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Sunday, January 31, 2016

What Do Rich People Look Forward To?

What Do Rich People Look Forward To?
a cranky re-run from August 2011


Mrs. Cranky and I are buying a new dishwasher.  Soon.  We are looking forward to a dishwasher that is quiet, dries the dishes, and does not require washing the dishes before you load the dishes to be washed.  It is nice having something to look forward to.  You plan, you save, and you brag to everyone about what you are going to do.  Getting stuff never seems as great as looking forward to getting the stuff.


What if whenever you wanted something, you made a phone call and 20 minutes later you had it?  Sounds nice, but there is no anticipation glow; nothing to look forward to.  What do rich people look forward to?  I don’t mean just rich, I mean stupid rich.  The kind of rich where you never ask how much, you only ask when it will be delivered.


Do the uber-rich know the joy of looking forward to something?  I’m talking 6 year old Christmas Eve anticipation.


Howard Hughes was the richest man in the world in the nineteen sixties.  He had done everything and every woman. He had everything he could ever pay for and yet he spent his last years as a recluse.  He had nothing more to look forward to. 



He may have wished for a 52 inch TV mounted to the wall with access to 200 channels and every movie ever made on demand by merely pushing a button.  He may have wished for a telephone that he could carry anywhere in his pocket.  A phone that would take pictures and even video clips.  A phone that could then send those clips all over the world.  A phone that could access all the information known to man in seconds.


He may have wanted a thin tablet that could order any book and it would be available for reading in 30 seconds.  He may have wanted a box smaller than a deck of cards that would hold as many song recordings as you could possible listen to in a life time. 


He may have wanted a five pound machine that you could use to send messages instantly around the world, messages, videos, information all in seconds.  A machine that had access to the dictionary, an encyclopedia, film and music libraries, could calculate the most complicated problems in an instant; a machine that could store, sort, and organize information that would require a large building in the nineteen sixties. Howard Hughes may have wanted these things, but they did not exist.  They were things he could not even imagine. Things that he could not look forward to. 


I don’t have all these things, but they are within my reach. They are things I can look forward to.  I guess that makes me wealthier than Howard Hughes ever was.    

Saturday, January 30, 2016

STUPID HEADLINES 013116


STUPID HEADLINES 013116

It is time again for

STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY

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

_______________________________


This Dad Saved His Son’s Life By Holding Up A Hospital At Gunpoint – “Of course I have insurance; I’m insured through Smith and Wesson!”

Officials may temporarily turn Niagara Falls into trickle – This headline somehow reminds me of my kidney stone problem.

$160G worth of cheese stolen in Wisconsin – That’s a lot of hats at the Packer’s games.


Florida: Christian schools can't pray at championship game – But…but

Colorado homeowner robbed at gunpoint may face charges for killing suspect – But…but

MINNESOTA BASKETBALL TEAM KICKED OUT OF LEAGUE FOR BEING TOO GOOD – Basketball team, too good to be playin, Christian school, banned from prayin, a homeowner in trouble, because a robber he be slayin… “Ah you don’t believe were on the eve of destruction.”

Feds spend $80,000 to see what effect spaceflight has on herpes – Even if it cures it, I’m pretty sure Obama Care does not cover medicinal trips to outer space.

Islamists Issue Ultimatum to German Women: Rapes WILL CONTINUE if you do not Comply – Well I guess technically if women comply it isn’t rape but hell, you could put a burka on a goat and these animals couldn’t control themselves.

Televangelist wants to build Bible-themed resort – Time shares in Sodom and Gomorrah village are already sold out.

White actor to play Michael Jackson in British TV show – Apparently they couldn’t find a black actor willing to put on white face.

Portrait of a potato sells for over $1 million – I’m sure it is a very nice picture of a potato and it is probably a very interesting potato, but still, it is just a potato!

Woman accused of beating husband with nunchucks because he refused sex – Hard to believe he could resist such a sweetheart.

_________________________________

Come back next week for more:


STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!!

