DelBloggolo

Sunday, August 31, 2014

WHERE ARE THE DVD's?

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La Principessa!
Since I am scheduled to go out to California and see La Principessa, my beautiful granddaughter Darby Shea, I need certain things to be just right. One of them is my health and a 6 –hour flight to Burbank can make me cranky, and I don’t wish to infect that gorgeously beautiful child with ANYTHING other than smiles.

Having a respiratory infection is troubling, so I decided to go to the walk-in clinic to get immediate action and not waste any time with my doctor who won’t have time for a day or two later. That is too long: I need to start immediately if not sooner in ridding myself of the nonsense.

There is a place nearby called STAT Health, and walk in, fill out 12 forms, and when you are done filling them out, signing them, repeating the same answers over and aver again, you walk out feeling better just from all that time spent!

It started out earlier in the morning before TLW (The Little Woman) went off to work, asking how I felt and stating that she thought I should go to a walk-n in clinic to get some help. I wondered if there is a walk-in psychiatric clinic then realized what she really meant.

Former Blockbuster Video local
The place used to be a Blockbuster Video and when they went out of business, turned it into a Blockbuster forms and walk-in clinic for impatient out-patient health care. That is where I came in, as a patient. On my way to purchasing a roll for my coffee, I thought I’d drop by and see what time they open their doors, and arriving at 8:04 am, noticed that the hours started at 8:00 am. I was already 4 minutes late for my forms!

I enter the place, the receptionist takes my driver’s license and medical card and hands me the dreaded clipboard. I need two hands to hold it; it is so heavy with forms! “Have you been here before?” she asks. “Yes to rented a movie a few times, I like what you did to the place!” She reaches for more forms and gives them to me. I am quickly learning not to open my mouth. I go sit down and add back and tosh pain to my list of ailments.

Not one DVD in sight!
As the sun is about to set, I hand in the forms and another woman calls me in to see the doctor. Her questions are timely as she struggles with the blood pressure wrap around the arm and I answer what I already answered in at least triplet on the forms once again. I am the first patient of the day, and the woman says the doctor will see me soon. Soon is a relative word. If measured by years, soon could mean a month or two. Measured in hours, it could mean 59 minutes or less. I wonder if I am the first patient of the day, why isn’t the doctor on the heels of the woman? Are there still patients left over from the day before filling out forms?

Finally the doctor’s mother walks in the doctor by the hand, and he asks me the questions that the woman asked that I answered in triplet on the forms. Then the question I wasn’t expecting to hear comes out his mouth: “What are you here for?” My inclination was to tell him I wanted to rent a movie, but instead decided to be nice and tell him what I put on the forms in triplet, told and woman and now state once again.

I'll see you in California-maybe
The good doctor, not quite an adolescent yet screws up his nose and asks: “What do you think it could be?” I like that in doctors, they ask very pertinent questions, take Dr. Strangeglove, my regular physician who when he finally shows up asks: “How are you today?” Well Doctor, I was feeling so good today I decided to spend some time contemplating life, or what’s left of mine in your various waiting rooms. Little Junior listens to my heart, checks my throat and ears (thankfully one at a time) and suggests that it might be viral or it might be bacterial, or it might be something else. I show him my palms and tell him I have rashes in both palms and have been applying ointment: a cortisone to prevent itch, which is finally abating. Looking at them he says: “Oh! Yes, it could be viral!” I’m afraid he will run away leaving me with my palms outstretched! That would complete the picture.

Junior runs into the next room telling me he will prescribe something with complete printout instructions on what to do. I marvel at his efficiency, and at such a young age! I will go to the drug store, get the medicine and hope he didn’t prescribe my demise, I was hoping to leave that to TLW,

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

WHEN YOU CAN’T SLEEP

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We all have a night where we can’t fall asleep. We look at the clock and it is 2:00 am, we toss and turn, we look again it is 2:15 am, so we shuffle the covers and beat the pillow and seek that special spot that will liberate us from the torture, but to no avail. We look for another position, maybe even another spot in the bed,: still it is saying 2:45 am!

You think, and that us when you are finished! Once the mind takes over, the need to go to the bathroom, or get up and walk around in the dark becomes part of the attempt to fall asleep, but it is only 3:00 am! You think: “Did I have coffee or some food that is doing this?” You panic, you have somewhere to go and you don’t want to sleep through the wake time, or you will be late!

You look again and it is 3:30 and wonder, where did that 30 minutes go? Something is wrong. Suddenly it is time to get up, and guess what, you have fallen asleep, found that position and the right spot, want to and can stay there for eternity, but you have to get up! You figure if it is possible to find some time during the day where you will be able to knock off a few zzzz’s, not long, just enough to take off the edge of the sleepless night you just had.

Good night!
All this happened to me recently, however I wasn’t too upset, I had nowhere I needed to go, and can easily find time for a nap. It was not always like that, when I worked these were scenes that occurred regularly, in fact, with such regularity I took it in stride. A big presentation, an important meeting or a deadline to meet a prepaid press run, all figured into sleepless nights.

