Founded December 17,1912    Ceased Publication Thursday February 1, 1951

Book 1 Volume 21

Original Volume 21 Edited with Komposer


At this time, I think it would be wise to make some kind of a statement as to the motives, as well as the purpose behind this web page.

Recently son, George, and grandsons Andy and Jason encouraged me to turn this from a letter into a web page. A web page offers a vast new opportunity to also display pictures along with the usual text. They set it up and instructed me how to put it on line every week. Bear in mind, to this old geezer, this represents rocket science.

I do have an agenda. I try to write an upbeat page, with a bit of humor and not get too confrontational in my opinions, well, now! I do have some very firm opinions that have a way of working their way into these letters. I also am very much pro computer and try to do as much as I can to encourage their use. I hope to reach out to former Palmertonians, as well as other friends and relatives, with whom I would like to maintain contact. We may not agree on everything, however, my intentions are honorable.

I suppose the on going saga of the adventures of Queen and Bobby is about as fascinating as watching paint dry or grasses grow. We don’t lead a very fast paced life. With us what you see, is what you get. However, there is a lot of love in this house.

If anyone is offended by my content, I am sorry, but at 77years of age, I am doing something I enjoy very much. I am not about to change my ways now. As our late son Jack said,” I am me and you are you.” Phrased more succinctly, Tough beans” there is always the delete button. Ha!!

Butternut fred

Our Butternut


Saturday, April 10, 2004 7:03 AM 34 Deg at LVIA and 31 deg in the bus stop

Golly a new week is beginning for this web page. It looks like a nice day to start.  Rain is predicted for Easter Sunday though.

This morning my weight slipped back up to 206 but the blood glucose is a much better 128 this morning. I will be heading outside with Butternut as soon as my 8 O’clock coffee is ready.
Last evening I spoke to Tommy about moving my satellite dish. He said he would be over Saturday morning and we would see

I think all this requires a bit of explanation as to what it is all about. About 6 years ago I was looking for a different source of classical music for us here in the house. I understood that the Direct TV satellite company had a source of good both classical and easy listening music available on their system along with the video. Fm radio was abysmal in this regard. This was long before computer streaming audio. Classical local FM stations were hard to find. For awhile WNEP carried WQXR on their second audio channel along with their regular TV audio. I purchased a special adaptor to permit me to receive them, and I availed myself of that for over a year until a storm up at Wilkes-Barre ended that.

That was when Queen and I went to showrooms looking for a demonstration of the DBS stuff. I bought a system from Radio Shack and Tommy and I installed it. It has worked well for years until the trees in the back yard got so large that the leaves killed the signal in summer hence the moving today. I wasn’t interested in the pictures. We already get all I want on Blue Ridge cable. The only one I will occasionally look at is C Span2, which carries the US senate.

As with the cable there are different levels of service but for me the dish would be fine just for the music, I ended up buying the lowest level of service that would still give me the music. I asked if I could buy just the music but they said no they only sell it in packages. Electronically being digital there is no technical reason they couldn’t do it. If you don’t pay your bill they will shut you down quickly. Oh well!

Sow on dish

From this

                                                                                                                        dish on window                                      dish side view

to this 

Geez, it would be nice if it worked

 Well today Tommy came over and we removed the satellite dish from the next to the bus stop and placed it on the front of the house attached to the wood around the window, outside the sewing room. We thought we were doing alright. We were getting beeps close together. However we noticed that we needed more adjustment room. Our mounting brackets were incorrect. That meant when all else fails read the instructions. Sheez!!!

We had the pipe with the curved part on wrong. So, we reassembled it and did it correctly. We even used a level. Tommy had a compass with a device that would also set the elevation angle. However, now we have nothing. We get an occasional beep but nothing approaching a constant stream. We were dead in the water, so we knocked off. Later I remembered that I called the DBS technician for a different problem and he suggested a reboot of the system. Now, I have the AC plug pulled out of the control box and will try to see if anything is there. No, I still have just an occasional beep. One additional problem is that we have two sets of coordinates one gotten by using the zip code gotten from on the air, and one that was sent to me it when I wrote to them. They are a bit different. So temporally we are stuck.

