Tag Archives: hotel

Young People And Education

As usual, my wife and I went on another trip (casino/horseracing), this time to Hollywood Casino in Charlestown, West Virginia. We drove from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Imperial Plaza Senior Living in Richmond, Virginia. I ate breakfast with some old friends, went around the place greeting other old friends. We boarded a bus with the group that was going to the casino and had a pleasant trip. We stayed overnight because horseracing is always in the evening, and that was a lot of fun. We returned before the rain hit and got a hotel room in Richmond.

That same evening, we had a birthday celebration at Outback and had a good time being with a daughter, her husband and three daughters. The food and shenanigans were good which made me really miss seeing them as often as we used to. After saying our goodbyes, we went back to the hotel and I started reading messages on my pad.

The more I read the various messages, the more my mind kept straying to the English language structure and what I was reading. It seems that young people think it is so hip, cool or in fashion to misspell and/or butcher the English language. It is now natural to write in a bad way or to shorten a sentence or word. It is funny to them to write in such a way as it makes a normal person (senior citizen) cringe.

I know cursive writing is not taught in school these days. I’ve been retired from employment for a while and I wonder what employers think about this or are they making amends? I also wonder about banking; are banks making amends? What about misspelled words in the work place (ex: ‘your’ instead of you’re’)? In government as a whole? I remember, when I was in school, a child was graded on penmanship. Not anymore, I guess.

Today, young people write as if they are texting and must minimize the number of letters that are used in a message. Then, after all is said and done, it is a habit as well as ‘cute’, make them stand out among their peers. A few young people have tried to quantify the usage of such writing and have even suggested I should do it because it the way it is done now. I can not see myself putting a ‘z’ in place of ‘s’ or writing shorthand for words.

My own personal thoughts; the USA educational system is going to hell in a handbasket. I have asked college students common, easy questions and can not get an answer because they do not know. They have no idea what I am talking about. Something I knew in high school years ago. I have talked to high schoolers about things I knew in elementary school, they had no idea what I was talking about.

We, as Americans, supposed to have or want to have the best education system among all nations yet we are under-educating our children and putting up with the bad habits that they show. Why? What is the reasoning? Some say that they must try things on their own and become adults. They can not become adults and know right from wrong if they are never taught the right way and the continuous bad way is tolerated. We as older adults and the teachers and the educational system are doing our kids, our future, an injustice. Many other nations are not surpassing our system, they have surpassed our system. Our young people have been dummied down and will stay that way because I do not see any plans to change this.

 