But I wonder why on God’s Earth do I have sleepless nights when I have no real worries? Did I go to bed too early? Did I eat or drink something I shouldn’t have? There are nights when a reoccurring theme presents itself, I fixate on it and don’t get to sleep.

My question is this dear reader: does anyone know of a cure for all this nonsense?


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Friday, August 29, 2014

JUST A HINT


That is all it takes, just a hint. Sometimes it comes in the form of a smell, ever so brief, or in a picture or even a noise. And when that hint comes along, it hurtles one way back to the past and times gone by.

Once when I was working and smoking was acceptable in an office, I lit a cigarette, and my boss who happened to be in my office paused for a moment, drew in the smell and said it reminded him of his father. I know that feeling, having sensed the same sensation myself. The smell of a fresh brewed cup of coffee and a freshly lit cigarette, two of my Dad’s morning habits before he left for work bring me back to a time and place no longer there. It makes me miss him and I wish I could see him one more time.

There are Sundays when TLW (The Little Woman) will make Italian pasta sauce, or gravy, and the odor seems to fill my nostrils with nostalgic want to see Mom again, steal a meatball and have her yell my name with a raised wooden spoon as she chased me.

Traveling through the city, looking at old brownstones and I am back in the streets of Brooklyn once again, playing stoop ball or stick ball, and recalling Mom leaning out the bedroom window calling me in for the night because it is getting dark.

Of course there is the smell of almonds covered in a hard sugar, with a smell that reminds me of Grandma Frances and her magnificent kitchen, the candies wrapped in a doily or lace like packages, favors from some wedding she attended.. The murmuring of Italian as the holiday would wear down to the final hours and Grandma held court and I became sleepy, resting in and out of consciousness until it was time to go home.

Then there is the sound of a tinkling bell as the Bungalow ice cream truck went down my street, Pete the driver selling his product, and seeing the beautifully rendered ice cream bar with the chocolate covering and a bite taken out, looking so perfect on the side of his pitched roof truck, making it impossible to not want one. Pete had a pencil mustache, and it made him look so wise in my eyes.

The other day I was reading the New York Daily News, from the back toward the front of the paper, just like Dad did, reading about his Dodgers first then the rest of the news, pinching the newspaper in the middle as he would turn the pages. Just like Dad.

I guess we are a bundle of past moments that are rekindled by subconscious clues that bring us back to a time and place and remind us of who we really are, not who we hope to be.



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Thursday, August 28, 2014

NAMASTE


There is a Hindu word that is used frequently to show a respectful hello or goodbye. The word is Namaste, and it best can be described as the word peace. Every now and then I seek out a peace that would not find me otherwise.

In the early morning when everyone is off to work or still asleep, on my patio in and around the pool, I sit quietly and listen to the symphony of Mother Nature’s origin, the sound of silence. It is a wonderful tonic in itself, it gives me a chance to think about all the things I’ve taken for granted and how much I have made my life harder by believing what others told me. It seems we all do that and it is the constant source of our unhappiness.

As I look about into the trees and the calm sky, the absence of even a breeze, the sound of silence becomes even louder. The struggle of the common ant, building a home or bringing home a meal as he carries it on his back, the swooping of a sparrow as he lands on my fence, showing off his natural abilities, the trust of a rabbit that lives on my property and now doesn’t flinch if I go near him, it is Namaste, it is peace.

Then my mind races to places where I wish to be, people I want to see, things I like to do, and I set aside all that unhappiness that escorts us through our everyday lives, those telling us we need to follow some ideology, be it political or religious, or we will perish. Yet I can seek Namaste and know it is the true relief of the times, it shuts away the hypocrites, the naysayers and the blasphemers that use God as a means of proving their worth to Him by their false proclamations, because they don’t practice what they preach.

The biggest gift God has given me is the gift to be myself, to believe what I think is important and not what someone else thinks I should believe. I put that aside and feel Namaste, I think: that is a gift; God is good.

I know there are people in this world who are sincere in their beliefs and I say Namaste, and there are people who wear tattoos, rings in their body and comb their hair otherwise than what is expected, who do the right thing, live in peace and I say Namaste, you are real. There are others who dress so very carefully, with maybe a suit or fine dress, who behave like slaves to what they are told is the right thing, never questioning what is the right thing, to them I can only wish Namaste, I hope they can find it within their own souls.

My wife is a good example of a non-judgmental person, who has her beliefs and never in my time living with her has ever questioned mine. She is a good example of what I am saying. Her religious belief is in her heart, and not on her lips except in silent prayer. She has instilled that in her children and I wonder how someone with such tragedy in her life has withstood the pain and kept her faith in God, but she has! I learn from her that the only one I need to concern myself about is: me.

Namaste

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD…


There’s a drought out there in California and the West, while here in the East there is nothing but flooding. Last winter there were predictions of the most heated summer ever, that it would be worst than normal, yet the summer has been more fall-like than summer-like. Someone’s screwing up!

Coupled with the climatic changes we are now facing here in America, some insidious force has trusted upon my being, a head cold of some kind, or some crazy allergy, which crimps my style and makes me not the happy person I am. This has got to stop, and stop immediately, if not sooner.

