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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I REMEMBER NEW YEARS DAY


I REMEMBER NEW YEARS DAY
New Year’s Day in Southern California, when I was just a cranky young lad, was a big deal.  I don’t remember watching a ball drop at midnight, I don’t remember a big party or out of control drinking.  Not in my house.  I do remember New Year’s Day.

We lived just outside of Pasadena, and the Rose Parade was a big deal.  We did not watch on TV, we watched and shivered in person early in the morning.  We would park near the parade route in someone’s driveway or lawn for two bucks to a once-a-year entrepreneur.  There were grandstands where you could watch the parade.  They were expensive and required reservations months ahead of time.  Some peopled watched from climbing up a light pole, some climbed on their dad’s shoulders.  We watched from a dump truck.

WHAT?

Another once-a-year entrepreneur parked his dump truck strategically up to the avenue.  The bed of the truck was at semi-dump position providing a makeshift mobile grandstand.  I don’t remember how we sat, but it was rigged for sitting.

The floats were spectacular.  As a six year old I most remember the horses, and I’m pretty sure Roy Rodgers and Hop-a-long Cassidy were among the many riders.

I remember marching bands and flowers…lots of flowers.

Back at home there was football.  Four bowl games.  Four games on an eleven inch black and white TV.  During the regular season there was only one Saturday afternoon “Game of the week” on TV.  From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day there was no football at all.  On New Year’s Day it was a football smorgasbord.   

There was the Cotton Bowl first, which overlapped with the Sugar bowl.  A six year old Cranky was stationed by the TV dial switching between channel two and seven on command so as to not miss a single play.  There was no instant replay, so this was a very important kid brother job.

The Orange Bowl was next and last but clearly the best was the Grand-Daddy of all the bowls, the Rose Bowl.  One year pops took my brothers to the actual “Rose Bowl” game.  I forget who played, but someone parachuted unexpectedly onto the field and delayed the game.  I never heard the end about how I missed that event.

When football was done dinner was take-out Chinese. Nothing else was open.

Viewing the world’s greatest parade in person; watching four football games in one day and ending with spare ribs and chicken almond-ding…Priceless!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bucket list


Bucket list

I don’t generally do a New Year’s resolution thing, I plan to lose weight every year but that is about it. Instead this year I am compiling those things on my bucket list, stuff I want to do before I kick it, and then see how many on the list I can check off this time next year.
Go ocean fishing and catch a bill fish.
Bowl a 300 game.
Jump in a New York City taxi cab and holler “Follow that car!”
Go on a sailing cruise in the Caribbean.
Stump fishducky and Sandee with a fake stupid headline.
Learn to play more than 5 chords on the guitar.
Break 90 in golf.
Take a cruise to Alaska.
Have something I have written published, that I didn’t pay to have published.
Correctly identify every item on a Mrs. Cranky shopping list.
I’ll check back next year to see how many I can cross off.

In the mean time:

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

THE TURKEY CARCASS - a cranky re-run

THE TURKEY CARCASS
This re-run is from December 2013 


A recent post from that fine blogger, one Chubby Chatterbox, inspired this post.  http://www.chubbychatterbox.com/ *


My mother shared the same turkey saving depression era habits as did the Chatterbox’s mom.  Our holiday birds were never wasted.  They lasted for weeks.  Every part of that bird was used including the neck (yuck!) the heart (what the hell makes giblets?) and even the gizzard.  In fact the gizzard was much prized and fought over by my brothers Jim and Chris.  I might have also liked the gizzard and joined in on the battle, except Chris made it very clear that I did not like gizzard.  I thought I did, but he was probably right.


Anyway.


After the main meal, the turkey was the source of sandwiches for two to three days.  When sandwiches were over, the carcass was turned to soup.  It was boiled until every last flake of turkey joined the watery broth that the boiled carcass provided.  Into the watery turkey flaked broth went celery, carrots and rice.  Into that mixture went more rice and then even more rice.


My mother raved about her turkey soup.  To her it was the best part of the holiday.  The turkey soup lasted several weeks.  We had turkey soup for almost every dinner and many lunches.  By the time we finished the Thanksgiving turkey soup, the Christmas bird was about ready to be turned into even more soup.


