Every once in a while I am not a jerk.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
I don’t think I’m spoiled. I really don’t ask for much. I don’t need a lot of stuff. I like a hot meal from time to time; I like a warm house in the winter and a cool house in the summer. I like clean clothes, a hot shower, a nice tread on my tires and a good woman to share it all with.
I have all these things. There was one more thing I have always wanted.
I always wanted a garbage disposal.
I am not a finicky person, but I do not like cleaning out that kitchen drain thing every night. That’s right; Cranky does the dishes…most of the time anyway.
I hate carrying that thing over to the garbage, clanging in on the can and still having to finger scrape the last of the disgusting soggy leftovers out of that stupid screen thing.
When we did a kitchen makeover two years ago, I got my garbage disposal. That’s it; I now have everything I ever wanted. Except I don’t.
Why not Cranky?
It seems that Mrs. C is afraid of chipping the new Corian sink. To protect the sink she purchased a rubber mat thing that sits on little rubber feet on the Corian sink. Dishes and flatware all rest on the rubber thing and not the Corian sink, so the sink will not chip. Not that I ever heard of Corian having a problem with chipping.
The rubber thingy is not solid, it is ribbed, which allows water to easily flow through it. It does not always allow kitchen crud to flow through. Now the same kitchen crud that used to accumulate in that drain screen thing gets stuck in the rubber ribs of our Corian protector.
Instead of finger scraping disgusting soggy leftovers out of the screen thing, I have to pry them off the rubber ribs of the Corian sink protector. As if that is not enough, the rubber ribbed thing also allows water, soap and assorted liquid crud to pass through in such a way that the un-chipped Corian sink is stained and resembles a zebra.
The stains can be cleaned with a little soap, a slight abrasive and some elbow grease. So now after doing the dishes I have to clean crud out of the rubber ribbed thing and then scrub out the zebra stains in the sink.
I guess if I made a really big deal about it, I could get the easy clean-up sink. Then I might have everything I’ve always wanted except a good woman to share it all with.
I think I’ll go with the good woman thing and give up on the easy to clean sink.
Every once in a while I am not a jerk.
Every once in a while I am not a jerk.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
In a recent post, the great one, Stephen Hayes at the "Chubby Chatterbox," (http://www.chubbychatterbox.com/blog/kill_all_the_lawyers_.en) asks the question, “What do you think of lawyers, there must be some good ones out there." I say yes, yes there are, especially if they are on your side.
Years ago when closing on my second house I really needed a lawyer.
We were moving on up, leaving a small house for a much larger almost hoity toity house. Our old house was sold and we were closing on the new house when we came up against a pain-in-the-butt lawyer for the mortgage company.
It seems we closed on the old house for $4000 less than we stated we expected to sell it for on our application. This lawyer was insistent on knowing how we would make up the $4000.
I explained that we had to take a little less than we thought we could get and surely that was not unusual. She asked, “But how are you going to make up the $4000.”
I said, “Well we are closing on this house 6 months after we filled out our mortgage application. The mortgage on the other house was $350 a month. You approved a new mortgage at $1200 a month 6 months ago based on my income and assets. If I could afford a payment of $850 more than I was paying six months ago, obviously I would be able to save $4000 or more in 6 months.”
She responded, “But how are you going to make up the $4000.”
Now our old house was sold and closed-on and we needed this new house to have a place to live, plus we had been excitedly waiting for this move for over 6 months. This dingbat lawyer was going to disallow the whole deal and leave us temporarily homeless over $4000 that I clearly explained we could cover. This is where my own lawyer went into action.
“Let me speak to your boss.”
The lawyer called her boss and explained the situation. My lawyer took the phone and said, “I don’t understand what the problem is.”
He listened for five minutes as the lawyer on the other end explained that the $4000 short fall was a deal breaker.
He then said, “But I don’t understand what the problem is.”
Five more minutes of listening patiently and then he responded again, “But I don’t understand what the problem is.”
This went on for 30 minutes and every five minutes all my lawyer ever said was, “But I don’t understand what the problem is.”
