"Hard For Me To Say I'm Sorry" (opens in separate window)

queen anne fronts and mary ann behinds

friday, november 30th, 2018

as a kid, when I learned to make or do something with multiple sides and views, my Parents always reminded me the back and sides should be as meticulously neat as the front. "Don't skimp or lessen the effort on anything and everything you do." This principle is something that has always stayed with me, and I tend to be just as fascinated with the rear and sides of buildings as the front.

This all became apparent to me when I remembered all the beautiful homes our Family had – Mom & Dad always manicured the back as beautifully and carefully immitated the front and sides – as compared to the many buildings I saw throughout my now almost 69 years, in the many cities, towns and villages I lived in or passed thru.

I insisted on and demanded it when I founded, built, owned and operated my Ol' Garden Center & Nursery for almost 23yrs. Customers were impressed and appreciated it. And they showed it.

A building’s behind is often forgotten by owners and visitors alike. Indeed it may be private and inaccessible, and naturally the front is the public face, and the rear – well that’s where real living happens. Through the centuries it has been the preserve of the wealthy to have the choice to commission ashlar fronts and brick rears. Centuries on the more styled buildings with stark architectural contrasts – such as proud Georgian terraces, Federal architecture and Modern structures – are the ones that remain and are our cultural reference points.

Drive highways, and you will see in any new development, a plethora of Mary Ann behinds. Drive streets in the same development and you see the Queen Anne fronts.

That is a metaphor for the fact that most new houses have fancy fronts but common backsides. Test: drive along I-70 (MD) or I-83 (PA) and look at developments built during the past three decades. You'll see backs of houses toward highways. Then gwet off the interstate and have a look at the fronts of the same houses. They face interior streets. You can hardly believe they are opposite sides of the same houses. Even half-million dollar houses are built that way today.

Megabucks spent on big front porches, oversized columns, fake gables, windows lighting unused attics, brick veneer pasties, giant bow and arched windows, gimmicks and gadgets. The brick fronts stop abruptly at corners, and end walls are sheathed in cheaper siding. This radical change is unashamedly made without a transition that satisfies the eye. Thus the brick front is perceived for what it is – a pastie on a substantial structure.

That is the front. What you see on the ends and rear is totally undistinguished: ordinary windows without shutters, good trim or expressive shapes – obviously of lower cost than on the fancier front. Window and door sizes are disparate, wherever they happened to be on the plan. No attention is given to balance, proportion or any other design consideration except cost. Foundations are reminiscent of exposed cheap underpants of the shape and size grading dictates. No attention to design. York and East York have a vast network of alleys, and you can visually see what I mean, in an instant.

Same for condo and townhouse developments: ornate in the front, Plain Jane in the rear. I live in one in East York, but mine isn't a Mary Ann Behind. Unfortunately, HOA (Home Owners' Associations) do govern much of what we can do to the outside.

From East Market Street, you see predominately the rear of the houses closest to you. This is one of many examples of the disparity between the front and other walls. The rears of the houses lack design quality. All are covered with siding. Although the prices are upper range, it is typical of most subdivisions. Looking between those houses you'll see others facing you from the far side of the internal street. They look like they are from a different planet; the differences between the fronts and rears starkly graphic.

No doubt your reaction is that it is all the builder's fault. Not really. They build what the home buyers are willing to buy. If Queen Anne/Mary Ann houses outsell those carefully designed all around, that is what gets built. A builder who does not respond to the market is soon bankrupt.

Is it the lenders? Partly, because they are willing to write mortgages on anything that sells well and will hold value. They are not the arbiters of design. If they insisted on designs that don't sell, they would soon be out of business. It is partly the architects who design for the mass market, but they also have to respond to what sells.

Who, then, is really responsible? Well, if you are a buyer of this type of house, you are fully-responsible. It is your fault. You get what you are willing to pay for, live in and upgrade. Everyone else in the chain is merely responding to your demands. It appears that you don't care.

