Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020!

"Mike", cross country hiker

Just a short message wishing everyone a very Happy New year!  

I work tonight at the hotel. Tomorrow I have off which I will do some major vegging out. I need to do some serious relaxing.

This morning I spent about three hours on the phone with Apple Support trying to correct my Time Machine Error Code 92 problem. Sometimes folks, I am tempted to just toss all my digital age stuff out the window and retreat to my bed and read a book. Much less complicated and frustrating. However, I am hooked on all the convenience of the Digital Age so I will plow through.

Last night at the hotel I checked in a guy who had spent the last nine months walking across the country. His starting point was his home in Irvine California.  This is his website.Nice guy.  Very relaxed. Looked like a guy who had just walked across the country.  He was amazing, he had less "luggage" (back pack) for a nine month trip than I take for a week's stay in Philadelphia. And yes, I did wash his clothes after he stripped down to his walking shorts. I asked him "why?" he walked across the country. Usually people who bike or ride across the country are raising funds of awareness of an issue. His answer was "I believe it is the end of times and I wanted to see the country before that happened."  Oh, okay.  Nice guy though. No proselytizing or any of that boring nonsense some self righteous Christians lay on you. He said he knew that others have claimed end of times but "this is different."  We'll see.  He said he started his trip with a meal at an Italian restaurant and wanted to end his trek with a meal at an Italian restaurant. I told him we had an excellent Italian restaurant in Lewes, Touch of Italy. He went there and had a huge chicken parmesan dinner. He said he's going to visit a friend in Virginia and then take a train back to his home in California.  See the interesting people I meet at the hotel?  Memorable. And we'll see about that "end of times" thing.

I'm working again at the hotel tonight. Almost a full house. Dropping the anchor in Lewes at the Overfalls Ship, fun times. 

Happy New Year to everyone!

Friday, December 27, 2019

How Did Bill Do On My Week In Philly?

Bill in our garage where he waits for me to return from my trips

One of my favorite blogger commenters brought to my attention that I didn't mention how did Bill do during my recent week in Philly?

My first night in Philly, I got a call from our neighbor who told me Bill contacted him and said our house thermostat wasn't working.  He said I would have to call the service company to fix the thermostat.  I got that call just as I returned from our restaurant outing. It was about eleven o'clock at night.  I didn't want to call the service company at that time of night.  I was convinced that Bill had accidentally cut a wire while he was working on his doorbell project.

Bill couldn't call me because he can't figure out how to use his iPhone since his cognitive functions have declines and his sight being affected by macular degeneration. Thank goodness for our neighbor Bob, who already has his hands full taking care of his wife who has COPD.  

I asked Bob to check to see what was exactly wrong with the thermostat.  He said "the light wasn't on" which meant that no power was going to it.  He suggested that Bill turn on our fire place for heat for the night. I was going to call our service company in the morning. 

Next morning I received an e-mail from Bill stating "Good news", the light was on and the thermostat was working.  Thank goodness, what a relief!  I'm glad I waited. 

I tried to contact Bill but couldn't get through to him.  I had sent him an e-mail asking him if he accidentally cut the power  supply to the thermostat. I heard nothing. Uh oh, he's mad at me.  

Always when I'm away on one of my quarterly forays with Pat, I e-mail Bill daily. I didn't hear anything from him for the rest of my stay. I called him on his iPhone, no answer. I continued to send him e-mails daily, as I have during my past trips, as if nothing had happened and he was mad at me. I thought "I'll take care of his mad when I get home."  

When I got home (which is another whole story which I will write about in a future blog posting) I was expecting an angry Bill. He met me at the open garage door with a big smile. He wasn't angry at all. In fact he was glad to see me as he always is.  I asked him why he didn't e-mail me. He said his iPad wasn't working. He lives on that iPad.  I think the problem is partly the iPad is old and the battery is wearing out and he's more confused now using the iPad.  Also, his failing eyesight is part of the problem. But he did say he was glad to see me. What a relief because I don't want to upset Bill. He wants me to get away and have my quarterly holidays with Pat. He likes Pat, they also e-mail each other frequently. Bill knows that I enjoy these trips and like Pat's company. Bill love is true because he wants me to be happy. He's always said that as I have of him.  I would never be with anybody who is crazy jealous. My father was like that with my Mother. She was never allowed to have any friends.  My father was even jealous of her closeness with her sons, that's another whole story.  I grew up with that fact and vowed I would never be in a relationship like that. My very first relationship was with a nice guy named Jim Groh. We both liked each other very much but he was very possessive. That doesn't work with me and I ended that relationship. 

I ordered Bill a new iPad today from the Apple store. I hope that solves his difficulty in staying in touch with me.  My next trip (to Palm Springs) comes up in a short six weeks.

By the way, when I returned home I found out what happened with the thermostat. It was the fuse box insert that failed. Bill discovered that.  I wouldn't have know that.  So there I was blaming Bill for cutting a wire and here the power failure was a simple fuse box problem. So there was a little lesson for me, don't be too quick to blame Bill for any problem around the house.

There may come a time in the future when I can't leave Bill alone when I go away on my trips. But for now our neighbor Bob M. is keeping a watchful eye on Bill. Thank goodness for good neighbors like Bob!  

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Am I Good Enough?

Me and Pat at The Cheesecake Factor, Philadelphia PA December 2019

Another Christmas has come and gone. 

Is it me or do they seem to come around each year with increasing frequency? The years do fly by don't they?

Last week I just returned from my annual winter visit to Philadelphia. Again, we had a grand time. When Pat and I get together for our quarterly adventures we always have a good time. A lot of that can be attributed to Pat because he is such good company and he is patient with me. And believe me I can be a chore to be with at times.

While we're in Philly we stay at the guest suite at my friend Don McK. cooperative. 

We visit with Don almost every day. Take in a few restaurants and go over all our physical ailments.  That's what old men do. We do this over a glass Don's apartment.

Our next trip comes around fast this time. Only six weeks away and we're in sunny Palm Springs. Normally we would be in Philly in the early part of November (my birthday) but the guest suite was booked up this year.