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The Jazz Legacy Gala

My wife and I just returned from the 2018 (6th annual) Jazz Legacy Foundation gala at The Main in Norfolk, Virginia. As usual, it was great and, yes, seniors do get out and enjoy themselves (not all were seniors, but most were). Really had a good time for the last three days out of four. Now, let me explain why we attended three days out of four. We wanted good seating and wanted to insure to get tickets to the event, hotel room and tickets are bought a week after the last gala. Regular tickets go on sale the first day of March and will normally be sold out by June or July. We were living in Richmond at the time the ticket sales started, two hours by interstate away, but we live only twenty minutes away, give or take five minutes, now.
The venue holds thousands (two or three thousand maybe) and there is fun, fun, and more fun. Imagine that many people, all dressed nicely, with Saturday reserved for dinner in suits and gowns, 50/50 raffles, drinks for sale, vendors of almost everything and, most of all, not one argument or fight anywhere. Why did I mention that? One would hear about fights, shootings and arguments at other shows all the time. I just read about an argument and fight at a symphonic concert in Sweden.
Let me dive in even further about how congenial our older Black people are. Saturday afternoon we cruised on the Spirit of Norfolk for lunch and music. A couple of the performers were with us (comedian Jay Lamont and singer Phil Perry). They performed, greeted people, took pictures with people and ate lunch with us. As we were seated, a person did not know who they are seated with but, through good conversation, soon found out. The good party atmosphere all too soon came to an end which left just enough time to go to the hotel to change clothes for the day’s performance.
I guess you are wondering who was there this year. Well, hold on to your hat. Pieces of A Dream, Damien Escobar, Marion Meadows, Jonathan Fritzen, Incognito w/Maysa, Kim Waters w/Phil Perry, Mindi Abair & The Bone Shakers, Mike Phillips, Nick Colionne, Gregory Porter, Najee, Alex Bugnon, Gina Payne, Stephanie Mills, Eric Benet, Candy Dulfer, Athea Renee & Elan Trotman.
We were told who will perform next year (Wow, what a line up) and early bird tickets can be gotten next week for forty-eight hours. After that, tickets can be gotten starting in March 2019. I’m biting at the bit to get my tickets and hotel room. Why get a hotel room? Two reasons. First, there is drinking at the shows and I don’t want to drive after having a drink. Second, since the gala is moving back to The Hampton Convention Center, it would mean I would go through the Hampton Bay Bridge Tunnel and there is always a back-up. To get your tickets, etc. go to their web site: http://www.jazzlegacyfoundation.org
Still biting at the bit, we will be in attendance unless something happens that prevent our attendance. I always look forward to this gala and the Hampton Jazz Fest (I occasionally miss this one and it is across the street from the Convention Center). If you also want to attend this one, get your tickets almost a year in advance. The Hampton Coliseum gets sold out also but sometimes there are a few tickets available. And, the longer you wait to get a hotel room the further away from the venue you will be. The biggest difference between the two is Hampton Jazz Festival is in the spring and the Jazz Legacy Foundation gala is in the fall. Both are great. Come join us and let’s have some fun.
I’ve put a couple pictures here from almost five hundred. If anyone want more pictures, let me know and I will send it to you: http://www.tega227@yahoo.com or (most reliable) http://www.tornmail1@yahoo.com  I also have the pictures I took last year. I usually sit near the middle (cheaper than near the front) and take zoom shots or from one of the two large screens. Lastly, if you like the article, tell me by hitting like, and if you have a suggestion on what you want me to write about, let me know in comments or e-mail. I’ll do my best to honor your request. See ya…Go have some fun.

 

Retirement Woes

Growing up, there was this unrealistic assumption that being retired was a goal to achieve in order to live the waning years of life in complete peace, tranquility and ease. Yet, as this age of life is finally here, the stark truth of retirement is realized and most of it is not entirely the way it was envisioned. Those that are not overly wealthy find daily worries, wondering about the amount left in an account after the last shopping trip and before another sum is credited into the account. With that, to some, not being enough worry, politics enter the picture. Most elderly people think politics does not overly concern elderly individuals because they have retirement money, social security money and other income, for some not all).

These monies are for housing (even if the house is paid there is maintenance, taxes and insurance), food and utilities (not counting clothing and mild entertainment). Then account for the insurance for any medical issue. Politics have a strong and lasting effect on all of this. As one catastrophic example, imagine a person depending on retirement money from a corporation. Then imagine politics forcing that corporation to declare bankruptcy. Now the corporation cease to exist and so goes the retirement money. And, in a domino effect, there goes the way of life for the retiree, that is if the retiree is not independently self sufficient. Also think about depending on work place health insurance. If you stop working, where does health insurance fit in?

As the political scene tease, change and outright stabs a person in their heart, the retiree, like me, wonders what will tomorrow bring. Will I have enough money for housing needs, food, medical care and, politicians don’t want to hear this, entertainment. Politicians have their way mapped out for them and they don’t worry about their future. We the people pay their way. People with money don’t worry because they have their life and they don’t worry or care about those without money. Sure, they give a little to this cause or that cause but for the most part it is only a drop of water in a very large bucket.

