This blog is now sugar FREE, fat FREE, gluten FREE, all ORGANIC and all NATURAL!!

Friday, January 31, 2014


In a recent post I slipped and let it be known that Mrs. Cranky does almost all the driving in our family.  There are several reasons for this.  First, for a while I couldn’t see that well especially at night due to cataracts in each eye.  Then often when we went out to eat I had too much wine and scotch to drive.  Those problems have been addressed, but I just got used to Mrs. C driving.

In previous lives I always drove.   I was just a better more experienced driver than wife #1 and I was never comfortable as a passenger.  Wife #2 was an even worse driver, plus when she had an anxiety attack, which was often, she drove fast and crazy.  I think she was trying to have an accident and then somehow blame it on me…don’t even ask…it is very difficult living in the land of insane.


Mrs. C is not only a good driver, but she never gets lost.  She knows every road in New Jersey and has an uncanny sense of direction.  I just relax and “leave the driving to her.”

The only thing I have to get used to is that Mrs. C, who is half Irish and half Italian, becomes full on Italian-attitude behind the wheel.  My mild mannered sweet wife behind the wheel is a whole new person.

 Everyone else on the road is an asshole.

“Look at this asshole trying to get into my lane.”

“Well I think he wants to take the exit.”

“Don’t defend him, he’s an asshole!”

“Yes dear.”

“Dude move over! Asshole!”

“I think she’s an eighty year old cue tip, maybe you should cut her some slack.”

“Then she shouldn’t be on the road…MOVE OVER…asshole!”

“Yes sweetie,”

“Did you see that idiot swerve in front of me? What an asshole”

“Well it was a BMW, so yes he is an asshole.”

My friend Scott Z. would tell me that having your wife drive should make you take two steps back on the great “Tuffy Tuffy Tuff Guy*” game board of life. 

Actually I think it should allow me a free roll.


Thursday, January 30, 2014


Freshman year of college is often the most difficult year.  My freshman year at Lafayette College, 1964, I carried 17 credits.  I had classes every day except Sunday.  The most difficult classes were on Saturday when I had eight, nine, and ten AM classes.  Saturday was particularly difficult because of Friday night.

Friday night was a party night…well there was drinking involved.  In addition to taking 17 credits my freshman year, I was also learning how to drink.  I eventually learned to master drinking, much to my detriment 45 years later, but in 1964 I was a rookie.  As a rookie in the art of drinking, my three Saturday morning classes were difficult to say the least.

One particular Saturday morning I was barely able to drag myself to my eight o’clock history lecture.  Operating on about three hours of sleep and sporting a well-deserved throbbing headache, I crawled into the large lecture hall and was forced to take a seat in the front row.

The Saturday morning history lecture was delivered by a different professor each week.  This week it was my misfortune to be in the audience of Professor Gendabien. 

Professor Gendabien’s specialty was Medieval History.  This particular lecture was on the historical importance of the Medieval Plow.  It was a riveting performance to be sure, but in my condition the Medieval Plow did not capture my imagination and I did not get caught up in the professor’s enthusiasm for the topic.

To add to the luster of the history of the Medieval Plow, Professor Gendabien’s delivery left much to be desired.  His lecture was spoken in a boring monotone style, punctuated every thirty seconds by a throat clearing cough which sounded much like a ricochet bullet in a cheesy 1950’s western movie gun battle.  The ricochet cough was the only thing that periodically jarred me awake during the dreadfully boring dissertation on the vast importance of this ancient farming tool.

Professor Gendabien had one more interesting speaking trait which made staying awake difficult.  He had a never ending string of white spittle which connected itself to his upper and lower lips and wandered slowly back and forth from one corner of his mouth to the other like a bear in a carnival shooting range game.  It was disconcerting to say the least and more than reason enough to close ones eyes to avoid the disgusting dance of the spittle string.

The battle to stay awake on only three hours of sleep while sporting a splitting headache was on.  The hangover plus boring topic plus monotone speech plus aversion to the back and forth spittle was slowly overtaking the effort to keep awake aided only by the periodic abrupt ricochet cough. 

Awake never stood a chance.

