Archive for the ‘pennsylvania’ Tag

03-05-2016 Journal–Spring, Here or Not?   Leave a comment


Here we are, it’s the first week of March and everyone in Maine is in a tizzy about an early Spring.  I’ve been fooled too many times by that little rodent from Punxatawney, PA.  Living in Maine has given me a new respect for good old Mother Nature.   She can make a fool of us very easily it seems.  So I thought I’d come up with a few telltale signals to help me make my own decision. How to tell if an early Spring will be coming to Maine. Here they are.

  • The morning doves arrived this week, a few months ahead of schedule. Maybe they know something I don’t but then again they’re just stupid birds.
  • The daffodils are an inch high and going strong even though the night temperatures have remained in the mid-twenties.
  • I actually observed a number of groundhog loving idiots wearing shorts, T-shirts, and flip flops in the last few weeks. Morons!
  • I’ve also spotted large numbers of maple syrup collection pots going onto maple trees all over the area.


‘Old-school equipment.’


‘New high-tech equipment.’


‘End Result’

  • The ice fishing huts are off the lakes and sitting on shore. The ice is either gone completely or too soft to walk on.


  • Snowmobiles throughout the area have been parked in driveways with “For Sale” signs attached.  Always a telling sign.
  • The squirrels are out in large numbers already as reflected by the increased number of road kills I’ve been observing.
  • While road kill numbers for squirrels are up so are the number of bicyclists on the roads. Riding through piles of dirty snow must give them some kind of a perverse thrill.
  • Of course the crazy and obsessive joggers and power walkers seem to be everywhere all of a sudden. It’s a real chore trying to drive on the roads filled with joggers, walkers, bicycles, squirrels, and the slowly melting piles of dirty snow.
  • And finally now that the parka’s, gloves, scarfs, and sweaters are coming off I can once again begin my girl watching campaign for 2016.  For most of the winter it’s hard to tell who are the men and who are the women.

I suppose I should mention that when I woke up this morning I walked over to the window to check things out. To my chagrin we had just enough of a snowfall during the night to whiten everything.  This is Spring? I think not.


Lesson #1 – Ignore weather forecasts made by groundhogs who don’t live in the state of Maine.


02-02-2016 – Retro TV Trivia Answers!   Leave a comment


But first a quick announcement:

Another year has come and gone and it’s again time to give the big one-fingered salute to our old friend “Phil” sitting comfortably atop Gobbler’s Knob in Punxatawney, PA.  A second salute also goes out to each and every one of the political hacks, suck-ups, and talking heads trying to make a splash on the local media.  For me it doesn’t take a stupid groundhog to tell me there’ll be six more weeks of winter.  I have a dumb-ass cat that can figure that one out.



Now back to the trivia answers:

Some of you and I won’t mention any names (Sylvia) made a valiant attempt to coerce some trivia answers out of me yesterday. I may be cheap but I’m not easy but nice try anyway.  Here they are.


1.  123 1/2 Sesame Street.

2.  Four.

3.  The Church of What’s Happening Now.

4.  A policeman, a minor role.

5.  John Wayne, who then recommended his little known actor friend James Arness for the role.

6.  Happy Days.

7.  From it’s star, Redd Foxx, who was born John Elroy Sanford.

8.  The USS Yorktown.

9.  Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, Betty Jo, and uncle Joe.

10. Perry Masonry.

BONUS ANSWER – At  age 30, after 12 years as a  platinum blonde and 18 as a natural brunette.


I hope you had fun trying to figure these out.  The next list will be posted in a week or so and I’ll make sure they’re as just as difficult.


01-12-2013   2 comments

While shopping in a local supermarket a week ago I was standing in line at the check out and listened to two store employees discussing the company and the general lack of a  ‘work ethic’ by the younger associates.  I was a bit taken aback hearing it loudly discussed where it could be heard by many nearby customers.  ‘Work ethic’ is obviously not the companies only issues along with a lack of company pride, morale, and loyalty.

I understand that loyalty to any company is almost impossible to create in today’s retail atmosphere but that doesn’t make it any less important.  Also, the basics of success never change.  Word hard, be on time, play well with others, and speak well of your company (even if you don’t mean it). That’s a “politically correct” basic law of employment these days and unless you realize it your screwed.  They’ll be plenty of time after you retire, get laid off, or fired for you to make your opinions heard.  ‘Work ethic’ is something you hopefully learn from your role models as you grow up and then pass along to your children.

