Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Just 1 more step

Today the Senate Executive Committee voted HB75 (the marriage equality bill) out of committee and onto the Senate floor!  

This means there is just 1 more step to go: a vote by the Senate which is expected next week.  If you are a Delaware resident, please click here to urge your Senator to vote 'Yes' next week.  As you might imagine, I have sent numerous emails to my Senator and have encouraged my friends to do the same.

Many thanks to Equality Delaware for doing such a great job of energizing the public, urging contact with Senators, and keeping everyone informed.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend highlights

Sat evening Spouse & I met up with our friends Vic & Mike for dinner.  We ate at Saketumi.

Vic & Mike live in the same city in VA where Spouse & I used to live, and ironically, they live in the same neighborhood too, although they moved there after we'd moved away.  We met Vic when he was with Dawson and lived elsewhere in that town.  Vic & Mike moved into a house just 3 streets over from mine & Spouse's 1st house.

Vic & Mike bought a condo here at the beach about 2 years ago and we've gotten together with them a few times.  They are very nice guys, and they have 2 miniature dachshunds so our conversations over dinner included lots of dog stories.  They had never eaten at Saketumi before so we were happy to introduce them to 1 of our favorite places to eat.

Sun afternoon Kerry & Hugh stopped in for a visit.  They had been to Ocean City to open up their condo for the upcoming rental season, and stopped here before heading home.  The weather was nice so we wound up visiting on the back porch for a while, and then went for a late lunch/early dinner at Pickled Pig Pub.  It was really nice to visit with them, as always.

That evening we went to Steven & Thad's for a small cook-out.  Spouse made potato salad and Steven grilled burgers, Italian sausage, hotdogs, and pork chops on the grill.  Joe P & 1 of the Bobs came too.  We had a tasty dinner and lively conversations.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Ugh... last night my laptop got infected with a virus.  

I was poking around the internet and all the sudden a weird screen flashed on for a mili-second, and then I got this bogus screen saying something about the FBI was watching my computer because of possible copyright infringement, child pornography, or some other fake reasons.  

I pressed the escape key and every other key in an effort to free up my computer but it didn't work.  I couldn't reboot, restart, or even power down the normal way.  I pushed and held the power button until the laptop shut off.  When I restarted it I got the same bogus FBI screen.

So I had to take it to the repair shop today.  I begged and pleaded with them to rush it since the thought of being without a computer at home is frightening to me in all honesty, but from my explanation of the issue they doubted they would have it done today.

So I will cross my fingers they will be able to fix it tomorrow and that it won't cost too much.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Going green

I've written several times about easy ways of 'going green'.  "Reuse, reduce, recycle" is my mantra.

From reusing construction materials, to cleaner alternative energy sources, to recycling everything the City will allow, I believe it is all worthwhile, even if some of it takes a little extra time or effort.

My latest 'green' technique involves how I take my lunch to work.  Since I usually make a sandwich, I used to put it into a name-brand plastic bag that zipped closed.  I started to feel guilty throwing the bag away each day after eating the sandwich.  For a while I washed the bag out, left it to dry, and reused it again the next day, but this became more and more inconvenient as there was no 'good' way to dry the bag.  It was becoming quite labor-intensive.

So I switched to a smaller, thinner plastic bag that not only used less plastic, but also cost less.  This worked well and I felt less guilty throwing away the smaller, thinner plastic bag knowing it took less to create it.  Still I wanted to find an easy, convenient way to produce even less trash for the landfill.

Then I discovered this:
Its a square plastic, resealable, reusable sandwich storage box.  It is extremely easy to wipe the inside of the box with a damp sponge and dry it with a dish towel in just seconds.  Once a week I toss it in the dishwasher to sanitize it.  It keeps my sandwich (or left overs from dinner) fresh and creates NO trash going into the landfill.

I love that I have eliminated roughly 22 plastic bags from going into the landfill every month, and that the effort to do so was minimal.  

Reusing, reducing, and recycling are a way of thinking as much as a way of behaving.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Swimming pool

If you didn't eve realize there was a swimming pool in this photo, you might be gay.

Friday, April 19, 2013

4-letter word

There are 3 outlet centers near us which contain designer factory stores like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, etc.  Spouse & I usually stop in our favorites once a month to scavenge the clearance racks for incredible finds.  Sometimes we walk about carrying a bag or 2, while others times we're empty-handed.  Its all good.

Yesterday evening we stopped in at the Kenneth Cole factory store and saw they were having a store closing sale!  The young lady working the store told us they are planning to reopen in a smaller store when one becomes available.  But for now they are liquidating everything.

My favorite 4-letter word is SALE!!  We never pay full price for anything and actually enjoy purchases even more when we get them at deep discounts, so this sale had our names written all over it.

