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Saturday, November 30, 2013



It is a rare day indeed when I have no opinions, but instead of an opinion on Cranky Opinion Saturday, I submit this reminiscence.
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 two gallon tank 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 two gallons 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.               

Friday, November 29, 2013



A crazed lady at a recent Oakland Raiders football game threatened to leap to her death from the third tier of the Oakland stadium.  A 61 year old Marine (I’d say retired, but does a marine ever actually retire?) on the tier below yelled for her to stay put.  The women jumped to her apparent death.  The Marine moved under her, arms outstretched to catch her, and broke her fall. 

The Marine was hospitalized but somehow not seriously injured.  The woman is in critical condition.  The Marine was called a hero. 
He claimed he was not a hero, “How do you define a hero, I just did what I would do for anyone else? I just did what anyone would do.”

I think he just did define “Hero.” 

I would like to say I would do the same thing as the Marine.  If a person’s life was in danger and I could do anything to help, I would risk my life to save a stranger.  I’d like to think I would be a hero.  Sadly, I doubt I would.  I’m pretty sure I would step aside and say, “That’s a shame.” I would not do what “anyone would do.” I am not anyone. I am not a hero.

These heroes’ always say the same thing,

“I just did what anyone would do.” That is why they are heroes.

Yes, if I was on that second tier and a stranger was about to jump I would think, “Damn, that crazy lady is about to die”…and then she would.  Sorry, I am not a hero.  I am not ready to risk my life for someone I don’t know, someone who is probably mentally disturbed and possibly not able to be rehabilitated.  

There must have been dozens of people on that second tier that could have done “what anyone would do.”  Only the Marine did.  There was only one hero.

There must be something in the genes of heroes.  There is something where they can only do one thing, what they think anyone would do because they are compelled to do the right thing. 

There are lots of potential heroes out there, men and women that have just not yet been put to the test.  Many are doctors, nurses, service men, firemen and policemen.  They stand prepared to do “what they would do for anyone else; just what anyone else would do.”

Except not just anyone else would do what they do.

That is why we call them heroes.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I’ve published the same Thanksgiving Day post the last two years, so I think I should give it a rest for this year.  What to post, what to post?  I got nothing.  Can I steal a story?  What the hell, why not.

My old boss at the brokerage firm where I toiled for forty years, loved Thanksgiving.  Well who doesn’t, but he REALLY loved Thanksgiving.  He was a big man, over six foot and maybe 350 pounds.  He loved to eat, he loved turkey.

This one year, Tommy was telling me how much he was looking forward to the big day.

“We’re going to my brother-in-laws.  No cooking, no cleaning, no sprucing up the house.  All we have to do is bring ourselves and a pie.  What a day; football, turkey, football, pie, football, nap, no clean up, go home with left overs, have a turkey sandwich, another piece of pie, and watch some football.”

This was a man who was made for Thanksgiving.  Football, turkey and pie, life was good.

The following Monday I asked him about how his favorite holiday went.

“There was football, but the rest of the day was a bust.”

“How so?”

“My brother-in-law has become a vegetarian!  I knew that, but I assumed there would be a separate entre for him and turkey for everyone else…WRONG!  This year I celebrated Thanksgiving Day with the traditional Thanksgiving Day Halibut.  HALIBUT!! DAMN!!  Did the Pilgrims order halibut flown in from Alaska on that first Thanksgiving?  I don’t think so. 

Football is not the same with the aroma of fish in the oven.  Pie is not the same following the taste of halibut.  Football is not the same after halibut.  A nap does not even happen without turkey to put you in a football-pie coma.  Have you ever had a sandwich of left-over halibut?  It was the worst Thanksgiving ever!

There is no Thanksgiving without turkey!”

This year will be my 67th consecutive Thanksgiving celebrated with turkey.  I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving Day and turkey, but never as much as I now do when I think of all those unfortunates in the world who have to suffer a feast of the traditional Thanksgiving Halibut.


