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Thursday, June 30, 2011


If I had the chance to interview the President of the United States, I would not settle for the typical Barbra Walters softball questions.  I would ask the questions every American wants to know:

Will government run healthcare save the average person money and will health services be as available as they are today?

How can we turn around the unemployment problem we face today?

Do you put the toilet seat down, or leave it up?

When do you see an end to the fighting in Afghanistan?

Now that you have released your birth certificate, can we see proof of your baptism?

Will Joe Biden be your running mate in 2012?

Do your daughters call you Mr. President, Daddy, or M’Lord?

What is the capital of Tanzania?

What brand of cigarettes do you not smoke?

Will we ever have a balanced budget?

How do you spell potato?

It has been said that your wife’s name and Belle go together well.  How do you respond?  (Beatles reference.  GIYP)

If gay marriages are not legal, can a gay man still marry a lesbian?

If a train left the station traveling at 60 miles an hour and stopped at its destination in 4 hours and 27 minutes, how did it stop at the station if it was going 60 miles per hour?

If you vetoed every piece of legislation coming from a Republican House and Senate, could we call you The Obamable Noman?

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011



Day four of our two week vacation, and the swimming/boogie boarding has been….not good!  The water is 63 degrees, not horrible, but we have been attacked by salps!  Fifty five years of the Jersey shore and I never heard of salps.  They are marble sized jelly like creatures that make swimming in the ocean like swimming in tapioca pudding.  They do not sting, but they are…this sounds a bit gay, but the only way to say it is they are ICKEY!

Surf fishing is also trumped by the salps, as they wrap around your line, and clog rod eye holes, making casting impossible.  Without swimming, boogie board riding or surf fishing, Spencer was bored.  Spence stayed in the house and played Playstation II.  Thirteen year olds do not understand the beauty of sitting in the sun, reading, talking, sleeping, and or just getting burnt to a crisp. 

Ordinarily I do not feel responsible for entertaining my kids while on vacation.  I tell them that I am on vacation; they are just along for the ride.  The scalps changed that.  I hated seeing Spence bored, so I decided to take him fishing.  We went fishing on a party boat, the Norma-K, out of Point Pleasant N.J.  OK, I have been wanting to try this for several years now.

Fishing was from 2 PM to 6:30 PM.  We were going bottom fishing for Fluke.  Fluke are a funny flat fish with both eyes on the same side of their head.  They are very good eating.  For some reason when you fish for Fluke they are Fluke.  When you order them at a restaurant they are Flounder.  I have never seen a boat advertizing Flounder fishing, and I have never seen a menu offering Fluke francaise, or broiled Fluke stuffed with crab meat.

It was a beautiful day, 94 degrees a slight breeze, but calm seas.  After a quick lesson in operating the rod and reel, and baiting the hook, Spence was a fisherman.  We fished for four hours.  Neither Spence nor I was a catcherman.  To be fair, the fishing was not good, but there were people to the left and right of us who were catching fish.  None were keepers (eighteen inches long) but people were catching fish.  We caught sunburn and aching backs.

I did catch a five inch sea robin.  This is an exceedingly ugly “garbage fish” which I did not even know was on my line until I had to reel in as the boat was going to move to a new spot.  Spencer did not even have a nibble. 

We did not have a great time. 

I submit that fishing is not fishing until you catch a fish.  Until you actually catch a fish, fishing is called being a stupid fucking idiot wasting your time holding on to a line that is never ever going to attract a fish.

You fucking cretin you!!

Well, that is how we felt for four and a half hours.  It was at least a nice boat trip, and when we returned home, a vodka tonic and a shower NEVER felt so good!  Spencer enjoyed a Sunny-Dee and a shower.

Our upstairs neighbors informed us on our return, that today the salps were nowhere to be seen. 

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I am currently on vacation. I know, vacation from what?  I am retired!  Sometimes you just have to do nothing at a different venue.  In this case it is two weeks at the Jersey shore.  In New Jersey we don’t go to the beach, we go to the shore.  Why the shore I do not know for sure, but packing for the shore is sure a chore.

