Friday, December 30, 2016
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31ST., 2016
THE ARTIST IN THE WOODS
It's amazing what you can find in what
most people would call the middle of
The one lane dirt road leading from our
winter picnic spot in the woods of Sullivan
county was ice covered so we proceeded
with caution. We had only seen one other
vehicle use it during the day so we were
somewhat surprised to find it totally
blocked by a logging truck just about 200
yards from where it rejoined the state
There was a chance we might have
been able to pass by going just off the berm.
Instead, we decided to watch the show!
And what a show it was!
The operator was like an artist, reaching
logs scattered along side the road with a
hydraulic arm he used as easily as a paint
brush. He picked up two, three, even four
logs at a time, gently stacking them on the
huge trailer that would carry them to market.
We watched and marveled for about
ten minutes till his trailer was filled and
we moved ahead.
We pulled along side when there was
room enough to do so, rolled down our
windows and applauded!
His "show" was free and is work
was perfect. And we got to watch his
Where ever you're headed, take
time to look around. There are artists of
all sorts in our midst!
Happy New Year's Eve and may
all your NEWS be good!
Thursday, December 29, 2016
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30TH., 2016
PISTOL PACKING MAMA!
Do you guys remember the movie where
the aliens come down and leave big pods all
over the town? The pods turn into the people
we know and the people we knew are
I mention it because I'm trying to
determine if it's actually happened at my
I already told you that my wife is
suddenly eating popcorn after 47 years of
avoiding the stuff. But wait, there's more.
My grandson brought his new pellet
pistol along on our winter picnic Wednesday
to do some target shooting out in the forest.
But about midway through my hot dog I
looked out to see my wife holding and
cocking his gun! Then she aimed at the
paper plate target he had set out on a tree
and opened fire! I saw the projectile hit
the plate and heard her ready the gun for
still another shot. Bam! Again the paper
plate shook from the impact.
I was shocked to see her handle the
pellet pistol and just as stunned to see
But what caused this sudden urge to
mimic "Dirty Harry?"
Maybe it was just a chance to spend
some quality time with our grandson. Or,
it may have something to so with the fact
two of our grand daughters will soon be 16.
I mention that possibility as something
would be suitors might want to consider.
I will keep the paper plate as a reminder
to be nice to her. Hope all my NEWS, and
yours, is good!
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29TH., 2016
THE PICNIC PEOPLE!
Those who read my blog or even my
daily Facebook posts already know my
family and I do what some folks consider
to be "strange things."
Perhaps the strangest is our habit of
heading out anywhere on short notice to
have a picnic.
I even wrote a Family song about it
which each child and grandchild is expected
to memorize and sing!
"Oh, we are the picnic people.
The picnic people are we.
We jump in the car,
and go real far.
Just to see what we can see.
Oh we are the picnic people.
The picnic people are we. Hey!!!!
Technically, I suppose, this
publication serves as a Copyright so
don't go recording it yourself!
Anyway on Wednesday when
the temperatures struggled to reach
freezing, My wife, daughter, two
grandkids, and one exchange student,
traveled to the woods of Sullivan
County, where we took over a
pavilion built in the 1930's by the
Civilian Conservation Corps. It has a
huge fireplace. So my grandson started
a blaze and we roasted hot dogs, followed
by marshmallows and a piece of Apple
We were warm enough, well fed,
and happy. Even their pet dog enjoyed
Some folks around these parts
have memories of their summer
outings. We make them anytime.
But then, we are the picnic people!
Hope all your NEWS is good!
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28TH., 2016
POPPING THE QUESTION!
What happened? Is it Global warming?
Or, perhaps, the end of life as we now know
My wife and I have been married 47
years. And not once, during any of those
years, has she consumed popcorn!
Then came yesterday. We drove to
Cinemark specifically to purchase the
Popcorn Bucket the theater chain sells
every December. We didn't come to see
a movie. Just to buy the bucket that gives
you a discount every time you buy
popcorn. I got mine two weeks ago. But
my daughter asked that I get one for her.
