Tag Archives: cigar

Think Of Others

I know that I have and others have matured and lived with the sense of being courteous and respectful to others as well as having a sense of cleanliness. Exactly what I mean, pacifically, as an example, are the elevators here. When I first moved here I could not bring my two dogs. As it was, one would have been too big anyway. The other would have been of the right size but I was a little too early coming to Imperial Plaza. My dogs would have been fine on the elevators but there are some people here that have problems.

Dog urine (sometimes it covers almost the entire floor area), dog feces (sometimes in the stairways) and other things, sometimes is left on the floors of the elevators and other places. Some people do not take the animals outside enough times or in a timely basis to ensure the animal does not do it’s business before it get outside. Then (it could be the same people), when the weather is bad, the people nor the animal want to go out into the weather. Therefore, the stairwells, parking garage and a few inches past the garage entrance get used.

It would not be a problem if the responsible adult would clean behind their animal but that is seldom done. I am hesitant to walk across the lawns, where I know some people walk their dogs, because a few times I have almost stepped in something. But, the elevators are another matter because we all have to use them, it’s difficult to not step in something, it stinks and I don’t want to clean-up behind a dog that I do not own.

There is still the problem of throwing cigarette butts on the ground. We have a beautiful, trash free area and then there are some people that do not care or believe others will pick it up for them. I smoke cigars and I put my butt where it is suppose to be placed although the all tobacco cigar will deteriorate in the weather. I do not do throw it anywhere because it takes time for the weather to remove the cigar and it looks bad before then. Why can’t others do the same?

Lastly, the dumpsters are still a problem. Not only is furniture (when people move out) left around the dumpster but there are cardboard boxes (not broken down) and garbage bags (not thrown into the dumpster) and just a total disregard to cleanliness. It just seem as if things are left anywhere with the thought that someone will move it and put it where it belong. Am I being overly critical?

I have no answers for any of these situations and, believe me, there is a lot more. I realize these people are elderly and many can not do a lot of things but there seem to be no consideration for anyone else. If the person can not do the proper thing for the animal (good or BAD weather) then why have the animal? The reason can not be because they love the animal or because they have had it for “x” number of years and it is a part of the family. If the animal can not be cared for properly because of your age or condition, then it should not be expected that others will do it for you. It should be remembered that the animal suffers also and can and will get the same diseases you and I will get.

I am frustrated and angry that this have come about. As I have said, I have no solution but maybe someone else have one, short of banning animals and smoking. If so, let me know and maybe I can carry it forward.

By the way, I am staying out of politics this week and will let the chips fall where they may. A lot have happened and a lot will. It’s not over yet. Have a good weekend!

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My Chain Is Being Rattled

Imperial Plaza is a wonderful place but it seem to always start a controversy of some kind, all of the time. I don’t know why the place want to step in it because of one or two complaints, sooth the ruffled feathers and go on with life. Take care of the one small situation and go on with life without antagonizing the larger group. But no, the powers that be want to try to satisfy the one or two and rile the multitude. There are more important things to do than cause an uprising.

What am I talking about…at last month’s town hall meeting the director said smoking areas and regulations were to be changed. Nothing was said at this month’s town hall meeting but the grapevine is humming loudly and I have been approached by people wanting to know what I thought about it. I could not satisfactorily answer them because I don’t exactly know what is planned. But, I will give some of my thoughts here in this blog.

I am a smoker, I smoke cigars along with two others (that I am aware of), the rest smoke cigarettes. Us cigar smokers normally smoke in areas away from most people. I normally sit on a bench, out in the open, minding my own business. Occasionally someone will pass and comment but I say nothing. I’m outside on a bench, under a tree. What is the problem? Who am I hurting?

I see one area for cigarette smokers by one of the buildings that is next to someone’s window (this used to be an administrative office). That should change and I understand that but why mess with everyone else? Let me say it another way. Federal, state and local law say I can’t smoke inside. I can’t fight that. Us smokers have been moved outside, into the weather. Okay, at first there was a little fight and grumbling but over the years, people have settled into the groove left for us.

But, we have rights also. As long as it’s legal and as long as it’s sold by a legal operation, then it is not only legal but my right to participate in the activity if I so choose. I do not demand that someone chewing gum I don’t want to smell go out in the cold or rain or heat, etc. and chew their gum. Why should I? Am I being told that my rights are stripped from me because I smoke? Are the gum chewer’s rights stripped because they chew gum?

