Monday, February 29, 2016



     Today is truly a day to celebrate!
     I'm not sure if Congress ever officially
acknowledged this holiday by resolution or
not. But if it hasn' should!
     March 1st. is "National Peanut Butter
Lovers Day! But you probably already knew
that didn't you?
     Peanut Butter, or something close to it
was used by the Aztecs as far back as the
14th century. They used to mash peanuts
into a paste. Unfortunately, for the Aztecs,
they didn't have any Smuckers or Wonder
Bread with which to turn their paste into
PB&J sandwiches!
     Here in America the average person
eats 1500  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
before graduating high school. In fact there's
a lot of folks who survive on the combination!
      As I've told the kids in my daughter's
first grade class I have my own recipe for
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have
altered it over the years though. These days
I put the peanut butter on the bread first. I
find it easier to spread if the jelly goes on
      They taste good and, better yet, the
PB&J Campaign claims that eating a
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich is good
for the environment!
       According to the campaign, the next time
you chow down on a PB&J instead of a
hamburger you'll save as much  as 2.5 pounds
of carbon dioxide emissions, 280 gallons of water,
and 50 square feet of land! Who have believed
it? It would be practically enamoring not to
eat them.
       Peanuts are a pretty efficient food too. It takes
about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut
butter and there are enough peanuts in one acre to
make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
       I can't seem to find any history on just when
Peanut Butter first met Jelly.....but they've been
stuck together ever since! (Get it? Peanut butter,
jelly, stuck together, you know.)
       So celebrate my friends. Husbands take your
wife out for a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich
this evening. That's bound to impress her.....I
        Hope you're not "spread too thin" and that
all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, February 28, 2016



   Having time on your hands is
suppose to be a good thing. And
today you've got an extra 24 hours!
    It's Leap Year Day. It only
comes around once every 4 years.
But the scientists say it is very
important. You see we've all been
told there are 365 days in a year.
But that's not quite true!
     It reality it takes mother Earth
365.24 days to orbit the sun. And
those .24 days add up!
     So, today, we've added them
and come up with .96 days. That's
close enough to add a February 29th
to our calendar!
       It really works out well for some
folks. Katie Busch of Pottstown was
born of February 29th of 1980. That
was 36 years ago. But, she'll be
observing her 9th Birthday today!
      Wish I had been born on February
29th. If my rough calculations are correct
I'd be about 18!
       But, since my Birthday is in
September this will just be an extra 24
hours for me. Since I'm trying to shake
a cough and congestion I suppose I can
use the extra day.
        Hope you spend the time wisely
and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, February 27, 2016




   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 August
22nd. 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 every 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!


Friday, February 26, 2016



    My wife an I were off to the Doctor
Friday. Since I had a bit of congestion
and a cough I figured I'd avoid my three
month allergy shot during this visit.
    Surprise! I got it anyway. Right in
the end!
    Now freshly medicated I thought
we'd head right home to get some much
needed rest.
    Surprise! I suddenly found myself in
the one place most men do everything
in their power to avoid. A Fitting room
in a Department store.
    This is distressing under the best of
circumstances. You take off your
comfortable blue jeans and try on a
pair of trousers that are suppose to go
with a suit you're planning to buy. But
even if they fit like a glove you've got
to parade them for your wife, and any
other wives in the vicinity, lift you
shirt to see how they look around your
waist, then turn around a couple times
as though you're on the runway at a
Gentleman's Quarterly  Magazine show.
       And you can be sure there will be,
at a minimum, one other pair to be
       Then, have you ever tried getting
those slacks back on the hangers
exactly the way they were before you
tried them on? I don't think it can be
       Now we had sizes, But the store
didn't have the color we needed so a
friendly Customer Service Assistant
began the process of ordering what
we wanted on line. Since I wasn't
actually sure of the color myself I
figured we'd be done for the day.
       Surprise! My wife turned on her
cell phone to call and get the
information. The last time I recall my
wife actually using that Tract Phone
was when we were separated from
one another in a Supermarket about
a year and a half ago and she needed
to find me. She has collected enough
unused minutes to be able to make a
call and talk for a week!
       Well, everything got done and
soon a package will be arriving at
our house with a brand new suit
packaged by someone I've never
met in a color I've yet to actually
see, in a size sent in by computer!
       Hope there are no surprises and
that all your NEWS is good!


