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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

YOU SHOULD KNOW


YOU SHOULD KNOW
 
This is a Mrs. Cranky comment that throws me every time.  Looking back, I think this may not be restricted to Mrs. Cranky, but is a characteristic typical of many woman I have known…the “You Should Know” syndrome.

“Kare, where is the mayo?”

“You should know”

“But I don’t know.”

“Think about it.”

“I don’t feel like thinking about it, why don’t you just tell me?”

Because you should know.”

“But I don’t!”

"You should!"

"Come on!"

“It is in the pantry.”

“Great, where in the pantry, there are like 12 shelves?”

“You should know.”

“What the “F”, why should I know?”

“Because a week ago before we went shopping, you told me we had a jar of Mayo behind the corn flakes on the cereal shelf…don’t you remember?”

“Obviously not and why didn’t you just tell me that 5 minutes ago, there’s 5 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.”

“Because you should have known and not had to ask in the first place”

“But I didn’t know, that is why I…never mind…’Third base!’”

“I know you’re a jerk!”

Monday, June 29, 2015

COED SHOPPING


COED SHOPPING

Men and Woman are very different about shopping.

Women are more proud of bargains than almost anything else.  Well they are to other woman.  When a man pays a compliment to a woman on a new dress she says,

“Oh, why thank you very much.”

When a woman compliments the same woman on the same dress:

“Do you like it?  I bought it at Target (“Tarjay” to really annoying, pretentious women.)  It was 49.99 marked down from 89.99!”

Or

“Really, this old thing?  I just pulled it out of my closet.”  Either way, she will never wear that dress again.

If a man pays a compliment to another man:

“Dude, nice jacket.”

“Huh…oh, thanks.”

A woman pays a compliment to a man:

“I really like that jacket.”

“Huh…oh thanks.” 

He will now wear that jacket whenever he is with this lady, even five years later…he will wear the same jacket.

When a woman shops for clothes, she loves the experience.   She will pick through row after row of different dresses, blouses, shoes…whatever.  She tries them all on, and will ask any other woman in the store, “Does this look nice on me?” Regardless of the answer, she responds, “Hmmm, I don’t know it may be too ______ (fill in the blank.) Ultimately she picks the first item she looked at…she can always return it later.

A man does not shop for clothes.  He knows what color, and style he wants before he enters the store.  He will grab it, pay for it, and go home.  Later, if it doesn’t fit just right, it will be put in his closet and never be worn again.

Men should not shop with women.  It is torture to the man.  The waiting, the having his opinion ignored and the waiting, plus the waiting, and then there is the waiting…it is unbearable.  Women know this, and do not ask a man to shop with them unless they are pissed off at him. 

The only thing worse to a man than shopping with a woman is couples counseling.

Women, if you want to know how miserable it is for your man to shop with you, go with him to shop for a hammer.

“Hmmm, ball peen or claw, sledge or mallet, rubber grip or leather, long handle or short.  Excuse me sir, can I try this out with a nail and a two by four?”

Later:

“Hey Joe, nice hammer.”

“Thanks dude, $9.99 at Lowes, marked down from 14.98.”

Sunday, June 28, 2015

THE NEW KID - a cranky re-run

THE NEW KID
This cranky re-run is from June 2012

When I was growing up my family moved a lot.  No, we were not staying ahead of the bill collectors, my dad’s job required relocation about every four years.  In school, four years is about the time it takes to go from the “New Kid” to one of the gang.  I was always “The New Kid.”

The first thing that happens to the new kid in school is that all the losers want to be your friend.  When I say losers I mean kids that are different.  As an old man I have learned to appreciate people that are different.  In many ways I prefer people that are different.  As an eight year old or even a high school kid, hanging with kids that are different is poison.  You, the new kid, are immediately branded as “different.”  Different in school is a hard row to hoe.

Shedding the "different" image is not easy.  You are forced to be mean to the only kids that befriended you in the first few weeks of school.  This was a source of bullying when I was a kid; it is a source of bullying today.  The different kids try to befriend others and to shake the image of you yourself also being different you have to make it clear you do not associate with the different kids. 