I hated turkey soup.  I still hate turkey soup.


The mother of three of my children always planned on making turkey soup.  As long as there was meat on the carcass she kept it in the kitchen covered with a damp towel until it was ready to be turned into soup.  Her ambition was always greater than her action.  She never made soup from the carcass.  I never complained.  I hate turkey soup.  It did bother the heck out of me that our small refrigerator was shrunk even more because we had to save that damn carcass for weeks until it was finally decided that it was too old for soup.


When my children’s mom left for a better spousal opportunity, I began a new tradition that lived beyond my second wife and still exists in todays era of Mrs. Cranky. 


I call it the traditional tossing of the carcass.


When our holiday dinner is over, I carve off all the white meat and place it in a Tupperware container for future sandwiches.  I then carve up all the dark meat and place it in a separate Tupperware container also for future sandwiches. Finally when the carcass is picked reasonably clean of potential sandwich filling, I announce with much fanfare the tossing of the carcass.


I grab a son to hold open a garbage bag. 


“We thank you O bird for a delicious meal and for many delicious sandwiches to come.  To appease the God of the great bird, we sacrifice the soup making carcass.”


With that, the carcass is dropped into the bag.  The bag is sealed and immediately thrown into the can in the garage. The room in the refrigerator that the carcass does not occupy is reserved for multiple pies.


I hate turkey soup.


I love pie. 
*Perhaps Stephen will supply the specific site in a comment.     

Saturday, December 27, 2014

WHY CAN’T WE DELETE EMAILS?


WHY CAN’T WE DELETE EMAILS?
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following opinion is from a cranky old man with little knowledge on the subject opined.  Opposing opinions will be ignored, but are welcome.  As always, please, no name calling and that means you, you big stupid head!

In light of the hacking of SONY emails, is it time to treat this form of communication the same as we treat any verbal or written communication?  As much as corporations and government try to educate their personnel about use of emails and the fact that anything they say can be subpoenaed, or hacked, and cannot be deleted for 7 (?) years, most people treat emails as casual conversation.
Phone conversations at work are not required to be recorded and saved.  Your every casual comment to the guy in the next cubical is not recorded and saved.  Printed memos and letters can be shredded.  Why is every email and text message saved?  Why can’t we press delete and actually delete?
“Well, if you don’t want what you say published or used as evidence in court, don’t say it on email.”
Let me say to the above assertion, what about text messages and instant messages?
In this digital age, emails, texts and instant messages have replaced face to face conversation.  It is difficult if not impossible to filter and measure everything you ever put on email or texts; their very nature is off the cuff communication. 
People shuddered to think of the “Big Brother” world of George Orwell, but we are slowly moving in that direction.  Cameras at stop lights and security points capture thieves and traffic violations.  OK, good stuff; but when does it become an invasion of privacy?  When do these security cameras put a time line on your personal behavior that can be used to embarrass or humiliate you?  Good thing?  Sometimes but…
There is a call for constant monitoring of the police via attached GoPro type cameras.  Good thing?  In some circumstances YES.  In others, will it change the way police do their job?  Would you like to have your every movement monitored, your every statement made while on your job recorded?  People who ride a high horse all the way up the moral high ground will say,
“Who cares if you have nothing to hide?”
I care.  I have said things that I do not really mean.  I have told an inappropriate joke, I do not ride that horse.  Often what I say might be said in a manner that will be misinterpreted by people that do not know me.  In addition, videos and emails can be edited to take on a meaning not intended by the person being monitored.
In court, we can plead the fifth.  We are not required to testify against our self.  Why do we not get the same privilege in our everyday life?  If I say something in an email or text that I regret for whatever reason, should I not be able to plead the fifth by way of hitting the delete button. 
Ninety percent of verbal communication is facial expression and intonation.  I can send an email to a friend and he will infer my expression and intonation simply because he knows me.  A message to a friend or coworker who knows me will have a completely different meaning than its interpretation by a judge or an adversary.
How important is privacy?  How much are you willing to give up?  Access to peoples email communication is an effective means of determining criminal action or in judging a persons character, but at what cost? 
When we are naked to the world our flaws are exposed. 
Sometimes that is a good thing, sometimes that is just cruel and unfair.
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.     

