Thursday, December 30, 2010

Careys pants and the preacher

Hey Gang, I wanted to write a lot more but I am leaving at 8 am for Frankenmuth Michigan with Walt and his family & friends so will quickly only write about my pants and the video I just placed on my website.

Before I left for the Philippines I took my new jean shorts to the tailor to sew velcro on the pockets. I was so freaked about what everyone told me, be careful, pick pockets, thiefs, watch your wallet, your back etc...... So I thought with velcro on the pockets it will keep them closed and my passport and wallet would be safe.

Only one problem. There are two sides to velcro. The stiff side and the There are two sides to velcro. The stiff side and the soft side. The lady tailor sewed the rough side on the outside of the pocket, I didn't notice this when I left but quickly found out the hard way. Everytime I reached in my pocket it tore up the back of my hand to the point of scratches and blood.

I finally quit using the pocket and carried a shoulder bag to hold my wallet and passport.

Well Ruth and I went to her brothers church where he preaches. The sermon was about storing up your treasures in heaven. And yours truly was used as an example about someone worrying about possesions here on earth.

Without telling you more just go to and click on the VIDEO link on the left. I have added the sermon. Make sure you watch part 2 where Pastor Jun uses me as an example and demonstrates my pockets. Did you follow that?

While you are there look at the clip Carey and Ruth take a trike ride. Gosh I look like jet lag and more hit me. But its silly Carey at my welll not really best forget that thought, just watch it to see what the Philippines looks like.

Gotta GoGo!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Belated Thanksgiving Wishes

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Gang,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday. I myself ran late (whats new - right?) and missed dinner with the family. I worked until 4:30 am Thanksgiving morning and didn't get to bed till about 7 am and woke way late, just plain overslept.

The last few weeks it has been almost as busy with my business, especially the last few days, before this major down turn in the economy. So I wasn't even able to reply to emails or send out a Thanksgiving letter till now.

One thing I really miss is the Gang emails of everyone sending me what they were thankful for. It sort of became a short lived tradition for me to read the list during my family Thanksgiving dinner. It was hard to keep up. I've tried to get people to respond on the website but people just haven't followed me over there. My direction has also changed so I am not writing as much as I use to, mostly politics now, which hasn't helped either.

So this is my list of what I am thankful for this past year 2010.
I am thankful that I have been able to maintain ownership of my houses and that Euclid has backed off with the threats.

I am thankful for the terrific tenants I have, one will be with me for 12 years in March.

I am thankful I am still self employed.

I am thankful for my health.

I am thankful that I gave my first speech. I finally got over the hump.

I am thankful for my parents health.

I am thankful for my brother in law still being here.

I am thankful for my friend Jeff's healing.

I am thankful that a majority of Republicans won this last election.

I am thankful for the countless friends I have.

I am thankful for the opportunity of being able to go to the Philippines.

I am thankful for how wonderful the trip to the Philippines went.

I am thankful I have very little debt.

I am thankful for my sweetheart Ruth, very thankful, she is a blessing.

And I have to say it again, I am thankful for my many friends.  I am blessed to have so many great friends such as you!

                            Belated Thanksgiving Wishes,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my friends the Filipinos

Hey Gang, Yes, I am still writing about my trip I took last month, it made that much of an impression.

I'll get back to the traffic and maybe conclude this thing in the next few days. I am saving the best for last as the saying goes, so you will have to wait to read about Ruth.

A few of the things that really stick out in my mind was what the Filipinos think of America and Americans. Almost everyone I met the first thing they said was OH American, rich, lots of money, here corruption. In America you can buy a nice car and drive anywhere.

Everyone thinks highly of us for our charities and spreading freedom.

And quite a few after only a brief conversation said I was their ticket to come to America.

Ruth (she is the friend I went to visit) and her friends are all Christians and most dream of coming to the US. I was told by her brother Pastor Jun that all little kids dream of going to America.

The house we stayed at had a tiny convenience store in the front room. You don't come in, just order what you want from the window. I bought a bag of chips and gave him a dollar. I said is that OK. He replied that's to much. I said well in America a bag that size would be a buck so keep the change. He looked at it and said this is going on the wall.

Numerous times I was saluted. Kids yelled at me HEY JOE!

I was even told by a worker at the airport that I look like Tom Kooz. After three back and forths of who's Tom Kooz I finally figured it out when he said movie actor - Tom Cruise.

I received an email from a family that Ruth and I stayed with. The email said, We miss you, its our first time to have an American visitor in our house.

I never traveled over seas before this and never realized what a big deal it is, at least in the Philippines, for someone to meet an American. And friends don't worry I represented America well, well... OK so they did call me Mr. Bean quite a few times for making them laugh and doing silly things like trying to eat a banana leaf, hey it was in my dish, besides that though, I was a good ambassador.

I even made googly eyes at a few Muslims, especially at the two Muslim women with a boy at the hotel. They looked at me as if they just saw George Bush himself. I waved and as the elevator was closing I made a funny face at them. Then there was the old Muslim woman sitting with, I assume her daughters, in front of us on the plane. I had that old woman laughing so hard but her daughters gave me looks that weren't to endearing. Oh well, the old woman liked it, she seemed so sweet.

In all I found Filipinos very friendly, hospitable, hard working and an allie of ours. I made friends quickly and everywhere, even on the plane going to and from. I really enjoyed my stay, I miss them.

God Bless America!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Philippine Traffic part 3

I do have to tell you about the van ride in Cebu.
Ruth and I left the airport and went to a mall. After lunch and some shopping we decided to leave there and go to a bigger mall. So she found us a van that was heading there.

We get in this van that was parked in a large lot outside of the mall and we just sat. I asked Ruth whats going on? She said the driver is waiting until it fills up.

The van was a Nissan. It seemed just a bit bigger than the mini vans in the states but maybe it was just because all of the other cars are so small there. The roof was slightly raised, has a bench seat up front instead of the typical individual seats, behind that was a long narrow carpeted box that you could sit on, then three bench seats and each had a small jump seat attached at the end.

Finally it was filled with nine people and I thought OK three on each bench seat we can go now, but nope. The small jump seats were folded down. We waited until three more got on. That brought the total to twelve. I thought for sure we can go now, nope. We waited again until two more boarded up front, that made 15 and that shut the door. We were finally off. But then we stopped and picked up another passenger for a total of sixteen people and some with bags. Let me tell you, it was cramped.  All these passengers in an average size van with just normal tires. Try doing this in America.

I am just now reading the newspapers I brought home from the trip. There are two articles from different writers about the plight of what to do with the traffic, pollution and congestion. I am telling you, its that bad.

The Philippine government tried a novel idea awhile back and is thinking of renewing it again that most are against. Its called the Odd and Even. It bans any vehicles from using the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue ( EDSA), with odd plate number endings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and even plate number endings on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. They are also thinking of raising the gas price so people won't drive as much and also the idea of not issuing as many bus liscenses. Another has government workers only working 4 days from 7 am till 6 pm. Or possibly vehicle reduction by taking off the road vehicles that are deemed unsafe but they are not sure what to do with the displaced drivers who make a living driving. None of these are sensible if you ask me. 

But it is BAD, one study showed that the thoroughfare EDSA could only accomodate 1,600 buses but about 3,000 use it now and that does not count cars, trucks and other forms of transportation. Makes me appreciate living in a live ghost town like Cleveland where the rush hour is 20 minute long on a real busy day.

Serious though I hope this doesn't come to America, whoops in a way it already has with proposals to raise gas taxes, the push to rid us of our big cars, and the EPA mandates, maybe we should send Obama and EGore to fix things.
More to come....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Philippine Traffic part 2

I saw other things that just would never happen in America. I remember what Ruth said when I was praying to God to spare my life on the bike ride from Dakak and back, She said This is just life, and I replied This is just frightening. I thought we were nuts for driving with three adults on a small motorbike but that was nothing, I saw four men on one. I saw a girl riding side saddle with her feet swinging. I saw another bike with a driver and then behind him was a man holding his dog. Old ladies. They just seem so relaxed. Ruth was right this is just life at least to them.

