Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Enter Stage Left!

   "Boy the way Glen Miller played. Songs that made
the Hit Parade. Guys like us we had it made, Those
were the days!"
   I'm hoping most of you remember the tune that
Archie and Edith sang to open "All in the Family!"
   We heard it and about 50 other TV musical
memories this past Sunday when my wife and I
visited the Music Box Dinner Theater in Swoyersville.
    The cast entertained us as part of a show called
"The TV Guide Musical."
     We enjoyed it immensely! Especially since the
play was preceded by a spaghetti and meatball
dinner! Pasta and a play! How can you beat that!?
      Usually, at a playhouse, you sit back and let
the folks on stage do all the work. But part of this
performance included a couple challenges to the
      All of a sudden the spotlight is on you!
      Since the theme was old TV shows we found
ourselves in the middle of a Trivia Game based on
those classics!
      It's amazing how much we don't really remember!
      That said, I won a Snickers Bar when I correctly
named the home town of Marion Lorne who played
Aunt Clara on the series 'Bewitched."
      As we all know....don't we....Marion hailed from
West Pittston!
      We were all in the final act too as we were
challenged with a game of "Name that Tune."
       They played instrumental versions of 20
songs used as the themes for television programs
through the years.
      Most folks would consider me an avid viewer.
      Still, I only identified 12 of the 20.
      Three people got all the right answers. They
watch way too much TV!
       It's kind of neat to be "part of the act" As long
as they don't interrupt the spaghetti and meatballs!
       Hope you're not a "Ding bat" and that all your
NEWS is good!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Another Scary Night!

            TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30TH
The howling wind and pounding rains from Hurricane Sandy
sent chills through the spines of many area residents Monday night!
   But there's another chill in store for many people tonight.......
IF....they observe a bizarre "holiday" that's scheduled for this
pre-Halloween Eve!
   So you're thinking "Mischief Night". right?
   The chill tonight will be coming from something lurking
right in your own house! It may be behind you as you read
this essay!
    You see October 30th is "Haunted Refrigerator Night!"
     Ruth and Thomas Roy came up with this unusual
     They suggest there's no need to go out to one of those
"Haunted Houses" when you could have the scare of a
lifetime waiting right there in your Fridge or Freezer!
      You may or may not have been keeping your
refrigerator closed just in case there's a power outage
in your neighborhood.
      But even if you occasionally reach in for a snack or
a beverage there's a good chance it's been quite awhile
since you really checked all of the items buried inside
that cold vault!
      So here's the plan.
      Turn out the lights, if you're lucky enough to have
power and lights in the wake of "Sandy."  Perhaps a
couple of candles would be appropriate.
      Gather around your refrigerator this night…open the door
slowly and take in a deep breath…slowly move things around
and see what is lurking in that container or box buried in there!
      With a little luck you're discover a forgotten treat that's
been safely maintained in its cold surroundings.
       Of course there's also the chance you may be growing
your own penicillin on some leftover that's been forgotten
far too long ago. And that, my friends, is SCARY!
       Either way this is a great setting (and excuse) for a
Haunted Refrigerator Party!
       And mark the date on your calender for next year so
you don't miss it!
       Hope that little light inside is working and that all
your NEWS is good!


Heard About The Storm?

  Have you heard about the big storm that  hit Detroit
las night?! It came from west coast and was so strong
it ended the baseball season! It was like a Giant of
a storm......speaking of which........
   Just in case you've been really busy and haven't
heard.....we're about to get clobbered by a big storm!
   Officially it's called "Sandy."
   But I've also seen it referred to as the "Frankenstorm"
(which seems appropriate for this Halloween season),
and "The Perfect Storm" as in the movie  about a
similar combination of storm fronts that hit the East
Coast and North Atlantic around Halloween in 1991.
   There was a whole movie about that disaster
mainly featuring the story of the crew of a fishing
boat called the Andrea Gail which vanished during
that storm!
    I always wondered how they came up with all
that dialog given the fact the boat and its crew were
never found!
    The Andrea Gail was fishing for Swordfish.
    Over the last couple days everybody around here
has been fishing too!
     The favorite "catch" around these parts has been
things like water, milk, bread, and batteries.
     I usually prefer peanut butter with my bread though
I have to confess I've never tried batteries! I suppose
they might give you extra energy. But they don't seem
very appetizing to me!
     I've been looking at all the maps on TV and the web.
     They're all close. But none match exactly.
     Apparently neither "Sandy" or the folks tracking
her have a Garmen.
     School closings have been running across the TV
screen all afternoon and evening. Why couldn't we
have any hurricanes when I was in School!?
     The power companies are certainly prepared.
     They started telling us power may be out for days
well before "Sandy" began to turn our way.
     There's little question "Sandy" is a very serious
storm. But to hear some people talk you'd think it's
the end of the world. It's not! That's not scheduled
till December according to the Mayan calender!
      I'm still wondering if we could all go outside and
blow into the air at the exact same moment to keep
this storm away. That much hot air should have some
effect although, I suppose, there's the possibility that
effort could bring down  power lines too.
      So what are you going to do?
      Hope you're ready and, in the end, that all of your
NEWS will be good!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Night Of The Living Dead!

    Last night I became a Zombie! Sort of.
    My wife and I were invited to a "Zombie
Murder Mystery Party."  You were required
to come dressed for your part.
    My part was that of a Zombie Television
Reporter. Talk about being type cast!
     The writers and producers of this game
are apparently trying to capitalize on the
current "Zombie craze" that's reflected in
the popular movies and TV series that are
built around the theme of Zombies.
      Of course you're got to ask yourself
how a Zombie can be murdered since they're
suppose to be dead already!
       That got my mind to wonder about strange
story possibilities.
        What if, for instance, a bald Zombie was
bitten by a werewolf who had been bitten by a
         Chances are the Zombie would sprout
hair every time there was a full moon! But he
wouldn't be able to see himself in a mirror!
          We all read the parts of our characters
and questioned one another in an effort to
guess the identity of the killer.
           I won't tell you "who done it" just in
case you're ever suckered....I mean invited to
participate in this particular game.
          I will tell you to go easy on your Zombie
makeup. It doesn't come off very easily!!!!!!
          So, in the event I look "dead" today, you'll
          Hope you were 'dying" to read today's
Blog and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Historical Haunts!

   My wife and I joined in a walking tour in
downtown Wilkes-Barre last night.
    It was a "Ghost Tour" sponsored by the
County Historical Society and featured a
stroll by some pretty impressive buildings
that may host some unseen visitors!
    We certainly heard some stories you
don't usually hear about places you pass
     Like the Hotel Sterling, or what's left of
it, where an elevator operator was killed
many years ago when he was crushed
between floors. People in the hotel were
very upset when that happened!
     They were forced to use the stairs!
     Or the Administration building on the
Wilkes campus where a strange light has
reportedly been seen slowly descending the
staircase.  (As opposed to a "regular" light
coming up or down?)
      Another old mansion, now used as
classrooms, has a window that mysteriously
fogs up from time to time.
      I assumed it would happen when our
group came in.. But it didn't. That was a
bit surprising when you consider all that
hot air passing through!
      Or the Guard Building where some
employees refuse to stay alone after dark.
      Maybe it's just that their shift was too
darn long!
      We weren't walking long before we
saw some strange things.
       There was, for instance, the
unmistakable sight of bodies going in and
out of one of the buildings at Wilkes.
       But they turned out to be live! Seems
some students were holding a Halloween
        It's amazing how many people, like
us, are attracted to events like this. But it's
a great way to learn a little about your home
area and it's history.
        We certainly did see some scary places.
         Like City Hall! Think about it.
         Politicians work in there. How scary
can you get!
         And, by the way, it was constructed on
the site of an old burial ground!
         Heck. A lot of things are probably still
being "buried" there!    
         Hey, Halloween is just around the corner
and "Ghost Walks" like these really fit into the
season while showing off some impressive
properties at the same time.
          Hoped your not easily spooked and that
all your NEWS is good!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes!