I might have gotten away with spending the lecture in the land of nod if I had come to the class early enough to get a seat in the back.  I still might have avoided notice as my head was stealthily propped on my right hand and my left hand was in the note taking position, if not for my chain-saw snoring which apparently was even louder than the professor’s annoying ricochet cough.

My only memory after I was forced to shut my eyes to ward off the stomach churning sight of the lip spittle parade was the professors droning monotone voice gathering into a crescendo which finally reached several decibels above a Jimi Hendricks solo riff.

I awoke to the sight of the professors pant legs and slowly tilted my head to see an enraged Professor Gendabien who had walked from his podium to the front row and was glowering down at me.


Apparently I was expected to mutter an apology, straighten up and pay attention, but all I heard was GRAB YOUR BOOKS AND LEAVE. 

I said nothing. I grabbed my books, and I unapologetically exited the auditorium.

I learned later that my stoic departure from the lecture hall so infuriated Professor Gendabien that he lost his spittle and was unable to complete his fascinating dissertation on that historically important tool, the Medieval Plow.

It was this incident that sealed my decision to become an Economics Major, and avoid all history subjects, especially those taught by Professor Gendabien.

It also gave new meaning to the Friday night ritual of drinking beer and getting “Plowed.”       

Wednesday, January 29, 2014



When I was but wee lad I was called Jody.  That’s right…my parents wanted a girl.  At the age of six I saw the movie “Old Yeller” where the little girl in the movie was named Jody.  That was it, from then on I was Joe…I was very adamantly Joe.

Only one person consistently called me Jody; my cousin Neils. 

Now cousin Neils never even knew me accept in family conversation.  My family lived in California, his in Pennsylvania.  Apparently my Aunt was not advised of my name change so if I was mentioned at all, it was by the name Jody.

When my family moved back to the east coast, Cousin Neils called me Jody.  He claimed he could just not get used to calling me Joe, but I think he did it because it aggravated me.   Cousin Neils has always called me Jody.

In my first book, “Maybe It’s Just Me” I wrote about this and in effect called Neils out on this name thing.   I pointed out that every time I saw him, which was several times a decade at best, he asked to be called by a new name.  It went from Neils to Niles, to Nelson, to Nels, to Niel and finally I have settled on Nils.  I never thought Nils would see this book and yet he did.   He got the point and decided to call me Joe.

We keep up with each other loosely on Facebook and he now only refers to me as Joe.  Sixty years of being annoyed by his calling me Jody and now I somehow miss it.  What’s up with that?

Nils recently underwent a rather serious risky operation.  It was thankfully successful. 

Nils, if you still want to call me Jody I will accept it from you and only you.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


This time of year it seems to be a popular time to beg for dollars.  It is especially apparent if you watch TV after midnight.  I watch a lot of TV after midnight.  I do this because I can. 

Every charity, and I am sure some of them are legit and worthwhile, wants me to send fifty cents a day, or “Just the price of a newspaper” and I can:

Save a child from starving to death.

Save a dog from being beaten to death.

Give a needy child plastic surgery.

Save a whale.

Stop the planet from getting hotter.

Save the rain forest.

Stop the slaughter of seals.

Feed an old person.

Take a homeless person off the street.

Put a child through college.

All of these TV ads for charity are narrated by a famous actor with an immensely sad voice as pictures of suffering people and animals cross my screen. 

“For just pennies a day, the cost of a newspaper, you could give a child three meals a day, a home out of the weather, books for school and a pair of shoes.  Don’t you want to feed a child?”

Are all of these charities real?  Lots of charities spend 95 cents on the dollar for “administration costs.” 

Thank you for putting that enormous amount of guilt on me late at night when I am trying to go to sleep.  Thank you filthy rich actress who probably claims her time making this commercial as a tax deduction, thank you for making me feel like shit.  I would like to help all these causes, but I do give to other stuff.  I give to charities I know and that are established and that use the money for the cause they say it is used.   I don’t need your guilt trip.

Besides, I don’t buy a newspaper anymore.

If you are feeling like you would like to make a difference visit an amazing blogger, Dr. Vinny, and support his good work. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

I HATE YOU TOO - a cranky re-run


This re-run for
is from January 2011

I have mentioned in several posts that Mrs. Cranky and I have not had a fight or an argument in over three years.  A fly on the wall would dispute this assertion. 