It is just myself, Mrs. Cranky, and Spencer.  We need appropriate clothes for two weeks on the beach, the boardwalk, the miniature golf course and maybe a restaurant.  Three large suitcases take care of the clothes.  Our giant SUV swallows up the suitcases with ease; there is plenty of room for more stuff. 

We pack umbrellas, fishing rods, reels, and tackle.  We need boogie boards, beach blankets and chairs.  The SUV easily absorbs all of this.  Oh wait; we need pillows, blankets and sheets.  We need a huge bag full of plastic buckets and shovels (Spencer is 13, his sand castle days are over, but we have them…..just in case). 

We have to pack food (everything is more expensive at the shore).  Three cases of water, several bottles of wine and booze, milk, cases of soda, cartons of juice, juice boxes, and three gallons of Yoo Hoo.  We pack two weeks of groceries including a large watermelon, and the SUV is starting to swell.  Then we pack the giant bags of chips, Fritos and popcorn.  Seeing out of the rear view mirror is no longer an option.

Do we really need to bring bicycles?  You never know, so on goes the bike rack with three bikes.  Now the rear SUV gate is blocked and we remember we need a bar-b-q grill, coals, and grilling tools.  They go on the roof along with three sleeping bags (you never know), fishing waders, a raft, a giant inner tube, and several of those stupid foam noodles all strapped down with a plethora of bungee cords. 

We remember swim fins, snorkels and masks.  These we slip in through the rear window.

I might play golf, so the clubs squeeze on to the back seat along with an ice chest with all the food items which must be kept cool or frozen.  Finally we are ready to go.

Wait, Spencer brings out his baseball bag, a football, and a Playstation 2.  We also have to have a radio, DVD player, portable TV, and three laptop PCs.  No problem.  Simply take down the bikes and the rack, pull out all the bags of chips, Fritos and popcorn, pack the electronics, put back all the chips and the SUV is now stuffed floor to ceiling.  I Slam the rear gate, and replace the rack and the three bikes.  We are ready to go…. almost.  We can’t forget the toilet paper, paper towels, detergents and soaps.  These are packed on or around Spencer in the back seat and under Mrs. Cranky’s legs in the front.    

All we need is  Granny and a rocking chair on the roof to complete the “Beverly Hillbillies” image.  Driving down the Garden State Parkway we are not alone.  The road looks like a giant caravan of SUVs bulging with stuff, bikes hanging off the back, and roofs piled high with “just-in-case” shit.  

Every car in the caravan is driven by a long faced man who weeks ago was dreaming of this vacation.  Now he is dreading “unpacking,” and looking forward, he is not looking forward to packing all over again.  He is calculating where to put that fucking giant monkey he is sure to win on the stupid boardwalk knock-over-the-cans game.

Happy Vacation!
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Monday, June 27, 2011



Well, one of the dumbest things ever 

We; the ex and I, bought a giant fucking boat of an SUV five years ago.  We bought this boat off a one year lease, so it was loaded with crap I would not normally buy.  One of the features was a drop down DVD player for rear passengers to view.

I thought this feature was pretty cool.  Spencer was eight years old at the time.  Spence was a good kid, but any eight year old boy gets antsy on a long trip, this DVD would come in handy.

The first time we used the DVD it was great.  A little complicated, but my ex figured it out and got it going.  From the front seat we inserted “Shark Tails” and Spencer watched in silence.  The unit also had fancy wireless headphones, so he could watch and we could talk.  All was beautiful in SUV land.

Weeks later we took a three hour trip, the start of a three day weekend.  We loaded up the DVD with a new movie.  I forget the movie, but it was rated PG.  I think someone said damn a lot.  Spence heard worse than that at home so we were unconcerned.

The ex was driving, so I attempted to get the movie started.  Despite following all directions, I was unsuccessful.  The screen kept asking for a code.  WHAT CODE?  I was getting frustrated.  Bad thing.  My ex did not like me to get frustrated.  When I got frustrated, she got pissed off!  I don’t know why, it’s one of the reasons she is an ex.  That and I did not approve of her boyfriend, but that’s another story.

Crazy lady went crazy!  “You F***ING worthless idiot, you can’t do anything.”  I hated being called a worthless idiot; I think I had some value.