At least you thought you had to.

I am sorry different kids.  I did not mean to be mean.  I wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to be “The New Kid.”

To “Tubby” Thompson: You were not “Fat fat the water rat.”

To “Four Eyes” Susan Smith: I wear glasses now and I know they suck.

To “Sparkles” O’Malley: I secretly thought your braces were really cute.

To Erick “The Spaz” Goldblatt: You threw like a girl, now you are a dentist.  I guess I was wrong.

To Jane “Bazooka Jane” Jablonski:  What the hell was I thinking?

To all the kids I was mean to:  I’m Sorry; being “The New Kid” sucked, but eventually I would fit in.  You were different all through school.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

STUPID HEADLINES 062815


STUPID HEADLINES 062815
It’s time again for
 
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY
 
 
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.

One headline may be fake.  Guess the fake and win a mention and a WHOOP-TEE-DOO.  None of the above may be a correct answer.
 
Comment moderation is on for one day.
_____________________________
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to hear Tom Brady's appeal – “Well first of all I’m really good looking; second…Dude have you even seen my wife?”  “Ah Tom, that’s not what we mean by appeal.”
Pennsylvania lawmakers want a registry for strippers – This is a slippery slope…next step they will come to our homes and take away all our strippers!  Second amendment people…the right to bare arms (and then some).
KFC says DNA shows 'fried rat' was chicken – When they have to test your food’s DNA to determine what it is, you might want to eat somewhere else.
Holy guacamole! Woman sees Christ's face on tortilla – Well, it is either Jesus Christ, or her Uncle Jesus (Heysus).
Obama scolds heckler at gay pride reception, saying 'You're in my house' – Well, technically it is OUR house, but he did have a point about respect.
Lego to replace plastic with environmentally conscious materials – The plastic to be replaced with edible waffle bricks, “Eggo my Lego.”
Christie expected to announce 2016 campaign Tuesday – Many want to know why the weight.  He admits he is behind but expects to bridge the gap.  His candidacy increased the traffic jam of Republican hopefuls. 
Guy Wakes Up From Nap To Find Bear Casually Nibbling On His Ankle – “She seemed like a nice girl at the bar last night.”
Russia Demands Probe into U.S. Moon Landing – Sure, we’ll get right on it comrade.
Driver shocked at $14,000 bill for crossing toll bridge – He shouldn’t have been in the exact change lane.
Pope Francis says divorce is sometimes 'morally necessary' – And totally worth it!

Python Eats Porcupine, Regrets It Later – The snake needed a food tester as apparently his dinner was spiked.
 
 
______________________________
Last week’s fake was:
Drones banned from National Parks for fear of causing animal stampede – “No drone on the range.”
No one correctly guessed the fake, but after careful consideration by the judges it has been determined that the above fake headline was very similar to a story a year or more ago; therefore though no WHOOP-TEE-DOO’s have been awarded, the following commenters will be recognized for their choice of “None of the Above.”
I need to Google my own fakes!
I'd like to add to my collection of "Whoop-tee-doos"--is it none of the above?
I think they're all true. Weird but true.
I think all these are true Cranky. So my answer is none of the above.
Well, I've already run across several of the weirder ones in my webbity perusings, so I'm also gonna guess 'none of the above' (ie, they're all real). . .

Eight guessers were incorrect.
 
