Monday, July 30, 2018
TUESDAY, JULY 31ST/. 2018
BIRDS OF A FEATHER?
I've been amazed by the number of
birds that take advantage of the free meal
we offer every day!
Each morning I fill a plastic cup with
sunflower seeds and other food that our
fine feathered friends seem to enjoy and
within minutes they're flocking around
our feeding station eating it all up.
I usually have to bring out "seconds"
within a couple hours.
There's a couple interesting things
about this ritual that, I believe, deserve
First, that "feeding station" I
mentioned in actually inside bird
cage! It's one of several cages that
came with a Cockatiel we adopted
about a half dozen years ago.
It's strange to see birds flying
into a cage but with all that seed
inside I suppose they just think of
it as a Diner!
It's also neat to see the variety
of birds that share the seed and the
space. Chickadees and sparrows
are routine visitors but we've also
seen Mourning Doves and several
On Tuesday, however, we
had a most unusual visitor. A
Parakeet! He didn't enter the cage
but, rather, focused on seed that
had fallen to the ground.
Since I don't think Parakeets
are native to Pennsylvania I have to
believe he's fled a similar cage
Or maybe his visit was some
sort of message. You see our
Cockatiel. "Sam" passed away exactly
four years ago on July 30th!
Of course unlike Cockatiels
Parakeets don't speak so I couldn't
Hope he enjoyed the seed
and that all your NEWS is good.
MONDAY, JULY 30TH., 2018
BY THE NUMBERS!
If you've been following my blog you
know we just returned from a great family
vacation week in Wildwood, New Jersey.
No doubt about it, it was a really was
a great week.
I did return, however, with the feeling
I had just taken a math test!
After thinking about it for just a bit I
think I understand why.
Our apartment was located in what
amounted to a walled community. (No,
somebody else built this one and I have
no idea who payed for it!)
There were a series of gates on
all four sides of the complex. Some
for cars and others for people walking
Each had a key pad and each had
a code to make them open. Each
code was different.
So, depending on whether you
were walking up or driving in you had
to remember your code numbers to
access the property.
I had to write them down.
Remember "new sets of numbers"
is not my thing and if I didn't check
I'd find myself trying to use the
car gate code for the walk in gate.
Or the other way around.
One day I decided to use the
bike in the apartment garage to ride
to the boardwalk for breakfast.
Fortunately the bike had a
lock. Unfortunately it was a
combination lock. More numbers
The gates opened automatically
when leaving (by foot or car) to I
found it more comfortable "going"
Hopefully I can get all those
numbers out of my head now and
that all your NEWS is good!
Sunday, July 29, 2018
SUNDAY, JULY 29TH., 2018
HOME AGAIN,HOME AGAIN!
How is it possible that clocks run so
much faster when you're on vacation?
Anyhow that's the way it seems.
And why is the road home so much
longer than the one that took us to the
shore? It the same road! Maybe it's up
hill coming back.
Our week with the family in
Wildwood was pretty darn good! We
expected rain all week but only really
had one day when the beach and pool
were out of the question.
Evenings were split between
board games (or cards) and the
boardwalk where you can either
enjoy Curley Fries like me or take
a chance of winning a prize worth
about a quarter by playing a game that
cost three bucks!
All three granddaughters seemed
to favor the water be it beach or pool
but they did very well against the
boys in their annual Go Cart race!
My one grandson, his friend
and I went fishing as I reported in a
previous blog. I probably could have
put the cost of bait and tackle to better
use by buying us all fish sandwiches
at McDonalds. On the other hand you
can't put a price tag on the time we
spent together on the dock, or at the
beach, or pool, or the evenings when
my little grandson fell asleep next to
me as I read some of the "classics"
(Thomas the Tank) to him on my bed.
I find myself looking around
for him this evening.
We're all safely home with
great memories, a lot of photos, and
in some cases, a little bit of sunburn.
Thanks to Karl for house sitting
for us again. One of these days we'll
have to take him along.
Hope you've enjoyed the blogs
and photos and that all your NEWS
Saturday, July 28, 2018
SATURDAY, JULY 28TH., 2018
LAST NIGHT ON THE BOARDWALK
The family has enjoyed a fun filled
week in Wildwood but our annual vacation,
as with all good things, is coming to an end.