Of course when you buy the bucket
it comes filled with popcorn. I made my
purchase then ran back outside to the car
where my wife was waiting.
As I drove away I noticed her try
a piece of popcorn. This in and of itself
was very surprising because she's always
feared those little pieces of kernels that
always find their way in between teeth
or can lodge in your throat.
But as I drove on she reached in
for still more. And by the time we got
to my daughter's house, the popcorn
was all gone!
This is a serious and somewhat
scary development. It's not that I fear
damage to my wife's near perfect teeth
or the chance she'll suddenly choke on
one of those kernels. The problem
involves the possibility this will become
a habit and I'll have to share what has
become my normal quantity of Orville
Redenbacher's perfect popcorn!
Maybe I'll need another bucket!
Hope all your NEWS is good!
Monday, December 26, 2016
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27TH., 2016
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING!
Yep! It's December 27th. Know
in some circles as "National Fruitcake
This sometimes maligned product
has, somehow, become associated
with Christmas. Giving a fruitcake is
a Christmas tradition for many. It is also
believed that some recipients will re-wrap
the fruitcake and give it to someone else.
I suppose, in that case, it's the gift that
keeps on giving! Who knows how many
years, or decades, some fruitcakes have
been passed along?
My wife and I both happen to like
fruitcake and she's always got one on
her Christmas gift list. The habit may
stem from the days when Sears used
to offer a butter batter fruitcake in its
stores during the Christmas holidays.
We haven't seen those around for many
years. But we can usually find one that
suits our tastes.
If you haven't had one for awhile
you should consider giving it a try. It's
a "no lose" situation. If you like it, eat
it. If you don't like it, give it as a gift.
If, by any chance, the recipient gives
it to someone else, who re-gifts it to
back to you.....you'll find that they make
great door stops if kept around long
Hope you like yours and that all
your NEWS is good!
Sunday, December 25, 2016
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25TH., 2016
ONE LAST TIME!
There was a time when I, in my early
20's, spent several Christmas Eve's alone.
My Dad was on the road traveling
across the country with Broadway road
shows as a stage technician and my Mom
On Christmas Day I'd awake to an
empty house. It would still be a great day.
My brother and his family always made me
a part of their Christmas celebration at their
After I married I was determined to
have my house filled with family to enjoy
We raised our three children in the
same mobile home we bought just before
we married. We did add a bedroom and
a front porch and there was plenty of room
for all of us!
Over the years, however, the family
has grown. Each of our kids married. And
each of them have two children of their own.
So the living room that provided adequate
space for the five of us has been the setting
for Christmas Eve's with a growing number
of people each year.
One of my daughter's added an
exchange student this year so we crammed
15 into that living room this Christmas Eve.
We managed just fine for the most
part. But realizing that some have become a
little uncomfortable being squeezed in, we
have decided to move the gathering to
another venue next year.
I know I'll enjoy myself just as
much as long as the family is together.
But I suspect my place will seem just a
little empty when me wife and I return
from the gathering. There's something
really wonderful about jamming a lot of
love into a little space!
Hope you all have a Merry
Christmas and that all your NEWS is
Friday, December 23, 2016
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24TH., 2016
MY CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!
I tell this story whenever I get the chance
at this time of the year. You may have seen
it before. But it's worth retelling and re-watching!
I even re-enacted it for WYOU TV a few
years back. I call it my Christmas Miracle.
I'd like to share it with you again on this
If you'll go to this Youtube link you can
watch it for yourself. I'd really love to get
your comments too. Here is the link for my
Thursday, December 22, 2016
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23RD., 2016
WALKING THE MALL
My grandson and I spent some time
at the Wyoming Valley Mall Thursday.
We've been there a couple times since
the weather turned cold because it's a
good place to take a walk inside!
