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Saturday, January 31, 2015

DOING WHAT COMES UNNATURALLY


DOING WHAT COMES UNNATURALLY
A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

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

My father was a recreational pilot.  He flew a single engine plane.  He learned to fly in the thirties, only thirty years after the Wright Brothers.  He told me a story about early pilots.

When an airplane climbs higher and higher it eventually reaches a point where it loses speed and can climb no more.  It goes into what is called a stall.  If the plane does not use more power to gain speed, the stall turns into a tail first spin and the plane crashes. 

In the early days of aviation when a pilot went into a stall his natural instincts were to pull back on the stick to keep the nose pointed in the direction he wanted to go.  That did not work so well, and at the time going into a stall was considered irreversible and a crash was unavoidable. Many pilots were killed because they went into a stall. 

Finally one pilot (probably several pilots independently) decided that the way out of a stall was to push the nose down allowing the plane to gain speed and then pull the nose level and fly out of the stall.

Other pilots said he was crazy, that a stall was irreversible and a crash was unavoidable.  The daredevil pilot did not listen; he flew and intentionally put his plane in a stall, pushed the nose down, gained speed and was able to level the plane out.  Soon all pilots learned that the way out of a stall is to do exactly the opposite of what your instinct told you to do.

How many other things in life are there where doing the opposite of what your instinct tells you do is the correct thing to do?

The earth is flat.  Early scientist’s instincts were wrong.  Bleed the bad blood out of the sick.  Early doctor’s instincts were wrong.

If threatened by a dog or wild animal, running away is what your instincts tell you to do.  Your instincts are sometimes wrong.

Caught swimming in an undertow your instincts tell you to swim directly to shore.  Your instincts are wrong.

In golf, the more you aim to adjust for a slice; the greater you ball will slice.  Your instinct is wrong.

The slower the pitch in baseball, the easier it is to hit.  Sometimes, but often your instinct is wrong.

When your wheels spin on ice your instinct is to step on the gas.  Your instinct is wrong.

Are you overweight and want to lose fat?  Your instinct is to eat a fat free diet; current research by prominent scientists, suggest that your instincts are probably wrong.

Doing what comes unnaturally is why skepticism is sometimes not a bad thing.  We need people to doubt, we need people to question.

Usually the skeptic is proven wrong.  Sometimes he is not.
Burn stuff and the Earth gets warmer…Seems to make sense.

More police, stricter enforcement has to lower crime rates…Couldn’t hurt.

Raise the minimum wage and raise middle class standard of living…Of course.

Eliminate poverty by handing out food and money…Worth a try.

When the rich get richer, the money will trickle down to everyone…It could happen.

Raise taxes to increase revenue…Makes sense.

Cut waste in government to balance the budget…Has to work…right?

Genetically altered food can increase productivity and help feed the world...How could that be bad?

Alcohol is bad; make it illegal…Problem solved.

The value of some ideas change with a moving target of economic and social conditions.  We need to be open to adjusting "status quo" positions.

Often what seems obvious, what instinct tells you to do, is exactly what you should not do.  In generally the old saw to “trust your instincts” is a good one, but if following your instincts, following the obvious, does not seem to be working, perhaps it is time to consider putting the nose down to get out of a stall.

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

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Secrets To Success


The Secrets To Success

What are the secrets to success? I probably would not be classified by most people as “successful,” but failure has never kept me from expressing opinions.  Observation and common sense tells me there are several secrets to success.
The first and most obvious way to be successful is to set really low goals. 
I am a lousy golfer, but my goal was to break 110.  Success!
I am not a great bowler, but I set a goal to bowl 300…in a three game series.  Success!
See, it’s easy.
If you are not one to set low goals, here is another way to be successful.
I have a friend with a certain amphibious nick name who is very successful for one reason.  He never says he can’t do something.   He was a history teacher and someone asked him if he could do a public relations project.  He had never worked public relations, but he said “Sure, I can do that.” Then he read a book and ended up running his own public relations company.  When working public relations for his local police department he was asked if he was good with computers.  He said, “Sure, I know computers.”  Then he read a book and soon became a criminologist and expert in computer based crime prediction; all because he never said no.  Also he is pretty friggin smart.  That always helps.
Actually smart does not always lead to success.  My father always said, “Some of the most successful people are successful only because they were too stupid to know that what they wanted to do was impossible.  Then they went out and did it”
So in summary, to be successful in any endeavor you need to be really smart and never say you can’t do something; be just stupid enough to try to do something that no one else will try because they know it can’t be done…and then do it anyway, or set really low goals.
If I can just get ten people a day to read my posts and anyone to comment, I will consider myself to be a successful blogger.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Women Talk


