Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Go Fish!

  No. Today's Blog has nothing to do
with that popular card came matching
the title noted above.
   I am writing, rather, to announce the
arrival of my wife's last Christmas
present for which she was required to,
well, go fish.
    I should also point out this has
nothing to do with delivery delays
faced by UPS or FedEx.
    Yesterday just proved to be a
convenient time for my wife to make use
of her gift card to get some new fish
for her aquarium!
    She headed to the Pet Store to make
her selections. To "Go Fish" if you will!
     Age, and a bit of aquatic rivalry, had
narrowed her stock to just one fish over
the last year. She felt  the lone survivor
might enjoy some company for 2014.
     I opted out of the decision. My
knowledge of fish is pretty much limited
to the Bass, Pickerel, Perch, and Pike I try
to catch. And if I'm lucky they don't end
up in a bowl!
    My wife made a nice and, I must say,
very colorful selection. I'm a little
suspicious of one that seems to have the
image of Mickey Mouse on its tail! I've
got to wonder what that one has been
    So, with aquarium restocked, I guess
we're set for the new year!
    Hope you are as well and that all your
NEWS is good!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Oh Say Can You See?

     A Facebook friend posted a message yesterday
indicating, with satisfaction, that all Christmas
decorations had come down at her house.
      I am proud to say that, at dawn's early light,
Christmas lights and decorations are still there
for all to see at our place!
      I've addressed this subject before. But it bears
      We start hearing complaints that stores are
setting up Christmas displays just about the same
time folks are buying Halloween costumes. And
yet, Christmas seems to come so very quickly then,
for some, vanishes the moment December 26th
shows up.
       Maybe it's my years. But I've come to appreciate
"the season" and the spirit that comes along with it.
And all the lights and decorations enhance that spirit
and seem to prolong it.
       We'll keep the Christmas stuff up until "Russian
Christmas" even though there's not a single Russian
to be found in our family. That's January 6th by the
way! And, who knows, maybe UPS will finally show
up with my missing Christmas by then? They'll just
have to look for our lights!
        Hope you're hanging on too and that all your
NEWS is good!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tick Tock Day!

   December is so great. So many special days
to celebrate.
   Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's
Eve, and Tick Tock Day!
    Yep! Tick Tock Day. It comes around every
29th of December. Two days before the end of
the year!
    The day is celebrated by completing tasks on
hand, like ensuring all holiday gifts are delivered.
Better make sure UPS and FEDEX are aware of
this "holiday!"
     It's a day to complete unfinished business so
nothing that should have been done is carried
over into the new year.
     It's also a perfect day to take stock of yourself
and your situation and to come up with those
New Year's Resolutions to improve your lot in
     The "Tick tock" of course, is the sound of
this year's time running out. So get to it while
there's time to get things done!
      Hope your clock is on time and that all your
NEWS is good!


Twas Two Days After Christmas!

   'Twas two days after Christmas.
   We were looking for fun,
   So we headed to dinner
   just outside Binghamton!

   Two old friends from New York
   were to meet us at Noon.
   Since the drive proved quite easy
   I showed up too soon!

   As I surveyed the restaurant,
   I thought I might drop.
   For the sale in the Gift aisles
   got my party to shop

   My wife and my daughter,
   two grand kids and friend
   found discounts that got them
   to spend and to spend!

   On Wednesday old Santa
   stopped at our house as planned.
   On Friday fresh presents I
   packed in our Van!

   I like Cracker Barrel.
   The food there is great.
   But with all this temptation,
   next time I'll come late!

   Hope you found some great
after Christmas sales and that
all your NEWS is good!


Friday, December 27, 2013

A Post Christmas Surprise!

    White Christmas showed up a few hours late
this year!
     I hadn't expected to see a blanket of white
when I work up yesterday. Apparently a lot of
other folks didn't expect it either! Some of them
were area road crews!
     There wasn't much in the way of depth. Guess
that's why morning forecasts spoke of "snow
flurries." I must have missed their predictions for
those flurries the day before!
      As I said, it wasn't deep. Just deep enough to
turn many secondary roads into skating rinks and
remind drivers like me there's a reason cars have
gears other than Drive and Reverse!
       It did tend to extend Christmas a bit with
some beautiful snow scenes.
       Hope you enjoyed them, traveled safely, and
will be warned next time something is on the way!
       Hope all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Here's a Tip...It's Boxing Day!