I submit this year, once again, my suggestion for a traditional Thanksgiving Song:


To the tune of Buddy Holly's "Everyday" (GIYP)


Turkey Day it’s a gettin closer

Who don’t love a tasty oven roaster

A well-cooked bird will surely come my way

A-hay, a-hay, a great day


 Turkey Day, goin to be a- crazy

A great big meal, then get really lazy

A well-cooked bird will surely come my way

A-hay, a-hay, a great day



Turkey Day, Lions get their ass beat

Either way, just give me some white meat

Come that day

Right in front of my seat

 Pumpkin pie for me



Turkey Day it’s a gettin closer

Who don’t love a tasty oven roaster

Turkey and gravy will surely come my way

A-hay, a-hay, a great day


 Turkey Day, goin to be a- crazy

A great big meal, then get really lazy

 Thanksgiving is, sure my favorite day

Oh, I luv, Thanksgiving Day



Tuesday, November 26, 2013



What is it about words and why do they sometimes drive us crazy or get us into trouble?  Everyone wants their toddlers to talk.  No one wants them to say bad words.  “Shit piss fuck” coming from a three year olds mouth puts people into a fit.  We teach them alternate words.  We teach them peepee and poop.  Hopefully we can avoid “fuck” altogether.

Problem is when they say peepee or poop it is somehow cute or funny.  They soon learn that if they say peepee or poop it will get a laugh and so they say it all the time with no context whatsoever.   If you ignore their saying peepee or poop they will say it and laugh.  Then you tell them it is not really funny or nice to say peepee or poop, because you don’t want them saying it in the wrong place or to the wrong people. 

And the peepee poop battle begins.

When your toddler (or Grand-toddler) wants attention, he has learned that all he has to do is say peepee or poop and then laugh.  He gets a lecture…he gets attention.

Grandpa Joe tries to avoid the peepee poop battle.  He lets them say it over and over and ignores it.  Grand-toddlers keep saying it and laughing.   They say it louder and louder and laugh more and more.  Grand-toddlers know they shouldn’t do this, that is exactly why they are doing this and they will not stop until they get the attention they seek.

The Grand-toddlers got attention today. 

Grandpa Joe finally cracked.  Grandpa Joe lost his poop.  The grand-toddler's daddy knows this routine from many years past.  I rant and rave for about ten minutes.  Blood vessels almost pop from my temples.  I make my point in a most un-adult fashion.   

“You think poop is so funny?  What is so funny about poop?  You want funny?  POOP…poopety poop poop!  Peepee poop poop poop peepee poop!  Hahahahahaha poop poop poop.  Oh look poop look peepee poop here poop there look poop poop poop poop.  Let’s all say it and laugh!  Poop poop poop poopety poop poop peepee peepee poop Hahahahahaha.”

After many minutes of this insanity I turn completely Looney Tunes and I break out into song and dance:

“Poop poop racetrack sings this song…poop poop, poop poop; poop poop racetrack five miles long…oh the poop poop day.  Gwan ta poop all night; gwan to poop all day…poop poop poop poop peepee poop, somebody poop on da bey.”

For the first eight minutes the toddlers are quiet and a little in shock.  By the time I break into song, they get a little smirk on their faces…but they dare not laugh. 

Then Grandpa Joe is back to normal again; the peepee poop battle is over, and all is right in toddler-land. 
I hope I have not scarred them for life.

Monday, November 25, 2013



This re-run is from November 2012.  I submit it again in hopes it will promote understanding during this week of Thanksgiving.

The recent election has convinced me, much to my disappointment, that this country is still not ready to accept racial and cultural differences.  As a member of a new minority this concerns me greatly.  I think much of the problem is that people just do not understand my culture and its traditions.  I will attempt here to explain my culture and its traditions in the hopes it will promote greater understanding and tolerance. 

That’s right, Cranky is a WASP!

A white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
Cranky's baby spoon...unashamedly born with a silver spoon in my mouth! 

I will hide my heritage no longer.  I am proud to be a WASP.  Oh sure there was that little thing about slavery, but I did some research and it turns out that none of my relatives ever owned other people.  Some may have been nasty bastards that took advantage of people of lesser means, but there is no proof of that.

I often read about the difficulty and hardships that people of non-WASP heritage had to endure growing up; well let me tell you, growing up WASP was not a picnic.

At age four I was forced to ride a pony.  At age ten I was forced to learn how to sail a boat…by myself…alone! I had to know the difference between a sloop and a ketch; I had to know how to tie a bowline, a half-hitch, a figure-eight and other nautical knots.  I had to know how to spell yacht, and learn what red-right-return meant.

I have been subjected to numerous hurtful WASP stereotypes:

All WASPs do not tie the arms of their sweaters around their neck.  If you see someone who does this, he is a WASP, but all WASPs do not do this.

All WASPs have thin lips…ok this one is true but it is still hurtful to point it out.

All old WASP men say “Harrumph” a lot.  Once again, if an old man says “Harrumph” he is a WASP, but many old WASP men do not say “Harrumph.”

All WASPs are not rich; some are just comfortable.

