Month: December 2016

In Remembrance

Reading Time: 14 minutes
  • Gone But Not Forgotten – 2016
  • Celebrity Deaths 2016
    JANUARY
  • 04 – Robert Stigwood, Entertainment Manager – managed the Bee Gees and Cream – age 81
  • 06 – Pat Harrington Jr., Actor – Schneider on “One Day at a Time” – age 86
  • 07 – Troy Shondell, Singer – only big hit was “This Time (We’re Really Breaking Up)” – age 76
  • 07 – Kitty Kallen, Singer – Big Band Era, biggest hit was ‘”Little Things Mean a Lot” – age 94
  • 09 – Angus Scrimm, Actor – the Tall Man in “Phantasm” (1979) and four sequels – age 89
  • 10 – David Bowie, Musician – (2) time Grammy winner influenced music and culture for four generations – age 69
  • 11 – David Margulies, Actor – the Mayor in Ghost Busters I and II (1984 & 1989)- age – 78
  • 14 – Alan Rickman, Actor – Hans Gruber in ‘Die Hard’ and Severus Snape in ‘Harry Potter’ – age 69
  • 14 – René Angélil, Singer / Manager – husband and manager of Celine Dion – age 73
  • 15 – Dan Haggerty, Actor – The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams – age 74
  • 15 – Noreen Corcoran, Actress – Kelly Gregg in Bachelor Father (1957-59) – age 72
  • 18 – Glen Frey, Singer / Songwriter – founded The Eagles “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling” – age 67
  • 26 – Abe Vigoda, Actor – Detective Fish on Barney Miller (1975-’77) – age 94
  • 28 – Paul Kantner, Singer / Songwriter – co-founder of The Jefferson Airplane – age 74
  • 28 – Mike Minor, Actor – Steve Eliot on “Petticoat Junction” – age 75
  • FEBRUARY
  • 02 – Bob Elliot, Comedian – one-half of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray – age 92
  • 03 – Maurice White, Musician / songwriter – founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire – age 74
  • 03 – Joe Alaskey, Voice Actor – Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety – age 63
  • 04 – Joe Dowell, Pop Singer – #1 hit song “Wooden Heart” (1961) – age 76
  • 13 – Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice – appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986 – age 79
  • 15 – George Gaynes, Actor – Commandant Eric Lassard on the Police Academy series – age 98
  • 15 – Vanity, Actress/Singer – lead for girl group Vanity 6; girlfriend and muse of Prince – age 57
  • 19 – Harper Lee, Novelist – Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1961) for novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” – age 89
  • 22 – Yolande Fox, Singer – Miss America 1951 and sang opera – age 87
  • 22 – Sonny James, Country Music Singer/Songwriter – the first teenage country crossover #1 single “Young Love” – age 87
  • 24 – Lennie Baker, Musician – 1950s music tribute group and TV show Sha-Na-Na (1969-2000) – age 69
  • 25 – Tony Burton, Actor – boxing trainer to Apollo Creed and later Rocky in six “Rocky” movies – age 78
  • 28 – George Kennedy, Actor – Academy Award for “Cool Hand Luke” also in all the “Airport” movies – age 91
  • 29 – Gil Hill, Police Commander/Actor – Inspector Todd in three “Beverly Hills Cop” movies – age 84
  • MARCH
  • 04 – Joey Martin Feek, C&W Musician – husband and wife country duo “Joey + Rory” – age 40
  • 06 – Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the U.S.(1981-1989) Husband, 40th President Ronald Reagan – age 94
  • 08 – Sir George Martin, Producer for the “Beatles” albums, known as “The Fifth Beatle” – age 90
  • 09 – Robert Horton, Actor – Flint McCullough in “Wagon Train” (1957-1962) – age 91
  • 10 – Keith Emerson, Musician / keyboardist – created Emerson, Lake & Palmer rock group – age 71
  • 13 – Adrienne Corri, Actress – Mrs. Alexander in A Clockwork Orange (1971) – age 85
  • 16 – Frank Sinatra Jr., Singer – son of Frank Sinatra and a talented singer – age 72
  • 17 – Larry Drake, Actor – Benny Stulwicz on L.A. Law (1987-1994) – age 66