     The title of that Ray Bradbury novel and movie
came to my mind yesterday as I enjoyed another day
of mild temperatures but listened to warnings about
     Sandy, for those of you are caught up in all the
rhetoric about the upcoming election, is a Hurricane
that's traveling north and may be stopping by for a
visit right here in northeastern Pennsylvania.
      Just a day or two ago one local television
"Weather Man" was showing us predicted paths
for the storm.
      There were about a half dozen "models" on his
screen. The majority of them showed the storm
turning out into the Atlantic with minimal effect
on our area.
       I guess the computers that drew those models
must have a virus because now we're being told
to batten down the hatches on Monday into
       I've looked all over my house and I can't
find any hatches! I do have some windows and
a couple of doors. They're already closed.
      Some forecasters are making Sandy sound
like the "Perfect Storm."
       But nobody's perfect so, maybe, well catch a
        I hope so because I can't seek shelter in my
basement! I don't have a basement!
        I do have some "anti storm" equipment
including an umbrella and gloves.
        Of course I also have a comfortable couch
and even though it's not in a basement I may just
seek shelter there.....with some popcorn or pizza!
         That sounds perfect whether there's a storm
or not!
         Hey!  Maybe the hot air from all the politics
will force Sandy to take a detour! There should be
enough of that to keep us all warm all winter!
          Hope you weather the storm and that all
your NEWS is good!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Undercover Twins!

   I don't know if Wednesday was officially
"Indian Summer" or not.
   Maybe it was "Native American Summer!"
   But whatever it was, I'll take it!
   Much of the morning was overcast. But the
sun was behind those clouds...just waiting for
a chance to break through.
    It got that chance shortly after 1:30 and we
decided to take our chances with a top down
ride toward Columbia County.
    Our destination.....some memories!
    It's funny how you find places you really
like in your travels. You plan to go back often.
But seldom do.
     One of our favorite stops has been damaged
time and time again by flood waters.
     Given the September 2011 flooding in
northeastern Pennsylvania we wondered if it
or, rather, "they", survived!
      "They" are the so called Twin Covered
Bridges along Fishing Creek in Forks, PA.
       They're not really twins. But two similar
covered bridges that happen to have been built
right next to each other back in the 1800's.
       I guess that makes them "Fraternal Twins!"
       We were pleasantly surprised to find them
both in excellent condition under sunny skies
and colorful leaves.
         Traffic was rerouted around these classic
spans many years ago. Their decks, refurbished
several times, now hold picnic tables where
visitors can sit and enjoy a nice meal and some
great surroundings. We had to settle for the
surroundings since we didn't bring any food.
        But food or not this is a great place!
        And, should it rain, no problem. They
don't call these "covered bridges" for nothing!
        We also found the bridges had become a
sort of "Information center."
        The County Visitor's Bureau has a stock
of booklets featuring its Calender of Events.
        There was also a poster marked
 "Attention Rabid Cat!"
         That one had me confused. I didn't think
any cat could read...let alone a rabid one.
         My wife suggested it might be a warning
poster for those of us reading it!
         I have to admit we started to glance in
every direction after that!
        Seems a rabid cat was found near the bridges
a few weeks ago so visitors are being cautioned
to watch for any animals that might be
"behaving strangely!"  Not being schooled on
animal behavior I decided to steer clear of any
we happen to see.
        Having seen none, we decided to start back
        Most of the sights we passed along the
way were exactly as we remembered them from
a few years back.
        There's even an old Oak tree that's been
decked in a yellow ribbon since way before
Tony Orlando and Dawn came out with their
popular song! It's in front of a church. I guess
they're still waiting for somebody!
          Memories are great. Especially when
a day trip like ours re enforces them.
          Just glad we didn't see any strange cats!
          Hope you've got great memories too and
that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Other Side of the Street!

