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Monday, May 22, 2017




a cranky re-run from May 2013

 People often ask me, “Cranky, what is the secret to success in the business world?”  As one who spent 40 years toiling for a large brokerage firm, starting at the bottom and ending up above bottom, it is little wonder that I am chosen to impart the secret to success in the business world.

My qualification in answering this burning question is in watching dumbass after dumbass rise to the higher levels of management without ever having a single idea.

First let me clarify; one way to get to the top in the business world is to get an education, network yourself, ask questions, and work your ass off.  No one who asks, “What is the secret to success…” is interested in that route to the top.  They know that formula and are not interested in earning success.

Here is the other way to the top:

Number one, and I cannot overstate its importance is, YOU MUST LOOK GOOD IN A SUIT!  You can do all those things that actual leaders do to break the glass ceiling, but if you do not look good in a suit you have no chance.  Get in shape…fat fails!  Buy a suit for each day.  Invest in good dress shirts, ties, handkerchiefs, and expensive perfectly shined shoes.  If your choice is to invest in an education or an expensive impressive wardrobe…go with clothes.

Number two, act important.  Carry yourself as if you belong.  Don’t ask questions, and never answer a question if you are not sure of the answer.  Learn to respond with, “What do you think?” or “I’m busy, check with Ralph” and “You’re kidding me right?” Of course learn the all-important commands, “I don’t care how you get it done, just do it!” and “I don’t want excuses, I want results!”

Number three; never do anything if you can get someone else to do it for you.  This allows you to take credit for skillful delegating when a project is successful, while allowing you to throw someone under the bus if the project fails.  Never offer an idea at a meeting, but always voice your concern, “That sounds great Bob, but I’m concerned that if it doesn’t work it could be expensive.”  If the idea works, you were behind it.  If it flops, well you were concerned!  If anything goes wrong, such as a new computer program or a sales idea flops, be the first to question, “Didn’t anyone test that?”

Number four, learn the terminology.  I have been out of the loop for a while so these may be passé but, “Pick the low hanging fruit first” was always a good one.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” always sounds like such great advice and is perfect for putting some little shit who is way smarter than you in his place.  It is really another way of saying, “If it’s not my idea, stuff it!”  Always express things as from a “Perspective.”  “From a time management perspective…” “From the client’s perspective…” I don’t know why, but “From a …perspective" always sounds like you are really smart.

Last but not least, number five; keep a high profile while doing nothing.  Come in to work early, even if you have nothing to do.  Stay late, even if you have nothing to do.  Send emails cc’d to everyone at 10 pm, and 6 am. 

That is it.   The secret to corporate success as told from an observer.  Don’t let my inability to rise beyond a supervisor of 6 people fool you; I had all the right stuff.

I just never looked good in a suit!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Once again, when I find myself running out of stuff to post on, another blogger gives me an idea.  For this post give credit (or blame) to Sarah @People Don’t Eat Enough Fudge
I love old stuff.  Stuff that came before me and stuff that will remain after I am gone.  There is a certain sense of an attachment to the past that I find peaceful.  When my mom went to assisted living, my brothers and I divided up most of her possessions.  

Except for some tantrums by my ex-wife who had no business even opening her big trap, it was a smooth process.  There were some items I cherished, and when I visit my brother or my SIL I also enjoy visiting those cherished items.
One cherished item that I claimed was an old curio cabinet.  Inside the cabinet are hundreds of different items.  Many very old, some fairly recent, all with special memories to someone.  I don’t know the special memories to many pieces, but I know they were saved for a reason and that makes them special.
Top shelf
Many items were my mothers.  Many came from my Grandfather whom I never knew.  He brought back pieces from his time as an Army Captain in the war in the Philippians…1902.  There are Ivory carved pieces, an old decorative shoe buckle, silver eyeglass case, the ball my mom hit for a hole in one, several old trophies, a gold pen, and bits and pieces too numerous to name.
Middle shelf
I have since added and old stop watch which we used when racing sailboats.  A “Let’s Go Mets” button from their World Series win, a Mickey Mantle button, an old large US penny of undiscernible date and a commemorative button for the first moon landing.
Every once and a while I sort through the different items.  I always find something I had not seen before. 
The cabinet is my own time capsule.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Veteran’s Tricks

A Veteran’s Tricks

Apparently I am a veteran.   No, not a Veteran, as in served my country in the armed forces.  I am a veteran as in one who has long term experience in a particular field.  I am a veteran at life.

