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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Power of Music

The Power of Music

Mrs. C dragged me to another concert the last night.  Actually, much as I usually hate concerts, this was one I wanted to attend.  The stars of this show were Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper.  I like Rod Stewart, but I was especially looking forward to Cyndi.  She is a personal favorite.  The venue was the Garden State Arts Theater, an open air amphitheater which is only a half hour away and is an excellent facility.
Both artists were terrific.  Both have not lost a thing from their unique voices despite Rod being 74 years old and Cyndi over sixty.  Cyndi weighs about 12 pounds, but her powerful almost cartoon-like voice is amazing.  Both Rod and Cyndi are consummate professionals and they put on a great show.
One fun thing about a concert aside from the performers, is the veritable smorgasbord of people watching.  This concert was no exception.  Young, old, skinny and fat, high clappers, isle dancers, beer can swillers, there were interesting people to watch that would suit any voyeurism taste.  
I was particularly interested in an obvious Cyndi Lauper fan.  An older woman was wheel-chaired in to a seat in the row just in front of us.  I could tell she was a Cyndi fan as she was dressed in a Cyndi-like all pink outfit,  her hair was dyed a Lauper-like bright red and she had a red flower in her hair.  The woman was by demeanor and facial characteristics clearly Special…Intellectually Challenged, or dare I say it, the R word. 
It took the Cyndi fan several minutes to transfer from the wheelchair to her walker and finally to settle into her seat.  Throughout Cyndi’s performance, she politely applauded, but otherwise seemed unable to show much emotion.
And then.
Cyndi broke out into one of her signature hits, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.”  Much of the audience, especially the ladies, stood and clapped and danced during this piece. 
I was surprised to look over and see the Challenged, very overweight Cyndi fan who earlier could barely get into her seat, stand up and dance.  It was quite touching to see this severely disabled lady who spent much of the concert motionless rise up and dance joyfully. 
The power of music!
video
      

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

North Wildwood Bed and Breakfast

North Wildwood Bed and Breakfast
Candlelight Inn, North Wildwood, NJ

The Cranky Old Man has his mind changed.
I don’t like Bed and Breakfast Inns.  I’ve been to maybe five, and though pleasant enough, I have always had disappointing experiences.  Bed and Breakfast Inns…at least the ones I’ve been at, are generally old restored large houses decorated flawlessly with older antiques and knick knacks.
I love older restored homes and I love antiques and knick knacks.  Why then would I then not like B+B’s?
The people who buy and restore these B+B’s tend to be a little anal about their home and their possessions.  They need customers to admire their home and possessions so they can collect enough revenue to afford their home and possessions, and to use their home and possessions as a large tax break.
It is a nice deal; buy a beautiful home, decorate it with antiques and knick knacks, and have it paid for by customers and tax breaks.  It is a great deal especially for people who love to decorate and love old homes and possessions.  The only drawback to this nice deal seems to be having to host customers, many who do not properly appreciate your lovely decorations and antiques.  These owners, who rely on customers to pay for their lifestyle often, in my experience, do not treat their guests as guests.  They treat them as a necessary evil.
When I travel and spend lots of money, I really do not like feeling like an intruder, I want to feel like a treasured guest.  I don’t like walking in and immediately being told when I can come home at night, what I can touch (nothing) and how special everything is in THEIR home and “Please be careful while in the house."  They tell you how to dress for breakfast, they sometimes seem to follow you around and in general do not make you feel welcome…at least that has been my experience on several occasions.
So; when Mrs. C told me she made reservations for this last weekend at a B+B in North Wildwood, NJ, I was not very enthusiastic to say the least.
When we registered at the Candlelight Inn in North Wildwood, NJ this Friday, http://www.candlelight-inn.com/ I was not a happy camper.  We were greeted by Michael the co-owner with his wife Wanda.  He showed us around the house and pointed out all the interesting features of this beautifully restored Victorian home.  The home was lovely as usual, it was decorated beautifully as usual and was furnished with antiques which made you feel as if you stepped back into 1905...except there was a bathroom in every unit, TV with cable, air-conditioning, and Wi-Fi all at no extra charge.
I was not given one rule to follow.  Michael apparently assumed that we would have enough class to not jump on the bed and scratch our names in any of the antiques.  There was a fridge in the hall filled with complimentary water and soda.  On the dresser were two cups and a decanter of  sherry, along with two chocolates.
Our room
There was always coffee available, and at five in the afternoon they put out cookies and wine.
As a cranky wise guy, I commented, that cookies are nice, and that my favorite, if he didn’t mind was oatmeal and raisin.  I was told jokingly, that I get what I get.
At five, we went down stairs for some wine and a cookie along with the other guests and Michael greeted me with a special plate,
“I made these oatmeal raisin cookies just for you!”
“Wow, that is very nice, I also have some other requests.”
“Sorry, your one wish has been answered.”
“Damn, if I knew that I would have asked for more than a special cookie.”
Mrs. C gave me an elbow and told me I’d better eat all of those cookies.  I did not need the elbow, they were very good.
To sum it up, Michael and his lovely wife were gracious, fun, helpful and at all times made everyone feel special and appreciated as guests.  The Inn is beautiful, breakfast delicious and there were several unexpected amenities.  
I now have a different appreciation for Bed and Breakfast Inns and will definitely return to the Candlelight Inn soon.
Rocking on the porch
Thank you, Mike and Wanda!

