One Thousand Page Views In One Day!

Wow. Just wow. When I started this blog back in 2016, I got 963 page views for the whole year. Yesterday I surpassed 1,000 in one day! I’m absolutely amazed.

I’ve had some great traffic days in the last six months, but never reached this height before. 

I am so grateful to everyone who takes the time to read, subscribe, and like my blog!

This is an extra special Thanksgiving holiday because I have so much to be thankful for.

I’ll continue to bring you the most interesting content I can come up with for your reading pleasure. 2021 is right around the corner, and we’ll all grow together.

Thank you, one and all!

Charles

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Thanksgiving Tradition

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s one from 2017

My family has always celebrated Thanksgiving, but Christmas was always our big holiday. I’m always welcome at my older sister Janice’s house every year. She has a big house and we refer to her place as Holiday Headquarters. There was one year many years ago when I was invited to go to my other sister Gabrielle’s house all the way down in North Wildwood, New Jersey. Back then I was newly divorced, and I just didn’t feel like making the drive all the way down there. My daughter was little then and with her Mom and that side of the family for Thanksgiving. I was just happy that my ex-wife was out of the house and out of my life for that matter. I was looking forward to a day of listening to music, watching movies, and eating and drinking. I like to be alone. I’m a very social animal, and I get my energy from those around me, but I just wanted a day of sweet nothing and solitude.

I lived in Woodbury, NJ back then. I drove over to the local convenient store and picked up a box of frozen Ellio’s Pizza. It’s a cheap and tasty treat I have loved since I was a lad. The lady at the counter says, “I hope you’re not eating that for Thanksgiving!” I coolly replied, “Oh, no. My daughter loves these things. I always keep them in for her.” (a bald-faced lie)

That night I happily sat on my sofa watching some cool movies, drinking Ketel One vodka and tonics, and eating my delicious Ellio’s Pizza. I had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. I was grateful to have a family that cared about me and most of all that little Lorelei was in the world.

So I joked around with my sisters about that day, and of course, they felt bad for me. They didn’t want me eating frozen pizza and drinking liquor by myself on Thanksgiving, but that’s what I really wanted to do that day. So it’s sort of becoming a family joke every year for Thanksgiving. It came up again this year when I declined my sister’s invitation. It’s not that I didn’t want to see her, but I’ve seen her a lot lately, and my parents have passed, so what’s the point? Once the main anchors of a family die, usually the children retreat to their own little families. She understood and we’ll all get together at her annual holiday party in December at Holiday Headquarters.

I went to the Midtown Diner and had a huge breakfast at the counter. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and french toast. It’s too much food, but I crushed it all and it was delicious. I went back to my house and did some writing. Lorelei escaped the clutches of having to spend Thanksgiving with her mother. She went to her boyfriend’s mother’s house. She’s a hard-core vegan and made some really creative dishes. I’m glad she’s happy and I’m sure they were glad to have her there for the holiday.

I finished a chapter and wanted to get something to eat around 4:30. I left the house and walked down to South street. Everything was closed, but I didn’t feel like going into Walgreens where I’d have to get something to heat up or bake in the oven. Then I looked to the left and remembered there was a new 7-Eleven a block away.

I stopped in and was surprised at all of the people in there buying stuff. Maybe I could start a little Thanksgiving club with them. They could come over with a load of 7-Eleven food and I’d supply the booze. I picked up some things and headed back to the house.

The city was deserted. Dark and eerily quiet because everybody was off doing their family things. I got home, went to my desk, and fired up an old episode of Columbo on Netflix. I poured myself a vodka and club soda. I don’t drink Ketel One anymore at home. Too expensive. I only have it out now in a martini, straight up with a twist. My current brand is Platinum X7 by Sazerac. A 1.75 bottle is $20. My favorite thing to mix it with is Polar club soda with lemon that I buy by the liter at Walgreens. I tore open the small bag of Lay’s potato chips. Then opened the box that contained the quarter-pound 7-Eleven hot dog, and spread mustard along its length.

Changed it up this year! Wanted to send a pic to all of my sisters but decided against it.

A man who can sit in a room alone and be satisfied is a man who has found inner peace.” – My Dad

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Romantic Thanksgiving Date Ideas

A lot of people believe that Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless you spend it stuffing yourself silly with food, surrounded by annoying uncles and aunts. But for couples without children or whose families are far away, Thanksgiving can be a wonderful opportunity to spend some romantic time together without distractions. So skip all of the stress this Thanksgiving and plan a special day for just the two of you with one of the ideas below.

Cook a meal together for two

While playing hostess to your in-laws and simultaneously cooking a Thanksgiving meal for 10 may seem like a recipe for a panic attack, cooking a turkey together with your best guy is filled with sexy opportunities. Envision sipping wine together as you stir the cranberry sauce and let your imagination run wild!

