Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Air Conditioner Update

Air conditioner repairman today

After a sweltering morning, the air conditioner service man came by after lunch. He checked out why our air conditioning system wasn't cooling off the house. First he found the circuit breaker switch was off. I should have checked that but missed it because of the circuit breaker problem we had with the washing machine. 

Then is did a regular maintenance routine and found the problem, "evap, TXV bad", has to "hot order" a new part. Translated that means our brand new HVAC system which I had (and paid over $10,000 for) installed in 2015 has a bad part.  What?  First it was our original HVAC system, which was builder grade, totally cheap, failed us. The whole twenty-five years we lived in Pennsylvania we never had ONE problem with our HVAC system.  

The good news is the part is covered by my warranty. The bad news is my warranty doesn't cover labor or Freon. That will cost me $1,150.05.  And just when I thought I was getting ahead. 

But you know folks, I'm glad we have a reserve fund that we can afford this repair. I can't imagine going through the summer without air conditioning. And to think I went through my whole childhood with air conditioning. 

Air Conditioner On The Blink

Yesterday I wrote about my "vacation paradise" right here in southern coastal Delaware. This morning I'm writing about my sweltering "vacation paradise" right here in southern coastal Delaware.  That's right folks, our air conditioning is on the blink.

It all began yesterday when I went to take a shower before I went to work at the hotel.  Since my hot water heater is located at the farthest end of the house from my master bedroom shower, I usually put a load of wash in the clothes washer so I won't have to waste running cold water to get my hot water for my shower.  

I loaded up my sheets. Turned the washing machine on. Nothing.  Yes, nada, zip, nothing.  Upon further examination I determined that there was no electrical power going to the washing machine. Oh sure, the lights were on in the laundry room but no power to the washer.  Time to call Bill.  

Bill rigged up an extension cord to the hallway outlet so I could wash my bed sheets.  Then I took a shower.

When I came home from my 3 pm to 11 pm shift at the hotel I noticed our house was a bit muggy.  Actually stifling.  I checked the thermostat and saw where the room temperature was 80 degrees. The thermostat was set at 74 but nothing was cooling off.  Just blowing air. Not hot air, room temperature air. Definitely not air conditioning. 

Time to call Service Today, my service provider for HVAC and plumbing. 

I couldn't call them last night so I turned on my overhead bedroom fan and managed to get some sleep in spite of the stifling air.  I didn't need my comforter last night.

At eight this morning I called Service Today. The serviceman called and said he would be here "between 10 and 12".  He will be here after 1 o'clock if not later.  I've seen this movie before.

I'm also awaiting the Rug Guy from Home Depot. Yes, I'm still messing around with replacing our water damaged rug in our basement media room.  I've already been through Lowe's and a local carpet deal (who name I will not mentioned) who is the epitome of Lower Slower Delaware. He still hasn't called me back.  

I would love to work outside this morning but it is Florida Swamp Everglades humid outside. I move around a little bit and I'm soaked in my own sweat. 

After our string of doctors' appointments last month I was looking forward to a little coasting time. Apparently that is not to be. 

Thank goodness it's not 98 degrees outside. It's 81 degrees but that fatiguing closeness of high humidity that just brings me to a stop.  

But you know folks, my problems are all First World.  I know that. Still, a very uncomfortable night and morning for your favorite blogger.

Monday, June 24, 2019

My Vacation Paradise Right Here At Home

The summer season is upon us here in southern coastal Delaware. Is it ever!

Already it's hard to get out of my development onto Route One (Coastal Highway), looking for a break in the traffic either headed south to Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and Ocean City Maryland and points beyond. Each year it gets worse.  This year so far it has been especially difficult getting out on Route One (the main thorough fare) to grocery shop, doctors' appointments and visits to Lowe's and Home Depot. Yes, we're right in the middle of the tourist season jam. 

