Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Pain In The Neck!

        FRIDAY, MAY 1ST

  Certainly I enjoyed Hawaii. Happy as
well to see the sun shining around here
and some temperatures near 70 for a
   That said, I returned from the Big
Island to discover two suspicious spots
one on my face the other on my neck.
   There was a day I would probably
make up a story and boast about the
neck mark. But I'm past that now and
my Dermatologist didn't consider
it funny anyway.
   Turns out that one on my neck was
an old nemesis trying to show up again.
   Skin cancer.
   So, yesterday, I got up bright and
early and headed into his office to have
some minor surgery done.
    It wasn't at all painful and, truth be
told, he has the most comfortable
chair in which I've ever reclined. I'm
thinking of going back to school so I
can get a medical degree and buy one
of those chairs!
    The procedure requires the removal
of some tissue, a lab check, then, often
a bit more removal to make sure all the
suspect area is clear.
    A large bandage is the only outward
evidence of my appointment with the
scalpel. The self dissolving stitches,
about a dozen, are underneath.
    Of course it's seven hours later as I
write and, as the anesthetics wear off,
I realize that I do, indeed. have a pain
in the neck!
    Rather than surrender to the
irritation and the sun I decided to
uncover the Miata which has been
resting since October, put the top
down, and take a spin!
   Yes. I did put on the sunscreen!
    Just hope the Tylenol holds out
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Missing Years!


   First, I'd like to thank all of you who
took the time to wish my wife and me
a Happy Anniversary!
   It was, indeed, a fantastic day!
   We joined two of our best friends for
a wonderful dinner at our favorite
restaurant, La Dolca Casa, in Tamaqua.
    The owner, Alfie, helped me arrange
a special appearance by Luigi, an
accordion player who serenaded us
throughout our delightful dinner.
     Although we have been married for
46 years I have just learned that,
statistically, we haven't been together
quite that long!
      Since we never worked together in
the same place we have spent an
estimated 97, 262 hours apart! That
equates to about 11 years and one
    Then there's the estimated 125, 900
hours, or about 14 years, lost to
sleeping. I'm not really too upset about
    Anyway, the estimated 16, 790
days we have spent together will just
have to do until we can make up all
that lost time.
     Hope I don't waste anymore hours
"at work" anywhere and that all your
NEWS is good!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Short But Sweet!


Today's Blog is, indeed, short but
   On the left of the photos below
is the luckiest guy in the world!
   On the right is the reason why!
   Happy Anniversary to my
beautiful wife! 46 years on the way
to forever!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Safety With A Smile!


   If you've ever flown anywhere you
already know about the safety lecture
that precedes takeoff!
   Traditionally a Flight Attendant,
usually using a very poor sound
system, warns you of the need to
have your seatbelt fastened, the
location of a flotation device, and
the possibility that oxygen masks
may suddenly fall from the ceiling
to keep you breathing.
   You're also told to familiarize
yourself with a pamphlet in the
pocket of the seat you're facing
which demonstrates how to get out
of the aircraft after an emergency
   First time I heard it I wondered
if I'd be better off walking to my
   Now, there's a Delta difference!
   Somebody at that airline wisely
decided to offer the same safety
instructions....... with a laugh!
    They're offered on TV monitors
set up throughout the passenger
cabin and they offer ridiculous
examples to emphasize their point.
    For instance, instead of just
reminding people to place only
small items in their overhead
compartments they show someone
trying to place a Microwave inside.
    You're told to make sure your
seat tray is stored in the upright
position and make their point by
showing a robot crushed up against
a tray that hasn't been properly
    Those are just a couple examples.
    The result.....people are actually
paying attention to the instructions!
You can tell by the laughs in the
     It would be great if all airlines
follow Delta's example. It's an idea
that should "take off!"
     Hope your seatbelt is tight and
that all your NEWS is good!


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Looking For Bargains!

        MONDAY, APRIL 27TH

  Yes Hawaii has a tropical climate, beaches,
and beautiful scenery everywhere you look.
   But take a good look around and you'll
find, in some ways, it's just like home!
   My wife and her sister, for instance, had
no trouble finding a "Bag Sale!"
   Set up right along a popular beach area
a local club was selling baked goods, canoe
rides, T shirts, and racks of used clothing
to raise money for their organization.
   Offer most any woman clothing for five
bucks a bag and you won't have to wait
very long for a line of customers!
    Farmer's Markets are also popular in
Hawaii. They're set up pretty much the
same way you'd find them here in
    The difference is in the products!
     Instead of apples and pears you'll
find pineapples and coconuts.
     Of course you'll have to eat them there.
     The Agriculture Department won't
allow you to bring fruit or plants back to
the mainland for fear you'll accidentally
unleash some kind of blight back home.
     You can bring back the contents of
your Bag Sale purchase. Just check my
new "Flowered shirt" if you have any
     Hope I can find a place to wear it
here and that al your NEWS is good!