Then there are the tricycles. I still don't understand the laws of physics because they seem to be broken in the Philippines. I don't see how its possible to fit five adults, one child, two suitcases, two travel bags and a couple of small bags in a tricycle with a tiny sidecar. But we did it. One trike that picked us up had a small boy eating an ear of corn sitting in front of the driver. The child wasn't strapped in or holding on, no concern just busy eating and occasionally shouting to someone he knew. I saw some vehicles so overloaded with people, that some were sitting on the roof. Ruths brother in law drove us to the hotel in the back of his pick up. He gave us plastic chairs to sit on. This would never happen in America, you wouldn't make it around the block before some do gooder gestapo would pull you over.

They also have regular taxis, mostly mid-size to small Toyota's. One taxi we rode in was just zooming along. I had to peek at the speedometer to see how fast he was going. But to my surprise, the speedometer wasn't working and neither was the fuel gauge! And yes, they cram as many as they can in these and as much luggage as possible, somehow it all fits.

Moving on to the next mode of transportation is the Jeepney, what the Philippines are famous for. These are a sight to see. Any one of them would be perfect for the local American cruise in. I believe they are like the OLD Volkswagen Beetle, where they all share a common frame but its the add ons that make them unique. Some had Rolls Royce grills, others brightly painted. They aren't that long and are narrow with a very low roof height. You have to bend to get in and out. They are very sparse inside and have two long bench seats on each side, some are padded some aren't. You sit facing each other, about eight per seat.

Finally the buses. Most if not all are independent not public. Ruth's brother Pastor Jun explained to me the different buses and why its better they are independently owned. Jun knew exactly which bus to flag down. He said some buses the fares are higher because there are fewer stops, other have more stops and are cheaper. Some buses are older and refurbished that might not be in the best shape and don't have air-conditioning. These have lower fares also. Some are for local, some for long distance. The bus we took to Ocean Park reminded me of something from Mexico. It was red inside and had red curtains with gold fringe.

Almost all the vehicles, from Buses to Trikes were individualized with different stickers, paint schemes, interiors, some had flowers on the dash. A lot of vehicles had Christian stickers or plaques.

to be continued......
Gotta GoGo!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Philippine Traffic part 1

Its already been two weeks since I returned from my trip to see Ruth and its taken me about six of those days to get back to feeling normal. It took six days because I just got use to the hours in the Philippines then had to readjust, add to it the jet lag, the change of climate from two weeks of sunny and hot to cool and gray, missing all the delicious fresh fruit and food, and of course I miss spending time with Ruth. Its a lot of changes for the body and mind.

So I should finish my story because I never did write about the most important and really the only reason why I went, to meet Ruth, and I need to. But first I will continue on and write about the traffic. The traffic, oh my the traffic. I mentioned this briefly in my other postings but not in depth.

I will say this... the first two days I feared for my life and my first reaction to the traffic was this is almost as organized as a demolition derby. If a person has bad nerves or hates driving or traffic this could push him over the edge. Its that crazy. Cars zooming through intersections, motor cycles squeezing down middle of lanes between cars, buses tailgating, vehicles crossing over into on coming traffic to pass. And in a lot places in all this mass of traffic were vendors or individuals walking between vehicles harking their goods, water, peanuts, paper and other stuff.

The only time on the trip that seemed fairly quiet was on the way to Dakak Resort. Everywhere else there were cars, trucks, buses, motor bikes and what ever other transportation known to mankind. The traffic never seemed to ease up, even at night you hear horns.

OH OH OH I forgot to mention something very important that makes this seem even more insane, with all this traffic and madness there were NO stop lights and stop signs, they only exist at major intersections and are far and few between. Some streets had speed bumps to control speed but that's it. I don't even remember seeing speed limit signs, maybe they have them I don't know.

The other thing that can fray your nerves until you get use to it is the noise and the horn blowing. To the person not accustomed to this you think everyone is mad at each other for cutting them off. Not so as the Filipinos would say. Horns blow for many reasons, to let some one know you are passing, you are are stopping, to go around, horns blow to pick up passengers, constantly horns are blowing but not one finger was raised and not one notice of road rage or anger. Even at the intersections with no traffic lights, everyone converges, crossing traffic continues until a driver creeps up enough for the traffic to stop and then they go. Even here no anger or fingers saluting were noticed.

Believe it or not though after a few days you start to relax and realize that this is as safe or maybe safer than in America, I am serious, I will get to that later. And I also sat back and reflected how socialist and unfree America is. Here is a country with so much traffic, few stop lights and signs, speed limits that aren't posted and yet I did not see one, NOT ONE, accident or fender bender. NONE! Even in the newspaper only one traffic death was reported and it was because a policeman was trying to give a ticket to a taxi for stopping in a no loading zone. The taxi not wanting a ticket drove off and ran over the policeman. So it just proves that many of the tickets issued in America are not for safety but strictly REVENUE! I will also add to this comment later.

to be continued.....

Gotta GoGo!!
Carey Masci

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I am so confused by everything that I am seeing. In some ways Filipinos are more advanced - like their malls. And they are more together and clean - like the way the store clerks, waitresses, service field and security guards dress. But in other ways they are back in time, years back in time.
For instance I have yet to see a vacuum. Everyone uses a small broom that is about 3 feet long and fan shaped at the bottom. Maybe bamboo made? Everywhere and everyone uses this broom, yard crews, motel workers and home owner. I was watching the waiter sweep the floor at the restaurant of the hotel. He used this broom. Bent over and sweeping with one hand. It took him about 45 minutes to sweep a room about 30'X30'. Why they don't use a push broom or vac puzzles me.

At Dakak resort. The grounds were neatly manicured. Very nicely maintained. But they didn't use a leaf blower. I saw an old lady, 75-80?', in old style Asian dress with one of those small brooms walking around all day sweeping dead leaves and junk.

And at the Grand Astoria Hotel the staff was constantly cleaning. Mopping floors but I never saw a pail of water. I am not even sure if the mop was really wet or just damp. But with all this cleaning going on the place was, by American standards especially for a hotel with the title grand, dirty. Walls were scuffed, smelled, roaches, water pressure that was very low, lint and hair on the floor.. The maids of course used no vac, just the short little broom

What are the houses like? First of all every house you enter you best take off your shoes. Now I know why Korean airlines handed out little slippers. All houses have what we call beach thongs by the doors for you to wear, if you are a visitor and don't have any you can wear theirs. I carried mine with me. At the one house we visited the lady apologized for her humble house. I said please don't apologize, I don't judge someone on their belongings only on their hospitality which I feel blessed to be invited into your house. But even though most houses were were humble and lacking conveniences I found something they all had in common. They are all very clean and so are the people.
I mentioned the odor of the country, urine is one of the smells. And I mentioned how classless I thought having urinals that barely shelter the user from being seen. But after driving around I understand how much of an improvement it is. Much better than all the males I see peeing along the roadway. Progress I guess.

Tuesday Oct. 26 memoirs

They really now how to cook here, wow is everything good. BUT don't order anything American. It makes me laugh. They make these exotic dishes that look like they take a lot of work but something as simple as an American breakfast they can't.
I ordered a continental breakfast at the hotel this morning. The toast was hardly buttered and cold. The scrambled eggs had some shells in it and tasted like fish, yuck.

In Cebu I was excited when we ordered chicken wings and it came with fries. Finally french fries. The wings were OK, by American standards - blah' and the fries, not kidding, you can see the photo, it came with 3 fries that's it. But it did come with rice.

Last night I ordered a chicken fillet. I asked is it filling? They kept saying no filling, its breaded. After some explaining of what I meant they finally understood and said Yes enough for Americans. It was OK but the fries, should of learned my lesson, were bad, more than 3 but bad.

