Tag Archives: Brookdale

Veterans Day And Jazz

My blog is early because, despite the coolness and rain, this weekend should be a great weekend. Why so great? The Hampton Jazz Legacy in Hampton, Virginia, across the street from the Hampton Coliseum where each spring the Hampton Jazz Festival performs, will have the jazz greats performing for three days. This is a yearly trip for us and I can hardly wait to get out of here to hear great music performed by the greatest jazz musicians around. Many pictures will be taken, good food will be eaten and fine liquors will be drank. Will write to all when the next issue is scheduled to come out and I will tell you all about it.

I attended a meeting of a newly installed DAV auxiliary chapter at Imperial Plaza. During the regular meeting some questions were asked that proves my point about people not reading or understanding the news letters, they do not take advantage of the many things that is provided here nor participate in anything unless it directly gives them an advantage. Or is it they just want to gripe or just to hear themselves talk?

To go on about elections, not to mention the state elections, I just won a seat on the Brookdale Imperial Plaza Resident Council. Last month I was appointed to fill the seat of a person that moved to North Carolina. That seat ends at the end of December and my new term starts the first of January. As I always say, ”get involved-stay involved”. Nothing gets done by sitting, complaining and doing nothing. Everyone can do something, even if it is only manning the phones or something like that. Even though my schedule is tight, my wife and I still try to do our part while still traveling.

Last Monday I was at James River High School for a Veterans Day Ceremony. Myself and three other vets were on stage in the auditorium for a question and answer session. It was great speaking off the cuff, answering the questions asked by the kids through a moderator. On my head I wore my Viet Nam Veteran hat and dressed in my Tuskegee Airman chapter’s outfit (red jacket, black tie, black shoes, black pants and white shirt). Afterward we went outside for a brick laying ceremony at the flag pole. Before we left for home I had a nice talk with the principal of the high school.

Wednesday, Imperial Plaza went to the MGM Casino outside Washington, D.C. in Maryland. Of course my wife and I went, the trip wasn’t bad. Both of us came out okay, didn’t win big but, after six hours there, came back with half of what we took with us. However, I still consider the casino as a place for high rollers (there is a steak house there that have a 36 ounce porterhouse steak for $120, potato $10 and side $8). The antes are also high and that is one of the reasons we seldom go there.. Give me Maryland Live or Charlestown Casino anytime.

The next cruise is coming fast and will disrupt two blogs. The blogs that will be interrupted will be the first two weekends of December. Therefore, I am saying, in advance, I will not write a blog the first two weeks of December nor be in a position to answer most e-mails. Don’t be angry 🙂

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Fun, Fun, Fun

In the waning years of life, a senior should experience the pleasures that long, hard labor is all about. A senior should get off their “duff” and go places, do things that they did not have the time to do as they worked during their younger years. As it have been said during days of old and is still said today, “you only live once”, or another way, “you only have one life”.

My wife and I are trying to have the best time of our lives because tomorrow is not promised and, with the kids having their own life and finances, we worked for it and now we will have fun, spend it anyway we want. Many people will call this selfish but I call it enjoying life as a retiree and when the kids become a senior, they will have their time.

The last couple of weeks have been nothing but fun and travel, not necessarily in that order. We were on a wine tasting in the Blue Ridge with the Imperial Plaza family, good food in Charlottesville, Va. afterward. It was great because a good friend (we were in the military together) ate with us. This friend and I met in the ’70’s and have been friends since.

A few days later, my wife and I went on a Sunshine Bus Tours trip from Richmond, Va. to Dover Downs, Delaware for a day and night of casino fun. I didn’t win much but had fun and was ready for the next stop which was Foxwood Casinos/Resort in Connecticut. Two nights and days of running through the many casinos and three huge hotels plus the outlet mall (all under one roof). We didn’t have time to go off site to the other casinos like we have done the last two times nor did we go into Newport, RI. Plenty of fun and we both won a little.

After we returned the next day (last night) there was the Halloween Costume Party here at Brookdale Imperial Plaza. Fun, fun and more fun, music, food and wine. My wife and I won best costumes as I was Mark Anthony and she was Cleopatra. The place was full; lots of fun and laughter. Later that same evening we met friends at a Mexican restaurant/bar to continue the fun. It’s great being a senior, being able to let your hair down, never worrying about tomorrow. More seniors should indulge and let it all hang out.