We pulled of the road, and the ex proceeded to demonstrate how F***ing stupid I was by getting the movie going.  Still it needed some code.  She got frustrated, which she was allowed to do so I kept my mouth shut.  WHAT FREAKING CODE?  IT DIDN’T NEED A CODE FOR F***ING SHARK TALES!”

We decided to hell with it.  We would suffer without the DVD and take it to the dealer the next week.  Needless to say the entire trip and the next three days were ruined because we could not get the DVD to work.  Also needless to say it was my fault the entire trip because I must have done something to have the DVD ask for some dumb code.

Three days and many “Shut the F up you worthless idiot‘s” later (again I still think I have some value) we found out the problem at the dealer.

The previous owner had activated a parental code on the player so any movie rated above “G” required a code number punched in to play. 

A PARENTAL CODE?  A PARENTAL CODE? The parentals are in the front seat.  All the controls are in the front seat; all the non parentals are in the back seat!!  I’m pretty sure Spencer was not going to slip in “Debbie Does Dallas” without our knowing. 

I have DVD’s in the house, DVD’s in Spencer’s room, cable with dirty movies after 11:00, and never activated a PARENTAL CODE!

My entire trip was ruined.  I was a F***ing worthless idiot for a week (I still dispute the worthless claim).  All because some nimrod activated a parental code for a DVD in a CAR!

If you know anything dumber, please comment.
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Sunday, June 26, 2011



At least once a day (twice now that I am retired) my wife asks me “Why did you do that?”  Usually this is not in reference to something I did, but something I did not do. 

She doesn’t just ask me “Why did you do that?”  First I am summoned to the place of the indiscretion.






I clomp down the stairs, “Yes.”

“Why did you do that?”  She says as she points to a dirty knife next to the sink and one foot away from an open dishwasher.

“I don’t know.”  I really don’t know.  I never know.  I meant to put the knife in the dishwasher, I know I did, but I guess I got distracted.  The problem is that men cannot multi-task.  One distraction and the task at hand is forgotten.

Men think they can multi-task.  They are wrong.  At work, a man can talk on the phone while he is surfing the computer for some information while at the same time jotting down a note to make a lunch appointment with a customer.  This is not multi-tasking.  This is doing your job.  All the tasks are related, all are functions performed for one task; taking home a pay check.

Women multi-task.  They can change a diaper while paying a bill on the computer, jotting down a grocery list, and talking to a friend on the phone about her next-door neighbor’s mother-in-law.

This multi-tasking difference is rooted deep in men and women’s genes.

Early man had two tasks, hunt to provide food for his family, and procreate to have a family.  Woman had to cook, clean, keep the fire going have children and take care of the children.  All at the same time.

OK multi-tasking while having the children might be too much.

Man could not make a bow and arrow while hunting, he had to make the tools first, and then go on the hunt. 

No multi-tasking. 

Man could not procreate and hunt at the same time; it was hunt first, screw later. 

No multi-tasking.

Women could screw while planning the next day’s dinner. 


It is this genetic difference that explains why all men so often hear “Why did you do that!”

Please women, cut us a break.  When you see dirty underwear right next to the hamper, or a new roll of toilet paper on the counter and an empty tube on the roller remember, we cannot multi-task.  When we make breakfast and leave the stove on, we got distracted.  When we come home from going out to dinner and lock the door while you are still outside, we got distracted.

Ladies, you may be able to procreate while you plan tomorrow’s dinner; we have to concentrate on the task at hand!
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Friday, June 24, 2011


From as yet unpublished "I Used To Be Stupid"

This is my son Matt’s story, but I am going to steal it.  I’ll run it by him for accuracy and might even make some corrections, unless the truth ruins a good story.

Matt graduated from The College of New Jersey in the spring of 1998.  In the fall he started a teaching job at Del Val Regional High School which is near Clinton New Jersey.  Clinton is in the western part of New Jersey, not far from the Pennsylvania border.  It is primarily a farm area, in one of the few parts of New Jersey not defined by a Turnpike or Parkway exit.

Matt is a Physical Education teacher and was an assistant football coach for Del Val.  His story is from the football team he coached.

