Sunday, January 21, 2018

Organizing My Memories

Some of the pictures I'm organizing, finally

For long time now I've had organizing my photos and videos hanging over my head. 

Just when I have figured out how to navigate the latest version of my computer's photo software, Apple comes up with a new version. Then I'm on a whole new learning curve. And you know how that goes. At this time in my life I'm trying to minimize learning new procedures. My brain just isn't as agile as it once was (or ever).  

I have 89,731 photos and 4,544 videos on my iMac. Yes folks, that's how many I have. 

More than a few are duplicates but most of them are originals. 

I still have hundreds if not thousands of old photos to scan to my computer.  

And why do I do this? At one time I thought I would leave a history behind me when I depart this dear earth.  But I now realize that nobody in my family (that I know of) cares. I'm just old "Uncle Ronnie", the gay guy who lives in Delaware.  

The last year or so I've come to realize I have these photos and videos for me to enjoy while I'm alive. I also like to select some and send them some friends who I know would appreciate them.  This year I sent several photo books to my former high school classmate who appreciated them greatly. And that's all I need folks, some appreciation. I know I would LOVE to have someone send me some old photos.  Alas that will never happen but that's human nature. I understand that now.  

I've come to terms with that reality.

At first I felt saddened but not now. One of the truly wonderful things about aging is that things I used to care about, things that upset me, no longer do.  Why worry about things I can't change?  

Now I have good news.  My new friend (and Apple computer specialist) Mike W. has helped me to understand how Photo works on my iMac. 

The last week I've been spending an average of about three hours a day organizing my photos and videos into folders. I'm on a roll folks!  What a good feeling!

A few months ago I got all my VHS videos tapes transferred to flash drives at a cost of over $1000.  A big bite to be sure but well worth it. I will transfer all those videos to YouTube.  Who knows?  There may be a future relative of mine who will find them of interest. At least those memories will be there after I'm gone.  That was a big relief when I completed that task.

Once I get these photos and videos organized my next big task will be to clean out my media room in the basement where I have many more "things" to sort. I know there are some treasures just waiting for to be discovered. 

Yes folks, this is what I was going to do when I retired.  I'm so glad I'm finally doing it.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Favorite Commercials

As a marketing major in college, I take particular interest in commercials. 

There are many types of commercials (rather obvious comment but I had to make it). Most commercials annoy me. Of course most of those annoying commercials are meant to annoy. They want you to remember them.  I do and I make sure I don't buy their product.  That's my little way of getting back.

I hear a lot of commercials because I have the TV on as background "wallpaper" while I'm pounding away at my computer keyboard as I am doing now. I tuned out most of those annoying commercials either in my mind of the really annoying commercials I hit the mute button on my TV remote control.

This morning I heard a new commercial that is immediately one of my favorites.  It's a GEICO commercial.  Some of the GEICO commercials are just plain stupid but I find this one rather clever. Made me laugh out loud. This is a commercial we can all identify with, driving and traffic and frustration. "Hey! We're all got places to go!"  Yes, indeed we are. (smile)

What do you think? Am I off or what?

"Big man with the horn."

Yes, I know, I have a weird sense of humor. That's what makes me SO interesting.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Palm Springs Bloogerpalooza!

Blogger Buddies in Palm Springs at Mt. Jacinto last year - we get together again this year with a few more friends

Next month a few of my best blogger friends will gather in Palm Springs, California for a Bloogerpalooza.  What fun!

Tram riders to Mt. Jacinto
Our last Bloogerpalooza was held right here in Delaware three years ago. Again, I continue to be amazed at how fast time goes by.  

This Bloggerpalooza wasn't planed as a Bloogerpalooza but that's what I'm calling it.  Why? Because we're all blogger friends.

This is who will be there:

Me and Pat (of course)
Spo and Someone
Larry and Tim
Doug and Leon
And last but not least, Fearsome Beard

Fearsome Beard

All are invited.  We (me and Pat) will be in Palm Springs February 14th through February 22nd, 2018 (next month).  

Spo and Someone have slightly different dates as do the other guys but we will all over lap. Last year Pat and I just happened to be in Palm Springs at the same time as Spo and Someone. We had the great honor of attending Spo and Someone's wedding. 

Spo and Someone's Wedding in Palm Springs 2017

This year there is no wedding, that I know of. But we will all gather for good fellowship and a fabulous time as only blogger friends and older gay guys can.  