Monday, July 24, 2017

BASEBALL HAT INSTRUCTIONS

BASEBALL HAT INSTRUCTIONS
This cranky re-run is from July 2013 

This is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed: Baseball hat wearing.

Our children today do not know how to wear a baseball cap.  There are only two acceptable positions in which to wear a baseball-style hat.

1.    Brim straight ahead to protect the eyes from the sun.



2.    Brim directly behind to keep the wind from blowing the hat off your head.



A slight shift from brim facing straight ahead is acceptable in some situations based on the angle of the sun, but these variations should only be for the short term.

Dude...you look like an idiot!
So...you want to look stupid, right?


Umm...don't call us, we'll call you.
Turn it around...TURN IT AROUND!!
                                

Here are some other rules:

If your hat fits over your ears it is too big.

I won't tell him, but...he looks stupid.


Brims should not be flat.  They should have a curve to them…they just should.

This look just screams PUSSY!


Tags or stickers should be removed after purchase.  Even if you stole it...take the tag off.


To summarize, there is a right and a wrong way to wear a baseball hat:

Example of the perfect way to wear a baseball hat.

Friday, July 21, 2017

DON’T TOUCH IT!


DON’T TOUCH IT!

I’ve been married to Mrs. C for over six years.  I am only now learning what I am not allowed to touch…no, you perverts, get your 13 yo minds under control, I’m talking about around the house.

I don’t mind housework, I’m retired, I can clean, I can cook, I can even put stuff away.  There is, however, some stuff I am just not allowed to touch.

I can move laundry from the washer to the drier, but that is it.  If I do a load of wash she gets all panicky.

“I’ll do the wash!”

“I can do it, it is not rocket science.”

“You don’t separate right and you forget to use that color catcher and you use too much soap, not enough water, you load it unbalanced and JUST DON’T TOUCH!!”

I used to argue.  

First, I’ll separate, even though that is unnecessary, colors do not run unless something is brand new, and I use a color catcher anyway.  I use just a little soap, plenty of water and I even-out the load ( also not necessary.)

NO MORE.  If it makes her happy thinking I’m incompetent with the wash and she wants to do it. I’m OK!

“Don’t touch the Tupperware, Ill put it away, you can’t stack it or replace it properly!”

OK, she’s right on this one.

I can clean the bathrooms as long as she doesn’t watch.

“Warn me before you clean the bathroom, I can’t stand the way you do it!”

Hey, when I’m done it is clean.

BUT

I am not allowed to clean the shower floor.  She will only do it over again if I do it.  Why?  I don’t know, I just let it go.

If I need scissors, I have to clear it with the boss first.

“There are different scissors for different uses, and you never get it right.”

If I think it should be thrown away I have learned to ask.  Throwing away the wrong item like a plastic spoon or a glass of water can cause a mini-melt down.

“I’ll buy you a new plastic spoon.”

“That’s not the point!”

If it is under a towel, it is off limits.

There are brushes for dishes, there are brushes for scrubbing potatoes…if I am not sure, I will ask.

Somethings that I do which upset her are just plain silly.

“Why did you fold my laundry, I told you just do yours, leave mine along, I don’t like how you fold.”

“Is it so hard to unfold and do it over?”

“That’s not the point.”

We have an electric floor sweeper.  It works great.  It sweeps the floor in minutes.  She prefers the broom and dustpan.

“The sweeper misses stuff!” (It doesn’t, but I don’t argue.)

“So broom the spots it misses, what does it hurt for me to power sweep first.”

“That’s not the point!”

I must admit, I never know what the point is;  I am learning what not to touch.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Touched By Fame

Touched By Fame
I don’t know what it is, but it seems I am constantly surrounded by famous people.  It can’t just be a coincidence, I must be a magnet to fame. 
When I was only five years old, our family moved to California.  We could not immediately sell the Long Island home we left, so Pop rented it.  Who was it rented to?  Bobby Riggs, star tennis player of yesteryear who later defeated highly ranked woman’s champion Margaret Court before he lost a famous match to Billy Jean King. 
 Touched by fame (indirectly).
When I was but ten years old, I squeezed through, cutting  a crowded line in order to meet and get the autograph of baseball great Mickey Mantle.
Touched by fame.
In college, I came within feet of “The Amazing Kreskin” at a fraternity sponsored show.
Touched by fame.
During lunch in the park at work one day, I was asked for directions by none other than Helen Gurley Brown, TV personality and the famed editor of Cosmopolitan.
Touched by fame.
Racing for the subway one day, I almost knocked over Curtis Sliwa, New York radio star and founder of “The Guardian Angles.”
Touched by fame.
A few years ago, while in the city with Mrs. C, she pointed out Steve Gutenberg, star of “Cocoon” and “Three Men and a Baby,” who was at the corner on a bicycle.
Touched by fame.
Not long after that while waiting for a plane, who walked through the waiting area but fashion icon and star of TV’s “Project Runway” Nina Garcia!
Touched by fame.
Only one year later, while at the NYC downtown Feast of San Genaro, my B-I-L spotted and stopped world famous actor, star of TV’s “Who’s The Boss” and “Taxi”, Tony Danza.
Tony seemed to want to get away from B-I-L...not sure why.
Touched by fame.
Not long after the Danza encounter, I was picking up some dry cleaning and bumped into TV’s RHONJ star Melissa Gorga.
Touched by fame.
If that is not enough, only last year at an "Oldies" concert, who walked right by our isle seats when making an appearance?  None other than radio DJ "Cousin" Bruce Morrow!
Touched by fame.
Will it ever end?
Clearly, Cranky is a celebrity magnate!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lock Mess Nonster

