behind me this morning, he wasn't happy. But I am! Wha a nice way to start the day.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

One More Doctors' Appointment - Today


Bill after his endoscopy - "Get me out of here!"

Well, Bill's endoscopy went well. 

Thank goodness!

Bill's doctor (who is fabulous) stuck a tube with a camera down his throat and checked his healing ulcers. The good news is that Bill's ulcers are healing well.  

Thank goodness!

Today I take Bill for his last visit to his eye doctor who performed his cataract surgery. Today Bill gets his prescription for new glasses. 

Thank goodness!

Finally, Bill can now take his eye test at the Delaware DMV so he can get his license back.

And oh, one more thing, remember how I said I was look at a doctor free month for August?  Dash that reality. My cardiologist scheduled an ultra sound for next month.  That's where they grease up your stomach (cold grease by the way) and take a picture of the goings on down there. 

And, I have my annual dermatology appointment next month, which I had forgotten.  I have a few spots on my skin that my dermatologist has to check out. 

And the beat goes on.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ready For a Week of Medical Appointments



We're ready for a week of medical appointments. 

Tomorrow at 2:30 PM (the latest time change after four previous time changes) Bill is scheduled for an endoscopy at our local hospital.  This a result of Bill's medical emergency last November 29th when I found him lying at the bottom of the cellar stairs coughing up blood from his ruptured ulcers.
Bill will be put under anesthesia for this procedure and you can be sure I'll stick around the hospital waiting room until he recovers.  I don't want a repeat of the last time he came out of anesthesia (from his cataract surgery) and I wasn't around. Remember that story? I went to do some errands, waiting for a call to come and pick him up, a call I never got because my iPhone message box was full. God, I don't want a repeat of that goof on my part.

Tuesday I have a six month followup appointment with my cardiologist. I have an extra heartbeat. We're monitoring it. I've already undergone all the test (treadmill and ultra sound) and I know what condition I'm in. My extra heartbeat is a result of a defective valve that is wearing out after seventy-five years of constant beating. I'm taking medication to lower my cholesterol but other than that, I'm not doing anything special about my extra heartbeat. I'm certainly not having a valve replacement, pig or otherwise. When my time comes, I'm ready.  Hopefully it will be quick and painless and not a stroke that paralyzes me and leaves me brain dead.  Not nice things to think about but all possibilities. When I go I want to go like my cousin Randy, I go to sleep one night and don't wake up the next morning.

Thursday we have our final appointment with Bill's cataract surgery eye doctor. We have two more days of eye drops to add to Bill's eye, which Bill is eagerly looking forward to ending. Thank goodness he only has two eyes. At this appointment Bill's doctor will check to make sure Bill eye is healed completely then give him an eye exam so Bill can get glasses. Once Bill gets the glasses he can retake his eye exam at the Delaware DMV and hopefully get his driver's license back. Bill lost his license last June because he didn't pass the eye test.

After these doctors' appointments this week we're looking at the WHOLE month of August without ANY appointments. Hard to believe a whole month without any appointments.  I doubt if we can get through the whole month without some kind of medical situation.  I'll believe it when we actually go through the whole month of August like normal people. That would be nice.





Friday, July 14, 2017

Medical Appointments Last Minute Changes, Incredible!



Bill is scheduled for an endoscopy. Originally the date was next Wednesday, July 19th at 8:00 am.


Last week I got a call changing the date to Monday, July 17th 8:30 am. 

These were messages left for me on my voicemail. 

I was to receive a call telling me of the exact time to be at the surgery center. I didn't get that call. I called this morning and there was confusion as to if I'm to be there on Wednesday or Monday.

I got a call later this morning stating the time WAS  Monday at 8:30 am. 

So when I took my daily afternoon nap, I turned off my iPhone, secure in the knowledge that this was a settled time. And oh by the way, I'm scheduled to work at the hotel next Monday on the 17th at 3 pm. So the 8:30 am time works for me.

But not so fast Fredo.

Fredo Corleone

I wake up from my nap today at 4:57 am and see I have a message to "call immediately doctor's office for an important message."

I call but of course I'm too late because their office is closed. I leave a message with their answering service and also with the doctor, who is very nice by the way.