All WASPs are not named Biff, Buffy, Mitt or Trey.  If someone has one of these names, he is a WASP, but all WASPs do not have these names.

I had to endure several WASP rules growing up:

WASPS must not show emotion. 

Crying is for women only and then only in private. 

Anger must be behind closed doors. 

Cursing is unnecessary as long as you can say gosh darn, gol dang, crummy buttons, dang, cheese and rice, shoot or flip, there is no need to curse (WASPs do not say cuss.)

Men can laugh, but knee slapping is frowned upon.  Women must hide their mouth and feign embarrassment if they dare to laugh.

Women never burp or fart. 

Men will fart, but it will be called breaking wind, and it is never acknowledged by others.

WASPs do not cry at funerals. They sniff and dab at their eyes.  Anything else is considered undignified.

WASPs traditionally prefer bland food; flavor may trigger emotion.


WASP children are not brats…they are precocious.

WASPs are never wrong…we are misinformed.   

 WASPs have a special affection for silver.  Silver is elegant, gold is “showy.” Silver is especially important at the dinner table.  Every setting has several different forks,  everyone has a butter knife and there is an array of special silver utensils like a tiny fork for stabbing olives, a giant round knife just for that Thanksgiving cranberry log, and of course a silver cake cutter.          
Important WASP utensils
Cake cutter not included...I think my brother got it.

My favorite WASP silver is the small silver salt bowl…with a cobalt blue glass insert.  A tiny salt spoon held between the thumb and middle finger, and tapped by the index finger distributes the salt.  It takes the average WASP years of practice to master this technique.

               WASP salt distribution tools                     
WASPs love antique furniture. 

Holidays at a WASP house smell of turkey, silver polish and furniture polish.

WASPs like uncomfortable clothes.

WASPs do not get drunk…we get inebriated.

I would tell you about WASPs and sex, but I am a WASP.

Most WASPs are good people.  We have a heart, we go to church, we give to charity, and we are honest and hardworking.  We love our family, and we love our country.

Kind of like you. 

I hope some of these rules and traditions have helped you to better understand my culture.  I am a WASP.  I am proud to be a WASP.  Someday maybe non-WASP people will learn to be tolerant of our traditions.


Sunday, November 24, 2013



It is time once again for:

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.


Being Bilingual May Delay The Onset Of Alzheimer's – Or at the least you forget stuff in multiple languages.

Oxford dictionaries name 'selfie' as word of the year – Damn, I was routing for “gubba.”

George Zimmerman charged with assault and battery after disturbance call – He is claiming self -defense because his girlfriend was wearing a hoodie and offered him some Skittles.

Mississippi girls' basketball coach resigns after allegations he bit player – Girl failed to set a pick, and coach Tyson just lost his cool.

Woman arrested 396 times vows to turn life around – So after 396 she’s going to do a 360?

Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen bodyguards sentenced to 5 years after shooting – So I guess Brady is going to miss a few games, what was he thinking.

Gay waitress who received note about 'lifestyle' in place of tip will donate to Wounded Warrior Project    - I wonder if the deadbeat asshole who left the note will contribute the withheld tip to a worthwhile cause…Hmmm…probably not.

Husband Convicted Of Manslaughter After Dutch-Oven Goes "Horribly Wrong" – Cranky Old Man does not normally include headlines of a tragedy, but this is just over the top!

 OK, just checked this out and it is a hoax…still funny! (Not counted as the fake headline because it is a real fake headline…or something…

Apple developing a computer that can be controlled by blinking – It will be called the i-lid.

British People Are Furious That Kate Middleton Twirled Her Hair In Public – Hmmm…that is really disgusting especially for someone in British Royalty…WHAT? Oh…PUBLIC…never mind.

Navy POW held by China runs for Senate in NebraskaAh…excuse me, China, but if he is in Nebraska YOU’D BETTER LET HIM GO!!

Two men save shark from choking on moose – Telegram …Ah… candygram…Er…mailman…Hmmm…landshark.


Last week’s fake headline was:

Three year old daredevil jumps 27 Tinker Toys with a tricycle “Tot Tops Toys on Trike!” 

The winners who correctly identified the fake:

          TexWisGirl said...

i'm going for 3 yr old evel knievel.

           lime said...

           i think it's the tinker toy story. i don't think a kid today has any idea     what a tinker toy is.
      Visit  TexWisGirl @
      Visit lime @

The fishducky award for funniest comment goes to lime who didn’t think a three year ole jumping tinker toys on a trike was strange, but reasoned that a kid today wouldn’t kno know what a tinker toy is.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


A cranky opinion for Cranky Opinion Saturday
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man.  Opposing opinions are welcome...they are wrong, but welcome, and please, no name calling and that means big stupid head. 

When I was growing up (a process as yet to be completed) we did not have the stuff that kids have today.  What the hell did we do?  We obviously didn’t have computers and all the neat computer games that kids have today, and we also didn’t have many of the board games or toys that were developed sometime after I grew a hair on my chest.

We played games that were not yet “invented.”  We didn’t invent them, they were passed down from generation to generation until Parker Brothers invented (patented) them.

With paper, pencil, and 5 dice, we played Yahtzee, a game taught to us by my Grandmother’s friend, Aunt Bets.  The rules were in our heads.

With a book as a barrier, a pencil, and some graph paper, we played Battleship.

Paper and a pencil was all we needed to play Hangman.

We used a rolled up sock and a bent coat hanger as a hoop and played Nerf Basketball before a “Nerf” anything was invented.

Ten “C” batteries and a golf ball was all we needed for an indoor bowling game.

We could turn a sheet of paper into a glider plane that could sail across the street.  Twirled just right, a piece of paper became a dart, and when huffed through a rolled up comic we had a dart gun which could fire that projectile from the living room to the kitchen with surprising force.

When we were older, roller skates and a board became a skateboard.  Some wood and baby carriage wheels became a downhill racer, and even later a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine powered the racer.

A lot of the stuff we built or games we made up did not work real well.  The fun was in the invention, the anticipation and success or failure, the end result was always good for a laugh.

When we did have toys, they did not come with instructions.  Erector- Sets, blocks, Lincoln Logs, and Legos were just pieces for you to use to build and make up stuff.  They did not have specific pieces and instructions for making specific structures.  You put something together and then took it apart to build something else.

Every toy today has to teach.  Pull a string and some voice tells you “Cat, a cat goes meow.”  Press a button on any game and you get a lecture, “It’s fun to share your toys.”  Drop a ball and the child gets instant self-esteem,   “Oops…nice try, you’re getting better, next time you’ll catch it for sure.”


I cringe when I see a kid struggling with a toy and a parent running over to demonstrate how to play with it.  DAMN!  The fun is in figuring it out.  The fun is taking something and playing with it the way your imagination sees the way to play with it.  These are toys…these are games…there are no rules when you are a kid, and if there are rules it is because the kids make them up.  They make them up, they adjust them and they are just fine.  Leave them alone.  Leave them alone and they will learn that a cat goes meow, it is fun to share your toys, and that they will eventually catch the ball.

Leave them alone and their self-esteem will be earned and will be real.  Leave them alone and they will develop imagination and problem solving. 

Leave them alone.

Let them develop their imagination. 

It is the one thing that Parker Brothers can't patent.

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

Friday, November 22, 2013



Where were you on November 22, 1963?  Everyone remembers that day…right?  John F. Kennedy was assassinated on that day.  I was in school.  There was an announcement made, there was shock, girls were crying, time stood still…a nation was paralyzed.  

That is what I’m told; in all honesty I don’t remember an announcement, shock, girls crying or time standing still.  I guess that is what happened on that day, I just don’t remember.  I’m pretty sure we finished classes for the day, and I vaguely remember the announcement that Kennedy had died.

We had football practice that day.  I remember two concerns shared by most of the team.  First, was this a communist conspiracy and would it be followed by an atomic bomb carrying missile?  Second, would we still have our final game the next week on Thanksgiving against our arch rival Plainfield?  With no mushroom cloud in sight we figured concern number one was past, but what about the game?

It is amazing that with the tunnel vision of a teenager, the most dramatic history changing event in my lifetime was over-shadowed by a football game. 

Friday November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States of America was assassinated…in my little world we prepared for a football game on that day.  That Sunday Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin, was shot by Jack Ruby…I was studying the offence of the Plainfield High football team.  Monday, JFK was laid to rest, I don’t remember, but I assume we did not have school; we may not even have had football practice.

It is horrible that my memory of that week is so vague, but I was not the only one who was not consumed by the news.  On Wednesday, five days after the President of The United States was murdered, our school held a pep rally for the big football game against the number two ranked team in the State of New Jersey, Plainfield.  There was a bon fire and there were speeches.   Our team, unranked in the state, was assured that the Plainfield football players put their pants on the same as we did…one leg at a time.  There was no mention of the fact that their pants were much bigger than ours.

The next morning, Thanksgiving morning, seven thousand fans packed the stadium stands and surrounded the field on foot.  It was standing room only to attend a high school football game.  Six days after JFK was murdered the game was played as scheduled.