Lock Mess Nonster
Many years ago, there was a fuzzy picture of the Lock Ness Monster which had people very excited. 
Proof that the monster exists! 
This fuzzy photo could have been a blow-up pool toy, but it still perpetuated the myth. 
Then there was a film clip, also fuzzy, of bigfoot which turned out to be a guy in a costume.
There has been a few billion dollars spent on expeditions to prove the existence of Nessie and of Bigfoot.  There have been many sightings, but zero photos that were not fuzzy nothings.
Virtually every person in the world currently carries a cell phone/camera which takes brilliant photos and action clips.  There are cameras which left in trees, film any creature which triggers it with any movement.  We have sonar, we have night vision, we have heat sensor instruments, we have satellites which take pictures from outer space of tanks for crispy sake.  If the Lock Ness monster or Bigfoot existed we would have real proof by now.
No photos of Nessie or Bigfoot that aren’t fuzzy and fake looking.  No bigfoot bones ever uncovered, we have fossils and bones from dinosaurs millions of years old, but no bones or fossils of Nessie or Bigfoot.
Do bears shit in the woods?  Why yes, trackers see it all the time.  Bigfoot poop?  Never discovered.  Strange DNA of a Bigfoot or Nessie…I don’t think so.
Scientists have discovered strange creatures a zillion fathoms under the sea, but no Nessie.  Civilization has been encroaching on our wilderness such that deer, bear and mountain lions have become a nuisance, when years ago they were seldom spotted…where is a bigfoot.
All the technology, all the cameras at the ready, all the expeditions and TV specials dedicated to finding these mythical creatures and what have we found?  NADA!
Just the other day I saw this “Proof” that the Lock Ness Monster is real:
I’m convinced, or wait; actually, I think that is either a big stick in the lake, or a small worm on the lens.
Stop it people, Nessie and Bigfoot do not exist.

Monday, July 17, 2017

I MIGHT BE A PRICK!

I MIGHT BE A PRICK!
This cranky re-run is from June 2015...from the comments I m not the only one.

I might be a prick.  I don’t think I am a prick, but I just might be.  Why you ask, do I think I might be a prick?

I am not a wealthy man, but I can afford a buck.  Giving one dollar to a worthy cause will not affect my life style.  I should be willing to give a dollar to worthy causes, but apparently I am a prick.

Yesterday Mrs. C and I went grocery shopping.  When my bill was rung up, the cashier asked me, “Would you like to donate a dollar to the Something Something Blah Blah Blah FOR CHILDREN?

I have no idea what this charity was for.  All I heard was FOR CHILDREN.  What cause that ends in FOR CHILDREN would not be worth handing over a single dollar?  Probably none, except apparently I am a prick.

“No thank you, I don’t want to give a measly dollar to the Something Something Blah Blah BlahFOR CHILDREN, because I am a prick!”

The thing is, I just don’t like being hit up for a charity when I am not expecting it.  I don’t like that the store hits me up when I am running up a credit charge.  I don’t like the fact that I won’t be able to declare my contribution as a tax deduction, but the store probably will.  I give a buck and one million other blindsided customers give a buck and the CEO of the grocery store gets his picture in the paper handing over a tax deductable check for $1 million dollars. 

It just bothers me…but then I am a prick.

I give to charities from time to time.  I give to charities I care about, charities that hit close to my home.  If I give a buck to the store, it is one dollar less I have to give to my charities; so I say no and feel like a prick!

“No thank you, I don’t want to give a measly dollar to the Something Something Blah Blah BlahFOR CHILDREN, because I am a prick!”

After the grocery store we went to “Boston Market” to take home our dinner.  Checking out I was asked,

“Would you like to donate a dollar to the CHILDRENS FUND for something something?”

Mrs. C immediately pulled me by the arm, said no thank you and dragged me out of the store before I went on a rant to some poor 17 year old cashier who was only doing her job.

The next time I am asked for a dollar while checking out of a store I am going to ask to see the manager.  When he shows up I am going to ask him if he would like to donate a dollar to the Lustgarten Foundation to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.  If he says no I will just shake his hand and say “Well let’s just call it a draw then.”

If he says yes, I’ll do the same thing.

At least then I won’t feel like a prick.