Sunday, March 31, 2019

eBay Sale - Success!

My first eBay sale!

Good news! 

My first sale on eBay was a success!

Here's how it went folks. 

Last week I put my House of Miniatures Dollhouse furniture kits up for sale on eBay. I did my research and decided to put them up for auction instead of a set price.

I paid $14.75 per kit plus shipping when I was on a semi-monthly plan to receive these kits back in the late 80's. When I researched the kits that were already on sale on eBay I found the prices ranged form $4.50 to $8.95 per kit.  I had twenty-eight kits plus two shadow boxes and the XACTO knife set and glue.  I figured $100 was a fair price, both to me and a potential buyer. 

My next decision was to either put this lot up for auction or a set price.  I decided to put the lot up for auction with a starting bid of $50.  eBay suggested start the bid at .99 cents, they advised that works better for auctions.  I was too nervous to take that chance, not for twenty-eight unopened kits and the shadow boxes and the equipment to put it together. No one else was selling all those items in a House of Miniatures log on eBay.  

I placed my sale on eBay on Wednesday. 

Almost immediately I received an inquiry from a potential buyer, she was questioning the mailing/shipping costs.  I had researched the shipping cost of the kits and two shadow boxes, which weighed a total of nineteen pounds, and the costs ranged from thirty dollars to seventy-nine dollars, depending on the ZIP code where I would be mailing the kits. I decided to set a flat shipping cost of $50. This woman didn't like that. I thanked her for her communication and changed my ad to reflect the actually shipping cost.  She suggested that I pay the shipping cost. Well, that wasn't going to happen. 

I went to bed that night.  Next morning when I woke up I checked my iPhone to see if I got any other bids.  I did. Two of them!  One for $34.95 and one for $100!!  Wow!  

I have to tell you that offer caught me off guard.  One hundred dollars was want I wanted.  Maybe I could get more?  But the offer said I had "24 hours to either accept for decline the offer."  Oh, this was a new wrinkle that I hadn't expected.  My auction had six more days to run. I'm thinking maybe I could get more but then I'm also thinking one hundred dollars is what I wanted and would be happy with.  After about six hours of thinking about it, I decided to accept that offer. 

How about the other offer?  I rejected it of course.  Then that person upped his offer $5.00 to $39.95. Is this guy kidding?  Of course I rejected his offer with a note explaining to him if I accepted his offer it would amount to $1.97 per kit.  I sent him that communication. That was the last I heard from him.  Nice try guy.  

Next up was the mailing process.  This is what I wasn't sure about. I was pleasantly surprised to find that eBay makes printing a packing slip and mailing label very easy.  I was even able to print the postage.  How cool is that?

I mailed the nineteen pound box off on Friday at the Post Office. 

Now I'm ready to make my next sale.  One thing I found out though from this sale was that I posted it on the worst day of the week, Wednesday.  I've done more research for the best time to post a seven day auction item and all sources say the auction should end at 9 pm Sunday.  The information I got from the Internet says Sunday is the highest traffic time for viewing eBay.  Thus I will post my next sale tomorrow at about 9 o'clock. 

This time I'm selling a Heidi doll. This is a doll with hand made clothing by the husband of a former co-worker of mine.  Her name was Frida Grimm and her husband's name was Hermann Grimm.  Both were immigrants from Germany.  I purchased this doll from Frida and Hermann in 1968. She's been in her box ever since.

Heidi in a box since 1968
Add caption
Time to free Heidi! 

I purchased Heidi as a Christmas gift for one of my nieces but because I have four nieces and didn't want to slight any, I never gave Heidi to any of them. I would have to buy three more dolls and I didn't want to spend that much money.  I think I paid $45 for Heidi and this was back in 1968 when I was only making about $80 a week at my banking job in the trust operations department. 

Poor Heidi, she's had to reside in that box for  the past forty-one years.  Now she's going to have a new home.