This onslaught of vehicles will continue unabated until Labor Day and beyond. We won't be taking a walk on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach anytime soon. I may try to sneak in a trip during the weekday. I like to walk on the boardwalk at least once during the summer season. I like to get that "beach" feel even though I don't lay on the beach and like I did in my younger days.

But you know what folks? I'm living here this summer and year round right in the middle of this vacation destination of so many. And I don't have to drive for hours in congested traffic to get here.

Every morning I lookout out my bedroom window and take in our wonderful back yard. Yep, I'm right here where I want to be. My very own vacation paradise. 

Peace and quiet. The Route One traffic is just beyond the tree line but we have our very own oasis right here in our own back yard.  I love it folks!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Fifteen Questions About Myself

Folks, I'm going to take a break (temporary) from my blog posts about my week in Philly and class reunion. One of my favorite bloggers recently posted a blog of fifteen questions about himself. I read his post and I like these questions so here goes, I'm going to share a window into my personality for those of you who are interested.

1. Name three things you love about yourself

When I was younger I didn't like too much about myself if anything but as I've grown older and gained a better perspective on life I have discovered I'm not as bad as I was brought up to believe. Thus the following are three things that I like about myself:

1.  My honesty. I am totally honest sometimes to my detriment.  I can be no other way. Of course my honesty has often been used against me but I will continue to be honest because if I have nothing else, I have my own self respect.
2.  My body. Yes, I like the body that life has given me. At one time in my life (when I was younger again) I thought I was too tall, skinny, awkward, gangly, lopsided eared, big nose, not athletic and many other imperfections that my father was all too willing to point out to me. However, as I've grown more mature I realize that this is exactly the body I wanted.
3. My homosexuality. Seriously folks, if there is a God (which I don't believe) I believe it is a blessing that I was born gay.  I have seen life from a different perspective, met challenges (and overcome them) and understand how other persecuted minorities cope. Plus, I cannot imagine a greater feeling of love that I have had during my seventy-seven years on the earth. I'm one of those gay people who has never felt ashamed of who I am nor the need to apologize for the way I was born. 

2.What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

I stood up at a town hall meeting of my Congressman and objected to the reference of gay friends of mine who were attending a march for equality in Washington D.C. as "garbage."  I knew I was in the minority if not the only person at this town hall meeting who would express this view but I did not know that I was would physically attacked by a self described "good Christian man" who later claimed that he wasn't told "gay people would be at the town hall meeting."  The "good Christian man" attempted to strangle me before he was pulled off of me by my Congressman and several policemen. After this incident I stayed for the duration of the meeting and afterwards fully expected to be attacked outside the borough hall where the meeting was held.  I wasn't but that was the most nervous time of my life as I walked out of that meeting with my knees literally buckling but I couldn't sit there and let my friends be described as "garbage" and my Congressman say nothing.

3. Talk about the craziest night of your life.

Oh my, there have been several "craziest nights" but perhaps the craziest was when I had a one night stand with an airline pilot who said he had some "Hawaiian weed - best in the world".  I had tried pot several times and was unimpressed but that night, his weed, it was wild.  He was right.  I don't remember much of the details of that night but I do remember that I was totally uninhibited and had a wonderful time. Then there was that threesome I had in Provincetown on the last night of my stay with the houseboy and Brad but no weed was involved, just fabulous bodies.  

4. Name three things you want in life

1. Someone of love and be loved by
2. Own my own home
3. Enough income to live comfortably

Of course good health, that goes without saying.

Secured all there thank you!

5. Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

I used to have many of them when I was younger. Guy Madison, Farley Granger (before I found out he was very gay), and many other movie stars all dark haired, no blondes interestingly.  These days I don't have any celebrity crushes, my crushes are every day Americans (and Canadians).

6. What's your most common mistake?

My naivete. I always assume the best in people and I am always surprised when some people let me down by their selfishness and meanness
 and abusing my friendship. Once they do that, I'm gone.

7. What three things would you save if there was a fire?

1. My photographs 
2. My journals
3. The contents of my safe (birth certificate, passport, rings.

8. What is your favorite sport?

Easy answer, I have no favorite sport. Period.  Used to like baseball but not now.