Friday, January 29, 2016

PREDICTION


PREDICTION

A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The primary season is starting to get interesting.  It looks like the nation is going to eventually have to choose between a wackadoddle, a dickhead, a known liar, a pompous loudmouth and possibly a soda-hating third party candidate.  There may be the makings of a good President in there, one never knows.  It may be early, but I am throwing my support to…

NO WAY! I am not going there, this week my opinion is on something sure to stir emotions.

SUPERBOWL!

I have several predictions:

Cam Newton will score a rushing touchdown and be flagged for taunting.

Payton Manning will say Omaha 38 times.

Someone will fumble.

Denver will sack Cam Newton twice.

Payton will throw an interception that is returned for a touchdown.

The halftime show will be too long and will be really annoying to anyone who wants to watch football.

Husbands around the country will try to analyze the game during time outs and will be hushed by their wives who talk all during the game but go crazy when the commercials come on.

Men will not have to be hushed during the GoDaddy commercial.

The game will be won by a field goal with only 18 seconds left on the clock.

Tom Brady will not be going to Disneyland.

The winner and the final score will be divulged next Saturday.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

OPRAH WILL ALWAYS BE FAT


OPRAH WILL ALWAYS BE FAT

I like Oprah, I really do.  She is bright, she is hard working.  She is an entertainer and an entrepreneur.   Her early TV show was neck in neck in the ratings with Phil Donahue and Jerry Springer.  Every day there was a competition to be more and more outrageous with guests that saw ghosts, practiced witchcraft, and every kind of freak and freaky relationship imaginable.

Oprah quit the competition.  She declared she would have a wholesome show and ratings be damned.  Her ratings soared and Oprah was on her way to becoming one of the wealthiest and most admired persons in the country.

I like Oprah.  She takes risks, she is smart, she has her finger on the pulse of the country, especially women’s pulse and she has turned her talents into an industry powerhouse.

I do have a gripe with Oprah on the issue of weight loss.  Oprah has a weight problem.  She is a heavy woman.  Oprah has lost and gained weight many times over the last twenty years.  She goes from heavy Oprah to slim Oprah on a regular basis.  This woman has a personal chef and a personal trainer,  she is active and hard working, and yet she cannot lose weight and keep it off.

How does this make Oprah a weight loss guru? She is the poster girl for not knowing crap about losing and keeping off weight.

And yet Oprah is now the spokesperson for Weight Watchers; spokesperson and major stockholder. 

Oprah bought a ton of stock in Weight Watchers and then announced she would endorse the product on TV.  She made about 50 million dollars in two days.  Is this not insider trading? Martha Stewart went to jail for way less.

No, I don’t want Oprah to go to jail, but shouldn’t she have had to announce she was going to become the Weight Watchers spokesperson before she could buy the stock?

I digress…sorry.

My real gripe is that Oprah knows squat about weight loss and now millions of women who hang on her every word are going to run to this crappy weight loss program. 

Why is it a crappy program?  Because it does not work.  People lose weight on Weight Watchers, but they gain it right back.  Everyone I know who has ever done Weight Watchers has successfully lost weight and then gained it all back plus a little extra.

Years ago I lost 25 pounds on Weight Watchers.  They gave me a big key as a reward, and within two years I gained 30 pounds.

Weight Watcher works because it encourages and makes will power easier.  Will power is a short term fix, hunger always wins in the weight battle.

Diets do not solve weight problems long term.  You lose weight by changing how you eat…forever.  You cannot change how you eat forever on most “Diets” because most “Diets” leave you hungry.  The problem is not in how many calories you consume, it is the kind of calories you consume.

Sugar is addicting.  Sugar makes you hungry.  The more sugar you eat, the hungrier you get.  Carbohydrates convert to sugar and they make you hungry.  The more carbs you eat, the hungrier you get.  Protein satiates.  Protein makes you not hungry.  The more protein you eat, the less you feel like eating.  The way to lose weight and keep it off is to limit your sugar and carbohydrate intake.

Stay away from processed food.  Sugar and especially soda, diet or otherwise, is addicting, it makes you want to eat.  It may as well be poison.  The experts are beginning to change their advise and admit that their big fear of cholesterol from high protein foods such as eggs and meat was wrong.