During these trips I occasionally think that for most of my adult life, when I did go on trips I traveled alone. Early on Bill went on a few trips with me but Bill doesn't like to travel. Bill is a homebody, not that there is anything the matter with that.  When I did manage to talk one of my friends to go with me on a trip, they took off as soon as we landed at our destination. They were more interested in casual sexual encounters than spending time with me.  I often assumed I wasn't good enough to spend time with.  Too boring. I can name names too.  Bob Murphy, Brad Corrill, Ed Cage and Bob McCamley. To a person, as soon as we landed in Provincetown, they were off in search of dick.  They're all gone now so I can speak ill of them. 

Other friends who I have suggested going with, never took my hint. What especially hurt one time was my friend Bob McCamley and his partner Jim were taking a cross country trip to California. Oh how I would have loved to go along. They wanted to see the tall redwood trees and Mount Rushmore. I suggested I could ride in the back seat of their very comfy Buick. They opted instead to put their black lab Lucky in that back seat.  Yes, they took their dog instead. I guess I wasn't good enough.  Too boring.

A former co-worker and friend is now traveling across the country. He retired early from his job after having made his millions before he was fifty years old. Several times I suggested that I would love to ride along. He never picked up on my suggestions.  Instead he sends me occasional texts with photos of his travels. Thanks Tom. I guess I'm not good enough

Growing up with a father who constantly belittled and humiliated me, I just assumed I wasn't good enough to be around proper company.  He never once took me to Cape May, New Jersey where he often went fishing with his brothers and, my cousin who just happened to be the same age as me.  Again, Ron wasn't good enough. That fact was ingrained in me because he never took me anywhere. Not even to a ball game (are you kidding?) or anything. That's why to this day I resent parents who go out of their way to attend their kid's soccer games or whatever.

In high school I was in a lot of activities.  I was in my high school marching band, concert band, chorus, school play, and track.  Never once, not once did he attend any of those activities. In fact no one in my family attended any of those events. When I graduated my Mother did attend my graduation. Perhaps the most painful and humiliating time for me was when I graduated from Basic Training at Ft. Dix New Jersey. I think every one of my fellow recruits had family members come from across the country to attend their graduation for Army Basic Training. But could my parents attend even though they were close by?  On no. To be fair they didn't attend my younger (middle) brother's graduation but they did attend my youngest brother's graduation.  Well, he was my father's pet. 

I don't remember if I wrote about this situation in my life before in this blog but I want to get it on the record before I pass on. As regular readers of my blog know, my blog writing is my therapy. Something which angers that troll who occasionally leaves a nasty comment (most of which I don't publish but I will begin publishing them because I feel sorry for her) when I write about my damaged upbringing. 

So many times during my teenage years then my adult years I envied those who had friends who they could go places with. Travel and other adventures.  What was I doing wrong? Not good enough. Boring. My father was right.

But then I met Pat. The last seven years have been a delight.  Pat is just about the perfect friend. He puts up with me which is no small thing. I admit I am not easy to get along with at times. But most of the time I think I'm good company. I've seen videos of myself and I look and act like a normal person. In fact, the first time I saw a video of myself I thought "He doesn't seem like a bad guy at all. I would like him."

I think the reason Pat and I get along so well is that we're a lot alike in personality. In fact we're so much alike people often mistake us for brothers.

The first time we were mistaken for brothers, we were both surprised because neither one of us think we look alike. Thus we were surprised when we were standing in line at the Nectar Restaurant in Lewes. Pat was talking to a fellow Canadian in line and the Canadian ask us "Are you brothers?"    That took us my surprise because neither one of us thinks the other looks like each other.

The next time we were asked if we were brothers was at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. A fellow tourist, after we were talking to him discussing the amazing views of downtown Los Angeles from the Observatory, "Are you brothers?"  We laughed and said "No, we're not brothers."  Noting the coincidence that two people from opposite sides of the country had mistaken us for brothers. 

Next year when were in Niagara Falls, entering an Indian restaurant, the owner of the restaurant, after doing a double take looking at us, asked "Are you brothers?"  Now this was getting serious. What was this all about?  Again, we answered in the negative.

Then, later in the week while we were walking down the street outside Pat's home in Toronto, he stopped to talk to a neighbor who asked about me "Is this your brother?"  

Okay, now this is getting to be a routine.  We've been asked this questions a few more times on our journeys.  Of course on this trip we were asked again, by a sales associate in a new building in which we wanted to look at a model condo. Yep, she asked "Are you brothers?"  Now I answer that Pat is my little brother.  Pat told her I was his uncle.  Seriously though, we told her we're often asked that question. But on this trip we got a new surprise, at the car rental counter, the sales clerk looked at me and then Pat and said "Are you twins?"  Well, that was a first.  

You know what folks?  I think I am good enough for Pat. And yes, he is my brother.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Morning 2019

Here we are, Christmas morning already.  

Today I don't have to work. 

Today I am relaxing. 

Today is a day just for me and Bill.

No presents under the Christmas tree, in fact we don't even have a Christmas tree other than several ceramic trees. But still, we always enjoy the quiet and solitude of Christmas Day.  Two old men at home, no screaming kids running around. All is quiet, just the way we like it.  

Tomorrow I will return to work. Not quite back to the regular grind because all of my favorite TV shows are on hiatus, reviewing the "Best Of" the previous year.  I hate these "Best Of" program fillers so I tend not to even turn on the TV.

Now is the time to just relax, and get ready for the new year.  And for me I'll be getting ready for my next trip which is in February.  Two glorious weeks in sunny, warm (except for the evenings which sometimes there is the chill) Palm Springs. 

While I love our quarterly trips, I have to admit my body is having a more difficult time keeping up with our adventures. But I'm going to keep on keeping on.  At least this trip to Philly I didn't fall. Couple of close calls but I was very careful.

Now to catch up on my mail that accumulated last week and to just relax.  So nice to be home again. That's another wonderful benefit of trips. Nice to get away and break the routine but also nice to get home.

Have a wonderful Christmas Day everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve 2019

Just back this morning from a fabulous week in Philadelphia!  At work (hotel) now. I am exhausted. 

What a wonderful week we had in Philadelphia. Although it was colder than I had expected (I was warned), we still managed to traipse those historic Philadelphia streets to explore some new venues (which I will write about later in more detail).