                                                                        Adjustin dish                                                            adjusting dish 2

                                                                                                                                            My local satellite antenna expert


We have zilch!!

DBS provides a dish orientation program that one uses to install a new system as seen above. One of the problems with that program is that it shuts down after about 5 min. thus losing the directional beacon. Now getting in and out of that front porch window for this old geezer is a bitch. That means it takes two people to do it.  One to actually make the adjustment and me to keep re setting the signal tone. So that is how it stands as of now. More later.

I was communicating with grandson, Andy, today. I sent him an e-mail explaining my problem in detail with regard to getting my web page up and online myself. I found an excellent medium of communication is either a picture or a screen shot taken of my computer showing exactly my particular problem, then zipping it and e-mailing it to him.

 He was kind enough to reply modifying my screen shot to show in graphic detail exactly where I screwed up. Man, but that is a very handy thing to be able to do. I have his reply both filed and printed. Thanks, Andy.


Sunday, April 11, 2004 7:26 AM 39 deg at LVIA and 40.6 in the bus stop

          This morning the weight was 205 but the blood sugar a low 127. These lower readings all have happened with the opening of a new bottle of test strips. So far, they have been consistently reading lower. This is only the second one from the new bottle. The batch numbers all agree with the machine, so I don’t know. I like it better though.

          Butternut and I were out this morning. It is a gray dull kind of day, it does indeed portend rain soon.

          Well I guess I have finally solved my problem with putting this web page on line thanks to grandson Andy. I was able to successfully remove some older pages last evening. I was getting close to my limit. It now is a more manageable  13.75 MB of space. I couldn’t put this thing out without their help. They have been immensely valuable to me and always willing to help as well as answer sometimes very stupid questions. They are very understanding of people who know much less than they namely me. I try to keep this in mind when I  try to explain something in computers to people who know even less than I. I realize that is hard to believe but in five years I have learned quite a lot. The blind pig and the acorn!!!

There is one thing about this medium and computers in general you can’t reason with them. It must be done exactly their way. Now, there are often a lot of different ways to get to the proper procedure but the implementation is strictly it’s way and is only what the machine will understand. They are fast but they are stupid. <PERIOD>

Now at 9:40 AM we are back from a walk. It is raw this morning with a chilly east wind so we cut it short at 4th Street. On the way back Pattie beeped at us. She must have been to the early church service.
On a cool, chilly, morning I thought I would brighten up this page with a “happy picture”

Queen is reading the paper and I will soon. There wasn’t a whole lot of news in it today.

Now let me be clear on this.

I just got this from Queen’s cousin Bob Greenawalt. I want it understood that only a few parts of this apply to us.


  We always hear "the rules" from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules!

  Please note.... these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!

  1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down!

  1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

  1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

  1. Crying is blackmail.

  1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:

  Subtle hints do not work!

  Strong hints do not work!

  Obvious hints do not work!

  Just say it!   Here here!!! This one applies to me especially.

  1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

  1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for. This one I strongly disagree with.

  1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

  1.. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

  1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

  1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one. True!!

  1. You can either ask us to do something  or tell us how you  want it done. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

  1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

  1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

  1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

  1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.  [for Bobby this includes gas!! I think she might name me Flatch!!]

  1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

  1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

  1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really.

  1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

  1. You have enough clothes.

  1. You have too many shoes.

  1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

  1. Thank you for reading this.

            Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

I just got this from Lee Bollinger about the bit on Indian Trail Park.


                                                                                                           LEE BOLLINGER”

Earlier I got this message from Betsey Burnhauser. Here in part is what she said,

“I really enjoyed Barbara Shepherd's reminisce. The input from subscribers is especially enjoyable.”