   Here's hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas!
   As I write my daily Blog the day before it's
published, my December 26th Blog would, of course,
be written on Christmas Day.
    I wanted to take the day off. But I can't ignore a
holiday that's observed by much of the world!
    It's "Boxing Day" and it's today!
    I had plenty of boxes yesterday and they were
scattered all over the place! But, as it turns out,
there's a little bit more to "Boxing Day."
    According to holidayinsights.com, Boxing Day
is celebrated in England, Australia, Canada, New
Zealand and other former British commonwealth
countries. It is a legal holiday in these countries.
    It stems from St. Stephan's Day, when churches
opened their collection boxes to the poor.
    Boxing Day was an expression of appreciation
and thanks, like Christmas tips are today.        
     So if you missed your chance to tip your paperboy, favorite waitress, or just some Blogger yourknow, do it today with a wish for a "HappyBoxing Day!"     I'll provide my address if you need it!     Hope you'll "celebrate" and that all yourNEWS is good!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve Together!

    Long before Santa sailed into northeastern
Pennsylvania members of my family began
showing up for our annual Christmas Eve
together at our house.
    This Homecoming is proof positive there
is magic in Christmas.
     There was food enough to feed all the
people in a small town.
      There were presents for everyone. Lots
of presents.
      And, of course, there was my family.
      The five people who made up the
DeCosmos in this house 35 years ago have
grown to a gang of 13 individuals now.
       And, in case I haven't mentioned it
before, our house is a mobile home!
       It's a little like that Circus scene where
a dozen or more clowns get out of a tiny
Volkswagen! You always wondered how
they did that!
       Somehow my wife organizes the food,
the floor space, the presents and the seating
in a fashion that makes very one comfortable
crowded though we may be.
        This is a what a close knit family ought
to be and what Christmas togetherness is all
         Hope you have a Merry Christmas and
that all your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Christmas Miracle!

    I've shared this with many of you before. But it's
Christmas Eve and this story deserves to be retold!
    It dates from many years ago when I sometimes
put off my Christmas shopping till December 24th.
    I reenacted the story for WYOU TV and I'd like
to have you see it again on this special day! I'd also
like to read your comments if you care to share them
with me. Just hit the Youtube link below to see the
story of My Christmas Miracle! Merry Christmas,
and may all your NEWS be good!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Check Point Sam!

    My wife and I had to do some shopping
yesterday to stock up for Christmas Eve
festivities at our house.
    We had several options. But the closest
outlet on our route was Sam's Club.
    Shopping at Sam's Club is an adventure!
    First, you've got to get in the door.
    In case you don't already know, you've
got to have a Membership to shop at Sam's.
I, of course, do not. So, I was only allowed
in because my wife had a Sam's Club Card.
    Problem is, her card was actually issued
to a family member who has since listed
another person on the account. So, technically,
neither my wife or I should have been allowed
    But we lucked out! In its infinite benevolence,
or maybe because somebody at the corporate
level decided it might be good to accept
every body's money at Christmastime, we happen
to stop in on a FREE shopping day.
     Don't get me wrong. None of the merchandise
was free. But everybody was given a sort of
Pass to get them in to shop. Thanks Sam!
     I'm not sure we'll pursue a membership on our
own. Something seems basically wrong to have to
buy a membership, essentially paying to spend
money. I mean I'm not great on math. But if
you're paying $45 for admission and buy
a product marked down to $35, it seems to me
you're still ten bucks in the hole!
     To be completely fair, you could go in to
shop, not buy anything, and still sample
enough food at stations set up throughout the store,
to feed yourself lunch. Do that everyday and I'm
sure your $45 membership will pay off.
     Of course Sam's tends to sell product in bulk.
So, if you need a ton of anything this may be
your place.
     The other thing that bugs me just a bit is the
fact there are no bags in which to pack your
purchase! Clerks do have various sized boxes
scattered on the floor around their check out
registers so, if you're lucky, you may find some
sort of container to hold your purchases!
      Of course getting out is as risky as trying to
get in! An employee waits by the exit and tries
to match the items listed on your receipt with
what he or she sees in your box or cart,
      Reminds me of Berlin when the wall was
still in place!
      Anyhow we got our goods and were able to
cross the border, I mean get out the exit, where
we loaded our supplies in the van. We had to
keep the box though. Maybe someday I'll take
it back! Hope I can get in....and that all your
NEWS is good!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Rewarding Day!

