Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Shore to Please" (Part 2) - The Jersey Shore As Seen Through Wendy's Camera Eyes

Two small beach chairs in the lightly roiled summer surf of an astronomically low (New Moon) low tide at the Jersey shore, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 1:29PM August 23, 2014.

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Introduction

This entry features a series of 30 pictures from my just-concluded, all-too-short, annual summer trip to the Jersey shore with Gary, Larry ("LP"), and Wendy. All the pictures in this entry were taken by Wendy and they are a subset of a larger set she took. Wendy was only with us for the nights of the 22nd to 23rd and 23rd to 24th before returning on the 24th (Sunday) in order to get back to work on Monday.

This entry does not really include a narrative of the entire trip but instead just features the pictures she took with captions. I intend to post the pictures that I took in a subsequent entry that includes such a narrative.

I really do want to do this because (1) I never had a dedicated entry following last year's trip that included the bulk of the 75 or so pictures I took; and (2) I have now been to "The Wildwoods," not to mention Cape May, enough times, including a set of business establishments, that I now have a decent idea of the lay of the land of that part of the Jersey Shore. (Though I am from the Jersey Shore many years ago, my area was about 90 miles north of there in the Long Branch / Sea Bright area.)

For the prelude entry, see here.

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August 22, 2014 pictures ...

Larry (LP), Gary, and yours truly in a picture that Wendy took on the M.V. Cape Henlopen on Delaware Bay, 7:55PM August 22, 2014. Yes, that's a nip of vodka I was holding.

As in previous years, we took an evening ferry -- this year, the Cape Henlopen, one of three in the fleet* --from Lewes, Delaware (after driving across the Eastern Shore) to Cape May, New Jersey. Of note, the Cape May - Lewes Ferry system celebrated its 50th anniversary this past June.

*At one point, there were five ships in the fleet but two have been removed from service.

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Gary, yours truly, and Wendy on the M.V. Cape Henlopen ferry, Delaware Bay, 7:57PM August 22, 2014.

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Richard Todaro on a windy ferry crossing at summer dusk, M.V. Cape Henlopen ferry, Delaware Bay, 8:14PM August 22, 2014.

There was a live band playing music and it was rather festive as night fell and the Jersey shoreline approached including the lights of Cape May and the flashing beacon of the Cape May Light itself while the lights of Rehoboth disappeared over the horizon. (You can also see from the middle of the crossing the distant glow of otherwise below-the-horizon Ocean City, Md., the Wildwoods, and (looking to the northwest) the Wilmington / Philadelphia area.

I got kinda drunk on the ferry (now there's a shock) but I wasn't driving any car on either end, just a passenger. Wendy had driven separately and met us in Lewes. Once in New Jersey, I rode with her to the hotel in Wildwood Crest while Larry drove with Gary.

We stayed at the Adventurer Oceanfront Inn located just inside the Wildwood Crest ("dry") boundary. On the other side of Cresse Avenue is "wet" Wildwood. Our first night was on the second floor facing the ocean -- beyond the quarter mile or so wide beach -- but then we had to switch rooms to the 6th floor. While that room faced the north, we still had a substantial ocean view including of sunrise.

I jumped in the pool when I got there. It had these shifting colorful LED lights shining into it, which made it kind of surreal underwater.

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August 23, 2014 pictures ...

August 23rd, Saturday, was our first full day at the shore -- part of my annual, all-too-brief return to my native New Jersey. I am from the Jersey shore area as well, but about 90 miles north of "The Wildwoods"* in Long Branch and Sea Bright at the opposite end of the Garden State's Atlantic coastline.

*"The Wildwoods" refers collectively to five municipalities (see below) including as Wildwood Crest and Wildwood. Our hotel and beach spot were literally on the boundary of the two, so it is possible some of these pictures were technically on the Wildwood side even though I have it marked as Wildwood Crest.

Yours truly, Richard Todaro, and Wendy C., on the Jersey shore, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 1:25PM August 23, 2014.

Wendy and I first had breakfast in the hotel's restaurant (seated outdoor next to a family with screaming, out-of-control small children that seem -- in that characteristically odd American way -- to dominate, control, and dictate everything that the family does.

Uh, oh ... Nag 'Em the Concerned Cheesecake-Eating House Hippo -- she who is to be featured in "The Wall-P & Me Chronicles" -- isn't going to like hearing that. Better call Nancy Grace and alert her to the fact that "the children" aren't being fully "self-actualized" at all times by properly "helicoptering" parents.