Go visit and congratulate this week’s winners and come back next week for more
 
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

RELAX, IT IS JUST A FLAG


RELAX, IT IS JUST A FLAG
 
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little knowledge on the subject opined.  Opposing views are welcome, but will be ignored.  As always, please, no name calling…and that means you, you big stupid head!
In the wake of several atrocities there is a cry to remove the flag.  The flag is offensive, the flag represents hate, the flag is hurtful.
Relax people, it is just a flag.  Maybe to you it represents hate; that is your interpretation.  To many people it simply represents regional pride.  It represents regional customs and good old boy fun.
I get it; if I wear a hat with an interlocking NY to Fenway Park after Bucky Dent whacks a cheap home run to win the division, some people in Beantown might get upset.  Should the NY hat be illegal in Boston?  It offends lots of people.  NO!  We have freedom of speech in this country and if my symbol upsets you, too bad.  Banning a symbol, stifling freedom of speech is offensive to me.
The flag is no different.  It represents pride to a great many people.  It represents a culture, a way of life.  It should not be offensive or hurtful.
If we ban the flag, what is next?  Will Italian Americans be forced to remove all ties to the land of their ancestors?  Can Mexicans wave their cloth on Cinco de Mayo?  Where do we draw the line?
Maybe we could draw the line at flying the flag above the Stars and Stripes on a state capitol building…I’ll give you that.  Otherwise it is just a flag.  Relax everyone, stop being so sensitive and letting everything offend you.
It is only a flag.
Right?
 
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

THE BOSS KNOWS BEST?


THE BOSS KNOWS BEST?
Years ago when I worked for a large brokerage firm, my boss, another Joe, was not the brightest bulb in the lamp.  That is not entirely fair, he was not stupid, in fact he knew the business pretty well, he just did not always demonstrate a great knowledge of the English language.
Our department was responsible for Trades Processing on the New York Stock Exchange better known as the NYSE.  My boss spelled trades t-r-a-i-d-s traids.  He was corrected several times and always acted as if it was an oversight, but he always spelled it traids.  Fortunately for him, his secretary knew how to spell.  I used to joke that he couldn't spell NYSE if you spotted him the N and the Y.
Joe could not spell well enough to even know he could not spell, and he could not write a cohesive paragraph.  I have never been a very good speller, but I did know when to use a dictionary, and I did know that trades was spelled t-r-a-d-e-s.  I may not be a terrific writer, but I could always make a point in print, and could generally pass as being literate.  Still, if I wrote even the simplest memo, Joe demanded to edit it before it was sent out.  It was a boss thing.
For several months, I never got a memo or writing of any kind past Joe that he did not make several changes.  Generally his changes did not alter the meaning of what I wanted to convey.  His changes just reflected what he would have written if it was his to write.  I never liked the way his changes sounded.  My wording was better. It used to really piss me off.
At some point I realized that no matter what I wrote, Joe would make some changes just to assert his position.  He had to show he was the boss, and in his mind he felt, “Thank God I edit everything before it is sent out.”
With that in mind I soon learned to make several obvious grammatical errors with everything I wrote.  My boss would happily correct the simple errors, but leave the body of the message unchanged.  I got to send out work with my name that reflected my style, and my boss got to feel superior and needed.
All this was years ago, but I would like to take this opportunity to tell my old boss, “It is spelled t-r-a-d-e-s you moron!  The name of the department you were in charge of was TRADES Processing, not TRAIDS Processing…and you corrected my writing? You fucking idiot!”
Actually he was a pretty good guy, and he did know his stuff, he just could not write worth shit.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

COCKTAIL HOUR


COCKTAIL HOUR (or two)

 I love my family, but we are so spread out we no longer get everyone together unless it is a sad occasion.  I have a son in Massachusetts, a daughter, SIL and three grandchildren in North Carolina, a son, DIL and two grandchildren in Pennsylvania, and a son in California.  My brother lives in Atlanta and my Sister (after 50 years I drop the in-law title) lives in North Carolina.

My mom and dad retired to Eastern Shore Maryland sometime after I graduated from college and though my brothers were spread out we did get together for most holidays up until dad passed away and after mom had to go into assisted living.  As an adult, I have wonderful memories of these family get togethers with brothers, in-laws nieces and nephews. 

My fondest memories as a child are of Five O’clock Cocktails at Grandpa’s.

My Grandfather was an affluent man.  He owned and ran his own business.  They processed oily rags for something called “Hot Boxes” on railroad cars, something used until at least the 1950’s.  I never understood much more than that.  Grandpa owned a house in the Philadelphia area, two houses and a vacant lot on the Jersey Shore and a small house in Florida.  He owned a 32 foot boat and bought a new Cadillac every other year.  The boat and the car were “Business expenses.”  You could do liberal “Business expenses” in those days.  They went in the books as “sundry.”

