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Sunday, December 17, 2017

A PLANT ON A ROCK IN THE RIVER

A PLANT ON A ROCK IN THE RIVER
This re-run is from September 2014
Several years ago, while on a fly-fishing trip with my friend Frog, I came across a plant on a rock in the river.  If I was catching fish and not sitting on the river bank trying to untangle my rat’s nest of a line I would not have even noticed the plant on a rock in the river.  I intended to take a picture of it, but I was afraid of dropping my camera/phone in the river.  It looked much like the picture above only even smaller and more pitiful.
The plant on the rock in the river caused me to wax philosophically.  

How did it get there?  Did a blob of mud just happen to stick to the rock?  Did a seed float in the breeze and just happen to land and stick in that blob of mud?  The river was at a seasonal low point.  It would just be a matter of time before a rainfall would cause the water to rise and the plant on the rock in the river would wash away.

What was the purpose of the plant on a rock in the river?  It was a seed which miraculously found a nitch in which to grow into a plant that had no chance of survival.  

Somehow it spoke to me.

It spoke to the fragility of life.  It demonstrated how even a tiny seed could fight for life, would cling to a tiny slab of mud and fight to grow and perhaps reproduce.  Its roots were blocked by solid rock less than an inch below the slab of mud.  A river raged just inches away from pulling the slab of mud and the plant into its watery demise.

My struggle with untangling my line was so infinitesimal compared to that plants fight to exist. 

When times get rough, when life seems hard, I think of that plant on a rock in the river.  The water will inevitably rise, but that is not an excuse for not clinging to the slab of mud stuck to the rock.  Who really knows when the rain will come?  Who knows if the plant might just hang in long enough to flower and to have its seeds pollinated and scattered in the wind to land on another slab of mud and continue the species? 

Why does the plant cling to the mud on the rock in the river? 

Because it can. 

Because it must.    

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Drastic Change To Save A Great Game

A Drastic Change To Save A Great Game
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little expertice on the topic opined.  Opposing opinions ae welcome, but they will be wrong.  As always, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head!
I love football!  It is the worlds greatest team sport.  It takes strength, speed, endurance, skill and teamwork, it especially takes teamwork.  On any given play, if one person does not follow his assignment, a play will not work.  It is a great team sport.
The problem with football is the injuries, particularly head and spinal injuries, and now we are finding also long-term disabilities from concussions.  If there are no drastic changes to the game, it will go the way of the Dodo bird.
Parents will not allow their children to play at the pee wee level, and high school programs will disappear.  Without new players coming to the game, college and professional football will soon be a memory. 
Something has to be done to preserve this great sport and fall tradition.
There is an argument that eliminating the helmet will stop players from leading with their head as a battering-ram weapon.  That actually could work, but I doubt mom’s around the country would let their child risk the small less life-threatening injuries that would skyrocket.  Black-eyes, missing teeth, broken noses deep bruises and cuts are not things that moms will shrug off.
I am suggesting a major change to the game, a change to the way the game was played back in the fifties and sixties in high schools and colleges.  Bring back the run and eliminate or drastically reduce the amount of passing.
Why is this a good idea?  Studies have shown that today, 65% of offensive plays are passing and that 98% of head, spine injuries, and concussions occur on passing plays. 
(OK, you got me, I made that up, but I suspect that if they did do a study on the subject that is what they would find.)
Head injuries occur when the ball is in the air and eyes are on the ball. Players are running full speed on passing plays and the defensive player is rewarded for hard hits that dislodge the ball and cause incompletions. Players reaching for the ball and not seeing the defenders or quarterbacks throwing the ball at the last instant before being hit are in the most vulnerable positions for helmet to helmet contact.  Intentional or unintended, those are the hits that are going to ruin football.
Running plays typically do not end in full speed blind side contact.  Players can brace themselves for a hit and avoid head to head contact.
The pass play is exciting, but as anyone who watched last weeks Army Navy game will tell you, the game is just as much fun to watch when there is no passing.  Played in the snow by two teams that specialize in the run, this game may have had four passing plays and it was a nail biting strategic spectacle to watch.
So, there is the solution to saving this wonderful game; end or drastically deemphasize the forward pass. 
My suggestions?
Make the forward pass illegal altogether, or:
1.     Allow only (X number, 1 or 2) pass plays per possession
2.     Only allow 2 eligible receivers on any play
3.     Make the quarterback wear a boxing glove on his throwing hand
4.     The quarterback must declare “Pass” before any passing play and then a run is not allowed.
5.     Allow holding on running plays
6.     Defense must have at least three players line up ten yards off the ball
That’s it, my Cranky suggestions to saving the wonderful game of football.  I’ll let the experts decide on some or all of these suggestions.
You may not like the changes, but unless they are implemented, we will all be watching soccer on New Years Days in the future.
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