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

CLAP ON


CLAP ON

I think I’ve seen it all. 

I just witnessed a commercial for “The Clapper.”  The Clapper is that attachment to TV’s and lights that will turn them on or off when you clap your hands.  What with verbal commands, and wireless remote controls I am surprised that this gimmick still sells.  Hell, people can turn off their lights with their cell phone from a thousand miles away.

Anyway.

The star of this commercial is the World Record Holder for times hand clapped in a minute. 
They claim he can clap his hands 765 times a minute.  He doesn’t really clap his hands; he kind of slaps them with a funky slip slidey kinda of motion.  Slap, clap, what is the difference?  What I can’t believe is:

1.  There is a world record for claps in one minute. 

2.  That anyone would aspire to hold that record. 

3.  Anyone would actually attempt to count and validate his clap number.

4. Anyone would know about this guy.

AND

5.  This clown could actually turn this “talent?” into an opportunity to make money.

I have never had an urge to buy “The Clapper.”  It is a stupid product.  It is one of those things that only sells at 11:00 pm on December 24th at a CVS drug store and is sure to make someone’s grandparent very happy.

“Hmmm, what would grandpa most want this Christmas, 'The Clapper,' or a ‘Chia Pet?’  I guess you can only have so many Chia Pets so I’ll get him ‘The Clapper’ besides it is endorsed by the world’s fastest clapper so…”

If my children or grandchildren are reading this, please don’t get me ‘The Clapper’ no matter who endorses it.  There must be something better you could buy me. 

I think there is a "Duck Dynasty Uncle Si Chia Pet" this year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas EVERYONE!

It’s The Best Celebration Ever
 a re-run from December 2013

I agree it is over commercialized and the religious significance of the day is often lost, but hands down, Christmas is the best Holiday Celebration ever!


Jews have their gift giving during Chanukah, and they have some really great feasts, but do they have a celebration to equal Christmas?


Chinese New Year’s has colors, costumes, and fireworks galore.  It looks like fun, but it is not Christmas.


I am clearly not an expert in other customs and celebrations, but it seems to me that most involve sacrifice.  I see a lot of fasting, staying inside, beating yourself with chains and other stuff.  Sacrifice is fine, I imagine God appreciates the sentiment, but there is no other holiday like Christmas. 


What other holiday has children counting down the days for a month?  What other holiday covers homes and streets with bright flickering lights?  What other holiday just makes people feel good, has them smiling, and has strangers speaking to strangers? What other holiday has the traditions: Santa, reindeer, decorating a tree, mistletoe, stockings, elves, cookies, candy canes, a huge dinner and GIVING AND RECEIVING PRESENTS?


Christmas brings families together like no other holiday, plus,


YOU GIVE AND RECEIVE PRESENTS!


I understand that Christmas is a Christian holiday, but it is such a good time, such a great celebration, so much fun, I think everyone should celebrate the season.


You don’t believe in Jesus?  Fine, but you gotta like lights, and peace and love and GIVING AND RECEIVING PRESENTS!


You don’t accept Christ?  You don’t worship any higher power? Fine, but everyone can celebrate the ideals of Christ. Who wouldn’t celebrate the idea of peace and love and goodwill toward men?  Do unto others is a sound aspiration regardless of if or how you worship.


So I say to everyone, Jew, Muslim, Hindi, Atheist…whatever, join in the celebration, do not be left out, it is the most wonderful time of the year, it is the best celebration ever, and YOU GIVE AND GET PRESENTS!!


To me “Merry Christmas” represents more than the birth of Christ, it represents all that Christ stands for to Christians, ideals that do not conflict with any religious teachings I’ve ever heard of, ideals that all people could get behind and thus Christmas can be for everyone.


You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  

You don’t have to be Mexican to enjoy a Cinco de Mayo drink or three. 


Why do you have to be Christian to enjoy Christmas?


So please, if you are not Christian, do not be offended when I wish you Merry Christmas, you don’t have to be Christian to enjoy Christmas!


Merry Christmas EVERYONE!

