homeward bound?

Well, I've been home for many months with nothing interesting to report, thus the silence.  I have returned with a vengeance to facebook, however.  Perhaps I still have nothing interesting to write, but I have been scribbling things down recently and rather than post piecemeal a bunch of partial paragraphs, will dump the load here.  So put up your feet, roll up your sleeves or whatever, and feel free to wait until the movie version appears.  Or you could read this while listening to Peggy Lee singing  "Is That All There Is?" in the background.


Last week [early August 2010] was surprising. Surprisingly great, that is. Because of a spur of the moment decision.   Lori had decided to take a few days off of work and thought a day trip to Cape Cod might be fun. It would at least be cooler than inland where we live. 

And it certainly has been on the hot and humid side much more than I would want it to be. Or not to be. Not.

I suggested to Lori we might want to stay overnight, and she said that if I could find a place within her budget and within ten minutes we would do that. 

Well, it didn’t take me long to scout out some likely bed and baths on the Cape, pick a quiet town next to a jumping one, check the website and call the innkeeper, and book us a room for that night. He even offered to discount the rate significantly without being asked. 

Those rumors about a recession are certainly true on the Cape, unfortunately. Here it is, at the height of the tourist season, and hotel after motel after BnB have vacancies, and the usual rule of a 2-night stay at a BnB has been waived. 

We had a light-traffic [yes!] drive down the road, over the canal and onto the bridge, and around many rotaries which seem to be a particularly loved traffic style down thar. 

We found the place easily, walked to the beach, literally around the corner, and enjoyed the cool breezes and caught a few rays. 

There was even entertainment, as a good size craft [mebbe 20+’] had somehow run aground, and it took a group effort of sailors and landlubbers to get it back floating on the water, which they eventually did.

The BnB was full of friendly strangers and very hospitable innkeepers. 

The breakfast [included] the next morning included a great spread, from toastings of breads varied, bagels, cereal, freshly brewed coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice, all manner of fresh fruit including several kinds of melon, and the piece of resistance…

French toast stuffed—with pineapple. These folk sure know how to put on a spread. It was more like a meal and a half.   We could skip lunch that day.

We enjoyed our stay so much we decided to stay on the Cape one more night. The BnB was booked solid the second night so we bid farewell.

We drove the next town over and went down to the harbor and walked amongst the motels and hotels across the street from the wharfs, and again, vacancy signs galore, and so we stayed that second night in a motel. Both nights’ accommodations included room air conditioners and private baths, and things could not have been nicer. 

Aaron wanted to take his 3rd [and my 1st] duckmobile tour of Hyannis and so we did. The Vietnam-era duck was incredibly smooth sailing around the harbor, with no splashy-splash of water near us, things which I had wondered about anxiously and unnecessarily. 

Food as per my usual inclination was seafood seafood seafood. Even bought a t-shirt. Nothing was overpriced, nothing was a ripoff. 

Stay for under $40 per night per person, meals could be had for about $10, and the t-shirt--$5. Gasoline there cost the same or less than the local petroleum vendors.

What else can I say? Now we have two Capes we want to return to annually, the one of Cod and the one of Anne, respectively to the south and north of us earthbound types. 

So nice to leave the heat ‘n’ humidity combo at home, at least for a few days at a time.

This last Saturday, after resting up from travels ending the day before, we were invited to a rare family gathering at cousins’ house. 

I have never seen so much [dead] lobster in one place at one time. Lobster has been particularly inexpensive lately, selling for less than almost all of those critters of the finned persuasion. 

Lobster is not my cup of tea, but there was plenty else in the way of comestibles to feed everyone there [about 50 I would write]. 

I was a good boy and had not starchy buns of any kind to go with hot dog and sausage and burger. 

And my favorite yellow mustard in the world was to be had, Heinz [love that vinegary flavor!], which does not get sold around here in any supermarket or grocery store I can find in reasonable distance. 

If I paid $50 to join one of them clubs I could buy it once every summer when they bundle it with relish and mustard as a picnic combo, but that’s too stiff a price for me to afford. Oh well. 

