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Friday, October 31, 2014


When I was in the eighth grade, all the boys took a class simply called Shop. 

The girls had Home Ec, where they learned the importance of cooking, cleaning and sprucing up for when Hubby came home from work.

The boys learned how to build stuff with tools.  I don’t know about the Home Ec instructors, but Shop teachers usually had eight and a half fingers, and a criminal record.  My eighth grade instructor Mr. Sanders fit right in with the stereotypical Shop teacher.

My very first class at Shop was spent learning all about the intricacies of the “Shop Wastebasket.”  The Shop wastebasket had a lid.  The lid was lifted with a foot pedal.  The wastebasket had a lid so that flammable materials could be disposed of without risk of starting a fire.  Some materials soaked with common Shop solvents could self-combust if not for the lid which cuts off the oxygen required for fire to take place. 

How Mr. Sanders turned that bit of fascinating material into a full 45 minute lecture pays tribute to his teaching skill.

There was a quiz.

I think I only took shop for one year.  Our grade was determined solely on the success of one construction project;  well 10% was the result of the “Shop Wastebasket” quiz.

For my project I selected a bookshelf.  It consisted of two ends carefully cut with a power jigsaw, a base, and two back supports the top which had an intricate pattern.  All the pieces were nailed together.  The bookshelf took several months to complete including sanding staining and applying varnish. 

Rags used to apply the stain and varnish were safely disposed of in the Shop Wastebasket.  Fortunately enough I knew how to work the wastebasket foot pedal and the school was safe from potential incineration.  

I received a B- on the bookshelf.  I was very proud of my bookshelf.

When I went to college I brought the bookshelf.  When I graduated from college I did not bring  the bookshelf home.  didn't know what happened to my bookshelf.

Thirty years later, I attended the first of what has become an annual college fraternity reunion.  The first host was my old roommate, Stu “Wally” Robinson; “Wally” because he bears a striking resemblance to the old comedic actor, Wally Cox (GIYP.)

Wally who was now a very successful executive for one of the largest construction firms in the country took me on a tour of his home.  As we passed his laundry room, I spied the B- bookshelf which was now apparently a B- laundry product shelf.

“Yo…so that’s what happened to it!”

“Happened to what?”

“My B- bookshelf, I haven’t seen it since college, I figured it just got tossed.”

“What, toss such a beautiful piece of workmanship? (Wally is known for his dry sense of humor) You gave it to me for my apartment after I got married before our last semester.”

“Did I?  Well as long as it serves a useful purpose.”

I didn't want to claim it was stolen (which I think it was) because then Wally might remind me of what an ass I made of myself at his wedding (liquor and a piano were involved), an event that I’m not sure to this day I was even invited to attend. 

The subject was dropped.

The next year the reunion was hosted by Carl “Gawk” Anderson; so named because, well he is just a big Gawk.  When that event ended, Wally presented me with a  neatly gift wrapped present.  It looked strangely like a small book shelf.  Unwrapped, it was indeed the B- bookshelf.

I took it home and it now is proudly hung in my garage where it became a B- nail and screw box holder.

I should probably re-wrap it for the reunion next year and return it to Wally.

Naw…I earned that B- and I'm using that shelf.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

TWO SIDES (to a story)


Mrs. Cranky and I bicker a lot, but we seldom have a real argument.  When we do fight, it is usually because Mrs. C overreacts to and or misinterprets some minor action or casual comment on my part.

For example:

Last week, the XY step-crank came to dinner with his girlfriend.  I was grilling hotdogs and hamburgers.  Mrs. C gave me five hotdogs and three hamburgers to grill and told me she only wanted a hotdog.

Mrs. C is generally not very picky about food.  As long as it is not seasoned and it is hot, she is generally happy.  Flavor is not particularly important; temperature is very important.  She is particular about my grilling.  She wants her steaks and chops rare, and her hotdogs well done.  She wants her hotdogs very well done.

I figured she wanted me to grill one dog per person with one extra in case someone wanted two and one hamburger for everyone but her.

As usual I grilled everything to perfection, and left one hotdog on the hot side of the grill to make it well done.  When I presented the well done dog to Mrs. C she was not happy.


“I just grilled it a little extra so it would be how you like it.”


Taken aback at her venomous outburst, I calmly took the overdone dog and casually flipped it outside for the squirrels.