4 WEDDINGS…the grooms keep score

4 WEDDINGS…the grooms keep score
Another post on Reality TV, I know many of you are above Reality TV and only watch PBS and the news, so I give you permission to skip this post.
I often watch a show called “4 Weddings.”  No, I am not gay, well maybe a little; my wife makes me watch this show.  The idea is four brides attend each other’s wedding and then grade it on various criteria.  The bride with the best wedding gets sent on a honeymoon in the Caribbean.   Why people who spend upwards of $100,000 on a wedding, need to win a contest to go on a honeymoon is beyond me, but that is the prize.
I love how these brides rate a wedding, the things they find important are interesting, and what one loves, another say’s “I am not a fan of…”
Typical comments:
“The minister talked too much.”  “I thought the minister was funny.”
“I liked their personal vows, but their kiss was too short.” “Loved the kiss, hated the vows.”
“Sally looked heavy in her dress” (Sally was fat, what do you expect?) “Sally’s dress was beautiful.”
“I did not like the signature cocktail.” (What is this signature cocktail thing, and if you don’t like it, don’t drink it!) “The signature cocktail was delicious.”
“The chicken was dry and the steak was raw.”  (Banquet chicken is always dry, and the steak was cooked perfectly, ladies just don’t know that medium rare is pink. Order it medium or medium well, or like my ex-wife ‘burn the shit out of it until there is no juice!’) No bride ever likes the food.
“I was not a fan of the music.” “The music was loud and perfect for dancing.”
“The table decorations were not very fancy.” “The table decorations were tastful.”
Then they complain about things that could not be controlled.
“It was cold”
“It rained.”
“I saw a bug and it creeped me out!”
The final ratings:
“I give this wedding a 4 out of 10” “I give this wedding a 5 out of 10.”
You get the idea.
I’d like to see the same show, only with the grooms rating the wedding.
“I missed the ceremony, I assume they got married.”  “Me too.”
“The cocktail party was great, there was booze.” “I liked the booze.”
“The bride’s maids were hot.”  “I liked the hot bride’s maids.”
“There was food, it was good.”  “I liked the free food.”
“The groom had a tux, very classy.”  “His tux had tales, good choice.”
“There was dancing, the bride’s maids had too much of the signature drink and were loose.” “I liked the dancing and the loose bride’s maids.”
“I got drunk and almost had a date with the blonde bride’s maid until my fiancé stepped in.” “I got drunk and almost had a date with the blonde bride’s maid until my fiancé stepped in.”
“I give this wedding a 10 out of 10.” “I give this wedding a 10 out of 10.”
The brides scoring gives the winner to the bride with the best dress.
The grooms scoring would always end in a tie.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What The Heck is Going On?

What The Heck is Going On?
I understand, that when I Google something, I will be inundated by Facebook advertisements for the products I researched.  It does somewhat amaze me that the internet knows, but I get it.