I can hardly wait to see what the new rule will be because I want to see where this smoking area will be or will I have to be off the property in order to smoke. That was never said before I signed a contract and it is not in my contract. I have five friends who are lawyers and I wonder what they have to say. I must ask them about my chances of winning if I brought litigation. I’ll just wait and see.

I remember, when I first moved to Imperial Plaza, pets were not allowed. Now they are and, although I was professionally a dog handler/trainer, I do not like having pets here. I have three reasons for saying this and it applies to about seventy five percent of the dog and cat owners. First, the dogs do not get enough exercise (jumping, running, playing, stretching those muscles, etc.). Second, some people don’t pickup after their animals, especially if the weather is bad outside. Third, quite a few people can hardly walk and they try to walk the animal out into the grass without falling, etc. Then, add to the slowness, the lack of exercise because the animal is on a leash and can only move as fast as the person at the other end of the leash.

I’ve stepped in dog feces and have seen it along the sides of building, in the stairwell and smelled it in the hallways and laundry rooms. Yet, concentration is on smokers. Maybe I have to move again. I’ve heard rumors of that also but never considered it until now. I like this place and I don’t mind paying for the convenience and comfort this place bring. However, a war is brewing and, unfortunately, I may be either right in front of it or in the middle. All I ever wanted was to live in peace but that seem to be a false hope. Oh well, if I must I must.

ROMEO

Remember the acronym ROMEO I refer to from time to time? The group of men from Brookdale Imperial Plaza? Well, I guess all of you could tell from my writings that I really loved being out once a month with the guys. There are only around a dozen of us that do this and we really enjoy eating and drinking together. All men with jibs on each other and language to boot. I’ve been here a little over three years and have been on thirty nine out of forty outings.

ROMEO…Retired Old Men Eating Out. Before now, the only two men that were not old nor retired were the bus driver and the Activities Guide. That was before the last two. The last two have had a woman or two and a non-resident young male. RETIRED OLD MEN EATING OUT. It was great saying what you wanted to say, the way you wanted to say it and everyone understood and did not get offended. They understood the old way of speaking and how to rib someone. No explanation necessary. Cursing was not a no-no because no one but us guys were there.

The last two outings had women. The first one was from the Activities Dept. because she said she always wanted to eat at that particular place. The last time was because our normal man, from the Activities Dept., had to drive the bus (short of bus drivers) therefore a female from the Activities Dept. was selected because that is all there is. In the past, the activities guy driving the bus had been the driver, tour guide and aide all rolled into one. That was then but not this time. Then, when we get there the other female joins us. Then in walks her boyfriend. We had to make room for him.

The only place to make room was beside me therefore I was jammed in beside them and small talk was made with them. The usual banter with light jibs was never made and, it seem to me, tense. We ate, got on the bus and returned to Imperial Plaza. By the time I got home (I stopped outside for a while to smoke a cigar) my wife knew I was sitting with the women. That was not a problem, considering who the women were. The wives always kidded us about the time we returned. It was a standing joke that we needed a written excuse to get into the house if we were running late that evening. Most times we were late but it was always the usual laughable joke. Never who we were with or what we talked about.

The group’s name is ROMEO and I will drop out until it comes back to an all male group. That is what I signed up for. I did not sign up for a mixed group. I can do that with my wife and have even more pleasure. There will not be any telling of what I did or that I was sitting with the women because she is with me. I can stay as long as I like because she is with me. I can go back to being a loner and not the point of speculation. Good-bye ROMEO! Or is it now PEO People Eating Out?

Vacation Cruise

We have returned (my wife and I) to land after nine days at sea, on the Grandeur of the Seas, with stops in Bermuda, Nassau (Bahamas) and Coco Cay (Bahamas), over twenty four hundred nautical miles, round trip. I loved it but I did not love what we returned to, the aftermath of a terrible storm. Trees down, roads blocked because trees were across the roads and power lines and no electrical power anywhere. I have been through and seen worst but that is something a person can’t get used to. It’s an inconvenience, to say the least, but I’ll get to that later.