Thursday, February 25, 2016



    Once upon a time somebody
decided to make February 26th.
"Tell A Fairy Tale Day!"
     Which of us parents or
grandparents has not, at one time
or another, held our grand child
on our knee as we read or recited
the story of Old Mother Hubbard,
her empty cupboard, and her
hungry dog? We all love to tell
      I have a wonderful time with
Fairy Tales. But I tell them a
little "differently."
      I enjoy mixing the details of
two or three stories into one. It
drives the kids crazy!
      A typical session with me
may go something like this.
Once upon a time a little girl
with a red cape was walking through
the forest to take a basket of goodies
to her grand mother. Suddenly a
wolf stepped across her path forcing
her to run the other way. She ran into
a house made of sticks by a little
piggy and slammed the door behind
her! The wolf stepped outside the
door and yelled to those inside...."
Little girl, little girl. Let down your
hair!" Fortunately the piggy had an
ax with which he chopped down a
bean stock behind his house and a
Giant fell out of a cloud and landed
on the wolf!
      Mckenzie, who is in Kindergarten,
usually just stares at me in disbelief
shaking her head from side to side.
She'll take over about then recalling
the story of Little Red Riding Hood
as most people remember it!
        Hope she survives my stories
with her memory and mind in tact,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016



      So there we were. Minding our
own business watching "The Middle"
on TV. I was half thinking about what
subject I'd use for today's Blog.
      All of a sudden the pitter patter
of rain drops turned into a wind blown
blast! It's the kind of sound you might
expect if you stayed inside your vehicle
as you were pulled through the  car wash.
       Then came the thunder! We had a
couple roars that actually rocked the
house as though there was an earthquake!
We could feel the vibrations in the floor
and walls!
       You're suppose to count seconds
after seeing the flash of lighting. I've
been told each second between the flash
and the resulting thunder equals about
one mile of distance between you and
the spot where the lighting hit!
       If that's true the first lighting strike
that vibrated out house was 13 miles
away. The next was 7. We stopped
counting about then!
       But the storm also brought out
the best in my two older grandsons.
One, who's driving now, checked in
from a Rest Stop where he was smart
enough to pull over and wait out the
heavy downpours. The other called
just to make sure we were all right!
Two silver linings in this not so
perfect storm!
       I had been tempted to Blog about
 "Pistol Patent Day" or "National
Chili Day" which are both observed
on February 25th. But, on my Blog.
they both got rained out!
       Hope you stayed dry and that
all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


            I SAW THE LIGHT!

    My job as a news reporter took me to
some unusual places over the years.
Thirteen years ago this week, for instance,
I found myself eight stories above the
streets of Scranton, climbing on a ladder
and over steel work still higher to get a
close up look at a once illuminated sign
proclaiming the community as "The
Electric City."
     The sign was erected in the early
1920's. But its 1300 bulbs had been
dark for many years! I suspected some
of the old wiring I saw up there might
have been the cause.
      The occasion of our climb was an
announcement the sign was to be
refurbished! For just a moment I
feared the first move might have been
to ask us to change the bulbs!
        But, totally without our help,
within a year or so the sign was
glowing again. Unfortunately it
didn't last. By 2013 40% of those
light bulbs had burned out so the
entire sign was turned off.
        I didn't have to climb up the next
time the sign was restored. In 2014
the folks who run Scranton's popular
Italian Festival donated $10,000 to
relight and improve the landmark with
modern, colored LED bulbs.
        It's become a symbol of the city
and the logo for both the Italian
Festival and for Electric City TV
where I volunteer as a host and
producer for several television shows.
Lots of work. But no climbing
        Hope they keep it glowing and
that all your NEWS is good!



