Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Tonight the gremlins and ghouls will roam the quiet streets of our neighborhood. We'll leave our lights off.  The little beggars will have to take their trick or treat threats to our neighbors.

I guess I sound like a one of those "bah humbug!" old men.  Well, I am an old man. But I have nothing against Halloween. I'm just not in the mood to station myself next to our front door waiting for strangers to knock on our door for their Halloween treats.  

There aren't too many kids in the neighborhood.  In fact the only children I know of are the two little girls next door who we rarely see. Then there's a little boy down the street.  He's about twelve years old now and probably too old to do the Halloween thing. The rest of our neighborhood are mostly retirees or second home folks who aren't even here.  

Halloween is the beginning of "The Holidays".  Before you know it, Thanksgiving is here.  No, we don't have anything planned for Thanksgiving either.  I'll be working at the hotel Thanksgiving like I have in years past.  However, I won't be working Christmas this year for the first time in many years.  I don't mind working Christmas Day and I do get paid double time but I think it would be nice to have Christmas Day off for once.

For those of you who are celebrating Halloween, I wish you a very happy Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

One Week To Go!

This time next week I will have cast my vote in the mid-term elections.  Here in southern Delaware, we're pretty much progressive (Democratic). There are pockets of Trumpism, in fact more than a few pockets but Delaware is pretty safe for Democratic control of Congress.  

What is going to be interesting is the results of the nationwide voting. I say without exaggeration this is the most important election of my lifetime. 

When I was a kid, my biggest worry was an atom bomb dropping on us, incinerating me out of existence.  Hiding under my wooden desk with the metal legs bolted to the floor wasn't going to save me from the thermal blast of an atom bomb. Even my little seven year old brain figured that out.

Growing up, my next big worry was being sent to a senseless war (Viet Nam) and dying in a steamy rice paddy.  Thankfully that didn't happen during my three year tour of duty in the Army. Yes, I was very lucky.  Many were not.

Now I have a new worry, the biggest worry is the loss of our democracy in this age of Trump.  Trump is who he is, my shock is the Republican enablers in Congress.  They are traitors and cowards in my humble opinion.  They scare me to death.  

Hopefully this time next week, after the mid-term elections our country will be on a new course.  In the meantime, have a happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2018


Halloween is only a few days away.  This year like last year I won't be participating in Halloween. 

That's right, no candy for the kiddies.  No costumes for me.  Not that I wouldn't like to participate, I do.  But this year, as in years past I haven't been invited to any Halloween parties. Oh I know, poor me.  Actually, I'm just too old and too busy and too tied to my regular routine.  

When I was a kid I used to eagerly look forward to Halloween and the whole trick or treat tradition. I was lucky in that I lived in a small town with a lovely street (Washington Avenue) with family homes ideal for trick or treating.  

At that time in my life my family lived in a second floor apartment on Washington Avenue.  This was the Fifties.  When we begged for candy, it meant something because we were POOR.  Yes, really poor so any candy we got was appreciated. 

Now you probably will find this hard to believe, knowing how butch I am now but when I was a little kid I used to love Halloween because I got a chance to dress up in a dress.  My ideal dress was a Scarlett O'Hara type ball gown.  Oh yes, that was little femme "Ronnie", gay when I didn't even know what gay meant.  Thankfully that period of my life didn't last too long, the wanting to wear women's clothes not that there is anything wrong with that.  But folks, that's not me,  I prefer Wranglers.  I like being a male and all things male. I can appreciate the beauty of women and their clothes, remember I wanted to be a fashion designer.  But the life of a drag queen wasn't for me.  

So this year at Halloween I will just be an observer. If some of  you are participating, I wish you all a fabulous Halloween celebration. Watch out for werewolf and ghouls.  And especially watch out for the one monster that scares me to this day, Frankenstein's monster.  Man, I've never gotten over that one.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Flu Shot

Ron gets his flu shot

Bill and I got our annual flu shots this morning. 

Normally we get our flu shots at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown. However, this year when we were there yesterday (for my semi-annual labs), we were informed that they were out of flu vaccine. We were informed that we could get our flu shots at Walgreens, free of charge.  All we had to do was show our VA ID card.  Thus this morning we presented ourselves at the 9 am opening of the pharmacy section of Walgreens. The procedure was a little more laborious with all the forms and identification we had to complete but we got our flu shots. Maybe next year, if we get our flu shots at the same place, we won't have to go through all the paperwork that we had to go through this morning.

When it came time to get our flu shots, that went well.  "Jessica" administered the flu shot needles to both me.  We didn't feel a thing.  Thanks Jessica!