The simplest statement or slip up is liable to elicit a “Fuck You!” from Mrs. Cranky.  I am often called a jerk.  “I hate you” is a common rebuttal to any discussion or comment I may make.

“Fuck you too” or “I hate you right back” are retorts not left out of my arsenal. 

“Then”, you ask, “How can you claim you never fight with your wife?”  The answer is simple.  These nasty little conversations are not out of anger or hate.  Mrs. Cranky will tell me to go fuck myself, and I will respond “Right back attcha” because we can.

We were both in marriages where such comments would bring severe repercussions.  Mrs. C once used the F word in her marriage and the response apparently was painful and severe.  I never dared to speak to my ex with anything approaching aggressive language; the venom would have come back at me in a torrent I would not have been able to survive.  I had to bite my tongue if I wanted to avoid the head spinning green sputum “Exorcist” like violence my ex was capable of delivering.

Fifteen plus years of suppressing “I hate you” and “Go fuck yourself” have made the ability to now say these things cathartic.  Pent up anger needs release even if it is not real.

A typical discussion at the Cranky house might go like this:

“Where is my breakfast in bed?”

“It’s downstairs in the fridge where it is every morning…Jerk!”

“Some wife you are!  I hate you!”

“Fuck you and your breakfast too!”

“Fuck you too!  I hate you!”

“I hate you right back!”



“…Ah…was that good for you?”

“Yea, that was great, I always wanted to do that.”

“Me too.  You want anything while I’m downstairs?”

“Juice would be nice.”

“You got it.  Oh, and I hate you.”

“I hate you too.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014



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 and a Whoop-tee-do.


More students caught snorting Smarties candy – “Like dude, I thought it would make me smart.”

Woman’s group demands gender terminology to change “Men” to “PWAPS” or “Persons with a penis.” – This is way too confusing, aren’t women commonly known as “PWAPS” or “Persons without a penis?”

Poker blogger gets probation for stealing dealer tips with chopsticks at Conn. Casino – I’ve heard of sticky fingers, and “fork it over,” but stealing with chopsticks?

Colorado proposal would require pre-marriage education classes- Problem solved!

Barbra Bush – I love Bill Clinton – “I did NOT have sex with that woman!”

Team of scientists date Monet masterpiece down to the minute – Wait a second!

Is a blimp watching you? New surveillance craft raises privacy questions – Is that the NSA?  I thought it was just Chris Christie checking traffic.

Poor sleep linked to teen mental health problems – Isn’t this a horse/cart kinda thing? 

In California, girls can use urinals in the boys' restroom*Here is a hand-basket, just point me to Hell.

Super Bowl creating traffic jam for private jets – If you can’t park your jet I feel sorry for you son, I got 99 problems, but this ain’t one.

JPMorgan's Dimon gets 74% pay hike despite legal woes – This just might get Scott @Lowandslow to slit his wrist…DON’T DO IT SCOTT!

Colleagues of gym teacher who molested boy refused to aid probe– For the last time could you please use “inquiry” instead of “probe” when referring to sexual molestation!

Internet community cracks dying grandmother's code 18 years laterNote said, “Help me, I’m choking to death.”

Transgender teen charged with battery - I guess they couldn’t figure out where to put the plug.

*Would anyone who agrees with this law please un-friend and un-follow me right now…thank you.


Last week’s fake headline was:

Congress to vote on a cut in pay for themselves and their staff - Vote will take place on April 1.

Everyone that chose to enter the contest guessed correctly.  Eleven for eleven!  Of all the stupid, ridiculous, outrageous fake headlines in the past year the only one that absolutely no one could believe was in any way shape or form true regardless of any possible context and absolutely had to be fake was:

Congress to vote on a cut in pay for themselves and their staff.

I think that speaks volumes!!

Congratulations to the winners…EVERYONE!

Come back next week for more


Saturday, January 25, 2014



A Cranky Opinion for


The following is the opinion of a cranky old with very little expertise on the topic opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome, they are wrong,  but they are welcome and please…no name calling.  That goes for you, you big stupid head!