We had hoped to be entertained by the
usual Friday night fireworks but some strong
winds forced officials to postpone the show
Unfortunately our renter's clause has no
provision allowing us to extend our stay
because of a fireworks delay so we'll be on
our way back to Pennsylvania by the time
most of you are reading this.
Most of our gang did take advantage
of one last stroll on the Boardwalk Friday
night. Our teen delegation had vowed to
take at least one good spin on one of the
Go-Cart Tracks scattered among the
Pizza shops and Italian Ice vendors.
There was one somewhat close to
our apartment but one of our group
decided there was a longer raceway on
a different pier.
So we walked about two miles
(one in each direction) to gain an extra
50 yards of racetrack. Must be part of
this "modern math" because under the
old math the end would not have
justified the means.
Of course the additional distance
took us past all the barkers trying to
lure us into playing games of chance.
The system worked!As we passed
one of those water gun gimmicks the
barker's cry of "One dollar. Only one
dollar and your choice of prizes" prompted
my son, two grandsons, two grand daughters
and one of my grandson's friends to lay
down their money and try to get their
monkey to the top of the pole first.
With some many "family players"
the odds favored us and, indeed, one
grand daughter won a prize which she
graciously presented to the youngest
grand daughter in the group!
My son also took a couple wacks
with the big hammer trying to ring the
bell on top of the Strong Man's Pole.
He did pretty well but the bell remained
silent in spite of his mighty swings and
the 2 or 3 bucks he paid out to play the
Since our path took us by the
Curley Fry Stand I made one last stop
to enjoy my favorite Boardwalk food.
The pound will have to come off
Fun for all and all for fun! Hope
we can do it again next year and that
all your NEWS is good!
Friday, July 27, 2018
FRIDAY, JULY 27TH., 2018
NOW YOU SEE IT.....
I've seen a lot of things disappear
while on vacation.
The food supplies we brought
along had to restocked in a couple
Money of course. We tend to
spend more than we expected to
because, after all, you're on vacation,
The sun even vanished a couple
times this week,
But the food was restocked, the
money will be replenished with the
next monthly check, and the sun was
back, bigger and brighter than ever
after one brief day of rain.
In short, that which disappeared
will be seen again.
Not so with the Atlantus!
The Atlantus was a concrete
ship manufactured around 1918 for
use during World War I.
In later years it was being towed
to Cape May where it was to be
intentionally sunk to create an
underwater wall which would make
a docking area for the Cape May
It broke loose during a storm
and drifted to the north where it
lodged in the sand at nearby Sunset
I remember seeing the ship,
forever stuck in the sand, not far
off the beach where people gather
every evening to watch the sunset.
My first vivid recollection of
the Atlantus dates from the 1950's
when you could still tell it was a
Since then time, tide, and
storms have worn away at the
ship until, now, there's just an
unidentifiable chunk of stonework
sitting in the water awaiting further
I'm wondering just how long
my grand kids will have anything
to see at all!
That's why I take them there
each year, retell the story, and
ask them to remember so they can
someday tell their kids what once
Now you see it but someday
all too soon you won't.
Hope they remember and that
all your NEWS is good.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
THURSDAY, JULY 26TH., 2018
If you're heading to the shore
for your vacation it's a pretty good bet
you daily plans include a day at the beach
or at your motel swimming pool.
But into each life, and vacation, a
little rain must fall. That's when you go
to "Plan B."
The light rain that fell in and around
Wildwood Wednesday pretty much
ruled out a day in the water. Why jump
in to a wave when you're getting wet
without any effort at all.
Our 'Plan B" included a drive to
a regional movie complex. We were
nearly there when I suddenly remembered
why all the movie theaters that used to be
on the boardwalk had closed years ago.
You see on sunny days nobody
bothered t go to the movies so the
theaters were usually just about empty.
On rainy days, however, you
couldn't find a seat in the place. People
flocked to the cinema to escape the rain!
Apparently that scenario hasn't
changed. As our car was about to pull
into the theater complex others in our
gang were trying to call ahead for seats
only to find the day's attractions were
already sold out!
So, as I write, our delegartion
has instituted "Plan C."
Some have gone to the nearest
ice cream parlor while others have
invaded a nearby Book store.
