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Thursday, February 28, 2013



As a young lad, my family was affluent.  Well looking back, my father who was a chemical engineer, did very well.  My ex-wife would tell you we were filthy rich.  In truth we were comfortable and my dad worked his ass off to create that comfort.  As a kid, of course, all you see is people with more stuff than you have, and you never feel the least bit privileged.

When I was seven years old, I got a bike for Christmas.  It was a green, one-speed Schwinn with skinny “Racing wheels.”  The bike did not have hand brakes; it stopped when you slammed backwards on the pedal.  I preferred this method of braking because it allowed you to slam and lean at the same time and come to a really cool sliding stop, much like a skier.  (We called the sliding stop a “Brody.”  I have no idea why we called it that.)  It was my first bike.  I loved that bike.  I went everywhere on that bike (in those days, seven year olds got a lot of leeway.)

In 1955 when I was nine, our family moved from the West Coast to the East Coast.  Relocation was part of the life of a Chemical Engineer.  The summer of my ninth year was spent at my grandparent’s house in Ocean City, New Jersey; summer at the Shore; me and my bike.

I went everywhere on that bike.  I would ride to the store and shop for candy and comics.  I would ride to my friends.  I would ride to the beach.  I never locked the bike.  People did not steal bikes in the fifties.

One day I rode my bike to the Ocean City Boardwalk to meet a friend.  I left my bike by the boardwalk at the “Colored Beach.”  That’s right, in those days, even in New Jersey, the beaches were segregated.  “Coloreds” had their own beach and were not allowed on a “White” beach. 

For you young folks, “Colored” people became “Blacks,” and then became “African Americans.”  Today, one person who would have been called “Colored” is now called “Mister President!”

Anyway, I thought nothing of leaving my unlocked bike on the “Colored Beach.” 

When I returned from the boardwalk I could not believe that my bike was gone.  I looked all over.  I was sure I left it right by the entrance.  What could have happened?  Then it hit me.  My bike was stolen.  I never heard of anyone having anything stolen before.  It just did not happen in my neighborhood.

I walked home in tears.  I loved that bike.

The next day my dad took me to the police station to report the theft.  I was sure the police would find and return my bike.  Whoever stole it would be going to jail and deservedly so.

An officer took the report.

“Describe the bike.”

I described the bike.

“Where did you last see it?”

“I left it on Sixth Street by the entrance to the boardwalk.  It was at noon.”

“Sixth Street!  That’s the ‘Colored Beach!’  Those kids don’t have anything!  You can’t leave a bike there; it will be gone before the kickstand sinks in the sand!”

“But that’s stealing!”

“Kid…they don’t care, it is the only way those people will ever have a bike.”

“Will you be able to get it back?”

“Ah…sure kid…we’ll be on the lookout for it.”

I don’t think they tried very hard.  We checked every day for a week, but their all-points-bulletin did not turn up my precious Schwinn.

I got around the rest of the summer on an old beat up bike my cousin Dex lent me.  For a while I was really upset and in disbelief that someone would just take someone else’s property, but in my head I kept hearing something the policeman said:

“Those kids don’t have anything!”

Anyway; I learned a lesson, and it was nice that at least one of “Those Kids” had a Schwinn.

For a little history that many want to forget:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why Do Women Wear Torture Outfits?

Why Do Women Wear Torture Outfits?

Whenever I buy clothes, the first thing is they have to be comfortable.  I want a little extra in the waist so I can eat a large meal and not feel stuffed.  If shoes pinch my feet or rub my heel I will not buy them.  I want a collar that allows me to breathe, and a shirt that allows me to move.  I throw away socks that slip and my shorts have to have some control but cannot bunch up or bind.  I want to wear clothes that look nice, but comfort always trumps style.

It seems to me that this edict is completely turned around for women.  Women are all about style, all about “The Look.”  Comfort is secondary to women.  Women have to endure the pain and discomfort of their biological cycle.  Women have to suffer through nine months of carrying a child and hours of intense pain in delivering that child.  I guess compared to their biological functions the pain of dressing up is a piece of cake.  To me their outfits are instruments of torture.