Anyway, Wendy and I then went to the beach for about two hours while Gary and Larry went to the same gym they went to last year (Atilis Gym).

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Three guys at the Jersey shore, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 1:28PM August 23, 2014.

It really doesn't get any more "Jersey Shore" than this.

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Another picture of the two beach chairs featured in the lead image at the same time (1:29PM Aug. 23, 2014) and place (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) and spot (in the surf of an astronomically (New Moon) low tide, but from a different camera perspective.

While the surf looked very gentle, there was actually quite a rip current tearing along / parallel to the beach from north-to-south, driven in part by a 20 to 30MPH wind that was whipping right along the edge of the surf.

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Looking south along the beach, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 1:30PM August 23, 2014.

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Yours truly (again), Richard Todaro, in the surf at Wildwood Crest, N.J., 1:30PM August 23, 2014.

Sorry for so many pictures of me but a bunch more are to follow.

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And yet another one of me, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 1:31PM August 23, 2014.

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Beached on the Jersey shore: A big guy (this picture really doesn't do him justice) was sprawled out on the beach amid other beachgoers, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 1:32PM, August 23, 2014.

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Wendy and I stayed on the beach for about two hours while Gary and LP were at the gym. We went back to the hotel room -- by which point the staff had transferred all our belongings from room 227 to room 615 (well, except for one plastic bottle of pumped liquid soap).

As an aside, I didn't particularly like being on the 6th floor -- it's too high up. (Indeed, I'm not thrilled living on the 5th floor as I do; I would prefer the 2nd or 3rd floor.) And the hotel's elevators were heavily used and very slow. I ended up taking the stairs frequently.

Anyway, Wendy and I then got cleaned up from the sand and sea water and headed over to the kitschy Wildwood boardwalk with its three piers (Adventure, Mariner's Landing, and Surfside) all owned by the Morey Brothers.

Yours truly posing with the "S" in the sign "Wildwoods" in Wildwood, N.J., 2:29PM August 23, 2014.

The giant letters of this boardwalk sign spell out "Wildwoods" in Wildwood -- a reference to the five constituent municipalities that are (south-to-north): Diamond Beach, Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, West Wildwood, and North Wildwood.

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Wendy poses with the middle "W" in the Wildwoods sign, 2:29PM August 23, 2014.

The first "W" has a more stylized shape suggesting waves and wind.

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A carousel with its carnival-like festive designs on Surfside Pier, North Wildwood, N.J., 2:58PM August 23, 2014.

We tend to follow the same routine each year of going to the Surfside Pier to the bar at the very end. This year, we did not go on Fly – The Great Nor'easter rollercoaster. That rollercoaster is oddly closely intertwined with the Zoom Phloom log flume ride and water park pools.

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We went to the bar at the very end of Surfside Pier. The name of it is Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar & Grille. While Larry said it had that name in 2013, neither I nor Wendy remembered it. (I think it was instead called the Oasis Café.)

The beach from Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar and Grille, North Wildwood, N.J., 3:04PM August 23, 2014.

None of the three Morey's Piers are true "piers" in that they stretch into / above the ocean. The beaches are so wide in the Wildwoods that the ends of these piers aren't even close to the surf under normal circumstances.

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Another view of the beachgoers as seen from Stubborn Brothers at the end of Surfside Pier, North Wildwood, N.J., 3:04PM August 23, 2014.

The American flag is a nice touch. As an aside, I recall being on the beach in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., in July 1993 (my dad lived near there at the time) and this group of five young people -- guys and girls -- were sitting under a large Confederate flag they had planted on the beach. The flag was whipping in a stiff wind and they were just sitting there it motionless -- hardly enjoying a beach visit -- as if they had just refought and won the Civil War, er, sorry, "War Between the States," for Old Dixie.

Look, I've said it before and I'll say it again: GO! LEAVE! Let's start the negotiations already.

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Yours truly, Richard Todaro, at Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar & Grille, North Wildwood, N.J., 3:10PM August 23, 2014.

The vodka / orange juicy drink I had was quite good.

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A selfie of me and Wendy, Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar & Grille, North Wildwood, N.J., 3:10PM August 23, 2014.

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A second selfie of me and Wendy, Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar & Grille, North Wildwood, N.J., 3:10PM August 23, 2014.

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Wendy and a random fellow at the bar behind her, Stubborn Brothers Beach Bar & Grille, North Wildwood, N.J., 3:16PM August 23, 2014.