I did not partake of anything alcoholic, a sure sign I am growing old I suppose, but there was more than ample amounts of diet sodas to go along with the cookies, peach pie, apple pie, blueberry pie [amongst other dessert items]. 

A tip of the non-existent hat to the hosts, my wife’s cousins and kin. [If you remember Jimmy Hatlo’s hat, you’re a right geezer you are!] 

Hard to get so many related people together, what with people attending from California to Germany, so it was exceedingly terrific to see so many rarely seen by me. 

The weather they had ordered was just perfect all day and evening, low humidity and in the 70s [F]. Except near the bonfire, a raging inferno of ex-pallets and such, built on the premises and across the street from the area’s fire marshall. 

I just wish we had anywhere near the room, indoors and outdoors, that cousins have, so we could reciprocate accordingly, but hopefully we can at least rustle up several cousins and such for a smallish get-together. 

But they’ll have to supply the ping pong balls. And there is no room for a bouncy castle like they had.

The good time was had by all. And then I wrote…

Lori had one more day off subsequent to those events, and it was decided to attend the 128th annual Bolton Fair, actually held in next-town Lancaster, but still amidst apple orchards aplenty. 

Now this day was spent well away from the shore, but the weather was surprisingly in our favor, being unseasonably cool and with a delightful breeze, which only occasionally turned to remind us of the various domesticated and occasional “wild” animals resident. 

If you count a cockatiel and a descented skunk as wild. Reptiles and raptors, oh my! There were actually quite a few kinds of Australian-native animals on display, all with signs abounding [abounding?] stating “not a threatened species.” 

Aaron kept himself busy for a while “fighting” a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman on a Microsoft Xbox 360 setup. The farrier/blacksmith shop area was too hot for me to handle for any length of time, and I missed the pig races. Oh well. I found the knife-throwing act dull. Ugggh. 

But in one of the tents Banjo Dan and the Mid-Nite Plowboys held court, whatever that means, and although they obviously were no longer boys, they still maintained a high energy level and were very professional and good, and got quite a few members of the audience up and dancing.

Did not indulge at all in the fried twinkies and fried oreo cookies available, skipped the pierogies and stuffed cabbage, ignored the funnel cakes and sausage ‘n’ pepper sandwiches, and only ventured once to eat, and that was a sugar-free Kona Ice shaved ice cup. 

Next time around we may descend earlier in the day and partake of the all you can drink all day homemade root beer for a tenor, errr, ten-spot. They also had sarsaparilla, although I doubt it was the real thing, it being illegal to make the genuine article in the USA. 

The only comestibles that did interest me were the blue-ribbon winning brownies and pies but that was verboten for the duration of the fair.

Not being a gambler by nature [wanna bet?] I let Lori and Aaron dominate the skee-ball game and return from the carnival side of the fair with two armloads of giant stuffed animals as their winnings. That was their booty call.

Such a deal—all day and night entertainment for a measly six bucks and parking for free. I did not inquire as to how much money was spent skee-balling, but it was fun enough to warrant circling next year’s calendar and attending the 129th annual fair.


 

refrain or retrain?

Glory be!  It's been slightly less than forever since I posted anything here.  I have not been totally hibernating, and recently became more involved in writing via facebook.  Also I am currently retrieving old photo albums full of fannish nonsense and posting pictures at facebook under my name, and also will copy to the OldFen too.  To paraphrase Ms J Mitchell, you don't know what you got till the egoboo is gone. 

And now to the Aaron Department:  Aaron has got hooked on Dunkin Donuts chai lattes, which is as caffeinated as he gets, at least on the hot water front.  He can drink himself silly on Diet Coke/Pepsi which makes him want to stay up all night [Talking Heads reference, yes] which makes him a terror at the free refills fooderies, and am sure will work to his favor should he go to a convention and its room parties.  He wants to bag groceries this summer so I should mention Readercon to him, which he could save up for, but never having been to one myself, I don't know how party hearty the Readercon crowd is.  Aaron likes steampunk but doesn't know it yet, and keeps busy with Harry Turtledove books.  Although this weekend he started and finished [and read the inbetween bits too] Scott Westerfeld's Leviathin, and he urges me to read it, which I just might.