Have someone cook a meal for you

For those of you who think cooking is a chore rather than a delight, there’s nothing like enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner out on the town. Simply make a reservation, show-up and voila! While other women are spending the day slaving over a stove, you and your man can enjoy all of the pleasures of eating a five-course, candle-lit meal with none of the work.

Stay at a B&B

Holidays are so few and far between, why not extend your Thanksgiving into a Thanks-weekend and spend four days being thankful you’re not at home?

Go somewhere warm

Or even better, chuck the idea of a traditionally chilly Thanksgiving and relax the weekend away, basking in the sun at a tropical resort. The trees may not change color in Florida or the Bahamas, but there is still a lot of holiday cheer to be found there.

Watch a parade

You don’t even need to go anywhere to enjoy a romantic Thanksgiving. Sipping hot chocolate and holding hands together while watching a local parade can be just as lovely.

Or snuggle on the couch

Don’t even get dressed! Thanksgiving is one holiday that’s made for sleeping in, so don’t hesitate to ignore that alarm for once. You can always TiVo the parade and watch it later.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen

For couples in pursuit of the true meaning of Thanksgiving, soup kitchens and charity organizations are always in need of volunteers on the holiday when attendance is even higher than usual.

Go see a movie

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is going out to the movies with my boyfriend, just the two of us.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Tales of Rock: Michael Jackson Impersonator Amazes Fans with Uncanny Resemblance to the Late Singer

Viral video of Micheal Jackson’s impersonator on Instagram has left fans in shock and according to most people, the resemblance is truly scary. 

Celebrity impersonator Sergio Cortes’s uncanny resemblance to the late pop star Michael Jackson is jaw-dropping.

Sergio Cortez is one of Michael’s many impersonators, unlike the others who go to grave lengths to achieve this similarity, Sergio has never had to go under the knife for cosmetic surgery to modify his facial appearance, its all-natural.

The late pop star has the second-highest number of impersonators to his name after Elvis Presley, each trying to outdo the other, but only Sergio comes close.

Over the years, Sergio had to consistently practice moves and undergo voice training to perfect his craft. In the now-viral video posted on his Instagram page, Sergio shared the details of a show holding in Thailand on December 23.

Michael Jackson at the Santa Barbara County courthouse April 29, 2005 | Photo: Getty Images

Michael Jackson at the Santa Barbara County courthouse April 29, 2005 | Photo: Getty Images

He captioned it: “Thayiland Dec 23 😊♥️” Sergio’s fans who were in awe reacted with their comments. A fan, who wants to experience him perform, had this to say:

“I hope you can come to China. Do you have plans?”

Another wrote:

“the Michael Jackson number 2. Amazing, the best impersonator of Michael Jackson.”

Reactions have continued to trail the video as Micheal’s fans worldwide have been in disbelief at the uncanny resemblance. A twitter user shared Sergio’s video and pictures. She wrote:

“Instant double-take when you see Sergio, aka Michael Jackson. Sergio Cortes looks so much like Michael Jackson, and it’s scary.”

Twitter users also chronicled their thoughts in the comment section. One tweep wrote:

“This freaked me out. I had to say..ok He isn’t still alive..#RIP MJ.”

Another tweep who was surprised at the resemblance wrote:

“OMGGGGG wowww 😮 He looks so much like Michael and I never have said that about anyone.”

Sergio graces invitations to Micheal Jackson’s tribute shows, where he puts out a stellar performance.

Although no one captures the crowd like Michael Jackson, Sergio’s performances come a close second as he dedicates time to his craft.

A look at his Instagram posts shows he has been invited to several “Michael Jackson tribute shows” across the world. He also has a YouTube page where he posts videos of his performances.

Sergio’s fan base is slowly increasing as he gets invited to talk shows and trailed by paparazzi.

Celebrity impersonators are professional lookalikes of celebrities. This impersonators grace events and act the path in exchange for money and fame.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

The Space Between Us – Part 2

1970 – Philadelphia, PA

My father was talking to me in the living room as we watched what was happening with the Apollo 13 mission. They were going to land on the moon too. But on the way there they had some technical failures. They were losing oxygen. I asked my dad what was happening, thinking the astronauts and NASA were indestructible and infallible.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_13

“If they don’t get this fixed son, they won’t make it back.”

Hearing those words drove home the reality of life and how fragile we all are.

What a terrifying moment for Jim Lovell and his crew. Happily, we’ve all seen Ron Howard’s film with Tom Hanks and it has a very happy ending.