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We then headed back to the hotel to prepare for our first night out, which was at Tucker's Pub in Wildwood, where we met a friend of Gary's from D.C. Between the five of us, we all represented as "Feds" or contractors current or retired five different Federal agencies. We were probably the only (or certainly the largest) group of people in Wildwood that night with such a designation. More to the point, there aren't many D.C. folks in The Wildwoods or Cape May. We were again the only vehicles that I saw with D.C. license plates in these locales.

Anyway, here is the final picture in this batch August 23rd ...

The essence of Jersey shore kitsch: A boardwalk stand in Wildwood, N.J., August 23, 2014. I didn't time stamp this image but in Wendy's original images, the time is given as 4:09PM.

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August 24, 2014 pictures ...

The view from our 6th floor balcony in the Adventurer Oceanfront Inn on the boundary of Wildwood / Wildwood Crest, N.J., 9:23AM August 24, 2014.

Again, I didn't like being so high up in the hotel.

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One of the small wooden walkways leading to and from the enormously expansive beaches in Wildwood Crest, N.J., 10:35AM August 24, 2014.

The Wildwoods are one of the few places along the Jersey shore where one does not have to pay to gain access to the beach. This feature of New Jersey -- along with no self-service gasoline, the "delayed green" traffic signals, and an absurdly high number of school jurisdictions (not all of which are even operational) -- are some of the chestnuts of the Garden State. (Concerning traffic issues, I noticed that bike lanes and LED crosswalk signals with countdowns are now appearing in The Wildwoods.)

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Morning beach view, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 10:43AM August 24, 2014.

We were starting out on our second day at the beach. This time, Wendy and I went to the wonderful little breakfast place in the hotel next door. The hotel is the Aqua Beach Resort and the little family run place is called the Bagel Time Café. There are actually three locations -- one in Wildwood, one in Wildwood Crest (at the Aqua Resort), and one in Cape May. The level of service has always been outstanding and the breakfast food so quintessentially New Jersey diner. The staff have never not been anything but friendly, attentive, and courteous. You really don't find that much anymore.

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Yours truly, Richard Todaro, on the beach, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 10:43AM August 24, 2014.

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Wendy, Larry, and yours truly on the beach, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 10:44AM August 24, 2014.

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The quintessence of the Jersey shore, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 10:44AM August 24, 2014.

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Yours truly, Richard Todaro, frolicking in the surf, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 10:50AM August 24, 2014.

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Once again, yours truly in the surf of the summer gentle Atlantic Ocean, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 10:51AM August 24, 2014.

Actually, the ocean still had a noticeable sideways / rip current and it was easy to get swept parallel to the beach yards at a time. The wind had relaxed, though. By the last day (Tuesday), it was just sunny and summery.

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A group photo of Gary, yours truly, and Wendy, in the surf, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 10:55AM August 24, 2014.

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This concludes the first batch of Jersey shore vacation pictures. I still have as many as 50 of my own that I could post, although it will likely be a subset of those and probably not until next weekend.

--Regulus

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Jukebox Saturday Night Post for August 30th, 2014: The "It's Been Too Long" Edition

My apologies for the lack of jukebox Saturday night entries of late (it has been 3 weeks). To that end ...


"It's Been a Long, Long Time" by Keely Smith from her Swingin' Pretty album (1959)

"It's Been a Long, Long Time" was originally released in 1945 right at the end of World War II, and it became a big hit with the Harry James / Kitty Kallen version reaching No. 1 on a predecessor to the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Of note, both Keely Smith and Kitty Kallen are still alive (they're 86 and 92, respectively).

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"Oi Gata" by Joe McBride and the Texas Rhythm Club from their Keepin' It Real release (2002)

This is a gentle smooth jazz piece.

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And now for something more energetic and upbeat ...


"Stardust" by Mika from his release The Origin of Love (2012)

This is a nice song, although it should not be confused, of course, with the older and much more famous "Stardust" by Hoagy Carmichael (published 1927 with lyrics added 1929) or other songs of same name.

Favorite lines are in fact the refrain:

I could put a little stardust in your eyes!
Put a little sunshine in your life!
Give me a little hope, you'll feel the same!
And I wanna know, will I see you again?
Will I see you again?

