Saturday, December 15, 2018


Finally, after all these years, TLW (The Little Woman) is retiring. I will no longer watch her go off on cold winter mornings to her car and the traffic that the mindless morons who can drive so badly go by her passing in utter disregard for safety.

There is, of course, some difficulty to all this, mainly my naptime and the importance of quiet. To have a proper naptime one must incorporate the proper quiet. This also means no Dr. Phil during this sacred time, and since she watches a lot of those crime shows, now having to nap with one eye open!

There is also the proper atmosphere or ambiance to propagate a nap, particularly on rainy dark days, the days most conducive to performing a proper nap. If one is serious about naptime, a fitting and well structure chair or preferably recliner is paramount.

To round out the process, I always like to include a good lunch, preferably with a beer or Jack Daniels Manhattan to create and support a sense of proper tiredness.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


I am trying to update my Medicare situation. Trying to deal with Medicare and the Social Security system is not easy, it is confounding, inarticulate, frustrating, tiresome, and downright bothersome. The steps they lead up to bringing you back and making you want to pull your hair out, and in my case, that would be very frustrating.

Visiting the Internet to find out all I could about a broker that was advertised on the website for people who need help about their Medicare coverage, they promised they would lead me to the Promised Land. Instead, I was led down the path of suicide. I have Part A but need the prescription coverage piece to round out how I will be robbed each month from the drug companies.

They provide a phone number and I call it, someone answers and says they will take me through it by putting me in touch with an unbiased and unpaid consultant, and the whole process will cost me nothing. I speak with my savior and he asks if I have Part B. I tell him no and he informs me that he can’t lead me so well since I need part B first. Being curious and short on time (I really don’t know what the actuary charts reveal about someone my age but it can’t be all that good) how do I get it???

Call this number and get back to me the agent says. I call and am told the waiting time is Tuesday of 2022. Once again, (what the actuary charts reveal about someone my age can’t be all that good) I get tired of waiting. After waiting so long I had to trim my toenails again, I give up.

I try the process again of speaking with an agent who once again tells me the same thing and answers my question about where else I might go. He suggests another website, a rather scary and daunting one titled: socialsecurity/ It is here that I begin to wonder if suicide might not be such a bad idea. The trouble you can’t get started because it is so badly designed that you don’t know where to go to get help and I have to make dinner and it will cause me to rush it. I give up the quest and call it a day: tomorrow’s another day.

Tomorrow comes in spite of all my hopes and dreams and I take up the quest once again. I call the number that had me waiting and this time someone answers, telling I have to go on the Social Security website. OK, I’ll bite and maybe get a little luckier this time in terms of information. Sure enough, the same frustrations are accruing and so get in touch with them via email. I’m still waiting.

I have been bounced around like I’m the tennis ball at a tennis match between Medicare and Social Security.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018


It will be six months next week since that awful day in June when my family lost a very beautiful and creative mother, wife and daughter-in-law Courtney, to a tragic circumstance, leaving us on the delivery table at the birthing of her beautiful son.

That awful day sits indelibly in my mind and between the divide of my heart, it has drawn a pall or curtain across my soul, incomprehensible and shocking still to this day.

The events of June have taken a significant toll on my wife and me: we have lost a lot of enthusiasm and enjoyment for life. The usual things, such as music, entertainment, and even food has lost its taste, with that comes the Holidays and the joy of the season it usually brings.

Last Christmas was the best I ever had. I decorated the house including my little granddaughter’s room where she was to sleep. That room was her daddy’s bedroom before he moved away and I made sure it said: Merry Christmas, Darby!

When she arrived her mom remarked about how the house looked like a shrine to Darby with all the pictures on the walls of her. Little Darby went up to her room and came down very excited.

“Daddy, you see my room!”
“I used to sleep in it, that was my room.”
“No Daddy, you should see it now!”

I decorated the rooms with snow villages, 2 Christmas trees, wreaths, and garland, pinecones, electric trains and whatever else I could find. The tree had old ornaments that the kids had made so many years ago, and we had a magnificent dinner, with my quick-witted daughter-in-law.

That was last year, when I was rich with joy and love about my family as I always am, all my children, my grandchild and her mommy, Courtney, who will always be in my heart, along with grandma.

This year I have lost all that. I have decided not to decorate and don’t care that I didn’t, don’t want to and just want to forget everything I can for the big day until I get out to California and see Darby Shea, and Bobby Courtney once again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


pretty boring
I’m not much on ceremony or rituals, don’t get much out of church since it bogs down in ceremonial rituals that sidetrack me from the business at hand, God.

The rest of my life is pretty much the same, I don’t kiss up to anyone, bosses, friends or colleagues, no one is superior to me as I am not to them.

I work very hard to maintain my principles and have demonstrated such only recently.

But I am a basic kind of guy. I haven’t bought myself clothing in years my wife does. My clothes are just fine I don’t need much and have been happy to not wear suits and ties and even shoes!

But to the daily living, I am a bit of a ritualistic zombie.

