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Saturday, October 31, 2015



A cranky opinion for


The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with limited knowledge on the subject opined.  I am probably completely off base, please enlighten me.

I do not have a problem with the Muslim religion.  That would be ridiculous and totally against everything our country stands for.  There are facets of every religion with which I do not agree.  

I am sure the vast majority of Muslim people are very nice and only want, prosperity, harmony and to be able to raise their family in a peaceful environment in their own culture.  I have met Muslims that clearly fall into that category.

I do have issues with what I see as part of the Muslim culture.  If I am wrong, if I have the wrong impression, please, Muslim people, please set me straight.  Stand up and declare these things which non–Muslims associate with your culture to be wrong and offensive.

I see a culture that encourages child brides for old men and I find that to be offensive.  

I see a culture which finds nothing wrong with sexually abusing little boys.

I believe the chopping off of body parts, especially heads, to be inappropriate.  

It disturbs me when I read of a woman being buried to her waist and stoned to death because SHE was raped.  

A culture that treats women as second…no third class citizens is not a culture that I can understand.  

A culture that still believes in slavery, has no issue with selling women and children into slavery, is not a culture I can accept.  

Suicide bombers, especially women and children, comes out of a culture which I cannot fathom.

Some of these aberrations exist in my culture. There are monsters in my society, but they are not quietly accepted, they are rooted out and punished.

I am told that Islam is the religion of peace.  Perhaps it is, but the culture that embraces Islam seems to me to be one that embraces violence and hate, and often turns the scripture of the religion of peace around to justify the violence and the hate.

I am probably wrong.  I am probably a politically incorrect old man who is too quick to stereotype a vast group of peaceful loving people.  Please prove me wrong.   

Please stand up and tell me that your culture does not embrace the way of life I have stereotyped.  Please tell me you are upset that an old man, a blogger in Saudi Arabia, will be flogged (probably to death) for expressing ideas.  Tell me that ISIS is a disgusting aberration and in no way represents the Muslim culture. Tell me that your women and children are cherished and respected.  Tell me that your culture accepts and respects the traditions of other cultures.

I am sure I must be wrong in my view of your culture, please shout me down;  please tell me I am wrong.

So far all I hear is silence, and the silence is deafening.

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

Friday, October 30, 2015


I remember Halloween as being a neighborhood celebration.  The trick or treating started around dusk, with little ones making the rounds with their parents.  After dark, the bigger kids age eight to twelve came out.  After nine o’clock the oldest kids, the teenagers, made the rounds.  By ten it was over. 

If you could not be home for the trick or treaters, you left a big basket of candy out and candy was taken on the honor system.  When you came home there was still candy in the basket.

The first round was taken up with talking to the parents (all from the immediate neighborhood) and guessing what each child was dressed as and which child was which.   Guessing the costumes was easy as the parents would mouth the answer if it was not obvious.  You always guessed the wrong child in each costume, no matter how obvious.  The little ones loved that you knew their costume and loved even more that you didn’t know who they were.  The little ones practically squealed “Trick or treat” with delight when you opened the door.

The second round of costumers answered with a more sedate “Trick or treat.”  They answered a few question but were intent on moving on to the next house as quickly as possible…collecting the most candy was a contest.  Whereas the little treater’s costumes were mostly store bought costumes of ghosts, witches, skeletons, or Disney characters, the second round of kids had homemade outfits.  They were football players, cheerleaders, hoboes or pirates.

The final round of kids, the teens, often had no costume at all.  Maybe a funny hat, or a store bought mask of the current President, but that was usually tilted up on the top of their head.  They often just held out there bag and said nothing…too cool to say “trick or treat” young enough to want free candy.  

I usually busted these kid’s chops.

“Yes, what do you want?”

“You know, like candy.”

“What do you say?”


“Come on, you know.”

“Trick or treat.”

“Thank you!”  Then I would hand over the candy.

By nine thirty it was lights out and candy in.  Late comers would not have their ring answered.  Even without the treat, I was never tricked.

