Monday, December 31, 2018



   Well tonight is the night we say hello
and goodbye all at the same time.
     Our goodbye, of course, is to the
year we have called 2018.
     Some will say it's been a good year
while others will likely describe it as a
bad one. The truth, I suppose, us that it's
been a bit of both.
      My wife and I have had a lot of
opportunity to spend time with family
this year. She reunited with all 7 of her
siblings in Florida in March and every
hour spent with our grandchildren was
      We made new friends as well
hosting a cruise and also a bus tour to
Canada for Travelworld!
      Add that to time and adventures
spent with friends as 2018 looks pretty
      But there were shadows on the
year as well not all caused by the rain
clouds that seemed every so present
this past summer. We lost some good
friends. My best friend's wife of 50
years passed on in 2018 as did several
of my former media colleagues.
       Hellos and Goodbyes often run
together though we don't always
realize it as it's happening. As the
song by Roger Whittaker reminds
us "When they begin the overture
they start to end the show."
        Hope you'll have happy
memories of 2018, and love,
laughter and good NEWS in 2019!


Saturday, December 29, 2018


          BRING IT HOME!

  This is one unofficial holiday that
could rival Christmas for a couple of
my grandkids!
   December 30th is "National Bacon
Day!" As much as most any child
would like every day to be Christmas
I've got at least two grand children
who would love to have bacon served
for and with any meal. In fact bacon
alone would be just fine with them.
   According to the world wide web
some friends from different ethnic
backgrounds were looking for
something to celebrate in
December. Most already observed
either Christmas/Chanukah/Solstice/
or Kwanzaa. They wanted something
all could celebrate together.
After careful consideration
they decided they all liked The
Simpsons and Homer Simpson's love
for  bacon. Hence, National Bacon Day!
Especially ironic since at least one of
the founders of this day is Jewish.
    You're encouraged to hold a party,
watch Kevin Bacon movies, and
consume as much bacon or bacon
based products as possible. I'm sure
those grandkids I mentioned would
love to attend!
     Hope you bring home the bacon
and that all your NEWS is good!


Friday, December 28, 2018



    I saw it with my own eyes. Could it have
been a Christmas miracle? Perhaps proof
positive of Global warming?
    My wife first heard their unmistakable
sound. But moments later I saw them! A
flock of Canadian geese flying low
overhead in the traditional V formation!
    I know. We've all seen them at one
time or another. But this "time" was
December 28th. And this flock was
flying North!
     We have enjoyed some warmer than
usual temperatures over the past few
days but I don't believe it's been warm
enough to make me think of Spring!
      Maybe these geese know something
the rest of us don't! Or perhaps they've
started using a GPS system. We all
know they aren't always the most
dependable path finders!
        I'd like to think, if only for a
moment, their built in senses have
detected a continuation of better than
expected weather!
          Hope Daffy wasn't in the lead
and that all your weather, and NEWS,
is good!

Thursday, December 27, 2018


        FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28TH., 2018

   We start thinking about Christmas,
whether we want to or not, sometime
around Halloween. That's when the
first advance store decorations begin
showing up.
   But with all that long buildup, the
day comes and, hours later it's over.
At least it seems that way.
   Actually the Christmas celebration
seems to grow each year and, as that late
great philosopher Yogi Berra reminded
us, "It ain't over till it's over."
   Back in 1952 a small AM Radio
station in Lansford began the tradition
of broadcasting Christmas music from
Thanksgiving through "Russian Christmas"
on January 6th.
   I switched to my seldom used AM
option yesterday and, through the static,
heard the familiar strains of "Jingle Bells"
on the station's 1410 frequency.
  In Scranton the annual free performances
of "The Nutcracker Ballet" continues today
at Marywood University.
  The Christmas Displays will light up Nay
Aug Park in the Electric City through January
1st. In Columbia County Berwick's
traditional Christmas Boulevard will be
illuminated through New Year's Day too.
   And, throughout the area, homeowners
who rival "Holiday Vacation" will
undoubtedly be getting the most out of
their decorating efforts!
    There's plenty of Christmas left if you
just look for it!
     Hope you do....and that all of your
NEWS is good!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018