 

January 1986 – Wildwood, NJ

I was working at Circle Liquor in Somer’s Point NJ. It’s one of the most profitable liquor stores on the east coast. It’s so big, you can drive your boat up to the place. I was pushing a shopping cart full of Canadian whiskey in the warehouse. I was about to go out into the store and stock the shelves. Another one of the guys came through the doors with his cart.

“Hey man, the space shuttle blew up.”

“What?”

By the mid ’80s, the shuttle missions had become so commonplace no one really paid any attention to them anymore. America was accustomed to going into space. They thought it was getting boring so they let a school teacher go along for the ride.

“Yea, the Challenger blew up.”

“The one with the school teacher, Christa McAuliffe?”

“No survivors.”

I thought about it the rest of the day. I got home that night before my father. But when he did arrive, he went straight upstairs. I walked down the hall to his room and went to see him. I stood at the doorway and he was taking off his suit jacket. He saw me there and stopped. We just looked into each other’s eyes for a moment before we both started crying.

“Tough day.”

“Yea.”

“It’s terrible.”

“Why do they keep showing it over and over on TV?”

“Because they want viewers, son.”

We hugged, and didn’t speak of it again after that. A terrible tragedy that didn’t need to happen. It was a heartbreaking day for the space program and most of all this country.

“The last man to be here was never heard from again.
He won’t be back this way till 2010.
Now I’m riding on a fountain of fire.
With my back to the earth, I go higher and higher.
Why me? Why me?”  – Planet P

 

1990

I was working at the Union Trust Bank as a Branch Manager. I had finally become a banker like my father. He was very proud of me. I cut my hair, put on a suit, and joined the ranks of humanity.

One morning my dad gave me an article he had enjoyed in the New York Times magazine. (Which was included in every Sunday edition back then.)

It was an article about a group of scientists that were working on a project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. It was called SETI.

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

We were both really into the idea of life on other planets and had discussed the prospects at length. We weren’t a religious family, and the notion that Earth was a solitary entity to support life in the universe was poppycock to us.

With billions of stars out there, life would have to exist somewhere else. It’s just good science. I loved the article so much, he let me keep the magazine.

Are we alone? The search for life in the universe | SETI Institute

By the time I read that article I was already well ensconced in every book I could find about alien life in the universe. The Roswell incident, Crash at Corona, Out There, and Communion. Any book I could find, I would read. I had even become a card-carrying member of MUFON. (The Mutual UFO Network) I just knew something was out there and was captivated by the scientists at the JPL making an effort to contact them.

I wrote to one of the scientists (Edward T. Olsen) on that project. I composed a heartfelt letter that described what I had experienced with my father growing up in regard to space. I remember closing my letter with this statement; “I would be happy to mop the floors at your facility just to be near something that you’re trying to accomplish.”

To my shock and awe, he actually got back to me. I was blown away. He had said he was so impressed by my letter, that he read it to the team at his weekly meeting. He wrote to me an extensive four-page letter that was wonderful. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to read it to my dad.

I remember sitting in his kitchen. Just the two of us as I read the whole letter aloud to him. He was ecstatic.

But the one thing  I remember from that night was this; When I finished reading the letter, he had one question for me.

“Do you have a copy of your letter? I want to hear what you said to him.”

I get a four-page letter from a dude from NASA, and my dad is more interested in what my words were to that man to get him to write back to me.

Huge father and son moment.

I’ll dig out the magazine and the letter and publish them on the blog at some point.

Here’s an interesting point. I wrote to that scientist one other time after that. I didn’t tell anyone, but I had some ideas about how an actual flying saucer could navigate it was through space. My father always told me that nobody would come here because they were too far away. But he was thinking about what he learned in books. He only learned about linear flight from point A to point B on a traditional, solid rocket booster.

But I thought that if you could generate enough of a gravitational force, you could literally pull point B to point A in a short amount of time. It was a bunch of theories from a 24-year-old young man about exotic propulsion systems for interstellar travel.

I didn’t hear back from the scientist. Years later, I was scheduled to attend a business junket to California when I worked at a finance company. I called the scientist and actually got him on the phone. I remember sitting in my hotel room and talking to him. He remembered me and my first letter. I told him I wanted to take him up on his offer of visiting the JPL and taking the tour he had offered me in his letter.

But, he said that wouldn’t be a good idea. I asked him what he thought of my second letter, and he said he never got it.

Hmmm…

 

1994

I was working for a finance company, and I read in the paper about a book signing that was happening at a store that wasn’t too far from my office. I really wanted to slip out and attend it.

The year before, Howard Stern‘s book, Private Parts had published. He was syndicated in the Philadelphia market on rock radio WMMR each morning, and wildly popular.

When his book came out, I remember seeing people lined up around the block to buy it. Howard was, and probably still is, that popular! It was the fastest-selling book in the publisher’s history and sold a whopping 1.1 million copies by 1995. Pretty impressive numbers for a guy that talks about farts and sex all morning on the radio.

So, I didn’t know what to expect when I was going to this particular book signing. Were all book signings a manic line of fans lined up around the block to meet their hero? I only have a limited window to do this and get back to the office.

I get to the Barnes and Noble, or Borders bookstore in the next county. I see a sign on the window for what’s happening that day, and head in. I spoke to one of the employees and told her why I was there.

“Where do I get in line?”

“Line?”

“Yea, for the signing.”

“Just go right back there. He’s sitting right back there at that table.”

I walk back to where she told me to go. It felt like slow motion. Through the long aisle of books. I felt small. It was like being a kid again walking through the bookstore with my dad in Bradd Alan’s in Cheltenham, 25 years ago.

I come upon the man at the table. He’s an older gentleman with a kind face, and a sharpie in his hand. Stacks of his book Lost Moon are piled in front of him and in a box on the floor. There’s no line of people to meet this national hero. No line going out the door and around the block.

“It’s an honor to meet you, sir. I’m Charles.”

“Hello Charles, I’m Jim.”

The commander of Apollo 13 is sitting right in front of me in a bookstore on a rainy day in the suburbs of Pennsylvania.

He signs the book, “To Horace,    Jim Lovell.”

My father said it was his favorite Christmas present that year.

What it really comes down to is this. My father wanted to be present in all of his kid’s lives because it mattered. It made a difference. He wanted to be there for us all because of his own father’s absence. He didn’t want to follow in the mistakes of the past. He and my mother helped my sisters and I evolve into the people we are today.

And for that I am eternally grateful.

Thanks for interstellar trip, dad! We stayed on Earth but we went around the sun 54 times together!

Here’s a cool commemorative stamp my dad got me that went to space!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

The Space Between Us – Part 1

Philadelphia, late 1960’s.

Ever since I was a little boy, I loved the space program and all things having to do with the universe. I always liked science and nature.

On Sundays my dad would take my sister Janice and I to a book store where he picked up his copy of the New York Times. We lived in a neighborhood called Lawndale and the store was over in Cheltenham. It was a 15 or 20 minute ride from the house.

I remember one time we went there and there were a half dozen flatbed trailers in the parking lot. On each trailer were these giant dinosaur models. But, get this… you could put coins in  a machine on the thing and it would make you a miniature model of the dinosaur you were standing at the foot of. It was incredible. Of course my dad got us one of each.

(They were made out of wax and plastic. It was almost surreal to me at the time. If I can find any info on this, I’ll write about it in a future post.)

Creepy Classics

1960s Tyrannosaurus Rex Wax Mold-A-Rama Injection Mold Dinosaur Small Variation | Tyrannosaurus rex, Tyrannosaurus, Dinosaur

1960s Tyrannosaurus Rex Wax Mold-A-Rama Injection Mold Dinosaur Small Variation

I will have to say this here being a student of science. Notice how back then people thought T-Rex walked upright like a guy in a Godzilla suit dragging his tail behind him? When it’s painfully obvious if you look at the bone structure of the T-Rex he’s built more like a bird. The genuine article leaned forward and his tail stuck out for balance.

More like this rendering:

Growing Up Tyrannosaurus Rex: Researchers Learn More About Teen-Age T.Rex

Since this story is about science I felt it needed to be said!

My dad read the NY Times every Sunday for as long as I can remember. We had the Evening Bulletin delivered to our house every day by the local paperboy, but he would buy the Times for himself every weekend. It was a behemoth of a publication. Easily 100 pages. This is when print was king and the Times was probably the greatest paper in the country. (Maybe the world!)

I once asked my father why he read that paper and he told me that he felt that the Times told the unbiased truth when it came to the news. It was a high brow intelligently written paper that brought you news from around the world. He felt that it gave him everything he needed to know each week.

He’d be chatting with the staff and browsing for books, and Janice and I would wander around the store looking at all kinds of different books. I loved walking up and down the aisles looking at all sorts of different books!

My dad would sometimes say no to getting us a toy. But he never said no to getting us a book.

I loved looking at all of books and comics. Normally, my sister and I would come home with something on those trips.

We always had lots of books growing up. My father was an avid reader and always had a book going. He was a self educated man. He read about everything. He would pick a subject and read all he could about it. I always thought that my dad was a really smart guy, but he would always dismiss it by saying that he was just older. But I knew he got smart from reading so many books. He wanted to better understand the world and its historical events to better navigate his own life. He used to say that the three greatest things in his life were my mom, us kids, and his books.

He passed in 2016, but I wonder what his reaction would have been to discover his son had become a published author?