OK, that's all for now. I intend to post the first batch of Jersey shore trip pictures tomorrow. I already have the entry completed. As for tonight, I have several different places I want to go -- the usual Larry's Lounge and No. 9 but also Nellie's, as I haven't been there in about six weeks and my next door apt. neighbor Joe is bartending there.

--Regulus

Paul Krugman on François Hollande, Deflated Lackey of German Bankers, and the "Hapless" European vs. Now-Mettlesome American Left

** This entry was posted on August 30, 2014. **


I have completed the entry containing the first batch of pictures from my Jersey shore trip to Wildwood last week. However, my plan is to post it tomorrow (Sunday). In the meantime, I will post a jukebox Saturday night entry.

However, even before I do that, I just want to post a link to a couple terrific Paul Krugman pieces -- both from his regular twice-weekly New York Times op-ed perch and his New York Times-hosted blog.

On Friday, Krugman had a piece  (linked below) skewering the hapless French President François Hollande, who is so busy doing the bidding of Germany and its European banking oligarchs and driving his country deeper and deeper into a self-defeating deflationary death spiral that is rivaling the Great Depression in duration.

Real GDP from a 2008 baseline of 100 for Germany, France, the larger euro zone, and the Netherlands.

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The occasion was Hollande, ostensibly a Socialist, firing his government after the now-former economics minister ("Minister of Industrial Renewal") Arnaud Montebourg gave an interview criticizing the German-dictated policy of deflation and austerity and during which he specifically cited Prof. Krugman as a distinguished economist who is critical of the approach.

Current account balances as percent of GDP for the U.S. and France, 1996 - 2014. The point here is that France's policies are simply self-defeating on their own terms -- the country is not competitive despite years of austerity. As for the U.S., it hasn't been competitive for a very long time (we don't make stuff anymore), although it is less so now than in a while.

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This prompted the following headline on Aug. 25, 2014 in Business Insider (link embedded): The French Government Has Collapsed, And It's Partly Paul Krugman's Fault.


Krugman had fun with that on his blog and then proceeded to explain in a subsequent blog entry on how bad the economic situation in France really is because of the needless austerity fetish that is causing so much pain and suffering -- for no justifiable reason.

Krugman then devoted his regular Friday column to the topic and (as noted above) skewering French President Hollande (link embedded): The Fall of France.

But it was in a subsequent blog entry where he pondered the question of why the European left has been so hapless, clueless, and simply unwilling to fight back against all these moralistic but utterly wrong-headed demands for austerity from frickin' Germany and its bankers.

He contrasts it to the American Left, which has shown real tenacity in fighting back. The entry (link embedded) was: Austerity and the Hapless Left.

He then ponders the question of why the mainstream American Left (which would really be center / center-right in most other countries) has shown so much more mettle in recent years and provides a few hypotheses. My favorite is his second hypothesis, and I am quoting Krugman in full:

"Another hypothesis is that American liberals have been toughened up by the craziness of our right, and in particular by the experience of the Bush years. After seeing the Very Serious People lionize W, a fundamentally ludicrous figure, and cheer on a war that was obviously cooked up on false pretenses, US liberals are more ready than European Social Democrats to believe that the men in good suits have no idea what they're talking about. Oh, and America does have a network of progressive think tanks that is vastly bigger and more effective than anything in Europe."

The "Very Serious People" to which he refers is, of course, the whole Washington Consensus / Beltway pundit crowd centered on The Washington Post editorial and op-ed "stable" of pundits, rightwing propagandists, and corporate gigolo apologists who proved what they were about during the Bush era from the 2000 Election Theft through the Iraq War lies / debacle and to the present.

I personally would like to single out two members of Fred Hiatt's stable, the great Benji "Yap! Yap! Yap! Yay! Drones!" Wittes and Sebastian "Free Trade for Detroit, Love, China" Mallaby.

So I intend to post a jukebox Saturday night entry shortly. As for today, my gym (the Anthony Bowen YMCA) closed at 4PM as part of the Labor Day weekend and the National Capital YMCA is closed for its annual late August shutdown. As a result, no gym for me today. Indeed, I am not going to be able to go until Tuesday. However, my intention is to take a bike ride on both Sunday and Monday.

--Regulus

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Few Words to a Certain Set of Random Visitors to This Blog -OR- No, Obama Didn't Take Either Oath of Office Holding a Koran


Let me just say this:

I appreciate anybody who reads my blog, although I know that it is typically found through image searches and, to a lesser extent, word / phrase searches. As for comments, well, to paraphrase the great Paul Krugman, I have comment moderation on because I do not need a robot selling Viagra or some strange person in Bangladesh, South Korea, or Nigeria posting commercial links to God-knows-what.

