This blog is now sugar FREE, fat FREE, gluten FREE, all ORGANIC and all NATURAL!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012



Why are men so nuts when it comes to their car?  I know, I am a guy I should know, but it just doesn’t click.  Maybe it’s because my wife is turning me gay.

I like a clean car without dents or scratches.  I clean the Tasty-Pie aluminum plates and gum wrappers from my car floor several times a year.  Sometimes when it rains I will pull my car out of the garage to let nature give it a wash. 

Dirt, dents, and scratches are inevitable.  If you try to keep your car dirt, dent and scratch free, it will become a full time job.  When I buy a new car the first thing I do is give it a small dent and a tiny scratch.  That way I don’t freak out when the inevitable happens.

My neighbor is car crazy.  He washes his car inside and out 2-3 times a week.  He is constantly adding on new stuff; special mats, bumper guards, audio stuff…he adds something new to his car every week.

He has painted his engine red; he replaced all the hoses with red hoses.  His brake pads....covers? Whatever they are called behind the wheels are all painted red and he touches them up whenever they get scratched.  You can barely even see them unless the wheels are off!

This neighbor’s car is not a Porsche, or a BMW or even a Lexus.  It is a compact Mazda or Toyota; not the type of car that anyone would ever give a second glance no matter how clean and tricked out it is.

I guess this car obsession becomes a hobby.  It is an expensive and time consuming hobby.  I don’t get it, but then I spend just as much time on this stupid blog as my neighbor does on his car.  At least he is increasing the resale value of his car. 

I thought my neighbor was overly consumed with his car until last week when I spotted a dude in a parking lot going over his entire little sports car with a huge feather duster.  He was dusting the top, the hood, the bumpers, the wheels and between the spokes of his wheels.  All the while his bimbo, bleached blonde, fake balloon breasted girlfriend was fawning all over him.

Oh…now I get it!

Friday, March 30, 2012



I hate the term “Anal Retentive.”  It describes an overly controlling orderly personality behavior.

This is one of those terms that college freshman started to throw around after their Psych I class in order to demonstrate how educated they were. 

“Dude, you are so “anal fucking retentive.”

I hate the term, but sometimes it is the only way to describe a person.  Well I guess you could say “Dude, you are so controlling and orderly” but you would only be corrected with, “You mean anal retentive?”  So you might as well go right to the AR description.

I might be the farthest personality from anal retentive as is possible.  Clearly I had no traumatic experiences during my toilet training days.  The term really should not be taken negatively.  If there were no anal retentive personalities, the world would be even more chaotic and confused.

My friend Scott (who goes by the moniker Anonymous on blog comments) is an admitted anal retentive personality.  He has been quite successful with this burden.  Scott has a special way to do almost everything and there is always an explanation for his technique.  

Scott’s workshop has rows of labeled coffee cans with nuts, bolts and washers placed in the order of the most often used.  His tools are similarly placed.  He never puts anything back willy-nilly. 

“Everything has a place; there is a place for everything!”

Scott puts an expiration date on things he is not sure he needs.  If something is not used after this date he throws it away.

Scott’s dishwasher has a separate area for flatware.  Every knife fork and spoon can be clicked in so they do not rattle around.  Scott takes much ridicule over his AR method of distributing the flatware in this machine.  Every knife, fork and spoon is carefully assigned in its own special spot.  Scott’s explanation?  “I have to do the unloading.  The extra time to put them in the washer is more than made up with the speed in which I can put the flatware away.” 

Mrs. Cranky and I recently bought a new dishwasher.  It is not as elaborate as Scott’s, but the flatware section does have different size slots so the flatware can be easily placed in its own section.  I have discovered that it takes little time to put the flatware in the washer into their own designated slots.  The time to put the cleaned flatware back in the drawer is dramatically reduced if they are carefully loaded into the dishwasher.

I am not there yet Scott, but I might be slowly moving over to the dark side.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil

I am a reality TV fan.  I am not proud of this, but it is what it is.  I almost never miss Dr. Phil’s daily dose of reality.  I don’t know whether to hate him or like him. 

