Thursday, May 31, 2018


   FRIDAY, JUNE 1ST., 2018
         MARGERY DAW!

    My grandson and I went to the
playground Thursday. It's close by
and has all the basics a playground
    Sliding boards, swings, a couple
rock climbing walls and, of course,
a See Saw!
     My grandson usually prefers the
swing and he's a happy camper as
long as I'm providing push power
to keep him going.
      I even made up a rhyme to
sing as he swings back and forth.
"Swing, swing. Lot's of fun. Swing
and swing, until we're done.
      On this outing he decided to
include the Sew Saw on his "to do
       He recited an age old and better
known rhyme as I pushed one side
while he sat on the other. "See Saw,
Margery Daw."
       I don't know who Margery Daw
was suppose to be but I'm convinced
she was a slim creature with great
       I came to that conclusion after
accepting my grandson's invitation
to actually sit on the seat opposite
his. He, of course, immediately rose
to the teeter totter's highest point
while I, with knees bent to their
fullest, pushed to bring me up a bit
and him down.
       We rode back and forth like
that for a while when it suddenly
occurred to me that I was basically
wedged between a back rest designed
for preschoolers and a handle bar
pressing into my stomach!
       I actually wondered what sort
of contortionist's trick I'd have to
come up with to extricate myself
from Miss Daw's diabolical contraption!
         A quick push up on both knees
did the trick and I'm sure the pain will
go away in a day or two.
          Think I'll continue to "push"
the swing on his agenda!
           Hope you're up more than
down and that all your NEWS is

      (File Photo)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


      THURSDAY, MAY 31ST., 2018
           10,000 MILE CHECKUP!

    I took her in for a 10,000 mile checkup
yesterday. Oh, not the car. My wife.
    It's been a year and a couple days since
her open heart surgery so it was time for
some tests that will be evaluated by the
physicians so they can brief us at an
appointment in June.
     Wednesday's tests were scheduled
for CHOPS (Children's Hospital of
Philadelphia). My wife, though younger
than I, is far from being a child.
      That's probably why the security
officer at the parking garage asked to
make sure this was the hospital we were
looking for. We assured him and the
sight of my grandson's Safety seat in
the back probably helped our case!
He probably figured the }child" in
question was already inside!
       Since her problem stemmed from
childhood that's the first place we were
sent prior to surgery last year. The actual
operation was done at the University of
Pennsylvania Hospital. By a surgeon who
often operates on babies!
        We've been very pleased with the
professionals at both of those facilities.
My only suggestion for improvement
would be to move them out of Philly so
I could avoid the Schuylkill Expressway!
         I allowed three hours for the two
hour trip and used up 20 minutes of
that time just 8 miles from the hospitals
on the Schuylkill!
          Can't wait to go back in June to
see if my wife passed her test. She has
always been an "A" student so I'm
pretty confident she'll score well!
           Meanwhile I expect at least a
gold star for surviving the Schuylkill
            Hope all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


    WEDNESDAY, MAY 30TH., 2018
                CAT-CHING UP!

     Regular readers will recall our efforts
to trap several feral cats that were making
their home under our backyard shed for
several weeks.
       It's a growing problem throughout
our area. Well meaning people who let
food out for the felines but do nothing
to see they get the proper shots or are
altered so the population does not
continue to grow.
        Having no desire to become pet
owners but unwilling to see the cats
come to harm we enlisted the support
of Quigley's Shelter Pets, a nonprofit
volunteer organization based in Scranton.
        A representative came to our house
and set up traps which, over the period
of about two weeks produced two kittens
and the cat we believe his their mother.
         The agency will either have its
volunteers keep and care for the
animals or adopt them to responsible
families. We have been assured the
kittens will be kept together!
          There's still one stray roaming
around the area but its path generally
doesn't bring him (or her) through our
            Impressed by the agency's
dedication I invited spokesman Scott
Balinski to be a guest on my ECTV
Live program on Electric City Television.
The program is running on Comcast
channel 19 several times a day all this
week . It can also be seen on YouTube.
            I would liken to assure all of
the readers that I did not eat any of the
cat food left out for bait. Yes, I was
tempted! I believe I like tuna more
than the cats!
           I learned a lot during this
process. Cats generally start their
evening outings right around dusk.
Skunks make the rounds just a little
later. If you haven't caught the cats
before the skunks come around......
close the traps! Fortunately we did
not learn this the hard way! Almost
           Hope we've solved our problem,
helped the cats, and that all your NEWS
is good!