Mom had a cure for both issues mentioned above-“Put on your boots and go to school, you’ll be fine” and “Take an aspirin and go to school, you’ll be fine.” To this day, whenever I feel like there is a lot of rain coming or a head cold is developing, I go to school.

Since I married, I get little sympathy for floods or head colds, since TLW (The Little Woman) is too busy looking for her boots or staying away from me. I always have the memories of pre-marital days gone by, when she wouldn’t think of leaving my side. Now she usually sends me to school.

So are we witnessing the beginnings of a new ice age? Does Al Gore now become of little consequence? Oh wait a minute he did that already when he became the Vice President. And what about the cure for the common cold, where is that? They can cure a rat of autism but they can’t cure him of a common cold! Frankly, I don’t think my colds are common, no I think of them as ‘special’.

If I don’t feel better soon, you will be hearing from me again.






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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

IT’S ALL IN THE WALK


Yesterday I drove TLW (The Little Woman) to her eye doctor appointment, and it was scheduled in the middle of the day. Middle of the day appointments is for old people and old people only!

Now if you go to an appointment that is scheduled after working hours, what you will find is a younger crowd, with younger attitudes and values. They will bury their heads in cell phones and emails or text messages: will wear flip-flops and shirts with some band or rock group I never heard silk-screened on. They will drive like maniacs into the parking lot, and park in more than one space to prevent anyone form scratching their wheels.

But mid-day, it is all: different! Usually they come in pairs, one holding up the other or having a child accompany them (usually a mother daughter combo) to keep them from falling, dribbling and not communicating with the doctor. They dress in T-shirts with a pharmaceutical company logo on them, or long sleeve shirts with crisp jeans and brand new sneaker like shoes. They read the magazines, and own no cell phone to check mail or text anyone. They park precisely in the middle of the parking space and walk into the building oblivious of the world around them.

Some may fall asleep in the waiting room, and you wonder if this is their last stop, some sit and look angrily at other patients and some like I said, read their magazines, finding out that Roosevelt’s WPA has passed by Congress.

When we (the old people) are called, it usually take a couple of calls, one louder than the one before and a few moments to get up some steam to stand, and try to create motion by rocking to and fro to get the first step under way. This enables all the joints to ache at the same time as you move.

All the mid-day husbands make a pit stop, sometimes more than one, They will be given their wife’s handbag to hold and watch and look comfortable, depending how long they are married to the old girl, are solicitous of their wives getting a seat for them and keep on eye out for the good looking technicians that come and get you. Being I was waiting for TLW to finish her appointment, I had the pleasure of napping, and reading the different people who come and go, imagining how their day is spent, and counted 4 technicians I would be willing to spent some time with, I wasn’t accessorized, she kept her handbag, Thank God!.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

IT DON’T MEAN BEANS…


Unless they are Garbanzo!

As a service for my readership, I am giving you as part of the benefits for subscribing to DelBloggolo, free of charge this recipe that amounts to a small hill of beans.
This is a low cal, high fiber and delicious recipe to snack without guilt.

You will need a 16-ounce can of Garbanzo beans, rinsed in a calender and patted dry (This is important or they will be mushy)

½ teaspoon of sea salt
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of dry Mexican, Moroccan seasoning will do.

Turn your oven on to 400º to preheat

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, shaking once so the beans don’t burn.

If you choose, you can eat them hot, right out of the oven, which is how I like them.

This recipe comes from the Wellness Committee of the Wanna-Be_Bank and Truss Company and given to me by the Little Woman, who said: “Make this.”

Any complaints can be filed with the Food Channel or a strongly worded letter may be sent to the Wellness Committee care of: Pat Weippert. However if you like it, it was my idea.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

IT’S IN YOUR AGE


How you are, that is. It seems to me we are a product of our generation and we sometimes don’t know it.

I know a gentleman who happens to be a few years younger than me, who I happen to like. I admire his honesty, his humbleness and his leadership skills. We were talking recently about protocol and respecting people’s religious beliefs, and he related to me a story about his mom.

It seems it was her birthday, and he sent his mom an edible fruit basket, and decided to follow it up with a call. He asked his mother if she got the fruit basket and she said yes, but why did he send her the basket of fruit?

He explained to her that he had a present for her, but wanted her to have something on her birthday until he could give her, her present, and she replied that she couldn’t possibly eat all that fruit. He said he felt like banging his head on a wall and told her he was sorry that it caused her so much angst, that maybe she could share it with her friends and neighbors!

Years ago, when I was in Florida with my wife and kids on a vacation, we left a restaurant after lunch and outside was this fountain with a pool. On the bottom of the pool was a lot of coins that people tossed into it for wishes of success or good luck or a dream. TLW (The Little Woman) started to toss her coins into the pool and gave what she could to the kids to toss too. She then asked me for coins and I said no. She made fun of me for being cheap (I’m really not) but I held my ground.

I started to think about those two incidents, the gentleman’s mom and me and realize we are all products of our generations. His mother probably grew up in the Great Depression and I was a child from a poor family that lived by the habits of those who grew up through the depression, we don’t know any better. Frugality was a way of life, something you did automatically. To waste food or throw away money was unheard of, a sin of the highest.