To many people in today’s world of class warfare, Grandpa might have been classified as a f*cking rich bastard.  He was actually a very nice and rather generous man.  He was generous with his time, his money and his love of life.  He was a wealthy man.  He should have been.  He worked hard.  He took over the business at 15 years old and successfully grew it.  His business survived two world wars, several recessions and the great depression.

Of course growing up we thought Grandpa was comfortable, but not all that rich.  Other neighbors had bigger homes, nicer boats and newer cars.  Everything is relative to a child.

What I remember best about Grandpa and Grandma was five o’clock cocktails on the back deck of their summer house.  The deck was on the flat roof of the garage and entrance was through the kitchen or back stairs. 
A recent picture of the deck. 
The lot is still vacant, it was used for parking and growing vegetables back in the day.
 

Cocktails were at five almost every Friday and Saturday night. 

Grandpa’s house was three floors.  My Uncle Jack, Aunt Sally and Cousins Johnny and Dex lived in the first floor apartment.  Grandma and Grandpa lived on the second floor along with visiting Aunts and Uncles, and the third floor crammed in as many cousins as needed.

Uncle Tom and Aunt Louise owned a house across the street, and My Dad rented a floor in Grandpa’s second house for his two week summer vacation.  This house was behind the main house to the left of the vacant lot and not shown in the picture. 

On a good weekend there would be up to ten aunts and uncles along with Grandma and Grandpa plus a few friends on the back deck for five o’clock cocktails.  Dinner was not until seven so there was a lot of drinking, smoking and booming laughter.  The drinks were not wine spitzers in those days; they were highballs (whiskey on ice) or stingers (vodka on ice with a capful of Crème de menthe.)

Looking back this crew may have had a drinking problem.  They claim to have been social drinkers only, but they were really social!  Each of my relatives had a distinctive laugh.  I could tell if the laughing was Grandpa, or Uncle Jack, Aunt Phil, or Aunt Nancy.  Grandma would laugh and then invariably chastise Grandpa for an off-color remark with a tart "Oh Milton!"  This was followed by more laughter.

As a child, I remember getting hungry because dinner was so late, but mostly I remember wishing I could get in on the fun on the deck. 

I remember the laughter…there was so much laughter!

THE DUMBEST THING EVER - a crankiy re-run

THE DUMBEST THING EVER from June 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 idiots” 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.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Perfect Day


A Perfect Day
 

The Cranky Old Man is down on the Jersey Shore.  Our home for the next three weeks is a little two bed room, nothing fancy unit off a garage.  The rooms are small, the bed uncomfortable, and yet it doesn’t get much better.

Today was a beautiful summery day. The water warm, warm enough for this old man to take several dips in the ocean for maybe the first time in thirty years as early as in June.  After showering, Mrs. Cranky and I took the step-boy and his girl friend to dinner at an obscenely expensive wonderful dinner.  After dinner Mrs. C left for a wake of a relative of a relative who passed away too early.  Mrs. C is Catholic and goes to any wake of anyone she knows or is a friend or a relative of anyone she knows.

The Cranky Old Man stayed home.

I went to the beach which is about twenty yards from the tiny home we rent every year.

One of the nice things about getting old is you appreciate things so much.  It was a beautiful night on the beach tonight; maybe as beautiful as a night on the beach can be.  A few years ago Hurricane Sandy rolled in and this same beach was a war zone.  Homes were lost, people’s lives were turned topsy turvey.

Tonight the ocean was calm, the air warm and refreshing.  I sat on a bench with the last glass of a bottle of pinot grigio and a good cigar that my son-in-law had given me.

I reflected on life as I watched life on the beach.  I watched the seagulls and the shore birds, and was glad that their hard life was not mine.  I watched two Ospreys hunting for fish and thought how their success or failure meant the very existence of their young back home in their nest.  It is much nicer to be on a bench with a glass of wine and a good cigar than to be either of these beautiful birds working for survival.

