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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

RIP-OFF…maybe not

RIP-OFF…maybe not
 Last year I bought three solar accent lights for my backyard.  I have several small lights in the front.  The front ones are small and were pretty cheap, maybe $6 per light.  The ones I bought for the back were much bigger and brighter, and cost about $15 each.
Of the three lights in the back, only one worked.  Two did nothing from day one.  I was a bit pissed about this and was determined to take them back.  Of course, I kept putting it off as I hate returning stuff, and with being away several weeks in the summer it also slipped my mind.
Mrs. C had to ask a question which tested my intelligence. 
“Did you pull the tab?” 
These lights have a tab that blocks the battery from the contacts.
“Yes, of course I pulled the tabs, how do you think the one works?  That is the first thing I did.”
Anyway, today I was planning on taking the lights back to Lowes where I bought them, and was ready to do battle because I don’t have any receipts.  Before leaving though, I thought maybe the batteries were just no good, so I decided to first test them with batteries from lights that worked.
I took out several working batteries and changed out the batteries in the non-working lights.  It was then I noticed a little switch by the battery contacts that was set to OFF.  I’m guessing the switch should be set to ON in order to work.  Why anyone would want to switch off solar accent lights that only go on in the dark I’ll never understand.
My dilemma now is, do I tell Mrs. C that the batteries just needed changing, tell her I exchanged the lights at the store, or fess up that I’m an idiot?
I think I need to make a fake visit to Lowes tomorrow.  Don’t tell Mrs. C.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Gol Dang Corn-Shuckers

Gol Dang Corn-Shuckers
I run into these Corn-shuckers every summer and they really are the fingernails on my blackboard (GIY).  No, that is not a euphemism for a different type of despicable person, I am talking about actual Corn-shuckers…shuckers of corn.

OK, I guess I have to explain, and lest I offend a Corn-shucker who is not aware of this indiscretion, if you are a Corn-shucker, you are forgiven for now, but just stop it!
When I go to the supermarket for some fresh corn on the cob, there is a large table full of ears.  If you get to the table late, ¾ of the ears have been partially shucked by…that’s tight, CORN-SHUCKERS.
These are people who are so special they have to shuck each ear until they find the perfect ear of corn.  No shriveled kernels, no icky corn worms and whatever else, I don’t know. 
Well listen up Corn-shuckers:
The tops of most ears have shriveled kernels and most people break off the top inch anyway.
Those icky worms almost never exist anymore, probably thanks to GMO corn and they only are in the top that gets broken off.
When you put back that shucked imperfect ear, it dries out.  No one wants a dried out ear.
The moment corn is shucked the natural sugars that make corn so good start to convert to starch.  Early shucking makes dried out starchy crappy tasting corn!
As a result of all this corn shucking by these perfect-ear-seeking Corn-shuckers the only remaining un-shucked ears are the obviously smaller thinner less desirable ears.

I don’t want the dried-out ears that you Corn-shuckers shucked.  I don’t want ears that have been touched by your grubby Corn-shucking hands.  I  want my corn to taste sweet, not starchy.  
No one takes the shucked corn.  Everyone sees it and thinks,
“If this ear was not good enough for the Corn-shucker, then it is not good enough for me.” 
Those shucked ears go to waste and as a result the price of an ear of corn goes way up.
Please people, stop shucking the corn in the store.  Take a chance at an imperfect ear, live dangerously.  Buy an extra ear in case you get a bad one, these days very few bad ears make it to the market.
Help keep the price of corn down, be respectful of corn buyers to follow.
No one likes a Corn-shucker!


This cranky re-run is from August 2014

In a post last week, I was quite properly lambasted for waking Mrs. Cranky with a question. I fully understand the seriousness of this, particularly to my testosterone deficient audience.  I get that many women, particularly those with young children, have little opportunity to enjoy uninterrupted sleep.  In my defense, Mrs. Cranky has the unusual ability to go from sound sleep to awake and then back to sleep again in a matter of seconds.  She remembers waking so it is not sleep talking, she is just able to wake and or fall back to sleep at the flip of some internal switch.