  • 18 – Joe Santos, Actor – Lieutenant Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files (1974-1980) – age 84
  • 21 – Peter Brown, Actor – Deputy Johnny McKay in “Lawman” (1958-62) and Chad Cooper in “Laredo” (1965-67) – age 80
  • 22 – Rob Ford, Politician – crack smoking Mayor of Toronto, Canada – age 46
  • 22 – Richard Bradford, Actor – “Man in a Suitcase” on British ITC (1967) – age 81
  • 22 – Phife Dawg, Singer – Rapper with the group A Tribe Called Quest, also known as “Five Foot Assassin” – age 45
  • 23 – Joe Garagiola, Baseball Player – MLB catcher and announcer and television host – age 90
  • 23 – Ken Howard, Actor – Coach Reeves on TV show “White Shadow” & President of SAG-AFTRA – age 71
  • 24 – Earl Hamner, Jr., Writer/Producer – created “The Waltons” TV show – age 92
  • 24 – Garry Shandling, Comedian – “Garry Shandling Show” and “The Larry Sanders” Show – age 66
  • 27 – Mother Angelica, Franciscan Nun – founder of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) – age 92
  • 28 – James Noble, Actor – Governor Gatling on “Benson” (1979-1986) – age 94
  • 29 – Patty Duke, Actress – played identical cousins in “The Patty Duke Show” (1963-1966) – age 69
  • APRIL
  • 06 – Merle Haggard, C&W singer/songwriter – “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive”, “Okie From Muskogee” – age 79
  • 12 – Anne Jackson, Actress – married to Eli Wallach who died in 2014 – age 90
  • 17 – Doris Roberts, Actress – Marie Barone on “Everybody Loves Raymond” (1996–2005) – age 90
  • 20 – Victoria Wood, English Comedienne/Actress – Britain’s most popular stand-up comic – age 62
  • 21 – Prince, Musician – flamboyant on stage, seven Grammy Awards, “Purple Rain” – age 57
  • 21 – Lonnie (Mack) McIntosh, Guitarist – pioneered the ‘lead guitar solo’, “Wham!” & “Memphis” – age 74
  • 23 – Madeleine Sherwood, Actress – Reverend Mother Placido in “The Flying Nun” (1967-70) – age 94
  • 24 – Billy Paul, Singer – Grammy Award for “Me and Mrs. Jones” (1972) – age 81
  • MAY
  • 08 – William Schallert, Actor – Martin Lane (Patty’s Father) on The Patty Duke Show – age 93
  • 12 – Julius La Rosa, Singer – “Anywhere I Wander” fired by Arthur Godfrey on the air – age 86
  • 19 – Morley Safer, Journalist – CBS News for 52 years (1964-2016), 60 Minutes for 46 years (1970-2016) won 12 Emmy Awards – age 84
  • 19 – Alan Young, Actor – Wilbur Post on “Mr. Ed” (1961-66) – age 96
  • 24 – Burt Kwouk, Actor – Cato in the “Pink Panther” films – age 85
  • 27 – Mike Barnett, Singer – co-founder of the singing group “The Lettermen” – age 89
  • JUNE
  • 03 – Muhammad Ali, Professional Boxer – (formerly Cassius Clay) three-time heavyweight champion (1964, 1974, and 1978), proclaimed “The Greatest” – age 74
  • 10 – Gordie Howe, Hockey player – Detroit Red Wings for 25 seasons, 23-time NHL All-Star – age 88
  • 13 – Michu Meszaros, Actor / Circus Performer – was the man in the ALF costume (ALF TV Show 1986-1990) – age 76
  • 14 – Ann Guilbert, Actress – Millie Helper in The Dick Van Dyke Show and Yetta Rosenberg in The Nanny – age 87
  • 14 – Ronnie Claire Edwards, Actress – Corabeth Walton Godsey on The Waltons (1972-81) – age 83
  • 16 – Jo Cox, British Labour Party Member of Parliament – murdered (shot and stabbed multiple times) in an act of terror – age 41
  • 17 – Ron Lester, Actor – Billy Bob in movie “Varsity Blues” – age 45
  • 19 – Anton Yelchin, Actor – Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek movies (2009-16) – age 27
  • 27 – Bud Spencer, Italian Actor – God Forgives… I Don’t! (1967) – age 86
  • 27 – Mack Rice, Songwriter – “Mustang Sally” & “Respect Yourself” – age 82
  • 28 – Scotty Moore, Guitarist – backed Elvis in early recordings and pioneered new styles – age 84
  • 28 – Buddy Ryan, NFL Football Coach – while defensive coordinator for Chicago Bears invented the 46 defense – age 85