It even explains to some degree my being a saver of old clothes and shoes and things I really don’t need or use anymore, but I can’t toss because they look perfectly good, style or no style.

Now a gallon of milk usually lasts in my house about 5 to 7 days. That includes coffee, and cereal every morning or an occasional glass at night, and this is for 3 people. Yet whenever a snow storm is forecasted, people go out and buy up 3 or maybe even 4 gallons of milk, enough cold cuts to fill a salt mine and God knows what else, while topping off their gas tanks for their cars that will sit in their driveway or garage, idle because they are snowed in for a few hours. I wonder how much milk and food goes to waste every winter?




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Saturday, August 23, 2014

THINKING OUT OF THE BOX


She's cool

What overheated does!
In my home you belong to one of two camps, the heated or the unheated. Me, I’m of the heated persuasion, while TLW (The Little Woman) is of the unheated kind.

This means that there is potential for marital conflict on the smallest scale possible, use the AC or don’t use the AC. Sleep with a quilt or don’t sleep with a quilt, use the fan or not.

So once the temperature reaches 62 degrees Fahrenheit, I start to overheat like a Latin lover, while TLW still has a red nose from 61 degrees. As I open my shirt she is putting on a blanket, which makes me even warmer, to the point that I think I will suffocate. As the night wears on, I wear off, taking socks and shirt off and still I’m dying while she is putting on more layers of suffocation.

The other night I was into opening up my shirt while watching the TV, when TLW enters the room, shuts the fan off and closes the sliding door to the patio, a source of fresh air. She then decides to sit in her chair and grab a blanket, while I am now starting to panic, but settle down enough to wipe my brow of the running brook that emanates from my forehead. After a while she decides to go to bed and hands me the remote, which I take as she saunters upstairs, and as she passes, I try to see what good the remote really is to me, so I aim it at her to she if she will shut off while I cool down. Well to my great chagrin, instead of hitting the TV button, I hit the cable button, where she turned into a full hour of more blankets!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

THE MEMORY BOOK

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Last Christmas before La Princepessa was born, TLW (The Little Woman) and I were handed an assignment from the newly minted parents to fill out a ‘Memory Book’ with the premise of: “Did you really walk five miles to school?”

The book is a great idea to communicate into the future to your grandchild, answering questions of grandma and grandpa about their own childhood and what life was like in those days.

Of course to answer the question posed I would have to say ‘Yes’, making it only five miles even more believable! In actuality, even though I lived right around the corner from the school. It seemed that I got lost a lot, so I did really walk five miles to school every day!

But some of the questions are kind of difficult to answer when posed such as: “How old were you when you started to notice you were getting grey hair?” and I have to answer that: “Right after I met your grandmother!”

It took me about three days to answer all the questions, because I printed the answers and had to leave room for Grandma to write. Now La Principessa Darby Shea will be able to read my handwriting, but will still need to take it to the pharmacy to get her grandmother’s answers read!

The memory book is a good idea, and maybe I can somehow tie in a memory of photos with captions or narrative to go with it, a kind of history for her. I could only imagine what life was like for my grandparents, so this would be a wonderful tool for her to keep for a lifetime.

She will learn about her dad, what he was like growing up and if he was a good boy or not. She will also know about her grandfather, who wasn’t an angel, as her great grandmother used to say to me: “You are so bad Jesus Christ will come down off the cross confused!”

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

THEY LEARN YOUNG!


Sitting in Citi Field at the ballgame, there was this young couple with two very young boys, maybe 5 and 7. Dad was intensely watching the ballgame and mom was watching the brood. The Mets were playing the Chicago Cubs and it was an enjoyable evening.

Both boys wore a big red ‘C’ on their blue caps and seemed to be intent on running down the aisle to the back of the Cubs dugout. The younger of the two seemed to have all the plans and the older just went along for the ride. They would run down the aisle, get to the dugout and as the team came off the field, they would beg for a ball from the players. This was going on with adults too, looking like seals clamoring for a fish!

The older boy would stay only until he thought the chances were over of getting a ball, but the little guy hung on, until the area was cleared of seals. His mother kept an eye on him the whole while. Finally he would give up and return to his parents.

Being how cute this kid was, I decided to engage him in a conversation, and maybe I’d learn something.

Sitting directly in front of me I tapped him on the shoulder.

Me: “Sir, oh sir?”

Turning around, he stares at me as his father and mother are watching, amused that someone was calling a 5 year-old sir. Taking off my hat I lean in and say:

Me: “Would you be willing to trade your Cubs hat for my NY Mets hat?”

His eyes lighting up and a big smile across his face he says: “OK!”

I turn to his father and say: You better get this kid back to Chicago before he adopts another family too!”

The father laughs and says: “Oh, he can be bought easily, we’re not even from Chicago, but Baltimore, and I don’t know why they are such Cubs fans!”

Kids, amazing how they think!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

IN THE DARKNESS OF DISPAIR


Robin Williams
The recent death of Robin Williams has left a huge dent in our lives it seems. More and more people are realizing the effect that suicide and depression can have on the survivors. The fear of losing someone to anything but old age is abhorrent and nightmarish and destructive.

