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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Power of Music

The Power of Music

Mrs. C dragged me to another concert the last night.  Actually, much as I usually hate concerts, this was one I wanted to attend.  The stars of this show were Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper.  I like Rod Stewart, but I was especially looking forward to Cyndi.  She is a personal favorite.  The venue was the Garden State Arts Theater, an open air amphitheater which is only a half hour away and is an excellent facility.
Both artists were terrific.  Both have not lost a thing from their unique voices despite Rod being 74 years old and Cyndi over sixty.  Cyndi weighs about 12 pounds, but her powerful almost cartoon-like voice is amazing.  Both Rod and Cyndi are consummate professionals and they put on a great show.
One fun thing about a concert aside from the performers, is the veritable smorgasbord of people watching.  This concert was no exception.  Young, old, skinny and fat, high clappers, isle dancers, beer can swillers, there were interesting people to watch that would suit any voyeurism taste.  
I was particularly interested in an obvious Cyndi Lauper fan.  An older woman was wheel-chaired in to a seat in the row just in front of us.  I could tell she was a Cyndi fan as she was dressed in a Cyndi-like all pink outfit,  her hair was dyed a Lauper-like bright red and she had a red flower in her hair.  The woman was by demeanor and facial characteristics clearly Special…Intellectually Challenged, or dare I say it, the R word. 
It took the Cyndi fan several minutes to transfer from the wheelchair to her walker and finally to settle into her seat.  Throughout Cyndi’s performance, she politely applauded, but otherwise seemed unable to show much emotion.
And then.
Cyndi broke out into one of her signature hits, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.”  Much of the audience, especially the ladies, stood and clapped and danced during this piece. 
I was surprised to look over and see the Challenged, very overweight Cyndi fan who earlier could barely get into her seat, stand up and dance.  It was quite touching to see this severely disabled lady who spent much of the concert motionless rise up and dance joyfully. 
The power of music!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

North Wildwood Bed and Breakfast

North Wildwood Bed and Breakfast
Candlelight Inn, North Wildwood, NJ

The Cranky Old Man has his mind changed.
I don’t like Bed and Breakfast Inns.  I’ve been to maybe five, and though pleasant enough, I have always had disappointing experiences.  Bed and Breakfast Inns…at least the ones I’ve been at, are generally old restored large houses decorated flawlessly with older antiques and knick knacks.
I love older restored homes and I love antiques and knick knacks.  Why then would I then not like B+B’s?
The people who buy and restore these B+B’s tend to be a little anal about their home and their possessions.  They need customers to admire their home and possessions so they can collect enough revenue to afford their home and possessions, and to use their home and possessions as a large tax break.
It is a nice deal; buy a beautiful home, decorate it with antiques and knick knacks, and have it paid for by customers and tax breaks.  It is a great deal especially for people who love to decorate and love old homes and possessions.  The only drawback to this nice deal seems to be having to host customers, many who do not properly appreciate your lovely decorations and antiques.  These owners, who rely on customers to pay for their lifestyle often, in my experience, do not treat their guests as guests.  They treat them as a necessary evil.
When I travel and spend lots of money, I really do not like feeling like an intruder, I want to feel like a treasured guest.  I don’t like walking in and immediately being told when I can come home at night, what I can touch (nothing) and how special everything is in THEIR home and “Please be careful while in the house."  They tell you how to dress for breakfast, they sometimes seem to follow you around and in general do not make you feel welcome…at least that has been my experience on several occasions.
So; when Mrs. C told me she made reservations for this last weekend at a B+B in North Wildwood, NJ, I was not very enthusiastic to say the least.
When we registered at the Candlelight Inn in North Wildwood, NJ this Friday, I was not a happy camper.  We were greeted by Michael the co-owner with his wife Wanda.  He showed us around the house and pointed out all the interesting features of this beautifully restored Victorian home.  The home was lovely as usual, it was decorated beautifully as usual and was furnished with antiques which made you feel as if you stepped back into 1905...except there was a bathroom in every unit, TV with cable, air-conditioning, and Wi-Fi all at no extra charge.
I was not given one rule to follow.  Michael apparently assumed that we would have enough class to not jump on the bed and scratch our names in any of the antiques.  There was a fridge in the hall filled with complimentary water and soda.  On the dresser were two cups and a decanter of  sherry, along with two chocolates.
Our room
There was always coffee available, and at five in the afternoon they put out cookies and wine.
As a cranky wise guy, I commented, that cookies are nice, and that my favorite, if he didn’t mind was oatmeal and raisin.  I was told jokingly, that I get what I get.
At five, we went down stairs for some wine and a cookie along with the other guests and Michael greeted me with a special plate,
“I made these oatmeal raisin cookies just for you!”
“Wow, that is very nice, I also have some other requests.”
“Sorry, your one wish has been answered.”
“Damn, if I knew that I would have asked for more than a special cookie.”
Mrs. C gave me an elbow and told me I’d better eat all of those cookies.  I did not need the elbow, they were very good.
To sum it up, Michael and his lovely wife were gracious, fun, helpful and at all times made everyone feel special and appreciated as guests.  The Inn is beautiful, breakfast delicious and there were several unexpected amenities.  
I now have a different appreciation for Bed and Breakfast Inns and will definitely return to the Candlelight Inn soon.
Rocking on the porch
Thank you, Mike and Wanda!

Monday, July 24, 2017


This cranky re-run is from July 2013 

This is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed: Baseball hat wearing.

Our children today do not know how to wear a baseball cap.  There are only two acceptable positions in which to wear a baseball-style hat.

1.    Brim straight ahead to protect the eyes from the sun.

2.    Brim directly behind to keep the wind from blowing the hat off your head.

A slight shift from brim facing straight ahead is acceptable in some situations based on the angle of the sun, but these variations should only be for the short term. look like an idiot! want to look stupid, right?

Umm...don't call us, we'll call you.
Turn it around...TURN IT AROUND!!

Here are some other rules:

If your hat fits over your ears it is too big.

I won't tell him, but...he looks stupid.

Brims should not be flat.  They should have a curve to them…they just should.

This look just screams PUSSY!

Tags or stickers should be removed after purchase.  Even if you stole it...take the tag off.

To summarize, there is a right and a wrong way to wear a baseball hat:

Example of the perfect way to wear a baseball hat.