Wednesday, May 31, 2017


    THURSDAY, JUNE 1ST., 2017

       It now seems likely my wife will
be released from the University of
Pennsylvania Thursday or Friday to
continue her post heart surgery recovery
here at home.
        I have been doing a lot of planning
for her return.
        I remembered to pack up the
garbage and dump the waste baskets
so the trash will be waiting for the
weekly pickup this morning.
       I went to the store and picked
up some fresh fruit and a half
gallon of milk that has an expiration
date that's a week or so in the future.
       I dumped the old milk down the
drain despite the fact it was still white.
       After consulting with several
friends and family members I abandoned
my plan to stock up with a month's
supply of Spam for her dining pleasure.
My advisors didn't seem to think my
idea was all that brilliant.
        I still have a couple last minute
decisions to make. She won't be allowed
to lift anything over 10 pounds for a
number of weeks.
        That means I have to either
bundle the laundry in 9 pound packs,
do it myself, which could easily be
a disaster, or ask one of my daughters
to help.
        It will be great to finally have
my wife at home again. I miss all
those conversations we have as
she speaks in her light toned voice
and I answer...."What?"
       Hope she likes "fast food" and
that all her, and your, NEWS is

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


  WEDNESDAY, MAY 31ST., 2017
         BACK TO THE ALPS!

   My wife and I spent 9 days on our
Travelworld tour of the Alps before
she came home to have her heart surgery.
   While she is busy recovering from
her operation I have been busy editing,
and reediting video I captured while on
our trip.
    This far I have spent the better part
of four days reliving the trip and trying
to get my video onto dvd's for our
fellow travelers!
      The laptop I always relied on for
my editing projects is the same unit
I spilled wine on a number of months
ago. Apparently it still has a hangover!
       About the time I had all the scenes
I wanted it informed me it's hard drive
was too full.
        I took about an hours deleting
some things I didn't think I'd miss,
but it wasn't enough!
        Fortunately I have a spare, sober,
laptop. But it doesn't have the same
editing program so I had to find another
way to get my production onto disks.
        By the time the Yankees downed
Baltimore and I half watched "Fury" for
the 4th time I think I have what I need
to get my job done.
       Now to make 20 copies!!!
       Hope I last the night, and that all
your NEWS is good!

Monday, May 29, 2017


     TUESDAY, MAY 30TH.,2017
           A LONG WEEK!

     It may be only seven days. But
it's been a long week!
     My wife entered the University
of Pennsylvania Hospital in
Philadelphia last Tuesday for open
heart surgery.
     Those eight hours on the
operating table were the longest
part of the week for those of us
waiting for the results!
      Her next stop was in Cardiac
Intensive Care. We expected that
to be her home for a day or two.
It turned out to be five days!
      She was finally moved into a
room where they wasted no time
getting her to walk around and
take on solid food.
       I came home for a couple
days of R&R and was surprised
to hear of my wife's progress when
I checked in with my daughter who
stayed with her during the holiday
      It's likely she'll be released
to continue her rehabilitation at
home by the end of the week,
      Hope this week goes faster
and that all her, and your, NEWS
is good!

Sunday, May 28, 2017


     MONDAY, MAY 29TH., 2017

   On this Memorial Day I am remembering
Memories In Medal.
    I joined my son, daughter-in-law, and
three grandkids at Knoebel's Amusement
Park Sunday.
    Over the years, each time I visited there,
I'd stop in the Arcade to use a souvenir
machine on which you could press a
message on a coin-like medal. It was
probably designed well before I was
born. And that's probably the problem!
     I'd always get one for my wife and I
know she has those medals and there
messages stored away in some safe
      But when I visited Saturday the
machine was no where to be found.
It was out of order the last time I
stopped in. But knowing Knoebel's
determination to preserve historical
treasures I figured they'd have it
repaired by now. Not so!
       Seems my favorite machine is
now so old it is beyond repair and
have been removed.
        Unable to engrave a new
message for my wife, who is
recovering from open heart surgery,
I asked an attendant if there might
be any blank medals taking up
shelf space somewhere. Indeed
there were a couple gathering
dust nearby!
         I have them now and will
give them to my wife. She can
imagine each message from me.
         Somewhere I suppose the
remains of the old medal press
have been stored away, never to
print names or love messages
again. I'd like to think there's a
partially finished message
inside that reads...."Hope all
your NEWS is good!"