  • 28 – Pat Summitt, NCAA Basketball Coach – University of Tennessee Woman’s team (1974 – 2012) the winningest NCAA coach ever – age 64
  • JULY
  • 02 – Michael Cimino, Writer/Director – “Deer Hunter”, “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” – age 77
  • 02 – Elie Wiesel, Jewish Writer/political activist – Holocaust survivor, and Nobel Laureate – age 87
  • 02 – Teddy Rooney, Actor/Musician – son of Mickey Rooney and Martha Vickers – age 66
  • 02 – Caroline Aherne, Comedienne/Actress – lead role and co-producer of “The Royle Family” – age 52
  • 03 – Noel Neill, Actress – Lois Lane in “Adventures of Superman” (1952-58) – age 95
  • 06 – Danny Smythe, Musician – founding member of the Box Tops (Devilles) “The Letter” (1967) – age 67
  • 16 – Bonnie Brown, C&W Musician – family musical group The Browns “The Three Bells” – age 77
  • 19 – Garry Marshall, Writer/Producer/Actor – created “Happy Days”, “Mork & Mindy”, “Laverne & Shirley” – age 81
  • 27 – Jerry Doyle, Actor – Michael Garibaldi in “Babylon 5” (1994–98) – age 60
  • 30 – Gloria DeHaven, Actress/Singer – “So This Is Paris”, “The Girl Rush” – age 91
  • AUGUST
  • 02 – David Huddleston, Actor – Character actor “Santa Claus: The Movie” – age 85
  • 03 – Ricci Martin, Entertainer – son of Dean Martin – age 62
  • 06 – Pete Fountain, Jazz Musician – played with both Al Hirt and Lawrence Welk – age 86
  • 11 – Glenn Yarbrough, Singer – The Limeliters (1959-63) “Baby the Rain Must Fall” – age 86
  • 13 – Michel Richard, Chef/Restaurateur – restaurant Citrus in L.A. and 5 other cities – age 68
  • 13 – Kenny Baker, Actor – played R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise also played Paploo, the Ewok – age 81
  • 14 – Fyvush Finkel, Actor – lawyer Douglas Wambaugh on “Picket Fences” – age 93
  • 19 –Jack Riley, Actor – Elliot Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show” – age 80
  • 23 – Steven Hill, Actor – District Attorney Adam Schiff on “Law & Order” (1990-2000) – age 94
  • 25 – Jeanne Martin, Model – Orange Bowl Queen (1947) & Dean Martin’s wife – age 89
  • 25 – Marvin Kaplan, Actor – telephone worker Henry on the TV show “Alice” – age 89
  • 29 – Gene Wilder, Actor – Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka – age 83
  • SEPTEMBER
  • 01 – Jon Polito, Actor – Steve Crosetti on “Homicide: Life on the Street” – age 65
  • 06 – Hugh O’Brian, Actor – starred in TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” (1955–1961) – age 91
  • 09 – James Stacy, Actor – Johnny Madrid Lancer on “Lancer” (1968-’70) – age 79
  • 16 Edward Albee, Playwright – The Sandbox (1959), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) – age 88
  • 17 – Charmian Carr, Actress – Liesl Von Trapp (eldest daughter) in The Sound of Music – age 73
  • 24 – Bill Nunn, Actor – Robbie Robertson in Spider-Man film trilogy – age 63
  • 25 – Jean Shepard, C&W Singer/Songwriter – Pioneered C&W for women, “A Dear John Letter” – 82
  • 25 – José Fernández, Baseball player – starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins and Cuban refugee – age 24
  • 25 – Arnold Palmer, Golfer – One of the greatest golfers ever, did more to popularize the sport than any other golfer – age 87
  • 28 – Shimon Peres, Statesman – President of Israel (2007-’14), Prime Minister twice, held various offices from 1959-2007 – age 93
  • OCTOBER
  • 12 – Tommy Ford, Actor – Tommy Strawn in the sitcom Martin – age 52
  • 21 – Kevin Meaney, Comedian – “Uncle Buck” in the TV series by the same name – age 60
  • 23 – Pete Burns, Singer/Songwriter – founded the band Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” – age 57
  • 24 – Bobby Vee, Singer – “Take Good Care of My Baby”, “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” – age 73