Monday, May 28, 2018


    TUESDAY, MAY 29TH., 2018

      Memorial Day is just past and
Father's Day is just ahead, But Make
no mistake about it, May 29th is an
important date. At least it is for me!
       Today marks 50 years since I
took a young lady on our first date!
Now she's my wife!
        That date took us to the Lakewood
Playhouse in Barnesville, near Tamaqua.
It was the first of several visits to the
popular theater. The Lakewood
Amusement Park was still in operation
there as well.
          Regrettably the theater's curtain
rang down for the final time in 1978
and the building fell into disrepair.
          Recently I heard about plans to
turn the old amusement park grounds
into a campground. Wouldn't it be
nice to see families enjoying the area
          My friend Mark Marek from
WLSH Radio suggested the new
owners try to salvage the old theater
building and turn it into a museum
for both the park and the playhouse.
           I don't have the faintest idea
if that's possible or not. But if it
could be done I, for one, would love
to see it!
           Too many of our area "memory
places" have been allowed to disappear
over the years. It's time we think about
preserving more and restoring those
that can be restored.
            I'd love to have another date
at Lakewood if there's an inviting
attraction. I already know who I'd
invite along. That first date worked
out pretty well for me!
              Hope the Lakewood project
is successful and that all your NEWS
is good!

Sunday, May 27, 2018


   MONDAY, MAY 28TH., 2018

    Many of us will be observing
Memorial Day with a family cook
out. Chances are the star of the
barbecue will be the Hamburger!
      That's very fitting because in
addition to this being Memorial
Day it is "National Hamburger
       Hamburgers were created in
America but nobody seems to know
exactly when. They may go back to
the 19th century. Occasionally I get
one that tastes that old! But that's
the exception not the rule.
        We'll be enjoying some very
fresh burgers at our family 
Memorial Day observance, My
wife spent hours Sunday evening
forming the patties out of huge
blocks of meat my daughter
         I'm wondering if my wife
was having flashbacks as she labored?
When we first met she was working
at a local Acme Market, In the Meat
Department! Turns out it was great
training for our Memorial Day
         I've trained for a long time too!
I've been eating hamburgers for over
70 years. I'll be using that training at
our barbecue!
          Hope your Holiday is
meaningful, and enjoyable and that
all your NEWS is good!


   SUNDAY, MAY 27TH., 2018
         DOWN TO EARTH!

   Well as promised my 20-year-old
grandson celebrated his graduation
from Luzerne County Community
College by jumping out of an
airplane yesterday!
     Apparently a lot of people share
this strange compassion! We found
a hanger at the East Stroudsburg
Airport literally filled with people
anxious to sign up for this "sport."
       Of course in this case "signing
up" means acknowledging the
possibility of disaster and releasing
the company from any liability
should there be an accident.
        You are guaranteed a return to
earth. One way or another.
         My grandson, his girlfriend,
his Mom and Dad, and his Grannie
and I waited with him for some three
hours as plane loads of Skydivers,
14 at a time, crowded into the
aircraft to take their turn.
          At last his name was called and
he joined about 5 other jumpers in the
plane. He and a couple of the others
were doing Tandem jumps which
means they were strapped to a trained
Skydiver for the trip down.
             Waiting below he spotted
the plane high above our heads and
saw the small dots in suddenly spilled
into the air. Those "dots" were, of
course the jumpers. You can't tell
the players till they get a lot closer!
                All went well, much to our
delight, and our grandson seemed
pleased with his accomplishment.
                  My neck is a little sore
from looking up but my feet stayed
safely on the ground.
                   Glad to have my buddy
back down to earth!
                    Have a great Holiday
weekend. Hope all your NEWS is

Friday, May 25, 2018


    SATURDAY, MAY 26TH., 2018

     I used to hear the phrase " Reach
for the sky" a lot when I went to the
Saturday afternoon movies when I was
a kid. Back then I used to associate it
with a hold up.
     These days the same phrase is often
used as a challenge to graduates. They're
encouraged to set their sights high. And
that's exactly what my grandson is doing!
       He's already been notified he's a
Cum Laude graduate from Luzerne
County Community College,
        But his sights go still higher.
This afternoon, weather permitting, he'll
be headed for about 10,000 feet. At that
point he'll be jumping out of an airplane!
         In fact, this will be his second
Sky Dive! He celebrated his High School
graduation the same way two years ago.
        It will be a "Tandem Jump." He'll
be physically attached to a trained Sky
Diver. That way he'll "enjoy" about 30
seconds of free fall before the instructor
pulls the rip cord to open the parachute.
        I applaud my grandson's academic
achievements but I don't share his
desire to jump out of a perfectly good
         I flew in the WYOU helicopter
hundreds of times but I always felt it
prudent to stay inside until it landed.
         Now I must tell you that my
middle daughter also felt it necessary
to Sky Dive and she also did it twice.
If it's something in the genes I'm happy
to say I'm wearing a different pair!
          A good old fashion Merry-Go-
Round is good enough for me!
          Happy landings buddy! Hope
all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, May 24, 2018


    FRIDAY, MAY 25TH., 2018
          WHERE ARE YOU?