Saturday, May 27, 2017


     SUNDAY, MAY 28TH., 2017
            HELPING HANDS!

     I've spent the better part of each
day since last Tuesday sitting in a so-
called "Family Waiting Room" at the
University of Pennsylvania Hospital
while my wife begins her long recovery
journey from open heart surgery.
     Other than checking in on my
wife from time to time I've done
virtually nothing. And yet, it has
exhausted me!
      So, with the advice of my
children and encouragement of my
wife, I headed home Saturday for a
couple days of R & R.
      That R & R was made possible
by some wonderful helping hands!
       My sister-in-law was the first
to step in with some assistance.
My daughter-in-law provided the
Saturday blog.
Then, while one daughter took over
the hospital watch, the other showed
up to do my laundry and provide
dinner. In fact there's more food
than I can consume during my
brief stay! Even my favorite pie!
      My grandson hitched a ride
from his dad and spent the late
afternoon cutting my grass.
      My son has invited me to an
outing at Knoebels, an escape
where stress is not permitted.
      Add to that the continued
prayers and well wishes of many
of you and I know all my NEWS
is good!

Friday, May 26, 2017


   SATURDAY, MAY 27TH., 2017
          GUEST OF HONOR!

    I'm taking a break from my blog
today, But fear not! My clever daughter-
in-law has agreed to serve as my guest
blogger for the day. Enjoy!!!!!!!

By Charlotte DeCosmo
It seems today’s movie industry is heavily reliant on existing intellectual property. There are so many creative minds out there, you would think there is plenty of new material to go around. However, classic movies are coming back with a bang or, in some cases, a bust. But why you might ask? “There is a reference point. There is a concept already built in,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at market research firm ComScore. “There is a way to describe the movie very quickly, and that is the easy allure of a remake…on paper at least, you’re kind of ahead of the game theoretically.” While remakes like True Grit and Oceans Eleven are often recalled as better than the original, it is a big hurdle to jump.
Disney classics have generally been well received, including the recently released Beauty and The Beast (March 17th). For Hollywood, it’s a tale as old as time: Mess with memories, even with the best intentions, and face the consequences. Luckily, for Disney, a 90-second teaser trailer generated a record 92 million views in its first day online, leaving everyone in awe. See the official trailer here:
I remember absolutely loving Belle as a young girl. I even dressed up in the timeless yellow ball gown for Halloween in 4th grade. It was my first year at a new school, and I can still remember the class loving my costume! My family and I went to the local theater on opening weekend and had a fabulous time watching this enchanting re-tell of the 1991 animated movie. While it brought back fond childhood memories for me, it did not disappoint my six year old daughter either. She (along with most of the new generation) expects not only high quality special effects but the right blend of spectacular design and entertainment.  
The Dirty Dancing remake aired on Wednesday night and was also the number 1 Twitter trend (not in a good way!) Some say this remake of the 1987 classic was doomed from the start due to its change in framing. The new movie is a pseudo-musical, which positions the original story as a flashback to a now adult Baby, while she watches a Broadway show called…surprisingly Dirty Dancing. One thing I noticed that also changed was the original iconic songs. They were heavily remixed or newly covered. Sometimes you don’t need to change what worked really well, like “Do You Love Me” and of course, “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.” Both the old and new Dirty Dancing have memorable lines like “Nobody puts Baby in a Corner” and delightful rom-com moments. However, it seems the remake has failed to capture the memorable Swayze-like dancing and the heart of the original. See home of the hilarious Twitter comments and movie clips here:
Not to our surprise, many more remakes are to come in 2017. I hear Dumbo, Jumanji and Aladdin are all in the works! Critics have high expectations, especially with remakes. Some come back and bust, but others come in with a bang! Hope you’re looking forward to some of the upcoming movie excitement, like I am, and all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