To illustrate this phenomenon, the other night we were watching one of our favorite movies, “My Cousin Vinny.” This comedy is chock full of lines which Mrs. C has committed to memory, one of her many skills.  Half way through the movie she fell asleep.  She was snoring in that gentle quiet rhythmic way a woman in deep sleep will snore.

In one of our favorite moments in this movie (and there are many), Joe Pesci (Cousin Vinny) interrogates a witness in an attempt to show her eye sight is unreliable.  I won’t bore you with all the details of the scene, watch the movie you won’t be disappointed…


In this classic scene, Pesci in way of admonishing a judicial indiscretion addresses the court and the witness saying, 

“Mrs. Reilly; and only Mrs. Reilly…”

At this exact moment, Mrs. Cranky arises from deep slumber and mimics, 

“Mrs. Reilly and only Mrs. Reilly how many fingers I am holding up now?” 

She then went instantly back to her comfortable rhythmic snore, and yes in the morning she remembered mimicking the movie.

And so I offer no real excuse for occasionally waking my wife to ask an innocuous question, but it is not as serious an offense as many might believe.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Stupid Headlines 081317

Stupid Headlines 081317
It’s time again for
There always other Go-Go bars
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments. 
Manhunt for woman, 37, accused of performing obscene sex act in McDonald’s – That must be a typo, I believe it should be MEN hunt…
Too politically correct? Board drops 'Lynch' from school names – Demands also made to change Notre Dame to just Notre as “Dame” is offensive to women.
Former Trump campaign staffers Jason Miller and A.J. Delgado reveal love child after campaign affair – Miller claims it was the result of Russia interfering with the erection.
Knife-wielding man who robbed Texas Walgreens is identified by distinct face tattoo – It is always a bad idea to commit a robbery with a face tattoo, kinda like a get-away car with vanity plates.
After 106 years in Antarctica, fruitcake still looks 'like new' – Someone’s getting fruitcake for Christmas!
TV anchor delivers news while 'porn video' plays behind her – That’s one way to up the ratings.
The NYPD Boycott of Dunkin' Donuts Is Fully On – Police boycotting doughnuts is like fish boycotting water!
Older Americans are dying on the job, retirement age to blame – Well yeah, if you let us retire we would die off the job!
Dental brace wire lodged in intestine for a decade, doctors say – On the plus side, that part of the intestine has remained perfectly straight.

Millions of bats form tornado in the sky – “BATNADO” staring Tara Reid and Ian Ziering!

And the Feel-good story of the week:
Tim Tebow stops warming up to shake autistic fan's hand, follows it up with home run – I don’t know why many people have a bug up their butt about this guy, he is one of the few genuinely good dudes in sports!
Ohio high school football team members rescue elderly couple from river – An emergency they had to tackle.
Come back again next week for more

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Times They Are A Changing

The Times They Are A Changing

A cranky opinion for


More on Monday’s post

The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with no credentials to have any opinion on the topic opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome, but are wrong.  As always, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid head!

Monday I re-ran a post from 2013.  It was tongue in cheek, making fun of “Profiling” and how we all do it from time to time.  The intent was to demonstrate how profiling is not necessarily wrong as it is usually based on experience or common sense, but our gut feelings are also not always correct.


When I board a train and there are two seats available, one next to a teenager with a nose ring, and one next to an older lady in a business suit, I will sit next to the lady.

Here is what I find interesting:

In 2013, the comments I received were predominantly along the lines of “This is so true, and funny” or “I do the same, why not go with the odds”, or “Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts.” Most comments at least recognized the attempt at humor.