Monday, February 22, 2016



       No. This is not an alert for
Kmart shoppers!
       Those who follow my daily
Blog know we've been doing battle
with a family of skunks who took
up residence under our mobile
home. Four have been evicted thus
far and we're waiting to see if that
accounts for all of the critters.
         Of course before the quartet
was relocated they left behind a
remembrance of their visit. It has
lingered in our kitchen and living
room and on the jackets and coats
kept in a closet there.
         My daughter has sent a
counter measure to the rescue.
It is volcano like container filled
with some sort of oil that emits
a lavender type scent throughout
the rooms. The top has a bluish
glow. (Hence the Blue Light
        I'm told it is an Essential
Oil Ultrasonic Diffuser!"
        I thought defusing was
something you did to a bomb! Of
course, come to think of it, I suppose
you could say those skunks did
"bomb" us! If only we could have
defused them before they exploded!
        Hope we're really defusing
the situation and that all your NEWS
is good!


Sunday, February 21, 2016



   What a great day. Decent temperatures,
a delicious meal, a nice ride, and a tasty
treat! Too bad my wife couldn't come
     As she rested at home trying to shake
a cold I headed out to church. With the
sun shining brightly after the service I
felt compelled to take advantage of the
day. Of course to fully enjoy it I needed
a date. I found one in the person of my
grand daughter who, much to my delight,
was anxious to spend a little time with
      With a small Italian restaurant close
by our luncheon destination was an easy
       After that a ride in the country seemed
appropriate. But, where to go? That was
the question.
       I found the answer in my wallet. A
punch card from Incredible Edibles! This
small Ice Cream outlet in Nescopeck
offers a fantastic product, and lots of it,
for a very reasonable price! A small cone
or cup there is the equivalent of a "giant
serving" in most other places and you
can get two there for the price of one
most anywhere else!
        My grand daughter and I have a lot
of likes in common. One of them is ice
        I took a half a sandwich home from
the restaurant for my wife while my
grand daughter had two boxes of leftovers.
But, alas, we consumed all of our ice cream!
Too bad. So sad!
        Hope I get another date one of these
days and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, February 20, 2016



   Don't pick Curtain # 1!
   About a week ago I told you
about a very unwelcome visitor
who literally stunk up our house.
The skunk had taken up residence
under our place and, while fighting
with a stray cat, used its ultimate
weapon in his defense.
    Of course his defense proved
a terrible offense for us!
    Fortunately we have a helpful
neighbor who has had experience
dealing with polecats. While we
opened the windows our neighbor
set a trap covered by....well......let's
call it a curtain. The covering allows
one to pick up the trap, complete
with skunk, without facing the
danger of being sprayed.
     We were pleased with our
neighbor's success. The offending
skunk was captured and relocated.
Well.......the first one anyway!
      The third skunk was captured
Friday night. As it was being taken
away a forth one decided it was mad
at somebody or something and,,,,yep
we ended up dealing with the results
of its anger.
      Luckily the 62 degree temperatures
allowed us to open the windows, all
of them, and the doors so things aired
out a bit. That is until 7:15 Saturday
night when skunk # 4 entered the
trap....after letting loose a blast.
Probably at another cat! Under the
      The trap is now waiting for
removal in the morning (less chance
of getting sprayed then.)
      Hope he's the last and that all your
NEWS is good!

Friday, February 19, 2016



    When most people think about
Lent you can be pretty sure they're
thinking about what they're expected
to give up during this Pre Easter
     Yesterday I found a place where
people are observing the season by
"giving"  rather than "excluding"
       My Grand daughter and a few
of her friends from Rainbow Girls
volunteered their time to serve
special Lenten meals at the Masonic
Lodge in Wyoming Borough.
       Other volunteers spent the
better part of their day preparing
potato pancakes, haluski, pierogies
and red and white clam chowder.
The Lodge opens its hall every
Friday throughout the Lenten
season from 3 in the afternoon
till 7 at night.
       It's a lot of work. But hundreds
of people turn out to enjoy the home
made food and the volunteers don't
let them down.
       I felt compelled to support all
those efforts too so I volunteered
to eat a half dozen pierogies! You
have to help where you can...right?
       Hope you're volunteering, one
way or the other, and that all your
NEWS is good!