Everything in the store was at least 50% off the lowest ticket price.  The clearance items (orange tickets) were 75% off.  If the store wasn't already more than 1/2 empty we probably would have done a lot more damage!

Spouse got 3 pairs of dress shoes and a leather satchal.  I got 1 pair of dress shoes and a leather wallet.  

Ticket prices of everything we got:  $524.  

Amount we paid:  $202.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Marriage equality in DE???

In 2011 Delaware enacted legislation for civil unions to begin in 2012.  While I believe full marriage equality is better, civil unions do provide the same rights are marriage in the state of DE, and it was thought that if civil unions were adopted, it might pave the way for full marriage equality. DE has a wonderfully supportive Governor in Jack Markell.  Over and over he has voiced his support for equality for all Delawareans.

True to his words, last Wed Gov Markell announced that he would introduce marriage equality legislation (HB75) to the Delaware General Assembly that day.  This is step #2 of the process.

Today, 1 week later, HB75 passed by a vote of 4-1 and is out of committee and goes to the House floor!  My friend and fellow blogger Ron gave testimony to the committee about his 49-year relationship which deserves to be legally recognized as a marriage.  That was step #3.
Ron of "Retired in Delaware" talks to the committee

The House is scheduled to vote on HB75 next Tues, 4/23 and the Senate shortly thereafeter, I think.   This is step #4.  If the bill passes, the only remaining step would be Gov Markell's signature, which will make it law.  This would make Delaware the 11th state to grant marriage equality to its citizens. 

Although Spouse & I have a civil union, I believe it will automatically 'convert' to a marriage in Delaware, as has been the case in many other states that started with civil unions before marriage.  I wonder if we will get a new marriage certificate in place of our civil union license?  

My sincere thanks go out to Equality Delaware for all their hard work and communication on this issue.  Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Let's Get (a) Physical

So yesterday I went to the doctor for a physical.  The last time I had a physical was probably about 4-5
years ago, with my old doctor who left his practice to work at a hospital.

Last week I'd stopped at the lab so they could withdraw some blood so the results would be in my doctor's office in time for my physical yesterday.  I expected this physical to go pretty much like my last physical, with a pat on the back and a clean bill of health.

Instead, my doctor said my blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high, my sugar level was high, and my weight was high.

Record scratch.

Wha?????  How could this be?  I don't smoke, I don't drink too much, I don't take recreational drugs, and I don't take any medication on a regular basis.  I'm healthy, dammit!!

While its true that I don't smoke, drink too much or use drugs, I also don't exercise or pay good attention to my diet.  And even if I did, I can't help my genetic predisposition.  Both my parents (ages 77 and 80) have had heart conditions, as did both my grandparents on my father's side.

I think I was in shock for several minutes in the doctor's office.  Then I started to freak out a little.  Just 4 or 5 years ago I was perfectly healthy and now that I'm pushing 50, I'm falling apart at the seams.  What a slap in the face!

But at least its 'fixable'.  I mean, its not like I have terminal cancer or an inoperable tumor.  Perspective.

My doctor talked to me about treatment options like blood pressure and cholesterol medications, as well as diet modification, exercise, and weight loss.  He wanted to start me on the medications immediately but I told him I was committed to diet modification, exercise and weight loss which should reduce my blood pressure and cholesterol naturally.  We agreed to follow up in a month to see if those efforts reduced my levels enough to not need the medication.

Its not that I'm against medication.  I just feel that if I can reduce my levels sufficiently in a natural way I'd prefer to do that over having to take pills the rest of my life.

Today I'm over the shock and have begun sharing this 'news' with some of my friends.  Some confessed that they are taking blood pressure and/or cholesterol medicines already, while another is trying exercise and weight loss first like me.

Now comes the hard part:  reducing or eliminating all the delicious and tasty foods that have contributed to my high blood pressure and cholesterol, which is basically everything that is worth eating.  Anybody have any heart-healthy recipes to share?

And then comes the exercise.  Time to dust off that gym membership.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Scruff in advertising

Have you noticed (as I have) that nearly every commercial nowadays has scruffy-faced men?

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  I love me a man with some scruff.  But I am literally seeing scruffy men in commercials for nearly every product you can imagine.  Just 15 years ago it was totally opposite.  All men in commercials were clean-shaven.

Remember the iconic Diet Coke construction worker commercial from the 90s?

Sure, the guy has some chest hair, but his face is clean-shaven.

Then there's the current Diet Coke commercial.

Same song, but this guy's got a scruffy face.

Not convinced yet?  Then how about Subaru.

Here's a Subaru commercial from the 90s.

Hot guy for back in the day, with a clean-shaven face.