I watched a young dad surf fishing with his five year old son.  The son was so excited to be fishing and wanted so bad to catch a fish.  He thought he had a bite at every bump his line took from the movement of the tide.  He continually reeled in his line only to find there was no fish, and his dad patiently cast his bait back into the ocean for his young son.  I thought how even though this young boy would probably not catch a fish he would remember this night with his dad for the rest of his life.  Catching a fish was nothing for this little boy compared to the life or death importance catching a fish was to the osprey.  

There is so much evil in this world.  There are so many people who live lives of desperation much the same as the patient ospreys.

I know I am one of the lucky ones.  I know I should do more to help others less fortunate.  I should probably feel guilty for not sacrificing, for not giving up some of what I have and to be more of a giver than a taker.  I have worked hard for what I have, but I have had more advantages than most.  Simply being born in this wonderful country has given me more advantages than ninety-nine percent of every human ever born, even more, if you think about it, than princes and kings of years gone by.

I’ve had my bumps in life, and there are for sure more to come. 

At least on this day, this perfect day on the Jersey Shore, I appreciate and thank God for what I do have.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Stupid Headline 062215


Stupid Headline 0622115
It’s time again for
Probably her divorce lawyer
 
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY

On a Monday

This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.

One headline may be fake.  Guess the fake and win a mention and a WHOOP-TEE-DOO.  None of the above may be a correct answer.

Comment moderation is on for one day.

______________________________

Shark killed in truck crash on Florida highway – Oh no…TRUCKNADO!

Spokane's NAACP leader quits amid charges she faked her race – She left to form her own group, National Association for the Advancement of Caucasian Perpetrators.

City launches 'text walking lanes' for Smartphone addicts – I hope they’re all one-way.

New Big-Eyed Pink Octopus Discovered Is So Cute Scientists May Name It ‘ADORABILIS’ – Are they scientists or Octabronies?

Rachel Dolezal called for boycott of 'Exodus' for using white actors for black roles – That’s the snow calling the tissue paper white.

Ex-teacher found guilty of hitting former student with ruler 54 times – The whole nine yards twice…dude is nasty!

Indiana bill will allow residents to own sawed-off shotguns – Apparently full sized shot guns are too difficult to hide under your coat when sneaking up on…ah…deer?

Man Charged With Robbing Bank With a Sex Toy – He left with bill-dough and a dildo.

This street performer is basically the Mozart of animal sounds – Not a particularly interesting headline except it is the first known time for a sentence to ever combine Mozart and animal sounds.

Bruce Willis surprises waitress with a massive tip – Oh stop…it was $900… you should all be ashamed of yourselves!

Drones banned from National Parks for fear of causing animal stampede – “No drone on the range.”

Bite-Sized Spam snacks Are Here – Please keep them there!

___________________

Last week’s fake was:

New York man arrested for shooting bald eagle claims he thought it was a turkey – Well there may have been some Wild Turkey involved.

AND THE WINNERS:


I was hoping it would be the whale/whale/shark one so I could make a turducken joke but I think it's the bald eagle. Did you know they taste like chicken?


New York man arrested for shooting bald eagle claims he thought it was a turkey is my pick. That would be all over the news if true. Well maybe.

I may have to have these two tested for headline performance enhancing drugs!

In the meantime, both have very funny posts.  Go visit and congratulate them for winning again.



NINE INCORRECT GUESSES LAST WEEK
Thanks to Val @ http://unbaggingthecats.blogspot.com/  for a stupid headline submission. 

Go congratulate all the winners, and come back next week for more

 

STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL - a cranky re-run

FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL
 
This re-run is from June 2012.  It was originally a two part post because it is too long for the attention span of most blog readers, but I decided this time I would run it all at once.

My brother, Chris, recently found a letter he sent to my Aunt Nancy years ago to be read at a reunion he was unable to attend.  It gives wonderful insight to my dad and I thought it a perfect post for Father’s Day. 
 