“I’ll just grill the extra dog a bit more for you, it’s not a problem.  I’m so sorry I overcooked it.”

“There is NO EXTRA DOG! There is one for you, one for Tori, and two for Peter!”

“Peter wants two dogs and a hamburger?”


“I’m sorry, here, take my hotdog.”

“No thank you, I’ll just have some soup.  JERK!! I can’t believe you threw one away. YOU ARE SUCH A JERK!!”

“Gee, I’m really sorry.  I didn’t understand.”

Can you believe how Mrs. C overreacted to such a simple…

Not so fast!  Mrs. Cranky here and this is what REALLY happened.

Okay, yes, Peter and Tori were over for hamburgers & hot dogs. Four burgers, one for each and five dogs, Peter wanted two. 

I do like my meat on the rare side, but I also like my dogs well done/shriveled.


Joe brings in the burgers and the dogs.  He went outside to do something with the grill, then he came back in.

I said, (not yelling, because I never yell)

“I like my dogs shriveled dear, not chard.  Sometimes you do tend to burn them?”

He got all huffy and started to rant and rave about my food habits and my strange tastes and he says,


While saying that, he flung my hot dog out the back door twenty yards onto the grass.

I was shocked!!        

“What did you just do??”

“Just eat the damn extra one!”

“There isn't an extra one dear.”

“Yes there is; it’s on the grill!”

“Oh no your mistaken sweetheart, I took out just enough.”

 “Well then damn it, just deal with it!

So I ate my burger and the empty hot dog roll.

He admitted later that he didn't realize there was not an extra hot dog, but he did NOT apologize for violently flinging my hot dog out the door.

Cranky has a habit of over-reacting, and he is very defensive about his grilling.

Don't even ask him about Mother's Day...

OK Mrs. C, you had your say, now I have to ask my readers.  Who are you going to believe, my obviously over-reactive wife, or a wonderful, sweet, harmless, elderly old man?

And I know nothing about Mother’s Day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Things On Which Liberals and Conservatives can Agree

Things On Which Liberals and Conservatives can Agree

Elections are upon us, and the airwaves are full of controversy, accusations and hate.  This time of year you may be led to believe that politicians and the electorate are at complete polar opposites on everything.  That is not true.  There are some things where both Liberals and Conservatives can find agreement.  Below are 15 examples, there may be more…probably not.

1.    Grammar or not, this post’s title would 
      just sound better if it read “Things Which Liberals 
      and Conservatives can Agree upon.”

2.    Justin Beiber is an idiot.

3.    Chris Rock is funnier than hell.

4.    The Earth is round.

5.    Ebola is bad.

6.    Sara Palin is hot.

7.    Barack Obama was born somewhere.

8.    Red light cameras are evil.

9.    The Bible does not say Adam and Steve.

10.   The Bible does not say Beevis and Butthead either, 
       what’s your point?

11.   Pollution in your backyard is bad.

12.   Children should not be allowed to bring assault 
       weapons to gym class.

13.   The climate changes almost every day.

14.   OJ Simpson was a great running back.

15.   Clean air is better than smog.

Whatever your political bent, get out and vote, unless you can’t even agree with any of the above, then maybe you should just stay home.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mrs. Cranky Handwriting Quiz Results

Mrs. Cranky Handwriting Quiz Results
From last Tuesdays post, the results of Mrs. Cranky’s shopping list quiz.

                            The Answers
LEFT SIDE                                                        Right side
Rice                                                    Toilet Paper
Chicken Marinade                          Big and small Tissue
Sugar                                                Ant spray
Creamer (coffee)                           Toothpaste
Green Tea                                        Sure (deodorant)
Toilet Bowl Cleaner                     Excedrin Tension (strong aspirin)
Shelf Liner/paper                          Cold pills

In third place with 11 correct is:
rice,chicmarine?, sugar, creamer, green tea, T bank?, shelf liner/page, toilet paper, BS, tissues, ant spray, toothpaste, sure, etten?,cold pills.
In second place with 12 right and the only one to figure out 'Toilet Bowl Cleaner' is: 
OK here is what I would look for:

Chicken Marinade
Green Tea
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Padded Shelf Liners
TP Big (toilet paper big rolls)
Ant spray
Tooth paste
Cold Pills 

or either you could go for the first dozen things you see as long as chocolate and roses are included because you most likely are going to mess up on everything else on the list.
And the winner with 13 correct is: 

chicken marinade
green tea
tb an r - ??
shelf liner/page
toilet paper (tp)
b&s - thought she'd have enough bs at home with you...
ant spray
sure (deo)
cold pills
There were lots of funny comments and interpretations
Runner-up is:
Good Lord, she doesn't have some scribble going on. Reminds me of a doctor I worked with years ago. I was the only one of the sergeants that could read his orders. 