Today is a rest day because tomorrow starts anew. All next week is filled with something to do and the next experience. The week after next is filled with even more things than next week plus there is the election, not only for governor, etc. for the state of Virginia but I am running for a seat on the Resident Council at Imperial Plaza. Wish me luck.

Thinking about elections. All of you that have elections in your community, vote. Remember, people all over the world won elections that they shouldn’t have because people that could vote didn’t. Don’t say it’s only a minor election and it doesn’t matter whether you vote or not. That’s the reason we are in a mess here in the USA. I could name many countries that is in the same situation but I will not do so at this time. Vote, vote, vote and give this nation, this world, a chance. Those of you that read my religious blog (faithingodministries.net) understand what I mean.

Until the next time have fun, smile and keep on keeping on.

 

 

Just Small Talk

I’ve said it before , I’ll say it again: It is great being retired and living in a senior community. Here there is plenty of time to do or accomplish whatever you want to do. All is done at your leisure which make retiring that much better. Traveling, reading, television watching, eating out, casino hopping, etc. is all part of enjoying the senior years. Many do not or have not the monetary or physical where with all to do it. Then there is Imperial Plaza.

Imperial Plaza took it’s usual Wednesday trip to Jamestown, Va. The first permanent colony in America. It was sad to see a great trip, that was cheap, not being taken advantage of by the great majority of people living here. Brookdale Imperial Plaza does not make a profit from these excursions yet seldom is there a full bus. Then, as you walk around the area, there are people saying there isn’t anything to do.

At Jamestown we viewed replicas of the Indian village, the English settlement and the museum. There was a bow and arrow demonstration, musket loading/firing demonstration and the showing of the interiors of the church and Indian huts replica. What was also for good exploration were the two ships. The size of the ships were small, by today’s standards, for having carried so many people to the new world. However, thinking of the size of the people in that era, mean there was plenty of room.

After getting back, I had just enough time to get myself clean, change clothes and get to a Mighty Pen Project class at the Virginia War Memorial (it was a humid day). I enjoyed my time with them, can hardly wait for our next time together. I always learn something new because I consider my writing as atrocious. I’ll keep trying to improve hoping I’ll get there one day. I have the two blogs to keep me in practice plus two stories I am still working on but constantly tearing apart for redoing. Each time I get fresh information at the Mighty Pen Project, I have to rewrite but I consider it worth the effort.

As I have written before, I am a member of the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Incorporated who had a ceremony in Petersburg, Virginia. I could not be with them because I was out of town; they had a ceremony at a high school, I was out of town again. I hope to be in town for the next ceremony although I have been lucky enough to be available for the meetings.

It was a fine day for an outing. My wife and I went to the Wine & Hops Festival in Petersburg, Virginia on Saturday. It was okay, however, the lines for the wine and beer were long, there were a lot of vendors in a confined space, the place was very crowded in a small area. Lots of young people attended, being it was a confined area (Old Towne), standing around, made moving from vendor to vendor very complicated. But it was nice to get out, seeing things outside our usual areas of travel.

While in the area, we toured my old stomping grounds (I am originally from Petersburg), Hopewell and Colonial Heights, Virginia. We went to the new Puerto Rican Bakery/Cafe. It opened three months ago and we learned about it on television’s evening news. They are taking items of donation to the storm ravaged Puerto Rico. It’s the only Puerto Rican cafe I know in the area. There was one in Chesterfield but it closed a year ago.

I advise people, especially seniors, to get out and explore, revisit places of yore or new ones. Make time to go, enjoy before there is not enough time left to do it. I know my wife and I will go as much as we can because time is quickly catching up. Have fun and party as if there is not a tomorrow.

Parallel Thoughts

I am reading the book “Playing The Edge” authored by Michael V. Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and CIA as well as a retired Air Force four star General. I’ve only read about an eighth of the book so far, I’m purposely being slow as to really digest the material, and it is an inside look at political wranglings. He writes about how politics hampered the efficiency of the NSA and, later, the CIA. How, when everything is going good, there is a demand to cut personnel, work and money. However, when things are bad the question becomes an accusation about why the job wasn’t done and why there wasn’t enough personnel to do the job. Also, from Congressmen, “it wasn’t me that hampered you. It was the person here before me.” Plus, it’s always to get the job done with less and less until the mess hits the proverbial fan.