    My wife and I spent a part of
her Birthday riding in the Miata
with the top down of course!
    We were headed for the Lehigh
Gorge trail at Tannery (near White
Haven) when we spotted a man
and a woman standing in a pull
off spot with the hood of their car
     I found a turn around about a
mile away and headed back to see
if we might offer any aid.
     The gentleman explained he
had hit a pothole that left his tire
shredded. Being a Priority Member
of a well know Motor Club he and
his wife attempted to call for a tow
       His cell phone had no signal
but they were able to reach their
club on the one bar showing on his
wife's phone. But that was an hour
before we pulled over!
      They were just waiting and
waiting in the hot afternoon sun!
       Sometime during that hour he
called the club again and was told
that someone had come out for him
but couldn't find their car!
        Seems they didn't know the
exact name of the road on which they
was stranded even though it was
just a short distance from a well
known restaurant.
         I pulled out my old GPS
unit from the Glove compartment
and gave him the name of the road,
the exact distance from the
restaurant and even the longitude
and latitude of the spot where he
waited. The motor club spokesman
said they couldn't use the longitude
and latitude which kind of surprised
me given the fact those coordinates
indicated the member's exact spot
on this planet!
         We left him and his wife with
packs of Gummies we keep on hand
for the grandkids and promised to
notify their next of kin if we found
them there when we returned a couple
hours later.
           They were gone when we did
pass by. I suppose either the tow truck
arrived or they and their disabled
vehicle were abducted by aliens. I
hope it was the truck but I'm betting
the aliens could find them faster than their
motor club.
          Hope they're OK and that all their,
and your, News is good!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


    THURSDAY, MAY 24TH., 2018
          THE KID I MARRIED!

     The kid I married is celebrating her
Birthday today!
      I call her a kid because (A) she was
just 19 when we married and (B) I'm 7
years older so any suggestion of aging
comes right back and hits me between
the eyes!
       Anyway,in a sense, she is one this
       As I reported yesterday she
underwent high risk open heart surgery
exactly one year ago so her "new heart"
has just been pumping (properly) for one
        It has been, for the most part, one
really great year highlighted by a reunion
with her 7 siblings a couple months ago
in Florida.
        I bought her Birthday present a week
ago on a road trip that took us to Milford.
It's a neat lawn ornament that spins in the
wind. The kind of thing you let her pick
out to make sure it's just right.
         She's asked the kids for some "dirt"
(to use in the garden). I'm not sure what
kind of response you get to a request
like that!
           I'm blessed to call this "kid" my
wife! She really has a good heart, Of course
that was true even before hers was repaired.
            Happy Birthday my love. Hope all
your NEWS, and that of the readers, is

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


      WEDNESDAY, MAY 23RD., 2018
             A PRESENCE PRESENT!

     My wife will celebrate her Birthday on
Thursday. But, in a sense, today she
celebrates her "Re-birthday!"
      A year ago, on the very eve of her
birthday, she underwent open heart
surgery at the University of Pennsylvania
in Philadelphia.
      It was her second, the first coming quite
a few years ago, and it was considered
"high risk." Of course in my mind any
sort of surgery involving a loved one is
high risk. Sometimes nearly as much for
those waiting as those actually undergoing
the procedure.
      Thank the Lord it all went well and
she's here to celebrate another spin round
the sun! He, through the physicians, gave
her a presence present last year and it
truly is the gift that keeps on giving!
      Next week we go back for her "1,000
mile checkup." I'm hopeful she'll pass
inspection without the need for any other
major "mechanical repairs!"
       We'll celebrate both today and tomorrow
and be thankful there are still some to
        Hope your NEWS, like ours a year ago,
is good!

Monday, May 21, 2018


     TUESDAY, MAY 22ND., 2018

    The announced departure of  popular
radio talk show host Sue Henry from
WILK radio came as a shock to many people
Monday. I was one of them. But I shouldn't
have been!
     I learned, pretty quickly, that radio
stations have revolving doors!
     There's always somebody pushing or
being pushed. Some to get in. Some to
get out!
     I worked at 8 different stations during
my first 21 years in broadcasting. I'm not
sure there are 8 stations around here now
that employ live on-air people!
     Things can change fast in the industry!
     A new format can see an entire on air
staff wiped out overnight!
     A Consultant gets hired to "improve"
a station and he's got to come up with
some changes because that's what's he
being paid to do. So somebody gets
      Then, of course, there's salaries, or
the lack of them! There's always a kid
willing to work for free to get started.
       Popularity? It's a factor. But not
one that guarantees anyone a job!
Clayton Moore was the third person to
play The Lone Ranger on network radio.
No one is indispensable!
       Of course many people leave on their
own for the sake of advancement. Usually to
bigger markets.
        I was fortunate to be able to switch
from my early days as a DJ to becoming
a news reporter. That opened the doors to
television. But they're revolving doors
         Think back just a few short years
to broadcasters you remember seeing
who were too young to retire but who are
no longer seen. At least around here!
          There's a lot of wonderful things
about being in the media and I had a
great career in commercial broadcasting
which continues today as a volunteer
at our area's Public Access Station.
           But don't get too used to any of
your favorites. They're all just a step
away from that revolving door!
            Here's hoping all that step through
find greener pastures (in or out of
broadcasting) and that all their, and your,
NEWS is good!