Wopomopen Topalk
Women’s ability to communicate better than men’s is well known.  Not necessarily with everyone, but certainly women to women.  Their communication is often complicated and undecipherable by men.  Women can speak volumes with a raised eyebrow, a voice tone change, shoulder shrugs and body posture.  Men often miss non-verbal communication. Men just use words.

I remember in school the girls could all read lips.  The boys would get in trouble talking is class while the girls would carry on conversations across the classroom without making a sound.  Perhaps this is why women love soap operas where the characters all whisper; women don’t need to hear dialog, they can see it.

Sometimes women even invent their own language.  They did this when I was in junior high school and they would talk circles around the boys. The girls would be giggling and making faces while we, the boys, had no idea what they were chattering about.

I’m pretty sure it was women who invented “Pig Latin.”  Pig Latin was not too hard to figure out and the boys soon caught on. 

Then the girls invented “OP.”

Even with knowing how OP worked, the girls spoke it so fast; the boys had no idea what they were saying.

In “OP,” you put an “op” before every vowel.  My name, Joe, became Jopo-ope.  I did learn my own name pretty quickly.  If they were talking about Jopo-ope Hopagopy I earned to tune in, but the rest of any conversation was "OP" to me.  If the girls even thought you might be catching on they switched to "EK" which was pretty much the same as "OP" only with EK.  

Sometimes they would mix the two and that was ridiculous.  I could not even recognize Jeko-ope Hopageky.

Mrs. C would say "Yop-o-eku opareke opa jekerk!"

There is a movie out about an indecipherable code the Nazis used in World War II.  The code of nonsense letters was turned into words with   a machine, the “Enigma” machine.  I plan to go to this movie with Mrs. Cranky.  I wonder if she will be able to figure out what the Nazis were saying before the geniuses in the movie crack the code.

OpI Wopo-opuld nopot bopet opagopaopinst opit.
                              (I would not bet against it.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

MY ONE GREAT DOG


MY ONE GREAT DOG
I am currently pet less.  I will probably remain that way; Mrs. Cranky is not really that fond of animals.  I never thought I could be with a person who did not like pets.  I thought wrong.  Mrs. C. did have a rabbit in a former life.  I do like rabbits, but in the yard, not in the house.
I am not a cat person, though I can definitely see their appeal as a pet. 
I am a dog person. 
Growing up we had a Cocker Spaniel, a Boxer and a Beagle.  My family moved from Long Island, NY to California when I was five.  We left the Spaniel.  I never did find out what happened to the Spaniel, probably a friend with a farm took her.  Mom did not want to drive out to California with three kids and a dog.  Mom could be pretty practical and stoic.  She left the dog.
I loved the boxer.  The boxer came from a home that did not treat her nicely.  The boxer did not like men.  The boxer did not like my father.  The boxer bit my father.  My father took the boxer to stay with a friend on a farm.  We never visited the friend on the farm.
The beagle was a fun dog, but like many beagles, he ran away.  He ran away a lot.  He always came back.  One night he came back and he had apparently been in an car accident.  The beagle never completely recovered. He was never the same.  Among other issues he was no longer house broken.  He peed a lot.  He pooped a lot.  Dad took the beagle to his friend on the farm where we never visited.
My next dog was after I was married, it was an American Black and Tan (mutt).  He was a good dog, but he was not particularly loved by my wife.  I went away one weekend and when I came back she had taken the dog to the pound.  He was not claimed and so we took him back before he was sent to a farm.  We had the Black and Tan for 15 years.  He was also a runner and would only come back if I chased him in my VW.  If I called from the VW he would hop in and I would take him home, otherwise he would not come when called…go figure.  The black and tan lived for 15 years when he came down with Lyme’s Disease.
Then there was Minnie, a beautiful Black Lab.  Minnie was the one great dog everyone hopes to have.  You can have nice dogs, you can have fun dogs, but apparently everyone is allotted only one great dog in their life, the one that can never truly be replaced.
Minnie did not run away.  She was house trained and when out for a walk would do her business on command.  She would retrieve whatever you threw for her.  You could throw a tennis ball at her as hard as you could from just a short distance and she would catch it and beg for more.  When Minnie was tired and lying down, she still wanted to play.  I would roll a ball at her and she would stop it with her nose and then push it right back at me also with her nose.  She loved to swim.  She was smart.
Minnie was good with everyone, especially kids.  She never growled or nipped no matter what you did.  Kids might pull her ear and she would just walk away.  She was a solid dog, the kind you could thump.  My son's friend once described her as one big black muscle.
In all her life the one bad thing Minnie would do that we could not correct, was she loved tissues.  She would get them, chew them and leave a mess.  She just could not help herself.
Cancer took my one great dog when she was eleven.  We took her to the vet.  At the vets we had Minnie put down.  We stayed with her, we stroked her and we sang to her. 
There were tears.  There were tissues for the tears. 
Just before Minnie succumbed to the drugs, she reached out with her mouth and grabbed a tissue.  We did not try and correct her.
I’ve had some good dogs; The Black Lab was my one great dog.