He then handed the phone to the other lawyer. She listened to her boss and then said, “Yes, but…I know but…$4000…really? OK."
Then we sat down and signed papers for 40 minutes and the new house was ours.
Afterwards my lawyer just said, “Sometimes it is best to not argue but just dazzle them with stupidity.”
So my answer to Mr. Chatterbox is sometimes lawyers should be shot, and sometimes they can be your best friend.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
THEY’VE RUINED ‘WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE’
That’s right, another cranky TV rant. I know a number of you only watch PBS and the evening news…you are excused.
Does anyone watch “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” anymore? When this show first came out, it was so popular they ran it several nights a week. It was fun, it was interesting, and it was entertaining. It is now on afternoons every day. It ain’t what it used to be.
I have several complaints about this show.
The first is I miss Regis Philbin. Regis was always more surprised at the answers than the contestants. I like how he was sure of the correct answer and would sometimes convince the contestant to guess, only to find himself very surprised that he guided to person to the wrong answer. That was entertainment!
I think Regis left of his own accord, so not much to do about that.
The current host Terry Crews is a very good comedic actor; he is horrible as a host. I hate how he overreacts every time the contestant gets a correct answer and how he acts as if every contestant is his good buddy. I don’t blame Terry Crews I’m pretty sure he is told to conduct himself in this way by the producers. He seems uncomfortable; I think it is because he knows his performance is lame and forced.
I hate the format change. They used to have the questions get progressively harder and progressively increase the prize money. Now the degree of difficulty is random as is the money for the correct answer. It makes it harder because you don’t know if an answer is really easy, or it is a trick question.
I miss the fast finger question competition that determined who gets to be a contestant. That used to assure the contestant was not an idiot. Idiots are no longer weeded out.
My final complaint is the way contestants answer every question. They have to explain their reasoning for eliminating every one of the multiple choice answers. Even if they know the answer for sure, or if they are going to walk away, they drag out every decision. This behavior is so universal you just know they are also instructed to do this by the producers.
“’Romeo and Juliet’ was penned by what famous Bard of Avon?”
A. Steven King B. John Wilkes Booth C. William Shakespeare D. There is no such play.
“Well Terry, I’m pretty sure there is a play called Romeo and Juliet, I’ve heard about it and I think West Side Story was based on that play. I kind of remember a line ‘ Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou Romeo.’ I’m pretty sure that is from the play Romeo and Juliet, so I think I can rule out D. Steven King is a famous author who has written several books, but I don’t think he has written any plays, so I don’t think it is A. John Wilkes Booth…I think he shot Lincoln, but he was in theater watching a play…hmmm still I don’t think it was him. The name William Shakespeare sounds familiar…I think he wrote stuff.”
“You have $12000, if you walk you will leave with $6000.”
“Yes, that is a lot of money, but I came here with nothing, so I’m going to take a chance and guess C. William Shakespeare.”
“Is that your final answer?”
“Hmmm, yes…C. Final!”
“Well Ralph, you gambled, you took a chance, but I have to say the correct answer is…WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE!! YOU ARE RIGHT!! LET SEE WHAT YOU’VE WON.” Click click click…” FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!”
OMG. Mrs. C. loves this show; I want to throw a brick through the TV screen.
Where have you gone Regis Philbin, a viewer turns his lonely eye to you…woo woo woo.
Monday, April 27, 2015
HANDLING A COMPLIMENT
This cranky re-run is from April 2012
Why is it so hard to accept a compliment? When is a compliment not really a compliment? How are men’s compliments different from women’s? When you compliment someone on their appearance or their talent why it is seldom simply graciously accepted?
Women love compliments from men…if they like the man.
Chris Rock brilliantly points out in one of his routines that a woman will flirtatiously accept a compliment from an attractive man, but if an ugly guy compliments her it is sexual harassment! He further points out that this is unfair because there is no such thing as a guy who thinks he is ugly.
Women seldom compliment a man they do not know well.
This is understandable, if a guy gets a compliment from a women he usually thinks he is going to get laid.