    Saturday, December 21st may have been the
shortest day of the year. But I made the most of
    First, after a mile and a half walk to begin
the day I decided it might be time to start my
Christmas shopping.
    It's early for me. I've been know to frequent
the stores on Christmas Eve.
    But I knew where I wanted to go and what
I wanted t buy so, by Noon, I had things all
wrapped up. Well.....nearly.
    Fortunately I have a daughter who lives
nearby, worked in retail for a number of years
and can wrap anything I can buy whatever the
shape may be. She came to my rescue.
    That gave me the time to make one of my
favorite Christmas shops! It's at my local
     I've mentioned Ledoretti's before. It's a
family owned Service Station where you not
only get service.....but food.
     Stop in any lunch time and you'll probably
end up sharing something with the boys there.
     Stop in around Christmas and you won't
get out without some holiday goodies and, just
maybe, a sip of wine to celebrate Christmas.
     I brought some kielbasa which they
cooked up on their coal fire grill.
     It's more like visiting an old friend's home
than stopping by for an inspection!
     After all that my wife and I were off to
the annual Huntzinger Karate School Christmas
    I don't do karate, although I did break a board
one time. In my case though it was an accident!
   In any case, my grandson received two
special honors and a promotion to 2nd degree
Black Belt at the shindig while my son-in-law
received the school's "Most Honorable Award"
for his services to the instructional program
     The they fed us!
     Wow....so much in the shortest day of the
year! I can't wait for June 21st to see how much
I get done then!
      Hope your days are filled with good NEWS!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Shopping Gridlock

     My wife and I had to head to Barns &
Noble yesterday to take advantage of a
great deal on a Cheesecake. And I thought
they only had books!
     But this Barns & Noble is in the vicinity
of the Wyoming Valley Mall.
     It was around 3 o'clock so we figured
we'd beat all those shoppers heading out
as soon as they got our of work.
    Wrong! Either that or everyone who
was not working had the same idea!
    The line of traffic coming and going
was long and slow! We even tried a couple
clever maneuvers to get around some of
the mess. They may have helped, But it
was tough to tell. We did find shorter
lines. But our "clever route" also took us
to traffic lights that seemed to be stuck on
a "Not Your Turn Yet" setting of some sort!
     I was getting just a bit apprehensive as
we had purchased some groceries before
heading out on this errand. I was afraid
some of those goods might hit their
expiration date by the time we got through
the traffic mess and home!
      Ultimately it took about 30 minutes to
travel what amounted to three miles!
       I didn't have my camera along. But my
good friend Nancy Kayman of WILK hit
a similar backup along Route 81 so I'm
borrowing her photo to show you.
       Can't imagine why all these people
are out now doing their Christmas shopping!
       Guess I'll have to start mine now!
       Hope everyone else is done and home by
now and that all your NEWS is good! 


Friday, December 20, 2013

A Seat On The 50 Yard Line!

       The crowd was well into the game before
anyone hit the field. It roared with excitement
and wild anticipation! This was bound to be a
barn burner!
        But wait a minute! I wasn't in a stadium!
And there was no game!
        I was in a High School auditorium
waiting for a student concert to begin. And the
shouting I was hearing came from both students
waiting for their call to the stage and a fair
number of adults scattered throughout the place.
       It was the loudest I've heard an audience in
many years of attending plays and concerts in
schools, colleges, amateur and professional
      At one point there was a temporary
reduction in the roar as a school official blew
his whistle attracting the attention of both kids
and parents as well. I thought, for just a second,
that a field judge had called a foul!
      I hoped it might be followed by a penalty.
      Eventually the music provided by the
various classes saved the evening. But not before
I listened to 2 complete cell phone calls from a
woman sitting not more than 7 seats away.
      Even movie theaters remind patrons to silence
their phones before the show begins.
      Once on stage the kids provided the
entertainment most of us had come to enjoy.
They did a great job! The crowd noise they like
comes in the form of applause!
     And it's nice to see a school sharing the
holiday with the community. In this case, through
songs of the season! Its new Music Teacher didn't
let us down!
     Hope we'll all remember....the action should be
on stage, not in the seats! Hope all your NEWS is


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Bigger They Are.....

