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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coach Norm Khoury

Coach Norm Khoury
"Bear" Bryant, not Norm Khoury (but close)

I had a football coach in High School, Mr. Khoury.  He was the back coach, not my coach.  I was a lineman.  Still Mr. Khoury had an effect on every team member. 

Almost all high school coaches were (are) hard asses.  Mr. Khoury was the hard ass of all hard asses.  He was a large man, not huge, but large.  He was built like a refrigerator.  He was mean.  Well he looked mean, he talked mean and he acted mean.  He never did anything mean.  Mr. Khoury had a drill sergeant’s attitude and he commanded instant respect.  Coach Khoury played in college for Bear Bryant at Alabama; at least that is what we were told.  He coached as if he were the Bear himself.

Mr. Khoury looked crazy.  He was either a murderous psychopath or a very good actor.  I suspect he was the latter, but no one ever chose to push his buttons and find out.

There was never a discipline problem on our football team.  The head coach, Gary Kehler was the most successful high school coach in New Jersey.  He held a record of 40 straight wins.  If anyone even thought to challenge Mr. Kehler’s system one look at couch Khoury would stifle the thought.

Mr. Khoury demanded respect at all times.  Someone once called him by his first name.  To this day that person is still doing push-ups.  The name Norm was never even whispered in his presence again.

I remember Coach Khoury from his teaching more than his coaching.  He was a physiography teacher; “Rocks 101” to his pupils.  Most of Mr. Khoury’s students took his course because they could never pass Chemistry or Physics and they needed at least one science course to graduate.  His students were not the brightest.  They were not the best behaved.  If you peered into Mr. Khoury’s class, only the clock would tell you if it was an actual class or if it was detention.

I was in Mr. Khoury’s “Rocks” class.

What I remember the most about this class was the pre-bell ruckus.  Before the bell the class resembled “Welcome Back Kotter.”  People were talking, screaming, and throwing stuff.  Before the bell the classroom was a zoo. 

One minute before the bell signaled the start of class, Mr. Khoury entered the room.  He walked to the podium and gripped it with his massive hands.  Mr. Khoury looked over the entire room of misfits and trouble makers, kids who were regular visitors to “The Office.”  His eyes bulged, his eyebrow (yes, singular) rose and just before the bell would ring he declared loudly and firmly in a staccato monotone,


The class always fell silent.  This room full of problem kids, kids looking to get in trouble as they were seeking any attention even negative attention, became angelic in Mr. Khoury’s presence.

I don’t remember very much about “Rocks,” but every once in a while, even today, when my unfiltered mind starts to say too much and my mouth begins to lead me into trouble I hear a distant voice,


Even today, that old football coach keeps me out of trouble.     

Next Sunday June 3, is the Cut-a-thon: Cuts for a cure of Pancreatic cancer.  See:
Donations can be made through:

Toddler Talk Quiz

Grandpa Joe is babysitting for two Crankettes.  I just interpreted a new toddler talk phrase with some help from the oldest toddler.  Here is today's TODDLER TALK QUIZ:

Tow taw tide.

A WHOOP-TEE-DOO will be awarded to anyone who correctly interprets today's toddler talk quiz.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Remember these?

After 12:00am, or

"We are momentarily experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by."


Mrs. Cranky and I married in December 2010.  12-11-10. Mrs. Cranky is a numbers nut.  The resort where we honeymooned put a sash over our door saying “Honeymooners.”  When we returned home we put the sash over our bedroom door.  It has been there ever since.  It may be coming down soon because it seems I cannot adjust.

I have no problem adjusting to married life.  I am quite happy.  Mrs. Cranky is unhappy because I cannot adjust. 

When I cook a steak I let it rest so the juice does not run out.  Mrs. Cranky wants her steak sizzling hot.

I cannot adjust.

When I drive her car from time to time because mine is blocked in, apparently I never get the seat back to the “Mrs. Cranky position.”

I cannot adjust.

When I shower and change the flow pattern on the shower head Mrs. Cranky claims I never return it to the “Mrs. Cranky spray position.”

I cannot adjust.

