Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another February Birthday

Happy ___th birthday to my "little" sister, Susan Carroll. Hope it's a great day. You're catching up with me!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Got something to sell?

Have you ever seen that show "Pawn Stars" on the History channel? There're three guys who run a pawn shop in Las Vegas--a man and his father and son.

It's an interesting show because all sorts of people come in with all kinds of things. The thing I don't get about a lot of those things is why anyone would go to a pawn shop to sell them.

I've seen things that I'm positive if they were on something like Antiques Road Show, they'd be valued at so much more than what they're offered at a pawn shop. And the heck of it is, most of the folks going there don't seem like desperate people. It's not like they just lost their shirts at a casino somewhere on the strip. They're ordinary people who are just trying to make a little money.

So far the most valuable thing I've seen is a Civil War era La Mat pistol. Extremely rare. It's worth at least $20,000 to a serious Civil War collector. The guy sold it for $10,000--half its value.

Very strange.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My New Gig

As you may (or may not) know for the past two years I was writing a weekly column for an Internet media site called Newtown Patch.

Patch is owned by AOL who has been pumping a great deal of money into it. Recent cutbacks have forced Patch editors to cut their freelance budget. That meant the end of my column.

However, not long afterward the editor of another Internet media site called me and offered me the opportunity to write a weekly column for them. She used to write for Patch and she was familiar with my work.

Sooo...beginning Sunday, February 26, I will be writing for a site called Newtown Hamlet Hub.

Check it out.

Happy Birthday, Jennifer

Happy birthday to daughter-in-law Jennifer Smith Stockwell. Hope you have a great day. See you soon.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just another birthday

Exactly 69 years ago today, I came screaming and kicking into the world. I went directly from my mother to an incubator where I resided for the next two weeks.

My mother was never really all that clear as to why that was necessary. While I wasn't technically premature, I was small--plus I was what they called at that time a blue baby.

I'm not sure what that means except that it had something to do with oxygen supply.

Anyway, here I am, 69 years later, hale and hearty--sort of.

It's been an interesting ride. As with anyone my age there have been a few bumps along the way but it's been mostly smooth sailing.

And I think the best part is the days ahead will I hope be even better.

From time to time I hear people talking about a particular age they'd like to be again. Not me. I have no interest whatever in returning to some earlier time.

Certainly learn from the mistakes of the past but then look forward. Always look forward.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Governor Dan Malloy, Democrat--or is he?

I received an email from someone who used to follow me on Patch when I was writing for them. They were bemoaning the fact that there was no longer a pro-teacher voice on that website. Their specific concern was CT Gov. Malloy's plan to overhaul teacher tenure and evaluation procedures.

I have to admit. Malloy's got me puzzled too. For a democrat he sure is acting very republican. Who in his right mind would give him a blank check to tinker with a very old, well established system.

OK, granted, there needs to be some changes but the devil's in the details and Malloy's ideas are notably lacking in that area.

There are other things about Malloy that disturb me. His strategy of taxing just about every thing anyone does in the state of Connecticut is troubling.

All in all, I'm very disappointed in this guy's performance thus far. Let's see, what's he got? Two more years? Pity. I may have to actually vote republican the next time around.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another item to add to the "I don't get it" list

I saw yet another video clip of Donald Trump on the Today Show this morning.

Why on earth do the producers of America's most watched morning television show think their viewers give a hoot what this arrogant gasbag thinks?

Every single person I've talked to thinks he's a repugnant creep--and that's people in his own backyard.

Try talking, as I have, to folks in places like Pennsylvania, Indiana or Texas. They're even more put off by Trump's mindless rants.

Don't television executives know that every time they put his face on TV his ego puffs up a little more and he becomes even more obnoxious?

Come on, guys. There are lots of better, more knowledgeable and pleasant people to talk to out there. Stop giving this prima donna an audience!

Monday, February 20, 2012

I have a question for you, Mr. Santorum

As the far right's new flavor of the month, I have a question for you, Mr. Santorum.

Recently you were critical of Pres. Obama's "theology". Can we assume by that criticism that you think theology even belongs in the Oval Office? Is it your intention to impose your religious views and convictions on us if in the very, very unlikely event you should become the next president?

You worry me, sir. I don't need you or anyone else giving me spiritual advice. That's not the president's job.

I'm betting the vast majority of voters generally agree. Take heed!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What's YOUR favorite form of parental discipline?

If you're anything like that guy in North Carolina whose 15-year-old daughter bad-mouthed him on Facebook, the answer to that question is a no-brainer.

You simply go to your gun cabinet (assuming you bother to keep it locked up), get your favorite 45, lock and load one full clip and have at it (on the laptop she used, that is. Not the kid.)

Let's for the moment put aside the fact that this nut used a deadly weapon on a perfectly good computer when all he had to do was take it away from her.

Isn't the way he handled this whole thing on exactly the same level as his daughter? She's fifteen. She's not supposed to be making adult decisions just yet. But he's supposedly an adult who should be thinking like one.

