Wednesday, November 22, 2017

OUR TOWN TREE!


     THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD., 2017
                     OUR TOWN TREE!

     It's great to visit New York City during the
Holiday season. What fantastic sights! The
shops along 5th Avenue, Radio City Music
Hall and, of course, Rockefeller Center with
it's giant Christmas tree.
     I've been there many Christmas seasons
and I really enjoy it.
     That said there's something extra special
about enjoying the season right in your own
home town.
      We did that Wednesday night as my wife
and I drove to "the Brick" in Plains Township.
The Brick is the equivalent of our community's
Public Square.
       It's been completely renovated this year
and just in time for the annual Christmas tree
lighting ceremony set up by the Plains Lions
Club.
       The Lions are very big in doing things
for our community especially for children
and especially at Christmas.
        The tree lighting, for instance, featured
free hot chocolate, a very talented singer, and
Christmas songs offered by a children's choir.
         All that under the gleam of new street
lights and bright Christmas decorations
provided and installed by, again, the Lions
Club and its members.(On Saturday the
club hold its annual Santa Parade!)
            Shortly before our ceremonies got
started I watched on TV as the Scranton
Times turned on all the Christmas lights
on the radio tower that sits atop its
building.
             This Sunday the folks in Dunmore
hold Home for the Holiday in Bucktown.
              There's probably events happening
in your hometown too. If so don't miss them!
Happy Thanksgiving. It's just the start of all
the fun!
              Hope you take it all in and that
all your NEWS is good!




















Tuesday, November 21, 2017

WHAT NEXT?!!!


  WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND., 2017
                       WHAT NEXT?!!!

     Those of you who think that retirement
means a day in the rocking chair or on the
couch might want to review our Tuesday
before quitting your job.
      I knew we'd be starting a bit early as
a local Handy man was stopping by to
tighten the bands in our dropped ceiling
and replace a block damaged by a leak
a year or so ago.
       As he worked our Oil delivery man
showed up and reported his key would
not unlock our tank. Fortunately we keep
our own copy so our furnace will have
fuel for a couple months.
      Then came the Bottled gas company.
Fearing a possible flame out in the middle
of Thanksgiving turkey cooking we called
a regional company to come and fill our
cylinders. Here I must stress the term
"Our cylinders." We've had them at a
couple campers we owned and moved
them to our house when we gave up
camping.
       It was difficult to explain they
did not belong to a Company and
even more difficult to get  propane
filled unless we accepted new cylinders
from the delivery firm.
      I want turkey and an occasional
dinner from time to time so we've
now got new gas cylinders.
      Next challenge, the dirt and
material from the old ceiling block
that fell on the floor.
      That's when we learned our
vacuum cleaner no longer sucks
up anything!
       We put that problem on hold
while we retrieved all the Christmas
holiday decorations from the shed.
       My wife gathered up all the
autumn items and we tested our
first string of Christmas lights.
About half of them worked.
So much for the lighting project!
        Anyway with tiles repaired,
and a full fuel supply for cooking
and heating we headed to Walmart
to replace the vacuum cleaner, pick
up a couple new decorations, and
make a new key for the oil tank
lock.
        I had our shopping items
about half loaded when my wife
pointed out I was putting them in
the wrong car, Well, in all fairness,
it was about the same size and color
and was parked right next to ours.
       I corrected that problem before
the other owner showed up and we
headed home......to see what's next!
       Hope it's not complicated and
that all your NEWS is good!






     

Monday, November 20, 2017

THE SHROUD OF TOUR-ING!


   TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21ST., 2017
         THE SHROUD OF TOUR-ING!

     Well I finally gave in Monday. My little
Miata has been covered for the season.
      It's always a tough day. I sort of feel
like I'm surrendering to winter even though
winter hasn't actually showed up.
       I usually extend my touring season as
long as I possibly can but the time has
come to employ the shroud.
       Snow isn't the problem. We've only
had a few flakes and a light morning
coating thus far.
       It's not the cold. True, temperatures
are too low to favor "top down" travel,
but the car has a good heater so one can
drive comfortably even when the thermometer
gets below 40.
       My concern is the road salt the crews
spread over the highways when snow is
expected. The material helps keep the
roads clear. But it easts your car!
       So my touring, at least in the
Miata, will be on hold until the first
good rainfall after the last salt application!
       Hope that will come sooner rather
than later and that all your NEWS is
good!



Sunday, November 19, 2017

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY CAME!


     MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH., 2017
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY CAME!

    I got up early Sunday morning. Much earlier
than usual!
    The high wind that had been predicted
showed up late Saturday night. It rocked our
place!
     When the morning rolled around I glanced
outside and spotted a sky filled with very
dark clouds that looked like they were angry
with the earth! I could see tall trees swaying
and bending like I've never seen before.
      I was surprised to see my Miata.
No, I didn't expect it to be blown away. But
I did expect to see the brand new cover I had
installed on Friday. It was there but just
barely!
       Though strapped underneath with an
elastic band the cover was only covering the
hood of the car. Were it not for the strap I
suspect the entire fabric cover would literally
have been gone with the wind!
        I dressed quickly and went outside to
recover my vehicle. Strong as it was the
wind had no chance of blowing me away!
        I nearly stumbled over a garbage can
and a piece of twisted metal I've never
seen before. Maybe it's from Dorothy's
place in Kanas!
         I managed to get the car recovered
in between gusts then found a strap to
which I was able to tie a dumb bell. No,
not me. One of those dumb bell weights
you're suppose to lift to get stronger.
          Either the wind slowed down or
the weight worked because the car stayed
covered throughout the rest of the day.
           Hope we're done blowing in the
wind and that all your NEWS is good!