He used to say that books and knowledge gave him the tools he needed to better navigate the world and the people and events in it. That habit trickled down into us kids, and we all learned so much from him. Don’t get me wrong, my mom liked to read too, but she was more into Agatha Christie and works of fiction. My dad liked non-fiction. Mostly history, biographies, and science. He did love science fiction and read all the great works by Clark, Asimov, and Heinlein. He enjoyed authors who took a more scientific approach to their writing rather than the fantasy stuff of say… Ray Bradbury. He always liked stories about stuff that could maybe happen in the future. That’s why he always liked Batman better than Superman. Superman was an alien from another planet with incredible powers. Batman was just a regular guy. Batman was cool, because Batman could be a real guy! You could never be Superman, but if you had the money and skills, you could maybe be Batman!

I remember he got me a huge poster and I hung it on the wall of my bedroom. It was of our solar system and I would always look at it think about our galaxy. Here’s a guy who took me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey. We loved space and all things science fiction. I used to stand on my bed at night and just stare at that poster. I always thought it would be amazing to travel to the stars. But I was afraid of heights, so that was off the table.

We had stacks of books about science and nature. I remember my sister and I would get these little paperback digest sized books about animals. I especially loved those books. Each one had a different subject. Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, and Spiders and their kin. I asked dad what the word kin meant, and he told me that they were all in the same family. Just like us. Reading all of these kinds of books as a kid were not only fun and informative, but they made you smarter, and you didn’t even realize it was happening. I don’t remember many of my friends in the neighborhood having many books like that growing up.

I loved space, aliens, space travel and science fiction movies growing up. My father was a huge fan of the Apollo program as it began to take shape in the 60’s. We followed it together and would watch the launches on our black and white TV.  I remember I was in first grade for Apollo 8.

But, bigger and better things were coming.

A promise President Kennedy made to the American people just eight years before. His words ring true today now more than ever.

I’ll never forget the night of July 16th, 1969. I was in bed, and my father came and woke me up and brought me downstairs. I remember sitting on the floor in my pajamas next to his chair, and watching as the Apollo lunar module touched down on surface of the moon. The moment I saw Neil Armstrong step carefully down the ladder as the first man on the moon.

A glorious moment in human history.

I always felt bad for Alan Shephard who stayed behind in the ship orbiting the moon, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. But they needed Alan pick them up and take them back to Earth.

But in that moment as the astronauts looked back upon that blue marble surrounded by blackness, they maybe thought…All life as we have ever known it is right there. All of the people, animals, fish, birds, insects, plants… everything was on that blue marble.

Except for them. They were out there.

As usual, I was struggling in school. It’s not that I wasn’t bright, I just didn’t like school and it’s inhabitants. My dad tried to challenge my mind at home, so he bought a bunch of books. Space, History, Science, Biology, Anatomy, and Animals.  They were this amazing series of books on nearly every subject. But it was all written in terms a kid could understand.

Here’s an example.

The How and Why Wonder Books!

How and Why Wonder Books

How and Why Wonder Books

He would assign me chapters to read at night when my regular homework was finished. I also read them in my free time and on the weekends.

Initially it felt like a punishment. To me it was a punishment. More schoolwork?

But what I later realized is, that learning was fun. The world is a fascinating place if you have the right materials and most of all, the right teacher. I would read the assigned chapters, and then my dad would give me a list of questions I had to answer on a yellow legal pad. (Yes, I was tested to see if I retained the information.) I didn’t like this forced learning, but after a while I began to feel a certain pride in learning all of these things. If for nothing else than to become a smarter person.  A boy who knew more about the world around him.

He figured if I wasn’t going to pay attention in school, then by god, he was going to fill my head with as much good information as he could jam in there. He knew I had the head for it. But I didn’t realize it at the time. But after a while it got easier, and the books became more interesting to me. I was under 10 years old, and I knew all of the stages of gestation, even though I hadn’t a clue what sex was yet.

Reading those books and being tested was simply the beginning of all of the things my father taught me. Those books and all of the other books he gave me on a regular basis made me an avid reader where I later excelled in school. I’m happy to report that I’ve never said no to my daughter in regard to a book, and she’s a brilliant reader. So my sisters and I have tried to replicate all of the good things our parents taught us, and discarded the bad. Why hold onto it? They were mistakes. Focus on the triumphs, and go forward.

Sometimes on a Saturday, my mom would take the girls into town. When you lived in the suburbs back then, you referred to center city as ‘going into town’. They would be gone half the day shopping at the big department stores. Gimbels, Lit Bros, and Strawbridges.

Saturday morning meant one thing to me as a kid.

Saturday Morning Cartoons.

When I was a little guy, (Like four or five) I was so into Saturday morning cartoons, that I knew what show was coming on at what time, and what to watch next on what channel.

