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Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Three Quarter Flip - a Cranky re-run

The Three Quarter Flip
This re-run is from April 2013 it is in honor of my three year old grandson Connor who today completed a 7/8 flip!
See the 3yo's flip here:

Well it's more than 3/4!!

My Aunt Phil lived in a suburb of Philadelphia.  It was farmland then, it is mostly McMansions now.  Her house was on several acres and she had an in-ground swimming pool.  I spent a week with Aunt Phil one summer.  I think I was about twelve.  I don’t remember the reason I spent this week on “The Farm” (to me it was a farm, there may have been a vegetable patch) probably my parents were on vacation and needed to pawn me off.

It would have been a boring week except for my cousin Ronnie.  Ronnie was two years older than I was.  I spent the week following him around like a puppy dog. 

Most of the time was spent in the pool.  Ronnie was able to do a full flip off the low diving board, one full turn and land straight in on his feet.  It was my goal to learn to also do a flip off the low board.

I must have attempted 500 flips off that board.  Everyone was completed to three quarter perfection.  A three quarter flip would have me land, legs and feet stretched out, perfectly on my back.  Instead of a silent swish in the water, I landed with a giant slap.  Every attempt was the same, and every attempt was painful, but I was intent on learning to do a perfect flip.  With Ronnie’s guidance and instruction on the last day of my visit I was eventually able to realize that I was never going to complete a full flip.  It took one week for me to learn that if you try really hard and practice for a really long time, there was still some stuff that you will never be able to do.

I never tried to do a flip off a board again.

Fast forward and I had three children all participating on a swim team at a local swim club.  Both my oldest son Mike and the youngest Matt were able to do one and a half flips off the low board.  One and a half turns and they would land a head first swish.   Every time I witnessed their diving I was taken back to my failed and painful attempts.

My daughter, Mary Beth, was on the diving team.  I don’t recall if she could do a double flip, I’m pretty sure she could do a one and a half.  I do remember she was a pretty good diver.  She was not the best on the team as she started diving much later than several other girls, but she was graceful and she was good.

Mary Beth worked hard at diving and she was improving.  Then one day while I was at work I got a call.  Mary Beth slipped off a slightly wet board while practicing.  She came down hard on her leg, the tibia (I think) snapped.  I will not get graphic here, but it was described to me as let’s just say very friggin gruesome.  She was eight weeks or more in a cast, the first week in a wheelchair, and she walked with a slight limp for over a year.

I don’t think Mary Beth ever dove again.

I never told any of my children of my week of three quarter flips.  My sons could do a flip; my daughter could do a flip if the board was not wet.  I don’t think that Spencer, my fifteen year old, has ever tried.

He’s pretty good at most sports. 

I’m going to recommend he stay off the diving board.      



Voting is fun…and easy!

Well I’ve done it again.  As many times as I vow to not get into political comments on FB, I have done it again.  These comment “wars” never end and never change anyone’s opinion, and yet I cannot help myself.  This disagreement was with a favorite very liberal blogging friend, so I will finish my point on:


I have no doubt that this blogger who I shall not name (Carolyn) will respond in a comment.  I will not respond back; keep in mind as with all Cranky Saturday Opinions, opposing points of view are welcome…wrong, but welcome and please, no name calling and that means you, you big stupid head!! (Not Carolyn)


This particular battle came as I responded to a FB posting where President Clinton makes the comment, A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.” The posting said that:

President Clinton took down the entire Republican rational with this one sentence.

Before I start my rant I must first establish that:

1.    I believe all legally eligible voters should vote without undue restriction or inconvenience.

2.    I do not own a gun, do not like guns, and believe that stricter gun control laws will make the country safer without restricting the rights of any citizen. (

3.    I do not have any issue with hunters or recreational shooters.

4.    I am not an expert in current gun regulations or voter registration rules.  That has never stopped me from espousing any opinion before and it will not stop me now.


To currently vote in this country you must be a citizen, be over 18 years of age, and cannot be a convicted felon.  You must fill out a registration form affirming you meet all these requirements.  You do not have to actually prove you meet these requirements.  It is very easy to vote in this country, it is very easy to vote illegally in this country.
It is easy to purchase a gun in this country, but it is much harder (in most states) than registering to vote, and you have to prove you meet the requirements.  (I would favor a national law covering the purchase of guns.) 