This morning I got a nice going away surprise. Edgar and his wife Tata stopped by the hotel and brought me sweet potatoes for breakfast. These are not the potatoes or sweet potatoes we know in the states. Its a different kind. They fry the potato and then sprinkle sugar over it. Very different. Before they left they prayed for my journey back home. Everyone Ruth introduced me to either prayed for me/us right there or said they were praying for me./us.

Now I am sitting in Ruth's room alone waiting for her to come back. She had to go to the post office and meet her nephew. She didn't think it was wise for me to go because of the Muslims. Sad.

Shortly we will be heading to the airport to fly into Manila.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some of the sad reality of the country. America could be headed here.

I was told woman have babies so they can use them to go out and pan handle. Its bad enough for grown men to come up to you begging and smelling but its another thing when its a child. A few times girls under the age of 10 came up to me and pointed to their open mouth. One had to be told by the driver of the tricycle to move so he could drive.
One girl came up to me and wanted money. I just bought a bag of peanuts so I gave it to her. She grabbed it and ran so fast like I just gave her a steak dinner.

Another scene that runs in my mind was a little boy maybe 5 holding his sisters hand still in diapers just walking through the busy streets.

In front of the church of Ruth's brother was a mother and her children peering in the church window. and When I walked in one of her little boy's maybe 4 lit up and pointed at me. The one child was bottomless.

I asked Pastor June why they don't come in? He said they would disrupt service and try to pan handle. He has a program where the kids have to attend four lessons on Saturday. On the fourth one they give them a care package. This way they can try to teach them about God, educate them, otherwise they will do nothing but take.

The ride to Dapitan.

I have been doing things on this trip that I wouldn't of done not even in my drinking days. I have not been keen on driving anything with two wheels since I was about 14. A friend let me drive his mini bike. I did alright, right up a tree. The frame broke and I went flying about 20 feet. And then months later I got run over by a motorcycle. So I learned my lesson early, stay off.
Thursday night at Dakak Ruth and I thought we would go to town for supper and so she could show me the home of the Philippines national hero Jose Rizal, then come back and enjoy the rest of the evening at the resort. Unfortunately we didn't know you had to reserve a ride early as its a good distance away.

Ruth and I were persistent and they finally found someone who would take us. So we boarded a van, they drove us a short distance and dropped us off. What a surprise I had sprung on me, you will be taking a motor bike from here.

Wonderful, mini panic time. But what could I do chicken out?

The motorbikes they use in the Philippines are small. I am not knowledgeable on size but maybe 250's? 350's?

The driver got on first, then Ruth and then mustering all the nerve I could I lifted my first leg and froze. What the heck am I doing? I don't know what prompted me but my leg fell over the seat. I was on. The bike was started. I grabbed Ruth around the middle with one hand, the other behind me grabbing the edge of the seat. I left hand prints I think on both.

He zoomed away. I panicked and prayed. Ruth laughed and I was yelling Dear God. She said this is just life. I said this is just frightening.

He slowed down and stopped. Thank God I didn't fall off. I survived the trip but I was wrong, it was only a gas stop.

Now this gas station is nothing like you have ever seen. Picture the Little Rascals and one of their lemonade stands crudely made of wood. It had three shelves, Coke bottles on the top. Our motorcycle chauffeur paid the woman who came out. He took a bottle off the shelf and filled his tank. Thank God I didn't order a coke. He climbed on, Ruth next and then OUCH STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER – REMEMBER THE ALAMO, I AM DIEING! I missed the foot peg and placed my foot on the exhaust. The back of my ankle received a nice souvenir to bring home. It smelled like chicharon.

We zoomed off again, my ankle throbbing, I still gripping in fear. Parts of the road were barely suited for goat travel. We arrived safely and I just don't know how he did it, or should I say we did it with out anyone falling off.

Ruth asked are you worried about the trip back. I said no, it will be dark with NO street light so I won't be able to see, I'll just grip and pray.

Monday, October 25, 2010

meals fit for a king

Hey Gang,

One thing I have learned on this trip is fast food is bad no matter where you go. I tried the Philippine chain called Jolly Bee last night. It was the only bad meal of the trip.

Today though more than made up for it.
Ruth's friend Eunice invited us over for lunch. She prepared enough food for an army.

She made chicken, lapu lapu' fried squid, pork adobo, lobster, and rice. Wow it was good. Eunice gave me some histroy about how her and her family moved to Zamboanga. Felt right at home.

Then later on Ruths sister and family took me to a fine restaurant called Mano Mano Greenfield.

Another feast. Ruth ordered us clam soup which was my fav.. Then we had beef curry, which had a peanut butter taste, excellent also. Pancit bihon and lechon kawali with green mango shake. I felt like a king with all this food today.

Between meals Ruth showed me the beach and around the campus of Ebenezer Bible College.
Thats all the update for now. Very tired. Tomorrow I start the trek back home.

By for now.

ruth at the market

Ruth went to the market and left me here. I wanted to go but she insisted it may be unsafe cause of the Muslims so I am sitting in the hotel.

More random thoughts and observations:
It smells here. Everywhere. Its a mixture of open food markets, trash, urine, and traffic. It reminds me so much of what I read about America in the early days of the big cities. The Philippines remind me of America of years past in other ways also. The hotel I am at is old in design. Narrow halls noisy, no carpeting, odors of people, food and cigarettes as you can still smoke inside the rooms and anywhere in the hotel.

Its like a wild frontier. The open air markets, the endless miles of little storefronts. Malls and a few chains are creeping in but for the most part all the stores and garages are independently owned. I actually feel more at home here then back at home. If you know me I have been screaming about the demise of the small store. The service is better, you can haggle. I am worried about what Ruth will think about where I live. Where do we go shopping and eat? Big Lots, Walmarts with made in China junk. Where do we eat? Premade meals at Denny's and Eat n Park. Disgusting. We can thank many people for the ruining of America, no one escapes blame, well maybe me, if you really know me then you know how I shop and live.

People here also complain about Chinese made junk. Inferior. Another sad thing is when I left Mom and I wanted to bring Ruth a gift. We couldn't find anything made in the US. Mom finally gave me a soap set to give her, made in Canada. Close enough I guess. Over here, you want something made in the Philippines, its easy to find.

Continuing on with these thoughts....
Before boarding the bus to Bulacan we stopped at a little bakery called Melgians Sweets/Foodmart . Ruth bought a pie called buko, it is stuffed with with young coconuts. I didn't care for the pie but what I did love was the Espasol. What is it? I don't know, its gooey and kind of sweet and tastes even better hardened and cold from the fridge.

For breakfast at Ruth's friends house Dave they went to another bakery and brought back a small brown bag filled with small bread rolls still hot from the oven. It was so delicious.

They don't buy in quantities. They don't have big fridges or freezers, they buy fresh daily, And I have yet to see a micro.

Just like America years ago.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

sunday update

Today went to Ruth's church. I loved the open air feel of it. No windows only shutters. Wooden pews, some dressed, others casual. Praise and worship was lively almost like Lakeshore Assembly. Just a very nice church.

The best part was its missions week. The sermon was about that. I couldn't understand to much. They preach in part English and part Tagalog plus my ear is bad from swimming. I keep telling everyone I am deaf in one ear and the other doesn't understand. But what I could make out was about the US and missionaries, the story of Ruth leaving her mother and clinging to her mother in law and part of a song, a alien in a strange and foreign land. Hummina hummina!

Ruth showed me around the grounds, her office and where she teachs.  The compound, I guess thats the proper term is behind an iron gate.  Many places are like that around here, including houses.

After service Ruth and a group of her friends took me to one of the best seafood restaurants around, Almira's. Delicious.

Thats all for now

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just some of the things I have taken mental notes on.

Road Crews
Unlike ours in America the workers I have seen are wearing nothing special just every day clothes. Some who are pouring or mixing the cement are barefoot.