VERY SHEEPISH!



     SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH., 2017
                 VERY SHEEPISH!

       My wife and I were in the Dallas area
Saturday (PA. not Texas) to put a different
"spin" into our weekend.
        The attraction was "Wool Day," an
event hosted by Lehman Nursery and the
Ewe & I Farm. We didn't really know
what to expect but we were pleasantly
surprised.
         A group of ladies from as near as
Wilkes-Barre and as far away as Bradford
County were demonstrating the art of
spinning wool and sharing their expertise
with anyone who cared to find out more
about this age old craft.
         We saw one young lady getting her
first lesson on a spinning wheel and my
wife, who's had her own wheel for over
10 years. picked up a couple of tips from
the experts.
          There were all different kinds of
spinning wheels to be seen but I've yet
to find the model that spins straw into
gold. Guess I'll have to keep on looking
for one of those!
           They even had some sheep in a
pen much to the delight of visitors. They,
of course, provide the raw material that
could become your cardigan!
            Seems this old method of turning
lamb's wool into sweaters, hats, socks,
and other products is still being used by
a lot more people that you might imagine!
              I've always like to watch the
process although, personally, I'd have
better luck taking a chance with spinning
a wheel with a little ball and red and
black numbers than trying to turn wool
into a scarf!
              Glad somebody's doing it
though. Making scarfs that is!
              Don't let them pull the wool
over your eyes! Have a great Sunday. Hope
all your NEWS is good!




         

Friday, November 17, 2017

WHAT WAS THAT?!!!


    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH.,2017
                 WHAT WAS THAT?!!!

        You just never know what you're going
to see when you're cruising through northeastern
Pennsylvania!
          I headed out on a photographic quest
the other day. I was looking for great scenes
to post on Facebook.
          It's a good time to look. As the leaves
fall the woods unveil surprises usually hidden
from view. Rock walls, old buildings, and
sometimes trash that can be a treasure in
pictures.
          I spotted a neat barn that looked just
perfect so I snapped a shot then started to
drive away. That's when I saw it!
          The Pickers would have been
impressed! There, on a trailer just inside,
was a tank! Now I've got no way of knowing
if it was an authentic military vehicle or
something somebody put together for a
parade or the most impressive back yard
paint ball game I've ever envisioned.
           I do know it had tractor treads,
what looked like a cannon barrel, and
slots the seemed to be gun ports.
           I don't think it's the kind of item
one would expect to find in a barn around
here. Unless farming is becoming
especially competitive!
           I'd like to know more about it.
At least I think I would.
           Hope you like the photo and
that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

TAKE A HIKE!


   FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH., 2017
                 TAKE A HIKE!

    Please, don't be insulted! November
17th is "Take A Hike Day."
    It is, of course, a day designed to
encourage better health through
exercise, specifically walking or
hiking.
     My wife and I had been doing a
lot of walking up until about two
months ago. A case of Gout took
me out of the picture and she preferred
not to walk alone.
      The biggest problem to resuming
our daily constitutional is habit. We
got out of it! And once out it
seems doubly hard to get back in!
        Now to be totally honest there
are some who say this day was actually
first called "Tell your boss to take a
hike day." I suspect anyone who
actually did that may have gotten
out of the habit of going to work!
         But whatever the official
designation walking or hiking is
certainly a good exercise so you
might want to celebrate today by...well...
taking a hike! I wouldn't say anything
to your boss about the other title for
the day.
          Hope you enjoy your stroll and
that all your NEWS is good.
         

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

CLOSE TO HOME!


  THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH., 2017
                 CLOSE TO HOME!

     I was surprised at the local ties that I
noticed or were called to my attention this
week.
     I was searching for a movie to use up
my time till "Designated Survivor" came
on TV. I found one from 2000 called
"Wonder Boys" staring Michael Douglas
and Toby Maguier.
     I was only half watching when I
heard Douglas mention Scranton. It's
funny how a local connection can attract
your attention. It was mentioned several
times.
      Scranton has come up in a lot of scripts
over the years. Often in those used by
comedians like Bob Hope. Abbot and
Costello, and  Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
       Of course the popular TV series "The
Office" was set in the Electric City!
       Earlier in the day I had the Old Time
Radio channel airing on my satellite radio.
"The Shadow," a mystery program that
ran for many years , was on the air.
        No local connection in the script
but the channel also ran the original
commercials for the program.
        Turns out that famous nation wide
thriller was sponsored by Blue Coal,
the giant mining company based right
here in Luzerne County.
          The biggest surprise,. for me,
came after watching the special "Law
and Order" series based on the murder
trials of Lyle and Eric Menendez.
           The brothers were convicted
of the brutal murders of their mother
and father in a case that attracted
national attention.
            A Facebook friend and
hometown native informed me that
the father, Jose Menendez, graduated
from Hazleton High School in 1961,
the year after me! One of my best
friends remembers being on the
swim team. He said Jose was really
good.
            The family immigrated there
when Castro took over Cuba so it's
likely he walked the school halls at
least part of the time I was there.
             I never knew the guy.
             It's amazing, when you pay
attention, how many stories turn
out to be close to home in one way
or another.
             Hope you're paying
attention and that all your NEWS
is good!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

DEER ME!


  WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH., 2017
                         DEER ME!

    I caught an interesting story on WNEP
Tuesday about the enormous number of
vehicles damaged in collisions recently.
All of those run ins involved deer!
     According to the story some areas in
the Poconos have a shortage of rental
cars because the available inventory is
being used by folks who have already
encountered deer in their headlights!
       I can understand. I've had at least
two instances that could be considered
close calls with deer over the past month
or so. And that doesn't include the animals
I've gone by as they grazed just off the berm.
        I hit a deer a few years back. I was
driving along Interstate 80 and had just
passed a tractor trailer when the animal
ran towards my left front bumper!
        I might have been able to avoid it
had that 18 wheeler not still been coming
up on my right. It was the deer or the
tractor trailer! Sorry Bambi!
        I was lucky enough to be in my old
Chevy Suburban during my encounter.
There was some damage but nothing all
that major. Except to the deer of course!
        The same collision in our small
family sedan probably would have
ended in a draw with both "sides"
losing.
         The same outcome would have
been likely if I had been driving my
Miata. In that case, however, the deer
probably could have cleared my vehicle
with a short leap. Of course the outcome
for him, or her, would likely have been
the same with the tractor trailer coming
along in the other lane.
          WNEP's report seemed to indicate
we were 2nd on a list of States where
car vs. deer collisions take place. I'm not
surprised by that. We've got more deer
than political signs along our highways!
            So let's be careful out there!
            If you've got to have venison
you can go to Arby's.
            Hope you're safe on the road
and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, November 13, 2017

PLEASE PASS THE PICKLES!


 TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH., 2017
       PLEASE  PASS THE PICKLES!

   Veteran's Day has passed and Thanksgiving
is still over a week away but don't fret! There's
plenty of reasons to celebrate!
     November 14th., is "National Pickle Day!"
     Cucumbers, which came from India, were
first pickled  way back in 2030 B.C.,  I
suspect they'd be pretty tart if you could find
one of those!
      Still there are plenty of pickles to be
found. According to the people who should
know  Americans eat about 9 pounds of pickles
per person every year. Of course they sneak
some of those to you in little pieces hidden
under the buns at places like McDonalds.
      I nearly had a pickle, well a quarter of
a pickle, with my Ruben on Sunday but my
grandson thought it looked good enough to
eat, so he did!
       Cleopatra ate pickles because she believed
they helped make her beautiful. Caesar and
Napoleon thought they built muscle. I only
know they have been known to make you
burp!
        But get this! During a hot game in Texas
in 2000, when temperatures on the field reached
109 degrees, Philadelphia Eagle players drank pickle
juice and credited the briny solution for their 41-14
win!. They may be drinking it again this season
from the look of things!
        Baseball fans certainly know what it means
to "get in a pickle." They may not know, however,
that the phrase came from Shakespeare who used
it to refer to finding oneself in a difficult position
in The Tempest
         So before you get yourself in a pickle, eat
one, get strong, look good, and put a dent in your
9 pound yearly quota!
          Hope your pickle and all your NEWS is
good!


   

Sunday, November 12, 2017

FIRST IMPRESSIONS!


  MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH., 2017
               FIRST IMPRESSIONS!

     My wife and headed out towards
Binghamton, New York on Sunday to
meet up with my son and his wife,
along with two of our grandkids and
one of their friends,at the Discovery
Center. It's a "hands on" children's
museum where the kids can play and
learn at the same time.
      We need one around here but
that's a story for a future Blog!
       I needed to make a rest stop
along the way and choose the New
York Welcome Center along I 81
North near Kirkland.
       We've stopped there many times
in the past but this was our first since
the facility underwent extensive
renovations.
         Hat's off to the Empire State
for a job well done. This place is
practically a destination in itself!
         There's a huge parking area for
some 76 cars out front (and 29 for
trucks out back.).
          There's an enclosed Dog Park,
an outdoor playground, and picnic
tables.
           Inside you'll find a store
featuring products from New York
State, large restrooms, including two
set up for families, vending machines,
and a Tourist Information Desk.
            They've even got a special
Text telephone for use by those who
are hearing impaired.
              I was sorry I only had to use
the restroom where, by the way, the
Flush button activated a flow of soap
suds to clean the unit before the next
traveler uses it!
               I was really impressed but,
then again, I used to travel a lot with
my Mom and Dad when I was just a
kid. Back in those days you were
lucky to find a gas station that had
restrooms for customers.
               First impressions aren't as
impressive when they come with a
restroom key tied to a brick!
                Have a look at the new
Welcome Center if you're headed
that way. I think you'll like what you
see. Even if it's only the suds!
                Hope all your NEWS is
good!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A MOVIE MEMORY.


  SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH., 2017
             A MOVIE MEMORY.