          MOO-VING ON!

      Here's the story folks. Yesterday
I elected to alert you to the fact in was
National Battery Day! The thought
just energized me!
      That said, February 18th also
hosts some other unofficial and unique
holidays that probable ought to get some
       It was, for instance, it was National
Drink Wine Day. It was also National
Eat Ice cream for Breakfast Day, National
Hate Florida Day, and Pluto Day (the
planet, not the dog).
       Those are all important. Well maybe
not all. But February 17th is also a day
we should all acknowledge. It is "Cow
Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day!"
Holy Cow! How could I have ignored that!
          MOO-VING ON!

      Here's the story folks. Yesterday
I elected to alert you to the fact in was
National Battery Day! The thought
just energized me!
      That said, February 18th also
hosts some other unofficial and unique
holidays that probable ought to get some
       It was, for instance, it was National
Drink Wine Day. It was also National
Eat Ice cream for Breakfast Day, National
Hate Florida Day, and Pluto Day (the
planet, not the dog).
       Those are all important. Well maybe
not all. But February 17th is also a day
we should all acknowledge. It is "Cow
Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day!"
Holy Cow! How could I have ignored that!
        On February 18, 1930, a Guernsey cow
named Nellie Jay or Elm Farm Ollie was
flown from Bismarck, Missouri 72 miles to
St. Louis for the International Air Exposition.
While in the air, Elm Farm Ollie was milked.
Then the milk was sealed in paper cartons
attached to miniature parachutes and dropped
on the people of St. Louis. I guess you could
call it Air Milk!
        Because of her accomplishment, Nellie
Jay was appropriately renamed Sky Queen!
I'm sorry I waited a whole day to tell you!
Hope I didn't sour things and that all your
NEWS is good!


Wednesday, February 17, 2016



  Chances are where ever you're
going or what ever you're doing
today you'll be depending on
batteries. The one that starts you
car. The one that powers your cell
phone and/or IPod. The one in
your flashlight that leads you to
the circuit breaker when your
electricity goes out!
  And what would any of us guys do
if we didn't have batteries to work
our TV remotes?
   I'm thinking about all of them
today because this is "National
Battery Day!" Break out the "D
cells" and the "Triple A's!"
   To spark your interest perhaps I
should explain that February 18th
is the Birthday of  Alessandro Volta,
Italian physicist and inventor of the
electric battery, who was born in
1745. Yes, it was an Italian that
came up with the battery! And he
didn't have either a car or a TV!
   So let's take a moment to say
"Grazie" to Mr. Volta for the
invention that today powers so
many of the devices on which we've
come to depend. Too bad so many
of them come with the admonishment
"Batteries Not Included!"
    Hope your smoke detector is
working and that all your NEWS is

Tuesday, February 16, 2016



   I was only half watching the old
movie that was playing on HBO
yesterday when a couple lines of
dialog caught my attention.
   Tobey Maguire was playing a
student trying to learn about
writing from an author and
professor played by Michael
Douglas. The professor asks
Maguire where he's from. And he
answers "Carvel, Pennsylvania.
Just outside Scranton."
      I recognized Scranton right
away. I've been there. I've worked
there. But I never heard of Carvel.
Let alone a town by that name any
place near Scranton.
      There are plenty of Carvel's
listed in the Keystone state. But
they're all ice cream stands.
       Even in the movie a telephone
operator is unable to locate a town
called Carvel. Still.....I wonder.
Could one exist?
        One of the "great ideas" put
forward by management at WYOU
a few years back was to get people
in various towns to say "Good night"
as a way of ending our newscasts.
"Good night from Wilkes-Barre"
as an example.
         My cameraman and I
decided it would be neat to find
towns with unusual names. We
found Milwaukee, not far from
Clarks Summit, and Brooklyn up
in Susquehanna County. Of course
we've got our own Moscow. And
how about "Rough and Ready"
in Schuylkill County!?  
        We never did find "Carvel."
But maybe it's a neighborhood
rather than a town. You know.
Like Dutch Hollow in Scranton.
         If you find it let me know!
Hope you do and that all your
NEWS is good!