First let me write about the cruise. We traveled from Imperial Plaza by bus with twenty six other people and checking in/boarding was a breeze. It was better than what I anticipated plus the weather was perfect. In fact, the only day we ran into rain was at the last stop, Coco Cay, Bahamas, and that was an off and on rain. In fact, when I took the picture of the sailboat with the lightning strike behind it, it was a sunny morning. When the off and on rain hit, I was reclining in a beach chair on the beach, letting the warm rain wash over me along with a gentle, warm breeze. What a relaxing day.

The first stop was at Heritage Wharf in Bermuda. We took a tour of the entire island with frequent stops included. That night we cruised the waters in a glass bottom boat, looking at the fish and the old ship wreck that was sticking out of the water which have been there a couple hundred years. This is proof that Bermuda is surrounded by a reef and there are only two ways past the reef. It was quite warm but a nice breeze gave relief from the humidity. Lovely place but it would be expensive to live there. Michael Douglas and a couple other stars have property there but they can afford it. While we were on the tour, we stopped in the capitol, Hamilton, and did a short tour downtown. We also did the same thing at the far end of the island, St. Georges.

The next stop was Nassau, Bahamas and it was a little hotter (I don’t mean that in a bad way. I love the heat.). We toured a cigar making factory, a chocolate factory and the Natural History Museum. Of course I had to get some nice, fresh, hand rolled cigars. Love a good cigar (I know smoking is bad for you but to each his own, I say). From what I could see, Nassau is small and densely populated. My wife and I concluded that the reason people there moved and worked slowly was because of the heat, humidity and the closeness of everything. The more (faster) you moved, the hotter you become.

The last stop was Coco Cay, Bahamas (owned by Royal Caribbean). As we were entering the port I took the picture of the sailboat and never saw a lightning strike. Later that night, when I reviewed my pictures, I was startled to see the lightning in the photo. Now it is one of my favorite photos. It was sunny as we were coming into port but it later turned into on and off showers. The weather was warm with a nice breeze. I lazed under an umbrella and, as the showers came and went, I only got wet from the knees down but was never cold. The cruise line had nice food (hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, fruit, and beverages). Then the seagulls started flying all around us and occasionally stole food. They were very aggressive and would get as close as a couple feet (can anyone say aggressively hungry?).

On board the ship was fantastic. I could write a book about the things that went on, the fine service, the wonderful shows and, of course, the duty free shopping. The food was greater than great and there was a different menu each day. The on-board casino kept me and my wife occupied (she won the slot machine contest. I came in thirteen out of the many people that entered) and the drinks flowed freely (not free). I love being retired and on a constant vacation. It was so wonderful that we signed up for a cruise in December 2017, but all good things must come to an end and it did.

Getting back to Imperial Plaza, via Imperial Plaza’s bus, was easy, especially with the traffic (only a couple slow downs). Then the bottom fell out. We knew there was a wind storm but we didn’t expect the power outage or the destruction the wind caused. Trees were down everywhere and electricity was out. Oh well, can’t fight Mother Nature, just cope with it. We returned on Saturday afternoon and Imperial Plaza’s power came back at four thirty Sunday afternoon and then the fun began. Saturday night we stayed in a hotel and returned Sunday afternoon. Then, forgoing unpacking, we began emptying the chest freezer and refrigerator/freezer plus cleaning both. Now we will restock with the insurance payout. The company we are with is making a fast payout for the lost food.

Monday, we walked the area taking pictures of all the devastation and carnage that had occurred. It looked like a war zone with so many trees down, broken trees, trees on cars, trees on houses, and traffic lights not working. There were many vehicle accidents because where the traffic lights were out vehicles had to come to a stop. Some didn’t and, of course, there was an accident (one death that I am aware of). There was even damage to one of the buildings of Imperial Plaza. The wind was a “straight line” wind, not a tornado, as I’ve heard some people saying.

Well, I’ll close this and say “stay tuned because it’s not over yet”. This year’s traveling is not over yet. This weekend we’ll go to Maryland Live (casino) for my wife’s birthday, then the following weekend is to Colorado for my grandson’s wedding. Then to Pa. for a family reunion and I don’t remember the rest. I’m retired and I love this traveling. I’ve worked many years to have and enjoy this time in my life. You all should do the same. I wish all a good summer and safe travels. Enjoy life!

Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

A resident of Coco Cay

A resident of Coco Cay

A small piece of the wind damage

A small piece of the wind damage