If you are a sports fan, you are familiar with veterans.  They are the old dudes who no longer have the skills or strength they once had, but get by through experience, knowing situations and replacing skill with superior strategy.

The pitcher who loses the pop on his fastball, but knows all the batter’s weak spots.  He does not blow the ball by the hitter, but he throws it in spots that the batter cannot reach…he is a veteran.

The linebacker who used to use his speed to rundown a ball carrier or sack the quarterback, now recognizes a play by the formation or the movement of a tight ends eyes, and moves to the correct spot as soon as the ball is snapped.  He has lost a step but uses his experience to get the job done…he is a veteran.

I used to preform simple tasks, even multiple tasks without forgetting anything.  If I misplaced my keys, I would retrace my steps in my head and then remember where I left them.  These days I get lost in the retracing.  I can’t get past, “Let’s see, I opened the front door and then…I got nothing.”

The solution?  A veteran old person knows to always, and I mean always, leave your keys in the exact same place.  When you come home, a veteran old person knows not to allow any distraction, he goes to the same exact key place, and leaves his keys in that same exact spot, then he goes on with life certain that when he needs to, he can find his keys.  It is a veteran move.

When I barbequed as a rookie at this living life thing, I never forgot to turn off the grill.  When I finished grilling, I would turn the burners on high to carbonize all the left-over grease, bring in the food and know to go out and turn off the burners five minutes later.  I have lately lost a step.  Several times in the last year, I have forgotten to turn off the burners and only realized it the next time I went to grill and the tank was empty.

The solution? Whenever I grill I jam a towel in the patio door handle.  When I see the towel, it reminds me the grill is still on.  As soon as I do shut off the grill, I remove the towel.  It is a veteran move.

These days when I go out I often forget things.  I forget my bowling ball on league night, I forget a bottle of wine when visiting friends. This never happened to a young life rookie.

The solution?  If I have something special to remember, I simply put my car keys in the refrigerator.  When I go to leave, my keys are not where they are supposed to be.  This is my reminder that I have forgotten something, I grab the item I have forgotten, and fetch my keys out of the refrigerator, the only other place they could be.  It is a veteran move.

Yes, I may be getting old.   I have lost a step, but I have tricks up my sleeve.  I am a veteran. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Not MY Pillow

Not MY Pillow
In this country we have way too much time on our hands.  The things we find to complain about or feel cheated about, boggles the mind.  The latest is a big hoo-ha over claims by the much advertised “My Pillow.”
Here are some My Pillow claims:
My Pillow claims it is the best and last pillow you will ever own.  You will sleep better without neck pain, wake refreshed, have better self-esteem, make more money and marry a supermodel. 
My pillow claims it is the "Official Pillow of the National Sleep Foundation."
The founder took 10 years to develop a patented fill that is washable and dryable and maintains it’s shape.
The Complaints of false advertizing:
The founder of My Pillow is not a sleep expert.
My Pillow is a PILLOW…it will not change your life.
AND…horrors of horrors-
My Pillow advertised that you buy one and get one free while they really just raised the price of one pillow so you really are buying two pillows at one price.
There have been law suits over the My Pillow rip-off and My Pillow settled basically by giving everyone involved a $5 settlement and probably the lawyers several hundred thousand dollars.
Thank God we are saved from this deceptive advertising.