Well that goes for me also. I do like to hear from all of you.

          Tonight for supper Queen had a small half of a chicken breast each, small red potatoes, fresh spinach, fresh green beans, low fat cottage cheese, and applesauce. For dessert she had a small dish of ice ream and fresh coffee. It was an excellent meal.

Monday, April 12, 2004 7:27 AM 39 deg at LVIA and 40.2 in the bus stop
This morning the weight is 205 and the blood sugar 141. Rain is predicted for the next few days. It is supposed to start here this afternoon.
I took the recyclables to the alley this morning. I shall have to go downtown for my blood pressure medication prescription. I am not going to the Ironworks today. Tomorrow is my stress test and I want to be rested up for it.

Today is washday for Queen. At least it isn’t the big one. Queen and I were outdoors and I took some more pictures of the bulb flowerbed. It is a shame that they don’t last all summer.

                                                                    flowers 1                          flowers 2                flowers 3

It is unfortunate that there was no sun when I took these pictures.  It would have made the colors much more vibrant.

Well this afternoon DeSousa’s Plumbing called to come and fix the outdoor faucet. A problem that dummy caused in the first place by forgetting to turn off the valve to the hose in the basement and disconnect the hose at the onset of winter. When I did attempt to do it, it was frozen solid as a rock. This of course caused me to twist and break off the valve stem on the hose faucet. Well all they had to do was twist off the old faucet and put on a new one. Sheez!!!
Then the “glow in the dark” Nuclear medicine department at the hospital called to remind me to be at the Hospital at 7:15 am tomorrow for my stress test.

Tonight we are dining in God’s restaurant. Queen’s spaghetti was on the menu and it was delicious. She has a sure fire hit there.


Yesterday I moved the feeder out of the dogwood tree and put it next to the bus stop.


Tuesday, April 13, 2004 6:47 AM 41 deg at LVIA and 40.6 in the bus stop

 My blood glucose is 151 and the weight is 204. Well, at 7 am I leave for the hospital for my stress test. More later.

 <10:30 am> I am back. It wasn’t bad at all. The nurse put all kinds of patches on my chest and established the set up for an IV. She had a terrible time doing it because of the hair on my chest and arms and my naturally oily skin. Old Bobby, who Queen sometimes calls “Hairy gorilla”, is also a grease ball. Geez. She said that oily skin is good for me but hard for her job. Then it was over to X ray where I asked to drink 16 oz of water and was placed on a trolley and had to lay  still with my arms over my head for 15 or 20 minutes. Back to the EKG area and onto the treadmill. A young lady from the nuclear medicine department arrived with a small metal container that must have been lead lined. I said "Wow that must be powerful stuff." She laughed and said it was mostly for their protection because they were around that stuff all day. That made sense to me. Then my cardiologist Dr. Kolecki arrived and supervised the treadmill test. Man they pushed the Hell out of me. They had me walk on it for a time and then gradually increased the incline and the speed. I was told that they would increase the machine’s settings so that I would be at my maximum heart rate for one minute. They asked me if I could do it while they administrated the isotope IV. Well I did it with really no great difficulty.  Oh but I was puffing like Hell. They kept asking me if I had any pain or if could handle it and I gasped “No. I was all right." I really think I could have gone a little bit longer, not much, but I wouldn’t have cared for them to push it up a couple more notches Both Dr. Kolecki and the nurse said I did very well. By the time I was finished I was gasping pretty damn hard.

You know I have always said my swimming continuously without stopping 1/3 of a mile every day,seven days a week during the summer swimming season was money in the health bank which I draw upon for the coming winter. Well I sure withdrew from that account to its maximum today.

          He did admonish me to tell Queen that we both should keep active but he stressed do not overdo and to watch my weight as well.

 Speaking of that Queen has been suffering for the last few days from pain in her left leg. She had the vein stripped by the now deceased Dr. Asa several years ago.  Wearing elastic stockings they gave her after the operation relieved the pain. This has had occasional flare-ups ever since she has it done and this has all happened before We both think she has been going at it too hard outdoors in the yard work department. However it is very hard for her to slow down. My entreaties are useless. She really knows better. Ha!!!!