For this year's winter holiday in Philadelphia Pat rented a car for our day trip to Hershey, PA.  Yep, we went to Chocolate Street.  

Pat wanted to visit the antique car museum. On the way from Philly to Hershey I made two pit stops. The first at the Brickside Grill in Eagleview, PA, nearby where I used to work at the Hampton Inn hotel. I love that restaurant. We weren't disappointed. 

I had hoped to meet my former boss and executor of estate but my notice was too short.  I'll try to give him more notice my next trip.   I also stopped at my brother's home for a short visit and to give him his old high school photos which got swept up in my taking of all of my Mother's old photos when we moved her to my other brother's home in South Carolina.

By the time we got to Hershey (4 PM) we only had an hour to visit the museum. But that was enough time before it closed at 5 PM. No crowds.

It was too late to return to Philadelphia, neither one of us likes to drive in the dark, so we checked into a nearby Hampton Inn.  A very nice place to relax.  We decided to drive into downtown Hershey to get something to eat. We drove by the famed Hershey Park, sparkling with multi-colored Christmas lights. Very inviting. But way too cold to imbibe.

After a relaxing night at our sumptuous and very comfortable room at the Hampton Inn, we departed early to get Pat's rental car back by 11:26 AM, lest he be charged an extra day's rental. Wouldn't you know it, just when you're in a hurry our GPS took us the wrong way back.  We were stuck on a country road in farm country behind TWO liquid fertilizer trucks.  Can you believe it?  We couldn't either. After many miles Pat was finally able to pass one truck, then another.  Looking in our rearview morrow we saw at least thirty cars behind us, stuck in the Cow Poop Caravan.

We got back in time to avoid an extra day's charge on the car.

The rest of our stay in Philly was me helping my friend Don buy his new iPhone X Pro.  I also spent time helping him with his iMac questions.

This trip in Philly I wanted to try some new restaurants. We really hit the ball out of the park by going to Ralph's Italian Restaurant in South Philly.  All the years I lived in Philly, I've never been to an authentic South Philly Italian restaurant. Well, I choose the best this time. Ralph's is the oldest Italian restaurant IN THE COUNTRY.  And the food and service is great!
Frank Sinatra and many others have frequented this restaurant over the years. Tony Bennett too!

All too soon our six day stay in Philly was over and I had to return to my hotel job her in Lewes, DE. I am at the hotel now, typing this blog. 

Sorry I didn't have a chance to write during my stay in Philly, just didn't have the time. Too many things going on. Restaurants, open houses (condos), visiting friends, computer instructions for Don, and just walking around downtown Philly. Both Pat and I LOVE Philly. Too expensive for me to live there just like it's too expensive to live in Palm Springs but at least I can go back for visits twice a year which isn't bad. 

Next up Palm Springs in February 2020!

Merry Christmas everyone on this Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Philadelphia Tomorrow

This time tomorrow I will be on my way to Philadelphia for a week's stay visiting my longtime friend Don Mc. The video above is from the last time we visited Philadelphia this past spring. I was walking Pat to the bus station early in the morning on June 9th for his 24 hour trip back to his home in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Don lives in a co-operative in center city Philly (21st and Chestnut Streets).  They have a guest suite that I rent at a very reasonable price. 

Twice a year I visit Philadelphia, my former home and place of employment in my previous life. For many years I worked with Don at Girard Bank, then Mellon and finally First Fidelity Bank. 

I visit Philly in the spring and winter.  

My Travel Buddy Pat takes an overnight bus from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada tonight. 

My ride will pick me up here at my home tomorrow morning in Milton Delaware for the two and a half hour drive to Philadelphia. 

Of course my biggest decision now is what to wear. I always take too many clothes and end up wearing the same outfit for my whole stay.  Pat travels light, wearing only one change. I've tried to do that but still end up taking too much. 

For our stay in Philly this time we will visit our favorite restaurants and try a few new ones. We're also going to take a day trip to Hershey, PA to visit the antique car museum. Pat loves those old classic cars. On the way to Hershey I plan to stop in my hometown of Downingtown, which is a suburb  thirty-seven miles went of Philadelphia.  I plan to visit my younger brother Isaac.  I have his old school pictures that I had accidentally scooped up when I absconded with all of my Mother's old photos when we shipped her off to our other brother's home in South Carolina lo these many years ago. I also plan to visit my former boss Dave S. who I have named as executor of my estate.  Dave will  be responsible for distributing the millions of dollars of my estate to my twenty-four nieces and nephews (at last count, they're reproducing like rabbits lately, even my grand-nieces have children now).

As I always do on these quarterly trips I will take many photos and videos. Lately I haven't been sharing them as much on this blog as I have in the past. I don't know why, maybe I'm just too lazy. I actually take them for myself because I like to relieve those moments. I'll try to share more in the future, especially those short movie videos that I like to put together. 

What I love most about my trips is being with Pat and our always interesting adventures, which I record for posterity.  Wonder where those pictures and videos will end up after I'm long gone?  Something to ponder. Oh well, this blog will live on long after I am gone.  Maybe I'll have some grand-grand-grand niece or nephew who will find them of interest. 

Next blog post, Philadelphia!

Pat talking to Don at Don's apartment this past June during our last visit

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Christmas Tree 2019

We don't have a Christmas tree here at home. I get my Christmas tree fix at the hotel where I work. This short video clip is of this year's Christmas tree, which I help to decorate. Puts me in the Christmas spirit. I hope it does the same for you.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Intense Dreams

Lately I've been having rather intense dreams. If the past is prologue, then this means something momentous is about to happen in my life. 

Sometimes this has been personal and sometimes something momentous happens that isn't personal to me. Right now I'm listening and watching TV the House Judiciary debating the articles of impeachment of our criminal president Trump. Trump has been getting away with disregarding the law his whole life, finally he is being held accountable. The Senate probably won't convict him, they're a bunch of cowards who put their own needs above their oath to the Constitution to protect our country from a would be tyrant like Trump. I'm sick about how cowardly and unpatriotic they are.  I'm also sick about how many Americans are fooled by the greatest con man in the history of our country and perhaps the world. That is one distinction that Trump can truly claim, he is the best con man ever. Look at how many people he has fooled by his politics of grievance.  Trump cheated to win the 2016 election but he won't get away with cheating again. His lifetime crime wave is about to come to an end.  He will be held accountable. If not, then that is probably why I am having these intense dreams.