Then while I'm outside in this brutal, oppressive, heat and humidity collecting Japanese beetles I get a call on my iPhone. Now the time has changed to 9:45 am.  Uh, okay. I can still manage that.  

Then I get a call from the doctor. He doesn't know about the time changes. Now I feel guilty for bothering him with something that is clearly a function of his staff. He probably thought Bill was having a swallowing problem. Well, one good thing, I now know I can get hold of the doctor.  That's good to know.  As I said earlier in this post, I like this doctor. 

Now get this.  I get ANOHTER call from the scheduling staff.  They want to change Bill's procedure to 2:30 pm.  Man oh man.  Can you say "Keystone Kops"? 

Not only are all these changes very disruptive and chaotic, Bill has an anxiety problem. Bill doesn't like change.  This is another responsibility I have as Bill's caregiver. I have to keep things as calm as possible. Good thing I'm here to take the flak. Bill would just cancel the appointments altogether. In fact that's what he wanted to do.  But I don't want to see Bill sprawled out on the floor in a pool of blood like I did last November 29th when his ulcer's ruptured and he had to be taken to the emergency room at the local hospital.

Now just to add icing to the cake I have an appointment next Tuesday with my cardiologist.  And Bill has an appointment next Thursday with his eye doctor as the final follow-up for his cataract surgery.  




I tell you folks, it's a challenge being old and keeping it together.  I'm just glad I'm here so I can take care of these things for Bill. If I wasn't here I don't know how these things would be handled. Bill can't keep these things straight. And to be very frank, I'm starting to have a hard time keeping everything straight and organized myself. 

If I ever reach Bill's age (88, which I seriously doubt) I wonder who will watch out for me. Yes, I wonder. Well, I can't worry about that now.

Now if this heat and humidity will just break. I feel like having a big piece of chocolate fudge cake.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Another Day, Another Doctor's Visit



Today we visited the Georgetown VA Outpatient Clinic for Bill's dermatology appointment. He has a growth on his right arm and some suspicious spots on his face. "Lois" took pictures and will send them to the Wilmington VAMC for their dermatology department to examine. 

Another day, another doctor's appointment.

I used to tease my Mother years ago when her weekly schedule revolved around doctors' appointment. I remember what she told me:
"You just wait, you'll get your turn."  

Well, my turn has come as well as Bill's turn.

Next Monday Bill is scheduled for an endoscopy by his gastroenterologist. That means he undergoes anesthesia . . . . again. 

Tuesday I have my once postponed appointment with my cardiologist. My previous appointment I had to cancel because it conflicted with one of Bill's doctors' appointments.  

Thursday we see Bill's eye doctor for he final followup to Bill's cataract surgery and eye examination for his new glasses. 

Now, I've checked the calendar for the rest of the month and I don't see any doctors' appointments. And get this, I checked next month, August, and there is NOTHING.  Hard to believe. Wouldn't it be great if we could go one whole month without any doctors' appointments. Here's hoping. 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What a Day!



Retirement isn't what you think it is. Take today for instance.

First up was my 3,000 mile oil change for my red 2010 Subaru Forester.

Then a stop at Ace Hardware to return rope lights that we way too bright for the soffit in out kitchen. 

Then after that a trip down Rt. 113 to the Delaware DMV to get my car inspected and renew my registration.  

Then to my barber (Hyatt) to give her and install the other box of rope lights to put around her step up to the barber chairs. She moved to a new location that there is a step up that us old men are bound to trip over when approaching the barber chair. That little job took over an hour and left me soaked in sweat on this very hot and humid day here in southern Delaware.

Then back home, soaked, to pick off the latest batch of Japanese Beetles to put in a jar of soapy water to die.  Yes, this is that time of year when the Japanese beetles attack and devour my roses and Crepe Myrtle trees. 

After installing those rope lights at my barber's shop, I took advantage of being in Lewes and made the rounds of some restaurants to collect their menus for our front desk at the hotel. I also stopped by the excellent Mexican restaurant Agave and got some of their fabulous pico gallo salad. Yum!


Whose says retirement is boring?

Tomorrow I take Bill for his dermatology appointment at the Georgetown VA. 

I'm looking forward to some coasting time. And to some days when the temperature isn't in the humid 90's. I can't breath in this kind of weather folks. 