Now, I know some of you reading this blog don't believe in flu shots. Well, I can tell you this, since I've been getting flu shots I haven't had the flu.  I've had the flu in the past and believe you me, I don't want to go through that experience again.  In fact the last time I got the flu I thought I was going to die.  For the first time in my life I actually went to a doctor for a cold. I think I had the flu, maybe I just had a bad cold.  What I did know was that I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I wouldn't wake up.  My lungs were filling up.  The doctor told me it was a good thing I went to her, because my one lung was about half full.  Come to think of it, that's not the flu is it?  

So how do I feel now, fourteen hours after I had my flu shot?  Well, I feel wiped out.  Hope this isn't the flu.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

MegaMillions Won!

No, I didn't win the Megamillions 1.6 billion dollars. However, someone did win. The winning ticket was sold in South Carolina. I immediately thought of my brother and his family.  He has two daughters and seven grandchildren. Gee, I hadn't thought of that possibility! 

What I was going to do if I won was set up a million dollar trust fund for each them. I never considered the possibility that one of them could win. Would they set up a trust fund for me?  I doubt it.  Not to sound too cynical but why would they?  

My next thought was a sense of sorrow for the person or persons who won all that money.  Their whole life would be changed, forever.  How could they ever be normal again with all that money?  One person or family can only spend so much money.  1.6 billion is too much money, really.

This has caused me to rethink me buying any future lottery tickets.  I've decided this is the last big money lottery ticket I will buy.  I have one more ticket to check, a Powerball ticket that is worth over 620 million dollars. That drawing is this Thursday. Like all my other lottery tickets, I'll be lucky if I can even match one number.  I'm done with this fantasy that I would ever win.  Sure, I would like half a million dollars to play around with but as I've said in my previous posting, I have a great life right now.  I have everything I need.  Talking to my friend Larry on FaceTime this morning (we're both the same age, 77), I told him the only thing I would like to have is my youth back.  I would like to get up on the morning and not ache all over (arthritis).  I would like my left leg not to be pins and needles as a result of my accident three years ago where I tore my quadricep muscle.  I would like to have my dark beard back.  I would like to have my flat stomach back and get rid of my "pot" and love handles.  Where did they come from anyway since I weigh the same?  I would like to see that young face of mine in by bathroom mirror in the morning instead of that old man with the grizzled face road mapped with wrinkles.  Now that is a fantasy folks. Forget winning the billion dollar lottery.  It ain't going to happen.  I wish the person who won the lottery a happy life.  If his or her life can be as happy as my life is now, they have truly won life's lottery.

Note: Photo was taken this morning of my friend Lar on FaceTime with his daughter's cat Giselle and her new couch

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Homeowners' Association Meeting

Yesterday I attended the annual Homeowners' Association Meeting of the community where I live. 

The meeting was held at the home of one of the board members. 

We have fifty-seven homes in our community which is called Covington Chase. 

Most of the homes and neighbors in our community are very nice.  However, in every neighborhood there are a few spoilers.  We have two of them. I won't mention names but the way they keep up or don't keep up their homes is a detriment to our community.  We tried to address that problem yesterday without much success.

I used to be on the board but I don't want that pressure.  Maybe if I was younger, I would take on that responsibility.  However, I still feel guilty that I don't do more for our community.

We also have a problem that so few members of our community will serve on the board or as officers.  I appreciate those who do serve.  They're all fine folks; Marty, Wes, Linda and Joe.  Another neighbor volunteered to become a member of the board yesterday, thanks Bev!

Our HOA fees are very low, $300 a year.  Compare that with the $420 A MONTH that Pat has to pay for his small condo in Palm Springs.  

One of our neighbors who lives next to one of the spoilers complained bitterly yesterday that the board isn't doing anything about his neighbor who have multiple vehicles parked in front of his house and an algae infested pool in the back of his house.  I feel bad for that neighbor the one who is complaining.  I know what it is like to have bad neighbors. When Bill and I lived in Pennsylvania we had a terrible neighbor.  Not only was the wife very homophobic (probably because her brother was a swishy gay) but they were loud.  On any given day two to four ATV's would roar around their two acres of land. Every day in the summertime her little girl (Stephanie) would scream that Little Girl Piercing Scream ALL DAY while she frolicked in their backyard pool.  Then almost every weekend they had parties, sometimes past midnight.  I had to call the township police when to put an end to their toga party that was especially boisterous. Thank God we don't have THOSE kind of neighbors here.  We're very lucky that we have delightful neighbors on BOTH sides of us.  Couldn't ask for better neighbors which is very unusual because the couple who live in the house to our right are Trumpsters. But they like us in spite of the fact they know we hate and despise Trump and all that he stands for.

At yesterday's meeting I introduced myself to some of my neighbors who I never met before.  I enjoy these get togethers.  However I wish more neighbors who attend our Homeowners' Meetings. 