      I was channel surfing after the Penn
State Game.. I needed some additional
entertainment to carry me through the rest
of the afternoon and Turner Classic
Movies filled the prescription!
        I was delighted to see the network
running a movie that, for me, was filled
with plenty of entertainment and a lot of
memories as well.
         The feature was "Where Eagles
Dare."
          It certainly filled the afternoon.
The World War II epic starting Richard
Burton and Clint Eastwood runs 158 minutes!
I've see it before of course but the first time
was especially memorable.
          It was the first feature shown at what
was Hazleton's newest movie theater in
1969. And my Dad was the projectionist!
          The Church Hill Cinema was
filled to capacity for the Grand opening.
And local dignitaries took the stage before
the feature to boast about the theater which,
in essence, took the place of Cinema palaces
like the Capitol, and the Feeley. There
weren't too many new theaters being built
in those days.
            Over the years the theater underwent
some changes. First it was divided in half
to make two auditoriums out of the original
one. Later some additional renovations
converted it into a three screen complex.
Finally it was restructured again to provide
5 separate screening rooms.
            Since it wasn't originally built for
5 theaters the projection booths were
located in three different spots.
             The movies still came on large
reels back then. Perhaps 5 or 6 to each
feature. But the projectors had been
replaced by large platters so all the cans
with all the reels had to be carried to the
projection booths where the reels of film
were spliced together to be placed on those
platters. Then, of course, when a feature
completed its week or two week run, the
film had to be cut back onto reels to be
shipped out,
              Well into his 80's by then my
Dad finally decided to turn over the
carrying and splicing to somebody
else and retired.
               He's gone many years now
as is the theater. It's been replaced by a
Chinese buffet restaurant. We've dined
there from time to time. Each time I think
about Dad and remember "Where Eagles
Dare." I prefer some good buttered pop
corn over Wonton soup!
            Have a great day! Hope all your
NEWS is good!

Friday, November 10, 2017

THE DOMINO EFFECT!


   SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11TH., 2017
            THE DOMINO EFFECT!

    I believe the first time I heard the term
"Domino Effect" was about the time Castro
made it clear  Cuba was embracing
Communism. The prevailing fear was
that one country falling would lead to
other nearby countries falling.
      While the term was new to me the
practice was not. I used to play dominos
with my grandmother. After our games
I often set up a long line of the numbered
blocks so I could watch them fall one
after the other when I toppled the first
one.
       Little did I know how seriously
people take the domino effect. I found
out as I realized November 11th is
Domino Day!
       It was first organized in 1998 in the
 Netherlands. Each year builders set up
long rows of dominos, usually in unique
patterns, then watch to see if they'll all
fall in an artistic order.
        They still observe the day in many
countries and the last record successful
"domino drop" I've seen reported was
in 2009 in the Netherlands when they toppled
4,491,863 dominos! I used to feel pretty
good when I dropped a dozen set up in
a straight line!
         I think I always enjoyed setting up
then knocking down dominos more than
playing the actual domino game. Maybe
it's a "boy thing."
         Anyhow it's still cold outside so
if you've got a box of dominos why not
celebrate by getting them out, setting
them up, then going for the domino
effect!
          Have a blast! Hope all your NEWS
is good!
     

   

Thursday, November 9, 2017

NUMBER PLEASE.


   FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH., 2017
              NUMBER PLEASE.

     I write to you today from northeastern
Pennsylvania. You may know it as the 570
Area Code. I note that because November
10th is Area Code Day!
     It's hard to believe, at least for me, but
Area Codes were first used in 1947.
     I probably didn't make too many calls
in 1947. I was only 5 at the time.
     When I did want to make a call back
then I just picked up the telephone and
waited for an operator to say "Number
please." If I happen to be calling my
home I would answer the operator by
saying "1515" and she, it was always a
woman, would put the call through to
my house.
       Later we got a rotary dial telephone.
By then there were a lot more people in
the country and a lot more telephones.
All the numbers were getting used up so
"Ma Bell" gave all got a prefix. Ours
Gladstone which was really just an extra
two numbers we had to dial.
        Rotary phones gave way to push
button models and with them came
Area Codes for everybody.
        The three or four numbers we used
to recite to the telephone operator had
grown to ten numbers we had to punch
in if the party we were trying to reach
was in a different Area Code area.
         And now that we've all got to
know Area Codes from all over the
country more and more people are
using cell phones where, after
entering your favorite numbers in
its memory, you simply push one
button to have your call go anywhere!
           And where ever you are, the
Robo callers still seem to be able to
find us! The Area Code has never
stopped them!
            Hope you've on the "Do Not
Call List" (which works every now and
then) and that all your NEWS is good.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

SNOW SHOWS!


   THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH., 2017
                SNOW SHOWS!

       Snow flurries showed up around our
area this week. It's always interesting to
see people's reaction to those first few
flakes and, of course, the cold temperatures
that usually come with them.
        For many it's a chance for some
excellent photos as those first flurries
coat the lawns and trees still covered with
colored leaves.
        For many thoughts of Christmas
begin to fill their minds and memories of
holidays past with their families.
        Many are thinking about the ski
season that begins very soon although
I've never been a big fan of speeding
down a mountain on two sticks of wood.
        It's also the time we begin to hear
from those who have abandoned their
hometowns for warmer climates. They're
always happy to boast about temperatures
in the 80's with an occasional photo at
pool side.(That, of course, is from areas
that have either recovered from or managed
to avoid the latest of the storms that
clobbered southern communities far worse
that any snowstorm around here.)
        No question about it, it's cold outside.
But it's 72 degrees in  my living room as
I write and I can duplicate that in my car
if I'm heading out anywhere. Like, for
instance, the pool at the YMCA or at
my daughter's housing development.
It's pretty warm at both of those places
too!
         Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the
warm sunshine as much as most anyone
(as long as it's not constantly above 85
when breathing becomes an issue for me).
         I also enjoy the Spring, Fall, and
Winter. Guess I'm a man for all seasons!
That's especially true with all the family
members I love close by!
          And, if the snow does get deep,
we can make snowmen!
          Hope your mittens are ready and
all your NEWS is good,
         
         
         
       

GET THE POINT?