When women compliment another woman it is almost always played down:
“I love that dress.”
Typical response, “Oh this old thing? I’ve had it for years.”
“Oh, your hair looks so nice.”
Typical response, “Really, do you like this hair color? I’m still not sure.”
“This pie is delicious.”
Typical response, “Do you really like it? It’s an old recipe I just decided to throw together.”
“Oh, I love your shoes, are they new?”
Typical response, “They’re from ‘Target’, twelve ninety-eight.”
“Your boyfriend is hot!”
Typical response, “Thanks, you caught him on a good day.”
This is because women’s compliments to other women are often very insincere; compliments are only accepted guardedly.
Men will accept a compliment from other men. Men do not often compliment others. When they do, it is usually sincere:
The response would never be, “Thanks, it was just luck.” It would more likely be, “Yeah it was!”
“Dude where’da get the cool duds?”
The response would never be, “What, these old things?” It would more likely be, “Got'm at “The Men’s Shop’ and they set me back a ton.”
“I gotta tell ya, your girlfriend is hot!”
The response would never be, “Were just friends” or “That’s just my cousin.” It would almost always be, “Yeah baby!” Followed by a high five or a fist bump.
Sometimes compliments are difficult to accept because they implicitly put down previous appearance or activity. This is particularly true if the complimented person is paranoid or highly sensitive.
I.E. “Don’t you look thin!” (Hmmm, how fat did I used to look?)
Recently my brother e-mailed me on one of my blog posts. He told me he really liked this post, “It was the best you’ve written so far.”
My instinctive first thought was, “What was wrong with the other 280 posts?”
Why is it so hard to just say, “Thank you, that means a lot?”
Sunday, April 26, 2015
STUPID HEADLINES 042615
It’s time again for
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
What a guy!
What a guy!
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY*
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.
Oklahoma governor signs bill allowing nitrogen in executions – This is shocking, don’t they know that stuff can kill you!
Idaho fire officials say parrots called out to be rescued from blaze – “Awk, awk, get me the fuck outta here!”
Widow sues herself for negligence in car crash that killed husband – And the winner is…The Lawyer!
Colorado man cited by police after shooting his computer – Precisely why I don’t keep guns at home!
Workers busted for stealing bourbon that would last a lifetime – If you drink enough of that stuff a lifetime may not be that long.
New Zealand prime minister apologizes for repeatedly pulling cafe worker's hair – The PM claims he generally only pulls people’s hair occasionally and randomly, not repeatedly.
North Korea should learn from Iran negotiations, senior US official says – Just say, “Ah…yeah, sure…whatever”, and you’ll get what you want.**
Mich. woman gets 3-7-years for shooting over bacon-less burger – Hold the pickles hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us, but forget the bacon and I’m going to drill your ass!
Anti-human trafficking bill passes Senate – The bill passed 100%, surprisingly enough the Senate does not have a single person that is pro human trafficking.
Jr. High Girl Develops App For Bad Hair Day – Why would anyone want a bad hair day?
People Who Like Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Have More Sex – Maybe, but to my mind any sex with a sandwich is too much sex.
Loretta Lynch confirmed as attorney general – This is ridiculous, what the hell has she done to be qualified to be Attorney General? Why would we put a Country Western Singer into such an important…what? Lynch?...nevermind.
*Title headline thx to Catalyst @ http://oddballobservations.blogspot.com/
**Oh relax, I don’t know if the Iran deal is good or not, it is just a joke. Sheesh, people are so uptight.
Last week’s fake was:
Texas man arrested for ATM “bank robbery.” He slipped a note in the card reader that said “I have a crowbar, spit out all you money and no one gets hurt!”
And the winners:
My guess is Texas man arrested for ATM “bank robbery.”--it sounds too dumb, even for Texas!!
Oh that fishducky! Fooled her one week and she is back again! Visit Fran @ http://fishducky.blogspot.com/ Always funny stuff…cartoons, stories…just go visit!
13 people guessed wrong!
COME BACK NEXT WEEK FOR MORE
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!!