   It is probably the most maligned gift of
Christmas yet one of the most historical. It's
the Fruitcake! And December 27th is
National Fruitcake Day!
    For those who may not know it is a cake
made with dried fruit, nuts and spices. If that's
not enough, some are soaked with spirits and
we're not talking about the kind of spirits
Dickens wrote about in "A Christmas Carol!"
     The earliest receipt come from ancient
Rome and there are those who suggest some
of the Fruitcakes being sold or served today
were probably made about that time.
      My wife enjoys a good Fruitcake and I'll
usually have a slice or two myself after she's
cut the first slice. There's no hurry! They tend
to last a long time.
       If you don't like them they're prefect as
a re-gift to someone else or keep them long
enough and use the as a door stop! Keep
those options in mind Iris! (Iris is one of
my regular Blog readers who has expressed
a dislike for Fruitcakes!)
        Hope you'll enjoy the "holiday" one
way or another and that all your NEWS
is good!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


                    CULTURE SHOCK!

    This Christmas offered a unique opportunity
for our family. My daughter is hosting Roberta,
an exchange student from Italy.
     She, of course, is here to sample American
education and the culture here in the United
States. But it's a two way street. While she
learns from us, we learn from her!
      I was curious about Christmas in the
home of my ancestors.
      Roberta said festivities in Italy include
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the
Feast of Saint Stephens which is celebrated
on December 26th. I like an extra day of
       I must admit, however, my next Italian
Christmas lesson came as a shock! Roberta
told us games are big on the holiday. She did
introduce us to an Italian card game but Ii
suspected the "big event" would be something
like Bocci!
        But "No." The big deal there (as in
Florida) is BINGO! Turns out they were
playing a game called "Il Giuoco del lotto
d'Italia" way back in 1530! It was a form of
what we now call BINGO!
        Mama Mia! Who would believe it?!
        Hope your card was filled with holiday
cheer and that all your NEWS is good!


      TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25TH., 2018
                CHRISTMAS RIDDLES!

    Merry Christmas everybody! After the
presents are open and the feast has been
consumed perhaps you can relax and take
a moment or two to help me answer some
questions about the holiday that have been
bothering me. I wonder if you ever wondered
    Remember after all those ghosts set
Scrooge straight about Christmas? He ran
into the same two gentlemen he had turned
away the day before when they were looking
for donations for the poor.
    We whispered in their ears as he made
a pledge to donate. It was to be large since
it included "a lot of back payments.:
      But what did he tell them? How much
did he come up with? I've always wondered
about that!
       What about all that money Uncle Billy
left on the counter in "It's a Wonderful Life?"
Potter's guy stole it away but even with that
big happy ending we never know it Potter
was prosecuted for the theft!
        And even after everything turned out all
right we are never told if George and his wife
and kids ever got a vacation out of town!
        Then there's "A Christmas Story."  The
"Old Man" did eat a chunk of that turkey just
out of the oven. Did he get worms?
        I'm sure there are other questions if I'd
give it more thought. But I'm writing this
on Christmas Eve and I've been told Santa
doesn't come until you're asleep. I'm not
taking any chances asking about this one.
I'm going to bed!
        Merry Christmas! Hope all your NEWS
is good!

Saturday, December 22, 2018



  It's December 23rd my friends and time to
check your tree! It's fun to have a look at all
the branches and find things you may never
have seen before!
   Oh! I don't mean your Christmas tree. I'm
talking about your Family tree! You see this
is "Roots Day!"
    It's the perfect time to celebrate your
heritage. Many of you are likely home or
headed home to be with family for the
     I can trace my Mom's side of the family
back to the Revolutionary war. And the
Singlet family has been holding reunions
for over 100 years!
     While I don't know much of the actual
history my Dad's grandparents and great
grandparents all hail from the same town
in Italy!
       Genealogy is a big deal these days.
If you really get into it you can find out
a lot of things about your relatives. Of
course that could be a mixed blessing!
         My wife learned she has some ties
to a New York family that ran a "Family."
Now, every now and then, she makes me
an offer I can't refuse!
         So, while you're decorating or just
enjoying your Tannenbaum, give some
thought to those whose roots make your
family tree so sturdy!
          Hope you find some stars on those
branches and that all your NEWS is good! 



