Saturday, August 31, 2013

UPS and its Downs!

     We had been waiting for an important package from
our bank for nearly two weeks.  
      A call to the local financial institution, after layer
upon layer of automated prompts finally got us to a
human whose supervisor promised a "next day delivery"
of the paper work we needed.
     When two days of checking our mailbox failed to
produce the promised package we called again.
      Again the telephone machines tried to shield
actual bank personnel. But, eventually, we got through
to a person who assured us the material had been sent.
But "the carrier", we were told, was UPS!
      These are the guys in the brown uniforms and trucks
that have taken over many of the packages that used to
be hauled by the US Postal Service.
      After getting through the UPS automated telephone
options a spokesman assured us the material in question
had been delivered the previous day In view of our
presence the 'previous day" and our lack of visitors, we
felt we had reason to question his assurance. So we did!
      My wife patiently manned the telephone with UPS
"Central" while I began a slow drive around the neighborhood
to see if, by any chance, an UPS package might be sitting
on some neighbor's doorstep,
     In mid search my wife informed me that UPS "Central
had located the driver who said he had left the package
right on the porch of the home next to the one marked "50."
His logic was that our address, "49" was right next door.
    It isn't!
    Our home is at the far end of the same block. It is the
one with the numbers "49" clearly marked on the front
porch. I must conclude that, given this driver's logic, he
is not Mr.Spock!
    After a long succession of knocks on another neighbor's
house, which by the way has no address number but a
4 digit code (non of which are a 4 or a 9) a gentleman
answered and acknowledged that he had found the package
on his door step. He said he didn't know where house "49"
was. I wonder if he works for UPS?
     I was thankful our "lost" package had been found and that
it did not contain some prescription needed to keep us alive!
     I am sorry the UPS driver couldn't find our house.
     I am also sorry the Pony Express was disbanded! Maybe
the riders couldn't find their delivery addresses?
     Hope you mail is on time and all your NEWS is good!

   Package left here!

Friday, August 30, 2013

From "Double's Dee;s Dusty Dungeon!"

A Golden Oldie From Double Dee's Dusty Dungeon!
   Back in my DJ days I played "oldies" from
"Double Dee's Dusty Dungeon of Marvelous
   I don't usually repeat
my Blogs. But
the one written for this date, August 30th.,
deserves to be seen again by regular readers
and read for the first time by new "fans."
  And the "Dusty Dungeon" is a perfect
place for..........
  "It's Alive....It's Alive!!!!!"

  Given the title above....who can guess what
'Special Day' this is?
      All us 'old timers' know!
      August 30th is "Frankenstein Day!"
      What!?  Some of you didn't know!?
      The day was named in horror.....make that
honor....of Mary Wollenstone Shelley who was
born on August 30th., 1797!
      Mary wrote the story of "Frankenstein"
in 1818.
      If you do the math that would make her
21 years old! She actually started writing
the story when she was 18!
      I wonder if she ever talked about it on
a date? I wonder if she ever had a date? I
wonder if she liked really tall strong guys
who didn't talk very much?
      "Frankenstein" is the story about a
scientist who tries to create life and ends up
producing a monster who can live forever.
  Given the number of movies her monster
has spawned over the years I'd say her
monster is still 'alive and well!'
     By the way it was the scientist who
was named Frankenstein. The monster
never did have a name other than....
"The Frankenstein Monster."
    You'd think she could have named the
     I have to admit I have no idea how we're
suppose to 'celebrate' or 'observe'
Frankenstein Day. Maybe you can come up
with some ideas.
    For those who feel it's just too late
to celebrate....take heart...but
not literally as Doctor Frankenstein did!
    There's still "Frankenstein Friday!
    That's the last Friday in October.
    Apparently somebody connected with
Frankenberry Cereal came up with that
    There's also "National Frankenstein Day"
which is listed as being observed on
October 29th.
     Think about it!  Washington and Lincoln
have to share 'President's Day' while Mary's
Monster gets three days all his own!
      Well, however you celebrate, I hope
you have a Happy Frankenstein Day, that
you're full of energy, and that all your
NEWS is good!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

The 9th Inning!