Do not listen to Oprah.  She likes her bread…fine.  She has been there "Honey Child," and she will be there again, only she will be 50 million dollars richer.  You will still be fat.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

ICE BE DAMMED


ICE BE DAMMED


The biggest problem we have from snow in our townhouse is ice damming.  After a large storm, if the conditions are just right, we have one gutter that fills with snow and water from melted snow.  At night when the temperature drops quickly, the slurry gutter slop freezes solid all the way to the roof overhang. 

The next day the sun melts the snow on the roof, but because of the ice dam in the gutter the water has nowhere to go.  Well actually water always finds a place to go, and with the gutter stopped up, it seeps its way up under the roof and drips onto the dining room ceiling.  This makes a bit of a mess.

The town-home association has replaced this section of roof, but I know that is not the issue.  The issue is ice damming.

Yesterday I took preventative steps against this event.  While Mrs. C was shopping, I pulled out a step ladder, slammed it in the snow and climbed to the very top to reach the gutter.  I scrapped the snow and slurry from the gutter and roof to make room for the next day’s melt off.

When Mrs. C came home, her Sherlock Homes instincts immediately kicked in.  She spotted the disturbed snow under the roof, and the snow removed from the roof.

“What were you doing to the roof?”

“I was clearing the gutter from ice damming.”

“By yourself?  What if you fell, you don’t have one of those ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’ buttons you know.”

“I know what I’m doing.”

“No you don’t! I’d rather have a drip in the dining room than a husband in intensive care.  JERK!”

Now I know how Sally Fields felt. 

“She likes me, she really likes me.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Helicopter Parenting


Helicopter Parenting

Well the big storm is gone and it left a couple of feet of snow in its wake.   The news on TV was loaded with pictures of kids sledding in the aftermath.  The hills were crowded with kids with at least one parent per child.

This started some talking-head conversations on how, back in the day, after a big snow all the kids would trudge to the closest hill and fly down on sleds and saucers unsupervised.  The question was raised, “Would you let your children sled alone today.”

So I started thinking about “back in the day.”  Yes I did go sledding without parental supervision.  We were not, however unsupervised.  In my neighborhood there were about 100 kids of various ages.  I only saw about 10 of these kids on a regular basis, but on a snow day hundreds came out of the woodwork.  The hill was either on a golf course, or before it was sanded, the street hill down the block.

Supervision for little kids was taken over by older brothers and sisters.  There may have been a parent or two watching, but mostly it was older brothers and sisters.  The older brothers and sisters had to answer to their parents, and if anyone got hurt doing something stupid there would be hell to pay. 

I do not remember anyone ever getting seriously hurt.

So yeah, for the most part we sledded unsupervised by parents, but our older children “back in the day” were more responsible.  When many families had four, five, six and even more children parents did not watch over them like hawks.  There were few “Helicopter” parents, because it was simply impossible.  Instead of helicopter parents, older siblings learned responsibility and we had helicopter brothers and sisters.

Little kids learned responsibility from the older teens.  If little brother was being bullied, big brother dealt with it quickly.  If anyone did get hurt, a brother or neighbor would race home to get help.

Most families today have one or two children both within a few years of each other.  Older neighborhood kids have been taught to leave the younger kids alone and neighborhood kids are not as prolific.  The helicopter parents we hear about today are watching their under teen children for a simple reason, there is no one else willing to watch them.

Yes, back in the day we raced to the hill with our sleds and saucers without parents following, but it was not because we were crazy, or parents didn’t care, or kids today are coddled.  We raced to the hill on our own because in those old neighborhoods children were never alone.  There were siblings and other older kids who were taught responsibility and who were instructed to “Keep an eye on your brother, and the Swartz kids down the block.”

Back in the day, mom and dad did not tag along, but we were not unsupervised, and when you heard your dinner bell ring (and every child knew the sound of their own parent’s bell) you went running home.

Monday, January 25, 2016

PROVE IT!


PROVE IT!
I often hear unusual facts that are accepted simply because some expert declares it to be true.  I am a skeptic, I demand proof.