 Then it was back to the X ray machine more water and them the final scan. As I lay there,I could glimpse an occasional view of the small display screen attached to the top of the machine. I could see something was going on in my chest area. As an electronics buff I found that very interesting. I would love to have a digital picture of it.

When I returned to the EKG department the technician was running behind schedule because Doctor Kahn was late. He was the doctor for the patient before me, Annette Halmi’s husband. She said Dr. Kolecki is never late and is very polite and courteous. He is a pleasure to work with.

          This morning in the post we got this picture of our granddaughter, E Lana. She is the daughter of Linda and our late son Jack. She is a beautiful young girl. We are so glad to have the picture that Linda sent us this morning along with a very nice card and letter. We do appreciate it very much.

E Lana

E Lana

Tonight for supper we had salmon, a small baked potato each, broccoli for Queen and Brussel sprouts for me. Cottage cheese and applesauce added to the good meal. Then we had a small dish of ice cream with fresh cut strawberries on it. That with a cup of fresh ground 8 o’clock coffee finished a superb meal. I think I shall sleep better tonight. Ha!!


Wednesday, April 14, 2004 7:08 AM 48 Deg at LVIA and 49.8 in the bus stop

Golly, to say the least I am glad yesterday’s hospital trip is over. This morning the blood glucose was 143 and the weight 204. It is a gray murky foggy morning so far today. As soon as the coffee is ready Butternut and I will be heading outdoors.

<Later> As I sat out on the lower park bench with Butternut it was comfortable sitting there contemplating my surroundings and our lives. Sitting out quietly like that is a marvelous tonic to make one appreciate the little things in life. Just to have the time to be able to do this is also a blessing. These days everyone is in a hurry.

Queen and I are indeed fortunate to be as well as we are and to have as good health as we do in our lives. It is no accident because we do work at it. I suspect both of us picked “good parents” genetically Ha!! . More and more I appreciate the blessings we have had bestowed upon us. We are not ungrateful. I am a contented man!!

I think I will go to the Ironworks this morning and have a crack at the machines.

<Later> Well I am back. I took Dr Kolecki’s advice. I had a pleasant walk on the treadmill but did not push myself. Actually using the upper body equipment was the hardest part. I renewed my membership for this month but told him that once PMPA opens that will be the last of me until next fall.

Then I had to stop at IGA  Queen wanted a few emergency supplies for her candy making today. I also stopped at the T.N. and spoke to Pattie. She wanted some more information for the article she is writing about both the  small masthead  and myself. I was able to fill her in on all that stuff. It will appear this Saturday.

I got this site from Bob Dunn quite a while ago. It is very informative. This from that page.
Military Numbers Are Rising Virginian-Pilot April 14, 2004
swearing inDespite a rising tide of combat deaths and the prospect of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan for years to come, Americans continue to volunteer for duty and are re-enlisting at record rates.

The services believe a combination of patriotism and the economy is driving people to the military and keeping them there.

"The war is not only not having a negative effect, but it is helping to reinforce the number of people who want to join," said Cmdr. John Kirby, a spokesman for the Navy's Bureau of Personnel.

Even the Army National Guard, which has had 150,000 citizen soldiers mobilized for up to a year, has seen retention rates "going through the roof," said Guard spokesman Maj. Robert Howell.

"Mass exodus has not been the case in the Army National Guard," said Howell, deputy chief of the Strength Maintenance Division at the National Guard Bureau in Washington.

The Guard was prepared to lose up to 18 percent of units returning from lengthy deployments, but it has averaged just 16.6 percent, with some as low as 12.6 percent, Howell said.

The Guard fully expects to again reach its recruiting goal of 56,000 members this year, to maintain its total strength of 350,000.