My objection to President Clinton’s comment is that it is intellectually dishonest.  It implies that there are parties in this country which wish to make it easier to buy a gun than it is to vote.  I do not accept that that is in any way the truth.*

I could just as easily say, “A great democracy does not throw people in jail for their religious beliefs.”  It would be a true but irrelevant statement.


I am in favor of citizens proving they are legally eligible to vote, and I am in favor of requiring some form of voter ID.

The argument against requiring voter ID is that it will keep people from legitimately voting.  It will disenfranchise the poor and the elderly.


You cannot get a job without a SS card.

You cannot travel in a plane without a valid photo ID.

You cannot get cable TV, water, gas or electricity without providing ID of who you are.

You cannot play at my public municipal golf course without ID.

The only thing in this country that does not require valid ID is registering to vote.

The argument for no ID is that many people have a great deal of difficulty in obtaining valid ID and they should not be left out of the voting process.
HOG WASH…end of argument.


Can we please tell it like it is here? Stop the talking point crap about disenfranchising the poor and the elderly. 

Truth is:

Many thousands of citizens do not care very much about voting and any inconvenience will cause them to not vote.

Many thousands of ineligible voters DO take the trouble to vote illegally.  Many are registered in multiple districts, many are not alive, many are fabricated and many are not legal citizens.

Most people that monitor the voting booths are volunteers, are retired, and many are the same people that could not punch a chad through a hole with a pencil point.  If you can find a voters name and sign on a line, you can vote. 

More legal voters who are turned off by any inconvenience are Democrat than Republican.

More illegal voters vote Democrat than Republican.

Democrats favor easy voter registration and are against voter ID.  Republicans favor proof that a voter is legal and approve of the use of voter ID.

This issue is party divisive because the issue is all about maximizing votes for a given party.  NOTHING ELSE!!

Democrats favor simple registration without verification because they stand to gain more from illegal voting than Republicans.  If it was the other was around, Democrats would all be on their high horse complaining about the travesty of illegal votes cast against them. 

I believe legal registration which is accurate but not cumbersome is fair. I believe every vote can and should be validated.  We live in a computer age for crispy sake; it should not be that difficult.

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky. 

* I did not vote for President Clinton in ether election, in retrospect I think he is charming, very intelligent and was a darn good President...except for that BJ thing, but that's none of my business.  

Friday, August 30, 2013


I don’t believe in profiling, but:

If you have one eyebrow and your name is Habib, I might distance myself from your backpack.

If you wear your pants below your ass and say “yo, yo, yo” mother-f-er, I might reach for my can of mace.

If you have a Mohawk haircut and wear a shirt that says, “What the F*ck are you looking at” I might wait for the next train.

If your bumper sticker say’s “America, love it or get the frig out!” I’ll probably just let you cut me off and not honk my horn.

If your car has all tinted windows and a chrome chain around your license plate, I will probably not stop to help you fix a flat tire.

If you have giant plates in your earlobes, I probably won’t ask you for directions.

With no other information to go by, I am choosing LaQuando Mustaffa over Herb Jacobs for my fantasy basketball team.

If you are whacking away on a pound of chewing gum and ask me if I have any spare change, my pockets will most likely be empty.

If you smell, I may not sit next to you.

If you have an arm sleeve with tattooed satanic images, I might just hire a different babysitter.

If you have really wide open eyes and a goofy smile, I think I might try the movie in theater #7.

If you have sores on your lip, I’m going across the street to Burger King.

If you roll down the windows in your BMW and turn your rap music to “Reverberate all of Main Street,” I'm going to assume you're an idiot.

If your bumper sticker says, “Impeach Obama” or “Kill Bush” my conversation with you will be limited to the weather.

If your name is Bubba, I might wait for Lance to cut my hair.

If you have a big smile, I might say “hello,” If you have a scowl, I’ll probably look away.

I don’t believe in profiling, but I profile every day. 

It is called learning through experience. 

Sometimes it’s wrong…

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Mrs. Cranky is better with directions than anyone I have ever known.  If you need to go anywhere in New Jersey, she can guide you to your destination.  When one of the step-cranks calls for directions this is the typical phone conversation I hear,

“Where are you? By the Exxon station…that would put you on the corner of West Oak and Jennings Place.  You need to go three blocks and turn right at Waverly.  That will take you right to rt.28…there will be a Kay Jewelry story on the right corner and a tire dealer across the street; Bridgestone I think.  Go south on 28 about 7 miles and turn right at the dry cleaners.  That will be Lake Avenue.  You just go 4 miles and turn left on Rector.  The 7-11 you are looking for will be on your left across from the McDonalds and next to the Hallmark store.”