Dear Aunt Nancy:
 
I am so sorry that we will not be able to join you and the others at the Hagy reunion later this month.  Carolyn asked that I drop you a line with a few stories about Dad that you might rehash or read to the group as a reminder of whom he was, and who we are.

Dad was an exceedingly bright individual with an insatiable, intellectual curiosity matched only by his confidence that he could do anything.  But he didn’t just read about it or think about doing it, he did it.

When we lived in Tulsa after WWII he read about hydroponics, a then developing field fueled by the belief that plants could be enhanced and prolific if they were fed directly the nutrients they needed rather than having to extract them from the soil.  A chemical engineer, this inspired him to believe that he could grow the world’s biggest vegetables if he grew them in a greenhouse in gravel and fed them chemicals by injection at their base.  But he just didn’t think it, he did it.  While raising 3 boys and working full time at Sun Oil, in his spare time he built a large (30' x 100') greenhouse and installed an injector system throughout the rows of hip high boxes that he installed in his greenhouse.  He then developed a chemical container system, determined what nutrients, and how much, each type of plant would require, filled the boxes with gravel, planted lettuce, tomatoes, corn and other vegetables, fed them injected chemical nutrients and, in fact, grew the biggest vegetables imaginable. 

Mom and Dad kept busy harvesting his crop year round and sold to grocery stores.  When we moved to New York the property (a 4 acre “farm”) was sold more for the greenhouse than the house, and my recollection is that the purchaser became a full time grower and made a nice living off of Dad’s greenhouse. 

(As an aside, we hated to leave that farm because we had a pony, black haired and sassy, and appropriately named “Nancy”.  You will recall that you took her and kept her on your farm and renamed her “GG”.  She was so much fun that I think she was more aptly named after you, and to me she will always be Nancy.) 

A Cranky aside – Aunt Nancy’s real name was Eleanor, but that is a different story.


When we left Oklahoma Dad got out of gardening and into boats, and he struggled long and hard sanding and painting first a sailboat on Long Island and then a “stinkpot” in Southern California.  He spent more time working on them then using them, and I think that is why he became infatuated with the possibilities of building boats of fiberglass. 

Unfortunately, unlike wood, fiberglass boats sank like a stone if capsized and that stunted the initial appetite for them.  But Dad conceived of the idea of building a hull inside the hull of a fiberglass boat and filling the core with foam.  Tests demonstrated to Dad that this construction would not only  give the boat a firmness not present in initial fiberglass boats, which felt like you were sitting or standing on eggshells, but, more importantly, it could make  fiberglass boats even more buoyant than wooden ones.  He then set about making a fiberglass boat. 

He designed a racing sailboat that fit the allowable dimensions of the moth, a type of 1-2 man 11 foot racing sailboat then popular at the Ocean City Yacht Club, and set about building it in our basement on Long Island. 

He did this from scratch.  It required building a wood frame, upside down, then covering it with chicken wire and ultimately plaster.  A separating compound was then spread on the plaster and fiberglass on top of that.  When it set, the fiberglass was popped off the plaster mold and it became a mold for the actual fiberglass boat that was built inside of it so that, on its removal from the mold, it would have a smooth exterior.  He then built a second, smaller hull, installed it within the larger outer hull, filled the gap between the hulls with Styrofoam, and eureka, he had created one of the first (if not the first) fiberglass boats that would not sink. 

This is now essentially the method used in constructing all fiberglass boats even to today.  Not only would the boat not sink, his design was so good that the boat dominated the moth class for some time. My brother Jim sailed it to third place against far more seasoned competition in the first regatta the new boat was entered in, the International Championships, which had more than 100 entrants.  Because it was fast, and would not sink, there was a demand for the boats and we made and sold 10-15 over the next few years as a hobby for Dad and summer job for Jim and me.

And then came the computer and digital age.  Dad was just a little early for it.  Too bad, he would have reveled in all that has come in the past 20 years.  But he was fascinated by what he did see of the new developments and the potentially powerful new tools that could be developed. 