To see houses that present themselves well from all sides; just look at those built before World War II. The Mary Ann behinds and exaggerated fronts started with mass marketing after that. Take a look at the pre-war houses in the older parts of York, East York, Hellam, Emigsville, Red Lion, Spry and other towns and villages. They will show you the way.

So when you build your dream home, if you want a Queen Anne front, do a Queen Anne backside, too. There are just too many ugly-assed homes around.

Since leaving home for Drake University, at 17, I've always lived in apartments and condos, so I have no real room here to talk dirt about homes. But my Parents' homes were always Queen Anne Fronts/Queen Anne Backsides. Always. The days of my building my personal dream, Modern, Comtemporary Home, are over for this lifetime.

© 11/30/2018 by Me.

A Day In The Life.

Awake at 3a and up at 4a, I just couldn't sleep; too many things going thru my sleep-addled mind. A bitter cold 19°F and I had the furnace quickly turned-up to 76°F. while I made coffee and a bowl of Quaker® Instant Oatmeal, w/ Half & Half®, 3 packets of Truvia® (haven't used refined sugar in 15-20yrs) and fresh red raspberries. I checked the weather, scanned the news, and temps had dropped to 17°F by 5:30a. I had a long list of things "to do" today, since the Thanksgiving Holiday interrupted the week. I lost $32,575 (IRA & 2 Brokerage Accounts) as the DJIA/NASDAQ lost 455pts, on Wednesday. Damn.

"I guess I'd thought you'd be here forever, another illusion I chose to create, you don't know what you have, until it's gone, and I found out a little too late."

I left at 8:15a, with only 18°F showing on the garden thermometer, headed to the UPS Store, Weis Market, Rite Aid, Home Depot and probably another stop or three. traffic was terrible and the stores were packed. No visible mass fistfights, yet, but it was near-total madness. Just some minor stabbings. Yikes. I'll finish it all up, either tomorrow or Monday.

I had a couple UPS and FedEx deliveries during the day, slept on the LR's new 99" couch for 4+ hrs, and finished-out the afternoon with a huge plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and peas. The Velocity Channel didn't have much to my liking on, so I wound-up watching a few really old episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 (19 seasons so far, and 266 episodes), on History Channel's "American Pickers". Calling it quits for the day at 10p, I took my Rx pills, and went up to bed.

"Everybody needs a little time away, I heard her say, from each other. Even lovers need a holiday, faraway, from the one that they love."

I woke Saturday morning at 5a, to just 19°F outside and 70, to 70°F in the condo, and a ***SEVERE WEATHER ALERT – Winter Weather Advisory***: a major ice storm headed our way; actually a little northwest of us. But with bitter cold air sitting on us, it'll be ice to start with. And more ice started,coming from the west and south. Looks also like my morning errands will be postponed until later in the day, when/if it warms-up. I made coffee, 3 Sunny-side-up brown farm eggs, hash browns, fried ripe tomatoes drizzled with EVOO and toast. I'd had enough oatmeal over the past 5 days; time for a tasty and belly-filling change.

By 8:30a, it was up to 21°F and it was looking like all we'd still get serious ice, and then rain, later. Mercifully, temps hit 37°F, the sleet/ice turned to rain, except northwest of York, and I made a run to Weis Market to get a couple of needed things, and visit with Kim, who is another Severe/Acute Pancreatitis survivor, works there. The rain started around 1:30p and continued late into the night. Flooded streets, roads, lawns and storm sewers backing-up, yet again. Well, at least it wasn't snow. I watched 4-5 episodes of Discovery Channel's "Expedition Unknown" series, until 11p, and hit the sack. There's the final F-1 Grand Prix of 2018 at Abu Dhabi on, at 7:30a, and I'm not going to miss it by oversleeping.