Saturday, April 25, 2015
A cranky opinion
For cranky opinion Saturday
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with no real credibility on the subject opined. Opposing opinions are welcome, just be nice.
I am not a very good liar. I have no poker face. If I do lie, my guilty expression gives it away. I was taught to be honest. Growing up if I got caught doing something I was not supposed to do my folks were pretty understanding. The punishment for the actual offense was never as severe as the punishment for lying about it.
Not that I am or was a choir boy, but I think most of my lies are to spare someone’s feelings, or maybe when I used to call in sick from time to time.
Oh, sometimes I might stretch the truth just a little if I feel it improves on a story. Mrs. C often tells me regarding a post, “I never said that!” and I have to explain to her that the story is much better if she had, and so I say she did.
I certainly don’t attempt to lie to Mrs. C. She reads me like a book and her powers of observation are amazing.
Anyway, for the most part I tell the truth and as a result I am pretty easily taken in by those that don’t. I am programmed to think people tell the truth. The flip side of this is when I finally figure out that a person tends to bend the truth; I never again believe a single thing they say. I won’t tell them I don’t believe them, but I think to myself… “Maybe; probably not, really, who knows?”
Some people lie to impress. Some people lie for profit. Some people lie for sport. Some people just don’t know what the truth is. They lie so much and so often that they will lie about stupid stuff, stuff about which I could not care one way or the other.
Why do people so often answer a question with a stipulation of honesty? “Well, to tell the truth”… “I’m not going to lie”… “I honestly have to say”… “I have to be honest here”… “The truth is…”
When I hear these phrases, I am immediately suspicious of whatever follows.
One of the reason that people get away with lies, or think they are getting away with a lie is that calling someone out on a lie is serious. It is at the least a relationship buster.
“Are you calling me a liar?”
That challenge alone allows many a liar, bullies that they can be, a free pass.
That is one reason I hate to call liars out. It seldom serves any purpose. It is usually best to let it go and have as little to do with the person as possible. It does bother me though when I have to see these people over and over. Their lies don’t really affect me except I hate that they think I believe them. I hate that they must think I’m stupid. I hate that when I say, “Wow that is hard to believe,” They don’t realize that I am really not impressed and that it means I really don’t believe you.
Sometimes of course a lie is so ridiculous it is easy to trip the person up without really calling them a liar. Then it is sort of fun having them double up on the lies to try and explain.
I think this is why most people do not like politicians. Politicians are masters at telling things with a slant so they can backtrack easily. They are skilled at twisting facts to suit their purpose. They can smile and pat you on the back while they are plotting to screw you. They can seem sincere when in fact they are conniving. I have no respect for liars, I have no respect for most politicians.
Do you think I believe you? I’m not going to lie, I’m not stupid!
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.
Friday, April 24, 2015
THE HARDWARE STORE
The hardware store in the little town where I used to live just closed down. I have noticed several old traditional hardware stores have recently locked their doors. I suspect it is the competition from the large box stores, Home Depot and Lowes.
I like Home Depot and Lowes. They have everything you could possible need for your home at prices a little cheaper than the old Mom and Pop hardware stores. If you want a larger ticket item you go to Lowes or HD. If you want a small hard to find item or need some assistance you go to Mom and Pop.
The problem with this is the biggest profits come from big ticket items and assistance and hard to find items do not pay the rent. The result is good-bye Mom and Pop hardware store. I am as guilty as anyone else. We consumers may have saved $1.98 on a leaf blower, but we will have lost so much more.
The big box stores offer little assistance, and the assistance they offer is dubious. I once asked to have a piece of sheetrock cut in half. I cringed as the clerk scored and snapped the wrong side of the sheetrock. It was not a pretty cut. These stores used to hire out-of- work contractors and good advice was available. Now that contractors are back working at contracting, the stores hire idiots.
Mom and Pop never cut the sheetrock wrong, and they can tell you how to finish a job and what tools or materials you need.
The thing about the little stores is they can't charge enough for their knowledge and convenience.
If you need a special connector it will take you hours to find it in the big box store. When you do find the connectors you have to buy a box of 50 when you only need three. And you had better be absolutely sure of the connector you need or you will be making multiple trips.