I took her out to check her condition and I found her left eye to be cloudy. Looks like she developed an eye condition spending all that time in a box. I tried to clean her eye and got most of it off but her left eye is slightly different. I will disclose that in my ad when I place it on eBay tomorrow.

eBay suggests that for the best auction price I start the bid at .99 cents.  I'm still not sure about that.  I'll decide tomorrow.  Maybe I will. Then maybe I'll set a base price of $10, which I think is fair.

Since I began downsizing about five years ago I've given all my items to local thrift stores. However, now I'm getting down to my more valuable items.  Why not make some money off of some of my misguided buys during my previous life?  And you know I have a LOT of those items. 

This is going to be fun folks. I'm glad I took the plunge last week.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

EBay - Finally!

Today I posted my first sale item ever on EBay. 

This was a long time coming folks. I first started thinking about posting some of my more valuable items on EBay twenty years ago.  But I procrastinated because I wasn't sure how to do it. 

I had briefly considered hiring someone to sell my items but then I thought "I can do this."  Then I put it off again.  Now twenty years later I finally did it!  

The past two years I have been slowly downsizing items in my storage room that I haven't been using and never will use.  Many of those items have little worth.  I've been donating those items to local thrift stores.  However, I do have some items that have value.  Actually, I have quite a few items of value that I just can't justify giving away to thrift stores.  Why not make some money off of them?  

The first items I have put up for sale are twenty-eight boxes of dollhouse furniture.  I had subscribed to this place called "House of Miniatures" from Terre Haute Indiana.  What was I thinking?  I was going to actually put together this furniture and have a dollhouse?  Really?  Chalk it up to youthful folly.

I bought these kits for an average of $14.95 a kit about forty years ago.  Yes, FORTY.  Man oh man, how fast time goes by.  

I figured these kits would be worth something today.  Especially since the House of Miniatures went out of business. I checked EBay to see if anyone else was selling these kits.  They were. 

I checked the prices. Reality check, the kits were averaging $5.95 a box. There goes my get rich quick scheme.  These kits match my house, worth less now than it was when I purchased it in 2006.  Heck, I guess I'm worth less. 

House of Miniatures kids and shadow boxes for sale on EBay

Now to do my research and learn how to see on EBay.  First the cost of mailing the kits and two shadow boxes, tool kit and glue. Total weight nineteen lbs.  I check at both the local multi-purpose mailing store (FED-EX, UPS) and U.S. Post Office. Max mailing cost (depends on distance) was 90210 (yep, Beverly Hills, California) was $77.95, plus the cost of the box to mail the kits. Hmmm, a lot more expensive than I thought. 

Armed with my cost information I took my photos of the items and posted them for sale this morning on EBay's website. 

I posted them as an auction item.  Now I'm feeling the excitement.  This is fun.  

Now already I've received an inquiry from a potential buyer.  She questioned the mailing costs. I had posted a $50 flat Fed Ex rate. She thought that was too much. I'm glad she sent me that inquiring.  I made a change on my sell posting and put in to calculate the postage charge. 

I have to tell you folks, this is going to be fun. It's going to be interesting to see how much I can sell these kits for.  

Next up, I have about two dozen vintage jeans of all brands that I've been accumulating all my adult life. I've never thrown away jeans.  They have to be worth somethings especially after seeing those $500 distressed jeans for sale in Nordstrom's when we were in Beverly Hills.  

Why do I have so many jeans for sale?  Don't tell anyone but these jeans don't fit me any more. For many years my waist size was 32 inches. About ten years ago it crept up to 33 inches.  Now folks, my waist size is 34 inches. I kept these jeans assuming I could get my waist size down to 32 inches. That's not going to happen folks. I have to face reality, my shape has shifted. Shape Shifter Ron.

I'm entering another new phase of my life folks with my entry into the EBay seller's market. 

Exciting times.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Bloggerpalooza 2013 - Last Day

On this day, March 24, 2013 was the last day of the first Bloggerpalooza.  That was six years ago. My, how fast time goes by.  