Having said that, to any individuals who find this blog because of search terms on some combination of the following:

Obama Inauguration Koran Hand Oath

Get a flippin' life and stop watching Fox News / listening to rightwing hate radio. He didn't frickin' take EITHER Oath of Office with a Koran anywhere near him. If you actually think that, then you really are a dumb tool of rightwing intrigue -- ready to buy ANYTHING being peddled.

In short, stop being a Teabagger.

Look, I know it bothers a certain set of people (not saying YOU in particular) that we have a black / non-white president, and one who is using the Fedearl Government to do non-crazy rightwing things, but those are their flippin' problems.

Yes, Pres. Obama had to take his second Oath of Office inside because January 20, 2013 was a Sunday. The ceremonial event was the following day. It's that simple. It has nothing to do with establishing an Islamic Caliphate in Alabama (or could it really be "Al-Obama"??? -- ooooh, cue spooky music).

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OK, my intention is to have the first big batch of pictures of my Jersey shore trip posted either tonight or tomorrow. Last night, I went to a post-work happy hour with a co-worker. I took him first to the strange place called Stan's at L Street and Vermont Avenue and then we went to No. 9. Later, I went to Larry's Lounge, where I met up with Chris H. (I'm somewhat worried there.)

--Regulus

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remembering The Family from Long Ago -- Carol Burnett's TV Show and My New Jersey Ones


I had intended and still do intend to post the first batch of 30 or so pictures from my Jersey Shore trip with Gary, LP, and Wendy (specifically, the pictures that Wendy took). However, it's just too late to try to finish the entry tonight. I have already uploaded the pictures, sized them, and posted them in chronological order. Now I just need to put captions and some explanatory text and then do the formatting. My intention is to post those pictures over the weekend and then (at some point in the next week or so) to post some of the 50 or so that I took along with a narrative of the trip.

I intend to post the entry either Friday night or over the weekend.

In the meantime -- and just because Gary and I have been talking about it, and because there is a long-ago New Jersey connection for me (not to mention because it is hilarious) ...


Part 1: "The Family" skit from The Carol Burnett Show, episode "Family Charades"


Part 2: "The Family" skit from The Carol Burnett Show, episode "Family Charades"

Best line: "Well, you're a FAHINE WUN to tawk after those DUUUHMB clues yew gave me! What the HELL was all that POINTIN'! POINTIN'! POINTIN'! POINTIN'!"


"The Family" skits -- which are sort of a humorous version of a Southern Gothic novel and which I watched with The Carol Burnett Show during the late 1970s into the 1980s reruns -- always reminded me of the fights in my Italian American paternal side family in New Jersey, though mixed in with some of my maternal Polish American side as well. These skits later became the basis for the far lighter comedy show Mama's Family (minus Carol Burnett, except for a few cameos, and the others).


Of note, on our first night in Wildwood Crest in the hotel, Wendy so liked my reenacting of a long-ago (1977 or so) fight between my grandparents that my dad tape-recorded (and that I subsequently committed to memory) that she asked me the next day if I would do it again -- as she films it. I'm not sure about that ...

... however, I'm happy to post the print version in this very entry:


Place: 368 Kirby Avenue, Long Branch, N.J. (see above picture from Sept. 2008 -- it doesn't quite look like that anymore following a big renovation).

Time: 1977 (likely during the school year and on a weekend because I was not home, but rather, I was probably at my maternal grandmother's house on Henry Street in South Amboy, N.J.)

Scene setter: Grandparents fighting and my dad stealthily tape-recording it on an old tape recorder. My dad and grandfather were (for some reason) measuring the mantelpiece over the fireplace in the den.


Dad: Chuckling (because he knew the tape recorder was turned on).

Grandpa: "Why, you dirty son-of-a-bitch! What are you, on SOME KIND OF A GOD-DAMN LAUGHIN' SPREE!?!"

Grandma: "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Get in there and measure that!"


[Additional scene setter: Grandma in the vestibule room outside the den looking at the linoleum that a family friend, Richie B., had placed down some months earlier. Bruno had cut the linoleum incorrectly with a large piece and two small ones. The three met at a pinch point that drove my grandmother crazy. The "that son-of-a-bitch" and "she" refers to Richie B.'s wife.]