  • 30 – Tammy Grimes, Stage Actress – Molly in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” – age 82
  • NOVEMBER
  • 03 – Kay Starr, Singer – “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Rock And Roll Waltz” – age 94
  • 07 – Janet Reno, Attorney General of the United States 1993-2001 nominated by President Bill Clinton – age 78
  • 07 – Leonard Cohen, Poet / Songwriter – “Suzanne”, “Hallelujah” and “Bird on the Wire” – age 82
  • 11 – Robert Vaughn, Actor – Napoleon Solo in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-’68) – age 83
  • 13 – Leon Russell, Musician / Songwriter – “A Song for You”, “Tight Rope” and “This Masquerade” – age 74
  • 14 – Gwen Ifill, Journalist – “Washington Week” and “PBS NewsHour” on PBS – age 61
  • 15 – Holly Dunn, C&W Singer / Songwriter – “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me” and “You Really Had Me Going” – age 59
  • 24 – Florence Henderson, Actress / Singer – Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch” (1969 to 1974) – age 82
  • 25 – Fidel Castro, Dictator – Prime Minister then President of Cuba from 1959-2008 then gave same powers to his brother – age 90
  • 25 – Ron Glass, Actor – Det. Ron Harris on “Barney Miller” (1975-1982) – age 71
  • 26 – Fritz Weaver, Actor – Dr. Josef Weiss in the mini-series “Holocaust” – age 90
  • 28 – Van Williams, Actor – Kenny Madison in “Bourbon Street Beat” (1959) & “Surfside 6” (1960) – age 82
  • 28 – Jim Delligatti, McDonald’s franchisee – created The Big Mac – age 98
  • 30 – Keo Woolford, Actor – Det. Chang on Hawaii Five-0 (2010 version) – age 49
  • 30 – Grant Tinker, Television executive – Chairman and CEO of NBC (1981-’86) married to Mary Tyler Moore (1962-’81) – age 90
  • DECEMBER
  • 03 – Don Calfa, Actor – Paulie the hitman in “Weekend at Bernie’s” (1989) – age 76
  • 03 – Billy Chapin, Actor – Little John Harper in “The Night of the Hunter” (1955) – age 72
  • 07 – Greg Lake, Musician – founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer “Lucky Man” – age 69
  • 08 – Joseph Mascolo, Actor – Stefano DiMera on “The Days of Our Lives” (1982-’85) & (1993-2001) – age 87
  • 08 – John Glenn, WWII & Korean War Fighter Pilot. Marine Colonel. NASA Astronaut. Senator from Ohio (1974-99). Married for 73 yrs – first American to orbit the Earth (1962) – age 95
  • 12 – Jim Lowe, Singer – biggest hit “The Green Door” (1956) – age 93
  • 13 – Alan Thicke, Actor – Jason Seaver, the father on “Growing Pains” (1985-’92) – age 69
  • 14 – Bernard Fox, Actor – Dr. Bombay in “Bewitched” and Colonel Crittendon in “Hogan’s Heroes” – age 89
  • 15 – Craig Sager, Sports Reporter – best known for covering the NBA and for his loud suits – age 65
  • 18 – Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian Actress and Socialite – Moulin Rouge (1952), married nine times to mostly wealthy men – age 99
  • 18 – Gordie Tapp, Entertainer – wrote and acted on “Hee Haw” – age 94
  • 20 – Michèle Morgan, French Actress – Joan of Paris (1942), Higher and Higher (1943) – age 96
  • 24 – Richard Adams, Author – Watership Down, The Plague Dogs – age 96
  • 24 – Rick Parfitt, Musician/Songwriter – rock band Status Quo; “Pictures of Matchstick Men” – age 68
  • 24 – Liz Smith, Actress – Nana in “The Royle Family”, Annie Brandon in I Didn’t Know You Cared – age 96
  • 25 – George Michael, Singer/Songwriter – #1 hits; “Faith”, “I Want Your Sex”, “Careless Whisper” – age 53
  • 26 – Ricky Harris, Actor/Comedian – Ray in “Hard Rain” – age 54
  • 26 – George S. Irving, Stage Actor – Oklahoma! (1943), Me and Juliet (1953) – age 94
  • 27 – Carrie Fisher, Actress – Princess Leia in “Star Wars” (1977) and four sequels – age 60
  • 28 – Debbie Reynolds, Actress – Kathy Selden in “Singin’ in the Rain”, Mother of Carrie Fisher – age 84
  • 31 – William Christopher, Actor – Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H – age 84