Richard Sherman is a defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks.  Last week he made a game saving play which put his team into the Super Bowl next week.  Richard Sherman is a very good football player, one of the best defensive backs in the game. 

Richard Sherman is a very intelligent man.  He graduated at the top of his class in High School, a school that only graduates 60% of its students, so just graduating is an accomplishment.  Richard Sherman graduated from Sanford University, one of the top schools in the nation and is working towards a master’s degree.

Richard Sherman has not had it easy.  He comes from Compton, California, a very tough neighborhood.  He is blessed with intelligence and extraordinary athletic ability and he has developed those blessings through hard work and made it to the top of his profession.

At the end of last week’s game, Richard Sherman gave the choke sign to the 49ers quarterback.  He patted the 49ers receiver, whom he so successfully defended, derisively on the butt and trash talked him.  He then went on national TV and ranted like a lunatic about how great he is, how bad the 49ers were, and a lot of trash-talk bravado.
After his rant, the social media erupted about his poor sportsmanship and his lack of class.  His defenders claim it was just natural exuberance and passion and his rant was no big deal.  

Richard Sherman is an African American.  Many of his defenders have gone on to intimate that the hubbub over his rant is all racist.

I think that Richard Sherman is an extraordinary person.  He has overcome a difficult environment, he has overcome racism, and he is at the top of his profession.  Richard Sherman is not a thug.  He has never been arrested or been in any trouble at school or with the law. 

Richard Sherman’s behavior after last week’s game was the behavior of an obnoxious, classless ass.  It should not define Richard Sherman.  It is probably not who he is.  His behavior was probably just an extension of his passion for the game and a continuation of the trash talking behavior many athletes assume to push themselves and to get in the head of the opposition.

These athletes work themselves into a frenzy before every game; just watch the pregame team huddle rituals made famous by Ray Lewis of the Ravens.  It takes a while to come off that frenzy and that is part of what was behind Richard Sherman’s classless, bad sport, obnoxious behavior.

Richard Sherman behaved like an ass after last week’s game.  It does not define him as a man, but he did behave like an ass.  No racism, no animosity, just an honest appraisal of his behavior.  It was no big deal,


He did act like an ass. 

He is better than that.

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

Friday, January 24, 2014

KIDS, I can’t wait until they’re…

KIDS, I can’t wait until they’re…

Infants are just so hard.  If you can just make it past those diapers and constant crying…and then you get the terrible twos which actually extend to the horrible threes.

 Four and five…ah…magical years, you’ve made it.  Kids are great!  From five to ten they are just so much fun, such a joy.

And then…

The teen years, the years where children are old enough to know stuff, but not yet mature enough to accept the consequences of stuff.  When you tell a teenager he needs to save his money for things he wants he will tell you,

“I know, I know!”

But he is thinking,

“But I don’t care, I want it now!”

When you tell a teenager that they are not yet ready for a sexual relationship and they need to be protected against disease and pregnancy, they will tell you,

“I know, I know!”

But they are thinking,

“But I don’t care, I want it now!”

When you tell your teenager he needs to study and learn if he wants a good job in years to come, he will tell you,

“I know, I know!”

But he is thinking,

“But I don’t care; I’ll worry about that later.”

The thing that makes the teen years so difficult is that you cannot tell them anything.  They already know it all…THEY JUST DON’T CARE!  They do not allow reality to get in the way with what they WANT!

Fortunately this is just a stage.  A stage that all kids go through until their brain is fully developed and they are able to weigh consequences and needs against fantasy and wants.

Unfortunately today’s teenage years have somehow been stretched from eleven to past age twenty-two years old.  To make matters worse, teenage parents who typically used to weather the teenage storm at the age of 35-40 and still had some patience now are often in their late forties and fifties, and their patience has dwindled.

In order to survive the teenage years, you need a delicate balance of discipline and sticking your head in the sand.  You need to put your foot down on behavior that you know is going to end badly, while allowing behavior that you suspect will cause some pain, but will not destroy your teen. 

You must let them screw up or they will believe they are infallible, while sparing them from those gigantic mistakes which will follow them forever.  You must allow them their privacy while being stealthy enough to be aware of and steer them away from destructive behavior.