    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH., 2017
                    GET THE POINT?

    I have shared some of this information with
you before but some things, like grades, deserve
to be repeated.
    This is November 8th which is also "Dunce
Day!"
     Very few people know much about the
"Dunce" except, perhaps, for the image of a
school kid from years ago, sitting in the corner
of a classroom, wearing a cone-like hat with a
point at the top.
  The "Dunce" was always pictured as the
troublesome kid in the class who wasn't too
bright!
   Lucky for me the day of the "Dunce" and the
"Dunce Hat" were already long past when I did
my best to get through school!
   In reality, the term "Dunce" comes from the
name of a medieval scholar, Duns Scotus of
Scotland.
  He came up with that pointed hat because he
believed knowledge would flow from the point
into the head of the person wearing it! Seems
logical to me!
   His theory didn't work very well and, over
the years, students forced to wear the caps
became known as  a "Dunce" and were usually
thought of as being....well....not very smart.
   I still maintain there's no direct connection
between Election Day and "Dunce Day" but
there is circumstantial evidence that the
previous selections made by some voters during
some elections were, well, not too bright!
    Hope you don't get sent to the corner....
 did some  studying before you went to
the polls, and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, November 6, 2017

THE TRUNDLE BED.


   TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH., 2017
           THE TRUNDLE BED.

   "Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
   And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
   Is a wee one's trundle-bed."
  (From a children's poem by Eugene
Field. 1889)
   Our trundle-bed, the one in our spare
room cradled our two-year-old grandson
last night for the first of what I hope will
be many sleep overs at our home.
     That bed has served us well!
     My brother-in-laws used it when it was
still in my wife's home when she was
growing up. Then it came here.
      My oldest grandson, now 19, insists he
had slept there "about a billion times" by the
time he was two. It was probably a few less
although each was probably worth a billion
dollars to Grannie and me!
       Over the years the bed has been a
temporary sanctuary for some family
members who needed a place to stay for a
while even if just for a night or two.
        Visitors know it's been available to
them when they've come to share holidays
or as an overnight place to crash on their
way to somewhere else.
          My wife  has depended on it as a
place to lay out our traveling clothes when
we're getting ready for a trip.
           Most recently it's served as a train
platform for a little electric trolley car last
night's overnight visitor loves to watch and
operate!
            I got to enjoy it myself for a while
last night as I turned out the lights and
made up a story I recited to my grandson.
My tone got softer and soften until I was
sure this "Wynken, Blynken. and Nod" had
sailed off to that "river of crystal light, into
a sea of dew."
           Hope we'll sail together again for
many years and that all your NEWS is
good.




Sunday, November 5, 2017

HAPPY....AGAIN!


  MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH., 2017
             HAPPY... AGAIN!

     I received an interesting email this
week and it came thanks to many of you!
     The folks who publish Happenings
Magazine wrote to tell me my blog was
voted the best in their annual poll  to
select the best businesses and services in
our area. The icing on "my cake" is the
fact this is the third year in a row I'm
getting their "Happie Award!"
      The first year this happened I wasn't
even aware there was a contest! It also
snuck by me last year until I got the
message from Happenings.
       This year I did know the voting was
under way and I asked my Facebook
followers to consider casting a vote.
Apparently they, you, did! Thank you!
        When I began this blog back in
2011 I never suspected my daily
ramblings would be 7 days a week and
last for 6 plus years! I didn't know I'd
have that much to offer!
          Nonsense seems to go a long way!
          Hope you'll stick with me a little
longer and that all your NEWS is good!
       

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A LITTLE NEW ENGLAND CLOSE BY!


   SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5TH., 2017
 A LITTLE NEW ENGLAND CLOSE BY

    I'm a big advocate of travel. As hosts
for Travelworld my wife and I have had
the opportunity of visiting places like
Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and
Italy to name just a few.
     But you don't always have to go far
to enjoy wonderful sites.
     On Saturday my son, grand daughter,
grandson and I paid a visit to the town
of Weatherly to take in a model train
show. It was on display at Eurena Park.
      We could just have easily been in
New England!
       While colored leaves still clung to
many trees in this beautiful park those
that have already fallen make a carpet
that invites kids to kick and or cover
themselves.
        There's a stage covered by a
cone shaped roof that provides near
perfect acoustics for those attending
summer concerts or for kids to play
"singer" in the off season,
          The playground us something
you'd expect to find in any small
New England community too. A kind
of "down home setting" so inviting
for neighborhood kids or folks
just passing through like us.
            Now that you've got an extra
hour to explore I might suggest you
take a drive to Eurana Park in
Weatherly. Enjoy the New England
like atmosphere and the quiet of a
small town you'd expect to see there
or, perhaps, in the Twilight Zone!
              Hope you so and that all
your NEWS is good!















Friday, November 3, 2017

TIME TRAVEL!


   SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH., 2017
                    TIME TRAVEL!