We held another Bloggerpalooza the following year in 2014.  We haven't had one since because of  lack of interest of some and the expense incurred by this blogger. I have limited income (Social Security and some modest pensions - all fixed income) which I supplement by working part-time at the hotel where this Bloggerpalooza was held. That two thousand plus dollars I now spend on my annual winter California holiday which last year we actually had a mini bloggerpalooza when Dr. Spo, Someone, Doug, gathered for a tete a tete in Palm Springs. The previous year Tim and Larry joined us for a tram up Mt. Jacinto.

(from back left to right) Pat, Someone, Tim
(seated left to right) me, Spo and Larry - February 2017 Mt. Jacinto, Palm Springs, CA

Next year Pat and I will return to Palm Springs February 9th through February 23rd.  All bloggers are invited to join us.  Yesterday I informed Dr. Spo when Pat and I would be in Palm Springs. I'm informing all others reading this blog when we'll be there.  If anybody wants to join us, let me know and I'll arrange something so we can all get together. 

This short video memory that I'm posting brings back some sweet and sad memories. Included in the video is Jay of Virginia who is no longer with us. 

Watching this video I am reminded of the wonderful camaraderie that was experienced and enjoyed by all who attended. How wonderful in this day and age of so much political strife when folks take sides according to their tribal affiliations. This bloggerpalooza was just a gathering of friends who heretofore only knew each other through the ether of the Internet. How wonderful that we were finally able to meet.

I remember when I first saw Dr. Spo, emerging from his room on the fourth floor of the hotel where I work and where he and Someone were staying.  What struck me was that Spo is tall!  Almost as tall as I am.  Well over four feet for sure. For some reason I thought was one of those "little guys."  

Bloggers greet Spo and Someone in person first day of the Bloggerpalooza March 22, 2013 - note that Spo is taller than Someone and almost as tall as I am, well over 4 feet
Here's hoping there is another Bloggerpalooza in the future.

Blogger gathering in Palm Springs February 2018 - from left to right - Someone, me, Spo, Pat and Leon

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Green Earth Restaurant Pasadena, California 2019

Every year when Pat and I visit California for our annual winter holiday, we make sure to visit the Green Earth restaurant in Pasadena, California.

The Green Earth restaurant, as the title would indicate, is a vegetarian restaurant. Pat wanted to visit this restaurant because it is the sister restaurant (run by the same Vietnamese family) of the Green Earth restaurant in Tornonto, Canada, Pat's former home (Pat now lives in Hamilton, Ontario).

Thuoung U - The Green Earth Restaurant

Our host at the Green Earth restaurant in Pasadena is Thuoung U, a Vietnamese immigrant.  I remember the first time I asked him his last name and he said "U".  I said "How do you spell your last name?"  He said "U".  Pen ready, I said "What is the rest of it?"  He said, "That's it, just 'U'".  Pretty cool eh?

Pasadena is a short drive mileage wise from our stay in West Hollywood but long traffic wise. It is worth the trip though. Pasadena is a beautiful town.  Neat and clean.  

Pat and I always sit at the same booth, which has always been available when we drop in unannounced. We're always receive a friendly welcome by Thuoung.  

Pat and me at our booth at the Green Earth Restaurant - I don't know what Pat was doing - by the way we don't sit next to each other, I sit across from pat at the table, we just posed this way for the picture which probably discombulated Pat

The menu changes every year.  We look forward to trying new vegetarian entrees. This year was no exception.  

Our vegan dishes at the Green Earth Restaurant - the one with tofu chunks are Pat's - I don't like tofu, that's how I knew the difference

I don't remember the names of these entrees but they were delicious. And we always top off our meal with a slice of vegan cheesecake which we share.  

Vegan cheesecake, which I like better than regular cheesecake - I don't have that heavy feeling in my stomach after I eat it, very tasty!

This blog post just another little slice of our annual California adventure. Sad to say we probably won't be visiting Thuoung next year.  We have decided to spend our whole two weeks in Palm Springs next year.  Maybe in 2021 we will return, hopefully.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Memory Foam Mattress

Pat approving of the memory foam mattress at our Palm Springs rental

My whole life I've slept on uncomfortable mattresses.  From the time when I was growing up and I had to sleep with my two younger brothers in the same bed (which I hated, I eventually got my own bed, a fold up, when I was sixteen years old) until my latest mattress, which I got from the hotel where I work. 