The Del Val football team practiced on a rather rough patch of ground, saving the good field for game day.  In the middle of this practice field there was a huge boulder.  It was 40 inches wide at ground level; eight inches protruded from the ground and it was Lord only knows how deep.  This rock symbolized the toughness of the Del Val football team.  They did not practice on a soft turf; they practiced on a rough, hard pan field with a huge boulder in the middle.  The boulder became known as Pride Rock.   

When the team took the field for practice it became a tradition for each player to run out and touch Pride Rock.  This was the tradition for years. 

Many a halftime exhortation was delivered by many a coach ending with “let’s get out there and stand as solid and firm and impenetrable as PRIDE ROCK.”

The year Matt became an assistant coach was also the first year for new Head Coach Matt Perotti.  Coach Perotti was not as enamored with Pride Rock as were previous Del Val coaches.  To him Pride Rock was a nuisance.  Every practice play had to be set up around Pride Rock.

 “Move it up ten yards.  Let’s clear the rock.”

“Move it over five yards.  Get away from the rock.”

“Back it up boys, and let’s run it again. I hate that friggin rock.”

After several weeks of lining up plays while trying to avoid the rock, Coach Perotti had enough.  The team ran out one October Monday touching Pride Rock as was the tradition and stood in disbelief as they saw the Coach come out with a pick and a shovel.

“What’s up Coach?”  They asked in unison.

“That flipping rock has got to go, tradition or not!”

“What?  Move Pride Rock?  You can’t move Pride Rock.”

“Well I can sure as heck try.  That rock is a pain in the butt.”

“But it’s….its PRIDE ROCK.  It’s tradition!”

“I’m digging this thing up.  Then if you want you can all get together and roll it to the side off the field.  You numb-nuts can run out and touch it there if you want, but I’m moving that damn rock if it takes all practice.”

“Good luck Coach.  No one has ever been able to move Pride Rock!”

With that warning, Coach Perotti grabbed the pick and stood atop the boulder.  He swung the pick up and then down hard just on the outside edge of Pride Rock and into the dirt around it.  The pick drove deep into the dirt and slanted against Pride Rock.  Coach Perotti put his weight against the pick and pried against the rock.  Pride Rock popped out with little effort. 

Pride Rock was 40 inches wide at ground level, eight inches protruded from the ground, and it turned out it was two inches deep.  Pride Rock weighed about thirty pounds.

“Damn!” The entire team exclaimed as one.  “Pride Rock?”

Lucas, Conord, pick that rock up and throw it in the woods,” the coach ordered.  “Everybody else take a lap, we have a game on Saturday.”

That Saturday Del Val broke a three game losing streak with a 24-7 victory.  The team was inspired before the game by the Coach’s pregame speech urging the team to move the opposition as easily as they had moved that rock. 

As they ran out to the field every player made sure they bent down and touched the PRIED ROCK.

Apparently I’m not the only one who used to be stupid.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cranky Old Man's Tips on Household Chores

Cranky Old Man's Tips on Household Chores

(Ladies, some of this may seem sexist; please do not read this blog!)

As I am now retired, it is increasingly difficult to avoid household chores.  If I have to do these chores, at least I will do them my way.  For all of you other retired cranky old retired men facing the same requirement to do household chores I offer these tried and true tips:

Laundry – Women have been indoctrinated in the belief that you must separate whites from colors when doing the wash.  They learned this at a young age and the indoctrination is so strong that no woman has ever dared to experiment.

The truth is that except for the first two washings, colored items can be mingled with the whites.  The whites will remain white, the colors will not bleed.  I repeat, there is no need to separate the colors when doing a wash load.  Not separating the colors saves time and money.

Men….if your wife is monitoring your laundering, you must separate the colors.  She will never believe the above axiom even if you demonstrate it for her.  She will see bleeding whether it exists or not. 

You must only fail to separate when she is not watching.

In fact, every once in a while I recommend you take a new purple shirt and mix it with an old crappy white tee shirt.

“Damn!!  What happened?”

“Oh Sweetheart, you poor stupid thing; don’t you know not to mix colors with whites?”

“Oops, I forgot.  Sorry.”

This will make your spouse feel extra important, and maybe get you out of occasional laundry duty.

Dishes – Doing dishes is a relatively easy chore if you remember just a few things. 

1.     You will never be able to load a dishwasher correctly.  You must just load it and run it before the inspector tries to squeeze in an extra knife or dish.