       I suppose most of us have had a day or
two when we've longed to go back in time.
You know. Back to those times when life
seemed simpler.
        Well now you've got your chance.
Limited though it may be!
         Back in 1918 the United States
joined a lot of other countries by
adopting Daylight Saving Time, a
plan to expand the light we get from
the sun each day by readjusting our
clocks.
        Much of the world has dropped
the system and many countries have
never used it at all. There's even areas
within the United States that don't observe
the custom.
         Around here DST is about to come
to an end for the year. Technically it
stops at 2am Sunday morning. Most of
us, however, will turn our clocks back
one hour before we go to bed tonight.
         But that's your big chance! You
can go back and relive one hour of your
life! In essence you'll be traveling back
in time.
          You'll have 60 extra minutes in an
hour you've already observed! Too bad it
can't happen in the middle of a weekday.
Maybe we'd be able to "buy" or "sell" and
take advantage of the market!
           Since it's on a weekend most people
will simply sleep for an extra hour. Seems
like such a waste of a great opportunity!
             Anyhow your trip back in time will
give you one extra hour, at least until Spring.
             Hope you use the time wisely and
that all your NEWS is good!
       
   

Thursday, November 2, 2017

AS CLEAR AS MUD!


    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD., 2017
           AS CLEAR AS MUD!

    Regular readers know I love to find
unusual "holidays" we know little or
nothing about. Well this is one of them
and the writing on the wall is as clear
as mud!
    November 3rd is "Cliché Day!"
    I'd like us all to give this day some
attention and don't be afraid to think
out of the box! If at first you don't
succeed, try, try again. You're bound
to come up with some unique ways to
celebrate.
      You can think about it where ever
you are but, of course, there's no place
like home.
       Don't panic if it take you a while.
Rome wasn't built in a day!
       I must admit I couldn't come up
with anything but, then again, you can't
teach and old dog new tricks. So do as I
say not as I do.
       Even if you can't come up with any
ideas it's fun trying so it's a win, win
situation!
        I can't think of a single cliché! Hope
you can and that all your NEWS is good!
     
     ,

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

LET'S HEAR IT FOR SID!


    THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND., 2017
            LET'S HEAR IT FOR SID!

     Everyday Facebook lists names of
people celebrating birthdays. But,
somehow, Sid was not on my list for
November 2nd. I had to find out on
another web site.
     It's possible that Sid's birthday was
just overlooked. Or it's possible he's not
getting attention because, well, because
Sid is a Monster!
     I don't mean that Sid was a monster
for Halloween or a bad guy! He's always
been a monster. But he's a very popular
monster!
     You, and your kids and grandkids,
probably know Sid by another name.
When he appears on "Sesame Street"
we all call him "Cookie Monster!"
     Turns out he was "born" on
November 2nd. His parents and other
family members have all appeared on
the TV show and all have googly eyes
and blue fur. His "parents" named him
Sid.
      I have a lot in common with Sid
and have a pack and a half of Oreos
close by to prove it! I may have a
couple to celebrate! I just happen to half
a fresh half gallon of milk for dunking!
       Come on, join in the fun!
       Hope Sid has a Happy Birthday
and that all your NEWS is good!
   

     

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?


    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST., 2017
WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?

   Where have all the children gone. Long
time passing. Well, they've been passing
our house for a long time on Halloween.
    Of course the neighborhood, like many
neighborhoods, has changed over the years.
There used to be a lot more kids living near
us. And most all the families knew each
other.
      For the past few years we've visited my
daughter on Halloween. But we always left
a small supply of treats on the porch with a
note wishing visitors a Happy Halloween
and inviting them to take a candy bar or a
bag of chips.
      Each year the stash remains untouched!
      True, there are fewer kids and some
empty lots close by. And a nearby housing
development probably offers far better odds
of picking up a lot more goodies.
       Even my daughter's house had fewer
Trick or Treaters this year. Or maybe we
just had a lot more candy because there's
a lot of left overs.
       The treats are still out there to be had.
I saw my grandson and grand daughter's
candy being sorted on their living room
floor. They'll be eating candy through
the Christmas season.
        As for those "extra treats" we ended
up with, I will sacrifice and deal with them
myself!
         Hope you're got some tasty treats
leftover too and that all your NEWS is
good!




Monday, October 30, 2017

FRIGHTING FURNITURE!


   TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31ST., 2017
       FRIGHTENING FURNITURE!

    It's Halloween! A time for Witches,
Ghosts, and Scary stories!
    I've covered a lot of scary stories
during my days as a reporter. Of course
some of the most frightening dealt with
politics. They still scare me!
     I also covered a few stories just
perfect to be retold on Halloween.
One involves "the stone couch."
     There's a back road that runs
between the Weatherly area and
Eckley Miner's Village over what
most people know as Buck Mountain.
      In an appropriately desolate
stretch of that road travelers will
come across a huge rock formation
(or carving) that looks very much
like a couch.
      The story of the couch has
numerous versions depending on
who's telling it.
       The one I first heard suggests
that one sitting on the couch will
become ill. If one sits upon it a
second time he or she, or their
family will be involved in a serious
accident.
       The ultimate curse, according
to the legend, awaits those who sit
on the couch a third time. In that
case they will die!
        As an objective reporter I
usually put no stock in these type
of horror stories.
        I can say without question,
however, that part of this story is
real! If you sit on the stone couch,
whether it be once, twice, or a third
time, you will die.
        In fact even if you don't sit on
the couch you will die. The only
question is when?
        I haven't bothered to sit on it
anyway. Just in case!
        Happy Halloween! Hope all
your NEWS is good.



Sunday, October 29, 2017

"WE'RE A LITTLE LATE FOLKS."


     MONDAY, OCTOBER 30TH., 2017
     "WE'RE A LITTLE LATE FOLKS."