Living in a neighborhood like this was one of my goals when I moved to southern Delaware. That goal has been realized folks.  I will die here.  Oh sure, I will still visit Canada, Philadelphia and California every year but here in southern Delaware is where I will end my days.  

Friday, October 19, 2018

Megamillions Lottery Jackpot

The Megamillions lottery jackpot is estimated to be one billion dollars.  That's right - ONE BILLION DOLLARS!

The cash payout would be 565 million.  Oh yes, winning that amount of money would change one's life.

Wednesday I purchased five Megamillions lottery tickets. This is the first time I've purchased a Megamillions lottery ticket. In the past I've purchased the Powerball tickets.  

I don't play regularly anymore.  I did when I first moved to Delaware and was carrying a $100,000 mortgage on our house. A thirty year mortgage that would be paid off until I was ninety five years old.  Then I was buying six tickets a week.  Most I ever won was $7.00.  I still have that five inch stack of lottery tickets downstairs in my storage room just in case I win a lottery.  I keep them as a reminder of the folly of purchasing lottery tickets.

But I have to tell you folks, the chance of winning a half a billion dollars was just too much to pass up.  Not that I need the money, I don't.  An inheritance from my Mother paid off my mortgage.  I have everything I need, except maybe youth but I have everything else.  

I have all the toys I need.  I have loving and loved partner of fifty-four years, my Bill.  I have a loving friend that I've looked for all my life, Pat.  I have a great job to help pay for the extras like trips and more Apple toys.  I have a perfect home and a lovely yard out back that satisfies all my green thumb needs.

So what would I do if I won all that money?  Well, first I would set up million trust funds for all my immediate relatives; two brothers and twenty-two nieces and nephews (at last count, my brothers are very prolific even though I'm not at reproducing progeny).  Then I would set up million trust funds for a select group of my friends.  Yes, I would duplicate that fictional character of that Fifties TV show "The Millionaire".  Many of you are probably too young to remember the name of that millionaire so I will inform you.  His name was John Beresford Tipton.  

Yes folks, that's what I would do if I won the Megamillions lottery jackpot, I would be the new millionaire who changes people's lives for the better.  Note, no charities, individual people and trust funds, not a lump sum cash.  And oh, I would treat myself of course.  Say a nice home in West Hollywood. A getaway in Palm Springs.  And a nice condo in Hamilton, Ontario Canada where my good buddy Pat lives.  

Of course I doubt if I will win this lottery. The odds are just too great.  But what playing the lottery is all about is buying dreams.  Even though these tickets cost me $10, and I don't win, at least that $10 bought me dreams, even if for just a little while.  

But you know what folks?  I am convinced that before I check out I will win something big.  Maybe not this one, but I will win.  I have led a charmed life.  And even if I don't win one of these lotteries, I consider I've already won life's lottery with Bill and Pat in my life.  

UPDATE: I didn't win! The winning numbers were:  15 23 53 65 70  07*

The new estimated jackpot is 1.6 billion. Folks, that is TOO MUCH MONEY. I'm going to take a pass on this one, maybe.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Twenty-Five Questions About Myself

Time for a fun post. We all like questions. I chose these questions at random by a Google search. I originally answered these questions last Saturday but I had trouble posting the text to my blog. Then I got caught up in other things. You know how that goes. I finally solved my problem by going into my Word program and doing a little cutting and pasting. And wouldn't you know it, I had problems with my Word program. The one they forced me to pay $99 a year for. I hate Microsoft.  That's why I have all Apple products but Word is the best software for word processing.  I just wish they would stop sending me so many upgrades.  

Yes, I'm rambling on here.

I often talk to my longtime good friend Lar.  He of the same age as I.  We aging not so gracefully but thanks be God, we're still here.  We both would just like to go through a couple of weeks with no "bumps".  Seems to be almost impossible though.  We'll keep hoping though, won't we Lar.

So without further ado, here are my latest questions and very clever and witting answers.