Why is it when I need something in the house I get minimal directions?

“Hey Kare, do we have any Q-tips?”


“OK, which room?”

“The bathroom of course.”

“Ours or the guest bath?”

“OURS!!” (Stated in a way that I now know I probably pass those Q-tips every day.)

“Thank you.”

I am now forced to find the Q-tips on my own.  One more question will bring derisive comments and great shame upon me.

As I search every cabinet in the bathroom which requires moving multiple tubes, brushes and cleansers out of the way, Mrs. Cranky hears every attempt.

Finally, with timing that is better than a Joe Montana to Jerry Rice post route, just before I try the final place where a Q-tip could possibly be stored, she hollers from down stairs,

“Oh for crispy sake, they’re in the medicine cabinet.  You couldn’t find a phone in a phone booth if you were spotted three tries!”

One question.

"Why couldn’t you just tell me, 'The Q-tips are upstairs in our bathroom in the medicine cabinet' you always give your kids spot on perfect directions?"

“Because,” she tells me with no apparent emotion in her voice, “I just like fucking with you!”

At least she is honest.     

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


The fine blogger from the “Aloha State,” Mark Kaufman, recently blogged about losing a toddler  It reminded me of when I lost my own three year old, Spencer, without ever leaving my house.

Many of us have experienced the sudden terror of a missing child.  Turn your head for a minute on the playground or on the beach and bang…missing child.  Part of your brain knows the toddler will turn up playing somewhere quite innocently, another part imagines all kinds of horrible scenarios.   Mark refers to it as DEFCON-3 panic.

But how do you lose a child inside your home?  How can a toddler simply disappear inside the house?  Spencer managed to do just that when he was only three. 

He was in our dining room while his mom and I were preparing to walk into town to do some shopping.  I went upstairs to get some money, his mom grabbed his stroller from the mud room, and he was gone.

Our house had a front door and a back door.  Both were still locked.  Spencer had to be inside.  I called…no answer.  His mom called…no answer.  I yelled…no answer.  His mom yelled…no answer.  WTH!

I ran upstairs and checked every room and every closet.  I checked under every bed, all the while calling his name.  His mom checked the basement and every room downstairs, all the while calling his name.

He was nowhere to be found.  Spencer had to be in the house, but he was nowhere.  He did not answer any of our calls.  What the hell do you do?  Call the police?  His mom decided to panic. I was contemplating the same.  How do you lose a three year old within your house all in less than sixty seconds? 

As I started to join Spencer’s mother in panic, I noticed the door from the dining room to our foyer was not completely open against the foyer wall as it usually was.  It was stopped from its usual position by a pair of tiny shoes.  I quick pulled back the door and behind it, attached to the tiny pair of shoes was our three year old, Spencer.

“What were you doing behind there?  Didn’t you hear us calling?”

“When you go uptairs I behind the door.  When you yell I tot it funny.  When you yell real loud, I scared.  Afraid you mad me.”

Perhaps there was too much yelling in that house, so much that it scared a little boy.  The yelling scared him so much because he associated it with anger, not fear.  Our yelling in panic made him continue to hide.

I know how he felt.  There was a lot of yelling in that house.  It was usually out of anger.  It was usually over something as silly as forgetting something or not putting a dish away.  It was an unrealistic, unpredictable, out-of-control, over-the-top anger that came from a disease which his mother inherited from her mother.  It was anger that no three year old could understand. 

Spencer knew that when that anger was around, it was better to stay hidden.

We laughed when we found Spencer.  We laughed from the silliness of the situation, we laughed out of relief, but the condition which caused him to fear our panic because he interpreted the yelling as irrational anger was not a laughing matter.

Spencer is a teenager now, living with his mother four hours away.  I am sure the instances of irrational anger have not abated.  Hopefully he now understands it is from a sickness that is not his fault and he need not fear it. 

He probably still does his best to avoid it, even when it happens behind closed doors.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


This is not the first time I have gone on a rant on this subject, but here I go again.  Experts, surveys and crap (I so want to say ‘Oh MY’ but I am struggling to remain a heterosexual.) Is there any end to stupid worthless surveys and studies that prove absolutely nothing?

This morning the local TV News bobbleheads reported on an interesting study.  Some numbnutz somehow conducted a study which proved that the fans of a losing football team eat less healthy than fans of the winning team. 