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Never Too Much Spam!

        SUNDAY, APRIL 26TH.

  I know some of you are probably bothered
by all the Spam you get with your email
each day.
   But in Hawaii you can never have too much
   Of course, in the case of Hawaii, we're not
talking about the computer junk mail know
as Spam. In Hawaii the old fashion canned
meat SPAM might well be considered the
State meal!
   You'll find it everywhere!
    It's in the Grocery stores and in the Gift
shops! And it comes it all sorts of flavors!
    There is Spam with turkey, Spam with
bacon, Spam with black pepper, Spam with
Jalapeno, Spam with Teriyaki, Spam with
Chorizo seasoning, the Classic Spam and
about 5 other flavor variations.
     I happen to like the plain old fashion
version of Spam, usually fried with a bit of
mustard or served with eggs.
     But even I admit to being surprised
when, after my visit to the Macadamia Nut
Factory, I discovered one display highlighting
the popular nuts offered with a Spam flavoring!
    Yes. I bought a can!
    Thus far I'm the only one who seemed to
like them! Oh well, more for me!
     Hope you don't take mine, and that all your
NEWS is good!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Back to the 60's!

     No. Today's Blog has nothing to do with
the temperature. Although about now some
60's would be nice!
     I'm writing about the 1960's which, to
some extent, I found during my visit to
Hawaii's Big Island over the past two weeks.
     I'm thinking that some of the 60's
"Hippies", or their off springs, have found
their way to our 50th state.
     Last Monday, for instance, we left a
popular beach area just before it was
taken over by a large crowd of people
who showed up for a weed smoking party.
They were celebrating "Weed Day", a
Counter Culture movement that can be
traced back to a Police Code, "420",
used to dispatch officers to someone seen
smoking marijuana.
      Of course some folks didn't need a
special day for their celebration. I've
already written about a few who brought
their own "pot" to a pot luck sunset dinner
at that same beach.
     We also found a lot of young folks,
reminiscent of those in the 60's, who
found their way to Hawaii, and now
exist there working odd jobs they can
find or preforming for food at the local
Farmer's Market.
     It may take a while to pay off College
loans at that rate!
     The climate lends itself to a "Live
free" lifestyle for some. Hope they're
not too surprised when they get the
bill.......and that all your NEWS is


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sure Ain't Butcher Holler!

         FRIDAY, APRIL 24TH

      Most folks know the "Coal Miner's
Daughter" hailed from Butcher Holler
in the hills of Kentucky.
      But somewhere along the way she
and her late husband Mooney built a
getaway on Hawaii's Big Island.
      My brother in law did some
security work on the property a few
years back. We paid a visit during our
recent vacation after picnicking on a
nearby beach.
       The drive took us along a bumpy
road that could well have been set in
Kentucky. And it's home to herds of
wild donkeys!
       I wondered if Loretta had brought
them there. But I was assured they
were just a few of the unusual animals
that make their home in Hawaii.
       Another is the Mongoose!
       They were imported to kill off the
rats that came aboard the ships of early
explorers. Only one problem. The
Mongoose roams about all day. The
Rats are nocturnal. And never the twain
did meet!
        The wild Donkeys don't bother
anyone. Certainly not Loretta Lynn!
         Like her home in Butcher Holler,
nobody lives there anymore! The Lynns
moved out and turned the property over
to the State for a park.
         The house is still there. But it's all
boarded up! Just the memories of a Coal
Miner's Daughter!
          Hope she enjoyed the beach as much
as us and that all your NEWS is good.


Is There A Doctor In The House?

    Greetings to all of my regular Blog readers.
    I have returned from two weeks on Hawaii's
Big Island and my mind will probably show up
soon too.
     I believe it is Thursday as I write. I say that
because I see the neighbor's garbage bags out
and ready for pick up.
    The last thing I remember clearly was leaving
Hawaii on Tuesday night, then flying, on three
different legs, to the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton
International Airport in Avoca.
    I wasn't sure just when we'd return or if we'd
end of staying somewhere unplanned along the
   During the second leg of our return, Los Angles
to Detroit, we heard the Fly Attendants making
one of those announcements you never like to
hear..."Is there anyone on board with medical
training?" A gentleman seated just in front of me
responded and walked towards the front of the
aircraft. I saw attendants bringing a first aid kit
and defibluator up front then asking if anyone
had a portable kit to monitor blood sugar levels.
     Again, someone responded, and the flight
continued without problem. Whatever the
trouble was the volunteers had apparently
solved it. On to our next flight.
     When we eventually landed in Pennsylvania
I noticed that someone had left the area's air
conditioners on! I had just been bathing in 70
plus degrees Pacific waters two days ago. All
of a sudden I needed a jacket and sweater again!
      Coming in my front door was another
experience. In Hawaii, at least here and there,
you are asked to remove your shoes when
entering the house. That would be the custom
I ran into after having all sorts of foot problems!
      How that Japanese tradition made it's way
to Hawaii still has me puzzled. I thought we had
won that war!
     Anyway, I'm back, with still more pictures
and stories to tell.
     Hope I can get warm again and that all your
NEWS is good!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Three Stooges Take Hawaii!