Hotel rooms
What we consider basic rooms in America would almost be considered luxuries here. Go Hotels in Manila was clean but lacking and little did I know it would be one of the nicer rooms. Towels are few, shampoo and soap very very small, tv's are very basic, showers and and toilets that flush are not considered to be needed.

Dumb Question
Ruth ordered us pork barbeque. I said what will we get to eat with it. Answer: rice. Duh.

Toilet n shower dilemma .
Restrooms and toilets are not like home. A lot of public toilets you have to pay, toilet paper is extra money. Never did find out how much per wipe.

In Manila they have public urinals that barely shelter the male. I think its classless to see men using them along the strret

Paper towels don't exist either, forget about even trying to find them.

Toilets as well as showers use the pot method. The shower is a tiled or brick stall with a outside type spicket. Under it a large trash can or bucket. To shower you soap up and pour water over you. To flush the toilet you just grab a pot of water and pour it in. Every shower/toilet has the same looking plastic pot to pour the water.

Toilet seats, NOPE! I didn't catch on how to squat over a seatless toilet so didn't even bother trying. If I had to use the toilet held it until I could find one with a seat.

My quest to find a toilet.
We left Dakak rersort about 11, by noon I had to use the toilet. We didn't check in the Dipitan airport yet so couldn't use it. While waiting Ruth took me to the post office to mail some things. The post office was on break, a note saying will return at 1 pm. Ruth said they have a toilet. I went in and immediately left. No toilet seat, hardly any running water in the sink, it looked horrible. Made it back to the airport, checked in and headed for the toilet. No seat and filthy.. Boarded the plane and forgot about using the toilet on the short flight. Landed and headed to the mall. No toilet. Went about a 45 minute drive to a much nicer mall. It was huge, 3 floors. Finally found the restroom. Went in and no toilet seats. Ruth insisted we keep looking, I said I will ignore it till we get to the Cebu airport. Ruth persisted so we tried different restaurants in the mall. No luck, none had toilets. Finally passed by Maxx’s restaurant. In the far back of the restaurant a sign – RESTROOMS. I said lets get a table and order coffee. Told Ruth be right back. I couldn't believe it a clean restroom with a toilet seat. But OH NO, no toilet paper. I just about sh.....shouted. Fortunately a worker walked by and he quickly gave me a roll. What relief. Took my seat and ordered coffee. Sorry sir we are out. Sometimes you just can't win.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Running behind with my updates but its so hard to keep up with all that I am doing and seeing.

I said I have seen the worse life has to offer, well 2 days ago I entered some of the best life has to offer. After about an hour ride from the Dipolog airport we arrived in Dakak Resort, Google it,.

The view from the check in/dining area of Dakak is breath taking. To think just a few short hours ago we were in the MADNESS of Manila. Life is amazing the extremes.

The cottages we stayed in were so beautiful and inviting. Bamboo and log, inside bamboo, wicker furniture, ornate green bed spreads and clean. Outside, manicured lawns and 3 different pools, a couple of bars and a small bowling alley.

The menu was very good. Ruth ordered us a lunch the first day of a seafood basket (shrimp – squid – tanguigui  fish filet), pancit and pork humba. The breakfast bar was excellent. Fruits, different juices, pork tocino, chicken adobo, and some American foods.

The beach had white sand. The water was very relaxing and warm. Unfortunately the typhoon from a few days ago made a mess. The water usually clear was littered with junk. We thought it was unsafe so we didn't stay long.

Later about 8 pm they took us on a tour bus to Fantasy Land about an hour drive. Again I was in awe of the driving. How a HUGE bus could navigate roads that were narrow, winding and not paved in places is beyond me

Fanatasy Land was cute. A small family amusement park. Outside the main gate was a small square with a few bars, places to eat, some small boutiques and a cock fighting ring! I thought Ruth was joking. Inside the gate - Fantasy Land, outside the gate - brutal reality. Just trying to understand how the children take to this.

Outside of the cock ring were contestants holding their prized roosters. Some were crowing, others looking bewildered .

Inside the ring were wild loud cheers and yelling. The yelling doesn’t last long. Either short rounds, or the losing cock dies quickly. I took a few photos and scanned the outside scene with my vid camera. One guy was holding his dead rooster trying to remove the tag from its leg. He gave me the bad eye so I quit filming. Ruth doesn't like it but she said they all do it, even police place bets and watch. Brutal.

Back inside of Fantasy Land Christmas tunes blaring, Ruth and I rode a few rides. It was fun. I bought a donut then boarded the bouncing tour bus back to Dakak.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The sleepless night.

The night before I got little sleep staying at the Bates motel in the jungle and now this.

After we left her brothers house in Laguna we took a long bus ride to Bulacan made even longer because of the traffic. Manila's traffic is bad but its almost as crazy miles from the city as well. I never thought we would get out of it. We were driving to Bulacan to stay at Ruths friends house for the night.

Her friend, at least to me it seemed, lives more in the country. I smelled farm animals and the houses seem a bit further apart.

Ruth’s friends were extremely friendly and immediately accepted me into their house. For supper they made pork adobo and another dish, some kind of chicken, and of course rice. The adobo was delicious, the chicken OK.

The family has a little convenience store. You don't come inside you just go up to the window. I sat with the husband and his friend and talked away about everything. I felt right at home.

They gave Ruth and I a room to stay in with no door. (its not the situation you think) Termites got to the door and it was never replaced. We turned in early as we had a plane to catch at 5 am.

Ruth asked are you are going to sleep with no shirt? I said in this heat, yes. I slept under the window. The winds from the tail of the typhoon kept the curtain flapping on me plus I got chilled. I woke and put a shirt on. Well guess what? Ruth was warm and turned on the fan. The one time on this whole trip I was cold, and she wasn't.

Besides the curtain and being chilled, something kept biting me. If that's not bad enough the noise, the nonstop noise, noise and more noise on top of noise. Roosters, an occasional motor bike and dogs barking, dogs squealing, dogs growling.

At one point it got so bad I thought the house was surrounded by troops and there were coming for me.

Ruth woke and I asked what is going on??? Those are guard dogs.
We got up at 4, I hardly slept.

I asked Ruths friend what all the barking was about? She said barking? YES barking and just about nonstop. She said OH we didn't hear it. I thought to myself guard dogs, what good are guard dogs if you sleep through their warning.

christmas and stores... did i post this already?? if i did i added to it.

I thought America was rushing the season. Here in the Philippines malls have tree's up, Christmas carols playing at all stores and restaurants, and on the news they give progress reports ONLY 70 MORE DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS – 67... 66. It starts in September and ends in January and then its the Chinese New Year so the holidays hang around a long time. Its just weird in a tropical climate to hear about Christmas and its even weirder when you go to an amusement park and its nothing but Christmas carols blaring, Its driving me nuts. Dashing through the snow in a climate of 109 laughing all the way, bells on Jeepneys ring.... HELP!.

The malls here around Manila are madness. Comparing it to the malls in the Cleveland area, its like the Christmas season times 3, that's how crowded they are. A lot of people though just hang out at the mall because its air conditioned. The two malls I went to were just average malls not upscale. They were very clean and nicer than ours. Mall of Asia was HUGE' very nice stores, all kinds of places to eat AND the store employees look like employees not guests of Jerry Springer. I actually felt that the servers and workers cared about their job and handling food. Not at home for sure.

And a store comparable to say maybe K Mart the workers all had their own department and uniform for that department. I bought a shirt off the rack, nothing special maybe 15 US dollars and the lady took it from me. I thought she was bringing it up to the counter instead she comes back and its neatly packed in plastic with a nice bag. That's class and this is from just an average store. Think of America say mid 60's or earlier, that's how the stores are..