Dr. Phil is to psychology what Howard Cosell was to sports broadcasting (giyp) the more annoying he is, the more you are entertained.   You should not judge Dr. Phil on his abilities as a counselor; he is an entertainer.  I do find him entertaining.

Part of what makes Dr. Phil entertaining and appear so smart is he always chooses “patients” who are so obviously screwed-up that a diagnosis is easy.  The prognosis is always so grim that Dr. Phil cannot be held accountable for his inability to cure the problem. 

We never find out what happened to Dr. Phil’s guests unless they manage a miracle turnaround (not often).   Mostly Dr. Phil beats up on his guests to the delight of his audience and then provides the “Best Resources available” (insert plug here) and sends them on their way.

Dr. Phil’s downhome country style helps him to connect to “common folk.”  His comments and advice are predictable:

“You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”

“No matter how thin you make a pancake, there are always two sides.”

“This is not my first rodeo.”

“How is that working for you?”

Typically Dr. Phil’s “patient” (target) will make a series of outrageous statements to which Dr. Phil, Mr. Tell-it-like-it-is, will proclaim with exasperation “You have got to be kidding!”

Cut to Mrs. Dr. Phil, mouth wide open in shock and shaking her head in disbelief.   Mrs. Dr. Phil is in the audience at every show.  Her job is to nod in agreement at her husband’s self-effacing country humor, look aghast at guest’s audacity, and walk off the show arm in arm with Dr. Phil in a show of love and obedience.

One of my favorite parts of the Dr. Phil show is when he brings on his “Lie Detector Dude.”  This guy is so serious looking he could set my meter to “Lie” no matter how truthful my answer.  I have yet to see anyone take this guy’s test that did not answer “deceitfully.”
Scary Lie Detector Dude 

Here is a Dr. Phil show in a nutshell:

My guest today is a 14 year old young lady whose mother writes to me, “Dr. Phil, please help me, I just can’t control my drug addicted alcoholic teenage daughter Molly.”

“Well Molly how do you feel about what your mother wrote?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you have a drug and alcohol problem?”


“Well your mom says you have been to the hospital 18 times for drug and alcohol overdoses.  Is that true?”

“Yes, but I can stop if I want.”

Close-up on Mrs. Dr. Phil - jaw agape.

“Are you kidding me?  You have a serious drug and alcohol problem that if you don’t change YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.  This is not my first rodeo, and you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. (A rare Dr. Phil three clichés in one paragraph.)  Do you want to die?”


Clap clap clap clap clap.

“How do you pay for your alcohol and drugs?”

“I sell my body to old rich dudes.”

Close-up on Mrs. Dr. Phil - jaw agape.

“How is that working for you?”

“Not too good, I guess,”

“Listen, I don’t care how thin you make a pancake it still has two sides.”

“What does that mean Dr. Phil?”

“Ah…nothing really, I just like to say that.”

“Oh…well I do like pancakes.”

“Never mind the pancakes, if I offer the best resources to help you, ‘The Smithin’s Center for F’ed up Kids’ will you accept their help?”

“I don’t know.”

“These people are the best in the world at what they do.  Without their help YOU WILL DIE.  Will you take their help?


Clap clap clap clap clap!

“We’ll be right back.”

Next on CBS, Judge Judy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012



At my age I have forgotten way more than I have ever learned and I think the ratio of forgotten to learned is increasing. 

Why do we need to learn stuff that we probably will never use?  This is a question I ask myself today especially with regards to new technology.  It is a question virtually every teenager asks his parents while struggling with plain geometry, physics or Spanish 1. 

The standard parental answer is

1.    You don’t know yet what you will need to know at your age.

2.    Learning these things teaches you how to think.

Both of these answers will not register with your teenager.

My son played baseball in high school.  The field they played on was a perfect square.  It was 300 feet down each foul line and therefore 300 feet from either foul pole to dead center field.  The distance to centerfield was listed as 350 feet.  Many a long fly ball to dead center failed to reach the fence.  The players on the team were convinced dead center was deeper than 350 feet.  The coach said no.

When my son mentioned this to me my immediate response was, “I thought you said you would never use anything you learned in geometry.”