2.    If you do not want to get caught with inadequate dishwasher loading, you must unload as soon as the washer is done.

3.    If you do not know where a dish goes, do not put it away.  It is better to leave it for your wife than to try and remember where you put it two weeks later.

4.    Do not touch the Tupperware.  You could safely put Tupperware in the dishwasher, but there is a prevailing belief among women that this will spoil the seal and ruin the burp.  Do not challenge this belief.

5.    Every once and a while, put a dish in the washer without adequately scraping off the morning’s dried egg yolk.  Put the dish away even though the egg did not come off in the wash.  This will keep the illusion that you are helpless without the inspector wife.  She will appreciate this in the long run.

Vacuuming – This one is a bit tougher.  Women demand that a freshly vacuumed carpet have vacuum lines.  I don’t know why, just accept it.  It is perfectly OK to vacuum willy nilly but when finished, you must quickly go over everything to leave the correct lines.  Sometimes if I have time, as a goof, I put in criss cross lines.  The criss cross lines subliminally reminds a women of the lines in a grass football or baseball field.  This disturbs most women and they do not know why. 

Hey, they do stuff like that to us, we just don’t know it!

When vacuuming, do not think you don’t have to vacuum under stuff.  These places will be the first areas the inspector wife will check.

Making the bed – Unless you were in the service, do not even attempt this chore.  Bed making can never be done to a women’s standard.

Dusting – Please!! Do not stoop this low.  If you have to dust, do it in a skirt!

Ironing – Don’t fall for this, even women don’t iron any more.

Washing the floors – Spray the floor with Windex, put on an old pair of white socks, get a mop and a folded up sock and play floor hockey for about twenty minutes.

Cleaning the Bathroom – Windex on everything.  Wipe clean with a paper towel.  Use bleach to rid any mold from shower curtains and the tub.  Remember, no matter how much you clean, there are little hairs floating around all bathrooms waiting for you to be finished before they fall to the ground.  Your wife will find them no matter what you do, just be prepared to apologize.

These are my little tricks, now get the fuck out of the house and go play golf!

Hey lady, don’t get angry, I told you not to read this blog!
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011



I know we are in a recession.  People are out of work.  People are tightening their belts and constantly looking for ways to cut costs.  And yet I get the summer catalogs full of stuff that I am assuming somebody is buying.  Who in the name of Bill Gates is buying this shit?

COOL OFF OUTSIDE with an outdoor air cooler for only $179.99:

What summer party could not use an outdoor air cooler?  Say it’s 98F outside, people are sweating and complaining; just turn on your outdoor air cooler and watch that temperature drop to 97F within a 6 foot radius.  Ah…relief and for only $179.99.  “HEY close the door to the house damn it, your letting all the cool air in!!”

KEEP THE ICE COMING at your next party with a commercial quality electric ice maker; makes 35 pounds of ice a day for only $199.99. Do you need this much ice when you have an outdoor air cooler?  OK, but 35 pounds?  If you need 35 pounds of ice, cater the fucking party and let the caterer worry about the ice!  For a normal party it’s not that hard to make ice.  It’s called freezing water!  If you know you are having a party, make it ahead of time for free.

ENJOY 90 SQUARE FEET OF INSECT FREE LIVING SPACE with your backyard gazebo and mosquito netting, $289.99.  Hmmmm if there are that many mosquitoes maybe it’s time to take the party inside; or do you really need the netting when you have:

 A DYNATRAP ELIMINATOR XL $199.99 - traps and eliminates mosquitoes for up to one acre.    

For those who like the outdoors, but don’t want their feet to touch icky stuff you can buy ALL WEATHER RUGS. They stand up to sun and rain, $239.99 for 8x10 coverage.

If you don’t know what time it is and you don’t have a watch, buy the OVERSIZED ALL WEATHER CLOCK only $79.99.

Do you need a little outdoor ambiance?  Then you need our UNIQUE GARDEN FOUNTAIN (electric or solar) $349.99.  Trust me, nothing like the good old outdoors, a couple of beers, and the sound of trickling water to get your guests a jiggling.  Lock the doors to your bathroom for added fun!