                  APRIL 21/22

   As many of you read this we are making
our final preparations to return home from
our two week visit to Hawaii.
   What with packing, three different flights
to catch (wish us luck with that one) and a
time zone switch that should teach us what
jet lag is all about, this Blog may have to
serve you until I wake up (where ever)
    Ironically April 22nd will mark my 4th
year of providing this daily nonsense to
you. Thank you for taking the time to read,
"like," and comment on my ramblings!
    I suspect I'll have still more thoughts on
Hawaii to share with you. But while it's on
my mind, allow me to present.....................
    I was one of two siblings. My brother
was eight years older and that makes me
the closest thing to an only child.
    My wife is one of eight kids in her family.
    Our Hawaiian trip reunited her with a
sister from Florida who shared the vacation
with us and her youngest brother who has
made his home in Hawaii.
     It has been fascinating to watch these
three together. I have learned much. Mostly
I have learned to step back, generally keep
quiet, and enjoy the show!
     I have occasionally been trapped, however,
as the sisters sit just feet away from me on
the beach or at the table trying to figure out
their crossword puzzle answers. You get
asked whether you're in the game or not!
    Throughout our two week stay I've
watched as the trio each volunteered to
cook a meal. My brother-in-law ended up
doing most of the cooking and there are
two reasons for that. First, he is a good
cook and knows where everything is. Secondly,
as his sisters debated whose turn it might be,
he'd dash to the stove lest the meal be delayed.
     Whoever did end up wearing the apron
you could be sure the other two would be
close at hand to correct or enhance the
     As I write the three are all offering their
version of an old saying. I'm not sure any
of them have it right!
     And just think, there are only three of
the eight here!
     At least they've enjoyed each other's
company, talking over all times and
adventures, and reminding each other
what it was like to live under one roof.
     Hope I eventually determine which one
is Moe, Larry, and Curly and that all your
NEWS is good.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Down On The Farm!

         MONDAY, ARPIL 20TH

    I found myself under the Bamboo tree
on Sunday. If fact, I found myself under
all kinds of trees.
    A friend invited us to see his farm here
on the Big Island and we took a walking
tour of a forest filled with Bamboo trees
and others bearing various types of fruit.
    The farm is set high atop a hill and,
in the clearings between the trees you
get an excellent view of the Pacific.
     There were bananas, tangerines,
grapefruit, and various other species.
     And then there were the mosquitoes!
     I suspect they were hovering in some
kind of formation just above the treetops
as we started our inspection.
     I can almost hear them.
     "Red leader to squadron. Pennsylvania
guy in shorts and with short sleeves. Three 
o'clock low. Let's get him!"
     There was a Golden Retriever walking
along with us. You would have thought he'd
head off the incoming bites. But no. I was
the target and they zeroed in.
     No one else seemed to get bitten.
     I suppose the insects were happy and
filled with my blood.
     I bravely completed our tour then went
inside where my wife sought out a bottle
of something containing Ammonia to
relieve the immediate itch.
     I suddenly remembered why I gather
all of my fruits in a grocery store back
     Hope I remember the bug spray next
time and that all your NEWS is good!



Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Road Less Traveled

        SUNDAY, APRIL 19TH 

     Many of the homes near my brother in
law's house were actually moved to his
hillside many years ago.
     They were originally built about a mile
and a half away around a very busy little
village that grew up around the Sugarcane
     When the industry died the tenants were
allowed to buy their houses for a dollar and
have them moved.
     There's little remaining of the original
village now. But you can still make out the
narrow, bumpy remains of a dirt road that
once lead to the sugarcane fields and a
lighthouse that signaled ships out at sea.
    On Saturday we took that "road" to find
its end. The windows were rolled up as
plants and tree limbs tried their best to climb
inside our vehicle. We held on for dear life
as all four tires seemed to be at different
elevations at any given moment.
    And then we reached the clearing!
    The Lighthouse is long gone. Only small
foundation blocks mark the spot where it
once stood.
     And all around were the cliffs, the ocean,
and the roar of waves where few people
ever set foot these days. The view was
nothing short of amazing! And only the
'locals" know it's here through most of
them never come!
     That, of course, is just as well when
you consider the possibility of one vehicle
trying to get here while another comes out!
     The regular tourist spots are fantastic.
      But sometimes it's the road less traveled
that will take you to heaven!
      Now, if only we can find our way back!
      Hope we do, and that all your NEWS
is good.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Unexpected Guests!