My nearly 3-year-old grandson
and I have taken still another step and
moved on immediately to "Plan D."
We are taking a nap!
Hope you've got all your
options ready and that all your NEWS
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25TH., 2018
WHAT'S IN THE WATER?
What's in the water? Well it all depends
on where you look!
On Tuesday I found loads of people
including my son, daughter-in-law, a two
grand kids sliding, splashing, and
floating in the Water Park.
I hung around for a bit snapping
pictures then headed back to our
apartment to pick up another grandson
and his friend to try our hand at fishing.
He found a dependable bait shop
that's been around for over 30 years and
bought some worms, a package of hooks,
and even a couple new bobbers.
When we got to pier I had picked
for our fishing spot I sudden;y realized
I forgot one thing! My fishing rod!
I had left it back in the garage.
No problem. The boys had theirs
and that's why I really came out anyway.
There weren't any people in the
water there. Unfortunately there didn't
seem to be any fish either!
We spent a few hours drowning
worms and waiting fore "the "big one"
but it never showed up.
We may give it another go before
the week ends. Maybe if I bring my
fishing pole things will be different!
Hope the bait holds up and that
all your NEWS is good!
Monday, July 23, 2018
TUESDAY, JULY 24TH., 2018
THE SAME. BUT DIFFERENT!
I've been coming to the Jersey
shore, specifically Wildwood, for the
majority of my 75 years.
As I reflect during this latest family
vacation it's amazing how much has
changed and yet stayed the same.
No matter where we're staying in
the Wildwoods I still drive into town
the long way, through an area I call
"Grassy Sound," and I always find
myself singing, humming, or
whistling the melody to "Shanty
In Old Shanty Town" as I drive through.
My Dad always sang it when we
brought the family. I still have a recording
of him somewhere singing the tune while
strumming his ukulele.
You get you first good whiff of the
"sea air" along that stretch. That hasen't
changed a bit.
Condos now occupy much of the
real estate where old apartment houses
used to welcome summer visitors.
And the once overgrown "bull
rushes" along the shore in Wildwood
Crest were cut and replaced by motel
after motel many years ago. Before
that we'd sometimes change into our
bathing suits in the dense brush and
make our way into the ocean.
Speaking of the ocean, it's still the
same. You wonder why you've bothered
to come into the water with your first
few steps. But 6 or 7 waves later the
water is comfortable and you're riding
the surf or getting dunked a time or
The every present warning "Watch
The Tram Car Please" still sounds every
few minutes as you walk the boardwalk.
Crowds of people stroll along checking
the shops, the amusement rides, and the
food that can be so very tempting!
The family is here, along with a
couple friends of the kids. The faces
have changed through the years but it's
still the family and that, above everything
else, makes this tradition very special.
I often think of my Dad and Mom
and my late brother when we spend our
week at the shore. As different as things
may become that remains the same. So
great to have all the family together!
Hope all your NEWS is good!
Sunday, July 22, 2018
MONDAY, JULY 23RD., 2018
STORMING THE BEACH!
Fed up with Saturday's rain our
vacationing Wildwood gang did some
We were totally ready for the first
first hint of sunshine that cut through
left over clouds on Sunday so we
put on our swimming suits and
stormed the beach!
Turned out to be a first rate
day! Plenty of sunshine and hot
enough to provide a serious
challenge! Could I consume my
Strawberry Ice Pop before the
bottom part melted all over my
I won, just barely!
Our grandson Jason and his
girlfriend showed up completing
our family gathering and that made
the day even more special.
As usual the ocean water felt
like ice upon entering the surf. But
one dive and about 45 seconds
was enough to get one "used" to
I made my obligatory swim
then settled back in a chair to
enjoy the day and the company.
We also managed to spend
some time in the pool as well so
whatever the weather has in store
we get in at least one really great
beach day together!
A bit of evening Boardwalk
and now I'm set for bed!
Hope the rest of the week
goes slowly and that all your NEWS
Saturday, July 21, 2018
SUNDAY, JULY 22ND., 2018
RED IN THE MORNING!
Listen or watch all the forecasts you
care to. Sometimes the "old sayings"
sum it up best. "Red in the morning,
sailor take warning."
