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November 2015
Silver Screen, Golden Years

Boris Karloff in the 1950 Macy’s Parade

At the end of the parade route, Santa Claus, and parade marshal Jimmy Durante and Hopalong Cassidy and Boris Karloff extended their holiday greetings to the crowd in front of Macy’s. Perhaps that was the moment Karloff entered the pantheon of giants in the world of children, standing shoulder to shoulder with Hoppy and Santa, in front of a store with an enormous toy department.

The Midnight Gardener

Start the Small Spring Bulbs Now

One of the few bulbs completely at home in partial shade, it is a great choice for planting under trees and shrubs.  Puschkinia's bell-shaped flowers will multiply freely, filling small flower beds in just a few short years.  The unique bluish-white color makes it a lovely addition to just about any garden setting.

October 2015

Stay Safe While the Trick or Treaters Are Out for Fun

Keep your porch light on, as well as interior lights. Even if you’ve run out of candy or are tired of answering the door, keep the porch light on for safety.

Passport Perspectives

Tips to Find Your Best Retirement Location

Nothing replaces going to the location of your choice and seeing firsthand if it will work for you. If at all possible, rent an apartment or home in these locations for several months, hopefully several seasons, before you shell out money to purchase.

Silver Screen, Golden Years

Jane Withers in "Paddy O'Day"

Shirley’s talent was prodigious, and she was a hard act to follow. But Jane Withers had a better singing voice, was just as fine a dancer, could mimic and do accents where Shirley did not, and most especially, despite bursts of mugging, had a larger acting range and a quality of being “in the moment.”

The Midnight Gardener

Who Doesn’t Love a Mum?

With nearly a dozen flower forms to choose from, you can grow mums that look like pastel daisies, or fluffy quilled zinnias, or refined dahlias, or maybe the large, fancy ones with in-curving petals called "football" mums.

Deal Me In

Video Blackjack Paybacks Are Based on Skill and Rules

Video blackjack makes for an excellent practice session partner where you can work on basic strategy. Basic strategy is nothing more than how you play your hand against the dealer "up card." Playing your hand correctly, and on a machine that full pays for a blackjack, you can bring the house advantage down to well under one percent.

September 2015
Further Review

Shining a Light on Mental Illness Onscreen

Over the years, there has been an impressive array of films dealing with the inner workings of the psyche. Here are five favorites well worth revisiting to see how perceptions of mental health and illness and its treatment have changed.

Quotation Quotient

Labor Day Quiz - What’s Your QQ?

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day weekend.

Silver Screen, Golden Years

Everybody Comes to Rick’s

Casablanca has become larger than life for us, a film whose reputation has grown with the decades. It will likely always be a favorite for its witty dialogue, its charismatic actors, and its fast-paced plot. It has the irresistible veneer of glamour in an otherwise dark and frightening time.

Deal Me In

Is Free Slot Play Rigged?

That is the drawback of free play; you can’t take the money and skedaddle. In contrast, with cash backs for your action, there is no requirement that you play your cash reimbursement. Like winnings, it is your money, not the “house’s,” and you can always pocket it to use as you please.

August 2015
Dollar Sense

Kidnapped! A Scam without Borders or Conscience

As the caller continued his vicious rant on the speaker phone, Darlene muffled the receiver, quietly picked up the land line phone on her desk and dialed 911. She couldn’t speak to the person who answered the call, but counted on the dispatcher to correctly read the situation and send help. Meanwhile she continued to answer his questions in a calm, but loud voice.


They'll Be Watching You!

Recently I laughed out loud when I saw a Facebook post featuring a black dog with large, expressive eyes peeking over a sofa. Across the post were the lyrics of the Sting song, but with a twist. "Every snack you make, every meal you bake, every bite you take, I'll be watching you."

At the Core

What’s Old is New Again – Reconnecting with Marsala

Consider marsala. Known mostly in North America as an important ingredient in a popular chicken dish, it is a Sicilian wine revered more for cooking than for drinking. Like fringed ponchos, both dry and sweet marsala is back in style and again appearing in everything from sauce to pastry to tiny cordial glasses.

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