    FRIDAY, MAY 26TH., 2017

       I never thought I'd hear myself
say it. But I'm getting to know my way
around Philadelphia. Not the whole
city of course! But the unique route
I've been driving everyday to get
to and from the University of
Pennsylvania Hospital and the hotel
where I'm staying while my wife
begins her slow recovery from open
heart surgery.
      It's a combination of Interstate
highway and city streets that have
lead several other visitors on a
Merry-Go-Round like journey that
has had several people circling the
building where they're suppose to
have parked like Crazy Horse
riding round and around Custer's
      I used my GPS for my initial
trips. But by my third round I had
it down pat. On Thursday morning
I even negotiated the route in a
heavy rainstorm.
     I've been able to keep right up
with the traffic flow too.....although\
I'm beginning to think all these
Philly drivers should have NASCAR
numbers of their vehicles!
   Hope they see my turn signal
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


   THURSDAY. MAY 25TH., 2017

    And so with my wife recovering from
open heart surgery at the University of
Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia I
was faced with either staying in one of
the Family Rooms overnight or booking
a local hotel.
      The Family Rooms are a good place
to sit during the day waiting for updates
and planning walks to the luncheonette,
the rest rooms, or the vending machines.
       As for sleeping, it's possible, but not
my first choice.
       And so it was that I signed up for a
room at the Holiday Inn/Stadium. It's
literally right in front of the Philly's
       But when returning from the hospital
Wednesday night I found my usual entrance
to the hotel parking lot blocked by barrels
and a very long chain!
       I can understand the hotel's desire to
keep Philly fans from crowing its parking
facilities. But I thought, perhaps, hotel
guests should have access.
       I got a little concerned when I found
the second entrance ramp blocked just
like the first. Was there no room at the
(Holiday) Inn?
       Another turn took me close to a
city police officer who explained that
one ramp on the other side of the
building was left open for patrons! And
so I made it. Inside at last!
        Hope the Phillies have an "Away"
game tomorrow and that all your NEWS
is good!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


   WEDNESDAY, MAY 24TH., 2017

    Well today is my wife's Birthday.
This year for presents she has received
two brand new heart valves in addition
to some repair work on a third!
     I'll bet most of you women just
get candy and flowers!
     Of course she had to go through
major surgery to get her presents
installed. But that brings up a
      Since she was sedated and on
some serious pain medication
throughout the process, why am I
       I just sat around all day waiting
for occasion reports from probably
one of the best medical staffs there
is. My legs were so cramped up I
thought about trying to find a doctor.
       Seriously the staff at the
University of Pennsylvania has
been fantastic. From the gentleman
who first greeted us in the parking
garage to the woman who drove the
Shuttle Bus at day's end.
        Your continuing prayers for
my wife have been most appreciated
and I would ask they you continue
them as there are still a few concerns
we're watching.
         Thank you again and may all
your NEWS be good.

Monday, May 22, 2017


    TUESDAY, MAY 23RD., 2017
           HEART TO HEART

  You, my blog readers, have truly become
friends over the years I'm been publishing
my daily ramblings.
   I hope some of my nonsense has brought
a smile to your face and maybe an occasional
    I don't often get serious. But, as I do
consider you all as friends, I must make an
exception with this post.
    The love of my life, my wife Leona, will
be undergoing open heart surgery on
Tuesday morning at 7:15.
    It's the second time she will have had
this time of operation. The first, about 17-
years-ago left her with three valves instead
of four. The procedure worked well and
may very well have given her extra years!
    But over these years her heart has enlarged
(no surprise to anyone who knows she has
"a big heart) and that is now causing problems.
     Medication has done wonders to address
her concerns. But doctors all agree there will
come a time when that medication will no
longer work.
     That left her with two choices. No nothing
and see how long the medication has an effect,
or undergo this surgery which, if successful,
could prolong her years and improve her
quality of life.
      She choose to have the surgery. It is
      I know the doctors will do their very
best to take care of her.
      Ultimately she is in the hands of "the
great Physician."
       I hope you might take a moment to
petition him for a positive outcome and
to comfort those of us who sit and wait!
       Hoping more than never that all
her, and your, NEWS is good! Thank