In a way, so far, certain words in the book can be replaced with words meaning Brookdale Imperial Plaza. A lot of the same thing has happened and is happening here. There is always the undercurrent of activity that causes things to go awry in that psychotic way. There are always people that overtly try to control the system and there are those that attempt (and they have been pretty good at it lately) to covertly control the system to their way of thought and/or idiosyncrasy. Many, many things come into play in order to control the multitude of jobs to be performed at a large place such as Brookdale Imperial Plaza. Those that attempt to have it their own little way and/or think they see or know the entire picture have a lot to learn and, really, if they only knew. They don’t have any idea about how to run a place such as this and it can not/will not run the cut and dry traditional way.

There are budgets, staff, headquarters, residents and unforeseen catastrophes that plays havoc with the little money and personnel available. Now all is done and up pops that individual or individuals with their own agenda(s) that slows everything to a crawl. Constructive criticism is welcomed everywhere but when there is always destructive criticism, the house starts swaying like an unsteady house of cards.

Yes, I have my own agenda and that is to stay retired, travel and live in peace. I’ll leave the administration of Imperial Plaza to those that get paid to run it. Of course, if something doesn’t seem right, I will voice my disapproval and opinion. Only if it is catastrophic and then I’ll have to think about it. However, I will not attempt to micromanage a place I am not paid to manage or work. When I was in control of my own thing (military and civilian) I never micromanaged anyway. Why should I now? I found that to be counterproductive early own and have lived by it. If there is a good person or people in place to do the job right and there is trust in them to do it without supervision, there is no problem. Most problems are handled without you intervening and you are free to do your thing.

I guess I am being cynical because things that are happening is not affecting me. However, am I my brother’s keeper? In this case, no. Myself nor my wife is adversely affected, therefore, why bother and get myself in a lather? What will it do for us? What will it do for anyone when I don’t have and will not have control over anything that is done at Imperial Plaza. Sure, there are committees but they can only advise, not dictate. And, these committees, well most of them anyway, try just that and have accomplished not a thing.

I say, sit back, relax and remain retired. Don’t stress yourself out and have a heart attack over something you can’t control. Leave politics alone, at Imperial Plaza anyway, and live a carefree life. Or, you can get back into the rat race, come out of retirement and offer your services to Brookdale. Maybe you may be hired to get the mess in order. Good Luck..

 Electrical Storm, Arizona

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have neglected putting out my blogs for good reasons. It is not because I am lazy (some may argue that is the case but I’ll never waver) but have been busy with my MPP (Mighty Pen Project) classes and with the board of the MPP. I am also getting together (finally) the website for the MPP that will give much more information than I could give to you here. As you know, it is geared to all active duty military, ex-military and the families and/or friends of each service. To go further, in case you have not read my other blogs, it is for writing. These papers can be for memoirs, books or just plain getting things off your mind. The course is a once a week, ten week class taught by an instructor from a college, university, etc. In other words, this is a free college level course Who can argue with FREE?

How can this be free? That is where the Virginia War Memorial come in. With their help and guidance, we have come a long way. Now we have our own board and is attempting to function (some day) on our own. I have the task of setting up the website and keeping it running. A daunting task, to say the least. I hope to premiate myself by accomplishing this in a very expeditious manner. Wish me luck and the fortitude to carry on.

As far as Brookdale’s Imperial Plaza is concerned, it is slowly but surely moving right along… making people angrier and angrier along the way. The director (I should say “ex”) is no more. She was fired (she say she left on her own) but the rumor mill is really humming. I strongly believe the rumor mill (I have my sources). I will not say what those rumors are because, if wrong, I could be charged with slander. There is enough going on that I don’t want to be in the middle and end up on the wrong end of the spectrum. I have not seen nor met the lady that’s holding down the fort until a new director is named but I hear she is nice. I don’t remember her name but I do know she is from another facility that is in the Brookdale family. And, I want to add, people are not happy with the changes at the Magnolia Room or any of the dinning rooms, to be exact. Like I said before. People are always against change, whether good or bad. It doesn’t matter.

I am also a member of the grounds committee and, just think, I am suppose to be retired. I am doing more now than when I wasn’t retired. I guess being busy does not give you time to think about your age. I think about it every now and then and cringe. Personally, I think the two guys that do all the grounds work does not need anymore supervision or oversight than they already have. They do a fantastic job. I’m one that believe in the saying “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.” I am told that I am expected to attend the different building gatherings in order to get their input about what they want done on the grounds. NOT!!! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it plus I don’t have the desire or time to commit to such an endeavor.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep the blog going. I have so much coming up. A trip to Puerto Rico, a cruise, a trip to Colorado and, of course, the casinos. Add to that the MPP and I should finish my classes by the end of March. I forgot the Neighborhood Watch program, I am committed to that also. In order to be a good neighbor, commit your services to the neighborhood. If we all did a little, crime would be at an all time low.