Monday the comments were more along the lines of, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, and “We all do this sometimes and it is not right.” Some comments acknowledged the existence of profiling and even admitted to doing it, but almost no one found humor in the post or felt that profiling was in any way reasonable.  (comments)

What happened in four years that people went from seeing humor in a mostly tongue-in-cheek post, to being a bit uptight and not wanting to give any credibility at all to profiling people not just on race, but demeanor, dress and, body language?

I think perhaps the word “Profiling” has taken on a Political Correct nuance that makes people less willing to accept it in any form. 

That, or maybe we have just lost our sense of humor. 

It is sad if society today is walking on egg shells.

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Why I Can’t Watch Todays TV Shows

Why I Can’t Watch Todays TV Shows
Now which one is Laura and which is Lori?
Maybe I’m just old.  Maybe I’m stupid.  Maybe today’s actors, writers and directors suck.
First the characters in shows today all look alike.  Even mothers and daughters look the same age and have the same hair color and hair style.  To make things even more confusing all the names are similar…Laura, Lauren, Ben, Bob, Rob, Marylou, Maryann. 
Who can tell who from friggin who?
If all this confusion is not enough, some acting genius has decided that whispering is dramatic and dramatic is good….except now along with not knowing who is friggin who, we don’t know what friggin who is saying to who!
OK, I have learned that if I really concentrate and turn the volume up to 73 I can hear the dialog and keep track of who is who most of the time, so…the directors have added a new wrinkle to shows…jumping forward and back in time.
A typical show today starts off with several characters who look alike whispering dialog that you can’t hear and just as you think you can figure out what is going on they jump ahead 15 years and when you almost get used to the plot they go back 12 years.  To fully understand what is happening 15 years ahead, it requires knowing facts from 15 years back which they do not let you know until after time jumping several times.
Finally, if you are really paying close attention to the time frame, the look-alike characters with the same sounding names, and have the volume turned up extra high, it all comes together:
“OH, so Sally was really Sara’s twin who was married to Ed, Edith’s brother and Susie was the bastard daughter fathered by Ernie the gardener who is Sally’s husband Ernst’s doppelganger.  Finally, it all makes sense!”
No wonder I prefer re-runs of “Leave it to Beaver.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Almost A Genius

Almost A Genius

Mrs. C is almost a genius.  I’m not sure what the definition of genius is.  I say it is any extraordinary ability that cannot be explained by anything other than an innate talent that less than .0001 percent of any other person who ever lived has demonstrated.  It is also an unexplained ability that serves some useful purpose to mankind.
Mrs. C’s mind works in wondrous ways.  She notices things that no one else ever notices and she remembers things that no one else would remember.  She has an innate talent that less than .0001 percent of any human has ever demonstrated.  Unfortunately, her talent serves no useful purpose to mankind.
Genius?  Just a little bit short.
If I move a piece of paper on the table by just a minuscule amount, she will notice.
“What were you looking for downstairs?”
“Last week’s receipt from the grocery store was moved…what were you looking for?”
“Ah, my keys…and HOLY CRAP, how did you notice?” Amazing, but of no use to mankind.
The other night we were watching “Wheel of Fortune”.  Mrs. C remembered the contestants.
“This is a re-run, I remember the dude with the long hair.”
OK, nothing remarkable about that.  Then at the end, the dude with the long hair won and was going for the big money…plus he had the MILLION DOLLAR slice.
When the letters of his final puzzle were put up they were
_ _ G E
_ _ _ OR
Mrs. C immediately blurted out, “HUGE FAVOR!”
She was correct.
“Did you know that, or did you just remember it?”
“I’m not sure.”
Then Pat Sajak opened the prize and it was $34,000 not the one million dollars.
“The million was with the “stars” in the wheel.”
She was correct.
“I guess I just remembered that too.”
Amazing, but of no real use to mankind.