There were a lot of people there!
But they weren't there to walk. They
were there to shop!
I suppose you'd call them "last
minute shoppers" although I can
recall a couple times doing my last
minute shopping on December 24th!
The sounds of Christmas were
everywhere. Carols playing on the
sound system. The rush of people
passing by, their arms filled with
packages. And the sound of crying
coming from a little girl would be
happier if Santa just came to her
house without being subjected to
having to sit on his lap for a picture!
Funny how such a popular guy can
strike fear into the hearts of some
My grandson and I just took it
all in and topped off our visit with a
hot pretzel from Auntie Ann's! Just
one old guy on a bench and one
young guy in a stroller, eating our
pretzel and watching the world go by!
Somewhat inspired by the
atmosphere I did give in and bought
one present for my wife. Hope this
"early buying" doesn't become a habit,
and that all your NEWS is good!
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22ND., 2016
I paid a visit to my local Wal-Mart yesterday.
The place was filled with holiday shoppers. And
the routine is always the same.
Everyone roams the store as quickly as possible
then makes a run towards the check out line.
Here's the way it works. You cruise right by
those check out lines searching for the one that
will get you out quickly. That means you've either
got to find one just waiting for a customer or you've
got to pick one with only one customer ahead of
you and hopefully with a very few items in his or
her shopping cart.
Of course there are no guarantees. Just about
the time you get behind that one guy with just
a few items you find he's got trouble with his
credit or debit card. While you're waiting for
the problem to be resolved, three people with
totally loaded carts breeze through the lines to
your left and right.
These days you can choose to scan your own
items and pay your bill with a card or cash....to
Seems everybody's looking for ways to
avoid the lines. I even found one customer who
decided to park their car in a manner that
effectively tied up two parking spots. Of course
it was fairly close to the front doors! Chances
are the driver couldn't stay in the lines in a
coloring book with.
Hope you remember your Senior discount
and that all your NEWS is good.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21ST., 2016
A SHORT SUBJECT
It's December 21st. The Winter Solstice.
The shortest day of the year! Or so they say!
My wrist watch still ticks off 24 hours
before this day we call Wednesday draws to
a close. So, in that respect, it's exactly the
same length as any other day.
It is, however, the shortest day in terms
of the amount of daylight we see. As a matter
of fact if you lived at the North Pole you'd
never see the sun at all today! Maybe that's
why Santa heads out of there about this time
I don't know if it's got anything to do with
the lack of sunlight or not. But this is also
National Flashlight Day!
But wait, there's more. December 21st is
Crossword Puzzle Day, Forefather's Day, and
Humbug Day. The latter is a Copyrighted
So rather than curse the darkness, grab
your flashlight and settle down with a good
Crossword puzzle about your Forefathers.
Or, just stare out into the blackness and
yell "Bah Humbug!"
On the brighter side, literally, every day
from here on sees a little more daylight! And
that's something to look forward to!
Hope all your NEWS is good!
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20TH., 2016
ME ME ME!
No! I'm not singing my own praises.
But I am warming up to sing. You see
December 20th is "Go Caroling Day."
I can remember a time when we
could usually expect a group of carolers
to visit our front porch around Christmas
time. It was always a group from our
church making the rounds. I'm not sure
if they still do it from time to time or
I sang plenty of Christmas carols
when I was a kid. But I'm not sure if I
ever went door to door. You see was in
the Junior Choir in the church back in my
old home town. We always put on some
kind of Christmas concert filled with
those every popular Christmas carols.
Of course my singing voice was
"concert ready" back then. My soprano
rendition has been gone for a long time
now leaving me with a voice suited for
And these days I only know a
few of our neighbors. I'm not so sure
they'd react well to my version of
But don't let that stop you!
Get your family and or friends
together ....try a few "me-me-me's"
and start making e rounds.