Sunday, May 21, 2017


    MONDAY, MAY 22ND., 2017

   Although I've still got a whole lot of
pictures to share with you I must sadly
report that our tour of the Austrian
Alps has come to an end. We are home.
    I think everyone in our group looked
forward to the trip. But I believe ,after a
recent series of incidents, there was just
a little apprehension about our flight to
and from our destination.
    After seeing one man dragged off a
plane and a woman wacked by the
stroller she brought on board I'm sure
our guests, and me, were wondering
how we'd be treated.
     The answer was GREAT!
      We all got a couple of meals,
beverages, and snacks while in the
air. And, since it was a long flight
I got to watch 2 and 4/5 current movies
on both flights. (They weren't quite
long enough to finish the third film!)
       We flew United which, as you may
know, was involved in a couple
recent incidents, That may have
prompted an extra nice response to
folks like us on more recent trips!
         I'm glad the skies are friendly
again! Hope they stay that way and
that all your NEWS is good!


Saturday, May 20, 2017


      SUNDAY, MAY 21ST., 2017

    Our Travelworld tour of the Austrian
Alps included stops at some very well
known tourist attractions! Including a
couple actually out of Austria.
     We toured Innsbruck and the
mountain that overlooks the city
walked the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
Switzerkand , and shopped the ancient
walled city of Rothenburg, Germany.
      But it was equally impressive to
go off the beaten track and enjoy a
evening and dinner in a small village
just outside Innsbruck.
       Klaus runs an agency that supplies
guides to companies like Travelworld.
He brought our group into a small
tavern/restaurant in his home village
to give us a real taste of Alpine life!
        As we were served soup and
meats an 86-year-old gentleman'
say at a small table nearby and
played the Zither!
         Every so often he'd take a
short beer break while a team of
village teens stomped their way
into the room and preformed classic
Alpine Folk dances. I would have
joined them. But, as our guide
pointed out, the lederhosen
probably wouldn't fit anyway!
           How good was it? I'm
glad you asked. Most of us
expected to see Heidi show up
any minute!
            Hope you turn off the
main routes and into the
villages from time to time, and
that all your NEWS is good!


     SATURDAY, MAY 20TH., 2017

   We wrapped up our last tourist stop on
our Travelworld tour of the Austrian Alps
Friday with a visit to Rothenburg, Germany.
     We've been through mountain ranges
that amazed all of us partly because of their
elevation and partly because of our bus driver's
ability to handle this twisty mountain roads
without hitting anything!
      There are, of course, stops along each
day's tour for rest breaks and snacks. As
our trip winds down we decided to make
more use of our credit card and a little
less use of the Euros which, of course, won't
do us much good back home at Walmart.
      During a planned 20 minute stop
Friday we selected our meal and handed
the cashier our Discovery card.
      But instead of using our card to eat,
the machine "ate" our credit card. While
it didn't actually chew it up, it refused to
release the card from the machine!
       So, as our food got cold and our
break time ran out, we were discussing
the situation with a cashier who spoke
German. I frantically searched for the
words for pliers while my wife came up
with a small screw driver and offered to
take the machine apart.
        About that time a supervisor showed
up with pliers that finally freed our card!
        Then the cashier told us it hadn't
actually read the card before it tried to
eat it. So, it had to be swiped again! They
closed that  register and used a different
         We gulped down a couple bites of
our food and rushed to the bus to sit
back and enjoy the scenery!
          Hope the card still works and that
all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, May 18, 2017