How do they walk, never mind dance, or run for a bus, in six inch high heels with two inch platform toes? As if walking in these things is not tough enough, a woman will squeeze a size 7 foot into a size 6 shoe so as to convey daintiness.  

Are your Jeans a little tight?  No problem, wiggle them on up, flop on the bed, deep inhale, suck in that stomach, zip and exhale.  There, isn’t that comfortable?    

If a woman wants cleavage, the hell with comfort, just get a bra that will squeeze those puppies in and push those puppies up.  Comfort?  Who cares?

When it is below freezing, what is more important, staying warm or showing off those legs?  Women will freeze and show the legs.

I have to admit, as a guy I like to see a woman suffering for her sexuality.  So go ahead, squeeze those toes into those tiny shoes and practice your walking balance act.  Walking in those things makes your backside move just right, so make sure your skirt holds your stomach in and is tight enough to show that backside off.  Goop on the face, boobs pushed out and up, show it all off ladies.

There is nothing as sexy as a woman suffering with a smile, just to look good.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Val the Victorian has bestowed on me the very prestigious “Sunshine Award” I fear that accepting this award will make me a hypocrite as after all, how can a Cranky Old Man have a “Sunshine Award?”

The fact is, I am a hypocrite and an awards whore (sorry Sully), and so I will accept.  In order to accept I must answer several very Gay questions.  I am not gay…well maybe a little…but I will answer anyway so I can post this award.


FAVORITE COLOR: Anything but mauve.


7 (come on…Mickey Mantle!)

FAVORITE DRINK: Scotch ok had to quit, so… Water.

I really do not understand the attraction of Twitter.

Life, wife, family, reality TV.




As with all these awards, I am now required to pass the baton to other bloggers.  Val did not specify how many to give out…she handed out two.  I am going to also hand out only two since I recently tagged 11 other bloggers with a similar honor.  I choose to pass this to Scott of Flight Plan    His posts are always short, matching well with my short attention span, and they usually kick my brain into motion.  Every once and a while I even  agree with his views. 

The other award goes to Katrina at, the world’s longest commenter who truly fits the name of this award.

Check out Val, Scott, and Katrina.

 Now go, spread the Sunshine, but keep it away from me!

Monday, February 25, 2013

I COULD KICK HIS ASS!! - a Cranky re-run


A Cranky Monday re-run
One of my favorites from August 2011...enjoy

The other day my wife introduced me to one of her friend’s husbands. Nice guy, twenty years younger than me, in good shape, my size maybe bigger, happily married and no threat to me in any way; and yet as I was shaking his hand what thought was going through my head? I COULD KICK HIS ASS! It dawned on me how ridiculous was this thought.

I am not a violent person. I have been in two fights in my life, and both of them were when I was in the 6th grade, and yet I realized my first thought when I meet a new person of my gender is whether or not I could beat him in a fight. Do all men do that? Why do we do that? Why do I almost always think that I would win a fight even though at my age I pull a muscle if I get out of bed too fast?

There must be something deep down in our DNA which automatically seeks to defend our women or property from an intruder. Something which forces us to size up a potential aggressor and determine that if push comes to shove we need to run or I COULD KICK HIS ASS!

Most of the questions we ask someone we just meet are all part of the sizing up process.

“What do you do?” “Who do you like this year in the NFL?” “Did you play ball in school?” “Do you work out?” “How much can you bench?”

Why does a non-violent person such as myself, someone who would walk away rather than wail away, still feel the need to size up every male’s ability to win or lose in a fight?

Do women have a similar response when introduced to new members of their gender? What is the female version of I COULD KICK HIS ASS?

Come on ladies, fess up. Is your first reaction “I could win her man?” Do you size up your looks against this interloper? Do you think “I could outsmart her?” What questions do you first ask someone?