Monday, February 15, 2016


            MY DAY OFF!

       I had a day off yesterday. Since
 I'm technically retired you could say
 I've got everyday off. But that's not
 exactly true.
        My schedule these days seems
 to have me busier than when I put
 in my 40 plus hours every week.
 I probably put in as many or more
 now. But the jobs are slightly
 different and I don't get paid! That's
 not a heck of a lot less than when I
 did get paid so I can live with that.
        One of the things that keeps me
 busy is the weekly television show
 I do on Electric City TV based in
 Scranton. Every Monday I co-host
 and produce a program that promotes
 services available to the public or
 upcoming public events. We do the
 show live and record it at the same
 time so it can be played back about
 a dozen more times during the week
on Comcast channel 19. Rusty Fender
serves as my co-host and Mark Migilore
       Since it's difficult to get a guest
 to come in on holidays we sometimes
 tape a program in advance to cover
 a program scheduled for a holiday.
 That's how I got yesterday, President's
 Day, off.
        It suddenly felt like I was actually
 retired. A day when I didn't have to
 put the suit and tie on and go into the
        Instead I helped my grandson
 with the train layout we're building
 and caught a couple movies on TV.
 The suit and tie stayed in the closet.
 It was enjoyable. This "retired stuff"
 isn't so bad!
        Today's there's a "To Do List"
 waiting including finding some
 guests for upcoming programs on
 my show. I've also got to catch up
 with some friends with some phone
 calls. None of that will require the
 suit so it's still all good.
         Hope you enjoyed your day
 off and that all your NEWS is


Sunday, February 14, 2016



   Today's blog is primarily directed
and dedicated to those of you who still
have a Christmas tree (or at least some
Christmas decorations) adorning your
home. It's OK to take them down now!
    On the Julian calendar February 15th
is Candlemas Day, the last holiday of the
Christmas season! No wonder it suddenly
got so cold around here!
     Candlemas is the festival, of the Feast
of Purification of the Virgin Mary. It also
celebrates the annual blessing of candles
used by the church.
      I'm always encouraging people to
celebrate Christmas as long as they
possibly can. I never knew there was an
"official reason" to do it.
      So break out the eggnog and the
Fruit cake for one last toast to Christmas!
The Fruit cake should still be as good as
the day you got it. You might want to
check the eggnog though!
       And don't pack everything too deep
in the attic or basement. After all there are
only 314 days left till Christmas!
       Hope I can get all my shopping done
this time and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, February 13, 2016


    Every now and then a number of
"Special days" share the same date!
    My birthday, for instance, is also
"Constitution Day." Although,
admittedly, few people celebrate
either. Other than me of course.
    I tend to favor my birthday!
   There are three special observances
scheduled for February 14th.
   Most everyone knows it's
Valentine's Day
   In a sense the other two "celebrations"
fit right in!
   One is "Organ Donor Day/" And what
romantic hasn't "donated" his heart to
his Valentine?
   Fact is thanks to organ donors some
folks have been given a new lease on
life and have been able to go on sharing
their love.
   Then there are those who seem to go
from one Valentine to another. Over and
over again. Round and round as it were.
    That gang may well be noting "Ferris
Wheel Day" which also falls on February
    The day is, of course, a tribute to
George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.,
the creator of the Ferris Wheel! A lot
of people love those!  George did.
    The huge wheel he built for the
Chicago World's Fair of 1893 was a
big success.
    But after investing all of his money
trying unsuccessfully to sell his
invention to cities around the world
his Valentine....his wife....left him.
    He died later that year, of a kidney
    Too bad he couldn't have gotten
an organ donation!
    But that was then and this is now.
    So enjoy the day!
    Give your Valentine your heart
and take them out for a spin!
     Hope you have a great day and
that all your NEWS is good!