Have a great day everyone!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? A hard question. There are many places in the world where I would like to go. I always thought England would be the first place but if I was given a free trip I think I would go to mainland China. Don't ask me why because my heritage certainly isn't there and I'm not attracted to Chinese men but I think China would be so interesting to visit, a complete another world. England, where my ancestry comes from (both sides of the family) would sort of being like going "home."  I would like to visit England someday though.  The only foreign country I've been in is Canada.  I haven't even visited Mexico or Prince Edward Island!
2.  You’ve been given the opportunity to give all of your money to charity. Who do you give it to? Without a doubt I would give it to one of those animal sanctuaries that actually care for animals. I would not give it to an animal charity that is top heavy with administrators who suck up most of the money. I've read about cat sanctuaries that selfless individuals have created for stay cats.  That's where my money would go to.  Not that I have anything against other well meaning charities but I wonder how much money actually sifts down to those who really need the money.
3.  When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Believe it or not I wanted to be a women's fashion designer.  From third grade on I was sketching women with gowns. I didn't follow through because I lacked self-confidence.  If I had a little more self confidence I might have been the next Versace!
4.  What is the one thing that you consider OK to lie about? I hate to lie because I'm not a good liar. But if there is one thing I consider it OK to lie about is if someone gives me some homemade food that is awful, I just can't bring myself to tell them that it is awful. I almost died once when I lied about "liking" a friend's Mom's rhubarb pie.  I barely managed to eat the one piece she gave me.  She asked me how I liked it.  I couldn't tell her that I barely got it down my throat.  I said I "liked it".  She insisted that I have a second piece. I literally couldn't finish it.  I had to take the half eaten pie to her bathroom, citing an "emergency bathroom call" and flush it down the toilet.  I was going to throw it out the second floor window to the bushes below but I was afraid she would discover it.  One of the worst experiences of my life.  The things I remember about that rhubarb pied was the granulated sugar below the bottom crust and on top of the top crust and the stringy rhubarb. God, absolutely one of the worst experiences of my life.  I should have told her that I DON'T LIKE RHUBARB.  Well, I was young (21) and foolish. That's my excuse.
5.  Do you know where your birth certificate is at this very minute? I certainly do.  It's in my safe in our basement.
6.  How do you get to work everyday? I drive my red Subaru Forester the four miles to work.
7.  What three things make you happiest right now? Bill, Pat, my home.
8.  You can either speak or hear, but not both. Which do you chose? Hear, definitely.
9.  What is your greatest strength? Determination, I rarely give up.
10.    Who — dead or alive — would you most like to meet? My paternal grandfather, he died two years before I was born. I would like to meet all of my ancestors. Maybe I will in the Afterlife, if there is one which I seriously doubt.
11.    Do you like surprises? I absolutely do not.
12.    What single thing can you not live without? My iPhone. Well, I could actually live without it but I have a hard time imagining my life without my iPhone and all the goodies it provides me to enhance my life.
13.    Where do you hope to be in five years? Right where I am now, at home here in southern Delaware sharing my life with Bill and traveling four times a years with my Canadian Travel Buddy, Pat. I have the life now that I have always sought.
14.    How do you like your eggs? Yes I do, except over easy.
15.    What did you dress up as last year for Halloween?  No. Last time I dressed up was 2013. I can't drive at night now. Would love to be invited to a Halloween party but the gay community down here is very cliquish and I am not included. Poor me.
16.    If you could legally change your name, would you do it? I have no desire to change my name, Ronald Walter Tipton. Each name has two syllables and six words each. It is a perfect name for me.  But if I would change my name it would be to Wesley Hardin. I always like the name "Wesley".  I thing an early crush I had was on a "Wesley."  Plus, "Wesley Hardin" sounds like a good western gunslinger name.  
17.    What is your greatest weakness? Naivette. My late good friend Bob McCamley told me once, "Ron, you are terminally naive."  And I am. I have tried with great effort to be cynical and hardened but at my base, I'm a sucker for the latest line.  I tend to believe that most people have good intentions. To show you how bad I am I believed Nixon until the tapes came out.  At least I'm not THAT naive anymore about politicians.
18.    Do you have an article of clothing that you would gladly wear everyday? My Eddie Bauer yellow seersucker shirt. I have literally worn it out.  And I NEVER wear out clothes but I LOVE that shirt. I can't find a replacement. I'm wearing a rag now. When I go out and people see my ragged collar and sleeves, they feel sorry for me. 
19.    What is your ideal job? My very first job, paperboy. I had that job from third grade to ninth grade, five years.  I LOVED that job. Was out in there fresh air, interacted with people while prvoviding them a good service (I am a service orientated person) and I was my own boss.  I also liked the solitary part of the job.  Didn't make much money, $5.00 a week at the most but I did like that job.  My second best job was as a Trust Operations manager at a small bank.  I ran the whole department until I got fired for being gay when a new vice president came in.  He was a homophobe and once he found out I was gay he did everything to make my life miserable. I refused to quit. He finally fired me, I sued and lost because I didn't have any "witnesses." Real life isn't like it is in the movies. There aren't always happy endings. 
20.    When you die, what do you want people to remember you for? My sense of humor. That I made them smile, made them happy.
21.    What is your favorite color? Lavender
22.    Is there anything that you pretend to enjoy, but honestly don’t? Hard to come up with something. Maybe being introduced to someone's kid who clearly doesn't want to meet me. It's their kid. I don't hate kids I really hate to be polite to a rude kid. And I find most if not all kids today are rude because when I'm introduced to them they just look at me and say nothing when I introduce myself. And I get they "He/she is shy" excuse but to me, when I was growing up and introduced to an adult I was taught to be polite and at least acknowledge them with a "Hello."  Instead I get a sullen look and then a look away.  Never a smile or a polite acknowledgement of my extended greeting. I blame the parents, not the kid. 
23.    How do you deal with conflict? Stand my ground and get though it. I try to avoid arguments, shouting doesn't do any good other than to polarize positions. I know what my beliefs and values are.  I've had seventy-six years to work on them. I'm not perfect but I am content with myself.
24.    If you could have one super power, what would it be?  That I could fly like Superman.
25.    What is your favorite thing about yourself? Hard question to answer since I am basically a humble (joke!) person. I would have to say knowing that I am on the right side of history. At this time of my life I can see so clearly now and I know that the Republican party leadership and Trump is clearly on the wrong side of history. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Quiet Night At The Hotel