CREATE AN OUTDOOR OASIS with lighted palm trees and parrots - 2 6’ trees and 2 parrots - $249.99.  What is an outdoor party without fake palm trees and fake parrots lit up with multicolored lights?

If your swimming pool is not enough fun for the kids, you can buy a FLOATING TABLE TENNIS SET.  This 5’ floating table, net, 2 paddles and 3 balls is all for only $79.99.  Imagine the fun of chasing down ping pong balls for those little brats in the pool.  What fun!  We all know a FUCKING SWIMMING POOL isn’t enough!

And my personal favorite:

Enjoy BIG SCREEN action in your backyard with the COMPLETE HOME OUTDOOR THEATRE!  Imagine, your own 120” diameter blow-up screen and MovieMate portable projector DVD player all for only $999.98.  The screen inflates in minutes; inflating blowers, stakes, tethers and even a storage bag are included!

WOW, what a party!  All in your air cooled, 35 lbs of ice, insect free, carpeted fountain running oasis.  You have table tennis in the pool for the kids and HEY, I see by the giant all weather clock its outdoor movie time!  All for only $2869.89!!

Did I hear thunder?
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Monday, June 20, 2011



My youngest child, Spencer, just turned 13.  I now need to relearn teen speak vocabulary.  It seems some teen speak has not changed, some has, and for some I need an interpreter. 
I know teen speak from the 60’s, it was my language of choice.
I know teen speak from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I was forced to learn in able to understand my other three children, Marybeth (I won’t say), Mike 37, and Matt 34.
I have to relearn today’s teen speak.  Here is what I think I know:
LIKE – I do not believe this has changed much from the 50’s and 60’s when it first became prominent.  Apparently metaphors are too hard for teens, so everything becomes a simile.  The beatniks of the 50’s started it.  Maynard G. Krebs of “The Many Loves of Doby Gillis” made it popular, and Shaggy from “Scooby Doo” perpetuated it. 
Why say “I was walking to school…..” when “Like I was walking to school…..” sounds so much more intelligent? 
I like, like to count how many, times, like teenagers like say like.  I know they like to say like, like a lot! 
YOU KNOW – Not much changed from the 60’s when this became common vernacular.  It is used to confirm the listener is paying attention.
“Like I was walking to school, you know…” “You know?” 
“Uh huh, like yup, I know.”
REALLY? – This is a new one.  It replaces “Hit the right” of my day, “No way,” “Get out,” of the 70’s, “Get the fuck out,” of the 80’s, and “Shut up!” of the 90’s.  All are used to confirm that what you just heard is what happened.
“Like I was walking to school, you know and I ran into Lamont…” “You know?”
“Hit the right you ran into Lamont” 1961
“Get out, no way you ran into Lamont” 1972
“Get the fuck out you ran into Lamont” 1984
“You ran into Lamont?  SHUT UP!” 1990
“You ran into Lamont?  Really?”
ITE – Not sure about this one.  I think it replaces “alright” and is used instead of “you know.” It seems to be used in repetition for no reason at all.
“Ite, like I was walking to school, you know ite…”
ACTUALLY – The meaning has not changed, however it is used when not needed in an attempt to accentuate the obvious.
“Ite, like I was actually walking to school, you know ite…”
AWESOME and EPIC - These mean the same thing, I think.  They replace cool, neat, groovy, and quite possibly 23 skidoo.  Do not use these words ever!  Do you remember when your Mom first said “Groovy?”
“Ite, like I was actually having this awesome walk to school, it was epic you know, ite…”
BLING – Anything shiny or fancy, usually jewelry.  Replaces…ah……..hmmm; I don’t think teens ever had shiny fancy jewelry.  I remember “fancy stuff” in the 80’s and 90’s and later “shiny shit”.  I’m pretty sure bling refers to stuff that is new to teens.
“Ite, like I was actually like having this awesome walk to school, wearing my bling, it was like epic you know, ite…”
As if it isn’t hard enough keeping up with the language changes, teens now have a completely new form of communication used in text messaging.  I have not yet decoded this format; I think I have the major acronyms figured out.
LOL – Lots of luck.
WTF – Why the face?
LMAO – Left my APPLE (computer) on.
LMFAO – Left my favorite APPLE on.
BFF – Bad foot fungus.
OMG- Only my gramps!
ILIWALHTAWTS - Ite, like I was actually like having this awesome walk to school…
There is still a whole lot I have yet to figure out.  If any teens would like to like help me out with this it would like be awesome.  I might even like you know, cough up some coin so you could like get some bling.  Ite?
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Saturday, June 18, 2011