These days, the kids come around right after school.  Parents accompany all but the teens.  They hang by the street cell phones ready to call 9-1-1 because they assume every home is occupied by a potential child predator.  I seldom know anyone that comes to the door.  The costumes are always store bought, and the kids seldom say “Trick or treat” even when prompted.  They just stick out their bag and collect the candy.  Sometimes they say “thank you” sometimes they grumble that you did not give them the good candy. 

The costume parade ends around eight, except for a few delinquents that ring the bell at ten even thought the lights are all out. 

If you leave your car out, the windows will be soaped and there is usually some toilet paper thrown.  Sometimes the little assholes toss eggs at the house.

Today if you leave a basket of candy out while you are away for an hour, it will be empty when you come home…you are lucky if they leave the basket.

I remember when Halloween was fun.  It was fun as a trick or treater, and it was fun answering the door.

These days Halloween is more like a holdup, no joy, no imagination, no neighborhood party, just give me stuff because you are just supposed to give out stuff…and it better be good!

Has Halloween changed, or is it just my neighborhood?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

That Day

That Day
Simulation, not the real Cranky
There is for everyone, “That Day.”
The day you realized you were not just a kid anymore.  The day you knew you would never play for the Yankees (or the company softball team). The day you knew you were in love.  The day you knew your marriage (s) was over; and then there is the day you realized you were old.

I have always been somewhat afraid of heights.  I was never a tree climber, I had trouble looking down from the window of a tall building, I will go on an airplane, but they make me nervous. 

When I was in college, I had a summer job working with a painting crew.  On my last day of this job I had to climb a forty plus foot ladder to apply an acidic brick cleaner to a building.  (I was going to say the ladder was sixty-foot, but I was on the job with my friend Charley who sometimes reads this blog and I’m lucky if he lets me get away with forty foot.) 

Climbing that ladder scared the bejesus out of me and I could not get to the top rung.  I had to stretch my arm as far as I could to reach the last brick.  With my arm stretched out, the brick wash trickled down my arm and into my eyes, or close enough to feel like it was in my eyes.  I had to scramble blindly down the ladder. 

It was on that day that I realized painting was not in my future, not if ladders and height scared me.  I also was a lousy painter.  Everyone thinks they can paint, but house painting takes a skill, and I did not have it.

Years later, when I owned my own home, there were chores which required climbing ladders. I didn’t have the money to hire someone else to do those chores.  I was still scared of ladders, but young enough to push through my fear.

The job I hated the most was the once a year gutter cleaning.  It involved many two story trips up a ladder and then the nasty job of scooping decaying leaves and gunk out of the gutter.  I did this chore every year for thirty years.  On my last home, the roof was one extra story high, but for two years I still managed to clean the gutters. I never looked down.

The year I turned 55, I prepared to clean the gutters as usual.  I raised the ladder, propped it against the house, secured the bottom with brick wedges, grabbed a trowel and a towel, and ascended the ladder.

Half way up the ladder, I looked down; memories of acidic brick wash trickling into my eye while up a forty-foot ladder (by now it was 60 feet) flooded my mind and my legs turned to jelly.

I climbed down, lowered the ladder and put it away.  I called a local handy-man to clean my gutters.  On that day I could never climb a ladder again, and I realized I could now afford to pay a young person to climb them for me.

That was the day I knew I was old.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015



I don’t know why, but the latest trends in communication are making me cranky.

Does asking yourself a rhetorical question and then answering it piss me off?  Yes it does.

The over use of the word actually, actually annoys me. 

People no longer respond to a casual question with a “yes”… “Are you retired?” “I am, I am retired.”
Young girls don't say "No", they say "NOAH".

What is it about past tenses?

People cannot get their tenses straight, and I believe it is intentional.  Why do people want to sound stupid intentionally? 
Do they say “I went to the store?”  No, instead they say “I had went to the store.”  Or…They could say "I had gone to the store," but instead they choose to say “I gone to the store”, or the ever popular “I had gonded to the store.”

People no longer talk, now they conversate.

The  possessive thing makes me cranky.

People no longer go to their mom’s house, they go to “they mom house.”  These are people who graduated from College and hold good jobs!