Here goes:

Charmin Toilet Paper
Green Tea
TB? How can you bring that home?
Haven't a clue what the last one is in the first row. She can go without that. 

Row Two:

I still think she's insisting on TB.
Ant Spray
Sure (She's sure about the toothpaste?)
Etten (must be from China)
Cold pills

That's my best guesses.

Have a fabulous day.
Very funny, but I have to go with the WINNER:
It’s easy. My wife always gives me the same list. 

Left Column:
1. Elk (I guess chops).
2. Chic Magnate (That was just a note to you. You need not buy anything).
3. A gift for the San Ramon Valley Girls Athletic League
4. A Weimaraner (So you don’t get lonely)
5. Guacamole tea (I suppose for vegetarian guests)
6. T Bone steak (That was really easy)
7. Shellacked Potatoes (I guess she doesn’t want them to rot)

Right Column:
8. She wants you to sign her up for Karate lessons while you’re there.
9. A Sweet Pie (math symbol for pi & text messaging symbol PISS for put in some sugar)
10. Asparagus (one of my favorites)
11. Toupee (in case you want to look younger at the party)
12. Mrs. C., I don’t want to embarrass you, but it’s spelled SOUP.
13. Gas up at Exxon while you’re out
14. CIDPMSL - Another text message combining Crying In Disgrace & Pee Myself Laughing (because she knows you’re going to screw it up)

Did I win?  YES!
Winner of dinner from family or friends:
Step-crank Peter Tied with Step-niece Nicole
Peter wins on a tie breaker; he had chicken marinara or ½ of chicken marinade, but Nicole you get a dinner also.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A SQUIRREL'S LIFE- a cranky re-run

This cranky re-run is from October 2012 
Some great pictures of a squirrel over at “run-a-roundranch” reminded me of a story from several years ago when I was still a 7 AM train commuter to NYC.          

My home was about one block from the train station and a 40 minute ride to work.  We lived in the suburbs just off of Main Street in the tiny New Jersey town of Metuchen.  There is not a lot of wild life in this town.  There was a bear in a tree which caused quite a stir one year, but basically the local animals are squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits.

The squirrels seemed to have a pretty good life.  I enjoyed watching them chase each other around a tree, gather acorns, and in general just live the good life.  With their tails wagging and chirping happily, I often was jealous of the happy-go-lucky easy squirrel lifestyle.

One morning, on my way to the train, I stopped to watch two squirrels playing around a large tree trunk in my back yard.  I was not looking forward to another commute and another day of taking crap from a boss who might have been classified as a moron if such classifications existed.

“Not so bad being a squirrel” I thought as I dragged my way through the back yard short cut to the train station.  Then at the moment that thought crossed my brain, a huge hawk swooped silently out of the sky, talons flared, and less than a yard from my head.  He was headed straight for the tree trunk and one of those happy-go-lucky squirrels.

Caught by surprise I raised my arms in alarm and shrieked a loud "WTF!"  My movement threw the hawk off his game and he pulled out of his attack dive missing the squirrel by less than a foot.

The hawk sailed up to a nearby branch and glared at me with a “Dude, I gotta eat too” kind of look in his raptor eyes.  We shared glances for several seconds and the squirrels alertly scampered away to a safer location.  The hawk was pissed and the squirrels seemed not quite so happy-go-lucky.

I continued on my way to the train station feeling a whole lot better about being stuck with this humdrum human existence of mine.   

Sunday, October 26, 2014


It is time once again for

Caution, do not look directly at your speaker!

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

One headline may be completely made up, guess the fake and win a mention and a Whoop-tee-doo. 'None of the above' may be a correct answer.


Hurling: The greatest sport you never heard of - Actually, in college I was pretty good at this.

Eagle flies off with man's golf ball - This bird is definitely not par for the course.

Things to do in Kabul -  The number one thing to do is play "Hide and Get the F*ck outta here."

