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Monday, July 31, 2017

LIVERWURST SANDWICH

LIVERWURST SANDWICH
Not the first time I've touched on this subject.  This rerun is from July 2012
A very divisive food, people either love it or it makes them gag.
I had it pretty good growing up.   My family lived in comfortable homes, we never went hungry, we took regular vacations and in general we led a well- heeled solid middle class life.

My pop worked hard to give us that life.   He traveled a lot, worked late hours, and often cut his own vacations short for work.  My dad made sure to come to our events when possible.  He taught me to sail, to bowl and to play golf.  Dad went to all my football games in high school and captured them on 8mm film.

You would think that a son would be happy to reward a dad like this by doing small chores or favors without complaint.  

Well I did.  

There was one chore that I detested and I guess I was pretty good about not complaining, but it was horrible.

Sometimes when we were watching TV and a commercial came on, my dad would ask for a sandwich.   

“Joe, would you get up and make me a sandwich?”

“Sure pop, what do you want?”

Actually I knew what he would want and I shuddered to think of it.

“Just slap some liverwurst on a slice of bread.”

LIVERWURST!  Oh the humanity!

I still don’t really know what liverwurst is, I think it is some kind of pig liver sausage.  It stinks.  It has a pasty consistency.  It looks gross, it smells gross, and pops loved it.  It was all I could do to slap that crap on bread and not lose my dinner.   Just the thought of that smell brings back horrible memories.  The smell lingered, and just by preparing it the smell clung to your person.  There was no escape.

I grew up in a WASP family.  We were not demonstrative.  I don’t think I ever told my father that I loved him.

I did make him liverwurst sandwiches.  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

STUPID HEADLINES 073117

STUPID HEADLINES 073117 (oops, got the date wrong...I'm retired, what do I know)
It’s time again for
How much less?
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments. 
______________________
Stop Making Babies and Driving Cars to Save the Planet – Well I assure you, I have never made a baby while driving a car, so don’t blame that heat spell on me!
Airline spokesperson claimed person ‘passed gas’ on an American Airlines plane, forcing all passengers off at NC airport – American Airlines has decided to discontinue the burrito lunch option.
Will Smith says 'Star Wars' was better than sex – Either I saw a different movie, or he hasn’t found a very good partner!
Wisconsin company to implant microchips in its employees in August – There go the long bathroom breaks.
200 Allegiant Airlines passengers stranded in Las Vegas – When Allegiant stops in Vegas, you stay in Vegas!
79-year-old woman caught going 149 mph in Porsche Boxster said she 'needed to clear [her] head' – I’d like to know how they caught her!
Dentures left at scene lead to Tennessee man's rape conviction 16 years later – The only thing stupider than leaving your dentures at the scene of a crime, was it took 16 years to find the guy…and his name was on the dentures!
Teacher, 28, banned from classroom after allegedly having sex with student on plane – I think she should be banned from the plane.
Tom Brady is the owner of the New York Jets - according to Google – Well he owns them on the field, along with the rest of the NFL.
One-armed machete-wielding man arrested by Maine State Police – Dr. Richard Kimble was immediately released.

Humans came from galaxies, far, far away, scientists say – See, we definitely need a wall!



And the Feel-Good Story of the week:
Man Saves Beached Octopus, Last Thing He Expects Is A Thank You He'll Never Forget – Who doesn’t love a good octopus story?
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Come back again next week for more
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dementia


Dementia

Dementia is a horrible disease.  It comes on slowly and only gets worse.  In the very beginning it can almost seem humorous but it always ends badly. 

There are several stages to dementia. 

The first stage is a bit comical, and people joke about simple early forgetfulness.  In the second stage the person becomes angry; angry at themselves, angry at the disease, angry at others to cover up what they do not want to admit.  In the third stage the person is clearly afraid, I can only imagine waking up every day and not knowing where you are, who all these people are, and in fact, who you are!  The final stage seems to be just going through the motions without even enough cognition to care or be afraid.

For those who love the afflicted person, the final stage is almost a relief.

Years ago, when my mom was showing signs of dementia it was not clear if she was forgetful, or it was just the start of things to come.  Mom loved her ice cream, and sometimes would have seconds where we did not know if she was just still hungry, or she had not remembered she just had desert.  At the time this was comical.

Some of the signs could be infuriating.  Mom lived alone and was, rightfully so, always concerned that the house was secure before she turned in for the night.  Due to her forgetfulness, she made the “rounds” several times.  When we visited, this could be an issue.

At the time I was a smoker, and I did not want mom to know I still smoked…over 50-years-old and still did not want to worry or upset my mom…anyway, I would sneak outside at night to light up a last smoke.  Invariably when I was done I would find myself locked out of the house  because mom had made yet another lock-up round.  I did not want to wake up the house and also did not want to get caught as a smoker by mom, so I had to dig in the dark for the fake rock which held a key to the door.  It was a bit comical looking back, but infuriating at the time.

The dementia progressed slowly and eventually mom had to be placed in assisted living where she went through all the stages of dementia.  I visited seldom as she lived far away.  My brother did most of the arrangements and lived nearby.  He visited almost every day, and I think he became a “son” to a few other ladies who did not have steady visitors.

The few times I did visit, she was aware that she knew me, but was not completely sure who I was.  On my last visit, I don’t believe she knew me at all, but was happy to see me anyway. 

Dementia is a horrible disease.  It can be scary for the afflicted, and frustrating for loved ones. 

I miss my Mom.  I even miss being locked out of the house late at night hiding my habit while she tried to hide her affliction.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Man Vs. Shark

Man Vs. Shark
This week marks the 77th annual “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel.  I love Shark Week, don’t know why, I guess maybe it is because I find sharks to be fascinating.  What I find to be fascinating this year, is the amazing ability of human beings to be incredibly stupid!
This year, Discovery Channel kicked of Shark Week with a swimming race featuring Olympic champion Michael Phelps against a Great White Shark.  The promotions for this “race” in no way tried to indicate that Michael would actually be in the water with a Great White Shark.  It was clear to me that the race would be some kind of simulation.
I found the show to be fascinating.  They used several sophisticated methods to determine how fast a shark can swim, something not previously explored scientifically, and then established a mark for Phelps to attain in order to “theoretically” out swim a shark.
They did give Michael a little assistance in the form of a super sleek swim suit and a large prosthetic tail fin.  In order to win, Michael had to swim 100 meters in 36 seconds.  The show then filmed Michael swimming next to a simulated shark in a simulated lane.  Michael “lost” the race by two seconds.
I thought it was fun stuff, well done; but then I did not expect a real side by side race.  Apparently, the internet disagreed.
Twitter lit up with complaints that the race was not real.  People bemoaned the fact that they wasted an hour of their lives watching a bogus race.
AMAZING!!
What balloon headed ignoramuses expected Phelps to swim in the water against a real live Great White Shark?  Did they think Michael would be in the starting blocks and the Great White would be in a racehorse-like starting gate, ready to swim after a seal on a rope ala greyhound races?
Well I guess that would have made great TV.
“On you mark…get set…CHOMP”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Power of Music

The Power of Music

Mrs. C dragged me to another concert 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.