I’ve always had an excellent ‘work ethic’ which was taught to me by my father. He was a man who I always considered to be a force of nature.  He was big, strong, and opinionated and never feared to speak his mind to anyone about anything.  Both sides of my family tree were blue collar immigrants to the US who settled in western Pennsylvania to work in the coal mines, steel mills, glass plants, and farms.  I watched them march off to the mines and mills every day at 5:00 am and return home filthy and exhausted at 6:00 pm or later.  Family was everything  then  and caring for them was every adult’s priority.

I was about seven when my father’s union went on strike.  He didn’t receive unemployment insurance just a small stipend from the union’s strike fund.  The strike was mean and nasty and seemed to go on forever.  My dad was forced to find a part-time job to bring in enough money for the basics.  There was at that time a government “surplus food program” but that only supplied us with ten pounds of processed cheese every couple of weeks, a box of powdered milk, and containers of my all-time favorite, powdered eggs.  We survived on that awful stuff because we had no choice. To this day I still crave that damn processed cheddar cheese.

My dad found his part-time job delivering coal.  This was back in the day when almost every household heated their homes with coal. He would arrive at the mine at 5:30 am, pick up a dump truck and a load of coal and begin his daily deliveries.  He worked between ten and twelve hours a day to make on a good day fifteen dollars.  He would arrive at the client’s home, remove sections of a metal chute from the truck, clip them together to reach the coal chute going into the house. He would then tip the truck bed up and push the coal down the chute and into the residence.  He collected the money from the homeowner and proceeded on to the next house.  At the end of the day he turned in the money at the mine and went home.

I was about seven years old and I wanted to spend time with my dad and to help him.  So I bugged him to death to take me to work with him and he finally agreed. So about twice a week I would ride along to help my dad (I wasn’t much help) deliver coal throughout the neighboring communities. He did all the work and I tried to help. We’d get home late, filthy dirty from the coal dust and hungry enough to even eat those crappy powered eggs. 

I saw what hard work really was watching my dad.  He never complained (around us kids) and always did what was needed to take care of his family. He returned to work after the strike without bitching or complaining and never looked back. He worked for that same employer for another thirty five years moving his way up the food chain from laborer to running the Maintenance Department for the entire factory.  He eventually took his well deserved pension, retired, and lived out the remainder of his life a reasonably happy person.

Those memories are what created in me a good solid “work ethic”.  It made me something of an over-achiever and that stayed with me throughout my own career  until my retirement a few years ago.  Everyone should be so lucky to have role models like mine.  I never heard the term ‘work ethic’ used until I was in the work force as an adult. It’s something I never really thought much about because it was ingrained in me at such a early age.

I’m not here to complain about todays younger generations who have an entirely new list of issues to deal with.  I know I’m glad I’m not their age and just starting out.  That doesn’t change the fact that the basic approach for success remains the same, generation to generation.   Life and work are never going to be easy and they shouldn’t be.  If you become successful through your own hard work and effort and it’s too easy, you never properly appreciate it. 

Just my humble opinion.

11-03-2012 (2)   2 comments

Today has been a relaxing and nice day. I accomplished more than I was anticipating which is always a pleasant surprise. I attempted to take a short walk earlier but good sense prevailed. I’ve never seen so many hunters in our area before. Cars are parked along the roads and the poor hunters must be having a terrible time of it. I haven’t heard a single gun shot all day which isn’t a good sign for them.

I’ve never been much of a hunter but I come from a family who celebrated deer hunting season like it was a religious holiday. In western Pennsylvania the schools are virtually empty on the first day of deer season and students aren’t even penalized for missing classes.

My father made his pilgrimage to the wilds of northern PA every year for a week of male bonding with his buddies, some good camp chili, a keg of beer, and if they were lucky a couple of deer corpses. I was invited once when I was a teenager but declined for ever after. I just never saw the point. From that day forward I was officially an outcast from all hunting discussions and related war stories at our family gatherings. Thank God my nephew Mike loved hunting and was able to join my father and the boys on their annual safari and I was forever off the hook.

I was reintroduced to the lifestyle of the hunter about five minutes after I arrived in Maine with my moving van. I stopped to gas up the U-Haul and when I walked into the gas station the first thing I saw were hundreds of photo’s tacked to the walls of customers with their deer kill. The owner saw me looking and I had to smile nicely and listen to his favorite deer killing saga with him directing me to the appropriate photo of him in his camo outfit.

This indoctrination continued nonstop for quite a few years until I finally gave up the fight. I still refuse to hunt but I can now talk about it up with best of them. My dad would have been so proud.