Anybody remember Hatcon?  Photos to come on the facebook side.


  • Current Music
    not It's Raining Men

not enough time for choosing a subject

More of a non-posting than posting, just a note to say I can't seem to set aside time to post a note. Insert quote spoken by Yul Brynner [sp?] as King of Siam here. Hmm, I guess I can also be accused of the occasional bout of verbal constipation.
  • Current Music
    one third of a Teresa Brewer recording
  • Tags

my spouse and the pedestal that gives her nosebleeds [my fault]

The following started as a short reply within my facebook account to something Robin SMOF was writing about, but I got carried away and cut and pasted this response that expanded into, well, all-out accolades and huzzahs on my part.

So if you are not interested in me proclaiming Lori to be more than human [I miss Theodore Sturgeon now] then just skip this posting. I thank you and above all thank her for giving me a life worth living. Hmm, I might just reprint this on next Mother's Day. Or maybe not. If I remember...

I seem to be constantly telling Lori not to take on all the world's ills. I'd probably run out of fingers counting all the things she has done in recent years out of her own time and often at her expense, starting with Red Cross training and being the bridge between the area office/council or whatever they call the organization, and several local communities when it comes to homeland security. She knows quite a few area first responders by name and has been in the state underground civil defense center watching the walls of high-def screens showing video from across the state [we could walk there from our house if we wanted to hide out in the event of a natural or unnatural disaster--we could walk there but getting someone to hear our door pounding and acknowledge us and allow us in is another story], not to mention the blood she's given, the times she has responded calls to run the mobile Red Cross van when it comes to assisting folks who have lost their earthly possessions and dwellings to big fires and other local calamities, and even going down to Georgia for 10 days of post-tornado assistance. She's got some good stories.

She has also spent several years counseling prisoners, both male and female, at several state penitentiaries [sp?], has been the surrogate daughter/friend to lonely elders in nursing homes [but they still died anyways--well they were in their 90s], and remember I have a terrible memory [Or did I say that already?] and there are probably as many if not more charitable things I don't remember. Wait, an activist advocating for the needs of hearing-impaired and deaf citizens throughout the state [insurance coverage for multi-thousand dollar digital hearing aids--never heard of it!], and at the same time creating a SIG [for enabling disabled to participate equally with all others] and heading it within her profession's international membership/organization. She is some fellow. Therein. Hey, am I getting close enogh to nominate her to become a Jewish saint? Peace Prize? Would you believe Good Conduct Medal. A state-proclaimed day in her honor? Well, she deserves that for simply putting up with and supporting me all these years, in many ways. Can you imagine my humor 24/7? I can almost hear you shuddering;)

pictures

Well, I just had a marathon session at looking at the photos posted on the Facebook OldFen site.  That's enough nostalgia for a while, except I wrote to Robin, after her request, I would contribute to the album, since I have already uploaded pictures to my own Facebook page.  But uploading to OldFen shouldn't take much time so I shall get to it, well not this minute as my body still demands sleeptime of me, but RSN.

up your dates

Lucy

Provocative, ain't I?  I have started going through old convention photographs and scanning them into the pc.  For Lucy and anyone else wanting to,  I give permission to individuals to [re]post photographs as long as they are not for profit and are listed as [small c in a circle] copyright by me, your buddy, Ron Salomon, and I get notified of its [re]publication.  I hope this is legally correct and hunky dory and if any of you esquires out there have corrections/additions/deletions to the above language, well then, let me know.  I just wanted to make the pictures available, make sure that no one else makes a profit off of them [well, at least without me getting a share of the multimillions to come] and make sure I get the recognition as the photographer. 

Enjoy!

Hey Red, any good books lately?

Lori went for her annual physical to see a very subdued doctor.  He wasn't his usual ebullient self and Lori thinks that is because it's the first time he has seen her since all this Stage 1 business and she has a couple of new scars he might be seeing for the very first time.  Lori came home in an upbeat mood though as her physician declared her all done with this peri- and meno business she has been dealing with on a regular basis for lo these many decades.