I couldn’t even tell time yet. However, back then there were only a few channels. VHF: 3, 6, 10 & 12. UHF: 17, 29, & 48. That was it.

One of the cool things about a Saturday with dad instead of mom was lunch. I remember he would be sitting at his place at the dinner table in the kitchen. The sun through the windows would illuminate his paper.  If I was hungry, he would make me a dish called, ‘Junk’.

Junk consisted of Planter’s cocktail peanuts, (When they were perfectly salty and greasy) a handful of crispy pretzels, and three or four slices of American cheese (New Yorker) tossed in a little green cereal bowl. That was placed on a folding snack table in front of my TV chair, and I was good to go. Wash it down with some Hawaiian Punch and you’re all set.

You’d think that wasn’t enough for a growing boy, but I was a fussy eater, and I loved that combination. I didn’t realize that I was basically eating bar snacks for lunch. It was awesome, and I loved it. We all did!

I was finished lunch one Saturday and dad and I are discussing some of the things I was learning from the books he gave me to read. I was struggling with some of the laws of gravity, inertia, and centrifugal force.

My dad came up with the idea that he should do what he always did; lead by example. Anything worth doing was worth overdoing. So he came up with a plan.

He went into the basement, and when he returned he produced a bucket of water.

Now, I’m a little kid. There’ve been times I’ve done things, or brought things into the house that I shouldn’t have. Boys always pull stuff like that. But here we were in the living room and he’s got a big bucket of water. Every cell in my mind tells me that mom doesn’t want anything like that in the living room. Kids spill stuff all the time. A glass of juice is one thing, but a bucket of water would be a solid call for corporal punishment.

But dad’s explaining to me the laws of gravity, rotation and centrifugal force. If dad’s here we’re good. Mom’s not home so it doesn’t matter. He’s got all the power in regard to what you should, or shouldn’t do in my mom’s nice living room.

My dad proceeds to swing the big bucket of water back and forth. I’m watching with startled eyes as he begins to swing it higher and higher. Then, without warning he swings it all the way over his head like a pinwheel. I’m talking Pete Townsend windmill moves. Frankly I’m amazed that none of the water is coming out of the bucket as he swings it in a circular motion over his head. It doesn’t make sense…

Until it does.

I see it. Now, I get it.

Centrifugal force, a fictitious force, peculiar to a particle moving on a circular path, that has the same magnitude and dimensions as the force that keeps the particle on its circular path (the centripetal force) but points in the opposite direction.

Rad, man!

Later, mom and the girls came home from shopping in town, and no one was the wiser.

 

More tomorrow!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Phicklephilly Reaches 200,000 Page Views!

Thanks to everyone who subscribes, reads, likes, comments and shares my blog! We’ve really been killing it lately!

We’re not publishing as often as we once did, but the traffic numbers keep rising month after month. During this dreadful pandemic, I’ve tried to bring some new varied content to the site. It’s pretty hard to go out and date during these unsure times, so I’ve turned inward and written some stories from my past.

I hope you enjoy them and I’ll try to crank out a few new ones each month until we get back in the groove again.

To give you an idea of our growth, we had 42K page views last year. This year we’ve already had 100k! So more than doubled our page views in less than 10 months. We had our highest month ever in October by reaching over 17k page views!

I appreciate the support from everyone who have come to visit our little dating and relationship site over the years! Thanks to those who’ve been with me for years and also to our newcomers!

Welcome!

I’ll see you at a quarter of a million!

Cheers!

Charles

P.S. Incidentally, we hit our highest page views ever today! 782 views! Bonus! Thanks!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Joe Biden is the 46th President of the United States!

Joe Biden has won the bitterly fought 2020 presidential election, bringing the former vice president into an office he had coveted for nearly five decades and ending the chaotic presidency of Donald Trump.

The Electoral College may turn out to be tight: States that appeared relatively safe for Biden turned out to be close, and the result was not the landslide win some polls had projected as possible. The coalition of states Biden assembled included those that had previously gone for Trump, like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The drawn-out process put the nation on edge, and led Trump to falsely claim victory in several key states in the early morning hours following a long election night.

But in the popular vote, Biden won easily. He commanded the most votes cast for any candidate ever in a US presidential race, more than 73.5 million. And he defeated an incumbent who was wildly popular with his base — and who exasperated Democrats with a presidency built on racism, lies, and the appeasement of his own ego.

Trump’s time in office was marked by undermining public health measures during a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans, by weaponizing the functions of government against perceived opponents, and by boosting conspiracy theories and white supremacist groups. Much of Biden’s first months in office will be consumed by attempting to undo what Trump has done, with nothing more pressing than gaining control over the coronavirus.