Monday, January 26, 2015

HEH! IN A CAN


HEH! IN A CAN
My wife has a word which she often uses in our conversations.

HEH!!  Rhymes with Meh.

It is a very handy, very versatile word…it is a yell sometimes. 

Remember how many ways your mother could call you by your name and you knew immediately if you broke something, forgot something, lost something, or on a rare occasion did something good? 

Wives do the same thing with Heh!

HEH.  If said matter-of-factly it means, “So who cares.”


HEH.  When it is said loudly it means, “I don’t think so.”


HEH.  When said really loud it means, “You have got to be kidding.”


HEH!  When said loudly and with attitudinal emphasis it means, “It is not going to happen.”


HEH!!  I don’t know and I don’t want to find out.


Heh is a word I would like to use myself, but I can’t.  I think most men are just not able to hit that certain note, that special timbre, that unique way that only women have of speaking volumes, volumes with different meanings, all with one word or phrase.

So for men to compete with their wives, I propose a new invention:

“HEH! IN A CAN”

An air horn with multiple settings that blast outs your own special “HEH!”

Yes, “HEH! IN A CAN,” for those special occasions when only a HEH response will do. 

Say your wife hints she would like an expensive gift.  Pull out your “HEH! IN A CAN” set it to low and hit her with her own medicine, an “I don’t think so HEH.”

Your wife tells you that if you go out for drinks after work you can make your own damn dinner.  Pull out your “HEH! IN A CAN” and ratchet it up a notch.

Your wife claims to be good at maintaining a budget.  “HEH! IN A CAN” has a setting for that.

Your wife wants to invite her mother over on Saturday night… “HEH! IN A CAN” can respond.

Yes, “HEH! IN A CAN!”  Fight back with attitude just like your wife does, all with one simple response.  

Clearly this is a great idea.

I already have a follow up product. 


“INFLATABLE DOG HOUSE IN A CAN.”   

THE SUPER BOWL PARTY - a cranky re-run

THE SUPER BOWL PARTY
This cranky re-run is from February 2012

For the fifth straight year, I will be watching the Super Bowl at home.  No Super Bowl party for the Cranky Old Man.  I will miss watching with my 13 year old son Spencer as he has been whisked off to another state by his BPD mom (thanks a lot NJ Custody Courts and its dumb ass judge who has absolute ZERO understanding of the relationship between a teenage boy and his dad.)  I will NOT miss the Super Bowl Party.

The Super Bowl Party is not about the Super Bowl.  It is not about football.  It is about showing off food, and 58 inch TV sets.  The Super Bowl party is to football fans, what the New Years Eve party is to alcoholics; strictly for amateurs. 

Part of the problem with the Super Bowl party is women. Super Bowl parties all have women.  Don’t take offence ladies, but when you all talk about breast feeding, child birth, monthly visits and shoes, I step the frick out of the conversation.  At the Super Bowl party I really don’t want to hear that the Patriots will win because Tom Brady is “Like way more awesomer than Eli Maningham.” 

Every Super Bowl party should have a large poster by the TV stating:

1.    The names of the teams and their uniform colors


2.    Where the game is being played


3.    The temperature at game time


4.    Who is lip-synching at half time


These are the questions asked by every woman who enters the Super Bowl party; there is no need to answer them 18 times.