Mo Money

Mo Money
I paid lots of money to be a published author.  For my first book, I received royalties of $57 in one year…nothing since.  My second book brought in $36 the first year it was published.  That was four years ago.  Since then I have received nothing.  I believe the publisher will not cut a check for less than $25.
Yesterday I received this:
Apparently in the last four years I have sold close to ten books.
I am so proud and excited.  If I sell only 925 more books I will break even on my investment.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What is in a Name

What is in a Name

Yesterday I re-ran a post called “Profiling”  where I admitted to prejudging people based on various factors.  It was all tongue-in-cheek with an element of truth.  One of the statements I made in that post was:

With no other information to go by, I am choosing LaQuando Mustaffa over Herb Jacobs for my fantasy basketball team.

When I re-read this post, I was reminded of a similar real-life situation.

Some years ago, I was a Little League coach for my son’s 8 yo baseball team.  Part of the process in this league was choosing your players from the list of kids who had signed up.

Each coach took a turn choosing a player, one at a time.  I knew a lot of the kids from other sports that my son participated in, but by around the tenth pick I did not know the ability of any of the remaining kids.

How do you make a pick when you do not know any of the remaining players?  None of the other coaches seemed to know the last players in the pool, so they were no help.

I had nothing to go on but the child’s name.

Mark Schwartz, Brian O’Neil, Sam Shapiro, Allen Brown, DeVonte Washington…

Wait, DeVonte Washington?  Must be a black kid, probably a good athlete and if nothing else a fast runner, I mean more than any of those other names.


I picked DeVonte, who it turned out was in fact black. (Actually more brown than black; hell, are Caucasians actually white? OK PC-people, he was African-American…geeze.) 

I later also ended up with Sam Shapiro, the biggest pain in the ass with the biggest pain in the ass parents to ever step foot on a Little League field, but that is another story.

DeVonte showed up for the first day of practice with his dad.  His dad, Vern, was about 6’3” and my assistant coach knew him right away.  Seems he played basketball against Vern in high school and he was damn good.  I figured I scored with DeVonte; athletics was in the genes. 

Turns out Devonte was a below-average athlete, and not even a particularly fast runner.  He was a bit precocious and a handful to coach.  He had about a thousand questions about everything, some even about baseball.

DeVonte had his father’s genes alright, just not the athletic genes.  His dad was CEO of a computer software company, and his mom was a high-power lawyer.  He got the smart genes; DeVonte was about as smart as any 8 yo I have ever met.  Unfortunately, he was a bit reticent about catching a fly ball and he had trouble making contact with a round ball using a round bat.

Still, DeVonte turned out to be an excellent pick.  His dad was a great guy, very helpful with the team, and DeVonte for all his questions and chatter, most of which were over my head (he once asked me how to throw a curve ball and then went on to explain the physics of why spin will make a ball curve*), was fun to coach.

On our final game, DeVonte smacked a long drive to right field for a triple. 

It would have been an easy home run if the kid had any speed.

*Swiss Mathematician Bernoulli explained how air passing over a curved surface creates lift...I had to look it up.

Monday, August 7, 2017


This Cranky re-run is from August 2013

I don’t believe in profiling, but:

If you have one eyebrow and your name is Habib, I might distance myself from your backpack.

If you wear your pants below your ass and say “yo, yo, yo” mother-f-er, I might reach for my can of mace.

If you have a Mohawk haircut and wear a shirt that says, “What the F*ck are you looking at” I might wait for the next train.

If your bumper sticker say’s “America, love it or get the frig out!” I’ll probably just let you cut me off and not honk my horn.

If your car has all tinted windows and a chrome chain around your license plate, I will probably not stop to help you fix a flat tire.

If you have giant plates in your earlobes, I probably won’t ask you for directions.

With no other information to go by, I am choosing LaQuando Mustaffa over Herb Jacobs for my fantasy basketball team.

If you are whacking away on a pound of chewing gum and ask me if I have any spare change, my pockets will most likely be empty.

If you smell, I may not sit next to you.