Yes, I'm at work now. 

Those familiar with me know that I work two days a week at a local boutique hotel in Lewes, Delaware.  

My normal schedule is Mondays and Thursdays, 3 pm to 11 pm.  Occasionally I am asked to fill in for one of my co-workers due to illness or vacation or some special event they have in their lives. Tonight I was asked to come in because my co-worker's wife's son-in-law was found dead in his home. He wasn't ill.  His death totally unexpected. My co-worker's wife is understandably very upset. He is consoling her. 

All is eerily quiet at the hotel tonight which is unusual because we're totally booked. The hotel is full. And it is doubly unusual because there were two weddings in town today. Hotel wedding guest are notorious for high maintenance. Oh the stories I could tell.  But tonight? They must still be out partying. I only have an hour to go on my shift, hopefully they won't come barging in before I leave. My manager told me before he left he fully expects to get a call from at least one of them locking themselves out of the hotel.  We don't have a swing shifty (11 pm to 7 am) at our hotel.  Just a sign on the door to call an emergency number in case of emergency. That's not my number, it's the manager's number.

When I started in the hotel front desk business twenty years ago (1998, my how time flies), I began as a night auditor.  That's the 11 pm to 7 am shift. Man, I'm here to tell you one never gets used to that shift. You meet a lot of interesting characters during the Vampire Shift but your sleep pattern is thrown all off.  It takes a one good day to get your cicada rhythm back.  I never did get used to it.

My very first job when I got out of the Army in January of 1960 was a night auditor at the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I only had to work two to three hours there.  We (there were six of us) didn't have to work the front desk.  We worked in the basement adding up the five hotel restaurant bills and adding 20% gratuities to them.  Once we settled those columnar sheets we could leave. I got paid a big $250 a month (before taxes) for my efforts. I don't make a whole lot more now but this job pays for my quarterly excursions to Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Canada.  And I get to meet a lot of interesting people on my job.  When I worked at the Pittsburgh Hilton I literally ran into Milton Berle when I got on the elevator while he was getting off. I remember him clearly with his mouth hanging open and a wet cloth on his head keeping his slicked down hair.  He was going downstairs to put on a show. I was headed to the restaurant kitchen to get sandwiches for fellow auditors.  We got free meals.  I was elected to go because I was the New Guy.  I remember those sandwiches with the crust cut off.  Oh la la.  First time I ever had that.

I quit that job after three months. I didn't know anybody in Pittsburgh.  I only moved there because my friend Sal De Rosa lived in nearby Elizabeth, PA.  I knew Sal from my Army days at Fort Meade, Maryland.  He was in the Air Force barracks next to the Army barracks where I held sway as an assistant platoon sergeant.  Those were the butch days.

I made a decision to come out but I didn't want to do it near my home and embarrass my parents.  Remember this was in the Dark Ages just past the Fifties when being gay was illegal and you could end up in jail.  So I came out in Pittsburgh (my first gay bar entry) but I didn't know what to do. More about that whole life changing episode in my life in a another blog entry. I could write a small book on those three months I lived in Pittsburgh, trying to assimilate myself, rather unsuccessfully, into the "gay lifestyle".  
I may have declared I was gay in Pittsburgh but I left Pittsburgh a virgin.  

Now fifty-eight years later here I am on a quiet Saturday night at this very expensive fou fou hotel in Lewes Delaware reminiscing about the legend of my youth. 

The curtains are slowly drawing to a close my friends. My friend Sal of Elizabeth, PA died in 2005.  Most if not all of my good friends from those days are gone. Actually all of them are gone now, I am the only survivor. Me and Bill.  Bob, Ron, Ed and Brad and so many others. All gone.  