Many might think, “How disrespectful!  How are a people able to put aside the murder of their President, the most powerful leader in the world, and watch football?  How is one of the most traumatic events in a lifetime set aside and put out of mind for Turkey, family, celebration and a football game?  What kind of society can go on with their life as if nothing happened?”

The answer is the kind of society that is secure in its structure.  Secure that we would endure this horrible event, secure that we would survive and secure that in time of despair our leaders would come together and our country would move forward;  the kind of society that could mourn but move on with our life and our traditions. 

When I think back to that week I remember not so much the horror of the event, but the strength of a country that could suffer a great loss, survive and go on with life hardly missing a beat.

Anyway, we beat Plainfield 14-12.     

Thursday, November 21, 2013

THE GRAIL BIRD – a Cranky Book Report

THE GRAIL BIRD – a Cranky Book Report
A couple of months ago, Frog (bfff - best friend from forever) lent me a book.  Frog knows I am an admirer of birds, something I inherited years ago from my mom.  I am not a “Birder” or even an amateur bird watcher.  I recognize a few species, more probably than most people, but I am really mostly just an admirer of birds.  With this in mind, Frog recommended and lent a book to me.

“The Grail Bird”

Hot on the trail of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

By: Tim Gallagher

Among his many occupations, Frog used to be a high school teacher, and he currently teaches an occasional course at a local college.  When a college professor lends you a book, it is not just a book, it is an assignment.  I had to read this book, and I expect to be quizzed on it.

The book is not an easy, casual read.  It is not James Patterson or Dean Koontz, the only authors I’ve read in the last three years (Except for the NYT’s best seller “King Peggy” written by my cousin Eleanor Herman…plug plug.) Frog told me I would like it and so it became a must read.

I have to say, he was right.  Although a bit dry, it is a fascinating read. 

The grail bird is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.  It is the largest of all North American woodpeckers.  It has also been considered extinct by most ornithologists for over forty years. The book recounts the efforts of many bird enthusiast and experts in finding and proving the existence of the Ivory-bill. 

The Ivory-bill requires a very specific habitat once found in the south east United States.  It lives in swamps with large old growth Cyprus trees.  These trees, once over one hundred feet high and nine feet around have all but been eradicated by the saws and axes of loggers.  With almost no adequate habitat left, the Ivory-bill has also disappeared; it was last documented to scientist’s satisfaction in 1967.

The author recounts his and others search for this elusive bird, intent to prove its existence so that steps can be taken to preserve habitat and protect the species.  

The searchers encounter many difficulties and hardships in their bird tracking.  Perhaps the most interesting problem they encountered was in proving their sightings (which are still not confirmed and fully accepted.)  If their proof of the bird’s existence were not absolutely undeniable, they would be branded as hacks much like those who are out to prove the existence of Bigfoot.  If they find conclusive evidence of the bird, they have to be careful to not give away its location to the wrong people.   Birders are enthusiastic and relentless.  Hordes of avid birders out to add the near extinct Ivory-bill to their personal tally of confirmed species sighted might swarm upon the sighting area disturbing and threatening the existence of the bird they want to protect. 

A thought that struck me in reading this book is how much money and time was spent to confirm the existence of a bird that by its very habitat would be seen by only the most extreme and avid birder or scientist.  Suppose it is not extinct, how much effort should be expended to assure its continued existence?   Will we spend millions of dollars to buy up land and keep it pristine and untouched so a couple of birding nuts might add the bird to their sightings?  Will we approve large grants to scientists to research the bird’s habits?  Should we pay for Park Rangers to patrol the area and keep out crowds or even worse, poachers?

If the Ivory-bill Woodpecker does exist, how does that enrich anyone’s life?  Shouldn’t the money and time used to find and then preserve this illusive bird be better spent feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless or curing cancer?

Perhaps; but that is what makes our species special.  We are concerned with our environment.  While some disturb it, others seek to restore it.  No other species cares about the environment around them.   When the balance of nature changes, a dominant species will prevail over all others; often to its own detriment. 

Humans are often responsible for altering the balance of nature.  Sometimes we change it irrevocably.  Sometimes we recognize our opulence and attempt to correct our ways. 

Just as a great work of art is worth large sums of money to preserve and protect, great works of God such as the Ivory-bill Woodpecker are worth protecting.  I will probably never see the actual Mona Lisa.  I will probably never see an Ivory-bill Woodpecker in the wild. 
Somehow knowing they  exist is enough for me.