It's all good folks. I'm basically healthy and for that I am thankful.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Friends

Michael with me (what big feet you have Ron) , Pat, Someone and Larry and Tim in Palm Springs this past February for Michael & David's marriage. We're at the top of San Jacinto mountain.

Yesterday was the 55th birthday of my good friend Michael, aka "Dr. Spo."  


Michael taking an important phone call, even on top of Mt. Jacinto

I wish him a very happy birthday via birthday card and Facebook posting.  

I would give him a big birthday hug and kiss if he lived nearby but alas, Michael lives in Phoenix, Arizona, many miles from our little seaside hamlet here on the coastal shore of Delaware.

I met Dr. Spo through the Internet.  That is I saw his picture on a blog roll of my late dear friend Wayne "The Cajun" Juneau.  I was immediately attracted to Dr. Spo because of his classic handsome features and that dark beard. I've always been a sucker for beards, no pun intended. 

When the Internet first became popular, I heard of people meeting "friends" through the Internet. But I have to tell you I was mighty suspicious. Sounded specious to me.  Not quite right. How wrong I was.

But I have to tell you folks, even though I wasn't seeking friends through the Internet (and I really wasn't although at one time I did but that's a story for a later and much longer blog post), I have met some of the nicest people through the Internet.  Not many but the ones I have met, really nice people. 






Of course the best example of that is my friendship with Pat, my best friend Canadian "Eh?" Travel Buddy from Toronto.  We met through the Internet, a story which I have told several times (perhaps too many) through this blog.


David and Pat in Palm Springs, California - two friends met through the Internet

But back to Dr. Spo (Michael).  

It was my great privilege this year to be invited to his wedding to his longtime partner "Someone", aka David.  They were married in Palm Springs this past February.

The newlyweds, David and Michael - Palm Springs, California 2017


 Pat and I visit Los Angeles, California every cold January or February.  This year we made a side trip to Palm Springs to witness the marriage of these two fine men, along with a few other of Michael's friends whose friendships he developed through the Internet.




Of course I fell in love with Palm Springs, this being my first visit (but it won't be my last).  What a privilege it was to be invited to this marriage ceremony.  And it was lovely, that I can tell you!

So today I wish a very happy birthday to my good friend Dr. Spo (even though his birthday was actually yesterday).

Happy birthday Dr. Spo and thank you for enriching my life with your friendship.


Me, Dr. Spo and David - first meeting



Thursday, July 06, 2017

Wonderful Discovery!




This morning I made a wonderful discovery.

For several years now I have been putting off updating my will.  

Over the years I have had more will made up that I can remember. Life circumstance change which require updates to my will (and Bill's). 

Right now if I die everything goes to Bill. If he dies then everything goes to me. But Bill has nothing except a small bank account. Many, many years ago we decided to put everything in my name for protection from those family members who didn't approve of our relationship.  Those family members who viewed our relationship (53 years now) as "not quite legit."  Well, of course now we are legit after having become officially married July 3, 2013.  

However, if I am the sole survivor of our relationship I have previously made a will leaving everything to my brothers' children (twenty) by percentages. I had also named my brother and his wife executors. Both have to change. I now have two grand-grand nieces (man I am old) and, since I am estranged from my brother, I need a new executors.  Plus I have some special instructions for the disposition of our remains and other special instructions that maybe only a gay lawyer would understand and be sympathetic to.  

Times have changed. Now that Bill and I are officially married I have to change our wills to reflect that fact.  Also, I have decided to change the percentages to fixed amounts.  That will make it a lot easier for the executor of my estate.  I should know, in my previous life I work in bank trust operations.  One of my jobs was a manager of the remittance unit for trust and estate executor accounts.  Fixed amounts are much easier and don't care as much family angst.  I will leave the balance of my estate to a selected friend, who is with me at the end of my life. Also a few special bequests to those who have been kind to me during my lifetime.

My last will was prepared by an attorney in Rehoboth Beach.  He and his staff were fine but I wanted someone who I felt more comfortable with.  I've been mulling over this decision for a few years now. I keep putting off making a decision.  At one time I was going to use the law firm that Pat used for the sale of his land.  I liked them but hesitated because their law firm specializes in bill collecting.  That just didn't seem like a good fit to me.

The good news is yesterday I found the answer to my dilemma quite by accident. 