The Guard's goal for first-term re-enlistments , for those with less than six years of service, had been 65 percent this fiscal year but has rocketed to 141 percent - which indicates that additional members re-enlisted early, usually to take advantage of bonuses.

The goal for second- and third-term enlistments, or those considered "career" soldiers, was set at 85 percent in the Guard but has come in at 136 percent, Howell said.

The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard all met or exceeded their year-end recruiting goals for fiscal year 2003, which ended Sept. 30. The figures continued to climb in the first half of fiscal year 2004, which was reached March 31.

The Army is at 100.1 percent of its "active duty mission," said spokesman Douglas Smith, reviewing numbers current as of March 29. Smith said 34,593 soldiers had been enlisted for the active Army and 8,331 for the Reserves. The Army has been ahead of its goal every year since 2000 and every month this year, Smith said.

The Navy is meeting all recruiting and retention goals and has cut the number of new recruits this year to the lowest target in 30 years.

Instead of bringing 41,200 new recruits into the service this fiscal year, the Navy will cut it off at 40,450, said Lt. Bill Davis with the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn.

"Thus far, through March, we've recruited 15,636, but this is normally our slow period," Davis said. "Things kick up in the summer with high school graduates. Where we've been getting 2,000 a month, we'll jump to 4,000 a month in the summer."

Navy re-enlistment rates are at an all time high, with 62.3 percent of first-term sailors signing up for additional service. That compares with a targeted goal of 56 percent. The rate has grown each year since 2000, when 48.2 percent of the first-term sailors re-enlisted.

For those with six to 10 years of service, the Navy re-enlisted 74.1 percent; its goal had been 70 percent. For those with 10 to 14 years of service, 88.7 percent re-enlisted so far this year; the goal was 85 percent.

The last time the Navy missed its recruiting goal was in 1998, Davis said.

In the Air Force, new recruit contracts are coming in at 104.2 percent of goal in fiscal year 2003 and reached 102.6 percent of goal through March.

The Air Force is retaining 67 percent of its first-term enlisted members, 75 percent of its second term, and 98 percent of its career enlisted .

Like the Army, the Marine Corps has been in the thick of combat in Iraq, yet the Marines have exceeded their monthly recruiting goal every month for the past 106 consecutive months, or for nearly nine consecutive years.

From October to December 2003 - the first quarter of fiscal year 2004 - the Marines recruited 9,201 potential members, surpassing their goal of 8,729.

Even the Coast Guard, which has grown by more than 10 percent to 40,000 since the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is keeping its members .

The Coast Guard has lost 7 percent to 8 percent of its force through attrition each year. In 2001 the rate was 7.65 percent; in 2002 it was 7.9 percent, said Chief Petty Officer Paul Rhynarb, at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington.

But in 2003 the rate fell to just 2.68 percent, Rhynarb said.

Chief Petty Officer John Hoesli, who heads the Coast Guard's recruiting station in Chesapeake, responsible for recruiting from Williamsburg to Cape Hatteras, has never seen recruiting so good. His office has been the most productive in the past four years and was named the best throughout the Coast Guard in 2001.

"Whether it's patriotism, or defending the nation by keeping the fight here and keeping terrorism out of here that draws people, I don't know," Hoesli said. He suspects those are some of the reasons, along with an economy that is sending more people into the service .

While the Coast Guard aims its sights mainly at the 18- to 20- year-old recruit, Hoesli said he is seeing older, more experienced candidates in their mid- to late-20s, many with college degrees.

After I was home, Queen wanted me to install the new bird feeder she just received from Birds and Blooms.
new feeder 1                            new feeder 2                    new feeder 3
It is copper or brass and is collapsible. It is shown above. It is neat.

Queen has been busy making peanut butter candy. Now she is going to dip them in chocolate. She put them in the downstairs fridge.