“Are you married?” “Do you have children?” “What kind of work do you do?” “Where did you go to school?” “Where do you live?” “Is that your car out front?”

Does everyone try to size up new acquaintances before they decide to be friendly or not?

Maybe it’s just me.

So what!


Sunday, February 24, 2013



It is time once again for:


4 out of 5 Seismologists agree

 With Cranky’s stupider, sophomoric, and sometimes offensive comments

 Obama plays round of golf with Tiger Woods, media air frustration over access – The media needs to understand that some people are very important and they need and deserve some privacy.  It is about time that Tiger was left alone.

Brothers blow up house while celebrating lottery win with drugs – no comment necessary.

New Hampshire lawmakers to vote on free ski passes for themselves – This will be a close vote…close to 100% in favor!

Subatomic calculations indicate finite lifespan for universeAnd you were worried about “Climate Change.”

Chicago woman charged after police say she bit off boyfriend’s tongue – No comment could top the boyfriend’s real statement after this lover’s quarrel,

“The whole thing makes me kind of sad.  In one day I lost half a tongue and my girlfriend."

With half a tongue that may be his last girlfriend.

Texas woman arrested after calling 911 for cigarettes – If you think this is ridiculous; you have never been a drunken smoker.  Next time this lady gets snockered and runs out of smokes she’s going to drive to the 711 and kill someone…I say just bring her the smokes and leave her alone.

New York mom charged after allegedly hiring strippers for 16-year-old’s birthday – I heart New York!

Virginia DMV says Iraq war veteran's vanity license plate encourages violence – ICUHAJI offensive to some Muslims…How about RMBR911?

Worker at stress ball factory punches boss, brandishes knives – OK, just count to ten, put down the knife, grab a ball and squeeze.

Rush Limbaugh Says He's Ashamed of the United States – United States is not that proud of Rush Limbaugh.  (I’m a conservative and I think he is a bloated egotistical ass!...sometimes.)
It's not my fault, it was a slow Stupid News Week!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

VOTER FRAUD - Cranky Opinion Saturday


Welcome to Cranky Opinion Saturday
This headline recently caught my eye “Did Obama supporter vote 6 times in 2012? Ohio poll worker target of investigation.”  Voter fraud is way more prevalent than people will admit.  The increased use of absentee ballots and voting by computer are only going to exacerbate the problem.

How easy is voter fraud? 

Not too many years ago, every time I went to vote, the names of my ex-wife who lived in the UK and my daughter who lived in North Carolina were listed as registered voters in my N.J. town under my address.  I don’t know how this happened.   Apparently when they moved, their registration stayed.  When I moved to another town, their registrations followed. 

Whenever I voted and saw their names I told the officials that these names were not valid.  Every year I was told to report it to the office of Blah, blah-blah.  I avoided this red tape as I knew no one was voting under these invalid registered names, but it always bothered me.

How often are registered names invalid due to voters moving and registering in other states, voters passing away, or voters being made up?  I wonder how much checking is done to verify voter registration validity.  If the poling officials are not honest there could be thousands of fraudulently registered voters in every district. 

Voter fraud is serious.  Is fraud equally divided between political parties?  Does one parties cheating cancel out the others?  Probably, but either way fraud undermines the election process. 

Fraud exists and it needs to be prosecuted, and yet I have never heard of anyone being fined or going to jail for voter fraud.  Without prosecution fraud will only become more commonplace.

What steps are being done to eliminate fraud?  Nothing.  With powerful computers voter fraud could be made virtually impossible.  Why aren’t voter identification cards issued to every registered voter.  Why can’t registered voters be required to show a driver’s license or a special voter card in lieu of a driver’s license?  Computers could assure duplicate SS numbers are not used to vote more than once even across states.  Why do backward-ass countries like Iraq with ink stained thumbs have more secure voting systems than our country?