Your boy friend is no longer your baby’s father; instead he is “the baby daddy.”

When did nouns become verbs?  

Apparently we don’t raise our children anymore, we parent them.  It is not enough for people to get together to work on a project, instead they partner up.

Names today drive me nuts!

I wish parents would stop spelling their children’s names weirdly just to be different.  Why does the kid get angry when you spell it wrong.  “NO! It’s Daizy with a Z, not Daisy with an S!”  And why do people who shun the apostrophe to indicate the possessive, insist on using it in naming their (they) children?  La’Rondo Jones, Ta’Quondo Schwartz, Lo’Rida Smith.

I know, I’m just a cranky old man, and this post is probably riddled with grammatical errors, but then I had went to school a long time ago and actually am graduated.  Am I an expert in grammar? Noah', but at least I do not errorate intentionally.

I feel much more betterer now after ranting.  I hope you don’t stop visitationing  this cranky man blog.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015



The NY Mets are in the World Series.  I am a NY Yankee fan and have been for 64 years.  I will be rooting for the Mets in this year’s World Series.  If I am going to root for any team, why not the Mets?  They are in New York, why would I root for Kansas City.

Yet there are many Met fans who would deride me for rooting for their team.  “You’re a Yankee fan, why root for the Mets?  What are you, a fair weather fan?

I don’t get it.  There are four kinds of baseball fans in the New York area.

Yankee fans

Met Fans

Fans that always root against any New York team so they get attention (These fans I generally just ignore.)

Ladies who root for whomever their current boy friend roots for.  (I’m pretty sure that is grammatically incorrect, but if people can now say “they was conversating” I can end a sentence a preposition with.)

For some reason, Yankee fans are not supposed to root for the Mets…ever.  Met fans are not supposed to root for the Yankees…ever.

I don’t care, I am going to be rooting for the Mets, and if Met fans don’t like it, then they can, as they say in New York, “Go Scratch!”

The one think I don’t like about the Mets and therefore Met fans is their stupid cheer, “LET’S GO METS…LET’S GO METS!”

The beginnings of this cheer were derisive in nature.  In the early years, the Mets, like all expansion teams, were terrible.  They were comprised mostly of old washed up former New York Giant and Brooklyn dodger players.  In the first year, where they won maybe 12 games, the fans, starved for any team that wasn’t spelled Y A N K E E, came out in droves.  At one game when the Mets were down by eight runs in the ninth inning a group of inebriated fans started the “LETS GO METS” cheer as a goof.  It caught on and became a Met game staple originally as a joke for their hapless team.

Another Met tradition is carrying banners around the stadium.  Once again, this was started by bored fans, tired of losing, finding something to do for fun and also to be seen on TV.  You will see lots of banners and six year old kids holding up signs in this World Series.  You never saw Yankee fans with banners and signs in the World Series. 

Met fans! 

Oh well, I will still be rooting for them this year, I always root for the New York Teams.

Yankees before Mets

Giants before Jets

Knicks before Nets

And I don’t give a crap about hockey.

For the short time there was a team pro tennis league, the NY team was the Sets.

Do you notice the Mets, Jets, Nets thing?  Every time a franchise team came to New York the owners came up with an “ets” name trying to capitalize on the annoying “Let’s go Mets” cheer.

Thankfully that cheer did not catch on with any other New York Team.

Anyway, this year I will be rooting for the New York Mets to win the World Series.

“Come on Mets…Come on Mets”

Monday, October 26, 2015


This week's cranky re-run is from October 2011
Every day I read in the paper about people getting in accidents, being attacked by wild animals, being falsely arrested and enduring other tragic incidents.  Up until now I have been lucky enough to have avoided these many tragedies.  In the interests of having others avoid the pitfalls of life I submit:


1.     BEAR ATTACK - Almost every month "Reader's Digest" recounts a tail of a hiker being horribly mauled by a bear.  Cranky’s tip to avoid this tragedy, something that has saved me from many a bear attack – STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THE WOODS!