9. Talk about something good that recently happened to you.

My trip to Philadelphia with my friend Pat. Also my trip to my 60th class reunion with Pat. Quarterly Pat and I meet for a trip. Best time of my life. Always something to look forward to.

10. Which fictional world would you live in if your could?

One in which there were no venal politicians. No Donald Trump. No hypocrite Christians. No cruelty to children and animals. Of course no such fictional world exists.

11 What's the one thing you can never say "no" too?

Hummus and chips

Homemade soup comes in a close second

12. Talk about a childhood memory?

I grew up living in a second floor apartment. During the summer, I occasionally was invited to spend a "couple of weeks" in the country.  One was with my Mother's step sister Mary. The other was with the sister of my Aunt Peggy to keep her son "Ducky" company. Oh how I loved those "couple of weeks" in the summer where I could play on real ground and not run down the stairs of my apartment building in the white trash section of Downingtown and play near the railroad tracks I can still smell the coal tar of those railroad tracks. I would much rather smell the grass and greenery of the country where I was so fortunate to stay.  I remember one summer I missed a chance to "go in the country."  My father, cruel as he was, was happy that I screwed up and missed my chance. He actually tricked me into giving the wrong answer. Maybe I liked going in the country to get away from him. My father didn't like me. A simple statement but a fact, his treatment of me during those formative years of mine has affected my whole life.

13. Name five things you find attractive in others.


1. A nice, generous person who respects me and who I can respect
2. A person who actually listens to me when I talk
3. In men, an older guy who is physically fit
4. A person who doesn't take life too seriously and can laugh at themselves
5. A person with a natural talent whether it be in writing, music or art.

14. Are you good at making decisions or do you easily change your mind?

I am good at making decisions. Not always the right decision but I weigh all the facts and usually make my decision quickly.

15. Name three guilty pleasures

1. My quarterly visits with Pat, my Canadian Travel Buddy - Philadelhia twice a year, Canada and California
2. Reading celebrity biographers, preferably of the 
Golden Age of Hollywood
3. Reading
And honorable mention taking photos and videos with my iPhone

There you go folks, another window into my personality. Make of it what you will. I enjoyed making the list.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Entering My 60th Class Reunion

More videos and photos of my 60th high school class reunion which was held in Downingtown, Pennsylvania on June 8th, 2019 at St. Anthony's Lodge.

Pat (my Canadian Travel Buddy) took this video thus the portrait mode of the camera (I wish he would use the landscape mode but he's more comfortable using the portrait mode).  I am glad he took it upon himself to take the video though.  For once I have video of goofy me instead of me always taking the videos and photos. 

I'm always surprised at how weird I look in videos. It was appropriate that I was wearing my custom made Spo shirt of giraffes because, with my arthritic neck and back, I looked like a giraffe entering the room.  However, to be fair I think most of us aren't pleased with how we look in videos or photos, especially as we age.

I let my beard go au natural and I have to say I didn't like it.  My beard turned white during my 35th class reunion, I've been coloring it with Just For Men ever since, of and on.  Prior to this reunion I decided that I would stop coloring it.  Big mistake.  I look so OLD.  Well folks, I actually am OLD but I don't have to encourage it.  I'm back to coloring my beard.  

I really enjoyed attending my reunion.

I've attended many of my class reunions over the years.  However, I fear this will probably be the last formal class reunion because so many of us are dying off.  We had one hundred and fourteen members of our high school class.  I think the most who ever attended our reunions was maybe fifty, not counting spouses. 

I took portrait photos of each individual classmate but I forgot to take one of myself!  I'll see what I can manage by freeze framing one of the videos where my mug is prominently displayed. I'm not sure though what with my white beard and tired eyes. I guess there is no hiding the fact that I am approaching my eightieth decade.  

