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Wednesday, May 31, 2017


 This cranky re-run is from May 2013
As I get older, I often wonder, “What the hell is it with this new generation?” They don’t listen to our wisdom, they have new ideas about everything, and they want to change how we do everything.  Almost nothing is sacred.

In my day, we never worried about how our babies slept.  On their back, on their side, on their stomach…either way was just fine.  Today’s parents…crazy.

In my day, we didn’t worry about our kids every minute.  They played outside, they rode bicycles and skateboards without silly helmets and when it got dark they would come home.

In my day we didn’t have cell phones.  If we did have them, we certainly would not give them to our children.  We didn’t spoil our children like they do today.

In my day music was music, and lyrics did not have filthy words.  Our children did not wear revealing clothes and they did not have to hear all about sex in school “sex education” classes.  Sex was dirty and not discussed in public.

In my day, gay people were “confirmed bachelors” or “spinsters” and there was no gay marriage nonsense.

In my day people did not divorce; married couples stayed together through thick and thin.

Yes, as you age you realize just how crazy the world has become.  Children are spoiled, and coddled from the cradle till they leave home which is now around 26 not 18.  People want it all, and are unable to accept societies rules.

Of course:

In my day some babies died unexpectedly from this thing called SIDS.

In my day, some kids crashed their bikes and were severely brain damaged.

In my day some kids never came home after dark. 

In my day, we worried ourselves sick when sometimes we did not know where our children were…would have been nice if we could have just called. 

In my day, girls got pregnant because they didn’t know they could.  Some of these pregnant girls died undergoing abortions by quack doctors in unsanitary rooms.  Some of these girls just killed themselves because their condition was so unaccepted in my society. 

In my day, people had to hide their sexuality and were shamed into lying about who they really were.  Some could not live like this and they took their own lives. 

In my day many married couples lived together hating each other in a sexless, loveless, miserable but acceptable partnership.  Sometimes one partner was constantly verbally or physically abused on a daily basis, but they would not leave, they would not divorce. 

In my day we knew how to endure abuse. We behaved the way we were taught we should behave, we did what we were expected to do and we believed what our leaders and experts told us to believe.  We were suspicious of new things when the old ways seemed to work just fine.

In my day we were ignorant. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Baseball Fan Again

Baseball Fan Again

I am a fair-weather baseball fan.  I admit it.  When it comes to football, I watch every game, crummy team or Super Bowl contender, I watch my favorite team.  Basketball I only watch during playoffs, and then only if it is the Knicks.  Yes, I am THAT fan.

I didn’t used to be THAT fan, especially when it came to baseball. 

I root for the Yankees.  I have always rooted for the Yankees.  Growing up in the fifties and sixties there was only fair weather for Yankee fans.  We were always in the pennant race and generally in the World Series. 

I knew all the Yankee players, all their numbers, all their lifetime stats and what shaving cream they used.  The late sixties and the seventies, were the doldrums for the Yankees, but I still knew all the players and held out hope every year for the return of the dynasty.  The great one, Mickey Mantle, was ending his greatness, but he still held my attention.  There were others to hope for the same greatness, Bobby Murcer almost fit the bill, but he did not quite have the power or speed.  He had the personality, and was a terrific announcer before his sad passing from cancer, but not the same charisma.  Kevin Mass got me excited, but he fizzled out when opposing pitchers found his weak spot.

Then the Boss bought the team.  Not Springsteen, Steinbrenner.  George Steinbrenner bought talent, demanded excellence, and in the late 70’s the Yankees were winners again.  In most of the 80’s and early 90’s the buying of talent did not work so well.  Then the Yankees developed much of their own talent.  Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Pasada, Robbie Cano, and of course Derek Jeter.

To these great players they added Alex Rodrigues, Teixeira and others.  They were fun to watch and fun to root for…and they won!

Recently, Rivera, Teixeira, Pasada and Jeter retired.  Rodrigues lost his luster from the steroid controversy and the final straw, they let Cano go.  Add to that, my Yankee fan partner son, was whisked off to the land without an “R”, the home of the hated Red Sox and the weather turned stormy.

I have not watched the Yankees for the last year or two.  This year I saw in the sports page that the Yankees were again contenders.  They have a lot of young exciting talent.  The clouds are lifting and the fair-weather fan is back.  I am just starting to learn the players.  They have a pitcher from Japan who looks pretty good, they have a closer who is lights out.  Their shortstop can field and hit and they have a second baseman with power.  In right field is a huge person who hits huge home runs, and their catcher could be an all-star for many years to come. 