Me at 12 years old ready to go to bed with my two brothers in one very uncomfortable bed

In my seventy-seven years I've slept on all types of mattress, even a water bed which made me sea sick. Maybe the worst were the thin mattresses I slept on during my three year Army enlistment. 

Me with Army bed at Ft. Meade, MD. 1962

I've gotten used to waking up with an aching back. I just assumed that was my lot in life.

Thus it was a very pleasant surprise to discover a different kind of mattress during our stay in Palm Springs. 

Our uncomfortable bed inWest Hollywood, sunk in the middle.  So uncomfortable I slept in the other bedroom

Both Pat and I immediately noticed how comfortable the mattress was at our VRBO rental unit in Palm Springs. We had to find out what kind of mattress that was.  We took off the sheets and turned over the mattress to discover the mattress we were sleeping on was a memory foam mattress.  I called the owner of the unit and asked her where she got the mattress.  She said  We did a it more research and found this:

Pat and I went in downtown Palm Springs and found a mattress store to see if they were selling any.  We found one that had a memory foam mattress, it was a Posturepedic mattress.  We tested it but at $2,999 it was a bit over my budget (you think)?  You all know the prices for mattresses vary greatly. Mattress pricing is right there with hearing aids and glasses, prices are high. You have to shop around.  Even though the salesman at the Palm Springs offered free delivery of his mattress, I passed. He wasn't happy. I'm immune these days to pushy salespeople. 

Shortly after I got home I received an e-mail with this offer from BJ's, a store where I regularly shop.

Memory foam mattress from BJ's
I saw this ad and decided "Why not?"  I ordered it.

The compressed mattress arrived in a box. Now to get rid of my old mattress.  I called Alfredo, the son of my Mexican landscaper to see if his parents wanted my old mattress. They did.  They came by and picked it up.  

I opened the box my memory foam mattress and let it expand.  I put it on my bed.  A few hours later I tested it.  Fabulous! 

My old mattress - goodbye!
My new memory foam mattress - hello!

Man oh man.  For the first time in my life I sleep in comfort and wake up without a back ache. Only problem, my afternoon naps now last hours and I mean hours.  First day I slept over three hours!  

I told Bill "This is the bed I die in."  No hospital bed for me, hooked up to IV units and in a fog from pain killers.  I plan to ease out of this life in sweet comfort and not twisting around in my bed trying to get a good position so my back doesn't ache. 

Now I know some of you are questioning "Why didn't you order the memory foam mattress from Amazon?"  Good question.  I goofed. Memory foam mattresses are probably like sugar.  Doesn't matter which brand you order. I goofed but it's all right, for once in my life I sleep in comfort.  I love it!

Where did memory foam mattress come from?  This from the Internet:

Memory foam, also known as temper foam, was developed under a NASA contract in the 1970s that set out to improve seat cushioning and crash protection from airline pilots and passengers. Memory foam has widespread commercial applications, in addition to the popular mattresses and pillows.

Now I understand that memory foam mattresses aren't for everyone.  I hear that for some they are too hot. But they work for me.  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Playing Pool at Hunters Bar in Palm Springs

During our stay in Palm Springs this past February Pat and I had a chance to play pool. 

During my three year Army enlistment I often played pool in our dayroom at the various Army bases where I was stationed.  Over time I obtained some measure of skill at playing a pool.  Not that I'm a good pool player, I'm not but I do find playing pool very relaxing. 

I tried playing golf (Chip and Put) back in the Sixties. That wasn't for me. Maybe miniature golf but I find playing golf very awkward.  Playing pool is more my style. I like the social aspect.

During our visit to Hunters bar (a gay bar in Palm Spings), which we went to for dancing and the pulsating music (videos of that in future blog postings) I noticed pool tables. During the weekends those tables are the platform for the male strippers/dancers but on the night we were there the pool tables were available for play.