   I came across a live broadcast of the Scranton/
Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders last night. Then I
realized tonight is the team's last home game of
the season!
   Wow! How time flies
   It seems like just a couple of weeks ago that
our new remodeled stadium opened to the
public and our Triple A New York Yankee
affiliate got its new name.
   I wasn't thrilled with that name. On the other
hand our old Red Barons team has become the
Iron Pigs.
    I still not overly enthusiastic about having a
Porcupine as the team mascot.
    That being said I did get back to the stadium
several times this season. And I must say I
enjoyed each visit.
    The first was to see the stadium itself. And
it is impressive! You can walk all around the
field and, like they say, there's not a bad seat
in the house! Of course my problem wasn't
sitting. It was standing in the very long lines
to get a hot dog! Then, of course, paying for
the hot dog!
    I also joined the crowds that turned out to
see Derek Jeter and, later, Alex Rodriguez
as they played here as part of their rehabilitation
assignments. Of course that's "injury" rehab in
the case of A-Rod!
    It was good to see the place with "sell out
crowds!" The "big name players" certainly
helped the local gate.
    And who knows how many of the current day
to day players may become the big name guys of
the future?
    There were too many empty seats last night.
    But, let's face it, the big names are gone, schools
are back in session, and the team isn't in
contention this year.
     Still I, for one, am glad our area can boast
minor league baseball and hockey teams! I think
they're good for the region. But I'd still loose the
     Hope you're all good sports and that all your
NEWS is good too!

                                             Team Logo

Last night on TV




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And now, a word from our sponsor!

       Time to switch on your favorite station and crank
of the volume friends.
       Today is "Radio Commercial Day!"
       The very first radio commercial was broadcast on
this day in 1922. It was for the Queensboro Realty
Company and it was 10 minutes long!
       The cost? $100!
       Wow! The rates have certainly climbed a bit
since then! In 2011 more than 17 Billion dollars was
spent on radio advertising.
        I'm not about to complain about that. After all,
for the first 21 years of my broadcasting career radio
commercials were what allowed me to pay my bills
and feed my family.
        Of course I've seen radio commercials change
in a number of ways. Not just in length or cost.
        When I started in the business Cigarettes were
still being sold on both radio and television.
         But, back then, you never heard a spot for
doctors or lawyers! Today, they're all over the air
          Now a days there are also what I like to call
"Asterisk commercials." You know.....the spots
for medications that use 20 of their 60 seconds
describing the drug and the last 40 admitting
the pills may cause complications...up to and
sometimes including death!
         Or the commercial that includes some sort of
special offer.....then....a voice that speaks faster than
a mile a minute reciting warnings and conditions!
         There are, of course, "non commercial"
stations. They don't broadcast advertisements.
Just constant mentions of how this or that program
is provided by a grant, address, and a
catch line or two.
         Then there are the fund raising drives which
seem to pop up every two or three months. When
they're on the "non commercial stations" take big
blocks of time to ask for your money and tell you
how they don't interrupt programming with
         I often wish they'd cut into the fund drives
with a "Speedy Alka-Seltzer commercial!" I can
usually use some "plop-plop-fizz-fizz" about then!
         Hope you're listening for the 'Deal of the
day" and that all your NEWS is good!      


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

     Our latest barrage of Telemarketing attacks
features a prerecorded message warning us that
"Every three minutes a senior citizen in the
United States".......well......basically, faces some
form of danger. The calling company, of course,
has a product or service which can save us from
    But here's where things get complicated.
    If we hang up in the middle of the message
our phone sometimes rings immediately only
to put us back in the middle of the message.
    If we allow it to play we're given an option.
   "Press 1 now to take advantage of the offer"
or press 5 to decline. Maybe my "5 key" has
died from over load!
    But, somehow, neither option works!
    After listening to portions of this call
about 20 times I decided to do something
radical. I called the number that showed up
on my Caller ID. I was tempted to offer
numerical options to whoever answered.
    But.... got through to, you guessed it, an
automated message that offered a couple
of me!
    "Press 1 now to take advantage of this
offer" or press 5 to have our number
removed from their contact list.
    Can you guess which one I selected?
    Now the wait begins. The wait to see
if it worked this time.  I should know
anytime. But I keep staring at the phone!
     Hope your "5 key" is working and
that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, August 26, 2013

There were three Jolly Fishermen.

      For those of us who live in Wyoming
Valley "Old Man River" is the Susquehanna.
      It's 464 miles long! But most people
remember it for how wide it was during the
Agnes Flood in 1972!
      I've always liked the idea of considering
the river as an asset (when it's not flooding
of course)!
      That's why I was pleased to see three
jolly fishermen casting their lines into the
water during my walk in West Pittston
yesterday afternoon. At least I hope they
were "jolly."
      There was a boat too. It was speeding
near the Fort Jenkins Bridge, using the
river as a sort of highway from one
fishing spot to another.
       What was especially impressive was
the fact all those lines, and hooks, and bait
or lures were being tossed into the water
in the immediate vicinity of the "Butler
Mine Tunnel!
       For those who might not remember,
that underground chamber was originally
built to drain coal mines in a 5 square mile
      But back in 1979 it was also being
used to drain illegally dumped contaminants
from a truck stop three and a half miles
away. The result was an oil slick that
spread on top of the river water all the day
down stream to Danville which uses the
water for its drinking supply.
     The Tunnel became a Federal Super Fund
site and millions of dollars were spent on a
clean up project.
     I guess it must have worked because the
oil slick has been replaced by fishermen!
     I'm still not so sure I'd be willing to
consume any Walleye taken along this
particular stretch of Old Man River. But it's
really nice to see fishing , rather than oil,
nets being run through the water!
     Hope there's a tasty "catch of the day"
on their menu and that all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Cousin.....Vinny?

  Nearly 80 people were gathered at a Barn in
Schuylkill County yesterday.
  But this was no Grange meeting or Barn Dance!
  This was the 102nd annual reunion of the
Singley Family! No....I have not attended them
   For those who don't already know, my middle
name is Singley. It was my mother's maiden
name and she was logically proud of a family
name that has been traced back to the American
Revolution. (I wasn't involved it that either!)
   My Mom and Dad used to bring me to the
reunion every year. It was held in a small church
in the community of Zion Grove. After a service/
meeting, we would all go outside to the church
pavilion where we could either buy food prepared
by church volunteers or dig into the covered
dishes many people would bring along.
   I fell away from the meetings during my teen
years. So did a lot of others. But a couple of
years ago a few of the cousins expanded the
gathering to a family farm not far from the
church. They still hold the meeting and family
"business' session at the pavilion. But, since
the church no longer has volunteers to prepare
food, we all go to the farm where there is what
can only be described as a feast and a whole
lot of fun for the kids!
    They don't play with IPods there! They
swing from a rope tied to the roof of the
barn and join in a number of other "outdoor"
activities that don't require electricity!
    Everybody knows we're all related in some
way even if there are faces we seldom see and
names we might not always remember.
    There's bound to be a "Cousin Vinny" in
there somewhere!
     There's corn. fresh from the field, broworst,
and what seems like a hundred deserts! You
don't start your diet here!
     What's really great is to see the kids enjoying
some "farm living!" They're the ones that will
have to take the Singley's towards the 200th
reunion! I think the family has a chance to get
there! I hope they do....and that all your NEWS
is good!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Leaf" Me Alone!

       I headed out for a short walk yesterday
afternoon. The sun was out. The sky was blue.
       All around our area people were watching
the sky. They were trying to get a glimpse of
Air Force One (or Two) as the President and
Vice President were leaving the area.
       I was looking up too. But for a different
       I've noticed a couple of trees in the region
that are already beginning to show their Fall
      I like Fall colors. But I'd much rather if
they'd show up in late September!
      Too many people seem to be pushing
      Two of my grand kids went back to
school.....last week! Two more will be back
in their classrooms next week.
       All before Labor Day!
       School Districts, we're told, are starting
early to allow for "snow days" and other
disruptions. The state requires schools to
hold at least 180 days of "instruction" each
      I wonder how many of the legislators
who passed that law ever visited a public
school either at the beginning or the end of the
year. Especially the end!
      Seems there are often a few days in there
that don't involve a lot of "instruction."
      Then there's the "Halloween" supply
store that's been open for several weeks
       Sorry gang. I'm not quite ready to sign
up for Fall just yet. Give me a few weeks...
OK?  I've got some Summer left to live!
       Hope you do too and that all your
NEWS is good!


Friday, August 23, 2013

The Butler Did It!

  I am oh so hoping you understand the
title I've attached to today's Blog!
  It went right over the head of the young
lady in the ticket booth at Cinemark
when I bought tickets to see "The Butler"
   Just in case she's reading this, if she
reads, there's an old joke about murder
mystery novels that points to the Butler
as a prime suspect because.....well....the
Butler did it in a lot of those stories!
   The movie isn't a murder mystery. It's
about the life of a White House Butler
who served 8 Presidents over three
   He's an Black man who watches
the country evolve through the Civil
Rights era as a succession of Chief
Executives tries to deal with those
    My wife overheard two older women
leaving the theater who seemed worried
the film would reignite racial problems.
I think those two gals already have some
     Of course the movie has already been
at the center of one controversy. A theater
owner in Kentucky is refusing to show it!
      It's got nothing to do with racial
tensions. He's upset because Jane Fonda
has a part and he, a Viet Nam veteran,
wants nothing to do with her since she
showed support for the Viet Cong during
the war.
     Ironically her roll, fairly small at that,
was pretty well done. She portrayed Nancy
     Too bad he couldn't cut that footage
out. People deserve to be reminded about
the things the country went through during
the days of the Freedom Riders, Black
Panthers, and School intergration movement.
      It's got some big names in the cast, besides
Fonda. But you've got to know at least a little
bit of history to recognize the person they're
      Robin Williams, for instance, is suppose
to be President Dwight David  Eisenhower.
      He looks more like Harry Truman!
      The story held our interest and the popcorn
tasted just fine. And since it's "his story" I'm
really not giving anything away by telling
you....The Butler did it!
       Hope you'll get to see it and that all your
NEWS is good!



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Under The Pillow!

   Just in case you didn't already know, today
is "National Tooth Fairy Day!"
   Well, actually, it's one of two dates
recognized for the day. The other is February
28th. Which ever you choose to observe
she deserves the honor!
    According to the Tooth
Fairy has been around for hundreds of years,
possibly dating back to medieval times. I
suppose she gave out pennies back in those
    But the old gal has apparently been
keeping track of inflation!
    When I was a kid I think I got a quarter
when I lost a tooth and put it under my
     Her swap, the tooth for money, had gone
up to about a buck when my kids put their
lost teeth there.
     Now I've heard reports that some of
our youngsters today get as high as five
dollars for their lost molars!
     If this trend continues, I've got a "partial"
I might consider swapping for a small nest
     I feel bad for my wife! She has ever one
of the teeth that came with her! Talk about
being deprived growing up. Even if she had
lost a tooth she was one of eight kids so I'd
be willing to bet the Tooth Fairy was afraid
to check on their place!
     I have to admit I'm a little confused as
to why she wants all those teeth! I mean,
OK, if there are gold or even Silver fillings
I could understand. But most of her take is
those so called "Baby teeth."
     And I know something she doesn't know!
     My sister-in-law is quicker than the Tooth
Fairy! She collected all of our niece's lost teeth
and gave them back to her one year!
     I think she would have preferred the money.
But you've got to know my sister-in-law!
     I'm not sure what you're suppose to do to
celebrate this special day. Perhaps a great big
smile will do the trick!
      Hope you're grinning and that all your
NEWS is good!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baseball's Longest Slide!

     I remember when Baseball was called
"America's Past Time!"
     Stop by South Williamsport this week
and you'll quickly learn it's become an
"International Past Time" there!
      My wife and I,bored after some 15
hours at home after our 6-day tour of
Canada, took a car load of our Grand
kids to take in some of the Little League
World Series!
     We had no idea who was playing.
     They turned out to be teams
representing the Asia-Pacific Area and
Latin America!
      None of us knew the language,
or recognized their National Anthems.
But we sure knew the game they were
playing and that "connection" was kind
of neat.
      Of course the grand kids, like so
many other youngsters checking out
the World Series, just had to take their
turn trying "Baseball's Longest Slide."
      It's got nothing to do with stealing
second base!
      This slide is done on a piece of
cardboard on the steep hill surrounding
the Little League stadium!
      I couldn't do it. Not that I couldn't
push myself on the cardboard down the
hill. I just couldn't walk UP the hill in
the first place!
      I couldn't even wait properly! My
grand daughter handed me her quarter
eaten pretzel so she could try the hill
slide. She said she wanted me to hold
it for her. I thought she wanted me to
eat it. So, I did! Sorry about that! Your
hearing isn't as good with 11, 282 screaming
fans either cheering for their team or their
      In the end the Latin American team
won the game in the bottom of the last
inning. Everyone who did some sliding
came away looking like they were winners.
     And I enjoyed the pretzel!
     Hope you enjoy the kids enjoying the
game, whatever it is, and that all your NEWS
is good!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who's Been Working On The Railroad?

      Well after an 8 plus hour train ride and two more on a
Chartered bus my wife and I have returned from a fantastic
trip to parts of Canada with two dozen other folks who
allowed us to lead the pack!
      The trip was designed to "See Canada By Rail."
      Problem is...we went and came back from there that was
      Comparing Canada's VIA Rail with Amtrak here in the
United States is like comparing Major League Baseball to
Tee Ball!  The "tee" is set up here in our country!
       Our experience started in the New York hamlet of
Rhinecliff, New York where we found a station lobby two
floors above the railroad tracks with no baggage service
available. That meant lugging our bags to the loading
platform (there was a small elevator) only to find the
train had no luggage car anyway. We had to fit ourselves
and our baggage among the people and baggage who had
boarded earlier that morning in New York City.
        The food that is available is sold to have
the patience to wait in what is always a very long and slog
moving line! In Canada's Business Class they keep bringing
you food after the Red Caps have carried and loaded all
your bags. (Yes, there's a charge. But we would have gladly
paid it in Rhinecliff if only it was available).
         VIA Rail seems to speed along its tracks.
         Amtrak has to pull onto a siding every time a Freight
train comes by.
         Yesterday we found ourselves facing the worst of
times. During our 8 hour ride out of Canada virtually
every restroom facility on our sold out train was broken
or filled by the time we got half way through the trip!
The lights that usually indicate they're occupied were on
to indicate  they were closed!
          It's no wonder passengers are making a "big stink"
about Amtrak!
          Seems like we need somebody "working on the
railroad all the live long day" to try to catch up with
our neighbors to the North. Otherwise we're better off
to take the bus!
           Hope you've got a ticket to ride and that all your
NEWS is good!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

The British Are Coming!!!!


  OK. So it wasn't actually the British!
  It was the Canadians. But they all had
red coats, and rifles. And they were
marching straight towards are hotel!
   We were in Ottawa for the final full
day or our "Canada By Rail Tour" and
getting ready to head out for a tour of
the city and some shopping opportunities.
   My wife was the first to hear the drums.
Then, seconds later, the brass section of
what sounded like a military band!
   It was!
   The troops were marching to the
Parliament Building for the daily "Changing
of the Guard!"
    Hey. I'm from the good old U.S.A. and
plenty proud of the men and women who
serve to defend our freedom.
    But, that said, there's something pretty
darn inspiring about a tradition that goes
back well before our country and brings
back memories of a day gone by.
    Of course those M-16's looked a bit
more hazardous than the old one shot
    A crowd of several thousand people
gathered to watch the event which took
nearly an hour to complete. And you would
have been hard pressed to find someone
who wasn't impressed! I even thought
about joining up just to get the neat red
    I'm glad our neighbors to the North are
preserving their heritage. And darn glad
they're on our side too!
    Hope you've been taking care of the U.S.
for us and that all your NEWS is good!