I bought a Guitar last year after researching on the internet, and one year later, I still get ads every day for guitars.  Of course, I read the ads because they are interesting, so they keep coming.  Mrs. C asked me a question last week about outdoor security lights, and now I get ads every day.  And it is not just Facebook, if you leave your email address anywhere, you will get email ads.
Ok, all of this I understand, your searches are tracked and merchants can somehow reach you by your address.  It’s not a problem, you can tell Facebook you are not interested and you can opt out of receiving emails, it just does surprise me a bit.
What is spooky however is when I see ads for something I am interested in but have not expressed that interest in any internet search. 
Mrs. C buys a certain dark chocolate candy at Costco.  Tonight I asked, “Do we have any of those chocolate nut things?” I was informed that we need to buy more next time we go to Costco.
Five minutes later I see an ad on Facebook for “Barkthins.”  Those are the candies!  WTF?
Driving home from bowling (we just moved into first place) I listen to a finance dude who specializes in helping people eliminate debt. Tonight, just five minutes after the Barkthins ad I get another Facebook ad for a Dave Ramsey finance book.  Dave Ramsey, that’s the Radio guy.  WTF?
When I told Mrs. C about the coincidence she suggested I put some tape on my computer camera. 
“They can watch you, you know.”
“OK, they can see me eating the Barkthins, but how the heck do they know what I am listening to on the radio?”
“They have ways!”
All I know, is this is some scary shit.   

What Does it Take For A Like?

What Does it Take For A Like?
I hope people do not take this the wrong way, I don't really need the validation (maybe a little) it is just something that I have wondered about for a year or so now.

If you are familiar with Facebook, there is a little button you can click that tells the person who has a post on Facebook, that you like the post.  You can also comment on any post.
I have seen people that post “Having dinner at IHOP,” And they get about 83 “Likes” and a few comments.
I have seen people change their profile picture and get about 1 million “Likes” and one hundred comments, “So beautiful” or “Haven’t aged a bit.” (often they look like an old catcher's mitt)
All of this is very nice, but here is the part that I don’t understand. 
My blog is also posted on Facebook.  I receive an occasional ‘Like” on a post from my son, but generally I never get a “Like” or a comment.  That is fine, I don’t need validation (he whined one more time), I’m going to post anyway, I assume that not many Facebook “friends” are even reading the posts, most people don’t have the time. 
Then, I run into people who tell me unsolicited,
“I read your post the other day and enjoyed it.”  Or
“I look forward to your posts, it gives me something to read on my coffee break.”   Or They tell my wife,
“I saw Joe’s blog the other day, he made fun of you again…but it was funny and it is you!”
I know these people are seeing my blog from Facebook.
My question is, if you like a post, why not simply click the Facebook button that says you “Like it?”
I’m not trying to drum up readership here, at this point in my blogging life I don’t care that much; “The Cranky Old Man” is not going to go viral and make millions.  But why does every picture of a dinner, or mention of a show, or picture of a child get “Likes” from everyone, but a blog post, my baby, get crickets?
I love it when someone that I didn’t even know reads my nonsense, tells me or my wife that they enjoy a post; but if you like it, why not “Like” it.  You know,
“Like me on Facebook!”

Or not.

Monday, December 11, 2017

PERVDAR

PERVDAR
A re-run from 2013

I thought this re-run might be interesting in lieu of all the sexual harassment that is in the news these days.  I included some of the comments from ladies on the original post as I found them especially interesting.
I recently read a very entertaining blog from “Mommy Bags”http://mommybags.blogspot.com/2011/12/wtf-fridaywoot-woot.html where MB mentioned she knew a reality show contestant was a pervert well before he was accused and convicted of dealing in child pornography.  It is not the first time I have been aware of this extra sense that women seem to possess; PERVDAR!
Years ago, when I was a supervisor of about 20 clerical workers, there was a guy whom I’ll call Ralph.  The unit I supervised required people to pair off in order to perform their function.  There were three women to every man in this unit.  None of the women wanted to work side by side with Ralph.

Ralph seemed like a nice guy to me.  He was clean cut, reasonably good looking; he liked sports, was polite and had a good sense of humor.

“He’s just weird, I can’t tell you why.” Is the response I would get when I inquired why women would not work with Ralph.  

“I can’t tell you, you’d have to be a woman” was another common response.

I always paired Ralph off with another man, and there was never an incident.  Ralph was not the best worker, but he was adequate, and he came to work on time.  He was laid off one year when the company was not making enough money to make the stockholders happy.

Several years after Ralph left the company, I was riding a crowded NYC subway.  I was seated and nodding off when a woman woke me with a loud rant:

“You touch my ass one more time and I’m going to cut off your Mother-Fu*king dick!” (You don’t want to mess with NYC women.)   

