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Monday, October 24, 2016


This cranky re-run is from November 2013
In the good old days, back when air pollution wasn’t a concern, when global warming was not yet conceived of, and playing with fire was a childhood rite of passage, the Fall meant burning leaves.

We did not have leaf blowers which would have been fun.  We had rakes, and for manpower, dad had sons. My brothers and I were responsible for the leaf raking.  It was a lot of work, but we didn’t mind because we also got to burn them.

We did not recycle the leaves.  We did not bag them (the biggest pain in the ass known to man) we dragged them to the street and set them on fire. 

Ahh how I loved the sweet smell of burning, smoldering leaves in the Fall.  The leaf burning ritual made the hard work of raking and sweeping a chore we almost enjoyed.

There were some drawbacks to the leaf burning.  One fall weekend after a rainstorm, the leaves did not want to burn.  I suppose we could have waited a few days for them to dry out, but my oldest brother, Jim, was too resourceful for that. 

A little lawnmower gas might ignite those leaves. If a little gas might ignite those wet leaves, a lot of gas for sure would get the job done.  To be absolutely positive the leaves would burn, Jim added the whole  gallon jug into, around, and on top of a huge pile of wet leaves.

My brother was no dope; he knew putting a match to gasoline might be a little dangerous.  Jim positioned me ten yards away as he moved just several paces back from the leaves.  With one flick he drove a match against the match pack abrasive strip and sent that tiny flaming torch toward the gasoline soaked pile of leaves. 

The flaming match never reached the leaves.  My brother, a future physicist, failed to take gas fumes into account.  The fumes from a gallon of gas soaked into wet leaves apparently reached a tiny bit less than several paces.  The resulting explosion was instant.  It knocked Jim onto his back and slightly singed his eyebrows.

Damn that was cool! 

Stupid, but cool! 

Several years later our town put a halt to the Fall leaf burning ritual, and most towns in the state followed.  The leaf burning ban wasn’t from an air pollution issue, or global warming concerns; no, it was a safety issue.  Almost everyone waited for the weekend to burn the leaves, and a large bonfire in front of every quarter acre lot on the street created a visibility problem.  It took several car accidents from vehicles traveling blindly through smoke at about three miles an hour and a small child almost being run over to convince our town’s leaders that the sweet smell of burning leaves and the convenience of no bagging was not worth the residents safety.

The lawmakers were right of course, and the new ritual of leaf bagging and recycling is a good thing.  Still I miss those days of innocence when we did not worry about polluting our lungs, heating our planet or blowing ourselves up. 

I miss the old leaf disposal ritual.

It doesn’t quite seem like Fall without the smell of burning leaves.


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Sunday, October 23, 2016


It is time again for
Stupid Headline Sunday
(on a Monday)
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments. 
Man reportedly has penis removed after allegedly getting it stuck in a bottle – OK, it is embarrassing enough to get your penis stuck in a bottle, but to leave it in until it got gangrenous and had to be amputated?  Seriously dude, “In case of an emergency, break the glass!”

400 pounds of marijuana found floating off the Florida Keys – Locals claim they were catching snapper in the area using potato chips for bait.

Bob Dylan remains silent on Nobel Prize win – He was contacted, but claimed “it ain’t me you’re looking for babe, it ain’t me you’re looking for.”

GOP sources: Trump still competing in Virginia – Actually this is not a stupid headline, but I had a really funny comment for my original reading.

Scientists Accidentally Discover Efficient Process to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol – Problem solved!  I’ve been saying for a while if there is a problem, the solution is not in conservation and sacrifice, but for smart people to turn co2 into something useful.
Electric spoon could make veggies taste like chocolate or cheeseburgers – Because “Eat your peas, children are starving in China” doesn’t work anymore!
Authorities reportedly warn election officials about Russian hackers faking fraud – So they beat up Trump for suggesting the election may be tainted, while they debunk proof of fraud before it even exists…these guys are good!

Democratic campaign bus dumps sewage into Georgia storm drain – Kind of a metaphor for the whole campaign!  Both sides…relax Liberals!

10,000 endangered 'scrotum' frogs found dead near Lake Titicaca I hate to use a tragedy in a Stupid Headline post.  It is horrible what is happening in this lake…however, how often does your 13 y-o-self find “scrotum” “Titi” and “caca,” all in the same headline?
Bill de Blasio on Donald Trump election rigging concern: 'We've seen this before. This is what fascists do' – Actually I think fascists do the rigging!  (This comment is in no way claiming the election will be rigged.)
Man charged for beating bus driver with bag of frozen chicken Just one more example of why we must have stronger frozen chicken control laws!
And a final headline submitted by Rick Watson @        
Unseen Moons May Lurk Around Uranus If all the planets were named by 13-year-olds the world would be a better place.

Come back next week for more

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bachelor Cranky

Bachelor Cranky

It is Saturday night and I have been a bachelor for four days now.  Mrs. Cranky has been working upstate since Wednesday, her dance studio employer is holding its annual ballroom dance competition…serious stuff if you are a ballroom dancer.

You may be wondering what I have been up to during my days as a carefree bachelor.  I was left with only one command, “Don’t forget to bring in the mail.”  Mrs. Cranky is serious about two things, taking in the mail every day, and answering every phone call.

Getting the mail has been easy, the phone I let go to the answering machine.  In the meantime, I stay up as late as I want and sleep in late every morning…actually I can do that all the time.  I am able to watch whatever TV I want, and practice my guitar for hours…actually I can do that when Mrs. Cranky is home.

In her absence, I got to play golf three days where ordinarily I would only have been able to play…actually I get to play golf pretty much whenever I want.

At dinner time, I have barbequed every night and have enjoyed an occasional cigar and a glass of wine while cooking.  OK, probably several glasses of wine.  Mrs. Cranky doesn’t like me to drink that often on account of that being a drunk thing.  I do get to smoke an occasional cigar and barbequing is nothing new.

So to recap, as "Bachelor Cranky" I have been able to do pretty much the same stuff I do when Mrs. Cranky is at home, except I have done them all without Mrs. Cranky hanging around.

I will be very glad when it is Sunday and Mrs. Cranky is back home.

This bachelor stuff is not all it is cranked up to be.

Stupid Headline Sunday has been delayed one day because this post would not make any sense if posted later in the week.