Later this afternoon we received a telephone call from Herbert Henry informing us of the death of David Horn’s sister, Betty, at the hospice near them at New Freedom, Pa. Dave is related to Herb’s wife, a cousin I believe. There is to be a service in Reading, Pa. with a graveside service up here in Towamensing Cemetery late Monday afternoon. She will be buried next to their Mother and Father in the family plot.

Things like this are hard for me to express myself adequately. When my sister Dorothy died I finally realized that now I am completely alone. The last dinosaur of my generation. Thank God we have children who are just marvelous.
Dave and Susan also have a wonderful family. Nonetheless there is that terrible feeling of emptiness. I often wish I could still pick up the telephone, speak to Dot, and seek her wise council. I know Queen feels the same way about her sisters. However I guess Tommy’s Dad, Alfie had it right. “No one is getting out of this one alive.”

Tonight for supper Queen had a real barn burner, Mac and cheese, a breaded fish filet each and stewed tomatoes for over the mac. It was superb. A cup of fresh 8 O’clock coffee finished the meal. We were too full for more.


Thursday, April 15, 2004 7:21 AM 43 deg at LVIA and 39.5 in the bus stop
It is strange looking outside this morning. There is a bright orange ball in the sky and it is so bright!! Ha, Golly but it is nice to see the sun.
This morning the blood glucose is 147 and the weight 204.As soon as the coffee is ready Butternut and I will go out and investigate this strange phenomena.

It is indeed a beautiful morning today although a bit chilly sitting there. There also seems to be quite a breeze kicking up.

The other day when the bird feeder arrived Queen also got a small electrical device into which are placed 2 AA batteries and it is then put in the fridge. It is a small replica of a pig and it has a light operated switch so whenever one opens the fridge door one hears “Oink, oink”. Last night after he went to bed I took it up to neighbor Mike house and his Mom and I put it in their refrigerator. Since he had to get up a 4AM, he goes to bed early. I have not heard from him yet. He is also on a diet.
This morning we will do our shopping. 
<11:35 AM> We are back. It wasn’t at all crowded at the stores so we got in and out quickly.

This afternoon Queen wanted to plant a pot of left over tulip bulbs. After I dug the hole for her I took these pictures.

    flowers 4                flowers 5      

This time the sun was out in all its glory. What a difference the sun makes!

flowers 6                flowers 3
            Today                                             previously no sunshine

Tommy was over tonight and we tried the DBS system set up again. There was nothing doing. This time we measured the voltage at the transponder and it was there. I suspect need a new one. Ha!! I heard from Mike. He loved the pig.


Friday, April 16, 2004 7:31 AM 36 deg at LVIA and 33.2 in the bus stop

This morning the blood glucose was 139 and the weight 204. It is a great looking day out here. I shall check for myself as soon as the 8 O’clock coffee is ready.
Golly but it was nice out side. I took the tarp off the glider and was able to enjoy that location. It has been too cold and wet to really enjoy it.
We are expecting Mary and Jim today for a short visit. It is always good to hear from any of the kids.
I saw this on the web this morning. It looks interesting. It is from KIM KOMANDO'S COOL SITE OF THE DAY

          “Everyone has an accent. There are Midwestern accents, Jersey accents, New England accents and others. That's not including accents from non-native English speakers.

           Today's site is an archive of native and non-native English speaking accents. Listen to the difference between an English-speaking Uzbek speaker from Uzbekistan and one from Afghanistan.

          Better yet, listen to the difference between a little girl from Norton,VA and a young man from Chesapeake, VA.” (Link no longer active)

Also here is a site for conversions that might be useful.

This morning Queen and I sat up on the glider in the sun for a while. It was nice being there with my best girl.
Earlier I ran the plow down stairs while she straitened upstairs. My quick lick and a promise with the vacuum put the downstairs in good order.
Well this thing has been proof read and is ready to place on line.

Please Love one another, Mom and Bob [Queen and Bobby]

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.


 The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness and kindness, can be trained to do most things.

~Jilly Cooper

Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life.

~Herbert Henry Asquith

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