Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blister Packs

Everyone is familiar with blister packs. Those are the hard plastic packages that small purchases come in.  They are almost impossible to open.  I fret and tear, try to cut with scissors or knife, and still struggle to get those (expletive deleted) things open.

Recently, my wife bought a tool to open blister packs.  Guaranteed to cut through those hard plastic shells with ease, the advertisement said.  "Great," I thought, "no more fussing and cussing at those impossible to open packages. And just in time for Christmas!"

Guess what?  The blasted thing arrived safely ensconced in a blister pack.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Three years ago, we took a wonderful cruise to Norway.  In considering our next vacation, Mary Beth and I decided to try a Baltic Cruise. So with the able assistance of Dan Mandich, cruise planner with Luxury Cruise Connections, we formalized our plans.

Day 1
We booked Delta's Business Class and looked forward to the enhanced service and flat folding seats on the overnight flight. Boarding in Tampa, our flight to JFK was delayed due to weather. We finally arrived and missed our flight to London by about ten minutes.  Delta booked us on the next flight, so we were not terribly inconvenienced.  However, in contrast, we had a similar situation several years earlier while flying home from England on British Air. Our inbound flight to Gatwick was delayed. When we finally arrived in Gatwick, we were met by a British Air representative and shuttled to the plane taking us back to the States. They ensured we did not miss our flight. Delta didn't show that same level of concern or service.

Once aboard, the flight from JFK to London went fairly well. The food was okay, nothing spectacular, and the choice of wines, much hyped by Delta in their ads, was limited to two reds and two whites. I found the fold flat beds to be much too hard for me to find a comfortable position. Mary Beth, who normally has a hard time sleeping on a plane, fell right to sleep.  Entertained by the large selection of movies, I managed to pass the time well enough.

Arrival in Gatwick was easy. The Delta flight attendants handed out passes for a "Fast" lane through customs.  However, when we went to collect our luggage, it hadn't arrived. Delta assured us it would arrive on the next flight and they would deliver it to our hotel.

In assessing the flight over, Delta has made large strides in improving their service, both in their Skyteam Lounges and in the air.  However, they still have a way to go before catching up with their European counterparts. I've flown Business Class on British Air and Swissair, and found service on those carriers to be superior to Delta's.

We took a short cab ride from the airport to the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel. Tumbling into bed, I hadn't felt anything more soothing than the crisp, cool feel of those sheets. I was asleep as my head hit the pillow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tales out of School

As my blog readers know, all Tales out of School are true stories as related to me by the educators in my family.....

The first grade class were assigned to write a description.  One little boy asked his neighbor, "What's a 'scription?"

The girl to his left whispered, "You know, it's like when you go to the Doctor and he writes you a 'scription. For medicine."

Guess what they wrote.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I can't promise you forever
I can't promise you today.
All I promise is the strength within the circle of my arms
For as long as you are willing to remain.

Tomorrow is a dream that we have yet to realize
And yesterday has slipped out from our grasp.
We have yet to teach each other what is false and what is real
Or to understand just what it means to feel.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Writer's Block

I've been suffering from writer's block for some time now.  I have three projects I want to do and was trying to work on one of them - IT WAS AUGUST is the working title.

But I haven't been able to make much progress - I'd pick it up, go through the manuscript, make a few adjustments, and try to add a few more paragraphs to the story.  Painfully slow progress is not the way to get a story finished, even though it is all mapped out, the characters are set, the action is choreographed and each scene is cast in my mind.  So why the block?

I finally figure it out.  I've been working on the wrong project!  I set IT WAS AUGUST aside and started on the other story, and already have over 2,000 words in the can.  Voila, no more block. Hopefully, will be able to make this level of progress on the new story.

It's not that AUGUST is a bad project or a waste of time, far from it. It's a great story and hopefully I will be able to pick it up again once this one is complete.

Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A blurb on a very good book from a new author, Philip J. Steele.  In the interest of full disclosure, I confess that Phil is my son-in-law. Nonetheless, this is a very well written MG/YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel. First in a series of five, the second is well underway.  Here is a short description....

Trista Bomstruck is a fifteen year old creative engineer who fills her daily life by tinkering with amusing inventions. On the day of the annual inventors' fair, her world radically changes as a well-kept secret in her family heritage is discovered, causing her to become the focus of an aggressive robotic army.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tales out of School

Tales out of School are true stories brought to me from various local elementary schools. Here is the latest....

A teacher read a story to a group of three first grade (6 year old) students. When the story was over, the teacher asked, "Did you learn anything from this story?"

One bright 6 year old raised his hand and replied, "No, not really. Except for sex in high school, I pretty much know everything already."