“Draw a line from home plate to center field.  You have a right triangle.  The distance down the right field line (a) is 300 feet.  The distance from the right field foul pole to dead center (b) is the same as the distance from home to the left field foul pole 300 feet.  The distance of the line from home to dead center (c) can be determined by that formula you thought you would never use: a2 + b2 = c2.  So 90000 + 90000 = 180000 and the square root of 180000 is about 424 feet.  Tell your coach the distance to dead center based on the formula a2 + b2 = c2.” is 424 feet not 350 feet.”

The next day I asked my son “Is the coach going to change the center field marker to 424 feet?”


“Why not?”

“He says he don’t care about no a2 + b2 = c2.  If the sign says it is 350 feet to dead center then it is 350 feet to dead center.”

“Well” I told him, “Now in addition to finding out that you can actually use what you learn in school, your coach has demonstrated why it is also important to  learn how to think.”     

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Regulators believe there is a chance that electronic emissions from passenger devices could interfere with airline navigation instruments. There is no definitive proof that this is true, but if there is the remotest possibility that these devices could cause a disaster could you just TURN IT THE F OFF?  (Except of course you Alec, you're special.)

Movie theaters and shows ask people to please be considerate of those around them and turn off cell phones and do not take pictures.  They ask very nicely.  They are very polite.  I would just like to request the teenagers at the theater who text and giggle all through the movie to their friends three rows back…er…ah…TURN IT THE F OFF!

To the dude in front of me on the Disney cruise theater, I know this is a once in a lifetime experience and you want to capture all those costumed cartoon characters on film, but my eyes keep getting drawn to the one inch screen of your phone camera when I could actually be watching the real show.  Could I ask you to please TURN IT THE F OFF!  

To the clown in the convertible with the audio turned up full blast.  I am assuming most of the people on the street are enjoying your fantastic taste in music (sic) but I kinda don’t like hearing about “Ho’ses blows and Bro’ses dose and Little Eva eats Ivy.” (“Mairzy Doats”- GIYP)  So I ask you please TURN IT THE F OFF.   

To the butt-head on the train who never learned his inside voice while talking on the cell phone.  I am trying to read, I really don’t need to hear all about your date last night and how f-ing cool you are.  Could you please TURN IT THE F OFF!  Oh and I’m pretty sure whoever you are talking to doesn’t have to guess where you are calling from, cell phones have been around for a while now! JERKWEED!

Hey biker dude on that huge Harley; why don’t you rev that puppy a few hundred times more at every stoplight.  I’m pretty sure that blonde on the corner is about to drop her pants and jump right behind your giant leather covered ass so you can ride off in the sunset to motel 6.  Otherwise could you please TURN IT THE F OFF!

To everyone who wants to show off their loud obnoxious toys in public, I am very impressed now could you please TURN IT THE F OFF!

Thank you.

Monday, March 26, 2012



Last May I submitted a post on “Driving Tips to Save Gas”

It was a facetious piece making fun of all the tips to save gas that I read on-line.  The final tally demonstrated that if you follow all these tips you can actually use negative MPG and fill up your tank by driving.

It is that time of year again and here is an article which does exactly what my satirical piece did.

 Efficient driving and shopping tactics can translate to big savings at the pump – An article from Smart Money

Here is a summary of the article:

Savings: Up to 7 cents per gallon.

Every 100 pounds of added weight in a car reduces its fuel economy by up to 2%. That works out to paying an extra four to seven cents per gallon. Hauling a cargo carrier, bikes, kayaks or other gear atop the car for a road trip is worse, decreasing fuel economy by 5%.

Weigh payment methods
Savings: Up to 19 cents per gallon

As gas prices rise, many credit cards' reward caps on gas purchases kick in…Stations may offer discounts of up to 10 cents per gallon for drivers who eschew plastic.

Drive responsibly
Savings: Up to $1.27 per gallon.

By the U.S. Department of Energy's estimates, each 5 mph one drives over 60 mph adds $0.30 per gallon to the gas bill. Aggressive stops and starts waste another 33% at highway speeds and about 5% at slower, local speed limits.