Probably the best way to keep a teen out of trouble is keep him busy…tire him out…not unlike keeping an adolescent Labrador Retriever out of trouble.  Sports, chores, school, family time, scouts, busy busy, busy. 

Or you just have to be lucky.

Then you have grandchildren.  Grandchildren are wonderful.  When they’re not, they are your children’s problem.

All you have to do is worry.

Thursday, January 23, 2014



I have heard it said that the way to be successful is to set and work toward goals that are just beyond your reach to achieve. 

I guess, but it depends on how you define success. 

If you define success as achieving at a very high level, or as becoming powerful, or wealthy then the above formula might work.

If you define success as being healthy, happy, and satisfied with life, the above formula may leave you frustrated and unfulfilled and therefore not successful.

How do I define success?  Well, being that I am not in a position of power, or wealthy, or have never achieved anything at a very high level, I better choose the later definition. 

I believe in setting goals that are easily attainable. 

I can provide a roof over my family's head and food on the table.  Goal achieved.

I can eat well, exercise and if I am lucky stay fairly healthy.  I have outlived many of my powerful, wealthy, high achieving peers.  Goal achieved.

I want my children to grow healthy, stay off drugs, and become positive productive citizens.  Goal achieved.

I would like a functioning car, a color TV, air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter.  Goal achieved.

Al Gore wanted to be President of the United States…FAILURE!

Nick Saban wants to win the College National Football Championship every year…FAILURE!

Tiger Woods wants to win every golf tournament…UTTER FAILURE!

Oprah wants to establish her own highly rated TV network…FAILURE!

These and so many others have clearly failed in life while I am a complete success.

My ex-wives wanted to marry a powerful, wealthy, and high achieving man…FAILURE!

Success is really quite easy.  Set easily achievable goals. 

Tomorrow I intend to wake up above ground. 
I hope to have many successful tomorrows.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sunglass Mystery

Sunglass Mystery
For years and years, I have never needed or used sunglasses.  Since I had my cataract surgery over a year ago I have needed sunglasses.  I guess when you eye lens is no longer cloudy you become sensitive to the sun. 

I need glasses for distance, so I bought shades which clip magnetically to my glasses.  They were not cheap.  When I bring them with me and I don’t really need them, there is always the chance I will lose them because I am just not in the habit of having sunglasses.


Today we took my youngest son to the train station to send him back to his mom in Massachusetts.  It was sunny out so I brought my sunglasses with me.  At some point I took them off and put them in a shallow plastic pocket in the passenger door (that’s right, Mrs. C generally does the driving.)  On the way back from dropping Spencer off at the station, the sun came out again and I reached for my sunglasses.


They were not where I clearly remember putting them.

“What’s the matter?”

“I put my sunglasses on the door and now they are not there.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure, I took them off when the sky got cloudy and put them on the door where I always put them.”

“Maybe they fell out at the station or at the sub shop where we stopped on the way to the station.”

“They must have fallen into the car, but I can’t feel them anywhere, can you pull over?”

We pulled over and searched the inside of the car.  Nothing.

We next stopped at the sub shop parking lot.  Nothing.

We were fifteen minutes away from the train station and I thought if we went back I would only find them run over and squished.

“Frig it, they're gone.  I’ll get new ones.  I don’t need them that badly.”

“Maybe you left them at home and just thought you brought them.”

“I took them.  I distinctly remember taking them with me!”

“Hopefully they will turn up.”

We had a few chores, and Mrs. C stopped at the rescue squad to give blood, and I forgot about the glasses.

When we got home, the sunglasses were smack dab in the middle of the kitchen table.

“You distinctly remember taking them with you?”

“YES…but maybe it wasn’t today.”


Monday, January 20, 2014

"The Bachelor…sloppy seconds"

   "The Bachelor…sloppy seconds"
Yes, I am a fan of reality TV.  Not all the shows, but many of them…too many.  I watch the Housewives of New Jersey, Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn, Storage Wars, The Apprentice, and especially I watch “The Bachelor.”

I also watch “The Bachelorette” but “The Bachelor” is the best.