As with past reunions, I felt I didn't have enough time to talk to everyone as much as I wanted to. We did have some free time to mingle but much of the time was taken up by a talk from former Eagle's coach Dick Vermeil who is a friend of one of my former classmates.  He talked about growing up in the Forties and Fifties as most of us at the reunion could identify with.  His funniest line was talking about his father and how strict his father was.  He said he didn't know until he was nine years old that he name wasn't "dumb bastard."  Ah, this were the days.  I remember one Thanksgiving dinner when my father paused between stuffing slabs of turkey in his mouth to look around the table at me and my two younger brothers and proclaim "I have the dumbest bunch of kids."  Gee, thanks Pop!  Yep, those were the days which Dick Vermeil reminded us of.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Pat and Sue

Pat and Sue at my high school class reunion June 8, 2019

Two of my favorite people met for the second time at my 60th high school class reunion last Saturday. 

All of us, during our lives, meet people who we like and become friends with. I've often wished that I could introduce them to each other but because of the different paths we choose in life, that is often impossible. Especially impossible when many of our friends are no longer with us.

During the six years I've known Pat, I have introduced him to some of my friends from different phases of my life.  The picture above is of Pat and my former high school classmate and friend Sue M.  During my school days I didn't know Sue that well (she was known as "Su Su"

Sue S. (high school yearbook picture)

then but since dropped that nickname) but I always admired her.  She was always nice to me and everyone I knew and she knew.  Sue is one of those rare people who everyone likes. Pat is the same.  Unfortunately, I can't say the same of myself, I am liked by some and some don't like me.  For whatever reason, which sometimes puzzle me because I think I am a nice guy.  But I am opinionated and I often express those opinions. That's how one makes enemies.

Sue and I have a secret, we're one of the few Democrats in our class.  Everyone else that we know of is a Trump (Republican) supporter.  In order to maintain peace we do not discuss politics at our reunions. Although I am often tempted to discuss politics, especially where Trump and his Deplorables are concerned. 

I love introducing Pat to my friends, especially friends from my former life.  I plan to introduce him to more of my friends. My only regret is that I cannot introduce him to my friends who have since passed on. Maybe we'll all meet in the Great Reunion in the Sky.  Just like the ending scene in "Longtime Companion."

Sue and her late husband Denny from our 40th Class reunion (20 years ago!)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Return From Philadelphia and Downingtown

Yes, I'm still alive, almost.

What a week I had in Philadelphia and my 60th high school class reunion in Downingtown, PA.

Now to answer the obvious question why has it taken me so long to post, I've just recovered.

Folks, I don't have the energy I used to have. For most of my life, I've had an almost inexhaustible supply of energy.  After last week, even though I had a fabulous time, I think I reached the bottom of my formerly inexhaustible supply.  

I'll post more about my stay in Philadelphia in future posts but in this post I'll tell about my exhaustion. That exhaustion was exacerbated by me spraining my back when I was loading my suitcase in the trunk of the car of my ride.  I pinched a nerve near my left shoulder blade that caused me a great deal of pain.  That pain is just alleviating now, thank goodness.

Our week in Philadelphia and my class reunion last Saturday was blessed with perfect weather; sunny, breezy and mild.  Couldn't have been better.  The past few years our (me and Pat) visits to Philadelphia were either rainy or hot and humid. We were indeed very fortunate with the wonderful weather this time.

Pat and I took the Airport shuttle train out to meet my former classmate and friend Stuart at the Philadelphia International airport Saturday morning. Unfortunately our friend Lar decided not to come out to the airport, he wanted picked up but Stuart didn't have time to pick him up at his home. We gave him other options (family drive him to the airport, Uber, Lyft) but he didn't even bother to respond to our suggestions other than to say he still expected to be picked up. Stuart flew in Friday night and was flying back to his home Sunday morning and didn't want to spend most of his time driving.  He was driving us to Downingtown for the reunion and after the reunion to his family cemetery in Upper Darby.  Thus a missed opportunity at that reunion which will probably never again be replicated in our lifetime.  Choices made.