The Yankees are winning and they are fun to watch again. 

My biggest issue so far is learning the player’s names.  I used to think it was cool that the Yankees never put the player’s names on their jerseys.  Now not so much.  When you don’t yet know who is who, they all look the same and I don’t know the numbers yet.

I am learning, and I am watching.  I can hear all you diehard fans booing.  You suffered forever with your Cubs, or your Phillies, or your O’s but you root year in and year out regardless.  You hate us spoiled Yankee fans. 

I don’t care. 

The sun is out again and I am back as a fan. 

Yankee fans are used to being booed.  Give me your best shot.

Go Yankees!

Friday, May 26, 2017



This cranky re-run is from May 2013

There are many different voices of authority.

There is “The Boss” who loves to spout instructions that are ridiculous but sound very important and “Boss-like.”  My favorite is, “I don’t care how you do it, just get it done!”  How inspirational, so instructive, so helpful…

“Thanks Boss!”

There is the preacher who tries to sound like he believes God would sound.  He speaks loud and slow and with prefect diction.  “And so GoDDD spake to the Israelites and he said, ‘Do not do what you know you should not for if you do then it will be displeasing to me that you would do that which I asked you not to do regardless of how you believe this is what needs to be done.’ Thus I beseech you to listen to GoDDD and don’t do that!”

“Wha wha wha what?”

There is the politician who tells you what you want and tells you how you think.

“The American people are tired of high taxes; they want better roads and lower oil prices.  The American people are tired of politics as usual and seek change and forward thinking to progress in a positive direction.  The American people know that anything bad that happened these last four years would have been worse if I was not your leader and everything that was good came about because of my policies.  The American people….”

“Blah blah blah.”

My favorite voice of authority is the airline pilot.  I would vote for any President who could make a State of the Union Address like an airline pilot.

“Attention citizen passengers, this is your President speaking.  On the domestic front the economy may be a bit bumpy, so you will have to tighten your belt a smidge.  We will be traveling at about 8% inflation with little sign of improvement for most of the trip.  We may need to hike taxes just a bit; this is for your own protection and safety, please bear with us. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

On the international flights we also expect much turbulence especially from the Mid-east and parts of Asia.  Please just remain calm and we will try to weather any storms in these areas.

We would like to thank you for your vote, we know you have several choices and we hope to have you come back to our Party again soon.  We should reach our destination of peace in the world and prosperity at home in about four more years so just sit back, let us handle the controls and enjoy your journey."

I would love my airline pilot-President; how about the Miracle-on-the- Hudson pilot Captain Sully Sullenberger.
President Sully

Monday, May 22, 2017




a cranky re-run from May 2013

 People often ask me, “Cranky, what is the secret to success in the business world?”  As one who spent 40 years toiling for a large brokerage firm, starting at the bottom and ending up above bottom, it is little wonder that I am chosen to impart the secret to success in the business world.

My qualification in answering this burning question is in watching dumbass after dumbass rise to the higher levels of management without ever having a single idea.

First let me clarify; one way to get to the top in the business world is to get an education, network yourself, ask questions, and work your ass off.  No one who asks, “What is the secret to success…” is interested in that route to the top.  They know that formula and are not interested in earning success.

Here is the other way to the top:

Number one, and I cannot overstate its importance is, YOU MUST LOOK GOOD IN A SUIT!  You can do all those things that actual leaders do to break the glass ceiling, but if you do not look good in a suit you have no chance.  Get in shape…fat fails!  Buy a suit for each day.  Invest in good dress shirts, ties, handkerchiefs, and expensive perfectly shined shoes.  If your choice is to invest in an education or an expensive impressive wardrobe…go with clothes.

Number two, act important.  Carry yourself as if you belong.  Don’t ask questions, and never answer a question if you are not sure of the answer.  Learn to respond with, “What do you think?” or “I’m busy, check with Ralph” and “You’re kidding me right?” Of course learn the all-important commands, “I don’t care how you get it done, just do it!” and “I don’t want excuses, I want results!”

Number three; never do anything if you can get someone else to do it for you.  This allows you to take credit for skillful delegating when a project is successful, while allowing you to throw someone under the bus if the project fails.  Never offer an idea at a meeting, but always voice your concern, “That sounds great Bob, but I’m concerned that if it doesn’t work it could be expensive.”  If the idea works, you were behind it.  If it flops, well you were concerned!  If anything goes wrong, such as a new computer program or a sales idea flops, be the first to question, “Didn’t anyone test that?”