Until next time…be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. BYE!!!

The Constitution and BIP

We are Americans who live by The Constitution, Bill of Rights and Common Laws. As a resident of Brookdale Imperial Plaza I have an apartment like any other place that have an apartment. At any place that a person reside, they are afforded the right to have guests at anytime that they may choose, as long as it is peaceful. I say this because it have come to my attention that a former employee of Brookdale Imperial Plaza have received a certified letter saying they can not come onto the property, even if requested or with a resident. I will have to look real hard at the law books on this one. Personally, I don’t think this is right unless a person have broken the law or something to that effect. If the letter is not legal, then it’s another case of a person trying to input their own policies.

Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults. Sorrow and mourning will disappear,and they will be filled with joy and gladness. I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? (Isaiah 51:7, 11-12)

Like the information about the ex-employee, I received another e-mail with the above Bible passage. It is from a blog I follow and it says what I feel. Why be afraid of people’s scorn… Like it have many times before, it will all come together in the end. That’s twice in a row I have received a Bible verse that directly reflects on what I am thinking at the moment.

This blog is much shorter than my others because I want my point to be clear. These are not the sixties and before that. People can go where they want and say what they want without fear of retribution. LEGALLY!!!!!

It’s Coming

First let me say, a week in advance, “Happy Father’s Day”, to all the fathers out there. May your day be wonderful and full of family activities or just plain restful. I prefer restful over anything. Like mothers, fathers need a day of plain rest and recuperation. It’s coming.

Another event that is coming is the Brookdale Imperial Plaza fishing trip this coming Thursday. We are supposed to fish out of Virginia Beach and, I hope it’s like when I have previously fished out of Virginia Beach aboard Miss Virginia, we go to the old ship wrecks. There I have caught plenty of one of my favorite fish, Black Bass. But, there may be a problem on our doorstep. Rains should be coming from the west and arrive here tonight and tomorrow. I am hoping it will be far enough out to sea that it will not cause rough seas. I can take it but I don’t know about the older people that want to go. Can you say sea sickness? Either way it may be, it should be a good day for fishing. The most fish I have ever caught was during a rain storm and during a roller coaster boat ride. I have always said, “the fish are already wet”.

Richmond is still going full speed getting ready for the bike races in September when bike racers, from all over the world, will be here in force. I can hardly wait and I hope the weather will be good. I will be on the sidelines as well as watch on TV. I wish this had happened in my younger years so that I may tryout the route like during the Grand Prix. For those of you that don’t know, before and after the European portions of a Grand Prix, for a small fee you may take your vehicle onto the track and drive the course. I’ve done it and, although you aren’t going at a breakneck pace, you get to see what the drivers see and you let your mind take you into Fantasy Land.

And, while everything depends on the weather, let me throw this into the pot. Let’s not forget that we are now into Hurricane Season and we, here in Virginia, are long overdue for a strong one to hit. I have always kept my eye on the weather and have tried to do an amateur prediction. I have done quite well but I can’t predict the far future weather. Plus, the one thing to keep in mind, is that weather have a habit to do what is unexpected. Can you say it’s not an exact science? So far, here in Virginia, we have had very good weather and good weather is expected for the future. Of course, there must be occasional bad weather (rain, wind, lightning, etc.) but we all should expect this. Everyday can’t be warm and sunny because severe drought will follow. I feel for California as well as the wet weather in Texas, Colorado, and other states that have flooded with too much rain. Virginians have nothing to gripe about nor make undue wishes for. The weather have been perfect.

Keep in mind, this is only the tiniest of tiny of the things that are coming. There is more to do at Imperial Plaza as well as the surrounding areas. I advise everyone to take advantage of it. That Is why I retired, gave up my house and moved to Imperial Plaza. Now I don’t have enough time for everything to do. Let me add one more thing that I am contemplating. I got a message from one of my writers site that the novelist James Patterson will give a course on writing, for a small fee of course. I am seriously thinking about taking the course. I have had a couple of classroom courses but I think James Patterson will be out of this world.

Now, take care and be true to yourself and remember this…..”Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you may need them”….also, “Insure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them”.Electrical Storm, Arizona