Mrs. Cranky complains that I shower with the door closed and this fogs up the mirrors.  Recently Mrs. C called me into the bathroom to hand her something while she was showering.  When I left, I did not close the door.  Apparently this was a major faux pax as she was trying to steam wrinkles out of a dress.

I cannot adjust.

While getting my wrist slapped over this latest error, I threatened to remove the sash. 

I am not allowed to drive her car.  I am not allowed to change the shower head spray.  Mrs. Cranky has to let the steak rest and if I see a dress hanging in the bathroom while she is in the shower, I have to “figure it the Hell out!”

We are both trying to adjust.

The sash is still on the door.     

Next Sunday June 3, is the Cut-a-thon: Cuts for a cure of Pancreatic cancer.  See:
Donations can be made through:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012



 My Sister- in-law, Mrs. C’s sister, runs a hair salon in our New Jersey town.  It is a very successful business because she is a very good stylist, colorist and business woman.

Maryann is the brains and most of the labor behind a charity drive to raise money for a cure for Pancreatic Cancer, a disease which took her Mother and her Father. See:

As a salon owner Maryann is a big fan of reality TV star Tabatha Coffey.  Tabatha is the Gordon Ramsey of the hair salon business.  Her show “Tabaitha’s Salon Takeover” is very successful and naturally a favorite of Maryann’s (and The Cranky family.)
In addition to being a successful stylist and salon owner, Maryann is similar to Tabatha in attitude demeanor and appearance.


          Tabatha Coffey                                                          Maryann Minnella

Maryann recently entered a contest where the winner receives a flight, and hotel stay in Atlanta Georgia and the opportunity to meet Tabatha. 

Maryann won!!

She is very excited.  Meeting with Tabatha for her is what meeting New York Yankee Derrick Jeter would be for my youngest Crank, Spencer.

She is more than excited, she is over the moon; as well she should be.

Congratulations Maryann.  This is almost as big as my photo opportunity with “Real Housewives of New Jersey” superstar


It might be even BIGGER!

Monday, May 28, 2012



It is Memorial Day Weekend and today Mrs. C myself and the step Cranks went to Monmouth Park Race track.  This is a tradition (last three years) and is always a good time. 

Mrs. C’s friend races horses and each year she reserves a section along the track rail and provides food and drink for a grand party.    

Thank you Jackie and Linda H.

Horse racing and betting is very exciting, but I must say it is mostly fun when you win.  Losing sucks. 

Picking a horse to bet on is a complicated process.  I generally analyze the odds, the horses performances over the last five races, the race distance, conditions, track – turf or dirt, times, weights, jockey, whether they are moving up or down in class and then taking all this information into consideration I pick a horse with a name that just stands out.

Using this strict set of racing criteria, I was unsuccessful in choosing a single winner, placer, or shower for the first five races.  This was not fun.

In order to have any fun at all, I started to screw with the track betting cashiers.  These people are deadly serious.  They deal with unhappy people a lot, and when they make a mistake superstitious gamblers are totally unforgiving.  They are perfect foils for the Cranky Old Loser.

“What is your bet sir?”

“Ah...I like the 2 horse in the 6th around the world please.”


“You know, around the world; win, place or dead last.”

“We don’t accept that bet sir.”

“Really…then let me have the 5 horse in the 7th to come up lame.”


“Ok, the 2 horse across the broad.”

“You mean across the board?”

“Ok that too.”

“For how much sir?”

“ $1.25…3 times.”

“Sir, the minimum bet is in increments of $2, $5, or $10!”

“OK, the 2 horse in the seventh to win for $5.”  Hey, I think I saw him push a button for security.

Before the day was done, I hit two races with the winner across the board and left with an actual profit of $2.00.  Mrs. C lost $2.00 overall.

The day was warm, the food was good, the races were exciting and we actually broke even on the betting (a first in this three year tradition.)

All in all it was a great day at the races.

Thank you to all the veterans who have sacrificed their time, their bodies and their lives so clowns like me have the freedom to enjoy such a beautiful day.  

Thank you also to the wives, husbands, children and the extended families of these brave citizens for the sacrifice they endure while their love ones risk their time and lives for our freedom.

