Sunday, February 28, 2016


One of the most difficult things there is to do for anyone around children for any length of time is to explain loss.  Our family encountered this for the first time with children on the day of the Sandy Hook School tragedy.  While most of the grand children were too young at the time to really fathom what had happened there were two of them that struggled with it.

The most recent example of this was two days ago when a little boy in my grandson's second grade class suddenly died of massive brain bleed.  This happened this past Thursday.  The boy was a good friend of my grandson.

Naturally this caused a great deal of upset with the school community especially since they're still struggling with 12/14 but it caused lots of anger and confusion with my grandson.  He is struggling to make sense of how God could let something like this happen.

That of course is an age-old question to which there is no answer.  But you know kids.  They want answers.  So all we can do is say bad things sometimes happen and the best we can do is move forward trying to enjoy what we have.

Not very comforting, I admit and maybe someone trained with this issue could do a better job but I don't really know how.  So move forward is what we'll do and hope that suffices.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Another birthday rolls around...

Seventy three and counting.  Yet another birthday rolls around and generally I have no complaints having learned some time ago that the only  things that really matter in this life are  health, family and a few friends.

In that regard all is well so it's off and running for a few more years I hope. And it's these later years that are proving to be the best-for me anyway.

I'll have spent my birthday first in my grand daughter's class this morning, then relaxing with a good book this afternoon and finally out to dinner tonight with some friends.  Oh, and I spent a little time working on an experiment I plan to do in my 2nd grade grand son's class next week.  The best things are the simplest things.

Keep calm and carry on.

Bye for now. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Plenty to do

I've been working on a digital slide show I'm planning to show to two groups of people at Masonicare in Newtown.  The slide shows are at 10 & 11 o'clock on this Monday, George Washington's actual birthday so the theme everyone chose last month is American Historical sites.  We'll be taking a number of virtual tours-the second best thing to actually going to them.

Here are some of the places I pretty much arbitrarily chose:
Fort Ticonderoga
Boston Freedom Trai
Old Sturbridge Village
Valley Forge, PA
Gettysburg Historical site
Independence Hall
Mt Vernon
and finally,  The Alamo

Obviously when I think of early American history, the east coast pretty much dominates the scene but in effort to be well rounded, I threw in the Alamo.

Whether or not we get to all of these places depends on how long the audience wants to dwell in a particular place.  If we don't see them all, then there's always next month.

It's amazing how much there is to do within a couple hundred miles radius (except the Alamo of course).  If anyone is really interested in history, there are some great 2 to 3 day trips here. 

Who needs Disney World!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Listen to the whining

You hear that high-pitched whining sound?  It's our republican congressman protesting Pres. Obama's intention to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice in a timely fashion.  Republicans of course want him to wait until after the election so they can try to stack the court in their favor.

When it's perceived that Pres. Obama is playing fast and loose with the Constitution, they are outraged but when it's convenient for them to do it, well, that's different.

It get worse and worse. 

But now it's on to more cheerful topics like the current break in the bitter cold of the past few days.  Maybe we've turned the corner on this winter which thus far hasn't been anywhere near as bad as the past few years.

One can hope.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Point of Staging is ....what, again?

I couple of my 'friends' recently posted on my Facebook timeline ads for real estate professionals who will stage your house for you.  I guess staging is all the rage these days if you want to sell your house for top dollar.  Once upon a time all you had to do was pick up a little, do the dishes and get out...and very often you didn't even have to do leave. 

Now most real estate agents selling especially the more expensive houses recommend staging.  You have to get all your personal stuff off the walls, move out your ratty furniture and let a stager come in with new stuff the theory being the prospective buyers will walk through going ooooh and aaaaah and make multiple, ever increasing bids to have your beautiful house which of course they're getting emptied of all that neat stuff!

Personally, I think staging is a waste of money.  If people can't come through and imagine their stuff in there instead of your stuff, then they're too stupid to own your house in which case they'd be more trouble than they're worth anyway.

Take my expert real estate advice: forget staging...but I guess you better do the dishes and pick up your underwear.

Monday, February 8, 2016


Well, Super Bowl 50 is over-fortunately.  I'm almost as sick of football as I am politics-well, not really but you got the idea. I actually watched most of the game because I like Peyton Manning and I always root for the underdog.

Now, if you want to meet two football fanatics, you should meet my grandsons.  They love football!  Certainly a big reason for that is because their dad likes it too but they also want to play  the game. 

They even have a very impressive football card collection.  They have baseball cards too but not as many as football cards.

In my day it was all baseball.  My friends and I had hundreds of cards which we traded all the time.  At one point I had the entire Brooklyn Dodgers 1954 team.  Unfortunately they were lost in the floods of 1955. 

So now we're in that twilight zone of no more football and too early for baseball.  Well I suppose there's always basketball-or my choice-a really good book.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Happy Birthday

(Sing the below verse to the tune of "Happy Birthday")
Happy birthday to youuuu
Happy birthday to youuu
Happy BIRTHday, dear Faaaaacebooooook
Happy birthday tooooo youuuuu!

That's right. Twelve years ago today a young Harvard student decided to come up with a way for people to be in touch with each other on a virtually constant basis with just a few clicks of a keyboard.

Now you too can find out the last time someone took out the garbage or blew their nose or got a divorce-which is pretty much what it's come down to if you peruse some of the posts.

Yet, here I am, a Facebook member.  I must admit there are things I like about it.  I do get to keep in touch with colleagues, friends or distant family who I otherwise would not know a thing about.  Very often, that's not so bad but being the busybody I am, I like to snoop-to a point.  I finally realized I can block some of the more obnoxious posts without 'unfriending' people so that's what I do.

There is an aspect of Facebook though that's very troubling-cyberbullying.  It happens way too often among young people and sometimes leads to tragic results. 

For this reason-among many others-I feel sorry for parents these days.  Add social networking to the very, very long list of things they must now monitor and worry about.  Of course it isn't just Facebook.  There are lots of other social networking sites to keep track of as well.  All in the good name of technological progress. 

Ah, for the good old days when all we had to worry about was polio and smallpox and the bomb.