  FRIDAY, MAY 19TH., 2017

    My title may just remind some of
you of that old hit by The Dixie Cups
from 1964. "Going To The Chapel Of
    Well my wife and I set out for a
Chapel we love on Thursday. It's the
Chapel Bridge in Lucerne. No. Not
Luzerne as in County or the Borough
of! This is the Chapel Bridge in
Lucerne Switzerland!
    We were there a few years back and
enjoyed eating roasted chestnuts on the
wooden pedestrian covered bridge which
was built in the first half of the 14th
century. We were there a bit more
     Our Travelworld Tour of the Alps
included a return visit to the city on
the banks of Lake Lucerne.
      Here you're find one of the most
beautiful hand carved stone monuments
in the world! It's the Dying Lion.  It
commemorates the  Swiss Guards who
were massacred in 1792 during the
French Revolution.
       We stopped to see it again then
wandered through a few side streets
after realizing I had lost my map of
the city!
        No problem. Water flows downhill
so we just found a street that looked
downhill all the way and followed it
to the river Reuss which is spanned
by the Chapel Bridge.
        We were happy to relive our
walk on the classic structure. But my
hope of having some roasted chestnuts
again was dashed by the fact chestnuts
aren't in season just now.
        Oh well. Reason to return again
sometime! Hope we do and that all
your NEWS is good!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017


     THURSDAY, MAY 18TH., 2017
               GETTING HIGH!

    Before you read too much into the
title I should explain that my essay has
nothing to do with drugs!
    But on Wednesday we, our gang
from Travelworld's Austrian Alps tour,
did get high! About 9,000 feet or so!
     We took a cogwheel railway, then
a cable car to reach the high plateau of
the Hungerburg mountain in Innsbruck.
That's pretty darn high!
       And we took the easy way up and
down. We spotted plenty of other people
using the mountain trails for hiking and
       The view from the top is fantastic.
On a clear day you can see Scranton. OK.
Maybe not Scranton, But for miles and
        We took a zillion pictures and had
a snack overlooking a vast section of
the Alps.
         We also saw Hang Gliders sailing
around us. And a group of elementary
school students were flocked abound one
flyer in particular. He was, I learned,
Wolfgang Siess, the Champion Hang
Glider pilot here in Austria!
         My wife was quick to tell the
other members of our tour group that
she got a picture with Wolfey with
his arm around her!
          I noted that, just afterwards, he
jumped off the mountain!
          Hope she appreciates my humor
and that all your NEWS is good!



Tuesday, May 16, 2017


    WEDNESDAY, MAY 17TH., 2017

    On Tuesday our tour of the Austrian
Alps took us to Salzburg!
    It's a beautiful city know as the home
to a guy who had a string of musical
hits back in his time. His name was
    But the city also draws big crowds
looking for locations where another
musical production was filmed in the
1960's. It was called "The Sound of
    There's a statue of Mozart in the
town square. As for The Sound of
Music, while the basic story was
real, Hollywood did it's own thing
and used some places that didn't
match the true story for its film.
    For instance there's a cemetery
where the movie Von Trapp kids
hid behind tombstones to avoid
being captured. That's a popular
tourist stop even though the real
Von Trapp kids wouldn't have
been caught dead there!
      You get a great view of the
whole city and all those movie
scenes from the castle that
overlooks the community. There's
a neat railway tram that takes you
there. But once inside you'll likely
walk more steps that the Von Traps
did during the entire escape which,
by the way, was not through the
Alps. That route would have taken
them into Germany rather than
away from it!
     After checking out our old
buddy Mozart, and a couple of
the movie locations I settled
back at a restaurant in the
castle and enjoyed some
Wiener schnitzel and French fries!
     Hope I can find my way back down
and that all your NEWS is good!

Monday, May 15, 2017


  TUESDAY  MAY 16TH., 2017
         WHERE ARE WE?

   The heck with Waldo! The question
is, where are we?
    We've seen so many sights on the first
couple days of our Austrian Alps Tour
that it's hard to remember where we
where we were when I snapped some
of my photographs!
     We've been crossing in between
Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
so often I was surprised to find
myself in Italy today! Both major
highways and back roads cross from
one to the other with only a small
boarder Crossing Post to let you
know you've gone from one country
to the next,
     But today featured a stop in
Italy and in a small wine shop that
was handing out samples. I liked
the first sample so much the
proprietor offered me another.
And then a third. So,I bought a bottle
which may now figure into my inability
to know exactly where I am!
      I know I saw a lot of beautiful
countryside, and hilly roads with
many dangerous roads as we made
our way to the little Italian town
of Vipiteno by way of the Brenner
Pass through the Alps.
    But that's where I found the wine.
And some pizza. And some Ice Cream!
    Luckily I was able to find my way
back to the bus. I know it's the right
one because it's got my name on it!
    Hope I don't have to drive it back,
and that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A MAN'S HOME IS.........