It is a pillow people! It cost about $50.  A good pillow cost from 40 – 80 dollars, so it’s in range.
Does anyone, except a complete idiot, really believe a pillow will change their life?
Does anyone not know that if you pay enough money you can have your product endorsed by an impressive sounding organization.   The National Sleep Foundation was probably started by the My Pillow developer…who cares?
Who is a sleep expert?  Are there colleges offering majors is “Sleep Expert?” How is that even an occupation?  Who cares?
It took ten years to develop this pillow?  Who would brag about this?
Why am I even posting about a stupid pillow? 
I was just fascinated that the company was sued because their pitch buy-one-get-one-free was deceptive.  DUH!  I’m pretty sure every-buy-one-get-one-free has a catch.  In some cases the free item comes with an inflated shipping and handling fee, in some cases the price of one is inflated.  Who cares?
So now after much legal wrangling and several wealthier lawyers the pillow buying public is saved from the My Pillow deceptive claim “Buy-one-get-another pillow free.” 
The current ad claims you can buy two pillows at one low price!
There, that’s better.
It’s a pillow for crap sake!

Sunday, May 14, 2017



This cranky re-run is from May 2013
The other day I was in the kitchen with Mrs. Cranky.  Now keep in mind, I do my share of work around the Cranky house.  I vacuum, I sweep, I am the bathroom cleaner, I do the dishes and I empty the dishwasher.  I am the grill master. I don’t do windows.  Anyway, the other day I am in the kitchen with Mrs. Cranky and she says to me:

“When are you going to pick that up?”

“Pick what up?”

“Look at your feet.”


Don’t you see that?”

“See what.”

“Oh my God…LOOK, right by your feet!”

I look down at my feet and sure enough there is a gubba*

“When are you going to pick that up?  It’s been there for three days?”

“Well if you have been seeing it for three days, why didn’t you pick it up?”

“Because I wanted to see how long you would just keep stepping over it and never pick it up!”

“But, if I didn’t see it how would I pick it up?  What is worse, my not seeing it or you seeing it and waiting for me to pick it up?”

“How could you NOT see it!?**

“How could you see it and NOT pick it up!?”

Cause I wanted to see how long it would take for you to see it!”

“Well now you still don’t know cause you pointed it out to me.”

“Well are you going to pick it up?”

“You saw it first, you pick it up!”

“But it’s your mess!”

“How do you know it’s my mess?”

“Because if I drop something I know it!”

“Except when you drop something and you don’t know it.”

“You’re a jerk!”

The Gubba remains today in that same spot on the kitchen floor.  No one will pick it up.  Yesterday Mrs. C vacuumed around it.  This summer the ants will probably clean it up…that is if it is something edible. 

I don’t know what it is…it’s a Gubba!

*Gubba – any tiny stupid unidentified thing which serves no apparent purpose is a “Gubba.”

**!? – Emphatic question.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


It’s time again for
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments. 
Family dog wakes up owners during home fire in Minnesota – Before you dog lovers start that, “a cat would never do this” gloating, the dog and his owners live in Texas.
Florida girl, 10, pries open alligator's jaws to free herself – Holy Crap!  That is one brave and strong little girl!!
United Airlines flies woman to San Francisco instead of France – All the way to SF she screamed, “Please, drag me off this plane!”
'Nightmare house' Zillow listing tells buyers: Don't ask about mysterious occupant upstairs – This one might be on the market for a while!
DC lawmakers speak out after Arboretum guard ‘yelled’ at children on field trip – Ooh…These poor kindergarten children will be scarred for life.  Yelled at! Where is the humanity?  Also, where are the chaperones to tell five-year-old’s not to play on the grass when in a museum for agriculture?
Sears CEO on Turnaround Try: 'I Am Not in Denial' – Why would anyone think Sears is in trouble?  Just the other Saturday I saw four or five cars in their parking lot.
OPEC to U.S.: Please don't pump so much oil! – “Sure, whatever you say…on the other hand eat s***!”
Scientists plan to trap a ship in Arctic ice – Shhh, be very quiet, here comes one now.
Scorpion scare causes delay on United flight out of Houston – Order was restored after armed guards dragged the enraged arachnid off the plane…lawsuit to follow.
That Time Jimi Hendrix Opened for the Monkees- That’s a bit like Shakespeare writing the forward to a Dean Koontz novel.
PARIS HILTON CLAIMS SHE INVENTED THE SELFIE – We should name a street after her for this great accomplishment, instead of Elm Street how about Annoying-Blonde-Rich-Slut Drive?
Wild Baby Kangaroo Still Comes Home to Hug His Teddy Bear After Release – Aww