Biden’s attempts to govern will almost certainly collide with a hard fact: Trump was defeated, but Trumpism was not. Biden ran his campaign on a central, existential argument that Trump represented an aberration in US politics, and that American voters want a moderate, steady hand to return the country to some semblance of normalcy. In short, Democrats wanted this election to resoundingly repudiate Trump and his politics.

That did not happen.

The tensions Trump inflamed and capitalized on were present in this country before he came to power, and those divisions remain strong. While the final vote tally won’t be known for some time, more than 68 million Americans voted for Trump. Many of those voters believe Biden and other Democrats are corrupt, empowered by fraud, and unfit to lead, and they will form a vocal and zealous opposition. Over the summer, the largest protests in American history centered on stopping police violence against Black people and rectifying systemic racism, proposals Trump and many of his followers rejected. Unifying such a divided country, or even mitigating the partisan hostility, will be one of Biden’s most daunting tasks.

What’s more, the control of the Senate is still unknown, with the possibility that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be able to continue exercising his ironclad rule. Early in his campaign, Biden leaned heavily into his years as a DC establishment figure and dealmaker, as a pragmatist with progressive ideals but bipartisan tendencies who would seek to work with McConnell, as he had when he was vice president. But, as many progressive Democrats pointed out, McConnell’s strategy when Barack Obama was president was to oppose virtually everything. There is no reason to think McConnell will act any differently now. And while resistance to the Democrats will make it relatively easy for McConnell to hold his ranks together, the deep splits between progressive and moderate Democrats could make it hard for Biden to keep his party unified.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden rallies supporters on November 3, 2020 in Philadelphia.

Although Trump will leave office, he probably won’t leave the field. He will still wield more than 85 million Twitter followers, hold sway over a Republican Party that has transformed to fit his image, and inspire millions who passionately feel he gives them a voice in a battle against the establishment — whether that means elites, government, or other institutions, including science. He will likely seize every opportunity to oppose and undermine Biden.

Still, Biden will be president of the United States, with all of the official power that Trump has now lost. He won a hard-fought campaign that was historic in a way that no one could have foreseen: COVID-19 forced sweeping closures of the basic functions of society and brought campaigning to a halt in March. Biden chose to follow public health guidelines while Trump went on with large rallies where attendees were not required to wear masks — and many indeed did not. It was a contrast that Trump, who last month was briefly hospitalized after being diagnosed with the coronavirus, hoped would make Biden look scared, weak, and unable to draw a crowd.

Biden, though, made Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic the central point of his campaign, hammering Trump for minimizing the danger early on and failing to control its spread. Biden gave expansive speeches about the crisis and what it would take to recover from it, and he modeled safe behavior by observing strict social distancing and wearing masks at all public events.

The nature of the campaign — distanced, impersonal — was unwelcome for Biden, who has built his career since the 1970s on intimate human connection and visceral emotion. His life and career have been shaped by grief, after his wife and daughter died in a car crash in 1972 and then his son Beau Biden died of cancer in 2015. While meeting voters on the pre-pandemic campaign trail during the Democratic primary, he spent time connecting with them over their own losses, sometimes consoling people as he took selfies with them. Then, as hundreds of thousands of Americans mourned loved ones who died from COVID-19, Biden was able to speak to their pain.

“There are moments in our history so grim, so heart-rending, that they’re forever fixed in each of our hearts as shared grief. Today is one of those moments,” Biden said in an address from his home in Delaware in May.

“I think I know how you’re feeling. You feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest. It’s suffocating,” he said.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden after Sunday mass on November 1, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Trump, meanwhile, repeatedly blamed the death toll and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the US on a media conspiracy and his Democratic opponents. He mocked wearing a mask as “politically correct.” It was after a largely maskless event to introduce Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the US Supreme Court that Trump and members of his inner circle contracted the virus and the president himself had to be hospitalized. In the final weeks of the campaign, the pandemic surged across the country, with cases rising in almost every state and the Midwest battleground region hit especially hard.

The two candidates often felt like they operated in alternate realities through the general election campaign. Biden emphasized the very real toll the pandemic took on people’s lives; Trump downplayed it, and emphasized the need to get the economy moving again. Biden spent months cordoned off at home and only emerged for small events; Trump held giant rallies as if nothing had changed, which in some cases likely led to coronavirus outbreaks. But both candidates, for almost all of the race, made the campaign about Trump. For Trump, it was the usual drive to be the center of attention and self-professed savior of the nation, occasionally referring to himself as “your favorite president” or comparing himself favorably to Abraham Lincoln. For Biden, it was a constant invocation of the president’s failures even beyond the coronavirus, from his refusal to unequivocally condemn the white supremacists who marched on Charlottesville in 2017 to his cozying up to foreign authoritarians. Biden invoked Charlottesville on day one of his campaign, arguing that he was leading a battle for the soul of the nation. That theme persisted, a catchall for the existential threat Biden said Trump posed, be it to America’s decency or health and safety.