Have we got a deal for you!

Reading Time: 4 minutes
  • Weight: 283
  • BP: 130/73

Dear Miss:

It’s amazing sometimes what happens when one calls a service in order to stop using them.  Take Verizon for example.  About 8 months ago, your boy contracted with another Internet provider that has been offering fiber optic service for several years in this area at a greatly reduced rate ($50/month for 100mbps) than boy had been paying with his DSL connection. (Verizon was charging $52/month for the Internet (3mbps) and another $62 for the phone line it was piggybacking on)  With taxes and fees, it ended up being an outlay of approximately $150/month.  Your boy decided not to go for the newer service immediately, he asked some of the neighbors that had signed on if their experience was good or bad and based on that, boy decided it was time to make a change.

Even so, after making the initial connection, boy let his Verizon Internet service continue.  After 6 months, he finally decided that it was getting time to make the disconnect.  He’d been pushing the wife to change her email account and stop using the Verizon supplied e-mail address, but she’d been dragging her feet a bit, still using it for most of her communications, backed up for a time with Gmail. When boy confronted her about it, she explained that she’d rather have an email address from the new service, and boy hadn’t supplied her with one.  Moreover, boy hadn’t bothered to contact the new server (nor had they contacted boy which they were supposed to) about setting up mail through them and setting up the SMTP mail server on their end so boy and his wife could send and receive email through them and not Verizon.  boy and his wife use Mozilla’s Thunderbird for their Internet mail addresses, neither one of them wish to use Gmail’s mail server, even though that could be an option.

Over the last month, boy made the final preparations, and this evening boy confirmed with wife that she had indeed informed her friends etc that she was shutting down her Verizon connection, boy had switched her (and his) Thunderbirds to the new mail server and boy was ready (finally) to call Verizon and shut down the money drain.  Boy called the 800 number and went through the automated menu, knowing that eventually, he was going to have to speak to a human being.  Sure enough, when he explained what he wished to do, the customer service rep was able to process his request however, she made one last pitch to keep his business.

She explained that even though boy had pretty much made a break with Verizon, she was willing to offer DSL service bundled with the phone for $52/month.  boy was very polite when he explained that he was now getting about 33 times the speed of the DSL connection he’s had for the last 15 years and without the DSL connection there wasn’t a need for the phone line.  boy actually wanted to ask why Verizon wasn’t able to offer this very special rate earlier, if boy wasn’t prepared to disconnect, why didn’t they offer this deal months, if not years ago?  boy didn’t ask because he already knew the answer.  No need to offer anything if they’re going to continue to bilk someone for a price that they’re used to paying.  Too, the rate might very well have been an introductory rate, or one that was only good for 6 months, and boy would eventually have been paying close to what he had been paying, and would not be getting the better deal out of the whole thing.  Verizon got boy’s money for 15 years.  High time for someone else to get a little scratch.  At the very least boy is getting scratched in return this time.

Verizon says that they’ll shut off the service on Friday the 30th.  Boy thought that perhaps Jan 2 would be a good time, but why not just shut things down at the end of the month.  Don’t drag it out to 2017, and wind up paying even more money to Verizon.  So DSL gets shut down as well as boy’s alternate phone number.  At the very least he won’t be listed in the phone book at the wrong address anymore.  That’s a good thing, right Miss?