It's 10:30 now. Some of the hotel guests are  returning to their rooms now from their dinners and time with friends. In about fifteen minutes I will begin the automated night audit of this small hotel.  I'll leave here around 11:15 and make the four mile journey to my home north on Route One, Coastal Highway.  Once I'm home I'll call Pat on FaceTime to wish him a "goodnight", something I do every night.  Then I'll have a light snack and watch an episode or two of "Judge Judy" to destress myself from the vicissitudes of hotel work tonight. 

And that my friends is how I just killed about forty-five minutes of my shift tonight. 

Have a good night everyone!

Two Flies In My Bathroom

Every go to sleep knowing there is a fly lurking in your bedroom?  Who hasn't?  

I had the next annoying thing happen to me a few days ago.  After I took a shower I spotted two flies on the wall.  AH HA!  

I quickly got my fly swatter and after a few misses, I dispatched one fly to fly heaven.  Now where was that other fly?  I looked and looked in my bathroom, which isn't all that big, and I couldn't find it.  Okay I thought, I'll take care of that fly later.  

That afternoon, during my daily nap, I was awakened by a light feathered tickling on my nose.  Hmmmm?  I brushed it away.  I fell back asleep only to be awakened a few minutes later by the same light tickle on the side of my nose.  Uh oh, could that be the fly that escaped from my bathroom?  

Back to sleep I went only to be awakened again by those little fly feet walking right under my left eye.  AH HA!  This fly is thinking it hit the jackpot, going to lay some maggot eggs on this old man.  NOT.GOING. TO.HAPPEN.  

I went out to Bill's chair and got our fly swatter.  This was one fly that wasn't going to see another day.  

I went back to bed and pretended to sleep, luring that fly back to my old bones. Didn't take too long until I felt those feather light feet on my cheek.  I swatted the fly with my hand and I got up.  The fly landed on the mirror by my bed.  I got my fly swatter.  I took my aim and I swatted.  I.GOT.IT!  The fly was embedded on my orange fly swatter. DEAD.  

I left the fly on the fly swatter, satisfied with the proof of my kill.  I showed it to Bill but he was unimpressed.  Ah well, now I can take my naps again, minus one annoying fly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Dog Days of October - Hurricane Michael

As I write this blog Hurricane Michael is roaring through the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia leaving massive destruction in its path. 

Outside the windows of my home office the sun is shining brightly and the air is heavy with humidity. Even though the temperature is 82 degrees it feels like 95 degrees.

Halloween is two and a half weeks away and here we are slogging through another late summer like August day.  Where is fall?  Where are the crisp, brisk days of autumn with the smell of autumn leaves crackling underfoot? 

Climate change is a hoax?  I don't think so.

Trump with Homeland Security Director and FEMA Director (they look like hostages)

President Trump just had an awkward photo op in the Oval Office with the head of Homeland Security and the FEMA Director, attempting to show his concern about Hurricane Michael.  I doubt seriously Trump cares about Hurricane Michael but he knows he has to show "concern" lest he drop in the polls.  Oh, and he has another ego feeding rally in Pennsylvania later today.  That's what he's concerned about, he might miss one of his rallies. After all, that's what he lives for, feed that insatiable ego of his.  But I digress.

Trump in Oval Office during Hurricane Michael "briefing" - you can tell he's anxious to get on Air Force One and to his pep rally in Pennsylvania because "thousands of people are already in line and we don't want to disappoint them"

Tomorrow morning we have the rug cleaning people coming in to clean the high traffic areas of our rugs.  This is the first time I've done this.  I didn't tell Bill, he would get whacked out.  He doesn't like people coming into the house.  I'll spring this on him tomorrow morning. Those rugs need cleaned.

Sunday Ferdinand Hernandez and his wife come by to trim my twenty-one holly trees.  That's a twice a year expense that I probably shouldn't have had I not accepted those holly saplings my neighbor's mother offered to me ten years go. Little did I know those holly trees would grow so big.  I should have planted trees that didn't need twice a year trimming.

Just check the stock market, the Dow is down 831 points!  Guess Trump won't be bragging about how HE improved the stock market at his pep rally in Pennsylvania.  

His Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice and is now hearing cases.  Nice job Republicans who put an accused sex abuser who displayed a total lack of judicial temperament during his hearings to the Supreme Court.  You don't believe the woman, Dr. Ford who accused Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her.  What gets me, even if they didn't believe the woman, what about Kavanaugh's injudicious rage and disrespect to sitting Senators who were questioning him during his hearings?  Is that the way a future Supreme Court Justice should behave?  Certainly not but the Good Old Boy network is still in power.  But maybe not for long, only three weeks to November 6th.

November is coming.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Driving Bill

After yesterday's political rant posting about Kavanaugh being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, I am providing a palate cleanser.  

I don't like to posts political rants to my blog but I just had to get my disappointment and frustration out of my system.I had to fight off the urge to post today about those two phonies Senators Flake and Collins but I will spare the readers of my blog. Instead I'm going to post about something that is good.