The other reason I could be having these dreams because of the health of my youngest brother, who I haven't heard from in several months. I've tried to contact him but no response. 

I'm also concerned about Bill. His health is fine for a 91 year old but he's losing some of his cognitive abilities. I saw this happen to my longtime friend Bob Mc. I saw his slow decline and eventual passing. I don't want to even contemplate that about Bill. I can't imagine my life without Bill, who has always been there/here for me. Always. 

Very few people are able to put up with me. Bill is one of them. Even though we have many differences we are/were a good match. We're a good team. Some have tried to break us up. Ironically they're all gone now (dead) and Bill and I are still here. 

Most people at this time of their life are lucky to have one good friend. I have three. Bill, Pat and Larry. I have other friends and many acquaintances but only three good friends who know me and accept me as I am. I might have had more good friends but when they see that side of me that they don't like, they went. And I probably can't blame them. But Bill, Pat and Larry are still here. That is what I call the definition of a true friend. 

I'll probably have another intense dream tonight like I had this afternoon during my pre work nap. Interestingly I can't remember what the dream was about, only the intensity of the dream. I hope what is causing my dreams is the eventual removal of that corruption who sits in the White House every day spewing out hate to everyone who doesn't bow to his insatiable demand for attention and fealty and to enable him to continue his destruction of our institutions and democracy and way of life. 

Someday I might face life alone again.  I remember the last time I face life alone, after I got out of the Army in 1963.  I was alone, in a small cheaply furnish apartment ($65) a month, trying to establish myself in my civilian life.  I just wanted to meet someone, my Prince Charming. I did after a year and a half. His name was Bill and we've been together ever since. 

I hope that my dreams are a portend of the end of our great national nightmare, Trumpism and the forces of hate and evil Trump and his minions have unleashed. Just imagine folks, a country where we are proud of our president on the international stage.  A country where we have a president who doesn't stoke hate of those divisions in our country that has always been there. A president who can bring us back together again. 

That's the dream I want to dream about.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

First Snow 2019

View of our backyard from our deck early this morning - first snow of 2019

This morning I rolled out of my flannel sheeted warmed bed and pulled aside the curtain to the window next to my bed and viewed my back yard as I do every morning. What did I see? a blanket of white snow! Oh no! 

I debated whether or not to drive to my 8:15 AM barber appointment. Hmmm, I think not.  Not only did I not want to muck up my car with snow and slush but I don't want to take any chance that I would fall. Just yesterday I fell again. This time I fell from a small step ladder while I was putting up a string of Christmas lights outside. I lost my footing on the ladder and fell backwards, hitting my head on a small crepe myrtle tree.  Bang! No concussion I guess, I'm still here. With my arthritis I just don't have the agility that I had when I was younger. I especially don't have that agility when walking on snow and ice.  

I called my barber and told her that I had to cancel my appointment today. It was just as well because she hadn't even left her home, I was her first appointment. She said she didn't have to rush now. I asked for an appointment tomorrow morning. She said she would call me.

Every winter I worry about the snow and if it's going to interfere with my travel plans.  Next Wednesday Clarence my ride is scheduled to drive me to Philadelphia. It's always a roll of the dice weather wise. At least I don't have to catch a plane so I have that flexibility. Christmas Eve I return home from Philadelphia. I still don't have my ride confirmed. If I don't have a ride by then I can always take Lyft. Done that before, more expensive but still gets me home. I have to work at the hotel Christmas Eve.  

One thing about living her in southern Delaware is that we rarely get snow and when we do get it, it doesn't last long. Unlike our former home in Pennsylvania.  If we had a heavy snow in November the snow would be on the ground right through April.  The thirteen years that we've lived here in coastal Delaware, the longest we've had snow on the ground was about a week.  Just another reason I moved to Delaware. But one thing about living in Philadelphia, which we did for about twenty-five years, I always could get to the airport, snow or no snow. Miss that.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Visit To My Urologist

My Urologist's Office

This past Friday I had my semi-annual visit to my urologist. I have these twice a year visits to get a head start should any of my developing kidney stones decided to drop and cause me to make an excruciating visit to the emergency room again. The good news is that I have two small kidney stones that are behaving themselves.  They're there but behaving themselves, for now anyway.

The potential bad news is that my prostate cancer may be trying to make a comeback.

My PSA score is steadily inching upwards every time I get my labs.  Even though it is still well under the 0 to 3.9 range considered normal, it is now .23 up from .17 six months ago.  After I had my seed implant radiation treatment for prostate cancer in 2013 (my PSA was 8.4 then) my PSA score always hovered around .12.

I asked my urologist what should I do.  He said we'll just monitor it for now but maybe in the future I might get another biopsy of my prostate. Oh no, I don't want to go through that worse than water boarding torture again to get twelve pieces of specimens from my walnut sized prostate gland. He said eventual removal of the prostate is also a consideration. I don't know if I want to do that either considering the side effects of which I won't go into now but they are not pleasant.

I called my friend Rich tonight and asked him what he did.  He had his prostate removed thirteen years ago but his PSA came back. He said he underwent radiation treatment and now his PSA score is down.  He said his doctor said "that cancer is looking for a place to land."  So there is my friend who had his prostate removed and his PSA still came back.  

You know what folks? I'm just going to monitor this.  Not happy about it but I know something will eventually get me in the end. No one gets out of this life alive but I hope is that I would ease out of it with minimal pain and dependence on others. I have my backup plan.  But for now I'm looking forward to week after next when I land in Philadelphia and spend a Christmas week with my good friends Pat and Don. And believe me folks, I cherish every moment.

Extreme dieting

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Broken Garage Door

Garage door repair

Last night while I was at work at the hotel, I get a phone call from our neighbor. He's calling for Bill to tell me our garage door won't open.  Why didn't Bill call me?  He can't figure out how to turn on his iPhone.  Yes, I've shown him many times but when he gets frustrated he has problems performing simple tasks like turning on his iPhone which admiringly he rarely uses.