Your boy

Tallying the Christmas Haul

Reading Time: 6 minutes
  • Weight: 283
  • BP: 128/75

Dear Miss:

Yesterday was Christmas, and even though your boy doesn’t have too much immediate family, he still does have a few relatives scattered here and there (either through his adoptive parents or his recently discovered birth mother) so there have been holiday greetings sent or received from the various persons that your boy is still in touch with.  The only one that he exchanged gifts with this year was his birth mother, whom he didn’t know was still alive until earlier this year (Feb 6th to be exact).  She’s been trying to catch up all year for the 50 years she wasn’t able to wish him birthday greetings and so on, and she sent him a Christmas present, along with one for his wife.  (Obviously, she doesn’t know about you yet, but had she, boy is sure she would have sent one to you as well…she’s pretty understanding about a great many things…)

Over the many months that he’s been in contact with his birth mother, she’s come to understand your boy’s fascination (and appreciation) for fire departments, fire trucks, fire services and the like.  In keeping with that theme, she sent a White House Christmas Ornament for his tree…and just coincidentally this year’s offering was a fire truck, specifically one commemorating the administration of Herbert Hoover, and the occasion of the Christmas Eve fire at the White House in 1929.  Since your boy hasn’t been able in recent years to replace the angel that used to decorate the top of his Christmas tree (haven’t been able to find a suitable one) he opted to put the ornament at the top of his tree this year, and it should be staying there for the remainder of the time that the tree is up this year.  Typically, boy and his wife adhere to the ‘12 Days of Christmas‘ tradition  that was practiced in your boy’s family, whereby starting with Dec 25th, the tree stays up and decorated until January 6th (12 days later) and at that point, the tree is undecorated and stored away until the following December.  The only change here is, boy and his wife have an artificial tree, and boy’s family always cut a fresh one every year.  The artificial one saves money and it’s symmetrical every year (so long as the cat doesn’t try to either climb it or bend down the lower branches).

As your boy may have mentioned before, there’s a couple that boy and his wife are friends with,  (boy sort of inherited them from wife, as she knew them when they lived in the area and worked at the same place she did) and every year boy and his wife exchange gifts with them for Christmas in lieu of family.  Just a sort of tradition that developed over the years, seemed useful so boy just went with it. Wife continually says that boy is difficult to shop for since rarely does he have a ‘wish list’ per se if he sees something that interests him, he tends to buy it or doesn’t always make his wishes known.  The last couple of years he’s been a bit better about this, and hence has gotten presents that follow some sort of theme.  Last year it was casual clothing (sweatpants and the like) and this year it had to do with pizza.  Specifically, making pizza at home.  Your boy has tried out making pizza in his oven, and has mentioned to you more than once about how difficult it was, without being able to specifically use a pizza peel to assemble the pizza on, and be able to ‘shovel’ it into the oven, and how his first couple attempts didn’t do so well.  That being known, and transmitted to the friends in North Carolina, boy ended up with not only a homeowner’s size pizza peel, he also was gifted with a pizza cutter that would seem more in keeping with a pizzeria, rather than your average home.  boy does have a ‘pizza wheel’ cutter, but this one will cut a little more evenly, and with one swipe across the pie in every direction necessary.  Storing these monsters proved to be a bit of a challenge, but fortunately, your boy was sufficiently ingenuitive and found places for them to go.

Finally, in the same genre, your boy has been needing more knife storage since he got that large shipment of stuff from Chef’s Catalog as they were going out of business earlier this year.  To wit, he purchased several chef knives, several paring knives from different quality manufacturers’, and even a sudoku knife as well as some dishes and other sundries that were at great prices.  For the time being the knives have been ensconced in drawers as well as in his old maple knife block, but they’ve been in dire need of a more permanent place, some location where they won’t get dinged up, will stay sharp and won’t be an accidental menace to navigation through the small galley kitchen we presently occupy.  Christmas morning, there was a very long gift that appeared to be very magnetic!  Upon opening, it was a 16″ all metal knife magnetic strip!  Very powerful one too.  After opening presents and having a late breakfast, your boy installed it to the right of the sink, and it’s working very well.  boy is quite pleased with it.

Rounding out his Christmas, he received a book, a bottle of his favorite cologne, a novelty item from the Harry Potter Universe and a snazzy tool box that was fully equipped.  All in all, your boy made out pretty well.