The little store offers service.
“What’cha looking for sir?”
“I need a ¾” swivel ratchet screw to attach my frazen bauble to a framish pole.”
“Is that a Black and Decker 3000 framish pole?”
“Then you need a 5/8” hinged ratchet screw. I suggest the hex head over a slotted head, less chance of stripping. How many do you need?”
“Third drawer left of the drill bits in the back…wait, I’ll go get them.”
“Thanks…la da dee da la da dee.”
“Here you are sir, three 5/8” hex head hinged ratchet screws. That will be 18 cents.”
Hmmm, I wonder why these little hardware stores are going the way of the dodo bird.
I don’t miss the dodo, but I will miss the Mom and Pop hardware stores.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
The good financial news in 2014 was a merger and a one-time special dividend. The bad news was not factoring the good news into quarterly income tax payments. The result of the financial good news / bad news? An argument with Mrs. Cranky of course.
Was the argument about money? Was the argument about my failure to pay enough quarterly so we did not have a nasty end-of-the-year surprise? No, that would be too easy. The argument was about how I mailed my payment.
The accountant gave us a prefilled bill and envelope to send to the IRS along with the check. His instructions said not to use a staple to attach the check to the bill but be sure to put your social security number on the check. I followed these instructions, but to be extra safe I paper clipped the check to the bill.
When Mrs. C picked up the envelope to mail it she, Sherlock Holmes that she is, immediately felt the paperclip.
“Why is there a paperclip in the envelope?”
“Because I clipped the check to the bill so they would be processed together.”
“But the instructions said not to staple the check to the bill.”
“Staple, clip, same thing.”
“No, the staple causes tears, so they don’t want staples.”
“Well the paperclip sticks out. It will catch in the machines the post office uses or the machines the IRS uses.”
“Just what machines are they, special machines to rip to shreds the paperwork of anyone who does not follow the attachment directions to the letter?”
“There are machines.”
“And these machines have special claws so if there is a paperclip they maul all the contents?”
“They say no clips!”
“No, they say no staples. Just mail the damn thing it will be fine.”
“OK, but if that paperclip gets stuck in the machine and tears everything to shreds there will be an IRS fine!”
“Great, now I’m depressed about getting hit with a short payment AND I have to worry about a machine and a damn paperclip!”
I checked my account today, and the check has cleared. I swear Mrs. C seemed disappointed when I told her.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Mrs. Cranky is a cash hoarder. She has warned her kids that when she is gone; don’t sell the house without checking everything with a fine tooth comb. There is money stashed all over. Not a whole lot of money, a dollar here, a dollar there. Sometimes a five or a ten and occasionally I have tripped over an old wallet she forgot about with $50 or more.
I can’t make fun of her about this, I squirrel money away also. I often think I’m broke and then remember I have hidden a twenty or two in my secret wallet compartment. All my change gets thrown into a jar and is forgotten. Every six months or so I think to bring the jar to the bank where they run it through a counting machine. It is usually between $100 and $150 of what seems like new found money.
When I am on the road and buy soda or gum or gas, I take whatever bills or change I get in return and throw it into my center console where it is forgotten until a cash emergency happens.
There is just something about finding “lost” money that always gives me a cheap thrill.
Years ago, back when I lived on a $350 bi-weekly pay check, I would deposit enough to pay the rent and other monthly bills and keep the rest, usually about $120 for normal living expenses. The ATM had not yet been invented. One week, I went looking in my cash drawer for daily spending money and it seemed to be short. It was short at least $20 and maybe even $40. I was not very good at keeping track of money, but I knew the drawer was a little short. I figured either my wife or I had simply lost some cash somewhere along the way and did not realize it. DAMN!
We scrimped on groceries, passed on wine with dinner, brought lunch to work and somehow made it to the next payday despite the lost money.
One year later, I accidently pulled the drawer where we kept our cash all the way out of its runners. On the top of the drawer slot there were three twenty dollar bills. The lost money from the year before! Apparently the bills got caught in the drawer and fell out the back and in a hiding space under the drawer.