Pat at a vegan cafe in Palm Springs last year - we'll be back this year!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Oil Change

Me with "Elle" yesterday at the garage to get my oil change

Still recovering from snowmageddon from over a week ago. The roads are mostly clear but we still have four feet high snow banks along the sides of our roads.

Yesterday we went to Kenny's Garage in Milton to get my oil changed in my Subaru Forester.  I also wanted to get my battery checked. Lately I've been having a slow start to my beloved Subaru Forester. God, I don't want to be stuck someplace with a dead battery.

I had called "Kenny" of Kenny's Garage a couple of days ago.  Kenny told me I could stop by at 8:30 in the morning. That I did. As I drove into their sooty snow banked narrow driveway a young man who was rounding the corner of the building looked at me and said "Can I help you?"  I said "I'm here to get my oil changed and have my battery checked. I made arrangements with Kenny to stop by this morning."  He said "Come on in, I'll take care of you."

When I went inside the building I noticed the furniture was arranged differently and a different dog. Kenny had a very friendly yellow lab. This time I was greeted by a Winston Churchill looking English bulldog.  She was also very friendly, liked to be petted just like Kenny's yellow lab.

I asked "Herb" (the young man's name) what happened to Kenny.  He said "Kenny sold his business to me."  Well, that was interesting. That explained the different furniture arrangement (not as comfortable as Kenny's) and the different dog.

I turned the keys over to my car and Bill and I sat down on the uncomfortable, hard, plastic chairs in the cold room to wait.  Herb checked my batter and told me I did indeed need a new battery.  Thank goodness I had this checked.  One of my fears is my car conking out in the BJ's parking lot. I am a member of AAA (sine 1982) but I've never used their services. Not that I don't want to, but I would prefer to be prepared rather than depend on a rescue.  

Herb said he was out of Subaru batteries because he had replaced so many during this cold snap but if I could wait he could have one delivered from Georgetown, some twenty miles away.  Bill and I settled in to wait.

About an hour later we were out of there.  Dental appointment was next. That went well.

Later in the afternoon I get a call from Kenny.  He said "Are you coming down?"  I replied "I stopped by this morning and had my oil changed and battery replaced."  Kenny told me "Oh, didn't you know?  I'm operating out of my home now."  Well, no I didn't know.  I am reminded of the quote from "Cool Hand Luke."  "What we have here is a failure to communicate."  

Just another day in the life folks. Never a dull moment, or day, or week. Who said retirement was boring?

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Trapped By The Cold and Snow and Ice

Our sun drenched living room yesterday - nice passive solar heat and with help from our gas propane fireplace which we leave on most of the day during cold snaps like we're having now

Yes, we're still trapped by the cold (five degrees this morning), snow and ice. 

We haven't been out in our car since I returned Wednesday night after 10 o'clock, just as this winter snowstorm (snowmageddon) was dropping a foot of snow on our bucolic home.

Bill was out yesterday chipping away at the ice near our garage. I have to get out tomorrow to work at the hotel.

The temperatures are forecast to rise later this week, all the way up to 61 degrees on Thursday. We can only hope! I've had enough of the snow and ice and cold. 

This kind of weather is unusual for us here on the coastal shore of the southern Delmarva peninsula. Usually, if we get snow it's just a dusting that goes away the next day.  But ever few years we get a dumping of snow like we had this past week. I hope this is the last of the snow for the winter.

Rain is also forecast for Thursday when the temperatures are rising to 61 degrees. Wash that snow away and back to normal.

California is a few days closer to my arrival.

Housebound Ron - relaxing for a few minutes yesterday in my wing chair

Friday, January 05, 2018

Snowed In - Cabin Fever

Here we are at the aftermath of our first major winter storm. Bill is outside shoveling the driveway.  The temperature is a frigid 14 degrees.

Yesterday I spent most of the day in our fireplace and gas propane warmed house at my computer. I reviewed all 846 photos from my Tipton family reunion of 2011. Now to take the next step and upload those photos to Shutterfly and share with relatives who attended that reunion.  I meant to share these photos sooner but you know how time gets away from you.  Wow.  That seven years went by fast.

I haven't been out of the house since I returned from work at the hotel Wednesday night, just as the snow was starting to fall, sideways.  No need to go out, I have enough pita chips and hummus to last me for at least a week.