Your boy

 

Those Big Ticket Items

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

  • Weight: 281
  • BP: 130/75

Dear Miss:

Your boy has been thinking for a couple of years about increasing the amount of freezer space he has in the house.  He has at present a small Kenmore refrigerator that has a small freezer space above the refrigeration area.  The refrigerator itself came with the house, so it’s at least nearly 20 years old and probably in need of replacing itself.  The wife has been making noises more than once about wanting to get a newer, more efficient model.  Of course, seeing as boy and his wife live in a house that’s 178 years old (built in 1838, how about them apples!) doing any sort of quasi-modern remodeling has to take a lot of things into consideration.  A fact that more than one of the previous owners dealt with, with varying successes (and failures).  The people that boy and his wife bought the house from had solved the problem by having an upright freezer in the small storage area off the kitchen, sort of a ‘larder’ that was created when the bathroom was carved out of a closet on the main floor.  The space behind the tub was left open and it was made a nice little storage area.  How they managed to squeeze in the freezer is anyone’s guess (took a bit of finagling to get it back out again!) but about a year after the house was purchased, the freezer died.  Six months using it as storage was about enough and wife decided that she wished to have it gone and use the vacated place for dry storage of food and sundries.

There were enough other items in the house that needed either recycling or straight out removal that boy contacted a hauler that used his own trailer.  The trailer was dropped off for a few days, boy and his wife managed to fill it with enough items to make the transfer fee at the county dump worthwhile.

Over the last few months, boy has been considering purchasing a chest freezer for the basement, to supplant the upstairs small freezer on the refrigerator.  At the very least boy could start making meals ahead, and storing them for a time when he doesn’t necessarily feel like cooking.  With the small capacity of the upstairs freezer being so small, it just seems a worthwhile consideration.  Too, your boy has been concerned over the last bit of time about the amount of sugar and other preservatives in his food, and if he can do more cooking on his own that should reduce that by some degree.

Fortunately, during or after the Christmas season, a lot of stores have sales, and boy could probably get one relatively inexpensively.  Though it would have to be the right one, not too small, and not too big.  Sometimes boy has a tendency to get something that’s too large, when something a size smaller would be just right.

Something more to consider….boy will keep you updated, Miss.

boy

 

 

Making Headway

Reading Time: 4 minutes
  • Weight: 292
  • BP: 128/75

Dear Miss:

By your boy’s count, only 4 more days until Christmas.  In boy’s opinion, as in other years, it’s none too soon.  Work-wise, his wrist is still bothering him, and the physical therapy doesn’t seem to be helping at all, so come the new year, he’s going to be having a chat with his GP about possibly trying a cortisone shot.  At the very least it might give him some relief for a few months.  Certainly your boy doesn’t wish to be wearing a wrist brace for the remainder of his life, and his working days.  Just a bit unwieldy, and already your boy is getting tired of wearing it.

Work is getting more busy the closer it gets to the holiday but that makes sense.  The closer it gets typically, the more people get frantic and need to go to the store to get things ‘right now‘.  And that of course means people get a little more testy to one another, and generally your typical retail person is going to bear the brunt of some of their less than Christmas cheer.  boy can well understand someone has their heart set on a prime rib that has ‘just the right amount of fat to meat ratio‘, but think about it…it’s a piece of meat.  Add in the people that have never tried to roast something that complicated before..and you’re asking for trouble.  boy had one woman that said she’d never considered making a rib roast before, but her husband said he wanted one, so here she was thinking about buying a $75 piece of meat.  She had it cut the way she thought she wanted it, and as I was presenting it to her, she said “Now, how am I going to cook it?” and looked at me as if I was going to give her just the right answer.  My rather reasonable response was to say “You don’t have a recipe that you’re following?”  No, of course not.  She came into the store, ready to blow $75-100 on a really pricey piece of meat and had NO clue how she was going to prepare it.

Fortunately, the corporate brainiacs up in Buffalo sent down a sheet that gave guidelines about what temp, how long and so on for preparing things like rib roasts, so your boy showed it to her.  “Oh, can I have this?”  No Ma’am, you can’t.  It’s the only copy (I) have, so you’re going to have to take down the information.  And no, boy isn’t going to come home with you and prepare it, and you better darn well not come back to us the day after Christmas complaining (and wanting a refund) because it came out dry, or you overcooked it and think you’re going to blame us for you trying something that was outside of your comfort zone, just to please the hubby and his family.  Or your family.  Or someone else.  It’s not our responsibility.