Talk about found money! We went out that night to our favorite Chinese Restaurant, had drinks and a great meal, and still had $35 left over.
Hoarded money earns no interest, but finding money you had forgot you hoarded is like hitting the lottery.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Everyone knows a computer expert.
“You have a virus? My nephew can fix it, he knows everything there is to know about computers.”
That is kind of like saying, “You have a heart problem? My nephew can fix it, he’s a dermatologist. He knows everything there is to know about anatomy.”
Computers are as complex as human anatomy. Experts are generally software experts or hardware experts or communications experts or storage experts or so on and so on. Granted, a lot of computer people have general knowledge and can fix common problems, but I don’t think anyone knows everything.
Years ago I had to work with excel spreadsheets. I learned to do a few simple excel tasks of which there are about 10,000. Many people in the office thought I was an “expert.” Many people were wrong.
What expertise I had, I learned from Debbie.
The go-to expert in our office, and this was in the very early days of office PCs, was Debbie. Debbie did not have any computer degrees. Debbie never took any computer courses, but Debbie could do anything with computers. Debbie knew everything there was to know about computers. Debbie was a computer expert.
Debbie was invaluable in our office. If you had a computer problem or needed to do something fancy…graphs…spreadsheets…special computation…or any various kinds of data shuffling, you went to Debbie.
I once went to Debbie to learn how to do some tricky data shuffling while combining multiple spreadsheets. It was then that I learned the secret behind Debbie’s extraordinary computer ability.
Debbie was very good at following instructions from the “Help” tab.
“I don’t know why everyone keeps coming to me for stuff; it is all right there for you on the “Help” tab, but let’s make that our little secret.”
There was no need to keep it a secret.
Debbie was right, the “Help” tab can show you how to do almost anything on the computer. The problem is most people like myself do not have the patience or the ability to learn from the “Help” tab. I need to see things demonstrated. I am very visual.
Debbie could follow directions without demonstrations. Most people do not have that ability, and so she was the go-to person to figure out a new function and then teach it to us visual learners.
Debbie didn't know everything about computers, but she was our “expert,” and we were damn glad to have her.
Monday, April 20, 2015
$650,000,000 DOWN THE DRAIN
This week's cranky re-run is from April 2012
Well…$1.00 down the drain, but I was prepared to spend $650 million.
Mrs. Cranky bought a one dollar ticket for the record size lottery this week. We did not win. While we were waiting to lose, we discussed how we were going to spend the money.
I suggested as multi (650) millionaires we would have to move from our comfortable but bourgeois townhouse. Mrs. C disagreed. We had our first fight in four years.
Mrs. C wanted to give large sums of money to brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends. I disagreed. We had our second real fight in four years.
Mrs. C wanted a vacation home on the Jersey Shore. I wanted a palace in Bermuda. We had our third real fight in four years.
I wanted a new car for everyday of the week. Mrs. C said those cars would take up too much space in our bourgeois townhouse parking lot, she wanted a giant SUV. We had our fourth real fight in four years.
Fortunately we did not win the $650 million. Our marriage could not have survived the pressure of spending all that money.
Personally, I think she wasted the one dollar on such a foolish pipe-dream.
She wants to buy another ticket next week.
We are now having our fifth real fight in the last four years
Mrs. Cranky's shopping list results
Cell Tom Let = Celery/ Tomato/ Lettuce
Aimonos = Almonds
Vitre = Vitamins
Wails = Waffles
TPaqr = Toilet Paper
Shrodmy Chz = Shredded cheese
Baudy w/cocaine = Bounty with Dawn
Raisins = Raisins!
Stong Berns = String Beans
Turky = Turkey
Humas = Humus
Lima = Lima beans
Notema Bod lotier = Noxzema Body Lotion
Soap = Soap
Cknbests = Chicken Breasts
Stenk Chz = String Cheese
Pizzas = Pizzas
Milk = Milk
Butter Bomt = Butter Both kinds (stick and soft spread)
A perfect score would be 21