But near the end of the race, Trump did try to turn the election on Biden’s character, with a frenzied campaign led by Rudy Giuliani to implicate Biden in an unclear nefarious plot in Ukraine and China with his son Hunter (there is no evidence that the claims were true). In their first debate, Trump raised Hunter’s history of drug addiction, a strategy which didn’t gain much traction beyond the far right. “My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people we know at home, had a drug problem,” Biden responded. “He’s overtaken it, he’s fixed it, he’s worked on it, and I’m proud of him.”

The second debate was canceled, when Trump refused to engage in a virtual debate after contracting the coronavirus. The third was less hectic but did little to change the dynamics of the race.

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

President Barack Obama with Vice President Biden at the White House on December 19, 2012 in Washington, DC.

This was Biden’s third run for president, and while he was the national polling leader for almost the entirety of the race, the campaign still carried a feeling of improbability. His campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1988 ended in 1987, amid questions of plagiarism. His 2008 bid collapsed after a poor showing in the Iowa caucus, though he would go on that year to be elected vice president under Barack Obama, the first Black president.

Biden routinely attached his legacy to Obama’s in this year’s historically diverse field of Democratic candidates, which included more women and people of color than any previous primary. When Biden stumbled badly in Iowa’s caucuses and finished an embarrassing fifth in the New Hampshire primary, it looked like he might collapse again. But Biden and his advisers argued that the race would turn in his favor in South Carolina, where a majority of Democratic voters are Black — and they were right. Biden’s victory there triggered a mass clearing of the field, just as the coronavirus was beginning its spread in the US. An ideological battle between the moderate Biden and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders quickly flamed out, and Sanders promptly endorsed Biden, emerging as one of his more dependable surrogates.

Trump, during his four years in office, made a concerted effort to repeal legislation and regulations that defined the Obama administration: protections for trans and gender nonconforming children in schools and adults in the military, the DACA program for young people brought to the US as children, housing discrimination protections, and more.

How Biden, 77, will govern is a major question after a campaign so overtaken by both the pandemic and the current president. Before the pandemic, and before police shootings of Black men in Minneapolis and Kenosha, Wisconsin, Biden leaned heavily into reputation as a pragmatist more than a progressive. But as crises multiplied, Biden signaled he’d be more open to systemic and structural changes he never explicitly outlined.

Young progressive Americans for whom this summer’s protests were among the first defining political movements of their lives will be watching what Biden does as president to address insidious institutional racism, as well as crises such as climate change and gun violence.

“I don’t think Biden’s age has to necessarily be the limitation on him being a transformational leader, but it’s going to be up to the decisions he makes and those directing him make,” Chokwe Lumumba, the 37-year-old mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, told BuzzFeed News in June. “We can’t play it safe and assume the energy around Donald Trump will go away.” ●

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

22 Halloween Costumes So Clever You’ll Wish You Thought Of Them First

“I love number 19!”

1. A Chicken Strip:

2. Wonder (Bread) Woman:

3. Cardiac Arrest:

4. Ghost Malone:

5. American Gothic:

6. When Life Gives You Lemons:

7. Cereal Killers:

8. A Pumpkin Spice Girl:

9. Bee-yoncé:

10. A Moosician:

11. A Black-Eyed Pea:

12. An Acute Angel:

13. A Freudian Slip:

14. A Gold Digger:

15. Hell On Wheels:

16. A Blessing In Disguise:

17. It’s Raining Men:

18. Llama Del Rey:

19. French Kiss:

20. Tequila Mockingbird:

21. A Stormtrooper:

In case it took you a second: Storm from the X-Men + a Stormtrooper = genius.

22. And A Zom-bee:

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Halloween – 1978

Remember that kid Jimmy I told you in the band series? (Link below.) He did magic and got gigs at kid’s parties as Jimbo the Clown. I told you in that chapter that he was really good at makeup. Well, one day he invited me and my friend Steve over to get made up as the group Kiss for Halloween. How great would that be, right?

Renegade – 1978 to 1979 – Chapter 7 – Youth Group Show

We go over to his house and he’s got everything ready. He plays every Kiss album he has in his collection while he does our makeup. It takes hours but we’re having fun. We hoped it would come out okay.

Well, that’s my friend Stephen Peoples at Kiss drummer, Peter Criss and that’s me as bassist, Gene Simmons.

Awesome, right?

That’s me, as Gene, (Holding Larry’s bass from our band) Steve as Peter, and the guy on the right is the dude Jimmy Hunsinger that did all of our make up as lead guitarist, Ace Frehley!

We look like the real deal!

It was a Fantastic Halloween!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!