And so it was as we set out for our
annual family vacation in Wildwood,
NJ. a beautiful red sky greeted our
By the time we reached the Cape
May County Park, in a record 2 hours
and 40 minutes I might add, the light
rain that had started falling a few
minutes earlier became a steady
We often stop in the park because
we can't get into our apartment until
early afternoon. But out early start from
home avoids tons of traffic, especially
We spotted a pavilion when we
arrived. A safe haven from the rain.
It had been reserved but one look at
the sky made us pretty confident the
party that reserved it was probably
heading somewhere else for the day.
The Wifi in the park, offered
free to visitors by the way, is 5o times
better than that at my home. Much
faster! So I worked with my computer
while some of the rest of our gang
plaved games after a quick picnic
lunch (we are, after all, "the Picnic
When the time came we headed
for the apartment and unloaded our
luggage which include our jackets that
had been packed away in our trunk,
virtually locked by the bicycle rack
and its cargo we had hauled along for
a couple of our grandkids.
Our son, his wife, and kids
showed up last. They unloaded and
parked in the street. When we looked
out to check the car an hour or two
later we found the street flooded up
to his wheel covers!
All is well though. One group
escaped to dinner, another to get some
We'll be stocked up with
groceries and board games just in
case the rain continues. Anyway
Karl, who's watching our house
while we're away, says things
weren't much better there!
Hope for some "Red sky at
night" and that all your NEWS is
Friday, July 20, 2018
SATURDAY, JULY 21ST., 2018
WHO GOES THERE?
My list of strange and bizarre
holidays has July 21st labeled as
"National Be Someone Day."
I had never heard of this one
before and, when I first saw the
title, I envisioned all of us getting
out of bed today and assuming
someone else's identity.
I already had my mind set to
be Brad Pit when I learned the
true purpose of the observance.
In reality it's part of "Project
Be Someone" which encourages
people to discover their inner
power to standup for both
themselves and their friends.
Sometimes people are too
timid to speak up for themselves
but promoters of the day believe
everyone can and should be heard!
In essence it's a day for
everyone to be themselves and be
proud of it!
I agree! But I sure would have
liked being Brad Pitt for just a little
Hope you're yourself and that
all your NEWS is good!
Thursday, July 19, 2018
FRIDAY, JULY 20TH., 2018
THE DINING CAR!
If you haven't yet taken the Trolley
excursion from the Electric City
Trolley Museum in Scranton do yourself
a favor and get on board!
The excursion itself is enjoyable. An
hour round trip from downtown Scranton
to the RailRider's Baseball Stadium on
You'll pass the entrance to an historic
coal mine, look up Nay Aug Gorge, and
ride through a mile long tunnel, the
longest interurban tunnel in the country!
There's a stop at the Trolley Barn,
near the stadium, that holds a hidden
It's a trolley that was, at one time,
turned into a Diner!
The trolley once rode the rails in the
city of Scranton. After it was taken out
of service it was hauled away and
converted into a Diner. Eventually
the entire street car was surrounded by
walls as the Diner became a much larger
Thankfully someone remembered
and when the restaurant was abandoned
and the walls were being dismantled the
trolley was rediscovered and saved from
the junk yard.
It's the only Scranton trolley in the
museum's collection and volunteers have
been working to restore it to its original
condition so, eventually, it will once
again ride the rails in Scranton!
That could come as soon as next
I don't know if you'll be able to
buy your lunch on board when it's
running again. But you'll be able to
relive a part of history that lead to
Scranton's designation as "The Electric
Hope to see you on board soon
and that all your NEWS is good!
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
THURSDAY, JULY 19TH., 2018
HOW DO YOU PLEAD!
Everyday I see anniversary photos
on Facebook and I always like to
congratulate the couples involved.
If they're married less than 50
years, our next milestone come April,
I usually refer to them as "kids."
But today's message is aimed at
those who are noting their first year
You see today, July 19th., is
"National Fitch Day."
I'm not pretending to be an
expert on this subject (Fitch Day
that is) so I'm going to share this
information from anydayguide.com.
is an informal
holiday dedicated to an ancient English
custom that dates back to at least the 14th
century. A flitch is a measurement of bacon,
now known as a slab. In England, married
couples were awarded a flitch of bacon if
they did not repent on their marriage for a
year and a day. A couple would come to monks
and stand a mock trial to prove they had been
loving and faithful to one another for one year
They also had to convince the jury they
wanted to remain married.