I understand the argument that difficult voting systems disenfranchise some voters.  It is more difficult for some voters to reach the poles than others.  Early voting by mail and or computer is needed to allow all citizens to participate in the Democratic process.  Early voting and voting by mail and or computer also makes fraud much easier.

Surely this country has the resources to assure a fair voting process. One that makes fraud difficult yet allows access to all our citizens.

I can’t help but believe that most of the arguments for easy registration and lax voting systems, the same arguments that I may well see in comments to this post, are made by people whose real agenda is they believe voter fraud favors their candidates. 

If we spent half the money that we use to “get out the vote,” to make the system secure, we could also “get out” the fraudulent votes.


The preceding opinions were those of a Cranky Old Man, and not necessarily those of management (Mrs. Cranky.)       

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Cousin, “The Surf” and “The Blob”

My Cousin, “The Surf” and “The Blob”


Horror movies have always been a popular genre but they seem be produced in bursts.  From the promos I have seen recently they are making another comeback.  They will make it without me.  I have never liked horror movies.  They have always scared the crap out of me.

In the late fifties most horror movies were based on radiation from the atom bomb causing mutant monsters.  Giant spiders, grasshoppers, fifty-foot women, Godzilla, Mothra all seem pretty lame today, but in the day they were scary.  Maybe it was because the atom bomb was so new and the possible effects of radiation so unknown the imaginations of the fifties ran wild.

I remember one dismal summer day in Ocean City, New Jersey, 1958, I went to a double feature with my cousin Nils.  I was twelve years old; Nils was a couple of years older than I so I think I was just tagging along.  We went to the Surf Theater on the boardwalk.  The “Surf” generally played “B” movies, this day was no different.  The Surf was playing “The Blob” which was about a radioactive mass which grew as it absorbed everything in its path; and the second feature was a Frankenstein movie whose title eludes me.  I do remember being warned that there was a scene in the Frankenstein movie involving a beating heart outside the body that was really, really scary. 

Nils and I walked to the theater about two miles from our Grandparent’s house.  We settled in early, popcorn and the tickets set us back less than a dollar,  25 cents each for the tickets and 15 cents each for two small popcorns (butter was extra.)

When the newsreel and cartoons were over and the first feature came on, Nils elbowed me, “This is going to be good Jody*, you better not chicken out!”

“I’m not a scaredy cat.”

The movie was not on for more than twenty minutes before I started to show signs of in fact being a very big scaredy cat.  The music was scary, the blob was scary, and the on-screen screaming was scary.  My knuckles were white from clutching the arm rest, I was breathing heavy, and there might have been sobbing involved.  At the age of twelve I should not have been so afraid, but I was.

Nils noticed my condition, “Jody, you all right?” He whispered.

“Yeah…bu..but I was just thinking, I might not want to see the Frankenstein beating heart thing.”

“You want to go now?  We can go if you’re scared.  I don’t mind, I can see it any time.”

“Are you sure.”


“I think we should go.”

And so we left the theater.  We left before the blob had even absorbed its first human being.  We quietly slunk out of the “Surf” onto the boardwalk and walked back home.

“You sure were scared Jody.  Kind of silly spending 80 cents and only watching cartoons and twenty minutes of the first feature.  If you want we can tell people that you felt sick from some bad popcorn.”

“Yeah Nils, I do feel a bit ookey…probably the popcorn.”

“Sure…the popcorn.”

To this day I never have seen “The Blob.”  I expect it would seem pretty tame today, but in 1958 it scared the bejesus out of me.   We never told anyone that we left the movie early.  This is the first I have ever told the story.  I’m glad Nils understood and didn’t make fun of his little scaredy cat cousin.  

I have often wondered from how easily he agreed to leave, if perhaps my older cousin was also a little scared of “The Blob.”