Sunday, May 20, 2018


   MONDAY, MAY 21ST., 2018

    We cut our prime cable package a
couple months ago in an attempt to
save a few bucks. We've reverted to
the basic package which gives us all
the local channels and their secondary
stations. You know, like WNEP 2.
     I've come to appreciate some of
the programs offered on those
channels. There's old comedies, old
westerns, and some pretty good old
      But while I'm watching them I
have to wonder of anyone in their
studios or Engineering Departments
      On Sunday afternoon the GRIT
channel offered "K-19 The Widowmaker."
It's based on the true story of a 60's era
Russian submarine that sustained
substantial damage from a nuclear
reactor malfunction.
       It's an exciting movie but I believe
I would have enjoyed it far more had
there been sound!
       The first 7 minutes was silent
and then, hopefully, the sound was
restored. But that hope was just as
quickly dashed when the picture
went quiet a minute later. I'm
14 minutes into the movie as I write
and I've yet to hear six full sentences!
        This isn't the first time I've
tuned into Silent movies on these
channels. The only blessing is not
having to hear the commercials!
         On ECTV, the channel on which
I volunteer, our sound is constantly
way lower that the other channels.
 In our case Comcast can't seem to
make the adjustments to balance our
audio with the rest of their channels.
          I suppose it's somewhat
academic in my case since I've got
some hearing loss anyway.
          Maybe I'll just have to go
with Closed captions and enjoy
the shows while reading the dialog!
          Hope someone hears my
plea and that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, May 19, 2018


 SUNDAY, MAY 20TH., 2018

   I didn't get all the details but I
understand there was a lot of fuss
on the web this past week about a
guy in an eating establishment who
got very upset when he heard people
conversing in Spanish.
   As I understand it he preferred
everyone speak English.
    I bring this to your attention
because  May 20th, is
"Eliza Doolittle Day."
    For those who may not recall
Eliza was the lead female character
in the musical "My Fair Lady." She
was a Cockney flower girl who took
speech lessons from Professor Henry
Higgins. It was based on George
Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion and
both the play and the musical explore
the benefits of learning how to speak
     You see a lot of folks who speak
English really don't speak it very well!
     When I was just starting out in
broadcasting all of the employees at
the radio station where I worked were
required to take classes from a Penn
State professor who taught us to say
"creek" instead of "crick" and "again"
instead of "agin." 
      Those are just a couple common
mispronunciations around these
parts. Add "slang" to the mix and
there's a lot of "English speaking
people" I can't understand at all.
       Perhaps before we panic too much
about hearing another language we
might want to check to see how well
we're speaking "our own."
        Heyna? Hope all your NEWS is

Friday, May 18, 2018


    SATURDAY, MAY 19TH., 2018

    I suppose by the time most of you
read this Prince Harry and his bride
Meghan will be at their 5th or 6th
party of the day (London time) and
you'll be trying to catch up on the
sleep you missed getting up early
to watch the Royal Wedding.
    I will have missed the pomp
and circumstance, sleeping till 9
then shaving, although I'm not
sure why, for the weekly radio
show I call every Saturday.
     I sometimes try to catch a bit
of local news but that was
relegated to those "secondary
channels" operated by our
area stations so the networks
could cover the wedding.
     My wife and I had a very
small wedding 49 years ago but
our ceremony was mentioned by
popular national news commentator
Paul Harvey. Given our status
vs. the royal family I think we
did pretty well.
       And while I'm not especially
interested in the festivities in
jolly old England I still wish the
newlyweds all the happiness in
the world!
      Hope all their, and your, NEWS
is good!

Thursday, May 17, 2018


    FRIDAY, MAY 18TH., 2018

    And if you haven't got them, go
get them!
     May 18th is "Buy a Musical
Instrument Day." It honors Meredith
Wilson, the man who wrote "The Music
      You may remember the main
character in that musical, Professor
Harold Hill, who made a living
selling musical instruments and
band uniforms to parents whose kids
never knew a thing about playing
        I'm wondering in the character
might have been based on the guy
who sold me a guitar many years
ago. It must have been pretty clear
to him, certainly after the first lesson,
that my best chance of playing music
was to become a DJ.
         Any investigator looking at my
hands would legitimately suggest I've
never been much for manual labor.
Pressing down on those guitar strings
made more lines in my fingers that
recognizable notes!
         I learned about 3 cords but
that was about all I, or my instructor,
could take.
          But I appreciate all of you who
did learn to play! Whatever the
           Music is wonderful. Well, most
of it anyway. So this is the perfect
day to go out any buy an instrument
and either learn to play or, like me,
learn  how to "fake it!"
           I eventually settled on a
harmonica and though I can't read
a word of music, I can play Stephen
Foster's "Oh Susanna" as well as most
of those guys in the old western movies!
            There's an instrument out there
for everybody! Hope you find yours
and that all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


   THURSDAY,MAY 17TH., 2018
              THE BIG HUNT!