We all have to worry about our political scene as it is presented to us today not yesterday. We not only have to look at what is happening now but what will happen in the future when certain bills are passed and bestowed on us and our children. What hoops will our children have to jump thru to reach retirement (or will they be able to retire). The life of peace, tranquility and ease will be snatched away and replaced with doubt and angst.

I’ll throw one more wrench into the machinery and leave this train of thought alone for a while. Don’t believe being ex-federal (civilian or military) leaves you immune to all that is happening in politics. The politicians are attempting to not only put deep cuts into things non-federal but they are looking at the military (don’t believe everything that you have heard about the military), federal hospitals and everything else that is federal. It will be a little slower coming than the rest that is proposed but, if they have their way, it is coming. Everybody that does not have a large sum of money will be on shaky ground with no where to run. And remember one other thing, if you voted for the present administration, you either have what you wanted or you will get what you want. Oh well.

In closing, although this is not a woe, my wife and I, again, was able to enjoy an entertainment before cuts are made in my monies. Where did we go? The annual Hampton Jazz Festival in beautiful Hampton, Virginia. As usual, the artists this year were outstanding and, of course, I saw my favorite, Fantasia. The line-up look like this: (Friday Night) Jill Scott, Kem, Brian Culbertson, Gerald Albright & Jonathan Butler. (Saturday Night) The O’Jays, Fantasia, Anthony Hamilton, West Coast Jam featuring Richard Elliot, Norman Brown & Rick Braun. (Sunday Night) Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Patti LaBelle, Ramsey Lewis, Bobby “Blackhat” Walters. All of this was performed in the Hampton Coliseum and it was the 50th Anniversary for the festival.

This fall, across the street from the coliseum at the Convention Center, will be the annual Hampton Jazz Legion. We will be there also because, like I have said before, I love jazz and want to attend live performances. Both programs are always sold out well in advance and so are hotel spaces. In fact, people usually get tickets and hotels a year in advance of the performance.

Try to stay safe and cool. Have a great summer and be kind to others. See ya!!!

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Casinos

Had another good week last week (this week was just for relaxation and recharging my energy) with a four day trip to Maryland. If you looked at my Facebook page you saw the picture of my wife holding our latest great-grandchild when we made a stop on our way back to Virginia. We were in Maryland to do our usual thing, gamble at the casinos. We headquartered at Maryland Live’s hotel which put us between Horseshoe and MGM. We get perks from all the casinos but decided to use Maryland Live’s because it was between the other two.

Look at it this way; four day stay at their hotel, their perks and our acquired points gave us all our meals and each gave us slot machine money. All I needed was the gas money and a little more to keep it interesting. In fact, we came back with money in our pocket. Can’t beat that for a four day stay at three casinos. Plus we got to visit the baby on the way back (got through Washington the day before the inauguration).

Thinking about that, this is what we ran into. Usually, on week days, the hotel does not have many people staying. I noticed the parking lot almost full and more cars were coming. All the other hotels had the same thing. Then I started calling myself a dummy because, after talking to a couple that was checking-in, I was told that they were getting the hell out of DC before the crowds hit. Then I noticed that most of the cars had DC plates.

After visiting the baby it dawned on me that it was the same area that The Last Graduating Tuskegee Airman (an article I wrote) lived. In fact, I am still trying to get the article printed for the general public. It have been approved by the MPP (Mighty Pen Project) and they have a copy but the Richmond-Times dispatch turned it down. The newspaper say it does not have a Virginia connection although the man live in Ashburn, Virginia. It does not make any sense to me, but who am I to say? Also, the man is Black and his wife is White, they had to live in Washington because of segregation, that is the same as the Loving story that hit the movies last year.

The highlight for this week came on Monday. Four of us from the Mighty Pen Project had a townhall type panel discussion, at The University of Richmond, for a freshman class that is writing about war. They included my two writings on protests in the 1950’s. The question and answering went well and, in fact, we could have gone on much longer than we had time for. This is our second time doing this. The first time was at the Library of Virginia and that went very well also. I hope to do it again.