Grandma: "See that spot...? It'll never come away. Right there. That son-of-a-bitch. She wouldn't want it in her house like that, that rotten bitch. She oughta drop dead-!"

Grandpa: "AAAAAAIIIGGGHHHHHH YOU MISERABLE BASTARD YOU!!!!"

It never gets old.

--Regulus

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Shore to Please" (Part 1) -OR- Back from the Jersey Shore: A Preliminary Entry

Yours truly, Richard Todaro, in the surf in Wildwood Crest*, N.J., 10:50AM August 24, 2014.

*This was right along the Wildwood Crest / Wildwood ("dry / wet") boundary (no, that isn't referring to the wetness of the ocean but rather, of course, to the whether or not liquor is sold).

The surf was actually more forceful than it appeared in the picture with a real rip current, if only because of a 25 to 30MPH wind that was whipping down the beach on the 23rd and about 15 to 20MPH the next day (when the above picture was taken).

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I'm back from my annual, all-too-brief Jersey Shore summer trip to "The Wildwoods" -- that is, Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, and North Wildwood -- with a side trip to Cape May. I have as many as 102 pictures that I can post including 50 that Wendy took and sent to me and another 53 that I took. However, there was an RCN internet outage tonight and by the time it came back up, it was just too late to start an entry.

This entry features three pictures -- one that Wendy took (lead image) and a second one that I took.

Two girls seated in beach chairs in the surf, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 1:20PM Aug. 23, 2014.

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I actually got back around 7PM following a drive through southern New Jersey ("South Jersey") from Cape May to the Delaware Memorial Bridge and thence into Delaware, where we detoured to Buckley's Tavern in Centreville (located right near the Pennsylvania border) before driving on Rt. 1 (rather than I-95) to the Baltimore area and then to Rt. 40 and Rt. 29 to the D.C. area. Recall that we drove to Wildwood via the Eastern Shore and the Cape May - Lewes Ferry.

I was able to go the gym tonight and then come home and check my work and personal email accounts as well as balance my checkbook and update my daily expenditures spreadsheets.

The surf and swimmers, Wildwood Crest / Wildwood, N.J., 1:20PM August 23, 2014.

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My intention is to post two distinct entries dedicated to the trip over the next several days (and NOT to be distracted with other entry topics). On a tangentially related note, I just moved the 75 or so images from August 2013 on my previous Jersey shore trip to the Wildwoods -- not to mention the Rehoboth Beach prelude into an archived folder on my Hotmail since those pictures will, alas, never be posted.

--Regulus

Friday, August 22, 2014

Off to the Jersey Shore ... (Yes, You Can Go Back)


So I'm heading out for my annual Jersey shore summer vacation, a sort of pilgrimage or Atlantic seaside hajj, if you will ...

Again, this year, it is with Gary, LP, and Wendy and again it is to "the Wildwoods" with our hotel technically just inside the Wildwood Crest border. This year, we are at (I think) Adventurer Oceanfront Inn. This is a larger and less kitschy one than the others we've patronized (the Jolly Roger and the Caribbean). We are also heading to Rehoboth Beach, Del., for a brief stop followed by a Cape May - Lewes ferry ride to Cape May and thence to nearby Wildwood Crest.

At this point, the weather seems marginal for a seashore beach week -- perhaps it will be sunny Sunday and Monday. It is not going to be particularly warm.

No, not this Jersey Shore.

Yes, there is a sizable element of that Guido culture, but it's more than that. And FWIW, the Guido culture isn't the worst thing in the world. It's a lot better than much of the soul-draining cultural crap that is the staple of Washington, D.C.

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More importantly than that, though, it is just a chance to be back in my home state of New Jersey at the Jersey shore where I grew up. OK, I didn't grow up anywhere near South Jersey / Cape May County -- I was in Long Branch and Sea Bright. But it's still a seashore weekend nonetheless and a chance to get the hell out of the D.C. Bubble. (Oh, and as I've mentioned in a previous entry, there are not many folks from D.C. in that area -- the crowd is mostly a New Jersey / Philadelphia one. All the better.)

Barring the presence of a computer with internet access, I will not be updating this blog until I return late Tuesday, and quite possibly Wednesday. While I intend to post pictures I take, I realize I never did have a full, dedicated entry of the pictures I took last year.

A picture of the gentle summer surf of the Atlantic Ocean from Wildwood Crest, N.J., taken just about two years ago to the day.

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So possibly not until the middle of next week ...

--Regulus