   It is, as I reported last week, an
unusual crowd that gathers every
Wednesday to watch the sunset on
a beach not far from my brother in
law's home in Hawaii.
   Most everyone brings food to
share while a few bring instruments
to entertain.
    I suspect about half of those who
show up know each other. There
are no trouble makers. But there are
a few who are, perhaps, best left as
    There were some impressive
visitors to the party this week! They
were spotted arriving just before the
sun dropped below the horizon.
    They didn't bring any food or
instruments. But they sure were
     My wife tried to grab a picture of
the guests with her still camera. But
they were ducking in and out of
sight. No! It wasn't the characters
who bring their weed.
     They were whales! They're usually
well on their way towards Alaskan
waters at this time of year. But, on this
night, they swung by the beach...perhaps
to say good bye.
     I hope to enhance some video I
captured once I get home. But, in
the meantime, here's a couple frames
I froze, as photographed from my
small camcorder screen.
     Hope you enjoy them and that all
your NEWS is good!


    Thursday started early here on Hawaii's
Big Island.
    Some time ago a couple of the Coconut
trees at my brother in law's place had to be
cut down. Their fruit, weighting as much as
a bowling ball, had been growing right over
the neighbor's roof. You don't want to be
directly below when those things come down.
    Not among those wanting to waste a good
tree stump the family invited "Robert" over
for a morning visit.
    Robert uses a chain saw like Da Vinci used
a pallet and brush!
    He spent about 10 minutes checking out
photos of dolphins in a book and on my
laptop then stepped outside and went to work
on the stump.
     As he labored away a few neighbors
checked in and found spots on the deck to
provide a live audience for the sculpture.
     With no drawing in front of him the
finished product was already etched in his
mind from the short time he spent with those
      Before any of us could have breakfast
a  "Flipper" like image emerged from what
had been the stump of a Coconut tree!
      I wondered if I could do something
like that and thought about trying..till my
wife reminded me there's only a Clinic
near by....not a hospital. She suggested I
say with my stick figure drawings.
      Hope I can turn one into a Dolphin,
and that all your NEWS is good.  


Thursday, April 16, 2015


    Lest you think Hawaii is all about going
to the beaches, exploring beautiful scenery,
and eating  rare fruits, I must be honest and
tell you that the three siblings sharing this
time with me, my wife, her sister, and their
brother, have spent several quiet hours thus
far getting plastered!
    Wait a minute. Perhaps I'd better clarify
that a bit.
     The trio have been working on a project
which has them painting layers of a plaster-
like substance on various types of leaves
growing around this place.
      Those layers eventually harden, giving
the leaves a strong backing which will
allow the artists to paint what was the leaf
surface into a design of their choice.
       Of course I have seen said artists carry
a glass or two of some concoction into the
studio, that is garage, with them. Perhaps
whatever it contained was used on the
art work in some way. I, however, have my
      Oh well, they say art is good rehab!
      Hope the museums are ready for these
new works and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Hiwaiian Diet

    After a week on Hawaii's Big Island
I am beginning to get a better idea of
how residents survive in an area where
I haven't seen a Cracker Barrel or Abe's
Hot Dog outlet in any of my travels.
    Now to be perfectly honest there are
restaurants and even a McDonalds just
about an hour away from where we're
staying. And we even were able to buy
a large hotdog at a Costco's outlet for
just $1.59 with unlimited refills on our
soft drinks.
    But you don't need a superstore to
find food around here.
    Nearly everyone seems to have a
Banana tree, Coconut Palm, or
Pineapple plants.
    They're even growing fruit here I
never heard of. Like the Rambutan.
     I'm always a bit reluctant when
someone invites me to bite into
something I've never seen and can't
pronounce. But, brave guy that I am,
I gave one a try.....before I ate the rest.
     Then there is the Malasada!
     It doesn't grow here. But it's made
here. Hugh chunks of dough rolled
and baked on the premises then
filled with your choice of Apple,
Strawberry, Cream, or Chocolate.
    We got a dozen. I didn't have to
count them. I carried them. The
weight assured me our box was
filled! As were all of us after a very
short time!
     Hope I have room for dessert and
that all your NEWS is good!