       As reported earlier in my daily
blog I've enlisted the help of an
Animal Rescue organization, Quigley's
Shelter Pets, to trap a couple feral cats
and kittens that have taken up residence
under a shed in our backyard.
      We've got no interest in having
pets, other than the fish in my wife's
aquarium, They don't scratch, bite,
or make my allegories flare up. And
we don't have to take them out for
a walk or let them out for other
reasons! That said we'd like to see
these cats find good homes somewhere.
       One feline who has been roving
the neighborhood for a couple years
was the first to walk into one of the
traps that were set. He wasn't living
under the shed but may have been
one of those who destroyed the cover
over my sports car with its claws.
        It's sort of amazing to know
exactly where the other three cats
were and not be able to capture them
        We opened the traps during
the evening so as not to keep any of
the cats detained outside overnight
especially with all the rain lately. It
also seemed a sound idea to avoid
trapping one of those black cats with
the white back stripe that also happen
by from time to time.
        On Tuesday my wife decided to
set the traps while the sun was still
shining. Guess she has the special
touch because she managed to attract
one of the two kittens. It too is now
in the hands of the Rescue group.
        The trap bait seems to have
influenced me. I've had a craving
for fish all week. (And had some
        Mom and one kitten are still
hiding out. The little one looks out
from time to time almost as if to
say "Come and get me, if you can!"
        You'd think this would be
easier that an African Safari!
        Hopefully our Rescue volunteers
will be successful this week and these
felines will be in their hands and made
ready for adoption.
         Hope they're successful and that
all your NEWS is good!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


   WEDNESDAY, MAY 16TH., 2018
           INTO EACH LIFE.......

    It has been said "Into each life a
little rain must fall." On Tuesday a
heck of a lot of it fell on us!
     My wife and I decided to take
the scenic route home from our
Travelworld pre-cruise meeting in
Dingman's Ferry.
      The sky had begun to darken
about the time we pulled into
Milford. The wind had all of the
whirligigs spinning at a colorful
local shop. They looked so good
we stopped to buy one for my
wife's upcoming birthday.
       By the time we loaded it into
the car the sky was downright
black and within minutes my
"scenic drive" was distorted by
the monsoon like rain that
roared through the area!
       It seemed a strange time
for several other motorists
to pull into a carwash until I
heard the rock-like hail hitting
my roof too!
       I pulled into a gas station
that, luckily, had an out or order
pump. I didn't need gas anyway.
Just the roof overhead that
offered protection.
      The rain slowed after a few
minutes and we continued our
journey. We turned off of Route
6 at Lake Wallenpaupack and
headed towards the Interstate.
        We made it about 6 miles
when we ran into the roadblock.
Seems a tree had some down
taking wires with it and we had
to turn around.
          The other side of the lake
seemed our best option so we
headed that way. Two miles along
emergency vehicles stopped us
again. This time, however, one
lane remained open and after a
short wait we were allowed to
go through.
            It took a little longer
than expected but we made it
home safe and sound and with
one of those neat whirligigs to
spin in the next gust of wind!
            Hope it's just a little
less gusty and that all your NEWS
is good!

Monday, May 14, 2018


   TUESDAY, MAY 15TH., 2018

    My wife and I capped off our
Monday with a stroll along the
levee system in Kingston.
     We're slow so we get a good
look at traffic, walkers, joggers,
runners, and bikers, heading our
way or hoping we'll move over
enough to let them pass!
      I guess that's why I made
an interesting observation.
      I've had to deal with skin
cancer several times over the
years. I was pretty sure the
most vulnerable areas were on
one's face, You know, the
brow, the nose, areas like that.
      But based on what I've
seen a lot of young men seem
to be protecting the back of their
      I know this because I'm sure
that Baseball caps ,even those
with football or basketball logos,
were designed to be worn with
the brim facing forward to keep
the sun off a player's face and
out of his eyes.
       I'd say the majority of the
guys who passed us, one way or
the other, were wearing their
caps in a way that can only be
described as backwards.
        I guess it's not a big thing
though I always preferred to see
the team's logo facing forward.
        I am a little perplexed,
however, when the guys
continue to try to keep the sun
off their necks when they come
inside. Like in a restaurant for
        It would cap off my days
just fine if guys would take their
caps off when they're inside. I
suppose it's an "old fashion thing."
         If that's the case "fashions"
and manners were a lot better
back in the day!
          Hope I can read your logo
without looking backwards and
that all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, May 13, 2018


  MONDAY, MAY 14TH., 2018
             WILD PARTY?

    A great, and interesting, Mother's
Day for my wife and I.
    First church then it was off to our
son's house where he and his wife
put together a Mother's Day cookout
for the family! 