RIP CHRISTMAS CARDS - a cranky re-run


RIP CHRISTMAS CARDS
This cranky re-run is from December 2013
This headline may be premature, but the Christmas card tradition that we know (and I hate) is not long for this world. The tradition, of course is the sending and receiving of cards to everyone you have ever known.  It is a woman’s tradition, men help and will read the incoming cards, but if not for women, Christmas cards would not be sent.

My mom would start the Christmas card process the day after Thanksgiving and was not finished until the week before Christmas.  She wrote a personal note to each recipient.

Mrs. Cranky is not ready to give in and quit the tradition, but she will be the last of a dying breed.   She sends out over three-hundred cards a year, many to people she has not seen in years and is not likely to see again.  Mrs. Cranky limits the personal note to those whose first name she remembers.   This process takes over eight hours (with me as an assistant) and costs at least $300 in stamps and stationary.

None of this effort makes any sense in today’s world.  The Christmas Card tradition of old is the equivalent of today's Facebook;  the yearly sending and receiving of cards to see who has friended you, and who has unfriended you.

“I don’t think Sally Schwartz from Memphis sent us a card this year…guess we’ll cross her off for next year.”

“Damn we got a card from my mom’s old neighbor Mrs. Cattsenwaller, I better add her to next year’s list.”

The new generation is having nothing to do with this tradition, or will at least end it soon.   My son laments,

“Why spend hundreds of dollars when I can create one card, with multiple pictures and send it to all my friends with the push of the send button.”

My son is correct of course, and that is why the card sending tradition is not long for this world, but I do understand Mrs. C’s point of view.  Her, (my) generation would view a cyber-greeting as cold, tacky, and tasteless.  Thus we will continue to purchase cards, stuff envelopes, address envelopes, add return addresses, lick stamps, lick envelopes, and cart off several pounds of cards to the post office all to wish "Merry Christmas" to everyone we have ever shook hands with.

My children’s generation will receive these cards and think, “Damn, why do these fools spend so much time and so much money when there is email and Facebook?”  My children’s generation will never understand how critical the card tradition has been to the women of my generation, and until the collective mindset swings over to usage of modern technology, the post office will be remain very busy in December. 

I give it five to ten more years at best.

   

Sunday, December 21, 2014

STUPID HEADLINES 122114


STUPID HEADLINES 122114

It is time again for
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night,
but apparently the line is drawn at dog shit.
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY

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 the correct answer.

________________________________
Buildings evacuated in Dutch town after crane to be used in marriage proposal falls over – Whatever happened to getting on one knee?

Jackpot: 101-year-old wins $50,000 Arizona Lottery scratch-off prize – She can’t decide whether to take a lump sum, or take smaller increments over twenty years.

New study reveals why you shouldn't drink coffee from a white mug – I’ve thought and thought and the only comment that comes to mind is “Get the fuck out!!”

Saudi Man Divorces Wife Minutes After He Sees Her Face – "Then I saw her face, now I’m a be leave her!”

Free speech protection doesn’t extend to condomless porn, court rules – No protection for un-protection or free speech says no to “Willy Nilly.”

Man unable to use arms faces gun possession charge – Let him possess his arms, he can’t use them anyway.


US, Cuba seek to normalize relations – Republicans are upset? Screw that, I want the cigars!


FCC says Redskins name not offensive – The football team was ruled to be neither offensive…nor defensive.


Rare Richard Nixon Pez Dispenser sells for $220,000 – The buyer thought it was a Pres Dispenser.


FBI says North Korea 'responsible' for Sony hack, US weighs response – I suppose setting up an interview is out of the question.


Dog shoots man: Pet owner recovering – I know it is a controversial topic, but can we at least agree that dogs should not be allowed to own guns?


Obama takes a whiff of a Cuban cigar at White House- Was it from smoke that the lee wind she blew in?

__________________________________


Last week’s fake headline was:

Heterosexual men have healthier prostrates* – So a straight really does beat a flush. 

*Should be prostates…I’m an idiot!


And the winners are:


Prostrates? ...really?
Wait a minute, let’s go to the instant replay

Anyhow, I was gonna say it's about manure application, then realized you can spread BS anytime.
So I'm going with none of the above.