The big problem was the garage door.  It wouldn't open. He wanted to tell me to go into our back door. Like most people these days we don't use our front door to go into our house.  Who does, by the way?  We go in through the garage.  I think almost everybody if not everybody in our fifty-seven house development here goes into their casa hacienda through their garage.  

Bill, who normally goes to bed at 7 o'clock at night (yes, you read that right) stayed up until 11:30 when I got home. He wanted to make sure I didn't fall down rounding the back of our house to the back deck in the dark.  Yes, falling down is a threat to me at this time of my life. Old man here.

Safely in our house, and after Bill went to bed, I pulled up Facebook's "Who Would You Refer In Sussex County?" app.  I put in the question "I need a referral to fix a garage door."  One name came up several times.  

I called that name this morning. He came over this afternoon and fixed our garage door and more. He found a bar that was missing a bolt which is why the garage door lately has been emitting a loud "snap!" when we open it. He also installed a new keypad.  Our old one was mucked up so much by bad weather it was hard to enter our secret code. All this repair and service for $155.  Wow, service with a reasonable price.  Sometimes so rare these days  that when it happens I want to jump up and down and shout "Yes!!!"  Of course I left a very favorable comment on his Facebook page.  

Now what's next?

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Black Friday

Oh did I ever make a mistake going out shopping on Black Friday. What was I thinking?

I actually considered going to Wal Mart but I changed my mind. Thank God.  I surely would have been trampled. Can you believe people actually act like this for a sale?  

What I did do though was go down the back way (avoiding Route 1) to the ReStore Thrift store.  It was closed. Uh, okay. Then I took me and Bill to Lowe's.  Surely there wouldn't be the madness that envelopes stores like Wal Mart on Black Friday.  

My first clue something was terribly wrong was when I pulled into the parking lot.  It was the fullest I've ever seen a Lowe's parking lot.  All those people in shopping for lumber?  Hardly.

Undeterred, we exited our car and went into Lowe's through the garden center.  Yes, the garden center where all the Christmas decorations reside, lights a glittering. Mom, pop, grandmom, and grandpa along with the kids and grandkids, many of them riding in the shopping cards whining.  OMG!

I quickly purchased a package of four clear light bulbs and headed for the checkout line.  I told "Helen" in the checkout like "I can't take this.  I have to get of here!"  She thought I didn't want the light bulbs.  I told her "No, I can't take the whining kids and the crowds."  She said she understood.  I felt sorry for her, she was a senior citizen like myself and she has to contend with that Black Friday crowd all day. Bless her heart. She obviously has a lot more patience than this bah humbug old man here.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Thanksgiving Day Surprises

Yesterday,  while working Turkey Day at the hotel, I had two pleasant surprises.

The first was my blogger friend Spo of Spo Reflections (see here).  He called on my phone at work to wish me a happy Thanksgiving. How nice to hear an actual voice in real time sincerely wishing me a happy Thanksgiving. Especial Spo, a sweet and gentle and caring person there ever was. If you're among his friends, count yourself fortunate.  He and his husband Someone has great enriched my life by their wit, humor and kindnesses. I wish they were my neighbors but alas, they live far away in Arizona. 

The second surprise was my boss and owner of the hotel were I've toiled the past thirteen years with my cheery hospitality personality thousands of guests. I had mentioned to him earlier in the week, after I asked him what he was doing for Thanksgiving. He said he was cooking a turkey dinner for nine friends at his house.  I told him that what I would really like for Thanksgiving was a few slices of leftover roast turkey breast.  I don't want the whole turkey and I don't want to buy one of those water infused bland turkey breasts at the store. I told him I was tempted to go one of those places where they dish out turkey dinners cafeteria style to the homeless. I could pass as homeless, I'm old, tired and bedraggled looking enough. Only thing is stopping me is that I would probably be exposed as an imposter if one of my neighbors is spooning out the turkey gravy on my mashed potatoes.

There I was, at about 10:30 PM, on the last hour of my shift and I hear the door open.  "Who could that be?" I thought.  Viola!  It was the owner with a Zip-loc bag of three thick turkey white meat slices.  What a pleasant surprise!  I really didn't expect to get the turkey.  By the way, one of my co-workers is from Turkey, the country. But I digress.  Folks, that turkey will be consumed this evening for dinner. I plan to make a broccoli, Stove Top, cheese casserole with those turkey slices. 

Doesn't take much to keep me happy folks. Just some kindnesses like these two very kind individuals passed my way yesterday.  

I'll pass it on.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Day

Here we are at yet another Thanksgiving Day. 

The temperature outside is a sunny 48 degrees, perfect for some window cleaning. Yes, this is what I do on Thanksgiving Day. I also cleaned my blinds in my bedroom. However, the window cleaning didn't go so well though. I had to go out through the garage door and I didn't know Bill was still working on the garage door.  

In Bill's previous life he was an electronics technician for RCA (remember that company) and GE.  He took early retirement from that job forty years ago. However, he just can't get the electronics thing out of his system. He always has a project going on. This time in the garage.  He's hooking up an alarm system for when someone drives up our driveway. Of course he's had that hooked up numerous times in the thirteen years since we lived here but this is a project that he's never finished with. He always "runs into a problem."  I asked him "Do you ever take on a job that there isn't a problem? Just once, did you ever take a job on that ran smoothly without any problems?"  He looks at me like I just stepped off a space ship from Mars and says "Well, I ran into a problem here."  

The problem this morning was that instead of going into my home office and checking my e-mails, playing online Scrabble with Pat and other Internet searches, I decided to clean my bedroom window blinds. While I was cleaning them I noticed the windows outside were pretty gunned up.  After cleaning my blinds I went outside through the garage door which I had to open. When I hit the automatic garage door opener I heard a bang and ka-boom! That was screwdrivers, screws, ratchets and who knows what hit the cement garage floor.  Yep, Bill's working on a project again, a project that never gets finished.

When I met Bill lo these many years ago his project was building a living room couch. Yes, a living room couch from scratch. He already had the frame built. The whole time I visited him in his New Jersey garden apartment that couch was never finished. He eventually threw it out, unfinished. In the fifty-five years we've been domiciled together he always has unfinished projects. I've asked him numerous times "How about doing some maintenance like painting or repairing or cleaning?"  Nope, he likes his projects. 