I have started to get into the backlog of friends' LJ postings and comments, so even if I don't leave my mark/leave a comment, rest assured that I am still reading.  Seems  like quite a few people have been celebrating anniversaries--congrats to those people, and sympathetic vibrations are being sent to the phsyically afflicted among us.  [Aaron and I both "graduated" from our physical therapy sessions this week.]  And as for the weather, we had much snow earlier in the week but nothing to shovel, no snow that didn't melt too fast to take a picture of, only white stuff evidence that lasted any amount of time was the coating of snow on cars left out in the cold all day, but that was easily swept away by the windshield wipers.  I don't live near Toad Woods, but I would like to visit sometime after the need for winter tires is over.

The 20th anniversary of that big shakeup in San Fran brought out some interesting tales which I enjoyed reading from a distance.  I do think the east coast is 'way overdue for the same kind of earthshake.  Not that I am wishing for one but it would be nice to see all the autumn leaves hit the ground at the same time so raking doesn't have to be done over and over.

After a request made by Aaron, I have started to type up the story of my parents' escape from the Nazi killing machine, so now at least there will be some written record of their "adventures."  Dedicated thinking on the subject caused me to stir up some memories I had forgotten that I knew, so that it's turning out to be a bit lengthier than I originally inagined it.  I am undecided as to whether or not to publish my writings on the events that they went through, so leave a comment if you have an interest in reading it.  I know Aaron wants to share it with his high school classsmates to foster more of an understanding in them of how World War II changed people's lives, to put the subject under the microscope, so to write. 

would the Nairobi Trio approve of making love in a canoe?

Nostalgia Alert!

Watching the first night of the Monty Python 40th anniversary celebration on TV reminds me of what I did and didn't miss during those years and earlier.  My odd sense of humor and what I find funny goes back to watching Ernie Kovacs on TV in the '50s and '60s.  Kovac was very inventive in using TV the way the Goons used radio, using his very low budget to creatively go silent, look actually sometimes like German silents of the '20s, shoot video with odd perspectives and optical illusions--those liquids running not down but other ways was intriguing to me as a youth.  He was probably the first entertainer whose death I mourned.  Just the first of many needless and stupid celebrity deaths.   

Musically Tom Lehrer, and on the radio the Stan Freberg Show and, via BBC Worldwide Service on my shortwave receiver, the Goons, impressed me mightily.  So much so I taped many Goon Shows off the BBC WS repeats for years, and searched out the British records containing two shows per disc.  I even bought Peter Seller's Greatest Hits album and several Frost Reports record albums .  Never was in the right place at the right time to get the two Beyond the Fringe albums though, or the Bonzos' records.  Stateside Nichols & May, Bob and Ray, the Smothers Brothers and The Limeliters caught my attention.  From Canada a favorite radio program was I'm Sorry, I'll Read That again, listened to and taped. 

I still have the old Mad Magazine comic book-era paperback collections and some slightly shredded issues of Help! Magazine, which introduced me to the fumetti [sp?] that Bill Rotsler later got himself into.  Didn't he?

It was with much delight I got to see bits of some of the extant [izzat the right word?] pre-Python stuff from Part One of the MP docs.  I hope some day more of that becomes commercially available here.  Hereabouts The Two Ronnies were broadcast, must have been in the '70s, and definitely in that time period there was the Marty Feldman Show on our ABC, which I think recycled the MP animated opening with his image superimposed.  Can anyone verify that for me?  And I don't remember American TV going the same route as England, with their combination of interior videotape and exterior film use.


Raymond? Brrr!

Friday was our first taste of winter precipitation, with a visibility-reducing blizzard of a snowstorm which fortunately melted upon hitting the ground.  But it wasn't enough to keep me from seeing The Invention of Lying, which was as enjoyable as I thought it would be.  I've enjoyed Mr Gervais since first seeing him in The Office on BBC America.  Funny the movie is, witty too, and more than a flipside to Jim Carrey's Liar Liar.  I have a feeling there is at least one line which will prove to be memorable, but I dunno which one, although "Do we have time to get to a hotel?" is Aaron's fave.