Saturday, May 12, 2018


    SUNDAY, MAY 13TH., 2018

    Well friends it's May 13th and the
bid day is finally here.
     Mother's Day? No. That's very
important of course. But I was
referring to Frog Jumping Day!
     What do you mean you've never
heard if it? It's always celebrated on
May 13th!
      Frog jumping can be traced
back to Mark Twain's first short
story "Jim Smiley and his Jumping
      There are places where they
have Frog jumping contests every
year on this date! And they can last
for hours.
       We almost had a frog for a pet
one time. My wife captured a
tadpole from an area street and
brought it home in a large glass
jar. She tells me it got to the next
stage of development but then it
croaked (not in terms of the sound
produced by frogs.)
         Too bad. We could either be
entering some jumping contests
today or enjoying Frog legs!
          Well, anyway, now that you're
aware of this unusual holiday I
expect you to celebrate! If you don't
have or can't get a frog you'll probably
just have to hop around all day!
             Hope you enjoy the holiday
and that all your NEWS is good!

Friday, May 11, 2018


   SATURDAY, MAY 12TH., 2018

    After a long winter (and some spring)
of hiding from the cold my wife and I are
making an effort to begin our walking
regiment again.
     We had built up to about two miles
when the cold weather pretty much
stopped us in our tracks last year.
      We quickly learned that you can't
pick up right where you left off! The
first half mile effort had us both
feeling like we had just come from
the Boston Marathon!
       On Friday we managed a mile
and a half!
       It's hard to believe I was into the
jogging craze back in the 80's. I used
to jog 3 to 5 miles just about every day.
I even did some 10 miles once although
that's because my good buddy who was
suppose to pick me up along my route
got to talking with somebody and showed
up late.
        I was a lot healthier then but a heck
of a lot younger too!
        Our pace is somewhere between
slow and stopped. Bad knees and
asthma slow me down but I have been
able to keep up with my wife....barely.
         I carry a long walking stick
wherever we go. I helps with balance
and is handy to ward off any vicious
creatures that might attack. Like
squirrels and such. I haven't tried
parting any waters with it yet but if
we're caught out on the rain I'll give
it a try.
          Try to let us know if you're
coming up behind us. It takes a few
seconds to get out of the way!
          Hope we see you out there and
that all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, May 10, 2018


    FRIDAY, MAY 11TH., 2018

   We were headed for a local
restaurant when I noticed the
dark black clouds moving in from
across the valley.
    I admit I was a bit surprised.
Forecasters had been predicting
a heavy thunderstorm by late
afternoon so, naturally, I figured
it wouldn't happen. (Well even a
broken clock is right twice a day.)
    Thursday is the day we watch
my two and a half year old
grandson so he was safely secured
in his Child seat as the first flash
of lighting ripped through the sky.
     He lightened the atmosphere
just a bit with a quick rendition of
"Rain, Rain. Go Away."
      We would be meeting his Mom,
and Dad, and sister in just about
5 minutes. With just two or three
green lights we might just beat the
     Nope! The lights were red and
the sky opened up about three
minutes before we pulled into the
parking lot.
       My wife grabbed a purse
umbrella and another we keep in
the car hoping to get the second one
to another granddaughter who was
joining us. As it happens that
granddaughter was too fast and
got her self inside quickly.
       I then did one of those things
young Moms probably have to do
all the time. I opened my door,
stepped into the monsoon,
opened the rear door, grabbed a
golf umbrella from the rear shelf,
unbuckled my grandson from his
safety seat (somehow), then
lifted him into my arms under
the umbrella and carried him
while running (well the best form
of "running" I can offer these days)
and got him into the restaurant.
        There was a day when I probably
could have done that in three minutes
flat. Now I was lucky to get him out
then in before the storm ended!
        It's hours later now as I write
and I'm pretty much dry.
        Hope your lights were all
green and that all your NEWS is

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


    THURSDAY, MAY 10th., 2018

  Feral cats have been a problem
around our development for several
years now.
   Last year one of the animals
managed to rip up an expensive
cover I use on my little sports car
and their use of our garden mulch
as a litter box creates a very unwelcome
   That problem has been compounded
by well meaning people who let food
out from time to time but do nothing
else to deal with the increase in
feline population!
     Responsible people see that their
cats or dogs get the proper inoculations
and are spayed or neutered.
      The emergence of several kittens
under the shed in my back yard
prompted my wife and I to call for
some assistance this week.
      We have no desire to be pet
owners again. Our cockatiel passed
away a couple years ago and the
fish in our small aquarium are
pretty easy to care for. We never
have to let them out in bad weather
        That said we'd like to see this
new litter find good homes and their
mother as well.
         A representative of Quigley's
Shelter Pets, a fairly new animal
rescue agency, came to the yesterday
and set out  a couple traps in the
hope they'll lure the feline family
over the next few days.
          I know they'd lure me. That
may be cat food he set out on those
traps but it smells like really fresh
Tuna. I love really fresh Tuna!
           My wife promised the
gentleman to keep me away from
the traps. Or at least the bait!
           I'll keep you posted. Hope
it works and that all your NEWS
is good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


    WEDNESDAY, MAY 9TH., 2018
               A SOMBER DAY!