It is a commonly claimed fact that incredibly enough, no two snowflakes are alike.

Come on!  In all the years, in all the snow storms throughout the ages you mean to tell me no two flakes have ever been exactly alike?  How does anyone know that?  What scientific principle determines no two flakes are alike? Philosophers claim that if you gave an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, eventually one would write a great novel.  So am I to believe that a monkey can write a novel, but no two snowflakes are ever alike?  I don’t believe it.  As a matter of fact, last year I had two snowflakes that I am pretty sure were identical, but before I could prove it they melted.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  Many people say no.  So a monkey can write a book, and no two snowflakes are ever alike, but a falling tree does not make a sound if there is no one around to confirm it?

If the early bird catches the worm, does the late bird starve?  What if all the birds are early, do they peck each other to death fighting over that damn worm?

Opposites attract: Yes, but they also often beat the crap out of each other.

A shark can smell a drop of blood from a mile away.  Now how do they know this?  I expect sharks have a great sense of smell, but I don’t think they can smell a single drop of blood from a mile away…PROVE IT!

Only female mosquitoes bite.  They can’t possibly know this.  I’m pretty sure I got bitten by a well hung mosquito just this summer.

Violence on TV and movies makes people violent.  I’ve watched tons of violence on TV and movies and I hardly ever kill someone afterwards.

Scientists claim certain animals mate for life, geese for instance…I think some of them cheat.

An elephant never forgets.  Really, how much do they really have to remember? I don’t think they even have passwords.

History has demonstrated many times that experts can be dead wrong. 

When we sent a satellite into space and took a picture of the Earth, what do you know, the Earth is round!

In the early 1960's experts told us the Earth was headed for a new ice age. I think that one was wrong.

In the 1970's experts said we would run out of oil by year 2000. Apparently the markets believe we are swimming in oil.

I am a skeptic, I say prove it.  This is possibly why I did so poorly in high school science.

The Brandywine Chronicles

Reflecting on this Snowy Day 

Instead of a cranky re-run this Monday and because I am running out of material, today I am highlighting the blog of a young lady I know pretty well.  I am jealous of her writing talent, but then she only posts occasionally so..

Anyway, I thought this post was particularly good, I don't think she will mind if I direct you to go read:

http://thebrandywinechronicles.blogspot.com/2016/01/reflecting-on-this-snowy-day.html

Saturday, January 23, 2016

STUPID HEADLINES 012416


STUPID HEADLINES 012416

It is time again for

This is why you should never bring a knife to a threesome
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.  

_______________________________
Urine odor may help researchers detect Alzheimer's disease – Turns out that if you piss yourself a lot, you may have a problem.


University president allegedly says struggling freshmen are bunnies that should be drowned – Damn, I thought staying after school was tough.
'Midship ... mates?' Navy moves to sink gender-specific titles – Well isn’t that an important step which is sure to put fear in our enemies and cost several hundred million dollars editing naval books and regulations.  I know I feel safer.

Early man's actions caused global warming, study says – Where was Al Gore when we really needed him 7000 years ago?

Average movie ticket up to a record high of $8.70 – I wonder what it costs to see a really good movie!

US teacher to hold class in airplane above Greenland – That is one class you don’t want to get thrown out of.

Mysterious medical condition causes objects to stick to this man's head Gluecoatius Velcroitis.

Vatican offers a place to stay to homeless woman who gave birth near St. Peter's – Just a little place in a pile of hay in the corner of a stable, not much, but with all the frankincense and myrrh she needs.
Clinton emails so secret some lawmakers can't read them – They are so secret that nobody knows what they are or who sent them, apparently code name “Adriana” is willing to do stuff and needs a F***buddy.

Kansas senator blocks testimony from female witnesses with ‘low-cut necklines and miniskirts’ – No point in testifying if none of the men are listening.


Man clings to frozen car roof in his underwear to stop thief – Or he coulda just called 911.
Germans battle refugee sex assaults with signs – If this works they’re going to plaster the country with posters depicting a decapitation in a circle with a line through it, the international sign for no head chopping in this area.