What I like best about this show is the group of bachelorettes.  All are gorgeous, most are smart, and all are not used to being turned down from anything.  Every one of the girls is immediately “In Love” with the bachelor.  I don’t know if they are really in love or they just want to be picked because their whole lives they have always been picked.

I love seeing these gorgeous women who have always gotten what they want because they are pretty, not get a rose, not get picked.  Does this make me mean? 

Yes…too bad…maybe it is because I have never been “Pretty.”  I am tired of seeing people get stuff just for being pretty. 

“Buy me a drink…I’m pretty.”

“I might be a little late, that’s ok isn’t it…cause…I’m pretty.”

“A promotion for me?  Well why not, after all, I’m pretty.”

“Officer do you have to give me a ticket…I’m pretty you know.”

Oh I know it’s not that easy, but I don’t care.  I’m mean remember?


I can’t have enough of watching these girls be turned away and their reactions to not getting what they want. 

I want more. 

I propose a new show which would follow “The Bachelor.”

“THE BACHELOR…sloppy seconds.”

This show would have a second bachelor, not quite as handsome or as successful as the first bachelor, but a catch nevertheless.

As girls are eliminated from the first show, they become contestants on “THE BACHELOR…sloppy seconds.”

They get to go on dates and fight to win-over the second bachelor.  It would be fascinating to see each one immediately falling in love for the second time and have to grovel once again to become “sloppy seconds.”

There would be flirting, backstabbing, and crying.  There would be lots of crying.  In the end twenty-five girls would have been rejected by bachelor number one, and twenty-four would be humiliated by not even getting selected as “sloppy seconds.” Even though they are all PRETTY! 

I would love this show because…well because I’m mean.

BULLIES - A cranky re-run


This re-run is from January 2012

Apparently one of the biggest problems our young people have today is bullying.  Bullying has always existed.  “Our Gang” comedy movie shorts had many episodes where Butch and Worm (Woim) picked unmercifully on Spanky, Alfalfa and other “Little Rascals”.  In my day there was always a kid that wanted your lunch money, or just pushed you around for the heck of it.   If bullying has always been around, why is it such a big problem today?

Back in the day, bullies could be avoided.  You could hide your lunch money, take a different route to school, or hang around in groups to avoid or discourage a bully.  Sometimes you just had to stand up to a bully.  You either socked him in the eye and he left you alone, or he socked you in the eye and that was usually the end of it.

Today, courtesy of computer and cellular technologies, bullying has reached a new level.  You can’t hide from computer social networks or text messaging.  It reaches you at school and at home, and reaches everyone you interact with as well.  Bullies have not gotten worse; technology has just made them more “productive”.

The internet has allowed bullies to do their thing 24/7.  Today’s bullies can torment with anonymity.   When Butch and Woim were torturing Spanky and Alfalfa they did it in private.  Their victims did not lose face in front of more than a few people, and they had the opportunity to fight back, however unsuccessful that may have been.

Victims of bullying today have their embarrassment plastered over Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  The world witnesses their torture.   The world views their weakness.  The world sees their shame.  It is more than many can endure.

Bullies today are no different from ages ago.  They are still spineless weaklings who boost their own sense of worth and esteem by beating down others whose weakness is of body or differences rather than of mind and spirit.  As the pistol has turned the young punk into a feared robber, and the nuclear bomb has turned the smallest rogue nation into a terrorist threat, so has technology  changed the bully from a nuisance to a demon.

The weak immature unfinished brain of the mean-spirited bully has  gone from an annoyance to be avoided and then pitied to a serious threat to taunt and destroy the defenseless and the “different.”

The tool used to make today’s bullies so effective was invented and developed by the same nerds, geeks and “different” people that are being bullied today.

I don’t have an answer to the bullying problem, but it cannot be brushed aside as something that all generations have endured.  It is no longer just a small pothole in the road to adulthood, it has been escalated by technology into a major threat to destroy lives. 

There was a time when you could argue that bullying in some ways made our youth stronger.  The claim could be made that bullying tempered the metal of the weak and prepared them for the world.  Today’s bullying technology has applied more stress than most metal can take. We can no longer look the other way.   A “boys will be boys” mentality can no longer be tolerated. 

Attitudes must be changed.