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

been busy so read my first day notes

I found Ruth's brother Jun and he took control. Its no wonder that he is a pastor, he shows real leadership. He flagged the taxi he wanted and it was off to the races and I mean off to the races. I was just awed by the madness of driving in Manilla. Jun got us to GoHotels and helped me get settled in the room. He said Ruth will be in 8:30 so will be back then. I showered, set the clock and took a nap, more like went into a coma. Something woke me I checked my clock and it was 12:30, got confused and thought maybe Ruth came already. I found out later that its always 12, my clock is broke. Fell back to sleep woke from a knock. Opened it and a lady said Carey we are here. She sure didn't look like her photo. And then the lady said guess which one is Ruth? I didn’t see at first that there was 2 standing there. Of course I recognized Ruth right away. Gave her a big hug and almost crushed poor petite Ruth. Ruth is so much smaller than her picture shows.  She is s=cute.

Quickly got dressed and we went out to eat.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

an update from today and last night

 all my notes are locked up in my lap top so will write about today and last night

Hey Gang,
I am now in Santa Marie in the province of Bulacan.  Where's that?  I don't know but its rural and away from anything even remotely related with tourism.  In Americano terms, I am in the sticks.

We have been dodging the typhoon for 3 days now, rain and more rain.

We left Ruth's brothers house about 1 pm after another delicious lunch from Ruth's sister in law Cynthia.  She made pork sinnigang.  We took a trike ride and then about a 2 hour bus drive and then her friend picked us up and drove another 30 minutes and here I am.

I will tell you this, most Americans would never survive here.  We have gotten to soft.  In fact i don't know if many of my friends could handle this trip.  Thats how different it is. 

Last night we went to a hot springs resort about 15 minutes from town in Laguna.  At one time this resort must of been luxury.  Now run down.  Its a hot springs resorts that has naturally hot water in the pool. Why in a tropical climate you want hot springs is beyond me.

Anyway.... It was the only place to stay.  No water, a tv with 2 chanels, no towels, nothing but a bed, 2 chairs, a table, a sink that drips water to wash your hands and a toilet.  I complained about no water in the shower and they laughed, most Filipinos do not have showers.  They have a shower stall but they pour water over their head.  And its cold, Ruth said you never really get use to it.

So there I was in this resort, very very dimly lit, looked like a jungle setting with rain.  Jun, Ruths brother said OK we are leaving now.  I said Ruth you are not leaving me here alone.  Its one thing to be home and speak the language but in a foreign land with no phone at least... nope, I am not that crazy.  She said I wouldn't leave you here. 

So I put in my pocket the only weapon I could find, a fork.  We went to the office to complain about a few things.  Nothing could really be done. But once i got acclimated I was fine.  We went for a dip in the the hot pool, all alone.  Very beautiful and romantic. 

Went back to our room and the the rain hit and hard.  The lights went off and just like in the movies a knock on the door.  I grabbed my fork and told Ruth don't answer it.  I have no clue what he wanted.  But he left. the lights went on and off all night.
I think I found my partner in crime, Ruth handled everything in stride, no panics or complaints.
Most would of died from fright. Thats how eery it was. What a fun experience.

Gotta GoGo!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Carey's night mare happened.

Jumping ahead a bit..... So there we were, Ruth, her sister in law and daughter and my first breakfast in the Philippines. This is them talking. Where should we eat. Tagalog – English – Tagalog.... I don't know, everything is so far lets eat at McDonald’s. NO NO NO!!! Not even over here! And so Carey had to go to McDonald’s. Egg McMuffin with rice., longanisa with rice, Happy Meal with rice. I said I am not hungry so drank coffee and then I thought what happens if we don't eat for awhile so I decided to order pan cakes. I tried communicating I only want two pancakes with nothing else. So what did they bring me? Two orders of pancakes, eating one order of Mc'd's is bad enough but two?

Nightmare two.
After visiting ocean park we went to Mall of Asia. HUGE HUGE mall with a HUGE ice rink. I didn't even know Filipino's knew what ice was. Anyway..... they wanted pizza and where did they go? Pizza Hut!! The whole dietary world is against me.

Another meal the little niece wanted KFC. And the chicken came with rice. Everything comes with rice. All you can eat rice. Rice comes with rice. I miss seeing french frys.

And coffee? Forget it. If they do have it, they serve a cup of hot water with a small packet of instant coffee. I want to know how these people move so fast with out coffee.

First thing I do when I get home is make fry's with a pot of coffee. I miss Bruce's house and his hospitality and his coffee.

OKKKKKKKKKKKK that was the bad the good. Chicken gizzards, wow I love chicken gizzards. Places sell them here.

Milk fish soup, that was OK but the fish was strong. Another place I ordered a crab appetizer. A medium sized plate with small crabs in a sauce. How do you eat them? Claws and all, crunch crunch.

But you know what? I like the food here, its all different. Better than white mans food at home. If they would just serve coffee and fry's I would really love it,

Gotta GoGo, its rice time!!

thee landing

When I landed in Manilla massive confusion is the best way to describe it. Manilla is sort of like NY City on caffeine. I didn't know where I was going, people running all over. I asked someone where should I go, he ushered me into the mens room. Another one takes my bags, pulls out paper towel, turns on the faucet and flashes an American 5, hint: tip expected. And so that was my welcome and what I would expect everywhere at least in the airport, tips and confusion.

I was directed to the check in area and it was orange tiled. The security alert was orange, orange tile but no orange pants.

The first check point asked me where I was staying. I didn't know the address but all the other questions were answered. Next check point, the same questions but this lady wanted another paper. After more confusion and me saying what I don't understand 12 times, we got it straightened out finally. I said thank you dear and she made a look of what? I guess that was a faux pau what ever that word Sharon said I would make, well I made one.

After exchanging dollars to pesos I went to the exit and couldn't find Ruth's brother who was suppose to be waiting for me. I had no clue what was going, where to go with everyone scurrying around, security guards yelling.

Dan, whom I met on the plane came to my rescue. He saw me and said lets call and tell her you are here. Ruth didn't answer so Dan called back and left a text. Dan's party was waiting for him so I said just go I am sure I will find them. Then Matt came over the other guy I met on the plane and asked if I was OK. Finally a security guard who kept yelling at me where I should go and stand said come here.  I thought I was going to be deported already but instead he called Ruth for me, got a hold of her and found out where her brother was. I was at the wrong level. Of course I had to tip for the use of his phone that he offered.

The security guard while talking to Ruth said mama a few times, I interrupted and said that is not my Mom. I found out later what mama meant in Tagalog, brother.

OH it stinks, everywhere it stinks!

Friday, October 15, 2010

korean air

The Korean airport was very very clean and beautiful and huge. Stores and and a luxury feel. You don't need to speak Korean to get around, everything was printed in English.

The flight to Manilla I sat next to a Filipino who was on the same flight from Atlanta to Korea. His name was Dan who lives now in Jacksonville and was going back home. He also told me what to expect. Extremely nice guy. He gave me his number and said call if you need anything..

I got up to use the restroom and Dan was talking to someone. This mans name was Matt from.... Willoughby, He married a Filipina and him and his wife go to the Philippines once a year. He took my email and said I will email you later check your inbox I will check up on you.
stay tuned for more from Filipino-ville

Thursday, October 14, 2010

korean flight

I had the window seat for the flight to Korea. It didn't matter. It was night when we left the states and night when we arrived in Korea. So didn't see nothing but black,

The flight was very non eventful other than balsamic vinegar foot. The lady sitting next to me had a bug bite. So the stewardess gave her vinegar for it. Some odors just don't mix well. Feet and vinegar are one.

The Korean stewardesses put ours to shame. Ours aren't pretty and thin. In fact some are males and homos. Even the uniforms if you call it that are sad on the Americans. The Korean girls were a sight to see all made up and marching in order to board the plane. They smiled and looked just as good at the start of the 14 hour flight as they did when it ended.

On Korean Air, the plane with the logo that looks like Pepsi, they feed you quite well. We were only in the air only 20 minutes and they started serving us. Peanuts, orange juice, snacks. One dish was called Bibimbap. And just like anything Asian it came with instructions on how to put it together. That was served with seaweed soup. Its tastes like Lake Erie on a hot summer day. Their hospitality was terrific. Hot wash clothes, checking on you.