Years ago I looked up to see if this was a psychological thing with someone always working on a project.  Sure enough, it is. I forget what you call it but Bill has it.  Over the years I've grown accustomed to his penchant for unfinished projects but I have to tell you folks, at times my patience is tried.  Like this morning. Of course he's mad at me now because I set him back by opening the garage door. So here I am at my computer kvetching about it. 

I'll go back to my regular routine here at my computer. Then lunch, nap and to work this afternoon at the hotel. We have a full house today. Thanksgiving and Christmas are always the best time at the hotel, almost to a person most of the guests are in a good mood and very pleasant company on the holidays. When I leave the hotel tonight at 11:20 PM I'll see that steady stream of headlights of cars going in the opposite direction of me on Route One, headed for the tax free outlets for Black Friday. Then tomorrow the hectic Christmas season shifts into high gear.  

I may have mentioned this once before but the one thing I would like for Thanksgiving is a nice slice (or two) of turkey breast with maybe some tasty stuffing (Stove Top will do).  I mentioned it to my boss and the owner, he's having folks over to his place for Thanksgiving dinner. I know it was bold of me to ask but maybe he'll take pity on me and bring me over a taste of Thanksgiving. Every Thanksgiving holiday I see these reports on TV about churches and others feeding the homeless Thanksgiving dinners. I've always been tempted to get into one of those lines but I'm too much of a snob to do so.  

Wherever  you are doing today for Thanksgiving, I wish you the best and think of me when you're feeding your pie hole one of those delicious brined turkey slices.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Annual Maintenance Checkup

This morning I had my semi-annual dental appointment at 8 AM for teeth cleaning and a checkup. Good news, the cleaning wasn't too painful and no new issues with the teeth I have left. The only painful part was paying the bill when I left the dental office.

At 9 AM I had an appointment a few blocks away at the medical imaging office. This appointment was for an X-Ray of my abdomen for my appointment with my urologist next week. He's keeping track of my latest kidney stone that is forming in my old, decrepit body. Hopefully we can head this kidney stone off at the pass before it makes its passage through my very tiny little urethra tube thus causing me such unbearable pain that makes me want to exit this early existence. 

Last Friday I had an appointment at my dermatologist. He, or shall I say she (student doctors observing) removed potentially precancerous actinic keratosis formations under my left armpit and lower back.  Waiting in the room for my doctor to evaluate me, he entered with two women, students. Didn't even ask me but just proceeded to evaluate my body which was only covered by one of those flimsy hospital gowns with the open back. I only had my shorts (underwear) on.  I apologized for my sagging body (always an embarrassment these days) while three sets of eyes scanned said body. He informed the students "Mr. Tipton has three choices, we could shave off the keratosis, leave them (to an option because the constantly itch) or burn them off".  "What will it be Mr. Tipton?"  I said "Burn them all off!", which is what I always have done. The "burning" is done with dry ice. And it hurts.  It burns. Smoke happens. But at least I'm not itching any more and I've dead ended any possibility of those skin formations turning into cancer. This is over twenty-five years now I've been having keratosis skin lesions burned off my skin. None on my wrinkled and weathered face this time though. I walked out of my dermatologist's office sorer but relieved that I won't be itching for a few more months until the next visit in May of next year.

I am so thankful that I have medical insurance to cover all these health care expenses and that I have doctors to take care of me to help me survive a few more years.  

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The "Holidays"

Here we go again, "The Holidays".  

This week is Thanksgiving. As in years past, I'll be working at the hotel on Thanksgiving Day. No complaints here, I'm used to it.  Interestingly I meet the nicest people at the hotel during the Thanksgiving holiday. Usually grandparents visiting their children and grandchildren who stay at the hotel because they can't take all that grandchildren activity 24/7.  Can't say as I blame them. I couldn't either.  Whoever the guests are, they always seem to be in good spirits which I welcome.  Life is too short to be unhappy. Be happy folks!

Now once we pass Thanksgiving Day we'll get inundated with Christmasy things. Some of the worst is that U.S Post Office advertisement that is singing  "There Is No Place Like Home For The Holidays". OMG! Do we have to listen to THAT until Christmas Day?  Come on Post Office, take that commercial off before you turn our brains to 


One good thing this holiday though, I haven't heard too many "HO, HO, HO's"  God, I can't stand that phony Santa "HO! HO! HO!"  

I probably sound like a "Bah humbug" kind of guy but I'm not really. I love the Christmas season and "the holidays" but what I don't like is the over commercialization. 

The one Christmas activity that I have always engaged in and enjoyed is sending and receiving Christmas cards. However, for the first time in my living memory, I think I'll drastically cut back on my Christmas cards this year. There are those former co-workers and friends I've been exchanging cards with every year, I'll still send those because I truly wish them a Merry Christmas.  There are also a few blogger friends I like to send cards to.  But I don't think I'll continue to send cards to those relatives and others who I never receive a card from.  My cards are probably just an annoyance to them anyway. And the relatives, sad to say almost all of my relatives are Trumpers. Can't do it folks, just can't do it.  I've unfriended all of them from my Facebook account so why send them a card wishing them well as long as they continue to support the criminal in the White House. They're lost, especially to me.

I'm looking forward to spending a week before Christmas in Philadelphia with my friends. True friends. I'll be returning Christmas Eve to work at the hotel.  I'm also working New Year's Eve, which is always enjoyable for me working at the hotel.  Long gone are those days when I celebrated New Year's Eve partying at the gay bars in Philadelphia. Those were the days folks!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ambassador Sondland Drops the Bomb

Guess who isn't going to jail for Trump?

Whomp! There it is folks. Ambassador Sondland dropped the bomb this morning at the House impeachment hearings. He decided to stop lying and covering up for the criminal in the White House (Trump) and admitted "they were all in on it" re the attempted bribery and extortion of Ukraine.  