I was checking the obituaries in the local newspaper and found "Tipton" in the obits.  Finding someone with my surname is quite unusual for this area.  Not too many Tiptons in Delaware.  I knew there was one in Lewes but I never contacted her.  Most Tiptons I contact aren't interested in sharing our common family tree even though we're all related.  I've always been able to find the connection from or original ancestor Jonathan Tipton who arrived in this country in 1692 from Port Royale, Jamaica after their big earthquake destroyed his barrel stave making business.  Yes, my ancestor made barrels to store Jamaican rum.  He was part of Venables' Force who colonized Jamaica after defeating the Spanish in 1655. 

While reading the obituary of my distant Tipton relative yesterday I noted that one of his surviving sons was "Michael and his husband Eric of Rehoboth."  Say what?  There is another same sex Tipton couple in the area?  Wow.

So this morning I did a Google search and I find that Michael is an attorney who specializes in elder law and wills and estates.  Say what?  

Even better!  I check his website and I find he's a Bear.  Most of you don't know what a "Bear" is.  I do.  And most gay guys do.  



I put a call in and left a message for him to call me back.  

I have a will that needs updating.  


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Fourth of July 2017 Musings

Brother John Fourth of July 1954 Downingtown, PA

Happy Fourth of July to all my friends and blog readers!

This morning I was wondering what kind of unique photo I could post to my blog celebrating the Fourth. I could do an American flag gif.  But I've done that before.  Something different Ron.  

Then I thought it's been awhile since I've taken a trip down Memory Lane. In fact I'm long overdue to take one of those trips down Memory Lane via photos. 

This morning this photo of my youngest brother John came up on my Facebook account. Facebook has this feature that reminds me of photos I've posted in previous years. This is one of those photos that I've posted.

I remember clearly when I took this photo.  It was the summer of 1954 at our free apartment at the intersection of Boot Road and Chestnut Street in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The previous Christmas I had received my very first camera, a Kodak camera.

This is not my actual personal camera but the type that I had that I took my first black and white photos with in the Fifties - Oh I LOVED that camera!


Yes folks, even way back in 1954 I enjoyed taking photos. However, back in those olden times I could only take eight black and white photos at a time and would have to wait a week to ten days before they were developed.  Imagine the thousands of photos I would have if I had an iPhone back then!  But I didn't but I did take a fare amount of photos which was pretty good for a paper boy who only made $5.00 a week delivering papers.  And I spent most of my money on candy and comic books. It's a wonder I had any money left to pay to have those film rolls developed. 

One of the goals I had when I retired was to digitalize all my old photos. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't been that successful in achieving that goal. I think I've only digitalized about 15 to 20% of my old photos. Time to get to work Ron.

Folks, I have to tell you as each day goes by it seems that I fall further behind in achieving goals that I have set for myself. In fact I'm having trouble just keeping up with daily chores. I guess I should worry but I'm not. I just focus on what is important and that is keeping the bills paid, and taking care of Bill. I guess you could say my main responsibility now is "Taking care of Bill and bills."  At least I've been keeping up with my blog which is a major achievement for me.



Happy Fourth everyone!


Monday, July 03, 2017

Happy Anniversary!

Bill and I taking wedding vows four years ago today!

Hard to believe that four years has passed already since our official marriage four years ago!  

Forty-nine years is a long time to wait, finally we get married.

Yes, four years ago Bill and I were officially married at the Georgetown, Delaware Sussex County Courthouse. 

Bill and me outside the Sussex County Courthouse after getting married

We chose that date, July 3rd, because on that date we met forty-nine years ago. Coincidentally, July 1st was the first day same sex marriages were legal in Delaware.  

Our witnesses, our good friends Judy and Jack Dawson

No family attended our wedding ceremony.  Bill's family cut him off about a year before I met him after they discovered he was gay.  Bill has seen none of his family since then.  The break occurred when Bill was at his mother's funeral and one of his sister confronted him with "We know about you!"  This was back in the Dark Ages when being identified as gay labeled one as sick and "less than". Also, Bill's family is from the South (Georgia). Unfortunately many in the South still have the same opinion of gay people.  I have experienced this first hand when researching my family tree (my father was from North Carolina) and was discounted and banned from contact with different family members.