Almost every day I take Bill out for a ride. Bill still has his driver's license but he doesn't feel comfortable driving now at his age.  For the past year or so I do all the driving for us. In an emergency Bill could still drive, but he prefers me to drive. And I don't mind driving. 

For the first thirty years of our domesticity Bill did all the driving. I had a driver's license but I didn't drive.  I didn't get my own car and drive until we moved out of Philadelphia to the suburb town of Downingtown, PA in 1980.  Then I only drove to work, the grocery store and garden centers.  

Gradually I increased my range of driving to visit my good friend Bob McCamley in Georgetown, Delaware.  I never have driven in a city, like Philadelphia and I never will. That's why I pay a neighbor to taxi me to the Philadelphia airport and my friend Don McKenzie's co-op for me and Pat's twice a year visit to Philadelphia.

Since moving to Delaware in 2007 I gradually took over most of the driving. About eight years ago Bill gave up his Jeep Cherokee and we used my car all the time.  Bill occasionally drove but I did most of the driving. Now I do all the driving.

Every day I try to take Bill out for a ride.  Usually it's too the local Food Lion for food shopping.  About every two weeks we make the twenty mile trip to Millsboro to B.J.s Wholesale store. That's always a special trip that Bill looks forward too.  The other two places that we make occasional visits to are Lowe's and Walmart.

Yesterday I took Bill to Walmart to get a new pair of house slippers.  When I take Bill out he almost always greets older ladies with a "Good morning!"  He often compliments the ladies. In the one photo you'll see woman with a white dress. Bill approached her and complimented her on her dress. She said "Oh thank you!"  

Lady in white dress at checkout counter is who Bill complimented on her dress - Bill usually leaves a trail of either smiling old ladies or old ladies who look at him like he's weird (check out the lady in the black slacks and white top)

After complimenting that lady Bill saw this other woman in black.  He didn't know it but this is a woman I work with at the hotel.  Her name is Helen.  As Bill approached her to compliment her I told Bill that I work with her.  I don't think Bill heard me, he's very hard of hearing.  

I am so thankful that I have these opportunities to take Bill out for "his ride."  Bill so looks forward to these outings.  

When I first met Bill on that rainy Saturday night in July of 1964 at the Westbury Bar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; I didn't know that  one day fifty-four years later I would be his caregiver. That I would be the caregiver of a 90 year old man.  If anyone would have told me that was my future, I probably would have turned right around and left that bar and gone into the dark rainy night.  But this is the way my life has evolved.  And I am glad.  This is good.  My life is good. Our life is good. 

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Sad Day for the United States of America

Non photo-shopped pictures of privileged white men showing their anger when their power is questioned

Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice today by the Republican controlled Congress.  Today is a sad day.  

Many of us will remember where we were when this travesty happened.  

I will minimize my rant here but I did want to make my displeasure known.  

No profiles in courage here today.  These Senators will go down in history for the cowards that they are.  

November is coming.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Why I Continue To Work

Representative Lisa Blunt-Rochester and me yesterday at the hotel

Yesterday when arrived at work the hotel, I was again reminded why I continue to work.  Delaware's lone United States representative was just finishing up a meeting at the hotel.  As she walked by my work station I said hello to her and told her "November is coming!"  She said "Yes!" I told her my birthday was in November.  She asked what date (November 9th). I said I am looking forward to a wonderful birthday present of a Democratic sweep of the House.  I asked if I could have a photo of her.  She said "Sure!"  and one of the women in her retinue of five took my camera and took this picture.  

I work to supplement my income so I can take my quarterly trips with my Travel Buddy Pat. I also work to stay in the game. Working at the hotel I have the opportunity to meet a lot of people.  I like people. Yesterday was a prime example.  I didn't know my representative would be at the hotel. Thus it was a pleasant surprise when I saw her walking by my work station with her retinue.

There is also something else I find interesting. I've met several politicians and so called "important" people.  I find it interesting how they react to me, someone they don't know.  Some react to me like "Who are you?"  When I introduced myself to a former Delaware governor during my testimony at the Delaware state capitol for marriage equality, he looked at me like I had cooties.  When I introduced myself to another local politician who is the Democratic majority leader at the Delaware house of representatives, he looked at me like "Are you someone important that I should know?"  Thus it was refreshing to meet Representative Blunt-Rochester yesterday.  I didn't get that side-eye look or that look that indicated "Who are you? Someone I should know?"  No, she smiled back at me and engaged me in a brief conversation about my birthday and the oncoming mid-term elections. She was totally natural and friendly.  How refreshing. How nice.  You know what?  I think we need more women in politics.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Foods That I Don't Like

Me having a black bean burger and big fries at 33 Bowen Restaurant during my recent visit to Hamilton Canada. Black bean burger was flat and the roll tasteless but the fries were great!  I love crispy fries!