Next Sunday June 3, is the Cut-a-thon: Cuts for a cure of Pancreatic cancer.  See:
Donations can be made through:

Sunday, May 27, 2012




Wrongly accused ex-football star hoping NFL team gives him a shot

OK, this story wrinkles my scalp.  A sixteen year old star high school athlete, destined for a full ride football scholarship at USC who had a legitimate shot at a pro-football career was charged with rape ten years ago.  The accusation was false but the kid pled no contest under the advice of his attorney. 

He did five years and then probation and is a listed sex offender.  The alternative to his plea was probably a life sentence.  As a young black kid his lawyer did not expect a sympathetic jury.  (Possibly not the best defence lawyer the state had to offer.)

Ten years later the accuser contacted him as she was disturbed by a guilty conscience. 


Her accusation has ruined ten years of a young man’s life, robbed him of a college education and probably his dream to be paid for playing a game that he loves.  There is more to this story.

This young lady, who was fifteen at the time of her false accusation, asked for forgiveness but did not want to go to the authorities and clear the kid’s (now a man) name.  Why?  She was afraid she would lose the ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR SETTLEMENT she received from a law suit against the school system for lax security which failed to prevent the rape which never happened.

Fortunately for this young man the story of her false accusation has come out because he taped her confession.

In a legal system which holds perjury as one of the worst possible crimes when a politician or an athlete lies to congress about taking steroids or having sex, I am curious as to how this young false accuser will be treated.

Her lie ruined a young man’s education prospects, probably a lucrative career and stole a precious ten years of his life.  In addition to almost destroying a man, her lies will cast doubts on legitimate rape cases in the future.  She has destroyed a life and might cause the release of future actual rapists to ruin the lives of multiple innocent women.  And for this she is sitting on top of ONE MILLION FIVE HINDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS!      

Will she have to give up the money?  Will she do jail time herself for the crime of perjury?                       


Will this innocent young man, whose life has been in shambles because of a teenage girl’s illegal false accusation, once again be in trouble with the law for taping her confession without the perjurer’s consent?

Next Sunday June 3, is the Cut-a-thon: Cuts for a cure of Pancreatic cancer.  See:

Donations can be made through:

Headlines 052712

Headlines 052712

It is Sunday and here are Cranky’s goofy headlines and my stupid, sophomoric sometimes offensive comments!

Will Smith slaps male reporter for kissing him Smith insists reporter at least buys him a drink first (rim shot).

Iraq war veteran fights to keep license plates Virginia deems offensive to ArabsVet insists “TWLHDSSK” are the initials of his future children: Thomas, William, Lewis, Henry, Donna, Sara, Sam and Ken.

Pastor delivers anti-gay rant, suggests building electric fence around ‘queers and homosexuals’ – OK, maybe build a fence around queers, but queers AND homosexuals?

Former CNN exec videotaped putting dog feces in neighbor's mailboxExecutive is arrested for failing to pay proper postage.

Washington man accused of hitting noisy kid at a theater – Seriously, who hasn’t wanted to do that?

Ancient Bethlehem seal unearthed in Jerusalem – Finding a seal proves that Israel was once under the ocean (I’m sorry, that was weak).

Global warming winner: Once rare butterfly thrivesScientists are baffled at species ability to adapt positively to the massive 1% temperature rise this past 100 years.  Evolution?  

Tim Tebow did not become a great quarterback today – I’ve heard of slow news days, but this is ridiculous!

Man Admitted to Hospital for Kidney Stone, Discovers He's a WomanThis is why I go for regular check- ups.

Device May Let Humans Talk to Dolphins – Eck eck ek ek ek ek ek….ECK?  

Escaped cows spotted drinking beer after crashing party in small Massachusetts town – Bovines are arrested for flashing their teats.
Porn star Jenna Jameson gets DUI after hitting pole – A porn star on a pole?  This is really a slow news day!

Next Sunday June 3, is the Cut-a-thon: Cuts for a cure of Pancreatic cancer.  See:

Donations can be made through:


Saturday, May 26, 2012



Who are these people who tell us what to wear and how to decorate?  Why do we listen to them?  Most of these fashion/decorator dictators have lifestyle tastes totally different from mine and yet I am supposed to listen to them about how to dress and what colors to put in my living room (do people still have living rooms?  I know parlors are out.)