Up at 5:30a, I made coffee, Cream 'O Wheat w/ fresh blueberries, found ESPN2-HD on the 82" Samsung, synched/logged-in with Xfinnity on my 27" Samsung CATV on my computer in the office-sunroom, grabbed a shower, and started 3 loads of laundry. I wasn't missing the F-1 Grand Prix, unless we got EMP'd by the NORKS. It was very foggy and 35°F, with "black ice" warnings on the CATV weather channels. I wasn't going out this morning anyway; the race was on until at least 10, and the laundry would take quite a while longer. Good race. I did some work in the basement and garage, rearranging things, bagging-up other things for Goodwill, drove to Weis Market get a couple things, and spent the rest of the day snoozing on the couch. By 6p, I'd made dinner, taken my pills and watched some more episodes of Discovery Channel's "Expedition Unknown" series. By 10:30p, I was nodding-off, and went upstairs to get some shut-eye.

"Here we are again, we've tried it on our own, but deep inside we've known, we'd be back to set things straight. I sill remember when, your kiss was so brand new, every memory repeats, every step I take retreats. Every journey always brings me back to you."

Sleeping-in until 7:30a on Monday, it was a cold rainy day, with sleet and freezing rain. I'd left my Jeep out overnight, and it was encased in ice. I made coffee, had Quaker® Instant Oatmeal, w/ Half & Half®, 3 packets of Truvia® (haven't used refined sugar in 15-20yrs) and fresh red raspberries, turned-on Fox News, same-o same-o crap, and started making calls to the PSU-Hershey and Geisinger Medical billing dept's, to find out why I was charged a $275 co-pay on 11/1/18 before my last outpatient ERCP/Endoscopy. I had the Chris Plante Show, WMAL-DC, on the radio until 12noon. By 11a, temps had risen to 47°F, the ice had melted and was back to plain old rain.

Sure, we can spend $10-15 BILLION on a Mars Lander, after a 300 MILLION mile journey, but we can't spend $5 BILLION on our southern border's wall, to keep these murderous, raping, subhuman spics out of our country. IT'S AN INVASION! There are thousands of Real Americans killed, raped and murdered by illegal alien spic filth, each year, and the treasonous, commie, lying, socialist demonkkkRATs won't lift a finger to help stop it, by building and guarding our border wall.

Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+

I spent several hours calling the billing dept's at PSU-Hershey Hospital & Medical Complex, and Geisinger Health, to find out why I'd been billed $275 as a "co-pay" for my last CT-Scan on Nov 1st, the same day I had my last outpatient ERCP Operation/Procedure. Wes in Geisinger Billing is working on why they received the bill, but didn't pay all of it, charging me a never-before co-pay of $275. I did some research into Samsung Galaxy S vs S9 Plus – yeah, I'm finally going to get one of them... since 2006 – at the nearby AT&T Store, watched some old episodes of "American Pickers", on the 82" that I hadn't seen before, took my Rx pills at 10:30p, shut everything down and went to sleep.

"After all the stops and starts, we keep coming back to these two hearts. Two angels who've been rescued from the fall. And after all that we've been thru, it all comes down to me and you. I guess it's meant to be, forever you and me, after all."

Up at 7a on Tuesday, I turned-up the heat to 76°F – it was a cold 34°F outside – and the condo warmed-up quickly, made coffee, 3 Sunny-side-up brown farm eggs, 3 hash browns, a sliced, fried ripe tomato drizzled with EVOO and 2 pcs buttered toast, scanned the weather and news, and checked my "to do list". I'd had a good night's sleep, and am feeling stronger everyday, and more like my "old self", albeit 100-lbs lighter now. I left for the cleaners to drop-off a load of shirts, for Weis Market to get some things, and then try to find the AT&T Retail Store, but skipped that until this afternoon.

After lunch, I drove over to The York Galleria, found the AT&T Retail Store, spoke to the store manager, who uses an iPhone, about the Samsung phones, specifically the Galaxy Note9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, played with them for almost an hour, and deemed both to be USER UNFRIENDLY, and decided to just keep the Samsung 2014 Samsung Rugby 4 (AT&T) Flip Phone, and perhaps look at the more friendly iPhones, at a later time. Bummer.