This is a short video of that pleasant evening. Oh, Pat won most of the games as he does when we play games. But as I often say, we had fun. It's all about the experience folks. And on this night the music was pretty good too.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Price is Right 2019

This was our fourth trip to "The Price is Right!" TV show. This was our fifth appearance in the audience of "The Price is Right!", one year we were asked to attend the second taping. 

Again, we weren't called to "come on down!" but we still had a great time. 

There are two tapings a day at the CBS Studio on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood. One in the morning and one in the afternoon, we attended the morning taping.

The line forms at about 8 am.  The taping begins at about 12 pm.  Yes, we're in line for four hours. 
Now that sounds very boring but in fact it is not.  For one thing we get to met a lot of fine folks from other parts of the country. Almost every one is in a party mood. And the folks at the Price is Right makes sure we're entertained for the full four hours.

First thing the folks at the Price is Right do is go down the line and collect all the priority tickets.  That's for folks like me who wrote for their tickets on line.  Those of us with priority tickets are assured a seat in the 300 seat audience for the live taping. 

This year it was extra cold in Los Angeles so we were ushered in off the street outside the CBS studio and under the shelter where the portable heaters were placed to keep us warm.

The next step is to they assign us numbers and write our first name on a tag, which we place on our shirt or top.

Me with my number and name - lucky number! The year I graduated from high school!

The following step is we fill out a disclosure form and have our picture taken to accompany the disclosure form.  Yes, there is that much security.

Then we're proceeded to  a green screen backdrop to have our picture taken like we're on the Price is Right.  We reenact scenes like we won a prize.  Those pictures are on sale for $20.  I always buy those pictures.  That's about as close as I'm going to get to The Wheel. 

Me and Pat next to the Price is Right wheel, the closes we will ever get

Then we proceed to another line in groups to await the twenty-second interview. This is done by a representative of the Price is Right staff.  They're looking for "..people who are authentically excited to be there, are naturally gregarious, are interested in having a good time, and who we think will enjoy the prizes that we're giving away. We're looking for people that are being themselves and not pretending to be more excited or more odd or whatever it is."  

After that interview we are at the last step before we enter the studio.  At this time there are about ten TV monitors above us showing previous shows where contestants are called from the audience and who make very excited approaches to the stage and Drew Carey and who win the big prizes. Oh, and I almost forgot, we have to turn in our iPhones or cameras before we get to this stage, that's why I don't have any videos of this part of the procedure.

We're given one last chance to get something to eat from their snack bar (expensive) and to go to the bathroom. No bathroom breaks during the taping of the show.

Then, finally, we're told it's time to go into the studio.  We line up and proceed into the studio which is up on the second floor. We have to climb stairs.  As we're climbing the stairs we hear party music blaring keeping us in the mood. As we enter the very colorful studio, those audience members already there are clapping in beat to the music.  

Upon entering the studio we don't choose our seats, there are young ushers (mostly females) who assign us seats.  This year we got lucky and we were seated right down in front.  We will get a lot of camera time for when this show is on TV April 17th.  In fact, a guy right next to Pat was called to "come on down!".  He almost tripped over me getting out of the aisle.  You'll see me looking confused as I look around me to see who they called.  

After all the audience members are seated, the happy upbeat music continuing to blare, George Grey the announcer welcomes us.  He interacts with the audience a bit until he announces the entrance of the Price is Right host, Drew Carey. 

Drew Carey welcoming the audience - by the way Drew is great! He is in person just the way he is on camera

There is a person right behind the cameras on stage who motions to us how much to clap.  We're all trained seals.  There is a low clap, medium clap and a crazy, wild clap.  It doesn't take too long to train us.  We've been hyped up for four hours.

Drew comes onto stage to thunderous applause and cheers. He says hello to George and to the audience and asks George to call someone to "come on down."  By the way, most of us can't hear George but we do see a big sign that a Price is Right staff member holds up with the person's full name on it.  We also see the sign on the monitors that are throughout the audience.  

There is a lot of cheering and commotion and genuine happiness for those who are called. And then the game begin.