_______________________________

Come back next week for more:



STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!!

Chicken Scratch Results

Chicken Scratch results
For those who give a dang, here are the answers to Mrs. C's chicken scratch.
The Agenda

Go to the bank
Go to staples
Go to shop-rite
Get dinner at Boston Market



The Shopping list


Left Column

English Muffins
YooHoo (Yogi Berra;s favorite drink)
Coffee creamer
Dishwasher detergent
Pepper

Right Column

Lottery ticket
Tylenol
Floss (dental)
Zinc (vitamins)
Excedrin Tension pills
Soft Butter

The readers did not do much better than me.  No WHOOP-TEE-DOO's were awarded.


Friday, January 22, 2016

FEELING GROOVY


FEELING GROOVY




Panic ensues in the northeast as a major snow storm is upon us.  The biggest concern here is tidal surges and areas that got beat up during Sandy might get beat up again.  The forecast is there may be some flooding but we should be OK. 

As to the snow, it could be a major problem if you need to go anywhere.

I don’t.  No work.  No obligations.  A storm like this is the perfect excuse to do nothing.  No guilt for doing nothing, just hunker on down and watch playoff football* (please god don’t take away our power) keep warm and do nothing.

I know what that Simon and Garfunkel song means and I will be dappled and drowsy and ready for sleep.

Mrs. C purchased all the ingredients for her delicious meatloaf and au gratin potatoes.  By Sunday the complexes snow dudes should have us all plowed and shoveled out.

In the mean time I will just be napping, messing around with my guitar and the old banjo my friend Frog gave me, football, meatloaf, more napping, more TV.
“Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep. I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep. Let the morning time drop all its petals (snow) on me. Life, I love you. All is groovy.”

*Bummer, just realized no playoffs today.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

HAVE STORM WILL SHOVEL


HAVE STORM WILL SHOVEL

There is a big storm heading for Jersey, probably even bigger a little to the south.  The TV weather dudes and dudettes are all having stormgasms because in this area winter has been no fun for them. 

In expectation of lots of snow, New Jersey has amended a law.  For the last few years it has been illegal for kids or anyone for that matter to go door to door soliciting money to shovel walks and driveways.  Whoever enforced this law in past snowstorms would have been one of the biggest ass-holes ever, but those people do exist.  Thanks to Jersey legislators and Governor Christy shoveling will be legal for this storm.

Whoop-tee-doo!  Law or no law, I cannot remember the last time any kid knocked on my door and offered to shovel snow for money. The problem is, shoveling snow is work; hard work.  I don’t think kids today like hard work.

Years ago, my friends and I attempted this hard work.  We had heard of kids making the rounds on a previous storm and making as much as $50.  Fifty dollars in the fifties was a small fortune! 

When the next storm hit and school was called off, three of us got together with our shovels and hit the snow covered bricks.  Well first we dug out our own driveways, so we started off tired.  The first house we solicited offered $15 to dig them out.  An hour later we each were five dollar richer and still full of energy.

The next house was a stranger neighbor; Mrs. Krantz.  All we knew of Mrs. Krantz was she had no kids, we never saw her husband, and we were told to avoid cutting through her yard.  Why?  Just don’t do it is all we knew.

Mrs. Krantz seemed nice enough and she was prepared to pay another $15.  Once again we were done in an hour.  The drive was clear, except for iced in foot and tire tracks from when Mr. Krantz pulled out early in the morning.  These tracks were now solid ice and could only be removed by chipping them out.  No matter, the sun would be out by noon, and the ice tracks would surely melt away.

Mrs. Krantz did not agree. 

“I’m not paying you boys until the driveway is clear.  Those ice tracks are a hazard.”

We went back and chipped away.  The large aluminum shovels we had were not the proper tools for the task.  They bent at the edges and slowly became less and less efficient at the chipping process.  An hour later, we again went to collect our fee, but Mrs. Krantz was still not satisfied; apparently we missed a spot or two.

We went back to chipping, which is a bone jarring task, and finally thanks to help from a little sunlight Mrs. Krantz reluctantly paid up.