Woman on vacation learns she's 38 weeks pregnant - Let's see, 4 x 9 = Holy crap...I better get home!

Same-sex marriage spreads in 'red' states - Is there no way to stop this epidemic?  Straight people are running to Canada in fear.

Jenny McCarthy's deep decolletage has men drooling - I have no idea what that is and i'm drooling.

British man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court - He was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to work for the Palace Guard.

Large Boulder found on Mt. Rushmore bears striking resemblance to Obama - No one noticed because it was behind a Bush.

Dumped woman spends a week in KFC to get over ex - I'd venture a guess that the dumper is not having second thoughts about the dumpee.

Rush Limbaugh thinks 'they' think we all deserve Ebola - I may lean to the right, but most of the time Rush is a big fat blowhard.

Maker of Camel cigarettes bans smoking in its offices - Look, up in the sky, pigs are flying!

Guidance counselor claims Seeing Eye dog got her bounced from school - I don't know what the complaint was, I'm just surprised a dog would have that much clout.


Last week's fake headline was:

Schnauzer with microchip leads police on wild goose chase - Wouldn't that be loose dog chase?

There were two winners:
(I'm getting tired of handing out WHOOP-TEE-DOO's to these ladies)

Schnauzer is my pick.
Woof, woof, arf,arf? Translation: Could it be "Schnauzer with microchip leads police on wild goose chase"?
I'm requesting drug testing for these two!

Visit Sandee @  Always funny stuff...Blondes who are easily offended should stay away.

Visit fishducky @  The comic page of the internet.

Stop by our winners and tell them cranky sent you and



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wheel of Misfortune

Wheel of Misfortune

A cranky opinion for


The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little or no expertise on the topic opined.  Other opinions are welcome, they will be ignored, but they are welcome and please, no name calling.  That means you, you big stupid head!

A Washington State teacher was recently disciplined for bullying her students.  She also has to attend “sensitivity training.”

Sensitivity Training always sounds to me like “learning to think the way we damn well tell you to think.”  Anyway, that’s just me.

Here is what this horrible teacher did.  When a student misbehaved, chewed gum, talked out of order, texted or other such minor classroom stuff, they had the choice of lunch detention, or to spin the “Wheel of Misfortune.”

The news article where I read about this monster did not elaborate all the punishment items on the Wheel, but the one that caused the stir was a student was made to stand by a wall while everyone bombarded her with Koosh balls.  Oh the Humanity!

Apparently in this case the student claimed she did not know she had a choice, and she was humiliated and embarrassed by the punishment. 

Parents were in an uproar.

Have you ever been hit by a koosh ball?  It is kind of like having a soap bubble pop on your nose.

Well the Wheel of Misfortune is no more, and this teacher is being conditioned to be more sensitive.  I suspect part of the conditioning is to remove all sense of humor.  If the teacher has any thoughts of creative thinking, they will be erased,
“You will do as you are told, you will be boring, you will not have fun in your class!”

If I was still in school, I think the Wheel of Misfortune would have been a terrific change from the old fashioned hard ass disciplinarians we grew to dislike so much. 

This teacher sounds like a fun person.  School should be fun once and awhile.  School shouldn’t always be boring.  Too bad, some people don’t like different, to them  school needs to be boring and painful. 

School used to put me to sleep.  I would have responded positively to a teacher who had the imagination and creativity to discipline with the Wheel of Misfortune.  But we can’t have that.  We need teachers to march in lock step.  We need students that are herded like sheep.

Anyone who disagrees, anyone who wants to try different things, anyone who wants to keep students on their toes and to maybe actually enjoy class…well we need to send them for sensitivity training.

The Zombie Apocalypse is coming.  Sensitivity training for those who have a little creativity and a sense of fun is the first step.

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

Friday, October 24, 2014



I’m watching a pro-football game and there is a fumble and a big pileup of players fighting to recover the ball.  It reminds me of a game way back to my eighth grade football team.

What goes on in one of those fumble recovery scrambles?  In an eighth grade junior high game blankety blank years ago, I was playing defensive back.  The runner on the other team fumbled and along with about nine other players he leaped upon the loose pigskin.  I watched from just outside the pile-on as the ref slowly eliminated players from the pile in an attempt to determine who had rightfully recovered the ball.