Saturday went from my evaluation and "graduation" from physical therapy at the local rehab place [my left knee feels much younger now thanks] to the eagerly awaited annual running of the pies.  And by that I mean the annual Pies on the Common, where the slices and breads and pies get sold while still warm from the ovens in the neighborhood, and ya gotta be quick to get the flavors you want before they disappear until another 365 or so days have passed.  Our local version of a pastrified Brigadoon, but 100 times more often thankyou.

Sunday finds a bit of a Nor'Easter knocking on the neighborhood doors, ours being no exception.  The wind and the horizontalized rain are as enjoyable as any other kind of weather hereabouts, at least to me.  Reason to don hoodies and anoraks and brave them wet and windy elements to go out.  Now I've got a tune repeating in my head, somethiing like "I like a wet face, I like to boogie..."

 

(no subject)

Where have I been?  Surviving the summer.  No excuse at all for the 8-week gap in communications.  But I do apologize to one and all.  The portable AC is now removed for service until next summer and we had our first killing frost the night of October 11-12.  As Bobby Vee would say, "Stayin' in" and reviving the itch to write.

Catching up...the backyard critters have been thriving this year, with a whole family of bunnies, one of chipmunks, and of course the common grey squirrel abounds,  Bounds too.  Also a good year for bluejays and robins and doves [?].  The local hawk population has doubled to two.  A long-term trend of butterflies in very short supply continues.  Fewer dead skunks on the road this year, ditto for possums and the ever-popular miscellanious roadkill.  The foxes and deer and chubacapras [sp?] are not close enough yet to be concerned about. 

In terms of 2-footed critters the whole family more or less survived unscathed.  Aaron had to have outpatient surgery to knock him out so a stubbornly recurring ingrown toenail could be attended to in a permanent way.  Got the first bill for that today:  removal of nail bed:  $5820.97.  I can only imagine how much a splinter might cost!

David financially wounded us by not keeping up the maintenance on his auto to the tune of some $1800 [with an additional $700 of work deferred].  Lori was able to take a much-deserved break from work and got to spend a few days in southern California, staying with friends.  And me, I spent just under $10 for a wireless printer router doohickey which has yet to be properly set up as it hasn't been needed yet.  But someday...

Attended one bat mitzvah and one legal-in-Massachusetts [wink wink nudge nudge] wedding.  Conventions zero.  I've been reading some L Sprage deCamp and now have sitting on my night table a collection of F&SF alternate history stories titled One Lamp.  This year we have had three TVs die in the house.  Haven't replaced them yet, wondering what will happen on Black Friday.  Right now the best prices on LCD HD TVs and monitors would be 19" monitor [new] for $59, and a three-pack of new 24" TVs for $500.  Of course I would like to go bigger [42" selling now in the $400s] but that depends on the generosity of Santa Cohen.  For that matter we still haven't gone Blu-Ray yet but Lori is making noises about one for the holidays [blu-ray player $69, blu-ray burner $169, with all them prices continuing to slide downwards me hopes].

On Steve Green's recommendation saw Zombieland, quite amusing with several guffaw-worthy lines of dialogue.  That Ricky Gervais movie about The Invention of Lying calls me hither to the cinema, so hopefully I'll get there before it leaves the area.  I'm pleasantly surprised that the Michael Jackson film tickets are selling for the same price as all the other films, at least 'round here.  It's not a high priority item for my eyeballs.

Otherwise I've started [or restarted for ongoing series] watching a few shows regularly rather than sporadically.  The titles include FlashForward, Fringe, Heroes, and favorite Top Gear.  I may add The Big Bang Theory to that list.  My picture isn't aging so I accept the consequences, taking it personally.  My left knee has gone all naughty on me by way of arthritis so I've been flexing and stretching at a physical therapy location.

And much as I'd like to break the non-attending streak, I don't see me attending any cons.  It will be six in a row missed for Corflu, which is particularly aggravating since I know Steve Green, world traveler that he is,  is attending.  As Chuck says, "Too much monkey business for me."

And that, dear friends, is that, all my scattered thoughts written down via keyboard and pc.

Tegedizzi,  Ron