Number four, learn the terminology.  I have been out of the loop for a while so these may be passé but, “Pick the low hanging fruit first” was always a good one.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” always sounds like such great advice and is perfect for putting some little shit who is way smarter than you in his place.  It is really another way of saying, “If it’s not my idea, stuff it!”  Always express things as from a “Perspective.”  “From a time management perspective…” “From the client’s perspective…” I don’t know why, but “From a …perspective" always sounds like you are really smart.

Last but not least, number five; keep a high profile while doing nothing.  Come in to work early, even if you have nothing to do.  Stay late, even if you have nothing to do.  Send emails cc’d to everyone at 10 pm, and 6 am. 

That is it.   The secret to corporate success as told from an observer.  Don’t let my inability to rise beyond a supervisor of 6 people fool you; I had all the right stuff.

I just never looked good in a suit!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Once again, when I find myself running out of stuff to post on, another blogger gives me an idea.  For this post give credit (or blame) to Sarah @People Don’t Eat Enough Fudge
I love old stuff.  Stuff that came before me and stuff that will remain after I am gone.  There is a certain sense of an attachment to the past that I find peaceful.  When my mom went to assisted living, my brothers and I divided up most of her possessions.  

Except for some tantrums by my ex-wife who had no business even opening her big trap, it was a smooth process.  There were some items I cherished, and when I visit my brother or my SIL I also enjoy visiting those cherished items.
One cherished item that I claimed was an old curio cabinet.  Inside the cabinet are hundreds of different items.  Many very old, some fairly recent, all with special memories to someone.  I don’t know the special memories to many pieces, but I know they were saved for a reason and that makes them special.
Top shelf
Many items were my mothers.  Many came from my Grandfather whom I never knew.  He brought back pieces from his time as an Army Captain in the war in the Philippians…1902.  There are Ivory carved pieces, an old decorative shoe buckle, silver eyeglass case, the ball my mom hit for a hole in one, several old trophies, a gold pen, and bits and pieces too numerous to name.
Middle shelf
I have since added and old stop watch which we used when racing sailboats.  A “Let’s Go Mets” button from their World Series win, a Mickey Mantle button, an old large US penny of undiscernible date and a commemorative button for the first moon landing.
Every once and a while I sort through the different items.  I always find something I had not seen before. 
The cabinet is my own time capsule.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Veteran’s Tricks

A Veteran’s Tricks

Apparently I am a veteran.   No, not a Veteran, as in served my country in the armed forces.  I am a veteran as in one who has long term experience in a particular field.  I am a veteran at life.

If you are a sports fan, you are familiar with veterans.  They are the old dudes who no longer have the skills or strength they once had, but get by through experience, knowing situations and replacing skill with superior strategy.

The pitcher who loses the pop on his fastball, but knows all the batter’s weak spots.  He does not blow the ball by the hitter, but he throws it in spots that the batter cannot reach…he is a veteran.

The linebacker who used to use his speed to rundown a ball carrier or sack the quarterback, now recognizes a play by the formation or the movement of a tight ends eyes, and moves to the correct spot as soon as the ball is snapped.  He has lost a step but uses his experience to get the job done…he is a veteran.

I used to preform simple tasks, even multiple tasks without forgetting anything.  If I misplaced my keys, I would retrace my steps in my head and then remember where I left them.  These days I get lost in the retracing.  I can’t get past, “Let’s see, I opened the front door and then…I got nothing.”

The solution?  A veteran old person knows to always, and I mean always, leave your keys in the exact same place.  When you come home, a veteran old person knows not to allow any distraction, he goes to the same exact key place, and leaves his keys in that same exact spot, then he goes on with life certain that when he needs to, he can find his keys.  It is a veteran move.

When I barbequed as a rookie at this living life thing, I never forgot to turn off the grill.  When I finished grilling, I would turn the burners on high to carbonize all the left-over grease, bring in the food and know to go out and turn off the burners five minutes later.  I have lately lost a step.  Several times in the last year, I have forgotten to turn off the burners and only realized it the next time I went to grill and the tank was empty.

The solution? Whenever I grill I jam a towel in the patio door handle.  When I see the towel, it reminds me the grill is still on.  As soon as I do shut off the grill, I remove the towel.  It is a veteran move.