A perfectly nice gay gentleman just informed me that artificial flowers in the house are bad feng shui.  I am sure this dude knows his design, but he does not know me.  We are different, why should his design ideas mean anything to me?  I don’t ask him for ideas on sex partners why do I care about his ideas on design?  What is feng shui and why should I care?  Do dead flowers bring good feng shui, because that’s what happens to my flowers?

Look, sometimes I admit I have no idea about what clothes to wear and I will ask for advice.  There are times when I seek another’s opinion on designing a room.  Some things I just do not care that deeply about and I want to know what most people find acceptable.  BUT…It just annoys the hell out of me when some TV fashion expert dude puts down things that I do like. 

You pretentious asshole!  You are wearing orange pants, a shirt with a giant daisy print, purple boots, multi colored hair in a huge bouffant, lipstick and blue crap on your eye lids and you tell some poor slub, “Honey you have no taste.”  AND…The poor slub LISTENS!!

Let me answer for that poor TV slub.

“Listen jerk-weed I do have taste.  I don’t have your taste.  You like penis; I prefer vigina.  I don’t care about texture or curves or style or ‘pop’ or mauve.  If I want to wear black, then that is my taste.  If I want a frickin moose head on my wall, then that is my taste, if I want steak and cheese flipping pie makes me throw the F-up, please do not tell me I have no taste.  I don’t have your taste you arrogant douche!”

Those that know me will say, “But Cranky, I’ve seen where you live, I know how you dress; you don’t wear black, and there is no moose head in your home.”

This is true.  Am I a hypocrite? Listen, I sleep with Mrs. Cranky, I defer to her taste.


Friday, May 25, 2012



In the USA we drive on the right side of the road.  About 75% of the world drives on the right side of the road and 25% drives on the left side of the road.  Most British countries or countries that were formally colonies of the UK drive on the left side of the road.


In days gone by, riding on horseback, you would want to approach another rider to the left so you could hold the reins with your left hand and greet the other rider with your right hand (the traditional greeting hand) or hack off his head with your sword (traditionally held in the right hand.)


Most countries drive on the right side of the road.  Are they left handed countries?  No.  Apparently when travel moved to carriages, or especially heavy wagons, drivers sat on the left of the wagon so they could more effectively use the whip with their right hand.  Drivers preferred to drive on the right so they could see down the road.  This made head hacking more difficult.  Hey, you can’t have everything.

Countries had to decide on horse whipping (right side driving) or head hacking (left side driving.)  Most countries chose whipping over head-hacking.  

Countries in the UK stayed on the left because the UK is tradition driven.  Stiff upper lip, left hand on the whip.   

In today’s multinational economy, automobile companies have to make cars with steering on the left for 75% of the world and steering on the right for the other 25%.  This cannot be cost effective.  Driving while visiting a right side country from a left side country cannot be safe. 

Why don’t countries just come together and decide to all drive on the same side of the road?

Why don’t all countries decide to use the same weights and measure systems?


Politicians are always preaching fair trade and World peace.

SHIT…we can’t even agree to drive on the same side of the road.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

HAVING STUFF - a Cranky re-run

(Anyone under 25, if you like you can substitute SHIT for STUFF).

Having stuff does not make you happy.  Not having stuff that other people have makes you unhappy.  The more people that have stuff that you do not have, the unhappier you will be. 

When I was a kid we didn’t have a lot of stuff.  We didn’t have a color TV; we had no air conditioning, and we didn’t have a computer, laptop or otherwise.  We didn’t have an i-pad, an i-pod, or Netflix.  We did not have a CD player; we did not have a DVD player; hell, we didn’t even have a VCR, and yet we were happy.  Why?  Because no one else had any of this stuff either.  

Our car (not plural) had roll-up windows and no air conditioning.  It had brakes that had to be stomped on to stop and steering which took a two-hundred pound man to parallel park (note to Microsoft Word- parallel is not the name of a park and does not need to be capitalized).  The clock was analog and did not work.  The radio was AM only.  Still, we were happy.  Why? Because no one had a car with power windows or air conditioning, clocks were all analog and never worked in a car, no one had FM radio in the car, and power brakes and steering were still not invented.