My family never approved of my relationship with Bill but "accepted" it as long as our gayness wasn't mentioned.  "Don't ask, don't tell."  Well, by getting publicly married we broke that unwritten rule in my family and I haven't heard from my family since. Apparently Bill was all right as long as he was my "friend" but when we came out publicly it was too much for them to accept. Of course I am saddened by the estrangement of my two brothers and their families but you know folks, I live my life and they live theirs.  I can't and will not live my life they way they want me too.  Accept me (and Bill) as I am or not at all.  

That said, and I apologize for the negativity of this post, Bill and I are very happy. Meeting and living with Bill the past fifty-three years of my life is the best thing in my life. I would not be where I am today if not for Bill. 

Bill taking charge again
Thank you Bill for giving me such a happy and secure life. 

On to sixty years now!

I hope we have many more years together

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Giant Rubber Duck


Yesterday was Canada Day in Canada (of course it was in Canada).  Redundant Ron.

My Travel Buddy Pat of Toronto ventured out yesterday in search of the world's largest rubber duck in the Toronto harbor. More accurately on Lake Ontario.  He didn't find it.  

Pat took a tour of a Canadian battleship (first I knew there was such a thing) yesterday looking for this seven story rubber duck. Couldn't find it.




He told me there was some controversy over the duck. Specifically the Canadian government spending $120,000 to rent the duck.  You know what I say?  Really?  

In this world where suicide bombers back their bomb vests with bolts and nails to maximize injury and death.  In this world where jihadists mow down unsuspecting tourists with rented trucks.   And in this world where this country (the United States of America) are enduring the nightmare of the Trump presidency, why not a little frivolity?  In fact, it is necessary to remind us all that we are basically nice people who just want a peaceful life and a few smiles. What's wrong with that?  

My question is:  When is that rubber duck coming down here to the good old U.S.A?  We could use some smiles.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Favorite Commercial




As some of my regular followers might know, I follow commercials. Yes, I am a frustrated marketing guy.  

In college, I majored in marketing.  If I had a little more courage, I would have quit my secure banking job and went into marketing after I completed my four year, GI Bill funded, nighttime (after working at the bank) college course.  But alas I didn't, so I am reduced to monitoring commercials (and ads in magazines and highway billboards) and passing judgement. 

So what do I think of commercials and magazine ads?  Most of them are terrible. Atrocious. Magazines have too many ads and TV commercials are often reduced to stupid white men and crying babies. Not much original. 

But every now and then one comes along that is almost near perfect. In fact, this E*Trade commercial I've lead this post with is perfect in my opinion.  

Hey, everyone can identify with what a horrible experience "Flying the friendly skies" is now.  You consider yourself lucky if  you're not dragged off the plane, bloodied and unconscious if you dare not to give up your seat (that you paid for) to an airline employee who needs to bump you so THEY can make their next flight. "Screw you" the airlines all too often seem to say by their actions.

And who hasn't flown a flight with the crying, whining baby (who flies for FREE by the way) to accompany you on your hours long flight?  And if you're really lucky, you'll have someone recline their seat in front of you to further cramps your already limited leg room.  And how about the freckle faced red headed kid kicking his tray on the back of your seat?  Ah yes, we've ALL been there. 

Full disclosure here, I have stock in E*Trade.  I've had it for years (21 to be exact).  I've lost a lot of money in my decades long holding of E*Trade stock. Just the last year or so I've come up even. 

I've never liked E*Trade's commercials.  The last several years their commercials have been nothing but exercises in vanity for the actor Kevin Spacey.  I like Kevin Spacey as an actor but man Kevin, your E*Trade commercials were awful.  I'm glad someone at E*Trade finally wised up and dumped that ad agency.  Go feed your ego somewhere else Kevin, along with Matthew McConaughey, who HAS to be the most self-involved vain actor in commercials these days.  I literally cannot watch his commercials, he's so full of himself.  You're not all that Matthew.  Really, get a life.

Thus it was a very pleasant surprise to see this latest E*Trade commercial that is succinct, to the point and one that actually causes you to remember the product advertised.  And isn't that the purpose of a commercial after all? To make you want to buy the product? 

How many commercials have you seen that you don't even know what is advertised?  I've seen plenty, too many. But this one is good. Almost as good as that Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" commercial.