This one fries my patoot.  A controversial play ends in a loss of downs and change of possession, when the commercial comes on and the men strike up a discussion about what just transpired on the field, they get shouted down by the women, “SHHHH, it’s the new “Bank One” commercial!”  I can’t talk football because it interrupts the fucking commercials?  WTF!

Half time should be for recapping the first half, arguing over play selection, going to the bathroom, eating chili, drinking beer and marching bands.  Not at the Super Bowl party.  Half time is for quieting down, dropping everything, and watching this year’s superstar lip-synch her latest hit song to the backdrop of 287 dancers, 5000 fans fucking up the field, and $500,000 worth of fireworks. 

W O-fucking W!!

CAN WE PLEASE GET BACK TO FOOTBALL?

The second half is played with critiques of the half-time show and endless discussions of 47 different commercials competing with the play by play calling of the game on TV.  The game is always secondary at the Super Bowl party. 

The Super Bowl party sucks!
Can anyone guess why the Cranky Old Man has not been invited to a Super Bowl party in the last five years?  

It does not matter. I am not seeking a party invite, if invited I will not accept, and if my wife accepts, I will not attend.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

STUPID HEADLINES 012515


STUPID HEADLINES 012515
Who knew?
It is time again for

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.

So as not to influence guessing, comments will not be published until Monday. 

__________________________

California girl’s high school basketball coach suspended after 161-2 victory That is one tough school for suspending him, they only gave up two points and that was a lucky basket!

Rooster in the road causes three car pile-up – Three more people wondering, “WHY? Why?”

Papa John's Pizza stands by employee who shot armed robber in self defense – Employee not fired for firing before being fired at.  Better employees, Better employer, Papa John’s

Pair tried to smuggle heroin-laced Bible into jail – Is there a law against mainlining Deuteronomy?

Former British Surgeon Says Americans Should Eat More Haggis To Fight Obesity – It should work.  It’s kind of like jamming your finger down your throat.


Paris Hilton is considering hiring a nanny for her new puppy – Wanted, reliable person to work for pampered spoiled creature.  Must be willing to work on call and will be expected to clean up vomit and other messes; may have to take care of a small dog as well.


Black ice causes havoc on northeast highways – When I heard this on TV I was outraged.  Then I looked up and saw…oh, black ICE, not black Guys.

Five-year-old boy gets a bill for missing school friend's birthday party – If he pays up, I hope he gets soda, a slice of pizza, cake, and a goody bag!

Wife Stunned After Husband Bulldozes Their Home While She's Away – Obviously the start of a complete remodel, I’m sure he will get around to redoing it on weekends.


California man close to running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days – San Francisco runner gasped in an interview after the sixth race, “Please God, tell me there aren’t eight continents!"

_______________________________


Last week’s fake headline was:

Sink falls from sky and lands in farmhouse…no one hurt – Farmer wakes up yelling, “Alright, alright I’ll swim!”

Must have been too easy because here are the winners:

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!! I think it's Sink falls from sky and lands in farmhouse…no one hurt

the pale forehead is tempting, but i'll go with sink or swim, alex. :)

And you say you can't keep up with punning! That sink or swim headline and subsequent remark has to be it.
Hilary is still the queen of word play!

“Alright, alright I’ll swim!”
Is a great follow up to a fake headline


I think I'll take the Sky Sink. It's raining plumbing fixtures? Something for nothing? That's too good to be true.

I talked myself out of Castro's John Henry, because it was probably a form letter with a name stamp, and the vicious llampaca because I think they're notoriously cranky like camels. Perhaps I'm over-analyzing...

You think? Come on Val, contestants on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” take less time to answer!

Stephen Hayes

You're making this harder; I've usually read half the headlines and know they're real, and now you won't let me cheat. For me this is a very humbling feature, like that ten year old kid on Jeopardy a few weeks ago who beat me in the Art category. Anyway, I pick sink falls from sky, even though if it had it probably would have landed on ME!

I can’t believe anyone knows more about art than Stephen.

Sandee

Sink falls from sky and lands in farmhouse…no one hurt is my pick.
Have a fabulous day Cranky. Hello to Mrs. Cranky.

J
Ummm, s'cuse me, but you forgot to add this disclaimer to #8: "MOST llama-alpaca hybrids are peaceful, law abiding creatures."
And this week, put me down for whatever Sandee picks.
Thank you!