Use grocery discounts
Savings: Up to $2.20 per gallon.

Create a fuel-efficient route
Savings: Up to 30 cents per gallon.

It's possible to cut down on mileage just by running a few errands on the same trip, and choosing more efficient routes

Using all these saving tips adds up to $3.96 savings per gallon.  The recent gas price in my area of New Jersey was about $3.60 per gallon.

If I can gain $0.36 per gallon, I am going to use these tips and go for a long drive.  I can use the money!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Sunday is time for Cranky's Headlines and stupid sophmoric comments:

Former Mr. Universe turns 100 in India – That’s 28 in steroid years

Florida atheists ‘unbless’ highway with ‘unholy water’ – So Atheists believe “Ugga­­­­­­ Booga” will trump “Abbra Cadabra?”  

Filmmaker behind Kony video held for public masturbation – So the guy who is fucking an entire country is free and the guy who documented it is jailed for jerking off?

New Hampshire woman faces legal action, fines for planting flowers at condominiumNew Hampshire is determined to end the flower planting scourge.

University: Classes No Longer Cancelled For Christian, Jewish Holidays- President declares the move was made to make up for school closings on Ramadan and International Atheists Day

President Obama uses sign language during impromptu greeting with student – Big deal; I use sign language all the time while driving.  It is how I communicate to other drivers that they might be annoying me with their driving ability.

How To Use Natural Birth Control – Don’t bathe; don’t shave legs or armpits, wear pantyhose.  (Some or all of these techniques may have adverse results in mid-east countries.)   

How NASCAR is coping with its slipping audience – Organization has decided to clean up oil spills and stop selling bananas.

USGS confirms micro-quake in Wisconsin city plagued by mysterious booming sounds – Wisconsin children are urged to not pull Grandpa’s finger!

Pat Robertson believes Peyton Manning should get hurt this year – In Tebow’s name we prey.   How very Christian!

Minnesota Teen: No Prom Date with Porn Star – Teen says, “I wasn’t planning on dancing anyway!”

Fla. man wins nat'l memory contest held in NYC Man failed to claim his trophy says, “I forgot.”
Australian rescued after three-day croc ordeal – Aussie stated, “These shoes are as uncomfortable as they are ugly!”

I have removed comment verification, so talk to me - Cranky 

Saturday, March 24, 2012



This post almost made it to delete, but I am running out of material and Saturday is a slow day so here it is.  My apologies, better stuff (I think) is coming next week.

Mrs. Cranky and I bought a new dishwasher this week.  It is a brand new Whirlpool purchased from Sears for $500.  The salesman explained how this unit was efficient, quiet, and left the dishes clean and dry.  I was not so interested in efficient and quiet; clean and dry got my attention.  Our current dishwasher is quiet, I guess it is efficient, but it does not clean or dry the dishes.  I wanted to replace our dish-rinser with a dish washer. 

The salesman extolled the virtues and the reliability of this machine.  He then tried to sell me a three year guarantee for one hundred and twenty-five dollars.

I thought that was rather expensive, and told the salesman as much.

“If this machine is so reliable, why would I need to pay an extra 25% for insurance that it will work?”

“Do you know how expensive it is to call a repairman?”

“No, because I have not had an appliance break down in less than three years after purchase since they stopped making TV’s with tubes.  Does your guarantee pay for a new machine, or a prorated machine?  Is everything guaranteed or just the parts that never break and do you guarantee that I will be able to find the freaking guarantee three years from now to prove that I paid for it in the first place?”


“I have my own guarantee.  If this thing breaks down in less than one year, I guarantee I will be marching through this store with a ‘Sears Sucks’ sign until I get my money back or you have me arrested.  Further, can you guarantee Sears will still be in business in three years?  Have you seen your stock lately?

“Then I guess you don’t want the guarantee?”

“No thank you.”

Do you buy a guarantee because it is a good idea or because you feel not buying it will jinx the product?