    Two days ago my Blog was dedicated to all
those "Crossing signs" you see along our highways
and streets. Remember? Things like "Deer Crossing,"
"Tractor Crossing," and the like.
     But yesterday I found myself at one of those City
Cross walks designed for people.
     It's the busy intersection at Wyoming and
Lackawanna Avenue in downtown Scranton. It's
right in front of the Boscov's Department store in
the Mall at Steamtown.
     This Crossing, and others like it, could be used
as qualifiers for the Olympic games!
     They are spots where seniors become sprinters and
motorists learn to run an obstacle course! The "obstacles",
of course, are people!
      There are, as if to help pedestrians, "Walk/Don't
Walk" signs.
       I've seen these electronic "flag men" in various
shapes and forms over the years,
       Some flash the 'Walk" indicator then display a
countdown of the number of seconds left before the
traffic is turned loose! You'd be surprised how fast
people can "walk" when they see they've got  2 seconds
       Some, like those in Hazleton, actually allow
people to cross while traffic is stopped in all
        Those in Scranton give the go-ahead to cross
but don't stop cars, trucks, and buses from turning
onto the street your crossing!
         It's a regular stop for city ambulances.
         The grass may always be greened on "the other
side of the street." But, sometimes, getting to it is a
real challenge!
          Most people try to cross in groups. I think they
think drivers are more reluctant to run down humans in
large numbers. If may be true! I've cross safety among
others many times!
            And it's sort of nice to "jog" in a pack!
            Of course you can always hope there's a
Boy Scout around!
            Hope you remember to "cross at the green, not
in between, and that all your NEWS is good!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Let your fingers do the walking (or talking!)

   We switched our "bundle" nearly a month ago.
   We left Verizon and went back to Comcast.
    It was a matter of economics. Plus, Comcast
offered some new features we have already
    These "bundles" include TV, Internet, and
     We have already learned that Verizon and
Comcast have something in common.
      Their telephone service isn't always
dependable. And telling them about your
troubles IS NOT an easy task!
      Months back we lost our Verizon service
for several days. Some readers will remember
my rants about trying to reach a human voice
to report my problem and the long wait for a
repair man to show up to restore service.
      Just the other day we discovered that our
newly installed Comcast telephone service was
      Using a cell phone we began the task of
contacting the company to beg for repairs.
      The first step, apparently which ever
company you're using, is to work through a
series of numbers you've got to press before
you can reach an actual person with whom
you can speak.
      Comcast has taken that game to a new
high. Long before you reach a representative
you've to Press 1 to sign up for the latest
WWF Wrestling program, or 2 to reject the
     But this may be the best part.
     Our new service allows us to hear telephone
messages on the computer. So even without
telephone service I was able to play several
voice mail messages.
     I spotted one quite accidentally two days ago
and played it on my laptop.
     It was from Comcast. It asked me to press 1
to confirm my service appointment, 2 to cancel
it, and 3 to set up another appointment date.
    But....keep in mind.....that message was sent
to my home telephone........the same phone that
wasn't working!!!!!! The same phone for which
I requested a repair crew! DAH!!!!!!!!
     Before said repair crew could be late for
its appointment mt friend and I found the
telephone wire mess left outside our home by the
last two sets of "installers."  We made sure the
totally exposed wires were not shorting each
other out then reset my home modem. Sure
enough...the telephone worked again.
   I then started the process of calling the company,
selecting "telephone service" from among the
options, picking "repair" over two other selections.
rejecting the WWF wrestling match, and informing
the kind representative who answered that I no
longer needed the repair appointment.
   I'd make a call now but my fingers are just
too tired from pressing all those numbers!
   Hope you enjoy the wrestling match, or not,
and that all your NEWS is good!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Cross (ings) we have to bare!