This year is the last year we will attend the show for a while.  We've attended four years in a row now, and five shows.  One time we were asked to attend a second taping because they were short audience members.  

We always enjoy our visits to the Price is Right show.  Drew, George and the whole staff go out of their way to make the experience a very happy one.  It's like a party.  But next year, Pat and I are going to spend our whole two week-winter holiday in Palm Springs.  

We will be back some year to the Price is Right.  As the logo on my shirt this year said: 

"Never Give Up!"

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

College Cheating Scandal

William Rick Singer - mastermind of the college cheating scandal - administrator of a non-profit tax exempt charity

Yesterday the news broke of the biggest college cheating scandal in the history of the United States. Helicopter parents brazenly paid cash to rig the system so their little darlings could jump ahead of the line and be admitted to colleges of their choice.

Admit it, didn't you know in your heart that this cheating was always going on?  Of course.  We all know about the legacy children who get in prestigious colleges of their parent's choice because their parent's went to that college. The rich white parents donate to the college (a building, a scholarship, etc) and viola! Their precious is admitted.

Actresses Felecity Huffman and Lori Loughin- charged in the college cheating scandal 

I was sickened when I heard and saw this news yesterday. This is the rich and privileged giving their kids a fast track for life.  Sickened to my stomach.  This news confirms that those who play by the rules get screwed again by the rich and influential who have enough money to buy their way to get ahead of the line.

This is personal for me.  When I graduated from high school I wanted to go to college. I couldn't go.  My Mother told me when I was in my freshman year in high school and had to make a choice of what course to take in high school (academic or commercial) that "We can afford to send you to college."  Of course I was hurt and disappointed.  Again I felt "lesser than". Not good enough.  I didn't have any hope of a scholarship.  I was a good student (mostly B's, an occasional "A" and one of two "C's"). I wasn't an athlete so I couldn't go on a sports scholarship. And I didn't have enough self confidence or a car to get a job and work my way through college. So what did I do? I joined the Army for three years.  After I got out of the Army I went to college on the GI bill.  I went to night school three nights a week (three house each night) for four years and obtained an Associate's Degree in Business Management. Didn't help me at all on my job at the bank, I was already ensconced in my career. If I had entered the job market after a four year college degree, my life arguably would be a lot different. 

Like many others, all my life I've played by the rules. And like many others, we all know there is an element of our society who do not play by the rules. Most of them get away with it.  Money and influence.  But it still is sickening and hurts when we see cheating like we saw on the news yesterday. 

You know what is really the discouraging part of this whole scandal?  No one and I mean NO ONE will serve one day in jail because of their cheating.  And why is that?  Because they are rich, influential and white. That's the way our system works in this country.  It's always worked that way and will continue to work that way. Do I sound cynical?  Well, yes.  But it is the truth.  

Reality folks. Not one of these people involved in this scandal will spend a day in jail.  They will express remorse maybe do some community service and life goes on and the cheating and not playing by the rules will continue. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Reflections on LIfe

My new memory foam mattress - the mattress I will die on (or hope too)

Finally, I got some time to sit back and reflect.

Ever since I got back from my annual California holiday, it's been one thing after another. Doctor's appointments, work, household emergencies.

Tomorrow I take Bill to the VA Outpatient clinic again (third visit in the past three weeks) to get the rest of his ear wax cleaned out of his right ear. This care giving business is taking up more and more of my time. I don't mind though, I'll always take care of Bill. But when I do I always wonder what do those older folks do who have no one to care for them?  Who will take care of me if I should be so lucky to reach ninety years old, the same age as Bill is now?  I try not to think about it.  The way I'm grunting and groaning now I doubt if I'll get anywhere near ninety years.  My goal now is to surpass my father's age (80) before he died in 2020 of lung cancer. Next goal will be to surpass my Mother who died in 2016 of diabetes. I'm pretty sure I'm going to die of a heart condition the way I tire easily.  I used to be able to walk all the time but not any more. Last few trips Pat and I were on, I over did my walking and had to stop and rest because my heart was hurting so much.