   Have you ever driven over or near
a spot where a skunk recently died?
Ever think of just stopping your car
there and just hanging around? I'm
thinking your answer may be "No!"
    Well sometime late Thursday
night or very early Friday morning
a cat and a skunk, or possibly two
skunks got in a serious disagreement
and the result was very evident.....if
you catch my drift.
    My problem involves the fact that
their match was held in an arena that
is located somewhere under my house!
     It quickly became clear, if I dare
use the term "clear" in this essay, that
if the "weapon" used by this polecat
had been employed by our forces during
any of our military involvements, the
enemy would have gladly surrendered
       With temperatures approaching
record lows our ability to air things
out is somewhat limited. But, between
an occasional open window and a full
bottle of Febreze, we seem to be holding
our own for the time being. Either that
or we've just grown tolerant of the
stench. I know door-to-door salesmen
won't be a problem for awhile!
      Our neighbor has a bit of expertise
in this field and is preparing a trap in
an attempt to catch Pepi-le-pew as he
steps out for his evening stroll.
      Hope it's before his next title match
and that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Honest Abe! It's Your Birthday!


   It's true. February 12th., is the Birthday
of one of our most beloved Presidents,
Abraham Lincoln! Most of us will wait
until Monday to celebrate because most
of us believe that is "President's Day."
   But guess what? There is no such
thing as "President's Day!" At least not
officially! The day most have off this
coming Monday is "Washington's
Birthday" even though it's not actually
Washington's Birthday.
     Confused? I don't blame you. But
it's a "Government thing" (which explains
why it's so goofy)!
    Back in 1968 Congress adopted the "Uniform
Monday Holiday Act." The law moved four
holidays, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day,
Columbus Day, and Washington's Birthday
from fixed dates to designated Mondays to
increase the number of three day weekends
for Federal workers.
  Eventually Veteran's Day was moved back
to its traditional date of November 11th.
  This whole "President's Day" thing is the
work of  Madison Avenue. The people there
figured you can promote a lot more sales
if you can tie merchandise to all the dates
between Lincoln and Washington's
   I like both Lincoln and Washington! Of
course I'd rather have Lincoln's picture
than Washington's because it's worth four
dollars more!  As far as their Birthdays are
concerned I would have been very happy to
have both Lincoln and Washington's Birthdays
off when I was in school or at work!
    In fact I'd gladly celebrate every President's
Birthday with a day off! Including Jefferson Davis!
    Anyhow, Happy Birthday Abe! Thanks for
the five spot!
    Hope we get more holidays off and that all
your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016




       To be more accurate, "we've" been working
on the railroad. My Grandson and I.
        For far too many years my collection of
Lionel trains and Plasticville village buildings
had been packed away in boxes gathering dust
instead of memories. I just didn't have the space
to set them up.
         Then, on Super Bowl Sunday, while most
people were watching the "big game" my son
went down to his sister's basement and cut a
large piece of plywood designed to expand an
existing counter to form a train platform.
          Yesterday my grandson Ryan and I
hauled out the boxes, unpacked the track
and cars and set up a layout! Since part of
that effort involved climbing on top of the
counter I delegated that assignment to my
Grandson because his legs and knees still
work! Mine, like the trains that were stored
away, need a little work.
           A few of the engines worked just
fine. But a couple need a bit of TLC before
they'll be ready to haul the freight or
passenger cars.
            We did a few test runs before we
discovered the wires from the Transformer
turning red and smoking. Perhaps some
thicker ones are in order.
             So, there's still some work to do!
But it's kind of nice to see how Lionel has
bridged the gap between generations!
Hope we're on the right track and that all
your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016


           CAGE MATCH!