This year I work on my birthday and my wife is out of town. As I get older, holidays, birthdays, etc. does not mean as much as it did when I was younger. I prefer peace and quiet plus time to read or write. I stay busy, although my wife say otherwise, and I believe staying busy help the body stay active, younger and spry. Inactivity bring on more aches and pains, more than usual, and it can be avoided without medication for that particular ailment. I see too much inactivity around here (Imperial Plaza) although there are so many programs and events for the residents. Most do not attend any of them. Alas, what can I say or do about it? Not a thing.

Until next time…Stay warm, keep on keeping on. I’m out!

Taking Advantage of Retirement

I will write, again, about being retired and all the fun that is out there to be taken advantage. But, there are others, in my retirement community, that want to just sit and complain about this and that and rarely, if not ever, take advantage of the magnitude of opportunities. I promised to give a little more of my travels and/or taking advantage of the opportunities, not only here at Imperial Plaza but outside the gates of the community. But, first I must say, there are numerous things to do and most are free and what is not free is very cheap.

Everyone here know my wife and I love the casinos and the last one was a stay at the Sands Hotel and Casino/Mall in Bethlehem, Pa. (Sunshine Bus Tours). To say the casino was huge is not a dream but the truth. Of all the casinos we have visited, that was the largest. The hotel room was very large and cleaned daily whether we wanted cleaning or not. There was a cards tournament going on and the number of people playing (must have been in the hundreds) would not fit in Imperial Plaza’s auditorium. It was a nice trip…

The Activities Department, here at Imperial Plaza, have been doing a great job. Among the many trips (I’ll name two) was the fishing trip at the mouth of the Chesterpeak Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and the latest trip was on (The Alliance) a schooner on the York River. We sailed out of Yorktown and, after sailing in the triple mast (sails) schooner, had lunch at Outback in Williamsburg, Va. This Wednesday is to the Maryland Live Casino/Mall, can’t miss that, and, two months from now, a trip to the casino in West Virginia (Charlestown).

I just found out that a Richmond Mayoral Debate will be held here and I am wondering how many residents will attend. People here have so much apathy toward so much yet they can sit around in the lobby area and gripe about everything. I didn’t care about Richmond politics until I started living here. Now that Richmond is my city of residence and where I vote (we have a voting precinct in house), I am very interested and there is a need to know before I vote. Since there is a voting precinct here, I wonder how many residents vote, especially the Black vote. I have found the Black people here show more indifference than most and participation is seldom, with the exception of very few.

A few days ago I was talking with a couple of people about cities and, out of the blue, I was asked “what makes a city a city?” and I had to stop and think a second. It came to me about a conversation I had with a ranking postal official in North Dakota. I had wondered what made such small towns in North Dakota designated as cities. Some of the cities in North Dakota are smaller than our large trailer parks here in Richmond. This man told me that all the place needed was an operating post office and it could then become a city on it’s own. Well, Imperial Plaza don’t have a post office per se, but it does have package pickup, stamps, mail delivery and mail pickup. To top that off, Imperial Plaza have a bank, store, restaurant, doctor’s office, pharmacy, etc. All the places some cities in the USA don’t have and that includes having police, buses, barber shop, beauty parlor, etc. The resident don’t have to leave the premises for anything that is needed. We are a city within a city but without our own zip code. Now I don’t want to hear anyone saying I didn’t name this or that because I purposely didn’t mention everything. There is so much here to mention that I don’t want to attempt naming everything because I know I will miss something.

So, until the next time, I want everyone to be careful out there because any bad thing can happen at any time. Just be vigilant and careful but don’t go off the deep end and take matters into your own hands. Let the proper people do that and respect them for doing a great job in spite of the miniscule few that put a taint on their name. Peace Out

facebook-20160918-101543(I’m hoisting the foresail by myself but the teenager, in the blue cap, was suppose to help me)