I sat next to two real fine people. The lady was from Jacksonville, the man was named Lee from Atlanta a missionary.

When they call it Korea Air they mean. Sure there is English subtitles but they are small. I watched to Korean movies. The Marines are gone, an OLD B movie about the Korean war, The other I recommend is 71 into the fire.

In Korea now. Write more later.

to atlanta and beyond

Well we finally left Hopkins 1 hour 20 minutes late. One of the few times I was on time and it didn't matter.

We spent more time taxiing and waiting on the runway at Hopkins then it took to get to Atlanta. The reason the plane was late in getting to Cleveland was that the original plane broke down so they had to switch everyone to a new plane. Somethings a pilot shouldn't divulge that and we will take off shortly, our brake light is on, it seems to be overheating once it cools off will will leave. That's fine once we are in the air as brakes aren't needed but what about when we land? Fortunately no trauma in landing in Atlanta.

On the plane though my nose was traumatized. I sat next to the toxic offender. I fell asleep twice only to be woken by the worse flatulence . When they announced drinks, snacks or fruits I was going to demand them drop me off right then and there if Mr. Toxic got any more combustible substance like fruit in him. I gave up on sleeping and kept my head in the aisle

Atlanta's airport seems to be as big as all of Cleveland. Incredible. Its more like a huge mall and I mean huge.

Before boarding I used the mens room. I always worry about being in the washroom on a plane, you never know when you could hit turbulence and things could go flying. So I found the quietest mens room, one with about 27 stalls. I choose the middle stall. A few seconds later someone sits in the one to my left. Then someone uses the one on the right. Why with 26 empty stalls do they have to sit so close, Once the trombones started I hurried up and got out of there,

Thats all for now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

at hopkins waiting for take off

3:10 still doing the last of my errands. get on the freway and drive like james bond. arrive right on time at 3:30, whew!

i get checked in after a wee bit of confusion on my part, the flight to atlanta will be delayed until 6:11, hummina hummina..  But whats another 45 minutes when you will be traveling for 36 hours.
in a way it seems as if i am in the philippines, the flight announcer sounds like he just landed from some asian country.

The security code alert is orange.  Should of wore my orange pants, would of been color coordinated.
wow did this free lap top come in handy.

Gotta Go Go!

Carey's Philippine Connection

Friends... I will be out of town from Oct.13 through the 27. Please send important political emails, prayer requests, and work related emails only until I get back. THANKS!

Hey Gang,
I am venturing out to the Philippines to meet Ruth. I will be leaving on October 13th and returning the 27th. I know its right in the middle of my busiest month with the fall cleanups and my cleaning business, (even though its still very slow) and this year its even busier with all the campaigns I am helping but this is how it all fell in place so I am going for it.

One of my accounts during late winter this year had to let me go for a few months. She referred me to another client who wanted work done. I am not sure what happened but I only worked a few times at this new house and never heard from them again. The older account wanted to resume the service so I bounced right back to them. Now here is the connection. The wife at the house I maintained only a few times was half Filipino. They go to the Philippines a few times a year. Her husband told me what to expect if I would ever travel there and if I wanted to try Filipino food go to Nipa Hut in Parma.

So I went to Nipa Hut. I found out besides being a grocery store and restaurant the owner sells plane tickets and hotel reservations for the Philippines. He said the best time to go is October because it is the off season for tourism. I told him well if I ever decide to go I will be back. Connection 2

In mid July Ruth and I set a date to meet in October because that was her vacation. I went back to Nipa Hut and was able to get a very good deal on a round trip because of the month. Connection 3.

In September I called my credit card to make sure I could use it in the Philippines. When the lady heard where I was going she got excited and said I just got back from there. Her dad is Jewish but her Mom is a Filipina. I asked where the credit card call center was and she said I am in Iowa. She gave me some advice on what to bring, sun tan lotion, bug spray and take lots of pictures and said I am going to really enjoy myself.

Connection 4. At work recently someone threw out a Dell laptop. It looked almost new so I brought it home. It was able to be fixed. So I am bringing it along with me. Whats the connection? 36 hours of flying and layovers you best have something to do.

Connection 5. I have been self employed for many years and never ever received a government refund for taxes. This year was the first time, that's how slow its been. So I used that money for the plane ticket. Someone said maybe I should save the money for a rainy day. But I did. I'm going to the Philippines and its still the rainy season there.

An unconnection. Its so hot over there so I went to Best Men's Wear to find a pair of thin material dress/casual pants. I found the perfect pair made of micro polyester which is VERY lightweight. The pants were even the perfect color - orange. When I told Ruth she said the men here wear black or blue pants, don't bring those I don't want you to look to much like a foreigner. I said Ruth I am use to it, in my own country I look like a foreigner a lot of times. But she won, no orange pants. Kind of reminds me of the lime green suit story.

More on Nipa Hut.
I went back to Nipa Hut to make sure all was set with the airfare. I had a lengthy conversation about life, religion and politics with Poli the owner. He was telling me the Philippines will always be his home but he loves America and this is where is he staying. He has been here about 25 years. He said some people think China is the greatest country but they aren't, America is. America makes the world go round. Even though China makes everything the country is hurting economically because America is not buying enough from them. China depends on us. China can't get themselves out of this economic slump because they can't afford to buy their own products, they don't pay their workers enough. Interesting.

I told Poli I needed to leave to eat. He said our restaurant is open go sit down, my treat. He served me a spring roll, rice porridge and palabok. The spring roll and porridge were delicious. The palabok is a noodle dish with pork rinds. It was OK but if you love pork rinds than you would enjoy it.

Nipa Hut is located at 6775 W.130th St., Parma Hts., Ohio

I will be reporting in when I can from my trip but only posting here on my blog, no emails. So if you want to read where I am at and hows it going go to my blog.

Gotta GoGo!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Richs vacation

Hey Gang,

My friend Rich and his wife Suzanne are leaving next week for vacation. He sent these links of where they will be staying and places and things they hope to see.
Gotta GoGo!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What a lame fest

Hey Gang,
What a lame festival! I have been to some bad fests but this might win the prize. I went to the Tuscarawas Italian American Festival Saturday night. How silly. IF I had to label this I would call it the Dover food vendor weekend. And even the food vendors were nothing spectacular.

The only Italians I saw were the committee cooks of the festival manning the only true Italian stand selling deee-licious homemade deserts.

Good thing I showed up. At least there was one Italian walking the streets, hmm that doesn't sound right.

I asked everyone I could, what does a rock band have to do with Italians, wheres the gambling, wheres pictures of the pope, wheres the Catholics, wheres the Italians? I couldn't find any of these even though the festival site has some Italian events listed.

America is changing so rapidly. The younger generation doesn't understand what true ethnic is unless its Hispanic or Muslim. And even then its in a perverted sense.

I over heard at an Italian restaurant in Cleveland a man explaining to his girlfriend, who had to be at least 30, which one was Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra in a photo on the wall. And back at the festival parking lot I spoke with a man and his wife about how things are changing. He said the fraternities such as the Eagles which I belong to are having a hard time attracting new members, good thing for the veterans at least they are holding things together.

I guess America has her own identity now, but I hate it. And its not just a generational thing. There is nothing appealing or cultural about people dressing in clothes that are 12 sizes to big or going out in lounge-wear made for home, wearing crocs, tattooed and speaking like they belong on Jerry Springer. I just hate it. Someone please turn back the clock for me.

Carey Masci

There are things to see in Dover, the Warther Museum and the Gas Pump Museum are just two.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Sunday Drive

  Two weekends ago I wanted to head to Evangola State Park for the Pirate Fest in New York. But it was just to bloody hot! Even though I like heat and hate air conditioning that weekend was beyond bearable. We had temps in the upper 90's in the northeast with a heat index around 110! So even for me that's a wee bit to hot especially when you are planning to drive and sleep in a 69 Dodge with no air and the engine between the front seats.