Good on Ambassador Sondland who decided not to go to jail for lying to Congress and tell the truth that there was an extensive bribery and extortion scheme going on directed by Trump through his henchmen Guiliani, Pence, Mulvaney, Perry and Volcker to hold back 391 million dollars in funds from Ukraine unless the Ukrainian president would say publicly he was opening and investigation into Biden's son and the so called Ukrainian intervention in the 2016 U S election.

"The Truth Shall Set You Free" as the photo at the beginning of this blog post shows so clearly.

Prediction here, Trump will resign because of "health reasons" but only with the proviso that he be exempt from any future legal action against his lifetime of criminality.  Thus will have completed his lifetime of breaking the law and getting away with it.  

Get ready all you Hillary and Obama haters:

President Nancy Pelosi

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Mouse in the House

This past Sunday as I was exiting the kitchen to the garage I almost stepped on a field mouse that was on the door ledge. It quickly scampered away.

Oh no, not a Mouse in the House again.  Remember the problem I had last year?  One night after I came home from work I encountered a mouse in my pantry.  I think he was as surprised as I was when I opened the door looking for a late night snack.  I put out mouse traps and caught the little (fat) bugger the next day.  He was hiding out under the refrigerator next to the warm coils. Much to my surprise I also caught another mouse in my Have-a-Heart trap.  I think that was his wife. I took her down to the end of Oyster Rocks Road, to start a new life in those wetlands near the Broadkill River.

Yesterday I prepared (with peanut butter) and put out four deadly mouse traps. I also put out the Have-a-Heart trap with a big chunk of cheese. 

This morning I expected to see a squashed and bloody mouse in one of the traps.  Nothing.

This afternoon when I went out through the garage I happened to see two brown eyes looking at me through the metal screen of the Have-a-Heart trap.  One lucky mouse 

Bill and I took it down to the end of Oyster Rocks Road to join its cousin from last year that I released there.  

I put the Have-a-Heart trap out. I fully expect another mouse to show up. Hopefully it will be smart and take the bait (a big chuck of cheese) in the Have-a-Heart trap. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Philly Visit

Me and Pat at Little Pete's restaurant in Philadelphia, PA November 2016

On this day three years ago my Canadian Travel Buddy and I were ending our week long annual winter stay in Philadelphia. 

This photo was taken at Little Pete's restaurant very early in the morning when the streets were deserted.  I was up early to walk Pat to the bus station for his twenty-four hour journey back to his home in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Pat and I stopped for a quick breakfast.  I also wanted him to experience Little Pete's restaurant, a 24 hour restaurant that I used to frequent during my bar hopping days back in the 70's.  

We hadn't planned to stop at Little Pete's, Pat usually just stops at a Starbucks, but walking down those rain soaked, darkened streets on that cold November morning I saw Little Pete's and memories came flooding back over me. I asked Pat if he had time to stop.  He did.

Our breakfast was as good as I remembered it as it was when I bopped into Little Pete's after the bars closed at 2 AM.  However, the waitress gave me the sad news, Little Pete's was closing after many years on 17th Street in Philadelphia. See here.

This is just one instance of the adventures Pat and I always have when we get together four times a year, twice in Philly, once at Pat's hometown of Hamilton, Ontario and two weeks in California. 

More adventures await us but it's always nice to be reminded of our past adventures. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

First Day of Public Impeachment Hearings

Devin Nunes Cow

This morning I was eager to watch the first day of public impeachment hearings for Trump, who  tried to bribe and extort the new Ukrainian president by withholding $391 million dollars of much needed military aid.  Note I don't prefix "Trump" with "president" because I have zero respect for Trump.  He's a fake president. He cheated to get in office and continues to lie, cheat and steal while in office. He is the most incompetent person to ever hold the office of president of the United States. He is without moral character. He only cares about himself. 

I could go on and on about this repulsive person who occupies the office of the president of the United States but I would only be repeating what you've already heard over and over.

I only watched about four hours of the hearings. Whenever the Republicans came on I muted the sound, especially when that clown in the shirt came on.  

Ohio Rep. "Gym" Jordan, the new Joker for the next Batman movie - SCARY!

One thing I think I will never understand is why ALL of the Republicans in Congress continue to support the criminal Trump. They know he is incompetent and the greatest danger that this country has ever faced in our history.

Don't worry, I won't be writing about the impeachment hearings every day. Trump is going to get impeached. He probably won't get convicted in the Senate though and that will be the end of the Republican party. They deserve it, they're all cowards more concerned about their own jobs than they are fulling the oath of office they took to protect our country. Shame on them.

Impeachment Hearings!

Patriotic State Department Employees Ambassadors George Kent and William Taylor (who possess more balls than all Congressional Republicans) Thank God we still have patriots like these two men who put country first instead of the criminal in the White House

History will be made today folks! 

The public phase of the impeachment hearings begin of President Trump's abuse of power.

Needless to say I'll be glued to the TV all day today.  I love this kind of thing. Real people, real drama, real time.

I'm watching MSNBC with Brian Williams and Nicolle Wallace. I just found out that George Conway (KellyAnne Conway's husband) will be on with them offering their take on the soon to be public testimonies. Wow, wonder what George and KellyAnne will be talking about tonight in bed. You just can't make this stuff up folks. If this was a script submitted for a TV series this scenario would be written out as unbelievable. Just goes to prove that real life is always more interesting than fiction.

I remember the last impeachment hearings, Watergate.  I was very young then and all into my gay life.  The impeachment hearings of Nixon were peripheral to me.  I initially supported Nixon and thought the whole thing was overblown. That is until the Nixon tapes came out. I was shocked. That was probably the first time in my life I felt like I was played for a fool by a person in authority. 

Now I'm not shocked that Trump has abused power. 

Right now I'm watching George Conway (yes, KellyAnne Conway's husband) on MSNBC with Nicolle Wallace and Brian Williams. Mr. Conway, even though he a conservative isn't one of those Always Trumpers that maintains Trump can do no wrong. 

The hearings are about to begin. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Thoughts On An Autumn Evening

Lewes-Rehobth Canal November 11, 2019

As I begin my 79th year, I've been reminiscing more than usual. 