One of my favorite signs.

I skipped any dinner, just drank flavor-infused tea and water, listened to Peter Cetera (Chicago), Billy Joel and Procul Harum on YouTube until 11:30p, and couldn't quit for the night, until 2a, when I found this Peter Cetera Concert (Fast Forward to 5:13), and this one in Salt Lake. Too tired, I saved them for tomorrow's listening.

There were times I had nothing, but somehow laughed thru it all. There were moments I'll never forget, and some I don't care to recall.

I slept-in until 8:30a on Wednesday, made coffee, grabbed my usual morning shower, and had a smoke in the garage. I miss not being able to smoke in the condo, or at this time of year, on the front porch or on the back irregular flagstone patio. But, after spending nearly $35,000 to totally rehab it, I'm not going to ruin it again with cigarette smoke; my lungs and garage can handle that. Heh. Becky stopped by to visit, UPS made an Amazon delivery, and with noting worth a crap on TV, I continued listening to last night's 2 unfinished Peter Cetera Concerts.

Beth (RN) from PSU-Hershey's GI Dept called with my 2019 appt's at the Hospital, Anesthesiology – my 14th; one before every operation – in February and another my 14th ERCP Operation/Procedure – in March. Several neighbors dropped by to see my newly-rehabbed condo, and the 82" Samsung TV, and were stunned at the transformation. It is truly is a totally new unit. I listened to the "Mark Levin Show" until 9; the "Hannity" on Fox News until 10, the "Ingraham Angle" until 10:30p, took my evening Rxs, caught the day's news, and closed down at 11:15. The cleaning ladies are due in at 8:30a, so I need to get some sleep.

Awake and up at 5:30a, on Thursday, I made coffee, had a couple Ensure® Protein Shakes, scanned the weather and news, and by 6:45a, it was getting light. I had some clean-up to do in the garage, and get the garbage ready to go out this afternoon for Friday morning p/u. Plus, put open and stack-up some new shipment cases of Bai Infused Waters & Teas. Though it was a bitter 26°F outside, the lack of 30-50mph winds, like we had yesterday, made it semi-palatable to be outside with my Marlboro Barn Coat; I also have a Forest Green Barn Coat and a White Barn Coat.

Life's a series of hellos and goodbyes. I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again.

The cleaning ladies left around 11a, and I passed them on the road as I headed back home from some errands. After a large turkey, mashed potatoes and peas lunch, I curled-up on the couch and listened to Rush, until I fell asleep for 3hrs. The cellphone rang and Rite Aid Pharmacy here in East York, had an Rx ready. I drove over to p/u the inhaler, which had gone from $45 to $128 in 4yrs, even though I've been using Good Rx Coupons, for four years. Yikes.

I watched a few episodes of "American Pickers" on my computer's CATV, nodded-off until 8p, woke-up and switched-over to the ROKU streaming 82" Samsung TV, and channel-hopped around, investigating so many networks of content. By 10:30p, I was ready to climb into bed, under some new flannel sheets, and get some serious sleep.

Fake Liberal Media BS

The most insidious power of the corrupt, criminal liberal media, is the power to ignore the truth.

Here, have some fun. Something stinks within America's newsrooms. It's the stench of liberal bias permeating the so-called mainstream media. From lies and deceit to distortions and character assassinations, the liberal media dish out leftist BS to drive their radical agenda.

Chris Plante, host of The Chris Plante Show on WMAL (DC) from 9-12, weekdays, said, "The most insidious power the media has, if the power to ignore." Think about what that really means and you can readily see what an evil force the corrupt, criminal, liberal-demokkkRAT-controlled, butt-kissing, fawning circlefest media assholes, are.

Think you can detect it? Take some serious time and read/scan these articles and find out just how much BS the liberal media are dishing out. Wear your hip-waders; the bullshit is real deep!

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