We had one telephone.  It was all black, it had a rotary dial, there was no call waiting, no caller ID and calls outside of your area code (wait, there was no area code either) calls outside your county were long distance and cost more.  Cell phones were a Dick Tracy wrist radio pipe dream.  GPS was Dad with a map.  Even so we were happy.  Why? Because one phone was enough, call waiting is annoying, you could hang up when you lost the nerve to ask a girl out and she would not know it was you, and we didn’t know anyone outside the county.  Cell phones  tie you down.  Dad with a map was as good as any GPS and he never had to recalculate.

One July, in the mid-fifties, the Newmans, our neighbors to the left, got a window unit air conditioner for their Den (family room today for you young people), and we were unhappy.  Then my Dad got central air for our entire house, and the Newmans were unhappy.  The Tullys, our neighbors to our right, got a blue princess touchtone phone for their kitchen.  We were unhappy.  Dad got a new princess phone, and a color TV.  The Tully’s were unhappy. 

The Tullys countered with a power lawn mower, the Newmans got a car with power windows, brakes and steering.  Dad got a new stereo and the neighbors’ “high fidelity” systems were to be pitied.

Thus the battle of stuff goes on.  No one is any happier for all the new stuff; everyone is actually less happy until they catch up in the battle of the stuff. 

If there is any value at all in becoming a cranky old man, it is that stuff becomes less and less important.  You have some new stuff that I don’t?  Cool; look at me-I’m still above ground!  You can watch any movie on a portable device at the touch of a button?  What will they think of next?  Hey, look at me; I’m fucking breathing!  You can download any song in seconds and store thousands of them in a cigarette sized box.  Wonderful.  I can whistle any song I want for free!  Your car has a sun roof, backup camera, i-pod deck, hands free cell speaker system, satellite radio and a drop down TV in the back for the kids?  That’s fantastic, watch this: I can still get out of bed in the morning!

I don’t really need any more stuff.  I am very happy with the stuff I have.  The stuff I have is way more than any stuff I grew up with, and as far as I know, the Newmans or the Tullys don’t have any of this stuff.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012



Disclaimer - the Cranky Old Man worked for 40 years on Wall Street as a low level operations manager slub.  He has a degree in economics from Lafayette College where he graduated with a C- average.  If any of this post makes sense it is only because I bull shit very well.


Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Banks Sued Over IPO

Investors are suing over what they claim is information withheld from all but the absolute biggest customers of brokerage firms before the IPO of Facebook.

Facebook stock was recently offered at $38/share to preferred brokerage firm investors.  Traditionally when a new issue is offered, brokerage firms get a specific number of shares to offer to their customers.  Generally these shares are offered to the customers based on the revenue these customers bring to the firm and overall interest in the new issue.  Many new issues, particularly issues like Facebook which are much anticipated and hyped are very difficult to purchase at the IPO price.

Very often when these highly anticipated new Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s) open for trading on the exchange they sell at a price well above the offering price.  Because of this, offerings to preferred customers at the IPO price are treated as almost free money that the brokerage firms offer their larger customers.  It is not unusual for customers to buy stock at the IPO price, ($38) for Facebook, and sell it on the opening at a price $5, $10, or more above their IPO price. 

A buyer at the IPO price who sells at the opening often turns a cool 20 or 30 percent profit (over 100% profit is not unusual).  They then brag at the next cocktail party how they made X-thousands of dollars because they are preferred big shot customers.

Likewise many speculators who do not get the IPO price anticipate the run up of these highly anticipated issues and buy at the opening price expecting (most of the time) to sell later in the day at an even higher price because demand is so high regardless of what the financials would suggest the price should be.

In the case of Facebook, the IPO was priced too high.  Professionals recognized this and sold, not bought in the face of hysteria. 

The preferred brokerage customers, expecting to collect their usual instant profit were shocked that they actually lost money when Facebook stock sold down below the IPO price.

Now they are looking for loopholes and suing Facebook, Zuckerberg and the banks because they lost money.

Did brokerage customers even more important to the banks then YOU make money while YOU lost because they had information YOU did not? Maybe…Probably... Boo FUCKING Hoo…welcome to the club.