But now here's the kicker. Millions of people watched this event on YouTube and of those, fully three quarters actually approved of what he did.

What am I missing here? Is it me? Am I over analyzing this thing? I just don't get it.

NOW it's for real!

As posted on a previous blog (and then rescinded in a later piece), it is finally official that Patch's parent company, AOL, has imposed another round of budget restrictions on their Patch sites around the country thereby resulting in the publication of my last column.

The loss of the little money that they paid me for my columns certainly won't mean we'll be on food stamps any time soon and I can now begin to devote a little more time to this blog and my website in general which after almost 6 years can use some changes.

If anyone has any ideas on what you think would enhance georgeswebpage, please send them on via the "contact me" button on the site.

In the meantime you can continue to come here for opinions, anecdotes, occasional guest bloggers and general rants.



Thursday, February 16, 2012

From Guest Blogger Ken Mackenzie

myBlog # 176 - Catholic Church

The Catholic Church system has been a good-old-boys-club (GOBC) for centuries. Even now, they won't admit to the high percentage of priests (same % in the hierarchy?) who are pedophiles.

What other section of society can one move a criminal sideways (to another parish) and make the problem go away even to the point that the US law avoids them?

Now, even though 95% of Catholics admit to using contraception, the GOBC still preaches that another century old saw that contraception is a no-no and has taken it to the highest levels in the US authority to keep this silly (dumb?) rule in effect just so we will have more Catholics.

And just as that dust begins to settle, they have jumped on another important issue of offense (Nicki Minaj dressed somewhat like a cardinal).

BTW, a quick check of the internet will show you that Lady Gaga and Madonna have also offended the Church. Starting to sound like the middle east.

Hello?? A note to the GOBC: This is the 21st century. It's time to get with it.

A Sign of the Times

Four-year-old grandson, Cole, showed me a Valentine decoration that consisted of two hearts held together with a clothespin. It was supposed to be a butterfly.

He asked me what that thing was in the middle. I told him it was a clothespin. He asked me what a clothespin was. I replied that it keeps your laundry on the clothesline. He then asked me what a clothesline was.

When I was his age, I of course knew exactly what a clothesline was and so did our children because it was routine to hang out the laundry.

My son & daughter-in-law live in a neighborhood however that prohibits the use of clothesline or hanging laundry out because it is unsightly and would diminish the character of the neighborhood.

So much for thinking green!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

There are at least three theories of St. Valentine's Day and each of them is far from clear and too lengthy to explore here.

Whatever version you be wish to believe, they do all have at least one thing in common: At some point in the early days of the Catholic Church (around 250 A.D.) there was a priest named Valentine or Valentino.

It was said that he did good things for various groups of people which for some reason the Romans found objectionable.

Written Valentines however did not make their appearance until the 1400s. That's when it took root as a tradition to be celebrated every February 14th.

So there goes the theory that it was invented by Hallmark Greeting Cards or chocolate companies or rose growers.

Whatever! Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 10, 2012


Five-year-old Courtney announced over lunch yesterday that she's going to be a vet. And when she does get her business, her daddy is going to retire and join the practice.

I was honored with an offer to be the nurse. Better get over my aversion to blood!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Did you read my blog of February 7th where I announce that I will no longer be contributing columns to Newtown Patch? Well, guess what? They've had a change of heart, tinkered with the books a little and found the pathetically little money they pay me to keep me.

I'm back----for now. But I fully anticipate that in the coming weeks or possibly months, I'll be right back to where I thought I was a few days ago!

So for now, you can continue to follow me on Newtown Patch.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The End of the Road

I had lunch today with the soon-to-be ex editor of Newtown Patch. She's leaving Patch to take a position at a paper in southern New Jersey.

Among other things discussed, she mentioned that the whole Patch network is undergoing some changes and reorganization. Among those changes are inevitable budget cuts.

When I heard that I knew that my two years at Patch was coming to an end.

Writing a weekly column for Patch is the last thing I thought I'd be doing in my retirement. I had never even heard of Patch until I got a call from the editor just about 2 years ago saying she had run across some of my blogs, liked my writing and wanted me to write for her.

At first I started off with two columns a week but not long afterward that was cut back to one.

Now it's none.

I'm not sobbing in my soup over this. It's been a good run. I've made a few thousand dollars and I learned a little about journalism--and Newtown.

So now it's on to new things. What that will be is anyone's guess. I suppose I could go back to subbing but I don't see that happening in the near future given the time it takes. We'll see what comes along.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Where have the blogs been?

Not much to blog about this week. I've been sick with a nasty stomach bug the past few days but up and running now.

Two of the four grand children were sick too with the same ailment. What a coincidence, huh? My daughter-in-law caught it too. Looks like the boys have been sharing again.

I hope the rest of the family manages to avoid it.

The weather continues to cooperate with relatively mild, snow-free conditions. After last year, we can use a break.

Now on to a new week.