*At the age of five I rebelled against my name and Jody became Joe.  Nils refused to call me Joe, and was the only person to call me Jody.  To this day he still calls me Jody.  It used to piss me off, now I kinda like it...but only from him!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Cranky Old Man was recently on “The Tonight Show” to shill for his new self-published book, “I Used to be Stupid.”  You may have missed it because it was preempted by some silly news about the Pope.  I do have the following transcript:

“Next up ladies and gentlemen, heh heh heh, we have a crotchety old fart trying to promote his new book, welcome everyone, the Cranky Old Man!”


“Hello Jay, do I sit right here?”

“You may as well stand; you won’t be here that long.  Heh heh heh.  I’m just kidding, sit right down.   So, you have a new book?  Who knew you had an old book?

“Yeah Jay, my first book, ‘Maybe It’s Just Me’ was very well received by 17 people, so I decided to try another, “I Used to be Stupid.’”

“I’m sure you were.  What is the title of your new book?”

“I Used to be Stupid.”

“Well, yes, I used to be funny, but what is the title of your new book?”

“I Used to be Stupid.”

“I don’t know…third base.  What…is…the…title…of…your…new…book?”

“‘I Used to be Stupid,’ the new book is titled ‘I Used to be Stupid.’”

“Oh…Heh heh and what is this Stupid book about?”

“It is about how I used to be stupid.   You know Jay; don’t you look back on different stages of your life and think dang I used to be stupid, only to realize that 10 years later you look back and realize you were still stupid?  No one thinks they are currently stupid or else they would not be doing stupid things.  It is only in retrospect that you realize…you know…you used to be stupid.  This book is all the stories and thoughts in my life when I used to be stupid.”

“And are you still stupid?”

“Right now?”

“Yeah…heh heh heh…are you still stupid?”

“Oh no Jay, I used to be stupid, now I am finally smart.”

“Eh…heh heh heh how about years from now will you still be smart?”

“Well, years from now I will be smart but looking back to today where I believe I am smart I will probably realize that once again “I Used to be Stupid.”

“Wha, wha, WHAT?  Look, now I’m feeling stupid and we are running out of time.  We have Coco the dancing dog in the green room so we have to wrap this up.  Where can we find this stupid book?”

“Jay, you can find it on-line at RoseDog Books


“OK thank you very much, Cranky Old Man, glad you are no longer stupid though I guess heh heh heh, you will realize years from now that you were in fact stupid…or something. 

Buy the stupid book everybody.  Oops, were all out of time.  Hopefully Coco will be back another another night… 

Good night!”


I know; I have no shame!

Look to the side bar for two sample stories.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Deal with Your Shrunken Paycheck in 2013

How to Deal with Your Shrunken Paycheck in 2013

Just when I run out of ideas for this blog, I trip over an expert "how to” article.  These typically pick a current problem and give solutions that everyone already knows or almost no one except the most anal retentive tight-ass person uses.

If you have 15 minutes of your life you feel like wasting, read it here otherwise I will recap it for you.

This article alerts the world that the 2% payroll tax reduction which was part of the stimulus package has been repealed.  The result is a decreased pay check for everyone of as much as $40 a week.  This is not an easy pill to swallow, so of course there are experts to advise us how to continue living.

Robert Pesce, a partner of a NYC accounting firm soothes us by saying that $40 “is real money, but I don't know that it warrants panic."

Thanks Bob that is very helpful.

Tim Speiss, from the accounting firm of Blah, Blah and Blah informs us that, “From a tax perspective, the answer is, you can't do much.  You can't opt out of it, and your employer can't reduce it."

Well Tim, you are a gem of useful information.

There is some good news, however, thanks to the author of this article, Amy Feldman, who lets us know, “From a budgeting perspective, if you need the cash, there are things you can do. Here is how to think about your options:" 

(BTW, can we use the word perspective a little more often, it sounds so cerebral.)


Are you ready for Amy’s key to more cash?  Here we go…pay attention.


Great Amy…withhold more tax payments from your paycheck and indeed you will receive more cash in your weekly pay check.  You will also receive less as a refund at the end of the year (or maybe even owe money + interest and penalty) on which many of us have come to rely.