     We should all pause for a moment
today in memory of something very
close to us. You see May 9th is
"Lost Sock Memorial Day."
      I'm sure that most of you, like me,
have witnessed that moment when you're
placing your freshly washed socks into
their drawer when you suddenly find
one lone sock without a partner!
       I have three separate piles in my
sock drawer. One is for almost new
socks. One is for those with holes in
various spots (that's the largest stack).
And one with, well, just one sock.
      I tend to believe this phenomena
is more masculine then feminine but
I'm not sure why.
      It has been suggested you spend
some time today searching for that
missing sock. As little time as possible.
      It's also been suggested you toss
the single sock if its mate can't be
located but I'm not one to give up
      I know it will turn up somewhere
someday! So I'll probably hang on to
my single sock just in case.
      Hope you've got all your socks
in order and that all your NEWS is

Monday, May 7, 2018


   TUESDAY, MAY 8TH., 2018
         NOW THAT'S CLASS!

   It's May 8th. National Teacher's
   My family has turned out a few
great teachers over the years!
    My Grandmother taught in a
one room school house in a tiny
community not far from Hazleton.
     At a time when women were
always treated as second class
citizens she took her school board
to court when they moved her to
another school effectively causing
a demotion. She won!
      My late brother Jim was a
teacher all his life. I still hear
from former Wilkes students who
tell me he was the best Math and
Computer Science teacher they
ever had.
        Our first born daughter has
made teaching her career and her
sister assists students at a local
Charter School.
          I had some great teachers
in school over the years. Educators
and, in some cases, Entertainers!
          My High School Science
teacher will always be remembered
for his experiments that went wrong.
I've mentioned him before. He's the
teacher who blew up a test tube in
class and managed to put his hand
down on a counter when he had just
dropped a bit of acid!
          You can't pay for a show like
that. But at the same time I learned
to be careful with that kind of
science stuff!
            My Italian teacher was one
of my favorites. He let me sit in the
first seat in the first row closest to
the door. That's so I could get out
quickly when the bell rang!
             So whether you're saluting
them for making a good educational
impression on you or just remembering
those classic class incidents that made
you laugh, let's hear it for our teachers,
              And, in the interest of full
disclosure, I taught a couple college
courses myself. I'm not sure how good
I was but I never blew up anything......
in class anyway!
                Hope all your NEWS is good!

Sunday, May 6, 2018


  MONDAY, MAY 7TH., 2018

  It's time you start thinking about
packing your bags and hitting the
road! May 7th., is National
Tourism Day!
   My wife and I are tour hosts
for Travelworld in Scranton and
Kingston and we've had the
opportunity of touring some
fantastic places both in and out
of the country. It's a great agency!
You should check out the available
trips. Who knows? You may wind
up on one we're hosting!
     There are great attractions to
be seen and there's even a few
right in our own back yard.
      I've often heard it said that a
lot of New York City residents
have never been to the Empire
State Building.
       That has me wondering how
many folks around these parts
have never seen the Steamtown
National Historical Park (which,
by the way, is free these days), or
the Electric City Trolley Museum,
or Lackawanna Coal Mine?
       Our area's mining industry
is on display at attractions like
those are others such as the Eckley
Miner's Village not far from Hazleton.
        We've even got sites that should
be attractions but are not. At least
not official ones.
        The community of Centralia
in Columbia County has become a
"Ghost town" since an underground
mine fire forced all but just a handful
of residents out. Most of the homes
were demolished but you can  still
see the streets where they once stood
as well as smoke that's seeping out
of the ground here and there.
        Do yourself a very big favor!
Whether it's an international tour,
a visit to our national treasures, or
just a day's drive through northeastern
Pennsylvania, hit the road and become
a tourist! You'll never regret it!
       Hope you enjoy yourself and
that all your NEWS is good!

Saturday, May 5, 2018


    SUNDAY, MAY 6TH., 2018
          I HAVEN'T A CLUE!

    We were dropping our grandson
 at his home last evening when he
suggested that we, his grandpa,
grannie, and cousin might want to
come in to play a board game.
     Board games are not my
favorite form of entertainment
but the chance to spend a few more
hours with two of our grandkids
couldn't be ignored.
     His choice of weapons, I mean
games, was "Clue."
     For those who don't remember
this Hasbro classic, Clue is a game
that uses a board depicting rooms
in a mansion, tiny model weapons,
cards representing suspects, rooms,
and weapons and a die as each
player attempts to solve a murder.
      I had to have the rules re-explained
to me since it's been about 30 years or
so since I suggested Mr. Green killed
Mrs, White in the Library, with a
     I was pretty proud though when
I narrowed my investigation to a
suspect and a weapon. Unfortunately
I had to make a guess at the room
and I picked wrong. I just needed
that one more clue and I could have
been the winner.
    This tricky mystery took about
an hour. I'm so glad nobody
pulled out Monopoly!
     At least I missed the Derby!
Turns out I would have bet on the
wrong horse. Guess I didn't have
a clue there either! But, I did save
two bucks!
     Hope you know who done it,
picked a winner, and that all your
NEWS is good!