If you have an arm sleeve with tattooed satanic images, I might just hire a different babysitter.

If you have really wide open eyes and a goofy smile, I think I might try the movie in theater #7.

If you have sores on your lip, I’m going across the street to Burger King.

If you roll down the windows in your BMW and turn your rap music to “Reverberate all of Main Street,” I'm going to assume you're an idiot.

If your bumper sticker says, “Impeach Obama” or “Kill Bush” my conversation with you will be limited to the weather.

If your name is Bubba, I might wait for Lance to cut my hair.

If you have a big smile, I might say “hello,” If you have a scowl, I’ll probably look away.

I don’t believe in profiling, but I profile every day. 

It is called learning through experience.  

Sometimes it’s wrong…

Sunday, August 6, 2017


It’s time again for
They say size doesn't matter
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments. 
Ohio woman calls 911 saying, 'I have a boa constrictor stuck to my face' – No comment can top the operators response… “I’ve never heard of that before!”
MS-13 members: Trump makes the gang stronger – Well, we should definitely consult with the members of the gang as how to best destroy them.
Blowing out birthday candles increases cake bacteria by 1,400 percent, study reveals – Cake bacteria was the cause of flour children in the 70’s.
Naked illegal alien panhandlers turning Times Square into shocking anti-family zone – First it was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, now this!
Princeton asks students to pick from six 'genders' – Even multiple-choice questions are complicated at Princeton.
Pete Rose Accused of Minor Sex – Hell, my wife accuses me of this all the time!
Maine landlord runs over tenant for digging up plants – Might have been better to just withhold some of the security deposit.

Manhunt underway for man caught 'pleasuring himself' during 'The Emoji Movie' –
Vain fugitive turns himself in after spotting ‘unflattering’ mugshot on Facebook – He probably thinks that Carly’s song is about him.
Half the candidates in Detroit mayoral election are felons – My vote would go for someone in the half that didn’t get caught.
Danish queen's husband refuses to be buried with her – Well yeah; He’s still alive!
The feel-good story of the week:
Bride gets mistaken by little girl as a princess from her favorite book - so she acts the part beautifully – It was a slow feel-good news week, but I kinda liked this one.
Come back again next week for more

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Remember the old days and telephones?  Most of us had one phone in the house.  When it rang, it would not stop ringing, especially if the caller believed you were home.  There was no answering service and no caller ID.

If you failed to answer the phone you were almost sure to some time or other have to answer the question, “Where were you?” from the caller and you better have a good answer. 
The phone did not ring that often, so when it did, you answered it.  It only rang when it was someone you needed to talk to, or something important.
There was a lot of yelling when the phone rang.
“Somebody get that!”
“I’ll get it.”
Slight delay
“Who is it?”
“It’s for me.”
“It’s Johnny, he’s back from the store and wants to play ball.”
You never did not answer the phone.
Today we have caller ID, voicemail, and the phone is in your pocket, not upstairs in your parent’s bedroom.  After 4 rings it goes to voicemail. 
Today we get a zillion calls a day.  Almost all are crap calls soliciting something or other.  There is this “Do not call” thing that was supposed to stop these calls.  It does not.  Have you ever read of anyone being charged with calling someone on the “Do no call list?”
No, you have not.  That is because it is not worth crap.  It is ignored and or callers have found ways to avoid detection.
Experts tell us to not pick up the phone if you don’t know who is calling.  If it is important, they will leave a message.  If you do answer, even if you immediately hang up or curse the caller out, it only encourages more crap calls.
The expert advice is good advice.
Those of us who grew up with one phone, with no caller ID or voicemail, unlimited rings and lots of yelling, are programmed to always answer.  We know better, but we just can’t help it.
I’m slowly getting better, if I don’t know the caller by ring-tone or caller ID, and am not expecting a call, I generally do not pick up…but it kills me to ignore it. 
A voice in my head always yells, “Somebody get that!”