Then there's the current Subaru commercial.

This guy's a dad and not even trying to be hot, but he's got a nice scruff going on.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.  Scruff is in!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hairy chest envy

You may have noticed from many of the images of shirtless men I've posted here that I like hairy chests.  I like facial hair too, but this post is really about hairy chests.

I don't have much hair on my chest, and what hair I do have is light brown so its not very noticeable like darker hair.  I wish I had more chest hair.  (Spouse has no shortage of chest hair which is nice for me.)

You can imagine how delighted I was to find that a retailer would be sympathetic to me and likely thousands of other men with hairy chest envy!
The Chest Hair Sweater!!!

No longer will smooth-chested men have to suffer the shameful looks of others who mock their manliness!

Now every man can have the confidence and swagger he deserves!

It also makes a great GIFT for the not-so-hairy friend!

Monday, April 08, 2013


I wasn't scheduled for office duty on Sat or Sun, so I was kind of "off" from work, except that I had to go into the office and meet a client who was signing an offer which I had to upload to finicky website, then meet another client to let them show their visiting parents the home they are buying.  So I was working from 1-4pm on my "off" day.  Other than that Spouse & I didn't do much on Sat, honestly.  Spouse was feeling kind of lazy and didn't feel like doing anything I suggested.  We did have dinner at Dos Locos with Steven & Thad, Robin, Alisha & Jack, and 1 of the Bobs.  I tried the spicy pork tomatillo burrito and loved it!  Why had I never tried it before?  Its my new favorite item there.  I also had a jalepeno margarita which was muy sabroso.  Afterward we went to Steven & Thad's house for dessert and saw that they had gotten new living room furniture!  Spouse & I both really liked the colors and style.

Not our actual garage
Sun Spouse & I had coffee/breakfast and then decided to be productive.  I had been wanting to clean out and organize the garage for several months but it had been too cold or I'd been too busy.  It was a nice day (close to 60 degrees) so we got started.  I acquiesced to Spouse's insistence that I throw away the pile of odds and ends that didn't sell at my yard sale 3 years ago.  I'd been saving them for the next yard sale, but decided to "just be done" with the stuff and tossed them into the trash can.  There was nothing of any real value; just stuff that I thought might fetch a dollar at a yard sale.  I also organized the salvaged construction materials from when the side porch was removed and the garage addition built. I have a project in mind that will utilize some of the materials and just can't bear to throw away good wood.  I will offer the remnants to my neighbors and handymen I know.  Now that the materials are organized and stacked, they take up less space and I know exactly what's there.  I also organized the stuff so that all the Christmas stuff is together on 1 side of the garage and all the construction stuff is on the opposite side.  I swept the garage and threw away the cardboard boxes that lay on the garage floor (absorbing Big Ella's drips) and replaced them with new boxes.  It didn't take that long and I feel so much better about the organization of the stuff.  Now I know that if I need the pruning shears or a hammer, I will be able to find them.  After completing the task I learned that April is National Garage Organization Month!!  Leave it to ME to be on-trend.

Sun I also received a response from a potential buyer via email, wanting to see a home on Sun afternoon, so I cleaned up and met them for a showing.  They were very nice; looking for a vacation home since they are outgrowing their vacation travel trailer.

When I got home Spouse & I decided to take Marvin for a walk on the boardwalk.  It was rather warm (again in the 60s) but turned out to be rather windy on the boardwalk so we still needed jackets.  Marvin seemed to really enjoy the walk and the exposure to different people, dogs, and smells.  We stopped at Lowes on the way home to walk through their garden center.  We are planning to freshen up our yard for Spring and wanted to see if there were any unusual/interesting low-maintenance plants on sale.  We left empty-handed.

That evening we went to Steven & Thad's for pizza. Our friend Michael was there, and we enjoyed teasing him about his new long-distance boyfriend's 1st visit here in a few weeks.  He says he's not letting him anywhere NEAR us!  For dessert we ate what was left over from the night before.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Karaoke update

I hadn't been to karaoke since Christmas.  The Blue Moon closed for the month of January for renovations, Spouse & I went to Puerto Vallarta in Feb, I was sick for about 3 weeks, then I was tied up with the blogger meet-up weekend followed by Easter weekend.  I finally went back last night.

One of the updates that took place in Jan was a total revamping of the karaoke system.  They used to have 2 binder books, 1 with songs listed by title and the other with songs listed by artist.  You'd write down your song name/number and hand the paper to the karaoke DJ.  The song selection was rather limited too.

Now there are 2 large touch screens where you can view songs either by title or by artist, adjust the key if necessary, and electronically submit your selection directly to the DJ.  The song selection was improved greatly as well.