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nail Polish Driving is Buzzed Driving

Nail Polish Driving is Buzzed Driving
Do women still do their own nails?  It seems like everywhere I go  there are multiple nail salons.  None of my wives ever did their own nails.  Apparently, these days, for about 10-15 bucks, you can sit in a chair and someone named Kim will do your nails for you.

My mom always did her own nails.  She was a master at it, often doing them in the car.  She could do both hands in three stop lights.  She did not polish nails and drive; my mom was a responsible manicurist.

The first traffic light would be all mom needed to remove the old polish.  I got my very first contact high from the solvent mom used to remove the old polish while I was sitting in the front seat of the car.  

The second light was time enough to give all her nails a quick buff. 

The third light was the most amazing.  With the bottle between her legs and eyes glancing occasionally to check the stop light status, mom would dip and paint.  She could cover a nail in one swipe and not get the polish on anything but her nail.  It was sheer poetry in motion.

You may wonder, “Why did your mom do her nails in the car?  Why not just do them at home in her leisure?” 

I don’t know.  Probably because she had no leisure, and if she did she would not waste it doing her nails when she could do that while driving.

As I think back, the process was not all that safe.  Yes, she did most of the process waiting at a red light, but when the polish was on, she drove with one hand at a time while blowing on her nails and or waving her hand around to have the polish dry.

Yes, those were dangerous days my friend.  There were no seat belts, no power steering or antilock brakes.   Children were not strapped in car seats, but bounced around in the back, made noise, and distracted the driver with that “I’m not touching you” game.

There were no cell phone distractions to cause accidents, but I have no idea how we survived with mom driving one-handed, air drying her nails, all while flying high on an acetone polish-remover buzz.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Mrs. C and I very seldom say the three words.  I’ve told her, she’s told me, we know.  It is not a big deal, it is just how we roll.  We touch a lot and are affectionate even when we bicker.  I do have to teach her about hugging.
Every morning before I retreat to my basement sanctuary to practice guitar and or write, she demands a hug.  That is fine, the problem is she holds on too long.  There is a whole body language to a hug.
There is the one-hand-rub-on-the-back-while-you-hug, hug.  This indicates we are just friends.
There is the barely make contact hug.   This is usually reserved for first meetings or acquaintances only.
There is the chest bump, fist pump to the back hug.  This is reserved for bro’s and says, “I love you dude, but not that way!”
There is the pat-pat-pat on the back hug.  This says I have to do this, but don’t get any ideas; I call it the tap-out hug.  I got it a lot in my first marriage.
The arms around the neck and squeeze hug means you have been sorely missed.  It may or may not have sexual connotations.
The two arms around the back and squeeze is an “I love you” hug.  The duration of this hug is important.  Too short is a mixed signal.  Too long means you may get lucky.  A good 10 second double arm hug says, “I love you, and maybe later!”  Anything over 10 seconds means “let’s get it on.” The double arm hug requires a squeeze back.  When one party ends the squeeze back, the hug should simultaneously end.
Mrs. C gives me the double arm hug before I leave her in the morning. She hangs on forever, even after I withhold the squeeze back.  Since I know ain’t nothing going to happen at this time, she is making a mockery of the “I love you” hug.  Mocking the “I love you” hug is saying just the opposite.
I hate the extended double arm hug when it is miss-used like this.  Mrs. C knows I hate the extended double arm morning hug so she does it on purpose to aggravate me. 
I think the intent to aggravate by using an extended double arm hug without an extended return squeeze means she loves me.
That’s my interpretation, and I’m sticking to it.