   I was surprised when I woke yesterday
morning and learned that many area school
districts had called for a two hour delay.
   There was a light coating of snow on my
car. But, unlike the past couple days, there
wasn't any actual snow falling when I decided
to go out for my morning walk.
    I found plenty of snow along my route too.
   And a lot of signs that other critters were
out and about as well.
   I saw cat tracks. I saw dog tracks, I saw
squirrel tracks!
   I did not see that slight raise between the
two sections of sidewalk!
   Next thing I knew my walking stick was
flying to the right and I was flying....well
falling forward!
    I'm glad there was still a bit of snow on the
sidewalk. It was probably at least a little
better that crashing on uncovered concrete.
Well maybe a little!
    Realizing that my embarrassment was worse
that the bruise that was about to take shape on
my leg or the brush burn like cut on my
knee I quickly called myself "Safe", got up
and resumed by walk.
    In retrospect. perhaps I should have given
myself a two hour delay!
    Hope you're careful out there and that all
your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lets Hear It For The FLAKES Out There!

   I'm serious! Let's hear it for the Flakes
out there!
   I'm not referring to those strange friends
we all have. At least I don't think so.
   I'm talking about snow flakes.
   December 18th is National "Flake
Appreciation Day!"
    It's a fun day apparently created to
encourage us to take notice of snow flakes
and to be mesmerized by each icy one that
    I  took notice and was mesmerized by
many that fell yesterday forming about an
inch of slippery beauty on roads throughout
the area!
    A number of my fellow drivers didn't
seem to be paying much attention to the
flakes....or anything else....as they flew by
demonstrating their ability to fishtail on the
streets and in the parking lots!
     Strange how the term "Flake" occurred
to me as they whizzed by!
     I'd be just as happy if this were the only
day we had flakes, of any kind, to appreciate!
Whether they're falling from the clouds or
congesting our highways, one way or another,
I've "appreciated" quite enough already thank
     Hope you're not flakey and that all your
NEWS is good!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


    "He who hesitates is lost!" Or so the
old saying goes.
     I had that in mind when we took our
grandson to a Christmas party on Saturday.
     Seeing an empty table at one end of
what would soon be the food serving line
I took that 50/50 chance we'd be at the
starting end if we sat there.
     I was right. And also quick when
someone walked by to announce the
serving had officially began.
     I admit to feeling very comfortable
as I nursed my remaining chicken
nuggets while a long line of still hungry
party goers walked slowly past our table.
At the end of the line...stragglers!
    The "Early Bird" truly does get the
worm or, in our case, the pizza, hot dogs,
and chicken nuggets.
     I thought about it again today when my
wife called my attention to a flock of about
8 or 9 geese flying overhead.
   Yes! They were heading south.
   But given the 17 degree temperature and
the snow piled up around our neighborhood
you could hardly call these geese early birds!
    They were "Stragglers."
    And I had to wonder, with more snow on
the way today. if they'd make it to their
destination, where ever that might be!
    Maybe they should have stopped by at
the party? We probably could have fixed
them up with some chicken nuggets!
    And now I'm thinking....maybe...I should
start thinking about starting my Christmas
shopping. I didn't say "doing it." Just
thinking about doing it.
    Hope you're not a straggler, and that all
of your NEWS is good!

Monday, December 16, 2013

After The Storm!

      That Winter Wonderland I've heard about
in song was waiting for me when I awoke
Sunday morning.
       A plow may have made a pass earlier in
the morning. But I found my vehicle blocked
in by the snow that had come down since it
passed as well as the higher berm left behind
by the plow itself.
       Sleet also added a couple of pounds to
the weight!
       And so my wife and I decided to do
something we rarely do. We spent an entire
day at home.
       I spent the first hour or so shoveling
the area in front of the house.
      My wife tackled a puzzle.
      I caught up on some video dubbing too.
      Then we both enjoyed the smorgasboard
of food carefully packed in take home boxes
from our hosts at Saturday evening's Christmas
Party. It was just as good at the second serving!
       Some Holiday TV movies added to the
day so Cabin fever did not turn out to be a
       This is definitely a time of year for
sharing the company of family and friends.
But, every so often, it's good to share some
time alone doing absolutely nothing that has
to be done!
        Hope you made good use of your "Snow
Day" and that all your NEWS is good!