I guess, in a sense, it was a sort of
"Escape Claus" for anybody who felt he or
she had made a mistake.
But those who remained loyal got
themselves a slab of bacon. That eventually
became a half a pig!
The custom actually made it here
to America. But it didn't catch on! I wonder
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18TH., 2018
HOT DIGGITY DOG!
Welcome to July 18th everybody. Since
it falls on the third Wednesday of July it is
also National Hot Dog Day!
The National Hot Dog and Sausage
Council created this day and hold an
annual hot dog lunch in Washington, DC.
I have always been a big fan of hot
dogs! And nearly every town has at
least one place well know for its
wieners and/or chili sauce!
People in Wilkes-Barre, for instance,
always talk about Abe's Hot Dogs. That
can get confusing because there are
Abe's Hot Dog Restaurants in Kingston
and Mountaintop as well as Wilkes-
Sunbury has the "Squeeze In," a
shop that, as its name implies, has
limited room for customers inside but
features a curb side window for walk
If you've ever taken the first
exit in New Jersey after crossing the
Delaware River you may have come
across "Hot Dog Johnnies." That stand
is famous for it's pickle topped hog
dogs and Buttermilk on the side.
The city of Pittston has the
Majestic Lunch/ Like many of the
other establishments I've mentioned
it's got a window which allows
customers to see the dogs on the
grill as they're frying. Pretty tempting!
We took our 2-year-old grandson in
to get a hot dog one day and he
liked it so much he asked for
Scranton has not one but two
"Coney Island" hot dog restaurants.
They're only a block apart but are
not at all connected except for their
claim that both offer the original
receipt from the city;s original
Here in Plains Township the
foot long hot dogs at Toronys have
been a community favorite for years.
They began with a road side
stand that was always crowded and
eventually moved to a bigger
facility. Now they've moved again
and, while still in the Township,
most customers will tell you they
miss the original road side stand.
As a Hazleton native I admit
being partial to "Jimmy's" hot dogs.
Guess it's a "home town taste thing."
You probably know about
others I haven't mentioned. And
you probably have your own favorite.
Anyway it's a perfect day to
enjoy a good hot dog at your favorite
stand. If nothing else, grab a stick and
roast your own over an open fire.
Hope you remember the
mustard and that all your NEWS is
Monday, July 16, 2018
TUESDAY, JULY 17TH., 2018
MY DAY OFF!
It might seem strange reading that
a "retired" guy took a day off. But that's
exactly what I did Monday.
My weekly program on Electric City
Television was pre-recorded and my wife
and I weren't scheduled to host any trips
for Travelworld this week so the schedule
Usually that might have lead to a top
down drive in the Miata but those near
90 temperatures and the extremely high
humidity makes breathing a bit difficult
for me. Since I enjoy breathing quite a lot
I decided to do it inside near the air
How could I ever expect the
decision would link me up with an old
friend! But there he was! On my television
in old fashion black and white!
Roy Rogers! King of the Cowboys!
It's been 20 years since Roy rode off
into the sunset and many more since he
and his wife Dale Evans graced a TV or
movie theater screen. But Roy used to
attract me to my neighborhood theater
every time one of his adventures was
featured on the big screen. I loved
seeing him and his faithful horse
"Trigger." Dale was OK but I didn't
much go for those mushy scenes
Looking back most of the plots
were nearly identical. But I never really
noticed back then. Perhaps their simplicity
was part of the charm. It wasn't until I
got older that I started to wonder how
all those cowboys were getting 30 and 40
shots out of their 6 shooters!
You could always tell the bad guys
from the good guys (usually by the color
of their hats). And, in the end, the good guys
always won the day!
In his westerns Roy was always the
good guy. It was really great to share some
90 minutes with him on my day off. It
brought back a lot of good memories!
Hope all your trails are happy and
all your NEWS is good!
Sunday, July 15, 2018
MONDAY, JULY 16TH., 2018
FORE! (MAKE THAT THREE!)
A funny thing happened on the way
to the ice cream stand yesterday.
My wife spotted a mini golf course
we hadn't visited in quite some time.
She wondered if it was still open and,
if so, if my grandson and one of our
granddaughters would be interested
in playing a round.