How was this determined?

Why was this determined?

Who gives a rodents backside?

What is any one supposed to do with this information?

Studies have been done ad nausea determining that people that are depressed do not eat as healthy as people that are not depressed.  It does not take a huge leap to assume the fans of a losing team are more depressed than the fans of the winning team, so why was this study needed.

I am going to guess that Brides who are left at the altar eat less healthy than Brides who are not left at the altar.  Students that flunk out of school eat less healthy than the Valedictorian.  People who drive crappy cars eat less healthy than those who own a Corvette. 

People who (add any unsuccessful endeavor here) eat less healthy than people who (add any successful endeavor here.)

Stop it with these stupid worthless studies which are fake, made up nonsense crap that does not go past a peer review because they are so silly.  They serve only to allow the morning news nitwits to make a lame joke segue between a fiery school bus crash and the weather report! 

I think the problem is every year thousands of psychology students need a thesis to get their doctorate, and all the relevant topics have been taken.

In the interests of science here are my suggestions for future bull shit studies:

Do vacuum lines in the carpet mean you’re going to get lucky?

Do dogs wag their tails because they are happy, or is it a form of canine Tourette’s?

Why do birds sing so gay and lovers await the break of the day
why do they fall in love?

Where does Dr. Phil get all his resources?

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Is a Diner really a Diner if the waitress does not call you Honey?

Do people who exercise more than two hours a day lose more weight than people who eat donuts and then purge?

Who are happier, dog people or cat people?

Who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong?

Is there a woman alive above the age of 35 who has not seen every episode of “Sex and the City” at least five times?

Why do people who read this blog eat unhealthy food?

Monday, August 26, 2013

THE 2012 STANDARD WIFE - a Cranky re-run

This re-run is from August 2012

A Mr. Suldog from Massachusetts requested, “Cranky I read your Husband Instructions for new wives, ( ) what about Wife Instructions for new husbands?”  Well Suldog of Massachusetts:


The divorce rate in this country is disturbing. In many cases the cause of break-ups is unrealistic expectations by the husband, and an inability to understand how to deal with a new wife. New husbands-to-be should get a set of instructions before the wedding.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 2012-SW (available en Espanol)

Congratulations on your new 2012 Standard Wife or your 2012-SW.  Your 2012 –SW is very durable and if maintained properly should last a lifetime. 

The 2012-SW comes fully equipped to take care of many functions which you are ill-equipped to perform.  These can include cooking, organizing, remembering important dates, procreation and child rearing.

Your 2012-SW does not respond well to vocal commands.  To get your SW model to reach peak performance it is recommended that you lubricate well with good wine, sparkly things, occasional flowers and sweet talk.

Some models may be slightly defective and will react negatively when you fail to properly apply the above lubrication.   This defect may manifest in screechy harsh vocal output.  It is the manufacturer’s recommendation that you comply immediately to whatever the harsh vocal output requests.  A firm whack on the vocal mechanism sometimes will successfully correct the output issue, but this is a temporary fix which will ultimately cause your 2012-SW to completely break down beyond any repair.  YOU ARE HIGHLY DISCOURAGED FROM WHACKING THE SW VOCAL MECHINISM!!

There is no refund for malfunctioning 2012-SWs, however they may be partially insured through a Pre-nup policy.  This police is recommended.    

Your 2012-SW is especially well suited for procreation and post- procreation functions.  She can operate for long periods of time with little or no sleep.  You will be required to show appreciation for this function and provide occasional sleep relief.

We cannot stress enough that though your 2012-SW appears very durable the SW is very sensitive!  You MUST handle with care and show constant appreciation. 

Many 2012-SWs will demand more shoes and other attire than you might think is necessary.  Do not attempt to limit shoes and attire, you will fail and it will reduce the effectiveness of your 2012-SW.

Your 2012-SW is fully equipped to perform to your satisfaction in the bedroom.  Do NOT attempt to operate this function without adequate warm up; when finished, a substantial cool down time is also recommended.

Your 2012-SW comes with a date of production and a date of officially becoming a SW.  Remember, and celebrate these dates.  Failure to acknowledge production and SW dates with dinner out and or presents will cause temporary malfunction of your 2012-SW.

DOs and DON’Ts

Do - periodically tune up your 2012-SW with dinners out, wine and kind words.

Don’t – Attempt high volume vocal commands.