If you lived in the 1950’s, and suffered from depression, you were scorned and made to feel worse, until the worst you felt was to take your own life. You were told you were lazy, to snap out of it, to get yourself together. You didn’t voice your own fears and the demons continued to run and ruin your life!

Today things are changing for the better to help people realize depression is a clinical disorder, not something you do to yourself, but your chemical makeup. If you are short or bald, blue eyed or brown, tall and hairy, there is nothing you can do about it, and nothing obviously to be ashamed of. But we do have people who measure you and criticize your being, and take delight in that.

No one wants to be depressed, it is paralyzing and debilitating, a cruel twist of luck and we need to understand it better. Today’s society is way too advanced for ignorance to rule, for prejudice to root and for hatred to dominate. The Internet has given us instant access to knowledge that was never available as it is now. People are expressing themselves and revealing that the truth is, depression is real. I wonder how many of us in this world have gone untouched by depression in one form or another?

If Robin Williams was such a beloved figure that he was, then his death and suicide were not in vain, he told us that those you love can indeed suffer, what can you do about it? He told us that depression is still hidden, that no matter who you are, you can be touched by it. There are sick people in this world, people who will use depression as a weapon, who, will talk about it to others in a secretive way, not realizing that they probably are talking to someone who may be depressed themselves, or know someone related to them with depression.

Some of the smartest people I know have clinical depression as it can strike anyone at any time, but like a cold or disease you may have, they go to a doctor and have it treated. There is no cure for depression, but there is treatment and medications that can turn the tide.

But like I said before, the ‘survivors’ are the final victims, the ones that pay the price daily, that suffer from the horrors of knowing their loved one died at their own hand. The ‘survivor’ goes on the next day a little less in spirit, a little less in joy and a little less in who they once were.

Let’ not judge people with depression, instead lets stand next to them and reach out a hand. Ask them, let them tell you what they feel, let them take you down their dark tunnels and black holes and don’t pretend to know because you could never know. Most importantly, don’t let go, give them encouragement and support and most of all, love.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE TIMES THEY ARE ALL GOOD!

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There are no actual photos of Fred, not even an image in a mirror!
Recently, I went to lunch with a guy I enjoy seeing. Whether it an organized meeting or a lunch, or even a chance meeting, I am happy to see him. There are too few people in this world who are genuine, people you can count on or trust, or leave behind any personal problems you may have in your life and just enjoy the company. That guy is Jim, a former English teacher at the local high school and current president of the Suffolk AHRC Board of Directors.

Jim has been President for a few years and is entering his final term of office, and so far there have been no impeachment proceedings, no assassination attempts or terrorists acts, that is doing a great job!

Often I visit up in Albany with Jim, a fellow Board of Governors as a representative of the agency and member of NYSARC, that state governing organization.  Along with two other gentlemen, both like Jim, class guys who happen to be Jewish. I bring religion into this because there is a reason: as you will soon see. Fred and Ken AKA Running Muskrat, are also representatives of our Chapter to this NYSARC meeting and it is our want, no our duty to stop at Arthur Avenue in Little Italy up in the Bronx on our way home for dinner, as a reward for what we do. Read my blogue dated: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 for more on that.


This will be the scene of many more lunches hopefully.
Well last week on Thursday, Jim and I had lunch at the Main Street Bistro in Patchogue, and like Little Italy on Arthur Avenue, we were seated outside in the back courtyard, a great place to dine. It has umbrellas and tables and chairs, an outdoor bar and the food, inside or out, lunch or dinner is spectacular! The price is just as spectacular.
 
Part of the rite of 'Baptism' by Fred and Ken
The young waitress seated us and got our drinks when Jim quipped: “Just like Arthur Avenue!” “Yes” I said, “all I need is water and two Jews.” It was last year on two different occasions, once at a hotel bar with Ken and once on Arthur Avenue in a courtyard restaurant by Fred, that I was ‘baptized’ with water, both of them baptizing me by spilling water accidentally! They of course will NEVER live this down, and I, born a Christian, have indeed put an exclamation point to the process of Christianity.
 
This is me after one of my ceremonial events with Fred and Ken!
But the lunch was as pleasant as you could possible get, the weather was perfect, the food and company made the week for me, and frankly, if Jim ever lets his guard down again, I’d like to do it once more.







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Monday, August 18, 2014

PUTTING YOUR TROUBLES IN PERSPECTIVE


Some people suffer from heartburn, or constipation, or even the evils of psoriasis, but me, I suffer from algae. Every morning this summer I arose to look into my pool, only to feel the shame and guilt of having algae, knowing full well that those around me with pools might be witnessing it and thinking: “What is going on in that pool?”

Going INTO my local pool supply place, I feel the need to sneak in and avoid contact, but darn it, some salesperson, usually about 19 years old will come up to me and loudly ask: “CAN I HELP YOU?” In a low voice, barely audible, I say I need help with algae. “YOU HAVE A ALGAE PROBLEM?” This is followed by my surveyance of the store and his “FOLLOW ME!”