   A Facebook friend, Judy Best, sent me a recording
of a radio talk show caller who was complaining about
those Deer Crossing signs we see along area highways.
   She, the caller, insisted they should be moved.....so
the deer would cross somewhere else!
   Attempts, by the host, to suggest the deer don't
actually read the signs before deciding where to
cross fell of deaf ears.
    I've wanted to blog about those signs, and others
like them for some time.
    Maybe my Facebook friend's message is "a sign"
that this is the right time!
     I took out a deer with a Jeep I owned several
years ago. I was passing a tractor trailer when the
animal ran towards the left front of my car. I had
a choice that had to be made in a millisecond.
     I could either swerve directly in front of the
big rig or hit the deer and try my best to stay on
course and maintain control.
     The deer lost that argument!
     It has since occurred to me that I've seen a lot
of "Deer Crossing signs" and never once seen a
deer crossing by one of them!
     I've seen plenty of deer on and along side area
roadways. Maybe they're looking for one of those
signs to find a place to cross safely?
     Now that's not to say those signs should be
     After all, I've also seen "Tractor Crossing,"
"Duck Crossing," and "Cattle Crossing" signs
but never seen a tractor or cattle crossing in
the spots where they're posted.
    I think I  did see some ducks taking advantage
of one of their cross walks in the Poconos one
    And I certainly do pay attention when similar
signs warn about the possibility of a train rolling
across my path! Trains do take advantage of
those crossings!
    Then there's people! They're a little like deer.
    There are signs that warn of "Pedestrian
Crossings."  But a lot of people, like deer, choose
their own places to cut in front of traffic.
    Guess the lesson is......whether it's deer,
tractors, ducks, people, or anything else.....
watch out! They could be anywhere!
     Hope it's not in front of you and that all
your NEWS is good!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Seasons In The Sun!

     The "popular media" outlets offered a forecast
calling for "Partly Sunny skies" with highs
in the low to mid 60's" yesterday."
     In fairness, my Facebook friend "Weather
Bob" called for "A chilly day" with "lots of
clouds" and only "peaks of sun." This guy
should be on a network!
     My grand daughter's soccer team played its
last two games of the season .
     One was in Bear Creek. The other in Lehman
     Neither was under "partly sunny skies" and if
the temperature hit 60 I suspect it was in one of
the two concession stands!
      It was downright cold on the sidelines.
      I think it got colder as we saw the kids in their
shorts! At least they were running!
      Some of our "summer sports" seem to have
gone beyond their season!
      I know the World Series is played in October.
But the fans look better suited for football when
they're waving their towels while dressed in parkas
and sitting under blankets!
      I know all the girls on my grand daughter's
team felt bad about losing their last game.
      If they would have won they, and we, would
have been out there again today.
     Did I detect a sigh of relief from a few of the
     Oh well, the "Spring season" is right around the
      Hope it will be a "season in the sun" and that
all your NEWS is good!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Watching the Clock!

     According to all of the sources I've been able to
find an hour is a measurement of time made up of
60 minutes or 3,600 seconds.
     So why does it take forever to play a high school
football game with four quarters of 12minutes each?
     I went to my grandson's high school game last
    The weather was great....for the first half.
    But mid way through the second half, about an
hour and a half after my arrival, it started to rain.
    Shouldn't the game have been over by that time?
    I wanted to stay as long as possible.
    My grandson's team appeared to be winning it's
second game this season and he, even though he's a
Freshman, was getting in the game for some
playing time.
    Yes. I wanted to stay as long as possible. But
I didn't plan on spending the night!
     I started to head towards the parking lot (about a
half mile from the field) when the rain got heavy.
But a few plays later (about 10 minutes in "football
time") the rain eased up a bit so I headed back to my
     Near the field I got a close up glance of my
grandson. It was great to see dirt on his uniform!
    We scored again. But so did the opposition.
    We were on the move again when the sky seemed
to open up and I decided it was time to make my
      It looked like about 8 minutes or a little less
on the scoreboard clock as I headed out.
     I figured that, in "football time"would take
about a half hour.
     I waited for the evening news to get the final
     I'm not sure exactly how long it took to play
the game. But I probably could have watched a
good part of "Gone with the Wind."
     Of course I'd rather watch my grandson
than Scarlet O'Hara any day. Even in the rain!
      And especially when, like last night, his
team comes out on top!
      Hope you get "football time" next time
you feed a parking meter...and that all of your
NEWS is good!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Blowing In The Wind