We were exhausted, our shovels were bent and no longer efficient, and by now most of the neighborhood was either dug out or in the process of being dug out.

It wasn’t $50, but at least we made $10 each. We needed new shovels, but pop would cover that expense along with new proper ice chippers.

I don’t recall shoveling for profit from any other storm.  We may have tried one more time, but we damn sure didn’t stop at the Krantz house.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Geriatric Park


Geriatric Park

I am back from a visit to my friend the back operation recuperating, Frog.  Frog is not one to just sit around.  He will not retire. He works several days a week doing police sorta stuff and one day a week at a local college teaching police kinda stuff.  He fly-fishes, deer and duck hunts, and plays and teaches bag-piping.  He recently underwent back surgery.  Facing a serious case of cabin fever locked up alone while wife and kids are out doing wife and kids stuff this cranky old man was summoned for companionship.

There was a time when Frog and I got together that there would be drinking, golfing, and carousing.  Now there is bitching, limping and reminiscing. 

Oh, we were crazy we were.  We went shopping for guitar and banjo stuff and then lost all control and bought some bagels.  Frog’s back is still barking so even with my arthritic hip I heard “wait up” a lot.  If they did a movie on our day it would be called "Geriatric Park."

After a day and a half of bitching about everything, limping around and trying to play guitar and banjo in tune and in time I was due to head home, a four hour drive.  In keeping with tradition I left my toothbrush at Frogs.  It is not a proper visit unless I leave something behind.

The drive home was uneventful except for my inability to properly pay the Pa. Turnpike toll. 

The print on the toll ticket is too small for a Geriatric Park resident to read.  I knew it was around sixteen dollars and change, and as I cruised into the toll booth I was obsessing on gathering the right money.  I had a twenty ready, and was prepared to scoop up the exact change as soon as I determined what that exact change might be.  I like to be toll booth prepared, especially for the Pa and NJ turnpikes as those toll takers are notoriously unfriendly.

I handed the toll lady the twenty and asked,

“How much is the toll, sixteen dollars and what cents?”

“HUH!”

“I have exact change, how much?”

“Sixmptry fnver!”

“Excuse me?”

“SIXTY FIVE!”

“Oh, ok, just a second…here.”

And this is where  old kicked in and why Mrs. C does not like to let me on my own.  Fixated on getting the correct change so as to not anger the irascible toll taker, I handed her the sixty-five cents in exact change, only I dropped the nickel.  “Oops just a second, I have another nickel.”  I fished it out and handed it again to the taker.

She responded “Thank you” and with the transaction completed and my appropriate “Your welcome” delivered, I pulled away and headed down the road.  As I pulled out I wondered why the taker had not hit the paid button and turned the light green, then about a quarter a mile down the road I realized I didn’t wait for my four dollars change.  I was really ticked off at myself.

I will be even angrier if because I pulled out too soon the toll camera snapped a picture of my plate and I get a $100+ fine for being a scofflaw!

Well that’s life here at Geriatric Park.*
*I thought this title was clever and original, then I Googled it.  Not so much.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NAME THAT CHICKEN SCRATCH!


NAME THAT CHICKEN SCRATCH!

Again I’ve got nothing.  I have told every story I have to tell.  I have opined every opinion I have ever had.  I am out of rants.  I am out of stupid ideas.  I do have Mrs. Cranky’s shopping list.

So:

It is time for another “Guess what the hell Mrs. Cranky wrote down on her latest shopping list that she somehow expects me to read” quiz.

Yesterday we went shopping, and she wrote down the agenda for the day because otherwise she might forget what she planned to do.

The Agenda


I got the first two, but then I am lost and the last one has something to do with going to the bathroom…maybe.

The Shopping list



This will probably be easy for you ladies, but it is a good thing Mrs. C didn’t send me out alone to fill this list.  Oh, and Pepper, that is my handwriting. 

This test is pretty simple; I expect some to get 100%.  Those who are able to identify the most items will win a genuine giant WHOOP-TEE-DOO suitable for framing.

Good luck!