The young man gives me about $2,000,000 worth of chemicals, testing a water sample I give him and pronounces rather loudly: “YUP, YOU GOT ALGAE!” With the chemicals comes a printout about 50 pages long written in 6 point Futura Condensed Light, detailing what I need to do, when to do it and for how long.

After about a ½ hour of hauling the chemicals to the car, I then unload these big plastic containers, bottle and sacks of chemicals, from the car to the shed where they will be stored. I am determined to get this to work!

I think: “Tomorrow.”

I go inside, sit in my chair and take a nap, for tomorrow will come too soon and the algae will still be here with me in my pool.

The next morning dawns bright and hot, and oh yes, throw in some humidity, a perfect day for the pool! And so I open my chemistry kit and begin the process of mixing, pouring and measuring and dumping, some into the skimmers, some into the pool itself, it tales all day. As evening settles in, the task in over, I will look in the morning and witness the results.

Morning comes, the water is clear and perfect, I will go into the pool in about 12 hours to give the chemicals some more time. It rains that afternoon. Yes rain, with wind and I know what that will mean. I go to my files and call the pool guy, “Come close the pool.” “Why so early?” asked the pool guy. “BECAUSE IF I BUY ONE MORE CHEMICAL IT WIL BE A DEVORCE AND I WON’T BE ABLE TO EAT UNTIL DECEMBER. AND DON’T WALK, RUN HERE!”

And so I look out at the pool one morning and see the cover, stretched nicely across the pool, the day overcast. The pool guy said I should in about a month pump some water out of it to keep the level at a certain height. “But don’t worry, it looks like a good month before you will need to.”

That evening begins the worst storm in history, leaving 15.5” of rain, flooding the world and considered a 500-year event! Guess I’ll go pump the pool.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

THAT GREAT OLD PAST TIME


The 'HOLY' grounds
Yes, going to the ballpark and paying three times as much for something!

That's Bill next to Princess Pat
Last Saturday evening, at the invitation of Bill, the beleaguered husband of the Princess of Foxwoods Points, a Yankee fan no less, and I attended a Mets game.

Keeping a low profile
Being a Mets fan, as you know takes some courage, you need to wear a disguise upon entering Citi Field, and you should NOT try to seek out the cameras when they pan the ballpark, because you might be seen.

Being as I am a Mets fan, we those brave souls who stay to the end, root for our team win or lose, unlike any other baseball team in New York, we are prone to listening to our wives. Mine upon leaving for the day said: “Make sure you take a coat or jacket with you tonight at the ballpark because it will get cooler!” So off to Bill’s house where we will go with another Mets fans home to pick up the fellow who has the tickets. I find Bill looking at his TV weather. “Bill, my wife told me I should wear a jacket in case it gets cool tonight, but I won’t, besides I don’t want to have to carry it around all night.” Bill punctuating the air replies: “Exactly! I’m not bringing one too!”

Really nice seats!
Baseball is not what it used to be. In the old days of Ebbets Field and Shea Stadium, you went to the ballgame, had a hot dog with a beer, maybe some peanuts, just like in the song, and went home, win or lose. Your experience was complete and as expected. Today it has all changed, but I’m not sure if it is for the best? There are the many concessions that sell hotdogs, some sell beer and wine only and some sell sausage and peppers sandwiches. There are Taco places and you can get sushi! There is even one that sells fish only! There is a bridge called the Shea Bridge, and the big screens that display what you just saw, over and over again! You have to hunt for the balls and strikes count amidst all the electronic messaging they throw up at you and of course there is the in-seat food menu they hand out.

Looking at the menu and seeing the prices, I decided to get out of my seat and go to the concessionaire and buy my dinner. One of the good things about the new experience at the ballpark is, with the many food places, there is no wait. But when you pay for a hamburger with French fries and a soda, you PAY! $25.25! The only thing missing from that experience is the seller wearing a mask and saying: “STICK ‘EM UP!”

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WEDNESDAY THE 13TH


Friday the 13th fell on a Wednesday this month, as I am about to tell you.

It seems that the day dawned grey and rainy, torrential comes to mind. Yes, the world was preparing for the great flood and no one told me, along with the fact that I thought TLW (The Little Woman) was pregnant.

Kill me... NOW!
It all started out innocently enough, looking out the window as I arose from my slumber from the evening before. The rain was driving across the street and down toward the end of the block, making more noise than a jack hammer. As I dressed, the pounding force of the rain and wind made me think: “Gee, I’m glad I don’t have anywhere to go this morning!”

Not being the cautious type, I made my way down to the kitchen for that first cup of coffee and sat down, near where TLW sits with her morning coffee.

Not being bright enough to keep silent I say:

“Wow, listen to that rain!”

Her: “Yes!”

“It’s really coming down!” (No kidding you damned fool.)

Her: “You know, I feel hungry for some strange reason.”

I stare at her.  (Don’t look you damned fool, that’s even worse!)

Her: Why don’t YOU go out and get us some breakfast sandwiches?”

I could think of at least one reason not to, but I learned long ago to answer her when in disagreement with a curt silence. This is good because she doesn’t Know it’s curt and I then don’t get into trouble. But I am the master of my house, ruler of the realm I give her a firm but definite answer: “Yes Dear.” (A cowardly SOB if ever there was one!)

I get my rain hat and take myself to the front door. It is ugly out there, I question the wisdom of my obedience for the sake of silence. A wise man once said something about this I’m sure, it is just that I can’t recall it.

Determined I step out from under the portico and advance toward the car, when suddenly I am pelted with Caspian Sea sized raindrops, slapping me around and soaking through my clothes! Reaching the car I sigh and drive off, tooling away at 25 mph, when suddenly: the whole world in shrouded in water, cascading down upon my v-hick-el where I immediately test my brakes while preparing for a drowning death! My brakes work so I stop for a red light. I get to the store, and swim to the front entrance, and climb inside where the owner is telling me she was just draining out her flooded back room! “Oh! Too bad, I’ll have a fried egg on buttered roll with bacon and cheese and a scrambled on a buttered roll with sausage and cheese.” I said it to her very sympathetically like, and hope she took it the same way.

Driving home with the sandwiches, I start to wonder if this another pregnancy I am dealing with? Getting home, I walk into the house and an greeted by TLW.

“Are you pregnant?”

Her: “No, why?”

“Because only a pregnant woman sends her husband out on a morning like this!



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Saturday, August 16, 2014

SPEECHES


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When I was in college, someone told me that if I wanted to be ahead of the game, become a leader I should learn to take up Public Speaking. In other words, give a speech that would hold people in their seats.

And so the first speech I ever gave was for my final in that class called Public Speaking, and from there, I seemed to find myself in that situation from time to time giving speeches. Now I know that when I give a speech, I like to have fun, make a joke about someone or myself and get to the point. I try never to speak too long and leave them with a tear or two if possible. I once had a daycare worker come up to me once after I had given a speech as President thanking the staff at my agency’s Staff Appreciation Day and tell me how moved to tears she was from what I said. I think she was moved that I finally shut up.

I have spoken in business meetings, and as a volunteer as President in front of large groups, I like to speak publicly. I’ve given eulogies, toasts, and commentary to large groups and may still be doing that even after I am done writing this.

However, I hate to hear speeches, never enjoy them unless the speaker is accomplished, people like Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and Winston Churchill, held my attention, as did FDR from what I read and JFK.

I notice that when people speak who don’t normally do this kind of thing, they seem to rely on the same patterns as everyone else, they read their speech picking out the phrasing of others, using them over and over again! It seems like they bought a shell and just added the words. It seems to go like this:

“Thank you. I would like to thank (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank) for the fine work you do. I don’t know where we would be without your contributions (fill in the blank)

The timeless contributions to society to make life better for (fill in the blank), have had a timely effect on things, and have done so in a deeply profound way.” At his point a little Churcillian may go a long way here. (fill in the blank) “has/have done so much for so long for so many.”

If you can remember these key phrases, you are a speechmaker and ready to go on the circuit, you may get a gentle applause and I hope no one throws a shoe at you. But remember this, don’t be afraid to speak, don’t dread it, it is a chance for people to see you in another light, one a little brighter that you are so willing to make a damned fool of yourself, just like me.











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Friday, August 15, 2014

A CALL TO THE BEYOND

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Maybe HE knows
I have an old buddy from high school who I keep in touch with on a semi-regular basis. He calls me and I call him, we exchange insults, me being older than him, and he being dead but forgot to lie down.

There is a friend of ours who we both kept in touch with, who lived in Florida and recently was reported to have passed about 3 months ago or so. It was posted on Facebook and I took it as fact because the person a woman who reported is a good kind person with no malice, a fellow classmate from high school also.

It seems she was called by the deceased son, and made that clear also. Everyone knew he was sick with cancer and I think many of us took it to heart.

Then yesterday my phone rings and who is it but my old buddy, once again leading with an insult and laughing I gave him one from me.  He said he had just spoken to the deceased and I immediately interrupted him that the fellow was dead. This sudden news did not affect him or sway his conversation away from the fact that HE had spoken to the deceased! I asked him if he was sure and he said yes he was.

Well, he swears he spoke to the deceased, the lady on Facebook swears she spoke to the deceased son, and darn if I can figure it out.  But I’ll tell you, I’m not going to look for answers, no, I want to see how this ends up too, I’m sitting back, yet everyone is saying that I should let them know when I find out. Fat chance, but if I do find out, I’ll let you know. It comes with your subscription to DelBloggolo!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

TODAY’S WORLD


I guess as I get older things have been changing at a rapid pace. Being a simple person, not too complicated and probably missing a sandwich or two for a full picnic, it is getting beyond me.

Never have I seen such turmoil in this world since I was born, as the world turns against itself, heaving missiles at women and children with impunity, than screaming when they get hit back, and all the while the children will suffer the most.

I often wonder how we sleep at night, when we send children off to war and they become men and women if they return, and the ‘if’ is a big one. When the order is made to launch a missile at a urban population, and children are killed or in this case murdered, do they realize what they have done? Do they not realize they are taking what the Almighty has created and ended it without his consent, and most of the time it is done in his name?

Hiding among the women and children, cowardly warriors wearing masks to hide their ugliness, plot and scheme because their hate, inbred from countless years by their parents and grandparents is all they know. How sad that they think with their numbers they have some invincibility, and their cause is so righteous.

The biggest fear I have is what is happening in the Middle East will someday take root here in the US, that religious intolerance will choke us all to death. Recently, I have had to deal with two situations where an individual felt they were; a moral compass, that they had the answers because they believed in Jesus, that they and they alone know what is right for others. One had the audacity to tell me when and how I should pray, and one, a Bible quoting holier than thou who feels all the answers lie in the Bible with scripture after scripture being quoted, yet preaches hate!

Both think they should be spreading the word, and I have to question their motives, since they are not spreading the word, they are repeating it to the annoyance of those that know the word already. They would best serve the world by putting their money where their holy mouths are, go to Africa, go to Asia and go to the South Sea Islands to spread the word. Take up against the Communist and the Fascists regimes that exist, subjugating their populations from believing in anything and spread the word. Please don’t spread it here in the USA where it is safe to make your holy proclamations, don’t spread it in my space and don’t condemn me if I don’t pray at your cue, and please, don't spread it on Facebook.

The biggest reason for the killing that exists in this world of wars and conflict is because of religious hate and the thinking that their religion is the only religion, IT IS NOT! I believe in God, and even if I didn’t, it would be my right, so don’t attempt to trample that right with your self-righteousness. We all need to live in peace, because my enemy could have been my savior, and there is the rub, that man is made in the image and likeness of God, not your god or mine, but God.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SUMMER HUMMER


a frequent guest in my skimmer
I don’t know about you, but I think this summer has been God’s way of saying: “OK, you need a break from the hot humid and hazy days of summer.”

Of course this comes with some sacrifice, like no swimming in the pool, and ice cream with guilt.

My summer has been spent with the arbor gods, and their rule of my lawn, cutting down a tree and planting grass, while fighting an algae problem in the pool, so never having time to go into the pool anyway. Chemicals alone have cost me way over $200 and seed and fertilizer is through the roof. But who’s complaining?

This summer the weather has been near perfect, a lot like what San Diego feels like all year, sunny and warm, but low humidity. I had a colleague who was a bit of an eccentric, never did anything except sit and draw, One day it was picture perfect and I called him up and asked him if he wanted to go to the local golf course where he lived near by and play some golf. His “No” was rather interesting, explaining that he gave up golf long ago, when he discovered that after each shot, he would have to walk, carrying his clubs and sweat, the sweat trickling down the cracks of his backside, and the picture was the start of my diet for a while!

He was a bit of a pussy cat, and had no children. What he did have was a vicious German Sheppard who if he saw you wanted you head, arms legs and torso separated. When I would go to visit him, it was in the summer only, because in the winter he kept that animal with an attitude in the house. Once while driving along the Southern State Parkway, he broke down, and quickly envisioned a gang of rapists, and robbers and murderers coming to his aid, so he never traveled without that dog!

But getting back to summer, swim less days and all, I wonder what the winter will bring? Will it be like last winter and the storms and cold weather?

Here is what AccuWeather says:
“AccuWeather reports as fall 2014 takes form, no relief is in sight from the historic drought and the raging wildfires in the West.
While the West undergoes another period of heat and dryness, the Southwest, South and Texas will experience a soggy end to 2014. For the Northeast, blasts of winterlike air will arrive early this fall, serving as a reminder of last winter’s brutality.
As wild weather unfolds across the nation, the tropics will also ramp up, putting the eastern coast of the United States at the highest risk for a direct impact.
While the fall will kick off with days of sunshine and temperatures above normal in some of the region’s largest cities, including New York City and Philadelphia, the polar vortex may make its return for short, sporadic periods in September.
“The vortex could slip at times, maybe even briefly in September for the Northeast,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said. “There could be a significant shot of chilly air that comes across the Great Lakes region and into the interior Northeast sometime in mid- to late-September.”
As conditions in northern Canada begin to set up similar to last fall, getting colder and unsettled quickly, it is likely that this pattern could become a source for colder air to make its way down at times into the United States, inducing a drop in temperatures for the interior Northeast during mid-fall.
“Temperatures will not be as extreme in November when compared to last year, but October could be an extreme month,” Pastelok said.
After short-lived days of the polar vortex in September, the weather should turn a bit warmer in November as rain ramps up across areas from New York City to Boston and Portland, Maine, as well as the rest of the region.
“We will see some dry weather in the Northeast, barring any tropical systems, in September and October but in November it will get wet,” Pastelok said.
Following a soaking November for Northeastern residents, El Niño will make its debut early this winter, fueling early winter snow across the area.
“December could get kind of wild due to the very active southern jet stream that is going to provide the moisture for bigger snowstorms,” Pastelok said. “The Northeast could have a couple of big storms in December and early January.”

So Dear Reader, enjoy this weather while you can, swimming or no swimming.

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