Mona Lotts, the drag queen hostess of karaoke at the Blue Moon, jokingly provided instructions to patrons suggesting they could select their favorite song AND their sandwich order using the Wawa monitors on the table!

I had a Linda Ronstadt themed night last night, as I sung "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" and "When Will I Be Loved?"  A couple of my friends where there too, and it was lots of fun as usual.

Do any of you sing karaoke?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Stoopid lyrics

Here is another installment of my blog feature "Stoopid lyrics" where I share with you a well-known song with lyrics that don't make sense.

Keep in mind this doesn't mean the song is stoopid or that I don't like the song. In fact, most of the time I like the songs and only discover they contain stoopid lyrics when I try to sing along.  But in all cases, the lyrics make absolutely no sense.

Blinded By the Light 
performed by Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

Madman drummers bummers, Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older, I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasin', sneezin' and wheezin, the calliope crashed to the ground
The calliope crashed to the ground.  But she was...

Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

Some silicone sister with a manager mister told me I go what it takes
She said "I'll turn you on sonny to something strong, play the song with the funky break"
And go-cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe outside
And little Early-Pearly came by in his curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride
Asked me if I needed a ride.  But she was...

Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light

She got down but she never got tired.  She's gonna make it through the night
She's gonna make it through the night.  But mama, that's where the fun is.  

But mama, that's where the fun is.  Mama always told me not to look into the eye's of the sun
But mama, that's where the fun is.

Some brimstone baritone anticyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
Says, "Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in it's funny bone, that's where they expect it least"
And some new-mown chaperone was standin' in the corner, watching the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin' with his frozen zone, reminding him of romance
The calliope crashed to the ground.  But she was...

Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

Madman drummers bummers, Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older, I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasin', sneezin' and wheezin, the calliope crashed to the ground

Now Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand
And some bloodshot forget-me-not said daddy's within earshot save the buckshot, turn up the band
Some silicone sister with a manager mister told me I go what it takes
She said "I'll turn you on sonny to something strong"

She got down but she never got tired, she's gonna make it through the night.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Easter redux

Not much "excitement" in our Easter weekend, although a few things were different than usual.

One different thing was that I happened to be scheduled off on Sat, which is unusual for Easter weekend, which often brings spring home buyers/lookers to the beach area in anticipation of summer.  But I wasn't going to argue with having Easter Sat off, and in fact, took advantage of it by leaving town.

Spouse & I left Sat morning (with Marvin Parker in tow, of course) and headed to VA.  Traffic was light and we arrived before lunchtime.  Spouse's mom was expecting a friend to stop over to chat and have coffee, so we left her there and went out to lunch with Spouse's sister (and favorite sibling) and her 2 teenage sons.

Afterward Spouse & I made a stop at Trader Joe's (since we do not have one near to where we live) to stock up on our favorite items.  $119. later we were loading our booty into the car.  

Back at Spouse's mom's house we hung out with her and visited.  She got us all caught up on the goings on of her friends we affectionately refer to as the Hag Brigade, as well as some other gossip.

That evening we went to dinner with Spouse's mom and 1 of his nephews and his neice.  Spouse's mom recognized an old woman, likely older than herself, someone who'd lived in her neighborhood years ago.  She walked over to the woman seated at a table with people who appeared to be her adult children and said to her "Do you remember me?"  The old woman looked at her and said "Why, yes I do" but didn't say her name.  "Then what's my name?" Spouse's mother pressed her.  The woman stammered for a minute and then said "Well, I've can't remember your name at the moment but you're Mary's mother."  Spouse's mother wasn't satisfied with this correct statement but decided to let the poor old woman off the hook by saying "That's right.  My name is Evelyn."

As the 2 continued chatting about 'where do you live now' and such, Spouse & I looked at each other in disbelief and amazement.  His mother was almost antagonistic with the old woman but somehow it registered as funnier than hell to us as we tried to hold back our laughter!

The next morning we had a light breakfast, showered and dressed, and picked up my aunt Mary.  Then we all went to Spouse's brother's house for a very early Easter dinner at 1:30.  (Its nice to do it early, since Spouse & I still have to tidy up our room and get Marvin before driving the 2 1/2 hours back home to DE.)

Typically Spouse's brother and sister-in-law get a honey-baked ham and turkey breast, and several family members bring side dishes to go with them.  But for a change of pace this year, Spouse's brother told everyone not to bring side dishes.  Instead they ordered food from Red Hot & Blue.  We had delicious pulled pork and chicken, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and green beans.  Aunt Mary brought her famous "brown stuff" (sweet potato shuffle) and hummingbird cake, my favorite cake in the whole wide world.

We had a very nice Easter but I ate too much, as usual.  That much stayed the same!