  So I decided instead to take a leisurely Sunday drive by myself in my little car. (Stay tuned for that story of what I turned my Daewoo into.) I had in mind a trip of no further than about 150 miles. Evangola, NY was still a possibility, so was Tionest Dam in Pa.. I decided about 1 in the afternoon to heads towards Dunkirk, NY and if time allowed continue on to Evangola.

  Here's the route I took from Wickliffe, Ohio: 90 east, exit at Peach Street in Erie, head north till it just about dead ends into Rt. 20, take a right on 20 and head east. That's it.

  The day trip was nothing spectacular but was a nice leisurely Sunday drive passing through a few small towns, with decent scenery and plenty of garage sales and junk shops. In fact, if you drive this on the weekend on the corner of Peach and 20 in Erie is an excellent garage sale/ junk shop that's only open on Saturday and Sundays. It's the kind of store that is a real throwback. Aisles with unorganized shelves and an occasional gem amongst of who is going to buy that piece of trash?

  I made it as far as Dunkirk never making it to Evangola. When you see the signs for Dunkirk get on Rt. 5. The beginning of Rt. 5 starts as a lake shore drive and then winds through the middle of New York. Dunkirk has a pier with some nice little shops.

  After strolling on the pier I made it to a lake shore park that I think was still in Dunkirk. As I was grilling my supper and older gentleman walked by with his dog. We struck up a conversation.

  The mans name was Harold, born and raised and still living in Dunkirk, 85 years old and looking good. I told him I was from Cleveland and he said I just drove through there on the way to Michigan for a wedding. I said that is a state that I think is hit even harder than Cleveland. Harold replied worse than New York? He proceeded to tell me about the economic woes of New York and the shut down steel mills in Buffalo.

  From there we both complained about how things are rapidly changing in America and big box stores with made in China junk. Harold told me his Father use to own a stationery store during the 30's in downtown Dunkirk. The stores are no longer there. Developers a few years ago promised a new mall if they could tear down the old buildings but all that was built was one store, the land is still empty.

  Harold said one good thing with the big box stores is you can get everything in one place instead of driving all over. I myself would gladly give up that conveniance for quality merchandise and knowledgebale store clerks.

Gotta GoGo!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

one of the funniest cleveland ads ever

Hey Gang,
I found this ad in the Westlake News. I just had to post it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hey Gang,
Joe said his Cutco office was in the harbor area of Ashtabula. I found it with ease. I briefly was in that area years ago I think for pizza so I sort of knew the general direction. Ashtabula is another area hit hard with unemployment. But I'm hearing more and more people saying that want to move there to flee Cuyahoga County and are worried Lake is going the same way. So I commend Joe for taking the risk. He may be in a hot spot for growth and could see his business boom.

 Joe was busy interviewing job applicants so I unloaded his shelf and took a walk through the woods behind his store. Finished exploring I told Joe I'd be right back, going for a drive to see whats in the area.
I don't know the roads or streets so can't tell you where I was at. I took a right at an intersection. The side street before it there was a church with police cars and a crowd of people in front. I spun around towards the church to investigate. It looked like maybe a wedding or a graduation but the cop cars?

At the stop sign in front of the church I asked a lady what was going on? She said they are going to bless the ships. What? I had to park and find out. I parked on a side street and asked another lady? Whats going on? Its the blessing of the ships. OK one more time, I'll ask this man. Excuse me whats going on? Its the blessing of the fleet, we are marching down to the harbor with the priest and bishop to pray for the ships safety, the father sprinkles water over them. Is this something new? Nope its the 61st. I guess I missed a few - huh?

I can't believe I also forgot his name, usually I remember everything so we'll just call him Mr. Cordial. Mr. Cordial said they were about set to march and I could join in. I ran to my van and grabbed my camera just in time. What timing and little did I know I parked on the parade route.

First came the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Honor Guard, then the bagpipers, followed by Father Ruggieri, Bishop Murray of Youngstown and walking behind was the congregation and friends of Mother of Sorrows Church.

I asked Mr. Cordial if he minded I tagged along side him. He said absolutely not. I had my own personal tour guide. As we were walking he was telling me the history. At one time Ashtabula Harbor was the third largest in the country behind New York City and Long Beach in California. Ashtabula was a prime fishing area. There were many fisheries and charter services, private and commercial. Charter's still exist today but nothing like its heyday before the fish were just about over fished to extinction.

The road we were marching on was very tough in the early days. It was known for its many bordellos to serve the sailors. Rough and tumble. Now they are trying to lure back businesses. There are quite a few nice eateries and bars on the strip heading towards the harbor.

The march was maybe a mile and a half long and ended at the Public Dock by the Lift Bridge. The Knights of Columbus walked to the dock, the bag pipers stayed put at the entrance of the assembly while the rest walked through.

The proceedings went as follows:
Posting of the Colors by the Knights of Columbus - pledge of allegiance - greeting and then the prayer service.
The first reading was Genesis 1:19, then Matthew 8:23-27. The prayers were The Lords Prayer - The Shipmasters Prayer - The Sailors Prayer - and Prayer of Blessing of the Boats.
It was followed by The Memorial Prayer, the casting of the wreath on the water, Taps, final blessing and a closing song by the Mother of Sorrows Mens Choir.
And the conclusion was Father Ruggieri and Bishop Murray boarding a boat and traveling the harbor and river to bless all the boats.

I may not agree with everything in the Catholic faith but they do have very respectful and beautiful services. I felt blessed to be invited to their worship.

I snapped a few photos and headed back to Joe's.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This one's for Gwen

Hey Gang,
Gwen made a request, well sort of a request, that she wishes I would write fun stories as I use to. Well this is the best I can do until our economy rebounds or gas gets to a reasonable level so I can hit the road and meet wonderful and interesting people or cats again.
So many things I do I just stumble on, no planning just walk right into them. It all comes down to timing and instinct which you can't explain. Thats how my Saturday went. I haven't had a day like this in some time.

My good friend Joe opened a business in Ashtabula selling Cutco knives. Ashtabula is about 45 miles from my house in Wickliffe. Joe bought a cabinet in the Cleveland area and asked if I could do him a favor and deliver it. Of course I said yes. I wanted to check out his new office anyway and it would give me the opportunity to take a short road trip.

The only plans Joe and I made was the time, I had to be at his office before 9pm. Since the weather was on and off rain and nothing else going on I decided to leave early and take my time getting there.

The quickest way to Ashtabula is taking the freeway Rt. 90 and exiting at Rt.45 but I prefer Rt. 20. Rt. 20 is the old route that everyone drove before the advent of the freeway, it will take you all the way to the east coast.

I took the freeway Rt 2 until it ends and dumps into Rt. 20 in Painesville Twp.. From Painesville Twp. you drive through Perry, Madison, Geneva, Saybrook and then enter Ashtabula. In Madison there were detour signs saying road closed 6 miles ahead. I trusted my instincts instead of following the detour, which sometimes can take you on a wild goose chase, and continued on. Before hitting the road block in Geneva I took a right on Walter Main Rd.. There is a junk yard I go to on Walter Main but I never drove the road past that point. I played my hunches and I was correct. It connected with Rt. 84 and from there I could loop back over to Rt. 20.. Follow this? You may want to travel it someday.

NOW I wrote all that just to tell you what I stumbled upon. If not for that detour I would of missed one of the most interesting in your face houses I have ever seen. I flew passed it and had to turn around. I parked on the berm to snap photos of it and the owner came out.

Believe it or not I can't remember his name. To tell you the truth, I can't even repeat much of what he said. Normally I can write in verbatim what someone says. But this guy talked so fast, had so much to say I couldn't keep up. I can sort of sum up what he said this way "Vote them all out"! Oh one more thing I remember, he said people should be worried if they shut me up because then its over.