In what universe does this give you more cash Amy?


Good advice, but how does this add more cash? 


Damn Amy, this is helpful.  If we are self-employed you tell us how to calculate having to pay the extra 2%.  Hmmm… how does this help anyone budget for the reduction in pay?  Hmmm… what self-employed person who is able to stay in business cannot figure out how to pay the extra 2%?


This is the best advice yet…damn Amy, from an ignoramus perspective you are a genius. Tap discretionary income means SPEND LESS on things you can do without!

Do people get paid real money to write this drivel?

"I Used to be Stupid" is now available and in stock on Amazon   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No Good in the Clutch

No Good in the Clutch
In 1990 I leased a new Jeep Wrangler.  I loved the Jeep Wrangler, it was no frills yet it had a certain “cool” factor.  I felt it was a safe car for my kids to drive, not so much power that they would be tempted to speed and showoff, but cool enough for a high school kid.  I leased the car because I couldn’t afford to buy it outright.  I could afford the lease, but money was tight.

The car ran fine for a year until there was suddenly a problem with the clutch. The car simply would not shift past second gear.  Reverse was not even an option.  I probably should have had the car towed to the dealer for service, but that would have been expensive so instead I drove it twenty miles in second gear.  I took it to the dealer because I assumed the problem would be under warranty.

The clutch needed to be replaced.  It was apparently completely shot.  Of course it was not under warranty.  The drive chain was covered (whatever that is) the steering was covered, the tires were covered, and the electric was covered.  Everything on that car was covered by a warranty; everything but the clutch.

A new clutch cost $600 a major dent in my meager bank account.  Of course it had to be replaced; the car was only one year old.  At this point I wished I had brought the car to my regular mechanic, Tom at the Volk’s Shop (see “The Volk’s Shop” which was only one mile from my house.  Tom generally fixed anything and never charged me more than $300.  Oh well, a clutch was a clutch and sure to cost at least $600 even if installed by my favorite trusted mechanic.

I bit the bullet and paid the $600.

Exactly one year later the jeep once again would not shift past second gear.  Crap!  This time I drove it over to The Volk’s Shop for Tom to fix it.

“What’s the problem,” Tom asked.

“Ah'm not sure, it just doesn’t want to get out of second gear.” 

I had long ago learned to never tell Tom what you thought was the problem.  Tom was a great mechanic, but he was very literal.  If you told him what you thought was wrong, that is what he would fix.  It was much better to say “I don’t know” and let him determine what needed to be done.

I walked back home trying to figure out how I would get the money to pay for a new clutch…again…and cursing that friggin Jeep under my breath.  When I got home Tom had called.  He was probably giving me the bad news and checking if I wanted to spend the $600 on a new clutch.

I called him back.

“Volk’s Shop.”

“Yeah Tom, it’s Mr. Hagy about the Jeep…what’s the bad news?”

“Oh yeah, it’s not good…”

“Shit” I thought, "here it comes.”

“Yeah, your clutch cylinder has a small leak.  I could replace it for $137.48 (the man was always precise) but if you just added fluid every year it would probably be OK, it’s a really small leak.  It cost $2.97 for fluid, no charge for labor, didn’t take but a minute”

This was great news, $2.97 not $600.
When I picked up the car, I had to ask Tom,  “Tell me Tom, any chance the cylinder was damaged when the original clutch was replaced?”

“Doubt it.  That there clutch is the original.”

That clicking sound is the light bulb over my head turning on.

One week from the time that Tom made it abundantly clear that the Jeep dealer had completely ripped me off, the Jeep dealer burned to the ground.  It burned down one year and a week after they charged me $600 for a new clutch when all they did was add clutch fluid.

No…I didn’t do it…I’m Cranky, not crooked, but the dealership had either burned down by some unfortunate accident, or more likely, knowing them to be unscrupulous, they were losing money and it was torched for the insurance.

Either way, I was out $600, and karma was still a bitch.