I would say "I'm getting old folks" but that wouldn't be exactly true.  I AM old.  I talk to my friend Larry (same age as me) about this subject frequently. We are both entering a new phase of our very interesting lives. We both agree we've had a good run and this is just another part of living, for which we are both thankful.

This spring I plan to visit my younger brother at his home in Greenville, South Carolina, who has stage four lymphoma. He and I also had a discussion about life and death. John (my brother) said "We all get our turn."  John is in a good frame of mind which I admire him for.  Larry, who has ALS is also in a good frame of mind for the condition he has. Am I in a good frame of mind?  Sure.  Something is going to get me, that's for sure. Something is going get all of us, you can count on that. Are you in a good frame of mind for what's coming?

But for the time being, I'm glad things have calmed down and I can get back into my regular routine of working two days a week at the hotel, taking Bill for his daily ride, getting ready for spring gardening, making lemon sponge pie and taking afternoon naps on my new memory foam bed, which I will be writing about in a future blog posting.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Two Systems of Justice in the United States

Judge T. S. Ellis, III

Paul Manafort, the traitor to the United States of America, received a sweetheart sentence of forty-seven months for his lifetime of crimes including lying to the Special Prosecutor, thus proving again there are two systems of justice for citizens of the United States.

I try to avoid political blogs because I know they bore many of my readers but regular readers of my blog know that sometimes I just have to vent, political or otherwise. 

Remember all the "Lock her up!" chants from the Deplorables at Trump's rallies because Hillary had a private e-mail server which supposedly was a dangerous security threat to the US?  The Republicans and their Kool-Aid drinking followers all cheered. Yet here we have Paul Manafort, a proven liar, money launderer, bank fraud, and a lifetime of criminality gets a sweetheart sentence from Federal judge Ellis, who is known to give light sentences for white collar crimes. 

Remember this, a black woman in Texas was sentenced to five years in jail for mistakenly voting without being registered. Click here. That folks says it all about how the justice systems sometimes (a lot actually) works in our country.  

 Shame on you Judge Ellis.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Productive Day

Pat (to the far right) sitting by the pool at one of the houses we visited during Modernism Week in Palm Springs February 19, 2019 - one of the rare sunny days while we were there

Today was much better than yesterday folks.  Early this morning I took myself down to the eye institute to present my power of attorney to the folks down there so I could authorize his eye surgery.  Bill has scar tissue that has formed around his replacement lenses. All went well. One eye at a time and then another long eye dilating hours appoint followup appointment. 

Shortly after I returned home a representative from Lowe's came by to measure our media basement room for a replacement wall to wall carpet.  We had to remove the previous carpet due to ground water damage from a broken seal of the sewer pipe leading out the back of the basement, near our media room.  Got that done. Now I await a quote on how much this is going to cost. 

Now I was at home I finished up preparing my 2019 tax returns.  Always a chore which I dread even though I'm using the Turbo Tax computer program.  Again, this year Bill and I get money back from filing a joint return, the third year we're filing a joint return. In all our years before we almost always owed money because we could not file a joint return even though I've been head of household since Bill retired at early age fifty-five in 1981.  Yes, I've been head of household all those years.  At that time I was making enough money to support both of us so I urged Bill to retire early.  Little did I know that four years later I would lose my long time job at the bank (which I fully expected to retire from) and began on my journey of scrambling and working for several subsequent banks. But it all worked out folks. We're here now, mortgage paid off (long story) and living a comfortable life in southern Delaware.

I'm looking forward to getting back into my regular home routine of playing online Scrabble with my Canadian Travel Buddy, Pat. Further cleaning out of a lifetime accumulation of memorabilia in our media room. Daily naps (had a good long, deep on this afternoon folks) and, AND frequent updates on my blog postings as well as reading blog postings of my favorite bloggers.