        Back in the days when radio, rather
than television, sets were in the center of
our living rooms one popular comedian
used to close his weekly show quickly
with the words "We're a little late folks
so good night for now."
        Timing is so important to everything!
         And timing is the one thing weather
forecasters can't seem to get just right.
          The forecasts of heavy rains
pounding our area proved pretty accurate
by the time I started writing this blog
Sunday evening.
          Problem is, that rain was expected,
at least by the forecasters, by the time we
got up Sunday morning!
          The threat forced the Plains Township
Lions Club to cancel its annual Trick or Trunk
program and hundreds of kids lost out on the
chance to show off their costumes and pick up
some candy and prizes during a very safe
Halloween event. Most of the day saw only a
very light drizzle!
           I suppose a number of other events
were postponed by the forecast. It's pouring
now but the bulk of the day wasn't bad at all.
           Over the years I've noticed that the
weather forecasters are right far more
than they're wrong. When they say it's going
to snow it usually snows. When they say it's
going to rain it usually rains. But the snow
and the rain usually come hours AFTER they're
expected!
           So give the forecasters credit for
knowing what's coming (usually) but don't
set your watch by them!
           Hope you're on time and that all your
NEWS is good!

TIME OUT!


   SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29TH., 2017
                  TIME OUT!

      No! Not "Time out" as in stop the
game. Tie out as in "The sun is out. It's
nearly 70 degrees. There's still color in
the leaves. So let's take some time out!"
       So we did. Again.
       Rumor had it the folks at Ritter's
Cider Mill were working on a new batch
on donuts. So we drove there to find out.
        It was beat to watch the process
as they mixed the lard and the batter
then formed and fried the tasty treats,
        Turns out they were making a variety
of donuts! Apple Cider donuts. Pumpkin
donuts, and Apple Cider donuts sprinkled
in sugar.
         We limited ourselves to a half dozen
Pumpkin and 6 of the sugared. Figured we'd
save a few for the other customers.
         We sampled a couple before we
left just to make sure they were as good
as usual and washed them down with some
fresh made apple cider.
           With rain and colder temperatures
expected we weren't sure how long it would
be till we'd be back so we picked up a
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie to tide us over for
a few days!
            Hope it lasts that long and that all
your NEWS is good!


























     

Friday, October 27, 2017

CRUISE CONTROL?


   SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28TH., 2017
             CRUISE CONTROL?

        Although we didn't reach 70 degrees
Friday the sun was out and my wife and I
both own warm jackets. So, the top came
down in our little Miata and we set out for
parts unknown. Well, sort of.
         I'm beginning to think the car knows
where we're going before we do.
         We headed out on Route 115 towards
the Poconos and for just a second or two I
entertained the thought of heading to Cherry
Valley Winery where a wood fired pizza oven
and a couple of our favorite wines are always
an attractive lure.
         I gave up the idea in favor of a back
road I'd never traveled before. I like to see
where some of these lesser know roads lead.
         The one I selected took us past some
beautiful fall foliage and round some
challenging curves.
          Ultimately though we pulled up to
an intersection I recognized! It was about
two miles from the winery! It must have
been karma! And who am I to fight karma?
           We enjoyed a great pizza, had some
wine, and brought a few bottles home to
cover us on those upcoming days when our
little Sports car is resting for the winter.
            Hope we got enough wine, and that
all your NEWS is good!









Thursday, October 26, 2017

FRANKENSTEIN FRIDAY!


    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27TH., 2017
        FRANKENSTEIN FRIDAY!

    Welcome to "Frankenstein Friday!"
One of several separate "holidays"
dedicated to the famous Frankenstein
monster! "
      August 30th is Frankenstein Day,
so named for the birthday of Mary
Shelley who wrote the horror story in
1818. At least there's some logic to
that date.
      There's also National Frankenstein
Day which is observed on October 29th.
       Frankenstein Friday doesn't have
any connection to Mary's novel.
    Apparently somebody connected with
Frankenberry Cereal came up with this
special day.
      And, when you stop to think about it,
it was the scientist who was named
Frankenstein. The monster never did have
a name other than...."The Frankenstein Monster."
    You'd think Mary could have named the
guy!
     Anyway you've got three separate days in
which to "celebrate" Frankie! Hope you'll
take advantage of one of them and that
all your NEWS is good.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

THE WINNER, AND STILL CHAMPION...


     THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26TH., 2017
THE WINNER, AND STILL CHAMPION...

     My old friend Joe Palooka is back in the
limelight again! True, he's a comic strip
character whose comic strip hasn't been
published since the 1980's. But Joe, and
his creator, the late Wilkes-Barre artist
Ham Fisher, are forever remembered by
a monument that stands along Route 309
in Hanover Township.
      On Wednesday that monument was
rededicated after some extensive repairs
to its base and landscaping provided as
a public service by the Home Builder's
Association.
      I was on a committee, along
with Fred Ney, Sam Greenberg,
and the late John Cicero,that had the
current monument made and placed on
that site in 1976. It replaced a bronze
plaque that was placed at the base of
"Mount Joe Palooka" in the late 1940's.
That plaque was stolen around the time
of the Agnes flood in 1972.
      The Palooka character was a Heavy
weight fighter who became world
champion. His honesty and good
character were the subject of stories
in a newspaper comic strip, comic
books, a radio show, and several movies
all of which reflected credit on Wilkes-
Barre, the city he called home.
        Before the US became involved
in World War II, Ham Fisher drew a
strip in which Palooka enlisted in the
Army. That move prompted thousands
of Palooka followers to do the same.
        When the US entered the war
the Palooka character "fought" the
enemies of our country in his stories
making actual soldiers except him in
their "Band of Brothers."
         Back home his efforts in the
comics helped to sell War Bonds.
          Presidents Roosevelt and Truman
honored Fisher and Palooka for their
efforts on behalf of our country making
them national heroes!
          Too many people, especially
young folks, don't realize the impact
Fisher and Palooka had and how
their efforts reflect positively on the
nature of people raised around here.
           Stop by and see the monument,
Tell the story to those who don't know
it. Treasure our history and our heroes!
           Hope all your NEWS is good!








Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TUESDAY'S TRACKS!


    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25TH., 2017
               TUESDAY'S TRACKS!

       I made lots of tracks Tuesday. One in my
arm, two in my knees, and then on the highway!
       I began the day by surviving two doctor's
appointments.
       My dermatologist reported that my lip is
healing well after surgery. I no longer have to
talk like a ventriloquist but still have to take
smaller bites for a while.
      My suggestion for a continued diet of milk
shakes was rejected.
       My family doctor put one needle in my
arm for my annual flu shot, then one in each
knee in the hope they will stop me from
mimicking Neil Sedaka with my song
"Standing Up Is Hard To Do."
        I was a bit disappointed by the "regular"
band aids. I had hoped for Sponge Bob or
the Hulk.
       In any case my contribution to the
medical community's financial stability
concluded (for now) my wife and I put
the top down in the Miata and headed out
to enjoy what may be the last 70 plus
temperature for a while and the colorful
leaves that are fading faster then they
arrived!
        I believe our tracks on the road
were the healthiest prescription for the
day!
        Hope you'll get a dose too and that
all your NEWS is good!






Monday, October 23, 2017

YOU'RE FULL OF BALONEY!


   TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24TH., 2017
       YOU'RE FULL OF BALONEY!

    Actually, of course, the correct spelling
is Bologna, We all know that from the
Oscar Meyer jingle.
     And it's OK to be full of bologna
today because October 24th is National
Bologna Day!
      I'm not sure who came up with this
special day but in the back of my mind
I'd like to believe they knew my late
cameraman and dear friend Bob Dennis.
     Bob used to bring a lunch with him
to work everyday. Those less wise, like
me, used to think I'd just pick up something
along the way and then suddenly I'd find
we were on assignment in a strip mine or
10 miles from the nearest lunch counter.
      But Bob always had his bagged lunch.
And it was always a bologna sandwich!
Every day! Bologna!
       Of course there are different types
of bologna. There is "regular Bologna"
German Bologna, Beef Bologna, Kosher
Bologna, and more. Depending upon the
kind of Bologna, it could include pork,
beef, chicken, and spices. 
        So Bob may have had more of a variety
than I imagined!
        Anyhow today's the day for you to
celebrate so grab a couple slices of bread
and your favorite kind of bologna and
have a ball!
        Hope you remembered the mustard
and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND!


     MONDAY. OCTOBER 23RD., 2017
         SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND!

     Don't ever let anyone tell you "there's
nothing to do around here!" Our biggest
problem this weekend was deciding what
we could fit it and what we'd have to leave
out!
     I've already written about Chris Bohinski's
first annual "Smile Day" in Hanover Township.
Free food, games, and prizes open to anyone
who knew about the event. I almost wished
it had rained since everything was inside.
     Longing to take advantage of the sunshine
and warm temperatures we eventually
headed out to see what there was to see,
      Time and a little gas was the only
investment needed to take in some of the
fantastic fall foliage around the area. And
there was plenty!
        Then a walk along the Lehigh Gorge
Trail near White Haven. Free again!
        Ironically some of the leaves along the
trail had already come down opening a
view to the river we didn't see in the
summer.
         Sunday found us at the Fall Festival
at Heller's Orchards in Wapwallopen. We
couldn't resist some of the home made
foods there but it would certainly have
been possible to show up and simply
enjoy the music and demonstrations
without spending a cent.
          The weather was, of course, a plus.
But as I look back over my own writings
I find plenty of excellent weather in
Octobers gone by so we shouldn't be
too surprised!
            One of my Facebook friends
in Hazleton has picked up on a phrase
you used to hear on the radio from a
fellow named Pete Wambach who
boasted "It's a beautiful day in
Pennsylvania." It's the truth. You
just have to know where to look!
So seek and ye shall find!
           Hope you do and all your
NEWS will be good!










           

     

Saturday, October 21, 2017

GOOD REASON TO SMILE!


   SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22ND., 2017
      GOOD REASON TO SMILE!

    Chris Bohinski is a Wyoming Valley
native who kicked off an amazingly
successful  campaign in New York
encouraging people to smile and have
a positive attitude.
     He came back to the valley
recently to be with his Mom who had
been ill.
      Rather than put his efforts on "hold"
he's moved them here. On Saturday they
paid off big time!
      A couple weeks ago Chris decided
to hold his first annual "Smile Day."
He gathered sponsors, enlisted the help
of officials in Wilkes-Barre Township,
and invited people throughout the area
to show up for an afternoon of fun and
prizes!
      More than 500 people accepted
including my wife and I. Even Elvis
was there! And why not?
      There was free food, music, games,
and gifts for just about everybody! The
kids enjoyed the face painting but
everybody who walked in the door got a
smiley face drawn on your hand!
        Hats off to Chris and all of those
who supported his effort to put a lot
of smiles on a lot of faces!
        Hope he does it again and that
all your NEWS is good!