2.    KIDNAPPED BY PIRATES – Pirates off the coast of Somalia have been routinely capturing boats and holding passengers and crew for ransoms.  Cranky old man has never been hijacked by pirates.  The secret to my success?  There are lots of really big oceans – STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM SOMALIA!

3.    MOUNTIAN CLIMBING – Mountain climbing is very dangerous.  Every year climbers are injured or lost while climbing.  Cranky’s tips to safe mountain climbing?  Be prepared for all emergencies, use only the best equipment, be in shape, check weather reports, andSTAY THE FUCK OFF THE MOUNTAIN!

4.    BEING FALSELY ARRESTED FOR SPYING – Several years ago three -hikers were falsely arrested for spying when they were caught crossing the border in Iraq to Iran.  I am happy to hear they were recently released.  Here is Cranky’s tip to avoiding such a situation in the future. There are about one billion miles of hike-able trails in the world, many are in the USA.  Try hiking on any trails that are not in the FUCKING MIDEAST! And watch out for bears.

5.    SKY DIVING – This is a relatively safe sport, but accidents do happen and they are usually fatal. Cranky’s tip for safe sky diving?  Yell Geronimo, count to ten, and STAY ON THE FUCKING PLANE!

6.    SHARK ATTACK – Ever since the movie “Jaws” people are aware of the danger of shark attacks.  Cranky’s tip to avoiding shark bites?  Swim in large groups, sharks tend to attack lone swimmers.  Avoid swimming at dawn or dusk, most attacks happen during these times. If approached by a shark, punch it in the nose, their nose is very sensitive.            OR          STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THE WATER!

7.    CAR ACCIDENTS – Most accidents are caused by drunk driving and speeding.  Do not speed.  If you drink don’t drive.  If you drink and you do drive, drive really really slow.  If your driver is drunk, STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THE CAR!

8.    FALLING OFF LADDERS – Ladders can be dangerous. Cranky says to always use a ladder large enough for the task.  Secure the ladder, make sure it is balanced and straight, have a spotter to hold the ladder steady, or even better, STAY THE FUCK OFF OF LADDERS!

9.    SKIING – Snow is very slippery.  Slippery means falling. Mountains are steep.  Steep means falling at high speeds.  Falling at high speeds means broken bones or worse.  Cranky’s tip?  Have the best equipment, take lessons, always wear a helmet and STAY THE FUCK OFF OF SKIS!

    10. MOTORCYCLES – Motorcycle accidents are common and severe.  Cranky’s tip to avoiding motorcycle accidents? YES! See, you are learning.

Cranky’s final tip:  No matter what you do or were you go, always wear a helmet!

Sunday, October 25, 2015


STUPID (but no fake) HEADLINES 102515

It is time again for
I'll bet they find the last place they look

This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.  As in previous weeks, there is no fake headline contest!


Overdue books returned to Portland library, 52 years later – Local artist claims “I just forgot” is now looking for donations to help pay the 53,692.88 fine.

Aer Lingus Passenger Flips Out, Bites Fellow Passenger, DiesCan Aer Lingus be held responsible? (I don’t know what that means; I just like saying Can Aer Lingus)

Kerry calls for end to 'senseless' violence in Israel – Well, that should end the problem…why haven’t we thought of this before?

Detroit pastor shoots, kills hammer-wielding church intruder – Rock beats scissors, paper covers rock, scissors cut paper, gun beats hammer… and just about anything.

2 shot during Old West gunfight re-enactment in Tombstone – Sometimes that realism thing goes too far.  This would be one of those times.

Ohio delays executions until 2017 over lack of lethal drugs – They could just give them some Viagra, some cocaine, and send them to a Nevada whore house. (Actually I am against capital punishment…I might be in favor of whore houses though.)

Study says saliva test can accurately predict whether you're gay – Test shows that if you swap it with another man, you are probably gay.

Hunter shoots two moose -- then realizes they're in a zoo – You would think the big sign with the Z O O letters would have given him a clue…you would think wrong.

Did Mike Ditka Fart During Monday Night Countdown?- “Da’  bear pass Da’ Gas?”