   I remember when December 24th was my
designated Christmas shopping day! It was
always a challenge to find everything on my
list, check out, and get home wrap all the
presents before Santa showed up around
    Somehow I always made it. And, to some
extent, I enjoyed that pure last minute rush!
     Maybe it's my age but this year I didn't
look forward to that last day shopping blitz.
So this year I shopped early. Yesterday!
      I've always heard so much about the
craziness on Black Friday when shoppers
flock to the stores to begin their Christmas
buying. But it couldn't have been much
worse than Friday!
      The long lines of traffic were only
equaled by the long lines of people waiting
in the check out line!
      And God bless those clerks! My wife
found herself in one very long line headed
by a woman who asked the clerk to remove
a bottle of perfume from a locked cabinet
as she was checking out. The clerk obliged.
Then the woman asked for the price. A
perfectly common question. But when the
clerk came up with the answer the woman
got out her cell phone and started a
discussion with someone on the other end
of the call about whether she should buy the
item or, perhaps, get something else!
       All the while my wife, with one item. and
a growing line of others, stood there quietly
waiting. This wasn't a "big box store" with
numerous check out counters or self check
out options.
       I'm so very glad I didn't come across that
lady in any of my Christmas Eve shopping
experiences! Oh well, now I'm done.....almost!
       Hope your list is complete and that all
your NEWS is good!


Thursday, December 20, 2018



        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 Friday 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
each year.
        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 (and this is also
Look On The Brightside Day) every day
from here on sees a little more daylight! And
that's something to look forward to!
         Hope all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018



   No. I am not referring to the "Jelly Of The
Month Club" from the movie "Holiday
   You see this is the day to rewrap that
ugly sweater, multi colored vest, or anything
else you got last Christmas that you didn't
really want to be given to someone else
this year!
    December 20th is "National Regifting
    A survey reveled that 40% of the gifts
given at office parties are regifted!
    We've all received some unusual gifts
at one time or another. My late mother-
in-law was fond of giving rather bright
ties with unique designs. I'm pretty sure
a few of them became presents for somebody
other than the original recipient!
     I'd be willing to bet half of those
decorative candles given as presents to
your neighbor or Aunt Tilly are
regifted items! And there's no telling
how long some of those Fruit Cakes
have been making the rounds!
    Of course you had better make sure
you remember who gave you the gift in
the first place lest you return it to the
same person!
     We've all been told it's the thought
that counts so keep that in mind if one
of those presents you handed out makes
it back under your tree!
     Hope you get something nice you once
gave someone else, and that all your NEWS
is good!



       Most of us enjoy the anticipation of
seeing that gift under the tree, appreciating
the colorful wrapping, and waiting for the
moment we can open it up to see what's
     Some folks, of course, do their best to
sneak a peak before the big day. And
sometimes it's just logical to present the
gift as soon as it arrives.
      That was the case this year when a
new all weather cover for my Miata
topped my wish list. The old one was
deteriorating at an alarming rate so the
new one was opened and pressed into
service as soon as the package arrived.
       There was another Christmas when
our package arrived early. But back then
we had to wait to see exactly what it was.
It was 1976 and my wife was expecting
our third child. Turns out the delivery
would come on December 19th. Both
UPS and the Postal Service made
deliveries back then. But we decided
to use our Doctor and a Hospital.
       Now back then we didn't have
"Revel Parties" and Ultra Sound, for the
most part, was used to make sure the
baby's heart would be healthy.
       So it wasn't until he actually showed
up that we knew we had a Son! Fortunately
we hadn't invested in more dresses (we
already had two daughters) or painted
the Nursery pink!
       D.J. came into the world at some
10lb, 10oz which may have lead to my
wife's announcement that he would be
our last.
      So while some of you celebrate
"Find An Evergreen Day" or "Oatmeal
Muffin Day," we are celebrating my
son's Birthday! The best early Christmas
present we ever received! Happy Birthday
      Hope his day is great and that all his,
and your, NEWS is good!