These days when I go out I often forget things.  I forget my bowling ball on league night, I forget a bottle of wine when visiting friends. This never happened to a young life rookie.

The solution?  If I have something special to remember, I simply put my car keys in the refrigerator.  When I go to leave, my keys are not where they are supposed to be.  This is my reminder that I have forgotten something, I grab the item I have forgotten, and fetch my keys out of the refrigerator, the only other place they could be.  It is a veteran move.

Yes, I may be getting old.   I have lost a step, but I have tricks up my sleeve.  I am a veteran. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Not MY Pillow

Not MY Pillow
In this country we have way too much time on our hands.  The things we find to complain about or feel cheated about, boggles the mind.  The latest is a big hoo-ha over claims by the much advertised “My Pillow.”
Here are some My Pillow claims:
My Pillow claims it is the best and last pillow you will ever own.  You will sleep better without neck pain, wake refreshed, have better self-esteem, make more money and marry a supermodel. 
My pillow claims it is the "Official Pillow of the National Sleep Foundation."
The founder took 10 years to develop a patented fill that is washable and dryable and maintains it’s shape.
The Complaints of false advertizing:
The founder of My Pillow is not a sleep expert.
My Pillow is a PILLOW…it will not change your life.
AND…horrors of horrors-
My Pillow advertised that you buy one and get one free while they really just raised the price of one pillow so you really are buying two pillows at one price.
There have been law suits over the My Pillow rip-off and My Pillow settled basically by giving everyone involved a $5 settlement and probably the lawyers several hundred thousand dollars.
Thank God we are saved from this deceptive advertising.

It is a pillow people! It cost about $50.  A good pillow cost from 40 – 80 dollars, so it’s in range.
Does anyone, except a complete idiot, really believe a pillow will change their life?
Does anyone not know that if you pay enough money you can have your product endorsed by an impressive sounding organization.   The National Sleep Foundation was probably started by the My Pillow developer…who cares?
Who is a sleep expert?  Are there colleges offering majors is “Sleep Expert?” How is that even an occupation?  Who cares?
It took ten years to develop this pillow?  Who would brag about this?
Why am I even posting about a stupid pillow? 
I was just fascinated that the company was sued because their pitch buy-one-get-one-free was deceptive.  DUH!  I’m pretty sure every-buy-one-get-one-free has a catch.  In some cases the free item comes with an inflated shipping and handling fee, in some cases the price of one is inflated.  Who cares?
So now after much legal wrangling and several wealthier lawyers the pillow buying public is saved from the My Pillow deceptive claim “Buy-one-get-another pillow free.” 
The current ad claims you can buy two pillows at one low price!
There, that’s better.
It’s a pillow for crap sake!

Sunday, May 14, 2017



This cranky re-run is from May 2013
The other day I was in the kitchen with Mrs. Cranky.  Now keep in mind, I do my share of work around the Cranky house.  I vacuum, I sweep, I am the bathroom cleaner, I do the dishes and I empty the dishwasher.  I am the grill master. I don’t do windows.  Anyway, the other day I am in the kitchen with Mrs. Cranky and she says to me:

“When are you going to pick that up?”

“Pick what up?”

“Look at your feet.”


Don’t you see that?”

“See what.”

“Oh my God…LOOK, right by your feet!”

I look down at my feet and sure enough there is a gubba*

“When are you going to pick that up?  It’s been there for three days?”

“Well if you have been seeing it for three days, why didn’t you pick it up?”

“Because I wanted to see how long you would just keep stepping over it and never pick it up!”

“But, if I didn’t see it how would I pick it up?  What is worse, my not seeing it or you seeing it and waiting for me to pick it up?”

“How could you NOT see it!?**

“How could you see it and NOT pick it up!?”

Cause I wanted to see how long it would take for you to see it!”

“Well now you still don’t know cause you pointed it out to me.”

“Well are you going to pick it up?”

“You saw it first, you pick it up!”

“But it’s your mess!”

“How do you know it’s my mess?”

“Because if I drop something I know it!”

“Except when you drop something and you don’t know it.”

“You’re a jerk!”

The Gubba remains today in that same spot on the kitchen floor.  No one will pick it up.  Yesterday Mrs. C vacuumed around it.  This summer the ants will probably clean it up…that is if it is something edible. 

I don’t know what it is…it’s a Gubba!

*Gubba – any tiny stupid unidentified thing which serves no apparent purpose is a “Gubba.”

**!? – Emphatic question.