Time for a list!

I love lists.  This one is of foods that I don't like. Actually, foods that I hate.  Foods that I cannot eat.  Foods that literally I am unable to swallow.

Some of these foods I have disliked all my life.  Growing up, I didn't have much choice since we had to eat what my Mother put on the table. But once I got away from home, I had the freedom to choose to eat what I liked.  

As I have grown older I have noticed that foods that I used to like I can no longer eat.  My stomach rebels. Maybe I shouldn't have eaten those foods earlier in my life.  But when you're brainwashed by the mass advertisements for food, you don't know the difference.  But I have listened to my body and here are the foods, in no particular order, that will never pass my lips again:

Seafood - that includes ANY kind of seafood including fish, shrimp, lobster, octopus, mussels, oysters, et al.  I literally gag if I eat seafood

Rhubarb - I had a piece of rhubarb pie once given to me by the mother of a friend of mine, I almost died.  I don't know what was in it but it was one of the worst things I ever ate.  It took me about three days to recover. That was because she insisted that I take a "second piece."  Makes me dizzy to think about that episode again

Milk - I used to drink milk as a beverage as I was growing up.  However, the older I became I must have developed an intolerance to lactose. The first time I tried almond milk on my cereal my stomach said "Thank you!"  Thus, the rest of my life, no milk. Sorry milk industry.

Beer - sorry beer drinkers, but to me beer tastes like piss (not that I know what piss would taste like).  For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would like the taste of beer.  I just don't get it.

Prime rib steak rare - a big slab of pink meat? No thank you!  I can eat beef stew where the chunks of beef are very small and fork tender.

Any food with artificial ingredients including trans fat - I know this covers a wide range of foods.  It took me some time to realize that I was allergic to artificial flavoring and other shelf extenders.  Once I cut out foods with artificial ingredients I didn't have an upset stomach anymore.

Garlic powder - this is an interesting choice because I love garlic but garlic powder makes me sick.  Every now and then I eat a frozen entree or other prepared food for convenience.  If I get an upset stomach I check the ingredients of what I ate and sure enough, garlic power was one of the ingredients.  I don't know what it is about garlic powder but if I eat food that is loaded down with garlic powder I don't have a good night's sleep.

Brown chicken meat - all my life I could only eat the white meat (breast) of chicken.  Growing up only my Mother was allowed to eat the chicken breast.  Me and my brothers got the drum stick or wings.  My father used to love to torture me by giving me the tail of the chicken and forcing me to eat it.  Yep, that was pop.  I vowed when I grew up I would only eat the white meat of chicken.  Now I can hardly eat even a half a breast of chicken. I can tolerate three or four chunks stewed in a white wine and vegetable mixture.

Wild game - includes rabbit, deer, squirrels and another other game meat.  I ate pheasant once and like that but that was only once when I was about ten years old.  

Rice - I actually like to eat rice but if I do, it constipates me something terribly.  If I do eat rice, it has to be very light, aromatic and fluffy. I hate the gummy kind.

Macaroni and cheese - literally gags me.  Which is interesting because I love pasta. I just can't figure out why I can't eat macaroni and cheese. So many find it the perfect comfort food. For a long time I thought my aversion to macaroni and cheese was the macaroni pasta but I've had that pasta in a Greek dish called Pastiche and I like it.  Tis a mystery to me.

Ground turkey - as in meatballs and meatloaf.  Sorry, if I'm having meatballs or meatloaf I'm having ground beef in that concoction.  What's with the turkey? I love turkey but cooked in the oven and slathered with turkey gravy, not ground up in a fake meatball.

Candy - I don't eat candy.  Which is very unusual because as a kid I practically lived on candy.  I spent most of my paper boy money on candy (and comic books).  After I left school and put on forty pounds (weighing over two hundred pounds), I gave up candy.  Haven't gone back since.  I do like dessert which I usually treat myself to once a day, at the end of the day but to snack on candy?  Something I haven't done in over fifty years and never will again as long as I live.  I could eat it but I have a mental block against eating candy.

Wonder bread - like many of you I was brought up eating Wonder bread.  Didn't like it then and don't like it now.  Tasteless.  I do like fresh bread but that's very rare to get really fresh bread. I don't eat any bread at all.  Only exception is the Indian Naan bread, a flat bread.

There are more foods that I don't like but I can't think of them now.  As I said before, I've notice the older I get I don't have the appetite I used to have and my tastes are more sensitive.   

This video was taken during my recent visit to Canada. Pat and I always stop at IKEA and partake of their wonderful cafeteria. I go for the Swedish meatballs and Pat gets the veggie meatballs.

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...