Anyway.  The ramp up to Christmas is always a hectic time of year at work.  At home, not so much.  boy tends to put things off, like trimming the tree, wrapping presents, there was even one year when he was shopping on Christmas Eve…in a mall..and (surprise!) not finding much of anything, because the stores were already pretty well picked over.  Over the last few years, boy and his wife have done virtually ALL of their Christmas shopping online.  Pick out what you want, get a coupon for free shipping, one doesn’t have to interact with the public, and things get shipped to the house.  Very easy, and very non-stressful.  boy remembers going to the mall, or to individual stores, driving to Rochester with his wife, braving the crowds, having to wait while wife took a rest halfway through the foray, carrying packages to the car on numerous trips, and so on.  He was a lot younger then.  She was a lot younger then.  Shopping online seems way easier.  And it is.  But then again, it doesn’t necessarily support the local stores as much as it needs to.  So there’s an upside and down to it as well.

4 more days…and then it will be 365 more days until Christmas 2017!

Your boy

 

Bone chillin’ cold

Reading Time: 3 minutes

  • Weight: 282
  • BP: 128/74

Dear Miss:

One knows it’s cold when one needs to take 2 showers a day just to stay warm in one’s house.  Another way of telling, is when a boy is at PT, and he laments over the warming blanket going away after being left on boy’s wrist for almost too long.  Third way is that boy has been not using his desktop computer so much, he spends more time in the den, sitting on the couch using his laptop wirelessly.

Over the last few days the temperature has dropped considerably, and it hasn’t warmed up all that much during the daytime.  Your boy notes that Winter Solstice is coming along soon, we’ll hit the shortest day of the year (Dec 21st) and that will herald the official beginning of winter, and the days will slowly (very slowly) start to get longer again as the march begins once more towards June of 2017, which will be the longest.

There was a forewarning of the cold snap from the weather service at the very least this time, saying that most of the Northeast was going to be feeling the bite of the cold, and that’s (for once) not been too much of a misnomer.  Yesterday while going to work, your boy was somewhat late (as usual) and watching people skidding through intersections, as well as forgetting that a little snowfall (got about 1/2″ here) causes people to forget how to drive.  Thank goodness boy only has to drive a little under a mile to work, and doesn’t have to make his way along the Interstate to his workplace.

Another topic that has been rearing it’s head in boy’s thought processes is moving the desktop computer elsewhere in the house, from the place where it’s been since boy and his wife moved here 15 years ago.  If he were to move it to a different part of the house (a part that’s covered by the furnace in the house) boy probably wouldn’t get the impression that he and wife don’t spend a lot of time in the part of the house that’s being warmed to a balmy 68º, instead of the unheated addition, that hovers around 60º and is serviced by two electric space heaters.  It’s never been a very suitable setup, but it’s the one room in the house that has 2 bay windows.  And the cable hookup is there too.  So most of the time boy and his wife are in there…go figure, right?

Weather report is also calling for 3-6″ of snow tonight, so commuting to work will be interesting in the morning.  At least boy will be going to work relatively later than he does in the beginning of the week, so the roads should be cleared, and traffic will be lighter due to it being the weekend.  There are some perks to working weekends, this seems to be one of them.

Just now need the temperature to warm up a bit!

This be a Holidailies Post!

Let it SNOW!

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • Weight: 282
  • BP: 135/75

Dear Miss:

Last year the weather pundits were saying it was going to be a really wet and snowy winter.  Boy were they ever wrong!  As it turned out, it only snowed a couple of times for the whole season, and your boy only had to drag out his old snowblower once.  And that was for wet stuff that could barely be chewed up and spit out by the old girl.  For the remainder of the year, everyone was lamenting over the fact of the ‘green’ winter that was churned out by 2015-2016.  Many were blaming global warming, others had their own pet theories.  By late summer into early fall, the pundits were saying that this winter was going to by far exceed the paltry snow totals of last year.

Well, if yesterday/last night is any indicator…they may finally be right.  By your boy’s estimate, about 3-4 inches of accumulation arrived.  Boy took about 15 minutes to clear the walkway to the house, as well as shovel the driveway.  Opted not to try to get the snowblower going, although it would have been the perfect type of snow for it to chug through, the older it gets, the more it seems to prefer the powdery stuff over the caked up, soggy, water laden and heavy snow that can easily clog up the auger.  More than once your boy has tried to clean out the auger and forgotten that it’s probably not a good idea to do it while the engine is running.  Fortunately, your boy still has all his fingers…

Your boy