Friday, May 4, 2018


  SATURDAY, MAY 5TH., 2018

   My wife and I keep a very
efficient portable heater in our
bedroom. It's great for those cool
evenings not quite cold enough
to turn on the furnace.
    What makes the heater
especially cool, in a "that's neat
sort of way, is the fact it can be
activated by a remote control
unit that can turn it one and off,
set it turning on its base, adjust
the temperature, or engage a
      It's the second such unit we've
owned. Our original died after
many years of faithful service.
      A few weeks before the
weather got nice around here
we were disappointed to find
our remote control had vanished.
      It was never removed from
the bedroom to our knowledge
but a careful search proved
      The unit does have controls
on its face as well so we weren't
completely lost.
      I wondered if my wife might
have kept the remote control from
the original heater. She had! And
knew where it was!
      But would it work and run all
the functions on the new heater?
       It did and ran everything!
       How great to have an old
remote save the day!
        And now we have two!
        When my wife emptied the
clothes from the washer into the
baskets Friday morning she
discovered the heater remote!
About as clean as it could be!
        And, to our surprise, we
aimed it at the heater, pressed
the on/off control and the unit
fired up!
        Just to be on the safe side
we are giving it a second "bath."
This time in a bowl of rice in the
hopes all the moisture inside
will be absorbed.
        If it works we'll have
controls on both sides of the
bed. Hope we don't have to use
them till about February and that
all your NEWS is good!

Thursday, May 3, 2018


     FRIDAY, MAY 4TH., 2018

   It's true! May 5th is for the birds!
That is to say, May 5th is Bird Day!
   To be fair it's one of several days,
national and international, to honor
our fine feathered friends.
    This particular date was named
a holiday in 1894 by a guy named
Charles Babcock who was the
Superintendent of Schools in Oil
City, Pennsylvania.
      He intended it to promote bird
conservation as a moral value.
      We kind of celebrate this day
every day at our house. My wife and
I have an old bird cage that one
belonged to our pet Cockatoo "Sam."
       When Sam flew over the Rainbow
Bridge, I'm thinking birds probably
fly over, we set up his cage on a
stand outside our house and put bird
feed in it every day. It's amazing how
many birds will go into a cage to get
food! Of course stray cats sometimes
show up near the cage hoping to
feed on a bird that's feeding!
      It's especially nice to see so
many birds, of all kinds, around
these parts now that we're seeing a
bit more sunshine!
       Heck! Even the Snowbirds are
showing up (and we don't have to
feed them!)
       Hope they stick around (all
the birds) for a long time and that
all your NEWS is good!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


  THURSDAY, MAY 3RD., 2018
            HEAT STROKE!

   Many of us have been waiting for
summer like temperatures for a very
long time.
    On Wednesday they came! All at
once! And I'm beginning to think
all that sunshine spawned a mirage!
    I began to see the illusion about
the time I crossed into Wyoming
    Those Time and Temperature
signs on the bank buildings were
all reading around 87 degrees. I
say "around" because the temperature
varied by a degree or two from one
sign to another even when they were
fairly close together.
     But the "illusion" of which I
speak wasn't on the Temperature
signs! It was at the Gas Stations.
      Just about every one I spotted
showed Regular gas selling for
$3.05 a gallon! One was at $3.06!
I thought I was the victim of heat
       Surely it was the hot sun beating
down on those signs. Right?
      Thankfully I didn't need any
gas so I wasn't in a position to go
into any of the stations to tell them
about their error!
       Hopefully when the sun set
those gas price signs would cool
off and go back to their under
$3 a gallon readings!
        Hope they do and that all
your NEWS is good!


Tuesday, May 1, 2018


   WEDNESDAY, MAY 2ND., 2018
               SMALL PRINT!

     One of my Facebook friends posted
some comments about watching movies
at home as opposed to going to the
     My response "You can't beat the
big screen!"
      I'll admit to watching my share
of Hollywood flicks from the
comfort of my couch. But when I can
I'd much prefer watching a movie in
an auditorium with a screen that's
about the size of the side of a cruise
      I'd use Tuesday evening's television
offerings as evidence if I was arguing
my case in court!
      I first selected a movie that turned
out to be a documentary about the King
of Denmark at the outset of World War
II. I didn't watch very long.
     The feature was done entirely in
Danish with English sub titles running
on the bottom of the screen. Even if I
owned a wall sized television it would
have been difficult to follow the
translation and the action at the same
      And those poor people who
worked so hard on the movie....the ones
whose names show up on the credits.....
they're like white blurs on a television
      Now some film makers, in an
appearant effort to keep up with the
times, have included scenes in which
the characters are texting each other.
The producers show us those texts
which is all well and good in a movie
theater where they look like words
on a billboard.
       When that same feature eventually
shows up on my TV set they will be
        Heck, I have trouble reading the
texts on my cellphone!
         Good thing you can adjust the
size of the font on your laptop to you
can read these blogs!
         Give me the big screen every time
gang! Hope you can read this and that
all your NEWS is good!