The original call on the field has been overruled!  We have our first ever recalled WHOOP-TEE-DOO!
I am unable to give a mention to everyone’s favorite Uncle Skip @ http://lionskip.blogspot.com/

None of the above again. Joe!! BTW, men have PROSTATE glands, not PROSTRATES.

OOPS!  I’m sorry fishducky your streak is over!  I wouldn’t rub it in except you had to mention my anatomy failure.

Do not visit fishducky and rub it in @ http://fishducky.blogspot.com/ there is too much laughter in this world anyway.

The only winner, with a late submission just under the wire, is:

I'm going with heterosexual men have healthier prostrates. That just doesn't make any sense to me.

She is starting a new streak, visit Sandee for daily jokes @ http://comedyplus.blogspot.com/

Drop by our winner, and come back next week for more




STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The History of Health Care and Health Insurance


The History of Health Care and Health Insurance

a cranky opinion for


CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following opinion is from a cranky old man with little knowledge on the subject opined.  Opposing opinions will be ignored, but are welcome.  As always, please, no name calling and that means you, you big stupid head!

Healthcare and health insurance is all over the news these days.  How do we pay for healthcare?  Why isn’t healthcare better?  Why is healthcare so expensive? Why is insurance so expensive?  So many questions.

Is the healthcare issue something new?  What is the history of healthcare? 


The Cranky Old Man remembers


Health Care from the beginning of time to 1000 AD:

“That don’t look good.”

Health Care from 1001 AD to 1500 AD:

“I’ve seen that before…it don’t look good.”

Health Care from 1501 to 1600:

“That don’t look good, going to have to bleed it out…cost you
a chicken.”

Health Care from 1601 to 1800:

“That don’t look good, going to have to bleed it out…cost you two chickens.”

Health Care from 1801 to 1850:

“That does not look very good, give it lots of rest and keep it warm.  I’ll send you my bill, two chickens and a half dozen eggs.”

Health Care from 1851 to 1900:

“That does not look very good, give it lots of rest and keep it warm, or…can I borrow a saw?  I’ll send you my bill, two chickens and a dozen eggs.”

Health Care from 1901 to 1925:

“Hmmm, we could run some electricity through it.  Cost you a dollar.”

Health Care from 1926 to 1950:

“Take two aspirin and call me in the morning…$10 please.”

Health Care from 1951 to 1960:

“Let’s take an x-ray, shoot up some penicillin, take an aspirin and will see how it goes.  That’s $50; do you have insurance?”

Health Care from 1961 to 1980:

“That doesn’t look good, I’m going to send you to a specialist.  That will be $100…do you have insurance?”

Health Care from 1981 to 2014:

“Do you have insurance? Yes. OK, were going to have to run some tests, take some blood, do an MRI, and EKG, a WTF, and send you to a specialist.”

Health Care today:

“Who are you covered by? Oh, I’m sorry we’re not in that plan.”

In all fairness, our current healthcare is very good.  It is expensive because today’s doctors can cure stuff that in the past they just told you how long you had to get your papers in order. 

Insurance is a mess, and I’m sure doctors wish they could shed the red tape and go back to pure doctoring.  Obamacare may not be the answer, but it is probably pushing us in the right direction.  I expect we will never get it right, but we will get it better.

When I was growing up most insurance plans covered only major hospitalization and operations, and that was after a very large deductible.  Pregnancy, and child birth were not covered, they were considered optional choices by the patient.  Regular check-ups and preventative treatment was not covered.

If you went to see a doctor it was only when things were serious. On the plus side, doctors were not encumbered with frivolous patient’s complaints.  Unfortunately, patients let problems go beyond the chance for effective treatment, and preventative medicine was rare.

On the plus side, medical procedures were less expensive. Sadly medical procedures were often not very productive.

Insurance did not cover most doctor bills.  Fortunately many doctors were happy to take partial payment in small interest free monthly installments.

Yes, medical care today is expensive, insurance is expensive and it is all very complicated.  In the 1950’s TV was black and white on an 11 inch screen with 4 channels that were on the air from 6 AM to 1 PM. 

I don’t want to go back to 1950’s TV, and I don’t want to go backwards for my healthcare either.


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