Friday, March 23, 2012



Tuesday I took the NC Crankettes, the Lady Crank, and Mr. Step-crank to downtown NYC….well it was more like I accompanied the above crowd as I did more following than taking.
The NC Crankettes

We drove from NJ to Staten Island and took the ferry to downtown.  Passing the Statue of Liberty was very exciting, especially for the Crankettes.
The NC Crankettes 

Just about as exciting was the aquarium in the SI Terminal which had many colorful reef fish including “NEMO”…I KNOW!!

From the terminal in Bowling Green downtown, we walked past the now famous Bull.  I remember when this statue was first unveiled right across the street from where I worked.  We would occasionally go up and pat it on the head or grab the horns, but mostly it was no big deal.  Now there is a line of tourists 100 feet long waiting for the chance to get a picture standing next to the bull.
The Oldest Crankette

We walked up Broadway past Trinity Church, and I pointed down Wall Street to show the Step-crank the site of the “Great Wall Street Titty Riot of 1970.”  (You will have to buy “Maybe It’s Just Me!” for that story.) We passed Zucotti Park now famous for the unwashed wanabe Hippies of today who are desperate for a cause to rebel against so they Occupy Wall Street.  (Way to go unwashed, your movement marked the start of a very nice bull market.)

We passed the construction of the Freedom Tower and saw the reflecting pools marking the footprints of the World Trade Center Towers.  We then went on to the World Financial Center and the impressive Atrium.  We lunched at a NYC Italian Deli, a delicious experience in it self.

We tried to visit the 911 memorial but the wait was too long and the Crankettes (read that Grandpa Joe) were getting antsy.  We worked our way to the South Street Seaport, had an ice cream break and circled around back to the ferry terminal.

On the Staten Island side we searched for the pedestrian way out (not the bus or subway routes).  The Lady Crankette insisted she knew the way, but Grandpa Joe exhausted and achy from the 6+ miles of city walking (city walking is way more tiring than other walking) refused to let a six year old lead the way and led the crowd to the promised land.  Stopped by police ¼ mile later we backtracked and took the Lady Crankettes advice.  Turns out a child would lead the way!

I barely made it up the mountain that must be climbed from the ferry terminal to reach the parking lot.  An hour later we were home. 

The Crankettes were well behaved and I think they enjoyed themselves.  The Lady Crank needs one more visit in order to find a knockoff Coach pocketbook, otherwise I think she also enjoyed herself.  The Step-crank suffered the whole trip from a massive allergy attack but I think he still enjoyed the trip.  He was certainly helpful in herding the Crankettes through crowded streets.  He seems to enjoy his newly inherited niece and nephews.  The feeling appears to be mutual.

The Cranky Old Man survived. But I did finish the day with a two hour nap.      

Thursday, March 22, 2012



One day after I purchased my new laptop I turned on the machine and was greeted by a Microsoft message, “We are updating 1 of 49 programs; do not turn off your computer during this process.”  WTF? The computer was only one day old, why were there 49 programs that needed updating?

I wasn’t going to mess with Microsoft’s instructions so I left the computer alone even though I was anxious to play with my new toy.

Forty minutes later the last of the forty-nine updates were completed and I was instructed to restart the computer.  On the restart I was told to wait while files were reconfigured.  That message then disappeared and the screen did nothing, displayed nothing, and the little arrow was nowhere to be found.

Fifteen minutes later and there was no change.  Frustrated, I pushed the off button.  I turned the computer back on….still the screen did nothing displayed nothing and the arrow was still missing.

Mrs. Cranky, already tired of my whining (that's whinging for my UK and Aussie friends) about problems with the sensitive touchpad and not finding my files, sensed I was about to explode from frustration.

“Relax; I’m sure it is alright.”

“RELAX!!  The friggin fragging frumping thing is one day old and they got to mess with updating shit and now I got nothing!”

“It’s fine, just do a restart.”

“I friggin fraggin frumping did a power down and still it’s not responding.”

“Pull the power cord and remove the battery.”

I did as I was told, popping the battery out for three seconds and then powering up again.  Still the screen did not respond.  NOTHING!

“That’s it, I’m taking it to the “Geek Squad” and they better not have to send it away or I am going to freak out!”

“I’m coming with you.  When you go all rag ass on people they never help you out!”