“Wha what?  I didn’t do nothing!”

“Listen dickwad, every time the train shifts you rub against my ass.  One more time and I will knee you so hard you’ll be talking through your balls!”

“I didn’t do nothing!”

I felt a little sorry for this dude.  It is sometimes difficult to avoid bumping into people on a crowded subway.  Then I looked up at the culprit.  It was Ralph!  Apparently it was not just difficult for Ralph to avoid contact it was also very hard!

I don’t know what the ladies saw, they never could really tell me, but from that point on I totally believed in women’s PERVDAR!
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Comments from 2013 especially interesting is from Val

You know, of course, that we women learn this skill in the twilight zone!!
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I think that this is a learned skill we have, not an inherit one.

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Oh, we know. There's the flirty perv, who is basically harmless, just lacks game, and ogles your V-neck sweater area at the copy machine in an attempt to start a dialogue.

There's the "very friendly" perv who likes to drape his arm around your shoulders, pull you sideways against him in a hug, and call you "Babe."

Then there's the power perv, in a position of authority, who likes to massage your shoulders when he wanders in to have a chat, and says things like, "Or you can take it out in trade."

And the only reason a guy sits behind two women deep in conversation in a mostly empty stadium or arena is because he plans to "take it out."
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I have a good sense of pervdar. There are some people that you just don't want to be around, even at the cost of being rude. Like Lowandslow said, there are people you will not get on the elevator with…

Man, when that little internal voice speaks, you LISTEN! 

Pearl
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  1. My girls had good pervert radar from a young age, around four or so. Their dad would bring mates home to watch the footy etc and sometimes the girls would be in and out of the room talking to their dad, fetching beers etc, other times they'd stay away from the living room and even promises of 50 cents per beer wouldn't get them in there. They knew. Maybe they picked up vibes from me to begin with, but it helped keep them safe all through their growing up years.
  2. ________________________________
  3. I wonder if Ralph changed his name because this post sounds exactly like the maintenance man at my last job!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Stupid Headlines 121017


Stupid Headlines 121017

It’s time again for
That narrows down the time line
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY

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

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Miss Russia contestant mocked on Instagram over size of her feet – I suspect those mocking her are flat hand clappers.
Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Sign language interpreter delivered gibberish, confusion at Tampa serial killer news conference – This is not funny, and yet I laughed…I am a bad person.  It made me think of the SNL routine where Garrett Morris would yell the headlines for the hard of hearing.

Michigan candidate suggests ending harassment by voting for someone 'who doesn't have a penis' – If that requires photo confirmation, I’m against it!

Oklahoma police release body cam footage of former state senator caught with underage male – Please be a Democrat, please be a Democrat…CRAP!

Guy takes date for romantic dinner, steals her credit card and laptop – Other than that, he was a complete gentleman.

Washington man tells police Trump told him to fight 'lizard people' – That Trump; now he is an Anti-lizardite.

Outrage as Philly pushes through ban on bulletproof glass in crime-plagued neighborhood shops – I think it is the only fair thing, thieves are at a disadvantage in a stick-up if they can’t shoot the clerks.

New Jersey ice cream shop accused of sexism over cow derriere logo – The shops name is “Dairy Aire” the logo is a cartoon cow with a naked ass.  The complaint was the logo is too sexy.  IT IS A CARTOON, IT IS A COW.  The store is “Dairy Aire” it is a joke.  Have these people every seen Betty Boop?  Now THAT is sexy!

McDonald's employee wearing antlers reportedly suspended for head-butting customer over nuggets – You order from the dollar menu, and you get a buck.

'Obese' squirrel caught stealing candy from New Jersey house – Squirrel was later found in the Passaic River wearing concrete boots.

245-million-year old fossil looks like Darth Vader, scientists say – And a baby fossil nearby looks just like Mark Hamill.


And The FEEL-GOOD Story of the week:

Carjacker pulled his gun on three brothers, cops say. But it wasn’t his gun for long. – I don’t advocate violence, but a dickwad getting a well-deserved ass whipping does make me feel good…is that wrong?

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Come back again next week for more

STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY