Saturday, August 23, 2014


  As promised, or threatened depending on how you look
at it, I am taking my daily Blog on vacation!
  Writing each and every day is a challenge I accepted
when I began sharing silly and serious things in my life
with you in April of 2011.
   Over the next two weeks, however, web service is
expected to be spotty and my wife and I have some
responsibilities that will cut into our available time.
   Now if you absolutely can't live without your
daily dose of "Double Dee" may I respectfully
suggest that you begin to scroll down the page after
reading this "Gone Fishing" notice. You'll go back
to the last blog, then the blog before that and so on.
    Near as I can tell there are some 1200 waiting for
your review! You'll be able to tell exactly what
I was thinking, or not thinking, during most any
given day during the past three plus years! An aspirin
or stiff drink may be needed if you plan extensive
     As General MacArthur promised, "I Shall Return."
Or, in the words of the Terminator, "I'll be back!"
See you on or about September 6th and, till then,
hope all your NEWS is good!

Which Watch

  I found myself shopping for a wrist watch
yesterday. But I wondered which wrist watch!   
And how did I come to want a wrist watch,
whichever wrist watch I'd choose?
   One of the first benefits I noticed when I
"retired" was the lack of the need to know
exactly what time it was all the time. It was
especially true in my case since I spent most
of my working life fighting the clock and
    Like many others who stepped out of their
9 to 5 incarceration to freedom, my wrist watch
was one of the first things to go!
    Of course there were still times when I had
to know the time. When we hosted a trip to
Switzerland, for instance, I actually wore two
wrist watches. One was set to Swiss time, the
other to the time back home.
     In recent years if I had to check the time I
usually did so by getting out and opening up my
cell phone.
     But Cell service won't be an option on my
next venture. And the two wrist watches I
retired..when I retired have both apparently
run out of time! Their faces are blank!
     I suppose new batteries could bring them
back to life. But even if they did it could be
weeks before I remembered how to set them!
     Thus is was I went to Walmart looking for a
wristwatch. But which wrist watch to wear?
     My grandson suggested some colorful
models and quickly vetoed one I pointed out
with a pink strap. But colors weren't the
only consideration.
      There were all sorts of sizes. There was
a decision to be made as to whether I wanted
a traditional clock face or a digital display.
       After ruling out an array of watches
designed to measure one's running speed or
offering options such as pulse or heart beats
per minute, I settled on one with a large
digital read out and a small light which will
allow me to figure out what hour it is when
I'm wondering why I'm still awake.
       Hope I haven't taken up too much of your
time and that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Painting The Town Red!

   According to the Urban Dictionary the phrase
"Painting the town red" relates to going to various
different parties in different parts of town.
Basically to party all night long!
    That's why folks in Pittston bought out
Sherwin Williams! They are set to party!!!!!!!
    It's time for the annual Pittston Tomato
Festival and "painting the town red" began with
the Main Street!
    A long red line has replaced the traditional
white one that separates the street's two lanes.
The city's green trash cans now boast the image
of a bright red tomato. An entire wall of one
building has been turned into a giant tomato
     City officials tell me the acidic soil linked to
the coal mining industry is also perfect for local
gardeners intent on growing the perfect tomato
plant. Their spirited competition for "the best"
tomatoes lead to the annual festival.
    Of course not all tomatoes are perfect. Those
that are not may likely find themselves used in
the Festival's biggest attraction......the Tomato
     Used as a fund raiser for area charities, people
from all walks of life hurl rotten tomatoes at one
another while onlookers cheer them on! I'd love
to participate some  a "Thrower"....not
a "receiver!" I like tomato sauce. But not on my
shirt! Besides, I usually get stains without anyone
throwing the fruit at me!
     The 4 day festival draws tens on thousands of
people to the city which is currently involved in
a very impressive downtown renewal project.
Musical groups will be preforming throughout the
downtown while vendors peddle everything from
fresh tomatoes to ethnic foods.
     You can tell it's a good festival if you put on
at least one pound after your visit! (Think I may
be stopping at too many festivals!)
     If you're looking for all the activities just follow
the red line to the center of town. Pay attention
though if you happen to hear some one yell "Duck!"
Just in case there's a tomato heading your way!
     Hope you get to check it out and that all your
NEWS is good.     



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Back To School?

  One of my grand daughters went back to school
yesterday. I'm wondering why?
   I come from a different era. During all of my
years in the Public School system our summer
vacation ended after Labor Day!
   Parents loved it. Especially those who incorporated
the Labor Day weekend as part of their vacation
plans. Business owners who employed high school
kids loved it because those kids stayed on staff
through Labor Day. And most kids loved it. I know
I did, because the longer the summer the better!
    Some say an early start gives the schools a
better chance to meet the State requirement which
calls for 180 days of education. "Snow Days", they
say, makes it hard to meet that requirement.
    Of course State Officials came up with that 180
day rule. And we all know how well State Officials
do on most of their decisions!
    Ever visit a school during it's last week in session?
I'm not sure how handing in books or watching a
movie qualifies as "education." But that's what
many do.
    My buddy, who has a much better memory
than mine, tells me we only missed one "Snow
Day" during our years in school. And that was in
Hazleton where there was never any shortage of
    In point of fact more districts cancel school
because of cold temperatures rather than depth of
snowfall. Alaska doesn't cancel school for either!
    As more and more people have and use the
Web you've got to wonder if you couldn't
conduct some classes "on line" during those few
days when travel to and from school could be an
    Most schools in my area are still on vacation
although kids involved with special programs like
sports or bands have been practicing for a few
weeks already. And most will be back in the
classroom by August 25th.
    But some will begin with half day sessions
then promptly get a day off....for Labor Day!
    Guess I'm still just a kid at heart! Give me
those few extra days to enjoy what's left of
     Hope your bell rings after the holiday and
that all your NEWS is good.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Radio Daze!

  Today is "National Radio Day" and ever since I
can remember I was dazzled by the radio!
   When I was a kid radio was the main form of
home entertainment. TV's in every home were
still a couple years off.
    But radio was providing many of the shows
that would eventually find their way onto the
television screen.
    Dragnet, The Life of Riley, and even some of
the quiz shows got their start on radio. Other
programs like "Lights Out" and 'Suspense" were
really scary on radio. The actors provided the
dialog while the music, usually offered on an
organ, set the scene. But your imagination did
the rest.
     I was fascinated when I heard the local
announcers and DJ's, realizing their voices
belonged to people right in my own home
town. I wanted to join them!
    One of my Facebook friends, and a fellow
High School graduate, pulled my photo and
write up out of our Year Book the other day
and posted it for all to see. The last line said
it all..."Plans to become a Radio announcer."
     I started my quest by hanging out at the
local station and eventually was hired, as a
part time Errand Boy. The only time I ever
got on the air was during the company's
Christmas party when I was left behind to
run the control board and got to give the
station identification every hour.
    A year or so later I moved on to a new
local station where I was hired as the
janitor. My wife still finds that hard to
believe. And try to get a kid to start that
way today!
    The station operated from dawn to
dusk. So, after the place was cleaned and
everybody else when home I stayed and
learned how to work the control board.
     Then, somebody got sick. I was the
only other person who knew how the
controls worked. That lead to my first
full time slot as a DJ!
     There were a number of stations and
eventually a position as a newsman. That
led me to television. Even "retirement" didn't
get me off the air as I now volunteer with
Electric City Television, a Public Access
station based in Scranton.
    I don't get paid these days. But I never got
paid very much anyway.
    But there are times, like on this Radio Day,
when I think back to my personal "good old
days" when the biggest concern was
deciding which record to play next and
making sure you didn't miss any of the
     Hope you'll tune in somebody for a little
while today and that all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting Up In The World!

   My morning walks often take me along
Susquehanna Avenue in West Pittston. It's
a tranquil area with beautiful homes and,
from what I can tell during my brief
encounters, some very nice people.
    They've got a great view of the
Susquehanna River! But every so often
it's far too good a view!
   That was the case in 2011 when the
river spilled out of its banks and into
many homes on Susquehanna Avenue
and elsewhere in the Borough.
    There is no levy system in West
Pittston and there's an old story which
suggests that many people would rather
have the view than protection against
flooding. I don't know whether that's
true or not. But I do know that there's
always a chance the river will flood
    One local family has come up
with a way to keep its view without
the constant worry about high water.
    It's raising its house!
    I first saw the steel beams in front
of the house a few weeks ago. What I
didn't know, then, was the plan to slip
those beams under the house, then jack
them up, thus lifting the home high into
the air.
     Of course there's no way to tell high
the water will get should there ever
be another flood. But if this place takes
water we may all be in trouble!
     Looks to me like the only better
protection would be an Ark!
     Of course the garage is still at ground
level so driving away could be  a problem.
     Then there's that first step out of the
house! Right now it's a whopper!
      Hope there will soon be a staircase,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Princess Diaries!

   One of our grand daughters celebrated her
Birthday yesterday with a very special
Princess theme.
   She, like many other pre teen princesses
these days, has been captivated by the
Disney movie "Frozen" and its principal
character "Princess Elsa."
    Mom and Dad turned the garage into a
set from the movie, complete with a cake
and favors while our newest addition to the
rank of 4-year-olds dressed in her Elsa gown
and greeted her "subjects', a crowd made up
of family and friends.
    There was fun and food for all. Even a
"Bounce House" and slide for the kids to
    But if this little Princess was keeping a
diary there no little doubt in my mind the
highlight of the day was the arrival of ELSA
    You don't often find a Disney character
visiting your birthday party! But there she
was. Reading to the children. Playing games
with them, Even singing songs!
    The kids, especially the Birthday girl, were
     To her credit, Elsa spent all of her time
with the youngsters. She even signed
autographs before she left.
     Since I've done a couple very small parts
in movies I thought I might meet with her for
a few minutes to see if I was needed for any
sequel that might be done.
     Unfortunately I just got the "cold shoulder."
     That's OK... Cold never bothered me anyway!
      Hope you had a great day too and that all
your NEWS is good!