Next trip is to Philadelphia preceded by a short trip to visit my ill brother John in Greenville, South Carolina.  This will take place at the end of May.  Pat will take a bus trip to Philly where I will meet him.  There we will catch a plane to Greenville.  We'll spend the next day there then fly back to Philly where Pat will rent a car.  Then we'll drive down here to Casa Tipton-Kelly for a two day visit with Bill then we're to Philly for our annual spring stay in the City of Brotherly Love and visiting my longtime friend Don.  On the way to Philly we'll stop by Claymont Delaware and visit my long time friend Larry.  Always something to look forward to folks. That is what life about these days.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Pat will be my "date" when I attend my 60th high school class reunion in Downingtown on June 8th.  The time of this reunion will be 12 PM instead of nighttime. No more nighttime reunions for us oldies (we're all in our late 70's now).  Of course I will take pictures and videos.  Maybe I can convince Pat to have a dance with me.  

Things are finally falling in place folks. And spring is coming. And even better yet, the last season of "Game of Thrones" is finally here!!!! 

Doesn't get much better than that folks.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Wasted Day

Bill patiently waiting for his eye doctor today

Today was a total wasted day. We had an appointment at the eye institute to have the scar tissue removed around Bill's cataracts.  This was supposed to be a "ten minute" procedure by laser.

The appointment time was 1:20 pm which was right in the middle of my nap time. 

Bill and I arrived early for our appointment. We were seen within ten minutes of our arrival time. The assistant gave Bill an eye test. I was wondering why reading the eye charts again.  I thought we were going in for laser surgery.  

Then Bill got the eye drops that diluted his pupils and we were sent off to the waiting room. And there we waited . . . . and waited for over an hour.  The waiting room was full (about eight people).  They all emptied out and a new crop of folks filed in. 

I'm a patient person . . . to a limit. I understand that sometimes doctor's get behind schedule but at least have someone pop their head in and tell us that they are running behind. But that didn't happen.

What I do, when the appointment is running late, is that I wait an hour at the most. Then I get up and question. Today, Bill wasn't having it.  I had to calm him down while the clocked ticked.  He was starting to make a scene right there in the waiting room, alarming others.  His anger reminded me of my brother, who was my Mother's caregiver at the end of her life, trying to calm her down when her doctor's appointment were running late. There were times he had to put her out in the car to wait.

After an hour I got up and inquired "When will be be waited on? We've been here almost two hours now (we arrived early) and seen the whole room emptied out and still nothing."  The woman rather hurriedly told me "You're next! We go by the numbers, you're next!" and indeed we were.

We're ushered into another room. The doctor comes in and inquires to Bill "How are you doing?"  Bill wasn't having it (yes, I know I'm repeating myself).  He told the doctor he wasn't happy having to wait so long. The doctor turned around to look at me, I said to Bill "Bill, Bill. The doctor is going to examine you now."  Bill jutted his lower jaw out and submitted to yet another eye chart examination. 

Then I realized this doctor was examining AGAIN what we already had last week by another eye doctor, an eye examination. WTF?  I told the doctor "We've already done this."  He looked rather annoyed at me and said "I have to examine his eyes before I recommend laser surgery."  Oh, okay.  I missed something in translation.  I thought we were going in for the laser treatment to remove the scar tissue.  Somebody messed up here.  Oh well, let's make the best of the situation. 

The doctor's assistant told me I could schedule the laser surgery now.  But first she needed the power of attorney.  Really?  Bill had his cataracts removed and I didn't have to give them a power of attorney.  She explained to me that the assistant, who no longer worked there, made a mistake by not requiring the power of attorney paperwork.  

Well, I didn't have the power of attorney paperwork with me.  She said I could bring it in tomorrow and I didn't have to bring Bill with me.  Hmmnm, they're giving Bill time to cool down. 

I have an appointment tomorrow with the surgery coordinator at 10 am.  I hope tomorrow is not another wasted day.

By the way, while I was at the eye center, I got a call from my boss at work asking if I could come in and fill in for my co-worker.  Yes, that co-worker who frequently is unable to work for various health issues and family matters. I told him I couldn't come in right away since I was at the doctor's office but I could later. And that folks is where I am now, typing this blog post about my "wasted day" and not posting about my California holiday. 

Hey, this is life. Ain't it great?

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