    It wasn't "the answer" I found blowing in the wind
yesterday my friend.
    It was leaves! Lots and lots of leaves!
    They've been falling from the trees for a couple of
weeks now.
     Yesterday they were jumping down!
     We were visiting our camper where my wife
decided there was just enough sunshine to paint our
deck......once we swept the leaves off.
      While there's still plenty of color many
trees are already bare!
       I know where some of their leaves fell.
       Most came down into the yard in front of our
       Some found their way into my car.
       Hey, it was fairly nice out and I had the top
        I was surprised to see how these leaves
were able to find thin vent cracks and small
hiding places behind and between the seats!
        We had even left the windows up to
channel the warmth coming from my heater as
we drove.
         That proved to be a bit of a problem when
I attempted to toss an apple core deep into the
woods as we drove home.
         Seems I forgot the window was still up!
         Apple cores are a little like leaves. I mean
apples grow on trees, just like leaves. And, when
an apple core flys through the air it, like a leaf,
is able to find small hiding places inside your
         It was, however, unable to hide from my
wife and has now been released into an area
where....someday.....an apple tree may be
found growing.....producing new fruit.....and
leaves that, in some future autumn, will be
falling all over the place!
        Hope you're able to keep up with the
falling foliage and that all your NEWS is good!




Thursday, October 18, 2012

Over The River and Through The Woods!

   My wife and I and two other couples headed out for
another one of our "adventure rides" yesterday.
    We didn't actually cross the river until later in the
day. But we very definitely found ourselves going
through the woods! Perhaps a bit more woods than we
had anticipated.
     Our destination was Dingman's Falls off Route 209
not far from Milford, Pa.
     We had been there before.
     We were always impressed with the boardwalk,
made of recyclable materials, that lead visitors from
the Visitor's Center to the falls. Among other things
it allowed people confined to wheel chairs to enjoy
the beautiful scenery and crystal clear stream that
flowed through the park site.
     When we arrived, however, we found the access
road to the parking lot blocked by a set of locked
metal gates.
     The road, we were told, was damaged when
that crystal clear creek became a raging river in
September of 2011!
      You could still get to the boardwalk, and the falls
IF you were willing to walk all of the three mile round
       Since we had planned a walk anyway the prospect
didn't bother us and we set out to find the falls!
       We learned a couple of things during the walk in.
        First, there were things along the access road we
never really noticed when we drove into the site.
        The colored leaves were a delight way before
we ever got to the boardwalk trail.
        We also noticed that, with just a little effort and
a few orange colored cones, the road could easily
have been used to make sure this attraction was
accessible to everyone!
         That great boardwalk was only great for those
able to walk back to it from the main highway.
          We passed about a dozen other people who took
the stroll on this beautiful fall day.
           The Visitor's Center was closed and is beginning
to show signs of neglect.
            The boardwalk trail is still in great condition
and the walk back to the falls was well worth the effort!
             Later we crossed that river I mentioned (the
Delaware), had some garlic pizza, then drove to the
Casino at Monticello.
              The way I see it we lost weight on the walk to
the falls, gained it back eating the pizza, but still came
away "lighter" after visiting the casino!
               Hope they'll get that access road fixed so you
can see the falls and that all your NEWS is good!