Listen you freaking crybabies for once you LOST!

You have been winning for so long on these transactions that you see them as your right to get in early and make a bundle while the little guy does not have the same opportunity.  Wow, it turns out these IPO’s are not a sure thing.  Investing can be a gamble. 

You lost…so now you sue?

The market did not react the way it usually does.  Sorry.

Cry me a river.



Mrs. Cranky and I had not been to the supermarket for some time.  We were low on supplies.  This afternoon Mrs. Cranky left for work and entrusted me with a list of items we needed at the supermarket. 

I have always heard that you should never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach as when you are hungry you will buy items on impulse that you do not need.  I left for the store at 2:20 without having lunch.  The hunger pangs kicked in at around 2:25.  I fought the urge to buy everything in the store and stuck to the list, so the never shop hungry adage is not always on target….except I learned there is a second reason to not shop while hungry.

For dinner I purchased a rotisserie chicken.  I had eighteen items in my cart.  There were only three cashier lines open.  All the lines were backed up with people stocking up for Armageddon.  I had to wait in a long line, starving, with the tantalizing fumes of a rotisserie chicken wafting into my nostrils.

At 3:15 a two-hundred year old lady at the front of my line was squabbling over a 30 cent coupon.  She was distraught that the coupon was not registering.  The cashier did not know why they it was not registering and had to call a supervisor.  The rotisserie chicken fumes did not let up.  I was feeling faint.

The supervisor determined the coupons had expired.  The two-hundred year old lady began to cry.  The rotisserie chicken called to me, “Give her the 30 cents and EAT ME!

I obeyed the chicken and stepped forward with 30 cents.  It turns out that two-hundred year old ladies are very much into principle.  She wanted the coupon 30 cents, not my 30 cents.  A manager was called.  My stomach was crying.  The coupon had expired last week.  The two-hundred year old lady claimed the item which she was buying with the coupon was not available last week.  The rotisserie chicken did not care.  It continued to call to me and I heard it loud and clear.

The manager relented.  The coupon was honored.  The two-hundred year old lady packed her items and shuffled away victoriously. 

One more customer and twenty minutes later I paid for my produce and was on my way home.

The rotisserie chicken did not make it out of the parking lot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012



I see in the blogosphere there are many crafters.   It is nice to know that some old time skills are not completely lost, but in general i-phones, i-pods, Kindles and texting have replaced the female art of killing time by knitting or crocheting.

I remember, years ago, commuting to work by bus or train and 75% of the lady passengers would be passing the time with needle and yarn.  It was fascinating to me that they could carry on a conversation and or sightsee without stopping the click click of the knitting (crocheting) process. 

In those good old days (good except for polio, measles, mumps, chicken pox, rubella, TB, and no internet or cable TV) young girls were taught the art of turning yarn into apparel while young boys were taught to catch a ball. 

My mom was not much at this fine art, but she did know how to crochet.  She could not do anything fancy.  She could not mix colors, create a reindeer sweater, or shape a hat.  She could make 3x3 squares.  She made lots of them while watching TV or carrying on a conversation. After dinner she would make 3x3 squares of every color imaginable.  It probably took her three years of making 3x3 squares before she finally combined the hundreds of squares into one very large blanket.

During this process, when anyone ever asked her what she was crocheting she would tell them she was making an “Idiot Blanket.”  Mom liked to give things colorful names.  She had a couch which was too big so she had it cut down to a size that was neither a couch nor a love seat.  She called it “The Bastard.” 

I find it amusing that that piece of furniture will be passed down generation to generation and will always be known as “The Bastard.”  At some point no one will know why it is called that, but it will always be known as “The Bastard.”  The blanket will be the same.  Generations from now future Crankys will ask why is this blanket called an “Idiot Blanket.”  Somewhere along the way the visual of my mom slowly plodding away making 3x3 squares will fade away but I will bet the blanket will always be called “The Idiot Blanket.”

I inherited “The Idiot Blanket” several years ago.  It stays folded up on my couch in the family room.  I never use the “Idiot Blanket.” Just having it reminds me of my mom’s mindless crocheting.   Just having it reminds me of my mom.

Just seeing “The Idiot Blanket” keeps me warm.