    MONDAY, MAY 15TH., 2017
      A MAN'S HOME IS.........

   As many of you know my home is
Karl's castle while my wife and I host
a Travelworld adventure to the Austrian
Alps. So, for the time being, my home
is a hotel. Which isn't bad by the way!
    If you can get over the fact that Inns
here do not provide wash clothes and
you've got to bring an adapter to plug
in or charge anything electric they're
pretty nice places.
    Road travel is a lot different than
back home. The good thing is there's
no pot homes. The bad thing? Well in
Germany you've got to pay to use the
bathrooms along the highways! It's 70
Euros. But you get a coupon for 50 back
when you buy something is the store
     Hopefully you'll buy something to
keep you alert so you'll be ready when
the other drivers pass you at 80mph or
more on the Autobahn!
     A lot of guys had castles in these parts
back in the day. They're scattered all
along the countryside. Some are in
ruins. But many others are now open
as tourist attractions or hotels and such.
     It's a pretty neat place. I noticed a
lot of German license plates on the cars.
And I hear a lot of people talking but
don't understand a word they're saying!
      There are lots of trains. Passenger
and freight, And they run about 15
minutes apart every 15 minutes! They
run right by many of those castles.
       But one of the biggest differences
I've noticed is the absence of litter!
       Hope we can "pick up" on that
one and that all your NEWS IS good!

Saturday, May 13, 2017



   If a strange voice answers when you call
my home don't panic. It's Karl who is, once
again, nice enough to move into our place
for a few days while we're leading a group
of folks to and through the Austrian Alps.
    Photos will have to follow later unless I
can figure a way to get them from my wife's
camera into my computer...a feat I haven't
yet tried.
    Speaking of trying, our first day was
extremely long starting with a bus trip to
Newark, a 7 hour flight into Germany, a
river cruise, and a drive into the Black
Forest where we'll start tomorrow's
     I made sure to rent a phone from
Verizon which gave me overseas time
so I could keep in touch with our guide
and call home if necessary. Only problem
was,,,,it didn't work! The prompt indicated
I had no service. There was another prompt
which gave me a telephone number to call
for assistance. But whoever added that
prompt didn't seem to realize I couldn't
call because MY PHONE DIDN'T WORK!!!!
     Thanks to Facebook and my daughter
Missy putting in a couple hours of calling
on my behalf...nd thanks to my wife's
tweezers, which allowed me to remove my
SIM Card from my rented phone, I am
now in telephone communication with
the world again. Kudos to several Verizon
tech support people who were able to
resolve my problem without coming back
home for another phone!
       So, since our schedule is a lot
different than most of you reading this
my blogs will come at "unusual times"
when and if I can get them out!
        Hope you'll wait for them and
pictures and that all your NEWS is

Thursday, May 11, 2017


   FRIDAY, MAY 12TH., 2017

   May 12th, for those who don't
already know, is "Odometer Day."
    The odometer is that little
device, usually located just below
your speedometer, that tells you
how many miles your vehicle has
traveled since it rolled off the
assembly line.
     Odometers have come a long
way themselves over the years.
There are actually records of an
odometer-like device that dates
from the Roman era! You've got
to wonder if the used chariot
dealers tried rolling the wheels
backwards to knock off a few
      Back around the time I
started driving (not in a chariot
by the way) most odometers
only displayed 5 digits. We
all longed for the day we'd hit
99,999 miles, knowing our
odometer would then go back
to all zeros as though we had
a brand new car! Of course I
don't remember any of my cars
lasting that long back then!
      These days odometers
can log all the miles you're
able to drive. A major set back
to used car salesmen!
       So if you haven't glanced
at your odometer lately today
is the perfect day to do so!
       Hope you haven't gone
too far, in your car that is, and
that all NEWS is good!