I'm having very intense dreams. Of course I can't remember those dreams now but I do know how intense they were because I wake up exhausted. When I have dreams like this they usually portend something significant to happen in my life. Often these dreams are followed by a passing of someone very close to me. The only two people I can think of now who are in danger is my youngest brother who has had very serious multiple medical issues the past year. In my seventy-eight years I have lost many friends, relatives and co-workers. Some have affected more than others, often to my surprise. I'm the oldest of the three "boys" of my Mother.  I'm supposed to go first. If one of my younger brothers goes before me I will probably feel like when I lost my Mother. Part of me is gone, never to be the same. In fact, I'm having a hard time even imagining him gone, even though he lives in a different state. 

The other person I am concerned about is Bill.  He's ninety-one years old now and slipping.  His cognitive abilities are not the same.  I've seen this before with my late friend Bob McC. With my late friend I tried to tell myself I was imagining things and overreacting but fate proved me wrong. I'm seeing the same thing with Bill.  Now, me without Bill?  Folks, I have to tell you I have serious doubts how I would survive. Bill has been such a part of my life for so long (fifty-five years). Living by myself, I can't imagine that life. In fact I don't want to imagine that life.  I had a taste of it briefly when I was twenty-one years old. I didn't like it.  I do not know how I would handle that life. But then I wouldn't want to leave Bill on his own. I suggested jokingly to Bill "Maybe we could go together."   During my fifty-five years with Bill, several times I seriously considered leaving him and taking up with someone else. Thank God I came to my senses and never did that.  Those guys didn't care for me and only used me. I will never let that happen again. 

As usual, this is one of those blog posts that I do the stream of consciousness ramblings I often indulge in, this one I can see has too many negative connotations. Now to see if I can round the curve and end this post with a positive outlook.

Tonight I'm working at my part-time job at the hotel in this little historic town in southern coastal Delaware. The hotel where I work is next to a canal, a photo of which I took with my new iPhone X Max Pro camera. While cleaning out a meeting room near the canal I happened to catch sight of a beautiful moon hanging in the nighttime autumn sky.  Looking at that luminescent lunar light show sort of took my breath away. Positive thought washed over my mind how fortunate I am. 

I have this lovely job at a boutique hotel. I meet nice people (a New Zealander tonight, last week a South African). I work with (mostly) nice people (there's always one isn't there?)  I love our home and the one acre of land it sits on. This morning I spent about an hour cutting back flower stalks killed by recents over night frosts. I'm watching a fabulous series at the Tipton Cinema on the weekend ("Better Call Saul".) 

I love experiencing the change of seasons. Today I planted two new clematis plants to debut next spring with a burst of purple beauty. 

My body aches all over (arthritis)(scale of one to ten, a constant three). I have a nasal drainage condition which results in a phlegm buildup in the base of my throat which I often have to clear during the day.  But other than those two health conditions, I'm in good health.

I have a super good friend in Pat, my Canadian Travel Buddy.  Pat and I play online Scrabble and talk almost everyday on FaceTime. My other good friend is Lar who I've known since third grade. Too many people my age don't have any close friends, I am indeed fortunate to have Pat and Lar. I can't imagine them not in my life.

I love reading. I've been reading since elementary school. It's hard for me to believe that someone like Trump hasn't read a book cover to cover in his entire life. My late friend Ed never read a book either. They don't know what they're missing life by not reading a good book. But then both Trump and my friend had other goals in life, accumulating a lot of money and cheating in which they were and are very good at. Unfortunately for Ed he couldn't take any of his millions with him. I don't have their millions but I do always have a good book or two at hand which I'm reading. That is my wealth.

A year from now I will be entering my 80th year when I turn 79 years old. I may not be here but I suspect I will and no doubt I will have more "Thoughts On An Autumn Evening" to share.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Happy Birthday Ron!

Back in my "young and pretty" days - 1998 - 20 years ago!

Ah yes, here I am today at my 78th birthday.

How in the world did this happen? 

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would reach this grand landmark. It wasn't that long ago when I turned 40 and I thought that was old.  

Then before I knew it I crossed the half century mark at 50.  

My 60th birthday slipped by and before I knew it I was 70.  Wow!

Now I'm creeping up on 80.  Just hard for me to believe.  I am SO OLD.

I remember the first tryst I had in my early gay bar cruising adventures. I was 21 and he was 29.  His name was Bob S.  I saw him dancing at an after hours club. This was back in 1963 when one dressed up when one went Out.  He was wearing a suit and shaking his slight body doing the Twist (remember that dance).  While watching him he caught my eye watching him.  He smiled, I smiled and then I asked him to dance.  During our conversation he told me he was 29 years old. I remember thinking at that time "Man, you're old" but I really liked him so I suspended my revulsion at his "old age" and went for it, or him. 

Of course over the years my attitude towards "old men" has changed significantly. Now I consider men who are in their Forties or Fifties "kids."  I live with a 91 year old man. Pat (no explanation needed for my regular blog followers) is 70 years old.  Just a young guy from my vantage point now.

I have to tell you folks the past 78 years have been quite a journey.  I am and have been so fortunate. 

After an early brush with death (17 years old) because of physician and hospital malpractice (contacted staph infection which my doctor failed to diagnose until it was almost too late), I've had a real roller coaster of a life.  I used to say "I have no regrets" but on second thought I probably would do some things differently (like taking that first offer on our house in Pennsylvania), I am very happy with the way my life has turned out.  

How many people can say they've been in a fifty-five year relationship with a loving partner? Someone who thinks the sun rises and sets on me?  Oh sure, we've had our stressful times but what relationship hasn't?  

How many people can say they have such a good friend like Pat, my Canadian Travel Buddy.  Pat is like the younger, little brother that I never had even though I DO have two younger brothers.  

I've mentioned this before many times in this blog but this bears mentioning again, I live in the home I've always wanted my whole life.  I have an interesting part-time job even now at the grand old age of 78 that keeps me engaged, and helps to fund my profligate life-style.  

I have my health issues but I'm still walking and thinking.  Oh sure, my once head-turning looks don't stop conversation when I enter a room full of people like I used to thirty years ago but I still have my moments.  

All in all it's been a good life for me folks. As a matter of fact, I've had a fantastic life folks and I'm not done yet. 

Many more adventures on my horizon, of that I am sure.

Caregiver Update

  Bill with his hospice nurse last week Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular ba...