Tomorrow the temperature is forecast to drop to ONE DEGREE.  Hey folks, no fan of winter Arctic temperatures here.  My two week winter escape to California can't come soon enough. I just hope that when my flight takes off Sunday February 11th that the roads are clear to Philly International airport.  I don't want any delay to my annual Winter Escape. 


I heard a motor so I looked out the window. There it was! A very generous neighbor is using his snowblower to clear out our driveway. Bill was out there earlier shoveling. I don't shovel. My lame excuse is that I fear falling but really I just don't like the cold. I would just as well prefer to wait for the snow to melt.  Yep, I'm lazy and a wuss. Now that I have made my mea culpa, I am so thankful to that neighbor who just cleared out our driveway with his snowblower.  

Thank you!

Now for lunch and a afternoon nap in my solar heated bedroom.

Thursday, January 04, 2018


A storm coming and I'm right in the track!

The snow is here!  

When I was a kid, I looked forward to snow storms because he got off from school. Well, those days are LONG gone folks. These days, I DO NOT look forward to snow storms.  In fact, I hate snow.  Not only for the inconvenience but because to me, at my advanced age (76) and advancing arthritis, I am in great danger of falling and seriously injuring myself. Three years ago I did just that, I fell leaving work at the hotel and tore my quadricep muscle in my left leg. To fix that fall, I had to have major surgery to tie that quadricep muscle back and twelve weeks for recuperation to grow the muscle tissue back.  My left still isn't right but at least I can use my leg. Folks, I don't want a repeat of that accident.

I was scheduled to work today at the hotel.  I called my boss at the hotel and offered to stay overnight last night at the hotel so I wouldn't have to drive in the snow today. One of my co-workers offered to work for me today if I would take her shift last night.  How generous of her!  Thank you!

I went in last night with the understanding that I would leave at the sight of the first snow flakes which were scheduled to start fluttering around ten o'clock.  My normal shift end is eleven o'clock. I didn't want a repeat of a few years ago when I left too late and almost got caught in the blinding snow.  I'm not religious and I don't pray but I was praying that night traveling down that snow covered road in the sideways snow. Praying that I would get home safe.  I did.  I vowed that I would never put myself in that situation again. And I haven't.  

Last night the snow started to fall about 9:40 pm.  I quickly did the night audit, locked up the hotel, called my boss to inform him I was leaving and I took off on the lightly covered snow covered roads.  I made it home just in time.  Even though the hotel where I work is quite comfortable, there is no place like home.  This was the scene outside my bedroom window before I went to bed last night. This major winter snow storm was just getting started. And I was out of it. Relief!

Very pretty for sure. But I was so glad I was home in my warm and comfortable bedroom.

I had a good night's sleep. This was the scene outside my bedroom window when I woke up this morning.

The storm tracker this morning. East coast covered!

 Just as I expected folks. Total white out. 

I'm not going anywhere today. Or tomorrow or maybe even the day after. I don't have to go back to work until Monday. Hopefully by then all this paralyzing white stuff will have been neutralized.

I love my river birch trees. Winter, spring, summer and fall. Always beautiful. Check them out this morning swaying in the snow storm gusts of wind. Beautiful! Glad I'm not out in it though.

I ventured out on our back deck this morning in the sideways snow to experience this rare snow storm (for southern Delaware) first hand. Bit cold folks. And again, I am SO GLAD I don't have to go to work or go out in this dangerous time. I can't afford another fall. 

It's days like this folks when I really appreciate my good fortune and circumstance in life. I have a secure and comfortable home. Secure that is as long as some idiot driver doesn't crash into one of those electrical poles along our roads down here. Seems as if every snow storm someone is out driving about and ends up sliding and crashing into one of those electric power posts knocking out power for hundreds. The question I always ask "What is SO important that ANYONE has to be driving around in weather like this?" Probably someone who ran out of cigarettes and out to buy some more. I doubt if doctors are crashing into utility poles.  

So here I stay today folks. I hope all of you, are also in a good place today.  And for those of you who aren't experiencing this snow, I'll be with you next month.  Yes, Pat and I will be in sunny California for two whole weeks!  Yipee! Can't wait to experience that dry heat of Palm Springs.

Stay safe and warm everyone!