British man removes ears in quest to look more like pet parrots – NO NO!  I wanted to ‘ear like my parrot, not two ears like my parrot! DAMN!” Good thing he didn’t ask for a cock knee accent.

Officer accused of biting man's testicle off the force – What were the man’s testicles doing on the force?

J.K. Rowling Reveals How Voldemort is Supposed to Be Pronounced and Blows Our Muggle Minds – Surprisingly enough, the correct pronunciation is Whodafucares.


Come back next week for more:


Where there is no fake headline contest

Friday, October 23, 2015

Think About What You Read*

Think About What You Read*

Years ago, I had a boss who was discussing a management technique he had read in a book.  He was not telling people to use this technique; he was simply bringing it up as a point of discussion.  Someone at the meeting who did not agree with what the book was saying asked rather sarcastically,

“Just because it is in a book, do you believe everything you read?”

Without skipping a beat my boss responded calmly,

 “No, but I think about everything I read.”

When I read political commentary and peoples reaction to it, be it around the water cooler (Do they still have water coolers?) man on the street, or Facebook comments, it seems to me that people no longer think about what they read or hear. 

Yes, me too, I am a people.

If the origin of a statement comes from President Obama, Hillary or any traditionally Liberal mind, conservatives automatically come out fighting and slam the statement.  The same goes for any Republican or Conservative statement; Liberals automatically put it down with much vigor.

For instance, I used to listen quite a bit to Rush Limbaugh, a Conservative (also a bit of a blow hard).  I don’t hate Rush, when I used to listen to him he often made some very good, very logical points.  I even bought two of his books.  However, after listening to him on the radio for several years and reading two books, I realized he did not ever agree with a single position or statement from any one that did not claim to be Conservative.  .


I get it, he is conservative, his audience is Conservative, but not once, not one single time did he ever agree with a statement by a Liberal.  Everything Bill Clinton (or whatever Democrat was in any position of power) said and did was wrong…and done for evil purposes.  He would not even consider that a liberal position was genuine; no, every Liberal position was taken to win votes, win elections, and to give power to government not for any public good, but only for their own evil desires.

I picked on Rush and Conservatives here because I am, in general, a Conservative myself and I want to appear to take the high road, but the other side of the aisle is exactly the same.  Since I have been following politics I cannot think of a single Conservative position that any Liberal of consequence has not put down as simply a position to increase the wealth of the 1% or evil corporations, a position for the rich to keep their foot on the necks of the poor, a position to gain votes, or a position that is just “mean spirited” and evil because all Conservatives are “mean spirited” and evil.


Liberal positions on taxing and spending are ALWAYS wasteful and careless.

Conservative positions on taxing and spending are ALWAYS “Draconian” and “mean spirited.”

Social issues are treated similarly by both sides.

For the most part Conservatives and Liberals both want the same thing for this country…peace, harmony, equality and prosperity.

I know that most people will not believe that statement, but speaking for most Conservatives that I know they want peace, harmony, equality and prosperity. The Liberal friends I have, and yeah I have a few, seem to also want peace, harmony, equality and prosperity.

The two sides just have different ideas on how to get there.

I for one am deciding to listen to positions that may not follow my general ideology, and then, like my old boss suggested “Think about those positions.” I probably will disagree with most of the agendas of Hillary, President Obama and other Liberal leaders, but I will listen.  I will assume that their agenda is based on what they genuinely believe is best for the most people in the country and the country as a whole.   

I will not have a knee jerk negative reaction…I will think about what they say. 

Occasionally I just might agree.

*Several weeks ago I promised I would no longer post or comment on political issues…OK, starting now.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Who Is Keeping Score?

Who Is Keeping Score?
There is a belief today that children’s sports do not need to have a winner or a loser.  Parents fear that children are too young to learn about losing.  They are afraid of injuring children’s self esteem.  In many children’s games the parents no longer keep score.   No one wins, no one loses, and everyone gets a trophy.

I like the idea of kids five or six getting a trophy for participating in sports.  At that age they get excited and it makes them want to come back the next year.  After the age of six…stop it!  Seven year olds know the trophy is meaningless or at that age they should, and believe me they are keeping score even if the parents are not. 