Arriving in Downingtown early Saturday morning, we stopped at the famous Downingtown Diner of the "Blob" movie fame.

Fond memories of that time over sixty years ago for Downingtown's fifteen-seconds of fame.

Stuart and me at the Downingtown Diner

Then we were on to St. Anthony's Lodge for our class reunion.  First thing I thought  was "Where did all these old people come from?" then I realized I was ONE OF THOSE OLD PEOPLE.  Friends, this is probably the last class reunion I'll ever attend.  Not only because so many of us are dying off but because it's just not the same without the massive gathering of former friends and classmates.  Perhaps we'll have small intimate get togethers in the future but those massive class reunions? They're history.  Still we had a wonderful time and I did take a lot of pictures and Pat took many videos.  Only thing about the videos is goofy me going around visiting my classmates.  It's weird looking at myself when in my mind I have a different picture of myself. By the way, how do you like that wonderful Spo shirt I'm wearing?  I wore that in Philadelphia too and got a lot of positive comments and looks. When Pat and I were at the Apple store in Philadelphia, a tall, handsome black man said to me about my shirt "If I had a shirt like that I would wear it every day."  I offered to give it to him but he said he had to turn me down because as an Apple employee he couldn't accept gifts from customers.  That was a shame because that Spo shirt would look so good on him and get a lot of exposure, more exposure than I give it.  But I'm glad I was able to keep it and I did feel a little guilty giving away a Spo shirt that Dr. Spo worked so hard and lovingly to give to me.  

Time to go to work today. I will resume my blog posting on a regular basis now, rest assured. I'm still here.

Stuart and Pat at the airport train station

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Philadelphia Holiday

Tomorrow at 1 pm, Clarence, my neighbor will be by to pick me up and transport me to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is my annual spring visit (I also visit in the fall around my birthday) to my former home and workplace. 

Pat, my Canadian Travel Buddy, will arrive in Philly Monday after an overnight bus ride (seventeen hours or more!) from his home in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  This year Pat will not be able to visit me and Bill here at our home in southern (Sussex County) Delaware.  Pat has a bit much on his plate this spring. Sunday he's attending his brother's 50th wedding recommitment ceremony. Thus why he's a day later reconnecting with me in Philly.  

Next Saturday Pat and I will travel to the Marriott hotel at Philadelphia International Airport to connect with my former high school classmate and friend Stuart M. Stuart is flying in from his home in Boca Raton, Florida.  We will all be attending my 60th (can you believe it?) high school class reunion in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately our former classmate Larry (he left Downingtown in ninth grade) won't be attending with us as previously planned. We'll miss him.  

I love my quarterly get togethers with Pat but I also realize that I have a regular vacation paradise right here in southern Delaware. Bill and I live in a fifty-seven home development right off of the Coastal Highway (Route One), four miles from Lewes, Delaware and ten miles from Rehoboth Beach.  During the summer I do not visit Rehoboth Beach, I give it up to the tourists which keep our economy alive here.  In fact the tourists is the reason I can afford my quarterly trips with Pat.  I work part-time at a hotel in Lewes, catering to tourists. What I earn at the hotel just about covers the costs of my annual trips to California (Los Angeles and Palm Springs), Philadelphia (twice a year) and Pat's home in Hamilton, Canada. Isn't it ironic that I go away to vacation whereas so many people drive quite a distance yo come here in southern Delaware for their vacation. Hey, I don't take our wonderful home here for granted at all, I realize that I'm living in a vacation paradise year round.  Now if I can just do something about the mosquitos. At least when I visit Philadelphia next week I won't have to contend with the mosquitoes, just the honking horns which Philadelphia motorists are so fond of using. 

When I'm in Philly next week I'll update all of you, my faithful blog followers, of the goings on. Always good to see my longtime friend Don McK. again.  We stay at the guest suite at his co-op in downtown Philly.  

Always nice to go away and always nice to come home. Best time of my life right now.

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...