I would almost have to call his house folk art-ish meets 60's protest - how about folk-adelic? The same with his cars, yes written all over. He said to get his message out he frequently parks his cars in no parking zones. Its worth the fine because usually these are the best spots to advertise your message.

Before I left I invited myself back for coffee and he said sure, anytime. So when I return will report back to you with the full scoop. He did say go ahead post this all over the internet what these crooks are doing. So I am obeying orders. I just wish he lived in Euclid.

From there I headed back to Rt 20 to get to Joe's but my day wasn't over yet.
Stay tuned.

Gotta GoGo!!
Carey Masci

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Carey's Cleveland Sports Humor

Cleveland... the land of wait till next year.

When Ben Roethlisberger got in trouble for sexual misconduct he was facing a sentence of a six game suspension or possibly being traded to the Cleveland Browns. Ben quickly said I'll take the six week sentence going to Cleveland is a life sentence.

The Cleveland Indians are so bad that they have decided to no longer start each game with the National Anthem, instead Taps will be played.

What does Obama's economy and LeBron James have in common? They both tanked.

LeBron keeps saying not to worry. Someone has to tell him he should worry he's not in New York yet.

If LeBron does leave Cleveland it would be bad and good. Bad because Quicken Loans arena will be empty of any basketball fans. Good because Cleveland needs a large homeless shelter.

The Cleveland Indians could use LeBron. At least LeBron can throw a game.

Serious though, the Cleveland Indians base runners are watching the Cavaliers closely. They are learning the proper way to slide.

And thats the way the ball bounces, at least in Cleveland. But wait till next year!
Carey Masci

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Old fishing reels

I am cleaning out my rental garage and keep finding things I packed away.
I came across three old reels that I think I picked up at an auction years ago.
They are:
1. Shakespeare Wondereel 1920 model FK or PK
2. Penn No. 190
3. Mohawk no markings other than Mohawk, it has an engraving of a fishing scene on both sides.

The Shakespeare and Penn were hard to photograph. The Penn has an engraving of a lighthouse. Not sure of their value so I contacted
to help me out.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Easter message a day late.

The last couple of Fridays a few friends and I have met at the Panda Buffet in Willoughby for dinner and to share Bible scriptures.
Since its Easter, this Friday my friend Mike talked about the resurrection. Mike said so many sermons deal with the events leading up to, the actual crucifixion and the resurrection rather than the events afterwards. He wanted to concentrate on Jesus over coming death. Jesus was with the Disciples for 8 days after being raised. Jesus taught them scriptures! Thats what Mike wanted to stress, the positive part of the crucifixion, not all the suffering, the resurrection, Jesus over coming death, being with the disciples and teaching them.
I told my friends that while at work I was thinking of something similar. A lot of times I like to draw parallels with scriptures. Sure you need to understand the true meaning of the text but you can apply it or reference it in other areas of your life.
I was thinking of the resurrection and how Jesus defeated death. I am sure when it was going on the Disciples were distraught thinking they were fools for following Christ. But when he rose everything had to make sense.
Sometimes when you are going through things you need to trust God and let it die. Quit fighting it. If its in Gods plans or the best for you what ever it is will spring back to life even better than before.
Thats the key. Don't be like the Disciples who questioned and became distraught, allow what ever situation or problem you are going through to die and let God resurrect it.
Jesus did just that and went along with God's plan of being crucified for us. And in doing so, his life fulfilled a far greater purpose for all mankind.

Happy Easter,
Carey K. Masci

Thursday, March 18, 2010

UFO's over Euclid

Aww yes, if video camera's in pencil sharpeners in city hall, arresting people for having a family member stay in their vacant house, street light fee's, 1,000 empty houses, scandals with housing inspectors, a woman killing a doe with a shovel weren't enough Euclid now has UFO's hovering off shore. What next a plague of frogs??

Mayor Cervenik has been exonerated. He said I told you people weren't leaving because of our bad and inept laws, the empty houses are caused by alien abductions.

Euclid council is busy trying to figure out what to do if the UFO lands. They're debating if they should call the military or just send out their housing inspectors.

Euclid's new ordinance. All alien space crafts that land in the city of Euclid may be no greater than 30 foot in circumference, have no more than 15 revolving lights, must have proof of insurance, can not park on any side street, may not carry any lazar guns within 500 yards of a school zone, must apply for an over night visa, must...............

UFO's appear over Euclid. Carey's cry for help finally heard.

Carey K. Masci

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Winter Cookout/Freeze Fest 2010

Hey Gang,
Another chillingly fun time! I think one of the best Winter Cookout/Freeze Fest to date. The snowiest for sure. Temps were perfect about 32 and very little wind but oh the snow kept on coming and coming and coming and yet about 14 showed.
Some rookies in attendance, Cindy R., Bob R., John, my sister Carol, with some old friends and of course Jeff B. who has made all of them. Next year I think if he makes it I will give him the Frozen Hand Award.
Bob was one of the first to arrive. He wasn't sure what to make of the set up and wondered what he got himself into when he saw the tombstone RIP. I just didn't have time to make signs so used Halloween decorations instead. Hey it served the purpose.
No matter how hard I try to organize things the event always comes out as unorganized chaos. But maybe thats what makes it such a great time. Before everyone arrived I had a temporary moment of panic when the wood that was promised was used up by someone else. All that was in the shelter was a small pile and in the fireplace smoldering ashes. So I went to the Ranger station. All the park hands were out busy plowing to keep the roads open so I said heck just show me where the wood pile is and I will get my own. Boy did I load up my van with wood.
I do have to thank Rich for all the help setting up and breaking my record player. Whats a broken record player amongst friends though? But I don't want to sound like a broken record so won't mention it again. And YES I still tote around a record player. I had spinning the Rip Cords with such memorable tunes such as Surfin Craze and Beach Girl, after that Hawaian Paradise. I just wanted to make everyone feel cozy.
I had give aways, books, videos, flag magnets for the car and what ever else on the table, coffee cups etc.....
I had two rounds of hot potato played with neat prizes. Jeff winning the first and Isaac the second game. I want to thank Cindy for leaving her tasty apple cake behind. No one spied it and I am glad. I took the container of it home and enjoyed all of it by myself. Cindy I want that recipe!
The best time though is when things wind down and we sit by the fire and chill or should I say warm. I keep telling people to hang out longer to enjoy it. Keith, Jeff, Mark and I hung around until almost 1 am spinning tunes, drinking coffee and talking. Not one ranger came by to boot us out. Glad this wasn't in Euclid.
Just a great time - can't wait for next years!
Gotta GoGo!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Do the Freddy

Hey Gang,
I am having so much fun scrolling through You Tube and searching for long forgotten bands. How or who puts all of this on the web amazes me. I did a search for one of the groups I use to love as kid, Freddy and the Dreamers. Some of their stage antics and dance routines were way out there and almost the forerunner of some of the Punk off the wallness years later.
How they got their name was Fred Garrity the lead singer was a brush salesman in his neighborhood. He went to one house across the street and the lady asked how is the band and have you found a name yet? Freddy answered no. She replied back you guys are a bunch of dreamers and it stuck.
This was the era of sing a long tunes, stage presence, and gimmicks. The Dreamers had all of those.
I played this for Walts kids and now a whole new younger generation is DOING THE FREDDY!
Enjoy and DO the FREDDY!!!!

Gotta GoGo!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

items for sale

Hey Gang,
Thought I would send out another email about a few items I would like to sell. One is the electronic cigarette. I paid over $100 for it. I am willing to take any reasonable offer.
The other is a wooden dresser. This is NOT junk! Very solid wood and I am sure a dresser built like this today would have to easily be over $400 maybe more. This is a piece of furniture that can be handed down. I would like $160 for it and if its a reasonable distance can deliver it for a cup of coffee and maybe a burger, make that 2 cups of coffee and cheeseburger, OK OK three cups of coffee and a cheeseburger & fries but thats my final offer.
Just email with any questions you have and can give more details.