Hope you get some hot
chocolate and that all your NEWS
Sunday, December 18, 2016
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19TH., 2016
My wife and I (mainly my wife) have
raised 3 kids and are currently trying to do
our part in the growing up process of six
grand children. The grand children part is
That said I have watched a lot of that
raising and growing up through the view
finder of a movie camera. If you'd care to
visit and watch some home movies you'll
need a sleeping bag and enough popcorn
to hold you for about four weeks. (We can
cut the time if you're willing to watch 24/7).
Should you come you'll be seeing,
concerts, recitals, sporting events, and all
kinds of birthday and holiday parties for
the first time.
For me they're all "Double takes."
Yesterday, for instance, we attended a
concert in which one of my grand
daughters was singing. I loved the music.
And I loved see her and her fellow students
on stage. But I was watching them through
that view finder in Black and White!
As soon as I got home I began the task
of converting my video tape to dvd's to go
in that home movie collection. So, in
essence, I saw the concert twice in one
day. A "Double take" if you will. And
the second time was in color!
Sometimes (often) there's copies
for others. So I may see the same event
three or four times in a single day. Heck
that's a Quadruple take!
My youngest grandson probably
doesn't even know Grandpa has two
eyes and that "growth" on his face is a
Hope they'll appreciate looking
back some day! And I hope all your
NEWS is good!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER18TH., 2016
As I write I'm taking a deep breath
after just leaving our third Christmas
party in the past two days!
I suppose there was a time when
I'd still be at the last one for another
hour or two. But, at the moment, I'm
As I reported yesterday my wife
and I were at the WYOU/WBRE
Holiday party on Friday night enjoying
time with old friends and meeting some
of the new gang on the job now.
Saturday's weather had me a little
worried but, fortunately the snow and
early morning slippery roads gave way
to rain and we were off again.
My daughter-in-law's Mom and
her hubby throw a fantastic family
party with some of the best home made
foods you'll ever see. I would have
camped out for the duration. But our
scheduled called for a trip back to
Wilkes-Barre where we joined my
daughter, son-in-law, two grandkids,
and their dates for the annual
Huntzinger's Karate-Martial Arts
School Christmas party.
There were a lot of tough guys
(and girls) there and not just on the
Demonstration floor. Congressman
Lou Barletta was among the guests
who showed up to enjoy the evening.
As far as I know he didn't break any
My grandson Jason did. He's a
Black belt and teaches at the school.
I just shot video and managed to duck
a few splinters that came flying in my
We cram a lot of get together's
over these holidays. Maybe we ought
to start thinking about doing a few more
throughout the year.
Hope you're enjoying family and
friends during the holidays and that all
your NEWS is good!
Friday, December 16, 2016
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16TH., 2016
AULD LANG ZYNE
My wife and I spent last evening with
some old friends.
I "retired" from WYOU/WBRE TV in
2009. But each year some very nice folks
in the front office there include us in the
invitations they send out for the company's
annual Christmas Party.
It's kind of amazing. Most of you never
see the people who work behind the scenes
to bring you the news and other programming
that fills your TV screen. Even when I worked
there I couldn't identify every individual on
After being out of the office for so many
years I can honestly say I didn't know about
two thirds of our fellow party goers.
But then there's the table where the
retirees get together. That's like a time
machine of stories and memories from, in
some cases, years before some of those
other party goes were born.
I especially enjoy spending time with
Jim Keenan, one of the best news
photographers every to work in northeastern
Pennsylvania. When you worked with him
you knew, without saying a word, his pictures
would match your story. He took the time to
listen to the interview he was photographing!
How good was he. Well, he made me look
good and that could not have been easy.
Jim's wife and mine have also become
good friends so this chance to get together is
a real blessing.
I wish some of the younger gang had
the chance to hear some of our old stories.
It could qualify as a post graduate course
for a few of them. Or, at least, give them
some good laughs!
Merry Christmas new and old friends!
Hope all your NEWS is good!