The response was positive so we
There's a golfing term called
"honors." It usually signifies which
player is going first.
At this course, however, admission
is done by honors. There's no attendant
so players simply pick from a selection
of putters and different colored golf
balls then place their admission in a
safe box near the equipment.
Everything started off well and
our group was pretty well matched.
It was hot as we started. Probaby
around 90. But by the 9th hole I
began to realize I was playing with
a handicapp. Not a "shot handicap"
but, rather, an age handicap!
My stamina is not quite as tough
as the two teens or my wife so I decided
to turn the fore some into a three some
and moved to the air conditioning in
Taking the maximum number
of strokes as a penalty on the holes
I skipped may have cost me the round.
But I'll live to play again. And to enjoy
the ice cream!
Hope you're all up to par in this
heat and humidity and that all your
NEWS is good!
Saturday, July 14, 2018
SUNDAY, JULY 15TH., 2018
DON'T GUM IT UP!
There's an old children's song (the
song is old, not the children) that
goes something like this......."Nobody
likes me, Everybody hates me, Guess
I'll go out an eat worms!"
Well whether you're loved or
hated this is the day to live the song!
It's July 15th! This is "Gummi
Now so that we're completely
accurate here, Gummi Worms
were actually preceded by the
original Gummi Bears!
This must have been a part of
childhood I missed. I do remember
all kinds of licorice, red, brown, and
black, and candy like Dots and
Good & Plenty with a licorice type
My two youngest grandkids are
always on the look out for Gummies
so we now keep, or try to keep, a
supply on hand. I admit to sampling
it from time to time.
Speaking of time, here is the
They first showed up in Germany
in 1922. It wasn't until 1981 that
the first Gummi Bears were
manufactured here in the United States!
That would explain the fact I never had
them. I was 39 when they finally
showed up here!
The Gummi Worm was introduced that
same year. And the rest, as they say,
These days manufactures have, in some
cases, added Vitamin C, to the worms, or
bears, or other creatures now offered to
hungry kid consumers.
Of course these treats tend to stick to
the teeth and can lead to tooth decay!
Dentists love them!
But wait! Gummi Bears and Worms
containing the cavity-fighting additive
xylitol, a type of wood sugar, are now
being tested. And one company has
developed a line of gummi candy which
is proved to help the immune system !
Wow! These Worms are sounding
better and better all the time!
So take some time to celebrate
today! Have a pack of Gummi Worms!
And if worms aren't your thing remember
that thanks to good old American
ingenuity we now have Gummi
rings, frogs, snakes, hamburgers, cherries,
sharks, penguins, hippos, lobsters,
octopuses, apples, peaches, oranges, and,
of course, the old standby Gummi Bear!
Hope you can get the little pieces out
of your teeth and that all your NEWS
Friday, July 13, 2018
SATURDAY, JULY 14TH., 2018
REMEMBERING THE REAL MR. PEANUT!
A lot of people around these parts have fond
memories of Mr. Peanut, proudly representing
the Planter's Peanut Company, walking around
Public Square and South Main Street in downtown
But today is a day set aside to honor the real
"Mr. Peanut." George Washington Carver!
Born into slavery, Carver became a scientist,
botanist, educator, and inventor. And his
specialty was peanuts!
Carver came up with 105 food recipes using
I'll wager he was the guy who came up with
my favorite. The peanut butter and jelly
sandwich! I have them often....now that I've
learned it's better to spread the peanut butter
first! I used to have trouble getting it on top of
Anyway, Carver didn't stop with using peanuts
for food. This guy developed and promoted about
100 products made from peanuts!
They included cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics
and even gasoline! Why aren't we still using that
today! We could fill up for, literally, peanuts!!!!
Peanuts are powerful! If you doubt it consider
the fact that another of Carver's "Peanut based
inventions" was nitroglycerin!!!!!
You can't buy that in a bag at the Old Ball
A crowd of about a thousand people will
descend on the George Washington Carver
National Monument in Diamond, Mo. today
for the annual Carver Day ceremonies.
Since it's a little late for you to get there
you might want to break out a jar of Skippy
and have your own celebration!
I'd stay clear of the Nitro though!
Hope you've got some "Chunky" on hand
and that your sandwich....and all your NEWS