I wanted a story for Father’s Day, so I stole this from “I Used To Be Stupid” my unreleased second book (I’m waiting for the excitement of my first release “Maybe It’s Just Me!” which has sold 38 copies, to die down)

A Dad does much for his family, most of which goes unnoticed by his children.  My father was no different from most fathers.  He worked hard.  His hours were long, his commute to New York City from the suburbs was miserable, and he had to deal with a boss who was not as smart as he. 
As children, we lived in nice houses.  We were well fed.  We went on nice vacations.  Dad’s labor put all three of us through college.  His example and his parenting kept us out of trouble and on a road towards becoming responsible productive young men.
Dad taught me how to catch and throw a ball.  He taught me to bowl and to play golf.  When I played football, he was at the top of the stands filming the game.  He used two 8mm cameras.  One was always loaded and ready so he never missed a play.  Dad did so much, and yet what do I remember the most?  What did Dad do that made me the most proud?  Dad knew how to drive on ice!
One winter in 1957, on Manhasset, Long Island, we had a huge snow storm.  Our next door neighbor, Mr. Newman, got his car stuck trying to bring it up the driveway and into the garage.  Mr. Newman had shoveled his driveway and then taken his 1955 Chevy Belair to the store for provisions.  By the time he returned, a layer of snow on the driveway slightly melted from the sun and then refroze.  This was followed by another 4 inches of wind-driven, drifting snow and several feet of newly plowed snow pushed against the front of his entrance.
When he returned, Mr. Newman tried to pull into his driveway.   His front wheels barely broke through the snow plow barrier.  He moved five feet up the slight incline of the driveway when he spun his rear wheels into the snowplow residue and the layer of snow/ice on the driveway.
The more Mr. Newman tried to get up the driveway, the more he spun his wheels.  The more he spun his wheels, the more the rut he was stuck in got icier and deeper.
The entire neighborhood came out to help Mr. Newman move his car into the garage.  People pushed from behind.  Cardboard was shoved under the wheels.  There was much pushing, much grunting, much of that roaring sound that only spinning wheels on ice can make.  In 45 minutes, the whole block of good Samaritans had managed to move poor Mr. Newman’s Chevy about 4 feet closer to its destination.
Neighbors pushed in shifts, all to no avail.  Everyone was taking a break, tired, sweating, and frustrated, when my Dad came to the scene.
“Stuck pretty badly huh?”  My father understated.
“Yup, she’s not going anywhere,” was Mr. Newman’s response.   About 15 neighbors nodded and grunted in agreement.
“Give me a shot”, was Dad’s reply.
“It’s hopeless; what can you do?”
“I don’t know, maybe a little trick.” 
Dad replaced Mr. Newman at the wheel, waved all the neighbors away, and started to rock the car on his own.  He slammed the Belair in low, moved forward an inch, and then slammed it in reverse.  Back and forth he rocked the car again and again until the car rocked out of the groove which had imprisoned it.
Out of the groove, Dad then put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway onto the street.
“No, no!”,  came the anguished cry from everyone as they watched the auto give up the four feet which they had labored so hard to gain.  The shocked throng was about to severely chastise my Dad when he calmly put the car in low gear and moved forward at a controlled speed careful to not let the wheels spin.  When he passed the snowplow barricade and the imprisoning grove, he slightly gunned the engine and the car did a quick fishtail up the driveway and into the garage.  The entire process took him all of about 45 seconds!
The entire neighborhood, myself included, went from slack-jawed amazement to enthusiastic applause.
“How did you do that?” Mr. Newman asked.
“Well, I went to school at Penn State”, Dad replied, “lots of snow there.  You can’t fight the ice.  If the wheels spin, you’ve got to stop, back up and try again.  The only thing that can beat the ice is momentum.”
Dad provided food, shelter, love, guidance, and wisdom, but I was never more proud of my Pop than when he showed an entire neighborhood how to drive on ice! 
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