Come on J, you can’t just use Sandee’s answer, you are disqualified.  However, you do win a WHOOP-TEE-DOO for using a comment that ties into Saturday’s Cranky Opinion post and making me laugh to the edge of having an accident.

Stop by and congratulate all the winners, and come back next week for more:

STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY


For those fans of the wonderful "Lo" I received an email, she is fine, just too busy right now to post.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Liberals and Conservatives…Step on it; Slow Down!


Liberals and Conservatives…Step on it; Slow Down!
A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following opinion is that of a cranky old man with but a little knowledge on the topic opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome.  They are welcome but they will probably be ignored.  As always, please, no name calling.  That means you, you big stupid-head.

Politics, like England in the song, “Swings like a pendulum do.” On the far edge of each swing of the pendulum we have conservatives and liberals.

Liberals want to improve everything; eliminate hunger, end disease, save the environment, and make all things fair.

Conservatives want to think about stuff; let’s not move too soon and ruin what we have.  Sometimes a good idea has consequences.  Sometimes easy obvious solutions are not such good ideas.

During the early days of computing at my job in a former life, we had the equivalent of conservatives and liberals.

The computer people were the liberals.  They could do fantastic things.  They could develop systems to improve work flow and reduce costs beyond anything previously thought possible.  The liberal computer people constantly delivered and life in my user world of processing and operations improved beyond imagination.

The liberal computer people ruled.  Management, the conservatives, gave them full rein and everyone profited.  The workers reveled in improved conditions; management loved the cost control and process improvement.  There were still projects for the liberals to improve.

There came a time where the workers (that would include a young Cranky) would think of a great idea and ask the liberal computer people if they could make it happen.  The computer people could make anything happen.   If you asked, they would deliver.

At some point we reached a stage where the little guy users asked for things that delivered little in the way of cost control or improved service.  The computer people would deliver whatever they were asked to deliver and development costs were never considered.

Simple requests from the little guy users that had little or minimal value were implemented at sometimes ridiculous development costs.

The result was conservative management started to see expenses go through the roof with little apparent value.

Management looked at these costs and said,

“Damn, this is ridiculous!”

Management stepped in, and rules and regulations were developed which analyzed every request and a cost analysis protocol was implemented.  Very expensive development processes that could not be supported by significantly increased value were eliminated and balance was restored to our world of processing.

As computer sophistication and capabilities improved, the protocol analysis sometimes became silly.

I once called a programmer and asked if it would be possible to create a process that would allow me to research various statistics with different criteria and even multiple criteria.  In past years this request would have taken months to implement, if it was even possible, and would have used a great deal of resources.

The programmer told me that my request was now an easy one.  He could implement it in a matter of hours and I could be testing it the next day.  It was immediately apparent that the cost of this request was almost nil.  The benefits would be a great deal of cost savings and would provide a service that otherwise was not only valuable but believed by many to be impossible.

“That’s great,” I said. “Do it!”

“Can’t.”

“Why not”

“You need to submit a written request to your management and sell them on the benefits.  If approved, they send a request to my management.  My management will ask me to do a cost analysis.  They will take my report and discuss it at their next development request meeting which will be in a month; if approved it will need to be funded by your management and assigned by my management.  I will get the assignment and before I can start I must submit a development plan complete with milestones and benchmarks.  That will take a week and another week to be approved.  When all that is done, you can have your application for testing the next day.  After testing, implementation should only take another month or two.”

“But testing will take only minutes.  If it works it works, if it doesn’t it is all back end, it cannot effect any critical processes.”

“I’m sure you could explain that to your management, might only take a month or so.”

The programmer was a consultant.  He was a very bright dude from Pakistan.  He was loath to skip protocol, risk his job and have to go back to Pakistan.

“Damn, this is ridiculous!”

A year and a half later my request was implemented.  Conservative Management was lauded for the increased efficiency; the Liberal Programmers were praised for their ability.

And so the pendulum swings in all things political, from the “We can do anything and all things new are good” liberals, to the “Now wait a second, let’s think about this, stuff is already pretty good” conservatives.  Both extremes of the pendulum are ridiculous.  Common sense is in the middle, but common sense is not arrived at easily.  

Eventually we get there, but common sense does take time.

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