Do – Stroke your SW for high performance.

Don’t – Shake or in any way treat your 2012-SW harshly.

Do – Occasionally attempt to assist in what you consider normal SW functions.  Your 2012-SW will do these functions over but your attempts will be rewarded.

Don’t – Try to decorate any room other than the basement.  The 2012-SW has no override button in the decorating function.

Do – Wear whatever outfits your SW suggests.  She is programmed to be expert in this area.


Q - My brother’s 2010-SW gained several pounds and has marks on her abdomen after the procreation function.  Has this been eliminated in the 2012-SW.

Ans – No.  Weight gain is typical.  In some models it is permanent.  We find that most husbands still find their SW to be as HOT as when new, even with a few extra pounds.  We call the marks “stretch marks.”  They are typical and should not be considered to be a defect.

Q – I have heard that some SW models are overly demanding and sometimes are not completely logical.

Ans – Yes…Deal with it!

Q – Is it true some previous model SWs would obey all verbal commands without question?

Ans – Yes, however these models have been out of production for years and when they did exist, they often did not perform in the bedroom function.

Please remember that with proper care and tune-ups, your 2012-SW should give you a lifetime of satisfaction.

Enjoy your 2012-SW.    

Sunday, August 25, 2013



It is time once again for:


Talk about TMI!


This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider sophomoric and sometimes offensive comments. 


One headline is completely made up.  Guess the fake and win a mention.





Even Texans can love quiche – If you substitute bacon for the cheese.


Justin Bieber reportedly brought home 32 year old waitress – That little bastard can’t even serve himself at home!


Library director says 9-year-old should 'step aside' to let others win reading contest – Because making the successful feel guilty needs to start with the very young!

Lindsey Lohan declares, “I am drug and alcohol free!” – Well they do say the first 15 minutes is the hardest!

Chinese zoo disguises dog as lion*Did not fool the lions, unfortunately for the dog. 

Idiots try to eat dinner on iceberg, get blown out to sea Climatologists claim, “This sort of stuff never happened before ‘Global Warming'!”

Maine governor denies saying Obama 'hates white people' –  The Governor claims in commenting on the Presidents eyes he said “Obama has wide pupils.”

Vibrating shoes to keep elderly upright – Any of my old friends who remember Electronic Football and the vibrating field will appreciate this breakthrough.   Might work for old people.



Swallowing a tapeworm to lose weight is still not a good idea – Yeah, those worms must have a lot of calories per serving.

Bare chests liven up Austria's election campaign – If we had this criterion we might finally elect a woman President.

Justice Department to sue Texas over voter ID law – Drive a car…need ID, fly anywhere…need ID, open a bank account, a telephone account, a utilities account, go to school, see a doctor, get insurance, rent a car, go to the rest room…need ID!  Vote? Sure, you look honest.

Georgia elementary school bookkeeper credited with calming armed suspect – I bet this lady did not expect to be a hero this day, but she sure was!


Fans outraged that Ben Affleck will play Batman in new movie People have so much time for this stuff.  Is this a great country or what?

Pennsylvania woman turns up alive after her own funeral – Now that is awkward!

*stolen from Kelly @



Last week’s fake headline was:

Archeologist finds missing link…and then loses it! He is now heading an expedition to find the missing, missing link.


                          TexWisGirl said...

not sure what the spoon in underwear thing is about... i know quite a few of these are real. I'm going with missing link...

Check out Theresa @ for terrific pictorial stories.  No, really check her out…3000 followers can’t be wrong!


                        Val said...

I'll have to put my money on The Absentminded Archaeologist as fake. Though it might make a good Disney movie. More appropriate than the underwear spoon.

A day without Val is like a day without a 44 oz. diet coke or a Seinfeld re-run.


                         Dan the Mountain Man said...

Nice joke with not having the stupid headlines. I look forward to reading them each Sunday. I could not figure the fake one out last week.

This week, I will go with, Archeologist finds missing link…and then loses it! I am sure if they ever find missing link they would make sure they did not lose it.

For some down home NC wisdom, country photos, or used books visit Dan @


                         Lara Schiffbauer said...

Don't stop headline Sundays! I love them! And I'm guessing missing link guy, too.

Visit Lara @ for writing talk and funny photos and buy her book “Finding Mera” I would, but I’m a guy so…


Thank you to all the kind readers who claim to like “Stupid Headline Sunday.”  I appreciate your positive response to last week’s shameless cry for validation.