Recently, I was running out of soap for my showers in the morning. I like Ivory soap, no fancy colors or scents, just soap. I asked TLW (The Little Woman) when she went shopping to get me more and was informed that they don’t carry it anymore, that I needed to search for it. I found it at a convenience store and so I am happy once more.

My coffee has to be regular, no fancy lattes or other fancy names with swirls and cinnamon sticks. No crapachinos or whatever. Just give me a good cup of coffee and no frills other than milk or cream, no sugar, please.

Jewelry? Not much, just an inexpensive watch, no need for fancy rings, just my wedding band, nothing else. When it comes to colognes and aftershave lotions? Never use them except for rare occasions.

I guess I’m just an ordinary Joe.

Monday, December 10, 2018


Way back in 2001 as President of the Board of Directors, I met a woman who had a daughter living in our Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) and her daughter was in a hospital receiving a tracheotomy. One day her son visited his sister and was told by a hospital nurse that since his sister was away from the ICF for more than 2 weeks she would lose her place there. The rules back then were that if you stayed away from the ICF for more than 2 weeks, you indeed lost your bed.

The brother went home and told his mother this news and mom immediately demanded a meeting with the executive director of the agency, the program director, and the president of the board to discuss this matter.

It was a hot June day in the small conference room outside the executive director’s office when we met around the conference room table. Suddenly Mom started the conversation and immediately started into a sobbing tearful discourse about the fact that she had nowhere t place her daughter.

I reassured her by saying I was a parent also. We reassured her that we would not abandon her daughter and sought a solution for temporary shelter until a place back in our ICF was available.

After the meeting, I met with the executive director and I suggested that we create a convalescence facility on the grounds like a hospital, with as much equipment as possible with hospital beds that our population could heal and be attended to by our staff, people who knew our population best. The board approved my suggestion after some modifications and so the facility was built. I didn’t realize at the time how important this would be.

Fast forward, to this year and my daughter is rehabbing from her hip operation, and where is she spending her time? In the facility, I asked for so many years ago!

Sunday, December 09, 2018


We all seem to be engaged this year in politics. Believing in what the President, the House of Representatives and the Senate do is now very important. People are starting to vote again, the parties have become more polarized and the mood of America is not good.

If you are on Facebook or Tweeter, you know how easy it is to get in a punch at what you are mad about, and how easily you can fall into a discussion where everyone writes long dissertations about the ‘facts’ that have stored, pointing you to some obscure link to more one-sidedness and misinformation. It becomes paramount to sound learned on the subject, bring unreasonableness disguised in reason and save the insults for the last resort.

I have never seen so many unhappy people since Watergate and the Nixon Days.

Anger, of course, is always used to contrast someone else’s complacency about what you strongly believe in. Anger is also a two-edged sword, one edge to strike your enemy down, but if you are not careful and use the wrong edge, a saber that impales you and leaves you dead or bleeding.

Saturday, December 08, 2018


“I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.  May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant,”
Charles Dickens
December 1843.

The Bellport, NY elementary classroom filled with 5th-grade students sat enraptured, following every word the teacher, Mr. Sullivan read from the book. They were getting their first taste of what literature is and learning about a great author. It was a new world for most of us and something more inter4sting than TV, as we casted our own characters to the visions in our heads and the words that were caught by our ears.
Chuck Dickens
Every day Mr. Sullivan would read another chapter as the calendar brought us closer to Christmas. The novella by English author Charles Dickens, first published on 19 December 1843 was making huge gains in my imagination, and slowly recreating the spirit of Christmas into a new meaning and spirit.

I was suddenly in charge of the sets, the costuming, and the casting of this wonderful story, so mature and yet so child-like, my imagination working overtime and leaving me wanting for more!

Then I had the good fortune of finding a movie on the TV one Christmas Eve during that season. It was a great find for me, as I sat eagerly in front of the TV and never moved. The black and white presentation would come back to me in later years as I studied cinema as art, and painting as a form of expression. It was: ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.

Scrooge (1935) Was the first sound adaptation of the novella, and also one of the best, Starred Seymour Hicks as Scrooge. A dark, brooding aesthetic adaptation that owes as much to German Expressionism as anything This version made great use of the photographic technology of the time and also managed to fit the whole story into just over an hour without much strain, yet is the only one that I look for, all other adaptations may be just as good, but this is like that first girlfriend or first kiss!
This is not on your I-phone
Over the years I have seen it in most of its forms in movies and some stage plays, and so I went one Sunday evening with Toots II (Lois), Princess Pat of Foxwood Points (Patrizia) and her husband Bill along with TLW (The Little Woman).
In a small theatre in Port Jefferson, called Theatre 3, a stage production was presented, and although it did not run the story faithfully, it tried very hard to recreate within the limits of talents and money something that was entertaining.

Nothing will ever recreate or equal for me that first production, the one that went on in my 10-year-old mind, or that great movie I found that season, and I always try to find it again, but like they say: “You can’t go home again.”