I remember how he applied his intellectual curiosity and “can do” attitude when Aunt Phil came to live with him and Mom as she battled cancer.  She was bedridden and helpless at times.  That distressed Dad, but he was intrigued with the then developing use of electric garage door openers and remote TV channel changers.  He wondered how that might help Phil, and he developed a remote for her that she could use to turn on and off lights in the room, summon them and, I think, control the radio.  All pretty standard stuff now, but he developed it from scratch.

 
Wonderful as he was, Dad had his human side; and now for the rest of the story. 
 
While he built a wonderful fiberglass boat in our basement, he was caught at the conclusion with a boat that was too big to get up the stairs and out of the house.  We struggled all one morning trying, and then, when Mom announced she was going to the store, a crazed look came into his eye. As soon as she left the house he was at her beautiful oak floors with a rip saw opening a huge hole to the basement.  He fearlessly cut through not only the oak floor, but the supporting beams, and, before the floor collapsed, shored up the beams and framed the cut out section of oak floor to make a trap door.  The boat was then extracted and the trap door fit into place and covered with a rug, all before Mom got back from the store.
 
But there is more.  After extracting the boat it was towed to Manhasset Bay for its inaugural cruise.  Unfortunately, upon being launched the boat immediately rolled over.  It was top heavy and, while it wouldn’t sink, it wouldn’t stay right side up either.  After a whole year of hard work and the caesarian removal of the boat from the basement you can imagine how distressed Dad was; but not for long.  After a short period of mourning he redesigned the boat, threw out the old molds, built new ones and delivered a new boat by the next racing season.

A cranky aside – Several Years later my brother Jim and I (90% Jim) rebuilt the original boat from dad's design without the extra heavy inner hull.  In our haste the mold was imperfect and we did not have time for a do-over in order to enter the last sailing event of the season.  We fitted out the MOLD with its rough exterior (causing slowing inefficient water flow) and Jim still finished 2nd in a fleet of 45 boats.  That boat was then retired, never to sail again.

 

 It was that boat, his second effort, which my brother Jim sailed to third in the Internationals and to first in the South Jersey championships and which captured the hearts of all who were longing for fast, safe fiberglass boats and the end of more sanding and varnishing than sailing.

I also remember Dad’s human side as a wonderful, loving father.  He knew that some Friday nights when I was out late while in high school that I had been into some beverages that weren’t appropriate.  But he never said anything----just came into the room early Saturday morning and insisted that I get up and come to the basement to work on those blasted boats.  He would then run the rip saw all day and otherwise make as much noise as possible.  Believe me; you didn’t want a hangover at our house, and a couple Saturday mornings like that were all that were needed to get me to behave a little better on Friday nights.

A Cranky aside – I remember the night outs as being on Saturday and it was on those Sundays that Dad got religion and we went to Church…early.  Either way, the lesson was delivered so well that Mr. Cranky did not have his first hangover until I was in college and far from home.

What I remember most, however, was the night I totaled his new 1959 Ford Galaxy.  It was about 2 months old, and I was in my senior year of high school.  He let me use his new car one night and, while tuning the radio, I looked down and drifted through a stop light into a major thoroughfare and was broadsided.  The car was demolished.  While it was being cleared out of the street a policeman took me to a drug store where, shaking with fear and expecting the wrath of God, I called home.  Dad answered, I told him I had been in an accident and was afraid his new car had been totaled.  He asked was I all right, and when I said yes he said: “Fine, that is all that matters.  I will come pick you up.” 
 
That is the last thing he said about that accident.

A Cranky aside – The story I remember is that Chris pulled out as soon as the light turned green and got hit by a car running the red light.  Now the truth is out.  I’m guessing Dad had Chris' back and went along with the cover up story.

I hope this gives you some things to remember about Dad as you reminisce about the family later this month.  I miss him, and all the Hagy’s, and wish I could be with you.
 
Love,
Chris

Happy Father’s Day to all you great Dads!