     It's always neat to watch birds
flying into a cage outside of our
     It used to hold our pet
Cockatiel "Sam" until he passed
away. We set it on its stand outside
our front porch and fill the inside
with birdseed and bread.
      You can see the birds feeding
from our kitchen window. But
every now and then the lack of
activity attracts our attention.
       If the birds aren't there you
can usually assume there's a cat
waiting on the ground nearby
looking for a chance to feed on
the feeders!
       But the other day I discovered
another reason for the bird's sudden
absence! Seems they've got
competition for their dinner!
       A squirrel has discovered the
seed and bread and, like humans,
who can resist a free meal? I must
have spooked him when I stepped
outside as he suddenly began
running around the walls of the
cage trying to remember how he
got in and where he could get out!
I've been there myself a time or two!
       As long as I step out from
time to time the match remains
a draw. The squirrel scrams when
he sees me and the birds get some
feed time of their own.
       I guess it's good to share.
Hope there's enough bread and
that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, February 8, 2016



    Just what we need! A holiday
encouraging us to eat donuts!
Well it's here. And it's today!
    Shrove Tuesday, know in
some countries as Pancake
Tuesday, is the day preceding
Ash Wednesday. It's suppose
to be the last day of "fat eating"
or "gorging" before the fasting
period of Lent.
      For many, today's menu
will include the "Paczki." They
are Pączki are deep fried pieces
of dough usually shaped into
flattened spheres packed with
some sort of sweet filling and
often covered with powdered
sugar. They're said to be
Polish in origin.
     Of course, as our buddy
Billy Shakespeare pointed out
in Romeo and Juliet, "A rose
by any other name would smell
as sweet."  So, if I had the
chance, I'd be nibbling on a
Malasada today! We found
them on the Big Island of
Hawaii last year and they are
just perfect for Shrove Tuesday.
Or any other Monday, Wednesday,
or...well....the rest of the week!
     Since they pretty much fit
the description of the Paczki,
except bigger, I'm beginning to
think maybe the Polish settled
Hawaii! I'd like to have some
today. But it's a long trip for a
      Guess a Dunkin or Curry
will have to do! Hope you get
your dough today and that all
your NEWS is good!

Sunday, February 7, 2016


         HALF WAY HOUSE!

      The seats at Super Bowl were
   still pretty much empty when the
   party guests started showing up
   at my daughter and son-in-law's
   house Sunday.
        Only a few of those attending
    are die hard football fans. But
    most are die hard eating and
    party fans! There was plenty of
    good things to eat from cooked
    specialties to finger foods. And
    even though no one went
    swimming, most of us found
    ourselves jumping into a "pool."
         Everyone enjoyed each
    other's company and, now and
    then, we even watched a little
    of the game. As usual, the
    commercial and Half Time got
    a lot of attention.
          But just about the time Half
    Time was ending people started
    gathering their coats and heading
    for the door. One had to drive
    back to New Jersey. A few had
    kids that had to be up for school.
    One had to go to work. And a
    couple of us were just old and
    tired. I guess that makes us a
    Half Way House!
          I can't believe our situation
    was all that unique. Super Bowl
    may be a great time to get families
    together. But most families can't
    hang in there at a party location
    till nearly 11 o'clock at night and
    still get home in time to be ready
    for school or work the following
          I've said, for years, that the
     Super Bowl extravaganza should
     be moved to Saturdays or, at least,
     started much earlier on Sundays!
     Hope somebody smart in the NFL
     gets the message....and that all
     your NEWS is good!


Saturday, February 6, 2016




    It was indeed a wild night at
our church last night! But it
wasn't loud music or an old
time revival that drew the crowd.
It was The Beast Feast!
     Our congregation includes
some men and women who are
very skilled hunters. And one
night each year they share their
bounty with anyone who cares
to partake. There are always a
lot of takers!
      This year's menu included
venison, mule deer, bear barbecue,
deer whimpies, smoked antelope,
and wild boar among other
things. All of it gathered and
prepared by folks we worship
with each week.
      I suspect it was similar to
the way congregations gathered
in the early days when people
depended on both the land and
their neighbors to survive.
      Of course the desert table was
a bit more traditional featuring
goodies like chocolate cake,
strawberry cheesecake, and good
old Curry donuts! I don't think
they had those "back in the day."
      I especially liked the bear meat.
Kind of felt like I was getting back
at the Grizzly for mauling that guy
in "The Revenant."
      Hope there's some left overs
for lunch...and that all your NEWS
is good!