When I coached seven-year-olds in soccer in the eighties, we kept score.  The teams had won-lost records and the kids on the team with the best record got trophies.  My kids were not on the winning team every year and it did not destroy their self-esteem.  When they won they appreciated the joy of winning.

I learned a lesson about winning at this age when at one practice another coach approached me about having a scrimmage.  I agreed and we had a makeshift game.  Whoever won or lost was not important; this “game” had no impact on the league standings.

For goals we only had cones, so we set them apart about the correct distance for regular games.  There was no crossbar for goal height.  The game was scoreless and we were about to call it quits, when someone on the other team took a shot on goal.  The shot was between the cones, but about 10 feet above where the cross bar would be if we had a cross bar.

The kids on the other team started jumping up and down and called it a goal.  I blew the whistle and objected to the other coach as the shot was way too high to be defended.  The other coach responded casually, “Come on Joe, what’s the difference, it is only a silly scrimmage.”

I felt bad about even arguing the play.  Who really cared, it was just a stupid scrimmage, I ended my protest.

So that was it, the scrimmage ended with the other team “winning” on a ridiculous goal that was in no way a goal, but who really cared.

Then the other team formed a circle and started to chant,

 “Two four six eight, who did we obliterate? Rowdies, Rowdies, Rowdies!!!”  (Our team was the Rowdies.) 

The other kids then all skipped off the field yelling in that little kids way, “We won, we won, you stink, you stink!”

The other coach made no attempt to demand good sportsmanship from his team, and in fact had an annoying grin on his face.  

I let it slide, I was not going to let a bunch of seven-year-olds get my goat, but to the other coach…I was pissed.

One year later, I saw this coach who had an important position at a local bank, stacking shelves at the grocery store.  He had been laid off and stacking shelves in the grocery store was the only work he could find (People today complain about our economy, in the eighties it was way worse.) I felt really bad that this guy had lost his job and went from banker to grocery clerk stacker.

I still had to point out that he put some items on the wrong shelf.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bank Card Theft

Bank Card Theft
The newest popular crime today is identity theft.  Particularly vulnerable are bank credit and debit cards.  Debit cards should be protected because they require a pin number and or a signature that matches the signature on your card.  Credit cards also require a signature to be compared with the signature on your card.  Cards with no signature on the back are not valid.

How effective is the signature check?  I remember when these cards first came out; clerks would actually look at and compare signatures.  They had the time to do this because it took about 10 minutes waiting for a phone call to confirm the card number was valid and still had a credit line.  I never heard of a signature being challenged.  If the card wasn’t signed, they would just hand it to you and ask you to sign the back.  Then they compared signatures…duh!

I don’t sign my cards, instead I write “Ask for photo ID.”  About one in twenty merchants ask me for photo ID. 

PIN numbers should offer some protection, but not every place demands a PIN.  I have never had to supply a PIN for my debit card at a restaurant.  

Some banks are pretty good at questioning strange charges.  Someone used my card number once to buy something in Oregon about two hours after I used it to buy something in New Jersey.  I immediately got a call and verified I hadn’t been out of New Jersey.  They ate the Oregon charge and sent me a new card.

This spring we spent a week in Turks and Caicos.  My debit card kept getting declined.  I worried the whole time that someone had drained my bank account.  It turns out that my debit card does not work outside the country.  This little rule is for my own protection.  It would have been nice if they told me.  Fortunately I had another card that was not restricted.

These days thieves are getting sophisticated at stealing your card number and your pin.  They have tracking devices on ATM's and electronics that can brush up against your card and steal information. 

“Do you have a solution Cranky?”

“Why yes, of course I do!”

With technology today, I would have all card readers automatically send a text to the owners designated cell phone.  Before the charge is accepted, the card owner must respond to the text with a PIN number affirmation.

You ask, “How do we have all merchants adapt to this fancy card reader phone messenger that does not exist?”

I don’t know, I’m just a big picture guy, really smart people can figure out the details.

End of problem…your welcome!