As players were stripped from the pile, I got on my knees, wriggled into the pile reached in and managed to get both hands on the ball which was being securely held by the original runner.  As players were pulled from the pile I was able to slowly inch my hands further onto the ball and ultimately pull it away.

When all the players in the pile were finally pulled away, a young Cranky was firmly in control of the ball and credited despite the protestations of the other team with recovering the fumble.

When my son, Matt, was playing Pop Warner football at age ten, I told him the story of my thievery.

On game three of his season the opposing team fumbled the ball and a huge pileup  ensued.  I watched as Matt snuck his way up to the pile, stealthily got to his knees and slowly inched his way in while the ref was pulling players away.  After several minutes he managed to squirm his way to the middle, grab the ball and wrench it away from the rightful holder.  When all players were pulled off, Matt stood up with the ball and was credited with the recovery.

I was so proud to think “That’s my boy!”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Too Many Shoes?

Too Many Shoes?

Too many shoes?  Not for Mrs. Cranky, no way.  There are never enough shoes for Mrs. Cranky.  What is it with women and shoes?

Mrs. C is not really a girly girl.  She does not like makeup; she is not fond of frilly clothes. 

She does like her shoes.

Last week we were cleaning out and reorganizing our closet.  Reorganizing does not mean throwing anything away, it just means putting things in different places.  The first order of business was to pull out all her shoes.  It was my job to separate them and lay them out in the hall for inspection.

Open toed or summer shoes on the right, closed toed or winter shoes on the left.
Summer shoes on right Winter on the left

The picture would indicate that Mrs. C has many more winter shoes than summer shoes.  That would be incorrect.  Mrs. C stores many of her shoes in her car.  Don’t ask, I don’t know.  Most of her summer shoes are still in the car.

Oh, that’s not all the shoes.  There are shoes in boxes in the closet that we did not even open.  Mrs. C says she knows what they are…I doubt it.  I suspect they have never been worn.
What to wear, what to wear?
At least if we get invited to go out, or if she buys a new dress, she has a pair of shoes that will be appropriate.

Hahahahaha…I hear you ladies and I was only joking.  Of course if there is a wedding coming up or some such event, Mrs. Cranky will be at the mall looking for just the right shoe.

I have a pair of sneakers, a pair of boat shoes, a pair of golf shoes and two pairs of dress shoes one brown and one black.  I have not bought a new pair of shoes in three years.

I don’t get it, why do women need so many shoes?

I do have to say, when Mrs. C puts on a new pair of 5” heal platform shoes that makes her walk in that special way, my pulse does race a bit.   

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Well, Wadda Ya Know?

Well, Wadda Ya Know?
My mind is like a sieve.  Information in…information out.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200, names and facts just disappear.  When I am introduced to someone I forget the name before I release my handshake grip.  My mind is a sieve.

I remember things about a person, but I am no good at names.

“You know, the black dude with the African sounding name.  Smart guy, good speaker, from Hawaii, was a senator, he’s now President of the United States…”

“You mean Barack Obama?”

“Yeah him.”

“You’re an idiot.”
Peoples names, movie titles, dates, historical facts almost all information goes right through the sieve.

What is surprising is the bits of information that occasionally get caught in the sieve.

I know that Tom Hanks first starred in the TV show “Bosom Buddies.”

I even know that his female interest in that show was named Donna Dixon and she is married to Dan Aykroyd.

I know that the name of the song that most people think is “Flower Girl” is really “The Rain, The park, and Other Things.” I have no idea what group recorded the song.

Years ago while watching “Jeopardy” the final jeopardy question was “He invented the helicopter.”  As a joke, I just blurted out what I thought was a funny name, “Who was Igor Sikorsky?”

The answer was of course, Igor Sikorsky.  Where did that bit of information come from?  Weird.

I know that the first time Goldie Hawn was on television she was the wacky neighbor in a short lived show, “Good Morning World.”

I know that the Ivy League is named not for the Ivy on the hallowed walls of the fine universities in the league, but because the league was first comprised of four teams, IV, Roman numeral for four.

I know that Mickey Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956 batting 353, with 130 RBI’s and 52 home runs.

My seventh grade teacher was Miss Chiriella.

The chemical symbol for salt is NaCl, gold is Au.

That is it, everything else made it through the sieve.

Every once and a while a question arises where the knowledge of these few facts makes it seem like I am smart.

Most of the time it is painfully obvious that I am an idiot.