We pulled in to Best Buy and headed straight for the Geek Squad desk.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, I just bought this frumping machine yesterday.  This morning Microsoft updated forty-nine programs and the friggin fraggin frumping thing has not responded since.”

“Hmmm…can I try it?”

“Suit yourself” I said and handed the PC to the Geek.

He opened the laptop up and noted the lit-up non-responding screen.  He then pushed the off button, waited twenty seconds and pressed the power button again.

“We already did that.  We even pulled the battery to shut off all power.”

As I said “power,” the computer came to life and was ready to go to work.


“Sir, to power down you need to hold the power button down until the blue lit ring goes out.  Even pulling the battery does not immediately shut down the machine; you need to give it several seconds.”

“Is that in the instructions?”

“Yes Sir, it is.”

“Thank you.”

Getting along with the new computer is going to take some time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



 Nothing upsets a woman quite like her man ruining a perfectly good shirt doing dirty chores.  Why do men wear a good shirt to do gardening work, change oil, or paint a room?

Sometimes, I admit, we just do not think.  If we see something that needs fixing while wearing a good clean shirt our one track minds go right to the task without even thinking of the consequences of dirt or grime.  Often, however, the fault lies at the clean freak gene that makes up every woman’s DNA.

Women do not save dirty shirts.   When a shirt gets a stain it gets thrown away.  Often it gets thrown away as a penalty to her man for soiling the garment in the first place.  Dig in the garden in a clean shirt; it will get thrown away.  Do a quick paint touchup and drip onto your new shirt; it gets thrown away.  Fix a sticky door and get grease on your shirt; it gets thrown away.  Spaghetti sauce on your new shirt?  Bye bye new shirt.

“Look what you’ve done!  Now I have to throw it away!”

The next time the man plans to do a dirty job he cannot find a dirty shirt to work in.  They have all been thrown away.

While I was married to the unstable wife, I had a beautiful pair of overalls.  They were 45 years old.  They were my Dad’s.  They were broken in and comfortable.  Paint and oil stains covered 80% of these overalls.  The overalls had multiple pockets and hooks to carry hammers and screwdrivers.  I loved those overalls.  I kept them in my smelly basement on a hook by my tools.

When I prepared to work on a dirty job, I always put on the overalls.  Even if I wore a good shirt underneath, the overalls protected everything.  If I got paint on my hands, I could just wipe it on the overalls without guilt.  They were perfect.

One day the wife assigned a painting project to me.  I bought the paint,  purchased new clean brushes and taped off all the molding.  I removed everything that could be moved and covered everything else with a tarp.  Fully prepared to start the job, I went into the basement to pull on my overalls.

They were gone.  They were not on their hook by the tools.  I went into panic mode.  The wife noticed.

“What is wrong with you?”

“I can’t find my overalls.”

“Where were they?”

“In the basement on a hook by my tools.”

“That dirty old thing?”

“Yes, that dirty old thing.”

“I threw it away; it was covered with oil, dirt and paint.  It could never be cleaned.”

“What!!  Being dirty, oily and paint covered is what made them perfect.  They could not be ruined.  Plus they were super comfortable, and they were my Dad’s.  They were covered with my Dad’s dirt, my Dad’s oil, and my Dad’s paint.  I loved that pair of overalls!”

“I’m sorry; I’ll get you a brand new pair.”

My wife did buy a brand new pair of overalls.  Crisp, clean, shiny and starchy.  They even smelled brand new.  They were about 100 washing machine cycles away from being comfortable.

I never wore those new overalls.  I couldn’t do it.  I could not bring myself to get them dirty, and they reminded me of losing my Dad.

I painted that room in a new clean shirt.  It was a shirt that my wife had bought me that I never liked.  I wiped paint drips all over it.  When I was done with the room that shirt was an unclean-able mess.

When I was through cleaning up and putting the room back together again, I tore that shirt off and threw-it-the-fuck-away.

When I divorced the unstable-one several years later, those new overalls remained in the basement.  I never wore them and refused to take them with me.

That is why I ruin good shirts doing dirty chores.